Every so often someone asks me if I'm excited about the baby, or gets excited for me and asks related questions and it leads to some awkwardness in my head.
It's not that simple this time. For one thing I just have no time to be pregnant. This baby is a deadline, a reason to get everything done and our move to Thailand accomplished in time for him/her to arrive. I am lost in a flurry of activity, with 2 months fewer than I expected to have originally in order to not be on a plane a month before I'm due.
In this context the baby is more of a challenge, a problem to be solved and worked around, than something to be excited about.
But then there are other things. My dear, dear friend Chantelle who got pregnant at exactly the same time, and has lost many babies, unlike me, lost this baby too, right at 3 months. She has now buried 4 children who didn't make it to term, out of 5 pregnancies, and my heart is so tied to her and her loss that I feel a huge hesitation inside about blithely celebrating this baby with her loss so recent. I find myself keeping the baby talk to a minimum in social forums. I know firsthand how hard it is to watch other women have normal healthy pregnancies, and see their babies, when the loss of your own is so fresh. I can't change what happened, or how unfair it seems, but I feel guarded about celebrating a fifth birth too loudly when I know she is there listening. I don't want to post pictures of my expanding belly for her to see on facebook, it feels like rubbing salt in the wound. This is all me. We've talked about it before and I know she would never ask me to be less than joyful because of her. But I am nonetheless. I am still grieving her loss along with her.
I don't even know if that makes sense. But joy is tempered by grief for my friend this round, and it's just there.
BamBam still seems so little to have to move over and make room for a baby. I'm sad about weaning him so early. I hadn't planned to. He's fine, and he will be fine, and he adores babies. I'm sad, a little, about rushing him into being a big kid this fast, and weary, because the last 2 months of transition have been a lot of work. In my heart, for 2 whole years, he has been my last baby. I really didn't expect to be pregnant again. It doesn't make any sense, really, I just felt done.
So here we are, pregnancy number 6, baby number 5 apparently alive and well, and every kick is startling, a shocking reminder that in the midst of all this there is a baby in here, very much alive and very much on the way.
Sometimes I really forget.
I know that once we get to Chiang Mai, and the packing and planning and visa worries are over, not to mention all the doctor's appointments for the kids, that I will probably have the breathing space to let my heart catch up to the reality of this child who will soon arrive. I know that once he/she is born I will fall instantly in love, and not be able to imagine our family any other way. I know that our lives will be richer and better for the added blessing of a child we didn't expect or look for.
Until then, I'm just working on keeping my head down and making it through. February is going to be a crazy month my friends. Pray for us?