Sunday, May 30, 2010

One month....

It's been one month...one month since we said hello and goodbye. Some days it feels like it has been an eternity since...other days it feels like it was just yesterday.

My niece Desiree just turned one years old...and as we had her birthday party yesterday, all I could think about was that we were about to be passing the one month mark of Bailey's birth and death.

I found myself getting sadder and sadder as I realized we would never get to celebrate any birthdays with Bailey. We will never get to watch her make a mess with a cake or open her first gifts. We will never get to experience the "firsts" with her. The only "firsts" we get are the "first" Mother's Day without our Bailey here with us...the "first" month angelversary...the "first" time to go put flowers on her grave on Memorial Day...the "first" Father's Day without her here...the "first" holidays without her. Not the "firsts" I imagined having...no parent imagines that.

Today, we went to church for the first time in a while. And on the month month anniversary after losing Bailey, something rang out very loud and clear. Part of the sermon was about how we don't get to permanently stay on the mountaintop. Just like how we have to come down off of the mountaintop and can't always stay at the peak...life and faith is the same way. It has its peaks and its valleys. Most of the time we cruise on the flat surface...sometimes we are on the peak, and sometimes we falter and are in the valley. But, when we are in the valley God always finds a way to reach to us and pull us out.

Recently, in what I consider the "valley" in my life with the loss of my daughter, my faith had also hit a "valley". I couldn't understand how God could take away something so precious as my baby...I couldn't understand why he chose her. I was angry. And I'm not going to lie...I'm still angry and don't understand. Deep down, I understood there is a bigger plan, but it wasn't until I sat there today that I realized I was so lost and confused. Then I couldn't help but wonder if all of this happened to get my attention? Was that the purpose? I guess I won't know until it's my time...

But I understand I need to have a little more faith. Faith that everything will work out...faith that someday we will have the "take-home" baby we so desire...faith that Bailey will have a little brother or sister...faith that even though I don't understand the bigger plan to just trust.

I still have a long ways to go...grieving is such a complex process...and during this process I am having to rediscover who I am...but the person who is emerging from this horrible, tragic experience is a strong person...A strong person who finally understood on the one month anniversary of my child's death that even though I am sad, angry, and currently in my life am traveling through a very deep valley with bumpy roads, and a steep hill to climb to get out, but that God will always reach out to offer a loving hand to pull us out...

And I'm on the uphill climb...

Bailey's Tree

In Minnesota, there is a wonderful angel mommy and daddy who unfortunately have experienced the most horrible experience anyone can experience...losing a child. It's the "club" neither of our families (or any family) wanted to join. After the passing of their precious Stevie Joy, they carved her name in a tree, and are now offering to other angel parents to carve their child's name in a tree in the forest behind their home. I came across Kristin's offering to do this on one of the boards we are apart of and requested for Bailey to have a tree.

The tree you see below is Bailey's tree. She will always have a spot in the "Angel Forest".

Kristin - If you read this...I cannot express in words the amount of gratitude I feel for the wonderful thing you and your husband are doing for us angel mommies and daddies. Stevie Joy has an amazing mommy and daddy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Missing my Bailey

A friend on a birth board I was on, just recently lost her little boy after he was born around 24 weeks. The experience she is going through just absolutely breaks my heart, and takes me back to my surreal day. My heart is hurting...I miss Bailey so much...it's been a few days since the tears have fallen...and today it seems exceptionally hard to make them stop. I want her here...I want her with me...I wish she was still happy and kicking me and hiding from her daddy when he would try to feel. It's not fair and I don't understand. I try, and some days I succeed, but today is not one of those days. So hard.........

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back at Weight Watchers

After 4 months of being away, I joined Weight Watchers again yesterday. I weighed in 10 pounds heavier than the last time I was there, 4 months prior. I stopped going when I hit the 9 week mark with Bailey. I had started gaining a little weight, and knew I couldn't keep it a secret, so I went ahead and told my leader then.

Now...4 months later I'm back. I wasn't supposed to be back this early! This is NOT the way it was supposed to go!

My goal is to lose as much weight as I can in the next 8 weeks...20 pounds would be a nice start...that would put me 10 pounds lighter than what I was when I got pregnant with my precious angel. I will keep going as long as I can and will do the best I can. I want to make my little girl proud...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Dr.'s Appointment

Today, we had our first Dr.'s appointment of many to come. We met with our RE to discuss what would be next. We discussed what happened, what may have caused my pre-term labor, and what we may be able to do to fix it for next time.

Our RE recommended we do the exact same regimen we did to get pregnant with Bailey. We will also repeat the HSG test in 8 weeks (first cycle to try again) to make sure my septum is not an issue. If it is, we will do another surgery. If it's not, we continue on. He recommended we see a high-risk Dr., which we already had planned on, and have our first consult scheduled for June 9th. Once we are pregnant again, we will have to see the high-risk Dr. throughout the entire pregnancy. This, I am okay with.

I'm starting back to Weight Watchers tomorrow in hopes of losing some more weight prior to getting pregnant again. This helped last time, and I hope it will help again.

All in God's time...all in his hands. We just have to have a little faith.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Find a new "normal"

Any parent who has ever lost a child, will understand that life is NEVER the same after. It's not better, it not necessarily worse, but it is forever changed and different.

It's been 2 weeks and 1 day since our precious Bailey was born and also left this earth for her angel wings. There are good days, and there are bad days. There are days I can smile, I can be happy, and I am okay. And there are days that my heart hurts, it aches, and the pain seems almost unbearable. A piece of me is missing, and it just hurts.

I'm going back to work on Monday, and have to figure out what the new "normal" is going to be. I'm terrified to go back, because I don't know how people will treat me. I don't know if people will be openly comfortable talking about Bailey, the precious baby girl that was taken so quickly from this life...from my life. I don't know if people are going to avoid me, or if they are going treat me differently. I don't want people to pretend it never happened, but I don't want them to treat me like I am fragile and am going to break.

I have so many mixed emotions...it makes it so difficult to know how to feel. I have been angry, I have been sad, I have been frustrated, and I have been hurt.

I know that someday, there will be a new "normal".

We begin Dr.'s appointments to start trying again to have another baby. We want Bailey to have a brother or a sister. We want to be able to share the love we have, the hopes, and the dreams we have for a child. We want the brother or sister to know that Bailey was here, and was our first born and to know about her and her special time on Earth and the special place she holds in our hearts.

Someday...................................................................

A poem for Bailey from her Uncle Daniel

My brother, Daniel, wrote this poem for our precious Bailey.

I never understood feelings of pride
for something that one did not do,
but then I met your cousin Jason
and suddenly I knew.

I've made many choices in life
both good and bad I'm afraid
But I can say that becoming an Uncle
was the best choice I never made

I'd never known that I wanted a niece,
or even a little nephew.
But words can't describe the way that I feel
when I think about Jason, Desi, and You.

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.

The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
I want you to know that no matter what
your Uncle Daniel loves you.

I'm so sad that you are gone,
even if you're not far
But I see you in the sunshine
And in the brightest star.

I will probably never have kids of my own
but my life is still pretty swell.
Because anytime that I'm feeling down
I think of Jason, Desi, Bailey, and Danielle.

An angel wrote in the Book of Life
this perfect girl's date of birth
Then whispered as she closed the book
"Too beautiful for Earth".

Bailey's Story

The last time I posted, I found out I was pregnant, and was praying for a sticky baby. And stick she sure did! This pregnancy came with some scares, but everything always ended up being okay. I had cramps at 5 weeks, spotting at 6 weeks, but both times everything looked good! I had unexplained bleeding at 9 weeks, but again, she was moving and kicking and everything looked good! She had great heartrates and every appointment, everything was always fine!

On April 2, 2010, we found out that this baby I was carrying was a girl! We were so excited! We took my parents with us to the ultrasound, and they got to see our little Bailey! Everyone was so excited! With finding out our little one was a girl, we gave her the name Bailey Danae.

Then everything came crashing down early one morning...On April 30, 2010 @ 12:30 a.m., I woke up with cramps. I honestly thought I was having gas. After passing some gas with no relief, I woke Adam @ 1:00 a.m., and told him I was cramping. He immediately got up because we were going to go the ER. Before we left, I decided to go the bathroom. At that point, I saw that I was bleeding. My heart sank and stomach fell. I knew 2nd trimester bleeding was not good.

The hospital is about 30 minutes away...we made it in 20. On the way to the hospital, I figured out that the cramps I was having was actually contractions. They were coming about 5 minutes apart.

When we arrived at the hospital and checked in, we were immediately rushed to Labor & Delivery. The nurses got me in a bed and checked me. They found I was already dilated, but didn't know how far, so they called the on-call Dr. who is part of my Dr.'s medical group. Dr. Waterman was there shortly after 2. She checked me, and found I was completely dilated and my water bag was bulging. They had already tipped me head-down, feet up so my water bag would stay in. At this point, Dr. Waterman told us that we would have to deliver, she just didn't know if we could do a vaginal delivery or if we would have to do a c-section. After doing an ultrasound, they found Bailey to be traverse (side-to-side) so an emergency c-section was all we could do. They asked me how aggressive we wanted to be, because Bailey's chances of survival were only 5-10 percent. I told them whatever it took.

By 3:00, we were in the operating room, and getting prepared to go. I had a spinal block done, and Adam came in, and was with me, and our precious baby girl Bailey Danae Southerland was born at 3:33 a.m. on April 30, 2010. She weighed 1 pound 4.8 ounces and was 12 inches long. Adam could see her, and he could see the monitors, and he told me she was breathing, so we had some hope. While they finished up with me, they took Adam back to the room where I would be staying. I was done with my c-section around 4:15 a.m. They took me to my room. When I reached my room, Adam was there, but shortly after, he was gone. A nurse had come to get him to take him to the NICU.

At the NICU, the Dr. tending to Bailey told Adam she wasn't responding to any medication or any assistance they were giving her. Adam had to make the decision to take her off of the ventilator, and since it wasn't helping, he did. I imagine this will probably be the hardest decision he will ever have had to make. After taking Bailey off of the ventilator, she was gone. She left this beautiful earth to become an angel at 4:27 a.m. on April 30, 2010. She was with us for about an hour.

Adam had to come and tell me (and our parents) the most devastating news I have ever heard in my life. My daughter, my first born, my pride and joy, and a piece of my heart, was gone. I was absolutely crushed.

The NICU team prepared Bailey, and brought her into my room around 5:30 a.m. We got to hold her, take pictures of her, and be with her. She was the most beautiful baby in the entire world. She was tiny, precious, and beautiful, and she is ours. She had my lips, and her daddy's nose.

Services for Bailey were on May 4, 2010. She is forever laid to rest at the foot of my grandmother's grave.