It's like I can almost see the way my life WOULD be.
I would be huge. So uncomfortable, and so hot. I'd be having contractions all the time, as my uterus would be protesting doing this AGAIN.
We'd be preparing for guests, for a new baby. The boys would be asking when the baby was going to come. Miriam would be patting my huge belly and saying. "Baby, tum ow?"
I'd be washing newborn clothes and marveling at their tininess.
I'd be worried about labor, could I do it again?
I'd be telling Derek that I didn't think I could do it again.
And he'd be patiently telling me that I could.
I'd be stressing about the kids, the animals, the house... everything.
In just four days, our baby would be born. My babies are USUALLY predictable after all.
Rather than things being as they would have been, my baby was born on cold February morning, in a cold ER, much too soon.
Nothing is as I thought it would be.
I'm here. Healthy. Happy.
And my baby isn't.
There are no tiny clothes awaiting an occupant.
The kids never even knew that George was coming. We were waiting until we found out the gender. Then after, it seemed cruel to tell them. So we didn't. I'm sure we will. Just not yet.
Life carries on completely normally.
I'm different, of course. Not in the way that I would have been should I have carried my sixth baby to term. I'm different in ways that can't come from joy.
I panic often because I'm missing one. When I head count in public, and there are only five, I think, "I'm missing one!" I've even said it out loud. Henry, my smart boy is quick, "No, Mom, we're all here, see? Five!"
Yes. All five.
Even though the circumstances SUCK, I can't quite think that I can wish it undone. Oh, don't get me wrong. I'd give up several toes to still have him with us. But, the Lord does compensate. Where my baby has gone, new friends cropped up. And they've blessed and supported in beautiful ways.
My family and friends have cared so thoroughly, so generously that it makes me cry.
I still ache. There are days and hours and minutes when I am breathless with it. When friends announce pregnancies, when new babies are born, I am so happy and joyful for them, and my throat tightens, and my eyes water, against my will.
For the most part though, I'm great! We're all great. It just hits on occasion. Every day, a little.
It's bizarre. Happy, and grateful. And sad.
I'm a walking contradiction.
But I still walk.