Looking back I can recall the happiest days of my life. The day Chris asked me to marry him. Our wedding day. The day I had a positive pregnancy test. Seriously I remember thinking that it might be the happiest day yet as I looked down at those two pink lines. Though I had many ups and downs in pregnancy there was a time when I felt genuinely happy. Between my level II ultrasound at 18 weeks that showed no major birth defects (clubbed feet were minor in my book) and my ultrasound at 27 weeks showing low fluid, I was happy. For two months, I enjoyed the movements I was feeling, my growing belly and my changing body. These joys were only slightly overshadowed by the worries of raising a special needs child or the risk of stillbirth. But I could usually put those aside for a time. Even after the dire diagnosis, I like being pregnant. I was happy to keep her inside. I was the one who asked if we could go to 39 weeks rather than 37. I loved my last two weeks of pregnancy, being monitored, knowing she was safe. Even emotionally I had some happiness. I was envisioning myself entering a new life phase- parenthood. Though we were given a poor prognosis, how could I not fantasize about raising my child?
And now I feel like I’ll be chasing that happiness. Like a drug addict chasing their first high. The other highs are never as good as the first time. Looking at those two pink lines thinking in beautiful ignorance that those two pink lines would make me a parent. Thinking that babies are healthy. Thinking that babies live. If I am so lucky as to see those two pink lines again, I will be happy. But that happiness will always be tainted with uncertainty. I’m trading in my “whens” for “ifs,” because if I have learned nothing else, it’s that nothing is certain anymore.