Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

We have our 16 week gender determination AKA "another good excuse to see the baby" ultrasound next week.  I am super excited to see our little Pooh again and to hopefully find out who is in there!  We have been listening with our doppler (best $ we ever spent) every night and can hear not only Pooh's heartbeat but also some random kicks here and there.  It is so amazing to listen in on what our baby is up to.  Listening to Pooh is a sure fire way to put a smile on our faces before we lay our heads on our pillows and drift into dream land.  I am so in love and pray every night that we get to bring this sweet baby home.  

I wanted to share this song from Cinderella.  It made me smile :) I am reminded to hold on to my dreams, hope and faith.  

A dream is a wish your heart makes

When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

Friday, March 25, 2011

9 months

It is so hard to believe that nine months has passed since we said hello and good bye to our baby girl.  Some days seem like it was just yesterday as my wounds are still raw and open and I still grieve so much for this little person that I barely got to know.  And even though I barely knew her, I knew her soul.  She had a sweet spirit about her, very considerate and loving.  I feel like I knew what kind of person she would have been. She was in tune with me and I with her.  I know it sounds crazy but I think a mother just knows.  

Other days, time seems to have flown by in a sense.  I wonder how I have managed to get through the last nine months.  How I have survived.  I remember the early days and how broken I was.  I could barely manage to look at myself in the mirror, I couldn't stand to look at my empty stomach and know that life no longer existed there.  My spirit was shattered.  It was such an awful, dark, hopeless time.  A time when tears and screams arose so frequently.  A time when no light could shine in.  A time when I dreaded waking in the morning because I had to face my nightmare all over again.  

Over the last 9 months grieving has become very familiar to me.  (That is surely a sad statement.) I have learned how to deal with it and how it fits into my daily life.  I still have hard days, I still cry and I still feel cheated.  I will always have this wound but the scab is slowly growing over and protecting it.  I think I am learning to handle the grief better as it has become part of my new normal.  I remember hearing about this 'new normal' in those early days and I just didn't get it.  I didn't want a new normal, I wanted my old life back and I was convinced that one day, it would return.  It has taken a while but sometime in the last couple of months I have finally crossed into that territory of the new normal.  I know I will never be the same person as I was on the morning of June 25, 2010 and as much as I wish that I could go back in time and change things (and believe me, I would if I could), I know I can't.  I am *trying* to embrace this new life.  Trying to live a life that would make Harper proud of her mama.  A life that will always and forever include her.  

Here are some pictures taken of Harper's garden at her grandparents house. 

And some pictures of her tree in our backyard.  We are so excited about the pink blooms that have been sprouting up.  This is what we have been waiting for since we planted the tree! :)  

 You can't really see the blooms as much in this picture below, but they are there!  

Happy nine months in Heaven, my sweet angel.  A moment doesn't go by that we don't miss you and wish with all of our hearts that you were here.  I wish so badly that I could see you and hug you even if only for a moment but I know that we will be reunited one day.  A special place, full of so much love, will always be yours right here in our hearts. You will always and forever be our Harpsichord. 
All my love to the moon and back forever and ever, 
your Mom

Monday, March 14, 2011

Conversation with M, Faces of Loss & Prayers...

I had a very nice conversation with a registered nurse, who I will call M, from our insurance company last Thursday.  She called to let me know that she had been assigned 'my case' and will be checking on me periodically through out my pregnancy- checking on my physical and emotional health and answering any questions that I may have- as a new service that is being provided through our insurance.

During our conversation she asked the usual happy pregnancy questions.  It went a little like this...

M: Is this your first pregnancy?
Me: No.  
M: Ok, so your second?
Me: Well, actually my third.
M: Oh!  So you have 2 little ones running around?!?
Me: Not exactly, we lost our daughter last summer shortly after her birth and I had a blighted ovum in October.  
M: Oh my, I am so sorry.  How terrible.  (awkward silence)
Me: Thank you, it has been a really hard year.  

M was really very sweet and went on to ask me how we have been coping and asked about our support system.  She told me that she was a labor and delivery nurse for years and though not through personal experience, she has seen a lot of loss.  She said she always wondered what happened when those patients went home without their babies.  I thought I would spare her the hard, depressing details and just told her that it has been a really hard year.  She then asked what types of resources I had found and I told her that I had found a lot of support online, mostly through blogs, BBC and  Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. She had not heard of FoL FoH and was eager to check it out.  We finished up our conversation, she gave me her direct number and told me to call anytime I needed anything.

Then Friday, with a lot of worry on my mind about the FDA approval of Makena (17P), the progesterone shots that I will begin in less than 3 weeks to help prevent another preterm delivery, I called M and asked her what she knew about coverage through our insurance and if Makena would be accessible.  She was still not sure on the coverage and pricing but that she would fight to get this drug for me if she had to.  She was going to get in touch with her supervisor and let me know the details.  I still haven't heard a definitive answer from her but it is good to know that I have some one in my court.

Before we said goodbye, she told me that she checked out the website, FoL FoH, and loved it!  I told her a little about how the site got started and that it has been a great place to make connections and to know that through all of the pain that comes with losing a child, that we are not alone.  So...M just so happens to be on the website committee for our insurance company and is going to put in a request for FoL FoH to be put on their website as an online resource for patients who have experienced the loss of an infant.  I was very excited to hear this as hopefully even more people will find the help and support that is so needed after experiencing the loss of their child.

Please take a minute to send some prayers and love to my sweet friend, Caroline, who recently lost her brother-in-law, Daren, to an IED (improvised explosive device) in Afghanistan.  She and her husband, Miles, and their families have had an extremely hard year as they (Caroline & Miles) lost their first born son, Cale, last June and now they have had to say goodbye to Daren- a true American hero and someone else who is gone too soon.

As many of us in the loss community know, even the smallest gesture of kindness goes such a long way.  So, please go over and show your love and support.  

Friday, March 11, 2011


I have been so emotional lately and missing my baby so much.  I always miss her but it seems like my heart has just been aching for her with more intensity lately.  I think being pregnant again has stirred up a lot of emotions and a lot of memories...good and bad. I have been having a lot of sleepless nights where I lay awake thinking of Harper.  Remembering the happy days of my pregnancy with her when we would feel her kick and punch and sit in amazement, while thinking of all the hopes and dreams we had for her.  With the happy memories come the haunting memories of the day she was born and these memories seem to have taken over.  In the dark of the night, I think of that day when our hearts were forever broken and changed.  I supposed memories of June 25, 2010 will always haunt me but for some strange reason I thought that I had found some peace.  I thought I had worked through most of these feelings and was on my way forward.  I don't know if it is pregnancy hormones or what, but I feel like I have regressed.  I know grief is certainly not a linear process, it ebbs and flows.  I know we will always grieve for her because as someone told me once, "grief lasts as long as love lasts."  How true that is.

Last night Chris and I were talking about Harper and Pooh and I broke down.  I told him that I feel like we are getting further and further away from her.  He said something that struck me, "I know you feel like we are leaving Harper behind but we aren't.  She knows that she could never be replaced.  She would want us to be happy and she wants us to bring Pooh bear home.  We aren't leaving her behind, she will always be with us....right here (putting his hand over his heart and mine)."  I know what he said is true but my heart still aches for her.  I know that moving forward isn't "moving on" and that moving forward is a necessary part of living a happy life but as we approach spring and as we are getting closer to Harper's birthday, it becomes more real.  The first year without her is almost over and then we move onto the second year and with that, rest of our lives without her.

Despite the sadness I have been feeling, I also feel very blessed and happy to be carrying another miracle.  Every night when we listen to Pooh's heartbeat, our hearts feel so much happiness and peace.  It's like listening to a miraculous symphony.  I pray for this baby and I just hope with all that I have that we get to bring this little one home.

On a completely different note...please check out this article on the FDA approval of 17P (synthetic progesterone) injections, now called Makena, to prevent preterm labor.  The cost has gone from $15 to $1500 per weekly injection.  As you can imagine, many women are depending on these injections to bring home their baby at term.  I will be receiving these injections starting at week 16 through week 36, that's 20 injections equaling $30,000.  Personally, I am appalled at the pharmaceutical companies for increasing the price this much.  I hope that this price gouging won't effect accessibility for those of us who are counting on this medication.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

12 weeks

I had my 12 week appointment and ultrasound yesterday.  I am happy to report that we have a very bouncy little baby on our hands!  Pooh looked like he/she was having a party.  The cutest part was the trampoline bounce that little Pooh was doing every few minutes, baby was literally bouncing off the walls of my uterus :)  I love it!!!

The rest of the appt was uneventful.  Ultrasound looked great and we got good NT measurements, we are measuring right within the normal parameters.  We discussed more of the plan for the rest of the pregnancy.  I will be starting the weekly 17P shots in about 4 weeks and getting cervical length checks every 2 weeks from weeks 16-26.  I will also see an MFM at week 20.  

Even though I have been here before, I am still in awe of the miracle of pregnancy.  All of the changes that are taking place inside my body are simply amazing.  I feel so blessed to have this gift of life growing and thriving inside me.  A little human being that is inhabiting the same womb that was once Harper's home.  I feel that fact will always keep them connected in a very special way.  I love my mother-in-laws description, she said, "its amazing, like we are peaking into a sacred cave."

So even though my nerves got the better of me again and I was very wound up going into my appointment, I felt very confident and hopeful leaving the doctors office yesterday.  I feel like we have all of our bases covered and that we are going to do everything possible to bring little Pooh home.  

So...without further ado, here's sweet Pooh!  See those legs perched for a bounce?  Just precious.  As you can imagine we had a very smitten mommy and daddy walking around smiling ear to ear yesterday :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hearts beat

Last night for the first time (at home!!) we were able to hear little Pooh's heartbeat!  Chris got us a doppler for Valentine's day and up until now it hadn't been picking anything up, still too early.  We made the decision only to try it out on Sundays until the first time we were finally able to hear it, as to not make ourselves crazy with worrying about not hearing it yet.  Well, I know that last night was not Sunday but we decided to give it a shot anyway and much to our surprise after a few minutes of moving the doppler around trying to find the right spot, we heard that wonderful, comforting sound!!  And just like our last OB appt, it was in the 160s.  Talk about a happy mom and dad, we were floating on a cloud the rest of the evening!  I think it will be addicting though and it will probably take all of the self control I can muster to keep me from having that thing strapped to my tummy 24/7 for the next 6-ish months!

Thank you for your kind comments on my last post.  Hope is prevailing but it is a challenge somedays.  Today and I am happy, hopeful and oh so thankful for the little life growing and beating away inside me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Trying to hope

This morning when I woke up and stumbled into the kitchen I found that our calendar had been flipped to March.  After reading a note from Chris that said, "Happy March. I love you." I got a pen and wrote the numbers 12, 13, 14 and 15 on each Sunday to mark the weeks of our pregnancy and tried to remind myself that "yes, this will be a happy March."

When I was pregnant with Harper we eagerly marked each Wednesday starting at week 6, I think, all the way through week 40 and excitedly watched as each week of our pregnancy with her passed - never thinking that we wouldn't actually make all the way to the end.  We made to an end but it was a different end than we had ever anticipated...much different.

Once we got an ultrasound confirming our little Pooh Bear was in fact growing inside of me, Chris wanted to mark the calendar.  I did, too, but I was leery and still am.  We marked our calendar but only a month at a time.  He wanted to go all the way to September but I am just not prepared to do that yet.  I am scared.

When we came home from the hospital after Harper was born and passed away I went straight to the calendar and through eyes blurred and puffy by unstoppable tears, I angrily marked through the numbers noting the remaining weeks of her pregnancy.  But even though I marked through them I still knew that they were there.  And every week I would catch myself walking over to the calendar and gazing longingly a black mark where there had once been a sign of life, all the while thinking "if only" and "what should have been".

I know that if, God forbid, anything happens to this little one my lack of numbers on the calendar won't make the hurt any less.  But for now it is my way of trying to protect my heart.  I know that a pregnancy after loss is fraught with so many emotions and I am trying my best to muddle my way through them but it is so hard.  I wish that parents of babies taken too soon had a free pass or some type of "get out of hell free" card but I know that is not the case.  I know that anything can happen - good or bad.  I know that statistics are on my side but honestly that provides me with very little comfort since statistics were on our side with Harper's pregnancy, too and the unthinkable happened.

I am trying to be hopeful and think only thoughts of the happy ending that we want so badly.   I also really, really hope that come fall we will have a dear one to bring home who will drool on and play with these dolls so they can graduate from sitting on our bed to a much deserved toy box!

Harper's piglet & Pooh!