Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday morning

Today felt like the day.


The day after Memorial Day.

A trip up to the hospital.

The last time we did the exact same thing on the exact same day, it all started.

I was awoken out of my sleep when my water broke. I was half-dazed, walking to the bathroom and could feel my pants starting to soak with fluid. I thought I had urinated on myself at first.

When I turned the light on, I looked down to notice that my pants were tinged with a pinkish color. I smelled them. It smelled like nothing at all. I knew what happened.

Erik had been sleeping on the couch because he had a terrible cough just like me. I punched him hard in the back to wake him up. I had him smell my pants too. Same thing, nothing.

I was terrified and shaking. Erik called my mom and told her she needed to get to the house, now. I - and I still have no idea why - took a shower. I felt that I absolutely had to take a shower first before we could leave. Besides, we had time - no one was here yet to watch Sadie.

While I was in the shower, Erik had tried to call our friends - Carrie and Mike - a few times (they live just a few doors down from us) but there wasn't an answer. So he ran down to their house and rang their doorbell until someone came downstairs. Carrie was here just minutes later as we were ready to walk out the door.

I will never forget how scared I was at that exact moment - Carrie gave me a huge hug.

I remember the sound of my shoes as they pounded down the stairs out to the garage. I remember driving in the darkness and silence all the way to Chicago. I remember Erik pulling into the parking garage, desperately telling the attendant that I was in labor - where do we park? I remember, with each contraction, thinking that we were never going to make it to the hospital.

We did make it. And for that time, we were still okay - together. Three hearts beating.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Here we go. Sawyer's birthday and angel day coming up this week. Everyone keeps telling me the anticipation is worse than reliving the actual days, but it's not like I'm actually anticipating anything.

I am expecting to reflect, remember every moment and contine to ache for the baby who died in my arms.

It's not anticipation, it's my son's life.

Too short. Too soon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May 29th, 2010

The last picture taken of me while Sawyer was still safe inside my womb. A blurry picture taken with Erik's phone. I was happy here. Happy because I could just lay back and listen to his tiny heart "woosh" with every beat. Little did we know, just how broken it was.

One year ago, my sister was having a birthday party for her son, he was turning three. Erik had just picked up Sadie the night before from my mom's house - that's where she was staying while I was home on bedrest.

I was so excited to see Sadie and even more excited for a long holiday weekend together. The days sitting here by myself were really starting to get to me. I was trying so hard to stay positive even though I knew something was just not right.

My sister had called to try and convince me to come along with Erik and Sadie to the birthday party. I wanted to go, so badly. But I was on strict orders from the doctor to stay put. My sister even offered to make up a place on the couch for me in her den, and bring me food or whatever I needed as the party went on - but, I didn't want to be stuck in the house, on a beautiful day with everyone feeling sorry for me. Alone, yet still surrounded by everyone. So, Erik headed off with Sadie to the party without me.

While I sat at home by myself I couldn't help but notice that something wasn't right with Sawyer. He was making his kick counts (10 within an hour) but the thing is, he wasn't exactly kicking. He was barely moving. Just enough for me to notice, but not enough to make me feel that he was okay.

We had known that my fluid was very low for the past month. I tried to relate that to the reason why he wasn't moving the way I felt he should be. But something in my heart kept telling my head to worry. And that's what I did.

I called over to the party and talked with my sister - crying between sentences, overwhelmed with dread. She said I shouldn't worry, and to call the doctor just in case.

Then, I called my sister-in-law who is a NICU nurse and explained to her how I felt. She has this very gentle way with words, and highly suggested I just go ahead and call the hospital. I needed that encouragement. I needed to know that what I was feeling made sense in some way.

By the time Erik came home and put Sadie to bed a few hours later, we were on our way to the University of Chicago. When I arrived, the standard tests were done. NST, BPP and everything checked out perfectly. The resident who took care of us that stormy late-spring night, reassured me that coming in wasn't a mistake. That she'd rather see us here and be wrong, than stay home and be right.

Two days later - she delivered our son, limp and gray, after my placenta abrupted.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moments we miss

The ache to hold you in our arms again has been growing and growing the past few days.

Sadie and I picked out the cupcakes that we're going to bake for you on your birthday. White cake with yellow frosting and baby blue sprinkles. I think it's perfect.

Today, we were putting away a lot of Sadie's old infant toys after running them through the washing machine and setting them out to dry. Sadie dutifully helped put all of the toys carefully into your brother's toy box. Then she said "Can I play these with baby Sawyer when he comes home?"

It's moments like these that take my breath away. Moments like these that are a constant reminder of everything we have missed out on with you.

Sawyer, you are so loved - can you feel it?

We miss you so much. We love you.

Mom guilt

I feel like the worst mom ever lately.

Sadie and I have been fighting these awful sinus infections for a week now. And I am hitting that point in the pregnancy where I am exhausted 24/7. I can't do much with her anymore, if I'm on my feet too long my ankles swell and I get dizzy - my blood pressure's been hit and miss too so I have to watch what I'm doing.

I just feel awful because it's been pretty nice this week and we've been in the house most of the time. I tried taking her to a new splash park yesterday afternoon but she wanted me to hold her and take her on the monkey bars instead - which I totally can't do.

Anyway, sorry Sadie. I'm trying my hardest right now to be the best mom I can be to all of my children - and it's not easy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby Pickles update - 32 weeks

What a day.

An emotional up and down day.

I haven't written much about the new baby in a long time, mostly because things are going so good - I almost hesitate to say great because I don't want to jinx anything with him. And normally, I'm not the type of person to wish on falling stars or throw pennies into fountains, but I sure have found myself quietly hoping and praying for nothing but the best.

I made our first delivery through "Sawyer's Heart Project" to the NICU at Comer Children's Hospital. Ranae - the counselor who was there with us through every single step of our loss with Sawyer - met me at the clinic to pick up the blankets, sleepers and handmade hats. We had a really nice visit but with it almost being a year to the day of Sawyer's birth and then death - a lot of the talk was heavy. I still can't believe how far we have come in such a short amount of time. I truly credit the love and care of the staff at Comer for that initial start - so I was quite thankful to give back today.

After meeting with Ranae, I had my first NST and BPP. I haven't had either since the very day Sawyer was born. And I had been looking forward to the tests for the past few days since it had been about two weeks since I was able to see our little boy via ultrasound. I did not, however, expect to go into a full-blown panic attack once all the monitors were strapped onto my stomach.

The swoosh-swoosh of the baby's heart brought me right back in an instant. And I completely lost it.

Thank goodness I had a very understanding nurse who coaxed and convinced me that this time, we'd make happy memories - not scary, sad ones.

After that I had our ultrasound and everything looked fantastic. He kicked, stretched and practiced his breathing. The baby is still in the "frank breech" position - but it's okay because we're already planning a c-section anyway.

I met with our doctor and we finally talked very seriously about the upcoming c-section and birth of our new baby. Quite honestly, I'm scared shitless. I'm scared that something will go wrong. I'm scared that someone will die. I even asked my doctor to promise to be there when the time came for our little boy to make his arrival - to which she agreed.

The one thing that has her a little worried is that "she doesn't trust me" - or in other words, doesn't trust my body. Things are going really, really well right now - but my history of PPROM, plancental abruption and two emergency c-sections don't bode very well for this baby. Not that we are thinking the worst, just trying to prepare in case of another emergency situation.

So yeah, it was a long and exhausting day. A lot to think about and a lot to worry about, but it's okay to worry. It's okay to be scared. I think it would be completely abnormal not to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have three children

I'm almost 8 months pregnant now, and coming up on Sawyer's birthday and then the subsequent days until his death. My emotions are starting to really get the best of me, I feel raw, open. Exposed.

We have planned for his birthday, positive things - to celebrate his life.

The following days though? I think we are going to leave town with our daughter, maybe the beach.

I just wish we were all here, all of us together.

I have three children right now. Three. Yet, the entire world sees just one.