...rather the lack thereof in the months department. We are probably looking at January 4-6 for Luke's birthday and friends...that's 34 days or so from now. I don't have to go through the whole figuring out/conversion of weeks-to-months in gestational terms for people when they ask when I am due. Now, I just can say, "Next Month." Hard to believe. REALLY hard to believe.
And that's where moving forward ties in...whether we like it or not, it happens. I guess more so, whether we are READY or not, it happens. Some days, I feel like I'm doing pretty well, all things considered, and even give myself a tiny pat on the back for how 'healthy' my 'grieving process' has been. Of course, this is usually following a counseling session where I've been told this and somehow, hearing it from someone else makes it more believable, right?
Other days...and I guess if I am honest, I'd even say most days to some degree...I just feel like I'm going through motions to keep my head above water. Don't get me wrong, I think that honestly, this is pretty much the only way to function sometimes--just continue to push yourself through the motions of things and the authenticity eventually will come (or you'll realize that it is not something of which you want to experience the authenticity and you just stop!)...call it 'fake it 'til you make it' or what you will, but I call it survival.
And really, isn't that what most of us do most days anyway? Whether it's because we've lost a job or a friend hurts our feelings or we are frustrated by the insurance company or we try and contemplate a lifetime without a loved one...we just do what we can do to best survive the day.
What an added blessing so many days are when I realize that I've not just survived, I've had such grace extended that I am able to enjoy and immerse myself in that authenticity that I prayed would come.
But it all starts with the going through of the motions...and those motions have to have the goal of moving forward. I'm on board, I guess.
John, in his efforts to do the same, does things differently. Of course...John has a way of needing what we'd call 'retail therapy' when his heart hurts. I'm not talking about a new book or sweater or fish for his tank. I'm talking about outrageously expensive bedroom furniture or basement renovation or a new car.
Yes, a new car. We bought a minivan yesterday. Last May, on the 31st to be exact, we bought a new Honda CRV. My beloved Accord had been totaled and that just broke my heart. But....we had two dogs and a baby on the way, so it was time to upsize a bit anyway. And Wally was bought. I really loved that car. We got a great deal on it and more, it just was proof that we were going to need more space because we had a real, live baby on the way!!!! FINALLY...after over 10 years....I would *need* a little SUV!
Driving a few weeks ago to mom's house, with two dogs and stuff for ONE night....John and I realized that when Luke came, we might be a tad bit cramped. The quest for the minivan was on. Of course, all those responsibilities were mine--(in defense of John, the responsibility of paying for it is his, so I think I got the good end of the deal!) and actually that's a good thing because when John and I play good cop/bad cop, I am SOOOOO the bad cop. And I'm pretty good at it too. I have NO problem saying, rather firmly I might add, "Well. That's a deal breaker. Let's go, John."
Which is met with John's pleading eyes..."But I LIKE it!" (Pensacola girls, can't you just HEAR him?)
Luckily for John, we got not only the deal I was looking for, but a bit better and the exact color we wanted, so Homer became part of our family. Yes, Homer. Named by John. For Homer's epic Odyssey.
Because it's a 2011 Odyssey:
We traded the CRV in and let me tell you, I cried. A LOT. Wally was the car we bought for Matthew. John didn't officially know it was for Matthew yet, but I did. I drove that car around and turned the music up and sang and sang to him. He responded heartily with kick after kick after kick. Like his Great-grandma, Grandma and mommy, that boy LOVED his music. We drove to appointments and baby registering and baby showers and baby birthing classes and baby feeding classes in that car. That was Matthew's car.
And as is happening so much more and more these days....one more thing that was Matthew's has disappeared.
It's like a knife over and over. I know it's dumb, because it's just a car...but it was HIS car. The new car is Luke's and I'm so thrilled to have it...but there are so few things that were Matthew's. Ours. They just keep dropping off and my heart hurts.
One of my most vivid memories--a narrative that just keeps playing over and over in my head--is getting into that car the morning we left the hospital. The car seat was there and huge and obviously, empty. Bad enough we were driving home without our son...but with the empty car seat as a cruel reminder. There may be pictures and memories I'll forget...but I doubt that will be one of them.
Luke has tons of hair! He looked fabulous yesterday and Katie, the sono tech said, "Wow...that's a lotta hair!" Matthew had a lot of hair also, but his was fine and long. Bless his little heart, John and I daresay even mullet-like. John said that he wonders if Luke will come out looking like a mon-chi-chi. I would love that--I think babies with all that fluffy hair are freaking adorable! We got the famous, "Lori, this kid looks like a million," from Dr. Sweeney and discussed dates for the surgery. He's going to see what day during the week of the 3rd works best for Dr. Morris at the hospital, and let us know next Monday. I asked about how often he'd like to see us that last week or two and bless his heart, again, he said, "As much as you need to so you don't worry!"
Again...so grateful that he gets how much I'm worried. I knew it would be like this, and for that reason, I am at least a bit prepared and can try and keep things under control...but the closer we get, the less and less I actually believe we will be dressing a little boy in the things I am washing and folding.
The more and more I fear I'll have another nursery that will be unused.
A bigger car with no need.
Another grave to visit.
It didn't really seem very real with Matthew...and I had NO reason to worry. I'm having a hard time believing this time will be different. I know that 6.3 in 1000 infants die in the US. I know that in Maryland, 8 in 1000 die. I know those are very, very low odds.
I've said it before though...when you are one of those very, very low numbers...the odds could be 1 in 1,000,000 and you can't completely rule out that you won't be that one. And just because you've already been that one, you don't feel like you've hit your quota or anything. It could just as easily be you...again.
As we get closer...I just continue to pray that this time, it won't be.
Here's a picture of Luke's hair floating around in the amniotic fluid!
I made it over 120 this week, but just barely, and now I'm back to about 118. Of course, for the past day or so, I've also had a touch of the stomach bug that's been going around, I think, so it's still probably about a net gain of 18ish pounds, but he's doing just fine, and growing beautifully, so I'm not worried about my weight. It's fine. STILL NO SWELLING!!! HOORAY!
Here's a bit of what he's up to this week:
Week Thirty Three: Lanugo is disappearing
|You are 33 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 31 weeks)|
You may gain a pound a week for the rest of your pregnancy. Do not stop eating or start skipping meals as your weight increases. Both you and your baby need the calories and nutrition you receive from a healthy diet.
Calcium intake is extremely important during pregnancy because the baby will draw calcium from the mother to make and harden bone. This can greatly weaken her own bones and teeth because the developing fetus will take minerals from the mother's skeletal structure as and when needed.