Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

Uncharted Territory


It’s been a good (roughly) 2 days since that fun appointment for Zoe, and now we’re in uncharted territory. 

We had ‘the talk’ with our doctor, so we know that we’re in the ‘any moment’ zone. When labor happens, they won’t stop it or slow it down. Everyone involved is ready for Zoe to show up. She won’t be hiding behind the placenta for long now. Even after having the talk, our little girl is still alive. That’s the detail that really matters.

This is a new spot. Last year, we had the talk, heard the silence, and headed right over to the hospital to live out a nightmare we couldn’t have imagined if we tried. This year, I’m making sure that my cell phone is charged because the call could (theoretically) come at any minute. I’ve got the speech about it planned for my students. It includes the words “If you get in my way when I’m heading to that door, that’s your fault. You’ve been warned.” But realistically, we probably won’t be waiting that long. This is uncharted territory in our home, and it’s nice. I like the anticipation.

It comes with some odd features. At some point on Sunday, Zoe will be as old as Doria lived to be.  That’s a very strange notion to me. I knew it was coming. I marked it on the calendar weeks ago, and that day is actually about to arrive. Our run for the rainbow has been mercifully quick and mostly drama free, but still has some milestones to cross. Sunday will be one, a few more things to prepare, and then the whole birth thing.

I’m not terribly afraid of the possibilities from here, but I’m certainly aware. This is the point when you’re supposed to take a safe, healthy baby for granted. Babies don’t die this late in the game. You assume victory, and you’re going to be right.

But, I’ve been here before, and that’s why this thing exists. I’m not outright frightened, but I’m pretty soberly excited. Not guarded, because I’m all in, but there’s always a part there in the mind that knows what could happen. The best way I could describe it is this: I’m not taking it for granted. Every one of these healthy days is a great blessing, and another step towards victory. I take it for what it is, and go from there.

That said, there’s a choice to make in my position. My historical research approach and my Bible interpretation approach is to follow the evidence. It’s a favorite phrase that I use to guide my thinking (when I remember it). As of right now, all signs point to a ZoGo:

1. The odds are so with a healthy baby like her at this point. Babies just don’t die this late in the game.

2. Lightning so rarely strikes twice. We’ve won that lethal lottery before.  We won’t win it again (probably). 

3. We have about 8 billion thorough tests that show us Zoe is a healthy little monster baby. She’s a beast.  That said, so was her sister.

So, there’s a choice. Assume the worst, or press on for the best. Overall, for most of each day, this one is pretty easy, and I’m often dumb enough to forget the other option. Like Paul said in Philippians (paraphrase here): Not dwelling in the past, but pressing on towards the goal. The goal on the rainbow journey has been a healthy Zoe, and everything is still moving towards that goal.

I know what happened. I know what could happen this time. I know what should happen, and that’s the one that obsess over and prepare for. I guess a jaded view could be that I already know what to do in the worst case scenario, but that’s really not the point. I’ve had a chance to pore over the evidence, and the evidence says that this journey into uncharted territory is going to be a resounding victory with a healthy baby and smelly diapers at the end.  

I just can’t imagine how horrible it would be to dwell on the worst, so I’ll dwell on the diapers instead, because that smells a lot more like victory. 


4 thoughts on “Uncharted Territory

  1. Your family is in my thoughts and I’m pulling for you guys. You are standing pretty firmly in a place that I hope to be similarly in my future (although I may be a bit more shaky). I look forward to stopping by and reading an entry about your first pooey diaper. 🙂

    • Soon!
      You guys will be here. It’s a pretty wild roller coaster, but you’re good for it 🙂

      And that smell of victory will be priceless! That’s what I tell myself now, when I’m not smelling anything.

  2. I’m glad to hear that you are able to mainly focus on the positive/excitement side of it. I am so excited to become pregnant again, but also afraid that I won’t be able to enjoy it like I did last time. I was never worried for Luke and he had great reports all the way up to 39 weeks when he was just suddenly gone. And no medical explanation to be found for his loss. So, how do you feel safe after that? I’m glad to hear that you are managing to feel solid in Zoe’s future. It gives me hope that we can too. It helps to remind myself that God is in charge, but He also allowed Luke to die, so how do we know He wouldn’t allow that again? I like the lightning analogy–hopefully rare things like we’ve experienced are just that–rare. And not to happen again. Go Zoe!!

    • You hit the nail on the head for all of it. Doria’s pregnancy really was more fun and enjoyable. We had all the first time stuff to do, like the crib, clothes, organizing, and all of that. For Zoe, that’s all done. It’s just a long, boring sit and wait forever.

      I felt terrible for some dear friends of ours. We told them about expecting again. They said, “Remember, God is in control.” I said, “He was in control last time, too.” That was kind of a conversation killer.

      I didn’t start to really feel safe until the past few days. I’ve been stalling all summer long getting ready.
      In terms of knowing, there just isn’t a way. We both felt Zoe kick today, but I know that could change in the blink of an eye. As far as I can tell, it’s just a choice to focus this way, but always aware that it could change.
      That may have made sense. I’m not sure 🙂

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