Saturday, August 20, 2011

The little things-

I started feeling kicks this week; I am in constant awe. Just little faint flicks, that sometimes tickle and are sometimes uncomfortable, but they are always amazing. I can go almost all day without feeling anything, and that worries me sometimes... but I've been able to find him with the doppler. At which point I seem to wake him up, and he starts moving around again. Oops.

Last night I was working, and he was kicking the crap out of me almost all night. At some point he must have went to sleep, and all was quiet. Until I ate some candy, and discovered the Snickers are like speed for fetuses. Again, amazing.

Sometimes when a cat lays on my belly, I can feel him kicking the crap out of the cat. The cats can't feel it, but it cracks me up. He did that to my husband the other night when he was holding me, my husband couldn't feel it but I loved it.

It's such a simple thing, and I'm sure a lot of people take it for granted... but to me, it's the most amazing feeling in the world. I don't want to talk about it too much because I know it's a sensitive issue for some, but I really can't get over it.

Just as I am awestruck by my little boy's kicks, I'm looking at the calendar and I see in a few minutes it will be the 21st again. It's a simple thing, a day most people take for granted. But on that day in 1998... my niece died. My sister once felt her kicks, once heard her heart; 13 years ago she held her for the first time, and the last time. Her death preceded her birth by a single day.

Every August my heart turns to her, to my sister, to her family. I know that to her sons, their sister is still somewhat of a foreign concept. They know she died, but they don't know what exactly that meant. They came after the tornado of loss, when the damage wasn't so raw. They came when my sister had tucked up the debris, after she had started rebuilding, and they too were a process of that. But even the process of rebuilding is no match for the raw disaster area of stillbirth.

And to me too, my niece's loss was a foreign concept. I wasn't living in the same state, she didn't talk to her little sister about what happened, I was too young to understand. As I grew up, and got married, the reality became less foreign. I understood it more, I watched her sons growing taller, stronger, and I grieved more. As I lost my first, and my second, then my third pregnancy, my understanding deepened to a level that I never imagined possible.

My niece is dead. All that she could have been is gone. We keep wondering what the doctors could have done differently, if they had just taken her seriously the day before when my sister went in... would she still be here? If the hospital was better... if they'd induced her because she was overdue... so many what ifs. And none of them matter. None of us can change what happened. All we can do is keep loving her. Beautiful, perfect, Amariah.

Just as I'm reveling in my current pregnancy, I remember about how unexpected life is. My sister only had a 3% chance of losing her daughter at full term. I only had a 1% chance of losing my first three pregnancies. Statistics... they feel like such a false sense of security. We always think, "But that could never happen to me," until it does, and you're left reeling from it.

I know there's no way you can prepare for the unimaginable, but living through it your subconscious has no choice but to build barriers. I find myself doing that a lot with this pregnancy: my hesitation to talk about it, my despair at entering a baby aisle in a store, my fears of baby showers, the way I word things, the way I cringe when people talk as if this baby is a done deal. I know that shielding myself will do no good, that whether I lose the baby or not doesn't change what happens. But I can't help it. I still love this baby, and I love every second that he's still here with me. But I have to do things in my own time. I bought a baby item yesterday, online (I have yet to make an in store purchase). I'll have to take "baby steps" towards things. And I know it sounds stupid or silly to some people, but I don't care much for what I should be doing, or what I should be enjoying, I've never been one for the mainstream anyway. I'll do things in my own time.

But I do hope that this doesn't reflect poorly to people about how I feel about this baby. I've put my life on the line for this baby, I've sacrificed so much just to conceive it, not to mention in every attempt to carry him to term- I loved this baby before we conceived him, and with everyday I love him more.

To most of this country, pregnancy and birth are a given. They believe conception is easy, and pregnancy is assumed. They think that reaching full term means you'll have a living baby. These precious, wondrous, kicks are a given. But to me, these little things aren't so little. I take nothing for granted.

Everyday is a gift.


Crystal said...

Each and every day is an amazing gift, you are completely right. Those kicks are the most awesome, wonderful things. I miss them. I miss watching my stomach jump as an elbow, foot, knee, or hand is thrust out. My daughter will be one on Sept. 22nd, and not a day goes by that I don't miss those kicks and stretches. I can't imagine how it would be if I had lost her. August 13th would have been the 6th birthday of my dear friend's daughter, if she'd been born alive. People generally don't do anything for those birthdays. No one in her family ever mentions it, no one really seems to remember it.

Much love to your sister, and to you as well, for remembering.

Kristin said...

Wow, so heartfelt, so beautiful, so sad, and so's so damned hard to live with those conflicting emotions.

Shannon Ivy said...

So much on your mind tonight! :o)

I know my SIL would put the heart monitor on and her boy would kick the monitor, you could always tell because you could hear a big "crack/clap" sound anytime he hit it.

I hope the best for you!

Rebecca said...

I'm thinking about you daily and I keep hoping for that miracle for you.

Celia said...

I love being pregnant. I love it. No matter the discomforts, it is so incredible to know there is a whole new person growing inside me. I am so happy that you are feeling your son's movements. One of our favorite memories is the first time my husband felt our son move. Hahaaa, he put his head on my belly to talk to the baby and Peter kicked him right in the head. It was hilarious.

One of my husbands co-workers lost their baby just a few days before their due date. I think of them so often, because there is just no controlling some aspects of pregnancy and that is the terrifying part. No matter what you do, sometimes you and your family are in that horrible, unlikely, whispered about 1-3 percent. Nothing can protect your baby from everything and I am always mindful of it. Both in a way that helps me to appreciate everything and in a way that causes me to never fully relax ever.

I hate how people use magical thinking about stillbirth. It does happen and pretending it does not is no protection. My husband's co-worker does not choose to discuss their loss and so all I can do is make sure every Christmas that I make them maple walnut fudge. It is both the least and all that I can do. But when I make it for them, I think of their family and how we can never take ours for granted.

Stacy said...

I know you feel deep sadness, but little Nombie has the right to be celebrated! He is a little baby boy, your baby boy, so you have the right to enjoy every part of your pregnancy.

Groves said...

You haven't written one thing that makes me think you aren't welcoming this little boy 100%.

All of it sounds completely normal - the baby showers, the baby row in the store, the talk of assuming all babies live - no wonder those things are minefields. What would be weird is if they weren't; you already know what you know. There's no pretending.

Your love for him pours out of every word. Thanks for writing.

Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.

Cathy in Missouri

Stinky said...

awww beautiful