Week 18 - December 23, 2004 ~ Makenna's Seeds of Hope
Now that the stress of running a retail business at Christmas time is past, I am feeling a new sense of peace. The work for the year is done and we are still a few days away from gearing up for next year. Both business-wise and personally, this is a time for us to reflect on successes and plan for the future.
In the last week I have really began to feel more comfortable with this pregnancy. I've caught myself on several occasions speaking of the future as is if this baby will really be born and come home to live in our family. Casual references such as to a camping trip planned in late summer with friends and how I'll hopefully have my hands full or a mention to Makenna that I won't be swimming much with her this summer because I'll be holding the baby. When these references happen I often startle: I'm beginning to acknowledge that babies do in fact get born alive.
Although this is something that I of course know, it is something that is difficult for me to believe at times. I think that for me part of accepting Livia's death was making it into something that isn't abnormal, something that is just part of life. So now I am faced with having to change that perception: this baby that I'm carrying might be born perfectly healthy and happy and with a big hearty cry. I feel as if I had just settled into the acceptance that babies do die and now I need to accept that babies also do live.
I do have to thank Makenna for being the one to really facilitate this change in me. She is so very excited about having another baby. In her gleeful 5-year old manner she chatters happily about events in the past and events to come. While many of these include a play date with a friend or an upcoming gymnastics class, sprinkled in are questions and plans for when we have our baby home with us. Commercials spark a lot of interest on her part: "Mama, are we going to get those diapers for our baby?" or, "Our baby might really need that toy!".
Two days after we told Makenna that I was pregnant she asked me very quietly if this baby was going to die like Livia. I'd been waiting for that question and was surprised at how long it took Makenna to ask. We've talked a lot about death in the past year and a half and Makenna is more comfortable with the subject than most adults I know. I reminded her that people don't get to choose when they are going to die and that it isn't very often that babies die like Livia did. I also let Makenna know that the doctors and ourselves would take very good care of the baby and me in hopes that this baby would be born alive and healthy. She asked me if I could promise her that this baby would be fine. I told her that I couldn't promise but we would all hope and do our best.
Since this conversation Makenna doesn't seem to worry that we might lose this baby. She talks futuristically often and wants to get started setting the baby's room up. I am nowhere near ready to do that and keep putting her off. Although I can mention the baby in conversations about the future I still feel compelled to add the word 'hopefully'. But, in her own way, Makenna is planting in me little seeds of hope that I expect will sprout and grow into something strong and wonderful.