I get through my days by working toward little moments and events. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “just a few more hours until that TV show starts,” or “tomorrow I have an ultrasound.” Other times it’s a bigger event, like someone coming to visit or maybe a ticket to a baseball game or lunch with friends. This last month I’ve had a lot of things to carry me through, which is good because I’m coming up on the hardest day of the hardest month – Madeline’s birthday on the eleventh of November.
I know you’re probably thinking, “but you have a baby to look forward to!” And of course I do. But there are a few things to keep in mind. First, she hopefully won’t be coming for 12-14 more weeks. That amount of time is too overwhelming for me to contemplate as sometimes I don’t know how I will make it through another minute, let alone another month or three. Second, even though I already love Binky immeasurably, I have a shield up around my heart that won’t come down until she is here safely.
Basically, grief and pregnancy (either separate or intertwined) are marathons, and you have to get through each mile however you can.
November and December are going to be uphill battles, but I had a trip planned for the last week of October that was going to give me a running start. A few days in Boston followed by several more days in the city I used to live in, New York. Spending time with friends I see so very rarely but also doing work that gives me self-worth and feelings of normalcy. Never ever getting away from my grief, but giving it space and room to breathe in different surroundings. A final trip before I hunkered down for the winter and the duration of Binky’s gestation. And then, just a few days before take off, I was grounded.
I am at the point in my pregnancy where Dr. Risky is not only uncomfortable with me flying, she doesn’t want me to travel at ALL. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I’ve made several long and short flights with no problems. But it was explained to me that at this point in my pregnancy the pressure of take-off and landing could rupture my membranes – something that isn’t an issue for most pregnant women in their sixth month, but since I have a history of my water breaking early, it is for me.
Truth be told, until I was actually banned from travel, I thought I was prepared for it to happen. I would tell people, “well, assuming my doctor will let me, I will be traveling that week.” But I wasn’t. I thought that something would have to happen to prevent me from going anywhere (and believe me, I’m glad nothing has happened). The problem is, I’ve spent so much time trying not to let my first pregnancy influence my thoughts about this one that I forgot it HAS TO influence my doctor’s thoughts about this one. I’d somehow, despite the weekly check ups and daily shots and multiple medications, managed to fool myself into thinking I am a normal pregnant women with a normal pregnancy. I let myself get my hopes up, and I got hideously disappointed.
I am certainly not someone who needs perspective. Binky is kicking away inside me and that gives me comfort. But now I have to come to grips that my boost into the end of the year isn’t happening. I am also going to have a difficult time keeping my fears at bay when I know they are based on a history that is being considered weekly.
It’s only going to get harder to find the little moments to help get me through this marathon.