I've recently been back in touch with a former co-worker who is struggling with a difficult pregnancy after losing an 18 weeker just like we did. While it brings back so many memories, it also slowly heals my heart to bring comfort to someone in such a scary situation.
I still have days where I miss Ella, miss the pink and barbies and girliness that should be a part of my life. I feel horrible admitting that, because if we had Ella, we would not have Gavin, and of course I can't imagine life without my peanut!
Anyway, here is an email I sent this friend. We miss you Ella, and I think of you often.
"Not a burden at all….it actually really helps to hear someone else’s experiences, it’s one of those things that no one can relate to unless they have been through it.
We were the same way with our name, it was from some song Chad liked and we just LOVED it. At first I was in complete denial, I remember asking them if they could just knock me out and wake me up when the delivery was over. They told me they couldn’t do that, and it was for the best that I “live” the experience. I didn’t want to hold her, but I am so glad my mom convinced me to do so. I didn’t look at her, they had her bundled up in a blanket, that was later mailed to my mom’s house. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I am glad I did. I now regret not opening the blanket and looking at her. Try not to dwell on the regrets….you made the best decision you could under the circumstances.
Oh – and to make things worse – this was 3 days after our wedding and on Chad’s birthday. We had already been engaged but planning a long engagement when I got pregnant so ended up planning the wedding in 5 weeks. How crazy to go from the happiest day of my life to the worst day in a matter of a couple days.
And to make things more worse, I had been in the ER the night before with what I now know was contractions. Having never been in labor before, I just knew I was in pain, the ER doctor decided to ignore the rules about sending pregnant people straight to the maternity floor and instead drew blood, did a urine sample, and listened to the heartbeat. No actual exam was done. Would it have helped? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe they would have been able to do something and held me off to 23 weeks when she was viable, and we would have struggled with a really unhealthy child. Who knows. But I hate that the er dr didn’t do a damn thing, because now I always have to wonder.
SO, wow, sorry to burden you with this. I’m not the most religious person, but I do take comfort that there is something that lies beyond this world. When I let myself dwell on it I find myself happy that my Grandpa and Ella are together. I imagine all the little angel babies playing together. I really have to let myself believe we’ll all be back together some day. It’ll be 6 years this November that we lost her. It’s amazing how it can stay with you. I cried my eyes out every day for a long time. And while I never intended to get pregnant with her, and I really hadn’t planned on having kids that young, it wasn’t until I got pregnant with Gavin that I started to heal that pain (4 months later). Aren’t kids amazing how they affect you?"