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,


Christina said...

Thinking of you.. I just can't believe I was reading your blog this morning and had no idea. I am so sorry. I've really enjoyed reading about your journey, as we are both 24 and our husbands are the same age as well. I wish all the best for you and your husband.

Jennie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Don't be afraid to cry. Don't be afraid to mourn. Mostly, don't be afraid to still hope and dream. As heavy as your heart is, let it remain open and free in your time of need. I wish you all the best and will keep you, Andy, and Stevie in my thoughts and prayers.

Christa said...

Oh Kristin, I don't even know what to say. I thought of you all day Saturday and yesterday. This wasn't supposed to happen. Not to you guys, not to anyone. I'm so glad she was beautiful and perfect and that you were able to see her. I'm completely heartbroken that she couldn't spend her life with the two of you.

I'm so very, very sorry; you are always on my mind and I'm praying for the two of you constantly.

Megan said...

I hope writing maybe helps even a tiny bit. I have been thinking of you constantly since we first heard on Friday!! Praying for you and Andy!!! Just know I am here for love and support and wish you did not have to go through this. I cant wait to see the beautiful pictures of Stevie!!

Mommy Gator said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I have been following your blog from baby center and my heart absolutely broke for you when I read this! You and your husband are in my prayers! Thank you for writing this post, I am sure it was very difficult for you. Good luck with the journey and God Bless!

Kitty Catie said...

Oh wow. I am so so so sorry Kristin. I've been following your blog for months and I am just so sorry. You and your husband and little Stevie are in my prayers.

Ashley said...

I am so so sorry Kristin. I just can't imagine your pain. We love you at PoodleFriends and please let us know if you need anything. We are here for you. ((((HUGS))))
Ashley and Larry

Lori said...

Bless your heart.....this reminds me so, so much of what happened to me. One post, I write to Matthew and tell him the hospital called and said that FINALLY, at 40w4d, they wanted to induce!

The next post, I wrote a good-bye letter to my sweet baby boy.

It was just. that. fast.

And unexpected.

And shocking.

And heartbreaking.

And still is....163 days later.

I'm so, so sorry for your heartache.
Much love and many hugs...

Marissa Marie. said...

Wow, this made me cry. I couldn't help but to have flashbacks of my experience. All that pain that day, rushed back to me. I definitely know what you mean by missing apart of you. Thank you for sharing Stevie Joy's story. It was written beautifully. Our babies' would have been 1 day apart. This makes me really sad. xoxo

Hannah Rose said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I too had a stillborn daughter. She was born at full term on March 16 of this year. I'm enjoying reading your posts. You should check out my blog too:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto this blog after seeing a thread on BBC. I am so very sorry for your loss. I can't possibly imagine what this must have been like for you. I have a daughter, a nine-month-old, and to even entertain the idea of her being gone makes me break down. I will be praying for you and your husband, praying that you find the strength to get through this difficult time and praying that someday, somehow, God blesses you with another child. No one, of course, will ever replace Stevie, but just by reading the letters you have written to your daughter, I know that any child would be lucky to have you two as parents. God bless, sweetheart, stay strong, and as a previous poster said, don't be afraid to cry, hope or dream.

MamaE said...

I can't tell you how much I understand this post. I know how hard it is. Wow, my feelings have come back too even though my loss was more than 4 years ago now. No one should ever have to do this. It's unreal, isn't it. I'm so sorry. If you want to know you aren't alone, read my blog posts (tagged as "Noah" or "Triploidy.")
This was hard to read because it's still so fresh for me. So sorry.

Nellie said...

I just found your blog after seeing a link on wcco. Sitting at the kitchen table crying my eyes out for you. I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. This should never have to happen to anyone. It is just not fair. I am so sorry.

Fabiola said...

I came across this as I was looking for support gruops. I lost my baby last friday. I was eight weeks pregnant. I saw my baby's body come out of me. He was so little. I feel like every day is getting harder. I am so sorry for your loss. I know no amount of words can ever replace the sadness and grief you are feeling.

Sandra said...

I came across your blog today when First Candle recommended it for the beautiful things you've been doing in your daughter's memory. Reading this post brought me back to July 8th of last year when I lost my son Zachary at 36w5d to a cord accident. Your words brought me back to that day, that week... that sadness...
I'm so sorry that you had to go through this, sorry that anybody has to go through it. I want to commend you on your strength. We all want to do something in our child's memory, we all want to make a difference but you actually are making a difference through I Am The Face. COngratulations! you're an inspiration :)

Jesica said...

I have tears rolling down my face.

Kelly Jean said...

I've "known" you for so long through your blog.. I've read this a million times, but now, reading it while pregnant.. it just hits me even more, and it's not the hormones. You are just so strong and beautiful. Elliot is so so lucky to have such a loving strong wonderful mother, Kris. I think about Stevie often. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. These words don't seem enough - but I TRULY can't even begin to imagine. My baby is just over 8 weeks old and I am so attached already. I can't wait until Elliot is here! Any day now! <3

BillieJo said...

I am crying for the loss of your little Stevie and the loss of my little Stevie. Your words are everything I feel since my Stevie Ann died at 40 weeks. So many hopes and dreams I had for her, such a loss.

Beth Morey said...

big big big hugs

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