I worry a great deal about whether I am prepared to parent a living child. I have wanted children my entire life, I'm fairly certain my best girlfriends would point their fingers at me to say they always thought I'd have babies first. I'm the girl who named my babies with my high school boyfriend, and had a university boyfriend (fling?) offer to trade in his pick-up for a Volvo with car seats... I'd like to tell you I'm not weird, but likely I am, and likely the guys I always dated were too.
And in the days of having Jack home, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. He was all mine. He was so cute. I would stare at him and trace his perfect nose, lips and chin with my finger tip, admiring the perfect little specimen we had created. And I knew he would be mine forever, which was incredibly hard to believe even though I'd had 9+ months to prepare for this realization.
And he will be mine forever, but never quite in the way I imagined. And I'm angry about this. Not only because he never had the chance to live his life, not only because I know his few short days must have been painful ones for him, but I'm also angry for the way I feel now.
I'm angry to have lost my confidence to be an amazing parent. I never doubted this before, was never a question in my mind Jack would have everything he could ever want, and I would get it for him. I'm so angry that I will never feel like I'm exactly where I should be again. I know when this baby gets here (please, oh please let him/her get here safely), my anxiety will be at an all-time high- I will question every decision, and in fact every single move I make.
The thoughts which littered my mind before he arrived were those of cuddles, stinky diapers, walks in the stroller. In the days after him, I was consumed by figuring out where did this all went wrong? Why us? Why him? Now, I worry about what can I do to prevent history from repeating itself.
And I'm scared, because by becoming pregnant again I've made myself vulnerable to experiencing pain once again. Burning, searing pain. And I honestly don't know that I could do this again. Seriously. If I had to start this all over for a second time, I really don't think I have it in me to pull up my socks and try again.
I don't have the confidence that I innately know what to do with a baby anymore, something I took for granted a year ago. Because in the words of my smarty-pants friend Brandy, it's almost as if I'm more prepared for what to do if this baby doesn't make it. Because that's the only outcome I've ever known.
I'm terrified to breastfeed, even though I was so looking forward to it with Jack. Ultimately, it was the breastfeeding complications which drew us to the hospital that cold January day and where this downward spiral which ending in losing Jack began. I hate that. Breastfeeding always carried such an attachment for me. I had hoped that we would be a natural pair at it, and I would feel like I was giving him everything he needed to be nourished. But now that relationship will always be love/hate. If it works better with this baby, why him/her, and why not Jack?
I've lost my instinct. I've lost my confidence. I've lost my baby. Where do I go from here? How do I ever attempt to get this back? How do I get my confidence back, and have faith this might all work out?