Monthly Archives: October 2012

7 months

Just a quickie today. Today Lucy would have been 7 months old. I wonder if I’ll ever stop counting the months. I guess I probably will – I stopped counting the weeks, and at first I thought every Monday and Wednesday would be especially hard. Today I read about a baby who died, and as I was crying, about halfway through his story, I realized that he was in the same NICU as Lucy for a few days while she was there. I want to send his parents a message and tell them that we have this in common, but I don’t know if it will help or not.

I’ve been struggling a lot with guilt lately. I think it’s because I realized something recently. We had a lot of really good reasons for not spending more time than we did at the hospital with Lucy, and they are still valid reasons. We had to sleep, and eat, if for no other reason than that I had to keep making milk. That was important. But I realized that I would have found a way to be there a lot more if I hadn’t, at some point, started to take for granted that Lucy would be coming home with us. I really thought we’d have forever to show her how much we loved her. It seems like an unlikely failing for me, because I’m constantly trying to remind myself not to take things for granted. And of all things, how could I take her for granted? I’m so mad at myself that I had to relearn that lesson with something so important. I don’t know how I would have done it, but I wish I’d spent every minute possible with her. Now it seems like so much wasted time.

Anyway, what are we doing 7 months after our Lucy Anne was born? Today we’re driving to Bakersfield to spend the night visiting with friends at the Ronald McDonald House. Our good friends Autumn and Aaron are coming to meet us with their sweet little boy Talen. We haven’t seen them in a couple months, so that’s fun. Tomorrow morning I have a check-up with my OB. I’m not as nervous this time as I was last time, because by now the baby is very squirmy (it woke me up with a kick last night), and we heard its little heart beating strong with the home doppler last night.

I can’t believe it was only 7 months ago that Lucy was born, and I’m almost halfway through this pregnancy. Crazy how things change. It goes without saying that every day is a struggle – with guilt, anger, fear, and mostly sadness. I wish I could think about my little girl and just be happy, but every time I think about her I remember everything we’ve lost. I hope eventually that will change. Until then, we’re just sort of getting through. Apparently there are some people who think it’s somehow less of a loss if you lose a baby, but I don’t know how anyone could think that. I’ve never lost an older child (God forbid), or even anyone else very close to me, but losing Lucy hurts in a way I never knew was possible, and I really don’t think it will ever stop.

Still, I don’t want to sound like life is all bad. It really isn’t. Feeling this baby move makes me really happy (it’s dancing to the music I’m listening to right now – it often starts kicking when I listen to music). David and my family and the autumn all make me happy. On Halloween David and I will have been together 11 years, and that makes me happy. I just feel like part of our happiness is missing, and our Lucy Anne should be here with us now.

A general sort of update

Lucy has been gone 5 months now. She would have been almost 7 months old. The monthly anniversary of her death is starting to not be quite as hard. Or maybe it’s that it’s just as hard as any other day, and they’re all hard. We miss her so much.

About a month after Lucy died, David and I were in some store. I remember for a while it felt weird to be out in public. So many people around here knew what had happened, so I felt a lot of pressure to seem a certain way – like I had to make sure I looked sad enough, or something. That’s kind of a ridiculous thing to worry about when my heart felt like it had died with Lucy, but I was still worried about what people would think if I smiled. It’s weird to me now that I worried about that, because at this point it’s hard for me to keep it together in public sometimes, and I find myself hiding out occasionally when I can’t quite stop the tears. Anyway, that wasn’t my point. My point was that a store employee went out of her way to tell us that we looked so cheerful. She said that we both looked happy. It was memorable because I don’t think either of us were happy. When Lucy died, I thought that we would be really sad for a while, and that it would slowly start to feel a little better. That doesn’t seem to be how it works for us, though. We are genuinely happy sometimes now, but the sadness is always there underneath, and I think it always will be. But I guess it’s not surprising that we’re happy sometimes, and I’m starting to feel less guilty about those happy times. Lucy was a sweet baby, and I really think she loved us and would have wanted us to be happy. And I realized that it doesn’t mean that I love her any less or that I miss her any less. We have a lot to be happy about and to be grateful for – good friends, family, a good life, each other, a new baby. Still, despite the happiness and the gratitude for what we have, the grief is often overwhelming. Sometimes I can’t be logical and remind myself of all those good things, and I feel so angry. A lot of times I feel like I would trade all of that to have Lucy back. I don’t know, all the feelings are confusing. There’s nothing straightforward about grieving.

My pregnancy is going pretty well and has mostly been uneventful. I’m feeling better now, and I’ve been feeling the baby move for a couple of weeks now, which is exciting (and also reassuring, because I’m often anxious about it). This baby seems to sleep most of the day, then wakes up when daddy comes home and starts talking. That’s what Lucy did too. I had an appointment a little over a week ago to check my cervix (4 cm, better than ever), and we got to see our little one wiggling all around. We’re waiting to find out the baby’s sex until it’s born, but the ultrasound tech knows if it’s a boy or girl anyway. Everything looked really good – baby moving a lot as usual, even sucking his/her thumb briefly. Whereas Lucy consistently measured a little small, this one has been consistently big ever since week 12. That makes me feel just a little better, because if this one does end up being born early, a little extra weight will help. I got an infection and had to take antibiotics, because if left untreated, it could have caused preterm labor. That was scary, but it seems okay now. David and I have both been sick, but we got our flu shots, and David got his pertussis immunization (I got mine last April). Last week I started the 13 hydroxyprogesterone shots to help keep me from contracting. David gives me the shot once a week from week 17 to week 37 in my hip. Neither of us likes it, but he really hates it. Still, it’s a small price to pay for a little more peace of mind. Here are some of the most recent pictures of our little squirmer:

Saying hello.

Baby Donald 2 006

Sucking his/her thumb.

Baby Donald 2 003

Cute profile.

Baby Donald 2 005

Now one for Halloween: freaky ghoul skeleton baby! Just kidding. He/she has very cute . . . zygomatic arches? Some ultrasound pictures are just not “cute,” but I’m happy to see all the parts in the right places.

Baby Donald 2 002

We went for a picnic in the mountains yesterday, and in the evening David made me a delicious dinner, helped me get my hard cider started, and then made brownies. I really lucked out with this man. I’ve received a lot of support and love from friends and strangers who read my blog posts, but sometimes it seems a little unfair. You guys don’t get to see how amazing David is, and I couldn’t have done any of this without him. It’s hard for me to even explain how important he is to me, and how wonderful he has been through all of this. He’s more private than I am, so he won’t say any of this for himself, but I’d like everyone to know what an incredible person he is.