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Susan's Pregnancy After Loss Journal

Week 34 ~ February 3, 2006
~ Birthdays Galore

Getting so close now, less than 3 weeks to go and my list of stuff to do just seems to grow and grow, not that I can really DO much of anything. We still haven't finished the floors and we have major cleaning to do before we have a house full of guests next week for the birthdays (mine and Cecilia's). That's another thing. Cecilia's first birthday is Saturday (mine is Sunday) and I have NO IDEA how I am going to react. I've been staying so busy that I haven't really let myself think about it too much, but I have a feeling it will hit me soon and it might not be pretty. Sometimes I just stare at her picture and she looks so normal and so much like Chris and me and I wonder how it can be true that she isn't alive. Then I start worrying about this baby. Wondering if I am just setting myself up to go through it all over again. As hard as I try I can't picture bringing her home. That's probably just a defense to protect my heart, but these last few weeks are just excruciatingly long. One second 3 weeks sounds like a blink of an eye and the next second it feels like I will never be holding my baby. I tell you am just exhausted and drained yet agitated and antsy all at the same time.

For Cecilia's birthday we decided to donate memorial keepsakes and boxes to the Perinatal Loss Department of our hospital. When a newborn doesn't make it, the hospital does all the normal things they would with a live newborn. They bathe them, swaddle them, dress them and take pictures, and all the keepsakes go in a pretty little box. The outfit, the hat, a lock of hair, the comb, the hospital bands, pictures, footprints and a teddy bear that was swaddled with the baby. Well all these items have to come from somewhere, so we found out that they rely 100% on donations. We had an outfit for her in our suitcase that had been packed and in the car for over a month, but I guess they don't want to put you though handing them the only outfit your baby will ever wear, so they just give them one and take the pictures and then put them in an envelope and tell you they are in the box when and if you are ready to look at them. I can't tell you how many times I look in my box and hold the teddy bear and smell the hat and look at the little dress. Those things mean more to me than anything I own, so I thought this would be a nice way to honor Cecilia's memory. I sent out an e-mail to friends and family letting them know we wanted to donate these items to the hospital and the outpouring of generosity was overwhelming. We received so many teddy bears and outfits, I haven't even counted them. There are probably 50. We're planning to take them to the hospital next week when I go for my weekly ultrasound. I hate to think that these items will actually have to be put to use, but then again I know how much I cherish mine and I how grateful I am to whoever donated them, so I think it is worth the emotional roller coaster ride to do this.

We had our NST again this week, or should I say we tried to have our NST, but baby wouldn't cooperate. They couldn't get a reading on the monitor for more than a few seconds; then they finally figured out that she was really low and had the monitor on my pelvis for a while but she just wouldn't stay still, so they gave up and did an ultrasound. Everything looked good, and I couldn't be more pleased that she has remained head down and low in my pelvis since last week's ultrasound. If she stays there it is going to make induction a whole lot easier than if she were "floating in outer space" as they say. We told the OB that the Perinatologist says we can get induced without the amnio and she was totally fine with that. She said she was actually relieved we decided to do it that way because she doesn't want me going into week 38 either. In fact she said we could check into the hospital on the night of February 22 instead of February 23 since there is a chance we might get bumped to the 26th if they have a bunch of deliveries when we are trying to check in on the 23rd which is a Thursday and they don't induce on Friday or Saturday. So, needless to say we are very pleased that this is all finally settled and unless my labor is over 31 hours, God willing we will have the world's happiest birthday celebration on February 23.

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