Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This past weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to go out to New Mexico, where his family lives, to attend his grandmother's funeral. It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad I was able to see everyone.

The trip to New Mexico is a 16 hour drive. Justin and I left late afternoon so the majority of our driving was at night. Justin did most of the driving, but for a few hours I drove while he slept. So with my Feel Good play list (a compilation of songs by artists like Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Il Divo, Enya and The Canadian Tenors) playing in the car, I had a lot of time to think.

A lot of time to think usually means I end up thinking about Emily. The main focus of my thoughts this time was wondering what she would be like. I am so interested to know what kind of personality she would have had. I have a beautiful niece who is 3 and she is a firecracker. While I was pregnant with Emily I often wondered if she would take after her cousin or if she would have been more shy, like her mommy. Whenever I thought about having a girl I automatically imagined her being sweet, shy, quiet and obedient, of course :) She probably would have been completely different from what I imagined. I was so excited to get to know my daughter. And not just as my daughter, but as a person, who is a unique individual. What would her favorite color be? What would she be when she grew up? What kind of boys would she date? Would she play a musical instrument? Would she sing? Would she like to read books like me? Go hunting with her dad? Would she play softball like her dad had hoped she would?

I thought of Emily often this weekend as I watched my many nieces and nephews play together and with Justin. My arms felt empty and my hands felt idle as I watched my sister-in-laws take care of their children, help them with their meals, get them ready for bed, and take care of their owies. (Please don't feel bad sisters, I still love you :)) I am grateful, though, for the time I was able to spend with my sweet nieces and nephews and their sweet spirits.

The hardest part of the weekend was the funeral but not for reasons you would think. Justin's grandmother, Delsa, was an incredible woman, who lived a long, full life and I admire her greatly. However, I only had the opportunity to meet her a handful of times and did not have the opportunity to make many memories with her. During the funeral I learned that she had lost her first baby, which was a girl. Justin told me he had told me that before, but I must have forgotten because it was a bit of a shock when I heard it during the service. They referred to this lost daughter several times throughout the service and every time they did, I naturally thought of Emily. At one point, a grandson, Kevin, read a poem that Delsa had kept for years, that was very dear to her. It was a poem basically about the loss of her baby. It was read twice and by the end of the second time I was in tears.

The thing that really did me in was a comment that was made about the reunion of Delsa and her baby girl. Something along the lines of the "sweet reunion" between her and her daughter she lost so long ago. I pictured in my mind Delsa in tears of happiness as she embraced her daughter that she waited 70 some odd years to see again. How long she had waited to see her again and how often she thought of her throughout her life. I found myself envious. I so wanted to be Delsa, being reunited with my daughter. It's only been 6 months and I am so ready to see Emily again. How long will I have to wait? 70 years like Delsa?

I mentioned this to Justin at 2 o'clock in the morning as we made the drive home and he said something like, "Not to be insensitive, but we will have other children who will occupy our time, focus and energy throughout our lives" And he is right. I'm sure Delsa didn't sit around and yearn for her daughter day in and day out. She lived her life. She had more children and was a wonderful mother. She was happy.

While I will always miss Emily and will think about her from time to time, I know I will have more children and will do so much more with my life. I hope I can someday get to the point where I am not constantly waiting for that reunion with my daughter. I need to live my life and be in the present or I will miss everything. I have so much ahead of me and so much to live for, I can't let my missing my daughter consume my life. I know this is what needs to happen, it's just a matter of getting there... and it's something I am still working on. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A question I got asked a few times after Emily was born was whether or not Justin and I were going to keep trying to have kids. Or how long we would wait before we tried again. I don't think Justin and I ever had to really talk about it, we both just knew that we would be trying again as soon as we could. As I said earlier, we were ready to be parents.

Two weeks after she was born I had my follow-up doctor's appointment. I was really hoping they would be able to tell me something useful or maybe explain why I went into preterm labor. Pretty much all my doc told me was that they had no idea. He said it could have been a couple different reasons. It could have been an incompetent cervix or infection or just random preterm labor. Since Emily wasn't that big, the labor wasn't that traumatic and I healed quickly. The doctor said I could resume life as normal.

I left the doctor's office feeling really disappointed and discouraged. I had no real information to go off of for my next pregnancy. He said I should probably give my body a month or two to get back to normal before getting pregnant again. I wasn't worried about that since I knew it would take us awhile to get pregnant. I wanted to get pregnant right away and continue on with our plan to have children, but not finding any information out at the doctor made getting pregnant really scary. I mean, what if it happened again? Would there be any way to detect the preterm labor coming on or would it happen really fast again? Would the doctor treat my pregnancy as an incompetent cervix? Or would I have to lose another baby before they diagnosed me with one?

Since Emily was born I have been reading a lot on high risk pregnancies with women who go into preterm labor. A common theme I was reading was bed rest and a cerclage. I had no idea what that was so I looked up as much information as I could about cerclages. Man oh man....that does NOT sound pleasant. And what if I have to be put on bed rest the last 6 months of my pregnancy and am still not able to carry full term? These are the questions that haunt me. I want children so bad but I am so worried about what this next pregnancy will be like. I'm almost expecting something to go wrong. I try to tell myself that what happened with Emily was just a random incident and my next pregnancies will be normal. But given my history, I'm not counting on it.

Even though getting pregnant is scary for me, I really want to be pregnant again. If I have to have a cerclage and be put on bed rest, then so be it. I will do whatever I need to to carry full term and have a healthy baby. So in response to the title of this post, yes, we are trying. We have been trying since Emily was born. I am 99% sure I will not get pregnant until I got to the doctor and ask for Clomid or some kind of help. I have a doctor's appointment in December and Justin and I had decided to just wait it out and see what happens and if nothing happens, then I will see what I can do come December at my doctor's appointment. I know the chances are slim that I will get pregnant on my own, but every month I find myself hoping and getting excited. Just to have my hopes crushed. And every month I feel like a failure all over again. I know I need to be patient and wait til December like we agreed. Plus I have to think about school. But every time I see a little baby I just get so impatient and wish I had gone to the doctor 3 months ago... Oh well. December will get here soon enough, and I am optimistic that we'll be pregnant again in the next few months :) I haven't been through this long enough to be a pessimist so here's to hoping!! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


I have decided to change my pace here a little bit. I feel like my posts so far, although accurate, are very depressing. I do want to say that I don't spend everyday moping around all depressed. My blog's focus is going through the healing process of losing Emily and our attempt at more children. That doesn't mean there aren't other things going on in my life that occupy my day to day activities.

For example, I have started school. My original plan, when pregnant with Emily, was to have her in August, and start school in January. Probably part-time, maybe online, until I finished school. Well part way through the summer I found myself wondering what to do with myself. I suddenly had the month of August, and the rest of the year really, free. So what should I do? I decided to jump into school. I figured I needed to be doing SOMETHING with my time, and why not spend my time working toward another goal of mine? So I enrolled in 15 credit hours. I am a junior, studying accounting. So far I am enjoying it. I have missed school and learning. It's been awhile since I have exercised and stretched my brain. I have at least one day a week where I wake up and think to myself, "I shouldn't be going to school, I am supposed to be staying home with Emily." But I am thankful for the opportunity I have to go to school.

But school isn't what I want to talk about this morning. I wanted to talk about Faith. My Faith. The knowledge of my Heavenly Father is the only thing that has kept me sane through this whole process. I honestly do not know how anyone gets through something like this, or any hardship really, without some sort of belief system.

I have been holding onto what I know to be true, and my belief system like someone on a small life raft in a huge ocean. It is what gets me through everyday. I have knowledge of where little Emily is. That she is happy. That she is with my dad. That Justin and I WILL see her again, that we will get to raise her and be a family. I know I shouldn't dwell on what "will be" and things that will come in the future, but I often find myself daydreaming and yearning for the time that I will be reunited with Emily.

My comfort in the days and weeks following Emily's birth was all focused on my faith. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Most of the world refers to us as "Mormons". I was born and raised as a Mormon and it has sustained me through every hardship in my life. It is my unyielding foundation. And although this experience with Emily has been the hardest by far, and I sometimes find myself faltering, I still cling to the gospel and rely on my Heavenly Father to get me through.

My grandmother's sister sent me a letter a few days after losing Emily and in it she included a talk written by one of the General Authorities of our church. It focused on trials, and how to rely on the Lord. I wanted to include a few of the quotes from this talk that have uplifted and helped me get through, and statements that can help any one, Mormon or not.
-"When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, what am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?"
-"Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love."
-"His invitation, 'Ask, and ye shall receive" does not assure that you will get what you want. It does guarantee that, if worthy, you will get what you need, as judged by a Father that loves you perfectly, who want your eternal happiness even more than you do."
-"Don't let the workings of adversity totally absorb your life. Try to understand what you can. Act where you are able; then let the matter rest with the Lord for a period while you give to others in worthy ways before you take on appropriate concern again."

I want to close this short(er) post by saying that I know my Father in Heaven lives. That he is aware of me and knows my situation, my thoughts, my feelings, and my desires. I know that I will be blessed with children with the Lord sees fit and I need to put my faith in him. I know that he has put a plan in place for me and my family and that I will get to see my baby girl again and for that I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


As I had mentioned in my second post, Justin and I had had pictures taken while in the hospital. Nurse asked us if we wanted pictures and we said sure. The nurse informed us that usually the people at the hospital normally just take a few and give them to you. But there were also a few ladies who were professional photographers who volunteered their time and resources to take pictures for individuals in my position, or whose babies were in the NICU. So while we were holding Emily, a lady came in. I don't know her name, I don't know if she ever told us, or if she did and I just don't remember it.

Anyway, the whole process was really uncomfortable. She took some of her/us while we were holding her, and then she took Emily out of the room and took some more of just her. She was very sensitive to the situation, she kept apologizing profusely anytime she had to touch or move Emily a certain way to get a good shot. At one time she said, "Just interact with her, pretend I'm not here". I thought that was weird, I didn't know how I was supposed to interact with Emily, so I just sat there holding her. Anyway, the whole process was only a few minutes but it seemed like it took a long time. After she left I didn't think much more about the pictures, until a few days later. As more days passed the more focused I became on getting those pictures. I had no idea how long it was going to take, all they told me was that the lady would get them to the hospital when she was done, and the hospital would get them to us.

Only a few days had passed and I was already forgetting what she looked liked. The four hours I had with Emily in the hospital were so short and I was so drugged up and out of it, I didn't get to fully take advantage of that time. I was really anxious to see the pictures and see Emily with a clear state of mind and not all loopy. After 6 long weeks I finally got a call that they had my pictures and I could pick them up at anytime. I went that instant. I even called into work (sorry Dana). I love my pictures. That lady did such a wonderful job, I wish I knew her name and could contact her and let her know how thankful I am and how much I cherish them. I have not posted all of them, but these are some of my favorites... Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do You Have Children?

This has become my least favorite question. And not because I mind answering it, because I don't. Problem is, I don't know HOW to answer it.

This question is a simple one, I mean it is a pretty commonly asked question. You get into a casual conversation with someone, they ask if you are married. I say yes. Then naturally the next question is, do you have any kids? And I freeze. I feel sorry for those people who ask me this question. Mostly because I know it is going to make them feel awkward and uncomfortable. I often think in my head "don't do it, don't me ask me if I have kids" And then they ask. I don't mind talking about Emily. I like talking about Emily. She is, after all, my daughter right? So I could sit there all day and talk a strangers ear off about Emily, but we all know they don't want to hear about it. I could simply say "no" to make it easier and most simple for me and the person asking. But I hate doing that. It makes me feel like I am saying she doesn't exist. I could say "yes", but normally that is followed with more questions about the child.

Ironically, I have been asked this question more times since April than I have in the last 3 years since I have been married. And on every occasion I have answered differently. First time I was with my husband, the individual asked if we had kids and Justin said no. Which is fine, I would have been comfortable leaving it at that. But then more questions followed about the subject, so finally I said, "we actually have a daughter, but she passed away at birth." Then lots of apology followed. I wasn't in any way offended, I was simply trying to clarify. I felt more embarrassed and sorry for the individual than anything. The next few times was when I was at work. I used to, and still kind of do, work at the YMCA at the front desk. I have been there for four years so I am pretty familiar to the regulars who come in in the afternoons. Most of them noticed that one day, after I had been gone a couple weeks, that I wasn't pregnant anymore and not many of them said anything. One day, shortly after Emily was born, a gentleman came in, not a regular, and we got to chatting. It is pretty common at my job for people to stop and talk to me for long periods of time. I guess it gives them excuse to put of their workout for as long as possible. Anyway, he eventually asked if I had any children. I said very confidently, "I have a daughter". This time no more questions followed and he went on his merry way. So sometimes I don't clarify and just let strangers think that I am going home to my daughter at the end of the day. Doesn't make any difference really. I probably won't ever see these people again.

Another time at work I was reading a book, which I do frequently. Several members tease me regularly for being such a book worm. Oh well. Anyway, I was reading and a regular came by and asked me what my book was about. I told him it was about a woman who couldn't have children. So she found a young adult female and paid her for one of her eggs, and found another younger lady to be the surrogate (I didn't finish the book, it was weird). He kinda looked at me funny and said, "How old are you?" and I told him 22. And he asked, "You aren't trying to have kids are you?" and before I could answer he said "because you are too young to be thinking about having kids" and then he left. If only he knew... Situations like these really make me realize that we have no idea what it going on in someone's life and should never make assumptions about someone... I really hope I don't do that to people.

Another time was at church. A very sweet elderly gentleman, who I don't see very often, saw me sitting by Justin. Later he came over and was surprised to learn that I had been married for 3 years. He asked if I had any children. I said, "well...I have a daughter" and he could tell I was hesitant. My sister, who was sitting next to me had to clarify that she was "in heaven". The poor man felt really bad. Like I said, I mostly dislike this question because I know it is going to make the other person feel bad or make them feel awkward when I finally getting around to answering.

Another time was at my house. I had had a girls night where several girls came over. Some of them I knew really well, others not so much. Some of them knew about Emily, some of them didn't. Towards the end of the evening a girl asked me very innocently "so do you have kids?" she had been confused because I had made mention of Emily a few times and she didn't think I had children. I opened my mouth to say something and nothing came out. I just sat there and stared at her. She probably thought I had lost my mind, I mean how hard of a question is that? It's a simple yes or no question right? I finally said, " don't know how to answer your question" Which then lead to me telling her the story. Which I didn't mind doing, but I hope it didn't make her feel bad or uncomfortable. Poor girl didn't know what she was getting herself into :)

Anyway, I know everyone asks this question out of simple curiosity or just to make conversation, which is completely fine. But even after six months, I am still trying to come up with a way to simply, yet accurately, answer that question without making people want to stick their foot in their mouth... Thanks for reading. I appreciate the response I have gotten so far :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

F.A.I.L.U.R.E.....and guilt

Over the past 6 months there has been a whole spectrum of emotions. More than I thought even existed. The feeling that has been dominating my life over the past month or so has been a feeling of failure. I feel I have failed as a mom, a wife and a female.

Starting with failing as a mom. I have had several people tell me that I did the most important thing for my daughter. I gave her a body. That, however, has provided no comfort to be honest. A dear friend of mine, Susanna lost her daughter about a month ago. Also a stillborn. Slightly different situation but basically the same thing. Susanna has been comforted with the fact that she KNOWS it was supposed to happen that way. She has that reassurance that her daughter was not supposed to be here at this time. That she did her job as mother and that was all she was supposed to do right now. And she has made peace with that. I wish I had that reassurance. For the few weeks following Emily's birth I told myself she wasn't supposed to be here with us right now. That that was Heavenly Father's plan. I am not so sure anymore. After all, she is not here because of me. Emily was perfectly healthy and growing just as she should. Right up until my water broke, she was in there moving around and kicking (she moved a lot). There were no complications with her. The only reason we lost her was because my body spit her out before she was ready. If my body had worked the way it was supposed to, she would be here with us. So maybe she WAS supposed to be here, maybe she WAS supposed to grow up and find a husband have children of her own. I don't believe that every baby lost was God's predetermined planned for them. I don't believe that every baby lost was because HE wanted to save them from the perils of this world. Sometimes, things just happen and he allows them to happen. Sometimes, accidents and events happen, even if they weren't predetermined by God. I am believing more and more these days that losing Emily was one of those events. That my body wasn't working properly and because of it, we lost her. So do I feel partly responsible? Absolutely. Was it something I could control? Definitely not. But that doesn't prevent me from feeling like my body failed her. And me. My job as a mother was to protect my child, and I did quite the opposite.

I also feel like a failure as a mother, and feel guilt, over the week following her birth. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I didn't go to see her at the funeral home, or dressed her for burial. I didn't spend the time with her that I could've. Because I was scared. I let fear rob me of the limited precious time I had with her, and for that I am angry with myself. I mean what mother wouldn't want to spend every moment they had with their child? What was stopping me? I feel like I abandoned her and left her all alone.

I feel guilty over things I could have done differently. I understand that I wasn't expecting anything to go wrong and wasn't supposed to be looking out for warning signs. Didn't know what I was supposed to look for. But I should've followed more of my gut instinct in the days before her birth. I shouldn't have been worried about being "one of those first-time moms" who rushes to the emergency for every gas bubble they feel. I should've been one of those moms. If I had, Emily may have been with us today.

Next, I feel like I have failed as a wife. My husband wants to be a father so bad, and he will make a wonderful father. I watch him with little kids. I notice the way he looks at babies and plays with them. I know he is ready to have kids. And as his wife, I have failed in that department. I know we have Emily, but I am talking about the lack of children here on earth. I feel so bad whenever we hear about another one of his missionary companions whose wife has had a baby. Or when he gets news of his friends who just found out they are going to be dad. It's like we are standing on the side of the road, watching everyone else pass us by as they start their families and we are still left with just us. I have had several people tell me to just enjoy the time I have with just Justin right now, that children will come and when they do, I will want those days back where it was just Justin and I. And I do enjoy the time I have with my husband. But we are ready to be parents. We are ready to have our house filled with children laughing, playing and crying and screaming and everything else. Our house is too quiet.

I have thought a few times, that if Justin had married someone else, he would probably be a father right now. I think how lucky my past boyfriends are that they didn't end up with me, because they wouldn't have any children. I feel bad that Justin is "stuck" with me. A partner that can't provide him with healthy children to raise. I mentioned this to him once and it made him really sad. He hates when I say things like that. So I don't talk about it anymore.

I also feel I have failed as a female. Why did Heavenly Father create women? To bear, raise and nurture his children...right? Isn't that our job? To have children? Isn't that the one thing that us women can do that men can't? I understand there are many other jobs for women and there are so many other things I could do and accomplish. But when it comes down to it, I feel like less of a woman. Why can't I be like other women? Who decide they want to have a baby and just do it? Who go off birth control and conceive? Who Carry full-term without worries of whether their bodies are going to spit their babies out before they are ready. If I can't provide children, what am I supposed to do with my life? I know that sounds shallow. Most people would respond, work on your career, serve others, find other hobbies to devote your time to. And I plan to do these things, but bottom line-I am supposed to bear children. And so far that hasn't worked out too great for me, so I am having a hard time trying to determine my purpose or direction... feeling a little lost.

I know some of you who may be reading this may think, "wow, that's a lot of negative thoughts and personal blame". And yeah, it is. I know a lot of these feelings do not make sense, or are not logical. But when something like this happens, your brain doesn't always work right, or think logically.

Not everyday is this depressing. I still have my good days and bad days. Good hours and bad hours. Good minutes and bad minutes. These feelings of failure and guilt have been an umbrella, or cloud that has been hovering around me for about a month now. I was hoping if I finally blurted it all out, I'd feel better.... we'll see. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Funeral and Weeks Following

There will be pretty frequent posts until I get everyone updated on the events of April. Then I won't bother you so much :)

The days following Emily's birth were blurry. A lot of events have been mashed together in my mind. I tried to write in my journal as often as possible to keep my days and feelings straight. Plus I knew I wouldn't remember everything I felt and thought later, so I tried to write it all down.

I think a lot of people expected me to be feeling a little more than I was letting on. The only way I know how to describe it, is, I was still in shock. Reality had not set in. My brother came from South Carolina and spent the week with us, which I very much appreciated. He always makes me happy when he is around. My closest friend also flew in and hardly left my side. Justin took some shifts off work and for the next week or two, I had family and friends around me constantly and did not have to worry about bills or work or anything. It almost felt like a fun family gathering. Until the harsh reality set in and I was reminded why everyone was at my house. Oh yeah. Emily is gone. I'm not pregnant anymore. And I would cry. I know this will sound silly, but I tried hard not to cry in front of family and friends. I even feel silly crying in front of Justin. So I put on a semi-normal face and tried to reassure everyone that I was doing ok, when inside I was terrified of when they would leave and I would be left alone with my thoughts.

Emily was born on a Tuesday, her funeral was set for that Saturday, the 23rd. We wanted to give my brother and Justin's parents time to get into town. My mother made Emily a white dress to be buried in and crocheted her a little hat as well. The dress was made from the scraps of the material from my wedding dress that my mother had also made. It was also the same style as my wedding dress. Justin and I took a picture holding the dress before we took it to the funeral home. If I can get a copy from my mom I will post it.

While we were in the hospital the topic of cemeteries came up. Some cemeteries will let you bury your infant for free. My father had passed a way not quite a year and a half earlier and was buried in a cemetery that charges to bury infants. While I was still drugged up and out of it I had originally said I didn't care where she was buried, that we could pick one that was free. But my husband, being the smart man he is, knew I would care later. He said we wanted her buried by my dad. And he was right. I am so glad she is buried by my dad. It's nice knowing she's not alone out there.

The day before the funeral was a little crazy. I had thought all the arrangements were set. The funeral had called and told us Emily was ready for viewing if family wanted to come see her. I did not feel strong enough or prepared enough, so I chose not to go. (Once again with the guilt...) My mother took my little sister, and came back a little flustered. Apparently the casket was too small for Emily and it was just....wrong. After much discussion, my best friend and brother went to the funeral home to talk to the directors and find out what could be done. It was quite the process, but we eventually got the larger casket and got her situated. The whole process grated on my nerves greatly. I just wanted to yell "leave her alone!" I hated that we couldn't just let her be and had to keep handling her. But thanks to my wonderful family members and best friend, all was worked out.

Like I said earlier, I did not go to see her in the funeral home. At the time I didn't feel like I could handle it. I was scared. I didn't know what I would feel when I saw her and I did not feel prepared. So I didn't go. I look back now and wish I had sucked it up and spent more time with her while I could've. I was her mother. I should have been the one dressing her and by her side. Instead I was a coward and stayed away. But again, that is for a later post...

Emily's funeral was Saturday morning at 10 am. It was a very small, simple graveside service with just my immediate family and a few select members of my church ward, like my bishop. I woke up that morning completely and utterly terrified. I woke up crying and cried all morning as I was getting ready. I spent all morning trying to build up the courage to walk out my front door and get in the car. I did not feel strong enough for what was about to happen. I was going to bury my daughter. I couldn't do it. The whole morning felt like an out-of-body experience. I tried to detach myself as much as possible just to get through it. It was time to leave, so I got in the car and cried the whole way to the cemetery. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. In. Out. In. Out.

We pull up to the cemetery and I see her little casket set up on table by the grave with some flowers. I lost it. I had not seen Emily since I left her at the hospital, and I had not seen the casket. Seeing the small casket and knowing she was in there was more than I could handle. We were the last ones to arrive, everyone else was already there, standing a ways off from where everything was set up. They saw us get out of the car and it's like they froze, they just stared at us. I was bawling already and the service hadn't even started. I feel sorry for my family who was standing around, probably having no idea what to do or what say to me.

The service was brief. Justin's brother Jason, had written us a poem about Emily. It was beautiful. We had my brother read it at the service since Jason was in New Mexico. I would like to close this post with his poem.

Emily LaNae Jensen

An angel, sent from heaven,

To her family here on earth.

We don't always know his reasons,

But we surely know her worth.

She came and got her body

To gain eternal life.

Even though we can't comprehend

Her parents' pain and strife.

We have knowledge of the Father,

and his eternal plan.

We know that he won't give us more

Than we can handle as mortal man.

The nineteenth day of April

Given to her family here.

And they sadly gave her back

And put aside their fear.

She was too perfect for this world

And had no need to bear

All the sadness and imperfections

In a world with little care.

Heavenly Feather loves her

And she is by his side.

Helping send comfort and cheer

To those of us who cry.

So remember this day

As we lay baby Emily to rest.

She was taken back to heaven

And because of her we all are blessed.

Thanks Jason. And thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When I had gotten pregnant, I spent most of my first trimester worried something was going to happen. That there would be complications. I knew the miscarriage rate for PCOS women was higher than most women and I was just waiting for something to go wrong. Once the blood work came back and my appointments showed everything as it should be through my first trimester, I started to relax and let myself get excited.

Monday evening, April 18th, 2011, I experienced some really light bleeding (sorry for the details). I had heard some women experience this, but this was something that hadn't happened to me. I was a little worried so I called my sister. I told her it was really light, barely there, and she said to keep a close eye on it. I am in no means blaming her for not screaming at me to go to the emergency room :) I was experiencing no other symptoms and felt fine. Plus my husband was at work, he works 24-hour shifts and would not be getting off until 7 am the following morning and did not want to make the half hour trip to the emergency room by myself late at night if I felt fine. So I went to bed.

Tuesday morning I woke up in pain. The lower pelvic pressure (any woman who has been in labor knows what I am talking about) and a significant amount of bleeding. I called my doctor's office and told them what I was experiencing, they then told me they had to have another nurse call me back. It was 45 minutes before I received a call, in which time I spent pacing my house and texting my boss. (In hindsight I should have gone straight to the hospital, but we'll get to the guilt later...) The doctor finally called me back and told me to come in for an exam. Thank goodness my husband had gotten off work and was able to drive me. The exam was pretty quick. He immediately told me he saw membranes (at the time I didn't know what that meant, this was my first pregnancy) and was sending me over to the birthing floor of the hospital and that they would be expecting me. At this point I still had no idea what was wrong or what the situation was, had no idea I would be delivering my baby that day. On the way to the hospital I sent a quick text to my sister and best friend to update them. Mostly to keep myself occupied to keep from freaking out.

Before this experience, I had never been to the hospital before. I'm a fairly healthy person and have never had any emergencies that needed medical care. I'm also terrified of needles. This labor experience was quite the doozie for my first stay in a hospital. They had me change, took my vitals, put in an IV (which they had to do twice) did a catheter, all before they explained what was happening. They finally did an ultrasound and it all made sense. It was like a light bulb came on. I was in labor. My water had not broke yet, but I was dialated and starting contractions. They brought a specialist in to see if they could do an emergency cerclage, but once he saw the ultrasound image, he just shook his head and said, "nope, sorry". I was dialated to a 5.

At this point the delivery doctor came in and we talked about what would happen next. I was 23 weeks and 2 days along. He informed me if my baby were to have a fighting chance, I needed to make it to at least 25 weeks. Which meant keeping my water from breaking for 2 weeks, while dialated to a 5. My chances were slim. Deep down I knew I was going to lose her. Part of me felt like, What's the point? Let's just deliver her now and get it over with. But we were ready to do everything possible and fight for her to have a chance. So they pumped me full of magnesium to relax my muscles, trying to get me contractions to stop. They also tipped me back so all the pressure was off my pelvis. The magnesium made me sick, so I threw up twice, and made me feel light headed. It also makes your pupils wig out so I couldn't focus on anything or anyone in the room. By this time, my mother, sister, husband, and grandmother were in the room. I guess we were all just waiting to see what happened next...

During the ultrasound we discovered Emily was breech. The doctor informed us the chances of a 23 week old baby surviving a breech birth was 1 in 100. He gave us the option of a C-section, but her chances of survival were not any better, so we nixed that idea. Over the next few hours my contractions kept getting worse, the magnesium was not helping. I had not asked for any pain meds yet, since all our focus was on trying to stop the labor. It hurt. I was definitely not planning on having an all natural birth.

Around 2 pm my contractions were too frequent and intense that my water broke. It was time to deliver. My sweet husband was by my side the whole time. They offered me a mirror, which I thought was strange given the circumstances. I declined. My husband was crying during delivery, I felt no emotion, only physical pain. They had brought in the NICU team just as a precaution, but once she was born, the doctor quietly told them they could leave. They would not be needed.

Emily was born at 2:29 pm. She weight 1 lb. 3.4 oz and was 12 inches long. She was perfect. They let us hold her for awhile, then Justin went with them to help clean her up. They brought her back smelling like a new baby, wrapped in a light purple blanket and a beenie on her head. The beenie completely swallowed her head. It was surreal. To be honest I wasn't feeling much. I was physically exhausted, still in shock, and still drugged up so I was a little out of it. They asked us if we wanted pictures and we said sure. I'll tell you more about that another time. We had to pick a funeral home before we were allowed to leave the hospital. Thank goodness for my mother and sister who took care of all that for me.

After 4 hours of holding Emily and making sure I was physically fit to go home, they released us. Being wheeled out of that delivery room, not being able to take Emily with me was the hardest thing I have ever done, and something I will never forget. I felt so empty. I felt numb. I kept my head down as I was wheeled through the hospital so I didn't have to look at anybody. I felt like I had a big sign on my forehead that read "lost my baby" and I felt....ashamed. As we were driving away from the hospital, Justin and I looked at each other and said, "this isn't supposed to happen, we are not supposed to leave this hospital without our baby". I cried yes, I felt sad, but the full force of what happened didn't really hit me til weeks later.

So that is the story of Emily's birth. I could go on and on about feelings and emotions and experiences, but that will come later... Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I caved...

Well here it is! I have started a blog :) I've had several people tell me I should start a blog and after some persuasion, I caved. I am hoping this blog will provide some help, tips and insight to others who need it. The past year has been... a rollercoaster to say the least.

My blog will focus primarily on my husband and my journey to become parents. I am one of those people who won't tell everyone everything and tend to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. I've heard that can be unhealthy so hopefully this will be therapeutic in working through my thoughts and feelings. I am not real sure who will end up reading this, but whoever you are, I hope you can get something, anything, from reading this :)

So a little about myself. My name is Jessica. I am 22 years old, soon to be 23, and live in Missouri. I have been married to a wonderful man named Justin for a little over 3 years. He is doing what he loves, working as a firefigher/emt. We have two black labs, named Molly and Nicki, who are both about a year and a half old. I am currently a full-time student, studying accounting, hoping to finish within the next couple years.

Two years and two and a half months ago, my husband and I decided it was time to start trying for children. We both come large families and have always wanted a large family ourselves. I was so excited and nervous, but so ready! When teachers would ask us in school what we wanted to be when we grew up, I would say "A mom!" I have never been really career driven, I have always felt like my mission and calling in life would be to raise children. So there I was, excited to start this journey! 16 months went by with no luck. Not going to lie, I was pretty discouraged. My husband and I were both in school, working part-time jobs, no health insurance or extra money to spend on going to a doctor. I was only 21, which most people would think that is too young to think about having kids, but not me, I felt like my clock was ticking!

Fall of 2010 my husband was working temporarily for a copper mine out west and was making good money. Still no health insurance, but finally a few extra pennies. I could finally go to the doctor!! Come to find out, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I needed help getting pregnant. So the doctor gave me Clomid. I was pretty skeptical and convinced it wasn't going to work right away. But to our suprise, and excitement, it worked that first month! We were pregnant!! My husband had just been hired on with the Fire Department, with good benefits, everything was falling into place. We couldn't be happier!

My due date was set for August 14, 2011. That first trimester was, horrendous, to say the least. I had morning sickness non-stop. So bad I couldn't even hold down water, at least for a few days. I had to ask my husband and remind myself why I wanted to get pregnant in the first place :) All I could think was, "this child better be worth it!" 3 1/2 months later, it eased up and I was feeling wonderful. I couldn't WAIT to start showing. I had waited long enough for this and I was ready to show it off! I know my wait wasn't nearly as long as other women's, but to me, it felt like an eternity. Watching other women around me get pregnant was very hard. I kept thinking, when will it be my turn? So there I was. Pregnant. And ready to shout it from the rooftops!

April 6, 2011 was the big day of our ultrasound where we would find out the gender. My husband, like most men, was hoping for a boy. Not that he wouldn't love a girl, but you know how men are... I was hoping for a girl.. Everyone around me was convinced it was a boy, so that's what I had in my head as we headed to the doctor's office. The ultrasound was longer than I thought it would be and I was getting so impatient. For awhile, the ultrasound tech wasn't getting the image she wanted and I was worried she wouldn't be able to tell us the gender. Then, very abruptly, she said, "You have a shy little girl". I froze. A girl? Really? I'm having a girl? I had to try real hard to keep my tears and emotions in check. I've always felt so silly crying in front of people.. I can't even describe how excited I was that I was having a girl. She was going to be perfect. She would be beautiful, and smart, and I would braid and curl her hair and teach her everything I knew about the girl world. And her name would be Emily LaNae Jensen.

I was on cloud 9 for the next 13 days, until April 19, 2011. I'll cover that next time. Thanks for reading :)