It's Not Always Rainbows and Butterflies

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I would like to be honest about a variety of things here- just brutally honest, even though sharing these types of things may not be appropriate in a public sphere.

I am now 33 weeks pregnant with my second sweet girl, and I am totally unprepared.

I have clothes and sheets and a cool, light place for her to sleep. I just don't have the emotional wherewithal to anticipate her arrival as happily as I should.  I have my moments, but for the most part- all of the joy is a farce.

As impossible as it seems, most of the time I just push the fact that I am pregnant out of my mind. Even the growing swell of my belly and the discomfort of the end stages of pregnancy can't convince me that I am really going to bring a baby home. I can't allow myself to become attached- even at 33 weeks- I know that things could happen, even at this late a date.

It would be too painful to go through that again. Too painful to go through the whole process again and come home with nothing to show for it, except a box full of hopes and dreams that will never come to fruition.

To complicate this, I want my baby Bea. This morning as I was lying in bed I let my mind wander over the last few years. It has been almost two years since I held her. Two years without touching my infant girl- my tiny baby. Two years is such a long time. When this all began, I would never have imagined living with this crush of sadness for years on end. I can not contemplate decades more of this separation.

I can close my eyes and imagine the feel of her tiny hand in mine- so small and warm.The weight of her left an indelible impression on my palm. I close my eyes and I am there again, in that hospital room with that antiseptic smell (funny- most people smell a baby and marvel over that magical "baby smell". I smell antiseptic and it brings me to my Bea. I love that smell.) I don't just remember. I am there, in the moment.

Some people call these type of clear as day rememberings Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I call them a blessing. I call them the only way I get through my day- the only sensory connection I have to the daughter I will never again see this side of heaven. I call them the memories I keep because no one else can.

I don't know how to love this baby intensely and still love my Bea at the same time- it seems like something that only the meanest, cheating heart would do. I owe my sweet Bea- because no one will ever hold onto her as deeply as I do.

If I give too much up to this baby, what will I lose in terms of what I hold onto, of Bea?

I read in books that this is normal, but is it? What mother- especially one who knows what it is like to lose- what mother doesn't see all of her baby's future full of butterflies and moonbeams? What type of person prepares herself for the worst case scenario when there is absolutely no indication that there is a problem? What type of person has packed a bag for the hospital- and in one of the tiny side pockets, a list of all of the numbers she needs to call just in case things go wrong?

I delivered Bea at 34 weeks- one week away from where I am right now. If this baby makes it past 34 weeks, it will be something of a milestone, I guess. Maybe some type of comfort will come then? I can't think so- because then will come another week to get through, and another, and another. And then will come birth and home and a whole new set of worries..... and I tell myself that if I worry about losing again- if I worry about my crushed heart, maybe I am not as unattached as I think. But with that possibility the possibility of heartache grows exponentially.

In small, quick moments, I hope.

I hope that I can be all of the things to this sweet girl that I would like to be.

I hope that I can give her a heart willing to love without reservation.

I hope that in that moment when I see her, all of the fears will be erased, or at least will be pushed aside by the joy.

I hope that this feeling of impending doom will subside.

I hope that I can hold onto the memories of my other tiny girl- the one who never made it home.

I hope that the memories don't meld together and become one, that my Bea's birth, besides it's ending in death, retains some of it's own space in my recollections.

I hope that this baby makes her own memories with me.

I hope that this baby smells like baby, and not antiseptic.

I hope that she does not have red hair- I can not look at girls with red hair anymore because the ache in my heart is so deep.

I hope that she doesn't have the same fingers and toes, or lips.

I hope that her heart beats and her breath comes.

I hope that she cries.

And I hope that she comes home.

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