I try not to think about Callum's rough start much anymore. I look at our sweet little boy who is growing up and perfect. But sometimes, I get knocked back and feel sad about his birth and how I feel robbed that we didn't get that newborn experience like we've had with our girls.
For Clara, I made a special photograph book about her first 6 weeks. Clara's birth was perfect. I don't think it could have been better, really (except if it had been at home). I look at her book, the photographs, the words and it just depicts that perfect September day. An easy birth. An amazing first few hours with our princess. Her sweet body didn't leave my chest for two glorious hours after her birth. Complete Bliss.
I recently finished up Callum's special book and ordered it. It was delivered on Wednesday and I sat down to read it and all the flashbacks of those horrible moments came back to haunt me. I teared up and felt sad. The first few pages of his book weren't about the joys and sweet moments we had with Callum (well we had just a few...), they were about the fears, tears and scares we had with him. About how sick he was, how we couldn't hold him, I couldn't nurse him and all the tubes coming in and out of his body. The photographs of his puffy body hooked up to all sorts of machines. It sucked. But then, I looked up, and there he was playing happily on the floor with his sisters and I instantly felt grateful for everything. He is here with us. Safe and Sound. Happy and Loved. Healthy...
Then again today, a friend of mine posted a slideshow of a home-birth she photographed. The photographs were perfect. The story of a perfect birth and baby, at home, all snuggled up with his mommy and daddy. The baby nursing. Smiles on everyones faces. And then, once again, for the second time in a week, I started to feel robbed of that experience with Callum.
Is it wrong that I wanted the same for Callum as I wanted with his sisters, especially Clara? I know his birth cannot be changed, and what we went through with him has given us a different, more grateful outlook on life, but I still feel robbed. I still wonder if he had been born on a different day or if something different happened if things would have turned out the same way. I can't help it. But all I have to do is look at Callum, watch him smile and squeal with excitement at his sisters, watching him scoot around the floor playing with toys and get excited as I am about to nurse him, and the feelings of sadness go away. I know I will never truly get over this feeling, but as time passes, I just hope I don't feel so sad when I see others have that perfect experience, too. I am so lucky that we have four beautifully healthy children today.
And that is all that should matter. And I will never ever take that for granted.