Friday, July 27, 2012

My first dream.

I had wondered when and I wondered how. I wondered if it would ever happen to me but hey, in this new life of mine I rarely wonder that. What am I talking about? Well, the title gave it away. A dream, THE dream. You all know, the dream when you get to see your baby again or get some great message, feeling, revelation from your angel baby? Well, I had one. It was, gosh I can't even remember the night that it was. I think it was Tuesday night, July 3rd. For me, though, it wasn't any of the above. It wasn't a warm dream but then again it wasn't a horrifying nightmare. It started out like a regular day. I was going about my business and running errands. At some point I went to the doctor. I was being examined and was talking to the nurse and all of a sudden I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I got up and there was a gush of fluid and I thought that was really strange but went on about my business and then all of a sudden, I got that feeling. The feeling that I had just before Clara were delivered. I didn't panic and I wasn't scared. The next thing I knew, I was holding a tiny baby, much like Clara. This time, everything was different though. I was calm and didn't panic. I wasn't stressed and I wasn't scared.

I don't know what the dream meant and I don't know why it came to me but maybe it was a sign. Maybe it was exposure to a different perspective. The scenario of the dream was much like the delivery of Clara, very unexpected. I didn't feel like I was being spoken to or that there was a clear message but it was so surreal to actually relive that moment and have it play out so serenely. I am still hoping and praying for a dream where Clara comes to me to tell me she's okay and that everything is okay but I suppose that's just me searching for peace and comfort. Have any of you found peace and comfort or have any of you had a special dream like that? Let's share.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Still hanging around.

Thank you ladies for all of your love and support. Today is 4 moths since my sweet baby girl was born and went to heaven. Most days I struggle with the loss and how profound an effect it has had on me emotionally as well as physically. I cry sometimes, I hurt alot. It seems like if it's not one thing it's another. If I feel great physically, I'm usually riding an emotional rollercoaster and if I'm good emotionally I always seem to have some pain. It's usually my arm, my chest, my head of something crazy. It feels like all I do is go to doctors and of course, no one believes me. I feel like a lost cause and like no matter what I say or how I feel, nothing will be wrong and it will all be in my head. My doctors will think I'm crazy and then my family will to. That's what I fear the most is losing the love and support of my family. Lord knows, I really don't deserve it. I spent a great deal of my adolecents and young adulthood being a very mean, hateful, disgusting person. I hurt those around me and have done things that I can't take back. For everything I truely am sorry. I've written personal letters to those that I've hurt and tried my best to accept their forgiveness but I guess after so much it comes back to me. I guess I just can't accept it. I don't feel worthy of love.

I was reading Fifty Shades of Grey and recently finished book two. Now, in all reality, this series is just written porn but if you look past all of that the main character, Christian Grey,has a very interresting up bringing and while I cannot relate to the greater part of his childhood I get where he doesn't feel worthy of being loved. People around me tell me they love me and they do nice things for me and they're always there for me but I feel like in a crisis, I just can't turn to them. Partly because I fear that they won't be there for me and partly because I just don't feel like they care that much. I went to the hospital in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago. My in-laws were spending the night but I just couldn't shake the feeling I was having and desperately needed a physicians consult. I got up, got dressed and left home, headed to the hospital about 2 a.m. I didn't call, text or tell anyone. I went alone because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. I did text my mom around 4 a.m. as well as the hubs. Eventually my mom came to sit with me, just in time for them to discharge me. I hate when that happens, and it's the second time too. The first time was when I had to go back to the ER after Clara was born. I needed some spare parts removed and by the time  I let my mom know and asked her to come be with me she made it just in time for the doctor to come back in and discharge me. Same thing this time. I tried so hard to just not bother anyone but I needed someone to comfort me and as the doctor was telling me my test were negative and giving me his diagnosis, my mom walked in and 10 minutes later the nurse came in to discharge me. Again, I felt like such an inconvenience, granted I suppose my mom only got up about an hour early and we both still made it to work on time but jeez, to come all the way to me for nothing, I felt like dirt, as if I had wasted her time. I told her how I felt and that I felt that way because after crying wolf so many times people will stop responding. Even though in my heart I truely feel like something is wrong with me physically, nothing is showing up so I sontinue to waste time and money to search for an answer.

Well, I'm looking forward to getting back in to blogging and updating daily. The hubs was recently transfered closer to home and has a much more stable work schedule so I should have more time to be able to sit and let my thoughts flow! That's all I have for tonight. I'm physically and mentally exhausted!  I love you all and thanks again for your support and kindness.

Baby Clara,

As your due date inches closer and closer I feel the anxiety and saddness of the reality that you're not joining us. Noah continues to talk about you and love you so much. I've told him many times that you're so proud of him and his accomplishments and that you love him so much. He know that you live with Jesus and that you were too small to live here with us. He misses you so much. Please continue to watch over us and hold us close. The other day I told one of my good friends about you and our story. His wife went to heaven last August and she too had a baby, a little boy who went to Heaven when he was a baby. He was older than you but he went well before his mommy and daddy were ready too. So, I told my friend about you and that in the first few days after you had gone to Heaven I prayed to his wife that she would find you and hold you for me. So, if you've met a wonderful, beautiful, kind, gentle, loving woman named Betty, then that's her! I pray that she finds you and gives you tons of hugs and kisses. She's such a saint and will teach you very great things. She is missed so dearly as are you. I pray that Grandma and Grandpa B are up there with you and your cousins Ka'am and Lindsey. I pray that you're not alone and that you are comforted and never wanting. I pray all of these things for you Sweet Baby Clara and I pray for our peace and comfort in knowing that you are as perfect as you ever were and that one day we will all be together. I love you sweet girl and I miss you more than words can say.

Love you Lots, Miss you Much.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sometimes I just need a break.

The waves of emotion I feel are unbelievable. I cannot even verbayy describe how stressed and busy I feel. Some days I feel like I'm trapped right beneath the surface and just can't seem to break through and breathe. Other days I feel like the old me. One thing I have noticed the most is that I'm just not the same anymore. Big surprise, right?! Are any of us really the same after going through the things we've been through. One day I'm on the top of the world, the next in the bottom of the ocean. Some days I can't wait to be pregnant again and flirt with the thoughts of actually holding a sweet baby and giving Noah a sibling he can play with. Then others I sit and cry, thinking how hard it would be to have another pregnancy, to fight the fear every day. I dread the feeling of nerves and panic at every single twinge and cramp. I just can't fathom going through another pregnancy. Adoption is always an option but such a process. I feel so overwhelmed by everything in my life and where I am, physically and emotionally. Thank you all for hanging in there with me and continuing to support me. I am reading your blogs and I feel empowered by each of you. I promise to update more and SOON!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog of Hope

Today, I am a bad blogger. Well, I have been. I've been spending all of my non blogging time trying to write out the last two or three posts to go with Clara's birth story. I know I've kind of fallen off my dreadful pregnancy story line but let me just tell you that the posts that have been put up are a lot more happy and shiny than the ones related to my pregnancy and Clara's birth. I promise I'll have them up soon though. That was one of the biggest reasons I came back to my blog was to  spread the word and to help other women, who have gone through the same thing. I want to help them share and help them heal. I want all of you know that you are not alone in this and that it does get better as time goes on. I remember the first few blogs I read about infant loss. When I took to the blogs to search for someone, any one, who would or even could understand what and how I was feeling, it was a relief (if you can call our awful situations reliefs) that there were other women out there who had gone through the same thing and there were women out there who were pouring out their hearts and feelings on their blogs 3 months after their loss, 6 months after their loss and even a year and more after their loss. It gave me hope.

If any one takes away anything from this blog, I hope that it is the comfort of knowing that life can go on. Life does go on. I know it sounds cheesy but each day is what you make it and each day is a new day. That's how I like to think about this journey. Yes, we have all experienced the most difficult thing that we may ever go through and it sure as heck wasn't something we planned nor wanted. We were not in control. We had no say, no choice. We were chosen for this journey and why? Well, we will probably never know. What I do know is that there is hope. Take each day at a time. If you are sad today, be sad. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to go out and be happy, go for it. It's okay to cry in public. Even if you're out having a great time and all of a sudden you feel overwhelmed and need to cry, do it. People will look and people may stare but that's okay too because one of them may be one of us too.

I hope that I have not offended any one. I guess, I wrote these words tonight because, these are things that I needed to hear when I was new in this life. The life after loss. I needed to hear these things and for someone to tell me these things. I needed the hope that my life would continue. That I could still have relationships with my family and friends like I did before. Yes, the relationships are different now but they are still there. Sometimes I feel like I have many lives. I have my professional life, student life, personal life, home life, happy life, grieving life and real life. Well, all of those make up my real life but sometimes it feels like a charade. I can be happy and catch frequent glimpses of the old me in my professional life but when no one is around and I have my grieving life that's who I am and what I do. I am a grieving mother, grieving the loss of my daughter but the I can go out with a friend and spend sometime in my happy life before I go back to my personal or grieving life. Have any of you felt like that? Have you felt as if you have many lives or wear so many hats. Tell me about and let's share!!  I've found so many wonderful and supportive things on all of your blogs. They have helped me find my hope and I hope that I can help you find yours as well.

*remembering baby Clara, born too soon*
Love you Lots
Miss you Much!

Friday, May 25, 2012

2 Month Birthday.

Today marks two of the longest and shortest months of my life. I can't really remember being pregnant. That makes me sad. I fully remember the fear and the panic that I felt during my last 3 weeks of my pregnancy but not the joy and happiness of it.

Today is two months since baby Clara was born. It is also two months since she died. I've had an amazing week. I've felt well. I've baked tons of cookies and I've made lots of yummy dinners.

Today, though, today I am sad. Well, maybe not sad. It's a stoic day for me. I want to be happy and remember my sweet baby girl who was just not big enough to live in this world. I want to remember feeling her move and planning for her arrival but I can't. I walk by her bedroom at least 10 times a day and I usually don't even look at the door. I can't. I can't look at it and I can't open it. I want to but I just can't. I want to look at her many pretty dresses and princess sleepers but I can't. I want to look at her little shoes and her many outrageous bows but I can't. I can't look at those things wishing and praying that my daughter was here with me.

Over the past two months I welcomed my baby girl into this world and held her after she'd left. She was gone before she knew me and before she ever got to meet her brother. He loves her so much and I know he missed her. He talks about his sister, baby Clara, all the time. He is so smart and I know he would have been the best big brother. He was so excited for baby Clara. Today, he wears his lavender shirt in honor of her two month birthday. I don't have anything fun to do with my sweet baby girl today. I can't give her good morning hugs. I can't greet her in the morning with a happy birthday song. There won't be a single balloon here to tie to the rocker that I would rock her to sleep in for any nap. It's a sombering, sad day. I woke up this morning and didn't think about it.

The hubs was already getting ready for work and I went to peek at him to see what he was wearing and he had on his lavender shirt with this blue navy and lavender tie. I had asked him to wear that a couple of days ago and I was surprised that he actually remembered. I smiled and went on about my morning.

I finally made it back to our bedroom and smiled at Clara's urn. It is safely perched on top of our dresser, right next to a picture of her big brother. I've attached some pictures of her urn from her 1 month birthday. I will dress up her urn the same way and Noah and I will move it to his room, on his headboard for the day. We put it in there because it's bright and right in front of his big window. It let's all the light in and makes it seem beautiful. An urn with an outrageous bow in a gorgeous setting almost makes it seem like maybe it isn't as bad as what it really is.

You know, maybe I'm crazy for dressing up an urn but it's what helps me get through this. I want to move on and I want to live and be happy but God know I don't want to forget!! I can't. I can't embrace the things that I have here for Clara but I can't forget her either. She deserved so much better thatn the time that she had and maybe that's why God called her back so soon. I also realize that maybe she was never mine, she is and always was His. I was just supposed to love and take care of her. I tried my best and I hope it was enough.


I love you more than words can say. I know I pray to you all the time and talk to you but I hope you can hear me and that you know how much I love and miss you. I miss you. I miss you so much. I miss that we'll never be best friends or that we won't make cookies together. I want to hold you so bad. I know I cry alot when I think about you and when I talk to you but it's just because I don't have you here with me. I know you're here in spirit and that you're looking after our family but the selfish part of me just wants you back. I know I'll see you one day. We're doing our best here to hang on and remember you. I can't help but think of all the things you'd be doing today if you'd stayed here. Maybe you'd still be in my belly rolling around and kicking up a storm. Maybe you would still be fighting for your very life in the NICU. Maybe you would be here at home with us or maybe, my worst nightmare, you would have suffered in the NICU, in your life here on earth and you still wouldn't be with us. The what ifs are the worst but I am thankful for the time we had together and I will never forget you. Thank you for bringing me back to Jesus and for being my daughter. Thank you for looking after us baby girl. I love you and can't wait to hold you again.

Love, Mommy.

*if any of you think about it today, will you wear a pastel pink or lavender in honor of Baby Clara and her 2 month birthday. Thank you.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My life today.

My life today is something new that I think I'm going to start doing. It is just a random post about what I did today and how I've been feeling. Overall I've felt well. Really well, in fact. Somedays I even seem to forget that I am who I am and that my life has gone down a path that I never ever thought it would. Then, I feel guilty. I feel bad that I didn't think of baby Clara the other day or when I was driving to lunch. I feel sad that I don't have the hope of my daughters love, the anticipation of her arrival or the joy of pregnancy. Today I felt like a train wreck. Well, it started yesterday...

Yesterday was my first full day back at work since Clara was born. I was actually really excited to be there and to be going back to my normal schedule. Getting back to normalcy! I woke up early, got everything ready, got Noah ready and out the door we went. It was such a good morning, in fact, that even Noah was in a good cooperative mood. He had a great morning and when I dropped him off at school he even went right in to playing with his friends and told be good bye, have a great day, I'll see you soon and I love you. He had a good morning! I felt so good in fact, I tried to listed to Evanescence My Immortal. I've always loved that song but after losing Clara I couldn't bear to hear the lyrics.

"I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears

And if you have to leave

I wish that you would just leave

'Cause your presence still lingers here

And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal

This pain is just too real

There's just too much that time cannot erase"

Truer words were never spoken. I know it's more of a break up song but Lord how those words pierce my heart. I thought that since it was such a good day, that I may be strong enough to listen to it. Well, I wasn't. I cried a little and quickly changed the song. I wanted my good day, and so I pressed on. I had a good morning, a great morning!! Around lunchtime I got a call from the school saying that Noah was in trouble. I don't know what happened but Noah had hit another child, multiple times on his back. Some how Noah was sitting on a kid and just going to town on him. I was shocked! I don't even think I had time to be angry at Noah. I was just shocked. They put him on the phone with me and I talked to him. They let him stay the rest of the day at school and he seemed fine when I picked him up.

Yesterday really stressed me out. I mean my sweet little boy beat up another kid?!? REALLY?!? Then when I was stressed about that I realized that I was also stressed out about baby Clara. Stressed and overwhelmed by everything! Funny thing was, two days ago I was just fine! I had my 6 week postpartum check up with Dr. T. She suggested ordering all of the blood clotting factor tests for me. I was great. I even laughed it off when she said that I may have PTSD. Today, I'm not so sure.

All day I had this feeling of impending doom. My arm and my back have been burning and achy. Maybe it was just my stress or tension getting to me. I was so worried about it I ran to my cardiologist, Dr. W, who was very gentle with me. He smiled and said I was okay. Still, the pain and the sadness continues. I couldn't even fake it at work, everyone knew I was down and I couldn't talk to my best friend without crying and I'm not a crying person. I AM STRONG! I don't cry over the loss of my daughter I cry over the loss of her future. I don't cry because I'm hurt, I cry because I'm scared but no matter why I cry I don't do it for other people and certainly not at work! Today I couldn't hold it back. Then, tonight I got home and I can't seem to do anything. I didn't cook dinner. I didn't do any laundry. I didn't even stay at Noah's baseball game. He didn't feel well and I didn't want to push him to stay because I didn't feel well either. My back, shoulder and chest still burn and I'm sad. I went outside to check on the hubs and Noah since they were out there and on my way back in through the garage I just started crying. I cried and I cried. When does this get easier?!? Does the pain fade?! Yesterday I talked to my husband about trying again and future pregnancies but today I don't want any more babies. I don't want to be pregnant, ever. I want to be normal, to feel normal. I want to control my emotions again and I want to live my life but in my life today, I'm not doing that. I'm back at day one and I am a mess...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Planning and Praying.

*side note of correction* Reading over my last post, it seemed to me that some of the dates didn't match up and I was right. I actually received my genetics results Tuesday, March 21. I thought when I was writing that it seemed my results came back really soon. I pulled out my journal and confirmed that I was wrong in my original post but the dates have been updated. So, there is my correction.

Now, let's back up. I has my second bleed, on Wednesday March 14. There was no cramping, no clots just some pretty heavy bleeding. I decided not to go to the hospital for that bleed as I already knew that they were just going to do some blood work, give me fluids, check and ultrasound that would tell them nothing and send me on my merry, terrified way. Plus, going to the hospital I wasn't seeing my doctor. I had the pleasure of seeing the residents there. Most of them were really good and were helpful and compassionate but they weren't my doctor and they didn't have the answers nor were they going to have them. The most frustrating thing was that it seemed like they didn't care to have the answers either. It was like a real emergency room even though it was the labor and delivery ER. If you weren't in labor and going to be admitted or if it wasn't really a life or death problem for you then they just processed you and moved on.

My bleeding continued to become lighter and subside on some days but I would occasionally have bright red spotting. It would wax and wane over the course of a day but the bleeding always tapered. I thought about running to the hospital every time I saw blood but to be honest I didn't want all the waiting and feeling like it wasn't a true emergency, plus, I knew, realistically that going was just for my benefit. I was only 20weeks. I was too far from viability for them to help baby Clara if this was ever "it" but in my mind I just knew that we would make it.

Monday, March 19. I took time to step back and think of everything that was going on. I sat and thought about the bleeding and baby Clara. I reflected on the two bleeds that I had had. My bleeding at that point was down to a watery brownish discharge and I was fine with that. I prayed that God would see us through but I also wished  that this whole ordeal was just over. I was tired of bleeding and always worrying about going to the bathroom and finding blood. I just prayed that baby Clara would hang in there and stick this out with me because I knew that this emotional roller coaster and stress would be so worth it in the end. Even if baby Clara was born early and had to fight for her life, I knew that we could do it. I was her biggest cheerleader and I know that I could help her overcome everything!

It was at this time that I decided that I would never get pregnant again. I always wanted 3 children but if baby Clara made it my family would be complete and I would be just fine. There was too much risk and I have far too much at stake to play with the fire of a future high risk pregnancy. For now, I counted the days. Each day that my pregnancy continued was another day stronger baby Clara became and it was another day closer to viability. I talked to Clara all the time and gave her pep talks about the rough road ahead. I pumped her up about fighting for her life. I guess, in my mind I already knew that she wouldn't make it to term and that she would have one hell of a time when she was born. She would need to hit the ground running and be prepared for the marathon of her life! It was going to be hard and she would get tired but we were going to fight this out. We were going to make it through this together and she would come home to her gorgeous pink lavender room with the glitter wall and all of her dresses and bows! So, I just continued to pray. I prayed for her safety and for mine. I prayed for His mercy and His comfort through this. I prayed that she would be strong enough and when she wasn't I prayed that I would be strong enough for her. That I could see her through this storm.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reasurance and Re-occurance.

So, my first bleed was March 5. Well, March 8 I had an appointment with my OB and I was scheduled for the anatomy ultrasound. Hubs, Noah and I all arrived at the office bright and early. We waited for the ultrasound tech for maybe 15 minutes, not too bad. We went in the room and started peeking at our baby girl. Everything looked good. The tech measured her head, which was normal in size unlike Noah's, (his always measured almost 2 weeks ahead on ultrasound) her belly was perfectly sized, heart looked great, brain was perfect. We saw her yawn several times which was super cute!! The tech measured her femur and, I'm nosey so I had been paying extra close attention to the numbers and percentiles, it measured in the 6th percentile for her gestational age. No big deal, I mean I'm pretty short and hubs has a long torso and average legs. Noah started getting antsy and I let hubs know he could take him out, back to the waiting area and we would be done soon. As soon as the boys left the tech started talking to me. We talked about the bleed and she looked really closely at my placenta. She found a spot where she said the bleed was coming from. She said that it was a sub-amniotic bleed. It was a bleed on the surface of the placenta, the same side as the baby, and therefore was a non-obstructing bleed. All that really means is that this bleed did not put me at risk for a placental abruption. She said that, though these bleeds are not as common, they are usually not problematic and the clot that that forms after the bleed usually dissipates over time. The clot that was left from my bleed was about the size of a small pea.

Next up was my appointment with the OB. I had established care with a group of high risk OBs. I was never considered a high risk patient but I really wanted to see this group because they were pro-VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and that was really something that I wanted. I had an emergency c-section with Noah and while it wasn't that bad it wasn't really pleasant either. Anyway, I waited in the room, alone. The hubs and Noah were walking around the office and looking out the windows. They were watching squirrels and collecting acorns outside. I didn't really want hubs to go to my appointments with me. He doesn't understand a lot of things and there was going to be a lot of information going back and forth between the doctor and I and I just didn't want to overwhelm him or let him feel lost. I guess, I wanted to protect him from this too.

Once the doctor cam in she sat down and we talked about the bleed and what happened. We talked about everything I had done that day and everything I had done the weekend before. I wasn't super active. I didn't go out and run a marathon or try to hike through Wal.Mart. I just did my usual. The doctor gave me the same information as the tech and said that these bleeds are not very common but they are not typically problematic. She said that we would continue to watch the area of the bleed and have another ultrasound in a few weeks. She also mentioned that baby Clara's femur measured small. She started using words like Downs syndrome and other abnormalities. I know they are supposed to tell you all the things that will scare you and prepare you for the worst but honestly I wasn't worried about it. Baby Clara was perfect, created in His image and sent to me to love and protect. I knew she was fine. Like I said, her brain, heart and everything looked great! So, they sent me for blood work and promised to call in a couple of days. The doctor even went so far to tell me that if I didn't hear anything then, I should call in 2 days.

A couple of days passed and I called. The genetics nurse called me back and, 20 minute conversation! long story short, everything was fine. Baby Clara was just a petite girl and was a normal, healthy baby girl. I was so excited by this. For someone to say everything was fine made my day. That was a Tuesday. Tuesday March 14. The next day, I had another bleed at work. I didn't bother to tell anyone. Well, I did tell the other girl I was working with, you know, just in case anything happened. It wasn't as bad as the first one and it seemed to resolve quicker than the first. This time I didn't even have a single cramp like I did with the first. At this point I figured it would just keep happening and I could deal with it. I told myself that if it were ever a bad bleed or if I had clots then I would go straight to the hospital but I didn't want to run to the hospital every time I had a bleed, just to sit, wait and hear that everything looked good. I just prayed for my little girl and told her to hang in there for me. Especially, now at 20 weeks. I needed her to hang in there. We were so close to viability and at that point there was a chance that she could live outside my womb. I prayed. I prayed for her and for me. I prayed that God would take care of us and hold us close.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A step in healing.

Sorry, I took a short break. It was hard to type the last entry and I needed the time to think about the next few blogs. They're going to be just as hard and the story is much the same. I think that was one of the worst things about the bleeding. It was always so unexpected. It happened when I was doing absolutely nothing and came with really no warnings. I thought that this would haunt me and well, it did.

This weekend and even today, I had a breakthrough. I was busy running around this weekend. Noah and I went all over town Saturday! We went to Lowes, Target, the Mall, the pet store! We were travelers. Sunday I did a lot of laundry, cooked snacks and dinner, we traveled to Babies.R.Us and finally found a new car seat for Noah and then grocery shopped. Noah is finally in a front facing only seat. It makes me sad. He was rear facing for the longest time and even after he forward faced there were many times that he requested to be turned backwards and ride rear facing. He was last rear facing about 3 months ago and he had been that way for about 5 or 6 months. Now, he is in a Trendz by baby trend car seat that forward faces with 5-point harness to 70 pounds. I think I'll do a post all about the car seat in a couple of weeks, just to let you know how it's going.

After being so busy Sunday, we finally made it home! I put the groceries away, wrapped up dinner, watched a movie with Noah and got him in the bath. By the time I finally got a minute to sit down and relax (who am I kidding, I relaxed all day!!) it was about 10 or 10:30 pm. I pulled out my journal and went to write and it hit me. It almost took my breath away. Today I missed something. I didn't know how to feel. Was I a bad mom?! Was I forgetting?! How could I forget?!

This Sunday, April 29 was baby Clara's 5 week birthday. It was the first Sunday since her birth that I wasn't sitting at home staring at the clock. I was anxious and sad anticipating the timeline that I had relived every Sunday since March 25. I was out, having fun. I can even remember doing a time check and it was 3:14pm. That was one minute before the time of her birth. How could I forget, or better yet, how could I not remember. I think this is part of healing. I didn't dwell on her loss all day Sunday as I had the previous Sundays. I didn't count minutes or stare at the clock to remember the time I called Chris to come home, the time we made it to the hospital, the time Dr. C said she could see her heart beating on the ultrasound and the time she was born. Everyday this controls my life less and less. In some ways I feel more free but in some I feel more lost.

Today I had another moment of healing. It was more a moment of panic, sadness and healing. I woke up with my period. At first I panicked. Oh.My.Goodness! Why am I bleeding?! Where is it coming from?! Is it heavy enough to go to the hospital?! Am I going to be okay?! Then, I remembered that it was okay to have this bleeding, in fact it was normal. I haven't felt normal since Clara's birth but this, my period, is natural and normal. Then, I was sad. Sad that I had a period and was no longer pregnant. Now, I wasn't even really postpartum. Now, I was just a person with a period. The next time someone asks me when my LMP was they will have no follow up questions as to why it was so long ago and why I wasn't pregnant. Now, I wouldn't get to share Clara's story and let everyone know that even though my story super sucks that I survived it, that I am okay. I am normal. I am healing and I will continue to be a better person because of my experiences.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This isn't normal.

I was 18 weeks 5 days. It was a normal day. Monday, March the 5th. I went about my normal routine. I got Noah ready for school, made his breakfast, packed his lunch, fought with him over what he was going to wear to school. It was a regular, normal, boring Monday. I dropped Noah off, went to work, sat at my computer answering messages and processing paperwork. I don't think I did too much patient care, well not anymore that usual. Lunchtime was coming up and so I started chatting with Jen about that. We were trying to come up with a great plan because lunch is the most coveted time of the day! We get to leave the office and hang out, say the things that have been on our mind the entire morning and plan on how we will survive the afternoon.

I would guess, around 11:30, while sitting at my desk, I felt like I had a braxton.hicks contraction. It was just a slight feeling of tightness that encompassed my entire belly. It wasn't painful nor was it uncomfortable. I didn't really think much of it. I figured it was either just from the baby shifting or maybe it just was a braxton.hicks contraction. Several minutes later, I decided that since I had not made a trip to the ladies room yet this morning I should make a pit stop to get ready for, what was going to be the best lunch break! I did my business and upon wiping I noticed but it wasn't just on the paper, it filled to toilet and I was staring at a sea of red! I think that's every pregnant woman's worst nightmare. I tried not to panic. I continued to wipe and wipe and wipe and the blood seemed to just always be there. After what felt like 10 minutes and was probably more like 2 or 3 the bleeding seemed to be easing up. So I tried to relax and headed back to my desk. I was shaken, a little worried and definitely NOT going to lunch now. I stepped outside and frantically tried to call the nurse in my OBs office. I called at least 3 times and got her voicemail each time. I did leave one message but decided to not wait for a callback. After sitting for a while I decided to go back to the ladies room for round two. I had to check to see if I was still bleeding. I went back to the bathroom and again, there was blood. Okay, now I was really panicking!! I opened our two-way specimen door and hollered at Jen to grab me a pad. After several more minutes I came out and she just looked at me. She asked if I was bleeding or spotting or what the heck did I need a pad for?!?! Being the secret keeper I was I desperately wanted to just keep this to myself and pretend it wasn't happening but I mustered up the strength and said, "I think I'm going to head downtown to get check out. I am bleeding and I'm scared.". I grabbed my keys and was getting ready to leave since it was now my coveted lunchtime. The office manager asked where I was going and I just told her that I thought I would go downtown and see the doctor on my lunch. She laughed her smug laugh and replied good luck with that. I got a little angry at that point and told her that I was actually going to go downtown to labor and delivery triage because I was bleeding and I was worried that something may be wrong. I'm sure she still didn't care but she wasn't as cocky and rude after I shared that information. So off I went.

The drive downtown seemed to take an eternity. The whole time I just prayed and rubbed my belly. I talked to my little baby and cried about how this wasn't fair and that I would do everything I could to fight for her. Eventually I made it to the hospital. I parked in the parking garage on the second floor in a familiar parking space that I frequented when I was downtown. I grabbed all of my important information and started my walk to the hospital. It wasn't far. Once I started walking I had this feeling. Ladies, you know the one when you feel like you're going to leak or have a little discharge. Well, I figured that's just what it was, probably a little more blood so I shifted, while walking, to let it pass and Oh.M. Gee! It was like a flood! Once it started it didn't stop. For a second I thought I was peeing myself! Now, I was walking near other people and in the event that I soaked through the pad I had on I didn't want to create a scene or draw attention to myself so I walked over by a car look out of the parking garage as if I was searching for something. I was! I was searching for a hole or a closet to lock myself in! Quickly the pad was soaked and whatever kind of bodily fluid it was started running down my legs. I just prayed Oh God, please don't leak onto the ground, please let this stop so I can go inside! Please baby, hang on, we're almost up there!  I guess I was lucky and it ended up just leaking into my sneakers and then it was over. At that point I was so thankful that I had worn my black scrub pants today instead of my royal blue ones. I was still keeping a secret from the world as I was fighting this internal battle.

So, I waddled myself, in my now soaked pad, undies, pants and shoes down the rest of the parking garage and into the hospital. I kept checking the ground to make sure I wasn't dripping or leaving bloody foot steps behind me. I finally made it upstairs to L&D triage. My pants were cold and sticky from all the wetness so I stood and waited. I filled out all my paperwork and multiple times, explained my situation to the non-medical people who probably didn't care less. After 30 minutes of waiting and praying to not have another flood. I was called back by a lovely nurse. I explained my situation and events of the morning to her and she took my vitals and put me in a room. She told me to change into the gown and sit on the bed. For the first time since the flood I was going to get a good look at the damage.

I went to change and my legs were covered in red, sticky stains. My socks were wet and red. My panties damaged from the flood. The pad was useless and soaked. Even my new white shoes had red blood on the mesh part of them and on the inside there were stains too. I couldn't believe that it was all just blood and it was everywhere.  I tried to clean up as much as I could and then I changed and waited for the doctor. A nice 3rd year med student came in first. I told him my story and a few nervous jokes. He left and came back with the doctor. Dr. Knowlton was a good guy. He checked my out, asked questions, ordered blood work a pelvic exam and an ultrasound. He looked at the ultrasound screen for a while. He said that my baby looked good, my placenta was nice and high and the my cervix was closed. He also made sure to note that the ultrasound machines that they have there in L&D are not the best machines. They are best used to look for the baby and the fetal heart tones. They are not the best machines for diagnostic purposes. He ordered a bag of fluids since I had such a good bleed and he wanted to make sure that he could help replace some of the volume lost. An hour and a half later my blood work came back fine. My hemoglobin had dropped a little but I wasn't anemic or even pretty close to anemic so that was a good thing. He told me that all he could say at this point is that this is a threatened abortion. There was nothing significant that pointed to why I was bleeding. He said that it was probably from my placenta but that it was probably just from it forming, maybe trying to form on or around the scar tissue I had from my previous c-section. He said it probably wouldn't happen again and to follow up with my doctor. I thanked him for, what I considered, good news and they processed my discharge.

I arrived back at the office that afternoon and shared as little information as I could. I hated having to share any because while Jen understood and trusted Dr. Knowlton's exam and diagnosis, the office manager said he was stupid and that I needed to be home on bed rest and I was going to hurt my baby by being here at the office. I hated having to share anything with her. This held true throughout my pregnancy and loss. I quickly realized that, even though we had worked together for five and a half years we were not friends. She has not one ounce of concern for me or baby Clara. She's just cold and mean. Anyway. I continued to work until 5:30 and then I went home. I told the hubs about all of it when he got home but he didn't seem to completely understand so I picked up a journal and started writing. I had some bleeding over the next couple of days but it was more like a moderate menstrual cycle. My uterus was a little tender but it was from the trauma that the bleed caused. I had a doctors appointment on the 8th so I knew, if I could hang on until then, I would have more answers. Answers that I hoped and prayed would be positive and comforting...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Continuing my pregnancy.

My pregnancy continued beautifully! I let some of my closest patients know and while Jen did a great job at not telling or discussing my pregnancy with the ladies is the office she slipped a few times with several patients who I wasn't particularly interrested in sharing with.

I remember when I was pregnant with my son. It was an easy, beautiful pregnancy. I never had morning sickness. I mean, I guess it wasn't that amazing that I gained about 60 pounds but I felt great. I thought I looked great but jeez! Looking at some of the pictures from that time I looked so rough. This pregnancy, I knew would be great and a breeze. Everytime I saw my doctor and they asked how I was my response was always my best one-liner "I'm fantastic! I handle pregnancy like a horse." I thought it was hilarious and we would all have a laugh. Thing went really well.

One morning around 9 or 10 weeks, I don't really remember, I woke up and went pee as usual but when I wiped I noticed some light brown discharge. Around 5-7 wees along in my son's pregnancyI had some brown and light pink spotting that scared me but this time I just figured that as long as it wasn't dark pink or red it was no biggie. It continued almost daily until 13 or 14 weeks. I remember telling my temporary OB about it and she said it was probably implantation bleeding or bleeding from the placenta taking over for the yolk sack. I didn't really believer her. I thought it was from my prenatal vitamin because I was taking some vegan, all natural prenatal so I switched to an all-in-one DHA and prenatal and 4 days after, the spotting stopped. I moved on and continued to enjoy my pregnancy.

I remember at my 12 week scan hubs and I took our son with us to the actual ultrasound. I wanted so bad for Noah to be part of this experience and see his baby sibling from the beginning. I wanted him to anticipate and love this baby just like I did! He wasn't interrested. Everything in the ultrasound looked great. Always. Our baby was a cute, stubborn little thing. At the end of the ultrasound our tech even switched over to 3-d and as soon as the image cleared I hollered "look it's baby spiderman!" For me that just congirmed it was a boy. I mean how many girl spiderman's, spidermen?? do you know? From that moment Noah referred to the baby as baby spiderman. At the 12 week ultrasound we also learned that I had an anterior placenta. It really doesn't make much of a difference, I suppose but I hated it. I couldn't feel my baby move and didn;t really have much hope in feeling the baby move until I was over 20 weeks. I still knew my baby was in there and I loved every minute of it!

My pregnancy kept trucking along. My belly started to poke out above my belly button and I thought itwas a little high just because I carried low when I was pregnant with my son. It didn't bother me I just loved rubbing my belly! Around 17 weeks we went for a gender screen and SURPRISE!!! It's a girl! I was so shocked.  I had been pretty sure that I was carrying another sweet boy. I was so shocked, in fact, I told our amazing sonographer to please check again. Our baby girl was stubborn but after about 15 minutes we got the shot we were looking for! Wow!! A baby girl. I started thinking dresses, bows, glitter, cloth diapers, girl baby legs!! Wow. Could I really be having a girl? Once I knew, I decided that I had a new secret. I swore the hubs to keep it and I basked in my baby girl glory!

I had so many hopes, dreams and fantasies about what life was going ot be like with my baby girl. I knew, before I was pregnant, that she would be Clara Lynne. I talked to her all the time. I rubbed my belly. I loved to look at my belly first thing in the morning. I would roll over onto my back and look at the lump. She was usually on the left side of my belly. A squishy ball that would slowly move and shift into more of a flat squishy baby bump. Of course I couldn't feel much of anything because of the placental position but I knew she was in there and she was doing well. "For this child I prayed" 1Samuel 1:27.

All of my happiness and joy was teetering on the edge of something bigger than myself. I never felt the calm before the storm. I sat like a duck in open waters, completely oblivious to the storm that was coming. . .

Happy 1 Month Birthday.

Today, at 3:15pm to be exact, is baby Clara's one month birthday. When I was pregnant, I planned the first 6 months of birthdays. Well, I planned them for my healthy baby Clara. Today, we were going to wake up singing Happy Birthday, take a happy bath in the sink, sing and dance more than on a regular day, do something special like go to the park with big brother or maybe just go for a special walk. I even had a present picked out. It was one of those car seat clip mobiles. It's soft and makes noise when you squeeze it and a crinkly sound when you touch it. It was originally a gift that my mom bought for Noah when he was a baby. She bought it on our first outing at Babies.R.Us.Baby Clara would have loved it!

I also made plans for baby Clara in case she was in the NICU. When I first started having problems in my pregnancy, my mind darted ahead and quickly planned for all the what-ifs. Well, maybe not all of them but certainly for the two courses in which I thought my pregnancy would possibly go. I planned for a happy healthy baby and I planned for a strong, sick, fighting for her life baby. I got neither. However, if baby Clara would have been in the NICU for her one month birthday, today, her little incubator or warmer would have been decorated with lavender colors and pastel pinks! I would have made a pretty sign just to let everyone know how blessed we were to have our sweet baby still fighting and getting stronger!

I desperately want to celebrate. I want to hold her and dance with her but today won't be like that. Today, I will try my best to put on my happy face and go about my day. I long to sing happy birthday to her but all I have are my memories and an urn. Who sings happy birthday to an urn?!? Probably a sad, broken mommy.

I couldn't just let today come and go as so many of her weekly birthdays have. I know I remember them every Sunday. I still know exactly how my day was going and how I felt. I remember everything that happened and no one else does. I don't want her to be forgotten. Ever!

So, today, in honor and memory of my sweet baby girl I asked all of our friends and family to wear something lavender or pastel pink. Maybe something with a little glitter!! I know this is something small and, everyone has to get dressed today so, please, if you think about it, help us remember celebrate baby Clara and her one month birthday!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The beginning of my pregnancy.

As my pregnancy progressed, I wrote less frequently to my precious baby and began talking more. I told my immediate family of my pregnancy before Thanksgiving. I always start with my mom. We were making chex mix one evening and we were having a blast spelling things out with the pretzel sticks for my son. I decided to join the fun and spelled. #2 IN JULY. It took her a while but after I dropped a few hints she exploded with excitement. I swore her to secrecy but promised to let my dad and sister know before Thanksgiving. A couple days passed and I continued to bask in my pregnancy secret. It donned on me that Thanksgiving was coming up later in the week but I could not for the life of me figure out how to tell my dad. I remember once hearing some cute riddle so I went with it!! I text my dad and my sister, "I have an amazing present for you but you can't hold it until August." My sister responded with really? OMG!! Yay! She was just as excited as my mom. My dad, being a man of few words text back, Awesome .Questioning whether or not he really understood what I had just told him I started texting my mom and getting her to follow up with him. Yes, he knew and he was, genuinely happy.

A couple days later I was at my parents house and my dad walked over to me and said, "it's a girl." I looked at him like he was crazy!! A girl?!? That's what you think? Hahahahaha!! Okay. I couldn't believe he just said that. I don't make girls. What a nut! He explained. When I told him I was first pregnant with Noah he said he had this overwhelming feeling it was a boy and he swore to it my entire pregnancy. He glowed like a school girl when we did the gender reveal that we were expecting a boy. He said that this time as soon as I text him he has this overwhelming feeling that it was a girl. He was so sure and so excited. He was going to have a boy and a girl. His family would be complete!

Thanksgiving day came and my dad made the announcement just before we all sat down to dinner. He came in the living room, looked at me, and in his loud voice said, "hey! You ready to go feed my granddaughter?!?" My mouth dropped as my grandparents were there and they had yet to be informed of my pregnancy. Well, now the secret was out. My sweet precious secret. Soon everyone would be looking at my belly, asking all the questions and wondering how I was doing. I always hate it a little bit when everyone knows about a pregnancy. Then there are just more people to "keep informed". Shoot! I didn't even tell my best friend until just before Christmas.

Oh, goodness. I think it was the Friday before Christmas or maybe the week before. Jen and I decided that we would take our hubbys and our kids to dinner for a good time and then head to downtown St. Augustine to check out the Nights of Lights. I had never really been out there before and we thought that our kids would have a good time. Well, we got to dinner and had to wait...and wait... and wait. I had planned all day to tell Jen about the baby at dinner this evening and the waiting was killing me!! I get so nervous when making announcements. I couldn't take the waiting any more and I ended up texting her a picture of my positive pregnancy test with the text holy sh!t!! No way! I'll be darned if she didn't check her phone for another 15 minutes, after we were seated and while our hubbys were away on a potty break with our kids. She was ove the moon! We had talked about this for so long! She was excited and I could see the anticipation for planning the perfect baby shower, finding the cutest clothes and spoiling this sweet baby.

I told Jen that I didn't plan to tell anyone at our office and to please keep it a secret. Though many of the people around me knew I still wanted this to be my little secret. After the beginning of the year, I began to tell the people in my office, one at a time. I started with the people who I didn't think would say anything and moved up to the people who I knew wouldn't care about keeping my treasure to themselves. Thinking back on it now, maybe it was a sign. Maybe it was God preparing me. Maybe he was preparing me to take on this journey and teaching me that I didn't need anyone else, that I needed to learn to rely on Him and not the people around me...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Starting from the beginning.

So, I guess to fully embrace the story of baby Clara Lynne, we should start from the beginning. It all started back in November 2011. After a summer full of trying for another baby I decided to give it a break and just wait until the next summer. I always wanted spring babies so my prefered time to conceive was  between June and September but since we had been unsuccessful, which was surprising to me, I decided that October would be our cut off date. Well, October came and went and we were not expecting. I was a little frustrated and a bit sad but knew that I had plenty of time to try again in the future.

One day early in November I was checking my email and I had an ovulation notice. I typically swore by them but like I said, I had planned to stop trying until the following summer, so I brushed it off. Well, low and behold hubs and I spent some quality time together over the next couple days. Since I knew I was worried or tracking, charting or trying I didn't worry about being pregnant but then about five days after my projected ovulation date I was waking up sweating and my leg muscles always felt tight. The leg thing I didn't have any ideas about and just kept stretching but I remember when I was pregnant with Noah, I always woke up hot. Since I had a sneaking feeling that I may be pregnant I bought a test and was going to wait to test until a couple of days before my period.

Well, everyone who know me knows that I'm not the most patient person in the world so I waited a day or two and decided to test, in the middle of the day, at work. I was 9 dpo (days past ovulation) and it was actually one of the days that I was taking a class during my lunch so I was preparing to leave the office for a couple hours. I did the test, tucked it in my pocket and headed to class. Once I got on the interstate I pulled out the test and Oh My Gosh!! I swear I saw two pink lines. The test line was super faint but I knew I saw it. As soon as I got to class I pulled out my notebook and wrote a letter to my sweet bean.

I decided that I would keep the pregnancy to myself for a while and just dream and relish in  the happiness that I had just to know that I was pregnant. Eventually I shared the news with the hubs. I planned all day. I put a hotdog bun in the oven and put a new, more clear test in it, just to make sure that there was no mistaking the two lines!! Once he got home I told him I wanted to toast some rolls for dinner and would he preheat the oven for me. He agreed and turned it on. I hollered to him to double check the oven for pans, he did and was excited! Though I told him 4 or 5 days after I found out, I told him mot to tell anyone. I still wanted to keep this precious secret.

I continued to write little letters and noted to the baby in my belly and hold my sweet secret close to my heart. I prayed to God about my baby and talked to my ever growing baby all the time!! Little did I know the wild ride we would take together...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where do I even begin...

I'm so lost and so torn. I know my blog is outdated and boring but my life has been one wild ride. My goal is to get this thing updated and have a new post daily. I need to write all these things down. My experiences may help someone going through something similar and if they can then they definitely need to be shared.

I am Victoria. My sweet baby girl was born at 22 weeks on March 25. Today is her 4 week birthday but she isn't celebrating it here with me. She's not even celebrating in the NICU. She was born too early for the hospital to do anything to help her survive. She died shortly after she was born. This is the toughest journey of my life and though I have an amazing support system here with me I feel like I carry this burden alone. I hope to share with you all my story and my grief so that maybe we all can heal a little more.

Not a day goes by that I don't think of my baby or miss her. I have good days and bad days. Most days I still cry but there are some days when I don't. Sometimes I feel bad about that, you know, not crying or physically mourning my loss but other times I feel so overwhelmed by the dark cloud hanging over me I think that it will consume me. I also have a 4 year old son who understands to the best of his comprehension the things that are going on. He knows mommy is sad and if you ask him about being a big brother, he'll tell you, he is a big brother but his baby sister live in Heaven with Jesus and not here with us. Some days he still asks about when we will have a baby that we can bring home and I just don't have the answer for that. I don't know if I ever will.

I do want more children but I can't go through this again. I know there are women who have suffered many losses and still persevere, longing for that baby that they can bring home. I just can't be one of them. I don't think I can have another pregnancy and not worry and freak out every single day. If I could have it my way I would jump right back in to TTC (trying to conceive) but then it feels like I'm just trying to replace my baby.

Over the coming weeks I want to share my pregnancy and loss with all of you as well as my new thoughts from the day. Thank you for all of your support.


Monday, January 9, 2012

The fun starts again!!

This is what I call round 574923 in booting and updating the family blog. Well, N has been doing amazingly! He's so smart. He knows his letters, shapes and colors. We're working on his numbers but it's hard to do when you work full time and still have school. When N first started at his over priced preschool I was really excited. I knew that his would be such a great place for him to grow and develop in. Now, however, it seems more like fancy ghetto daycare. He goes outside all.the.time and the things that he knows, he know because of me!! If he didn't have all his little friends there I would definitely switch him to a different school. We're still trying to find the best school for him to attend for pre-k and beyond.

Red is doing great as well. He works alot and alot of people respect and admire him. I know he'll do great things in this company and will be there for a long time. Reds dad has spent alot of time with us too. Ever since he and his family came into our lives it has been nothing but amazing. N loves them, we love them and they really help complete our family!

Me, well, I've been soo busy. I love work and I keep coming up with new and creative things to do at work to help make my job more reliable and efficient! Super fun stuff. Spring semester started today and I have 4 classes this semester. I have 2 health something classes, biology (again) and college trig! Yikes! Anyone out there love trig or know the secret?? Let me know!

This may be my last semester in college for a little while because Red and I are expecting our second baby!! Yep, that's right!! Baby #2 is due in July/August! I say both because technically my DD isn't until August 3 but I hope to go the end of July, naturally. Well, mostly any way.

So my loves! Here's to a new year, a new beginning and new fun!!