Saturday, March 28, 2009
The days leading up to Nicholas' birth were so surreal. I'm convinced that I was in complete shock... and in complete despair. I often wish that I consciously connected with him more during those last few days. Instead, I felt shame. Not ashamed of my sweet baby boy, never that, but ashamed of myself. Ashamed that I had let this horrible thing happen to my baby. Ashamed that my body couldn't keep him safe. I changed in the dark. I wore the absolute baggiest clothes I could find and I physically cringed when my husband would touch my belly. I disconnected because that is what felt safe for me at the time. I didn't want to bond any more than I already had with this baby for fear of completely breaking down. I now know that was the stupidest thing I could have done... our bond was already as strong as strong could be and I wasted precious time.
Secretly I cherished the kicks, the nudges, the hiccups and the bubbles those last few days, but never again did I say "Oh my gosh, watch my belly, he's rocking and rolling again". It's very difficult to put into words why.... I think all of you know the feeling. Complete helplessness. Deep and utter sadness. Those days were so incredibly hard. I couldn't understand why he was so active and seemingly okay when the opposite was true - he would not have that "life" when he wasn't connected to me. It truly is amazing what we do for our babies... how we nourish them, grow them.. and love them so.
It's funny, everyone always seemed to ask how I was sleeping, if at all. I never had any problem sleeping. I was so completely and totally drained that closing my eyes and falling asleep was a relief. My problem was waking up. It literally hurt to wake up... to reality. Every day we would wait for the phone call from the doctor to say that the ethics committee had met and made their decision. Every day I held my breath as the phone rang and rang and rang. I was very angry at the fact that an "Ethics Committee" held the fate of our family and our precious baby at their mercy.
We finally got the call and went into the hospital on Thursday, November 6, 2008. We got to the clinic early and there only a few people walking the halls. I was in autopilot... I remember one pregnant lady sitting across from us. She had seen my bag and pillow and commented on the fact that we were going to have our baby that day.... little did she know.
I have never, ever cried so much or felt such immense pain as I did when I felt our sweet baby boy go...
I was given something to relax me and then the induction began. It seemed to take forever. I was feverish and nauseous from the gel the doctors were giving me every few hours. I was given an epidural where I could manage the dose... I remember forcing myself or my husband to press that button... I wanted to feel this labour. I wanted to work for my Nicholas. This was the last thing we were going to do together... and I wanted to remember every (although painful) minute.
Fast forward to the next day... Friday, November 7, 2008. My body seems to have shut down. I am not dialating, I am not contracting. I can't even do this right.
Then suddenly I feel the tremendous urge to push. He's ready. I'm not. I'm not ready to push him out of me. I'm not ready to let go.
I remember these young, inexperienced (in bedside manner anyway) interns coming in to assist with Nicholas' birth. They were anything but gentle. Not that I cared, really. I didn't care about anything at that point, except for holding my beautiful boy in my arms. I'll never forget the feeling of him slipping out... slipping away. I howled.... just howled. It was over and I was lost. I couldn't keep him safe any longer.
He is just beautiful. The first thing my husband and I noticed was his red hair. Our first born has red hair and Nicholas was the spitting image of him. He smelled so clean and fresh. His skin was so smooth and perfect. His lips so red and kissable. I couldn't get enough of him and yet I felt myself detaching.... shock has a funny way of protecting was needs to be protected. I thank God for shock. It allowed us to savour the precious time we had with our son. To love him. To caress him. To just "be" for at least a few hours before we had to say goodbye.
Goodbye. What an impossible thing to do.
to be continued...
Posted by Lea at 3:00 PM