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.