HOME

Information

Beth's Journals

 

Beth is Alyssa's mummy. Alyssa died at 29 days old of SIDS. Beth has her own web sites that can be found at  www.pixieweb.net/alyssa.htm and www.pixieweb.net/grief.htm

 
 
 

October 29, 2000

I've read somewhere that writing a journal can be good for the grieving process. So I thought this might be a good idea, since it not only helps me, but I am hoping it can help you as well. Let me begin with an introduction. My name is Beth, I am 26 years old and I live in Australia. I have two beautiful children, Kyle who is almost 2 1/2 years old, and I gave birth to my precious little girl, who I named Alyssa Kaye on the 12th July, 2000. But my dream of having two children was shattered on the 10th August, 2000 when my baby girl was taken from us, by SIDS. But I still like to say that I have two children, because I know she is still here with us. I just know . . .

 

I have a wonderful husband, Steven, who through everything, has given me an incredible amount of love and support. I studied to be a Registered Nurse back in 1993 and finished the course and begun to work at a hospital in Sydney. I love to be able to help others. Then in August, 1997 I fell pregnant for the first time, and was so overjoyed, and so sick every night! I gave birth to a gorgeous little boy Kyle John on the 10th June, 1998, weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces.

 

My dream was to have children close together in age, because I was 5 and 6 years younger then my brothers. I felt very alone at times so this was especially important to me. So when I found out I was pregnant again in September, 1999 we were both thrilled!! My second pregnancy went smoothly, with no sickness nor high blood pressure, and I sailed through to almost 42 weeks ( I wasn't impressed at the time!). I gave birth easily to a precious little girl, whom I thought all along would be a boy. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and rarely cried right from the start.

 

"We have the perfect family," I said to my husband. But we both knew deep down, that even if Alyssa turned out to be a boy, it would still be the perfect family anyway! We settled into life with two young children very quickly. She woke every four hours like an alarm clock, and never cried, only fussed for a bottle. Our dream was a reality. Alyssa would watch Kyle run past as he played around her, and he always quickly kissed her on the lips and say "Sister!" then rushed off to continue on with his games. It was so sweet.

 

Then on the morning of the 10th August, 2000 I fed Alyssa at 1:30 am, with no realization that this would be the last time I would ever see her alive again. I remember having a migraine from lack of sleep, and I sat on the couch with her bottle, stroking her hair line that passed onto her cheek. I always murmured to her "Hello Beautiful" and started up a conversation. I put her down in her bassinet on her side because of the reflux and was dead asleep by the time I hit the pillow.

 

Seven a.m. came and went . . . and Steven woke up and said, "She hasn't woken up!" and ran to her bassinet. I was frozen in bed, and guilt filled my body . . . I should have woken up. The cries I heard next will forever haunt my mind, and I knew at that moment she was gone. I didn't even look. I just ran to the phone and dialed the ambulance.

 

The strength in my body amazed me that day. I had complete control. My baby could not die from SIDS. I did everything to prevent this from happening; there is no way in hell she could have died from SIDS of all things! I was a trained Nurse . . . I use to teach CPR to people . . . I have saved lives before. So I took charge and began the training . . . to no avail. The ambulance came and treated me like a murderer. The accusing eyes and comments made it even worse; how could they think I would do something like this?

 

We spent three hours at the hospital, saying our goodbyes, taking foot and hand prints, taking photos. I am so glad we spent this time with her. The funeral was on the 16th August, 2000 and I held her again in her pretty pink dress and shawl. I placed some of my hair in her hand. Buying her that last pink dress was an emotional trauma in itself. But the service was beautiful.

 

Now it has been 2 1/2 months since her death. The first two months I denied it totally. My body and my mind couldn't fathom that she was really gone. She was just away on holidays with Nana, or she was just asleep but never dead. When we got home from the hospital that horrible day, Steven got her bottles from the fridge and emptied and washed them up. I fought against him because she was just asleep! How dare he waste formula that I had prepared when she could wake at any minute. But he just couldn't cope with seeing those bottles in the fridge and had to do it.

None of this was really happening at all!!! Why are all these people here, why does everyone want to arrange a funeral??? A funeral for who? My daughter would be organizing my funeral, not vice versa. How can they say she is dead? Why are the police here? They think I killed my baby! But you got it all wrong, she isn't dead at all . . . she's in the next room!

 

Those thoughts went through my head constantly. And sleeping terrified me. I would still be awake after taking sleeping pills and hear the birds chirping in the morning. I wanted desperately to fall asleep, but couldn't. I'd panic when the time hit 1:30 am (being the last time I fed her) and anytime after that. I still panic to this day when we are heading for bed. I panic that Kyle isn't breathing and check on him every half hour once he falls asleep. I panic in the morning when he is still asleep and I wake. Is he ok? Oh no, why isn't he awake yet???

 

The two months after Alyssa's death were like a day dream. It was like moon walking in a void of blackness and despair. If someone were to hit me across the head, or try to scare me I probably wouldn't have noticed it. I had no idea that the world was still spinning, that things like bills had to be payed, that washing needed to be done, that Kyle needed to be changed and fed. I forgot to eat, and thankfully as helpless as my Mother felt, she did everything, and I appreciate it so much now. She was there, listening, and loving, and hugging. There is nothing to say in a situation like this that can make any of it right. Just a simple hug, and an ear go such a long way.

 

In the last month, Steven lost his job and I was sick to death of it all. We decided to move to be closer to his family and I decided to go back to work in the hospital. Packing up Alyssa's room was the hardest thing since the funeral. It took days and emotionally afterwards I was tired and exhausted. I didn't want to pack anything up. Where we live now is peaceful, but the reality has recently hit hard, and I think this is much worse then the first two months. I spend my days off in bed, wishing I was dead, and then get angry because everyone depends and loves me too much keeping me from joining Alyssa. There is no way I could leave my family, ever. But this grief is so deep and intense with emotions that I can't see a way out. It's like being in a deep, dark well of hell with no ladder to climb to the light. I get angry a lot, because I wish I could have her back. I miss her so desperately. Why couldn't have God chosen me to die? I am so glad she never got to experience the crap in life. But it doesn't make me feel any better.

 

Steven as quiet as he is, has pushed it all away. I know he misses her as much as I do, but it's like we are going down two different pathways of grief. I feel so alone in this. I wish somehow we could meet in a fork of the road and grieve together in the same way. But everyone grieves totally different to everyone else, and deal with it differently.

 

It's strange, they say there are five stages to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I can't ever imagine 'accepting' this. And never did they tell me that I would be going back and forth in the grief. I thought it was suppose to be five simple stages that you gently eased into and once you went through that 'stage' of the grief, you then eased your way into the next 'stage'. It's like going on a rollercoaster through denial, into depression, back to anger, back to denial and then jolted over toward bargaining etc.

 

This is a nightmare, but I am glad I have the opportunity to share it with you. Because sometimes I feel like I am going crazy, and it's good to know that others like you and me are going through some of the same things here. I just want her back . . . and even though I have realized that this dream has been shattered, I'll never be the same again.

--------------------------------

November 10, 2000,
 

It's been three months today since Alyssa died. I can't believe it. Each second that clock keeps ticking, the further I am away from my beautiful daughter. I try to hold on to the memories, try to recite those memories in my head, because I am too scared I will forget them. I already am. Thankfully I took four rolls of film of her within the 29 days of her life. I clutch at them, and look at her sweet innocent face wondering how such a cruel thing could happen to this sweet baby?

 

Nighttime is the worst, particularly last night. I prayed to God "Please let me sleep through tonight; I don't want to wake up at 1:30am or any time after that, because Lord I will freak out!" 1:30 in the morning, the last time I fed her three months ago. And any time after that, because she died sometime between 2am and 6am.

 

Of course I woke right at 1:30am, and I freaked. Running into Kyle's room, I had to make sure he was breathing. He was fine. But there was an eerie presence in the house. Or maybe I was just going crazy last night. Then I woke at 4am. Then at 5:30am.Then at 7am to Kyle jumping all over me! I didn't care at all, because I was just glad he had woken before me.

 

What a horrible day! Steven had to work today; thankfully I didn't. But he is so sad today; his eyes look so empty. Since the reality of her death has fixed itself into our hearts and minds, the pain has worsened somewhat. Thoughts and empty dreams play on our minds constantly:

 

Kyle is forced to be alone now! This is totally unfair. I'll never see my wonderful daughter get married; I'll never see her running around like that little girl. She will never experience this incredibly beautiful world! Why can't that mother treat her baby right? Why does she scream and yell at the tiny baby!

I don't want any more children, at least not yet. I can't imagine ever being pregnant again. I am not prepared to live through that fear that my baby won't be waking up tomorrow, and being scared to walk into the baby's nursery only to find him/her dead. Of course with all the precautions I took with Alyssa, it would be highly unlikely to happen. And some of you may think it would be unfair of me to make that decision for the sake of Kyle. But I am in no shape to be having children yet.

 

Steven would like more children eventually, and perhaps in years to come I may want to as well. Who knows . . . these emotions are too severe to be making that decision. But for those of you, who have lost a child, may feel totally different. And that's fine! As I have noticed, we all grieve individually, and have different needs. Don't let anyone tell you that you "Must have another child straight away" (after your miscarriage or pre/post neonatal death). They think it will fill that void, make you feel a little more 'complete', or take away your grief. Only time can offer acceptance and healing. Some may think that when you fall pregnant not long after birth that you are trying to replace the child you lost. It isn't the case. You do what you need to do.

 

As you have probably noticed, I am a little angry in this entry. I let it come because it's apart of the grief. One thing that really ticks me off is someone who says "It must have been God's will" or "Everything happens for a reason" or "You can always have another, you're so fertile!" Of course, they mean it with the best of intentions, and I am not trying to have a go at anyone who does this! I did it myself when a friend of mine had a miscarriage. I thought if I give an answer it would make her feel so much better and comforted. And the people who say these statements are only trying to help. So I don't get angry with them. I just smile and say "Yeah perhaps". But I don't want an answer! I just want comfort, a shoulder to cry on, a loving hug, an ear, and not a voice that interrupts me with their personal problems.

 

What I am asking for seems very little to a person who is watching their relative or friend go through this grief. My mother, as I said in the last entry, felt so helpless, but little did she know she just did so much!!! She just let me talk about Alyssa constantly, and just smiled and cried and hugged me. She did my washing, my dishes, looked after Kyle, and made frozen dinners when she had to go home. I couldn't have asked for anything more! It was such a blessing.

 

I miss her in my arms. That soft warm bundle, the windy smile . . . I miss it all. I would do anything to have it all back.

 

Alyssa is resting at home with us. She was cremated and placed in a pewter box that is engraved with her full name and dates. I go in there, and it's so wonderfully therapeutic. Last night I sat there crying over the urn. The urn is cold and hard, when she was just the opposite. The day she died, she was so terribly cold. I kept wrapping blankets around her to warm her, but she just got colder. Those thoughts are so scary. They keep running through my mind like a broken record, over and over again. I remember my sister-in-law coming in and cradling her up so tight and rocking her with tears streaming down her face. I will never forget that.

 

I remember having to say goodbye to her. I just didn't want to leave. She was my baby so there was no way she was going to some cold room to be hurt. Those horrible memories stick in my brain, even more so then the good memories. I am hoping that the good ones take over the bad; I am sure they will eventually. I can't stop crying. I let it out because somehow it has to help push me toward the healing and acceptance stage eventually. If I don't cry today, and hold back, it will only come another day. Each day I cry, I try to imagine that it's a stepping-stone to the healing

 

--------------------------------

November 24, 2000
 

I'm not coping. I'm not coping at work, at home, anywhere. I am wondering what my purpose is in life now at times. Christmas is closing in like a horrible nightmare, and my Alyssa should have been 4 1/2 months now.

We got Kyle's table and two chairs out of the storage today. He sat down at the table, and looked at the other empty chair. It broke my heart. Alyssa should have been joining him in that chair, playing with him, fighting over Legos and causing mischief.

 

The days have been a blur since Alyssa's death. I can't seem to get into a routine, nor do I want to. People at work and friends keep telling me, "You have to go on for your husband and Kyle's sake." I grit my teeth. I am going on. I am living, aren't I? How could anyone expect me to "get over" this and go on? No, you will never get over this, but you have to be strong for your family. Are we living in the dark ages? Do I have to put on an act that pretends I am ok, that I am strong, that we should probably just avoid this topic completely?

 

No way! For such a modern society, we have pushed Death and Dying topics aside, because basically we as a society are uncomfortable with death and dying because it is final. So those of us who are forced down this road of grief, just have to buck up and swallow it down. I don't think so.

 

"At least you didn't get to know the Baby . . . it should be easier for you to get over this."

 

So a Baby is more insignificant than a grown person? A miscarriage is just a bunch of cells that didn't survive? That is garbage, and I need to vent about these statements because they seem never-ending. Of course as I said before, my friends and co-workers are saying it with the best of intentions but it's so painful and distressing, I would be rather lie underneath the safety of my sheets then have to face this every single day. I am feeling so emotionally exhausted. Too exhausted to do anything.

 

I watched The Truman Show this morning. I feel like Truman. Stuck in a world that I cannot get out of. Truman does get out, but I can't get out until I die naturally. No one will let me go now. I'm sick of waking up every morning in fear . . . fear that when Kyle is not awake that he is dead in his bed. I am up constantly every night checking that he is still breathing. What kind of world are we that we cannot find a cause for SIDS? We are classed as a Modern Society, yet we still cannot protect our children from dying in their beds. How many more people will have to go through this? The trauma of finding Alyssa blue and limp and too cold is so fresh in my mind, I want to will it all away! I hate this!

 

Death and dying have been put on the back burner in our Society, I feel. People are too uncomfortable with finality, with the reality of death. The topic is shunned even to this day. The beginning of a new life is rejoiced and openly talked about with happiness. But because the ending of a life is so tragic and sad, let's just move that topic aside and talk about "happy" things. How horribly vague our world is! And yet we, who must grieve are told how to grieve, how to be strong, how to change the subject. But Society won't do that to me. I will opening talk about my loss . . . my sadness . . . my loneliness . . . my life that is in turmoil.

 

Today has been a horrible day. My husband is angry because he is so afraid we will lose Kyle. He is into everything. We try to put things away so he cannot reach things that could be dangerous for him to touch, and as he grows taller he is able to reach them. We are so scared we will lose him too, even as we move those things away so he can't possibly get to them.

 

We also bought fish the other day for our fish tank. We sat there and gave the fish names and laughed at the funny things they did. Steven called his fish "Bubbles" and I named my fish "Bonnie". We found Bonnie dead this morning. I am such a failure. I cannot even keep this damn fish alive. How can I stop crying? How can I ever come to some place of healing? Damn SIDS for making me fear life! I can't cope with this life. I can't stop thinking about her, the life she would have had. I can't come to terms with my powerlessness.

 

I am still waiting for test results to come back from the Coroner. I am hoping for an answer, something I can hold onto. SIDS is too unexplainable to be the answer. Then again, I hope she didn't suffer any pain.

 

Oh I miss her so much. This loss is the hardest thing I have ever had to face. Our lives feel so empty . . . our family incomplete. I don't think that will ever change. It feels like our family is falling apart. I am crying, my husband is angry, my son is confused. I know we will survive. I know there is hope. But getting there is another story.

 

If you are reading this and have never experienced a loss, I hope it helps some to understand how deep this grief goes . . . that it never ends.

 

If you are reading this and have experienced a loss, I hope you don't feel alone. I must cling on to that hope, otherwise I will never get through this storm.

 

-------------------

 

February 7, 2001
 

I have been so busy. Work has been hellish and everything seemed to go wrong at the same time last month. We are racing up to the sixth month anniversary of Alyssa's death now on February 10th. It's very disappointing that I have to work on this anniversary when I know it will definitely be hard to cope.

A lot of our family and friends have stopped talking about her now. I think they think we should be getting on with things now. It's easier said then done. Sure we have had some wonderfully happy days. We took Kyle out driving to see the countryside, play together constantly and do plenty of fun things together. And with these good days, have come the bad days unfortunately.

 

Last month, my Husband and I fought a lot. We were both so angry, and in amongst that I was tired. Our financial status needs improving desperately, and with everything else, it bogged us down and brought out our worst sides. On the bad days, I guess they usually start when I see Kyle playing by himself, or when I wake up feeling so down and out. he depression has hit and seems to take my entire personality and twist it into some other person. My husband seemed to think that I hadn't smiled in a long time, and I probably hadn't. And if I did smile in public it was usually fake or forced. It's horrible that life has to be this way. I am unsure if I have PPD. I had it with Kyle, but because this grief is involved, it is too hard to diagnose.

 

But today as I write this, I am having a good day. Things aren't so bad, and I know things can be exaggerated when I am having a bad day. I know and accept that some days I will have trouble getting out of bed and that I need to be easy on myself on those days.

 

Work has been extremely hard to cope with. It has been very demanding and non-stop. I find at work I am doing 4-5 things at once, and it all gets too much. Soon I am going part time, and I am thankful for that, even with our current financial problems.

 

Next week I go South for one week to start my Midwifery course. I am very excited and very scared about the entire thing, but I think it will be good for me, and give me a positive outlook toward life.

 

My husband and I made a pact to try not to have heated arguments anymore. It really gets us nowhere, and we are going to try to speak calmly and truthfully about our feelings. I read somewhere that a huge majority of marriages fall apart after the loss of a baby. I don't want ours to be one of those statistics. We have realized that we need to spend much more time together, being together, talking, and sharing. And if a new pregnancy comes in amongst all of this, then it is obviously meant to be.

 

I am sick of living in fear. I was checking on Kyle 4-5 times each night to make sure he was still breathing. Now, 6 months on, I am checking on him maybe only 2-3 times through the night. I have come to realize that life cannot be controlled. That if something will happen it will. That fear is not going to change the course of our life span. This six months have been terribly hard. Some times I have wished I were dead. Other times I had wished her back a 1000 times. And yet other times I have managed to help others who have lost a baby and felt instant satisfaction. And to think about it all, I managed to laugh, to hold a family together, and realize that human kindness goes such a long way.

 

I can only thank my beautiful daughter for that.

I can thank my son, who at 2 1/2 managed to comfort me so simply.

I can thank my Husband for putting up with me.

I can thank God for giving me a hand each time I fall into that ditch, even though I told him I hated Him several times, then in turn asked for forgiveness.

Until next month. 

 

------------------------

 

April 5, 2001
 

I can't believe it. Last month I found out that I am pregnant! It was such a shock, and in some ways still is. I found out on the 26th March, early in the morning, with my husband standing behind me eagerly waiting a positive result. We were both ecstatic, and I found myself actually denying the result, looking back at the pregnancy test over and over again.

This week I have been having some cramping and spotting. The doctor sent me for an ultrasound, and we saw the tiny sac. The radiographer said that usually at five weeks pregnant we would see the tiny fetus, and she suggested that I was more three weeks pregnant and that I could have ovulated later then first thought. The doctor called and said the same thing, but also said that it could mean I have a blighted ovum. OMG, am I carrying around an empty shell? Am I suppose to get excited here? Or am I just suppose to hold off my excitement 'just in case'?

 

I feel almost guilty that I am pregnant again . . . that I am somehow getting on with my life, and my poor baby girl feels forgotten.  I will never forget her. I will never let go of her. I just need some hope now. I hope this turns out right.

 

This month, I feel as if I can think about Alyssa with more happiness then pain. I feel as if I can talk about her without tears in my eyes and remember the good qualities about her rather then that tragic day where she was no longer full of life. It's easier to look upon Kyle as he is, rather then what he doesn't have. I don't mourn as much this month that he is playing by himself. I still find it hard to cope with at work sometimes. I feel as if I can't handle the pace at times, that I am incompetent to do my job.

 

It is hard waiting now. I am expecting to lose this baby, because it's a normal reaction after a loss. I just hope I don't. I don't know how I will cope if I lose this baby. I don't know if I have the strength to hold myself up. I feel bitter toward God more so than before. I just don't understand why this happens to people, and I don't care for any reasons either. I do hope though, that this bitterness passes soon, as I know that deep down I love Him.

Now I must wait and see what the next two months brings in terms of this new baby. I dearly hope I am granted another chance.

I miss you Alyssa.

-------------------------

July 25, 2001
 

Oh what a hard month!

I have put off writing and taken so long to write because the emotions have just been too hard to handle . . . and to tell you the truth I have lost a lot of motivation this past month to do anything. The strength has just disappeared somewhere, and I guess I am now nurturing myself to get my feet on the ground once again.

 

Alyssa's birthday, the 12th July came and went so quickly. I had planned another balloon releasing, a cake, a present for her and to do something ceremonial. Instead . . . I lay in bed, like a zombie crying like I hadn't cried in years, unable to speak through the gush of tears and pain I felt. That pain when you cry that hard is debilitating. It takes every inch of your energy and spits you out like an old rag. I felt like an old rag, so tired and worn, with nothing left in me that would be of any use that day.

 

My husband, the brave man, kept busy. I don't understand how he does it, or how he survives. But he does. He deals with it the way men do. He went out and bought this beautiful angel statue made of marble that I had on layby for a while. It was Alyssa's birthday present. Underneath the statue is a hollowed out section in which we intend to put Alyssa's ashes into. That will be another feat in itself. Looking at her ashes . . . the remains of her beautiful tiny body that I once held. It will be so depressing and so sad. I am not sure if I even want to do it now. But the statue will be placed in the garden, near the wind chime and in a place where I can go and be alone with her.

 

Instead of the cake idea, I lit Alyssa's candle - her candle with its sweet scent. The candle last burned at Christmas, and before that her funeral. The smell reminds me of her.

My Mother called me on her birthday. She is so sweet. I love her so much just for thinking of me. I tried to be brave but I couldn't help but cry. It was suppose to be a happy day where my only Daughter is opening all her presents anxiously. Instead there is only pain and heartache. My daughter should have been 1. Yes 1 in heaven, but not celebrating with us.

 

We received flowers that day, some from my husband;s family and some from my Mother. I cried when I received them. I can't believe how incredible people are, how they had us in their thoughts, how they had Alyssa in their thoughts too. Of course they would. I received a beautiful wall hanging from a lovely lady overseas that had lost a baby herself, and yet thought of us. Such selfless acts.

 

The day of Alyssa's birthday passed in a blur. Our Kyle, now 3 years old, sang Happy Birthday to Alyssa and kissed her urn. He is such a precious child. The baby now in my womb kicked me all day. I felt guilty for being so upset and hoping I had not put strain on our growing baby but the kicks reassured me that there is hope around the corner.

 

My life has completely changed this past year. I have grown within myself, found avenues that I never thought existed. I have never felt pain like I have since Alyssa's passing. I just miss her so much. It's useless even saying that because it doesn't even touch base on how deep I really do miss her.

 

On a lighter and happier note, even though my Alyssa always makes me happy to think about, we attended our ultrasound of baby bean. Everything looks perfect. We have an idea of the sex but the baby was adamant to keep its foot well within its groin so we may be wrong. It can only be one or the other, and either way I really don't mind! I have been constantly tired this pregnancy, tired with anxiety, tired with our busy lifestyle but hopeful for a new start.

 

I think once December comes and the Baby is due I will be very anxious, but I am trying to enjoy this wonderful experience of being pregnant. It is truly an amazing blessing.

I feel for those who grieve in such a different way, trying to conceive and yet having so much trouble having a Baby themselves. It is a type of grief that I could never understand but I can only imagine the heartache and failure they must endure.

 

As I look back on this past year, two things that have really gotten me through is drawing in the peace around me and living moment by moment. Taking snapshots of happier days and remembering those days when the bad ones come. The days where I would chase after Kyle who would be looking over his shoulder laughing so hard he could hardly keep up the pace, and me looking over my shoulder with my husband trying to catch me and tickle me to the floor. It's those snapshots I take in my mind and use them when I am in a pit of despair for Alyssa.

 

There are days when I can think of Alyssa and only smile. Her bright blue brown eyes that newborns have wide trying to take in everything around them. It took along time to get to the point where I could smile at the thought of her rather then collapse into an emotional heap.

Apart from the intense grief, my relationship with my husband hasn't always been easy. It's like suddenly you have to tackle all this grief for loosing your child, attempt to nurture your partner, and sometimes children and try to maintain the healthy relationship you once had with your husband. It can be so demanding; I know it was for me.

 

As I have probably said previously, it takes its toll. The loss can either severe your relationship or make it stronger. It's tough because you grieve so differently, and you can't seem to get the support you need from your partner who has no clue what you need because they are on a different path to you. When I cried, all I wanted was my husband to hold me. Instead he would walk away, and even go out sometimes. To me it was like a kick in the face. To him it was unbearable to see the pain, and he had no idea that a hug could help me. It took a lot of talking just to get through things. It takes a lot of time and patience too.

 

Things are better these days. Instead of counting 6 out of the 7 days a week where I wish I could die under my bed sheets now it might only be 1 day out of 7 and the pain is not so intense now.

There is hope. There's a lot to live for.

Until next time,
Beth

____________________

January 8, 2002
 

My last entry was going to be the end of my grief journal, but I decided to post one more to update you with my news. I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Felicity Anne, on the 2nd December, 2001.

On the 1st December, I had a show. This really excited both Steven and I as with both Alyssa and Kyle I went overdue and needed to be induced. The day went by without a pain or contraction, and we decided to put up our Christmas tree and make a day of it.

 

The next morning at 4am, I awoke to 10 minute contractions which were so strong!! I couldn't even think when they did come. I called the maternity unit (that I work in) and let them know what was happening. It was nice to know all the staff, and they happily suggested that I could come and be admitted. I decided to stay at home. The contractions continued on all morning at 10 minutes apart lasting about 30 seconds.

 

At 10:30 am I decided to go up to the hospital and just ensure that baby was happy. The heartbeat was 156 bpm, and she was doing great. Simone, the midwife on at the time, decided to check cervical dilation as Alyssa was very fast at arriving! The cervix was posterior and closed. I didn't let that bother me! I knew that with subsequent pregnancies anything could happen and nothing could be predicted.

 

We went to the video shop, and it was almost amusing to have a contraction in the shop while trying to find some videos to pass the day. We got three videos out. God only knows what they are now; I have no idea what we watched but we did get through all three of them.

Throughout the day the contractions slowly worked their way down to seven minutes apart to four minutes apart. When we got to that stage, I felt a lot of pressure and panicked a little. We decided to make our way to the hospital for admission. Expecting to be 2-3 cm dilated, I was actually 8 cm dilated!

 

I had a shower for about 20 minutes and felt the urge to push. I felt most comfortable on the bed to push and was a little anxious as the pain with Alyssa when I pushed was unbearable. But I pushed well and an hour later at 5:54 pm, Felicity Anne was born. She was covered in vernix and hardly cried at all. She weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz or 3250gms and 48cm in length.

 

I stayed four days in hospital and thoroughly enjoyed it. The stay was long because this time I wanted to ensure I was confident with breastfeeding (as I bottle fed both Kyle and Alyssa), and I must admit it was the best thing I could do for Felicity. The benefits of breastfeeding are just amazing not only the nutritional benefits, but an incredible bond right from the beginning.

 

Life at home now is certainly different. It has been filled with anxiety and a little isolation but mainly love. I cherish every moment with Felicity.

The milestone of 29 days old (the age Alyssa was when she died) with Felicity wasn't as bad as what I thought I would be. I think it was better than what I expected because my most special friend helped me through. I will never forget that. She was there the entire night, and we quietly celebrated in the early hours of that morning when Felicity had slept and awoke as normal. I don't know what I would do without her. Saying thanks just doesn't ever seem enough.

 

Felicity has an apnoea monitor on at night and in the first week of getting home it alarmed twice. The first time we both jumped up frantically. I ripped off her wondersuit trying to see if she was breathing. Thankfully she was. I just wanted to burst into tears with relief. I think we both panicked that night. Since the second time, it hasn't alarmed since. I am thankful for that.

 

Felicity sleeps with us in the middle of our king size bed on her back right up against me. I can keep an eye on her that way. Although I think most nights, I have one eye open watching the monitor and her all at once. I thought we wouldn't be able to get through this time. But we are! I am proud of myself.

 

My mother came to stay with us for 10 days and it was so emotional on her departure. I didn't think I would be able to cope alone and I think I slipped into a sadness that I couldn't shake. Thankfully that great friend of mine I mentioned earlier slapped me out of it. LOL! And I stayed with her for several days that helped more then words can say. It was good just to relax and be able to talk without feeling stupid.

 

Then on the 4th January, 2002 our little beautiful girl, Felicity, smiled for the first time! The joy we received from that is indescriptable!! Daddy knows how to make her smile!

Thank you to everyone for your support: friends, and family, Internet buddies, people who have emailed me with so much love who I don't even know . . . you have all helped me so much.

There is hope. It may not take the form of a new baby . . . it could be anything. But everyday needs to be cherished, and lived fully.

That's what I am doing now.

Thank you and farewell!

Love,
Beth

------------------------------

 

Read more stories