Tuesday, 25 March 2014

409 - Our Beautiful Rainbow

Stella's birth was by far my most painful delivery.  It was emotionally difficult, but physically difficult as well.  My water was broken at 4pm and the induction drugs were started.  For many hours I felt great, I was simply chatting with Shawn and my mom and waiting for the real contractions to arrive.  Eventually they came with full force and began to run into one another without a break.  Stella was face up and needed to turn.  As a result, I was labouring on all fours in an effort to get her turned around.  Once the contractions were on top of one another and I didn't have a break in between, I began to think of Hope often and was emotionally overwhelmed.  At 5 cms I asked for an epidural and could barely stand the pain as I waited for the doctor to arrive.  The epidural went in easily and as I finally started to feel a little bit of relief, I felt intense pressure and wanted to push.  The epidural had only been in for 10 minutes when I asked the doctor to check me again.  He was surprised to find that I was now 10 cms and ready to push.  

Unfortunately, my labouring on all fours had not done it's job completely.  Stella had turned, but only half way.  She was coming out sideways, shoulders stacked on top of one another!  As a result, she was quite stuck and pushing her out was slow and extremely painful.  Unlike the other two deliveries, I screamed with each push and begged the doctors to hurry up and get her out.  It was about 30 minutes before she finally arrived and was placed on my stomach.  I was instantly aware of how much she looked like Sadie.  She doesn't look like Hope at all, it was Sadie's twin!  Although I'll always wonder what Hope would have looked like as she grew up, I'm thankful that Stella looks like Sadie. 

Before Stella was born, I began grief counselling to prepare for the emotions that would come with her arrival.  When Stella was handed to me in the delivery room, I sobbed.  After arriving home with Stella just 12 hours after she was born, she went 6 hours without eating and would not wake up enough to eat.  We ended up taking her into the children's hospital to make sure she was ok.  As we made the all too familiar drive, again I sobbed.  Stella was perfectly healthy, just extremely exhausted from her delivery.  Since then, my face has been full of smiles and it reflects the feelings in my heart.  Although I feared I would be on an emotional roller coaster after Stella's birth, I was wrong.

Stella has now been home with us for two weeks and we are so thankful for her.  Sadie is absolutely enthralled with her sister and is asking to hold her constantly.  She is always willing to help out with her little sister and is so excited to introduce her to others.  We are proud of Sadie and the way she has adjusted so far to Stella being home with us.  Stella is an extremely easy going baby.  She rarely cries, unless she's hungry or you're changing her diaper while she's hungry.  She sleeps well during the day and is starting to sleep more at night.  She eats a LOT and is sure to grow with the amount she consumes in a day.  

I feel such gratitude for her healthy life and after all we went through with Hope, I realize what a blessing her health is.  Getting up to nurse her in the night is a privilege, not a burden.  I remember what it felt like to get up and mix feeds, pump, run a tube feed and then sterilize all the equipment with Hope.  That was not easy in the night and we were exhausted.  Getting up to cuddle in a chair with a sleepy baby nursing is a completely different experience.  Sleeping in my own bed, instead of a rock hard mattress in the hospital is incredible.  We spent so much time at the hospital with Hope, our time at home with her was so brief it's hard to even remember how it felt.  Each day at home with Stella is a gift.  I hope the gratitude never fades as I enjoy the blessing of having both my girls at home.  I'll always know that a third little girl is missing from each family photo, but I'll continue to find comfort in the knowledge that Hope is pain free in Heaven.  

I love getting to watch Sadie enjoy her sister on a daily basis.  I love that I can care for Stella's needs and still be a mom to Sadie at the same time.  Caring for Hope often involved not being able to care for Sadie, that was never easy.  Newborns are a lot of work, but after the journey we had with Hope, it feels like a much easier road than the one previously travelled.  

Thank you to everyone that prayed for us through my pregnancy and the arrival of Stella.  Your prayers have clearly made an impact as I find such peace in caring for Stella and welcoming her into our family.  

Many people have asked me if I will continue to blog.  This blog was started to share Hope's story and her story has already been written.  I have decided that since Hope was with us for 412 days on this earth, I'll write 412 entries onto this blog.  After that I'll enjoy my girls at home and no longer write about the ins and outs of our daily lives.  This entry is number 409, that leaves 3 entries before I'll finish, likely just in time for the one year anniversary of Hope's death.  Thank you to everyone that has journeyed with our family.  It has been a long road and was full of a lot of ups and downs, we don't even want to imagine how it would have felt to walk through that without all the support we've been given from you all.  

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Amy. Thanks for sharing! Hugs...

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  2. Made me cry. I love your perspective. Reading your blog always make my hard mom days seem much smaller and I am grateful for that. Your strength and faith inspire me!

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  3. So happy for you and your whole family...blessings and heartfelt prayers from someone who walked in your shoes 30 years ago...you never forget your "child that is out of arms reach"...but your heart holds them tightly forever. One day...one joyous day you will hug and kiss your precious Hope. Enjoy and love with joy your gift of Sadie and Stella. Blessings !!

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  4. Praising God for you and your family! Thanks for sharing this journey with us and allowing us to grow in our faith as you have shared from your heart.

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  5. thank you for sharing such an incredible journey with us. i am a friend of a friend, and although i feel a stranger reading your story, my heart cries and celebrates with you as a sister in christ. I am humbled by your new beginnings with stella, as recently i have become a first time mother. I lost my own mother to cancer 2 months before our son's birth, and she too kept a blog that my father completed for her (the number of entries reflecting too the number of days she fought before she went to heaven). I pray this blog will bring you comfort and remembrance in the times that are needed. If we meet one day, i will know i have met hope face to face. Than you again for sharing your heart. pauline (friend of naomi).

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  6. Dear sister, your struggles are near and dear to my heart; my son was born last spring with HLHS. We still have him with us- for many more years, I pray; reading the heartbreaking story of your beloved Hope helps me to remember what a blessing it is to have him for yet another day. I am thankful that the Lord has given you another daughter to help take away some of the pain. How wonderful it will be to see her again one day!

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  7. May God be with your family & touch your son . Wishes for many years together . Hugs and all the best with him . Remember the strength Amy shared with us through her blog & how strong her faith in God always has been. God does work in mysterious ways and I belief I have seen another one of his mysterious ways through Amy's blog. God bless you & your family today & always.

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  8. Thank you for continuing to share your heart with us Amy. I will miss reading your blog once the 412th entry has come, but please know that you and your sweet family will always be in my prayers far beyond that day. Your story has touched me in ways that you will never know. God bless you and Shawn and Sadie and Stella.

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  9. So many of life's situations we are not able to understand . . . we just trust the Lord as he holds our hand through it all. I wish to meet you one day in church so I can give you a hug and share tears of joy with you. Check out Grief Recovery Institute - I've been going to a class in Calgary. Excellent results. Love from a Sister in Christ

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  10. Such a beautiful entry, Amy. Stella is beautiful and I am so happy for all of you. I am thinking of you and your family today very much, another first in a long line of them. So glad you have Stella to enjoy at home after this painful year of firsts. I will miss your blog, I have truly prayed for you all the whole way through. Take care

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  11. May God bless you on your path as a mother. I am overjoyed for you and your family that God has blessed you with little Stella. I pray fear never dominates your heart ever, as a mother: instead, that peace would be given from Jesus to overthrow any memory of the past that would threaten to steal your faith in today- always believing that His plans for you are good, His heart has been touched by your trials, and He loves you and your family so much. I pray that your "new normal" will come quickly, that the memories with Hope will be immersed in joy as you remember her, and all that she accomplished in her short time here.
    I thank you for sharing your walk over the last 2 years, I have praised God for your faith and honesty of what it is like to experience such difficulty in motherhood. May God's hand of mercy and compassion be on you always.

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