|Photo: K. Schneider, 2008|
This was me. This was me over 2 years ago, pregnant and anxiously awaiting E's arrival. That pregnancy I did a ton of yoga, read all the books, got prenatal pictures taken, never really thought anything terrible would ever happen to us. I have plenty of pictures of my expanding belly, like this one:
As my due date approached, came, and went, I got bigger, more anxious, and more ready for E to be born.
Then, almost a year later, I became pregnant with Calla. And as that pregnancy continued, we never really took any pictures of my belly. I don't know, it kind of slipped away from us. As I got bigger the weather got colder, and well, I just don't know why we didn't take any pics. Until the night before she died. We had our prenatal photos done as almost an afterthought, a quickly scheduled session. The next day we found out Calla was dead.
I feel like a heel.
Did I subconsciously know something was wrong? Why didn't I celebrate that pregnancy as I did the first? Who knows. All I really have as proof that Calla was here are random photos with me in the background, side shots, belly as an afterthought. I can chalk it up to being exhausted, to chasing a toddler around and not remembering to capture the little moments. But I was a real pain during that pregnancy, and what I remember most is not happy anticipation, but irritation. I was uncomfortable, my clothes were ill-fitting, I was tired, I was grumpy, I was nauseated, I was unsure how I was going to manage two under two.
And then it all ended, out of the blue.
And we still haven't ordered any of the prenatal pics from that night. Right now it's the only message in my inbox--I keep things pretty tight in there. Dated January 21, 2010, a link to the photos. Only a handful of times have I looked at the link, through the photos. We are going to order some, I swear. It's just, well, it's just hard. The last time I remember smiling without a backdrop of sadness.
This time, I've not really taken any pictures yet, either. I don't want to jinx anything. We're NOT doing the photo session/studio picture thing. I just can't bring myself to do it again. A friend may take some shots of me, and of us, and I guess it should happen soon. It makes me nervous.
This past summer, this hot, ridiculously humid, miserable summer, I actually put on my bathing suit and WENT SWIMMING. It's gotta be pretty darn hot for me to actually go in a pool, but I did it. Two piecer and all. And I never once got a picture of me in that swimsuit. Huh. It would have been the easiest way, I guess. But once again, it got away from us.
Here's the closest thing I have:
And speaking of pictures, here's another confession: I still haven't done anything to bring the pictures of Calla home. They're on my hard drive, uploaded to a web album somewhere. I keep meaning to make them into a book. And I will. I really should, before this new baby arrives (however he makes his way into the world, Universe willing fingers crossed). Only a select few have seen the pics, and it's really difficult to look at them. I couldn't even force myself to smile in any of them. The look on everyone's faces is sheer misery, sadness, despair.
A thousand words? Try a billion tears.