Tomorrow is a day I have been dreading…my due date. I don’t know that I can fully explain why I have been dreading it. Maybe because I had hoped Avery would be home by now. Maybe because it is a reminder that in a perfect world I would be unpleasantly plump right now willing her to come any day…any time. Very different from three month ago when I was willing her to stay in, hold on a little longer, and not let the perfect moment for her arrival slip by without us knowing.
I have looked forward to being a mom and being pregnant since I was little. I have watched my sisters, friends and strangers grow and have full term babies. I have watched them swell, have sleepless nights, watch their bellies move with the baby, cringe at the stretch marks. I couldn’t wait for my turn for all of that. I didn’t get any of it.
I have had people tell me that I am ‘lucky’ to have avoided the 3 trimester and all that comes with it. I think if they walked even one day, one hour in my shoes over the past 3 months they wouldn’t think I am so lucky after all. It is unnatural as a mother to watch your baby suffer through the things Avery has been through. While she should have comfortably be cooking away inside, I watched her struggle to breath, get poked and prodded, hooked up to medical devices. She has spent her last 3 months of growing in an institution being closely monitored instead of being safely tucked away inside. There is nothing lucky about that.
The closer my due dates gets the more I find myself longing and wishing to know what it is like to be pregnant. Wondering if I will ever have a chance to know. Was Avery’s situation a fluke? Or am I destined to always have high risk pregnancies that end early? I will never know what it is like to go in to labor. I will always have a planned c-section with any future pregnancies I have.
I am so thankful that everything has worked out the way it did given the circumstances but given the choice I don’t think Bill, Avery or I would ever have picked to forgo the 3rd trimester. We have the most perfect, wonderful, amazing, strong daughter out of all of this, but the road has been tough for all of us. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel a little bit guilty for the way things turned out—I think any mom would.
I know I will make it through tomorrow. I strongly believe that after tomorrow passes I can put to rest some of the thoughts and feelings I have struggled with over the past 3 months. In a different, unconventional kind of way, I still have a full term baby. We will still, hopefully, park our car outside the Women’s Center and pack up our little wonder to bring her home and make all the adjustments to having a newborn.
In the meantime here are some pictures of Avery as she quickly approaches full term due date status. It is a big deal around the NICU. Especially for her. Hopefully someday soon, very soon, we'll be bringing her home...
|Hanging w/ my ma. She really needs to get her hair did!|
|6 lbs! I'm huge.|
|I LOVE bath time.|
|Hi daddy. I'm being VERY serious about this bath stuff.|
|It can't be over yet!|
|Having a stare down with my mommy.|