I’ve been grumpy all day. Sometimes I am just grumpy. But as the day progressed, I realized that my grumpiness wasn’t really about the messes, or Hailee’s runny nose, or the heat, or whatever else I latched my grumpiness too. It’s really about my grief bubbling up and my attempt to resist it.
Today I think I just need to miss my baby boy. And as I let myself feel that, my grumpiness takes a back seat and I just let the tears come.
I stopped resisting my grief after I had my 35 week OB appointment today.
Everything continues to look good with our rainbow baby. My non-stress-test showed her heart rate having a lot variability and my OB checked my cervix and reported I am 1.5 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Having good news like this diminishes the fear of losing her, but lets a NEW fear in. As the reality of her impending arrival dawns on me and I realize I may actually get to have her, I am overwhelmed with the thought, “CAN I DO THIS AGAIN?”
My OB asked me how I was doing emotionally about this baby and I didn’t know how to respond. I don’t how I’m supposed to be emotionally! So I smiled and said, “Good, I think.” He smiled back and said, “As good as can be expected I imagine.”
As I drove home I started thinking about having this baby. What will my labor with her be like? Will it be fast like it was with Charlie? Will she come at 38 weeks like Charlie did? Do I really want to attempt a “natural” childbirth? Will she get her safe? Do we get to take her home? Will I jinx her if I buy a carseat? What kind of crib or cradle do we want for her in our room? These thoughts bring with them a certain level of excitement and anticipation.
But they also bring a sadness. I long to hold another my baby. To nurse her, love her, and kiss her head and cheeks. But I am also sad because not even another baby can fill the emptiness Charlie’s death created. I am deeply sad I can’t hold him in my arms or see his smile, laugh at his intense gaze, or hear his “mama cry.” I don’t get to sing to him or tell him how much I love him or feel him nuzzle into my shoulder. How I miss those little things!
I am deeply sad that we won’t have all our kids on earth at the same time. That there will never be complete family photos again. Or complete family moments. That people will see Hailee and her sister and make comments about “Two sisters! How perfect!” and not know that they have a brother too! And of course I’ll smile and say something polite like, “yeah, sisters are awesome” but inside I’ll probably be crying at the injustice of our loss.
I don’t think this sadness diminishes my gratitude for the ability to have another child. I think the hope, healing, and excitement of a rainbow baby naturally brings with it another level of grief; a level I am beginning to experience.
I have to say, while missing Charlie tonight doesn’t feel good in anyway, it is nice to let go of my grumpiness. As soon as I embraced my grief, as horrible as it is, I felt I could breathe. I felt the tears opening my soul and I’m letting myself just sit with the complexity of what is my experience now.