In high school, I'd go to school in the mornings with my eyelids swollen from crying all night. Life at home was full of fights with my parents about being gay, them accusing me of smoking weed in my bedroom, of being unnatural. I'd sneak into my closet late at night and call Lacey, who lived in Houston; she felt worlds and years away. So, I'd cry all night. And my eyelids would still look like that when I got to band class for first hour. All I remember of my senior year were those burning, swollen eyelids, the constant rising of a lump in my throat.
I hadn't felt that weight, that burden, until Thursday.
I've only been changing Mindy's bedpan for three days. It's only been three days of me worrying. I don't know if I can make it three months.
I can't remember if I've told you that Mindy has what one doctor called a "typical incompetent cervix." That's not a joke. I'd never heard of it. How naive was I to believe that after week 12, everything just got better and safer? It was just Monday that we bought a crib and changing table, breast pump, boppy, and got free clothes from a friend. In fact, this coming Monday we were supposed to have a wall installed in our back room to make the nursery for our baby.
Again, Mindy's at 23 weeks. Survival rate is 3%, not to mention the severe disabilities. With every week of gestation, the survival rate goes up quite a bit. By week 25 the survival rate is about 54% and half of those babies have a disability. If we make it to week 26, then we can worry much less; survival rate soars and the disabilities become less and less severe. If the cervix and sac would go back right now they could do that damn cerclage, then we could worry much, much less.
Realistically, I know the chances of this turning out the way we want are very small. Mathematically, small. Ratios and percentages are not on our side. The bulging amniotic sac and the way the nurses talk to us tell me that they've seen this before, and they know what happens.
I'm thankful that I gave up on religion the same year of the swollen eyelids. If I would have believed in God now, I would be asking why me, why us, why now. But my beliefs are simpler than that. We live. We die. Shit happens in between, some good, some bad. This is some of the shit we've been dealt.
A friend told me tonight that no matter what happens, it will be okay. I know that, but I can't feel that right now.
It's weird, throughout this pregnancy, Mindy and I have had, like, feelings about things. We both knew that she was pregnant before she was, and we kept talking about how we thought he'd be born early. I even had a vision of Mindy being laid up in the hospital, but I figured it would only be for a few days, somewhere around week 38.
Before we decided to have a baby, we had a lot of talks. My biggest fear was, and still is, having a special needs baby. I'm not sure I could handle it. No, let me say, I don't want to handle it. I've told a lot of people I'd take a physical deformity over mental disabilities any day; you can always buy a limb, you know. Oh, I know, that probably sounds really horrible and selfish of me. You're right. But I'm honest.
I asked Mindy yesterday how she felt about the outcome of this whole thing. She said she thought it would be good. I agreed. Our notions have been right so far.
But now I'm wondering what exactly good means.