Keeping this blog has been such an emotional release for me. Every time I go to write something I usually have stewed on it for awhile. The challenge with this stewing method is that grief is a stew of a million ingredients, and pin pointing the one I want to write on is often overwhelming. As I am sitting here on this gray day I’m not even sure of what I want to write about. My love for Ella has once again brought me here to share. Missing her has compelled me to share my heart, and to continue to be vulnerable. I could be unloading my dishwasher, doing chores, working on my music, but I want to be here. Maybe this process of writing my feelings makes me feel closer to her. It reminds me of how much I love and miss her. Writing and sharing with the world at large is saying her life still matters very much to me. She is my beautiful baby girl.
If things had ended differently I would be posting pictures no doubt, and archiving and wondering at her little life. I don’t see a reason to not carry on with her in my heart and life in any way that I can.
Today I got a fetal heart rate monitor in the mail. Jason and I are expecting again and tomorrow we will be 19 weeks. I will talk about the beginning of this pregnancy in a later post–for now I want to focus on the last few weeks and the next three. I have been swimming in an ocean of emotions. Waves of grief, waves of joy, waves of sorrow, waves of longing, tidal waves of fear. Taking the little doppler out of the box and practicing finding the babies heartbeat did bring a certain sense of relief once I felt it, and I am hoping that this little device will offset my panic attacks in between fetal movement.
The dread that has been plaguing me these last few weeks is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The thought enters my mind “what if the baby has died,” and sure enough the warm burning all encompassing poison of my reality and experiences proves it true. There is almost no room for hope when you are in the depths of dread. There is no way to see around it. It’s a wall impossible to climb. It shuts out faith. It shuts out light, and it is one of the loneliest places to be on earth.
Leading up to the last few weeks the pregnancy has been in the back of my mind. I don’t plan on buying things, I don’t have a pregnancy plan, there are no showers planned, and I’ve been taking it one day at a time. It was possible for me to do this because it was almost like the reality of this new baby hadn’t set in yet. That is a luxury as well as a curse that I no longer have the privilege of controlling. This precious baby is moving everyday, and the movements are unmistakable. The little kicks are so special to me. But they remind me of what it feels like to not feel anything. Ella died around 22 weeks, and I remember for the two days leading up to my appointment I was incredibly paranoid. I honestly had no idea what stillbirth was and I thought there was no way that she had died…but I knew she wasn’t there. I NEVER want to feel that again.
The only thing that is different between that time and this time is that I now know what could lay before me. Before I was naive, and I believed in miracles to a certain extent, maybe I believed I was immune, and invincible. Now I know how weak I am. Now I know how much losing a child hurts. Now I know what it feels like to deliver a stillborn baby. Now I know what it looks like to see my husband pass out from grief. Now I know that an empty room is such a painful reminder. Now I know how much love hurts.
It’s inevitable for me to think like this when Ella was my only child. I’ve never had a baby alive in my arms. I’ve never had to worry about nursing or diaper bags. Instead I made funeral plans, and look at a tiny ribbon that was on her head after she was born–the only tangible thing I have of her is a little spot on the ribbon where her skin touched.
There has been an unspoken count down in my head leading up to 22 weeks. I know that anything could happen after that, and I will just have to continue to live one day at a time. But until then, I am just waiting, holding my breath, trying to love and cherish every minute. That’s all we can do anyway.
Well I guess these are the words that have chosen to come out, and these are the words and thoughts at the top of my heart.