Monday, February 28, 2011

Mondays and New Pictures

 Most people tend to hate Mondays for two reasons, one being that it is the start of a new work week and two being that well, the weekends over. Well I have a new reason to hate Mondays. It probably shouldn't affect me the way it does but January 3rd was a Monday. It was the day we had fetal surgery, the day my baby was born, and the day Liam passed away. Every Monday is the start of another week my baby will not be with me and it also means another week has gone by that my baby is no longer with me. I hate Mondays! I guess until I reach that point where I just start counting the passing months Mondays will remain to be my most unfavorable day of the week, outside of having to go back to work.

In the mail today I received 2 letters. the first being from my cousin. It included pictures of her new baby girl that was just born a couple of weeks ago. Seeing those pictures broke my heart even more. I feel like a horrible cousin that I never even sent her flowers or a "congratulations" card. I just couldn't bring myself to want to do it. I just can't get over the fact that everyone else is having beautiful healthy babies. From the first few months of being pregnant I already was struggling with the fact that he was going to have problems because of his Spina Bifida, but I loved him and I did everything I could do to help him, and that's why I had the fetal surgery. But it's just not fair, I love my baby and miss him so much, and here is everyone around me having healthy perfect little babies. GRRR! I know I am rambling on but I wanted to be the one sending out the pictures.

The second envelope was pictures of Liam from the hospital. When our favorite nurse from UCSF had called a few weeks ago and told me they had pictures of Liam for us I was surprised. When had they taken another set of pictures? Were these done outside of the ones they had taken for us on a disposable camera? I assumed they would be the same as the ones we already have, but they were completely different. I am really happy to see new pictures of my Liam. It made me so happy I had to have a good cry just looking at them. These pictures are so different even though they were done on the same blanket and in the same clothes as the others. Not sure if these were done as part of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Program or not, but they were touched up by a photography company called Our 365 newborn photography. Anyway now I have more pictures of him face on without wearing a hat so you can really his face and his curly brown hair. I also now have one where he is lightly wrapped in his surgery blanket and the blanket is pulled down below his chest, so you can see his bare chest with his arms laying across it. He just looks so peaceful. I am definitely going to have to contact the company that did these pictures and get tons of duplicates. Hopefully I will get some of them put up along with more of his other pics. I am so grateful that the hospital had this done since we originally kept declining getting pictures. This definitely helped make a gloomy Monday a lot brighter.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Well the day finally came when Dereck finally had to go back to work. It's the first day in 2 months that we have been a part. I mean I started work this past week but I am only gone about 9 hours a day for work and I am at home every night after work. Dereck on the other hand, works 12 hours a day for weeks at a time. Normally I am happy to have him go to work, at least for the first week, because it gives me time to just be alone and do some of things I normally don't do when he is around. I had even thought me going back to work was really good for me. This past week had been going pretty well and I just thought maybe I'll be okay when he goes back to work. I had wanted to take this time, as I would like to call it "my bonding with Liam time", to work on Liam's scrapbook, hopefully finally finish typing out his story for this blog, and start reading some of the many books I have on baby loss, pregnancy after loss, and other grieving books. Well I'll start out by saying I had a crappy day yesterday. I had to listen to people at lunch talk about their sick kids, their kids being brats, and how they don't ever need to get pregnant again because they are done. Yeah thanks everyone that makes me feel just great. I guess I have to understand they all have their own lives and that I shouldn't expect them to not talk about there kids just because I am around. I guess if I had a living child right now I might even be right there with them complaining about how I never get any sleep because my baby is up all night crying or my poor little guys is sick, but that is not the case. I have nothing to talk about with them and already by the end of the first week the questions of how am I doing are already gone. Also after finishing Liam's room I wanted to show everyone how beautiful his nursery was. I guess people don't seem to understand what I'm going through because when I showed a few people the pictures and told them that Dereck and I finished it for Liam they gave me this "Oh, Becky why did you do that, we just want you to heal". What the hell does that even mean? It instantly brought tears to my eyes, I was so proud that we fixed the room up for him, it's like everyone just wants me to box up everything about his life and put it away like it never happened. I just wish I could share my love for Liam with everyone like other parents get to do with there kids. The last few hours of work I just kept to myself and did my job and then when I finally got to my car I cried the whole way home. This was not the way I wanted to end my work week and also have to deal with Dereck leaving for work, leaving me alone. I don't want to be alone right now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Nursery

I have read a lot of articles and books stating that it is understandable to have a nursery all ready for the baby to come home to or even have tons of baby stuff that will no longer be getting used after a loss and that I should just take my time and when I'm ready to then put it all away. Well I guess that makes sense but at the same time it doesn't make sense to me. Liam's room was far from finished. We had a crib with a baby deer nursery set that had matching sheets, blanket, mobile,  valence, wall art, clothes hamper, diaper stacker, and lamp. I fell in love with the set as soon as I saw it. Also from Liam's baby shower with family he got tons of clothes, books, and toys and I just didn't want that stuff put away in a box in the the closet. Maybe this is in someway unhealthy to do but I wanted to finish his room still. So Dereck and I painted his room this sort of pastel green color that matched the green in his nursery set and changed the trim and painted it all bright white. I even made his bed which I know he will never get to sleep in and even listened to his deer mobile for awhile. I am still wanting to buy a dresser to put all of his stuff in but for now it is just sitting in his bassinet. I am not sure if this is going to help me through my grieving process or just make things harder on me but I'd like to believe that Liam is looking down at us and the nursery and smiling and  is so happy that his mom and dad loved him so much to finish the nursery for him so he could see it. I am also hoping that since he can't be here to use all of his wonderful that he would love more than anything to share them with a baby brother or sister.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


So I have to write about what brings me hope for this blog hop. Well for the last 6 weeks I felt like there wasn't too much to be hopeful for. These past few days though have made feel like maybe things will be okay. After a week of worrying that I just wasn't ready to go back to work, I went back for the first time in 2 months and had a really good day. I am so grateful to have such wonderful coworkers. I also saw my doctor the other day who gave me the okay to get out and do actual physical activity again. I was happy she said my incision was healing and I looked good, but wasn't feeling that I would ever enjoy those same activities again. After today I feel that things might just be okay after all. I went out twice today with friends skiing and it was great. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and I was happy. And best of all, I feel like my energy is finally coming back! I just love being outside, whether I am cc skiing, hiking, camping, or just walking my dogs, there is something really peaceful and relaxing about it. Things may never be the same but these past few days have definitely made me a bit more hopeful about the future.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back to Work

Well my first day back at work is going a lot better than I thought it would. Could barely sleep last because I was so worried about how I would handle questions and patients. I actually only had one moment that I guess could've turned bad but I handled it pretty well. One of patients actually said he saw me at the airport getting pushed in a wheelchair and noticed I had not been at work for awhile.  I just told him I had surgery and left it at that.
I also went in and had my 6 week check up with my OB Dr. yesterday. Again I was pretty nervous, and had so many questions that I wanted to ask. She said I am healing fine and am allowed to resume all of my previous activities. I still am a little worried about my uterus though.  It's probably not worth worrying to much about now, and my Dr. said there really isn't a way for me to injure it. She also said she would prefer us to wait at least 6 months to try and get pregnant again. It sounds like such a long time but I know my body needs the time to heal and get strong again emotionally and physically.
I also offically signed up for the March for Babies this year in Whittier, Alaska. The walk is a tribute to dads on Fathers Day and goes through the Whittier tunnel which is the longest undergrround tunnel in North America. If anyone wants to sponsor me and my team follow the link below

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I haven't cried in the shower for over a week now and there I was again this morning bawling my eyes out. I'm always feeling like for every step forward I am taking I manage to turn around and take 5 steps back. I also have been sleeping on the couch a lot lately, don't even want to go into my room some nights and be in my bed. And now I had another bad dream last night. It wasn't what I guess any one else would probably consider a bad dream. My whole life I have had nightmares, then when I was pregnant they seemed to lessen, and now after Liam has passed the bad dreams started again but they are not my normal nightmares. I dreamed of San Francisco last night. Nothing to crazy was really going on but that toward the end of my dream I was trying to get home but was so lost, going through house after house and never being able to find mine. Then some guy appeared in my dream and started walking me through these houses and then decided to attack me and I started yelling at him saying "I have a husband and my baby just died, leave me alone". He let me go and started crying like he felt bad and I ran and eventually made my way home- to my house that I guess I had in San Fran. I have had many other dreams that take place there lately. Dereck thinks it's because I probably left my heart in San Francisco. That's probably a good assumption since that is the last time I was with my baby boy.
That dream made me think of some of my other dreams I have had relating to Liam, to me they are bad dreams, I like to call them my realization dreams. In one of my few naps I had while in the hospital I dreamed that I was back in Minnesota visiting my parents. I was just sitting at there house thinking about how I forgot my baby at the hospital, and what kind of mom am I, who forgets there baby at the hospital. For some reason my family didn't have a car so some people I new came and picked us up but only brought us to this area by the Hardee's in town. I started yelling at them to please take me to the hospital that I need to go get my baby. Once they heard that they all decided they would get me there. We were almost to the hospital when it finally occurred to me that wait, I can't get my baby from the hospital, my baby is dead, who goes to the hospital to pick up there dead baby. Then I woke up. Another time I dreamed that I had met a lady who had really wanted a baby but was never able to get pregnant. I had felt so bad for her that I decided to give her my baby. It was only after I had given him up that I realized that I made a huge mistake and wanted him back, but I never heard from her again and all I had left was a picture of the baby I'll never see again. Another time I dreamed that I had found a baby and he was absolutely beautiful, it was love at first sight. I had wanted to keep that baby forever but knew that he had a mother somewhere that was probably really missing him and I new I needed to find her. I ended up finding her and she was so happy that I returned him to her. I was crying, I didn't want to give him up but knew it was the right thing. I could not stop crying as she was buckling him in and then took off. I have had so many more dreams than that even, wish my brain could work things out a different way than torturing me in my sleep.

Monday, February 14, 2011

6 Weeks

Oh my sweet baby Liam here it is officially 6 weeks since you became an Angel. It is also the day when the doctors said I can start getting back to normal activity again like hiking, skiing, running around, and even lift more than 10-15 lbs. I should be happy right? But I am not happy and I don't want to do any of those things today, maybe not even for awhile, I want you to be with me, I don't care if I'd be on bed rest crazy bored or can't ever sleep and be super uncomfortable because I'd still have you and would be just under 32 weeks pregnant and not be missing you for the past 6 weeks but hoping you would make it through the last 6 weeks till your scheduled c-section. It is also Valentines Day, I love you and miss you so much baby boy
Well here I am a few hours later, still crying, still so sad. I know its only been 6 weeks, but at the same its been 6 WEEKS. 6 weeks of so much pain. How will I ever make it through all of the firsts without you. I wish Christmas didn't even have to happen next year. You were supposed to be here next Christmas. It was supposed to the best Christmas ever. Dad normally would be working but finally had off next Christmas. I was so excited that I could finally be the one sending out the Christmas card filled with baby pictures. And then what, not even 2 weeks after Christmas is the anniversary of you becoming an angel. I know I am probably thinking to far ahead and just need to take it day by day but I had plans for us baby boy. We were going to go on so many adventures together, whether it'd be me carrying you on my chest or back hiking, pulling you in the chariot behind my bike, or pushing you in the stroller, we were going to go places, me and you little buddy.

Remembrance Locket

So Dereck gave me the best Birthday/Valentines Day present ever a few days ago. We had been looking at pendants, lockets, and other baby remembrance items we could get engraved but this one is a combination of it all and I absolutely love it! Thanks Babe your the best!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blame and Guilt

Dereck and I haven't gone to Church much in the past but had always planned on going more once we had kids. We had gone once before we left for San Francisco and have tried to go every Sunday since we have been back in Alaska. When we had first learned of Liam having Spina Bifida I was already starting to play the blame game, not blame anyone else, but blame myself that it was my fault that this happened to him. After he passed away I was back at the blaming again. I was blaming myself for feeling selfish that maybe I wanted the surgery more to just to make my life easier. Which in a way I guess it would have been easier but that's because Liam's life would have been better from the prenatal surgery. I was also blaming God and the world that there was some reason that he did this to me and I am getting punished for things that I have done in my past. I know that it is not true but sometimes it is easier to blame someone or something than to want to accept that somethings just happen for reasons we will never know. So this morning before Church I had made an appointment with the Priest to talk to him about these feelings I have been having. Talked, well mostly cried, for about an hour and even did confession which I haven't done for about 13 years. I feel like I am always going to be searching for an answer that will never come. Went to Mass after that but could only think about the talk I had with the Father and my Liam.
Once we got home we were both pretty tired and laid around most of the afternoon. So it is now 8:45pm and I had wanted to work on the page Liam's Journey some more and even start typing out some of the letters I had wrote to Liam around the time of his funeral. I am finding it hard to want to read my journal though. I had started to read a page of it just before sitting down to type this out and instantly was filled with sadness. Maybe its because I am overly tired or maybe its because I laid around all afternoon watching movies and feel guilty that I didn't think enough of my baby Liam. Anytime in the past few weeks that I manage to get through any number of hours without him constantly on my mind I start to feel so much guilt like I am afraid I am betraying him or forgetting about him. But then when I spend multiple hours just crying I wonder when all this crying is going to end.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Remembering the start of it all

So I have decided to write a whole section just on Liam's life, from the struggle of getting pregnant, to the news of the new life growing inside me, to the sad ending. So far I have wrote only about us trying to get pregnant through heading to San Francisco. I know I am missing so many important details about his life. It already seems like forever ago that we first had learned we were even pregnant. His life was so short but in that short time so much had happened, especially once we got to San Francisco. Just even writing what I have so far I have gotten so caught up in all the bad things that were going on I completely was forgetting to write about all of the great times I had while being pregnant.

Last night Dereck and I also went out for a friends birthday. We have gone out a few times since we have been back home and even have had a few game nights with friends, but last night I would say was the first night I felt happy. I was laughing, did a little dancing, and lots of talking, it was the first time I'd say I let myself have fun without thinking about Liam the whole time. I have so many moments with friends that I want to start crying because the only thing on my mind is how much I miss him. Tonight Dereck and I are going to go to a friends for pizza and games, maybe tonight will go as well as last.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Babies everywhere

So I heard today that my cousin had her baby.  I am so happy for her, but at the same time I am so sad. I am not sad for her of course, but for me, and for Liam.  I know I can't hide from the world so I don't have to see or hear about another baby, but its so hard to be happy when you can't share in there same joy.  Since I lost Liam that is now two people that have had babies and have other friends that have had babies in the past year.  Want to see them and there babies, but how, how now, when the mere sight of one makes cry and I feel rage that my baby was supposed to be here too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

MOMS study and Cert. of Still Birth

The results for the MOMS study were published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Even before we did the surgery and had heard that the study had ended early do to efficacy it was so nice to be able to read all of the results and know that so many lives were changed because of it.  Although my son wasn't part of the study and had to pass away, he still had Spina Bifida and still had the surgery, and that will always be a huge part of my life. I look at so many of the blogs wrote by mothers that have gone through the fetal surgery like Liam and cry every time I read them.  I am so happy for all of those families whose lives were changed because of the surgery and that there babies are accomplishing so much more than they would have if it wasn't for the surgery, but so sad that I can't share in there joy the way I would have liked.  I still look back and wonder if Liam would still be with me if I hadn't done the fetal surgery that day.  I guess I'll never know, but seeing those MOMS study results helps me to believe that we did everything we could do for him to help him have a better life.
I also had learned that the state of California had passed the law that I could get a Certificate of Still Birth.  I know it is not a  regular certificate of birth, but it means the world to me knowing it is recognized that he was still born.

Here is the link to the results of the MOMS study
and also

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

5 weeks and 6 days

So here I am exactly 5 weeks and 6 days after losing my love, my baby Liam. Liam and I underwent fetal surgery at the UCSF childrens hospital to help correct his spina bifida at 25 weeks and 6 days gestation.  It was a procedure that had just finished an 8 year research study and although at the time the results weren't published we had found out that it had ended early due to effiicacy. Great news, lets do it we thought, anything to help give him a chance at a better life. So on January 3, 2011 Liam and I were put to sleep.  How would I have known it was the last time I'd ever feel him kick. The doctors said the surgery went great but when they put the last stitch in me his heart stopped. Then I had an emergency c-section to help resusitate him. The doctors said they tried for an hour and a half but he never responded. So what do I even do now. The first week I was in shock in the hospital. My husband and I got the chance to spend 2 days with Liam before they took him for his autopsy.  We were very hesitant on wanting pictures of him taken.  Thank god that the nurses convinced us to allow them to take pictures, we only have a few but they are so meaningful.  A week after leaving the hospital we had his funeral back in Grand Forks, ND so he could have a funeral with family. We will be going back there this spring also, hopefully mothers day for his burial.  I am saddened that I won't be able to go to his grave as often as I'd like since Alaska is a pretty long flight and even longer drive, but I know he is in a good place there because he is getting buried on top of Derecks father.
We really wanted to get home to Alaska, so we went home after only being with family a little over a week.  We know things will never be the same but feel like being at home with our dogs and close friends is the closest thing to normal as we can be right now. I am going back to work on the 18th and so scared. What if I start crying at work? I can't even make it through a day now with out breaking down.  I guess the good news though is that I am seeing ob dr. on the 17th and she will clear me start doing more activity. I am happy to be able to start doing all the things I love, like hiking and skiing, but sad to know that Liam was supposed to be with me doing all these things.. So, what does happen now, how do I carry on my life knowing I'll never get to watch my baby grow, never hear him say mommy or daddy, or ever be able to kiss him and hold him again.
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