I have spent the past 23 days, almost exclusively, in the hospital. I think I have taken 2 days off so far and both those days were weekend days with John home. Today is a day off, and it's the first time in 23 days that I am home with my children. Being at the hospital has consumed most of my emotional and mental efforts. There are lots of logistics that make it hard for me to think too long on any one thing. To be sure, I have spent my fair share of time crying and grieving over all that has been happening, but, good or bad, the hospital has been a good distraction for me.
Now that I am home today, I realize how big the ache is. How big the hole is. How our house is not complete or right without Libby in it. The kids and I ran some errands to Walmart today. As we walked out of the store, I almost burst into tears right then and there with the ache to have my baby with me. As we drove, a neighbor spotted me a block from our house, flagged me down and congratulated me on the baby. She didn't know Libby was in the hospital. I am proud of my baby and happy to accept congratulations. My feelings are in no way hurt when someone asks about her and doesn't know what has happened. But as I drove away after chatting I realized that Libby should have been in the car with us. I should have been able to put the car in park, open the door, and show off my little girl. I am trying to get chores done today, making the kids lunch, wrapping a present and it is all so...wrong. There should be a baby here in the house. I should have to tell the kids to wait because Libby is crying and needs me. I should be sitting on the couch nursing my daughter instead of pumping by myself.
I know that this season has to come to an end. Libby will not be in the hospital forever. But right now, today, it sure seems that way. Her homecoming seems so far off. So impossible to get to. It seems like she will never come home, never be held without cords, never grow, never smile, never sleep beside me, never nurse... I feel like I am going to be stuck in these past few weeks forever, like some sick sort of "Groundhog's Day". I miss my daughter so much. My heart literally hurts when I think about her. My body actually aches for her. I so desperately want her whole and want her home. I pray constantly for her and sit and wait with tears streaming for those prayers to be answered. I need my daughter. She needs me. I pray our reunion day comes quickly.