This morning, I got myself together to head to the Fetal Imaging department for our 12 week screen. It got scheduled this week because my doctor moved my due date up 10 days last week, because he felt it was more accurate, being based on my last menstrual period. By that logic, had I gotten pregnant the cycle before (where I ovulated mid-October), I'd've been 4.5 months pregnant already, since early July was the LMP date for that cycle. *sigh*
Anyway. That's neither here nor there, though for what it's worth, baby measured right on schedule for *my* date, and a week behind his date, so they couldn't do the screen, because baby wasn't big enough.
This morning, driving to the hospital, there was a sense of Deja Vu. This is the route we drove every day for 9 1/2 months while Acorn was in the NICU. We'd driven this route for several scans and for 2 admissions to triage before that, and for several inpatient stays for him after, but it's always framed in my mind by looking at the NICU windows on our way in (other than his first 8 weeks or so, he had a window overlooking our drive in), hoping nothing had gone haywire in the last half hour that we hadn't heard about yet.
It's always the same - the parking garage, the glassed-in bridge from the parking lot into the building, passing the registration desk, and into the hallway with the big wall of TV screens advertising the Children's Surgery Center at the far end.
When Acorn was born, leaving the hospital without him wasn't the hardest thing for me - though many moms take it hard, I needed out of the hospital for my own sanity (it was the first time in 2 weeks I'd breathed real air). I needed away from the social workers who thought I was crazy (ok, not that I'm not somewhat off, and not that I don't have questionable brain chemistry, but it was like an intervention!), the food that I couldn't stand, the constant checking of my blood pressure. I knew that Acorn was in the best place he could be - it was crystal clear to me the morning he was born that him staying put in my womb was not an option for either of us, if I wanted us to have any chance at survival.
No, what was hardest was coming back the next morning. Into that garage for the first of many trips, walking across the bridge, surrounded by pregnant women going to Fetal Imaging, where I'd been every morning the week before Acorn's birth, and then past the birth center elevators, which I also had to pass to get to the NICU. I walked the whole way that morning, without any help, the furthest I'd walked in 2 weeks, and it was physically exhausting, but the emotional toll was so much greater.
How could those women be happy, when this possibility was out there? Why were they so lucky to have a "normal" pregnancy, but not me?
It's still a little surreal to walk that way and not continue on to the main elevators - 291 days makes for a pretty strong habit, and I can (and have) walked that walk half asleep, panicked, on autopilot, drugged to the point of nearly being non-functional....but also triumphantly, happily, and at peace with the world.
And for all of that....I'd really rather never make that walk again. If we have to, we will deal with it, but I really hope it's not another 291 days in a row.