There must be. Ever since giving my notice, I've been less stressed and more relaxed. But, beyond that, I have found a new peace in this pregnancy that I didn't have even in little Alex's pregnancy- and he was my peacebearer! I still have my freakouts, mind you (in fact, I emailed my dear friend Terri and she walked me through a day of intense anxiety), but, overall, I have this overwhelming sense of... peace. As it relates to all our children.
My grief is still here. It still hurts like a constant knife in my chest. My heart aches and I mourn my children. But I feel them with me. Since giving my notice and feeling that stress melt away, I feel them more. I told Peter once that I hated coming into work because I didn't feel them. That I could feel them at home but not here and that I couldn't face that much of my day without them. I have such relief with the decision that was made and put out there on Monday, and I feel them with me so much more. And I know it is because the stress that clogs everything has gone away, leaving me more open to their presences. And it makes a HUGE difference. It makes things okay. It hurts to think about life without them, but feeling them makes me realize they aren't really gone. They aren't here the way I want. They never will be. I'll never be able to nurse them or watch them grow up or kiss their booboos. I'll never be able to hold them, physically, in my arms again. And it sucks. And it makes me angry. And I still have yelling matches with God about it where I kick my feet and beat my hands and weep openly. It's not fair... But, feeling them... And, it may sound crazy... It may be the prozac in the air... But I swear to you, I feel them as much as if they were right here. Sometimes, it's in bed, when they nuzzle into my arms and I can smell them, they way they smelled as I held them on their birthdays. Sometimes, it's in the breeze outside or the raindrops that fall and kiss us without ceasing. Sometimes, it's in church, where I can hear them singing, louder than anyone else, and I know those voices are the voices of my children- even though I never got a chance to hear them on earth. Maybe I am crazy. But if I am, I don't want to be sane. I know the ache wont end and I dont want it to. But for those moments when they are with me again, the world is right. Things are okay. We are okay. Separated by this time and place, but not in our hearts and spirits. Our hearts beat together when they were on the inside and, in those moments, they beat together again.
I have my moments with this pregnancy too. Sometimes, the peace is overwhelming. There is a sense that I am doing the best that I can, have the best care money can by, and have an army of people who care about us and are praying for us. Catholics can appear to be a superstitious bunch, but the love and the faith is inspiring to me. A friend last night told Peter that she has a handkercheif that was blessed at the St. Gerard shrine that she wants to give to us to sleep with under my pillow. Another friend gave me a novena to St. Gerard and yet another gave me a prayer card and pamphlet for St. Gerard. I have 2 prayer cards for St. Gianna. And, the biggest thing, is that I have a rosary, blessed by Pope Paul VI, specifically with the intention of keeping mothers and babies safe during high risk pregnancies. I know that, to the outside, it might sound a little strange to have these "relics" of sorts in the hopes that these holy men and women might intercede and add their prayers to ours. But, yet, so comforting. Praying that rosary does give me a sense of peace. Touching the prayer cards and asking the saints for prayer- it calms me when I'm feeling led astray by my anxiety.
I can only imagine that, as cerclage time grows nearer, my anxiety will increase. After all, great OB or not, there are risks. And, as much as I try not to think about it, there are cases where the stitching doesn't work. The thoughts terrify me. It's unchartered territory. I don't know what to expect. I don't know what will happen. Will I lose these precious babies in 4 weeks because a needle slips or the contractions that start as a result of messing with the cervix can't be stopped? And then, even if the weeks following progress okay, the 3 weeks when I delivered their older siblings will be upon us. If we make it into the 20s, will I feel better? Will the worries of prematurely delivering suddenly end? I can't imagine they will. Possibly at 24w, I will feel a little better because there will be that glimmer of "a chance". But we all know, making it to full term doesn't fix things either. There's never a safe place... Just a place where our history is truly our history and has no chance of being our present again. I'm not there.
I'm farther than my miscarriages. Our babies heartbeats have been seen and my hCG tests all rose appropriately. That gives me some confidence. But, as I near the 7w mark, I keep in my mind all the women who mourn the babies that died before the hit 11w... And I wonder if the surgery that is due around Mother's Day will happen at all or if I'll have to make that dreaded call to cancel my outstanding OB appointments.
Yet, I'm striving to keep my head up and my thoughts positive. My April 24th ultrasound has been rescheduled to the 22nd, due to a conflict that has arisen at work, so that now means, less than a week until I see our babies on the big screen again and see their flickering heartbeats. We will be 7w4d instead of 7w6d. That's okay. I'll take it. At that point, Dr. Lee will release us to Dr. Bailey, and I'll see him during my last week of work.
3w1d of work to go. It's such a surreal experience to be closing up shop and getting things ready for the next person. This was my dream job. Being the director/manager of a small town branch library was what I wanted to do and I acheived it. And it was great while it lasted. Being a mom pushed it to the bottom of the "dream job" list, along with everything else, and that is okay. To each, it's own season. I'm sure that there is someone else who will fill my shoes and take the library to a new level, beyond where I have brought it. And that will be a good thing. And I'm happy that my name has been added to the roster of women who have run this great institution.
In five hours, I'll be remembering the moment of my daughter's birth and writing in her journal. My precious Sophia was born 14 months ago. Happy birthday, my sweet.