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

Friday, February 26, 2010

Due Date

Well, after months of waiting, the due date has arrived. I am not sure how I am supposed to feel today. I have been "warned" by my social worker/grief counsellor/ therapist that today may involve many emotions and may be a slight "set back" in my healing. I am not sure if that will be the case.

Today, was a "landmark" in our pregnancy. This was the "text-book" date given to me by the medical professionals in charge of my prenatal care. Today marked exactly 40 weeks gestation. Today, was a mere number. I really don't think Kherrington would have actually "arrived" today.

I say that she would not have "arrived" today, since she was measuring so large before she died. The day of that last ultrasound, two hours before we found out she had died, the "experts" predicted that she weighed 8lbs 6ozs (give or take a pound). I really believe that she would have, (and SHOULD have) been born some time between 38 and 39 weeks gestation, or 1 to 2 weeks ago.

To off set the mixed emotions that I am supposed to feel today, two days ago we actually brought Kherrington home. Unfortunately, we did not bring her home in a car seat. My husband has placed her in her room for now. Picking her up from the funeral home, and bringing her home did not impact me the way I thought it would. I was prepared for more tears, instead I actually felt a small sense of relief. The best way I can describe it to others, is that I feel as though I am no longer "tormented". I don't feel "at peace" yet, but I feel better knowing where she is. It is also one more step in this entire process that is now complete.

We have spent the last two days planning her memorial service. I have been told that it will give others the opportunity to get to know our daughter like we do. It will be a short service, and I hope it brings peace to us, and others who have been affected by Kherrington's passing. I am so happy to see, that good friends of ours (my husband's best friend J, and his wife K), are already changing their habits to try and spend more time with their children, and with each other. They are actively trying to stop putting things off until tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. K has told me that our situation has made them step back, and prioritize their lives. This is Kherrington's gift to them, for being there through it all.

I have been receiving phone calls. After answering some of them, I may wish that I actually had caller I.D. There are sometimes when I answer the phone when I don't think that I want to talk. Many of these calls tend to come at a time when I feel like I am about to go crazy. Usually something tells me to answer, and that no matter who is on the other end of the line, it will be good for me to talk to someone. Usually, it is one of my "best-ies" on the other end of the line, just checking up on me. Other times, it may be a doctor or the social worker/counsellor/therapist. But "something" always tells me to pick up the phone.

I have heard a lot of songs lately, but I heard this one for the first time three days ago. It made me think of all the calls I have made in my life, whether they be to "chat" or to "catch up" or to "check in". I have heard from many people over the past few weeks, that they are not sure if they "should" call. To them, I say to call, and "Don't worry, or feel that you are imposing. If I don't want to talk, I will tell you". Also, when you listen to this, please know that there is no need to worry, I am not suicidal by any means, far from it! But, it applies to those who are not sure if they "should" call. You never know, the person on the other end of the line might be "glad you called".

(I apologize, but you will have to copy and paste this link into a new browser. I can not seem to get it to link through blogger :s )


Monday, February 22, 2010

Hopefully soon, I'll "run" East...

As most of you already know, I enjoy a good run/jog, especially early in the morning, when the world is just waking up. I call it a run/jog only because it depends on your own personal perception of running. I don't "push" it, and running gives me time for "me" and is excellent stress management. While I was pregnant, I was able to continue running up until I was 22 weeks along, until the pressure on my bladder made me stop every mile looking for a bathroom! I continued walking and averaged 5km a day right up until I found out that we had lost our little girl.

I returned to the walking last Tuesday, 10 days after giving birth. I tried jogging every day, and yesterday I was able to jog short distances without supporting my body weight (to keep the pressure off my pelvic floor). Today I am sore again, so it is back to walking for a few days, then I'll try again. Today, I think I might try my first walk outdoors. While walking indoors on the treadmill, I will periodically look to my left, and I swear I see my little girl happily snoozing in her swing while I walk. That is how it is SUPPOSED to be; she is SUPPOSED to be there. Walking outside will be different, but I'm sure I will imagine her snoozing happily in the stroller. She sure did enjoy her time on the roads last summer.

I am desperately wanting to run. I just want to lace up my shoes, crank up my MP3 player, and hit the road. Running brings peace to my soul, and I'm needing peace lately. It is frustrating that I am physically unable to run right now.

This poem was sent to me by my good friend Melissa over at the Ideologies of Melissa. Right now, I'm still somewhat on the first line where "the past has not left, and the future's not mine". Every once in a while, I will get a glimpse of the future. I see my return to work in mid-May, My husband's graduation from the Paramedic Academy in July, and then Fall. When the day is long, I try, with all my might, to find something to look forward to. I know, when the time comes, and I am able to "run East", that Kherrington will always be with me. I know I will feel her in every sunrise, forever.

Today I Run East!
(A promise of HOPE)
By Barbara D. MacAdam

When I got the news, my world stood still. Like a breath in the twilight, tightly held through sheer will. So I’ve stayed in this dream state, suspended in time, where the past has not left and the future’s not mine.

Fear swells within me, and try as I might, I can’t stay where I am. I know I must fight. With a gasp my lungs burn, as I climb to my feet, but which way should I run—toward the West or toward the East?

The West holds my dreams & joys of my past. They are trapped in the sunset—how long would I last? I’d have to keep running just to stay in the light, but I’m growing so weary. I need help with this fight!

I rest my eyes briefly, lying prostrate due west, mourning precious time spent on this futile quest. The dark at my back, creeping forth from the East, holds the fear of the future like a stalking beast.

My heart has grown weary. My mind cannot cope. Shattered dreams slip through fingers—I’m losing all hope. Then a small voice recanted a promise I’d heard. “Come to Me all ye weary,” you can trust in My word.

It brought back a stirring of rekindled faith. I was flooded with HOPE and began to shake. What if I stood and faced down this beast—my fear of the unknown, that loomed in the East?

It then wouldn’t matter if I froze or I ran, for God’s earth has kept spinning since all time began. So I turned toward the darkness, no longer alone, and stepped in with arms reaching, as my soul searched for home.

And though the sun set behind me. I felt inner peace, for SUNRISE will soon meet me if... today I run East!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This is for you, Kherrington...

I started playing the piano when I was 8 years old, and took lessons up until I was 17 and could not devote enough time to practicing due to my studies. At the time, I hated it, and found myself playing songs that meant nothing to me. Now as an adult, I play what I want, when I want.

Those who know me, know that I don't play "for people". I am a perfectionist, and I am my own worst critic, and I know others may not know when I make a mistake, but I do. I find playing for others makes me so nervous, and self critical, that I just don't do it. It took quite a while for me to be able to play in front of my husband.

While I was pregnant with Kherrington, especially during the second trimester (and before my tummy got in the way), I played almost every day. I knew she could hear it, and I wanted her to find music comforting. I wanted to give her as much of a "head start" in life as I could, and I thought that allowing her to hear music in utero, would help. I also was looking forward to teaching her the basics when she was little, then I hoped she would take lessons as well. I played a lot of different pieces, including "Imagine", "Unchained Melody", "The Rose", "The Dance", "A Whole New World", and Five for Fighting's "Superman". She seemed to respond to them all to different degrees, but this one always got her going. Who knew my little angel would love Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". I wonder if perhaps she was telling me something.

So, this one is for you Kherrington... (I only included 4 verses in my version, the lyrics are the "full" version.)

"Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there is a God above,
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who out drew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night,
It's not someone who has seen the light
Its a cold and a very broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Friday, February 12, 2010

The long road ahead...

In my last post, I said I wasn't sure if I would be returning to the blog world or not. It has been suggested to me (by "those in the know") that this may be a good, healthy outlet for me. We'll see... Right now, every day is a challenge, and each day is different. Yesterday I barely cried once. Today, I can't seem to stop crying. I am going to start by giving a re-cap of the last few days.

Wednesday February 3 2010 11:30am- Ultrasound time! We (Iris & I) went to the hospital for an ultrasound to check the amount of amniotic fluid that the baby had left. I had been in to the hospital the night prior after having reduced fetal movements on Tuesday. The ultrasound technician measured the fluid levels, and her heart was beating away at around 145 bpm. She was kind enough to give the ultrasound technician a full moon, leaving no doubt that we had a little girl on the way. They took measurements of her, and figured she weighed 8lbs 6oz already. They said that the prenatal clinic would like to see me, and I was excited, hoping that maybe our little girl would be here before her due date (because she was already so large). We went up to the prenatal clinic and they said that they would not be able to see us until the afternoon. At around 1pm, my little girl gave me a kick, and some little waves with her hands. I was so relieved to feel her move. At 2:30pm the doctor was finally able to see us. He tried to find her heart beat with the ultrasound and the Doppler, but no images came on the screen, and no sound came through the microphone. At 3:05pm, he and the ultrasound technician left the room, saying they would "be right back", I knew that she was gone.

The doctor returned to the room, and tried to find the right things to say. I just remember curling in a ball on the table, closing my eyes, and crying. Iris held my hand, cried with me, and tried desperately to get a hold of my husband. At some point they moved me to another room, where we would have privacy while we waited for my husband to arrive.

My hubby finally arrived and I watched his heart break as I told him. We both held each other and cried for what felt like hours. At some point we left the hospital and came home, called the families and tried to sleep. I laid in bed for an hour before getting up. I did not sleep at all, I stayed up on the couch, cried all night, wrote my last blog post, and sent e-mails.

Thursday February 4, 2010- We got a call from the specialist in Fredericton that she would like to see us. I was told that after my appointment with her, I would be going over to Labour and Delivery, and to pack a bag. Iris came over to the house and drove us down to Fredericton. I have never been so sad/upset and absolutely terrified in my entire life. We met my mother in law in the lobby of the hospital, then made our way up to the specialist's office. As we entered the wing where her office is located (which is on the Maternity ward), there was a cute little girl, with bouncing blond hair and pink pants, running down the hallway with her dad in front of us. We saw babies at every turn, I barely remember that walk since my vision was so blurred from the tears.

The specialist took a look with the ultrasound and revealed that our little girl's bowels were completely blocked. The specialist was crying as I asked if this was something we could have caught and maybe saved her life, if I had been seen two weeks ago. She performed an amniocentesis on me to run tests to see if in fact our little girl had Cystic Fibrosis, and to check for other possible chromosome abnormalities. We had to make a decision about an autopsy, and how I wanted to deliver. I originally wanted to go to sleep, have a c-section, and wake up when it was all over. I didn't think I wanted to hold her. The specialist then outlined the risks associated with a c-section in my case and encouraged me to endure a normal labour and delivery, and to hold my baby. I made the decision to go through the labour and delivery and signed all kinds of forms. The nurse then walked us down to labour and delivery at around noon.

The doctor finally came in around 4:30pm and inserted a gel to try and get my labour started. This was repeated 6 hours later, with no progress in labour at all. They gave me medicine to help me sleep through the night, and I woke up at 7am the next day. I had a dream that night, that I was holding Kherrington, and took this as a message from my little girl that she wanted mommy to hold her.

When I awoke on Friday February 5,2010, I woke to a new method to induce labour (tablets), a new doctor, but thankfully the same nurse I had the day before. The nurse I loved, she was very compassionate, and considerate of my concerns and wishes. The doctor was an A$$#@!&, and encouraged me to leave the hospital, go walk around, go shopping, go to the movies, anything to get out of the hospital. He didn't understand that I felt safe in my room, I wouldn't see babies (although I could hear them cry as they women in the rooms next to me delivered their babies), nor would I have perfect strangers ask me when I'm due. I prayed that this doctor would not be the one who delivered my baby, and I told my nurse this. It is interesting, because he was not the doctor who delivered my baby, and I wonder if my nurse said something to the night shift nurse. They gave me my third tablet that night, and by then I was experiencing "back labour". They gave me medicine (morphine) for pain and a sleeping pill to help me sleep and at around 1am I fell asleep.

I woke 1 hour later at 2am Saturday February 6th,2010, experiencing intense labour pains. The nurse checked me, and I was suddenly 2cm dilated. She put in an IV and gave me pain medicine via the IV. They moved me to an old Operating room suite down the hall, to complete the remainder of my labour and delivery. The reasoning was that there was more room, and privacy. I received an epidural at 5am and by 6am I was 10cm dilated but they let me drift in and out of sleep until 8am. At 8am, when a new doctor came on staff (he was going to be my Obstetrician), and a new nurse, they decided that I should start pushing.

I pushed for 2 1/2 hours and Kherrington was born at 10:32. The last half hour of pushing was the worst, mostly because I knew it was over, and I had to let her go. I remember feeling her being born, the doctor saying "you know it is a girl?", and at some point somebody told me she weighed 6lbs, 13ozs. Kherrington was born "still sleeping", they immediately took her out of the room, as the doctor finished what he needed to do. Before the doctor left the room, he silently came up, stood beside me and held my hand for a minute. He never spoke a word to me, at least none that I could hear, but he had tears in his eyes.

The nurse returned with our little angel. She was wrapped up in a blanket, and was wearing her hat that was given to her by her Auntie Iris. I'll never forget what it felt like as the nurse gently put her in my arms. There are times I can still feel that moment. Her tiny head resting in the crook of my elbow, how perfectly she "fit" against my body. My husband and I had time with her, we called for a Reverend to come. I don't remember how long we held on to her for, but the time came when we had to let her go.

We left the hospital and came home that night. We came home without a car seat in the back seat. We came home to a silent nursery, but not an empty home. Iris had left the hospital earlier in the day (after our angel was born), and she was at the house when we came home. To give us hugs, and to "tuck us in". On our kitchen table there was cards, books, chocolates, and a fruit basket that Iris had collected from people who had contacted her.

Our friend, my "sister", Iris, went through every minute of this with us. She was there throughout these dark days. From the first gel, to the last push. We realize we had two angels that day. Kherrington, and Iris. We are so lucky to have them both in our lives.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not so wonderful Wednesday...

I'm going to be away from the blog world for a while, maybe forever..we'll see. You see, yesterday, we lost our little girl at 36 weeks +5 days. We sure did love her while we had her, and all we know is that her heart just stopped. We don't know why, and really, any reason they give us will not make us feel any better, or bring her back. This is still VERY fresh..it has been just over 12 hours.. and the next few days will be hell as she is "delivered" into a world that she was obviously not meant for. We knew she may have been sick, but I guess there was no way to know just how sick she really was.
I am not an overly "religious" person, but something is needed right now..maybe prayers?..maybe just thoughts?..I don't know where "God" lies in all this, or why she was "taken" from us. I say "taken" because she was ours...we knew her..we loved her..we named her..she was ours...and now we have to say good bye to her. I hope she didn't suffer...I hope she knows how much she was wanted and loved.

Again...there is a song for every life moment. I know that I will hear this one for a long time...

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
I see your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe you're gone

It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today

Would you see the world?
Would you chase your dreams?
Settle down with a family?
I wonder, what would you name your babies?
Some days the sky's so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
And I know it might sound crazy

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know I'll see you again someday

-Kenny Chesney "Who you'd be today"