Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I have put together a memorial website for Sydney and I wanted to share the link here. There are many more pictures of her on the website.


Thursday, March 26, 2009


The hospital sent us some more pictures. These are more like the traditional newborn pictures that all babies get. There were several poses. We have two black and white 5x7's of the main pose, then some 3x5's of the other poses, and some wallets. I think I might call and order some more, maybe a bigger one that I can frame or something.

I went out of town for work this week and we were pretty busy, so I had a pretty good distraction. When I got home and saw the pictures (of course, they came while I was gone and I had to wait even longer), I just broke down. :( I don't know how much more of this pain I can bear. It is so suffocating, sometimes I feel like I literally cannot breathe.

It seems like, 6 weeks later, the finality is really hitting me. I mean, I know that death is final, but it seems to really hit hard right now. It's hard to explain. Maybe other angel mamas will understand what I'm trying to say. Sydney is never coming back, I'll never hold her again, I'll never see her sweet little face. It's overwhelming and it hurts so badly. I want to fall asleep and never wake up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Glory Babies

Tonight I met with a mama who runs the local Glory Babies support group. Glory Babies is a Christ-centered group for infertility and pregnancy/infant loss. The other Glory Babies groups are in Texas, but this particular group is the only one outside of Texas and it is only about 5 minutes from my house. She told me that I'm the first person to call her since she started the group here.

Meeting with Jen was very fitting this week. I've been having a lot of trouble accepting Sydney's death and I find myself having a crisis of faith. I've never once in my life questioned whether or not there is a God, but I have been lately. I wonder, how can a loving God take my sweet little baby from me? These thoughts are so distressing for me because my biggest comfort is that Sydney is in Heaven and she's safe and happy in the arms of Jesus. I cannot stray from my faith now. I look forward to the day that Sydney and I are together in Heaven. Jen and I talked a lot about this and she offered me some scripture and books to help me. I guess that what I'm going through is normal, but I don't want to feel this way. I wish I could ask God why Sydney died and actually get an answer from Him. I want to know why I have been chosen for this path because I don't feel strong enough to cope with it and why my baby girl was chosen to be an angel and not get to see and experience life on Earth. Of course, at this point, no reason seems like it could justify this pain and anguish that we all feel.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pictures from today

And because I just realized I haven't posted pictures of Sydney herself, here are a couple.

The flower

Yesterday, Eric and I took the kids to the cemetery for the first time. We took some things to decorate Sydney's grave for Easter/spring. We put everything up and then we sat for an hour or so. When we were getting ready to leave, Eric and I were standing at the foot of the grave, looking down. Somehow I missed it at first, but just then I saw a tiny purple flower growing at the head of the grave. I thought maybe it had fallen off the flowers we brought or the ones we'd just taken off so I reached down and checked. Sure enough, it was growing up from the ground. It was amazing. I really feel that it is a sign from Sydney.

Eric works near the cemetery so he's going to go back today and take some pictures, including one of the flower. I forgot my camera yesterday. I forget everything lately, I'm so distracted. Even writing this post, I wandered away a few times and came back. I'm trying really hard to not expect too much of myself right now. I'm in my last semester of school for my associate's degree and even though it was really hard for me to accept, I dropped two of my courses. I'm just not up to managing a full load right now. I hope to maintain my GPA with the 2 courses I'm completing because I'd hate to blow it at this point. I'm taking the summer off, then starting the last two years of my bachelor's degree in the fall.

I've also decided that if something is too hard for me to deal with, I'm not dealing with it and people will have to accept that. I may not participate in the family's Easter celebration. I am almost definitely not attending a family wedding in May (two of my cousins have small babies, born in November and January). I have a good excuse for the wedding though. It is on Eric's birthday and it is also Mother's Day. I'll send a gift with my parents and not worry about it. I'm trying to decide what to do for Christian and Hailey for Easter. I have to manage that for them, but it's hard. I keep telling myself, this wouldn't have been Sydney's first Easter anyway, she was due in June. It's still hard. Yesterday at the cemetery, Christian asked what we'll do for Sydney at Christmas. He asked, "Will we bring her presents here?" :*( I told him that Sydney will get a different present than him and Hailey. We are going to buy a brick at the Angel of Hope for the fall dedication for her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Support Group

On Wednesday night, I went to my first support group at the hospital. I was so nervous. The whole day, I felt really on edge, like tears were just under the surface. On the way to the hospital, I put in Sydney's cd--the songs we played at her funeral. That started the tears. When everybody was giving their introductions at the group, I cried a lot. All of the other stories were so sad. It is awful to think about how many people have been through this. There were a couple of moms who lost their babies a little over 3 years ago, so it does give hope that it gets better at some point.

I am really glad I went. I realized that the way I feel is pretty normal in this situation. I don't feel quite so crazy anymore. On the way home, I stopped at Target and bought a big teddy bear. When I got home, I dressed it in the homecoming outfit that we'd picked out for Sydney and wrapped it in the matching blanket. I cried so hard while I did that because I'd pictured myself dressing Sydney in that same outfit to bring her home and now all I can do is dress a bear. Eric watched me dress the bear and when I held it and broke down crying, he did too. It felt oddly relieving to cry together like that. I slept with my new bear cradled in my arms, the way I used to cradle Christian and Hailey when they slept with us. I did sleep better the last couple of nights.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One month

I made it through the day today. The anticipation seemed worse than the day itself. I took Eric to work and then went to the cemetery before I went to work. It was wet and muddy so I took a blanket. It was a pretty nice day today, warm and sunny for most of the day. I sat on the blanket and talked to Sydney. I hadn't really done that much before, at least not out loud. I'm not sure why.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to my first support group at the hospital where I delivered. I'm a little nervous about it. We don't have a sitter, so I'm going alone while Eric stays with the kids. I wish he could go too. I guess we'll see how it goes. There is also a group at a Christian store about 5 minutes from my house. They meet next week. I might try that one too, since it is closer.

Overall, I guess I'm doing okay. I just feel so blah. I don't think I'm depressed, like clinical depression. I know I'm depressed, as in really sad, crying a lot, etc. But unlike past depressions, I get out of bed everyday, I go to work, I do what I need to. It's hard. I'm in survival mode right now, I think. I really have no desire to feel better. I've been taking an anti-depressant since I was in the hospital and I think that's the one thing keeping me from going over the edge right now. I feel like I'm constantly on the brink of a major breakdown and I won't be able to function even at the most basic level if that happens. I feel so isolated and lonely. Nobody calls to check on me anymore, nobody brings up Sydney, they all seem to have moved on and I'm stuck. I wish I had someone to talk to that understood and didn't make me feel like a freak for feeling the way I do and I didn't feel like I was burdening them with my problems.

Ugh, another night of restless sleep. I barely sleep. I'm so exhausted, but it's so hard for me to fall asleep and stay asleep. Then I come home from work and fall asleep too early and wake up, then I can't sleep at night. Today I slept from about 4:30-6:30, which was so stupid. I'm tired now, but I know I'll lay down in bed and toss and turn. Bedtime was always the time that I felt Sydney kicking and rolling around inside of me. :( She should still be in there, kicking me in the ribs and sitting on my bladder and that should be what keeps me awake at night. Not this.

Have I mentioned that it seriously pisses me off to hear other women complain about their pregnancies? I'd give anything to have those discomforts. :(

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A month ago

My nightmare started a month ago today. Sunday, February 8th, I was supposed to be celebrating Hailey's birthday, but I ended up in the hospital. The whole thing still seems so surreal. When the resident told me, "I can see a good portion of the bag of waters," I couldn't believe it. I've been to L&D many times with my other kids and always heard, it's nothing or it's something simple (UTI once, yeast infection once). This was the start of a nightmare that I can't wake up from. Some mornings when I wake up, my first thought is that it was just a dream and I'm still pregnant, Sydney is still safe in my womb, and none of this ever happened. But every morning, the first thing I see is the little brown teddy bear that the nurses had in Sydney's hands on our second day in the hospital. I take that bear with me everywhere and at night, I sleep with it wrapped in the little pink fleece blanket that she was wrapped in on the first day.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't rehash the events leading up to Sydney's birth and wonder what I could've done differently. I wish I'd realized something was going on and gone to the hospital sooner. I wish...well, I wish a lot of things, too many to list here. I wish I could make it all go away and have my baby back. I have begged and pleaded with God to just put her back inside of me, to please give me my sweet little baby back.

I feel nothing but pain. I want to feel peace. I don't want to feel this torment anymore. I want to understand, I want to know why. Not why physically, but why in the big picture was my baby taken from me. I feel like the Lord has turned His back on me when I need Him the most. I felt a surge of faith when Sydney first died and now, I feel like the bad child who has been scolded by her parents and sent to her room. I want to see Sydney in my dreams and feel her near me. There were a few times, in the first couple of weeks, when I would suddenly smell her near me and it made me feel so calm and comforted. I haven't had that happen in a while though. I'm so irrational, I worry that she isn't near me because she's angry with me for letting her down and for not being with her now. I worry that she will never know how much I love her and how much I wanted her to be here with me.

I'm a basket case. I feel like I'm on the verge of a breakdown any minute.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Medical update

I had my follow up with Dr. S yesterday. I don't need a D&C, thank God. I'm also ovulating already. My body has already moved on and forgotten about the baby that was in there, should still be in there. That really threw me off. Dr. S said that I should have one period and then he'd be ok with us TTC again. I looked at him like he was nuts and said, no I want birth control. He said, why, don't you want another baby? I said, I don't know and even if I do, I need some time to deal with losing this baby. Why do people think it is somehow comforting that I can have another baby? I want SYDNEY. Even if I can have a baby, it doesn't mean I will. I am terrified at the thought of getting pregnant again. I can't go through another loss like this.

The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. After Hailey was born, I got a copper IUD. After 3 years or so with that, I started bleeding uncontrollably and had it removed. I continued bleeding so in April 2007, I had a hysteroscopy and D&C to check things out and the bleeding stopped for a few months. When it started again, I tried to have a tubal ligation and Novasure (endometrial ablation), but when I was put into the Trendelenberg position during surgery, I stopped breathing and my oxygen saturation dropped into the 60s. They decided that it was caused by my weight and that led me to have Lap Band surgery on February 28, 2008. In the meantime, after the attempted tubal/Novasure (which never happened obviously), I started having a lot of pain with the bleeding and ended up in the ER, admitted to the hospital, and had an emergency D&C because I was basically hemorrhaging. That D&C showed "chronic endometritis," I was treated with a month of Doxycycline and the bleeding went away. So fast forward to now. I get pregnant and end up with some type of infection. It dawns on Dr. S that Eric wasn't treated. If it was mycoplasma then, he probably had it too and should've been treated. He gave it back to me, I got pregnant, and it went crazy. Stupid bacteria. Dr. S will do an endo biopsy at my 6 week check up to confirm, then treat us both. If I decide to get pregnant again, I will be on prophylactic antibiotics throughout the pregnancy, along with at least biweekly cervical length checks.

I have no idea what I want to do as far as another baby. I go back and forth all the time. One minute, I think I need a baby, NOW. I want to be pregnant ASAP because I want to fill up this empty place in my heart, arms, and womb. Then I think, I can't do it, I can't risk going through this again. My rational side keeps reminding my irrational side that I can't put her back, a new baby won't be Sydney, we can't have a baby for the wrong reasons and put the responsibility of our healing on the shoulders of a tiny baby. But, damn it is so hard to know that I won't be having my baby in my arms in a few months, that she was already here and in my arms for a few short hours and that's all I ever get with her. I didn't think I ever wanted more kids and now that she was here and left her mark on my heart and soul, I can't imagine not experiencing it all again. We thought Sydney was our fate--that she HAD to be meant to be. I attempted to have a tubal and it failed. In early October, Eric went to the urologist after months of me telling him to and scheduled his vasectomy. It was supposed to be in December, about 2 weeks before Christmas. On October 26th, I found out I was pregnant. We thought, wow this baby snuck in there just before the vasectomy and it must be fate. We were going to go ahead with the vasectomy so we wouldn't have to worry about it after she was born. Eric works at Sears and of course, December is a really busy month and the weekend he would've needed off for his vasectomy was their busiest weekend of the season so we decided to just postpone it. Now here we are, our baby is gone, and we have a choice to make. Maybe her purpose here was to make us realize how much we wanted another child, but damnit, we had her! Why did she have to go? She was so perfect and beautiful. Why did God give us this angel that we didn't even know we wanted just to take her away?

24 weeks

If I was still pregnant, I would've been 24 weeks today. With my history, that was a date that was always on my mind, a goal of sorts to make sure my baby could be helped. But it's already been almost a month since Sydney has been gone. It just amazes me that a month ago, we were so happy and excited because we'd just found out our baby was a girl. We had no idea how our world would come crashing down in just a few days. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday are going to be hard. A month. I can't believe it has already been a month, but I also can't believe it has only been a month. It seems like a lifetime ago already.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March for Babies

Eric and I are forming a team to walk in the St. Louis March for Babies. The walk is on April 25. I was hesitant for several reasons, but we decided to go for it. Our team is, of course, walking in memory of Sydney and in honor of Hailey, our 6 year old who was born 7 weeks too soon. I bought myself some new running shoes tonight so I can start working out and getting ready for the walk. It's a 3 mile walk and before I got pregnant, I was walking about 1.5-2 miles a day, so I have some work to do. I didn't really walk or workout the whole time I was pregnant because I was always so tired. I had no other discomforts, just that.

I had a pretty good day at work yesterday. I was busy with customers and getting my office back in order after being out for three weeks. Then I had some other stuff to do to keep myself occupied. Once I got home, it seemed to really hit me again. Today was so-so. We went to the cemetery. The ground was really wet and muddy, so we didn't stay long. I meant to bring a blanket or towel so we could just sit. Last week when we went, it was wet too, but not so muddy so we just sat and had wet pants. It is so peaceful at Sydney's spot. I'm really glad we chose that cemetery.

While we were at the cemetery, Eric said, "I never thought this would happen to us." Our first two pregnancies were high risk, especially the second. We had several scares, including a hospital admission at 23 weeks for super high blood pressure (I developed PIH at about 14 weeks) and Hailey was born at 33 weeks after an emergency induction when my kidneys and liver were failing (I had severe atypical pre-eclampsia and possibly HELLP Syndrome). I also had pre-eclampsia with Christian, but it wasn't too bad and he was induced at 36 weeks after a non-reactive NST and slowing movements. We knew this pregnancy was high risk going in, but up until February 8th, I felt great. It was my best pregnancy yet. I was so confident that I would actually make it to term. I was so much healthier this time around. I never imagined we would end up like this.

It's just so confusing and completely unfair. :(

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back to work

I went back to work today. It was so hard and I was dreading it. My very first customer of the day was a woman who just had a baby last month AND she brought the baby. I wasn't expecting her to come in today. When I saw her and the baby, I just froze. I tried really hard not to cry, but the tears came. She knew I was pregnant and she put things together pretty quickly. She practically ran out of the office as soon as she was done. I sat and cried for a while after she left.

Christian (my 7 year old) has been writing letters to Sydney. In his letter last week, he said that he wanted Sydney to write back to him. Eric explained that she can't do that. He wrote another one and said he knows she can't write now. :( It's heartbreaking. Both Christian and Hailey were so excited about having a little sister. Christian has already asked when we can have another baby. :(

Sunday, March 1, 2009

So lonely

I miss my baby. I barely knew her, only carried her for 20 weeks inside of me and held her in my arms for her short 2 hour life, but I miss her so much. I feel so empty, more empty than I ever thought possible. I ache to have my baby back inside of my womb, to feel her kick and wiggle again, to look forward to seeing her little face in June, to pick out little dresses and sleepers for her. My arms ache for her. My breasts leak milk meant for her. My soul and my heart are shattered into a million pieces and even if I manage to put them back together, one huge piece will be missing.

Instead of happy expectation, I'm left with questions that can't be answered. Why? That's the constant question in my mind. WHY? Why my baby? Why my family? Why did Sydney's life end before it really even began? Why do I have to bear this pain? Why can't my body just work right instead of failing? Why do I have to help my other children understand this when I don't understand it?

I feel such terrible guilt over what has happened. My body failed. My only job was to carry Sydney so she could grow and develop and I couldn't do it. She depended on me for life and I let her down. When my husband or children cry and tell me that they miss her, I just want to tell them, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I let us all down and that our lives will never be the same.

I feel so lonely and isolated. I think that people are starting to distance themselves from us, from me. Maybe my grief is a burden to them. Maybe they blame me too. I feel like I have nobody to talk to. On one message board that I post on, it seems that everybody is pregnant or has a new baby. It hurts so badly because I was supposed to be one of the happily expecting moms too. I have no idea where to turn or how to reach out for help. I've reached out to a couple of moms here and there. I've been reading a lot of blogs and I feel the pain of the other moms who have lost their babies too. I hate that so many others know this pain, some of them multiple times. It doesn't help that I'm almost painfully shy when it comes to meeting new people and I am always unsure of myself, so I worry about bothering people with my problems. This is my outlet, even if I'm talking to myself. I can barely handle talking to Eric because he is also hurting so much, it hurts me even more to hear the pain in his voice or see it in his eyes. I don't feel like this pain will ever get any better.