Monday, October 29, 2012

Bekah's Poem

My little sister had the assignment to write a poetry book for school. I wanted to use one of her poems on my blog because it is about the loss of our kids. What I like most about it, is it is addressed to my late father who passed away almost three years ago. The reason I am posting it on my blog is that I have thought of my dad often through this whole process and wondered if he was near me, and how much he knows about my children and if they are together. So a big thank you to Bekah for letting me share her poem :)

Letters To The Grave
By Bekah

Hello Daddy.
Can you hear me?
Can you see the things I see?

My sister, your daughter
She's hurting, she's aching.
Her fragile heart just keeps breaking.

Why this has happened,
None of us know.
I try to be strong, but it's all a big show.

Those precious little souls,
Too pure to stay here,
They've gone to a perfect place and have nothing to fear.

Did you meet them,
In the palace above?
Did you console her when she needed your love?

What happens now?
She's all alone.
A huge hole in her heart is all she's ever known.

I stand on the side,
Watching her cry.
Her weak little voice, "why, why, why?!"

I feel so helpless.
What do I do?
I feel so lost and I desperately need you.

Please give me the strength
To lift her up.
And peace of mind in knowing my love will be enough.

I love you Daddy,
And so does she.
In our hearts forever you'll be.

Thanks Bekah :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I think it is safe to say I have reached that all too familiar stage of feeling…Nothing. I wouldn’t consider myself sad, but I do not feel happy either. I feel fine. I don’t feel much. So am I making progress? If feeling nothing is better than being sad, then yeah I guess I am progressing.

I hate feeling nothing. I feel so detached, like I am operating through a fog where nothing really gets through to me. It has been awhile since I really cried, but I can’t remember the last time I genuinely laughed or smiled either. My smiles feel automatic, mechanic. I can’t remember the last time I was actually excited or invested in what is happening around me. I am just going through the motions, with no real interest in anything. (I sound like I could be on an anti depressant commercial). But I don’t feel depressed; I don’t spend my time sad. I go through my day like normal, a functioning member of society like everyone else.

What I find most frustrating is not feeling like myself. I look at pictures of Justin and I during our first 2 ½ years of marriage, before all the madness began, and I miss that girl. She was excited about her future and the possibilities were endless. The last two years have sucked that girl dry of any excitement toward the future. I feel like a little kid who just found out Santa isn't real. I feel like I am just existing, doing what I know I am supposed to be doing, but my heart is not in it. I have heard that I will never get that girl back, that I can never be the old me, because I have been forever changed. But I am not so sure I like the new version of me. She is numb, she is not excited about the future, she doesn’t laugh as much, she is not fun. I want the old me back.

This stage for me is the most frustrating. I would rather spend my time moping and crying than what I am doing now, because then I am actually FEELING something. Something is at least affecting me. It’s like I am on a hunt to find something that will produce some sort of feeling from me.

I don’t know how to fix it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Remembering Details Part 2: Chloe and Daniel

As soon as we knew my water broke and people started showing up, I began to retreat back into myself again. I didn’t keep my eyes closed like with Braden but I couldn’t/wouldn’t look anybody in the eyes. My sister and mom were already so upset and I couldn’t stand to see the look of grief on their faces. I couldn’t look at them, because if I did I would lose it. It’s almost like I could pretend that it wasn’t happening, or avoid the situation if I didn’t look at anyone, but if I looked at their faces it became so much more real.

I remember my doctor finally coming in and how I was both glad and embarrassed to see her. She has always had such a good and comforting demeanor, but I had a hard time looking her in the eye also. I remember wanting to apologize that we had to bother her on a Wednesday evening. I remember wanting to apologize for what she was going to have to do. I am sure no doctor likes delivering babies too early. This was not going to be a fun and exciting delivery and I wanted to tell her I was sorry I didn’t make it. I also felt bad because she had tried so hard to get me these babies and my body was failing once again. I felt like I was disappointing the whole team of people who had taken care of me over the past month. I remember her telling me we were going to deliver the babies, how we were going to cry, and how we would get through it. Then she left the room to get ready. I remember the nurses wheeling me to a delivery room. I also remember cracking jokes as they were moving me. I don’t know why. I think I felt the need to let the people with me know that I was going to be okay, that this wasn’t going to break me. I think a lot of people were worried how I was going to get through this and I didn’t want them to worry about that. I don’t even know what I said, only that I kept saying funny things, trying to make the situation lighter and less awkward for everyone.

I got into the delivery room and I remember them putting a lot of fluid into my IV, which helped flush out the magnesium faster. The effects of the magnesium wore of quicker than usual which was nice. I was so grateful when I got the nurse I did during shift change. Her name was Bethany, she was a taller blonde. She had been my nurse many times in my month in the hospital and I liked her a lot. I was so glad she was going to be my nurse during this whole ordeal. She and Justin even had a little conversation about hunting season starting as we were waiting. I remember a male coming in to give me the epidural. I remember being so nervous about it. I wanted to go pain free this time, Emily and Braden’s births were not something I wanted to repeat. I remember having to sit on the edge of the bed so he could put it in. Justin had to stand in front of me and hold me up because I was still weak and drugged up and had little control over my muscles. I remember sitting on the bed swaying from side to side like I was on a boat and Justin having to hold me still. I remember kind of chuckling to myself; I thought it was funny that I kept swaying. They laid me back down and waited a half hour or so. My doctor came back in and told me she was going to remove the stitch. She told me she anticipated that baby B (which we were thinking was a boy) would come very quickly once she removed the stitch. I remember laying there hearing the clipping of the scissors and being grateful I couldn’t feel anything but movement and pressure. I remember my doctor saying, “Sorry Jess” over and over. From the time she removed the stitch all the way through the D and C of the placentas she kept apologizing. I assured her it was okay and that I wasn’t feeling too much.

Just as she thought, Baby C was ready to come as soon as the stitch was out. Once again people around me were telling me to push harder. And once again I thought, “I don’t want to”. How do you put your whole heart into and push with everything you have when you know your baby is not ready and won’t make it? How do you push hard enough when you want to keep your baby safe inside? I remember hearing the sniffles of my mom and sister crying and hearing my doctor tell me the baby was almost out. When baby B came out I opened my eyes and saw my doctor holding my baby with a confused look on her face. She looked over to my mom and sister and said, “This is a girl baby”. We all went, “what?” It didn’t make sense. Baby B was supposed to be Braden’s identical twin; it was supposed to be a boy. It was a bitter sweet surprise. We had our baby Chloe. My nurse laid Chloe on my chest and I was able to look at her. I remember thinking she looked a lot like Braden with Justin’s nose. My doctor waited to see if the last baby was ready to come, but my contractions started to slow down. I remember her walking to the side of my bed, telling me Chloe was beautiful, hugging me, and told me she was going to give us some time and left the room.

 I remember my mom and sister coming over to see her. I remember saying, “I just don’t understand” and allowing myself to cry for the first time since my water broke. We spent the next hour and a half looking at Chloe and watching my contractions on the monitor. I remember saying a prayer, asking my Heavenly Father to have pity on me and not allow this labor to drag on for hours. I wasn’t excited to deliver my last baby, but the anticipation of what I had to do was worse than actually doing it. I just wanted to be done. Heavenly Father heard my prayer and within a short time I felt a weird sensation all through my belly and a sudden “pop” of pressure. Within just a few minutes my doctor was in the room and Daniel was out in just a couple pushes. My nurse placed him on my chest as well and I just stared at him. He looked just like Emily. It was so weird to look at this baby, knowing it was a boy and a completely new person, but being reminded so much of Emily. I remember having Justin take him while my doctor had to deliver all three placentas. It wasn’t painful but it was uncomfortable. I think I was slightly tilted on the bed because the epidural was working better on my right side than my left side. I could feel cramp-like pain on my left side as she delivered placentas and did the D and C to get everything out. It was a weird sensation.

I remember thinking how relieved I was that I wasn’t feeling much of what she was doing. I had told her after Braden was born that no matter what circumstances, I wanted an epidural when we delivered the last two babies and I didn’t want drugs in my system that made my head all foggy. I had spent Emily’s and Braden’s births totally drugged up, my head so foggy and in physical pain that I felt like I couldn’t take full advantage of the time I had with them. Now here I was, having just delivered Chloe and Daniel, not in pain, no foggy head, with more clarity than I had with the other two and to be honest it was harder. I had no other variables to distract me. All I had this time was the emotional pain. It was so much more harsh and real.

I remember the nurses taking Chloe and Daniel and them putting Pitocin in my IV to get my uterus to contract. They took out the epidural and once the Pitocin was done they took my IV out and it was so nice not to be hooked up to anything. Justin went and got us Wendy’s. I think it was close to midnight by this time. I remember my nurse coming to tell me goodbye, she was going home. She gave me a hug, told me she was so sorry, thanked us for letting her be a part of our experience, gave me a kiss on the head and left. I remember how excited I was when my new nurse told me I could take a bath. After a month on bed rest with sponge baths and an occasional shower, this was going to be great. I remember trying to walk on my wobbly legs and with Justin’s help making it to the tub. It had jets and everything. After taking the relaxing bath and taking a couple strong pain pills, I was pretty comfy back in bed. Once I was situated and laying on my right side, Justin brought Chloe and Daniel over and laid them on the bed with me by my head. They smelled so good and were so cute together. I remember feeling overwhelmingly guilty. I just laid there and said I was sorry over and over in my head. By no fault of their own, my body failed them. There was nothing I could do for them and I felt so bad. I remember not wanting to let them go, but knew I had to. Like ripping off a band aid. I finally told Justin he could take them to the nurses. I remember him picking them up, kissing each of them and took them away. I just cried as he left. I didn’t know it was possible for a body to produce so many tears.

I know it is asking a lot of people to get through these long redundant posts. I mostly did this to preserve everything I still remember as I forget little things everyday. I think it will be nice to look back at these years from now and be able to read such a fresh account of what happened.

Remembering Details Part 1: Braden

The next couple posts have been a long time coming.  Almost every night for the last couple weeks I have replayed my time in the hospital and the birth of the kids in my head. I am already beginning to forget all the little things and details I want so badly to remember. I will probably end up saving all my posts from my blog so years from now I can reread them and remember all that happened. I know I already briefly told the story of Braden’s birth so some of this might be redundant, but mostly for myself I want to try to write down everything I can still remember.

The Sunday night before he was born, my family came to see me in the hospital. Justin had brought me spaghetti, which I was so excited about. I had read somewhere that spicy food can make you go into labor and Justin was worried he made the sauce too spicy. I remember after Braden was born him saying something like, “What if it was the spaghetti?” I assured him that that wasn’t the problem. I remember having a good visit with my family and being sad when they all had to leave. At least Justin got to stay with me that night since he didn’t have to work the next day. I think we turned the lights off somewhere between 10 and 11.

I woke up at about 2 am. I remember feeling uncomfortable, but nothing too bad. I couldn’t go back to sleep however and the pain began to increase. I woke Justin up and explained to him what I was feeling. I remember him saying, “If you aren’t going to call your nurse, I will”. I knew my nurse was awake and doing her job, but subconsciously I felt bad bothering her at 2 in the morning. But the pain was pretty intense at this point so I paged my nurse. I explained to her what I was feeling, how the pain was all in my back. I don’t remember my nurse’s name, only that she was a blonde with shoulder length hair and this was the first time she had been my nurse. She wrote it off telling me I was probably constipated. I remember thinking that was highly unlikely as I had never been constipated in my life and this pain was a little intense for me just to be constipated. She called both of my doctors around 3, both of which agreed I probably just needed to go to the bathroom. I remember feeling bad that my doctors had to be bothered at 3 in the morning and felt embarrassed I was having this little episode. I was convinced I didn’t need to go to the bathroom, but told myself my doctor’s knew what they were doing so I didn’t say anything. Besides, there were no contractions happening in my uterus.

I remember trying to go to the bathroom and the exact moment I realized what was happening. I sat in the bathroom for several minutes prepping myself for what was to come. I knew what was about to happen and I seriously debated whether I wanted to even tell my nurse. Maybe if I didn’t tell her what was happening I wouldn’t have to deliver him and keep him safe inside? I mean how do you tell your nurse you are delivering your baby when you don’t want to be delivering your baby? As soon as I told her what was happening, she and another nurse both checked me, told me they felt something, but it didn’t feel like a head. I think Braden was slightly breech. They call my doctors again, having my perinatologist come deliver.

At this point they are getting me prepped and wheeled into the operating room. I would be delivering naturally, but I had to be ready for my doctor to put in the cerclage right after the birth. I remember keeping my eyes closed and covering my face as I was wheeled to the OR. I did this for a couple reasons. The lights in the hospital were very bright and I had a hard time opening my eyes and I was able to concentrate on getting through the pain with my eyes closed. But mostly I kept my eyes closed because I was embarrassed and ashamed and couldn’t stand to look into the eyes of the nurses and doctors. I couldn’t handle the looks of sadness and pity they were giving me. I just wanted to disappear. As I was in the OR with my eyes closed, I remember hearing a lot of nurses talking about my condition and what they were going to do. I had several people getting me situated at once. They drew my blood twice, took my blood pressure, told me to sign stuff or when to move a certain limb. The only time I opened my eyes was when a nurse specifically told me to look at her. Being in labor, experiencing the pain, all while being prepped for surgery was a very strange experience.

I remember briefly seeing my perinatologist before I closed my eyes again. I remember he looked tired. I am guessing it was between 5 and 6 at this point. I remember wanting to apologize to him for having to come in at this gosh awful hour and do all this.

I remember the doctor having to reach up and help get Braden moved into position and the nurses and Justin telling me to push harder. I remember wanting to say, “I don’t want to”. I didn’t want to push harder or even push at all. I didn’t want to deliver this baby. How could I push harder knowing he wouldn’t make it as soon as he was out? I remember hearing them say he was out (my eyes were still closed). The sounds I heard after he was born were depressing. There was no crying. It was eerily quiet for awhile, the nurses only talking when they had to. They said it was a boy. I remember thinking, “A boy? That’s weird.” I had only ever had a daughter; it was weird to think I had a son now as well. I didn’t know this at the time, Justin just told me a few weeks ago, but I guess the doctor just put Braden in a bowl and passed it off to one of the nurses. That nurse and Justin took him and got him all wrapped up in a blanket so they could show him to me. I continued to lay there with my eyes closed, hearing my doctor talk to some of the nurses about how he was waiting to see what my body was going to do. The plan was to put in the cerclage, but only if my body didn’t try to deliver the other two. I remember him finally saying, “Okay let’s do this”. Justin quickly brought Braden over so I could catch my first quick glance of him. My eyes were still closed though and I remember Justin saying my name, telling me to look. I remember seeing him and immediately noticing his nose and how it looked like Justin’s. I remember another male voice telling me to breathe deeply and then I was out.

I woke up later that morning completely foggy and unable to move from all the drugs that were in my system. Braden was in our room with us and I remember having Justin help to roll me on my left side and lay Braden on the bed with me up by my head so I could see him. I remember thinking how different he looked than his older sister Emily. I was still in awe that I had a son.

Looking back I feel like the couple weeks following Braden’s birth were very unfair to him. The comment was made several times that now that Braden was out and the stitch was in, the remaining two had a better chance of making it. Like he was so easily discarded. We didn’t spend much time focused on Braden because we still had two babies to worry about. I wasn’t even there for his burial. I know it was no one’s fault given the circumstances, but I still wish we could have taken more time and care with him.