Everything past the first 13 weeks in my current pregnancy has gone very smoothly. I have been monitored and checked, and will be checked again, for signs of preterm labor. So far, so good. Both the high risk obstetrician and my regular obstetrician have left off being cautious in choosing their words--everything looks good, everything looks healthy, and I should stop worrying about an early delivery and start preparing myself for the probability of a full term pregnancy.
Despite their reassurances, every little feeling that remotely approaches pain tends to set my mind whirling down the What If Path. My desire for this time around to be different is very strong, and my anticipation of the prospect of having a measure of control in the birth of this baby and her care immediately following delivery keeps me on the edge of my seat--and I still have another 16 weeks to go.
Going through pregnancy again, even ten years after the difficulties of the first, is proving to be a poignant experience. I observed the birth of my honorary nephew last Monday morning, and as I held the video camera in the moments immediately following his birth (I was *asked* to do this, and I preserved the mother's dignity as far as was possible), I struggled to hold the camera steady as my chest heaved and tears fell. Such precious moments, and in such contrast to my own experience and the experience of my son.
There's not much in the way of self-pity in that statement: My son was born early, but healthy. He was born in a facility equipped to meet all of his needs. He was never intubated. And he came home a month and a half sooner than the doctors had originally predicted. Ten years later, he's a healthy, intelligent, *extremely talkative* little boy who bears not a scrap of evidence of his rather frightening beginning.
All that said, his birth and the days following were a painful experience, and one I'd rather not repeat this time around. Whether or not I will still feels like a bit of a waiting game.
I wrote a poem for/about my son about five years after his birth, and about five years ago. Find it here.