Friday, July 30, 2010

Took Mischa to the park this morning.
Pushing her on the swing, I thought, "Willow never could have done this."


I feel very alone in my grief.
No one else knew Willow.
No one I know has been in this situation.

I held my baby in my arms. She is so very gone now.
Talked to Susan yesterday. Told her exactly what happened.

Had my teeth cleaned yesterday afternoon. Had to tell the hygenist that "I was recently pregnant" because my gums were bleeding a lot.

Last night I had a regular nightmare. I've been having bad/sad dreams about being pregnant, but this was just a regular nightmare.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

nothing & nothing & nothing

I took Willow's urn out today. Just to hold it in my hand. It feels so light, like it's made out of nothing and there's nothing inside. I would open it if I knew how. I guess you're not supposed to. So I just hold it and turn it over in my hands and look at the label on the bottom where it says her name and age - Willow Goodman, baby.

I asked Josh if he was still sad about the baby. He said, "In different ways." I don't even know what that means.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I just want to be left alone sometimes.
Everything is irritating me today.
Now everyone else is asleep and I can finally do whatever I want... but I don't feel like doing anything anymore.
I guess maybe I'll take an ativan and go to bed.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm okay. My hair is falling out in handfuls. My skin has cleared up. It's been two days of no bleeding. I had a really bad cramp last night and I was worried that I was going to start bleeding again but so far I haven't. My milk never came in.
It's like I was never pregnant. That is so fucked up.
I cried last night for Willow.
She's gone.
Whatever she was, now she's gone.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I really want someone to send me a card that says "I'm so sorry your baby is dead."
This is real.
Acknowledge my pain.

Called Dr and asked for Ativan. NP called back and had a painful conversation about whether or not I'm depressed. No, I'm not sleeping or eating. Yes, I feel depressed. IT IS BECAUSE MY BABY IS DEAD. I think it's a little early to be talking antidepressants.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Pregnancy

I discovered that I was pregnant on March 13th. We were getting ready to go to San Diego for Jake's birthday party and I still hadn't gotten my period, so I decided to take another test. I'd taken one about a week earlier. It had been negative and I had been relieved. I wasn't quite ready to be pregnant. Next month would be better and I wanted a December baby, anyway.
So this test was positive. I started crying and went out to the kitchen where Josh was making Mischa's breakfast. I asked if he wanted to have a baby. He didn't understand why I was crying - he said he thought we were trying to have another. I hadn't been taking my prenatals very often, so I took two.
By the time we got to the party I was feeling better. I wanted to tell Nichol but there were too many people around.
We went to Plymouth for Easter when I was 8 weeks. The week before I started feeling some morning sickness. The day we got to Plymouth was the first day I threw up. I told my mom I was pregnant while we were there. She didn't say much at the time but a few weeks later she posted something on facebook and I knew she was getting excited.
I had an appt. with the NP at 12 weeks. Josh and Mischa went with me to hear the heartbeat for the first time. Mischa cried. I think it scared her.
My next appt. was at 16 weeks and I saw the Dr. This is the appt. where I declined the AFP test. I heard the heartbeat again.
I scheduled my ultrasound for 20 weeks and we would have an appt. with the NP right after. The NP appt. was for 2:20 but she didn't come in until 2:40. When she finally came in she said, "Sorry, sorry, sorry" for being late, I guess. And then she told us there was a problem with some of the measurements. A disparity between the size of the body and the size of the head and she would send us for another ultrasound. But it was probably nothing. The baby was moving a lot and the tech couldn't get good measurements. It was probably nothing. So we listened to the heartbeat. It sounded good, she said. As I was getting up she looked at me very seriously and repeated what she'd said about a disparity and it was this moment of seriousness that made me scared later.
We scheduled our next appt. and got the number to schedule the ultrasound with the specialist. I called when we got home and they gave me an appt. for the next day.
I started crying when we were getting ready for dinner. I remember saying to Josh, "I'm scared."
That night, when I was laying with Mischa, the baby was kicking so much. I thought, "What could be wrong with a baby that could kick so much?"
The next morning we dropped Mischa off with Liz. I didn't want to take her for a lot of reasons. One being that it would another boring wait, this time at the hospital, and I thought it would be too hard for her. This is the reason I gave Josh. The other reason was that I wanted both of us to be able to give the doctor our full attention in case something was wrong. And I didn't want her there if something was really wrong.

I had bought a few things for the baby. A onesie that said "Born in 2010" because Mischa had one that said "Born in 2008." A cream-colored SwaddleMe. I found the cute little deer blanket that I wanted to buy when I was pregnant with Mischa and figured out which set it matched. I was actually thinking about getting a crib and changing table. I was looking at double strollers and car seats. I ordered a cute little crocheted deer from Lauren.
I had some things that I was planning to make. A crocheted hat and blanket. A sling - charcoal and then I would get pink or blue rings for it. Cute little burp cloths.
I had started going through my baby stuff. Making lists of things I needed.

Now I'm going to make a tiny blanket with the rest of the monkey fabric I used for her blanket. And I don't know if I'll use the yarn I bought or not.


I feel like I have experienced three distinct losses.
The first - the loss of the perfect baby I was dreaming of - was the quickest and the most painful. It started in Dr Steiger's office the moment he said, "There are some problems." Just like that, my mystery baby, the one we'd nicknamed monkey just the day before, was gone. This is the loss I cried the hardest for, sobbing and choking in the car, crying at night and waking Josh up. I think this is the loss that Josh felt the most. This is the loss I cried for feeling my baby kicking so strongly inside me (and I had thought just days before "With kicks like that, how could there be anything wrong!"). But how long could I grieve for something that never was? For the most part this ended when I went into the hospital.
The time in the hospital was a kind of dead zone. It was all medications and pain and very little room to think about the real world, what was really happening. I know we cried a few times, I remember Josh crying after the social worker came and I think I did, too.
The second loss I felt was the loss of my daughter Willow, so tiny and broken. Her nose looked just like Mischa's when she was born and her hands and fingers were long and skinny like mine (although this may just be because she didn't have any baby fat yet) with tiny, perfect fingernails. On the footprints the hospital gave us, her toes are perfect little circles. Sometimes I think about her and just want to hold her one more time, or somehow go back in time and be with her again. I wish I'd listened more carefully to her heartbeat that last time. This loss, the death of my daughter, will be with me always.
The third loss is the loss of my pregnancy and the timeline. The loss of my big belly, the jokes about the baby being Josh's birthday present. The thoughts of the baby at Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fair. This is very painful now (I should be 23 weeks...), but will fade as these dates pass. Along with this I have some anger about losing those 4.5 months of hard work and morning sickness, the time I could have been enjoying with Mischa, and the fact that I started weaning her earlier than I was ready and we stopped breastfeeding when I went to the hospital. I could have nursed her until she was 2 like I wanted to if I hadn't been pregnant with a baby I wouldn't get to keep.
I want to get pregnant again as soon as I can. I know a lot of women don't want to bond with the next baby, are afraid to, but I can't wait. I want ultrasounds, I want to know the gender, I want a baby registry. I want to get back to that place I was finally getting to with Willow. The planning and loving, the anticipation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today I feel completely lost.

Mischa is watching cartoons. I made dinner in the crockpot. I put sugar in my tea.

And my baby's ashes are in a tiny box.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picking up Willow's ashes today. Whenever Mischa wakes up from her nap.

"If I had a box just for wishes and dreams that had never come true..." -Jim Croce "Time in a Bottle"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Willow is being cremated today. I can't decide if I wish I was going to be there.
My daughter, my daughter, my daughter.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One Week.

It's been a week. How is that possible?
A week since our baby was born.
I tried to look at the pictures from the hospital today. And then I decided not to. I scanned the ultrasound pictures and the handprints and footprints.

She's being cremated tomorrow, July 12th. We'll pick up the ashes and bring her home the next day, July 13th. Four months too early. My due date was November 13th. Mischa was one day early, so I imagined that this baby would be, too. She'd be born on November 12th and we'd come home on the 13th.
And now that's not going to happen.

Maybe I'll make a tiny scrapbook with her pictures and her footprints and handprints. Something to hold onto. And I want to make a little blanket with the rest of that monkey fabric.

When Mischa looked at the screen at the ultrasound, she said monkey and Josh said that now that was the nickname for the baby.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I feel the same as if she would've died at birth. As if she would've died during surgery. But there is no scenario in my mind that does not include Spina Bifida.

I had thought about Thanksgiving and Christmas. That maybe we would just have Thanksgiving at home. At Christmas we would go to Wildlights and the baby would only be a month and half old. I had thought about taking Mischa to the zoo and having my little baby on my chest.

I kept telling Josh that the baby was his birthday present. That maybe she would be born on his birthday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Am I Too Sad? Not Sad Enough?

I caught myself resting my hand on my belly yesterday.

Nothing there.

We went into the hospital at 7pm friday night to start the induction. Josh told the security guard we were there for a scheduled induction. She looked at me and I guess she thought she heard him wrong. I kept my sunglasses on until we got into a room. A nurse asked me if there was something wrong with my eyes. I got an IV, had blood drawn, waited. My nurse was named Frances but she wanted to be called Rusty. The first night I had Cytotec every 4 hours. I was exhausted and I slept. Contractions started after the second pill and they put me on the contraction monitor. Not much happened. In the morning they started the Pitocin. My nurse was named Lori and she wouldn't let me drink any water in case I needed a D&C after the baby was born. Still nothing happened. A social worker came to talk to us and I think this was when I found out that the baby could be born alive. Also, that the baby would probably be over 400 grams, so we would need to contact a funeral home. At some point after that, Dr Bernard came.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yesterday I Was Pregnant, Today I Am Not.

That's what I kept thinking yesterday.
And now it's been another day.
My nurse on Sunday was the first one to check the baby's heartrate. I almost asked her not to. Now I wish I had listened more carefully that last time.
It made me so sad to feel the baby kicking when I knew we were going to lose her and now I miss it so much.
It's funny... since we didn't know she was a girl until after she was born, I have a hard time thinking of the baby in my belly as "she." They seem like two different entities. And I suppose they were. There's the mystery baby, alive and kicking in my belly (who I was sure was a boy), and then there's the little girl who died right before she was born. There's "the baby" and then there's Willow.