No stranger to tragedy…

Haddie Bo Bo,

Our family is no stranger to tragedy.  It was 2011 and your Daddy and me were living in a two bedroom apartment in Holland.  I found out that I was pregnant and bought your Daddy a baby Detroit Tigers hat.  He didn’t grasp the announcement at first he just said, “This hat is too small for me.” We were so excited for what the future held we had purchased a child friendly SUV and put in an offer on a house.  We went to our first doctor’s appointment at 10 weeks along.  The doctor did the check up and said everything looked good.  Now the part we were waiting for…listening to the heartbeat.  He tried to find it for a few minutes…nothing.  Not a big deal because the baby is so small that sometimes it’s hard to find.  So he sent us down the hall for a an ultrasound.  It was so cool to see our little baby for the first time.  We could see very little arms and legs.  It was surreal I asked, “Is that really a baby?”  The ultrasound tech said, “Yes that is a baby, but unfortunately there is no heartbeat.”  She immediately got up and walked out to get the doctor.  We both sat there stunned at what we just heard.  I just cried and cried and cried.  Because I was farther along I had to have a operation to remove the baby.  I have heard of miscarriages in the past and one of our good friends who is a doctor cautioned us about the odds.  You just don’t think it will be you.  I still have the ultrasound picture on our refrigerator. 
I would say 3 months later we got a positive pregnancy test again.  We were cautiously optimistic when we called the doctor.  This time they had us come in at 7 weeks for an early ultrasound.  This time I was a little nervous but still excited.  The ultrasound tech said, “Sorry the baby has not developed.”  A miscarriage again how is this happening.  
The third time was the charm and we ended up with sassy spicy,  Eloise.  The thing about miscarriages for me was that they stole the joy of pregnancy.  After the first one I was no longer full of joy when I found out I was pregnant, I was full of fear.  I was still full of fear after the first trimester when the odds of miscarriage drop substantially.  Even if I were to get pregnant again after successfully have two healthy babies I would still be fearful.  
This is how I feel about life after loosing you, Haddie.  I feel like my joy and blissful happiness has been stollen, and nothing will bring it completely back.  These couple days that we spent up north as a family were relaxing, fun at times, sad at others.  There were times we laughed and times we cried.  We talked about you often and said how much you would like the water.  Now I am that anxious mother that is constantly worried about their child’s safety.  To be honest I don’t like being away from Eloise at all. 
We took our first family picture together since you have been gone.  Compliments of our selfie stick, because your Daddy hates i

t when I ask strangers to take our picture.  We are smiling in the picture because that’s what you are supposed to do right?  I know that you are always with us, Haddie.  But that’s not good enough for me.  I don’t really find that comforting yet, maybe I will someday.  I want you back where you belong with us in our family picture.  

Love you always and forever,
I do literally carry a little of you everywhere I go…
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I don’t remember you crying

Haddie Bo Bo,

I haven’t dreamed of you yet in a way that I would like.  I did have one dream about you but it was a nightmare so I don’t count that one.  I wonder what it would be like to see you in my dreams.  Would I like it because I miss you so much and it would be a gift to see you again?  Or would I hate it because it would just remind me of the fact that you are not here and I won’t see you again in this lifetime.  Some days I am ok and I can function somewhat normally.  Other days I am just…well…pissed.  By what cruel design was I chosen to loose a child.  To live this life everyday remembering what could have been, what should have been.

I use to manage a independent senior community for 4 1/2 years and I remember speaking with a lady resident who had lost her daughter at a young age.  I remember thinking how sad that she has lived her whole life with out her daughter.  She told me that she doesn’t like talking about it because it’s too painful.  Even after 60 some years her pain was still very real and present.  I know can relate to her pain.  I know I will still hurt for you, still cry tears for you 60 years from now.  

You were born on August 4th, 2014 at 3:27am.  That day I spent with your Aunt Emily and Uncle Aaron and their brood of Brown kids.  I swam in the pool with your sister and we ate Jet’s Pizza.

This is a picture from that day

As I was sitting on the bar stool in our kitchen I had notice some contractions starting.  They weren’t anything to take note of at the time.  They continued through out our evening coming about every 10 minutes.  The Brown’s offered to take Elo home with them just incase.  I declined because they weren’t very strong and I thought they might go away.  We put Elo to bed, your Daddy went to take his nightly bath, and I went to lie down and watch some TV.  Laying in bed my contractions started to become stronger and were now coming every 7 minutes.  I called the doctor to get their opinion on what I should do.  We live about 45 minutes from the hospital, and because it only took 12 hours to have Eloise, they thought I should make my way towards the hospital.  So we dropped Eloise off at the Brown’s and headed to Grand Rapids.  When we got there I was only dilated to a 3 and they told me to walk around the hospital for and hour to see if I make any progress.  As we were walking around the hospital my contractions were coming every 3 minutes and they were painful, I was bending over grabbing the handrails in the hallways.  It was late so it was like a ghost town in the hospital.  As I was walking I farted, it surprised me, and grabbed my bum.  I turned around to look and of course the only two other people in the hospital that night happened to be right behind me.  They laughed, and your Daddy and I laughed, and kept walking.  After an hour they checked me again and I was now a 5 and in quite a bit of pain.  They asked me if I would like anything for the pain.  I said I would like an epidural, because I knew it took sometime for them to bring it.   They told me I couldn’t have it until I was admitted upstairs. So why did they ask, I do not know.  I labored for another hour in triage, and I was now dilated to an 8 and asking for the epidural.  They told me they were really busy upstairs and they would bring me up as soon as possible.  At this point the contractions were so very painful and I was rolling around in my not so comfortable bed.  FINALLY,  after what seemed like hours, they came with the wheelchair to bring me upstairs.  I felt like I had to poop which is a sign that I was ready to push.  I went to the bathroom and pooped and the nurse was so worried that I pushed you out into the toilet that she came running into the bathroom.  I was able to get my epidural, and I thought great I can get some rest before I have to push.  As soon as I got the epidural they checked me again and I was a 10 and ready to push.  So much for resting!  I only pushed twice and I grabbed you and put you on my chest.

I don’t remember you crying.  I think you were just content to have me hold you.  Which now I know is just your personality.  You looked so different than I thought you would, I thought you would like like Eloise.  You had very little hair and it was blonde.  You had blue eyes and I thought you looked like your Grandpa Bromley.  Later that morning your sister came to see you.  I was a little nervous at how she would react to you because it had been all about her for almost two years.  But she immediately loved you and kissed you on your forehead.

It was so perfect. Our family was perfect and everything felt right.  Holding you then I never thought that I would only have you in our life for 9 months.  I look at those pictures and remembered that feeling of “this is how life should be”.

I can tell when I am about to have a grief ridden episode.  I start to feel anxious, and I can’t bring myself to participate in any type of social interaction, no matter how small.  My mind starts flooding with memories of you.  My heart starts to hurt emotionally and physically.  This is followed by tears, sometimes silent, sometimes loud.  I find myself asking several times a day, out loud, “Where’s Haddie?”  Even though you are gone I still find myself wanting to do things for you.  Today we were shopping in a little town called Charlevoix.  We bought your sister a tea set and I wanted so badly to buy you this adorable “Pure Girl” shirt.  I picked out your size and everything.  I love you baby girl, so much, it truly does hurt.

Forever and Always,

Mama

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