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Once I had a little rose closed up inside my womb
But Jesus called her to come home before my rose could bloom

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Years

Today marks the three year anniversary of Donna Rose's death and birth. Some of the details fade, but some remain so clear in my mind. I remember walking down the stairs the evening before and telling Ben that our plans for the evening were changing, that I needed to go to the hospital rather than bible study. I remember how worried the ultrasound tech seemed, even though I wasn't shown the ultrasound until after the doctor arrived. I remember how truly AWFUL it seemed to me that the hospital would offer to "terminate" my baby. And that was a decision I was given, not once but twice. I remember how difficult it was for me when I had been flown down to Denver and Ben was still on the road, how the doctors wanted me to make life and death decisions and I wanted to talk to Ben, but couldn't reach him because I didn't know his phone number and he had MY phone and wasn't answering it. I remember picking the option with the best mathematical odds. I remember the doctor telling me that if I went into labor, they wouldn't do anything to stop it. I remember calling my parents and hearing my mother's voice for the first time since I told my dad that I was pregnant. I remember the awful peace I had when I knew that I was having contractions and that my baby was not going to live beyond the day. I remember feeling so helpless and being so grateful for the pain because it was easier to deal with the physical hurt than the emotional hurt of losing my little girl. I remember someone telling me they could see my little girl kick as she was being born (she was breach) though I don't remember who. I remember being told she was stillborn because her heart wasn't beating and I would never get to hold her in my arms while she was alive. I remember the wonderful nurse (I wish I knew her name) who took pictures of Donna Rose for Ben and me so that we would always have precious memories.  She posed Donna Rose so that she looked like she was sleeping. I remember getting a call from Medicaid telling me that I had finally been approved, and having to tell them that I was losing the baby. I remember holding Donna Rose for the last time, how cold she was. I remember going to the funeral home and how compassionate the gentleman was when we explained our situation. I remember Ben making the decision to have our daughter cremated. I hated the idea of having my daughter burnt and knowing that I could never hold her again, but we couldn't stand the thought of leaving her behind if we moved. There are so many other memories, but I will save them for another time. Happy Angelversary, my dear daughter! Daddy and I miss you very much.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Due Date take three

Dear Donna Rose,

Today marks the second anniversary of your due date, so you should have been turning two around this time. I wonder what you would have been like. I wonder if your hair would have been long and if you would have had curls like me or straight hair. I wonder what words you would be saying now. I wonder what you would think of your baby brother and what tricks you would be teaching him. Dad and I miss you terribly.

I wonder what life would have been like if we had not lost you. Maybe Dad and I would have stayed in Colorado. Maybe you would have gotten to meet your Grandpa Tim down here. I hope you are having a good time with him in heaven and showing him all your favorite spots. Someday you will show your daddy and me what we need to know about heaven.

I love you very much my dear.

Love,

Mommy

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Once more

My Dear Daughter,

Here we are coming up on the second anniversary of your birth and death. It's still very painful for your daddy and me. Two years ago today, I went into the ER in Greeley, a little bit worried because of spotting, but never dreaming that it could mean your death. I remember the worried looks from the nurses and doctors. I remember the cold helicopter ride to Denver. And I remember the pain of everything that happened the next day there. In a couple of years, we will have to explain to your little brother why October 28 is such a special day. I remember so many things about that day clearly. I remember talking to your Grandma Donna on the phone. I remember the sheer exhaustion from being up all night. I remember the pain and the mental numbness of that night. I remember the sense of dread, knowing that I wouldn't get to take my baby home with me. I remember holding you for the first time and how very tiny you were. I remember marveling over how perfectly formed you were. I remember your body heaving in my hands as though you were trying to breathe, but the doctors said your heart had stopped before you were born. I remember dressing you in the little clothes they gave us and wrapping you in the blanket someone had made for you. What a blessing to us was the care that someone took to make clothes and blankets for an angel they would never meet. I remember crying with your daddy. I remember talking to your Aunt Miranda on the phone and the heartbreak in her voice when I told her you wouldn't make it. I remember feeling like I had to comfort her because she sounded so much sadder than I did, but the finality of your death hadn't hit yet. And I remember talking to your Aunt Beth, though I don't remember what she had to say.

I think your daddy and I are learning to live around our grief pretty well. Fewer things make us sad and we can rejoice in the miracle of your short life now. However, we miss you deeply and your absence causes us both a deep pain. As long as we live, you will never be forgotten.

Love always,

Mommy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Turning 2

Dear Donna Rose,

It's less than a week until we reach the date when you will have been gone 2 years. You've been gone so much longer than you were here. I get a little bit sadder each day as the anniversary of your stillbirth approaches. I miss you so very much. You were so small and helpless.



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dear Donna Rose

My dear daughter,

Mommy and Daddy are missing you something fierce today. Yesterday a song on the CD for the July 4th parade float your daddy rode made him cry. He came home all sad and played it for me and we both just sobbed until your little brother started crying because we weren't paying attention to him. It's such a relief when he cries because we know that he's breathing then. A lot of people have been asking me if your brother is my first baby. I always tell them about you. I love your brother very much, but that doesn't keep me from missing you. Yesterday Daddy's boss took his little girl by the hand to walk her to the back yard and it made me very sad thinking that your daddy should be taking you by the hand to walk you to where you can play with your friends. Tomorrow we are driving up to Aberdeen to visit with your grandma and grandpa. It will be a fun family reunion, but it would be even more enjoyable if you were there. The stair-step age grandkids has a hole in it because you aren't here to fill it. Your cousins are one year apart in age until your cousin Ric. Then there's a gap where you should have been born and an extra year before your cousin Caspian and your brother. We will probably go out to Storybook Land and the lake or the water park. Your brother can't enjoy them yet, but you are old enough so that if you were here you could definitely enjoy them. I imagine that you have even more entertaining and important things to do in heaven. I just wish we could share the special times together.

I love you, Donna Rose.

Love,
Mommy

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dear Donna Rose

My dear daughter,

Daddy told you that your new brother has arrived and he is here safely. I wonder what you would think of him if you were here now. I wonder if you would be jealous as my brother was jealous of me. You would still be little more than a baby yourself, but I think you would be very excited to be a big sister. I am certain you would adore little Tony and would try to be Mommy's helper. I miss you every day. I know Daddy does too. Sometimes we find each other crying because we miss you so much. You are a hero, my little girl. You saved your brother's life. Because of you, we knew what to do to get your brother here safely and we know what to do for any future siblings. The doctors have diagnosed me with an incompetent cervix, which means I will always need help to carry babies to full term. We would never have known if not for you, my dear. I wish we had known before you were born because then we could have you both here with us. I love you, honey, and am so grateful for your brief life.

Mommy

Friday, June 8, 2012

You Made Death Beautiful

I saw an evil looking hag,
Cackling over what she brewed.
Poison, I felt so sure, she made.
Evil was in all she strewed
But when you crossed the dark threshold
You softened my harshest view
The crone looked more like dear grandma
Lovely and inviting too.
The once dark doorway now holds light
A candle flame burning bright

I saw a reaper, dark and grim
Striding down the avenue
Spreading dark shadows in his wake
Fear and panic were his crew
But when you took him by the hand
You softened my harshest view
For he appeared a wizened man
With love, care, and hope to strew 
The once dark doorway now holds light
A candle flame burning bright

I saw Death to be the ending
Of the life I thought I knew
A precipice, a deep ravine
Terrifying to go through
But when you set out on that path
You softened my harshest view
For Death became the door that lead
To a reunion with you
The once dark doorway now holds light
A candle flame burning bright