Friday, June 20, 2008

Lump in My Throat & Hole in My Heart

Once again, someone we know had a baby. It is one of DH's co-worker's wife. They are both young, her much younger. She is so much younger than us that she is not even legal age to have a drink. She is like a high school girl. She kept talking about how many times she had changed her outfit for the day (3 to be exact). She would not suction the baby's nose nor change the diaper- that is HIS job to do that. It appears she thinks having a baby is like having a doll. Did I mention that they got pregnant on their honeymoon, so they haven't even been married a year yet? She also had a steady stream of visitors in and the baby got to stay in the room with her. It was nice to hold the baby. I held her so the new mom could eat. I held their baby, who was just a little over a day old, longer than I ever held MM the whole first week of her life. They were so happy and I marveled at how "normal" it all was and the sweet innocence they had in regards to having a baby. The whole time we were there, I had a lump building in my throat. I was very happy for them, but just wanted to get out of there cause I felt like I couldn't swallow or breath.

When we left there, DH asked me if that made me want to have another baby. I couldn't hold back any longer and the tears started to flow. I answered him yes, I would love another baby, but NO, that does not make me want to HAVE another baby. The odds are so high that we would go through what we went through before. I just can't do that. Another preemie, another world of uncertainty, another strain on my poor health, another possible autism diagnosis. No.

It just hurts so bad.

Watching them, it was so easy for them. I feel like I am missing something major. I have a huge hole in my heart that causes the lump to swell. Even though I know it is impractical and almost improbable for us to have another child, I feel cheated. I missed out on and will never experience all the normal things of having a baby. I won't know how it feels to just "decide" to try for a baby and have a healthy nine months. I won't know how it is to feel like you are ready to "pop" cause your belly is so big. I won't know how it feels to finish packing your bag and finish up all the little things before the baby comes. I won't know how it feels to have your baby in the room with you all night. I won't know how it feels to have everyone visit you while you and your husband proudly show off your newborn and pass the baby from visitor to visitor. I won't know how it feels to leave the hospital the same day as your baby- the whole family going home. I will never have the innocence of having a baby and everything being just great.

Instead I have memories of: taking medicine to stay pregnant, hyperemesis, being told to go straight from the doctor's office to the hospital and not having my bag packed, not seeing my baby for over 12 hours, finally getting to see her and holding her for a brief minute while hooked up to tubes & wires, a few people coming to peek at her in the window in the NICU, hardly anyone coming cause I was so sick and not allowed up for long periods of time, going home without my baby and leaving her in that plastic box for others to care for her.

It has been over five years and I am still not over it. I guess it is like some sort of PTSD and grieving process combined. I just didn't think it would hit me so hard this far out. Some days I am at peace and other days I hear "Pity party, table of one- Pity part, table of one". When will it ever stop hurting?


Trish ~CnJ's Mommy~ said...

Huge hugs...

We're home. Sorry I forgot you were in TN! We were in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We'll be going back...but proably not till 2010...there is alot to do, but alot that Jacob cant do. It was so sad seeing other kids his size/age do things that is impossible for him.

Trish ~CnJ's Mommy~ said...

We will go back...maybe sooner if we can meet up ;)

Anonymous said...

Someone told me once that the biggest loss we have to deal with is not knowing what is 'normal'. I think you summed that up well. I too have struggled with this - some days more than others. And the idea of trying again - daunting to say the least!

Mel said...

Wishing you the healing and peace that you deserve. Some days just plain stink. Hang in there!

Monica said...

I have to respond to you here. I just stumbled on your blog. Everything you typed, and I mean everything, I can relate to. I have two preemies. One is 5 years old, one is 3 years old. Both are wonderful now, but that lost innocence, I know that. I think, once a preemie parent, you are forever scared.

Being a preemie parent is normal to me now. I remember when I was pregnant with my 2nd baby, there was no joy, only fear.

I was scared from the moment I found out I was going to have her, until the moment I gave birth to her, and then beyond.

Your hopes and wishes are different once you have a preemie.

All I know, is that no matter what I had to do to get my kids, they were worth every second of it, and I think if anything preemie parents know how hard things can be, how many struggles we face.

If you would like to read my daughters birthstory, here is the link.

I really love reading about others who have been through the same struggles I have, since I know of no one in my real life who really understands what it is like to leave your baby at the hospital, when you yourself go home.