Tuesday, November 24, 2009
How do you begin to fix yourself? How do you put back together the pieces of a missing puzzle. There will forever being a missing piece to our puzzle. We will never know our daughter, our children will never know their sister, and it's just something we all have to learn to live with. But how? How do you deal with a pain so deep?
We have started TTC again. Yes, you read that right. I have so many mixed feelings on this. I wasn't sure if I was ready to begin the whole process over again, and when our first attempt failed last month it brought back pain with it. I'm not sure how women do this over and over for months and months. I wish my body would just get its act together and do what it's supposed to do. Seriously! Is it too much to ask that you get pregnant and manage to keep an infection away!
I've been sad and angry lately. I'm crushed that we aren't preparing to spend Bryanna's first thanksgiving and Christmas with her. I'm crushed that in 3 months we will hit the 1 year mark. I'm hurt that all the hopes and dreams I had for her went up into flames. I have come to terms with the fact that she isn't hear. That we infact did lose her, but the long term thoughts are the worse. We will never see her grow up, get married and have children of her own. This hurts more then I can even begin to express.
I know I will learn to deal with these feelings eventually but for now it hurts. For now it makes me want to scream and even shed a tear daily which is something I haven't done in a while.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I cried my eyes out in therapy the other day. The pain of her not being here hurts so badly sometimes. I hate bogging everyone down with my tears still, but it just hurts so much. There is this huge hole in my heart that can't be filled. I dream of happy little babies and wake up missing and longing for her even more. I'm currently looking for her one and only Christmas Ornament, and I realize how unfair this is. I should be buying her first Christmas ornament and not searching for an angel one.
This month has been especially hard on me. In a weeks time we came upon her 9 month mark, a friend celebrated her 4th angelversary, and on of my dear friends friend gave birth 14 weeks early and lost her little girl. It's times like this that I realize that there are so many more of us out there then people would like to think of. When I was pregnant I thought if I just didn't read anything about babies dying mine would be just fine...what a naive thought. Now I am painfully aware that no matter what you do you are never in a safe zone. This makes me worry about the next time, as we have started trying for the next time. I am terrified, and worry about things that are not in my control. In fact for the past nine months I have worried about things that are not in my control. I realized that my life is not entirely in my hands. I have hurt more then I thought was humanly possible. I have feared more then I wish anyone to fear. I have been uncertain, and have become a pessimist. It seems as if I'm still attempting to make my way out of the darkness. It's gotten to the point where I begin to see the light I get scared and turn around and walk into the darkness. It's a horrible feeling. I'm so ready to emerge again. I'm ready to become this woman that everyone thinks I have become. This strong person who has survived something horrible, but in reality it takes much more then anyone realizes to make it through the day. You see my heart is still broken. I'm still unsure, and I'm still an anxious mess.
I am ready to pull through though and live my life not only for me but for Bryanna who I am sure lives through me. Learning to pick up the pieces and start all over again is the difficult part. Not letting the negative thoughts get the best of me is even harder. I pray when the time comes I can enjoy my pregnancy without being terrified the entire time. I am a good person and would be an amazing mommy...I pray I'm given the chance, I so desperately want to feel a baby that Bryan and I created together inside of me again.
Monday, September 7, 2009
About 5 months ago I went on birth control because I just couldn't see having a baby just yet. Now I'm about a month and a week away from when we will start TTC again. I told myself that after taking birth control for 6 months I would be ready to try again. Now as the time approaches I feel myself so full of hope and excitement when I think about it, but yet its quickly replaced by a racing heart. Does that mean I'm not ready, or does it simply mean that having another child will bring so much into our life. I don't think I will ever get to the point where I'm not stressed out about bringing a child into this world. I don't know if we got pregnant a month from now, or started trying 2 years from now if my heart would ever stop racing at the thought of a child. What I do know is that at some point I will need to take a leap and just trust myself and put some faith into my body that I can carry a child to term, and we will someday have our forever baby.
With this being said on Friday I asked Bryanna to give me a sign that she was OK with us having a baby, and that she was OK with us giving her a baby brother or sister. While I expected to see a sign from her right there and then it wasn't until Sunday that her beautiful butterfly appeared. I was coming out of the garage and as soon as I opened the garage door there she was fluttering by, almost as if she had been waiting for me. I told her hi and walked to the car. As I walked back she was still there and even stayed around long enough for her daddy to see. I can't help but think this is the sign from her that I asked to see. This was her telling me "Yes mommy I'm OK, and you have my permission to try again." Does this make me crazy, or simply optimistic? I do need some faith to help me through the days, and for now this is enough for me.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
As I was driving today I heard this song and the words stopped me in my place and I thought wow! That's how I need to view life now. So for now this is my new theme song.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
A few days after Bryanna was born I head the song "Who You'd Be Today." I sat here and bawled my eyes out. I have heard the song many times and listened to the words, but it wasn't until this point that the words touched me so much. I dread hearing the words to this song but just now as I was listening to it these words stood out...
It ain't fair you died to younglike a story that had just begunbut death tore all the pages awayGod knows how I miss youand all the hell that i've been throughJust knowing no one can take your placeSometimes I wonder who you'd be today
"It hurts to breathe because I know every breath I
take proves I can live without you."
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Colin, my twelve-year-old son, discovered me late one rainy afternoon sitting at the kitchen table, a damp Kleenex crumpled in my left hand, wiping my eyes as I tried to compose myself for his sake. It was the third week of January, two months after I’d miscarried a pregnancy, but I still found it impossible to get through a day without at least one meltdown into misery. Stunned w hen the test came back positive, Rog and I had stared at each other with doubt and ambivalence. At forty-one, my professional life consumed me. I’d just achieved what some had predicted was an impossibility: I’d been granted delivery privileges at Alta Bates, and as a consequence, my midwifery practice burgeoned. Some months I delivered twelve babies, and no one ever knew if or when I’d be home. Rog, too, felt stretched to his limits, keeping his business afloat while picking up the slack for my frequent unscheduled absences. Colin and Jill approached their challenging adolescent years. How could we fit an infant into our lives? But when I lost the pregnancy and all hope for resolution dissolved with my tears, I fell in love with the baby that was not to be.Colin asked, "Are you crying about the baby?" and when I nodded tearfully, he said, "Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it’s a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother." I must have looked puzzled because he said, "Don’t you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don’t? I mean, you’re my mom!" But he could see my perplexity.So my first child, this not-yet-teenaged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, "Well, Mom, here’s how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that’s the baby that’s born. If she doesn’t get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby’s born…now listen, Mom, because here’s the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it’s always first in line. Isn’t that great?"So you just have to get pregnant again, and you’ll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don’t, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman’s circle, and it’ll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born. "But it’d be a shame for you not to have it yourself, because I know how much you want it. So you just have to try again. Mom, remember that baby you lost before I was born?" I nodded wordlessly. "Well, that was me. Really. I’ve always known I was a Spirit Baby. I mean, I know what I’m talking about here, Mom."In spite of Colin’s certainty that our household, so often bordering on chaos, lacked only an infant to make things perfect, Rog and I demurred. But Colin didn’t give up and even enlisted his sister’s support. Driving with them in the car one evening, I looked at my son in the passenger seat beside me. He stared out the side window and tried to hide his tears, but I saw the flush on his face, the shaking of his shoulders, and the surreptitious swipe of hand across cheek.Six months had passed since my miscarriage, and I had just finished yet another discussion in which I’d told my pleading son that having a third baby at my age was out of the question. I reached over the space between us and squeezed his fingers. "Colin, I don’t understand this passion you have for a baby. Why do you want one so much?"He tore his gaze from the distant hills and looked at me with swimming eyes and trembling lips. In a choking voice, he put all of his twelve-year-old passion into his reply."Oh, Mom! Oh. Just for the joy of it!" Jill stretched forward from the back seat and placed a hand on each of our shoulders. "Yeah, Mom, just for the joy of it."It was my turn to look out the side window and struggle with misty vision. So, at a time when most women eye the empty nest at the end of their branch on the family tree with something approaching relief, I gave consideration to laying just one more egg. Several months of discussions peppered with doubt and disbelief followed. Although Rog and I made the final decision, there’s no denying that a big part of our decision to have a third child began with the insistence of our adolescent children that we "needed a baby in the house." Rog and I took a deep breath, looked at each other across the blond heads of those two wishful children, swallowed – and made a giant leap of faith. I conceived my Spirit Baby a week later. Just for the joy of it.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
If you look closely at the very end where Kobe is standing you can see another little pink figure to represent Bryanna. I can't even begin to explain to you how much this touched me. When I begin to wonder if I'm the only person in the world who still thinks about her my son surprises me and lets me know she is still on his mind as well. I love that he thought enough to add his baby sister into our family picture, and it lets me know just how special she is to him as well. Even now as I type this I'm so touched that I'm on the verge of tears. This picture is currently on my fridge as you can tell by my butterfly magnet, that's the butterfly we see by the way that we call our sign from her, but soon it will take its place on my night stand in a frame. This is a picture that I will forever cherish. You see it's the only family picture that we will ever have that will have her in it. Breaks my heart, but I'm so honored to have this picture to look at now.
On another note, our beautiful butterfly came around again yesterday. I didn't get to see her, but as we were leaving the house she flew by the car and Bryan pointed her out. Guess our little girl wanted to say Hello to daddy yesterday. I'm so very happy for him..while he didn't get a chance to feel her move, it makes me happy knowing she came around for daddy to see. I've noticed lately that he has pointed out Butterflies as well. It makes me happy to know that he thinks of her as well when he sees them. On a funny note..I was at the grocery store yesterday and as I was getting ready to walk out I just happened to look in the floral section and there was a yellow and black butterfly balloon! Guess I did get a little glimpse of her after all.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
When Bryan and I first got together I was working at a child development center and there was a little girl name "Bryanna" I loved how it was spelled and knew that one day I would name my little girl that. When Bryan and I got married and I got pregnant we still played around with the name Bryanna, but started coming up with different names as well.
Four days before we had Bryanna we had our big ultrasound and found out that I was in fact pregnant with a little girl. Bryanna came to mind again but still we thought we had time to come up with different names. However, as fate would have it...we didn't have much time at all. All the days I was in the hospital I still wondered what we would name her, and finally on Tuesday I just knew what her name was going to be. Bryan had left for a little while and when he returned to my hospital room I told him I wanted to name her Bryanna and he said ok.
Part of my reason for wanting to name her Bryanna was because he, not only I wanted a baby girl so badly and I wanted to name her in some way after her daddy...another reason we chose to spell it with a "y" instead of "i". However it wasn't until just recently that a friend asked if we combined both of our names to come up with her name. I didn't get what she was saying until she pointed out Bryan "Bryan" and Gina "na" how amazing is it that our little angel's name turned out to be a perfect combination between our two names! It truly was fate and God working with us yet again.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I think back to where I was a week after her death and now where am I a week after her due date. A week after her death I was completely heartbroken. I didn't know how I would go about the seconds, minutes, hours, and day much less how I could get through the rest of my life. I couldn't go out anywhere without seeing a baby or a pregnant woman without breaking down. I was still waking up every morning and breaking down. The days shortly following her death I couldn't even bare to leave my room and had to be coaxed out by Bryan. He had to bring me food down stairs to make sure I ate and get me out of the house at least an hour a day to make sure I didn't sink into an even deeper depression. I didn't know how I would go on. Laughing seemed so out of place. Immediately after we began to laugh or smile we would stop and wonder was it ok to do so? The pain we felt was so intense and some days I just wanted to sleep because at least when I was asleep I didn't have to think about it. There were moments in my day that I would fall to my knees and just ask why us? I honestly think I cried more then smiled during this time.
Now, a week after her due date I feel more hopeful/peaceful. I see little signs from her, and I'm at a better understanding with what happened. I know God has a plan for us. I know one day we will get our Earth baby. Now I can actually look into the future and toy around with the idea of TTC again. Am I fully there yet? No, but I'm a lot closer then I thought I would be at this point. It still scares me like you wouldn't believe and while I know I'm two times more likely to get the infection again I know its a 5% chance that I can get it and a 95% chance that I wont. I know that God and Bryanna will get me through and I have to believe that this time I will be in that 95%. It's a little easier to try and be more optimistic now...not 100% yet, but I have learned not to totally let my anxiety take control of my life.
There are times in my life now that I sit here and wonder did we really just go through this? Did we really just face the biggest heartache that no one should ever have to feel? Yes, we did...but we are becoming stronger. We still struggle..but it's not daily anymore. I no longer wonder if my marriage will survive this. We will survive this because we are stronger...Bryanna made us stronger. Bryanna made us feel a love for each other and bond for each other that we might have not known without her. I'm a firm believer she was brought into our life to strengthen our marriage and to show us when it's time we will have our earth baby.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
We arrived to the camp grounds on Friday and while we were setting up camp I was almost hit in the head by a beautiful yellow butterfly. Thinking nothing of it I just brushed it off as just something you would find in nature. Well, throughout the remainder of the day this beautiful butterfly kept flying around us. She would fly near us and then fly away but always coming back around to see us. Finally I realized it was a sign from Bryanna. Bryanna had followed us on our camping trip and was enjoying the beauty with us. She was letting us know she was ok. I was so very excited to have my little angel around.
That night as I was saying my nightly prayers I prayed to God and thanked him for giving us a sign from our little angel..little did I know she would continue to be around us for the remainder of the weekend.
Yesterday morning we went out of ice cream and again our little angel flew by. While we were eating lunch back at our camp grounds my friend told me that she was flying around my head the entire time. Later on that afternoon as we were getting ready for dinner she was flying around again. It amazed me everytime I saw her. I tried to take a picture but our little angel was much to fast. It was as if she just wanted us to know she was around but it wasn't time for a picture.
It took me a little while to realize that it was the exact same color as the butterfly at our wedding...makes me wonder if our little angel was with us from the very beginning...then it made me realize that we have been blessed by this butterfly not once but twice. Maybe its a sign I need to start collecting butterfly's! Keep a look out dear friends!
At my first empty cradle meeting we received a book mark with this poem...coincidence?? Maybe not...maybe its simply another sign from God and Bryanna...
When I received the box in the mail and opened it it was a small yellow heart shaped box with inspirational quotes inside and a very sweet card.
the card read:
Gina-There are never the right words to say to make your pain and loss go away. I know that today must be extremely hard since your angel was due. She was taken much too soon. I even question the Lord's actions, How can such a blessed event like a birth of a child be marked by the Lord taking that child? Your loving arms is where she should be. Hopefully on your due date, today, that you feel your little one's presence. May all your hopes, love, and dreams for Bryanna feel your heart with some comfort. Know there are many woman that are thinking and praying for you. We hurt and cry for your loss as well. Hopefully this little box will help you on days like today. May the little tokens of quotes and sayings bring a smile to your face and comfort your heart.
Your SG Sisters
Of course this little letter brought tears to my eyes. It truly touched my heart that someone could write these words to me. Something that they thought was probably so simple and wouldn't get their emotions across touched me in so many ways. The little box its self was filled with sweet little quotes, sayings, and scriptures that made me smile and brought tears to my eyes but made me feel so loved as well.
Some of the sayings in the box included:
*Bryanna we remember you
*Her time on Earth was too short, but her memory lives on.
*The hole in your heart may not heal, but we will help fill it.
*A family is a circle of love, not broken by loss, but made stronger by memories.
*Sometimes we face set backs before we can walk forward.
There are so many more like this and they all remind me that not only am I hurting for the loss of Bryanna but so are my friends and family.
Thank you so much for thinking of me and my family during our difficult day.
There they go!
Up up and Away!
A little higher up
After we released the balloons they all drifted farther away from us. They seemed to favor a little patch of clouds that I like to believe is where she was looking down on us from.
Releasing the balloons was very therapeutic for me, and after we released them I had a calm come over me. Almost as if for once I was at peace with what was going on. It was a very hard day though because it was as if it sunk in for good that she was truly gone but I know she is in a better place. I do miss my little angel though.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Mother, please don't mourn for me; I'm still here, though you don't see.
My body is gone but I'm always near. I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
I'll never wander out of your sight--I'm the brightest star
I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around,
I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring;
When you start thinking there's no one to love you,
I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep
Monday, June 29, 2009
The ticker says I'm 39 weeks and 6 days..only 1 day until my due date. One day...in one day I could have been holding my precious baby. However, that's not the way things were meant to be. I found myself looking at myself in the mirror this afternoon and wondering did I really go through these past 4 months? Did I really have a baby growing in me just 20 short weeks ago, and now there is nothing left? Did I really just go through all of this and survive? It's so surreal thinking we just went through all of this. It's so surreal thinking just 20 weeks ago I was in the hospital getting ready to have my baby, and had I gone into the hospital yesterday she would have been born and everything would have been ok. I find it so odd that she was born 20 weeks too early...2o weeks to the exact date that she was due.
Tomorrow will be a busy day with family, but we are taking a little time to head out to the lake in the morning to release some balloons for her. My reasoning being..if she is going to celebrate with God we at least want to send her some balloons from us to let her know we are thinking about her.
I must confess..this date is making the pain more real..almost like for the past 4 months I have not really believed it until this moment. Yes, I have grieved with every part of my being but this hurts on a whole new level. Luckily my family will be here to keep me busy and we can mourn together and celebrate the day together as well.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Somedays I can walk through the store and glance at the baby section and somedays I have to walk through the store with my head turned so I wont even look at it. The anxiety that hits when we round the corner of the shoe section makes me crazy. Will today be the day I can look? or will I have to turn away and pretend it's not there? Everytime I go it's different. The crib that we bought Bryanna just a week prior to going into the hospital is on display..if that isn't bad enough the display is set up for a little girl. Everytime we go in the store I try to avoid the crib all together. Just recently I've began to look at the crib and pray that one day it will hold a baby for us. For now the crib sits in the garage.
Today as I was walking through target I went down the opposite way because I was looking at sleepwear for myself. I happened to be in the mood today to look at the little girls clothing. I tried to keep walking but the little girl's dresses called me in. They were so cute..cute little summer dresses that had things been different Bryanna could have been wearing. I know I can't think like this, but so close to the due date it's hard not to.
I miss my little angel so much right now. I miss her everyday but somedays its just hits me more then others. I'm not going to lie..the next two days will most likely be rough for me, but I'm extremly thankful that my husband has taken the next two weeks off to be with me.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I know people think Tuesday June 30th should just be another day to me. But the truth is this day approaching hurts me so badly. I know I know Bryanna was born on Tuesday February 10th and that's just the way life turned out. I know February 10th was her birthday and will forever be. However, for 5 months I looked forward to this day, and for the past 4 months I have dreaded this day. Now this day is only 4 days away and the anxiety is creeping in. What will my mood be like that day? If things had turned out different I could be in the hospital having a baby that day. I should have been in the hospital having a baby that day, but for us that isn't happening. We will not get to be having a baby on June 30th meeting her for the first time and being over joyed that she is finally here. Instead it will be just like any other day...with what might have been not too far from our mind.
How do we even begin to approach this day? Do we just let it go and pretend nothing ever happened or do we do something special and then go about our day? How does this work? When her birthday rolls around I know I will be sad and anxious but I know we can do something special for that day...but does the same hold true for Tuesday?
What about tomorrow for that matter? Tomorrow will be 20 weeks since I discovered something was wrong and had to be taken to the hospital. The thought of tomorrow coming makes me super anxious.
Its crazy how fast your life can change. One moment everything is fine and the next everything has fallen apart. How do you rebuild your life after this? In the book I'm reading he says that you just learn to build around it. You don't ever get over the pain you just learn to go on with your life but still feel it there. He says its like an amputation and I honestly feel like part of me is forever gone. It's almost like in a way it took the old me away. It took away my secure feeling, my hopefulness, and excitement for certain things. Slowly I'm trying to get these emotions back but will I ever fully become what I was before? I know I've talked about becoming a different me, but there are parts of the old me I miss. I just don't want to be anxious or scared anymore. I was to look forward to getting pregnant instead of this huge fear that I have in it's place. Bryan and I were talking today and I told him I don't fear I can get pregnant I just fear if I can stay pregnant. I know I should stay far far away from google..but shortly after we got the results of what caused Bryanna's death I googled the world. One of the very first articles I can across said that I am now 2 x's more likely to have this happen again because I've had it happen before. I know I need to look on the bright side and see that many women who have had this happen in the past have gone on to have healthy pregnancies but how?? How in the world do I clear those thoughts from my head? I know God has these amazing plans for our life I just wish I could somehow see what's going on. See the bright side in it all. Everyone keeps telling me they just know we will have a healthy baby...healthy babies..but how can they be so sure when I'm just not?
Monday, June 22, 2009
As I lay out at the pool yesterday I brought out my book with me. I don't spend much time reading it but when I do I give it my full attention because every word of the book speaks to me and makes me really think. It makes me see things in a different light. Yesterday down by the pool I was reading Chapter 6 The Amputation of Self. In previous chapter Jerry Sittser has talked about how death is a catastrophic loss and how its almost like the amputation of a body part. It's not ever something you can get back. However, something in this chapter that touched me was how after a loss you have to pick up and paint a new portrait of your life. He goes on to say that when he first began repainting his picture he wanted to start off on a small canvas because he didn't know how he could have the same expectations for his life after what he had gone through. On page 87 he goes on to say "Many people who suffer loss are tempted to do the same, lowering their expectations of what they will get out of life. Can any person look forward to a life that falls short of what he or she had planned, wanted, and expected?"
Wow, those words hit me like a ton of bricks! These past 4 months I have done that very thing. Thinking I'm sick, imagining us never having a baby, even the anxiety when things get out of control. I have been lowering my expectations of what life is going to be like now. For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a mother, and Bryanna made all those dreams come true, and yet I have to remember at the same time I am also a mommy to Kobe and Anthony. I'm a wife to Bryan, a Daughter to Mark and Laura, a sister to Mark and Matthew, and a Grand Daughter to Daniel and Rita. Yet for the past four months I've been living my world in this dark and lonely place. I miss my baby girl this much we know is true, but at the same time is it fair to let those who are still on this earth get less of me? Is it fair for me not to live life to the fullest because I can't see painting my life portrait on a bigger canvas?
Yes, this four months has turned my world upside down...we have lived through something that no one should ever have to go through, but we are still alive. We become stronger everyday through each other and through the strength that God gives us. We will go on to have more children and paint our picture on the biggest canvas we can find, because after all that's what Bryanna would want for us.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Sweet child whom we never really got to know,
We think of smiles we'll never see.
We planned to take you to places far and near.
It’s hard to understand why you, our baby, died.
God, we stand before you broken-heartedand
God, take this child in your loving arms.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Don't get me wrong I am doing better...just remembering little details like this hurt me so badly. I know people think it's time to move on, but how do you move on after the loss of a child? I know I might not be normal anymore to most, and I'll probably never be the Gina that everyone remembers from before, but I'm a new Gina. A Gina who has seen pain no one should ever have to go through, and a Gina who is becoming stronger by the day. A Gina who knows this strength that carries me through the day is not by my own means but given to me by God. I thank God everyday for the strength he has given me and continue to ask him for more daily.
On another note, I went to the therapist on Thursday and told her about holding the baby and feeling like in a few months I think I will be ready to start TTC again. I then told her I had anxiety the next day and felt guilty and like we would hurt Bryanna's feelings when we had a new baby. She then told me I needed to go back and look through my pregnancy books because developmentally when Bryanna was born she didn't have the emotions to feel jealousy. Great thanks lady..I'm not taking about Bryanna when she was born I'm talking about Bryanna's spirit. My baby was born with a spirit and a soul. I don't care where she was developmentally when she was born...I don't care what you think she can feel or not. I don't even want to hear that her kicking my hand when I poked at her was a reflex...these were my feelings of my baby and your medical jargon doesn't help or make how I feel go away. I'm not going back to read pregnancy books and tourture myself. I know it's silly to feel that her feelings will be hurt by ud trying again but that's how I feel. For the most part I like my therapist so I know that this clash won't get in the way of our progress. She is really helpful even if she doesn't see that I'm looking at things spiritually and not medically...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Another thing I found in the packet was a phone number for a support group for other bereaved parents. The first number I called was for the one at the hospital. That number was no longer in service and when I called the social worker who had worked with us in the hospital her number was no longer her number and once I got ahold of her number my message went unanswered. I didn't see it then but perhaps it was a sign from God that the group I was lead to instead was meant to be my "home."
I called the second number and got a voice mail, but I left a voice mail and later that night someone called me back. He explained his loss to me and said his wife and him found so much comfort in these meetings. I missed the April meeting by a day, but last month in May Bryan and I found ourselves at the meeting. It was more difficult than I had expected and the days following that meeting I fell into anxiety again. I wasn't sure I would return..I wasn't sure it would help my healing process at this month. However, as the weeks got closer to the next meeting I found myself thinking of the women there...wanting more of their stories, and wondering how they were holding up from last month's meeting.
Tonight was the second meeting I attended. I went alone, which caused anxiety for the majority of the day. Once there I felt at peace being surrounded by these people again. These strangers who I would have never met expect for our horrible common bond. I found myself wanting to reach out to these women to offer hugs to them as they cried telling their stories. I found myself wanting a hug from them as I told my own. There is no judging in this room because we have all been through the same thing..we have all lost a child that we wanted so badly. While we may not all grieve the same we can all relate to one another because we have been there or are going through that now. I am so thankful I was able to stumble upon this group of people. I am so thankful for that added push that sent me to the meeting again today while I was thinking it would be simple to just back out and reduce my anxiety. I am so glad I went tonight because I walked away with not only a sense of comfort but also some new friendships.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I want a baby. I was so excited at the thought of trying again. Thinking that sometime in the near future we could try again. As far as my body goes its ready to carry a baby again...its just me emotionally healing from the loss of Bryanna still. I have gotten so much better this month. I feel happier and keep being told that I'm starting to seem more like myself. It's so nice to hear these words again. So nice to have a picture taken of myself and see me smiling.
I see little pieces of me coming back, but I think at the same time it terrifies me. Is it ok to start feeling better? It's only been 4 months...this is the month she was supposed to be born. Is it ok to start feeling better this month and want to think about having a baby again this month of all months? Maybe it's Bryanna's way of saying it's time for us to move on. Maybe she's the one that sent the calm over me the other day. I slowly feel myself making me anxious again and I attempt to push those feelings aside. I know I'm going to be ok...I know that there are only 13 more days in this month and then it will all be over. I know that no matter how long I grieve for Bryanna it won't make her come back, I know I can't/couldn't continue to live my life with me punishing myself. I couldn't continue to ask myself why or look for reasons why...but why does it feel so wrong to be feeling better? Why do I fear getting over the hurt that this has caused? And then even thoughts of trying again scare me..i'm filled with what if this happens again? For so long everyone has told me that I didn't cause this, but what if it happens again..then did I? What if my body continues to fail me?
I'm reading a book right now called A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss. I know that all these feeling i'm feeling are normal. It's helped reading those words and knowing that other people have felt this way. I honestly can't say enough good things about this book. It has made me realize that you have to walk through the darkness to get to the sunlight again. It has helped me see that the lost of Bryanna was like an amputation of a body part...it's a part of me I can never get back. It has also helped me see what might have been "normal" for me in the beginning will never be the same "normal" for me again. I have seen life in a different way. I have seen how fragile it is, and how beautiful it can be all at the same time. I know I have walked through my darkness and am attempting to make my way back to the sunlight. I will emerge a stronger person. My marriage will pull through a stronger marriage and my family bounds will be stronger because of what we have gone through together. My kids will forever know that they have a baby sister and future children of ours will be brought up knowing they have an older sister who is an angel. Our life will continue but Bryanna will forever be part of it.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Yesterday Bryan gave me a bag that had two little girl onsies and a 6 pack of ballet slipper socks. I hadn't seen this bag since the day we went to the hospital. Amazingly enough I did not cry as I looked through the bag and didn't cry as I put it all away in her box. I'm ok with doing this. It still hurts but it doesn't make me as anxious. I feel like I've grown so much just in this past month. I still look forward to this month being over but it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be...I am so thankful for my wonderful Family and Friends they have helped me so much!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
On a side note the first day we started going to church was about three weeks after Bryanna was born. I remember that first mass being difficult to get through. As I was sitting there in church a very pregnant woman walked in. She sat a few rows ahead of us and I about lost it when I saw her belly and watched as she lovingly touched her belly throughout mass. I wanted so badly to be in her shoe. Well, never again did I see her in church until today. She walked in with her son and her new born baby girl. Seeing her I recognized her right away, and smiled. I silently said a small prayer for her and thanked God that she was able to deliver a beautiful healthy baby. It was such an empowering moment for me. I didn't cry! I simply smiled and said the prayer. During mass when she picked up her daughter to burp her I smiled again and thought one day we will have our chance...
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Bryan and I had wanted to have a baby for sometime however I knew from my past marriage that it wouldn't be that simple for us. We tried...or didn't try just didn't prevent for about a year maybe longer. With no success and after we were finally settled in California I decided to go see a fertility Dr. Since we had been trying for a year with no luck they were able to see us without waiting. I remember going to the Dr in July for a normal well woman appointment and told her that we had been trying for a year with no luck. She put in a referral to the Fertility Dr and said it could take a few days for them to call back and even when they did it would probably take a few weeks to get an appointment. Well I left that appointment and went to Target to get some shopping done. While I was there I got a call from the fertility Dr's and they could get me in the following week! It was amazing I hadn't expected to hear from them for awhile. Anyway I set up my first appointment and went in. It was just a basic exam and we set up some testing and had to set up some testing for Bryan. After going through the testing all the results came back normal. After worrying for so long that something was wrong with my body I was normal. I went back to the fertility Dr's one day in October for another check up and they were going to start me on Clomid but just before they did they wanted to see if I was going to ovulate. At this point they though the only issue was I didn't ovulate on my own. Well imagine my surprise when they did an internal ultrasound and found out I was about to ovulate! They told me to go home and get "busy" and come back two days later. If I had no yet ovulated they would help me along. Well I came back two days later and guess what...I had ovulated! They told me to test two weeks later which would have been October 20th. They told me our chances of getting pregnant this cycle were great! So at that point I began treating my body like I was pregnant. Did I know yet? No. Did I have an idea I was? No but I prayed that I was. The Friday before I was due to test I started cramping. It seriously felt like someone was screwing a screw into my uterus. I'm not one to cramp before my cycle starts so I knew something was different. Well my friend happened to be in town that week and we had gone to Disney Land on that Sunday so in the rush I never got around to getting a test so I didn't get to test first thing in the morning on the 20th. Right after work I high tailed it to walmart and picked up a pregnancy test. I was going to wait until the next morning but I just couldn't. I ran downstairs when I got home and POAS. Within seconds I got two lines! Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Were there really two lines? Could it really be possible? I ran upstairs and grabbed my friend Emily and she looked at it with me. We still couldn't figure it out and called Bryan to look...he came down and said "Looks like you are pregnant!" OMG I was pregnant! I seriously took 5 home pregnancy test within the next two days and two blood test within that week to confirm I was pregnant!
My pregnancy was beautiful. I really didn't get morning sickness. More like evening sickness and I would get sick on the weekends. I was always able to go to work. Every appointment went beautifully. I always heard her heartbeat right away and it was always strong and fast. She would move around so much when we saw her on the ultrasound and she would just make me giggle seeing her move. I couldn't believe after so many years of not thinking I could have a child I had a baby...a life growing inside of me. I was a nervous mommy and always worried that something was wrong. No one ever tells you that when you are pregnant you will feel all kind of crazy pains. I never realized that I would feel every little stretch and pull on my body..I didn't realize I would feel my uterus expand as she grew. All these little pains were brand new to me and sent me into panic mode. Everything was always normal though. As the months went on I became more comfortable with what was going on and I was enjoying my expanding waist line. The holidays came and went without much thought. I went about cooking and attempting to eat the holiday meals I made. I was over joyed knowing that the following year our little one would be here with us. I kept imagining how old she would be at that point and I was so excited. We had even planned to go to Texas for her first Christmas to be around family. Finally my first trimester was over and I could officially settle into being relaxed. It was real...we had made it through the first trimester we were going to get through this and bring home a baby! I began to look forward to shopping and even started talking to my mom about the baby shower. We had even picked out the weekend we were going home for it.
On January 30/31st. I had fallen asleep on the couch like I usually did only this time I woke up to what I felt was a huge gush. I ran to the bathroom and to my surprise there was nothing there. Relieved I went downstairs to go back to bed. The following days were filled with uncertainty. I felt like something just wasn't right but didn't know what. Finally on Feb. 3rd I went into my midwives office and demanded to be seen. They assured me that everything was fine and that she couldn't see me because she was booked all day. I left a message for her and went to work. She called me an hour later and told me to come in for a check up. I went in right away and was diagnosed with Bacterial Vaginiosis (BV). She made it seem like it was no big deal and that antibiotics woudl take it away. Little did I know it was a HUGE deal. When I got home from work that night I googled it and found out that it could cause preterm labor and infections. I should mention that it took two days for me to get my antibiotics to fix this issue since the pharmacy is always packed. I finally called in sick to work on Thursday Feb. 5th to wait two hours to get my prescription filled. On Feb. 6th we went in for our "Big" Ultrasound and everything went amazing. She was measuring on time and my cervix was closed and all the fluid was still around her. This is the appointment we found out we were having a baby girl. We left that appointment so excited! We were having a princess! I calmed down alittle because everything had checked out fine. Our little girl was prefect and she was going to be just fine. Little did I know on Sunday morning my life would begin to fall apart.
On Sunday February 8th I woke up spotting. I tried to convince myself it was normal and went about my morning. Bryan was cooking breakfast and after breakfast we were going to register for baby gifts..this day had been planned since the end of December after all. Well I kept going to the bathroom and I kept spotting...I sat down to have breakfast and went downstairs to start getting dressed. I went to the bathroom one more time and the spotting had turned into bleeding. I calmly walked out of our bedroom and called up to Bryan that we had to go to the hospital because I was bleeding. I went back into our room and threw on some clothing and came up stairs to put on my shoes...at this point I was bawling. Of course like everything else goes in life we needed gas before we could go to the hospital. So we stop to get gas and then in the kaos of everything Bryan misses the entrance to the freeway so we have to go the long way. We finally get to the hospital and they get me in right away. All the while they are trying to assure me that sometimes bleeding during pregnancy is normal. As soon as they layed me down to do the exam I knew something wasn't right. This wasn't one of those everything is going to be OK moments. The Dr explained that she couldn't check my cervix because my membranes were exposed and I was dilated. Dilated? I was a few days of 20 weeks how could that be possible? They immediately wheeled me up to labor and delivery. I remember the orderlies who rolled me up were joking and talking about what lunch was going to be! How could they be having such a casual conversation when my world was falling apart?
I got checked into L&D and Bryan and the boys were waiting up there for me already. Again I was checked out again and I was definitely dilated but they were hopefully that if they put me on bed rest gravity would take effect and everything would go back up and they could sew me up and the pregnancy would continue. I remember being rolled into another room and as I was another woman went into labor I heard all the Dr's and nurses around her and then the baby came out crying. I lost it. This woman was having her baby and I knew my story wasn't going to end that way. I had Dr's coming in and out for the remainder of the day and finally it was getting late so Bryan was going to take the boys home and get stuff together so he could call out of work the next day. I ended up starting to have contractions so he had to come back up and all 5 of us slept in the hospital room together. The next morning one of his friends came to get the boys for us and more Dr's came in. Now there was talk of infections. There was an infection it was the only thing that would cause her to come early. If the infection got into me I could possibly die as well. They didn't give us much hope for her. If we held off 4 more weeks I could get sick and die or she would be severely handicap. We had to have an amino done...something that I never wanted to have done and yet here I was getting ready for one to find out if there was indeed an infection. The test results were to come back in 4 hours...those must have been the longest 4 hours of my life. When the results came back we were on the "cusp" of there being an infection. They didn't know if there wasn't an infection yet or if the antibiotics were just barley keeping it away. We knew the choice was coming but we tried to put it off. I was still having contractions although they weren't getting any worse they weren't getting any better.
Tuesday February 10th was the hardest day for us. It was the day we had to make our choice. We decided to induce labor. She was coming anyway just not fast enough. We couldn't risk both of us dying and it wasn't fair to prolong her pain for our selfishness. When we made the choice to have her I just wanted it over with. I was scared that infection was getting worse and I didn't want to prolong the enveitable. Finally around 5pm they wheeled us back in L&D and gave me a pill to induce labor. Before I knew it I was in labor. I had an epidural because the pain was too much. I was terrified. Bryan held my hand and looked into my eyes the entire time they were giving me the epidural. He was amazing. I don't know what I would have done withouth him. Being as terrified as I was he had to remind me to breath. As soon as they were done giving me the epidural she was coming. Two pushes and she was out. I remember watching it through the tv monitor that was off. I could see everything in the screen. When she was born she didn't cry like you expect to hear when a baby is born. When they handed her to me she was so tiny. It took me a few mintues to realize that she was still alive. It was heartbreaking watching her little neck rise and fall with each breath she took. We were so amazed that she was alive! But heartbroken at the same time that she was too little for them to do anything for her. We held her and told her we loved her and I remember telling her over and over again that I was so sorry. Our little fighter was alive for an hour and 39 mintues. She was born at 6:53pm.
Two weeks later we would find out that her official cause of death was infection of the placenta.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I should have been expecting our beautiful baby any day now, but instead I only have the memories of her. Don't get me wrong the memories I shared with her are amazing. She started moving so early on. I can remember sitting on this couch on January 6th in the same position that I'm sitting on the couch now and I felt the first little flutters. Funny how your mind remembers dates like that. At that point in my pregnancy I was only 14 weeks along. It seemed a bit early to be feeling her but I was so excited. I remember one night a few weeks later I was laying in bed and had my hand on my stomach and felt her kick my hand off! My tiny baby girl was already kicking my hand off my stomach! I remember sharing these moments with my mom and telling her that Bryan felt a little left out because he hadn't felt her yet and she told me to "cherish these moments because they are you and your child bonding." The little flutters were amazing...some days I would lay in bed and it would feel like she was doing cartwheels in my stomach! Such a neat little feeling. As time went on I got was more and more excited I would feel her more and I even got to the point where after one Dr's appointment I went shopping for her. At this point in time I didn't know she was a girl yet so I bought your basic tshirts and onsies and yellow blankets. It was a fun little shopping experience. I was hooked on shopping for our baby! There was also a time while Bryan the kids and I were shopping at target. I was getting ready to check out but was looking at movies. Bryan was a couple of feet away from me and raised his voice at one of the boys and she jumped! Oh man she already knew her daddy's voice and he did not sound happy. It made me giggle that she had that reaction to his voice. Another such memory was at target yet again...I was shopping for a friends little girl and Bryanna was kicking up a storm I remember telling her "we will be shopping for you again in just a few day when we find out what you are." I then giggled and said "you are either upset that I'm shopping for another little girl or upset that I'm in the girls department because you are a little boy." Well a few days later we indeed found out we were having a little princess. What a magical amazing day. Everything with the ultrasound was amazing and she was just beautiful and perfect! As soon as we got out of the appointment and told our family we were having a little girl they were already calling her a princess and were over joyed! The boys were just as excited. Even being in the hospital I have a few memories with her that I will always cherish..its little things like this that I need to pull me through the bad days.
Getting them out on here just now has made me relive them and realize just how lucky we were to have those 20 weeks with her. Just how lucky we were to have that amazing hour and 39 minutes with her. She got to feel us and we got to touch her and tell her exactly how much we love her. We got to send her on to an amazing place, but God blessed us with a fraction in time with her something that we will forever be grateful for. We are lucky enough to have our very own guardian angel in heaven. An angel that spent a part of her time growing in me. An angel that was created out of love by Bryan and I. It doesn't make me miss her any less and want her here any less but everyday I have to come to terms with the fact that this is the plan that God had in store for us. I also have to come to terms with the fact that one day God will bless us again with another beautiful baby that we will be able to raise. A dear friend told me not too long back that when we get pregnant again the baby will be OK because Bryanna will be there coaching the baby through the pregnancy and that thought makes me smile. I know now that one day when we have another baby we will not be replacing Bryanna but simply adding on to our family and giving her a sibling as well.
In the next few days I will be sharing more of Bryanna's story and the story of our family and how we are coping and dealing. This is meant to be a sort of therapy for me as I have seen it work for others. It's also putting Bryanna's story out there so that she is not forgotten.
**I want to take a moment and thank my dear sweet friend Jess who talked me into do this blog as a healing process. Just in my first entry I have seen that this will be helpful. Thank you Jess. I love you very much and can't wait to see little Ms. Ryleigh.**