a little over six years ago I became a mother for the first time. I watched an amazing woman give birth to my oldest daughter. I fell in love. instant and deep.
almost three years ago I became a mother for the second time. I don't even know what all emotions I felt because it was a whirlwind that when remembered, seems a little like a fuzzy version of hell. surgery, home, hospital stay, home, hospital stay, surgery, home, surgery again, home, seizures, hospital stay, home. you get the point. and to be honest, home wasn't any easier than the hospital most of the time. lots of puking. exhaustion form getting up every three hours to give meds and do feeds through a tube. it was hard.
as we prepare for the arrival of number three, I have been overwhelmed with a rush of emotions I didn't know were lurking below the surface. I have grieved the fact that I never got to see an ultrasound picture of shilo (I have some of both Abigail and our little guy due in January). I grieve not being there when she was born, or the first few days of her life. her family missed her first few days of life.
and then, I feel like her whole first year was missed. not because I wasn't there, but because it was spent in survival mode. we were caregivers. we didn't give bottles, and warm baths, and snuggles. we didn't comfort tears, or help our daughter learn to sleep at night time. we gave meds, and sat in waiting rooms, and wondered if our lives would ever be the same. we never got to experience shilo as a 'baby.' I have very few memories from her first year of life, likely because I tried so hard to forget.
and now, we prepare for another little. a boy. and I'm not even sure what having a baby looks like anymore. i'm petrified of germs, and am considering not letting anyone near him for the whole first year (this might be a little bit of an exaggeration). I have no idea what it's like to have a kid without a genetic disorder, and doctor appointments, and so I just prepare for another diagnoses.
perhaps this all sounds a little crazy. I can't say that between the last six years of our lives, and pregnancy hormones, that I might not be just a little over the edge when it comes to my thinking being rational or sane.
at the same time, I've learned that when confronted with grief, it's often best to put on your boots, and wade into it. splash around a little. get a feel for what all is around, and make your way to the other side. you can likely find a bridge, or a boat, or even a path around. and, you are welcome to try that. but, you'll find yourself right back there, at the edge, staring into the deep dark pain of it all, and wondering how you ended up back in that same spot.
so i'm some where in the mucky waters of pain, trying to figure out how to look forward to our upcoming life changes without fear. I am hoping that as the day of his arrival draws nearer, the other side will come into view, and we will get to meet this child with nothing but exuberant joy.
for now, if you see me, and say something about how excited I must be, don't be alarmed if my response seems less than. I am thankful for this child. his life. what he will add to our family. it's just that this whole experience is being filtered through past.