Saturday, May 26, 2012


David William Illingworth III
Born May 24 at 8:10 a.m.
7 lbs 11 oz
20.5 inches

Our first son. A little brother. Our hearts overflow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

T-3 (give or take a few minutes) hours

It's 4:35 am. We have to be at the hospital at 5:45. I should be in the shower right now, but wanted to take a few minutes and remember how I feel in this moment.

I slept pretty fitfully last night, but I'm glad to have gotten any sleep at all. When I had imagined the night before, I figured I would have settled into a chair with my doppler all night long. As it was, I slept off and on, periodically checking his movement and heartbeat. I had odd dreams. Dreams that made me sad, where I was trying to explain to the L&D nurses that my daughter's name is spelled with one "n" and not 2.

By this time in my pregnancy, I had lived an entire life with my daughter in my mind and heart. I had pictured her running through the grass in a dress, 4 or 5 years old, with curly blond hair. I had pictured Saturday morning talk sessions lying in bed with her, like I used to do with my mom when I was a teenager.  I pictured watching her walk down the aisle to meet the man of her dreams for the rest of her life.

Then my heart was shattered, and that entire life of hers that I had lived in my heart was the only one I would ever see with her.

I have started to let myself think on this just this morning with my son. As I feel him move inside me, I'm starting to think this might really happen. That I might have a beautiful boy child to call my own, to call my son. That I will have a son when he is 2 years old cuddle with me and call me his mama. That I will have a smart, maybe quiet, thoughtful little boy, like his daddy, who sees the world around him and sees endless possibility in it, like me. That he will amble up to me as a gangly teenager and give me an awkward hug. That he will smile at me before he drops me off at my seat at his wedding, before he turns to wait for the woman of his dreams to meet him.

My heart is filled right now. With fear, yes. With some sadness for my girl. But also with joy.

All the emotions I have suppressed for this long and harrowing journey of carrying him are at the surface. I cannot wait to meet my son. This feels very different and separate from my time with Georgiana, and I am so grateful for it. I can feel her as she watches over us. I have asked her many times to take care of all of us, because we are afraid and we know that many things are out of our control.

Say prayers, everyone. Hope to see you on the other, happier side of this shortly.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to the strongest, most wonderful women I know--those mamas who have to endure this day missing one or more of their children.

We remember. We remember, and we celebrate all your babies, no matter where they are.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two Week Countdown

As of today, there are 14 days left until I hopefully meet my son.

At this point, I am such a mix of emotions I'm starting to feel like they're all just canceling each other out. It's to the point where I just feel mute, and almost paralyzed about the whole thing.

It's like I don't want to talk too much about it because I don't want to invite tragedy again to my little corner of the universe. Just fly under the radar until we get to May 24.

This probably makes no sense, but it does just literally feel like I'm holding my breath. Like I'm stuck in one of those moments where you catch your breath, and you just stay that way. And there's nothing else you can do but keep holding on as the day approaches.

Nights and mornings have become really hard. I'm not getting a lot of sleep, and the mornings where I wake up and just happen to catch him at the beginning or middle of a sleep cycle damn near terrify me right now. I lay there, just begging him to move. He always does, eventually. It seems I'll have a day where I start to feel comfortable and actually start to believe in this happening, and then the next day I'm just filled with panic.

I'm hoping a little of this goes away after he's born? Ladies?

Most mornings, though, I look down and this is what I see down in the middle of my feet:

I'm not real sure how to break it to Quatro at this point, that after 5 years of sleeping in my bed, he's not going to be welcome here anymore in a couple of weeks. Poor little fuzzball.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

These Days

These days I am preparing for my son to come home. He is supposed to be here May 24, less than 3 weeks away.

These days I go to work, clean my house and try to keep occupied. I think about May 24. Then I have to stop thinking about it or it's too much to take.

These days I wake up between 5-12 times a night. When I come back to bed, I can always count on Dave to ask in the darkness whether he's moved yet. Because these days I don't go back to sleep until I feel him move. 

These days every stranger in the world asks me when I'm due.

The due date question is always a little odd. I end up answering with some version of "Well, he's coming home on May 24."

This is usually followed by the standard "Is this your first?" My answer always leaves people a little confused, especially when my husband is with me and they see no child with us.

That never stops being hard.

So as I said, I am making preparations for my son. A new life. A new person. One that I am not convinced will be coming home to us, so I guard my mind and try to convince it that all this cleaning, preparing, baby-clothes washing, just because, not because we're preparing for a baby.

We put the crib together this afternoon. I couldn't help it. I cried. It has chips on it and is a little dirty. It looks a little like a crib for a second baby. How can that be when its first baby, the baby that was meant to christen it as a little one's bed, never slept in it?

Brooke was right in her most recent blog post. She was quoting from a book she's reading where a woman lost her child.  The woman said that visitors came by, offering condolences, and said "life goes on."  This was what the woman thought in response:

What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't.  It's death that goes on; [he] is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever.  There's no end to that.  But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.  Sorrow has rushed over the world like the waters of the Deluge, and it will take time to recede.  But already, there are small islands of--hope?  Happiness?  Something like them, at any rate.

This is so my world right now. My mind has a daily attempt at reconciling the fact that I have one child in the grave and another alive inside of me. The whole death part of it doesn't go away, and it stings just as bad some days even now as it did hours afterwards. Especially as I prepare myself for the hospital, the stay, mind cannot help but compare how different this time it will be if all goes well. And I can't help but be sad, for myself, for my daughter, because of it. 

I have been pretty melancholy today. Sundays usually do that to me. It was once my favorite day of the week. Not anymore.

Now onto other things. Here are a couple of sneak peeks of the nursery:

I am in love with these Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. (see top left) 

 It's a little dark and grainy, but oh...I love the color of this room. I'll get a better pic later when there's more sun.

 I have already bought him the Big Bird, zebra, and blue dog. D and I also bought him some fab Dr. Seuss and Winnie the Pooh. I'm hoping that our little boy will be a little nerd like the two of us. But let's be honest, I'll just take alive. The rest will fall into place.

Changing table, pretty much put together. Bing stands guard in the background. He's been relegated to the hall. I just can't have my leaky dog leaking in my baby's bedroom. I draw the line, even with cute pups.

I continue to be so sad for Becky, who lost her rainbow baby. I'm still in some sort of state of shock. It doesn't really make me afraid for myself, though I don't even know how that's possible. Mostly it just makes me so sad for her, a kind of sadness I can feel as if it were my own. I'm excited for my baby, but let's admit I'm a pretty cynical mama at this point.

One last thing: Mother's Day. Yeah, pretty makes me as sad as it did last year. I was talking to Dave about this after church this morning. I remember last year, when I stood up at church when the priest asked all the moms to stand up and be recognized. I was broken, in more ways than I could ever explain. My body still healing from birth, and I hadn't yet started really taking care of myself again, i.e. no makeup or hair done, who knew what I was wearing, and I didn't even notice. I stood up and wondered who would look at me and wonder where my child was. But in an odd way, it would still be recognizing her, because there were no more children to make me a mother at that point.

This year, I'll stand up, 36 weeks pregnant (hopefully),  and people who don't know me will think how sweet it is that a pregnant mom, obviously with her first child, is standing up on Mother's Day for the first time. And they won't know that this will be my second Mother's Day to be a mom. And it makes me sad. I cried a little in the car about it. Dave just held my hand.

2 other fun bits. I had my last ultrasound on Friday. Davey-boy is measuring a whopping 6 lbs 4 oz, which means he's closer to a 37 weeker in size than a 35 weeker. Also, in the last two weeks, he decided to flip back around, so that his head is back up and near my ribs. 

C-section it is, then. It already was, but it appears as if God is giving me no choice or chance to be regretful about it.

I am so in love with this little boy. Please God, let him live.