I've essentially been a wreck for two days.
Trever went back to work for the first time yesterday. Not a huge deal, but we missed him.
Then I took my kids for a play date. That should be a highlight. I'm so thankful for the woman who has wanted to give us support, give us some free time. And I knew the kids would have fun. But it was stressful for me. I don't leave my kids with other people. With my friends rarely, with family... well, as far as my parents are concerned I'm not sure my kids realize that both houses aren't their "home". It's a beautiful relationship. But we don't have baby sitters, and I've only left Nathan for a play date once. Do I sound like a strange mom? Probably. Whatever, it's just the way it's worked out for us.
My chest was tight with anxiety. But I am determined to fight anxiety. It doesn't get to win. Maybe if I had a logical reason, or even a rational fear, but that's rare. So I dropped them off. And then tried to call a friend to distract myself. No answer. So I called my dad, who had Andrew because I couldn't take him. I knew he would cry and didn't know if he would snap out of it so I didn't torture myself or him.
Then I got to thinking about an upcoming trip to Hawaii. We've been planning it since the start of the year. It'll be the first the first trip with just Trever and me in years. We had hoped we would be bringing a baby, so there is some sadness involved.
My anxiety grew as I thought about leaving the kids and going on a trip. I totally "get" those people who won't travel on an airplane together... and my mind wants me to consider not driving to the airport together. Lucky for Trever I fight my crazy-emotionally-irrational moments. But even though anxiety doesn't get to win in the long term...it definitely took over yesterday and today.
I ended up in tears on the phone multiple times, without warning.
I wanted to go see a newborn baby. (My friend from the river had her baby on Monday night). Thankfully my friend Beth suggested I wait until Trever, or someone else, could be with me. I was a wreck.
When I talked to my friend Jen she was trying to reassure me that I didn't need to go to the hospital. That I could wait until the timing was better, until I was feeling better. Without even knowing what I was going to say I choked out "but I just want to hold a baby".
That statement started to help me realize where my anxiety was coming from. Yes, dropping my kids off is hard for me, but the layers of stress were what was really causing my pain.
I have separation anxiety lately, I'm so concerned with something happening to someone else in my family.
I haven't been back to the hospital since we left on July 26th. There are so many emotions surrounding our time there. That is the only place where we have memories of holding Abigail.
And I have been longing to hold a baby, but this would be my first opportunity.
And I was going through all of this without my best friend, my husband.
I survived the day... the kids had fun, I didn't go to the hospital, and I finally got to chat with Trever about how I was feeling.
Oh wait... and our bench was delivered for Abby's Garden. I love her garden, it's beautiful. But it is a very emotional place for me. The bench is wonderful, it's perfect.
So I survived... and slept good (thanks to a wonderful chiro appointment!!!).
And then it started all over again today. But today I wasn't the only emotional one in the family (my kids joined me for some reason... just for the records, misery doesn't need company).
I decided I needed to clean out baby stuff. Boy stuff, baby gear, and girl clothes. Letting go of those things is sentimental, letting go of them early because I don't have a baby to use them is overwhelming. I know I could have waited, but seeing them in the house unused isn't any better so they had to go.
Handing off the girl clothes, remembering Natalie being a baby and knowing that we won't need them again is so sad. Folding up the newborn clothes, the only ones I had washed, and putting them in a sack broke my heart a bit. We never had the chance to put her in any of the outfits that were waiting at home.
By the time we were heading to the hospital I was tense. And I was taking it out on Trever.
Somehow, luckily, I had a moment of clarity and we were able to talk through the experience before we got to the hospital. Life is better when we are on the same page, when I am able to articulate my feelings. When I talk through things it opens the door for Trever to join me and share his thoughts.
So I shed my tears in the car, I embraced the ache in my chest with a bit of excitement and apprehension.
And then we went in and held that darling little girl. And it didn't hurt at all. She is her own self, she didn't remind us of Abby at all. We were able to just hold her and feel love for her. It was wonderful.
As we left we saw Vivienne. Definitely a healing moment. Vivienne, Kylie and Dianna will always hold such a special place in our hearts, in our memories. We were so blessed by each of them. It felt so good to connect with someone who was part of our story on this visit to the hospital.
My heart feels at peace. It feels a bit exhausted, but calm.
Part of me wished we could have slept over at the hospital. Just laid there and told stories. There are so many moments to remember. Did I just infer that I would want to stay overnight in a hospital??? Yes, I am a bit crazy. But after 4 children and the intensity of Abigails life, St. Pete's Labor and Delivery unit just feels like a piece of home, it holds part of my heart.