Walk to Remeber

Over the weekend we attended our second Atlanta Walk to Remember.  This year we were asked to speak and share Lauren’s story.  We did just that and tried to give some encouraging words to other families that are going through this nightmare that began for us 14 months ago.  The event was beautiful!  A few other people shared their stories, all just as emotional and touching.  There was some great music. We walked around the part in memory of the babies represented there.  At the end of the loop everyone had the opportunity to take a few rose petals and walk down to the Chattahoochee River and toss the petals in, reflecting on the oh so short lives of the babies we all miss with every breath. It was so special.  After that there was a beautiful dove release.  Also very touching.  Through out the event people had the opportunity to post messages on a wall for their baby or babies.  And along the paved trail people could use sidewalk chalk to write the names or messages to babies.  We were blessed to have 14 of our family members attend in memory of Lauren and support us.  Among those family members was one of my 10 year old nieces.  Today she shared with me the message she sent to her cousin, Lauren.  She told me it was OK to share her beautiful words here.  Here’s what she said, (tissue alert!!)

“Lauren, 

I never did get to meet you but I know you are beautiful and I will see you one day.  I’m sure you are really happy up there cause you get to see your mommy every day but in a different way and she is beautiful like you. She is a great aunt and she would be a great mommy too.  She is pregnant with your sissy now and she will be just as beautiful as you are and mommy loves now and forever and so do I.  I love you baby girl, Love your cousin Hannah”

How sweet and beautiful is that?!  We are so blessed to have a family that remembers and loves our firstborn.  

 

 

Lauren is having a…..

I’m 16 weeks pregnant today and we found out a couple of days ago that Lauren will be having a little sister!  I can’t even begin to describe the way I felt when we found out the news.  I cried tears of joy immediately.  I will be the first to tell you, and have said so in my blog, that no baby could ever replace Lauren.  But part of me thought that God is giving us a second chance with a daughter.  Maybe from Heaven Lauren had a hand in sending us her little sister because she knew how excited we were to be preparing for a baby girl.   So many emotions that reminded me of our pregnancy with Lauren.   

So here is the status of our current pregnancy.  Our little lady is measuring a few days ahead of where we are weight wise, and the doctor is pleased.  Heart rate is good and blood flow studies on the umbilical cord look good.  No signs of HELLP or pre-eclampsia.  She was very active during the ultrasound and the doctor showed us her heart which looks great, too!  

Keep the prayers coming!

Justified fear

Everyone keeps saying they know I’ll be so relieved to make it out of my first trimester.  Well, of course I will, but getting past the first trimester wasn’t an issue last time.  I’ll be relieved when I make it past 24 weeks because that’s when we lost Lauren, not a first trimester miscarriage.  And people also keep saying how happy they are for me that I’m pregnant because they just knew things were going to work out for us.  Well, I hate to sound so blunt, but I haven’t had the baby yet, and getting pregnant was never the problem.  I hate that people assume we had fertility issues simply because we didn’t get pregnant for the first time until about 8 years after we got married.  That was a decision we made, not a fertility issue.  And it also bothers me when people tell me that I shouldn’t be scared because God is in control.  I know that to be true 100%.  God was also in control when Lauren was born at 24 weeks and died.  It’s not that I don’t have faith.  It’s that I know God’s plan for this baby might not be the same plans that we have for this baby, same as with Lauren. People also say God will take care of us. I know that, too.  He took care of us when Lauren died.  If not for our faith and strength from him we wouldn’t be here today.  So yeah, God will take care of us but that doesn’t guarantee that this baby will be born healthy.  The fact that we’re scared doesn’t mean we don’t trust God, don’t have faith, or don’t believe he’ll take care of us.  We know that.  But we’re human. We know the Bible says, “fear not”.  But the Bible also says don’t judge others, love thy neighbor, teaches us not to gossip, and speaks against gluttony.  My point is, we’re all human and no one is perfect.  If one of my imperfections is the fear that my child will die, because that’s all I know, then I’m pretty sure that’s justified.  The only comparison I can think of is this:  You take a child to the doctor. The child gets a shot and hates it.  The next time you take that child to the doctor you tell them it’s just a check up, everything will be fine.  But the doctor gives the child a shot again.  And every time the child goes to the doctor, it gets a shot.  Would you expect that child to be unafraid of doctor visits.  Absolutely not!  You’d understand because every doctors visit is associated with something unpleasant.  That’s kind of how it is with us.  We know that people get pregnant and have healthy babies.  But that’s never happened to us.  All we know about pregnancy is sickness and death.  That’s what we automatically associate.  That being said, we appreciate your prayers and faith that this pregnancy will end differently.  Keep them coming!  But please stop telling us that it isn’t OK to be scared. 

Worse than preeclampsia?

It’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged.  So much going on that I haven’t taken time to do something I love. 

I found out last week that preeclampsia wasn’t the only cause of the tragic ending to our pregnancy with Lauren.  Last week we went to our new specialist for the pregnancy.  He was asking questions about the lat pregnancy and between that conversation and looking at my information on the chart, he told us that I didn’t just have preeclampsia.  I had HELLP syndrome.  HELLP syndrome is a potentially fatal condition that occurs in pregnancy or postpartum, a variant of preelcampsia.  The following was taken from the preelcampsia foundation website:

“H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down of red blood cells),
EL (elevated liver enzymes) and 
LP (low platelet count).

A suspicion of HELLP syndrome can be frustrating to the physician when all requirements for its certain diagnosis are not apparent. In some patients who are developing HELLP syndrome the primary preeclampsia indicators of high blood pressure and protein in the urine may not be present, and its symptoms can be mistaken for gastritis, flu, acute hepatitis, gall bladder disease, or other conditions. While some of these other conditions may also be present, there is no evidence they are related.”  

WOW!  That was completely me.  Even 3 days before our emergency c-section I had great blood pressure and no protein in my urine.  It’s amazing to me that the specialist we were using with our last pregnancy (the same people who were keeping me in and monitoring me in the hospital for 9 days after delivery) either didn’t diagnose it or just didn’t bother mentioning it to me!  I could go on about how awful that group was.  But I won’t.  

So all that being said, here’s an update on this pregnancy.  I am seeing a different specialist group.  (I should add that I’m seeing the same regular OB that I saw with Lauren, I can’t say enough positive things about them)  The specialist I am seeing this time is phenomenal! They make me feel like I’m receiving the best care possible.  They are so sympathetic about our loss and so attentive to every detail.  They’ve put me on a baby aspirin in hopes that it’ll ward off the HELLP and preeclampsia.  The good news is that there is a less than 5% chance of developing HELLP in subsequent pregnancies.  They are very optimistic that this pregnancy will have a different outcome.  So far we’ve had 2 ultrasounds and things look great.  Baby’s heart rate has been in the mid to high 160’s both times.  We’re remaining very optimistic and always cautious.  

Differences

I find myself comparing this pregnancy to my pregnancy with Lauren every day.  So far I’ve found several similarities, and the leave me day dreaming about how excited we were to be pregnant then. And leave me missing Lauren so much. But mostly I notice the differences.  Here are the biggest ones:

With Lauren I had a headache everyday starting around 7 weeks, so far I’m almost 9 weeks and have only had 2 mild headaches. 

Morning (or as I like to call it all day) sickness is no where near as bad as it was with Lauren.  

With Lauren I drank one caffeinated drink everyday.  So far I have had zero caffeine since the positive pregnancy test. 

Last time my blood sugar numbers were slightly higher during the first trimester than they have been this time. 

I’m constantly looking for these types of differences.  I guess I’m hoping that there are enough of them that it’ll guarantee me a safe and healthy pregnancy and a healthy, live baby.  I suppose it’s normal to do so.  Yes, I know there are no guarantees with preeclampsia or any pregnancy.  And yes, I know I shouldn’t worry and should trust God 100%.  No one’s saying I don’t trust him.  But I’m human.  So until you’ve walked in my shoes I will pass on your unsolicited advice.  I guess that’s another difference.  When I was pregnant with Lauren I loved getting advice and opinions form people.  This time is totally different.  I have had so many people randomly give me advice that I didn’t ask for.  Advice that is common sense or doesn’t apply to me.  It leaves me thinking, “Have you forgotten that I’ve been pregnant before?”, or  “Oh so you think I did something wrong last time and it’s my fault that my daughter died?”   I guess I shouldn’t think those things but some of the things people say to me just leave me shaking my head with my mouth hanging open.  

We’re pregnant!

I am so thrilled to share with my blog readers that my husband and I are expecting baby number 2!  We had our first ultrasound today and everything looks good so far.  Baby’s heart rate was an impressive 162 beats per minute.  I am 7 weeks, 3 days, due date of March 22, 2014.  We debated about how/when we would announce our news.  A lot of people opt to wait until after the first trimester has passed.  We decided that although we are scared and considered high risk, that this baby deserves the same excitement and attention that Lauren got when we found out we were pregnant with her.  So that’s what we’re going to do.  Be excited.  We will do our best to enjoy this pregnancy, staying positive, and looking for blessings along the way. That’s not to say that we aren’t nervous and somewhat paranoid already, because we definitely are!  I check my blood pressure, blood sugar, and temperature multiple times per day.  And I will continue to do so. 

 

Image

 

We are constantly looking for signs from God and from Lauren.  Things that comfort us and let us know everything is going to be ok.  Switch gears with me for just a second.  When a couple experiences and a loss and then is able to have a child following that loss, the baby is called a rainbow baby.  Ok. Well one day I was out and about, a bright sunny day.  I looked up and saw a piece of a rainbow in the sky.  I was stunned and took a picture.  The picture was taken on July 17, around 3:00 PM.  Then around 7:30 PM on that same day, we took the home pregnancy test and got a positive!  My prayer is that the message behind this is that this is our rainbow baby and I’ll have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby! 

Image

 I plan to continue by blog here.  Yes I’m pregnant, but that doesn’t take away what happened.  It doesn’t make me miss our Lauren any less.  Maybe I’ll also use the blog to add pregnancy updates.  I’m not sure yet. We’d appreciate your prayers through this new journey.  

One year

One year has passed since I became a mother.  I always imagined that day would be a memorable one.  It was certainly memorable, but not for all the reasons I thought it’d be.  Because on that day I also earned the title bereaved parent.  I became part of a community of people who live day to day with a pain that cannot be described. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the year that has passed since I met and said goodbye to my daughter.  I’ve learned that I can apparently take anything that’s thrown at me.  I’ve learned that the love a mother feels for her children is a love that cannot be put into words. 

 When Lauren was born I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t hear her cry.  I knew my girl was not ready to be born.  My thoughts were of nothing but what that NICU team was doing to her and if it was going to help her at all.  Of course it didn’t.  And in the hours following her death, when people were coming in the room to see us, I wasn’t thinking of the joyful things a new mommy usually thinks of.  My mind was filled with the thought that I’d never again get pregnant because there was no way I could go through that pain again.  And thoughts of ‘now what’.  How do you process what has happened right after your newborn dies?  I was wondering what we’d do as far as cremation of funeral.  I was wondering if my body was going to recover from the havoc caused by the preeclampsia.  Nothing but negative thoughts…almost.  One thing I did think of was a conversation my husband and I had right after we found out we were pregnant 6 months earlier.  I’d told him that I really wished my Granny Hitt was still alive to meet her. So in the hours following her death, I thought, well, Lauren gets to be with Granny before any of us do.  And my dad even mentioned it to me in the hospital room, a small sliver of light on such a dark week. 

 So as we acknowledge today, Lauren’s birthday and the day she died, I am of course still sad.  I will always be sad that my first born didn’t get to live for more than 22 minutes.  I am of course still angry some days.  But a year has allowed me to learn so much about me, my husband, and other people in our lives.  We’ve become stronger as a married couple and stronger in our faith.  They say every life has a purpose and I’ve always believed that.  And now I know at least part of the purpose of Lauren’s short life.  She strengthened the love between her parents, taught us a lot about things we didn’t even know we needed to learn, and led us back to God.  And for that I’ll be forever thankful.   Happy Birthday in Heaven baby girl!  

The pain

I have had countless people say to me that they wish they could take away my pain.  I understand what they mean, and that it is a common thing to say to loved ones when they are hurting.  But to take away the pain would mean that Lauren never existed.  So no, please don’t take away my pain.  I’ll keep it.  Along with all of the memories of our beautiful little angel and all she gave us.  I’ll keep all the memories of my pregnancy and the day she was born and died.  I’ll keep it all.  Of course the pain is more tolerable now, but it will never go away, because her precious memory will never go away.  We can smile more now when we think about her short life.  This isn’t to say our days of crying are over, believe me they aren’t.  But our happiness and thankfulness that she was a part of our lives for even the briefest moment is beginning to shine through.  

Healing

At our last support group, one of the thing we talked about most was healing.  One of the wonderful ladies who leads our group read the definition of ‘heal’ to us.  Here it is:

To make sound or whole, to restore to health, to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome, mend, to patch up (a breach or division), to restore to original purity or integrity.

Wow.  I guess I never thought about the meaning of this word.  And after hearing the definition, I just laugh and shake my head.  I guess anyone who has ever lost a child is just laughing along with me.  OK maybe there’s a couple parts that could apply to us.  “To restore to health”.  Physically speaking, yes, I’ve been restored to health. The preeclampsia symptoms and side effects are gone. “Mend, patch up”.  Yeah, that’s just what is says.  To me, mend and patch up is another way of saying put a band aid on it and make do with whats left, and that is exactly what we’re doing. But as for the rest of the definition, its ridiculous. Here’s why.  “To make whole?”  Never going to happen.  My daughter was a part of me; she was physically made from my body and grew in my body, she was a part of my heart.  And she’s gone from this world.  So that part of me is gone.  It can never be made whole this side of heaven, because she’s not coming back.  “To cause an undesirable condition to be overcome.”  The condition that is undesirable is that I’m not a bereaved parent, and that will never change.  My daughter will always be dead.  And the last part is what really gets me.  “To restore to original purity or integrity”  YEAH RIGHT!  As anyone who has ever had serious complications during pregnancy that led to loss, you know what I mean. Never again will a pregnancy be pure.  You will always worry and be a bit paranoid.  And it goes beyond the future pregnancy aspect.  Just the word purity is foreign to me.  I’ll never go back to the way I was before.  I hope people aren’t reading this and thinking that I’m being bitter or ‘refusing healing’.  That’s not my intent.  First of all, unless you have lost a child, you have no right to tell me how I should be feeling or what I should be thinking.  Second of all, what I’m trying to say is that the word healing might not be appropriate in the case of baby loss.  Yes, I’m a lot better than I was right after losing Lauren, and I get stronger every day.  I’m ‘mending’ and ‘patching up’ the parts of my world that were shattered that day.  But when we’re talking about the dictionary meaning of healing, it’s just not the right word to use.  

ANGRY!!!!

Tonight I am just mad!  Mad is probably an understatement! I had a notification on my instagram account that someone had tagged me.  I opened it up to find that someone had tagged me in a comment on a photo.  The photo was of Lauren!  Some crazy girl had stolen my photo, posted it as her own, and made up a name, birthday, birth weight, and story about how ‘her’ daughter had died.  This whole story was attached to a photo of our daughter, Lauren!!  I was and still am furious!!!  What made it worse is people were commenting saying that the girl had stolen the picture from them, and the picture of the baby (MY BABY) was theirs!  They were all cussing and name calling. I got so mad I deleted my account without trying to report her or anything.  I created a new one and am in the process of emailing instagram support.  I am just baffled. Why in the world would anyone want to pretend that something so horrible happened to them, and feel the need to use photos that aren’t theirs?!  It’s a complete mockery to anyone who has ever lost a baby.  Our daughter was taken from this earth, from our lives.  And now some crazy girl on social media is trying to take her from us in a different way!  She is obviously twisted and sick.  And I am obviously MAD!! UGH!  Tears and anger tonight. 

Questions

So today at church the pastor talked about questions, particularly questions to God.  I have always heard that we should never question God or what happens in our lives.  But today the pastor used some scripture to point out that that might not be true.  Here’s a summary of his message. Matthew chapter 11:3 tells us that John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus could have simply said “yes, I am”, or told John not to question him.  But instead his reply in Matthew 11:4-6 is “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”  And the pastor went on to tell us to ask our questions when they arise, lean into them.  That being said, I have some questions.  I’m sure you know what my number one question is.  Why did my daughter have to die?  Here’s another one.  My husband and I waited almost 9 years after we were married before trying to conceive. We prayed that if it was right, that God would let us get pregnant.  Well we conceived Lauren the first time we tried.  The question is this; if our daughter wasn’t going to live, why did he allow us to get pregnant in the first place? 

The list goes on:

Why are people who won’t work and live off the government able to have children as easily as I’m able to blink my eyes?

Why do people who abuse their kids get blessed with more kids?

How is it fair that single, teenage girls can have 2 healthy babies before age 20, with 2 different men?

Why did the people who were supposed to care most about me and my husband abandon us at the time in our lives when we needed them the most?

The list goes on and on.  I’ve taken these questions to God.  Maybe I’ll never get answers.  What I am praying I’ll get is peace. 

A letter to my enemy-preeclampsia

Preeclampsia,

 A little over a year ago I’d never heard much about you.  But now, you are a term that pops into my mind more times in a day than I can count.  There is no way to prevent you and no way to treat you.  On August 4th of 2012, we found out that you were the cause of all of the pain and swelling.  And on that day you changed my life forever.  You tried to kill me, but you failed.  But you took so many other precious things from me.  You took my only child.  She didn’t have a change against you.  You also took my plans away.  I’d planned on having natural birth.  But because I was so sick, I had to have a c-section.  And because of the emergency you caused, I will have to have a c-section if I ever get pregnant again.  You also took away most of the fun that most women get to have while they are pregnant.  Of course if I ever get pregnant again I’ll be very happy.  I’ll have a lot to look forward to.  But then there you are.  I’ll be terrified of you the whole time, wondering if you’ll show your ugly face again.  Every pregnancy symptom will be faced with caution and fear.  I’ll wonder if you’re silently wreaking havoc inside my body and with my baby.  You’ll always be on my mind.  Not because I’m letting you or fear rule me, but because you’ve sentenced all future pregnancies to extreme caution and monitoring.  And what really stinks about that is that even with the extreme caution and monitoring, there are no guarantees that I will stay healthy or get to have a live or healthy baby.  It breaks my heart and comforts me at the same time that I’m not alone in hating you.  I know there are women reading this that understand how I feel, but I hate that they have to know, because that means they’ve been through some similar nightmare.  And it also means that they spend their days, like me, missing their baby and wondering where you came from.  Well I don’t know where you came from but I know where you can go; straight to the pits of hell.  I really do hope that someday in the future people are saying, “remember that awful thing that pregnant women used to get, preeclampsia, I’m sure glad they found a cure for it”.  Until then, stay away from me! 

Father’s Day

First of all I’d like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to my awesome husband.  We certainly never thought we’d be spending this day missing our only child.  We got out of the house and had some fun today.  As Father’s Day approached I got more and more anxious about it.  Saturday I did my typical weekend errands.  I walked around Wal-Mart and saw all of the Father’s Day displays and cards and realized that it was perhaps weighing more heavily on me than Mother’s Day had.  I think because when we were pregnant I of course thought ahead to Mother’s Day, but it wasn’t a day I was planning for, it was a day that I knew my child and husband was make wonderful.  My husband is a romantic man and is always surprising me.  But Father’s Day, from the moment I found out we were pregnant, I’d planned for.  I’d dreamed about the cute little crafts I’d make with the baby to give to my husband.  I’d dreamed about making a big breakfast and catering to him all day.  I knew exactly what I’d do to make his first Father’s Day perfect.  But now what was I supposed to do?  We ended up having a pleasant day.  Certainly some awkward moments when complete strangers would wish my husband a Happy Father’s Day and we’d smile and wait to see if they asked if we had kids or how many kids we have.  Fortunately, the stopped at the wish and my husband just smiled and said thanks.  We spent time talking about her and what we’d be doing with her, as she’d be 10 months old now.  So not a bad day altogether.  Just sad. And I guess it’s a question that will always be on our minds, “What would she be like now?”  

Just rub it in my face

Sometimes I feel like it’s being rubbed in my face that I don’t have a baby to hold, or that I’m not pregnant. While in the grocery store today the lady in line behind me took a phone call from someone who was telling her all about a baby that was just born moments before.  I came home and got on the internet and my homepage was full of news about freaking Kim Kardashian having her baby and the Kate (princess/duchess, whatever she is) going on maternity leave.  Some days you simply cannot avoid the reminders and it’s like they are being rubbed in your face! UGH!  Frustrating day!  

Just a moment

I came across this quote today and it touched me.  

“A life may last just for a moment, but memory can make that moment last forever.” author unknown.

I don’t know if I can put into words how true this is, but I’ll try.  Lauren’s life was 22 minutes long.  So brief.  She never cried, never opened her eyes, never did any of the things you wait for your baby to do as a sign they are ok.  In a way, her short life was a blur because of everything else that was going on with me at the time because of the preeclampsia and c-section.  But in another way, the moments she was alive are crystal clear.  Just a few moments.  My husband and I will forever remember and cherish those short moments.  It is a memory that we wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world.  Its one we hold on to and relive often through thought and conversation.  We are remembering that moment, making it last forever, because it is all we have.  We have to do that for ourselves and for Lauren.  

The 4th

Yesterday, June 4th, marked 10 months since we said hello and goodbye to Lauren.  10 months.  It doesn’t seem possible that we’ve been missing her for that long.  But believe me, every hour of those 10 months have been filled with missing, wondering, and longing.  We miss her so badly.  Every time the 4th of each month comes around we start to think about how old she’d be and what she would be like. We wonder what she’d be like. She’d be 10 months old, crawling now.  But instead we miss her.  We wonder what she’d look like, which baby foods she’d like and which ones she’d hate.  We wonder if she’d be a vocal 10 month old, full of giggles and baby talk.  We think about all of these things.  But we also think about the future that we won’t get to share with her.  Going to school, visits from the tooth fairy, crushes, driving, prom, college, a wedding, and even becoming grandparents.  These things are the things that we immediately started dreaming about the moment we found out we were pregnant with her.  So here we are 10 months after losing her, never to dream with her about a future.  I guess every 4th from here on out will always be filled with that missing and wondering.  The 4th will always be Lauren’s day. 

30

It is official, today is my birthday and I’m 30.  If you know me at all you know that I always have disregarded age as a pointless number.  I’ve never given age much thought.  In all situations of life it just hasn’t mattered.  I’ve actually laughed at people for getting ‘upset’ about turning 30 or 40, saying, “Who cares? It is just a number”.  Even in the past few years my husband or a friend would jokingly remind me that I was nearing 30 and I’d just blow it off, saying it didn’t bother me at all.  But a few weeks ago, as this day got closer and closer, I felt the strangest thing happening inside.  I was terrified.  I, the person who has never cared, was wishing there was a way to stop it from happening.  Not because I feel 30 or feel old or any of that.  But because here I am, at 30, and have accomplished very little of that I thought I’d have accomplished by this age.  I’m still not finished with my bachelors, I’m not a homeowner, and most importantly, my only child is in Heaven instead of here celebrating with me.  I cried as we got ready for bed last night.  This is just not how I pictured my life being at this point.  I felt like a failure as I fell asleep.  But as I woke this morning I felt so much better.  My husband has been telling me for days that I shouldn’t worry.  We might not have what we thought we’d have but we still have each other.  And this morning when I arrived at ‘work’ to babysit a wonderful little 6 year old for the day, her mom wished me a happy birthday.  We talked a little and I mentioned a little about how I was feeling.  She told me I have a great marriage, family that’s close, and so many other things to be thankful for. And when I got on facebook this morning I was welcomed with over 30 birthday wishes and it wasn’t even 10:00am yet.  So I’ve made a decision.  While of course I wish we were in our own home, and I obviously miss my baby and wish she were here to celebrate with me, and I want to badly to be finished with school and in the classroom teaching, I’m going to have a HAPPY birthday.  I’ll set new goal for a home, a degree, and a job. I would say that I’m setting new goals for having another baby but God would just laugh at me. We’re just going to let God take care of that because our plan is never the same as his anyway.  🙂 

A sign

I few days ago I was reading the blog of another woman who lost her baby after he had to be delivered early due to preeclampsia. She was talking about how she’d been given so many signs that her baby was in heaven watching over her.  I began to think about how right after we lost Lauren we saw more rainbows in a couple weeks span that either of us had seen in years.  We also had some other things happen following her death that we perceived as comforting signs from above. After reading this woman’s blog I was reminded of the signs we’ve had, but also that it’s been a while since we’ve seen any.  So I immediately began to pray, asking God to send us a sign. I even prayed that God would slap me in the face with something, because I’m not the kind of person that hears a voice or knows exactly what God is trying to say to me.  So as I prayed I asked God for a butterfly that is purple. Purple because that was the color of the balloons we released to Lauren in October, and they had butterfly shaped paper with notes attached for her. You may not believe this.  Yesterday my husband and I were outside in our yard cleaning some things and guess what flew up?  Yep.  A purple butterfly.  We just stood there smiling and watching it as long as we could.  I was speechless for a few minutes.  I shared my prayer from a few days ago with my husband and we both knew exactly where that purple butterfly came from and what it’s purpose was.  It was our daughter saying hello.  That was the first time either of us had ever seen a purple butterfly.  I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

A terrible reaction

I never thought that in all of my life I would react to the sound of a crying baby.  It used to be the typical reaction of “oh somebody must be hungry” or “oh poor baby”.  But now it’s nothing like that.  I was in a store the other day and the lady next to me in line had a baby who couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 weeks old.  I of course was avoiding looking her way.  Then the baby started crying.  I mean one of those infant cries that is from the bottom of their lungs, with gasps of air in between each scream.  I wasn’t expecting to deal with this.  I had a reaction to the sound that was terrifying.  I started shaking and my palms got sweaty.  I felt like I was going to be sick right their in front of everyone.  The cashier was trying to talk to me and I’m sure she thought I was the rudest person she’d ever met.  I couldn’t look up, much less have a conversation with her.  Seeing a tiny infant is hard enough but the crying is so much worse.  The silence was deafening when Lauren was born.  Once the doctor said she was out I just laid there waiting for a sound I longed to hear, but of course it never came.  She never made a sound. No crying at all.