Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Right Where I Am 2012: 1 year, 9 months

***I wrote this post on May 27th, her 21 month birthday, but was unable to post because we were out of town for the holiday***

It's hard to believe its been nearly a year since I wrote my first Right Where I Am post.  Angie from Still Life with Circles has decided to host this project again this year and I've decided to link up once again.

The basic concept behind the Right Where I Am project is telling the story of where you are in your grief and what it's like now, so others can get an idea of what life will be like as they travel down the road of baby loss.

What a difference a year makes.  I went back and read, then re-read my post.  Sometimes, it's hard to remember what it was like to feel so emotionally out of control. 

Does that mean I don't miss her as much as I used to?  Does that mean I don't think of her as often?  No, it doesn't.  I miss her more than ever and I think of her every single day.  I think the main reason I feel more emotionally stable is because I've come to accept this new life, the life of a baby loss mom.  Do I wish things were different?  Hell yeah I do, but I know I can't change it and I'm OK with that.

I'm sure a lot of my stability comes with the fact that, in about 6 weeks, we should be welcoming her little brother in to the world.  Pregnancy after a loss is very difficult and I'm sure that's had something to do with keeping my mind off missing her so severely.  This pregnancy has been very stressful for many reasons.  But, as my little man grows, mentally I do too.

This time last year, I could barely go into her room.  This year, not only have I gone in to her room, we've also repainted, packed away the girly stuff and prepared for his arrival.   Honestly, we've waited longer than we did with Addie though.  For me, I know I was putting off any change "just in case" something happened.  You know, I thought changing things in her room would bother me more, but it didn't.  I wonder if that's because we never got to bring her home; she never got to use her room.  Still it will always be her room first, no matter how many other children we decide to have.

I haven't had a good cry over her in awhile.  Sometimes that scares me.  I'm waiting for the serious breakdown, but it has yet to come.  I can't help but wonder why.

I used to dream about her all the time...now, I crave those dreams.  It's been too long since I've "seen" her little face.

I find myself not nearly as sensitive as I used to be when people complain about their children.  Although it still drives me nuts, I can overlook the insensitive idiots that don't truly appreciate the gifts they've been given.

The regrets, the what ifs, all those thoughts have gone.  I know I can't change the past...as much as it sucks, I have to accept it.  And I think I have (most days...).

There are so many reminders of her in my life.  Pictures hanging around my house, my Molly Bear, my blogs, my tattoo, my gardens...every day I am grateful she has inspired so many beautiful things that I cherish.

I love my little girl.  Every day I wish she were here.  Every day I wish I could kiss her, tell her how much I love her, hug her, never let her go.  But I can't.  And I've learned how to live without her.  My life will never be the same, but losing her has made me the person I am today.  Still flawed certainly, but a better person in many ways.  I no longer hate the life I've been given; no, I don't love it either, but I've accepted it and am still learning to lie this new life to the fullest.

 No matter how long you've been gone, Addie, there will always be that hole in my heart that was carved by your soul as you left us. You carry that piece of my heart with you, always in your own.

My grief is still there, though not as deeply felt as it was before.  I know that grief will never go away, but it has certainly gotten easier to deal with as time passed.  What a difference a year makes...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Journey--I'm Still Standing

Today, I'm linking up with the online magazine, Still Standing, and writing for their monthly blog hop.  Just click on the picture above to read more stories of the Journey mommas like me have been on.

It's been 1 year, 8 months, 1 week and 1 day since I said hello and goodbye to my first born.  Everyday I am thankful and amazed that I am still standing.  I remember, not long after she died, consciously making the choice to continue living.  It was either that or allow myself to die with her.  There was no in between for me and I knew dying was not an option.  So, I chose to LIVE, no matter how hard that would be.

There were times I nearly failed; there were so many times I refused to move because the grief was too much, too heavy to carry.  But then I would see the faces; they were the faces of those around me, faces of those who loved and cared for me.  Slowly, carefully I would stand, bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.  To this day, I give my husband much of the credit for my survival.  In those early days, he refused to allow me to sequester myself, gently prodding me to venture out in the world.  And, on the days when he knew his efforts were in vain, he would hold me as I cried myself to sleep.  Love is a powerful thing.

Today, I'm still standing because of him and so many others.  My family and friends allowed me to grieve as I needed.  They supported me as I set out to create a legacy in her name.  And, most importantly, they show me every day that she'll never be forgotten.  That's how much they care...again, love shows just how powerful it can be.

Here I am on the cusp of my second Mother's Day without her and I have hope, something I thought no longer existed.  Although the pain is much less than it used to be, the hole in my heart will always remain the same.  I firmly believe that, wherever she is, she carries that piece of my heart with her.  And, I believe that, somehow, someway, she watches over her little brother.  It's true what they say...being pregnant after a loss is difficult.  Her life, and her death, have made such a profound impact on my life that, at times, I've struggled to keep the doubts and fears out of my mind.  Yet every kick or nudge from my little guy gives me hope; the same hope I had for her.  And the same love.  Yup, I'm still standing...it's been a long, difficult journey, but I'm still standing.

It's been 1 year, 8 months, 1 week, and 1 day since she left us.  And, every day, I'm so thankful and amazed that I'm still standing.  Love truly is a powerful thing.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Success! And on to the next milestone...

So, Friday we had our 3rd transfusion.  This one was the most successful yet.  So successful, in fact, that we don't have to go back until May 18!  I think the docs have learned their lesson...they sedated Squirmy right off the bat.  Of course, I told them he had just woken up and was moving around a lot, so they wasted no time in giving him the paralytic.  The whole transfusion took less than an hour!  Woohoo!  The docs were able to push 40ccs of blood into him, bringing his blood count up to 13.7 from the 8.6 at the beginning of the transfusion.  He continues to tolerate the procedures quite well.  It takes him about 3 hours to wake up from sedation after the procedure.  He's usually a little lethargic for the next few hours and then decides to kick my butt the next day.  But, since I relish those kicks, I couldn't care less...he can keep me up as long as he wants to.  All I care about is that he keeps moving.

Speaking of moving, P finally got to feel him move yesterday.  The little stinker would always stop moving whenever P put his hand on my belly.  But not yesterday.  We were laying in bed yesterday morning and the kid was going crazy.  P finally got an idea of what this kid is like.  Yeah, he does get to hear him on the fetal monitors, but feeling him is so different.  Plus, last night, right before we went to sleep, Squirmy was "speed bagging" (think a boxer in training) my side and P started to laugh.  Now he knows why I'd love to have an ultrasound machine strapped to me 24/7.  I'd love to get a glimpse of what he does during the day.

So, we're less than a week from the third trimester.  Really, is that right?  Less than a week...which means, we're less than 10 weeks from delivery.  Wow....  That's a scary thought.  I really hope we make it that far, though I'm not holding my breath.  My next goal is to hit the 32 week mark.  Knowing what I know (that transfusions are rarely done after 34 weeks), I realize he could come much earlier than 37 weeks.  On the plus side, we will most likely be delivering in Winchester as opposed to University of Maryland.  The longer he cooks, the better his chances are of being delivered closer to home.  Plus, Winchester has the ability to do post birth transfusions if he needs it.

So, I'm crossing my fingers that all continues to go well.  I go see my normal MFM on Thursday and will hopefully get another glimpse at my sweet Squirmet's face.
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