Friday, July 13, 2012

Spirit Babies

My husband and I have been talking about Love a lot lately.  Having Harrison here is a constant reminder of how very lucky we are, and how much we have lost.  We miss Love every day, and marvel in our love for Harrison as well.  He is just the sweetest, happiest, cutest little guy, and is just a friggin' joy to have around!  I love him so much it makes my heart hurt.

We were talking about Love's ashes too.  We haven't come to any conclusions yet about what to do with them.  I am not sure that I am ready to part with them yet, and if we do spread her ashes, where to spread them?  I have no idea.

In our last discussion, we started talking about Spirit Babies.  When I was in the hospital following my surgery that ended my second pregnancy, my sister recommended I read a book called "Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife", and said that I would really like the chapter called "Spirit Baby".  I wasn't sure this was something I wanted to read right away, but she was insistent so I got the book and started to read.  When I got to the Spirit Baby chapter, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  It was exactly what I needed to hear/read.

I just did a quick search, and found the chapter excerpted which I will include (I have also edited it down a bit).  For context, the book is written by a midwife, and each chapter is about a different birth in her midwife practice, and also gives some background in how she came to be a midwife.  This particular chapter is about her experience with pregnancy loss:

Chapter Excerpt from Part IV of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

Spirit Baby

"Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I'd miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery.

Colin asked, "Are you crying about the baby?" and when I nodded tearfully, he said, "Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it's a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother."

I must have looked puzzled because he said, "Don't you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don't? I mean, you're my mom!" But he could see my perplexity.

So my first child, this not-yet-teen-aged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, "Well, Mom, here's how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that's the baby that's born. If she doesn't get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby's born…now listen, Mom, because here's the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it's always first in line. Isn't that great?

"So you just have to get pregnant again, and you'll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don't, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman's circle, and it'll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.

"Colin, I don't understand this passion you have for a baby. Why do you want one so much?"

"Oh, Mom! Oh. Just for the joy of it!"

-A few weeks after this exchange with her son Colin, she and her husband conceived their Spirit Baby.  Just for the joy of it.

This story gave me so much comfort after the loss of my second pregnancy.  But it took on a whole new meaning after we lost Love.  Our Spirit Baby tried to be born with Love's arrival, but again, it went back up to my circle of babies to await our next try.  I just love the thought that Harrison has the same spirit of both my second pregnancy and Love.  It ties him to both of them. Andy and I were saying that we think he is such a happy baby because he is just so happy to FINALLY be here!!

And boy, are we happy he is here too!

Andy suggested that maybe we have Harrison spread Love's ashes when we are ready to take that step, and I really liked that idea.  It gave me comfort, which is quite a feat, considering that the thought of spreading her ashes usually fills me with dread and anxiety.  So we will see.

I hope that this story touches you as much as it did me.  I just had to share, and I hope we all get to hold our Spirit Babies in our arms one day.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Anyone remember me?

To say it's been a while would be an understatement.  Lots has happened, but I just haven't had the energy or desire to write about it.  I'm not sure why, but I am still reading all of your updates and sometimes posting comments.  But my blog has remained silent.

I just wanted to write about two things:

First: Love's birthday was this past January 19th.  Thanks to my BLM friends here on the interwebz, I had a good idea what I was in for: severe anxiety leading up to the day, and then an emotional tear filled 24 hours on the actual day.  And, it did not disappoint. I had a nervous stomach for about 2 weeks leading up to her birthday, and every time I thought about it my stomach would flip.  I couldn't talk about Love at all, and when I looked forward to the day it was like a big black whole.

I woke up on the day of her birthday feeling like I had been punched in the stomach.  My mom was visiting to celebrate Avery's birthday the next day.  I had really wanted to spend the day by myself, but I decided to make the most of having her here as a distraction.  It was okay, but I had really wanted to take some time out to really reflect on Love's short life and to just let myself cry.  I didn't have that time, so the tears just came out randomly throughout the day.  Andy and I had a really good cry/hug session where I just sobbed and his eyes got moist (he's not much of a crier), and we just held each other.  I was pretty miserable.  In the middle of the day my mother in law Facetimed me, all chipper and rattling on about something silly, I'm sure, and she noticed that I wasn't myself.  When she asked what was wrong, I told her it was Love's birthday, so I was feeling blue...  She felt AWFUL for having forgotten on the day.  Not many people remembered, or said anything to me about it.  I just kind of passed as a normal day to everyone but me.  It will never be a normal day for me every again.


On a happier note, after nine long anxious months where I was DETERMINED to enjoy my pregnancy (as it will be my last!), I delivered a healthy and happy baby BOY on March 17th!!  Harrison was born at my mom's house in her bathtub, and it was the dreamiest, most wonderful moment of my whole entire life!  I say that because, although Avery's birth was wonderful as well, it felt like I was finally able to take control of my life, my body, and this birth - to take control back from the hospitals and needles and doctors and invasive procedures and long recoveries and fluorescent lights and uncomfortable beds and hospital gowns and beeping noises and constant interruptions.  It was just me, Andy, my Doula, and my midwife, Tamara (she had a second midwife join us near the end but she didn't stay long and I hardly even knew she was there!).  It was so relaxing, and exactly as I had hoped it would be.  I will tell the whole story later, but I just want to say that if there is anyone reading this who is considering a home birth, I would say 'GO FOR IT!!!'.  It was spectacular, and special, and everything I hoped it would be.

And Harrison is dreamy, and chewy, and soft, and cute, and I am in Looooooooooooooove!!  Avery loves him too, which is so special.  The most beautiful sound in the world to me is hearing Avery say Harrison's name in his little voice.  Ahhhh!  So special...

Anyways, I will update more about the birth later, but I just wanted to announce Harrison's arrival!!