Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Carter Luke Vermilyea - Part 14

We loved having Carter at home and, along with Caroline, had a great little family! Those first days were sweet, yet challenging at times as well. Carter was such a sweet, easy baby who just seemed to go along with everything. He definitely was held a lot by his Mommy, Daddy, sister, Grandma, and Grandpa a lot! There were times Ryan and I felt like we were adjusting well to what our new normal was going to be, then there were other times that I just couldn’t help but cry. We would be overwhelmed with all the what-ifs of Carter’s future. I sometimes caught myself worrying over how he would crawl, or eat, or pick up things, hold his kids one day, and lots of other things. I would worry about how to teach him to tie his shoe with one hand, or do other things with just one hand. Where would he wear his wedding ring one day? Would kids make fun of him?
Ryan and I would talk about things and I would cry some. But Ryan always reminded me that we had to take it one day at a time. That it would be okay.

Sometimes, I just cried watching someone dress him. You see, those first several days after Carter’s birth Ryan or my parents changed his diaper and dressed him. When I saw him laying there with no clothes on it was such an obvious reminder of his missing hand/forearm. It is not like we were used to seeing a baby with only one hand, you know? It is hard to explain, but it was difficult. And still today, even though it is so normal and I don’t think about it much, it is still sometimes a big reminder when I see him without his clothes on. I wish I knew better how to explain this.

I forgot to mention an important moment for me while in the hospital. When the nurses first dressed him right after he was born in the little onesie, they didn’t roll up the sleeve on his left arm or anything. It just dangled there. It stayed that way for maybe the first day. I hated the way it looked. I didn’t know why, but I knew I didn’t like it at all. At one point, I remember folding the sleeve up so that his arm was showing. I think I realized then that the reason it bothered me while it was hanging down was for two reasons: 1. I felt like it was kind of trying to hide what wasn’t there, you know? And I didn’t want to hide anything. 2. To me, it made him look like something was wrong. I don’t know how to explain it, but I just didn’t like the way it looked with his shirt all dangly. That probably doesn’t make sense; it’s hard to explain.
I felt like this was a pivotal moment for me. When I really was beginning to accept the fact my baby didn’t have a left hand and part of his arm, and then move on from there and do everything the best we can.

I know I have said it before, but those first days were hard at times. I cried a lot, or at least stopped myself from crying a lot. I felt so bad about crying, especially when I knew I loved my son so much. I didn’t know why I cried sometimes, except that I was sad for Carter, because I didn’t want him to have anything difficult in life. I remember hearing several people tell me that it was okay to cry. It isn’t that I didn’t love Carter, it was just that your mind has to fully grasp what you didn’t expect.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I didn’t love Carter. It was never an issue of that. I LOVED him from the moment I knew I was pregnant, when I first felt him kick, and even more so the moment I saw him for the first time. He was my son. Our gift from God.

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