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 it...you 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...