That Moment When it Starts to Feel Real

This pregnancy has felt so different from Lily’s. With Lily, I had those obvious tell tale signs of pregnancy: the nausea, sensitivity to smells, food aversions, weird cravings, body changes that seemed to happen over night… With Bee, it’s all been so subtle. Little changes like falling asleep randomly, the low pain I get when I’m standing or walking, car sickness, more acute sense of smell, nose bleeds. All symptoms that make my doctors nod their heads and say, “yep, you’re pregnant” but not the symptoms that come to mind when you think of pregnancy.

The emotions I have are also not the same as they were with Lily. With Lily, I was aware that sometimes bad things happen in a pregnancy and some babies don’t make it. But I never once thought that something like that could happen to her. Even after we had the unexplained bleeding at 14 weeks, as soon as the doctor and midwife said that the baby was okay, I was back to feeling invincible! This time, even before the burst blood vessel at 6 weeks, I was waiting for something to go wrong… Hoping and praying that everything would be fine, but knowing that this baby might not make it. Even after hearing that Bee was fine and that there was an explanation for the bleeding, and even though we have plans in place to keep Bee safe, I still feel so vulnerable.

Last time we bought our first thing for our baby (a stuffed bunny) before we’d even had our first ultrasound. This time we have had three ultrasounds and we have barely looked at baby stuff. I was already quite excited about the idea of maternity clothes last time, but this time I’m still trying to hold onto my normal clothes even though some of them are starting to dig in and get really uncomfortable. I just can’t seem to open up the storage bag filled with maternity clothes.

I know that David is finding it hard to connect too. He found it hard to connect with Lily and this time his heart has even more to be guarded from. I totally understand it. David has suffered one more loss than me. He has had his baby taken from him twice before, I have only lost one. It must be that much harder to connect when you have double the wounds and the scars.

I reached the point this week, though, where I needed to feel connected to this baby. Where I needed to feel like I am actively getting ready for this tiny human to come into the world. I started shopping for cribs online. Not to buy, but just to see what’s out there. I started thinking about how I’d like to decorate Bee’s room, and what I’d like to bring Bee home from the hospital in. I decided that I want to make a blanket for Bee to be wrapped in and a matching touque for Bee to wear. The outfit underneath will probably be bought, and maybe have a bumblebee motif. I went to a baby store with my niece yesterday to look at car seats and strollers and cribs, again just to know what’s out there and not to buy.

This morning, things were a little different. I had a dream last night that I was in a classroom with my baby and the kids were singing a song welcoming Toby. David and I were waking up slowly together and he put his hand on my belly. He asked me “Where’s our baby?” and I placed his hand over the spot where the ultrasound tech has been able to find Bee. We lay there for a while, just the three of us, and I felt happy and hopeful for this tiny life.

Then David said that he remembered a dream from last night. It is rare for David to remember dreams, so I got really excited and turned to give him my full attention. I love dreams! In his dream, we had gotten nothing ready for the baby, we had only just bought a car seat to get the baby home from the hospital, and we’d had some clothing gifted to us. David was frustrated that we weren’t more prepared and I tried to calm him down, saying that newborns don’t need much, and we’d have time. Then he was lounging on the couch and I came into the living room with our tiny baby in my arms, I laid the baby on David’s chest and he felt the warm weight of his son. I said “We should have known it was a boy. B for Benedict”.

The name we have chosen for a boy is Tobias Benedict. Toby.

We won’t be finding out Bee’s gender for another few weeks now, but I am super curious now if Bee is a boy.

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