Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grieving the past, Hope for the present and future

This week is always a really hard week for me anymore. 6 years ago this morning I woke up with a blood pressure of 170/110. I was 23 weeks pregnant with my second daughter, Kelsi. Nearly 5 1/2 months along and you couldn't even barely tell I was pregnant because she was so small that I hardly showed at all. Just like today, the day after Christmas was also a Sunday. This morning I learned that an online friend, who was due the same day as I was due with Kiari, has lost her baby. She too had preeclampsia and IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), though I don't know if these are the contributing factors to her baby passing away.
My sweet Kelsi the day after she was born at 24 weeks. 13 oz 8 1/2" long

When I reached in, she took a hold of my finger and squeezed

Every year I sit in my hospital room in my head and relive the events from the last week of my sweet Kelsi's life. It is still so fresh and is hard to believe it happened "years" ago now. I have a journal that I wrote shortly after she passed away. I wanted to remember as much as I could about all the events that happened. Each year I read this at this time of year. Some people think I am nuts, but this is her week and it is all I have left of her. Even if all I feel is the pain of the week, at least I have something to feel. I don't know if that makes sense or not. Tomorrow is the day that I learned that she was not doing well and I would most likely be having a baby that week. Thursday is the morning that she was born, and Saturday is the day that we said goodbye. I am sure I will have more posts about this this week as I go through the emotions and memories once again.
My hand was almost as big as she was
Saying good bye to a sweet tiny angel

This year is bitter sweet. As I spent my hours last night in the NICU with my new miracle that is thriving beyond everyone's hopes and dreams, the thoughts of my previous NICU experience came flooding back. It is such a different experience this time around. While it is going unbelievably well, it is still hard. I have had a baby, yet, I do not have a baby. I have to drive across town to visit this beautiful little child that looks like my husband and daughters. She responds to my voice and holds my hand and cuddles into my neck where she falls into a deep sleep. This is a child that I love to pieces, yet, I return home and there are hints of a baby, but yet, no baby. It makes it all so surreal. I should be 33 weeks pregnant, not 3 weeks post partum.
4lbs 1oz
My favorite people in the whole wide world
My girls

A full quarter of my pregnancy was taken from me too early. And it was the last one, and that is now permanent. There is such a sense of loss, and at the same time, there is no loss. It is so hard to resolve all the feelings and emotions. I am so grateful that I no longer have to deal with any of the complications that I was dealing with. My doctor says he is pretty certain that Preeclampsia was set in motion and was the next step. With the way things were going, it wouldn't have been a mild case. I am so grateful that Kiari and I didn't have to suffer through any of that this time around. I am so blessed. Hundreds of people said prayers on our behalf and just look at the beautiful result. It is simply amazing to watch as this child of mine continues to develop as she would have in the womb, only this time we get to watch the progress each day. She has already changed so much and has even gained a full pound. She now weighs in at 4 pounds 7 ounces.
Kangaroo time with mom
Getting so big, yet still so small

Today, my heart is heavy for the missed memories of Kelsi and the new loss of my friends baby and at the same time it is filled with hope and love for my sweet Kiari sitting in the hospital at this moment waiting for her mom to return and hold her for hours as she listens to the beating of my heart. Such a range of emotions.
Just after a bath
Sleeping sweetie
Merry Christmas - This is a regular size stocking, not a large one. She is one of the only babies in the NICU that could actually fit into it. :)


  1. Reading this made my cry. I'm so sorry that you have to fit a lifetime of memories of Kelsi into such a small time frame.

    Kiari is such a beautiful baby, and I'm so glad she's healthy and improving daily.

  2. The holidays always bring a flood of emotions and when we have a memorable loss of a wee being those feelings and emotions tend to become heightened and even more memorable.

    Heartfelt empathy to you as you journey down the bereavement road again with your friend while your memories are still so strong and prevalent.

    Without rain we wouldn't have rainbows, celebrate your tiny little rainbow today.

  3. I'm thinking about your angel today, who, I feel, just *has* to be watching over her sister. Losing a loved one is hard enough without having the holidays and celebrations all around to complicate the way we feel ... I think it's right that this is Kelsi's week, and I wish it could be less painful. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's loss, too. And I can only imagine how hard it is for you to have Kiari now, and yet not be able to be with her all the time. Sending all of you my love, and hopes that Kiari will be home soon. The strength of your family is really, truly amazing.