It is not really a secret that our kids were both delightful suprises. For this baby, though, the surprise was there at the very beginning and the delight had to find its way to me in time.
We weren't ready. We were clinging on to every last puzzle piece of our marriage and trying (unsuccesfully) to put it back together. I was still drowning in the loss of Emerson and each time I came up for a breath, I plunged back under with a clearer image of my future and a comfortable vision of Eldon as an only child.
I was in denial. I was sure that this pregnancy wouldn't "stick." As soon as I faced the reality of losing him (or her, at the time) though, I wanted nothing more than for this baby to be ours. Forever. I became excited at the idea of another child to love and a sibling for my son.
The delight was there, but it was still lingering back in the shadows....waiting for an invitation.
I knew that at any moment, I could feel that gush. And it could all be over. It had been nearly two years and the wounds from losing a baby hadn't even been given a chance to scar. They were still healing. I told myself that I would feel better if I could make it to 8 weeks, which was when we experienced our first scare with Emerson.
But at 8 weeks, it still didn't feel real.
I promised that we could share the news when we passed the first trimester, at 12 weeks. That milestone came and went. It still felt too fragile.
I knew that 20 weeks would be the turning point. It was around that time we had lost Emerson, and also that this baby was diagnosed with his heart defect. No big comfort there.
24 weeks, then. Viability. Once he is 24 weeks old, they will try to save him if he comes early and he has a chance! Eh...but probably not when combined with a heart defect.
Somewhere between 24 and 34 weeks, the delight crept in. Little by little, as if not to be overhwelming. I almost didn't even notice it was here. But it is.
I think that the denial is here for the long haul. Somewhere in the counting of weeks and kicks, I lost this pregnancy to worry. I feel like it is a brand new pregnancy, like it is just the beginning.
When in reality, it's almost over.
I can't believe that this journey is coming to a close. I can't bring myself to believe that in 6 (or more? or less?) short weeks, I will have another son in my arms. I don't want it to be over, I feel like it's too soon.
In my mind, I am still about halfway there. I have plenty of time to plan and get things ready. Really though? It could be any day now. I hope it's not and I hope for Max's sake that he hangs tight until I am at least 40 weeks, but it could be.
I'm not sure what the deal is. I'm not sure why I am STILL in such denial.
Is it because this is my last baby and I just love being pregnant?
Is it because I feel like Max is safest here with me, where his lungs don't have to breathe and his heart is not responsible for pumping oxygen into his body?
Is it because I am waaaaay smaller this time around? I thought that I was supposed to be bigger with the second (third) baby?
The answer is all of the above.
A new life in every sense of the word. A brand new person for me to love and pour my soul into. The beginning of a new family...the realization that I alone am responsible for not one, but two tiny little people. The beginning of sleepless nights and lots of hard work.
This single parenting thing has proven to be harder than I thought it ever could be. Going it alone with a newborn and a four year old is a daunting task and one that I can't wrap my head around.
Still though, I am delighted to be given this gift of a love so big it hurts. I will get through it, as all mothers do. Gracefully? I doubt it. Realistically? Yes.
Ready or not, this new life is ours. This baby boy is mine and he is coming to shake things up much sooner than I am ready to believe.
I guess you can never really be "ready."
Bring it on, Max. I know that when you do get here, ready or not, we will wonder how we ever lived without you.