A year ago tomorrow time stopped for a second time in our lives October 29 1:11am, and we are forever changed.
October 29, 2019
It is nearly 10:15 CST in our home. I am sitting in the exact same spot on the couch I was earlier in the night one year ago with my family around me. Our precious Maggie moving inside of me. At 10:00 I head to bed to catch the channel 5 news like I always do, and as it comes on the trouble starts, the memories flood my brain...
weird sensations in my hands
overwhelming feeling of sickness
feeling my way to the bathroom
yelling to call 911 before passing out on the bathroom floor
back in bed in and out of blackness
police trying to tell me it is just the flu
begging for oxygen
low blood pressure
moving to the transport chair
visiting Heaven where time stopped, warmth penetrated, and I didn't want to leave
abrupt recsuscitation by the EMTs
into the ambulance
more IV attempts
"Tracy come back"
getting sick, blood pressure dropping, and blackness
oxygen prob alarming
blackness "where are dad and Charlotte"
"Tracy, Tracy, Tracy - talk to me"
wheeling into the ER with a sea of people waiting
cutting all my clothes off
IV access attempt everywhere
EKG leads not sticking
"Tracy what meds are you on"
"Do we believe that blood pressure?"
"I feel like I am dying"
fluids flooding in my body
fetal monitoring attached
two nurses with solemn faces
they cannot find the babies heartbeat, I know they can't I can tell by their stoic faces we nurses so often display
OB doctor arrives
"I am sorry there is no heartbeat"
"NO NO NO NO, this is our rainbow baby, this can't be happening..."
The rest is a messy blur that I don't want to remember
Slowly we have packed away the items collected for her, the packing away of dreams and hopes we had for our future for. This year. The compilation of grief from all the losses. The unending, ever-present, underlying pain that is always there. I struggle to figure out who I am, who I am supposed to become, and how to live in a world that I see differently now more than ever. A world where death not only has been at our doorstep but has been in my body. I am a jumbled mess but I know that more than anything I miss my Maggie Grace and what she could have been, and I miss my Charlotte for all that she could have been. And though I may look strong on the outside, sometimes I am crumbling inside. I feel strong in my faith yet still feel sometimes we got the raw end of the deal, And still I each day faithfully pick up my crosses I have been given to bear because that is what has been destined for me, and it is through the graces that the crosses bring that I can make small difference in this world in honor of all three of my beautiful daughters.
My dearest Maggie,
On the eve of your first birthday at the moment you were born 1:11 already in the arms of Jesus, instead of setting out your first birthday outfit, making sure the balloons are ready and your smash cake is in perfect condition, I lay here thinking about our time with you. Did I hold you enough, did I look at your feet, I can hardly remember. I tried so hard to memorize everything about you, but at the same time so desperately wanted to forget what it felt like to hold your lifeless body...I begged for you to be back in my womb safe in the shelter of my body. What color were your eyes, I never got to see. Your first bath...I didn't get to give...I was trying to survive myself. Your first moments on this Earth were also your last. Our pictures stop after two days. What I have left are your physical body resting beside your beautiful sister who no doubt is looking out for you in Heaven. It hurts Maggie, oh gosh does the knife dive deep into my heart missing you...what would you have been like a year later. Would your hair still be dark? Would you be spunky like you were inside of me, so active much more active than the other girls. Would you be talking? Would you be crawling? Would you be walking? What would your favorite songs be? Would you idolize your older sister Sophie?
Maggie my love, we love you more than words, I know you feel it through the thin veil that exists between this world and the next. I love you so much that take the lessons you have taught me, the purpose of your life not fully understood, and give you back to your creator, to our precious Father in Heaven. I hope He understands my tears and sadness do not reflect my willingness to let you live in the splendor and glory that Heaven gives, I hope He knows that I fully and truly believe that you are in His glory and that you are free of pain, suffering, the troubles of this world. I hope He doesn't think I am weak in the hours or days that I want you back with me, with us, our family.
Maggie Grace. I love you, I love you, I love you - I shout it from the roof tops for all the Heavens to hear. I loved you before you were conceived, and I will continue loving you into eternity until I get to hold you in my arms and feel you with true life filling your soul. I love you and know that your first birthday tomorrow in Heaven will be more glorious than I can imagine - the stars shinning brighter than candles ever could, and surrounded by a love that is unimaginable yet I got to feel for a brief moment. I know you are safe, I know that you are in your glory - know that you are loved beyond measure here on Earth and that we sing your name from the Mountains and thank God for choosing us to be your parents for your 33 weeks on Earth.
I love you to the moon, to the stars, and to Heaven and back, times a million jillion,
mom, dad, and sophie
I have struggled on the idea of sharing these pictures, they do not make me happy, the fill me with sadness, and yet I would give anything to go back to this time to be closer to when she was here. These are real life, this is stillbirth, this is me grieving the loss of another child will simultaneously fighting for my own life at the same time and in the days that followed. I am blessed to be alive, some would call it lucky, but I know that I had two very special guardian angels watching over those who provided care to me and watched over me, and so I know my work is not done here on Earth. Survival comes at a cost, but how lucky am I to be mom to two angels who accomplished their duties in such a short time - their impact so much more powerful than them living a life of 80 years - both did so without speaking a word, one without taking in a breath of air.