We’re getting into difficult territory. Melka hits 34 weeks Monday. We lost our last baby around this time. We’ve taken some hard knocks to our confidence lately… the chicken pox debacle was one of them. Now it’s starting to feel like it did before, last time, when we thought it was going to happen fine and then it went horribly wrong. So these weeks may be beyond terrifying.

One doctor, the one we like, recommended another ultrasound during the 35th week. He said, “we’ll want to make sure the umbilical cord is functioning like it should, because this is the time you lost Malina.” There’s a special room in heaven for him, for saying something that thoughtful and appropriate. Unfortunately, he won’t have much company there.

But still, we are (thinking about maybe considering a process that will lead to us) making plans. Our doula sent along a revised version of our birth plan, the one melka wrote over a year ago. It doesn’t make for comfortable reading because it’s intended for another birth, another baby, an alternate world where we have a daughter already. For the most part, it’s fine. But there’s a few things that need to be added:

If the baby dies:

  • Don’t ask if we want pictures taken. We won’t. If we want pictures, we’ll ask.
  • Don’t invite funeral directors with their casket brochures into the hospital room. We’d rather deal with that on our own.
  • Please don’t insist that we name the child immediately. We’ll need time to think.

These are just three of the numerous painful things that we’ve been chewing, gagging, choking on for the past 14 months. I’m sure there are more. So many more.

I wish, somehow, that not only will we have a living child at the end of this… but also that our last memories of pregnancy, last memories of childbirth, general feelings about the whole procreation process will be a little smudged. A little more mixed. I can understand the birth of your next child being the most bitter-sweet moment ever… and that’s something to prepare for. But can it be any worse than pure bitter?