Monday, May 2, 2011

a newborn's cry

Today I was waiting for my chiropractic appointment...sitting in the uncomfy chair idly checking email on my phone...when I heard a cry.

This wasn't just any cry. This was the cry of a newborn. An infant. A baby still wet behind the ears (and most likely other places).

Immediately my eyes filled with tears and a knot formed in my throat. I seriously thought I was going to start bawling right there in the waiting room.

Never before did I realize how the cry of a new baby would effect me. It just reminded me

that I never got to hear Addison cry.

She did one blustering yell when she was first born, and then nothing. for weeks.

Because of her severe pulmonary hypertension, she didn't have the strength or ability to cry. All of her air went towards breathing.

Occasionally they would have to suction her out-and then there were cries of self preservation. because she couldn't breathe. But those moments were filled with such panic and wonder if she would pull through that the cry didn't count as a newborn cry-it was an "I can't breathe please help me" scream from my baby's blue lips-totally different thing.

As I heard the newborn lustily cry today-using healthy lungs to let needs be known, it starkly reminded me of everything that I missed with Addison. I thought of how I'm getting the chance to do this again in September and my eyes filled with tears all over again.

I am so excited. To hear my baby cry.

While I was letting the excitement build and reminding myself that there would come a point when the new baby probably would cry all night while I just want to sleep that I most likely want to retract those thoughts, I wondered if I'm putting too much pressure on this new baby.

Pressure to make up for all of the missed experiences that I never had with Addison.

Holding her after birth. (they don't let you hold babies that are blue enough to resemble a smurf)

Looking down into the eyes of my baby not hid by medical equipment, bonding and connecting in the way that I dreamed about the entire pregnancy. (I never got to see my baby's face without a cannula until she was 3 months old)

Getting a first family picture with our minutes old baby. (We weren't allowed to pick her up for this picture until she was a week her isolation NICU room)

Having her spend those first few nights in our room. (In our hospital the NICU is two floors above the mom recovery floor. It was just so far away.)

Taking her home, being wheeled out by a husband who enjoys pushing the wheelchair entirely too fast while proudly holding my brand new baby wrapped snuggly in her carseat. (She was 5 weeks old when we took her home for the first time and her O2 monitor kept beeping so loudly that we had to do a mad dash out the door)

Hearing her cry.

Being able to nurse her. (They would only let us tube feed her for the longest time)

Being able to to a newborn photo shoot. (professional photographers aren't allowed in the NICU)

Being able to carry her around my house with both arms instead of having to wheel an oxygen tank with the other arm terrified that I was going to drop her. (we didn't get the stationary O2 machine for several months)

Those are all things heavy on my mind that I didn't get to do with Addison-rushing painfully to my memory when I heard that infant cry today. I hope so much that I get the chance to this second time, but I'm afraid that my expectations are too high.

I don't want to leave the hospital in September disappointed because of the dreams I've built up to replace the experience that I never got.

But at the same time, it's so amazingly fun to dream and hope that I could possibly have all of that with this little guy that I'm working so hard to grow.

While I'm wishing for things, it would be nice to have something different than the 31 hour labor (and by different I mean shorter), but I suppose I can live through that again with the hope that I can leave the hospital with baby in arms....

No doubt in September, I will be posting how exhausted I am from actually having to deal with a newborn at home, and bitter tears from nursing struggles, or perhaps frustration from all of the "new baby stuff" that I am wishing after so right now...but just know...there will be no one happier to be complaining about those things...

because they will be a dream come true.


  1. I hope I can be there to watch your exciting new baby experience this time too! And I would love to help you breastfeed if you need it and don't mind family helping. :) I have lots of patients that do build big ideas in their heads about the perfect birth - and if they don't get it - they go through a period of grief. But in your case, it must be near to impossible not to have those hopes and dreams after your not-so-ideal first experience (referencing the smurf coloring and separation). The parents that cope the best are the ones with "flexible" hopes and dreams. :) But I imagine that is easier said than done. Can't wait to meet this little guy...

  2. This post made me want to cry!! I cant imagine having to go through all that your first time around, with your first baby. Even though Russell was my fifth and I had already experienced that perfect "typical" experience, it was very difficult for me.
    I know what you mean about the newborns cry...Russell did not cry after he was born...He didnt cry for about 2 months actually! He didnt have the strength too. All the days I spent in the NICU with him I kept thinking "this isnt how its suppose to be" It was hard for me, so I can imagine how hard it was for you!
    Its ok to dream about this next baby and having a perfect experience and things go smoothly.
    I cannot wait to see pictures of Chubbs and her little brother :)

  3. You really are a great writer!! As far as the different labor, you never know...I was in labor for 30hrs and pushed for 3hrs with athena...caleb, I didnt realize I was in labor and then it took 3 pushes and he was maybe 30 minutes....I will pray for a fast labor and delivery, and that you get to experience all that you didnt get to with miss chubbs :)

  4. thanks for making me cry...
    I love new baby cry...especially when it's not my baby...

  5. Don't worry about your expectations...whatever experience you end up getting will satisfy you perfectly when it comes. As for labor...well (might as well hope for the best right) my first was the most agonizing 25 hours of drug free labour, so bad that I didn't want another baby. My second was about four hours and only hard for 30 min...we barely made it because I thought it would be like the first time and I had hours to go. Reagan was an easy 12 hours...about one hour of true discomfort, and my best birth of them all. So we'll pray for less than 31 hours for you :)

  6. This hit closest home. I do like to hear Priya cry as long as it doesnt go on to long ;)

  7. Now I'm crying! What a great post and I think you have every right to dream and hope for all of those things to happen...and they will!


Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!