It happened again. I had the dream where I lose Turtle. Two dreams that follow the exact same plot line within a few weeks of each other constitute a “recurring dream,” right?
The circumstances were slightly different. We were in the hospital, my parents were there, he was in the hospital bed next to me with his reddish bowels in a neat little silo over his belly. Other than that, he was a completely normal, gurgling, happy baby. I was so happy, yet I felt I couldn’t touch him, as much as I wanted to.
My mom moved over to him and kissed his forehead. She was draping him with a blue towel, which I didn’t understand. She suggested I come over and hold him but I said, “I was told I wouldn’t be able to hold him right away.” I moved toward him then and suddenly he was gone. Just totally vanished. We couldn’t figure it out. Did he fall off the bed?
I crouched under the hospital bed and was digging through sheets and more towels. He was no where. I couldn’t understand it. I decided one of the nurses must have come in and swooped him up and somehow we didn’t notice.
Slightly different circumstances, same story line. He’s here, he’s healthy, I love him, he’s gone, I lost him, someone stole him.
I don’t know what it means, if it even means anything. But I do know that the fear of losing him, of somehow going into early labor before viability or him being stillborn is very real. It crosses my mind about once a day and makes me sick with terror. I hear stories of this happening and it feels very possible that it could happen to me too.
I know these instances are rare, but they do happen. I personally know and love people they have happened to. Now that I’m at this point, I look at my dear friend Mo, who lost precious Nadav at about this same point, and I understand her pain like never before (though still I’m sure no where close to understanding it on the same level). I ache for her now. I wonder how she gets up in the morning. How she does anything. I think if I lost Turtle right now I’d want to find a very dark, small place to curl up and sleep forever.
I knew as soon as I got pregnant that I was starting down a path of never-ending worry. Worry about miscarriage, about baby loss, and then constant worry for the baby’s health and wellbeing from the time they’re born until, well, forever. I knew this was part of the deal of getting to be a parent.
But the stakes have changed, you see. I’m so much more invested now than I’ve ever been before. I get more invested with each passing minute of each passing day. It’s like staring down a tight rope strung between two tall buildings and thinking – I can totally do it! Then getting farther down the rope than I’ve ever been and realizing in a panic that this is way harder, way more scary than I ever imagined it would be.
I know I’ll be okay. I know Turtle is a fighter. I feel in my bones that he is destined to breathe the light of day. To feel my arms around him and my lips on his brow. But I just ache at the possibilities. And now they haunt my waking thoughts, and my dreams too.
There’s no escape and as usual, the only way out is through.