Saturday, April 20, 2013

Samuel's Breakfast Prayer.

Dear God,

Thank you for this food.

Give Eva a special kiss and hug up in Heaven.

Thank you that Baby Nathan is here on earth and that he didn't die.


Friday, April 19, 2013


My heart swells with love for Nathan, but there is pain in it.

With the birth of every child, my heart has enlarged.  Each child has built him or herself a room in my heart. A place in my life.

And the death of Eva made a horrible, jagged hole in my heart. Over the last 20 months that hole has been stitched and pieced together. Softened by time and tears.

But with this new little boy building himself a room in my heart it feels like the hole is ripping and groaning. The stitches are pulling and hurting.

I sometimes just.cannot.believe that this precious bundle of softness and tenderness is mine, for now.

I look at Nathan and wonder when he will be taken from me too. How many days, weeks, months, years do I have with him. I think about this too when I look at my other long until we hear the words cancer, heart failure, sids, imcompatible with life...

Right now, though, Nathans tinyness magnifies the fear. And yet, on the advice of a dear friend, I am trying not to give the fear life. Not to let the fear clench my heart so hard that each breath is a mystery.

And with his birth I realized that now there is another piece of my heart on the outside of my body. And I know I would survive the death of another piece of my heart because I never thought I could survive the death of any, and I did. I also know with more clarity than ever before how much it will HURT.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Eva's Gift

At 4:30 am on Sunday April 14th I told Mike we should head into the hospital. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and Eva had been born in 4 hours from first pain to holding her so I thought we better hurry because we live half an hour from the hospital and I didn't want to be in debilitating pain when we got there.

We arrived at 5am and were put on the monitor for 20 minutes. Baby looked great and contractions were medium. We decided to go for breakfast and come back at 8am.

As we were leaving OB triage, KL, a person who stresses me out incredibly, walked in. We figured that she likely wouldn't be there for more than 30 minutes.  When we came back after breakfast I heard this voice from behind the curtain say 'Is that Em come back'. At that point labour totally stalled for me. We talked with the nurse who agreed to call us when KL left. An hour later I only had a couple more contractions but when the dr checked me I was 4cm. I was pretty happy with 4 cm at that point, and contractions were resuming.

I was admitted and given a couple more hours to have labour start on it's own. At 12:30 I decided to get my membranes ruptured. The dr came in and ruptured them at 1:15pm. We all expected things to pick up quickly at that point. Things did not pick up. 

By 3pm ish I was only 5cm. By 8pm ish I was sitting at 6cm. It seemed like alot of work for only 2cm. At 9pm there was some thought that baby might be transverse. But he was not. Around that same time the dr phoned a couple of times and we all thought she was calling to get me started on pitocin because there had been so little progress. Turned out all she wanted to know was if she had time to have a shower and wash her hair!

By 10:30pm I was 8 cm and stayed that way. I was happy with 8cm. I felt like things were happening. Several times the pain was so intense I told Mike I was sorry but I had to give up. I couldn't do this anymore. I wanted an epidural. I didn't want to have a baby anymore. Mike was incredibly supportive. In between contractions I cried and cried for my little Eva. Wendy hugged me and cried with me. It was an intensely emotional time. I kept watching the clock wondering if this babe would make an appearance before or after midnight. Sometimes I felt like everything was conspiring against me to have this babe on the 15th.  I really wanted to save the 15th for Eva but also felt like if it was meant to be on the 15th then that is what would happen. And maybe it would somehow redeem the 15th for us, I'm not sure exactly how.

On April 15th Eva would be exactly 2 and a half years old and home in heaven for 20 months already. Alive in heaven twice as long as she breathed air with me. 1 month longer than she shared her entire life with me (within and without).

At 11:15pm our nurse, K, checked me and figured I had at least half an hour to go. She stepped out for a minute to do some charting and left in the room were myself, Mike, our friend Wendy, and baby within. I then started to really push. It was strange because I had made lots of noise throughout labour and, in the past, I have made pushy groaning noises. This time it was silent. I was leaning over the back of the bed and Mike was at the foot of the bed. I pushed and baby's head was right there. His hair was in my hands. I protected my perinium with my hand and slowed down his passage. Mike said he saw the head and by the time Wendy turned around his head was completely out. She quickly ran to the hall and yelled for our nurse. K came running in and by that time his body was out. I picked him up and held him. He was meconium stained but screaming and doing really well.  He was tangled in his cord but it was not around his neck. K untangled him but I refused to relinquish him to anyone. He nursed right away, much quicker than any of the others. It was an awesome birth and felt like a homebirth in the hospital.

Despite the stressors of being so far overdue, a breech baby, the external version and slow-progressing labour, the delivery was fantastic and I am actually quite proud to have delivered him myself and to have saved myself from tearing. And I am grateful our little boy made his official appearance on the 14th.

Monday the 15th we had some visitors but it was limited and I spent lots of time skin to skin with our little boy. I remembered Eva but it was a birth-high, joyful day.

Monday departed and with it the birth-high. Tuesday arrived and the icy grip of fear clenched my heart as I beheld the son I would never have had without the death of my daughter. But that is a post for another day. As it is, it has taken me 2 days to write this post and I know there are people wondering why I haven't posted yet. Forgive me.

His first name means Gift because he is Eva's and God's gift to us. It is also in honour of Nathan 'Superlight' Child.

His middle name means the Lord is Gracious and is in honour of his sister, Eva.

We rejoice in welcoming Eva's gift to us. 

Our VeRy special rainbow baby.

Nathan Evan J.
April 14th 2013 @ 11:18pm
8lbs 13oz
21" long

Friday, April 12, 2013

1 year 7 months 4 weeks

It's been 1 year 7 months 4 weeks since we said goodbye...says the little ticker on the left of my blog.

How can it have been this long?

And April 15th is closing in rapidly. Eva's half birthday. She would have been exactly two and a half years old this Monday.

I feel like it is yesterday and a lifetime ago that I shared my air with the sweetest little girl I've ever beheld.

Eva is fading. She is not fading from my heart but she is fading from our lives.

Today Mike found two coins and he told Theodore to take one and give one to Little J. Only he said 'one for you Theodore and one for Eva'.  He quickly corrected himself and said it was for Little J. Little J laughed and said 'I'm not Eva!'

And I realized with sudden clarity how little we hear her name said. We don't tell Eva to put her toys away. I don't ask Mike to help Eva with her pajamas. We don't cheer for Eva when she pees in the potty. Mike doesn't ask me to buckle up Eva up in her carseat. She is simply not here.

As present as she is in our hearts her physical presence is absent. And I miss hearing her name.

I hate that she is becoming a perpetual lost baby. Smoke. Sadness. Butterflies. Tears. Wind. Windchimes. Sunflowers...all these things that represent her but that she is not. Not any of those things. My little lost girl...who I will see again but who is so not with me right now.

And it will not end. One day little J will have a friend and that friend will be born in October 2010 and it will come back to me how absent my girl is again, and again, and again.

And It never ends. It never ends

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

There is a girl who has been staying with us for awhile, from Germany.

Isabelle is 18 and my children love her.

Isabelle has never met Eva.

And yet Isabelle knows that Eva is part of our family even though Eva is not here.

Isabelle has acknowledged the boys' love for Eva.

She has not blinked when Vincent puts a pink plate and cup on the table for Eva, occasionally.

She has seen my tears in church.

She is going to train to be a pediatric nurse when she goes home.

I am so proud of Isabelle.

She is going to be one heck of a good nurse.

Smart, kind, tender-hearted, loving, patient.

And today as we were chatting in the kitchen she said to me the nicest thing anyone could ever say...

"I'm really looking forward to getting to know Eva when I go to heaven"

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I'm tired now but know there are people checking this blog for here it is.

The external cephalic version (ecv) was pretty painful but, ultimately, a success.

There was no c-section but also no induction. I am absolutely fine with that. I feel that with pressure from the head on my cervix now that I have a better chance of spontaneous labour and delivery.

The only doctor in our small city to be willing to try an ecv did it successfully today. He is also one of only two doctors willing to do a trial of labour of a breech baby. He is not on call Thursday or Friday but he is willing to come in to do another ecv or assist my regular doctor in a breech birth if the baby flips again. I'm grateful. The pressure to have this baby today (Wednesday) or wait till Saturday (as if I could if s/he decided it was time) is off.

I have peace with the choices we've made and was so grateful to be able to go to prayer meeting tonight. What a gift.

I'm hoping for spontaneous labour to begin in the next couple of days.  I'm thankful for how well today went in hospital. I'm excited to meet our little baby and hear newborn cries. I'm remembering the big sister s/he will never get to hug on this earth and hoping she is smiling down on us.

What a big glowing smile she had.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A brief baby update.

Our day is up.

Today has been a day wholly devoted to flipping our babe.

Inversions. Handstands in the pool. The Webster maneuver at the chiropractor.

As of right now our little rainbow is still breech.

Tomorrow morning we go in for an external version. There will be an OR ready for us if an emergency c-section is required.

I have mixed emotions about this. It feels like whatever choice we make will be the wrong one.

Not least on my mind is recovering from a c-section and having 5 children to care for (including Little J and our rainbow if s/he lives). I guess that is one bridge we'll cross if we get to it.

I really just can't fathom bringing home a living baby at this point. I feel like our lives will be just one loss after another with other people getting the cherries while we are left with the pits.

And mostly I just miss my girl.

Miss my life before her death. Miss the me I used to be. Miss the easy laughter. Miss my confidence.

Miss Eva.

Monday, April 8, 2013

More questions than answers.

We had a lay speaker at our church yesterday. He preached a good sermon but painful for me. Andre is 56 years old and had a heart attack in October. He was in hospital for 6 weeks and went through heart surgery. He's alive to tell the story.

It makes me so angry sometimes that we as Christians always look for the happy ending person to give a testimony. No one has asked Mike or I for our testimony about how God has carried us and continues to carry us through the wreckage of our lives as they are now. This man gets a miracle and is asked to testify about it. My miracle is that I am still standing and still putting one foot in front of the other.  But no one asks to hear about that. Maybe they're too afraid of what I might say...

Why do we Christians always only want to hear 'good news miracle' testimonies? Why do we shy away from the hurt, anger, dissapointment, pain that God is carrying so many through?

Why do we as Christians pray for healing and say that the darkness has been defeated when someone makes it through? Why then do we say that all is great for them when they die and go to heaven? Why don't we say we have defeated heaven, when someone survives? Why do we try so hard to stay alive here on this earth when heaven is, apparently, so much better?

Andre talked about how it felt like his survival was a 'personal resurrection' for him. When he said that I just had so much irrational jealousy of this old man getting a 'second chance' when my baby girl got nought.

Why am I so jealous of other people's miracles? Why didn't Eva get one?

Andre quoted someone about how we are all of us immortal until our purpose in this life is fulfilled.

What was Eva's purpose? Did she fulfill her purpose? Or is this total bullshit?

I was so jealous and angry yesterday it was hard to see clearly.

I wrote this blog post in my head this morning on my way in to the city for a check up and there was more emotional upheaval.

*Baby update. For those who are interested. Turn baby turn.

41 weeks today

I went for a pre natal check up today and, all of a sudden, baby is breech. Crap! I couldn`t have been more surprised.

I went to the chiropractor straight away and she did a Webster technique, to try and turn the baby. I went to accupuncture, to try and turn the baby. I came home and did multiple inversions and a breech tilt, to try and turn the baby. I put an ice pack on the baby's head and a hot pad on my pelvis while lying upside down, to try and turn the baby. As of right now baby is still breech.

None of the professionals I saw today have heard of a baby turning breech past 40 weeks. That`s a problem that`s seen at 36ish weeks. Not post date.

We have one day and one day only.

Tomorrow we are going swimming so I can stand on my head in the water, to try and turn the baby. I'll go to the chiropractor again.

If baby hasn't turned by Wednesday morning we will be heading to the hospital to attempt an external version. The external version may work and all will be fine. Or it may not work and we`ll be sent home. Or it may not work and we`ll get an emergency c-section and baby will be fine or it may not work and we`ll get an emergency c-section and there won`t be  enough time and baby will die.

So I've gone from hoping labour starts to hoping it won't and I know that ultimately I want a breathing baby more than a good labour and delivery. But, greedily, I guess I want both. I can`t help but wonder what will happen and I hope I don`t have to eat these words in a few days, when I know the outcome.

Not knowing sucks but knowing may suck more.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crazy Woman

There is one more thing that happened when I went to Doctor F's office. I didn't write about it because it didn't affect my emotional response at the time but it's really been on my mind alot since then so I thought I'd share it here.

When I was in Doctor F's office talking to the receptionist there was a mom and her son in the waiting room. While I was talking to Doctor F she was staring at me the whole time. I felt like she was thinking 'crazy woman' coming in here a year and a half later and crying. When I was leaving I knew she had heard everything I had said and I looked at her there sitting with her breathing son and said that she would feel the same if it was her child. She said nothing. And I felt even crazier. Trust me. Losing your child can make you feel crazy on the best of days but on the worst of days you feel insane, and those days and moments come without warning.
Anyway, I finished my shopping etc and came home. At about 3pm the phone rang and a woman started speaking really fast.

Hi my name is _______ and I saw you at the doctor's office and I remember you from some playgroups in our town with your boys. I wasn't judging you in the doctor's office and I don't think the receptionist acted right.  I have no idea what it's like to lose a child but I can only imagine it would be the worst thing.

I couldn't believe I was hearing this. And I stammered out how did you get my number? Thinking that the doctor's office had given it to her and it was another thing to be mad at the office about.

I googled you she said. I had read the obituary in the newspaper last year but never put it together with your family until you were at the office today and said Eva's name.

Wow. Here I was feeling totally judged by someone and it was the complete opposite. She was staring at me with compassion and trying to remember exactly who I was. She had the guts and gumption to actually call me up and tell me she wasn't judging me. It just made me realize again how often I quickly judge people and say they're judging me when quite the opposite is true.

And I'm grateful she made the call. Grateful she stepped out waaaay out of her comfort zone and made the call. It has made a world of difference in how I've processed my experience with Doctor F.

*...and for those who are checking in here who want to still hasn't made an appearance. Samuel and Vincent were 10 days 'late' and Eva was 13 days 'late' so I'm not holding my breath...although we are getting up there at 6 days over. I just feel like God has a birthday in mind for this little one and I don't want to mess with it right now. S/he will come on the appointed date and I'm resting in that. I feel good, pregnancy-wise and can handle being pregnant another week if I need to be. I know there are many who read this blog who have lost babies in utero and wouldn't go over like I'm doing. And maybe I'm being foolish but I know that babies can die on the inside and on the outside. We're making the choice we feel is best for our family but we are getting extra monitoring to make sure everything is going well. All that being said, the risk of stillbirth increases significantly at 42 weeks and I'm sure I'll get induced medically if we haven't had a baby by then.