for those of you who have followed my ramblings for any amount of time, you know that Wednesdays are our “flip-day” … the day we change weeks, move forward. the day I get an email from BabyCenter that gives me a glimpse of what’s going on in there.
it’s Tuesday night. I’m 19 weeks and 6 days.
you might think I’m excited for tomorrow because it’s half way to meeting our little man. and I am. but tonight represents something bigger. something better.
tonight is the last night they could turn us away. the last night they’d be able to say, “we’re sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.”
I know real viability is at about 24 weeks. but, because of my past life on L&D, the cut off line between help and pity is 20 weeks. after 20 weeks they don’t just hold you in the ER if you’re bleeding. they take you to the L&D floor. they try to save your baby. I truly didn’t understand the severity of this line in the sand until we were able to conceive. and without our struggle with infertility, I may still not. I might have been able to sail through the weeks and not hold my breath. but, because of our struggle and journey, for 15 weeks, since the moment “pregnant” popped up in that digital window, I haven’t really breathed.
I think back to the me, the pre-infertility issue nurse on OB, who hated getting calls because “I’m so-and-so, and I’m about 14 weeks along, and I just started bleeding.” I hated those calls for sympathetic reasons: poor thing, you must be terrified. I hated them for selfish reasons: ugh, you’re “barely” pregnant and already calling us. and I hated them for practical reasons: you’re 14 weeks. even if you are miscarrying, there’s nothing we can do – if you’re concerned, bleeding heavily, or having unbearable pain, please go to the ER. I didn’t get it then.
but now? now every day counts. every day done was a day closer to not being sent to the ER, to wait, worry, wonder, and weep. I have never thought of myself as barely pregnant. I’m ashamed I ever thought that way about any other woman.
and, because of my previous job, which I loved dearly by the way, I don’t need the BabyCenter email to picture my baby growing. unfortunately, after about 14 or 15 weeks, our doctors chose to not for D&Cs, because it was literally to terrible for them to remove a fetus that large from a uterus. those women were brought to us if they hadn’t miscarried at home. we induced them. we delivered their teeny, tiny babies. we held those women’s hands, and we cried with them. for them. we shared in the sacred moments of their lives.
I’ve seen the perfection that is 14 weeks gestation. 15 weeks. 17 week twins. tiny and perfect. inevitable loss. I’ve held them in my hands.
of course, I’ve seen 29 weeks. and 38 weeks too. those are shifts you never forget. and you shouldn’t, because it validates that life.
am I still scared sh*t-less of that outcome for us? yes. I’m scared of the next 20 weeks, the 20 hours of labor I may have to endure, the first 20 years of my child’s life. I know I have no control over any of this. I know heartache strikes without warning. I have to accept things. But at least, tomorrow, if my world turns upside down and everything I’m hoping for vanishes, we’ll have made it this far.
I’m not trying to be a Debbie-downer. This is actually a hopeful post for me, and I hope I didn’t scare anyone. Life is precious and sacred, and I am so thankful we are here, at 19.6 weeks. And if you are someone who didn’t get to make it to 20 weeks or 40 weeks, I am SO sorry for your loss.