Saturday, April 30, 2011

We have butterflies!!

Two of our butterflies "hatched" this afternoon.  The other 3 won't be too far behind.  It looks like we'll have butterflies to release on Cora's birthday!  I'm so excited!!

Words I'll always regret

Saturday, April 29th, 2006 was a surprise baby shower for me and Cora thrown by 3 of my friends. It was just the four of us, but we had a great time. At one point someone asked me if I was feeling ready. I had been so incredibly sick my entire pregnancy, and wasn't not feeling particularly well that day either, so my response was "I almost don't care about getting the baby, I just don't want to be sick anymore!" I immediately regretted saying it.

Sunday, April 30th, 2006 I was 38 weeks. I woke up that morning to get ready for church and she had obviously dropped. I had more room between my breasts and my belly than I'd had in months, and I could breathe. I wasn't having anything notable in regards to contractions though. Everyone at church noticed I'd dropped and people were excited. Cora was the last at the end of a baby boom, so everyone was waiting for me to deliver. I decided to go to work that evening, as standing/walking might help to get things going (I worked at a gas station/convenience store so there wasn't really a place/time to sit). As the shift went by I was starting to get anxious but I couldn't figure out why. She was active during her active time, though maybe a little slower/less strong. I'd heard that was normal though. My discharge was crazy though. A coworker/friend came in on her off shift to visit and get some candy and asked how I was doing, and I told her that I thought I might be leaking fluid (I wasn't) but I wasn't sure. She offered to finish my shift so I could go to the hospital. During that conversation Cora stretched. It hurt. It was the last time I remember feeling her move.

Anyway, when Bree offered to take my shift, I responded "No, I'm probably freaking out over nothing. I'll wait and see what happens in the morning."

Then next morning she was already gone.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ages and mental pictures

A topic recently came up on my stillbirth support forum asking how we picture our babies.  It was interesting, the varied responses, and it made me think about it.

To me, age is a physical characteristic.  Cora does not dwell in the physical realm, and therefore does not have an age.  When I picture her at this moment I generally see her as a young woman.  When I picture my life as it would be I picture her at the age she would be.

It's kind of interesting how I came up with the young woman image.  The one and only dream I had about her she was a young woman.  She was beautiful.  I cherish that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can't help but relive it: The first of the "lasts"

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006 was my last OB appointment. I'd had quite a bit of bad braxton hicks contractions and cervical pain, so even though I was only 37 1/2 weeks I asked him to check me. I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced, and he could feel her head (but she pulled away). 

I was living in Idaho, and my parents would be in Utah that weekend for my brother's graduation that weekend, so I asked about them maybe inducing me so my parents could come up. He answered that he couldn't without medical reason, especially since I wasn't even 38 weeks yet, and just a few days could make a difference.

I was a little disappointed, but I understood. As I was leaving he said "Well, see you next Wednesday. That is, if I don't see you before then!"

She died Sunday night.

I understand why my doctor answered what he did, I do.  I don't truly blame them for what happened.  But a few days did make a difference, and I often wonder what my life would be like if he'd answered me differently.  I'm quite sure it would have ended up in an emergency csection, and there's a possibility she still wouldn't have survived.  But I still wonder.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Might, maybe, may

So, our caterpillars are forming chrysalids!  They started yesterday.  The information says that it takes 7-10 days in the chrysalis before they come out as butterflies, and Cora's birthday was 11 days from yesterday, 10 days from today.

So we might actually have butterflies for Cora's birthday!  I'm not expecting it, but I'm allowing myself a little bit of hope.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The stages of grief (reposting an old post)

(((I originally posted this almost exactly a year ago today, in anticipation of Cora's birthday.  Not surprisingly, I'm feeling the same way again)))

I majored in psychology for 2 years before I had to stop (I won't get into why I had to, but I just want to say it wasn't because I wanted stop, or that I didn't want to finish).  Anyone who has studied psychology even passingly has probably come across the Kubler-Ross model of the 5 stages of grief.  Now, many people try to use this as an example for people dealing with grief of the death of a loved one, but it doesn't really fit.  Ms. Kubler-Ross was actually identifying the stages of grief for someone who has received the diagnosis of a terminal illness.  For the death of a loved one, I actually like this one.

Either way, though, it's a bit misleading.  They outline a process where you progress forward from one stage to another.  When you move to the next one, you're "done" with the previous one, and at the're "done" grieving.  In my experience that's not it at all.  Each one of those stages is very valid, but I think I'm going to call them "phases" instead.  Grief has several different emotional "colors," and each phase is dominated by one of those emotions.

But moving from one to the other doesn't mean that you're "done" with the one or that they go in order or in any way that makes sense.

To me it's like the universe is playing pinball, and I'm the ball.
Something triggers it, and my grief explodes in an unpredictable pattern, going through one or another phase and not stopping at others at all.  Sometimes I can see it coming, and I brace myself, and I am lobbed gently through the pins, only touching one or two for a brief moment before gently coming to rest again.  Other times it comes out of nowhere, and I violently ricochet from one to another and back again, bouncing around, dizzy, and it takes a while to recover.

When I first lost Cora, after I'd recovered from the shock enough to think for a bit, I thought of the model of the stages of grief.  I was grateful for my knowledge, because I felt a little more "prepared" for my journey.

The universe has had the last laugh though.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Remembered again

I just got a message from a friend with this picture in it that she took over the weekend.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


So our caterpillars finally arrived yesterday.  I've accepted the fact that they probably won't be ready for Cora's birthday.  I've decided we'll have a picnic dinner at the park and have cupcakes, and fly our kite on Cora's birthday, and then we'll release the butterflies for her whenever they're ready.  That way she gets two days.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Relief (pregnancy mentioned)

I had my ultrasound today.  I always get anxious beforehand.  After the awful ultrasound with Cora, though, I don't really blame myself.

My main concern, though, was cord placement.  Cora's was obviously around the neck, and they didn't tell me, and I really had no clue what I was looking at.
So I was anxious that this one's would be too.  It would feel like a death sentence, I think.

Thankfully, baby girl's cord wasn't around her neck.  It was in front of her belly, between her and her placenta, right where it should be, thank goodness.  She's also apparently "perfect."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Worried and upset.

One week ago I ordered some live caterpillars to raise and watch turn into butterflies with the hope that we'd have live butterflies to release on Cora's birthday.  It takes about 3 weeks to go from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.  Cora's birthday is 3 weeks from today and our caterpillars haven't arrived yet.  I'm going to be so sick to my stomach if they don't arrive in time for us to have butterflies for Cora's birthday!  I seriously want to cry.  This was the only plan I had, and I can't bear the thought of not doing something.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not since Cora (pregnancy mentioned)

I felt Skittles for the first time from the outside today.  Matt was there, getting ready for work, and I was telling him about it.  He didn't make any effort to try to feel him/her.

He hasn't really done those sorts of things since Cora died.  I don't know, maybe it's his way of dealing with the anxiety of me being pregnant again?  I miss it though...him being involved.

There were a few times I was able to get him feel Erin and Patrick while while I was pregnant with them, but it wasn't until much later into the pregnancy.

The one thing that he has not ever done since is put his ear to my belly to try to hear the heartbeat.  He did that all the time with Cora.  He did that after my shower when I started feeling like there was a problem...and there was no heartbeat to be heard.  So I don't really blame him for that one.  I don't think I'd ever do it again either.

I wish we could go back to the blissful happiness we both felt when I was pregnant with Cora.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Glad she's not forgotten (pregnancy mentioned)

Yesterday on my facebook page I posted a link to an online baby pool to predict Skittles' gender on my ultrasound next week. (here, in case you're interested)

Anyway, a friend of mine posted "It has to be a boy since we are twins and all. lol 2 girls then 2 boys. :)"

It made me feel so good to have her remember that I DO have two girls, even though the older one isn't here with us.  Totally made my day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

5 years ago today...

...was my last picture pregnant with Cora.  I really wish I had taken more.