Well, here we are. Welcome to Week 34, Day 4.
I am surprised at how light I feel. Happy, even. Ready to revel in the last few weeks of this pregnancy. (Not that the fear is gone, but there are so many other emotions filling in the gaps around it.)
I've kept myself busy this week, and also let myself enjoy getting some special treatment because of the belly.
Why yes, young man, I will let you return this cart for me.
Why, thank you, Crazy Target Checkout Guy, for loudly jumping to my defense and telling me I did NOT need to apologize to the woman who was trying to pass through because she could have said excuse me, nevermind the fact that she actually DID say excuse me before I said, "Oh, I'm sorry," and you evidently didn't hear her and now you are kind of causing an awkward scene.
And thanks to you, too, large middle-aged-man-on-a-small-scooter, who not only stopped so I could cross the parking lot to my car, but who also held out your arm to a car that did not want to stop and wait for me and shouted, "No! Mommies first!" as I waddled to my car.
Thanks again to the hospital worker in scrubs who whispered to me in confidence by the elevators, "You might not feel like it all the time, but you look so cute!"
Thanks to the worker at Qdoba last night who told me that my veggie burrito was on the house because he didn't want me to have to stand and wait while he restarted the cash register computer.
And thanks, a million times over, to everyone who has commented and e-mailed, and to everyone who has included the Deuce and Eliza and me in their thoughts and prayers. I told the Deuce today after our NST (passed without me in tears--a real success!) that there are so many people out there rooting for us. It's an amazing feeling.
Yes, there's still a deep, broken place in my heart. There's still so much regret that we don't have our toddling little girl with wispy blond hair and big blue eyes and that little round nose here with us right now. As the Deuce passes every NST and my fluid checks continue to be perfect (today the Deuce charmed the nurse doing the fluid check by showing off some adorable kicking action), there is a sad, melancholy voice that will always ask, "Why wasn't it like this last time? Why couldn't we have Eliza, too? What the hell happened that we couldn't see?"
But mostly, I'm trying to turn my focus to right now, to this miracle, instead of the one that vanished long before I wanted to let it go. Here's another amazing thing--this baby--and the fact that there was another baby, and that we loved her and lost her and thought we'd lost ourselves for a while there too, it makes all the difference in the world, and yet it doesn't make this baby any less incredible as a weensy little person unto itself.
One of my favorite poems opens with the line, "Speaking of marvels, I am alive together with you, when I might have been alive with anyone under the sun." I say this to David, and I say it to the Deuce also.
It is a tragedy of epic proportions in my little life that my first daughter is gone and I'm left to mourn her forever. But I don't want to lose sight of the fact that it is a breathtaking marvel that the rest of us are alive here together, when life might have gone so many other ways.
I read Jack London's credo today on another blog, and I'm copying it here so that I can remember it and so that I can honor Eliza and everybody else I love by trying to live by it:
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.