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.

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:


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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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.