Since J was born, as I may have mentioned, the anxiety has pretty much gone away.
It feels good. It's a relief. After living on a knife edge for so very very long, from October 10th to June 22nd, it's nice to be able to breathe out, and - mostly - relax. Maybe it sums up where I am if I tell you that I still get up every so often to check that J's still breathing, but that I don't use the breathing pad with his baby monitor?
I did believe it was that simple. For a while.
I can tell you what day it was that I became aware of the spoken word blog round up. It was Sunday October 23rd. I know it was that day, because I nearly recorded and posted a new video for the project there and then.
I wanted to record a new post, and I remember the date, because... that's the date in 2009 that the baby, my snowflake, stopped growing.
I thought that - slightly inappropriate pregnancy reactions aside - I was OK with pregnant women these days. One of my lovely real-life-and-internet friends is pregnant at the mo; she told me fairly early on and... actually, I *didn't* have that reaction with her. Because she knows my story. She's read my blog, and she's sent me lovely messages at difficult times, and I know she gets that the odds are good but there are no guarantees.
But suddenly I was confronted (mostly on the internet, but still) with three women telling me they were 16 weeks pregnant. One of them is a fellow BLM at that. But here they all were, having waited until 16 weeks to announce their news, so super-cautious compared to many, really.
But apparently, even when a pregnancy isn't my own, 16-17 weeks sounds incredibly dangerous to me.
Today a lovely woman came round to my house. She runs a local company (I won't link for reasons that will become clear but if anyone wants the details please just ask) that does trials of real nappies for two weeks. She unexpectedly brought her toddler, but that was OK. I love kids, and her toddler is a great specimen! But she also brought along her bump.
If someone had asked me yesterday or even this morning whether I was OK with pregnant women these days, I would've said yes, although possibly with the caveat of 'but I must try not to freak them out'. But apparently... I'm still not. Not really.
(Or maybe I'm OK as long as I get bracing time?)
I've been hyper-aware since the beginning of October of the date. Of all the dates. October 2009, I was pregnant. October 2010, I was pregnant. This year, J is here in my arms. It's strange to think of the synchronicity I mentioned last year - the thought that maybe my snowflake stopped around for a year, only leaving after J arrived.
And - as I'm sure you can understand - I'm hyper-aware of the march towards 25th November. The date we found out it had all fallen apart. It's past midnight now, so it's my friend's little girl's second birthday. I found out H had had her baby by text as D drove us to the hospital two years ago tomorrow, Friday. It was sunny. H's girl was born and all was well. We were going to get an extra peek at the baby. What wasn't to love? Life was good.
Except, it wasn't.
I'm extremely tired at the minute. J has this lovely (...not) new thing where he won't stay asleep when I put him down. It meant that last night I only got two hours of real sleep.
The tiredness is so bad that I'm finding it pretty hard to cope. (And yet here I am posting at 2.20am. Damned night-owl-ness.) I even found myself snapping at J. I hate myself for that. My poor baby. It's so not his fault. He doesn't choose not to go to sleep. I can see how tired he is, how much he needs mummy cuddles. I just feel so helpless when he's fussing and I can't figure out what's wrong, or when he wants to feed for hours on end, or...
I don't know if it's just the exhaustion, or if it's the coming anniversary.
I'm not crying. I don't know if I'll cry on Friday. Anyone who lives in this postal code (or who's been reading for a while) will know that the run up to an anniversary is almost always worse than the anniversary itself. I do know I've resolutely avoided planning anything at all for that day. I don't know how I'll feel, what I'll be like. I might go up to the cemetery with J (not taking him for any reason more profound than he goes where I go). I might stay home. I might go into town and have lunch, and remember. I might decide not to think about it. Not to relive that day.
I'll do what feels right when I get there.
That was the worst experience of my life, but I would never choose to undo it. Neither to undo that baby's tiny life, nor to make him or her into a baby that survived. Not any more. Because to do so would undo J.
(I'm aware that I'm almost certainly an oddity around here for that. I'm kind of OK with that.)
I've always been very aware of how precarious our paths through life are. It was so unlikely that I would meet D. So very unlikely that I would fall for him. So not-going-to-happen that he would fall for me too. So add up all the circumstances that had to fall into place for me to get pregnant with J, and he's the most unlikely baby ever to exist, and yet the most perfect baby ever. And I am so happy, and so lucky, to have him.
(Times I went to check that J was breathing while writing this post: 1)