Thursday, September 8, 2011

Due Date

I remember the first time I saw 9.9.2009 on the ultrasound screen. I smiled. I giggled a little. I told myself that was our lucky day.

Here we are two years later and my life is so much different than I imagined it would be when I first heard that was my due date.

I should have a two year old little girl right now, but instead, she's not here. She lost her little life inside of my body just 5 months after she was conceived. Now, as her due date approaches and another year goes by, I am the Mom of a beautiful five year old and a little boy who is approaching his first birthday in a few weeks.

Life is so much different than I ever expected.

I think of her every single day. I miss her every single day. I always ache for what should've been. I don't think those feelings ever go away. It does get easier to deal with and I have some great days where the pain isn't as bad, but that feeling in my heart will never disappear.

I watch my daughter run around the house and her beautiful long blonde hair flowing behind her and I wonder if Audrey would be doing the same thing right now. I am sure she'd be talking up a storm and I am sure the two of them would be having so much fun together.

My little boy has been through so much this year - he was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis and had surgery at just 8 months old - and I know in my heart that Audrey protected him. She brought him to me and she brought him back to me again. She lives on through them. I often look into his beautiful eyes and I swear she's telling me "it's okay, Mommy. I'm here."

I have two living children but I'll always be a Mother of THREE amazing kids. <3

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2 years

It's now been 2 years (and 1 month) since we lost our baby girl.

The last post I wrote was talking about how I couldn't believe it was coming - another anniversary, another year without her.

Life took us on another crazy adventure after I wrote my last post. On April 20th our son, my rainbow, was diagnosed with right coronal craniosynostosis. His right coronal skull suture fused prematurely (most likely at birth) and we were told he would require surgery to fix it. I was a WRECK.

When we lost Audrey and heard the words "there is no heart beat" it felt like all of the air was sucked out of the room and I was struggling to catch my breath. That exact feeling came back to me when the Doctor diagnosed our son.

He had a CT scan 2 weeks later and had an appointment with a plastic surgeon on Audrey's birthday. I tried my hardest to take that as a sign from my Angel that she was going to protect her brother and he would be OK.

The weeks after his diagnosis were the most panic stricken I'd been since Audrey died. I didn't think I'd ever feel that intense pain again in my life and then Owen was diagnosed. He was scheduled for surgery on May 27th. The week of surgery I was beyond being a wreck. I just kept praying, begging, pleading with God and with Audrey to please protect my baby boy.

When the morning of surgery arrived and we had to hand our infant son over to the Nurse to take back to the OR, I lost it. My Husband and I both stood in the room and just sobbed. I leaned up against him as he had his head against the wall and I begged God to please not let that be the last time I saw my son alive. It was in that moment I had this intense calming feeling come over me and I knew in my heart that Audrey was going to protect her baby brother and he was going to be just fine.

I never understood before why she had to die but, in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks - she was taken to be his guardian Angel and to protect him from this condition and to guide him through surgery. She's not with us physically but she's always in our hearts.

She's always my angel. <3

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A little bit stronger

I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger

The two year anniversary is quickly approaching. We're now just over a month away from the worst day of my life.

I still don't know what to call that day.

Is it her birth day? It technically isn't her death day because the Doctor said she was gone at least a week before May 5th, maybe more. 

I don't know. No one knows.

I still struggle with lots of things. I still miss her. I still wonder why this happened. 

I am watching my little boy grow, the sweet boy she sent to me, and sometimes it makes my heart ache because I know I should've experienced that all with her. I wonder what she would've looked like, how she would've acted. There are clear differences between Addie as a baby and Owen now. He was a great sleeper from the start, he's an overall happier baby and rarely cranky, he loves to eat (as you can tell by my entries about his size lol) and he loves to suck his thumb. Every chance he can get, that thumb is going in his mouth. He loves to give me wet baby kisses where he grabs my face and puts his whole mouth on it. I love it and it melts my heart, but then I wonder... would she have been the same way?

I'm left to wonder for the rest of my life. 

This second year has felt harder on me. I remember dreading the first year anniversary and then when it came, I was at such amazing peace. I was growing a life inside of me again and I was so thankful for that. But this year, I feel sad. I think it's because I watch my son grow and I just feel sad because those are moments I was robbed of with her. 

I do feel peace too. I feel so thankful that my sweet boy made it into my arms and he's alive and healthy. I feel content now, like I can finally breath easier with the family size we have now, but there's always that missing piece. 

That piece of my heart will be missing forever.

Monday, December 20, 2010

How long?

How long will the flashbacks last?

How much time will pass before the events of that day and everything surrounding it doesn't hurt so much?
Will there ever be a time I don't think about it as much? I don't want to forget. She was my daughter and remembering her and the brief life she had is my great honor, but sometimes it is so exhausting to always think about it, and knowing I can't go back and change a thing.

It's been 19 and a half months since we heard the words no parents ever want to hear. We had to sit there in the exam room, full of hopes and dreams of the future, just to have them crushed with hearing "There's no heart beat."

How long will I replay those words over and over in my head? How long will I replay the words the nurses and hospital staff said to me as they were preparing my body to delivery my child - my child that had no life in her heart?

The first words I said after hearing those words were to my Husband. The Doctor left the room for a few minutes to give me time to compose myself before going to the hospital. Adam stood at the end of the exam table and helped me sit up and held me close to his chest. I buried my head into his shirt and started sobbing and yelling "They're going to make me deliver this baby. I can't. I can't. I can't."

I knew what stillbirth was and I knew what was about to happen. We had close friends while we lived in Oklahoma who suffered through the exact same thing at almost the exact same time in their pregnancy as mine. I knew what they went through and I saw glimpses of the pain they experienced. I just never thought that would be me. No one ever expects it to be them.... and then it was me. 

I was praying for a miracle. I was praying the whole time that the Doctor was wrong. I had a second ultrasound within minutes of his initial exam. He sent me to the hospital to confirm what he found and I was praying the whole time I was lying on the table, again, that he was wrong. He just missed her heart beat. She was okay and I was going to have a baby in a few months. When the tech helped me sit up and gathered my things and she said the words "I'm sorry," it was very obvious the Doctor was right. My baby was gone and I was powerless to stop it.

I've spent so much time praying, wishing, hoping that I'd wake up from what has felt like the longest and most horrific nightmare anyone could experience.

I spent so much time in the hours, days, weeks and months after asking "What did I do wrong? What did I do to deserve this?" I know I didn't do anything wrong and I know I didn't do anything to deserve this but my mind and my heart were in battle with each other.

So many friends, family and various people I've met throughout this journey have commented to me how strong I am, how proud they are at how well I've done since everything. I wish I could convey the words to them of what I really feel and what I really think. I don't feel strong at all. I feel like I've been on auto pilot since May 5th, 2009. 

I struggle so often with the unanswered questions. I struggle with the reality that I'll never have the answers to what caused her to die, why this happened, why me. No one sees or hears the inner struggle in my head and in my heart. It's a torture that only a parent who has lost a child can imagine.

I've accepted as much as one can accept that I'll never have the answers I want, the answers my heart aches for. I'll never say I'm moving on. There is no moving on from losing a child, but there is moving forward. I moved forward in a way I never thought I could. I had another child after my devastating loss. I have the world's most handsome and beautiful boy. He'll be three months old tomorrow and I guess what has brought this on, what has flooded my heart and my head with these feelings, is knowing his sister would be 15 months old right now if she had lived. She'd be celebrating her second Christmas and probably terrified at the idea of Santa, much like her big sister was at that age. These moments with my son are very bittersweet because I never expected to experience them after she died and they're very bittersweet because they're probably the last. My heart just can't go through another pregnancy again. I can't live with the fear and anxiety that ate at me every day until he was born. 

I've experienced true joy and happiness with my children and I've also experienced the worst heartache and darkness. 

I'm a very blessed but also very broken person.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Busy Month

The day after my last posting was my first day back to work after having my son.

It was such an incredibly emotional day for me. I was nervous about leaving him, being away from him for the first real amount of time since he was born, really in the last 9 months if you count the time he was growing inside of me. =) I knew he was in good capable hands with my Husband home to take care of him but it still didn't make the anxiety any easier. I was also really nervous about how Addison would handle the adjustment. She's very much a Mama's girl and she was super happy to have me home for 2.5 months. I really enjoyed doing the little things like getting her ready for school in the morning, taking her there and picking her up. I miss that already!

I was having such bad anxiety about going back to work that I made an appointment with my therapist the week before my return. I knew talking to her and getting a chance to unload everything would be a perfect thing to do. It definitely helped! I started seeing her about three weeks after Audrey's death, so she has really been there for me during this whole experience of losing her and of getting pregnant with my rainbow baby. She was super thrilled when she saw me walk into her office and she immediately asked me how the baby was, what I named him, etc. She really helped me to understand and process my feelings and fears of going back to work. It wasn't just a normal routine to work for most post-partum mothers. This had other fears and feelings attached to it. Much of it to do with the loss of Audrey. She brought up a very good point in saying that everything surrounding the birth and life of my son is more heightened to me now since I lost her. I take things more seriously and things have a different meaning to me now.

It's now been almost a month since my return back to work and I'm happy to say I'm adjusting a lot better to being away. I still miss him and Addison like crazy and I stare at their pictures on my desk all day long but I think it does help to be out and away for a little while. It gives me some adult interaction and it also makes the time that I am home with them mean more and I do more to enjoy it.

Owen had his 2 month check-up on the 22nd of November. He's a happy and healthy baby! He weighed in at 13 lbs 9 oz and measured 23 inches long. He got his first set of vaccines and he took them like a champ. He even got cute spider man band-aids after. =)

I think about Audrey every day and I always think about what should've been, what I wish life was like now but I am starting to accept that I have to move forward with my life. I won't say move on because I firmly believe that one can never move on from the loss of their child but having Owen has taught me to accept that I have to live in the present and give my love to the children I am blessed to have with me. I will just have to hold onto the comfort that I will see my Angel again someday and the comfort of knowing she's never forgotten... she lives on in my heart, always and forever. I haven't been up to see her grave since August and I feel terrible about that. I want to make the time to get up there (it's almost an hour from where I live) but it's hard with a newborn and with the weather getting colder. I'm hoping once the spring comes and it's nicer that I'll be able to finally decorate it with flowers. I meant to this past spring but with everything with my pregnancy and just life in general, that all fell by the way side. I'm trying though. I really am.

One day at a time.... one minute at a time. That's all I can do.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Different Child

I found this truly beautiful and inspiring poem in one of my book's and wanted to share it.

A Different Child

A different child,
People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father's eyes.

And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.
You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their  hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth.
One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
And father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Adentures of Motherhood

Anyone who is on facebook has seen the status that talks about as Mothers we've been puked on, peed on, pooped on, etc... Until you become a Mother you can only read that and think "Ewww gross, why would anyone want to willingly subject themselves to that??" I know I thought the same thing before I became a Mom. I also thought there was no way I could handle puke, pee or poop without wanting to puke myself.

Now that I've been a Mother for the past four years I'm an old pro at this stuff. I can handle accidents of both the pee and poop nature.... and puke? Been there and done that. I've had my carpets and my bed thrown up on more times than I can count. I've even been puked on multiple times as the Mother of a newborn. One memorable time stands out with Addison... We were at my in-laws for Christmas Eve, her first, when she was particularly fussy and cranky and just after polishing off a nice big bottle, she puked ALL over my hair and clothes. Thankfully my Mother-in-law and I were close in size so I cleaned up and changed into an outfit of hers. Not exactly what I wanted to have pictures taken in during my daughters first Christmas Eve, but hey, I'm a Mom. 

When Addison was just a day old or so I remember changing her diaper in the hospital and just as I was sliding my hand under her butt to position the diaper, she pooped in my hand. Every Mother remembers that newborn poop - the sludge black poop. Oh yeah, good times. 

Addison also had horrible spit-up problems in the beginning months of her life and I swear I didn't own a single shirt that hadn't been spit up on. I'm also 100% confident I even wore those shirts out in public not even realizing it had spit up on it and then by the time I did realize it, I didn't care.
Ah, the joys of Motherhood. 

I remember when I had Addison everyone telling me "be grateful she isn't a boy, they pee all over the place." I would just chuckle and laugh and think "it can't be that bad."

Fast forward four years and I now have my beautiful and amazing baby boy. In just 5 short weeks, he's peed on me more times than I can count. He even peed all over the bathroom at Portrait Innovations when getting his newborn pictures done. I set him down on the changing table and realized I forgot to grab the wipe. I had my arsenal of diaper changing supplies ready, all except the wipe. With one hand carefully positioned on him, I bent down to grab a wipe and in that split second I hear splashing hitting the floor. I look up to see my son spraying the Portrait Innovations bathroom. He has a fairly good reach too - it was hitting all the way near the sink and it trailed all the way to the changing table and up onto the table itself. I was stunned that a little baby boy could pee so much! 

Last night was another adventure in raising a boy for me. I'm quite surprised it took him this long to do it - Owen pooped on me. 

Well, first he started pooping in his tub. I've learned to multitask when it comes to bath time so while I'm washing him up, I'm also giving Addison a bath. I turned over to look at her as she's splashing away and pretending she's a water fountain and spraying water all over the wall of the tub and Owen starts to fuss. I look down to see a nice string of poop floating in his tub. It completely defeated the purpose of giving him a bath now that he was sitting in his own poop, but hey, what else could I do besides let him finish?
I waited several minutes thinking he was done and lifted him up to wash him off again real quick and I started to wrap him up in his towel and then I felt it - poop. All over my arm and all over the front of my shirt. Nice!
Thankfully my brother lives with us (this all happened while Adam was at work - one major disadvantage of second shift. I have zero help with the night time routines) so he came upstairs armed with wipes and took Owen into his room to clean him up while I tried to figure out a way to get my shirt off me without getting poop everywhere. Fun times, for sure!

My brother found this to be particularly amusing and I'm sure a tad bit disgusting too. I just laughed it off and told him, "When you become a parent, bodily functions of any kind don't gross you out.  You get used to it."

It's never a dull day in the Davis household and never a dull day as a Mother, that's for sure.

One of my dear friends commented on what I wrote on my twitter about Owen pooping on me and how, even in spite of that, I love that little boy with my whole heart. She wrote "You know it is love when poop is involved & you don't care. ;)"

Isn't that the truth?