Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.
Easier said than done.
Ger finally told me that he feels positive about the outcome of this pregnancy. 27 weeks, pretty good place to be. I asked him if he thinks I will make it all the way to full term (because I don’t think I will) and he said yes, he does.
We seem to be clinging to each other more than ever as we head into these remaining 12 weeks. More time spent talking, even if it isn’t about anything related to pregnancy or what has happened over the past few years. More time spent being kind to each other. Time and effort spent on other people was often a daunting task when I was often trying (and failing) to hold myself together, plus with an added task of taking care of the kids. We could support each other in those heavy, dark, obvious moments but on a daily basis it was merely survival. Now, breathing more easily, it feels like preparation: strengthening ourselves to become parents of a newborn again. Or maybe strengthening ourselves in case we face another loss. I always have to consider both outcomes; I’m incapable of not thinking that way.
After we tuck the kids in, we have been spending time just sitting and talking. This was a habit we had many, many years ago, pre-kids. Even when we had newborns, we would still sit and talk, with the baby between us on our bed, trying hard to keep that baby awake until 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm in hopes that would lend itself to a better stretch of sleep. We fell away from that habit as the kids grew older and evenings (for me) turned into Bath and Netflix. The other night, we talked from 7:30 until 8:30, at which point I said “Bedtime.” He protested, asking for another 30 minutes together, to which I replied “Sorry, but from 7:30 – 9:30 is the only time I get to myself all day. I gave you an hour. Now I need an hour to myself to unwind.” I felt a little guilty at telling him to go elsewhere and find something else to do (he goes to bed much later than me), but at the same time I need to take care of myself as much as I take care of my marriage and I need some time alone to decompress, write, or watch Netflix.
Even when we talk about the baby, I have noticed that we never say the name out loud. With Theo and Quentin, we began calling them by their names as soon as we knew the gender and had finalized their names. It made their presence real. I remember about two weeks before my due date, Ger wanted to change Theo’s middle name to something else, and I said “We can’t. That’s his name; we can’t change his name!” This time, we have not yet formed that attachment of name to baby; still not making that connection of bringing a baby home. I can now picture going into labor, going to the hospital, delivering via c-section. Those events play out in my head. But I still cannot picture bringing the baby home.
The other day, Quentin brought home a project from school: three flowers, formed from pieces of construction paper. He told me that the flowers are “You, Daddy, and the BABY!” He sees a new addition, so easily.