Friday, June 29, 2012

Holding On

This week was rough. Mondays suck because that is the day we buried our sweet Zoe Jane. Fridays suck because that is the day that she was born... and so Wednesday sucked because of my so called doctor and follow up appointment. My husband and I have worked 60 plus hours this week and I am so tired. I feel guilty because I haven't been to her grave in a few weeks.

My stepdaughter started calling me Mom this week. It sounded so weird and still does, but she sees me as her Mom and frequently tells me that I am the best Mom in the world. She has a sweet heart and needs attention, so I am trying my best to give it to her. My stepson still calls me Ms. Jennifer, but he tells me that he loves me several times a day and he hugs me a lot. I do love these kids. I just miss mine.

I look at her pictures all the time and I imagine her little personality. I know that she would have been stubborn but smart, creative and loving. I wonder if she would have had her Daddy's pretty eyes and my dark hair. I know she would have been tall, because she had long legs. I know she would have been the light of my life.

When you lose a child you want to remember them any way that you can. Jewelry, memory books, little mementos. I wonder when enough is enough? I have two necklaces that people have given me as gifts. I love them both. I have her name on my Pandora that my stepsister gave me. A ring with her name, and the ring that Bryan gave me on Valentines Day with her birthstone and diamonds, when we thought she would come in September. I have a memory box. I am working on a memory book for her. I have a vase that a friend gave me. I don't want people to think that I am obsessed. I am just clinging to her any way that I can.

Tomorrow night I get to go on a date with my husband. I don't have anything to wear. I want to dress up and look good but I don't feel good. I just pray that when we go out to dinner and maybe a movie that I don't look like a whale. Now that I have the go ahead from my doctor then I will start trying to get some weight off so that I feel better. But I have no energy. I don't want to work out. It is 100 degrees every day here in Texas. I am going to try. I need the confidence back.

I think that it is OK to have days that suck. It is OK to feel like you are not attractive anymore (for a while, anyway). I think that one should have as many mementos as you want to remember your child and to hell with the people who think that you should "get over it". You don't get over this. It just hurts less each day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Walk

Can I park in reserved parking for expectant mothers? I expected to be a mother. That was my first thought driving to the hospital for my follow up appointment. I decided against it. Next came the walk to the front door. I noticed the trees, heard the clank of an old car pulling up to pick up someone being discharged. It was HOT. I was nervous. I had a speech all prepared for the doctor. I felt the tears welling up. I kept them from spilling over as I went to registration. The woman asked me what I was there for and all the normal questions. She didn't know that my baby had died, so she asked all of the normal prenatal questions. I had to tell her.

Third floor. Opens up to the nursery and it was full of babies. All of the blinds were open so that people could look. As I was walking down the hallway that seemed miles long, a couple with a newborn, all decked out in a cute outfit with a pink bow passed by me. She was a perfect sweet angel. I walked into the waiting area, handed the clerk my paperwork and waited. In the waiting room with pregnant women.

I was called in. The nurse didn't speak. She didn't say hello or how are you today? I wanted to say, "So, I guess you know my baby died, because you aren't saying anything." I got on the scales, then to the blood pressure machine where it read WAY high. She STILL doesn't say anything. I just follow her.

Went into a room. The border around the room is stupid and outdated and the curtains don't match. I get out my list of questions to ask that are written on the back of an envelope in my purse. The tears are threatening again and I push them back. I am anxious to see my doctor because he has always been really nice. Little did I know that I was in for a different experience.

He comes in with the nurse who doesn't seem to have a voice. They both just stare at me and he says that my blood pressure is high. Well, no shit. It was high before I was pregnant and I TOLD you people that. They never addressed it. He tells me that we will take it again before I leave.

"Other than blood pressure, how are you doing?" I wanted to say "How the hell do you THINK I'm doing?" But instead the tears are about to come and my throat closes up... I just look away. It seems like forever before I say "Not good." Then he tells me that they have good counselors and I choke out that I am already seeing someone not affiliated with his hospital.

So then he suggests that we can just get this exam over so that I can be on my way. He checks me, tells me that I am fine and that is it. He acts like he is going to leave and I tell him that I have questions. He looks annoyed, like he has something better to do. Really? This is the doctor who never came to see me after my baby died. He never called. I never got any communication from him or his staff. I think I am entitled to a few damn questions.

I look at my list which seems stupid now. I tell him that Liberty Medical calls me everyday wanting the paperwork from his office so that my insurance will pay for the glucose monitor they sent me. He tells me that he doesn't handle that. I tell him that his staff hasn't handled it and he looks at me and says in the most defensive voice ever...."If my nurses said they did it, then they did it." Really, because they call me everyday and say they don't have it. I tell him that I have called his office 6 times and have not had my calls returned. He just looks at me like it is MY problem. I ask about blood pressure to which he responds that he doesn't prescribe those medications, he just handles babies. OK..... I want to ask if that is why he didn't handle my blood pressure issue when I was pregnant. I ask about birth control, he says that he won't prescribe me anything because my blood pressure is high, but he sure as hell doesn't give me any options. I feel helpless, like I am the idiot here. I tell him that UAMS wants a 24 hour urine for further testing and suggested that he order it and send them the results because we are trying to figure out my issues and it will keep me from having to stay in Little Rock for 2 days. He tells me no.

I ask him about the pathology report from the birth. He tells me there was nothing to tell. I ask him to send it to UAMS and he says they will have to request it. So after this I just give up. I drop eye contact. I can't look at him but I can't say what I want to say because I am about to cry. My voice won't cooperate. I want to tell him that he is a sorry ass doctor. I want to say that he is uncaring. I want to scream at him because I considered him a personal friend before he became my doctor and now I just think that he is a bastard. He tells me that he is sorry things didn't work out. He doesn't give me a recommendation, he doesn't do ANYTHING but walk out.

I just start crying. I get up and get dressed, put my shoes on and sit by the window. I can't stop. I can't breathe. I can't talk. The nurse practitioner walks in and sits down. Somehow she just KNOWS that I am not OK. She starts talking to me and I just keep crying. I can barely talk. She tells me that she lost a child and she understands. I tell her that what hurts at the moment is that my doctor was so uncaring. She says that she understands. I tell her that women like me shouldn't have to see the nursery, sit in the waiting room with pregnant women or be treated like an idiot by their doctor. The nurse walks in and tells me that the doctor suggests that I go to the emergency room for my blood pressure. He obviously didn't want to deal with it. I tell them I will call my PCP and get my old prescription filled. The nurse practitioner walked with me to the back elevator so that I wouldn't have to see the babies. She told me to call her if I needed anything. She hugged me.

So I walked out of the hospital in a fog of anger and tears and emotions that I couldn't explain. I got in my car and just cried. Loud. I wanted to scream but I didn't want people in the parking lot to look at me like I was crazy. Someone that loses a child should NEVER have to go to a follow up appointment alone, to see babies and pregnant women everywhere.


I called my PCP when I returned home. They called in my medicine, told me they would request my records and get me on birth control, told me they would speak to my UAMS doctor for the 24 hour test here so that I don't have to stay in Little Rock for two days. Well hell, maybe I should have gone to THEM when I got pregnant. They were so helpful and NICE and understanding. She took care of everything in one phone call. She actually talked to me on the phone. I wasn't a chart. I was a person to her.

I am blogging about this today not only because I am mad as hell but because these are things that should never happen. If you even suspect for one second that your doctor isn't a good fit for you, then fire them. Don't go to doctors who are friends because if your baby dies, they apparently unfriend you. I would have understood if I had come into my follow up visit all up in arms, but I was just sitting there, fighting back tears. I was harmless. Fragile. And that doctor broke the glass wall that I had been building up around me. All in just one comment.

The whole experience has been horrible. Not only was my prenatal care awful, but the loss and aftermath with the hospital and doctor have been the worst experience of my life. I wouldn't take my worst enemies DOG there. Now I have to make some decisions about my future. I have to find out what is wrong. I need someone who CARES to see me and walk me through it. I don't understand the medical profession right now. I don't understand why this happened to me. Was it not enough that I lost my baby?

Monday, June 25, 2012


Is there a time limit on grief? Is there a time when others just think in their minds that you should be over it? I, for one, think people who tell you to "get over it" just say that so they feel less awkward in your presence. It lets them speak easier about normal things so they don't have to address the fact that you are still grieving.

I still have a hard time being around a lot of people. I feel closed in. I feel like I need to crawl into a hole, a cave, my bed. I haven't been to events yet. I haven't really been out to eat with my family. I haven't been to church or shopping or out with friends. I have to work so I stay in the kitchen all day at the cafe. On the rare occasion that I have to go out front I make it as brief as possible. I don't want people to see how I look. I don't want the shadows under my eyes to show. I don't want them to see me with my hair pulled back with hardly any make up on. I am hoping that soon I will wake up and have a perfect hair day. Look good with makeup on. Have a fabulous outfit with accessories so that people notice that I am back. 

But... I am not back. I am just getting up every morning and reminding myself to breathe because it still hurts. We are working so much. The cafe is so busy and the flower shop is too. I work on flowers in the morning before we open for lunch and then again in the afternoons after we stop serving lunch. We decided today to open on Mondays from now on and so now we will rarely have a day off except for Sunday. Work has saved me. I stand beside my husband all day. We have a good staff and they have all helped me too.

I received a letter in the mail today about how my blog has helped someone to heal. It truly touched my heart and I cried as I read it. The story this person told me was something that I didn't know and I have a complete understanding of how they feel. I am honored that my rambling on here has helped. Several people have asked me to write a book and I wouldn't even know where to start. I get e-mails and messages from people telling me they appreciate what I write. When I started this it was just a way to get some things off my chest, but it has turned into something for Zoe Jane. I want her to know that she is never forgotten and how I am working through losing her.

I hope everyone who follows my blog understands that I AM getting better. There are good days and bad. There are sleepless nights and nights where I sleep HARD and dream strange dreams. I am finding ways to get through the days. I have made new friends through Zoe Jane. I have learned to appreciate life and the people in it. I am finding myself again, one breath at a time.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Girl Day

Slept very late today along with everyone else in my family... then woke to find my stepson needed to go to the doctor. He had a really high fever and considering his background, we decided to get him to the clinic. After Bryan left to take him to see someone, my stepdaughter and I got ready for the day. We decided that we would have a "girl day" and go to a movie.

After seeing that my stepson was alright and tucked in bed with the X Box, We decided to take off for our girl day and leave the boys behind. We headed straight for the movies to see Brave, and thank goodness I am a stickler for getting to the movies early, because it filled up fast. I hate sitting in the front. I am a back row kind of gal... (because sometimes I nod off if the movie is boring.) Popcorn and Coke Zero in hand, we started eating our Milk Duds and Popcorn before the movie even started. I introduced my stepdaughter to the sweet and salty mix of the two junk food items and she fell in love. I told her it was my secret addiction... Milk Duds and Popcorn.

The whole time we were there I was thinking that I had dreamed about these moments. Getting dressed up, going to a girl movie, eating junk food and then shopping... all with MY little girl. I almost felt guilty sharing things with my stepdaughter, but I know she needs it too. I am her mom now. She tells me all the time that I am the best mom ever. I love my stepkids dearly but there is something missing in my relationships with them, even though it is hard to pinpoint. I have decided to love them as much as possible, but nothing compares to the love you have for your own child.

People think that K is mine. She looks a lot like me and she is starting to act like me, God help her. She has a fantastic little work ethic and she is a chatterbox for sure. She would have been a good sister to Zoe Jane. She would have taught her a lot. I showed her a picture of Zoe and was so happy when she exclaimed "Aww...she is the cutest baby in the whole word!" I was relieved that she saw what I see... a gorgeous little girl who is sleeping.

The first couple of weeks I couldn't deal with my stepchildren. They were asking questions that I didn't have the answers for and I didn't know how to respond to them, so I let Bryan answer. I didn't want to talk, didn't want to touch, didn't want to hear them. I felt like an evil stepmother. I would see them sleeping and get mad because my husband had children to hug and kiss on but I didn't. I would sit and cry and he would hug his children. It wasn't fair.

The past couple of weeks have been different. It is like the kids actually KNOW that I need love. They will both randomly tell me they love me out of the blue, B is hugging me goodnight now. They have even slipped up and called me Mom a few times.

Today as K and I were coming home, one of my friends sent me a picture to my phone. She is at a memory walk for infant loss that I couldn't make, and there next to her son's name on her number was Zoe's name. She was walking for Zoe too and it did something to me. This person who has only known me for a few weeks was thoughtful and loving enough to remember my little Zoe Jane. I immediately called my husband and he was busy, so he didn't really grasp what I was saying to him... I was so happy that someone was remembering my little girl. I hung up the phone and just cried. K was in the car with me and she listened to me as I told her that I miss Zoe. I told her that I try to be strong and not be upset all the time, but I just miss her. She looked at me with understanding in her eyes and told me that she wished that she had her little sister here too.

I drove to my sister's house to love on her kids where Logan spent his time "talking" on the cell phone and Jensen laughed at me and then proceeded to spit up all over me. They made me feel better. These little guys who are my sweet nephews that actually seem happy to see me when I come over.

When I got home Bryan and I talked a lot about her. He misses her too. He wants to know why but explained to me that God has a reason. He knows what is best and who are we to question him? I sat there with tears rolling down my face as I listened to my husband talk about our little girl. It broke my heart and healed it a little all at the same time.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What happens...

The anger eventually comes. The questions swirl around again. Sleep becomes something that you cannot cling to anymore. When I first lost Zoe I was in shock. People kept saying that I was being so strong and they couldn't believe I went back to work so quickly. I thought I was doing the right thing by going back to something familiar. I think that shock is a good thing after the loss of an infant. It allows you to walk around in a fog so that you are not screaming at everyone that speaks in your direction.

But just wait... it eventually hits you. The moods. The anger. The questions. The insomnia. The staring off into space because you can't concentrate. The fact that you are SO TIRED.

People call and I don't answer. I listen to voice mail once a week. I can't deal with talking on the phone. I feel like I should be doing something else. I feel like there is a greater purpose out there for me but I can't figure out what it is.

Every time someone else loses their baby I feel things all over again. Zoe has only been gone four weeks. Four weeks. It seems like yesterday. There have been three babies lost over the past two weeks. People that I don't exactly know personally but friends of friends. I don't understand it. I guess I never will.

Pray. Pray hard for these parents because it is the worst thing in the world. They will never be the same. I will never be the same. You can't be. It changes something within you and you can't get it back. Pray for comfort and peace and love. Those are the things that evade you when this happens. Pray for strength.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Weekend

So Bryan and I took the kids to Lake DeGray to stay at the lodge there for the weekend. We were getting ready to leave on Saturday morning and I got a call from a friend telling me that another baby had gone to heaven. Someone I KNOW. All I could think is that in the past couple of months there have been 6 babies go to heaven just in this area. People that I know. That doesn't count the ones that I DON'T know.

Why does God need all these babies?

The anger hit me last week about Zoe Jane. It's not fair. I don't really care what the reason is for all of the infant deaths because IT IS NOT FAIR. We love our babies. I can't imagine the moms who had theirs for a month or so and had to go through losing them. I never saw Zoe Jane alive. I knew she was gone before I even went into labor. It was cruel and awful, but if I had KNOWN her alive and she had been taken from me I am not sure that I could have taken it.

The death of a child changes you. You don't mean for it to. You think that you will be OK day after day but the little, insignificant things hurt you. A new baby in a stroller, or asleep on their daddy's shoulder at a restaurant, the baby section of every damn store that you walk into. The facebook pictures of all the precious babies lucky enough to be here. The little Raggedy Ann doll that you find tucked away for your little girl that died. It hurts like hell.

The whole time we were at the lake I would look out at the water and think that I was supposed to still be pregnant. I still feel self conscious of my body. The whole time I was thinking that next summer she would have been so sweet in her little swimsuit with a hat going to the lake with us. I hate the things that will never be.

The butterflies are going away. I haven't seen one in a week or two. It makes me sad. I felt like seeing them all the time was Zoe's way of telling me that she is still here. Where did she go?

Things change a few weeks after your child dies. The people who were surrounding you with love and support go away. The cards stop. The messages stop. People think that you should be good by now. I think this happens when you lose anyone in your life. It's not really fair to think that people would go out of their way to comfort you weeks after the funeral. It is like I tell my brides who spend a year planning a wedding... you better find something else to occupy your time because after the wedding you will feel lost, like you don't know what to do next. What happens is that real life sets in whether you are ready for it or not. When you lose a baby, real life sets in and you have to hide your grief so that people don't think that you are a freak.

I am to the point where I just want to work and sleep. Oh precious sleep. I crave it. I can't wait to crawl into bed every night after working all day. I feel like I have aged by ten years. My body hurts, my brain isn't working and I feel like my closest friends think that I don't care about them because I am a hermit to my bed these days.

We didn't want to come home today. We wanted to stay at the lodge where there were activities for the kids and where we could sit and gaze at the water for hours. I read a whole entire book over the past two days. That just doesn't happen anymore. I did enjoy getting into a novel and pretending for spurts of time that my life wasn't real. But it is... and the minute we hit Texarkana the stress hit my shoulders and neck. Back to real life and time to find things to occupy my time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

X-Rays and Needles and Labwork, Oh MY

I went to Little Rock today to be pushed and prodded to find out what the hell is wrong with my body. The worst thing about this trip was that I had to get up at 4:30 this morning to get ready. So I got up and searched in the dark for all of the things that I strategically placed around the loft in preparation for my groggy state of mind. Clothes, check. Jewelry, check. Handbag, check. Keys are in the handbag... I managed to get out of the house looking fairly decent at 5 in the morning. Thank goodness for a good hair day.

The drive to Little Rock was fine. No tears. I listened to Josh Abbott and Randy Rogers all the way there on Pandora. I sang in the car like I do when alone. I am sure the passersby think that I am crazy. My stepdaughter says that I sing well... but she is only 6. My first mistake was forgetting the directions to the actual PLACE that I was going to. So I make it to the general vicinity of the place where I SHOULD be and then I look it up on my phone. Sidenote: What would we do without our smartphones? I would be lost all the time.

I was only 1.6 miles away from my destination and I am still early. I have plenty of time. This is where I was wrong. UAMS is a cluster of tall buildings with seemingly no signage or signage that is the same color as the building. I don't have my damn paper that tells me what building or directions, so I am screwed. I drive around in circles for an eternity and the clock is just ticking away. All I can remember is the lady telling me to get there thirty minutes early to fill out paperwork. I am fifteen minutes into my early time and still don't know where to go. I finally stop and ask a gentleman who kindly gives me a map that is just as confusing as the tall buildings, but he tells me WHERE to go. Through the maze of construction and traffic I find my destination. I throw my keys to the valet, grab my new summer bag and head inside.

The first thing is paperwork. Then weight, height, blood pressure and a gazillion questions asked by the pleasant nurse with the British accent. She is lovely and reminds me of the Teapot in Beauty in the Beast. Or should I just say Angela Lansbury? She doesn't remind me of her, just her voice. She called me darling and dear and I loved it. Then I am off to a room. To wait. I hate waiting.

I didn't have to wait long. The doctor came in and she was really nice and asked me all the same questions that Teapot asked. We talked about Zoe and the concerns that I have with all of my issues. I have fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed years ago and I have managed it quite well, even during pregnancy. The thing that concerned everyone who saw me during the pregnancy was that I had gout. The whole time I was pregnant. I couldn't really take the medicines that prevent it, so we just had to control the pain so that I could walk. There was also a concern that I have rheumatoid arthritis, so testing is underway for that and a myriad of other diseases that I can't even pronounce.

I was sent to hand therapy for a brace for the tendons that connect my thumb to my wrist... I have to wear it all the time. Something that I didn't even go in for but was treated for. Yay. A fashionable black wrist brace. Love it. While there I had to listen to stories of horrible accidents from people sitting in the waiting area for therapy. Thank goodness mine is just a tendon and a whole truck didn't fall on my hand like one guy in there.

Then on to Radiology for X-rays. The Caution: Radiation in Use signs freak me out. The waiting room there was a little more exciting. Darth Vader sat next to me and I was afraid that every breath would be the last for this person who was seemingly unknowing to the fact that they breathe very loud for no apparent reason every fourth breath. Then the ladies behind me were talking about how they found out about their cancer with one another. Thanks. I love hearing cancer stories when I am about to walk into a radiation filled wing of the hospital. And let's not forget the husbands of the above mentioned ladies talking about where to eat in these here parts... they were ready to eat.

Thirteen X-rays. The inevitable question as to whether I think that I may be pregnant before we proceed. Umm... no. I am not pregnant. I should be, but I am not...just here to see you and Darth Vader and the Debbie Downers in the waiting room. On the up side, the radiologist was really nice.

So last stop. Lab. Oh My Lord I hate needles. I hate having my blood drawn. I have the tiniest veins and they are deep and they roll. (Thanks Mom) This woman plopped me in the chair, pulled out a butterfly and got me on the first stick. AMAZING! I need to carry her around in my back pocket for future blood draws. It was over in about 8 vials and 5 minutes.

I am free. Now to get downstairs while avoiding characters from movies. I made it to valet and to my car and off I went in search of food. I couldn't find not one place to eat that sounded good so I made my way to the worst part of this trip.

Babies R Us

Bryan and I had bought so many things for Zoe from there and they were all still sitting in bags upstairs. I didn't want to give them away. They were bought for MY baby. And who wants a dead babies things? New or not I didn't feel right gifting them to people. So I got a cart, filled it up and walked inside. Immediately I was greeted by a really nice woman at the service desk. I pulled up with my cart o stuff and told her that I needed to bring these things back. Nothing wrong with them, still in the bags, but I didn't have the receipt. I have it somewhere but I couldn't find it. BUT I do have my rewards card and everything was bought under that card. She looked at me with that look that people give you when you don't have a receipt. So I blurted it out. "Look, my baby was born dead three weeks ago and you HAVE to take this stuff back. I can't bear to look at it. It's all on the card. Just look it up." She just looked at me. She didn't know what to say. But she looked it all up and it was there and she did it for me. Thank you LORD.

I cried walking out the door of Babies R Us. I am sure that doesn't happen much. A grown woman who is not pregnant crying as she walks out of what should be the happiest place in the world. I cried in the car. I got mad. Why couldn't I have her?

I feel guilty because I missed going to the cemetery on Monday. It was three weeks since her funeral and the day that the doctors were going to take her in Little Rock and I was too tired to go anywhere because I worked all day. I was pissed all day. I was full of hurt and could not deal.

So today was a day of being lost, visiting with Teapot, meeting Darth Vader and crying at the baby store. I am tired and oh yeah, waiting for two more weeks on test results. I do have a date tonight with my husband and his kids are spending the night elsewhere so we get the TV all to ourselves.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Four Weddings and A Funeral

We did four weddings today. There is also a funeral. I am dead tired. All day I kept thinking that if I were still pregnant, I would be in the bed because Monday is the day that we were supposed to go to Little Rock to see if Zoe was viable enough to deliver. If she had just made it three more weeks.

Three more weeks. It haunts me. I wonder constantly if there was something that I did those last three days that kept her from living three more weeks.

I am still seeing butterflies all the time. They just come and sit next to me or fly next to my car down the street. I have a friend who said that she was sitting on a mountain in Colorado thinking about us and Zoe Jane and a big butterfly flew up and sat next to her for a long time. I told her that it had to be Zoe. Another friend brought me a flower vase with Zoe's name and date on it along with a gorgeous paper butterfly. I love it. I put flowers in it and they are on the bar upstairs.

Friday was three weeks. I feel stupid counting like it is an anniversary or something. But the day comes that she came into this world and I can't help but think of her ALL DAY LONG. There was someone in the cafe on Friday who wanted to talk to me and our server said that today wasn't a good day, I was busy. But she just wanted to talk to me about Zoe. Well, it isn't the best time. This person told him that I should be over it by now. Three weeks. Whatever.

Everyone is pregnant. Everyone has a new baby. My Facebook is constantly updated with newborn photos of my friends and I am not sure if more people are pregnant and having babies or if I am just noticing it more. I asked Bryan the other day if it was just me and he said that he notices more too. He hurts just as I do. I cry a lot in the shower so that it doesn't affect everyone in my house.

I saw someone today who didn't know that we had lost her. The same pitying looks and "Oh, I am so sorry and How are you?" All I can say is that I am OK when really I am not. But you can't say that to people. They want to think that you are OK even if you aren't. People can't deal with others who are not doing well. They don't know how to handle you. So I choose to say that I am doing well and that we know that she is where she is supposed to be even though I don't like it. It just saves people the time of telling me that God has a plan. I know. But it doesn't make it any better when I miss her.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Could Have Been

We went to Arkansas Children's Hospital today. Bryan's son, Brendan, was diagnosed with angiocarcinoma a couple of years ago. He has bone cancer. We have been through Dr. visits and chemotherapy and waiting and waiting. The kids live with us now and so it is our responsibility to deal with all of this stuff. The times that I have visited ACH in the past I was just a girlfriend, and then a brand new wife...not a mom. It was easier in the past.

Brendan has been off of chemo for a year. The last visit was about 6 months ago and the results of the MRI were still the same. It was there but not growing, so we have still been worried. We watch him and he was limited in sports and play. He used to be really angry that he had cancer. Of course soon after he was diagnosed his parents divorced and he felt like he was the reason, that cancer was the reason his Mom and Dad split up. We have worked out the issues within him and he is well adjusted and understands things better now.

Today was surreal. Next Monday I would have been in Little Rock seeing a neonatologist and seeing if Zoe Jane was viable enough to be delivered. As I walked through ACH today, I noticed things that I had not noticed before. The kids, the parents, the nurses. I noticed the IVs, the casts, the wheelchairs. We were sitting in a waiting room to MRI and they wheeled an infant in that was hooked up to a hundred tubes. I couldn't help but think that would have been my Zoe in a few days. The parents looked tired. The kids were physically drained. I could see the strain in the faces of people who had been there a long time.

Bryan kept looking at me. I was thinking about her all day long. She could have been here soon. And in THAT hospital. I am torn because I would do anything to have her here, but I wouldn't want her to suffer. I wouldn't want to be one of those parents that was walking around with stress and worry. But I would have done anything to keep her alive and to see her breathing on her own.

We were at the hospital for six and a half hours. I watched Brendan lay so perfectly still for x-rays, for an IV, for injections, for an MRI and bone scan. He was so brave. Bryan asked me if I thought that Zoe would have looked a little like Brendan and had his demeanor. I told him that I thought so. She would have been a brave little girl. She had that look about her.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two Weeks.

Today I woke up with a migraine. My blood pressure is high. I did go to the doctor to get checked out so things will be OK after this medicine kicks in. I have medicine for the sinus infection, the blood pressure, the anxiety and the migraines. Hopefully all of my bases are covered for now. I hate medicine. It just sucks having to take it for anything.

Bryan and I are off on Mondays. We really need a day off each week because we work on weekends. A lot of people call us on Mondays. It is almost impossible to escape. If they don't reach us at the store they call our cell phones. It is crazy. Today we did escape. We went to DeKalb to pay for Zoe's funeral and Robb gave us her little footprints and handprints. They are so tiny and perfect. Bryan sat looking at them and compared them to his own. Amazingly precious. We decided to visit some people in town... Of course we couldn't leave Larel's Furniture without buying a new recliner and we also picked up some flowers from Jody's to take to Zoe. They were pink lilies and roses tied together and they were perfect for our baby girl. We then went to the cemetery and listened to the birds for awhile.

I felt a little stronger today. Last night I was laying in bed after a pretty good day and the panic and fear just gripped me. It wouldn't let go and I didn't know what to do. I laid in the bed wondering how I could have such a good day and then all of a sudden the anxiety just slaps me in the face. I worry about the doors being locked. Light shining under a door freaks me out. I need dark when I sleep. If I sleep. I space out a lot.  My husband gives me these looks like there is something seriously wrong with me. I know that he is hurt and grieving but I truly believe that moms and dads grieve differently. Bryan has his kids to love and kiss on and has the comfort of knowing they are part of him. My heart is still breaking because I didn't get to keep the baby we made. Her little face is burned into my memory. Those little feet. I have looked at every line of those feet.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Weekend

Saturday was grueling. I had a headache which can be attributed to the fact that I drank three Shiner Bock before going to bed on Friday night. Two weddings at different times in different towns. My goal was to make each bride super happy. These were the first jobs since Zoe Jane died and I had a conversation with her last week when I visited her grave site. I just asked her to give me strength to carry on with the floral studio. I love what I do and I am good at it, but there are days when I just don't want to pick up a flower. I feel displaced, out of sorts and confused when I look at my floral supplies. These feelings are normal considering what I have been through, but if Zoe has the ability to help me to carry on and be fabulous at my career, then I needed her little spirit to help Momma.

I was scared to even start working on these weddings. I turned on Pandora, got all of my things together and just dove in. I got a lot of work done on Friday night, then got up early Saturday to finish and go to set the first wedding. I was happy with everything. I went a little above and beyond for each bride and everything looked great. Late last night I received text messages from EACH bride saying that everything was amazing and more than they had ever hoped for. I felt relief. I felt contentment. I know that Zoe Jane was helping me to be creative and get through the day.

My body is not healed. I have a really bad sinus infection. I am tired all the time. Next week we have several weddings. Then we have a dinner event here the next weekend. I THINK that I am free the last weekend of June. I want to go to the beach. Just me and the hubby. I doubt that will be possible any time soon even though I am yearning to lay in the sand and listen to the water. I wish that I could win the lottery so that I could just go on a vacation and not have to worry about working all the time to pay bills.

I slept this afternoon. The dreams stayed away. I was so thankful. Last night I slept really well and woke up late this morning. We went shopping for shorts. Bryan and I are both ready for the summer but now I have to shave my legs and possibly get a tan. He had Zoe Jane's name tattooed on his arm yesterday. It is really pretty script and I love it. I just stared at it for a long time last night. Tomorrow is two weeks since the funeral. I have to go to the funeral home in the morning. I need to pick up some things and then I will stop by to put flowers on her grave.

The anger came this weekend and I somehow managed to suppress it with work. I will let it out soon. It came on fast and furious and there was anxiety behind it all. I keep wondering if I need medicine to deal with everything but then again I want to FEEL it all. I spoke with a friend today and we talked about how we do for others, help others and are really just good people. About how I waited all this time to have a baby with the man that God chose for me. About how I want something good to happen in my life instead of having to work so hard. I just wanted a baby. There are people out there that have babies everyday and they don't want them. I am angry about that. I miss her kicks. I miss looking at baby clothes and thinking about how I would decorate her nursery. Why couldn't God let me have her?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Losing it

There is a whole brick wall in front of me. I am working on flowers for a wedding. I want to throw this whole vase of hydrangeas against that brick wall. I wonder what it would feel like. Would it take away this anxiety? Would it make me breathe better? I am afraid that if I throw one vase then I will throw another. And possibly another. Then I will have to clean it all up. It wouldn't be fair to make someone else do it.

I think that I am losing my strength... little by little is it ebbing away today. First people were getting on my nerves, now I don't want to be in anyone's presence. Why can't these feelings just hold off? I have weddings to do. I need to stay up all night and get all of this done.

I am tempted to take some plates out to the dumpster and smash them. That is what responsible Jennifer would do. I can't let go of that little bit of control that I have over my emotions. If I let it go then I will have a mess. That I have to clean up. I need sleep. I need to stay in bed for a whole day and only get up if I have to. Sunday. Maybe Sunday. Until then the hydrangeas must stay in the vase.