Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One year ago today...

One year ago today my world was changed forever. I had found out just a few weeks before that we were having a baby girl…something I’d always dreamed of. I was ecstatic. My perfect little family was going to be complete. I had my beautiful little boy who was 2 at the time, and now I was expecting a precious baby girl. I remember the day we found out IT was a SHE. My husband and mother were both at the ultrasound, and we all stared and squinted trying to find that elusive hamburger, but knowing if we saw the turtle that was ok too. And then she said it….”It’s a girl”. Three words I’d wanted to hear so badly, and I was on top of the world.





From 2010-03-16

For the next few weeks I looked at tiny pink pajamas and butterfly bedding…I tossed around every girl name that had ever made my short list and I imagined what she’d be like. Then came the day when my doctor called the house. I’d gone earlier that day for another ultrasound to get a better measurement of her head. Chris had gotten home early that day after a meeting, and brought home Subway for lunch. Mason was taking a nap. I remember being surprised to hear my Doctor’s voice, but not in a frightened way. After a quick greeting, she told me she had looked over my scans and had some real concerns about the baby. She mentioned a splayed area of the spine, and her suspicions of spina bifida. After that, the rest of the conversation gets fuzzy. I know she used words like devastated and stillborn, as well as paralysis and mental delays. I felt like my body quit on me in that moment. I couldn’t breathe…I couldn’t stand up…I was sick to my stomach. Chris knew from the look on my face it was bad. After hanging up the phone, I tried to tell him, between sobs, what she’d told me. I crumpled to the floor in pain, before rushing to the bathroom as another wave of nausea rocked me. I couldn’t make sense of it in my head. How could this be happening? What went wrong? Why MY little girl?

It’s been a year and I still don’t have the answers to any of those questions. The range of emotions that you go through when something like this happens is really amazing. At first you mourn…and I did. For about 2 weeks I wandered around in a fog, giving in to one crying jag after another. I felt hopeless. I wanted to turn back time so I could start the pregnancy over again and “get it right” this time around. I was mourning a life that was still living inside of me…and I felt guilty for that. Just when the guilt and grief were about to overtake me, I went numb. We were enrolled in the MOMS trial, and I remember getting on the plane and not hoping for anything at all. I felt like it was all so out of my control that I didn’t dare hope to be accepted. Thankfully, the support system at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia took over, and we went with the flow. They helped us navigate the murky waters of SB, when I could barely put one foot in front of the other. They gave us the information we needed, and I started to feel hope again. We were accepted, and randomized to the postnatal group of the study. I really believe that was the turning point in my pregnancy. I got home, and went back to looking at tiny pink pajamas and butterfly bedding.





From 2010-03-16

Looking at Madison now, it’s hard to think that grief was ever a part of her story…or that I was ever afraid of meeting her. It’s hard to remember that I ever thought she was anything other than perfect.





From 2010-03-16

And she is perfect…an absolute angel. I can’t imagine my life without her.





From 2010-03-16

I’ll never stop hoping that she’ll do all the things I dream of her doing…and yes, I do still get choked up sometimes when I let myself go to the dark places that usually begin with “what ifs?’ or “why?” There are no answers to these questions. God is in control of Maddie’s life, and she’s just on loan to me…so I plan to enjoy every single minute of her, and that means not wasting precious time on the “what ifs” and “whys”…it means spending more time blowing raspberries and playing peek-a-boo.





From 2010-03-16

I know there will still be some bad days ahead, but if I can’t pick myself up and continue trying to put one foot in front of the other, then how will she? And that doesn’t make me super strong, or even special in any way….I’m just the lucky one who gets to be her mama, and for me, that’s enough.

4 comments:

  1. She's beautiful and perfect.

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  2. lovely post. I can relate to these emotions, of course, and you put it into words beautifully!

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  3. good post. I can also relate to all the emotions and bad days, but you said it way better than I could have.

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  4. Beautiful post Selina. It sure brought back many emotions. Our one year is next week. If only we knew then what we know know. She is just adorable. You are very blessed.

    Nicole

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