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in a week from now… August 18, 2008

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in a week from now…

i will remember in a special way

i will think back to the day, hour, minute, second, moment

i will close my eyes and remember the touch, feel, smell, the feel

i will clutch my pillow and hold on tight, close my eyes and pray as i imagine her “in God’s arms”

i will look at my calendar for the day’s events and see the words “amber’s birthday” brightly highlighted, just as i mark all the really special birthdays in my life

i don’t know how i will celebrate this year, but i will

i will light a candle on her website

i will probably smile as i think of the unexplainable love and emotions i feel for her

i will probably cry as i think of the unexplainable love and emotions i feel for her

hopefully i will exhale. hopefully!

i am beginning to trying to letting the story of her life unfold in my life, my emotions, my memory, how i live and all else

her story…

well i call it the unfolding of a miracle for reasons that i wish i were not true.  reasons that on a daily basis break my heart and make me grateful all in one. 

she came into my world in a way far different than i had imagined.  it started out with months of thinking about the colors i wanted to choose and how i was going to rearrange my house to meet the needs of our new little baby.  i guess we would have stuck with the pretty green color that we used for her big brother and surprisingly enough, the color for her birth month turned out to be pretty close to the color we had already painted the room in.  as myles would say, that’s called a coincidence. hmmm 

the night before we found out:  the last thing i remember is hanging out with one of my great friends from college and her husband, along with my then two year old son and my husband at the chicago air and water show.  we had a great spot on the beach, comfy lawn chairs, a hibachi, yummy food, ribs that made all the patrons around us think, “man i shoulda thought of that” (ok maybe not). anyhoo, we had all the beach creature comforts you could want. my son did one of his favorite things all day which was play on the beach in the sand.  we had a prime spot right in the middle of all the action.  could it have been the thunderous roars of the aircraft? the hot sun? too much sand? too much great summer time food? or was it me? hmmmm. i can question the cause for eternity and i don’t think any answer of any sort would satisfy. 

someone once asked me how did God speak to me when i asked the question why? well, truthfully, i’ve never asked the question why.  what i have done is desperately ask for some time with her.  just like the question why, the request to have more time with her breathing or otherwise is quite frankly an insatiable question. and the request will not be fulfilled.  never to be satisfied and would never be enough because i would just want more.  more time. more hugs. more, more, more.  so you see why i never asked the question why?  because the game of why would keep going back and forth and i would never like the answer.

so sitting at the beach i can tell you the last position she lay in as she was in my womb.  why did i remember this information? i have now come to realize that she left us that beautiful day out with her family hanging out together at the beach.  swept up right into the arms of Jesus.  except in the moment that she left me, i did not know she was leaving.  no good bye. no time to beg God to save her. no time to smell her sweet baby’s breath.  no time to bathe her. no time to cuddle. no time to nurse…just once. no time.

well, fast forward to the next day and at different points throughout the day, i remember touching my belly and realizing my baby was in the same position she lay in less than 24 hours earlier.  i was a little concerned but perhaps deep down and in some strange way, i knew something was amiss.  but then again trying not to be hyper vigilant about my precious bundle, i also assumed not to expect movement 24/7.

i spent a whole day out with my 2 year old and decided at the end of the day just before picking up my husband from work, to really pay attention because too much time had passed with no movement. alarm bells went off (silently in my head). i held it all together until i was with my husband and i thought. sweets! let’s try some sweets to get this baby moving again. so we make a quick trip to the supermarket, buy ice cream sandwiches (you know cold and sweet).  looking back on that moment, i would have eaten the whole box if i thought that it would help my baby get moving again.  it didn’t work! dang that old wives tale. called the doctor to see what his thoughts were.  from what i remember, the strangest phone conversation i’ve ever had moved in slow motion and left me grasping at a desperate moment of him telling me, “oh, what you’re feeling is normal and nothing to worry about.” instead the conversation went more like this, (me) “we’re just calling to find out what to do, we haven’t felt any movement at all today, and we tried something cold and sweet, is there anything that we need to do?”, (dr. b) “when was the last time you felt movement?” (me) “yesterday afternoon”. (dr. b) “have you tried anything else?” (me) yes, putting my feet up and moving my belly around gently.” (dr. b) how about we have you come in so that we can check things out and take a look”. (me…desperate and getting nervous ) “well, how about we try one more thing…okay”? (dr. b) no, i think you guys should just come in, we’ll take a look at things and make sure that all is well.” (me…really desperate) “how about one more thing? (dr. b) “no, i think the best thing is for you to come on in, you’ve tried, let us take a look”. (me) okay. we both hang up the phone.

the rest of the moments, i’m not quite sure how they went down but for some strange reason we packed up the time to deliver bags with curling irons, change of clothes and that all important toiletries. we packed up an overnight bag for myles (my then 2 year old and headed off to the hospital as if was “time”.  why did we do that? no one told us do that. pack that is. we just moved in the moment. God moments.

so we hop in the car, not really saying much. preparing ourselves to possibly deliver a little bit early but not too early to be a big deal.  we make our way to the freeway, take one wrong exit, then another, back track, u turn and get back on the same freeway in the opposite direction going the wrong way again. i can’t think. my husband can’t drive (at least not in this moment(. WHERE IS THE FLIPPING HOSPITAL!?_)(*&^%$#@! Ugh! okay, let’s breathe and think for a second. the intensity increases, the tension rises and we finally make it to the hospital. 

it’s in the air and we both knew something.  perhaps we can prevent the bad ending to this story now that we’ve arrived. no problems getting checked in straight away.  the doctor is there in the building. in the mean time we are in the room, my husband holding our son as he paces the room and i lay on the sanitized hospital bed in a sterile gown no opening in the back waiting for the good news.  the doctor comes in, greets us and sits down for the ultra sound.  looking for a heartbeat. hmmm, silence.  this is taking much longer than i remember from all the other ultra sounds.  he is taking way too long to talk.  speak dog gone it. speak.  apparently the reality is beginning to set in so my body prepares itself by seizing up and turning stiff, almost rigamortus-like.  he calls the nurse to go and get another machine to double check what he already knew but according to policy and procedure he must use another machine just in case the good in perfect working condition machine that he was using did not give a proper reading.  up comes the new machine and on goes the doppler to my belly and no response.  i stared at his face from the back of his head.  turn around dog gone it. turn around.  i want to see your face as you tell me what i know at this point without you even opening your mouth. i felt sorry because he couldn’t do it without collecting himself first. he takes a breath and turn to say, “i’m sorry…” the rest of what he said was quite a blur. i simply don’t know what he said.  what i do know is that we were not having the same kind of conversation that we had just a few days earlier. 

andre’ begins to cry, while holding tightly to our son.  i lay there stiff as a board, still in my rigamortus-like state with nothing to say.  my body couldn’t move because i wanted a second opinion, another machine. LET’S DELIVER THIS BABY RIGHT NOW! THERE IS STILL TIME! i yelled this inside myself as i could not move my mouth nor could i open my vocal chords to speak.  as i lay there with a cold stiff body, fiery hot tears make their way down the side of my face.  hey i think, no time for this  let’s get proactive and deliver just in time to save the baby.   i had a plan and it was going to work.  only i knew this and no one else.  hmmmm, here began the slippery  slope of “not the kind of life i dreamed about”

emotions. emotions? andre’ stiill holding tightly to myles and crying.  i lay there stiff, stone cold with hot tears streaming down the sides of my eyes.  maybe if i stayed really still, then it would all have been a dream. nope not a dream. the tears won’t stop, my head is swimming and i’m still stiff and i feel like i’ve realized hell on earth.

the baby was gone and not coming back.  i had to deliver a perfectly healthy baby whose heart just simply stopped beating.

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Comments»

1. tony - August 23, 2008

happy birthday precious one –

and no, he doesn’t talk about her too much. he just misses her that’s all – what a sweet boy you have. he will touch many lives with his compassionate heart and her life will be honored through his future actions

bless you and your family


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