Thursday, December 29, 2011

It hurts...

12/29/2011              3:22 pm

Dear Brynna,

Hi baby girl.  I miss you so very much.  I think about you every moment of the day and can’t seem to wrap my heart around the fact that you are really not coming home.

Daddy and I are going on our first ever cruise in March and the trip is only eight weeks away so I ventured out with your brothers today to the gym.  I am trying to get my postpartum, post-op body in shape to put on a swimsuit in 2 months.  I ran and walked on the treadmill for about 40 minutes and did some weights, all the while listening to music on my ipod.  Quite a few times, a song would come on that brought my thoughts right back to you, and I had to fight off the tears.

At one point I was on the leg extension machine and “Brand New Day” by Joshua Radin came on.  I full on started crying and I am sure that the man on the machine across from me wondered what was up with the crazy lady doing leg exercises.  I am sure he probably thought, “she is only lifting 60 lbs, what’s the big deal?”  Oh well, this is the story of my life these days. 

I cry at the drop of a hat.  God, I miss you, baby girl!  What I would give to hold you and feel your beautiful soft skin again!  To rub your back.  To smell your sweet smell, and brush my cheek against your downy hair. 

Sometimes I just go into your room and sit and talk to you.  Do you hear me?  Do you know your momma’s voice?  I hope so.  There are so many things I wanted to tell you, to teach you, to show you.  I am sorry my body betrayed you.  I am sorry you were not brought into this world safely, and placed on your loving mommy’s chest.  I am so sorry.  People tell me not to feel guilty, that it’s not my fault, but that is really hard to accept.  I would have done anything to change it all.  If I could have reached inside and held everything together so that you would have had oxygen, I would have in an instant.  I wish I could trade places with you so that you would be given the opportunity to have a full, happy life.  I am sorry you are gone.  I am so, so sorry.  Please forgive me.

Your biggest brothers, Cole and Aidan say they see you often and talk to you.  I hope that is true.  You have three AMAZING brothers!  They all miss you so much too.  We all think about and talk about you.

Daddy is doing such an amazing job trying to keep things together for our family, but he is so sad too.  One of the things I regret the most is that you will not get to grow up feeling safe in the strong, loving arms of your Daddy.  He loves you more than words can say, and misses you more than he knew was possible. 

I love you, Brynna.  I love you so much.  Thank you for being my daughter.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas is Over

Well, Christmas is over and put away.  Not exactly sure how we got through it, but we did.  True our tree was only half lit for many weeks (it eventually did get fully lit and decorated thanks to my Mom for her help), I am just proud we even got to the tree farm this year and picked one out.  Man, was that hard!  I am okay with the idea of going places and doing things, until I start picturing how it would look if Brynn were here doing those things and going places with us.  That’s when the intense hurt seeps in. 

It was supposed to go that we all got bundled up to head to the tree farm and Brynna (all cozy in a winter sleeper) would be on my chest in the Baby Bjorn and we would keep each other warm while all the boys (Steven included) picked out the “perfect” tree.  Instead, we bundled up the boys and walked around the tree farm kind of in a sort of robot mode, and I carried a fuzzy pink baby hat in my coat pocket and held onto it as if my life depended on it.  There were a few smiles and the boys had a good time riding the train and eating warm doughnuts and drinking hot cocoa, but there was definitely a great big void.

That is the story of our life now.  We go along living somehow, but all around us we sense a great big void. 

Steven and I went to our first Compassionate Friends Meeting, which is a group for bereaved parents.  They meet once a month.  As we were walking in that cold winter night, we were struck with how much our lives have changed.  Three months prior to all this, I never even considered meetings like this take place.  Our reality at night time was staying home in our warm house, having family dinners and getting our kids to bed.  Not venturing out to some random meeting room at the back of a local hospital’s cafeteria to meet with other parents walking the horrible road of grieving the death of a child.

But, here we are.  It’s amazing how your body can keep going day in and day out, when you feel like your heart is shattered.

We are fast approaching the two month mark now, and I miss her more today than yesterday.  I am not only grieving the loss of our newborn daughter, I am mourning not getting the privilege to witness the girl and woman she would have become.  It breaks my heart that I will never get to put her hair into pigtails, that I will never know her favorite color, or know what her voice sounded like.  We had so many things planned for our little girl.  A life of love and laughter.   But now, we are left with a empty nursery and, even more, empty arms.

There are sometimes brief moments within the long days, that feel a little bit normal.  Like yesterday, when I sat down with all three boys to play a board game.  We were all engrossed in the activity at hand and having fun, and then it all washed over me again as the game ended, that Brynna is not here with us.

I miss her.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One Month Out

Yesterday was the one month marker since our baby girl died. Six days prior to that was the mark of what would have been her one month birthday. I am sometimes paralyzed with pain to know that for the rest of my life, when I recognize/acknowledge Brynna's birthday, I will only have 6 days until I will be faced with the anniversary of the day we held her in our arms while she took her first unintubated breaths which were also her last breaths here on earth.

 I miss her so much. There truly are not words to describe this. At times I really feel like I am going out of my mind. I am afraid. Afraid I will always feel this way. Some people on the outside and alot of the books talk about "giving it time" and "letting it fade". I really believe though, that it will hurt this much forever. I remember all the times people said, "over time you forget the pain of labor, the memories fade, that's why women are able to do it again time after time." Well, I am here to say, I have never forgotten the pain of any of my labors, and I did it again and again because I love our children and would do anything for them. So, if the pain of labor never fades, even despite a healthy outcome and a beautiful, healthy baby, how in the heck can one believe the pain of actually losing a child would fade over time? I guess I (we) are just going to have to continue to find a way to work through it, and find a place in our hearts to put it. 

We continue to feel so very loved and supported by so many friends and family and are thankful beyond measure to have you in our lives. Although, you may call, write or text, and we may not be in a place emotionally to answer right then, please know we love you. And please don't stop calling, writing and texting. Please don't stop inviting us to do things with you. One day I will be able to pick up the phone every time. One day I will not hesitate or have to really think about whether or not I am up for joining you for “coffee”. One day I will again just be able to say, "yes, I would love to." But not today. Today it hurts too much.

"One day at a time is all I can bear. If I can make it through this day, 
then I can look back tomorrow, and know that I am strong. 
Even in my weakness.
 And sometimes being weak, is the only way right now, 
that I can be, at all...."
-Joanne Cacciatore (author of "Dear Cheyanne")