A few years ago, I would take days off to emotionally rebuild. Sometimes those days were to nurse a hangover on an awesome night out with friends. Other times, they were quiet days having a movie marathon, just as an escape from life. Yes, I had vacations and sick days, but these were those special "me" days to take just because. You know what I mean.
Now that I'm a mom, I hoard all of my extra days for days when she'll be sick. And yes, having a little one, it is inevitable that there will be plenty of sick days. That first year alone, between Don and myself, we used every single vacation day on sick days for Mari. Well, I used 3 days at Christmas for vacation, but what remained of my 3 weeks were sick days for my baby. I didn't mind so much, though. It was those days that she would snuggle in a little tighter and want Mommy to be around a little more.
Yesterday, Mari started to have this deep-chested cough, almost like a smokers cough. I was concerned, but since it wasn't accompanied by a fever we weren't too concerned. Well, last night just before midnight, she had a coughing episode that caused her to vomit. She was scared, her tiny body shaking, and so I pulled her in my arms and held her tightly. I said a prayer and made plans to take the next day off.
For those of you out of state, today is the first day back to school. Don had been preparing for the last week for today and poor guy wasn't going to get a decent night's sleep. Then it happened. In the darkness of the night, I felt it.
Just before our trip to Napa, we found out that I was expecting another baby. This little blessing wasn't planned and we were more than apprehensive when we discovered the news. Once everything settled in, and we were more accepting, we called the doctor for an official appointment. The first sonogram was too early to see anything. I was supposed to go in this Wednesday to confirm the heartbeat and hear our due date. We started to make plans, trying to figure out how we were going to accomodate an addition to the family. We were excited, eager, and anxious.
But last night, I felt the emptiness inside. This morning, I started bleeding and the doctor confirmed that our baby had grown Angel wings. I'm sad, very sad. I've walked this road before and I'm intimately aware of what this sadness tastes like. And as the acid built up in my belly, my little Mari who was with me (because she has her doctor appointment later) reached up her tiny hand to my tears and brushed them away from my face. She pulled me closer and gave me a kiss. She let out a belly laugh and gave me a "it's going to be ok" look. And I was grateful for God's blessing.
I don't regret that I had to do without caffeine indulgences for the past two months. Nor that I was unable to partake in the fruits from the earth when we were in Napa. I didn't mind that I had to alter my life just a bit to accomodate another soul. We were shocked at the financial strain, but had started taking measures to make everything fit where were needed. No, this one wasn't planned, but we discovered that we were a lot better at adapting that we gave ourselves credit.
I stared at the lifeless ultrasound, the look on the Tech's face was haunting. I know this the hard part of her job. I don't know why, but I did my best to put her at ease and not be uncomfortable. My doctor tried to speak as tenderly, explaining what I could expect over the course of the next few weeks. I will admit that there was a small part of me that was relieved. While there were probably genetic abnormalities in this one that caused it to not go to term, I know it was a part of God's plan. I held myself together until we got to the car. As we drove down the parking garage, I allowed myself to shed as many tears until we were out. I calmed down long enough to call my boss. And I just want to pause and give thanks to an understanding man. When I was trying my best to push out the negative and brush it aside, he reminded me that it is ok to hurt and to feel this pain. That's why I'm writing this.
I took off from work today to take care of my little one's sickness, not knowing that I'd need to heal myself. Together, though, we're holding each other tightly, and I feel loved more than ever. I wrap my arms around Mari, Don's arms hold me tightly, and Guapo curls at our feet. We're all hurting, but the world around us still goes on. Tomorrow I'm taking a personal "me" day off from work. It's going to be strange, but I know I need it.
Many thanks to all of you who had us in your prayers. I feel your strength and encouragement. Please continue to pray for all of us in my little family and for anyone else who has had to travel this road.