After the ultrasound appointment my family and I went to have brunch at a nearby restaurant. My husband and I besides trying to digest our food tried to digest what had just happened. Our kids were blissfully unaware just like we wanted. I cried off and on making my husband a little bit uncomfortable. I think he always feels people look at him as bad guy even though he was/is innocent of making me cry (99.9% of the time). But I just could not help it. I was clinging to the hope that they were wrong like they made it sound, just a bad angle, not good picture, etc. but it was too late for my heart already hurt and worried for my unborn child. The innocent baby in my womb.
I spent the rest of my pregnancy both trying to enjoy it as it was planned to be my last and also worried sick. Both trying to be positive and yet engulfed with negative thoughts. Smiling yet ready to cry at the drop of hat. Quiet yet outraged. Confused yet determined. I wanted a handbook to tell me what was normal to be feeling in this situation. I was lost with my emotions. Should I answer every soul that asked how I was doing, how the pregnancy was going, how the baby was, with the whole truth? Did they really care to know? Was there enough time in their day to really listen and pay attention to the whirlwind in my head? Would it be okay if I drew pictures or presented some illustrations? Would I bore them with the latest information from the top medical journals and health studies in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery? Did they really want to know about my crazy dreams and worst fears? Would it be considered lying if I said everything was fine? All these questions, yet so little time to make decision before the person in front of you starts questioning your sanity or hearing. So lots of times I just smiled and said everything was fine. A lot of times it was, when I was feeling good, but sometimes there was just not enough time to get into details, or it was an inappropriate place for me to break down so I just didn't head down that path, and sometimes I did share my news. With family of course, with some friends and at times with total random strangers. It was really like a mathematical equation or the perfect storm - if the parts added up then I spoke. Usually softly but swiftly with my heart on my sleeve and my newly accumulated medical knowledge in the other.
It is hard trying to explain the heart though. It is indeed amazingly and undeniably 'wonderfully made' like King David in ancient times wrote about the human body. More so than I ever imagined or really cared to know in this lifetime. The heart is a beautiful complex organ, filled with fascinating chambers, arched passage ways and secret tunnels. It is a like an electrically charged symphony, beating, swooshing and pumping, collecting and distributing not only life giving blood but the deepest feelings and experiences of human emotion. I tried to explain. And people tried to understand. And that's all that really mattered. Some got nervous, some asked questions, and some told me stories. But mostly all told me not to worry that everything would be all right. Wow! Not worry? Worry was my middle name. Had I not introduced myself at the beginning? Not worry? How realistic was that? I wished I could do it. But just not possible for me.
As the days passed, and I went about my daily business, I would come across other pregnant mommas and wonder if they also carried a secret sadness. I wondered if behind their smile there was a story similar to mine. As we crossed paths, I wondered if like me they silently carried their anguish, a woman so fragile to speak for fear of shattering into a million little pieces in the Target baby section. Even at the perinatologist office, where you know everyone is there because they are considered high risk for one reason or another, you still just smile, wonder and look. All while, secretly wishing, to make a human connection to someone, anyone who can relate to what you are feeling. Or maybe it was just me looking to connect. I was going to be a third time mommy but this was new to me. This was an intense experience. Could I handle it?
In the meantime, our little peanut grew happily in it's first home. Loved, cuddled and nestled in the best place on earth.