Thursday, February 9, 2012

I still have a house

I'm about 34.5 weeks pregnant, and I still have a house.

I was 34 weeks when our house burned down. Our shower had been hosted. The nursery was finished, complete with a guitar mural and my childhood treasures that I couldn't wait to share with my son. Clothes had been washed with Dreft and put away only days before.

And then everything was gone. No nursery. No Bambi blanket. No worn pages on well-loved books. Only a few ashy disposable diapers and a charred bronze star with no wall to hang on.

It's hard to be pregnant again without reliving that. All of the work I've done on baby #2's nursery has been completed with the help of a quiet little voice in my head that repeatedly asks, "What if it happens again?" I've washed the clothes. I've assembled the crib. I've painted. The room is nearly done (minus the wall vinyl and curtains). And yet, there is this part of me that can't actually envision bringing him home to this room even though I know the odds are strongly in favor of the likelihood that we will actually get to bring this child home from the hospital. Home. To *our* house.

It's really hard for me to compare pregnancies. What are the final weeks like when you don't have to sift through ash? When you aren't running around trying to replace at least the very basics so that you have shelter and clothes and a bed? Was I in as much pain with Kellen as I am now, or was I just so distracted that I didn't realize how uncomfortable I was? Should I expect this baby to come around 38 weeks like Kellen, or is that pregnancy disregarded as my normal since I was under so much stress? This is the point in my pregnancy where everything changed, and I no longer have comparisons because I can't separate the pregnancy from the fire; they are one experience.

The good news is that this hasn't really increased my anxiety. I'm not having flashbacks so much as I am reflecting. It's hard to believe that my sons could come into this world under such vastly different circumstances. While we are still busy and there are certainly different stressors (like a three year old!), my safety doesn't feel threatened this time. And we won't be running around Boise picking out building materials when he's two days old. I might actually be able to rest when he comes home! And as long as my health stays intact, I should be able to smile when he smiles for the first time. I know it's going to be a completely different  experience, and yet, it still brings me back to August 25. My pregnancies will never exist outside of that date even when they are completely removed from it.