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Friday, September 5, 2008


I think most people can look back at their life and see where they might have some regrets. I know I do, especially with all the things that have happened over the past two months. I really wish I could look back at that time with no regrets, meaning I did everything to satisfy mine and Brian's needs, but I'm not sure I did.

We had promised we would take Tessa to the big ultrasound so she could see the baby. We never had the official big ultrasound; it was given to us to check for markers after the AFP test came back positive. At that point, Brian and I were so scared and nervous we didn't think we could handle having her there. Now, I wish Tessa could have gone with us to it. As it is, Jenna isn't totally real to Tessa. She knows she existed. She knows Jenna was in my tummy, but she had no concrete proof that Jenna was there. I wish she could have seen her moving on the ultrasound screen, to see her little sister playing in there, as she would never get to do outside the womb.

I regret ever having made that trip to Atlanta. I wanted to end the pregnancy, and I still wish I could have had that option. However, I wish the trip could have been a different clinic, where the women who have made the most difficult decision they will ever face can be pampered while they are being taken care of, but I don't see this kind of thing ever happening. The best thing about a place like that would be is that the only terminations to be done are for a poor pre-natal diagnosis, so the women who need this kind of place can go to it without having to mingle with the women who are happy to be getting rid of a pregnancy. I wish some place like that existed, and I regret I couldn't have it to be my experience.

I wish I had held her longer. The emotions were overwhelming me when the nurse handed her to me. I wanted her cleaned up before I held her. The nurse brought her wrapped in a blanket, which I was able to fold away to look at her. For about five minutes, I was able to admire her fingers (enough to see they weren't clenched as most Trisomy 18 babies) and her feet and toes. I got to count them. The longer I held her the more I felt like I didn't want to give her up; I wanted her there with me. My heart was screaming; it was hurting so bad. That's why I gave her back to the nurse, who promised to take good care of her. Now, I just miss holding her in my arms. They feel so empty.

I also regret that we weren't farther along when she left us. If I had been, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization that comes in when a child over 25 weeks dies and takes pictures for the family, could have come for us. They clean up the photographs, often changing the color to black and white. Someone told me to go ahead and a call them, especially when I found out my photographer friend wasn't available, because NILMDTS will come take some pictures under 25 weeks. I didn't do it, because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Now, all I have are the photographs they took at the hospital, which are kind of blurry, and the ones my aunt took, which show all of the birth defects she suffered and damage caused at birth. There isn't too much that could be done to those.

I guess I'm going to live with these regrets all of my life. Right now, my arms feel so empty, and I'm afraid they might always. Even though I didn't have anything to do with her having Trisomy 18, I still regret that she had it. I wish I was now 24 weeks pregnant, getting bigger, having the glucose test for gestational diabetes, getting closer and closer to my due date.


Sam's World said...

Dear Friend,
I am so sorry that you have suffered this loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so that others might understand.
In regard to your photos, we still can help. If you can scan the images you have and get them to us, we can get someone to do art work on them, just like we do for other families.
We would be honored to create a beautiful portrait for you to treasure.
With warm regard,
Sandy Puc'
Co-Founder NILMDTS

Hollie said...

I didn't know they would do them under 25wks. Do you think they would do one for us? Do you have any information I could get?

In regards to your post - I know I didn't go through some of the things you did with Jenna, but I completely understand what you mean!
I still think back to when I was holding Cameron in the hospital, and I always remember leaning down to give him a kiss before the nurse took him. I was handing him to her at the same time and my lips caught his blanket...not him. I wanted that kiss so bad and I wish I would have tried for another one.
Just remember, that even though your time with Jenna was short, you got to spend more time with her than a lot of mothers who lose their children. Some of them don't get to hold them or even see them.
I try to think of it that way when I start regretting not spending more time with him.

And ALWAYS, ALWAYS know that no matter how limited our time was with our angels, they know we love them unconditionally!