Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Preparing Through Prayer

As the weeks move on, the closer our due date gets, and the more nervous I get.  I just wish I could know how this will turn out.  I am coming to terms that this is out of my hands, that God is in control.  That is obviously something I have always known, but to be reminded how you do not have any control is very humbling.  Humbled is probably the best way to explain how I feel the majority of the time.  All I know to do now is to pray and wait.  My daily prayer is for this baby to be ok, for her to be able to come home, and for Whit and I to get the opportunity to raise a child on Earth.  We have also named this little blessing Blakely Lynn.  Blakely will share her sister's middle name, something we hope will help her feel connected to her older sister, her own guardian angel.  Like Polly, we wanted our second child to also have a unique name, one that you don't here too often.  And we like how they sound together, Polly and Blakely, they sound like sisters already.  :)

I've been going to the doctor weekly this month for extra monitoring.  I've had weekly non-stress tests where they measure the baby's heartbeat and make sure it goes up during movement and down when she is resting.  So far she has performed beautifully and her heartbeat has sounded good.  These tests are about 20 minutes at a time, so I have some peaceful moments to sit and pray and listen to her heartbeat.  I've come to enjoy this bonding time with her despite the reason I am having them done.  They are watching her closely and she is a good size and has remained active, all good signs of a healthy baby.  I will also have 2 or 3 more ultrasounds.  One thing they will look at is if Blakely is practicing breathing.  I've already been able to witness watching her "breath" on an ultrasound and it is such a relieving site.  There is still worry since they checked things like that with Polly, she was obviously doing what she was suppose to and not indicating something was wrong, and that babies don't use their lungs until they are born.  So as you can imagine there is comfort in seeing things progressing and hearing good news, but still a lot of worrying.  I've also read that hiccups are a good sign of lung maturity, that it shows the lungs are developed enough for hiccuping.  I never felt Polly hiccup, which that doesn't mean she never did, it could have been that I just didn't feel them, but last week I felt Blakely hiccup and you would have thought I had won the lottery with how excited that made me.  I made Whit confirm that they were indeed hiccups.  I have to remind myself that there is no guarantee, but you can't be too disappointed with hearing good news and having good signs like that.  I do have one specific worry, which is more of a hurdle than a health concern, but we found out that Blakely is breech.  I am 35 weeks and she is running out of time (and room) to turn around, which means a c-section for me if she stays where she is at.  I had Polly naturally and had an uneventful labor and delivery, our rollercoaster began immediately when she was born.  The thought of surgery scares me.  What if I can't get up and go like the last time?  What if I am less aware of what is going on?  Also babies born via c-section tend to have a higher chance of breathing issues for various reasons, but I also know plenty of babies are born healthy that way.  We just want to have her here safe and healthy and don't care what that takes.  It worries me that she isn't doing what most babies do right now, but then again it doesn't take much to get me worrying.  Worrying is something I pray about daily and is always a constant struggle.

So please pray that Blakely is just doing things on her own timeline (much like her mother) and that she will turn head down and be born the way that is more natural and helpful for her little lungs.  If that doesn't happen, please pray for a safe procedure and for the doctors that will perform it.  Either way we ask for prayers for Blakely and for us.  We know God knows our hearts even better than we do and have continued to rely on Him to give us peace and a calmness as we await little Blakely's arrival.  As always we thank you for thinking of our family.  We truly feel your prayers every single day. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

14 Months

14 months ago our world came crashing down.  We spent our final hours with our baby girl, our only child, our precious Polly who gave us the gift of parenthood.  We had sat by her bedside for a month praying and crying and begging for a miracle. I cannot express into words how it changes you when you are told your child will not live.  As you stare at her and kiss her and hold her, knowing you will never get to touch her again.  Waiting for that moment when the doctor tells you she is gone.  It is a terrible, indescribable pain that changes every single part of you.  And then you are left trying to navigate your world without the child you had prayed and planned for.  To come home to all of her unused items we had carefully picked out, to see the stocked pantry in preparation for staying at home, to see the basket of clean, neatly folded onesies I had washed just days before she was born, and on top of all of it, to see the layer of dust on all of her furniture from us being gone for a month.  Then that's it, the world expects you to just return to normal, but what is normal for us?  Loosing a baby isn't normal.  In fact one thing I've learned is that child loss is a taboo subject, one that most people are not comfortable talking about so they just don't.  It warms our hearts to hear Polly's name or know someone is thinking of her, so it took a lot of getting used to to realize that most people don't want to mention anything.  Usually it is for fear of upsetting us, but that is a huge myth in grief......we are already upset, it isn't like mentioning the baby we lost is suddenly going to remind us of the pain because it is already there.  The pain never goes away, it doesn't dull or "get easier", you just get used to it.  You somehow learn to live with it, which we are still trying to figure out how exactly to do that.  The holidays and celebrations make it a lot harder to handle our grief.  We just try to figure out a way to make it as painless as possible, although there is no getting around the hurt.  I am completely worn out emotionally from all the celebrations that have happened over the past few weeks.  I have been an emotional wreck and just allowing myself to feel all of these emotions and "cry it out" so that I will hopefully have some calmer, more stable days ahead. 

This week I also realized how close I am to my due date.  I will be 33 weeks this week and am getting very nervous about all of this.  I'm scared but will do whatever it takes to bring home this baby.  I can't come home to an empty nursery again.  In the middle of my crying spurts and fearful thoughts, I have felt calmness.  I know this is out of my hands, but that doesn't make it easier.  I am just not prepared to say goodbye to another baby.  I know she won't heal my wounds, but I know she will bring joy to our lives much like she has already.  We are already in love with her.  I am going weekly to the doctor now for extra monitoring as my due date approaches.  I feel like I should be doing something but there isn't anything to do but wait.  Normally you would be washing clothes and preparing a nursery, doing some last minute shopping, etc.  Instead we are preparing by having a game plan with all the medical professionals who will be there that day, to have MCG on stand by in case we need a chopper, and preparing in the event we have to leave our home for weeks again.  That is all we know and although most babies are completely healthy when they are born, we can't have the rug pulled out from under us again.

So 14 months later, at the start of 2013, here is where we are.  We still miss Polly every day, she is our first thought when we wake up and our last when we fall asleep.  I still shower her with kisses and keep fresh flowers by her tiny box.  We still talk to her.  I cry often, more often than you would probably care to know.  The 11th is still a difficult day.  I miss her smell.  There are many things that I am unable to do and events I cannot attend.  We are still trying to learn how to live without her.  I would give absolutely anything to hold her again.  Some days the pain is so bad it makes it hard to breath.  We still sob, cry listening to a song on the radio, and feel our hearts break when we see parents with their baby.  My stomach turns every time I see an ambulance or hear a siren.  I still spend quiet moments in her nursery.  14 months later we have hope too.  Hope for this baby, hope for the future, and we are trying to pray in faith knowing God is in control and will take care of us.  We are not "over it" or doing better or any other way that people try to measure how you are coping.  There is no timeline for grief.  We just take one day at a time because that is the only thing we know how to do.  As we countdown the final weeks before our second daughter arrives, we ask that you remember our family in your prayers.  Please pray for peace and comfort in the weeks ahead for us and for a healthy baby with perfectly working lungs.  Thank you for your prayers.