I am just so scared, scared of living without Sidney, scared of everything. In a little while, I will go to meet another mom. She has a three month old, a baby that is very close to the age Sidney would have been, should have been. It will be my first time being around a baby that age, possibly holding him, and I am scared, scared of how I will do, scared of what I will feel, and most of all scared that I will leave her house with a more intense raw ache than I have even now, and have to go back to my house that will be still be empty, still not have my little Sidney in it.
Tomorrow, I will meet with a volunteer coordinator for an art program for low-income kids here. I don’t know in what capacity I might help. Even emailing this woman was a big step for me. I am scared to meet with her, scared to tell her that I have time to help because I don’t have to take care of my son, since he died. Scared to have to appear functional for a little while. Scared that I can’t do it. Scared that I can.
And then most of all, I am dreading my appointment with MFM. First, I will have to return to the hospital where I went with Sidney inside of me, with strong contractions. I will have to go through the same entrance where I checked in, excited and nervous that I was about to have my baby. I will have to wait in the same waiting room where I waited for all my other ultrasound appointments, when I didn’t fully grasp what could happen to babies, and when I was mostly just excited to get to watch my little Sidney kick and squirm around. I may have to see other pregnant women, hear ultrasounds and strong heartbeats, be reminded of my naive hopeful existence.
And then there is the appointment itself. My fear that the doctor won’t listen to my concerns and questions, won’t care, won’t be kind, won’t be patient, and will make me feel like a burden. Afraid for what I will find out and what I won’t. Afraid to imagine Sidney’s last few days, last few minutes. Afraid that the doctor will tell me it’s my fault, that he will inform us of exactly what will happen, so I will know how it could have been different. But also afraid he will say he doesn’t know. I have been rethinking Eli’s birth a lot since we lost Sidney. Eli was born with an infection, spent a week on antibiotics in the NICU, but the doctors acted like it was normal, because my water had broken before contractions, and labor had lasted 36 hours. But now that two of my babies have had infections, I want someone to look at my labors together, as a pattern, rather than comparing to the broader population. They never found out what infection Eli had. Could it have been the same one that Sidney had? A bacteria living inside of me? And maybe my early contractions that stopped exposed Sidney, and then he died. If that’s what happened, how would/could we try to prevent that for another pregnancy? And why couldn’t we have prevented it for Sidney’s?
And then I am also afraid of what’s going on in my body now, all the hormonal imbalances, not being sure what my body is doing. I tested my basal body temperature, which is my resting temperature, for the past three mornings and it is much lower than is considered healthy. The oh so reliable internet is informing me that it could be a sign of hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue, and that my body is not operating at full capacity. So what will I do about that, and how will I get a doctor to care, to listen?
I don’t like being so scared. I did work on my mosaic project last week for a bit. I haven’t glued anything yet, but I thought I would share what I have so far. If you look at the bottom, the roots of the tree connect to little hearts, since Sidney is forever rooted in my heart. I don’t know when I will get to go back and work on it, since it is in this woman’s house, and she has to invite me, but hopefully sometime in the next few weeks….until then, I will sit with my fears. And take a walk in this 96 degree weather before going to hold a three month old that isn’t mine.