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.