Yesterday I went to the dentist ALL BY MYSELF! It was pretty unsettling to be on my own even though Delphinium was with her dad and then her grandma during my appointment. I have absolute faith in both of those people, but it was still just very odd. Over time, perhaps that feeling like I've accidentally left one of my arms at home will fade.
When I got to the dentist, all the office folks and hygienists asked after the baby since I'd been seven months pregnant the last time I'd been. We chatted for a while about the joys and challenges of parenthood, and then I remembered that the last time I'd also talked to the office manager who was also expecting a baby this summer. I asked the hygienist about her, and the story she told was exceptionally heartbreaking.
It seems that the office manager was due at the end of July about three months after our baby. Early in her pregnancy she got the news that her baby was chromosomally abnormal, but she chose to carry the pregnancy to term in hopes that the abnormalities would not be significant. When the baby was born, they discovered that it had no diaphragm, and the lower organs had risen to fill the chest. This meant there was no room for lungs, and they barely formed at all. The baby lived for half a day.
In the miracle that is childbearing, we often forget how incredibly complex the whole system is and how many chances there are for things to go wrong. The amazement should lie in how often the process goes well. I went home to hug, hug, hug my beautiful, strong, little girl. I hope with all my heart that things go differently for that family next time.