Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Mountain Moved

From the time we found out about Isabella having Anencephaly to now we have had to fight the Army pretty much all along the way. And everytime we won. Though I don't give the glory of the win to us, I give it to God. He has moved every mountain and obstacle that has gotten in our way. First there was the fight to get Dwayne home on emergency leave when I got the diagnosis, he was on his 3rd deployment to Iraq. 2nd was have his 2 week emergency leave extended so we could figure out what was going on and what the insurance would cover. 3rd was finding out our insurance wouldn't cover an induction and that I would have to carry to term, what is what my heart wanted. 4th was getting the unit to allow him to stay until her birth. 4th was allowing him to stay home after her birth, they wanted to send him back to Iraq right away. And now he has done it again!

We found out today that our compassionate reassignment request has been APPROVED!! Now we did have to do some fighting for this too but God put the right people in our lives to help us. We have a wonderful friend who pretty much told us the reglations involving it and that the unit wasn't following them. Then we had a wonderful chaplain get us in touch with one who knew about compassionate reassignments and could help us. One phone call to the rear d captain and things were moving as they should be! He knew we knew the regulations and that they could be in a lot of trouble for not following them. Then when things went to a halt again our wonderful friend gave us a card for a Soldier's Advocate. Now this advocate is actually for warriors in transition, the soldiers who have been hurt while serving overseas, but she heard our story and decided she wanted to help us. When our paperwork got "lost" she called everyone and tracked it down. A few days after the calls were made it showed up on his AKO(army website and e-mail) that HRC, the army's human resources, had received it and it was pending. Poor Dwayne checked it every day, most of the time way more than once a day, lol. Everytime he looked it said pending, until today.

August 10, 2010 my husband has to report to Fort Eustis, Va! We requested that post because that is where we are from and we have family and friends there. I am truthfully still in shock over it. It doesn't seem real yet. I am extremely happy and excited though. I hate kansas and can't wait to get away from here, lol. I know I will probably find it somewhat hard to leave the only place I have memories of being with Isabella. But I know I can't ever lose those memories, they will always stay in my heart and in my mind forever.

Also how ironic is it we get this news exactly 5 months after being induced? 5 months ago today I was laying in that hospital bed waiting to meet Isabella.

Tonight though I just want to stand on a mountain top and shout my praises to the Lord!!! Though he had us go through these trials not once did he leave our side, not once was he not there for us. He has given us this great amount of strength to continue to survive this. He has done everything he could to make it as easy as possible. And no matter how much we yelled at him with our anger over the situation his love for us never waivered!!

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Letter to Isabella

To my Dearest Isabella,
First I would like to apologize for taking so long to write you a letter. Everyone and every book I read suggested it, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Now as I sit here it is weighing heavy on my heart to finally write to you.

A year ago I found out I was pregnant with you. We were so excited God had decided to bless us with another baby. Mommy had always wanted four kids, two girls and two boys. It turns out I got that wish, just with a spin on it. God had different plans for you and for our family.

I cherished every minute I had with you in my tummy and those three precious minutes we had with you after you were born. I hope during that time you could feel the love we had for you. The love we continue to have for you. You have blessed our lives in so many ways. It would take me days to sit here and write them all out. Most importantly you have taught me how precious life really is and how to appreciate all the little miracles in everyday life.

I hope you are getting all those kisses Katie and Jonathan send your way. And even though I can't see them or feel them I know you are sending them some back. They are so proud to be your big brother and sister. Katie is always telling people she has a baby sister in Heaven, she adds very proudly that you are an angel. I just wish Wesley had gotten the chance to know you. I look foward to the day I can sit down with him and tell him all about you and how special you are.

Please know that we will never forget you baby girl. There will always be a part of you in our hearts. We look forward to the day when we can see you and be a family again. Until that day comes we will continue to enjoy life, the way you have taught us to.

Love Always,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Better Than A Hallelujah

A couple weeks ago a lady at church sang this while giving her testimony and it really touched me and has stuck with me. It reminds me that during these hard times I need to give everything over to the Lord and trust him to get me through these trials. That is something I fight with on a daily basis. I am a control freak and it is extremely hard for me to hand it all over to him. Though I know he would get me through it and I trust in him completely it is a constant struggle. But I am not giving up just like I know he will never give up on me!
*make sure to scroll to the bottom of my blog to stop the playlist before watching video :)

Isabella's Video

This is a video I made for Isabella a couple of months ago.

Why I made a blog on Blogger

So most people do this when they first find out about the Anencephaly. I really wanted to do it then but for some reason not known to me I never did. I decided to go ahead and do it now so I no longer bring down my facebook with all my depressing posts, lol. Also maybe here I will feel more compelled to post the good with the bad.

21 weeks

These past couple weeks have been a real rollercoaster for me. I had a great couple weeks but this last week has been bad. I think part of it is realizing that this time last year is when we found out we were pregnant with Isabella. I remember how excited and happy we were that the Lord was blessing us again with another baby to love and hold. Then that leads me to remember the day my world came crashing down, Nov 2nd, when the doctor said she had Anencephaly. Before Dwayne deployed we moved Katie into the playroom so we could use her room for the nursery. Even though I was only about two months along he didn't want me to do it and risk hurting the baby after he left. Now that room sits up there empty. A constant reminder of our baby not being here like she should be. I can't bring myself to turn that room into a playroom or do anything else with it. For awhile I tossed around the idea of turning it into a study/office type of room but I couldn't do it. I really think right now that would make it worse. It would make it seem like we are acting like it never happened. Not to mention I really don't want to sit in there on the computer thinking that I should be rocking my baby to sleep in that room and not typing on a stupid computer.

This past week has been bad for me with being around babies and pregnant women. I had been over the pregnant women part of it but I guess with the reminder of me finding out I was pregnant last year has brought it back up to the surface. I seriously thought about going through and deleting every pregnant woman and parent with a baby around 5 months old or younger this week. Luckily a friend of mind reminded me about the hide option, lol. But I hate that I am this way. I hate that I can't be all happy and excited for my friends. I hate these jealousy feelings I have. Then there is the one pregnant mom I see at the pool who downs energy drinks while she is very obviously pregnant. I really want to go up and slap some sense into her. Make her realize just how lucky she is to have that baby growing in her stomach and how lucky she is going to be to be able to take her baby home and watch it grow up. I just wish there was some way to make every mom and future mom know just how lucky they are. How I would give up almost anything to be able to do what they are doing or going to be able to do. Everytime I hear a pregnant woman or new mother complaining I really want to go crazy ass white girl on them, lol. Seriously it drives me crazy that they don't realize how blessed they are! I mean don't get me wrong, I know how blessed I am to have my 3 alive and well when there are people out there who can't even get pregnant. But I am not going to lie, I am human and I am selfish and I want my Isabella here too!

Also right now I am stressed and confused as hell about my body and what is going on with it. I am 19 days late and have had 7 negative pg tests. The symptoms I have could fall under my friend coming or me being pregnant since I have the same symptoms for both, lol. So I have no idea what is going on. I have no idea if I should go to a doctor or should I just keep waiting to see what happens. I am also tired of spending lots of money on these tests, getting my hopes up just to see the negative on it.

Of course I am also stressing about this compassionate reassignment. It is a good sign we haven't heard anything yet but it still sucks. First HRC moved at the beginning of this month so that is making it take a bit longer. Then like some of Dwayne's sgt's pointed out before it gets approved they have to find a unit to put him in which can make it take longer. Pretty much if it was going to be denied we probably would have already heard something. It just sucks cause I don't know what to do about Katie for school. Should I enroll her here? They have already started to enroll here, I know they are weird, lol. Or should I wait to see if we are moving and will be in VA before Sept when they start school there? If we do move will we have a place to live before School starts? If not then how do I know where to enroll her? It would have been so much easier if Dwayne's unit would have followed army regulations from the beginning, we probably would have heard something by now!

On a postive note we have been keeping really busy and having lots of fun the past few weeks. We are constantly at the pool or lake. We even drove into Salina for Father's Day to go to the waterpark there! I love summer and am slowly turning into an outdoorsy type of person, lol. I am really looking forward to Sundown Salute starting on Wed. It is a week long celebration for 4th of July, with most things being free! We usually pick a few things to do each day so we always have something to do, and the kids don't get overwhelmed, lol.

One Heart, One Life

Oh, how can one heart feel so much love
That it breaks just at the thought of you?
And how can one life be so very brief?
Yet so profound that it changes the world?

It is a mystery to me, the miracle of life;
We are a part of something larger than we know.
You've opened places in our hearts
we never knew were there.
And we are amazed at the love that overflows.

When you came into this world,
we greeted you with joy.
You were the focus of so many hopes and dreams.
But this world greeted you with pain
that we coudn't take away.
I guess the mystery is deeper than it seems.

Yes, there are mysteries we don't want to know,
Places of pain we'd rather not go
And we have walked that dark path
with you, little one.

But I know there will come a day
When we'll walk hand in hand
In love and together evermore.

19 weeks

Recently when I think of my pregnancy and time with Isabella it all feels like a dream. Like it never really happened. Life is pretty much back to normal now, there isn't that constant heart ache and reminder of what we went through. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. It scares me that after just 19 weeks it is already like a dream. I am scared what it will be like after a year or 2 years and so on. Is it to get where I don't even remember her at all? Is it going to take me looking at her pictures to recall what she looked like? The other day driving home from the shoppette it hit me that I can no longer remember how she felt in my arms. That broke my heart. I remember holding her, I have picture of me holding her but I can no longer remember feeling the weight of her in my arms, but yet my arms still ache to hold her. I don't want to live in the constant heartache anymore but I also don't want to forget her. It feels like I am trapped. I can stay in the past remembering every little thing about her but having to have that constant sadness and heartache or I can start taking those steps towards the future and have to leave her behind. I don't want to choose either of those. I want a mixture of both. I want to take her into the future with me, but I just can't seem to figure out how to do that.

18 weeks

So saturday was the 18 week anniversary and I am proud to say I didn't cry once. We actually had a great family weekend! We started off the weekend friday night with pizza and family game night, the kids always love this!This month is something about month of the Dad here on post, guess because Father's day is this month. Now as a mother is kinda sucks cause they didn't have a month for Mom's, lol but that is okay. They will be having activities all month to honor the dads here on post. We always take advantage of the free things they offer here on post, not sure why more people don't. Saturday was a "picnic" for Father's and families. They had lots of fun activities set up for the kids and of course their favorite or all the bouncy bounces, that is what the kids call them, lol. They had lots of fun there and we ate our free lunch, lol. After that we went to the pool. I am soooooo happy they have finally made the pools free. Even though they weren't expensive before it would add up when you go often. The kids LOVE going to the pool so we will be going as much as we can! We had a lot of fun that day there, even with Dwayne getting a bit sunburned :). Sunday we went to church then checked out a place here we hadn't been to called Pillsbury Crossing in Manhattan. It is where a creek/river, not sure which one it is lol, crosses the road. The kids that it was awesome we drove across the water. LOL at first Katie was scared. You can also get out and go go swimming, there is a little water fall and a rope swing. Because the website said you couldn't swim there we didn't bring our bathingsuits, I wish we had, obviously no one follows that rule, lol. Next time we go back we will be bringing suits and floats! Now Jonathan is a bit like me and fearful of the unknown so he didn't enjoy it quite as much as Katie, lol. Hopefully he will get used to it after we go a few times and start to have some fun there. We are always looking for free fun things to do with the kids so happy we found this place! Then we ended the weekend all cuddled up in the living room watching Toy Story. I don't know how but the kids hadn't seen it before, weird considering it is one of my favorite Disney movies, lol. They really enjoyed it. We DVR'ed Toy Story 2 and will be watching that tonight probably. So we had a great family fun weekend and a plus for mommy and daddy was it didnt' cost us a penny :)

So the Soldier's advocate Dwayne contacted was a HUGE help! She got the compassionate reassignment to HRC! It is showing up on his AKO as pending. LOL think we are driving ouselves crazy checking AKO every few hours for an update on it. Asking for prayers that it gets approved! I really think moving away from here will help both of us. The room that was supposed to be Isabella's nursery is right at the top of the stairs, so everytime I go upstairs it is just a slap in the face. It isn't a good reminder of what happened, it isn't something that brings up the few good memories we have with her. Dwayne tries to keep the door closed for me so I don't see the empty room sitting there but I know what is behind that closed door. Dwayne having to go to work everyday on Rear D with the soldiers coming home is a constant reminder to him of why he came home. And of course sadly people are going to treat him differently. Some think he "dodged" the deployment , most don't understand what we went through and that he had a good reason to be home.

So for most of the weekend I didn't get upset or cry over Isabella. I did have a bit of an axciety or panic attack at church of all places. We got there a littler earlier than normal and took our seats, normally when we get there most people are already seated and truthfully we try to find the seat farthest away from any babies. Well since we got there early we didn't have that option. I had a baby in both directions of me. I tried to stay strong and not move to different seats before the service started. I managed that. But during worship service they most started cooing or crying at the same times. I literally felt like the room was spinning, I couldn't breath and just wanted to sit down and cry. I felt trapped. I tried to work though, I tried to control my breathing, used my inhaler and tried to concentrate on worshipping the Lord. It eventually got easier and I was somewhat able to concentrate on what the pastor was saying but it never totally went away. Most everything else has gotten easier over time I just wish this part with being around babies the same age she would be would get easier. Then Sunday night I watched Army Wives. Now this show usually brings a few tears to my eyes but usually because of something Army related. Like when they have homecoming ceremonies or saying goodbye to their soldier, stuff like that. But the past two episodes have had stuff in it about a charachter who miscarried. And this episode one of the charchters got pregnant. So that had me a little sad with a few tears that escaped. I just miss my baby girl so much. And there are still times where I can't control the emotions I feel about it. I know it will get easier over time but I also know it will never go away and I am okay with that. I don't want it to ever go away completely because I don't want to ever forget her. I am just looking forward to the day where I can smile and be happy thinking about her instead of the saddness and anger I sometimes still feel about her not being here with me.

Dwayne and I are doing better. We still have a little ways to go though. But after rereading some of my infant loss books I realize what we are going through is normal. When two people are in two different parts of the greiving process it can be hard on the marriage. We just have to continue to work though this and make sure we continue to communicate with each other, something we are working on but making progress. Because Dwayne never learned how to face his emotions it is taking him a bit longer to work through the grief. His therapist says on the emotional level as in communicating and facing emotions I am running at a sprint and he is just learning to stand up. So I just need to work on my patience and giving him the time he needs to get to where I am. She says he never faced his emotions about the deaths in his family of his Aunt who was like a mother figure to him, his sister and his step-dad. So he has quite a bit of grief to work through.

This past week Katie had her 1st t-ball game. Was a bittersweet moment, lol. So hard as her mommy to realize she is growing up, that she isn't my baby anymore, lol. It was so fun though to watch all of the kids out there playing. Of course t-ball is more about fun than winning, they don't even keep score and don't really do outs or anything like that. Just mainly working on learning the fundamentals of the game. She had so much fun playing and was great to see her find happiness in something and be proud of herself. With the ODD we have more angry and frustrated moments so the little things like that we really treasure and love. We are all looking forward to the game tomorrow night!

Emotional Rollercoaster

Wow this week has been crazy! One emotion after the other all week. As some of you saw my relationship status went from Married to It's Complicated this week. I really have NO idea what is going on with us. One day we are fine and then next we are talking divorce then the next we are fine again. We are both emotionally and spirtually in two different places right now and it is making it very hard on us and our marriage. I don't want to give up on us, we have been together almost 11 years now, married for almost 10. I think we can make it through this so I am not ready to give up on us yet but how long do I wait? How long do we keep trying and getting nowhere? And heck I realized even if I wanted to leave I couldn't. Most people have parents they can go home to, I don't. I don't have any way of supporting myself and the kids. I can't get a job that makes enough for a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs. Hopefully though it won't come to that. Ever since our last "fight" things have been okay, hopefully it can continue that way. I can't imagine my life without him so it breaks my heart to even think of seperation and divorce.

Up until today I have been doing great with everything with Isabella. Haven't had any break downs and no crying! Then today at wiggles and giggles the other wives heard me telling the instructor we put in for a compassionate reassignment, she knows about Isabella, and they had never heard of one. So I had to explain what they were and why we are trying to get one. Then the one mom with a baby said her daughter was 4 months old, what Isabella would have been in a few days. So I told her Isabella's birthday and it got us started talking about her. While I LOVE to talk about her this was the first time I have talked about her with strangers and it was hard to hold the tears back, but I did it. Then the one mom that is pregnant mentioned her doctors name, the same one I had at the end of my pregnancy and the one that delievered Isabella. So needless to say there wasn't a lot of giggling for me at wiggles and giggles today.

I have been trying to find a job because I want to get out of the house and meet people and because I am tired of being broke, lol. I need something in the evening though because of Katie's school schedule and I can't find anything. Not to mention I haven't worked outside of the home since 2004, that doesn't look great on applications, lol. I keep checking everyday and praying something will show up, hopefully something does soon. We need every extra penny we can get if we are going to move.

So to end my note with something positive I am going to brag about Katie :) She is doing GREAT in school and is starting to spell words. The other day she came down and said I am going to write zoo and she did, spelled it right! Then she did it again the next day with bed! Yes they are small words but I think it is awesome for just a preschooler :)

Can't Sleep

Seems a lot recently I haven't been able to sleep. Have so much going through my mind it doesn't want to shut off for a few hours. I hate it, I hate just laying up in bed thinking constantly.And of course at times like that we never usually concentrate on the good things in our lives but on the bad which doesn't help me fall to sleep any faster, lol.

This past saturday was the 15 week anniversary of Isabella's birth and death. On the bright side I had to pull up the calendar here on the computer to count the weeks. So I am no longer remembering them on my own. In a lot of ways that is a good sign of moving on with life, but it also makes me sad. My biggest fear is forgetting her and it seems in some ways it has already started. I want to keep her memory alive, I want people to remember her and how special she was. I also can't believe it has already been 15 weeks! I swear I close my eyes and can still see and feel her in my arms. It feels like just yesterday she was in my tummy kicking me and moving around.

I am doing a lot better with the grief now. I do still get a little upset around other babies but not like I was. Mainly now it is just when I hear them crying. I guess because I never got to hear Isabella cry it makes it hurt a little more. I am no longer allowing myself to run away from it anymore though, I am making myself face it and each time it gets easier so hopefully soon it won't be so heartbreaking to hear anymore.

This week has been a little harder than other weeks. LOL I was joking around that I must be pregnant because I had to be hormonal the way I was acting. I had two friends lose their baby girls in a weeks time from Anencephaly, so I am guessing maybe that brought up some emotions. I cried my heart out for one of them because I felt so bad because I knew what they were going through. I wish we could all live closer together because I wish I could be there for them in more ways than over the internet. I know nothing I can say to them will make anything better but my arms ache to give them a hug and let them know I am there for them.

One of my friends mentioned something about maybe feeling guilty for going on with life. I have to say that is one of the things I have read about in the grief books I haven't had to deal with. Even after deaths of other family members I continued smiling and laughing and enjoying life as much as I could. I feel that our loved ones wouldn't want us sitting around crying and moping all day. They would want us to be out there enjoying the life we have left. I know after my dad died that is how I got through it. I know the way he was and he would have been upset if I didn't have fun with my life. He was a man full of laughter and funny stories, he was the type that was always the center of attention. I know he wouldn't have wanted me laying around crying all the time. Even though Isabella didn't get much of a life I just have this feeling I would be letting her down if I didn't keep going and enjoy my life. Especially since one of the lessons she taught me was just how precious life really is. So I get up everyday first thanking God I woke up that morning breathing and then looking forward to my day, to whatever little things I can find happiness, joy and laughter in.

The hospital here on post offers a support group for pregnancy and infant loss. I have finally decided I am ready to go. I have read in so many books and on so many things online how much it helps so hoping it does. I think just being able to go and talk about Isabella will feel great. I LOVE talking about her and telling her story, lol they might start telling me to shut up :) Plus it will be nice to be around others who understand what I am going through. I am hoping we can find a babysitter for the kids so Dwayne can go too, it is in the evening and they offer no child care for it. His therapist thinks if he actually does go and talk it could really help him too.The next meeting is on the 1st. I am scared but also looking forward to it.

I have decided that since I normally come on here and write when I am depressed it makes my posts always sound so depressing, so because of that I am going to end them with something that has made me smile. Recently I was talking to a friend and I remembered one of the funniest parts of my time in the hospital when I was having Isabella, so I have decided to share it here. At some point the 2nd day I was in labor the kids were watching a Barbie movie, of course at Katie's request, lol. Well my male doctor and my husband actually stood around discussing barbie movies..yes two male adult men! So maybe it was just for a couple of minutes, and my doctor does have daughters..but still it had me cracking up between contractions! LOL it still brings a smile to my face when I think about it.

Mother's Day

First Happy Mother's Day to all my friends out there. Hope you had a great day!

My day was better than I thought it would be, so far no tears or breaking down. Dwayne and the kids let me sleep in and get some much needed rest. Was so nice to also come downstairs to a freshly mopped kitchen and a clean downstairs. The kids were so excited about it being Mother's Day. First thing I heard after waking up was Happy Mother's Day with bug hugs from the kids. Then they were so excited they had to give me my gifts right then, lol. My favorite type of gifts from the kids are homemade ones. So Dwayne had them make me cards this year and I LOVE them! I also got some flowers, a Willow tree figurine and a necklace. The figurine is a mother holding a baby and it is titled Angel of Mine. Dwayne said Katie wanted me to have one with a baby on it, I am guessing for Isabella. The necklace is a heart which is perfect because no matter where my kids are, hundreds of miles away, in heaven or here with me they are always in my heart.

Since my mother stole my son from me Mother's Day has always been a hard day for me. My heart always feels empty without him here. This year it is even more empty since Isabella went to Heaven. So today was a little bit sad but Dwayne, Katie and Jonathan did everything they could to make it a happy special day. I am so thankful today and everyday to God for blessing me with such a wonderful husband and 4 very special kids.

May 6, 2010

So Dwayne had CQ again today, that is a 24 hour duty. He is the NCO of CQ so he will be doing it every 4 days from now on. He does get two days off after it so that part is good, though I am sure soon I will be going crazy having him home so much, lol. He was supposed to have it on Mother's Day but luckily was able to find someone to cover for him. I am not looking forward to mother's day this year so happy he will be able to be home for it. Hopefully that will help some.

These nights with him working suck. I have nothing to keep my mind from wondering to depressing things. I had a great day today with the kids and was looking forward to a nice relaxing night to myself to veg out infront of the tv and catch up with my DVR. After a few shows I ended up watching the Duggars. This used to be one of my favorite shows. I just love that family, there is just something about them you can't help but love, lol. But ever since Isabella I haven't been able to watch that show. I thought I was up to it tonight. Nope, I was wrong. They were talking about how their premature baby was the hardest thing their family has ever had to go through. I understand that it is hard and can be scary and I feel for them. But at the same time I was yelling at the tv like some lunatic about how lucky they are to have her alive and be able to hold her and feed her and love on her and watch her grow up. I know their faith in God and I am sure they thank him everyday for her being alive and getting healthier everyday. I have no hate or anger towards them really. But I can't help but feel it isn't fair. I thought by now I would be over this angry and life is unfair part of the grieving, and most of the time I am. Then something out of nowhere triggers it. I never know what it is going to be.

I wish I could figure it out so I could prepare for it. This past tuesday at Jonathan's Wiggles n Giggles class I had to leave. A mother that hadn't been there before showed up with her toddler and her baby. I thought I had gotten better about being around babies, especially after Dwayne's unit SHE-IB thing. Maybe because up until then it had been a "safe" place and I wasn't expected it so it caught me off guard. I am not sure. I felt so bad that I let it come between our time with Jonathan. Of course Jonathan didn't even notice or seem to care, lol, but it still bothered me, as his mother I should have been out there with him. But yet in other situations I am getting better. One of the mother's at Katie's school with the baby only a week or two older than what Isabella would be I have talked to and even smiled at recently. Maybe because I see that baby 5 times a week I am getting used to it, I don't know. I wish I could just figure it all out.

I also hate how I come on here always sounding depressed. I am not depressed 24/7. Most days I am usually okay. Life still goes on. I laugh and smile all the time throughout the day. There is still joy in my life. It is just every once in awhile that something hits me out of nowhere and I get sad for a little bit. Usually I can push it away and get on with my day. Usually I can pretend it isn't there. I guess with me being alone tonight I didn't have to pretend. I could let it out and then let life go on. I guess I need to learn to do that everytime. Maybe if I let it out when it hits me and then move on it won't build up and explode to where it can ruin a big chunk of my day or where I take it out on others.

Well of to bed for me, even though I miss my husband I have to admit it is nice to have the bed to myself every once in awhile :) Nothing like sleeping in the middle of the bed spreading out and no fighting for covers :)

Untitled Poem

Precious, tiny, sweet little one
you will always be to me.
So perfect, pure and innocent,
just as you were meant to be.

We dreamed of you and your life
and all that it would be
We waited and longed for you
to come and join our family.

We never had the chance to play,
to laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
and listen to your giggle.

I'll always be your mother,
he'll always be your dad.
You'll always be our child,
the child that we had.

But now you're gone, but yet you're here,
we'll sense you everywhere
You are our sorrow and our joy,
there's love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong,
We'll forget you never!!!
The child we had, but never had,
and yet will have forever

12 weeks

Yesterday was 12 week since Isabella was born and passed away. It was a VERY hard day for me. I spent it at Dwayne's unit for their SHE-IB thing. There were 5 babies there around the age Isabella would be, one of the women being a wife of the same company Dwayne was in so we were pregnant together. I did better than I thought I would. First was just proud I went and didn't avoid it like I normally would have. I never did though get the courage to go up near any of the babies or talk to the woman I was pregnat with at the same time. I did have to go to the van a couple times to let some tears out cause I felt like I was going to explode holding them. Real fast a shout out to my cousin Melissa who I called crying, lol. SHe was great letting me get it out then talking about other things so I could "calm" down and not go back out there an emotional wreck, lol.

I actually e-mailed Christian, the lady I was pregnant at the same time with, and apologized for being rude, normally we would have at least said hi and talked for a bit. She was actually very nice about it and said she understood. She said she figured it would still be hard for me and that is why she didn't come talk to me. I am thankful for that. I know if she had come over I would have probably broken down in front of everyone, lol.

I thought by now I would be over this part. I am good walking in the baby section at a store now, though when I see cute little baby girl clothes it does pull at my heart but I don't break down. I am good talking about her without breaking down, I actually LOVE to talk about her but most people don't want to listen, lol. I am no longer an emotional wreck on a daily basis, I only get teary eyed at night when I pray to God to give her a kiss and tell her I love her. Pretty much life has gotten back to normal. That is until I am around a baby the same age she would be or was due around the same time she was.If I am in a public place I walk away about to cry. At Katie's school I see two everyday and sometimes have to send Dwayne to take her to school, and I feel bad when I am there because I know the moms must think I am rude because I don't talk to them or look at their babies and ooh and ahh like the other women. Yesterday was the 1st day I didn't allow myself to run away, though I wasn't ready to face them head on either. One of the soldiers running one of the events had his baby with him there all day. Dwayne had to go get the paperwork and teach me that part because I just couldn't face it. I hate being this way. I have always LOVED babies and it hurts that I can't even look at one without wanting to break down.

I am pretty much over the angry part. Every once in awhile I will come across a women who is very obvious isn't the greatest mother and I do get a little bit of anger or jealousy that they could have a baby but not me. I am told that is normal but I still hate thinking things like that. I know there is reason they got one and not me, sometimes I just wish I knew what that reason was. Would be nice if there was a stamp on their forehead from God telling me why, lol. Sometimes I wish there was one on my forehead explaining why I don't ooh and ahh over their babies or explaining why I have his painful look on my face when I look at them and see a baby. I really do wonder if I will ever be able to look at a baby or child around the same age and be able to smile instead of being sad or angry. I don't want to walk around with a chip on my shoulder for people who were born from Jan-March of 2010.

We are still waiting on word about the compassionate reassignment. Dwayne looked into this past week and it was at brigade level, they have to pass it up the chain to human resources. Not sure why they are holding onto it so long. Hopefully we will hear something soon. We have so many things in our life right now that re up in the air because we don't know if we are moving or not. I just want to be told something soon, I hate this not knowing and waiting crap, lol. You would think I would be used to it by now since that is how it always is with the Army, lol.

I am so excited for tomorrow. We are going to get our tattoo's for Isabella. I am getting a snowflake, putting it the inner side of my left arm, where I would have held her. I am still up in the air about putting her name and birth/death date with it. Dwayne is getting a halo with angel wings and her name between them with her birth/death date under her name. He is also getting it on the inner side of his left arm. His therapist thinks this will give us a little bit of closure. I don't understand that but I hope she is right.

Lesson's learned from my Daughter

They say everything happens for a reason. Well I still haven't figured out the reason why Isabella had to have Anencephaly and pass away, and not sure I will ever know the reason but I do know she has taught me quite a bit in her short life.

I have always thought of myself as trying to find the positive in everything. But then Isabella blessed our lives and really opened up my eyes. Most people hear she only lived for almost 3 mins and say how sorry they are. We on the other hand thanked God she lived those minutes. Thank God that she was born alive and got to hold her in our arms before she passed away. The doctor and nurses weren't monitoring her heart rate and when she was pronounced alive when she was born, well I think that was the first time I had ever experienced pure joy and happiness. Even though I knew what was to come I could never be happier than I was at that moment. I cried tears of happiness.

She has taught me to appreciate every minute I have with Wesley, Katie and Jonathan. Yes there are times that they get on my nerves and then I will remember how Isabella taught me how lucky I am to have them here with me. I find joy in the smallest things now. Things I would have before just looked past or not even noticed. Even things that before might have upset me I can now laugh about it. The other morning I came downstairs to Katie and Jonathan helping themselves to cookies for breakfast and having played in her make up. Before I would have been very upset at both of them. Instead I got a good laugh at the make up job Jonathan had done on himself, instead of putting the eyeshadow on his eyes he had a blue forehead lol, and said what the heck sometimes it is good to change things up and have cookies for breakfast and helped myself to a few of them, lol.

She has taught me what is really important in life. That no matter what kind of material possesions we have that as long as we have love that is all that matters. You see love is all she ever knew, how wonderful of a life that would be to live. To never have anger or see some of the scary things involved in living now a days. I try now to show love in everything I do. I mean I am human so there are times I do get angry and slip up but then it is almost like Isabella is that good angel on my shoulder you see in movies and I remember what she has taught me.

I look at situations totally different now. Things that before would have pissed me off or upset me I try to find the positive in it. I saw the other day one of my shoes was messed up, a pair that wasn't cheap. Before I probably would have let it ruin my day, now I just thought it's just a shoe, there are more important things in life.

She has reminded me about my faith and my life with God. Over the past few years my relationship with God had been pushed to the back burner. But since the diganosis of Isabella's anencephaly I can honestly say I know God has been with me and has been watching over my family. After everything that has happened from Dwayne being approved for Emergency leave, to it being extended, to being approved to stay home until the birth, to not being deployed again and to now most likely moving back to VA, I truely do not understand how anyone can say God doesn't exsist. God has moved every mountain that has been in our away along this journey. And after what we learned yesterday with the compassionate reassignment he is still doing it. He has brought a wonderful man into our lives, one of Dwayne's Sgt's. He has been a huge supporter to us and our family. And now he has helped us find the church we have been looking for the past 3 1/2 years! I have had people use the fact that Isabella did have anencephaly and did die to suggest it would question my faith, not make it stronger. Well yes I was very angry at God for it, and there are days I do still get angry. But I am only human. I do not see it as any kind of punishment or use it as an excuse to deny that there is a God. I have always known that death is a part of life, it is something I was forced to acknowledge when my dad died in 1998 and then slapped in my face again once I joined Dwaynes family and we lost a few family members in about a years time. I have always felt when your job is done here on earth it is your time to go, no matter who you are where you are or anything like that. Isabella's job just didn't take as long as most peoples. Or else I was just blessed with an extremly gifted child who got it done a lot faster than God had planned :)

She taught me to not take things for granted anymore. Everyday I wake up is a good day! That is how I see life now. Of course I still have bad days and even still have depressed days but I still am thankful to wake up that morning breathing! She also renewed my faith in military healthcare. I mean don't get me wrong it still sucks in a lot of ways, lol. But I had gotten to the point after seeing so many different doctors and nurses that there weren't anymore that honestly cared about the patient. Well we couldn't have asked for better doctors or nurses. I honestly believe they were a gift from God! Mrs. Brockson and Dr. Sessions were wonderful with us. Both listened to what we wanted out of this pregnancy and did what they could to make sure that happened. Both were caring and understanding of our situation. Dr. Sessions even came in on his day off to deliever Isabella! And Nurse April, well I can't say enough good about her. I remember her asking me what I needed from her shortly after we got there. I told her to not treat us any differently, and she really lived up to that. I know it had to be hard on her too. She really kept the mood upbeat and we talked and laughed like I was there to deliever a baby no different than anyone else. I remember how happy I was that she had come back on shift when it was time for Isabella to be born. I am thankful that she was there to share that wonderful moment with us, even if she did bruise my muscles pushing on my stomach, lol, just kidding April :) The other nurses that were there were also great. The nurses that took care of Isabella were wonderful too! They all did so much for us and I will always be thankful to them. Now whenever I have to go to a military hospital I will remember these wonderful people and remember there are still people out there in the medical field who truely care about their pateints.

And then she has taught me who my real friends and family are. Sadly this isn't a lesson that is always fun to learn. But I guess I would rather weed out the bad ones before the friendships got any farther along. She also reconnected me with some old friends too. So many people supported me and my family during this time, some people who I least expected to. Then there were the ones who I thought would be there and now no longer even talk to me, one who I never even saw again after the diagnosis. One person who I really thought I was close with, who I would call whenever anything was wrong really let me down. It really hurt to realize she wasn't really there for me, but I would rather learn that lesson then go on thinking she was a true friend.Also because of her I have met some wonderful and brave women through the Anencephaly group. In a lot of ways she brought me and my mother closer together. I don't think I had ever talked to my mom in my entire life as much as I have from the time Isabella was diagnosed to now. Maybe Isabella taught her a few things too.

Maybe one of the lessons is the reason for her short life, maybe they all are or maybe none of them. I have gotten to the point where it doesn't matter what the reason was as much as it used to. Instead I am just thankful for what she has taught me and I am sure will continue to teach me as I go through the rest of my life with her watching over me.

Sweet Child

Sweet Child

God made a sweet child
a child who never grew old
He made a smile of sunshine
He molded a heart of pure gold.
He made that child as close to an angel
as anyone ever could be
God made a Sweet Child
and He gave that dear child to me
Then God saw His wonderful creation
growing very tired and weak
so He wrapped the child in His loving arms
and said, "You my child I keep"
But now my Sweet Child is an angel
Free from hurt and pain
I'll love you forever, until we meet again
So many times I have missed you
So many times I have cried
If all my love could have saved you
Sweet Child you never would have died.

author unknown


So since last time I wrote I am doing better. Seems the bad days are getting less often and the good days are getting more often. Tomorrow we are going to the hospital to give them the mold kits we bought so I am sure that will stir up some emotions, but that is okay. I have learned to accept whatever emotions I am feeling and that still having bad days is okay!

Right now I am more worried about my marriage. This whole thing has pushed us farther apart instead of together. Both of us have pulled so far away emotionally it is like living with a roommate not a husband and wife. I don't know what to do to bring us back together. I don't want to push him because I know people have to go through things in their own time and in their own ways but I need him back with me emotionally. I NEED to talk about it, I NEED to talk about her! And it isn't just her, he has cut off everything. He doesn't want to talk about anything, even everyday stuff. He is normally the one to help pull me out of depression, the one I can count on to go to and talk about anything. Now without him doing that I feel myself falling farther and farther down that dark hole. I know it isn't right to always expect him to save me, that sometimes I need to save him too, I just don't know how to. I have never seen him this depressed before and nothing seems to be working to pull him out of it. He is so grumpy all the time, snapping at me and the kids constantly, which is so not like him. He has no patience for anything, and he is the one known for his patience. Intimately we are also in two different places. I want nothing to do with it and that is all he wants. Both I have read are normal, just very hard when we are both in different places. Makes me feel like he only thinks I am good for one thing and I am sure I make him feel like I don't want him anymore. I am just so lost and confused and don't know what to do. I seriously worry that we have pulled apart to much to get back. We have been through so much in the 10 years we have been together, overcome so many things, I just hope we can do the same with this and come out a stronger couple in the end. I just wish I knew what to do to help him and help our marriage. Maybe it is time for couples counseling again, I just don't want to start something and get comfortable with someone only to find out our compassionate reassignment has been approved and we have to move and start over again with someone different. But I am also scared that by waiting to do it will only push us even farther apart to a place where we can't fix it.

The stress the unit is causing him is only making things worse. Now they want to do a mental evaluation on him. With that they can pick 1 of three things. One is he is now deployable, the other two are med board and some kind of chapter, both will be kicking him out of the Army. They are doing this because the Sergent Major is coming home on R&R and they are scared of him for some reason. If he should happen to show up at the unit during his R&R and just happen to ask about Dwayne they want an answer for him. I am not sure why they cause use the profile his therapist gave him as an answer though. He was also told they are pretty sure if he isn't deployable and somehow gets out of the med board and chapter that the sergent major will find anyway he can to kick him out. Another reason we need this compassionate reassignment and to get away from this unit ASAP! They feel like if you aren't depolyed you need to be kicked out, they don't believe in giving people time to heal and get better. It isn't like he is one of those soldiers who try to get out of everything. He is always one of the first to volunteer to do stuff, he has already been through 2 deployments and never once tried to get out of them, he never tried to get out of any of the field time or any other kind of training. This is the first time he has ever caused any kind of "trouble", that is how they see it, and instead of standing by their soldier and helping him out in a time of need they want to just get rid of the problem. I know all this is only stressing him out more, but it is also stressing me out! I am just so tired of fighting this unit, that is all we have had to do since Isabella's diagnosis, we have had to fight for everything. But I am not giving up, this unit has started a war and we are going to win it! We have won all the battles before now and we will win this one and end this! I just hope we can both survive it and still have our marriage intact by the end of it.

God's Angels

God's Angels Poem
Dawn Glenton

If God did not make Angels, then who would want to die?
How could there be a Heaven in that great place in the sky?
If God did not make Angels, then who could sing and play
And evermore watch over us each moment, every day?
He chooses them so carefully and often they are small,
His babies are most innocent, and some aren't born at all.
These cherubs are a special gift sent down for us to love,
If only for a little while until they're called above.
If you conceived an Angel that was not meant to stay,
Then do not grieve and make it sad, just let it go and play,
For Heaven is a special place where we all wish to go,
Our Angels will be waiting there for all of us, you know,
And when we see their faces and their little golden smile,
We'll know our precious Angels only left for a short while.
We'll cuddle them and smother them with kisses filled with love,
That day we meet our Angels in God's nursery up above.

Hi Mommy

Hi Mommy Poem

It's me, your little Angel
Just checking in with you.
I know you're sad
because I'm gone,
and Mommy I'm sad too.

It's beautiful here,
wherever I am,
there's such a lovely view.
But mostly when I'm sitting here
I'm looking down at you.

I see all your feelings,
everyday when I look down,
I love to see you smile
and I know sometimes you frown

But guess what?
I have a job to do.
God saved it for your little girl.
I get to watch over you
and protect you from the world.

So though you cannot see me
and I know it's hard on you,
You'll surely see the benefits
of the job God has me do.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams Poem
Dawn Glenton

Sweet dreams are all I have of you, they're all you left behind,
Those cherished, lovely memories, never again to find.
On earth you were so wonderful, no child could I compare
To all the love you gave to me, you were so meek, so rare.
Sweet dreams they keep me going through the long and lonely night,
How I wish that I could hug you here and squeeze you oh so tight.
If I could walk to Heaven dear, to see you every day,
Just know I'd never want to leave, I know I'd long to stay.
We parted here on earth my child, but God's will shall be done,
Then dreams will be reality for once more we'll be one.
I love you for eternity, forever and some more,
Because you were the sweetest child, the kindest and most pure.
If Heaven's full of Angels, like you were here on earth,
I thank the Lord for lending you, for giving me your birth,
One day my child I'll see you there, so please look out for me,
You'll see my smile so wide before you see my spirit free.
God takes the sweetest Angels first, this we know is true,
For He came here and looked around, my darling, He chose you!

6 weeks

Saturday was 6 weeks from Isabella being born. In some ways it feels like yesterday I was holding her in my arms, in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago that my world came crashing down. Tomorrow will be my actual due date for her. I can't help but feel some guilt for inducing at 33 weeks. Yes I know there were complications with the polyhydroaminos and how it was affecting my asthma. But I can't help but think I chose myself over her. Something as a mother I swore I would never do. I can't help but think I could have carried her longer, my asthma wasn't that bad yet. And of course I wonder if I had carried her longer would she have lived longer? Would I have had more than 3 mins with her? Don't get me wrong I am so very thankful for those 3 mins but I can't help but wonder and feel guilty about things. Dwayne and I have talked years ago about what we would do if I was pregnant and it came down to me or the baby, the choice I would want made is for the baby to live. I know this situaion is different because no matter what she wouldn't have lived a full life, but my choosing myself did I shorten her life? I can't help but think of those extra days or weeks I would of had with her in my tummy if I had told the doctors no I want to wait. Dwayne has told me over and over we did the right thing, that it was the right time. That if we had waited longer more complications could have happened that could have lead to her being born still, and put myself in more danger. My brain knows this stuff is true, my heart can't help but question it and wonder.

A lot of people think it is time for me to move on, that I should be over it by now. Trust me I wish I could in so many ways. I don't enjoy being depressed, I don't enjoy not being able to sleep, I don't enjoy crying all the time. I just miss her so much and can't seem to figure out how to "move on". I don't want to forget her, and I guess maybe I am scared if I stop looking at her things and thinking about her the memories are going to slowly fade away. I have good days, recently have been having days when I don't even cry. I start to think I am finally seeing the light at the end of this dark tunnel and then I don't know what happens but I am back in this dark place. My heart literally feels like it has been crushed to pieces and I have no idea how to glue it back together. I put so much energy into putting on the fake mask to hide how I am really feeling that I have no energy left to do anything else. I have really been trying to get back to normal life but it is so hard. I don't feel like doing anything. I can't sleep at night which leads to no energy during the day to do much around the house. It takes me all day long just to get the downstairs of our house cleaned, I never make it upstairs. After dinner I literally just crash, I sit down and can't move to do anything. I am so tired but every night I just can't seem to fall asleep.

I really hope we can get this compassionate reassignment approved. The rear d 1st sgt told the CSM about it and he said no, even before he read any paperwork. But after some reasearch we learned he has no right to deny it, it goes way above his head. The paperwork is supposed to be passed up to army personel, meaning no one in the unit or even on this post can make the decision about it. We haven't put the paperwork in yet we are waiting to get something from the chaplin recommending it. Once we get that Dwayne is goign to tell them to put the paperwork in, and then he is going to IG to make sure they do what they are supposed to do with it. I really think moving back to VA will help me so much. I have family and friends there when I have no one here anymore. All my friends have moved away or I learned they weren't my friends to begin with. I have no one here to get out with and take my mind off things. Dwayne is the only one I have to talk to and for some reason I don't talk to him much. Everyone said this would bring us closer together and in some ways maybe it did but I also fear it has driven us apart too. Neither of us really talk to each other about it. He thinks he is going to upset me by talking about it, even though I told him I want to talk about her, and for some reason that I don't know I don't talk to him. Both of us are depressed and I guess we don't have what we need to hold the other one up during this time. I think him getting away from here and the stress from the unit will help him too.

I am just so tired of fighting the unit, the army, the depression. I am almost to the point that I just want to give up and lay in bed all day. To go numb and not feel anything. I don't want to live a life like that. Isabella taught me how precious life really is and I feel like I am letting her down by not getting out there and enjoying every little bit of it I can

My Child's Name

My Child’s Name
Author Unknown

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don’t worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn’t show.
Don’t worry about making me cry.
I’m already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing the tears that I try to hide.
I’m hurt when you just keep silent, pretending he didn’t exist.
I’d rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing,
I say “pretty good” or “fine.”
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.

Please Don't Tell Them You Never Got To Know Me

Please don't tell them you never got to know me
It is I whose kicks you will always remember,
I who gave you heartburn that a dragon would envy,
I who couldn't seem to tell time and got your days and nights mixed up.
It is I who acknowledged your craving for peach ice cream by
knocking the cold bowl off your belly.
I who went shopping and helped you pick out the "perfect" teddy bear for me,
I who liked to be cradled in your belly and rocked off to
dreamy slumber by the fire.
It is I who never had a doubt about your love,
It is I who was able to put a lifetime of joy into an instant.

-Pat Schwiebert

My Christopher Box

My Christopher Box
by Kelly Pelosi

Once again, I open the closet door and there you are
staring at me, piercing at my heart.
The contents of you are so precious,
I take you to a special place,
Slowly I caress your lid so gently until finally I can open you.
A surge of you numbs my body.
For a few minutes, I am motionless as your nine months
pass by in just a few short seconds.
I take care to read every card, as if I were reading them for the first time.
I could recite each by now but I don't.
These are all I have of you.
As I make my way to the bottom, careful to keep everything
in its proper place,
I see you, beautiful pictures of you,
all covered in white.
So pure, so peaceful.
As I hold you to my heart, we rock together as I dreamed we would.
I feel your soul so connected to mine.
I cry. No, I sob.
The ache in my arms to hold you...
I pull myself away as I know I must do.
I pause to hold your footprints.
And place your bracelet with your name so proudly engraved in my arms.
After our final moment together, I put you back in your special place.
Knowing that I really never put you away because you are
part of my heart.
As my final prayer to God, please take care of my precious one.
As I await the day that you and I are one.

Precious Child

In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
'Cause you are with me still

In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, my precious child

In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
And you are with me still

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon,
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

God knows I want to hold you,
See you, touch you
And maybe there's a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you are not forgotten until then

In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

Invisible Wound

Life goes on
all around me.
Others don’t know,
nor do they see.
My silent pain
rages inside.
All I want to do
is cry and hide.
Tears are falling
like pouring rain,
cold rivulets
of icy pain.
My heart is empty
and it feels broke.
I try to talk,
but I just choke.
This inner pain
hurts so bad
as I think of all
we could’ve had.
My empty arms
ache to hold,
but all that’s felt
is bitter cold.
But life goes on
all around me.
Others don’t know,
nor do they see.


I thought knowing what the outcome was going to be would make this easier, boy was I wrong. Don't get me wrong I do not regret for one second carrying Isabella as long as I could. I am thankful for each precious day I had with her in my tummy.
I know she is in a better place now but I guess I am just a selfish person and want her home with me. I want to feel her in my arms again. I want to hear her cry. I want to be up all night feeding her and loving on her. There is so much I feel I was cheated out of.
Everyone keeps asking me how I am doing and of course I always say ok or I am fine, really what else am I supposed to say? Am I supposed to tell them how I am constantly on the verge of tears and never know what is going to trigger them. How I feel like I have to be strong and not let anyone see how upset I really am? I haven't even let my own husband see me cry or know how hurt I am. I wish I could just break down and let him hold me and comfort me but for some reason like always I feel I have to put up a front and be the strong person. I haven't even been able to call those closest to me for fear of breaking down when I am on the phone with them.
I wish someone would tell my body that even though I did have a baby it is no longer here. There is no reason for my milk to be coming in and all the normal pains from birth are just a reminder of the fact that she isn't here.
All I want to do is sleep because I can see her in my dreams, I get to be her mother in my dreams and take care of her. And even if I don't dream of her I am not awake to feel this constant heartache I am feeling. It is so bad that I have to sleep with her blanket jut to feel close to her, without it I am not able to sleep. My arms literally ache from the want and need to hold her.
I feel like in a way I am letting her down by not being able to stay strong and postive through this. I thoguht coming on here and writing this might help me to feel a little bit better. That maybe getting some of this off my chest would help. But I just can't seem to find the words to explain how I am feeling. There are no words to explain this terrible ache I feel and the emptiness in my heart. I guess right now nothing is going to make me feel any better. I just have to keep faking it until the day I realize I am doing okay and don't need to fake it anymore.

What Makes A Mother

What Makes A Mother

I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today
I asked "What makes a Mother?"
And I know I heard him say
A Mother has a baby
This we know is true
But, God, can you be a mother
When your baby's not with you?

Yes, you can he replied
With confidence in his voice
I give many women babies
When they leave it is not their choice
Some I send for a lifetime
And others for the day
And some I send to feel your womb
But there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this God
I want my baby here

He took a breath
and cleared his throat
And then I saw a tear
I wish I could show you
What your child is doing today
If you could see your child smile
With other children and say
"We go to earth to learn our lessons
of love and life and fear
My mommy loved me so much
I got to come straight here
I feel so lucky to have a Mom who had so much love for me
I learned my lessons very quickly
My Mommy set me free.

I miss my Mommy oh so much
But I visit her each day
When she goes to sleep
On her pillow is where I lay
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek
And whisper in her ear
Mommy don't be sad today
I'm your baby and I am here"

So you see my dear sweet one
Your children are okay
Your babies are here in My home
And this is where they'll stay
They'll wait for you with Me
Until your lessons are through
And on the day you come home
they'll be at the gates for you

So now you see
What makes a Mother
It's the feeling in your heart
It's the love you had so much of
Right from the very start
Though some on earth
May not realize
Until their time is done
Remember all the love you have
And know that you are
A Special Mom

Author Unknown

Farther Along - Brad Paisley

This is a song that I have always loved, and of course my favorite is the Brad Paisley version. But now more than ever this song really means a lot to me.

Temped and tried we`re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus, all the day long
While there are others, living about us
Never molested though in the wrong.

Farther along we`ll know all about it
Farther along we`ll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We`ll understand it all by and by.

When death has come and taken our love ones
It leaves our homes so lonely and drear
And then do we wonder, why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year.

Farther along we`ll know all about it
Farther along we`ll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We`ll understand it all by and by.

--- Instrumental ---

When we see jesus coming in glory
When he comes down from his home in the sky
Then we shall meet him in that bright mansion
We`ll understand it all by and by.

Well farther along we`ll know all about it
Farther along we`ll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
We`ll understand it all by and by

Yeah, we`ll undersatnd it all by and by...

30 weeks

Well as you might know from my status update we didn't get the best of news today at the doctor. I am measuring at 36 weeks when I am only 30 weeks. This sometimes happens with babies with Anencephaly. They can be so comotose like that they don't swallow the amniotic fluid like most babies do. They did a sonogram to make sure that is what is going on. They measure the pockets of fluid and anywhere from 5-25 is considered normal and we are at 26.1. So just over but still over. She did say that I might actually be higher than that because there were a couple pockets where she couldn't even get the top and bottom on the screen to measure because they were so big. This explains the pains I get when I walk or am on my feet. This also explains my 10lb weight gain this month, lol. Well at least I am going to use that as the excuse, has nothing to do with the Christmas goodies I ate, lol.

As of right now we don't know what the next step is. My "doctor" is actually only a NP so she is going to talk to the doctor who would most likely see me from now and see what he says. She also would like me to go to Topkea and see the specialist again and get his opinion. I am lucky though that they all agree and support me with the decision to go as long as possible and do whatever we can to hopefully have Isabella born alive. I was told today they were 99% sure I would be able to have a c-sec if I delievered at the Army hospital here, however if for some reason they think I should go to Topeka we aren't sure what Tricare will cover. Hopefully if they have to they can use this extra fluid as a medical reason to need one. The hard part now is deciding how long to wait. If we wait to long the fluid can rupture which will most likely lead to Isabella being born still and also puts my life in danger.

My doctor also let is slip today that Isabella is the worse case of Anencephaly the specialist in Topeka has ever seen. Hearing that was like hearing all over again that she wasn't going to survive. That pretty much took away all my hope of her living for hours or even days. It is even hard now to still have hope of her living for a few mins after the cord is cut. It also pretty much means without a c-sec there isn't much hope of her surviving a normal birth.

Right now it is just really hitting me the short amount of time we have left. I was already upset thinking we had until March, thinking that wasn't enough time left to have her in my tummy alive. But now with this fluid problem we most likely won't even make it to March. I hate feeling her move inside me, knowing she is alive, while thinking that in a matter of weeks she will be dead and we will be having a memorial service for her. All of this is still breaking my heart. Yes I have come to terms with it, and mentally I am prepared for it, but my heart just can't handle it.

The funny thing is everyone thinks I am dealing with this wonderfully, they are all surprised at how well I am handling it. Well it is all a lie. I can fake a smile and laugh better than anyone. But on the inside I am dying, I am in more pain than I have ever been in my life. I feel so alone and isolated because no one knows what I am feeling or even what it is like to be going through this. At the same time I wonder how everyone else can keep going on with life like normal, don't they know what I am going through? Don't they know that my daughter is about to die? For me the world has stopped turning but for everyone else it is spinning around and around and life goes on for them. At the doctors office today I wanted to get up and shout to all the other women to shut up and stop their bitching and complaining, don't they know how lucky they are to be having a baby they are going to be able to bring home and watch grow up? Who cares how swollen your ankles are and how hard it is to walk, who cares that you are 36 weeks pregnant with twins but they won't induce you. All of them I wanted to slap in the face and tell them to just shut up and be thankful for what they have. Instead I just sat there and smiled and kept my mouth shut. Like when a lady showed me her 3 day old baby she was taking home from the hospital, I smiled and said how beautiful she was while I was thinking why, why she got to have a healthy baby and not me. I feel so guilty for thinking these thoughts all the time but I can't seem to help it.

Oh well guess it is time for my pity party to end and for the fake smile to come back. Time to go on pretending that everything is okay when really my world is falling apart.

Dec 26, 2009

I just want to apologoize to all my friends out there. I have been so depressed since the news of Isabella having Anencephaly that I have pretty much cut myself off from everyone. I know it is a normal part of the grieving and depression but I just feel so bad for it. I don't call any of my friends that live far away and I no longer see or talk to any of my friends in this area. Partly because it is so hard to constantly keep up the charade that everything is okay. Faking that smile and laugh is hard work. And I feel guilty for always being the "downer" in the group and bothering everyone with my sadness and depression all the time. So in my mind it is just easier to not talk to anyone. So I am sorry to everyone I am doing this to and I am hoping you can forgive me and in the long run not let it affect our friendship.

So our Christmas was okay this year. Santa was on a tight budget but I think he did okay, lol. The kids sure had no complaints, lol. Katie was actually worried that Santa might not of had enough presents left for the other kids, lol. I tried my best at being upbeat and joyous for the season but at the same time watching the kids open presents Christmas morning it really hit me how sad I was that we will never get to see that with Isabella.

I have been reading a lot of other peoples stories who also had babies with Anencephaly. I read the ones where the baby lived days or even over a month and think how wonderful that must be. I am no longer praying for a miracle for God to have her born healthy now I am just praying for a few special moments with her alive. I pray that tricare will allow us to have a c-sec since it is more likely for her to be born alive that way. With a regular birth there is a 50/50 chance of her being born alive and I want to do everything we can to try and have it that way, hopefully the doctors will agree with our "birth plan" if tircare won't allow the c-sec. We do not want my water broken or any drugs to speed along the birth like they ususally do. Right now I just dream of her being in my arms alive. I know there is a good chance of her being born still but I really don't know if I could handle that. I mean I guess I would have to if it came to it but it would be so heartbreaking. I have come to terms with everything in my mind but have no idea how to prepare my heart for it. Everyday my heart is breaking and nothing seems to help it. The stories I have read from women who have carried to term say they feel a sense of peace at the end of it, I am hoping I can feel that too.

Already though she has given me some good memories. She really makes me laugh when it comes to Dwayne. She will be moving like crazy and he will go to feel and she just stops, lol Or one night he was talking to her and laid his head on my belly and she kicked him right in the face, lol. She does not like anything interfering with her space. If he puts his arm around me in bed to hold me she will kick it off, if I lay anything on my stomach she kicks at it, lol, and so on. Every kick and movement I feel I cherish and treasure and lock it away in my memory to stay forever so I will always remember this time I have had with her.

Nov 17, 2009

Well really I am not sure what is going on, lol. As of right now we know that I can't induce. The hospital here on post won't do it because it is a government hospital and as long as the baby has a heartbeat there isn't anything they can do. And our insurance company won't cover it because it isn't medically necessary, meaning neither me or the baby are in danger right now. Now if Dwayne wasn't deployed this wouldn't be a problem since I wanted to carry to term anyways. But it does cause some problems and stress not knowing what is going to happen with that. The specialist in Topeka is going to write his unit and try to get it where he can stay until the birth, Dwayne is 99% sure they will say no. It really upsets me and him that he might miss the birth and his chance to know his daughter and say goodbye to her. It also upsets me because I know I am not mentally stable right now and I need him here for me and the kids. What really pisses me off is that it isn't right because it doesn't give the woman/family the choice. Some women aren't up to carrying the baby to term, they mentally couldn't handle it. They deserve a choice in the matter. If you have tricare it means most likely your spouse is in the military and as we all know people in the military do not make much money, they don't have the money to go pay for it out of pocket if they really wanted to induce. THIS IS FREE HEALTHCARE PEOPLE!!! Why do people want this?????

So anyways tomorrow Dwayne is going to go up to Rear D and talk with them, let them know what is going on and get the e-mail addresses for the people in Iraq for the doctor to write to. Hopefully it won't take long to get a response. Even if it is no I would rather know than sit around waiting and worrying for days on end. I will also be making an appointment with mental health. One because I do need to go talk to someone. I am not doing good at all with this, my depression is so bad right now I can't fight it anymore. And secondly hopefully if the unit knows my mental status it will help with getting Dwayne to stay here. Even before this though I had planned on doing this.

So we are just asking for everyones prayers that they let him stay. I also worry about how he will be if they send him back. He will be to worried about me and the kids and upset over everything to be able to concentrate on his missions. He will not be in the right mindset to be fighting in a war. And sorry despite everything you hear in the news the Iraqi Army/Police isn't doing everything over there now. Dwayne was going on missions on a daily basis before he come home on emergency leave. He doesn't need to be having all of this on his mind while he is over there, that is how accidents happen. I know the Army doesn't take into account emotions when it comes to stuff but I am hoping this time they will. Emotionally me and the kids need him here and he needs to be here for his own reasons too.

Right now most likely if he does go back they won't even send him back here for the birth. Not to mention with this you can go into early labor because most babies don't swallow the amniotic fluid like most "normal" babies so it can cause it to rupture. Also most women do NOT give birth on their due date, for some reason some people still believe they do, lol. For me it has always been earlier. So even if they got him home for the due date it could be to late. Also there is always the chance for complications in any pregnancy and even more in one like this so no telling if eventually they would have to induce me for some reason and we all know it takes days for them to get them home. So there is no guarantee that he would be able to get back for it. I mean really could you imagine how it would feel to know that you could have been there to meet your daughter and say goodbye to her but can't because the Army won't let you? You have to come home to her already in the Urn??? And knowing your wife had to go through all that alone? It just isn't right to put someone through that. But we are talking about the Army here, and that is why we are worried.

So yeah right now I am no where near mentally stable. Between the emotional wreck I am from finding out my daughter isn't going to survive to know having to stress and worry over what is going to happen with Dwayne, I am just about at my breaking point.


So not much has changed since my last note. Dwayne is here now, which has been a big help. We were planning on going today to try and get his leave extended, they only gave him 15 days. But we found out everyone has a 4 day weekend so that will have to wait until Wed. I had a regular OB appointment on the 16th so we are going to see if we can keep that and use it as a time to talk to the doctor about the next steps, of course this is if we can get his leave extended. I have to admit I hate being in this position of pretty much being forced into inducing early. It makes me very angry that I don't really have a choice. If I did I would carry her to term but we are 99% sure there is no way the Army will let him stay that long. So we are just going to try and get as much time as we can and wait as long as we can to induce.

Really weird thing is before my appointment on the 2nd I hadn't really felt Isabella move. There were a few times I thought maybe I had but they never really continued or happened often so I usually just put it off to something else. I mentioned this to the doctor and he said the Anencephaly could be the reason for that. Because of the lack of brain development they are usually in a comatose state. Well I am thinking Isabella heard all this and wanted to prove them wrong cause she has been moving like crazy this week. Each day has been more and more movement and last night it was so much Dwayne was able to feel her too. It was a very bittersweet moment, one I will remember forever. To see him holding back the tears just broke my heart, but at the same time he was so happy to finally feel her. LOL he had been trying since the day he got here. I am at the point where I am cherishing every move she makes. I know it won't be much longer that I will feel her alive moving inside me. In some ways I am thankful to God for allowing me to carry this special person and feel all of this. Of course there are the times where I am also angry at him for all of this. I go from one extreme to the other.

The past few days really I have become numb. I am guessing it is a survival technique my mind and body are doing. I hate it though. I think I would rather be crying 24/7 than this. I know it is bothering Dwayne too though he isn't saying much about it. It is like I feel like I am a robot going through my daily routines with no emotions involved. I also really feel the depression kicking in. I want to sleep all the time and not get out of bed. Dwayne has been very good at letting me get as much rest as I can and cleaning and taking care of the kids. But I hate that it is this way. I think part of it is I feel like I have to be strong, I have always been this way. Whenever there has been something that has made me want to cry I always stop it telling myself I need to be strong. I think if I could just have a breakdown for a little bit I would actually feel better. I just don't know how to do that. I don't know how to let go of this feeling that I have to be strong. I know that it would be good for me to have a breakdown, I know that it would be okay in a situation like this, I just can't do it. I am just afraid of what is going to happen if I keep holding these feelings in like this. We all know there is only so much you can hold in before you explode.

We have gotten Isabella's dress and a blanket for her to use at the hospital. I almost did have a breakdown in the baby section at Walmart when we were buying her the blanket. It just isnt' fair that all I can get her is one dress and a blanket. I should be out there buying lots of outfits and blankets and strollers and all that stuff. Before going to Walmart we were out to dinner and there was person with a baby girl in front of us, was so hard to not sit there and cry in the middle of Cracker Barrel. I wonder how long it will take before I can see a baby or pregnant woman or go in a baby section in a store without feeling like my heart is literally breaking.

We have decided to have Isabella cremated and do a little memorial service for her. We haven't done much planning for it. I have never been to one for a baby and just don't know what we need to do. We are thinking instead of doing a memorial service at a funeral home getting one of the chaplins on post to do one at a church here. Really with no family or friends here it is going to just be a small simple service. Probably will just be us there. Again I am angry that I am shopping for Urns instead of baby stuff.

The really hard part is how some of our family doesn't understand how we feel. That Isabella is our daughter not just something to be "taken care of". I truthfully don't understand how anyone can carry a baby and not think of them as their child, it is just something that will always baffle me.I just hope that our family can at least learn to support us and keep their opinions on it to themselves. I don't really feel like I should have to explain myself and the decisions me and my husband make for our family. We have different beliefs and feelings and they just need to accept that and either support us or get out of our lives. In a time like this we need support not to be judged and told our decisions are wrong. I also hope that they understand that we are going to be grieving the loss of our daughter, this isn't just something we can get over right away. This will take lots of time and love and understanding from those close to us.

From Nov 4, 2009

So as most of you know our baby girl has a form of open neural tube defect where her brain and skull didn't form completely. I have been doing research of it online. I know from that it is nothing that I did during the pregnancy. It usually happens between the 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy, so before most women even know they are pregnant. Even though I know all the facts on it and have done all the research it doesn't help me emotionally with it.

I know a few people have wondered why in the world did I post this on facebook. Well most of my friends live all across the country, some even in other countries. They all knew that I was going to the specialist because of the lab results. I knew they would all be wondering what I found out. I didn't want to have to tell the story over and over again, because really I would break down everytime I had to tell it, so figured that would be the easiest way for me to let everyone know.

Most people have asked me what the next step is. I have to deliever the baby. The doctors said whenever I was ready to do it, there is no rush. In a normal world there is no rush, with Dwayne being deployed it does change things. With my own faith and beliefs if he was home there would be no inducing early. I would carry her to term. But at the same time I want Dwayne here for it. He deserves a chance to say goodbye and really we will need each other emotionally for it. I really doubt the Army will let him stay home until March so most likely I am going to have to induce early. I do know if I had been able to go to term she could live for a few mins to a few days, if she survived the birth. I am not sure what will happen with inducing early.I know people will judge me for this, that most pro lifers will not understand this decision. I just say to that I have to do what is best for me and my family.

This is a very hard time for me. For me she isn't just a fetus, she is my daughter. We have named her Isabella Grace. Right now I am going through the whole it's not fair thing. I keep thinking I should be out shopping for her not planning her funeral. I have very strong Christian beliefs so I know that there is a reason for this, I just don't know what it is. I might never know but I put my trust in God that he knows what he is doing. I know that she will go to Heaven, and it comforts me to know she will be loved and taken care of there. I know our family members up there will welcome her with open arms. Even though I know all this and it does help comfort me some I am still hurting. I know this is something that will take a long time to heal from, it isn't going to happen over night. Isabella has been wanted and loved from even before the time she was concieved, I will continue to love her until I get to go to Heaven and be with her. I just hope that even in the womb she knows that she is loved, that she can feel it. This is not something we are going to pretend didn't happen. Not something that is going to be hidden away and never talked about. Our kids will grow up knowing their sister is up in Heaven watching over them. They will grow up knowing her story. She is a part of our family and will always be.

I have already had to talk to Katie about it, which was in no way easy. She knows that the baby is sick and that she will be going to Heaven to be an angel. She understands as much as she can for her age. She of course has been asking me a million questions about it, which I have been answering as honestly as I can. Some of them even I don't know the answers to though.

Right now my heart is breaking. We have had death in our family, my own dad died 11 years ago. But this is like nothing I have ever felt before. It is so hard to go from excitment of bringing a new life into this world to grieving and mourning it. You hear of stuff like this happening to other people but you never think it could happen to you. There really are no words to express how I am feeling. I am on a huge roller coaster of feelings right now.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words in all the comments and messages. Please do not hold it against me that I have not written back, it just to hard for me right now. I hope you all can understand that. I want to thank those of you who have been keeping me company through the phone and online, it really means a lot to me.

I would also like to point out to my family members that if any one of you decide to try and get pregnant see a doctor and get a prescription for folic acid before you start. You are at a higher risk of this happening to you with it now being in our family. Even if you aren't in my family this is something that you should do. From what the doctors told me and researching online taking the folic acid before you get pregnant drops the risk of this by 50%.But those in my family or anyone with a family history of this needs a stronger amount than what is in your normal prenatals. I just don't want anyone else to have to go through this. Waiting to start prenatals when you find out you are pregnant could be to late since this happens so early on in the pregnancy. I guess I should point out that for family the risk is higher for any open neural tube defect, not just this. Anyways I don't mean to become an "advocate" for this but just wanted to make sure people do know the risk so hopefully this can be prevented from happening again the future.