Third Trimester

After we lost Jillian, reading or hearing the phrase “third trimester” was enough to make me throw up. It was the trimester I didn’t get to have. I also wasn’t sure if i’d ever experience it. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get pregnant again, then there was the unfounded fear that I wouldn’t be able to, and then there was the very real fear that I wouldn’t make it that far. I don’t really know how to explain it, but it’s like I focused a lot of my anger on anything to do with the third trimester.

So,now I’m here. It doesn’t really any different, except maybe I can breathe a little easier, but I feel that way every morning, regardless of any milestones. I’ve had a lot of people tell me that time will really start flying now. I don’t want to wish time away because I love being pregnant and want to savor every moment, but I know I’ll be feeling much better emotionally as we get closer to the end.

Well, maybe. Dave and I were discussing last night that as much as we don’t want to, we may be those parents – the overprotective, nervous, clingy parents we were always sure we’d never be. I think knowing how it feels to lose your child, your heart, makes it more difficult to avoid. Hopefully we won’t do too much emotional damage.

Bittersweet

I’ve been having a rough week. Pregnancy wise, everything is still going well. Emotionally, I’ve been kind of a mess.

Last night, I broke down because of a coat. I had a coat that I bought when I was pregnant with Jillian but never wore, but we donated it to a coat drive because it was too big, plus I kind of resented the thing because I didn’t stay pregnant long enough to wear it. I need a new one because the non-maternity coat I’ve been wearing is about two days from the buttons popping off, and the other maternity coat that I have is also too big and not warm enough for actual winter.

I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a coat that will fit because most of the stuff in the maternity store near me is too big for me, plus the coat I liked is way too expensive for something I only plan to wear for three months. So I finally found something online that I liked, even though it cost too much, and as I went to order it, I remembered that I refuse to buy anything on this particular website because they were the absolute worst about baby-related mailings and were the hardest list to get off. When I remembered that, I lost it. Like, seriously lost it. Couldn’t breathe kind of thing. I’ve been trying so hard not to get upset like that because I am terrified that I’m going to have contractions if I get too worked up, but I obviously couldn’t help it. That was about my 15th breakdown of the week. It’s only Tuesday.

I am pretty sure that the main reason for my amped up emotions is thinking about him arriving. Obviously, I am very excited for him to arrive (IN FEBRUARY), and as I’m getting further along, I’m finally allowing myself to actually imagine having him and being able to bring him home. It’s a wonderful thing to imagine, but it’s tinged with sadness because Jillian won’t be there. I can’t picture our first moments and days without crying because Jillian won’t be there. She’ll be there in our hearts, of course, but I want her there. I want her here. Now.

After I finish crying about Jillian, I start crying about how unfair I’m being to the little guy (by the way, I just accidentally typed his actual name). I feel like we should be nothing but overjoyed about how well this pregnancy has gone and that every day that passes, we’re getting closer to our goal, but instead I’m crying almost constantly. I know there’s a perfectly valid reason for it, but I still feel guilty.

I know I’ll get through it and that I need to stop being so hard on myself. I’m sure the fact that Jillian’s birthday is less than three weeks away is making it a little worse, along with all the approaching holidays that should have been her first. It’s just all so overwhelming. It amazes me how now, eleven and a half months later, I’m still completely caught off guard by the permanency of losing her. I thought I was starting to get used to it, but I don’t know if I ever will.

25w2d

Every day that passes feels like a day that I wasn’t sure would ever get here, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I had a great appointment this morning. My cervix is still long and closed. My doctor offered to continue the weekly scans until I get to 28 weeks, but I told her I only want two more. I couldn’t believe it, just because who turns down an ultrasound, and am I really confident enough that I’m okay with that? Of course, that doesn’t mean that I won’t totally panic in two weeks and call them crying and begging to come in. We’ll see.

The little dude looked great again this morning. He was sleeping with an arm up over his head and his other hand in his wide-open mouth, which is how we usually find him. He’s active on a pretty set schedule and has turned out to be a wonderful poke-punch partner. I poke. He punches. Dave keeps telling me to leave him alone, but I can’t resist. It’s not like I’m poking hard.

In other news, my belly gets bigger every time I look in the mirror. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to put shoes on as I get further along because it’s already requiring a lot of effort (and flexibility that I don’t seem to have anymore).

Ah, such wonderful “problems” to have.

11 Months

Dear Jillian,

Happy 11 months, sweetheart. Daddy and I still miss you so much and think and talk about you every day.

Your little brother will be the same gestational age tomorrow that you were when you were born. Honestly, I thought I’d be hanging upside down from the ceiling by this point or too scared to get out of bed, but I’m holding up better than that. I’m not sure how tomorrow will be. All week, I’ve been thinking about everything I did in the days leading up to your birth. I think the memories are vivid because I spent months reliving those days, trying to pinpoint something that I did that caused your early arrival. I know tomorrow will be hard, along with the four days that follow it. Even though it’s a different pregnancy and it’s not your birthday, I know I will be reliving your days with us. I know I’ll probably do it again at your birthday, too.

Speaking of your birthday, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how we’re going to spend the day. I am determined to have a nice day. Even though I know we will be very sad, it’s going to be a day to celebrate you and think about all the good that you created for us in your short life.

We love you so much, monkey, and always will.

Love,
Mommy

Happy Birthday, Robin

Several years before I was born, my mother gave birth to two daughters. They were both premature. Today is Robin’s birthday. Like Jillian, she only lived for a few days.

I never knew much about my sisters as I was growing up. The most we had ever talked about them was three days before Jillian was born. I’ve learned more about them from my mom over the past 11 months, including the fact that Jillian, Robin, and I all looked pretty alike when we were born. Knowing that makes me feel a bond that I’d never felt before.

Happy birthday, big sister.

23w5d

Time keeps getting away from me. I went through a period of not being able to sleep at night, which turned me into a zombie during the day who is too tired to even type.

Things have been pretty uneventful. I’m not as much as a wreck as I thought I would be right now, but I’m still terrified. Having an ultrasound every week is helpful. I can think of several instances where I would have gone to the hospital or my doctor’s office if it weren’t for the ultrasounds and being able to see for myself that my cervix is holding up.

This Saturday will be 24w3d, which is when Jillian was born. I figured I’d be too scared to move, but if things still look good during the ultrasound on Friday, I’ll probably be confident enough to at least get up. I have mixed feelings about this Sunday. It will be the most pregnant I’ve been, which is exciting, but thinking about it stirs up some new emotions. I feel guilty that Jilly and I didn’t make it that far, but then I feel guilty about wishing that things had been different because I am pretty confident that I wouldn’t be pregnant right now if things had happened they way they were supposed to. It’s just hard. I do a lot of pretending that I’m holding up better than I really am.

In other news, we scheduled my c-section at my last appointment. It felt so optimistic to do it, and I feel a little bit like we’re tempting fate, but it needed to be done. We haven’t decided yet if we’re telling people when it’s happening. We’d kind of like to surprise people, but at the same time, I feel like not telling people is going to cause countless phone calls and emails to see if the little dude is here yet. I thought about threatening people by telling them that each phone call, text, or email will delay their first visit by one week, but that’s probably a little mean.