An Interactive Twilight Experience.
24 years ago today, I gave birth to Embry. Now, finding myself pregnant again, I find myself remembering the time I spent preparing for his arrival, and how it compares to what is going on now.
I was careful while carrying Embry, but still battled with gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, almost developing preeclampsia. My morning sickness wasn’t nearly as severe or as long as it has been this time, I just have to chalk that up to my age I guess. I know 42 isn’t old, but it isn’t young either. Once the morning sickness passed, I had a few really good weeks and by the time of the quickening, when I first felt him move, I was feeling about as good as I could. The more weight I gained the more concerns popped up. About halfway through my pregnancy I was put on work restrictions, and by the third trimester I was on complete bed rest.
Labor and delivery with Embry was long and difficult. Back labor plagued me and it came close to a cesarean to deliver him, but then, just as suddenly as a flash of lightning, he was ready to come out. Every single second of pain was worth it when I held him and looked into his sweet face. I swore to love and support and protect him every day of his life. So far, I hope I have.
These things all make me wonder what this pregnancy will bring. I know my blood pressure has to be watched and the dangers of returning gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are real. The morning sickness has abated for the most part, but I find myself exhausted, yet not able to sleep, so I get up and work. Cook, clean, sort. I don’t feel as bad and as Embry and Billy can tell you, I can’t stay down for long.
After our appointment yesterday, this all really became real. It’s like that when you look at a screen and see the tiny being inside of you, growing and depending on you to do the right things. Then, hearing the heartbeat, it makes your own race and becomes the drumbeat you live by.
This time, I have so much support as well. When I was carrying Embry, I had no one; I was a stranger in a new place. Everyone was kind and helpful, but I didn’t have a mate, no one to hold me at night and calm my fears like Billy does. I wake up and find that he has his hand firmly placed on my belly, holding me close to him while he sleeps. I catch him watching me with the most ecstatic look in his eyes, a grin almost always on his face.
Embry is excited as well, to have a real sibling. He checks in everyday and worries and keeps after me about resting and eating. You’d think he was going to be the father the way he gets. Between him and Billy, the load is easier to carry.
And yet, I have fears and worries. Rachel has not been over since we told everyone a month ago. I am so afraid that I have ruined our relationship, that she will not be able to accept this child as her sibling. Jacob was a concern at first, but, as is Jacob’s way, it didn’t take long to get him to open up and talk it out.
I worry too that something will happen to this child before it is born. It would devastate Billy, and I don’t know if he would ever be able to forgive me. Everything has happened so fast. I think the Great Spirit is making up for all of the time we have wasted by not admitting to each other years ago how we felt. He is blessing us with all good things in rapid succession to reward us for finally breaking down the barriers we both had up. We still have some, I am learning that Billy is here for me, and that I do not have to shoulder life alone.
So, over the last quarter century, there are two very different pregnancies. Both are treasures to me, blessings and gifts. What I didn’t get to experience the first time, I am getting now, and I am so appreciative for it.