This weekend is a time to spend with friends and family. It is a time to have cookouts, pool parties, and a three day weekend. Please, let us not forget that the most important part of Memorial Day weekend is that it is a time for all Americans to take a moment and thank our soldiers for the sacrifice they make to keep this nation safe and free. Thank their family and loved ones also, because the biggest support of our soldiers is their family members. Fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, and children give up their time with their soldier and support him or her while they are thousands of miles away fighting for complete strangers.
For those of you who do not know, Foster and I are both in the Army. While pregnant, due to our unique situation, I was required to be discharged. It was devastating to me, because nothing makes me prouder than to put that uniform on and work with my fellow battle buddies. When we lost Rosie, I was able to stay in, for now. Although I have yet to be deployed, many of my friends and relatives have been over, some multiple times. Foster has served this country over seas twice. He makes me so proud, and I admire him for the strength it takes to be away from home, family and friends. He puts that uniform on every morning, and every morning I am filled with pride. I do not think I thank him enough for the sacrifices he makes for me, my family, and millions of strangers.
Regardless of personal views on the war, please take the time to thank a soldier. Take a moment and say a prayer for those who gave all, and the families of those who have lost a loved one.
Christine Miller, Lathrop, Emmons, Miller (Leanne), Gumbs, and all of my other buddies currently deployed, please return home safely, and thank you for keeping us safe. Ehbrecht, you will be forever missed.
"All gave some, some gave all"
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
I did not think I would have the strength to write today, since it is our original Estimated Due Date. Whenever someone asked when I was due, "May 28th," was the response. However, I found some inspiration. On this day she was supposed to be born, I will tell you the story of when she was born to Christ and blessed with the Holy Spirit.
Following the C-section, I was rolled out of the OR with my doctor at my side. She was still crying and told me that as soon as I was more alert and Rosie was cleaned up, she would bring my daughter in to see me. I told her I did not want a single drop of pain medicine until after seeing her. My family had been trying to get a hold of our priest at St. Pius, or the priest that married us, an old family friend, to Baptize Rosie when she came into the world. However, we could not get through to anyone at St. Pius, and our family friend was in the Hospital down the road with Bronchitis. So the hospital found us an amazing Catholic chaplain to help with the ceremony of Baptizing our silent daughter.
I cannot remember a lot about the following 12 hours, but the parts I do are comforting to me, and I will hold close to my heart forever. One of the hospital's chaplains had Rosie dressed in a beautiful dress, booties, and and adorable bonnet. AS soon as she handed Rosie to me, I marveled at how perfect she was. She was absolutely beautiful, and looked as if she was just sleeping. I took off her bonnet to see her blondish hair, I took off her booties to touch, count and admire her tiny toes. I held her fingers and was mesmerized by the fact they were big for her body, just like mine. Her lips were the perfect shade of rose red, and I gazed at her peacfully shut eyes, expecting them to open at any moment and stare lovingly into mine. The world around me disappeared. Although there were easily 20 family members and friends in that hospital room, the only two I could see were Foster and Rosie.
The Catholic priest had brought a beautiful shell to baptize her with. Foster had asked if he could do the honors of pouring the water over her head and blessing her. The priest opened up the private ceremony with a beautiful prayer, and Foster proceded to trickle water over her tiny head while through tears saying "I Baptize you, Rosalynn Patricia Foster, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It was such a beautiful and intimate moment to share with so many people who love and care for us.
This past Sunday was the Pentecost. For those of you who are not familiar, it is the day that God sent down the Holy Spirit to all the disciples, and they were able to spread the word of God in any language, to all the nations. Our Deacon's sermon last Sunday really hit close to Foster's and my heart. He talked about the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I requested a copy of the sermon so I can quote one part that really stuck out to me:
"Now, Jesus' gift of peace does not promise ease or comfort. In fact, many of the disciples had very difficult roads ahead of them in the following years. And, like them, for many people, it does seem that adversity comes in waves. Sometimes it's not one thing, but one thing after another. Or sometimes life can throw up challenges and heartaches that no one else can recognize but the persons experiencing them. And it can feel that we are left alone to cope, while the world goes about its business, oblivious.
But when the Risen Jesus showed his friends his wounds, he not only assured them of his presence, he revealed to them what his presence would mean for them, and for us. It means that he does not leave us to bear hardship alone, but stays to bear it with us through the Holy Spirit. Not just as someone who can intellectualize or imagine what we are going through, but as someone who can understand it, because he suffered too. He came, not to put and end to suffering, at least not right away, but to embrace suffering so that he could help us bear it."
We listened to this sermon, and felt as if it was written just for us. It seems as if the Lord's Day has also become a day that He regularly let's Foster and I know He is with us through all of this.
As I sat in that hospital bed with my husband at my side, my daughter in my arms, and completely surrounded by people who loved us, it felt as if Jesus was standing amongst the crowd, crying with us. Surely the presence of the Lord was in that room!
So....I found this application that goes back and finds all of your old posts. I thought it was interesting to see the progression and thought I would post Rosie's journey through facebook on here:
17 weeks tomorrow....going in for ANOTHER ultrasound to make sure everything is ok....keep David, baby and me in your prayers!December 17, 2009 at 10:58am
being sick and pregnant STINKS!!!!! i can't take ANYTHING!!December 17, 2009 at 3:56pm
back at work FINALLY!!! baby seems ok...still same old problem, and have to go for ANOTHER US in 2 weeks...this baby is going to be more famous than any celebrity!!! LOLDecember 18, 2009 at 7:02pm
glad to be back at work and feeling productive (semi at least)...don't know if baby foster likes this third shift though, seemed a little mad at me last night:-)December 19, 2009 at 8:24pm
i swear i have wedding pics and baby bump pics, i am just having a heck of a time uploading them to facebook...ugh!!December 28, 2009 at 8:25am
got wedding pics up(not the professional ones yet.) baby foster is hungry, so it is time for me to eat some breakfast before i puke!December 28, 2009 at 9:22am
last high risk doc's appt today!!! baby is doing great!!! bleed is almost gone....9oz, 19weeks 3 daysJanuary 4, 2010 at 7:39pm
another great day w/ the fosters:) we both studied this morning (nerds) and then baby clothes shopping (it is really hard to find things for gender neutral clothes) and then dinner...loving the quality time w/ my hubby! you are right auntie chris, it IS the simple things in life:)January 9, 2010 at 9:22pm
hubby is gone:-( he wanted me to fly out to puerto rico to visit, but what is the risk to the baby? especially since we have had complications this far....hmmm....don't think i will take the chance...any thoughts?January 25, 2010 at 8:43pm
OMG this baby is kicking like crazy tonight!!January 26, 2010 at 4:56am
23 weeks today!!! yay! baby foster is growing so fast!!January 29, 2010 at 12:08am
back hurts from working on the nursery all day...but it looks GREAT!! i have to wait for the mural to dry, and then i will take pics and post them!!January 31, 2010 at 10:08pm
okay, okay, after MANY people pressuring me, here are the new baby bump pics and nursery pics posted...no furniture in the nursery yetback hurts from working on the nursery all day...but it looks GREAT!! i have to wait for the mural to dry, and then i will take pics and post them!!January 31, 2010 at 10:08pm
okay, okay, after MANY people pressuring me, here are the new baby bump pics and nursery pics posted...no furniture in the nursery yetFebruary 1, 2010 at 7:10pm
praying for all of my fellow pregos!! Tessie, hope you feel better, Deb, hope Elizabeth makes her entrance soon!!! and Tara, hope Rory doesn't just fall out, but is here soon happy and healthy!!February 18, 2010 at 12:56pm
Im prego and tired! My belly is too big! ughhhhFebruary 18, 2010 at 11:34pm
is feeling really blessed! Amazing hubby, happy, healthy lil future baby foster, and great friends and family!! i jus love days like this!February 23, 2010 at 8:46pm
i want a nap!!! my feet are killing me!February 25, 2010 at 2:52am
off to the National Guard Dinner and Dance!! yay fun night w/ my hubby!February 27, 2010 at 5:03pm
my feet are so swollen from wearing heels last night...but oh were they cute!! lol and i had an amazing night w/ dave:)February 28, 2010 at 11:56am
baby furniture is @ the store!!! picking it up tomorrow and then the hubby can put it together:-)March 3, 2010 at 8:43pm
Heading to Nashville for Jessika's bachlorette party! time to have a little fun!!!March 5, 2010 at 8:58am
my hubby is amazing!! he put together the baby furniture and cleaned the house while i was gone in Tenn.....took a whole lot of stress off me!!!! Now i wish someone would write my terrorism paper for me!!March 8, 2010 at 5:58pm
i swear my child is going to be a gymnast.....sometimes it feels like he or she is doing acrobats in my belly...using my bladder as a springboard/ trampoline...LOLMarch 15, 2010 at 11:17pm
UGH!! i am soooooo uncomfortablw!March 16, 2010 at 11:43am
Doctor's appt and 3rd trimester US today!!! i love getting to see my baby:-) 10 more weeks!!! of course i swear it felt like he or she was trying to punch a hole in my abdomen today and come out early...lol.March 17, 2010 at 12:26pm
okay, so we all need to start with the prayers that my liitle ornery baby flips over. I understand it is no fun hangin around upside down for months, but doc says if it doesn't flip in 6 weeks, we will have to schedule a C-section...ugh! other than that, it is 3.5 lbs, and doing great!March 17, 2010 at 6:11pm
off to work...really don't want to, cause i was being so productive on painting the house....foyer is done, now i just have to do the formal living room and dining room! new carpet and new windows w/in 2 weeks, new furniture by the 31st...i am bound and determined to get this house the way i want it by the time this baby gets here! is this what they are refering to when they call it the "nesting phase"?March 20, 2010 at 5:04pm
got my baby bedding today, carpet will be going in next week(hopefully) so i can finally finish the baby's room!!! yay!!March 24, 2010 at 6:30pm
so my hubby says my feet look like the incredible hulk's! ugh! "You don't want to make me angry!" lolMarch 29, 2010 at 10:22pm
cleaning, cleaning, cleaningMarch 31, 2010 at 4:15pm
32 weeks today!!! according to the book....baby is aprox 19inches long, 4lbs, and his/her skin is no longer translucent:-) have an appt @ the docs today!April 2, 2010 at 8:49am
No US today, but the doc says she thinks the baby has flipped!!! i thought there was a VERY uncomfortable hours on tues night, and was HOPING baby had flipped, and it looks as if that is most likely the case. YAY for no c-section (at least scheduled). but she will check for sure in a few weeks.April 2, 2010 at 4:53pm
All i really want right now is for my feet to stop hurting, a glass of red wine, and a nice plate of sushi....is that so much to ask?April 14, 2010 at 5:25pm
6 weeks and countingApril 15, 2010 at 4:46pm
so my ornery child decided it did not like hanging around upside down, and has decided to go back to the breech position.....pray that it decided to flip one more time, or else we are having this baby on May 21st.April 16, 2010 at 8:21pm
I have such generous friends and family!!!! thank you all so much for coming to my baby shower, and for all the fun and thoughtful gifts!!! this baby will be VERY loved:) that is VERY apparent!! Thank you ALL!!!!April 17, 2010 at 11:03pm
For those of you who have not heard. Rosalynn Patricia Foster decided to go back up to heaven with our father. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. Thank you to everyone for your support through this.April 20, 2010 at 6:20pm
I have the most amazing friends and family! thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, you have made this very hard situation that much easier. Rosalynn made such an impact on so many lives before she even was born, can you IMAGINE what she could have done in life? She is up in heaven with her grandparents, and we will get the honor of meeting her when we get up there too. David and I are keeping eachother strong.April 23, 2010 at 9:41pm
We will have Rosalynn's funeral Friday April 30th @ 1030 am @ St. joseph's cemetary. If you would like any details, email me, or look up Shoedinger's funeral home website.April 23, 2010 at 9:41pm
rainy days like this make it that much harder to get motivated.April 26, 2010 at 11:17am
THe sun is out, my garden is looking beautiful thanks to my husband, and hopefully will have a rose bush soon to plant for my baby girl.April 27, 2010 at 7:12pm
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, and all of you who attended today in support of us and our family. This HAS been the hardest day of our lives. Rest in Peace baby Rose. Mommy and Daddy love you.April 30, 2010 at 2:50pm
If roses grow in heaven, please pick a bunch for me. Place them in my daughter's arms, and tell her they're from me. Tell her that I love and miss her, and when she turns to smile, place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for a while. Remembering her is easy, I do it every day, but there's an ache within my heart that never goes away.May 14, 2010 at 11:32am
Amazing to look back at all of this. All of the good, the bad and the ugly of pregnancy. All the hope and blessings, and then such a quick turn in a 48 hour span. It was hard reading these posts!! It is the closest thing I have to a journal about my pregnancy, and I am so happy to have it!!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I am a firm believer that God has his own ways of comforting us. How many times do we ask for signs from God? Have you truly taken the time to look around and notice them? Well, I have noticed that in this time of grief, God has given me many signs that my little Rosie is watching out for me, and on this night, the eve of her original due date, I am going to share a few with you.
1. Mothers Day was looking to be a very hard day for Foster and I. For the obvious reason, but also because the night before we stood at his best friend's mother's bedside as she took her last breath. Foster pretty much grew up in this woman's house, she was like a second mom to him. We woke up in the morning and attended an early Catholic mass so we could attend church service with his best friend, Mr. Red, and his family. As we met up with the Reds, the day was somber due to the passing of Grandma Red, but being together made everything seem just a little better. We sat through a couple of opening songs, when all of the sudden the all too familiar words came on the big screen preparing the congregation for the next hymn, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the song, That saved a wretch like me......." I started to laugh and smile through tears of pain. This was the first song that was played at Rosie's funeral. Foster grabbed my hand and squeezed. I looked down the line of my friends, and there was not a dry eye in the bunch.
As we all dried our tears and sat down, the pastor opened the bible and read from Luke chapter 18 verse 15-17 "......Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God is theirs....". This time the entire row of our friends leaned towards me and smiled, because they had all been present when these exact words had been read at Rosie's funeral. It was her way of letting her mommy know that she was with me on Mother's Day, and although I was sad, I was truly comforted, thanked God for this blatant sign, and enjoyed the rest of my Mother's Day.
2. Foster and I moved into our new house a little over a year ago. When we moved in the yard and garden was a bit of a mess. I had numerous rose bushes that had gone unattended for 2 years, and needed some major TLC. I was able to get most of the rose bushes to bloom last spring, but there was this one particular bush that didn't even get a single bud on it. This year Foster got a trellis for it to grow up, and it seemed to take a liking to this, because when Foster and I returned from a trip to Port Clinton, this is what it looked like:
We returned home 2 days before our C-section had been scheduled. To top it off, this rose bush has at least thirty to forty more buds, it is going to bloom all summer! It is such a comfort every time I walk out my front door and every time I return home.
3. Foster and I got into a little fight the other night. No, as much as we seem like the perfect couple, we are still human, and still have our differences. It was over something really stupid, the air conditioning. However, being the hormonal psycho I am right now, this was a big deal to me at that moment. I got so upset and hot, that I decided to go down stairs where the temperature was easily ten degrees cooler. As I lay on the couch, tears quickly turned into sobs as I started thinking of Rosie. Then I found myself praying to God to give me a sign she was around and watching over her mom and dad. I fell asleep before God could answer my prayers that night. I was woken up by a text message. It was from a number I did not have programed into my phone so did not recognize, and the first word I saw when I opened it was "Rose". It read "Just wondering how you were doing.~Rose" Although I knew it was a girl from work named Rose, I almost felt like it was my own little personal message from my Rosie.
As I went downstairs to make coffee and breakfast I flipped on the TV. It happened to be on "A Baby Story", which I have avoided like the plague lately, but before I could change it, I hear "It is our little Rosie." Apparently the parents kept the sex a surprise, and as she saw the sex, she announce her name. I guess God answered my prayers from the night before.
Although some people would think these were all coincidence, I truly believe that God does not need to make a bush burn, walk on water, or drop manna from heaven to show us that he is with us and he cares. If we only take the time to look and listen, we can see the small signs he gives us every day.
Here is an update on the puppies...
Rowdy is getting ready to go to his first puppy preschool this Saturday. He is growing up very fast, but is still a little bouncing fur ball, and makes me laugh multiple times a day. Gotta love that one, beautiful blue eye!
Reagan is her same goofy self. She is still very UN-ladylike with her clumsy ways, and her belching after every meal. She has recently become camera shy i don't think she likes the flash, but if she even sees Foster of I holding the camera, she flees to the other room. I have resorted to holding her in order to capture a shot!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yesterday was a joyous occasion. We received some of the greatest news about our friends, but all I could do was sob. Mr. and Mrs. Prince, gave birth to their bouncing bundle of joy.
Foster and Mr. Prince attended Officer school for the Army years ago, but had not really kept in touch. Last September they ran into each other at an Army convention in Nashville. Mrs. Prince and I had the pleasure of hanging out at the pool, having lunch, etc., while our husbands were attending their meetings. We had a lot of fun together, and seemed to hit it off. I was ecstatic about having another military wife as a friend, because only they can completely relate to the challenges that come along with that title. Mr. Prince and Foster are so similar, not only in their careers, but in their personalities and outlooks on life, so Mrs. Prince and I can definitely relate to one another.
At the conference Foster and I became engaged, and had the pleasure of celebrating this occasion with the Princes. We drank, laughed, and had a little too much fun that weekend, because a few weeks later, Foster and I found out we were pregnant, and about a week after that, I got a call from Mrs. Prince, they were pregnant too! We were so excited. Our friendship quickly blossomed into this pregnant connection. Their due date was 11 days behind ours, and so it seemed as soon as I would get a symptom, a first kick, or a milestone in my pregnancy, Mrs. Prince followed close behind. When my swelling started, she anticipated hers would too, when my baby kicked, she impatiently waited for hers to kick too. It was a fun journey, and we had many plans for our kids after we gave birth. The Princes moved four miles from our home at the beginning of March, so we had plans of walking our strollers together to work off the pregnancy weight, and as the children got older, we would throw parties for them and have play dates together.
At the beginning of her pregnancy, Mrs. Prince was terrified of a miscarriage. We talked about this at length in the beginning, and she said that if either one of us lost our child, it would be hard to watch the other person because we were so close in due dates. We made a pact that we would remain friends and help one another if , God forbid, this happened. Sunday night, April 18th, I sat on her couch, over 34 weeks pregnant, and explained to her that as nervous as she was in the first trimester is how nervous I was feeling at that point. Although she felt we were in the clear, I was not as convinced. I am usually the positive person, but I was terrified of all that could happen in the weeks leading up to, and even during delivery.
I think both of us were dumbfounded when less than 24 hours later I was lying on her bed with her fetal Doppler looking for the heart beat. The look in her eyes was one of worry, concern, and a mutual fear and hurt. Mr. and Mrs. Prince were the first people we called, after family members, when the doctor could not find a heartbeat, and they cried and mourned for Rosie with us.
Mrs. Prince lived up to our pact. I don't think either one of us ever thought we would be living out the fear we had discussed around week 8 of our pregnancies, and if it had not been for her, I could see myself wanting to distance myself from them. However, she did not let me do this. The Princes came to our home with food and flowers, attended the funeral and burial of our precious girl, and Mrs. Prince took me to lunch, got me out of the house, and let me cry, yell, and ramble. She was the first to text me "Happy Mother's Day to the strongest mother I know" which meant more to me than anything. She did not pretend nothing happened, she did not skirt around the issue, or hide the rest of her pregnancy from me out of fear of how I would react, and most importantly, she did not allow me to distance myself from them. We were even schedule to have fondue (or as my husband calls it, "fondon't") dinner tonight.
So why was I crying?!?!?! Why, when I get a personal text, not just finding out through Facebook, that my dear friend was in labor was I crying?!?!? I frantically started going through my phone wondering who I could call that would understand, and reassure me that I was NOT crazy, that these feelings ARE normal, and Mrs. Prince would NOT hate me for this. I did not want to call my friend Mrs. Roma who lost her son at 27 weeks gestation, because I knew with the recent changes in her household, she had her hands full, so I emailed her. I hesitated to call my friend's mom who lost her son around 38-39 weeks, but her own daughter was in the hospital having issues with her pregnancy. However, I broke down and left her a message. I frantically continued searching through my phone. No one. No one would understand first hand how I was feeling and be able to give me advice. All of the sudden I felt utterly alone. I called my sister. I feel bad, because I know I woke her up, but I sobbed. She let me. She said all the right things, made me feel like this was normal, and told me Mrs. Prince would understand and not hold my initial reaction against me.
When I called to tell my husband that the Princes were in labor, he asked me why I was crying. "I don't know! I don't know why! I should be happy for them, but I am sobbing!" He suggested I go shopping, and get out of the house, so I did. To give you an idea of how upset and disconnected I was, I left the house, and forgot to SHUT the front door, not lock it, SHUT it. Thank God we live in a good neighborhood.
I wandered Home Depot looking for a much needed patio set. When I sat to test one Foster had shown interest in, I spaced out. I contemplated why I was feeling like I was. I thought of Rosie. I missed her, and had she been born on Friday like planned, her new friend would only be 3 days younger. I am sure the staff at Home Depot thought I was crazy, because I sat there for thirty minutes staring off into space, slowly rocking myself in the patio chair. Just then I got another text, "It's a Boy", and as quickly as that sadness and sorrow came, is as quickly as it left. The Princes had decided to keep the sex a surprise, and when they announced it was a boy, I let out a huge sigh of relief. I was actually ecstatic. I believe I would have been devastated if it had been a girl. Maybe not, but I am glad that I never have to find out what my reaction would have been.
Later last night, as Foster and I were getting ready for bed, he said, "I don't know why you were so upset when she went into labor, I was excited."
I started to tear up, "You will never understand," I said. For at that moment I realized that today was not about mourning the loss of my daughter, but mourning the loss of all the plans and the future that Mrs. Prince and I had laid out for our children TOGETHER. We will still have our friendship, and I have come to realize I will probably love her child so much, because as I watch Baby Prince grow up, I will be reminded of what Rosie would have been going through. Hopefully, we will still have those play dates, it will just have to be a little further in the future.
Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Prince!! I love you guys!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This summer I have the honor and privilege of being in two of my closest friends' weddings. I am a bride's maid in one, and the matron of honor in the other. I feel awful, because with the recent events, I feel like I have neglected my duties. Bride A, we will call her Ann, has been my friend since fifth grade. She is a strong minded, thick skinned, mother of two who has had a life full of trials and tribulations. She deserves her new life with her new husband more than anyone I know, and I want to be a part of, and assist in, any aspect she needs leading up to her big day. As her matron of honor, I feel like I have been so tied up with my own problems, that I have not been able to participate in some important tasks, such as tying bows around 350 favors. With the anticipation of the new baby, I was afraid I would not be able to partake in one of her bridal showers, and would not be able to throw the bachelorette party she deserves. Today, however, I was excited to accompany her to her first bridal shower which I previously thought I would miss. Ann, her mother Mrs. F, another old friend and bridesmaid Becca, and I took a nice long drive to northern Ohio to kickoff the countdown to D-day. We had fun, reminisced, and enjoyed each others company.
Ann and I were two peas in a pod all through high school. We had so many adventures, and took full advantage of our poor, naive, unsuspecting mothers. (I will probably get yelled at for this later). We didn't even have to rehearse our stories for our mothers, who work together and compare notes. We seemed to read each other's minds, and without consulting, would magically have the same "innocent" accounts of our weekends. The summer of our senior year Mr. and Mrs. F invited me along on their annual family vacation to Myrtle Beach. We took the long route and stopped at a few landmarks on the way. There were so many adventures during the trip, but one event in particular was a source of our laughter and entertainment today, 12 years later.
On our road trip, we stayed in hotel rooms along the way. The first night we all slept in the same room, I was kept up all night by the musical talents of Mr. F's snoring. Ann and I were sharing one of the queen sized beds and neither one of us were getting any sleep. Now, I was aware at the time that I had a tendency to sleep walk, but was not prepared for what happened the next night.
That second night Ann was smart. Instead of attempting to sleep through Mr. F's version of "white noise", she decided to sleep out in the mini van where it was quiet. I thought that since I was so tired, I would have no problem sleeping, especially since I had a whole queen size bed to myself. As I drifted in and out of sleep, interrupted frequently by the indoor foghorn, a gypsy lady entered the room, roused me from my sleep, and informed me there was a big tent in the parking lot with comfy beds and no snoring. I got up, put on my shoes, and followed her out the hotel room door right into the parking lot. As the door swung shut and locked behind me, I startled, looked around and found myself in an empty, dark parking lot. I had just walked outside in my sleep! After I realized what I had done, I turned around to let myself back into the room. The door was locked. I knocked and knocked, trying to rouse someone in the room to let me back in. I am not surprised my desperate knocks were not heard over Mr. F's snoring. I had no clue what I was going to do.
Then I realized Ann was in the van. I walked over to it and knocked on the window. She sat straight up and looked as scared and surprised as I am sure I looked when I found myself in the parking lot. When she realized it was me, and not some maniac trying to hijack the car, she unlocked the doors and let me in. I curled up on the second bench and quickly fell asleep. I have never slept so well in a vehicle!
This is just one of the many things we laughed about on our two hour drive today. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had. I have to admit I was nervous. This was the first time I have ventured out that far from my husband since we lost Rosie, and I was terrified of how I would be around Becca. Becca and I have known each other for years. Although we have run with the same crowds, attended the same schools, and were teammates on the swim team for 6+ years, we have never been as close as I would have liked. Don't get me wrong, we are friends, but not as close as you would think with all of our history. Becca had a beautiful baby girl ten weeks ago. I was so nervous that I would be jealous of her, or sad and emotional because she had stories of her newborn that I wish I had. However, as conversation turned to her daughter, and to the loss of mine, I still felt a bond with her as a mother. I found myself not jealous, but intrigued and happy for her. By the end of the day, when I dropped her off at her house, if her daughter had been home, I would have loved to have seen her. This was NOT the reaction I had expected, but I am very glad this is the reaction I had. Becca and I are combining forces to throw Ann the bachelorette party of dreams, and hopefully we will be able to add a fun filled chapter to Ann's life story.
Ann and I have tons of stories! We have had a roller coaster of a friendship. We have drifted apart once or twice, but have always found our way back and been there for each other through some of the hardest times of our lives. I am so blessed to have her in my life, and I just hope that from here on out I can live up to the expectations of a great matron of honor, because it truly is an honor to be chosen to stand beside her as she starts her new journey in life.
“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
Saturday, May 22, 2010
So yesterday was a pretty difficult day for Foster and I. It was the day of our scheduled C-section. If everything had gone as planned, then we would have had a healthy, happy baby girl. A baby girl who had his nose, my lips, a combination of his hair texture with my hair color (blondish and curly). She was also very unfortunate to have our shoulders. The chaplain at the hospital had a beautiful pink dress to put our beautiful girl in for her Baptism, however, she had to rip the lining out because Rosie's shoulders were too broad to fit in it. We know she probably would have been an incredible swimmer! The one thing I wish we could have seen was whether or not she had our dimples, guess I will have to wait to see her in heaven before I can see her smile. And oh what a happy reunion that will be! Until then, I will just have to imagine what she looks like, and Jesus will have the pleasure of walking with Rosie and seeing her beautiful smile.
I don't know if it was a way to fill our time yesterday, but Foster and I did some major therapeutic shopping. We went all over looking for paintings and lighting for our living room and dining room. We had a lot of fun, and my usually frugal husband's hand was WIDE open. We found these amazing pictures:
Sorry these pictures do not do the paintings justice, but that is the best I could do. We also got some pretty lighting for the formal living room, including a great desk lamp for Foster's desk:
Although the shopping was great, we had some quality time to talk about Rosie and our feelings about the day. Foster and I have been talking about how Satan has truly been trying to test us by trying to destroy the two things he hates the most, family and our faith in God. But what we never thought of was that God had chosen US to carry Rosie and be her parents. God blessed us with the privilege of carrying this beautiful child knowing all too well that she would not take a single breath in this world. However, He chose the perfect parents to carry her! Foster and I are strong individually, but unbreakable together. We love each other so much, and regardless of what life throws at us, we will make it through together. We loved her even in the short amount of time we got with her, and we will continue to love her, carry on her memory and do as much as we can in her name. Hopefully, God willing, we will be able to give her a brother or a sister to look after in the future.
I played Foster this beautiful song in the car by the band Selah, the lyrics are :
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen Me
To carry you.
Friday, May 21, 2010
As I mentioned before, I do not want this blog to be all sad, so I am stepping back today from the story, and am going to talk a little bit more about the important people in my life.
Through this entire month, people have told me how strong I am, and what an inspiration my husband an I are to them. I have to attribute this to the amazing example my parents have been. My mother is probably the strongest woman I know. She would give the shirt off her back to anyone who needed it. Mom is a Catholic school teacher. She could have become a public school teacher years ago and made double the money, but would not give up the opportunity to teach children about God and Christ for all the money in the world. She doesn't just preach being a good Christian, but she leads by example. She is strong willed, strong minded, and an amazing mother. Don't get me wrong, while I was growing up, we had our differences. I don't think we went one day through my teenage years without arguing, but this is not entirely surprising when you have two strong minded women under the same roof.
You know when they say a girl marries her father? Well, I think I came really darn close. My father has a lot of the same personality traits as my husband does. He is so loyal to his family and LOVES his girls. He has 4 daughters and a wife that he would do anything for. He is hard working, dedicated, and very strong in his faith. My father is a lot like David when it comes to his emotions. He is not very big on showing it, but there has never been a moment that I have doubted his love for me. He has these crazy harebrained ideas that my mother has gotten accustomed to, and some of them actually make us laugh. Sometimes he tries to take on too much, and needs to be brought down to earth. My parents have been through so much together, and through it all, they have remained loyal and dedicated to each other.
Foster and I have the most amazing dogs on earth. I am not just saying this because I am biased, our neighbors and friends want to steal our dogs for their own. Reagan (yes, named after the late President Ronald) is a one year old female Shetland Sheepdog who is too smart for her own good. She is so loyal, and Foster has taught her some of the coolest tricks, including how to give a high five, and how to dance. She used to place her head on my tummy and wait for Rosie to kick her, and now there are times she looks as lost as I feel. She has become overprotective of Foster and I since the loss of our child. I honestly think she feels our pain.
We have brought some happiness and laughter back into our household with our new edition. Rowdy, named after Foster's college mascot, is a 9 week old who lives up to his name! He is also a Sheltie, and is the biggest puff ball of fur I have ever seen! It is true when they say, "it is not the size of the dog, but the size of the attitude that matters." When he gets with one of the family member's dogs, he thinks he is THE big dog. He is so funny. I have seen him dominating a 85 pound yellow lab! He likes to mimic everything that Reagan does, and follows her around like a little shadow. We have laughed more in the two weeks with him than I have all month.
Although I have mentioned Foster numerous times in this blog, I cannot express how vital he is in my strength. 3 weeks before we lost Rosie, he officially became Catholic on Easter Saturday mass. If this isn't one way for the devil to test someone's faith, I don't know what would be. Instead of feeling betrayed by God, he feels comfort in the church. This has helped me, because I will not lie, I have had questions and doubts, but his unwavering faith has helped me become closer to God also. His love for me has also helped me through this. Look at how he looks at me:
No matter what, we have each other, and that is the most important thing. I truly believe that if we can make it through this and a deployment, we can make it through anything. Nothing will tear us apart. And, one day, God willing, we will have a healthy, happy baby. He would make and AMAZING father!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
It is fitting that I am writing this part of the story today, because it is officially one month ago today it happened. Time flies. I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I have lost my baby Rosie. However, it feels like just yesterday.
At about midnight on April 20th, the nurse helped me and Foster gather our things and move to the labor and delivery room. As I shuffled my socked feet down the hall, I felt like a prisoner walking to the lethal injection room. In a sense, I was a prisoner of my own body.. My body had failed me for some reason. Millions of healthy babies are born a year. A woman's body is supposed to be able to carry a baby and deliver a baby, but for some reason, my body did not want to follow through. I turned the corner and examined my new room. Immediately, I started to cry. As my family filed in quietly behind me, I realized this scene was supposed to be playing out differently. The calls should have been ones of happiness for me going into labor, but they were calls of sadness of loss. The monitors next to the bed were supposed to be turned on in order to monitor contractions and the baby, but instead they were dark and silent, just like my womb. The baby warmer bed was supposed to be lit up and warm, ready to accept a newborn, but instead it was dark and filled with random equipment that we would not need for this delivery. The room seemed so cold and quiet, because instead of a healthy crying baby, my family was waiting around to say hello to a little girl we would have to say goodbye to at the same time.
I got comfortable in bed, and waited. We had decided that a C-section would be the best option for the circumstances, and we had to wait until 5:30 AM before they could preform the surgery. A nurse wanted to know if I wanted anything to relax. I did not. I don't know why, but I felt like if I fell asleep, I would be abandoning Rosie and I did not want to miss a moment of her inside of me. I could still feel her little head popping in and out below my rib, and I think a part of me was still hoping, still praying that they were wrong. Most of all, I did not want to fall asleep, wake up, and have that moment of realization that this was NOT a nightmare, but it was really happening.
After much encouragement from my husband and family, I agreed to take some medicine. They all felt like I needed to rest before the surgery. I fought it. I fought the effects of the medication for as long as I could before I finally drifted off. The last thing I saw was my darling husband drifting off in the chair beside me. In my medicated haze, I slightly remember doctors and nurses coming in to explain the procedure, the medications, and options with me. However, I was getting annoyed, because when I was asleep, I was back in my perfect life, dreaming of a time before my world came crashing down.
At 7:30 AM the doctor came in and told me we were ready. Apparently my surgery got pushed back because another woman had come in preterm labor, and they had to deliver her baby. I said a little prayer for her, hoping that her baby made it through okay. The nurses prepped me and rolled me into the OR. The anesthesiologist administered my spinal, and I slowly faded into a twilight zone. I had asked the doctors to give me as much medication without putting me completely under. I did not want to remember the surgery, or them taking Rosie out of me. They did a good job, but I woke up twice during the surgery.
The first time I woke up was because my eye itched. When I woke up I tried to scratch it, but realized my arms were tied down, and I couldn't reach. I asked the nurse sitting by my head to scratch my eye for me, and i drifted back into my haze.
The second time I was roused from my drugged stupor by crying. At first I thought I was hearing myself cry, but then I realized the cry was coming from the other side of the drape, "Is that you crying Dr. T?" I asked.
"Yes, Erin, it is me," she responded through sobs.
"It is okay, Dr. T, it will be okay," I said. She sounded so sad, and I wanted to console her.
"No," Dr. T cried, "she is too beautiful, and too perfect. This should not have happened."
Posted by Radiant Readhead at 11:15 AM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I truly do not want this blog to be sad all the time, but as I mentioned before, I want to document everything that I remember before I forget.
It seemed like people came out of the woodwork. JJ, Bug, Ky and Mr. JJ all were in my triage room within minutes of Foster and I finding out we had lost our baby girl. My mom and Dad were there within 45 minutes of finding out. Nurses were coming and going in a steady stream and I don't even know what they were doing, because it all was a blur. My sister, Bug, stood over me with a helpless look on her face. She is a Neo-natal intensive care unit(NICU) nurse, so all she deals with is little sick babies. She put her hands on my belly, and said "I want them to take her out now! I feel like we could still save her! I feel so helpless." She didn't understand why babies of 27 weeks gestation can survive, but her niece who was a healthy 34.5 weeks gestation didn't make it. Everyone cried with me. Everyone felt my pain, because each and every one of them had hopes and dreams for this baby. Rosie was the first child amongst this family we had created. She was going to be, and is, the loved niece and the spoiled granddaughter.
One of the nurses needed to ask some questions and draw blood, so we asked everyone to leave. I saw Foster sitting in the chair across from my bed and asked him how he was doing. "I feel like I need to go for a run," he replied. Foster loves to run. He has participated in 3 marathons, a few half marathons, and more 5Ks than you can shake a stick at. It is his escape.
"Well," I replied, "you are dressed for it. You can take a run around the medical campus." When we left the house for the hospital, we did not expect to be there for more than an hour or two, so he was wearing basketball shorts, a t-shirt and tennis shoes.
"No, I can't leave you," he said.
'I can't leave you.' Those four little words meant so much to me at that moment. Foster is not known for his emotions. If you were to ask any of his fellow soldiers to describe his personality, they would probably say that he is level headed. It is very hard to tell when he is angry, sad, happy, excited, etc. He keeps his emotions indistinguishable and his face as uniformed as his clothes. So when these four little words were uttered from his mouth while tears welled in his eyes, I knew at that moment I was not alone in my pain. His first instinct was to run the pain away. In a way I think it represents what he emotionally wanted to do also. If he ran away, pushed his emotions down, then he would not hurt and life would be easier. I know he felt this way, because I felt this way too. But instead, he knew how much I needed him there physically and emotionally.
My doctor entered the room and wanted to discuss our options. Unfortunately, being in the medical field, I was very aware of what the next step was. I had to deliver this baby. I had to deliver a baby that I knew would not be crying when it came out, A baby that I would not be able to take home with me. The idea scared me to death. How is that for cruel and unusual punishment? First your baby dies, and now you have to go through the pain of labor just to bury your silent baby when it enters the world.
"Your baby is breached, so that poses a few problems," my doctor said. OF COURSE!!!! Nothing could be easy for me. It turns out that there is a good chance of a breached baby, who has already died, to get stuck in the pelvis because it has lost some of it's elasticity. I had to make a decision. If I wanted to be induced, it could possibly take up to 2 days to actually give birth, AND it could still end in a C-section. However, if a C-section was the route I chose, it poses other risks. A C-section is major surgery, I could potentially die from it, and potentially it could make it harder to have children naturally in the future.
I looked at Foster for guidance. I didn't know what I wanted to do. "I don't think I can motivate myself to push this child out of me," I cried, "I don't think I can wait around for two days to deliver her," I wanted him to make the decision. Actually, I wanted him to make everything all better, but I knew he couldn't. He didn't know how to respond. The thought of major surgery and the possibility of losing his child and his wife in the same night terrified him. However, he didn't want to see me go through anymore pain than I already had.
"There is a one percent chance of maternal death with a natural birth, a two percent chance with C-section, and a 25 percent chance of the baby getting stuck in your pelvis," the doctor explained. Great! More statistics! Less than .1% of women get pregnant on birth control; when I was bleeding in the second trimester I was told that a sub chronic hemorrhage only happens in one percent of pregnancies; 3 plus pitting edema only appears in ten percent of pregnant woman; and fetal deaths only happen in less than one percent of pregnancies after thirty weeks gestation. I WAS THE STATISTIC!!!! MY WHOLE PREGNANCY WAS THE STATISTIC!!! We are the people that everyone bases their chances off of. If you bet ONE dollar on me in Vegas, you would have won close to one million dollars!
........ shall we place our bets and roll the dice?
I mentioned in my first blog that my daughter Rosie (and a little encouragement from a friend from way back) inspired me to start writing again. I used to write all the time. I wrote a journal while in basic training, letters to my husband while he was deployed, and even started a novel of the way Foster and I met, fell in love, and survived a year apart. However, I stopped. Don't ask me why. I guess I felt that since everything was going perfect in my life, I had no reason to escape into my thoughts. I was newly married to my soul mate, making our new house my home, and we were expecting our first child. I wish I had kept up with that journal during the good time, because now I am kicking myself for not recording every detail of my pregnancy.
On April 20th 2010, my perfect life came crashing down. The most vivid parts of my pregnancy are now the last 24 hours of it.
Monday morning I woke up not feeling well. I talked to my Aunt on the phone that morning complaining that I felt weird but really could not put my finger on why I was feeling like that. I did my fetal kick count, and made myself some breakfast. I started some loads of baby clothes, because I had just celebrated my baby shower with friends and family the Saturday prior. I still did not feel right, so I called off of work, and decided to lay down for a nap. At 2pm I woke up with the overwhelming feeling something was wrong. I called Foster to see if he would be home early, but he said he had a lot of work to do, so it would be the usual time. To this day I wonder if I had just gone to the hospital myself, if I could have prevented what happened. Around 5 pm I noticed I had only felt one movement since 2, a slight movement of Rosie's head next to my ribs (she was breach). However, I had not felt any kicks, rolls, or her little hands in my ribs that I had gotten so used to over the past few weeks. I called my friend. She happens to be a nurse, and also pregnant. She had a fetal heart monitor at her house, and only lives 4 miles away. She told me to come over and we would find the heartbeat. Around 9 o'clock, after searching for the heartbeat with no success, Foster and I headed to the hospital.
Our drive to the hospital was pretty lighthearted. We talked about the possibility that we may become parents that night, but neither one of us brought up the conversation we did not want to talk about. We checked in, and got to the Labor and Delivery Triage room. The nurse brought in the fetal heart monitor. When she found a heartbeat, it was 125 beats per minute. I let out a sigh of relief. Until I realized my heartbeat was abnormally fast. Sure enough, when the nurse compared the monitor to my pulse, they were one in the same. Then everything started moving in slow motion. The Ultrasound tech came in, started searching, stood up and said "i need someone else to look at this.
Now, when a US tech says that you KNOW there is something wrong. They do this for a living, so they are probably better qualified than most doctors to let a patient know how the baby is. However, after closer examination by the doctor, there was no heartbeat. I heard someone scream, a low, hurting scream, almost animal like. I realized it was me. My husband was squeezing me so tight and sobbing into my shoulder. We had lost our baby. The nurses exited the room, and allowed us to process this news as a couple, a set of grieving parents. "What was it?" I demanded of my husband. I had decided at the beginning of the pregnancy that I wanted the sex to be a surprise on that wonderful day I gave birth. However, Foster had decided he wanted to know. So for the last part of the pregnancy, he had kept this big secret, and now I needed to know more than anything what the name of the child within me was.
"It's a girl." He told me after much hesitation. I started sobbing. My poor Rosie. She had been picked way before her time.
I wasn't sure if I should start at the beginning, the middle or the end. So, I decided I would start off by introducing my family. I always have problems describing myself. I am all over the board. My life has taken so many turns in the past 28 years, I feel like I have lived at least 3 lifetimes already. In the past I have been flighty, scattered brained, and sometimes discombobulated. Today, I am 28 years old, and for the most part, I have settled down. I partially attribute this to my grounded, level headed husband, and my decision to join the military 2 years ago. I have been working in a local Emergency Room for almost 3 years as a PCA/EMT. I am a combat medic in the Army National Guard, and a student 2 quarters away from graduating. I am a loving wife and mother, a dedicated friend, daughter and sister.
My husband, we will call him Foster, is an amazing man! He is 30 years old, an officer in the Army and one of the smartest men I know. He is a chemist in the Army, and is one of our first defenses in the event of a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear threat in the great state of Ohio. Sometimes he takes on too much. He wants to do sooooo much, coach baseball, get involved in politics, donate his time to volunteering. There are times I have to pull his head out of the clouds and make him focus on a select few things. Unfortunately, He doesn't get to do it all, but he is very generous with his time, money, and his heart.
As a couple we mesh so well together. He is quiet, a thinker, good with money, focused, and loves me more than I feel like I deserve. I am outgoing, talkative, a doer, I hate to pay full price for anything, and love him with my whole being. We balance each other out. He brings me back down to earth, while I help him loosen up a little. It works, because although we are very different in personality, we agree on all the important things in life. We are both conservative, faith filled people who believe family is the most important thing in life.
Then there is Rosie, our daughter, our little angel. She is the inspiration for me to start writing again. Rosie was our dream. We were so excited the moment we found out we were going to be parents. I am regretting the fact that I did not document my whole pregnancy, so I decided I needed to start talking about her now, before I start to forget.
I want to cover a few other important people that will probably pop up frequently in this blog. My sister, Bug, she is 4 years younger than me, has learned from my mistakes, and has made quite a woman of herself. She is beautiful motivated, one of the sweetest girls, and has one of the most gentle souls I know. She is dating one of the nicest men on earth, Ky.
JJ is a powerful, high fashion, strong woman. She is my best friend. Before getting married, we lived together for 6 years, but have know each other for 28. If you did the math, that means that I have known her my whole life! How many people can say that? I was honored to be the matron of honor in her marriage to Mr.JJ (haha). He is the male version of me. JJ and I always joke that we married the male versions of each other. So, take my personality and put it in the male form.
The six of us go on many adventures together, with recent events, have really understood how much we need each other. We are our own little family.