I guess appropriately, the year began today with both a painful remnant of last year’s sorrow and a welcome reminder of the joy that this year will bring.
I went to the ER this morning concerned about significant pelvic pressure I’ve been experiencing over the last several weeks. (We’re still in NC—otherwise, I would have gone to labor and delivery at our regular hospital.) I told the OB about it at my last appointment three weeks ago—she checked me, said my cervix was closed, and seemed otherwise unconcerned (although she could not measure cervical length there in the office), but the pressure increased dramatically over the last week when we were doing all that walking in Paris. We have our 20-week ultrasound on Monday, so I felt almost silly going to the ER today, but I just kept thinking back to that fateful early morning decision not to take Hudson to the ER, to wait until the pediatrician opened a few hours later. If, like last time, my failure to act turned disastrous, if it turned out that this pelvic pressure was actually a symptom of my cervix dilating too early and I went into preterm labor before Monday morning, I knew I would never, ever get over it. Given that, the visit seemed worth the inconvenience it would cause. So we went. Cervix is still closed, baby is moving and has a normal heartrate, but they can’t do a cervical length scan in the ER, so I still have to wait until Monday for that additional reassurance that it is not getting shorter. But on the way there, and the entire time I was sitting there in the exam room, listening to the sounds of a busy hospital outside the door, thinking back to the last time we were in an ER, I could not stop thinking about how if Hudson hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be here now. I would be shrugging off this pressure as common to a second pregnancy and otherwise be way too busy chasing my girl around to worry too much about it. I would not be sitting around expecting the worst case scenario to happen at every turn. I would not be doubting my instincts every second, terrified of another catastrophe. How very unfair it seems to me that I can’t just sail through this pregnancy without any troubling symptoms. My world is just so very changed. And I hate it so very much.
And then, out of nowhere, I felt the Penguin’s first kicks and flutters after we got home from the ER. It’s almost as if he or she could sense my anxiety and wanted to make me feel better. Big sister Hudson was always so good about this in the later stages of my pregnancy with her—whenever I’d start to worry that maybe she hadn’t been moving enough, she would start kicking and rolling all over the place, almost as if she knew how I was feeling. I remember patting my belly and thanking her for that often.
Sorrow and joy. As has become obvious, that is the story of my new life.