Sunday, April 17, 2005

Today is Baelin's Birthday

Sunday, 4/17/05--Baelin's Birthday
I woke up this morning thinking about Baelin. My sweet precious angel baby. And I immediately was reminded of my current precious little boy as well and had to lay in bed on my back to get him to kick me (he's just like his brother...he hates me being on my back, lol) so I could feel him and know he was alive and kicking. Just a silly little thing, but it was really comforting to feel his little kick.

Its interesting that Baelin's birthday should come at a time when I personally am feeling very at peace about losing him. Not that I don't miss him and not that I don't still grieve him...I will always miss him and grieve for him. But being pregnant again has finally helped me move on in my grief and not stay stuck in a cycle of sadness that is so hard to get out of. I have other children to think of...they need me to be their mommy too.

This morning and a few days leading up to today has been the first time in awhile that I've felt really sad about Baelin. I've been super busy planning the BabyFest, so that is definitely part of it...but I think it has more to do with allowing myself to rejoice, finally, in the life of this little one inside me now. I spent the entire first trimester absolutely terrified that I would miscarry. Having miscarried before, it was a very real reality to me. Particularly after having only lost Baelin 6months before getting pregnant again...the combination of having suffered both an early miscarriage (this was before Maeven) and a recent stillbirth just was beyond terrifying in the beginning of this pregnancy. But we made it through it and this little guy hung in there. Then most of the 2nd trimester was filled with so many emotions over being pregnant again and being scared to reach the 3rd trimester and the pending birth, where I really felt I would, understandably, just freak over all the fear and overwhelming emotions that would evoke. I was an emotional wreck for quite awhile. Stressed about everything...I felt like i was on edge constantly...constantly emotional...everything set me off, everything added to my stress, everything was beyond overwhelming and I was exhausted.

Then something happened...and I really don't know that it was one thing...it was kind of gradual and yet not...strange to explain. I don't know exactly what caused my feelings to change...I had heard repeatedly from people around what I "needed" to do...how I needed to slow down, how I needed to enjoy this baby and let him feel my love for him, and how I just needed to let things go...but hearing it and internalizing it are 2 entirely different things. And it only started to get on my nerves to repeatedly have people telling me what I NEEDED to do. Its easier said than done. And until I come to that point on my own, no one can talk me into doing or feeling what I NEED to do and feel. Like I said, I don't know that it was any one thing that made the change...but I know one thing that definitely helped. It was listening to a labor/delivery nurse that came to talk to our Angel Babies group. I go to a monthly group for women pregnant after the loss of a baby and about 2 months ago they had a really fantastic nurse come and talk to us about how to handle birth after a loss. She's a very special lady. One thing she said that really struck me...even though I already knew it, but it just really hit me and sunk in this time...was that my fears and emotions could actually hinder and even stop my labor. Of course my first thinking is "How in the HELL can I NOT be scared shitless at this next birth, considering that the last time my baby was born dead?" But then I remembered that I do have some say in how I act and feel...its not entirely out of my control...I can control my thoughts and my feelings go along with my thoughts. As my dad has always told me..."If you think the worst, the worst will happen." Really hit me hard all of a sudden. Its basically what everyone had been telling me but I wasn't ready yet to grasp it until this wonderful woman was talking to us about relaxation techniques and ways to calm our fears during labor so as to let go and just let the birth happen as it will happen.

At that point I came to a realization...I have been anticipating this baby to die as well, because I tend to try to prepare myself for the worst, just in case. For some reason I have this notion in my head that if the worst does actually happen, that it will be easier if I had been anticipating it all along. WRONG. I already know what it feels like to lose a child, and even though I never anticipated it with Baelin, I know in my heart that anticipating it to happen again actually WON'T make it any easier if it did happen. On the other hand...Expecting him to live and anticipating a happy ending has so many positive ramifications. I can send positive energy to my child now, and let him feel the love I feel for him and in so doing lift the constant stress I feel over waiting for the next shoe to drop. And most importantly, I can envision the positive birth that I want for this baby and possibly even affect the outcome in a positive way by enabling myself to relax and let it happen.

Once this realization flowed through me, (coupled with dropping one of my many things that I had on my plate), I was able to finally feel a lifting of the heavy stress and fear that I had been under. And I've been actually anticipating this baby with joy and excitement rather than fear. I have been able to rub my belly again and talk to him and tell him that I love him and that I can't wait to meet him and that when he comes out he has to BREATHE. I tell him this all the time. And its as if a fog has lifted. I feel almost normal again.

There will always be a residual sadness and pain over losing our precious Baelin. He will never be forgotten. And today we will remember him and talk about him and plant more flowers for him and work on his garden and enjoy remembering the special little being that he was...and cry about him as well...But his death has also given me the strength to truly appreciate the life within me now and I will never forget that again.

Happy Birthday Baelin...We love you SOOOOOO much!!