Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beating hearts

I can't help it. I am just steeped in gratefulness. I sometimes think my brain is tricking itself because I still can't believe how good things have become and yet I can still feel everything that came before.
Liam likes it when I lie with him in bed a little. I don't let him fall asleep with me every night. But I can't ever say no if he asks me to cuddle. He's so little in the bed, and he is so warm, and his little, fair face is so beautiful. Of course I get into his bed.
And I can feel his heart beat. It beats against my hand while I lie there.
The same thing happens when the kids are running around before bed. We call this crazy time. As the kids climb the stairs for bed, Aoife starts to shriek and yell for "cazy tiyemm!" Then they frantically disrobe and run down to Liam's bedroom. Aoife is so cute, her tiny, little 20 pound frame running at top speed down our long, wide-pine floored upstairs hall. She has tiny sacrum dimples and her hips sway as she runs. Then they repeatedly faceplant on the "bottom bunk" of Liam's bed (a mattress on the floor under his loft bed) and jump off. Aoife actually steps off, being unable to jump, and then shouts, "I dumped!" It is adorable. And when I scoop her up to take her to the bath, I can feel it. Her tiny heart pounds against my chest. I can feel it.
Every day I can hear the silence of the monitor on my belly when we walked into that little room to "make sure everything was okay". I had been laboring at home, but I hadn't felt the baby move. Everything was not okay, it turned out. Judie put the monitor on my belly and looked for the heartbeat, but we didn't hear a thing.
This was the thing that made me suddenly panic, like something was wrong. She said this:
"Where do they usually get a heartbeat on this kid?"
And then she slid the monitor across my belly.
I couldn't speak, to tell her that where they always found the heartbeat on my kid was just where she had been.
That would be disloyal to my child who could not be anything but okay.
She wasn't.
If only my water hadn't broken first. Don't they say that this stereotype of going into labor isn't that common anyway? But when my water broke and Charlotte lost her cushion, the cord that had been doubled back under her arm got squished. And she faded away.
I guess that was the end of me in some ways too.
I can still feel the rawness and my ragged flesh and my empty, pouchy belly, and my huge, hard swollen breasts.
Yet every day I am so happy with my two new gift children. I couldn't ever have them if I had Charlotte.
I want all three of them.


mm said...

Welcome to the blogsphere.
Birdies mama sent me your way. I'll be sending my friend and client your way too.

Liz said...

welcome to the blogworld, i also found you via birdie's mama.
your children are all so beautiful, and the passing of sweet charlotte makes my own heart break. i am so sorry for your loss and the loss you feel every day.
i look forward to reading more about your life as a mom to three.

HLHArts said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I came here by way of Erin's blog too.

Welcome to blogging. I think you'll find an awful lot of friends and comfort here on the internet.

Your children, all of them, are absolutely gorgeous.