Thursday, May 27, 2010

What am I supposed to do with myself?

The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of activity which I have loved to keep me busy. This week has been much slower and I have had more time at home. Today has been difficult, I feel fine then I just start crying without warning. I feel trapped in my body right now, I no longer look pregnant. That is fine with me but physically I feel great, I just get tired easier than I would if I did not just give birth 2 weeks ago. I cannot go have a hard workout since I am still technically healing, I dropped alot of weight the first week home and have not since then. I just want a good workout, that is my stress reliever and I cannot do it. I started walking again this week and that has helped a little bit. I am saying all of this because I have all of the normal restrictions but feel like I should do want I want instead of just sitting at home without a baby.

I have to look at pictures to remind myself all of this really happened. I just want my little girl. I see her pictures and cry because I just want to touch her skin again and feel her in my arms. It hurts so much and all I can say is "I want my baby," and that is the one thing I will never get back.

I try to put my extra energy toward cleaning but I have no interest in it. It's just a reminder that I should be taking care of a baby and complaining that I have no time to clean. I threw away all of the dead flowers yesterday for the first time since Olivia was born, that was hard. They are all dying, just like my daughter had to die.

I'm still at a point where I just do not know what to do with myself sometimes. I just keep thinking of right after Olivia is born. I had to ask if my baby was still alive, no parent should ever have to wonder if they will at least get the chance to see their child alive. December 11th, when we found out about the anencephaly, seems so long ago. Back then I thought that I just wanted it all to be over. Now I wish I had more time. Time for what, I do not know. I would have never been ready to say goodbye. There are things that I wanted to do before she was born that I did not get done but in the end, it really does not matter. I had what I needed the most for this situation was time with her inside and to see her alive. She was the most active pregnancy out of the 3 and she kept moving inside until the end. I just wish I could have that 58 minutes back at the hospital. There is nothing I would change that we had done, I just want her back.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week of Firsts

This week has been a very busy week and I had a few firsts to experience. My first first I am very happy to have accomplished. For the first time I have sent out thank you cards! I was an awful bride and first time mommy with no wedding thank you's or thanks for the baby shower gift. I will go ahead and say that I was so thankful for all of our wonderful gifts during these life changing celebrations, I just let life get ahead of me and I never sent them out! So, in honor of Olivia, I am proud to say that I have sent out most of my thank you cards and if I missed anyone, I have REALLY tried this time and I am sorry! ( I should say "we" since Greg did help out )

My second first was going to the cemetery on Wednesday for the first time. We were going to take the girls but decided since I had not been there, Greg and I would go alone. We walked there together and it was a peaceful visit. I have been struggling with the idea that my baby was in the ground right down the road since her burial. And not just a little struggling, haunting my sleep struggling. I know deep down that it is just her body there. She is no longer in that body but all I could think of is her in a tiny little casket covered in rain and mud waiting for us to get her out. I asked Greg after the first night if we could have her pulled out and cremated so that I wouldn't have to go through this forever, he convinced me that it would not be a good idea so I decided against calling the funeral home the next morning. I am so thankful that we did go on Wednesday, since the visit I no longer think of her being stuck in the ground. I can go to the cemetery and remember her and the time we had with her, and decorate with the pinkest flowers that I can find! :)

Makayla is already asking when we will have our "baby baby." She knew that we could not bring Olivia home and she has been patiently waiting. I keep telling her that we might not ever have another baby but she is so persistent anyway. I hope she either gains an understanding if we do not ever try again or it will not matter to her so much.

Overall this week has not been horrible. I miss Olivia everyday, I have cried everyday but the grief is not consuming me. I know that it is possible that it will happen, maybe even when I wake up in the morning. Right now I am focusing on trying to get Makayla and Hannah back into a routine, their lives were also completely turned upside down with this and they do not understand why.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One week

One week ago today we were at the hospital finding out that we were going to meet Olivia that night (or very early the next morning). I have had a week of ups and downs which is to be expected. I am needing a routine back, I feel like I am just floating around wondering what to do with myself when I don't have anything planned out for my day.

I miss my daughter, my heart and body ache for her. How do you tell yourself to go on with your life when every instinct as a mother is to care for your newborn child? I do not sit around and cry all day, I cannot do that for my own sanity. There will be certain moments that just hit me so hard that I just tear up. Makayla asked me one day why I was crying. I told her "Mommy is sad," and she of course wanted to know why. I told her that I miss Olivia, which was followed up with so much hope and faith for a 4 year old. She told me, "I do not miss Olivia because I know she is in heaven and God and Jesus are taking care of her." Both girls are so proud to be a big sisters even though they do not get to see Olivia now.

Thankfully, physically I can get around. I still get up every day and do my hair and makeup, even when I am not going anywhere which is for my own comfort. I have to fight my guilt, I know a lot of mothers feel so much guilt after losing infants. I had a jewelry party scheduled for tonight and went back and forth as to whether I should do it or not. Sunday I decided that I would. It was across the street from my grandma's house so she came to help me set up. I knew that making myself get out to do anything for the first time would be hard so I just jumped right in. I had a great time and do not regret doing it so soon at all. I am struggling with myself now though. I do not want to feel guilty for getting out so soon and I do. I love Olivia and miss her so much but once again, I just do not know what to do with myself. I need to find things to throw myself into because I have more energy than I should. I should be complaining that my baby is up all night or pooping all day. Instead, I'm getting a full night of sleep, have kids that can be self entertaining (not complaining, they have plenty of needy time too!) and the strongest urge to take care of someone or something that is not there.

For now I will try to find new things to look forward to. Yes, I am sitting here trying to tell myself that it is okay to work and enjoy life. I know that it is, I am just so afraid of the guilt that is felt after I do enjoy myself. I'm so afraid of little things. I'm afraid of when Greg is back into the full swing of work and I need him. I'm afraid of having a meltdown and being alone with my kids, I want to be here for them and take care of them. I'm afraid of letting the girls go somewhere with other people, I do not want to lose them too. There is always going to be a part of me missing, I know that these fears will lessen with time. I do not think you can heal fully from losing a baby but the guilt, sadness and fears I hope will become smaller with time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Olivia's Birthday

As many people know, Olivia Ryan was born May 12th at 1:03am. It has taken me awhile to post any details, I have started, stopped...then started again so I'm not sure how much I will actually get into this post but I'm determined to get it posted this time.

After having such a great day Saturday, and really the last 2 weeks before Mother's Day, I knew something was about to change. I was in the bathroom talking to Greg Saturday evening and I told him that the day had been so great that I just knew that I would be going into labor soon. I really had no reason to think that, I was 33/1/2 weeks pregnant and had no extra aches or pains for 2 weeks, everything was great!

On Sunday evening I was having shooting pains and cramping and told Greg that I did not want to go to church and do games for the kids program. He was concerned and did not want me alone so I went and sat with my feet propped up on a chair talking to my grandma for the hour and a half. The pain and discomfort lasted the rest of the evening and we had a doctor appointment Monday morning. I posted in my "Mother's Day" post that everything was normal, maybe the pain was coming from a UTI but nothing else was wrong.

Well, to make a long story short, I was in pain all day Tuesday and ending up sleeping half of the day while my grandma took care of the girls. (Have I mentioned how amazing my grandma is??? She is wonderful!!!) Greg came home that evening to me laying on the couch, covered in sweat literally from my head to my legs. I was miserable but never had a UTI so I thought, "well, this sucks but the antibiotics would kick in." Too bad they do not stop labor pain though because I had started contracting and did not even know it.

Once I was in the hospital and hooked up to monitors, I was told my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. It was the real deal this time and of course had NOTHING packed for the hospital because I just thought I would be going home a couple of hours later. Once I realized that we were not leaving I started crying. I knew that we would soon meet our daughter and say goodbye too quickly. I was not ready, but can you ever really be ready for this?

After a typical labor, Olivia Ryan was born at 1:03am. She weighed 3 lbs and 3 oz and was 15 1/2 inches long. She never took a breath but had a heartbeat when she was born. The only movement I saw was a brief move of her left hand as I was moving her arm. I would have loved to see her breath and kick and be with us so much longer but I prayed and prayed that we would see her alive, and we did receive that blessing. I was able to see that she has brown hair. I was afraid that I would never know her hair color because of the anencephaly but she had hair around her ears and the base of her neck. She had long arms and legs and tiny little shoulders. I had been afraid of what she would look like but she was beautiful. I had heard so many mothers say that they were afraid of how their baby would look and when they were born, they did not care. Greg and I were the same way. Yes, she looked different from our other girls but she was our baby and we just saw her beauty. We were told at 2:01 am that she no longer had a heartbeat. We kept her with us for about 4 more hours before calling to have her taken away.

I wish I had my baby home with me right now, I wish that everything had been perfect in the pregnancy and we could have kept her with us to watch her grow. Even though we only had a short time with her, I love her so much. All she ever knew in her life was the love she had while inside of me and the love of her family's arms. Olivia was only given 58 minutes on this earth but her whole life was love. Although we have this pain to learn to live with, she will never have to suffer in this world. She is safe in the arms of Jesus until we are with her again one day.

I love you Olivia!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day with my family. For me, I claim that it started on Saturday. Greg and I woke up about the same time, which never happens. Usually he is out the door as my eyes are opening but since going to bed earlier, I can actually wake up in the morning! We had a dog between our heads, Hannah laying across our feet and Makayla in the middle of all of us. Normally, I am irritated to wake up to so many people in my bed but they snuck in so quietly and slept in! Greg and I had the opportunity to lay in bed and just talk. I cannot tell you what it was about, but it was nice :) Throughout my entire Saturday, the girls were just good. We had a few toddler tiffs but they were just good this weekend. We ended the day with a breakfast style dinner with my grandma. It was just a good day! Sunday was great as well with my family but not as good as MY Mother's Day, haha.

My body is retaliating again though. I will be 34 weeks this week. I have had the most amazing last 2 weeks with pain until Saturday afternoon. The pain I have felt has been the normal pregnancy complaints but now my body is just worn out. I have pain that puts me in tears and leaks that I won't even mention (gross I know). I do not know why this is happening. After a long weekend of it, I called my doctor and went in for my scheduled appointment a day early. I have a wonderful doctor, he has checked everything he could think of and still, everything is normal. I do not understand but keep praying to God to take care of me.

Honestly, I am scared to death. I HATE calling for help, even from my own physician. I know I should not care but I feel like I am wasting so much time, my own included when nothing is wrong. I am the kind of person who likes to be in control of my own life. I feel like I have learned to give up a lot of control with this pregnancy but maybe the lesson has not been learned as I continue to have more unexplained issues that I have to place in God's hands.

Church on Sunday was nice, I was late as usual. (I really wish I could figure this problem out!) The first thing my great grandpa told me after we found out that Olivia has anencephaly was part of the verse Romans 8:28. All things work together for good for God's people. I have tried to think on this verse when I do not know what good can come out of this. I have to believe there is a greater reason for our family to suffer through this or I would have probably lost my mind by now. The sermon yesterday brought this verse up again. It's one that is reoccurring through this pregnancy and will probably be prominent for the rest of my life. When I heard it yesterday though, it made me bitter. How can this be good? How can it be part of the bigger picture? I will probably never understand and if I do it will probably take years to come to terms with it.

Please continue to pray for our family. Please pray for strength for me, both physical and emotional. Some days I think enough is enough but I am cautious when saying that I cannot take too much more, I would hate to find out the hard way that I can.

************Update: I do have an infection, getting antibiotics tonight! I just got a call from the doctor. I am just excited that maybe this will take care of this extra discomfort!***********

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doctor appointment tomorrow

We have a dr. appointment tomorrow, but it's not for me! My oldest daughter will be 4 tomorrow. I cannot be sad about her growing up because she is just so happy that tomorrow is her day! So happy birthday Makayla!!!

We have had a good last 2 weeks for both girls behaving very well (for the most part). This has been a wonderful blessing since I am getting bigger and it's not so easy to keep up with a 3 and 4 year old while 8 months pregnant!

I have been reading less and less on my support group the closer I get to the end of this pregnancy. I opened one of the messages tonight though and I'm glad that I did. Some days it is very hard to know if we have made the right decision to carry Olivia to term. I worry about myself, both physically and emotionally. I worry about Greg who has a lot of driving time with work and wonder how much this really weighs on him throughout the day. I worry for our girls, how are they supposed to cope with such a big loss at such a young age. I trust that as long as we do our best to keep both Makayla and Hannah informed (age appropriate of course) that they will be better off in the end.

Okay, back to the support group. A lady posted something she heard a preacher saying today :

"God chooses people to do his work. He chooses people with character. This character may not be evident to everyone or anyone but himself. His work is not always fun or popular. (Think Abraham, Moses, Jonah, etc.) those jobs weren't fun, they certainly weren't the popular thing to do.

Carrying our little ones isn't popular, it isn't fun, but God picked each of us for our willingness to obey and the strength of our character."

Some days I really question myself as to why I have decided to take this journey rather than walking into a clinic to "take care of the problem." The truth is, I would not have been able to go through with an early termination. I pray that women that have chosen that path have peace, that they know their babies are safe in heaven and they made the best choice for them at that stage of their lives. I have trust in God that he will provide me the strength to keep moving forward, as much as I would love to run away from what is to come. But until that day comes, whenever it will be, Greg and I will continue to celebrate the life we have been given with all 3 our beautiful daughters.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Blog Award

I got a blog award and thought I would post it. Thanks to Elena at

The rules of this award are:
1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers

Ok, in no particular order, here are 10 things (besides the obvious God and family) that make me happy…

1.) Exercise!!!! This is my all time favorite past time, hobby, you name it. I love the feeling of an awesome workout!

2.) Reading. I cannot start reading a book unless I have time to read the whole thing at once, I do not like waiting for the end!

3.) Singing alone in my car. I do not sing in front of people, even the Happy Birthday song. Only my car and kids are privileged to witness this disaster!

4.) A clean house. Please do not mistake this, I do not always love cleaning but I love walking into or waking up to a nice clean house.

5.) Organization. Yes I am anal but I like to have a plan, lists and order to EVERYTHING.

6.) Date nights with my husband. I love him so much and we NEED our refresher time with no kids to keep us sane!

7.) Makeup. Superficial, yes. Necessary, yes. I love makeup! Total life saver,

8.) Big Sodas from the gas station. No matter what size, they are all 95 cents with tax. Beautiful invention.

9.) My dog. He loves me, he follows me around the house, cries when I leave the room and will take a nap with me anytime. He's a pathetic 3.6 pounds and the best lap dog ever!

10.) Explanation marks!!!! I overuse them!!!! Most things in my life can be summed up with a simple (!!!) at the end of the sentence!

I am passing this on to:

Jennifer @ Eli's Valley
Holly @ Caring for Carleigh