Sunday, August 24, 2014

Routine Check

The other day I had my 36 week appointment.  They weighed me and measured me and listened to the baby's heart beat.  They told me what's going on with Baby at 36 weeks (mostly just growing?), and asked if I have any questions.  Charlie begged for a snack the entire time and was somewhat pacified with a sticker at the end of the appointment.  We set up another appointment for a week later and at that time will, hopefully, participate in the same routine.

Routine.  How did these appointments become so routine? In some ways, I can't believe I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy.  In other ways, it's been the longest 36 weeks I've ever experienced.  So much of this pregnancy has been different than my pregnancy with Charlie, and for so many reasons.  When I found out I was expecting Charlie, we circled February 19th on the calendar and focused on all the "things" involved with having a new baby.  We researched car seats and strollers and gliders, we bought the crib and bedding and an assortment of cloth diapers.  I joined websites and forums all devoted to topics like baby-wearing and breastfeeding and homemade baby food.  I attended every prenatal visit with a sense of routine-- that everything was fine and nothing could possibly go wrong.  And amazingly, that's exactly what happened.  We cruised through the pregnancy and brought Charlie home from the hospital on March 2nd.

Then, after two more pregnancies that ended with heartache, the idea of a nine month pregnancy seemed out of reach, almost elusive in a way.  When I found out I was expecting this time, it seemed like suddenly, we were at the base of a ladder containing 280 rungs-- days until a supposed due date.  The ladder never felt sturdy, it never felt anchored in any way.  I imagined myself climbing a rung a day, but never knowing if there was even another rung to step on tomorrow.  I tried to relax, and did to a large extent.  But the feeling of uncertainty never completely went away.  Is this morbid?  Maybe.  Probably.  Or maybe it's just something that happens when you lose the normalcy of pregnancy.  When you realize that zero days of a beating heart can be taken for granted.

I know for me, personally, I always was aware of complications that could arise during my pregnancy with Charlie.  But honestly, until experiencing a loss, I had no idea what that could actually feel like.  I never imagined it could affect me the way it did-- and remain tucked into my memory so firmly.

Next week, I'll have my 37 week appointment-- and then only three more visits until Baby's due date. I keep climbing that ladder, rung by rung, each day a little more anxious to meet this little person.  I'm trying to trust my body right up to the very end-- which, surprisingly, is somewhat difficult to do.  When I was pregnant with Charlie, I wanted him to marinate as long as possible-- I felt like my womb was the safest place for him and I wasn't bothered at all to be over 41 weeks when he finally came into the world.  With this one, however, I think I'll experience a huge sense of relief when the baby is actually born.

It's crazy to realize that the end of this pregnancy is in sight-- it's been a long, tiring, road but I feel so fortunate to have been given the chance to do it one more time.    

A friend insisted on taking a belly shot of me on our first day of school.  Don't you love the tie-dye?! 


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