I feel pulled to this space although I am not sure what I need to say...
There is another baby growing. It has been hard. Maybe even harder than Orrin's pregnancy, for some reason. Maybe because there have been more similarities, because the dates line up so closely, or just because it has taken a toll on my body in almost every way. The anxiety has been intense, putting me firmly back in survival mode. In some way, it feels like I have so much more to lose this time. I was only just finding my way in the new normal, feeling comfortable in the life that blossomed in the aftermath of her death. I felt terrified that it would all happen again and I would be pulled back to that very dark place. And so I have put up walls, lived somewhat in denial of this new life in my belly. If I am being honest, sometimes resentment creeped in as well. In the hardest moments, sick, tired, anxious, unable to eat, I wondered WHY on earth I ever thought it was a good idea to do this again. Especially since there are no guarantees. Other people reassured me it was "worth it in the end," but I challenged them silently. I went through it all once upon a time and all I got was a box of ashes and a hefty dose of grief and trauma.
Yesterday we went to see those same doctors that have delivered us both the best and worst news. We were ushered into the same room where I got the diagnosis with Layla. I had to lay on the table, waiting, with my heart pounding so hard that my body shook with each beat. As she started the scan, I saw the baby's feet moving with my pulse. Then she smiled and reassured me as she looked at the spine and the brain and saw absolutely nothing abnormal. I wasn't totally convinced until the doctor came in. I realized later that he looked different because he was smiling this time. The strongest memories I have of him are of his somber face giving me the worst news of my life. He gave us pretty much an all clear on neural tube defects, but of course it's early and they can't see the heart well enough yet. One more big thing to worry about, but then we'll be done.
And...we found out that baby is another girl.
I was not surprised, as I've had a feeling from the very very beginning. It seems I have connected with this little soul despite my best efforts. I have dreamed about and wished for a girl since the day I found out I was pregnant with Layla. After we lost her, the wish turned into what felt more like a need. A desperation of sorts that left me breathless every time someone else would announce that they were having a girl.
I finally got that moment that I have dreamed about for almost 4 years, and yet...
It is not what I expected. I am so, so happy. But I still have that disconnect. I still don't really believe that it's actually a girl and she's okay (so far). I feel strange that people are congratulating me on having a girl, as if she is the first one.
Honestly when I really think about it, I just start crying. I don't really know what the tears mean. I'm happy and yet it's so complicated. This baby is also due in May, only 2 weeks before her sister was. In some ways I feel like it's almost as if I am fixing history, but then I'm not. I wonder if maybe this is her soul coming back to a healthy body, but I'll never really know.
I don't want this girl to mean that Layla didn't matter. I think, in some small way, it would have been easier to accept if it was a boy. I know that I can grow and carry and birth a healthy boy. In my world, boys live, girls die. Everything has felt sort of 50/50 during this pregnancy, based on my past experiences.
I just want to feel like I can be a normal, happy, pregnant lady who just found out that she's having a daughter. Another daughter. See? It's complicated. It's messy. It's socially awkward when people tell me I'm so lucky to have "one of each."
I can't wait for her to be born. Pregnancy makes me crazy.