Our Blessings

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Earlier tonight someone asked me how Glory was understanding about her sister.  I know she understands to a point but not completely.  For years I have talked about "Kathlyn in Heaven" and I think all this time she thinks I have been saying "Kathlyn and Heaven" so she thinks Heaven is a person too. She talks about sending balloons up to Heaven, as if "Heaven" is another name for her sister, rather than a place.  I've also asked her before who her best friend is and she sometimes says Heaven.  Recently, I referred to Kathlyn as an angel and she said "but Kathlyn is a baby."  So she definitely hears what I'm saying but there has never seemed to be a deep understanding of it or any sadness about it, other than me saying how much I miss her.

So tonight we got back out the book Someone Came Before You.  It's actually been awhile since I read it to her.  More often this past year it's been books about the big sister/little brother coming after her.  So this book is about how there are two parents who love each other very much, and they decide to have a baby, and they are very happy, but then the baby dies, and they are very sad, until they have another baby: that's you!!

I was choking up as I was reading the page about how the baby dies.  Glory could tell.  She was holding her favorite stuffed puppy, and she started saying that his tail was ripping.  She started to cry and wouldn't stop talking about this tail.  I have never seen such a defense mechanism in such a young child.  I finally just said "Glory it's ok, his tail is fine, but is the book making you sad?"  And she said yes and started to cry more.  The picture of the Mommy and the Daddy hugging and crying made her very sad. I told her it was ok to be sad, that Mommy and Daddy were very sad too, but to let me finish the book.  It shows how the Mommy and Daddy are still sad, and they have tears, but their hearts grow and they have another baby.  It shows the Mommy with the baby in her belly again and there is an angel baby on her shoulder.  I showed her how the Mommy had a picture of the baby on the table, just like we have a picture of Kathlyn on the wall.  I pointed to the angel in the book and I said "who's that?" and she said with a smile "Kathlyn!"  And as the Mommy and Daddy have their new baby, she understands that that was her!  And we said how we needed to draw a new baby Alex into the book too!  It was such a sweet family moment as we all read the book together cuddled in each other's arms in our bed.

Also in the book they talk about how there's a special box that has memories about the baby.  I told Glory that we have a box like this and so of course she wanted to see it.  This was also very sweet.   She wanted to see the dress, the blankets, the little heart pillow, some cards, and this little heart stone that the hospital chaplain gave me and I held it in my hands for almost the entire rest of my hospital stay.  She loved that little stone and she said she wanted to hold it for a long time too.  She wanted to "make Kathlyn's bed"... she put the blankets out all neatly and put the pillow on top.  She put the hats together and stacked up the cards.  It was so sweet.  This is the first time I've showed her this box and I know now she's gonna wanna get it out and look at all of Kathlyn's things.  I really think after tonight, she understands a lot more about who her sister is.  And that it's sad but we can still celebrate her.

My heart is just bursting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

6 years ago

6 years ago today, July 28, 2009, was also a Tuesday.  I had a normal NST that day.  That means that Kathlyn was monitored for approximately 30 minutes with a strap across my belly that measures her heart rate and if there were any contractions (which there were not).  Her heart rate was having normal ups and downs for a baby at her gestation.  Every time I felt her move, I would push a little button.  Whenever a baby moves, his or her heart rate should go up, and hers did.  The doctor can see when I pushed the button and that her heart properly responded by beating faster with her movements and then going back down.  She was not in distress. Even though she was about to die.

So no one knows why that happened less than 48 hours later.  I had NSTs like that every week for the previous 8 weeks and they were all normal.  No one saw this coming.  None of the doctors could have predicted this.  No one knows why I don't have a little rising 1st grader in my house right now. I don't really care that God knew and knows why.  I need her here.  I'm never gonna be ok with her not being here.

Mommy misses you, baby girl.  I am so sorry.  I didn't know.  I would have done anything to change what happened to you.  I wish your heart rate had dropped right there that afternoon 6 years ago right now.  Maybe we could have saved you.  Maybe you'd be here now, begging me for your birthday presents just a little bit early. Or maybe if your heart rate had dropped that day, then today would be your birthday instead of Friday when the c-section was supposed to be.   Today would be the day we say "oh thank GOD we were at the doctor's office right then and I was rushed to the OR and we saved her!"  Maybe we'd have a big pool party planned for Saturday.

But no.  Thursday is your birthday: the day you died.  The day you died, without my knowledge or permission.  The day we became parents without a baby.  The day my world shifted off its axis into an alternate universe where babies die for absolutely no reason.  And it has never shifted back.

I love you, Katie Kat.  Sleep tight and wait for me: you are still mine.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

this week, 6 years ago

Posted this photo at 0025 (12:25am) on July 30, 2009.

The actual photo was taken on Friday, July 24, 2009, right before I left for my last shift at work.

I just worked last night too, Friday, July 24, 2015.

She was alive and kicking when I posted it. I remember feeling her as I sat at my computer desk at home. She was a typically quiet baby. I was reassured every time she moved.

I went to bed shortly after posting it. I had an appointment for a blood draw and paper work at 10 in the morning. She gave me a big kick when I got in bed. So big that I thought she was trying to turn over from her breech position.

I slept straight through to my alarm for the appointment. Strange, I thought, that I didn't wake at all to pee. I was 38 weeks and 6 days.

You know the rest.