I Don’t Know What To Expect When I’m Expecting


Ronan. My week has kind of gotten away from me. I’ve had your brother home sick 3 days this week. He’s had a sinus infection (Yay! Not cancer) which you know I am always thankful for. Your brothers get the flu, awesome! An ear infection, counting my blessings! You will never hear me complain about fevers, strep throat, throwing up, etc… Those things to me, are blessings. Having Quinn home makes me do things around here which you know I’m not a fan of. I don’t like being in our house, without you. I don’t like when I have to stay cooped up all day, not running around doing 50 million things. But staying home this week has made me realize that I am beyond wiped out, carrying a real life baby, and almost starting my 3rd trimester. WTF. It’s like I’m just now getting the memo, “Hi, you’re pregnant!” No wonder I have been feeling like crap lately. This pregnancy/growing your baby sister is hard freaking work. I got to see her on an 3-D ultra sound on Tuesday. She is so beautiful already. Her little face is all filled out. Her pump, full, lips look just like yours. She has a ton of hair already. The ultra sound tech could not get over her long, long legs. She obviously gets those from your daddy.

I saw my OBGYN as well. We went over the ultrasound and all of Poppy’s measurements which look perfect. Everything looks perfect, just the way things looked with you, too. You know that I will never stop worrying about this baby having cancer, ever. I worry about it with your brothers, too. That will never go away. Dr. Schwartz asked how I was feeling. I told her alright for the most part. Then I went down that road. One I would have never went down before if you had never died. That oh so fun place only mom’s get to go that have had a child who has died.

“Can we talk about when you can induce me. Because you know the world I live in now, and you know I am scared she’s going to die if you let me go to my due date. I am so scared of having a still birth because that’s the world I live in now and it’s all I hear about, besides cancer.”

Dr. Schwartz calmly talked about when she could induce me and told me that she would not let me go to my due date because she knows the fear I have. She told me she would keep a close eye on me, strip my membranes again, like she did with you if I wanted Poppy to come out a little early. She did not make me feel like the crazy person that I was feeling like which was so nice of her to do. She is a wonderful doctor. I left there feeling like I am somewhat in control of this even though I know I am not. I am doing the only thing I know how which is leaving this all in the hands of you. I have to trust in you that your Poppy sister is going to be alright.

I’ve had to start thinking about things like what it is going to be like, when Poppy arrives. Your Mr. Sparkly Eyes, and Poppy’s Godfather, said to me a while ago, “You know it’s going to be a circus.” I just told him in no way shape or form did I want that. I told him I wasn’t going to let it be that way and he said something like, “Well, you’d better start figuring out how to control that.” I’ve slowly been doing that. I had the talk with Stacy and Fernanda this week. I told them what I have been thinking. I don’t want anyone at the hospital, except your daddy and your brothers when the time is right and she is here, safe and sound. It took me a minute to explain all of this to them, but by the end they were both a little teary eyed and said they agreed with me and understood why. To me, this is a private time for our family. I have been so public with everything and after everything we have gone through, I want this little girl to enter this world as peacefully as possible. I don’t have a clue as to how I am going to feel, once she arrives. What if I totally freak out and lose it? I have no way of gauging my feelings because I never know how I am going to feel on a day to day basis. I do know this. I am going to need some time with her. Alone. To bond. To cry. To feel happy. To feel sad. To feel everything I know I am going to be feeling. Having a baby is emotional under normal circumstances. Throw in a traumatic death of a child on top of it and it’s a freaking party now! I am doing this to protect myself because I already know I am going to need the time. I’m not doing this to be hurtful or mean. I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but this is the decision I have made. Maybe after she gets here, my mind will change but as of now, it has not. I even had to tell your Nana, not to come. My own mother whom I love to the moon and back. That about broke my heart right then and there. I asked her to just give me some time and to come in, after we get home from the hospital. I could tell your Nana was a bit sad about this but I just said, “Mom, I don’t know how or what I am going to be feeling and I just want to be able to be, without having the pressure of having to fake like I am feeling one way, if I am not.” She just gave me a squeeze and told me, “Of course, honey. I understand.” I feel like it’s taken a long time for the 4 of us to find our rhythm again here, without you. It’s taken a lot of work to get us to go on in our day to day lives, together, as a family, with such a huge void that never goes away. We have days that we still trip, stumble and fall. It never feels totally right, but we have worked very hard, together, to get where we are today. I know Poppy is going to help us find our way a little more, too. Having her here is going to be an overwhelming mix of everything and I know, we are each going to need some time with her, just the 4 of us. Although this is a happy time for us in our lives, the sadness of not having you here, to meet your baby sister is almost at times too much for me to even fathom. I remember with all of you, I read that book, “What To Expect, When You’re Expecting.” I carried that thing around with me like it was my bible. It seemed to have all the answers. Now, going back to try to read that book is like a sick joke. They don’t have a clue as to what they can tell me about this time around. Everything is different. I have yet to find a good book about what it is like to have a baby, after going through something as traumatic as losing a child to cancer. Seems nobody wants to take on that topic. I don’t blame them. Maybe I’ll take in on in my free time. Maybe I’ll call it, “What To Expect After Losing A Child And Having Another. How About No Expectations Because Nobody Knows.”

This weekend is a busy one. The P.F. Changs Marathon is this Sunday. Dr. Sholler gets in Friday night to me my surrogate runner and I am so excited to see her and have her here. That woman humbles me like no other. I guess it was good that I had a fairly quiet week because I am going to need to find my energy for this weekend. Thank you to all of you who are running for Ronan and who have raised so much money for us. I can’t wait to see you at the finish line!

I’m tired tonight, Ronan. Did I forget to mention the fact that I know your sister is going to be extra spicy, just like you? She never slows down in my tummy and it always seems like she is having a party in there. I swear I feel her moving, kicking, punching, twirling around all day long and most of the night as well. I am so excited to meet this beautiful gift you have given us. Thank you. I know you know how much we all need her. I promise to be the best mama to her.

I love you, Ronan. I miss you. I hope you are safe. Sweet dreams.


15 responses to “I Don’t Know What To Expect When I’m Expecting”

  1. I think you already have the voice to write that book…

  2. I think it was perfectly appropriate for you to ask for no
    visitors until you come home with Poppy. I’m proud of you for
    asking for what you need ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Maya- I just spent yesterday morning offering support to
    a mom I met through a friend on how to cope with a child who has
    cancer. My good friend called me a few weeks ago asking if I could
    meet her and this new cancer mom I call them all for coffe. My
    friend felt like I would be a good source of support since I seem
    to know all the moms who have kids with cancer or have lost one
    from cancer!! WTF this is so wrong!!! We met and she told me their
    story. Julia is 9 and has a twin brother Ethan and Julia was just
    diagnosed with ALL. They also have a 5 year old girl. Kelly (the
    mom) has so many ?’s and concerns. We could have talked for hours
    and hours and have been texting a lot today but we could only meet
    in person for an hour. I had to pick my Jack up early at school to
    get him to a doctors appt. re: his broken nose from a collision
    with another 10yr. old friend of his last week. Kelly was clearly
    upset because this is a WHOLE NEW WORLD OF CHILDHOOD CANCER she
    never thought about until her daughters diagnosis. The family just
    moved here (East of SF) for the husbands job two years ago from the
    East Coast and have no family here although they have met some
    wonderful friends. Anyway, I told the mother Kelly all about you
    and Ronan. I told her that I read your blog everytime it is updated
    and although I still have my child with cancer alive I try to put
    myself in your shoes because so many children do die of cancer and
    now that I have one I fear it will be one day. She couldn’t wait to
    look ROCKSTAR RONAN up and I feared maybe I should not have
    mentioned it but my point was that cancer is killing kids and it is
    beyond wrong! I had mixed feelings about giving her the blog
    address and couldn’t help myself. It could be us one day. There are
    days like yesterday when my Jack comes home from school and was
    feeling miserable. By dinner time he was burning up and I called
    his Onc Dr. and we head to the ER with a 103+ temp last night and
    he ends up testing positive this morning for Sinusitis and
    INFLUENZA. His body no longer makes antibodies because of cancer-
    all the fucking toxic chemo destroyed anything good left inside of
    his body although the docs don’t admit that.. they say it could
    have been the chemo but they are not 100%- of course it was the
    chemo!!! wtf! He is on all kinds of meds right now and looks so bad
    that it kills me. I pray for you constantly and hope you know how
    much I think of you and your family. Without my husband and kids I
    could not survive in this world and although my friends and
    extended family mean so much to me I cherish my own little 5some.
    Take care and I hope you know how excited my friends and I are for
    Poppy to arrive. I hope you continue to rest and let your friends
    and family spoil you with all the love and support you deserve. We
    will be eager to hear about the run this weekend.

  4. Beautiful post and real. I feel you are so right on. The 4
    of you bonding with Poppy. Your circle. Then you can share her with
    the rest. I’m sure she’s beautiful just like all of you and
    Rockstar Ro. Another spicy monkey like her mama & Ro.
    Popstar ๐Ÿ™‚ Rolove always XO RoMama, I mailed you a check for
    Ronan’s foundation in Dec. My check has not cleared yet

  5. I cannot even begin to imagine how you are feeling right
    now…I don’t blame you for wanting to keep the birth of Poppy as
    private as you can. You give so much of yourself to all of
    us…it’s time to take some time for yourself to be in the moment
    and feel all the things you need to feel at this time. We will all
    still be here when you are ready to face the world again and we
    will welcome Poppy into this world with more love than you can

  6. I know I might sound totally batshit crazy for saying this
    but you should go to a medium. you’ll never get closure from losing
    your baby boy, and youll miss him forever but just to hear that
    he’s safe and with you I think would help you. I watched long
    island medium and thought of you.

  7. Hi Maya. There is absolutely no need to feel mean or guilty
    about asking for your privacy. I felt the very same way. So many
    emotions, it’s not a time to have to be afraid or too polite to
    just be you and live in the moment. I am so excited for you and so
    glad that Poppy keeps busy in there. It’s always nice to have the
    reassurance that she is alive and well. I remember hearing people
    complain about the baby moving the most at bed time and having a
    hard time sleeping. As for me….I was all like bring it on!!!!!! I
    can sleep better with you moving, it’s lying awake worrying because
    you are not that is difficult. Oh I cannot wait for the day you
    announce that Poppy is home with the family and oh so beautiful!!
    The world will be abuzz that day, as you have fans to the ends of
    the earth….

  8. I was so scared to have my baby after Jack died. I didnt
    know how Id handle it. Turns out my baby was just what I needed. I
    figure shes a gift from her big brother!

  9. Maya, I cannot even begin to imagine all of the emotions
    that you are feeling with this pregnancy and your upcoming birth.
    You have every single right to have your privacy and time to
    compose your thoughts and emotions after little Poppy is born.Allow
    yourself as much time as you need to feel every single emotion that
    you need to feel. I am sure there will be plenty. Relief,
    happiness, sadness, and maybe a little bit of anger or guilt. I’m
    sure that those who love you and support you will understand and
    give you your space before totally going gaga over this gorgeous
    girl. I wish I could tell you something to ease your worries about
    her delivery. My cousin was just a few months pregnant with her
    third daughter when both of her daughters died tragically in a
    house fire. She had a hard time with her pregnancy. She was still
    very much grieving her daughters, but she said when she held her
    daughter for the first time, she felt a part of her come back to
    life. She has said that her baby girl is no replacement for her
    daughters, but watching her grow and seeing how much she is like
    her older sisters is a comfort to her. It’s like a part of her
    daughters still lives on in her baby. While it will never bring
    them back, the baby is a reminder that her daughters were real and
    not a beautiful dream.She worries every day that something will
    happen to this new life, but she knows that she needs to take each
    day as a gift and trust that her sisters are watching from
    whereever they are and are keeping her safe. I think Ronan has been
    preparing you for this Poppy baby for a long time. I remember
    reading a blog you had posted a while back where you were at the
    store and a little girl who resembled Ro was playing in the clothes
    racks. You mentioned her mother calling her “Ireland” and
    remembering that Ireland would have been Ronan’s name if he had
    been a girl. I believe in signs. I believe that he was preparing
    you for what’s to come. You have been wishing so hard for Ronan to
    come back, and I believe that with the birth of Poppy, a part of
    him is coming back to life (though not in the body form that you
    were hoping for), and a part of you is coming back to life as well.
    I hope you’re prepared for YEARS AND YEARS of this Poppy baby’s
    “spicy” spirit- including her hiding in the clothes racks at
    stores. Things are going to be great, Maya. You’re surrounded by so
    much love and support. Ronan is keeping you safe. He’ll keep his
    sister safe, too. That’s what big brothers do. Promise!!

  10. with both of my babies I really felt that the big bond happens as the two of you fight through those first few sleepless weeks together. you hold eachother and cry together in the middle of the night – and slowly this big crazy love builds. It’s so amazing. don’t put pressure on yourself to feel anything or everything in those first few hours…pregnancy hormones alone are enough to throw that off, let alone the grief that’s following you around. This little poppy is such a freaking miracle. so excited for your family, to watch her bring back a little bit of the joy that’s missing. love you.

  11. You are following your heart, Maya, and that is what you need to do for yourself and your family. Those who love you will get this, that it’s not about them but about what’s best for you and yours. Love to you.

  12. I applaud your strength for knowing what is “right” for you and your family when it comes to Poppy’s arrival. I put right in quotes because I know what would be right would be if Ronan was there – I’m so sorry he won’t be, it’s just terrible. You are so honest and so loving. Poppy is going to have one hell of Mama! One day at a time. Sending you thoughts of love and strength.

  13. Have you read The fault in our stars?

  14. i dont know if you will get a chance to read this, but as i
    was reading your blog post i noticed that you said ‘she your OBGYN
    Dr.Schwatrz’ are you reffering to Kathleen Schwartz with Camelback
    Womens Health?

    1. The one and only;) The best.

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