Sunday, December 22, 2013
Mike and I got to the hospital at 5:45am on Thursday, December 5. I was there for prep at 6, surgery at 7:30. The receptionist was nice. That has nothing to do with anything, but it's true. We got into a room a few minutes later, and I got my beautiful gown on and we got the tv turned on to the news. The nurse came in and asked the question we would hear at least 30 times that day, "does this little one have a name?" He didn't yet. I signed all of the hospital forms, answered a million and one questions, some more than once. The nurse explained the process we were heading for. My doctor came in and said hello. I got my IV started, and I think the anesthesiologist came in and explained his part. I got up and walked to the OR. I thought that was crazy, having to walk to the OR. Mike got into his "bunny suit" and we went to the OR. When we walked in, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was on the radio. I think that helped me calm down. I got up on the table and the anesthesiologist had me lay on my side so he could start the spinal. I asked for some acid reducer because I've had such bad reflux the past few weeks. It tasted like.. nasty. The doctor put in the spinal block, and it hurt. I started freaking out a little, but nothing compared to the panic I had with Sophia's c-section. As soon as the spinal was in, he had my lie down and they started getting everything ready. The anesthesiologist was amazing. He explained everything to me every step of the way. He told me if I felt like I couldn't breathe, to look at the monitor. I wasn't on oxygen yet, but my O2 was at 98. The spinal just made me feel like I couldn't take breaths. I stared at that monitor a lot. They checked my numbness, and put up the curtain. The doctor said she was starting. I had a warming blanket on my arms, and Mike was holding my hand. I kept an eye on the clock, because my doctor had told me that the surgery would last about 45 minutes. My doctor told me at one point that it was taking a little longer because of my scar tissue. Finally, they opened up and saw the baby. They started trying to get him out. And they tried. And they tried. They were joking about how he didn't want to come out. At one point, I felt someone pushing hard on my upper belly. I asked if someone was sitting on me. My doctor said, "it probably feels like that, but no." Finally, finally, they pulled our baby boy out and handed him to the nurse. She said he had red hair, and I almost jumped off the table. They took him to the warmer and started to clean him up. I honestly don't even remember if he was crying. Over the speaker in the OR, someone came on and said they needed the anesthesiologist in anther OR (I wish I could remember his name, because he was amazing!) they said that the "31.5 weeks twins were coming." It was a few minutes before he came to where I could see him and apologized and said he needed to leave for an emergency, but that if I needed anything at all, to let someone know, and he would be back. I told him no problem, I was fine! They wrapped my baby up and brought him over to Mike. His apgar scores were 9 and 9! Mike showed him to me, and I kissed him. Mike got to hold him the entire time they were tying my tubes and sewing everything up. All of the sudden, we were done and it was time to go. Our son was born at 8:05am. He weighed 6lbs, 2.6 ounces. He measured 20inches. The doctors/nurses got me onto another bed and handed my son to me. I held him on the way up to the room. My baby boy. Safe and sound. Mike told me they had to use a vacuum to get him out, because he was so stuck. The nurse said we would have to measure and keep an eye on his head because of the vacuum. But his head was fine. A small bruise, but it was gone in two days. My dad arrived and took some pictures, but I wouldn't let him hold the baby. We had promised Sophia she would be the first one to hold the baby. Mike's parents arrived shortly after, with our proud big sister. She sat down and held her brother. She glowed. She hasn't stopped glowing.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
I'm in bed still, waiting for Sophia to wake up. She was so crazy last night, I hope she sleeps for another hour. This is our last big family day before our family grows. We are going to surprise her by taking her to see a movie (Frozen) and hopefully just spend the whole day smiling. The rest of this week is going to go by in a flash.
I'd almost forgotten to worry again. My ultrasounds and non-stress tests have gone so well that I just started assuming everything would be fine. Such a dangerous assumption. I worked a lot of hours this weekend for Black Friday/Saturday. I'm in a bit of pain (back and leg cramps mostly) because of it. Baby's been moving a ton when I get home though. Its thrown off his schedule, I think. I've woken up in the middle of the night to wait for him to move. I remembered this morning that the doctor said the cord could become a problem later in pregnancy. Now that he's so big, what if it can't sustain him? What if he doesn't get enough oxygen from me? Thankfully, I'm done at work, so I can stay home and "relax" for the next 3 days. I also have to pack for the hospital and clean for Christmas decorations. But I will take it as easy as I can. Thursday, we are having this baby. I hope to come home on Sunday. I'm trying to think positive thoughts and not freak out about kidneys and cords and surgery. I need to get through 3 days of kindergarten drop off and pick up. And a huge snow storm. And the Thanksgiving leftovers being gone. One thing at a time.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
This has been a strange pregnancy. Very different from my girls. From how sick I've been, to the difference in my body. I've only gained 7 pounds, when with the girls I gained around 35. I feel great most of the time, but when I feel bad, I feel awful. I think I'm in more pain, but I think its mostly due to my age and the fact that I'm working part time. And this kid is A Mover. He moves so much, and he has gotten so strong, that it's painful at times. I don't know if he moves more, or if it's just because the placenta is in the back so I'm feeling more than I did when the placentas were in the front with the girls.
I had my last ultrasound yesterday. The baby's kidney issue has not gotten any worse! It's still there, but it's not looking as scary. Also, baby is growing. And growing. He is measuring a week and a half ahead! The weight guess was 5 lbs. 7oz. I know that's usually wrong, but woah.
I still have at least one moment of panic every day. It won't stop. Ever. Is he moving? When did I feel him move last? These last 2 weeks will be hard. I know that, and I know that we will get through them.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Some days, all I want to do is sleep. Today was most definitely one of those days. But instead, I went to work at 6am. After work, my friends and family threw us a baby shower. I have to confess that I was not feeling well. Two 6ams in a row and what I think is the remnants of food poisoning, I just didn't feel well at all. But we have these amazing friends. These amazing families. They came together today to help us celebrate the upcoming arrival of our baby boy. I am humbled to be part of such an amazing group of people. In fact, one of the friends throwing the shower is being induced with her first baby tomorrow. But here she was, throwing us a party. Another friend, the host, just moved into her house two weeks ago. It takes amazing people to do such things, and we know the best.
In spite of my almost overwhelming exhaustion today (hello crying fits over stupid crap) it is 11:30 pm and I am still awake. I've been awake for 19 hours. All I want to do is sleep but my head won't stop spinning. There are so many things going on in our life right now that I am dizzy. Good things, terrible things. The best things, the absolute worst things. Some nights I lie in bed and wonder how I made it through the day without exploding. Crying. Dissolving. I know how blessed we are. I know how much we have. I am grateful for so much. But I am also very angry right now. It doesn't do me any good. It doesn't change what is happening around us. I can put on my brave face all I want, joke about being ready to have this baby in 19 days. I can smile and laugh and joke about hormones. But underneath this, I am a mess. I am dissolving. I am flying apart in different directions and I don't know how much longer I will be able to hold it in. So I will blame hormones. I will joke about insomnia. I will cry for 10 second bursts and change the subject. I will be vague about the disasters that are changing our lives forever (to protect people's privacy). I will pack hospitals bags and wash baby clothes and pretend that this is the life we thought we would have. But underneath that, I know the truth, and even if I could sleep all day, the disasters will be there when I wake up. Luckily, so will the blessings.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Let's add to that. At our 19 week appointment, when we found out that we're having our first son, we also got some not-so-great news. He has a peripheral cord insertion, so we have to keep an extra eye on his growth. This means that the cord is attached to the placenta on the very edge, and at any time, he could stop receiving nutrients, and stop growing. The doctor reassured us, "Usually it's fine. If babies like this need to be taken early, it's not usually until around 37 weeks." Usually. I hate that word. So now I'm freaked out that I'm not getting enough nutrients in the first place, let alone to pass to him through my wonky umbilical cord. I would like to say that his growth now is perfect, he is measuring exactly, to the day, how he was from the first ultrasound at 7 weeks. But at 2 am, even that is not reassuring. At 2 am, all I can think is, "is it December yet? My body isn't a safe place for babies."
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
How can it have been six years? Six years since I held your little body in my arms. Six years since we bought a tiny white casket. Six years since I listened so hard for anything, the smallest movement, a breath, a cry. Six years since I held onto hope long after you were cold. How can it have been six years when I can still remember exactly how it felt when you would dance in my tummy. How can it have only been six years since all of the lights in the world went out?
I wish I could find more words right now to tell you much I miss you. I can only hope you hear me when I read your books to your sister. When I whisper your name in my prayers. When Sophia tells the world, "did you know I have a sister?" I can hope, I have that when it feels like I have nothing else. When I know I could live forever if I just had the sound of your voice, if I could put my hands on your cheeks and smell your hair. If I could tell you one more time what a huge piece of me you are. If. If I knew where you are. If.
I love you, my first and always princess. I love you. I need to keep saying that so I can imagine you hearing it. I love you. I can pretend the wind carries it to where you are. I love you. I can close my eyes and believe you are standing in front of me. That you understand. I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
Monday, February 25, 2013
There is this one stretch of road on the way to the hospital. Only a few feet, but every time I'm there, I'm there six years ago. That is the few feet of road where I knew something was wrong. Mike reached over and held my hand, and we drove the rest of the way to the hospital knowing.
How many nurses said, "I'm sorry" that day? How many times have we heard it since? What else is there to say? I almost feel like I need to apologize to people when I tell them. Because they don't know what to say, they feel trapped. But we're trapped too. I've thought over the past few weeks, that it's been six years. I should be better at this. I shouldn't be on the floor, curled in a ball, falling, falling.. After six years, shouldn't I be able to stand up? How do you do this? When does it become just another day? When will I not have to take time off of work, because this is the day my daughter died. Try writing that on a time off request form. I do, every year.
Sophia and I were out today, and I ended up on that road. I don't know how or why. Suddenly, I was on that highway, heading nowhere I wanted to be. It's almost as though I was forced to drive those few feet again. After I shook it off, we turned around and drove home. We were going to go to the cemetery, because the snowstorm tonight will prevent us from going tomorrow. But we're at home instead. I can't drive to Bountiful, drive up those winding, steep hills, and stand in front of that headstone today. I feel unprepared and selfish. I'm exhausted from the short conversation I had with Sophia about going.
"We're going to the cemetery today because it's going to snow tomorrow." "What's a cemetery?" "It's where she's buried, baby." "Oh! I know! That's how she died. Someone buried her." "No, baby. No."
She wants to know why her sister died, and we will never be able to tell her. So she comes up with her own ideas, and they hurt. They hurt. And now I can't face the thought of going up there. Not now. Later. I'll go later, and trudge through the snow, and place some trinkets on her grave, and stand there feeling useless, like i do every time.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
So tonight is Oscar night again. The tv is on and I cannot watch. All I can think about is that Sunday night 6 years ago. I don't care who wins. I don't think I will ever care again.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
This week has been long. I go from calm and reasonable to a raving lunatic just like "that". I can feel, especially today, that my blood pressure is sky high. My whole body can feel it. I'm shaky and dizzy. It feels like someone is sitting on my chest. My head is pounding.
I keep thinking about Laura. But I make myself stop. I can't cry now, I can't cry now. I feel like now is never the time to cry. So I have this pressure in my chest and in my head and behind my not crying eyes. I'll think about it later. I'll be sad later. I'll miss her later. I've been living my life in laters for 8 years. I suppose that it helped me survive losing my sister and my daughter. I suppose it is the reason I blanked out of reality (and I don't think I've quite found my way back) when my daughter died, less than two years after my sister died, instead of going completely and irreversibly insane. But what happens when my later crashes? How big will the explosion be?
Monday, February 18, 2013
This week its the week I dread. My whole life will be spent running away from this coming week. A week from today is the anniversary of Charlotte's death. So it starts today. The countdown of unbearable pain. Laura's birthday is this Friday. And she has been everywhere in my head lately. I'm better at hiding from things than I am at dealing with them. But I miss my sister and my daughter and this week there is no running away.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Falling fast. It started yesterday with an innocent reminder. The kids who she would have grown up with are turning six. My cousin's birthday was yesterday. Its a reminder. He was the first baby I held willingly after we lost ours. He will always hold a special place in my heart. I like to imagine Charlotte and Caleb in heaven before they were born. They would have been friends there. Family. I wonder if he'll ever know that, if he'll ever miss her. He and his brothers release balloons for Charlotte every year. My aunt is wonderful. She was my best friend growing up (we're only 2 years apart.)
But these are the days and the minutes and the seconds and the reminders. Gone forever, and I am falling fast.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Today is one of the days I should have kept driving past the parking lot. I should have turned around and gone home. Back in bed, I could have spent the whole day crying. It's just one of those days.
But today I have to talk to my 5 year old about how/why her sister died. Today I have to explain things that I don't understand myself. She's been asking questions. Every day, she's more insistent. She needs to know. How do I do this?
Friday, February 1, 2013
It's february again. I hate this month.
Sophia asked me yesterday who her favorite kid in our house was. Usually an easy question. But she threw in, "me, or Charlotte?" I said, Charlotte isn't here, sweetie. She insisted. Persisted. I told her I loved them both, she got huffy and kept saying, "me or Charlotte?" I gave up and went mute. I know that she has no idea how those types of conversations hurt us. I know that its not fair to ignore it. I know that she's just being a kid. I don't know how to handle it. You'd think that after 6 years, I would know what to say.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I walked into a funeral home and some of our friends were standing outside of a glass room. I don't know who these people were. There were four of them, and I remember knowing that they weren't close friends, but they were there for us- doing something great for us. It's like they were standing guard. When we got there, they seemed relieved, because they could go. I was okay with that. I walked right by them without speaking. They asked if we needed anything to eat, and I said, "no, thank you." and walked into the glass room. There were stands with flowers, a plush carpet. The room was only about 12'x12' There were 3 babies in the room, waiting for their families to come and see them. Charlotte was near the back, on the left. She was lying on the floor, with her head towards the center of the room and her feet towards the wall. I thought, "they couldn't even put her in something- a bed?" The other babies were in bassinets (or possibly caskets? I didn't pay that much attention because I was flying to my baby's side.) I knelt down beside her. I knew she was dead, but she was also alive. Her eyes opened and she looked at me. I don't what know I said to her. I know I babbled a little. "It's me. It's mommy. Shhh, I'm here." She looked at me and she knew me.
And I woke up. I woke up and I sat up in bed and I smiled, because I got to see my baby. I got to touch her and speak to her. I tried to stay awake so I could revel in the fact that I had seen her. Then it occurred to me that if I fell back asleep, maybe I would go back to the dream. I didn't, but it's enough. Those few seconds, seeing her eyes, knowing she knew who I was. Two dreams in 6 years- that's all I have of my daughter, but I feel so blessed to have that.