It's just after six o'clock in the morning, and I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room watching Bugs Bunny cartoons on television and milking my second Mr Pibb in the last two hours. Cori was out like a light when I stumbled out of her room, unable to sleep. Yesterday continues to haunt me. I imagine it will continue to do so for a very long time.
I would be remiss if I didn't start by saying how grateful I am that the cesarean section went well and Cori is recovering quickly. This surgery, while somewhat commonplace, is still a big deal, and I'm not sure that my fragile emotional state could have survived any complications. There are more than a few cracks in this facade already.
Yesterday in the operating room, after successfully getting Aiden out (I suppose "success" has to be given a somewhat forgiving definition at this point), the nurses brought him over for us to see. We both wept as I took the lifeless body of my son in my arms and instinctively began to gently rock him.
I wanted so badly for him to cry. I wanted him to fuss and fidget and refuse to calm down. I desperately wanted him to be frustrated by those first few moments trying to nurse, to be loud and unreasonable like a baby should be. I cycled through emotions at a blinding pace. I was sad, furious, hysterical, depressed, relieved, and indignant, all seemingly at the same time. I wanted to scream at the nurses and beg that they do something to fix him. I wanted to scream at Aiden and try to wake him up. I wanted to scream at the sky and demand an explanation, a reason, some feeble attempt to address the impossible question of "Why". I wanted a do-over, a recount, a mulligan, an undo button.
But I don't have an undo button. I may never get an explanation. He's not going to cry. Instead, we cried. We sobbed and cradled his tiny broken body. His cleft palette, which we knew about from the ultrasounds, was jarring to see. His impossibly tiny hands and feet, all misshapen and turned the wrong way, were unnerving. I found him painful to look at, and for that I felt guilty.
Several months ago, shortly after having been told about Aiden's Trisomy, Cori and I were in the kitchen doing dishes. We had let them get a little out of hand, so there were a lot of them to wash. After tackling the third sink-full and still having a noteworthy amount left, Cori paused and said, "This sucks." I agreed, then noticed a tear running down her cheek and realized that she hadn't been talking about the dishes at all. I've waxed poetic on this blog about what I've felt, what we've struggled with, etcetera, but I think that perhaps no description of this situation is more accurate than the one Cori gave that day... This sucks.