I’ve been thinking much about the past and the future, bouncing from one timescape to the next in mere minutes.

LIbby's 17-week bump: Ahead and Behind

For one, looking behind and realizing I have no memories from last December and January.

I only remember getting my hair cut a couple of weeks after the baby died and taking a picture of my shorter ‘do to show my sister. I look back onto that picture once in a while and see a face lost in utter grief, depleted physically and emotionally, suffering through each day and night just trying to stay afloat. I also look about 10 years older in that picture; stress really does age you.

I’ve also been thinking back onto that day I woke up with blood between my thighs, not much but just enough to give me a wee fright. I waited to call the midwife because I had no pain, no additional bleeding, no nothing, so how could anything be wrong?! And then, when I finally did call, she told me to drive to the hospital to get it checked out. I called my parents in a panic, telling them we had to make the one-hour journey to the hospital. They offered to come meet us at the ER, which I agreed to but felt entirely silly about, because “it’s probably fine.” Thank god they were there with me and my husband. Thank god I had my mama and pop with me to hold my hand and cry with me on the worst day of my life.

I texted my mom the other day, when I was thinking back on all this, and asked her if she “knew,” when I called her that afternoon. She said she instantly grabbed my Dad’s arm, dropped everything they were doing, and immediately started driving North. She knew.

These moments will never fade from my memory, and they cause such sadness when they pop into my mind. Even when I am an old lady watching the birds fly by, I will still have these memories to keep me company, still have the longing and ache of holding my baby who didn’t make it.

I am reminding myself that I’m making new memories, too.

Ones that are less traumatic and more silly or nostalgic or joyous. That is the complexity of the human condition: that we can be both haunted and inspired by our memories.

And, I’ve been looking ahead to the future, to Springtime. Not really baby planning, but more like ordering chicks, deciding dates for incubating eggs, placing seed orders, preparing beds for Spring planting, finishing up school in March, creating a platform for launching my new nutritional practice sometime next year, putting down flooring in the new addition that my darling husband has been building for us (by the way, our home is like 150 square feet right now, and we’re moving up to 500 in a few months!), and preparing for the next Alaskan fishing season and me being on my own for 2 months next summer. Our lives are still our lives, baby or not.

A live baby still seems so far off, but maybe reality will hit in the coming months. Maybe it’ll be when I’m in the midst of constructing a bird-proof fence around the strawberries. Or when I’m collecting Spring nettles and my belly protrudes so far out that I can’t see the nettles stinging my ankles. Or when I find myself in the pasture one fine Spring morning and see the mama cow Rosemary licking her hours-old newborn calf. Time will do what it’s going to do, and for now, I am so content in the present loving this little baby and trying to enjoy every second of life.

Oh yes, and there was one new memory created last night: baby’s first kick felt from the outside! What a sweet darling child. I can’t wait to meet this incredible little person.

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