November 25, 2009
This is the week that, should my last pregnancy have continued, I would have hit 24 weeks, or viability. I'm not 100% sure this is the week, and I decided not to torture myself and look it up to see if I am correct. But I remember when I first found out I was pregnant, I looked at the wheel to see when I would hit 24 weeks, and I remember thinking it would be appropriate that the baby would be viable around Thanksgiving. A friend who had a miscarriage told me that over the course of what would have been her 40 weeks of pregnancy, there were dates that she'd been a little sad: 20 weeks when she would have had the sono that could determine sex, 28 weeks when she'd be entering the third trimester, 36 weeks when her OB said they wouldn't stop her labor, and the due date. I guess the 20 week mark didn't really stand out for me, but 24 weeks does. Maybe it's because I'm a L&D nurse, or maybe that doesn't really matter, but for me 24 weeks was always a milestone where I could relax a bit, breathe a sigh of relief. At twenty-four weeks, the fetus has a chance of surviving if born at this gestation, although the mortality rate is high, and the likelihood of long-term problems is even higher. Of course I always hoped to hit term, but somehow knowing I had gotten to this point was a relief. Today I've been thinking about what could have been. I looked at my belly pics when I was pregnant with Isaiah, so I know my approximate size. I'd be in maternity clothes, feeling fairly regular movement and overall feeling pretty good. I would have used the excuse "I'm eating for two" to indulge in just one more piece of pumpkin pie tomorrow. (Well, I'll probably go ahead and have that second piece anyway!) I'd be protecting my belly from ornery Isaiah, answering Jacob and Clara's questions about my expanding waist and the impending arrival of their new sibling in 16 weeks. I didn't shed any tears. I was just thinking, and remembering. This Thanksgiving, I will again give thanks for the 3 healthy, happy children I have here. I'll also give thanks for the opportunity to have carried my 4th baby for 11 weeks. Even through the tears, the heartache, I can see that in that small amount of time, that life that was there, a life that only I was physically aware of, changed our lives in more ways than I can count, many for the better. But for today, I am a little sad as we reach what would have been a huge milestone in my eyes.