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Fingers crossed

This time around, every single time my phone rings I almost hold my breath if its a doctors office. Today I had a voicemail saying the testing we had done last week was all good and there were no signs of down syndrome and baby was perfectly healthy. As I listened to the voicemail in my car I felt myself tearing up. I felt the same feeling of relief when I got a similar phone call when I was pregnant with Harper. Then I realized today I should have an 9 month old, she would be 9 months old today. Then I thought back on the past 9 months, all of the tears, fights, sadness, laughter and helplessness we felt. Its so fucking hard to navigate a new pregnancy after losing my daughter so far along. Everyone keeps assuring me that they are going to keep a close eye on us and I’ll be induced early and everything will be fine. Yet inside I just keep screaming why the fuck didn’t that happen last time?! Why the fuck wasn’t my daughters cord more closely monitored. Its just so infuriating because at the end of the day there is no one I can blame. There is still no explanation as to why it happened. All we are told is it was a freak thing.  And I think theres a part of me that keeps going over every part of my pregnancy, and I feel a sense of guilt like why didn’t I feel something was off… why didn’t I notice. But then my Mom Kindly reminds me that I can’t blame myself, Harper wasn’t meant for this world, and one way or another that was how it was meant to be, and at least she went peacefully and god forbid we didn’t bring her home and something happen like SIDS at home.  How is that for trying to find a “Oh well at least that didn’t happen” situation when it comes to the death of my daughter. I honestly never thought at 30 years old I would have already gone through this. I think I had always imagined myself having two kids at 30 and planning for a third in the future. Instead I’m 30, I’ve filled out a death certificate for my daughter and picked up her ashes, how fucked is that. I mean genuinely a fucking nightmare, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I am beyond excited for this new baby, Im just terrified and trying not to compare every little detail of this pregnancy to my last. I just want a healthy, living baby and I find myself praying to something, who knows what or what kind of god, but something that this baby is okay. Who knows maybe all of my religious friends are right and Harper is going to be an guardian angel big sister for this baby.

The strangest thing that I’ve been trying to figure out is how to answer questions. When people see I am visibly pregnant they ask if it’s my first, then when I respond no they ask how old my other children are… and part of me wants to just say its my first to avoid awkward questions, but then again I don’t want to deny Harper… So whats an appropriate way to answer? I’ve replied with yeah I had a daughter and she was stillborn and then I get those sad eyes and the person is shocked and doesn’t know what to say at this point.. they just try and get away.  This would be another great time for this non existent handbook for bereaved parents… whats an appropriate response ?

Sickness and Health

Currently I have closed myself into my bathroom with a humidifier and the shower running trying to steam out this cold. I swear the other 5 months last year that I wasn’t pregnant I was feeling fine, no sickness in sight. But as soon as January hits and the pregnancy really starts to hit me, BOOM. Have a cold, fever, stuffed nose and on top of it, you can barely take anything to feel any better because of the growing babe. I’m at that really fun stage of a cold where I have a red mustache from blowing my nose a million times, I can’t taste anything or really breathe at this point and I’m probably keeping my poor Husband awake at night with my snoring and nose blowing. But on the plus side! As of now, week 13, I’ve had very minimal AM/PM sickness with this baby, and I honestly don’t feel pregnant at this point, I just feel tired, fat and hungry. So I’ll take it. Last time I had killer migraines, nausea, some of my favorite foods made me vomit and I was extremely fatigued. So fingers crossed the rest of this pregnancy sail by smoothly.

One thing I’ve been trying to figure out is what to do with all of the H decor we had for Harper’s nursery, Brian refuses to really talk about it and just got pissed when I mentioned getting rid of it, so I haven’t brought it back up. But I know when the time comes down the road, and we either have to pack and move, or unpack that closet to set up a new nursery, I’ll be the one that has to do it and frankly I’d like to hide/ handle that stuff while I’m mentally prepared for it. As I mentioned before the stuffed Lamb with a recording of Harpers heartbeat is floating around somewhere in that closet, as are a few personalized items I would like to avoid. I think I’ll just have to end up packing them all into a box, and like my mom suggested either find a spot in another bedroom closet for the box, or put it in the garage. But she understood. I mean even if it’s another girl this time around we’re set as far as things for the baby, but I still wouldn’t use the personalized blanket I had made for her, or some of the H things obviously. It’s just such a hard road to travel honestly, because there really is no roadmap on how to handle such things like decorating a new nursery and how to not do the same exact things as last time and have those memories smack you in the face.  I’m already dreading the fact that with this baby I’ll have to deliver at the same hospital as last time, yeah its a good, clean hospital but still. The last time we were there on the labor and delivery floor we left empty handed and broken hearted.  I obviously think some days are easier than others, and I absolutely think some days I honestly block out what happened to me, obviously not the fact that I was pregnant and I had a daughter, but I think I just mentally block out the sadness.

But then again other days, I kick myself for not holding her, not memorizing every little detail about her and her tiny hands and feet. It’s been bothering me more and more lately that I never held her and I have no idea what her hands or feet really looked like, or if her ears were attached! Thats what has been driving me insane! My ears are not attached to my neck- the lobes lol and Brians are. So it was driving me crazy the other night so I looked at all of the pictures of Harper and none of them showed them! I think one of these days I’ll have to brave looking at that flash drive with the unedited pictures of her, and maybe on there I’ll be able to see her ears.  Crazy I know but its that maternal guilt. I still stand by my decision though, at the end of the day I delivered and even now I know not seeing her or holding her was the best decision I could have made for myself and my mental state. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am at now had I held her and then had to hand her back to someone never to hold her or see her again.

2018

The holidays have come and gone, and I’ve avoided writing on here. I needed to come to terms and really grasp it all, and I think it’s finally sinking in. I’m pregnant. Those two words are the most terrifying and exciting words I think anyone in my position could say. I think when I first found out I was in total and utter disbelief, I even had my mother in law look at the pregnancy test because I couldn’t read the words. Even after she hugged me and congratulated me and told me it was positive it said Pregnant, I left and drove right to the drug store and bought 3 more boxes. There was no way. Although we hadn’t used any kind of protection really since May, we both were just going to not stress on trying again and just wait and see what happens. This still came as a total shock. I had just taken a test three days before, and I wasn’t even late on my monthly.  But that morning I woke up feeling a bit off. All I could think of at 7 am was a guacamole bacon cheeseburger. Blech. But at 7 am? So I didn’t even think about it when I took my morning pee onto a pregnancy stick and put it on the counter while I brushed my teeth. Those buggers can take a while, and I didn’t even expect anything honestly. Then BOOM. PREGNANT. No fucking way. 8 Tests later. Yep. I looked on my period tracker on my phone, and it kept saying period in 3 days. How the hell.  Mind you this was all the day before Thanksgiving, my In laws were in town and staying with us, and I for the life of me couldn’t process this. I felt such an overwhelming feeling of guilt for being excited.

I am absolutely terrified. I had my first Dr’s appointment, she was thrilled I was just full of questions. As of my last appointment she wasn’t sure how far along I was…. and at that point all she had done was confirm the pregnancy by doing a sonogram and seeing a sac… ok. Not exactly the answers I was wanting. So she sent me off for two blood draws to measure my HCG, and another ultrasound somewhere else because naturally her machine was down.  So this little bean is growing and the Ultrasound tech was able to show me the one thing I had been terrified of seeing. That little flickering heartbeat. The last time I really looked at an Ultrasound machine it was seeing the silhouette of Harper and no heartbeat, so it definitely took me a minute to process it. I’ve already cried a fair share, and I’ve questioned how I am supposed to think positive and be excited, when deep down all I want is a living baby and I am absolutely, completely terrified. I think we are both waiting on being excited until we see the Perinatal specialist and hear from all of the Doctors that everything looks good and this baby is healthy. We’ve told immediate family and closest friends, but I don’t think this time around we are going to do a birth announcement or have a baby shower. It’s just hard to have fun doing those things, when the last time we did them it was for Harper and look how that turned out.

I’m hoping this pregnancy I can stay optimistic, and not compare everything to last time, but I absolutely am going to be considered high risk this time, so I already know with every pain, or abnormal feeling we will be at the ER to have this baby checked out. I told Brian I feel like I should be excited and planning things, but I’m too scared. Realistically we are completely set if we are blessed with another Daughter, and if we have a Son this time around we can prepare for him with clothes and bedding. I’m so glad I got unisex big items like a crib and stroller, I would be kicking myself in the ass if we have a Son and I had all pink items.

This all over the place back and forth between happiness and feeling like I should be planning, and feeling sad is a perfect example of how all over the place I am lately. I feel such a sense of guilt, and worry that maybe I won’t bond with this baby and I’m afraid to sing to my belly, and read to my belly this time around like I did last time. I’m afraid to let myself be excited again because I’ve already had my heart ripped out. But everyone keeps assuring me that we’ve already gone through hell it won’t happen again, there is medically no reason why it would, and they keep assuring me that Harper is a guardian angel for her brother or sister and that everything is going to work out how God wants it to. I am trying so incredibly hard to not be skeptical and negative when it comes to religion and stay positive, but realistically it hasn’t even been a fucking year since we lost Harper so I’m going to just go with the flow. I’ll know more on the 19th as far as how big this baby is, expected delivery date because I’ll be induced early and our plan for this pregnancy. In the meantime I’ll just keep obsessing over my Husband, and indulging in these weird cravings for cheeseburger, or key lime pie.

It’s been a week.

It’s been a week since my last post, and it has been full of a lot of ups and downs. Recently a new baby arrived to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and I couldn’t be happier for them. I am so excited to have a niece and new little nephew, I find myself so grateful for how my In Laws have handled all of this and how careful they have been with both my Husband and I when it came to how hard this might have been. But the truth of the matter is, aside from our loss, we are so extremely happy for them, they truly are amazing parents and they have the picture perfect little family and they couldn’t be more deserving of it. Ever since I met my Husband not only did I fall in love with him, but I was so thankful and felt so blessed to gain such an incredible extended family. When we lost our Daughter his brother didn’t hesitate to hop on a plane and come here to be here for us, my sister-in-law has been in contact with me and completely showed me such compassion and love I couldn’t feel more blessed.

Obviously it was hard for Brian and I. It would be weird if it wasn’t, but as envious as I might have felt seeing pictures of my new nephew I was still so happy for them. I’ve read a lot about people who go through the loss of their child either by miscarriage or even stillbirth, are so jealous and bitter when a family member or friend welcomes a new baby and often times I’m honestly appalled by how bitter they are, granted I am not a therapist or an expert on this by any means, but throughout this loss I’ve tried so hard not to be bitter or jealous towards anyone, and I’ve tried so hard not to be ugly towards anyone and take out my grief on people but some days its hard. My poor husband can attest to the fact I can be a raging bitch some days, but somehow this miracle man loves me. But through all of this loss and the mixed emotions I never felt bitter about my family expecting, I was happy for them, I think it honestly helped with healing when it came to certain things, I used to mentally prepare to go grocery shopping or when I went to Target I thought ahead of which ways I would go through the store as to avoid the baby section, I dreaded it and would walk the complete opposite direction through random sections of the store to avoid those cribs and bibs, but when we found out we were going to have a new nephew I hit those sections head on. Obviously the first time was hard, and maybe it was a little easier because I was shopping for a boy instead of a girl this time, but I still saw everything and I took it in, and of course the first time I had an anxiety attack, but I got through it. I focused on the love my Husband and I had for our family and for our new little nephew we haven’t even met and I picked out every item, every onesie meticulously with thought and care. I think it was an obstacle I had set for myself and honestly dreaded, but I wanted to get those little things because it wasn’t about us, it wasn’t about our loss it was about showing our love to our family and showing that we’re ok.

Naturally last week was hard, packing up the nursery sucked, but I got it done. Obviously seeing baby pictures was hard at first, but we got them, he’s perfect and we couldn’t be happier. So with all that said and done I needed some fun, luckily for me one of my very best friends had already planned a visit to see us here in San Antonio a month ago. So Friday couldn’t come soon enough! I was overjoyed to pick him up at the airport. So we had an incredible weekend, my husband prepared a feast and we went to a Wildlife park Sunday which was incredible and then my friend and I went out for a night on the town to explore the Gay community of San Antonio. It was exactly what I needed and I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

Slowly but surely I am starting to feel more and more like myself again, obviously its hard, especially when I’m out and someone asks if I have kids, that’s been the most confusing question to answer so far. I mean obviously I carried my daughter full term, and for almost a year I planned and prepped and got everything ready to be a stay at home mom, but that didn’t happen. So do I say no I don’t have children? I’ve replied with this once, and I felt such an overwhelming sense of guilt that it made me sick. But then the alternate answer is yes I had a daughter and she passed away leads to them asking questions and why which leads to an incredibly sad short synopsis of what happened and then I become that poor girl and it brings the overall vibe down and people look at me with sad eyes. So here’s my dilemma and I’ve searched for suggestions and answers on how people respond or handle this and frankly there isn’t shit. By all means my daughter was my world and there isn’t a day that goes by I haven’t thought about her and what our life would be like with her here, but I don’t necessarily want to be that person that makes an entire conversation all about my daughter all the time. I don’t want to seem like a wet blanket in a conversation with strangers or new people. So how the hell do I answer this, because so far people look at me with shock in their eyes that I am functioning the way I am. And I deal with people not knowing what to say or not say, it’s just a sad awkward thing that I never imagined I would have to deal with. It’s very kind and nice when people tell me how Strong I am, but at the same time what do they expect? For me to be a babbling pile of mush and an unkept crying woman 24/7 ? By all means I have my off days, for fucking sure. I have my days where I can’t even grasp whats happened and it hits me like a ton of bricks, but where is the actual legit manual on how the hell I deal with this?  I guess it’s just one day at a time, and I’ll keep handling it the way I have so far, I really have no other option because I refuse to let this turn me into a bitter person, and someone who can’t find happiness or have happiness for others. I guess I just wish it was a little bit easier and I knew how to answer all of these dilemmas.

15 Minutes

Thats all it took me to pack up my Daughters nursery just now. 15 Minutes. To pack up the memories, the dreams, the headbands and shoes. Its all stuffed in 5 giant plastic tubs in the closet. The pack n’ play disassembled and wedged in, the bathtub on top next to my Boppy and pregnancy pillow. As I was shoving the first giant tub into the closet what did I see, that fucking lamb. The same lamb that I listened to my first trimester glowing with happiness, the same lamb that has a recording of my Daughters heartbeat. Yet again that lamb is hidden and shoved into the closet full of baby stuff. We are clearing the room because we have guests coming for Thanksgiving and I knew this needed to be done. I was ready for this to be done, but I didn’t think once it was done it would hit me like a ton of bricks. I told my Husband it needed to be done soon, and rather than wait I just did it.

I pushed the crib into the corner and covered it with a sheet, thats what you do with furniture you aren’t using right? If I knew how I’d take the damn thing apart and hide it. But I keep telling myself and crossing my fingers that soon enough we will need it again. Soon enough we will be expecting and figuring out if we will need boy things, or if the entire filled nursery of baby girl items will be put to use. I think about if we were to be blessed with another baby, a girl especially we would be set, everything down to the pacifiers. The only thing we would really need would be diapers because we donated our entire massive stash to the Hurricane Harvey diaper drive.  I keep hoping and praying that soon enough it’ll happen when it’s supposed to, I know Brian is terrified of the idea so I’m not rushing him or pushing it on him, I just want us to be parents, seeing Brian hold a friends kid kills me, this man, this wonderful man I married is supposed to be a father and god he’s going to be an incredible one.

For the record I’ve had a pretty stellar week as far as not having any major meltdowns, I’ve been pretty good for a while now, and then packing everything up, seeing that fucking lamb. It all hit me like a ton of bricks.

One foot in front of the other

I think I have been trying to distract myself as much as possible lately, I haven’t really thought about the upcoming holidays too much but here they are. Halloween is the first one down and I didn’t think it would sting as much as it did, I think the hardest part was passing out candy to Trick-Or-Treaters last night and seeing all of the babies dressed up. This was one of the holidays I had really looked forward to celebrating with Harper, and I honestly had thought about it but hadn’t dwelled on it. Until looking on social media and seeing all of the pictures my friends were posting of their babies dressed up, it was just kind of a punch to the gut. I did have one friend reach out to me last night to see how I was doing with everything and that meant the world. But no one else thinks about these things I think. Everyone else has been able to move on, and still Brian and I get emotional and cry about it. I think it’s normal, but according to some people I need to move on and move forward. Until they have to make arrangements, and sign their Childs death certificate, and pick up a little box of ashes I frankly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks about our grieving process.

Everyday is different, and as the Holidays are quickly approaching I’m dreading it this year. Especially Christmas, and when the time comes to put up our Christmas tree. I know deep in the box of carefully wrapped ornaments there is one that has Harpers ultrasound picture and I’m dreading finding it. I thought this year for Christmas we would be celebrating with Family and Friends, and taking Harper to sit on Santas lap and have cute little winter outfits picked out for her. Christmas was always my favorite holiday, and I’ve always tried to go over the top when it came to gift giving, tree decorating and baking treats for family and friends. This year, theres a part of me that wants to sleep through the entire thing. But I know it wouldn’t be healthy or conducive to moving forward. As much of a Scrooge my Husband can be during the Holidays I know he really loves it all.  So the plan I’m making for us, is to stay put in Texas this year, and start our own traditions while bringing in some of our past traditions. I’ll frantically finish all of my shopping and ship gifts off, I’ll still do my Christmas cards, they’ll just be the same simple ones from Target instead of the family picture ones I had dreamt of, and we will spend our Christmas pigging out, with a fire going and watch holiday movies and get drunk off of eggnog.  And through all of this I can still try and look forward to 2018 and what it might bring us, the potential of us moving to a different city, new jobs and who knows maybe we can start trying again for another baby.

Beautiful Dream

It’s become even harder to sleep soundly and without thinking about Harper. I think after we lost her I was afraid to sleep. I always pictured my perfect little baby, I always dreamt that everything was picture perfect, I had my amazing Husband and we had our perfect little baby girl in all of my dreams. I think I was just scared to sleep and see her and wake up and like a ton of bricks fell on my chest the moment I woke up and realized she was gone. This is still how I feel every morning. I wake up and for a quick minute I feel like everything is fine, then I look across the hall and I see the nursery packed into boxes, and I realize my hand is on my stomach every morning and I don’t feel her kicks. Its like a stab to my gut and it makes me feel sick for the first ten minutes I’m awake. This shouldn’t be my life, I shouldn’t be writing a blog about my loss, I should be changing and bathing and feeding my daughter. I should be experiencing milestones with her, watching her smiles and hearing her laugh. Instead I avoid my pregnant friends, I avoid newborn babies and I fear the future. Will we get another shot at being parents? Will I be able to become pregnant? Will I have a healthy, normal pregnancy again and deliver a live healthy baby? All I can do is hope, and try and remain positive. I think one of the hardest things is having people that have never experienced this kind of loss give me advice, or tell me stories about their cousins friends sister that lost her baby like I did and now she has three healthy kids. It’s a nice concept and maybe they think they are being kind and trying to uplift me? I’m happy for their cousins friends sisters aunt but I want my baby, I wanted to raise my daughter, my Harper Grace.  I don’t think a lot of people realize that just because time has passed this gets any easier. I still have moments where something on TV or something on the radio will hit me like a ton of bricks.

Before all of this we lived a normal life, we prepared beyond belief and had everything set and ready to be parents, and we were fucking robbed of that. I had blood work done at a Prenatal specialists office after we lost Harper, they had her Autopsy results and we were given no real answers. I didn’t have any sort of blood clotting disorder, and nothing showed up in her autopsy to give any answers. She had a abnormally long umbilical cord and three blood clots in the cord. We got zero answers as to what could have caused this, as to why this happened in the end of my “picture perfect pregnancy”. The only answer or suggestion I received from the Dr’s was to take a baby aspirin a day in the future if I were to become pregnant again and that I would be considered High Risk so they would monitor my future pregnancies more carefully and frequently.

All I had ever wanted in life, was to be a Mom. When I was pregnant all I could dream of is what my daughter would look like, would she have a ton of hair like I did when I was born, would she have her fathers features? I used to talk to my parents about Harper and the future, she would have been their first Grandchild and all I could picture was seeing my parents playing with her, and celebrating holidays and birthdays with her. I feel so incredibly broken as the holidays are quickly approaching. Walking through Target last week, past the Halloween decor and costumes I glanced down an aisle and saw the Baby costumes and I felt like I was going to be sick. Thats all I dreamt of, having little outfits for holidays for her, taking her trick or treating, having her at my parents for her first Christmas. But instead my Husband and I are going to stay in Texas and avoid the holidays and our families. We just can’t do it. I can’t imagine being at my parents house in Arizona without our daughter there. My daughter should be here, I should be a stay at home Mom and should be celebrating and loving all of the milestones. Instead my daughters ashes are in our Safe and were dreading the holidays. Still I have to keep reminding myself to stay optimistic and positive towards the future, I have to try and not be nasty and spiteful or rude to anyone and I have to be happy for people.

Here’s to hoping.

Little signs

I think the true realization as to what happened really set in on my due date. May 22 would be the hardest day, I woke up feeling sick because it was the day I had counted down to, it was the day I had been dreaming of and looking forward to. But the minute I woke up I had to deal with the hard realization that I didn’t have a baby kicking inside of me anymore, I was completely empty. I couldn’t feel her move, or wiggle when she heard my husbands voice, I just felt empty.

At my baby shower we had little packets of wildflower seeds to give people as party favors. When I got home from the baby shower Brian had planted them into two pots and he watered them and babied them daily. Up until this point they looked like weeds and hadn’t bloomed.  So May 22 rolled around and Brian, my Mom and I were sitting out on the back deck just all kind of crying about the day when we noticed our first bloom. On one of the plants there was a single purple flower. It was the most beautiful and delicate flower and it was the first bloom. Of course we all cried even harder and took pictures. The plants eventually had more blooms, but we cut that single flower and pressed it among the other baby keepsakes we had. 18582608_10210846529972159_1565035825962122752_n.jpg

I think one of the hardest things I had to deal with was packing up the nursery. Every little perfect pink thing, every little outfit that had been washed and hung carefully in the closet. The nursery was overflowing with the pack n’ play, the stroller and every single baby item that had been around our house. Brian wanted to leave the nursery untouched and just keep the door closed. But I couldn’t stand it, it was torture to have this perfectly set up nursery and have it missing our baby girl. So I purchased 4 huge storage tubs and went in, closed the door and took a deep breath. I carefully folded all of the clothes, headbands, blankets and organized all of the little shoes I had picked out for her. It was absolute torture and I wept through it. I think the absolute worst was finding the little stuffed lamb. When I had the Ultrasound to determine her gender I had them record her heartbeat and put it inside the lamb. Not even realizing it I accidentally put something on top of the lamb and I heard it. Her precious little heartbeat, the same heartbeat I had prayed, begged and would have given anything to hear when I was in the hospital. At this point I was throwing everything around trying to find this fucking lamb. It was complete torture. Once I found it I buried it in one of the bins and to this day I haven’t seen it. I can’t. That’s still the one thing that I can’t get rid of, but I can’t even see it. Looking back I can take it as a sign, but it still kills me.

Delivery and homecoming

Throughout the day of the 17th I kept feeling like it was all just a bad dream. That this wasn’t real and that someone was going to say they had made a mistake and our daughter was fine. At this point I had received an epidural, and I was thankfully numb, the Doctor had started me on pitocin and had explained that a normal birth would be better than a C-Section at this point, she said I was already going to have enough scars she didn’t want me to have a C-Section scar and longer recovery. I agreed, but I was honestly horrified. She asked me if we were religious or a certain denomination, I said Catholic because that is the only religious influence I had growing up thanks to my Grandmothers. She asked if we wanted the Chaplain to come in, and what our plan was for after the birth. I explained I had a friend experience a similar loss many years ago, and she wasn’t as far along but the hospital had her hold her baby and it was very traumatizing for her, and for me as I visited her and saw her son. I explained to my Husband that I couldn’t see her, I couldn’t hold my baby, there was absolutely no way in hell I could hold my baby and see her and love on her when she was dead and then survive leaving the hospital alone and empty handed. My parents supported my decision, and as hard as it was I had to focus on getting through this. My Husband told the Doctor he wanted to see her, I supported his decision and I thought he was so incredibly brave. All I could think of was this perfect image of my daughter that I had in my head since the moment I was told she was a girl. I didn’t know what to expect, or at this point what had caused her death and the last thing I could handle seeing was her hurt or something really wrong.

As this was all unfolding I was getting text messages and facebook messages asking if we had our daughter yet, this was all happening 5 days before my due date so all of my friends were on baby watch, anxiously waiting for us to post pictures of our daughter. I deleted my facebook and all social media temporarily. I couldn’t handle it, I replied what was going on to some friends, some I ignored. I couldn’t really grasp what was happening, or what was about to happen. I will mention during this time we had a shift change in nurses, and we had the absolute worst nurse imaginable. She walked into our dim room as we were crying and preparing for the inevitable and she started making jokes and kept referring to me as an “Angel Mom”. I wasn’t ready for that, I was still trying to process what happened, the last thing I wanted or needed to hear was that the “Hot nurse was here”. It was utterly fucking disgusting and I will at some point when I’m ready and a little less mad, be contacting the Hospital administrators about this nurse in particular. The last thing I wanted was some lady I don’t know telling me how she “deals with this kind of loss a lot, and requests Angel Moms”. It was flat out unprofessional and fucking sick in my opinion.

Around 5 p.m. my Mom’s plane landed and she hopped into an uber. At this point I told the nurses I felt a lot of pressure. I was checked, my water had broken and I was dilated and ready to push. My Doctor was stuck on the other side of town with car trouble so one of her partners from her practice was going to be handling the delivery. At this point I kept asking everyone to wait for my Mom, I couldn’t do this without my Mom is all I kept thinking.As they placed my legs into the stirrups and the Doctor was getting ready my Mom walked in.  She put her suitcase down and grabbed my hand and it was time to push. At this point it was a total out of body experience, I didn’t feel the pain because I was running off of pure adrenaline at this point. I think I was in complete and total denial of what was really happening, the nurses kept telling me to push when I had a contraction, and I just kept hoping and praying they were all going to be wrong and Harper was going to come out screaming. About three pushes in they realized I was zoned out and not paying attention to them, they placed an oxygen mask on me, and my Husband realized I was just focusing on him. Thank God and everything in this world for him because he talked me through it all. After a few pushes the Doctor said she was out, and all I heard was total silence. I just sobbed, apparently she looked so perfect the Doctor kept checking her for a heartbeat. Her cord was wrapped around her neck, but the Doctor said it wasn’t tight enough to have caused this, something else did. Brian followed the nurses over to the bassinet and cried as he looked at our daughter. I just held onto my Mom and wept. They brought my daughter out of the room and Brian followed, they were going to weigh her and clean her up while I just wept with my Mom.

After they cleaned her up and told Brian her weight 6 lbs even, 19 inches long the nurse grabbed her with one hand and tried to pass her to Brian with such carelessness that her head fell back and her mouth fell open. He was utterly horrified and heartbroken. Yes our daughter was dead, but did this fucking nurse have to handle her like a bag of potatoes. Brian couldn’t even hold her at this point. Her eyes were closed but her head had fallen back and her mouth was open. It was just sick how careless the hospital staff was about it.  Brian didn’t tell me this for months, he shielded me from knowing how traumatized this really made him. They kept my daughter in the Bereavement room down the hall and just let me be. Brian decided he needed a break from the hospital and he drove home to take care of our dogs. An hour later he called me sobbing, he had taken the car seat out of the car, and taken all of the baby things around the house and put them all in the nursery. He went through the entire house taking the pack n’ play out of our bedroom, the diaper cart from downstairs, and put them all in the nursery and closed the door. He didn’t want me to come home to a house full of baby things, and I couldn’t have been more grateful. I hadn’t asked him to do this, he was just strong enough and knew it would have fucking killed me. He sobbed and just kept saying He wanted his daughter, this wasn’t right. I told him to stay at home that night, he hadn’t really slept the night before and he wasn’t in any shape to drive, I kept assuring him my Mom was here for me, and we would see him in the a.m. The original nurse from my intake came in, she was a sight for sore eyes, she was kind and sweet and didn’t bully me or treat me rudely. She had hugged me and held me during my epidural and she was the familiar face I wished was there during the delivery. She started taking out my IV’s and she helped me to the bathroom slowly and started to instruct me on care after birth. She was kind and knew the loss I had endured. She was an absolute godsend and I couldn’t have been more thankful to have such a compassionate nurse.

The next morning as I was being released, the nurses stopped Brian before he reached my room, and they expressed the Doctors concern and confusion and that she had suggested an Autopsy. I at this point fully understood what an Autopsy entailed and I couldn’t imagine them doing any of that to my little baby. Brian saw it as an opportunity to get answers, and that maybe by doing this autopsy they could find some cause, or reason and prevent other parents from experiencing a loss like this. Once he explained his reasoning, I stood behind his decision 100% At this point the Chaplain came in and asked if we would like her Baptized, and if I had changed my mind on holding her or seeing her. I still couldn’t. I just could not see my baby like that. I had a perfect image in my mind, and my heart was broken, all I could think of was keeping that perfect image. The nurses kept coming in and trying to persuade me into holding her, and having my picture taken with her, or changing her diaper or “pretending to feed her”. It was fucking horrific to me to even imagine. It might work for some mothers going through this loss, but it seemed morbid and I couldn’t do it.  At this point two volunteers came in and explained they were going to take pictures of Harper, and dress her up and asked if we wanted our pictures taken with her or holding her, or of her holding our wedding rings. Would this ever stop, at this point my Mom even had enough. I was being bullied by every person in this hospital, and being made to feel like I was doing something wrong. I absolutely could not do it. They explained that they would take these pictures and that they would put them on a USB drive, and it would be included in the box I’m sent home with and if I decided to look it was up to me, but they would also have some of the pictures professionally photoshopped and emailed to me at a later time. I thanked them, but that was the last thing I could handle or even process at this point. I just wanted to go home.  Once all of my release paperwork was done, and I was dressed in a robe and sweats I was ready to get the hell out of that hospital, they loaded me into a wheelchair and Brian went to get the car. My mom held my hand as they started pushing me out of that room, away from that white rose on the door, away from the sounds of crying babies and all of those memories. We went by a room and the sign on the door caught my eye, “Bereavement Room” I asked the nurse if my baby was in there and she replied yes, she asked if I was ready to go and I just wept as we got into the elevator.

As my Husband pulled the car up to the curb it hit me like a ton of bricks, I started sobbing as I stepped into the car and it was the most empty and heartbroken feeling. I was leaving the hospital not as I had dreamt of or had planned for, I was leaving empty handed. It really was harder than I had imagined. On the way home I heard a song come on the radio “I Could use a love song” By Maren Morris. I looked out the window and wept as it came on. I have always loved music, and its gotten me through a lot of tough times throughout my life, and this song came on the radio when I needed it. It’s actually played quite a bit randomly on the radio as I’m driving and I’ll be thinking of my baby girl, I’ll take it as a sign, shit at this point I’ll take any kind of sign.

Walking into my house I was greeted by my dogs, I saw the diaper cart was gone from the living room and it all came rushing over me, I ran to the bathroom and I got so sick, and I just fell to the floor sobbing. My Mom came in and washed me up and just hugged me. The doctor had told Brian and my Mom to make sure I got plenty of rest and to sleep as much as possible and take my medications on a strict schedule. The last thing I could think of was sleep, because I knew when I went to sleep I just dreamt of my baby, I dreamt that everything was fine and she was perfect and healthy and here with me.  God I dreaded sleep.

Third trimester and delivery pt 1

Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness day, week, month is here. It was something I honestly never knew about until we lost Harper, and as much as a painful reminder as it really is, I feel a sense of peace about it. It really was one of my motivators to start this blog, that and the fact that there really isn’t much out there about loss. I should rephrase that as when it came to my loss. Our daughter was perfectly healthy, there was no reason as to why she died, no cause as to what created three blood clots in her umbilical cord. But our perfectly healthy baby was stillborn. I think this is one of the posts I knew I would be making, but I was scared. So I’m going to rip the proverbial bandaid off and get on with it. The third trimester and delivery blog post.

My third trimester was uncomfortable, I felt huge and gross. My husband was incredibly sweet and told me how I was glowing and looked beautiful, but I felt enormous, bloated, and gross. There was no way around it, for me the final stage of my pregnancy wasn’t beautiful, my clothes were uncomfortable, I couldn’t sleep through the night, I couldn’t get comfortable and I always had to pee. Plus at this point I was drinking milk all the time, I hated tacos and I was just ready to meet my baby, I just felt over it all and ready to be a mom. I had a picture perfect pregnancy as my Dr put it, all of my tests came back negative, I didn’t have gestational diabetes, my weight gain was healthy, I wasn’t overloading on sweets and I even spent the extra money on organic chicken without antibiotics. I had put a deposit down to have my placenta encapsulated, as disgusting as it is the pros outweighed the cons and I was willing to do anything to benefit my daughter.

In March I flew back to Phoenix for my baby shower, my best friend was throwing it for me and I couldn’t be more excited, my Husband was flying in the morning of the shower,  his Mother and Grandmother had driven out from California for it, our families were finally going to meet and I couldn’t be more excited to see everyone. The details my best friend had put into making the shower perfect brought tears to my eyes, everything was calm and laid back just as I had hoped for, it was just perfect. I will say, I am the most awkward person ever when it comes to opening gifts, I’ve always been the person that enjoys giving and seeing the persons reaction, and I’ve always felt awkward being on the receiving end, but I was overwhelmed with the thoughtful gifts our friends and family had brought for us. My Husbands Grandmother made us a stunning quilt for Harper, an extremely close almost second mother figure made a bunch of beautiful blankets for us, and my parents got us a silver Tiffany & Co. baby spoon which was so meaningful because of my relationship with my Dad. The entire day was perfect and I couldn’t have hoped for anything else.

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After I flew home from Phoenix I was ready, her nursery was coming together beautifully, her clothes were washed and hung up, we had the diaper bag packed and my hospital bag was ready. We were so excited to become parents, I had boiled all of her bottles, everything was in place, all we needed was our baby girl to make our lives complete.

On the morning of May 16th I felt a little uneasy, I had a home doppler that I got in my second trimester to hear her heartbeat, I pushed it against my belly and I was worried I couldn’t find her heartbeat, I called my Mom and she reminded me that at my Dr’s appointment on Monday, she too had trouble finding her heartbeat but she told me towards the end of pregnancy some babies move around just enough to not find it. I went about my day and tried not to be too worried. Around 11 that night I started feeling nauseous and a bit of cramping, I assumed I’d eaten something that didn’t agree with my body so I tried to not freak out and just get some rest. Around 11:45 the pain was still coming in waves, so I started pacing back and forth calling my Mom asking her advice, around 12:15 I woke my Husband up and told him it was time to go. Watching him half awake, stumble around getting dressed and grabbing the car seat was the cutest thing. We were both calm and ready, although my pain was getting a bit worse. We got to the hospital and I wasn’t too panicked so I had him drop me off at the entrance while he parked the car.

As I walked up to Labor & Delivery holding my belly, I was trying not to freak out or yell but as I got towards the door the contractions started even worse. They put us in a room, gave me a very flattering hospital gown to put on and began to finish my registration paperwork. The first Nurse placed the straps around my belly with the heart monitor and kept shifting them, then she said that monitor must not be working so she grabbed another. Same problem, so she grabbed another, and another Nurse to help her. Naturally by this point we were starting to freak out. They ordered an Ultrasound and thats when I started praying. I just held my husbands hand and kept crying, just silently praying. As the Ultrasound technician came in and started looking for her heartbeat I just kept hoping. Then we knew it once he turned the monitor away from me, he turned it away so I couldn’t see it and thats when my Husband said to the Nurse “Theres no heartbeat is there”. And she replied no, as she walked out of the room crying. At this point I went into complete and total shock, all I kept asking was why. I was crying and told my Husband to call my Mom. At this point the nurse told me they would be moving me to a more isolated room, so she loaded me into a wheelchair and began pushing me down the hall and around the corner away from all of the other expectant and new moms, away from the crying babies and sound of deliveries.

I was in complete and total shock and panic, I didn’t know what to do, all I could keep thinking was if they got her out now maybe they could save her. Which I obviously asked the Doctor and she replied no. She pointed to the screen and showed me my baby, and pointed to the area where we used to see the most incredible flicker, which was her heartbeat. Now it was all just still. My heart was completely broken. She asked me what she could do for me, and I said just make me fucking numb, I don’t want to feel a thing. At this point they started an IV and ordered my epidural. My Mom had a flight out later that day, and I was told to rest until the morning when my Doctor could come in. All we could do was cry, I kept thinking they were wrong, someone had to be wrong. How could this happen, why did this happen to our baby. This was the absolute nightmare every expectant Mother fears. My whole world was fucking crashing and burning. How the hell was I supposed to survive this?