Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 can kiss my..................

that's right. 2007 can just get on out of here as far as I'm concerned. I have no love for this year and it has had no love for me. I've been looking back on this last year a lot this week and it's not pretty. It's devastating actually. 2007 will always be the year my daughter died. Unfortunately for Rollie Pollie it's also the year he was born. Crap. So I guess a small part of the year had some joy......but definitely not enough joy to negate the heartbreak.

Amazingly enough not ONE SINGLE PERSON in my life asked how I was doing during the holidays with Isabella not around. Not one. I still cannot believe it as I type it this very instant. Not one friend, not one family member. Nobody from church, nada. Nobody even mentioned her on Christmas Day, and let me tell you, we saw a lot of people that day. It hurts, it truly does. I guess they have all moved on with their lives. Gee, wish we had that luxury. This Christmas was horrible, I hated every minute of it. However, since I have a merry little three year old I did not get to feel sorry for myself and cry my eyes out everyday like I wanted to. I had to force a smile on my face, act happy and excited for him. We went to the cemetery on Christmas Day and thankfully the christmas tree we decorated and left there for Isabella was still there. Husband and I took our turns sitting on the bench and crying. It was just plain awful. I hated going to all the places we had to go and smiling acting like I am happy and content so others don't have to feel uncomfortable. Especially since all I really wanted to do was scream at everyone "My daughter is dead!!! Gone! Forever! I didn't know last Christmas was my one and only one with her dammit! I want to hate all of you for being so jolly with you happy and healthy kids!" But of course I can't go around screaming that at people. I have to be polite and pleasing. One of these days..........

Turkey did have a great day, albeit an exhausting one. He of course made out like a bandit and now has a million new toys to get bored with in one week. Rollie Pollie got quite a bit too. He is doing so good, such a smiley baby. I don't take a single one of those smiles for granted I tell you. Each one gets a huge reaction from me and makes my heart sing. Oh and he loves to talk! He coos constantly, just like Turkey did as a little one. Which means only one thing! Another chatty cathy! :O Husband cannot wait. Mwahahahhaha. Well, at least they come by it honestly.

Lately I have been remembering things that don't include Isabella and I break down every time. It's so hard to say "remember that day when....." and realize that it was A.D. (after death). That's how everything is catagorized for me now. A.D. and B.D. (before death). Lovely isn't it? I know you're jealous.

Here is something neat I can share. Above our bed we have a big picture of Isabella, it's so beautiful. Well, every morning when Rollie Pollie wakes up, the loves to stare at that picture. Isabella looks so beautiful in it and he loves it. He also smiles at pictures of her and coos at them. I think he knows her and probably sees her all the time. (I'm really not kooky ya'll) ;)
I try and remind myself daily that Isabella is so much happier than she could have ever been here. She suffered so much here and I hated it, but I hate her being gone more. Selfish I know. Husband and I keep hearing that the first year is the far "they" are right. I'm already dreading her 2nd birthday. I think we are going to do a balloon releasing and eat cake anyways, to try and make it a happy occasion and not so depressing......we'll see if that works.

I miss you sweet girl and there is not a moment of my life where you are not on my mind or in my heart. Your pictures are everywhere in our home so that we can always look at you and feel you with us. You are still apart of this family and you always will be. I love you so much, I hope you know that. I hope you are dancing away in your pink tutu that I made for you. I cannot wait to see you again. Love, Mama

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So I've been a little busy

Ok, maybe more than a "little" busy. This guy just doesn't want me to set him down and I *swear* it's not my fault!! Well, ok, it is my fault......but I simply can't help but hold my new fresh babies all the time. *sigh* And once you start......

So, Christmas is quickly approaching and Isabella is on my mind constantly. Not that she isn't always on my mind constantly, because she is, but right now it's more.........intense I guess. I couldn't figure out why I was crying so much the week leading up to Thanksgiving and then it hit me, "oh, it's the holidays". It sucks,no other way to slice it. I am now in the anger phase of my grief, and it's not pleasant. I have been so freakin' snappy and mean lately. I am just so completely furious that Isabella isn't here. That I only have two babies here when I should have three. I hate that when I go out with Jackson and Kingston (which lets face, ain't often at this point!) people assume I only have two children. I hate explaining things and then seeing that look come across people's faces......the look that says "I don't really want to know this or talk about this with you."

I miss Isabella so intensely, it hurts. I'm sad for Jackson, he misses her so much and understands so little. It isn't fair that his little heart has to bear this. It also isn't fair that I will have to explain to Kingston everything and he too will get to experience loss at a young age. At least I'm an adult and have a grasp on things (supposedly anyways),these kids just don't have it. We're going to put Jackson in counseling next spring and I'm hoping that will help him. He's been acting out and regressing a little lately and I'm sure losing his sister is the root of the problem. Plus, add in getting a new baby just 5 months later and it's a lot to deal with! Sometimes I wonder if our family is going to get a break at some's hoping.

Things are good with Rollie Pollie. He's an eating machine, so most of my days are spent on the couch breastfeeding. He's growing though! It's funny, he's six weeks old and doesn't even weigh what Jackson weighed at birth. Yikes! Now that puts Jackson's ginormous size in perspective for me.

My darling Isabella, we miss you so much. We talk about you and to you everyday in this house of yours. I know you know it and you can still feel our love. I still go in your room just to feel you, I love it in there, your little haven. You are missed more than you know and even though I'm not quite sure how we will all get over this or if we ever will get over this, I hope you know that you are never forgotten. I love you and miss you sweet Princess. I'd give my life to hold you one more time and kiss your fat cheeks again. I'm happy you are free of your body and free of all your earthly sufferings. I can't wait to see you again baby girl.....

Ok, I needed to get that out!!! Well, my wormy is squirming in his sling. Gotta go :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The glorious birth

So.........on October the 22nd (a Monday) at 8 am I walked into my kitchen to grab a little cup of coffee. Husband was just getting ready to leave for work and I felt a gush. I kind of paused and felt another gush of water and then one more. I yelled at Husband, "I think my water just broke". He laughed and said "WHAT??" I really thought women's water broke before labor only in the movies. Of course in the movies the women gives birth about 5 minutes later, right? Wrong. So I confirm that water has broken (I'm soakin' my clothes here man), call everyone we know, we get giddy with anticipation and then we wait. And wait. And wait some more. Labor should start any minute, right? I call my doula, we talk about things to do to get labor going, she says she's coming over. I have rested, I have cleaned, I am getting a little impatient here. So around 4 pm Doula shows up and we start some accupressure. Don't tell her, but I don't think that crap works. It sure didn't for me! I had a few contractions here and there, but nothing regular or consistent. So around 6 pm Husband and I decide to go to the mall and walk. We do two rounds all the way around the mall and I can't do it anymore, my back was killing me!! So we go home and wait. At this point my mom and his mom are there staring at me. I know they were just excited, but it was starting to drive me a little crazy.

At 9 pm we decide to drive up to the hospital to see where I'm at and make a decision. Doula thinks we should just stay home, labor will start. I'm more concerned about infection risk (I had been super careful all day and checked my temp regularly just to be sure) so I want to go. We get there and endure more waiting. We get a non-stress test and the nurse freaks a little when she finds out my water has been broken for 16 hours and I'm just now strollin' in the doors. I tell her my temp is fine and baby has been moving fine. She's says "oooooookay" like I'm crazy. :)

Rollie Pollie looks good, they confirm my water has indeed broken (no kidding!) and say that my cervix is 3 centimeters dilated and I'm 60% effaced. Grrr. So the on call midwife (not MY midwife) wants to start me on pitocin immediately and get the baby out. I say "no thanks", but I WILL stay over night and let you monitor me until morning. She's OK with that and we decide to re-evaluate in the AM when it's been 24 hours post rupture.

So we get settled in our room and I try to sleep. SO not happening. All I can think is "C'mon body!!! Go into labor!!" My body has done this a time or two before so I'm completely confused as to why it won't just get it over with already! I really didn't want pitocin, I planned on a natural birth and didn't think I could do it with the pit. Those contractions HURT!

So it's 9 am on Tuesday. No labor. No promise of labor. I'm so bummed. And tired. So I consent to the pitocin. But only on the agreement that it would be increased very, very, very slowly and once my body got into a good productive pattern, nobody would touch it. All agreed, except our stupid nurse. (I could write a novel about this nurse, but I won't. Bascially, she sucked and we had two or three arguments, she had a few with my doula, my husband, my mom and the list goes on. She sucks.)

Anyways, pitocin gets started, husband and I start walking the halls of the womens center. We walk, I do the birthing ball, we walk more, I rest. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. So around noon things are starting to get hoppin' in my body thank goodness. If I remember correctly contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. Nice! So I order some lunch because I'm starving......and since I'm going natural, I can eat! Yeah! Lunch arrives at 1pm and I have to inhale it between contractions which are about 2-3 minutes apart and getting intense. I'm having to really focus through them at this point and people in the room are starting to annoy me. We had LOTS or people. The whole extended fam PLUS Jackson.......who at this point needs a nap and is whining non-stop. So I order everyone except husband and doula out of the room. I can just sense that it's about to get all kinds of ugly. It's 2 pm now and I request to have my cervix checked (haven't had it checked since the night before because of the broken water) I am 5 cm and 80% effaced. It pisses me off a little (ok a lot) because I feel like I should be further along. I think to myself "I still have a couple of hours or so left". Nope.

So now it's 2:15 or so and I am not a happy serene girl anymore. All of a sudden my contractions are 1-2 minutes apart and they are not friendly contractions. They mean business. They want this baby out. I decide I want to get in the tub, I think it will feel good and I am right. It was wonderful. I decide to stay there. I am crying at this point (with tears and everything) and I remember looking at Husband at one point bawling saying "It hurts SO bad, it really does". He looks at me with sympathy but always says "you can do this". So we're in the tub. Now contractions are one on top of the other. I'm only getting about 30 seconds in between to rest and I'm basically spending that time dreading the next contraction. I'm getting panicked and start demanding an epidural. I am yelling at my doula and telling her I can't do it, blah blah blah. She of course just says "yes you can". So now she thinks I'm complete because I'm writhing around in the tub yelling my head off. Nurse checks me and like an idiot says "I can't find her cervix, where did it go??" She keeps fishing for it and I finally grab her hand out and say "that HURTS!" Doula informs her she cannot find my cervix because I'm fully dilated. Dummy.

Here is where I get really pissed off in a big hurry. My midwife informs us that we can't birth in the tub because we are banking Rollie Pollie's cord blood. So I have to get OUT OF THE TUB, dry off, change clothes and somehow WALK to the bed. I'm pissed. No, I'm furious. I'm in agony. I get up, with the help of big strong Husband of course. I'm freakin' nekkid from the waist down, standing in the bathroom while the nurse takes 5 MINUTES to figure out how to get my wet shirt off with me being hooked up the the IV pole. I start screaming at her to figure it out and just as I am about to rip out my IV she gets it. Idiot! (really, she was a nasty nurse, don't feel sorry for her.) So we get a dry shirt on me and I somehow make it to the bed where I colapse and start moaning and yelling again. My mom, mother in law and sister in law are in there at this point looking pretty horrified at my state of being......I'm sure it was a sight. So we are pushing. Excuse me, I'M pushing and it feels so darn good. Painful, but the best kind of pain. I push twice and out came my 5lb 15oz Rollie Pollie at 2:45 pm. I caught him myself and brought him up to my chest where he found the breast all by himself. (Yes, really) It was wonderful, beautiful, GLORIOUS. I wish I had done all my babies this way. Bonding has been so easy and peaceful this time around and the breastfeeding down right easy compared with my other two. Well, we can't really count Isabella right? I couldn't have done it without my doula, bless her. She took some serious abuse from me the last 20 minutes or so, but she saved Husband from receiving it, which he greatly appreciated. Really, truly and honestly, the pain was only "unbearable" for 20-30 minutes max. Not bad right? Contractions aren't the hard's transition that gets you. I didn't know I was in transition, I just knew that the pain was horrible and continuous and I wasn't sure how long I was going to have to endure that. Thank God, it was a short amount of time. I did scream for the epidural once or twice, but nobody listened to me (I had instructed everyone to NOT give in no matter how much I begged). Luckily, I couldn't have received one anyways, by the time I was yelling for it, I was dilated to 10 centimeters. Beautiful, just beautiful. I guess I should start growing my under arm hair out and call myself Hippie, huh? Oh, only kidding you hippies out there.

Rollie Pollie is doing so great, he is an awesome, inspiring joy in my life and I feel blessed to have him and the birth experience that came along with him. I feel so *empowered* and strong. It's that whole "I am woman, here me roar" , it's so cliche, but true! I'm unstoppable and now I know it. I can really do anything if I want it bad enough and believe hard enough. How incredible is that to finally realize your ability and own strength? Not that I have ever felt "weak" in life, but everyone wonders what they are really capable of. Yes, I want XYZ, but can I really do it?? Yeah, you can.

Enough of that. I'm off to snuggle my "booshee bear" (every kid I pop out gets their own unique array of nicknames, just whatever springs to my mind when I look at them) and Rollie Pollie is no different. For now it's "booshee bear" and I love it. Where it came from? The depths of my crazy mind is all I can tell you. He looks like a "booshee" whatever that is. Someone google that and get back to me! It'd be interesting to see what comes up. ;)

Oh, one more thing. Isabella, my darling, thank you for watching over us and your new little brother. I know you had a hand in this whole thing you beautiful girl and I love you so much. When I look at Rollie Pollie I am reminded of you everyday in the most precious of ways. Thanks for the healing process............

Monday, November 5, 2007

Rollie Pollie is here!

He arrived October 23rd @ 2:45 pm weighing 5lbs 15oz, 18.5 inches long. Turns out I can make small babies if they come a little early........

When I actually have two free arms again, I'll tell all about the glorious birth (it really was). Until then, here is a picture of the newest man in my life (did I mention what a smitten kitten I am??)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The countdown continues

So as of today I am 37 weeks pregnant. Boy howdy, do I feel every bit of it. I think if Rollie Pollie gets any lower he'll just hang an arm out and wave! He's moving less (for real, not paranoia) but I'm sure it's because he has just plain run out of room in my uterus. Those things only stretch to a point you know.....

The closer I get to giving birth, the more emotional I get about Isabella. I can hardly look at pictures of her right now without bursting into tears. Typically her pictures give me comfort, but lately they just break my heart. I was thinking the other day that I just gave birth to her 18 months ago. It seems completely unreal that I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, loved her, took care of her, lost her and am now about to give birth again. Turns out a lot can change in 18 months. It's scary if you really let yourself think about try not to. :)

I'm so curious about Rollie Pollie, what he will look like and what he will be like. I cannot even let myself think about him begin healthy yet, I just can't. I am going into this expecting the worst, praying for the best. I guess I don't want to be blind-sighted like I was with Isabella all over again. Not like it really matters though. You think you can prepare yourself for certain tragedies in life, but trust me, you cannot. You can think about it all you want, convince yourself that your "OK" with it, but when it happens, it's a whole other ballgame. One that you are not prepared for in any way even though you've been training. There just isn't practice or preparation for life's little or big "oopsies". I often wonder why some people in life only get little "oopsies" and some get major "oopsies". Husband really gets fired up about it, he really thinks it's unfair how it's not spread out more evenly. I guess it's not really fair......but as the saying goes "Life ain't fair man!" We'll see when Rollie Pollie gets here. It feels so surreal to me at this point. I simply cannot imagine having a healthy baby. It hasn't happened in so long, it seems impossible. I pray and I pray hard and I guess that is all I can do.

Turkey is getting a little anxious I can tell, but seems pretty excited to meet his new little brother. They are sharing a room (at some point, since Rollie Pollie will room with me for a few months) and he's excited about that. Turkey is a natural big brother and is so compassionate because of his sister, he's just a neat kid. He makes me so proud everyday. Everyone, including Husband and I are going to do whatever it takes to make this transition as smooth as possible for our Turkey. He's had a rough 18 months as well, and I just want some stinkin' stability in his life! I don't want him to be crushed anymore......he's so young, I just want him to be happy and emotionally well and all that jazz. Hope I'm doing this whole thing right! There isn't a book for it! ;)

So at this point I am physically, emotionally, mentally EXHAUSTED. My body does not feel like the one of a 26 year old, it feels closer to that of a 90 year old woman. The pelvis has separated, the ligaments are stretched and the sciatic nerve has become Rollie Pollie's favorite resting spot. I need a break after this baby. A loooooooong, nice break. Time to get myself back in shape, in more ways than one. I'm looking forward to it, I've missed myself. I love being a mother, I love giving birth and bringing new life into the world. It's the most noble of jobs I believe. I just haven't had the typical journey so many others get and I need some time to get back together again. And then, who knows? Maybe another little one in our future? I cannot say now, I just need that break :)

So if you think of it, and you're the praying type, remember us and Rollie Pollie will ya? Thanks :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

36 weeks.............

Ah, we have arrived. It's time for Rollie Pollie to come, whenever he is ready. I'm surprisingly calm right now, which is unusual for me at this point in any of my pregnancies. Typically I get really nervous nelly right about now about the delivery, my baby, handling things, etc. You would think I'd be going really crazy, considering I've never had a baby after losing a child......perhaps it hasn't hit me yet. Perhaps I'm avoiding really thinking about it. Perhaps. I have had some moments........a bumpy spot here or there, but then I start breathing and realize things will be OK, they just have to be. How I'm still an optimistic person after the year and a half I've had is really beyond me at this point. Just go with it.

I met my new midwife a couple of weeks ago and I really like her. She is *exactly* what I would envision a midwife to be. Calm, serene, peaceful, a little hippyish (but not in a kooky, no way are you delivering my baby kind of way!) She's nice and competent, completely competent (MOM!). Yeah, my mom is a little nervous about all of this...........ok, ok, she's downright skeptical about my choices. She can't really help it though, she's an RN and *very* medical. I'm not, that's where we differ. She knows I'm intelligent and that I wouldn't do anything stupid so she is trusting me. I think she just doesn't want to see me in pain, and who can blame her. I watched my daughter suffer daily, and it ain't pretty. I miss my Princess........... I miss her so much I can hardly breathe some days.

So maybe I am a little nervous and maybe I don't really want to imagine the worst anymore. I have already lived through the worst and I would just like to pretend like it's over and happier times lay ahead. I don't want to think that I may get to live my worst twice...........or more. Does that happen to people? I really hope not. So hopefully things will turn out just fine this time. Rollie Pollie will be healthy and happy and never have a seizure. A girl can hope right? A girl can pray and a girl can hold out for happiness.

Well, wish me luck in the next 3-4 weeks, as I will have a new, beautiful boy in my life and times will be crazy around here once again. It's felt pretty lonely around here without my darling Isabella and although Rollie Pollie will never replace her, it will be nice to have a baby in the house again.

I'm off to "nest", you can only organize linens so many times, right?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's a small world afterall

So, this last week I decided it was time to get my hair cut again. I had not had my hair cut since last February (yes, really) and it was indeed time. I have neglected myself sorely these last two years, but for a better cause. Anyways, my hair. So I don't have a stylist anymore (mine became too popular and you have to schedule your appointments out a year in advance. Right, like I know what my crazy life will be like in a YEAR!) Last Monday I just went through several salon websites just trying to decide which I would pick to entrust my hair too (it's a really big deal you see) and I finally land on one in particular about 30 minutes away from me. I had no idea why I picked this one, I just did. So I call and tell them to just give me whoever, I don't care.

Yesterday, the big day arrived. New me? I was so very excited! There is nothing like getting your hair cut and I usually always do something different every time I go. I get bored easily.........hard to believe eh? Well, I meet my new girl and she seems really nice and I'm happy. She starts washing my hair, we start chatting. She had a picture of a sweet three month old little boy at her booth and we chatted about him and she told me he was adopted. I thought that was really neat, because for some reason I've always been attracted to the idea of adoption even though I am walking breeding machine. Then she asked the dreaded question: "How many kids do you have?" Oh how I have come to loathe this question. At first, after Isabella passed I would immediately say "Two, but my daughter just passed away, I am pregnant with #3". Well, this warranted lots of ill advice, comments, or even CRYING from complete strangers. *sigh* So now I never know what to say. So, yesterday I just decided to not say anything about Isabella dying and said "I have two, this my third". She says "how old?" Ugh! I lie and say "three and 14 months" (that's how old she was when she passed away, she's frozen in that age I guess.) Then something very interesting happens. She decides to ask me where I'm going to deliver. I tell her and ask where she delivered forgetting she had adopted. She immediately said "I had my baby at Baptist." We both paused. Hm. Then she says "well, I should just be honest, I lost my daughter in April". I couldn't believe it! I immediately said "well, this may sound crazy but I lost MY daughter in May, I just didn't know if I should say anything". We both kind of laughed (like an awkward laugh, not HAHA laugh.) I asked what happened to her daughter. She goes on to tell me that her daughter was 9 months old when she passed and had been born with a rare genetic condition that they just discovered last week from her autopsy. Whoa. So I tell her about Isabella and her rare genetic condition (damn these rare genetic conditions!!!! Don't they know they are wrecking people's lives here??) Then I mention that Isabella died at home, because she was in Hospice. Well, so was her daughter. Which hospice? THE SAME HOSPICE AS ISABELLA! Now, that may not seem all together that strange, however, the pieces started fitting for me. I knew all about her daughter! My hospice nurse had been telling me for months about this sweet girl, because she had a lot of the same issues as Isabella, but no diagnosis. I begin telling this chick all about her daughter and her mouth is hanging open like "how do you know this stuff???". So, yeah, we had been hearing about each other and now here we are MEETING in a huge city. Odd. But wonderful!!!! Her daughter was on all the same medications as Isabella and we laughed about that. Shared memories, hugged, laughed, it was magical. Really. I can't help but wonder if I was supposed to meet her and vice versa.

Well, that's my nice story for the week :) I've got some thoughts coming on Rollie Pollie's impending birth, but I'm tired. (carrying a huge fetus does that to a girl!)

To be continued............

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Patch

It's amazing to me how fast a year can go by and how many things can change in that year. I have really learned that lesson hard and fast since Isabella was born. This last weekend was a doozie, because we went to the Orr Family Farm ( a local family fun type place where you take a hayride and pick your own sugar pumpkin, lot's of fun!) Why was that hard? Well, for a couple of reasons. One, it's always hard when we do something fun as a family now, because a certain somebody is missing. When you're having fun, it's glaringly obvious for some reason. The second reason it was tough is because last year we were all dressed and headed out the door, ready for the Orr Family Farm and Matt decided to just stay home with Isabella because she was having one of her "bad" days. (bad days included lots of arching, crying, reflux, seizures, etc.) We tried to always ask ourselves "Is Isabella going to have FUN?" If the answer was "no", we split up. So Jackson and I went solo, had a good time and I comforted myself by saying "No big deal, she'll come with us next year for sure." Hm. Perhaps not though. Once again, it's funny how life changes in a year. Or maybe it's not so funny.....

My aunt lost her daughter in a terrible car wreck 10 years cousin. It was horrible and I talk to her often about how to cope. The other day it struck me that she has been living without her daughter for 10 years. Yes, she's been happy and she has moved on in her own life, which is what healthy people do, but still, 10 years without her child. It made me so incredibly sad to think that at some point I will be able so say "it's been 10 years....." It just doesn't seem real to me.....yes, still. I know it's only been four months since she passed away, but I wonder when it will be real to me. Maybe it will never seem real......only time will tell. There is just the huge hole in my heart as cliche as that sounds, and there is nothing that can fill it. Well, except Isabella, and let's face it, that isn't going to happen.

There are mornings, like this one, when I wake up and out of the blue it really hits me what's missing. Isabella. I will look at the clock and realize she would be waking up right now and I would go into her room and say "goodmorning Princess!!!!" She was always so happy in the mornings and alert. It was one of my favorite times. I would change her diaper and we would "talk" for a while and I would kiss her all over. Then I would feed her the morning cocktail of drugs that kept her going and soon after the light would go out. Oh how I hated those stupid drugs. They stole my baby from me everyday, but she had to have them to survive. Without them she would just have one seizure after another until her heart gave out. Or regurgitate acid all day, or have all of her muscles completely stiff and immobile. My poor girl. It's so incredibly hard to watch your child, your precious child that you love so much suffer and there is very little you can do about it. I would have given anything to have taken it from her. I still would today. I wish we had that option in life, don't you? When Isabella passed away, it only took me two days to get rid of her plethora of medications. I hated them and couldn't wait to have them out of my house. My kitchen window had looked like Walgreens for 14 months! They were a painful reminder of her suffering here on earth, and I needed to be surrounded by the positives of her life.

I guess this is going to be a doozie week, not just a day. That's OK I suppose, I have to get it out when I can.

Husband and I feel so sorry for Turkey, as he lost a sister and lost a sister when he is so young and fragile. I hope we are doing things right and helping him the way we are supposed to, but who really knows, right? Turkey did do something really cute yesterday, I love how children's minds work. He came up to me yesterday with my cell phone (his new favorite toy) and said "Look Mama! Isabella is in your PHONE!" (my wallpaper is a picture I took of her at the park a month before she passed) I said "Oh my goodness she sure is!" He continued to walk around the house and look at her and show her things throughout the house. I thought it was very cute. Well, about a half hour later he says "look, look! now Isabella is showing me the house! I can see you and me and anything I want with the PHONE!". Ok, now I'm really laughing. Turkey somehow pressed the "camera" button and was amazed that wherever he pointed the phone he had "live shots"! He was totally convinced Isabella was in the phone and doing all of this just for him. What a stinker. I didn't correct him and just said "Isabella loves you very much." You know what he said? "Of course she does". :) Talk about counting your blessings......

So, this year the pumpkin patch was a little sad, (ok really sad) and that's alright. We took our three small pumpkins and decorated Isabella's grave (I hate that word!) so it looks nice and festive out there. Maybe next year the pumpkin patch will be better, or maybe it will take 5 years for it to feel better. Either way, I know Isabella is with us and having fun right along side us. We just have to quit feeling sorry for ourselves to see it. Someday...................

Monday, September 24, 2007

Here we go again...

Well, I seem to have the most trouble on these little "month" anniversaries. I am now approaching the 4 month anniversary of Isabella's passing. Man, this just really sucks. I try to be positive, I try to say things like "well, she's not suffering anymore, that's what is most important." I don't always feel that way though. She was my baby....correction, she IS my baby and I usually just want her back. Now that she is gone I feel very selfish. It's like I no longer care that she was clearly miserable here on Earth and probably always would be. At I had her in my arms though.....and could smell her and kiss her. Shortly after Isabella passed away I was giving Jackson a bath and accidentally used her bubble bath (she had her own and Jackson had his own)....well, the smell just about knocked me over. It was so raw, so her I couldn't stand it. I immediately changed the water and put the remaining bubble bath in her closet so I could smell it anytime I wanted. I still go in there and pull it out on tough days, just to remember her smell. Her clean smell anyways.....she had other smells of course ;)

We went to the cemetery today hoping that the bench we bought would be up, but alas it is not. By the weekend, they promise. We'll see. We are going to the pumpkin patch this weekend to pick pumpkins for Isabella's grave (what an awful word right?) and to put up her new fall flowers I bought last week. Husband also requested a maple tree (my favorite) be planted by the bench this fall, for shade and beauty. It's so funny whenever we go out there, I look at my own plot and think "oh yeah, I'm going to die someday too....hmmmm". It's strange facing your own mortality. Death has never really scared me though, it's always seemed so natural to me. Perhaps because so much of my mom and dad's family died when I was a child. I remember many, many funerals. Of course, I never anticipated burying my child. I always thought I would bury my mother or father, that seems much more "natural". Burying a child does not. I'm happy with the cemetery we chose, it's so nice and extremely peaceful. Jackson loves the "big pond" as he calls it. He fishes in it or throws rocks in it whenever we go. We'll try anything to keep him from wreaking havoc on the other grave sites. *sigh* You just have yell "NO!" and cringe a little when he pulls flowers out or steps on headstones. He's three though, what can we expect really?

As the due date of Rollie Pollie approaches I become increasingly anxious about how I will feel when he gets here. I think the fact that he is a boy will most definitely help the situation, but it will be very bittersweet. Our doula suggested we bring a big picture we have of Isabella with us to the hospital while I labor and birth Rollie Pollie, so I can look at her and feel like she is apart of everything. It made me cry tears of joy when she suggested it. How perfect. I'm sure one or two people will think I'm kookie, but that's ok, it's never bothered me before. She also said after Rollie Pollie arrives, she will take a family picture of all of us in bed together and put Isabella's picture in the background. This makes me *extremely* happy. I know she is with me whether I have a picture of her or not, but the visuals help. The sad fact is that there will be a member of our family missing when Rollie Pollie makes his grand entrance. Once again, that just sucks. I hope Rollie Pollie is healthy and ok. I keep telling God "I can't take much more, so go easy on me, OK??" I've been very strong this last year and half, but we all have breaking points. I'm teetering on the edge...........

I miss you my precious girl, my sweet Princess. Mama loves you so much and I cannot wait until we are together forever. I can't wait until I look at your eyes and know that you know exactly who I am. I love you forever and for always.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

So, my EX-doctor thinks I'm crazy.....

Yeah, I'm switching OB's.....I'm 33 weeks and heading to another practice. *sigh* Well, I saw it coming, husband saw it coming, shoot, EVERYONE saw it coming, I just have to be hit with a mack truck it seems to get the hints of my life. Oh, and just to clarify, I'm not going to another OB, I'm going to a midwife now....but I'll get into that later.

So I had my bi-weekly check up with Dr. Evil on Monday. Well, the previous evening I had felt like Rollie Pollie wasn't moving as much....or the same as before. I got a little paranoid. You should know, that Isabella quit moving altogether around 35 weeks, to the point where I really thought she had died in utero, but was assured with Non-Stress Tests that she was P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y Fine. Right. Oooookay. So I continue to get more worked up over night and in the morning while getting ready for said appointment. I call husband. I cry, I panic a little. Husband does what husband does best and talks me off the ledge. Says reassuring things like "Rollie Pollie is fine, maybe he's just tired." "Or fat" We laugh. I'm feeling better......a little better anyways. He decides he needs to leave work and come with me. I protest, he insists.....gosh I love that man. So we're off to see Dr. Evil.

We get to Dr. Evil's office and I inform her nurse that we are concerned, I have what I consider decreased fetal movement, movements have changed, etc. Nurse checks heart rate with crappy doppler, says "his heart is good, everything is fine". Thanks LPN! You must know everything! I wanted to slap her and say, "yeah, I have one of those at home and my daughter's heart was always beating but SHE WAS NOT FINE!". But I don't, because she doesn't really know what she's talking about and I know this. Dr. Evil comes in, all hurried and busy like. (Us little people just have no idea how *hard* their jobs goodness!) Says "you look great, baby looks great, he's moving great, right?" Um, NOPE. Guess you and your super LPN don't converse. I give complaints, she acts annoyed. (once again, her job is *very* hard you know.....and it's completely my fault she CHOSE to be a doctor.......funny how most doctors seem to really hate patients, hm. I'm not sure how they think they are supposed to earn those porsche's?, but I digress) So Dr. Evil sighs heavily and says "well, we'll give you non-stress test" Like she's the one giving it or something. Right. Anyways, we do it for a whopping 20 minutes, she says "well, he kicked 5 times (didn't pay any attention to the accelerations, there were none) we'll see you in two weeks". Fine. Whatever. You're a doctor, so you're a god, I'm stooooopid since I'm not a doctor.

We leave. We eat lunch, I drink some caffeine to see if that will wake our lazy Rollie Pollie up. Yep, it does. Ah.....I feel much better. For a while. Then it continues. Very little movements. More squirms, less kicks. I'm getting really worked up again. I keep having deja vu from Isabella. Fearing the worse is happening again. I drive myself crazy for another 24 hours, break down crying several times, decide to call Dr. Evil's "nurse". Instead of a nurse with instructions I get Dr. Evil herself. How nice. NOT. She immediately says "what EXACTLY can I do for you CRAZY LADY (ok, she calls me by my name, but it was insinuated)" (emphasis on extrememly hateful tone) I stutter for a minute because one I'm surprised a doctor god called a little person like me on the phone and two she's being so incredibly nasty and I'm not sure why. I say something like "uh, I'm not sure, I'm just worried and I just want some reassurance that baby is fine." She says: "well, I gave you a NST, is that not enough???" Well, no, actually it's not dammit! I had several of those with Isabella, was reassured she was fine and she was in fact not fine....but she knows that. She knows all of that. I tell her she is being awfully insensitive to my situation, given what I went through with Isabella AND THEN BURYING HER THREE MONTHS AGO. You know what that EVIL woman says to me? "Well, you knew this pregnancy would be hard." Yeah, I an extent. Did I KNOW my daughter would die when I was 18 weeks pregnant? Nope. Does that complicate things? Just a little. Are my emotions crazy right now? Completely. Is it justified? Totally. I don't owe ANYONE an explanation. Period. Not even a "god doctor". So then she asks if I just want her to take the baby NOW so I can see him. Oh, yes please. I'd love a preemie! Oh yeah! There's the right answer you sarcastic terrible witch woman. So now I'm full on bawling, ashamed at my emotions because the normal me would have ripped her a new one and left HER crying in the fetal position, but I just don't have any fight in me these days.
So Dr. Evil sighs again (I'm really getting tired of those exaggerated sighs at this point, like I'm some insolent three year old) and says "just go to Labor and Delivery tonight and I'll set you up with a Biophysical Profile, will that make you feel better???" I said "hopefully, yes". Another sigh. "let's just have you do TWO of those a week, so you won't bother me". Bother you? BOTHER YOU???? I AM PAYING YOU! I EMPLOY YOU! THAT ESCALADE YOU DRIVE? THAT'S ME YOU BLEEPITY, BLEEPING, BLEEP. Oh, but once again, I digress.

So husband and I go to have the BPP and everything is fine. Rollie Pollie scores an 8 out of 8, which is perfect. I feel better. Husband wants to beat Dr. Evil within an inch of her life, which is so sweet of him. ;) We talk to the nurse........we tell nurse that we are leaving Dr. Evil immediately. We tell her why. She tells us Dr. Evil is not anyone. Oh and she has the highest C-Section rate of ALL OB's at this hospital. Let me tell you, she has a lot of OB's to compete with. Not good. It doesn't really surprise us, since Dr. Evil has been trying to schedule my baby since I was 15 weeks (for convenience of course, I just haven't figured out if it's for mine or hers???) I know it angers her that I wouldn't let her induce me. Well, get over it. I'm an intelligent woman, I do my homework and really, it's my body.....don't I get a say?

Why is it that Doctors don't like educated patients? I asked one of my friends who is an RN that question today, she also use to work for an OB (one that I like and respect by the way and has done a lot for us this pregnancy, he just can't deliver this baby because he's a man, and I have issues with that.) Well she said patients like me make doctors feel "threatened". If you're a good doctor and you're confident in that, then you shouldn't feel "threatened" by what I know. I would never, ever claim to know half of what doctors know, but I don't just take what they say as gospel. I question them. I research on my own. It works for me too. If I weren't that kind of person, Isabella would have missed out on a lot. She would have been ignored. But she wasn't, because I was yelling on her behalf all along. We actually had to switch neurologists with Isabella because the neuro actually said to me "you know too much about a disorder I know nothing about and I don't like it." I give her an A for honesty but a big fat F in humble pie. The next neuro? After talking for 15 minutes, he looked at me and said "I bet you know more than I know about this whole Liss thing don't you?" I looked at him and said "I know I do". He laughed and laughed hard. You know what? I loved him instantly. I actually went into his office and told him Isabella needed to be weaned off this medicine and increase the other one. You know what he said? "That's exactly what I think, you're smart.....ever wanted to be a doctor?" Nope. :) He wasn't the least bit threatened by what I knew. Of course he didn't know a lot about Lissencephaly, why would he? It's not like I knew more about epilepsy or something totally common. I HAD to learn everything. Nobody else knew anything. It's survival....plain and simple. When we met with the doctor in Chicago to discuss Isabella, that doctor was impressed with my knowledge since I had only known she had Liss for 6 weeks. You know why I knew so much? I had googled my brains out and read ALL of his research papers on it. Half of it might as well have been in swahili, but I He gave me a lot of knowledge on that trip and I am grateful. If it has to do with myself or my family, I will learn and I will learn quickly. I will look at things from *every* angle, not just one. Stooopid doctors is what I say. :)

So, off to the midwife we go. Funny, because at the very beginning of the pregnancy I had an appointment with this midwife, but canceled, thought I should go with an "all knowing" doctor. Should have listened to my own voice. I am learning how to do that, very slowly. Eventually God, I promise you won't have to run me over with Mack trucks anymore. I swear. I'm getting there.........

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I think I might actually be crazy.......

Ok, so husband and I are doing this whole child birth thing this time, au natural. I guess I should say that *I* am doing it au natural....husband will just be watching! Well, he'll be helping me, providing massage, words of encouragement, someone to strangle, etc. We did indeed hire a Doula and I am so excited. We will call her "wonder woman". Wonder woman is very nice and oh so intelligent on all things "natural" when it comes to child birth. I am SO excited for this and completely terrified! I love the labor and delivery part of pregnancy, it's such an amazing climax and just plain amazing. I cannot wait to meet Rollie Pollie and see his beautiful face, smell him and feed him with my body. I did not get to have the wonderful breastfeeding relationship with Isabella, because of her disorder. It's been a long time since I have breastfed a sweet little baby and I am READY! It's just so amazing and wonderful to see just what the woman's body is capable of. It's a perfect, whole food. God's gift to our babies!!

So, my previous two munchkins were "medical" births. I have nothing against "medical" births really, simply because I had none of the common complications of them. I guess I got lucky.....or something like that. I have always been anti-induction unless it's an emergency situation (more often than not today, it's NOT) but I grateful for the induction of Isabella. Something in me told me to do it and Thank God I did. You see, we did not yet know of Isabella's severely under developed brain and because of that, she may have never sent my body into labor. The day we decided to induce, they broke my water first and it was stained with meconium (aka, baby poo). Had I not been induced that day, Isabella may have died in utero. It gives me chills just to think of it. My body simply was not responding to her the way it did to Jackson, and now, in hindsight we know why. I was lucky though and my induction went smoothly and quickly. Many other women do not have the same results. But I won't bore you with those stats. You just have to educate yourself! Don't rely on your doctor, please! Trust me, they *do not* have *your* best interest in mind. My OB just flat out told me last week that she wants to induce me for *convenience*. Mine or hers? Hmmmm..... I'm going to go with hers. :O Obviously I am not going to be induced, for anybody's convenience. Rollie Pollie is coming, ready or not. I just have to wait. I'm already uncomfortable, why not endure it for a full 40 weeks??? Shocking, I know.

So, natural child birth. Eeek! I know I can do it and blessedly husband knows I can do it. Whenever I ask if he is getting nervous he just says "no way, I know that you can do this, no problem". Nice! I know I can too, but the thought is still scary. Anything unknown is scary though right? We'll see. I will just be relying on husband, wonder woman and God. :) Hope they pull throug! Hope *I* pull through. "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can". Maybe there is a deeper reason "The Little Engine that Could" has always been my favorite book. :) Such optimism! How can you not love that?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tossing and turning

I can't sleep..........again. I swear, I have spent the majority of this pregnancy, not sleeping. Very different from my previous two pregnancies, as I could have slept all day and night with those. Of course, nothing with this pregnancy is the same, so I shouldn't really be surprised that I am tossing and turning every night. Well, almost every night.

It's been a really rough couple of days with Isabella. My periods of where I am doing really good are getting longer it seems, so that must be a good sign. Or I hope it is, I don't really know. Husband said the other day that he thinks he is doing better than me because I still cry about her a lot. I think that is totally wrong, but I'm a woman and he's a man, and that means we don't agree. ;) I just miss her. It's that simple. I don't have anything more to say than that. I want to hold her again and kiss her again. I don't think anyone really understands how much of myself I gave to Isabella. How hard I fought for her and because of her. How every night I would lay her down in her bed and know that it may be the last time I saw her alive. I would kiss her a million times and tell her how much I loved her just in case it was. Every night......for 14 wonderful months. It's so strange to me that it's over. My brain just can't seem to compute it yet. I asked husband if he ever thought it wouldn't feel strange to not have her here with us and he said "I doubt it." Me too. It still seems very strange to me that I will not watch Isabella grow up here on Earth. I will not ever see her running towards me, or hear her say "mama". It's just plain unfair! Sometimes, when Turkey throws one of his now infamous tantrums, where he literally hurls himself to the floor and screams "it's not fair!" I think to myself, "your right, it's not, it's not fair for any of us" and wish that I could hurl myself on the floor right next to him. Of course if I did that, at this point in my pregnancy, I wouldn't be able to get back up unless husband was around, who would probably be on the phone with the looney bin. Hey, at least Turkey would find it amusing. Or terrifying. Ha.

I'm really getting tired of the comments from family lately on how "wonderful" it will be for me once Rollie Pollie gets here. Like he's a replacement child for Isabella or something. Yes, because once Rollie Pollie arrives, I will just magically forget my daughter and "MOVE ON". Listen, I'm not ever going to "move on" from Isabella. I'm sure my feelings and thoughts on Isabella will change. I'm sure that I won't have this horrible heart ache everyday, forever. (or at least I hope not) I'm sure I will be happy again and my family will be happy again. HOWEVER, I will never, ever, leave Isabella behind. She is still my daughter. She is still Turkey's little sister and Rollie Pollie's BIG sister. (When I say BIG, I mean it, our girl was HUGE!) ;) Isabella's death does not change the relationship. Yes, it changes the dynamic of our relationship with her, but she's still who she was to us. I have to laugh to myself though, because I know it's not their need for US to move on, it's their need to move on. Too bad. As long as you are apart of my life, and coming to my home, you'll see Isabella and hear about Isabella. Always. If you don't like................well, I'm sure you know exactly where you can go without me even having to type it out. :O

I've really started to feel Isabella with me lately. I think she is trying to help me the way that I helped her while she was with us. I know she wants me to be happy, even if it is without her. I know she wants me to love Rollie Pollie, just like I love her. I hate that I feel guilty every time I get excited about Rollie I am betraying her. Of course, my logical self knows that is ridiculous, and that if she were still here, then I wouldn't feel that way. Of course I'd feel guilty that Rollie Pollie was about to take time away from Isabella. *sigh* Mothering has to be the most guilt inducing job EVER. No matter what you do, you feel guilty for something. It's never enough I guess.

Oh, I have to mention that I have some really incredible friends. I thought two friends of mine were having a housewarming party earlier in the week because they just moved in together. I had planned on going for a week and was really excited about it. Then of course, that afternoon, grief strikes and I'm a mess. A wreck. Really hating life. So I cancel, that way I can be totally pathetic and really feel sorry for myself. BAD, BAD idea!!!! One my friends calls me to see if I'm really not coming, I say "yeah" and she says, "well, the problem is that it isn't really a housewarming party, it's a SURPRISE BABY SHOWER FOR YOU!" I felt like the world's biggest BOOB ever! So of course I rushed of the couch (well, I Heave/ho'd) and was out the door in 1 minute. No make up, no fixed hair. Nothing. Those girls are SO sweet and went all out for me. :) Balloons, TONS of food, punch and cake, streamers and a gift :) I had so much fun, I stayed out until 10 pm! (I know, 10 pm is soooooo late, right?) Anyways, if you gals read this silly blog of mine, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I really needed that and I will never forget it. Hands down, the best shower EVER. :) Plus, I have to thank you Miss Thang for the picture of Husband and I that I had never seen, from when we were a hot, young couple. Wow. Husband and I keep laughing over it, and it now has a home on the front of our fridge to remind us of who we were and how we can get back there! :) (minus the copious amounts of alcohol!) ;) I really can't believe I ever looked that young and carefree!! It was beyond fun to "remember when".....I have been doing that ever since that night. Oh, and Miss M. I hope you had fun with the helium!!!

Ok, I feel better now. Writing is so very theraputic. Oh, Rollie Pollie must feel better too, he's kicking up a storm. What a nice feeling. Ok, I need to try and sleep some more. Turkey's first soccer game is today and did I ever mention that I'm the head coach? Yes, me. Nevermind that birth is becoming increasingly imminent, I can still run! Ok, waddle really quick-like, but you get it. Wish us luck. GO LIONS!!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Doula for me!

Well, I am very excited about today. What is so special about today you ask? (ok, even if you didn't ask, I'm telling!) Husband and I are interviewing a DOULA today. If you don't know what a Doula is, go google it for crying out loud! I came to the decision this week that we (or really I) need a Doula for this birth since we are doing it au natural. I swear, with each baby I get a little "crunchier", Husband says I'm almost full blown hippie, which of course I am NOT. Really.

So, the Doula. She is so nice! I called her on Thursday and we talked for over an hour! She is so nice and very informative. I just don't think I can depend on husband to get me through this. He doesn't really know what he's doing, plus he's a busy guy. I mean, if you consider going to school full time, working full time and dealing with ME busy. I do. He just can't read all the books I need him to read, especially when he has really exciting Microeconomics books to read. I'm so jealous.

Now, that being said, husband *must* be there and *must* be my main support. He knows me better than anyone. He knows just how to talk me "off the ledge", so I *need* him there. Plus, I have a good husband and he *wants* to be there. He's so supportive with everything! He totally promotes no drugs, breastfeeding, baby wearing, etc. Kind of surprising when you examine his father.....ah, but we've already discussed wise old man haven't we? Well, here's another "pearl" for you. Wise old man thinks breastfeeding is GROSS and PERVERTED. Yeah, he's a wise one I tell you. Nevermind that God created us that way PERFECTLY, it's just plain GROSS. Okie dokie. He's probably just jealous! ;)

Now, I know a lot of my friends and my mom think I am "crazy" for doing this. But I swear I am not. It's really the way it should be done if it can be done that way. I will admit though, that as my due date approaches I get a little more nervous. Once again, that's where my little Doula steps in. She knows her stuff, she knows what to say and how to help me r-e-l-a-x. I am really not good at relaxing. It's just not my style, man! So, the nerves are coming. I'm sure that's normal. I mean, we are talking about me delivering one of husbands giganto children from a seemingly teeny tiny space. And the contractions.......oh the contractions. It all works out though, the body knows what's up and how to take care of business. I trust my body to do what's right. I think. Maybe. We'll see anyways!

Oh, and if you didn't know, today is the first game of my #1 team :) Ah, I can already here the Pride playing "Boomer Sooner" GO SOONERS!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another day

Well, gee don't I sound excited about my "another day"? I am just tired and cranky this morning. Sleeping is no longer comfortable for me, I just heave and ho all night long to change positions. Lovely husband even said at one point "it's so annoying listening to you change positions all night." Right. Because it's extra fun to actually do it. Silly husband, he's lucky I love him so much ;)

The real reason I'm so cranky is because I've had something weighing on my mind and talking about hasn't helped yet, so I guess I'll write about it and see what that does for my peace of mind. And maybe, just maybe someone will read this, encounter someone down the road who has lost a child or will lose a child and will learn from what they read here and not be a complete moron. Maybe.

You see, when Isabella was diagnosed with Lissencephaly we had an outpouring of support, love and help. It was amazing, and almost spiritual. Husband and I just couldn't get over it........people didn't run from us, they ran to us! I will never forget that and cherish it to this day. Now fast forward to NOW and it's another story. It goes something like this: Isabella dies, our family and friends are fantastic the week she dies, then they are GONE. Poof. It's over. It turns out people don't really like it when a baby/child dies. Well, guess what? Neither do the parents! (shocking I know) I swear, if I didn't absolutely know better, I would almost swear that I am the carrier of some terrible, earth shattering plague. At least where people who know me are concerned. I either get the huge, sad, puppy eyes or I get total avoidance. Gee, which is better?? I went to my former workplace a few weeks ago (didn't want to go, I HAD to go) and it was the strangest experience. I mean, these people who rallied around me when I found out about my daughter's disorder scattered like mice when they saw me coming. Four out of the 12 people working said "Hi" to me. Most just avoided me and talked to my three year old. Afterall, he is safe, he won't talk to you about his dead sister. Or so you think.....hahaha. He told of them that he was pregnant like me with his sister and he was bringing her back. Imagine the shocked and horrified faces. I just met every horrified stare with a big smile. Yep. That's my kid! We all talk about death in this family, there is no escaping us!!!!! Ok, so I'm clearly feeling a little sarcastic as well today.

That's not even the worst part. Husbands family is the worst part. It's like Isabella never even existed. She's dead, she's gone, let's move on and keep pretending we're perfect!! That's what we do best! Deny, deny, deny! Thanks to them my husband has a host of fantastic issues when it comes to our daughter. I shouldn't just bag on my in-laws, believe me my family can stink sometimes too, it's just that during this they have been *fantastic*, my mom has been my rock and my dad and brother are even great! My family is just so open and honest that I don't have to be afraid to talk to them or cry in front of them. They didn't ignore Isabella and they don't try to hide her now. But oh my, if I cried now in front of husbands It would not be pretty. Let me just put it to you like this: the last time Isabella was sick with a pneumonia, it was a bad one. So, of course I was upset, because we never knew if "this was it" for her. So husbands emotion-less parents come over (who knows why, it certainly wasn't to provide words of support) and I'm holding my princess on the couch crying. Husbands wise father says "well, you need to just GET HAPPY in the SAME BRITCHES". I almost started choking at his wisdom. I have some little pet names for him, but I won't share them here ;) Anyways, I bit my tongue like I have a million times around that man, because really, what's the point? Oh, and the one and only time I didn't bite my tongue around him was the day we buried our daughter, wise old man offered another "pearl of wisdom" and since I did not agree with him (I never do) I spoke up. Enough was enough dammit! I just buried my daughter you thoughtless jerk! Well, guess where that got me AND husband? Basically disowned. Yeah. Really. Oh, and husband was told to keep me on a shorter leash. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. riiiiiight. So clearly, he really doesn't know me. That's husbands family in a nutshell. I said something wise old man didn't agree with, so now we don't exist and neither does our dead daughter. Well, guess what? She does exist and I will bring her up every time I see your faces just to make you uncomfortable. I guess if husband dies it will be the same thing. "He's gone, let's move on". For the record, if you ever die husband and leave me to fight the wolves that are your family by myself, I will really give it to you in the next life! :) I love you husband, I think I got the only normal one out of your family. Oh, just kidding. His whole family isn't nuts, just 75% of them. His sisters are great too, so I should mention that. It's really his parents, which is what makes it so much harder to handle. I can't imagine facing this without my mom. Much less my mom disowning me days after my daughter died because I said something she didn't agree with. Such is ignorance I guess.

Ok, so there is a real, honest vent to read. I know everyone has crazies in their family and I unfortunately am no exception to the rule. Death brings out the worst in people and I just don't get it. So please, if you know me, don't avoid me. Ask how I'm doing and don't be Afraid of my response. I WANT to talk about Isabella, no I NEED to talk about her. If it makes you sad or uncomfortable, DEAL WITH IT!, or better yet imagine how it makes ME feel. I live with it every second of the day and night. You don't. You just have to feel awkward for a moment, then you get to go back to your happy life, with your healthy kids. I wish my life could be so easy. Losing a child is not a contagious disease, ok? Don't act like it is! You won't "catch it" by being friends with me or asking how I'm doing. I promise. I have never known anyone in my life who has lost a child, I'm the first. Same for husband. We feel very alone in this. It would help a little if you wouldn't scatter or stare when we walk in a room. We are still the same people, just deeply wounded. I still have my same sarcastic sense of humor. I still love my life. There is simply a piece of me missing and if my arm were missing you would still talk to me. It's the same concept. My "arm" is gone and I will always miss it terribly, but it's not coming back.

Ok, time to go enroll Turkey in preschool. OMG. I'll save that for another day.............

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

some pictures of my sweeties

Turkey holding Isabella, she loved to let her big brother hold her (and kiss her!)
one of my favorite pictures of Isabella, just after her shower with me!
Isabella at the park, isn't she gorgeous?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Together forever..................someday

I am quickly approaching the three month mark of the death of Isabella and somehow her being gone doesn't seem real to me yet. Even still, when I think of it, it strikes me as so odd that she is really gone. I keep saying to Matt, "I can't believe she's really gone......." Do I expect her to come back? Not really. I am visiting her grave once a week now and I feel better about that. I was going everyday and it just made me so sad. Everytime I went I would just cry and cry, then go to my car, cry some more, then go home and yes, cry more. Besides, I know Isabella isn't really there, just her body, which is almost more than I can stand.

I keep re-playing in my head the night she passed away and having to give her away to some stranger and know that I would never kiss her sweet face again. I can hardly even type about it. I don't think I will ever come across a more difficult task than this in my lifetime. They gave us all the time we wanted/needed with Isabella before I told them to make the call. I think it was about 4 hours after she passed. Husband, Turkey and I just laid in bed with her for the last time. The funeral director is a wonderful man and made things as easy as I guess they could be. However, nothing could make the moment less traumatic for me. Now I am willing to admit that I briefly considered taking her and getting in my car and driving off. Now I kind of laugh at that, because of course, that's crazy. Where in the world was I going to take her anyways?? I don't think I even knew. I just knew that I didn't want to give her away. People can tell me until they are blue in the face that it was just Isabella's "body" not her "soul" and while yes, I believe that, her body meant a lot to me. It was her face that I kissed five million times a day. It was her body I bathed with mine in the shower a thousand times. I fed her and dressed her and hugged her to me. The physical loss is a huge loss and it's a pain that is so deep I've thought that I might actually die from it. So far though, I haven't, which I guess is a good thing! ;)

I had another parent of a Liss baby who passed away tell me that eventually I will forget the bad stuff like giving her body up and burying her. All I will remember are the times when she was alive and healthy. I really wish that would happen sooner rather than later, but I guess you can't rush this stuff. I truly believe you have to get through the bad to get to the good. If you skip the bad, you don't really heal the right way.

I miss her so intensely, I would just give anything to hold her one more time.....even on her most horrible "archy" day. I guess I should explain "archy", that was one of my many nicknames for her. Because of Isabella's Lissencephaly she would literally arch backwards like a giant C. Sometimes, if I let her, she could touch the back of her head to her bottom. Quite amazing to watch. I swear it was like she had no spine at all! Of course she did in fact have a spine and by the time she passed away I'm pretty sure she had some scoliosis from all that "wonderful" arching. :) Anyways, somedays she would just arch and arch and arch, and it usually meant something. Like, "put me down, I don't want to held anymore" or "pick me up! I want to be held again!" One time, I had her in her special "feeder" seat in my bedroom in front of the tv (she *loved* to watch videos with Turkey on a good vision day) and Turkey was watching with her while I took a quick shower. Well, 5 minutes into the shower Isabella starts whining a little (which was odd for her, she didn't whine/cry a lot), so I listened and eventually the whines got louder and angrier. I took a peak at her around the shower curtain and sure enough, she was arching right out of her chair. I immediately rushed out and grabbed her and knew exactly what she was so upset about. How dare mommy take a shower without me!!!! I laugh just thinking about it again. So I undressed her and brought her in with me and she immediately relaxed and went to sleep in my arms. My sweet girl. She loved her showers. My showers won't ever be the same without her. I took a shower with her every night the last three days she was on this earth. I will never forget the way she felt in my arms and how she loved to have the water rush over her head. (very odd considering she hated to have her head touched)

I miss you baby girl, and I love you so very much. I know we will be together forever someday..............

Sunday, August 19, 2007

For once, some good news

Well, we had our (hopefully) last ultrasound on Friday for Rollie Pollie. I am 28 weeks and time is flying by now! Things look really good, his brain is developing (Praise God!) and he's looking perfectly healthy in there. He is already a little on the big side, but I figured that. I have yet to have a small baby. Of course the OB's are already talking "Induction"....gee whiz I hate that. Why should I have to argue about when my baby is coming? Hello, I'm an intelligent woman, I know my stuff and I also know the *real* reason you want to induce. CONVENIENCE! I don't think so, you make six figures a year, you can come deliver my baby at 3 am! Or send a resident, I don't care, it's not like OB's do anything outrageous when you deliver a baby! They just catch, suction and pass it off to the nurses who do the rest. WOW. Of course, that's if everything goes right. :) I know that they do a lot more than just that, I'm just venting. I'll stand my ground and let this big guy come when he is good and ready. Only he knows when it's time, thankyouverymuch! Besides, I am doing this one without any drugs, so I really don't want the fake contractions. Those are waaaaaay worse than the real thing, believe me! Mother nature is much kinder than man in this case :)

Of course this last week has been full of emotion. I often wonder if I will ever reach a point in my life again where I am calm and at total peace with my world. It's been so long since I've felt that way. I can look at pictures before Isabella and it rips my heart out. Husband and I did a taped interview for a genetics something or other a couple of months before Isabella passed away. The interviewer asked us to describe our lives before Isabella. I totally lost it and husband almost did. I'm crying just thinking of it now. I feel guilty for feeling that way, like I have been so miserable since Isabella. That's not true at all. I had some real happiness when she was here, but it was hard. And life after Isabella is even harder. So when does my life get "easy" again? Ever? Was I really blissfully, totally and completely happy before Isabella? No, of course not. I'm not sure that is really possible. Was I blissfully ignorant to the cruelties of this world? OH, YEAH! Did I have my life mapped out perfectly? Yep. Did I have Isabella's life mapped out and our life together mapped out? Sure did. We were going to be best friends, I was going to be the best mom I could to her and always be there for her. We would go shopping together, talk about boys, teach her how to put on make-up, all that good stuff :) I just couldn't wait. I'm a pretty girly-girl myself and the idea of me having my own daughter was just too much! I did get to do some things with Isabella. I tried to really take advantage of my time with her. I made tutu's for her and bows, bought copious amounts of super girly clothes for her to wear. Everyday was a dress up day for us :) I had fun, even is she could have cared less. I went overboard in decorating her room, it's completely pink, with a splash of pink. Who knows if I'll ever get to do that again? I like to think that I will get to a point where I am really content again. Of course, I will be content and missing Isabella, but I hear that I will just learn to live with that pain and it will not always consume me like it does now. Here's hoping!

Now, life after Isabella is a whole other ball-game. Right now, it's a battle. A battle to not be completely lost and sad and all day. A battle to get out of bed and take on the world, because I have to, not because I want to. A battle to make her proud and remain the mom I was before she left me. I love my kids so much, I am so dedicated to my job. I have always wanted to be a mother. Not a doctor or lawyer, just a good mom. Like anything else, it's not as easy as I imagined or as glorious, but it's wonderful. I keep meeting these mom's who have also lost babies to genetic defects. God is really showing me that I am not alone in this battle. There are many, many mothers right there in the trenches with me. I met two of these mothers last night while volunteering at my church. Amazing women, who both lost their first borns shortly after birth because of defects. They were women like me, young, middle class, educated. They didn't do anything wrong, it just happened. It's funny, because they thought it was so much worse for me because I had Isabella for 14 months and then she died and I feel the exact opposite! I feel so blessed to have had her for 14 months! I have so many memories of her and pictures and videos, I love it. She was and will always be a real part of our family. Of course the other side always seems worse and I don't think one is actually worse than the other. The loss of a child is the same no matter if you had them for months or minutes.

I'm anxious for when Rollie Pollie gets here. I have so many conflicting emotions and thoughts. I know of course that I will love him just like I love all my babies, but it will be bittersweet. I should have three kids, instead I will have two. It seems lonely, only because one is missing. It wouldn't feel that way if he was really my second. I know Isabella is with us in spirit though. She came to me in a dream recently. She was a beautiful teenager which I thought was so funny. Also, we didn't talk much, I didn't go on and on with the millions of things I want to say to her and ask her. She simply said "I just wanted you to know that I have already met Rollie Pollie and let me tell you, he is a wild one! He will be trouble, but he will be so much fun!" :) I love to think that their souls have already met, Rollie Poilie just won't remember it. I will tell him later about my dream of course and let him know of his big sister's prediction for him :) Now we just have to see if she is right!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good to be home

So we are home again after our weekend away at the beach. Turkey had so much fun and it was nice spoil him rotten (like he's ever *not* spoiled, you get the idea). He loved the beach as expected, the water in Galveston isn't the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean by any means, but it worked :) We all took a boat ride in the harbor to watch for dolphins (one of Turkey's favorite creatures) and we saw SO many! The captain said he were very lucky, but I think Isabella helped out a little for her big brother. He really enjoyed it and so did husband and I!! I felt like a kid again, getting all excited to see a fin move in the water. We also took Turkey to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner one night, what a neat place! He loved it and we spent a small fortune, but it was worth it. :)

I did pretty good most of the trip, had a few shaky moments, but recovered well. That is, until our last morning there. We woke up early and went straight to the beach to hang out for a couple of hours and then went to our hotel, cleaned up and decided to go by a couple of cool souvenir shops we had seen on the beach. Well, we get in the first one, I'm looking around at all the "crap" (that's all it is really, but I'm a huge sucker for "crap") and I see these cute little colorful cups with kid names on them. Innocent enough right? WRONG. Those tiny, stupid cups that I now loathe were just staring at me. I knew I shouldn't go over and look for her name on a cup, but I did it anyways. Of course, right there staring at me was THE cup, that read "Isabella". There was only one left. I wanted to buy it, but why should? She would never drink out it, hell she would have never drank out of it if she were still here! Now, I should tell you that there is even more meaning behind this cup, beyond the fact that it had Isabella's name it. Life can be cruel beast sometimes and I know this more than most. You see, two summers ago, we took a trip to San Antonio. At the time I was 8 weeks pregnant. I already knew that if we were to have a girl, her name would be Isabella. I already knew that I was having a girl. Not conclusively, I mean, I was only 8 weeks, but instinctively I knew I was having a girl. Well, lo and behold we were on our last day of the trip there and we went to The Alamo. Went to the gift shop. What do you think I found? That very same cup, with Isabella's name. We found Turkey's too and bought his, but husband would not let me buy the Isabella one because he said "you don't KNOW it's a girl yet and that's silly". I wish I would have told him to shove it and bought it anyways. So, I didn't buy the stupid cup the first time I saw it because I was just barely pregnant and had no real idea at that time that I was carrying my sweet girl. The second time I see it, I have had my sweet girl Isabella, and she is gone. That's just really unfair, don't you think? Needless to say I began weeping uncontrollably in the middle of the gift shop and husband had no idea why. I just put my glasses on and walked out. I have been crying on and off since then. I was so happy to get home last night and walk through my front door and see the giant picture of her on the wall!

Husband and I talked this morning about how different our lives are now. How strange our family feels. We are back to being a family of three, not a family of four. It's like a part of me has been severed and I don't know what to do without that limb. I am having to learn all over again how to be human, but with a part of me missing. A part that will not grow back, or be replaced. Gone. It's overwhelming really when it gets like this. I have good periods and bad periods, and right now I'm in a bad one. I find it so ironic that the vacation made me miss her so much more, but I know she would have been miserable! She would have hated the busy, loud restaurants, the beach would have been way too hot, she hated water, unless it was warm and I was holding her, we couldn't have taken the boat ride together (no wheelchair access), the list goes on and on. For the 14 months we had her here, we did not spend much time together as a family of four, so it strikes me as very odd that we notice so much how we are not a family of four any longer. It was always one of us staying home with Isabella and one of us going with Turkey somewhere fun that Isabella would not enjoy. I shouldn't say *always*, there were times when we all did stuff together, they were just fewer and farther between. Despite the stuggles, despite everything, we'd give anything to have her back. Of course, I'd really like to have her back and have her healthy. But alas, that it is not going to happen. At some point I know I have to accept that. Someday...........not now though.

I love you Isabella and you never leave my mind or my heart. You will always, always, always, be my Princess. Nothing could ever replace you in my life or my heart. I love you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I've had several little epiphanies lately. All regarding my life and experience with Isabella. For so long I've had the questions of "why", "how", the "purpose", etc. It's funny how when something terrible and hurtful happens in your life you first think "what the.....?" and then later you gain perspective (if you look for it that is). I've been gaining perspective these last few weeks and it feels good. Isabella's purpose was so far reaching that it amazes me. Will I ever be able to see my own purpose as clearly as I see hers? Probably not. I truly don't believe that Isabella's purpose is even close to completion, and I really love that.

I now know that Isabella showed me some truly wonderful people in this world, which in turn showed me how I had become lost from the wonderful person I use to be. I was becoming very cynical and losing some of my compassion for others. I am working towards that "old" me now and it feels good. I use to love volunteering and helping others in any way I could! I use to have a heart!! I use to blow the little things off and just count my blessings. Isabella brought that all back to me. I met some really amazing and compassionate people who had TRUE good intentions for my family and I will never forget them.

On the flip-side, Isabella also showed me some of the real ugliness in some around me. That is always a painful experience, because don't we all want to believe that we chose the right people in our lives and have good judgment? However we don't always chose the right people (I'm exceptionally good at choosing bad people!) and we don't always have good judgment. I'm not sure why in the past I have always done that, but I'm more careful now. I finally learned my lesson......... husband is so happy, because he's warned me about *several* people in my past and I always told him he was wrong, and guess what? He was right every.single.time. Kind of frustrating! :) And although it's painful to see some people close to you are not good and kind, it almost always feels good when you "clean up" the friendship closet. You see, you gain perspective. For the first time in a long time I have great people around me, and thank goodness because I need good people more than any other time in my life right now. Thank you Isabella.

One more thing Isabella brought back to me. My faith. It started last winter and I was more surprised than anyone. (of course my mom was relieved, she feared I would be mad at God forever.) I was mad at God. Really, really mad. I needed someone to blame for her Lissencephaly, and God was an easy target for me. You see, I follow every rule in pregnancy, heck even BEFORE pregnancy. I don't eat x,y,z, I don't take ANY medications (maybe a tylenol), I try to eat good foods, I try to get my exercise, etc. So imagine my surprise to find out my daughter has a genetic birth defect. I was like "a WHAT?" But husband and I were so perfect, so "above that". HA. Turns out that isn't really true, and I was pissed. So God is totally responsible,right? He did this on purpose to my daughter, to my family! I will never love or trust in Him again! Wrong. Probably last November/December I began to make peace with that thought train-wreck. I don't believe God did this to Isabella on purpose or to Matt and I on purpose. Yes, I believe he saw it coming. Yes, he knew this would be more than difficult for us. BUT, He also saw that Isabella would do so much good. She would change her mother, her father, shape her older brother and change hundreds in her community and across the globe. Yes, across the globe. I have actually spoken with a woman in Australia who will always remember my Isabella and hug her children tighter and take them for granted less. Wonderful. I am a better person because of Isabella, I finally have a direction in my life that I had been longing for, for years. Matt is a stronger, better father. Jackson is the sweetest, most compassionate three year old you will ever meet. I still feel blessed in my life, if you can believe it. I feel blessed to be Isabella's mother. This little girl, who was powerless, had the power to change people around her and I am in awe. Oh, and I get to be her mother for eternity..........kind of neat :) So in the end, I realized that God is still GOOD and has my back, as usual. That never really changed. I just didn't see it at first. It's so hard to see things at first, isn't it? Those darn emotions usually get in the way. You just have to wait for the fire to simmer down and the smoke to clear and you will gain the perspective you need. Be patient, it's coming............

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A much needed rest

Well, it probably won't really be "restful", but we are heading to the beach for three days soon. I really cannot wait. We saved and saved for this and now it's finally here. Too bad I am officially in my third trimester and feeling the heat! I'm sure we'll manage to keep mama happy and comfortable though :O Turkey really needs this trip and since it's his first trip to the ocean he is so very excited. I wish we had the money to stay longer, but someday we will, I just know it.

Naturally, we first planned this trip to be with Isabella. I wanted at least one family vacation with her. Does it really matter? No. Would she have truly loved it? Probably not. But it was important to me, to have those memories. Of course when I think of it in a logical way, I know that Isabella hated changes of atmosphere and really disliked lots of people and noise. But she would have loved the ocean, I just know it. My sweet girl just loved to be outside, no matter when, no matter where. I like to think that she will be with us in spirit this weekend, enjoying the sun and water with us. See? I'm *trying* to be positive, here! If I'm going to be totally honest, which I might as well be, who is reading this anyways?, I will tell you that in my head I'm thinking "THIS IS CRAP!" "She should be here, she shouldn't have had Lissencephaly, I hate that WORD".

You know people are so funny. I hear the strangest things from those around me, and even though I know they mean well, it bugs the hell out of me. For instance, "someone" sat next to me on the couch the other day while visiting and I mentioned in the conversation "you know, since I've been depressed lately" and this "someone" looked at me in shock and said "your depressed?????" UH, YEAH. You know, since my DAUGHTER died and all, I just haven't felt real cheery! Somebody husband works with lately looked at him and said "so are you and wifey still sad?" Nah, I mean c'mon it's been two freakin' months.....we're totally over that whole mess! Yeah, man, we're still "sad". Gee whiz. If you are reading this, take a mental note and don't say crap like this if you ever have to deal with someone who has lost a child ok? Yes they are "depressed"......not clinically depressed, but SAD! I don't need prozac or anything, my SADNESS is justified! We are not more at peace with this because Isabella was sick or had an under-developed brain. I would be just as heartbroken if it were my normal child. I don't love Isabella less because of her shortcomings. That's not love. In fact, I love her MORE because of them. So there!

However I digress. I know I have a "serene, together" appearance. I can't help it....I'm not a weak person by nature, so I don't give that impression. So I guess I can't really blame people for being surprised that on the inside I am a totally different story. One woman described it perfectly. She said that I may appear like a duck on water.....floating peacefully across the pond, but underneath my little feet are paddling like crazy to stay afloat and maintain that calm apearance. WOW. That's really just perfect for what it's like to be me these days.

My main point though all this random babbling is that no matter what we do now, someone is missing. It's so intensely painful, and even though we push through and put smiles on our faces, believe me......when we get home at night we look at each other and say "I sure missed Isabella tonight". So when you see me smiling, laughing, pretending to be OK with my circumstances, I am always missing Isabella. I am acutely aware of who is missing in that moment of laughter. I'm sure that will never change for husband and I. I keep hearing and reading that eventually the pain will ebb and we will learn to live with our loss. But the loss itself will never change. She will always be the missing piece in our lives and yes, I think that just plain stinks.

So this weekend, we will go to the beach and I will love watching Turkey play and experience the ocean for the first time, but in my mind I will be wishing with everything in me that Isabella could be there too, it's what was supposed to happen, but did not.

I miss you Princess, I really do.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The beginning

Tonight I have been thinking of the day we found out about Isabella's Lissencephaly. I think of that day quite often actually, and I'm not really sure if that's "ok" or not "ok". It's just an infamous day in my personal history, so I go there often, even though it is incredibly painful to do so. Perhaps I am hoping that by re-visiting it often, the pain will subside eventually? Who knows?

Anyways, the beginning. I woke up in the middle of the night (around 5am) for no apparent reason. Isabella was asleep in the co-sleeper beside my bed and something just didn't feel right to me. I looked over at Isabella to check on her and her eyes were wide open and looking upwards. She was also arched back and jerking in a rhythm. I immediately snatched her up, yelled at husband to "wake up!" and we rushed her into the kitchen. (later we would question why we did that and didn't just turn on the bedroom's amazing what you do when you are in a panic!) By the time we arrived in the kitchen she had stopped doing whatever it was that she had been doing and we just stared at her for a few moments questioning each other as to what that was. I'll be honest, right at that moment, I knew exactly what it was.....I was just not prepared to admit it to myself or my husband. It was a seizure. A plain as day seizure. As luck would have it, I worked in the ER as a secretary and knew all of the doctors there, so I called them up, knowing they would not diagnose her over the phone and that if I wanted answers I would have to bring her in. The question was, did I really want an answer to this? So we waited. We checked her temperature (I was so hoping for a high temperature to give reason for this seizure, but alas, her temp. was fine). We fed her. She went to sleep briefly and then suddenly woke up and had another seizure right there in husband's arms while we watched. My mind was reeling. "What the HELL is going ON????" So I decided to take her to the ER. Turkey was still asleep (it was almost 7 am at this point) and I convinced husband to stay with him; I didn't want to be that parent who drags their children out of bed to the ER.

So off Isabella and I went. I drove so fast to that ER the whole time saying to her "Don't worry sweet girl, everything is fine".......I don't know who I was trying to convince, her or myself. I started immediately to rationalize the seizures, "perhaps it's epilepsy?", "maybe her neurological system is just immature and it's working things out"......I mean, really, does that even make sense?

We arrived and everyone kind of started kidding me about being a paranoid mom, which I was so beyond grateful for. It kind of gave me the sense that things were really going to be alright and maybe I was just being neurotic! The doctor decided to just give her a Cat Scan and see how things looked before drawing blood or anything invasive. Of course, I couldn't have agreed more with that game plan! Especially since I was totally unaware that the Cat Scan would deliver the largest blow I had ever received.

I'll never forget the moment my life was changed forever. I kept waiting for the doc to come in and give me Isabella's results. I knew it was taking a really long time and I was getting irritated. I should tell you that my mom was an RN in this ER at the time and I had been trying to get a hold of her to tell her the situation so she could come be with me. When I saw my mom I was a bit puzzled, like "who called her?" and then I saw her go out of my line of vision with the doctor. That was when the first feeling of fear set in for me. Then it happened. So fast, it was like a freight train hit me head on and I couldn't move....I just watched it come at me and waited. The doctor walked in with my mom, who was already crying and he shut the doors. I immediately started crying and said "what is the matter with my baby!? Tell me right now!!" He walked over to me, sat down in front of me, touched my leg and said "Isabella has something called Lissencephaly" (which of course meant nothing to me), he went on, "her brain did not finish developing in the womb and it never will. She will be severely developmentally delayed". Now those are words I understood perfectly. No explanation needed, thanks. I vaguely remember screaming out "NO" or something and crying like I have never cried in my life. I just clutched Isabella to me screaming and crying. I remember thinking that he must be telling me lies, that he had something to gain by saying these awful things to me. This simply could not happen to me or my daughter. I'm young! I'm healthy! I follow all the rules when pregnant! What is Lissencephaly! I think they just made that up! That one moment, that seizure, changed everything for me and my family. I was beyond devastated and I won't even go into how horribly devastated my husband was when he got there and received the same blow. It still devastates me I suppose. It haunts me and sometimes I still can't believe this is my life, that I have had a child, loved a child and lost a child. I don't think any of us picture life unfolding in this way, I know I never did. I would get married to the man of my dreams, we would have 4 kids, a nice house and ride off into the sunset. Funny, life never really works out that way does it? The point is, do you lay down and take it, or do you fight back with everything in you?

In the beginning, I fought back. I went home that day from the ER (which was long, terrible day of EEG's, IV's, seizures and more) and immediately began researching Lissencephaly and brain development. I immersed myself in it. I became a pro, very quickly. I got Isabella in to see the world expert in Chicago by the time she was 12 weeks old, even though he had a 9 month waiting list. (He later told me I was the most aggressive parent he had met, and he meant it in a good way.) I researched and read until I couldn't see straight. I learned more than her neurologist would ever know about the disorder and then some. That was the first month. The beginning.

The second month post diagnosis was not so valiant. I cried that month. I couldn't get out of bed sometimes. I wanted to quit. I'll even admit, I wanted to die. The pain was so intense I almost could not bare it. I ached so badly for Isabella. I wanted to fix her, I wanted to find a miracle cure for her. I wanted to give her my brain, to give her a better life to take away her seizures. I could not do those things and that was so painful and hard to accept.

I am at the end of the second month post-losing Isabella and let me tell you, it's just like that first second month. Hell, pure and simple. Way worse than the first month. I have cried so hard I vomited.........I have found myself staring at nothing for who knows how long. I don't want to cook (something I use to do with pleasure), I don't want to clean, I don't want to fix my hair. I just want to curl up and die. Now of course, I fight these things. I make myself clean, cook and fix my hair *most* days. Oh, and obviously I take care of and love Turkey. I try to hide this side of me from him and fake a smile for him whenever possible. I'm a fighter by nature and refuse to let life beat me down. Boy, life is a tough fighter though, a fierce competitor.

I'm looking forward to month three now though, it's when I got renewed strength after Isabella's diagnosis and I am hoping for the same thing this time around. I do have a lot of other things to live for and I do know that I will be happy again, it will just take time. I want Isabella to be proud of me and proud of how I live my life without her. I know she does not want me to "curl up and die", she wants me to live, so she can live through me here. And that is just what I intend to do. :)