Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I know my last two posts have been kind of frantic, but it's really how I've been feeling lately - especially since entering the third trimester. This is supposed to be the "safety zone". Even women who are generally cautious at the beginning of their pregnancies finally begin to relax at this point. Viability is achieved, and premature babies still have a good chance at survival if born in the third trimester. Really, this part is supposed to be just a waiting game. As the days tick by, they tick down to the birth of a baby, right? No one would ever guess that might not happen. No one would ever think that the baby might not come home. Not unless it happened to you.
This is the part of my pregnancy with Kenley where I really began to think "Wow...I'm going to have a baby. This is really happening." Having had friends and family members who had experienced both first and second trimester losses, I knew there was no such thing as a sure thing, but certainly, once you hit that third trimester, you were golden, right? The third trimester is when the finishing touches to the nursery are made, when maternity pictures are taken, when baby showers are held. It's when all the final preparations are made because - a baby is coming home. Except, sometimes, one doesn't. And when it doesn't, everything you ever knew to be true in the world is turned upside down. Nothing makes sense. And nothing will ever be the same.
For me, there is no "safety zone". There is no magic bubble to protect my baby. There is only a shadowed past, a frightening present, and an uncertain future. I say this to you not so you will send me words of comfort and assurance, but just so you will know how this feels.
As harsh as this might sound to you, your words don't help. I know they aren't empty - I know they are heartfelt and completely genuine. I know you truly want to wrap your arms around me and keep me safe within them, and I don't want this post to make you feel like you are unappreciated because you are not. But, honestly, your words don't help. Not even a little bit.
I am not comforted when someone tells me they are confident in my ability to bring Bean into this world safely. Clearly, my track record speaks for itself. I'm 0 for 1. My ability to bring children into this world has no affect whatsoever on that actually happening.
I am not comforted when someone tells me I will be holding Bean soon. That was said to me last year. I did get to hold my baby girl then, but not the way I wanted to, and I can't ever hold her again.
I am not comforted when someone tells me they "have faith" Bean will be born healthy and alive. Was that faith not there with Kenley? Did you think Kenley would die? No, of course not. Because we want to believe that babies don't die. We want to put our "faith" in a greater power that wouldn't allow that to happen - and yet it did. So, what's to stop it from happening again? And, if that greater power does indeed have the ability to keep Bean alive, why did Kenley die? Was she not important? You can't answer those questions for me, and it's probably a safe bet you don't even really want to think about it because it just makes things more muddled and confusing. So, let's just not go down that road at all.
I am not comforted when people throw statistics and odds into my face. A cord accident occurs in 1 in 1,600 births. Yes, the odds are that Bean's cord will not follow in her sister's footsteps. Most likely, her cord will never be an issue. But, that doesn't make me feel better. I've met a great deal of women in the last year who have "beaten" their odds - or better yet, who have been beaten by them. We are a sad bunch of statistics. A lonely island of women who have experienced the small percentage of tragedy no one thought we would. Telling me this won't happen again is like telling me lightning doesn't strike twice. It's a nice thing to believe, but it's not actually true and the evidence speaks otherwise. It can happen again, as well as so many other things. We all want to think that tragedy won't visit me again, but no one has a crystal ball.
I know all of this really just boils down to positive thinking. You want to be positive to help me be positive. You want to believe that good things will happen, and so you send me those happy thoughts. And I thank you for your efforts. But, nothing you can say or do will bring me peace. This is not a negative attitude - this is just my reality. And as much as you want to bring light to the darkness, only one thing can do that. Bean, living and breathing, placed in my arms.
Again, I'm not trying to look a gift horse in the mouth. I don't mean to come across as ungrateful for the amazing level of support I have in you all. Honestly, the fact that I have so many people who love and care about me, Mike, and Bean is often so wonderfully overwhelming. I just need you to know how I'm feeling. That's the spirit of the blog, right?