Saturday, February 25, 2012

Parallel Plans

Dave and I had our 24 wk growth ultrasound on Friday. Twenty minutes before the appointment was to start, I was convinced our baby boy was gone, or at least dying. He hadn't moved much that morning, and I was convinced I would show up for the appointment with eager anticipation, only to have the ultrasound tech tell me there was no heartbeat.

The ultrasound went great.

Trauma and PTSD are powerful grips on the heart.

I am in a strange place.

Today I received some fabric samples for my baby boy's crib bedding. I was convinced for a long time I wasn't going to set up his nursery until he was here. After some thought and reflection, I think it will be really good for me to focus on this in preparation for his arrival. I am hoping to keep the fear and panic at bay so that I can do that for him.

Today I also bought some cupcake cups and decorations (owls, of course) for Georgiana's first birthday in heaven. God, it pains to me even type those words. Today is one of those barely breathe kind of days, where the sheer sorrow of her death is enough to overwhelm me completely.

I came home and set the cupcake decorations next to the fabric samples on the kitchen table. I wasn't even thinking about it, as I was tidying up, coming home, and cleaning the kitchen. When I was finished, I looked over at the table and realized the two items were sitting right next to each other. And it was too much.

Her birthday: I don't even know how I feel on this. I have received a couple of disappointing responses to this from close family members, and have tried to let the anger and disappointment go on that. It's much easier said than done. I feel torn. I want to celebrate, and I also want to crawl into a hole and maybe never come out. March looms, and there's nothing I can do about it other than admit myself to the crazy ward and beg for medication until April. I'll get an idea for her party, and then I think, no, that will make me too sad. Or, no, that will make someone else too sad. This is so hard to do. Life is so hard right now. How can I have so many years left without her?

My son, his nursery: He doesn't feel real in a lot of ways, although I know he's real because I feel him move. I have dozens of pictures of his face, more in fact than I have of my daughter at this point. I thank God for his little nudges, and then I go into near panic attacks when he goes to sleep and doesn't move for awhile. Three months left, and...I don't know. Women have done this before me, so I'll do it too.  I need to go into the nursery and separate out what he can wear that I had for her, and then figure out where to put the rest of her things. Or the rest of the baby girl things. Whatever they are at this point. It's too much right now, so the door stays shut.

Parallel plans, and my heart feels torn not just in two directions, but in a dozen different directions. I am taken back to the last day I saw her coffin above ground, and I wonder how I have survived. When the heart smashes and breaks and never goes back to what it was, how does the body survive? How is it that we survive this?


  1. I'm so sorry you are having a difficult time. The months leading up to Hayes' birthday were so very hard, and I didn't have pregnancy fears and hormones compounding things. For her day, do what you feel comfortable and want to do, and try not to worry about those who don't want to participate or making anyone else uncomfortable. This needs to be healing for you, and you need to be happy with how you handled it once it has passed. And I promise, it will pass, and you will be able to breathe again after it is over. Hang in there.

  2. I think it's inevitable that people will disappoint us in regard to commemorating the birthdays of the babies we have lost. I'm still holding on to a lot of anger toward my in-laws for the abysmal way they handled Eliza's birthday (by ignoring it, and then accusing me of being "hateful," when I called them out on it). I'm trying very hard to focus on the positive support I have from my own family and our good friends (and of course other blms) and adjust my expectations of (and energy that I put toward) my in-laws. But that doesn't keep it from sucking hardcore.

    You're dealing with a lot of stuff all at once, and what you said about being pulled in two directions makes a lot of sense. I still can't fathom that my daughter died and I'm here and I go to Target and I love gooey butter cake and I laugh at 30 Rock. These things can't all be real. But somehow they are. Wishing you peace as you make it through the coming days. As Molly said, it will pass and you will be able to breathe again.

  3. First of all, I want you to know that you're doing a great job handling everything. The sheer fact that you're still standing is a great testimony to your strength (and that you're relying on God's help too).

    I know what you mean about feeling really torn on Georgie's birthday. I stressed and stressed over what to do for Caroline's day. I settled on a family get-together/balloon release. I know that it freaked out some of my family (in fact, my dad didn't even come). But, those that wanted to come, did, and it was a good day with lots of love and some tears. We didn't do a birthday cake or anything like that, on my husband's was just too hard for him. I am pleased with how it went, but there is really no way that I can think of to have a "perfect birthday party" for a situation such as this.

    It's now been 16 months since we lost Caroline, and I still have days that I can't stand the heaviness of her not being here. I feel like I'm going to crumble under the weight. But, I'm proud to say that there are many more days that I'm able to live a happy life, remember her, miss her, but not be completely broken. I pray that you'll find that after Georgiana's birthday, you can breathe a little easier. These milestones are tough.

    Hang in there, friend!

  4. I think it's been very helpful for me to honor milestones & my losses were much, much earlier on than Georgiana's passing. I'd imagine it's even more important to do with stillbirth.

    I make a cake for James on his delivery date & we plant wildflowers during a family hike on his due date. We don't sing, but it's healing to put time & thought into decorating a cake. It's a pretty private event, but we do celebrate our angels being part of our family.

    I'm not sure what Hope's delivery date ritual will be- it's also coming up in March. Tentatively, I plan to decorate for the new baby. I've had a hard time preparing too, but I think it's important that I do.

    When we celebrated the 1st anniversary of delivering James, it was very bitter-sweet. On the one hand I felt relieved at having made it through a year of grieving. But I didn't like that he felt a whole year away. I had written a poem about "I held my baby yesterday..." He felt close when it was just yesterday that I had him. I didn't like him feeling distant in time.

    My favorite quote about grieving is:
    "We don't move on and forget-
    We move forward and remember." -Viki Pond

  5. It's such a tough time and so hard to sort through the feelings. I think it's good that you want to focus on his arrival and plan for him to be here. He does deserve that, but it doesn't mean that it won't be so hard for you - to want to get excited for him, but be grieving for sweet Georgie in the process. March is her month. It's ok to put her first this month as you celebrate, honor, and remember your little girl. I'm so sorry you are feeling disappointment from others - it makes it that much harder.

    I wish you lots of peace as you navigate your way through these crazy times. I hope that you continue to love on that little boy as you will continue to love Georgiana.

  6. I understand your heart feeling disappointed in how people are handling Georgie's birthday. It's such a place none of us ever expected to be and one that is quite uncomfortable for everyone else. How do you celebrate a life gone far too soon? There's no right way, but others must be sensitive to her life and how much value she has for you as a family.

    Like Caroline said, March is her month. Treat it as such and others will see this. They may disappoint you in their actions/words, but remain true to her and others will have no choice but to comply. I found that telling people HOW I wanted them to celebrate was important and easiest. No one was uncomfortable or wondering what to do/say or how to overstep or understep those bounds.

    Celebrate your daughter. She deserves all the love and adoration. :) We BLMs shall be celebrating with you.