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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you," Isaiah 54:10.

I keep repeating those words over and over again to myself today.  

My husbands FB status today reads, "Today would have been out baby girls birthday, but sadly we lost her only a few months before her due date...we love you Bristol Grace, lost but never forgot...we will think of you and miss you forever...although it was so hard for us to meet you and say goodbye in the same day, holding you was one of the most amazing moments of our lives, and you will hold a special place in our hearts forever...We love you sweetheart."

I went into Bristol's room today, I sat in her rocker holding her blanket and cried.  She should be with us today.  I should be holding her in my arms and instead I hold her in my heart.  Her blanket still smells like her.  

I am going to be donating some care packages to our local hospital for the moms of stillborn children (the care packages have teddy bears, a book,  a candle, and a car magnet)....leaving the hospital with empty arms is terrible and, though I know it isn't the same, if I can help just one person feel a little less sad and do it in Bristol's memory then I can make her memory live on......

My husband and I are going to be doing a Chinese lantern release in Bristol's memory...we were going to be doing it this evening, but apparently Mother Nature has other plans as it is raining.  So we will spend this evening together and let them off tomorrow night.  

"An angel in the book of life wrote down my babies birth, and whispered as she closed the book, too beautiful for Earth."

Mommy loves you sweetheart and I will hold you in my heart until I can hold you in Heaven.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Starting Over

As I sit here its officially 36 hours until my Due Date.  Its also been 96 days since Bristol Grace was born sleeping.  I can honestly say that not a minute goes by that I don't think of her.  I miss her so much.  I still cannot believe that she is gone.  I still don't know what to wish for every night when I wish on a star.  Most of the time I wish that she is happy, that she feels no pain in Heaven and that God tells her all about us.  I remember thinking on September 22nd that I couldn't wait until May 31st now I kinda wish we could just skip it.

My husband and I are going to be doing a lantern release that day.  Im gonna write on one a message for my baby.  Our parents are also coming over on Friday and we will be having dinner and planting a tree in Bristol's memory.  I have also made 4 gift packages that I am donating to our local hospital in Bristol's memory.  I know how hard leaving the hospital with empty arms can be, hopefully this can ease the pain ever so slightly...

Well, I am getting ready to start over again...tomorrow shortly before 9am I will walk through the doors of our RE's office for the first time since October 19th.  The last time I left they gave me a small gift bag with pregnancy info and a pregnancy journal....now I will be walking back in just under 8 months later without my beautiful baby. I have a saline sonogram scheduled for 9am and then a meeting with the doctor to discuss everything that has happened and what our next step will be.  This is the appointment that the dr will give us the all clear to start ttc again.  I am hoping to do an IUI with injectables next month....

It just seems like Ive come full circle...getting ready to start ttc again and all.  I don't know if Im emotionally ready, but then again I don't know if I will ever be.

I just know that Bristol will be with us and see us through this trying time......

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Harder

I thought this was supposed to get easier with time, but instead it seems to be getting harder.  Maybe it is because our due date is rapidly approaching...May 31st.  A day I've looked forward to since 11:52am on September 22nd 2011.  A day I've been dreading since February 23rd.

I've never experienced anything like this before.  My mind keeps replaying everything that happened since we found out that Bristol had DWV like some slow motion silent movie where all I hear are bad things being told to me and my sobs while I feel so overcome with sadness that Im unable to breathe or even move.  It doesn't matter where Im am or what Im doing, I can't stop it from playing.  It has me so distracted that I am becoming incredibly forgetful, very irritable, and unable to handle more than one or two tasks at a time.  I had to go to Costco for work the other day and I almost had a break down in the middle of the store.  I had a list in my hand and the first thing on the list was Kirkland Center Cut Bacon, 4 lbs for $10.99.  I found Boars Head Bacon but I couldn't find Kirkland (which posed a problem cuz I was on a tight budget and the Kirkland brand was half the price as the Boars Head).  I walked around the entire store for 10 minutes and I was unable to find it.  I then decided Id go to the produce isle to get lettuce.  I walked around there for 5 minutes and couldn't find the damn lettuce.  I was panicking because not only could I not find what I was looking for, but I couldnt find anyone to help me, and I was under a time crunch as I had to be back at work in less than an hour.  And to top it off, everywhere I looked there was some stupid pregnant chick or someone else with a baby.  I felt myself starting to panic.  I couldn't find anything on my list, I couldn't be late to work, and I wanted my baby!!!  I started to have a hard time breathing.  Luckily I was able to find someone who actually worked there who was able to help me find everything on my list.  I was saved.  It took me about 10 minutes to check out (they clearly needed more cashiers).  I then had to navigate to the other end of the parking lot which was made even more difficult by the crazy people in their cars and their inability to drive.  I got everything put into my trunk, put the cart away, and even helped an old lady find her car (the sliver taurus in front of my car) when my phone rang....my bosses wanted a few more things!!!  I thought I was gonna lose it right there on the phone.  Luckily, I made it back into the store and out again in about 20 minutes without incident.  And I was only 15 minutes late back to the store.

I've read that some grieving parents say that the 3rd-5th months are the hardest because you are coming out of the "fog" that first hit after the loss.  I just wish so much that the body had a time limit...like after x amount of months the pain would be gone and life would be fine again.  Or at least as "fine" as it was in the first place.  But it just seems as though this pain will never end, never fade....like theres no end in sight.  And how can it end anyway???  I have this beautiful pink room with brand new baby furniture just waiting to be used.  Every single time I walk by the room its a reminder that she's gone.  Sometimes I just wish I could annex that room from the house.  And every holiday that happens after May 31st should have been her first.  My MIL keeps asking if we are going to have a 4th of July party like  we did last year and I keep putting off the question.  I'd like to have a party, but all Ill be thinking is that Bristol should be here....that this should be her first 4th of July.

I find it even harder to be around pregnant people too.  I know this sounds terrible, like I am the worlds worst person, but I think every single person should have to go through IF and a loss.  Both IF and a loss are so isolating....it can feel like you are the only person in the world who's been in the situation, and maybe if everyone had to stand in your shoes at one point they would be more understanding.  Plus, I think there are so many people who do not appreciate their children and maybe if they had to go through everything that we have to have them, they would appreciate their children more.  Maybe hold them a little longer....kiss them a little bit more.....read them just one more bed time story...

"I got to see my belly getting larger.
I got to see my baby on a screen.
I got to feel her moving inside me.
I got to experience the feeling of her kicking.
While that is amazing,
What I lost is even greater.
I had the honour of giving birth,
But not the privilege of bringing her home.
I will never get to hold her alive.
I will never hear her first words,
See her first steps,
Or watch her grow.
I will never get to hug her,
Comfort her and protect her.
I will never get to hear her
Tell Mummy and Daddy how much she loves them.
I will never get to experience the adventure
Of being a mother.
In my heart, I'm a mother,
But in reality I'm not.
I will never know how she would have looked and been like.
But I did get to learn sacrifice,
And I will always be able to love her."

Author unknown

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Today

Well, it's here....the day infertile women dread every year....Mother's Day....

This was supposed to be my first Mother's Day.  I should be 37 weeks 3 days.  I should be getting ready to meet our daughter in 18 days.  I should not be sitting here wondering if Ill ever get to be a mother.

In spite of this all encumbering sadness that I feel today hasn't been terrible.  I have received 4 heartfelt messages from people that have made me feel special today.  The funny part about it is that these messages have come from unlikely sources...my second cousin who I haven't actually spoken to in years (she lost a baby at around 6 months old), my husbands friends' wife that Ive only spoken with 3 times and two of those times were at our respective weddings (she had a miscarriage at 12 weeks), a male co-worker who has my position at another location in a different state that Ive never actually met before (he and his wife experienced infertility), and my former therapist (who suffered 2 losses herself later in pregnancy).  All of these messages have made me feel special...like Im not forgotten on this day.  If only I could find the words to tell them how much their words have meant to me.....I've wondered to myself if Im actually a mother since my baby died, I guess their messages have answered that question.

I hope Im not being selfish by not visiting with my mom, MIL, and my grandma this day.  They are all very special people whom I love very much....its just that today is really sad for me, especially after Bristol passed away and I just don't really think I can handle leaving the house.  Frankly, I think Im doing good that I left my bed today.  Well, Ive been awake for 4 hours....I think that means its time for a nap!!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

I remember Mother's Day when I was a kid...my dad and I would go to the store and pick out the prefect gift for my mom.  When I was little it was like a  treat to go shopping with my dad especially cuz I could always convince him to buy me something too...most of the time it was a stuffed animal of sorts.  As I got older he took me cuz I had a better idea of what my mom would like or what size she would wear.  It was nice cuz I got to spend the day with my dad...and, I could still always convince him to buy me a little something too. :)  My dad has had a few strokes now and isn't the man he used to be but I remember the last time he and I went shopping for my mom after I was married to the husband.  My dad told me one day it would be my husband and child going shopping for me for Mother's Day.......(he also mentioned that he would let husband know that anything for the house, that is used for cleaning, or cooking is not a good present.)

I think Mother's Day is definitely the hardest day of the year for us infertiles, especially since FaceBook was invented.  Who wants to log on and see a bunch of Happy Mother's Day comments when its the one thing in the world that you want more than anything but also the one thing in the world that seems just out of your reach???  Deffinitly not me.  I think thats probably why I have hidden 99% of all of the people whom I am friends with that are either pregnant or have a kid under the age of 8.

Husband and I have been TTC for 3 years this June 9th...so technically 35 months and 2 days as of today (but who's counting, right??).  That makes this my 3rd Mother's Day with empty arms.  The first two were very hard but I expect this one to be even harder.  I should be 37 weeks today......I should be getting ready to meet our daughter in only 20 days....instead I have an empty nursery and empty arms.



These are two poems about Mother's Day for Mothers who's children are in Heaven that Id like to share...

It's the busiest day in Heaven
I'm planning a big surprise
To let you know I love you
And that no one ever dies

Even though your down below
And I am up above
I'm sending you my wishes
And all my angel love

It's really quite exciting
To plan this big event
For lots of gifts will come your way
And all are Heaven sent

First I'll take a bubble bath-
My splashes might cause some rain
But knowing all the fun I'm having
Will help to ease your pain

Next I'll get some pictures
In my halo and gown
So when you get to Heaven
You can show me all around

I have color crayons in Heaven
And I will draw some stars so bright
And place them in the sky today
For you to see tonight

Then Jesus will have story time
And I will sit upon his lap
He'll tell me all about you
Just before I nap

I'll awake full of energy
And play a game or two
Before I finish sending
All my love to you

After snack I'll write a song
For all the birds to sing
And know I've made you happy
With all the joy it brings

At night time I'll be tired
But I'll still hold you tight
My arms will wrap around you
And keep you through the night

And when you finally slumber
I will kneel and pray
Asking God to bless you
On this special Mothers Day

Love,
Your Little Angel

~unknown



Dear Mr. Hallmark,

I am writing to you from Heaven,
And though it must appear
A rather strange idea,
I see everything from here.
I just popped in to visit,
Your stores to find a card
A card of love for my mother,
As this day for her is hard.
There must be some mistake I thought,
Every card you could imagine
Except I could not find a card,
From a child who lives in Heaven.
She is still a mother too,
No matter where I reside
I had to leave, she understands,
But oh the tears she's cried.
I thought that if I wrote you,
That you would come to know
That though I live in Heaven now,
I still love my mother so.
She talks with me, and dreams with me;
We still share laughter too,
Memories our way of speaking now,
Would you see what you could do?
My mother carries me in her heart,
Her tears she hides from sight.
She writes poems to honor me,
Sometimes far into the night
She plants flowers in my garden,
There my living memory dwells
She writes to other grieving parents,
Trying to ease their pain as well.
So you see Mr. Hallmark,
Though I no longer live on earth
I must find a way,
To remind her of her wondrous worth.
She needs to be honored,
And remembered too
Just as the children of earth will do.
Thank you Mr. Hallmark,
I know you'll do your best
I have done all I can do;
To you I'll leave the rest.
Find a way to tell her,
How much she means to me
Until I can do it for myself,
When she joins me in eternity.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Here

The first few days home from the hospital are pretty much a blur.  I cried a lot.  I slept a lot.  And the only thing I ate was junk food.  Truthfully, the next thing I remember is it being Friday March 2nd and thinking that it had already been a week since Bristol was born sleeping. 

 Time is a funny thing like that...it flies by sometimes, drags on slowly at other times, and then one day you look up and you wonder how it is that you got to where you are. 

The second, third, and fourth week I cried a lot.  I slept a lot.  But I tried to put things back together.  I watched a lot of tv, took our dogs for walks, cleaned our already clean house, and made a few dinners.  We even went to a support group.  

The fifth and sixth week started to get better.  I was still sad, not a moment went by that I didn't think of our daughter, but I started to go on.  I made fancy dinners for the husband and I.  I actually enjoyed my last two weeks off of work.  

I went back to work on April 9th, the seventh week.  Wow, that was way harder than I thought.  I thought I had been moving forward but going back to work seemed like 5 steps back.  Everywhere I looked there were reminders of the old me, the pregnant me.  My second week back to work got better and by my second Friday I managed to make it through the day without crying.  

Then, without any known reason, I fell 5 steps backwards.  Which brings me to where I am today.  I think of Bristol every minute of every day regardless of what Im doing.  It makes me sad.  I miss her so much.  It occurred to me today that I should be 37 weeks and getting ready to meet my daughter in 3 short weeks.  I should be getting ready to celebrate my first Mother's Day as a soon to be mom, not dreading the day and planning how I can stay in bed all day.  I feel almost foggy, I forget what Im doing, I get distracted easily, and I make simple mistakes that I never would have otherwise made.  I have panic attacks in the middle of the work day for no reason.  I get so overwhelmed with sadness that I just want to run from the building sobbing.  My therapist assures me this is normal...that grief occurs in stages, some stages last longer than others, and that there is no "order" that the stages come in, but that doesn't really help.  I mean what is normal anyway???  

I met with a psychiatrist the other day.  Ive been on Zoloft since we left the hospital.  And Ambien to help me sleep at night.  She gave me a script for Xanax to help me with my panic attacks.  Im not trying to medicate the pain away, I don't think thats possible.  Im just taking something to help me function enough to get through the days.

In the days after Bristol's death I was told that the pain of losing a child never goes away, you just learn to make room for it.  I don't think I could have said it better myself.....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UP.....

Have any of you seen the Disney-Pixar movie UP???  Its a cute movie for the most part.  But the one clip for the old man going through his photo album tears me up every time....and it seems so real too.  The way they look at the skies with all the babies, start decorating a nursery, and then are given the terrible news.  And the way the wife looks at the doctors office and the look on her face when she's outside.....well, I know its an animated movie but I think they do a good job of portraying the pain.......


Friday, May 4, 2012

Faith

When we first found out that Bristol was gone I was mad.  I was really mad at God.

Though Ive never been a super religious person, I was raised Lutheran and the husband was raised Catholic.  We were married in a Catholic church and had agreed that I would become Catholic and we would raise our kids Catholic.  We've never been ones to go to church on Sundays.  In fact we only go to church on Christmas eve.  But that doesn't mean that I don't have a good relationship with God.  I talk to him a lot and I pray to him a lot.  Frankly, Ive just been too lazy.  I like sleeping in on the weekends.  Im not making an excuse, thats just the way its been.

While going through life I frequently ask God, "why?" And though I never normally get an answer right then, eventually I see His reasoning.  When we finally got pregnant with Bristol I couldn't wait for her to be born...I knew the moment that she was in my arms all of our pain with infertility would be gone and everything would make sense in this crazy world.  Now, I feel like I have more questions than ever.

You know, when we first found out that Bristol had some health problems, I prayed that she wouldn't suffer.  I asked God to take her to be with Him if her life on this Earth was going to be painful.  I didn't want her to suffer.  I also asked God to save her and fix her.  I knew it was within his power to do so.  The moment the doctor told me that she was gone I felt so mad at Him.  He had the power to save my baby and He didn't.  I felt so guilty for being mad at him.  I wanted so badly for someone to tell me it was ok to be mad.  When the deacon came in to visit us before she was born he told us that it was ok to be mad at God.  He told me that I just had to talk to God about my anger and not shut God out.  He also told me that Bristol was made in God's image.  And though she couldn't stay with us on Earth that God had bigger plans for her.  Though I don't know what those plans are now....I have faith that one day I will...

Until then....baby I love you!!!!!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Changes

Well, Im officially on week 4 of being back at work.  I'm still there and I haven't called in once so that has to count as something, right???  Its not at all like I expected it to be.  The first week back was so hard.  But then the second week it got a little easier.  The third week though just seemed the same as the second.  And the fourth....well, so far its been really hard so Im not holding out too much hope.

I try to tell myself that Im ok but I know thats a lie.  It's a little easier to fool other people though, cuz they can't see my heart.  They don't have to hear my thoughts.  Its so hard....literally not a waking minute goes by that I don't think of Bristol.  Today is May 1st....I should be getting ready to meet her in a few weeks.

I saw a psychiatrist this past week.  When I was at the hospital they put me on a low dose of Zoloft and I wanted to discuss medication with another professional with the hopes of trying to get pregnant again soon.  She told me the same thing that the doctors at the high risk clinic told me, that a low dose antidepressant/anti anxiety medication is ok during pregnancy, that they would rather keep me mentally healthy cuz thats better for the baby.  She also told me that since it had only been 8 weeks since Bristol had passed all of my feelings were normal and that its normal to not feel like the same person that I was before this happened.  Normal......I don't even know what that means any more.....to me I feel like a totally different person.......

It's weird....before Bristol was born, even before we started trying to get pregnant I played FarmVille on Facebook.  I played it all the time.  When the FarmVille app came out for the iPhone I was crazy excited. I played it all day...in the bathroom, in the morning, while making dinner, on breaks at work, at night while my husband was sleeping....you could say I was obsessed (my husband sure would).  My goal was to be at level 100 by the time the baby was born.  I even harvested the morning before our doctors appointment.  That was the last time I played that game.  I haven't even really thought about it except to think about how weird it is that I no longer even care about that game.  I used to love country music.  It was basically the only thing I listened to in the car (except for my political talk radio).  I would dance to it in my car on the way to and from work.  Only when a song that I didn't like would come out would I change the channel.  Now....well, all I listen to is my talk radio.  In the mornings I also flip between two religious channels....one that is a talk station and the other has the daily mass on.  I listen to the prayers and pray right along with them.

I've never really liked cooking.  I mean I made dinner because we had to eat and its not healthy or cost effective to get carry out daily.  When I was off of work I cooked a few different meals that turned out really well.  I kinda miss doing that now.  I wish I had more time to cook.  I used to be really picky about a clean house too.  I would clean clean.....now, while the house is still super clean, a little dirt here or there doesn't bother me.  And wow, am I tired.  I don't sleep well at night, I wake up a few times at least.  And even if I go to bed early and don't wake up at all during the night I still wake up tired in the morning....

I miss my baby girl so much.  I've told my therapist that I am surprised that its not getting easier.  That, while it did get easier in the beginning that I think its kinda stalled out and Im not getting any "better".  She says that its normal.  That its kinda how grief works.  Well, let me tell you.....grief and I are not getting along right now.  I want to go back to my old life....where for the most part I was happy and I didn't know this pain.......