Friday, May 28, 2010
Last Wednesday started out normal - an early morning run, getting Bella her breakfast of eggs, cheese, oranges and a piece of bread, getting ready for the day, putting Bella down for her nap, kissing Mike goodbye and going to my OB appointment. It was to be a normal appointment and because it was during Bella's naptime, we decided I would go to the appointment and Mike would stay home with Bella as she slept.
My sister was working that day and was able to go with me during one of her breaks. My OB, who has become a friend since she was there with us from the beginning with Bella, came into the room. We talked about Bella, this pregnancy, how i'd been feeling better over the last couple of weeks...then what is usually the most exciting part of the OB appointments, the ultrasound, happened. We saw the womb, we saw the head, we saw the spine, we saw the beautiful outline of the baby but we didn't see the most prominent part of an ultrasound - the heartbeat. Initially I thought we needed to have another view or the doctor was having a hard time finding it. Then words of "uhm" and "well" and "Is another doctor here? Please send them in" started being said. And the doctor knew. And I knew. After a second confirmation from the other doctor, the lights went on. The doctor has said it looked like the baby was lost at 9 weeks - I was 12. It looks like something actually happened around week 4 or 5 so it was most likely a chromosomal thing.
Words cannot describe what happened during those moments. Words cannot describe what happened on the way home. And words certainly cannot describe what happened when I walked in the door, tear-stained and heartbroken, to a husband who had no idea what just happened. The only words I could think of was "I'm sorry" over and over again. That moment is one of the most heart-wreching parts for me to think of. Words cannot describe what happened after.
After telling Mike the devastating news (and how in the world do you even tell your husband that i'm not sure but I did) we cried. And cried. And sat there. And cried. And talked to our families. And cried. Within an instant our world stopped. Within an instant our future halted. A smaller sized dress would have to be ordered for my sisters wedding, Christmas plans would have to be changed, maternity leave dates would have to be changed, plans for a second nursery...
The next few days would be the hardest days we have ever had to go through. The next morning I woke up at 5am crying, sobbing. We spent the next few days watching every TV show or movie I could think of to try to escape. The physical part of losing her took 3 days, 1 of them being horrible. Then after most of it was over we went to the doctor. This time looking at the screen was an empty womb. Mike said something about it being such a different scenario than seeing it weeks before. And he was right. Everything had changed.
After we went to the doctor, we went camping. After days of trying to escape and trying to sleep and trying to not think about what was going on, it was hard to get away. But I knew I needed to and I yearned for it. We were the only ones in the campground and the weather was just perfect. And it was quiet. And God was very near to our broken heart. And Mike and I were able to just be with one another. And talk and cry and dream and talk and sit.
I understand that this post is raw. And it's mainly for me to process. I have no answers right now. I have alot of pain and tears and heartache. We have moments where we are happy and then moments where we break down and cry when Mike is washing dishes or i'm out running. I guess that's part of grief.
I hesitated in blogging any of this at all - at sharing the rawness of the emotions. Or the details of the pain. But the thought I keep having is I want people to know her. (We, especially Mike, thought it was a girl and even had a name picked out for her. So I call the baby a "she".) I want people to know our baby. I want them to know she was beautiful. We saw that precious heartbeat at our first appointment. And I saw her beautiful form at that last appointment. I want people to know her. We want to know her.
I want them to know she was a loved little thing - she was loved beyond words. She was loved beyond mourning. She was loved beyond just her father and I but by a multitude of family and friends. I want people to know her.
People keep asking how they can help. I think I just want to share my story. All of it. I want people to know her. I want people to know we loved that sweet baby. I want her to know that. I'm sure in the days following this post i'll have more posts to process. Some good and some bad. Some questioning and some simply being still.
Thank you for being with us through this time. It hurts beyond what we can express. Thank you for sharing in knowing our baby.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thankfully, we have great friends and family. My (Mike's) parents were able to come down for a few days to watch after Bella, and Allison, Emily's sister, has been gracious enough to watch her for the past couple of afternoons. These kind acts have made it possible for Emily and I to process and distract ourselves while knowing that our kiddo is in good hands. Thanks so much to our families for helping out in this way.
We have also received many nice emails and messages from friends who have heard the news. A couple even offered to bring meals. We are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers. Please understand that it has been difficult for us to respond back to the majority of those emails and phone calls as we go through this. However, those thoughts and prayers have not gone unnoticed and are so appreciated.
As for Emily and me, things are still tough. It's been quite a shift of mindset to realize that we're no longer expecting a baby. We've found over the past few days that we do expecting-a-baby things out of habit that are no longer necessary. These moments are sober reminders of our loss. Then there are also the times when we are overwhelmed with the lost possibilities of our baby. I had already begun to call her (I thought it was a girl) by a name, and it is at times devastating to realize that I'll never know her. Emily feels much the same, though I don't pretend to know the depth of a mother's pain.
In the end, I know we'll be okay. Things are hard at the moment, and I don't expect the circumstances to magically get better. Grief takes time, and I suspect that it will find us at times for a long time to come. But Emily and I also know that we are surrounded by good people who care for us deeply, and we believe that God grieves with us and is no stranger to our pain. We believe in His steadfast love even now and hope for the day when He will set everything to right. For the time being, we thank our friends and family for their help, thoughts, and prayers along the way.
Grace and peace,
Mike and Emily
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Bella stayed in her stroller for, oh, maybe 5 minutes and then...
Sweet little Miss wanted to walk... and run..
and walk some more (notice the jogging stroller being left behind)...
And, push the stroller. We received alot of funny looks and comments from parents who had been-there-done-that. She was happy and pushed that all over the zoo! Of course with a little help from us.
And we're pushing another way.
"I want down!"
"so, I can push the stroller again"
Here's a profile shot - mainly for the grandparents that want to see closeups!
Auntie Ali, here's the flamingos!
Little cutie with the ponytail on top of her head!
This was one of the rare moments that Bella actually looked at the animals. She has three of these in her room so I wondered if she was trying to figure out if she could hug it.
And, she looked at the elephants. She has one of those in her room too.
Mother's Day was the next day and the celebrations continued. I enjoyed a HUGE breakfast cooked for me, sweet presents and cards from the hubby, Bella and ittybittysmithy #2, grilled hamburgers for lunch and a picnic outside, being lazy the rest of the day, going to the Olive Garden with Brad and Allison and watching movies with Mike. Perfect day and a beautiful ending to a celebration weekend!
My sweet little girl. I could just eat her up!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I'm lovingly calling this stage of pregnancy the "fluffy" stage. I went through this stage with Bella too at the beginning. I felt like I was "fluffy" (you know, bloated all over, retaining water - aka. fluffy) for the first trimester with Bella. Then the second trimester hit and I lost about 6 pounds of all that fluffiness in a couple of days. Then the fun began where the fluffiness was only in the belly. So, i'm waiting for the all-over-fluffiness to leave and the fun-belly-fluffiness to begin. Does that make sense? Maybe you other prego moms will understand my fluff issues.
Want to see the cute little culprit causing all that fluffiness? Introducing IttyBittySmith #2! It's funny how things change when it's your second child. I remember seeing the ultrasounds of Bella and thought "wait, what is it" or "it kindof looks like an alien". Now, I know most moms had a different reaction - namely, "Oh, it's adorable" or "I just love that sweet child". But, I was not one of those. I have grown to love that sweet child and thinks she's adorable but wrapping my mind around a new life growing inside of me was one thing - having it look like a peanut or an alien is another. Just things I had to work through. ha! But, now I know what the end result of that peanut "looks" like (aka. sweet Bella!) I had a different reaction to this ultrasound. I actually said, "Oh it's so cute" and had thoughts of "I love it already". aww, how things change through experience. Sweet IttyBittySmithy Peanut!
And now onto IttyBittySmithy #1. We were getting Bella ready for bed the other night when Mike yelled for me to come in - actually he was laughing pretty hard. I laid out a shirt that I just knew would fit...but alas, our 18 month old won't fit into a 12 month shirt. She was standing there in all her cute glory with her belly stretching all the way through that shirt and hanging out a little bit. Too bad you can't get the full effect in this picture but you can imagine it. Imagine how you feel and how you stand with your stomach straight out when you've had too much chips and salsa and a full order of Chuy's sour cream enchiladas and a Dairy Queen Cookie Dough Blizzard. (Can you tell those are some of my favorite foods.) Anyways, she was too cute! She is now 21.2 pounds and 31.5 inches long.
Until next time enjoy the fluffiness!