26 weeks pregnant tomorrow:
Violet is moving and rolling over in my belly right now. She is sooooo active. I feel her a lot more than I ever felt E, which is such a blessing. I love my time with her.
We had our non-medical ultrasound from Sustaining Grace on Tuesday evening. It was relaxing and peaceful. Violet was yawning a lot and even smacked her lips after one yawn! I said maybe if she wasn't up all night kicking me and waking me up, she wouldn't be tired at 7 pm! The ultrasound technician said that there is a lot of blood flow to her scalp, which means she probably already has hair! Oh, I hope so! I hope she looks like her big sister, E, born with a full head of gorgeous, soft hair!
We see the pediatric cardiologist next Friday for a fetal echocardiogram. It is performed like an ultrasound, but will focus on the heart, so we know what to expect when Violet is born.
The following Wednesday we have our next ultrasound at Maternal Fetal Medicine again.
I also need to meet with the social worker on the palliative care team, contact or find a new photographer from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, type up our birth plan, and start shopping for clothing and items for Violet. We aren't going to buy much, but we want to have some special things picked out for her. This shopping is something that I very much want to do but I am struggling with it emotionally. When I posted about this on an online message board for families in our situation, I got an amazing response from mothers who have gone through this or are currently thinking about it. They had some good suggestions of where to buy preemie clothing. I love that I can post online about things that come up and talk to others about what they experienced. I'm thankful for technology helping me to cope!
Lots to do, lots to plan, but the best advice given to me from one of my best friends who lost her first son was what her husband told her during their struggles, "One day at a time." It is my motto on the good days and the bad.
Written August 14, 2011 9:51am
This update is more about my grief and how I'm dealing with it than it is about Violet or appointments or plans. I'm hoping writing about this will be a catharsis for me.
Last night I was explaining it to Mr. SPS and I realized that a lot of my analogies involve water. Some days I feel like I am drowning, it is so heavy, and I'll never catch my breath. Some days I feel more like I'm just letting the waves come in and recede and I'm feeling the ebb and flow of the pain. And other times it's like a pool of water where I want to dive in, often times when E is napping, I will find myself picking that time to read about grief, make plans, and just cry. I just have to submerge myself in it. Then there are times and days when I can only dip my feet in.
I found this blog series where a woman who suffered a loss posts about how you can help a grieving friend. I am linking to it because a lot of people are saying, "Please let us know if there is anything we can do." I know they are saying that out of love and uncertainty about what, if anything, would help us. I want you to know that we are also at a loss for what you can say or do, but that doesn't mean that because nothing will "fix" this that nothing can help. Each and every guestbook message and card has sincerely comforted us. I never knew the power of sending a caring message to someone until I was the one receiving them!
Some of the points in this series really rang true for me, while others did not. I don't want someone to come clean my house. That's just a bit too intimate. But I'd like to quote and highlight some things that did seem particularly close to home.
Grieving takes it's toll on your sleep.
One of the biggest fears of mine is what is to come after our loss. What if I am still grieving for a year or more after we lose her? Will people still let me cry? Will they be tired of hearing me talk about her? Will there be a flood of support when she is born and we lose her that will disappear as people go on with their lives but I'm not the same old me?
Please don't be afraid to bring it up or make me cry. Molly said it best, "Something I’ve said jokingly, but mean with all sincerity is, 'My tears are just below the surface. If you make me cry right now, it’s no major accomplishment.'” As I explained to some friends already, crying is just my new normal. I have pretty much quit wearing eyeliner.
At the same time, there are some days where I am just not up to giving details about our situation and I might brush off your questions. That doesn't mean that I'm feeling great or that I don't want your support. I might just be numb that day.
But Violet is and always will be on my mind. I want to hear you say her name. I want to hear about what you are thinking, saying, and feeling about all this, too. I want to know we're not alone in our grief. I know it won't affect anyone the way it affects us, but it helps so much to know that Violet is real to you too and her loss if going to be shared by others.
I hope you didn't find this update too self indulgent. It was helpful for me to write and organize my thoughts and whether it helps one of you know how to support us or it helps with a person you know in the future who experiences this kind of loss, then it did more than just helped me this Sunday morning.