In just a few months a full 3 years will have passed since I exited those bright lobby doors, not quite 5 pound baby in my arms, my heart as heavy as my shaky legs from the long weeks spent inside.
They redid the lobby. It’s modern and airy, like an upscale hotel, proof that the business of delivering around 8,000 mostly affluent babies per year is a good one. I wasn’t quite ready to go back just yet but my doctor heard my complaints about the difficulty of adapting to life as a standard ob patient and declared that it was time to exercise some vigilance.
Non-stress tests (fetal heart rate monitoring). Twice/week for now. You remember, don’t you?
My trivial attempt at rebellion faded into the ether and there I was again staring at those glass doors, attempting to focus on the fidgety toddler at my side, the one who really needed to be home getting ready for his nap. Selfishly, I was grateful that I could drag him along, a powerful reminder that things are different this time, that I am different this time.
The thing about experiencing pregnancy after a loss is that it pretty much guarantees that you will find yourself walking along familiar pathways. It’s hard not to notice your old footprints. The calender itself is a minefield of LMPs, EDDs, ultrasounds, and anniversaries of loss. Then there are the exam rooms, the milestones, that jar of prenatal vitamins, that blue maternity shirt…….
I tried not to think about going back to the same room where I had last sent the nurses into a frenzy - no heartbeat on this one – what do we do again?
The testing went fine. I went back there and I’m fine, probably better off now that I won’t have to face another first time back.
They redid the lobby, after all.