Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Just Don't Know

Being pregnant again after losing Adelyn was difficult.  Painfully difficult.  But the outcome was so wonderful, that I almost forget how hard it was now.  Isn't that how it always is with pregnancy and childbirth?  Otherwise, no one would have more than one child.

But I have to say, even though we had such a wonderful birth experience and so far a wonderful baby (right now he sleeps, cries when he wants to be fed, and is content again after being fed) - and this outcome is obviously completely the opposite of our last pregnancy with Adelyn - it is taking me back to those early days after losing her.

I just don't know how I made it through that.  I really don't.  The only answer I can give when people ask is because there was no other choice.  And Sierra of course.  But wow.

Right after delivery, so many of the things I had to do, reminded me of how I did it with Adelyn. Getting out of the bed for the first time, it's so yucky and awful - how did I make myself do it when I had no baby to make it worth it?  The physical pain, not being able to sit comfortably.  The bleeding, the cramping.  And yet, no beautiful baby to stare at and think, it's okay because I have him/her.

Probably one of the MOST difficult things for me after Adelyn was when my milk came in. That was awful.  I wonder if most people realize or thought about that happening.  It was a constant reminder that I should have had a baby to feed.  And my gosh did it hurt.  I was so uncomfortable I could barely sleep.  I wondered why anyone would choose not to breastfeed after going through that!

And now with Coen, I get to experience nursing again.  Sometimes, especially in the beginning, it hurt!  But nowhere near the engorgement and emotional pain of NOT having a baby to nurse. But every time I deal with leaky boobs (what is it about fresh air after a shower that does it?  I feel dirty again!) it reminds me of how I felt after Adelyn. Any time I think that Coen really needs to wake up and eat to relieve me, I think of how I couldn't do that last time.  And I wonder how I did it.

With every happy baby card we get in the mail, I think about how different it is this time.  The funny thing is I think we got more cards when Adelyn died than we did when Coen lived.  But that's ok.

This time, we are getting adorable baby clothes instead of angels and memorial ornaments.  Have I  mentioned how overwhelmed I am at the amount of baby clothes we received?  I didn't realize we would get so much!  We actually didn't need much to begin with because we had a lot of yellow/neutral stuff from Sierra that we can reuse.  Probably it looked more like a boy anyway! 
I'm sleep deprived from waking up to feed a living baby now.  Not from crying myself to sleep.

Last year I think we took Sierra to every single pumpkin patch or festival or Halloween party.  I think it was in an attempt to keep busy and focus on the fact that we still had a child to do those things with.  This year we didn't even get around to getting a pumpkin!  But it's ok, because we are busy doing all the "normal" things people do after having a baby.  Except that to me, those "normal" things don't feel so normal.

It feels strange to get a birth certificate in the mail that doesn't have a huge deceased stamp on it, to receive a social security card, to have to fill out papers to add Coen to our health insurance.  Tonight, I hung his newborn picture on the wall and put some in frames.  It felt SO weird.  Like it really looks like a family with 2 (living) children lives in this house.  Is it really MY family?  I swear every time I load both kids in the car, or realize that MY car has two car seats, I catch myself smiling.  It feels odd to have moments where I feel so complete.  I can't believe that I honestly feel happy more often than I feel sad now.

And yet I still miss my baby girl more than ever.


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