That's how long I've spent adjusting to my new reality: pregnant.
Really, God? Wow. At the age of 41, nonetheless.
I was confused for sure, but soon this sweet new secret of Life, Joy, and Love began to glow within me.
We waited until the 8 week ultrasound (to see the heart beat) before we told family.
Of course, sweet Brielle was ecstatic- and in shock.
She began making plans. And an announcement sign.
We all began to imagine our new reality, talked about it, dreaming.
Life with a baby! Now? Our plans continued as normal, but with an anticipation, expectation.
My midwife scheduled an ultrasound for eleven weeks. She never said "high risk" but rather, "Advanced Maternal Age." I scoffed. I maybe was a little coy. I'm healthier now than I've ever been in my entire life. I've always been fertile and had three healthy pregnancies. No wonder I was pregnant again.
I know I'd thought of it a few times since learning of the pregnancy...
But I was not thinking about it at all when the ultrasound began.
I had brought Brielle! She was giddy.
Tiffany was there with us too. We were going to see the baby!
Except we didn't.
The nightmare slowly unfolded in a surreal sort of why.
I can't even explain what I was thinking or feeling. I hugged Brielle. I felt SO bad.
I did not see this coming. No heartbeat.
We went over to the Midwives' Clinic, where they took us to private room.
I called Will, crying.
He couldn't understand what I was saying through my sobs.
He had not seen this coming.
The midwife and intern came in to speak with me. They believed the baby had stopped growing somewhere around nine weeks gestation.
They asked if they could pray for me, for us.
Yes. Yes, absolutely.
And I didn't stop crying for three days.
Or maybe four. Today is day four. I've cried a little less today. Allowing myself time to think and process life now.
I won't be delivering a baby in October.
I won't be pregnant through summer.
So...what then? I can give blood. I can drink coffee. I can train for and run that Marathon I'd signed up for (last year) in August. I can backpack in the Fall.
All completely meaningless.
I wanted the baby. I wanted my child. I wanted to feel her kick in my womb. I wanted to birth her into my arms, and nurse her in the silence of the night. I wanted to cloth diaper her bum and wrap her to me for Brielle's soccer games. I wanted to listen to Brielle SING to her. I wanted to smell her fresh baby scent. I wanted to run with her in one of those jogging stroller contraptions, hike mountains with her on my back - and show her everything I love - and all I've learned in my life.
Will, Brielle (even Josh & Tyler, though they don't live at home any longer), we all wanted her.
That's how long I've had to adjust to my new reality.