I was cleaning up some random things upstairs the other day and I came across a belly cast kit that Casey had given me for Valentine's Day last year. Two weeks before I was admitted to the hospital. This prickled at my heart some because I really, really looked forward to using it. I had grand plans for making a plaster mold of my giant belly, sending it off to an artist and displaying it in our baby's nursery. Obviously, that never happened.
I never had a baby shower. Yes, people gave us gifts, but I never got to attend one for myself. Never played the silly shower games like "Guess how many sheets of toilet paper it takes to go around my belly". Never wore the "Mother-to-be" buttons or flower corsages. The day I bought my "shower dress", I was admitted.
I never got to tell people about our nursery. We hardly had time to "pick a theme". We had only just bought our crib the weekend before I was admitted. Casey had put it together two days before things went south.We registered two weeks before.
I wasn't able to take those gorgeous maternity pictures that are so in style right now, with Casey delicately caressing my belly. Heck, I hadn't even been wearing maternity clothes for all that long! In fact, some people didn't even know I was pregnant until about 6 weeks before I delivered.
I realize that some may think it's just being selfish to want all those things. But isn't that what pregnancy is all about? You. The mother? In talking with some of my other "preemie mom" friends, I notice that we all share similar feelings about missing out on some of the typical pregnancy experiences.
The difficulty, for me at least, is trying to sort out the differences between my desire to have another baby and my desire to have a normal, full-term pregnancy. There is absolutely no guarantee that another pregnancy would go any better than our first, though. It's scary. Like, really I-could-worry-myself-into-preterm-labor scary. Having a baby in the NICU is a lot different (and easier) than having a baby in the NICU with a young child at home waiting on you each day.
As Beatrice Kate gets older and is starting to exercise her independence more and more, I can confidently say that I will miss the baby stage. I already miss