Eight days ago I set up this blog as a "therapy" for myself. Eight days ago I needed to talk about the difficulties we had dealt with getting pregnant and Max's new diagnosis of autism. Eight days ago I didn't think life could get that much worse, we had a destroyed kitchen floor due to a water leak, a broken fridge and were entering into the overwhelming world of autism. I was thankful for the fact that we had two healthy babies and a roof over our head. But honestly, eight days ago I was feeling like nothing else could go wrong.
Seven days ago, at almost this exact time, I was placing my beautiful Ellie into her carseat after a morning at the Children's Museum. Seven days ago, I climbed in the back seat of our car in between my babies for the ride home. Both kids were super tired and after a lot of fussing, both fell sound asleep. Ellie fell asleep with me stroking her soft fuzzy head. Seven days ago, I carried a snuggly sleepy baby up to her crib and put her down for a nap. She slept for three hours, all by herself in her crib. Seven days ago, I thought to myself, she must be getting sick, she never sleeps that long in her crib. Seven days ago, we ate dinner together as a family, went for walk and gave the kids a bath. We put Ellie in her warm snuggly fuzzy feety pjs with snowmen on them and Dave rocked her to sleep after I read her a story called "The Night Night Prayer." Seven days ago, Dave and I gave Max a goodnight kiss and then went into Ellie's room and rubbed her soft head, smelled her sweet smell and gave her a kiss goodnight. We went to sleep thinking our babies were safe.
Six days ago, a loud thunderstorm woke us up at about 1:50am. Ten minutes later, Ellie started making some noise. Six days ago, I went into her room and as soon as she saw me she started kicking her legs, smiling, squealing and holding her arms up. I pulled her out of her crib, snuggled up with her in the rocking chair and told her it was time for na-nights. I noticed she felt a little warm- six days ago, I thought she was teething. She wouldn't settle back down so I took her temperature and it was 99.5. I took off her onesie under her pjs, changed her diaper and she fell back asleep in my arms. Fifteen minutes later, she woke back up and Dave went in to check on her. She was burning up and her fever was now 104. We gave her tylenol, stripped her down to her diaper, put a wet rag on her head and called the doctor. Throughout the night we took turns cuddling her while she whimpered in her sleep. Six days ago, we gave her a bottle at 8am and Dave made an appointment to see the pediatrician. Dave held her close while I showered. Six days ago, I sat down on the couch for my turn to snuggle our sick little girl and six days ago, the world came crashing down.
Six days ago, my baby turned mottled, cold and unresponsive. Six days ago the ambulance came and took us away to the hospital. Six days ago, they started poking and prodding our baby girl in an effort to find out what was wrong. Six days ago, they told us they didn't really know what was wrong. Six days ago, I held my baby close to my chest and breathed in her smell and let her hair tickle my face while the doctors and nurses set up the equipment needed to save her life. Six days ago, the doctors and nurses started trying as hard as they could. Six days ago, it wasn't enough.
Five days ago, two doctors sat us down in the middle of the night in an empty room and told us our beautiful perfect girl wasn't going to survive. Five days ago, the doctors asked us if we wanted CPR or not. Five days ago, the doctors told us they would try and keep her alive until our families got there. Five days ago, I held our baby in my arms and stared down in disbelief at her unrecognizable body. Five days ago, we held our baby tight and sang to her while the doctors turned off her machines. Five days ago, the doctor listened to her heart and looked at us and said, "I'm sorry, she's gone." Five days ago, we gave our baby her last bath. Five days ago, we had to leave the hospital without our baby. Five days ago, we arrived home to a quiet, dark cold house. Five days ago, we said goodnight to our little man, who had no idea that his little sissy was gone forever.
Four days ago, we started planning a funeral for a 9 month old. Four days ago, we wrote an obituary for our baby girl.
Three days ago, we picked out a cemetary and gravesite for a baby that never even learned to walk. Three days ago, we picked out the last thing she would ever wear- pink fuzzy footy pjs.
Two days ago, we saw our baby's body one last time. Two days ago, we cried at how awful she looked. Two days ago, I painted her fingernails bright pink. Two days ago, I read her her last bedtime stories. Two days ago, I sang her favorite lullaby for the last time. Two days ago, I felt her soft fuzzy head on my face. Two days ago, I kissed my sweet, perfect, beautiful girl for the last time.
Yesterday, I sat in the front row of a sanctuary in front of a tiny white casket. Yesterday, I followed behind as that tiny white casket was taken out of a hearse and placed on the ground. Yesterday, I watched a purple balloon fly away with my heart on it- right up to heaven. Yesterday, we came home to an empty crib and the most beautiful pink room.
Today, I woke up. Today, the crib was still empty. Today, there was no smiling, squealing, warm and squishy baby waiting for me downstairs. Today, I think I am drowning.
So now what.....