Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Heart, My Love, My Angel

Six Years...it seems like such a long time ago and yet at the same time it feels like yesterday.

The last few weeks have been flooded with various memories that are so old, yet still so fresh. Thoughts of happiness, fear and excitement have rushed in so many times...the memories of when we first discovered that we were expecting our very first child, how excited we were and how scared we were at the same time. When we first saw those 2 pink lines, we were beside ourselves! How did this happen, well we knew how this happened, but it was really happening?! We became immediately attached and the planning began, oh the planning...the hopes, the dreams! Our lives were changing in such an amazing way, we had waited SO long for this day and it was finally here!
Then we found the pregnancy calculator...plugged in the dates...this baby was so meant to be! The due date...July 1st! My Mom's birthday! Richard's Mom's birthday was just a few days later! My Mom was born on HER Grandmother's 50th birthday, I remember how special my Mom had told me that it was for them, and now it was going to happen for her, her first grandchild was due on her birthday! I couldn't wait to tell her what her birthday present the following year was going to be, I couldn't think of anything better! We were also excited that Richard's Mom would also receive this special gift, everything was falling into place.
I called my OB to schedule my first prenatal visit...after so long I was fumbling to get out what I needed to be seen for...'I think we might be pregnant, the HPT was faint, but it is positive.' The receptionist was the first person to congratulate us and happily made that first appointment for Tuesday, October 25th at 11 A.M., a week and a half away! Do we tell people, do we tell our employers, do we tell anybody?! For the first few days we kept the happy news to ourselves, then I saw my Mom one afternoon and I had to tell her...it didn't go as planned. Richard had recently started a new job with no benefits and only part-time. I was working for an agency also with no benefits and pretty crappy pay. Was it the best time for us to be starting our family, probably not, but when would it be the best time? If we kept waiting for finances to be right, jobs to be right, life to be right then we would never start our family. My Mom did agree with this but still wasn't totally excited like I had hoped that she would be...my Dad was having shoulder surgery on the 25th and she asked that we not tell him about the pregnancy until after the surgery as he probably wouldn't be very happy. None of this was what Richard or I had expected. We thought that our families would be so happy since we had been waiting so long to start our family- this would be their first and probably only grandchild, we thought that they would be over the moon about this, we decided to wait to tell Richard's parents.
The days went by and we continued to be so happy, the morning sickness, the exhaustion, the food/smell aversions and the strange new cravings...everything reminded us that there really was this little life, a little girl, our first sweet angel was growing inside me, life was perfect! We took our first visits to Babys R Us looking at strollers and carseats, cribs, monitors- everything! I had picked out bedding from Pottery Barn Baby, it came in both pink and blue so it was perfect either way, even though we just knew that it was going to be a girl. We talked about names...he vetoed all the original girl names that I had chosen over the years- he didn't want our child to be picked on or have to explain his or her name or spell it all the time...I gave in :) Richard wanted to honor his biological grandparents some way so we decided to use their last name, also his 'original' last name- Brierley. Then to keep with the family theme we wanted to use my maternal great-grandmother's name- we knew that her middle initial was an 'I' but we didn't have any idea what the name was- my mother looked in an old family bible and found that the 'I' stood for Isabel. It was perfect! We had our name- Brierley Isabel- we fell completely in love with it!
Monday, October 24th we were so excited! Our first prenatal visit was in the morning, we hoped that we would have an ultrasound and maybe even get to hear the heartbeat. My Dad was also having surgery in the morning, we hadn't told him anything yet, we wanted him to just concentrate on recovering from surgery, after all we had plenty of time to tell him. The plan was to be at the hospital with my parents prior to surgery and then go to my appointment at 11 then go back to the hospital to sit with Mom and Richard would head off to work.
Tuesday, October 25th...I woke up suddenly at about 6 A.M. with sharp cramping and the feeling that I needed to use the bathroom. We had had some spicy foods for dinner the previous night so I thought that was what the problem was, I got up and discovered that I was spotting and the cramps where getting worse. Deep down I knew what was happening, I thought if I ignore it and just go back to bed everything will be just fine. I went back to bed trying not to cry, I looked over and Richard was still sound asleep. I curled up on my side and tried to go back to sleep. I just needed to get to 8 A.M. when my OB's office opened so that I could talk to the nurse to see what I needed to do, I knew that really there was nothing that I could do, I laid there cramping and bleeding, rubbing my belly and apologizing to our baby for not being able to keep her safe. Richard woke up at 7 A.M. and asked how I was doing, without rolling over I just blurted out that it was over, he asked me what I meant and I told him that I had woken up earlier cramping and when I went to the bathroom I was bleeding. He was upset with me that I hadn't woke him up, I told him that I didn't because there was nothing that he could do and he needed to sleep. I waited until a few minutes after 8 and then called my OB...I spoke with his nurse to see if I still needed to come in for my appointment or if I needed to cancel it. She was amazing, after asking a few questions she offered her condolences and explained that I still needed to come in to make sure that everything was ok, as ok as it could be considering. I was instructed to relax and try to stay calm until my appointment. Richard and I got ready and headed out to the hospital to be with my parents, I told my Mom what was going on, we decided it would be best not to saying anything to my Dad as he was nervous about the surgery to begin with- I didn't want him worrying about me, I wanted him to relax and have everything go well. I tried my best to ignore what my body was doing so that no one else would know either, apparently I didn't look like I was feeling very well so people kept asking if I was ok, of course I lied. Richard and I went to my appointment, we got to have the ultrasound that we had hoped for...we didn't get to see what we had hoped to or get to hear a heartbeat. What we did see was a perfect looking gestational sac that measured 4 weeks 3 days. My OB explained that it could be just a bit too early to see the baby or that the baby had already been reabsorbed by my body or it had already passed. He explained that most likely I was miscarrying as there was active bleeding seen around the sac. He sat with Richard and I and told us that he was sorry, we needed to prepare for the worst, yet hope for the best. This pregnancy was bittersweet as on the one hand it confirmed the faint HPT, that we really were pregnant- we could get pregnant, but on the other hand we were losing this baby. I was so confused, how could this be happening?! We had done everything right- I had been taking prenatal vitamins for almost 3 years, we had gone over all of my medications to make sure everything was safe should we get pregnant, we even changed a few meds to make them safe for pregnancy. We had discussed precautions for blood clots and preventing them, we had discussed and planned for taking Heparin injections to keep me from producing clots. Why was this happening? What had we done wrong? Why did my body fail me...why did I fail my baby, my husband, my parents, his parents? I just didn't understand, my heart was shattered.

Tuesday, October 25th...Six Years Later. The last few days I have thought about what was happening six years ago...yesterday, six years ago I was still pregnant with our first child. I know that dates eventually meet up with each other- Tuesday, October 25, 2005 we lost our sweet angel, Brierley Isabel. Today, Tuesday, October 25, 2011 we remember our sweet Angel, Brierley Isabel. We remember our happiness, how our lives were forever changed, not necessarily for bad...it seems strange saying that as our lives were changed, even if only briefly, our lives where changed for the better because we had this sweet little soul in our lives, in our hearts- forever. As we, or at least me, think about these events that happened six years ago, I think about how our live were changed, our relationship went from us to we. We became parents-to-be, a Mom and a Dad with tiny little footprints forever etched across our hearts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15th, Wave of Light

Our Family, Olivia Grace, Henry Philip, RuthAnn and Brierley Isabel

From Richard's parents

The first of what has become many dear friends <3

Thinking of our darling Angels and those that we have come to know over the years. I pray that they are all looking down tonight and seeing the beautiful wave of light just for them from all of those who love and miss them dearly.