55 Years.

My 2008 high school graduation.

Yesterday I went to my first appointment at the local clinic that specializes in high risk pregnancy. So far, everything looks great.

I have to go because I had a window with my third pregnancy and this is my fourth c-section. They have to check my uterus to make sure the window doesn’t open back up. The only other worry they had was that I am 28 weeks and haven’t gained a single pound. The baby is at the 80th percentile, so she is fine, it is me who isn’t getting what I need. Regardless, I am just going to try to drink shakes to make up for lost calories. I didn’t feel hungry before losing Jesse so this was already an issue and now that I have lost him it had gotten worse. I do eat though, every day, just not 3 meals.

Now that you know “I’m fine” and the baby is “fine,” what wasn’t fine was the paperwork. I had to go to the clinic alone because of COVID, otherwise my friend was going to come. I was worried about how I’d feel with my first ultrasound since Jesse wasn’t here. This would be the first time he either couldn’t go, or I couldn’t text him, or bring him home a photo to see when he got off work. I walked in relatively okay, but when the receptionist started telling me how to fill it out: “Okay, and here we will just need to know the father’s name and his cell phone, date of birth, your emergency contact if something happens…” by this time I am crying like a basket case. Who do I put down? I have people. I have my mom, best friend, but I don’t have Jesse. The woman’s tone changed and she said in a lowered voice “sweetie what is going on?” So then I had to tell her. Her and the staff felt really bad for me and were sympathetic. I felt so weird. Where is my kid’s dad at? Why am I this weird person now?

The ultrasound itself went okay but I experienced something else I wasn’t too happy about. I didn’t want to see her. Normally I stare at the ultrasound the entire time and methodically complete a mental check in my head “ arm? Check. Spine? Check? Eyes? Check,” as the technician is scanning me. Then I admire how beautiful my child is…This time, I peaked at her. I saw her face and I know she is so pretty, but how unfair is it that I get to look at her and he does not? This made it difficult on some new level. Will I act like this when she is born? I hope not. I love her. I just feel as though why do I get another gift and you get nothing? I get to see a child you made and you do not. How cruel.

I text my sister-in-law after all of this. I told her I hope I do not suffer another tragedy. I would like very much for the kids and I to go on and for me to live until im 85. In the middle of typing that, I realized 85 is 55 years away. Wait, so for 55 years I have to continue on without you? I didn’t realize what I even said. In my mind, I think this suffering is short term, that even though he isn’t here in my subconscious I only have to make it a year or so…but saying out loud that I could be here for another 55 years…what do I do with all that time now? You were supposed to be here too.

One day I finally watched The Notebook with Jesse. I hate sappy girl films but I always heard so many great things about it. I loved it immediately and it reminded me of Jesse and I in two major ways.
1. We never gave up, any disagreement or fight, as his best friend put it, we would always “this is going to be hard to talk about, but we are talking about it and going to get through it.” Marriage isn’t about paper or how you look to someone else. It is about how deeply committed and in love with that person you are. When you say “in sickness and in health,” do you actually mean it? Or are they just pretty words?” 2. I knew if I ever reached an old age like that, he would come and read to me every day, waiting for me to remember. I didn’t get to actually experience this, but I did through other times of illness. When I was sick, I never had to leave the bed or check on the kids. I could sleep all day undisturbed. My early pregnancies sometimes this could be a solid week of doing nothing. He would get off work and take care of everything. Sometimes, my back would go out, and I wasn’t able to walk because of the spasm. He would always shower me, make my food, everything. So when I saw this movie, I knew if I ever had dementia he would read to me every day, in hopes that I would remember. I would have done that for him and did so as best as I could for his time on Earth.

I really wish we could have been old together. It’s unfair I may possibly live and it is certain you will not. You deserved so much more out of life and I am so sorry you did not get it. I will keep doing my best to stay here and do right by the kids, even though I died inside the day you did.

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