As the heat of the mid-summer settles in, it is heavy and it reminds me of my grief. I spent so many hours on our back deck on the phone that summer. As the cicadas hummed in the background and the AC roared below me, I told people the worst news of our lives. Now the heat and those sounds bring it all flooding back. I don't enjoy sitting on my back deck in July anymore.
Here are excerpts from July directly from our CaringBridge that I used during Violet's pregnancy to update family and friends privately.
Written July 22, 2011 6:09pm
On Wednesday, I start counseling with a therapist that specializes in trauma and grief and women's issues.
On Thursday, we have an ultrasound appointment. We will be meeting with the Infant Palliative Care team immediately afterwards as well as getting the process started to have ourselves tested to see if we are carriers for this issue in future pregnancies.
We have been enjoying meals made by friends all week and it has been a huge relief to have one thing less to do to provide for E each day. THANK YOU to those who have been helping us out with this!
Written July 23, 2011 6:39pm
I am grateful for your phone calls, texts, and emails to check in on us.
I am grateful that it is the weekend because having (Mr. SPS) at home gives me such strength. He is amazingly supportive and even when we aren't discussing Violet, he is comforting me just by being there. He is also great at making me laugh.
I am grateful for E, even more than I was before. She is our sunshine!
Written July 26, 2011 12:25pm
I am in awe that E knows how to comfort me when I'm sad. I don't want her to see me cry too much, but when she does, I just tell her in a calm voice that I'm sad about baby Violet. Lately when I say this she wipes away my tears and hugs or kisses me. How does a 19 month old know just what to do? It's amazing. She also sometimes babbles a little when she is comforting me in baby talk and I sure wish I knew what she was saying because this little girl is so good for my soul.
Written July 28, 2011 12:25pm
My therapy appointment went well yesterday. We are going to work on stress and anxiety management including guided relaxation videos on YouTube (she suggested this when she saw my smart phone) to help with sleep as well as journaling in order to focus on one day at a time. Next week (Mr. SPS) and I have an appointment together and then I go the following week by myself again. I am glad (Mr. SPS) can go with me because I have heard a lot about how couples can grieve differently and at different paces so I want to have someone overseeing not only my grief process, but ours together as well. She seems to be a great therapist and she rearranged her schedule to meet with us after her regular hours so (Mr. SPS) wouldn't have to miss any work for the appointment.
I have been having dizzy spells the past two days. At first I just thought I was overdoing it out in the warm weather carrying E and walking around. But it happened again last night at 7:30 when I was home in the AC, so I called (Mr. SPS) to come home right away (he was at work) because I was afraid I would pass out. I can't tell if these are panic attacks or a sign of pre-eclampsia or just regular pregnancy side effects or because I'm still not eating well/drinking enough water. I am trying to be better about that, but it seems to be the first thing I forget to do when I am taking care of everything else and I don't really have an appetite anyway.
I contacted and heard back from a foundation called Sustaining Grace. They were started by a couple who had a daughter with a similar diagnosis to Violet's because they found it helpful to have regular ultrasounds to see their baby, Grace, before she was born. I initially asked if they could help us cover what is not covered for our medical ultrasounds, but they suggested we have at least one non-medical ultrasound because it is relaxing and less emotional to see your baby without a doctor pointing out the medical issues and what will occur because of them. We are going to try to make an appointment somewhere locally (they also suggested we go somewhere that can make us a DVD of her) and then we let them know when and where we are going and they will contact the facility to arrange payment for it. What a wonderful idea of what can do to help other families going through similar situations in honor of your sweet baby that you lost. You can check out their website at http://sustaininggrace.org
In April 2012, we organized a fundraiser for Sustaining Grace in memory of Violet and coincidentally, today is Grace's birthday. I'm thinking of them and sending love and peace as they miss and celebrate their sweet girl.