Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Come Home

I am so sorry I haven't updated in awhile.  If anyone is still out there, reading this...Thank you.  I am having a hard time doing anything I did while I was pregnant with Gracelynn.  I feel like I have to keep moving.  Being online is hard, because I have to stop and think about things.  I can't get on, though it helped me so much during my pregnancy.  I can't read any more posts/blogs/stories about women struggling with their loss.  I feel like my own pain is all I can bear.  I just don't have the strength to cry for someone else right now...and I always do.  My heart goes out to women who have gone through what I have.  It's awful.  And the grief is overwhelming.  I find myself going back in my mind and wanting all those things to happen again during that week I had her.  I just want one more chance to be pregnant with her again, or even just to see her again or hold her again.  The more I get done everyday, the less chance I have to sit and wish I could go back in time and relax and know what the outcome was going to be and enjoy my time with her when she was alive.  Writing this blog is one of those things that just brings back the hurt....instead of healing it like I thought it would.  Maybe one day I will look back to this and be happy I wrote out what my time was like, those six weeks.  I'm not sure what is needing to be changed in me....but I'm going to pray for God to show me the way.  

Well.  I should update that we are still waiting for Gracelynn to come home.  It's been over 4 weeks since she passed and we had hoped to have her back with us at least a week ago.  I know they are doing all they can, but I'm getting impatient.  I have to wonder if that is what is making me so stressed out.  James and I both agree that we feel like someone from our family is missing and we can't be at peace until they are back with us.  We have her tiny little urn waiting for the funeral home to call us and say we can bring it in, so we can bring her home.  I took some pictures of her hand and footprints. I will work on getting those uploaded.  In the meantime, please say a prayer that Gracelynn comes home soon.  We need her with us.  Thank you!!   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm not sure what to update this blog with since Gracelynn passed away.  I feel like all I can talk about is how much it hurts to not be pregnant with Grace and just how much it hurts that things went the way they did.  I have good days and bad days, but mostly I am just a thought away from crying because I am thinking about Grace again.  I can't recall what all I've shared on this blog.  Did I share that her name is Gracelynn Mercy Burke?  That she weighed 6 oz and was 4 inches long and came at 12:05pm on 7/26?  I do have more pictures to share and promise to get those uploaded soon.  I have pics of the molds they made me of her hands and feet.  They are amazing.  Her hands and feet were so tiny and so beautiful.

So what am I doing now?  I'm spending a lot of energy cleaning out my house and organizing it.  Grace's pregnancy was really tough on me physically and emotionally.  Before we found out her diagnosis, I felt like I was much more tired than I normally would have been with my previous pregnancies.  I have no idea if that was really the case or if it really was something related to carrying her.  Physically, I feel fine now.  After I came home from the hospital, which was the same day I had Grace, I had a few days where I over did it with the kids and I paid for it.  One day I felt very weak.  I was taking a nap on the couch with the kids sitting around me.  I awoke to a loud crashing sound and found Lillian and Caleb sitting there watching TV and Addison not in sight.  She had snuck into the kitchen and covered it in glitter and chocolate.  I tried to carry her upstairs and give her a bath.  I put her in the dry tub and laid down on the floor and called James.  He came right home and bathed her and put her down for a nap for me.  Addison's mess took me days to clean up.  But I started to feel better and was able to do it.  I feel like I let my housework get behind during my pregnancy and it is now all caught up.  That's a great feeling, at least. 

I've also been working on figuring out ways to make sure Gracelynn is thought of often at our home.  I want her to be remembered as my fourth child and that she was an amazing blessing to our family.  I took a small bench I found on the side of the road a couple weeks ago and made it into a place to keep all of Grace's things.  I spray painted it and ordered lettering to put on it that will honor her.  In it is the oufit the hospital put on her and took pictures of her in, her hospital bracelets and mine, papers given to me during my pregnancy, the doppler I used to hear her heartbeat, the blanket James went out and bought for her after we found out she had passed away, and a teddy bear I bought just for her.  I call it Gracie Bear.  We also ordered her urn.  We are hoping to have it before they call and say that her ashes are ready to be picked up.  It's taking a bit longer for them to get that done than I expected.  Of course I am very grateful that they are taking care of it for us, free of charge.  I'm just eager to have her back with us.  I feel like a member of our family isn't with us.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Time with Grace

It's probably time to start talking about what our time with Grace was like. It might take me a few posts to complete this. 

So we went into the hospital on the 25th at about 6or so in the evening.  At 7pm, Dr Duke came in and inserted some kind of seaweed sticks into my cervix.  She was able to do quite a few as I was already in labor. The goal of these sticks was to expand and open my cervix a bit to make it more viable for an induction the next day.  It worked.  They dropped out the next morning.  In the mean time, I had a difficult time sleeping and relaxing.  There was a lot of crying and reading scripture and just praying.  I had an awesome nurse during the night.  Her name was Thelma.  =)  It wasn't lost on me that her name was the same as my Aunt Re.  (Thelma Marie, who meant the world to me)  Thelma was very kind and said some things that really hit home and made me think God had sent her that night to me.  Just a few days ago we got a sympathy card in the mail from her.  I am grateful that I had a nurse like her that night.  Although, I can't complain about any of the nurses I saw in the time I was there for Gracelynn's labor and delivery.  MVH was very thoughtful and considerate to our situation.  They put us at the end of a hall with few neighbors.  Across from my room was another mom who had a loss.  They put something on our doors so that any who enter know this isn't a joyous occasion they are walking into.  That night, however, I could hear the baby and mother's heartbeats in the room right next to me.  I gotta say, that was a bit difficult to relax to.  

The next morning, Dr. Duke came in and inserted two cervitek capsules.  They started working pretty quickly.  I was in labor from 7 to 12.  Just before 12, Dr Duke came back in and was going to give me my second dose. She said that after the second dose things start to go much quicker and I should be careful getting up to use the restroom.  I commented that I think I am getting ready for something to take the edge off the pain and that the contractions were about a minute apart.  Up to then I wouldn't take anything.  I refused a sleeping pill and all the goodies they offer to make you more comfortable.  I was still pregnant as far as I was concerned and Gracelynn didn't need any of those goodies.  I guess that doesn't make sense.  After hearing how close the contractions were, she thought it best to check me.  She did and I was complete.  I had gotten to ten and didn't complain until the end.  So this is what natural labor feels like, eh?  

So she said it's time to have her and I just needed to push.  This is when things got pretty tough.  I was more frightened than I have ever been in my life.  I had no idea what this next moment was going to bring and what it would be like to deliver a stillborn child.  I focused on James and pushed.  She came right out, water breaking first.  I cried like I've never cried in my life.  Like, out of control sobbing.  It was by far, the most difficult moment I have ever experienced in my life.  There is no way to describe the emotional pain of delivering a stillborn child.  My daughter, Gracelynn Mercy.  I was able to deliver the placenta quickly and they left me and James with Grace.  She wasn't at all what I pictured, but beautiful nonetheless.  Her hands and feet were so tiny and so beautifully formed.  Her cystic hygroma had just taken over the top of her body.  It was difficult to see that.  I could see her ears and her eyes.  Her ears were low set, like most Turner Syndrome girls are.  They were adorable.  We had four hours to hold her and love her.  They took her from me to weigh and measure her and to take her photo.  She measured 6 inches and 4 ounces.  So tiny, but my daughter.  The pictures of her are too difficult to share, but I will share a picture of her hand and then us holding her. 

I have to stop now, but I'll post more about our time with Grace later.  Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words.  We really appreciate it.