I was awoken from a horrific nightmare this morning by a really strong, take-your-breath-away contraction. Being jarred awake from the nightmare, this one contraction made me think for a heart-stopping moment that perhaps I was in labor. It also made me question my ability to labor and birth my son, due in a mere three weeks. But it also made me so happy to realize that my nightmare, a thing so real and so scary moments before, was simply that. A nightmare. A horrible vision, but fiction nonetheless.
I sat up, breathed through the contraction, and made it to the bathroom to pee. I had been asleep too long, my bladder was overly full. The contraction fadedas I peed. I felt better physically, but also emotionally. Sitting in the bathroom, I could see with my own eyes that my water had not broken, that I was not gushing blood. I could see with my own eyes that my baby was still safe inside my womb. He kicked and rolled in confirmation of his health and I went back to bed.
But not to sleep. Instead, I lay in bed remembering my nightmare, in which I found myself suddenly losing my child. In my nightmare, my water had broken and I was bleeding profusely. I was someplace far from my doctor's hospital, and needed the EMTs to take me to a different hospital nearer. It was graphic and horrifying. My son was being born too soon. He wasn't going to survive. I was losing my baby. My dream self was in a panic, because somehow in my dream I wasn't full term and my baby wasn't big enough, strong enough, or ready enough to be born.
Though relieved it was only a dream, my wakened self was filled sadness. My baby is safe and warm. When my contractions start and my water breaks, Gavin will be ready to meet the world. But there are so many other babies born too soon. I want to comfort their mothers. Diana's babies were born too soon. I want to comfort Diana. To be able to say something - anything - to make her pain go away. But I don't know what to say. I never know what to say. Instead, I cry as the sun comes up on a new day, hoping my tears can wash away some small part of her sorrow.
Diana, I grieve with you. You are in my heart. Your sons will never be forgotten.