Today is Dylan's due date. I've got just about the oldest 40-weeker around!
As the due date has approached and my day to day worry about Dylan's health has lessened, I've begun to process some of what I've been through.
I have flashbacks to the night I went to the hospital. I know now the hospital so well, but that night I was bleeding and crying and I had no idea where to go. L&D is on the 4th floor of the north side of the hospital. But I had never been there before. Luckily a pregnant lady bumped into me and led me to the right place.
Throughout this journey my circles keep getting smaller and smaller. First, I was excluded from all of the "normal" people who get pregnant when they want to. But it was okay because I found an amazing online community of infertiles and I belonged. Then, as many of these same women got pregnant, so did I, but with multiples. As my pregnancy became traumatic, I joined a smaller circle of women who have undergone reduction. But even many of them still get to experience normal birth. Now my circle consists of me and one other blogger who is in my exact same shoes.
I'm bitter. I'm human. I compare myself to others and I don't think it's fair that I haven't had one aspect of this experience happen the way it is supposed to.
And I want everyone to understand. When the next wave of pregnant bloggers hit 23 and 25 weeks, I wanted to say, "Can you imagine going to the hospital today or having your baby today?!" I don't want anyone else to experience what I have, I just want them to get it.
Dylan was born during the SECOND trimester! I don't even know when the third trimester starts because I was never there. I've heard that the best part of pregnancy is feeling your baby move and bonding with them in the womb. I was only feeling flutters by the time I was hospitalized and when I did feel movement there was always a bit of fear. I will never get to experience those feelings and sensations. I didn't get to have fun planning his nursery. After he was born I completely avoided it for over a month because I truly didn't know whether he would make it. My shower had a somber overtone...people cried.
And I want there to be a reason for all of this...to make it have a purpose. The only thing I can come up with to make it feel more worthwhile is to try to help others. I know I've done that a bit through this blog. I got an email last week saying, "I was just reading about your NICU experience and now I'm here." And I'm glad to help. But even more I feel the need to connect with real people. I've tried to reach out in my hospital, but it's hard. I talked with the dad of a 27 weeker the other night and it was so nice to tell him that I had been here for 3 months and that we are okay. And that the first month is by far the hardest. I want to show Dylan to these people to show them where they will be.
A 25 weeker was born last week and it makes me almost choke up to walk past her room. With Dylan I was in the moment and just made it through, but looking at that other baby brings out all of the emotions I was holding at the time.
I will never get to experience what I missed out on and I'm sad and angry about it.
But today, I am happy. I honestly love my life - even while we are still in the NICU. Dylan looks into my eyes and I kiss his forehead and his chubby cheeks. (I can't get enough kisses these days.). I would totally change how all of this happened, but my baby is here and I love him so much it makes me cry a little to write it.
It will never be "ok" that this happened. I will always be upset about what I missed out on and why it had to be me to go through all of this.
But this guy makes it better.