Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy Weeks: Part 2

Last Friday Hannah had to get her tonsils taken out. It was a much needed operation, she snored, choked on food and sleep was becoming an issue. As much as I knew she needed her surgery, and it is such a routine one, I felt terrible about doing it. I think all mothers are scared at the idea of having their children operated on. Over the last few months I have become paranoid about the safety of my living children, I will not get into all of my fears right now but there are more than enough of them!

Friday morning we took Hannah into the hospital bright and early. She was bright, happy, very active and actually excited for surgery. We did not tell her she would wake up in pain, it would have not changed the outcome and I did not want her going into it scared. She walked off from her little recovery room with a nurse and she did not even want Greg or I to go as far as we could with her. We were then moved to the family conference room. There we sat, it was only about 15-20 minutes but that was the longest 15-20 minutes of my life. I sat there in fear and guilt for putting my 3 year old baby through surgery. I kept thinking, maybe she was not that bad with her tonsils. Her tonsils were huge and covered her entire throat but I still felt horrible.

As I sat in that room, exactly one month past my due date and on the same floor I had given birth, I tried to focus on Hannah. It was impossible. The last time I was on that floor my baby was born. I kept thinking that I should be worrying about how to take care of a newborn and 3 year old that just had surgery at the same time. The last time I gave my child over in this hospital, her body was gone from me forever. My mind kept going places that I normally do not welcome it but I just could not stop it that day. I cannot fully explain how that waiting was except pure torture.

Of course Hannah came through surgery just fine, she was grumpy when she woke up from surgery which was expected. Now 5 days later she has very little proof that she was operated on and she is doing great!

Time to get back to packing, I have a new picture of Olivia's name in sand from my blogger friend, Jennifer, that I will post soon. Hotmail will not let me in the account due to maintenance right now :P

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Busy weeks: Part 1

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy but probably will stay this way for another week or two. The beginning of last week I received a package in the mail from a friend Mary. I do not have pictures taken yet (but will soon!). She sent a book "Mommy, please don't cry there are no tears in heaven," and a super cute picture frame. The frame is yellow and white striped, has an angel charm and says "Every moment is a miracle." I have already put a picture of Olivia in it and had it hanging up. Also in the package was a card which highlighted the verse John 14:27. I had not realized how much this verse would continue to pop up after I had first heard it but it is welcomed each and every time!

I also had the opportunity to meet another friend, Sheena, who I had met online. She has had two daughters with anencephaly. We live about 5 hours from each other but met in the middle to have lunch. I cannot even explain the need to meet other women who have gone through carrying a baby knowing they were going to lose it. We all have a bond, an unfortunate one, but I am so grateful for the internet providing me with the chance to connect with others. There were times through this journey that I have felt so alone in my community. We have supportive friends and family but it is not the same as talking to others who just know.

That is my short update for today and hope to post more soon. This may be the busiest 2 weeks I have had in a very long time. Hannah had her tonsils and adenoids taken out last Friday. We are also moving our entire house in less than a week, not sure where we are moving yet! Our walls are infested with bats and need to get out ASAP!

Prayer Request

Below is copied from a friends blog from yesterday, the scheduled c-section is the 28th. I am not sure any details but please keep this family in your prayers!

"Prayer Request
I am asking that anyone who reads this today will take the time to pray for Melissa and Amelia. Melissa is a friend that I met online and her daugter Amelia has also been diagnosed with anencephlay. Her husband Tim and son Noah also need your prayers. They are schcedeuled for a c-section tomorrow. Please pray that God will surround them with his peace and comfort them. I am also praying that they get to spend lots of time with sweet Amelia. They are an amazing family-and Amelia is an amazing little baby."

Monday, July 12, 2010

two months

Two months ago today, I was back home after giving birth to Olivia in the middle of the night. Normally, after having a baby, you are in the hospital for a day or two. You are fed, checked on at all hours and your baby is brought back and forth from the nursery. When your baby dies, it is a whole different experience. You are released a few hours later, empty handed. Not only do you not get the extra relaxation time (not that I wanted to stay there), you get the sad looks from some and others who just drop their heads and look the other way. I put on makeup before leaving the hospital and did not cry much there. Yes, every minute ripped my heart out but I did not want extra hugs or "I'm so sorry," I just wanted to go home.

Now I am home, I enjoy my time with my husband and kids but still wonder what it would be like with a baby. At 2 months Olivia should be laughing, cooing, pushing up. I try not to think about what I am missing out on, it will not bring her back and it does not make me feel better. The last few days have been unusually difficult. I cannot pinpoint what exactly is bothering me, not that I need to explain it away. My baby died and it sucks.

Yesterday at church, Greg and I were sitting alone waiting for church to start and I started crying. Not a noticeable crying, I am not a fan of being emotional in public (not anything wrong with people who are, it's just not me). If I were home I would have completely broken down though. I was in the bathroom before the service, washing my hands when a mom came in looking stressed with her baby carrier. She was going to change her daughters diaper, the baby was probably about a month old. I did fine with that until a woman said "I just love seeing you young mothers with your babies!" There I stand, completely left out of the "new baby club." I gave birth to a daughter I love so much and I cannot show her off with pink headbands and pretty dresses. I can carry her in my heart but that is not enough! I want my baby, and just like every other time I say this, I know it can never happen. Taking birth control daily is not helping me. I have an everyday reminder that I am trying to prevent a pregnancy even though everything inside of me is yearning for a baby!

Today we went to find a headstone. I have not been able to commit to looking for one, but I think we found the one today. It is a heart design, the lady from the monument company is sending outlines via e-mail of what it will look like with the wording on it. We decided we will have the flower holder installed so that maybe our flowers will not get mowed down! I was dreading doing this, up until we went looking. The first place we went, the prices were way higher for very plain headstones. The second place had beautiful stones for less than the first place and the woman working walked us right through everything. It was nice to have some guidance because we have never went headstone shopping and all I knew was what I did not want, and no ideas for what to look for.

I am hoping that getting through today, past the 2 month milestone will get me out of this mood I am in. It is such a downer feeling that, thankfully, I have not had to experience much but when it comes, it hits hard!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crying kind of day

I have no idea what hit me this afternoon, I just started crying. There was no trigger for it, my day has been going great, I guess I just needed a good cry. So, I just cried until I felt that I was done and it felt good. Just yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend with the title "Go Ahead and Cry." The message is long so I will just take a few quotes from what was spoken by Dave Wilkerson.

"When you hurt the worst—go to your secret closet and weep out all your despair!.....Jesus never looks away from a crying heart. He said, "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51:17). Not once will the Lord say, "Get hold of yourself! Stand up and take your medicine! Grit your teeth and dry your tears." No! Jesus stores every tear in his eternal container.

Do you hurt? Badly? Then go ahead and cry! And keep on crying, until the tears stop flowing. But let those tears originate only from hurt—and not from unbelief or self-pity.

Life goes on. You would be surprised how much you can bear with God helping you. Happiness is not living without pain or hurt. True happiness is learning how to live one day at a time, in spite of all the sorrow and pain. It is learning how to rejoice in the Lord, no matter what has happened in the past.

Look up! Encourage yourself in the Lord. When the fog surrounds you and you can't see any way out of your dilemma—lie back in the arms of Jesus and simply trust him. He wants your faith—your confidence. He wants you to cry aloud—"Jesus loves me! He is with me! He will not fail me! He is working it all out right now! I will not be cast down! I will not be defeated! I will not be a victim of Satan! God is on my side! I love him—and he loves me!"

The bottom line is faith. And faith rests on this one absolute: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…" (Isaiah 54:17)"

new name in the sand

Here it is again! Penny's sister Lorrie wrote our angels name in the sand. I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing these pictures! Thank you Lorrie!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My girls

I absolutely love that our girls can talk to Greg and I about Olivia without worrying what we will do or say. Yesterday, while making lunch, Makayla simply asked "Did Olivia die?" We were not talking about anything, it was just a quiet, calm time in our house (very rare!). I just told her "yes." There is not beating around the bush with them, they are not afraid of talking about death or heaven. Hannah asks about Olivia in heaven, she wants to know what she is doing. We talk about how much fun she is having and happy she is. She asked me "is Olivia not sad anymore?" Through this, I have the opportunity to tell her there is no sadness in heaven, just happiness and joy. What a wonderful place to be and our daughters at just 3 and 4 years old understand, they just get it! Just knowing that my beautiful little baby is there makes the idea of heaven that much sweeter.

When we were out yesterday Makayla wanted to drive by the cemetery to check on Olivia's flowers. She does not want to get out of the car usually but loves to drive by. The landscapers had knocked over the flowers when mowing and broke the little plastic vases. I was pretty upset for a minute and then decided that it really was not worth the anger and decided I would just have to get more! We do alot of checking on the flowers, there have been bad storms but each time we go to the cemetery, all of the flowers are intact. It's just comforting to know that even though we cannot physically take care of our baby, there is something we can do to "take care of her."

This morning Makayla came downstairs with a dress from their closet and asked if it was supposed to be for Olivia. I told her no, that was hers, Olivia will never need new dresses. She began asking what Olivia wore went she went to heaven. I explained the simple white cotton dress with little flowers that she would be wearing forever. What she is wearing in heaven, I have absolutely no idea, but her earthly body will be forever dressed in that tiny little dress.

Since she had more questions the 3 of us went to my room and pulled out what we had from the hospital. Unintentionally, I had not looked at her stuff after the first day of being home. A couple of times I had pulled out her handprints and footprints but left everything else alone. I showed them the little dress that she had worn, her hospital bracelets, her blanket and her little hat. We looked at her handprints and footprints again and her birth certificate. Both girls felt everything, smelled her stuff and just loved seeing each item.

I just love being able to talk about Olivia with my girls without reservation. It's never a sad time. To them, they love to talk about her, ask questions and do not worry about bringing up an awkward situation. It is wonderful to know that even though Olivia is not here with us now, she will always be one of my girls.