I've been silent for three-plus months, and it's time now to say what I've been too hesitant to vocalize. It's especially time to absorb and be fully grateful for what's going on in our lives.
We're having a baby.
|Baby Thumbsucker at 12 weeks|
I'm fighting the urge to follow that sentence up with: "It looks like we could have a baby in February." or "All signs point to a new member of our family in 2014." or "We might hold a second baby valentine in our arms six months from now."or "Mary Brooks could have a new sibling at her second birthday party." It feels more like a possibility than a fact.
I'm not at a point where I can accept congratulations graciously or process the magnitude of the gift we've been given. I know it's tremendous, and I'm beyond joyful in theory, even if it hasn't gotten down into my bones just yet.
But I am pregnant - 14 weeks along, to be exact. Our baby looks strong and healthy, and is by far the most active little Smith I've seen yet.
I'd be overcome with sheer gratitude and exhilaration if there wasn't a literal and figurative gray cloud hanging over me (and my insides).
I have had an implantation bleed for the last three weeks. A middle of the night scare that looked something like a Law & Order crime scene led me to a disastrous early morning ER visit; I felt certain this must be what a loss looked like. (With our third baby, I never had any signs of what was to come, so these symptoms were all new to me. And I still can't quite bring myself to say the "m" word.)
Praise God, baby looked beautiful and removed from the bleeding I was experiencing, and what I continue to have. Everything baby-wise looks perfectly positive.
At the start of my second trimester, we're in a safer spot developmentally for baby, but my body still needs to get it together. This large bleed could pose a threat as things progress; it really needs to go away. As it stands, my symptoms could continue for weeks, and I'm okay with it being a nuisance or an unsettling factor to me - that's no problem.
The crucial aspect is that it decreases in size quickly, that it doesn't "take over" the space and resources baby needs. I can't think about or discuss what happens if that's not the case.
I believe in my heart that this is our "take home" baby, that it will be in our arms and in our home come 2014. It's difficult, though, to remind myself of that sometimes given what we've been through - and given the crazy things I hear on occasion from otherwise well-meaning folks. (That's a whole separate post altogether. Grieving mamas and pregnant ladies should be given earmuffs, y'all.)
While I am excited, I am also fighting a kernel of anxiety that threatens to suck the joy right out of this experience. I'd love your prayers for my peace of mind, for my body's cooperation, for the doctors' wisdom and for this "gray area" to just disappear.
Once this lifts, we'll be in the clear as far as anyone can tell. In the meantime, we have more pictures of our unborn bean than my parents likely have of themselves throughout their entire childhoods. That's the silver lining, I suppose, watching every last miraculous development week by week.
We're glad for the reassurance that baby is thriving, but oh how I'd love this scary part to be over.
So there it is, all the stuff I haven't been saying. It felt very personal, like both a vulnerability and a TMI situation I did not care to share with the world.
But I needed to. I'm making my pride a concern here, wanting to maintain some level of Mary Poppins perfection and cheer when the truth is, life brings with it some less than perfect moments. Even in those, we rejoice - but we do need each other.
Each of you played a role in my healing earlier this year (and last year with Mary Brooks), so I hesitate to ask for one more thing from you. But if it crosses your mind, your prayers for our little peanut would mean everything.
The Mouth of the South, once again unmuzzled