In Loving Memory of Jesse Gabriel Kammerzell

Your precious feet left tiny footprints in our hearts...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

One Year Later

One year ago tonight, our nightmare began. One year ago tonight, I went into the hospital with my precious baby. One year ago tomorrow, I left without him.

They say that time heals, and it does. It does not take away the pain, but it makes it less intense. Some days I'm just fine and others, it rips my heart out to see a baby who is about the age Jesse should've been. Or to walk through a store and see something I just know I'd have bought for him. Some days I resent friends and family who have had healthy babies since we lost Jesse, or who are expecting them. What gets me most though is the people who say that we need to "get over it" or "move on." I KNOW that a lot of people have lost their babies too, but that doesn't mean that I don't have a need to remember him and have him remembered. A lot of people...A LOT of people...just don't get it.

I'm still not sure just how Sami understands this whole thing. Some days she says that her baby brother is in heaven. Then other days she asks when WILL her baby brother get here? This week she had some sippy cups that she brought back to our house from her grandparents' and she kept saying that the cups were her baby brother's. Over. And Over. And Over. Billy finally had to tell her to stop saying that because I couldn't take it any more.

I've come to the realization that maybe having a baby just isn't in the cards for us. We're not getting any younger. We have been trying for 5 months and no dice, and an illness has now left my body too weak to carry a child. So maybe it's just not meant to be.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Long time...

Wow, it's been a while since I've blogged. Last week we were watching Sami's soccer practice and it was such fun to watch her play! She had a huge grin on her face the whole time and it just made me feel good to see her having so much fun. As they practiced, ominous clouds threatened to open up at any time but they only got a few sprinkles, and then the skies opened up just as we were returning to the car. As we watched, a faint rainbow showed up over the field and continued to grow in brightness. By the time we were driving home, it was the brightest rainbow I think I've ever seen, and FULL...we could see it clearly from end to end, with a faint double rainbow slightly above it. I tried not to, but my mind led me to think that maybe this was a sign that maybe, just maybe, we'll finally have our rainbow baby! Anything feels possible.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yes, I'm ready.

This week I went to visit a dear friend and her week-old baby. I was unsure of how I'd react to him but wanted to visit them anyway before school starts. It helped that she was so kind and asked me if I was okay seeing him before hand. Somehow what seems like the smallest gesture, just acknowledging that I may have conflicting feelings about it and asking if I was okay, made it all okay. More than okay! It was the best thing I could have done, I think. I held this tiny, tiny baby (I swear his head is hardly bigger than my fist) and I'm not sure how getting peed on can melt your heart, but that's exactly what happened when this little guy leaked all over me! (His mom was mortified, but it was all good.) If anything, I think that it solidified my feeling that yes, I really am ready. With all the emotions it will bring, I am ready to be pregnant again, to believe that we will have our little baby in our arms soon. And when it does happen for us, it will be all the more special, and I will embrace it, pee pees, spit ups and all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Miracle

Awhile back, I was listening to a talk show on the radio on the way home from work. It was one of those deals where they have people call in and share their personal problems and they have listeners give them advice. I don't remember the topic exactly but it revolved around pregnancy, and one of the DJs said something to the effect of, "Blah blah blah...and don't give me that crap about childbirth being such a miracle, it's not. Women do it every day. It's just science, blah blah blah." I so badly wanted to call in and tell him that it IS a miracle that people make it to full term and deliver healthy babies every day, because there are so many of us out there who do not. And I believe that. How miraculous the whole process is, from conception through all the growth and development to the ridiculous act of birthing a child, it is a miracle!

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Go forth..."

Sitting down to lunch together today, Sami quipped conversationally over hot dogs and black olives, "So, what DID the doctors say know, the babies...not coming out?" How old is this kid anyway, because that did not sound like a 5 year old! I had not mentioned my surgery to Sami, though she knew I had to go to the doctor, so she probably just connected the dots that it was baby related. I don't want her to know if we're trying again or not so that there is no more roller coaster for this child until it seems imminent that there will actually BE a baby. I just said, "They don't know, babe" and she let it go.

The fact is, in my impatience, I emailed my surgeon the other day even though our follow up isn't until the 10th. I asked him if he was going to recommend anything else before we start to try again. His response was, "Go forth and procreate. There is no need to wait." (I'm not sure if he was going for the rhyme or not.) So. There it is. We have a green light.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Keepin' On

This is a hard time to be a part of this demographic. (Because usually it's a pretty easy road, right? Note sarcasm.) We are far enough out now that many of the people we're on this journey with are moving on, getting pregnant again. Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for them and wish them nothing but the best. But of course there's that twinge of jealousy wishing that it was me. And hopefully it will be very soon!

Isn't it funny how I can be happy for the friends welcoming their rainbow babies and yet still so bitter toward others who are so blissfully ignorant? There is a commercial on now, I think it's for a phone, and the woman is telling her husband that she's pregnant. The last line is, "You're gonna be a daddy!" and every time I just want to scream, "DON'T COUNT ON THAT!"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Rainbow

I've often wondered why a baby after a loss is called a Rainbow Baby. Well, it seemed somewhat obvious, but a friend shared this today.

It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful & full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy & hope. Unknown

I'm feeling impatient for that rainbow in our lives.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Seven Months

Today marks seven months since Jesse died. Seven months. The better part of a year. Jesse should have been about two months old now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Today Sami and I were at the swimming pool, and she was delighted when another little girl showed up and wanted to play. The girls were playing on the pool steps and I heard the girl-Her name was Jasmine-ask Sami if she has a brother. Very matter-of-factly, Sami replied, "Oh, no. I don't have a brother here. I DO have a brother but he is in heaven. He is in heaven with God." Jasmine was a bit perplexed and kept asking over and over, "Are you SURE your brother died?" and then she yelled across the pool, "HEY MOM, HER BROTHER DIED!" The funny thing is, this whole conversation didn't bother me at all. Sami had said exactly what I have hoped she would say if anyone asked her about Jesse. She wasn't bothered by the little girl's questioning, and I know that Jasmine was just trying to wrap her brain around the idea that Sami's brother had died. Her mother, on the other hand, was very uncomfortable and finally told the girl to be quiet. I wasn't sure if I should explain to her or what so I just kept my mouth shut...but now I wonder what she thought.

The neighbors downstairs had their baby, a boy. I haven't seen him yet, or heard any crying. I want to take them the formula that came in the mail shortly after Jesse's due date and ask if they can use it, but I don't want to have to explain why. I don't think I want to explain. A little part of me wants them to know what we've been through. I guess it'll always be that way, wondering what others think if they do know, or how they would react if they did know.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Well, today was the day. My surgery went fine, even easier than expected actually. That's the good news. The surgeon said the procedure was easier because the growths he saw in my uterine cavity seemed to be polyps, not the fibroids he thought they were. The whole procedure took only 30 minutes and we were on our way home 2 hours earlier than expected. The bad news is that polyps don't so much explain the losses we've had. I was pretty groggy when he told me this, but what he told Billy was that they'd just monitor me more closely if I get pregnant again.

Wait a minute...isn't that what they told me for the LAST pregnancy? And didn't they not want to see me until I started to miscarry? How will it be different this time? I know that I have to be proactive for myself and insist that they see me but I guess I don't know how to do that. My cousin suggested that I get all my medical history from the first loss up till now, and take it to a NEW OB and demand a consultation. I'll find out what they are willing to do to work with me before I even get pregnant. Might not be a bad idea.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hope Regained

We went to the reproductive endocrinologist today. There is good news and bad. The bad news is that there are fibroids, and some of them are in my uterus. The good news is that they can be removed with a simple surgery that requires no cutting and virtually no recovery time! The doctor said we could try again as soon as a month or two after surgery. He said he can't guarantee that they are what caused our losses, but that it's a good possibility. I am scheduled for surgery on July 14.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The day we came home from vacation, Billy graduated from DeVry. I'm so very proud of him! Now I just hope that the job market will open up for him! We are planning a graduation party later in the month. (3 days after my surgery, so I hope the doc is right in saying I'll be back on my feet as soon as the anesthesia wears off!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Moving forward

We've been on vacation in the mountains this week. Isn't it amazing how we can go on vacation and still be totally connected? Maybe that's not always a good thing, but this week it was. On Monday, my mother-in-law and I drove back down to Denver for my HSG. They put dye in my uterus and took pictures to try and figure out these fibroids. My perinatologist called me yesterday and said that indeed there are fibroids and they are in the uterine cavity. He referred me on to Reproductive Endocrinology. They will be able to talk to us about the options we have from here. So I made an appointment with them for next week. Another round of waiting to see what comes next for us!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The most selfless act...

Yesterday, my friend Julie, who's in town visiting with her 2 month old son, texted me. She had an idea and wanted to talk to me and Billy about it. Several texts later, she and her baby, her sister and HER baby, and her 4 year old niece were on their way over for a swim. I was worried about how I might react to the babies. Julie's son was born just a month before Jesse's due date. I worried for nothing though, because it was such fun to have two tiny little ones and to watch her niece in the pool. I wished that Sami had been here to play with her. Anyway, I haven't even mentioned the incredible part of the story. Julie's idea was this. What if, should we find out that we couldn't carry a child, she carried it for us? After all, she's healthy and has her son, and isn't planning on having another for a few years. I am brought to tears by her generosity and kindness. To have even thought of offering it...she said she's been thinking about it for a long time, but just hadn't said anything yet, and her husband is supportive as well. Wow. It got my brain spinning. We are not to that point yet, and will continue with our doctors to try again, but it is very comforting to know that we have options. By her mentioning it, a door has been opened. It will make it easier for us to start thinking about it, should it come to that. I don't even know how to express to her how touched and grateful I am. How do you thank someone for such a selfless offer?

(I know these posts are out of order...but I thought this one deserved its own title!)

Long time...

I had lunch with a friend today, who reminded me that I haven't been on here for some time. Guess that last month of school really got away from me! I had more teary-eyed kids on the last day of school this year than I think I ever have in the past. Did my emotional state wear on them that much this year? Then again, a bunch of them wanted my email address so they could write to me over the summer, and has anyone written yet? No! It is such a relief to have a little time to relax and gather my thoughts now.

A few weeks ago, I picked Sami up at the sitter's, and her grandbaby was there. She was only 8 days old, and just sleeping away! On the way home Sami said, "Did you see that baby? She's so little! And she was just sleeping and sleeping. Karen, when are we going to get our baby?" Sigh. Some day, I hope! My friend and I were talking today about the children we DO have, and how they sometimes get overshadowed by the babies we lost. It seems like we spend so much time memorializing the ones we lost and mourning them that we have to be sure to continue to honor the ones we do have. It is striking, the insight these very small children have, even at such tender ages. Sami's mom says that Sami often tells her, "Mom, I AM a big sister you know. My brother just lives in heaven." I have a fear that she will forget about Jesse. I don't want her to grow up and stop acknowledging that she is a big sister.

I went to the perinatologist on the 4th. He seems to think that the fibroids are "where the money is." I'll be having an HSG (histosalpinogram) next week where they'll take pictures of my uterus to see what's going on physically. After that, we wait for results. Then the doctor will decide if we should have the fibroids surgically removed. Or he may send us on to reproductive endocrinology. So it's more waiting. And I'm wishing that I hadn't waited to go to the doctor in the first place because maybe by now we wouldn't be waiting any more! He also said he thinks the clotting is a non-factor.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jesse's Day

Thursday, May 13, would have been Jesse's due date. I took the day off ahead of time, unsure of how I'd feel that day. Though I teared up once or twice, it was an okay day. I was grateful to spend some time with Renee for a Jesse's Day's so nice to be able to talk to someone who gets it. If you haven't been through this thing, you really can't get what it feels like. I am still working up the courage to get my tattoo...Jesse's little feet with wings.
I'm down to 12 days of school this school year. I can't tell you how ready I am for a break. I've been struggling a lot this month with my own emotions, to the point that it's hard to focus on my students and their needs over my own. I'm so tired of feeling sad and angry and short on patience, tired of feeling resentful of people with babies, tired of thinking when I find out that someone is pregnant, "Well good luck with that" instead of the excitement and joy I should feel for them. It seems like EVERYONE and her sister is pregnant these days!
Maybe summer will give me the time to relax and focus on myself that I need to get back to a healthy state of mind.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am...

I am the mother of an angel named Jesse.
I wonder if he’d have had his daddy’s eyes
I hear his laughter, his cry in my dreams
I see his tiny pink feet
I want to feel his sweet breath on my cheek
I am the mother of an angel named Jesse.

I pretend that it didn’t happen like it did
I feel aching emptiness
I touch the silky blanket with no baby wrapped in it
I worry that he is alone
I cry. I cry.
I am the mother of an angel named Jesse.

I understand that I will not hold him
I say it will be okay
I dream that one day we will know each other
I try to make sense of it all
I hope to one day cradle my own child in my arms
I am the mother of an angel named Jesse.

Friday, April 30, 2010


This week when I went to pick Sami up at the sitter's, I walked in to find my friend's 19 year old and very pregnant daughter sitting on the couch. I found it very difficult not to stare at her belly, a belly like I should've been hauling around about now. She's due 2 weeks after I was. As that date comes closer I'm feeling more and more anxious. And let's not even start on Mother's Day! Billy asked me what I want to do for that day, since I am a mother, and really, I don't know. Ignore it completely? I don't want to. But what on Earth would be a suitable way to spend that day? I can't even imagine.

I called to make an appointment with the Perinatologist this week and he's already booked through May. The sweet receptionist told me the dates he'd be in in June, but that she didn't have the official calendar yet. She told me to call right away on Monday to get an appointment in June. In the meantime, I'm having terrible headaches since I started taking birth control pills again. Billy suggested I just stop taking them. And I'm tempted. It's so hard because I feel like we're wasting time. You know they say third time's the charm. And in a way I'm terrified to GO to the doctor for fear he'll tell me that I'll never carry a child. And then what? Then what??

Check out the poem I posted at right, "Don't Tell Me." It was shared with a friend from the Mondays in March group. How I'd like to send it to everyone I know!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The March

The March for Babies was last weekend. There were 4-8 inches of snow predicted, so imagine my relief when I peeked out the window to see a grey and windy, but dry day. Our team, Jesse's Honor, consisted of Billy and me and our cousin Carly, plus my colleague, Diane, and her husband, Tim. Our Mondays in March group was there and it was really nice to walk with all of them. And it turns out, when you have great people to talk with, five miles isn't so bad! I was so proud of our fundraising efforts...we came in at $635~not bad considering our original goal was $100! I posted a few photos on the right.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friendship & Generosity

Last weekend, we went to a comedy club and dinner with some friends we met through our support group. After the first week of group, Billy and I wondered if it was weird to find couple friends through an infant loss support group. Turns out, not so weird after all. How strange to anticipate getting together with the group and think that it will be nice to be around "normal" people! Because this is now our normal, where people we deal with on a daily basis are usually sympathetic but beginning to forget, often supportive, but don't really get it. Because you really can't get it if you haven't been there. To be with people who are walking in these very same shoes is a comfort. It stinks to have been brought together by such crappy circumstances, but I feel blessed to have met these people, who in such a short time, I feel that I can call friend.

The March for Babies is only a few days away. I've been blown away by the support we've gotten from so many people. I set our original fundraising goal at $100, and quickly bumped it up to $250. As of today, we've raised almost double that. I am working on t-shirts for us to wear in the race, thanks to the inspiration of a friend. Hope they turn out decent! I'll post pictures after this weekend. I hear it's going to be cold and possibly a rain/snow mix that morning. Swell!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marching on...

Today I feel like I'm starting to get things back together. Maybe it's the fact that I got a solid night's sleep last night...what a difference that makes! I've decided that I'm going to focus on getting myself healthier again, so maybe the changes I've made in diet are kicking in and I feel good about that. School was easier today; I only teared up once or twice.

I've just set up a walking team for the March of Dimes March for Babies on April 24th. Our team will be called Jesse's Honor, and I'm hoping that we can recruit some friends and family to walk with us. The website is: . I think it will be a powerful, emotional experience, and it's something I feel driven to do, some action we can take to help in the fight for healthy babies. It's been a long time since I've walked five miles though!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another hurdle cleared

Well, I'm still feeling a bit icky, but I think the worst of it has passed. Today I got myself out of bed and took a shower and dressed. Seems like this time around seeing references to babies and pregnancy (which are EVERYWHERE) are a little more disturbing to me than before. I just wasn't allowing myself to think that it could happen AGAIN. So I'm pretty angry!

Tonight when we picked Sami up, she asked how many months until the baby gets here. When I didn't answer she said..."Ummm...I was just kidding." I told her that there was nothing wrong with her question, but that something went wrong again. Her response was a big sigh and, "That's IT. NO MORE things going wrong with our babies!" Hear, hear, sista!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I used to think of pregnancy with some kind of permanence. Even though I know, you're only pregnant for 9 months, it's a given, a definite, that said pregnancy will result in a child, who, obviously, will be a permanent fixture in the lives of the parents. Right? Evidently not. I have grown to think of pregnancy as more of a slight possibility that it might result in an actual child. How is it that so many women actually are able to carry it to fruition, when I cannot?

Yesterday I had another bleeding episode. The doctor said to watch it and come to the ER if it got worse, and I could come in for another viability check tomorrow (today) if I wanted. I woke up this morning not feeling right. But I couldn't just not go to school, not after leaving in the middle of the day and leaving my mess of a classroom to a saint of a friend who was able to take my class for the rest of the day. I called for a sub this morning, but nobody picked it up. So my friend covered again for me this morning and the principal said they'd figure it out for the afternoon. And off I went to the doctor, expecting the result to be the same as last week. Because certainly it can't happen again.

But right away I knew it wasn't the same. The first thing the doctor noted was that the sac was no longer round, which isn't usually a good sign. And then she searched and searched for a heartbeat. There was none. The little flicker we'd seen only 3 days ago has been extinguished.

My mind is reeling again. Why does this keep happening to us? Am I really not cut out to be a mother? Did we try again too soon? Did we wait too long and now we're too old? Where do we go from here, with the little faith we had left after Jesse's death now diminished even more? Do I dare continue to try to bring a child into the world, or is that just wishing certain death on one after another? There is no certainty, no permanence to pregnancy. More like a shot in the dark and some people get lucky. Maybe I'm just not one of those people.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We have a heartbeat!

I had my "viability check" yesterday. At first it was a little iffy, because the doctor wasn't able to locate anything in my uterus at first, but after what seemed like an eternity of probing with the ultrasound, she suddenly shouted, "I SEE A HEARTBEAT!" So, for now it seems like we're okay. I am going to have bi-weekly appointments, at least for a while, and my doctor said that I can come in every week if I want just to do the Dopplar and make sure we still hear a heartbeat if I want to do that. So I'm still thinking that the reason for this scare was to get my docs to take me seriously when I said I wanted to be seen, because now they want to see me all the time!

I made my next three appointments. The 12 week appointment falls on Jesse's due date, May 13. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but I decided to leave it as is because I didn't want to be at work that day anyway. Maybe in an odd way taking care of the new baby will be like a tribute to Jesse on that day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another New Day

I had blood drawn for the 3rd time today...people are going to think I've started using intravenous drugs or something by the looks of my arms! Anyway, it appears that my hormone levels are increasing appropriately, so we're hopeful that things are okay. I have a follow up appointment on Tuesday, at which point we should be able to see something on an ultrasound...maybe even a heartbeat already! Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

When it rains, it pours!

This week is spring break! It's been so nice to be able to sleep in, and the weather's been basically agreeable. Yesterday was a day though.

Sami and I drop the dog off at Petco for grooming and head to the park to meet my friend, Ann Marie, and her kids for a playdate. It's a little chilly, but the kids are having a ball, bopping around between the 3 play areas (We sit in the middle trying to keep track of the three of them). There are a bunch of kids there and ours join in with another group to play. We're doing a headcount when suddenly we realize that Sami's nowhere to be found. We start to search in, around, behind all the equipment (surely she's just in the fort or behind the slide, right?) and she's nowhere to be found. Then Ann Marie's son says, "I saw her going that way with a lady in a green jacket." He's pointing toward the rec center building...and the parking lot. I think maybe she went in the rec to go to the bathroom we'd used earlier, so I start to run toward it...and as I'm running I feel a warm gush. No, no, not again, not now! I realize I must be bleeding. In the bathroom there are no children, but my fear is confirmed. No time to worry about that now. I run back outside and Ann Marie's coming toward me as I head back in the direction of the park. She starts waving her arms and pointing behind me, where Sami has come out another door and is coming up behind me. I don't know whether to spank her or hug her to death...I opt for hysterical screaming and rambling about how a stranger could've taken her, and too-tight hugging. She'd decided to go with the girls she was playing with to the bathroom (a different bathroom)without telling us where she was going.

That crisis averted, I turn my attention back to the other problem. I must be miscarrying. It's the only possibility. So we get in the car and I call my doctor, who says to come right to the office rather than going home first. Somewhere in there Petco calls and says that the dog is ready too. So Billy is going to get the dog and meet us at the doctor's. Hopefully before anything too awkward takes place with Sami in the room! (I do end up having to explain to her how babies get out of the mommy's tummy as an answer to why I have to take my pants off for them to check on the baby. Awkward!) He does get there before the exam though, thankfully.

They do an ultrasound and really can't see anything (at 5 1/2 weeks, they wouldn't be able to anyway) so they ask me to have blood drawn to check my pregnancy hormones. Then we'll have to wait 2 days and check it again to see what the hormone levels are doing before we'll know if this was a miscarriage or just some normal first trimester spotting. So I have blood drawn (twice...the nurse takes one vial and then chases me into the waiting room after realizing it's supposed to be two). So two blood draws and a blown vein later, we head home. A couple hours later the phone rings and it's the OB office. My hormone levels came back crazy high so they are scheduling a formal ultrasound at the hospital for me. Don't go to the bathroom, start chugging water, and get over here! So back to the hospital I go for an ultrasound. After the test I have to wait for a radiologist to review it, call the OB department and tell them what it showed, and then wait for the on-call (the office is closed by this time) doc to call and tell me what it showed. The good news, there IS an embryonic sac in the uterus, so it's not ectopic. The bad news, I'm still only 5 1/2 weeks so a fetus still isn't visible. So, it MIGHT be okay, and then again it might not. I have to go back tomorrow to draw blood again to see what's happening to my hormone levels. Then a viability check on Tuesday, and then another regular OB appointment the following week. I guess if it all turns out all right, then the reason this happened was to get my doctors on the ball and make them see me more often! So we're praying and hoping that this little one will still make it.

Ann Marie said that while we were searching for Sami, her six-year-old son decided we needed a prayer and sat down at a picnic table and prayed, Dear Heavenly Father, Keep Sami safe and help us to find her! and just then was when she came running out of the building. Somebody was watching out for us, I'm sure! Maybe our angel, Jesse, didn't want to see us lose any more babies and was with his big sister Sami and his little brother or sister in my womb that day.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm not one of those bereaved mothers who can't stand the thought of someone else's happy pregnancy or healthy baby. I don't want people to walk on eggshells around me or feel like they can't bask in their own joy because of me. But I do very much appreciate it when people acknowledge the fact that I may be sensitive about their situations. Like just asking, Do you want to hear this? Is it okay to talk about this? And after that, it always is. I am so appreciative of those who will just say something rather than allow that awkward silence, you know?
Jesse is my child, and always will be. I've also lost my father and that doesn't mean that nobody can talk about their fathers around me, and who would think of it? (Though Father's Day does always make me tear up a little, and father-daughter dances at weddings.) I suppose that certain milestones will always be a little tough...Jesse's due date, watching other babies or children who Jesse'd have been close to in age. At any rate, we won't let Jesse's name be forgotten and we'll honor him as a member of our family, but life does go on. Am I wrong for feeling that way?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Oh, what a difference a week makes! Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, my principal called an emergency staff meeting. Budget cuts are costing us teachers next year. Luckily our building will even out, with the people with temporary contracts who were already leaving. But the way our numbers play out, one of us would have to teach half day kindergarten and then half day 2nd or 3rd grade. Long story short, I took the job. I think it'll be good for me, a change in scenery. Maybe precious, fresh kindergarteners will renew my love for teaching and remind me how rewarding it can be! And in the back of my mind I was thinking, it would be a pretty easy position for a sub to walk into, should the need arise for a maternity leave...

Flash Forward 2 days. Took a pregnancy test Friday night on a whim. (Not really a whim. I'd had a couple of dizzy spells earlier in the week like those I had when I was carrying Jesse. Billy's had weird cravings and we'd joked a lot that I must be pregnant for him to be having cravings, so the idea was planted.) Two lines indicate pregnant. There's one strong line and a second, very faint. I decide I'll take another in the morning. Again, one strong line, the second a little darker this time. Pretty sure I'm pregnant. We went to a wedding today, and then to a bbq with family afterwards. On the way to the bbq, we bought another package of pregnancy tests, the kind with the WORDS pregnant or not pregnant. We'd decided that if it came back positive, we'd tell the whole family tonight. Clearly waiting to tell anyone about my pregnancy with Jesse until we were "out of the woods" (past 12 weeks) didn't do a lick of good. So, we're doing it different this time. I peed on the stick in my cousin's bathroom and it popped pregnant. So we told the family and we're back in the game.

I'm excited. I feel more optimistic this time than I did with Jesse. I had never had the strong urge to buy anything for him, so I hadn't bought a thing yet when he was born sleeping. Last week I was at Kohl's and saw some wall decals for a nursery and had a STRONG desire to buy it. We don't even have a nursery! I didn't, but in the back of my mind I wondered if that was a sign. So it is with cautious optimism that I announce my second pregnancy. We should be due right around Thanksgiving, 2010. That'll be something to be thankful for!

Yet in the back of my mind, there are nagging thoughts. Am I being disloyal, betraying Jesse because I am excited about a new baby? When Jesse should have still been in my womb, should I be happy that there is a new life begun there? Is there a statute of limitations of sorts, on grief for a child lost? Should we have waited until after his due date? How will I handle the stress of this pregnancy? What if the worst happens again; how will I forgive myself?

And then I push those thoughts aside. We deserve this. We've been through our share of hardship and grief. I believe that Jesse understands that we miss him terribly, and that another child isn't a replacement for him. I think the tide is changing for us, and this is good...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An unexpected kinship

"All I can say is, it's a sort of kinshp, as though there is a family tree of grief. On this branch the lost children, on this the suicided parents, and here the beloved mentally ill siblings. When something terrible happens, you discover all of a sudden that you have a new set of relatives, people with whom you can speak in the shorthand of cousins." (An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, McCracken p.136)

This journey of sorrow has brought with it a whole new set of friends, people with whom I feel a deep connection even though I've known them only a short time...some of them only online, even. Some people are offended when, in the wake of something terrible, someone says, "Well, it happened to me too," as if to say, it's not such a big deal. I got over it and you will too. I felt this at times in the early days. But now,to the contrary, I feel an instant connection, gratitude even, toward anyone who shares with me their story of loss (and there have been many since Jesse died, so many that I'm shocked at how common it actually is to lose a child in-utero,and at a later stage of pregnancy.)As though to say, it's okay, you're not a failure, you didn't cause it and it does happen.

It also seems as though people who have lost a child tend to have a bitterness, an overpowering jealousy toward others who have their happy, healthy babies, or who are having a good pregnancy, or especially toward those who have unplanned and even unwanted pregnancies or are careless in their prenatal regimens. They can have babies (often one after another) without complication, and here I am, wanting this baby with all my heart and worrying and trying to do all the right things, and I don't get a baby. And I have those moments too, of course,and it's raw and it's real. But I would far rather have people feel that they can still be joyful and not have to walk on eggshells around me. I want to hear about my friends' babies and pregnancies, even though it's difficult. I far more loathe the feeling that people aren't comfortable speaking freely around me about their children and are worrying about upsetting me. Maybe that's just me. I hate to inconvenience anyone. And my grief often does feel like an inconvenience.I do appreciate when someone acknowledges it by asking if I want to hear it first, or by inviting me to a shower and honestly saying "I didn't know how you'd feel and I understand whatever you decide." I have to remind myself to feel it and travel through it rather than avoiding it. There are so many uncertain and conflicting feelings coursing through me all the time.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Jesse,

My Dear, Sweet Jesse,

It's Mommy. It breaks my heart that I can't hold you in my arms to tell you all of the things I want you to know. I believe that you are with me each and every day, and I know that you are okay. I see you in the crystal blue skies and feel you in a soft breeze. I hear you in the chirping of the birds and the laughter of other children. I believe that you are laughing and running through lush meadows and flying among the clouds and loving us from another, better place.

I hope you know that your Daddy and I loved you so, so much from the second we found out that you were growing inside my tummy. I spent so many hours imagining what you would be like. Would you have your Daddy's height? What color would your eyes be? I like to imagine they'd have sparkled like the sun on the ocean like your Nana Penny's eyes. What color hair would you have? It wouldn't have mattered, but I'd have liked to know. I hope you know that you have a big sister who was so very excited to meet you. Sami was going to teach you everything she knew, and she couldn't wait to start helping pick out toys for you. Did you hear her when she talked to you in my tummy, telling you "I love you baby!"? If you'd have been a girl, she wanted to name you Stellaluna Barbie. Isn't that silly? But she really wanted a brother most of all. (She'd have named you Jo-Jo.) And your Daddy wanted a little boy of his own in the worst way.

I hope you know that there were already so many people here who loved you, who had dreams for your life. Your Nana Penny and Papa Bill started buying diapers as soon as they heard that you were coming! You have a Nana Linda and Uncles Dan and Blaine who live far away, but they were waiting for you too. I really think that you have probably met your Grandpa Bob, my father, and many great and great-great grandparents and aunts and uncles, who I believe were waiting for you that night with their arms open, to hold and protect you when your Daddy and I couldn't. And I believe that one day we will be there, all of us together.

I hope you know that I could never regret one second of the 19 weeks and two days that you were growing inside of my womb. They were some of the most joyful times for us, imagining what it would be like after you were born, what kind of an amazing person you would become.

I hope you know, Jesse, how very very sorry I am that I wasn't able to bring you home to live here, with us. My body was not able to hold you and keep you safe long enough. My heart is empty and my mind full of questions that I'll never have answers to. Would you have been a sailor or a daredevil like your Daddy, wanting to jump out of planes? Would you have been a musician like my Dad or your Uncle Blaine? Maybe you'd have been a fisherman, too. Would you have been good with cars? Your Uncle Dan is, and your Papa Bill, and your Great-Grandpa, my Pop-o. Maybe you'd have been a teacher like me and so many others in our family. Or you could have been a scientist, a doctor, an artist, an athlete. The possibilities for you were endless, and we will never know. But a Mother can always continue to dream about what might have been. I promise that you'll never be forgotten, my precious Jesse Gabriel, my baby boy.

Love you forever,

Friday, March 12, 2010


It had not been a hard day today; quite the contrary. It's Friday. My students are finished with their CSAP testing. The weather was beautiful, and I had a productive lunch meeting, got good news about new technology I'm getting in my classroom, and even was feeling quite satisfied that I'd gotten so much planning finished after school. It's weird how grief sneaks up on you.

Tonight we went to Old Chicago to eat. That's where we had dinner the night Jesse died. We've been back since then once or twice, and it was no big deal. Tonight though, was a different story. When we got there we circled the lot to find no parking (maybe the first sign that we should've just ordred pizza), so we drove across town to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, which was equally busy. Billy really wanted OC so back we went. We had to park across the street in the tanning salon parking lot. When we got inside it was slammed. Hot. Loud. Smothering. There was no space in the bar (of course), so I put gave our name and the lady said it would be about 45 minutes. I took the buzzer thingy and went back to Billy. As I told him how long the wait would be, suddenly my heart felt as though it would burst from my chest. The walls and the crowd were going to crush me if I didn't leave, and quick. I couldn't be in there, not right at that moment. Not wanting to burst into tears in front of all of these people, I dashed out the front door and all I could think of was getting out, getting away from the noise, the crushing crowd, to breathe. I couldn't breathe. Humiliated that I couldn't even manage to go out to dinner with my husband on a Friday night. (It was a crowded Friday night that night too. Twelve weeks ago. We were sitting at the bar so we wouldn't have to wait forever for a table.) All I wanted was to go home. Couldn't we just get takeout? But Billy really wanted to go out to eat so we made our second trip back across town to the equally crowded Mexican restaurant. It wasn't AS noisy or AS hot, but the people standing in the lobby waiting for tables all seemed to have babies. Everywhere I looked, babies. Babies in pink hats and babies with rosy cheeks from the wind. Babies laughing, bouncing in their daddies' arms. Again the tears jumped from my eyes and I couldn't talk to Billy to even tell him what was wrong because if I breathed, if I opened my mouth, I knew that all that would come out would be a strangled, pitiful sob and I didn't want to make it more of a scene than it already was. They seated us pretty quickly...get that crying woman out of sight, quick, I imagine. And even at our table, from the booth behind, crying babies.

What had brought on such a reaction? Our assignment for group this week is to try to write a letter to Jesse, and that's been sitting like a lump of cold steel in the back of my brain all week. I just can't wrap my head around how to start. And I got some books that I'd ordered today. Books friends at group recommended. About God talking to a Baby he's about to take home, like Jesse. I haven't read it yet; not sure I can. About a little kid who was supposed to have a baby brother or sister, but got an angel instead. Will I read it to Sami or just tuck it away with Jesse's things? Or could it be the disc of photos I am carrying around in my purse, wanting to get a print of Jesse's precious little feet(the ones at the top of this page)to put in a tiny frame next to the plaster molds they made us at the hospital?

In the end, dinner was fine. I am exhausted. I think I'll go to bed early.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If you'd have asked me a year ago, or five years ago, or ten, what my stand on abortion was, I'd have said that while I personally would never do it, I believed it should be an option for some women in certain situations. Women have the right to choose what happens with their bodies, right? But what I didn't understand fully before is how real a baby is from conception onward. That little tiny peanut already had all of the genetic makeup that would make him the person he'd grow to be. His heart beat as surely as my own. Looking at the photos of Jesse, how can anyone say that he was not yet a person? Yes, I still believe women have a right to choose, but don't their babies have the right to live? There are so many people who long for a child and yet can't conceive or can't carry a baby to term, and yet there are people who can just throw a life to the wind, willy-nilly. Maybe there are better choices. (How ironic that the ad popping up at the side of my screen is for the Morning After Pill.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby steps pun intended. In group tonight we talked about goals we have for ourselves in this journey. For me, it's not so much goals as it is little accomplishments as life returns to normal...whatever normal might be. At first it was just to get dressed. And then, to go out of the house. Billy's parents kept my dog, Jewel, for several days after Jesse died. I am not sure I could have dragged myself down the steps to take her out. When we brought her home, it was horrible to walk her, because I'd remember how only a week before I'd have been winded walking up and down the steps and how I'd worried about slipping on an ice patch. I'd used to daydream on those walks about how life would be with a baby. So walking her, left alone with my thoughts, is still a difficult thing.

Then it was to go out for lunch. The first time we went out to lunch afterwards, we were going to go to the mall, something, anything to get out of the house. After we ate, my energy was completely sapped and all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed. So we went home, and I did. One of the hardest things was making myself go to the grocery store. Crowds were smothering, crushing. I'd never really appreciated why people send food and buy meals for families in the wake of tragedy, but now I get it. My family wouldn't have eaten if not for the kindness of friends who kept us well fed for weeks afterward.

One day a couple of weeks after, I went to Kohl's. I had Kohl's Cash to spend. I walked around, not seeing anything I wanted, carefully avoiding the baby and maternity departments. I found a few random items and as I approached the front of the store it dawned on me that this line of people I was passing, stretching all the way back to the shoe department was the checkout line. The temperature in the store suddenly increased about 20 degrees and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I saw a woman with a rosy-cheeked baby in a carrier strapped to her chest. Suddenly, I had to be out of that store. I couldn't take it for one more minute. I tossed the items I was carrying on a nearby display and it was all I could do to keep from running out the sliding glass doors of the store, and I sat in my car and sobbed. Such a failure, to not even be able to handle going to the store! I never did spend that Kohl's Cash, $30 gone to waste!

The next hurdle for me was going back to work. I'm very, very fortunate to work with an amazing staff. One friend had called every person on staff to let them know about our loss before we came back, and I am so very thankful for her kindness. Still, I dreaded the sympathetic looks, the averted eyes, the hugs and I'm sorries even. I didn't want people to look at me and feel sorry for me. I didn't want them to think of me as the one whose baby died. I made it through the first round of hugs at the door and thought I'd be okay, until I walked into the first staff meeting. The topic of the opening exercise was six-word-memoirs. Tell a meaningful story in just six, well-chosen words. The example given: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." Extremely powerful words. Extremely powerful. I thought my eyeballs might fall out of my face right there, but I managed to hold myself together, until we were asked to tell our winter break stories in six words. The enormity of this task brought me to my knees. Could I just borrow that example? Because it sure fit. I fled to the bathroom, where my principal found me and excused me from the meeting. Our school social worker came and talked with me...listened to me mostly...for a good long time, and I was so grateful for that. She helped me to send a message to my students' parents so that they might talk with their children before they returned to school. I was terrified that someone would say something, meaning no harm but not knowing. The rest of the day was better, and I found that I was relieved to be around my work family again.

Then next step was to that first morning back with my students. Our counselor met them with me and I talked with them about Jesse. Then I left and they made cards. There's nothing like the thinking of an 8 year old to make me chuckle. One wrote, "If you just don't think about it you won't be sad!" and another, "Baby losses are always bad. But look at it this way, now you won't have to get up at 3:30 to feed the baby!" One child wrote, "I just want you to know that it's okay to cry." (That made me cry a little.)

Once I was back in school, it was easy to throw myself into my work, my students, and not dwell on my sadness. But it was like a mosquito, the grating whining of it always there in my ear. I'd brush it away and keep on about my business. The problem with that was, I felt as though I held myself together during the day, during the week, and then when I got home...weekends, especially, I would just melt down. Like I had spent so much energy just holding the pieces together that I couldn't do anything else, couldn't function. The very second I slowed down enough to breathe, that mosquito would land at last and suck me dry. It was hard for my family, and hard for me because again, I felt like a failure, that I couldn't even handle playing a game of Chutes and Ladders with Sami. It was very difficult for me to deal with her for some time.

Anyway, none of these things were things I'd anticipated or worked toward as goals. They were more just hurdles that had to be cleared, and then I felt that I could move on to the next thing. And still, I can't really think of a goal. I just take each day as it comes and thank God for the hurdles I do clear.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A sign from above?

It's a chilly Monday night, a few weeks after Jesse went to Heaven. Billy and I are waiting for Sami's dance class to end, so we decide to walk through a nearby Hallmark store. It being just after Christmas, there is a rack of clearance ornaments, the personalized kind. I always look for Sami's name whenever I see those kinds of things. So I'm searching, there, hanging on the peg right next to a red Samantha, there is a blue one, obviously hung back in the wrong place. My breath catches in my chest for a moment as I read the name on the misplaced ornament. Jesse. Not misplaced at all. Call me superstitious, but I think our little guy was just letting us know that he is okay. We can't hold him in our arms, but he is with us, forever in our hearts.

Telling Sami

One of the hardest parts of this journey so far has been having to tell Sami. She was staying with her mom for the first week of break, and we had her for 24 hours over Christmas Eve. We decided to wait to tell her until after Christmas, when we'd have her longer so we could process it together, without casting a shadow over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, Billy's parents came over for dinner. We had the lasagna they'd sent us home with from the hospital. It was a miserable reminder of the week that had just passed. At one point during the evening, Sami came and laid her head on my belly and said, "I love you, baby." How heartbreaking that was.

Several days later we picked her up for the rest of the break. On the way home, we stopped at Target to pick up a few things. As we walked through the store, Sami babbled non-stop about "When the baby comes, I'm going to..." and "Can we buy this for the baby?" I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Later that evening, I took Sami on my lap. I told her that sometimes when a baby is still in the Mommy's tummy, something happens, and we don't know why, but the baby dies. That's what happened to our baby, and he is in heaven with the angels. Her big brown eyes welled up with tears. "And he's never coming back?" The three of us clung to one another and wept then. A while later, Sami came out of her room and climbed back onto my lap with a very serious expression. "I'm sorry I jumped on the baby." Sami is a very physical child, who likes to climb all over us. We used to tell her, be careful not to jump on the baby. The sweet thing thought that she'd hurt her baby brother. "Oh, no, honey, it was nothing you did. It was not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. Nobody did. We just don't know why."

Two nights later, she called me into her bedroom to look at a picture she'd made on her whiteboard. The night before I'd drawn a heart and wrote "I love you Sami!" She had erased everything but half of the heart. She pointed to the missing half and said, "That part is the baby." It felt like my heart shattered into a million pieces and at the same time swelled with love for this precious little thing and her pure understanding of what innocent and full of love for the baby brother who she would never know. Unspoiled, she just said what she felt, unlike adults who say what they think they should say and end up saying all the wrong things.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It occurs to me that something was off throughout my pregnancy. If you know me well, you know that I'm a planner. My bridesmaids will tell you that while I was planning my wedding, I was completely obsessive. No detail was too small to worry over, to email and discuss with my ladies. After the wedding was over and done with, I felt lost, with no "project" to plan. (My girls probably were relieved!) So naturally I figured that when I got pregnant, I'd shift into overdrive with my planning...and shopping. Before the pregnancy I would see baby clothes and long for the day that I could buy them for my own child. But the funny thing is, I didn't. I didn't buy a thing. I didn't research daycare for infants. I didn't get a crib or make space in our bedroom for the baby's furniture. I didn't really do anything. So unlike me. I don't think I ever really believed that there was going to be a baby, somehow. The four home pregnancy tests, the multiple doctor visits, seeing that little fuzzy peanut in the sonogram, hearing the heartbeat...and yet somehow it still wasn't a reality for me. Did I know something was wrong, even then? Could I have somehow subconsciously predicted that this tragedy would befall my baby?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don't want to say too much...

Someone I met recently who is also going through this journey put it very eloquently when she said that this is now our story. As hard and horrible and sad as it is, and it is hard and horrible and sad, it is now part of us and always will be. "The pain never goes away," she said, "but the story gets easier to tell."

One thing that's been hard for me is the feeling that I am overburdening people by talking about what happened. For me, reliving it and talking about it is therapy, a way of processing a true tragedy. I am so grateful to have friends and family who are willing to listen as much as I need to talk. But I know it makes people uncomfortable. They smile sympathetically and nod, but I am painfully aware that most people don't know what it's like and would rather avoid it or pretend it didn't happen. But it is my story. I often am well aware of my rambling, and I can't seem to stop myself. I am enjoying this blog a lot because I can say whatever is running through my mind and you can choose to read it, or not.

The thing about a loss like this is that nobody else ever knew this baby. People think, well he was never here so how can he be missed? There's pressure to move on, maybe more for the convenience and comfort of others more than anything else. I recognize that even though I feel like my life is in shreds, that we will be okay, and that life will go on. But the thing is, I DID know him. For 19 weeks, he was a part of me. How does one just get over the loss of a child who was as alive as any of us are today, who was so wanted and already so deeply loved? And how can you hear that heartbeat, look at the pictures of him, and not believe that his life was as real and true as any child who walks through the doors of my classroom each day? I need to remember, need to honor the life of my child, my son. I don't want to move on. The pain never does go away, but the story gets easier to tell. There is truth in those words.

Monday, March 1, 2010

That night

We went to our first Solace meeting tonight. I think it will be a positive thing. Not easy, but a step in the right direction. It's nice to talk with people who really understand what we're going through.

The day that we lost Jesse was not really just an average day. It was the last day of school before winter break, Friday, December 18. We'd taken the whole school to see The Princess and the Frog. I'd felt good all day; there was no indication that anything was amiss. I had been having some back pain earlier in the week, and I did call my doctor's office to ask about it and they said it sounded normal. I chalked it up to too much standing the Sunday before when we had our annual Christmas candy-making day with Billy's family. Anyway, I was feeling good and excited about the winter break, excited about our 20 week ultrasound, which was scheduled for the following Tuesday. I was positive that the baby was a girl, but we were excited to find out for sure. Billy wanted a boy in the worst way!

We went to eat at Old Chicago that night, and after dinner I started having stomach pains. I thought, honestly, that it was gas. Thinking back, I should've known something was wrong. I'd never had gas pains like that before, but I guess my mind just wouldn't let me think that it could be a problem with the baby. I went home to lie down and rest. I was so sure it was nothing that I told Billy to stay and finish his drink, that there was no reason for him to leave a perfectly good beer sitting there because of a little stomach ache. He was going to take a cab when he finished, and I drove myself home. I laid down for a while, but the pains did not go away. It wasn't much later that my water broke. I remember being completely confused about what was happening, not comprehending. And then there was blood. Lots of it. Billy couldn't hear his phone ringing, so I called his parents instead. They live 20 minutes away, but reached our place in 15. We collected Billy on the way to the hospital, and arrived around 8:30 p.m.

When we got to the E.R. it felt like an eternity while we waited for them to decide whether to keep me there or send me "upstairs." Finally, someone pushed my wheelchair to an elevator. I didn't really get where we were headed at this point, but when I saw the signs for Labor & Delivery, my heart sank. I was going to have this baby tonight. This was NOT what I'd pictured my first visit here to be. I do have to say that the staff on duty, especially our nurse, Sarah, were phenomenal. I was the only patient on that wing, and I do feel exceptionally fortunate to have had such compassionate care.

They did an ultrasound, and it showed that there was no fluid around the baby. There was a heartbeat, but it was slow, about 60 beats per minute. They couldn't tell the gender from the ultrasound. The doctor told me that the only option was to induce labor, and that obviously, it was too early. They left us to digest this. By this time I was just numb. The whole scene was surreal. I remember Billy saying over and over that the baby was going to be okay, but I knew that he didn't have a chance. I felt oddly calm throughout this time. They induced labor at about 11:30 and then we waited. It wasn't long. I remember thinking that my baby was dying inside me as I lay there. Around 1 a.m., the nurse came in and checked me and said that we could probably start to push. The labor itself was not difficult. He was so tiny...

At 1:45, our precious baby was born in silence. A little boy. Sarah cleaned him and wrapped him in a blanket. We had decided that we would hold him; that it might be hard, but we would regret it if we didn't take this opportunity. He was tiny. Perfect. Sleeping. We held him for a short time and then he was taken to another room. Exhausted, we slept then, or tried to, Billy on the couch he pushed up against my hospital bed.

On Saturday around noon, I checked out of the hospital. How empty I felt as the nurse wheeled me out to the car. No baby. Only the crushing emptiness. How empty the apartment felt when we came home. Sami was with her mother for the first part of the break. How empty I felt, literally, the life I'd carried for 19 weeks, gone. Just like that.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Tomorrow, Billy and I will start attending a Solace support group offered through the hospital where I delivered. I had been feeling like I didn't really need anything like that, but the past couple of weeks have been rough, so I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt. I'm sure it'll feel like rubbing salt in the wound at first, but I think it'll be a good step toward healing. And if it really sucks, it's only for 5 weeks. They cover topics ranging from stages of grief, to memorializing the baby, to subsequent pregnancies. We will see how it goes...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A sad reminder

Today we received a disc from the hospital containing the photographs taken of Jesse after his birth. I had spoken to a nurse on the phone last week who called to invite us to join a support group, and had asked her to send them. Billy and I looked at them together, and it was difficult, but not as hard as I expected it to be. Jesse was perfect. I feel great guilt in the fact that it was my body that forced him out, even though I know that I did nothing wrong, that there was no way I could've known what would happen.

Just two weeks ago, my doctor did some blood tests. To rule things out, if nothing else. I really didn't expect that we'd get an "answer." But the phone rang a few days later, and my doc said that one of my levels had been abnormal, and that it appears that I have an antithrombin III deficiency. They wanted us to wait 2 more months and then retest to see if it still shows the same thing. From what I've read, it sounds like antithrombin III prevents clots. I am assuming then that since my level was low, that it FAILED to prevent a clot. Blood flow was cut off from little Jesse, and that seems to be what caused the miscarriage.

I am still trying to figure out just what my purpose is here. I guess it's just a place to write down what goes through my mind. I know that I have found great comfort in hearing stories of people who have been through what we are going through now, and hope that someone might find similar comfort in my story.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Missing Jesse

I'm new to blogging, but was inspired by a friend who has an amazing blog in honor of her angel baby (Thanks, Katy!). My name is Karen. I have the most wonderful husband, Billy, and an amazing stepdaughter named Sami who is five. It's been just over two months since we lost our baby at 19 weeks. Jesse would've been my firstborn.

The pregnancy had been uneventful, easy even. I had laughed when my doctor called me high risk because I'd have been 35 for a month when I delivered...if I'd made it to the due date of May 13. As it turned out, God had different plans for us. It was the first night of winter break...I'm a teacher...when Jesse was born, silently.

Some days I think I'm doing fine and then the grief hits me like a ton of bricks and I find myself right back there in that hospital room, holding this tiny, perfect, still and silent bundle, understanding but not understanding, that our baby was at once here, and gone. I was so sure he was a girl, but my husband wanted a boy in the worst way, so it was bittersweet when we learned that he was a he.

It has been a difficult journey, one which I know is only beginning and which will never end. And now I am mommy to a perfect angel in heaven, our Jesse Gabriel.