Friday, April 20, 2012

Redeeming memories

I'm sitting down to write without thinking through what I want to say. Probably not a good start for a post, and not usually the way I roll. But for the moment, it is what it is.

My midwife appointment was today. It went well, and set to rest some concerns I had. Preeclampsia? Donna laughed. Literally none of the red flags except an unusual weight gain the last couple weeks. Concerned about that "unusual" weight gain? Well, my weight has been on the low side throughout this pregnancy, and apparently Baby R decided to have a growth spurt the past two weeks. I'm now right on track with where I should be. All is well.

 Donna advised me not to self diagnose with Google anymore.

I think I'll take her advice.

Afterwards I went out with my SIL and MIL for lunch and some Buy Buy Baby drooling. The meal was a lovely and rare treat. I can't remember the last time the three of us have gone out together--it's pretty fun that Melody and I use the same midwife. Melody is now at almost 3 weeks past her estimated due date (she suspects the due date might be off a tad). She's so ready to have her little boy!

After killing time for a couple hours I was invited to accompany the two of them to Melody's sonogram. I hesitated, but said yes. Some associations ought to be redeemed. Associations like the ones I have with sonograms. And it's been long enough that I was ready to redeem this one.

The last time I went to get a sonogram--the ONLY time I've been to a sonogram--was when I saw my little baby's heart not beating. I hoped if I went with Melody, saw her little Timothy safe and well, I wouldn't associate the sonogram with lifeless, silent, broken hearts. My head knows not all of them end like that... but my experience (and emotions) says otherwise.

I didn't realize that Melody was going to the same place I went until we pulled into the parking lot. I'd just wanted to redeem the process of getting a sonogram--not necessarily the place. Had I known, I might not have gone.  I couldn't think of anything but my baby--my first baby--as I stepped out of the car.

It was the same parking lot Richard and I went to.

We sat in the same waiting area,

With the same midwife, and midwife's assistant,

for the same amount of time,

and ultimately were ushered into the same room, with the same screen, that had showed my baby, Christian, so silent and still, not quite a year ago.

I studied the faces of the people who were ahead of us, especially the mamas, as they came out. Were they happy? Or did I really see traces of the devastation I'd felt myself not long ago? I couldn't tell.

It wasn't a birthing class, but sometimes I felt like it was as I silently coached myself to breathe in.... breath out.

Once in the room I watched the screen intently, unable to discipher what was so obvious to the technician.  I could only tell the basics--Timothy was big and moving around, Christian had been tiny and still. Eventually all the "pictures" and measurements had been taken, and Donna talked to Melody. I got to see what midwives talk about when everything is well.

Did I redeem the memory, the process?

I don't know. I didn't realize how hard it would be, how draining. The grief took me by storm. I'd thought after 11 months I was past all of it... but I'm still a mama separated from her baby. Pregnancy is healing, but one baby doesn't replace another baby in a mama's heart.

But I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I saw a healthy, active whole baby. Next time I go in to get a sonogram it will probably be just a checkup, not because something might be wrong. Next time I will think of Timothy, and hold that memory, instead of holding the other one, and the fears that it brings.

And next time, Lord willing, my husband and I will walk out with smiles instead of tears.


  1. My daughter knows the feeling. She has had 2 miscarriages loosing 3 babies, identical twins and one other baby. But God has also blessed her with 6 healthy children and #7 on the way and due in November and all is well this time! We will hold those babies some day, but now we will relish the time we have on earth with the 7 and maybe more to come! God bless your memories, writings and this new life coming soon!

  2. I'm sorry, Sophie. I was so busy worrying about my own baby and dealing with prodromal labor that I didn't even think about what it might feel like for you when I invited you to come with us. I'm glad that you were able to find some redeeming points to the trip, though. :-)

    1. Melody--I'm glad you invited me! It was a good thing for me. And I enjoyed having the privilege to "see" Timothy just a few hours before he was born. Thank you for asking me to come with you. :-)