I realize that I just posted yesterday but today my heart is laden with a heaviness with which I need to make peace. Writing usually enables me to organize my thoughts and feelings so I figured, what the heck?
Only a few short days ago I found that an acquaintance, who was only a week further in her pregnancy than I am in mine, gave birth to a very tiny little boy. Unfortunately, he was way too small to survive outside of his mommy and he died. My heart broke for her and I wept as I imagined the tiny toes she would never kiss, the gentle, gurgling coos that would never sing out to her, the first smile that would never spread across his tiny lips, and a mother's heart with a hole the size of Texas where that little boy should have lived.
My heart burned as these thoughts passed through my head and I thought of the beautiful life growing and squirming inside of my belly. How delicate, how fragile this little person is. I can do everything right, taking care of myself for the sake of this frail child and still, there are no guarantees.
Tonight my mom called to tell me that a friend of our family had gone into labor today, planning a home birth, when her baby's heart rate dropped. She was transferred to the hospital but by the time she arrived, her sweet child was lifeless. She was a going to be a first-time mommy. Once she comes out of the fog of narcotics she's been given, she will go home with empty arms and an empty womb. She will have to face all of the tiny clothes, diapers, and furniture which await a baby who will never arrive.
Once again my eyes are being wrung out as the tears flow uncontrollably. It's so unfair. And what about my own baby? As I'm grieving for these women, I'm terrified of the mortality that is only a heartbeat away from stealing away the life inside of me, like a thief in the night, which would leave me emotionally beaten and defeated. How can I protect him or her? I'm already doing everything I know to ensure a healthy baby. But what if it's not enough? What if death comes skulking with razor-sharp talons and rips away all of my hopes and dreams in a bloody mess of lifeless flesh as I'm left trying to find and repair the shreds of my broken and devastated heart?
Oh, the unfairness of life. I wish there was a way I could wrap my arms around Squishy and protect him or her from harm. I want to kiss him, hold him close to my heart and reassure him that everything will be okay. But I can't. Despite my aggressiveness, my arrogance, my strength, and my determination, there are still things beyond my control and that terrifies me. I already have four great kids who have no health problems or concerns and never have. Am I tempting fate? Infant mortality, especially in this country, is as random a gamble as a roll of the dice. What if it's waiting on my back steps?