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Beth's Grief Journal
In Memory of Alyssa Kaye Bradford
July 12, 2000 ~ August 10, 2000

Entry #13 ~ January 8, 2002
~ Welcome Felicity

Felicity AnneMy last entry was going to be the end of my grief journal, but I decided to post one more to update you with my news. I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Felicity Anne, on the 2nd December, 2001.

On the 1st December, I had a show. This really excited both Steven and I as with both Alyssa and Kyle I went overdue and needed to be induced. The day went by without a pain or contraction, and we decided to put up our Christmas tree and make a day of it.

The next morning at 4am, I awoke to 10 minute contractions which were so strong!! I couldn't even think when they did come. I called the maternity unit (that I work in) and let them know what was happening. It was nice to know all the staff, and they happily suggested that I could come and be admitted. I decided to stay at home. The contractions continued on all morning at 10 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds.

At 10:30 am I decided to go up to the hospital and just ensure that baby was happy. The heartbeat was 156 bpm, and she was doing great. Simone, the midwife on at the time, decided to check cervical dilation as Alyssa was very fast at arriving! The cervix was posterior and closed. I didn't let that bother me! I knew that with subsequent pregnancies anything could happen and nothing could be predicted.

We went to the video shop, and it was almost amusing to have a contraction in the shop while trying to find some videos to pass the day. We got three videos out. God only knows what they are now; I have no idea what we watched but we did get through all three of them.

Throughout the day the contractions slowly worked their way down to seven minutes apart to four minutes apart. When we got to that stage, I felt a lot of pressure and panicked a little. We decided to make our way to the hospital for admission. Expecting to be 2-3 cm dilated, I was actually 8 cm dilated!

I had a shower for about 20 minutes and felt the urge to push. I felt most comfortable on the bed to push and was a little anxious as the pain with Alyssa when I pushed was unbearable. But I pushed well and an hour later at 5:54 pm, Felicity Anne was born. She was covered in vernix and hardly cried at all. She weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz or 3250gms and 48cm in length.

I stayed four days in hospital and thoroughly enjoyed it. The stay was long because this time I wanted to ensure I was confident with breastfeeding (as I bottle fed both Kyle and Alyssa), and I must admit it was the best thing I could do for Felicity. The benefits of breastfeeding are just amazing not only the nutritional benefits, but an incredible bond right from the beginning.

Life at home now is certainly different. It has been filled with anxiety and a little isolation but mainly love. I cherish every moment with Felicity.

The milestone of 29 days old (the age Alyssa was when she died) with Felicity wasn't as bad as what I thought I would be. I think it was better than what I expected because my most special friend helped me through. I will never forget that. She was there the entire night, and we quietly celebrated in the early hours of that morning when Felicity had slept and awoke as normal. I don't know what I would do without her. Saying thanks just doesn't ever seem enough.

Felicity has an apnoea monitor on at night and in the first week of getting home it alarmed twice. The first time we both jumped up frantically. I ripped off her wondersuit trying to see if she was breathing. Thankfully she was. I just wanted to burst into tears with relief. I think we both panicked that night. Since the second time, it hasn't alarmed since. I am thankful for that.

Felicity sleeps with us in the middle of our king size bed on her back right up against me. I can keep an eye on her that way. Although I think most nights, I have one eye open watching the monitor and her all at once. I thought we wouldn't be able to get through this time. But we are! I am proud of myself.

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My mother came to stay with us for 10 days and it was so emotional on her departure. I didn't think I would be able to cope alone and I think I slipped into a sadness that I couldn't shake. Thankfully that great friend of mine I mentioned earlier slapped me out of it. LOL! And I stayed with her for several days that helped more then words can say. It was good just to relax and be able to talk without feeling stupid.

Then on the 4th January, 2002 our little beautiful girl, Felicity, smiled for the first time! The joy we received from that is indescribable!! Daddy knows how to make her smile!

Thank you to everyone for your support: friends, and family, Internet buddies, people who have emailed me with so much love who I don't even know . . . you have all helped me so much.

There is hope. It may not take the form of a new baby . . . it could be anything. But everyday needs to be cherished, and lived fully.

That's what I am doing now.

Thank you and farewell!

Love,
Beth

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