Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Riley

...continued...

I woke up in the middle of the night crying.
The same instant that I realized I had a horrific nightmare, was the same instant that I realized my nightmare was real life.
I fell back asleep only to wake up 40 minutes later in the worst pain.
Intense pain.
Labor.
I woke up Hubby and told him I was hurting.
He jumped up and asked how he could help.
He massaged my back.
He held my hand.
He kissed my forehead.
I labored through the night.
Moaning.
Aching.
Crying.
Breathing.
Praying.
Hurting.
I went to use the restroom.
He followed me.
I told him something was wrong.
I laid down in the middle of our hallway outside the bathroom door.
He helped me up.
He went to check on The Girl.
I yelled to him.
"Something bad is happening! Help me!"
He ran in.
And looked terrified.
A few minutes later, he helped me deliver our baby.
In our bathroom.
At 6:00 AM.
A baby.
Small enough to fit in my hands.
Big enough to curse the doctor who said nothing like this was possible.
Tiny fingers.
And toes.
A tongue in a little open mouth.
Unable to determine the gender.
Beautiful.
Hubby called my mom and she came over a few hours later.
After we spent the morning singing to our baby.
Crying.
Holding the baby in a blanket that a close friend made just for them.
Yellow.
Soft.
Currently tucked away in a white box upstairs.
When my mom came over, she spent time looking at the baby.
Crying.
She said she made an appointment to have the baby cremated.
We had no idea what to do at that point.
I am forever thankful that my mom stepped up when my thought process had stopped.
We went to have the baby cremated.
The funeral director had never seen such a thing.
He was so kind and compassionate.
Everything was free of charge.
No death certificate was necessary.
He doubted we would have ashes to save, but promised he would call with any information he had.
We left.
Without our baby.
But thankful for the chance we had.
To hold.
To cuddle.
To sing.
To take photos.
To weep while holding our angel.
We decided on the name Riley as we went to Things Remembered.
Most people would go home and rest.
I refused to step in my home without having something in my hands.
I left my house holding Riley.
I would not go home empty-handed.
I can't imagine a greater pain.
We had a shadowbox made.
To hold ultrasound photos.
To hold photos of my belly.
The plaque reads:
Riley S--------
February 24th, 2006
The second worst day of my life.
Holding my angel baby somehow took away some of the pain from the day before.
I was broken.
Physically.
Emotionally.
Spiritually.
So many people in pain turn to religion.
I turned my back.
We were moving the following month.
From an apartment to a house.
So that our kids could have their own rooms.
And a yard to play in.
My beautiful nursery turned into a home office.
My marriage became strained.
My mothering skills started to slack.
I was bitter.
Mean.
I would look at pregnant women and burst into tears.
Or hate them.
Honestly, hate them.
How awful of me.
I was so broken that nothing could fix me.
I was 22 and miserable in every aspect.
I filed for divorce.
I avoided my family.
I went out.
I made new friends.
People that didn't look at me with sympathy.
I eventually was talked into counseling by Hubby.
He pleaded.
He begged.
Thank God for him.
I never got the answers I craved.
I eventually healed physically.
I tried to stop hating the world.
I turned to Hubby and let him heal me.
He made so many things better.
He tried to take my mind off of my pain.
We became a happy family of 3 again.
I got a new job as a nanny 8 months later.
That job saved me in so many ways.
Things got better and better.
Nothing got easier.
But things got better.
I became pregnant again.
And miscarried at 6 weeks in early February of 2007.
A month later I was pregnant again.
Nervous and skeptical.
But pregnant.
33 weeks later, The Boy was born.
Healthy.
Happy.
Beautiful.
I have 4 children.
Two of them have wings.
Riley's story is more difficult than our second miscarriage.
But I love all of my children.
Julie has posted words of wisdom like no other.
Words that were told to me by my sweet friend Lori on a day that didn't mark any anniversary.

"I am thinking of you today and remembering your sweet little one."
Julie's words inspired a friend to tell me something so kind and meaningful.
And Julie's story has helped me tell mine.
Please follow her advice:
"Please don't be scared off when you hear about a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Don't feel bad for asking. Don't think that bringing it up will upset the mother. That baby is part of her story. Part of her family. Remember that baby. Because the mother will never forget."
Riley is part of my story.
Part of my family.
Each of my children has a song that I wrote and sing them.
I wish I had Riley to hold while I sing.

"Baby Riley,
If only you could see
How much you were already loved.
We wish you were here
To take away the tears,
But we know that you're up above."

It has been a long road to recovery.
Doctors don't recommend another pregnancy for me.
I have always wanted a large family.
I struggle with the thought of having only 2 children.
Until I see women look at me with that look.
The look I used to give pregnant women.
I have a daughter and a son who I can play with and appreciate everyday...
So I will.

36 comments:

  1. Wow. As much as this is completely heartbreaking, it is also just as empowering. I definitely cannot fathom what that must have been like, as I have never been through that circumstance. But at this time we are struggling with infertility and cannot get pregnant. Although our struggles are COMPLETELY different, and yours much tougher, it reminds me that as painful as what we are going through may be, it is for the greater good of us. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story.

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  2. Your story is so unfair. It makes my heart hurt when bad things happen to good people. You guys are such a great family, what breaks you down can ONLY make you stronger. RIP Riley, make your mommy proud up in Heaven!

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  3. Wow, I cannot believe the heartache and the pain that you have gone through. I am so glad that you were able to hold and sing to your sweet little Riley. Thank you for sharing your story. It has really helped me see things better and be so thankful I have my two children even though I want more so badly. Maybe it isn't meant to be. I am so glad that your hubby fought for you and that you came out stronger in the end. You are amazing, you really are. Thank you. One day you will hold and raise your baby angels. I believe with all of my heart that that is true. One day your arms will no longer be empty, but be full again. Until that day.

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss I could never understand your grief, but I feel for the pain that must have borne. I am SO sorry.

    I am so glad that your husband was able to support you through the trial. I believe that you will get to have these children. I just want to send my love to you!

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  5. Kimmie, I want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I have never heard a story like yours, and I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so glad that you and your husband have supported each other and made it through this tremendous loss - and that your little girl now shares your love for little Riley.

    I came here originally to thank you for commenting on my blog, Kimmie, and I am so glad that I did because it is strong, honest, creative, and caring women like you whose words inspire and touch me. Thank you for sharing your story. I am about to become a follower - and a big supporter! Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

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  6. My husband and I lost our son 6 years ago on the 19th of this month to a cord accident at 37 1/2 weeks. I read through this and cried. All that you wrote, I related to. It's a tough journey and I'm sorry you had to go through this loss. God bless...

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  7. What a powerful story.... one filled with a lot of emotion and brings forth many feelings and thoughts! I can't beging to imagine what that journey was like but that you reached the end of that dark tunnel and saw light, love and your family! God bless

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  8. Your story brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart. Thank you for sharing it. I'm so happy that you're family has found healing.

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  9. This is the most heart-wrenching story I've ever heard. I admire your strength in sharing it with us, and truly believe that you will be reunited with your whole family one day.

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  10. I just found your blog and came across this and the other post. I have 5 children....3 with wings...probably playing with your up in heaven. I'd say Im sorry (which I am) but I hated/hate when people say that to me. I was not as far along as you were with Riley with any of my miscarriages so I can't imagine going though what you did. Thank you for sharing...I too am open with those that are going through it or that just have questions.

    Hayley
    www.gooseandlovie.com

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  11. Wow. What a painful experience. A time of wrestling and fighting and growing. And yay for your husband. He fought for you. That is beautiful.

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  12. I cannot even begin to tell you how brave you are for sharing your story. I don't think I'm ready yet to share mine. It still hurts too much.

    I'm so happy that your husband fought for you and that you were able to conceive again and have 2 beautiful children! You have a beautiful family!
    Kimmie, you inspire me.

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  13. Love is kind, love is patient...
    ...Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
    Thank God for your husband's patience, kindness, hope, and love.

    Your story is filled with love. Looking at your smile in that picture, one would never say you grieve. I'm happy you found the ability to smile again. Sending you my best wishes of forevermore happy and joyous life.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story Kimmie! So beautiful and so tearful at the same time. I'm not a mommy yet, but I can tell you love your little ones. All of them. Sweet thoughts your way always!!!

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  15. Kimmie,

    Thank you for sharing. You put it so perfect and so honest! Many of us have felt those pains from the losses we have faced! Thank you again for your words! Prayers and love to you as you remember that day.

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  16. Thank you for being strong enough to share your story with the world. Sweet Riley will be remembered the more you share-the more you will heal. Praying for you and your sweet, sweet family.

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  17. There's not much that can be said. When my son was stillborn a year ago I cut as many ties as I could. Moved back to my mum's and didn't see anyone I didn't have to for weeks. It took me my entire maternity leave to be able to face work again. It's a big place, I still have people asking how I'm enjoying being a mother.

    It is good you were able to get through things with your husband. He sounds like a good bean.

    I'm putting a baby memorial page on my blog. Let me know if you'd like Riley to be included.

    Kayaboo.blogspot.com
    lifepoststillbirth.blogspot.com

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  18. I am so sorry! I am very happy that you have 2 kiddos to hold! I wish you could have more! I too have had miscarriages, although none like your first, and I don't think if I did I would be as strong as you have been! Thanks for sharing your story!

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  19. I'm glad you posted this. In March I lost a baby at 20 weeks and it was incredibly painful. Now 5 months later, I feel like I need to "buck up" since my sister in law is pregnant. When she announced she was pregnant, I went into my closet and cried on the floor. Haven't told anyone b/c everyone thinks I should be finished grieving. Man it's tough. Thank you for posting this and being so honest.

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  20. My heart pains for you and your mommy heart. I'm so sorry and don't have proper words to say how much I ache for you.

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  21. These stories have to be the most touching stories I have ever read. Of course you know, I don't have the "right" words to say. Just know that my heart goes out to you and your family. You are so strong for have shared this to help so many others. Bless you .

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  22. Kimmie you are an amazing woman... I love you girl.

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  23. Wow..all I can say is you are such a strong woman. I cant belive you had to go through all of that..im so sorry. When I got pregnant with our first baby, I miscarried at 8 weeks. It was awful, scary and sad. I can only imagine how the experience you had must have felt. You are such a positive person, and I thankyou for sharing such a personal, beautiful, sad story. What a wonderful mother you are!

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  24. I just found your blog today... having just experienced the miscarriage of my second child in late November... your words in this post could very easily be mine... It was the worst pain ever miscarrying at home. I also just read your are pregnant again... congratulations... I sure hope that is us again soon.

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  25. I don't really have any words to say other than I am so sorry for your loss. But you have two precious angels watching over you. Your story was beautifully written, and I thank you for sharing.

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  26. A beautiful story, which moved me to tears. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  27. Here I am completely crying reading your story. What a blessing to know that you've got 2 gorgeous kids to enjoy. What a hard road that must've been, but God is good. Thank you for sharing, Kimmie.

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  28. Wow, u just took my breath away, I'm so moved by your story. You have the most beutiful writing voice, I will be hugging my three kids a little bit harder tonight, thanku for the reminder of how special a gift each child is. Hugs to u xxxx

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  29. I am newly following your blog. I just read your post of why you blog. I was moved to tears as I read your story. You are amazing, and strong, and inspirational. I hope I never have an experience like this because I wouldn't wish it on anyone and it broke my heart reading about it. But I know what it is like to be pregnant and scared of it happening. I am glad to read your story and know that it is possible to be strong and overcome hardship like this. I hope you understand what I mean when I say that. Thank you for sharing your story and making me snuggle my baby boy a little tighter :)

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  30. Oh Kimmie. Just reading this brought me to tears. The comfort you can have is someday you'll see precious Riley in heaven. My cousin went through something similar except she lost her precious Georgia in the hospital. Doctors can be so cold and detached. I had one miscarriage but it was super early on around the 8 week mark so I barely got used to the idea of being pregnant when I lost my baby while I was in a park. Doctors just don't seem to get that even though it's early on or too early to determine sex, that it's your BABY, your precious darling child...Maybe they have to be detached to survive giving news like that.

    Sorry I went on so much. Reading Riley's story just touched me.

    ((( H U G S )))

    Jean {What Jean Likes}

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  31. kimmie, you are incredibly brave to put this story out there for others to read. You are one of the strongest mothers I know. Lots of love and hugs to you.

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  32. Hi Kimmie, I just recently followed your blog. I am so glad I did. I do not know you but I can tell that you have a beautiful soul, and you're an amazing and strong woman. I immediately felt a connection with you as I suffered from a miscarriage, too. I read your story about Riley and it brought me to tears. May God continue to bless you and your family, and I ask that He continue to bless you with the wisdom and words that you so kindly share with us.

    Xoxoxo

    http://thepinteresthousewife.blogspot.com/

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  33. Thank you for sharing your story and telling us about Riley. I had no idea that this was the reason you started blogging, as I am a new-ish follower of your blog. It's the same reason that I have been throwing the idea around of starting my own blog... To share my sons story, and to know that his life meant something. Micah was stillborn at 36 1/2 weeks. After a perfect pregnancy, I noticed there wasn't much movement one day, got checked at the hospital, and had that same heartwrenching moment looking at the ultrasound screen and seeing my sons heart... still.
    Nothing rocks a marriage like losing a child. It sucks for the mother, but the daddy's road is hard also, and there is nothing better than a man who stands beside you through it all and holds you close when the tears seem to have no end.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

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  34. i want to hug you right now! your story is amazing and riley has got to be so proud. i am extremely jealous that you got to see and hold your sweet little baby. i was not so lucky to do that, even though i begged, when we lost our sweet boy...

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  35. Thank you for sharing your story. My story is almost identical to yours. We lost our first baby at 14 weeks when a routine doctor's visit left us with no heartbeat to be found. We also thought it was just the dopplers not working and then were finally sent to a radiologists a half hour away where we were told our baby had passed 3 days prior to a partial molar pregnancy. I was sent home to try to naturally miscarry but later had to have a D & C. Molar pregnancies can become cancerous so I had to undergo weekly blood tests for a year until we were allowed to get pregnant again. After a year, we had a positive pregnancy test on the exact day we learned we lost our first baby. Sadly, we miscarried at 5.5 weeks. I began to think I'd never be able to carry a baby after all I'd gone through. Our sweet and compassionate doctor whom we adore, assured me that I'd get pregnant again soon, no need to wait to try again, and that I'd carry a baby full term and have a beautiful, healthy baby. Well, one month after the miscarriage, we learned we were pregnant again. I now have a kind, crazy, outgoing 2.5 year old boy and a loving, happy 6 month old baby boy.

    I love that you honor your unborn babies and share your story. Thank you for this!

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  36. Found you through Instagram. What a heart-wrenching and beautiful story. I am so glad you were able to hold baby Riley and take pictures of and with him. It takes a strong woman to share stories of pregnancy struggles...as a NICU nurse I applaud women such as yourself who are brave enough to share these stories and to bring awareness. There are so many who don't realize they aren't alone.

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