Now instead of counting out the months since we lost Nora we also count the months we have Evie. Its been over 17 months since we lost Nora and two months since we brought Evie home. I have a lot of feelings that could be fleshed out but in the short term, I’ll just list them.
Evie had jaundice and had to stay an extra day in the hospital with a light box. The feeling of hopelessness struck me and struck me hard. In combination of lack of sleep and feeling like I was failing breastfeeding, it was a shitty hard day.
The first month was a blur. Breastfeeding was a struggle and I refused to give in, we would feed, I would pump and Matt would give her a supplemental bottle. Every two and a half hours. Evie was called a 4th trimester/lazy baby so it would take an hour to just wake her up and keep her up to eat. So we were working on at most 90 minutes of sleep for the first two weeks. With that daze I didn’t have time to think about not doing this with Nora.
Evie lost over 10% of her weight when we went to her first doctor’s appointment. I cried on the way home. She’s on an upward trajectory, but who expected Matt and I to have a petite baby? I for the most part stopped pumping and now we mainly supplement with formula. This has removed a burden that’s allowed me to enjoy my maternity leave more.
We didn’t allow visitors the day of my c-section. I don’t regret it. It was so overwhelming and I wasn’t in a place to pretend I was ok for even our friends or family. We also instituted a visitor blackout for the week following her birth. It was a precious time and I’m glad it was just the three of us. Though I wish it were four. I’m ok with being selfish.
Matt drove us home going roughly 4 miles an hour. We never planned on what would happen when we’d leave the hospital. We were giddy and terrified. Still are to a point.
My last c-section recovery included excessive scotch and wine. This one I think took a little longer to heal, but in reality, I don’t remember the last time. I paid no attention to my body, while my heart couldn’t heal.
Now that we’re in a more secure place, it really is hard to overlook that everything we do with Evie, we missed with Nora. The lows that come with it are super low. But I don’t want to mar a moment with Evie.
I’m not great at seeing Matt or myself in Evie (except when she’s angry, then she looks like me as a kid). But she does look like Nora. I’m adopted so I don’t look like anyone I know. It would have been something else to see them growing together and looking alike.
I call Evie Nora sometimes. But my mom called me my sister’s name and even the cat’s name. So I guess that’s actually a normal family thing.
We took Evie to her first tailgate and visited Nora’s memorial stone from Matt’s office for the first time. We also have a stone by our house. It nice seeing her name in print.
I’m taking nine billion photos. I hate that I have so few pictures of Nora. Now I’m like a crazy person taking pictures each day. Matt’s being a good sport. We went to a sunflower field and took pictures in 90 degree heat (in September. What the hell, fall).
I can watch her all day. She melts on to Matt. It makes my heart ache to watch. I love them so much and it breaks my heart that we missed on this.
I go back to work at the end of the month. I’ve been relatively calm so far. I worry my anxiety will skyrocket when I go back to work. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m just soaking in every moment (and photographing every second).