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Another post from the drafts. I’ve been going through all 39 draft posts I’ve had sitting out there. I used to treat that folder like a journal. And over the last year, there are so many things I wrote down, just to get out of my head, not sure I would ever share them.

I think this is something I’d like to share now, now that Penny is coming up on 2 in a few months, and all of my worries back then have been quieted and turned to things like “will she ever stop snacking so much?” and “how is it possible she’s already 2?”

I wrote this when I was still pregnant, about a month and a half before she was born. By that time, I was in the middle of twice weekly non-stress tests at the hospital, increasing amniotic fluid, ultrasounds, and just not knowing what to expect.

When you get a diagnosis that something is “wrong” with your unborn child, it consumes everything. I hope that by sharing these worries, someone else who is in the midst of this can see they aren’t alone.

You can read more about Penny’s diagnosis here – What I Haven’t Said About My Pregnancy.

One of my favorite things is to watch you roll around.

I can see when your tiny feet (or hands?) push against the top of my belly, and it is the most amazing thing. I don’t remember seeing this with your brother, but I don’t know that I spent as much time staring at my belly with him as I do with you.

Something about knowing you are likely our last baby makes me hold on to the details a little more.

I find myself wondering if I will forget, one day, what it’s like to feel a baby kick. I think I likely will, since the first time I felt you kick, it was only a vague familiarity I felt. It may be impossible to engrave that feeling into my memory, but I will certainly try.

I fear the same things this time around that I did with your brother – how will I know how to push? Will we be able to figure out nursing fairly easily? How will your sleeping be (and how will mine be)? Will my belly button ever look the same again (although I think I know the answer, which is a resounding no)?

But I have extra concerns, too. You don’t get to come home with us right away, so while I wonder about the nursing – and whether or not it will even happen – I also wonder about pumping. With your brother, pumping was an option and not a necessity, but with you it’s the opposite. Though of course I don’t have to pump. But I’m choosing to and setting in my mind that it’s something I must do, so that I don’t let it go. If I can’t feed you directly, I can feed you indirectly this way.

I worry about bonding with you. With your brother, we were not separated from the moment he was born until, well, ever. It’s different with you, and neither of us has any control over this situation. We will have a little bit of time together before you’re taken away, but in that time you’ll have a tube and I’m not sure what to expect, and I’m sure you aren’t either.

When you come home, I’m nervous about what our normal will look like. Which I was already worrying about, before we knew of these complications, because adding a new family member is guaranteed to shake things up. But now I am even more worried about it because you’ll have become accustomed to living in the NICU and when you come home, it won’t be the same. Will you sleep okay? Will you want to nurse? Will you be able to nurse?

I wish I could see the future, so I could tell myself “See, everything worked out just fine.” But I can’t. So, instead, I watch you roll around and I treasure the time you’re here with me, in my belly, because I can keep you safe a little while longer before the hard stuff begins.