Back in August, Ashley shared her son’s birth story with me…now she is sharing another side of it….
When you anticipate the birth of your first child, so many emotions run through your mind. Excitement, anticipation, joy, anxiety, maybe a little fear. Sadness is not one of them. I never imagined that I would be grieving my first real loss just days after welcoming my son. This is why I would like to share the “other side” of my birth story.
It was March 17th.. the day before my due date. I spent most of the day in bed with Braxton Hicks contractions, secretly hoping for a St. Patrick’s Day Baby. My mom had called me that afternoon to tell me that my grandma was just taken to the hospital. My grandmother had been in the hospital, then to rehab, then back home on and off for the past two years.. so I really wasn’t very surprised to hear she was going back again. In the back of my head, I just figured everything would be fine.
Before I go on, I think it’s important to try to understand the relationship I had with my grandma. We were as close as could be. I grew up living upstairs from from my grandparents. Some of my greatest memories were spent downstairs. When I was little, I spent many nights sleeping in between my grandparents in their huge king size bed. As I grew older, I would spend Monday nights eating dinner and watching the Game Show Network in their “TV room”. Even after I moved out and got married, I made very frequent visits to update my grandma on my life. Any time I had a special event or bought a great new outfit, she insisted I try it on for her and she always gave her very honest opinion. Through the years, she listened to my stories about boyfriends, friends, work, and everything in between. She was my best friend. Even when she was sick and “not herself” I stopped by often to talk about my pregnancy. She was (not so) secretly disappointed to find out I wasn’t having a girl.. and made a face when I told her we were naming him Landon. Although I know she would love it now. That was part of her charm. Her brutal honesty, humor, and ability to laugh at herself. If you knew Queenie, you loved her.
Fast forward to March 27th. After I gave birth, I asked my mom “Did anyone tell grandma?.. what did she say?” My Mom kind of nodded and said “yes ..she knows”. I just knew from her reaction that something wasn’t right. We came home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning my mom called and told me that my grandma probably wouldn’t be making it much longer.
The day after I came home from the hospital with my newborn baby boy, I made a trip to another hospital to say goodbye to my best friend. She was not awake but the nurses said she could hear. I told her all about Landon and I promised her that he would know everything about his “grandma pancake”. I also apologized for my appearance (4 days postpartum) because she always wanted me to look my best. My grandma passed away the following afternoon.
The next few days (more like weeks)were a blur. Easter was the next day. My son’s first holiday. Nobody was celebrating. So we took Landon for a walk and I showed him pictures of his great grandma pancake. Between learning how to be a mom and grieving my grandma, my emotions were all over the place. I was just so unbelievably sad when I wanted to be happy. I wanted to cherish these first moments with my son, but I couldn’t fully enjoy them. I would lay in bed with my one week old baby and just cry. Nighttime was the worst. I didn’t want my husband to leave me, ever. Not even to pick up dinner. I just didn’t want to be alone. Why was this happening? I kept wondering if I was going through post partum depression, but I was going through the first real loss of my lifetime so I figured this had to be normal. I pushed through with the constant love and support of my friends and family.. especially my husband.
It has been almost 6 months. I am feeling much better but I still have days where I just cry. I can’t help but think ..maybe if I wouldn’t have been “late” ..she would have been able to meet him. That’s all I really wanted. I try to tell myself that she waited for his arrival. She waited until she knew mommy and baby were healthy before she left us. Landon was a ray of sunshine for myself and many of my family members through those first few weeks. He still is for me. I like to believe that she is watching us and Landon has his very own guardian angel.