Wednesday, May 22, 2013
It is a miracle that babies are born healthy everyday.

Those were the words of our OB when we went in for our very first OB appointment at 8 weeks. Long before our world was rocked at our 12 week appointment, my OB left us with those words after seeing little Addy's heart beating for the very first time. While only the size of a bean, she was perfect...she was a miracle.

I love my hubby, we have good jobs, and a home.
I was healthy and was diligent about taking my prenatal vitamin every morning.
I avoided lunch meat, hotdogs, and my beloved diet coke.
I turned down the water temperature when I showered and avoided taking baths.
I did everything every book ever said to do when pregnant.
She was planned for, she was prepared for, and she was wanted.
Why would I expect anything but to have a healthy baby?

It truly is a miracle that babies are born healthy everyday.

We have not one but two sets of very dear friends who have recently experienced miscarriages. While our stories are different, my heart aches for them and the pain that life has handed them. Why is it that you can do everything right yet everything can go so wrong?

Momma's Day

Monday, May 13, 2013

My first Momma's Day came and went. 
To explain how my heart felt would be impossible.

But, I was not forgotten. 
I was touched by the number of messages that I received.

And, I was blessed to spend the day with my momma.
Her love never fades. She is a pretty special lady and I am so thankful for her.

Happy Mother's Day to my momma...I love her dearly.

Back to Work...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I work with very compassionate people but going back weighed heavy on my heart. 
Being home for the past 7 weeks, I have been able to hide. I can look at Addy's pictures when I need to,  I can cuddle with her luvie when I need to,  I can cry when I need to, I can scream when I need to...I can simply grieve on my own terms. 

Going back to work means that life keeps going. 
Reintegrating is inevitable, but it was a difficult reality for me to face. 
Life just goes on, whether I am ready or not. 

I allowed myself the month of April to simply exist, but the time has come to reintegrate and face life again. My heart still aches and my spirit still hurts, but it will forever more because my Addy will always be missing. 

Tuesday was my first day back at work and the hardest part was walking through the door. During my pregnancy, my drive to and from work was my time with Addy. We were alone and I would tell her whatever was on my heart. Yesterday, I was all alone on my drive and as I walked into the hospital, I could feel the lump in my throat and the pounding of my anxious heart. I opened the door to our office and saw my co-workers. I cried, life just simply goes on. They hugged me, held me, and welcomed me. It is such a blessing to work with people who truly care.

And, as if being surrounded by really great co-workers was not enough to lift my spirit, these pretty little Toms and a couple other gifts and cards were waiting for me. How could you not smile at such a bright and cheery sight?

I made it through the door and with the support of my co-workers, 
I made it through my first day back. 
I feel accomplished, go me! 


Keeping It Real...

Friday, May 3, 2013
Sometimes you just have to keep it real...

I try to stay positive and reflect on the blessings of our journey...my hubs, the love and support from our family and friends, our wonderful OB and the delivery nurses, Alexandra's House, our time with Addy, that Emily was able to delay her start date at her new job to be home with me during the month of April, and the list could go on. I remind myself, like the grief books say, that I am going to be ok. I truly am grateful but sometimes life is just difficult and the pain in my weary heart burns just a little bit more.

My tears and I made it through my postpartum appointment on Wednesday but it has hard. The office is full of pamplets and posters with "Tips For Making Breastfeeding Easier" and "Ways to Bond With Your Baby." There are pregnant momma's glowing as they wait for their appointments and new momma's lugging in car seats filled with a bundle of joy adorning the waiting room. And then there is me. Why me? Why couldn't Addy's prognosis be different.

Feeling accomplished that I survived the appointment, my spirit was dampened after going to the mailbox when I returned home. I was greeted by a bill from the hospital for several thousand dollars with a note attached stating that my insurance denied our claims and we would need to pay out of pocket. In all our planning, I was very meticulous about verifying our coverage every step of the way so I called the insurance company for clarification. After explaining the bill, I realized that the hospital billed the insurance company on behalf of "Addalyn Lane Voigt." It never dawned on me to add Addy to our insurance policy but Addy had a few x-rays and a skeletal survey after she was born so the hospital submitted the claim to the insurance company. This momma just wants to know why our precious Addy had such a sad prognosis, not because it would make the hurt less but because without knowing why, we don't know that we would ever get pregnant again. Walking Addy's journey was hard but we went at it blind, not truly ever knowing what was ahead for the love of our daughter. Walking the road a second time knowing what was ahead seems impossible. Thus, at the recommendation of the genetics team, we did a couple of noninvasive tests after her birth in hopes to get answers (that is a post for another time). The insurance company said it would be fairly easy to add Addy to our coverage and cover the claims until they realized that she was born over 30 days ago. I had no idea I needed to add her to our plan and certainly didn't know that it had to be within 30 days of her birth. The rep from the insurance company was very nice and tried to console my tears. A few more phone calls requiring me to explain Addy's journey to a few more people and I was assured that the insurance company would follow up with the hospital to reexamine the claims.

As if that conversation was not enough, Thursday brought more. My manager has been so wonderful over the course of the past 9 months, allowing me to take the time I needed away from work. She is being very flexible with my return to work as a pediatric nurse which has been such a blessing. I guess that technically my return to work date per my short term disability company was Monday. They approved me for taking 6 weeks so that I could physically heal from the delivery. I assumed that I could take 6 additional weeks of leave (although I was not planning to stay home for another 6 weeks) under FMLA. After a call to the company, I learned that my time off coverage ended on Monday. When I inquired why my coworkers were covered to stay home for 12 weeks after having their babies, I learned that like me they were given 6 weeks to physically recover and the second 6 weeks were given to them to "have time to bond with their babies." Since I "don't have a medical need to stay home or a baby at home to bond with, I should have returned to work after 6 weeks." The hole in my heart got a little deeper as he continued to explain the policy. The rep gave me a few other options and again with a few more phone calls each requiring me to tell Addy's journey, in the end it will be fine. Nonetheless, I certainly think that a broken heart from the passing of my beloved daughter should constitute a medical need to extend my leave. Thankfully my manager understands that 6 weeks was just not enough time for me and has allowed me to do what is best for me in terms of my return to work date.

Having a very heavy heart from the unexpected things I have had to deal with this week, I went to the mailbox today and found this...

My dear friend Casie, who has been my "phone a friend" lifeline over the past 6 weeks had told me it would come in the mail one day. Casie welcomed her precious son a few weeks before Addy so she has been my postpartum guide. I am so grateful for such a supportive friend, she read my very first pregnancy test for me and since she has faithfully followed our journey. Despite Casie telling me that Addy's social security card would come in the mail, getting this little piece of paper stung. The line on the top states, "Do not sign until 18 or your first job, whichever comes first." That line brought me to tears. 
My Addy's card will never get signed. 

It has been a hard week with unexpected things that have had to be dealt with. 
In due time, I know these bumps in the road will pass but right now, life seems like a mountain and I have very little strength to climb.

Postpartum Appointment

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Today was my 6 week postpartum appointment. 
I will give you one guess of what happened while I was there...

Waiting in the waiting room...I cried
The nurse gave me a hug and told me how sad she was for me...I cried
My OB walked into the room...I cried

I cried through the whole appointment. 
I cried through the whole appointment, but I made it, tears and all.

I cannot say enough good things about my OB, it was comforting to see her again. 
In the weeks prior to Addy's birth, Nate and I had very hard conversations with her. She walked us through so many situations to help us make the most educated decisions given our situation. She helped us carefully make a birth plan and although she wasn't there for the delivery, we knew our desires. There were no impulsive decisions. We knew the plan and the delivering OB knew our plan because we had spent weeks talking through everything with our OB. 
While we wish the prognosis would have been different for our Addy,
 we are so grateful that we are without regrets regarding all the decisions we had to make. 

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