Over the last year I have had flashbacks to when I was pregnant, being in the hospital, after they were born. I do feel like I've suffered some kind of post traumatic stress disorder. This was by far one of the most traumatic things that could ever happen to me. All of those strong emotions and anxiety surface when I am taken back to that time. I can't help, but to obsess over how much I wish things would have turned out differently. How much my life has changed from all of this, how much I have changed as a person. After I came home, I talked to my OB on the phone and he encouraged me to ask my therapist about this technique called EMDR to relive an experience in hopes that you don't have flashbacks anymore, like for PTSD patients who have come back from war. I did mention it, but I guess it wasn't something I was a candidate for.
Recently I decided to read back through my caringbridge site where I posted updates on my pregnancy after I was admitted to have Reese and Scotlyn and then their progress after as well as a few posts through my grieving before I started posting on here. I started at the beginning and I went back to that time when I was in the hospital waiting for the day to come that I had to deliver. I spent my days thinking and trying to prepare myself for what was to come, reveling in the sound of my baby girls' hearts on the monitor. I was content, I never wanted those days to end. No amount of time preparing myself could have ever fully prepared me for what lie ahead. Even knowing each day could be the day my babies would be born entirely too early, I was still not ready. I was hysterical the day my doctor told me it was time to deliver. I've never been so hysterical in my life, uncontrollable sobbing. They were not ready, I was not ready. I was worried my doctor wasn't making the right decision. Even though the outcome is what it is, I do believe Reese and Scotlyn needed to be delivered that day. Over the last year I have taken time to sort through my emotions and feelings and guilt and have spent many many hours trying to reason through why everything happened. There is no reason and there never will be. There will never be a reason for losing my daughters, ever. No matter what our family becomes those little girls will still always be a special part of our lives and never will there be a time that I could think of a reason that they are not here with us today. I have thought through a lot of my guilty feelings and I have rationalized them not to be my fault, which has been very helpful in my healing. Sometimes I think back to how irrational my thoughts were after Reese and Scotlyn died and how hard I was on myself. I still think about if anything could have been changed or done differently. I've come to realize that there wasn't much more that I could have done. That realization doesn't make it any easier for them not to be here, but I am a little easier on myself in that aspect.
I decided to post a journal entry from my caringbridge site on this day, one year ago. I added a few details that I left out in my original post. I also posted pictures from that day.
As you all know Reese was touch and go through the weekend and especially yesterday. She had become somewhat stable last night before bed so Casey and I got to sleep about midnight. I called to check on her about 2:30am and she was still the same. The neonatologist called at 5:30am suggesting that we come right away because they were unable to keep her heart rate or her oxygen saturation up and there was nothing else they could do for her. They also weren't able to get a blood pressure reading. We immediately went down stairs. As soon as we walked up it was a flash back to Scotlyn. They have these portable walls they put up for privacy for the last few moments you have to spend with your baby, as soon as I saw those I knew what the ending was going to be. We just couldn't believe we were being faced with this all over again. Reese looked miserable. She was so puffy, including her belly. She was just not herself. I was beside myself thinking of going through again what we had just gone through with Scotlyn. I didn't know what to do or what to think-I didn't get to hold Scotlyn before she passed so I knew that was something I wanted with Reese since she was still holding strong enough for me to do it. They bundled her up and disconnected her from the ventilator quickly for the transfer. Babies that small cannot keep their temperature up so they have a warming unit for the isolette so I immediately asked for a warming lamp to keep her warm. It was devastating to think that I was holding my baby girl for the first time and the last time. Instantly, after taking her into my arms, her heart rate and oxygen saturation began to climb. She just kept getting better and better. They were also able to get a blood pressure. As soon as her numbers improved I was comforted. She calmed me-we calmed each other. It was the most amazing feeling I could have felt at that moment. I couldn't cry anymore, she was so peaceful. We were both at peace. We sat together like that for 6 hours-I talked to her and I know she was listening. She was raising her eyebrows and trying to open her eyes again-I couldn't have asked for anything more at that time. Casey was with me the whole time. I felt like maybe it was the miracle we needed and that maybe, just maybe she was going to pull through. It was really hard to put her back to bed, but I felt like we needed to take the next step in doing something to treat her since we didn't know why she was so sick. The doctor wanted to try to drain some of the fluid from her belly since she was the most stable she had been in days. He wanted to make sure she didn't have a ruptured bowel like Scotlyn. We had been grasping at anything to get answers for why she had been deteriorating. She tolerated the transfer back to bed and the procedure well. Once she seemed stable we went up to my room to get some lunch. They called within an hour stating she was not doing well again. It was time to say goodbye. Even though I lost my baby girl today I still believe a true miracle happened to me and I could not be more thankful for the sweetest 6 hours I got to spend with my daughter in my arms.