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One Month Left: Mud Season

© Photo by variationen on Flickr (CC Licensed)

35w3d - These impending (unwanted) flurries next week notwithstanding, it is spring in New England. The eager crocuses and the determined branches and my comically large uterus tell me so. I can waddle the dog through the neighborhood each afternoon and not worry that it will be dark by 4 or that I'll trip over some crusted snowbank, because most of the banks are just dirty bumps now and the light persists until 5:30!

The lake behind our house has begun its thaw: Some years, the 60 acres of ice splinter and dissolve from the fissures outward, making audible cracking and groaning sounds as the sheets dramatically disappear. This year's thaw is slow and methodical, the frozen field melting from the rim, inwards: When I venture to the dock—infrequently, as me and stairs and these unwieldy new 24 pounds aren't yet sure of one another— can watch dazed fish glimmer by through the ever-widening channel around the lake, looking as awed by the slow ice retreat from the shores as I am.

It feels fitting that the melt is different this year. Everything seems different this spring as compared to last.

I was pregnant then, too, though I didn't know it yet and I wouldn't come to know it until it ended on Easter afternoon. Our families were still taking thirds of scalloped potatoes and cole slaw and carrot cake when I excused myself and learned what I just could not have believed even the day before: That the month-long period that I thought I was having definitely was not. That I was again miscarrying, the second time in six months. That The Mister and I were again being dragged through the sloggy mud that had become our path to parenting.

And here we are one year later, as the real Mud Season is upon us: The lawn is sopping and last year's containers full of annuals are petrified beneath heaps of now-brown pine needles that blanket the yard. (My fall first trimester didn't leave much energy available for putting our scant gardens to bed. Like it matters now.) I reluctantly chuck the Frisbee for the dog these days, not only because bending to retrieve it from him is a feat that seemingly defies physics, but also because each toss further guarantees that he'll become unthinkably dingy as he bounds through the grassy slop. But I do awkwardly stoop and send the disk clear across the yard and think melodramatically how—should the planets spin favorably for us in the coming five weeks and in the following year—next spring there'll be someone else playing with the dog, stomping through the mud, feeling anxious for the season to fully arrive.

I'll hit full term for this pregnancy a week before the year anniversary of the loss of our last one. And I still don't know how to reconcile the elation of awaiting this new spring baby and staying mindful of the mucky depths we've scaled to get here, or how profoundly those places have affected the experience of being right where we are, right now—every day.

But days are getting progressively longer again. The mud is drying. There's lots of New ahead.