We are approaching A’s expected due date and I didn’t expect it to hit me so hard but today my mom told me that my cousin’s baby is still breech and they have scheduled her c-section and it is on A’s expected due date. I knew this was a possibility, although A likely would not have arrived on her due date considering my other children arrived early, but now it is likely a certainty and I cried (and still crying off and on). I should have a baby who would be a year old and almost share a birthday with her cousin (second cousin I guess but we see them often enough that I will say they are cousins). Instead I have an almost 4 month old and my 2.5 year old, but I think a part of me will always wonder – what if…?
What if A had normal chromosomes? What if I had decided to carry her as long as possible? What if she had lived?
So I’m not sure if every toddler does this but M is now following my husband or I everywhere. Yesterday we went to meet with a financial advisor (he works out of his home) and I left to go to the bathroom and the next thing I know M is opening the door to join me. Even when he seems to be engrossed in something if I leave the room I suddenly have a little shadow. Or he is trying to join me on a chair when I’m feeding his sister – the best is when one of the cats tries to join us as well. The chair just isn’t that big.
Yesterday I thought I would take M to one of those indoor play areas – it’s free for children under 3 which is a good way to get families hooked. We arrived just after they opened so it wasn’t crowded – but M hated the gym area, he cried when an air cannon went off and refused to go back into that part. Although he did like all the arcade games. I’m trying to decide if we should try again when I have another adult. I had E in a carrier but couldn’t really interact with M and all the equipment. Unfortunately, we have heard that the place is really busy on the weekends and since there is no age limit on who can use the equipment younger kids tend to get pushed around and M already is nervous around crowds so not an ideal situation. So it means that it’ll have to happen during the week, so my husband can’t join us.
I’m not sure how to handle feeling like I’m in between.
I’m between loss and the usual blissful ignorance of what can go wrong in pregnancy and beyond and it makes it hard to relate to some people. We made some good friends at the loss group we attended after we lost A, but I’m the first in the group to get pregnant and have a baby since the group started. I’m so thankful for E but how do I handle friends I met through the loss of A but are still struggling with their loss. We even used to do game nights with one couple but haven’t since E arrived. I know they are struggling and I don’t want them to feel bad but I miss our conversations. The arrival of E hasn’t erased the loss of A but sometimes it feels like it’s like that for almost everyone else – although I had purchased a snow globe for my mom last Christmas and this year she had A’s name engraved on it, which meant the world to me. On the flip side, I find it difficult to talk about babies and pregnancy with most people. They are so blissfully ignorant – most assume once you are past that golden 12 week mark nothing will go wrong and they are so happy. I was nervous most of my pregnancy with E and the scares she provided didn’t help. I miss how naive I was when it comes to pregnancy, my first pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy and since I didn’t really even have a chance to get used to the idea of being pregnant when I got that positive with M I just assumed everything would be fine – fortunately it was but I particularly missed how ultrasounds were no longer just a chance to see the baby they were became something I wanted but dreaded at the same time.
It’s hard to believe E is 3 months!
She just transitioned to her crib from the bassinet and she looks so small in it – unfortunately M is fascinated by the crib. We have had to make sure he isn’t trying to climb into the crib or put toys in. It’s particularly funny since he never tried to climb out of it when he was using it.
Overall things are going well. She is fussy in the evenings after her before (our) dinner feeding. K thinks it’s because that’s when M gets up from his nap and everything seems busy again. She is sleeping longer at night, I know this is probably frowned upon but after a few nights of her waking up every 1-2 hours I resorted to her pacifier. She was giving one long stretch – around 5 hours – but then she was up often and would only breastfed on one side (usually accompanied by lots of spit up) I decide I needed a bit more sleep. So for the last two nights I put her pacifier back in her mouth if it had been less than 2 hours since her last feeding and she actually slept for another 2 hours! so I don’t think she was that hungry. Pumping is not going well – I know there is milk in there, I can feel lumps, but I only get maybe an ounce total after 30 minutes.
So I went for my first counselling appointment today and I like the lady who saw me. But she asked me an interesting question: “Would I continue breastfeeding if it wasn’t socially expected?” Thinking about it I realize I’m not sure, with the BRCA mutation I’m at increased risk for breast cancer so the sooner I can have them removed the better – but what about E. I can’t remember how long I breast fed M, he self weaned around a year – he seemed to like solids too much. And honestly I didn’t really think about breast removal during that time as a I knew I wanted a second child. Then I got pregnant before 6 months – they will only do the surgery if you haven’t been breastfeeding for 6 months. But then we lost A and all I could think was getting pregnant again. But now E is here and I really need to think about why I’m breastfeeding and what’s best for E – yes there are benefits to breastfeeding but do these benefits outweigh my risks. Unfortunately this is a personal decision – no one can tell me that you will get cancer on this date, or something along those lines. We have E’s 4 month check up next month so we will ask her Dr. about his thoughts on stopping breastfeeding. In the mean time I’m going to start pumping and try to stockpile some breast milk.