It's hard for me to still fully believe that we have a living baby at home. I mean I see him, I love him, I know he's ours, but yet their is this part of me that still feels a bit of detachment to him. I don't know if its that I didn't get that first 9 months with him that I did with Liam and Evelynn, like maybe how it is for any father, or if my worry that he could still die keeps me from it. Yes, I still worry a lot, but from talking to other moms who have not lost a baby, their is plenty of the them who have the same worries. The ones that tell me not to worry, well they still just make me as mad as they did when they told me not to worry through any of my (or Jessica's) pregnancies.
I look back at this past year and half since we first held Evelynn, and said goodbye for now, we have come so far. Just under a year and a half ago I remember reading the email from Jessica reaching out to us. Some girl who we have never met is considering carrying a baby for us? Who does that? Fast forward to 10 months ago and we are preparing to do an embryo transfer. We are worried our single little embryo won't take. We are financially worried as well. Can I handle another loss? What will we do if this doesn't work? I miss my daughter? I am sad. I hate the world? Why am I having to go through this?
Fast forward to just one month ago. I get the call, Jessica's says, "It's time!" She's heading to hospital! Holy crap this is finally happening, and its actually not an emergency situation. Could things really go smoothly for us? Could I finally be holding a healthy baby in my arms that could leave the hospital with us? It is 5:00pm, the epidural is started. Jessica's water is broke. The pitocin has begun. It is 9:00pm and Jessica is at an 8. The pushing is beginning. 9:22pm Max is here. I am crying with joy. Jessica says the delivery is exactly how she hoped it had gone. She tells me that she had been preparing herself for this moment and feels better than she expected. I feel the same way though. Her and her family meet Max. Max responded so much to the sound of her boys voices. He must remember them. I would say it was a special moment having all of us, the two families, together with Max.
Here we are today. A whole month and almost a week old already. He is gaining weight so fast, about 9lbs already. And does he ever love to eat. I'd almost say he eats more than he sleeps. People often ask me if he is a good baby. I find it to be kind of a silly question when on one hand I haven't had a baby come home before Max to compare him to, but on the other hand he is ALIVE people! My baby is alive and yes their are times when I swear he is thinking, "I am just gonna scream all day unless you let me just use your boob as a pacifier." Those times are indeed quite stressful. Which I am sure the lack of sleep doesn't help, but I'll take the screaming any day knowing he alive and thriving. It sure beats the ugliness of grief that I have worked through the past 2 1/2 years. I will admit though, their are times I catch myself thinking of Evelynn and thinking how she was the perfect baby and would've never screamed this much. Talking to another blm friend recently she let me know she kind of went through the same thing, the putting her baby she had lost up on this pedestal of wonderfulness. I don't want to do that to Max. Max is Max, and I love him.
As I said above, Max is doing a lot of screaming. He has his moments, but usually during the day when he is hanging out with me while dad sleeps, he's really good and eats, sleeps, and poops. Night time is a whole other story. He doesn't want to go to sleep at night and if he does it is maybe for a half hour to an hour an then he is usually up again wanting to eat. If you don't let him eat, because he can't possibly be hungry since he just ate like 4 ounces an hour ago, he will scream at you until he gets more food. We are working with the pediatrician now to see if we can find out if he has a food sensitivity or if its just colic. So as of today he isn't getting any breast milk for the rest of the week at least and will be taking this specialty formula instead. Poor little baby of mine, now he can't even soothe himself with boob:(. I hope we can figure this out so he is happier and will sleep more at night.
I do think of Evelynn a lot though. I search for her in Max quite often. Their are times when he is laying just right that you can see this small butt chin appear and it makes me smile. I am pretty sure every time I see it I run my fingers over it and just think of her. I love it. I was hoping more and more of her would come through but Max is Liam through and through. Most people tell me they think he looks like me but I think from looking at Liam's pictures and at Derecks baby pictures, he has got more of their features. But all my babies have got their head of hair from me, which I love:). I also am still constantly thinking about our next baby. I love Max, but their is a part of me that is still missing. Maybe in time that part of me will lessen or maybe it'll only be filled or healed by trying to have a younger sibling for Max by getting another carrier, adopting a little girl, or even by attempting to have a pregnancy that doesn't result in a dead baby. I don't know what it will take, but for now that's where I am at, and who knows, maybe no matter what I do there will always be that part of me missing since Liam and Evelynn will always be missing. All I know is right now those little girl dresses that never got to be worn are calling my name:(
Operation Bring Milk Back For Max:
So we are a little over a month into breastfeeding and so far he has only gotten breastmilk. I said that he likes to eat and I can barely keep up with him. Most of the milk that I had saved, when we first got home and he wasn't eating as much, is going fast. We were able to get some donor milk but I would prefer to use my own if we can help it. He will be on this formula from the pediatrician for a few days here and so I'll get to store up some more in the mean time. Of course if we find out he has a sensitivity to something that I eat then I guess we may not be using any of that milk, but we will see what happens once we have answers.
I am still taking the domperidone and am still taking 2 10mg pills 3 x a day as I have for the majority of the time since I started it. The pediatrician doesn't want me to stop taking it or lower my dose yet because we are worried that my supply will drop with it and not sure if we want to mess with that. I have been making oatmeal bars with brewers yeast and flax in them(like lactation cookies) and was taking, but now finished, with these horrible tasting more milk herbal supplement drops in hopes to increase my milk. We think I am probably averaging about 24-26 ounces a day. I have been pumping at night so Dereck can bottle feed him, and every 3-4 hours I get about 3-4 ounces. So averaging about an ounce an hour. I really wish I could get back up to the 35 ounces a day I was getting when I was pumping and donating. Although I know it took time to build up to that as well. If we have to use some donor milk or even supplement one feeding a day, or even doing the specialty formula we are doing now, I know it won't be the end of the world. I am glad I have been able to provide him with as much breast milk as he has gotten.
I am still working on and updating a post that I will save in the Baby Via Gestational Carrier Journey tab for others who may be venturing down this inducing lactation road. Also in this tab I have included all links to posts relating to my gestational carrier journey along with a cost summary of doing this.
|My little pumpkin, I mean owl, all dressed up for Halloween. This was Evelynn's. I am glad Max was able to wear it.|
October 15th Wave of Light for Stillbirth and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Remembering my sweet Liam and Evelynn always, along with all other babies gone too soon.