I need to write Ethan's birth story. It's been almost 3 years and I haven't written it down. I would really like to write it out before this baby is born and that could be in just a few weeks.
It's not like I haven't had the opportunity to write it. I have. Many times. It's that I don't know how to go about it. I don't know how to find the emotional reserve needed to go through his birth story in detail. To see it all laid out before me.
You see the thing is, even though Ethan is here and healthy and thriving, his birth was very traumatizing. In many ways it was much more traumatic than Marcellus's birth.
I started writing out Marcellus's birth story when he was in the NICU, he was 9 days old then. I worked on it one night when I was up pumping. I wasn't able to finish it, but did so a couple months later. I couldn't even imagine trying to write Ethan's birth story when he was in the NICU at all let alone when he was 9 days old. When Ethan was 9 days old I was still under the impression that he was certainly going to die too.
And that's where the difference comes in. When Marcellus was born it was scary. It was incredibly scary. But the moment we got to that hospital when I was in labor I no longer feared for my baby's life. We were at the hospital, they could take care of him. So, when he was born at 28 weeks 5 days gestation I worried more about what disabilities he might have, what struggles he might go through and how long of a NICU stay we were looking at. But I thought he was safe. We were where we needed to be. When he was born and he let out his little cry, I did not fear for his life. It was so joyous and I was on cloud 9 during his birth (even though it was a cesarean, which is not at all how I had envisioned delivering, we were planning for a homebirth).
When I went into the hospital pregnant with Ethan and the doctor confirmed how far into labor I was, it was complete and utter despair. My world just came crashing down. We found ourselves facing the birth of a preemie again. But we knew too much. We knew the worst. And for 48 hours we hung on to hope that he wouldn't be so preemie after all. But he was. He was 27 weeks 4 days, 8 days earlier than Marcellus was. And I was certain he was going to die. I can't tell you for how long I had daily thoughts that he would die too. I can't put into words how incredibly intense, scary, awful, grief filled it was to walk through those NICU doors again.
So Ethan's birth story doesn't have as much joy behind it as Marcellus's does. There was no glowing moment when we found out Ethan was a boy. In fact, we were devastated he was a boy (boys don't do as well in the NICU as girls because the develop slower). How do I write about moments like that? I do I put that down. How do I know one day he may want to know the details of his birth story and I'll have to tell him it was soul crushing enough just finding out he was a boy, let alone the other moments leading up to and following his birth.
I know there was joy too and good moments to look back on. We have a video of him crying immediately after birth. Cry crying. Not just letting out one little cry like Marcellus did. Ethan really cried. And there was joy.
But overall the days leading up to and the day of his birth are dark and heavy for me. And I hate that. I hate that so much.
Marcellus, even though you had to die I am thankful that we were not aware of that the day you were born. I am so thankful that we were able to experience your birthday overall as a joyous day. Oh baby, how I remember so vividly when you were born and you let out that cry, the doctor saying "it's a boy!" The look on Daddy's face as we made eye contact. The intense pride and joy Daddy had when he came back to show me your picture telling me how good you looked and how you held his finger. So many beautiful moments. Although scary, your birth will always remain a beautiful day in my memory. I love you so much my squirmy wormy. I can't believe your 4th birthday is coming up so quickly. I wish you were here. Oh how I wish you were here. xoxox