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.