Today I am 36 weeks pregnant with Little Baby.
This is the point when most women excitedly think about their new baby coming home—and they stress over the imminent labor that is coming and plan for the upcoming months of blissful chaos.
I am doing many of these things; I feel electric with excitement, I am obsessed with this little lady—but I am also consumed with fear.
We lost our first daughter, Willa, at 40 weeks; she was big, strong, perfect. But she passed away. After a traumatic labor, we came home to a quiet house and were forced to drastically readjust our visions of the future.
Now, two years later, I am having an intense case of déjà vu.
I’ve been here before—36 weeks pregnant, waddling around, having everyone and their mother ask when I’m due—but our baby didn’t come home.
Slowly we put her things away; we repacked and stored diapers, carriers, and bottles. And now, here I am blowing the dust off these things and feeling hopeful, but also a little bit like a fool.
My baby is coming home, right?
You might say “of course,” but the only experience we’ve had is one that ended with pictures, a lock of her hair and remembrances of the softness of her cheeks—things that we cherish, but not the lifetime of memories we thought we were promised.