Face.book tends to make me ragey.
I hated logging on to see my friends and acquaintances (because lets be real, how close are we really to the other 200 people on our friend lists?) getting engaged.
The engagements turned to weddings.
Not a fun thing to see when I was living with my Hubby in a condo we bought together, waiting for him to propose, then thinking it just wasn’t ever going to happen.
Then I got engaged! And married! All was right with the world.
During this time, a lot of those friends who were married before me were pregnant. And having babies. But this wasn’t a huge deal. Hubby and I were planning on trying as soon as we said “I do.” I was happy and had no problem liking photos of pregnant bellies and cute babies. I was fairly certain I would be part of that group too. Eventually.
But then we lost our first baby to a miscarriage. Those bellies. Those babies. I hated them. I hated status updates on pregnancy symptoms. I despised the pregnancy announcements. I was angry, jealous, and sad. I assumed these friends had no problem getting pregnant and having babies. An assumption I knew could be wrong. But an assumption I couldn’t help but make because no one discusses family building and pregnancy struggles on Facebook. So it seemed like everyone was having an easy time except for me.
Every time I saw an announcement of a pregnancy or birth I wanted to throw my computer out the window. Every time. I did throw my phone across the room on numerous occasions. I wanted to write a status update letting everyone know that, as a grieving mother, I didn’t appreciate seeing multiple photos of their kids posted within an hour. Your kid is cute. I get it. But I don’t need you to rub it in…
I wanted to (and should have, in hindsight) chew out the acquaintance who posted a positive pregnancy test only to take it back a few hours later with, “April Fools!”
When I got pregnant I was scared of posting my news online. I was scared of anyone other than Hubby knowing. Because the last time I let a large group of people know, we lost her. I was scared I would jinx myself.
I also couldn’t do what I hated everyone else was doing; make my Facebook page all about pregnancy and baby related pictures. I didn’t know who was on the other side suffering in silence.
I got my rainbow. We got through it without major complications. And there was plenty that could have gone wrong. G came home healthy and strong. So all should be well, right?
Except it isn’t. While I am okay with how I brought G into the world, despite it not being the way I wanted, I am not okay with everything else that happened once I was admitted to the hospital. I’m having a problem with the lack of communication and information that happened that day and the day after. Between me and my doctor. Between me and the labor nurses. Between the labor nursed themselves.
I should have been a better advocate for myself, and once G was in the NICU, for him. Asked questions to know what was happening and why certain things were being done. But I didn’t. I had never been in labor before and didn’t know, and was too tired to think of, what to ask. After G was born I felt too tired to care about anything other than learning how to breastfeed.
I spent more than nine months imagining what it would be like once G was born. I’d cry happy tears. We’d get our first family photo. I’d cuddle and admire him. I’d feel happiness and relief.
I think the only happy thing I remember is G crawling to my breast to nurse for the first time. He’d done it all himself. No help from me. It was amazing.
I felt bad asking for G to be taken to the nursery that first night because I was just too exhausted to enjoy him. This baby, who I wanted to bond with so badly, but couldn’t. Not even the next day, after I had gotten a little bit of rest.
A couple of months ago, Hubby showed me pictures on his phone of G in my arms a couple hours after his birth. Pictures I didn’t know existed until then. Pictures I don’t remember even being taken. My family has started telling me stories of things that happened when they visited the next day. Things I don’t remember happening.
Pictures were taken of G. But not of me and G (the ones Hubby took showed just my arms). Not with Hubby and G. None of us as a family. The only family pictures taken those few hours and day after G was born were of Hubby’s mother and father with G. Because she insisted on it. No one offered to document the first moments and day of me and my little family. Thinking of this makes me burst into tears.
As much as I want to say I was filled with joy at having a baby in my arms, I can’t.
As much as I want to say I couldn’t wait to tell the world (Face.book) how happy I was to announce the birth of our child, I can’t.
As much as I want to say I was excited to show off my little guy to family the next day, I can’t.
For the record, I am happy it all worked out. My OB said the cord was wrapped around G’s neck twice and I was lucky to deliver when I did. I developed a fever during labor and I had a lot of bleeding. G had to be tested for infection since I had a fever. He was found to be jaundiced and septic and had to go to the NICU for four days. I was discharged before he was. I left, for the second time in 13 months, having gone into a hospital pregnant and leaving with nothing to show for it. I didn’t think I would ever have to leave my baby on discharge day.
These situations I found myself in had not played out in my head as I daydreamed of my baby’s birthday and first 24 hours of life.
And when G was finally home I was still so tired. Baby blues turned into post partum depression and I continuted to find myself in awe, but not very overjoyed about my baby and motherhood.
On maternity leave I thought that I would be going for walks, showing off my little guy to visitors, taking numerous pictures of him Anne Geddes style with the camera I had bought especially for the new addition to our family. Overall being a very proud and happy mother.
Theses are things I expected to happen after G was born. But they didn’t. I was too too tired (and scared) to hold him first. Too tired to ask for pictures of me and the baby I wanted to meet so badly. When I finally felt ready, I wasn’t allowed to cuddle him when I wanted to because he was in the NICU. I spent my days and nights crying. Second guessing myself. Dreading going back to work, but not too thrilled about taking care of a baby 24/7 like I thought I wanted either. Feeling trapped.
And once again Face.book is here to show me what I missed. Friends are still having babies. Only now I am acutely aware that they are posting family pictures with baby and parents. Of mom and baby. Dad and baby. They are posting how grateful they are that everyone made it through safely. They are posting about how they haven’t loved anything so much. How they love being a parent already.
This makes my heart hurt and fill with guilt.
Guilt because I just couldn’t feel these happy, wonderful things until I was put on medicine. Guilt because I can’t go back in time and keep G in my room that first night. Guilt because I am, 5 months later, just starting to enjoy my rainbow baby. Guilt because I feel like I was robbed of, and I robbed G of, a million precious moments because of my lack of enthusiasm. Moments I won’t ever get back.
I feel like I am back where I was about 10 months ago. Wanting to update my status to let people know that, just like pregnancy, motherhood doesn’t come so easy to everyone and to stop rubbing it in my face already.
Because I am on the other side again. Grieving. Over the fairy tale ending of G’s birth that didn’t happen. Over those special moments I can’t get back.