Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Day That Wasn't Meant To Be...

My Sweet Harper,

Today was supposed to be the day that we 'met' each other, face to face, for the first time, your official due date.  Instead, it has already been three months and five days since we had to say good bye to each other. You were with us for six months and now you have been gone for three. Three months may seem like an insignificant amount of time to most people but it has felt like a lifetime to me; it has been exactly half of your lifetime.

 Three months that I have missed you so much more than I could ever put into words. Even though you were only with us for six short months, I feel like I have known and loved you my whole life. I have loved you my whole life. I have loved the dream of you, my baby. And I will continue to love you for the rest of my days.

I don't know how I could ever feel complete in this life without you.  You will always be the one that is missing from my life.  I am so sorry that today was a day that wasn't meant to be for us.  I am sorry that we won't ever be together again in this lifetime.  I am so sorry that I couldn't mother you here, on earth.  I really wish I would have had the chance to know every little detail about you.  I will always wish that I could have shown you everything and given you more love and attention than you probably could stand.  We got cheated of so many things, you and I.  More importantly, you got cheated of life.  You would have had such a beautiful life here with me and your Daddy.  I know because I have imagined it so many times.

I want you to know that if ever a brother or sister comes along and I really hope they do, we will always be missing you.  No matter how much we would love your brother or  sister, please know that it will take nothing away from the love we have for you.  You will never be forgotten.  You are entwined in our hearts and our family tree.  You will always be our first born, our oldest daughter.  That is a special gift that no one can ever take away, not even by death.  I will always have the Harper that lives on in my dreams and in a very special place in my heart.

You live on here baby, right inside of me...always.  I love you, Harper.

All my love forever and ever,
your Mom

Monday, September 27, 2010

Harper's Memorial Garden

We have just recently finished up our memorial garden for Harper. We planted a pink dogwood. I am so excited to see it bloom in the spring. The garden is basically done, we are just waiting for our memorial stone to place at the base of the tree. Hopefully it will be here by her due date, but possibly not until next week sometime. Here are some pictures I took to chronicle our journey from start to finish.


My sweet Husband :)

Clearing out a spot.

Framing out the fence.

This is me, supervising...:)

My very talented Husband putting up the fence.

Luna's happy face!

Happy Zeus!

The wall, old fence, comes down!

New alcove for Harper's garden.

Planting day.

Our completed project, minus her stone.

Our garden for Harper turned out really well.  Especially considering we are not professional fence builders or landscapers.  We wanted to have it done by her due date and other than her memorial stone,  we finished on time.  Eventually we will plant some flowers and put a bench out there.  

The dragonflies have already taken a liking to her garden. There were so many of them out and about on the day we planted her tree :)  

I am happy that we now have a quiet place to sit and reflect and memorialize our little girl.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blog Award

Thank you to Angela at Little Bird and Melissa at Amazing Mikayla Grace for my very first blog award.  Thank you so much, it means so much to know that so many people are reading my blog and have been touched by Harper's story.  

Here are the rules for the award:

1. Accept the award and post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers that you have recently discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they have been chosen.

It was tough to choose, there are so many wonderful women out here in blog land.  But here are my ten peeps - in no particular order :) 

1.  I wish you love
2.  Searching For Safe Harbor
3.  The Road Less Traveled
4.  In Memory of Jacob
5.  Dear Stevie
6.  Missing Olivia
7.  Remembering Drew
8.  Dearest Gavin
9.  In Memory of Liam
10. Too Beautiful for Earth

Thank you all for the blog love and for being the best support system at such a tough time.  Your blogs and your kind words on my blog have really been the best therapy for me.  I love you all.  

Please check out the blogs mentioned above, these are some incredibly strong woman I have had the privilege to 'meet' on this journey.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I just wanted to clarify my last post.  I went back and read it and thought maybe I came across wrong.

It is not that I want to forget the day that Harper was born, it is just that the memories of it are so painful to bear sometimes.  I do have times when I think back to that day and smile. I still can't believe that we created the most perfect little angel.  She was so beautiful and precious, our baby girl.  It was a special day...a precious day, but it will go down in history for me as the saddest day because we didn't get to bring our girl home.  It was a day full of love and devastation.  I have said it before, but I would go through every last bit of pain and fear again if this was the only way I was meant to be her momma.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if I could just hold her and kiss her one more time.


Today marks 3 months since we held our baby girl and said goodbye to her.  I miss her so much, more than words could ever do justice.  People always tell me, "time heals all wounds".  I think that anecdote is crap.  It has been 3 months and the pain is still here and I can't imagine a day when it won't be.  I think we just learn how to deal with the pain over time.  I am still learning to deal and it sucks.  I think it is a process and part of our new normal.

I have been having a lot of flashbacks lately.  Flashbacks to Harper's birth.  I guess it is because of her upcoming due date.  I can still remember June 25th like it was yesterday; all the medical staff in the delivery room, the little incubator, the nurse coming at me with the oxygen mask as I slid down to the foot of the bed to start pushing, the sound of the Ambu bag trying to resuscitate her, the sadness on Chris' face when they told us that there was nothing else they could do for her and the feeling of complete love that took my breathe away when I saw her for the first time.  All of these images and so many more have been haunting me and maybe that is part of my new normal, too.  A part of me wishes I could forget  this day and only remember the happy, joyous 6 months we had with her.  I know that I will never forget though.  How could I?  That was her birthday.  That was the day she came into this world and left it so suddenly.  As painful as it is to remember, I will never forget the day my first child was born.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Would Die For That

I saw this on another BLMs blog and I wanted to share with my readers. It is a tear jerker, so have some kleenex handy. I hope that you all have a good day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

National Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day

As many of you know October 15th, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, is coming up and there is a lot going on in support of it. Head over to I Am The Face to find out how you can help spread the word about this great cause.

The hospital where Harper was born is having a memorial ceremony for all of the families who have lost babies on October 15th. I am super excited about getting the opportunity to go to this event that will be honoring the life of my daughter. Being among people who will be celebrating little lives of their own and who will understand just how important that is to do so, will be truly amazing. I know it will be a wonderful, yet tearful, night.

I have been in contact with the hospital's bereavement coordinator and am going to be working with her to distribute Faces of Loss informational post cards in our area. In the process of doing this, I was asked to attend an additional private ceremony to thank all of the wonderful people who donate memory boxes to our hospital. She told me that they were looking for guest speakers to express their gratitude for these boxes and asked if I would be interested. How could I say no? Without Harper's memory box I would have nothing. All of my tangible memories of her birth and short life are in that little box. Everything from her photos, her sweet smocked dress, her receiving blankets, her hand & foot prints and a lock of her beautiful red hair. Even though I am very apprehensive about speaking in public about the death of my daughter and what that box has meant to me, through tears, I am going to do it.

My heart breaks when I think that all of the memories that I will ever have of my baby girl have already been made. Even worse, that every last one of them fits into a small box. The day I was discharged from the hospital I was rolled down those long, quiet, stark hallways with nothing more than a cardboard box in my arms, a tear streaked face and a shattered heart. I felt so incredibly helpless. It felt so wrong to be leaving the hospital without my daughter and only with that damned box. I kept thinking how could this happen? I was screaming on the inside. THIS MUST BE SOME KIND OF MISTAKE! I JUST WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK! I hated that box and even more, I hated the reason for it. I will always hate the reason, it means that my Harper is dead and she is never coming back. It means that I will never hold her again or kiss her again, at least not in this life. Of course, I no longer hate my memory box. It has become my most prized possession. It is all I have left of her life and I will always cherish it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Kindness Of A Friend

I received the most lovely card and willow tree figurine from a friend and co-worker yesterday. It was definitely unexpected and it meant so much to me (and Chris). As many of BLMs (baby loss mamas) know, after a certain period of time people 'forget' that your baby died and they 'forget' that you are still grieving, they 'forget' that your life is forever changed. Their lives are still moving forward and they expect you to 'get over it' and move on with yours. They stop asking about how you are doing and they stop mentioning your child. So, to receive a card with such a lovely inscription acknowledging my pain, my loss, and my child and to tell me, I think of you, Chris and Harper daily, it just brought me to tears. It is really hard to express into words how much this touched me, especially coming from someone who had not lost a child. Don't get me wrong, I know everyone experiences emotional pain and I am not trying to undermine that. I am just saying that the loss of your child is an unimaginable type of pain, indescribable. It is a different pain and it was nice having that acknowledged. It is so nice to have people around me who love me and understand that there is no time limit on healing. Thank you, my sweet friend.

Healing is an inside out process.
It begins in the heart with a glimmer of hope.
The more we trust in it, the stronger it becomes until we are mended-
body and soul.

Good things happen when we BELIEVE...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Missing My Little One

It is such a beautiful morning to be feeling happy. The wind is blowing through the trees, the humming birds are buzzing around my head and Zeus & Luna are chasing each other around the yard with smiles on their faces.

Even though it is lovely and I should be happy, I can't help but feel sad. I miss Harper. I miss where I would be in my pregnancy right now. We would be wrapping it up, waiting for her to make her appearance at any time. Today is my Dad's birthday and I was secretly wishing that Harper would come today. To share a birthday with his grand daughter...I knew that would have meant so much to him. Instead, she came just 9 days after my birthday...way too soon. I have the feeling I will never look at my birthday with happiness again. It will just be a reminder of the day it all started.

I walked into Harper's nursery a lot over the weekend. I looked at all of her things. The tiny diapers that we joked about her not fitting into for long because she would be big like her Daddy. The sweet crib that I imagined scooping her out of so many times. Her letters above the crib and how we stressed about how high was high enough to hang them. We didn't want her to be able to reach them when she was starting to stand. I looked in her closet and thanks to Gigi (my Mom) it is full of sweet little clothes. Clothes that she will never wear. The outfit that struck me the most was the little Halloween set.

I won't have a baby on Halloween this year. No little one to dress up in a silly poofy pumpkin costume and take a picture of on a bale of hay or in a pumpkin patch. I have always loved Halloween and the start of fall, it is my favorite. I love that it starts the Holiday season. I was so excited to finally have a little one to make the season special and magical for.

We started the construction on Harper's memorial garden this weekend. I know that is a big part of what has me feeling down.

I love the idea and I am glad that we are doing it. At the same time, I hate that we are doing it. I hate the reason for the memorial. I want her, not a memorial. I am having so much trouble wrapping my head around it lately, she is not coming back. I know this but I am having a hard time with it. We should be nesting, putting the finishing touches on our nursery. Instead, we spent our weekend out in the heat putting our love and sweat into her memorial. (More pics to come, we just put the new portion of fence up this weekend)

I am sure that I sound like a broken record, but this is what I am feeling today. I am sad and I miss my baby. I miss the life I had planned.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Harper's Collage

My Mom made this beautiful collage for my sweet Harper. Isn't it wonderful? I love it and can't wait to hang it up :)

Labor Day and Rambling

Labor day weekend was nice. We went to the beach and saw lots of friends and family. I think for most people labor day always signifies the end of summer. For me, this is the end of a summer that I had a lot of other plans for. I had intended on being at a completely different spot in my life right now. I was going to be 37 weeks pregnant tomorrow...term and ready to deliver at any moment. This summer was going to be full of so much excitement and happiness for our coming baby. It turned out to be the worst summer of my life. I remember when we found out our due date for Harper, September 30th, everyone kept saying how miserable this summer would be for me because of the Georgia heat. This summer turned out to be a miserable one alright...a season of loss, sadness and survival.

Like I said, we saw some friends over the weekend. This was the first time seeing these particular friends since Harper died. Two different couples, plenty of opportunities and we never got one mention of Harper. No one even bothered to say they were sorry for our loss or asked how we were doing. I am floored by the insensitivity of people. We lost our daughter, she died and not one condolence. Both of the women are mothers so I at least expected something from them. NOPE! One of them even started talking about getting pregnant again and she really hoped it was a girl this time.

The usual response when I vent about someone not saying anything to me is, "well, people just don't know what to say." Well, say something. An "I'm sorry" is better than nothing. I understand that death makes people uncomfortable, I get that, but it is still nice to know that people care. Maybe people figure that since it has been 2.5 months that we are 'over it' or something and that's why they don't say a word. Harper is my daughter and her death doesn't change that. She is gone and I will miss everyday of my life.

Seeing family was wonderful, we had a blast. I saw my brother's girlfriend, who is 8 months pregnant, and it went well. We talked and hugged and cried. I know that her seeing me was probably as hard as me seeing her, maybe harder. She told me how sorry she was and that we were supposed to be going through this together. It would have been so neat having our little ones only a month apart in age. Instead my baby nephew will have a guardian angel watching over him.

Even though it still feels like summer, I am glad that fall is on her way. The leaves have started to change a little and the nights are getting cooler. As a few other bloggers have said, I am hoping this fall will be a season of change and healing that we all need so much.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hard Days...

The last couple of days have been pretty hard on me. I know that it is for many reasons and I know that grief is such an unpredictable roller coaster. One day you are doing ok, moving forward and then WHAM! You get knocked back down. As if grief is laughing at you, saying not so fast.

My operating room welcomed 2 new babies into the family this past week. A boy and a girl. Their happy announcements complete with name and perfect length and weight are up on our lounge door and their 'brag books' full of pictures are on the table. I have not been able to even look in the direction of the little books for fear that I may see something that resembles a live baby. Yesterday when entering the lounge on the way to the locker room someone was standing right by the door with the book wide open. As soon as I saw that baby in the hospital bassinet my mind flashed back to my hospital experience, not the happy celebration that was in this book. I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks, I got a sharp pain in my chest and just tried to keep walking...I went straight to the bathroom and just broke down. After work, I came home and cried some more. I miss my baby girl so much.

As a fellow blogger wrote, I am supposed to be next in line. I knew these babies were coming due 4 weeks before Harper. Her due date, September 30th, is right around the corner. I knew it would be hard as it approached but I feel the sadness coming in and setting up shop for awhile.

There has been something else bothering me for the last few days. I saw my obstetrician when we were out to dinner over the weekend. She told me that most of my labs came back normal and that she was waiting on a few more before giving me an official call. She also told me about a patient that she had about a week ago that reminded her of me. The similarities...Preterm labor, 26 weeker. The difference...c-section and a living baby in the NICU. I really feel like I could have gone my whole lifetime without hearing that story. Now the guilt is setting in. Should I have elected to have a section? Would that have made a difference? At the time of delivery, I wasn't given that option but I still wonder what if? My OB wasn't there when I delivered Harper, she was on her way. The house OB delivered Harper because she was in distress and we didn't want to wait for my Dr. The day of my discharge, my Dr told me had she been there she would have taken me for a crash c- section but she doubted it would have made a difference in Harper's outcome. Remembering this conversation should reassure me and it did at the time but my mind still wanders...

As a friend reminded me, every situation is different. We lost our children and there is nothing that could have been done to change the fact that they are gone. I know that in my head but my heart is screaming and stomping her feet and just wants her baby back.

Many Thanks...

I just wanted to thank all of those out there who read, follow, and comment on Harper's blog. It means more to me than I could ever express in words. It does my heart so much good to know that Harper's story has made a difference, even if it is for only one person. If reading her blog has touched you in anyway , made you feel like what you are feeling is normal and that you are not alone in your grief, or made you smile when you were having a bad day-then Harper is making a difference.

I have received a few emails from friends, thanking me for writing this blog because it has helped them to understand a little bit about what we are going through. I know that people who have not walked in these shoes will never truly get it, but it means a lot to know that they are trying and being supportive.

One of the biggest fears I had when we didn't get to bring our baby home was that she would be forgotten or that she wouldn't be counted as a grandchild, a cousin, a niece, a child. Never by me or Chris but by others who never knew her like we did. I have been pleasantly surprised by all of the emails, comments on facebook, snail mail and 'followers' here. Her story is being read and making a difference and I am so happy to know that she is not forgotten.

Even though she is no longer here on earth with us, she lives on in the hearts of so many. Thank you for remembering our dear daughter, for that, I will be forever grateful.