Leo died in October and I had no idea. There were no subtle feelings that something was wrong. There weren't any physical warnings. No blood. No cramps. A "missed miscarriage" is the official diagnosis. All I know, is that my body refused to believe that this 15 week fetus was dead. It took massive medical intervention during a 48 hour hospital stay for my body to finally let go of my son three weeks later.
I'm now at week 16 with a new baby. I think I can feel the new baby moving during quiet moments, but I don't trust myself. My stomach is round. I've got intense morning sickness. My husband and my eldest daughter--the careful watchers of this pregnancy-- finally feel relieved and happy. They are both so certain that this new baby is here to stay.
I don't share their confidence.
I trust a machine--a cold, blurry sonogram picture--over the feelings inside my own body.
I made an OB appointment for Tuesday.
I feel like such a different Christian woman than when I first start out with such blind optimism in this journey. I thought women knew their bodies best. I thought childbirth was easy. I thought God rewarded the just with easy answers and instant miracles.
I find comfort in weird mantras right now. Instead of telling myself "Of course, the new baby will live." I tell myself "This might be the stupidest thing you ever did! It could fail." I chose to get pregnant 6 months after a late miscarriage. I chose to get pregnant at age 39. I chose to get pregnant after already having 5 healthy kids in my house.
These are odds most women would not take.
I don't feel like a brave woman in this moment. Just a stubborn one. Death. The NICU. Colic. I don't want these past life experiences to dominate my thoughts about this pregnancy. I choose hope. Weatherbeaten. Realistic. Hard-won. Hope.