Cripes I used to be the woman who loved birthdays, celebrations of any kind and babies and pregnancy on anyone. Now I get so damned bitter and resentful and it's ugly. I hate it. I mean I really hate it. My family tries to understand, and excuse my feelings, but I really do hate it. When will the day come that I will just be happy to celebrate a birthday, mine or someone elses, without rewinding in my mind to my last birthday and the joy so tightly woven into the heartbreak? When will the day come that I see a pregnant woman and feel happy for her, not jealousy followed closely by fury at myself? When will the day come that I will look forward to seeing, shopping for, and even holding someone elses baby? Eric says he won't hold another baby until he holds his own. I can see that. I can see me doing that as well. I have a friend whose baby was born at 34 weeks and he is really small, will be in the NICU for another 3 weeks or so. She says she can't wait to put him in my arms. I can't help but wonder will my empty aching arms stand for such an assault? When does the pity party end? When do I just have to suck up and deal and be a normal person? I don't know that I ever will, I sure hope everyone is okay with that.
It's so strange to me how my mind and soul work in regards to Cayden. So many lost baby mamas that I follow seem to see their angels as they were or as they should be at that moment. And I suppose I do that too, to some degree. I mean looking at newborns anywhere takes my breath away and whenever I see a baby that is about 6 months old, same thing. But I actually find myself looking more and more at young men and wondering if THAT'S what he would have looked like. Dark haired boys with cleft chins send my mind spiraling. I see a young dark haired boy lean down to hug his mother or something and I think "oh, oh my Cayden would have done that". I wonder if I will always do that.
I have a very dear friend who was pregnant. She got pregnant after I got the initial bad diagnosis about Cayden. She also found out she was having a boy. We share the same OB. She is an older mom and heavy just like me. So many many similarities it's scary. Well I have found out throughout the course of her pregnancy that she was scared to tell me she was pregnant, that she had prayed she would not have a boy and she asked God many times why she was the one put in my path to be a constant reminder, to cause me pain each and every time I saw her. Sadly she is right. It has been a constant reminder. It has been painful each time I see her. But there is also joy and happiness for my friend. I am truly happy for her. She is a wonderful, gracious, empathetic, giving, loving woman who deserves happiness and who has been wonderful with me, to me, for me and about me from day 1. Her baby shower was last weekend and she was afraid to invite me. I was afraid to go. Not sure I could do it. Had planned to get her a gift card, not thinking I could shop in the baby section, let alone the baby boy section. But I did. Somehow I had the strength to spend a couple moments in the baby section to pick a couple cute outfits out for her baby Joshua. I smiled and was friendly and when she started opening gifts I slipped off and went downstairs to watch the kids play Wii. I knew she understood. She has since told me that she is grateful for whatever I can give to her, and understanding of what I can't give.
Well she has been having trouble. Her baby wasn't growing, in fact he was really really tiny. Measuring in at 3 weeks small for his gestational age. She developed hypertension and was on the verge of getting pre-eclampsia. She has been in an out of the hospital, on semi bed rest for a couple of weeks. The trouble is......she just had so much faith that he would be fine, that all she could do was trust in God. All of her friends were of the same mind. It drove me nuts. I was terrified for her, beyond a normal fear. I have realized why. Because in my world......babies die. You can pray, plead, beg and make as many deals and promises as you want to The Big Man, you can have everyone you know doing the same and still babies die.
She was admitted to the hospital earlier in the week and was to stay there until they took Joshua by c-section on Friday. I tried all week to work up the nerve to go see her. Tried every day. Made a plan to go see her every day. My one sister in law Betsy and other friends kept telling me it was a bad idea. That she would understand and I didn't have to go to see her THERE (there being the same damned hospital where I had Cayden). That I could wait for her to get out and she would understand. And I knew she would understand. She is that friend, who gets it. But the mere fact that she does get it makes me want to strive to do better by her. So Friday morning I got the nerve to venture to THAT hospital. My sister in law Betsy and my mom went with me. Hoping to lend me strength. Both of them reassured me that if I got there and couldn't go in, we could turn around and come home.
So in I went. I felt ok going in. Until I got to the front desk on the very same floor and was waiting for my visitor badge from the same woman who had given all my family their visitor badges. Felt my chest closing up on me and the lump in my throat growing at an alarming pace. Slapped on my badge and fished my Xana~x out of my purse and headed down the hall. Luckily she was left where I was right. As I walked the hallways though I couldn't stop the tears. My precious son had lived his entire life on THIS floor of THIS hospital. Every moment of his 3 short days was lived there. I so wish we would have taken him outside in the sunshine for just a moment. Let him breath fresh air and let the sun shine on his tender skin. Hindsight is a bitch and I hate her.
Long story longer I made it. She was moved to tears of appreciation. I am glad I went. Her friend was there, a photographer, who had just recently began doing photos for NILMDTS and the previous night had been her first. So another mother had lost her baby the night before. Another mother had started her journey down this f*cking horrid road.
Joshua was born, terribly small but healthy and strong. His cord had been wrapped around his neck twice, his belly once and his thigh yet another time. Doctors have said it's a miracle he hadn't slipped away in utero. I like to believe perhaps he had some help from an extra special little angel Cayden. I am contemplating another visit tomorrow. One of my wonderful nurses is supposed to be on duty, so I will be able to see her. I dunno. Guess it depends on how much sleep I get and how steady on my feet I feel tomorrow. It's brutal, but I did it. Damnit I did it.
I have just come through the worst weekend. Not of my life, we all know what weekend that was. But it's been 6 months and try as I might, I could not help but thinking back to what I was doing 6 months ago. All day Friday I kept remembering the last few kicks I felt. The fear and hope Eric and I shared. The feeling I had when Cayden was born and looked soo good, so perfect. The sound of his little cry in the delivery room. The crazy reasonless hope I had that he was going to be okay. How could someone so perfect be so broken, he had to be ok. I remember this ridiculous elation I felt. I just knew he was going to beat the odds. Saturday I kept thinking back to the fear of them taking him for his MRI and the way my hope faded the longer we had to wait for the results. I remember vividly Eric and I walking in to see our boy in the NICU and joking with the doctors as I saw them looking over his scan, again assuming it was going to be good news and they were going to be able to fix whatever was wrong with him. I remember the look in the doctors eyes as she sat us down to give us the worst news of our lives. That there was nothing that could be done. No sudden healing as the song says. I will never ever as long as I live forget the feeling of my heart ripping open when I knew his time was fading. I remember his baptism, the kindness in the Priests eyes as he spoke to me. I remember the beauty of him my son being placed in my arms. The feel of his skin, so soft and warm. I will remember always the feel of his skin against my skin, his little heart beating against mine, his sweet breath as I kissed him over and over and over. I thought all day Sunday of how I spent this day 6 months ago just holding my sweet baby, letting his daddy hold him and standing watch. I remember being so grateful that he lived. That he lived through my birthday, he gave me the gift of himself. He fought and gave me the best gift I have ever received. As I went to bed on Sunday I remembered laying in my hospital bed holding my baby angel skin to skin and tracing his face until he couldn't fight it any longer and God called him home. And Monday was the day I remembered all day, every minute of that brutal day the earth shattering pain, the literal breaking of my heart as he slipped away. I remember saying over and over "I'm so sad" and damnit it hasn't eased up a bit. I am still sooo sad. I have relived every moment of your short life Cayden. Every moment. I am so glad I am your mama. I will live this pain, I will bear it, because it means that you were here, that you are here. That you came through me to brighten my world. I have said it before and I still feel it, I just wish I could go back in time to relive those 3 short days with you. Maybe tonight when I close my eyes I will feel you near. I love you my angel. I love you.
Go ahead and mention my child, The one that died, you know. Don't worry about hurting me further. The depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry. I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing the tears that I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, Pretending she didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child, Knowing that she has been missed. You asked me how I was doing. I say "pretty good" or "fine". But healing is something ongoing I feel it will take a lifetime. ~ Elizabeth Dent ~
I am 40, married to Eric the most amazing man since '06 (although we have been together since '98. I have 2 step sons Devon 15 and Riley 12 and my amazingly wonderful son Murray 3 and my angel baby boy Cayden who slipped from my arms to Gods in August '09.