In my mind, the music and the season are inextricably linked. Already on bed rest, I dragged my exhausted body up on December 24th to put on a pretty dress that I’d been wanting to wear but hadn’t had the opportunity. (It’s not a great picture. I look exhausted. But it’s one of only two that I have of me looking pregnant. And that’s Anderson’s stocking in the middle, next to me! I forgot about that!).
Although I wanted to go to the more traditional Christmas Eve service, it started at 10, and I knew that was just too late for me. So, we went to the “jazz” Christmas service, which if memory serves, started around 7. I thought – bummer, I love singing Christmas carols, and they’re going to be “different.” They were – but Anderson loved them. He was more active that night than any other point in my pregnancy (except once when I ate salsa). There were still candles, and darkness, and the music was glorious, and I could still sing along.
I almost didn’t get that Christmas Eve. I had an ultrasound earlier that morning, and after a long look at the placenta and the blood pooling inside me, Dr. P said, “well, we need to admit you.” K and I looked at each other. “Um…. now?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. “I’ll go get the paperwork.” “It’s Christmas Eve…” I trailed off, not wanting to be difficult, but in my head I was thinking – I’m only 22 weeks, how can it help to be admitted to the hospital now? Can’t I have Christmas at home?
Dr. P, thankfully, smiled and agreed. He’d give me until after the holidays – then, on January 4th, I would be admitted for good to the hospital. I was told to go easy on myself until then, and I was (we had Christmas with our families via Skype).
Of course, that break didn’t exactly go as planned. I was admitted on the 2nd, in labor. Anderson was born at 24 weeks on the 5th. The season switched to an artificial summer – hot days sitting by his warming incubator. But still, singing Christmas carols. Hoping that they would inspire him to dance like they did that Christmas Eve.