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.