Saturday, February 23, 2013

Two births

I've had an emotional week.  I've felt a  myriad of things.....sorrow, relief, anger, thankful, clarity, unfairness, reflective, fortunate.  I came home one evening this week to the news that a family member was about to have her baby.  It was a very emotional night and touched some very tender places that are still healing. I didn't know her due date, on purpose, but I knew this was coming.  We learned about her pregnancy a few short weeks after losing Jacob, and it certainly hasn't made the grieving process any easier.  In ways, I've received respect and consideration, but there has also been complete oblivion to my feelings and misguided actions that have hurt me deeply.  This situation has several layers, most of which have nothing directly to do with mother or baby, that I wish I could write more about.  It's one of those times I kinda wish no one in my real life even knew I had a blog, know what I mean?  In all honesty, I would like to spew all my emotions and thoughts all over the place, but it's not worth it at all.  Overall, I have gotten to a better place about this baby's arrival, and I am thankful he is here safe and sound.  I was able to look at his picture, acknowledge the innocent little guy that he is and smile at his wrinkly head.  I'm thankful I'm not completely sticking my head in the sand, but I also know my limits.  I'm not ready to be around him or any other babies yet.  I know where I am.  I accept it and make no apoligies for it.

This week I also learned of another couple that has lost their precious baby girl. Please keep them in your prayers. My friend Rachel called me with the news on Tuesday night.  Rachel also lost her first born, Lila, about five years ago.  She has become a dear friend, and I'm so thankful to have her guidance and support.  The couple going through this is her friend's step brother.  Since their loss is more similar to my loss, Rachel called to ask for any information or advice she could pass along.  I was glad to be in a position to help, but it also stirred up some distinct memories of our time in the hospital.  Memories that I don't delve into and explore on a daily basis.  I cried about that.  I cried  because I just hate that they're going through this painful process.  I cried because I know the hospital and delivery is only the beginning of a very long journey.  I cried because I'm thankful and relieved I'm not where they're at, all the way at square one.  It just dawned on me though, that part of me wishes I was there becaue I was so close to Jacob.  Oh, what a jumbled mess of emotions this can be

Anyway (sigh)

If I'm following the time line correctly, labor was induced  Wednesday night and she didn't deliver until sometime this morning.  Today is Saturday. I repeat is Saturday. Bless her heart.  Due to the baby's condition, the nurses advised that they not see her.  I had so hoped they would get to see her.  Most of mine and Rachel's suggestions and advice centered around seeing and spending time with her.  I encouraged them to bring special clothes to dress her in, to hold her and spend all the time they could with her, and to take all the pictures they could.

I never thought I would look back on Jacob's brith and feel fortunate in any way, but I do.  I was in labor for twenty hours instead of days.  I not only got to see him, but I got to hold him.  No words can express how thankful I am for that time with him and for those pictures.  I'm so thankful I know he has my lips and nose, and his daddy's cheek bones. I'm so thankful the nurses took pictures of him and that we did too, even if all we had were our phones. It was one of those simple pictures taken by the nurses that allowed us to get this amazing portrait done.

This is such a treasure to us. The artist who did it is Portraits by Dana.  I so appreciate her service.  She captured Jacob beautifully and was wonderful and easy to work with. 
Soooo, in conclusion, this week was unavoidable and I'm relieved to have it behind me.  It's been tiring and distracting.  I feel like it's knocked me off center a bit.  I'm okay, but I'm eager to direct my focus back to things that affect me in a more positive way. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Getting it out

I knew this post would come.  I just didn't know when.  I had a miscarriage at the end of October.  There...there it feels better just to get it out there.  I feel like I've tapdanced around it these past few months, and I'm tired of it.  I don't think I can authenatically express myself going forward without sharing this.  At first my main reason for keeping quiet about it was pity.  I didn't want people to pity me, to feel sorry for me.  Prayers, yes.  Pity, no.  By people, I don't mean my close family or friends and I don't mean other angel mommas.  I mean like Facebook friends or acquaintances who I don't even talk to anyway.  Why do I care if they know or how they think of me?  I don't.  If I did, I would actually talk to those people.  My other reason is that honestly at my core, I'm a pretty private person.  I'm really not a fan of people who plaster there drama all over creation.  Some stuff is and should be only your business. I really wasn't sure if I wanted this loss to be anybody else's business.

 My desire to share this really shifted today.  I've received some lovely feedback about the blankets, and the main theme has been how much they will comfort and help the women and families that receive them.  Why should this blog be any different?  Blogs have been a huge help to me in my grieving.  So many times, I have read my own thoughts and feelings written by others.  I am writing this blog for me and for other angel mommas....not for facebook friends....not even for my family.  I'm also doing this because I know God wants me too.  One of the reasons God put any of us on this earth is for His glory, so that He may be seen through us and through His work in our lives.  If somebody sees God through my ramblings and through my life, then that is some good to come out of all this.  Would I rather have my son instead of discussing how God's glory might be revealed in his loss?  Resoundingly....Yes.  A million times....Yes. 

Anyway, in mid October we discovered we were pregnant again, much to our surprise. We weren't trying but we weren't preventing either. We learned very early that the pregnancy wasn't viable.; At 5 weeks, my progesterone dipped and my hcg levels stopped doubling.  I had to get an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy which thankfully it wasn't.  I chose to have a d&c instead of miscarrying naturally.  I knew that emotionally I couldnt' wait around for that to happen.  We chose not have the tissue tested, but the doctor's did it anyway.  It turns out I had what's called a partial molar pregnancy.  You can google it if youbwant to know more but basically two sperm had fertlized the egg and the baby had too many chromosomes.  It was a complete fluke and not realated to me or my clotting disorders. God answered a prayer I didn't even pray.  I chose not to have any testing done, but He knew I needed to know it wasn't something wrong with me.  While, I'm thankful for that, how odd is it that He didn't answer the prayer that I did pray....Lord, please let this baby be okay.  I need this baby to be okay.

Looking back and even during the brief time I was pregnant, I could see that I wasn't emotionally ready for another pregnancy.  I wasn't ready for the stress of a pregnancy after loss on top of the normal stress of a diabetic pregnancy.  I can wrap my head around that.  I can get that. I still wonder why God even allowed it.  I know I would've realized I wasn't ready without having to go through this.  So needless to say I've been through the wringer.  . The holidays came right on the heels of the miscarriage, and all of the stress and the grief really took a toll on me, emotionally and physically. I'm just now getting back on my feet. There's much more I could say about all this and our thoughts about the future, but my laptop battery is about to conk out. Pardon, the typos but I know if I try to come back tomorrow and fix them or try to elaborate on my thoughts this post will never see the light of day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blankets Delivered

Back in July, I felt led to donate blankets to Jacob's hospital.  I wrote about that in this post.  I'm so glad to share that those blankets were delivered last week.  We made and donated about 20 blankets and copies of Angie Smith's book, I Will Carry You.  We also donated almost 75 smaller lovie blankets.  A friend of a friend heard what we were doing and  gave us these and a bunch of fabric. She used to have a baby bedding and accessory business and when she closed it, she still had tons of product left over.  The lovies will be used to swaddle the smaller babies lost at early gestational ages and also for babies in the NICU.
This is the monogram on each blanket, courtesy of my momma:

It is from this E.E. Cummings poem:

Here are all the blankets, and no two are exactly alike.  Some may have the same fabric, but there is something different on each one weather it be the coordinating fabrics, thread color, etc. This is going to be a bit pic heavy, so get ready  :)

Girl's finished product

Some for the boys before the bows.  I managed not to get a pic of any with the bows.

All the little lovies


I so appreciate help on the monogramming and sewing from my mom and Brenda. Thank you Tassi for caring enough to put me in touch with Lori.  Thank you friends and family for donating money for the books. These blankets have been such an honor to do, and I knew these blankets would be a blessing even if I dropped them off  and never heard another word.  This is the email I received today from my contact at the hospital:
Hannah -
I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the wonderful blankets and packets for parents experiencing the loss of a child while in our Labor & Delivery department. To help with storage I had kept the boxes shut when I delivered them, but received a phone call very soon after from one of the nurses absolutely amazed by the gifts you had made. I stopped by this week to see the blankets and it was everything I could do to hold back the tears. They are so beautifully made and are absolutely perfect. Your compassion has greatly touched everyone throughout that department and will provide such love and healing for parents experiencing one of the most difficult moments of their lives. Thank you so much for doing this for them and for creating such an amazing tribute of love to honor Jacob.
My sincerest gratitude to you for coordinating this effort and my wishes to you for daily healing and comfort.
All for you my sweet J-Dub boy
I carry your heart with me
(I carry it in my heart)