Tonight my good friend Rachel came over for dinner. She has been with me through some ups and downs to say the least, and as I looked at her, my heart ached (maybe ached isn't the right word, but dropped, or had an odd sensation at the sight of her.) I haven't seen her in a couple of months, and she is currently "baking" Miles' new friend, baby Jay, in her tummy....and for those of your who have ever seen a pregnant lady, you know a couple of months makes a big difference. She looked beautiful, and I am obviously aware of her pregnancy, and yet the sight of her caused a reaction in the pit of my stomach.
Thinking about it later (as is evidenced by the fact that I have been tired since 8, but unable to shut my mind down for the night and it is currently almost 11) I think I can provide some reason to this reaction. Right now, two years ago I was in the process of losing our first baby. It is hard to believe that two years has passed since that awful, ugly time in my life, but a time that I now realize needed to happen for some personal growth and other reasons which need not be detailed in a single blog post at nearly midnight, but I digress.....
Following our miscarriage seeing a pregnant person, hearing the word "pregnant", for a time even leaving the house at the risk of seeing a woman in a shirt that made her look fat was enough to cause me to become nearly a home-bound insomniac. Nine months passed, and shortly before our first baby would have been born I found myself pregnant again. This time, things were different. The bliss and excitement I experienced in the first four weeks of knowing a baby was on the way were stolen from me and replaced by fear, anxiety, and nine months of nervousness. Things looked okay with Miles pregnancy, but every twinge, every ache, every single thing made me fear the worst. I can't say I enjoyed the pregnancy, it was a fearful time for me. And then August 31st rolled around and in the wee morning hours my life changed.
Our son entered the world and I was given everything. Sometimes the miscarriage seems a distant memory, a bad dream, and yet as my heart dropped in the kitchen seeing Rachel, I suppose it was a reminder that some memories and hurt will always be there from that experience.
As a historian, I know that events of our past shape both our present and our future, but sometimes in the day-to-day grind you forget about hurts of the past, move on, pretend they didn't happen. And then a momentary reminder is delivered, and you remember. I will be sure to hold Miles a little bit tighter tonight, hug him a little bit extra, and tell him how much I love him and how lucky I am to be his mommy.