In some ways I wish I'd written much more about our experiences last year. So many of the details allude me now.
It was a year ago today that I started having the regular contractions that led up to Michael's early birth. In the blog entries shortly after he was born I promised to tell his birth story. . . and never did. Now I'm not even sure I can. I am finding it difficult to remember exactly what happened between that Friday morning and Sunday night.
I have a general sense of how that month of bed rest passed - lots of television and computer time, some reading and writing. I needed the distraction and noise of the tv and phone calls. I felt the worst when it was too quiet or I sat too long with my thoughts. One of the worst times was during the first week I was in the hospital and I was wheeled down to get an ultrasound. I was left in the wheelchair, to wait in a hallway, for nearly half an hour. If I'd known to bring a book (which I did the next time) it would have been okay, but just to sit for half an hour with nothing to do but stare at the ceiling/wall/my lap it was very difficult not to panic about the situation we were in - the unknown of it all.
When I look back at the blog entries from February and March of last year I am amazed at how upbeat so many of them seem. Right now when I think of that time I remember how terrifying and awful and lonely it all felt. I feel almost sick to my stomach reading about it, because I remember how desperate I felt, even as I tried to be positive/upbeat when I wrote and talked with people.
I had contractions on and off the entire week before Michael was born. At one point early in the week I was even bounced back to the PICU so Michael could be constantly monitored. I think that was Tuesday, the day I hit the 31 week mark in my pregnancy. I was in the PICU one night and then things quieted enough that I went back to the regular maternity room until late in the week. I had been in the hospital long enough that certain things about it were almost starting to feel like home.
We are almost ready to celebrate Michael's first birthday and he is a beautiful, healthy baby. Someday I think I will be able to celebrate him, without feeling so heavily the weight of the scary experience surrounding his birth. A year later I am thankful and I am also sad. Even as we move forward a piece of me is still grieving the loss of the way things were supposed to be.