Last time I was this pregnant was the day my baby died. It was a busy, crazy day that turned into the evening our after started. Our son was born the next day. That was exactly eighteen months ago.
I want to say something profound. Dates, numbers, coincidences. I also want to say that it's just a day, it holds no power. (Right? Right?) The boy who is still alive in me is no more or less likely to die today than any other day. But today I am unmistakably more anxious than yesterday.
He looks like his brother. We know that from the ultrasounds. It started with the nose. I saw it on the anatomical scan, and almost gasped. A had this weird nose that nobody else in the family has. Of all things, I didn't expect the nose. Since then we have seen the cheeks, which are not surprising-- they are my dad's, mine, Monkey's, and A's. Other features are less clear, but the time before last the ultrasound tech pointed out his big hands (A had long fingers) and that he had some hair. A's hair was curly.
Is it just that were he to be born today, I would know what to expect? What he would look like, what his weight would feel like in my arms? He is smaller than A was, but not by much-- half a pound or so, likely. That was the thought I was working on this weekend, as the doctors worked to stop my preterm labor-- that I may, in a matter of hours, again hold my son in my arms, that were that to happen, I would need to let myself be in both places at once, simply because I don't think I could stop myself from going back.
The birthing rooms in my hospital are pretty similar, though the beds in some face one way, and in some-- the other. The rooms where I had given birth to my two children so far happen to frame one side of the same wall of rooms-- Monkey's right up by the ORs, and A's down the other end of the hall, where there would be minimal interaction with the world of live babies being born, where they could then walk us out through the back door, so we wouldn't have to run into any happy people. The room where I was this weekend, fittingly, I guess, was half way down the hall between the rooms where Monkey and A were born. This room was set up the same way as Monkey's, with the bed in the room facing the bed in A's birth room. If I peered really hard through the walls, and through time, I could see us in that other room. Monkey's birth was behind me, has been for over six years now. A's, in some way, was, and still is, in front of me.
So tell me, please, if you have had a subsequent birth already, how did it feel? How did it go? If you are still hoping for one, what goes through your mind as you think of it? Or do you give that part any thought at all? If you are not going to get one, what does that do to you?