Miss Molly is almost here. I am scheduled for a c-section on Tuesday, 5/29 and I already feel like she is clawing and kicking her way into life. She’s dropped so low I feel like her hands are scraping my knees as I walk. It’s almost time.
June 9th will mark one day since Alex left us. The anniversary of his birthday was really hard. I’m not sure what the anniversary of his angel-versary will be. I’ll be so crazy and sleep deprived from watching Molly I might not even notice. Actually, I think I’m taking Benjamin to a birthday party that day… The reality of the change about to happen to our family is settling in and I am amazed and overwhelmed about how much can change in just a year.
A year ago, I had no idea how much pain and loss we would feel. I had no idea how much healing our family would experience through faith, friends, family, therapy and hope. We’re here one year later and about to receive a most precious gift- a baby girl to love and care for.
I think about how caring for Molly will be different from caring for Benjamin or Alex. Will I be extra nervous to put her down or to let anyone touch her? Will I even feel comfortable touching her, knowing how fragile life can be? I think about all the ways I want to keep her safe forever, and I fall short, knowing that there was nothing I could have done to keep Alex with us any longer. Alex had a congenital heart condition that caused his death. He went peacefully in his sleep without any warning, We didn’t know. It wouldn’t have mattered.
We’re getting Molly a heart echo when we leave the hospital to see if she has the same heart condition. We already had Benjamin tested. It’s not genetic, so we’re not expecting bad news. The test should be an exercise that reassures us that Molly will live a long and healthy life. I’m not sure what kind of reassurance is possible. I feel anxious thinking about the prospect of nursing Molly and putting her down for a nap. I don’t want to wear the same clothes, do it in the same place, do anything that might replicate what happened to Alex.
It’s ridiculous. If I were in a car accident and totaled my car, I wouldn’t avoid buying the same car again because the *car* itself caused the accident. It’s the same with Alex. The circumstances around Alex’s death had nothing to do with the cause of his death. I believe that, but it sill makes me nervous.
We’re going into these final days before her arrival and I remember this whole process with Alex when he was born. It was just a year ago. Our final ultrasound, our final OB visit, all those doctors and nurses who have been reassuring us during this whole journey. I am so grateful. I am so humbled. I am so without words and full of tears… I can’t begin to express how much they mean to me, and to our family.
Each time I have an appointment at the dr, I am nervous that we will find something wrong. When we don’t, I breathe a sigh of relief and send a quick prayer of thanks that everything is okay. I’m especially quiet during these times, but I wish I could thank all our drs and nurses for taking such excellent care of our baby Molly. I know that we sometimes get a little extra attention, a little extra TLC and a few extra precautions because we have so many people cheering for the safe delivery of this very special girl.
Because I am waddling and so obviously pregnant, people will ask me 20 times a day, “Is this your first one?” When I smile and tell them this is my third pregnancy, I get a few smiles, chuckles and sometimes a few gasps. When they ask about the ages of my other two kids at home, I still struggle a little bit. I start by saying that “Benjamin is three and a half…” and then I trail off. Sometimes people don’t continue, but most people are confused by my response and ask “how old is your second child?” Sometimes I say, “he’s no longer with us.” Sometimes I say, “he died last year.” Either way, I feel bad dragging someone into that converstaion.
It would feel wrong for me to deny that Alex was here. To deny that I carried him. To not acknowledge how much I loved him. I can’t tell people that this is my second pregnancy. So, we embark on the whole awkward conversation, and I keep searching for an easier explanation to things.
Molly is almost here and her brothers will be very lucky to meet her. She has a whole group of family and friends that are excited for her arrival and a mommy that is literally bursting at the seams until she arrives. Until next Tuesday, every shove, kick and push she offers is reassurance that she wants to meet us too.