Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year Is Almost Here

A year ago today - I would have laughed if someone told me I would meet the love of my life in 2007. Then I met Jack - in the form of two little lines on a stick - then as a woosh-woosh-woosh-woosh on a doppler - then a little alien looking thing on an ultra-sound. To finally getting to see that little face - my lips, his Daddy's cheeks.... Who knew it would be for such a short time. What an impact on my heart. A face that will forever be engraved into my mind.

What a blessing this journey has been - even with it ending in heart break. I have learned what the most important thing is in this world - love. That someone who lives 100's of mile away can understand me more than my Mom. That I could fall even more in love with my husband.

What do I hope for in 2008? Some peace. Some understanding. Some hope. Another little baby to fall in love with? If God permits.

To my Baby Jack - I love you with all my heart.
We miss you every day.
Please always remember you were...
wanted...
needed...
dreamed of....
And you will always be...
missed...
adored...
and loved.
I'll see you in the sunshine!

-Jack's Mommy

Braylyn

My husband and I have one daughter, Braylyn Nykole. She was a gift from God and will be forever in our hearts and minds.

Our daughter left us on October 10, 2007 at 39 wks and 2 days. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought something like this would happen. I mean how could it? My pregnancy had been perfect, nothing out of the ordinary besides morning sickness throughout the whole 39 weeks and 2 days. I loved being pregnant. Watching my stomach grow and feeling life inside me. There is no other feeling in the world that gives me such great joy.

Our story begins with my doctor stripping my membrane at 38 weeks and 3 days on Wednesday. I was already dilated 1 cm and was about 50% effaced. He told me to go home and that he would probably see me within the next few days. On Friday morning I lost my mucus plug and I kept thinking to myself..."This is it! Any time now!" We were both getting very excited and very anxious. Our bags were already packed in the JEEP and the car seat was strapped down. The nursery has been done for about a month now and all her clothes were washed and hung.

I tried staying busy. The usual "nesting" instinct kicked in. I was dusting the house top to bottom, doing laundry, grocery shopping, walking. You name I was doing it. Nothing seemed to be working though. No strong contractions had started and no pain, just the normal light contractions and nothing steady. Saturday night I was laying in bed and for the first time I saw what I could obviously see was her foot move across my belly. I just watched in amazement at how this little girl was inside of me alive. If I only I knew those were her last movements.

Monday evening I was still not progressing. My husband asked me if Braylyn had been moving much and I had to stop and think. I hadn't really paid attention since I was so busy. I laid down in bed for over an hour and concentrated on her moving. I kept thinking to myself you have been so paranoid this whole pregnancy, just chill out, everything is fine. I sat and just watched. No big movements. She was just shifting, or so I thought. So I fell asleep. I was still working at this point in time so I woke up Tuesday morning and got ready for work. I had a doctors appointment that day, so I had planned on making this my last day at work. I figured he would admit me and go ahead and induce me. So I went into work for a few hours and finished everything up.

My doctors appointment was at 445 so I went home and rested. I wasn't feeling real good that day, but I figured it was because I hadn't taken my medicine (the doctor had prescribed me some meds since I was nauseated the whole pregnancy). My husband couldn't go with me to the doctor, so my mother went. When we got there I told her to just wait in the car that I wouldn't be long. The nurse took my blood pressure and my weight as usual. She asked if she had been moving and I told her that I really hadn't paid much attention and that I can't really say one way or the other. When the doctor came in he put the heart monitor on my stomach. He kept pushing it around and asking me questions. I knew something was wrong. He tried for what seemed like an hour to find something. Nothing. He moved me into another room to do an ultrasound. I asked the nurse to go get my mom. I started bawling. The rest is like an out of body experience, which I'm sure you're all too familiar with.

To skip ahead my husband finally made it down and they admitted me to the hospital. We were immediately surrounded with family. The doctor told me I would have to deliver her. I along with my family was shocked! Could they not do a C-Section I asked. The doctor told me it would be best for me, if I delivered her naturally. So around 830 PM they started me on IV drips to induce me. I was already 3cm and 85% effaced when admitted, so it didn't take long. By 930 PM I asked for the pain meds and I started pushing around 2 AM. My husband never left my side. I kept looking into his eyes has he told me to breath. He held my hand tight and I pushed. At 247 AM our daughter, Braylyn Nykole was born.

Braylyn weighed 7 pounds 8 oz and was 21" long. Dark brown hair. She was beautiful. They laid her on my stomach has my husband cut the cord. I just stared at her in complete awe. This little baby girl was a part of me and my husband. The perfect little bundle of love. I kept thinking to myself she is suppose to be crying, any second she will start crying cause they made a mistake, she is fine. The nurses took her away to clean her up. My husband and I just sat and cried. We held each other and talked about how beautiful she was. The nurses brought her back in when they had her clean and wrapped in a blanket. We held her and talked to her. We kissed her chubby cheeks and and called her by name. Our families came in and they all took turns holding her. They all spoke of how she looked like her mother. Like I said she was beautiful . After the family left my husband and I held her and just stared at her little face. We eventually told the nurses we were ready and we said our goodbyes.

To only have her in my arms for a few more seconds. To only be able to hear her cry and look into her eyes. My arms ache for her to be in them. The next day before checkout the nurse brought me a box. Inside they had placed her blanket they had her wrapped in, her shirt she wore, her bracelet, a lock of her hair, and a CD of some pictures. I was very emotional. I thought to myself...instead of leaving here with a baby girl in my arms, I leave here with a box. Why is this happening?

We held a private funeral for Braylyn with family. The day was beautiful. A perfect Fall day. Clear blue skys and a crisp air. We had a beautiful little white casket and a Fall flower arrangement placed on top. The love from family that surrounded us spilled over onto her. Our pastor gave the service and it was beautiful. He spoke of how we will one day see her again and that she is in a place where there is no tears, pain, or suffering. She is in God's arms now and I know I will see her one of these days.

The doctor ran all kinds of tests and nothing has shown up. Her autopsy came back normal too. We are one of those cases where we will never know what happened. Living with that fact is hard. As a human I want answers, but the only answer we got is, "We just don't know." I am coming to peace with that fact. All though I think it would be easier to know what happened, I think to myself God took her for a reason. That maybe he was going to take Braylyn from us in the future and he decided now was a better time.

You are not alone. Knowing this fact that there are others has made this all seem some what ok. It lets me know that I did not do anything wrong. It happens every day.

posted for Lyndsey by Christine from her original post on the BBC Thread.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

1st Outting since my life changed

Well tonight seemed like a good night to take our 2-1/2 year old out bowling - thought who could resist watching that?!?
I really tried to be involved and laugh and smile with my family (DH & son) but my mind kept wandering looking for Alexandra. I really feel like my family is incomplete, and I still need to know that Alex is ok. I do know that I am blessed to have our son as some of the ladies I've met through this horrible journey aren't as blessed as I.
Strange as one wouldn't think of themselves as blessed at this moment but I am not so far gone that I don't realize that things could be worse, So call it a step forward? Doesn't mean that I honestly feel sick to my stomach not having Alexandra with me.
My Dh has made a few tiny comments about 'if' we have another but I am scared to think he's just trying to make me feel better as he nows at this moment I do want to try again. i also know that it's too early to really make any decisions. I guess I feel that the pros outweigh the cons (though you couldn't tell me that 2 weeks ago)
Well my son is in bed and my DH has gone out to get a tattoo of Alexandra's name. Sweet I think, I'm going to get one too but believe I need to lose 30 lbs of the baby weight first.
I guess I don't really have anything really meaningful to say just felt like talking to some friends would may understand my wandering mind.......
Alexandra's Mom

Books 1.0

This is a  partial list of books that have been recommended by mothers i have met along the path. Most i have read some i have not. I hope you find it useful. I will continue to add books so if you come across something you'd like to share let me know. ~Christine

Books & pamphlets specific to loss of a pregnancy, stillbirth and infant loss

When a baby dies - booklet from The Compassionate Friends(TCF) 

The grief of parents: when a child dies - (TCF)

The death of a child  by Sue Holtkamp, Ph.D. (TCF published by Bereavement publication)

When A Baby Dies: The Experience of Late Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death by Nancy Kohner

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L.Davis

Greiving the Child We Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg

A Silent Sorrow by Ingrid Kohn, Perry-Lynn Moffitt and Isabelle A. Watkins

When a Meeting Is Also Farewell: Coping With a Stillbirth or Neonatal Death by Ingela Radestad

Empty Arms: coping after miscarriage, stillbirth, an infant death by. Sherokee Isle

Pertain to pregnancy loss and miscarriage but also helpful

A Silent Love: Personal Stories of Coming to Terms with Miscarriage by Adrienne Ryan

Mommy, Please Don't Cry: There Are No Tears In Heaven by Linda de Ymaz


Personal stories of  Full term loss and Stillbirth

Life Touches Life: A Mother's Story of Stillbirth and Healing - by Loraine Ash, had a full-term a stillbirth.


Fingernail Moon (Mama's Journal) - by Cathy Clark Lager knew during her pregnancy her child would not live but still carried her to term and baby died short after delivery.

Dear Cheyenne: A Journey into Grief, A Collection of Angels and Miracles, A Celebration of Motherhood by Joanne Cacciatore. ISBN 0-9663015-0-1. A collection of journal entries and poems written by Cacciatore after losing her fourth child, Cheyenne. Cacciatore writes about what most every mother feels upon traveling this road.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken
ISBN 0316027677  the author write about her pregnancy that ended in stillbirth followed by a subsequent live birth. 

Grief in general
The Mourning hand book - i found this to be pretty standard grief work


Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert

Fiction
the five people you meet in heaven
by Mitch Albom

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Spiritual 
Gift of the Red Bird: The Story of a Divine Encounter by Paula D'Acry


i think all of these are available at various online booksellers. Unfortunately, the reality is that not many book stores stock books about Miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. like we have all learned this i not something anyone wants to deal with. ~ c

Books 1.2

more books..

For fathers

Healing A father's grief - booklet from The Compassionate Friends (TCF Pamphlet)


A guide for fathers: when a baby dies by Tim Nelson 

Fathers Grieve, too: for fathers who have experienced the death of a child - (TCF pamphlet)

For kids

We Were Gonna Have a Baby but, We Got an Angel Instead by Pat Schwiebert

Someone Came Before You by Pat Schwiebert

For grandparents

For Bereaved Grandparents by Margaret H. Gerner

Forgotten Tears: A Grandmother's Journey Through Griefby Nina Bennett

Dealing with Subsequent Pregnancy after loss

Trying Again: A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Infant Loss

Pregnancy After A Loss by Carol Cirulli Lanham.

 more soon...



Searching

Thanks Christine, I tried to add a comment thinking I was adding apost, so I hope I'm not repeating myself.
I'm having one of those unsettling 'searching' days. Looking for something to keep me busy I guess, trying to find a way to have Alexandra remembered, but not sure what to do. My DH is always keeping busy with house projects, but I'm not there - i just don't care right now.
My DH & I are ging to take our son out bowling today inorder to get out of the house. Should be interesting to see as he is only 2-1/2 yrs. old.
Did you ever ask Lucy to visit you, show you a sign? I'm sad that I've had no sign from Alexandra. Not sure what the sign would be - It's not like I'll hear her cry or voice as I never got to hear it once.
I keep getting those horrible flashbacks when we were in the hospital and everyone was looking for the heartbeat, had the ultrasound out........I'm sorry........you know the words. It's almost like I try to pretend I'm still pregnant & it never really happened and then thse damn flashbacks knock me upside the head.

An Angel Never dies

An Angel Never Dies

Don't let them say I wasn't born,
That something stopped my heart
I felt each tender squeeze you gave,
I loved you from the start.

Although my body you can't hold,
It doesn't mean I'm gone,
This world was worthy not of me,
God chose that I move on.

I know the pain that drowns your soul,
What you are forced to face.
You''ll have my word, I'll fill your arms,
Someday we will embrace.

You'll hear that it 'was meant to be,
God doesn't make mistakes,
But that won't soften your worst blow,
Or make your heart not ache.

I'm watching over all you do,
Another child you'll bear,
Believe me when I say to you,
That I am always there.

There will come a time, I promise you
When you will hold my hand,
Stroke my face and kiss my lips,
And you'll understand.

Although I've never breathed your air,
Or gazed into your eyes
That doesn't mean I never 'was'
An angel never dies.

posted by Michelley to the BBC Fullterm thread 12/27/07 poem was given to her by a family that lost their son

Friday, December 28, 2007

Alexandra

Hi Guys,
Sorry I'm so new at all this kind of Blogging stuff and sad that this is the reason why I am learning, but one thing I know is, everyone here is so supportive and understanding.

I guess I'll tell my story as I'm not sure where else to start. My Husband & I have been married for 4 years now and have a lovely 2 -1/2 year old son. He truly is great. About a year and a half ago we had a miscarriage and I was so upset. My 1st pregnancy with my son was problem free so I never thought anything would go wrong. Anyway, we tried again and were succesful!
This past Dec. 15th was one of the saddest days of my life. We went into the hospital that afternoon cause I was having contractions and sent home.......we went back later that evening cause they were so bad. We were 41 weeks along and very excited about bringing this baby into our family. We never had any signs of anything being wrong until that evening when they tried to find the hearbeat. Nothing. I was devastated. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl - Alexandra. 7 lbs, 15 oz. Perfect in every way. She had my chin and looked just like her older brother, only more 'girly'. She had the cord around her neck 5 times. I don't understand and don't think i ever will how something that is supose to bring our babies life, strangled it out of my dear Alex.
I'm so sorry as I want to help anyone else who is in this horrible siutation, but it's so raw and fresh right now that all i can do is vent, cry, scream, stand in our nursery bent over the crib and sob.
I keep hearing that time will heal, so i'd like to go to sleep for the next couple of years right now.
Can I please say that Lucy's Mom has been a great support, and true strength in all of this and I thank you Christine.

Evie

I lost my daughter, Enrica Evangeline, at 41w 1d. She's my first baby. I had the best 41w that a girl could ask for. I went in for my NST a day before I was to be induced. I had noticed that morning that my stomach was hard & I hadn't really felt Evangeline move. I figured since I had an appointment later that day, no worries. We went in to the NST to have her heartbeat monitored. The tech couldn't find her heartbeat. My dr did an ultrasound and didn't look happy. She sent me to another ultrasound tech downstairs. The room was quiet. I knew something was wrong. No one could find her heartbeat. I went back to talk to my doctor. She said we could go home and figure out what we wanted to do. I didn't want to go home. After discussing with DH we decided to have a C-section ASAP. At 4:57 pm on August 28th my perfect baby girl came to this world sleeping. She was 9lbs 8oz, 21in long. She looked so much like my stepson. We got to spend 2 nights & 2 1/2 days with our beautiful girl. My husband was so great. He bought a camera corder so we could tape some moments with Evie. I watch them often. Just to remember how much I love her, what she looked like, how she felt...how she smelled. I've never felt so much love before in my life.
We have done lots of testing & an autopsy was performed on Evie. There is no reason for her passing. DH and I believe in our hearts that she knew something that we didn't.
We had a full funeral for our girl on Sept 8th. It was the most beautiful day. So many people attended. It's amazing how such a little person can affect so many lives.

Before Evangeline I had miscarried at about 11 weeks on Oct 14, 2006.

~ posted for Enrica by Christine copied form her original post on the BBC thread

Jack

Jack was due on October 30th.

We went in on the 30th for an induction (high BP). Spent the 31st in labor off and on - no change to my cervix (still less than 1cm). So - at 1am on the Thursday the 1st - they did a bio-scan. He looked perfect! Kicking at the ultrasound wand - he hated being "pushed" around. So - they sent us home at 3am.
Spent all day Thursday sleeping. Felt good Friday - but Jack was pretty quiet. My husband and I both had bad dreams Friday night. I woke up Saturday morning to head to L&D for our non-stress test. I knew something was wrong before we even left the house. Got to L&D - and the ladies could not find my chart. After about 10 minutes - I told them that I had not felt Jack all morning and I thought something was wrong. Chart forgotten - they hooked me up to the monitors. All I could keep doing was saying the Lord's Prayer to myself - I just knew in my heart he was already gone. Ultrasound confirmed - his heart had stopped.

~Post for Karry by Christine coppied from her original post on BBC thread.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Olive Lucy

My name is Christine, my partner of 11.5 years Watson and I lost our daughter during labor on Monday, August 27, 2007.

I had always known that i would deliver on or about 8/28/07, i told everyone to be ready for the baby by then. I started early labor late Saturday night Braxton hicks contractions that were sporadic. Sunday morning i called my OB and he said if they continued to head to L&D that evening, by 5pm i had been having contractions for most of the day, so off we went to L&D, i was hooked up examined but i was only dilated 2cm and effaced 50% so they sent me home after a few hours. when we went to the hospital that evening, at that time everything was perfect, my heart rate the baby's, everything- I was progressing. I wasn't just yet far enough along to stay so they sent me home.

I returned home around 10:30 pm. Through the night I continued to have contractions and time them. I labored at home until 5:45 am then we got ready to return to the hospital, bag, and baby things in tow we left our home ready to go have our baby.

We arrived to the hospital L& D at about 6:30 am and at that time they were no longer able to find a heart beat. More and more Doctors tried to find it and soon our room was filled with so many that we knew that things had gone very wrong. We were told that at some time during the night our precious baby's heart had stopped beating. NO one could say those words I am sorry your baby died but truth be told their face gave it away. every single Doctor & nurse in the room was sharing the same face one that haunts me.

There is no explanation that could be found at that time. it has now been 4 months know and know now we will never know what was the cause. Because I was already in labor and because we were full term we went trough with as much of a our birthing plan as possible. I was given some narcotic painkiller because i was so distraught and to take the edge off (more like make me feel like i had been out drinking all night) they also hooked up the pitocin (for a short while i was already 3 cm by this time and i think they use less than one bag of pitocin all told) did get an epidural for the shortest time possible, with the assistance of these meds, a room full of loving nursing staff, with my darling watson on my right, my rock nancy on my left and our OB Dr. D there to coach me through it all i was able to give birth on my own to our baby. I pushed for about 20 mins at most. with watson and nancy helped with my legs but my epidural had already started to where off so i was able to move my legs on my own and i an grateful for that. Watson was so incredible he told me i could do it, he could see the baby head and then he said the words i had always know. It's a girl oh it's a girl and she is beautiful.

At 3:38pm Monday, August 27, 2007 our perfect girl arrived. 

Olive Lucy Kawecki
7 lbs, 8 oz.

22 1/2 inches long.

And she has great big clown feet.

I was lucky enough to give birth to a beautiful and perfect child that unfortunately was not breathing nor had a heart beat. she did however change my world and continues to do so. If you would like to read more about me and how i deal with my loss, how we are doing, or even more about how i know my daughter continues to touch my life check out her blog.

again i am sorry that any mother has to join this club, but i am glad that my loss has brought me here to these women that understand.
~ Lucy's Mom Christine