Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Jumble of Thoughts

Here we are. He'll be three weeks old in a matter of hours and I'm a stay-at-home-mom for the very first time in my life. It's weird. It's humbling. It's (sometimes) boring. It's wonderful.

I was speaking with a friend the other day about this phenomenon. She lost her firstborn as well and has now been staying home with her second child for the last couple months. She still has the itch. The itch for a life outside of the SAHM world. I do too. I still love and cherish my career as a teacher and I'm thankful that I'll be starting another graduate course next week. It will give me that sense of fulfillment that is different than being a mother. Though I have to say-- staring at his beautiful face makes me really thankful I had another chance. I try not to think about how this should've been my life all along-- how 15 months ago, I should've been a SAHM to my son. Now here with B, I want so desperately to have two boys in my home. What would it be like to be a mother of two living boys? It's a dream I allow myself to wonder about quite frequently in the middle of the night while I sit breastfeeding (exclusively!) my second son-- Andrew's little brother. The sound of Andrew and Benjamin makes my heart sing. It's cheesy to say, but it's really true. I love the sound of their names together and just wish they were both physically here.

My parents came to visit this weekend. They held in their arms a baby that was mine. And it was totally, incredibly special. I can't help but think that it was even more special because I know how much we've all experienced and lost to get to a point of livelihood. We had to endure a pregnancy and birth of a son/grandson so desperately wanted-- a first grandchild to both sides of our family-- a loss, a miscarriage, and then another pregnancy and birth all to reach this point. My parents are proud. There's no doubt they'd make amazing grandparents to our two boys. Oh how I wish I could present that as reality. I haven't cried as many tears since B has arrived, but I sit here right now typing in a pool of sobs. I hear the coos in the background of a sweet little boy and finally my home is not silent. The doors are open and the nursery is walked in. The items are getting used. Some will never be used and I'm okay with that. Andrew has a piece of our lives and hearts, physically and emotionally. His name is still on the wall in the nursery and his little train toy that bears his name is still on the bookshelf. I don't know when I will be able to bring myself to take it down. I have nothing to replace it with. B doesn't sleep in there anyway and in many ways, it still feels like they share the space. The memories, hopes, dreams, and love of Andrew still cloud the room itself-- at least to me. I feel the presence of them both.

First neighborhood walk
Meeting his grandparents!
I have so many emotions. Most of them revolve around love, but many around fear. I fear, still, that B will be taken from us. I know too much. I've noticed a little redness that lines his eyelids and I have a fear that he has some incurable sickness. I'm aware that it's just my BLM tendencies striking me down, but it's hard to bury them. They're all I've known and immersed myself in for the past 15 months. It's the reality I live in having a son who left this earth far sooner than any child ever should.

My mind is everywhere, but mostly just thankful. B is such an innocent being that has no clue his parents are so totally emotionally screwed up. He doesn't know how hard we have fought to start a family and how sad that makes us. I don't ever want to burden him with that reality, but it almost seems impossible to hide.

In less somber news, I went for a jog for the first time since June and it felt amazing. I also had a Goose Island IPA and felt unable to drive. My love for cooking has not ceased. My love for the husband and a couple little boys is certainly what I've been focusing most of my energy on though.

Hi, I'm naked baby.


Darcey said... [Reply to comment]

I feel the ache as well...I have 3 living sons, but there should be 4. No matter how many children I have there will always be one less.

The BLM paranoia is so real and I am also waiting for the next trip to the hospital...I keep wondering at what point I will be able to fully relax and breathe again.

BTW- he is absolutely adorable!!!!

Molly said... [Reply to comment]

I def view our nursery as "their" room. Some pieces of Hayes will remain always. I think it will always be his room too. I did move something out last night that was pretty huge, the "Hayes" painting with his stats and such. It found a permanent spot in the hallway next to the entrance of his room. I was worried I wouldn't be able to move it after this baby [hopefully] arrives. Friends have offered to help alter a few things so they belong to. Oth babies, bc no matter what, they already do. It's hard. Wonder when it will be easy again? If ever. B is adorable!

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

"I don't ever want to burden him with that reality, but it seems impossible to hide" I so relate that! I love the pictures of B and your parents with him...we all have lost so much...our parents with their own ache and sadness. I can only imagine their love for B because of Andrew and just because. You are finally a SAHM and I love that for you, but yes there is still one missing. Andrew and Benjamin do sound amazing together! Xxxooo

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Oh hi naked baby. Aren't you too cute!?

I'm so glad your parents are getting to love on their grandson. I loved seeing my parents with Finley - I felt like he was getting double the love :)

And I feel Cale in the nursery as well - I feel it's still his space and that's where I usually feel close to him. His name, sketch, US pictures - they are all in the nursery so it's still his.

So glad that little nugget is here with you. I know it's scary to think of losing him. I still fear that something will happen to Finley. But I think it's gotten a lot better over time.

Thanks for sharing these cute pics :)

Amy L. said... [Reply to comment]

I love the idea of a couple of you beloved Andrew's things remaining in Benjamin's room. There's something so sweet about that. I, too, think your fears are normal for a BLM. My first nephew arrived last Thursday - a little less than two months after my twins *should* have been born, and my husband is going to give himself an ulcer worrying that something bad will happen and Finn will die, too. It's an awful alternative reality to live in for sure.

Benjamin is beautiful. I can see both of your parents in him. And yes, our families have endured so much, too, making each rainbow baby that much more special.


Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

Love that picture of him, and the picture of your parents with him is perfect. It says so much. I've been thinking of you a lot lately and have been wondering how you are. Sending love.

Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

goodness that naked baby is so adorable. i understand. i am going through many of those same feelings myself. i have a huge milestone to pass before i can even begin to think that our girl is here to stay. and the in-laws were in town this past weekend visit their grand-daughter. my heart was extra broken the entire time thinking of Julius and how he should have been here too. thinking of you.

Courtney said... [Reply to comment]

You are so wonderful at articulating your emotions and feelings - and although I have no idea what you're going through - the way you write helps me understand it a bit. You are brave and so strong.

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

Hello, naked baby!!! You are so precious. :)
I've been a SAHM for nearly 3 years now and I still have the itch to do more. That's why I sub occasionally and tutor. I miss teaching but I am SO thankful for my time with Caity.
I love the picture of B with your parents <3

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

Thinking of you and the tricky balance of happy and sad as you stay home with Benjamin. I like the idea of a couple of Andrew's things being the nursery--it seems completely normal that they share that space in some way, just like they share space in your heart.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

Yay-- more pics of B! He is SOCUTEOMG! I'm so happy and glad you are getting these amazing moments with your son. You deserve them 100 times over.

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness is B cute!!! It is such a tricky thing to balance life as it is and the should-be.

SG said... [Reply to comment]

I've been wondering lately how the SAHM lifestyle will be if this baby arrives safely...after dreaming about it for so long. I'm imagining it's impossible to know without just trying it out - ?

Benjamin is so adorable - what great expressions :)

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

he is so wise looking. :)

Your thoughts are entirely natural I would think... I hate that we'll always have one missing, it matter how full our hands are.

I agree re the nursery... I like that it belongs to both your babies.

Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later said... [Reply to comment]

Benjamin is a beautiful baby. You look awesome for just having him You look happy.

Olaina said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so happy for you and your family with Benjamin. I know it's hard not to be scared, but eventually we just have to embrace life, don't we? I think that as Benjamin becomes more vivacious and full of his own personality it will be easier to focus on the experience of him blossoming and let go of some of the fear. Plus, everything gets easier when you get to sleep more--which will happen! He's still so new! This is a very emotional time for any new mama, leave alone a BLM. Be gentle with yourself. love, Olaina

Hope's Mama said... [Reply to comment]

He's amazing and you're doing an amazing job.

Alli (and Tommy too!) said... [Reply to comment]

@CourtneyI agree!!

Jill said... [Reply to comment]

He is precious! Congrats again!

and horray for running!!!

katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

I can totally understand everything you're saying, even though I haven't gone through it yet.

Can I just say that pic of B with your parents is so great? He seems Wise, even. Is that weird to say about a 3 wk old? I love his little face.

Dave and I are starting to tentatively talk child care for little brother in my belly. We can't afford to stay at home with him (leave it up to a couple of attorneys to combine private school debts upon marriage), so I've been looking into working from home part time and having a nanny part time.

Last time, I found a great at home daycare, had my deposit down, all of it. No biggie.

This time I can't even fathom taking him to daycare. I've heard too many SIDS stories. It scares the living daylights out of me. Irrational? Yes. Will I heed it? Yes to that too.

Frankly, the thought of even having a nanny at my house terrifies me. Luckily we live 2 minutes from a hospital and my drive to work is about 7 minutes. I'll get through it, but yes, my guess is the fear will still be extremely strong (even crippling sometimes) after he's born.

I'm trying to figure out (plot) right now how to put hidden cameras all over my house.

Josh Jackson said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful post Brandy. I love the imagery of the two boys sharing a profound.

Peace to you in these early weeks...

J. said... [Reply to comment]

So cute! Gotta love all those folds and rolls.

It sure does take a while to adjust to the present season, doesn't it? If I'm gifted these ways, how do I still use those to serve? How do I not sacrifice family on the altar of mission, nor mission on the altar of family?

And there's such a sickness of productivity over wholeness in our Western, developed society. That cutie in your arms is producing nothing (well, okay, diapers and face gazing) and he is totally valued and loved. He has proven nothing, and was loved from the moment of existence. And a mom's value never rests on what her children 'produce.'

How do I rest? When do I rest, so I can be more fully myself and fully available to others?

Ben and Katie said... [Reply to comment]

He's just plain adorable!

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

You look so good and healthy and happy. Your family is so proud and your baby boy is just beautiful! I am so happy for you.