Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Story: Part III

So, we are given the green light to start trying to get pregnant 3 months from our June 9th surgery.  So, in early Sept we give it a go.  It's funny, but I just KNEW I was pg after the first time.  That sounds crazy, but I was just sure.  And sure enough, I got a PPT on the 1st day of my missed period.  I was so excited.  I thought I could put all of the last nightmare behind us and focus on the new life forming inside of me.  For each of my 3 pregnancies, I have had a lot of nausea for the first 3 months.  I don't actually get sick, but I constantly feel on the verge of it.  It is draining, and tiring, but of course it is for a good cause, so who cares, right?
We call the midwife right away and go for an early dating ultrasound.  Everything is great!  EDD is May 31st.  Spring.  Perfect!  Things progress as usual, and the Doc. recommends that we put in the cervical cerclage at around 12-13 weeks.  So, end of November I go in to the hospital for the cerclage.  That whole procedure sucks, but it is meant to hold the baby in and avoid preterm labour, so you do whatcha gotta do.
It doesn't take long to recover from this procedure, so the next day I feel good and go back to regularly scheduled programming.
Two weeks later I start experiencing some cramping and light spotting.  I call midwife right away, but can't get in to see her so I go see a Doc at the clinic.  He thinks he can see some infection in my cervix so sends me down to the city to see my regular OB for confirmation and treatment.  My OB is away so I see his partner, who can't see any infection, but recommends anti-biotics anyways to be on the safe side. He says that hopefully this isn't an infection because if it is the infection will continue throughout the pregnancy and could result in fetal death.  Yikes!  Sounds pretty serious.  I start taking the pills and start to feel better right away.  I get a follow up check up and all looks good.  Phew!  I continue on my way, and see the OB ever 2 weeks and the midwife every 4 weeks as usual, and everything looks good and normal.  I am gaining weight and getting big, and am very happy.
I start feeling the baby move.  So exciting!!!!!!  I love this part of pregnancy, when you really start to get the connection with your baby and it really becomes real that you have a little person in there - that you aren't just getting fat!  I signed up for prenatal yoga, and took my first class at 21 weeks, on the Monday. The class started at 7:45pm, and it was dark and cozy in the yoga studio.  I realized that this was the first time my baby and I were doing something just the two of us!  Usually my son is with me, and when he is in bed my hubby is around.  This was the first mommy/baby thing I did for this baby.  It was exciting and made me feel closer to my little nugget.  The yoga instructor told us to take it really easy because our bodies were changing so much and we should not push it.  I had a pain in my back on my left side that I was hoping would get worked out during this yoga class.  By the end of the class it hurt more than when I started, and by the time I went to bed I was in some pretty serious discomfort.  Damn.  I overdid it.
The next morning, Tuesday, I decided to take my son to Squamish to do some shopping.  I took some Tylenol before we left for my back pain, and off we went!  We had a great day, went for lunch, and then headed back home in time for my son to nap in the car.  I noticed that I was having Braxton-Hicks during the day, and when those pains would come on, the pain in my back would disappear for those few seconds.  Weird.  Oh well..
When we got home, I put all the groceries away and fed Avery.  When my hubby got home I told him I was going to quickly put Avery to bed and then go lie down on the couch.   I felt worn out, had pressure "down there", and just felt like I needed to rest.  Hubby had two buddies over for a beer, so I went about putting our little man to bed and hit the couch.  I was watching Glee when I realized that the B-H contractions just kept coming.  Hmmmm... Maybe I should time them just to be sure that they are random.  Fuck.  Every 4 minutes.  Without fail.  Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck...  Okay.  I didn't want to tell hubby yet b/c his friends were still here, and I wasn't sure what was going on.  I went to the bathroom to pee and saw bloody discharge.  Super fuck.  Heart thumping terror.  Fuuuuuuuuuck.  Just then, hubby comes into the bathroom to see what is going on.  I tell him about the 4 minute contractions and the blood and say that I am going to call the midwife right away.  I start crying because I can just tell this is not good.  The midwife calls back and I fill her in.  She says the words I was dreading: Preterm labour.
We ask Andy's buds to stay put and watch Avery while we book it to the ER in our town.   By this time I am bawling because I am terrified for our baby.  I know that at 21 weeks, it is too early for the baby to survive if it is born now.
The Dr on call (this is a very small town, so the Doc only comes in if the nurse on site call's him, and then only if he wants to) decides to come in and check on me.  He doesn't really do much, but says that yes, it looks like preterm labour.  He says I can either go home and get rest and go to the city hospital in the morning, or I can go now.  My choice.  Our midwife says fuck that, get to the city now. She calls the hospital and let's them know I am coming. So, we throw some clothes in a bag, grab our son, and hit the road for the two and a half hour drive to the city.  We hit the road at 11:30pm.  Avery is tired.  I am scared.  Contractions are now 3 minutes apart.
We drop Avery off at my sisters at 2am and head to the hospital.  We check in and they send me to Labour and Delivery.  I get into the lovely gown they give me, and get into the bed.  I keep trying to tell the nurses that I am having contractions and all of my symptoms, but they don't sound too interested. I thought they would have hooked me up to the baby monitors, but they don't.  They take my vitals a bunch of times, and basically leave us alone, telling us that the Doc will see us in the morning.
My OB shows up in the morning and says there isn't anything we can do until we get our ultrasound.  It is scheduled for 11:15am.  I find this out at around 7am.  The ultrasound seems like it is an eternity away.  I am still having contractions at around 2-3 minutes apart at this point.  Not too painful, but just enough to make me make a face, or concentrate on breathing through it.  But not awful at this point.
Finally 11:15 arrives and we are taken to the ultrasound.  The baby looks good, moving lots, still lots of amniotic fluid.  Measuring, measuring, measuring, GUSH.  My water broke on the table at 11:45am.  All hope is lost.  The ultrasound tech is trying to reassure me that there is still a lot of fluid, and it still looks okay.  But I know it is over.  I can feel it in my bones.
We are taken back to our room.  With every contraction, more gushing.  I am surprised how much liquid there is. I am terrified at the thought of having to deliver our baby.  I am horrified that all of this is happening at all.  Just horrified.  And devastated.  God, what words to you use to describe the horror?
Andy's sister arrived at the hospital to show us support.  At first I was pissed that she came because we handn't asked any family members to come.  But after a while, it turned out to be great that she came.  She went and got Andy some food (he hadn't eaten all day), and she just hung out with us and talked, and distracted us from what was really going on.  She was a great support and I loved her for knowing what we needed better than we did.  She stayed a couple of hours and then left when Andy's parents showed up.
Again, uninvited, and again I was P.O.'d.  But, again, it turned out to be wonderful that they came.  I was in and out of consciousness throughout the process, so they were there to give Andy support.  It was great, and I realized again how lucky I was to have such a great in-law family who knew what we needed.
The OB needs to remove my cervical stitch to allow the baby to be born.  They give me some nitrus-oxide to help with the pain.  Yeah right.  I scream in agony as they tug and pull at the stitch.  Finally the Doc comes to his senses and decides that I should have an epidural for this procedure.  I could have told him that!  So, the anesthesiologist comes and administers the drugs and hits the nerve in my hip.  That freakin' hurt.  Then the drugs start to kick in, but they don't kick in properly on my left side. I feel the contractions in all their glory, because I am pg in my left uterus and that is where the pain is.  Finally they come and top me up and the pain goes away, and I sleep.  Not long after that, they take my vitals and see that I have a temperature.  It doesn't take long for the temperature to ramp up to 103 and I am shaking like crazy.  I have never experienced this before, but I could not control my body.  Every muscle in my neck, back, and arms would seize and shake and cramp every few seconds.  As it went on and on, I started to get really scarred that I was actually going to have a seizure.  I could feel every muscle in my back seize, and it was making me really tired.  I was getting really worried, but my midwife stayed by my side the whole time and held my hand and told me to try and relax and just let the shaking happen.  Apparently trying to control it makes it worse?  I don't really get it, since it was impossible to control the shaking.  It just happened, and took over my whole body like I was possessed.
They gave me some Tylenol, and the fever came down enough for me to stop seizing, and then I slept.  I don't know how long I slept for (it only felt like minutes, I think), but I was quickly awoken by the sensation of having a contraction, and then the baby slipped from my uterus into my vaginal area.  The midwife checked me and could feel the baby there.  With the next contraction, she was out.  A girl.  Just like I had thought it was.  And she was beautiful.
My husband and I were pretty apprehensive about seeing her and holding her, but I knew I had to.  Especially after my midwife had explained to us that the baby would be born alive and would know my voice and my smell.  Well, that did it.  Of course I had to see her and hold her and cuddle her.
They first brought her over in a blanket and a medical "bowl" (for lack of a better term), and I held her in the bowl for a couple of minutes.  Once I realized that she was not some scary alien, but my beautiful baby girl, I asked if I could hold her just in the blanket.  They took her out of the bowl, and gave her back to me, and I covered her in kisses. I looked at her face, her beautiful lips, her sweet hands, her cute little legs, and small perfect feet, her ten fingers, her ten toes, her button nose, her bald head, her cute belly, just everyting...  She was just perfect!!!  But too small.  She was warm, and I tried to smell her to see if she had a smell.  She was soft, and so fragile.
My husband cried and said that now he knew what it felt like to have a truly broken heart.  We were so in awe of her, and falling head over heels in love with her.
I kept calling her "love": you are so beautiful my love; oh love, you are so sweet; hello my love, I'm your mommy and this is your daddy!; I am sorry love, that you can't stay with us;...
I asked Andy if we should name her.  Originally I don't think we were going to, but now that we saw her and realized that this was our daughter, whether we take her home or not, she needed a name.  Andy suggested "Love".  Not only was it the word we kept using her when talking to her, but it was also Andy's great-grandmother's maiden name.  It fit perfectly.  Love.   Our Love.
Love was born at 11pm on January 19th, 2011.  She was with us for 57 wonderful minutes.  At 11:57pm, she was gone.  Three minutes later, her big brother turned two.  Both of my children were born in the same room, almost exactly 2 years apart.  But with very different results.
The nurses took pictures of Love with a disposable camera, and put together a "memory box" for us.  When we were ready, they took Love from us.  And then it was just Andy and I (Andy's parents were in the hall for the delivery and afterwards).
It was late, and we were in total shock and denial of what had just happened, so we decided to get some rest for the night.  Throughout the night, my fever wreaked havoc on my body temp.  I would flip flop from being freezing cold and shaking all over the place, and then I would be burning up, and would need cold cloths rubbed all over my body to cool me down.  This went on ALL NIGHT.  My temperature hovered around 103 & 104 degrees.
The next morning, the question surrounding why this all happened was answered.  It turned out that I had a staphylococcus aureus infection throughout my whole body: in my blood, urine, in the amniotic fluid and in the amniotic sac.  It was everywhere.  They think it must have happened when my cervical cerclage was put in.  Then I had the cramping and possible infection a couple of weeks later, and I was given the antibiotics.  These drugs got rid of the infection just enough to hide the symptoms, but it must have stayed under the surface until it reared it's ugly head with the premature birth of my precious little girl.
I was put on IV antibiotics right away via IV to fight the infection and was moved to the maternity ward.

There is more to the story that I will post later, but this has made me extremely tired.  I will finish the story on a later post.

Thanks for reading the story of Love's short life.

the fog lifts, then resettles...

Yesterday, I was thinking about how the fog I have been in for the last 6 weeks felt like it was lifting.  It had been a couple of days since my last melt down, and I was feeling more ready to reintroduce myself to my normal outings with my son.  Playgroups such as Strong Start, or Open Gym, with the myriad of pregnant bellies and newborns seemed less frightening.

And then last night I had the dream.

I dreamt that I was taking ski lessons on the hill, and mid lesson I realized that I didn't know where my baby was.  I had left her with a family member (I don't know who it was, but I am sure they were supposed to be family), but didn't have my cell on me and didn't know how to reach them.  Next scene I am running through the streets of my old home town looking for the house that I had left my baby with my family member, but I couldn't remember where the house was, and I didn't remember the town well enough to really guess.  I was just running, and running, and it was getting late, and dark.  Where was my baby?  Who had her?  Would I find her?  It was getting late.  And dark.  Late.  And dark.

And then I woke up.  Where was my baby girl??

Oh yeah.

I remember now.

No waking up from this nightmare.

Aaaaaaand the fog is back.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Story: Part I & II

Well, I have just spent the last couple of days reading a blog about a man and his wife who lost their twin boys in 2008 at 20 weeks.  It was written by the husband, and gave the male perspective as he navigated his way through the loss off his sons, through his grief, and through life "after".  He blogged from 2008, and the last entry was in October 2010.  It was so incredibly well written: funny, sad, angry, hopeful, fearful, etc...  He put it all out there for those of us going through similar experiences to read.  I was addicted and ready every post with gusto.  And, I have to admit to myself, and I can hardly believe it really, but I was actually expecting the final post to wrap it all up with a neat little bow, and a healthy pregnancy, or a baby or something.  What an idiot.  Life isn't like that.  Life can be so messy, and unfair, and uneven, and just so wrong. He and his wife seem like the nicest, most loving couple, so ready and eager to have a child of their own.  Any child would be so lucky to be theirs.  But nope.  Not now, and they are trying to come to grips with the possibility of not ever.

Andy and I have been talking about what our plan is now.  I have spent eight of the last 11 months pregnant with two pregnancies, and am left with nothing to show for it but a broken heart and a baby girl who died.  I haven't yet really outlined our whole history in our quest to add to our family.  I gave the coles notes version of what happened to Love, but we also had a pregnancy last year that was surgically ended at 12 weeks.   So, we have been on the "baby making train" for the last full year (I know, that is a relatively short time to those who have struggle for years, but this is my story) and we don't have any trouble getting pregnant.  It's staying that way that is the challenge.

And now I am paralyzed with fear over what could happen next.  It is a reality that my last two pregnancies not only ended badly, but could have killed me.  I guess now is as good a time as any to outline what happened in better detail.

In March 2010 I got pregnant with what should have been our second child.  But wait, I think I should start at the beginning.

Andy and I were married in January of 2008.  We knew we would start trying to have a baby right away as we had been together already for 5 years, and weren't getting any younger.  Also, I had a double uterus at the time, so thought that perhaps we might have some trouble in the baby making department.  Wrong.  We got pg basically right away.  We wanted to use a Midwife, and found one who was awesome.  Because of my double uterus she wanted me to see a specialist because I was "out of the norm".  The specialist said I was "worst case scenario" for someone in my situation because basically my  uterus is half size (the uterus was divided in half and made in two when I developed as a fetus) and then I had also had a leep procedure due to precancerous cells a few years before.  Anyoo, long story short, the doctor recommended a cervical cerclage (a "purse string" stitch meant to keep the cervix closed) to keep my cervix closed and avoid preterm labour.  The doctor seemed pretty "doomsday" about the whole thing, and hoped to get me to 28 weeks if at all possible.  So, basically, I spent the whole pregnancy just waiting to go into preterm labour.  But, I decided to have the mindset that I would worry about "what is" instead of "what could be", so I slapped a smile on my face and just went on with the pregnancy.  Well, I had to see the doctor lots, and kept checking the calendar to count down the weeks to 28 weeks, but other than that, I had a great, uneventful pregnancy.  Well, 28 weeks turned into 38 weeks (I had the cerclage taken out at 36 weeks), then 39, then 40, then to everyone's amazement, 41!!  I was a friggin' week overdue!!  Crazy.  So, I took the midwife "cocktail" to start labour on January 20th 2009 at about 10am, and went into labour at around 2pm, and at 8:05pm that night after only 6 hour of total labour, I delivered our son into the world.  Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

And that's what I was to expect for future pregnancies, right?  Easy peezy, lemon squeezy??  Not so fast.

When Avery was a year old, Andy and I decided we should start thinking about adding to our family so our kids could be close in age like we both were with our siblings.  So we started "trying" right after Avery's birthday.  I found out in May that I was pg, and Andy & I were stoked.  But not long after that I started spotting.  I called the midwife to let her know and she scheduled an ultrasound for us, should it be an ectopic pregnancy.  I could also tell right away that I was pregnant in my right uterus this time, not the left like I had been with my son.  I wasn't sure if this would be a problem, but thought that I would have been more comfortable if I had been pg in my "proven" left uterus.  So, we go to the ultrasound and the tech tells us that yes, we are pg (I always needed that reassurance for some reason by the tech, like I had been making it up, or wrong, that we weren't pg after all or something.  Funny...), and that we dated around 7 weeks.  Yay!!  then he lets me go pee.  I leave the room to go pee and get my hubby and we have a celebratory hug for the new little person who is on the way.  Then we go back into the room and the tech as gotten the radiologist to come into the room to consult on the ultrasound.  They send hubby back into the hall while they do the scanning.  40 minutes go by with the Dr. and the tech speaking in code, so I have no idea what is going on, but I can tell something isn't right.  Well, i had been bleeding to get us here, so obviously something was going on.  But what??  Finally the Dr. starts to speak to me.
"I'm sorry", he says, "but you were either on the way to miscarrying, or the baby embedded in the wrong spot too low in the uterus, and the pregnancy is not viable".  He says all of this while my hubby is left out in the hall!!  I insisted that hubby be brought in to hear this, because there was no way that I would be able to transfer all that info to him (Andy is a question guy, so I knew I wouldn't have all the info he would need to process what was happening).  We are told that the results will be sent to our midwife and Dr. and we will be contacted later.  We called the midwife right away and she said to stay positive because radiologists are wrong all the time.  So, we go home, and stay as positive as we can.  I get a call from my midwife the next day that things are not as she thought, and are indeed very serious.  It turned out that the right uterus was very under developed and the walls were too thin to carry a full term pregnancy.  We would need to have the pregnancy ended and the uterus removed right away.  "Be ready to have surgery in a couple of days" I was told.  Later that day I get a call from my Dr.'s office.  They have scheduled an appt for consultation on June 4th.  That was 5 WEEKS from this day.  I frickin' lost it.  I was trying to come to grips with having to end the pregnancy, but the thought of having to keep the pregnancy going for 5 more weeks (with all the nausea that comes with it) was heartbreaking.  So, on we go for another 5 weeks as we await surgery.  I started to think of the pregnancy as an illness (not a stretch, considering how I was feeling) instead of a pregnancy, in order to deal with what was going on in my body.  Those were the loooooooongest 5 weeks of my life.  Eventually, the day finally came, the pregnancy was ended and the uterus was removed.  Six weeks of recovery followed.  Lovely.  But I was in good spirits because the ordeal was finally over.  Thank.  God.

We were told by the Doc that we could start trying again in 3 months.  Surgery was June 9th.  That meant we could start trying on Sept 9th.  Okie Dokie...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heart Chambers

So, I feel like I really need to clear something up that has been pressing on my mind for a while.

Often, when people find out about what happened to Love, they say "You are so lucky that you have Avery!!", or some reasonable facsimile.  And is this true?  Abso-freakin-lutely.  Yes, Avery is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I love him more than I ever thought possible.  He brings so much joy to my life, he is adorable, he is cuddly, he is hilarious,... Well, I could go on.

But, he doesn't "fix" what has happened.  I have a picture in my head of what it's like that I would like to share:

When I had Avery, a brand new chamber in my heart opened up that I didn't even know existed.  It filled with love for my sweet little boy, and I never knew I could be so completely wrapped around such a little persons finger.  This chamber in my heart is full to overflowing.

When I had Love, a whole new chamber in my heart opened up.  This chamber is in a different location, far from Avery's chamber.  It is a chamber all unto itself.  And it is empty.  It is open, and raw, and empty.  It longs for Love to fill it every day, but she is not here.  The ONLY thing that can fill this chamber is Love, my daughter.  It will remain empty for the rest of my life.

So, yes!  I am absolutely lucky that I have Avery, and I know that every minute of every day.  But the love in his chamber cannot flow over and fill Love's chamber.  They are completely separate, and unique.  So on one hand I am filled with love to overflowing, and on the other I am empty.

I hope that makes sense.  If I ever do decide/try/succeed at having another child, I imagine that a third chamber will open up that will be unique to that child.  And I hope that it will be filled to overflowing like the first...

Ski Day

Yesterday my husband, Andy, and I went skiing together.  A friend had given us a free pass to Whistler, and offered to watch our son for the day.  I was partially looking forward to it, but a large part of me was filled with anxiety for trying yet another "normal" thing.
I cried the whole half hour drive to the mountain in the car.  Sometimes sobbing, somethings just sad - but always the tears.  Andy asked if the tears were because I thought we were leaving her behind.  That was EXACTLY why I was crying.  Yesterday was Love's one month birthday.  Part of me wants to just hold on the the greif, feel it raw, feel it here in ever cell of my body because it makes me feel like she was real, and she was loved.  If I start to feel okay and do "fun" things, am I forgetting her?  Am I "moving on"??  It is such a battle in my head.
We did end up having a nice day. The conditions were great: The sun was shining, the snow was soft, the air was brisk.  It really was beautiful.  I tried to allow myself to enjoy it, but I was always aware that I should not have been able to ski that day.  I should still be pregnant.  I should still be getting bigger and more uncomfortable, feeling my little girl kicking me from within, not enjoying the sun on the ski hill.  God , I miss her so much.
I was thinking about her while I was skiing, and thinking how crazy it is that you can love someone soooo much, who you didn't get the chance to know.  I didn't get to see her smile, didn't get to hear her voice, or her cry, or her laugh.  I didn't get to find out what she would have found funny.  What jokes would she have told?  What would have been her interests?  I will never get to see/hear/know any of these things.  Ever.  Yet I still love her with all of my heart.  I miss her until it aches.  My arms feel so empty without her in them.  How is that? Where does that come from?  Because it is real, my love for her, and it is never ending.

Friday, February 18, 2011

One month later...

Well, it's been one month since we lost our little Love.  My mind is all over the place.  Sometimes I feel fine, and I feel guilty for feeling fine.  Then the next something will happen that will send me on a tailspin into my greif.  As and example, I went for a walk today with my son, and 3 close girlfriends and their kids (all around the same age as my son, 2 years).  It was a beautiful day, crisp, sun shining...  A great day to be outside.  We were walking along and a lady that we know who is pregnant came up with her son and we all started chatting.  She and my friend who is also expecting starting talking about how they were feeling etc...  and the lady says that she is feeling good but started getting Braxton-Hicks contractions and that they were making her sooooooo tired...  Well, all I could think about was when I thought I was having Braxton-Hicks and they turned out to be contractions, and then I had my little girl.  I started crying right then and there and had to walk away from the group of girls.   Luckily, my girls could see I was upset and were great support to me.  But, it is so unsettling when you think everything is okay, and the BAM!!  It feels as if your feet are swept up from under you and you are falling without warning. 
Another example is that I decided to go to an excercise class in order to get moving again.  I was filled with anxiety before the class for doing something so "normal", as it kind of felt like I was taking a step away from my baby and my greif which keeps me close to her.  Anyways, I was doing the class and the teacher came up and asked me if I had any kids, and how many.  I said I had one son who was 2 years old.  Then, I burst out crying.  Sobbing, actually.  How could I say I had ONE KID!!  I have TWO CHILDREN.  Not one.  How could I have ignored my baby girl like that, and denied her existance??  I felt horrible!  Worse than horrible.   The teacher was horrified, and had no idea what was going on.  I ended up telling her that I had had a baby girl 3 weeks earlier who had died, and she then understood.  I realized then that it was too soon to be "socially activated".
I am struggling right now with wanting to remain in my little bubble of comfort (staying at home or only being with friends/family who know me and my situation), and my desire to re-establish a "normal" life (a new normal, anyways).  But, I feel that every time I go out in public, I feel like people are looking at me like "Hey, there's the girl whose baby died".  And then, on the other hand, I get mad if I feel like they don't know or don't care.  I feel anger that everyone elses life is going on as usual, when mine is in such upheaval and I am so devastated!!  How can they smile and laugh and talk about babies and pregnancies when my life has come to a screeching halt??  I sometimes feel like I want to dress in all black so people will know I am in mourning and will act accordingly, but then at the same time I want to be a part of normal conversations and get back to normalcy.  It is a constant struggle and I flip and flop constantly.  I guess this is how I will be feeling for the next while...

But I still want to know, how do I answer the question "how many kids do you have?". 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fresh Pain

Well, it has been 1.5 weeks since we lost our little darling baby girl.  I was 21 weeks pregnant when my contractions began.  I thought they were braxton hicks, but when I realized that they were 4 minutes apart, I knew something was wrong.  A trip to the clinic, then to the city hospital confirmed our worst nightmare: we were in preterm labour.  We dropped our 2 year old son, Avery, off at my sisters place at 2am, then headed for the hospital.  I laboured all night, and was scheduled for an ultrasound at 11:15 am.  All looked good on the ultrasound, and I started to have hope.  But, then, right on the ultrasound bed at 11:45am my water broke.  Right at that moment, I knew all hope was lost.  I knew we were going to lose our baby.  My grief was overshadowed by my terror at the prospect have having to actually deliver this baby.  How could I possibly do that?  Well, because I had no choice, that's how.  They gave me an epidural, which I normally would not have wanted, but I welcomed the possibility of "not feeling" this delivery.  The epidural didn't work as well as they had hoped, and I felt a lot of pain.  Then, they were able to "top me up" and I was finally frozen to the pain.  At 11pm that evening, January 19th,2011, I delivered our perfect baby girl who we named "Love".  My husband was really scared to see her, thinking it would make what was happening intolerable, but I knew I HAD to see her.  I knew she would be born alive, and that she deserved to be hugged and cuddled by her mommy and daddy for the duration of her short life.  We were slightly worried that she would look "alien" or be somehow deformed because she was so early, but she was absolutely PERFECT:  Beautiful face, button nose, round head, 10 little fingers and 10 little toes... The only thing wrong was that she was too little and her lungs weren't developed yet so there was no chance of survival.  We covered her in kisses and held her close until she peacefully passed away at 11:57pm - three minutes before her big brothers second birthday.  Actually, I had delivered her brother in the exact same room exactly 2 years before.  It was bittersweet.
I still can't believe this has happened.  When people ask me if there is anything I need, I think "I need a time machine so I can go back in time and somehow make it so this didn't happen".  It's a silly thought, but I think it every single time.
How do I get through this??  At this point, I don't know the answer to that question...