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Birth Story

I just had the most enlightening time with my new psychologist... ironic that I am striving to BE a psychologist, yet desperately need one myself right now. Let me rephrase that and say, again right now. 

I've been to a counselor in the past for various reasons... contrary to my online persona, I'm certainly not pooping out rainbows and butterflies every hour of every day and looking to the bright side of every situation. I'm constantly under construction, just as the rest of us, when it comes to me.

I don't want to sound hypocritical, because I do believe in always focusing on the positives and always being thankful and grateful for all things big and small... just as I always say and encourage. I just have a difficult time doing it all of the time... and that's ok, I guess.

Today was my consult, my first session and what a doozy it was. 
While Brayden and his life and his departure from earth were not the main topic of conversation, since I have lived a whole life before and am trying to live after, he was a part... just as he is a part of me.

I've never been asked this question.. and I was devastated that I didn't know how to reply immediately

"How did you feel the first time you saw Brayden? What were your thoughts?"

I found myself dancing around the question. I talked about how I knew his condition during my pregnancy, how I had prepared. I talked about how I didn't care that his life would be cut short, but I wanted him to call the shots.

But to answer the real question of how did I feel the first time I saw him:

I don't know, I wasn't allowed to feel anything for myself or think anything for myself.

I was devastated. Despite knowing throughout my pregnancy that he would have hydrocephalus and he would possibly have other deformities not detected by ultrasound; despite knowing he had a brain malformation and could possibly die instantly or have seizures or breathing problems. 

I was angry. SO angry. 

His head was large, yes. Other than that he was perfect. 

I was so mad that the doctors had led me to believe he would have all of these problems, and he didn't. He looked perfect despite a big 'ol noggin'. He had 10 fingers, 10 toes. He had the most perfect little lips and his daddy's cute little cleft chin. 

He looked perfect and sounded perfect and acted just perfect.

BUT, he wasn't perfect. The doctors took all of my initial meeting, my initial oohs and ahhs (which actually came long after his birth since I had surgical complications myself and was in a haze) and turned it in to a horrible blur of death, darkness, and scary medical terms.

Why couldn't I just cuddle up my perfect little man and just let him be a baby... a cute, adorable, cuddly, sweet cooing baby? The doctors, in an attempt (a poor one at that) to make us aware of what might be (and most of which never was)... stripped me of my first meeting of my sweet little man. That moment when you're supposed to shed tears of joy... mine was filled with tears of fear and so much anger with myself and with those guys in the white coats who kept saying death and dying.

I realized today that I was actually encouraged to not love my baby, instead I was encouraged to "not get attached" because we wouldn't have him for long. They took that from me... and there lies some of my anger. 

Hopefully I can change that for other families and they can have a joy-filled first meeting, a happy birthday... with all of the oohs and ahhs and without the doom and gloom. There must be a better way to deliver information without taking the joy out of life's moments. 

And no parent should look back at their child's life and have such horrible memories of the start... regardless the prognosis, there should be some joy celebrated for that life. Whether it is short or extensive, the moment of debut should be joyous.