Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomorrow night

I've got an 8pm flight to California. I'll be there until Sunday night, when I take a red-eye back home. Dad will be there til this Friday night.

Certainly, I have a lot of mixed feelings.

Mostly, I can't wait to meet my niece, can't wait to hold her. I've seen pictures of her (gorgeous), of my sister holding her, looking at her (and looking exactly like my mom, btw), looking like a mother with her child. Which, of course, she is. Then the picture of my dad holding her, which makes me choke up every. single. time. The last time I saw that look on his face was my wedding day. He's positively beaming at her, and totally smitten. Finally holding his live, healthy grandchild. On the phone, his voice sounds happy.

And yet it hurts. C looked at a picture of the baby, but doesn't want to see me or my dad holding her. Too much of what should have been. What almost was. I don't blame him. Not at all.

[[My grandmother asked me to kiss the baby for her, but on the back of the head, so as not to give her germs: "on the back of the head," she says, "not on her face." In traditional family style, she initially tried to avoid the subject of the baby. It took me an hour to recover from that 10-minute phone call. Thankfully, my brother sent me a text, and he let me vent, and cry and recover. I'm so glad we're in touch again.]]

This baby is only about 6 days old, and already she has brought so much happiness to my whole family. Long-awaited happiness. Even for me. Especially for me. And yet.

I have no idea how this is going to go. My sister had some bleeding from her incision after she was released. By after, I mean she and my BIL (and niece, of course) were on their way to the car, in the garage of the hospital. So, they went back up, and she was admitted again, overnight, fixed up and released again yesterday.

She's going to have to be careful. She's going to need more help, I think, than she originally thought she would. I told her I would cook, and shop, and run errands, and help put things away. So long as I got baby-holding time, I joked.

I'm afraid I'm going to be sad, and fall into old patterns. I want to be the Me I've become. The grown-up. The strong. The brave. I want to.

I'm afraid I'm going to be overwhelmed and not helpful. A's little sister, with her (sister's) baby, and her (sister's) huge new house. Little Suzi, again.

She doesn't expect me to be waiting on her hand and foot. She says, the only one who's going to be attached to her hip will be the baby. I'll have time to myself, on a separate floor. I'll bring stuff to do. My 'scripts, of course. And I'll be getting out of the house, visiting some of C's friends -- well, I guess they're mine, too. Friends who are happy and busy and financially stable.

CLC wrote about Green Eyes recently. I get it. I have them, too. Someday, maybe, I'll be holding my own child. But this loss will always hurt. It will never make sense. I think I will always feel different.

It will be okay, I'm sure. I won't fall apart. It won't be easy all the time, but I think -- hope -- it will be good.

To thank you for all your good wishes, and all your support, I'll leave you for the week with some pictures of the kitties and the dog, for your viewing pleasure.

Hazel on the left, Abby on the right:

Hazel and Abby, again:

A sleepy Stella, chin on her paw:

And one more of Stella:

Take care, everyone.


Mrs. Spit said...

Sending hugs. You won't be alone.

Busted said...

I'll be thinking of you and hoping the thoughts of what should have been don't outweigh the happiness of meeting your niece. You're so strong to be doing this.

I also meant to thank you for continuing to read and comment on our blog - I'm so grateful you're still following as I'm sure it can be difficult at times.

k@lakly said...

great pix! not sure where in cali but if it is the south part, i'm here and am happy to hook up if you need some db support while you're in town.

Rachel said...

Good luck this week. Even if you have moments when you need to escape and things you cannot face, I am sure you will be proud in the long run that you were able to go and support your sister and meet your niece.

melka said...

So bittersweet, all of it. Thinking of you this week.

Michele said...

Such a bittersweet situation... Sending you hugs...

loribeth said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip. Bittersweet, for sure...

Astrid said...

You will be fine. A similar thing happened to me recently - spent a whole weekend with a very close friend's new baby and my parents. I thought I was going to die. But it turned out that all the people and all the distraction was enough to leave no time for left-over grieving or feeling sorry for myself. I really wanted it to be me that brought such joy to my parents and my husband, but it was just as well that the joy was brought, whatever the pathway. And I found that people were eager to find things to talk about other than the kid after a while. Finally, spending a whole long weekend with a baby actually reminded me not to take the child-free time for granted, however badly I still want it to be over.

Julia said...

I am sure it will be hard. But though it's your sister's baby, and your sister's house, you are NOT little Suzy. This is your decision, a decision of hard work, and love, and heartbreak, and agency. You are going to help, but you are not the help. You are family. You are that baby's aunt. Which is a huge deal, and a very important person.

Best of luck to you, and may this be a healing trip, as much as it can possibly be. I'll be thinking of you.

erica said...

Wishing you strength, and more sweet than bitter.

I think you are already being an amazing sister and aunt.

Betty M said...

Best wishes for the trip.Hope it goes well for you.

Newt said...

Boy, that Little Suzi part really hit home with me. I am the same way around my family, and always in danger of slipping. I hope this is a good, healing trip, and your niece brings lots of love into your life. Be well, Sue! (p.s. I love Stella)

Amy said...

Be safe and I hope your trip goes well! Thinking of you!

Amy said...

By the way, Happy Birthday!

Tash said...

I hope you're doing ok on your trip -- wanted to wish you a belated (happy?) birthday.

I hope you're finding ways to be helpful that aren't too much of an emotional gut punch.

And I could just reach out and scratch that dog's tummy -- what a cutie!

charmedgirl said...

i'm late, and i havent yet read your latest posts.

three months after paige died (to the day), my best friend had her baby girl. i was with her for her labor and birth. i cried a little and felt strange, but that baby just wasn't mine. i held her and she felt like her own self...not like my paige.

a year after paige died (almost to the day...september 1st to paige's sept 9th) by sister had a baby boy. (thank GOD it was a boy.) i was with her for her labor and birth. i didn't cry and i didn't feel strange. (time and circumstance?) he felt like his own self, too.

that being said, it's not the same for me as it is for you. (it never is, is it?) even so, that baby is her own self and you are her aunt! it sounds like your sister is mindful of you, and made it so that you can step back if you need to. love that baby. and yourself.