When I arrived at the hospital, I was on total adrenaline rush. I was feeling excitement for truly the first time. I was saying things I hadn't even thought, and I was doing things I normally would completely avoid. Erika's entire pregnancy has been tough on me. The few hiccups during labor through me for a minor loop. I have cried many a tears the past several months, missing my boys. But I stood there and seriously rubbed my sister's pregnant belly while she lay there in labor. I stood there, watching my hand, in complete awe of what I was doing.
When she started pushing, we had to go ALL the way down to the waiting room. Now, this was tough on me. I needed to hear this baby cry. I needed it to know that everything was okay. But we were sent down three halls, through two sets of doors to sit in the quiet and wait. While we were waiting, a new mom (obvious by the half bent post c-section walk) walked past us to the elevators. With a pack of cigarrettes and a lighter sticking out of the top of her shirt. We got the call that Emily was here and crying and healthy. We walked down the hall and waited outside the nursery for the call for us to come in. The earlier mom walked by again with her husband, carrying two infant carriers. Seriously! The anger and resentment started to build.
We went in and was able to see and hold Miss Emily. She cried and cried and cried. But she's healthy and a cutie. I felt pretty good as I held her, but emotionally distant some. There was really nothing until I entered the elevator to head back to my dad's. Then the tears started to fall. All the emotion that was missing earlier was coming to surface. I called Rhonda and we talked for awhile about it all. Friends texted me through the day and that night with their support. I slept pretty well.
Wednesday came and we headed back up first thing in the morning. We were there for a few moments, I was holding Miss E., and the picture lady came in. She brought in a bassinett with items she can sell with pictures on them. Right there, staring me in the face, was a 20X30 bag with a picture of identical twin newborn baby boys holding each others hands, looking at each other. My heart exploded! I quickly, and carefully I am sure, handed Miss E back to my sister and tore out of there with Ethan. The pain that came was seriously insane. I tried over and over for 20 minutes or so to keep swallowing back the tears and the screams. But everytime I thought I had succeeded, that picture would pop into my mind. Finally, I gave in and let it loose. I stood there in front of the nursery on the baby floor and cried until I couldn't breathe.
If I were to rate the pain and anguish I felt during the first weeks after Lucas and Caleb were born I would definitely say a 10. The pain I felt all day Wednesday would be an 8 or 9, easily. I relived everything all over again. My heart was physcally hurting from it all. I couldn't stop crying, I could barely breathe, and I didn't know how to find my way out of this dark spot. This lasted all day long. I tried sleeping it off, I tried eating it away, but the pain and grief had found their way back in.
That night I hung out with my high school friend, Michelle, and was finally able to stop climbing out. Ethan was full of hugs, and once again my friends and parents were there with encouraging words.
Thursday was better. I held Miss E some more and enjoyed the sweetness. But having her in my arms reminds me of who we don't physically have. And makes my arms feel that much more empty when I put her down. I am determined to be a great aunt to her...it just might take some time before I can put my heart into it.
I have to say that I am ever so grateful to Dana, who warned me of how all this would go down. And I am grateful to all my friends who have been by my side through Erika's pregnancy and the days I was up there. I could not have made it through this on my own. My goal was to not take any happiness away from my sister...and I am pretty sure I succeeded at that with the help of so many.
Now for a picture or two...
Emily Oma Jo. Born 10/04/11 at 7:37pm. Weighing 6lbs 11oz and 19 inches long