Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31st, 2012

Natalie and I went to the hospital today to visit a new baby.  She had fun figuring out that this was the same hospital where all of our kids were born.  In true 4 year old form she asked about each of them individually and then confirmed that they were all born at this "doctor".

She was really excited to see the baby.  And she brought 3 babies from home so she could compare their size to  baby Ava.  "Black Eyes" was much smaller, "Fly, Fly" was still too small, and "Lovie was almost as big as the baby.  Natalie talked about remembering that she had brought a baby to the hospital when Abby was born, I had given her the idea to see if her baby doll would  be the same size.

As everyone arrived at the hospital to wait for Abigails arrival Natalie realized she didn't have her baby.  So Beth (the saint that she is) drove Natalie back home to get her.  By the time Abigail got here the kids were sound asleep and none of us remembered to compare the sizes.  Bummer.

It was nice to have a girls afternoon, and to watch Natalie be so tender with Ava.

She asked me if Ava was going to go to heaven.  She asked me how I knew she wouldn't be going to heaven.  She also mentioned that she wished that we had two girl babies.

Those questions used to make me sad for myself and for Natalie.  But I guess I'm used to them now.  And I just think it's a beautiful part of Natalie's life.  She will continue to have a tenderness for girls, and a desire for a little sister.  I'm sorry we won't be able to fill that void for her.

I love the pride that Natalie has when she remembers singing her song to Abigail. She says she was singing to Abby about how much she loved her, and how much she loves her mommy and daddy.  She also asked me today what color Abby's eyes were.  She wants to call her "Blue Eyed Girl".

I miss my little Angel.  I'm so thankful that holding a newborn isn't devastating to me.  I'm sure I'm stuffing the emotions away, but I'm okay with that in this circumstance.  I want to just feel the joy of a newborn and focus on giving her love.  I have the rest of the day to miss my little girl.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30th, 2012

I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I've experienced a hangover.  But some things leave an impression.

I remember the feeling at the end of the hangover.  When I'm able to function again, but don't really want to. When I feel distracted, tired, detached.  When I feel ready to climb into bed and read... not really ready to be responsible for myself much less anyone else.

That's what I'm feeling today.  Clearly I didn't realize how much my emotions were waging war on me the last couple of days.

So today is recovery.  And for the sake of my son I hope this recovery goes away before next Wednesday so I can be a mom and help him get ready for school.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Tomorrow is the start of a week long cleanse for me.  My body needs it, my mind needs it.  I've treated myself so badly during these last 5 weeks.  It was good to let go, to eat the wrong foods, to just not care.  But I don't stay in that place well.  I want to feel good.  So no more sugar.  I'm excited for my body to recover (I'm allergic to sugar so it's really taken it's toll on me).  No wine for a week... that one is a bit harder.  I don't like to feel deprived or restricted.  In the end I know I'll appreciate my discipline.

It's been so strange to be in this recovery mode without a baby.  I don't feel good about myself (physically), but I don't have a baby to distract me.  Just one more character building opportunity.

As I sit here and write Sara Bareilles is playing in the background.  Because what I *need* is some melancholic music to set the tone.  I feel like a melodramatic teenager.

But that is beside the point.  I like the song, and I like feeling true to myself and my emotions.

So anyway... I have this mellow music playing and from the corner of my eye I can always this picture of Abigail.

 My heart aches with the love I have for her.  When I see her pictures I am always filled with thankfulness.  I'm just so thankful that we had the opportunity to grow her, to love her, to hold her and to share her.  It's easy to wonder if my life would be easier right now if I wasn't grieving... or at least I assume people wonder that for me.  But I don't wonder that for myself.  I wouldn't give up one step of this journey... other than wishing for another hour, another day, a week.

On that note, and with Christina Peri playing in the background, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine.  Gotta get it while I can!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29th, 2012

I've essentially been a wreck for two days.

Trever went back to work for the first time yesterday.  Not a huge deal, but we missed him.

Then I took my kids for a play date.  That should be a highlight.  I'm so thankful for the woman who has wanted to give us support, give us some free time.  And I knew the kids would have fun.  But it was stressful for me.  I don't leave my kids with other people.  With my friends rarely, with family... well, as far as my parents are concerned I'm not sure my kids realize that both houses aren't their "home".  It's a beautiful relationship.  But we don't have baby sitters, and I've only left Nathan for a play date once.  Do I sound like a strange mom?  Probably.  Whatever, it's just the way it's worked out for us.

My chest was tight with anxiety.  But I am determined to fight anxiety.  It doesn't get to win.  Maybe if I had a logical reason, or even a rational fear, but that's rare.  So I dropped them off.  And then tried to call a friend to distract myself.  No answer.  So I called my dad, who had Andrew because I couldn't take him.  I knew he would cry and didn't know if he would snap out of it so I didn't torture myself or him.

Then I got to thinking about an upcoming trip to Hawaii.  We've been planning it since the start of the year.  It'll be the first the first trip with just Trever and me in years.  We had hoped we would be bringing a baby, so there is some sadness involved.

My anxiety grew as I thought about leaving the kids and going on a trip.  I totally "get" those people who won't travel on an airplane together... and my mind wants me to consider not driving to the airport together.  Lucky for Trever I fight my crazy-emotionally-irrational moments.  But even though anxiety doesn't get to win in the long definitely took over yesterday and today.

I ended up in tears on the phone multiple times, without warning.

I wanted to go see a newborn baby. (My friend from the river had her baby on Monday night).  Thankfully my friend Beth suggested I wait until Trever, or someone else, could be with me.  I was a wreck.

When I talked to my friend Jen she was trying to reassure me that I didn't need to go to the hospital.  That I could wait until the timing was better, until I was feeling better.  Without even knowing what I was going to say I choked out "but I just want to hold a baby".

That statement started to help me realize where my anxiety was coming from.  Yes, dropping my kids off is hard for me, but the layers of stress were what was really causing my pain.

I have separation anxiety lately, I'm so concerned with something happening to someone else in my family.

I haven't been back to the hospital since we left on July 26th.  There are so many emotions surrounding our time there.  That is the only place where we have memories of holding Abigail.

And I have been longing to hold a baby, but this would be my first opportunity.

And I was going through all of this without my best friend, my husband.

I survived the day... the kids had fun, I didn't go to the hospital, and I finally got to chat with Trever about how I was feeling.

Oh wait... and our bench was delivered for Abby's Garden.  I love her garden, it's beautiful.  But it is a very emotional place for me.  The bench is wonderful, it's perfect.

So I survived... and slept good (thanks to a wonderful chiro appointment!!!).

And then it started all over again today.  But today I wasn't the only emotional one in the family (my kids joined me for some reason... just for the records, misery doesn't need company).

I decided I needed to clean out baby stuff.  Boy stuff, baby gear, and girl clothes.  Letting go of those things is sentimental, letting go of them early because I don't have a baby to use them is overwhelming.  I know I could have waited, but seeing them in the house unused isn't any better so they had to go.

Handing off the girl clothes, remembering Natalie being a baby and knowing that we won't need them again is so sad.  Folding up the newborn clothes, the only ones I had washed, and putting them in a sack broke my heart a bit. We never had the chance to put her in any of the outfits that were waiting at home.

By the time we were heading to the hospital I was tense.  And I was taking it out on Trever.

Somehow, luckily, I had a moment of clarity and we were able to talk through the experience before we got to the hospital.  Life is better when we are on the same page, when I am able to articulate my feelings.  When I talk through things it opens the door for Trever to join me and share his thoughts.

So I shed my tears in the car, I embraced the ache in my chest with a bit of excitement and apprehension.

And then we went in and held that darling little girl.  And it didn't hurt at all.  She is her own self, she didn't remind us of Abby at all.  We were able to just hold her and feel love for her.  It was wonderful.

As we left we saw Vivienne.  Definitely a healing moment.  Vivienne, Kylie and Dianna will always hold such a special place in our hearts, in our memories.  We were so blessed by each of them.  It felt so good to connect with someone who was part of our story on this visit to the hospital.

My heart feels at peace.  It feels a bit exhausted, but calm.

Part of me wished we could have slept over at the hospital. Just laid there and told stories.  There are so many moments to remember.  Did I just infer that I would want to stay overnight in a hospital??? Yes, I am a bit crazy.  But after 4 children and the intensity of Abigails life, St. Pete's Labor and Delivery unit just feels like a piece of home, it holds part of my heart.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One month

It's strange to write about a "one month" milestone again today.

One month ago we were waking up to face the day.  It was our first morning facing our loss, telling people that Abby had died.

One month ago around 9am we were waiting in the hallway as my parents had some quiet time with Abby.  Saying their goodbyes. Then we were all together with her, spending those last moments holding her and getting ourselves ready to leave the hospital.

Beth and Justin both met us at the hospital.  We felt surrounded by part of our team.  We were exhausted and numb.  I've never shed tears that were truly ripped out of my heart.

After we left the hospital we took her to the funeral home.  Even though she had been gone for hours it was still so painful to say another goodbye.  We had to let go of her precious body, the only part that we could hold and kiss.

Our bodies and minds were empty on the drive home. But then an amazing thing happened.  After we got home our kids came back to greet us.  The love from children is amazing.  Nathan and Natalie gave us hearts to remind us that they would help our hearts feel better, and that Abby would always live in our hearts.

They've been reminding us of that ever since.  She is in their hearts and ours.

It still hurts.  The ache is deep.  I look at her picture and miss her so badly.  I've never missed anything so deeply.

I find myself wanting to hold one of Natalie's babies just to have something in my arms.  But I can't let myself do that, I'm afraid I'd never put it down.  I'd end up being that strange lady with a baby doll in the bjorn.  Just goin' for a walk or shopping for groceries.  I could totally be that crazy lady.  It makes me laugh to think of it.

Laughter really is the best medicine.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Abby's one month birthday

I was just looking at Abigail's picture and thinking about her.  She would have been one month old today.  We knew the odds were so low that she would live to see this day.  But we had hope. We had to mentally prepare for  both possibilities.  The milestones give extra prompting to remember what we had and what is gone.

That is exactly what I had been sitting and thinking as I looked at her darling face.  It was so quick.  It leaves me with confusion and pain.  I've never looked at my children's baby pictures without being able to also look at my children.

A friend sent a very thoughtful email today, her thoughts are so true, 

I can't help thinking that after all the long
months of the emotions you went through, to have her here for what must
seem like such a fleeting moment must be terribly hard to move forward

I miss her.

One month ago we were just starting our day.  Not knowing what was ahead.  We were joyfully embracing Abigail and excited to share her with the world.  A few hours into the morning our room filled with visitors.  

When I think about her life, the moments when we were able to share her are the ones that are most clear for me.  They are filled with love, joy and celebration.  I'm so thankful that we had so many visitors.  That we were in such a joyful place and could welcome our friends. 

I'm so thankful that when we knew Abby's time was going to be short we still took the time to celebrate her with our family and friends.  I never would have known how important it would be to have my friends surround me at the end of the night.  

As my friend said yesterday on our walk, "It was a Bloom moment".  Our net of friends and family were there to join us in our joy and catch us in our sorrow.

I wouldn't trade one moment of this story to lessen my pain.  I'm so glad that we were given the gift to be Abby's parents.  To love her in my belly, to share her with our friends, to show her this world and let her feel the sunshine on her face.

Even as my eyes fill with tears I'm able to find a smile on my face.  She is such a sweet little Angel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22nd, 2012

Oh, the last couple of days have been full of emotion... really it's been the last week.

I miss being pregnant.

I miss the hope of meeting my darling girl.

I miss the moments when I got to hold her and kiss her.

I miss the moments when we were surrounded by friends and family celebrating her arrival.

I'm so thankful for what I miss...

That I was pregnant.

That we anticipated meeting Abigail.

That I was able to hold her and kiss her.

That we had so many moments shared with friends and family.

I started writing this with a sadness in my heart, but thinking about the reason for my sadness is a reminder of the joy.  I'm really so thankful.  We are so blessed, I am so blessed.  Oh my, it feels so good to feel some happiness.

I stole this from a very wise woman, I have no idea where she got it.

"Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened"  Jaci Schiffern.

She didn't write it for me, she wrote it in response to a story from her own life.  I've learned so much from Jaci, so many lessons that she never set out to teach me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20th, 2012

It's strange to recognize myself experiencing depression.  In general (lately) I have a small allowance for people before they drive me crazy/angry.  Luckily most people really aren't bothering me.  For the few that have really bothered me I've been lucky to embrace "if you don't have something nice to say...".  Even though I'm trying to stay silent the emotions and words eat at me and stay loud in my brain.

I've watched people I love hold onto anger and let it affect them - I don't want to do that.  I try to take deep breaths, but it doesn't always work.  What I really don't want is to be that person who always has an injustice to share with my friends.  I often times need to just talk it out - so that's hard.  Talking it out helps in the long run but it also gives the other person or situation strength and influence over me.  I want to be authentic and honest with friends about how I'm doing/feeling but I don't want to feel like a weight to them or myself.

I realize that the depression I'm feeling is super normal.  And think I am understanding that I have to just honor it and let it run it's course.  Sometimes that will mean I feel functional most days.  Other times it will mean I am distracted and enjoying myself while saving up the emotions for a different day.

I enjoyed the last couple of days a lot, and today I just want to be alone.  I'm easily angered, easily isolated, easily sad.  And I've lost my smile.  It's one of the first times I can remember shutting myself into a room without giving anyone an explanation.  I just let myself disappear.

Trever is so great.  He checked on me, listened to me, let me cry and tried to clarify if I needed him or my alne time.  I expect him to lose patients with me at some point, but he doesn't.  He just loves me for where I am.

The oddest part of my depression is that as I lay by myself I don't just think of Abigail.  My mind wanders, or stays very quiet but often it doesn't feel like my emotions are connected to her.  I don't know if that is the true or not.  Because right on the sidelines there are so many reminders of my beautiful angel.  My little girl that I long to hold again.

Seeing a pregnant mama at the park and wanting so badly to be near her.  Seeing babies across the room and wanting to hold them - but feeling the sadness swell in my heart without even moving closer to them.  (I can't wait to hold a baby again.  Even if it's heartbreaking, I just want to touch a baby so badly).  Seeing Abby's hand print when I didn't expect it, I wanted to go get it and hold it.  Tracing her fingers.  But I needed to be alone for that moment - and I wasn't - so it haunted me.

It's amazing how aware I am that at some moments I am safe to explore and share my feelings and other times I am safer to protect myself and essentially silence or stuff my emotions away.  I am so thankful that most of the people in my daily life make me feel safe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17th, 2012

We went to Trever's reunion picnic today.  I was a bit apprehensive to be around so many people that I don't know, people that may or may not know about Abigail.

When we arrived I thought I would be fine.  I was somewhat looking forward to seeing some of the people that I've heard Trev talk about.  It didn't take very long before I felt uncomfortable.

I spent a lot of time introducing the kids, which left me full of conflict to not talk about Abigail.  I just don't have a good answer yet.  (Although someone left a comment explaining how she tells how many kids she has and I think that will be perfect in the future.)  I just felt awkward.  But then it got worse.

I overheard Trever talking to classmates at different moments about Abby.  I could tell at least once that they brought up the conversation to him.  By the time I walked up the conversation was over.  With one friend he mentioned that she had given her condolences, and then I overheard them talking again about the service.  But each time I talked with her, or with them there was nothing mentioned.

I felt left out, unwelcome in a way.  I can explain it to myself.  They don't know me, they don't know how I'm feeling, I'm the mom and thus it might feel a bit scarier to say something.  It doesn't matter too much what I say, it still left me feeling uncomfortable, sad and vulnerable to myself.  And really, they don't know Trever anymore either.

On top of that there were  babies around.  Most of them were at least a few months old.  I don't think I've really been around babies during the last four weeks.  My heart was magnetically drawn to them, but my feet were rooted in place.  I'm not usually a baby magnet.  I wanted to hold a baby so badly, but I didn't know any of the mom's and I was fairly certain I was going to cry if I got my wish.  It felt like an unnecessary emotional burden to put on a stranger.

Luckily the kids wanted to go down and play in the river.  Normally that is something Trever would do with them.  It was such a blessing for me to have the distraction, the invitation to leave the group.  I have never just sat and watched my kids for 2 hours before (I didn't have a suit so I was mostly on the sidelines).  It was wonderful.  No phone, very little conversation, very little distraction.  I loved it.

I was able to sit there, my heart torn between the deep feelings of sadness and the intense joy of watching our three beautiful children playing together.

I'm reading a devotional right now focused on walking through grief.  Last week there was a passage from a mom who had a child die at 9 months.  She was sharing an experience with another mom who was anticipating the death of her child.  She touched on how it feels when people don't acknowledge your loss.  "How dare you add to my sadness by ignoring it."

Her sentiment speaks so clearly to my heart.

I know my loss is confusing to so many, that most people are at a loss for what to say.  And I know that some people in my situation prefer the silence.  For me, not being able to talk about Abby is like being in a secret prison.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16th, 2012

I really should write more, I feel like I'm not capturing this experience as much anymore.  I want to say that there are so many highs and lows... but really I just feel like I'm living in the middle.  In a bit of a daze.

Today we're heading out of town for Trever's 20 year reunion.  We had really hoped that Abigail would be with us.  3 1/2 weeks didn't feel like a long span of time between her birth and this reunion.  Now it feels like it's been an eternity.

It'll be the first time I'm in the situation I've dreaded... "How many children do you have?", I'm sure I'll get "Oh, you have 3 kids?" since Nathan, Natalie and Andrew will be with us.  Abigail is such a huge part of my thoughts, my heart.  How do I leave her out?  I know I don't have to, but how do I really have that conversation with strangers.

I'm glad I'll only be going to the picnic, I don't know that I have the energy to be around strangers for two evenings.  That's a bit selfish, Trever will be with everyone the second night.  He'll still have to navigate the conversations, with people who are essentially strangers at this stage in life.

We had a funny discussion about whether or not to bring Abby's quilt.  We both wanted it with us, but the weather will be HOT so it's kind of not necessary.  We both thought the other person would think it could be left behind.  Tears welled up in my eyes, I just couldn't leave it behind.  We haven't been away from the quilt since we went into the hospital.  Trever sighed with relief when I finally said I couldn't leave it.  I'm just not ready yet, and neither is he.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13th, 2012

Sometimes there just aren't words to go with the numb sadness I feel.  I don't always know how to answer someone when they ask how I am doing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A note about some of our nurses

As we greeted friends before the service for Abigail the one moment that made me the most emotional was seeing two of our wonderful nurses who came to celebrate with us.  They were both such a big part of our story, they offered so much support and encouragement during this process.  My eyes filled with tears as I embraced them.  The last time we were with Vivian, Abby was alive.  Vivian was the person who made me feel safe and valid when I was afraid that Abby wasn't moving anymore during labor (not discounting Trever's support).  Vivian was the person who guided us through the transition when we realized Abigail was near the end of her life.  She was there to answer my questions, and she did so in a calm and straight forward manner.  She was so empathetic.  It's amazing how great it feels to have someone just listen and be empathetic and not act like they know what I'm going through.  It bugs me to have someone try to "coach" me.

Diana was with us as we arrived at the hospital.  And then she was with us a we walked out.  We have remembered Diana so fondly since we met her almost 6 1/2 years ago.  She was a calming presence to me during my delivery with Nathan.  I think I already wrote about how much we enjoyed seeing Diana as we arrived at the hospital.  Such a gift.  Then she arrived and took care of us in the morning after Abigail had passed away.  She sat with us and held Abby, talked with us about Abby's life and shared stories from her own life.  She embraced Abby in such a tender way.  Trever was touched as deeply as I was.

We were so honored to have both Diana and Vivian join us to celebrate Abigail's life.

They brought a gift and a card from Kylie.  Kylie was the nurse who was with us our first night in the hospital.  Then she came back on shift the next night and helped us through delivery.  She encouraged us to make the decisions that felt right for us.  Somehow she walked into the room and was able to match our mood.  When we were up she laughed with us, when we were feeling aprehensive she was calm.  She encouraged us without saying trite comments, without saying she knew how we felt, without making any comparisons to her own life or other labor stories.  It's amazing how saying very few words can really give the most love.  Kylie helped to bring Abby into the world, maybe more wonderful is that she assisted Trever as he welcomed Abby into his own hands.  Then she bathed Abby (Trever decided he wanted her to do it).  She held her so lovingly, washed her so carefully.  She took amazing care of all 3 of us.  Really, she provided support to our entire family, thinking of the needs that might arise and offering options to fill those needs (an extra room for sleeping, etc.).  Kylie's card was full of wonderful thoughts, sending us love and showing us that she felt connected to our story.  She will always be part of our memories when we think of Abigail.  She also sent us a lotion that she had made in remembrance of Abigail.  I love it.  And I don't love most scents.  The lotion smells like baby and comfort combined.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11th, 2012

What an amazing day.  I think some of the best words I heard were "That truly felt like a celebration of Abby's life"

There were moments during her service that I had tears, but mostly I just sat there trying to soak it all in.  Appreciating the time to focus on Abby, and feel surrounded by so much love.  I might have felt more sad without the company of my other kids.  With my arms wrapped around one of them it was more natural to feel content than sad.

Greeting so many friends in the foyer encouraged feelings of love and joy.  We definitely started the day with a positive glow surrounding us.  Even while my heart ached I felt joy.

The service was so nice.  Our Pastor, Rhyan Smith, had returned home the day before and was able to Officiate.  The songs, It Is Well With My Soul and You Are My Sunshine, were led by a few people from our church.  Our friend, Amy Evans, did a reading from Psalm 139.  Trever did a Eulogy (but he doesn't like that word so we called it "his talk"), it was beautiful and heart felt.  And we ended with a wonderful video that captured Abby's life and the love that surrounded her.

After the service we headed back to our house for a Celebration of Life, Kids Party.  My friend, Katie, planned every detail... which made it a wonderful party!!  The kids and the adults had a blast.  There were games for the kids, the trampoline, a coloring station, a bouncy house, and a candy bar... what more could kids want?  For the adults there were lots of other really great adults around (and the kids were super entertained).  The party was exactly what we needed and wanted.

The only down side to the day was that it felt a bit like a wedding... you know, when you really don't get to spend enough time with anyone in particular.  There were so many people who joined us in celebrating, and I have no idea who I talked to, but I can name so many people who I didn't get much chance to talk with.  I wish I could go back and slow time down so I could spend at least 15 minutes with each family.

That makes me think that I also wish I could go back and spend those 25 hours with Abby again, and maybe even a few more.  I wish I had slept during the day on Tuesday (when I was in labor) so I could have been more rested while she was with us.  I wish I had taken more time to just hold her and stare at her.  I know I spent time with her, and I know I held her and loved on her, but it all went so quick.  And I was so tired.  We were enjoying her so much, but I think I missed just focusing on her by myself.  Trever was talking about how special his time in the Special Care Nursery was.  It was just him and Abby.  I'm a little jealous, I didn't have time like that.  When I was with her in the SCN she was getting tests, or the feeding tube.

I know it's normal to have regrets, to want to go back.  So I can't be too hard on myself.  But those feelings are still there, that desire to relive the brief time we had together will probably never go away.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

August 8th, 2012

There is a work party at our house today.  They are planting Abby's Garden.  I didn't realize that it was making sad until I drove away to get my kids, alone.  To be honest I've been more aware of an underlying sadness during the last few days.

When I showed up to the church to get the kids I saw someone I know.  As I told her that there was work being done on the garden the tears sprang up unexpected.  I'm so thankful that she was comfortable wrapping her arms around me and just letting me cry.

Abby's Garden is going to be so beautiful.  And it will grow and flourish over the years.  It will be such a precious reminder of my little angel... It's just that I am so aware that I wish she was the one growing and flourishing.  And as much as I love the way the landscaping looks, it makes me emotional/sad/angry because I don't want any of it, I want Abigail.

Someone showed up today and said "Wow, it's nice to have people show up and landscape for you".  I'm sure they have no idea how that sounded to me.  It made me feel angry, it makes me feel angry writing it right now.  I wish I could just feel grateful, that this generosity wasn't due to our loss.  That I didn't want to shut my eyes and make all of this go away, even to just be pregnant again.

Our friends didn't show up to do our landscaping.  They showed up to bring something beautiful into our life. To give us reminders of the love that continues to surround our family and our darling girl.  And for that I am so thankful.  I know I will adjust, and I will be able to sit outside and smile.  I hope I will soon be able to go outside and sit in Abby's Garden and enjoy my memories of her.  Enjoy memories of all of the special moments we had with Abigail and the moments we were able to share her with the wonderful people in our lives.

And I hope we are able to create new memories in the garden, memories that connect our family to Abigail in the future, not just the past.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7th, 2012

The last day or two have just been sad.  That's not to say I haven't had some great moments.  But I realize that when I'm alone I just feel sad.  I'm tired a lot too.  I think I could curl up in bed today and be content to stay there.

Tomorrow will be a wonderful day.  We are planting Abby's Garden.  I know it's going to be a beautiful area to sit and think about our darling angel.  I'm excited to have a house full of friends and to enjoy a day thinking about Abby.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4th, 2012

We went to the river today with friends.  I didn't think about it until we showed up but the last time we were there I was pregnant.  And so was my friend's sister.  She didn't know about Abby's story yet.

As we drove up and parked it hit me... She is still pregnant, but I'm not.  But I also don't have a baby.

I felt very emotional at the realization.  As she walked up to me the emotions grew.  I'm so thankful for her strength and love.  That I could shed tears in front of her, in her arms.  That she would also believe me that I am so excited for her, for her daughter.  I can't wait to meet her... 3 more weeks (or less??)!

It was a healing day.  And it was refreshing to feel overwhelmed by emotion.  That probably doesn't make sense, but it does to me.  Sometimes it helps me to feel closer to Abby.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


My first impossible task... am I really writing the obituary for Abby already? One week ago we were holding her in our arms, sharing her with friends, feeling so much hope.  I really, truly thought she would come home with us.

I was prepared for the long feedings, for feeling exhausted trying to balance Abigail's needs with the needs of my other children, knowing my needs would have to wait.

And now all I keep hearing is that I need to take care of myself.  I don't want to take care of myself.  I want to take care of my little girl.  I want her in my arms, I want her laying between Trever and I as we sleep.

We've never really co-slept.  I really thought we would this time.  I knew we wouldn't be able to let her out of our sight.

I know our grieving is so different because we don't have memories of her at home.  It's kind of confusing to my brain, but a comfort to my heart.  I manage my days easier because I have less visual reminders.  Not that I wouldn't still beg to go back and have more time, to have her here (why do I always feel like I need to clarify/justify my thoughts????).

When I see pictures of Abby my heart breaks into pieces.  To see her precious face, to see what she looked like at the different times of day and to know what her little body was doing during those times... it's overwhelming.

We get our pictures from our photographer tomorrow.  It's going to be a very tough night for me.  And we need to do so much so quickly with those photos.  Maybe it will be good to make quick decisions, to absorb ourselves in the memories. Those early hours were so full of promise.

But that leaves me back to where I am today... still not knowing how to capture everything that she was, everything she taught me, all the blessings that surrounded Abigail as well as our family.  What words can possibly describe her beautiful story?