Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Level 2 U/S Take 2

So today I had my second level 2 u/s for Bear.  Our new perinatology office would not accept the ultrasound from the first perinatology practice.  Of course the first practice refused to let me schedule a perinatologist consult without a referral from my regular OB (who sent the paperwork twice and called three times).  Ugh.  So today first thing in the morning off to have an ultrasound, immediately followed by a consult with a MFM specialist.

For some reason I found this ultrasound harder.  I was crying almost the entire time.  Bear of course is perfect, no cardiac abnormalities, measuring a few days ahead of predicted, weighing in at 2 lbs.  As an added bonus we also got some 3-D images, which I was completely not expecting.  We have pictures of her crossing her ankles and some face pictures.  Her face pictures look like she is laughing and smiling.  Our happy baby!  She looks a little like Grace, but mostly like herself.  I think she may have Mark's nose.. we were both hoping she would have mine!

The consult was difficult.  The MFM was compassionate, but some of his analogies were pretty awful.  "A cord accident is like someone on the gallows, everything is perfect until the floor drops and the noose tighten"s... Wow I don't think I needed that image.  Luckily he says that I am going great and so is Bear, he recommended once weekly NSTs starting at 31 weeks, and another ultrasound at 34 weeks, and basically that means we never really need to see him again.  He advised against induction prior to 39 weeks and when Mark asked about waiting for natural labor, he felt that was a great idea, as long as we can psychologically handle it and I don't go longer than 41 weeks.

We also started private childbirth classes this week.  It was really hard for Mark, but I did pretty well.  I would rather be prepared and act like this is going to happen just as planned.  I am also thinking again about hiring a Doula.  At first I was completely set on one, then I thought I would rather it just be Mark and me and now I am not so sure again.  Our childbirth educator is also a Doula so if we like her she would be a natural choice since she knows us and our history.  She seemed pretty amazed that we had Grace without an epidural despite being induced and all the emotional trauma.  I guess I am tougher than I thought.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


1 year and 1 week says the ticker on the side of this blog, but honestly it feels like yesterday.  My emotions have been so raw lately.  Loving Bear, worrying about her, worrying about losing her, missing Grace so, so much.  Dreaming about a future that may be stolen from me.  Preparing to grieve my Grandmother, who is not eating well and steadily losing weight, while trying to cherish what may be my last few months with her.  Tears fall easily.  Anger surfaces quickly.  Trying so hard to be good and kind and gentle with myself.  It's hard, I am trying, but it is hard, hard work.

On an up note we have narrowed our list of possible baby names down to 21.  Hot debate continues and cuts are getting harder and harder to make.  I wish I found the DH's choices more appealing, and wish that he had more affection for mine.  We will continue to work at it and then, I hope, the right name will just feel right for both of us.

Still have not consulted with the perinatologist.  Had the level 2 ultrasound, but no consult.  Their office seems completely disorganized and discombobulated.  I see my regular OB this afternoon and will ask for an referral to a different MFM practice.  It is silly to have to fight so hard with the front office and lack of patient focus, so I refuse.  Plus Bear is wonderful and amazing and perfect, so this MFM thing is more of a formality (can you hear the hope in that statement?).  I also have my oh so fun GTT this afternoon, nothing like drinking that syrupy nasty drink and having the baby go WILD for 40 minutes.  I have some fears that it was during that test that Grace got her cord knotted since she was so crazy during it, but who knows.  I know that gestational diabetes would put both Bear and I at risk so I will do the test even through my fear.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grace's First Birthday

Dear Grace,

My darling girl today is your first birthday.  I missed you more than I could imagine.  I cried more tears in the last few days then I have in weeks.  Yesterday the heavens opened and cried for you too.  The Earth misses you.  Today I made you a little cake.  A heart shaped cake.  A miniature of the cake I made for your Dad's birthday in 2 days.  We took your ashes and your Bear to lunch and the Desert Botanical Garden.  We cried at the restaurant and held hands as the song "Glad you Came" played.  We are so glad you came into our lives and we are still so sad that you did not get to stay with us.  We put a candle on your cake and sang to you.  I broke down and sobbed.  I am sorry baby, I am trying to remember all the joy and wonder you brought into my life and not just the horrible sadness I feel losing you.  I pictured what this day should have been, you smashing your cake with your little fists and getting frosting in you hair.  The little dreams I had for us that will never get to be.  Please know, as deeply as one can know anything, that I love you more today than I did one year ago, and I will love you more next year than this year.  My love for you is ever expanding and eternal.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

A year ago today

A year ago today my baby died.  I never had even thought about that happening.  We were well into the third trimester, I was planning for her coming home, reading baby care books, thinking about my up coming baby shower, worried about giving birth.

I have flash backs to that night at the hospital, the nurses not being able to find her heartbeat with the Doppler, the doctor ultrasounding my belly and seeing her still, perfect image.  I remember screaming and wailing and making inhuman noises.  I found out what it sounds like to have your heart break that night.

Tonight I find my heart reshaped in a new form, bruised and hurt, but no longer broken.  I miss Grace so much.  I wish that I could be more eloquent about my feelings, my girl deserves poetry, but all I have is the raw feeling that she should be here.  That it is so unfair that she is gone.  Her little sister growing inside me gives me hope for the future, but no matter how much I love her she can never and will never replace her sister.  She is her own special and amazing person and I am so glad that she has joined our family, but her big sister is still gone.

Mark wrote a letter to Grace today, about how losing her had changed his relationship with God and how he prays to her most often. He had poetry for her, he misses her so much too.  We are hurting so much still.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cracks beneath the surface

We had Bear's level 2 ultrasound yesterday.  I was very bitter about needing to go for this test.  Grace was fine, Bear is fine, we had crap luck that is all.  But I went for Bear.  I think part of it was I could believe that everything was okay until someone said it wasn't.  I want to live and breathe and hope in my little bubble of pregnancy that only Bear and I live in and Mark can come and visit.  Someone actually told me the ultrasound should be fun.  Fun?  Try nerve wracking.  The 30 minute drive to downtown Phoenix.  The 45 minute wait with inane people all around me.  Then getting the scan so afraid that despite my deep feelings that Bear is perfect in every way they would tell me she was not and that she might die.  Remembering Grace's last ultrasound with her so still and her heart not beating.  But everything was good, no abnormalities, no additional scans indicated at this time.  Her cord is normal, with normal placental and umbilical insertions.  No knots noted and at least for now no cord wrapped around any body part.  She was a funny and rather uncooperative baby and that helped us at least.  She also kicked the ultrasound probe really hard toward the end as if to say I am bored with this.

However I am testy and unsettled today.  My FIL is being a jerk, not a huge surprise.  His dog got sick last week, but could he be bothered to bring her to my office?  Nope he wants me to take care of her on my days off without any equipment or resources.  Then I call medication in for him.  It takes him almost a week to have it filled and then is complaining that he cannot give his dog capsules and wants liquid.  I warned him that although liquid is an option, it is extremely bitter and I don't think he will be able to give it very easily.  Still wants liquid, won't even try to give the capsules.  This is not hard, open your dogs mouth, insert capsule at the far back, close mouth, wait until they swallow.  Repeat in 12 hours.  He should not own pets.

Then I spoke with my Dad who was checking on me since Grace's days are coming up.  He and my mother are officially divorced as of Feb 1st, but she has not moved out.  He says that she complains that I have not called her since December, but rolls her eyes when he suggests that she call me.  She tried to kill herself, but it is a mystery why I would be mad at her?  My therapist supports my decision to not really have any interaction with her until she is under psychiatric care and seeing a therapist of her own.  However I guess that I need to communicate with her in some way to let her know those ground rules.  I am okay waiting.  I don't care if she hates me.  Really I don't, god knows I have hated her enough in my life.

And then there is the grief.  Bubbling to the surface every morning.  Missing Grace so hard.  Remembering this time last year she was alive inside me, just like Bear is now.  Remembering the hope and the joy and then the fear and horror of Feb 10th.  I miss my baby.  I want her back.  I want her and her sister, one cannot replace the other.  They are not the same, but they are both so loved and so wanted.  I feel like I have been holding up pretty well.  Focusing on Bear and trying to keep my life simple and not let the bad in, but lately the cracks beneath the surface are widening and rising.  The tears flow when I get out of bed and when I am driving to work.  My Grace is still gone, it has almost been 1 year and she is still gone.  I don't understand that.  No matter what happens a piece of my heart is gone, a member of our family is gone.  I am starting to forget things, like how she smelled.  I know that it was the most wonderful smell in the world, but that is all I can remember about it.  Those precious hours holding her and kissing her only seem like a few minutes now, black and white images on a computer screen.  She feels more like a dream than a baby.

Some BLMs see their babies in living children who are about the same age as their baby would be.  I can only think of Grace as an infant.  Maybe it is because I have never watched another baby grow up, Bear is still growing on the inside.  I cannot picture Grace as a 1 year old.  I want to.  I wish that I could see her as alive and growing and learning to do all the amazing things that babies do in that first oh so important year.  I wish my house were not so quiet and neat, I wish there was baby mess, toys and partially folded laundry and bits of food on the floor.  The hurt is just so bad right now.  I don't want her 1 year day to come, I don't want that much space and time between us.  How did the world and my life keep moving without her?