Discovering Me

Me on having babies, losing babies, trying to have babies and hoping to bring this one home.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I don't know how to label this week. I'm 33 weeks. Audrey was gone at 33 weeks. I'm here. I'm scared. I know we've made it this far. Intellectually, I know that. My heart doesn't get it the same way.

Every time I get a kick or a stretch I wonder if it will be the last. I don't know if I remember Audrey's last, but I remember distinctly the last time I remember feeling that little foot stretch into my side. I'll never forget how that felt. Reaching over and feeling her little foot hang there for a minute and then recede back into the comfort of my tummy.

And then, I got busy. I was working, I had a 20 month old to chase after. My grandmother was with us... My parents were staying with us taking refuge from hurricane Ivan. So much going on. So much going on while my baby was dying. How do you miss something like that? How do you miss the death of your child. And yet, it happens. It happened to me. To us.

Gracie had an appointment today to get her Health Certificate for the new school year. First time with this doctor. Since we were new we had to answer the usual family history questions. I had to mention Audrey and her heart defect. My clotting issues. It was hard. Hard to not cry.

Even harder when Gracie chimed in about her two sisters. One in mommy's tummy and one in heaven. I never know how to feel when she talks about Audrey. Part of me is always sad that she has to deal with the death of her sister. Part of me is sad for what she's lost. Part of me is proud at how she handles it and what a big girls she is for just putting it out there in a way that I never can. So matter-of-fact. as if to say, "This is my life and I'm okay with it."

I listened to her and the doctor discuss Audrey and how Gracie felt about it. I heard him tell her that she was very lucky girl to have a sister in heaven who could look out for her down here. How exciting it would be to have a sister here and a sister there. The tears rolled down my cheeks as her eyes brightened at being so "lucky".

I wish it made me feel lucky. But, I'm glad that she can feel lucky even if I can't. In fact, I think I'd trade my feeling lucky for her to feel that way.

So, we continue to wait. I feel like my belly is a timebomb. Like at any minute everything will explode and we will lose everything again.


  • At 2:38 PM , Blogger Catherine said...

    Yeah...this is fun, isn't it? Just keep telling yourself that most babies live...that THIS baby is going to live. I don't know if it will help, but it will give you something to do. ;o)


  • At 3:09 PM , Blogger Kathy McC said...

    You're doing such a great job. I know it probably doesn't feel like it, but you are. I wish I could tell you that the fear will suddenly disappear but it doesn't. Not till baby comes out screaming into your arms. It's almost here...

  • At 12:50 AM , Blogger Kath said...

    Dear Michelle, it is so understandable -- and so sad -- that you are feeling this way. Those thoughts must be so hard to deal with.

    I'm hoping that this next month finds a way of flying by for you, and that the end of it brings you Natalie, safe and sound and happy and all that you have ever hoped for.

    Gracie is utterly wonderful. And what her doctor said was so kind to her and so sad for you. Thinking of you, my dear.

  • At 12:52 AM , Blogger niobe said...

    It's so fascinating to see things from Gracie's perspective. Lucky? Now, there's an adjective that would never have occurred to me. I think it's a tribute to how well you've helped Gracie to deal with her Audrey's death that she feels that way.

  • At 4:10 AM , Blogger pithydithy said...

    Your sad for and proud of Gracie, I'm sad for and proud of you all. I can't imagine going through what you have, but I think that you're doing amazingly well at this point in your pregnancy. You are a ticking bomb, but only because the due date approaches and you'll have having a sweet little baby soon. It's going to be okay this time. It has to be. Hugs.

  • At 6:06 PM , Blogger formerteacher said...

    Oh, wow, what a hard conversation. Gracie handled it so well. Don't you wish we could deal with things like our kids do?
    Don't be so hard on yourself for not noticing your daughter dying. You were so busy. If you had any inkling at all, you know the first thing you would have done was call an ambulance ASAP. I also know we can all say that to you until we're blue in the face. You will always have your regrets, your private pain, no matter if you know Audrey's death wasn't your fault or not. I certainly feel like I should have done more for my own mother while she was dying. I guess there are some things you get never completely get over like some people think you should.
    I've been meaning to ask you a question, and I question the timing. I hope I don't upset you. I just don't know who else to ask. A family friend's daughter recently delivered a stillborn little girl. One minute she was kicking, and then she wasn't. I have basically just listened, and added some things, but I don't want to say the wrong thing. I see her about once to twice a week as she works in own gym's daycare.
    Everyone has told her that chances are her next baby will be healthy, but of course she said she wanted THIS baby, and who can blame her. I know you understand. Again, I hope I'm not upsetting you.

    I really have a good feeling about your little girl! Just think how satisfying and incredible it will be when you're holding her in your arms! Not long now!

  • At 7:18 PM , Blogger Monica said...


    I felt the very same way when I lost Jimmy. Why didn't I know? I'm his mom, I should have known. It just doesn't work that way. But I think it too. You've done a tremendous job this pregnancy, it's not easy. You've also done a tremendous job parenting Gracie. I know you gave Audrey love while you carried her and you continue to love her today. You are incredible. You are so close to the end. Keep fighting.

  • At 5:06 AM , Blogger Kriss said...

    I think your being incredibly strong and I know the wait must be very hard. I think it's awesome that Gracie is so comfortable talking about Audrey. If you want to look at another perspective... as hard as it is hearing her talk about her sister or having her talk to another person about Audrey... Gracie is keeping her memory alive. I have a friend that lost twins at 24 weeks and afterwards once arrangements were made, the funeral was over, several years later (six to be exact), she made mention that she felt like no one even remembered they existed. I told her that wasn't the case that most people don't know how to handle death and it's easier to just smile and nod. Yet for example everytime I pass the cemetary I remember and my mind says, "Hi D**** and D**** your missed." Because I never told her until that moment she never knew. So in some ways Gracie is an angel in that she gets to be your reminder that someone remembers. I hope this doesn't upset you. I wanted to give some words of comfort. Anyway, I have been a long time reader since TLOL. Keeping you in my thoughts and saying prayers that your little girl makes it safely to your arms!

  • At 9:26 AM , Blogger Heather said...

    Powerful post. So sorry for your family's past loss. I'm sure you'll all be happy to have this new baby in your arms safe and sound in a few weeks, although that cannot make up for what you've lost.

  • At 4:41 PM , Blogger Julia said...

    I missed A dying too. Busy day. Very busy day...

    Monkey talks about A in a matter of fact way too. It's what we aim for-- that her brother is a part of her life.

  • At 6:36 AM , Blogger Jill said...

    I guess you can only take it one day at a time. I would imagine that at this point thinking about time in chunks any larger would send you postal.

    The way you have written about Audrey really conveys just how heavy a load you are carrying right now. As I type I almost feel like it must be hard to take a full breath for you.

    Hang in there Michelle. Everyone who has been with you through this journey is with you still and wishing you a speedy passing of time until Natalie comes screaming into the world. And she will. She has to.

  • At 9:35 AM , Blogger Kriss said...

    Just thinking of you, hope all is well. -kriss

  • At 8:54 AM , Blogger Alli said...

    Such a wonderfully written and powerful post. I love Gracie's perspective and you're right - it's good that she's comfortable with it.

    Praying for you.

  • At 7:03 AM , Blogger Jen Taurus said...

    I really havne't been following your blog, but congrats. I'm glad your dr was so kind and listened. What a wonderful appointment for all you. The dr acknowledging your whole family. I don't know if you can get over this, but you cannot blame yourself for this because you didn't know anything was wrong with Audrey, if you didn't you would have responded as bev said. I'm sure everyone involved would have reacted differently.

    Good Luck, i cannot wait to read about the newest sister.


  • At 7:44 AM , Blogger kati said...

    What a difficult time this must be for you. So many different emotions to deal with.

    I keep my fingers tightly crossed for you.

  • At 6:29 PM , Blogger Julie said...

    Sending lots of hugs. For you and Gracie.


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