Sunday, May 30, 2010


Dear Stevie,
My doctor (who is wonderful, by the way) called me on Friday with the results of all the testing they've been doing to try and figure out why you died. When we discovered you had no heartbeat, my doctor was as shocked as I was. There had been no signs or red flags; up until that horrible day, everything had been perfect. Up until that horrible day, I had your normal, "textbook" pregnancy.

I had been preparing myself for the worst possible news--that you died from some genetic condition that could be/would be passed onto our next baby, if/when we ever get pregnant again. Or that you died from something I did (like taking too much asthma medication or something). Or that we'd fall into the 50% of people who never get any sort of answer to why their baby died.

Here's what they found. First of all, you were perfect. Perfect heart, perfect lungs, perfect brain, perfect little everything. You were even the perfect size for your gestational age, which leads the doctors to believe you hadn't been gone for long when we realized you had no heartbeat. The doctor also told me you were, in fact, female, to which I said, "Um, I had no idea there was any question that she was a girl!" I mean I guess I didn't think to check, but can you imagine if I found out now that you were actually a boy this whole time?? That would mess with my whole world view just a little! Geez!

But anyway, the placenta was also perfect. All the blood work and testing they did on me was perfect.

The only thing that wasn't perfect was your umbilical cord. They found what appears to be a blood clot in the cord, which essentially cut off all oxygen and nutrition for you and caused you to die. Damn umbilical cord ended my perfect pregnancy and killed my perfect little girl.

The strange thing is that they tested me for all the common blood-clotting disorders that usually cause something like this to happen, and I don't have any of them. I guess the next step is to test for some of the more rare and uncommon blood disorders and see if any of them are the culprit. Honestly, I kind of don't think I have a blood disorder because I have never had any issues with this before, but we'll see I guess. Either way, whether I have some weird disorder or if this "just happened" (there's that lovely phrase again!), I will be giving myself twice-daily injections of a blood thinner for the duration of my next pregnancy. Sucks, but I guess at least I'll know I'm being proactive and doing something to make sure this doesn't happen again, right? I guess that beats having to go through 9 months of "hoping" whatever happened the first time doesn't happen again.

Knowing why you died, at least in the medical sense, has helped bring a little bit of closure for me. Having a reason does make this a tiny bit easier to deal with. But even though I now know that is was a freak blood clot in the umbilical cord that made you die, I still don't know why it had to be
your umbilical cord, my baby that died.

I guess I'll never know. I don't think I'll ever understand.

To know you were a perfectly healthy baby is both oddly reassuring and incredibly painful. I miss you so much, baby girl.

Love you,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Greatest "Ice Pack" in the World

Dear Stevie,
I'm going to be honest, losing you has made me more than a little pissed off at God. I wish I was one of those incredibly strong people who could praise him through the storm or whatever, but I'm not I guess. I'm mad that he would allow this to happen to us. My mom's first baby--my older sister--also died, and it appears what happened to her (issues with the baby herself) and what happened to you (issue with the umbilical cord) are completely unrelated. Why God? I mean really, can't there be some sort of of "one dead baby per immediate family" kind of rule you could enforce? I just don't get it, and frankly it makes me really angry. It seems like whenever something good happens, God gets all the credit ("Thank God for making my baby healthy"), but whenever something horrible happens it's all "well, sometimes things just happen." "Everything happens for a reason." In my mind at least, you can't have it both ways. If you believe God has the power to step in, answer prayers, and miraculously heal some people, you have to also believe he chooses not to use that power for other people. Like me. I just want to know why he chose to sit back and let you die.

Anyway, I write all this to explain this next part, which I promise gets a little less bitter and depressing. Over the last three weeks, I can't even tell you how many people have reached out to let me know they are praying for me and Dad. Family, friends, and an amazing amount (like AMAZING amount) of people we hardly know, or don't even know at all. The way your story has spread is really incredible.

I'll admit it, at first I was like, "I don't want their prayers."

But you know what? They're working.

I can feel them. Of course I'm still incredibly sad, I think I always will be, but I have started to feel surprisingly more what I can only describe as "at peace" with what happened. Two weeks ago, all I could manage to do was curl up in a sad little ball on the couch and wait for it to get dark so I could go back to bed. I thought I would never be happy again. I didn't want to be happy again, not without you. But each day is getting easier and easier. I'm surviving, and I'm even finding some joy in life again.

I honestly don't know how this would be possible without the incredible support we've gotten from friends and strangers, near and far.

I am proud to say we have the best friends in the world. They have "stepped up" in ways I could have never imagined. I feel so loved it's ridiculous. They've come over and just sat with me when I didn't feel like talking. They've cried for me. They've told me how pretty you were and how much they loved you. They've brought over food. They've sent beautiful flowers, kind cards, and such thoughtful gifts. They've sent messages, left voicemails, and texted to check on how we're doing. They've managed to make me laugh. They've made it obvious we're not alone in this mess.

Last night I was able to hang out with all my best friends (minus a precious few!) for the first time. It was hard, but wonderful. Stevie, they loved you so much and you would have loved all your "aunties," I know it. They got this necklace made for me:

I love it. Usually I don't really get into the whole angel thing, but this is perfect. If any of you girls are reading this, thank you.

So what I guess I'm trying to say is that even though to me it kind of feels like God punched me in the face, at least he gave me an ice pack to make the pain feel a little bit more bearable. Thank you to everyone in our lives who is walking beside us. You guys are the best ice pack in the world. :)

Hope you're getting into all sorts of trouble up there in Heaven, little girl.

All my love,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Physical Proof

Dear Stevie,
One of my friends told me last night, "If I hadn't known you the last six months, I'd never guess you were ever pregnant." It's true, my body is pretty much exactly back to the way it used to look before I was pregnant with you. I guess I'm lucky that I don't have to deal with strangers thinking I'm still pregnant, or feeling bad about my body on top of everything else, but it's weird. Sometimes I almost forget I was six and a half months pregnant less than three weeks ago. It seems so bizarre that I carried a baby in my body for over half a year and have nothing to show for it. No stretch marks. No major weight gain (okay, maybe like five pounds!). Boobs back to their normal size (thank God). I should be thanking my lucky stars for these things, but part of me wishes I had more tangible, physical proof that you were a part of me.

The one physical reminder I have left of my pregnancy with you is quickly fading away: the so-called "linea nigra" line that runs down my lower stomach. It came in right after I delivered you, and is slowly but surely becoming less and less noticeable. I figured I should take a picture before it went away completely.

It's kind of hard to see in this picture; it's more noticeable in real life.

I hate that I have nothing to show from my pregnancy with you but a weird line on my stomach and a tattoo on my wrist. I should have stretch marks and saggy skin and everything else women who just gave birth have to deal with. I should have a baby to show from it. I should have you.

On the outside, I appear almost back to normal. But on the inside I know I'll never be the same again.

Miss you so much today, Baby.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stevie's Impact

Dear Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Internet Buddies, Friends of Friends, Blog Followers, and Anyone Else Who Happens to be Reading This and/or Following Our Story,

A friend of mine (actually, more like a friend of a friend of mine) sent me a message last night and she probably has no idea how much what she said means to me. Basically, she wanted me to know that reading about Stevie with her mom, who she's never been very close to, allowed them to share a rare emotional mother-daughter moment; in a small way, Stevie brought the two of them closer together.

Hearing that my daughter's brief life made an impact on this girl and her mother, even in a small way, means the world to me. It's easy to get angry and bitter and think "what was all this for?" Why would God create this little life, only to take it away 6 months later? I mean really, what was the point?

I guess I need so badly to believe that her life was not without purpose. That although she never took a breath, she made and will continue to make an impact in this world.

So I'm asking for your help. Many of you have told me that you've been touched by Stevie's life. How? Maybe her story simply made you hug your children extra tight on night. Maybe reading her story made you think about what's really important in life. Maybe hearing about her inspired you to make peace with someone in our life. I don't know. But I want to.

I want to compile a list of the ways my little girl's life has made a difference. And then I want to read the stories over and over again, whenever I need a reminder that her life (and death) was not in vain.

Please, let me know how Stevie's story has touched you. Leave a comment, send me a facebook message, write me an email (, or mail me a letter (let me know if you need the address). I would love to publish these stories here, so make sure to let me know if you'd rather I didn't make yours public.

If you can't put into words how Stevie has touched you, consider just doing something nice for someone else in Stevie's honor--a "random act of kindness" if you will. Give someone an extra smile. Pay for a stranger's coffee at Starbucks. Whatever. And then tell me about it.

Thanks guys, for helping me remember that a life is a life no matter how short.

Kristin (and Andy too)

Update: Thanks for all the responses so far! Please check out the page linked at the top of the page to read about Stevie's impact. Love you all, K

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good fortune?

Dear Stevie,
Dad and I walked to an Asian place for dinner tonight. They have free unlimited fortune cookies there, which is awesome. Anyway, I felt like God or the universe or something was trying to tell me something with the fortunes I got:

And my personal favorite:

Maybe these little messages about impending hope and happiness are just a coincidence, but I am choosing to believe these fortune cookies know what they're talking about. That better days are ahead. That someday I will get what my heart so desires.

If not, I'm so going back and asking for a refund.

Love you baby girl,


Dear Stevie,
One thing that I've been dealing with lately is not only feeling sad, but feeling ashamed about losing you. I'm embarassed that my body wasn't able to do the one (or at least most important) thing it was created to do: produce a living baby. I mean seriously, the odds of something going wrong at 6 and a half months pregnant are less than like .5% (I would know, I googled these kinds of statistics all the time, mainly to give myself reassurance. Ironic, huh?). It seems like everyone else in the world has no problem making a baby that they get to keep. I feel like a piece of faulty equipment. I feel broken.

I feel so guilty. I failed at my first and most important job as your mother: keeping you alive. I tried to do everything right, I swear. I kept track of my protein, fruit, and vegetable servings, took my prenatal vitamins every day, switched from my diet Mountain Dew to caffeine-free Sprite, got my sandwiches microwaved at Subway (because I heard cold lunch meat was bad when pregnant), and stayed away from sushi, wine, and hot baths. I even bought those expensive DHA supplements to make you extra smart.

But I still failed. I don't know that I'll ever get over the guilt I feel over losing you. I know it's not rational to feel so guilty. I know that no one blames me for what happened; even the doctor said there's nothing I could have done differently. I know these things in my head, but in my heart I feel so guilty and ashamed.

Mommy's so sorry Baby.

I love you so much,

Monday, May 24, 2010

The best days of my life

Dear Stevie,
These are the times with you I want to remember for the rest of my life. My mind wants to re-live the moment when the doctor showed me the ultrasound screen and told me there was no heartbeat over and over again. But I am trying to will myself to focus on the many moments of pure joy I had with you. Like:
  • Being on vacation with Dad right after finding out about you and getting a text from my mom that said, "call me when your flight lands, now I have three of you to worry about!"
  • Picking out your first book, "Bear Hug" from a gift shop in Whistler and dreaming about reading it to you one day.
  • Eating disgusting instant mashed potatoes from the gas station for lunch everyday because they were the only thing bland enough for my upset tummy to handle.
  • Being out in public before I was showing; it was so fun knowing I had this amazing secret growing inside me that know one else knew about.
  • Being out in public once I was showing; I was one of those freaks who actually liked it when strangers reached out and rubbed my belly.
  • Shopping for maternity clothes with Jersa and imagining how big my belly was going to be by August.
  • Hearing your heartbeat for the first time at the doctor's office and calling everyone to tell them to the news.
  • Laying in bed with Dad and researching strollers and bike trailers online for hours.
  • The day we found out you were a little girl. Happiest day of my life.
  • The first time Dad felt you kicking. I called him into the bedroom and put his hands on my belly. I'll never forget the look of shock and excitement on his face as he said, "I felt it!"
  • The time Foxy was laying her head on my tummy and you kicked her in the head so hard she snapped her head up, tilted it to the side and looked at me with the cutest confused look on her face.
  • Shopping for little outfits and shoes for you.
  • Practicing using my different slings and wraps with the dogs and imaging how awesome it was going to be carrying you around with me everywhere.
  • Watching my belly button get closer and closer to popping out. It never quite got there.
  • Eating super spicy guacamole and feeling you go absolutely insane inside me. You loved spicy food so much!
  • My 24-week check-up when the doctor could hear you moving around like crazy on the doppler and said, "wow, you have one happy baby!"
  • Picking up and putting together your crib and changing table. I remember saying to Dad, "this is so surreal! Can you believe we're assembling a crib right now?!"
  • Going nuts at Ikea picking out all your bedding and nursery accessories. Dad kept saying "slow down!" and I would reply, "I only get the fun of decorating my first-born baby's nursery once!"
  • Registering for you with my mom.
  • Telling people about your name and how you were named after my dad.
  • Talking with my little brother about what he wanted to buy you for Christmas, and hearing him always get mixed up and say, "I'm gonna be a niece!" or "I'm going to have a new Uncle!"
  • Planning for my maternity leave and thinking about how much fun those first months off with you were going to be.
  • Seeing how excited our parents were to be your grandparents.
  • Watching your dad hold you after you were born. I will never forget the look on his face as he told you how much he loved you. I don't think I've ever loved him more than in that moment.
Thanks for all the wonderful memories Baby. Even though your time with us was short, you have no idea what a huge impact you have made on us all.

Love you and miss you so much,

A different kind of happy

Dear Stevie,
A friend of mine sent me a really nice message last night. One thing she said that really stuck out to me is, "I know this will take a long time to heal, and you shouldn't feel bad for grieving your loss. I think more importantly don't be afraid to feel joy. Don't deny yourself happy moments, when they come, embrace them."

I realize my last post was pretty depressing. I want you to know that I have been able to smile, even laugh a few times since you died. It doesn't happen often, but during the last week especially, I have had moments of what I guess you could call happiness. Watching super cheesy Steven Segal and Sylvester Stalone movies with Dad, long walks with the dogs, eating movie theater popcorn and watching "Iron Man 2," the hillarious care package from my friend Lisa--these things have all brought a smile to face and even allowed me to forget about how sad I am, if only for a moment.

The thing is, even when I feel happy, it's a different kind of happy. Sure, I'm happy relative to how unhappy I've been lately. It's like being really hungry and realizing all you have in the house to eat is a slightly freezer-burned macaroni and cheese frozen dinner. You eat it, and the hunger pangs go away, but you're not as satisfied as you'd have been if you went and got something you really enjoy, say Chipotle, if that makes any sense.

I can find things that make the overwhelming feeling of sadness go away for a while, but I've yet to feel the kind of pure happiness I had in my life before you died. It's a tainted happy. I can be happy, but I know I'd be happier if you were either still inside my belly or in my arms. You're always in the back of my mind. I'll find myself enjoying something and then it hits me like a ton of bricks how much more enjoyable it would be if you were there to enjoy it with me.

Stevie, I hope wherever you are, you're little spirit is experiencing the kind of pure happiness I hope to feel again myself someday too.

Love you forever,

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Dear Stevie,
It's officially been over 2 weeks since you were born. I keep thinking this has to start getting easier at some point, but it's still so very hard. I'm sad. Just so, so sad. Up until 2 weeks ago, I've been lucky in that I've never really experienced real sadness; at least nothing even close to the intensity of sadness that's consumed me these last 2 weeks.

First of all I'm sad that you died. I'm sad that I won't be bringing you home in August and spending the fall getting to know you. I'm sad I'll never know the color of your eyes (I have a feeling they were blue, like mine) or hear the sound of your voice. I'm sad you'll never call me "mommy." I'm sad for all the could have, should have been.

And I'm also sad that I'm not pregnant anymore. As sucky as it was sometimes (like pretty much the whole first trimester!) being pregnant brought so much excitement, a kind of thrilling, sometimes even scary excitement Dad and I had never felt before. We had something to look forward to. I would wake up everyday with the amazing knowledge that I was one day closer to meeting this child growing inside of me. My life began to revolve around you--thinking about you, getting ready for you, talking about you, dreaming about you.

I miss having something to look forward to. I miss having that excitement in my life. These days I just feel numb. I have nothing to look forward to, nothing to wake up for every morning. Nothing excites me like it used to. I find myself saying "I don't care" in response to almost everything.

What do you want to do today?

"I don't care."

What do you want for lunch?

"I don't care."

What movie do you want to watch?"

"I don't care."

It's hard to explain, but I just really don't give a damn anymore. And this coming from a girl who used to have an opinion on everything.

I know you wouldn't want me to be this type of person, and I myself don't want to be this type of person, but I don't know how to find my way out of this sadness. I don't know how to make myself care again.

Sorry for such a depressing post. I miss you so much.


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Dear Stevie,
Tonight Dad and I went on a nice walk along the trails behind our house. We would have taken you for walks back there all the time. You would have loved it. There are huge, towering trees everywhere; it's hard to believe the area is just a mile or two away from the city.

Being surrounded by trees really brings me a feeling of peace. It's almost like I can feel you with me, as cheesy as I'm sure that sounds.

Anyway, I took a few pictures tonight. Here they are:

If any of you fellow mamas would like me to take a picture of your babie's name carved in a tree, just let me know!

Today was a hard day. I just miss you so much Baby. It was a rainy morning and I laid in bed for hours remembering how you used to have little dance parties every morning. Mornings were our special time. Like clockwork you'd start kicking me around 7am. I'd lay in bed, rubbing my belly, sometimes even talking to you, until 7:30 when I needed to get up to get ready for work. I miss my mornings with you so much.

I'll treasure those moments we had together for the rest of my life.

Love you baby girl,

Friday, May 21, 2010


Dear Stevie,
One thing you would have gotten to know about me is that I'm obsessed with taking pictures. I carry around my huge, 3-pound SLR camera with me everywhere I go, even on walks around the neighborhood and Saturday morning errand runs. I've taken so many pictures of the dogs, I swear they now know how to smile and pose when the camera is pointed in their direction.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was taking millions of pictures of you, too. I had big plans to take a picture of you every single day for your first year of life (and probably the 2nd, 3rd, 4th year and so on too!) so that you'd be able to see how much you grew and changed over the course of time. I was so excited to be one of "those moms," you know, the ones with a million pictures of their kids plastered all over their office; the ones who proudly whip out pictures of their children to every stranger they meet. That was gonna be me.

Yesterday we got the pictures of you the photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep took for us at the hospital after you were born. Like any new mom, I want to show them off to everyone I meet, to show everyone how special and pretty my daughter is. But there's this other part of me that is scared. Scared that other people won't be able to see your beauty the same way me and your Dad can. I know no one likes seeing pictures of dead babies, but this is the only chance I'll ever get to show off my baby girl. These are the only pictures I have. The only pictures I'll ever have. God that breaks my heart.

For anyone reading this whose not comfortable seeing Stevie's photos, I suggest you look away now.

I see so much of your Dad in you in this picture

Big feet, just like both of your Grandmas!

So tiny and precious. I love this photo.

Our family

You'll always be Daddy's little girl

So much sadness. I've never loved him more though.

I'm glad I have these pictures to remember you by, but I hate that there won't be more to come. You have no idea how much I hate it.

Love you so much, beautiful, beautiful little girl.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Dear Stevie,
We are blessed to have so many friends and family that love and care about us. The last couple weeks we've gotten lots of cards, flowers, and other sympathy gifts. It means so much to Dad and I to know your life touched so many people. Today I got a really special necklace in the mail from my Aunt (my mom, your Grandma's sister) and I just wanted to share it with you.

Not gonna lie, I'd give anything to trade all my flowers and sympathy/memorial gifts for a few baby shower gifts for you, but it is so nice to know people care and are thinking of us.

Today we also got a card from Dad's students. I'm sure he has no idea, but one of them wrote what may have touched me the most for some reason:

"Andy, I'm very sorry for you and your wife's lost (I'll ignore the poor grammar here just this once, ha). I kind of understand how you feel a little bit cause I lost someone that meant a lot to me but I know you and your wife are gonna have a blessing coming towards yall way. I wish you guys luck for the future. God bless!"

God I hope he's right, that there really is a blessing coming our way. The hope that I might get another shot at being a mom again someday is one of the only things keeping me going these days.

Love you forever,

Ps. I'm eating Sour Patch Kids right now and remembering how crazy you'd go for those. Wish you could share them with me.

What I Need

Dear Stevie,
This last week, as I've attempted to re-enter the real world (ie: leave the house), I've realized that I need to find a T-shirt that says something like, "Hi. I gave birth to my daughter 11 days ago and she died." I want everyone to know. I want to shout it out loud to every stranger I meet.

Why, you might be wondering?

So that the nice salesperson at Menards who innocently asks me how I'm doing as we walk into the store would know why I can't respond with my usual cheery "great! How are you?"

So the new neighbors I run into while taking the dogs out would understand why I'm not in the mood to chat about the weather; that I'm not rude and unfriendly, just distracted and sad.

So strangers at the mall would know why my stomach looks poochy, my eyes puffy, and that there's a reason I'm wearing grungy sweat pants out in public in the middle of the afternoon.

So that glowing pregnant lady at the grocery store who I swear was following me around would just get away from me already.

So that the proud new mom with her smiling, beautiful baby girl would understand why I was avoiding making eye contact with her; it's not that I don't like babies, I just miss my own little girl so much.

I guess I can't see a "My baby died" shirt being a huge seller, but I really wish I could find one.

Wish you were here enjoying the sunshine with me today, baby.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Dear Stevie,
I don't even remember where I saw it, but I read somewhere this week a quote that went something like, "I'm trying to not just 'accept' my loss, but seriously embrace it with all the strength my two arms and strong heart can hold."

At first I thought it sounded so messed up. I mean, who the hell wants to embrace something so horrible? Accept it, sure, it's not like I really have a choice but to do that. But embrace it? Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to try and forget this whole sad experience ever happened, to push it way, way back in my mind? Get rid of all the painful reminders and move on with my life?

Probably. But I refuse to believe that your short little life was for nothing. I feel like I owe it to you as your mom to make sure your life and death wasn't in vain. I don't know that I believe that cliche phrase "everything happens for a reason," but I do believe that I have a choice in what I make of this shitty situation that I don't and probably never will understand. I guess I am choosing to let what happened change and shape me. I'm choosing to let it make me a better, stronger person. I want you to be proud of your mommy.

I wanted a permanent reminder of you, so tonight Dad and I got tattoos. You have shaped me on the inside, and now I have a reminder of that on the outside.

Like a tree, your memory will live on in my heart.

Your footprints (actual size and everything). One of each of dad's feet, so when he is biking, you are right there pedaling with him.

I miss you and love you so much baby girl.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Let it Be

Dear Stevie,
One night about a month ago your Dad and I sat on the couch and put together an iTunes playlist for you and called it "Stevie's Mix." I had read that you could now hear and respond to music, so we wanted to make sure you were exposed to all the "classics" right from the start. We argued about which songs to include and laughed and imagined how you were going to recognize those songs after you were born.

When it came to choosing which Beatles song to include, it was a tough call; as you grew up, you would have realized there are a LOT of good Beatles songs to pick from! Eventually we decided on "Let it Be."

Today I've had this song on repeat. The tears stream down my face as I listen to it, but for some reason it's bringing me a tiny bit of peace. The words are so simple, yet so profound:

"And when the broken-hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be. "

Let it be. That's what I'm trying to do. Trying to keep the "why me" questions at bay. Trying to accept the fact that you're gone and there's no changing that. Trying to trust that someday there will be light in my life again and that although I might never get an answer to why this happened, that someday I will be able to say your life and death was not for nothing--that you changed me and made me a better person. I'm not there yet, but trying is a step in the right direction, right?

Love you Baby,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

1 Week, 1 Day

Dear Stevie,
Today is Sunday, the day of the week that I would make Dad take new belly pictures of me every week and celebrate it being another week closer to August 15th. I should be writing my 27 week update today. Instead I am writing my 1 week, 1 day update. It's been 1 week and 1 day since you were born, since my world came crashing down, since we had to say hello and goodbye all at once. Somehow I'm still here, I "made it" through the first week, but I feel like a completely different person than I was just 1 week, 1 day ago. I feel like an empty shell, like all the hope and joy I had inside of me has been just sucked out. Like my once happy and carefree spirit left when you did. I miss you so much.

I wish I could tell you that I am doing okay, that I felt "at peace" with your passing, like so many of the sympathy cards we've gotten in the mail mention. But the truth is, this is harder than I could have ever imagined. I'm far from "okay." I wish I could say that it's getting easier each day, but it's not. Each day is harder. The world is moving on, and I feel alone in this dark, dark place. Everyone asks what they can do to help, but they can't give me the one thing that can make me feel better: you. I just want my baby girl so bad.

Everything makes me think about you. You're everywhere. My closet full of maternity clothes. The tightly closed door to your half-finished nursery. The deck where we were supposed to spend afternoons together in the sunshine. The sidewalk in front of our house that you were going to cover in chalk. The sink that I was going to wash your bottles in while singing to you, all tucked-in close to me in your sling. The living room floor where you were going to learn how to crawl. The space next to my bed where your co-sleeper was going to be. Your ultrasound pictures that I found yesterday as I was looking through my purse for my keys. This week my mom and the rest of our families have been around to help; all I can think about it how they should be here helping us get adjusted to life with our new baby, not doing dishes and vacuuming the house because I am too heartbroken to do anything but lay on the couch or in my bed.

And maybe the most painful reminder of you of all: my breasts filling with milk that you will never get to drink.

I don't know why I'm writing this. I started this blog so that someday you would be able to read about the earliest part of your life and so that you would know how much we loved you, even before you were born. I know that now you will never read these words, but writing them to you is helpful to me anyway. I hope with all my heart that even though you never got a chance to read this journal, you knew how loved you were. I hope you somehow sensed how much your mommy and daddy treasured you. I hope you know now how badly I miss you and wish you were here.

All my love,


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From Dad

Dear Stevie,

This blog has always been your mom’s thing. One thing that you would have learned about me as you grew up is that I’m not much of a documenter. You would have known that your mom is much better at that than I am. I was thinking about that on a bike ride today and decided that I would write a note to you when I got home.

I listened to my music on shuffle and Johnny Thunders’ cover that he did with the Heartbreakers of “Do You Love Me,” by The Contours came on. I just started crying because I’ve listened to that song a bunch of times waiting for the day that I’d be dancing with you in the kitchen, cooking breakfast on a Saturday morning with that song on in the background. I rode the trails that I ride every day and it further sunk in that I won’t ever get the chance to drag you around in one of those trailers. I wouldn’t get to spend my time riding to work thinking about your exploits. I wouldn’t get to take you to the park after work and watch you run around with other kids while your mom and I met other parents.

I’m really afraid that I’m going to forget the time that we had. The way I hustled home to play bike messenger for your mom when you wanted to eat something specific. The first time that I felt your little kicks. The ways that your mom and I changed because we knew you were coming. Little arguments at Ikea over how much bedding, how many stuffed animals and what kind of diapers we should get for you. I miss you.

Johnny Thunders sang in another song, “You can’t put your arms around a memory.” That line has been stuck in my head. I’m glad I got to hold you, even if it was only for a couple of minutes and I couldn’t stop crying. I’m sad that from here on out, we’re only going to have you as a memory.

I miss you so much.



Monday, May 10, 2010

Your Birthday

Precious little Stevie Joy,
It breaks my heart to have to type this, but I want to remember your first and only birthday forever. You are so special to me and your dad. You will always be our first little girl, and we will love you forever. You made me a mother, a better person, and I know you will always be a part of me until the day I die. I love you so much it hurts.

Here it goes. On Friday morning I called the doctor's office because I hadn't been feeling your little kicks I had become so used to feeling for the last day or so. I wasn't too worried, but I was hoping for some reassurance and peace of mind. I didn't even bring Dad with me to the appointment because I really thought I was surely over-reacting. I let work know I was going in for a quick check-up, but shouldn't be more than 30 minutes late.

When the doctor walked in, she looked a bit surprised to see me (my last appointment was just over a week ago, and everything looked great!) "What's going on?" She asked. "I just haven't been feeling her move for over 24 hours, so I called and they said I could come in for a quick check. I'm sure I'm just a paranoid first-time mom," I said. The doctor then had me hop up on the chair for a listen with the doppler. I expected to hear the comforting sound of your little heart, like I have so many times before. She moved the doppler around my belly for what seemed like forever. A couple times she thought she picked you up, but then discovered it was actually my own pulse she was hearing. I started to get a little nervous. "I don't want to torture you," the doctor said, "let's go down to the ultrasound room for a quick look."

We quickly walked to the ultrasound room. It was dark and quiet. The doctor squeezed the cold gel onto my belly and turned on the machine. She looked at the screen in silence for a moment before turning it towards me so I could see it. "This is the heart right here," she pointed out, "and I'm not seeing any activity. I want to have the ultrasound tech double-check and take some measurements before we talk about what this means." It was like my brain couldn't comprehend what she was saying, or what I was seeing. "You mean she's gone?" I said, feeling my face get hot. "Where's your husband? Can you call him?" she answered. I got ahold of dad at school (where he works) and told him he needed to meet me at the doctor's office right away. I felt like I was going to faint. The doctor lead me to a room to wait for the second ultrasound to confirm that the worst thing in the world had happened. I called my mom and could hardly barely form the words to tell her you were gone. She said she would be there as soon as she could. Then I waited. I felt like I was living in a nightmare, that this wasn't really happening to me. I just wanted to wake up.

Dad came into the room first, and tears were streaming down his face. Then my mom came in, and she was crying too. We all went into the same ultrasound room that we had your 20-week scan in, the day we found out you were a girl and that everything was perfect. The tech took some measurements. You were so still. I just wanted you to wake up and start squirming around like you did the last time we saw you, when you were such a little wiggle-worm that they had a hard time getting all the measurements they needed. But you stayed still and they confirmed your little heart had stopped beating. There were no signs of life in my womb. You were gone.

What happened next is still kind of a blur. I was told I would need to deliver you at the hospital and that I could either wait for my body to go into labor naturally (which could take 2 weeks), or be induced. We decided to induce labor that afternoon.

Once we were at the hospital, they gave me some medication to make my body start the labor/delivery process. It took about 20 long hours before I started to feel my uterus really contracting. Like me, my body just didn't want to let you go yet; we weren't suppose to do this for another 3 months!

Once the contractions started, it was very painful. I was given a morphine drip and then an epidural. I cried the whole time the were putting the epidural in, thinking about how I had been preparing to deliver you without one, but how now it didn't even matter one way or the other. The epidural took the pain of the contractions away completely. I knew I was having them, but I couldn't feel them. All of a sudden I felt a ton of pressure (kind of like I had to pee really, really bad), and I knew you were almost ready to come out. My doctor was stuck in traffic, on her way to the hospital, so they didn't want me to push you out yet. It was so hard to resist the urge to push. When the doctor finally got there, it wasn't long until you were out.

I could tell when I was delivering your head. The room was quiet, except for the sound of me and Dad sobbing. I saw Dad watch and break down in uncontrollable tears as your beautiful head came out. Then the rest of our body was delivered. I could hear then cut the cord. "What does she look like?" I asked Dad through tears. "Like a beautiful baby," he choked out. The nurse and doctor asked me if I wanted to see her. I was so scared. I had this vision of you as this perfect little girl in my mind and was terrified of losing that. I asked Grandma (my mom) to look at her first for me. She told me you were very fragile, and a bit swollen and bruised from the delivery, but that you were a perfectly formed baby and that I should see you.

I was so nervous as they handed you to me, wrapped in a blanket, with a tiny knit had on your head. The first thing I noticed about you was that you really did have my nose. I used to joke that I could tell you had my nose by the ultrasound pictures, but you really, really did. Then I saw your perfect little hands, complete with the most delicate little fingernails. And your feet, each with five adorable tiny toes. You got your Daddy's big feet! Those were the feet that had been kicking me! I could only hold you for a couple of minutes before it just became too difficult for me. I will never, ever forget the look on your father's face when it was his turn to hold you. He knew exactly how to hold you, and looked into your face with total love. He was so proud of his baby girl. "We had so many things planned for you, Stevie," he said. "I wish I could take you on a bike ride, and take naps with you laying on me." He held you for a long time and I just couldn't stop crying, watching him with you. Your dad loves you so much, and he would have been the most amazing daddy for you if you could have stayed here with us, Stevie.

Eventually both sets of your grandparents came in and got to see you. My dad took pictures of you, and a photographer with an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep also took a lot of pictures of you, which I will treasure forever. We also got your footprints and handprints to keep. I just keep staring at your footprints now that I'm home, just in disbelief at how perfect and big they already were. Did said he wants to get on of your footprints tattooed on each of his feet, so that when he is pedaling on his bike, you are right there pedaling with him.

Later that night we got to go home. It was really hard to leave the hospital. I wanted SO badly to be leaving with my baby in my arms.

That night and the last couple days have been the hardest, saddest days of my life. I miss you so much it hurts. I literally feel like a part of me is missing, and I just don't want to be happy ever again unless it's with you. I just don't understand why this had to happen to you, to us. Your dad and I aren't perfect, but we would have loved you so, so much and I just can't understand why we couldn't keep you. I can't stop thinking about everything I was going to do with you. Not only did you die, but all of the plans and dreams we had for you died too. I feel like I can't do anything but lay in bed, because everything reminds me of you. I don't even want to eat anything because every food reminds me of eating for you. The day after you were born was Mother's Day, which made everything especially hard. It was supposed to be such a happy, beautiful day. I feel like you made me a mom, but how can I be a mom without a baby in my arms? It's just not fair. I'm so sorry I couldn't keep you safe and alive. I just wish you were here with me and dad. I can't believe a week ago today we were putting your crib together, and now I am writing this.

I will love you forever, Stevie. You will always be our little girl. If you're up in heaven, please do what you can to help Mommy make it through this--I don't know how to go on without you Baby.

Love you forever,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nursery in Progress

Dear Stevie,
So I went a bit nuts at Ikea yesterday buying all sorts of cute stuff for your room. It was so much fun! Dad's out of town tonight so I've been playing around with everything tonight and getting so excited to put everything together!

Should I still paint the walls light sage green?

The quilt and crib bumper. I am painting wooden letters that spell your name with the same polka dots as the crib bumper to go on the wall above the crib

The pink crib comforter and the curtains. I still need to figure out how to shorten them and actually put them up (I didn't even think to buy a curtain rod, oops!)

Some new buddies for you to play with! :)

My favorite of the stuffed animals

More buddies :)

Wall hooks

This guy will be hung from one of the walls eventually. Love it!

Fox approves of the new rug :)

We also got a bookshelf that matches the crib and changing table really well, that I attempted to put together myself for about 2 minutes (it will have to wait until Dad's home tomorrow!). AND we are going to pick up a rocker/glider and ottoman that matches from someone off Craigslist on Friday (for only $45, can you believe it?!)

I hope you like your room!

Love you lots baby!


25 Weeks...

Hi Stevie,
You turned 25 weeks on Sunday. I've been looking forward to making it to the 25-week mark because 25 weeks marks official "viability", meaning you would have a pretty good shot at making it if you were born today (but don't go getting any ideas still have lots of cooking to do!). How crazy is that? Time is just flying by!

There you are!

25 weeks. My belly button is really trying to pop out!

The girls love hanging out on my tummy these days. I think they know you're in there :)

On Monday I went with your Grandma Cook (Andy's mom) to get your crib and changing table at Target. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to buy them for you, which was so incredibly nice of them! Dad put them both together right away that night and we LOVE them (I think you will too). It was kind of surreal watching your dad put together a crib--it's starting to really sink in that we are having a baby in just a few months! I also went through and unpacked all the things we've accumulated for you during the last 5 months or so. We have more than I realized! I can't wait to get the rest of the nursery set up and start putting all your things away.

Grandma with your crib and changing table (boxed up in the back of the car)

Dad working on putting the changing table together

Your stuff so far :)

Trying out my Moby Wrap with Foxy. Surprisingly, she LOVED it! I hope you will too!

All put together.

We love you so much and can't wait to meet you!

Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved