Saturday, December 26, 2009

What a difference a year makes

This time last year, I was pregnant and didn't even know it.

December 27th, 2008 I took the pregnancy tests that changed everything. It took my whole world, flipped it upside down and broke it into a million pieces. Only then, I didn't know just how my story with my baby would end.

I remember it was around 2 a.m. and I took the tests. I was up after working until midnight, stopped at Wal-Mart on my way home because I had that "feeling" and sure enough, the stick turned pink and there were two very identifiable lines. I was pregnant!

Adam was at work and I was on pins and needles waiting for him to get home. I fell asleep, barely, and when he got home he laid down next to me and I handed him the test. He had it turned over the wrong way and was like "What is this?" and when he flipped it over, he grinned from ear to ear.

We were celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary that day by going to a hotel and spending the night alone. I remember having so many thoughts going through my head how by our 7th anniversary we'd be the parents of two beautiful babies and we'd be a family of four.

Here we are, one year later, and sadly... we are a family of four, just not the family we should be. We tuck one little girl in bed every night and whisper softly "I love you" into her ear and our other little girl, we whisper "I love you" and pray we have comfort and peace to live another day without her.

I made it through Christmas relatively well. I think it definitely helped having Addie to keep me going and just seeing her excitement and watching her play with her toys kept me pretty distracted. I had a little moment on Thursday as I was driving home from work where Audrey entered my mind and tears welled up in my eyes.
I just can't stop thinking that this isn't how it should be. This isn't how it should have ended. It's been almost 8 months since we lost her and I still have moments where I find myself stunned and in shock that this actually happened. It still doesn't even feel real at times. It is almost like the same feeling I had when Addie was born. I was so stunned that I was a Mom - I was somebody's Mommy. Now, I find myself still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I was pregnant - I have two daughters but one of them died. She never made it outside of my body.

I never thought that a year after I took those tests, I'd be where I am today. I saved her pregnancy tests just like I did with Addie and every once in awhile I take them out of the box and touch them and just stare at them. I sit there in disbelief - she's really gone. I've said that a million times and I think it's going to take the rest of my life for it to really sink in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I will carry you

I Will Carry You

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that I am brave but I’m not
Truth is I’m barely hanging on
But there’s a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this
So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me
To carry you
Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says…
I’ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?
I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen Me
To carry you

---

I found this song several months ago from my stillbirth support group site and I know I posted it here before but lately this song has been going through my mind a lot and with the Holidays coming up - it's on constant repeat.

I miss my baby girl so bad that it makes my heart ache and even though I don't understand why she had to die and I never will and I've had my moments where I've been so angry I couldn't breathe, I have to say what I am most thankful and grateful for this Holiday season was the chance to have had her in my life. It was very brief and it did not end the way I imagined it would, but for that brief period of time we were connected in the most special way a parent and child can connect - she was growing inside of me. I'm not saying Adam doesn't love her or any other member of our family but I feel like I had the strongest bond with her and that's why I know I have taken her loss the hardest.

I follow the artist's wife on twitter and she is such a genuinely sweet and caring person. She is pregnant again with their fifth child and she wrote a blog the other day about having a meltdown going through her maternity clothes she wore with her Audrey and all of the emotions she feels carrying another child and I find myself knowing I will feel much of the same way. Any other pregnancy I may have will never be the joyous occasion it should be  - it will be happy, at times, but most of the time I know I will be a certifiable wreck. Until that moment I am holding a live, breathing baby in my arms I won't rest easily and I won't be truly happy.

I don't know if I'll ever be the happy person I was before I lost Audrey. I don't think there is a way to be complete after you've lost a child but I am going to try my hardest. I am going to give it all I've got and hope for the best. I am always going to be afraid but I know if I ever want to hold a precious life in my arms again, I need to move past the hurt and sadness I feel over her death and pray she'll be with me and her little brother or sister and guide us until the end.

So, sweet baby girl.... I'm giving myself to you and I hope and pray you'll be there for me during my next pregnancy, whenever that may be. I also pray you'll be with me during the Holidays as I struggle with missing you. I miss you every day and I think of you constantly. There's not a day that goes by that you're not on my mind and not weighing on my heart. <3




Saturday, November 21, 2009

Adopt an Angel

I was struggling for awhile with the idea of what to do for Audrey for Christmas, to includ her and keep her memory alive in our family. I already know I am having an special ornament made for her to hang on our tree - right next to the ornament we had made for Addie's first Christmas. But, I still felt like I wanted to do more.... and then I found it.

http://angel.jcpenney.com/

I adopted a little girl around Audrey's age and I am buying gifts to donate to her. I don't know her name or anything, just her age and what size she wears for clothes and what kind of toys her parents prefer she have.
I am beyond heart broken that Audrey won't be here for Christmas but at least another little girl can have a good Christmas and be surrounded by the family that loves her.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I loved you enough to let you go

After six and a half months of waiting, six and a half months of anticipating - the day finally came that Audrey's headstone was placed.

I got the call early Thursday afternoon and I went up later in the evening to see it. I had my Mom and my 3 year old there with me. My Husband had to work but we plan to go see it, just the two of us, this weekend. The stone is truly beautiful and I am so pleased with it. If anyone in the Painesville, OH area needs a stone made for a loved one, I recommend Kotecki Memorials. They are amazing! They did my Angel's stone for free and that was truly the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Published

My Angel's story has been published online. A lady I met through a stillbirth support group on facebook asked if she could publish Audrey's story on her website dedicated to her Angel, Katelyn Grace. I was very happy and honored to do so. It's hard at times to relive the memories of that day but I hope in some way it can help someone going through the same situation.

http://www.cradledinheaven.com/2009/11/12/baby-audrey/ 

Check it out if you have time!

--
I also have some news from my life to share: I got a new job! I'll start my new job on November 30th. I am so sad to leave my co-workers at my current job. They are the greatest group of people and have truly become like family to me but I found a great job with excellent benefits, excellent pay and the best part is that it cuts my driving time in half! Who can beat that?

I'm trying to fill my days by being busy to stop my mind from thinking how sad I am that Audrey isn't here for the upcoming Holidays. She'd be 2.5 months by now and I am sure would have been the life of the get together's, being passed from family member to family member.

*sigh*

I miss you baby girl!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Six months

Six months, 180 days, 26 weeks....

It's pretty intense when you can pin point the exact day, the exact minute in time when your whole world changed.

That day for me was May 5th, 2009. The time was 10:40 p.m.

That's when my second daughter, the daughter I didn't even know I was having until she was already gone, was born and I said "hello" and "goodbye" to her all in one minute.

I have regrets from the events that happened that day and I guess that is something I'll always have to live with.

I just wish that I could go back and change time. I'd give anything and do anything to have my daughter with me, in my arms instead of buried in the ground, never to know the wonderful family she would have been born into.

I'm absolutely terrified of the one year anniversary coming but I figure, just take it one day at a time. I have six more months to brace myself for it.

I think back to that day and every memory, every feeling still feels so fresh in my head and in my heart. It's been six months and I still have days where I feel like the Doctor just told me "I'm sorry, but there is no heart beat." In that very split second of time that it took him to say those words, my whole world and life as I knew it changed - and it will never be the same again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I never....

I never heard you, but I hear you.
I never held you, but I feel you.
I never knew you, but I love you...

-------
It's been six months now that Audrey has been gone. Exactly six months ago, life was just how I pictured it would be. I was expecting our second child, we were house hunting, things were amazing.

One split second changed it all. May 5th, 2009 was the day my whole world changed and my world in that split second of time it took the Doctor to tell me her heart was no longer beating was flipped upside down and broken into a million little pieces. I've managed to find a few pieces and put them back together but there's still many pieces I am struggling to find and I'm not sure if I'll ever put myself back together, no matter how much time passes.


I was driving to work and I was thinking about her (which is my usual routine on the way to work) and I was thinking how six months feels like an eternity and then in one split second - I got all panicky thinking that eventually the one year mark will come, two, three, four, five, etc... I am going to have to live the rest of my life without her. 

She's gone and there's no changing it. 

We may have another child some day, I don't know - but that child won't be her. She'll always be missing and my heart will always ache for her. 

I miss that new baby smell, I miss the way a newborn will curl up into a ball and just lay there on your chest for hours and I love their little coo's and giggles. 

My heart aches for that and I feel so empty inside when I think that I'd be experiencing all of that right now if she had lived. She'd be two months old now, maybe three if she came early like her big sister did. 

I've been reading some books that a good friend sent me (thank you - you know who you are!) and they have really opened my eyes and mind and have really given me a lot to think about the last few days. 

I seem to be a jumbled mess right now - I have so many thoughts going through my head and I can't even begin to sort them out to where they make sense.

I'm going to bed. Although I doubt I'll fall asleep, I can't seem to shut my mind off at all these days.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I will remember you


You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here


-------


Tonight's a night where I find myself thinking. Thinking about how at this time, I'd have a six week old and how I'd be getting both of my girls ready for the Holidays. I wanted to put Audrey in a little pea costume or since Addie became a witch this Halloween, I might've switched my mind to something that went along with her theme.

I find myself thinking how at Thanksgiving, I'd have a two month old and I probably wouldn't get to eat much between the two kids needing me. I'm sure Addie would be climbing all over me and Audrey would need a bottle and diapers changed.

I find myself thinking about Christmas. I find myself thinking how when I go Christmas shopping I should be shopping for two little girls. Two little girls that would have been spoiled beyond your wildest dreams. Two little girls - instead it's just one. Don't get me wrong, I'm beyond grateful for the one I have. She's amazing but I'm allowed and I'm entitled to think of what I was robbed of. I was robbed of that joy of having my family complete for the Holidays. Instead, while it will be joyous I'm sure, I will feel that empty piece in my heart aching. That empty part that is hers and will always be hers.

I am going to get a special ornament to put on the tree and I don't care how cold it is or how much snow is on the ground, I will go to her grave and give her a gift. She's my baby, always and forever.

I just miss her so much.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Candlelight Memorial

On Thursday the 15th, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I had the honor of attending an event organized by a Mother I met through a stillbirth support group online. She lost her third child, her daughter Gianna, in April and to remember her and all of the babies taken too soon she organized an amazing candlelight vigil.

I thought attending the event was going to be hard and in a lot of ways, it was, but at the same time it gave me a lot of peace with Audrey's passing. I felt glad to know that even though she's gone I can still do things to honor her memory and to let the world know my Angel did exist. She may have only lived in my body for 5 months but she'll live in my heart for the rest of my life and beyond. When I die and I'm buried, I plan to be buried with things in my casket from all of my kids. Addison, Audrey and any future kids we may have will be included with me when I go to heaven.

Here are a few pictures from the amazing night:



 
Me with the organizer of the event and Gianna's Mom Sherri (she has the pink scarf on next to me)




 
So sad to see so many parents and family members there whose hearts are broken just like mine




Audrey surrounded by the other Angels we honored that evening

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Remember

Today is October 15th and to most people in this world, it's just another day. A day where they'll wake up, go to work, do their daily activities and go to bed.

But to me October 15th means so much more. It's a day that is set to remember the Angels taken from this world too soon, taken from the families that love them and miss them.

Every day is a day for me to remember my daughter and not a day has gone by since she died that I don't think about her. Before I lost Audrey I didn't even know that a day like National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness existed and now that she is gone and I find myself bonding with so many women like myself, I often wonder how I wouldn't even know them or that this day even existed had it not been for losing Audrey. I'm glad I met them and I'm honored to be attending an event organized in memory of our babies that have died but I also wish this had never happened and that none of us had to have a day like this to live through.

My sweet Angel has been on my mind so much more than usual and in this very minute I can feel flutters in my stomach thinking about her and remembering back to the day that she was born still. The day that forever changed my world and changed the person I was.

At 7 p.m. please light a candle and remember all of the babies in this world and remember their parents. We are doing our best to move forward and while we may look like we "have it together," it takes every bit of energy we have to function and go on with that missing piece of our heart.

I love you Audrey - Mommy will get to hold you someday!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 15th

October 15th is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day.
At 7 pm on that day, light a candle and let it burn for one hour to show your support for our Angels taken too soon. A good friend gave me a link to a site that is putting something together for that day and I thought the picture was beautiful and wanted to share it.




I am lighting my candle at a special event organized by a Mom who also suffered the same loss I did. I am lighting my candle in honor of my Angel - Audrey Taylor.

 My daughter was stillborn on May 5th, 2009. The day my world changed forever.

Even though she was stillborn, she was still born and she'll always be my baby!

5 months

5 months ago today, life as I knew it changed.  The days are a little easier, but the thoughts are always there. I miss her more and more every day and some days the thoughts of missing her so crippling.

I'm doing better since I've been consistently taking my Zoloft every day. I was getting forgetful and not taking it every day like I should, which is what caused my meltdown two weeks ago. But, I'm better now. I think.

Still not sure where we stand on the trying to conceive thing. I have thoughts of talking about it with him and then something always holds me back. I want a baby so bad but I'm terrified. Completely 100% terrified.

5 months has gone by since the moment I found out Audrey was dead...... and I can't even believe it. I should have a newborn right now but instead, I'm about to make the call to find out that status on her headstone and when it will be placed.

*sigh*

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Long Road

My commute to work now that we've moved doubled from what it was before. I had a 20 minute drive from our apartment to where I work, now I have a 40 minute drive. Sometimes it is an hour when I have to take Addie and go out of my way to drop her off at my Mom's. It sucks on gas (I fill up within 4-5 days when I could last a whole week before) but one benefit is that it gives me a lot of time to think. A lot!

On my drive home at night, there aren't many cars on the road and it's just me and the open road and with how exhausted I usually am by that time of night, I spend a lot of time listening to the radio and just thinking. I think about Audrey mostly. That's my time with her. I sit and think about the day I found out she died, that night when she was born, the whirlwind of emotions that came with that and continue to come every day. I think about what I am blessed to still have and of course I think about other silly things like money, etc.... but mostly, I think about Audrey. I really don't like thinking about much else. I have all day to focus on the other stuff. I want that time to be hers. I talk to her, usually just in my head and sometimes out loud.

I tell her how much I miss her, how heart broken I am that she's not with me, how sorry I am that I never saw her or held her and how if I'd have known then what I know now, I would have held her in my arms all night long. Even though she was dead and so tiny when she was born, she's my daughter in every way Addison is.  I tell her how much fun Addie would have had being a big sister to her, how excited she was to do all of the things I promised her she would get to do like helping me bathe her, wash her, give her bottles, rock her to sleep. I tell her how much her Daddy would've loved having his two little girls and how I am sure he would've turned her into the rough and tough tomboy that he turned Addie into and how much fun he would've had having his two girls to wrestle on the living room floor with.

I mostly just tell her how much I love her and how I always will. I tell her that there will never be a day that goes by that she isn't on my mind. I carry a little Angel pin on my lanyard for work and I often reach down throughout the day and play with it, touch it, whatever. I often use that as my "help me get through the day" thing. She's everywhere I go and she's always with me.... but why do I still feel so empty?
It's been 5 months, almost, since she died. I know that each person grieves differently and while others may find the strength to go forward with life faster than others, I often wonder how much longer this crushing feeling will last? I have some good days and I have some bad days and then I have really really bad days. This up and down thing is really wearing me down. I know there is no "time limit" on grief..... but my goodness, I'm exhausted! I think that's why I often struggle to fall asleep now and no matter what amount of sleep I get, I'm still tired. It's a never ending cycle.

I am so mad that this happened. This ruined my life. This shattered every hope and dream I had. I'm not mad at Audrey for dying. I know her little body held on as long as she could and she fought hard to stay alive. I'm just mad. My life is broken and I just get so mad when i think of how good life was before this happened and then thinking about what it's like now... I just hate it.

I've had better days since my meltdown on Monday. I'm really trying to get things back together in my head and have better days. I feel okay right now but as usual, on my long drive home, Audrey was on my mind the whole way and I took the advice of my counselor and let my thoughts out in hopes I can fall asleep before 3 am. Let's see if it works....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Surviving

On the season 6 premiere of Grey's Anatomy, Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie, talks about grief and this one part struck me pretty hard when I heard it.

"When it hurts so much you feel like you can't breathe, that's how you survive."

I had heard around facebook and twitter that this premiere episode was a hard one and it talked a lot about the stages of grief and I put off watching it because I wasn't sure I wanted to hear all of that right now. Nothing that happened in the episode pertained to my situation at all, but just knowing I can relate to what was being talked about was pretty hard.

When I heard Izzie say that line I was like "I sure hope that is true."

I seem okay on the outside, my exterior looks like I am surviving. People that look at me on the street, that pass me in the aisle at the store or that talk to me on the phone at work have no idea what I am going through on the inside. There have been plenty of days since Audrey died that I've felt like I can't breathe and I feel like the world is crashing down around me.

Tonight, I looked into our filing cabinet and found the envelope that has Audrey's footprints in it and I gave it glance and shoved it back in the drawer. I don't know why I did that but in that split second that I stared at them, it felt like I was living in some kind of alternate reality. Like her death never really happened, like I am stunned to think this is really happening. I was really pregnant, really growing a baby inside of me and I really gave birth to her but she was dead before she could even have the chance to live outside of my body.
Another quote I heard was "Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone."

Something I have often done since Audrey died was look at a person I pass on the street and wonder if they suffered a loss like mine, wondered if they know the pain that I know and live with every single day of my life. It's given me a new compassion for people and I have to say I am a lot more considerate of comments I make around people because you just never know if that person suffered something so tragic that your words trigger that even in their mind and it takes everything they have to breathe again.

"The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again."

One thing I have often thought since Audrey died was that I was having better days and just when I think, "Okay, I've got the hang of this..." there comes this whammy of a moment and I feel like I am knocked back down to square one again and I am left grasping for someone to save me and keep me from falling down.
Before Audrey died I was the happiest person in the world. I'd gone through some pretty crappy things growing up and a lot of things happened that very well could have ruined me and turned me into the person I am glad I never became. One thing I always prided myself on was never letting life bring me down. Sure, I had my bad days just like everyone else. Sure, I had moments that broke my heart into pieces and it felt like I'd never recover, but I did.

Then May 5th, 2009 came and it shook my very world and broke it completely. I've begun to put pieces of that world back together, piece by piece I have. I went back to work and while I still struggle with that at times, I try to do my best. My husband and I bought our first house and added a puppy to our family. Addison turned 3 years old and shows me on a daily basis just how hilarious and wonderful she is. I'm blessed with so much in my life, I know that. I'm aware of that. I work so hard to focus on that and remind myself that I have a good life. I've often heard "Life could always be worse..." and that's true but I had the worst happen to me. I lost my child. My child died. I gave birth, an occasion that is supposed to be the most joyous time in someone's life, only to have it ruined in the worst kind of way. It has scared me in ways no one can even imagine. I know I can never get pregnant again without that fear, that panic, that anxiety always looming over my head. I should be excited if I become pregnant again and while there may be that part of me that will feel that way, I just know without a doubt that I will be 100% completely terrified.... and that is honestly what holds me back from trying again.

I absolutely cannot go through a loss again. In no way, shape or form can I lose another baby. I'll never make it through that. I'm barely making it through this. I don't know how I do it somedays and right now, in this moment, I feel like I am slowly getting things together in my head but then tomorrow could change things and I'll feel like I am back to the beginning. I'll feel like I am back to May 5th and I'm hearing the words "I'm so sorry. There is no heartbeat."

The very second I heard those words it felt like the room was spinning, like everything around me was zoned out and I was struggling in my head to process what I just heard. I knew what he said but I was struggling to connect the thoughts in my head.

"It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change."

I am not just grieving the death of my child. I'm grieving so much more than that. I'm grieving for the life I should have right now. I am grieving for the child that should be asleep in my arms in this very second. I'm grieving for the loss of my hopes and dreams. I'm grieving for a life that I don't know how to live. Everything changed in that split second when the Doctor said the most horrific words any pregnant woman can hear. Nothing, no matter how hard I try will ever be the same again. My next pregnancy, should we choose to conceive again, will never be the happy and joyous occasion it should be. It will be one of fear and every emotion that goes along with it. I'm more terrified than I have ever been in my whole life.
There's so many times in life where you'll hear people tell you "You can't live your life surrounded by fear. You have to take that chance and just hope it all works out."

That's all fine and dandy when you talk about things like buying a house, a car, some big expense, going to school, whatever.....

I can't take that kind of risk when it comes to a child.

At 5 weeks pregnant, Audrey's heart was beating. At 21 weeks, her heart had stopped. One month I saw her on the ultrasound screen alive and well and the next month, I didn't.
I can't risk that happening again. While I hear all the time that the chances are low, the odds of that happening again are slim, I just can't gamble like that. I've never been the gambling type and I can't start now. Not with something so precious as a child's life, my child's life.

While the odds, the chances, the whatevers are lower of that happening a second time.... there's always that possibility and I just can't risk it.

"By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much."

I've often heard by a lot of women I've talked to that suffered this type of loss or a loss of their child that somehow, some way the days got better and life got easier to deal with and while it hurt when they thought about their child, it wasn't the type of hurt that crushed them and broke them into a crying mess like it did in the first few days, weeks and months after their death. I'm hoping and praying with everything inside of me that years down the road I can look back on my writings and just look back on my life and reflect on how far I've come as a person and how amazing life has turned out to be..... but no matter how less it hurts, no matter how much time has passed, the piece that should hold my heart all the way together will always be missing. I'll always, until my dying breath, ache for the child I never got to hold, the child that I loved from the second I saw the stick turn pink with two lines....

"And always, every time, it takes your breath away."

In the second or so that I looked over the paper with her prints on them it really did feel like my breath was taken away. I flashed back to the day I delivered her, the day that changed everything for me and I just couldn't believe it really happened. I guess since I don't have the result that I expected to have when I got pregnant, its always felt like this was kind of a dream, some kind of nightmare that I'll eventually wake up from. Sadly, that's not the case. No matter how hard I try to imagine that this never really happened, it did. And I have to find some way to move forward with my life.

Somehow, someway, I have to.

October 5th will be 5 months since I delivered her. 5 months. I remember when it was just 5 days and how I felt like the world was spinning and I was stuck in the middle, standing still. I still feel like that at times. The world spins a little slower, I move with it at times and other times, I stand still just wishing I could rewind time, change the course of events and I could have my child in my arms.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stuck

This past weekend and the start of this week have been particularly brutal on me for some reason.  Adam and I hadn't exactly been on the same page lately and there has been a lot of work stuff happening(new baby announcements and the birth of another close co-workers granddaughters) and it all just came to a boiling point on Monday.
I sobbed the whole way to work, just thoughts of everything with Audrey, everything with Adam, and stress in general. I tried taking calls and focusing and getting my mind off of things but it was really hard. I left an hour and a half into my shift and drove an hour to the cemetery. In that moment I needed to be with Audrey. I stayed for about an hour just talking to her, watching the clouds, running my fingers through the grass where her plot is.... just wishing things hadn't ended the way they did and instead of running my fingers through the grass on her cemetery plot, I wished I was holding her and running my fingers through her hair.
I talked with my friend Teanna via text later that night. She was concerned about me and wanted to make sure I was okay. We talked about work and how I am worried my team lead may demote me from my position because of how much work I've missed in the last few months. My head knows I need to get my act together and really buckle down with work and be there more than I am, but my heart just tells me to leave and get out of there and run as far away as I can. The customers can be really brutal at times and it's so hard to listen to their problems knowing I have a huge list of my own.
She also told me it seems like I am still stuck in May and not really moving forward with my life. I had told her it was so frustrating how it seems like everyone thinks I should be "over things" by now.... I know I need to be dealing with things better than I am and for the most part, I do handle things well but it's really hard right now.
I was trying to wean myself off the zoloft so that was a part of my meltdown on Monday. I hadn't taken a pill in a few days (mostly I was just forgetting but when I did remember, I was trying to take half pills) and it was just making me feel weird, you could say. After the way I felt Monday I decided to keep taking it for now. I really don't think now is the right time to come off the zoloft.
I'm working so hard to realize that life has moved on since May 5th and that I need to let my life move along with it, but it's hard. That day is the single most devastating day of my life. Sometimes when I hear people telling me what I need to do to move forward or what I need to focus on, I just want to tell them "You bury your child, your baby that was growing inside of you who died before it even took its first breath, who you made the regretful decision not to see or hold because you were terrified and then talk to me about what I need to do to move forward or how I should be dealing with things better by now...." I know this is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life and at some point, the meltdowns need to stop affecting my work life and such but damn - it's only been 4 1/2 months. I just wish I could make them all understand what I've struggled with every day of my life since May 5th.
I know I'm stuck.... I just wish I could make people understand my feelings and understand why.
My baby died. She died inside of me. I had to deliver her. I went through every contraction and every twinge of pain and every single thing I went through with Addison only to leave the hospital with empty arms.
I'm heartbroken and I just want people to let me feel that way and quit forcing me to "move forward" any faster than I want to.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How much more?

Just days after Audrey died and I delivered her, I found this amazing site called dailystrength.com and it has a support group for parents who have experienced a stillbirth. The ladies that I have met through that site have been some of the best sources of comfort during the worst days of my life. One of them I'll have the honor of meeting in October when we attend an event she organized in honor of National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day- October 15th. I go to that site every day to check on them and read their posts about how they're doing, what they're struggling with, etc.

One post I read inparticular today really struck me. A lady who hasn't been on the board lately mentioned she's been struggling a lot and has mainly just felt "blah." She's neither happy nor sad. She's just..... there.

When I read that, it hit me like a ton of bricks. That's how I've felt every day of my life since May 5th, 2009. Sure, I smile. Sure, I laugh. I have "good" days, you could say.... and while people think I'm "getting it together," they don't realize that it is taking every last bit of energy I have to function. It is taking every last ounce in me to get up and get out of bed and not just lay in bed all day mourning my dead daughter.

The days right after the loss are the easy days to me. I knew what to do then..... I cried all the time. I laid in bed all the time. I just stared at the wall, wishing and hoping that this was all a sick nightmare that I'd wake up from. Those are the days when I knew what to do with myself and no one expected anything from me.

Now, it's like people think since it's been four months since her death and I get up and go to work every day and do my day-to-day things that I'm "better," when in reality, I'm not. I'm just as lost and confused and angry as I was the second the Doctor told me he didn't see my baby's heart beating any longer.

I'm trying to see things from a more positive side. I am very blessed with the wonderful husband and the equally amazing and beautiful daughter we have still with us. I want to take in the joy around me and embrace that, but it's so hard.

No one can truly understand how much hard work it takes to function after the death of your child, your flesh and blood.

I'm trying with everything I have - but I often wonder, how much more do I have left?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sad & Broken

I was sitting at work Saturday evening (picked up extra hours) and it was a relatively okay day. I hate working on my days off. If/when the occasion comes that I pick up extra hours, I always do it after my regular shift but never on my day off. Anyways - like I said, the day was pretty decent. Then, out of nowhere, the fear, the panic, the anxiety and the sadness took over. The clock on my computer kept ticking away and then it hit 10:40 pm.

4 months ago, at that exact minute, my baby that had died in my womb, was born.

That exact minute, I became a new person. A broken, shattered, empty person.

Everyone tells me I am so strong and so brave and while I appreciate that, no one knows how much I am really struggling with this. I do what I have to do for the child I still have with me but there are so many days that I can feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and I want to crumble and crack at the pressure.

Audrey's due date is approaching. 4 days and counting.... and all I can think about is that she should be here by now. I expected her to come early just like Addie did. I should be holding my baby in my arms right now but instead, my arms are empty and my heart is broken.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. Not one single day. I'll be driving and bam - she's in my head and I can't stop thinking about her. Or I'll be at the store and I'll see the most adorable outfit for a little girl infant and I imagine how cute Audrey would've looked in that. Or I'll look at Addison and I'll wonder if Audrey would have been bald like Addie was when she was born. Or I'll look at Adam and I'll remember him holding Addie on his chest and taking naps with her on the couch when she came home and I envision Audrey laying there, like she should be right now.

I sometimes wonder if I want to let whatever happen, happen when it comes to conceiving again but I just can't do that. I'm terrified. I absolutely cannot suffer another loss. I just can't. I'll never survive it..... I'm barely surviving this, despite what people may think.

Everyone tells me to count my blessings and be grateful for what I have and don't get me wrong, I do. But right now I really don't want to hear that.

I just want to hold my baby.

The memorial home that is making Audrey's stone cashed their check the other day. We are one step closer to her stone being finished and placed and one more piece of my heart has been broken.

Friday, August 28, 2009

38 weeks, 2 days

When I first got pregnant with Audrey, I added a cute little pregnancy ticker to my journal I have on another site. I did the same thing with Addie and I remember staring at it so impatiently, just waiting for the time when my ticker says "I should have arrived by now!"....

Only, now, I'm not anxiously staring at it. I removed it from my journal but I occasionally go back to see just how far along I'd be right now. Glutton for punishment? Yeah. Definitely.

Today's date says I would be 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant with only 12 days left before the arrival of my second bundle of joy.

Oh, how I wish that were true! When I look at that and see her due date is just 12 days away, it makes my stomach do flips, it makes my heart pound rapidly and it makes my eyes well with tears.

I'm so angry, I'm so sad, I'm so heart broken. My little girl, my baby should be arriving. I should have two daughters to hold and care for. Instead, my second little girl is lying in a casket buried in the cold ground, without her Mommy's arms to love and protect her.

There have been so many times since May 5th when I've thought about Audrey and just sat there stunned, finding it hard to grasp that this actually happened to me. I actually lost my baby. She actually died. She's never coming home. I'll never hold her during those late night fussy moments, I'll never rock her to sleep and whisper sweet lullabies in her ear, I'll never feel my heart swell with joy when I see Audrey and her big sister cuddling and laughing and playing together.

All of those moments were robbed from me. They were taken away and now I'm only left with the could've, should've, would've moments to go over and over in my head.

It's been almost 4 months since she died and I'm having better days. I laugh, I smile, I truly enjoy life at times but then there are days, moments much like now where I am left with a tremendous sadness in my heart, an ache that is always there but gets worse at certain times. The ache for the child I'll always love in my heart but never in my arms.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

3 years old


My baby, My girl, The love of my life is 3 years old today! Addison Renee entered this world on August 25th, 2006 at 11:41 am.

She has saved my life in ways I can never express to her. Losing her little sister destroyed me, broke me, and just tore my life into shreds and there will always be a missing piece of my heart that I can never heal, but Addison..... she saved me. She is my reason for getting out of bed every day and she is my reason for "moving forward" with my life. If I didn't have her, I don't know where I'd be today.

That little baby became 3 years old in what seems like the blink of an eye. This birthday has been very bittersweet for me.... not only because she's turning 3 years old today but also because it reminds me that Audrey's due date is coming closer. She was due 9/9/09 - what I thought to be my lucky day - and I often wonder if things wouldn't have ended the way they did, would she have been born already? How close would their birthdays have been? Would I be celebrating Addie's 3rd birthday at home with both of my girls or would I be celebrating her birthday as a expecting Mother? So many questions and only one answer..... I won't be celebrating any of those ways because she's gone. My baby is gone. My baby is dead.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Times Like These

it's times like these you learn to live again

it's times like these you give and give again

it's times like these you learn to love again

Last night I spoke with a customer in California on an escalated call (I was the supervisor) and he was explaining to me some situations with his bill and whatnot and then he apologized that his last bill was late and he told me his younger brother had committed suicide on the 4th and he had to leave immediately to go back home. I paused for a moment and I explained to him that I recently too had gone through a death in my family, trying to be as vague as possible, and he asked me if it was a brother or sister. I then replied "No, sir, it was my child." He gave me his condolences and I gave him mine for the loss of his brother and we chatted for a few more minutes after that. I ended the call by telling him "I'm going to tell you something I've heard many times since my daughter's death, the better days will come, sir. It may not seem like it now - but they will." He thanked me and again expressed his condolences before ending the call.

I was left feeling very sad and down after that. I immediately had Audrey on my mind and thought of her my whole 40 minute drive home... and then the Foo Fighter's song "Times Like These" came on and those lyrics at the top of my entry really spoke to me. I'm really having to learn to live a whole new way of life.

I'm learning to live again.

Before I lost Audrey, I didn't have a worry in the world. Things were amazing. I was content, happy, excited and eager for the future.

Then on May 5th, 2009 my world came crashing down around me. I can literally split my life into two times - the time before Audrey's death and the time after.

I'm not the same person I was before her death. Not even close. I know I never will be either and that's been a hard idea to grasp. I worry all the time now, I'm not content with my life like I was and I'm not eager for the future anymore. I am happy with the beautiful daughter I still have and my marriage is great. I love our new house and I love our little family but there's always that missing link, that missing piece and quite frankly, that piece has broken me. I'm a broken, shattered person inside. I hide much of what I really feel and what I really want to say because I know most people wouldn't know how to deal with the way I am now.

A part of me died the day I lost her. A part that I can never reclaim, never get back. There may come a day when I have another child, I don't know.... but that child will never fill the void that is empty, the part of my heart left broken and shattered because I lost my daughter.

A lot of people tell me we have plenty of time to make the decision if we do or don't want another baby and they're right - but to be honest, I'm tired of hearing that. I know I have plenty of time but the point is, a decision still has to be made. I felt a major desire for a baby last week and now this week, not so much. It constantly changes.

I've got so many thoughts spinning around in my head. Her due date is rapidly approaching....... and I'm scared.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Still

Mothers, Fathers, Relatives of those who lost their child to stillbirth, listen to this song. It sums this entire journey up so perfectly.

Beautiful song.

http://www.ourstage.com/play/track/HSMFQFXLWNUW-still

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Normal"

If anyone wants to ask how I feel or what I think about losing Audrey, remember this. THIS says it all.

"Normal"


Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life.
Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is staring at every pregnant woman wondering how far along she is, then thinking how far along I should be and imagining I am still pregnant as I should be. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is no matter how many or by what means we have children, there will always be one missing.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember my baby.
Normal is I will celebrate my childs birth and mourn the death all on the same day.

Normal is after delivery is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having your child die is unnatural.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone because you are stricken with grief over the loss of your child.

Normal is feeling a common bond with friends on the computer in England, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and all over the USA, but yet never having met any of them face to face.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother,crying together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because..." I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.

Normal is some days being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time what to say when the inevitable question of if you have any children is asked because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have no children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.

Normal is avoiding friends who have been friends for years because the site of them and their children tears my heart in two and reminds me again of what I lost.

Normal is asking God why he took your child's life instead of yours and asking if there even is a God.

Normal is finding excuses not to go to baby showers and birthday parties because you don't want your loss and sadness to overshadow anyones special day.
Normal is having to bite your tongue when people say stupid things because you know they mean no harm, they are just ignorant.

Normal is being avoided by people who know because they are uncomfortable talking about it.
Normal is I NEED to talk about it.
Normal is everyday finding the strength to get out of bed and go on living even though there are days you feel like you can't.
Normal is when you do get out of bed you realize that today is one day closer to seeing my baby again.
Normal is knowing that 80% of relationships will not survive the loss of a child and wondering if you will beat the odds.

Normal is blaming yourself and wondering if others blame you too.

Normal is knowing that I will never be able to enjoy a pregnancy because it will be plagued with fear and rememberance of how this one ended.

Normal is I wouldn't give back my 21 weeks I shared with my child because sometimes love is so great that saying hello and goodbye in the same moment is worth it.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.


And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal".

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fever

My counselor told me to expect this to happen as my due date with Audrey came closer and closer. She said to expect myself wanting to be around babies, hold babies, care for babies, that sort of thing. Sure enough, it's hit. And HARD. My good friend Mandy, due one month before I was due with Audrey, had her son Bryant on Monday... my birthday... and from the very second I held him, that maternal instinct and that urge to have a baby of my own hit me hard.

It's been on my mind all day. It's all I could think about.

I want a baby so bad. That baby fever is there, full force.

Only problem........... I'm terrified.

Never in the time since I became a Mother or the idea of becoming a Mother entered into my life has the idea of having a baby scared me the way it does now. I always worried about the usual stuff, the pregnancy sicknesses and whatnot, how it would change my lifestyle, etc...

But now, after losing Audrey, there is a whole new level of terror added in. I cannot lose another baby. In any way, shape or form, I cannot. What did not kill me and destroy me with Audrey I am certain would do me in if I lost another baby.

I told Adam I want us both to get check-ups and see a genetic counselor for testing. I want to know what our odds and chances are of certain genetic disorders, etc. Most 23 & 25 year old couples should not have to be thinking of things like this when it comes to having babies.... but it's a very huge reality in our lives now. I couldn't have another child knowing my chances of a certain genetic disorder are so great that I could lose that child or leave them to live a life that would prohibit themfrom really living life. Ya know what I mean?

Adam told me when we lost Audrey that when/if the time came that I was ready to say the word and he'd be ready too. Now he's hesitant on the idea. I don't blame him, not at all. But I think his reasons are a little less to do with the emotional impact and a lot to do with how it fits into our lifestyle now with the job situation and babysitting situation. He said he knows we'd have worked an idea and a plan out if Audrey had lived but he still worries about it. Which is natural but then I also think it's a totally selfish idea to entertain. If Audrey would've lived we'd have worked it out, no questions asked. So why should we hold back on our dream of completing our family because of those things?

I asked him if he'd come see my counselor with me so we could discuss this together with her. I was shocked that he agreed to it. He's not really the kind of guy to go to a complete stranger and pour his heart out for advice. He rarely he even does that with me and I'm his own wife. It took us losing our daughter to really get him to open up to me like I've always wanted him to. I always get a lump in my throat when I want to approach him with a huge and life changing decision but I always get over those nerves and I tell him how I feel and I ask his thoughts.

I'm not mad at him for being scared. I know he's scared for the same reasons I am but I also know he's scared for other reasons, that to me, don't matter. I'd do anything and change any part of my life to have a baby.

I'm going to ask my sister-in-law if I can have my niece Kaylee over the weekend. That urge, that desire, that want, that need, that everything.... it's there. I want to care for a baby so bad. This idea, this thought of having another baby and trying again in a few months may pass and I may not want to but I know right now, I'm feeling it strongly.

I'm so conflicted.

Monday, August 3, 2009

3 months

3 months ago, I was still pregnant.

3 months ago I was completely unaware that the child inside of me was dead and I would not be giving birth to her in the way I had imagined I would be.

3 months ago today was the last day I was a pregnant Mother of two.

Now, I'm a Mother of two... but one of my babies is dead. One of my babies I can never kiss and hold and love like I should.

I'm having a really hard time with this today. I'm going to be honest when I say that all of the recent pregnancy announcements I've heard have really thrown a wrench into things too. I am happy for everyone, I truly am, but I am also envious, jealous, whatever you want to call it. I have a few good friends who have tried for so long to become Mother's and them realizing that dream is a miracle and I am so happy for them but I'm also sad. I know now know they felt whenever I announced both of my pregnancies and they were left wondering when they would get their miracle to hold.

I should be welcoming our second daughter into our family in just 5 weeks or so. If she came early like her big sister, I could've been expecting her to arrive in just 2 weeks or so.

All of the should've been situations are creeping into my mind big time.

I haven't been to Audrey's grave since June. I've been wanting to go but it's been hard with my schedule and whatnot. I plan to make time soon, I hope. It will be around 60 days or so before her stone is laid. I'm looking forward to it because I want the world to know my little girl existed but I'm also dreading it because it will make it even more real that she's really gone, she's really not coming back.

I want a baby so bad. My heart and my arms ache for one. I'm just not yet to the point where I can accept that any future babies I may have won't be Audrey. They never will be.

I don't even know what she looks like. I have a child that I never saw, that I never held. I hate myself for that. I regret it every single day of my life. I had a perfect image in my mind that I didn't want to ruin. At the time, I was scared. I was shocked. I was numb. Now, looking back on that day, I wish I would've asked to see her and hold her. She deserved that much and so did I. She may have already been dead but she is still my little girl and I should've held her close to my heart just like I did the first time I held her big sister.

I'm having better days but then the bad ones creep in and it takes everything I have in me to not let it crumble my heart and drop me to the ground in tears.

If I stay away from the pregnancy entries for awhile, please understand. I have moments where I am okay and I know I can handle reading it or whatever but then there are moments when it makes my heart ache too much. Just know I do wish everyone all the best with their pregnancies. I would never wish this pain and sadness on anyone, not even my worst enemy and most definitely not on some of the best people I know in this world.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just waiting now....

I mailed the check for the stone to the memorial home today. I don't know why but that just felt very strange. Everything feels strange these days! When I peed on those sticks in December and saw I was pregnant, I never envisioned it ending this way. Sadly, it did, and I am left to carry on and try to do my best.

I was asked by a lady at a yard sale today "When are you due?" I hesitated for a second before telling her I'm not. I just politely said I was but something happened and now I'm not. She didn't really say much after that. It's not like I expected her to or anything - that's an awkward thing to talk about. I love talking about her all day long but I know it makes other people feel weird so I guess I just leave it alone.

I have a counseling appointment on Tuesday morning. There's so much I want to talk about. I've had a hard time with the stone and basically the entire month of July was really hard on me. I hope August shapes up to be better. It's hard with each week passing, thinking I should be one more week closer to her arrival. She was due September 9th. When I had my first daughter, she was due September 12th and came early - on August 25th - so I expected something similar would happen with Audrey. It's so hard knowing I won't be going into labor and bringing my baby home. I miss her so much.

I am really enjoying having our new puppy, Copper, to take of. I'm nowhere near ready to have another baby and go through that yet so having him is like having a baby. He's up all hours of the night, up bright and early in the morning and constantly demands my attention. He fills my arms so that they aren't aching for a baby. I always have that ache and I am sure I will forever. I may have another baby someday, I may not. I don't know. I change my mind all the time when it comes to that. My Husband said he flip flops with the idea quite a bit too. We'll see.....

I don't know if this blog is finding anyone out there or not. If it has, if you too lost a child - I'm so very sorry. Remember, your child may have been stillborn but they were STILL born and they will always be your baby. You have a special kind of baby - your baby is your guardian angel. Not many people can say they have one that is so special to them!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gianna's Light

If you do anything today, go to http://giannaslight.org/ and support our babies. Even though they are stillborn, they were STILL born.

Audrey is my daughter in every sense of the word, in every way her big sister is. Even though I do not care for her in the ways I do Addison, I carried her in my stomach and under my heart for 5 beautiful months. I gave birth to her and I've loved her every minute of every day since the moment I knew I was pregnant with her. I may not get the joys of watching her grow but I do get the joy of knowing I have a guardian Angel protecting me for the rest of my life.

Please remember our babies!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Audrey's headstone



We got the artwork in the mail today for Audrey's stone.

We came home from Bob Evans and Adam saw it in the mail box. We waited a little bit before we opened it because I just needed a little bit of time to brace myself for it. It's not the actual stone, obviously, but just seeing what her stone will look like has put me in this place and I'm........ I can't describe what I am.

I am choosing to share this with all of you because you all have become like family to me and you all have been there for me during the best and worst times of my life.

As soon as I saw it, the tears started. The shock of this being my life now is hitting me hard today. VERY hard. I should be expecting her arrival within the next 6 weeks and now, I'm left empty. I'm left with papers to approve the artwork for her headstone.

THIS is not how it should've ended.

I've been looking at her footprints a lot lately too. I made the decision 2 months ago when we lost her not to share them with anyone but I think I am ready. I shared pictures of Addie and her birth and everything and I want to do the same for Audrey. She's my daughter too and those are all I have of her to hold onto.

They smudged her handprint and I was mad about that at first, but oh well. I can't change it now. They also printed the time she was born wrong. She wasn't born at 10pm. It was 10:40 pm.

I run my fingers over her tiny prints all the time. I just wish I would've held her at least once. I regret that every day and I hate myself so much for that.

I just hate myself and I just hate that this happened to HER. She didn't deserve this.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Audrey's Story

I am starting this in hopes that someone out there, someone going through the same pain and misery I am can find some comfort and peace and find someone who knows how they feel.

My name is Cassie. I am soon to be 23 years old. I live in Northeast Ohio. I have a wonderful husband and an amazing and beautiful almost 3 year old little girl. We have a cat and a dog. We just bought our first home.

Sounds pretty all American, doesn't it?

Only we aren't living the all American dream like we had planned.

On May 5th, 2009 our world was shattered forever. Our hearts broken into a million tiny pieces, and now we aren't sure if we can ever put those pieces back together. Our daughter, Our Audrey was stillborn during my 5th month of my pregnancy. I went in for a routine appointment. It was supposed to be our gender ultrasound. Only we discovered our baby was dead before we even know we were having a girl.

I wrote her story out for a book a support group of mine is putting together and I want to post it here. Maybe someone who comes along this may find some comfort in knowing they are not alone.

*****
On December 27th, 2008 the pregnancy tests I took showed two pink lines. Little did I know that those two pink lines would change my life forever.

My husband Adam and I met at a young age. I was 14 and he was 16. We were married at an even younger age, I was 16 and he was 18. We’ve been through a lot in our 8 years as a couple. We’ve been through a separation due to the War in Iraq that lasted 8 very long and lonely months. We’ve been through a cross-country move back to our home state and then the birth of our first daughter in August of 2006.

In late 2008 we decided to start trying to conceive again. My husband had just gotten a very good job as a corrections officer and I was making good money at my job. Life at that time couldn’t have been better.

Getting pregnant with Audrey took a lot quicker than it did with her big sister. It took us 3 months to conceive our oldest. I got pregnant with Audrey after just two cycles of being off birth control. On December 27th, 2008 I discovered I was pregnant. The next day was our sixth wedding anniversary. I thought the timing couldn’t have been better!

My first OB appointment confirmed a beating heart and a due date of September 9th, 2009 – 9/9/2009. I thought it was my lucky sign. The first trimester of the pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I felt amazing! My first pregnancy was nothing but nausea, vomiting, extreme fatigue, you name it – I felt it. This time was so much different. I had very minimal nausea, absolutely no vomiting and the fatigue was just about the same as it was when I wasn’t pregnant. I was on cloud nine!

On February 24th, 2009 I was getting out of my car when I came home from work and immediately felt this warm gush. I didn’t know what it was. I rushed into my house and discovered that I was bleeding, and it was bad. My underwear was covered and the pants I was wearing were soaked. The terror I felt was unimaginable. I thought for sure I was having a miscarriage.

My husband rushed me to the ER. They took forever to get me back to a room and the experience there was truly traumatic. No one seemed to care that I was hysterical and upset thinking I was losing my baby. I had an ultrasound and the tech refused to confirm if she saw the heart beating or not. She told me she’d have to send my results to the radiologist and they would inform the ER Doctor if the baby was alive or not. It took them several hours before I got the results that indeed my baby was ok. They suspected a blood clot had caused the bleeding. I went for a check-up with my OB just hours after I left the ER and he showed me my little baby on the ultrasound, her heart just beating away.

After that night, the pregnancy was kind of up and down. I had a few more episodes with spotting and then discovered I had a low-lying placenta. I was put on pelvic rest. That meant my husband and I could not be intimate and I was also restricted from heavy lifting and things of that nature.

Things between March and April went really smooth. I didn’t have any big things going on with the pregnancy and I was feeling great. On April 10th I went for an appointment and saw my beautiful girl’s face on the ultrasound. Her gender was still a mystery to me then but I got to see her gorgeous face. That would also be the last time I’d see her heart beating. The last time I’d see my baby alive.

I remember every moment of the day I found out I lost her. I remember every moment from beginning to end. I don’t think that is a day that I will ever get out of my mind. The day was May 5th. My appointment was scheduled for 9:40 a.m. The ride to the Doctor’s office is about 45 minutes from my home. I woke up extra early. I wanted to get ready, get cleaned up and I was making sure I drank orange juice that day because I wanted to know if we were going to welcome a little sister or little brother for our older daughter. I woke my husband up because he was coming with me that day. He was so excited to learn the gender of our second child. We spent the ride to the office laughing and giggling and discussing baby names. We were still undecided for a boy name. I was leaning towards Owen and he was thinking of either Gavin or Aiden. We already had our girl name picked. We knew from the moment we got pregnant that if we had another girl we’d name her Audrey Taylor.

I waited in the waiting room for a little bit. My husband played on his phone and I played on mind. A friend of my sister-in-law’s walked out of the exam room and we talked and chatted. She too was expecting a child. We exchanged a little bit of hellos and then I was called back. It took the Doctor a few minutes to come into the room. So, to pass the time my husband and I laughed and told jokes. Something we always do a lot of when we’re together. A little while later the Doctor came into the exam room and got me ready for the ultrasound. He asked a few routine questions about how I felt and it was then that my whole life changed.

He was moving the ultrasound wand over my stomach and I mentioned we were hoping to find out the gender of the baby that day. My first daughter sat with her legs crossed the first time we tried to get a peak at her so I was nervous thinking I’d have stubborn children that wouldn’t show us. The response I got from the Doctor immediately startled me. He said “uh huh” and it was in a tone that implied there was definitely something wrong. The words that came out of his mouth after that still gives me chills and makes my stomach turn into a ball of knots. He looked at me and told me he did not see my baby’s heart beating and he saw no fluid around her at all. I immediately started to breath heavily and I panicked. I looked at my husband and saw the flushed look of terror on his face. The Doctor passed me a box of tissues and I lost it. I was hysterical. The hours after that felt like such a blur. I went to the hospital I’d deliver at and had another ultrasound to confirm what he found. After the ultrasound I was told to go back to his office to “discuss my options.” At that time I knew there was only one option – I was going to have to deliver my dead child, my child whose gender still remained a mystery to me at that time. I knew she was dead before I even knew she was a girl.

The Doctor asked me if I wanted to go home and think about things or if I wanted to come back the next day and begin the induction. I knew right then and there that there was no way I could go home, watch my older daughter and play with her, knowing my other baby was dead inside of me. My husband and I made the very painful decision to go straight to the hospital and start the induction.

It was at that point that we began making phone calls to our family and I sent out texts to my co-workers because I knew telling them on the phone was going to be too hard. I called my Mom in hysterics and the first words I said were “Mom, I have bad news. We lost the baby.” I don’t remember a lot of what was said or happened after that. I remember making the walk to the Labor and Delivery ward and I just couldn’t believe I was back there again but under very different circumstances this time.

I was immediately put into a room. I noticed (after we were being discharged) that I was placed at a room that was further away from the other rooms. Now I know why – they didn’t want to me to have to hear the newborn babies crying. My delivery was not going to be a happy and joyous occasion like the others that day. I was delivering my dead baby.

Several Nurses came in and started my IV, drew blood, asked a ton of questions. The one that stood out the most was “Are you sure you’re ready to do this today?” I was so completely blown away every time that question was asked. Of course I’m not ready to deliver my dead child but what other choice did they think I had? After the hustle and bustle of all of that was over, the induction started. I was given Pitocin to start my contractions and a gel or something like that was inserted to start dilating my cervix. I couldn’t believe I was experiencing labor again and being forced to endure a delivery with no happy ending in sight.

My Dad rushed to the hospital as soon as he got the call about what had happened. My Husband was out talking with family and getting some fresh air. I know he felt like the walls were closing in on him too and he just needed some fresh air. When my Dad walked into my room and saw me lying there, he came over and held me and we cried. We barely spoke but we knew what each other was thinking and feeling. He kept telling me how sorry he was and all I could say was this was the cruelest thing in the world. To make a woman give birth to a child she can’t ever take homr, there are no words to describe the torture and agony of how that feels.

Shortly after my Dad showed up, the medicine the Nurses had given me that would knock me out for a little while had started to kick in. I was so grateful for that. I just wanted my thoughts to stop for a little while and I just wanted the feeling of my heart breaking into a million pieces to stop.

It was later on in the evening when the labor really started to progress and I was feeling a lot more pain and discomfort. The thoughts that kept running through my mind during all of that were one of complete shock. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, to us. My Mother-in-Law and Grandfather-in-Law came up the hospital in the later evening hours. I had asked my Mom to stay at home and be with my older daughter. I needed to know she was with someone I trusted and I needed one less worry on my mind. When my Mother-in-Law walked into the room she immediately hugged me and held me tight. She too had experienced the same loss. She had lost twin girls in August of 1986. They were stillborn due to a cord accident. She knew the pain I was feeling. She knew just how to comfort me.

I also had another special person with me that night, my night nurse, Ally. She was a truly remarkable person. She told me she had also been through the same experience. When the shift changed and she came into my room to introduce herself, she hugged me and told me how sorry she was. I was never greeted in that way by a Nurse before and it still blows me away when I think about how she was that night. She was a true comfort to me that night. I can’t express just how deeply she touched me.

Things with my Labor really started to pick up in the late evening hours. I was having terrible contractions. I was also experiencing a lot of back labor. That was a strange experience for me because I did not have back labor with my first pregnancy. I got my epidural around 10:20 p.m. and it was just 20 minutes later when my Angel was born. At 10:40 p.m. my world was shattered and broken and changed forever. I discovered after the birth that my husband and I had lost a little girl. We had lost our second daughter. I made the decision that night not to see her or hold her. My reasons why at the time were so clouded by the complete shock that this was actually happening. I felt like if I didn’t see her or hold her than this wasn’t real, that she wasn’t really gone and this was all a nightmare I’d wake up from.

Ally came in later in the evening to help me clean up and help me to the restroom. My legs were still shaky and wobbly from the epidural and I was more exhausted than I’d ever been in my whole life. She helped me into the restroom and when she was helping me clean up she told me “You are so brave and strong. I know you don’t feel that way now but you really are.” I remember thinking to myself “Yeah right.” I couldn’t even say anything to her. I didn’t have any words to say at that time. I just wanted to sink into a black hole and disappear.

The hours after the delivery, after they had taken Audrey’s body away, I lay in bed and just stared at the clock, stared at the wall. I just stared with the blankest expression on my face. My husband had fallen asleep on the fold out chair. I knew he was just as exhausted as I was. He tried to be so strong during the whole experience. He cried a few times, the hardest being when the Doctor had told us we lost our girl. He was standing at the head of my bed during the delivery, holding my hand, with his head buried towards the floor. We never once looked into each other’s eyes during the delivery but we had an iron clad grip on each other’s hands and when it was announced our baby was a girl, the grip got tighter as we sobbed together.

The next morning I was discharged. I knew it made no sense to keep me there and believe me when I say I was more than eager to go home and lay under my covers all night, but it just seemed all so fast. Just barely 12 hours after I delivered my daughter, I was going home. Before I left the hospital I had to fill out the standard papers and then the other set of papers no parent ever wants to fill out – papers arranging the burial of my daughter. When the Nurse asked me her name I said “Audrey Taylor Davis” and then she asked me “Do you want a funeral service for Audrey?” I knew I did but it took me a few minutes to answer her. In between tears and hysterics, my husband and I said that we did want a burial for her. The Nurse informed me that she’d give the necessary information to the funeral home and they’d be calling me arranging the details. The Nurse also gave me some packets of information about stillbirth and a special gift from the hospital. It was a white silk pillow with a tiny card and a tiny gold ring inside of a pouch. She told me she wanted us to know that the hospital recognized the birth of my baby like any other.

The drive home was quiet. I didn’t talk. I didn’t do anything. I just stared out the window. I knew my Sister-in-Law was just hours away from delivering her second child, also a girl, and I just couldn’t understand why God took my baby away. I wouldn’t wish this pain and agony on anyone but it really makes a person question “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” When we arrived in town, we went and picked my older daughter up. I hadn’t seen her since Monday and it was now Wednesday. I was going crazy missing her. When she saw me walk up the stairs into the living room she made a flying leap into my arms and yelled “MOMMY!” I just grabbed her and hugged her tight. Of course I cried. I couldn’t stop the tears. I needed her hugs and kiss more than anything in the world.


When I got home I just wanted to lie down. I didn’t want to do anything else. I was still hurting pretty bad physically from the epidural. My lower back was in excruciating pain and I couldn’t take it any longer.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any harder it was that Friday just after losing her when the funeral home called. When I answered the phone the funeral director told me how sorry she was. Then she asked me the questions that I just couldn’t believe I was hearing. “Do you want a burial or cremation?” I didn’t know how to respond. I sat silent on the phone for what felt like an eternity and then I asked my husband what he wanted. We agreed on a burial. She put together some arrangements and we arranged the service for that Monday, the 11th of May at 11 a.m.

I spent the days of that weekend just crying, nothing but a hysterical mess. I had massive panic attacks and I also had to go through my breast milk coming in. When I noticed that, I cried. I cried huge, hard, head pounding tears. I know my body didn’t realize my baby had died. It only realized I’d gone into labor and delivered a child. It was doing what it was supposed to do but at the time it just felt like one more stab to my heart, one more painful reminder of what I didn’t have, of what was taken away from me.

The morning of the service was something I had been dreading. I knew she deserved a proper good bye. I just didn’t know how to do that. It wasn’t something I had ever thought would happen to me and I just didn’t know what to do or where life was going to take me after this. When we got to the cemetery and I saw where the funeral director had everything set up, I began shaking and my hands began to sweat. My heart was pounding a million miles a minute. I didn’t know how I was going to bury my sweet baby, a baby I never even held.

The service was very beautiful. My Father-in-Law is a preacher so he did the service for us. From the moment he began to speak, the tears were flowing. I grabbed onto my husband, wrapped my hands around his waist and held on for dear life. At that very moment, he was my life line. He was what was keeping me from crumbling to the ground. After the service was over, I sat down in the chairs behind me and I stared at the little white box that contained my daughter’s body. Everyone said “take as much time as you need,” and I never said a word. I wanted to tell them “if I take as much time as I need, we’ll never leave. I can’t leave her behind. I just can’t leave my little girl here without her Mommy.”

I got up after what felt like forever and I walked towards the stand that had her casket on it. I examined every square inch of that box and I placed my hand on it and ran my fingers all over the fabric and the flower arrangement on top. I wanted to feel where she was lying just once. I wanted her to know her Mommy was there and that I loved her with every beat of my broken heart. I hugged my husband and begged to stay just a little while longer. I cried out “I can’t leave her. I just can’t leave our baby girl. I don’t want to leave her here. I feel like we’re leaving her behind. I can’t. I can’t.”

I eventually did make it to the car. I hugged everyone good bye before we made the drive home. Something my Mother-in-Law said to me while we hugged is something I firmly believe with every fiber of my being. Time does not heal all wounds. It only puts a scab on them and every once in awhile they bleed. I know she spent much of that day reliving her own horror of losing her twins. We embraced for a long time before I eventually got in thecar and we made the long drive home. I lay in bed all day and all night after that. I cried and cried and cried. Just when I thought I was all out of tears, they started all over again.

The Wednesday just after the service I had an appointment scheduled with my OB. He told me he suspected this to most likely be genetic but nothing was confirmed 100%. He did also tell me he believed I should have had a miscarriage when I had the bleeding episode in February but my daughter was a fighter and she held on. He told me that my husband and I had his blessing to try again in a few months, if we wanted to. At that point, and to this day, I have so many mixed emotions about conceiving again. After my appointment at his office I went to the hospital to pick up the papers they had for me. They had a certificate of Audrey’s foot prints and hand prints for me. I was never going to get a birth certificate but I could at least have something of hers to hold onto. I opened the envelope they had everything in and I reached in and pulled out the paper with her prints on them. I was blown away. The wind felt like it was knocked out of me. I stared at the paper and touched the prints and the tears just flowed. My Mom had come with me for emotional support and she looked at the prints and said “Oh Cassie, I’m so sorry!” I read the certificate with her name printed on the top and it listed her parents’ names and the time she was born and then I saw the length and weight. My Angel was born weighing only four and half ounces and she was only seven and a half inches long. My mind still even now cannot fathom how tiny that is. I just remember staring at the prints and feeling this major panic and regret. I am not a person who had any regrets, until now. I wish I could go back and change the night she was born. I wish I could go back and hold her, even if it was only one time. I know she knows I love her but I wish I could have some closure with that and now I never will.

I have struggled a lot with depression and anxiety since Audrey’s death. I always knew what stillbirth was. I knew it existed but I never imagined it would ever happen to me. You always hear about bad things happening to other people and you think you’re invincible. You think those kinds of things happen to everyone else but you. Then it does happen to you and it rocks your world in every way imaginable. I am seeing a counselor and slowly starting to put the pieces of my life back together. It’s been six weeks now and I have good days and bad days. I have days where I barely cry and days where I can’t stop the tears no matter how hard I try. I have days where I curse God and days where I am thankful he gave me an Angel to watch over me during my time here on Earth. There are no words I can write to truly convey how it feels to lose a child. Words like excruciating and gut wrenching and heart shattering come to mind but even those words don’t scratch the surface of how it feels to bury something that once had a beating heart inside of your body. I stare at her prints often and I touch them and hold them close to my chest. I tell her I love her every day. I tell her how much I miss her every day. My oldest daughter was so looking forward to her little sister’s arrival and when we told her the baby was gone and we weren’t bringing a baby home like we planned she told me “It’s okay, Mommy, it’s not your fault.” I still get tears in my eyes when I think about that. I know nothing I did or didn’t do could have prevented this but it never changes the aching I feel in my heart for her. I have done so much reflecting since this nightmare began. I remember looking at that pregnancy test and those two pink lines and I had the giddiest expression and I was in total shock. Now, when I look at those same tests (I have saved the tests from both of my pregnancies) a feeling of total sadness and the feeling of dread comes over me. I still have her due date to get through and the rest of my life, really. I have the rest of my life to play the “what if’” game.

I don’t know if I’ll get pregnant again. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another baby to hold and care for. I do know I will always have two amazing and beautiful daughters. I’ve told so many people that my oldest daughter is my Angel here on Earth and Audrey is my Angel in Heaven. I will spend the rest of my days looking forward to the day when I can be with her again. She’s on my mind every minute of every day and I know that will never change. The years may make the pain hurt less but it will always be there. The way I feel about her and the way I feel about her loss will never change. I have a tremendous support system around me. I have amazing people who love me and care for me and so many people on the online community have reached out to me and offered their support. This experience has shown me that there really are good people in this world. As grateful as I am for them and as grateful as I am for their generosity, I wish I never had the endure this and hear their words of sympathy and caring. I appreciate it, no doubt, but of course the wish that I had never gone through this to hear that never goes away.

If you find yourself reading this story because you have been through the same experience, I am so very sorry. There are no words I can say that will make the pain you feel go away. There will be days where you think you’re doing okay and then you’ll see or hear something that just throws your whole mind off and you can’t get your focus back because all you think about is your child, the child you loved inside of your body but never got to love the way you wanted to outside of your body. The feelings you’re feeling are all natural. I thought I was crazy and believe me, I still do sometimes. Take time to be with the ones you love and thank them for the support they’ve given to you. This experience will show you who your true friends and true family are. I know it has opened my eyes and changed my perspective on a lot of my relationships with people. Audrey may not have served the purpose I expected her to but she is serving a purpose. She’s my guiding light. She’s the light that pushes me to carry on and be a better Mother to the daughter I still have with me and to be a better wife to my husband. They’re all I have. She’s shown me what is important in my life. Take the time to thank your Angel for that and know that they are always with you, in spirit and in your heart for all the days of your life.

In the most loving Memory of:

Audrey Taylor Davis

May 5th, 2009

10:40 p.m.

Mommy, Daddy and your Big Sister miss you so much Angel. You’re my every heart beat, my every breath, my every move. I will see you again one day my Angel. I love you so much!

To the Child in My Heart

O precious, tiny, sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure, and innocent
Just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and of your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.

We never had the chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.

I'll always be your mother.
He'll always be your dad.
You will always be our child,
The child that we had.

But now you're gone...but yet you're here.
We'll sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy.
There's love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong.
We'll forget you never-
The child we had, but never had,
And yet we'll have forever.