1 year 

365 days. That is how long I have been without you. 1 whole year has passed and I have thought of you every single day. Time has flown by but some days felt like they lasted an eternity. Leo speaks of you often and asks to visit baby Scarlett all of the time. I try to make it out weekly and bring fresh flowers each time. Whenever we visit ever since the dandelions have popped up and I tell Leo it is time to leave he picks dandelions and brings them to the angel statue on Scarletts headstone and puts them in her hands. “He says, Here you go baby Scarlett, I love you”. I have a picture of Scarlett as my screensaver on my phone and Leo looks at it daily. The other day out of nowhere Leo wakes up from nap and grabs my phone and brings up her picture. He points it at me and says, “This is mommy”. He presses her against his foot where he has a splinter and has her “kiss” it and then brings it away from it and says “all better”. He wants to show her his room and points the phone to his room and says, “This is Leos bed”. He is quite the show off lately but I love that with absolutely no coercing from me he wants to include her in our daily lives. He loves his new baby sister Eve but he is pretty confused. He calls Evelyn, Scarlett on a daily basis. He will get it eventually, but I get why he is confused. I got pregnant 8 weeks after losing Scarlett. I am going to be honest and real in this post. When I found out the baby was a girl I was a mess. I didn’t know how to feel like I wasn’t replacing the daughter I had just lost. She was my girl. She was supposed to be here and be doing all the mother/daughter things I always wanted. The whole pregnancy I found it hard to connect. On one hand I had just suffered a tremendous loss after a traumatic pregnancy and on the other I was deathly terrified that something was going to go wrong. It was like I was hardwired now to think that way. At every milestone Eve passed I was just waiting for the next time for them to tell me something was wrong. I on multiple occasions would accidently refer to the babies nursery as Scarletts or even the baby herself. I felt like a terrible person but it just was how I felt. I did not get pregnant again to replace Scarlett. She is my daughter and always will be. Eve is her own person and has brightened my world like nobody else could. She has a healed a huge part of me. Holding a lifeless baby in your arms, not hearing a cry when you delivered, and having to give your baby to a nurse and have her walk away…and you leave the hospital with nothing but a broken heart and empty belly is something I will never recover from. But having Eve come out crying, and pressing her warm skin against my chest, and bringing her home has done enormous amounts of healing on my emotional state. I see so much of Scarlett in Eve. I know that Scarlett picked just the right sister to give to us. I still have hard days. I still have really hard days. I could have 10 more children and there would still be a piece of me missing. That will never happen. I am so done having children and more than done being pregnant…ever again. But it is bittersweet. The only time I got to really know Scarlett was from the inside. Through all the pain, the trauma, the weight gain, and the hormone craziness I would do it all again for my kids. I hate the stretch marks but at the same time love them because they are proof Scarlett was here. She was a person. She had a heart and it positively beat. She kicked and pushed and I felt all of it. She gave me those stretch marks and they were a sign that she was growing. She was living. I wish more than anything that she got to experience more of life than that but she didn’t. It wasn’t part of her plan. I miss her everyday. I think of her everyday. I think of the 8 months we shared. I remember every feature on her face. Her tiny elbows and long skinny fingers. I spent an entire night holding her and it will forever be one of the most cherished moments of my life. 1 year has passed and in that 1 year I have graduated college, started a new job, a pregnancy, went through labor and delivered a baby, we built a house, and moved. All of this because life does go on. There was a time I felt like I wanted it all to stop but now, how lucky am I to have her guiding me along the way. She is still here. Just because she isn’t physically here I feel her presence constantly. 11:11 is our thing. Whenever I see that time I take a minute and talk with her. When her song randomly pops on the speakers in my car from my playlist I know she is there. I cry like a baby but I know she is with me. There are so many times and so many decisions this past year that I know she was there with me. I have to believe that. I have to because if I didn’t I would no longer be me. I wouldn’t be able to. My life will never be the same but it will be all the better because I had you in it Scarlett Olivia Reynolds. I wish you were turning 1 with me on earth and we were throwing you a big party but instead I will have to say Happy first Birthday up in Heaven baby girl. You will always be my first girl just not my one and only anymore. Celebrate so big. Today is your day. I will be thinking of you like always but today it’s all about you. Today is the day my world was shattered but also the day my heart was full because I got to meet you. This 1st year and 50 more from now….i love you and I always will. 

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Due Date

​Today was Scarlett’s due date. Today I am supposed to be holding my newborn baby in my arms. Instead my arms are empty and I am laying new flowers at her grave. I try to think positively about all of this but it is hard. I let myself think that maybe she chose us. I put it in an analogy like there is a line of kids in heaven and she was gonna have this diagnosis no matter what and she picked me because she knew that no matter how long a life she lived I would love her and try my best to care for her to the best of my ability. I also think of it like if there was a child that was terminally ill and there was no cure and had nobody to care for them I would take them in even knowing the time spent would be brief. I would make the time they had meaningful and make them feel love. When I think of Scarlett’s short life with me in that way it makes me feel a bit


 better. Like if she was gonna go to someone regardless I’m glad she chose me. Every day is still hard. I visit her weekly sometimes multiple times a week and change out her flowers. I think of her almost constantly. It is getting a little easier for me to talk about her with people. I miss her though more than I’ve ever missed anything. I don’t think that will go away and that is okay. I got cleared by my ob and he said we can try again whenever we decide to. I don’t know when that will be. I don’t know when I will be ready. He also told me that the chances of this happening again are a 1% chance but the chances of the next child having a brain and/or facial birth defect is 5-6%. That is very scary. I am so nervous of going through all of this again. It’s something nobody should ever have to go through and to have to more than once would make me feel even lower when I didn’t think it was possible to get any lower. Mommy loves you so much Scarlett Olivia. I hope you are having so much fun and know nothing but joy and happiness. 

One month today

Day 11: Dear Scarlett. It’s been 11 days since I lost you. You are always on my mind. Before you passed I obsessively researched everything in my attempts to save you. I googled everything there was available on trisomy 13, holoprosencephaly, cleft lips, and so many other things. Since you have been gone I find myself still obsessively researching. I don’t know if it’s because I am in denial that you are really gone…because this overpowering sadness feels like I know you are gone. Maybe it is just out of habit. I also look at your pictures constantly throughout the day. You are my screen saver. You are in frames all over the downstairs. I sleep with your blanket that you slept with in the hospital every night. I bring out the outfit and hat you wore more often than I like to admit. I listen to the song played at your funeral. I stare at your ultrasound pictures. I hold the ceramic hand and foot of yours that the hospital made. The flowers that everyone sent for the funeral have been occupying the living room and they are starting to wilt. I love the flowers and they are a constant reminder of you. Also like you I wish they could stay forever. People have sent me gifts to wear and display that way I always have you close. I love these items. Your dad and I visited you today and it was pouring rain. He had to go back to work though tonight so it was the last day we could get there for a week. We have visited you a couple of times since the funeral 8 days ago but I am sure you already know that. I miss you so much. I cry myself to sleep every night. I’m sure you already know this too. I love you Scarlett. I love you more than anyone will ever know. These 11 days have been so hard. I’ve been trying to be brave and strong for daddy and Leo but it is so hard. Just know that no matter where life takes our little family you are always on our minds. You are always with us. We will never forget you. We will visit you whenever we can. Love Always, Your Mommy.

Day 15: Dear Scarlett. It has been 2 weeks since I lost you. The emotional part of me doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I actually cry more now than before and at random times..usually when I am alone. Your dad went back to work this week and that may be part of it. I hate to admit it but during this time…I just need him. He brings me so much comfort and only seeing him for a couple hours a day and especially not having him at night when I am at my weakest is so rough. I find myself looking at your pictures so many times throughout the day and I still imagine you in my belly. I just hope that when you were still in there you heard my voice. I sang and talked to you all the time and I like thinking that you knew who I was. I also made a point to rub my belly whenever your head, feet, or little hands were poking through. I accidently do it still now. Then the ugly realization that you are gone hits me like a ton of bricks. You should still be in there. I should be 35 weeks pregnant with you. I should be huge and uncomfortable and complaining non stop. I should be rushing around to buy last minute things for your room. I should be picking out your wardrobe and decorating. Instead I’m making wreaths for your grave and picking out a headstone. This isn’t fair. All I want in life is to be a great mom and wife. I’ve wanted a little girl so bad and to not have gotten to even see your eyes open or hear your cry makes me imagine what it would have been like over and over. I look for signs from you all of the time. I imagine a time in the future when we get to meet and I don’t think I will ever be able to let you go. When I get to meet you for the first time I am going to hold you and kiss you and never put you down and I can’t wait. I miss you so much. Always know that. I hope the 50+ years I have on earth feels like 50 seconds to you…because they are gonna feel like an eternity to me. Love you always, your mommy.

Day 21: Dear baby girl,
With every breath I take I am wishing you were here. I brought the wreath I made you to your grave 2 days ago. I would have been almost 36 weeks pregnant with you right now. I should be…oh what I wouldn’t give to be. I miss you so so much. At times I feel so empty. There are days I just lose myself and sob out of nowhere. I wish I was having late nights and mornings because I was waking to care for you, my newborn. Not because I miss you so. I could have filled a pool with all the tears I’ve cried. By the end of my lifetime I can forsee enough to fill an ocean. I hope you are happy where you  are. The world we are living in is a scary place and I find comfort knowing all you will ever know is joy and love. Your daddy misses you too. He tells me all of the time. He told me he would have done anything for you. He hurts thinking about the life we could have given you. I know I don’t know how it would have turned out if we would have induced early. You may not have made it through labor and then I would have regretted inducing wondering if I would have let you continue in my belly what would have happened. I will never know if the outcome would have been the same but I am so sorry for not following my intuition. I feel like I failed you. I knew something was wrong and I should have gone in. But…I heard your strong heartbeat so I thought it was okay…so many what ifs. My heart hurts today. It hurts everyday but Tuesdays and Fridays are the worst. Fridays was my pregnancy week check points. Tuesday is when I lost you. It’s also the first day I got to hold you. Tuesdays and I have a love/hate relationship. But one thing I know is I love you so much. I will always love you. Long hugs and big kisses baby Scarlett. Mommy misses you.

Day 25: Dear Scarlett,
This isn’t a special day. It isn’t a checkpoint day either. It’s just another day that I am missing you. 25 days have came and went since I lost you. Since I heard your heartbeat for the last time. I am so happy I have your brother Leo because without him I don’t know what I would do. Tomorrow is father’s day. I made him a book with yours and Leo’s pictures and also made him a keychain with your name engraved. It’s gonna be a hard day for him. Like always I wish you were here with us. I know you are here in thought and in spirit but being able to look at you and hold you and kiss you is a longing that I will always be waiting for. We are giving poopah a lock of your hair tomorrow for Father’s day. He has all the grandkids hair from their first haircut so I had the nurse cut some from you in the hospital to give to him so he can have yours too. I just want to share as much of you as I can with people. I want them to love you and cherish the little time you were with us. I also dont want anyone to forget you. One thing I firmly want to get across to everyone was that you were here. I don’t care if this was all what was to be expected. I don’t care that you never took a breath out of the womb. You moved, your heart beat, you took breaths from within….I…watched you hold your own hands on the monitor…I felt you hiccup, and reacted to my hand or arm resting on my belly…I know you heard my voice and all of these things…all of these things proved that you lived. I don’t know if anyone will read my blogs anymore now that you are gone. That is ok though. I get comfort writing to you. I want you to always know I am thinking about you. I am celebrating the little life I got to spend with you and grieving the life I didn’t. Leo likes it if I sing to him at night. He tries to sing along with me and then falls asleep. The song is written for all of my children. Currently for you and for leo. I will sing it every night and know I am singing it to you too. It goes,
“Mommy loves you more than all the fish in the sea
Daddy loves you bigger than the tallest tree
If there is no tomorrow just sing this song and think of me
Goodnight my sweet baby
Lay down and rest your head
Sweet dreams darling
Snuggled up here in your bed
Close your eyes and go to sleep and dream sweet dreams you plan to keep Goodnight my sweet baby
I love you”

Goodnight Scarlett Olivia…I love you

Day 27:
Dear Scarlett. I just miss you. I’m laying in bed and just went through all of your pictures..again..and I zoomed in to get every detail in focus and just tried to memorize you. I am just missing you tonight.
Love Always,
Your Mommy

Day 31:
Dear Scarlett. It’s been a month. Time is a funny thing. Some days I feel like it’s only been a moment since you were here and other days feel like years. I’ve suprised myself by the way I’ve been handling your loss. Not that it isn’t so hard and not that I don’t cry everyday but I am trying to be strong. We are going to visit you today and bring you new flowers. I wish you were here everyday. I would have stayed pregnant for the rest of my life because it would have meant you would still be with us. I would have given up so much. My life will never be the same. I have wanted a lot of things on my lifetime. It’s crazy the difference though. When I was a little girl I used to pray all of the time “dear God. If you let me have such and such toy I will never be mean to my sister again” as I got older “dear God. If you please let me do such and such I will never ask for anything ever again” I look back and can see that life isn’t fair. I can see how insignificant those wants really were. My conversations were very similar though this past year. “Dear God. Please just let her live. I will give her such a good life. I will love her and take care of anything she needs. I will be the best mom there has ever been”.  Oh how I wish God was a magic genie and could grant me all of my wishes but he is not. It’s hard for me to accept the reality that you are gone Scarlett but all I can hope for is that you are happy. If spending my lifetime away from me is what had to happen I just wish and hope you are so happy. I love you so so much. I miss you everyday.
Until we meet again,
Forever your mommy

Final Goodbye

This is my last post for a while. Now that she is gone my hope has gone with it. As is my motivation for writing.  Writing during this journey helped me. It was a way of feeling like I was building an army for her. Every new reader was someone pulling for her, and praying for her. I’ve had thousands of views and I love that so many people have been along for this crazy ride. But now I need time to heal. We said our final goodbye on Friday and it was the hardest part of this whole week. Having the time with her in the funeral home was nice. I am so glad I got to see her again. The day before the funeral Aaron and I had a busy day. We wanted everything to be perfect for her and we had 24 hours to get it all done. We picked out the casket, the song, poem, and speaker. We walked across the street and picked the spot where we will visit many times in the next 50+ years and the spots right next to her where we will be when it is our time to go. We wanted to get our plots now so we can be right next to her forever. It’s a hard thing picking out your burial plot when you are in your 20s. Aaron said, “Some people can’t commit to a marriage, and we are committing to be buried together”. We are a team, a true partnership. For those of us who are around us know how obsessed we are with eachother even after 8 years. We grow fonder every passing day. Everything we go through makes us stronger people and stronger spouses. When I’m weak he is strong and then we switch roles. We divide up our grief and lean on eachother but not too much one way or the other. A perfect balance. An unspoken seesaw of life…We then ordered the tent and chairs incase of rain. We went to the store and picked out her final outfit. Something comfortable and pink. The only outfit I will ever get to buy for my girl. One of many I have always hoped and waited for. It was a hard but special moment. I love picking out Leo’s clothes but I’ve always eyed and itched to cross that line to the other side of the store. After that we went and printed off pictures to be displayed and also some of us and leo to go in her casket with her. We went to the floral shop and picked the flowers out to go on top of her casket. We came home and made the handouts for her funeral. I made her the blanket finally. Before I knew if it was a boy or girl I bought gender neutral fabric to make a blanket for the baby. I put off making it after our appointment and finally made a tiny warm blanket and used red thread for our Scarlett. We framed the pictures. Printed the poem and had everything around. The next day we saw her. I put her necklace on her. It is a part of my necklace. The inside of the heart. That way we are connected and match and have a piece of eachother forever. We had the service and it was beautiful. We had the poem Mother to an Angel read and had the song Beam me up by Pink played. Everyone left to cross the street to the burial and me and Aaron got to say our final goodbye. We stood by her side. Kissed her, touched her, spoke to her and turned to walk away. I almost got to the door and turned and ran back. I couldn’t leave her. It took everything I had….but I knew she had to go. We opened the door, drove across the street and sat in front of her casket. I sat there. I stared. I used all of my will, I got up, and I walked away….it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It is the hardest thing I will ever do. It’s a crazy realization knowing that at 26 years old I will never go through anything harder or more challenging than what I’ve already been through. There could be things that are as hard or equal but nothing any worse. I will spend more of my life as a mother who lost her child than I have even been alive. I will spend more of my life missing her than I got to spend with her. But those 8 months meant everything. I wouldn’t have done it differently even knowing what I know now. She was still our child and inside or outside of me it was time we got that we wouldn’t have had if we did what the doctors wanted. He saw her as a waste of time. An intrusion on my uterus. Something that could potentially ruin my womb for my future “life compatible” children and I couldn’t agree any less. She is my light. She has changed my perspective on how I see everything. How I miss her kicks and punches. She was always a mover. She was always a fighter. She lived in me for 230 days. She beat the odds for 33 weeks. We were one for a while and getting over the empty feeling I have is taking a lot of time and healing for me. A lot of women say when you are pushing during giving birth that final push when the baby comes out is the biggest relief you will ever know. This time on my final push I felt her leave me and I lost all coherence. A part of me was gone. Every day is a struggle. Every moment I think of her. I am struggling with some regret but Aaron is helping me put it in perspective and he is absolutely right about it but it is still hard for me. Knowing there is a chance I could have taken haunts me and will forever. I wanted to get through all of this and have nothing that I wished I would have done differently and now there is. I know that in each decision I was doing what I thought was the best option and the best chance for her but when something goes wrong you can’t help but think “what if” I would have done this or that? It is something I am going to struggle with for a while and maybe forever but that is life. We are human. Humanity is beautiful. I love that I’ve been raised in a culture where I feel pain, I feel remorse, and missing another. I love Scarlett with all of my being and I always will and I can’t wait for the day where I pass her picture and smile and say “I miss you” instead of breaking down. Thank you all for coming on this journey with us. I’ve found comfort in knowing people are rooting for her and knowing her. That’s what made her a person even more so because people were getting to know her.
……………..
Mother To An Angel

A tiny little angel
bid a silent sweet goodbye
to a sad and weeping mother,
then flew off to heaven’s sky.

When a spirit child is perfect
there’s no need for them to stay.
They come and choose a family
then go quickly on their way.

The trials and pain of earth life
are not theirs to endure.
God knows these precious little ones
are much too good and pure.

But while here, a bond is made. 
Closer than any other.
One of everlasting love
between the child and mother.

I’m the mother of an angel.
who is watching over me.
How I wish you could have stayed,
but it’s not meant to be.

For a time, my little angel,
you and I will be apart,
but until I hold you in my arms,
I’ll hold you in my heart.

Ron Tranmer©
…………………

PINK Beam Me Up lyrics

There’s a whole n’other conversation going on.
In a parralel universe.
Where nothing breaks and nothing hurts.
There’s a waltz playing frozen in time.
Blades of grass on tiny bare feet.
I look at you and you’re looking at me.

Could you beam me up?
Give me a minute,I don’t know what I’d say in it.
I’d probably just stare,
Happy just to be there holding your face.
Beam me up.
Let me be lighter, tired of being a fighter.
I think, a minutes enough.
Just beam me up.

Some black birds soaring in the sky.
Barely a breath I caught one last sight.
Tell me that was you, saying goodbye.
There are times I feel the shiver and cold.
It only happens when I’m on my own.
That’s how you tell me I’m not alone.

 
Could you beam me up?
Give me a minute,I don’t know what I’d say in it.
I’d probably just stare,
Happy just to be there holding your face.
Beam me up.
Let me be lighter, tired of being a fighter.
I think, a minutes enough.
Just beam me up.

In my head, I see your baby blues.
I hear your voice and I,
I break in two and now there’s one of me with you.

So when I need you can I send you a sign?
I’ll burn a candle and turn off the lights.
I’ll pick a star and watch you shine.

Could you beam me up?
Give me a minute,
I don’t know what I’d say in it.
I’d probably just stare,
Happy just to be there holding your face.
Beam me up.
Let me be lighter, tired of being a fighter.
I think, a minutes enough.
Just beam me up.
Beam me up.
Beam me up.
Could you beam me up?

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Scarlett Olivia Reynolds
10/9/15-5/24/16

Scarlett’s Arrival (2206)

After the appointment on Friday where he said she probably wouldn’t be here in a week I didn’t believe him. She was still as active as ever and I read some things about pleural effusion that seemed promising if it happened during the third trimester. Up until this point besides the “incompatible with life” diagnosis she seemed to be beating the odds and passing every ob appointment and ultrasound with flying colors. 3 days later, which was a Monday I noticed she wasn’t moving as much in the morning. Scarlett has always been a big mover and usually at the same times every day. So a decrease in movement is very easy to notice with her. She was also 33 weeks almost so I thought maybe she was just running out of space. I drank a Gatorade that morning in hopes to get her moving and she was moving just not normal. For lunch between classes I ate some spicy food and lemonade in hopes that this would do the trick but again after some time passed she still wasn’t moving much. I went to my classes as usual. I told my teacher what my ob had said at the last appointment and she told me if anything happens to not worry about school and that we would get it all figured out. At that moment it made me feel uneasy because it was like she was saying there was a chance Scarlett might not be here later this week and I hadn’t let myself even believe that. I told the teacher I wasn’t feeling well. I had just eaten so I knew it wasn’t my blood sugar but I felt very weak and jittery. I was getting hot flashes and just felt off. My teacher let me leave class early and I debated heading to labor and delivery just to be checked out but decided against it because I thought I was just being paranoid. (When I was pregnant with Leo, as a first time mom, I went to labor and delivery 6 times in fear that something was wrong. I told myself that with this pregnancy..before we got the diagnosis of t13 even…that I was not freaking myself out and rack up medical bills because everything was ok) I regret so much not stopping there on my way home from school. I called Aaron on my way home and told him that the baby wasn’t moving as much and also how I was feeling. He told me to come home and just rest. Instead I suggested we go out for ice cream (in hopes to get Scarlett moving) and then take Leo to the park. Later that night when Leo went to bed I still hadn’t felt much so I got out my heartbeat doppler that I hadn’t needed in forever and KY jelly and decided to make sure her heart was still beating. As me and Aaron laid in bed I pressed the doppler to my lower left side of my belly and for the last time heard the quick beautiful noise of our little girls heart beating. It read 151 at 7pm on May 23rd. I was satisfied. I told myself we have an ob appt not tomorrow but the next day. She is still moving even though it’s less and her heartbeat is still strong. I still felt uneasy but eventually went to sleep and tried to really pay attention to her movements. At 1am I got up to get a drink and she was kicking a little bit and so I got back in bed. At 6am Leo woke us up. Aaron took him upstairs for breakfast and I laid in bed trying to feel for Scarlett….nothing. I hopped in the shower because usually the water on my belly gets her moving…nothing. I got out of the shower, laid on the bed, grabbed the doppler and listened…nothing. I moved it all around for probably 5 minutes and couldn’t get a heartbeat. I yelled up for Aaron and immediately started bawling and asked him if he could try. He couldn’t find it either. I told him that we needed to go to labor and delivery right now. We packed Leo a bag and dropped him off at my moms and rushed to dupont. I called on the way so they were waiting on me when I got there. My obs nurse intercepted us and told us to walk with her to their office instead and get checked out there so we followed her there. We got to the exam room and she warmed up the machine and it was the longest 5 minutes of my life. Dr. Wheeler walked in and put the probe on my belly over her head and was just looking at her head. I think he knew but I was so frustrated because I just wanted to see her heart beat. He moved it to her heart and …Nothing. He patted my lap and said “Collin this is her heart and sometime in the last 12 hours it has stopped beating”. All I could think to say was a ramble about how I knew something was wrong, how it was just beating at 7pm last night, how she was moving less but I didn’t know, and then he asked if we wanted to induce now or come back and I just wanted her as soon as possible. They walked us back to the labor and delivery building and put us in a birthing suite at the end of the hallway so we weren’t hearing a bunch of crying newborns and celebrations. Room 2206. Everyone here was so very sympathetic and catering towards us. I love this hospital and I always have and this experience though horrible and heart wrenching proves further why. They made another birthing suite across from ours up for visiting family. They set up a table for refreshments and helped us in any way that they could. They started me on a suppository at 8am to get my body ready and then at 10am started me on pitocin. After I wasn’t dilating much after being on pitocin for a couple hours they did a balloon dilation to speed things up. Around 1 I got the epidural. At this point I had dialated about halfway but after the epidural things slowed down. Every hour they would up my pitocin level and I still wasn’t dilating much so they decided to break my water around 3pm. After a couple more hours of not much progress they moved my level up to 22 which is more than usual but in this case it wasn’t going to harm baby. I started feeling pain at 7pm and they said I was finally making progress I was at a 7-8 and 90% effaced. We visited with family for the next hr and all of a sudden I had severe horrible pain. I told Aaron to page the nurse and tell them. They came in and the pain was multiplying by the second. They got everything ready and in 2 big pushes I felt Scarlett make her appearance. I was a mess. I couldn’t contain myself. I just cried and cried. I couldn’t see her but my body that held her for 230 days felt empty. I felt like I was missing a part of me. For the past 8 months I had protected, nourished, rubbed, felt, and loved this baby inside me and I couldn’t do that anymore. They cleaned her up. They cleaned me up. They wrapped her in a blanket and in room 2206 I seen and held my baby girl in my arms for the first time. I just hugged her and kissed her and touched her chubby cheeks. This was the moment I had been waiting on my whole life. The time I would meet my first daughter. It was just me and Aaron in the room and we took turns holding her and loving on her. We took pictures and made sure to soak in every second we could. We were a mess. We knew this was all a possibility. We knew that we could meet her sleeping but there was always hope that we would be the lucky few that beat the odds. We had hope that we would get to see her eyes. To get to hear her cry. To feel her strength as she wrapped her hand around our fingers and held on. We would have done anything for her. We would have protected her and loved her for all of her life. She has tons of curly blonde hair, almost 4 lbs, 17″, and perfect. So perfect that we just cept asking eachother why this happened. Some babies with t13 have a list of defects. She had 1 and up until this week seemed like it wasnt a huge issue besides giving her a flat nose and double cleft lip. We let family come in 1 by 1. Taking pictures with each person holding her. It was hard and emotional and the most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever been through. I try to appear strong all of the time in front of people but on the inside I am crumbling. Once everyone had said their goodbyes and held our doll baby the nurse came in and took her so she could bathe her, change her into our outfit, do pictures, do hand and feet ceramic structures, and get her height and weight. I ate during this time. More so because I had to to recover not because I felt the desire. After what seemed like forever the nurse brought her back to us and set up a cooling bed so she could stay overnight with us. We held her for hours more and finally tried to sleep. I woke up and stared and cried over her every hour until 6am when we started our day. We took more pictures, snuggled her, and kissed her. We cried and sobbed because today was the day we had been dreading since we got the diagnosis. The day we had to leave her. The day we had to give her to strangers and have her necessarily treated for death. The thought has haunted me for 3 months. I remember in a previous blog that one night months ago I cried and screamed into Aaron that I couldn’t let her go! I couldn’t let her go in a box in the dark all alone! This statement and fear was drawing so near. I repeatedly told Aaron that I just can’t do it. I can’t say goodbye. Leo came after a bit to meet her and some other family. We did pictures and then just took our time. Me and Aaron changed her outfit for the first and last time. We got her hair brushed and cut for the first and last time. We held her and stared at her and then the nurse came in and said that when we were ready she would take her. I held her for the last time in that room. I tried taking in every hair and memorizing every line on her body. Aaron held her too and then my mom who was there with us said her goodbye. The nurse wrapped her in a blanket and we watched her be carried out of room 2206. I lost it. It was just as bad as I imagined. The nurse came back in empty handed and seated me in a wheel chair. I held no baby in my arms just a broken heart and empty womb. Being wheeled out of the birthing center with no baby to take home is the worst thing someone can go through. We have a box that the nurses made us filled with pictures, lockets of Scarlett’s hair, the molds of her feet and hands, her birth certificate, and many more keepsakes. I now am just laying at home in my bed with an empty belly and empty arms wondering where my girl is. I hope one day I get to meet her and she knows how much I love her. I hope one day I get to see the color of her eyes and have her hug me back. We are waiting for the funeral home to get ahold of us so we can plan her service and burial. I want her to be at rest and not alone in a box. The number 2206 will forever remain an important number to me because this is where I met my baby girl for the first time, this room is where she was dressed, held, and slept for the first and last time. Room 2206 is where she got her first hair cut, her first kiss, and first pictures. It’s where she celebrated her first and last birthday. And this room is where I watched her be taken from me. Every day for the rest of my life I will think of Scarlett. I will spend more of my life as a grieving parent than I have not as one. Losing your child is something I have imagined and is now a reality and in 3 months time still didn’t prepare me. It has brought out more feelings than I knew existed. I have fought, cried, screamed, smiled, been ever increasingly stressed. I have been in physical pain, gave up many things, and literally bleed for this little girl. I would do them all again and again until the end of time for her because above all I have loved with a love that is so fierce nothing can ever top. Rest in peace baby girl. Mommy and Daddy will be there soon.

We met with the Nicu team and facility we will be delivering at yesterday. They were super supportive and answered all the questions we had. They said that they are willing to do anything for us and are there for us and for the baby. I was very relieved that they were so willing to treat Scarlett as they would any other baby because there are so many trisomy babies that do not get that treatment. We had a tour of the nicu and it was very hard for me. But I am glad I did it. They want us to write up a birth plan so that way they can all have it and won’t need to ask us so many questions and just know more towards the direction we want to go.

Today we had our 32 week ob appointment. Good news is Scarlett flipped so she is now head down. Her measurements are still good and her heartbeat is good still too. There is some fluid building up between the lining of her lungs though (pleural effusion). He said this is a sign that her body can’t keep up and he thinks we will lose her within the next week or two. He wants me to come in every 4-5 days now. I called the office after we left and asked to be referred to a fetal cardiologist so they can hopefully relay more information. I’m just waiting on a call back. This news is very upsetting as she has been doing so well thus far. We don’t know if delivering early gives her a better chance or keeping her in. So if we don’t meet with the cardiologist before my next ob appt we will see how she is doing next Wednesday. She is still moving like crazy so for now I know she is still there.

A little good news

10am
I’m sitting in the car so 15 minutes before my ob appointment. I’m really nervous. Hopefully he tells me her abdomen measurements today and as long as they are at least measuring at 27 weeks I will feel so much better. That way I know she is still getting nutrients and that my placenta is still doing its job. So we will see…

1040am
Appt. went good. Her head and abdomen are growing right where they should be. Her heart rate is good. And he was shaking his head. I asked him what? And he said this isn’t normal but the baby is holding her own. So my blood flow and placenta were completely normal today. Also don’t have gestational diabetes. She is still breech though so if she makes it to full term I will probably have to have a c-section. Next appt is next friday the 20th. 31 weeks this friday

Gestational diabetic testing and update

Had an appointment today. It started off with the usual urine in a cup and blood pressure. Then I had to drink the bottle of the nasty orange drink and have my blood drawn after an hour. Between the drink and blood draw I had an ultrasound with the doctor and she looked like she was doing okay still. Her head growth hasn’t grown so much in the past 2 weeks. She is measuring 31 weeks for head size and I am 30 weeks later this week. She is also breech. He is still pushing me to induce every single appointment because he said her head may get to large to pass. But we aren’t there yet and I have repeatedly told him that unless her growth stops or something else looks like she or I are in distress I am not inducing. I do not care about having a c-section and he is obsessed with me not having one. He also said statistically she will probably become stillbirth within the next 4-5 weeks. I have to start having weekly appointments now too. I don’t even know what else to say….he is frustrating and I know the time is coming near with every week one way or the other. She will be here soon whether it be living or not and we are still taking this by the day. She is still moving a ton and her heart is still beating strong.

Emotion Overload

I shut off all the lights, I sat down and closed my eyes tonight. I wanted to feel every kick and movement she made. I don’t know how it’s possible to be so close to someone…so close you are basically one…and still feel a million miles apart. I often wish that I had a pocket I could reach into and hold her hand or a screen to see her on the inside. Time is a brutal thing. Everyday the little baby app I have on my phone counts down the days. 87 more days…81 more days. I remember the timeline shrinking with Leo and being so excited with the limited space it had left. This time I have an anxiety attack just looking at it. I hate that I feel this way. I get so mad at myself when I have bad nights (by bad nights I mean when I curl up by myself and sob like a baby until I have ran out of tears). I get mad because I feel like I am already mourning her and she isn’t gone. I feel like I am preparing for goodbye when she is very much here (my ribs can give you the all real truth to that). I don’t want to feel negative, I don’t want to think what if and then become a mountain of hysterics by myself on the couch. But the truth is simple….I can’t help it. No matter what support or good words someone offers me it doesn’t do anything. There are the people who will preach all day that nobody knows what will happen and that she could be a miracle and be fine and all this is true. I hope so…God I hope more than anything this is true. But…statistics are a bitch. Being in the medical field is a blessing and a curse..and here lately it’s been a curse. Sometimes I am numb to all the pain. Some days I have good days. I guess I can’t even call them good days…they are just better than the overpowering awful days..and those days..the awful ones..are really awful. I will put you in my shoes for a minute. I want you to think about the worst you have ever felt. Now imagine something that you think would make you feel even worse.  One thing that you don’t think you could recover from. Think about those things and think about crying yourself to sleep every night because of it and then waking up day after day reliving it over and over. A countdown of waiting for it to all come crashing down. Once you have thought about all that…it still isn’t enough because the worst part of all this hasn’t even happened yet. I know it will probably get worse. I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest broken and chewed up and then stuck back in there. I know if I lose her it will be a million times worse. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. Nothing in my entire life has prepared me for this. Screw calculus and chemistry classes. We need to start teaching: How to cope when the worst possible thing that could ever happened to you happens 101. Because this is real life and real life isn’t fair. We aren’t the first people to go through this and we definitely won’t be the last but we don’t get to customize life. It comes at you and keeps on moving and your forced to move along with it. You know the worst thing people have said to me is that this is all part of a plan and I just don’t know it yet. Or other forms of this….I literally hate that line. Nobody has the right words for someone. Even if they have gone through something similar, everyone is different. Different beliefs, different emotions, and different ways of handling things. I’m hormonal and emotional and my husband is on nights and Leo is sleeping so I am alone with my thoughts..so I’m here rambling. But I am because writing down my feelings calms me a bit and so this is what I am doing. So now that I’ve calmed myself down from the embarrassing mess of ugly face crying I’ve been doing I will leave you with this:
Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey. Nobody is promised tomorrow. Nobody is guaranteed a good day. Celebrate all happy things in your life. Let go of the petty, small, insignificant, meaningless stuff that you may think is the big stuff or is worth while because it is not.

Doctors appt 4/18/16

I am 28 weeks on Friday. So we made it to the third trimester. I had a checkup today. Her heartbeat is good still but her abdomen growth is under by 3 weeks and her head growth is over by 1 week. She is also currently breach. My plan is to get bi-weekly checks until around 30 some weeks and then start having weekly checks. If she makes it that far
I want to let labor come on naturally but during my checks if she looks to be in distress at all then we will induce. During induction or natural labor I want her monitored though and if things start heading south then we will do an emergency c-section. I have my gestational diabetes test to see if I have that in 2 weeks. That day will also be my next check up. No major news at the moment but I like to keep everyone up to date. She is still moving a bunch and over all I still feel pretty good. I am starting to get really tired again and also the uncomfortable sleep has started.