It took one picture. I saw it on a very close friend's blog. A picture of babies, who were arranged by age. It was like a dagger through my heart.
I can get over a lot of things about the situation we're in. I can deal with the fact that we cannot see our friends. I can get over the fact that we cannot take her out into the public, doing things as simple as grocery shopping. I get up everyday and see her smile, and keep going. I try to hide certain feelings, instead focusing on the positive that our baby girl is here, smiling, progressing.
But seeing a picture of babies together - a picture that she should have been in - yeah, that sucks. A huge lump formed in my throat as soon as my eyes hit the screen. Then, it all sunk in.
It's not that people shouldn't be having play dates. It's not that people shouldn't be excited about their own baby. It just makes me sad for us.
And, I finally, the picture brought forth a feeling that I have been trying to hide. Jealousy. It isn't pretty. I am not proud of it. But there it is. Here, in me, it stays. My eyes hit that screen, and I processed what I was seeing. And that ugly feeling came out like a ton of bricks.
I am jealous of so many things. I am jealous every time I see someone around me bringing their new baby home two or three days after delivering. I am jealous every time I hear about a baby's baptismal party. I am jealous every holiday when families all get together, and we are either stuck in the hospital, or confined in our house because we cannot risk having friends or family over. I am jealous when I hear that a baby is doing any normal baby experience, like, eating. I am jealous when I saw pictures of a new baby on Santa's lap. I am jealous of any pictures of play dates.
Then, there is the whole slew of jealousy towards the moms. I am jealous of moms who have had time to do anything for themselves. I am jealous of moms who can be out and about with their baby. I am jealous that other moms gets to exercise, and lose the baby weight. I am jealous of parents who can call a babysitter to come over, without first having to give a full day of training. I am jealous when I hear of anyone talking about getting pregnant for their future kids, knowing that while we are able to get pregnant, we cannot do so without a major risk of having another child with UCD.
With all of this jealousy, comes anger. Anger at the world really. I have hesitated saying it, but part of me is angry with God. I get angry when I hear people complain about stupid shit - like having a rainy day on their caribbean vacation. I am angry that people take their kids for granted. I am angry when people brag everyday on facebook about some developmental milestone their child has reached. I am angry when people ask when we'll have more kids. (That one is two-fold - angry that they'd be thinking about us having more kids when we are up to our eyeballs with taking care of just one, and angry that after hearing the disorder is genetic, they don't think that this is probably a touchy subject for us.) I am angry that we will not have more kids naturally - that although we are able to - we logically cannot put another child through this. I am angry that this experience has taken our lives, and turned them upside down, done a black flip, and turned them back sideways.
These feelings are not something I can just hide. I have been trying to push them aside. But in that one picture, those feelings came pouring out. Although I may not be proud of those feelings, I am not ashamed of them. They are real. They are a part of this journey. And while these feelings may always be there to some extent, I will try my damndest to heal. To focus on the positive. To focus on our beautiful baby girl. To focus on how far we've come. But I will allow myself to feel things, to absorb where these feelings come from, to not hide them. I think the only way for time to heal things, is to accept our lives for what they are.
While there is so much positive in our lives, there certainly is an ugly side. I just want that ugly side to be the minority in my life. To be able to stay positive the majority of it. To look down, see Luca smiling, hear her giggling, kiss her chubby, honey scented cheek, and breathe a sigh of relief. A sigh of comfort, that we are all here. Together.
She is my comfort when this horribly ugly side comes out. I never knew how much you could depend on a little baby. But in that moment, when the ugly side comes out, I think I am just about as dependent on her for comfort as she is on me. And all I want to do, is immediately breathe her in, snuggle her, and look at what a miracle she is.