Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Supposed To"

I think I've had a run of bad days recently.  Fortunately, they aren't the kind of bad days where I can't function, but I do find myself in more of a funk.  I've started about four different blog posts with just a snippet of things that I've been thinking about so that I can come back to them whenever I get a chance to explore each one a little more. It turns out that none of them have been particularly uplifting.  When I'm done writing something, I'd like to sit back and see that I've been able to come around to at least a little something positive but I'm having a hard time doing that right now.

For instance, most of the time I can keep it together pretty well, but when I really start thinking about what's coming in just a few short months I start to panic. Honestly, the last two weeks have been the hardest of our lives but I have the feeling that they don't even compare to what we'll be feeling in February or March.  Then it's going to be time for this baby to leave the safety and comfort of my body and our time with him or her will come to an end, all too soon. 

I think about what it's going to be like to drive to the hospital for the induction.  I think about going through labor and delivery.  I think about holding this child for whatever little time we have.  I think about letting family meet him or her.  I think about trying to explain to Tori and Abby why this little baby doesn't look like any others they have ever seen.  I think about what it's going to be like when my milk comes in and there is no baby to feed (I plan to donate whatever I can pump for as long as I can, but still, it won't be for my child).  I think about packing our things and leaving the hospital with no car seat and no new baby.  I think about telling my children that they aren't getting a baby brother or sister at home, even though they just saw him or her at the hospital. I think about having to deal with a funeral or memorial or burial or cremation or whatever we decide on top of recovering from childbirth.  I think about having to step outside of our grief to celebrate Abby's birthday just a few weeks after this baby is born.  I think about having to face the decision on whether or not we will ever try to have another child.   I think about the fact that we will always have the birthday of a third child to celebrate, but there will be no party, no cake, no presents, and no happy little kid to celebrate with.  I think about a hundred other milestones that we don't get to see with our third baby.

Of course I'm grieving the physical loss of our child, but it doesn't feel like what I expected.  It's hard to figure out how you are supposed to grieve the life and loss of a baby that we haven't entirely lost yet, a baby that is still very much kicking inside of me each day. (I have to share that I have been struggling with understanding why I haven't been more outwardly upset about this aspect of our diagnosis, and it really didn't occur to me until I was typing this that this is most likely the reason why...I can't figure out a way to mourn a life that hasn't left us yet.)

What I am having a much harder time with and what does often bring me to tears is grieving for all of the things that we're going to miss out on with this baby.  I'm grieving harder right now for the life that we were supposed to have with this child, because that is more obvious.  I understand fully the diagnosis we were given and it leaves no doubt as to what the prognosis is for this baby.  So, maybe in a way, all of those "supposed to's" did die the day we had our ultrasound.  Maybe that is why this part of my grief is so much more painful and so much easier to identify. 


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