One year ago....
I was grateful for epidurals.
I was, strangely enough, watching the Today Show.
I was being flipped over every few minutes because the peanut's heartbeat kept slowing down.
I was joking with Meredith who was also exhausted, and had narrowly avoided fainting while watching me get my epidural.
I was exhausted. Falling asleep in between flips and again feeling grateful for the epidural.
One year ago I hadn't met Jane. It seems impossible now, but it's true. We didn't even know if the peanut was a boy, or a girl. Well, Mere says she knew the whole time--definitely channeling her mom, I think, so how appropriate to name the baby after her.
One year ago, that little peanut ended up, excuse the phrasing on this, really shooting out like a cannon--the doctor cried out to Mere, "stand back!" as she caught that flying baby. The peds whisked her away to make sure she didn't inhale the meconium, and we just waited, patiently, in a room that had suddenly gotten VERY quiet. Finally the OB called over to the peds, do we have a boy or a girl over there? they said, "Oh, it's a girl!" Without even seeing her, I looked at Mere and said, "it's our Janey!" Oh the happy tears that started then!
One year ago I didn't really understand the love that mamas can have for their babies. It's pretty amazing. Powerful stuff. And, it makes me hurt so much for mamas around the world who can't stop terrible things that sometimes happen to our babies. That's what I keep thinking about this week as I hear, see, and read about the devastation in Haiti. I keep thinking about mothers who couldn't protect their babies, mothers who died to save their babies, and the mamas and babies who live in this world now without each other. It's awful, and nearly paralyzing. I don't know how one goes on after that.
And, one year ago from today, I had no idea that nine days later I would start to feel that fear, in a very real way, about losing you, my own little Janey love. When they didn't know what was wrong with you, when they didn't know how to fix it, and we just watched you get weaker and weaker, sicker and sicker, and tinier and tinier in a big hospital crib. I was scared to hold you--my own baby, I didn't know how to do it anymore. I barely had figured it out before you got sick, and then all of a sudden there were IV tubes, feeding tubes, monitors in the way. I stopped even recognizing the pain that I still carried around from giving birth to you, and instead could only focus on the pain and fear of losing you. Mere was so much braver about it--sometimes I could barely stand to see what they had to do to test and treat you. I will always be grateful for her holding your hands and looking after you while they did that terrible eye test. I'll be grateful for her for so many different reasons, but that's at the top.
One year ago, I had no idea how mercurial and crazy I could become. I mostly chalk it up to the fact that (twelve months later!) we still don't have you on a solid sleep schedule. but I can be happy and laughing with you one minute, and the next feel like if the other mama doesn't get home soon I might crack from the effort of looking after you. I don't understand how single parents do it. I hate it when I see myself approaching the edge, but know that I can almost always ask for help before I get there. If I could figure out the time and money, I know I'd benefit from talking to a therapist again, but when would that happen? It seems impossible. Right now I just want 2010 to be the year that sleep returns to our lives. Can you help me with that, my dear?
One year ago, I hadn't even had a chance to meet my favorite person. I relished being pregnant, I was anxious to meet my little one, but I had no idea how wonderful you could possibly be. You light up a room, my lovely Jane, and you truly light up my life.
One year ago, I became a mama. And, I love you for that, my Janeybell.