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.


Melissa said...

It is bittersweet isn't it? A year we will NEVER forget as it gave us our children, but a year we are just wishing would go away. Hugs to you and best wishes for a happier 2011. the new blog look =)

Raquel said...

Bittersweet is perfect word to describe 2010!!! Wishing you nothing but joy and happiness for 2011!!

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