How I’m Doing

Some days my brain can’t seem to form one single thought. Other days the thoughts come so fast and hard I feel if I don’t write them down quick enough they will crush me like an avalanche. Today is one of those days.

Each day seems to greet me with the same question. “How are you doing?”

The honest to God truth is I don’t know how to answer that question, because there are a thousand answers and I don’t know which one to give you.

I am alive. I am managing to eat, sleep, laugh and smile.

I am sad. I wake up to tears and fall asleep to them.

I am fucking pissed off. (Sorry Grandma). But I am. Out of 100,000 babies ours was the one that won the Congenital Heart Defect Lotto.

I am completely lost. I was going to be a mom. That was my next job, and the one I wanted most. Once again, I am back to the drawing board. What am I going to do with my life? What is my career going to be? What corporate institution will I have to return to and give two shits about? I am completely overwhelmed with having to give up my dream of motherhood at the moment, when I was so close, and return to a life I was impassionate about.

I am broken and empty. My body has been through a trauma. My body is in shock and literally wonders, “Where is the baby I just grew for 5 months?” It is a hormonal rollercoaster that leaves me in a place between hopelessness and hopefulness. My mind can’t keep up with the ups and down of this ride that I never wanted to be on in the first place. I didn’t stand in line for this ride. Yet I’m forced to ride the waves of its unpredictability.

I feel like Marc and I took a giant step forward, to end up taking multiple steps back. We are in the middle of a tornado trying to hold onto the pieces of our lives as they rapidly swirl away from us. This is not where we planned to be.

Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am. Positivity is a mask that I easily wear to be strong for everyone else. When tragedy strikes your own life you don’t have a choice. What is my alternative option? Give into the darkest thoughts I’ve ever had? Give into the urge to want to go be with my daughter? It is easier for our spirits to heal than our minds and bodies. My spirit is at peace. My mind is not. There is a lot of darkness there that seeps through when I am alone.

Sometimes I catch myself going through the checklist of rules I followed for this pregnancy: I began taking prenatal vitamins months before we even tried, never drank or smoked, ate healthy, exercised, didn’t touch the cat litter, didn’t eat sushi, didn’t go to Mexico with my family so I wouldn’t catch the stupid Zika Virus. I was so aware of the rules, and so abiding. But it didn’t even matter. In that regard I feel completely defeated.

In my heart I know that “everything happens for a reason, it wasn’t meant to be, God works in mysterious ways, etc. etc.” But it’s still hard to digest. The worst is when someone says, “There will be other babies, and you still have time”. It’s like telling a widow “There will be other husbands”.  Delilah was her own person. Half way baked I like to say. She will never be replaced. I want that baby. It is hard to get over the fact that I will never have that baby. Our baby.

If there is any positive that can come from this, it is that another woman going through this finds my blog. If I can be a support to one other person, then I can find a little bit of peace. I know I’m not alone in this tragedy. I’ve already been connected to other women who have shared this horrific experience, and our stories unite us. The world is a very scary place, but if we can unite in our stories it is a little less terrifying.

So when people ask me how I’m doing, it is an impossible question for me to answer. I just am. I don’t know how else to explain it. I am here, I am trying to smile more and cry less. I am trying to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward. I am trying to take care of myself. I am trying not to miss my daughter so much that it destroys the rest of my life. I am.

Heavenly Escorts

As far back as I can remember my psychic ability has been strongest in the dream state. I am able to connect with tarot cards and “see” the symbols and messages, however most of the spiritual messages I’ve received in life have come through strongest in my dreams. This is very common for people with psychic ability. Throughout the years I’ve had many dream visitations from loved ones who have passed, and several premonitions of things that have happened. You can tell the difference between a regular dream and a spirit visit because it’s as if time stands still, everything is extremely vivid, and they deliver a specific message. Whether it be something that they do or say, they make it very clear that they are there with you for a reason.

I should have known when I had five dream visitations from loved ones who have passed that things were quickly changing for Delilah. It was the week of our anatomy scan (18 weeks pregnant) when we learned that something was wrong with her heart, but we weren’t aware of the severity. We still had a lot of hope. For five consecutive nights, I was visited by three beloved pets who have passed on (yes animals have souls and they continue on in the after life), a childhood friend who passed away way before his time, and my paternal grandmother, who preferred to be called “Nana”.

All of the animal visitations were very similar. Cuddles, happy faces, wagging tails, messages of comfort and reassurance. The visit from my childhood friend was similar. He was hovering above me and just holding my hand. All of these spirits had the same message.. ~We are here~.

My dream visit from Nana was the strongest. I’m laying in bed and the phone rings. But it is not my cell phone. It’s an old fashioned telephone. BRRRRIIINNGGG!!! The ringing wakes me up. I answer it. “Hello?”…..She replies…..~Gigi, It’s Nana…~ When she was alive, she always greeted me on the phone like this. I got out of bed, gathered the phone in my lap and sat down on the floor by my Wiccan altar, where we went into a very deep, serious conversation. I don’t recall what was discussed, as the visit began to dissolve. I think my own soul was protecting my conscious from the information.  But looking back, I know what we discussed. She was letting me know that they were all preparing and gathering around to escort our baby girl to the other side.

It didn’t register that this was what was happening that week. The onslaught of visits worried me a bit but in my heart I held out hope that this was their way of letting me know that everything would be okay. In my mind at the time, “okay” meant that Delilah would be born and live a long, healthy life with her daddy and I. Their version of “okay” was that she would pass peacefully, and be greeted, protected, and loved in heaven. They were her Heavenly Greeting Committee, her own personal escorts. It gives me peace to know that they were waiting for her when she passed, and that she was welcomed into Heaven with open arms.

 

 

 

Replacing Grief With Appreciation

If there is one thing I’m becoming aware of in the midst of this loss, it’s how precious and fragile life is. There are no guarantees for any of us, and tomorrow is not promised. As much as I miss Delilah, I’m trying to hang onto being present in my life and appreciating the loved ones that I still have around me. It is so easy to get wrapped up and isolated in our grief, but then we are at risk of missing out on moments with loved ones who will not be here forever. A wise, dear friend wrote to me this morning, “It is good to have those moments of remembrance tucked into each day so you can fully grieve.” It is so true. All of us who are grieving need to fully embrace those moments of sadness, tuck them away in our heart, and return to the present moment, so that we don’t miss out on all of the life that still surrounds us.

Easter Sunday

This morning I received a beautiful message from one of my childhood best friends. “I can imagine it’s a good day to be with the Lord”. It is a good day to be with the Lord. For us on Earth, and our loved ones in Heaven. Today is the day of Resurrection. Nature is reborn into Spring. My baby girl has been reborn in Heaven. I can see her in my mind’s eye, sitting on the Heavenly Father’s lap, basking in his radiant light rays, and eating watermelon straight from his hands. She has billowy feathered wings that spread out and tickle his cheeks. And they occasionally glance down to Earth, keeping an eye on things. On us. What a wonderful day for Delilah to be with the Lord. Amen.

Protecting Our Dream

As the days go on, the dense fog of despair seems to slowly lift. We’re learning to live with our new reality. However there is one big scary monster that we find ourselves facing at the end of this tunnel. The monster threatens our dream. The monster’s name is Doubt. What if this happens to us again? What if my body will never make a healthy baby? What if we are not meant to have children? What if our dream never comes true?

I know in my heart these are natural fears to have after facing the darkest side of pregnancy. If this happened again, I’m not sure how that would leave us. More broken than now? How do you become more broken than broken.

The timing of signs never seem to fail me. In the mail yesterday came a gift from my beloved Aunt. A beautiful Mayan Dreamcatcher to trap & defeat the Monster named Doubt, and protect our dream of one day having a healthy baby. I’m learning that in the face of fear, in the face of doubt, the most important thing we can do right now is protect our dream. Delilah would want that for us.

The Morning After

Yesterday was the day after Delilah’s departure from Earth. The morning greeted me with the loudest silence I’ve ever known. No belly cuddles in bed. No good morning kicks. No reason. My morning was void of purpose in a way I have never known. Phone calls, texts, flowers, cards from so many people we love. So appreciated. So much support. One voicemail from an Aunt which seemed to send me into a tailspin. My own gut wrenching sobs as I heard her express her sorrow…

It’s strange how a tiny human in my belly could have such a strong presence in my life. I could tell where my being ended and hers began. She had the sweet tooth that I never had. Her preferences for watermelon, ice cold milk, blueberry pancakes and desserts would make me smile. For years before becoming pregnant I was a pescatarian (seafood), but Delilah would not stand for it. ~Don’t you send that stinky stuff down here mama~ I could “hear” her telling me. She also loved the sunshine (A Leo baby ruled by the Sun). She filled my mind with images of tropical beaches, and my belly seemed to bask in the sun rays. It’s one of the reasons why we gave her the middle name “Rae”, because she loved the sun rays.

The morning after she was gone I felt the divide. I felt like a vacant apartment where she once took up so much space. So noticeably absent. No more watermelon cravings. No more need for the sun. It was also silent and as much as I tried I couldn’t “hear” her voice anymore. I know that spirits take time to “transition” once they pass on so I wasn’t too alarmed by the break in communication from her.

I am a Scorpio, ruled by the element of water. Naturally a shower would be therapeutic so this was all I could think to do. Standing under the water letting it wash away the sorrow, I held my empty belly and thought ~I miss you so much little girl. I pray you are at peace now. I’ll never understand why you were only given 5 months with us, but I hope to someday understand.~  Sure enough, her sweet little voice came back to me. ~Mama, I experienced more life in 5 months in your womb than some do in a lifetime on earth. The laughter, the singing, the dancing, the sorrow, the LOVE…..I experienced it all.~

 

 

 

Joshua Tree…Delilah’s First Message.

We had three more days until goodbye. Hubby put me in the car and we drove to Joshua Tree National Park, a very spiritually charged place in Southern California. It is here that we found a quiet place to sit and open up the envelope containing our first baby’s gender. Perched up on a boulder, I opened the envelope. “It’s a Girl!!!” the paper read. Knife to the heart. I’d always dreamt of and prayed for a little girl. I couldn’t help but feel angry with God, with Mother Nature. “Of course it’s a girl” I thought. How could nature give me this precious answer to my prayers, and then so cruelly rip it away from me? It hurt so deeply. The one thing I’d always wanted was being taken away.

We cried. We sat there together and said goodbye to the dreams we had for our little baby. There won’t be a happy future for her. Just an ending on this Earthly plane.

The day moved us forward and the sun started to set. I found myself wandering around massive boulders under a pink sky and felt drawn to one boulder in particular. I approached it and placed my hands on it. I sent my thoughts into the powerful earthly rock. ~Give me strength nature, give me peace to let go of my daughter~ Just as easily as those thoughts went out, Delilah’s thoughts began to enter into my mind, my heart, my soul.

~It’s okay mama. My body is broken. I understand you have to let me go. This was my spirit’s plan. I chose this before I came. After Wednesday we won’t be physically connected anymore, but we will ALWAYS be spiritually connected. You are my mama, and I am your daughter. I will always be with you. I chose you and daddy because you loved me this much that you would give me the ultimate gift. The gift of peace~

And just like that, the weight lifted. I knew. She knew. This was our fate, and it was OK.

 

How We Got Here.

This past November 10th 2015 was my 33rd birthday. When I blew out my candles I wished for one thing, a baby to love. Little did I know, we had conceived her that very day. Five positive pregnancy tests later (I just couldn’t believe it).. we were elated, I was pregnant for the first time in my life. The months to follow were filled with normal Dr.’s appointments, emotional ultrasounds where we saw baby growing from a little bean into a mini human, lots of morning sickness, cold fruit cravings, kicks and flips in my tummy, and so much love and happiness. I’ve never in my life felt so complete. For once in my life I had a purpose. 

At my 20 week anatomy screening our whole world came crashing down. “The heart hasn’t formed properly”. Kick to the gut. No air. Pinch me. Wake me up. An amniocentesis ruled out genetic disorders. But a trip to UCLA’s top cardiologist confirmed our worst fears. Our baby girl had two major heart defects. DILV (double inlet left ventricle) & TGA (transposition of the great arteries). Hearing things such as…”Poor quality of life, multiple open heart surgeries, possible transplant, long hard road ahead, probable complications, IF the baby makes it, pain, suffering…” led us to the only peaceful fate we could give our baby. Set her free, send her back to heaven. On March 23rd we did just that. As the anesthesia hit me on the operating table my final thoughts to Delilah were, ~~Go and be with God my little Angel~~

Fog lifted and I returned to the nightmare. Bright white lights. Tears. Baby is gone. No longer inside me. Its been two days. Two long days since she has left my body. I feel like an empty shell. I’m back to just…me. I don’t feel special anymore without her. I know it’s not true. But the light has dimmed. I miss her.