If losing Everlee was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, making her a sister is easily the scariest.
As time wears on the anxiety crushes down on me. My chest feels tight just thinking about my time being pregnant drawing to a close. I’ve cherished my time being pregnant this time in so much more detail, but I’ve found very little joy in it – more sadness in realizing that this is possibly all I’ll ever have. I spend so much time in my day trying to visualize not only what a happy birthing experience is like, but what it might be like to leave a hospital with a living child instead of a small wooden box. I spend hours during the week sitting in my rocking chair in the baby’s room (trying to remember it’s no longer Everlee’s room) and trying to picture it as a living space instead of a museum to what could have been.
I’m now somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks away from delivery. Part of me wishes I could go to bed and wake up in 6 weeks, and the other part of me curses that part of me and wants to be able to feel these wiggles and kicks forever. This is all I ever knew of Everlee, and as much as I don’t like to think about it, part of me will wonder if this is all I’ll ever know of her sibling.
I’ve been dreaming about Everlee for the last week. Last night I dreamed that various people were insulting her memory and I was beating the crap out of them. I feel guilty that I don’t dream about this baby the way I used to dream about Everlee. I knew Everlee was a girl just because I dreamed about her from day one. I have no hints like that for this baby. Even the dreams I do have, I never see him/her. I know I have no conscious control of it, but it mothers guilt I guess. Who knew that even in my situation I’d still be worried about treating my second child different than my first. I guess I really am a mother of two now.
A year ago I thought, quite often, if I was ever lucky enough to be pregnant again I wouldn’t complain. I’d cherish every second and without complaint follow every doctors order.
After 11 weeks confined to my home with little relief from the monotony and boredom, that promise to myself is getting harder and harder to keep. I cherish every second of this pregnancy. I revel in every little kick and hiccup. Few things bring me greater joy than watching this little baby wriggle beneath my skin. But at the same time the extreme isolation and the amount of time I have to dwell on that is slowly eating away at my brain and breaking me down, mentally.
In the roughly 18-20 hours a day I spend horizontal and alone there isn’t much to think about but all that could go wrong. Try as I might to fight those demons, they slowly claw their way into my brain. At 29 weeks pregnant now, as the days wear on the clock in my head ticks down to that 34 week mark where I lost my precious little girl. No matter how often I rationalize it in my head, there’s no satisfying the insatiable beasts that live in my mind that tell me that there’s no way I can bring home a healthy baby.
Bed rest like this is what I’d imagine solitary confinement in a jail to be like. They put prisoners there to mentally break them so they’re easier to control. Sure I see a few people throughout the week -doctors, my husband, my parents- but for someone as social as me the lack of meaningful human contact is the most trying part of it all. And even when people do reach out I’m at such a loss for conversation beyond my own bodily functions. What’s new? Absolutely nothing for the last 11 weeks unless you’d like to hear the gory details of what my cervix is like this week. It keeps me from reaching out to people because I don’t want to burden them and make them feel like I want them to entertain me.
I’ve had a particularly hard week, for no other reason than that I feel like I’m in a stagnant place where I’m constantly waiting and isolated. This is, by far, the most lonely I have ever been. But it will be worth it. Short term pain for long term gain. Every decision I have made since I found out this little rainbow was in my tummy is for my baby alone. Some days are harder than others – but nothing that is worth it comes easily… Right?