Saturday, May 29, 2010

sickness and anxiety

I've spent the majority of the past 10 days thinking I was pregnant (no, we're not trying).  It certainly felt exactly like it.  But I started my period today, so I know I'm not.

But it made me think a lot.  I was terrified.  I was terrified for several reasons, but 2 main ones.  1) I throw up a lot when pregnant.  And I'm not exaggerating.  My teeth are proof (2 root canals, 4 crowns and 2 fillings so far, another crown and 3 fillings on June 1st, and 22 more fillings to be completed in 3 more appointments).  With Cora at one point I had been throwing up at least once an hour for 16 hours, and every 2 hours through the night.  I went to the ER when I started throwing up blood.  I have to be medicated my entire pregnancy, and anti-emetics make it so I only throw up 2-3 times a day (and still feel completely horribly nauseated constantly).  The medical condition has a name: hyperemesis gravidarum.  To translate, hyper = too much; emesis is related to emit, which means "to give forth, release or discharge," and gravidarum means relating to pregnancy.  So "throwing up a lot when pregnant."  Or just extreme morning sickness, though I think the previous one describes it better.  I read and article a while back which spoke of hyperemesis causing post-traumatic stress disorder.  Now, people joke about having ptsd, but this is serious, psychologist-diagnosed ptsd.  I don't know that my stress reactions are that bad, but it is definitely something that causes me serious anxiety when thinking about pregnancy.

My other issue is also something that can cause ptsd after a pregnancy: the death of the baby.  My fear of another loss is bad (but my anxiety about being that sick again is the same, they are equal).  I don't think that people who haven't been through it can truly appreciate it.  With Erin we induced at 38 weeks on the dot because the thought of going to 38w1d (the gestational day we confirmed Cora died) again made me break down.  With Patrick I decided to "be strong" and wanted to go into labor on my own, when he was ready.  I made it to 39w3d.  Every night after 38w I had nightmares of the doctors telling me that he was dead, and delivering a dead baby again.  I'm actually proud of myself for making it through 10 days of that.

Will I have another baby?  Someday, yes.  Right now, I'm just not ready.  First of all, I have to get my teeth all fixed.  Secondly, I have to want another baby badly enough for 9 months of endless puking and nightmares to be worth the risk.  And right now I don't.  Right now, I'm content with the 2 rainbow babies I have.  The last 10 days have proved that for me.

But I have to say, I am a little teeny bit disappointed.  Mostly because I just like babies.

Friday, May 28, 2010

So similar

My rainbow baby girl will be turning 3 in 10 days.  I've been going through her newborn pictures, and it really just hit me how much Erin looks like Cora.  Which helps, when I wonder what Cora would look like.  I just imagine Erin with red curly hair.  Maybe I can get Husband to do work some photoshop magic and put red hair on Erin so I can REALLY see it.

But it's not that that gets me the most.  I wish I could have gotten to know who Cora was.  Erin and Patrick look very similar and are very very very different, so I can only assume that Cora would have been very different from them too.

I always felt she would have been stubborn, but beyond that?  How can you know from kicks and wiggles in the womb what a child would have really been like?  This is the hardest part for me.

Monday, May 24, 2010


One of my favorite memories with my mother is making cookies with her.  I vividly remember the day she let me crack an egg myself for the first time.  Making food together is a way that we bonded, and usually it was cookies or some other sort of sweet.

So when I found out Cora was a girl, one of the things I most looked forward to and dreamed about most was teaching her to make cookies.  I still have an image in my mind.

Today my little Erin, who is nearly 3, asked me "Mommy, I make cookies witchoo?"  I love that she loves to make cookies, too.  As she was dumping the cupfuls of ingredients that I handed to her into the bowl, that image came back into my mind.  The dream and the reality are very similar.
But my happiness I felt in spending time with my sweet little girl was echoed by the grief of not getting to with her big sister.  If Cora had lived, and I had somehow accidentally conceived Erin 5 months later, I would have been making cookies with 2 little girls today.  I felt that hole.  I hope she was looking down on us and smiling.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Cora

I pulled out my journal today.  I'm not really all that good about keeping a journal but I was fairly regular while pregnant with you.  When I remember back on my pregnancy, I remember being miserable.  I remember wanting so much for my pregnancy to just be over and I have always felt guilty about not appreciating having you while you were here.

But reading through my journal entries helped pacify a lot of that guilt.  I was so excited for you.  I was so awed and honored to be your mother.  I loved you before I even conceived you, and I still do.

I still do so much. 

And I miss you more than anything.

I hope you knew that while you were here.  I hope you felt my love for you in the sound of my beating heart.   I hope you know how much I love you still.

Forever and always,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My own flower pictures.

I had an iris that was just BEGGING to be written on.

But let me explain about irises first.  They have to be bearded irises, not dutch irises.  They're my favorite, partly because they're one of the only flowers I'm not allergic to, but I also just like them because they're pretty.  I had bearded irises in my wedding bouquet.  Before we moved to Vegas we had them EVERYWHERE.

We also always cut our own flowers (usually the irises since there were so many) to take to the cemetery on memorial day to put on on my great-grandmother's grave, and various other ancestors.  So they're also a sort of remembrance flower for me.  Which is probably why I had to write Cora's name on it (sadly, the rain washed it off mere minutes later).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Angel names blog: In Remembrance of Cora

My amazing sister has decided that she wants to do angel name pictures for more angels, for Cora's friends.  Please go here if you have an angel and would like her to do a picture for you.  They won't always be flowers, but I know they'll always be beautiful.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A tribute to Cora, from Aunt Adi

Dearest Cora,
I may not be your mom, but I miss you just the same.
I may not have carried you, but I still feel the pain.
I never got to feel you kick, but I still shed the tears.
I never got to hold you, but I've missed you all these years.
I never got to hear your voice, though I sometimes feel you here.
You weren't a child of mine, but I still hold you dear.
Angel Cora, this one's for you.
~Your loving Aunt.

Unfair, unfair, unfair!

I always hate hearing about other's losses.  Even more so when it isn't the first.  Recently a girl I'm acquainted with online lost her baby boy due to extreme prematurity (she was just barely 21 weeks).  In 2007 she lost twins, and in 2009 she had a miscarriage.  Her twins were nonviable conjoined twins, but there was nothing wrong with Evan.  He was perfectly healthy.  But she went into labor and they couldn't stop it.

I try accept that this world is just not fair and sometimes it just sucks.  I try not expect things to work out fairly.  But when things like this happen, I can't help it.  I'm all sorts of angry and hurt.

It's just NOT FAIR!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

For Good

A friend just posted these lyrics from "Wicked" on her Facebook, and it struck me, and I just need to post it too.
"For Good"
I'm limited
Just look at me - I'm limited
And just look at you
You can do all I couldn't do,
So now it's up to you
For both of us - now it's up to you...
 I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
 Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good
 It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
 Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good
 And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore
 Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a bird in the wood
 Who can say if I've been
Changed for the better?
I do believe I have been
Changed for the better
And because I knew you...
Because I knew you...
Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moving forward

I read through some of the posts here, and I don't want people to get the impression that I'm "stuck" or that I don't appreciate the two beautiful living children I have.  I have a blog for them, where their antics and such are recorded.  The subtitle for that blog is "trying to find a miracle in each new day."  Cora is the reason for that.

Every day I go about my life as the mommy of 2.  Erin's nearly 3 and potty training and still in terrible twos and all that entails.  She frustrates me as often as not.  Patrick's just about 15 months and learning to talk.

And I appreciate them so much more because I know what it's like to not have them.  Every day the grief for the would-bes and maybes makes me appreciate all that her siblings are right now.

Last night Patrick woke up at 3 and had a hard time getting back to sleep.  I was tired and therefore I was frustrated.  I caught sight of Cora's shelf on the wall in the dim light of the computer screen and I changed my attitude.
I never got a sleepless night with Cora, so I should appreciate the sleepless nights I have with her brother.  We were up for 40 minutes (and it took me at least half an hour to forty minutes afterward to fall asleep again).  I spent 40 minutes snuggling with my baby boy in behalf of his big sister.

Cora's death has colored my parenting of her siblings in ways I didn't expect.  Some for good, like last night, and some for not-so-good.  I have an incredibly hard time being away from my children.  Maybe I would have always been a needy mom, but I know I am more so because of the trauma of Cora's stillbirth.  In a way I feel like if I can hold them closer I'm holding her too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Cora's due date was May 14th.  That year, May 14th fell on Mother's Day.  I've always viewed it as a cruel joke of the universe, "let's see just how bad we can make this for her!"  So Mother's Day has always been inextricably connected to her.  I never told people she was due on May 14th, I always answered "Mother's Day!"  The interesting thing is, though, May 14th was not my original due date.  My original date calculated from my last period was May 9th.

Which is today.  And today is Mother's Day.  It feels like it's following me around.

So I bought myself this as a gift to myself.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh I wish...

We went to the library today for story time.  It was all well and good, until a woman walked in slightly late with her daughter.  She was about four years old (not quite, I asked afterward), with BRIGHT red curly hair.  She ended up sitting down next to Erin, and watching them interact just broke my heart.

Erin lost her big sister, just like I did.  A loss that neither one of us can really understand, being that it happened before we were born in both families.  Erin will never understand what it is like to have an older sibling, I'll never know what it's like to have an older sister.

So while I normally think about all those things I lost out on, today it hit me what she lost and will never realize.  It's a different feeling, but similar.  They would have been best friends I'm sure of it.

My heart hurts today.  But at the same time, it was nice to get a glimpse.

I bought a small print of this painting shortly after Erin was born:

It's called "Heavenly Hands" by Greg Olsen.  The thing that struck me most is that the artist used as models his two daughters.  So the angel in this picture is, in fact, the older sister.  It hangs on her bedroom wall.  I hope that one day when she's older she can feel like she has a connection to Cora.  I hope that she knows who her sister is.  Because I miss Cora for her.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cora's garden angel

So, I've bought something for Cora on her birthday every year.  This year, it's a garden angel.  One day, when I live in a house and have a real garden, she'll be out in it.  But for right now, I just have my little patio garden.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tuesday, May 2, 2006: Cora's birth story

I woke up at 6:30 to shower before heading to the hospital.  I ate very little, I was feeling very sick, which is really not all that abnormal for me while pregnant.  But I think that the nerves were accentuating it.

On our way to the hospital we passed a sign that struck us both as funny.  It was in front of one of the student apartment complexes.  At BYU-Idaho when you register for classes you agree to an honor code of conduct and one of the things you agree to is to obey the law of chastity.  Anyway, it was a sign that said "seatbelt law enforced" and someone had crossed out the "seat" part and painted "chastity" over it so it read "chastity belt law enforced."  I couldn't help but laugh.  I wish I'd gotten a picture.

But as we drove down the hill and turned toward the hospital I felt like steel bands were wrapping around me tighter and tighter, squeezing the breath out of me.

As we walked up to the desk in L&D, the nurse there was holding a newborn baby.  I think I was still mostly in shock, completely numb.  She asked how she could help me and I replied that I was there to be induced at 7:30.  As she realized what I was there for, her eyes went kind of wide and she turned her body to hide the baby from me.  She called to my nurse (I really wish I could remember her name) to let her know I was here, and went into the nursery and shut the door.  It didn't matter to me at the time, but after the fact I am grateful for her sensitivity.

As my nurse put her arm around me and lead me to my room, she asked how I was feeling physically.  I told her how sick to my stomach I felt, and how I had been very sick my entire pregnancy.  I then asked her if it was true that I had bumped someone else who was supposed to be induced that morning, and she said it was.  I said, "I sort of feel bad that she has to be pregnant longer because of me."  My nurse, such a wonderful lady, replied.  "Oh honey, don't feel bad for her.  She gets to keep her baby."  That's when I started getting angry.  Why didn't I get to keep my baby?!?

It took them a few tries to get the IV in, and Dr. Barton came in to examine me.  They broke my water and started the pitocin.  They asked if I wanted an epidural right away, but part of me wanted to see what labor was like first.  A friend had let Matt borrow his PS2 while I was in labor, and I had a book.  After a couple hours, I was in enough pain that I asked for the epidural.  It's always just a little scary to have the anesthesiologist come in and give their little spiel they have to give on side effects and such.  When he got to "including death," part, I thought to myself that it didn't matter if I died then.

Unfortunately it took him 3 tries to get it in right, and each try hurt more than the last.  I had really bad bruising on my back from it.  He kept muttering to himself about how I was having a bad enough day already and he was making it worse.  To make up for it, he turned it up as high as it would go.  I could not feel anything from just below my breasts down.  I slept on and off throughout most of my labor after that.  At about 2pm, after 6 hours of labor, a cervical check confirmed I was fully dilated and effaced, and it was time to start pushing.  I was so numb though, that the pushes were ineffective.  After 2 hours of pushing, Dr. Barton decided he needed to use the vacuum to help her head crown.  Unfortunately, by then the epidural had completely worn off.  That was probably the most physically painful thing I'd ever been through up to that point, and at that same moment I realized that all the sickness and misery during pregnancy, all the pain of labor, it was all for nothing.  I couldn't help the sobs that came then, and the nurse (my wonderful wonderful nurse) tried to calm me enough that I could push again.  She was crying too, I noticed later.

When her head was free, Dr. Barton told me that he'd have to cut the cord from around her neck before she could be delivered the rest of the way.  He had a had time cutting it, it was so tight around her neck.  When she was finally born, he wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to me.  She was so beautiful.  So perfect.  I was surprised that she was warm, I don't know why, since she was my temperature.  All those nightmarish visions of what she would look like were completely unfounded.  She was beautiful.  As I examined her hands and feet, Dr. Barton examined her placenta, and pronounced it one of the healthiest placentas he'd ever seen, and was fairly confident that her cause of death was a cord accident with how tight her cord had been.  He offered the possibility of an autopsy, but felt it was unneeded, and we agreed.  I asked if there was any way I could go home that evening, and he said that I had to stay a few hours to make sure there were no bleeding problems, but if everything was okay he had no problem with that.

I let the nurses take her for a few minutes to try to clean her up a little (her skin was fragile enough, though, that they couldn't clean her much for fear of tearing her skin), and to weigh her and such.  She had been born at 4:06pm, weighing 6lbs10oz and 20 1/2 inches long.

Matt called a few of our close friends and said that if they wanted to come see her they would be welcome to then.  It was good to have someone who loved us, and loved her, come to see her.  One friend brought a frame & handprint kit for her.  I don't think she'll ever realize just how much I treasure that, to have Cora's hand imprinted clay.  It makes her feel real

After a couple hours the man from the funeral home came to pick up Cora's body.  He was so nice, and he also had tears in his eyes.  I don't think they will realize how much their tears meant, that they understood how devastating it was and had compassion for us.  He explained to us the paperwork we had to sign, but tried to make it not seems so....businesslike.  And then he took my little baby in his arms, and left.  The sound of the door shutting sounded like the door slamming on all my hopes, my dreams, and my future.

I was released from the hospital at about 8pm.  The nurse who had been on duty all day had gone off shift shortly after Cora was born, and the new nurse was just as wonderful.  She'd had a 2nd trimester stillbirth herself, so she understood.  She pushed my wheelchair out while Matt went to get the car.  She gave me the tightest hug, the hug that only someone who can understand can give.

As I went to bed that night, I shut the door to what would have been her nursery, wishing the room to just disappear.  I couldn't stand the sight of the empty crib.  Luckily, thanks to the ambien, I didn't have any dreams that night.
her red hair!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monday, May 1, 2006

Four years ago today...

...was probably the most traumatic day of my life.

I woke up at nearly 11am, having slept like a rock all night.  Matt was already up and showered, and just letting me sleep.  I asked him what time it was and thought "wow, I must have been tired!"  At that point it didn't occur to me that I probably didn't wake up because there was nothing to wake me up.  No kicks in the ribs or anything.  At that point, I was still blissfully unaware.

I called my sister to wish her happy birthday and tell her I wasn't in labor.  I was a bit disappointed.  The moment she had found out my due date was May 14th (my mother's due date with her), she had said that Cora would be born on her birthday.  I had begun to believe her.  That disappointment, however, pales in significance to what was to come.

We had several errands to run, so I grabbed a brownie (or something like that.  Maybe a chocolate chip cookie?) to have something in my stomach so I wouldn't get nauseated in the shower. I didn't feel like sitting down for a real breakfast.

As I stood in the water rinsing shampoo out of my hair is when I realized it.  Cora had always gone crazy the moment the hot water hit my belly.  I don't know whether she liked it or didn't like it, but it never failed.  Except for that day.  Except for right then.  I immediately started poking my belly, forgetting about my half-rinsed hair.  I bruised myself that day, in several places, poking trying to get a response.  And there was nothing.  At that point I collapsed onto my elbows and knees sobbing, so very scared.  Deep down I knew then.  There was no other explanation for the utter lack of any sort of anything.  I was there, sobbing like that with the water running down my back and into my eyes and mouth, for several minutes.  Then I decided I had to finish my shower.  I had to go eat something more substantial and drink a cold glass of koolaid.  She always reacted to koolaid.

I was kind of in zombie mode at that point.  I walked into the bedroom after getting dressed to tell Matt in a robotic voice that I was worried, that I couldn't get her to move, that I thought something was wrong.  He offered to listen to my belly, and I laid down on our bed with his ear to my abdomen.  After a couple of silent minutes with him moving his head this way and that, he admitted he didn't hear anything but my heartbeat.  I wanted to throw up (which, admittedly, is not an uncommon occurrence for me in pregnancy).  I went out to the kitchen, got myself a meal, and the glass of koolaid, and sat down at my computer to wait.  20 minutes later there was still nothing.  It was time to call my OB.

But they were on their lunch break and would be back after 1pm (it was just shortly after noon at this point).  I had nearly an hour during which there was nothing I could do.  So we decided to run our errands.  Matt had to renew his health insurance through the school, so we went up to campus.  Campus is a pretty hilly place, with lots of stairs, and every time I'd gone up there for the past several weeks I'd get contractions with every step almost.

But not then.  There was nothing.  Everything had stopped.  My belly just felt...heavy.

We went into the office and I sat down on a chair as Matt talked to one of the secretaries.  The other started asking me all those pregnant-lady questions.

"When are you due?"
"Two weeks"
"Oh, so any day now!"
"Are you excited?"
"More nervous than anything right now."

I didn't tell her what I was really thinking.  How do you say that?  How do you tell someone, "Actually, I haven't been able to get her to move at all so far today and I think there's something really wrong.  I'm terrified that my baby might be dead."  It's not the sort of thing you tell people.

By the time we got out of the office it was mere minutes after 1 so I called the office.  I told the receptionist the short version of what was going on, and she got me the nurse practitioner, since she was free at the moment.  I never liked the woman, she's probably one of the most uncaring, uncompassionate people I've ever met, and I thought so before this point.  But this sealed it.

It told her what was going on and robotically told me that babies slow down toward the end and that I should lay down and drink some juice and eat something sugary, etc.  I explained to her again everything I had done, and I hadn't gotten any response.  And that I couldn't get her to move.  At all.  Nothing.  Nothing all day.  I was near hysterical by this point, and she finally told me to come in and they'd check me out.  She sounded like it was a bother, unneeded, and that she was humoring the needlessly hysterical paranoid pregnant lady.  I still haven't forgiven her for that.

So in we went.  I started to quietly explain to the receptionist why I was there, and interrupted me telling me she knew already, and if I'd have a seat she'd get me back as soon as possible.

The only free seats were next to a very happy pregnant lady, her husband, and their son.  It was awkward sitting there in silence, so I asked her how far along she was.  I wanted so desperately for everything to be normal, so I acted "normal."  She was 22 weeks, there for the big ultrasound.  They wanted a girl, because they already had a boy, but would be fine with a boy, because they're fun, too.  She asked me all the same questions, excited for me.  She asked what I was there for, and I said "we're just going to check some things."  She must have heard it in my voice, because she steered away from any further questions about either pregnancy, instead talking about the beautiful weather.  It was so nice to have sun after such a long winter.

She went back before me.

And then they called my name.  I was in the office with the old ultrasound machine.  Dr. Barton decided to try with the doppler first after I explained everything, that there was still no movement at all.  I could see it in his eyes.  He tried the doppler for several minutes unsuccessfully.  I told him he was making me want to cry.  He told me not to cry yet, that he didn't always get it with the doppler.  Any doctor who got it on the first try every time was a miracle worker.  I reminded him that I was 38 weeks.  He hesitated but said, "Well, still.  The ultrasound is more accurate."  I watched the screen as the image came up.  I saw her there...completely still.  I saw it before he said anything.

Then he turned to me with tears in his eyes and said, "I'm so sorry Brittanie.  There's her heart.  And it isn't beating."  Those words still echo in my mind sometimes.  In my dreams.  That image, forever seared into my memory.  My sweet very still.

The next couple of hours were a whirlwind of phonecalls.  Dr. Barton let us use his office phone because our cells didn't get reception back there.  My parents didn't answer, so I called my best friend (who was in Las Vegas because her father had been hospitalized because of complications from the cancer he had.  He died 3 weeks later), explained to her what was happening, and asked her to stop by my house.  She said she'd call them, and if she couldn't get them, she'd go over, if not she'd have them call me.  Luckily I got just enough reception to realize that I was getting a call, so I called them back on Dr. Barton's phone.  My mother was in shock at first, I had to explain to her twice that Cora didn't have a heartbeat because it didn't sink in the first time.  She was then crying so hard that my dad took the phone and I had to explain it to him.  And then I asked him to call everyone and let them know because I just couldn't, I couldn't go over it again.  Dr. Barton had called the hospital, the earliest I could get in for an induction was 7:30 the next morning. I was actually bumping someone who was being induced because she was overdue.  All I had to do was show up and they'd take care of everything.  He then gave me a prescription for Ambien, so that I could sleep that night.

So we headed to Walmart to have it filled.  On our way in, we passed the very lady I had sat next to in the waiting area.  She saw the tears in my eyes.  I saw the questioning look on her face, and I ducked down a different aisle.  I just couldn't admit it.  Except that Matt worked at Walmart so we knew the girl in the pharmacy, and she asked what was going on, seeing our faces.  Medicaid wouldn't cover Ambien, though, since it wasn't "necessary" so they called the OB office and they said they'd give us samples if we came back. Dr. Barton felt so bad.  Before we left Walmart we went to talk to Matt's manager, as he obviously wouldn't be in to work the next day.  He gave Matt the rest of the week off with bereavement pay (even though he hadn't quite been there long enough to qualify for it yet).

After stopping by the OB office and Matt running in to get the samples, we stopped by my workplace.  The next day was supposed to be my last day of work before maternity leave anyway, so I was only missing one day.

After we got home, our bishop came by to see us.  After giving each of us a blessing of peace, we talked over funerary arrangements.  I couldn't bear the idea of burying here there, when we knew we'd be moving in two or three years.  Having her buried where either set of grandparents lived just didn't seem like a really viable option.  So we settled on cremation, with the plan that we would eventually choose a spot to spread her ashes.  Bishop Allen offered to call around to funeral homes to find one for us, and make arrangements.  After that he left, with the promise to "spread the word" for us.  I honestly don't remember how the rest of the evening was spent.  I do remember working up the courage to post on the pregnancy message board I had been a member of (but am not any longer) to explain what had happened, since I had posted my worries earlier.  I remember a couple of phone calls from relatives.  Both my grandmothers had lost a baby (my maternal grandmother's first was stillborn, and then my paternal grandmother lost a little girl a few months before she turned 3), and their empathetic tears were a comfort.

I had been avoiding touching  my pregnant belly all day.  It disgusted me.  I tried to avoid thinking about what Cora would look like, because the only images that came to my mind were horrid B movie zombies.  I didn't want my baby to look like that (and she didn't).  I slept fitfully, even with the medication, dreading more than anything the next day.


May 1st is harder for me than May 2nd.  The only redeeming quality it has is that it's my sister's birthday, but it makes me angry that my sister's birthday has been ruined for me.  In the end though, Adrienne was sort of right.  Not only am I sure I would have gone into labor the night she died if she hadn't been wrapped up in her cord, but when it comes to a person's eternal existence the day of death is a very important day too.  So Cora does share a special day with her Aunt Adi.  Just not in the way we had hoped.