Murky Waters

Last night I dreamt about my babies, Maxie and Baby M.  Baby M was born and looked JUST LIKE Maxie at 8 or 9 months old.  "Thank god!", I thought.  "He's back".  I don't know how I lived without him this long.  "Where did you go?", I asked him.  He told me he just needed a little time out but that he was so happy to be back.  I begged him not to leave me again.  He promised he wouldn't.  I kept begging, he kept promising.  In the dream, I could hardly be consoled.  Baby M kept falling asleep but I kept poking him and waking him back up.  I was so afraid he would die.  My eyes were hanging open but I was exhausted.   It was really vivid.  I woke up both happy that Max had come back and sad that I had to be so worried about him.

This dream (which I have had before and maybe even described here in the past) is so indicative of everything I feel.  Relief that I will be a parent again, a hopeful feeling that Baby M will bring back a piece of Maxie (or a reminder of my love for him), anguish over the thought of losing him the way we lost Max, fear that Baby M will "leave me" like Max did.  I just can't do these feelings any justice here. Suffice it to say, it is totally crazy making.  Blame it on pregnancy hormones or grief or the real life trauma I have been living through all of these months - it is what it is.

When Baby M gets here, I have to try to tuck it all away as best I can.  I want so badly to be the kind of mother to him that I was to Max.  I think I was a really good mommy to Max (a fact that I find hard to reconcile with the fact that he died).  I want to be just as good of a mommy to his little brother but with an entirely different outcome.  What do people keep saying to me?  That the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?  Is that why I feel so insane?  It makes me want to do everything different but I don't know where to start.  Should I breastfeed?  I did last time.  Should I sleep train?  I did last time.  Should I make his food?  I did last time.  Should I vaccinate (rhetorical....the opinions on just this topic alone is enough to make any expecting mother crazy)?  I did last time.

These waters are murky.  There are no rules  There were no rules with Max either but again, you'll just have to trust me, this is all much different after losing a child.  I am terrified...and that isn't even strong enough of a sentiment to describe how I am feeling.  Perhaps when Baby M gets here, it will all feel more clear.  78 days to go!


Tiffany Torres said...

" I think I was a really good mommy to Max (a fact that I find hard to reconcile with the fact that he died)." i feel the same.

it is incredibly hard and draining and exhausting. i have a very hard time making descisons this time. i question everything. if you ever are interested, i have a private blog for our little girl and i would be more than willing to send you an invite to it. i discuss a lot of my feelings about parenthood/pregnancy after losing Julius in it. but it does have lots of pics of her now, so just be aware in case you are triggered by baby pics (i was). anyway, no pressure at all, but i just wanted to extend the invitation.

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

I felt almost zero joy in my pregnancy with Iris. To be honest, had I known that the pregnancy was going to be that emotionally draining on me, Pete, and Sam we wouldn't have done it. (Now, of course, we're glad we did. Well, two of us are. Verdict is still out on Sam.)

We are doing things differently this time. We're not listening to other people. We're kind of doing our own thing. Yes, people think it's weird that we stay awake with her 24/7. People think it's weird that until her first birthday I stay awake all night and sit within 1 foot of her and work and then change places with my husband first thing in the morning. People think it's weird that we have not slept in the same bed together in 10 months. But, this is what works for us. At the one year mark, we'll do something different.

I do think that when Baby M gets here some things will be clearer. All three of my babies have been totally different. Sam wanted to breastfeed, Iris didn't. Sam cried non-stop, Toby was mild-mannered, and Iris is happy as a lark. Toby liked to cuddle, Iris could care less about being held. Sam wanted to sleep in my arms and would ONLY sleep in our bed next to me (I co-slept with Sam, yet Toby is the one who died) but Iris wants her own space. So I think some things will come to you.

There are a lot of rules we followed with the other two. In many ways, we're more relaxed now. That's why I tend to tune a lot of people out. We do what feels right to us. Some of that is trial and error.