Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Year Ago Today, Part 1

A year ago, today, I was 23 weeks, 2 days pregnant with Brianna.  On that day, I woke up in the early morning hours with a lot of lower back pain.  I thought it was because I had been on bedrest at home for about a month and that my muscles were just tired of laying around all day.  I tried to rest, but nothing seemed to help.  I asked my husband to stay home from work since I didn't feel well.  Around lunch time, I couldn't take it anymore and called the OB.  She had me come in to the office and discovered that I was about a centimeter dilated.  I was terrified as we rushed to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, I was put on medicines to stop the progress of labor.  I was informed that I would be in the hospital on bedrest for the foreseeable future.  They would monitor me every day with a NST (non-stress test) to make sure I wasn't having contractions.  The goal was to get me to 28 weeks.  At that point, we'd discuss whether or not I could go home (but still on bedrest).  I never got to 28 weeks.

Today has been hard.  I keep remembering the fear and the hope of last July 26.  The fear that my baby was in trouble but the hope that the bedrest and the doctors would be able to help me save her.  I remember the kind and caring nurses.  I remember the compassion of my friends and family as they offered to help out with caring for the cats and looking after the house.  I remember the solid rock that my husband was on that horrible day.  Most of all, I remember the tiny kicks and flips of my little girl as she moved inside me, telling me that on that day, she was still ok and alive.

As the next two weeks unfold, I know I'll have more memories.  I know that they will leave me in tears, leave me breathless, leave me aching for Brianna.  I hope that some of the memories will also make me smile as I remember her tiny life and how happy I was that she was ours, if only for a short while.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Almost a Year

If I sit still for too long, the grief takes over.  The lump forms in my throat, the tears well up in my eyes, the ache settles into my arms and chest.  So, I try to keep moving.  Do the laundry, clean the kitchen, buy the groceries.  I find that as I get closer to the 1-year mark, I have to keep myself distracted in order to get through each day.  I sing along to the radio while I'm alone in the car to keep the memories and tears at bay.  At home, I read a lot.  I've spent a small fortune on books for my Kindle.  By reading, I can lose myself into the story.  I read until the wee hours of the morning, tiring myself out so that I fall asleep quickly, without the time to focus on the grief, on all that I'm missing.

I know that eventually, I'll have to stop avoiding it.  I'll have to turn and embrace the memories.  I'll have to acknowledge the loss, the grief, the tears all over again.  It's not healthy to keep avoiding it.  It's not helping me to keep running from it.  But, right now, I can't seem to do it.  Luckily, I have planned ahead and won't be working on the few days before Brianna's birthday.  I can use that time to remember, to go back to last year.  I can relive it all, the good and the bad.  I'll have the space to fall apart, if need be.  Until then, I'll keep singing along to the radio and disappearing into fictional worlds.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

11 Months

Dear Brianna,

I am sorry that this letter is day late.  There's no good excuse for it.  I guess I just don't know what to say anymore that's new or different.  Eleven months have passed since you left us.  And I still miss you.  Every.  Single.  Day.

Yesterday, Daddy and I visited your grave, as we have done on (or near) your birthday every month.  This time, we brought 3 sunflowers...a big one, a medium one and a very little one.  I hope you like them.

(The flag was put by your grave by Miss Sherri, Abby's mom.  I think she was the one who also put the little patriotic rubber duckie there too.  She put them at all the babies' graves.  I hope you can see them and realize how much all of you are remembered.)

Brianna, I hope that you know just how much I love you and just how much I miss you.  You are never far from my thoughts.  And, little girl, you will always be a part of this family.  You were our first baby and you will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Happy Birthday, baby girl.  I love you.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog Calendar

Dear Followers,

First off, thank you so much for "following" my tiny blog.  I never thought I'd actually have anyone besides my husband actually read my blog.  The fact that you all do read it and care about what I have to say is rather humbling.

I was thinking the other day about the calendar I've put at the bottom of my blog.  On it, I've added the birthdays of the dead babies of some real-life friends (and my BLM pen-pal...hi Susan!).  I've done this as a way of honoring the special days in these other womens' lives because I know that in the "real" world, these days can sometimes be overlooked and/or forgotten.  And I never want to forget these children who were so loved and wanted.

So, to all my followers (yep, all 6 of you)...if you want, I would love to add your children to the calendar.  Just comment here with your baby's name (first and middle), their birthday (please include the year too), and your first name (and your partner's if you'd like).  I'll add them to the calendar and on their birthdays, I will make sure to remember them with you.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another One

Every Wednesday, I work from home.  My desk is set up in the back of our large bedroom, right next to our window.  I look out that window onto the neighboring townhouses that back to ours.  Because of the topography, our second story lines up with their first story, their family rooms, their decks.

A few weeks ago, something caught my eye as I was working.  I looked and saw that one of our back-yard neighbors was on her deck, watering her plants and she was very noticeably pregnant.  It caught me be surprise. I don't know her, in fact I don't really know any of the back-yard neighbors.  But, to see her so hugely pregnant was shocking.  I guess it's because I tend to forget that women still get pregnant and life continues on.  It hurt at the time to see her, going about her normal business of watering plants and caring for her house while so very pregnant because I never got to do that.  I never got that far before the bedrest.  I never got that far at all, even on bedrest.  I never made it past 25 weeks and 2 days.

Today, movement again caught my eye as I worked at my desk.  As I'm on the computer and going about my work business, I glance up as the door to one of the houses behind me opens.  And I see that the very pregnant back-yard neighbor is no longer pregnant but is now holding her tiny baby in her arms as she waters the plants on her deck.  And I cry.  Another baby born into this neighborhood, safe and sound.  And while I'm glad her baby made it here safely (because I'd never wish the hell of babyloss on anyone), I still wish my baby could have come home too.  Oh, how I wish I could be the back-yard neighbor with the baby on my hip as I water plants or tend my garden.  Of the 5 townhouses behind ours, 3 now have babies in residence.  And the occasional glimpse of them reminds me just how much is missing here in our townhouse.  And will always be missing.