Monday, November 28, 2005

Thankful

We're back from Thanksgiving and I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation. We took Wednesday off and got up at 4 am (no, not a typo) so that we could leave at 5 and beat the Thanksgiving traffic. Which we did, but, 4 am. I feel like I'm going to complain a lot in this post, but it wasn't an awful weekend, just hard and sad in a lot of ways.

On Wednesday evening as we sat around after dinner, the idea of playing a board game came up. My mother mentioned that we kept the board games in the closet under the basement stairs, so Andy offered to go look for one. I noticed that he was gone kind of a long time, but I figured he'd just been looking through all the books and games we keep down there. But later that evening, after everyone had gone to bed, he told me that he'd found the bag of Joseph's things from the hospital. My mother had hidden it in that closet and then forgotten about it. (I later spoke to her about it and she told me that she'd realized it was there after Andy went downstairs, and then she wasn't sure what to do, so she just sat there frozen until he came back up.)

Andy was OK when I talked to him, but a little bit shaken. Neither of us had looked in the bag at all since the nurses gave it to us in the hospital. It has the pictures they took of him, the little blanket and cap he was wrapped in, a lock of hair, his hospital bracelet, things like that. I asked if Andy thought I should go look at it too, but I was relieved when he said we should wait. I don't think I'm ready for that yet. Someday, but not yet.

The next day was Thanksgiving, which turned out to be a bit of a letdown - it was at my dad's house, and it was their year to celebrate with his wife's enormous family. There were about 50 people, and aside from the few I was related to, I knew none of them. I like family dinners where you can sit around the table and have a conversation, but there were just way too many people for that. I got the feeling that no one would have noticed if we hadn't shown up. However, it was great to see my brother and sister-in-law and my stepbrothers and their girlfriends/fiancees. My stepbrother Rob and his fiancee Danielle brought their 3-month-old, Alexandra, who had adorably fat cheeks and is one of the most cheerful infants I've ever seen. That cheered me up a lot.

On Saturday, Rob and Danielle held Alexandra's christening - they figured since everyone would be home, it would be a good time. My brother was the godfather, and he did great holding her and doing his part. I can't believe he's going to be a father; I still picture him as my baby brother.

I didn't expect this at all, but while we were at the church watching the ceremony, all of a sudden a wave of sadness hit me. I generally do fine with babies now - I can hold them and play with them and I don't get sad - but watching the baptism, it hit me: I wonder what Joseph's baptism was like. I wasn't there. I was still in bed, doped up on morphine, and Andy was with me. All I knew was that my mother had held him. I teared up, and my cousin, next to me, noticed and gave me a tissue. And then I was OK, I thought. When the ceremony was over, everyone was milling around the church and Andy came over and asked if I was OK. And suddenly, I wasn't. He had to take me outside, and I cried more than I've cried in months. I just kept picturing the ceremony we had just watched, only with a dead baby. My dead baby.

Andy told me that they used a little seashell to pour the holy water over Joseph's head, and that he'd seen it in the bag of things. I know they couldn't wait to do the ceremony because they needed his body to do the tests, but sometimes I wonder, should we have been there? Would it have been too much for me? How did my mother stand it? How would I have stood it?

The rest of the afternoon turned out to be very nice, though. My cousins were there and there were babies and children absolutely everywhere. It was kind of nice to have a secret - only our parents and siblings/stepsiblings know about the Heating Pad. I think otherwise it would have been very hard to get through yesterday at all.

The morning sickness has kicked in with a vengeance today. I am actually relieved, though. Four more days until we get a look inside there. I hope everything's OK.

5 Comments:

At Monday, November 28, 2005 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Mrs.X said...

It sounds like you had a bit of a mixed bag of your own. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you- those moments- this weekend. I do know the questions will kill you. If I could reach through the screen and give you a big hug I would right now.

 
At Monday, November 28, 2005 12:42:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Sorry to hear about the hard times this weekend. And for whats its worth, I would advise/suggest/propose that looking at the hospital things may be a good thing. I don't do it often, but when i do i really like looking through the hospital things we have (hair, hat, dress, blanket, footprints, etc). The first time may be hard, but its been a good kind of hard for me. So I guess I would just say to follow your gut... sometimes i just have a feeing that i want to do something (call a friend i hadn't talked to since she had a baby, look at kate things, etc) and it seems to be good when i follow though on those feelings. Even if it makes me cry.

 
At Monday, November 28, 2005 7:38:00 PM, Blogger Catherine said...

Someone warned me about those moments...where grief comes and kicks your butt. I'm sorry it happened during an otherwise happy time. {{{hugs}}}

I can't wait for the big u/s here...I can only imagine how you must be feeling.

 
At Tuesday, November 29, 2005 8:36:00 AM, Blogger lauralu said...

wow - a tough weekend. but you survived it!

we have hans's hospital things at home, in a rubbermaid tub in our basement. we look at them periodically, or rub the side of the tub. it hurts, but it helps us.

 
At Wednesday, November 30, 2005 9:10:00 AM, Blogger cat said...

The holidays are always so bittersweet. Sorry it was such a hard one.

Will be thinking good thoughts and rooting for you at the u/s this week.

 

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