Throughout life, we're faced with many situations that put us on the edge of the great and vast unknown. I've never been good at taking the leap, trusting that things will work out. I've always been a worrier. Technically, I think I should be super skinny with the amount of unnecessary worrying I've allowed myself to do (surely that much stress burns some calories).
In my days, I've spent inordinate amounts of time stressing and worrying over zillions of things. I remember the fears I had in 6th grade when my family moved and I had to start a new school. I wondered if I'd ever fit in, or have friends, or a boyfriend, or be able to remember my locker combination or where homeroom was. I worried myself sick for weeks. I was miserable. But, in the end, my worrying didn't accomplish anything. I wish I could say here that my fears were unfounded, but I didn't fit in, I made a few friends, not even almost a boyfriend... for a while, then it got easier. Ahhh, to know then what I know now!
High school brought new worries, and then college with moving out and getting my own apartment... but it was just all part of the experience - the Growing Up Experience. It fell naturally into place after a bit of discomfort and nervousness. I honestly felt like things would always just kind of work out.
One thing I didn't spend much time worrying about was losing a child. I got pregnant with Caroline after more than a year of trying and after we made it past 12 weeks, I felt like I could breathe easy. And shockingly enough; I did. I planned for her, I prepared for her. Never imagining the great unknown right in front of the feet I could no longer see beneath my giant full-term belly. Then it happened: my world as I knew it was so rocked that it'll never go back into place fully. She died. 36 hours before the planned induction to keep us from going past due, she just died. All the plans, all the preparations, nothing mattered. How could this have really happened? I believed everything was going to just fall into place. I mean, I did it all right: college, marriage, career, babies. How could the plan have not worked? I was blindsided.
Now,I feel like I'm constantly worried about something. From flu germs on my Target cart (that Addalee just had to keep touching and touching), to a drunk driver killing a loved one on the road, to wondering if there might be something to those stories linking immunizations and autism, to Addalee's (normal childhood) fever really turning out to be cancer, to losing this baby too. I'm always under the pressure of trying to expect the unexpected. As if somehow knowing that something terrible is about to happen really lessens the blow. I feel like I don't want to be made a fool of again, like I have something to prove.
I'm only a few weeks away from (Lord willing) delivering baby girl #3. And let's be honest, I'm pretty well completely terrified. I'm scared of something happening like it did with her biggest sister, but I'm also scared of all the other unknowns. Will she be healthy? Will I have to have a c-section? Will Addalee have a hard time adjusting? Can I be a good mother to two (living) children? Will breastfeeding work better this time? Will she sleep well or be a fussy baby? (Will we ever name her?!?!)
I know I need to adopt a more trusting attitude, but I just don't know how. I'm scared. I'm hopeful. I'm still hurting. I'm still broken. I'm excited. And I'm anxious.
We went to baby Cooper's funeral last week. It was really a beautiful service. Jessica and her family had a good amount of support, and they held themselves together well. It brought back many memories for us. As Arthur and I clenched each others hands and cried quietly, I was taken back to that October Friday more than 2 years ago when we said our final goodbye to our firstborn, our hearts beyond shattered. I can't believe how far we've come, or how far we still have to go. In an effort to stay sane, my method of coping has been to stay busy. Instead of really dealing with how sad I still am, how fearful I am to lose another child, how angry I am that any family should go through that; I've been doing laundry and going through closets. Here's hoping I get a clean house, and a healthy living baby out of these next weeks...and things feel less unknown and scary the weeks, months, and years after that.