One day at a time. That's how I got to be 30 weeks pregnant.
More specifically, at the end of each day, I take my prenatal vitamin...
And then I take a deep breath and think to myself, "That's one more day." And, yes, I use a pill keeper; when Miles was in the hospital, it was honestly just too difficult to remember whether or not I had taken my vitamin every night (and it would make me crazy because I wanted to be sure to be getting all the right nutrients for the breast milk I was pumping and freezing every day). As little a thing as it was, it was too much for me to handle--which helps me to remember how normal we looked yet how barely-hanging-on we actually were. Now, it seems, I still need the pill keeper for my memory and sanity and to get me day to day.
So with every vitamin at the end of the day, that's one more day. And then every Monday I refill for the week. And that means one more week has passed. And that's how I got to be 30 weeks pregnant.
All that to simply say it's hard to look ahead too much. I go day by day. It took so much courage and hope to get pregnant with our second child. That I know. And I know too much about medicine and life now to believe that this baby's health and well-being is a given...to believe that everything will just work out. I am very hopeful and occasionally allow myself brief glimpses of my wildest day dreams--imagining that this baby will leave the hospital (just the exact moment of carrying her out of the door of the hospital brings a level of joy to my heart that I don't have to think beyond that) or imagining this baby at my sister's wedding in September. I smile when I think of how unbelievably wonderful that will be if that can happen for the baby girl and for us. But I'll never go back to being the pregnant woman who just believes that of course that will happen. That's sad, I know; but it's real.
Each day is its own wave of emotion. It boils down to two things: 1. grief over losing Miles, and now having a growing family that includes him but not in the way we want and dreamed of and 2. concern over this baby's health. The second part is very real and mostly results in me being (I would argue reasonably) neurotic, concerned, so happy that the 20-week ultrasound showed no heart problems (yet still knowing that only time will tell that she is completely healthy), and under the impression that this pregnancy has been the longest pregnancy imaginable. The first part--the missing Miles part--is the more significant one of course; it's the one that takes on different forms but that will be part of our lives forever. But we do our best to balance the joy and pain; because if we had waited until we were done grieving Miles' death, we would never have any more children. There is room in our hearts and our lives for both. One child does not replace the other; it gives me the rage when people give the impression that the arrival of this baby will be so wonderful that we'll no longer be in pain over losing Miles. They just don't know. We are joyful, and we will be joyful when this baby girl arrives. And we'll miss Miles. We'll wish that we were introducing Miles to her, wish that we had both of our children with us.
10 weeks to go. And I'll take it day by day. It's emotional. It all is now. And I know that it's worth it.