Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A moment to share, because it isn't all easy...
The day we arrived home, joyful, exuberant, but yes, exhausted. The four grandparents were here, the children were overflowing with love, and a beautiful lunch was served. After we finished, I was so exhausted, and I knew I needed to lie down and sleep.
Everyone was just cramming in to hold that baby. They all wanted a turn, and there wasn't enough of her to go around. So of course this is logical, I leave her downstairs, and I go have a little nap, right?
This baby, this child I have carried next to my heart, literally, for nine months? Leave her downstairs? It seemed impossible to do. But yet, I had to do it, right? I needed to let them have their time with her. They were her family, too. I would go, and I would sleep, and then I would have her back.
I started upstairs. Halfway up I felt that feeling, that tight, empty feeling in my belly. That yearning, that loneliness for my baby. I could smell her on my skin. I wanted her back. A deep shudder went through me, because this was all so familiar.
Then I was up in my bedroom, alone, and calling for Greg. Huge sobs racked through my body because I remembered this feeling, this yearning. How did it feel so much the same? I knew this little girl was there, she was right nearly before my eyes, yet I missed her, I wanted her desperately and I could not take that nap without her in my arms. Smelling her, feeling the void of where she had once been in my belly brought back that visceral emptiness and had rendered me helpless to my grief all over again.
My calm, rational, un-hormonal husband took charge.
She is your baby, he said. You should have her.
He went downstairs and fetched her, and I wrapped myself around her, tears soaking her hair and my breathing shaking her tiny form. I missed Charlotte so much, and here was Fiona. Here in my arms. This was where she needed to be.

Downstairs, I'm not sure what they thought, or what they said. I'm sure they all wondered why I needed to have that baby with me while I slept. But fortunately for them, they don't understand. And I'll bet some of you do.

For some reason, I have found that I am sadder about Charlotte with this little one than I was with the others. Sadder about Charlotte, and more fearful about Fiona. I don't know why.


kris said...

Oh, Carol. Love, love, love.

excavator said...

I'm glad Greg went and got her for you. It doesn't matter what the others thought. Your need, and Fiona's, is greater. It is up to the others to understand, not you to explain.

Lara said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos. Your look with the coffee cake is perfect. Your description brought me right back to labor land.

It is all of it all the time isn't it. What a sweet wise husband you have. Of course you need Fiona curled up with you to sleep. It is way to sudden to stop snuggling her when she had been inside you for so many months. There has not been a night since Lucia was born that I have not slept with her and she is 17 months. I am sure everyone downstairs thoughts were of a sweet, loving, exhausted mother who needed her baby to help her sleep. They are so precious and everyday with all of our children is a miracle-like you wrote in a post many months back of how we love -perhaps better because of our loss. I wish I had a new born to snuggle-enjoy Fiona as much as you need and want. Thanks for sharing you are a wonder.


Anonymous said...

While I haven't lost a baby, and can't possibly compare your feelings to my own. I think in a way all mothers feel a little bit of that "i must have my baby!" feeling.

with my first, i put him in the bassinet beside me the night he was born, so i could go to sleep. it's the way things are "done" right?
i couldn't sleep. i couldn't just lay my hand on him and sleep. i *needed* him next to me. desperately. and that was the start of us co-sleeping. i wouldn't change a thing.

Erika P said...

I understand, Carol. When I was pregnant with Sierra, we discussed moving Austin out of our bed into his own and even started the process. Then she died, and him sleeping in our bed wasn't a question anymore; we both needed him there with us. In the first couple weeks, I would wake up very early and, unable to go back to sleep, I would curl around Austin and cry. My tears soaked his hair, too, and he never woke up but he would snuggle against me in his sleep. It was so comforting and such a powerful reminder of what I had lost, all at once.

Not quite the same, because he came before the baby I lost...but I get it, I do.

Thinking of you...

Beth said...

gosh, that is so sad, yet so sweet. so much love. i'm so glad your husband got her for you. your first commenter said it best... love, love, love.

Cara said...

Oh Carol - I remember, so clearly and actually just wrote a post about how I feel like I missed so much of my living girls early lives because fear that they may still die gripped me.

Fiona is here. She is staying. Love her...just love her..

njt said...

Hug and love. Can't imagine the fear and the sadness and the joy that are all muddled together.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Aimee said...

Oh Carol, THANK YOU--thank you for once again making me feel so normal and validated! Evan is 9 months old and I don't handle leaving him very well at all (I leave him one night a month for our support group meeting). I can't imagine not having my children with me--you are so right and so okay. I thought I was crazy for still having these feelings, so THANK YOU again--you are amazing and I'm so glad things are working out for you. Keep Greg by your side and don't let the baby go!

Laura said...

Wow, this makes me feel so much better. I remember trying to take a nap without Wynn when she was first born and I would just be awake in my bed until I came down and got her. It was that emptiness that I felt with Willows, that's what it was but I could never put a finger on it. Now I can. Thank you so much... and enjoy. :)

iMuslimah said...

Gorgeous love. Gorgeous words. I am in awe of your ability to let us know just how sweet it all is.

Fiona Clementine is such a sweet name!

Lavender Luz said...

I'm with Excavator.

I love the name you chose.

Windsor Grace said...

This amount of love kind of freaks me out and makes me even more afraid to have kids.

Ms. Jenny B Pants said...

I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. My son is my second, six months, but the first after losing two. I can't let him go like I could my first. He is six months sleeping in a pack and play in my room, and everytime he squeaks I'm there. Thanks for sharing...I was pretty sure I was going crazy, and never connected the losses to him.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand and good for your husband for getting your daughter at that moment without regard to what the family might think. Bravo!

Sarah Bain said...


I am laughing and crying. A pregnancy goes by quickly when you don't even know a friend is pregnant! Fiona is indeed, a lovely name for a lucky girl. I know, that grief, it comes and goes and reappears at the most inexplicable moments. You, my friend, are lovely. I miss whatever it is we had, and I suppose what we had was Grace and Charlotte.
Love, love and more love to you in these first days and moments of Fiona's big life. I am in whatever small way, jealous. My last baby is three and well, there it is.