Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2 weeks

At 6:53pm today it has been 2 weeks since our baby girl forever changed our lives. This has been the longest and the shortest 2 weeks of my life. I say the shortest because I don't want the days to pass, I want to be back sitting in the hospital with my daughter. I don't want to forget one detail of the 24 hours we were able to cuddle her. 
Jason and I have a matching teddy bear to the one Ellie was buried with. I find that I treat it like she (the teddy bear) has feelings, the few times I have been downstairs since coming home from the hospital I find the need to bring her down there. I down want her alone upstairs. I don't go down stairs very often anymore. Jason and I used to spend a lot of time down there, that's where we would watch tv. Now it feels wrong. Watching tv downstairs is what we did when Ellie was alive and kicking inside my tummy. When Jason was at work I would watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix and now that feels wrong, that's what I did "before". How can I just go back to it?

We had a Dr appt with our OB today, was more of a mental check up than anything. He is such a kind man, not many other drs could have handled this situation with such grace and compassion. I started crying as soon as he walked in the room. He will always be a physical reminder of the birth of my daughter. I am still wearing my hospital bracelets because they are physical reminders from the one place I have memories of my daughter. 

What does it mean to be a mother when you can't feel, see, or hear your child? I feel like I got cheated out of being a mother. I didn't get to change her diaper, feed her or calm her down. I don't have memories of her wiggling or making facial expressions. I don't know if that makes the grief easier or harder.  The realization hits me like a wall every now and then, I am a mom. I have a daughter. But I only had her physical body for 24 hours to care for and be protective over. Now I have things to be protective over. I was protective and selfish with every decision we made after we left the hospital, I wanted to know everything that was being done for planning her visitation and funeral because these are the only choices we get to make with her life. And now I have her pictures and all the cards we have been sent to be protective over.

Every day is different. My thoughts, my feelings, my attitude all depend on how I feel right at that moment, every thing can be different 2 minutes later. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Since January 7th we have been grieving. Then we started grieving all over again on July 9th. Ellie's name is said a 1,000 times an hour in my head. Sometimes it's just her name other times it goes along with a prayer or a memory.
Jason and I grieve differently, the difference between being a man and woman, dad and mom, didn't carry the baby and carried the baby.
I have the physical pain of wanting to feel Ellie kick inside of me. I feel like I am re-learning how to be in a non-pregnant body. I forget I can bend over or try to put on other shoes other than the flip flops I wore for the last month.
The Haven Network gave us a pink baby album with black and white edited photos that I keep in our living room. I can't sit in that room and not look at the photos. There is a picture of Ellie lying on her side with her hands folded together under her chin and she is staring so innocently at the camera and I instinctively rub her cheeks every time I look at that photo. I so badly want to feel her chubby cheeks again. Or wrap her fingers around my thumbs.

I posted this article shortly before Ellie made her grand entrance into the world...
family and friends

The anxiety and awkwardness of social situations is dead on in that article. Days after Ellie passed away Jason called to ask me if I wanted to get together with a group of people and tears immediately filled my eyes. My stomach tightened and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed. Since then I have not had such an intense reaction to seeing and being with other people. The intensity of anxiousness is different every other minute. I never know how I am going to feel or when the feeling is going to change to some thing more bearable.
I am ok with being around other people. But I don't feel like myself, like I used to. It feels wrong to be out of the house, to be making small talk, to be smiling. It is so uncomfortable to watch family, friends and even strangers go on with life so easily. Don't they know what happened 11 short days ago?

I am not telling you all of this so that someone can say the perfect words to make those feelings go away. I know that I am allowed to grieve how ever I need to and for how ever long I need to.

I don't cry every day. Ambien helps me sleep. And my husband makes me laugh everyday.

I have been asked if I will continue blogging... I will, but it will take awhile to figure why I am blogging now and what to write about. Before it was to keep my far away family and friends in the know about my pregnancy. And now...I don't want this to become post after post of depressing grief.

I love talking about Ellie. I love looking at her pictures. I even like talking about the hospital stay and labor. Maybe someday I'll share more details about labor and delivery. I will share one little detail now, our wee little daughter was 3lbs 6oz at birth, I gained nearly 50lbs...we were told early on in the pregnancy that I would retain excess water weight. They were NOT kidding. My OB had to break my water...I lost 3 liters of fluids in one fallow swoop. Imagine if my water had broke in the middle of Target...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ellie is beautiful!

Ellie Martin Holmertz was born July 9th at   6:53pm. She took a few breaths and then went to live with our Heavenly Father. She weighs 3lbs 6oz, exactly what our last ultra sound estimated. She is 15 1/2 inches long. 
Jason and I were speechless when she was placed in our arms just filled with overwhelming love. She was baptized by a loved family friend, the same pastor that married Jason and I just over two years ago. 
Ellie has beautiful long eye lashes. A cute button nose and perfectly shaped lips. She has dark wavy hair on the back of her head. Ellie's hands and feet were perfect with 10 fingers and 10 toes, she had beautiful fingers with long nails. Her feet were long and gorgeous. Her skin is so soft and covered in a light blonde peach fuzz. 
Labor was slow, started around 6pm on the 8th. Once I was ready and actual delivery started Ellie was here quickly. Ellie was a true girl after birth and we played dress up for her photo shoot. We will be keeping pictures to ourselves for a bit and will share when we're ready.
Ellie spent the night in our room and we have been cuddling her all day. 

Thank you so much for all the prayers and the out pour of love. We can't return all the messages we have received but we have read or listened to every one of them. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

We've been admitted

I went in for my regular Dr appt this afternoon and they were worried I was leaking amniotic fluid. They sent me to the labor and delivery floor at our hospital for a test. My Dr told me if the test came back positive I would be admitted for delivery otherwise infection can set in. We got to the hospital at 6pm and were admitted around 7:30pm. I have not been in a lot of pain just feels like consistent menstral cramps. If there isn't more progress by 2am my Dr will help move delivery along and expects that I'll deliver between 10-12pm on the 9th. 
Emotionally Jason and I are in denial...it hasn't hit us yet. Hoping to get a little sleep tonight but not sure my mind will stop. 
Lots and lots of prayers please!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quick thought

A woman posted this link on an anencephaly Facebook group and I thought it would be good to share. 
Not sure how Jason and I will be later but I agreed with everything up until this point. 


Monday, July 1, 2013

...I don't know

It's July already. I don't know how that happened. My due date is in 24 days. It was changed to July 25th about a month ago.
We had a Dr. appointment last Thursday,well actually we had an ultra sound and the Dr. appt. was rescheduled for tomorrow. Our OB was held up with another mom who was in labor at the hospital and by the time he got us we had to leave because of other appointments. My blood pressure is still low 106/..something, I never remember the bottom #. I have now gained 45 lbs!! Goodness gracious that was tough to type. Majority of it is water weight. My large prego tummy is measuring normal even though Ellie is an itty bitty peanut weighing in at 3lb 6oz or so the ultra sound estimated. So of that 45lbs I have gained only 4 pounds are baby...that does not help my self-esteem. The rest of my large tummy is all water...
My mom told me I look like I am carrying a watermelon that is standing vertical and she is absolutely right, when I look in the mirror that is exactly what it looks like.

My due date may be July 25th but I have a feeling Ellie is going to make us wait. Dr. said he wouldn't let me go beyond Aug. 2nd. So for those of you who are going to be traveling to see us after Ellie is born you can plan your trip around those dates. I joined a couple Facebook groups related to anencephaly and from what I have read most anen babies come early, between 20-30 weeks or they come after their due date. Of course if my blood pressure spikes or if I gain weight rapidly my Dr. will break membranes...which will start labor.

 Now that I am not on my feet for 7 hours a day my feet have been looking a lot better. My calves are definitely large and tender. My legs feel bruised when ever they are pressed because of all the water retention. I had to change the way I get into bed because of how tender my shins are.

I have braxton hicks (fake contractions) every other day if not everyday. They feel exactly like they were described to me, a tightening sensation that rolls through my stomach. They are not painful. Sometimes they happen a few times within an hour.

Now that we know about how much Ellie will weigh I have been shopping a little more seriously...braxton hicks contraction is happening right now... Just thought you'd like to know : )
My mom and I have been shopping online for a couple outfits.
I am having a really hard time with what to bury Ellie in...I see burial gowns online and all I can think is "she will be cold in that" and I don't want her to be cold. I am fully aware she won't be able to feel the cold but I can't seem to accept that. I don't want to pick out what she is going to be buried in, I shouldn't have to. None of this is fair.

The thought of burying Ellie and seeing her for the first time are the two things that bring the most apprehension. Seeing her for the first time... I have no idea how to prepare myself. She is going to be missing  the top of her skull. Covered in a hat or not I will know part of her skull is gone and that will bring me so much pain. All of the unknowns of the birth are very scary and there is nothing anyone can say, because every birth is different. My OB can't tell me exactly what is going to happen or how long Ellie is going to live for.

We weren't able to see Ellie's face in the last ultra sound, the way she was laying her body was casting a shadow over her face. We do know she will have some hair around the back of her head, we were able to see that in the ultra sound. We have pictures of her legs and of her spine. She is still head down and really low.

Sorry the pictures are not of the best quality. The first 3 are her feet and the last 2 are her spine, all of the pictures are taken as though she is sitting up straight, but she is really upside down.