Wonder and Sorrow

That was long ago. Today neither of them is alive….
O my love, where are they, where are they going….
I ask not out of sorrow, but in wonder.
-Czeslaw Milosz

Today.  The day the course of our lives changed.  Two years ago today was the day that we learned that Nelle was growth restricted.  I wrote about it on this day last year, so uncertain at the time what the future held for us.  

Now my newborn baby daughter sleeps in a bassinet next to me.  Staring at her has been an endless combination of wonder and sorrow.  Wonder that we survived the pregnancy.  That she survived, and she is here and healthy.  Sorrow in looking at her and thinking about her sisters. Sometimes crying.  Struggling with the fact that if either of her sisters had lived, she would not be here. That is a horrible contradiction to wrap my mind around.

Two years. TWO YEARS since we were flung mercilessly down this path.  Fumbling along, often feeling lost and scared. I have been pregnant three times in two years.  Everything before August 24th, 2015 was “normal.”  Everything after has been anything but.  Days, nights, appointments, therapy, support, tears, anxiety all wrapped into the outcome that we had been waiting for: a third child.  We have been waiting for so long.

These first few weeks have been ups and downs, ins and outs, wonder and sorrow.  I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, and sick from infection and have all of the exhaustion of having a newborn.  Then I feel guilty for being exhausted, since I should be grateful that she is here. I worry unnecessarily that something will happen and I’ll never get to see her grow up to be two, or ten, or an adult. I have to remind myself that parenting after loss is hard, and what I feel is normal.  Doesn’t make it easier.

Wonder is that moment that I heard her cry.  Sorrow is remembering my two previous deliveries at the same hospital.

Wonder is the outpouring of love that we have received upon her arrival. Sorrow is knowing that “How are you doing?” is likely only asking how I am doing with this baby, and not asking how I am coping with thinking about my other babies.

Wonder is watching my oldest soon peer down at her in her bassinet. Sorrow is hearing him say “Will I be in middle school by the time she’s in kindergarten?” because that is not the age gap I had planned on. 

Wonder is gazing at her dimples when in her sleep she gives me a half-smile.  Sorrow is wondering if her sisters had dimples.

Wonder is that this baby is here. Sorrow is that now that she’s here, my other babies will be forgotten.