This weekend was really good for us. Not good in the way a weekend used to be good, but good for our hearts.
One of the things people told me and I realized quickly at the beginning of this journey was that I would go through ups and downs, different emotions, different stages of grief. We’ll have that grief full on after Gabriel is no longer with us, but we’re dealing with it in some ways now, too.
The first 2 1/2 to 3 weeks I was fully immersed in everything. The diagnosis, the reality, the planning, the decisions to be made, the sharing of our news. I lived it every day. I talked about it a lot. I shared it with people. I read books, looked at websites, gathered information. And while the results of our amniocentesis were not at all surprising, I found myself deeply sad to know it was definite. There was no chance that he might not have T18. And it struck me differently than I thought it would. Just because you know something is coming, doesn’t mean it’s any easier when it comes. [And as I type that, I realize it’s probably foreshadowing to my future as well.]
So the next 2 1/2 weeks, up until this weekend, were very different for me. I kind of shut it all out. The reality was still there; I’ve never been in denial about it, but I wasn’t focusing on it. I so badly wished it would be different. I couldn’t quite process it. Or didn’t want to. I didn’t read any books, any blogs, any websites. I didn’t reach out at all. I didn’t share. When people would ask me about my pregnancy, I just answered their questions normally and didn’t mention anything about Gabriel’s diagnosis. And I don’t think those things are bad or wrong. I think it was a different stage for me. In general though, I do want to share about Gabriel. It’s his story, it’s our story, and it’s a story I pray brings God glory. It’s worthy of sharing.
So I was actually happy when this weekend rolled around and things turned. We did some things and I faced our reality head on, and I like it better that way. I know there will be many more back and forths– I realize that. I also realize that it’s easier to ignore and pretend life’s different, than it is to face our hard reality. So this weekend we did some things that were hard but important and therefore, good for our hearts. Tommy started painting the nursery. He got most of the priming done. But Jack was not happy about his daddy doing something besides playing with him, so Tommy’s work was cut short yesterday. We hope to get the actual color on the walls next weekend! Then I can get to decorating. Very exciting!
I spent a lot of time Saturday back on the internet learning, researching, collecting information. I also did something normal that seems kind of silly for us now. I started a baby registry. Mostly I did it because I got a big coupon and gift card for signing up, and the practical side of me says that Jack uses a lot of diapers and food and I’ll take a discount. But I also want to buy some new sheets for the crib and a few other nursery items, so I put those on there. Plus, if Gabriel has some time with us, there are several things we’ll need to get! I’ve realized that I’ve counted our boy’s days far too many times, assuming they’d be limited to none, but I don’t know that. God knows exactly how many minutes, hours, or days Gabriel will have, and I’m going to be praying that he blesses us with time with him.
After I set up the registry, I did some research on perinatal hospice. How can that be? I certainly never in my life thought I’d have an afternoon that contains both of those events. It was good, really, to learn more about our options as we will have to make decisions far too soon. In the meantime, I was really happy this weekend to hit 25 weeks! It feels like a mile marker week for me, not sure why. But I guess every week is. So this week, we continue to prepare for Gabriel. Prepare his room, prepare for his arrival, prepare our hearts.