Lydia Grace

Lydia Grace
Our first child, Lydia Grace

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


     After losing Lydia, I immediately wanted to be pregnant. It was an intense, desperate feeling. It felt wrong not being pregnant. I wanted another baby. It was almost a feeling of panic, that I had to be pregnant again immediately. The intensity of these emotions have abated, but I still have a strong desire to be pregnant and have another child. (No, this is not to replace Lydia. I have read things written by idiots who suggest the desire to have another child is to replace the one who was lost. They have obviously not lost a child.)
    I long to have another baby; however, I am filled with anxiety. What if I cannot get pregnant? What if we lose another baby? What if something goes wrong? The questions, fears, and panic goes on and on. I want control of everything, but now, more than any other time in my life, I feel I have absolutely no control. I feel so little control in whether or not I will get pregnant, when, and if my next child will stay with us longer than 26 weeks. The Christian answer is to trust God, because He is in control. That does nothing to decrease any of my anxiety or fear. God is in control and He allowed my daughter to die. It certainly does not make it easy to trust. I feel like I am going crazy. I desire to control and plan and make things go well, but feel I have absolutely no power to do so. I feel I have nothing but to trust God, yet I resist that because I do not want to lose another baby. I feel hopeless.  
   Do not tell me that things will be fine. Do not tell me you are sure we will have other children. You have no control over any of it either. Many women have lost more than one child.                                                                                                            

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hurtful Words

             People can say such hurtful things. 

Do not tell me I am young and can have other children.

And yes, I am still "really shaken up by it [Lydia's death]". You are surprised? Hold your dead child in your arms then let me ask you 7 1/2 weeks later if you are still "really shaken up". 

Do not tell me that this is "a terrible thing that has happened, but..." 
  There is no but. Nothing that can follow that statement means anything to me. This is a terrible, awful, painful tragedy. Period. End of statement. You are not God. Do not pretend to give me an answer. Do not tell me how it will help me grow personally or in my marriage. In comparison to the death of my baby, I can conceive nothing worth the cost of her life. 

And how can people be so insensitive? I know I am just self-centered right now in what I am going through, but do people have any awareness of the feelings of others?
A mother tonight was talking about how she home schools her children and laughingly stated she was thankful no one has died yet. I know that it meant nothing, but really? Do you have to say things like that? 

I hate hearing people complaining about their children constantly calling for them and their attention. YOU HAVE A CHILD! Be thankful. I would give anything to hear Lydia say my name a thousand times. ( I hope some of these feelings and changes in perspective continue my entire life).

There is the stupid things people say, then there is those that just ignore or do not know how to talk to me.
  An awkwardness seems to exist in so many of the relationships and conversations my husband and I have had with friends and acquaintances who know of our loss. Many people seem to avoid the topic; they tip-toe around us, discussing trivial matters and keeping conversations short. Whether it is not wanting to hurt me or being uncomfortable with it themselves, I am not sure. Yet I am expected to listen to stories about their children. 
   Why can I not talk about my baby? Is it that hard for others to listen? Is it the depth of pain and lack of answers that makes it difficult? Are they afraid that bringing it up or asking how I am doing will...what?...make me cry? make me angry? hurt me? As if my heart isn't broken, part of myself gone? As if I do not cry driving in the car, grocery shopping, taking a shower, eating dinner, washing dishes, lying in bed? A song brings me to tears . A thought. A kind gesture. There is no confinement to my grief. When I am not crying it does not mean I am not hurting, not grieving, and to ask about it would suddenly make things worse. Nor does my lack of tears, my smile or laughter, my occupation with other things mean I am "over it".  It does not feel overwhelming and consuming at all times, but it's always present. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


  I am unemployed. Unemployed because I do not have a job and an unemployed mother because I do not have my baby with me. My husband and I decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom (exactly what I wanted) for at least the first year of Lydia's life (my plan was to keep staying at home, have more children, not return to work for another 10 years...). I resigned from my former job, so here I am. In the midst of a terrible time to find a job, searching for one. Compounded to the difficulty in finding a job is a very emotional reaction on my part on why I need to be searching for a job. 
   On the way to turn in applications or interview, I find myself having the same thoughts. If Lydia were still here, I wouldn't be looking for a job right now. Inevitably, the tears come. When I arrive to the prospective job, I wipe away the tears, put on a smile and head inside. During the interview, when asked about my interest in the position, I want my daughter back, not this job, runs through my head. Not the best attitude when trying to find employment. 
   Thus far I have not been able to find any work. It is very discouraging, considering I have a graduate degree. If I work in the field for which I went to school, the position requires the minimum of a Specialist degree (more hours than a masters with a year internship, but less than a doctoral degree) and licensure by the Texas State Board Examiners of Psychologists. Very specialized (perhaps that's the problem), but I cannot find a job. One would think, however, there would be fewer qualified applicants for such positions. 
   I have applied for other jobs out of my field. I've applied for jobs with much less education requirements, but still have not gotten the position. I am learning the other problem I have when looking for jobs outside my field is lack of experience. Prospective employers do not seem to care that I have a bachelor's degree and four years of graduate work (my first year of graduate school I was in a different program in the same field before switching programs. My program was 2 years of coursework followed by a year long, full time, paid internship in which I was still considered a student). Anyways, my education apparently does not represent any sort of skill or experience. As a result, I am not "qualified" for many jobs. 
   This morning I had an interview for a part time position. I thought the position required responsibility for toddlers in a childcare center, but I was misinformed. The position is caring for infants. The interviewer shared with me the number of infants at the center and the additional babies that would be starting (one having a due date in November, just like Lydia). As soon as she said the position was for infant care and began talking about babies who would be in the class after their births, my heart stopped. I don't know if I can do this. I don't know if I can emotionally handle that task. I have no problem working with my 1st graders at church, but infants are another story. I avoid mothers and babies every where I go. And a baby girl who would be so close in age with my daughter? All I would be able to think about is Lydia and how she would be developing if she were here. Since the interview was this morning, I have not heard whether or not I am offered the position, but it might not be the best place for me right now. 

So I am still searching for a job. Wishing I had my daughter instead. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Little Miracle

   It was six weeks ago today we had Lydia's graveside service. I went to see her site this morning. It's a beautiful little spot. The service six weeks ago was so sweet. It was in the morning. Only close family had been invited. Our pastor gave a beautiful talk then a friend played his guitar and sang the song I had picked, Hillsong United's "You hold me now". I cannot recall much of what our pastor said. Some words of reassurance I can recall, but mostly I remember crying and aching and staring at disbelief at the little coffin before me holding my baby.
   She is buried in an infant section of the cemetery, which I really like. At first I hated going out there. It didn't seem real, it made me so angry, and for the first few weeks her stone hadn't arrived so all that marked her grave was a make-shift metal sign stuck into the ground. I didn't feel any sort of connection or closeness there. I felt, and really still do, closer to Lydia while at home. At home is where I was pregnant and would talk to her during the day, feel her kicks, decorated her room, etc.
   Now I am able to go to Lydia's site and it not be as negative as a place as it was. I enjoy it in the morning stillness. I pray and talk to her.

  "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

   I frequently think on the day she was stillborn. It may sound very strange, but part of me wants that day again. Not all the emotional pain and exhaustion, I do not want to relive that specifically (as if I don't relive some part of that daily). But I want to hold my little girl again. And looking back there are things I wish we would have done. I am satisfied; we did do many things that I am so happy about. Talking to other women who have experienced stillbirth, they have other regrets. I am so glad we took photos with our own cameras and had them professionally taken. I'm glad we saw her and held her. I wish it could have been for longer, but I don't think it would ever have been long enough. 
   What I had really been regretting was not taking anything of hers. We have her hand prints and foot prints. She is buried in the little dress we had for her and wrapped in a pink blanket. I have felt almost a panic in the regret that I did not save anything she had worn or the blanket wrapped around her. We were given a nice keepsake box from the hospital with her prints, the hospital arm bands, some little knit hats, a book, etc. I had looked through that several times, but none of the little hats were the one she had worn. 

   Then on Sunday night I went through the box again and saw the bonnet-style hat that went with the little dress she had worn. We have pictures with her in that little hat. I was so excited and so relieved. I know it is so simple, but it means so much to me. I do not ever remember seeing it in the box. I have looked through it so many times, have looked through it with the hope that something in there would have been something she had worn. My husband cannot recall if it was in there before or not either. Maybe it had been there, but I am saying it is a little miracle.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I saw a rainbow
and thought of you, 
wondering if from heaven
you could see it too.

A rainbow of promise, 
the thought made me cry, 
and overcome with anger: 
there was no promise you wouldn't die.

From heaven, I wonder
if these things you can hear, 
but my pain is too much 
for a place without a tear.

I love you, my sweet baby
I don't know how to make it through
I dream of the day 
when I again will hold you.

Delivering my baby

   People seem shocked that I went through labor and delivery after learning Lydia's heart was no longer beating. I receive looks of pity, hear apologies, and watch other's reactions. It seems like the most terrible thing to them. But it wasn't.
   When I first learned I would be induced and deliver the baby, I was shocked and panicked and it felt like it would be impossible. I was told it would be the best thing for me (physically) and a C-section was not an option. I just wanted my nightmare to end. We had just been told we had lost our baby, I felt like that was enough. However, as I was in labor, my view of it changed. And looking back now I am so glad I went through the labor and delivery. I am not sure how to explain it, but it felt right. 
    It brought some sense of peace. Pride. It was a connection with Lydia. I felt like I was doing it for her... I feel like all these words and thoughts cannot articulate the emotions I feel. I cannot express them. But I wanted to state that delivery was not the worst part. Do not pity me for it. It was emotionally painful, but it was beautiful. I lost my baby, that is where the sadness and pain is, not with delivering my precious girl.
I love looking at her pictures. Isn't she beautiful?