"... These words are my diary, screaming out loud. And I know that you'll use them however you want to..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A new year...and new hope.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my followers! I have to say that 2010 has to be one of the most bittersweet years of my life.
We awaited Kherrington's arrival in January, and worked hard to prepare a nursery. Then we had to say hello and goodbye over the course of 3 days in February. We shopped for an urn and memorial jewellery instead of having a baby shower and buying all the last minute things she would need. In March we had a memorial, and got our tattoos in April. Somehow, we managed to survive the rest of the spring. I returned to work in May, and my DH graduated from the Paramedic Academy in July. We found out we were expecting July 31st, my DH started his job in August. With each passing week this fall and winter, our little rainbow is shining brighter and brighter.
Now here we are at Christmas, and then a New Year. Soon after the start of 2011, we will mark Kheri's first birthday. It is hard to believe we're approaching her first "angelversary" or "Birthday". Within 6 weeks of her birthday, we hope to be celebrating the live and safe arrival of our rainbow. Goodbye 2010, a year of highs and lows. A year of breathless moments.

"Life's not the breath you take,
The Breathing in and out.
That gets you through the day,
Ain't what it's all about.
You just might miss the point,
Trying to win the race.
Life's not the breaths you take,
But the moments that take your breath away.."


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 months

So in the hectic insanity that was the last few days, I forgot to write a post yesterday :( We went to Fredericton (1 hour away) for an ultrasound and OB appointment for our rainbow baby. The weather wasn't the best, and we got home late. Kherrington would have been 10 months old yesterday, and probaby trying to pull herself up on the Christmas tree. I wonder who would have eaten more needles off the tree..her or the cats? In many ways I can't believe it is December already. Time marches on...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our deepest fear.

I have had several discussions recently with other BLMs, friends, family, doctors, colleagues and acquaintances, about the power behind being a baby-lost parent. The power that comes with talking about your dead child, and the power in the words "my baby died". It is like a brick, shattering through the "crystal palace dreams" that some people have about life.

When you tell an unsuspecting person that your baby died, the expression on their face usually tells it all. Their shock, dismay, and guilt is usually summed up with an "I'm so sorry, I didn't know... If I had known, I wouldn't have....That is just awful". Sometimes a tear or two, a unsuspecting hug, or you just see the shoulders slump, and the head drop. It really just lets the air out of the high flying balloon that they were riding that day. And that is a powerful thing. It is very powerful that my daughter and I have that power to make people stop..and potentially think.

I remember when Kherrington passed away. As a mother, and as a woman, I felt inadequate and a failure. I couldn't even pick up on the fact that something was wrong. What kind of parent was I. But with LOTS of counselling, and the ability to talk about her, I have discovered that us baby lost parents are powerful beings.

I was watching a movie this afternoon..Coach Carter. It is based on a true story of a coach of a inner city basketball team. While trying to change a young man who was heading for trouble, this coach repeatedly asked him "What is your deepest fear?". The young man answered with this, and I instantly paused the video and wrote it down. As baby lost parents we have plenty of fears, but it think for most of us, this sums it up.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine, just as children do. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Friday, November 5, 2010

9 months

So, Kherrington would be 9 months old tomorrow. What do I say to that? It seems as though time has slipped away from us, especially with "bump" growing and showing us that she is there.

Kherrington sure left her mark, like we knew she would. I'm pretty sure she is what is making me pause and say "was that your sister kicking?..no.. it is just gas. If I knew it was your sister for sure, I'd go crazy when she is not moving". She is what made me fill my arms with cute onesies last week at the superstore, then pause and put them all back on the rack, when I realized "I have stuff at home". She is the voice in my head that says "Just wait a few more weeks before opening up that room or buying a lot of stuff".

About two weeks ago at work, I was working with one of the supervisors on a project. When our meeting was finished, we were just chatting about this pregnancy, and about Kheri. He looked at me and said "But you know, when this one comes along, you'll forget all about her"... My heart skipped, my jaw dropped. My biggest fear is people forgetting. I know we sure won't, but I know some people will. He continued to say "When this one comes, you'll be so happy that it will make it better for you". I immediately said " No, I don't think so. I know I can't forget. I know I'll wonder in the fall of 2028 which college/university she would have gone to". He then did what most people do...stutter and trip over their words until they finally just shut up.

Anyway, Kheri would be 9 months old tomorrow. That is all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stormy weather

So today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day, and the weather matches my mood…stormy.

First, I had a horrible night, where I didn’t sleep longer than 2 or 3 hours at a time, and I was up to the bathroom almost every hour after 3 am, really for no apparent reason. Then I went to work, where I am frustrated because I am continually asking for help and not getting any, and with a deadline looming. We are also experiencing a “weather bomb”, lots of rain and stronger winds that we had seen when "hurricane Earl" threatened our routines. If it was a few degrees colder the driving conditions would be awful, there were tricky without any snow.

So I was browsing the Internet during my lunch break and re-visited Glow in the Woods. I find it helpful to return there on occasion, and I will admit that it has been months since I have read any posts on the forum. I found a post the spoke to me, after the recent comment made on my “Dear lost follower” post.

“I don't think we have a duty to be nice to people hitting us where it hurts…..I do not believe we owe it to anyone to keep quiet. (I'll go further-- some of the shit people say, they really should feel bad about.) I don't think the one in pain should also be responsible for gracefully articulating where and exactly how much it hurts. Luckily for me, most of my friends don't think that either.”

I think that says it all. This is my space, and I will use it however I need to. If someone doesn't like it, then don’t read it, it is that simple. Soldiers have fought and died so that we can ALL have these freedoms. We ALL have the freedom to read whatever we want and to not read whatever offends our senses. We ALL also have the choice to read it, take offense, and then go complain about it in our own way. As the phrase under my header at the top of this blog says “These words are my diary screaming out loud, and I know that you’ll use them however you want to”… But know that I will not be censored.

So peace today to all my fellow baby lost parents, and those who are share their journey. We don’t have to be quiet, we don’t have to be pleasant, but we most certainly will be better mothers, fathers and friends to those who truly love and support us. An excellent grief counsellor has taught me that we get to be, whatever we need to be in the moment. Nothing more, and certainly, nothing less.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dear lost follower...

So, I signed into my blogger this morning and I noticed that you had stopped following my blog. I can't say as though I am surprised, I was actually more surprised when you started following it in the first place. I didn't think you cared enough, and through e-mail correspondence you told me you followed my blog because you felt that it was "heart felt"... So what changed? I don't know what could me more heart felt than sharing the most intimate moments of my daughter's birth yesterday. Moments that we have held close to us until now.

SO, is the problem that pictures of my dead daughter make YOU uncomfortable?? If that is the case you need to put on your big girl panties and take a step into reality. Is the problem that you think my blog is too depressing for your little happy reality... GET OVER IT! "Life 'aint always what you think it ought to be. 'Aint even grey but she buries her baby"...

Last year, I wrote a post that referred to you. Perhaps you didn't realize it at the time (This same post also referred to someone else as well). You did this same thing to me last year, then begged to be my friend when my daughter died. Is the problem that I didn't let you in? What do you expect? YOU cut ME out of YOUR life last year. Then when tragedy struck, you thought you could waltz back in and be my friend. NO!! You don't get to use my daughter like that!!! I told you that you could feel free to read my blog and left it at that. I am so glad now that I didn't let you completely into my life. If I could block you, I would.

You say in a recent blog post of your own that you only want to be surrounded by people who grow and change. I don't know of two other people who have grown so much in one year as my dh and I. Perhaps you should look into the mirror and see how much you have grown since high school.

You know what? I am glad you've stopped following. I no longer have to consider you as I write my posts and comment on others blogs. Good bye to a "toxic friend" as Iris would say. Please don't come back, I promise I will not let you get close...at all...

*** I would like to place a note here. To the rest of my followers, please don't think that I would ever write this about any of my BLM friends and understanding listeners who decide that they need to move on from reading my blog. This was a "special case", and a person who is manipulative and caustic. I am pissed off, and I feel stupid for ever letting this person read my blog in the first place. I should have known better. Peace to all***

Saturday, October 9, 2010

They came today...

We finally received the touched up pictures back from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. She did a great job! There are a few things I would change, if I could..I guess the biggest one would be the fact that I have to receive these pictures at all. The pictures should me happier, they should contain a screaming child, and the pictures should still be taken today..on what would be her first Thanksgiving.
But I am thankful that we have these pictures. They are the few treasures we cling to. Here are a few touched up pictures of our angel. As always, I have to put a picture of my dh and our girl from My Life In Purple.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eight it is...

Kherrington would/should be 8 months old tomorrow. Now that we have the final autopsy results, and we are dealing with the rainbow on the way (who is a drama king/queen already!), it seems that time is flying faster than ever.

I still haven't opened the door to her room. I said I would to allow for a nice air exchange after the hot summer we had. But I figure the air exchanger is doing the work for me. I know, that if this is a boy, I'll have to pack up all of her things. If it is a girl, I will still have to pack up a few things, and re-wash everything else. I just keep putting it off (just like sharing our new secret with the Facebook world). I'll get around to it eventually, part of me doesn't want to, but I know I have to.

Happy 8 months my angel. Hope you're trying to talk up a storm up there (baby babbling)...and getting baby food EVERYWHERE!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Final Results

The specialist called this morning with the final results of Kherrington's autopsy. We had met with her in mid march and discussed the preliminary results of the autopsy, and she explained at the time that the final results would likely take 6 months.

Thankfully, there was no big suprises. Kherrington had CF, we knew that from the preliminary results. They noted the bowel obstruction, and the doctor informed me that Kheri's bowel had ruptured. That was a suprise to me. They had told us during the preliminary results that Kheri had a bowel obstruction or a twist in the bowel, and she likely bled to death internally. I guess that was the case, but I didn't equate that with the bowel actually rupturing.

The bowel ruptured... it sounds so painful. I am thankful that there were no other problems that she faced. She didn't have any chromosome problems, birth defects or other disorders. She was perfect otherwise, and always will be in our eyes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog-anniversary Reflection...Blog Title...and her.

Wow. A year ago today I wrote my very first blog post ever. It was appropriately called "My First", and it was written when I was 19 weeks pregnant with Kheri. Looking back today, I remember what I felt like writing that post, and how I was so excited to be pregnant. This was all written before the complications began.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be pregnant with this child. We are so freaking excited that we have to make sure we don't get too excited. I do miss that ignorant bliss though. I know the experience with Kheri, the entire pregnancy, her death, and life without her, will make me a better mother. In hindsight, I am glad that I continued to write and document this journey.

I have made some amazing, supportive friends along the way, who are complete strangers that are not afraid to ask questions, encourage me, and grieve with me. As I said in a previous post, it is amazing how a complete stranger can be more supportive than those in my life who think I should "just get over it and move on". And for this I thank all of you. For your patience, and listening to my ramblings from a blissfully pregnant mother to be, to a baby lost mother, to a mother carrying a rainbow (on my rainbow blog).

I revisited my first post this morning, and remembered where the inspiration for my blog's name came from. Those song lyrics are actually a song sung by Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and they are more appropriate now, more than ever. So I went this morning, and watched the video again, and I believe now, more than ever, that Kheri inspired me to name the blog "This 'aint no dress rehearsal". There are scenes in this video that of course I didn't pick up on before, especially the scene where the little girl, with dark curls, is playing the guitar with a very old man (Perhaps a Great-Grand Father to her?). Here, you watch, and judge for yourself.

That was what she taught all of us through her short life and death. You only get so many rides around the sun in this life. This life really 'aint no dress rehearsal.

Days pass me by just like moments
There here and then they're gone for good, for good
I work so hard at where I'm going
I wonder what I've missed

I can't remember the last time
I picked up the phone just to talk
For hours on end
Or sent a birthday card unbelated
Maybe I should slow down

Life doesn't wait for us to get it right
Day after night
It just goes on and when it goes wrong
It goes and then it's gone
So I'm gonna do my best
To make the most of it
Avoid regret, Yeah
Take a breath and realize
Time is irreversible
This ain't no dress rehearsal

I've always got a big to-do list
Oh, but there's so much more to do, to see
I want to
Know that I didn't leave I love yous
Trapped within my heart
There won't always be another day to
Say all the things you wanna say, so don't, don't wait
Wait for the perfect situation
It will never come around


And when the show is over
And they lay me down
I want to be remembered for the love I spread around


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rainbow Blog

Well, I just finished setting up another blog for our rainbow. I have been wanting to post updates, but setting up the blog takes time, and of course I haven't had a lot of that lately! So go over to Carrying a rainbow, and check it out. Over the next few days, I hope to get some time to catch up on my posts over on that blog.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Where were you?

Where were you on September 11, 2001? I was in my second year of college. I had just put on my make-up and was combing my hair before class when I walked past my roommate's door and she said "Marj, come here". I stood in her doorway and watched the coverage live. We watched in horror as we saw the second plane fly into the building, and then the explosion and smoke. I was almost late for class because I stood there watching as the towers burned. By the time I got to my first class of the day, the professors told us that the first tower had collapsed. As the morning progressed, we learned of the pentagon, and the plane that went down in that Pennsylvania field, and of course, the collapse of the second tower.

Now apparently Pastor (if that is what I have to call him.. if you ask me he is the farthest thing from "a man of God" as a person can get..) Terry Jones is still threatening to burn the Koran. He is taking this day, that should be one of reflection and remembrance, and making it his own. I pray that he does not do this horrific act. I hope I don't have to stand and look at news coverage of the backlash that American and Allied Canadian troops, and embassies will experience as a result of his own personal agenda. I hope for the sake of the families of all those who perished on September 11, 2001, that he does not overshadow this important and sad day, with a pointless and evil act. He says that Islam is a violent religion because of the terrorists that call themselves followers, and the backlash he is receiving already. Well if that is the case, then he is the terrorist of the Christian world. He is not the majority,and neither are the Islamic terrorists he speaks of.

So, to return to the meaning of September 11, 2001. I send my thoughts to my American neighbours tomorrow. I hope the families have found some peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

7 months already!

Wow, I can't believe that 7 months have passed already. Every month keeps passing quicker and quicker, and I know that time will really fly now that Kheri has found a suitable soul to send as a sibling. So we wait, we hope, and do our best to believe, and of course, we miss her.
I find it rather fitting that today, when I did my ritualistic check of CBC website, that I stumbled upon a story. I can not seem to get onto CBC right now, or else I would share it :P It is about a mother of a teenage girl who was murdered. The title said "Mother still mourns daughter's death" (or something like that.. I can't remember the exact wording). The daughter has been gone about 6 months or so I think. A lot of people don't think it is "news", except for the last few paragraphs. I shake my head at the title, and the fact that it seems to lead readers to believe that it is not OK, and that it is not normal for this mother to still be grieving. WTF do they expect!? She lost a child, and us BLM can relate to her emotions. I couldn't imagine having your child taken from you, and be left to wonder where she went, or what happened to her, and to be left with the thoughts that your child had a horrific death.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ambivalent.. I hope not...

Wow. Our lives were tossed upside down last Wednesday morning when my husband's grandmother (Nan as she's called, and she is like a second mother to my husband) had a "significant" heart attack, followed by a less severe one. She is still in the hospital, and they are doing what they can for her, but she is 92, and doesn't want any extraneous measures taken (including further resuscitation). Nan has always said "when it is my time to go.. its my time to go".
So we have spent a lot of time at the hospital, including stopping in after work this evening. I feel guilty, because I should be able to stay longer. But I don't think I can do it every day this week while I'm working. I'll be thoroughly exhausted by Thursday (which is my next day off). I will do what I can, but I feel bad that it is not more.
So on to my story. I was at the hospital tonight and a friend of his aunt's came in to visit Nan, and she brought her neighbour with her. This woman, I will refer to as C, is very nice. We chatted about the usual stuff. The current weather, including the hurricane warnings that turned into nothing but rain and wind for us, a little bit about the upcoming election, and then the topic of my current pregnancy came up.
Then came the discussion about Kheri and what happened in February of this year. She then said "yeah, I lost one once. A little boy. It happens." She said this with an air of ambivalence that instantly irritated me. I responded with "yeah, it happens, but that still doesn't make it OK". She said "It will be OK, eventually". I said "I don't think so. At least not for me".
So that got me wondering. At what point to some baby lost moms become ambivalent, and OK? Will we be there some day? Looking back on this as a faded memory. Will we say to fresh dead-baby moms "Oh yeah, I lost one once. It was a girl. It happens". I hope not.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Could this really be our rainbow?

"...'Rainbow Baby' is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of colour, energy and hope..."

Well, it has happened. On July 31st I got a BFP (big fat positive..pregnancy test)...well, more like a faint one, but it was there just the same. Then I proceeded to test two more times over the next two days, just in case I didn't believe the first one.

I had my first appointment on August 12th. During the appointment the doctor decided to pull out the ultrasound. He had a student and wanted to show her what she should be looking for. Well of course they didn't find anything. I was only 5 weeks + 5 days along. But it made me wish they had never tried at all. They patted my arm and told me not to worry. That their equipment sucked and that it was far too early. If they really wanted to see anything they would have to do a trans-vaginal ultrasound and they didn't want to do that. So I am trying to not think about it too much, but it is hard. Some of the memories of February 3rd were right there under the surface. Shit, I was even in the same exam room that I was in when we found out Kheri was gone.

So now, here we go again. Appointments every two weeks starting September 9th(between regular checkups and ultrasounds in Fredericton). I hate the fact that I am saying "if" before everything. "If" we actually bring home a baby. "If" this turns into a bona-fide child in late March/early April of 2011. "If" we make it through the next 6 weeks, never mind the entire pregnancy. "If"..."If"..."If". I am a little bitter that I don't get to have that unfettered joy that pregnant women have. Instead, right now, I run to the bathroom at every trickle or cramp, looking for blood. And "if" this child starts moving between 16 and 20 weeks, I will be constantly counting and charting.

It has taken about 2 weeks for the "pregnant" brain to settle in. For us to start talking in terms of this child. I know that this is difficult for many of you TTC ladies to read. I pray that your TTC battles end soon, and you can join me on this rainbow journey. I need some company, just so that I know that I'm not going crazy!

I am thinking that I may start another blog for this rainbow baby. Check my profile in the coming weeks for another blog, should I start one. I want Kheri to have her own space here, and I still need a place to go to in terms of baby loss. Also, I want baby G 2.0 to have his/her own identity, separate from his/her big sister's.

For those of you who may be a Facebook friend, PLEASE, no public wall posts yet. No comments on statuses, or pictures, or anything. We still have some family who are not aware, and we will tell them and "go public" when we are ready. Isn't it funny, how virtual strangers can seem more understanding than those who are supposed to love us unconditionally? Also, if at all possible, for those of you who read this and are part of my "real" life, please minimize the public gossip. As I said, there are family and co-workers who do not know. When we are ready, we will tell them, I do not want them hearing about it through Tim Horton's/Murray's/Fusion/Pub gossip at the next table. We would still like the "mute" button on for the next little while. Please understand that I am posting it here on the unspoken understanding that most of you live in a virtual world that can lend me some support. And as for the rest of you, I can only hope that you are able to use your discretion, and common sense.

A quick smoke break

***This is an unofficial break from the regularly scheduled baby loss programming and ramblings to bring you an important message. If you think this applies to you, perhaps you should consider smoking cessation...***

Every time I see you, or a picture of you, you have a cigarette hanging from your mouth or your hand. It really is NOT attractive, or appealing. You smell, you look awful and really, it is a disgusting habit. It is NOT attractive at all. If you are trying to be "sexy", or re-create the Audrey Hepburn look, you are FAILING! You just look dirty, and gross.

When I have to walk through old cigarette butts, just to get to work, it makes me want to vomit. Pick up after yourself! I would get yelled at for dropping a kleenex on the ground, so how is it any different with your cigarette butts?

Every time you walk past me, or near me, after having a "smoke" I almost gag on the smoke that lingers on your clothing and around you. Stay outside for a minute or two after you take your last drag and get that stench off your clothing. You stink of cigarettes without the extra smoke that lingers on your clothing when you come inside. I think the smoke that lingers should be considered second hand smoke as well.

If you MUST smoke, look around you, and think of others. Perhaps you should think of quitting...before this happens to you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

To my dear...

I love you SO much. I'm so proud of you, of us, for everything we have accomplished and everything we have endured. I love the fact that I get to go through this life with you.

Five years ago today, we said "I Do".

"I'm so proud of the house we've built.
Its stronger than sticks, stones and steel.
Its not a big place sitting up high on some hill.
A lot of things may come and go,
but love never will.
Oh I'm proud, I'm of the house we've built."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Words fail me...

So, here we are. Six months have passed since Kheri died and I have no idea what to say. I wish I had all kinds of grief metaphors, and words of encouragement for other BLM on their journey.... but there is nothing. It is raining today, and my hubby's Facebook status is " Rain seems appropriate today. I hate you, CF".

On another note, Kheri is being remembered by many today. Susan included Kheri in Gracie's birthday party, for which I am SO grateful. It is amazing how the horrors of child loss can bring perfect strangers together that have never met. I have received some notes of encouragement this morning, thanks to all who have sent those. Kheri's auntie Iris wrote another lovely tribute to Kheri. Thank you, my sister from another momma and mister, for that. Thanks to all, for the love and support over the last 6 months.

I am a fan of P!ink's music. I have heard this song on the radio a lot lately and it has been speaking to me. Especially the line that says

"Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?"

It reminds me of this blog world. The majority of my followers are perfect strangers, that I have never met, yet feel like I know. I wish we could all meet, and have dinner together. It really is amazing how sometimes, some of the people who understand and care the most, are people I have never met. Yet I have people that I know and live close, that do not understand, or care. This grief thing can be very lonely at times, especially when there are those who move away from you.

I read a post on Glow in the Woods, which I can't find right now, otherwise I would provide a link. It talks about weeding your garden, and getting rid of all the weeds that can choke out the beautiful flowers in your life. I think it may be time to really weed my garden, because some of those pesky weeds just will not go away. Time to review those priorities set back in February, when our old world ended, and this new one began.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm back...sort of...

Hi all, and welcome to my newest followers.

I realize I have been MIA since mid July. I have been reading your blogs, and commenting where I can, but my life has been very hectic. My hubby had his graduation on the 12th of July, and it was a wonderful day. We are all so proud of him and his accomplishments this year, especially since our circumstances were less than ideal. Kheri was there with us, there was a few minutes during the ceremony that I could feel her. See, isn't he handsome in his uniform!

So things are starting to come together. Hubby passed his provincial licencing exam and is now a licenced Paramedic in the province! Needless to say I'm SO proud! I know Kheri would be as well. So now we're just waiting on a job offer.

I have been working.... ALOT! I just finished a 13 shift stretch, hence my hiatus from blogging. Hopefully I don't have to do that again anytime soon! I just woke up from a one hour nap on the couch, in the middle of the afternoon. So yeah, I'm tired. We're currently approaching the end of the t/w/w, so I'm a little on edge. I seriously doubt that this month "took", but one can hope. But I'm trying to be realistic, so that I'm not too let down when AF arrives next week.

On a different note, I would like to share a video with you. I heard about Eva Morkvort and her blog 65_RedRoses, which was her journal while she waited for a lung transplant due to damage caused by Cystic Fibrosis. Eva was truly an amazing young woman. I would like to urge you to become an organ donor (if you aren't already one)! Talk to your family and take care of yourself. I noticed in the video that the doctor said during the transplant that the lungs that Eva received were damaged due to smoking and pollution. Get out your Kleenexes, watch this video, then go check out her journal. It appears that her journal has continued, even though she is gone. What a legacy!

It appears that I can't import the video for some reason...so here is the link.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fading smiles...

So, here we are again. Tomorrow will mark yet another month that has passed and, it seems that June was the quickest month yet. Five months already...where has the time gone?
I am happy that the time is moving quickly. It shows that I am busy, and reminds me that perhaps this is our "new normal"???? On the other hand, it is another month that has passed without her.
This past weekend, my hubby and I went to an event for an hour or two. At this event, people were smiling, drinking, dancing and listening to music. I felt like I was surrounded by people whose lives were still glittering. I know death has touched some of their lives, in one way or another, but not in the same way it has touched mine. Actually, I don't think death has just "touched" my life, but rather punched it in the face, and kicked it in the crotch. I am tempted to respond to peoples' "how are you?"s with the response of "Well, I'm just kick me in the crotch, spit on my neck, fantastic! How are you?"
After I left the event I heard the following lyric in a song. The song was actually "Mockingbird" by Rob Thomas (as I mentioned in my previous post called "Someday"). I am just going to take a small liberty and change one small aspect of the lyric, however, I feel that it fits the feeling I had at this event perfectly.

"Everybody else is smiling,
Man, their smiles don't fade.
I don't even wonder why,
I just don't think that way..."

Monday, June 28, 2010


I seem to be hearing a lot of Rob Thomas's music on the radio lately. So I decided to investigate his most recent album entitled Cradlesong. Several songs have spoken to me on this album. "Her Diamonds" for all the BLD trying to cope with us BLM. The song "Her Diamonds" was actually written for his wife, who is battling a disease. Then there is the song "Mockingbird", because I really do wonder sometimes if we are all meant for the love of parenthood(to a live child). The song that I heard on the radio that sparked my interest was this one, called "Someday". So to all the fellow BLM and BLD out there...

"Maybe someday, We'll figure all this out,
Try to put an end to all our doubt,
Try to find a way to just feel better now, and
Maybe someday, we'll live our lives out loud,
We'll be better off somehow...someday."

** Oh, if you're wondering.. BLM = Baby lost moms; BLD = Baby lost Dads ***

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A year already

In the middle of my jog this morning, the date crossed my mind. June 22nd. I year ago today, I went for a run. I was hoping that it would encourage my period along, since it felt like it was just about to start. After my run, there was nothing. I think that was the first moment I "knew".
I proceeded to our local Walmart, then headed home. I remember placing the test on the counter and watching the colour move across the test window. My heart was pounding in my throat, then I saw the "pregnant" line appear before the control line! My jaw dropped. I had a shower, drank some water, then tried again. Another positive. This was at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I sat on the couch and waited for my hubby to come home. I can remember attempting to watch something on T.V. and cruising the Internet at the same time.
When my hubby came home, I pulled him to the bathroom and told him to take a look at what was on the counter. He leaned over, looked at the tests, then looked back at me and said "are we?!", with the cutest grin.
A year ago today, is when it all began.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kheri's beach party

This past weekend my hubby and I headed to Prince Edward Island (or "the island" as Maritimers call it!) for a wedding. The wedding was lovely. A small and simple affair where the guests were encouraged to dress casually, and the ceremony took place at sunset at West Point. The wedding actually was on Friday night, so the hubby and I decided to make a weekend out of it, and stayed in Charlottetown on Saturday night.
On Saturday, we made our way up to Cavendish where we went to the nearby National park. Once down on the beach, we went to work on our masterpiece. As you can see, PEI is known for its Red Sand beaches. The earth on the entire island is red due to high iron oxide levels.
I must apologize, I know that there are other babies out there that I didn't include in our work, but know that we were thinking of everyone. The weather was VERY warm but the water was cool, and the beach was quiet. I even caught a little sun while my hubby and I were working away.

Kherrington's art!

And baby Cara...

Little Acacia...

And Gracie too...

All four angels, names in the sand, foot prints on our hearts!

As I said, I know I have some new followers that I may have missed, and for this I apologize. I'm sure we'll be back to The Island and I'll do my best to get everyone next time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Well, It is finally here!

After about a month of procrastination, and a week of waiting, Kheri's tree was planted last week. We finally made the decision to go with a "Toba" Hawthorne. It has small double flowers that go from white to pink in the spring, and gives off small red berries in the fall. We have it planted on the front, south west portion of our property...over looking the Meduxnekeag River valley, and where we can still see it from the house. Perhaps next year, after it is well established, I'll start working on putting a garden around the tree. Here are some pictures. I apologize for the fuzzy close up of the flowers, a breeze picked up whenever I tried to take a picture of the flowers. I figure that is just our girl, stubborn, and not wanting pictures!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

4 months...already.

Wow, I can't believe that Kherrington would have been 4 months old already! I can't believe 4 months has passed already. On some levels it feels like it happened just yesterday, and on another level, it feels like a lifetime ago. So what would she be doing at this phase? Laughing? Crying? Cooing? Smiling? having tummy time? Would I be lucky enough to have her sleep through the better part of the night? ... probably not, but I can always imagine.

"When this road gets crazy,
And tries to break me,
And I've had all I can stand.
I can close my eyes no matter where I am.
And just be...Still."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Its my Birthday?... or so it seems...

Well, it is here, my 29th Birthday. A decade ago I was getting ready to head off to college. Wow, where did the time go? Every year, I find my birthday is a time of reflection on the past year (or years).

Last year, on June 5th, I had an entertaining day at work, complete with my co-worker, E's fruit pizza, and dinner out with friends. We also figure this was the day that Kheri was conceived. So here I am... one year after our journey began. My how things have changed. If you had told me a year ago that I would be a childless mother, I would have smacked you, and likely laughed at the idea of being pregnant. When I consider the circumstances of her conception, it really was a miracle. We weren't even "trying", so to speak. And now, a year later, how things have changed. The idea of being a parent (to a live baby) is a fixation as of late. The clock is ticking...LOUDLY!

I am so proud of how far we've come over the past four months since her death. Sunday marks four months since her birth, and this will be the first time on her dirth-aversary that I am working. I'm actually happy that I am working, because then I will have something to do.

I am so proud of my husband. For his success in his program, and his perserverence through this storm. And for standing beside me, and holding me up when I need it most.

I am so grateful for my girl Iris. Who knows where we'd be without her. And for all of our friends and family who "get it".

So, tomorrow, I am probably going to greet my 29th Birthday with a big 'ol "Meh". I wish I could get excited, but for some reason its just not in me. A birthday without my baby. I saw a rainbow and a small deer on the way to work this morning. The rainbow for hope of a rainbow baby, and the small deer has symbolized Kheri since her death.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kheri's Walk

Yesterday was the day. Back when we first learned that our little girl might have CF, I had said that we would participate in the Great Strides walk. Back then, I had planned to raise money by harassing neighbours and co-workers and threatening them with a dirty diaper bomb if they didn't donate. I was going to pack her up in the stroller, and we were going to attend. But, back then, I didn't know what was about to happen a few months later. I had no idea that I would be walking without Kherrington.

After Kheri died, I decided that I would participate in the event. I didn't know how far I was willing to take it, so I decided that I would at least raise money. As the pledges came in, and I had to constantly revise my goal, I decided that this was a day that I needed to be a part of. So I got the day off work, collected the last of my donations, picked up my girl Iris, and met Melly on the way, and we headed up to Bath, NB.

After we arrived, one of the organizers was making team banners, when all of the banners were complete, she looked at us and said "We have an extra banner, would you guys like to decorate one, and take it with you as a keepsake?". So Iris and I went to work on our banner. I hadn't registered a "team" because I didn't know who would be able to go, or if I would even be able to actually attend the event when I registered myself. We decorated our banner, and then the banners were all laid out on a table for people to sign.

Then we went outside, where Iris confronted her fear of the balloon clown, and Beary the Customs Bear and we had some more pictures taken. I am very proud of her, for getting as close to the bear as she did. The bear did a wonderful job, and even escorted us on our walk by riding on the back of a pickup truck.

There was an overwhelming number of people at the walk and as the walk started it was bittersweet. It actually had been sprinkling on and off and as we were just starting the walk, Iris said "She's not sure if she wants it to rain, or be sunny". Then about 1/4 of the way through, the sprinkling picked up for about 5 minutes, and Iris said "Well, here she comes!". The sprinkling did stop and everyone seemed to be enjoying the day. There were lots of kids, running and playing. Babies in strollers, brothers and sisters, Moms and Dads, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, friends and family all creating a sea of support as we walked through the streets of Bath.

I have a co-worker, I'll refer to her as "B", who was one of the coordinators for this event. Her son (the inspiration behind the team "Colin's Marchers"), has CF and is a going concern. He plays soccer, hockey and seems to enjoy childhood just like any other child. About half way through the walk, B walked up beside me and said "How are you doing? Isn't it great to see such a huge crowd! What a tidal wave of support we have here". I said "I'm doing alright. It is overwhelming the number of people here. It is great to see that there is this kind of support, but I'm sad at the same time that there are this many people affected by this disease".

When the walk was finished, everyone gathered for a barbecue, and the door prizes/awards presentation. I was very surprised to learn that I was the "Top Walker" for raising the most money as an individual.

I wouldn't have been able to do this without the love and support of family and friends. I am looking forward to next year's walk already. Perhaps there will be a rainbow baby involved? We'll have to see, but I know that Kheri's legacy just keeps growing. I miss her daily, and I believe her spirit is what makes me the "strong person" that everyone says I am. I don't know how "strong" I am. With lots of help, I have managed to try to carry on. I believe we don't know how strong we are, or can be, until we HAVE to be. Kheri is the first thought in my head every morning, and the last vision I have every night. But don't be mistaken, I still fall apart, every time she crosses my heart.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

PHEW! It just fizzled...

Well, I did it! I made it through my first 7 shift stretch at work! And, I managed to come out relatively unscathed. I say relatively, because on some levels it still feels wrong, but on a greater level, I know it is something I have to do.

My job is something I have worked hard for, and I love. I know that there are many who can not say the same thing, and I worked my share of shitty jobs before this one. On my first day back, there was a brief meeting with my manager, then I was right back at it. I was surprised how naturally I fell back into the "swing of things". Mind you, I am having my share of challenges with all of the changes that have taken place in the last few months. I feel as though I am scrambling to catch up, and trying to not look like an ass in the process! I am finding that lately, everything has this horrible build up. The anticipation and anxiety leading up to going back to work was incredible, then when the day came...it just fizzled. Actually, being back to work has resulted in very full days, and a week that just flew by. I plunged head first back into my work, back to what I know... well what I sort-of know until I get caught up!
On another note, there was a family wedding yesterday. One of my husband's cousins got married. It was a beautiful day for a wedding, sunny and quite warm (28 degrees Celsius). I didn't go. The hubby was working on one of his preceptorship shifts, and I just decided that I couldn't muster going alone. I had many reasons, the fact that I didn't feel "celebratory" and also I'm not ready to face everyone yet. The biggest influence was the fact that, this was another event that Kheri was going to look super cute at, in a pretty little dress, and we were going to go regardless of whether or not my hubby could go. I just couldn't go, without her, and face the two other babies that were born in the past year. So I went to Saint John and met my hubby after his shift and we went on a "date". It was a nice distraction, and we had a nice evening together.

We're entering the third month "casually" TTC. Crossing my fingers, but not too hard, my work schedule and my hubby's preceptorship schedule has us apart for the better part of the next month and a half.

I want to take a moment here, and thank all of you for your support and comments. I see I have some new followers, welcome! I am sorry that we all have to meet under these horrible circumstances, but I am so glad that you are here, to listen, to cry, to laugh, to hug, and so that we can support each other.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It is back to work I go.. in the midst of "the ripples".

I can't believe that 14 weeks have passed since Kherrington's "birth". I am in the process of getting ready to go back to work in a mere 36 hours. The to-do list today included polishing my boots, and pressing the creases back into my shirts. Thankfully the boots were relatively new and only had a few scuffs on them, and the shirts were new, and still had some starch in them from the warehouse.

This morning, while getting ready to go for my run, I looked out the bathroom window and could have sworn that I saw a swing set in the yard. Those of you who are familiar with our property, to the East of our home there is a "triangle" of trees, two evergreen trees, and a maple. I could have sworn I saw the top of a swing set in the triangle. Then I blinked and it was gone, and my heart broke...again. Up until this point, the day was one of the ones that fit into the "Okay" category since this shit storm started. But damn these "ripples" that cut through me without warning.

Suddenly, my heart skipped a beat and I gasped for breath, when the thought of work entered my mind. I was looking at my shirts, awaiting their "date" with a VERY hot iron and lots of steam in a few hours. I was suddenly bitter, frustrated, angry and in complete disbelief that I have to go back to work on Saturday. My immediate thoughts were

... "To hell with that! I'm SUPPOSED to be home with my 3 1/2 month old daughter this season. I'm SUPPOSED to be taking her for jogs in the stroller, instead of going out empty handed. I'm SUPPOSED to be up at all hours of the night, changing her diaper, feeding her and figuring out how to get poop out of the nice new crib sheets. I'm NOT supposed to be doing any of this. I'm NOT supposed to be returning to work. I'm NOT supposed to be running scripts in my head. I'm NOT supposed to not have her"...

So, with that, let me say that grief SUCKS! Not that anyone ever thought otherwise, but it feels good to say it. I have heard of the ripple effect, but I just wish it would all stop. I shouldn't have to wish for it to stop in the first place, because I'm not SUPPOSED to be grieving. Damn these ripples, just when you think the waters are calm, another ripple washes over you and changes everything again.

Time for a change?

Lately, I have been feeling a little restless with my blog. I haven't really had a lot to write lately, and there are times when I think "Hey, I should write a post about that", but then I never get around to it. So today, I decided to put off polishing my boots for my first day of work on Saturday, and give my blog a make-over. When I originally set up my blog, I just tried to keep it as simple as possible, so I think it is time for a change. So here it is, hopefully it will provide an eye pleasing change!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Todays bitter little pill

I just saw a commercial on TLC for "Josie's Homecoming" episode of 19 Kids and Counting. How is it that Michelle Duggar gets to have 19 kids, and I don't even get one?!? So, with that, and the wisdom of Garfield, Michelle Duggar... Bite Me!!

*** I feel that I must put a disclaimer on this, that I don't wish my circumstance on anyone, Michelle Duggar included. I'm just bitter, and frustrated that fate decided to deliver us with a shit storm of gigantic proportions.***

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And tomorrow makes three...

So, here we are. Another month has passed, and tomorrow marks the third month since Kherrington's "birth". I don't know where the time has gone, but here we are. This flower was made for Kheri by her auntie Iris from My Life in Purple.

I am going back to work next Saturday (May 15th), and I have spent the last week or so ordering my new uniforms. I had to go up a size, apparently 3 months isn't quite enough time to drop 35 lbs of baby weight! :s There is a staff meeting all day tomorrow that I am attending, and I am hoping that it will make my first day of work less awkward. It will get my "first encounter" with my colleagues out of the way and let them know that I am walking upright, and okay to return to work. This Saturday I am planning on going to my work place, to see the changes to the office since I left, and check the contents of my locker and filing cabinet.

I just can't believe that my daughter would be three months old tomorrow. I wonder if she would have out grown the size one diapers by now? Would she enjoy the car rides to the doctors offices in Fredericton and Halifax? Would she prefer to nap in her swing? or her crib? Would she love this warm early spring we've been having? What would our two cats think of her? Just a few thoughts and questions for the day that marks the third month since I held her.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Mother? Or not a Mother? That is the question...

This past Monday, I went to glamour day at a local salon with my bestie from My Life In Purple. This picture is the result of that day. It was brought to my attention by another wonderful lady that went with us, that it was a fitting picture of me at this time in my life, where I am looking up.

Next Sunday is Mother's Day.... Huh. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think I would like to just put a boycott on the entire day.

I have been seeing a grief counsellor who was assigned to our case at the hospital when I delivered Kherrington. At the end of our session last month, she pulled out her schedule to make an appointment for this month. She looked at the calendar and said "How about the week after Mother's day? I think it would be a good idea." I thought, "Okay..if you say so!", thinking that Mother's day will affect me on the same level that her due date did. As just another day on the calendar, that once meant something, but no longer applies to my life.

As the day gets closer, I have mixed opinions. I'm not okay with the fact that Mother's day is no longer a day that is for me. I feel like a mom on one small level. I carried my child, I set up a nursery for my child, I gave "birth" to my child, and I held my child. But that is the end of it, those moments were temporary, and fleeting. After holding my child, I had to give my child back, with only pictures, her ashes, and fading memories to cling to. As each month passes, those days, and my role as a mother, seem farther and farther away. I think of my child daily, wondering what kind of trouble she's getting into, and missing being the one to see her get into that trouble. Part of me wishes that Mother's day would just come and go, without me realizing it. I could just realize on Monday that "Oh, yesterday was Mother's day, fancy that!". But alas, I don't think that will happen.

The topic of Mother's day came up in a conversation I had with my husband last weekend. We talked a bit about our confusing roles as "parents" at this time. We agreed, that if we are going to do anything, we'll plant a tree for Kheri instead. This Sunday (May 2nd) is International Baby Lost Mother's Day, I think that will be a fitting alternative to Mother's day. My child was stillborn, yet she was still born. As I am a Mother on some levels, but not a mother in the physical "reality" sense. Mother's Day, it seems that is just beyond my reach.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Meet Kherrington Faith...

Well, I have been having a dilemma for about the last 3 weeks or so. I have been wanting to share pictures of Kherrington for many reasons, and not wanting to share them for other VALID reasons.

Kherrington spent 3 days dead in utero. As a result, she didn't look quite the way they said she would. The doctors said that she would look like a sleeping baby except her lips and fingernails would be blue. This was FAR from the case, and I have yet to see pictures of any still born baby with blue lips. Most still borns, Kheri included, have DEEP red lips, and they are a tell tale sign to those of us who have seen it before. Kheri's lips looked almost like someone gave her crimson red lip stick. Also, her skin and hair were damaged, and we were told not to unwrap her.

We loved her the way she was. She was beautiful to me, too beautiful for earth. But I have been hesitant on displaying her photo due to the graphic nature of the pictures, until now. An old friend of mine, from "back home" in Ontario, wrote me an e-mail last week. She is currently 35 weeks pregnant, and had some professional pregnancy photos taken. During her session she found out that the photographer is a member of "Now I lay me down to sleep" . This is an organization consisting of professional photographers that volunteer their time and resources to go to hospitals and photograph still born or sick/dying babies. They also take pictures and touch them up. There is also another website, consisting of forums and other resources. I did some further research and discovered that there are two photographers in our province, one right in Fredericton! Needless to say, I am going to be passing this information on to my social worker. I can't believe that the hospital is not aware that this organization exists. I hope that other Moms and Dads that are in this unfortunate situation in the future, are able to benefit from my discovery.

I contacted the photographer, and sent her some pictures. She e-mailed me back a few hours later with this first "touched up" picture of our angel. She is going to touch up most of the pictures we had taken. It is an amazing gift, and we still have the originals. I am not going to publish ANY of these on Facebook, at least not yet. I know there is still a "stigma" around pictures of dead babies, but on this blog, I feel comfortable.

So, with that, let me introduce to you, Kherrington Faith Gavel.

An angel who grew her wings on February 3, 2010, and we got to say hello and goodbye to on February 6, 2010(6 pounds, 13 ounces).

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Memorial Tattoo

Well, I actually did it!! I went to a local artist, and she did a custom tattoo for me. I had it put on tonight, and WOW. I have to say I love it! Even though it is only a few hours old, I thought I would post a picture of it.

** A note for those who may be considering your own tat. It hurts like CRAZY on the top of your foot, and the front of your ankle. But the pain is temporary, and it doesn't hurt anywhere near as bad as giving birth to a dead baby.**

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A wish list...

I stumbled upon this today. I can't remember EXACTLY where I found it first, as I have seen it more than once. If I knew where it came from I would certainly give the author credit. I am contemplating posting it as a Facebook note as well, but that would mean I would have to put it "out there". I've decided to start here first, where I am understood.


I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had her back.

I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that she was important to you as well.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

I wish you wouldn’t "kill" my child again by removing her pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know things through a phone call, a card or a note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that she is dead.

I wish you wouldn’t expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time so don’t frustrate yourself.

I don’t want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

When I say, "I’m doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don’t feel okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle at an hour at a time.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with her. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.I wish very much that you could understand – understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. But I pray daily that you will never understand.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A piece missing

While driving in the car last week, I found myself singing along with the Lily Allen CD in the player. Then I froze when I realized that I haven't done that since Kherrington's death. I used to sing in the car, and while I was pregnant with her, I made a point to sing or talk to her while driving every day.

For a few moments, I had this weird feeling. It is a feeling that I have experienced before, but never like this. For a brief period of time, I felt as though nothing had ever happened, that I was never pregnant, and that Kherrington had not died. For a moment, I felt sort-of like the "old me". Then I felt incredibly guilty, and suddenly missed her so much. How could I have had that feeling? It is funny, how life carries on and the days get easier, and then something happens to re-affirm reality.

Then I started thinking about how I am different now. I wonder if my laugh is the same, or if my smile comes from my heart. I have been forcing smiles for so long, the real ones are such a relief when they happen, because I don't have to think "OK, you need to smile now, or else people will wonder". I now look at my body (in terms of pregnancy) as a dangerous place. In any subsequent pregnancy, I will likely not imagine the baby in there all warm, healthy, and bouncing around in the fluid joyfully kicking my bladder. I will see the baby in there as being helpless, and the kicks will be wonderful when they happen, and when they don't, I know I will likely panic.

While talking with my best bud Iris from My Life In Purple the next day, she said something that is very accurate. She said "You're still Marjorie, or 'Mo', but now, there is a piece missing". I am still the basic Me, but a piece left with Kherrington that I know I will never get back.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My first Tat??

For about the last month or so, I have been contemplating the idea of getting a memorial tattoo for Kherrington.
I've decided that if I were to get one, it would be on my ankle. It would likely be similar to this one. I think I like the idea of an anklet, with script writing and of course a lady bug. My BF over at My Life In Purple suggested having a lady bug walking up my foot to my ankle leaving behind foot prints (just like the ones Kheri has left on our hearts). I really like this idea. Of course, the writing would have to be a small and delicate font. I have been searching the Internet and I have found some, but nothing that I really like. Perhaps I will have to visit the local artist to see what they can draw up.
What do you think?? Any suggestions???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Two months since

So, I have managed to get WAY behind in the blog world. You see, the weather has been SO nice here over this past weekend, that I signed in this morning and realized how far behind in my reading I was. So you all know, I have read/watched all the blog posts, but I didn't comment on them. I wanted to read them all before moving on to type this post.

So, here we are again, the "6th" of the month. It is two months later, and most days I feel like the current weather outside. Sunny, warm, and breezy. The snow has melted, the grass is starting to "green up" and the tree tops are getting thicker by the minute. We have spent the last three days outside, doing much needed yard work before the bugs get bad and we spend all of our time slapping and swearing. Mostly, we are optimistic, or as optimistic as we can be. I went to the doctor last week, and got the "all clear" on the physical front.

On the emotional front, I think I'm doing better. There is the occasional trigger, but rather than crying, I just feel sad, or bitter. You see, there are MANY of my friends, co-workers, and acquaintances who are due to have their babies over the next 2 months. I have quoted this as a "bittersweet symphony". I am not bitter, or angry that they are having their babies. I am actually relieved that their pregnancies are progressing well, and the babies are born ALIVE and HEALTHY. But I feel bitter, because I don't have her. I feel jealous, and I envy them. Mostly, it just makes me wonder what I am missing. Kherrington would be 2 months old, so I wonder what her quirks would be. Would she like to be read to, or sang to? Would she be a night owl, or would I actually be able to get some sleep? Would we have taken her to the park yet? Would she be smiling a lot yet?

I also find myself getting angry. I feel angry when I hear of other women who are blissfully going through their pregnancies and seeming to take it all for granted. These are the women who are complaining that their cribs are too hard to put together, or they didn't get what they hoped for at their baby shower. I know, that baby loss barely enters into their mind. They take it as a "fact" that their baby will come home. I remember what that felt like. The excitement, the anticipation, the day dreams and all the planning. I am jealous that in another pregnancy, I will not have that feeling again. I am sure I will be waiting, but I will be waiting for the next kick or movement, and waiting for the bottom to drop out. Waiting for the worst, but hoping for the best. I know I will not have that joy that these women are experiencing, but I will try my best.

I return to work May 15th, and I am trying to get myself ready for that. I am trying to get myself physically ready. I am practicing my "script" that describes our loss. I am getting myself ready to support a co-worker who is due to have her baby any day. Her baby, will be the first newborn I will encounter and hold since Kherrington. I am so happy for her and her husband, since they have experienced a loss before this child, it gives me hope. I am grateful that they are allowing me to meet their child, and not hold back emotions. I have not decided if I am going to go see her in the hospital, or wait until she comes home. We'll see how things go when that day comes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walking in Kherrington's memory.

My husband and I have decided to continue with our "original plan" and participate in the Great Strides walk for Cystic Fibrosis in support of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on May 30th.

While I was pregnant, I had said that I was going to walk with Kherrington. We were going to walk even if she didn't have CF. We were going to walk for all of the families who deal with this recessive genetic disease. Now, I will walk for her, for me, for my husband, and of course, for all the families too. This day will be another landmark in our healing process. I know she will be there in spirit, along with all the other angels who have gone before her.

If you can, please sponsor me, or anyone who is participating in this fundraiser in your area. Lets help the foundation, so that one day CF can stand for Cure Found!

You can sponsor me by clicking here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Everyday, you save my life.

I heard this song yesterday. I knew it well before our loss, but now, it takes on a whole new meaning. It immediately made me think of my girl, Iris (from over at My life in purple). The first line hit my ear, and made me think of her.
"You could have bowed out gracefully, but you didn't". That is so true, she could have bowed out of coaching us through the birth and I wouldn't have blamed her one bit for it, but she didn't. I'm so glad she didn't.
"Sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going. But you always say something without even knowing. That I'm hanging on to your words with all of my might, and its alright. I'm alright, for one more night." This one applies to her, and our phone calls or e-mail sessions. This line also applies to my husband. He has been just amazing through all of this. I am so proud of him, and what he is doing. Love you...

Rascal Flatts- Every day

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Answers received

I realized the other day that it has been quite a while since my last update. Honestly, I haven't had a lot to say, and there really hasn't been any developments to speak of, until last week.

Last Thursday, we met with the specialist who followed Kherrington during the pregnancy, to discuss the results of all the testing and the autopsy. I went into this meeting hoping for answers, but realizing that in cases of still birth, answers don't always come. Here is what she had to tell us:

- My blood work (they had taken 15 vials out blood and tested for everything; they called it a "tox-screen") came back O.K. I didn't have any infections, viruses, blood clotting disorders or diabetes that may have affected Kherrington. So that is a VERY good thing. That almost makes me believe that I didn't do anything wrong.

- The amniocentesis revealed that she did have Cystic Fibrosis. We knew this was a VERY likely possibility and I would have been surprised if the results showed that she didn't have CF. There were no other genetic or chromosomal issues discovered. So, this means that other than the CF, she was healthy as far as genetics and chromosomes go. Also, this tells us that there are no reasons to not have any further children since we have come to accept that we have a 25% chance that the next pregnancy will result in a baby with CF.

- The autopsy results are "preliminary", meaning they just reported what they could see when they opened her up. The "final" results could take another 6 months. When the doctor said this, she looked at us and said "I hope you're pregnant by then". The autopsy found that she had a "Volvulus" obstruction in her bowel. This means that the bowel tied itself off like a bow tie or a sausage link. Usually, this does not cause intra-uterine death, but the specialist told us that it could have caused a hemorrhage, or oxygen deprivation that may have caused her heart to stop beating. This was a bit of a surprise for us. We knew her bowels were blocked, but I was of the impression that they were blocked with meconium (poop), which in babies with CF is very hard and difficult to pass and could result in an obstruction. This was not the case. The volvulus is not necessarily caused by CF, and she made it seem like this was just an unfortunate coincidence.

- She reassured us that next time would be different. Next time, she will see me at 12 weeks gestation, and follow me at regular intervals until 30 weeks. At 30 weeks I will probably start seeing her every week. We asked her when it would be O.K to try again. We had heard that we should wait a year or two to allow my body to recover. She responded:

"No! Don't wait! You're body should be fully recovered now, and whenever you're ready, go ahead and try again. We suggest that you wait 2-3 cycles to allow for better dating of the pregnancy. But I will see you at 12 weeks, so waiting really won't affect the dating. Don't wait, you only get older, and age makes it harder and can bring other complications. Whenever you're ready go ahead, but don't wait."

What a relief it was to hear this! We know that we can't replace Kherrington. She is, and will always be, our first born. Other children will know that they have a big sister. But going into this meeting, I was really hoping that she wouldn't turn to me and say "don't have any more kids". I feel almost like I have a point to prove now. I carried Kherrington to 36 weeks + 5 days, and in my mind there is NO reason why I can't have another baby and actually have it survive.

She then went on to tell me that "I didn't do anything wrong". This immediately brought me to tears. It is hard to describe this to others, and I believe it is my right as her mother to blame myself. I have been trying to figure out what it is that I did wrong. I told the specialist, that I have often wondered if I didn't eat properly, or if it was all the exercise, or the stress from work, the organizing I did around the house, keeping a fire going, scooping cat litter (we have indoor cats and I used gloves and a mask), or that time I cleaned the bathroom. This list is never ending and I could go on and on. She said "No, none of that caused any of this."

The womb is supposed to be the safest place for a baby, but it is far from it. When a baby's heart stops after it is born, they can give it CPR and defibrillation to try to bring it back. When the heart stops in utero, nothing can be done. This has been the hardest thing for me to accept. I now look at myself as anything but safe. The fact that any baby can survive past conception is a miracle. At least I know that Kherrington wasn't filled full of tubes and had painful surgery, or suffered needlessly, to end up with the same result. Thankfully, she was never alone.

I met this past Monday with my physician for a checkup. When discussing future pregnancies, she said the same thing,"no need to wait". Then she sent me for blood work to have all of my "levels" checked. The prominent theme of "don't wait" is very reassuring, and terrifying at the same time. We'll see what the next few months bring. Neither one of us want to wait, but part of us feels like we should. For Kheri's sake. But, I would like to think she would like us to move on, and give her a brother or sister. I would like to think that she would want us to stop tormenting ourselves, and be happy.