Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thoughts out loud

What is the reason for anything? My thoughts have been such an overwhelming jumbled mess today. I have so many questions.

I keep thinking about Layla's life.

I think about how short and difficult her life was.

I think of the lives she touched while she was here; there were quite a few.

I think about her purpose while she was here. Was there more to her life than what we experienced? I would like to believe so.

I feel like I need to justify her short life. I need to make it more important. How can an entire life come and go and then just become a memory? She was soooo very important.

What is the importance of our lives? How important are any of us? What difference do we make?

Can we do more? Can I do more? Who has the potential to make a bigger impact?

Do I fill the big shoes that are placed before me?

Layla gave so much. I think of my own life and I realize that I have wasted time and effort and I have hidden myself for years on end and put up walls to protect myself from bad people and scary things. I haven't done enough. And I have so much to offer. For Layla I need to be better, give more, and live that much more.

I know that it doesn't end here.

This photo was taken 6 months ago today. It was a nice day. It was Mothers day, we were out having a quick breakfast.

I know we will have happy times again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I really hate regrets.

I have always tried to live my life without them. I always tried to plan to make sure that I lived fully, did everything I wanted and made sure there were no regrets for the things I did or didn't do. Since Layla passed away, I have soooo many regrets.

I know I did everything I could, but yet I blame myself for not being better or not doing more. I keep fighting with myself about what I did or didn't do, what I could or couldn't have done, and what choices might have been or not been the best for Layla. But, I know I tried my best... I just wish it would have been good enough.

I found this website that was pretty good at describing some thoughts and feelings I have gone through. It was a good starting point for just how intense the pain is that I feel. The Death Of A Child - The Grief Of The Parents: A Lifetime Journey

Probably the most stressful and anxiety-provoking act in human existence is the separation of a woman from her newborn infant. The response to this, which humans share with most of the animal kingdom, is an overwhelming combination of panic, rage, and distress. - RUSKIN, IN HORCHLER AND MORRIS 1994,16
There is almost no consoling in this situation. And although I wish and pray that no other person in the world has to endure the pain and suffering that our family is experiencing, it has comforted me to know that others have made it through similar experiences and have chosen to continue trying to go on even though they live with this deep pain inside their hearts.

I hope that one day I can use this experience to help others or do something good with it. I don't know why God has chosen me and Alan to experience this loss, or why he wanted Layla to be by his side in heaven, but here we are, doing the best we can to live without her.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome home Layla

Alan and I went to the funeral home today to pick up Layla's ashes and her death certificate.

It took a long time for everything to be ready because we had to wait for her autopsy to be completed before she could be cremated. Our next difficult step is to go to California for her burial, where she will be buried alongside my grandfather and great aunt, close to my parents house.

It seems strange to me that I am somehow comforted knowing her ashes are sitting here next to me. I know it is no longer her, she is not in the pile of ashes, but it the last of her physical body, a tiny small box sitting on my ottoman, and her first time coming home with us.

This photo of Layla was taken exactly two months ago today. She was having a very difficult time when I took this picture. The doctors had told us that they thought she wouldn't make it much further and they started talking to us about disconnecting her from life support. We chose not to disconnect her and we ended up transferring her to Miami Children's Hospital three days later.

Something that has really comforted me during the times when I think about how difficult all this was is the knowledge that we was there right next to her every day of her life. The one day I didn't visit her was the day she was born, because I couldn't get out of bed, but her daddy was there by her side.

In the beginning when we were dealing with the reality of her situation I didn't know how to handle what was happening. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to just wait for her to get better, and not deal with anything. I told myself that once she was better, we would be o.k. and we could begin living our normal life. About a week or two into the ordeal, I changed and started to interact with her as much as possible. Alan and I changed her diapers, we massaged her, kissed her little feet and hands, sang to her and put an ipod in her isolette with her. We never got to hold her while she was alive but we did as much else as we could.

I am so happy we did all of this with her because this was her ENTIRE life. She never had a normal life. Her life existed in those two hospitals and as horrible as it was, we gave her ALL of our love, we stayed by her side the entire way, we never held back and I know it made a difference in the short time she was here with us.

....Layla, I miss you every day and my soul weeps. I will always love you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

And the beat goes on

I went back to work yesterday.

Alan went back on Monday and I stayed home alone all day. I decided that work is better than home. I'm glad I did, it's better to be busy at work, and it reminds me of my old life, which is better than my current life.

The worst part is when people see me and ask how the baby is doing.

I work for the school district and I have been there for over 10 years. There are a lot of people that work there and they rarely change. The good thing is that most of the time, the news of something like this gets around and everyone knows and doesn't say the "wrong thing," but that's not always the case. A co-worker that works on the 3rd floor saw me after work and said, "Hey, you're back! then smiled and asked how the baby was doing. I didn't answer her I just waved her off. I was talking to a few other people, so it wasn't that clear why I didn't answer her. Her face was horrified, she knew that me not answering her meant something was wrong. I just couldn't talk about it then.

Bad news: I will have to deal with her

Good news: We will make it through this.

More good news: My best friend and her husband and some of his family invited us to go on a cruise with them in March of next year. Neither me or Alan have never cruised before and we are looking forward to this.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Congraulations Francis

So I did cry yesterday after all. Crying is good though.

Last night I decided to check out my facebook account after I blogged. I found out that a good friend from college, Francis, had her baby. She was the first person I told about being pregnant with Layla. I hadn't wanted to tell anyone at first because I was worried that I could lose her since I had lost a pregnancy before. At the time, I was only 8 weeks or so along. I told Francis I was pregnant and she told me she was trying and really wanted to get pregnant too... Sure enough, a few months later she was pregnant.

Francis and I were both having girls and we would talk about how the girls would play together. I was a few months ahead of her so I would always give her heads up on how I would feel or things I read about breastfeeding or exercising or whatever. Now everything is so different.

When I checked facebook last night, I noticed everyone congratulating her on her new daughter... I am happy for her too, I'm just really sad too. I didn't congratulate her. I didn't write anything to her. I do wish the best for her and her family though.

Here is a photo of Francis, me, and my best friend Irma's mom (Irma) from my baby shower. By the way, I loved my baby shower, it was a beautiful day.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two weeks searching for peace

Today it is two weeks since Layla passed away. I didn't cry today.

Layla never spent one day out of the hospital. For the first 7 weeks of her life, she was at the hospital that she was born at. There reached a point when that hospital told us that they couldn't do anything else, and she was transferred to the area Children's Hospital. While she was at the first hospital, we would visit her every day, because we weren't allowed to sleep by her bedside. At the Children's Hospital, we were allowed to sleep in a recliner bedside, so we spent every night and day by her bedside.

Every day for the first week and a half after she passed, I woke up alarmed, thinking that she was still alive and she needed me to help her. Some days I felt she needed blood transfusions, or new medicines, and after a few minutes, I would realize she wasn't alive. It was so hard to have to re-realize this every morning. I was scared to go to sleep at night, just because I knew the mornings would be so hard.

For the past 2 or 3 days it hasn't happened, but, she is still the first thought I have when I wake up. Now it is more like a sad, longing that I feel. I know she is gone, but I miss her and I feel so broken and empty.

During breakfast this morning Alan and I talked about trying again for the first time. I didn't even want to think about it. I don't want to feel like we are just trying to have "another baby." Layla is so irreplaceable, but I really want children. I never knew I would want children like this. I was never the type...., the girl with the internal ticking clock. Now, there is NOTHING I want more than to have a baby.

I told Alan that a 5 month break to get out minds and bodies back together would be good. He agreed we should wait a while. The positive side of this is that I didn't have any trouble getting pregnant with Layla. With her, I was pregnant within the first month that we stopped using birth control.

This photo is of Alan and me, an hour before Layla was born. An hour before our lives changed forever. I had been having labor pains for about 32 hours at this point. A few minutes after this shot, the doctor came in and broke my water, and told me it was green. Actually, she said it was the color of pea soup, and she mentioned that the baby could breathe in a bit and it could cause her distress. My labor was induced within 3o minutes after that. That was 103 days ago.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Introductions..

Today I decided to start this blog. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since our little baby Layla passed away. Me and Alan have tried to find some comfort online with someone else that has gone through something similar to what me and Alan have gone through, but so far, I am left feeling very alone. Here is an intro to our story:

Our daughter, Layla Skye, was born on July 20, 2010 at exactly 40 weeks and had a perfect 9/9 apgar score. Right before delivery, the delivery doctor advised me that when she broke my water, the fluid was stained with meconium and the baby could aspirate it and have breathing issues. She told me I should have a c-section just to be safe. Although I wanted a natural delivery, I opted for the c-section and the baby was delivered within 30 minutes. In labor, I heard her cry and she was taken away just as they medicated me and I went to sleep. When I woke, I was alone in a hospital room and it wasn't until the next day that I saw her. She was beautiful.... I visited her in the NICU, and I was told of her condition. Apparently, our baby had aspirated meconium either before or during her birth. I was advised she was sick but she should improve within a week or 2. I was also told that if she didn't show improvement, she might need to be sent to another hospital with ECMO therapy, a sort of artificial lung treatment. This was very scary for us, but little did we know, it was much worse.

After our daughter, Layla Skye was alive and fighting for her life for 3 months, she could go no further and left us October 17, 2010. Our lives will never be the same again.