Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Womb

I had another OB appointment today and things are looking good! Sonogram in a week. It amazes me that even with my advanced maternal age, these appointments are quick five minute pee in a cup affairs. Everything just looks so...fine.

That's not to say that the pregnancy has been a walk in the park. You have been with me through morning sickness, 2 stomach bugs, shingles, heartburn from hell, a month-long chest cold, insomnia, hemorrhoids and a vein swelling that should be unmentionable, but have you ever known me NOT to mention something? But all of these ailments have had to do with me, not the baby, and I just can't believe it! I am so grateful, and I'm not taking any of it for granted.

As uncomfortable as I am at 32 weeks, I feel so much more secure with the baby inside rather than outside. He gets to roll and twist, hiccup and sleep, and do whatever he needs to do to keep growing.

Going from that loving, liquid, warm environment into the cold world must be a shock. Bright lights, loud noises, blood tests, vaccinations, learning how to eat, and perhaps even losing your foreskin, all within days of leaving the coziness of the womb? What could be more jarring than that?

It makes me think of the early days after losing Jack. The world seemed unfamiliar and foreign, bearing no resemblance to anything I'd known before. The sun was too bright. Noises too loud. Everything hurt. I couldn't understand what people were saying. The vocabulary of grief might as well have been in another language: police, dead, morgue, burial, memorial.

All I wanted to do was go back to the way things had been before. If there had been a swaddling blanket big enough for me, I would have wanted someone to wrap me so tightly I couldn't thrash about and repeatedly be startled into each new realization of loss and pain. I would have liked to have slept forever.

I know I can't protect this baby boy from hardship: danger, disasters, illness, bullies, addiction, disappointment, heartbreak, and death. He needs the chance to experience life. And cutting myself off after losing Jack could have numbed the pain, perhaps, but would  have kept me from learning to trust the life I've been given, and navigate a new way to live it.

It's not a life free from pain, certainly, but one of pain and much joy intermingled.

17 comments:

Thoughts for the day said...

What a wonderful blog post. Reality is, we love our little ones and pray for them and wish we could protect them every minute of the day. But we know we can't. So we love with great abandon and trust in one greater than us, for the future.
I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Anna:

So delighted that all is going so well with Baby Donaldson. I love your writing and you truly honour Jack each and every day in choosing to accept the joys of life along with the devastating pain of your loss.
All the very best from Canada (hence the u in honour😊
Janet

Julie said...

Very interesting & astute analogy! I've never thought of it like that before.

Andrea Bayne said...

I go to my grief counselor tomorrow and I always end up sharing excerpts from your writings with her. Therapeutic and I thank you.
Andrea

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post.

Heather L. Kopp said...

Anna, I don't usually read blogs much these days, but yours was a gift to me today. You're an inspiration to me, helping me find the courage to believe I can make it. Thanks dear, dear friend.

julie gardner said...

This is so beautiful and true. (And also scary and joyful.)
I'm glad you didn't cut yourself off.

Laura Lane said...

This is such a great post--the analogy is so amazing and written so well! Words can't express the beauty of this post

nanadarla said...

Beautiful post, Anna. Just what I needed to read today, to inspire & give me hope that brighter days are ahead.

Anonymous said...

beautiful perspective

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You never cease to amaze me.......
I'm am looking so forward to meeting your little one!

Heidi Cave said...

I felt every bit of this. What a thoughtful, beautiful post. So much love to you and this baby boy. I'm so happy for you. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for your next sonogram post! So thrilled that the baby is doing so well (wish it were a little easier for you, but you are in the home stretch...you are a champ!)

I love your analogy of being born as a foreign world similar to the landscape of sudden grief. So hard not to wrap ourselves (and our loved ones) up and hope to protect them from everything...but you're right, that way we would never experience the joy that comes along with the pain.

It must have been so hard sometimes to let yourself be exposed to the world, but so lovely to hear of the wonderful updates in your life since then. You must feel Jack so intertwined in these gifts of joy.

Long way of saying...love you and your family, and wishing you all the very best.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker here.

This post is really amazing. What a lucky baby.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I rarely comment but I've been watching you handle these past 7 months with amazing grace, and loved seeing you on the news (the link you posted on facebook).
I picked up my copy of Rare Bird again today and read from it. Jack will never be forgotten.

www.robinbotie.com said...

It's such an exciting time. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Esther said...

As always, you have reached into my soul. I hadn't thought of police and morgue associated with Jack's death. That made it even more sorrowful.

I am so excited for you, your family, and this baby boy! What a blessing. Thank you for sharing such genuine sorrow and joy!