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Ella slideshow

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010

2010 is almost over.  I can't believe it.  I can't believe how much life has changed in this one year.   Part of me will be happy to watch the clock roll over to midnight tonight, and the other part of me will be really sad.   This year was defintitely the hardest of my life- no other year can even come close enough to compare.  But, it was also filled with so many amazing moments and joy.  I would never give up the tears I have cried this year if that meant I had to give up my time with Ella.

In 2010, I got to spend  four and a half months with Ella happy and safe inside my belly.  I got to feel her grow, and squirm and hiccup.  Then on May 10, 2010, I got to hold a piece of Heaven in my arms for a day- I would never trade that for anything.  I miss those chubby cheeks and beautiful lips so much.  I am so glad that I got to hold those precious little hands and big feet that looked just like her daddy's in my hands. Jon and I looked at some of her pictures last night and talked about all of her precious little features.  It still amazes me that we made such a beautiful little baby.

I hope and pray that 2011 isn't filled with so much heartache. But, I can't look back on 2010 and only think of pain...because I expereinced a lot more than that.  I became mommy to an angel and experienced a love that I can't explain.

I love you Ella!  I miss you so so much!


2010-The year that forever changed our lives and our hearts


Monday, December 27, 2010

Glad that is over

I am usually so sad when Christmas is over.  It has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love the whole change in atmosphere, the lights, the trees,the music, holiday traditions and movies, spending time with family.  And of course the real reason we celebrate Christmas- the fact that it is Jesus's birthday.

Last year we struggled through Christmas.  December 2nd was the day that Ella's anencephlay was confirmed by the level 2 ultrasound.  It was hard to celebrate and be merry knowing that we were going to lose her.  We didn't even put up a tree.  I still feel a lot of guilt about that.  I wish I had handled my feelings better.  I wish I could have given Ella the best Christmas ever while she was still her with me-I was so stupid. We did buy her an angel bear last year, and I loved every minute she was with me.  I just should have celabrated with her instead of crying with her.

Of course, I knew this year would be really hard without her here.  Then, right before Thanksgiving we got a surprise.  We were pregnant again.  Those first few weeks were scary but exciting.  We had hope that next year would be different at the holidays.  That hope didn't change the fact that we still missed Ella so much.  It just gave us something to be excited about again-which I haven't felt in a long time.  But, again that hope was taken away.  I had a miscarriage on 12/21/10 and  a d&c the next day.  I wasn't going to talk about this little one on Ella's blog because I wanted this to be her place, but now that this little one is gone I don't want to forget about him/her either.  We loved this baby too from the time we saw two pink lines.

So, I haven't been in the Christmas mood at all.  It is hard to celebrate and laugh when it feels like a hole is missing from your chest.  Presents seem so unimportant when the people I want more than anything in the world, I can't have.  When someone would ask "what do you want for Christmas?" - I just feel like screaming- I can't have what I want!  I am really struggling trying to understand all of this.  And for the second year in a row, I am not sad that Christmas is over.  I am still thankful that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, but this Christmas was so hard.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas sweet angel!  Mommy and Daddy miss you so so much.  I wish you were spending your first Christmas here with us.  You are the best gift we could have ever asked for.   We love you so much!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Special Photo

Thnak you to Shannon, who also lost her sweet daughter to anencephaly.  She made an angel tree and sent this photo to me.  I love it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas without you

The Holidays are hard.  I knew that they would be. I thought that this would be our first Christmas with a baby at home. I wish that was the way it is so bad.  I wish that I was buying presents for Ella.  I wish I could hang a stocking for her.  I wish she could get her first picture with Santa.  I wish I could dress her in cute little Christmas dresses.  I could go on for days with my wish list, but I won't.   I can't do the things that I want to be doing with my daughter.  But I really want her to be included in the holidays.  So, like I had posted earlier, we decided to put a little tree at her grave.  This is going to be our new tradition. Jon and I put it out the day after Thanksgiving.  Then my family went after our Thanksgiving dinner (which was actually the following Sunday).  And Jon's family has also added ornaments since then.  I love that everyone spent so much time and thought in the ornaments that they picked for Ella.  Thank you all so much!


From Mommy and Daddy



From Mommy and Daddy

From Mommy and Daddy

From Grandma says"Grandma loves me"

Joel Michael adding Ella's name ornament that he looked so hard for!


From Joel Michael

From Aunt Lorrie and Uncle Joel


From Aunt Lorrie and Uncle Joel

From Aunt Michelle, Uncle Bryan, Travis and Tyler
From Ginny

From Grandad


From my coworker Debbie

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

"I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High." Psalm 7:17

Thanksgiving Day is approaching.  If I am honest, I would have to say that for months I have been dreading Thanksgiving Day.  November 25th of last year was one of the worst days of my life.  It was the day before Thanksgiving.  It was the day that we found out that we wouldn't get to keep our baby because she was anencephalic.  We had hoped that we could tell our family on Thanksgiving Day if we were having a boy or girl, but we had to call them the day before and give them the devastating news and tell them we wouldn't be leaving the house for Thanksgiving.  I can say that I wasn't feeling very thankful last year.

So,a few months ago I looked at the calendar-hoping that Thanksgiving day wouldn't fall on November 25th, but of course it does.  That being said,  I want this year to be different. 

I DO have a lot to be thankful for.  These are only a few of those things......

I am thankful for my wonderful husband, who I am so blessed to have in my life.
I am thankful for my wonderful mother, who is always there for me through thick and thin.
I am thankful for my wonderful sister, who is so supportive and such a great friend.
I am thankful for all of my other family members, including Jon's family-they are the best inlaws I could ever ask for.
I am thankful for my Millie, Max and Lucky, who love me and make me smile.
I am thankful for Ella.
I am thankful that God chose me to be Ella's mommy.
I am thankful that God gave me twenty hours to hold her, feel her in my arms, hear her sweet cry, kiss her sweet lips, and touch her beautiful soft skin.
I am thankful that God sent his son to die for my sins, so that one day I will be able to go to heaven and be with Him, and be with my sweet baby girl again!

I love you Ella!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ella's presence

     I went to Target today.  I love shopping at Target.  Going in Target is a trigger for me.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant, Jon and I spent so much time in the baby section looking at all the things we wanted to buy for our baby.  Then at the end of my pregnancy I spent so much time looking at clothes and things for Ella there.  We had no idea if she would get to wear them, but she has a closet full of clothes. 
     Today, I went in for a few things I needed.  I stopped at the dollar spot and found a little tree.  I put it in the buggy.  I had been planning to make a Christmas arrangement or little tree for Ella's grave, but wasn't sure what I would do.  I wandered around the store and then went to the Christmas section to look for some ornaments.  The first ones I saw were the "Baby's first Christmas" ones.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was fighting back tears, because I want to be buying those SO bad for Ella.  I walked around the Christmas section looking for some tiny ornaments, then I saw a cute little white tree with a red star on top.  It is a little bigger -2ft.  I traded out the scrawny little tree for the white one and found some ornaments for it.  I found one that I love.  It is a little silver angel with crystal wings that says "loved."  I have a plan now.  We will decorate the tree and put it at Ella's grave.  And then family can bring an ornament for Ella too if they want.  It is going to be a yearly tradition.  It isn't at all what I had planned for this Christmas, but it makes me feel so much better to have a way to include Ella during the holidays.
     As soon as I got home, the wind chimes were chiming.  They have been chiming like crazy again.  I can feel Ella's presence so much today.  That may sound crazy.  I know she is in Heaven, but there are times when I "feel" her presence.  I love those times.

I love you Ella!! I miss you so much !!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Letter to Ella (part 2)

Ella,
I can't believe it will be six months tomorrow since you were born.  Half of a year has passed since you were here with me.  That is so hard for me to believe.  I miss you so much.  I still think about you all of the time.  I hate how much distance time has made from the last time I touched your precious face or kissed your beautiful lips or held your little hand.  When I am feeling sad because of how long it has been since you were here with me, I have to remind myself that I am that much closer to seeing you again.  I was thinking about you today when I was driving and a song came on the radio that I had never heard.  It was called "save a place for me." It made me think of you.

I love you so much!
Love,
Mommy



Scroll down and pause music player before listening.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is hard

     I have had a hard time blogging lately.  I started my blog because I wanted to talk about Ella, and about my feelings.  But, I don't always feel like sharing all of my feelings.  I feel like people probably get tired of reading the same things about how I feel over and over again.  So, I haven't been posting much.
     It has been almost six months since Ella was born and since she passed.  Six months seems like a long time.  I really thought that after six months everything would be a little easier to deal with.  But, the truth is that it isn't.  I really don't feel any better, and I definitely don't miss her any less.  I know that will never change.  I will always feel that strong urge to be with her again.  I will always feel like a part of me died on May 11th too.  There will always be someone missing from my life, and I will always think about her when I am doing things that I thought my daughter would be doing with me. 
      I try not to think about the way things should have been all of the time.  But, I really think that is impossible for me.  I can't do it.  Everytime I see other families and babies I think that should be us.  We should have a family on earth now.  I should be dressing Ella in her halloween costume this year.  It is so hard and it really doesn't seem fair.  Everytime someone announces a birth or shows off an ultrasound picture I feel conflicting emotions.  I feel happy for them, but it makes me so sad for us.  I don't like being like that, but if I said I didn't feel it I would be lying. 
     Life is hard right now.  Somedays I feel like I am just going through the motions of life and not living.  I don't know how to make that different, but I want to.  We are at the point where we have to think about our future.  Jon and I both want a family so bad.  We want children.  We want Ella to be one of those children here with us more than anything- but we know that we can't have that.  Everything and every decision is so hard right now for me.  Please keep us in your prayers. 

I love you Ella!  I miss you so much!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

wind chimes

A few months ago, a loss group that I am part of did a secret elf exchange.  The person who drew my name sent a very thoughtful gift.  She sent a remembrance Christmas ornament and some beautiful wind chimes.  She said the chimes were to remind me of Ella's constant presence in our lives.  We hung the chimes on our front porch so that we could hear them chiming from inside the house.  They chime every now and then, and it is the most beautiful sound.  Everytime they do, I think about my sweet Ella and how she will always be such a huge part of my life.  She is always on my mind and in my heart.  Today, they have been chiming all day, even as I type this post.

I love you sweet baby!  I miss you so much!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today

...is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I had never heard of this until a month or so ago, which means that most people who haven't expreienced the loss of a pregnancy or the loss of a baby probably haven't heard of it either.
     I don't need a day to remind me to remember  Ella.  I think about her all of the time.  But, I do think it is important to raise awaresness that there are so many people who have been through the loss of a child- and that is definitely the hardest thing I have been through in my life. I have met so many mom's who have been through similar situations online, and talking to them has helped me so much.  There are days when I feel like no one gets it, and then I will log onto the computer and read someones blog and see that there are other people feeling the same way right now.  I wish that no one ever had to feel this.  But, connecting with other ladies going through the same situation has given me so much comfort and made me feel not so alone. 
     It makes me sad that people going through an infant loss years ago probably didn't have anyone to talk to who was going through something similar.  I know that my mom was one of these people.  She lost my sister, Chandra, when she was 11 months old.   Chandra was the oldest, and that was before I was born.   I know that it had to be so hard for my mom-and I hate that she had to experience that.  My mom is always there for me when I need her and has been here throughout all of this last year.  Thank you mama- I love you!
     So, today I will be thinking about Ella.  I will be thinking about Chandra.  I will be thinking about all the babies who I have come to know through their mommies this year.


Thank you Shannon for making this pumpkin for Ella!!  I love it!


I love you Ella!!  I miss you so much!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One of my favorite memories


     One of my favorite memories of Ella came during our 32 week ultrasound.  That was our third ultrasound.  The first two were horrible-those are days that I wish I could forget.  The first one was at 16 weeks and six days.  That was the horrible day that we found out that Ella had anencephaly. We went into the doctor's  office so excited to see our baby for the first time, but left the office devasted.  The second one was a week later.  We were sent to a perinatologist for a more detailed ultrasound to confirm the anencephaly. Of course, our worst fears were confirmed.  We also found out that day that we were indeed having a girl like we had known all along.
     Up until the 32 weeks ultrasound, we really had no clue what Ella looked like.  The only pictures they gave us from the earlier ones was one of her foot and one of her girl parts.  We were so blessed to have an awesome ultrasound tech at our 32 week appt. She did a 3d ultrasound and let us watch Ella wiggle around for 20 minutes or so.  I remember seeing what her beautiful face looked like for the first time.  It was so bittersweet.  She was SO active! She was smacking her lips, playing with the umbilical cord, sucking her  fingers and sucking her toes.  Seeing how happy and comfortable she was gave me so much peace.  I had  worried that she may be uncomfortable because of the anencephaly-but that day those fears were put to rest.  She looked so happy.
     I toted a photo album around in my purse with all of those pictures in it the rest of my pregnancy.  I wanted to show her off to the world so bad, but I knew that I would probably have a meltdown if I did.  I did, and still do have a hard time talking about her without crying.  So, I only showed them to family.  So....here they are.  Some of my favorite memories captured on ultrasound. (please excuse the format)


This one is of her perfect profile.  You can see her big foot.
             I love this one.  She is smiling or laughing.

Sucking her finger
                               And, my favorite!  showing off those beautiful lips!



                           I love you Ella!  I miss you sweet baby!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Gift from God

James 1:17-18

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

This was the bible verse today on a prayer blog that I follow.  Though the past year has been the hardest of my life, I know that Ella was a gift from God-an amazing gift.  I just want to give thanks. Thank you Lord for my family.  Thank you Lord for my precious daughter and for the time I had with her.  Thank you for blessing me with her. Amen.

I love you Ella!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Cruise

     Thanks for the happy anniversary wishes and prayers for good weather.  We had a great time on the cruise.  When we got to the hotel Wednesday night, there were three tropical storms/hurricanes.  But, we ended up having beautiful weather and a great trip. There is nothing more relaxing than being on the ocean to me.
     We spent the first day in Key West.  We just walked around and went into a lot of shops that day.  One of the first things we saw was a stand with seashells that had names on them.  We looked and right away found one with Ella's name on it.  We bought two.  I love Ella's name.  I love to see it written out.  Everytime I see anything with names on it, I find myself searching for hers.   
    The second day, we stopped in Cozumel, Mexico.  We took a bus to the beach, and spent the afternoon there.  It was a beautiful day.  The beach was gorgeous, the food was great (we had a buffet at the beach...of course).   Then after our beach time, we spent a couple of hours in the city. I really enjoyed that day.  I think this is probably the first time since we lost Ella that I can truly say I felt this way.
   There were moments that were hard- especially seeing all of the families on the ship with their little girls.  That always sends me to "this isn't how it should be" thoughts.   And, there was one night at dinner when our waiter was asking "did we have any children?  were we going to have children soon?"  He was laughing and being friendly. We were seated with strangers, and we didn't say that we had children.  I felt horrible again- I hate answering like that.  I have been saying "yes, a daughter in heaven" but sometimes it just catches me off guard.
    But, the majority of the trip was great.  I am so thankful that we were able to celebrate our anniversary and enjoy ourselves.  I had a great time with my wonderful husband.

I love you Ella! I miss you so much! 


Cozumel, Mexico
Shell from Key West
 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Four year Anniversary



I am posting this a few days early, because I won't be here to post it on our anniversary. September the 16th will be our four year anniversary. I can't believe it has been four years since I married my best friend! I am so blessed to have such an awesome man to spend my life with.
Four years ago, we had no idea of the road ahead of us when we made our vows to each other. I really know what those vows we made to each other mean now, and how important they are. We experienced the best and the worst this past year. The best-having Ella, holding her in our arms, and becoming a family. The worst was of course losing her. I have to say that Jon was there for me 100% through all of it. I got to see a new side of him this year that made me fall more in love with him than ever. I got to see him as a wonderful loving Dad and the most supportive husband I could dream of.
We are going on a cruise for our anniversary. We are leaving from Miami and cruising to Key West and Cozumel (if Igor doesn't turn into a hurricane and change that). We have gone on two cruises before and enjoyed them both so much. The last one was seven years ago-so it has been awhile. I am excited to spend the week on the ocean with my husband! I am blessed to have a partner that I enjoy being with so much. I know that we will have a good time together. That being said, there is still that part of me that feels like screaming "this isn't how it should be!" This isn't what Jon and I should be doing four months after the birth of our daughter. It isn't what we planned. I guess that this feeling will always be there, and I accept that. I actually don't want that to go away. I know that Jon feels the same way.
But, I am going to enjoy my time with my husband...I know that is what Ella would want.

I love you Jon! I am so lucky to be your wife.
I love you Ella! You brought mommy and daddy closer than ever...we miss you so much!

Monday, September 6, 2010

One of those days

It has been one of those days (or actually a few of those days). The days that the feeling of missing Ella overwhelms me. I miss her all of the time, but there are days when it just washes over me like a tidal wave. I think it is the time of the year. Everywhere I go I see something or do something that reminds me last year at this time-right after we found out I was pregnant or it makes me think of how I thought things were going to be now. I try not to dwell on how things should be, but that has been so hard the last few days.
I want her here with me. I want to dress her in her Florida Gator booties and hat that we bought her last football season. I want to be taking her to cookouts and family get togethers. I want to hold her again. I want everything to be different than it is.
It is just one of those days that all I can think about is how much I miss her.

I love you Ella! I miss you SO much!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2009...

was the day that we found out that I was pregnant with Ella. I can remember the details of that day like it was yesterday! I had worked all weekend twelve hour shifts and had felt funny. I told Jon on Sunday evening that I thought I might be pregnant, because my period was a couple of days late. He didn't believe me, because that had happened before and everytime I tested it was negative. Monday morning when I woke up, I took a test. It came back with no control line??? The box said that meant the test was inconclusive. I had an eye doctor appointment that day. I went to my appointment, then Jon and I went to Walgreens and got some more tests. We debated on taking another test that evening or waiting for morning like the box said. I took a test that evening. Immediately, it was positive! I remember Jon raising his hands up and saying "SCORE!" He was so excited. I was so excited and nervous. I knew that from that moment on our lives would be forever changed.
We can't keep secrets. We told everyone right away and began to plan for the baby. We picked out boy names and girl names. We started turning the spare bedroom into a nursery. Jon had repainted it, put up light fixtures, new blinds, we put in new carpet before I was even 15 weeks pregnant. It still seems so unreal sometimes. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have Ella at home in her nursery. I can't imagine having a four month old baby at home with us.
I wish that I could go back in time and live those moments again. I would love to go back to the time when Ella was with us and we didn't know we were going to lose her. I would love to feel that excitement again. I would love to be able to talk to her and tell her how happy she made us and how much we love her.
It is hard to believe that one year ago we found out we were going to be a mommy and a daddy. And now, a year later, our baby is in Heaven. Even though Ella isn't here at home with us, she made us mommy and daddy for the first time! She changed our lives so much in the 10 months that she was here.

I love you Ella! I miss you so much!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Decisions

I have always struggled with big decisions in my life. Well, except for one. I never considered the decision to terminate my pregnancy when Ella was diagnosed with anencephaly. I just knew that that wasn't an an option for me from the beginning. (I am just adding this because I don't want anyone to think that is one of the decisions I am talking about.) That is the one decision in my life that I had complete peace about and never questioned. I was so blessed to have my sweet baby for the time that I did.
Well, I am facing some BIG life changing decisions right now. I have always been a worrier, and when I have to make a decision I always question it and think "but what if?" I am not going over all of the decisions right now, because I really don't feel like I need to put all of my business out there right now. But, I am really struggling with them. I have made lists in my head of pros and cons. I have talked to Jon about it so much his ears are probably hurting, and he is supportive either way. I am praying that God will show me what to do with these big decisions. I wish I would see a sign or someone would just say "This is what you need to do!" I am so scared I am going to make the wrong decision and regret it later. Please, if you think of it, say a prayer that God will show me where I need to go and that I will see it!


I love you Ella! I miss you baby girl!

Friday, August 13, 2010

All in a year

It has been almost 14 weeks since Ella was born. It was around this time last year that Ella was concieved. That is so hard for me to believe. I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. Somedays I feel like the last year of my life has been a dream- it seems impossible that all of it really happened. In a year, I became pregnant for the first time, was so excited to be a mom, was devastated to find out that my baby wouldn't survive, gave birth to the most precious baby girl, held her in my arms for one amazing day, had to say goodbye to my daughter, am dealing with my grief over losing her, and am now trying to adjust to what life is now. I look back at myself before this time last year, and I can hardly recognize me. I feel like such a different person now. I know what is important now. But, I do miss some parts of the old me. I miss being silly sometimes and laughing a lot (I still laugh, but not nearly as often). Right now it is hard for me to feel those emotions because I am still missing Ella SO much. I know I will always miss her. It is hard trying to balance my life right now. How do I pull the old me and the new me together? I am sorry if none of this makes any sense-it is just how I feel right now. And though the last year has been so hard, it has been so worth it to have Ella with me for over 10 months. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

I love you Ella!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

NILMDTS

Thank you so much to Dena, our NILMDTS photographer. These pictures mean more to us than you will ever know.

Please scroll down and pause the music player before viewing video.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For Eternity

Yesterday was three months since Ella's birthday. This is for my sweet Ella. I miss you so much.


I carried you in my tummy for 10 months,
But I will carry you in my heart for eternity.

Your heart beat here on earth for 40 weeks and four days,
But you have mine for eternity.

I held your perfect little body in my arms for 20 hours,
but I will hold onto those memories for eternity.

You squeezed my finger with your perfect little hand for a moment,
but I will cherish that for eternity.

I studied the most beautiful face for a day,
and I will see it when I close my eyes for eternity.

Your life here on earth was way too short,
but it changed mine for eternity.

I felt the most amazing feeling when I was holding you.
I will long to feel that again for eternity.

When I lost you, I lost a piece of myself,
It feels like it will be gone for eternity.

I miss you so much.
But one day I will be with you again,
For Eternity.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ella's Marker

Ella's marker was finally placed on her grave on Monday. It was supposed to take six weeks to get here, but it took ten weeks instead. I was getting really frustrated. We ordered it really soon, because we couldn't stand the thought of her grave being unmarked. Jon and I kept checking on it every few days the last couple of weeks, only to find that it still wasn't there. When it finally got placed Monday, I felt relieved that it was here. It turned out to be really pretty too. We went to the cemetary and put out new flowers that I had made for her weeks ago. I felt good about it for an hour or so- and then it hit me. The relief that it is here made it so real that this life we are living seems so messed up. I don't want to be checking to see if my daughter's marker is here- I want my daughter to be here with me instead. Now when I am not at work I work on things like flower arrangements, or scrapbooking, or blogging. Don't get me wrong-I enjoy doing those things because they are things that make me feel like I am doing something for Ella. They keep everything fresh in my memory. Doing these things just makes me realize that life is so different than it used to be. Life is so different than I pictured it to be. The farther I get away from the day of her birth- the more I hate this feeling. I can't believe that it has been almost 3 months since she was here with me.

I love you Ella! I miss you so much!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Prayer Request

I am asking that anyone who reads this today will take the time to pray for Melissa and Amelia. Melissa is a friend that I met online and her daugter Amelia has also been diagnosed with anencephlay. Her husband Tim and son Noah also need your prayers. They are schcedeuled for a c-section tomorrow. Please pray that God will surround them with his peace and comfort them. I am also praying that they get to spend lots of time with sweet Amelia. They are an amazing family-and Amelia is an amazing little baby.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

poem

Someone shared this poem with me online. I love it. It is so sweet and so true. I thought I would share it on my blog- I know that moms with a loss will appreciate it.

My Mom is a Survivior

My mom is a survivor,
or so I've heard it said.

But I can hear her crying
when all others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night.
and go to hold her hand.

She doesn't know I'm with her
to help her understand.

But like the sands upon a beach
that never wash away...

I watch over my surviving mom
who thinks of me each day.

She wears a smile for others,
a smile of disguise.

But through Heaven's open door,
I see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mom tries to cope with my death,
to keep my memory alive.

But anyone who knows her
knows it's her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mom
through Heaven's open door...

I try to tell her that
Angels protect me forevermore.

I know that doesn't help her,
or ease the burdens she bears.

So if you get a chance, call to her
And show her that you care.

For no matter what she feels,
my surviving mom has a broken heart
that time won't ever heal.

~K. D'Ormeaux



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"There will be more"

I have been back at work 2 weeks now. I have finally been forced to deal with all of the questions that I knew I would have to face. It has been hard. It has been an emotional last week for sure. This past week I feel like I have been bombarded with the questions all at once. There have been questions from other employees who didn't know about Ella and questions from family members of patients that didn't know.
I hate feeling that I have to scan the hallway to see if someone is coming who is going to ask questions. I hate bringing my lunch everyday because I don't want to go down to the cafeteria and talk to the ladies that work there. I hate feeling like I am on the verge of tears half the time and worrying that I am going to have a meltdown in front of someone (which actually happened a few times this week). I try my best to avoid the horrible feeling that comes when people ask questions and then don't know what to say when you tell them what happened. I know that people mean well, and just don't know what to say. I try not to get angry when they say the wrong thing- I am sure that I have said the wrong thing to people before when I am struggling for words of comfort. But there is one response that really really bothers me-"there will be more." I got that one for the second time last night. Someone asked "how is the little one?" I told him that my daughter had died. He quickly smiled and said "there will be more!" I just kind of stared at him. There may be more children in my future. I hope and pray that there are someday. But, there will never be another Ella. It is not the same thing! Having more children won't change the fact that I don't have Ella with me. Why do people say this? If someone's father dies they don't try to make it better by replacing him with another man...it doesn't work that way. People aren't interchangeable or replaceable. My daughter isn't replaceable. I am not angry that people say the wrong things, it is just hard. Sorry, I just had to vent today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I am Ella's dad

I am Ella's dad.It has been over nine long weeks since my beautiful baby girl came into this world. From time to time, I get on this blog and read the beautiful things Penny has written about our daughter. I enjoy reading everything she has to say about Ella. We talk about her every single day but sometimes it is hard to even express how we are feeling to each other. I wish everyday that I could do something to make things better for Penny. I know I can not bring Ella back but it is just not fair for her not to be here with us. However, I know that this is God's plan. I know that God blessed us with Ella. I know that it was only for twenty hours but those were the most amazing hours of our lives. I know I am not nearly the blogger that Penny is but I just want to say, Ella, I love you and I miss you so so much. You will always be my little angel. You brought me so much joy and happiness in the short time you were here. I see things so much differently now since you were born and I met you. You have made me a better person. I would do anything to hold your beautiful hands again and kiss you. I remember you crying out when you were born. That was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard and I will remember it forever. I will love you forever. I can not wait to see you in Heaven. I love you Ella!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter to Ella

Ella,
It has been 9 weeks since I held you last. I can't believe that much time has passed. I miss you so much. I knew that I would miss you when you were gone-but I never imagained I could miss someone so much. Your Daddy misses you so much too. I think about you everyday-most of the day. I think about the time that I had with you while I was pregnant and the time I had with you after you were born. I also think of the time I will have with you one day in Heaven.
I miss you wiggling around in my tummy. You were so strong. You were a little fighter from the beginning. I felt the first flutter when I was only about 14 or 15 weeks pregnant with you-I wasn't sure that was you at first. But, after you started kicking me like crazy at twenty weeks, I knew that first little flutter was tiny little you. You would always about kick through my belly, then I would call your daddy to come feel and you would completely stop. He would feel for five minutes and nothing...then he would walk away and you would do it again. He said you were stubborn like me. I miss laying in the bed and you kicking your daddy in the side or the back. It would always shock him that you could kick so hard. I miss your hiccups too. You had more hiccups in 10 months than I have had in my 31 years. I loved carrying you.
When I first found out that I was pregnant, everyone would always ask me if I wanted a girl or a boy. I would always say "I don't care." But, in my heart, I really wanted you to be a girl. I never said it, because I thought I would feel bad about saying it if you turned out to be a boy. I got what I wanted. I know that your daddy wanted you to be a girl too. We both got what we wanted in you-a beautiful daughter. You have made us both so proud. You will always be our little girl.
When you were born, you changed my life forever. I knew that you were sick and that we weren't going to get to keep you here with us like we wanted to. But, holding you in my arms was the best feeling I have ever felt. There was sadness, because I didn't want you to go. But there was also peace. You made me feel complete and happy. You did the same for your daddy. I haven't felt that feeling since you left. Somedays I feel like there is a hole in my chest or an empty spot that you left. I know that no one will ever fill that spot.
I love you so much Ella! I am so blessed to be your mommy. I know that you are in heaven happy and healthy. I can't wait to see you again!

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I have a daughter

Thank you to all of you who said a prayer for me yesterday. I had a better first day at work than I thought I would. It was really slow, and all of my coworkers are great. I am glad to be a part of that team of women. I didn't run into many people yesterday, so I avoided most of the questions that I was dreading. But, there was one. I knew this question would come up at some point-but I didn't know how to respond. Another nurse and I were starting an IV on a patient when the mother asked "do ya'll have any children?" I just stumbled on my words and then shook my head "no". I wanted to say yes, but then I knew she would ask me "how old?" I felt bad about it as soon as I did it. I DO have a daughter- a beautiful daughter that I am so proud of. I have a daughter that I love and miss so much. I didn't know how to respond for two reasons. Reason number one- I don't want to cry in front of people. Reason number two- I don't want to make people feel bad for asking a simple question. But, I know that this isn't how I want to answer this question now. Ella is my daughter and I can't deny her, and I don't want to. I should have said "I have a daughter in Heaven." I thought about as soon as I had shook my head no, but it was done. The next time I am asked this, I will do what I should have done yesterday.

I love you Ella, and I am so proud to be your mom!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Back to work

Tomorrow I go back to work. I have to say that I am nervous about it for a few different reasons. For those of you who don't know me personally, I am a nurse on a pediatric floor at our hospital. We take care of children of all ages; including very young babies. I guess I never really thought about how I would feel going back to work with babies before I went out on maternity leave-I had so many other important things weighing heavy on my mind. It wasn't until a few weeks ago that it hit me that I would go back to work and take care of babies that are the age Ella should be.
I do feel like I will be going back to work with a whole new perspective on things. I feel like I have always been compassionte and had empathy for my patients and there families, but being on the other side has changed my perspective on nursing. We were so blessed to have the best nurses when I had Ella. Our time with her could have been so different if we hadn't had such a great team of nurses. I knew most of these people personally because they work on the same floor that I do. The nursery nurses that took care of Ella were the BEST. They were so kind and caring. They treated Ella as if she were their own. I appreciate it more than they will ever know. Cathy was Ella's nurse when she was born. She was also there for me when they were getting me ready for the c-section before they let Jon come in (when I was SO scared). She took such good care of Ella when she was born and all during her shift. She helped Jon bathe and lotion her up- some of our most precious memories that will last us a lifetime. Deborah was Ella's nurse the second shift. She got Ella to eat for the first time by finger feeding her. Ella enjoyed that first feeding so much. I am so thankful for that. Takesha was Ella's night nurse. She was there for us and for Ella during our darkest hours-when we lost her. She was so compassionate and caring. I know it had to be hard to be the one there to experience that with us. I love all of these ladies! I hope that I can go back and be the kind of nurse that they all are.
I am also anxious to be around people who don't know what happened. Everyone who works on my floor knows about Ella. But there are countless people in the hospital that knew that I was pregnant, but didn't know that Ella had anencephaly. I didn't tell everyone when I was pregnant because it was just way too hard. I couldn't function at work and have a breakdown everyday. So, when respiratory therapists, pharmacy techs, etc asked the usual pregnancy questions I just answered short and sweet. Now I dread the questions that I know I will have to face. I pray that they don't come that often and that I handle them okay.
So, tomorrow I guess life goes back to normal-as normal as is possible I guess. My life will never be the same as it was before Ella was born, but I have to get back to life. I have to be a productive person again. I wish that everything was so different and that I was dreading going back to work for different reasons. But, it isn't. Please say a prayer for me if you think about it tomorrow.

I love you Ella!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach Trip


Every year, for the past 4 years my husband and I go to St. Augustine Beach, Fl for summer vacation. We usually go for a week with family and we all rent a beach house together. It is usually the week of July 4th. Last year, when after we found out I was pregant-but before I knew Ella had anencephlay, I thought about our vacation. I knew my baby would only be couple of months old this summer- but I imagined taking her on a trip(I always knew she was a girl). I imagined staying inside with her or sitting on the deck with her enjoying the ocean breeze. I never imagined the trip would be so different this year .
When I left work to go on maternity leave, I didn't plan on a vacation at all this year. I knew that Ella had anencephaly-and I hoped that I would get months with her after she was born. I knew this was very rare with anencephaly. But it has happened before. As you all know, I didn't get months with Ella after birth. She lived for 20 hours, and I am so blessed to have gotten that time.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take a trip to St. Augustine just to get away. I go back to work next week, and after being off for so long- I won't be able to take any more time off this summer. So, we wanted to do it before my maternity leave is up. We booked a hotel for three nights. My cousin and her family were also in St. Augustine at the same time.
We left for the beach last thursday after Jon got off of work. I wasn't in the best mood on the way there. Then when we got to the beach, we went for a walk. The next morning, Jon and I got up and went to the beach with our dogs( they love the beach too!) That first day on vacation was so hard for me. I saw so many families with their little babies and toddlers on the beach. The little girls in their tiny little swimsuits really got to me. I just want that so bad-not just a family. I want it to be Ella with me and Jon. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like if her neural tube had closed and she were healthy, happy, and here. I struggled to even enjoy myself that first day. I still don't really know how to enjoy life and not feel like it is all so wrong.
After we had been at the beach a little while, a dragonfly flew by. This may sound crazy-but I have seen so many dragonflies since Ella died. I see them at the cemetary all of the time when I visit here grave. I have told Jon about this many times. Well, a couple of weeks ago I read a story on another blog, Too Beautiful... The story is about dragonflies. Basically, the story was used to explain death to children. Once a waterbug becomes a dragonfly it can't go back to the water to see the other waterbugs-but one day the other waterbugs will become dragonflies and see the ones who have gone before again. As one day we will see our loved ones in Heaven again. I think that all of the dragonflies are little messages to me that I will be with Ella again. I may be wrong-but I have NEVER seen a dragonfly on the beach that I remember-and Jon says the same-and he saw it too!
I did enjoy myself after the first day. I know that we have to live life. I know that it isn't fair to Jon or to myself to be sad the rest of my life-but I have to admitt that it is a battle right now. I did have a good time with my husband, and with my cousin Candy and her family. It isn't hard to laugh around that group:)
The photo I posted is of course one we took at the beach. Jon's footprints are on the left of Ella's name and mine are on the right(one got washed away). Adding our footprints was actually her Daddy's idea. I want to include her in everything I do - she will always be a part of me now and forever.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Homesick"

I have the song "Homesick" by Mercy Me in my playlist on my blog. I have heard the song before, but I guess I had never really listened to the words before. I really listened to it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I swear I felt like I could have written it myself( not literally written the song-just the message). It says everything that I feel. I have been a Christian for about 16 years. I have thought about Heaven a lot before, but now I think about it so much. Jon and I actually talked to our preacher about this when we met with him to talk about Ella's funeral service. During her funeral he brought it up and said that Heaven will be all the more sweeter now-because Ella will be waiting there for us. I know that I will see Ella again when I get to Heaven...and that is what I long for so bad. Somedays I feel like everything is just too much for me. I feel like this road has been so long since we found out that Ella had anencephlay and sometimes I don 't see a light at the end of the tunnel. Those are the times when I think of Heaven-and seeing my sweet baby again. My favorite part of the song is "in Christ, there are no goodbyes. In Christ there is no end. So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have to see you again." As the song says, "I have never been more homesick than now."

I love you Ella!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. It will be my husband's first father's day as a dad. It makes me so sad that he won't be able to spend it with Ella. I looked for a card for him today and it broke my heart to see all of the cards that I wish I could get him. There were cards to dads from daughters. There were cards to dads from moms that talked about raising kids together. There were even cards for soon to be dads. There wasn't a card that I could find that seemed right for my husband. There was no card that expressed what a great dad he was to Ella (and still is) and how much I love him for it. I posted a picture of them together. I can honestly say that this is my most favorite picture of my husband ever! It is better than any wedding picture, engagement picture or any other picture I have ever seen of him. The look on his face is priceless. The way he looked at Ella from the second she was born was something I had never seen before. He looked so proud, so happy and so in love all at the same time; and this picture captured that look. I will never forget that look. I know that tomorrow will be hard for him, and I wish that I could make it better. I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband, friend, partner and father to my daughter. And I know that Ella knows how much her Daddy loves her and is sending him kisses from Heaven!

Happy Father's Day, Jon, I love you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesdays

I hate Tuesdays. Maybe not hate, but they are the hardest. Every Tuesday that passes is a reminder that it has been another week since we lost Ella. I know they are hard for Jon too. He is at work and just sent me a text that said "I am really missing Ella today" It has been five weeks today.
Every week there are three days that roll around and remind my of how long it has been. It is like my new calendar. Every Sunday is another week since Mother's Day...the last day I was still pregnant with Ella, and the night we went to the hospital to get prepped for the c-section. I am so glad that I went past my due date and got to spend my first Mother's Day with Ella; safe inside. Every Monday is another week since Ella was born. Another week has passed since I met my precious daughter and held her in my arms for the first time. And then Tuesday comes. It has been another week since we had to say goodbye.


I know I'll see the sun shine bright
upon my baby's face....
When I finally get to heaven,
all my pain will be erased.

We'll soar the skies together,
as angels two by two.
We'll have a sweet reunion,
this mother's dream come true!
~author unknown



I love you Ella! I miss you so much!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The feeling

One thing that I have found myself thinking over and over in the last month is how weird everything "feels". I don't even know if feels is the right word for it. I just don't really know what to do with myself. Most women who had a baby a month ago are taking care of their baby all day at this point. They are probably exhausted, but enjoying their new baby and being a mom. I knew for a long time before Ella was born that this was probably something I wouldn't be doing one month after she was born That is why I don't really understand this feeling. I am trying to do things and not just stay at home and think about how sad I am, but then I don't feel right when I do them. If I go out shopping, out to lunch, etc., I feel bad. I feel like it is wrong. I feel like I am trying to act like my old self, like none of this ever happened...like I was never even a mom or Ella was never born. And it did happen; Ella was born. I became a mom. I am not the same person. But then I don't know what I am supposed to be doing. I don't have a baby at home to take care of. I don't have any other children at home to make me feel like I am a mother or keep me busy either. I know that I have to function and try to enjoy life. I know that Ella wouldn't want me to be sad all of the time, but I don't know how to make this feeling different or make everything feel right.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One month ago

One month ago today, I was holding my precious baby girl in my arms. I wish I could hold her again so bad!
One month ago today, I saw my husband become a dad and fell so in love with him again!
One month ago today, my mom and Jon's parents became grandma, ginny, and grandaddy to their first grandaughter.
One month ago today, my sister and Jon's sister became an aunt.
One month ago today, I kissed the sweetest face I have ever seen.
One month ago today, I smelled the sweetest smell I have ever smelled.
One month ago today, I touched the softest skin I have ever felt.
One month ago today, I held the most perfect little fingers in my hand.
One month ago today, God gave us 20 hours with an angel.
One month ago today, Ella changed my life forever.

I love you Ella!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Everything makes me think of Ella!

It is so strange how everything I think of relates to Ella. I can being doing something so random, and it somehow connects to Ella. This evening, my husband and I went to eat at a Japanese restaurant in town that we eat at often. As I was waiting to order, I was thinking the last time we ate here, Ella was with us. Before I was pregnant, I would order tuna. Then when I found out I was pregnant, I couldn't order tuna anymore. I didn't want to order tuna today, and the thought that I could have it if I wanted it just made me sad. That sounds so crazy, but I find myself always thinking stuff like this. I came home and got my shower, put my pajama's on and the first thing I thought was, I haven't worn this since Ella was born. These are old p.j's that I wore many times before I was pregnant-but now they make me think back to being pregnant with Ella. I got in the car yesterday and drove to town. It was the first time I have driven since my c-section. I was thinking, it is weird driving without my big belly in the way-and wishing that Ella was in the back in her carseat. And the list goes on and on...everything relates to Ella.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

So, today is Memorial Day. Today Ella would also be three weeks old if she were still here with us. I can't believe it has been 3 weeks. It is so strange, sometimes I think about her birthday and it feels like moments ago. Other times, that day seems like forever ago. I was just looking through her pictures and remembering that day. I am so scared that I will forget things or details as time goes on-and I NEVER want to forget. I want to always remember her perfect big hands and feet. I always want to remember the sweetest softest skin ever. I love remembering her precious big lips. I know I have talked about her lips over and over, but I love them so much! I remember Joel (my brother-in-law) saying her lips looked like Agelina Jolie's when he first saw her in the hospital. I will always remember those long legs and chubby little thighs. I will always remember the sweetest sound she made after her first feeding, and when she squeezed my finger with her little hand after that feeding. I will always remember her first wet diaper that her Daddy asked to change (and how he didn't know what to do). We changed it together. I will always remember the fine brown hair around the back of her head and her cute little sideburns (she got those from me). I guess I shouldn't worry about forgetting the details...forgetting Ella will never happen.
I am going to my cousins this afternoon. We are going to have a bbq for Memeorial Day. I wish that Ella was here and she was going with us today more than anything, but she will be there in our memories and in our hearts!

Remembrance is a golden chain
Death tries to break,
But all in vain.
To have, to love, and then to part
Is the greatest sorrow of ones's heart.
The years may wipe out many things
But some they wipe out never.
Like memories of those happy times
When we were all together.
~author unknown

I love You Ella, I miss you so much!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I am thankful for

Going through all that I have experienced in this past year has made me realize how precious life is and how many things I have to be thankful for. It is really easy for me to get caught up in how much pain I have had to deal with, and how much I have lost. I am trying to think positive, and I want to list all of the things that I am thankful for.

1. I am so thankful that God chose me to be Ella's mom. Even though this has been so hard, I wouldn't go back and undo it if I could. I am so glad that I was the one who got to carry her and hold her. She changed me forever, and I am so proud to be her mommy.

2. I am so thankful that we got 20 hours with her after she was born. I wish that we had a lifetime with her, but I am thankful for the time that we got. There are so many parents of babies with anencephaly that haven't gotten any time with their angels. I thank God for the most precious 20 hours of my life.

3. I am so thankful that I have the best husband in the world. I can't imagine my life without him. He has been so supportive and has been my rock. He is my best friend. He is also the best Daddy ever.

4. I am so thankful for my wonderful family. I have the most supportive mom and sister ever. They have always been there for me. I don't know what I would do without them. They mean the world to me. I also have a great extended family who I love and appreciate so much. I feel like I should list them too (Joel, Joel Michael, Mrs. Nancy, Mr. Buddy, Candy (my cousin who is like another sister to me), Jeff, Parker, Payton, Michelle, Bryan, Tyler, and Travis). I love all of them, and appreciate everything they have done.

5. I am thankful for everyone who was involved in Ella's delivery and our time at the hospital. They helped us make the most of our time with her at the hospital. I am so thankful for Ella's doctor, who is the best and stayed at the hospital the day she was born. I am thankful for my doctor, who helped me make the decision to have a c-section, which I know gave me more time with her. And I am thankful that my doctors never tried to convince me to terminate my pregnancy. I am thankful for the wonderful nurses that took care of Ella and of me.

6. I am thankful for our church family. They have been so supportive and so many people have been praying for us.

7. I am thankful for the great people Jon and I work with. I am greatful that Jon has been able to stay home with me the last couple of weeks because of them.

8. I am thankful for my furbabies (Max, Millie, and Lucky-my 2 dogs and my cat). They love to kiss me and snuggle. They make me laugh when I am sad. (Well, the dogs do...the cat still ignores me as usual).

There are so many other things and people that I am thankful for but I will end there for now.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another week has gone by

Another week has gone by since my angel was born. This week has been a long one. It seems like pregnant women are always talking about how they feel like time goes so slow when they are pregant. How they feel like their due date will never come. I remember feeling like that right after we got the diagnosis of anencephaly at 17 weeks. I didn't know how I would make through the next 5 to six months being pregnant and knowing that my baby would die. I was ready for it to be over. But that feeling only lasted a couple of weeks. Then, Ella started moving all around...and I could feel her. It was the most awesome feeling and everything changed. I loved carrying her and feeling like she was happy in my womb. That is when I started wishing I could just stay pregnant, and keep her with me. After I wanted it to slow down, time started to fly. I still can't believe it is all over. I can't beleive that I have already had Ella, and she has already gone to Heaven. Sometimes it feels like the last couple of weeks have been a dream. Now, time is creeping by again. But I know that it isn't really over. I know that I am still Ella's mommy and I will see her again some day.
On a very good note, my husband was baptized yesterday. He has been a Christian for a little over a year, but had never been baptized or joined the church. Going through all of this with Ella has brought us closer together, and closer to God. So, he decided to join the church and get baptized. I know that Ella had something to do with this...and that she is so proud of her Daddy!

I love you and miss you Ella!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God is still using Ella

Ella has touched so many lives since she was born. Sometimes I have a hard time believing how many people she touched. I had a message from a lady at our church yesterday. She had heard about us and about Ella. She wanted me to call her back. I called her back earlier tonight. Our church is pretty big, and I don't know a lot of people there. This nice lady (Melanie), said that she and her husband(Stewart) had been praying for us. She said that they would like to make a donation to the Gideon's in memory of Ella. I told her I thought it was the most perfect thing I could think of. Bibles will be passed out that were purchased in memory of Ella. How great if someone became a Christian because of a bible that was passed out in Ella's memory.

Thank you Melanie and Stewart!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Having a bad day

I don't want to make Ella's blog sad and depressing. But, today that is how I feel. The preacher told us it is okay to mourn and that even Jesus mourned and felt grief. He said that at Ella's funeral. He said the shortest verse in the bible reads "Jesus wept."
I knew that dealing with losing her would be hard. But, I thought that knowing that we were going to have to let her go for 6 months would make it easier...I guess that we would be prepared. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don't think you can prepare for this.
I would be lying if I said I was at peace with everything during most of my pregnancy. I enjoyed being pregnant with Ella, but I struggled with everything a lot. I felt angry a lot. I don't feel anger anymore. I just feel sad. When Ella was born, the anger went away. I know that God has a plan and that does give me peace. But I still miss her really bad. I will never understand why this had to happen. I guess I am not supposed to understand. Sometimes, I can't help but sit around thinking of how I wish things were. I wish I was so tired from being up all night with her. I wish Jon and I were arguing over who's turn it was to change a dirty diaper. I wish I could dress her up in the closet full of cute clothes that she has. I wish I could smell that sweet baby smell again. I wish she could sleep in her bassinette. I can't help but wish these things.
Anyway, I promise that my posts won't be sad every time. I just feel sad today.

I love you Ella!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I miss you, Ella

I miss her SO much. I have my ups and downs. I have moments to hours when I feel okay. I know that this is God's comfort. Then I have hours when I feel really sad. But, there is one feeling that is always there. I always miss her. It is always the worst when I first wake up in the morning. I always feel empty, like there is a hole in my chest. I miss waking up to her hiccups or wiggling all around after I drank orange juice. I miss my big belly too. We just sat outside and Jon hit the ball to our dog, Millie, like we have done so much in the past few months. We talked about how we missed her being there with us. She was never at home outside of my body...but she was still here with us. We didn't just get 20 hours with her. We got 40 weeks and four days with her.

I just miss her.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A week ago

Our lives were changed forever one week ago. It all started Sunday at midnight. My husband, Jon, and I went in to the hospital to be admitted for a c-section that was scheduled for Monday morning. The last six months had been so stressful and filled with anxiety. I had thought about how I would feel when the time came so many times. I thought I would be so overwhelmed with fear and anxiety that I wouldn't be able to function, but I had prayed that God would give me peace. I was oddly calm as I got admitted and prepped for surgery. We had a night full of IV's, cathether placement, admission questions,etc. It almost bothered me that I wasn't more nervous at the time, beacause it was so unexpected. My husband, on the other hand, said that his legs were shaking the entire time they were prepping me. He is usually really calm. Neither of us slept much that night. I lay in bed thinking that it would be my last night with Ella inside my tummy. That made me really sad.
Our family came to our room about 6:30 on Monday morning to see us before we left for surgery. At around 7:30, the nurses came to take me to labor and delivery. That is when it hit me. I couldn't stop crying as they rolled my bed down the hall. I was so scared that these were my last few minutes with Ella. I was so scared I wouldn't ever hold her alive.
The ceserean was a blurr. I was so overwhelmed and scared that I just remember bits and pieces. At 8:11a.m. on May 10th, 2010, Ella was born. She came out with a strong cry-it was the most amazing sound ever. I remember thinking that maybe the doctors had been wrong. I had prayed that she would be born healthy and be a miracle...but I had also prayed that God's will be done. The crying stopped and we didn't hear or see anything for minutes. It was so quiet and scarey. I kept asking Jon if he could see her?, did she have it?, was she ok? He kept saying he couldn't see anything. Then, after what seemed like forever, her doctor brought her to us. She was anencephalic, but she was so beautiful. We held her while they finished sewing me up. I still feel guilty about those first few minutes. It was such a blurr that I don't feel like I loved on her enough when they brought her to me...I feel like I was out of it. I don't remember everything that happened in those first minutes and I don't know why. I wish I could do that part again. I would kiss her and tell her over and over how much I loved her.
After I was finished with surgery, they pushed us to another L&D room and allowed our family to come meet her. We had the best doctors and nurses we could ask for. I had told her pediatrician we didn't want her to go to the nursery. We didn't know how much time we would have with her, and we didn't want to miss a minute. So, the nursery nurse was in our room with us. Her two grandmothers, her grandadddy, and her two aunts were there to meet her. Her cousin, Candy, came in shortly after. Everyone loved on her and held her. I remember this part. She was So beautifiul. She had the softest skin I have ever felt. She had the most beautiful pouty lips that begged to be kissed. I love those sweet lips. Everyone said she looked like me (my lips and nose). I have never been prouder. But she had her Daddy's big feet. She weighed 5lbs 9.4 oz and was 19 inches long. She had long legs. Her doctor said she was 3 lbs of legs. After we all held her and studied her, the nurse warmed her up. Then her Daddy helped bathe her and lotion her up. I have never been so in love with my husband as I am after watching him with Ella. He was the best dad ever. After her bath, he proudly brought her and showed her to me. She looked so happy and peaceful. She was so pink. Her nurse dressed her up in the clothes and hat that we brought for her. Then they wrapped her in her soft pink blanket and gave her back to me. They rolled me back to post partum with Ella in my arms. I remember rolling down that same hallway that I had been terrified in an hour or so earlier and feeling so much peace and happiness because she was in my arms.
After a few minutes in our room, everything changed. Ella started having a hard time breathing and started getting blue. We put blowby oxygen up to her face. We weren't ready to say goodbye yet. Her doctor went and got our family and told them it was time. Everyone came in crying. I held her in my arms and cried and prayed. This was the hardest part of all. She struggled for about two hours. I couldn't stand seeing her like that. I even remember praying that if it was her time to go, for God to take her. I also prayed that she would know how much we all loved her. It wasn't her time to go. After about two hours, Ella just got better. She was pink and warm again. I know that this was our miracle. Everyone realized how precious each minute was with her. We spent the rest of the day kissing her and cuddling her. She even got to eat 3 times that day. She had a cleft palate. She couldn't suck a bottle. The nurse finger fed her with a syringe while she sucked on her finger. She enjoyed that feeding so much. She even laughed and made the sweetest sounds after she ate.
Our family stayed until around 10:30 that night. Then Jon and I had alone time with Ella. I loved this time. I thought about what it would be like if we got to take her home. I was still hopeful that we may get to take her home. She seemed to be doing so much better. We were going to take turns staying up with her that night, but we had both been up going on 48 hours on top of me going through a major surgery. Not to mention the emotional rollerscoaster we had been on. I told Jon to sleep first and I would stay up with her. After about an hour I started to nod off. I didn't want anything to happen if I dropped her oxygen or something...and we refused to put her in the bassinette. So, my mom came up to hold her for an hour or so. I tried to sleep, but I was so worried about her. I did sleep for a few minutes. Then the nurse came to feed her again. I held her. She cried again like when she was born, and then she stopped breathing again. This time, it only lasted a few minutes and she was gone. It was so unexpected. I thought she was doing so good, even though I knew it was going to happen eventually. I wish I had known. I would have held and cuddled her that last hour. This is the other thing I still feel so guilty about. We got a total of twenty hours with her. I am so thankful for the hours that we got. They were the hardest, but most amazing hours of our lives. I would give anything to go back in time and relive those hours again. I would give anything to hold her again.
It is hard to believe that all of this has happened in the last week. We had a funeral for her on Thursday. It was the perfect service for her. I feel like all I can do now is think about my Ella. Looking at her pictures and remembering her gives me such joy. I thank God for my little angel. She touched so many hearts in her short time here. That is why her name is so fitting. She was surely "a bright light."