Thursday, November 13, 2014

What about the Dads?

I think Justin was just as excited when we found out that we were having a girl as I was.  Ben has always been a mama’s boy, and we talked about how Justin would have his daddy’s girl.  He joked about she better not be too attractive so the boys would stay away.  He talked about not letting her leave the house wearing that. He talked about how he’d get to walk her down the aisle, how they’d share a dance at her wedding.  There’s those things you get to do with your opposite gender child that you don’t with your own gender.  He had big dreams for his little girl.

I noticed at the hospital that everyone directed their comments, their sympathies, their offer of support and resources, towards me.  They’d give their condolences looking straight at me.  I started to pull Justin over and say “him too” and they’d nod and say of course.

Lydie had a full head of dark hair - her dad's hair.

I understand I was the one that had to endure the physical part of it – I still am enduring the physical part of it.  But it couldn’t have been easy for Justin to watch me go through it.  Justin has told me now that he was terrified for my life too.  When having a vbac, there’s a chance of the uterus rupturing – which is why we chose the safer c-section route to begin with.  My doctor told me she would keep a careful eye on how my uterus was handling the contractions and I was okay with that, but it terrified Justin.  I think it’s much scarier to think of losing the people you love than it is to consider losing your own life.   And when you’ve already been told the worst news imaginable, your mind can easily go there.

My uncle told me that when his baby died, everyone asked him how his wife was doing.  What about him?

Our first night home without Lydie, I slept better than I thought I would.  I had taken Ambien, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  My poor husband was up all night, looking at the sonogram pictures of our perfect baby and trying to figure out where we went wrong.

Last night, he had a dream that Ben got hit by a car and died.

I can’t speak for my husband.  His grief is his own; it is different than mine.  I am not surprised that I feel guilty; I know I’ll be wrestling with that emotion for the rest of my life.  But I was surprised how guilty he feels.  Guilt that he caused me stress during my pregnancy, guilt that he didn’t take the time to feel her kicking more, guilt that he didn’t take better care of both of us.  A parent’s job is to protect their children.

Justin’s not sure when he’ll go back to work yet.  Thankfully he has an understanding boss, but it still won't be too long from now.  It’s ironic that he needs more time off coming home from the hospital with empty arms. 

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