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Susan Michelle's Pregnancy Journal

Week 13
~ Life is precious. Enjoy every moment.

Hello 13 weeks! I can't believe that I'm through the first trimester! I'm starting to have more energy and the morning sickness isn't as bad as it was before {{knock on wood}}. I'm actually starting to feel like I can eat again and not just making myself eat throughout the day. I never thought that "feeling" like I wanted to eat would be such a wonderful feeling!

I've really been concerned about my Aunt Barb these past few days. She's back in the hospital because her lungs are filling up with fluid. It's happened before but after I visited with her the last time the kids and I were back in Pittsburgh, I just don't have a good feeling about things. She was talking to me about the past, asking questions that my Grandma asked me right before she died. My mind knows that the time is coming near but my heart doesn't want to talk about it.

While I was driving the kids to a play date, I called Josie to talk about Aunt Barb and see how she was doing today. Josie is my Aunt Barb's best friend. They've known each other for 35 years and are more like sisters than best friends. Josie told me that Aunt Barb was the same but she was concerned about her. At that time, Josie asked me if I had any feelings about Aunt Barb this time around. I told her that her body is broken down and she's tired. It really depends on Aunt Barb. Does she still feel like fighting? Does she feel like just giving up? I asked Josie if Aunt Barb had mentioned anything to her (told her how she was feeling). She had. Aunt Barb told Josie that she knew that she wouldn't be leaving the hospital this time. She's been in the hospital too many times to count and never felt this way. She always wanted out of the hospital and would fight to make it through. My heart sank and I choked up as I said to Josie, "Well, I think Aunt Barb answered your question." We talked for a few more minutes as I drove and we hung up because I arrived at our play date. We had a nice time at Paula Sue's house. Morgan, Shane and the girls had a great time playing together but Josie's words were stuck in the back of my head and my heart was breaking. Paula Sue and I talked about Aunt Barb but not once did I say that from her words, I knew that she wasn't going to make it out of the hospital. My heart didn't want to talk about that. I held out the hope that she was just tired and was wrong about her feeling. My mind knew the truth.

The kids ended up in bed with me on Tuesday night. We talked for a bit and feel asleep. I was sleeping in such a deep sleep until 3:30 a.m. when I woke up gasping. I looked at the clock and couldn't figure out why in the world I woke up like that. I didn't feel like I was going to be sick (which normally happens when I wake up at that time of the morning). I went back to sleep. It happened again at 7:17 a.m. I snapped right out of a deep sleep, sat straight up and couldn't get back to sleep. Two minutes later then phone rang and it was my Dad. Mom and Dad were at the hospital and Aunt Barb had just passed away around 7:17 a.m. I asked when they went to the hospital and he told me around 3:30 a.m. I was numb. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at my children knowing that this was going to break their hearts. I rubbed my belly knowing that Aunt Barb wouldn't be with me/here when my child was born. I stopped and thought about our last conversation. I told Aunt Barb that if she wasn't able to hold on and be with me when my child was born, that she could be the first to hold my baby in Heaven. I closed my eyes and smiled thinking of her standing with Uncle Harry and their little girl meeting my child for the first time. It wasn't what I wanted but I truly feel that she will hold my little one before I meet him/her and that makes me feel just a bit better.

I got a huge burst of energy and I started cleaning our house and getting things ready to go back to Pittsburgh on Thursday. I had to run out and get something proper to wear for the viewings and funeral because almost all of my clothes were denim and comfy clothes. I found a pair of brown slacks and cream sweater at Motherhood Maternity. I bought a pair of light brown leather boots with a heel. I was really starting to feel sick to my stomach and one of the ladies at Motherhood recommended some Preggo Pops that they sold. I half rolled my eyes at her but then remembered hearing someone else talk about them and they worked. What the heck, I'll get them. Can't hurt, might help.

Paul and I sat down and talked about how to tell Morgan and Shane about Aunt Barb. I knew that Shane would be fine because he's young but this is the first time that Morgan would be old enough to know what death is. This isn't something I ever wanted to talk to her about at almost five years old. My heart was breaking because the kids adored Aunt Barb and she them. How were we going to tell her? When? Paul and I decided that I would wait to tell her when we were at my parents' house because we knew that she wasn't going to take it well. It was going to be hard enough for me to drive back on my own with the two kids and the dog, let alone having a child that is in tears the whole way. Paul also felt that my parents would also be there to help me break the news since he wouldn't be and he felt better about that. We told the kids that both of them, Bo (our dog) and I would be going to see Mama and Pap for a visit. Morgan became really excited. I asked her if she was excited to see Mama and Pap. She told me that that would be nice but she was excited because maybe Aunt Barb was feeling better this visit that Shane and her could go for a visit. My heart sunk. Tears. I looked at Paul and we had to sit down and tell her the bad news. She took it really hard but we talked and she seemed fine. My Mom called just to see when we would be driving in on Thursday, I told her around lunch and we hung up. A couple of minutes later Morgan started crying uncontrollably. I comforted her, rocked her and after she calmed down enough to talk, she asked me Mama and Pap were dead/going to die. She ended up calling Mama and Pap and talking to them. A few minutes later she started crying and asking about her Uncle Kenny. She called him, they talked and her words and questions brought him to tears. He was great with her, very patient. We talked a bit more after that and she seemed to be okay. I was so sick today but I wasn't really sure if it was morning sickness or if I was just that upset that I was making myself sick.

I woke up Thursday morning and the first thought was that this wasn't a dream. I felt sick to my stomach. I drove the kids to preschool and forgot today the school was closed. I felt bad because they really wanted to go to school. We returned home and the kids were fantastic helping me pack our bags (they love doing that). They played with Daddy as I packed the medicine bag and miscellaneous items in the car. I let the dog out for a last run around before we drove four hours in the car. We left around noon so that we would have some time in between arriving and the first viewing. I still wasn't sure if my cousin was going to watch the kids or if they were going to go with me. The kids fell asleep as I drove the car. I called one of my cousins to get a feeling as to what everyone else with doing with their kids. After a while, Morgan woke up and started talking about everything again. She didn't understand why Aunt Barb left her body and then went to Heaven; she wanted to make sure that Aunt Barb was out of pain, etc. I thought to myself, how could I explain this to her. Then it hit me, we just learned about how a caterpillar turns into a Monarch Butterfly. Maybe I can use that idea. I told her that when we are living on earth we are like a caterpillar. When we get ready to go to Heaven our bodies turn into the catalyst. When we're ready to go to Heaven, the catalyst opens up and our souls come out just like the butterfly does. I asked her why the butterfly didn't take the catalyst and Morgan told me that's because they don't need it anymore. She stopped, smiled and said, "I understand now Mommy." We talked a bit more and then listened to some music and drove to my parents' house. We arrived around 4:00 p.m., unloaded and then Morgan sat down and talked to Mama about Aunt Barb. I was surprised that I wasn't tired because I would have been in the first trimester. Maybe I'm starting to get more steam so to speak. Here's hoping because this was going to be a busy week.

I decided to take the kids to the three viewings because they seemed to be doing okay. If for any reason it didn't work out, they were upset, etc., we could just go back to my parents' house and I could set up babysitters for the remaining viewing times. The kids were angels and got dressed without any difficulty. Morgan picked out two outfits that "Aunt Barb wanted to see and would because she would be looking down from Heaven above". I ran around and was able to get my poem ready for the viewing along with the Mickey Mouse I promised Aunt Barb I would put in her casket. I write and find poems that fit the person that just passed away. I type it up and frame it and put it up by the casket so that everyone can read it.

Kenn, my brother, and his wife, Karen, arrived at the viewing around 8:00 p.m. Kenn doesn't do well at funerals. He will go up, pay his respects and go to the back of the room and/or to another room if he has to stay. Kenn was standing by the entrance and he would look in and then step back and he'd lean on the other side of the wall. Morgan watched him for a couple of minutes and then went up to him and asked if he was okay. Was he afraid to go see Aunt Barb? Kenn told her that he was a bit nervous to go in and see her. That he was going to miss her a lot. Morgan talked to him about the caterpillar, catalyst and the butterfly and took as she took his hand walked him into the room and comforted him. Let's just say that Kenn (and the rest of us) were in tears because she was being wise beyond her years. She took care of several people throughout the three viewings, talking comforting, etc. I was so proud of her and she reminded me to take time and be there for others, how precious life is, etc. I was reminded out what Aunt Barb told me. She always told me to live life as though today was your last. Life is precious. Enjoy every moment. Truer words haven't been spoken.

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