TWO WEEKS //
Today was hard. Thursdays will be hard for a while. Today marks two weeks since our sweet girl was born. The days leading up to Maggie's birth still feel so fresh in my mind. It feels like only hours have passed instead of days and weeks. They are replayed in my mind at any given moment throughout the day. I feel surrounded and bombarded by reminders of how our world has been turned upside down.
I went to bed close to midnight on April 5th and felt her move for the last time as I drifted off to sleep with my hand on my tummy. When I woke up the next day I struggled to feel any movement. In a panic I made my way to my doctor's office, not letting myself go as far as to think that the worst could be happening. After much searching with a number of different Dopplers, a final ultrasound revealed that Maggie's heart was still. In a moment our lives crumbled.
They did not have an explanation at the time but told us we would need to induce labor and get her delivered. My mom, older sister and aunt made it to us by that same evening, flying from Utah and driving through the night from Denver. My younger sister flew in from Florida the next morning and Adam's mom drove up to help care for our boys. Adam and I checked into the hospital to begin the induction--rounds of Cytotec every three hours to initiate contractions. At 31 weeks, neither my body nor any other part of me was ready to let her go and just as we were warned, the induction proved to be a long and difficult process.
That was Tuesday. Maggie Olivia arrived nearly 40 hours later on Thursday, April 9th at 1:30 a.m. She was breech, just as she had been a few weeks ago in her ultrasound. She was a precious 2 pounds 13 ounces and was 15 inches long. I so looked forward to the day I would meet my daughter--I had dreamed about it my whole life--but I never imagined it being like this. It is one thing to go through the work and pain of labor and delivery to see your baby take their first breath, it is another thing to go through all of it to know that they never will.
She was so beautiful. We were able to have a volunteer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep come to take pictures of Adam, Maggie and I. We are grateful for that. It is the only thing we have. We were with her for 3 1/2 hours...saying goodbye. I had no idea how to say goodbye to my daughter and then hand her over to someone else--a lot of it seems blurry now. I wish I hadn't been so sick in the hours after the delivery, a combination of exhaustion, devastation and medication complications.
We were blessed to have three of the most kindhearted nurses during our stay in the hospital--all there at just the right time for what we were going through. God did that. Our doctor is one of the most compassionate men we know and he handled us--and our daughter--with such care. God did that, too. We were, and continue to be, incredibly grateful for such a wonderful support system of friends and family. In the days following our time in the hospital, our house was filled with flowers and cards...such an outpouring of love and kindness. To those who have blessed us, thank you so much.
Every Monday I get a new email from TheBump.com telling me what new and exciting things I should expect this week in my pregnancy...what the baby looks like, what I should be doing to prepare. I have continued to receive them even after I have unsubscribed. If it's not them it's Target.com reminding me to update my baby registry with their newest must-have infant items or any of the other baby websites I have subscribed to the past 7 months as I filled my head (and our house) with all things girly and pink. The carseat cover I ordered nearly a month ago finally arrived on Monday. I can't walk by her nursery (which is adjacent to our bedroom) without thinking of her and what could have been. As long as we live here it will always be Maggie's room. Adam and I are working on selling our house and finding something else here. Moving won't make it all go away, but we feel like we could use somewhere different. Somewhere that won't constantly remind me of all the dreams that will no longer be. To rest somewhere other than the room I went to sleep in the last time I felt her move. It's hard to be out in the world right now but it's agonizing to be in this house, too. So many reminders.
I have nightmares. Nightmares about the blurry parts after she was delivered and the unknown part after she was taken away. Nightmares about losing our little boys somehow, too. On a couple occasions I have woken in up the middle of one thinking it was just a horrible dream--thinking I was still pregnant. Only to be jolted back to the heartbreaking reality of it all.
The boys had their well child check-ups today. I dreaded having to explain to our Pediatrician why I was such a mess. The nurse commented as she took us back, "You look different. Did you have your little baby?" I guess hiding out in my house has had it's advantages--today was the first time I had to explain it all to someone who didn't already know our story. People mean well, but some just have not given it the degree of sympathy or sensitivity that is so needed, and that has been hurtful. Comments like, "Bummer" or "You'll get over it" have been hard to receive. I know that my Adam has been faced with it so much more than I have as he returned to work and is out in the community seeing people everyday.
I am missing my little girl tonight. I am still so confused as to why God would say "yes" only to say "no" months later. But as my dear friend pointed out, the Lord did not take her, he received her.