Ryan was here ...

My not-so-sweet nothings, mostly comprised of my feelings at losing my two-day-old son, Ryan David, to congenital heart defects, and to celebrate the arrival of Ryan's healthy little sister, Megan Elizabeth, and hopefully welcome another little miracle into our brood in July 2010.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where we are

Checking in at a little over five weeks to go till Gummy's birthday. Still seems very surreal to think that, much less say it.

Despite how bittersweet it was to disassemble Ryan's nursery and paint over the old colors, it's done. We finally did it. It wasn't pleasant, but once we bucked up and made ourselves do it, we both went into automatic pilot mode and just did what needed to be done.

It took quite a bit of primering to cover the old colors (slate blue and tan), so it was a slow go at first. But, now that the very girly colors of lavender and pale pink are up, it's quite a sense of accomplishment to look in there and truly see how far we've come in the last month. Again, a very surreal feeling, that we're preparing the nursery once again for another of our baby's homecoming.

I stood in the nursery today, feeling surprisingly good about our progress and attitude, and I couldn't help but say aloud, "Please don't let all this work be for naught ... again." We're preparing and expecting to bring Gummy home, but there's still that tiny part of me that's afraid that this is all too good to be true. I don't know that I'll ever shake off that fear until we walk through the front door with her in our arms.

Physically, I'm hanging in there; just the usual end-of-pregnancy aches and pains. Mentally is another story altogether. My sleep has been terribly disrupted and initially the cause was thought to be enlarged mucous membranes in my throat. I was hesitant to believe that was "all" that was amiss, since I've never awoken during the night, gasping to catch my breath, due to a sinus problem. After several unsuccessful attempts at improving the situation (nasal strips, running the vaporizer, sleeping elevated and/or on my side), I consulted the OB's office. My OB was unavailable (he splits his time between two offices), but the nurse suggested trying Benadryl. I thought it was a long shot, but tried it anyway; what did I have to lose? Again, no luck.

At my appointment last Monday, I addressed this again with my OB, stating that it concerned me because this didn't seem normal or sinus related - and I really need to get some restful sleep rather than napping. After asking me several questions to rule out other causes or conditions, he decided that these episodes are most likely due to anxiety; it seems I'm having panic attacks while I sleep. Lovely. I guess I do a pretty good job of acting like I'm doing alright during the day, but my subconscious has other plans for me when it's time for bed. My OB suggested Tylenol PM and it seems to work - or, at least, I'm sleeping for longer stretches than I had been and I'm not waking up trying to catch my breath.

I can't say I'm surprised by this, because I've been a panicky mess for the last week or so. It seems that all the stress and fear from the first trimester has revisited me three-fold and all I do is worry about this little soul I've grown to love and have gotten to know so well over the last eight months. We're so close to the end of this journey and I'm frightened beyond belief that something - anything - is going to take her away. At the end of each day, I thank my lucky stars that she's still with me ... and I heave a gigantic sign of relief each morning at 4, when she starts her daily tumbles and rolls in her safe little home.

That's the latest on us. Unless our little miracle has other plans, we'll be wishing her a happy birthday at 7:30am on May 29.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pesky hormones

I'm chalking up my current weepiness to those annoying pregnancy hormones and their uncanny ability to wreak unrelenting havoc on my emotions. I'm utterly defenseless!

I look at my wonderful, loving husband and I cry. I look at my goofy dog and I cry. A blooming purple tulip in my garden made me cry earlier. My big, stretched-out belly had me bawling just a few moments ago. Why, I don't know.

Just another seven weeks remaining of this craziness.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

A different kind of mom?

It really hit me today, while priming the walls in Ryan's old nursery/Gummy's future nursery, that I have spent so much time focusing on getting and staying pregnant that I have given very little thought to what happens if we actually bring a baby home this time.

It's something I rarely thought about while carrying Ryan; I just assumed that at the end of the nine months, a bouncing baby would come home and we'd muddle our way through just as most new parents do. It just never occurred to me that our journey wouldn't end the way it does for most parents.

But this time, I've been so consumed with worry and doubt that I haven't allowed myself to explore what will happen after May 29. It's probably that self-preservation mechanism thing kicking in again, protecting my fragile psyche. But, this is something I need to think about, because May 29 arriving isn't like we're headed off on vacation or something as equally recreational. It'll mark the end of one very long, tumultuous journey and the beginning of a fresh, new life.

So, now I wonder what kind of mom I'll be to our little girl. I've spent so much time as a mother in mourning that I truly have no idea how to be a mom to a living child. Again, something that parents to living children rarely, if ever, think of. It seems to come naturally to them - at least from my naive perspective.

It's a little frightening to think I'll be responsible for this little person's every need. Is this maybe the part of my journey and healing that truly allows me to let go of some of the grief and pain that I've carted around for so long? Is this what I've been working toward for so, so long - finally being able to leave some of my pain behind me while embracing the true beauty the world has to offer?

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