Sunday, April 17, 2011

Holding a Baby

I know there was a lot of talk last week about not holding another baby until you have another of yours in your arms again. I love the idea behind it, the connectivity from your baby to your next baby. The only problem? I already did it. I held another baby in the weeks after Jack was born, a friend's 6 month old son. I "ruined" the whole connectivity.

And then, on Friday, I visited with a friend who had a little girl a couple weeks after we lost Jack. And I held her. I bounced her, I rocked her.  I even kissed her head (yes, I'm THAT creepy friend).  She smiled at me, and I smiled back.

I thought, before I arrived, that the very act of seeing her would break my heart. She is, almost exactly, a replica of what I do not have. Except she's not Jack, and will never be Jack.  I surprised myself at not being jealous as I thought I might be.  She weighed nearly twice what Jack weighed, and was much more alert than Jack was. There weren't really any similarities, but maybe this is because she's no longer a newborn? She was using her last size 1 diaper before moving onto size 2. Jack never even came close to leaving NB sized diapers. In the NICU, they used size 1s- they were SWIMMING on him. Funny the little things you remember...

We went for a walk, baby in her stroller being pushed by her mama. I don't think I could have pushed her around, I think THAT is my sacred thing. You know how I feel about stroller days, yes? Yeh, that would have been too much for me. She was in her car seat being pushed around-  the exact same model as we have for Jack. That didn't make me jealous- I dream of pushing future McBabes around in the bassinet portion in the stroller- this is a huge part of why I bought my particular model. Jack "slept" in his bassinet from the stroller, this will be the connection, I guess.

And of course the love. The unabashed love I will feel for the little man or little lady who will call my womb home for 9 months. I'd really like him or her to chose to get in there soon (surprised?).  My husband and I joke there's likely a crudely carved, "Jack was here, 2010" as well as an arrow pointing down which would read "do NOT, under any circumstances, exit here", for the next baby to see. ha ha. Tips from the big brother. :)

BTW, 1 year ago today we conceived Jack. I just mentioned this to my husband who replied with, "I still can't believe he's gone". Hmm. :(

Now, onto the most random question: Does anyone else experience fantom "movement"? I have woken up a couple times this week feeling like I have a baby elbow, foot, or knee kicking me. So weird. I'm not pregnant, so that's weird, right? I like to think it's Jack, reminding me he was here. :)


Kelly said...

I felt that a lot after I had Natalie. Little flutters. This time around, I feel like harder bigger movements, like almost a hard spot in my tummy that seems to move. Weird, right?

It always makes me sad to hear Jim say things like your husband says. Like when he randomly says, I miss my son. I know he feels it, so I don't know why it surprises me when he says it.

B. Wilson said...

Totally experienced some of those movements myself. It's kind of nice, kind of creepster. I feel as though my mind is playing games with me. I wonder if women who haven't lost their babies also experience such movements?!

It's all good to have your "thing"-- because the truth is, even if we aren't intentional about connecting our kiddos, we do. The very same items you used with Jack will be used for babe #2. You'll bring them home to the same house (probably) even if that wasn't your first intention. They'll share the same ute for God sakes! :)

Have your thing, girl. Just another way we get through the day just a tad bit easier.

Shell said...

Yes, I feel movement. I've been having pains or feelings on the left side of the tummy. I don't know if it is something bad or just me in a fog. I am having a hard day today. Not sure why. I am reading blogs hoping it helps me a little.

As for the holding other babies. I saw a newborn about three weeks before my Leia was delivered and did not hold him. I was at that point just wanting to save my baby holding for Leia. I don't want to hold another baby unless it is ours. I am not sure that will ever happen but I am hoping.

little vitu's mom said...

I have felt that movement few times . I felt it today, a few hours ago from now. I was about to discuss about it with my husband and forgot. Wonder what it is? BTW, you are so brave to hold other little babies. Sweet Jack will be proud of you I think.

New Year Mum said...

So lovely that you were a peace with holding your friend's baby.... that must have been so hard and your words sound so peaceful. I certainly felt phantom movement after Gabrielle was born... it went on for quite a while and really felt as though she was with me still xoxo

Lia Larson said...

I know how you feel about being "that creepy friend". I don't think it's creepy, but the thought does cross my mind when I hold other babies - that the parents might think that I somehow think I'm holding mine, or that I'm thinking of mine... I also have felt the phantom kicks lately. I heard about other people having this right around the time we lost our baby in Oct. but didn't experience it myself until the past month or so. Very strange feeling. For me it makes me want to be pregnant even more.

Rachel said...

I too have felt those "fantom flutters." It is strange to me, but facinating at the same time. I think the whole baby holding thing is different for each person. For me it is not holding an newborn. I have held a 5 months old baby and an 11 month old baby since we lost Emily, but to me it is not the same as holding a newborn. Which right now I still cannot do.

Becky said...

I never would have thought I would have wanted to hold another baby until I had my own little one again. My volunteering in the NICU thing is amazing and scary since I am having to hold babies of all ages/sizes. I seem to be handling it okay so far but not sure if I could handle a friends baby or really any baby outside of the NICU. It's different in a good way I guess.
I am actually kind of jealous that I never felt any phantom kicking, just feel empty :(

Molly said...

I'm not not holding a baby bc of any connection thing. I'm just not holding babies (or getting within a mile of one LOL) bc I will lose it. I cannot handle it right now, and I really don't need to be makin' a fool of myself even more in public. No babies for me!

Natalie Ross said...

Your strong! I struggle holding babies. I do it, but it makes me miss Maddie so much more. Reading your words really strikes close to home. So sad. I have nightmares almost nightly. I'm always searching for her. It's so hard. Do you do this?
Hope your week gets easier.
Love and prayers,

Keleen said...

I've held other babies since we lost Addison in December and at first I remember thinking I shouldn't so Addison was the last baby I held until no. 2 comes around. I have to say that I am really glad I did though. I wasn't sure how it would feel and it was great when I didn't feel anything for that other baby, no tears no nothing because the truth is that Addison is the only baby I want and any random baby isn't her. It did make me wonder what the baby's parents thought as I was holding their baby...I wanted to say don't worry I'm not going to steal your baby! I think it's a good step. Everyone is different, but I'm glad it was a positive thing for you. I also get phantom movement...a lot actually. I have a love/hate relationship with it.

lissasue3 said...

I have also held a baby, and I found it comforting. It took a while for me to want to but eventually I did. I plan to hold my new nephew next month too. It's not Charlotte, so I think I will be okay.

And yes - phantom movements are quite normal. :)

Dana said...

I haven't held a live baby yet, but my sister is due with a baby boy in 6 days, so the day is approaching fast. I would like to wait to hold a baby, especially a baby boy, until I am holding my next child, but it just isn't possible without everyone talking about it. And I will want to hold my nephew too. But I think it will be tough.

I like what you said about the babies sharing the same womb. I often think that. That Jacob's next sibling will share the same "home" that he did. I just hope it treats the next one better than it treated him.

I've read that it is normal to have phantom movement for a year or so after giving birth.

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