**ATTENTION BABY LOST MOMS AND DADS, AND CARING FOLLOWERS - I am seeking your advice in this post**
So, in two days, (or on the 6th of January), 11 months will have passed since Kherrington's birth, and with only one more month until her first "birthday", I am a little "on edge". There are still many preparations that I should be doing for "bump" 's arrival, and yet I keep putting it off. I keep saying "I'll wait a few more weeks" or "don't spend money just yet", and I hate it. I hate the apprehension, I hate the tension, and I hate the fact that I just can't relax. I think I am most relaxed when "bump" is throwing a dance party in my uterus, or when there is a doppler microphone picking up her heart-beat, or when the specialist takes pictures and says "Baby looks fine". As I type this, and contemplate where this post will go, I wonder if it would be better to post it on my rainbow blog, but I think I will leave it here. I don't think I would be feeling this way if Kherrington was alive.
I am eager to have Kheri's birthday come and go. Much like most "anniversaries" and landmark events, the days leading up to it, are far worse than the actual day. I don't know what we'll do, or if we'll really do anything at all. It is difficult to really plan anything when it has the potential to be really cold, and more than likely her tree is buried under 3 feet of snow. I think maybe we'll wait until the spring, and make an addition to her "tree area"...perhaps turn it into a garden.
Kheri's passing is affecting how I want things to be after "bump" 's arrival. When we were expecting Kherrington, I think my attitude was "Well, a little privacy for a short while will be nice, but after that, the more the merrier!" I wanted Kherrington to be passed around a room full of people. But I know that with this baby it will be very different. I am feeling the need for privacy after her birth and homecoming (I know we will likely have more visitors at the hospital, than we will ever see at the house). I really feel this with our rainbow because we know that she may be our only biological child. We have discussed adoption for our second child (should we decide we want a second child), and we know that our chances of getting a new born in an adoption situation are slim to none.
I remember all too well how I felt physically after Kherrington's birth, and now, I'm trying to comprehend what it will be like to add our rainbow baby and all the emotions she will bring, to the physical discomfort. This thought makes me want to lock the door, and close the blinds. I remember my grief counsellor's warning that this rainbow's arrival might be difficult, and that it sparks a different reaction in every couple. I really don't know if my ramblings today are making any sense or not, but I guess I'm thinking more and more that I want to be able to pick and choose who visits, and when. I'm thinking that for at least the first week, that unless someone is dropping off a meal, or coming to clean my house, I think DH and I will want to spend as much time as possible with "bump", bonding and learning about her, before he has to return to work. I am wondering, and thinking, that it might be "good for the soul, when there's not a soul in sight".
**WARNING: TMI rant coming up. I know that you BLMs you can relate!**
Also, it is hard to be hospitable, or even a decent and pleasant human being, when your vagina (and entire crotch) feels like it has been repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat, and looks like it too. You walk around with ice in your underwear, you easily flood a pad when you stand up, and you're still cramping and contracting. An empty house really is needed when you are trying not to scream when you pee, while spraying yourself with a warm water bottle. I'm not even going to go into what that first bowel movement is like. Or the fact that you might think you're done in the shower, and you turn off the water, only to look down and see your legs covered in blood, and have to start all over again. I haven't included the joys of breastfeeding because I haven't experienced them. I did have the engorgement though, and the tears that come when you gently remove a bra from your engorged breasts and you feel like they just might explode. These are all the things that people never talk about when they have a baby, and facts of life, that are often not considered by those well intentioned guests who say "Smile, you just had a baby!"
Kherrington's death has forced us to become selfish. I have been re-assured by my counsellor that this selfishness is necessary for our survival as individuals and as a couple, and perhaps it was necessary all along. She said during one session "Perhaps you have spent too much time in your life worrying about hurting others, and not enough time looking after yourself, and what you want." I have been re-playing these words in my mind the last few weeks, as we prepare for the likely arrival of our rainbow.
I am hoping for some feedback from other rainbow moms, or anyone who has been around baby lost parents when they bring home a rainbow. What was your first week after your rainbow's birth like? For expectant rainbow moms, how do you feel that your angel's passing is going to affect your rainbow's "baby moon" ? I know how I feel, I guess the problem is admitting it. I guess I'm just looking for other BLMs and dads who have been there, to tell me I'm not crazy? (Feel free to tell me I'm crazy if you want to... I'll just tune it out ;P Besides, I have been told repeatedly that I'm still allowed to be selfish when it comes to this "life after a dead baby" thing. )