In some circles of friends I bet times like these are exciting and thrilling. But for me, while there certainly is excitement, there is also a lot of fear, worry, and sadly even some jealousy.
Losing a child changes your views on pregnancy and child birth (and child raising for that matter). Even when my closet friends, the ones who have stuck by my side (like I talked about in my last post) and the ones who have been so loving and supportive, even when they have kids, I can't help but have pangs of jealously. It must be nice not to lose your first child. Or It must be nice to only give birth to living babies. And the sad thing is I just can't help it. No matter how wonderful of a friend, no matter how truly happy I am that everything DID work out for them, no matter how excited I am - I still am just a little sad. Sad that I didn't get what they did. Sad that my family picture is always a little incomplete. And sad that I have these feelings when all I should do is celebrate their good fortune and happiness.
As Jodi texted me that she was on her way the the hospital, I had one of those jealous moments. I was saying it must be nice to go into labor and eagerly head to the hospital. And while I wish I could have that, I have to remind myself that I did. I started having contractions with Cale the night before he was born. Nothing seriously painful, but certainly noticeable. The next morning at work I realized they were more regular. I started timing them. It was Jodi who sat by me as I was marking how many I was having and how far a part they were. It was Jodi who drove me to the hospital. I said that I hoped they would tell me that I was in fact in labor, but I had time to run home and pick up a few things. She laughed and said, "if you are, I don't think they will tell you that." I sent Miles a text and told him I was headed to the hospital. He had just finished a workout and put on his Wisconsin Badgers Cheerleader shirt because he thought it would be funny since he was going to be my cheerleader. He met us at the hospital and a few minutes later our world came crashing down.
So I did have part of that exciting experience of labor. . . just not the happy ending for delivery. And I want them both. Yes, Finley's labor was wonderful - don't get me wrong. And he came out screaming and perfect and ALIVE! But, it still was far from what you dream up these moments to be. I never thought that I'd be up late the night before a planned induction because I was too scared to sleep worrying that my baby would die. I never thought that I would get to pick my child's birthday and that I literally would worry about him being ok even after I was hooked up to the monitors. I never thought my experiences with pregnancy and child birth would end up the way the did because I just never thought my first baby would die.
The funny thing is that while I have these feeling of jealousy or sadness, woe-is-me-ness, whatever you want to call it - it doesn't change how happy I am for my friends. I can be happy and sad. I can be jealous and thrilled. Because you never, ever want someone to join this club. I never want my friends to truly understand what I've been through. And I do ultimately want the very best for them and their babies. It's just that I wanted that for mine too.
The other thing that I have noticed a big difference in when my friends have babies is the fear and panic that I have for them. Yes, I worry that something might happen during their pregnancy and I just want the nine months to pass by quickly and uneventfully, but when it comes time to labor and it's actually "Go time". . .I just sit and worry. Jodi texted me on her way to the hospital. And then about an hour later or so, I realized I hadn't heard from her. My mind started to wander and I became that obnoxious friend who sent her probably too many texts while she was in labor. And her husband. It's pretty silly, really - what do I expect . . .that after every contraction she is going to pick up the phone and let me know how things are going? . . .well, yeah! I mean, it's all about me here, right?! Thankfully her husband let me know that things were going well and I tried to just chill out.. . .although I just laid in bed, randomly picking up my phone every few minutes in case I missed anything . . until close to 1am my time when I got the wonderful news that she was here.
Welcome to the world Emilee Marie - I love you already!