Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beyond the birth

How do you name a person - another living being. It's such a responsibility and going in to theatre we still hadn't decided. When they told me they were going to have to put me under, they sent The Band outside (I guess so he wouldn't have to see them shoving a pipe down my throat) - they had asked what our name options were and I had told them, with The Band outside I said to them "ok it sucks that I have to go under, but while i'm out you guys can convince The Band on the name I want!"

Apparently they did...

Her name is Tandia Ella (Tandia is pronounced "Tun-dee-uh" with the emphasis on the "dee"). He'd been concerned that Tandia was too ethnic or something, but I've loved the name for years. The two meanings I found were "much loved one" and "prayer"... fitting!!! And now of course, it's hard to imagine her as anything else.

Tandia weighed 2.43 at birth and is a teensy little thing and so so beautiful.

For the first 4 days I didn't sleep... I couldn't. I wasn't even tired. I just wanted to take it all in. I guess I was just on such a high of relief and gratitude.

It's been great to be home... we've had family til tonight so it has been busy, and I'm looking forward to redefining normal now that it's just us.

We're pretty much doing all the "wrong" things in terms of breastfeeding (kind of going with whatever's comfortable rather than the specific positioning the nurses encourage) and sleep - my best is to sleep with her on my chest, else she's on a wedge in our bed. But we have a very content little baby and we're pretty content too so I guess it's working for us!

It's amazing how you get a sense of a baby's character in the womb... it's really accurate. I felt that Tandia would be a bit of a more serious child. Very content. Very sweet and very gentle. A wise little thing. This is really how she comes accross.

That makes me think of Sophia - how I felt I knew her, I did.

Since being home there have been more and more sore moments. I referred to The Kernel as Sophia by mistake. That hurt. Then for some reason my bath really set me off. I had so looked forward to my first post-caesar bath which I was finally allowed to have on Friday night.

The Band filled it with bubbles and dimmed the lights and put on some music for me. I don't know what it was. Perhaps it was the first time I was bathing "alone" for a very long time. No one in my belly. It just made me ache for Sophia. Tandia was never particularly excited about the bath when I was pregnant. But Sophia used to love baths - she'd kick about plenty from the moment I was in the water. Baths were always our time.

Since Friday night I've had a growing ache. An increasing hollow sadness. It's a strange place to be - a mixture of pure joy and relief and awe and reverence and gratitude on the one side and a deep, aching, gaping loneliness and longing on the other.

How I wish Sophia was here to share all this with us. To welcome her little sister into the world. Having our beautiful daughter here with us does not solve it. It doesn't stop us missing our firstborn. In some ways it makes me miss Sophia even more.


Gina said...

You are all so blessed. You, TheBand, Tandia AND Sophia!
She is with you... watching and smiling and sharing your joy in her sister.

Sarah said...

I am so incredibly happy for you. What an beautiful baby girl. Her name is gorgous. You're doing great! Can't wait to see more pictures.

Kaylen said...

Congrats!!! I lovelovelove the name. You picked out two beautiful names for your beautiful baby girls!
You may never be done missing Sophia, but your love for her only makes your love for Tandia even stronger.

I love the picture!
Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

But she is there. Maybe not her physical presence, but the love you have for her; and the love TheKernel will have for her once she's old enough to understand makes her real. Just because she's not physically there does not make here any less a part of your family.

I really feel that your sadness is hers too. Sad that she can't share in her new sister.

You will always miss her; and TheKernel will never replace her; but then again; nothing ever can.

Much love and hugs to you all. You know you can always tweet if you need us!

ExMi said...

she is GORGEOUS. I remember reading a book by Bryce Courtenay called 'Tandia' - such a beautiful story about a brave, strong girl.

you chose well with the name.

very well.

thinking of you, the kernel, sophia, the band and the guv xx

cassey said...

Awesome strong name. Many hugs for you all.

Sharon said...

In time the hurting will become bearable. Gorgeous Tandia has just made you more aware of how wonderful life with Sophia may have been, which is possibly why it hurts more now, because you know what you missed. Take heart, it will get better. For now, just enjoy your new baby girl.
Much love and hugs to you all

B said...

a beautiful name for a beautiful baby. i'm so glad she's there with you and i wish sophia could have been, too.

Ruby said...

*big hugs* Thinking of you lady

Rebecca said...

I'm just so happy for you and The Band. You have a precious, beautiful, completely loved daughter. But Sophia will never be forgotten. I can totally see how having Tandia would make you miss her even more. That thought makes me very sad. But I'm still just relieved and happy for you. I've enjoyed stalking your Twitter over the past week or so. :-)

Anonymous said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! soooooooo damn excited for you all!!!!!!!!!!

sending all my love!

Slyde said...

oh my word, i am so happy for you!

i'm glad your little one has arrived, safe and sound in your arms... congrats!