February 9th, 2019 was the day I was planning to bring home my first baby. We all know babies come on their own time, but that was the date I was due with Teddy. A day I was planning for, a day that promised new life. And day that came and went, while my arms were empty. Teddy was just 22 weeks old when he passed away on October 6th, 2018 – after fighting for a few days when my water broke at 21.5 weeks due to PPROM. We celebrate October 6th as his birthday every year, but I will never forget that February 9th was the day he was supposed to be here.

Teddy's Molly Bear

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

Yesterday was February 9th, and not only was it the oh-so-familiar date, but I had my final ultrasound with Delilah.

We had planned to schedule my delivery at this prenatal appointment, and I was fully convinced I would be scheduling a version or a c-section. She had been breech my last few appointments, and with her measuring on the bigger side, I didn’t have high hopes that she’d flip. But her big brother must’ve told her to keep moving, because she did! Sweet Delilah is now officially head down! I fully believe Teddy had his hands in this – just as I believe he’s the reason Nathan came a month early (to avoid being born when the state shut down, he was born a day shy).

I had a natural birth with Teddy since he was so small and a c-section with Nathan after stalling out at 8 cm after a 34-hour labor. I really wanted to try for a natural birth and knew the best way to get there was with Delilah being head down. I know c-sections are a safe way to deliver, as I had one myself, but after getting an infection post-delivery and not healing well, I’d rather avoid major surgery if I can.

There’s also a part of me that just wants to put trust into my body again. For so long I feel like my body has failed me. Having trouble conceiving on my own with PCOS, thyroid cancer, losing Teddy over halfway into my pregnancy. I felt like I was being kicked when I was down. But then came Nathan, and as bumpy of a road that pregnancy may have been–between my health and my grief–he came, and he was perfect. It felt like I was finally given a break, and that made me feel that maybe my body wasn’t completely the enemy after all.

Elizabeth's 37-week bump - the date not forgotten

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

So, with a grain of salt, I’m putting my faith into my body.

I declined to schedule an induction, and I want to give my body the opportunity to run its course, and let me have my daughter, my last child, naturally (and by naturally I do not mean without an epidural. Kudos to the mamas who are brave and go without, I’m just not that mom!). My body is tired and the constant breathing fire feeling from heartburn has me wishing I was a little further along, but at the same time, I’m taking all of the opportunities I get to snuggle Nathan. Soon he will no longer be the baby of the household and will be adjusting to life with a little sister. I wish both my boys were here to love her in person, but Teddy’s shown us he’s here, even if not physically.

The countdown begins: 3 weeks until my due date!

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