*Malou and her brother*

Another blogger, Ella’s mom,
recently wrote that her daughter’s story
and her new pregnancy
are intertwined
because she is still grieving her daughter
while celebrating the new life.

I totally get that.

I have another blog
to keep my family updated
on my current pregnancy,
because this definitely isn’t the place for that.

But yet
there are so many emotions that
surface while being pregnant again,
so many comparisons,
many sweet, some bittersweet,
and it is impossible for me
to think of
of this precious new life
I am so lucky to carry right now,
without thinking of my darling girl

I am now 27 weeks pregnant,
and this active little boy
is estimated to weigh
1200 grams.

weighed 1420 grams
at birth
(almost 32 weeks).

I remember my mom telling me
to just wait until my younger brother
grew bigger than me.
(I guess I had a tendency to pick on him.)

I can’t remember exactly when it happened,
when Hank grew taller, stronger, heavier than me,
but I must have been a (young) teenager
(Interesting! Just realized
Hank and I are about 21 months apart,
which is how much difference there will be
and her baby brother).

It made me think
that this little boy
is only 5 weeks “younger”
than his sister ever got to be,
and he is almost as big as her already.

Soon he will be bigger than her.

That seems so strange to me.
I can’t put my finger on why,
but it just seems wrong.

is the big sister.

She should always be bigger,
older, wiser.

Of course,
as the “big sister” in my family,
I can’t say I am bigger or
even wiser than my brothers.

Just older.
They can never take that away from me. 😉

One thing
can do,
and is doing,
is protect her baby brother.

I don’t take chances
with this baby
(not that I did with her either)…

on Monday,
Baby Boy’s movement decreased.

I tried to stay calm,
went to work,
ate some sugar,
drank some ice cold water,
even laid down on my side and got a massage
(nice working environment, isn’t it? :)).

Nothing seemed to perk him up.

I finally called the midwife
who told me to come in for a scanning
just to be on the safe side.

You see,
the thing no one tells you
is that a decrease in movement
is sometimes an indication
that a child in utero
is having trouble.

a stillbirth follows
a period of decreased movement.

So it’s better to check on things
before they get to that point.

I of course didn’t know this with

She did have a period of decreased movement
about 3 weeks before she died.

But she never moved that much.

I can’t get that out of my head.
I just never knew
how active a baby could be.

Her brother
kicks me all day, every day

So when he was more relaxed than usual,
even though I was feeling him move,
I couldn’t help but get worried.

So 1 bus, 1 train, and 1 taxi ride later,
I finally made it to the hospital,
where I waited for 1.5 hours.

And then got to see a perfectly
healthy baby.

It was worth the wait.

We had another routine ultrasound scheduled for today,
which also went well.

Then we had another 1.5 hour wait
to speak to the head doctor,
who told me from now on
I can come in for an ultrasound every other week,
as well as an appointment with him.

He was very nice,
and went through
autopsy results with us again,
reassuring (if that’s the right word) us that
there was nothing that could have been done
to help her –
she most likely had some unknown,
uncommon genetic illness.

And he said nothing indicates
that her brother
has the same.

When we got home,
I looked at our little boy’s
ultrasound picture,
and studied his adorable profile.

Does his lower jaw sit
too far back from his upper jaw?

These are not the types of thoughts
I should have…

It’s just that one of
many, tiny little (im)perfections
that made her who she was,
and make the doctors suspect
she had some type of illness or disorder,
was that her lower jaw was too far back.

I need to trust the doctors
that Baby Boy looks fine.

And who am I to analyze a
grainy, black and white image??

Just a grieving, worried mama.

But at the next ultrasound,
I think I’ll ask them
(again) to take a close look at
Baby Boy’s jaw.

Even if it’s too late for
her life isn’t in vain.

It will help her brother,
and any other siblings,
and maybe someone else, someday, too.

And her little life
gave me so much pure happiness
for the months I held her within me
that she has more than
done her share for this world.

She brought more love
to my life than I thought was possible.

I hope one day
I can experience this special mother’s love
without the tinge of grief and sadness and longing
that accompanies it now.

I love you so much, my darling girl. I miss you every day.

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 20:37  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So good to hear that your baby boy is looking good. I understand the fear and worry. I hope the weekly appointments help ease your worries a bit.

    Do you ever read momentsofpause.blogspot.com? Laura just wrote a beautiful post on feeling whole again after losing her son about five years ago. It was really beautiful and something I hope for myself and all baby loss mamas.

    A massage at work? You Europeans really know how to live!

    Thinking of both of your babies. 🙂

  2. As usual, another beautiful post. I know I don’t always comment these days (time is a little limited…), but I do read your posts. I am thrilled for you, by the way!

    I know what you mean about it feeling wrong that this little boy is almost bigger than Malou ever got to be. I was talking to Eleanor just this morning about her big sister, and then I started thinking about how tiny her “big” sister was when I held her compared to how big Eleanor is now. (She’s 3 1/2 months but in 6 month clothes!) Ada will always be my firstborn, but she’ll never get to be my oldest.

    I’m sorry you had your scare, but so glad to hear that Malou’s little brother is doing well!

  3. You have written so expressively (again). I completely understand how you are feeling from what you write. I am sure all these things are perfectly normal and as you say, the ultrasound images from Malou and baby can be compared as as you saw Malou in real life, you can see just what is what. I think Malou is doing a great job of looking after her little brother (and watching over her mama). It’s great all is going well for our baby boy. It was great to see and fel him wriggling around last week. Thanks so much. Love you all.

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