This blog is about love despite a prenatal diagnosis, grief & healing after baby loss, hope, faith, pregnancy after loss and Hydrops Fetalis awareness.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Celebrating Lily year 1

A year ago, I could not have imagined what where we are now would be.  How does a parent remember and celebrate a child that lives in Heaven?  Do we have to reduce this day to silence because no one is there to blow out the candle?  This day is about the day that I pushed her out, that I met her little lifeless body, that I held my baby, my gift from God, with pride and joy.  She is not less important because, on this Earth she only lived in my womb.  This is her day and we will celebrate the short life, the life that was hers, that she was given by her Maker.

Navigating through this journey of grief during the last 12 months, I found  that creativity through the art of photography was healing for me.  The beauty and magnificence of nature also brings me much comfort, especially sunsets or even the blue sky in general.  It blows my mind that God's creation can bring comfort to the brokenhearted! 

So, I asked friends and other bereaved mothers if they could take a picture of the sunrise/sunset or simply the sky seen from where they live and send it to me in remembrance of Lily.  The love & support  I received was priceless!

baked and decorated a cake just like I always do for my children on their birthday. My mom used to do this also, I loved the details of the icing!  I kept it simple this time because of the low energy I had both physically and emotionally.

We also invited my children's grand-parents for a meal and some birthday cake.

"Lord, I will give thanks to you with all my heart. 
I will tell about all the wonderful things you have done."

Psalm 9:1

I am glad we could pause and make this day special because it truly was a unique day in 2012! My children also liked how we chose to remember and celebrate the memory of their baby sister.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

April 7 & 8, 2012

I know I already wrote about that morning when the nurse couldn't find may baby's heartbeat anymore...

Having to labor and give birth to a sleeping baby is mentally and emotionally really difficult.  I didn't know if my baby was a girl or a boy, I had no idea "who" I had been carrying for those 24 weeks and 3 days, I knew I needed to anticipate this to be able to go through it.  I wanted to avoid pain medications to give my body the best chance to react "normally".  I was well aware though that pains meds could be needed because I was induced, not because the pain would be necessarily unbearable, but maybe my body would not cooperate, my baby could not help and she had very severe edema that didn't do the job a hard healthy skull would do on my cervix .

I had a labor of about 11 hours.  My sister was there and was so brave taking all the precious pictures she took.

I had planned to cut the umbilical cord myself.  I am grateful I was able to do that.  I was so proud when I finally held my baby's little lifeless body.  It was confusing because I had the same feelings of happiness and pride holding her for the first time as I did with my other living babies but at the same time, deep deep sorrow knowing she was not here, she would never be, she was gone. I imagined that labor was going to be the hardest part of it all, but I was wrong.  Letting go of her little body was the most painful thing I had to do in my whole life.  I still can feel Lily in my arms to this day.

God protected me during this delivery, just like He did for all the other ones, where anything could have happened.

Today, being a Sunday, we had some family over for lunch because of Lily.  I had made a simple cake to honor her short and precious life. 

I also wrote a reference from the Scriptures:
 "I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart:  I will tell about all the miracles you have done."

Every baby is a miracle even if they live a short life.  It is only normal to celebrate and remember.  For me, not doing so, would be like saying she was not as precious and valued.  I am the mother God chose to carry Lily, mothers carry their children all their lives.

The sky was grey all day but at the end of the day it turned out to be beautiful...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

April 6, 2012

Today was a long day last year...  I had basically no day light, the young mother sharing the room with me was there first, and of course, she was on the good side of the curtain!  I have no idea what the weather was that day, all I saw was a curtain and two walls!   I could have tried to pull on the curtain a little bit more but I did not want to make her more moody than she already was.  To a certain point, I could understand, she probably was as miserable as I was, stuck in the hospital...

Miserable I was...  It is so boring and depressing to be in the hospital, no TV, no computer, no books (I had not foreseen staying there without giving birth!)  I was able to call some people or some people called me, I can't recall...  I know I spoke to my sister.  She told me she was considering coming for a visit.  I was not sure it was worth it for her to do the trip, nothing was really going on, my baby had a normal heartbeat and I had stopped bleeding.

My husband finally brought my 2 year old over in the afternoon, that made my day and I felt so much better that he could see for himself where his mother was.

I did ask a nurse for another room during that day and she told me it was impossible.  I didn't give up, after shift change, I whispered to another, very compassionate nurse, if I could have a different "roommate".  Sure enough, not even half an hour after, she not only had found another room, she had found the sweetest roommate ever!  Her name was Elise... How I would like to get in touch with her and get to meet her twins!  If only I could remember her last name!  That evening we got to chat a bit and she had a DVD player/screen on which we watched a movie, all that was missing was popcorn!

During that evening, Lily's heart was still beating...  Later that night, the nurse asked me if I wanted to be monitored or preferred to wait till morning.  I chose to wait.  I think it was for the best, I don't know if Lily's heart was still beating at that point, I will never know here...  I had a really good night of sleep, which little did I know, was going to be much needed for what was about to come.

Today, when I woke up, one of the first things I did was to open each and every curtain in my house!  It was a beautiful sunny morning!  The sky was clear and blue all day!

Looking through my dirty window this morning, I was grateful to be home, and now the day is over, I can't help but be grateful Lily is Home too, even if I miss her...

Friday, April 05, 2013

On the 5th of April, 2012

On the 5th of April, a year ago, it was a Thursday, my children were off from school and I woke up with plans of taking family pictures.  We were told our baby could die at anytime and I had been inspired to take belly and family pictures by a friend who's baby was also declared fatally ill.  I thought if I was going to lose my baby, I would have made the most memories I possibly could and if my baby was to heal and live, what a nice way to record our journey...

Pictures we planned, pictures we took!  I cherish those pictures now, proof that I did carry Lily, she was here.

Then, during the same afternoon, I started bleeding heavily, my placenta was detaching.  I made my way to the maternity ward where they observed me but where we waited a long time before I was admitted. Her heartbeat was normal. But yet again, I was told I should consider terminating the pregnancy.  This is when I asked if a mother pregnant with a healthy baby would be given the same option.  The answer was quick and clear that no, no, no, she would simply be put on bed rest and monitored.  I made it clear once again that this is how I wanted to be treated, along with my baby, like I was carrying a healthy baby and that as long as my life was not in danger, I would not do anything to end my baby's life.
I had some mild contractions and was wondering if I would labor soon.  But I didn't.  The bleeding had reduced from being in bed.  I remember praying for my baby that night and then thinking she probably was very stubborn and would not give up...

I was so scared about the idea of staying in the hospital for a long time. The young mother with whom I had to share the room, hated the fact she had to share. Her boyfriend was sleeping over every night and was working in the morning. At nine, were told to "shoosh", he had to sleep!  On top of it, they both had a nasty cold and coughed all night.

But what made it unbearable was the fact that I was without my children, without my husband, with the horrible food and the uncomfortable bed.  My two year old was without his mommy, I was still nursing him, I was not able to be with him I knew this was hard on him and felt guilty.  I also felt guilty because deep down, I had a feeling my baby would not survive.  I was starting to wonder if it was worth it, to put my whole family in this unstable situation, and still loosing my baby in the end.  That night, the Lord spoke to my heart and I decided it was worth it.  I told the Lord I would do everything I had to do to carry this baby for as long as her heart would beat.  I decided I would trust that everything would fall in place, God would provide the help needed with life back home.  I had a special peace of mind that night, God would take care of everything, my baby was worth it.

I felt like crying all day remembering today.  It was a hard day.

I am thankful this year I am home with my family, what  a blessing it is to be healthy and home.  I still am afraid I will start bleeding with this pregnancy, even if nothing is pointing to it and I constantly have to remind myself God is in control and he is taking care of this little one.

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You..."  Psalm 56:3

"Children are a gift from God, babies are a reward." Ps 127.3