I don’t want to talk about Bella today. It hurts. So today I am going to distract myself by talking about something else.
Our human baby is doing well. We have moved on from the random isolated kicks to the creepy alien belly. I can feel her slide an arm or a leg or something across and diagonally. It doesn’t hurt yet. It kinda tickles. Bella let me put her on my belly last night so the kids could play together again. At the first kick, a purring Bella’s eyes grew wide and she jumped off my gut to settle on the floor beside me.
She permeates everything. She is infused into every story, every day of our lives. And soon she won’t be. This is grief.
We visited the birthing center at the hospital this week. We sat in a classroom and whipped through a bunch of information before going to look at the actual wing of the hospital. Did you know you can have a professional photographer come in to take pictures the day after birth? Like with a complete kit so they don’t even look like they were taken at the hospital? It’s a pretty neat idea for the birth announcements (if that’s a thing we do), but not too keen on the idea of pictures of myself just hours after delivery.
The delivery rooms are very nice. They’re big. We almost didn’t get to see one because they were full. That tickled me too, the idea of hours of hard labor just to have a walking tour of 40+ people wander into your room to see what it’s like. They told us that mother and baby typically stay in the delivery rooms for about 3 hours after birth before being moved to the private recovery rooms.The recovery rooms are much smaller, so I am glad that we got to see a delivery room or I would be worried. All babies room with the mother. They include a shower, a bed, and a semi comfortable chair that folds out into a twin bed. All recovery rooms come with DVD players. I am sure this will be important one day. I am sure I will muster the energy to be excited for and happy about that day.
I am broken. I can’t breathe. I can’t think without crying. I’ve thrown up two mornings this week and I don’t know how because I can barely eat. I feel guilty. Like I could have done more to prevent this from happening. Like I’m being selfish in hoping for the best and keeping her in suffering. Like I am so destroyed by the thought of losing my princess that I am not taking good care of myself. And I have to take good care of myself. Because I have a human child growing inside me. And I feel guilty that I can’t think about that human child because I’m too sad about my feline child. The midwives said my baby will recognize Bella because of the bond they’ve already created, and I’ve already torn that away.
And I am sad that I am making my husband do this today. He is more broken than I and I am making him taker her to the vet today. He will have to hear the results directly from the doctor. And if they are as we suspect, he will have to tell them we’ll be back this evening to put Bella to rest. How could I make him do that? They gave us two weeks. But if we do what we think we have to do, we got 5 1/2 days. This is not fair.
And I think about the debris. How many years we’ll still be finding cat hair on our clothes. How many trips we’ll take before we remember where we’ve left litter boxes for her. What we do with the opened boxes of unopened cans of cat food. Her treats. The bag of catnip. The somewhere packed seeds of unplanted cat grass. Her toys. I’m sure some of these will find a home with my brother and Little Foot, but deciding what to hold on to and when to let go is too much.
She hasn’t physically left yet and I just want her back. I want her to sit on the bathroom counter and stare at me through the crack in the doorway. I want her to sit on my chest and lick my nose. I want her to sit peacefully on her pink chair, and then spaz out and rush up the stairs with her back arched and her tail fluffed. I want her to pounce on the piece of leaf that flutters past. I want her to scratch her pad and squeak and beg to be let outside. I want her to sit on my sewing and bite at my thread. But I am asking for too much, and I know that. And I know that she doesn’t think about tomorrow. And all she knows is that she doesn’t feel good. And she can tell we’re sad, and she makes an effort when she has the energy, but she doesn’t feel good. And the most she can muster is a purr and a scratch at the carpet.