Friday, December 31, 2010

A year in review....

     2010 has been a bittersweet year for me.  In just a few days I will "celebrate" the first anniversary of my BFP.  It started out as a wonderful year...a year full of so many hopes and dreams.  Only to come crashing down on August 25.  To steal an old quote, August 25 will always be a " that will live in infamy,"  at least in my mind it will.  It is the day we found out our precious little girl no longer had a heartbeat.  But I have learned a lot over the past year; learned to love more than I ever thought I was capable of, learned to live all over again, and learned what it meant to be truly grateful for my life and those that are in it.

     I never expected to see "Pregnant" in that little window.  We had been trying for a long time and I was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen; if we were even meant to be parents.  So when I got that result, I was happier than I had ever been...truly the happiest day of my life so far (even surpassing my wedding day).  Of course, the happiest day quickly changed to the first time I heard her heart beat.  I was 10 weeks pregnant with her when we had our first ultrasound.  What a beautiful sight!

     Those first few months went by quickly, except for the damn blizzard.  Back to back storms were not fun...especially when I didn't have the energy to go outside and enjoy it.  Actually, I think there was way too much snow to really have fun in it, but the dog seemed to enjoy it.

     Right after the anatomy ultrasound in April, we took our babymoon trip.  We both love to travel and love lighthouses, so we took a long weekend and toured lighthouses on the Chesapeake and in the Outer Banks.  It was a wonderful trip; we got to spend time together as as soon to be family.  Plus we had time to really discuss our name choices.

     With June came a trip to Harpers Ferry with friends from waaaay back.  Isn't it funny how you can just pick up where you left off?  That's the mark of a true friendship.  The day turned out to be wonderful, not too hot, just a little rain.  I'm so thankful for these women; our friendships have lasted the test of time.

     July turned out to be sweltering.  My mom, aunt and sister in law hosted my baby shower early on in the month.  I couldn't believe the amount of goodies Addie received.  The blue flowered dress that my sister in law Amanda bought still remains one of my all time favorites...there are even matching baby Crocs to go with it.  (I think that's one outfit that won't ever bee worn, it will stay in her memory box.)  Two of my good friends also gave birth this month, their children just a day apart.  It was fun being pregnant with them, sharing our experiences and complaints.  At least they knew exactly how I felt.  After all, the 3 of us can honestly say we were pregnant during the hottest summer the DC area has ever seen.

At the end of July we chose to do a 4D ultrasound.  For anyone who has never had one, I highly recommend them.  It was amazing to see her little face and watch her open and close her eyes, swallow, stick her tongue out.  There was even a point where it looked like she licked the placenta (her face was right up against the placenta, almost like she was using it as a pillow).  Ahh, memories.

     August marked the beginning of the countdown.  It was still hot as hell...thank God for air conditioning and the Potomac River.  I don't think I could've survived without them this year.  We spent many weekends at Izaak Walton on my parent's boat.  Well, I spent most of my time in the water, everyone else spent more time on the boat.  I was done; I was ready for her to make her entrance.  The heat definitely didn't help.  I now understand why pregnant women are so miserable towards the end...and impatient.  The morning of August 25 is a day I will never forget.  And, neither will I forget those words..."I see no cardiac activity."  I now know what shock feels like...I can honestly say I've experienced it and still remember how it feels.  Sometimes I think I'm still in shock (is that even possible?).  Another day I will never forget is August 27th.  That is the day I first saw my beautiful daughter's face.  Finally seeing her face was the best feeling in the world, immediately followed by the worst.  Hers is a face that I will never get the chance to see smile or laugh or grow up.  Yet, a face I will always cherish.
     September, by far, will be the most difficult month I have ever faced and probably ever will.  Even more so than right after I was hit by a tractor trailer.  The physical pain from that was nothing compared the mental anguish I experienced after Addie was born.  I wonder if that's what post partum depression feels like?  But I don't think I was depressed.  I never got the chance to be.  Patrick stayed with me, never left my side.  When he left the house, I went with him.  He was my constant companion.  I don't think he realizes how much that meant to me.  He helped me keep my sanity.  So did the rest of my friends and family, however 2 really stick out in my mind.  I hope they know who they are...I really don't think I could've survived this without those 3 people.  We officially said goodbye to her on September 25.  Surrounded by our family and close friends, we gathered in our backyard for her memorial service.  A single butterfly floated through the air as I thanked our guests for supporting us most in our time of need and spoke lovingly of a daughter I never really got to meet.

    The beginning of October gave us a chance to get away.  We spent several days in Luray, just the 2 of us and Jazz.  It was, for me, a time to reflect, to gather my thoughts and to express them on paper.  I wrote a poem that I am still very proud of.  Yeah, I'm tooting my own horn, but the poem really does express how I feel...its better than anything I've ever written.  The trip was very healing for me, gave me a chance to come to terms with Addie's death.  No, I'll never get over losing her, I know that.  But I can remember her with a smile now, more often than just tears.  October also marked my return to work, something I wasn't looking forward to.  My second day back I went home early because the tears were uncontrollable.  As a 911 dispatcher, I know I could face death everyday, but that day I just wasn't ready for it.  It was that day that I realized I couldn't handle 911 anymore.  So, November 21st I began a new chapter in my life.  After 8 years as a dispatcher, I began a new career as a Customer Care Rep Shift Lead with a new company.  The project I'm working on is brand new, so I'm helping to develop training materials and my input is actually taken seriously.  Its a nice change of pace.

     December has probably been the hardest month for me, other than September.  I didn't realize how much Addie not being here would affect me.  You know its bad when you're unpacking Christmas ornaments and just start crying.  But I survived.  I got some wonderful Christmas gifts and spent some quality time with the people I love.

     Bittersweet really is the best word I can use to describe 2010.  The majority of the year was great, one of the most memorable years of my life.  Certainly one I will never forget.  It took just one little person to change everything.  One little person to show me what it means to really love someone and to teach me to be truly grateful for what I have in my life.  One little person to show me what it feels like to be loved be loved regardless of how bitchy or moody I am.  It amazes me just how much difference one little person can make.  As tragic and short as her life was, I've learned more from her than I have in my entire life.  I feel like I appreciate my husband and family more, that I have the ability to love them with my whole heart (even though there is a piece missing).  I have learned so much from a little girl; a little girl who's life I won't get to share, but a life I know was special.

    My dreams for 2011 are to live each day to the fullest, cherish the time I have with my family, and, maybe, somewhere in all of that who knows what will happen.  Best wishes to everyone for 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No, I didn't forget...she's always on my mind.

Of course I didn't could I?  She's all I can think about most days.  I guess I just didn't want to admit it.  December 27th marked yet another milestone she won't reach.  By 4 months, she should be laughing, smiling, sitting up...I missing all those things.  It hurts more than I ever thought it could.  Why is it that babies are taken away from mothers who really deserve the chance to love them.  Why is it that people who really shouldn't procreate continue to pop out kids?  They don't appreciate them;  they don't see children as the little miracles they really are.  Its just not right. 

I can't wait for the start of 2011.  I'm so ready to put this crappy year behind me...and maybe start trying to conceive again.  The urge to be a momma and have a happy, squealing, chubby baby is stronger than ever.  I used to wonder if that urge was  just a result of my grief, especially in the beginning.  But, now, as the grief has subsided somewhat, that yearning to have a baby hasn't lessened.  I can remember saying to my husband, right after we found out Addie no longer had a heartbeat, that I couldn't go through this again; that I never wanted to be pregnant; never wanted to risk losing another child.  But I know I'm not ready to give up.  I'm not ready to look at "alternative methods" (I hate that phrase).  I want to experience pregnancy, the good and the bad.  I want that bond that only a mother knows.  I just hope it happens for us in 2011.

I can't believe its been 4 months.  Seems like such a long time, but its not.  It has flown by most of the time.  Its just days like this that I can't stop thinking about her.  She really did take a piece of my heart when she grew her wings.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And to all a good night...

     Well, it's done.  Christmas has come and gone and I'm glad.  I only had one real meltdown, and that was before anyone was around.  Some tears were shed when I opened a special present my SIL Joann made, but they were tears of a happy-sad nature.  She made an ornament for Addie, then made matching ones for my mom and aunt.  They truly are beautiful.

     The first picture is me opening the ornament.  The second pic is the front of the handmade ornament.  The last pic is the ornament made for my mother.  My SIL is so talented.  I love the ornament more than I can even explain.  It is and always will be my favorite.  It is just perfect.  There were so many butterfly themed presents this year, and all were appreciated.  Addie will always be my little butterfly.

     It was nice to know that she won't be forgotten.  Not that I thought my family would ever forget her, but I wondered.  I thought maybe they would be too hesitant to say or do anything to honor Addie,  for fear it might hurt me, but they weren't.  Both sides made sure to acknowledge her existence and I think that's what meant the most to me.  My in laws have always displayed everyone's stockings, and, this year, there was a tiny purple one, the newest one of the bunch.  I nearly cried, it made me so happy.  The ornament, the jewelry, the butterflies...all are so beautiful.  I will cherish them just as much as I will cherish my daughter.

     On a different note, although I said I didn't want anything for Christmas, I received many presents, mostly for my DSLR camera.  I love taking pictures, it has become a my favorite pastime.  I recently hinted that I wanted an external flash for my camera, something that would help with the quality of the pictures.  Well, my husband surprised me with the exact one I had been looking for and I love it.  I've already had a lot of fun with it.

     These are 2 pictures I took with the new flash.  Jazz is a border collie-aussie shepherd mix and is a great subject for photographs.  We've had him for just over a year now and he has proven himself to be a wonderful companion.  He always greets us with enthusiasm, but knows when to be calm.  I still remember the day I came home from the hospital after having Addie.  I had a C-section, so I was still very sore.  Even though he hadn't seen me for several days (which normally would warrant being nearly knocked down and licked all over by him), he knew right away something was up.  He was very subdued and kept all 4 paws on the ground.  He's too smart for his own good.

     For all the other BLMs and BLDs out there, I hope your holiday was as good as it could be.  I know this season isn't easy, but I hope that you all find some peace and solace in the holiday.  Best wishes to everyone for a happier new year!

     For my daughter:

Dear Addison,
     Your presence was definitely missed at Christmas.  I can't tell you just how hard it was to be with
our family but not have you there.  But I survived...we survived.  Thank God for our family.  They love
and miss you just as much as I do.  They are so wonderful, so amazing.  I am and always will be forever
grateful to have them in my life.  You will never be forgotten, not if I have anything to say about it.  Merry
Christmas to you, little butterfly.  May you always enjoy your time in the stars.  A candle always burns for you...forever in my heart.
Love Always,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Had to share

There are so many poems for baby loss mommas out there, but very few for dads.  I was surprised to find this one, but it is so appropriate.  I wanted to share it with everyone.

A christmas present for Dad....

A gift for you on christmas Day,
What on earth could it be?
I know the gift you really want,
......Is to once again, have me.
Or perhaps the gift of understanding,
To make sense of a senseless loss.
I'm sorry, my dearest Daddy,
But for those gifts, you must talk to the boss.
The gifts that I can give today,
Are memories, both sad and sweet.
From the touch of your hand on Mummy's tummy,
To my tiny little feet.
Remember the joy you felt inside,
When you found out you would be my Daddy?
The great big smiles upon your face,
You were over the moon, you were so happy.
Remember when you felt me move,
The wonder and love you'd feel?
Remember it today Daddy,
It just might help you heal.
Remember the little cuddles we had,
And the moments that we shared.
Remember my little nose,
And the colour of my hair,
I love you dearest Daddy, you know that this is true.
Just keep your memories of me alive,
And I will always live in you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A bright spot on the hardest holiday season...

     Since the day she was born, I have regretted not taking pictures of my beautiful little girl.  I know I was still in shock after she was born, but I wish someone would have asked if I wanted pictures.  Or maybe they did and I just don't know it.  Thankfully the hospital had taken some.  They weren't the greatest quality pictures so I've had to do some editing.  Plus, Addie had some pretty bad skin peeling and her color was really off.  Recently, I submitted the pictures to a website my mother found.  The owner of the website, Heidi Rempel, retouches photos of angels at no cost to parents.  The website is called Heartprints Photo Retouching (  I was surprised to see her name in my inbox today, knowing that she has a very long waiting list.  The opening lines told me that she had only gotten to one of my photos, but she wanted me to see it.  Tears filled my eyes when I saw what she had done with Addie's picture.  It was the picture I've had in my head since the day she was born.  There was my truly beautiful little girl.  Heidi did a wonderful job on the photo.  She made a truly rough season just a little bit brighter.  Thank you Heidi!  I can't even tell you just how much I love the picture!

     My beautiful baby girl in living color.  I love it!  Merry Christmas little one, I know you're out there somewhere, I know you can hear me.  Just remember that Daddy and I love you and miss you more than you can ever imagine!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today it came...

     So, I had a surprise waiting for me when I got home.  Well, two, actually.  I had signed up for the gift exchange through Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope website and I was paired with another baby loss momma.  Well,  my gift arrived today.  There were several cute things but one I really loved.  It's just perfect, so simple but so right.  I added it to our Christmas tree.

     I just think it fits Addie so well.  Thanks to Kristy who got it just right!

     I also opened her stocking today.  I have to say it made me so happy to see her name embroidered on it.  Like she's actually here to see it.  Its adorable and I wish I had the strength to actually display.  I would love to see it hanging with ours, but I think it would be too difficult to look at.  Still, it feels right to have her stocking...I'm glad I ordered it.

     I had a discussion with my hubby tonight.  Yesterday he had said something that stuck with me.  He asked if we were still planning on going to his parents house on Christmas Day, which we always do.  I guess it kind of stuck with me, so today I asked him what he meant.  He wanted to know if I was up for it.  I told him not really, but I know what is expected of me.  I know that people would be disappointed if I, if we, didn't partake in family holiday time.  Is that what it's going to boil down to now?  Are the holidays always going to be "have to" and not "want to?"  I don't want the holidays to be like this.  I want to enjoy the time I spend with my family...I don't want to be sad, I don't want to miss her.  Is this how Christmas is going to be from now on?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I feel so selfish.  Christmas is supposed to be all about giving to others, but all I can think about is myself.  All I can think about is what I want.  How is that right?  Its all about me...what I want is all I can think about.  The closer Christmas gets, the more I think about me.  Selfish, selfish, selfish.  How can I be so self-centered, so stingy, so inconsiderate?  I have never been like this before, what the hell is wrong with me?  I'm not that kind of person, but it's all I can think about.

All I want for Christmas is have you in my arms, to watch you sleep at night, to see you laugh and smile.  If only I could see you one more time.  All I want is that so wrong?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So, I did it...

No, not that, get your mind out of the gutter, haha.  I ordered Addie a stocking to match ours.  It probably won't be here before Christmas but it doesn't matter.  I don't think I would be strong enough to look at it every day...but I know I'll hang it next year.  The fact is that she is, and always will be, a member of my family.  Still don't know if I will get a "First Christmas" ornament or not though.  I'm just happy that I finally made the decision to order the stocking.  I never thought something so little, even so meaningless, would become such a big deal and such a hard decision to make. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dignity found?

‎"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died--you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift."
--Elizabeth Edwards (7/3/49-12/7/10)

The world lost a wonderful, intelligent woman recently.  I'm not political at all, but I consider Elizabeth Edwards to be a great role model.  After everything she went through...the cancer, the political battles, John's affair, the death of her son, she was still able to carry herself with dignity and class.  Honestly, I don't know how she did it...I wish I had one ounce of her strength.  Rest in peace, Elizabeth.

I've had friends tell me that I have handled the death of my daughter with dignity; that I have held my head high and continued on with my life, but have I?  Those friends haven't seen me cry myself to sleep, didn't see me sitting on the floor crying as I went through Christmas ornaments.  They don't know that I haven't been in her room since the day before I found out she had died.  The don't know the ache I feel in my heart.  I've been invited to 2 holiday parties and have declined both.  I have said I'm not in the Christmas spirit, but I really think I'm hiding from those who really care about me.  How is that living?  Today, my husband and I were in his truck when a Christmas song came on the radio.  What did I proceed to do?  Well, my dumbass started to cry...WTF.  I can't even listen to a stupid Christmas carol without tearing up!  Can someone build me a friggin time machine so I can go back to August and go into labor a week earlier?  Can I just have my daughter back?

Dignity, strength, class, faith...all have failed me, at least once in my life. Especially now.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Its amazing how the little things can make me miss her so much.  Today we had our first snow.  It wasn't much to speak of...little more than a dusting, but enough to make it a beautiful scene.  Normally, I hate snow.  The first flurry of the season is usually all I want to see and then I'm ready for spring.  But this year, snow just seems to make me sad.  A new season coming and yet she's not here to enjoy it with us.  I wonder what I would have done if she were here?  Would she have been my little snow baby?  Would I have bundled her up and put her in the stroller for a walk in the snow?  Or lit the fireplace and read to her until she fell asleep?  I guess I'll never know.  At least, not anytime soon.  Sometimes I forget that I can still have children.  I still have a chance to be a mom.  But wait...aren't I already a mom?  What makes me a mom? 

  I watched the snow fall and I ache for her even more.  I feel like I'm missing out on so much.  I had so many hopes and plans for her.  I wish I could share those special moments with her.  If wishes were dreams and dreams were reality, she'd still be here with me.

I miss you baby girl!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's done and I hated every minute of it!

So, we put up our Christmas tree yesterday.  And I hated every minute of it.  I sat there in the middle of the floor, going through the ornaments and started crying.  I'm so weak.  I couldn't even watch Patrick string the lights.  For a person who normally loves this time of year, this is so weird.  I don't like hating Christmas...I was looking forward to doing all the things for Addie's first Christmas.  Although, my mom made the suggestion that I do what I was going to anyway.  Buy her a stocking and get her the "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.  After all, she is still part of the family, regardless of whether she is here or not.  I know, though, I wouldn't be able to look at her stocking this year.  Our stockings hang right below our TV.  Right in the line of sight.  So even if I order it, I know I won't hang it.

But, the tree is up.  I really hesitated putting it up this year.  I actually told my hubby that I didn't want to put it up.  Of course, the reason I gave him was why go through the trouble if we aren't hosting Christmas for our families this year.  But, I knew he was disappointed at the thought.  We've always had a tree, big or small.  Yet, he still supported my suggestion without question...I'm so lucky to have him in my life.

Yesterday just wasn't a good day.  I never imagined having to put up Christmas decorations without her.  Its just not right.  I know, one day, I'll love Christmas again...just not right now.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Guess I should've expected this.

So, I was asked that question today...the question all baby loss momma's hate:  "Do you have any children?"  I guess I should've expected it.  After all, I do have a new job, with lots of new people.  I thought I handled it okay though.  I kind of paused, and the person thought maybe they were being too personal.  I told them no and explained why I hesitated.  I didn't explain much, just said that, yes, I have a daughter, but she passed away just before birth.  And that's as far as it went.  It wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be.  I'm just glad the person didn't ask any more questions.  I don't know if I could've answered them.  So, maybe it won't be quite as hard as I thought.

I am a proud parent of a beautiful baby girl, who just happens to have wings!  Missing my heart...

Just sitting here...

So I'm just sitting here on my lunch break at work and my thoughts have drifted to Addie.  It's quiet in the office, everyone else has gone to lunch (I chose to stay behind and save some money for the dreaded Christmas holiday).  I can remember planning exactly what I was going to get her for Christmas and what she was going to wear.  I already had two outfits for her first Christmas.  And I was going to order her personalized stocking...I nearly cried when I hung our stockings and her's wasn't with them.  I've actually thought about ordering one fro her anyway.  Afterall, she is still my daughter, regardless of whether she's here or not.  I just think it will be too painful to look at it.  I wanted so badly to buy the traditional "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.  Instead, I've been looking for an urn to put her cremains in. 

Yeah, I know, I'm depressing.  Its just hard not to think about her.  Especially when it gets quiet like it is now.  But at least I don't cry everytime I think about her.  I'm so glad about that.  There is no way I could continue living my life if I cried at every little thought of my butterfly.  But it still hurts.

Everyone keeps asking me what I want for Christmas, to which I reply, "Nothing."  That's not true, though.  I want my daughter back.  That's all I want...all I've ever wanted.  I want the pain to go away, I want a happy, healthy baby in my arms.  God, this sucks.
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