I feel like a little girl that woke up Christmas morning to a bare tree. No presents. No ornaments. Just a tree. Taunting me.
Intellectually I understand that a “due date” is an estimate, a guess. But I was not prepared to see this day arrive without a baby in my arms. Em was three days early. “Get ready! Second babies come early,” said so many well meaning people. And here I am. Without my baby.
Intellectually I know that “Babies come when they are ready” and yet there is a little girl inside me that feels like maybe I missed my window. Maybe s/he isn’t coming. And here come the tears that I have held inside for the most part all day.
This whole pregnancy has been different. Not finding out the gender of the baby has meant that I have lived in this moment, in this pregnancy, instead of wishing it away for the baby girl that would be in my arms, as I did with Emily. It hasn’t been until the last few days that I have even really imagined it…. The baby. Our baby. And as the days passed I felt more and more ready.
And then ready turned in to an almost feverish desire.
Last night I dreamt that the doorbell rang and I opened the door and there s/he was. In a little outfit. With a little hat and a little suit case and a little smile. And I opened the door and Baby D walked in on tiny bowed newborn legs. And they were home.
And then I woke the rest of the way up and my baby was gone. Our baby was gone.
In the last few years things have changed for me. I have remarked more than a few times that it feels like someone else’s life or that my luck has turned around. I found the boy that became the man that gave me a fairy tale wedding and a home… And a baby. And that baby was going to come on time. Because that is just how this new life works. I act stunned and revel in my good fortune… But somehow in the last few years it has happened.
I guess I expect things to go my way.
But what if this is the end of that road? I have said to every midwife, every practitioner I have seen this pregnancy that this is my Labor & Delivery Do-Over. It is supposed to be my all empowering natural birth, the one that heals me. And now I have this ridiculous seed of doubt. Because of the date. January 15th. Every time it pops up on another device, my phone, my iPad, my computer “Due Date” I think … Right. Sure. If this baby even wants me anymore.
And I go back in my room and I bounce on my birth ball and I watch more Sex and the City reruns and I cry like a teenage girl. And I look at my swollen feet and my hand without an engagement ring because just this week it has gotten too small. And I whisper between the sobs “Come out, baby… C’mon out baby, please…”
And I pull it back together. And tomorrow I suspect I will go to work and make jokes about how I might be pregnant forever. But today…. Today I am not weepy because I fear I will be pregnant forever. But because I am afraid that Baby D will never come back. I saw him/her this morning. I saw my baby and I didn’t put my arms around them fast enough, or smell his/her head. Or let their fingers curl around mine….
And as absurd as it is… Now it feels like I will never get the chance. Because today is January 15th.