My belly is getting bigger, and we continue to prepare for her arrival.
It is becoming more and more real, and evident in the changes that are happening in our home, that we are expecting a child. Another beautiful and amazing child.
A room for her. A dresser for her. A crib for her. Yet almost all the things that fill the room are things that were her brother’s. I can’t help but feel like it’s cheating. Or that we’ve forgotten about him. And at the same time I want to give her all the light and love and celebration for who she is and what she brings us. Bipolar living, a crazy duality of the happiness and grief, continues to be the main theme of her pregnancy. Sometimes I wonder how all these thoughts affect her, but I remember to tell her how much we love her and look forward to meeting her. Everyday we talk to her.
Everyday I picture her inside my belly, her heart beating and my heart beating, once in a while synchronizing. I picture what she looks like. I wonder how much she will look like her brother.
She moves so much. Very unlike her brother. Ever since I could first feel her movements. We’ve joked about how she has world cup fever.
And then today happened.
She wasn’t moving like she normally does. I noticed this afternoon that she had slowed down a bit. I waited some time, then told Gina. We tried ice water, some fruit, laying on my side. Still nothing. Gina and I looked at each other and I attempted to not be on full alarm, but I was.
After an hour of trying to get her to move and only feeling a light tap here and there, we decided to go to the hospital. I know we both panicked, you can’t help but have those moments of PTSD when you’ve lost a child.
So, we headed to the hospital, alerted our doctor, who immediately said “I’m sure she is fine, but yes, go get monitored and be reassured and please keep me posted”.
Have I mentioned how much we love this doctor? How amazing it feels to have a perinatologist that supports us, acknowledges Luca, and wants nothing more than to have us get to the other side of this pregnancy with our little girl alive in our arms? He doesn’t judge our freak outs and he shows nothing but nonjudgemental support.
We checked into triage, and the wait time seemed forever to get into a room. A nurse finally called our name, and brought us to the bed and left. It was likely a short time, but seemed like another eternity. Another nurse came by and introduced herself as the one who would be running the monitoring. At this point, both Gina and I were whale-eyed, just wanting to be hooked up already.
As she was placing the straps on my belly, I started to hear the whooshing of baby’s heartbeat, and I think both Gina and I began to breathe again. A bit shaken up, I told the nurse that we came in to be monitored, and that we were hyper-sensitive because we had lost our first born.
She paused. Her name was Jen. She proceeded to ask us questions about the pregnancy and about Luca. She teared up listening to us recount his birth. She had a 10 month old baby girl. She was compassionate, and empathetic. All the while hooking me up, looking at the baby’s movements, and reassuring us that everything looked good.
She immediately turned a stressful situation into a time to connect, and make two bereaved parents, feel secure and understood.
And baby girl looked good. Her heartbeat and movement looked great. She must have gotten herself in a funky position which made her movements not as easy to feel, which is what caused us to panic.
I am hoping she returns to her normal routine of world cup fever, immediately.
We came back home, and I walked into her room. Reminded again of what we have, what we had, and what we so hopefully and graciously, wait for. And tonight, we actually worked on our baby registry; something we had shy-ed away from for quite some time, is now existing. Granted it’s online, and we didn’t have to walk into a store to do it, but still, it’s a huge step for us, because we are looking forward. We are preparing for her now.