Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm feeling so heartbroken right now. For a number of reasons.

First, my good friend Katie is in her first trimester and just found out she lost one of her twins. She has been through so much and being the wonderful mother that she is, she fell completely in love with both of her babies as soon as she knew they were both there. I can only imagine how the rest of the pregnancy will be for her - I hope she is blessed with one beautiful, healthy baby. But it will never, ever take away the pain of losing the other - and she'll remember and miss that baby for the rest of her life. It's not something you forget - it doesn't matter how far along you were in the pregnancy.

Also, I was looking back at posts I had made on my favorite message board, and realized that we had Gabriella's big ultrasound at 19 weeks 4 days - and we had an ultrasound today... at 19 weeks 4 days. I don't know why that hit me so hard - it's an odd coincidence, but nothing huge. I guess it's just that I remember how happy I was, I felt 'safe' and like nothing bad would happen... I was so naive. So naive! I had no idea that in 7 weeks I would be holding that little girl while she took her last breath, while her heart beat its last beautiful beat. This time, I hope in 7 weeks to still be pregnant. Today my doctor told me he 'hopes' to keep me pregnant for 10 more weeks, 15 being optimal, but a little optimistic as well. In case you aren't doing the math, 15 weeks would still be a 35 weeker. Technically still a preemie, but I'll take it! 10 more weeks would still mean several weeks in the NICU. But a much lower mortality rate. And that's what counts.

And of course looking at Brie's 19 week ultrasound pics led me to look at her other pictures... and her funeral pictures that I had posted there. Those are so incredibly hard to look at. It's like looking at them, I can remember so vividly how COLD she was. Cold, and stiff, and still. And the way the mortuary smelled, and the utter heartbreak of putting her in her coffin, and having to watch my husband put on the lid. I have no idea how he did that. He said afterward that he didn't know how he did it either, but that he was glad that he did. I don't know how I set her in her coffin for the last time - how someone didn't have to pry her out of my arms. Sometimes I look back and seriously marvel at how our bodies function - that God gave us that wonderful numbness, so we don't have to feel all that pain at once. That He allows the grieving process to take place over such a long period of time. Because if I had felt all the pain of that act at that moment, I surely would have died. I'm not being dramatic either. I really think I would have. I am so grateful that I was numb.

On a non-baby loss topic, I am also so heartbroken for my sister in law and her family. She is in the Navy and just got deployed to Afghanistan. She's going to an area that is known to have a high rate of casualties. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for her to leave her family, how difficult that *last day* must have been. She'll be gone for nine months. She's an absolutely amazing woman.

It's been sort of a hard night.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day and Milestones

I want to write some profound Mother's Day post - but I don't really know what to say. I've already been crying on and off, of course. Some minutes are overwhelmed with grief for my babies I cannot hold.. and other ones are joyful that I have a baby on the way that maybe I will get to keep this time.

Mostly the moments when I cry are right after I think about what my biggest (realistic) wish is today. Of course I wish that none of this had ever happened, that I could have my miscarriage baby, and Brie, and this baby, everyone all together, but I know that's not possible. Realistically, I wish that I could visit my daughter's grave today. And the fact that I wish that so fervently breaks my heart all over again for myself. I realize it's a pity party, but seriously. How awful that I should have to wish that. The best way I can think of spending Mother's Day, excluding changing the situation altogether, is hovering over the place where my child's perfect little body is buried in the cold hard ground. I wish I could put some flowers on her grave. I wish that there was a headstone on her grave. I wish that there was something tangible that I could do to honor her life, because even though she's not here, she made me a mother.

And tomorrow is six months since she was born. Two days ago was a year since my miscarriage. It was Mother's Day weekend in 2008 that I was miscarrying. The 13th is six months since Brie died. So many milestones this week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brick Wall

I read this story on a miscarriage/infant loss board. I'm not sure who wrote it, but I thought it was lovely and a very good analogy.

"You are walking along fine with everyone else and the sun is shining and all is well, then you walk SLAM into a brick wall. And it hurts – it really hurts. It hurts your head and your chest where your heart is and your stomach. And it shocks you as only slamming into a brick wall can. It stops you dead in your tracts. And you stand there thinking, "How did I not see that coming? What the hell happened? How could someone just do that to me?" And you look around and everyone else seems to be walking around the wall. They are carrying on like nothing happened and the sun is still shining for them. They don't even see the wall. They don't even know it's there. And you realize you didn't even know it was there until you hit it – you didn't even know there was a brick wall you could hit – not now, not at this stage. And slowly you pull yourself back together. The pain in your stomach has turned to a sick feeling and your heart still hurts, your mind racing with questions about this brick wall – How, What, Where, Why??? Mostly WHY??? Why on earth would someone make you walk into this wall – why did they have to put it in front of you and no one else?

And you can walk again now the pain in your stomach and maybe your legs has lessened. So you slowly make your way around the wall and to the other side. But it doesn't look the same on the other side. It's greyer and emptier. And you know you've left something behind – something very precious and you want it back. So you turn around and there is the brick wall behind you and it seems to hit you with the same force again when you realize you can't go back. It's blocking your path and it will always be there. You pummel your fists on it and cry and shout at it but it's unbreakable and absolute. It won't let you get your precious bundle back – that has to stay on the other side and you must carry on without it. You can't go back to the path you were on before you hit the brick wall – it's impossible. So all you can do is go forward and walk on from it. But it's hard going and your legs don't seem to want to walk away from it. You know when you look over your shoulder it will always be there. It may fade a bit from view but if you look closely you will always be able to see it – even in the distance. And you look around you again and see all the people who never hit the brick wall carrying on too. You tell some of them about the brick wall and they sympathize – it must've hurt they say. You are looking very well despite this brick wall – you have no cuts or bruises on the outside because those heal. So you must be doing ok then now they say. "But my wounds are on the inside!” you feel like screaming. How can you not know about this brick wall – why couldn't you walk into it instead of me? And then you feel bad – you know you wouldn't really want anyone else to walk into that wall.

Some people are ok – maybe they have seen the wall themselves in the past or came close to it – maybe they are really good friends/family who close their eyes and do try to imagine walking into the wall. They are the ones who help you keep walking away from it. People tell you that you'll never hit this brick wall again – it only appears once in your life. And you want to believe them even though you can't ever be sure. Up ahead it looks like maybe your path does cross back into the sunshine again – the same sunshine that everyone else is basking in. And you can maybe just make out another bundle waiting for you to pick up and carry with you for the rest of your life. And maybe if you are strong and keep moving forward then you'll reach it one day. But it's not the same bundle as before – it can't be. That one is behind the wall. The wall that's always there if you look over your shoulder. And written on it forever more is the message in letters a mile high, that only you can see “My Darling Baby...Rest in Peace"

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mixed Feelings

I've had such huge mood swings the last few days.. I think I just might be about to go crazy. Not really. But it kind of feels like it.

I don't think the progesterone shots help. I have been crying over everything. If my husband looks at me the wrong way, I cry. I cry over commercials on the tv and radio, and over random thoughts that come into my head.

Some of the thoughts deserve a good cry. Like, I was thinking about the day when we were at the mortuary, making arrangements. As we were there, Gabriella's body was delivered - she had to be transported from Texas, and you have to have a license and things to transport dead bodies apparently. Anyway. They asked me if I wanted to see her. I said no. Why? Did I not realize that in a few short hours my daughter's tiny, perfect body would be buried in the ground and I would never be able to hold it or kiss it ever again? I know why I said no though - it would have been the first time I saw her after she was embalmed, and I was scared of what I would see. And I was already so overwhelmed with everything that I just couldn't. But I wish I had said yes.

Other thoughts, not so much. Like after squashing a random ant crawling on the wall, thinking that this ant is likely some other ant's mother or father or brother or sister. It's an ant. But I still cried.

I cried in the baby section of Wal Mart yesterday. Just for a minute. I think it was short enough and quiet enough that my husband didn't notice. Or if he did, he didn't say anything. Maybe he was feeling the same way and didn't want to go there. I don't know. I am so excited for our little baby boy. But it still keeps hitting me, every now and again, that I'm having to be excited for a different child. All the girls' clothes that Brie will never grow in to stood out a mile over the boys' clothes yesterday, for some reason. All the little girly things I should have been shopping for that I don't need any more. That she will never need. And it's just... it's just kind of a stab in the heart. I don't feel angry. Just sad. Sad that I will never know my little girl. My precious baby girl.

All these mixed feelings are so hard. It's especially hard because I know that they will never go away. I will always think about what should have been, and mourn that it isn't. Yet I'll always be happy for what is. If Brie hadn't died, I wouldn't be having her little brother. They joys that this child will bring me would never be if things had been different. It's all just very mixed up, painful, joyful, and confusing.