Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today is Tuesday.
Another week has passed. 
My Addy would be 6 weeks old today. 

 To the moon and back my precious Addalyn. 

Nights are so hard...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Addy would be 5 weeks old today.
Will there come a time when a Tuesday passes without me waking up thinking about how many weeks have lapsed since I saw Addy's face, since I kissed her precious little lips, or since I held her tight and told her that I love her? 

Will my heart heal without ever being whole again?

I lay in bed at night and feel a burn in my chest.
My Addy was a night owl and when I was pregnant, Nate would wrap his arms around me and hold tight to my tummy. When he would feel her wiggle, he would ask if I could feel her too. I felt her every move. 

Now I lay in bed at night...after having tried to wear myself out throughout the day...and instead of feeling Addy, I feel a burn in my chest. 
It's the ache of my broken heart.

Due Date:

Thursday, April 18, 2013
...April 18, 2013...
Today is Addalyn Lane's official due date.

I didn't anticipate that Addy would be born today. 
Even without her prognosis, the likelihood that she would be born on her exact due date is pretty rare. Nonetheless, it is a date that is engrained within me. I have had today circled on my calendar since August with "40 Weeks!" written in.

Anticipating that today would be a difficult day, we opted to celebrate.

To the moon and back my precious Addy.

Making It...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Today marks 4 weeks from the day we met and lost our precious Addalyn.
It does not seem possible that 4 weeks have passed. When I close my eyes, I am right back in the hospital bed holding my precious Addy and taking in her sweet smell. 
I miss her so dearly.

Together, we are making it. 
Nate took two weeks off before returning to work but I am still on "maternity leave." I am not sure how long I will stay home, my focus is on one day at a time. My calendar for the most part is empty. During my pregnancy, my calendar was almost overwhelming with the all the doctors appointments and ultrasounds, rarely did we have a week without an appointment. But there are no more appointments, no more plans to be made, or discussions to be had.  I am trying to hold it all together, to reintegrate back into life, and to try to figure out my new normalIt was just me for 27 years, for 8 months I was a pregnant momma, for 1 day I was physically a momma, and for the past four weeks and will forever more be a grieving momma. 


 Together we attended a session with a grief counselor and on Saturday we went to a support group at Alexandra's House. How did I get to a point in my life that I needed to attend a support group? It is comforting to meet families who are walking this road with us, to hear their stories, and to be reminded that we are not alone in our grief. I want so desperately to go to these meetings and for them to wave their magic wand and take away the pain, the hurt, and the longing. Time, that is what they always say...time heals all wounds.


Today, I would have been 39 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Oh how I miss being pregnant. Sure there were the backaches, the heartburn, the need to pee every few minutes, the swollen feet, and the hot flashes but when you are pregnant with an unknown outcome and may never be pregnant again, I found that I had a whole new appreciation for those discomforts. There was life within me and while Addy was in my womb, she was safe. I miss my baby belly, feeling the little wiggles, and the kicks in my right rib. Thankfully, my post pregnancy body is physically beginning to return to it's normal state.


As time passes, we desire for our daughter to be remembered. We want to talk about our pregnancy, our labor, and our precious Addalyn. I know people are afraid to ask out of fear that it will make us sad or because they simply have no idea what to say (truly, we have no idea what to say to ourselves) but it also makes me sad when the topic is avoided. Sure you will have to embrace the tears but I want to share her story, to talk about her, and to remember.


Sunday, April 14, 2013
Everyone has a story. 
Some are stories of trials, some of triumph.  

4 years ago while shadowing a nurse, he told me his heartbreaking story. 
It is a story I have never forgotten. 
He told me how he and his wife had unexpectedly lost their daughter during her delivery. I was so touched to hear him share.

 I remember asking, "was she your first born?" 
Without hesitation he responded, "she is my first born." 

I never forgot his words. 
Oh, how they resonate with me now.

 Addy is my firstborn child.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Nate and I met with a grief counselor for the first time on Monday night. She reassured us that all of the thoughts and feelings that we are experiencing are normal. I don't feel like anything is normal right now but it was comforting to hear. She also talked to us about how we are going to have to begin to prepare for our "triggers." She explained that certain places/smells/conversations/sights would trigger feelings for us and we need to begin to prepare for those situations so that we can have a plan of how we will react.  I nodded as she explained the triggers but didn't really know what she was talking about until I went to the dentist yesterday. 

It was my six month cleaning and I didn't think a thing about going until I was sitting in the waiting room. It dawned on me that I didn't have x-rays the last time I was there because I was pregnant. Suddenly, I remembered when I walked out of my appointment in September the hygienist said, "you will be looking quite a bit different the next time I see you." I began to panic as I realized the hygienist was going to ask about my pregnancy. My palms started to sweat and my heart began to race and I tried to figure out how I was not going to burst into tears. The hygienist called my name and I walked into the exam room while she read over my chart. The first thing she said..."looks like last time we didn't take x-rays because you were pregnant, how far along..." She looked at me and stopped. Clearly I am not almost 39 weeks pregnant like she was anticipating. Tears welled up in my eyes. "Miscarriage?" she asked. I bawled as I explained that Addy was born three weeks ago but that she passed away. She offered me a kleenex while apologizing for making me cry. 

I didn't anticipate that going to the dentist would result in a meltdown. 
Triggers...guess I am going to have to work on those.


Sunday, April 7, 2013
My heart is broken and my spirit is weary but amidst my mourning, 
 I will be forever grateful...

...for my husband who was so engaged and dedicated to our pregnancy and our daughter. I can count on one hand the number of appointments that he missed and that is impressive since we probably had close to 30 appointments. Together, we tried to make the most of our pregnancy, vowed to ensure our daughter felt loved, had awkward and difficult conversations to make sure all plans were in place, and made decisions regardless of the effect that it would have on us to do what was best for our daughter. He rubbed my belly, loved to feel his daughter wiggle, held me tight when the weight of the world was too much, held my hand as his daughter made her entrance and exit from this world, and embraces my tears as together we mourn. One of my favorite memories from the day Addalyn was born was looking over and seeing Nate comfortably holding his daughter with tears running down his cheeks as he read to her one of our most favorite books. It was a real moment and it was so very precious. He is an amazing daddy.

...that we got to meet our daughter. There were so many unknowns throughout our journey. The risk of miscarriage was high and we were presented with the option of termination so many times but we got to meet our precious Addy. While her time with us was short, she opened her eyes and saw us, held tight to Nate's finger, and Nate put his hand over her little heart just so he could feel it beating. Her time with us was so peaceful and regardless of how difficult our journey was, I would do it all over for that precious time with our very precious daughter. 

...that our night nurse was so engaged during our labor. It was the little things that she did that truly touched me. She brought more chairs into the room for our family, advocated for my comfort, held my hand when I got overwhelmed, stayed past her shift to meet Addalyn, brought in a water basin so that we could bathe her, and then prior to leaving she came into our room to tell us how special Addalyn was and offer her condolences. She acknowledged our loss but also acknowledged Addy's life. What an impact she had.

...that both our families were with us at the hospital. It was so important to us that they were there not only so that they could meet Addy but so that Addy could meet them. I know it was difficult to be present but they were, tried and true. There were very few words said but the love in the room was palpable and I don't think there was a dry eye. It too was a real moment. They may never understand the depth of how touched Nate and I were that they came to meet Addy and to support us during our most difficult time. 

...that we have hundreds of pictures of Addalyn. Between the photos taken by the infant loss nurse and the photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, we have so many moments of Addy's time with us captured. I can't tell you how many times I have looked through the pictures to relive that day. 

...that when this grieving momma went to her mom and dad's house for Easter this past Sunday, there proudly displayed next to my nieces picture was a beautiful picture of Addalyn. Addy's Nana loves her so deeply that she wasted no time hanging her picture. All who visit my parent's house will see Addalyn's precious face, will be reminded of her life, and will honor her memory...that does a heartbroken momma's heart good.

If I Could Turn Back Time...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
2 weeks ago...

I think there is a misconception that if you know death is imminent that it will be easier to face. I can only speak for my situation, but this simply is not true. Knowing that our daughter's life expectancy was limited didn't make saying goodbye to her any easier. It has been harder than I could have ever planned for. Nothing could have ever prepared my heart to the full extent for what I would face. The pain, sadness, heartache, emptiness, and devastation are real. My emotions waver and when I least expect it, I find myself in tears. My body feels foreign and my post-pregnancy hormones are in full force.

I keep telling Nate that I just want to feel normal but truth be told, I have no idea what "normal" is for me anymore. My life will never be the same. 

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