Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Year Ago . . .

I've been a ball of unraveling, frayed nerves. I lack patience and the ability to cope. I don't know what to do when my daughter falls and bruises her knees. I feel like I have a marathon to run when it comes time to fix a meal.

I've been this way a lot this past year.

A break. You need a break my husband says. 

So much easier said than done. 

I was invited last week by a mommy-friend to spend a kid-free, sun-filled blue sky weekend on a boat on a lake.

The breeze created by a speeding boat and the sun beating down served to refresh and recharge.

But that night, as I lay in a bed three hours away from my own, it found me and I silently cried. 

A year ago . . .

It wasn't so much the mundane of life, my husband's schedule and a defiant three year old that was unraveling and fraying me. It is the anniversary . . . the birthday . . . of my two babies.

It's funny how your head may not realize something is approaching but your heart does. 

Months ago, a mother who had to bury her 18 month old son over twenty years ago told me, "It's a lot like walking on the shore. The grief . . . the hurt . . . it's always there. Sometimes it's the little waves lapping at your toes and feet and other times, the waves crash over."

Those waves have been pounding me down. 

I thought it was just life and the busyness of it that was getting to me.

But after a day spent forgetting where I was, what load needed to be put in the washer next, deciding what that little girl of mine might eat without a fight, and the hour of the day, I realized the unraveling of that ball was something I couldn't run from. I couldn't stop it. 

A year ago . . .

This week has been full of thoughts and sentences that begin with, "A year ago . . ."

A year ago I was anxious for my next doctors visit. Hoping she could tell me why I couldn't eat or sleep, why I was in so much pain. Hoping she had the answers and the solutions. 

A year ago we were in that Ultra Sound room where the air stopped moving and my husband reached for my hand out of fear. 

A year ago I spent the four longest days of my life waiting.

A year ago we left for Cincinnati where I felt hope laid. The city where I hoped answers would be given and life would be saved. 

A year ago I laid in a coffin-like machine for over an hour where answers and precious pictures of my girls laid in each slice of an image. 

A year ago I was the recipient of an UltraSound technicians kindness as jelly and a wand roamed my swollen belly for over two hours. When the pain was too intense, she let me move and reassured me that she could work no matter the position I needed to be in. She smiled with us when Emmerson performed one of her many tumbling acts. She respected the silence when Vivienne barely moved. She reassured us that Vivienne's heart still held life.

A year ago we got to see and hear those two wonderful hearts beating when, once again, we moved to another area of the hospital for the Fetal Echocardiogram. 

A year ago we sat at a long conference table with highly specialized doctors and nurses and a big screen on one side of the room where we got to see every image of our daughters that were taken that day. We were given the devastating diagnosis and the hope in the interventions. So many questions were answered and just as many were left unanswered. The conference room where being an adult and a parent sat heavily on my shoulders. The conference room where I learned that laying down my life for another became a reflex response. 

A year ago I didn't sleep for three days straight. My heart was too heavy and my mind too burdened. 

A year ago when I underwent surgery for the sake of my daughters, I was at the most peace I have ever been before in my life. 

A year ago we all thought everything went beautifully and I would be able to carry my babies to 32 weeks gestation. 

A year ago all our dreams were shattered. 

A year ago life as I knew it had completely changed. 

A year ago there became an old me and the me that I am now. 

A year ago this Saturday I gave birth to two beautiful baby girls. I was blessed to carry them as they grew and I was blessed to hold them as they left my arms and entered the Kingdom of Heaven.

This week has been hard. It has been bittersweet. It has been unbelievable that a whole year has passed.  In some ways it feels like it has been a week instead of a year and in other ways it feels like a lifetime.

I don't know what to do on Saturday. I want to sleep the day away. I want to go to the cemetery. I don't want to go to that place where the last time I was there was the day we buried them. I want to get two cupcakes and sing Happy Birthday. I want to release balloons. I want my husband to be home instead of working. I want to be surrounded by people. I want to be completely alone. I want to sleep the day away. 

I want my babies to be here. 



  1. The days leading up to it are so incredibly hard. Praying you are able to find even a tiny bit of peace this week.

  2. Biggest hugs, Stephanie. I am dreading my own one year mark. I wish your babies were here, too, snuggled in your arms. :(

  3. Just reading this now. Praying for you. I hope you find a little bit of peace after the one year mark. I know I felt a little bit more of being able to breathe. Hang in there.

  4. I just read your story. I am so sorry!! My heart is breaking for what you had to endure. My prayers are with you, and I'm sending my love to you! God bless you, sister—and know you WILL again, one day, be with your precious babies again. Blessings...

  5. love and hugs to you stephanie. my one year mark from losing my precious 12 yr old is in september. i dread it.



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