Can it really be that carrying the wonder of Liam in my womb is over? There are times when I am resting and phantom kicks remind me of the brief time I carried him, full of hope and anticipation, and now I can watch him resting peacefully on my breast after nursing.
A planned C-section on May 29th at noon was the appointed time, but all the bags were packed several days before. As you can well imagine on the night of the 28th I had little sleep. By 4:00 a.m. I gave up, went downstairs and watched Mansfield Park. By 10:30 I had my husband take my bags and my family followed me over to the hospital, eager to meet the newest addition to the Sloan clan.
My little girl Kathryn crawled up on to my lap in the room where I had my NST's and watched Dora the Explorer for the final time as an only child. Soon she will be a big sister! Many kisses and a prayer sent us to prepare for the Operating Room. My family went to the play room while Bill got ready. I have to admit, the preparation for a C-section where I would be awake was nerve racking and the anticipation of what was to come did not help matters. It was cold in the operating room and I was shaking from the temperature and anxiety. Looking back, it was not painful but it wasn't comfortable either and a part of me is relieved that I will not have to experience it again.
The one thing that did disturb me was there was a point in the procedure where I heard them count to three and in my heart I knew what it was. On my two week follow up with my O.B. he confirmed my suspicion.
"Liam looks great Elizabeth. I'm really glad we delivered him when we did. He's quite the acrobat and had the cord around his neck three times. I'm really glad he's here."
My mom was with me at that appointment and afterwards felt sick at the knowledge. She asked me how I was and I told her that I already knew.
"You didn't tell me!" she exclaimed.
"Because Liam is alive and here mom. He's o.k."
Actually, it has been my husband who's had a hard time bonding with Liam. He still longs for Mychaela and hasn't really allowed himself time to grieve. I know that as with some moms (this is how it was for me with Kathryn), Bill is in a similar position of loving your newborn because that is what you are suppose to do. As time passes and you get to know who this new person is then the process of falling in love occurs.
For me, being able to write each week has allowed me to process a lot of things regarding Mychaela and Liam. The most important thing is that Liam is not a band-aide and I still miss my daughter. But I also love my son intensely and am just so grateful that he is here.
The C-section and the stay in the hospital went well. Liam came into this world a screaming, 7 pound, 20.5 inch boy. We recently had his two week follow up and he's already up to 7.90 pounds and 21 inches! I find myself mesmerized and very blessed. He is not a fussy baby but for the first few weeks ate every three to four hours. On the beginning of his third week I was able to sleep for five whole hours. WOO-HOO!!!!
This entire process has been trying and yet the reward is beyond imagination. I actually made some contacts at the hospital where Mychaela and Liam were delivered and I will be presenting information to the board in hopes of starting a group to support grieving parents and family members of perinatal loss.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for the support of your emails. For those of you who have experienced perinatal loss my heart aches for you. I have discovered that there is indeed hope in the deepest of sorrow. Their names are Jake, Cruz, Kathryn and Liam, my living children and the lesson of love given to me by Mychaela Joelle.