Wednesday, December 29, 2010

RIP Nevada Rose


Dear Jimmy and Becca,

Mommy and Daddy just sent you a puppy. Take good care of her, and tell her we love her and miss her. Thinking of you always,

Love Mommy and Daddy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Puppy Has Parvo...

...well dangit.

Nevada, our new Siberian Husky puppy has parvo. Took her to the vet today because she was ill yesterday but today she was lethargic and wouldn't eat or drink.
She has roundworms, hookworms, parvovirus, and a secondary bacterial infection of the gastro-intestinal tract.

The vet gave her a one in four chance of survival.

Great!

He said treatment at home, in his 40 some years of experience, does not significantly alter outcome as compared to treatment at the clinic...so she is on several different meds and oral electrolytes every 30 minutes.

Speaking of that...its about time to give her some more.

Lord, I get that we couldn't have babies...but, seriously, can't we at least keep a stinkin' puppy alive for pete's sake???
More for my husband than for me....he has put sooooo much love into this dog and let his guard down and opened his heart in ways that he couldn't when I was pregnant and we knew we might lose our babies.

Please don't make my husband have to go through another loss. We've been calling this dog Daddy's baby and everything. He even gets up in the middle of the night to take her out to pee. He loves this puppy like crazy!

God, please don't take my husband's puppy-daughter. Please.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Relieved

Ran into some friends today...good, good, good people. We ran into each other at Old Navy where she was looking for maternity clothes but she didn't find anything...They are expecting their first child, a girl, and so I invited them over to take all my maternity and baby stuff off my hands.
I gave them everything except for a few special baby outfits that belong to Becca and Jimmy and the bassinet. Everything else went with them.
I'll probably be sad later, but right now I feel relieved and happy that all this stuff is going to such good people.
I think maybe I'll lay some more boards down in the attic in the next few weeks now that I have all that space cleared out. Maybe run an extension cord up there and create a little play area/work space.

God, I'm ready for whatever you've got in store for me...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is this part of progress or evidence of disintegration?

Things came to a head tonight on the blended family front.
Taylor was in his room crying after I and the other kids had said some hurtful things to him. I went in there and sat down on the bed with him and he reiterated that he was unhappy because everyone in his life was mean to him. He told me I was mean to him, and I gotta admit he was right. I've been mean to him. I was just talking with Rusty about this a couple of days ago....I have been trying so hard to please everyone that it was easier for me to just go along with Rusty, Chance, and Bailey when it came to Taylor...that's not right. I should have been standing up for my son.
I'll admit, that in the beginning, I was standing up for Taylor but realized how much fighting and arguing it caused. So I just gave in and just ignored when they made snide comments, insults, and were outright mean to him including Chance picking on Taylor physically. And my husband, who outright admits he finds my son incredibly annoying but insists he likes him...my husband never says anything to his kids about picking on Taylor and insists that Taylor is annoying on purpose, starts stuff on purpose, and in general any time Taylor is around and there is any type of disagreement or annoyance it's all Taylor's fault. My husband also insists that when Taylor cries it has nothing to do with the fact that Taylor is being picked on, its "because he's manipulating me" and actually told Taylor right in front of me that he was "onto him and knew all the games"....
So tonight, Taylor cried and told me that he was unhappy and was tired of being picked on. Myself, having just had this argument with Rusty the other night when I said I was sick of the way my son was being treated, decided to listen to my son...I promised him 3 things: 1) I would stop yelling at him, 2) I would stand up for him, and 3) I wouldn't let anyone pick on him anymore in our home. Taylor made sure to say "Mom, if its bullies at school, I'll take care of it. I don't want to be embarassed by my mom. But at home, make Chance and Bailey stop being mean to me."
We all wound up having a family meeting in Bailey's room after Taylor touched something of hers and she yelled at him and I told her "stop picking on my son." She got upset and Rusty came in and we brought Taylor in and Rusty brought Chance in and we had a family meeting of sorts about treating people fairly and not picking on people (Taylor.) I thought it went well, although I kept having to point out to Rusty that he was being sarcastic...he even looked at Chance and said something along the lines of "so, what can we do to make Taylor less annoying?" and I said, see Rusty, that has GOT to stop. Your kids take their cues from you, and that is inappropriate. Rusty apologized but he just doesn't get it...he is still conveying to his kids that it is ok to see Taylor as annoying and a second class citizen (i.e. Taylor is not as good as/well-behaved as/worthy as/whatever as he and his children are) and basically that they have to be nice to him to appease me...I'm sick of it. Rusty does not genuinely care about my child. It shows in his words and actions and when I call him on it, he says "you don't just start liking someone overnight, this whole thing won't just happen overnight" and I reminded him that it hasn't been "overnight" it's been a year and four months. A year and a half and he STILL does not like my son, is obviously distant and not nice to him. I am not waiting around for my son to be treated fairly. I can't believe I put everyone else before my own child.
Anyway, everyone went to bed and Taylor was crying because Chance won't let him have any light on and he is afraid of the dark. (Chance and Taylor share a room and usually Taylor is asleep by the time Chance comes in so Chance turns the light off when he goes to bed.) Bailey has her lamp on every night in her room, so I figure this is the opportunity for me to start standing up for Taylor, especially since Chance called Taylor a crybaby and we JUST had that conversation.... So I go in the room and turn the lamp on and Chance wants it off. I said well, it's Taylor's room too and he is afraid of the dark, why don't you put the pillow over your head or something and Chance said no and said he was going to sleep on the couch and I said no, you're going to sleep in your bed. We're not sleeping on the couches that is what we have beds for. He got angry and Rusty got out of bed and Chance told me how much he hated me, how he's not coming over here, how much he hates my personality and everything about me, etc and I said well, you don't have to like me but I live here, I make rules and you have to respect me and follow them and he said no I don't what are you gonna do about it. And I said I'm not going to stand here and have a control battle with you and he glares at me and goes "i'm standing here" and I said fine keep standing there but the lamp stays on and you're not sleeping on the couch. Rusty comes in and tells Chance "sorry, go to bed, sorry you can't turn the lamp off" (which, of course, makes it sound like Rusty sides with Chance and thinks this whole thing is ridiculous) and Chance slams the door, Rusty opens the door and raises his voice and tells Chance he can't slam the door and to lay down.


So...I partially see this as progress because at least there is honesty around here, communication, and Rusty has somewhat disciplined his kids and realized I'm serious about Taylor being treated fairly.

On the other hand, its the same ol' crap that I'm mad about...Taylor keeps getting picked on and called a crybaby...still treated like a second class citizen by his stepfather and his stepsiblings while Rusty brushes it off with "blood is thicker than water" (to explain his children's behavior that he sees nothing wrong with) and "Taylor is annoying on purpose and a crybaby"......

I've left out so much, but that's enough already. I just know that Taylor has had a LOT to deal with...we moved from Starkville, Taylor left ALL his friends his school his life his hometown and Rusty's kids lives have not changed other than someone new moving in. Taylor has had a LOT to deal with as far as adjustments go and by God he has been a trooper...and it really angers me that any time I bring that up my husband brushes that off and gets mad at me for bringing it up and says it means nothing...he REFUSES to acknowledge or have any sympathy at all for how much Taylor has gone through and sacrificed to be a part of this family.

Anyway, I'm not distracted by pregnancies anymore. I have thrown my son under the bus for far too long just so I could have peace in this house, but at what expense?? This shit is going to stop right now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Two Quotes...

...from my husband yesterday that I want to remember.

One, when we were talking about missing the babies and he said he never gets to be upset because "Katie, you're monopolizing the grief."
It's true, I am...and he thinks that only one of us can be grieving at a time.

Two, he told me that he knows I wish I could love on the babies and he does too...he said "I know you don't have our babies to love on, and I wish you did, but I need your love too. I need you too."

My husband is a good man, even though I'm angry and full of resentment, I can see that at least.

I'd Be Lying....

....if I said I wasn't in a funk and everything was ok. Because its not. But I know this is only temporary....right?

I miss my babies, I've got no Christmas spirit, (didn't even get a tree this year...Rusty went out and bought a 2ft fake tree but all the ornaments are still in the attic), and I'm so fed up with God that I've only gone to church twice since Becca died and all of my public praising of God has ceased...not that God doesn't deserve praise, I just don't feel it anymore and I'm not into faking it right now.

My husband and I had another huge fight. We got through it, barely. For the first time in our marriage I am seriously concerned about whether we're going to make it or not. And I can honestly say I really don't think its his fault...I just still resent him for me and Taylor giving up our house, my car, and hometown and friends and everything to marry him and stay stuck in this tiny house.

I did not mind all of this as much when we were expecting babies, but after 3 dead babies and me losing my job because I couldn't handle the commute and the stress during my grief....well, I just feel like I have nothing left and I blame my husband for all of it. ALL OF IT. Because before I met him I had a great 8-5 job, a cute little home with a fenced in yard, Taylor walked two blocks to school, we had the evenings and weekends together, we walked one block to church and cubscouts....then Rusty came along and got me pregnant and now I am left with nothing that I had before AND 3 dead babies.

I thought I was adding a husband and future children to my life, but instead I traded my life for a husband. I honestly don't think it was worth it. I can't see past my grief right now, we're poor, and I have 2 step kids that don't really like me and an ex-wife that has made my life MISERABLE.

And God bless my husband, make no mistake, he is trying SO HARD to make me happy. He really is. He loves me so much. But I keep hurting him, because I am sooo angry and I resent him so much for what my life has become.

I lost EVERYTHING and more in our one year of marriage and I just feel like if I divorce him I could go back and try to put the pieces of my life back together.

But I can't go back, can I? My job is no longer there, I no longer have my car, I have no money, and running away will not change the fact that I have 3 dead children. And on top of all of that, I would have a failed marriage as well.

I just don't know what to do. Honest to God, I have no clue. I always swore I would never get divorced and that even if my husband ever cheated on me we could always try counseling or something...I imagined, and was prepared for, every scenario in my head except one.....and wouldn't ya know it, that's the one I'm in. I could find a way to fix or live with or work with every marital problem I can think of, but I never thought that all our babies would die and now that they have, my life feels so hollow and empty and the things that I had overlooked before that I had given up have gone from being things I bring up in casual arguments with my spouse to things that I'm seriously considering ending my marriage over.

After I had Taylor, I knew that I had to get a degree and a job and get married...and if I did those things I could finally have the family I'd always wanted...nothing in my entire life has brought me more joy than my son, Taylor, and I worked really hard for several years so that I could be stable and get married and experience that with 3 or 4 more children of my own.

What do you do when all your dreams are dead? If what drives us is our hopes and dreams....how do you keep going when you find out that your dream has turned into a nightmare? Where do I go from here? I just want to be happy again and not hurt anymore. And if this dream has to die, so be it, but I don't want to die with it! What is my new dream?? Where do I go, what do I do, just point me in the right direction and I SWEAR I'll go!

Do I stay married and hope things get better and hope that in a year we will try again for another baby? Get a job instead of homeschooling and just force this grief on the backburner like my husband wants me to do? Get divorced and get a job and try to build my life back again? Go back to school and get my Master's degree in something? Pursue my dream of doing something with my music? (ha yeah right) Try again for a location for my thrift store?

My husband seems to think that my only problem is that I need to grow up and get a fulltime job, and get "saved" for real...he thinks that all my problems stem because I never "really and truly invited Jesus into my heart." That makes me very angry. I've struggled with my relationship with God all my life but I always pursued him...and I can't tell you how many times I was on my knees, sobbing, and begging Jesus to come into my heart...begging! Fearing that very thing my husband accused me of, and crying and praying for Jesus to come in, just in case I hadn't gotten it right the other dozens of times I'd asked.

I told my husband that maybe I just didn't believe in God anymore and that's when he said I wasn't really saved because you can't just "stop believing" once you're truly saved. I think he's naive and he doesn't know what true suffering is and that doubts and crises of faith are par for the course when you've been to hell and back. But, hey, what do I know about suffering?? Ha. Ha. Ha.

I don't know if I've stopped believing in God, but I do know that somehow, I have lost my ability to have anything even close to a "child-like faith" in God. When you are robbed of your innocence, you can't get it back. I have seen to much, felt too much, and suffered too much to ever have a child-like faith in God again. That's not to say that I can't have faith in God, I just don't see any way that I will ever again be at that place where I was when my second baby was inside of me and as I was praising God, she was ripped away from me...even as she left this earth I was still praising Him.

Something happened between her funeral and now and I don't know what it is. I wish I knew so I could fix it. I even went to my OBGYN and a psychiatrist to make sure it wasn't post-partum depression or some other form of depression. No, I'm just dealing with an unusual amount of grief given my life circumstances and losing my last surviving parent and grandparent along with 3 babies all in one 18 month period.

Unfortunately, I believe its just a matter of time and I'm just somehow going to have to be patient and wait for this pain to pass.

So, this is where I am right now. It's not a very pretty place. It's really bleak and desolate. I'd like to fix it, but I really don't know how.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Moving on is Sad

Tuning up my resume and applying for a job on Monday....got a private school lined up for my only living child (the public schools here stink), and my husband and I have a whole plan for using my paycheck to pay off debt. We'd be out of debt within 2 years.
It's so tough...I was so happy being pregnant and homeschooling my son and the two other boys with him and making a little money.....looking forward to Becca being born, and finally feeling like I was going to be whole again since Jimmy died.
Now, in less than two months Becca is gone, my job is gone, the boys are gone and we didn't even get to say goodbye...why does everything come crashing down on me?
I will not be a stay at home mother. I will not be raising babies. I will not be homeschooling my son.
I will be grieving the loss of my babies and the loss of my dreams and going back to the daily grind...how depressing! If I get this job, the next year is going to suck big time....we've looked at our schedule and with getting Taylor and the stepkids to school we've got to get up at 5:45am and we wouldn't be home until 5:30ish in the evenings.
BUT...if we can just stick it out for one year....we could be out of debt and we could try for another baby again.

Oh Lord my heart is breaking! Please tell me this is the right thing to do? I don't see any alternatives, and this looks great for the future, but I need something happy in the present or I'm gonna crack.

I miss my babies so much. It really hurts.

My son keeps asking me: "Mom, am I not enough for you?" and when I try to tell him that I just want another baby, I miss the baby years, he says "So you only loved me when I was a baby?"

This is tough.
I find it easy to make it through a crisis while the tragedy is occuring...but once the dust settles, the aftermath, the monotony and the grief and the putting the pieces back together and trying to move on...THAT is what takes true courage. Anyone can grieve. Not everyone can move on.

Missing you Becca....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Closure...Of a Sort I Suppose

I should be writing more...but I hardly ever have any alone time. I feel like I should be sharing all of these thoughts and feelings, these experiences, but somehow I just can't bring myself to do it right now.
Writing for me requires great concentration and everytime I sit down to type, the puppy starts howling and whining, one of the kids needs me, the TV or video games are blaring, dinner needs cooking...its always something.
I know its a blessing to be so busy, but sometimes I really wish I could get some peace and quiet and time alone for a few hours or a day or two!

Yesterday was my six week check-up. There wasn't really any check-up, I was just put in an exam room in the very back and my doctor gave me my "official diagnosis" of an incompetent cervix.
He held me while I cried. What a good man.
I sobbed and told him I had called his office 2 weeks before I was hospitalized for it and had told the nurse that I was concerned I had an Incompetent cervix but that the symptoms could also be an infection and would she ask the doctor...she told me that if I didn't get a call, then check for a prescription. I just assumed he had gotten the message and didn't think I needed a check-up or that the incompetent cervix thing was all in my head. When I relayed this to Dr. H, he told me that all he was told was a possible infection, he never got the rest of the message. (I'm trying SO HARD, JESUS, SO HARD! to not be angry and think that if that one woman had relayed the ENTIRE message I'd have been called in for a vaginal exam and he would have caught it and given me an emergency cerclage and put me on bed rest before it was too late and I would have my baby still in my belly and my sweet Becca would not have died were it not for this ONE WOMAN and her idiotic inability to relay ONE SIMPLE MESSAGE correctly! ...and then I berate myself because I should have gone in person and demanded to be seen instead of naively trusting in a phone message...or I should have called the office back to verify instead of just picking up the prescription...BUT! My sweet baby girl is gone and nothing is going to bring her back.
And if I learned anything from losing my daughter, I learned that sometimes things are just meant to be and nothing can change that...even if the nurse had relayed the message and I had been seen and put on bed rest, the outcome would have still been the same if that was what was meant to be....*sigh* Its so hard to accept sometimes.
ANYWAY.
Dr.H just held my hands and looked into my eyes and said: "Sweetie. It looks like we dropped the ball on you. I am so very sorry." And he hugged me and I cried some more.

(Funny how with Jimmy's death he was alive at my 36 week check-up and Dr. C didn't listen to me when I told him something was wrong and 2 days later he died...it would be so EASY to be eaten up with bitterness and anger over these two losses that could easily be blamed on other people. But I need to believe that if my baby's were meant to live, they would be here right now. Miracles happen everyday in spite of human error, ignorance, and stupidity. My babies just were not meant to be, and that is the heart of the matter. And that makes me so very sad. I think if I were to be angry and blame others or myself for my babies' deaths I would just get stuck in anger forever. Sometimes thats easier because once you get past the anger you have to deal with this incredible pain...anger is the barrier, the defense from the pain...but after the pain comes new hope, happiness, joy, and a fresh perspective on life and a new appreciation for everything in it.)

Dr.H said to wait 6 months and we could try again. That there were no connections between Jimmy's stillbirth, our 8 week miscarriage, and my incompetent cervix that caused Becca's death. No reason not to try again, no reason to think that a cerclage at 12 weeks wouldn't bring us a healthy, living baby.

Rusty and I have decided to wait a year. We need to heal. My body needs to heal, my husband needs attention, I need to invest in my marriage, and God bless our children, they've been through so much....I lay in bed with my step-daughter last night (she asked me to read her a book and then changed her mind and asked if we could talk instead) and she reminded me that she has lost 4 siblings in the past year...Jimmy, the miscarried baby, Becca, and her mother had a stillbirth at 20 weeks last August.

Like it or not, I am and will always be the source of emotional strength and wisdom for my family. They need me. So I've got to heal and help them heal before I can think about having another baby.

And you know what? I feel relieved. I feel like God has finally given me some peace about this, and I am looking forward to freedom from the past 2 years of chronic pregnancies and dead babies.

We'll see what God has in store. For now, I feel like I can let go.

I've got a lot of grief to work through, but I can let go....

Mommy loves you so much, Becca. I will always miss you and I will think of you every day, like I think of Jimmy. And because I love you so much, I will carry on with my life and I will hopefully do great things with my life before I die so you and your brother can be proud of me.

Goodbye sweet baby girl. I love you.

Mommy

Sunday, December 5, 2010

6 Week Post-Partum Checkup Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my 6 week post-partum checkup. I'm scared, nervous, anxious, sad, hurt, angry...good grief! It's emotional thinking about it.

Aside from the checkup, I expect to get some answers and clarification as to what happened, why Becca died, and what, if any, plans we could make for the future as far as trying again some day goes.

I'm also really hurt that my doctor didn't call while I was in the hospital for two weeks...he was on vacation when I went in, but I never got a call or anything. Even when the baby died.

This hurts.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Total Breakdown

Awesome.

I'm completely falling apart.

Told my husband I'm ready to just die. Life doesn't get any better, if God even exists he obviously doesn't care, and I hate everyone and everything especially my husband.

Everyone thinks I'm so strong. I'm NOT. I've just managed to somehow survive more traumatic life events in the past 30 years than most "normal" people.

Dumb luck.

I'm miserable.

Still Angry??

4 hours later and I'm still angry.

Usually I just cry a bit or yell and move on.

Why am I still so miserable??

I hate this!

Knocked Off My Feet

Knocked off my feet by my grief today.

I've been doing so well lately, too. It's been awhile since I broke down. I've had quite a few happy and normal and positive days.
When Jimmy died, I was grief-stricken all the time. I had just lost my mother 4 months earlier, and my grandmother shortly after. I was braced for the blow that was going to come every day.
This time it's different. I have not braced myself for pain, because it hasn't been as constant. I can see babies and smile. I can hold babies and smile. I can watch TV and laugh. I can hum and sing as I'm doing housework. I couldn't do any of this for months after Jimmy died.
But, although the pain is not constant, it is just as fierce (if not fiercer) when it does hit. And since I'm not braced for it, since I've been enjoying my week or playing with the dogs or having fun with my husband, it just seems to catch me completely off guard and knock me over!
Grieving for Jimmy and grieving for Becca have not been any better or any worse...just different. With Jimmy I was upset constantly for a very long time, with Becca I actually have periods of happy time in between the grief but I get knocked over since I'm unprepared and it comes out of the blue.

I think I really hurt my husband today. I said a LOT of things out of sudden anger and grief that I'm still not sure if I meant or not.
The puppy was driving me nuts because she was whining non-stop in her kennel, even though she had been feed and exercised and gone to the bathroom...she just wouldn't stop. So I took her out to chain her up in the yard right as my husband came home for lunch. He got very irritated and told me that he did not want her chained up in the yard, he wanted her in her kennel. I tried to explain to him that she whines ALL DAY in her kennel, I can't coddle her for 90% of the time, so what is wrong with fresh air and sunshine? He reiterated that she was to be in her kennel and not chained outside. I lost it.
I had flashbacks of being in the hospital and the doctors telling us I was 5cm dilated with the sac bulging out and we were 21 weeks which was way to young for the baby to survive and I needed to go ahead and deliver and say goodbye to avoid prolonging the inevitable and to keep me from having complications of infection that was sure to set in.
I wanted to deliver and say goodbye and get it over with. My husband wanted to wait and "give God a chance to see what he could do." He decided for us that we would wait, and I didn't argue. We waited, I suffered, the baby still died, I got an awful infection.
I wouldn't trade those two weeks for anything, but today I just couldn't see anything but red. I was just SO ANGRY that he didn't seem to care about how his decision would affect me. Just like how we are stuck in this tiny house, how I held Becca for two weeks just to lose her anyway and have more suffering than I would have had we had her when the doctors advised it, and now he doesn't give a hoot how annoying and frustrating it is to have an unhappy puppy in a kennel...because the consequences DO NOT AFFECT HIM!
I just lost it...called him selfish and used quite a few awful awful words towards him over and over. I threw a tantrum, basically, and I was very very mean and hurtful with what I chose to say to him.
He just took it all in stride, went and brought lunch back for me and Taylor, held me while I cried and told him I hated him, I hated this house, I hated this marriage, I hated this puppy, and I just wanted my babies and I was angry with him. And then he told me to rest, and quietly went back to work.

I feel like I should apologize, but I don't want to. I'm still angry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Children In My Life

I have been homeschooling two boys along with my 8 year old...a 6 year old and a 9 year old.
Their dad moved here from Louisiana a few months ago..not sure what happened between him and his wife, but the boys have only spoken to her on the phone once or twice and only seen her once in the past year from what I understand.
There have been days that the boys came to school in a foul mood and I found out later that they had tried to call their mother and she didn't answer. She doesn't return their calls.
Not sure what is going on with their family, but its very sad. The dad works on the road and now has to spend a month in hattiesburg and then Meridian so this is their last week with us.
My heart really hurts for them. The youngest boy is a rough and tumble kind of manly boy, but he has a heart that really misses his mother...he is sad a lot and draws her pictures. (That she will probably never get.)
The older boy is quieter and more laid back, and worries about his dad a lot.
Today, the dad sent me a text at 330 saying he was going to be late. Long story short, he never showed up. Despite me repeatedly asking where he was, he only said stuff like "are the boys ok cause I'm not" and other things about how upset he is...I know he misses his wife and he's having a rough time with his having to travel and lack of stability for the boys. I think he might have been out drinking, but, to be fair, he could have been out somewhere just crying and sobbing. I am just speculating here...I have no clue where he is.
Around dinner time, neither boy wanted to eat and the youngest went into the bathroom and threw up. It just kills me because I know they are having a really rough time with missing their mother, their dad all over the place, going back and forth from here to Louisiana every other weekend to see their grandparents....their little lives have got to be stressful. Especially if their dad leaves and doesn't come back routinely when he goes out drinking. (I'm speculating here...this has happened one other time that I know of because the boys were with me.) I took the little one's temp and he was fine. Bathed both boys, put them in jammies, and put them to bed with my son. I read them all a chapter from our favorite homeschool book and tucked them in.
My son just came in and said the older boy was crying...I went in and the younger child was asleep already, but the other was curled up with the blanket over his head sobbing quietly. That just broke my heart. I kissed his forehead and stroked his hair and talked to him. He is worried about his Daddy and upset that his daddy did not tell them he was not coming or anything. I told him it was gonna be ok and that his daddy needed to clear his head about some things and that his daddy was sad about being on the road so much and about leaving.
I don't know if that was too much to tell a 9 year old, but I believe in being honest with children. I told him its not his fault and it will be ok and get some sleep.
These boys are hurting.

Lord, please be with these boys and their father and try to help him get his life straightened out....and please be with me tomorrow so I don't let my anger get the best of me and give that man a tongue lashing he'll never forget for abandoning his boys tonight.

Give them sweet dreams, please, Abba.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mental Health The Second Time Around...

..went and saw my psychiatrist for a mental health check-up.

Diagnosis: I'm normal, healthy, and have shown remarkable growth and maturity in handling my grief and my emotions since we lost Jimmy last year.
In addition, he does not see a need for any anti-depressants at this time, just continue to keep my positive outlook and my healthy attitude towards my grief.

Jimmy's Birthday Cake




I was going through some photos just now and realized I forgot to put up a picture of Jimmy's birthday cake.
Daddy got the cake and the candle, but didn't want to have anything to do with the "celebration"...he was just doing it for me, so Taylor and I sang Happy Birthday and Taylor blew out the candle for his little brother.

video

Sunday, November 28, 2010

One Month Post-Partum

I don't have a baby to show off but God did bless me with a healthy body. I'm thankful for that. I have given birth to two children within the past year, and I'm still healthy and in relatively good shape.
Obviously, I'd much rather have the babies, but I'm trying to alter my perspective with positive thinking about what I DO have instead of what I DON'T have.
So, thank you God for my body that so readily "bounces back" from everything its been through.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Survived Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving wasn't too bad...I thought I was going to have a hard time since we were having one of my great niece's first birthday party. I have pics of her mom and I pregnant at the same time and touching pregnant bellies at her baby shower...her little girl and Jimmy originally had the same due-date last year but her daughter was born a little early and Jimmy...well. *miss you, Jimmy!*
I got her a toy that I would have gotten for Jimmy had we been celebrating his birthday...one of those ball machines that uses an internal fan to blow the balls up in the air after they go down a ramp and through a tube. Taylor had one when he was a toddler and he loved it...it went over really well and I was happy to see the birthday girl liked my gift.
I was surprised at how *ok* I was. I'm grateful for that, very grateful. It's one thing to be sad and miss your babies who've gone to heaven, its another to be so upset that you can't enjoy anyone else's children or their happiness.
My other great niece is almost 6 months old and while we were at the party I played with her and held her and got to feed her. I actually went back over the next morning and spent three hours with her changing diapers, feeding, playing, rocking her to sleep....it was a good feeling.

I've been getting the house clean in a way that its never been since I married my husband last year and moved in....I've put stuff in the attic, organized every closet, every drawer, every cabinet....washed all the laundry, swept and mopped, hung up towel racks in the bathroom, decorated, rearranged furniture....it feels really good to do all of this and I actually look forward to it during the day. I feel a sense of accomplishment and our tiny home is starting to feel more like a cozy family nest instead of a cooped up little prison.

Taylor and I went to the thrift store today and got him a very thick green shag rug for his bedroom floor. I also got a nice frame and mat from the thrift store for my stepdaughter's painting she made...I had Rusty put Becca's bassinet in the attic while I was gone and pack away all her stuffed animals and other things in a plastic tub and put those up as well. I've got her scrapbook stuff laid out on the table and I had Rusty leave her memory box down here but I may wind up packing it all up and putting it in the attic.....when Jimmy died I spent countless hours working on his scrapbook and sobbing and it was great therapy and closure. With Becca, I'm not really sure why this is, but I feel differently. I'm not sure if I'm afraid of the pain or if I don't need as many *therapeutic* activities because I actually did get to say goodbye to her and I had closure and two weeks with her before she passed...I'm not sure. All I know is that I don't want to do her scrapbook yet....I want to finish cleaning and organizing the house...I want to paint walls and redo floors and all the other odds and ends that need fixing around here. I want to put time and effort into something tangible that is good for my family.....and right now, scrapbooking is not high on my list of priorities.

That sort of makes me feel guilty....its been a month and I'm already ready to move on.....I didn't even go visit the babies for Thanksgiving....I just feel so differently this time around. I just feel like my babies are dead, D-E-A-D, dead and gone so why *waste* time crying and sobbing and doing things like visiting graves or working on scrapbooks when there is sooooooo much that needs to be done for our living children and my husband and our home....my babies are in heaven and they are not here. They are not coming back. I'm trying to stay focused on what and who is here right now. I guess thats why it felt so good rocking my great niece to sleep and I wasn't sad...she is here, I can hold her, and even though she's not my baby, we're still family...I'm her Auntie.

I think I ovulated today...that makes me feel good that my body is back to normal, but sad as well because a big part of me wants to try to conceive again right away and I just can't do that right now. Rusty and I have agreed to wait at least one year, maybe two before giving it "one more try."

I miss my babies so much. Jimmy, Becca, Mommy loves you. I have NOT forgotten about you and I NEVER WILL!!! Please forgive me if I am focusing more on Daddy and your brothers and sister right now....it does not mean I do not love you, it just means they need me more right now than you two do. You two are safe in the arms of Jesus and neither of you is wanting for anything. I will make up for lost time when I get to heaven, I promise.

I love you babies.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins

Wanna see what anger looks like? Anger looks like smashing pumpkins with a baseball bat..



I kept staring at these 6 pumpkins that have been sitting on my counter. 2 of them came from a farm where I went and got them while I was still pregnant with Becca...3 weeks before she died.

The rest of the pumpkins were gotten by my husband and stepdaughter while I was in the hospital.

Now, a month after Becca's death, these pumpkins were just sitting on my steps...unblemished. No rot, no mold, nothing. Pumpkins lasted longer than my baby.

So what to do with all that anger that was building up anyway??

Yep! Grab a baseball bat and have some *fun!*

I'm Angry

I'm angry.

I'm angry that my babies are dead and I'm angry that other people have their babies in their arms when I don't.

I don't like being angry. There's nowhere for this anger to go.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost 4 Weeks....God or Grief?

I have heard people say to pray for what your heart desires and many times God will either grant you what you have been hurting for (in his time) or he will take the desire away....

I've been getting a lot of *signs* lately...our house being too small, finances being too tight, being overrun with homeschooling my only living child (an 8 year old) and his schoolmates (I homeschool a 6 year old and a 9 year old for a single father), enjoying my alone time with my husband and my physical freedom away from pregnancy. We got a puppy last weekend and have been up nights to let it out, cleaning up messes in the house and trying to train it, caring for her while she was sick, taking her to the vet, spending $$ on her....in just a week we've gone through a lot of things that remind us of all the not so great things about having babies.....

Everyone talks about all the cutesy stuff and when we long for a baby we think buying clothes and giggles and cute little baby farts. We don't think about arguments over finances, fears and discomfort over illnesses, extreme sleep deprivation, the inability to do ANYTHING for longer than a minute or two....the complete sacrifice of mind and body and personal life for 9 months plus the first couple of years.

Most of the time, any of us would be perfectly willing to overcome those obstacles, find ways around them, and happily suffer through the rest.

Not me, not right now...the puppy is irritating me when she's not being cute, hahaha, and the lack of sleep over the past week has been a huge burden on me physically and emotionally.

So, I'm not sure if this is me talking out of grief and physical exhaustion of 17 months of pregnancy out of the past two years and 3 dead babies, or if this is God gradually easing me into a life that does not include any more children.

Even through his own grief, my husband is content with our family the way it is. He is perfectly happy with the two kids he has from his previous marriage...its me who has wanted the babies.

And now, with his two kids and my one gone for the week for Thanksgiving with their other parents, and us with a week to ourselves....I'm rather enjoying the peace and quiet.

Is God answering my prayer by taking away my desire for a baby or am I just convincing myself of this because of my grief and because I am physically run down?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Is How I Feel....

...feel like all my hopes and dreams "went up in smoke." This is the last photo of me and my daughter.(I used an app to do this, I did NOT actually burn any of my pictures!!!)



I'm just so incredibly sad at the moment.

I understand that being sad is part of grief and loss just like feeling angry and all the other grieving emotions...I just wish I didn't have to feel them. I wish I could be peppy and cheerful and uplifting all the time.

Today, I wish I was still pregnant....I miss you, Baby Becca.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Becca's Gravestone Is In Now

They called my husband and let him know they were going out to put her gravestone in...he came during his lunch break and we went so we could be there while they did it.



My two babies' earthly bodies both have gravestones. Mommy misses you, babies.



Daddy misses you too.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where Do I Belong?

Still waiting for my 6 week check-up to roll around so I can hopefully get some answers on why we lost Becca. Some clarification, closure, and future options would go a long way for healing right now. 3 more weeks.

At the moment, I am accepting that we will not be having a baby any time soon and I am trying to focus on other things in life like my family and our home. A LOT of housecleaning and decorating and cooking going on...maybe I'll eventually get this domestic thing down....its hard putting a tomboy in an apron.

I'm just not sure where I belong right now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy First Heavenly Birthday, Jimmy




Here is the Heavenly Birthday song that I modified from the "Happy Birthday" song that everyone sings for their living children....today I sang it for you, son:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEOBqOyMTXY

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Got A Puppy Instead...

Rusty and I had a rough night Friday night. We had a HUGE fight. It all finally blew up as neither one of us knew how to express our feelings about it being the one year anniversary of the night that Jimmy died.
We finally came together and cried and held each other and prayed together. We prayed for a lot of things...Rusty held me as he prayed for both of us. One of the things we prayed for was hope.

The next day we went to Tupelo to the flea market and wound up coming home with this:



She is a Siberian Husky, and we do not have a name for her yet.

Rusty has been talking about wanting a dog of his own to raise from being a puppy and he wanted a German Shepard or a boxer but then we saw these at the flea market and he decided he wanted her....I totally did not disagree.

Of course, now we get to experience the no sleeping and all the poop cleaning of having a baby....along with seeing each other "parent"....we've been taking turns getting up. It's my turn...that is why I'm up at 3am.

I wish I was getting up to soothe a baby's crying, not a puppy's howling and whining....especially because the dog training book says we have to ignore the howling and whining and just let her out to pee every 2-3 hours at night but we can't hold her or pet her as she'll see that as a reward for her whining and howling to be let out and she'll do it every night.....so not only do I not get to sleep, I don't get to comfort anybody.

:(

At least we can hold her in the morning....she's a great distraction, and a lot of work.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why So Tough, Katie?

I got pregnant with Becca at the same time as my really good friend, J.

J and I would call each other on the phone (she lives 6 hours away) and say stuff like "my belly is waving to your belly!!"

She came down to visit today...I gave her a bunch of baby stuff including most of Jimmy's baby clothes since she is having a boy and she is giving him the middle name James as sort of a tribute to my angel boy.

She cried a few times and I just kept smiling and hugged her and told her "its fine don't be sad, my babies are both in heaven, your hormones are running amok right now so you're just more sad than usual", etc.

I didn't want her to be sad because she was pregnant and I didn't want to hurt her. When I talked to her on the phone after Becca died, she was sobbing so hard she couldn't breathe almost. I calmed her down then, and I stayed perky today.

What I really wanted to do was sob and fall apart and say "my belly misses your belly" and hug her and cry with her but I choked it all back....my husband says I should have just cried with her, but I just couldn't!! I was afraid she would get herself all worked up and that stress isn't good for her baby.

My husband also bought me a small cake and a blue "1" candle so I could have cake with the boys today for Jimmy's birthday....(Jimmy died one year ago today and was born one year ago Sunday).

My husband didn't want to do it with me I could tell, (he says birthdays and celebrations and stuff for dead babies is stupid.) so J and my son and I went in the kitchen to light the candle and sing happy birthday to Jimmy while my students were in the living room and my husband was in the shower.

Again, I wanted to cry, but I had to hold it all back and smile.

Right now, I just want to sob but I can't because the boys are still here and my husband is enjoying his day off....

I also feel a little angry...angry because somehow I feel like I was robbed of my chance to cry. I'm not angry that my friend is pregnant, but its kinda unfair that she gets the pregnancy AND the right to cry during my grieving period for Becca and Jimmy's death and birth anniversary weekend.....the cake and the going through the baby clothes and stuff were all things that required shedding a few tears for emotional closure....but all these tears are still boxed up and my chest is tight.

Its not just J...I have several friends in different walks of life right now that depend on my strength.

Right now, though, I don't want to be strong, I want to just fall apart and sob for awhile.

Its my turn!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two Weeks

It's been two weeks today since Becca was born and died. Two weeks. It feels like forever.
I'm done bleeding, my stomach is relatively flat, I'm wearing normal clothes, and nothing hurts but my heart.
The only thing left, really, is the milk in my breasts that is rapidly being absorbed back into my body as the production stopped after about 5 days of not feeding a baby.

I've been homeschooling the boys again since Monday and I've been trying to find something else for me to do, but the things I want to do have fallen through and the things that are available to do are things that seem empty and hollow.

My hormones are fluctuating still, I can tell, but I'm dealing with it better than I did last year when Jimmy died. I hope I can get through the next 3 months of holidays and intense grieving without hurting the ones I love or falling into a depression.

I miss you sweet daughter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things To Do Instead Of Having A Baby

1. Drink a beer.
2. ....


Hmmmmm. This will require more thought.


I tried googling it...lots of people out there who can't have babies, but none of them seem to be doing anything other than obsessing over the fact that they can't have babies and/or trying to find a loophole or way around it it like adoption, surrogates, etc.

Where are the people who WANT to have more babies but CAN'T and are focusing on moving ahead in life? Where are these people and what are they doing instead of procreating?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Where Do I Go From Here?

Where do I go from here?

I've spent the last two years going back and forth between being pregnant and grieving...pregnant with Jimmy, Mom died, Jimmy died, Grandma died, pregnant again, miscarriage, pregnant again, premature birth and infant loss...all in an 18 month span.
....in that same time frame I got married, moved, blended families (Oh the drama and the hard work involved!), and swapped my career for staying at home to grieve, go through another failed pregnancy, and home school my only living child.

Lord....where do I go from here?

My life has revolved around pregnancy, hoping for babies, and grief and loss.

What do I do now?

More specifically, God, what do you want from me? What do you want me to do? Seems like in the bible, it was always perfectly clear what you wanted people to do. I've tried my best to be faithful....so where is my burning bush? Where is my booming voice from the sky telling me what to do? Where is the guiding hand of the man who walks on water? Am I missing something that's right in front of my face? Open my eyes and my ears, Lord, so I can see and hear! Remove whatever veil is preventing me from seeing what it is you have intended for me...

I'm all fired up for you God...I've been through so much and knocked down so many times that I'm tired of it and I'm ready to stand up and fight...but what am I fighting or what am I fighting for?

Just give me some guidance, God. Point me in the right direction...please.

Amen?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Now?

Is God saying no for right now or is God saying no forever?

Am I to focus on my one living child and my two step-children and give up on the idea of ever having a baby? I can handle losing 2 babies but I don't know if I can handle losing the chance to EVER have another baby.

Realistically, I need to finish out this homeschooling year, put my son back in public school and get a fulltime career job and help my husband get us out of debt and out of this tiny house and into a nice neighborhood.

Unrealistically, I want to get pregnant again right away and worry about getting a bigger house and getting out of debt after I've gotten the baby thing out of the way.

What am I supposed to do, God?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Babies Were So Beautiful

Jimmy




Becca

Letters To My Pregnant Mommas

I feel better. I needed to write two letters to my Pregnancy groups. Now I've gotten that out of the way, I can move on to something else...like thank-you cards or something.

Here is the letter to my "Normal Pregnant Mommas" from my online group where everyone is due in February:

Hello Ladies.

I wanted to thank each and every one of you for being my friend and my companion through my pregnancy with my daughter. Thank you for the advice, the prayers, the support, and the gifts. You ladies helped carry me through a difficult and uncertain time as Becca was making her transition to heaven.

Thank you so much.

I know some of you are angry and disappointed as well as scared and sad. It's ok. You have all been through a lot with losing so many of this group to miscarriage and infant loss. Stick with each other and never stop praying. What a blessing to have such a close-knit and caring group of women to grow babies with...I am honored to have been a part of this group during my pregnancy with Rebecca. Truly honored.

I know too that some of you will want to spend some time feeling sorry for me.

Please don't.

I know that some of you are angry with God and feel like he did not answer our prayers.

Don't be. He did!

I will be grieving for my babies, yes, but I was given a gift that most people don't get....God gave me two weeks that I didn't have. I should have delivered my baby and had to say goodbye that Monday that I went in to the doctor, but God in his mercy gave me two whole weeks with my darling baby! Two whole weeks where I got to wake up every morning and sing to her, two whole weeks of feeling her wiggle around, two whole weeks of talking to her, rubbing my belly, and feeling her kick me to sleep every night. I cherished every moment. God's plan did not involve my daughter coming home with me, and he did not have to give me those two weeks but he did. God does not owe me anything either. Some of you thought that because I lost Jimmy last year at full term that I was owed a living baby. It's a nice thought, but its just not true. Life is not fair sometimes, thats just the way it is. We live in a world where bad things happen to good people sometimes. Its hard to accept that, yes, but I don't blame God for it. (Blame Adam and Eve...they started this mess!!

God answered our prayers, ladies, he just did it in his own way and I will praise him for it. I pray that through all of this you will grow closer to Him instead of farther apart.

I will miss you all very much. So much!

I hope everyone sails through the rest of their pregnancies without so much as a cough or a sniffle. I expect to see lots of pictures of fat babies and happy mommas when I check back in February.

Love you ladies, thank you so very much for loving me too.

Katie


Here is the letter to the ladies from my support group...the "Pregnancy After Stillbirth and Infant Loss" ladies. This letter is a little more detailed...I think that after loss we all want to know all the details instead of just the big picture. I think it helps us somehow. I dunno. I guess I feel like I can let a little more out because since they've all been through it before I don't feel like I am hurting anyone by talking about it:

I can't believe I'm typing this less than two weeks before Jimmy's one year Heavenly Birthday.

It has been exactly one week today since I said hello and goodbye to my daughter, Rebecca Lane. She was born last Wednesday at 5:09pm weighing 1lb 8oz at 23 weeks and 3 days. She never took a breath, but I could see her heart beating through her tiny chest when they brought her to me. I held her against my chest and sang to her until her little body grew cold. I miss her.

I had my 20 week anatomy scan when I was 18 weeks pregnant. A week later, I called the doctor's office because I was having some watery discharge. At the time, Courtney and Stacy were having incompetent cervix scares and I wondered if my LEEP procedure and Jimmy's delivery and our miscarriage had combined to weaken my cervix....I voiced my concerns about the possibility to the nurse over the phone and also the possibility that I still had an infection since I had not finished the oral medication for my BV since it made me feel yucky. The nurse told me that if I didn't get a call back to check the pharmacy for a prescription. I never got a call back and went to pick up my prescription for some vaginal cream from the pharmacy. I assumed the doctor had gotten my message and decided that it was an infection and coming in for an exam was unnecessary. I figured he would know if it was possible to suddenly develop an incompetent cervix after two full term deliveries...I just figured I was being paranoid because Courtney and Stacy were having those problems.

I took all the medicine but still was having a watery discharge and feeling uncomfortable...nothing I could really pin down as a problem though until a couple of weeks later when I woke up and my belly had dropped. I called my doctor's office and he was on vacation but they squeezed me in with the doctor who was filling in for him.

I was in the exam room and he did an ultrasound and showed Becca happily kicking away and her heart beating...I was so relieved tears came to my eyes! The doctor and I laughed and joked about how I must have just been peeing on myself or something because the baby was fine. I told him to check me to rule out a continued infection so I could go home and have a good laugh at myself.

Unfortunately, when he checked me there was nothing to laugh about. I was 4-5cm dilated and the amniotic sac was so far into the vaginal canal that the doctor was worried I was going to deliver right away. He sent me straight to the hospital and told me I would probably deliver by the end of the day.

What a shock!! I just felt the bottom drop out. This couldn't be happening! This couldn't really be happening, could it? I called my husband and said simply, "I'm losing the baby." He burst into tears and wailed "Noooooo! Not again!!!".....the only other time I have ever heard him cry was when we saw that Jimmy didn't have a heartbeat.

The next day, I was still there and so was the baby. The doctor called Jackson to see if they would take me and he told me that they were better equipped to deal with this situation and that maybe they could perform a rescue cerclage. My husband and I were hopeful...Courtney had just gone through this exact same thing and they had pushed her sac back in and given her a rescue cerclage. Surely we would too! I rode in an ambulance the three hours to Jackson and my husband followed behind in the truck. We had hope!

Unfortunately, once we got to Jackson we were told that it was too late and they would not give me a rescue cerclage because of their policy on infection...they said that once the amniotic sac touches the vaginal wall that the risk if infection from the natural bacteria there is too great. My husband and I were absolutely crushed. We had spent the whole day the day before devestated that our baby was going to die, all day that day hopeful and singing about a rescue cerclage to save our baby's life, and now back to facing her death...the doctor's said that infection and labor was imminent and would likely happen within a few hours to a day.

We were given the option to go ahead and induce to pick up labor and say goodbye or to "wait and see." The doctor's told us that we had less than a 1% chance of making it to viability with the wait and see approach. It was a tough decision. I wanted to get it over with and my husband wasn't so sure. I didn't think I had the strength to go through all the emotional and physical pain and suffering of "waiting and seeing" when we had less than 1% chance and would just lose her anyway. My husband was not willing to give up though....we met with our pastor and we prayed and prayed and prayed and my husband finally looked at me and made the decision for me: We're going to wait, he said. We're going to give this over to God and let him decide what to do...give him the opportunity for a miracle.

We had two weeks....two weeks of me in and out of the hospital, bed rest, check-ups, hopes up and down, good news, bad news....you name it. But we also had two weeks of time with Becca. Two weeks of tummy rubbing, singing to her, feeling her kicks....two weeks of hoping and praying we would still get a miracle and bring our baby home one day.

Sadly, we had to say goodbye.

Tuesday I woke up in the morning to a sudden gush of fluid. My MIL rushed me across the street to the hospital. They did an ultrasound and said the baby's fluid was fine and when they checked me they said the sac was still bulging out. The FERN test came back negative so they said it was a false alarm and sent me back to the hotel. I continued to gush fluid, however, and had a very bad feeling. My MIL had a cold and I used that as an excuse to send her home...called my husband and told him he needed to come. Lucky for me, my husband trusts my intuition and he came right away.

I thought about going back to the hospital that evening as soon as he got there but decided to wait until morning. That night I didn't sleep very well...I was uncomfortable and thought I might be having contractions but I wasn't sure. When we woke up, I was pretty sure they were contractions and we went to the hospital. Once we got there the contractions picked up and it was pretty painful. The ultrasound showed my fluid was low and the sac was no longer bulging through the cervix so they said it had ruptured. (Looking back though, I'm fairly certain I was leaking fluid all along from the top of the amniotic sac and their testing was wrong...the doctor who tried to revive Becca said she had all the classic symptoms of a long term leak...not just a day or two.)

By the end of the day I was 6cm dilated and the doctor's saw signs of chorioamnionitis (infection of the membranes) which they said was the cause of the rupture and me going into labor. Becca was kicking throughout the contractions but as the day wore on I felt her less and less until by the time we went into the delivery room I was not feeling her at all. Apparently her heartrate had dropped to 80.

I was given an epidural and with only a couple of pushes, she was born. I waited for the faint sounds of a cry that I heard Stacy and Courtney talk about with their little ones.....it never came. They were having trouble stopping my bleeding and getting the placenta out so I couldn't see what was going on...I had a doctor with her hand inside me up to her elbow trying to pull something out and the other doctor massaging and grabbing stuff out.

The doctor working on Becca came back over in less than 10 minutes and said he was sorry but there was no lung tissue at all. He said Becca never took a breath or moved, her heart rate was low, and when they tried to put the oxygen in it wouldn't go anywhere....she didn't have any lung tissue and they said trying to do anything else would only cause her suffering and prolong the inevitable.

A few minutes later I was wheeled into the recovery room and they brought me my baby. She had on her Calvin hat and was wrapped in a white blanket. I unwrapped her and saw her heart pounding in her chest. I laid her on my chest and held her and sang what I sing to all my babies..."You Are My Sunshine." I held her and sang to her until she grew cold. Then I wrapped her up and handed her to my husband.

The next day I asked for her back so I could hold her again and say goodbye and take more pictures. I never got to do that with Jimmy and it haunted me for months so I held Becca and took pictures for a long time. I didn't want to say goodbye, but my husband reminded me gently that it was just her body...Rebecca was long gone and safe in the arms of Jesus with Jimmy. I gently reminded him that God may have given her a soul, and he may have that soul, but I made her body and I wanted to spend some time with it!

It was so hard to say goodbye. Physically I was not in good shape because of the infection...I was put on IV antibiotics around the clock for 24 hours and still had a 100 degree fever when we left. Throughout the whole ordeal my husband and I had a sense of peace and calm...there were so many moments where God's light came shining through and touched us. If any of you have kept up on facebook then you got to share those precious moments with us as we experienced them.

I miss my daughter so much, and my heart hurts. This is completely different than when we lost Jimmy last year though...it doesn't feel as raw or as hopeless as our pain did initially when we lost our son. We don't feel like Becca was ripped away from us like Jimmy was...we got our chance to try everything we could to save her and we got our chance to properly let go and say goodbye while she was still alive. That has made all the difference in the world.

Its still hard to comprehend that we have lost two babies in one year.

At Rebecca's funeral, there was a stand of roses right next to the coffin and right next to Jimmy's grave. A sudden gust of wind that came out of nowhere blew the whole stand over. One of the funeral home ladies picked the stand back up and righted it. I saw a single rose had broken off and was laying on Jimmy's grave right by his headstone. As the lady bent down to pick it up I called out "Don't! Please leave it there!" She looked down and burst into tears as she and everyone else realized what had happened....Jimmy felt left out and knocked over the roses so he could get one too! Just like a toddler with a new baby sister who was getting all the attention! We laughed and joked about it after the funeral and my husband even said "Jimmy! Do I need to get my belt out?" It was such a sweet moment and I will cherish it forever....it cemented the idea for us that our two babies were together and in heaven...and that they were still ours. We are still their parents.

Later on after they had buried her and everyone had left, my husband and I came back to say one final goodbye to our children. We left two little tiny plastic flower pots with colorful plastic flowers in them....one on each grave; one for each child. And we said goodbye.

I miss my babies. Both of them. I get up every day, I eat, I pray, I laugh, I clean, I cook...its hard to cry though. Tears flowed so easily with Jimmy. Not so with Becca. Even when my milk came in, even when I'm on pain, even when I'm so tired and weary and sad that its hard to breathe....I'm not sure why.

I'm not sure how to navigate these waters...I feel for HeatherAnne and Courtney so much more now that I am in the same boat. Losing a second baby is so much different...in many many ways the grief seems less and dealing with life seems easier compared to where we were a week out after Jimmy. In other ways, it seems much tougher.

I don't know what the future holds for us, but I'm hoping it includes another baby. We're going to wait at least a year to let my body heal. I'll hopefully have more answers at my 6 week check-up.

For now, I'm just praying and trusting God to guide us and get us through this storm and hoping my husband and I have the continued strength to hold each other up.

Thank you ladies for being so loving and supportive.

Katie

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Daughter

It feels so strange saying "my daughter." I never got to use those words until after she was gone. It's like I had a daughter and I missed it somehow.

I really should type out the whole story, but I just can't bring myself to do that...part of me feels like right now I want to keep all those memories to myself. I want to hoard them like precious gems...I feel like if I were to talk about each precious moment that just verbalizing it would cause it to slip through my fingers like a handful of sand and be lost forever.



I miss my daughter.

MY DAUGHTER.

I have a daughter!


And she is in heaven.


It was so easy to talk about Jimmy...it all just flowed off my tongue as easily as the tears slid down my cheeks and writing about it was just as effortless...I could hardly type as fast as my thoughts and emotions would come pouring out into my fingertips.

With Becca its different. I get up, I get through the day, I laugh, I clean, I talk, I try to be productive....but I can't cry. I'm sad, but I can't cry. I don't feel like I hurt as much as when Jimmy died, but I long for the release of an emotional break down.


And I really should be writing about Becca's last days....but I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't tell if I'm being healthy or being in denial.

I miss my daughter.

I miss my son.

I miss my babies.

But I want to move on...make my husband happy, get back to homeschooling my only living child, bond with my stepchildren, look to the future....I want to get pregnant again but I need to wait at least a year for my body to heal.

God, I need direction.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Goodbye Already?

Rebecca Lane Burchfield was born too soon on 10/27/10 at 5:09pm. She was 1lb 8oz and 13 inches of beautiful, beautiful baby....her heart stopped beating in my arms less than an hour after her birth.
We were in the hospital for two and a half weeks before she died..I kept a journal, which I will post later.
Tomorrow afternoon is her funeral and she will be buried beside her older baby brother, Jimmy.

Sweet dreams, Becca dear. Mommy and Daddy miss you so much.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

20 Weeks!!!




20 weeks!! Look at my Becca-Belly! It's HUUUUUGE!! :):):)

I can't believe this is only halfway. I was not this big this early with either Taylor or Jimmy...I went back and looked at pics and I was not this big until 8 months with Taylor and 6/7 months with Jimmy.

This is gonna be a big baby!


On another note.....I have now officially passed the miscarriage marker and entered the stillbirth zone.
I'm hoping I'll never have to worry about that again, but it does bring me some comfort that at least we've come this far and if the worst were to happen, I would still get a birth and get to hold her.

Morbid thinking, eh? I know I know.

I'm trying to think about how in 4 more weeks she'll have a chance of surviving outside the womb...granted, with a lot of machines and not great odds, but still a chance.
Again, I hope I don't have to worry about that, but its another milestone to look forward to.

When Jimmy died, he slowed down and then stopped moving completely. There was a two day window where he did not move at all but his heart was still beating....I don't expect history to repeat itself, but on the off chance that it does....this time I won't sit around, I'll go straight to the DR/ER.

*sigh*

I love you so much little Baby Becca. I hope all of this worrying is pointless and I'll see you happy and healthy in my arms in February.

Reminders Everywhere.....



I don't need a special month or a ribbon to remember my son. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him in some way...not a week goes by that I don't shed a tear for him. I will have an empty spot in my heart, reserved just for him, until the day I die.

That being said....I'm sick of being reminded that I've lost a son. I'm tired of the constant reminders that my sweet little boy died right before he was born.

All the friends on facebook that have lost their babies to stillbirth...all the pictures of stillborn babies, lovingly adorned with butterflies and flowers via photoshop because its the only substitute for having a live baby to adorn with real things like clothing...all the status updates of moms whose hearts are breaking....all the reminders and ribbons that October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.....I wish it would all just disappear. It hurts too much.


I miss you, Jimmy. Every. Single. Day.
My heart hurts, my empty arms ache....all those sweet memories before you were born, all the hopes and dreams your daddy and I had for you....I will never forget. Ever. Even if I get Alzheimers...I may forget my husband and my living kids and my friends and how to wipe my own butt, but I will not forget you. I can't. You will always be a part of me.

Miss you so much, Jimmy.

Love Mommy.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ok, I'm Done Complaining!

Taylor had a great swim practice. Tried on the new team suits (we order them on Mon...wow this sport is $$$$!!!) and got his silicone team swim cap.
He learned the butterfly today...just in time! The Asst. Coach signed him up for the 25m butterfly event at the meet next weekend.
He's so happy and excited and proud of himself. Definitely worth all the sacrifices!

Ate something and took a nap...I think that's the cure for pregnancy mood swings.

Feeling Becca kicking me...little tiny fluttery kicks, but still movement. Words cannot describe how amazing and wonderful it is to feel life inside me again.

It's just awesome.

Whew! Hope I can find a way to get used to and deal with all these hormones and physical and emotional side-effects of pregnancy.

I'm sooooo ready for February...I want to hold this little girl in my arms!

I'M COMPLAINING!!!!

Yes I'm blessed.
Yes, I know I shouldn't.

I'M COMPLAINING ANYWAY!!!!!!!

Homeschooling 3 boys is draining. Going through all of this and only being HALFWAY THERE in my pregnancy is draining. Not having a second vehicle and having to walk several miles a week with the boys to the library and the YMCA is about ready to make me explode.

I just put all the boys in the living room to have quiet time so I could cry...my son has swim team practice 3 days a week so we have to walk to the YMCA on Mon, Tues, and Thurs...the youngest boy loves it because we play basketball.
The oldest boy doesn't like it so he wants his dad to come pick him up...so his dad is coming to pick him up....what am I going to do 3 days a week if this kid wants his dad to pick him up every time we have to go to the Y?

And I'm STILL recovering from walking to the Y on Mon and Tues...yesterday I was so wiped out I couldn't even go to church. Now I have to walk there again and I'm still worn out and dehydrated from two days ago.

....and don't get me started on our darn tiny 900sq ft house...I can't seem to keep it clean to save my life. When the boys go home, I have to cook dinner, then do dishes, try to get some laundry done, attempt to straighten up...and the house is STILL a disaster!

What the heck am I gonna do when a baby gets here??? (This baby BETTER get here!!!)

I'm exhausted, I'm tired, I'm weepy, I'm irritable, I'm uncomfortable, I don't want to walk to the YMCA and I don't want to do anything else for a week!!

As soon as we get back from the YMCA I have to cook dinner and do the dishes and spend about 2 hours making tests for the boys exams tomorrow.

AAAAAAA!!!!!!

I would love to scream and yell and throw things and have a tantrum like a little child right now.

Stupid pregnancy hormones. 3 pregnancies in one year....I'M EFFING TIRED AND HURT!!!

And grouchy. Definitely. Grouchy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good Griefus! 19 Weeks and turning into a klutz!

Well, I was too busy crying yesterday to get a pic up for 19 weeks, but praise God, Becca has been moving all over the place!
(Yes, I have given up on going for Becky and agreed with hubby (and the kids) who prefer Becca over Becky for Rebecca.)
In fact, last night, when we were in bed, Rusty put his hand and my belly and she gave him a nice little kick. The first kick thats been felt outside of the womb and it went to Daddy. Yay! :) Now that's worth smiling about!

I have become so much of a klutz lately and I'm having a really hard time coming to grips with that. I've always been well-coordinated. Not graceful by any means, but well-coordinated. Yesterday I dropped two dishes and broke one.
Today I spent an hour and a half cooking Sunday lunch for everyone (teryaki beef, lima beans, and scalloped potatoes), serving them all their food and tea and then sat down with my plate, only to accidentally dump it all over my lap and on the floor.
And if that wasn't bad enough...I burst into tears!

Thankfully, my husband was very sweet and came into the bedroom where I had run to change my clothes (potatoes and lima beans all over my pants) and cry...he said "are you alright?" and I sobbed "I'm ok I'm just pregnant!!" hahahaha!! He gave me a hug and went to guide the dog in the clean-up for me. :)

Well, this week's symptoms are lots of crying and lots of dropping and bumping into things....wonder what next week will bring? Hahahaha!!
Oh I'm so grateful and so happy to be pregnant....I'll take whatever gets thrown at me. With a little prayer and some love from my family and friends, I'll do anything, ANYTHING, to get through this pregnancy and bring home a happy, healthy baby.

Thank you God for making my pregnancy very very NOT boring.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Everyday Can't Be a Good Day

I miss Jimmy today. Listened to some tunes on my iPhone that reminded me of him. Broke down. Had a nice cry....feeling a little under the weather physically as well as emotionally.
I miss him.
It hurts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dr Appt Yesterday Went Well

Had the big scan yesterday...

Baby was looking good with her legs all stretched out and relaxing with her face towards my back (we never got her to turn around so we could see her face...lil stinker!)

Her heartbeat was around 134-138 I think and she was measuring well at 10 ounces.

The 3 hour gestational diabetes test was icky, but I passed and only had to do two hours...my blood sugar was 88 when I got there, 123 an hour after the drink, and 118 an hour after that. Whew!

The anatomy scan for the baby showed all her parts in place and in working order, and all of my bloodwork came back great and problem free for both her and me.

What a relief, eh? :)

*****************************

Had a bit of pink discharge today when I went to the bathroom...trying not to freak out, just hoping that its "one of those things" and all is well.
I did feel baby girl kicking me right after, which is comforting, so I'm going to try to relax and just hope it doesn't mean anything and won't happen again.

*********************************



Rusty bought me flowers yesterday and bought the baby a pink stuffed hippo. This is the first thing he bought for the baby so I guess he's beginning to accept the reality of this little girl...I know its hard for him and buying her something was a big step.
He spent almost the whole time at the doctor yesterday with his earbuds in and his face glued to his iPhone except when the doctor was in the room to do the ultrasound. He was very distracted for most of the day so I can tell that this is difficult for him to process...think he's accepting there is no turning back and there's a possibility we might get to keep this baby.
He is slowly beginning to warm up to the idea, mention the baby more often, and admit once or twice that he just can't relax until the baby gets here...the pregnancy part has no real joy for him, just mostly stress.
He mentioned that it will be a relief when he can finally feel her kicking from the outside. I can't wait for him to have that experience..I know it means a lot.


Hope everything continues to go well...even the kids are starting to talk about the baby in terms of "when the baby gets here."

Thank you Lord, please continue to watch over our daughter....

Monday, September 20, 2010

18 Weeks!!



18 Weeks and all is well!

Starting to feel some movement...a few little flutters here and there and some little thump/rolls and even a couple of kicks!
Movement is sporadic and very light...if this wasn't my third baby, I could probably still pass it off as gas or indigestion.



Cleaned out the storage unit and tried on my wedding dress yesterday....good thing I was 6 months pregnant when I got married, eh? It felt so good wearing my wedding dress...I felt like a princess and thought I looked even better than I did in it when I got married.
Cleaned my stepdaughter's room/nursery and looked at the bin full of Jimmy's clothes...asked my husband why I didn't want to put them in the attic but I didn't want to give them away either...he said "you know why. it's like saying goodbye all over again." I cried for a couple of minutes and he just held me in silence.
So strange that if Jimmy had lived we would be complaining about having two babies in diapers....so strange......
I miss Jimmy, but I'm also so overjoyed with the hope and love for this little girl inside of me.



Tomorrow is the big scan and the big test! Soooo excited!! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

17 Weeks! (A week late!)

Wow, where has the week gone??

I have been enjoying what feels like a relatively normal pregnancy and I have been sooooo busy with homeschooling Taylor and the other two boys that joined us that I have been too pooped to update this thing.
Actually, that's a good feeling....it feels normal. It feels nice and healthy. I like it.

Here's my 17 week picture:




I have been antsy about the whole movement thing but I've still been feeling flutters here and there so I'm assuming everything is ok....I go back to the doctor on Tuesday for the big 3 hour gestational diabetes test and the big anatomy scan.

Can't wait! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

16 Weeks





Got my maternity clothes out of storage yesterday...a little nervous about that! Haven't felt any flutters or anything in two days so I'm anxious about that as well. Going on faith and hope that everything is alright....pulled out the old el-cheapo wal-mart "doppler" and tried to hear for a heartbeat last night...heard something faintly that sounded like one but couldn't really tell if it was hers or mine or just my imagination. It was enough to put me to sleep though.

Settling into my new job of homeschooling two boys along with my son...I love it so much! Taking new pride in my rinky-dink teeny house and keeping the dishes washed and stuff, hahaha! :)
Hubby and I finally seem to be on the right track to getting our lives and our finances straight so we're both ecstatic about that and its a huge stress relief.

We bought a bassinet for the baby!! And some little girl clothes and a pink blanket...I almost cried when we bought it, I was so happy!







A couple of more weeks until the big ultrasound....I hope everything is ok...and I can't wait!!!

Wish I could just feel a kick or a roll or something.

I really need the reassurance that baby is still alive and ok!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Movement? Could it be?

Was half asleep this morning and had my hand on my belly and felt a huge roll like the baby did a somersault...it was not gas, but I can't tell if I was really awake and it happened or if I was dreaming.
Felt something similar after Taylor and I got done with schoolwork today but on a smaller scale...its not like kicks or pokes or flutters but more like...rolling? Can't explain it, but its there!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Couldn't Help Myself....

...bought a baby girl dress with a cute sweater and matching hat. I'm so happy!


It's a Girl!!! Praise God!!

Read my bible last night for comfort....this passage literally jumped out at me:

Job 5:17-18

“Blessed is the man whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal."

I feel so blessed and so undeserving. Thank you Lord.











I had to fast for 8 hours then have my blood drawn (I'm SUCH a coward with having blood drawn!!) and my vein collapsed right before the last tube so they had to stick me again. Ugh!
Then I had to drink some icky 50 grams of glucose drink and then the doctor came in and did an ultrasound. I was certain it was going to be a boy! But nope...there she was...Doc pointed out her little girly bump and said he was absolutely certain. (He has been doing this for over 30 years!).
Her heart was 152bpm, her legs were stretched out, and she must have been sleeping because all I saw her do was twitch her leg a little and move her foot.
Soooo precious!!
I'm having a girl?? Wow!!!
Thank you Jesus!!!!

Called my husband and told him and he called everyone else.
I'm so excited and still a little in shock! :)

I failed my glucose test...they pricked my finger before I left and it was 143 so I have the 3 hour test to look forward to next time...but that is also when the "Big Ultrasound" is scheduled for and I can bring a DVD and everything so I'm still happy!!

Wow. A daughter!