It happened today. I have been waiting for this moment, and it finally arrived. You know, that feeling of utter helplessness, as if time has stopped right in front of you while the world around you keeps swirling and twirling? And no matter how hard you try you cannot make it stop? I thought I might not feel it this time. Not with this friend’s baby. Not with this experience. Not this time.
But it did come, and caught me completely off guard. It happened at Little League. Adam “got the text.” Finally, baby arrived safe and sound, mama too. Great! I sent a quick text and went back to reading. As I read, it hit me. My mind started reeling. I thought of my dear friends welcoming their long-awaited son into the world. I remembered all the times I had pictured that moment for us, and all the times it never actualized. I saw husband looking on wife, as if she had given him the world. I envisioned the bonding that moment affords, and it was almost more than I could bear. I felt myself fading. I thought for sure I was going to pass out.
I am glad that I had the ninos’ interest to motivate me to the hospital that night. I did not want to miss it, but after the experience earlier in the evening, I would not have gone otherwise. It was unbelievably hard for me…..harder than I expected. Of course, there was no pretense on my part that it would be a walk in the park, but I also did not expect the good old feelings of loss and grief to surface so quickly. The tears started as soon as I hugged Robert, although I did keep it together while at the hospital. Unfortunately, the 40 minute drive home allowed much time to think and to cry.
Well, it has been a week now and I have realized where my jealousies lie, and why. The good news…I am not jealous of Baby. I am not jealous of Jaime. I am certainly not jealous of the pregnancy or the labor or the breastfeeding. The bad news…I am so very jealous of The Husband factor. As I think about it, this has been the only source of true jealousy with any of my sisters’ and friends’ pregnancies.
I am jealous of how he holds the baby with gentleness and reverence. How he carries him around the house not letting him out of his sight not even when he showers. How he now looks differently at his wife, and always will. How he smiles with that knowing smile that “He’s The Dad.” I am most jealous of the apparent and incredible joy that this tiny little life has brought to my friend’s husband! Since Adam and Robert are close friends, I see it and feel it more clearly. What do I see? I see with Robert what could have been with Adam. And even today, it breaks my heart into a thousand tiny pieces to know that I might never get to see my husband in that light. To give him that joyful gift.
My loving husband offered his shoulder after our hospital visit. He sweetly reminded me that he felt more bonded and closer to me during our first two weeks in Bogota. I appreciated his meager attempt. But he, of all people, knows it is not the same, not by a long shot. Our “bonding time” has taken place in the midst of tough love, language barriers and paperwork. For some crazy reason, I think that bonding with, and over, a baby is a little different. If I did not love Adam so much, maybe I would not feel this loss so intently.
Shouldn’t I be grateful for what I have? I mean the ninos are now woven into our lives, our families, our legacy. We wouldn’t trade them for 100 billion dollars (give or take:). And yet, I still–and probably always will–mourn our losses when times like these arise. There are no conclusions or resolutions here, just feelings. Honest emotion.
Zackary has blessed his parents’ lives, and I am so grateful to be a part of the experience.