Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sweet relief

Thank you all for the well wishes. We are adjusting at home with Baker's little brother. I was scheduled for a repeat C-section on July 6, but started having mild contractions a few days before. We went to the hospital to make sure everything was OK (it was), and we made the decision to deliver then at 38 weeks. I was scared and shaking uncontrollably during surgery prep, but then Alden started yelling as soon as his little golden head poked out-such sweet relief for his anxious parents. 7 pounds 12 ounces, 21 inches long. He was checked out on a warmer next to my head, then swaddled and placed on my chest while I was sewn up. He stared at us with bright blue eyes and stuck his tongue out. We all went to recovery together, and he rode on my chest to the maternity floor. He never left my sight until his bath nearly 24 hrs after his birth. It was exactly how I hoped this birth experience would go.

The relative ease of my pregnancy with Alden and his birth-in the sense that it was another normal, healthy fullterm pregnancy-makes me realize what a waste it was to lose Baker. He could so easily be here-he should be here-if not for what was likely an unknown, unseen kink in the cord. Similar pregnancies, similar babies, but completely different outcomes.

Now, existing alongside the weight of Baker's loss, is a palpable joy. Our home is often loud with our grunting boy. We piece together enough sleep to get by. We happily diaper and nurse and take stroller walks. We are honoring Baker and raising Alden and finding ways to include both boys in our family.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Role Reversal

The weight of the baby in my arms has relieved the weight on my shoulders and the anchor on my heart.

He is wonderful, as all tiny babies are. We love him to the point that our hearts are bursting and painful at being overfilled. At the same time, he is an immediate squirming reminder of the magnitude of our loss with Baker.

He has Baker's chin and Baker's nose - both his mother's - but otherwise he is his own boy, in all his towheaded glory.

Dalene and I remember for many months following Baker's death the jealously and sadness and anger (in a very weird way) that we had towards all of the pregnant women and little babies that we saw as we traveled around. It seemed at times as though they were stalking us; taunting us. Now that's us. We are the parents with the irrepressible smiles on our blissful babymoon. I fear that we are now the tormentors of the lost.

I think that we babylost parents need to invent a symbol or claim a color or a bracelet or something that lets others in the "club" know that we are one of them. Instead of feeling upset when a babylost mama or daddy saw us with Alden, she or he might see us as a sign that rainbow babies do come, and that they are sweet, sweet balm for wounded souls.

We watch him breathe, but have not yet been neurotic. I give him kisses, but I have not physically smothered him with my squeezes, as I feared I would. He is the manifestation of the complete opposite of the parental soul-murder that was Baker's death.

We are bequeathing Baker's hand-me-downs to Alden, and that has been healing. Little t-shirts and gear, washcloths and diapers - all being handed on to the little brother. All wrong and completely right all at the same time.

We appreciate so much all of the good wishes from across the country and around the globe as our litle babe arrived.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Born on the Fourth of July

Alden Baker arrived delightfully screaming in the wee hours of Saturday morning. 7 pounds, 12 ounces, 21 inches long. Blonde locks.

Our Rainbow Baby with a firework exclamation point.

Big brother Baker Christian was smiling down.