Breathing a little easier

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A few weeks ago, my friend Jessica wrote me the sweetest email.  She told me that she had a doula at the birth of her son, Everett, and described how much it helped to calm her and her husband.  She said she had just been thinking about us and what an emotional experience it will be to bring Baby M into this world, not to mention the fact that he is due just a few days after the one year anniversary of Maxie's passing.  She said that if it were something we were interested in, she would give her doula to us as a gift.  It was such a beautiful idea and offer.  Jessica is a generous soul and a loyal friend.  I love her and Steve (her husband) and their sweet family so much.

Though I am not taking her up on her offer, it did give me the idea of calling my high school friend Courtney, who is a doula.  Courtney has taken such good care of Teddy and I over the last ten months.  She brought us dinners on nights that the meal train had none scheduled and has continued to bring us delicious food even since the train ended.  If you know Courtney, you know what a deeply feeling soul she is - her own empathy must keep her up at night.  She is wonderful.  Anyway, if you don't know (and I am still not sure that I do), a doula is kind of a labor coach...or a birth assistant.  Basically, they can help fill any kind of a role that you would like - or, at least, Courtney does.  Jessica brought up the idea of having someone there to advocate for us, which is what sounded most appealing to me.  After my experiences with Maxie's jaundice, Maxie's time in the PICU, and Ted's time in the hospital after Maxie's funeral....the idea of someone helping to look out for us and advocate on our behalf sounds like a total luxury.  I am always "the bad guy" - getting into it with doctors and nurses who aren't treating us like human beings.  I probably get too emotional when it comes to the health and well-being of my family.  Plus, I have had a ton of stress about having to explain our situation to nurses during shift changes or even just explaining why I might get more emotional or upset than other mothers (or at least, more upset than I did last time).  I have worried about having a panic attack, like the one I had in NY in November (thankfully, I have not had one like that since).  Courtney won't be able to stop my panic attack but she will be able to explain our situation to nurses and anesthesiologists who might think I am being overly dramatic.

Courtney came over and brought us dinner on Tuesday night - she makes insanely delicious turkey meatballs.  The last time she brought them, Ted wanted to eat the leftovers the next night.  Ted never wants leftovers (sorry for selling you out honey)!  Anyway, we spent lots of time with her talking about our concerns and fears, asking about various possible scenarios, talking about birth in general (because, even though I've given birth AND taken the child birth classes, it turns out that I know very little).  She understands the process so well and has assisted in enough births by now that the idea of having her with us just makes us both feel very comfortable.  It isn't that I don't trust the nurses with delivering this baby...it's that I don't trust the nurses with my fragile emotional state.  I do, however, trust Courtney.

The peace that has come from my appointment with Dr. D on Tuesday morning combined with our meeting with Courtney on Tuesday night has actually given me the confidence to allow myself to feel excited about Baby M's arrival.  I haven't been allowing myself to be excited about him yet.  The risk has felt too large.  While I am emotionally invested in him, I haven't wanted to allow myself to get invested in our future.  But, last night, after Ted went to sleep, I actually laid in bed with my iphone, looking up the best baby gadgets of 2012.  I allowed myself to think of Baby M playing in Maxie's "office", and in his jumparoo, and I thought about purchasing the infant insert to go in the ergo carrier I bought that arrived the day after Maxie died.  I don't want to get carried away.  I don't want to jinx the situation.  I am so scared of making a wrong move still.  I felt like I should have been "knocking on wood" just for being presumptuous enough to visit the "Babies R Us" website.  But, I also feel like I maybe deserve to be even just a little excited about the prospect of a new baby coming into our home.  Maybe I have been forgiven, just a touch, for whatever great sin it is that I committed?  Maybe?  I am not going to get carried away.  We still have nine weeks left, give or take.  But, I am breathing just a little bit easier this week.  Nothing significant - but, still worth mentioning.  It feels like we just might actually be a family again one day.  

2 comments:

Becca said...

I am so glad you are getting some good support and having some positive feelings about expecting Baby M!

You didn't commit a horrible sin. You don't deserve this. Have you read "when bad things happen to good people"? It's by a rabbi whose son died of a rare disease and it deals with these kinds of questions. Maybe you would find it interesting,

Susan Ireland said...

Good for you. A doula is a brilliant idea - there is so much evidence that feeling supported by another trusted woman leads to better outcomes (easier, less painful labours, less interventions) that it is a sensible approach - let alone in your fragile state. I am so glad it has lightened the load.

Enjoying baby window shopping is great. You are not tempting fate. Honestly. I remember deliberating over a posh changing bag. I ordered it in the end, and then I was away - pulling together toys, outfits and so on.

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