Shortly after Aidan died and I started obsessively reading babylost blog, I came across a post on Glow in the Woods entitled "It's all fun and games until the baby dies" and my heart screamed (oh wait...maybe that was actually me yelling out loud) YES! YES! That's exactly it! It IS all fun and games and baby showers and cute clothes and people rubbing your tummy and picking out room colours and planning life around a newborn and, and, and...until the baby dies and it all stops.
Well, at least it is for most people. But not me. Years before I even considered getting pregnant I knew I wouldn't be 'your average pregnant lady'. I didn't really want a baby shower. Even with a perfect pregnancy I wouldn't want to buy any baby stuff until AT LEAST 24 weeks (and I mean ANYTHING...no hats, no outfits, not even one of those cute frames to put your ultrasound photo in).
Reason #1: my rare heart defect which puts any pregnancy I have into the 'high risk' category. I knew I wouldn't be stopping by my local midwife's office...I'd be headed downtown straight to the high risk OB clinic and monitored by specialist (cuz you know, I'm special...in a short bus kinda way).
Reason #2: I'm an NICU nurse. I know what can go wrong. What does go wrong. For those of you whose child/ren spent time in the NICU, I am that nurse. I am the one saying to you "well...today your baby is stable..." with the unnecessary aside "for now". There was no way I was going to start getting 'excited' about being pregnant until there was something to get excited about. (Which I learned is easier to do in theory than practice).
Reason #3: Because of reasons 1 & 2, I figured really launching myself into that world of 'expecting' a take home baby would be like laughing in the face of fate. I was high risk, I was completely aware of what can go wrong during a pregnancy...therefore I better really watch it. No getting ahead of myself. No getting too excited. Can't count your chickens before they've hatched and all that (or your babies before they are born, at an appropriate gestational age, breathing and moving, apparently).
But, at the same time...even while being very cautious on the outside...I was planning it all out in my head on the inside. Racing ahead to being big and fat and pregnant, with a healthy baby as a result. Planning what the room will look like, planning the things I'm going to do with my baby, planning what I was going to do during my maternity leave, planning upcoming holidays with the baby...you know all the fun stuff.
And when Aidan was born and died, it was like I was suddenly Ralphie from "A Christmas Story". Shocked that his mom was right. "Holy crap...I did shoot my eye out!" My conscience said it could happen. Don't get too excited, don't plan too far in advance, bad things can still happen..."You'll shoot your eye out!" Outwardly I conformed to my conscience's wishes. I was "good", I didn't voice too many expectations, didn't get too worked up...but inside I was Ralphie...racing along with my Red Rider BB Gun, trying to ignore the huge frickin' warning signs (blood! even more blood! shitty ultrasounds! bad news!). "You'll shoot your eye out!"
And now I'm sad and alone and sometimes reality still punches me in the gut.
"Holy shit...my baby DIED".
And unlike Ralphie's glasses, this one can't be fixed.