1. Hearing Rabbit River’s heartbeat! (His or her heartbeat!) Strong, strong beats. Happy, happy mamas. LOVE.
2. Discovering that our new midwife is our dream midwife. Seriously: earth-mama energy, super knowledgeable, endlessly patient with our fears, reassuring, sweet, confident. And she’s queer. And she and her partner have a one-year-old daughter (who is adorable, and who they delivered at this hospital). I already trust her more than I thought was possible. She asked questions about Emmett Ever. She made us feel understood. I believe that she will help us walk through this pregnancy with joy and openness. Maybe even with sanity intact. (And I’m not just saying this because she asked if she could read the blog!)
3. Dreaming about this baby. In my dream, I first went to the crib of a perfect, miniature caveman. A cavebaby, if you will. Lots of facial hair. And I thought: “Okay. I have a cavebaby now. And I love him.” But then I realized that my baby was in the crib behind him, and that my baby had no facial hair. I was admittedly relieved and in love with my son, who had the biggest brown eyes you could imagine, and the sweetest little mouth. I was, however, worried about the cavebaby. So when I woke up, I got J to agree that if this happened, and if no one took the cavebaby home, we could raise him too.
4. Last night’s Summer Supper Club. A dozen wonderful friends. A perfect summer evening. A “southern comfort food” theme. THREE delicious pies (lemon meringue. key lime. southern pecan.). Two birthdays to celebrate. My dissertation director’s kid, L, who is the most fabulous eight-year-old. (She’s smart, and sassy, and precocious. I love her. It’s SO much fun to have kids here at the house.) Community. I couldn’t live without it.
5. A gift for the Rabbit’s nursery from our friend MJB. She was with me when I bought the print that J blogged about last week, and, knowing that I adored one of a bird sitting on an elephant, too (but couldn’t afford them both), she went back and got it while the artist was still in town. Here it is. (What are their names again, MJB? Which one is Walt?):
6. J sleeping for sixteen hours last night! Unprecedented. I think she was just holding herself together until she could hear this little one’s heartbeat. It’s good to see her let go a bit. She’s doing an AMAZING job.
7. My sweet mom selling jewelry this weekend at a Pride festival north of here. Adorable. Doesn’t this make her a PFLAG champion?
8. SHARE support group meetings (for parents who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss). They convene in our town once a month, and they are a lifeline. In some ways, the two hours of that meeting have become the most important two hours of my month. Though I wouldn’t wish inclusion in this group on anyone, I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me not to feel so alone. I’ve been in an e-mail conversation with a SHARE father (a dad who lost his first daughter, O, three days before she would have turned six months old). He wrote me this, which I’m sharing here because it’s exactly the kind of insight that I need as I endeavor to understand who J and I are now. Thank you, B, for your openness and generosity in the face of unimaginable loss:
“One thing you said last night struck home with most likely everyone there. When you talked about being disconnected or not being able to see your previous self, I knew exactly what you meant. It triggered me to recall reading ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ by Thomas Kuhn in College. The general gist is that science evolves gradually until there is paradigm shift in thinking which can go completely contrary to all previous understanding, ripping out the established paradigms in one fell swoop.
Taking license to apply this theory to human emotions, all of us around that table last night underwent our emotional and psychological paradigm shifts when our children were taken from us for whatever reason. That’s just not supposed to happen in this world, babies don’t die, parents don’t bury their children! Well we all found out that these commonly accepted ‘truths’ are not so and have been ‘enlightened’ to know horrible truths.
In the process of our paradigm shift, I believe our ‘old self’ is destroyed, it can’t ever be found. Sure I can remember people, events, and feelings from ‘before,’ but I can’t process them though my ‘old brain.’ Everything I look at now is colored by my paradigm shift, attempting to find your ‘old self’ is frustrating, painful, and in the end fruitless (in my belief).
On the other hand the positive changes that come out of such trauma can also be beautiful. I think I’m a more compassionate, giving, understanding person than I was before -mind you I’m speaking almost 2 years out from my shift.”