It’s been almost a year since Shannon physically left us, but her words still live on. In honor of her life, love and memory, this week I plan to publish quite a few of the draft posts she never completed. I’ve added some pictures to some of the posts, but the posts themselves are exactly as she wrote them even if they end in the middle of a sentence. I’m posting them in roughly the order that they were written.
This is a draft post from Shannon – posted by her mom, Gretchen
I have to confess… by this time in pregnancy, many (most?) women are chomping at the bit to have their baby, get their body back and just “be done.” This has not been me at all.
Partly maybe because I have loved being pregnant and I have not been overly uncomfortable, but also I think because I lost about a month plus of that “nesting time” to worry about other things. Honestly, I couldn’t think about adjusting to the new reality of having a baby because I was trying to adjust to the new reality of dealing with cancer.
Now that the immediate need to deal with cancer is behind us, I can again focus on baby, but I need to be honest. It’s hard. It’s exciting, but it’s a huge shift. A month ago, I truly wasn’t sure if I would be here for this baby for very long. Preparing to be a mother alone is a challenge, I think, but to go from thinking my husband might have to parent alone (and worrying about the implications of that awful possibility) to preparing myself to HAVE a future and to be able to parent with him has been a tremendous psychological challenge. In addition, for 2-3 weeks of that time, or more, I was trying to recover from surgery myself, which is necessarily a rather selfish thing. I couldn’t think about the baby and my future as a mother because I had to think about getting out of bed, what I would eat, and simply resting.
But now I am largely healed, and the immediacy of our little girl’s possible arrival has truly struck home. I can count the number of days until her due date on my hands. She is full term. She is getting bigger and more clearly formed in my abdomen. She is becoming more “real” to me. Peter has been on a nesting spree: installing bookshelves, the car seat, and getting more of the nursery ready. I have been poking along at my projects; things that normally would take me an evening are stretching over full days. I think I am procrastinating in the false hope that if my projects aren’t done, she won’t come and I’ll have more time to “get ready.”
Yesterday, though, I did make a good step in the right direction. We went to a class on calming babies and two of the families brought actual little babies to class (2 weeks and 6 weeks old). Seeing those tiny babies, I felt such a surge of NEED, as in “I NEED one of those!” Unsurprisingly, this was very good for me and my mental preparation 🙂
Am I fully ready for this little one to come? No, but I might never really be. Peter will be the first to tell you that I hate change. I can adapt quite well to it, generally, but given the choice, I like things to stay as they are. Given that this is about the biggest change a person can have in their life, is it any wonder I’m a little apprehensive? But at the same time, when I allow myself to be, I am excited for this person and have many little things I looks forward to sharing with her. I also know that we will be head over heels in love with her before we know it and that we will be good parents.
In other news, I have another project with the same “due date” as our little one: June 21. Many months ago, I was emailed by someone at Simon & Schuster Publishing about a picture I had taken years ago that was posted on Flickr. They wanted to use it as the cover for a new book, Disturbance, by Jan Burke. And they would pay me for it! Sweet!
So the book, with my name on the dust jacket (!) comes out… June 21! Her books have gotten good reviews in the past, so if you like mysteries, it might be fun to read a new author, plus know someone in the book! I’m supposed to get a copy of the book as part of my fancy-schmancy “deal” (not really that fancy), so if/when I have time to read it with the baby, I’ll be sure to post a little review!
Pictures added by Gretchen