My Family!!

My Family!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Crazy Bipolar Lady

Yesterday was a joyous occasion. We received some of the greatest news about our friends, but all I could do was sob. Mr. and Mrs. Prince, gave birth to their bouncing bundle of joy.

Foster and Mr. Prince attended Officer school for the Army years ago, but had not really kept in touch. Last September they ran into each other at an Army convention in Nashville. Mrs. Prince and I had the pleasure of hanging out at the pool, having lunch, etc., while our husbands were attending their meetings. We had a lot of fun together, and seemed to hit it off. I was ecstatic about having another military wife as a friend, because only they can completely relate to the challenges that come along with that title. Mr. Prince and Foster are so similar, not only in their careers, but in their personalities and outlooks on life, so Mrs. Prince and I can definitely relate to one another.

At the conference Foster and I became engaged, and had the pleasure of celebrating this occasion with the Princes. We drank, laughed, and had a little too much fun that weekend, because a few weeks later, Foster and I found out we were pregnant, and about a week after that, I got a call from Mrs. Prince, they were pregnant too! We were so excited. Our friendship quickly blossomed into this pregnant connection. Their due date was 11 days behind ours, and so it seemed as soon as I would get a symptom, a first kick, or a milestone in my pregnancy, Mrs. Prince followed close behind. When my swelling started, she anticipated hers would too, when my baby kicked, she impatiently waited for hers to kick too. It was a fun journey, and we had many plans for our kids after we gave birth. The Princes moved four miles from our home at the beginning of March, so we had plans of walking our strollers together to work off the pregnancy weight, and as the children got older, we would throw parties for them and have play dates together.

At the beginning of her pregnancy, Mrs. Prince was terrified of a miscarriage. We talked about this at length in the beginning, and she said that if either one of us lost our child, it would be hard to watch the other person because we were so close in due dates. We made a pact that we would remain friends and help one another if , God forbid, this happened. Sunday night, April 18th, I sat on her couch, over 34 weeks pregnant, and explained to her that as nervous as she was in the first trimester is how nervous I was feeling at that point. Although she felt we were in the clear, I was not as convinced. I am usually the positive person, but I was terrified of all that could happen in the weeks leading up to, and even during delivery.

I think both of us were dumbfounded when less than 24 hours later I was lying on her bed with her fetal Doppler looking for the heart beat. The look in her eyes was one of worry, concern, and a mutual fear and hurt. Mr. and Mrs. Prince were the first people we called, after family members, when the doctor could not find a heartbeat, and they cried and mourned for Rosie with us.

Mrs. Prince lived up to our pact. I don't think either one of us ever thought we would be living out the fear we had discussed around week 8 of our pregnancies, and if it had not been for her, I could see myself wanting to distance myself from them. However, she did not let me do this. The Princes came to our home with food and flowers, attended the funeral and burial of our precious girl, and Mrs. Prince took me to lunch, got me out of the house, and let me cry, yell, and ramble. She was the first to text me "Happy Mother's Day to the strongest mother I know" which meant more to me than anything. She did not pretend nothing happened, she did not skirt around the issue, or hide the rest of her pregnancy from me out of fear of how I would react, and most importantly, she did not allow me to distance myself from them. We were even schedule to have fondue (or as my husband calls it, "fondon't") dinner tonight.

So why was I crying?!?!?! Why, when I get a personal text, not just finding out through Facebook, that my dear friend was in labor was I crying?!?!? I frantically started going through my phone wondering who I could call that would understand, and reassure me that I was NOT crazy, that these feelings ARE normal, and Mrs. Prince would NOT hate me for this. I did not want to call my friend Mrs. Roma who lost her son at 27 weeks gestation, because I knew with the recent changes in her household, she had her hands full, so I emailed her. I hesitated to call my friend's mom who lost her son around 38-39 weeks, but her own daughter was in the hospital having issues with her pregnancy. However, I broke down and left her a message. I frantically continued searching through my phone. No one. No one would understand first hand how I was feeling and be able to give me advice. All of the sudden I felt utterly alone. I called my sister. I feel bad, because I know I woke her up, but I sobbed. She let me. She said all the right things, made me feel like this was normal, and told me Mrs. Prince would understand and not hold my initial reaction against me.

When I called to tell my husband that the Princes were in labor, he asked me why I was crying. "I don't know! I don't know why! I should be happy for them, but I am sobbing!" He suggested I go shopping, and get out of the house, so I did. To give you an idea of how upset and disconnected I was, I left the house, and forgot to SHUT the front door, not lock it, SHUT it. Thank God we live in a good neighborhood.

I wandered Home Depot looking for a much needed patio set. When I sat to test one Foster had shown interest in, I spaced out. I contemplated why I was feeling like I was. I thought of Rosie. I missed her, and had she been born on Friday like planned, her new friend would only be 3 days younger. I am sure the staff at Home Depot thought I was crazy, because I sat there for thirty minutes staring off into space, slowly rocking myself in the patio chair. Just then I got another text, "It's a Boy", and as quickly as that sadness and sorrow came, is as quickly as it left. The Princes had decided to keep the sex a surprise, and when they announced it was a boy, I let out a huge sigh of relief. I was actually ecstatic. I believe I would have been devastated if it had been a girl. Maybe not, but I am glad that I never have to find out what my reaction would have been.

Later last night, as Foster and I were getting ready for bed, he said, "I don't know why you were so upset when she went into labor, I was excited."

I started to tear up, "You will never understand," I said. For at that moment I realized that today was not about mourning the loss of my daughter, but mourning the loss of all the plans and the future that Mrs. Prince and I had laid out for our children TOGETHER. We will still have our friendship, and I have come to realize I will probably love her child so much, because as I watch Baby Prince grow up, I will be reminded of what Rosie would have been going through. Hopefully, we will still have those play dates, it will just have to be a little further in the future.

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Prince!! I love you guys!


Anonymous said...

Girl! What part of call me anytime do you not understand! There will always be something wild happening in my life- don't let that stop you! I am so sorry I got your email late, but I am glad to see that you ended up doing, and processing things exactly how I would have suggested- you rode the wave, you were honest, and I think this will really strengthen your relationship with the Prince's. Now because you've been honest, they will share even more in your happiness one day in the future when you welcome another beautiful baby into your arms:)

Yvonne said...

Erin, I am glad everything worked out for you in the end, but please don't hesitate to call me next time! I may not know exactly what you are going through since my miscarriages were all in the first trimester, but I do understand loss and I am always willing to lend an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on!


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