It was Sunday morning, and James was sleeping soundly. Against my will, I found myself being pulled slowly out of sleep into that place that is not quite asleep, but not yet awake. I blamed a set of very sore and very pregnant hips, but couldn't yet concede to yield the tug-of-war between asleep and awake to the latter. My eyes remained closed, and in that state of sleepy not-quite-wakefulness, a very clear picture formed in my mind.
I was sitting in my grandmother's rocking chair -- the one my parents bequeathed to me as a baby gift when I was pregnant with Ewan. I was gently rocking back and forth, a sleepy, dark-haired baby nestled into my right arm and a small book held open in my left hand. In what I saw, it wasn't obvious if the baby was a boy or a girl, but the outfit was: a white onesie with cursive writing on it that reads "mommy loves me", and white and yellow striped pants -- an outfit we really have. I was reading aloud as the baby yawned and drifted deeper into a comfortable sleep.
The picture was sheer bliss, and I held on to it for as long as I could. A baby at home, in my arms. The thought of that alone is too amazing to take in. The detail was striking: the dark hair, the outfit, the book, the rocking chair. All things we really had. All things that accessorize our current reality.
In the more rational parts of myself, I believe that this baby we have yet to meet is perfectly healthy and whole. Though not impossible, it is unlikely that lightning would strike here twice. There are a lot of reasons I believe this, some of which are based in very dry things like statistics and facts. But mostly my reasons have a lot to do with intangible and esoteric things that might be dismissed as irrational or as mere sentiment -- things like faith, intuition, a rainbow on the day of Ewan's funeral, and things I've dreamed of that I believe are meant for me to receive as reasons to believe that everything is okay.
But now that we have the ultrasound scheduled, there are parts of myself that clench inside with fear and anxiety, and the "what if?" question that those hopeful pieces have not yet swallowed continues to niggle and sputter in a dark corner.
In my mind, I keep going to that picture -- startling in its clarity, precise in its detail -- brought to mind not by my willing it, but by something outside. And it fills me with such peace and hope, thinking of that as our not-so-far-off reality. I hope that as our appointment time draws nearer, I can hang on tight to that picture and so stave off the anxiety that threatens to rob us of even the smallest portion of our joy.
This little one's movements are increasingly apparent, every roll and nudge and kick an utter delight to me. I talk to this vibrant wee person we don't yet know and take joy in the life that is so very apparent. I like to think that from heaven, Ewan is whispering love in his little sibling's ear and that he or she dances in response.
Grow and dance, little one. We can't wait to meet you.