Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Empty Chair

We had breakfast on Saturday at one of our favorite places and I had one of "those" moments. One of "those" moments where your mind drifts to what life would be like....I wrote this after coming home on Saturday while Cooper was taking a nap and my honey was working on a project. It's those quiet moments when you're alone that your heart and reality meet that brought me to write this piece:

The Empty Chair

I couldn't help but think of you as I looked at the empty chair. I couldn't help but look across the table at your daddy and think of all we've been through since we got married. Then I looked to my right where you're little brother sat in his high-chair and I smiled. I give him a quick kiss on his cheek and tell him that I love him. I look to my left and there was the empty chair.

The empty chair where you should be sitting in your booster seat. My mind races to what I would've ordered you and how fun it would've been to watch you color on the kid's puzzles that the restaurant gives all the kids. My mind has the daydreams but my eyes see the reality of the empty chair.


A table for four with a family of three was never so painful...I didn't cry...no one even knew where my mind and heart was...You get to be an expert at having "those" moments undected after 25 months...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Small signs that my heart is starting to heal~

The baby edition in People magazine would've made me pop a xanax in 2008. It same edition became bearable in 2009 because I was pregnant with our rainbow baby but couldn't really enjoy seeing babies with the fear that something would happen to this one, too. I opened the baby edition this year with a subtle excitement to see other smiling babies and to ooh/aah over the things that I'll never be able to afford to give to Cooper. I wasn't anxious or sad...I was oddly "normal" as I flipped throught the magazine over the weekend.

My heart will never be quite the same but I do feel it easier to be happy. I miss her and love her but these feelings no longer paralyze me. These feelings used to be so overpowering that I couldn't think straight. I don't feel guilty about this tide of change in my heart. I know this is what she wants...in my core, I know she knows that I think of her everyday with a sweet love that only a mommy can give...I don't feel tortured by this love anymore. That sounds so harsh but I used to be angry at having all this love for her in me and not being able to show her this love. I now know that living my life in a strong and proud way is showing her my love. I now know that not allowing her death to kill me is the way that she would want me to live the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I will never forget August 3, 2008

We had tried for almost 2 years to get pregnant with her and the day we found out that I was pregnant was the best day of my entire life. We ate at a Thai restaurant the night before taking the hpt and I told my hubby would'nt it be great if I was pregnant right now and on the baby's birth announcements we could write "when man says no, God says yes" We had been told just 2 weeks before that I would never get pregnant on my own. I had my right fallopian tube removed in Feb. 08 and the left one was so badly damaged that the RE said that there would be no way that an embryo would make it out...He doesn't know the God that I serve, does he?

Our pregnancy was picture perfect until the day that she died.

We went had gone to garage sales all morning looking for baby stuff. We had lunch at Little Azio's and had gone home to take a nap. I played on the computer some and the moment that I stood up from my desk is the first time that I noticed the pain. I laid down thinking that I just had gas. I asked my hubby to call my ob-gyn after 15 minutes because I knew that something wasn't right. I felt her kick and flip as my hubby raced to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors and I wasn't contracting and Lily was doing beautifully. They said that it must be my appendix and lined me up for surgery.

An hour before I was to go into surgery my blood pressure dropped to 60/40 and all I remember is panadomium. People were everywhere sticking in catheters, putting an oxygen mask on me, and literally squeezing the iv fluids into my veins to get my blood pressure to go up. They brought in the u/s machine to check on Lily and her heartbeat was already in the 90's. Even if they could've gotten her out it was for certain that she would've been braindead. There just wasn't time. I remember looking at my hubby and my doc and saying "please, don't let her die. I can't lose her." I knew by the look on their faces. My hubby got close to my stomach and told her that we loved her and to go to Jesus. He watched her heart stop. No daddy should have to see their princess die and I know he carries that memory with him every day. They say that she died from a complete placenta aburption.

The next 15 hours are too painful to write about today. How do you put into words how it feels to have your dead baby inside of you? How do you put into words the feeling of your world crashing down and knowing that any dayto come will never be the same?

The uterine rupture happened some time that day. I ended up on a ventilator for 2 days. The sweet nurse that pulled the tubes out of my throat said "I'm so sorry. Please, let us know when you're ready to see your daughter and we'll bring her to you." My hubby handed her to me and she was dressed in a white dress with a cross on the front. She had a purple hat on and was wrapped in a purple blanket. She was perfect in every way. I think about the day we "met" all the time...I caressed her cheeks and told her how sorry I was for failing her. I tell her the same things today. I miss her and love her so very much.

I think it's good for me to look back on this day. My heart has gone through so much since then. I didn't know how I was ever going to live without her and then God blessed me with her little brother. He has brought so much joy to us. Cooper has reminded me how much there is still to live for in this world.

Lily made me a mother and Cooper has made me a mommy. The difference is subtle. You become a mother the moment that you have life living inside of you. You become a mommy when you live the day to day trials of watching your heart live outside your body.

Both of my children are my greatest accomplishments. I see little parts of Lily in Cooper. Sometimes, I see her when I look down at him when he's sleeping and I feel God's grace around me at these times.

I know that I'll see her again and my heart takes comfort in our reunion.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thank you, Glamour!

I don't even have a subscription to Glamour anymore but can't get them to stop sending it to me! I normally just toss them in the recycling bin or pass them off to a friend as the only magazines that I read anymore are the ones to do with life with a baby. Today though, I flipped through by all the perfume samples and pictures of the newest fashion trends (although, all my clothes are from Kohl's and Old Navy so I'm not even considered a fashion icon by ANYONE'S standards!) and landed on the most phenomenal article.

The name of the article is "The Baby I Lost and the Life that She Gave Me" by Katharine O'Connell White. The article is perfect in every sense of the word. She goes over how hard it was to see certain onesies, her "before" life, and all of her emotions when pregnant with her rainbow baby (our term not hers). This lady is a doctor and actually lost her daughter in the very hospital that she worked in. I had tears in my eyes as she discussed how her doctor friends gave her daughter CPR for 30 minutes. Actually, I cried a lot while reading the article as this was the first article that I could actually identify with every word and could feel every emotion.

I'm thankful to Mrs. White for this article as it seems like pregnancy loss and infant death are still taboo subjects. Her final sentence sums it all up perfectly "My pain will never fully go away and I'm still happy. I'm not fine in the old way: the knee-jerk "I'm fine" that won't allow doubt or fear. But I am, actually, in a deeper, truer way, fine."

I'm thankful for Glamour for adding in an article that shows that pregnancy loss isn't the cooties. You won't have a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death by acknowledging that it does happen everyday! It's not some "subject" to be ignored and for baby loss parents to "suck it up" and just "get it over it already". The death of a baby is personal but it is life changing...

(This article is in the September 2010 issue)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A new direction

There was a certain blog that was brought to the attention of the babyloss community in the last few days that left many of us speechless and hurt. We shall refer to this blog as "the blog that shall not be named." I had a few exchanges with the writer of this blog (and, her mother! Awkward!) and have been rumulating on these interactions. Initially, I was very angry at her words. I think yesterday being Lily's birthday may have excerbated those feelings. I made some jabs that I did end up apologizing for the sole purpose of not wanting to be a hypocrite. Who am I to tell her what to blog about just because it hits too close to home? I still don't agree with her choice of words but I do believe that she didn't write them with the intent to hurt this community and more for her friends to discuss. I don't know this girl personally (I swear!) but I've spent a good time in prayer and mediation since my happenings on her blog yesterday.

I think we need to keep in my mind that she is entitled to her own opinion. It is her blog where she should feel free to express them. There are a lot of blogs out there that I don't agree with and I stay away from those blogs. We've all been faced with people in our real lives that don't want to see pictures of our babies. We've all faced people in our real lives that want us to "get over" our babies. This is a stranger to all of us (I'm assuming) that voiced this opinion on her blog. Granted, she did use some vile words that I would never use and I don't agree with her delivery BUT again it's her blog. We can't censure how people feel or write/speak, right? There are more like her in the world. She won't be the first and she won't be the last! She has been very fortunate to not have the experience of losing a baby and I pray that she never does. Everyone needs to keep writing their feelings with the pictures of their precious ones as they did before this blog came into light. There will always be those that don't agree with how we cope with our grief. Who cares in the grand scheme of things? (I know that many of us went to this blog in defense of one of our own and I do feel very sad for what was said about her and her mother. I know that both of them are strong believers in the Lord and I've been in prayer for their peace about all of this. Please, don't misunderstand my intentions as if I'm agreeing with this blogger.) ETA: I know this is not going to be a popular opinion but I'm just putting this blog into the place that it needs to be because it shouldn't change how you do your blogs and our opinions aren't going to change how she does her blog...

Her words did make me look at myself and question if Lily's blog has put a wall up to my healing. Honestly, in ways I think it has. I've questioned stopping the blog several times over the last year. I even had my last blog post typed in my mind but then I would always meet a new babyloss momma and start reading her blog. I've also developed so many friendships in this community. These friendships are dear to me so I've stuck around. I've wanted Lily's blog to be a lighthouse to new babyloss moms that feel like they've been dropped into a world of dark. I've wanted my words to show them that they're not alone. I hope that I've done that in the last two years.

Lily's absence will always be present in my life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish she were here with us. I love her. I miss her. Her death has changed me in ways that can't be formulated for description.

I'm in prayer for a new direction for Lily's blog. I feel a chapter opening in my heart that is ready to celebrate her short life and not grieve it's loss. As a believer, I know she is rejoicing and she's probably ready for me to be really *happy* I need to find that peace that I spoke about recently. The peace that I said was unobtainable. I'm in search of it and I know that I will never find it without looking forward.

I'm in prayer for ways to make both of my children proud that I am their mommy. I've been pondering ways to still be involved in the babyloss community as a source of friendship and kind words. I've got some ideas that I need to develop fully before I reveal them to all of you.

My intent is to not leave this community. It is your friendship and kind words that have sustained my faith in God and have allowed me to find forgiveness in my body's failings over the last two years. I will be taking some time away though to figure out how to navigate this new direction.

I've had 731 days to mourn her death and now I'm in search of ways to celebrate her for hundreds and hundreds of days more...

Much love to all of you and God bless,

(If the thought of living without me makes you break out in a sweat(totally joking) than feel free to check out Cooper's blog at www.asurpriserainbow.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Dear Lily,

You have been gone for two years today and there hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't thought about, loved, and missed you. I have to be here for your brother now but I still look forward and daydream about how wonderful it will be to see you again. I'm going to try to not cry (much) today but rather celebrate everything about you.

I love you forever,


Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2008

I remember every detail of this day and pray that I never forget them. This was the last day that I would wake to feel Lily moving inside of me. This is the last day that I would spend with her. The last day that I would feel her life inside my own.

We woke and ate at our favorite breakfast spot. We drove around to garage sales. I read an article as we drove around to my hubby about how you're not supposed to eat soft cheeses while pregnant. We stopped and ordered a pink carpet for Lily's nursery and bought her two UGA pacis. We ate lunch at a pizza place. We went home for a nap. We woke up and played on the computer. The moment that I stood up from my computer desk is the moment that I felt the first pain. I kept the pain to myself for about 15 minutes but it was becoming worse with each passing minute. I asked my hubby to call my ob-gyn (this was also the last day that I didn't think she was the biggest idiot on the planet) and she said that she'd meet us at the hospital. I felt her kick as we drove and I just prayed so hard to protect her and to not let her die. My prayers would go unanswered as we watched her die on the ultrasound machine at 12:30 AM the next day.

My heart and my life haven't been the same since this day. This was the last day that I didn't walk around with longing. The last day of my membership to the world, to the life that doesn't know this pain.

I've wondered time and time again how I would've done this day differently if I'd known that this was my last day with her. Honestly, I told her that I loved her everyday. I read her a bible story every morning. I had a chance to whisper "goodbye" and that I loved her while her heart was still beating. What more could I have done for her in her short life? She knew she was loved and wanted. She still knows that I miss her and that my love hasn't weakened.

I wonder how many more August 2nds that I'll live through before I hold her again?