Our sweet Fredrik Christopher arrived safe and screaming at 8:26am at 37+0 yesterday, Christmas Eve morning. He weighed in at 9 pounds, so a whole 12 ounces heavier than Joel. He is so precious and looks more like Matthew and Mark than he does Joel and me. He is doing really well and hasn’t needed any help breathing or NICU intervention. He had some initial problems with blood sugar levels, but these have since resolved.
Yesterday morning, something happened that I never thought would. With the last link of the count down chain around my wrist, I, along with Mark, calmly walked into the Maternity Trauma Center to check in for my scheduled C-section. This time there was no sense of emergency, no frantic demands to check into the hospital early, no feelings of terror over perceived impending doom… I’m proud of myself for making it this far, and I’m thankful for the help that afforded me the opportunity to do it, and I’m grateful for the luck that remained on our side this time as well.
I also never thought I’d give a baby a name that he’d have to spell for everyone for his entire life, but few things ever go according to plan, right?
My post-partum anxiety had been better this time, but yesterday, it spiked. Fredrik was born with a less than one centimeter lesion on his scalp, which everyone initially thought was a superficial birth injury of some kind, but then, upon further examination, the pediatrician on call diagnosed it as some rare (one in 10,000) congenital malformation of the skin. In 86 percent of cases it’s isolated and completely benign and is nothing more than a small piece of skin that might not grow hair on top of it, but in the other 14 percent of cases it can be associated with some rather scary conditions, many of which it is already known that Fredrik doesn’t have, thus there is probably over a 95 percent chance that, for him, this is nothing more than a rare type of birthmark.
So this is likely a nothing burger, but, when you’ve already been in the one percent of statistics in the worst way possible, something even larger than one percent doesn’t feel like a nothing burger… Still, I’m trying to remain calm and rely on all of the information we have that suggests he’s okay as well as all of the professional voices (everyone) telling us that he’s okay too.
It was three years ago today that I found out I was pregnant with Matthew, so today feels interesting. My heart feels shattered but also full. Three years ago today, I never could have envisioned that our beloved first child about whom we had just learned would never come home, couldn’t have envisioned all of the ways life would fall apart, and then eventually be rebuilt, in each day following his death. Today I find myself thinking back, tears in my eyes, apologizing to Matthew again for how this turned out. I wish more than anything that he could be here with his two younger brothers.
It’s difficult to be in the hospital over Christmas. Our families are scattered about this year, and I think this just intensifies my feelings of devastation over the fact that my immediate family will always be scattered between heaven and earth, so long as I live. No matter how much good comes into my life, things will never be as they should be either.
Even with all of the emotions, we’re beyond thankful for this new miracle in our lives, and we’re excited for the many, hopefully happy, changes and challenges (specifically Joel seems less than enthused about his younger brother, though I hope that in time they can become besties) coming our way.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, sending love and light especially to those whose lives (and holidays) are forever complicated by grief and loss. Xoxo