I have been thinking for a couple days what I was going to write today. Should I go back over every minute of this day 3 years ago? Should I write where I am now in the grieving process? Should I just do a little about both?
And as I sit here alone, like I was 3 years ago on this day I still don't know what to write. I want to write about everything I remember from that day, the good and the bad. I think rewriting it all the time helps to keep in fresh in my mind, but at the same time it can also be so emotionally draining and I am sure people get tired of reading the same thing over and over again.
I want to write about where I am now because I don't want people to think I still sit around the house crying my eyes out all the time. I want them to understand it is a journey, a never ending one, with sad AND happy times.
So I am just going to start typing whatever comes to mind. Please excuse me if I make no sense and am jumping all over the place and I apologize in advance if this becomes a book instead of a blog post :)
I remember running late because the hourly care CDC had messed up my appointment and only booked a slot for Katie and not Jonathan. I remember freaking out because I had NO friends there that could watch Jonathan and the doctors office stressed NO kids. Maybe the receptionist could see on my face something to explain how bad this was because they found a way to squeeze him in. I don't remember much on my hour drive to the specialist in Topeka. Then again anyone that has driven that knows how BORING it is and how easy it can be to start day dreaming on that drive. I do remember being very worried about being pulled over since I was driving like a bat out of hell to make it there in time. And no I didn't make it in time but I was only about 15 minutes late, though most of that was spent trying to find the hospital since I had never been there before, lol.
I remember no one being at the desk when I went to sign in. I was worried if they didn't show up soon I would miss my appointment because you can only be but so late and they had no idea how long I had been waiting outside the little sign in office, lol.
I remember talking to the genetics counselor and her asking the same things the one in Savannah asked when I was pregnant with Katie, and like her she said she saw no reason from our family history that something could be wrong. She also said with how low the levels were with my blood test that the positive for an NTD was probably just from my dates being off or me being pregnant with twins.
I remember them then taking me into a waiting room with other people. I was surrounded by couples. I felt a mix of emotions in this room. I was so jealous that these other women had their husbands with them, I will now blame this on pregnancy hormones lol, and I wanted to cry because I had that mothers gut feeling that something was wrong and I wanted Dwayne with me.
I remember laying on the table with the ultrasound tech moving the thing around on my tummy looking at stuff on the screen, I was looking at the tv hung in front of the bed but even after my 3 previous babies unless it is on 3d I have no idea what I am looking at until they point it out, lol.
I remember starting to feel a little bit at piece, that maybe everyone was right and my gut feeling was wrong, that every thing was okay. It was seeming to be just like a normal ultrasound. She was showing me feet, legs, arms, hands, her heart and then asked if I wanted to know the sex. I of course said yes and she said a girl. Well my gut was right there, I knew all along she was a girl, I remember smiling at that.
I remember her putting it on the 3d finally and I got to see my baby girls face! I remember thinking she looked a lot like Katie from the ultrasound. I remember her asking me a lot of questions about my husband being deployed and what kind of support system I had with him gone. I told her none since the few friends I had had moved away or I found out weren't really friends to begin with. At the time I thought it was just small talk but now I understand. She then told me she had to go get the doctor. I knew that wasn't a good sign.
I remember the doctor and another lady walking in, that lady was a social worker, the result of that small talk about no support system at home. Though I didn't know at first who she was, she stood off to the side. I remember being so nervous right before and after the doctor walked in. I am guessing the tech showed the pictures to the doctor because he came in and told me the news without doing an ultrasound himself. Though after talking to me he did start doing one and started showing me the anencephaly.
I remember the genetics counselor coming in the room in shock and tearing up over the diagnosis. I remember her whispering to the tech that the levels should have been much higher in my blood test for this.
I remember the social worker talking to me but for the life of me I can't remember anything that she said.
I remember the tech asking if I would some pictures of the baby, I of course said yes. She printed off two 3d ones of her face and 1 regular one of her whole body.
I remember them taking me to another room and the social worker staying in there with me. It wasn't an exam room, it was a small room with a few chairs in it. They wanted to make sure I was okay to drive home since I had no one to come get me. I remember her giving me tissues and again talking to me but I don't remember much of what she was saying. I remember it all being kind words though. I also remember her giving me some books and papers on baby loss and other things like that.
Minus finding out the worst news of my life I remember how kind everyone was. How nice the doctor was with talking to me about my options, not pressuring me into anything and telling me it was my choice. I remember him telling me they would make sure a red cross message got out and they would do whatever they could to get Dwayne home. I remember them all taking turns holding my hand and giving it squeezes here and there. I remember them all being patient with me and answering all of my questions honestly and kindly. Never once did they make my baby girl to seem like a monster, like I have heard of other doctors and nurses doing.
I have no memory of leaving the hospital or starting my drive home. My next memory is my mother calling me, I think maybe 20 minutes into my drive. I remember some hurtful things she said, I am sure she probably said some nice things but I can't remember them.
I remember my sister calling after her. I don't remember much of what was said but I remember talking to her for quite a while, I am not sure if I would have made the drive without that. I know if I wasn't talking to her I would have probably been to blinded by my tears to drive that hour home.
I remember sometime on that ride home finally feeling my baby girl move for the first time. I was 22 weeks pregnant and hadn't felt her move. I remember the doctor telling me that can be normal with babies with anencephaly. I remember my tears of joy and sadness at feeling her. And it wasn't like the normal little butterfly movement feeling, it was full blown moving and kicking. Like she waited for just that moment to let me know she was there.
I remember when I was almost to my exit that I suddenly remembered that my van was no longer legal. I needed to stickers for my plate, they expired on Halloween, 2 days earlier. It fell on the weekend so this was the 1st day the place was open to go get new ones. I had to go do it because I couldn't get back on post with expired tags.
I remember being in that building getting the stickers but have NO idea how I managed to be normal in there. I didn't cry, I smiled and talked like it was any other day.
I remember trying to decide if I should pick up the kids or let them stay longer and go home and be alone for a little bit. I decided to get them because I didn't want to be alone.
I remember walking into the room to get Jonathan and Katie. I still remember her HUGE smile on her face as she came running up to me asking if it was a boy or girl. I remember putting a huge fake smile on my face and telling her she would have a little sister. I remember getting the congrats from the ladies working there who I had watched my pregnancy progress over the months, they were just as excited for a new baby girl. I never did tell them the news, and to this day I wonder what they thought when all of a sudden I wasn't pregnant anymore and I wasn't dropping a baby off with the other kids. Maybe one of them told them, I don't know.
I remember being at home crying and Katie asked me why. I knew I had to tell her something. I knew I should wait for Dwayne but who knew how long before I heard from him and if they would let him come home. I didn't want to lie to her and I knew there was no way I could hide my hurt and pain from her. So I told her the baby was sick, that she had a boo boo on her head and that after she came out of my tummy that God would take her to heaven to be an angel. I remember her asking questions and me answering them as honestly as I could for a 4 year old to kind of understand. I don't remember what the questions were though.
I remember on and off talking to my friend Lisa on yahoo messenger, my friend Renee on the phone, my cousin on the phone and my mother in law on the phone. I am sure I talked to my mom some too but I can't remember.
I remember sleeping on the couch that night but not actually getting much sleep, I have no idea why I didn't go up to my bed. I am guessing in case Dwayne got online I would hear him IM me.
I never talked to my husband that day. Their internet and phones were down. It was actually 2 days later I talked to him when he got the red cross message and they drove him to another COP to call me. Though I remember him saying he just knew something was wrong, that he could feel it. So for me D day is more than just one day. There is the day I got the diagnosis, the days waiting to hear from my husband. The day I finally did and I had to tell him over the phone what was actually going on since somehow between the specialist who did the ultrasound, the nurse at the hospital on post who did the red cross message and whatever happens to it between there and when my husbands unit gets it, the message ended up saying I was going to have a miscarriage. So he had no idea when he called just how bad the news was. My D day continues on the 2 days it took for him to fly home. So all in all my D day to me was 5 days long.
After my 5 days of D day it turned into 4 weeks of fighting the Army to allow my husband to stay home, but that is for another post, lol.
I know this post but seem really long but sadly that isn't much for a 5 day period. After I got home and talked to Katie and Jonathan about Isabella's boo boo I don't remember much else until I was at the airport picking my husband up. It is literally like those days didn't happen. I remember that I continued to talk to those same people I mentioned above. That they are what kept me going until Dwayne came home. I remember posting a status update on facebook about what was going on since most people on there knew of my blood test results and that I was going to see the specialist to find out about it. I remember lots of loving comments and messages from people. And please let me apologize to most of you for not responding. It meant so much to me but I just wasn't in a good emotional place and didn't have the strength to respond to everyone. I remember constantly looking at the ultrasound pictures and crying because I loved this baby girl so much and had wanted and prayed for her. I remember that the name Isabella Grace popped into my head and just wouldn't leave no matter how much I tried to talk myself out of it. Not because I didn't like it but because we usually use at least on family member name. But obviously I stuck with it because I just kept going back to it like she was telling me she wanted that name.
Now 3 years later when I look back what I remember the most from that day is this picture.
Does anyone else see the hand in the picture? I know it isn't a real hand but I remember seeing it and it looked like a hand lovingly touching her face. Anyways I just remember noticing that in those days, lol. But most of all I remember looking at this picture and just knowing in my heart that I wanted to carry her in my tummy as long as the Lord allowed. And thankfully the Lord did his work and Dwayne was allowed to stay home and we learned between our insurance and the post hospital I wasn't allowed to induce early without a medical reason. He allowed me to carry her for 33 weeks in my tummy and 3 wonderful minutes in my arms before she went home to Heaven.
It is almost 15 minutes until this day is over and I have only cried once. And like 3 years ago it was while I was driving alone down an interstate. One of the songs that reminds me of Isabella came on the radio tonight as I was driving back from a toys for tots class and I am not ashamed to admit that I shed some tears. I know that for the rest of my life there will be days that I cry, and I know that is okay. It doesn't make me a weak person and it doesn't mean that I am not not "moving on", it means I am human and I miss my baby girl.
To those of you who made it through and read the whole post if I had one I would give you a cookie :) Thank you for taking time out of your day to read about my journey through my D Days and our precious baby girl who now looks down on all of us from Heaven.