Julia Paige was born on March 4th at 1:14am. At that time I was approx 25 weeks pregnant. Her life was short, 13 minutes to be exact. None of those minutes were spent with me or my husband. Instead they were spent with doctors and nurses trying to keep her alive. We were in the room just watching and waiting. It's been just short of 4 weeks now. In some way I miss her everyday, but I think I've accepted what has happened. I no longer feel the need to cry over our loss all the time. I see her picture and I smile. It's the same when I talk about her. I'm not about to fool myself into thinking I'll never have another bad day, I still do and know I always will. What I also know is that in her short life she taught me and my husband more than anyone else ever has. She was an amazing person that deserves more credit than she will probably ever receive. Through this process Joel and I have learned to talk again. How to be a couple again, instead of just living in our daily rut. We've also learned to appreciate the things we do have, like each other and our son more than ever. It's funny how when something is there everyday you begin to take it for granted. I've always loved both of them, but now I realize how much I do and how much they love me in return! I thank Julia everyday for the things she helped me to see. And I know I would do it all over again just for those few minutes. Because in the end even the minutes matter.
What a weird day this is turning out to be emotionally. I keep havng these thoughts of how it's almost been 4 weeks since we lost Julia. Along with that thought comes one where I think...wow, it's been 4 weeks, we've made it this far. That thought makes me feel good because I'm proud of the progress we've made. But at that same time I have all of those thoughts I think...it's been 4 weeks, she would be 4 weeks old if she had made it. All those things mixed together just leave me more unsure of how to feel than anything. I don't really feel good, but at the same time I don't really feel bad either.
Yesterday never really got any better or any worse. I did have a bad moment when I got a package from a family friend. She had started a quilt for Julia and felt it needed to be finished and still be for her. It's a beautiful little girly quilt, all pinks and yellows. I wonder if Julia would have liked it? In my head she would have been more of a tomboy. I was convinced she would have preferred hockey to princesses.
It seems strange that today is the official 4 week mark. I feel ok today. I do miss her a lot though. I had a really could cry about everything just the other night with my husband after we had gone to bed. It lasted for about an hour but it really felt good! I try very hard not to cry in front of my son too much. It's not that I think he shouldn't see me cry, but he's 20 months old and it really seems to upset him. I thought today would be a good day to write out her birth story, but I don't seem to have it in me. I guess that strength will come another day...I hope!
It took me half of the day to figure out why I was so mean and crabby yesterday. Everything for the last month has just run completely together, and I couldn't tell you what day of the week it is let alone the date. It wasn't until I was reminded that it ws the 4th that I came to the realization that it was Julia's 1 month mark. The funny thing is I expected to feel bad on Sat which was the 4 week mark, but I really didn't. I was pretty much just here doing my thing, nothing really good or bad. But yesterday I didn't see coming. What a slap of reality that was! Joel and I talked about seeing someone to talk to last night. We aren't sure yet if we want to, or which direction we would go if we did (private therapist or group). I have the number for both a support group and a private therapist, and both came recomended by the staff at the hospital. The thing is, when we talk about it Joel basically says it's up to me, whichever I think would be more helpful. Don't know why it has to be up to me. I thought it would be more beneficial if we made the decision together. I can make a decision for myself, but as a couple I would liek some input. I think I'll talk to him again, it can't hurt.
The week after Julia was born my sister and her boyfriend were on their way to visit and were in a pretty bad car accident. My sister spent a week in the hospital with a collapsed lung and compound fracture to one of her vertebrae. After being stuck here for weeks (I guess almost a month now) she finally got to go back home yesterday. It was nice to have her around again. Guess I got used to it, I miss her more than I thought I would.
Easter was just that, Easter. We had baskets and a family dinner. It was nice I guess. I spent most of the day feeling rotten. I missed Julia all day yesterday so much so that it hurt. I wonder if every holiday will be like that from now on.........
I saw my doctor last week. He seems to suspect that I have retained some tissue from Julia's birth. He scheduled me for an u/s and put me on all kinds of hormones. I wonder if that's part of why I feel so bad. I know my feelings will come and go, but honestly, there are moments recently when it feels as bad as it did the first week. My doc also told me they got the pathology back on the placenta and it showed an infection. So now I have a reason. The day he told me, it felt good. I had some closure. He also asked when and if we planned on trying again and talked about how closely I would be monitored. That made me feel better. Right now I go back and forth about trying again. We got the green light to try in 3 months time. It seems so far away and so soon all at the same time. I'm anxious to move on but terrified to try again. How do I get past that? We decided to wait the 3 months out and see how we feel then... no need to rush into a decision now. All I do know for sure is that given the choice my son will not grow up an only child, so at some point I have to be ready to face my fears.
It's been 8 weeks today since we lost Julia. That's so hard to believe! At one moment it feels like it's been forever since she was born and the next it feels like it was just yesterday. We're taking steps at moving forward. Not forgetting this, just moving past it. I had a good u/s appt last week, they found no tissue. I see my doc soon, and in a little over a month we can try again if we want. We both seem to want to. The more we talk about it the more it feels like the right thing to do.
Tomorrow we're doing the March of Dimes walk. Between me and my DH we've raised around $1000. It feels good to be doing something that can potentially help others from going through this. In some ways I wish I could do more.
I think if I have some more time later I'll finally write out Julia's birth story. I'm feeling a little rushed now and don't want that to be how it gets written.
I got my first + hpt with Julia on 10-8-05. To be completely honest I could barely believe it. At that time we weren't really trying and had just agreed that we would start to try for our second baby. I tested everday for close to a week just because I was so surprised by the +. The best part of being pregnant the seond time around was that my husband was really excited too. Not just scared to death like he was the first time.
We had a little scare early on, at around 6 weeks, when I had some spotting. It turned out to be nothing. A little external irritation, which was confirmed with an u/s that showed us a tiny, tiny baby with a good strong heartbeat! I was given a shot of rhogam as a precaution and sent home with a picture of our little bean!
From there on, things weren't totally uncomplicated, but went on without any real major concerns. In mid January (at around 19 weeks) I was sent to labor and delivery for unexplained cramps. I was hooked up to a monitor for a few hours and had a few labs done. Since Julia was fine, I wasn't having contractions, and all my labs were normal I was sent home.
She was such an active baby! I started to feel her flutters early on. At around 14 weeks I was laying down with my son and had my arm resting on my belly. I got the strongest most incredible little kick! There were days I swore she never stopped moving. I would wake up to her kicking in the morning, she would kick and flip all day long, I would wake up to her moving in the middle of the night! We had multiple u/s just so they could check all of her "parts" because the tech could never get all the shots she needed...Julia would just never stay still long enough.
The week we lost Julia was awful from the start! It began with DS waking us screaming one morning at a little before 6. Shortly after that he was coughing and wheezing so hard he vomited. We got him to the doc's office as soon as they were open and found out he had croupe. He was given a breathing treatment and put on steroids. After a day or two he was mostly all better. By Fri I was miserably sick with a terible cold, which I was told I probably got from DS. Everyone that spends a lot of time around DS normally came down with the same cold too. I was feeling especially rotten and spent most of the day in bed. I was also running a fever of around 102, no one else that had the cold was running a fever, but I just assumed it went with the cold. Talked to my doc and he said to take tylenol and try to keep my fever down, but I should be fine. By 10 pm I was having regular contractions, and by 10:30 or 11pm (I can't remember exactly anymore) I was admitted to labor and delivery. By the time I got there I had started having bloody show, and the intial exam showed bulging membranes. I was immediately given a mag sulfate IV to try to stop labor and given a steroid injection. But nothing could be done. Things progressed so rapidly. She was born at 1:14 am, just barely over 3 hours since I had noticed any signs of labor.
My regular OB was not there the night Julia was born. It was a "fill in" from out of town. My doc was on vacation, unfortunately. The doc that was there was nice enough, but very much a doctor! He was very clinical and tried to be soothing, but you could tell it just made him uncomfortable. Our DS's pediatrician was the one that happened to be on call that night. He was the one that performed CPR on Julia for the 13 minutes that she lived. When they told us she had passed I reached over to my DS's doc and thanked him for trying. When he looked at me he started to cry, and said he was so sorry! I didn't know what to do...I've never seen a doc cry before. I know how hard he tried. I also know he knew how much we wanted our daughter! He's a wonderful man and that just made me feel even better that we chose him to be our DS's doc.
I think my OB has some feelings of guilt about not being there when Julia was born. Every time I see him, and it's been quite a lot lately, he takes a lot of time to just talk to me and apologizes for being out of town when it happened. I saw him on Tues, and he said we could start trying again this next cycle if we wanted. He then said if it wasn't happening fast enough for my taste to call him and he would help us out. He also said he wanted to know as soon as I got a + hpt. It almost feels like he's trying to make up for not being there when we lost Julia. He is a wonderful doc and a very kind man.
I hadn't realized how long it had been since I had written anything in my journal! Things have been crazy. I got an unexpected + on an hpt over the weekend. I wasn't even supposed to be trying yet. We thought we were being careful, but got sloppy after I thought I O'd. My mother always says things happen for a reason, I hope she's right. I have this odd feeling that I got pg again because I was meant to be. I guess we'll just wait and see. My EDD is 2/7. It's gonna be a long 9 months! I hope I can get through it.
We went to the cemetary over the weekend. I realized once we got there that I hadn't been to "see" Julia since the week she died. I took a pack of forget-me-not seeds and "accidentally" spilled them over her grave, along with a bottle of water I happened to have with me. We're really not supposed to plant anything there, but technically I can still say I didn't plant anything. I couldn't stay long, it was all too emotional for me. I felt like a bad person for not going there more often. That upset me more than anything and I cried like I hadn't cried in a very long time. It was also one of those moments when I realized just how much I still miss her. I can go on and live a normal life, but I'm always gonna miss her and wonder what she would have been like.