Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Birth of Jack

Jack's birthday was amazing. We had scheduled the c-section for 39 weeks on Friday August 10th so we thought there would be no surprises but Thursday morning I received a phone call from my doctor’s office. At first I thought they were calling to remind a mama could forget! Then as the nurse spoke I got this sinking feeling because she started to say that there had been a scheduling error and my doctor would not be in on Friday, I thought she was going to tell me I had to wait until Monday. I was already so anxious the last few days, I was so close to holding my healthy baby and I felt like something bad could happen to him any minute, I just wanted him out and in my arms. To my relief she explained that we would move it to today! She told us to be at the hospital at 2pm so Marc and I only had a few hours to get ready to leave. I called my mom who lives in Houston like ten times and she finally called me back and said they were leaving right away. Everyone was excited and rushing. Marc had commented on how picking and knowing his birthday took away a little of the romance of a birthday story and we had both agreed we would gladly give up the mystery and surprise in exchange for the peace of mind that a c-section brought but now we had our surprise too. All they would let me eat was a yogurt and so I was starving but so excited that I did not care, today I would hear my baby cry. Waiting for them to come take me to surgery once we were in the room and ready to go seemed like forever. I was really anxious about the surgery and scared that something bad was going to happen. The family made it just in time to distract Marc and I while waiting. Our birth photographer Keri who had done baby Marc's birth arrived and began documenting the day. I brought one of the photos she took from Marc's birth and put it beside my bed so that Marc would be with us. This was Jack's birthday and so as much as I want to keep Marc's memory alive I tried to focus on Jack. They finally came to get me and walked me to the operating room. I was dreading this part because this is when I had to be alone, separated from Marc. I got up on the table and they began the process of giving me the spinal. The doctors and nurses were so kind and made me feel a lot better but I still started crying because of all the anxiety. Finally after I was all ready Marc was allowed back and then everything happened so fast, before I knew it Jack was screaming and hearing him cry was such a relief. I felt so light and happy, it was incredible. I could not see him too well because he was just held up for me for a second and Dr.Kolar let me touch his little foot because my hands were still strapped down. They cleaned him up and he was wrapped up and given to Marc. I could hear Marc's emotion and happiness and it was such an amazing moment for us together. We had been through so much together over the past year. So much sadness and anxiety and now we were finally getting this beautiful moment of happiness and relief. I was surprised at how easy it was to be happy. I was worried I would feel a lot of sadness while experiencing with Jack what I should have experienced with Marc. Even in the weeks after we got home with Jack I kept waiting for this deep depression to come. Don’t get me wrong the grief is still there and it always will be but it came to me in brief and forgiving moments instead of lasting darkness. There are things that bring the sharp pain back like when I tried to sing Brahms lullaby to Jack and realized I sang that for Marc as he was dying. I cannot bring myself to sing it again and I probably won’t sing it to another child again. The lyrics are too sad if you think of them being sung to a dying baby. “Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed” I realize there will always be things like this that bring the pain back more fresh than other times but I know now that we are going to be ok. I have flashbacks of Marc’s birthday, the doctor telling me he was going to die, holding him, saying goodbye, the memorial and the dark weeks after his death. They do come to be very vividly lately but over the past year I realize that all that hard grief work has really helped me come to a place where I have the tools to deal with the traumatic thoughts and heartache. I have an arsenal of depression fighting weapons at my disposal and I use them frequently. I have talked with a lot of baby loss moms who talk about how they were not prepared to have another child very soon after the loss. They tell me how they had not grieved properly and now they have a harder time being pregnant or having their rainbows soon after. I was worried that I would be in that situation but now I think I can say that I did grieve how I needed to grieve. I am grieving how I need to grieve. I was worried that I would push grief away to be happy with Jack but is that such a bad thing? Maybe it is if by pushing it away you mean running and never fighting but my grief is never ending so I will always have to struggle to keep it from taking over. Some days I have to battle harder than other days. I have my moments as I always will but I break out my weapons and keep fighting. Jack brings so much joy to our lives now. I cannot wait to tell him all about his big brother. Here is our beautiful slideshow of his birthday and some other photos.
the birth of Jack from Keri Duckett on Vimeo.
The day before!
bags packed
just before leaving
last photo of me at our house pregnant with Jack

6 weeks old

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad all went well with Jack's delivery Jenalea. He is adorable! Big hugs!