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I’ve been wanting to write for weeks now, but life with a 6 month old doesn’t afford you much free time. I saw that my good friend Angie posted this project again and it just seemed like the perfect excuse to sit down and write. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about Silas and I am ready to get them down. I just re-read my post from last year when I had been newly pregnant. I remember clearly feeling such anxiety after having had a bleeding scare and thinking “holy shit, I could actually lose this pregnancy right now.”
It was a great post, one that felt important for me to write. After losing Silas, I had grieved for a long time and then tried to put it aside to focus on getting pregnant. That took most of my energy for the next almost 2 years. It felt like I was betraying Silas in a way but it was all I had room for. The pregnancy was a tough one though, fraught with worry at every twist and turn. We were completely teetering on the edge, that’s what it felt like every second. I wanted to believe that it couldn’t possibly happen again, but I know way too much in this babylost world. I knew my odds were pretty good to have a live, healthy baby, but then again I was on the wrong side of the odds the first time. So really, anything could happen and I wasn’t quite sure of anything. All I was sure of was that I wanted this baby more then anything in my life.
But here I am, with 6 month old Zephyr Rigel who is the most amazing little guy. He’s perfect in every way, and our lives are forever transformed because of him. I knew I would love being a mom, but it was always a dream. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real, that I get to parent this living, breathing, beautiful human. He’s mine and we created him. It has taken so long to finally get to this point where I have a baby in my arms that I stare at him and kiss his face a zillion times a day to make sure it’s real.
This post though isn’t about Zephyr, it’s about his older brother Silas who I miss terribly. I miss his being the older brother that Zephyr will never know. I will sometimes mention him to Zephyr, knowing that one day that conversation will really have to happen. I miss him when I see my friend’s kids who were born around the same time. That will probably always make me sad, forever. I get a lump in my throat when I’m around those kids- it’s something I can’t seem to shake.
When I was pregnant again, the question “is this your first?” was the hardest. It made me think of Silas every time and how I should answer. I changed it up depending on how I felt at the time. I liked to mention him, so I did often. It felt right. It didn’t happen every time, just when it felt appropriate and I got good at giving my answer. That’s how often it was asked. I believe Silas was with me during the pregnancy, and his presence was felt when I heard his little brother let out his first cry. The cry that Silas never made, came out doubly loud with his brother. He made sure we knew he was alive and well, and it truly was the best sound I have heard in my life. I get the chills just thinking about it.
When Zephyr was born, I think he looked like that picture we have of Silas. I think about all the pieces of Silas we’ll never know and hope that his baby brother is carrying on some of those traits. Traits like the infectious laugh when we make silly sounds at him or sing his name, his constantly moving legs, or his insane focus when trying to get that toy exactly right in his mouth. His eyebrows are super expressive. I like to think Silas may have had the same ones. It’s hard to tell though, the live memory of him has faded. We only have a few pictures and I never took enough time to study him like I should have. When I think about him, I think about that picture. I wish I knew his feet as well as I know Zephyr’s. I love his feet, I am always playing with them, knowing they will be way larger then mine one day. Boys feet start off so sweet and innocent but grow to be something so completely not! I am savoring them while they are still small and cute.
I think I may be too tired and too busy to grieve his loss most days. This moment when I think about him it makes me angry mostly and of course really sad. Angry for a loss that never should have happened. Angry that my baby doesn’t get a brother, that we don’t have 2 sons and our parents are missing a grandson. I am sad too. But mostly I feel joy for the baby I have now, for his beautiful and pure life that we get to experience every second of every day. As heartbroken and devastated as we are about Silas, that is how ecstatic and in love I am now about Zephyr.
Our little love bug is finally here! Zeph was born on Friday Nov 18 at 8:15 am weighing in at 6lbs 13oz. His screams were truly the best sound I’ve ever heard and brought us both to tears. I’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever- the cries of my baby, him being placed on my chest, attached to my breast, snuggled up on top of me. It all seems surreal, like one beautiful dream. But it’s not, it’s real.
Zeph is the cutest baby ever (yes, I know all parents say that). He is a screamer, a snuggler, and a good sleeper which has been wonderful. He keeps us guessing and on our toes.
Zephyr means west wind. Rigel was named for my grandma Ruth in the jewish tradition and is also the brightest star in Orion. Silas is with us and a part of him.
I have been procrastinating writing for weeks now, but this amazing project brought me back. I have had so many thoughts and feelings swirling around in my brain lately, but nothing was forcing me over to my blog to put it out there.
Until tonight, reading through blogs I’ve left behind, blogs I used to read all the time but just haven’t wanted to go to lately. I came across something that I need to be a part of.
It’s been National Infertility Awareness Week and I need to show my support. I am part of the community whether I like it or not. Reading through this list of What Ifs had me in tears. So many resonated with me but these are the few that I live in every day.
What if I will never get to be a mother?
This is my fear. I got pregnant pretty easily the first time but then lost my baby Silas Orion to a really difficult delivery. He died 10 hours after he was born. As a teacher to other people’s children, I have been aching for my own. I want a child to have Chris’ sense of humor, my laughter, and the curly hair we both share. We came so close and it was taken away. Silas was beautiful and perfect and we’ll never know him. I have so much love to give a child, my child. I am sick of being patient.
What if we didn’t choose to do a homebirth?
This one never goes away. If we chose to birth our baby in the hospital, maybe we would still have him today. We’ll never know. We talk ourselves into believing it could have been worse. Our choice of homebirth still haunts us.
What if I just never get pregnant again?
It’s been a year and a half. Month after month of the negative preg test or getting my period. I’ve become used to it. We’ve done clomid, IUI’s, injectibles- none of which has worked. I am healthy, Chris is healthy, we are among the unexplained. Especially since I got pregnant before without meds. I just turned 39 on Wednesday. I had a wonderful birthday, I made sure of it. Did all the things I wouldn’t have done if I were pregnant (went to nyc & drank, ate sushi, saw Courtney Love rock out in a smokey club) and had a grand ol’ time.
Our Niece was born on my birthday as well. Noa Seda Gallagher came into this world on Apr. 28, named after the cousin she’ll never know. Seda means echo or spirit of the forest. Silas means man of the forest, so it is fitting. It is a beautiful tribute, one that brought me to tears during my birthday lunch. In the year and a half we’ve been trying to get pregnant again, so many others have had their babies. Noa and I will have a very special relationship of course, since we share a birthday and she is named after my son. It’s just that her perfect and beautiful birth is another reminder of what we don’t have, and what we want desperately.
This IVF process has actually been ok so far. The meds aren’t making me crazy(yet), my body feels strong & healthy (thanks bootcamp!) and I have been feeling hopeful. Something switched in me though yesterday. I crashed hard after the fun of my birthday. Reality set in. There is a new baby in the family, and here I am in the middle of taking some crazy drugs that will hopefully get me pregnant.
But What if they don’t work?
And I have to do this again and again. I read about women having to do cycle after cycle of this, and I don’t know if I have it in me. It’s been a year of using the meds and I don’t know how much longer I can do it. I hope I don’t have to.
As per instructions from Mel, we need to end our post on a positive note. So I’ll try these on for size-
What if this one will be the charm and I actually get to be a mom to a living child? What if I actually get to hold my very own newborn baby in my arms in 9 months?
ah, that felt really good.
~I am getting one of the pairs of lucky socks!!! Thank you Statia & Helen- it’s much appreciated. Thank you all who voted for me, you guys are all super awesome. We met with our RE today and it has been decided to try the injectibles before heading straight to IVF. So that’s where we’re at right now. These socks will definitely come in handy.
~More happy news- Paige, who lost her son Cayden a year ago this month, just gave birth to Severin Cayden yesterday! Little Sev now shares a birthday with Carly who turned 2. Carly and her parents are home now after another stint in the hospital and we’re hoping she gets time to heal for good.
~Bandha is the same as he’s been the last week. No better no worse. I keep giving him the meds and hope that he’s not in pain. He continues to eat and want to go outside, so I guess it’s all about waiting and watching.
~In 2 weeks I’m going to visit SF for the Yoga Journal Conference! I really wanted to go this year so I applied for a scholarship that they offer- it’s really expensive to attend these yoga conferences. I have taught kids classes at them in the past and also attended them when they were more affordable to me. This year I knew I needed a trip out to SF to see my friends and meet with my teachers, and I knew I needed to go to this conference. So I applied for the scholarship and got it. I beyond excited (I even had a dream about it this morning!)
While I am there, I get to meet Paige and little Sev as well as Aliza. I can’t wait. In the midst of all this crappiness, it’s nice to have something fun to look forward to.
Congrats to my dear friends Sally & Simon who have been on this journey with us since the beginning. Little Angus was born this morning and everyone is doing great. Send some warm wishes their way!