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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

#44 - WELCOME, 2010!

Although my husband now suffers from Farmtown addiction, getting him to set up a Facebook account took a lot of nagging on my part.  Shortly after he created his FB account he did one of those ’25 things about me’ notes.  This is one of the things he wrote about himself – “2008 was one of the most emotionally charged years of my life.  2009 will probably rival it with the birth of our first child.”  I smiled from ear to ear when I read that, and it still warms my heart to know that our wedding and our unborn baby had that much emotional impact on him.  Little did either of us know what lay in store for our family and how far off course our lives would veer during 2009. 

While the first half of 2009 was benign enough, the second half of the year was less than spectacular.  There are many hypothetical events that could have made things even worse, but overall, the happenings of 2009 pushed me closer to my breaking point than I ever want to be again.  It is safe to say that 2009 has been the worst of my 32 years, but I have survived it - a little worse for the wear - and I hope with every fiber of my being that the deaths of people and pets, identity theft, major computer crashes and staffing challenges (and the horrible timing of all of the above) will not carry through into 2010. 

I am happy to welcome the new year, and I am hopeful that it will be gentle.  I am hopeful that it will bring us a living child to love and nurture.  I am hopeful that our family does not suffer loss of any kind.  I am hopeful that it will be a joyous and peaceful year in every possible way, not only for my family, but for all baby loss families. 

I don’t want this post to be all about how shitty 2009 was (even though it really was), so I want to do my weekly list here and list some of the good things that happened in 2009.
  • We were blessed to have 8 months with Gracie, albeit while she was in my belly, but 8 months none-the-less.  I would not trade those 8 months for anything except a live Gracie.
  • Several good friends and family members welcomed new babies into their families, including one rainbow baby.  Several other friends have recently announced new pregnancies.  As bitter sweet as all of this has been for us, I am truly happy for all of these families; I am so glad that the families with new babies do not know the pain that we now know and I pray that the families who are waiting to welcome their new bundles of joy do not meet the same fate.
  • My sister got her long-awaited assignment with the Peace Corps.  She left in August and is underway in her permanent assignment in Namibia, Africa.  Her departure was another one of those bittersweet moments for me, but there is internet access in Namibia, so all is not lost!!
  • I found my way into the land of baby loss blogs, mostly written by baby loss mamas.  I have formed what I hope are lasting friendships with several ladies that I otherwise would probably never crossed paths with.
  • I had the opportunity to get together for a fantastic reunion-type dinner with most of my cousins over the summer, some of whom I have not seen for several years.  It was fabulous, and unfortunately it probably happen again for several more years!!
  • Slow progress continues to be made toward fixing our house.  It is a multi-year project, but we’re getting there.  I love that my floors are almost level again!
  •  I have become a new me - just not the 'new me' that I was anticipating a year ago.  It has given me a whole new perspective on everything in life.  Everything.  I frequently long for the 'old normal', but continue settle into the 'new normal'.  I am able to move from one day to the next by holding on to the hope that Jeff and I will be able to perpetuate some good, in any dose, from the worst thing that has ever happened to us. 
I wish all of you the very best that 2010 has to offer - let's hope that it only gets better from here!!!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

#43 - WE MADE IT

So Christmas is over, and while it wasn't without some anticipated ups and downs, we made it through in one piece.  I got to talk to my sister quite a bit over the last few days, including a video call on Thursday.  Later on Thursday, we hosted 17 family members for Christmas Eve dinner, which ultimately served as a pretty good distraction.  Between dinner and presents we did a balloon release.  It was a cold, breezy night, yet all of the balloons somehow grouped together and stayed that way until we could not see them anymore.   We managed to get a pretty good picture right after they were all released.  Thursday really was a decent day.  Jeff was somewhat overtaken by emotion during the balloon release, but having other things to focus on really helped. 

Friday was a different day.  We made a stop at the annual Christmas gathering for my FIL's family.  It's a big family - there were about 30 people there while we were there.  I was okay going in, but that was short lived.  We weren't in the door 10 minutes and I had to duck back out to compose myself.  Several of Jeff's cousins were there with their kids - one has a 3 year old little girl who is more or less how I imagined Gracie would have looked and acted at that age, and one has a son born May 28th.  Apparently seeing them together was enough to just knock me over the edge a bit, and it really made me feel what we were missing. 

From that gathering we continued to the cemetery, and then to my father's.  We were greeted by a little stuffed dog that was left there to watch over Gracie by my husband's friend.  We were somewhat disappointed that the solar lights on her trees were not working, but it wasn't a very good day for storing solar energy.  Dinner was pretty uneventful, but I had trouble shaking the sad, empty feeling for the rest of the evening. 

I think it is safe to say that Gracie was alive in most of us over the last few days.  She was present in conversation several times, and she was remembered in a few gifts.  Jeff's parents gave us a shelf with a quilt bar so we can safely display some of Gracie's mementos, including the baby quilt that my sister made.  She got a few more tree ornaments to compliment the ones already on the tree, and my father and step-mom gave us a beautiful figurine.  Perhaps the most touching gift of all was the very unexpected gift from a fellow baby loss mama friend; she and her husband had a star named for Gracie. 

There were definitely some rough moments, but overall, our first Christmas without Gracie was not quite as traumatic as I had anticipated, and the time away from work has given me a chance to generally decompress a bit.  I am looking forwardto a new year and the new opportunities that it will hopefully bring.  I hold tight to the hope that we will bring home a living child in 2010, and that many of my hopeful loss-mama friends will be blessed with the same. 

On a different note, if you are reading this today (12/27), please take an extra moment to remember angel baby Sophie on her 3rd angelversary.  Her mom, Debbie, is a real life friend of mine.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


The next few days will be quite difficult for so many of us, myself included.  I wanted to leave a message for everyone and wish you a peaceful, easy and merry Christmas full of family, friends and love.  Be gentle to yourselves, and please keep the rest of our community in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the families of critically ill children. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


...could have a sense of humor this sick...  One year ago today, very early in the morning we found out that Gracie was going to be part of our lives.  When I woke up this morning, I found out that our 18 year old neighbor gave birth a few hours before to a healthy baby boy.  Please don't get me wrong... I would never wish this on anyone.  Ever.  But the irony - every stinking bit of it - is simply enough to kill me some days.  

Hoping that everyone else in this community is having as easy and peaceful of a Christmas season as can be had...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

#40 - BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...

I am officially ready to fast forward.  I don't know how far - I will know the right place to stop when I find it - probably well into January, maybe February.  I used to look forward to the Christmas season with such eager anticipation, now I find that it brings heaviness to my heart.  I observed a sad anniversary on Thursday - two years since a friend died unexpectedly.  Today I observe another anniversary - 24 years since my grandmother, after whom Gracie is named, was killed.  The anniversary of another friend's death comes immediately after Christmas.  In two days we will observe the first of many 'anniversaries' of a slightly different nature.  Monday, December 22nd, 2008 we discovered that we would be celebrating Christmas 2009 as a family of three.  That is even how we announced it to several of our friends (via traditional Christmas text, or course).  What a difference a year makes...  Instead of buying our first born child presents and watching as she tries to figure out the lights on the tree and all of the other decorations,  we are collecting items to donate to charity in her memory and picking out memorial ornaments.  Instead of ordering the photo Christmas cards that I was sooo looking forward to, I have figured out a way to include angel wings in our signature for the regular boxed cards.  Instead of dressing her in cute Christmas outfits, I occasionally stop at her dresser and look at the 0-3 month clothing still folded and neatly put away - just waiting for her arrival.  Instead of shopping for her unique stocking, I had to make her unique stocking because there just isn't a great selection of dead baby stockings out there.  Instead of reading Gracie traditional Christmas stories, I am reading poems entitled 'My First Christmas in Heaven' and 'I'm an Angel Now, Mommy.'

I have cried more in the last 3 days than I have in the last month.  I think that there are definitely some hormones involved, but the rest of it is just aching heart, sadness and a little bit of anger.  It's sadness in knowing that my life is now about accepting and embracing (or at least giving accepting and embracing some thought) the new normal, and accepting that what I have known to be normal for 32 years is long gone.  It's sadness in knowing that days like December 22nd, April 7th, July 31st, August 1st, August 5th, and August 27th will always be on the list of days that I would prefer to avoid all together.  It's sadness in knowing that every holiday celebration for the rest of my life will be incomplete, regardless of who we celebrate with.  It's sadness in knowing that we will never be able to gather all of my children around the Christmas tree.  It's sadness in knowing that Jeff and I will always have aching hearts, and that we will always feel like our earthly family is incomplete.

I hope, with everything I have, that we will be blessed with a rainbow baby by the end of 2010.  That means that my body must host another pregnancy - very soon - which scares me to death.  I loved feeling Gracie move around inside my belly and interacting with her that way, and I am so looking forward to having that experience again.  But beyond that, i am just fearful.  I am fearful of every decision we will have to make.  I am fearful of every moment that I might realize the baby has been still for an hour or more.  My brain keeps processing all of the things that I want to do differently during the next pregnancy, so we can have more to remember the if it's already a certainty that the next baby won't come home either. 

I hope with every bit of spirit I can find that the next few days will be peaceful and easy, even though I am already feeling a bit of angst about Christmas Eve dinner for reasons other than Gracie.  I hope that Jeff and I are able to find some common emotional ground and enjoy a bit of the holiday the way a newlywed couple should.  I hope that I am able to take a break from work and the rest of life and find a little bit of inner peace, even if it's just for 15 or 20 minutes...

Friday, December 18, 2009


A friend of mine who is really into scrimshaw art just surprised me with a picture of something that he plans to drop off for us next week.  He was really excited about completing this project and couldn't wait to share it with us.  It is made from a piece of salvaged ivory, and his scrimshaw work is always done freehand.  I am also pretty excited about it, and wanted to show it off.  I can't wait to hang it on our tree next week!  (Thanks, Raheem!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And the winner is....

Good morning ladies. I put the name of each participant in a bag and had DH pick a winner. Betty from Random Thoughts at 65 MPH is the winner of the stocking.  

Make sure to visit Mackenzie's Mommy at Missing Mackenzie for today's giveaway.   

Betty - please shoot me an email (there is an email link under my profile link on the right side of my blog) and provide the following information....
 - Color of the stocking - pink, blue or dark red
 - Name that you want embroidered on the cuff
 - Toe of the stocking pointed to the right or to the left? If you have no preference, it will be to the right.  
 - do you want wings?  if so, do you want the sheer nylon wings or the feathery wings?
 - mailing address so I can get the stocking to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009


NOTE: These giveaways are open to all baby lost mamas. If you didn't sign up to host a giveaway we still want you to participate and try to win some of these GREAT items. We want to spread happiness to everyone, not just those who are hosting a day!

Welcome to my Giveaway day - my day is officially Tuesday the 15th, so I am a little early. I am not feeling that well, and will probably go to bed early tonight, and I wanted to make sure that this was ready to go for Tuesday ('s Tuesday on the other side of the globe, anyway!). A big thank you to Tina @ Living Without Sophia and Ellie for putting the giveaway together. It has been something to look forward to each day, and I am looking forward to participating again next year!

Everyone in my family has always had a special Christmas stocking – I cannot remember a day that any of us have had matching stockings. About a month ago I started looking for a stocking to buy for Gracie, and came up empty after much searching. I found a few that were okay, but nothing that really spoke to me, so I decided to make my own. It was a simple enough idea when I started, but nothing is ever simple!! I have finally finished my first prototype – it doesn’t look too bad for the first one, but there are definite improvements and corrections to be made!

If you are the winner of Tuesday's giveaway, you will get a custom stocking for your angel. If you are a mama to angel twins or triplets, I will make a stocking for each angel. You can pick the color - pink, light blue or dark red. Your angel’s name will be embroidered on the cuff in the same color as your stocking. (I will be getting a darker pink thread for the names on the pink stockings, since the first shade I used is a bit too light.) Your stocking can be plain like the first picture, have simple angel wings like the second picture or have fancy feather wings like the third picture.

To register, just leave a comment below.  If we have not already 'met' please tell me something about yourself.  I will leave this giveaway open until at least 6:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday morning, but it may be later than that until I announce the winner. If I am not able to get online to announce the winner before I go to work Wednesday, it will likely be sometime around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night until I can do so. (Winner will either be picked from a hat by DH or by

Thanks to all for stopping by!

#36 - A DAY IN THE LIFE & Weekly List 6th Edition

Aside from my venting post about the insurance/chromosomal analysis debacle that I posted on Wednesday, I haven’t spent much time in blogland over the last week or so, as things have been crazy busy.  So busy that I have even missed out on registering for some of the awesome giveaway prizes that were offered at the end of the week, and I also didn’t get a weekly list done or posted. 

We went to the cemetery on Saturday morning to do our Christmas decorating.  The decorating was unexpectedly started earlier in the week by my mother-in-law and my step-mother – they were shopping together and found a very pretty Advent cross made of fresh greens.  We took our little artificial Charlie Brown trees, the string of solar lights, our little baby loss colored balls, and Gracie’s personalized ornament and battled the snow and the frozen ground.  When it was all said and done, this is how things looked…. Even though many of you have experienced this, I just have to say how much decorating at the cemetery sucks. 


When our decorating was complete, we hopped back in the car and started our 3 ½ hour drive east for an annual Christmas party.  I knew that there would be a few babies and young kids there, but even with those expectations, I got knocked on my ass last night.  There were a few more little ones there than I had anticipated, ranging in age from newborn to six years old – and two families were also expecting.  Quick summation - dying inside.  So…I drank.  I drank more than I have had at one time since Gracie died.  In hindsight, probably not a good decision.  But drinking or not, the whole evening made me realize just how badly I want a baby to love and nurture and watch grow and learn.  The desire for a baby is nothing new, but I don’t think I realize exactly how strong the desire really is until I am surrounded by it.  The evening really made me think about how strong my bond to Gracie was, even though she never took one breath outside of my body.  It also made me realize how quickly I can become so green with envy around people with babies and young children, especially babies about the age that Gracie should be.  Not just a pale shade of green, but one of the brightest, ugliest shades of green that you can imagine…and if that’s not bad enough, the envy tends to make my cynical streak worse.  I don’t wish ill fortune on anyone, and I would never wish this on anyone, but my brain just keeps screaming that little phrase that we are all so very familiar with …. “Why me???”

During the ride home I thought about all of this, and then thought about it even more when my husband commented on how he perceives/d my green state of envy.  I thought about all of the realizations I have had about myself over the last 4 months, and all of the things that seemed to be emphasized for me last night.  Here is what I came up with.

  • I am stronger than I ever thought I was, but most of the time that strength is for the benefit of the people around me, and not really for myself.  Life within my four walls is much different than life outside of the walls.
  • This blog has helped so much when it comes to living within my four walls.  Most of the people around me would do anything to help both of us through this, but because most of them don’t have a clue what it is like to live through this, they don't know how to act or what to say when I talk about Gracie.  Consequently, I have not invited most them to read my blog.  I initially wanted it to be informational for those who have never been down this road, so they would understand what we are dealing with on a daily basis, but I quickly realized how unrealistic that would be - so many people around me freak out at just the mildest grief comments posted on Facebook, that I can not imagine how they would react to reading some of the things written here.  Some days it really feels like I have a double life….
  • I’m not generally an envious person, but I don’t know how to turn this baby envy off.  I struggle with it on a daily basis, and the only people that I am not envious of are people who have had their rainbow babies – because I know that they have stood in this spot with similar emotions. 
  • I am married to the most wonderful man in the world, but sometimes it confuses me that he doesn’t experience the same envy.  We are experiencing the same loss, yet we are not experiencing the same grief.  Sometimes we absolutely cannot relate to what the other is feeling or experiencing. Some days we are not even in the same book, let alone on the same page. 
  • No matter how graceful I try to be in dealing with this loss, it never seems to be enough.  
  • I have struggled with my faith more over the last 19 weeks more than I have ever struggled with it.  It has never been a strong point for me, and just when I think that I am starting to figure it all out, God drops a nuke in the middle of my life – a nuke so big that it can make the most religious and faithful question the meaning of everything.

I am going to roll this into a pick-me-up and move right into Tuesday’s giveaway (part of  Tina’s 25 Days of Giveaways.  Read on to my next post for my Giveaway information. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So here I sit, waiting for Jeff to come home so we can discuss what is probably the most important information we have gotten since Gracie’s death. Among other things, I am completely dumbfounded by this information. I am frustrated beyond belief, and I am feeling let down and somewhat betrayed by my team.

Perhaps I should have left well enough alone, but I called my insurance company today armed with diagnosis and procedure codes to verify whether or not chromosomal analysis is covered by my policy. A large part of why I called was to gather information, so we have it, God forbid this happens again. A large part of why I called was just to find out. 

I was told that it is NOT listed as an exclusion, but is instead listed as something that is paid for when medically necessary (which means that they will not pay for it as part of a routine screening, but will pay for it when it is needed for definitive answers – like after a stillbirth). I gave her a brief synopsis of our situation so she understood why I was asking and what I was looking for. Without any further questions from me, the service rep went on to give me some interesting information…

(Gracie was born at 0229 on August 1st, and we were told during the next 8 hours that my insurance would not cover the chromosomal analysis of the placental tissue and the out of pocket cost was $1700. We told our midwife that aside from an autopsy, we wanted any testing on me, Gracie or the placental/cord tissue that was covered by insurance. Pathology testing was done on my placenta, which determined that there were no visible clots in the tissue, and the amount of infarct. The fact that this was done absolutely means that they still had my placental tissue hanging around for a few days after the baby died.)

On August 3rd at 9:30 a.m., someone from the hospital called my insurance to find out of “chromosomal analysis on placental tissue” was covered by my policy; she was told that she needed to call back with procedure and diagnosis codes. 46 minutes later she called back with three different procedure codes (no diagnosis code), and she was told that all of the procedure codes were eligible procedures based on medical necessity. A second person made a THIRD call – on the same day at 1:30 p.m. with the same procedure codes – the only difference is that she had a diagnosis code. She was given the same information – eligible based on medical necessity.

I have been trying to figure out for the last 4 hours what the hell has happened. I have to wonder if someone was just guessing whether or not my insurance would cover the testing, and I feel like the ball was completely dropped after two different people got confirmation that the tests would likely be covered. I feel like they should have called and asked us what we wanted if they weren’t sure after the insurance company said that coverage was based on medical necessity.  It should have been OUR decision, not theirs.  Another part of me feels that this stinks of CYA, but the rest of me says that this theory doesn't make sense. I have no idea why they would feel like they need(ed) to do this, because we don’t blame anyone for Gracie’s death, and we were very clear about that. I don’t know what to do at this point. I really want to know why the hell they did not do the tests once they knew they would probably be covered, but I haven’t figured out the best way to do this, or if it is ultimately a battle that I should pick.  I am so mad and disappointed, but I have no idea where to direct it.  I really like our midwives and the doc that we have dealth with - I feel like the midwife who delivered Gracie did everything she could possibly do for us during the worst moments of our lives.  I hate to think that any of this falls on them, but I am not sure where is it really falls. 

The testing, or lack thereof, ultimately makes no difference in our outcome. Gracie would still be dead, regardless.  BUT…that chromosomal analysis could have given us a pretty immediate answer about cause of death. It would have given us a definitive answer to the T18/T21 question, which would allow us know if we could rest a little easier or have cause to keep our vigilance up during the next pregnancy. Instead, it will be a guessing game. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

#34 - Weekly list - 5th edition

As it turns out, I am having one of those ‘lost’ days….the kind of day that you have a million things on the To Do list, or at least a million things that could be done….and you don’t feel like doing any of them.  So onward with the procrastination in the form of my weekly list…

This week I am giving much thought to all of the things in life that I don’t understand (and probably never will), and wish there was reasonable explanation for.

  • Why are the rough days usually so random?

  • Why, in the big scheme of life, does it seem that bad things happen to good people far more often than the bad people?
  • Why are babies and children taken from people who can care for them, love them and so desperately want them, but given to people who don’t want, neglect, abuse and/or kill them?
  • Why do people steal Christmas trees?

  • How in the world can anyone think that, at this point in my life, I have more spark and look happier than I have ever looked??? The person who said this is very dear to me, and very well meaning, but seriously….
  • Why can’t men and women grieve the same way, at the same pace???


I was talking with the school psychologist at my last stop of the day yesterday; she looked at me and said (out of nowhere) "Hey, did you work with that little boy that died yesterday?" This, of course, made my heart skip several beats. I told her that I was aware of the incident, but didn't know anything about who the child was. Apparently the grandson of one of the secretaries in the building went to the same babysitter as the deceased child (the child died at the babysitter), and she had 'gossiped' some information to the school psychologist earlier in the day. She told me what she had heard, and I could only think of one kid on my caseload who fit the entire description. My heart skipped a few more beats. After two phone calls, I had confirmation. It was the child I had suspected, and I should have seen him the day before at preschool if I had not had the MFM appointment in the morning. Instead, on my way back to the office at the end of the school day, I drove past his babysitter's completely unaware that within the next 10 minutes he would be found lifeless there. :-(

I have not worked with him long, but that doesn't really matter - you quickly connect with most of the little ones you work so hard to help. Someone pointed out how profoundly he was delayed, both cognitively and physically (and the all-too-familiar 'maybe it's better this way....'), but that doesn't matter, either. All that matters right now is that he was someone's (only) child, and I can only imagine how much her heart is breaking. Over the next few days, if you all said an extra prayer for his mom, I am sure that she could use them all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


It has been a mad crazy week at work – it always is in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The good news is that I have managed to keep my focus over the last week or so and I have been successful in banging out a chunk of backlogged paperwork.  

Today was an interesting day.  I feel like there was a sign hiding behind every corner that I turned, but I can’t figure out what any of those signs were pointing to.  I ran into the grocery store for milk between clients today.  Near the entrance of the store, a sales associate was setting up a display of Styrofoam coolers - generally not something that one would take special note of, but there were two points of interest for me.  First, who sets up a display of Styrofoam coolers in Pennsylvania during December?  Second, since our visit to the funeral home to make Gracie’s arrangements, every Styrofoam cooler I see reminds me of her.  An odd correlation, I suppose, but one that I think will always remain.  The funeral home we used provides free services for any child less than one year of age.  Those arrangements include a ‘Polystyrene casket,’ which is really nothing more than a Styrofoam cooler.  The thought of burying my little girl in a Styrofoam cooler still makes me cringe – we opted to upgrade her to the fancy plastic model, but I will forever make the connection between my poor little Gracie and Styrofoam coolers.

After passing by the beautiful display of Christmas coolers, I was mowed down in the produce section by a runaway toddler.  Mom was in hot pursuit, and apologized profoundly in between shouting for the little girl to stop.  Her name was Gracie.  I walked about 20 feet further past two men who engaged in conversation.  I heard just a snippet of what they were saying - what I heard was ‘After Grace died, we….’   Seriously, what gives?  I’m not more than 50’ inside the store, and I feel like I have been bombarded with reminders of Gracie. 

There were other signs throughout the day.  I saw 3 old Subaru station wagons like the one we sent to Subaru Heaven a year ago – same color and everything.  A weird sign, but usually a meaningful one that at least one other person will appreciate.  I heard an ambulance call dispatched for a cardiac arrest of a 3  y/o boy – it was one of the only emergency calls that I heard dispatched all day, and he did not live.  I can’t help but wonder why that is one of the only calls I heard dispatched all day. 

Moving on from all of the signs.......   After much thought and debate, Jeff and I decided to schedule an appointment for a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, just to see what they had to say.  I was really just looking for a little more peace of mind for when we start TTC.  That consultation was today, and surprisingly, it left me feeling just a little better about things.  The doc did a very thorough review of my chart and asked me quite a few questions.  I learned that my placenta was very, very small.  I had been previously unaware of this, and I am a little disappointed that this information was not passed along during our previous follow up appointment with the regular OB staff.  By itself it is not an answer, and it not likely something that could have been identified during prenatal exams or testing, but I still wish that we had know about this before today.  This doc also officially confirmed that Gracie was growth restricted.  Prior to today, everyone has danced around the phrase ‘Intrauterine Growth Restriction.’ 

When it was all said and done, this doc told me that he believes Gracie’s demise can be attributed to either Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 21.  We have no genetic or chromosomal testing to go on, but he felt very strongly that all of the existing information points to one or the other.  He said that he was inclined to lean toward Trisomy 18 because of the higher mortality rate that Trisomy 18 carries compared to Trisomy 21.  Statistically speaking, stillbirth should not have happened to us, so I don’t put a whole lot of faith in statistics.  That said, it is a pretty safe bet that we will not have another baby with a Triomy defect.  I tend to regularly jinx myself, so we won’t talk about what the statistics say about the ‘other lightning’ striking twice. 

I am wishing that had known 18 weeks ago that insurances almost ALWAYS pay for genetic/chromosomal testing after a stillbirth (our midwife was told by someone that my insurance would not pay, and that out of pocket cost was roughly $1700), and I wish that I hadn’t been too emotional to give consent for an autopsy.  But, I do feel a little better after this appointment.  I have felt from day 1 that Gracie had mild Down Syndrome-like  facial features, but since we have no testing to prove or disprove my theory, we have been going back and forth between the possibility of placental clots and chronic (but well controlled) hypertension – with both theories coming up relatively empty.  I am very comfortable with the theory put on the table today – it fits a little better with all of the history (I had a Trisomy probability score of 1:47, but we opted to not have an amniocentesis), and it means that I don’t have to always wonder if there is a clot forming somewhere in my placenta…  We are going to proceed with daily baby aspirin during our next pregnancies just in case, but I am pretty comfortable in feeling like I may have a better explanation…

Friday, November 27, 2009

25 Days of Give-aways

Tina's 25 DAYS OF GIVE-AWAYS began today.  Click on the button about or visit Tina's blog each day to find out which loss mama is hosting the give-away on their blog for that particular day! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I received 2 emails today about things related to the members of our 'club' and potential new members to the club.  I wanted to pass some of this information along. 

Chase Credit will be paying out $5,000,000 to various charities - recipients to be decided by votes cast by Facebook users.  Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is one of the eligible charities.  To vote for them, follow this link.  Vote for NILMDTS 

There is a group that has been trying to get Hallmark and other card companies to produce a small line of cards 'from a child in heaven' for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  They are collecting signatures via online petition until January.  Follow this link to sign the petition for the 'from a child in heaven' cards.
(donation NOT required)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#29 - Weekly list - 4th edition

This week's list will be a bit early. Keeping with this week's holiday, I will be doing a list of things that I am thankful for - in no specific order. Ladies, what is everyone else thankful for this week?

I am thankful....

  • that I am generally able to live more comfortably than many people in this world. This includes having a job, food in my belly and a roof over my head - and said roof also including electricity & indoor plumbing with hot water.  Many of my worst days will be better than some of these folks' best days...
  • that my identity theft experience was not worse than it was. (Don't get me wrong, it's still shitty....but in all reality, it could have easily been MUCH worse!!)
  • for such a strong relationship and marriage with such a wonderful man. (I will forgive him for being a man, it's beyond his control!) Without him, my life would not be complete.
  • for the opportunity to carry and grow Miss Gracie for 8 months. I am still so sad that she was not chosen to stay here in an earthly form, but my life has forever been changed by the opportunity to experience and love her. She will live on forever in the hearts of her mommy, daddy, younger siblings, extended family and friends.

  • for my friend Debbie and the online friends that I have met over the last few months. The last 16 weeks would have been impossible for me to move through without these people.
  • for the unending love and support shown by my family and close friends (you know who you are) over the last few months.  I don't say enough how much I love and appreciate you all - I never have, and I'm sorry to say, but I will probably always lack in this area of acknowledgment.  
  • for internet in Namibia
  • for eggnog!  :-)  

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay girls....I need your help. I have pissed off one of the greater powers and picked up some really bad karma. It has been just one shit storm after another for me over the last 5 months, including Gracie's death. The latest in a long string of pleasantries came last night in finding out that someone has gotten their hands on the debit card number from my business account and helped themselves to a load of tools at Home Depot in Las Vegas (I'm in Pennsylvania).

I need some prayers and good vibes to get me out of this horrid karma funk. Please send some goodness and warm fuzzies my way....

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Hi Ladies.
I have had a few emails over the last several days asking if I am on Facebook. If you are on FB and want to hook up there, shoot me an email (using the link on the right under my profile pic) and let me know what email address is connected to your FB account (and who you are if it's not obvious!)and I will add you as a friend. If you are comfortable leaving it in a comment below, that's cool too. :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

#26 - OVER IT

So, I was in JoAnn Fabric this week looking for fabric for my next Gracie project, and I ran into a long-time acquaintance.  She is one of those people that you do your best to avoid when you see them in public, but are obligated to talk to once you’ve been spotted.  I did a really good job of avoiding her for about 10 minutes, but then she spotted me when I wasn’t looking.  She said hello, and then got right to it…. “So are you over it yet?”  She’s a pretty forward person, but this kind of knocked me back a little.  For a split second I thought that she was perhaps talking about something else – maybe she thought that I had been ill, maybe she was talking about some of the small town political BS that provides constant drama around here…  So I asked, “Over what?”  Without missing a beat, she came right back with “Are you over the baby thing?” 

You’ve got to be kidding me.  Am I over the baby thing? THE BABY THING?  This comes 2 weeks after I was labeled ‘creepy’ by a virtual stranger for carrying pictures of Gracie with me.  What the hell is wrong with people sometimes?  I like to think that I would never say something like this to anyone…  I looked at her and said ‘I’m pretty sure that it’s not something that we’re ever going to get over.’ She told me that we just needed to give it some more time, and we would get over it.  I really had no desire to be talking to her to begin with, and had even less desire to be tactful at this point in the conversation.  I bluntly told her that we are doing okay, and that we are taking one day at a time.  I told her that as each day passes, it gets a little easier to get through it, but it’s not something that we will likely ever get over.  She said – again – ‘Just give it time, you’ll eventually get over it.’  I was pretty curt in telling her that losing a child isn’t something that people generally get over – it’s just something you eventually learn to accept, something you get through and work around.  It’s not something that you get over.   I then excused myself to finish my shopping and said goodbye. 

My daughter died.  I often wonder if people would look at her death differently if she had died one day after she was born instead of one day before she was born.  There is really no difference.  In the end, I carried her for 36 weeks, gave birth to her and did not bring her home from the hospital. In the end, she is gone.  The moment that I realized she was dead began the worst experience of my life.  After that moment, I endured an ultrasound to confirm her death, delivered her lifeless body, gave her up to be taken to the morgue, came home from the hospital without her, and buried her body.  I do not like it, and I certainly will never get over it.  But I cannot change it.  All I can do is accept it for what it is (the shittiest thing that has ever happened in my life) and move through it.  I will move through it and deal with it at a faster pace than some people feel I should, and at a slower pace than other people feel I should – but it is my experience and it is something that I need to do in my own time.  As I move through it, I expect that I will continue to experience a roller coaster of emotions.  And as I move through it, I can make the conscious decision to be forever bitter about it, or I can make the conscious decision to find some silver lining.  I want to find the silver lining.  I want to find a way for some good to come of Gracie’s death.

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Gracie’s death, combined with some other recent life experiences, makes me feel like I will be ready for the World’s Strongest Woman Contest by spring – maybe sooner.  A friend who has walked this road told me that someday I will look back and be amazed by what I have endured and survived.  I am pretty sure that I will not experience that moment until after we have survived another pregnancy and brought home a healthy baby, but I am certainly looking forward to it!  Until then, I will continue to trudge through.  I will continue to lean on other loss mamas that I have met, and will continue to be here for them to lean on when needed.  I will continue to do what I can to make every minute of every day count, because life is too short to not.  But I will never understand what makes some people tick…