What if…?


I think the past two months I’ve been holding my breath, not letting my mind wander too deeply to the “other” being in my body. Make it to 8 weeks, I told myself early. Make it to 12, I said after that. I’ve been living by numbers: week to week; appointment to appointment, not stopping in between to reflect or bond because “what if…?”
About a year ago, we had what was called a “chemical pregnancy” and as it was explained it’s when the egg is fertilized, but doesn’t stick, but you’ll get a positive pregnancy test anyway. We thought I was pregnant for about a week until I wasn’t. They don’t call them miscarriages, really, they happen so often and so many women don’t even notice they are pregnant because of their proximity to an actual period. But it felt like a miscarriage to me. I was bedridden for a whole day, devastated. And then we had another one in October, same thing. I was a little more prepared for that one, but it still stung. The thought enters your mind that something might be wrong with you. Why can’t my body do what it’s supposed to do? But then again our bodies are pretty amazing things and I realized my body was doing its job and those two misses weren’t meant to be our baby.

Yesterday, we hit our 12 week mark, went to the doctor and all along, while I’ve been aware of what’s happening to my body and the baby (like it’s now the size of a plum, is wiggling around and has all it’s organs), after hearing the steady whooshing of its heart, I realized it’s pretty comfortable in there. I knew early on the pregnancy test was the strongest one I’d had compared to the others, they symptoms were steady. I knew this one stuck. But “what if…?”

We have another ultrasound on Friday to check for Down Syndrome and there’s, of course, a little worry, but I’m more excited to see the baby again, see how big it’s gotten from a month ago and given the small bump forming below my stomach I can tell something has happened. But I sang to it for the first time this morning, a song from “Inside Llwelyn Davis” – bluegrass and lovely and simple – and imagined holding it when it meets the world, singing to it again and having it know me through voice alone. We are living and breathing together. I don’t know the words to these songs very well, but by the end I’m sure I’ll know them by heart.


As I was writing this, I found out one of my amazing friends from Pennsylvania is in labor and having her baby today. They’ll know pretty soon if they have a new baby girl or boy. The last month she’s been on this journey with me and I am sending them all my love and what a wonderful day it’s turned out to be. If you need me I’ll be crying under my desk.

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13 Responses to What if…?

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    I look back on my first pregnancy as a time of such wonder. It truly is magical and it truly is such a journey. Are you interested in any books on natural childbirth?

    • rachelvb says:

      I have no idea what to expect! But I’m excited about it more than anything. It’s pretty cool to think we are all (me and baby and Pat) doing this together. I have TWO heartbeats in me right now! How crazy is that?!
      You know, I haven’t really thought about going au naturale, but I would definitely be interested in reading about it! Hit me!

  2. martha says:

    Babies ans moms share a little secret world. You whisper love notes that only you two share. Lovely and quiet.

  3. John Samor says:

    Rachel, congratulations!
    You are going to love being a mama-bear! There is nothing to equal the experience of parenthood. Nothing. I remember the first time I sang to my daughter every time I sing to her now. Keep doing that. It is such a good bond. I am SO happy for you!

    • rachelvb says:

      Thank you so much, John! Aside from your once (jokingly) “DON’T DO IT” comment, I know you love being a parent and there’s nothing better. Looking forward to the whole journey! And lots of songs!

  4. Rachel, This is beautiful news. I am so happy for you and Pat and your baby and all the friends and relatives who must be frenzied with joy. I will go back and listen to the music – I haven’t seen the movie but knew from the trailers I would love it and the music and our internet was out for a week and to come back and read your glorious announcement, could not be happier. I remember my joy, will never forget it. Many blessings, love. xo

    • rachelvb says:

      Thank you so much, Marylinn! We are thrilled. I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that there’s another human in me, but it’s a pretty cool feeling. I just saw the movie a few days ago. I really enjoyed it as I do most Cohen brothers movies. The music was beautiful. Jolted me forward a little bit, gave me a good boost. Thanks again. Thank you thank you!

  5. Angella says:

    I am so happy for you. This is such a magical time, such a sacred time, you and your baby, everywhere you go. Let us know when you start to feel the swimmer kicks. That was my favorite part.

    • rachelvb says:

      Can’t feel anything yet, but we had our ultrasound this morning and I have a feeling I’ll FEELING a lot. Man, what an active little kiddo! It was bouncing all over the place! It still seems so unreal. There’s a person, a little soul inside me! Unreal.

  6. Just listened to the music and it IS wonderful. Like the old folkie days of the 60s, one of my times. Sweet thoughts of you and your baby and the advancement of ultrasound. Such pictures. xo

    • rachelvb says:

      I have some old folkie music in my blood, I think. I swear my mom was listening to Joni Mitchell when I was in her belly =) So glad you listened and enjoyed. I’ve been playing it non-stop.
      Aren’t those pictures cool!?! It was amazing to see it a month later moving and jumping all over the place, happy to be swimming! xoxo

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