Friday, May 7, 2010

Arrival

You'd think the picture in my head that I'd take away from all of this would be one of the classics: Baby swadled and lying sweetly (and may I just say I'm now a bit weirded out by pictures of live babies with their eyes closed. They look dead. And this has nothing to do squeamishness over looking at deceased children -- I just now assume any baby with closed eyes is dead. I recently looked at a bunch of Bella's infant photos and got a little unsettled); baby being placed on my stomach after delivery; mom holding baby in delivery room while midwife looks on proudly.

Instead the image that resonates in my head is passing through the hospital's revolving door into a bright, warm day with a baby in my arms. I didn't leave anyone behind. This time, we escaped.

:::



Early Monday morning, on the way to the hospital in a torrential thundershower, I told Mr. ABF I was glad I was in labor and wouldn't be induced. Turns out I had been a bit nervous about birth -- not the actual activity thereof, but the deja vu element. The whole waking up and calling the hospital early to check the induction schedule, saying goodbye to Bella, the anticipation of the first contractions, the probable wait through stages where my anxiety about the outcome could only increase. Instead, here I was timing contractions that had only just dropped from 20 to 15 minutes about two hours after a small leak of water.

Except they weren't. Turns out they were four to five minutes apart, but my body -- so used to giving birth by now -- wasn't even registering the tremors between the earthquakes. Until I got there, and perhaps psychosomatically after being told, they began to ramp up in speed, quantity, and intensity.

And suddenly . . . well, suddenly. It was as if a bizarre dream I had lingered over for nine months quickly morphed into a nightmare complete with dark skies and buckets from the heavens. Everything went so fast, there was nothing left but panic and sheer terror -- and honestly, for a number of moments, enough to distract me from what lay ahead. There was enough fear in the present tense to keep me well occupied from anxiety over the near future.

And maybe that's a good thing, that his entrance was so rushed, that nine months of anticipation boiled down to a horrific space of what turned out to be less than an hour. Suddenly, the nightmare stopped and the silence was punctuated by a baby's cry.

He was immediately plopped on my chest and under the small weight I did not feel love, or joy. I did not cry. I did however let go the mightiest exhale of unadulterated relief, for present and future and all the spaces in between.

:::

I've been having a tough go of getting the concept of time back under my feet this week. He was born 37w6d, a week and a day in advance of his planned induction, and two weeks ahead of his due date. I thought this week would be spent throwing things into the garden, making one last grocery run, and doing one last load of laundry.

I've been living a fair amount on Maddy time. Even right after delivery, there came a point when Mr. ABF and I looked at each other, looked at the clock, and said, by this point they knew something was wrong, that she would not be rooming with me. And here he was, still in our arms breathing room air, not yet taken away for his obligatory testing. It wasn't until Monday night when I decided to turn on "24" to keep me awake and occupied for half and hour until I knew someone was coming to run a few more tests that it hit me -- Maddy was also born on a Monday, and that Monday night I also turned on "24" in my hospital room for a distraction. We've done a walk through the week: Wednesday, the morning of Maddy's heart failure, I was this time instead discharged into a beautiful spring day. Today, I ambled around the yard with the baby in my arms, inspecting the iris that bloomed this week and contemplating how it was today, Friday, that Maddy was bundled up into her tin-foil microwave and transfered to Children's. Undoubtedly my checks on his breathing and temperature will only increase as we approach Sunday.

:::

The senior pediatrician came to give him one last check early Wednesday morning as she does with all the babies, and after reviewing his file asked about Maddy -- specifically, she used the term "etiology." I launched into the clinical story, stripped of emotion and full of medical terminology, for what seemed the thousandth time in just the hospital stay alone (nothing like a dead baby in your records to launch the "10 signs of depression" checklist discussion) and suddenly, in the middle of the spiel, grew weary.

I was finished with this. Not with Maddy mind you, but with this part of her. The medical is really her identity and though I'm happy to discuss it, I feel as though I've done nothing but for nine-plus months. And right now, what I want is to simply think of her as my daughter. I want to revel in her beauty, her strength, her promise. I wanted in that moment, talking with that doctor, to simply go home and study her pictures to see if her brother had her nose. If their hair was the same color. If what I remembered about their chins was indeed the same.

I want right now to bathe in all that is lovely and ugly, joyful and sorrowful, of being a mother to three.

Three.

:::

We do have a name for the little guy and I'm trying to decide if I want to nickname him obviously or not so very on the blog. We are home, he is under my roof and this morning after eyeballing Bella as she left for school, we went to inspect Maddy's lilac -- which needs deadheaded this week.

111 comments:

JLR said...

Congratulations. A long timer lurker here - I cannot begin to express how happy, thrilled and relieved I am for you.

Best of luck to all of you.

loribeth said...

Ahhh, the post we've all been waiting for. : )

I am sorry you had to endure a "horrific space" at the end of it all -- but glad it lasted less than an hour, & you were left with a living, crying baby boy at the end of it all.

Just so happy for you, Tash. : ) : ) : )

Lila said...

Crying. What a beautiful post.

Stacey said...

Congratulations! I've never commented before but am just another mommy pulling for you and your family!

Mary Beth said...

Amazing! Congratulations for so many things . . . so happy for you and your family.

Wonderful.

luna said...

wonderful wonderful wonderful!

congrats to your lovely family.

I think we all share your sense of relief too.

xoxo

Anna said...

Another long time lurker from GITW here, tearing up and being so happy for you that you are on to the "experiencing joy like you've never experienced joy before" part. I think the lows do that to you...at least, I hope so (said as we're in the process of adopting). So much love to your whole family!

k@lakly said...

Oh Tash. It all gets so tangled, doesn't it? I hope you can bring only what you want to of Maddy into the future and start to leave the rest somewhere in the past. It's a delicate dance, the parenting after you get the wiggly one home. I have no doubt you will do it with all the grace and humor (and tears too, because they come, as they should) you have shown in the last 3 years. And it will be, almost perfect, which, I guess, after everything, is pretty damn good, right? Could I use any more commas????

Sunday will be bittersweet, but I am so glad you have him with you to share Maddy's flowers.
xxoo

sweetsalty kate said...

So, so happy for you all. And I get the 'enough, dammit, enough' phase of grief. That's what I call it, anyway. Mom of three.

So much love to you. Big smiles. xoxoxo

ezra'smommy said...

Welcome little boy!

Tash, what I remember most too is leaving the hospital with an actual babe in my arms.

If you need anything at all, please give a shout - you know I'm not far away.

Sarah said...

Oh! He's here! Congratulations!!!! I'm all choking up.

Colleen said...

Now we can say it, right?

Congratulations!

I'm happy for your whole family.

Best of luck on your new baby boy!

Colleen

jenna said...

welcome, baby boy!

Rebecca Russell said...

Oh, he's alive! What a blessing! I have chills for you right now. I'm so glad that the long wait ended somewhere so joyous. Congratulations and drink in that sweet baby boy!

Misc Momma said...

Congratulations! Another long time lurker (although maybe I've commented). I'm so relieved for you too. I can imagine how that would be the predominant initial feeling.

~Tara

Aunt Becky said...

Beautiful. So happy, Tash. Wishing sweet Maddy were here to welcome her brother, and believing that she is.

Amelie said...

Congratulations! This is wonderful. I'm so happy for you. Mother of three, indeed.

Jeanette said...

So glad your boy is home with you. So very glad. x

N said...

Many many congratulations.

And take care of yourselves this week, during this difficult time.

Betty M said...

Fantastic news, Many many congratulations. What a beautiful image of you and the new boy emerging through the doors into the sunlight.

erica said...

So glad he's home with you!

The last few weeks especially, photos of Dot with her eyes closed freak me the hell out. Eyes-open photos only for a while, I think.

niobe said...

Yay! Such wonderful news!

Rachel said...

Such wonderful news. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home baby boy. I handed in my dissertation on 29th April - I wouldn't have written it without reading this blog, so thank you, I think! Congratulations of the safe, healthy arrival of your 3rd child, & congratulations to Bella, big sister to a baby brother. Lizzie x

Leah said...

Congratulations! I am so relieved and happy for you. I have two sons and they are the joys of my life. Enjoy life with your sweet boy. I won't say "try not to worry", but I do hope you can enjoy more than you worry, at least. My best to you all.

Sue said...

So happy your baby boy made it home safely. Congratulations on the birth of your third child.

G$ said...

Welcome home little man.

Big love to you Tash, this news this week brought me so much joy.

Alexicographer said...

Crying.

So very glad you were able to leave and bring him home with you.

missing_one said...

*hugs* so happy you made it to the other side Tash. Over the moon happy.

Bridget said...

Another lurker -

so very happy for you and your family

ivfcycler said...

Congratulations, and welcome to #3. Wonderful news!

spidercamp said...

SO glad.

Ellen said...

So happy for you! I keep coming back to read your story, it gets better each time.

Jen said...

Another lurker - so so pleased for you, gives me so much hope. Love to you and yours xxx

Megan said...

So, so thrilled for you, Tash.

Busted said...

Many congrats. As always, your posts are so beautifully and thoughtfully written, this one particularly so. Thinking of you and your three children. Welcome, little man.

hairyfarmerfamily said...

Oh, I can't tell you how delighted this makes me!
Hugs to Tash!

edenland said...

I'm so happy and relieved for you. Beautiful, beautiful writing, Tash.

It's strange, I only know you through your writing but I'm so proud of you. Amazed.

Welcome, little man. xo

Brandi said...

That is wonderful, wonderful news! Congratulations! I've been waiting for this post and I am so happy for you!

moplans said...

Congratutlations Tash.

Sue said...

Oh, Tash, I have no words... Only tears that your little boy is home with you. Oh, tears of joy for you. No words, just love and joy for you and your family, growing from 4 to 5.

Every good wish.

XOX

Hope's Mama said...

Just so damn happy for you all, Tash.
I can relate to that feeling of feeling relief, above all else, in those first, crazy moments with the newest member of the family safely here. And I also hear you on getting weirded out looking at photos of babies with their eyes shut.
I'm sending you all so much love. Enjoy these days all getting to know each other.

janis said...

oh my gosh, I just proved I have intuition. I was just thinking, some minutes ago, on the toilet, that I need to get my butt going about the thing I wanna send you. and then something say to me, "She's already given birth." and the other part of me still stubbornly counted if I rush to the post office now, will it arrive before your induction?
So, I decided to check here, just in case.

I am so glad he has arrived safely, and that you are home. I hope he is not pinching. And I agree with you about babies with closed eyes being freakish. I feel the same.
I am so happy for you.

kriswaldherr said...

Beautiful post, Tash! so happy for you all there, though I can't imagine the mixed emotions all wrapped together into one package. You are one amazing woman. Your little one is lucky to have you as his mother.

Azaera said...

Welcome new baby. And congratulations, I'm so happy for you.

Reba said...

congratulations and welcome to the world, #3!

Searching said...

Momma to Three. :) So happy to see those words. So happy for a very swift delivery of a live, pink, take-home baby boy. I'm sorry you are reliving that horrific week, but am glad in a way you are sharing her time w/her brother's life right there, too. A sibling connection despite completely opposite lives. I am thankful you are home and YOU are safe & well. Of course I worry about you. Thankful, thankful, thankful.

Congrats and I am also relieved to breathe at the end of "a bright, warm day with a baby in my arms. I didn't leave anyone behind. This time, we escaped." SO insanely thankful.

adventure reno said...

So, happy, relieved, and overjoyed for you. Congratulations.

ms. G said...

Oh, Tash, I have tears in my eyes as I type, I am so happy for you.

Is it obnoxious to chant, "pictures, pictures!"?

debbie said...

i'm speechless Tash. Jumping for joy just doesn't feel right. How about sitting with you in your peacefulness and reveling in your blessing.

Janel said...

I'm so glad your little boy arrived safely. Congratulations and love to your whole family. Thank you for sharing your journey. My story is similar to yours sans your little boy, and reading your story feels hopeful to me. Each of your three are precious. Janel (from GITW)

Catherine W said...

So very pleased for you and your family.

Hope you had a chance to study Maddy's pictures later and to spot the similarities and differences between your children. xo

after iris said...

So delighted to hear from you Tash!

I know that feeling, I think. The desire for your baby to just be your baby and not a risk factor or a list of symptoms. Yes.

Congratulations again, and a big smooch for the baby! x

TracyOC said...

Congrats to you and your family! Welcome to the world, baby boy!

Natasha said...

Congratulations!

Courtney in Crete said...

Whee! Welcome, #3! This lurker is happy for you and your family!

Life in Eden said...

Tash so happy for you and the ABF family. You are amazing. The way you've shared his birth, amazing. As many have said, hoping you can celebrate being momma to 3 and move beyond all the angst. xo.

Anonymous said...

Tash, I am thrilled for you all.

Dayna

Sarah H (from Glow) said...

I feel like I can exhale for you. Does that make sense?
Regardless, congrats on your little man - I am relived and happy for your entire family.

Bonnie said...

What wonderful news! So happy for you and your family, and wishing you joy and continued healing.

Reese said...

Tash,

I was sitting reading this on my phone in my car getting an oil change, wiping tears of joy. The poor mechanic was all confused! Told him I got great news! He told me congratulations! (Which I am now sending to you)....:)

So happy to read this glorious news!

XOXO--Reese

Jenni said...

many congratulations to you and your family. i'm sorry it was so hard at the end.

and yes, i can imagine that feeling - escaping through the hospital doors, with your boy in your arms, graduating from the "medicalization" of your family.

all the best. xo

Rebecca said...

Wow. Yours was the first Dead Mom Blog I found and read 5 months or so ago. If it wasn't your real life, I would say this was a very happy ending to the story. But of course, it's the beginning of a new chapter--a beautiful chapter. Congrats to you and Mr. ABF and Bella!

sacredandscarred said...

Congratulations on your new son, how wonderful!

Ange said...

Fantastic news so thrilled for you.

Sophie said...

I'm so happy that your waiting is over Tash and that he's home safe in your arms. Mother of three, damn straight.

xx

Yes, photos of babies with their eyes shut weird me out too.

Anonymous said...

Oh I am so happy to hear your family's good news. Many blessings!

Ya Chun said...

Welcome baby ABF.

Glad birth is over and done with and that you two are home safe and sound. And now Maddy gets space not wrapped up in another pregnancy.

Have a peaceful mother's day.

Stickles McQueen said...

Happy Mother's Day, and lots of love and blessings to your family and all three of your beautiful children.

eliza said...

Congratulations on his safe arrival and health. Much love to all five of you.

CLC said...

I am so happy for you and your family. Welcome little guy! And wishing you peaceful Mother's Day, wishing all 3 of your children were in your arms.

Alexa said...

I cannot possibly convey to you how happy this post makes me.

Eric Lichtenfeld said...

Congratulations, Tash. I've only just discovered how busy last week was for you!

Marlowe and I are very glad to read this news, and also mindful of what a complicated time this could be. Wishing your entire family much health and good luck. And happiness, too.

MsPrufrock said...

I have been waiting for this post -congratulations! What a bittersweet, and as always, wonderfully written post. I am so, so happy for you and will offer my services as babysitter if I a) ever get a job and b) live remotely near you.

Also, yay and yay!

Thalia said...

Mazel Tov. I am so pleased that he is safely here, and doing so well. And remembering Maddy, and sorry that the five of you are not together.

Ellie said...

I am so happy for you all :-)

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker here but many heartfelt congrats and tears on the arrival of your baby boy.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker here but many heartfelt congrats and tears on the arrival of your baby boy.

Kymberli said...

I'm so very happy for you, Tash.

c. said...

Thrilled does not even begin to describe how I feel about your "escape", Tash. Much love to you all. XO.

tuesy said...

So happy for you. Congratulations!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Love hearing the update. Love even more that all of you are home and well. Congratulations again!

Julia said...

Much love to you

Lara said...

Been thinking it is time to check though I haven't in months. I have read you here and at glow on and off over the past few years. I smile tonight knowing you carried your sweet baby boy in the garden to see the spring flowers. I have a thing for baby boys since after our baby boy Taz came little Lucia. So we are swapped. I have a big girl Lily-a little older than Bella and a baby girl Lucia almost 2. It makes me happy to know you have your third and he is a boy and my third a girl. Hmmmmmm. Much Love, Lara

Faye said...

A huge heartfelt congratulations to you and your family Tash - this is just the most wonderful news. May this time be filled with love and joy for you all, and I hope that it eases your heart a little that Maddy now has two siblings to remember and love her. Best wishes from across the sea in not so sunny South Africa, Faye

melka said...

What fantastic news! Much love to you, Tash.

Tania said...

CONGRAGULATIONS!!

Kath said...

Dear Tash, oh, what lovely news -- what incredibly lovely news. So glad he's here and safe. And this post was so beautiful and touching, so uplifting and so, so sad.

My very best congratulations to you, Mother of Three.

Alice said...

Congratulations. Such fantastic news. I'm reading this post with tears streaming down my cheeks. I think you're just so brave and you write with such honesty. I'm so, so happy for you. Alice

Hawkeye said...

Oh thank god. So glad he's here and that you are all safe. I had a big sigh of relief at the end of that post. Thinking of you and hoping nothing but many happy years for you and your family.

Bon said...

joy. for all the weird re-living that goes with it.

Tash, i am so happy for you - for all of you. welcome to your boy. wishing you all the wonder & delight in the world.

xo
Bon

Coggy said...

OMG Tash I'm so over the moon for you all. Letting out a massive sigh of relief and a big smile. Congratulations and sorry it took me so long to catch up with your news! Bu hugs x x x

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow. Have been checking in waiting for an update - keeping you in my thoughts and candle-lighting. Congratulations to your family of five. Wow.

Toni said...

I burst into tears reading this -- congratulations Tash. I'm so happy for you all.

Silly Mama said...

Congrats to you and yours!

I hope you didn't name him Edward. Hehehe.

Melissia said...

I am so thrilled for you, and that you got to bring him home and wander in the back garden with him.
I am just so happy for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy your little boy is home safe with you! I'm imagining him with a nice Italian name, like Matteo or Alessandro, to match his sisters.

Val said...

OMG - look what happens when I try to wean myself away from cyberspace...
I'M LATE READING THIS! But oh so glad that all is well... Happy Belated Mother's Day, I am happy for you Tash!

Excellent Walker said...

(Longtime lurker here...) So happy to read this news, and thank you for sharing your family's story with the world.

Julia S said...

Wanted to be 100th to send you the warmest of congratulations - from a long time lurker :) You are bravery and honesty are so inspiring. Congratulations!!!

Hennifer said...

Wishing your little one a warm welcome to this outside world, wishing much love and joy for his big sister, with hopefully little to no envy, and of course sleep and bliss for mommy and daddy. Congratulations family on the newest addition to yours...

Beth Giles said...

Congratulations on the birth of your son! I hope you know that I think of you often, even if I'm not commenting. Wishing you peace and happiness as a mother of three.

Anonymous said...

love to the whole ABF clan.

Lacri said...

Congratulations Tash. I hope that bringing your baby boy safely home marks a point of divergence and your memories of Maddy can be only about her from now on (if that makes any sense).

sharah said...

I'm late to the party but CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So happy for you and your clan.

Anonymous said...

Yippee! I am so happy for you.

-e

Trish said...

I'm so, so, so happy for you! Congratulations!!

Lani said...

congrats tash! so happy for your healthy baby boy. lots of love sent your way. xo

Searching said...

How goes life in the ABF household?

m said...

phew. I cannot imagine the amount of air contained in your long-awaited sigh of relief. Amazing, Tash. All of this.

Am I allowed to say Congrats yet? ;-)

holly said...

You've made me smile and cry at the same time with post. I owe you some cookies :)