Our Sweet Girl

Our Sweet Girl
Our Sweet Girl

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Happy" 1st Birthday Edy?

"Happy" 1st Birthday Edy?
Instead of talking about this sad subject, I would like to first say I am watching a PBS special about skunks all by myself. I should be giving Edy a bath and getting her ready for bed. However, watching a nature special by myself on skunks pretty much sums it up.... THIS STINKS.  I swear if I were a skunk I would spray every person in my path this past year that irritated me... that's quite possibly why I was created as "Carrie", not a skunk. This may very well be my Ambien talking.
So, sweet Edy was born 1 year ago. Oh, she was the most beautiful little baby. Not only was Edy perfect.... but she will always be perfect, she never had a chance to do anything wrong (something my daughter and stepson will never understand unfortunately).
What are we supposed to do? I am very uncomfortable eating birthday cake because I already had the perfect vision of what her very own cake would look like as she poked her fingers in it and then became irritated because it was on her hands. She was to be my sassy and beautiful princess and five minutes later be a crazy screaming dirty monster, and I was going to adore and enjoy every moment of it. 
 My family has a tradition comparable to A Christmas Story... when we don't know what to say or do on a holiday or occasion - we go eat Chinese. So, we will be having Chinese food tonight.
Emma did pick out a present for Edy, it's a bracelet set that says Big Sister and the other one Little Sister. Heartbreaking watching Emma eyeing those bracelets and look at me, wanting to ask if she could get them- but afraid I would start to cry in the middle of the store. I showed no tears and told her of course she could get the bracelets. She's awesome- used her own money too, which shows me what a selfless amazing child she really is. I wish Edy could grow up to learn that from her big sister.
It literally hurts my heart to know that I will never be able to tuck Edy in her bed, I will never hear her tell me "I love you Momma", never get to put a band-aid on a scraped knee, never get to gently tuck her hair behind her ear when it falls to her face, never get to see her stick her tongue out sideways as she tries her hardest to color within the lines, never get to hear her laugh so hard that she begs me to stop before she pees her pants, I will never get to let her win at board games, teach her how to paint the perfect Armani swirl or masterpiece on canvas. There are so many other things I think of daily that I will never get to do, but I will honestly tell you this... my brain is tired, what is left of my heart is being pressed into my chest by a circus elephant that loves to eat more than just the occasional peanut, my skin is a dull gray color (gone are the vibrant rose colored cheeks that I had up until Edy died). I am just tired, I am just so tired of being tired, so angry, so very very angry. Disbelief- that is how I feel today. Why am I not picking up a birthday cake for my baby? I AM A GOOD MOTHER AND SHE WAS A PRECIOUS BABY and we deserved to be together. I wanted her, we wanted her... her leaving us was NEVER an option. She died, and a huge part of me died with her.   
So, I think in the future I will skip the Happy? birthday and just say "Today is Edy's birthday and we miss her so".

Friday, August 26, 2011

Baby Edy's Tiny Feet Are Tattooed Everywhere!

Baby Edy's Tiny Feet Are Tattooed Everywhere!
When Edy died, I was so desperate for ways to remember her. She had the most beautiful EVERYTHING I had ever seen, but the only thing we had of hers on paper were her dainty feet. I was to miss out everything with her in the future, including her walking on top of my feet while I stepped baby steps with her. So, I set out to find the best tattoo artist in Memphis.
 Dave at Underground was the popular suggestion of my friends. I needed someone compassionate and caring.... Dave was a tall man (everyone is tall to me) with a ponytail and of course tattoos. I explained my situation to him and the absolute beauty of sweet Edy Charlotte and how important it was for him to capture EVERY SINGLE CREASE in her sweet foot. I really think his eyes teared up (maybe I'm just convinced they did)... and I knew I had my new tattoo artist, he's a wonderful man!
 I was to get Edy's left foot on top of my left foot and my sister was getting her right foot to cover up a dumb tattoo that she got at age 15 using my ID saying she was 18 (I was supposed to go back the next day to get the same tattoo as her, but I decided it was dumb, and she will hate me for telling that story : ) Sister was with me when I went on bed rest.. to cook, clean, visit- then at the hospital almost every day to bring me something besides nasty hospital food, visit some more and I had time to get her hooked on The Young & The Restless again. 
We went, we were very somber and quiet most of the time- this was our tribute to Edy. Dave said you two are so calm! I told him needles don't come close to the pain of having your baby die in your arms, and yes- we are normally pretty spastic, but not today. My sister and I cried silent tears. Days later as my tattoo was healing I was soooo hoping my heart would begin to heal too. Tattoo healed beautifully, my heart was just "there".
**A lot of crying, fighting, grieving, laughing, crying again, etc happened between these two paragraphs, but it's really long to type right now.**
A few months later I was at the same tattoo place, seeing Dave with Edy's Neonatologist and NICU Nurse that were present from the day she was born until the day she died. They loved our tiny girl so much. I loved them fiercely for trying so hard to save Edy and taking care of us as parents. It was very difficult for me to talk to them after Edy died because the last time I saw them they were taking Edy off life support and crying with us when she died. I can't remember how long it was after Edy died- but we all began talking again. Dr. Nicole and I got the initial 1st meeting out of the way (it was like ripping OFF AN ENTIRE ROLL OF DUCT TAPE, not a band-aid) a tear filled reunion that has now turned into 4,382 topics of conversation every time I meet her! We cry, we are serious, but mostly we LAUGH until we CRY. I love it.  I'm so glad they are in my life now and are considered my beautiful friends. Dr. Nicole & Nurse Nicole wanted to get Edy's footprint to remind them of all of the babies they care for daily. Of course, I am convinced they were so in love with Edy and knew her foot print was the most beautiful foot they have ever seen.This tattoo appointment was funny, spastic, serious and I waited to cry when I left. ( Nurse Nicole has children and no tattoos of their feet, I see that being an issue one day. hahaha)
 Edy is in two different states now at two different hospitals. She walks around several NICU units with them, silently encouraging all of the other babies to fight.
 Some would say what a difference a few months make when it comes to grief when you compare the two tattoo visits. Yes, I am able to form coherent thoughts now and actually listen to what people are saying, but that doesn't mean Edy isn't always in my thoughts.
Now for the latest news, Edy's "Honey" (my Mom) and Joe (my Stepfather) are getting Edy's foot tattooed within the next month. My mom is 55 and has never had a tattoo! I can only hope the next time I see Dave to bring them in, we are all in an even better place.
Having my sweet girls foot tattooed on soon to be a total of 6 people is truly a beautiful thing. 
 I hope all three ladies comment on this story so they can share their thoughts too!
I am so thankful to have every single one of my friends and family who didn't know what to say to me when Edy died, but REFUSED to ignore me and give me the silent treatment like some. I know in my heart, all of you know who you are- I love you all so very much.


Friday, August 19, 2011

This is what almost one year of grieving looks like through my eyes

Approaching one year since our sweet baby Edy Charlotte was born & died. The following are about 3% of the experiences I have had so far

1. Wake up
2. Feel and experience all of this
3. Go to sleep so I can do it all over again tomorrow

.... Sadness, heartbreak, silent suffering, loneliness, desperation, gallons of tears, increased compassion for some, decreased compassion for bratty adults, weight loss, weight gain, lack of energy, restlessness, anger, guilt, new appreciation of hummingbirds, 1,000's of unanswered questions, hope, love, cherished new and old friendships, tattoos, giggles, guilt for giggling, passion, determination,  blank stares, crying when you pass the baby isle at the store, long chats with beautiful friends at Starbucks, medical bills you are still responsible for, expectations to be cheery and "over it" from 98% of people you come into contact with, eye rolling when people complain about their pregnancy or baby, and more hope.

Today, August 19th is a national day of Hope for all that have lost a baby..... there are many things I "hope" for- I hope someone doesn't say Everything happens for a reason to me again, I hope my husband and I can learn to adjust to our new normal (which I still hate), I hope no parents have to suffer like this, I hope Edy knew how much we loved her while she was here for 19 days.