Friday, December 5, 2008

Skyler and Sophie

This is a post that I have been meaning to write for a while now but everything tends to go sideways on me lately.

It seems I have been so caught up in the whole new/alive/preemie baby thing that I have forgotten about my not-so-alive baby. This is not true. She has been on my mind constantly as well. His due date was her death date, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. He came two months early, was there a reason for this? Also in other news of deaths and my family's superstition there's a death followed by a birth. Our best friend's grandfather died a few days before Sky was born, in fact his funeral was Wednesday afternoon, I was in labour & gave birth while they were burying him. Freaky no?

What I'm getting at is the whole life death cycle thing. If Sophie had made it Skyler wouldn't be here. He never would have been conceived. I like to think she is watching over her little brother. We even put the angel doll in his crib (at home) for now while he is at the NICU. We like to think it represents her watching over him and making sure he is alright especially since we can't be there with him every second of every day as much as we both would like to.

There is the ever important issue of gender here as well. Something that CLC discussed in one of her posts. Something I empathized with. When I found out Skyler was a boy I was (and I ashamedly admit this) not so thrilled. I mean yes I was happy yay baby! But part of me was sad too. Part of me had to give up having a girl all over again. Something I gave up when I lost Sophie. It was a different kind of loss, but it hurt somewhat all the same. I hate to feel like I wanted a replacement, like if I didn't get my girl the first time around then I would get my girl the second time. In my heart I know this could not be true anyway because it would never be Sophie, each child is different no matter what.

And yes I realize some people think I am referring to a blob of cells as my dead unborn baby, but she is. When people tell me a miscarriage is nothing and I should just get over it I think about how Skyler was once a blob of cells and now he is this beautiful 4 pound 6 and a half ounce baby. Every single person starts out as that little blob. I know very well that it's not the same as a stillborn, but believe me this baby was a baby even if she was just beginning to become one.

Back to the issue of gender. As I mentioned on CLC's blog I had a hard time accepting that he was a he. I kept saying to people that the ultrasound said boy but they can be wrong. I feel guilty about that, I invalidated his sex. I kept dismissing that he was a boy, I wanted a girl so badly that I didn't want to accept him for who he was. I still feel horrible about that, but it is what it is. It just took me a while to get over the fact that this was different. He is not his sister, nor would he be had he been a girl.

There is absolutely nothing like the moment when they place that tiny little person on your chest (or stomach in my case). I remember saying to him in my crazy post pushing exhaustion "wow I made you." in complete awe, and then repeating over and over again "hi.. hi.." I think I must have said hi at least 12 times. Then they had to whisk him off to the NICU. Now that he is here I would not trade him for another baby in the whole world, not even a girl. I love my son so much it fills my heart and spills over.

Could I ever choose between the two? No, I couldn't. I have to live with what was dealt to me and be happy that he is here, even if she isn't.

I must say I am missing being pregnant, there is this emptiness inside me where there used to be a baby now there is nothing but a shrinking-back-to-it's-former-size uterus. Sometimes I will listen to the songs that used to make him kick and I wait for it, to feel him expressing how much he likes Norah Jones and Elmo singing "Don't know why Y didn't come" but he isn't there anymore. It feels weird when I go to rub my belly and my belly is gone. It feels weird when Chuck starts poking my stomach or shaking me and I have to bite my tongue before I say "Stop shaking our baby" or "Don't poke at him you'll wake him up" and I know it's the hormones but I want to cry everytime I think that he isn't with me anymore. I can't feel him in my belly and I can't hold him in my arms. I mean I can, but only at his specified feeding times and only if I am in the hospital at those times and only if he is not dsatting. It's not the same as losing him forever, but it still hurts. I know I should just suck it up, really I know that, but I can't. It must be a billion times worse to not get to hold him at all ever again. I can hardly imagine the pain of it, and I find this situation to be quite painful. I don't take it for granted that he is alive. It's just tough not being with him..

Yesterday we had a really pushy condescending nurse. I felt so bad for C because he was trying so hard, and she kept putting him down. Basically every single thing he did was wrong. He wasn't gentle enough changing his diaper, he put the censor on wrong, he held his head at too high an angle for gavage feeding, then he held his head at too low an angle (she told him to lower it, and he did, then she bitched it was too low. etc etc.) I was suprised she didn't take out a protractor to find the exact perfect angle because really it wasn't like he was holding him much different each time she made him adjust and yet it was always wrong. And he also put the camera down in the wrong spot, and he didn't wrap him properly in the blanket, and he didn't wash his hands fast enough and he didn't hold the feeding tube in his mouth in just the right spot, and he basically did every single thing wrong. She made C feel like the worst dad in the entire world. Basically if he even looked at our baby he was doing something wrong. I felt sick to my stomach watching her berate him for everything. I seriously hope she is gone today..

Anyway enough of my ranting.


Never Clever said...

You will never forget Sophie no matter how many 'live' babies you have. Sophie will always hold a special place in your heart.

I still think about my first baby that I miscarried. It still makes me sad. And, I think the same thing. Had I not lost the first baby, I wouldn't have Laney.

I bet that as soon as Skyler gets to come home, the void you are feeling will be no more. I completely empathize with you for having him, but not having him 100%. It must be extremely difficult.

Soon though, he will be all yours!

Ya Chun said...

I think you will really be feeling better when Skyler is home, your arms will be full and you don't have to put up with those crazy nurses anymore!

I understand the u/s second guess on a couple of levels. You were protecting yourself. It's ok, it doesn't matter, you love Sophie and Skyler just like any parent loves their two kids. Don't feel guilty.

CLC said...

I am glad to know that the sex does not matter as long as there's a living baby at the end. And it must be painful to not be able to hold him yet. I hope he is getting good care at the hospital and is home in your arms soon enough!