Tag Archive | due date

Maya is Home

A lot has happened this week.  And I feel different.  Things have started to shift.

We decided to do the March for Babies, which helped me release some of my guilt and regret.  Last weekend we received our touched-up pictures from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, which is an incredible organization.  Since Maya had tape across her upper lip holding her breathing tubes in place, she has a very red bruise across her upper lip in all of our pictures.  The photographer who donates her time to this wonderful organization touched up these photos so our baby’s face is just perfect.  Once we got the pictures, we created our Maya wall in our living room:

It gives me so much pleasure to have these pictures finally displayed.  I feel like she is now more a part of our home – her home.

As I mentioned previously, we put off purchasing Maya’s urn for a long time.  Originally, we didn’t think we’d get one and thought we’d mix her ashes in with the soil that will be used to plant her tree in the spring.  We asked the funeral home to hold onto them.  Right around her due date, I changed my mind and we started looking at urns.  It didn’t take long to find one we liked.  What took a while was mustering up the strength to purchase it.  I found every excuse in the book and put it off for weeks.  It felt so final and I didn’t want to admit to myself that, at 27, I needed to purchase an urn for my daughter’s remains.  Then, I started to feel guilty.  When it arrived, it took another week to call the funeral home and inform them that we were ready to have Maya home.  Yesterday, she arrived.

I thought I would be more sad.  I thought I would cry.  Instead, a feeling of comfort and contentment came over me.  Maya is now home.  I look at her urn and smile, knowing she is here with us.

I mentioned that things have started to shift and that I feel different.  About a month ago, CarlyMarie posted a project that involved making prayer flags for a candle lighting that would take place on the same beach where Maya’s name was written in the sand.  I thought it was a beautiful idea, but could not find the motivation to participate.  Yesterday, that changed, and I decided that I needed to make a flag and I needed to do it right away so it would get to Australia in time.  Hackie and I went to the fabric store and I was up until after midnight (very late for me) making this:

I wrote the poem, I hand-stitched the fabric, and I thought of my Maya the whole time.  This morning, it got sent to Australia and I am so happy that I found the strength to participate in this wonderful event.

With all of these things, I have felt very different in this journey called grief.  The foggy haze that I have felt myself in for the last three months has lifted slightly.  Someone at the hospital told us that we will somehow figure out a way to make meaning out of this horrific tragedy.  I’m starting to understand what that means.  Physically and mentally doing things for Maya – the walk, our wall, her flag, and having her home has helped me make meaning out of her life.  I feel motivated to go forward and I’m eager and excited to do as much as I possibly can to honor my little girl and keep her memory alive.

A Meeting with Doctors and Feeling the Highs and Lows

We had a meeting yesterday at the hospital.  I had requested a meeting to review what we know happened to Maya.  There is a lot of fogginess for Hackie and I when it comes to the memory of that day so we were hoping that some of the gaps could be filled in.  We met with my OB, the OB who delivered Maya, the pediatrician, and the head of their department.  Overall, the meeting went well.  There wasn’t anything shocking revealed and there are still more questions than answers.  Here’s what I learned:

-I was actually good at pushing.  For the hour or so that I was pushing, Maya was doing better than she was doing throughout the labor.  I made good progress and was good at bringing her down.  This was news to me.  I was utterly exhausted during that hour and was falling asleep in between contractions.  I thought I was a total failure at being able to push my baby out.  Turns out, she was indeed stuck.

-Eight minutes before she was delivered, they checked her heart rate with the Doppler.  It was nice and strong.  When she came out, she was not breathing and had a very weak heart rate.

-The doctors were just as shocked as we were.  For some reason, I had convinced myself that the doctors knew the fate of Maya as I was being wheeled in for my c-section.  I also thought they had seen this before and maybe weren’t as dumbfounded as we were.  What I learned yesterday is that this does not happen often (especially in that small hospital) and they were, and still are, completely shocked.

-We still have no idea what went wrong.  We continue to wait for the autopsy report.  After yesterday’s meeting, I feel more strongly that it was not my labor and delivery that caused Maya’s death.  It seems as though my labor and delivery were relatively normal and this is just a freak thing that happened.

Though we still do not have the answers we want, the meeting put my mind at ease in some respects and filled in some gaps.  The strangest part of the whole thing was that I was the least emotional person at that table.  I basically led the meeting with my questions and was very business-like.

Afterwards, I tortured myself wondering why I wasn’t more affected by the meeting and the somber look on all the doctors’ faces.  I asked myself, “What is wrong with me that I am not more sad and emotional?”  I want to cry and scream and grieve with every ounce of my soul – but I can’t.  I have become desensitized to the highs and the lows.  I also hate pity.  I’ve dealt with a lot in my life and the last thing I want is for others to feel bad for me.  I am a strong person.  On Maya’s due date, I went to Panera for lunch and lost it.  Everyone who I was with stopped eating and stared at me.  I did not want this to happen at the  meeting yesterday, and I knew that if I lost it, the meeting would turn into a comfort session for me rather than getting the answers to our questions.

I know I will feel the lows again.  And I know that I cannot predict when they will happen.  The purpose of the meeting was to get some answers, and I needed to keep my emotions in check in order for that to happen.  I’m pleased with how it went and it was nice to see the doctors again.  Hackie and I are so blessed to have such compassionate doctors who were clearly affected by Maya’s death.  They have our best interest in mind going forward and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Due Date

For the past couple of weeks I have thought about this day.  My due date.  I have walked by the big calendar in the hall with “DUE DATE!!” written across this day.  I have noticed it on every July calendar that I see.  I told myself that it was no big deal.  I told myself that most babies don’t come on their due date anyway.  I told myself that June 16th was now the significant day and that July 22nd was insignificant.  I was wrong.  Today is a very significant day and it’s been very hard.

I probably said “July 22nd” over 100 times in answer to the question, “When are you due?”.  I said it with a big smile on my face.  It was my due date from the day I got pregnant.  It was what I used to tell my parents the big news (I toasted “to July 22nd” at dinner a week after I found out I was pregnant).  It was the day I counted down to for so long.  It was a special day.

As I live through it, I ache for what I do not have.  If Maya were here, today would have been insignificant.  She came early.  If she were still here, I would be well-adjusted to my life as a new mom by now.  If she were here, I would have looked back on these last five weeks thinking, “I couldn’t imagine life without her here”.  She is not here.  I know life without her and I hate it.  It sucks.  Today being her due date is just another reminder that she is not here.

I have learned yet another lesson in the art of grieving.  I can’t control it.  It’s very unpredictable.  I tried so hard to prepare myself for this day.  I made the decision that it wasn’t going to be a bad day, that I would get through it just fine, that it was insignificant.  Apparently, I can’t make decisions like that.  I have to let go and let this process run its course.  I have to trust that adjacent to the bad days will be better days.  I have to live on knowing that the bad day will end.

There will be many significant days.  I know that now.  I have learned that I have to allow them to be significant.  I have to allow myself to go to the bad place and express my sadness, anger, and frustration.  I have to go through the process.  When I’m the most sad, I start thinking about Maya.  I think about what she will miss, but I also think about the time I had with her.  Today, I decided to finally cut some of the pink lilies that are next to our driveway.  I had been admiring them for a week.  I don’t remember them there last year.  My husband and I went out and cut some and put them in a vase.  I have believed from the beginning that Maya would have loved pink and been a super girly girl.  When I see these flowers, I think of her.  I see her beauty in them and they make me smile… even on a bad day.