We had Bear's level 2 ultrasound yesterday. I was very bitter about needing to go for this test. Grace was fine, Bear is fine, we had crap luck that is all. But I went for Bear. I think part of it was I could believe that everything was okay until someone said it wasn't. I want to live and breathe and hope in my little bubble of pregnancy that only Bear and I live in and Mark can come and visit. Someone actually told me the ultrasound should be fun. Fun? Try nerve wracking. The 30 minute drive to downtown Phoenix. The 45 minute wait with inane people all around me. Then getting the scan so afraid that despite my deep feelings that Bear is perfect in every way they would tell me she was not and that she might die. Remembering Grace's last ultrasound with her so still and her heart not beating. But everything was good, no abnormalities, no additional scans indicated at this time. Her cord is normal, with normal placental and umbilical insertions. No knots noted and at least for now no cord wrapped around any body part. She was a funny and rather uncooperative baby and that helped us at least. She also kicked the ultrasound probe really hard toward the end as if to say I am bored with this.
However I am testy and unsettled today. My FIL is being a jerk, not a huge surprise. His dog got sick last week, but could he be bothered to bring her to my office? Nope he wants me to take care of her on my days off without any equipment or resources. Then I call medication in for him. It takes him almost a week to have it filled and then is complaining that he cannot give his dog capsules and wants liquid. I warned him that although liquid is an option, it is extremely bitter and I don't think he will be able to give it very easily. Still wants liquid, won't even try to give the capsules. This is not hard, open your dogs mouth, insert capsule at the far back, close mouth, wait until they swallow. Repeat in 12 hours. He should not own pets.
Then I spoke with my Dad who was checking on me since Grace's days are coming up. He and my mother are officially divorced as of Feb 1st, but she has not moved out. He says that she complains that I have not called her since December, but rolls her eyes when he suggests that she call me. She tried to kill herself, but it is a mystery why I would be mad at her? My therapist supports my decision to not really have any interaction with her until she is under psychiatric care and seeing a therapist of her own. However I guess that I need to communicate with her in some way to let her know those ground rules. I am okay waiting. I don't care if she hates me. Really I don't, god knows I have hated her enough in my life.
And then there is the grief. Bubbling to the surface every morning. Missing Grace so hard. Remembering this time last year she was alive inside me, just like Bear is now. Remembering the hope and the joy and then the fear and horror of Feb 10th. I miss my baby. I want her back. I want her and her sister, one cannot replace the other. They are not the same, but they are both so loved and so wanted. I feel like I have been holding up pretty well. Focusing on Bear and trying to keep my life simple and not let the bad in, but lately the cracks beneath the surface are widening and rising. The tears flow when I get out of bed and when I am driving to work. My Grace is still gone, it has almost been 1 year and she is still gone. I don't understand that. No matter what happens a piece of my heart is gone, a member of our family is gone. I am starting to forget things, like how she smelled. I know that it was the most wonderful smell in the world, but that is all I can remember about it. Those precious hours holding her and kissing her only seem like a few minutes now, black and white images on a computer screen. She feels more like a dream than a baby.
Some BLMs see their babies in living children who are about the same age as their baby would be. I can only think of Grace as an infant. Maybe it is because I have never watched another baby grow up, Bear is still growing on the inside. I cannot picture Grace as a 1 year old. I want to. I wish that I could see her as alive and growing and learning to do all the amazing things that babies do in that first oh so important year. I wish my house were not so quiet and neat, I wish there was baby mess, toys and partially folded laundry and bits of food on the floor. The hurt is just so bad right now. I don't want her 1 year day to come, I don't want that much space and time between us. How did the world and my life keep moving without her?