I've been exactly this pregnant four times. Given the time of night though, only three of these have been with a live baby. After tomorrow, which is the gestation at which A was delivered, and provided nothing exciting happens between now and then, it heads downhill. I remember sitting in the doctor's waiting room at my first several appointments of this pregnancy and thinking that it doesn't actually compute that (a) I would get as large as the women there, and (b) if that happened, that it would be for the fourth time.
I'd said for years that I wanted three children. It turned out that what I actually meant is that I'd wanted to raise three children. Not exactly a semantic difference, as it turns out. In the months after A died, one thing that I kept returning to was that I used to think that when it came to the number of children in a family, four seemed like a qualitative jump from three. And suddenly if we still hoped to get to raise three, we were going to end up being parents of at least four. Seemed crazy, as an idea.
So, how do you eat an elephant? Piece by piece, as it turns out. I am this big. And this is my fourth child.
Monkey has this teammate. They were on the team together the first year they were competing. The family left the gym at the end of that season, but they just returned last week. In the middle of a group conversation in the observation room, the mom asked me what number this one is. For the briefest of split seconds I considered a long form answer, but dismissed it in favor of a matter-of-fact "fourth." I am sure at some point she will count those present and be confused. And if she asks, I will tell her.
I expected to be much more of a mess in the last day or so than I've been. Paradoxically, I think it helped to have had an actual concern to deal with today. Yesterday, the Cub woke up with some strange stuff on his skin. We thought it was a mark he left by playing with the dog's leash. But in the afternoon it was clearly a rash, disorganized, irregular, and pretty well all over the place. So off to Children's we went, where they determined the rash to be hives, most likely viral. And since there is one virus that can cause hives and could also cause trouble in the final trimester, they told me to call my practice and report the developments. The Cub got Benadryl and his skin was was clear as day by morning, though something was starting up again tonight, so he's now medicated again.
And I called the practice today and discussed the situation with a triage nurse. She explained exactly how long the wait for test results would be (about five days) and what they would do during the wait (monitor, duh). She also said I could come in today, but because of how long the test takes, she thought it would be fine to wait until my appointment on Tuesday morning. Wanting to cover my bases and because today is, you know, 34w4d, I asked if she'd mind checking with my doctor on whether he approves of the plan. She said sure, and promised to call either way. When she did, a couple of hours later, she sounded really pleased with herself. The word from Dr. Best was that he thought waiting until tomorrow would be fine, though he was surprised that I hadn't been tested for the immunity to the virus before.
And so this nurse went back through my records "all the way back to 2007," as she put it, to find that Dr. Best did test me for it (as part of the post-stillbirth search for clues, I surmise), and that I am, in fact, immune. When I got off the phone with her I was just happy and grateful to be with this doctor and in this practice. I felt supported and cared for. I still would've rather the Cub didn't get sick, but if he was going to, in a weird way, this was pretty good timing for it-- even though JD was on the plane flying across an ocean while we had our little ER adventure, a very good friend was visiting, and she stayed home with Monkey and her playdate. This very same friend also kept me sane today just by being here. And the confidence-building interaction with the practice helped a lot. I was also hoping to garden today, but the drizzle made that not so very attractive. Well, I guess you can't always get what you want.
Yesterday was the gestational equivalent of the last good day-- the last full day when A was alive, the last day when I was just a pregnant woman with a history of some obstetric complications. Most likely, his fate was already sealed sometime that day. But we didn't know. And so I might've expected a curve ball from yesterday, by which I mean I wouldn't have been surprised to have had my ass kicked by yesterday. I don't think I did. (The Cub's preschool, same one Monkey went to, same one A would've gone to, had an end of the year celebration in the morning. I started crying as soon as they turned on the first song-- a tune I remember from Monkey's time at the preschool,-- and the curtain opened on the row of graduates at the front of the stage. I wasn't picturing him in that row. I think it was the music, actually.) Though the day did manage to make me clunk out without writing last night. Which makes yesterday the one out of seven days that I take off from blogging. Better publish this then, or it will be two in a row...