Thursday, December 29, 2011

22 Weeks

How Far Along: 22 weeks (our baby is as big as a Papaya).
Maternity Clothes: Yep
Movement: Often. Sometimes I feel something happening up high in my ribs and down low in my abdomen at the same time like this baby is stretching out his arms and legs at the same time. I have never felt this before.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I am still going to bed later than I should and waking up pretty tired.
Gender:  A brother for Addison.
Symptoms: Still have the runny nose.
Cravings: So much yummy food for Christmas...My mom always makes homemade turkey noodle soup with the left overs and I could eat that every day!
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week: Getting Monday off work...days off are always appreciated! We ordered the nursery bedding for this little boy Christmas night so that is a good step.
Freak-out of the week: Mini-meltdowns here and there, nothing on the grand scale. Was listening to an old cd and one of the songs hit me just right, had me crying down the road. That doesn't tend to happen to me, but I must have needed it.
What I miss: I so much.
What I am looking forward to: Another Monday off work, there are never enough days off!
Next Appointment: Friday, January 20th
Something Else: I got nothing for this week. I just feel so blegh. I suppose in my head there is this hope that 2012 means so much more than just another year. 2011 was just so full of sad and grief. I know 2012 doesn't mean that the grief will go away, but I just feel like there is a lot of pressure on this coming year not to suck so much!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Weird Christmas

As Brian and I were driving away from my parent's house last night I couldn't help, but say what I thought. "That was a weird Christmas"! From the outside looking in I am sure it looked very normal, there was a tree, family, presents and great food, but it felt nothing like Christmas.

This is technically our second Christmas without Addison, but it felt like the first in a lot of ways. Last year we were only 20 days out and we were so numb that I have little to know memories of last year.

This year I just couldn't get on board with Christmas, the wreath Brian bought from the boy scouts is still in our garage, we have no tree or any decorations, I planned on getting stockings hung up, but that never happened and I did NO shopping for anyone except for the one year old girl we sponsored off the Salvation army tree . I would say the most "Christmas" things I did included listening to Christmas music, cooking dinner for Christmas Eve, decorating Addison's headstone and participating in Christmas while at my parent's house. That's it and that was enough for me this year.

Christmas morning Brian and I woke up to the sound of our dogs wanting to be fed, no cries or giggles from a one year old little girl. We got up, fed the dogs and I started making a special breakfast for Brian (to try and separate the day from just a normal Sunday). We ate our breakfast and spent some lazy time on the couch. At one point I was thinking about how this day should have gone and tried to imagine the image of a one year old little girl toddling around in her Christmas pajamas and blond curly hair. I must have been lost in this thought because Brian asked what I was thinking about. I lied and said nothing. I knew I would start crying if I said it out loud and just needed this moment for myself.

We got ready for the day and still wound up back on the couch. Addi's little brother was moving quite a bit and Brian got to feel some good movements. That was probably the highlight of our day. I got up and finished the pies and we headed over to my parent's house. I think there were 13 of us all together. We ate and opened presents and then the majority of us fell asleep! Usually the grandparents fall asleep at one point or another, but not the rest of us! Maybe it was the turkey or maybe it was just a weird day for all of us.

The absence of a very special one year old girl was felt by all of us. I know there is a great amount of hope that her brother will be here with us next Christmas, but her absence will always be there.

I was surprised that this little boy even got a few presents of his own...which is a good thing since we have nothing boy like yet. He even had a gift with his name on it (I will share that later). It took me by surprise as we hadn't officially said it was going to be his name, but my grandma remembered and used it. The more I say it, hear it, the more I feel like it really is his name.

Anyways I suppose we survived another Christmas without our daughter. I can't believe we are already on the "second"  holiday without her. I know they will keep ticking by, but we have now survived all the "firsts". Weird, weird and weird!

When we got home last night, we decided to order the crib bedding we had chosen for our little boy. It's starting to feel more real and while I still can't allow myself to fully imagine him coming home with us, I can't allow myself to think he won't be.

I hope each one of my BLM friends was able to find some joy yesterday, even in the smallest amount. Each day sucks without our babies, but Christmas is just an extra day that the world reminds us what we are supposed to have...thanks world, we know!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Results are in

Having second thoughts about my original post and the way my thoughts could be misinterpreted. So I am just going to say that we are having a healthy looking little boy.

Here is a picture to leave you with of Addison's baby brother.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

21 Weeks

How Far Along: 21 weeks (our baby is as long as a carrot).
Maternity Clothes: Um yeah.
Movement: Feeling jabs to my ribs already...we may be in for a rocky ride.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I am still going to bed later than I should and waking up pretty tired.
Gender:  A brother for Addison.
Symptoms: Not much this week.
Cravings: Can't think of anything specific...if there is something I'm sure Brian would know!
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week:  It's been a tough week, but hearing our baby looks healthy and is growing right on schedule is pretty wonderful. It doesn't make me relax because we have heard these words before, but at least there is no new concern health wise.
Freak-out of the week: Too many to count, but the trip to our ultrasound that was cancelled left me broken for 2 days.
What I miss: I miss being happy. I have been feeling so low and so lost. I want my happy back and every time I get close to that feeling something seems to rip it away. I'm still learning all the ways baby loss effects the most random and not so random aspects of your life. I don't know it it's something you ever get used to. Just when I start to stand up a little, BAM I am back flat on my behind!
What I am looking forward to: I need some positive change so if there is any out there I am looking forward to that.
Next Appointment: Friday, December 23rd.
Something Else: I will write more about our ultrasound in a second post.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It sucks to be me...

Sometimes on one of the local radio stations they do this bit where people call in and try to "one up" each other by saying why it sucks to be them, then after each commenter they play this little song that just repeats "it sucks to be me" over and's kind of a catchy tune and today it is playing on repeat in my head. While I know plenty of other people who could "one up me" I'm really having a poor me, it sucks to be me kind of days.

Brian and I have been keeping a secret...about when our ultrasound really was (wow, my sister will be pissed when she reads this...sorry Alisa)! It was yesterday morning, bright and early. I have been so stressed about it (please see my previous post) and not sleeping well and just really freaking out about it.

So our plan was to have this ultrasound and then let it sink in and announce it to our family and friends in our own time without getting calls/texts/emails etc. In theory it sounded like a great plan. So Thursday Brian had this idea about including my parents so we did something we have never done and invited them to the ultrasound. They were beyond thrilled. It was our secret, just the 4 of us.

So Thursday night I got home and couldn't sleep, Brian and I talked about what it would feel like to hear we are having a boy and he was trying to act as excited as possible and kept asking if I was excited. My best response was that I know I SHOULD be excited, but I am just so scared and not just that it would be a boy, but for all the crazy scary 1% chance things that could be wrong. He fell asleep rather quickly, but I just couldn't. I think I was up just after 1AM. Feeling sick to my stomach and so worried. Then just 3 hours and 45 minutes later I was wide awake. I tried to close my eyes and will myself back to sleep, but it just wasn't happening. I decided it would be better to get up than to make myself more miserable.

I made my way out to the living room where our old girl Annie was happy to see me up already. She sat at my feet like a good old faithful good I invited her up on the couch, which is normally a no no, but she was the company I was needing.

I grabbed the lap top and wrote the previous post and wanted so badly to say and the ultrasound was in a few hours!!! I couldn't, so I didn't. After that I was feeling so spent, so worried, so ready to get this whole thing over with. Brian was up by now and seemed excited for the most part.

He caught me in Addison's room just taking it all in. Thinking about how after today we probably wouldn't refer to it as "Addison's room" anymore, how the paint would probably have to be changed and her tiny pink clothes may all have to be boxed up. I took out her ultrasound pictures from 20 weeks and held them and studied them thinking about how the day we got them was one of the best days of our lives and how unfair it was that I wasn't feeling the same way about today for this loss steals so much from every aspect of your life, but this is a biggy. When Brian caught me, he asked if I was in there rubbing pink socks on my belly and if I was it was too late for late and pink socks wouldn't erase a made me laugh. I left Addison's room, but not before grabbing a pair of her softest pick socks and putting one in each pocket...don't judge me!

We had to leave in separate cars (which I HATE), but it made the most sense since I had to go to work afterwards. Brian left first to have enough time to grab coffee and I made what I thought was the longest walk ever to my car. I just kept thinking about how today was a game changing day, after today we would know if this baby had any serious problems, we would know the gender, things would be real, we would make the announcement to the rest of our friends not in the loop and the world would know I was pregnant, things were going to be different after today no matter what and while I wasn't ready, I was ready to get it over with.

I got in the car and drove. The way to the hospital (and pretty much everything) takes me right next to the cemetery. I don't normally stop in the morning, but this was not a normal morning. I cried as I pulled in and cried when I got to her stone. I was also met with the "surprise" that they had made the adjustment to her stone to make it more level and left dirt all over it...that really pissed me off and I was more pissed that I had finished all my water for the damned ultrasound and had nothing to clean it with (you know where I will be after work) anyways, I had a little talk with my girl and then got back in the car to head to the doctor's office.

I cried some more on the way, but tried to keep it under control so I wouldn't look like a mess at the appointment.  Shortly after I pulled in, Brian pulled in behind me and we got out of our cars, waiting for my parents. Just as we saw their cars pulling in my phone was the doctor’s office, I couldn't pick it up fast enough and it went to voicemail. Brian immediately said that he was betting they were calling to cancel, but I held out hope it was something else. Unfortunately he was right. Their one and only ultrasound technician called in sick today of all days and apparently they don't have someone on call. I wasn't leaving. I was trying my best to keep it together, waiting in line to check in. I told my family to go sit down and I would figure this out. My dad tried to stand next to me and I sent him away. When I am about to cry the last thing I need is for someone to hover over me or try and touch me...don't look at me, don't hug me, don't talk to me...don't even breathe in my general direction and everything will work out just fine. Otherwise I will lose my shit and be pissed at you for not backing the f off (yes, I am in a mood).

The girl at the front desk got a call as she was checking in a patient; she looked up at me and then said, "Yes, she is here". Soon after that a nurse came out and was all happy and bubbly and was just like "oh yeah sorry about that, guess we will have to reschedule". I told her she didn't understand and that I couldn't sleep and was sick about this appointment and needed it done whether it was here or at another office. She was like, "well, it's JUST a fetal survey" that's when I lost it (politely) my eyes were swollen and my throat was tight as I told her that we lost our first baby and no appointment was "just" an appointment to us.

She said if we would wait she would see what she could do. I wasn't going anywhere so that was better than the "go home" answer I was expecting.

Sometime later she came out and said they were working on finding another location, but in the meantime she would have an RN do a rolling ultrasound for us just so we could see that the baby was alive (she didn't say alive, but I knew that's what she was thinking). So we all went back into the tiny room and she showed us our living, squirming baby (who I knew was alive because was having a party in my belly). I asked her to show me the 4 chambers of the heart, but the machine wasn't good enough, I asked her to check for the amount of fluid, but she said it looked "normal" I was realizing this was not going to give me any of the answers I was searching for. Then Brian piped in asking about the sex...oh yeah the sex. She looked and looked, but couldn't really tell....seriously what a crappy machine. She said she saw "something", but that it could just as easily be the cord...yeah lady no guessing for us, deal!?!? There was one image she showed us of the baby pointing with one finger...everyone else says it was the index, but I am convinced it was the middle finger.

So we left. Such a disappointing day full of crazy anticipation for NOTHING. I suppose the day could have been worse, we could have been given devastating news, but honestly I learned nothing today that would relieve any fears of not hearing that next time. We know nothing more than we knew before. The best part (insert sarcasm here) is that they weren't sure when we could get in next. They were supposed to call today if anything came up and so far my phone has been silent. During the week it is next to impossible for Brian to get time off so, I'm thinking the soonest we get in is next Friday the 23rd. This is also the day I have been saying our next appointment is (because we really do have a doctor's appointment that day already...I wasn't lying I just wasn't telling the whole truth). So maybe that’s what I get for insinuating.

This situation has been a total mind fuck and I am so drained and emotional it's not even funny. I really can't go through this a second time and yet I have to. Seriously can we catch a break somewhere....can something about this be easy?!?! I suppose if everything goes wrong and this baby is born healthy and alive it will all be worth it...if the stress doesn't kill me first.

So it definitely sucks to be me, but I realize it could be a lot worse. I keep trying to remind myself how lucky I am to have these types or problems and worry and I promise I understand that I am lucky to even be pregnant at all, but wow this is hard. I had said before I was wishing I could put this off for another month and maybe someone somewhere took me seriously, but once I was geared up to get it over with the overwhelming saddness has just put me in a really bad place. I went to bed just after 7pm last night and have been up since around 4 this morning. I just feel so sad and lost and broken and uncertain....very very uncertain.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gender Anxiety

Okay this is really more than just gender anxiety, but the gender part plays a big role. I have been holding off writing about this for fear of coming across ungrateful, but this is just weighing so heavily on my mind that I have to get it out and I really hope I don't offend anyone in the process.

I'm terrified of finding out the gender. With Addison we were SO excited for our 20 week scan to find out boy or girl (now I know there are a million more things you could find out at this time as well). Sticking to the gender part though we were just so thrilled to learn she was a girl. It was the icing on the cake as Brian thought Crawford's only produced boys and looking at his family history had me pretty much convinced as well.

My whole life I dreamed of being a mom, but in all those dreams it was always to a little girl. I dreamed of pink, tea parties and ballet. I knew having a daughter would complete me in ways nothing else could. When we found out Addi was a girl those dreams only intensified. I know I would have learned to dream in blue, but hearing those words "it's a girl" was a joy like no other.

Now I find myself believing this second baby is a boy and that terrifies me. I know so many that lost boys and would do ANYTHING to have another little boy and it's not that I don't want to have a son, it's just that I don't want to miss out on the things that having a daughter means.

And then there is the bigger issue. Addison's room is pink and her clothes are pink. If this baby was a girl she could share most of Addison's things (as sisters do). We would change the room a little, but for the most part it would be the same. Her clothes would get passed down (some wouldn't work because of size and season, but that wouldn't leave many to box up).

A brother would mean everything goes. Pink walls would need to be painted blue and ALL her things would need to be boxed up. We didn't change her room one bit after she didn't come home and to do it now makes me feel ill. It's not like her room is any kind of shrine and I knew that some day it would need to be someone elses room, but now that is actually getting closer I feel like I can't breathe.

I keep telling myself healthy and alive is all that matters, but then I think quietly to myself and a girl...I need a girl and then I feel guilty and awful for thinking that the gender matters because we are just so lucky to have any baby at all.

My brother is one of the best things that ever happened to my family and if our son was anything like him life would be good and while Brian is amazing now....let's just say he wouldn't have been the kind of guy I would have hung around growing up...I wasn't into green long hair...did I ever write about how he used to have green hair!?!? Yuck! Seriously we are lucky we didn't know each other growing up because I never would have gotten over his green hair phase. Luckily I have only heard stories and try to block it out as much as possible.

Anyways back to my worry. I haven't been sleeping because I have been so worried about this ultrasound, worried about them finding a problem and worried about hearing for sure that we are having a boy. Pretty much every other blog I read from a BLM says that they don't care what their baby is as long as it is healthy and alive, which makes me feel like the worst mom ever because the truth is that I do care. Trust me I am pretty sure know that I can and will love a boy if that is what we are given, but damn those pink dreams just aren't going anywhere.

Brian is SURE we are having a boy and has convinced himself of that. I have tried to convince myself as well because the last thing I want to do is have gender play a role in my grief, but the more I convince myself the harder time I have with my grief over having a daughter.

A daughter would be no replacement for Addison, but it would mean that there would be a void that would be filled with all the things moms and daughters get to do and dads and daughters because lord knows Brian aches for this just as badly as I do.

Most people I know have already had their 20 weeks scans even before their 20 weeks and I purposely scheduled ours after. I needed it to be after Addison's birthday and then there is the other part. This scan makes this baby even more real. We are really pregnant, this is really happening and one way or another I will be delivering another baby...dead or alive. I just can't fathom losing another and yet I can't really grasp getting to bring one home, but I know we have to bring one home...we just have to. After this scan there will be more confirmation and they could tell us something is really wrong and I just can't go there. I need to believe this baby could come home with us (even in the smallest way) and I can't have anyone take that away from me...if I could hold off on this scan for another month or so I would probably do it and yet I don't want any surprises so here is it...almost here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

20 Weeks

How Far Along: 20 weeks (our baby is as big as a small Cantaloupe). I honestly can't believe I just wrote 20 did we make it this far?!?!
Maternity Clothes: I still try and hide the belly certain's getting harder and harder. I keep hoping that when I wear my sweatshirt and put my hands in my pockets it disguises the belly. Bought a second pair of maternity jeans today...finally! I also am needing to move up a size in the bra department...this is the one part of pregnancy I don't appreciate, but again whatever is needed!
Movement: This baby seems pretty active, which I appreciate.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night mostly just one though. I am still going to bed later than I should and waking up pretty tired.
Gender:  I should write an entire post about this.
Symptoms: Runny nose (with occasional light blood in my tissue) and dangerous sneezes (see last week's response). I also had a leg cramp that woke me up one night this week. The last three mornings I have had some light's not supposed to come back! Oh well, I will be happily sick if that's what needs to happen.
Cravings: Red Meat
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week:  My parents got their tree on Sunday and we went with them (no tree for us this year bah humbug), but we did get a mini-tree for Addi's spot and it looks festive. As far as this baby goes the extra movement has been wonderful along with the reassurance from the doppler. Also I got an email from our wonderful nurse that helped deliver Addison. It made me cry, but it was the good kind of crying.
Freak-out of the week: Nothing too bad although today has been busy and I haven't been feeling the movement I am used to. I came straight home to use the doppler.
What I miss: Being excited for Christmas.
What I am looking forward to: Our next appointment, but I am also terrified of it.
Next Appointment: Friday, December 23rd.
Something Else: I forgot to add last week that I was asked by a stranger (a cashier in the check out line) for the first time if this was my first baby. I was surprised because usually no one says anything until they are REALLY sure you are pregnant and not just chubby, but she asked. I already knew that my answer to that question would always be no. I know not everyone wants to tell the whole world their story and I certainly don't, but at the same time I just can't sleep at night if I lie. I would rather make them uncomfortable for a moment than to lose sleep over it. I feel like I get to be a little selfish where this is concerned. Anyways I said no and she asked what my first was and I said a girl. She was like OH! I bet you are hoping for a boy this time! I said actually no, we are hoping for another girl (I wanted to throw in the because-because we didn't get to do any of the girly things we had planned), but I held my tongue and just said we were hoping for another girl, but healthy and alive was our top priority. She kind of looked at me and just said congratulations. It kind of threw me off to be congratulated by a stranger, but I said thanks and walked away. Then it occurred to me that it was probably pretty strange to her that I had used the word "alive" when describing my hopes for this baby...well it's true, that is my hope and it's not something I think is guaranteed because I know better.

I've been wanting to write and had a million things to write about, but it's been hard to force myself to sit down and do it! There may be a long or multiple posts in your future...sorry about that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

19 Weeks

How Far Along: 19 weeks (our baby is as big as a Mango)
Maternity Clothes: Just got two big bag fulls from my friend Kiersten who I absolutely adore. Wearing one of her shirts today :)
Movement: It's been pretty steady although could be more frequent for my own sanity. There were several freak outs when it had been a while in between movements.
Sleep: is interrupted by 1-2 bathroom breaks each night. With such a heavy week I have been late to bed and early to rise so I have been in a constant state of tired this week!
Gender:  I'm so nervous about this...more nervous about a live baby, but it still worries me.
Symptoms: Runny nose, sneezing isn't always safe...I either celebrate after a sneeze or have to go change...that part isn't so fun, but it's worth it.
Cravings: Cuties (you know those little oranges).
Belly Button In or Out: in
Best Moment this week:  There were several. We got to HEAR our baby's heartbeat for the first time last Friday and our doctor found it right away with no drama!
Our doctor spent our whole appointment asking about Addison's birthday and how we were doing. It was really wonderful to have him show so much interest in our girl and how we are doing.
We got the results back from our quad screen test and baby passed with flying colors!
My friend K let us borrow her doppler so now we can listen to the baby whenever we want. The other night I was doing it myself and felt the baby kick through the wand, I passed the wand to Brian and he felt it too, it was amazing. Still can't feel anything just touching the belly though.
Lastly, we survived Addi's birthday and the days surrounding it. It was sad and wonderful to feel thins baby moving on the day Addi died and the days after when I knew that this time last year I was feeling nothing.
Freak-out of the week: This baby will move and be on a semi-schedule and then not for a while and that not time makes me crazy. Very thankful to have the doppler now.
What I miss: Being excited for Christmas.
What I am looking forward to: Sleeping in tomorrow. I need some sleep!
Next Appointment: Friday, December 23rd.
Something Else: Read this morning that the Duggar Family miscarried their 20th child in the 2nd tri-mester, they found out at 19w 1 d and baby had stopped growing around 16w. I get that people have some pretty strong opinions about this family, but it breaks my heart that they will be going through this. Their baby was only one day farther along than this baby and I just really understand how awful that would be. I have said before it wouldn't matter if we had 20 children, they wouldn't replace the one we lost and now they will know that too. It's been weighing heavily on my mind for several reasons. Terrible that they have to go through this in the public eye (even if they put themselves in there to begin with). Then there is the other part I worry about....that they will act like it was just God's plan and everything is fine...that will really piss me off. Now I am rambling, but the public hears so little about this taboo subject that the times they do hear about it needs to be from my BLM friends who echo how this this. I guess I have just been putting a lot of thought into it and am so sorry that any baby especially ones so loved and wanted don't get to stay.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The second worse day of our lives

December 7, 2010, was the second worse day of our lives. I knew this day was going to be our last day in the hospital, but I didn't fully realize what it would be like to really say goodbye to Addison.

I slept horribly the night of the 6th and was up around 3am. I think it was around 4 when I actually got up. I didn't want to wake Brian since he was actually getting some sleep. I got up as quietly as possible and made my way to the other side of the room. Cell phone reception was terrible so I reached for the lap top. I sat on the couch and couldn't figure out how to connect to the wi-fi...I am use Brian for all my technology needs...I know I COULD figure things out, but it's so much easier to have him do it :) In this particular instance I wasn't going to wake him up and my brain couldn't handle any real thinking.

I decided I needed to write our story. I wanted to try and capture what the past days had been like. So I wrote, in the dark, curled up on the couch. When I finished I was disappointed more time hadn't passed. I was dying for our nurse to bring in Addison.

I put the lap top away and sat on the chair closest to the door and just watched the clock. She had been bringing her in around 6am and I still had an hour to go. I sat there in the dark just waiting. I thought seriously about leaving the room and going to the nurses desk to ask for her, but I was afraid. I was afraid to leave the room, our little safe haven. I was afraid to see people or to have them see me...they would know I was the one...the one with the dead baby. I was afraid I wouldn't see my actual nurse and asking another nurse about Addison would freak them out. I really didn't care that I was wearing a hospital gown with my backside hanging out...that was the least of my worries, but I never was able to leave the room so I sat and watched the clock.

That morning our nurse was quite busy and wound up coming in about 15 minutes late, which was even more torture. When she finally came in, she was startled to see me up and waiting for her. She apologized for taking so long, but really she had no idea I was waiting. She handed me Addi all wrapped in more warming blankets. She was felt less cold. That surprised me, I don't know if they kept her somewhere different, but it was a "nice" surprise that she wasn't "frozen". Gah that's awful!

Anyways I just sat there for a minute with her, but then the nurse needed to take my vitals and make sure the infection was gone. I had to go back over to the bed and that woke Brian up. After the nurse left we sat in bed just the three of us. I put Addi in the middle of us and we talked about different random things. I got up to go the bathroom and (how I remember it) Brian had Addi on his knees and was staring at her. (Brian swears this happened the day before, but we will go with my memory because I am usually right). Anyways it was such a sweet "normal" feeling moment, just a dad and his daughter hanging out. I went to grab the camera because I knew this was a moment I needed to remember.

I took several shots of the two of them and they are still some of my favorite. I think the reason I love them so much is because I knew that would be a pose I would have seen a million times over had we been able to bring her home. Every time Brian wears those same pajama pants I go back to that sweet moment, which is sad and wonderful all at the same time.

Brian got up to go to the bathroom and I crawled into bed with Addi. One thing I hadn't done was sing to her. During the whole pregnancy the only thing we ever really played for her was Bob Marley. This was my first time alone with Addi so I quietly sang "I'm gonna love you and treat you right, I'm gonna love you everyday and every night" I couldn't do it without crying and I still can't listen to that song without tears. In all honesty I avoid that song like the plague.

Brian came out of the bathroom and we just sat and talked. At about 7:45 our nurse was switching shifts and something terrible happened...our regular day nurse was called away and she brought us in two new nurses. I completely panicked. I knew we would be leaving that day and i just couldn't imagine letting a stranger take her out of the room. In front of the nurses I asked Brian if we should let our nurse take Addison so she wouldn't have to go with strangers. I felt back talking right in front of these nurses, but this wasn't just any situation. Brian agreed it would be best to have our nurse take Addison.

I wish I would have known what our time line was like. Not that I ever would have been ready for the moment we said goodbye, but the shock of now or never was too much. I kissed her all over and held her tight. Brian kissed her and held her close. I told her how much I loved her and handed her to our nurse. I was hysterical. Brian held me tight and we watched our nurse walk out the door with Addison for the very last time. Talk about the ugly cry, I just couldn't control it. I honestly believe this moment was just as bad or worse than hearing she had no heartbeat.

I was so hysterical our nurse actually came back to hug me. It surprised me when she came back in...I was like wait what did you do with Addi?!?! She just put her in another room for a moment so she could hug me one last time. It was sweet of her, but it kind of upset me that she left Addison at all. As soon as she left the other nurses left and Brian and I held each other and cried. It was then Brian realized that was the one time he didn't tell Addison he loved her before she left. I assured him he had said it a million times already and that he would see her again at the funeral.

As soon as I could breathe and form words I told Brian we needed to leave and we needed to leave now. If I wasn't with Addison I couldn't stay there. He jumped out of bed and made things happen. Within an hour we were checking out. They put me in a wheel chair and rolled me out. I was holding flowers and just kept thinking how wrong it was to be holding flowers and not a baby. I looked down so I wouldn't have to make eye contact with anyone. It felt like the walk or "roll" of shame. There were flowers coming to be delivered that I saw and they looked like "funeral" flowers. I thought I bet those are for us, but I said nothing (turns out they were and they had to be re-delivered to my house).

We got to the door and Brian left to get the truck. It felt like forever, but he was back quickly. I was so mad at this moment. I had so been looking forward to that magical moment that we left for the first time with our baby buckled safely in her car seat...there was a car seat in the truck, but no baby. Seeing it behind my seat was just more insult to injury.

I looked out the window the whole way home. I was surprised how everything looked the same. People were out driving around like a normal day...why didn't they realize the whole world had stopped?!?! I guess it was just our world that stopped.

We were almost home when Brian started giving me "rules" he told me he didn't want me going straight into Addison's room when we got home. I was so annoyed. I wasn't planning on it, but for him to tell me not to really pissed me off. I get to grieve in my way and he gets to grieve in his. Then he said the thing that REALLY pissed me off. He said, "I am going to ask you from time to time how you are doing mentally". I looked at him and rolled my eyes. He was like don't roll your eyes I am serious, I can't lose you too. I freaked out at him. I was like "you idiot, I'm sad, but killing myself is not an option, in no way does that seem like an option to me". He looked surprised at my reaction, but also genuinely worried. I feel bad for freaking out on him, but that was just so insulting that he would go there. Now I know it was just his next greatest fear that he would lose me too.

When we got home I wanted a few things done ASAP. I wanted Addi's car seats out of my car and Brian's truck. I didn't want to see them every time I got in the truck. Then I wanted the rest of the couch brought back in (we have a sectional and took out a piece to make room for the rocking chair or the baby swing). I wanted the living room to look normal. It was also important to me that no one close Addi's door. I knew if it was closed it would never get opened and I couldn't handle that.

My sister brought us groceries and food and then we left to take care of some funeral arrangement. I could barely climb in and out of Brian's truck. When we got to the funeral home it seemed so surreal. They were asked questions I didn't want to answer. When it came to signing off of the cremation, it took me forever to do, I just kept staring at want to do what to my baby?!?! We picked Friday the 10th at 10am for her service. There was some joking going on between the funeral guy and Brian's brother that I didn't appreciate, but didn't say anything about. I get they were trying to keep things on the light end, but I didn't like it.

Brian took me home after that and I just sat at home with my sister while he finished things up.

At the end of the day we climbed into bed and I actually slept pretty well. I was surprised and sad at how much more comfortable I was without my big belly. I couldn't help, but think the last time I had been in that bed my baby was in my belly and alive. It was hard to get into bed.

The next morning I was surprised to have slept through the night without a bathroom break...thankful for the sleep, but sad for the reason. If only I had been woken up several times to nurse my baby. It was an awful day.

December 7th was supposed to be such a different day. It was the date of our scheduled induction. I still have the paperwork for it and everything. How was it the day we were supposed to say hello wound up being the day we said goodbye...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Memories from December 6, 2010

I'm trying to piece my memories together as best as possible. I didn't write in those first days and some parts are very fuzzy. This post is more for me so that some day I can look back and remember. These are my memories from 12/6/10. I don't know many families that got as much time with their babies as we did so I understand that this post may be weird to some, but I don't care because I wouldn't trade any of the time we had with Addison for anything!

The morning of December 6, 2010, Brian and I were sleeping next to each other in side by side hospital beds. I woke up to my nurse Shannon coming in with Addison. She placed her in the infant bed next to mine. She said she had warming blankets on her because she was cold. I had no idea how cold until I touched her. It was a feeling I will never forget and it shocked me. I decided to let her warm up before I tried again. I went to the bathroom (which was quite a production with stitches, gi-normous pads, cooling spray, medicated pads...I think there was even an ice pack down there...sorry for the TMI) oh and that water that part sucked! I think a potty break took 10-15minutes, like nothing I had ever experienced before.

I came out of the bathroom and Brian was awake. He had this look on his face and I knew something was wrong. He just looked at me and said something along the lines of "someone should have told me she was going to be cold". I felt SO bad, I didn't think he would wake up and reach for her. We just kind of sat there in shock of another terrible reality...they kept our baby cold so she wouldn't smell...just typing that makes me sick.

It didn't take long till I couldn't wait anymore and I pulled her close to me trying to warm her with my body heat. I held her little hands until the temperature matched my own. We handed her back and forth and just drank her in as much as we could. A social worker came in and was pretty useless, but did tell us we should do whatever we were thinking with her no matter how weird it sounded because we would regret it later if we didn't. After that we asked for a diaper. Brian had never changed a diaper his entire life and was looking forward to doing it, so he did it. You wouldn't have know he was a newbie, he did it like a pro. Throughout the day my family came back over. We just passed her around like it was a normal visit in the hospital. We all had turns. It was important to me that everyone got their chance with her because I knew it was all we would get. After dinner my dad came back with his hair cutting stuff (that's what he does) Brian got a brush and brushed her sweet silky blond hair and my dad cut it like a proud papa.

Brian and I cut her finger and toe nails and we asked for some more hand print pads so we could get Addison's hand prints and not just footprints. The nurse kept messing up and my dad kept on her until she got it right. The bath the nurse gave her the day before wasn't very good and she still had stuff on her eyes. I asked for a cue tip and water and as gentle as possible cleaned her lids and peaked at her eye...I had to know. I figured they would be blue and I was right. I still find it odd that I did that, but am more grateful than not.

We talked to Brian's parents on the phone and all decided it would be best for them not to spend the enormous amount of money it would take to fly from NC to WA last minute. We KNEW they wanted to be here and loved us, we didn't need them to come to prove that. Looking back we all wish they would have been here, but we made the best decision we could in the time we had. They are amazing parents and grandparents and we are so grateful for them!

A nurse came in to give me an IV, I had developed an infection I needed antibiotics for and they had already removed my IV. She was a new nurse I had never seen before. I have REALLY good veins and it's always easy for staff to find them...this nurse couldn't get it. It took her three times. My dad was about to go ape shit on her. I kept saying it was fine trying to keep everyone calm. I'm not afraid of needles and she wasn't hurting me, it was just annoying. It occurred to me later that she probably wasn't expecting a room full of people passing around a dead baby. No wonder she couldn't concentrate, I'm just glad my dad didn't kill her!

My best friend Sarah and her mom came over to see and hold Addison. After that Brian's brother showed up. He had flown in from CA. Brian was so proud to show his brother his baby and Will was uncomfortable. It was the first time it really occurred to me that what we were doing was weird and that there would be people who didn't get it. It was a sad moment, but an important one. I needed to realize that we wouldn't be getting a positive reaction from everyone. I know it hurt Brian (and still does) that Will didn't hold or touch Addison, but he also understands why he didn't.

Brian's brother and my sister were the last to leave. Brian was on the lap top researching urns while I was right next to him holding Addison. I knew it had to be done, but I made him stop because it was just too want to put my baby in where?!?!? That's when we decided it was time for bed. Will told Alisa it was time to go and the look on her face was panic. I told him he could leave, but Alisa wasn't leaving until she had a chance to say goodbye to Addi in her own time and that NO ONE would rush her.

Will left to help get funeral arrangements taken care of and Alisa had her moment with Addi. She still thanks me for stepping in. Will meant well, he just didn't get it.

When it was time for bed our nurse came and got Addi again, we kissed her goodnight and told her we loved her.

I couldn't sleep that night. Maybe because I knew we would be leaving Addi the next day, maybe because of all the funeral talk....maybe a little of everything! The 6th of December was a day full of Addison and was actually a pretty wonderful day for us. We couldn't have held her more, kissed her or told her how much she was loved anymore than we did. This was the last good day...the 7th was a tough one. More to come tomorrow.

December 5th and 6th

How do you spend your daughter's first birthday when she isn't here to spoil? We had thrown out a couple ideas, but didn't really make a plan until last minute. We thought ahead to take the day off work, but plans from that point on were difficult.

I made cookies last night and we wanted to take them and cards to our wonderful doctor and nurses. It was weird to be back in labor and delivery. As we checked in at the front desk the lady made a joke that we would be fine as long as we didn't leave with someones baby...I so wanted to tell her that we have never gotten to leave with a baby, but I held my tongue. We didn't get to see any of our people, but we were glad to leave the treats for them.

We headed to Seattle for the day. I had picked a one year old girl off the Salvation Army tree and thought we would shop for her and see where the day took us. On our way to Seattle I called my bff blm friend to see if we could meet up for lunch. She was more than willing to meet up with us so we headed to her house. She had a friend contact me shortly after we lost Addison and has been weekly, daily and sometimes hourly support! Since then we have become great friends!

We wound up spending Addi's day with her and really it couldn't have been anything better. She gets us, we get her, she loves Addi and we love her little girl. When we left she had a big bag of maternity clothes to send with me and a doppler so we can hopefully listen to this little one whenever the crazy arises!

Just down the street from her house was an elementary school that one of my bestest friends works at! We got to see her classroom and wound up having dinner with her. She had this on her chalkboard.
See the little AEC next to the date? What a good friend is she!?!?

I have some wonderful friends. All day long my phone was BLOWING up with emails, texts, facebook posts etc. I think I was so worried people wouldn't remember or care by this time that with each message it was a little reminder that Addison is very much remembered and not at all forgotten. We miss Addison, but we are not the only ones. It certainly made the day lighter.

I feel good tonight. I still miss Addison and what this day should have been, but I feel like I don't have to shout to the world that she was here and she matters because the world shouted to me that they know and they remember. I think I will sleep well tonight!

Brian and I are good today too, which really helps. I'm glad to be back in sync with him, we need each other!

We will still be sponsoring that 1 year old girl, but we will do it next weekend instead. I think you just have to let the day happen...too much planning isn't good for anyone!

I'm glad Addison's day wasn't as bad as we were preparing for. The days before were definitely harder. I think the hardest part of the day was knowing that December 5th wasn't just us missing out on Addison's, but Brandy and her family missing out on Andrew's 1st birthday and Jessica and her family missing out on her twins boys, William and Ethan'sfirst birthday. And tomorrow will be Brooke's daughter Eliza'sfirst many first birthdays that won't go the way they should. All these babies and their families were weighing heavily on my heart.

December 6, 2011
The day after-much harder than the day. I woke up feeling emotional today, but wound up holding it together. It's like wow...all the sudden that much anticipated day is over and the phone and computer seem silent. It's an odd change up from one day to the next. We made it through the first what?

In other news I actually made real dinner tonight and did some laundry...good night at our house...Brian feels like he is WINNING haha.

Monday, December 5, 2011

On your first birthday

***After lots of careful thought and consideration I decided to post two sketches of Addison on her first birthday...never done this before, but wanted the people who are loving our girl with us to know the face they are remembering.***

Dear Addi,

I really can't believe an entire year has passed. To be honest I didn't think we would survive's not that I thought we die too, it's just that I couldn't imagine going through each day without you. People say they couldn't do, we couldn't do it either and yet somehow we did. I think back to those early days where I had to force myself to get out of bed, not because I am strong, but because it's what had to be done. With you gone the dogs still needed to bed, the laundry still needed to be done and we didn't have the option of quiting our jobs so we just continued getting up everyday. We were purely in survival mode.

I still feel like that lots of days...survival mode. I'm living this life I hadn't planned on living. I want life to be as good as it can be even knowing without you it will never be as it should.

I go to the grocery store, mall, gas station etc. and see moms and daughters and my heart breaks each time, I keep going because I have to.

This year has been an interesting one because your mama has never been a crier, but this year that all changed. I have never cried more tears. I cry for all sorts of reasons, but it usually comes down to the fact that I love you so much and miss you so badly it physically hurts.

I've learned that my real friends truly are who they are and even gained a few extra because they love you, I love them more than I knew before. I'm surprised that there are not more people who didn't step up, but that was a nice surprise because the few that didn't I will never be able to let in again. If they do not have a place for you in their hearts I do not have a place for them in mine, plain and simple.

I have met so many wonderful moms like me this year and their friendship and support is better than anything I could buy! It is my hope that you have found love, support and friendship in their children as much as I find in them.

You my sweet girl are everything I ever wanted in a daughter. I of course wish you were here with me, but not having you here takes nothing away from what you gave and continue to give to us. We couldn't love you more if we tried. We couldn't be more proud to be your parents and are trying our very best to make sure no one ever forgets how very special you are.

Before you were born everyone would tell me that you love all of your children, but that firstborn is something so special, they were right. I loved you before you were born, but this day of December 5th when I finally got to see your beautiful face was one dreams were made of.

I feel fortunate that the very worst day of our lives was the 4th, but the day you were born was a beautiful one and one I would repeat a million times if I could.

After a long night of very little sleep and feeling like I was in and out of consciousness you were getting closer. Family was back and I remember our nurse was back to the day shift and told me when it was time I would feel like I needed to poop. I remember that moment because it shot me awake, I just yelled "I have to poop" I knew I didn't actually and I don't know why I just didn't say it's time to push, but that's what came out of my mouth.

Originally your birth was going to be a family affair (as long as everyone stayed behind my shoulders and out of the "danger zone"), but our nurse convinced us that this moment should only be for your dad and I. We sent our VERY reluctant family out of the room and just before 10am we started getting ready. Dr. B asked me if I wanted to brush my teeth first...I thought what a weird question and then I thought about it again and was like of course! Daddy helped me as they morphine and lack of sleep was messing with my abilities.

I started to push around was bizarre as I would be in the middle of a push and falling asleep at the same time. Finally I asked to stop so I could get a cold wet wash cloth on my face and for the lights above me to be turned on. Those things helped and we were off! I remember being thankful I was able to deliver you this way since you were turned for most of the day on the 4th it took A LOT of moving me in different positions to get you where you needed to be, I knew you would do it though, you were too perfect of a baby. They really wanted to use the forceps and or vacuum on you and I wouldn't let them. I had seem the bruises it left on a live baby and knew you didn't have time to heal from them. I was doing this no matter what. There was no screaming or yelling. I just concentrated on what I had to do and focused on your daddy and my nurse. I was ready to meet you and nothing was stopping me.

At 10:40am you were here all 8lbs and 21 3/4 inches of you. They put you up on my belly and we just stared at you.

The first time if ever I saw your face...
I wanted to SEE you so I had them wipe you off and they handed you back. I gave you to your daddy because I couldn't wait to see him hold you. I never loved him as much as I did in that moment. Seeing him love you was the most beautiful and heartbreaking moment.

After some time he handed you back. They had wrapped you in two blankets tightly and I couldn't pull them off fast enough, I wanted to SEE you. I wish I would have taken the diaper off they had put on and seen your little naked body in it's entirety, but I didn't think of it at the moment as I was more interested in your perfect little hands and feet, your long legs and kissing your face.

We had our alone time with you and then two by two family came in to meet you. We wanted two at a time so each person got to have their moment without feeling rushed. That part I would do exactly the same. Everyone held you and everyone loved you.

I wanted them to get the rest of the "birth" off you so the other nurse bathed you and didn't do the best job...she was trying to be gentle, but didn't do the job to my satisfaction. I wish I would have had my parents do it. Grandma and Papa carefully dressed you in your Christmas dress. Since they had two daughters they understand all things fluffy. There is one picture of you in just your tights and patten leather shoes (which were almost too small with your long narrow feet). I love that picture. I can so picture you running around half naked like that just before leaving for a party or a picture so we would be sure not to get anything on the dress.

They were ever so gentle with you, we all were.We took pictures and loved you...even with all the pictures we took I still wish we would have taken more, but love you more...not possible...our love for you was and is as full as it can be.

After those pictures we changed you into the outfit you were supposed to come home in. It was the outfit Auntie Alisa bought you before you were even conceived. A perfect pink sleeper with a little snowman perfect for our December baby. Daddy dressed you in that and you were so snugly. We laughed that this newborn outfit was too short for your arms and definitely got that from your daddy and not from me. I was surprised with the amount of hair you had...I was bald and I thought you would be too.

After everyone got to love you and I had you back in my arms we tried to take a few pictures. You can see the progression through the pictures, my face says it all. You can literally see the tears coming. Holding you and having that moment (while beautiful) was also even more heartbreaking knowing how perfect you were, how much we loved you, how much your family loved you and the unfairness that such a great family was being robbed of a life with you and you a life with us. I started crying and saying how unfair this all was, I just repeated it over and over holding you close. Everyone decided to leave at that point and give us some alone time.

I don't remember who suggested a nap, but it was what was needed. Daddy climbed into bed with us and with you between us we slept as our little family of three. It was a beautiful moment and I am so thankful for it.

After our nap we were moved to another room. I tried to take a shower...almost passed out, but my nurse got me before that happened. I barely remember moving, but the next room seemed more relaxed. Family came back and we kept you with us the rest of the day.

That night when it was time for bed they took you away, but we knew we would get you back the next day. We kissed you goodnight and daddy and I were able to sleep side by side as a full bed was set up next to mine.

It really was as perfect of a day as it could be. A whole day with you and just squeezing in as many kisses and snuggles as we could.

Your birthday was the happiest day of our lives, meeting you and loving you, while not the way we had planned was still amazing. It wasn't a day of goodbyes it was all hellos and I love yous.

Today we plan to celebrate you as much as possible. We picked a one year old little girl of the Salvation Army tree to sponsor. While we wish we were buying presents for you, we are using your life to pay it forward.

Your family celebrated you yesterday and will again today. You have gotten presents in the mail from some amazing friends and even a birthday card addressed to you, seeing your name on that card was amazing...I never thought I would get to see mail just for you. So many people are thinking of you today and lighting candles for you, makes this day a little less heavy for your mama and daddy to know you are remembered and loved.

I love you my girl. Happy 1st Birthday, we will celebrate you and what you mean to us. xxxooo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Emotions are high and patience is low

Today was a VERY tough day. It wasn't as tear filled as yesterday, but Brian and I were just on two completely different levels. We couldn't have pushed each others buttons any harder if we tried. We are supposed to be the two that get each other more than anyone and yet I think we wanted to strangle each other most of the day. Nothing like feeling sad and alone on such a hard day. We both realized our emotions were high and that patience was low, but that didn't make it any easier to take. If there is a way to make a shitty day shittier, we succeeded.

We spent the day shopping for things to decorate Addi's stone with for her birthday. I was never able to come up with a definite plan for her birthday (not knowing for sure when her stone would be placed). I thought that since yesterday really felt like the 4th that we should treat today like the 5th since the weather was beautiful and being Sunday everyone was available while the sun was still up.

We rushed around trying to find everything we needed. It all took longer than expected and finding a shepherd's hook was down right impossible (we found one, but not easily).

I would say the only thing that helped my mood was each time my phone buzzed with a new email, text, etc. of people letting me know they were thinking of Addi.

Once we got to the cemetery it was just after 3pm. The weather was beautiful, but so cold! We decorated Addi's stone and sat around and talked. It looked like a serious production with so many cars. It was just my parents, siblings, grandparents and two friends. It was VERY last minute and not well thought out at all, but it worked. I feel guilty for not putting something bigger together, but I really couldn't handle it.

We released balloons and took pictures, but it certainly wasn't any kind of first birthday you would ever hope for. We only stayed for an hour or so because it was so cold, but it was enough.

Our family tradition is root beer floats for birthdays so we decided that was the plan for this evening. Brian and I picked up Addi's cake and headed over to my parent's house. We sat around and visited, ate root beer floats and then lit Addi's candle and sang happy birthday. I wasn't sure I wanted seemed so weird and yet I knew if we didn't I would regret we did. After that we went outside to light the floating and the flying Chinese lanterns. Unfortunately I don't think any pictures of this turned out, but the video did and I was pretty happy about that.

All in all the day was not as bad as I expected other than how Brian and I were being. Not our best day and not normal for us, but I suppose we can't be super happy with each other every day of our lives so hopefully we got it out of our systems today!

I'm glad today is over and I think I will be even more glad when tomorrow is's all about surviving these days...right?!?

Been thinking so much about Addison, which isn't far from any other day. It just sucks SO much not to have her. That these very special days are so much less than they could be.

This weekend I think of my girl and the other babies that share this day in December.

We had bracelets made with Addison's name and birthday...want one? We had to buy 200!

Addi's very own "mini" root beer float cup...we are serious root beer float drinkers!

Getting the flying lanterns good pictures from outside, but it was beautiful and I am glad we did it.

The 4th of December: The day our world stopped

Memories Nightmares from the 4th of December:

I was remembering how last year I had woken up in the guest room because that's where I used to sleep when I was having trouble falling asleep. Brian woke me up as he was leaving for work since I had my scheduled NST at the hospital. I remember being worried that I couldn't feel her, but was sure after my breakfast and a shower things would be good.

I had orange juice and nothing happened. I think that was when I really started to worry.

I was talking with Addison and begging her to move. Almost feeling something even though I knew it was something I must have made up. My stomach felt different, heavier maybe, I'm not sure. I remember I even tried bargaining with her. If you move we will pick a name for you like this name___________ or this one__________??? Nothing was working.

I got ready as quickly as possible and left for my appointment, but not before loading up 2 of my 3 dogs in my car to take with me because on top of everything we were having new carpet installed in our living room that day. I left my old dog at home, but took the two younger ones. The drive was eerie. I just remember telling myself that babies move less in the end and I was giving myself excuses to worry and I needed to calm down.

I kept telling myself that if I REALLY was worried I wouldn't have let Brian go to work and I wouldn't have brought 2/3 of my herd with me to the hospital. I was being dramatic and just needed to get to that NST as soon as possible so the nurse could find Addison's heartbeat and tell me what a crazy first-time parent I was.

In the middle of all my crazy thoughts, my sister called me and I remember being short with her. I get short with people when I am worried or avoiding tears. She asked if I wanted her to come with me to the appointment since Brian couldn't. I told her no, that I was already in the parking lot and that it would just be a quick one and then I would be done. I hung up with her, told the dogs to be good and ran into the hospital as fast as I could.

I had only ever been to Labor and Delivery through the back way and couldn't remember how to get there. I got myself turned around and wound up asking some lady with a badge on for help. She was walking there herself and brought me the rest of the way. She turned out to be a chaplain. I thought I would be able to go straight in, but the lady made me register at the front desk. I had already done the "pre-registration" online, but apparently that did me no good because she basically ran through all the same questions. I just remember wishing she would stop talking and let me through those doors to my appointment. I was getting more worried by the second. I remember she was nice, but annoyed me by taking so long.

She finally finished and pressed the button to open the big doors into L&D. There were nurses waiting and pointed me in the direction I needed to go. One nurse was waiting for me, Dodie. I had never met her before, I honestly don't remember my first impression of her because I was in such a hurry to hear Addison. I had my trusty Starbucks cup of water and she praised me for being so good about drinking my water. She decided she wanted a urine sample before we got started. She asked me if I would be able to pee and I laughed because my answer was "I always have to pee". I told her I was anxious to get started because it was now about 10:15am and I hadn't felt the baby and that wasn't normal for her. She brushed it off confirming that babies move less in the end with less room in there for them.

I think I did my urine sample in record time and I may have even skipped washing my hands just because I was so worried...can't remember though. That part is fuzzy. I laid down in the little room on the table, pulled my shirt up and she started to look and look and look.

I could feel my heart rate increase the longer it took. Addison had ALWAYS been easy to find, it never took any time at all to hear her. She asked me where the nurses normally found her at and I showed her. For a second she whispered "there she is" I started to relax a little and then she seemed to keep searching. I was hearing little things, but now I know it was always my heartbeat she was finding.

Finally she said that this wasn't a very good machine and that she would get the better one...I believed her. When that one didn't work, she blamed herself, said she wasn't very good at this and would get someone who was good at finding stubborn babies. She almost had me convinced that Addison was just positioned in a way that was making it difficult. When the new person came in, she didn't find her right away either. It was then I asked Dodie if I needed to call my husband. She said no, said things were going to be okay. I was worried, but I believed her.

Dodie asked me what my husband's phone number was, I rattled off numbers in between sobs. She came back in when that number went to voicemail (I later figured out I had given her my phone number not Brian's). I tried to tell her his work number and barely got it out.  I remember wishing she didn't have to call him because his life was about to be ruined forever. She came back in and asked for any other family numbers. I gave her my mom and dad's number, but told her she needed to ask for my mom, my mom is the best at handling emergencies and I knew my dad would be too worried to function if it were him to get the news.

After the phone calls I was still wailing. She climbed into bed with me and held me tight. I was soaking wet from tears and snot, but that didn't detour her one bit. She held her head close to mine and never flinched at the wailing noises coming out of me. She told me that she didn't tell Brian or my family what happened, just that I needed them to come to the hospital.

It felt like Brian was there immediately, but it was at least 15 minutes of uncontrollable crying before he got there. He works close to the hospital, but first went to my OB's office and then to the ER before getting to L&D. He wasn't told exactly where I was, but man he wasted no time finding me. He later told me once he got into L&D he could hear me wailing all the way down the hallway. That's when he knew something was VERY wrong. He came into the room looked at me and looked at the doctor and just said "really". The doctor said to him that there was no cardiac activity. Dodie got out of bed with me and Brian climbed in. We held each other and bawled.

After a little while we were moved to a private room (I was probably upsetting other patients with my noise level of crying). My parents came into the room not long after. They hugged us, but I don't remember what was said. We sat there in silence (aside from the sounds of crying). My mom told me later that I had both arms wrapped protectively around my belly, like I was holding Addi as tightly as possible.

Our doctor came back in and cried with us. He told us how sorry he was for us. Brian even got him a tissue. He gave us the option of inducing or going home to wait for natural labor. We both didn't want to go home so they started everything immediately. Dr. B also told us that from this point out we called the shots and whatever we wanted to happen would be how things went. We didn't know what to ask for, but it was nice he let us feel like we had some power in an otherwise powerless position.

I changed into the hospital gown and got into the bed. Taking off my clothes felt strange and putting them into that bright green hospital bag felt even stranger. By this time my mom had called my siblings and more people were starting to arrive. Brian was still right next to me, he never left my side.

At some point I realized the dogs were in my car and asked that my brother and sister take my car and the dogs home. My brother Alex pretty much took care of the dogs the whole time we were in the hospital going back and forth to make sure everything was okay. I asked my sister Alisa to grab my hospital bag, Addison's diaper bag and the camera bag...they were all packed and ready to go as we were hoping for labor to come at any time. Last minute I asked that she also bring Addison's Christmas dress, fluffy butt tights, black patten leather shoes, dress coat and headband as it occurred to me she would never have the chance to wear the outfit my mom and I had so carefully selected if it were left at home.

I think in a moment that my parents left the room to make some calls is when I looked at Brian and said she has to have a name. We had said from the beginning that Addison was our favorite and it seemed only right for her to have it. My original thought that I needed to SEE her before naming her no longer made sense, she was always Addison. We also agreed that her middle name would be Brian's mom's name, Eloise. Addison Eloise, it was only her name to have.

I got the epidural very shortly after that as they wanted me in the least physical amount of pain as possible. I had been scared about that part before, but remember thinking it didn't hurt like I thought it would.

As each new family member/friend came into the room, I cringed. All with "sad eyes" giving me "that look", but all I could do was look down, trying to avoid eye contact. It felt like welcoming them each to my failure, knowing that because I couldn't keep Addi safe that all of their hearts would forever be broken as well. I know that's not how they felt, but it's what I was thinking.

I can't give you a time line because time was something that didn't register in that room, it felt like an eternity and an instant all at the same time. I would have to pull my medical records (which I have) to tell you for sure when things happened.

I know that at some point the epidural failed to work on my left side and the pain was intense. I know it took forever to get the next one and in the meantime they wanted to give me morphine. I was against it as I have never taken anything stronger than a NyQuil (yes, seriously). Eventually my family convinced me to take the morphine only because it was too hard for me to watch them watch me hurt (follow that)!?!? Turns out I should have stuck to my guns because it didn't help me sleep or take away the pain, it took away my ability to function normally. Before, Brian was coaching me through the contractions (like a champ) and I was breathing through them.  It also didn't help that EVERYONE kept touching me. I really only wanted Brian to touch me, but I felt responsible for their pain and kept thinking if it made them think they were helping by holding onto me then I couldn't ask them to stop. Some of the contractions were so intense I had to close my eyes. Brian would tap out the breaths on arm, which was great until someone else or a couple someone elses started doing it too, made it SO hard to concentrate I wanted to scream! Morphine made it so I couldn't control my breathing or my words. At one point I was trying to say something that made sense to me, but no one could understand me, they kept asking me to repeat it and I just started crying.

It was a bizarre feeling, I would be hurting and falling asleep all at the same time, but not enough to make the pain less, just enough that it made everything even more difficult.

Sometime after midnight Dr. B told Brian to send our family home. He said we were at least 8 hours away from delivery and that we should all try and sleep. I told everyone to go home (except for Brian), but a few stubborn ones refused to leave. My brother and sister slept on the make shift couch/bed, Sarah (my 6 foot friend) slept on two chairs pushed together and Brian slept in the chair next to me.

Our nurse was away and a nurse we had never seen before came in, she offered pillows, blankets and best of all a rolling bed for Brian! It was super low and crappy, but way better than the chair. We continued holding hands even with the height difference in our beds and every time I made a noise he was there with a tissue, an ice cube or chap stick (really the only things I could have).

So that was the end of the 4th of December for us, not the end of labor or anywhere close to the end of this heart ache, but the end of the very worse day of our lives.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Feels like the 4th...

I know today is the 3rd, but it feels like the 4th. You see last year the 4th was on a Saturday so today's schedule has played out much like that day, the day our world came crashing down.

I woke up early this morning unable to sleep, remembering how things happened last year. I started another post that is VERY long and descriptive of that day, but it's difficult to finish so I will have to come back to it. Brian and I were both in a funk this morning and we knew it would be a "sad day".

I had this panic for a moment that Brian was wearing the same shirt he wore last much so that I lifted up his sweater to see, it wasn't. That just worried me for some reason. After he left I felt like any little thing would send me into tears. I got ready and tried to focus on what I had to do, but couldn't help, but "go there" with every step I took.

Originally Brian had taken today off, but with his last minute trip to CA last month he decided he better work today. We both wish he had stayed home. We were invited to a 1st birthday party for a little boy who was in our birthing class today. For a normal situation I wouldn't have gone, but this family is extremely supportive of us and Addison and not going felt like missing out on one more thing that SHOULD have been our normal. I also knew of one other couple from our birthing class who would be there and they are equally supportive so I knew I wouldn't be alone.

I had procrastinated on shopping so I went out this morning. Everyone at the mall was overly happy and helpful and I just wanted to ignore them all. Whenever someone asked "how are you" I wanted to tell them that I was intensely sad because one year ago today was the last day my baby was alive...I didn't, instead I gave a half smile and lied. I settled on clothes because at one I know he doesn't care what he gets and clothes are great for the parents and not noisy at all haha. Again there was an overly helpful sales lady (I can pick out an outfit or two on my own thank you very much).

I went to check out and she made conversation. Asked if everything was for the same person, I said yes and she seemed confused that I had bought two almost identical footy pajamas so I said that they were for brothers who wear the same size. Then she was REALLY confused because I said they weren't twins. Then she asked if they were adopted, which I told her one was. She was happy with that answer and I thought she would stop talking. She went on to tell me that's how it happened for her sister (like she knew my friend's whole story from that one sentence) said her sister adopted and then got pregnant without trying.

She continued to tell me that wasn't her problem, she said she got pregnant really easy, had 6 pregnancies, but only 3 children. That's when I really started to listen. I told her I had lost my first and she asked how far along I was (expecting me to say a few weeks) when I said "all the way" she literally gasped. Then she was really interested and it was actually really nice to talk to a stranger about Addison. I found her much less annoying after that! As she handed me my receipt someone else had come up to the counter. She also had a coupon to give me for "next time" I could see her face drop as she told me the spiel on the coupon like she realized what she was a dead baby mom coupons for baby clothes. She offered to throw it away, but I said I might keep it as we were expecting in April, she got so excited she put her hand up to "high-five" me. It was weird and nice all at the same time. It brought me out of the near tears part just in time for the party.

After that I went to a couple jewelry places because my very special blue topaz earrings Brian gave me are missing a back. Okay not missing, I dropped it and after an hour of both of us searching on hands and knees couldn't find. Thankfully it was just the back and not the earring! Who knew a screw back earring backer would be so hard to find. I was in line to talk to an associate when Brian called (I quietly answered and told him I would call him right back)( I HATE rude cell phone talkers everywhere, but especially stores). No jewelery stores had one to fit and they all wanted to send them away to get a match...these aren't going anywhere thank you very much! I am sad not to have them to wear this weekend, but I will get a back. I called Brian back and he sounded so broken. He said he was calling earlier because that was the exact time he had gotten "the call" from the hospital asking him to come quickly. I felt so bad for not taking his call. Just a rough day all around!

I left the mall and headed to the party. I got there mostly on time because I figured the earlier the better before any "birthday" stuff was underway. There were lots of one years olds

I stopped by the cemetery on the way home just to check that everything was still okay and that I didn't dream up her stone being there. Once I was home I just prayed for no visitors. It's been on and off tears pretty much all day (except for the party) and I cringe each time my phone rings. There was a knock on the door and I almost ignored it. I decided to peak out the window and the lady saw me. She had flowers so I figured I'd better open the door. They were really beautiful mix of light pink good smelling ones with a pink vase. They were from our good friends Kayla and Matt. They made me cry, but the good kind of cry. That's the kind of friend Kayla is, the flowers surprised me, but not the giver. Very wonderful and beautiful. We have received a few more things that I will blog about on Addison's birthday post.

There are just a few minutes until Brian is off work and I can't wait. If I'm going to be sad with anyone, he is the one I choose :) Tough day and it's not over. Damn, I miss my girl.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A year in the making: Headstone complete!

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know what a challenge this headstone has been for me. I knew from the beginning it had to be something special. I mean really anything for Addison must be perfect and this, well this was a biggie.

I went to cemeteries and looked at all the stones, I looked online, I asked for help, I talked to other BLM's about the headstones they had done for their babies. You name it I looked into it.

Our cemetery had several rules that we had to follow in order for the stone to be placed in the baby area. It had to be flat and there were only three sizes to choose from. I of course wanted the biggest we were allowed (28x16). It also had to be turned so it was up and down long wise instead of side to side.

I knew her weight, height, birth date, name HAD to be on there, but I also wanted her footprints and a letter to her.

I carried around a paper example in my purse for months and months and made changes whenever I heard a good idea like including mine and Brian's name and stating she was our firstborn.

The last two months family had input and we sat around like some serious business meeting, moving the words around and playing with the layout.

Brian found someone who could do all of the things we wanted and put together all the logistics to make it happen. The stone was done in multiple parts by multiple people...not your average headstone in the least. I needed it a certain way and couldn't trust any old headstone company to do it right. One of Brian's co-workers made it his mission to find us our stone. At first I wanted pink, but wasn't loving the pink granite choices. I saw the black stones seemed to wear the best over time and really let the wording stand out. We chose absolute black and he found it for us. I've never met him, but I love him. Then Brian took it to the place where it was engraved. After the engraving Brian picked it up to take it to his friend Wayne's house. Wayne does a lot of engraving and made Addison's "butterfly" footprints to scale (her actual prints from the hospital). He let Brian use his machine and Brian put the footprints on himself. After this part he took it back to where it was engraved to be painted, laminated (to the bigger stone) and sealed.

This morning Brian picked up the stone and took it to the cemetery. They told him it would be set this afternoon, but no later than this evening. After 4pm it was still not set so Brian went in and took care of business. By the end of today it was set. I am not 100% happy with the way they set it, but I don't want to turn this post into a downer. It's something I believe we can get fixed Monday so I am not going to worry about it. The point it that I love the stone and it is set. FINALLY! I may actually sleep tonight!

The stone is placed right next to a little boy named Angel. It was important to me that Addi's stone be next to his. Angel was born in the hospital room next to us on 12/4. Angel and Addison both had their funerals at the same place within an hour of each other. Both babies were kept in the same room. While I never saw Angel or met his parents I hold him close to my heart.

So thanks to all of you who offered suggestions and to those of you who listened to me worry about this for the last year. Hardest project ever, but I am so thankful to have it. Very bittersweet moment to have it there. For me it feels official like look world, my girl was here! I know not everyone needs one, but I needed this for Addi, for our family and for me.

The process:
First draft...VERY worn.

Life size a little beat up in my car.

Actual stone with paper cut outs.

Brian and Wayne getting it ready for Addi's "butterfly" prints.

Brian looking VERY serious!

Painted and finished at the shop.

Placed at the cemetery in the plot next to Angel's. The picture before this shows the true color (sun makes it look blue-ish).