Thursday, February 10, 2011
RuthAnn and another Little Blessing
It is hard to believe that it is already 2 weeks into February 2011. So much has happened just since the beginning of the new year. Both Richard and I are continuing on our lifestyle change to become healthier people.
I know many people think that I shouldn't be remembering or honoring tomorrow- but this is my life, my memories, my pain. It is getting easier with each passing year- this year will be 4 years. So much has happened in the last 4 years, one of the important things that was going on 4 years ago we were saying 'good bye' to my last surviving grandmother, it was time for her to go, she was suffering and shouldn't have been- but that is another story.
I remember how happy Richard and I were when we saw those 2 little pink lines- we thought finally, this will be the one, my grandmother was the only person that we shared our news with (my mother figured it out pretty quickly) I remember picking out a beautiful card to tell my grandmother good bye, Richard and I also placed a special message inside telling her that she was going to be a great-grandmother and that I knew that she would be watching over our precious baby, keeping her safe until it was time for her to come into our lives that October. The card was placed in my grandmother's hands- our little secret shared with someone that we knew already knew. We talked about looking for a little gray mouse costume (a tradition that we so looked forward to continuing- Richard's first Halloween costume had been a little gray mouse) and how cute and tiny she would be, being that she was due October 19th, she would only be 12 days old for her first Halloween- we were so excited and couldn't wait to share our news with our families. We of course never got that chance, as with her brother and sister before her, she didn't get to stay with us physically. She is however, again, like her siblings with us in our hearts forever.
One of my most poignant memories of our loss of RuthAnn is the night that I returned to work- most of my co-workers welcomed me with condolences for the loss of my grandmother- none of them new that a few weeks before Richard and I had found out that we were expecting. The night before my bereavement leave started I had been floated downtown and because of some health precautions on my assignment I was forced to disclose my pregnancy to several of the staff there for the safety of my pregnancy. So even though downtown knew, my closest co-workers had no idea until I came back. As I was receiving condolences from co-workers that were also close friends, I bombarded them with the news that Richard and I had found out that we were expecting, but had miscarried a few days before. They all knew how hard Richard and I had been trying and how desperately we wanted a baby- it was a very somber night for all of us.
I remember it being quiet in the nursery, the NICU babies were all behaving themselves. My co-workers had stepped out for dinner and I was sitting in the NICU/nursery by myself. A postpartum nurse brought in a little girl that had been born the previous day, her Mom was tired and just wanted a few hours of rest, so the baby was brought into the nursery. After a few minutes she started to whimper quietly, I got up to see if she needed a diaper change or anything else so she would go back to sleep. There was nothing that she needed physically and she looked so sad with her tears- I pulled up the rocking chair and swaddled her in new warm blankets, picked her up from her bassinet and then sat down and rocked her. She slowly stopped crying as we rocked in the darkened nursery- it was then that I realized while holding her to my chest, her head nestled on my shoulder- it was then that I discovered that it wasn't her tears that I felt, they were mine. This beautiful little newborn and I comforted each other that night.
In realizing that RuthAnn has been gone for 4 years, I am also reminded that this precious little girl will be celebrating her 4th birthday next week. It is something that makes me smile and touches my heart. Even though my job was very difficult at times and not just because of what Richard and I were going through, it was moments like that that made every difficult night worth it. So, as Richard and I remember our sweet RuthAnn tomorrow, I will be wishing someone else's little blessing a Happy 4th Birthday and saying a big 'Thank You' for helping me through my pain.