Not the easiest post I have ever written
I am at a bit of a loss as to where to start with this post. I didn’t write it yesterday because I didn’t feel ready to find the words to be honest I am still not sure now if I am ready to write everything down. There is still a lot of mixed emotion and confusion in my own head about exactly what I do feel. I suppose to most people it would sound a little like I am ranting away like a mad person to myself and that’s ok, you can feel free to skip this post and come back when I am slightly more rational I don’t mind. I need to write this post for me even if no-one else understands it. As you know I had a hospital appointment followed by my anomaly scan on Monday. When I last posted here I said I was slightly excited about it which was a bit of a contradiction to this post when I kind of admitted some of the things I was scared of. The thing is I wasn’t entirely honest even with myself about how strong the emotions I was feeling were, I kind of convinced myself that the baby was going to be a girl and everything was going to work out fine. All of the other thoughts and fears I kind of buried deep inside labelled them not even a possibility worth considering and tried to forget they existed. Ignorance is bliss you know. Then Sunday night I accidently blurted out to Mark that I wasn’t quite as confident that things were going to go the way I wanted them to. Even made a comment that if they happened to say something was wrong with the baby I would find it easier to cope with than if they said it was a boy. I know a lot of people will judge me for that but maybe you can reserve that judgement for a few more minutes and let me try and explain. See to me there was never going to be any possibility of getting rid of this baby. If they told us there was something wrong with the baby like a disability or something that wouldn’t be reason for us to terminate the pregnancy, we would cope with whatever the problem was, because this was still our baby and it would be loved and cared for. Now for most people the general statement they make even if they do have a genuine preference for one sex over the other is “I don’t care what it is as long as it’s healthy”. Of course I wanted the baby to be healthy but I would have been ready to accept any problems that it came with. Ideally I wanted a healthy baby girl, a disabled or sick baby girl would have been fine too even a disabled or sick little boy would have been bearable because none of those presented the problem of making me face my biggest fear – that this baby would replace Leo. When we went for the first scan the doctor asked if we wanted to know the sex, I restrained myself from even rolling my eyes at the stupidity of the question. What I wanted more than anything at that second in time, was for all those doubts inside my head to shut the hell up, wanted the doctor to maker them disappear with the words it’s a girl but she didn’t she said it was a boy. I told myself that maybe she was wrong and the other scan would say different, yep denial is a very good friend of mine. Then in the anomaly scan they said it was a boy too and there was no more possibility of denying anything. The niggling possibility and fears had suddenly become a reality and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. To make things worse the baby was moving constantly and I felt like he was mocking me, look here I am alive, kicking and in the doctors words “perfect”. Everything Leo wasn’t. This baby was a boy and he was going to replace my Leo without even trying to. I lost all sense of reason and could only hear that one thought over and over again. He was going to replace Leo, was going to make me forget about Leo. I was just overcome by total panic, the tears kept coming and the hysteria wouldn’t go away. For the first time ever I felt myself longing for a seizure to take all of the memories away just for a little while. Everything was out of control and I couldn’t cope with all of the things I was feeling. More than anything it was the conflict in myself that by loving this baby I would be betraying Leo. I wanted nothing more than to hate this baby with every ounce of my being. I felt like I couldn’t risk letting it into my life at all, that every second it was near me it would be stopping me thinking about Leo or remembering him. Monday was a hard day for everyone when I eventually did fall asleep I kept waking up scared to sleep because of the fear of dreaming. Trying desperately to explain how I was feeling to Mark just to make him understand why I was reacting this way. I was a complete emotional wreck. I have never felt so alone and confused before, I felt like everyone must think I was crazy, I couldn’t seem to make them understand why I was so upset. Eventually I think Mark caught onto what I had been trying to explain, knew why I was so freaked out and even though he didn’t fully understand he was everything I needed him to be. He was supportive and loving just kept holding me and telling me that nobody could ever replace Leo. He was smart enough to work out that talking about Leo and basically pretending the baby didn’t exist was the best approach. I know he was hoping that eventually I would be able to see that too. We spent Tuesday talking and I cried a lot. I spent some time talking to Leo and went out of my way to avoid touching my stomach at all. I suppose part of me was hoping that ignoring the baby would make it go away. I don’t think I have ever wanted Leo as badly as I did then. I told Mark not to talk about the baby or refer to him as anything but “It”. We had always referred to the baby as Bean before and to me it felt wrong to say that anymore. To me Bean was always my baby girl and as far as I was concerned Bean no longer existed, she had died along with all of my hopes and dreams about this baby. No more daydreaming about pretty dresses and having a daughter of my own. It was so much more than just being disappointed that the baby was a boy. With Lukas and Leo when I found out they were boys I was disappointed but I got over it pretty quickly. I could see the advantage to having boys and there was always the knowledge that we might get a girl “next time”. This time I knew there wasn’t likely to be a next time, so I felt like all of my dreams of having a little girl were gone. I know in my heart that I would have had the same fears about replacing Leo if the baby was a girl but I also know they wouldn’t have been as bad because there was never going to be a possibility of it being in blue clothes, reminding me of Leo and pointing out over and over again that he was here and Leo wasn’t. I was scared that Lukas would stop talking to and remembering the little brother he already had who wasn’t here. Haunted by the idea that when Mark talked about his sons or Nan talked about her great grandsons they would no longer mean Lukas and Leo. It’s Wednesday today and while I am still feeling scared I am starting to feel more like myself. I am touching my stomach again and talking about the baby. I am listening to Lukas talk about being excited to be having a baby brother and only pointing out that he already has one, he just lives in heaven. I keep asking Leo to forgive me for loving the baby, I just can’t help myself. Mark says he knew that I was incapable of hating anyone let alone our child, he says Leo will understand I’m not sure I agree with either of those statements but I can’t seem to do anything about it. Trying to stop myself from wanting and loving this baby is like trying to stop the sun from rising. I changed my mind yesterday about calling the baby “it” that’s always felt wrong that’s exactly why we always said Bean, we decided that since the baby moves around so much until we decide on a proper name we are going to refer to him as Fidget. I don’t expect these feelings to ever go away completely but hopefully we have some time to work on them. We are making some progress, I haven’t cried at all today. I still feel like I am fighting with myself over this I don’t think I will ever stop feeling scared Leo will be replaced, or feeling guilty for loving the baby but I will find a way to balance it all out. Anyway this has gotten really long and probably confusing sorry, I have to go and get Lukas to bed. I will try and get back tomorrow to tell you about the hospital appointments and maybe I will even feel like sharing the scan photos with you and maybe even a layout if I can manage one.