Monday, November 29, 2010

Shop Till You Drop

While we were visiting family in IL over the holiday we made a few shopping trips on "Black Friday".  I don't usually get up in the middle of the night to shop with all the crazies but I figured what the heck...I was on "vacation".  (Plus, my sister-in-law was already getting up to go so I tagged along!)  We got up at 3:45 and were out the door by 4:00 am.  The lines were actually not bad compared to those I've seen in the past in Omaha.  I bought a few gifts for the nieces & nephew and got some good deals.  At one point we walked through the children's clothing and I saw the cutest newborn outfit for a little girl.  The top said "mommy's wish come true".  I felt sick.  She was my wish come true.  I wished for a baby and got one.  I should have wished for a baby that would grow up and live a long, healthy & happy life.  I'll be more specific next time.

We hit the outlet mall later that day.  I spent my saved up birthday money at the COACH outlet.  A little retail therapy if you will... My new purse should look nice with the winter coat I found at Macy's.  Getting that as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law.  Can't wait to wear it!

We had a good time with family.  It was nice to just relax and be comfortable.  Drank a few glasses of wine and ate too much food!

Now we're back home and I go back to work this week.  I'm looking forward to it but nervous too.  I know I'll be catching up on email for quite a while.

One more day of leave.  I better get some stuff done!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I had made it several days without crying until yesterday in the car on the way to visit family. It just hit me that our baby, Sofia, was not in the back seat. She should have been driving with us. Instead her cute little turkey hat and "my first thanksgiving" outfit stayed folded in her drawer. One more experience we had looked forward to during the pregnancy that will never happen with her. She should be here with her cousins but instead we handed out photos of her for anyone who wanted to frame them. I thought it was sweet of my 4 year old nephew Nico to ask me for one of his own for his room. I happily gave him a 4x6 but he wanted a 5x7! So cute.

We talked about Sofia while looking at her photos, and how we all had visions of what should have been. It was emotional for me and I did my best to fight the tears.

When we were hanging out with the nieces & nephew Tim showed them his pendant and the engraving of Sofia Rose. I asked them if they remembered who that was and they said "your baby". It was sweet how they said it; like they knew it was an emotional conversation. It was like they were trying to be compassionate which is so sweet coming from 4 year olds & a 7 year old! My eyes teared up.

In the midst of my sadness I also recognize all that I have to be thankful for. We have had such amazing support from family & friends. The kindness is overwhelming at times. I'm thankful for my best friend & soul mate, Tim. He always listens when I need to talk, comforts me when I need it, and keeps a positive outlook which helps me look to a brighter future. I'm thankful for my mom who has spent many afternoons with me while on leave and who even got her toes done just to make me happy. I'm thankful for my best girlfriend, Holly, for allowing me to talk freely about our loss without making me feel bad and for all the "good morning" texts she sends me. So many more individuals have been supportive in many ways and I thank you!!

Most of all, I'm thankful for the months I carried a baby and for feeling the miracle of life in my belly. I'm thankful I was able to see and hold my baby girl in my arms, if only for a little while...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Full Day Out of the House

Tuesday was a busy one.  I finally spent most of the day out of the house and it felt good.

One of my hobbies is photography and I have a part time business photographing newborns & children/families when time permits.  It's been awhile since I've taken photos so when an opportunity arose to photograph a friend's baby yesterday I went for it.  It felt good doing something I enjoy again.  The fact that it was a baby born just days after Sofia didn't bother me.  I put a few of the pics on my website blog ( as a sneak peek.  I've always enjoyed babies and photographing them and just because I can't photograph Sofia doesn't mean I will stop doing something I love.  I do wish I could photograph her though.  She would be such a beautiful baby model.

After the photo shoot I went with my mom for manicures & pedicures.  Mom was so nervous about it.  She  doesn't like other people touching her and she was very skeptical about doing it but I made her go with me.  It was a great gift from a teacher friend of hers - two gift cards for the mani/pedi combo for us to go together.  It was a nice hour of pampering and mom loved her nails.  A success!! She might even go again if someone goes with her...I think we can arrange that. ;)

The rest of the day was spent running errands.  Mom & Dad bought Tim & I silver pendant necklaces in memory of Sofia.  Tim's is a dog tag, mine is a heart with a custom birthstone charm.  Mom & I went to get mine engraved at Things Remembered.  They did a great job.  Tim rarely takes his off; he was so excited to receive it.

I picked up a couple picture frames for photos of Sofia.  One photo is of she & I and the other is with Tim.  We each wanted a photo framed next to the bed so we could see her every night before going to sleep.  Here are the photos we chose:

From Slideshow

From Slideshow

I finally can talk about Sofia without breaking down.  I can actually say, "My daughter died." and not fall to pieces.  I think repetitively talking about her has helped in a huge way.  I'm glad most people have been open to talking about her and asking us questions.  We hope that continues.  The holidays will be especially difficult emotionally.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My 6 Week Follow-Up

Today I went to the Dr. for my 6 week follow-up.  It was harder than I thought it would be going back there.  Sitting in the waiting room there were several pregnant women, one with a toddler, and one who had a newborn with her.  It was hard because I kept trying to look away from them but it was impossible to avoid.  I wished they could know how I felt and what I had just gone through.  When I was given an exam room I waited for a long time.  It was the room I was in when Sofia's heart beat couldn't be found.  I felt myself going back down that sad road and reliving that day in my head again.  It sucked.  I checked out just fine and my body has healed as normal.

It's hard for me to believe 6 weeks have passed already.  We still miss Sofia so much.  I have a constant feeling that I am missing something but realize that it isn't something, rather it is someone that is missing.  It's that emptiness that will never be fulfilled.  Even with another child there will always be a part of us missing, at least in the physical sense.

I went with my Mom, Granny, Aunts, sister & cousins to Lincoln on Sunday.  It was a girls day out for lunch & shopping at Aunt Patty's Attic.  It was a good time but shopping for Christmas decorations was kind of rough.  I love the holidays and Christmas is my favorite.  I normally go all out with lights, trees, garland, etc.  This year I'm just not feeling it.  When I think of Christmas I think of wreaths, trees & lights, a nice warm fire with stockings hanging above and happy times.  I was thinking of this when walking through the store, looking at all the neat decorations.  Then I got a sick to my stomach, guilty feeling.  Here we all will be, cozy & warm, and Sofia is cold and in the ground.  I want to put a blanket on her so she won't be chilly.  I want to put her on the floor & snuggle up with the dogs next to the fire while we watch movies & Tim pops popcorn in the kitchen.  Instead it will be a quiet winter; just us & the animals.  I thought I wouldn't buy anything because I don't plan to decorate this year, but there were some cute little mice that caught my eye on a shelf.  They were dressed in winter clothes.  One was a momma mouse and behind her was a baby mouse on a sled.  The momma mouse was pulling the baby.  They were the sweetest little mice!  I had to get them.  Of course, later when I got home & showed Tim I ended up a bit sad again because I felt like it was one more thing I wouldn't get to do with Sofia.

One of our good friends (Carrie) has sent us several cards letting us know she's thinking of us.  This past weekend the card included a coloring from her daughter, Kirsten.  Kirsten also wrote us a note all on her own.  It is very sweet and brought tears to my eyes.  I scanned it (see below; click on the pic to see larger view).

From Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Yesterday & today have been pretty rough for me. I'm on the down slope of this emotional roller coaster, feeling pretty sad. I had a good time yesterday hanging out with Jackie & baby Cruz but later in the day I started feeling sad. I started thinking of all the cute faces and sounds I'll never hear Sofia make. That cuddly closeness that I'll never have with her. It just makes me hurt so bad. Last night I started crying and Maggie pushed her way to me, knocking Moose & Tim out of the way, so she could hop up on the couch and give me dog kisses. Then she curled up on top of me with her paw on my chest. She didn't leave my side until it was time for bed. Thank God for dogs!

I was cleaning my desk at home this morning when I came across this prayer I had been given while in the hospital. This was the first time I had read it.

Prayer for Faith in the Face of Tragedy

Lord God, every part of me aches over the loss of my child. My grief is so heavy that I cannot sleep, eat, or, at times, even cry. What will I do without the physical presence of my child? How can I survive this pain that has become my constant companion day and night? At times my deep hurt takes the form of anger--with myself, with others, and even with you. It seems so unfair that I should know the beauty and goodness of my child only to have it taken from me. I do not understand. Why did this happen?

Mary, mother of Jesus, I come to you for comfort and peace. You understand my pain, Mary. For you held the broken body of your son. He was completely innocent, in the prime of life, and certainly good and beautiful in all he did. Yet he was beaten, mocked, and crucified. You stood at the foot of the cross and felt all the feelings I am now experiencing. Help me deal with my frustration, anger, and resentment. Do not let my terrible sense of loss and deep pain destroy me. Share your faith with me that I might not lose hope in the face of this tragedy.

Above all, Mary, give me the awareness that my child lives forever with our loving God. Let me understand that my child's life is not wasted, but in some way has brought about the redemption of creation with your son, Jesus. Help me transform my pain into compassion, my fear into courage, my anger into renewed energy for goodness and beauty, and my loss into an awareness of my need for God and others. Let me take the love I have for my child and use it to engage life in all its facets. I believe that my child is still with me in spirit, that my child loves me and knows how much I love her. I believe in the resurrection of the body and know that we will be reunited, never again to be separated. Join me in my grief, Mary, and give me peace.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Father to Daughter - Poem

I found this poem online this morning. Based on all the words spoken by Tim since our loss I felt this poem was fitting. This could easily be a mother to daughter poem too. This is how we feel.

Father to daughter
What can I say? Where shall I start?
You were so beautiful, you captured my heart
We only got to know you, through images on a screen
We felt the occasional movement, the rest was left unseen

If God had allowed it, I would have loved you so
I would have given anything, just to see you grow
To share with you in laughter; your joy, your years
To even share the sad times, and wipe away your tears

You would have been so beautiful; you had your mother’s eyes
And witty and funny, and carefree and wise
You’d have loved the mountains, as we shared walks and climbs
You had such potential; now I know only sad times

I will not devalue the time we shared, with any platitude
Just take these never-had memories, into my solitude
They said once for a princess, that the price for love was grief
So I will hold onto the loss I feel, and won’t let it be brief

I will not end with sadness; there’s hope in these words I’ve spoken
My joy is now the Father’s, and in Heaven nothing’s broken
Please know I dared to love you, and if Heaven’s rules allow
I’ll hold you close again one day, and forget the pain of now

Monday, November 15, 2010

Remembering Sofia's Funeral

The mortuary provided us with a DVD of Sofia's funeral service. I finally decided to watch it today, a month since she was buried. I cried and Maggie consoled me with her dog kisses. I want her back so bad. Watching it I was reminded how many people came out to support us and say good-bye to our baby girl. Nobody ever had the chance to say hello to her. I wish everyone could have seen her the way that we did, when she first was delivered. At least there are a few pictures. She just looked like she was sleeping. I'm thankful that so many came out to her service. It gave us strength. We miss her so much.

I remember picking out the prayer card in the hospital with my sister-in-law, Michelle. We both found the same prayer at the same time and knew it was the most appropriate for Sofia.

Little Angels

When God calls little children
to dwell with Him above,
we mortals sometimes question
the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with
the death of one small child
who does so much to make our world
seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold,
so He picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so He takes but few
to make the land of Heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult
still somehow we must try;
the saddest word mankind knows
will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind
must realize God loves children-
Angels are hard to find.

From Slideshow

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First Snow

Dear Sofia,

Last night we went out with friends for dinner & drinks. It was nice to go out & socialize together after a month of staying inside. We still think of you every second of every minute of every day!

While we were in the restaurant/bar, the first snow of the winter season began to fall. When we left the bar Daddy got into a snowball fight with his friends in the parking lot. Mommy got nailed by a pretty good sized snowball! When we got home the first thing we noticed was your tree beautifully covered in snow:
From Somewhere Over The Rainbow

We wish you were here to see it. While you were in my belly I had pictured us looking out the window together while Daddy played with the dogs in the snow. I'm sad that can't be, but I hold you in my heart.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Rainbow in the Sky

Until now I've only mentioned this story to a few people but I wanted to share this because it has meaning to Tim & I.

On the Saturday before Sofia was born we were in the car driving out of our neighborhood heading West. It was late in the day (we were on our way to dinner with Tim's parents). The sky was full of clouds but in the middle of them all was this very small colorful rainbow. It seemed out of place. There hadn't been any rain or storms. We both noticed it up in the sky ahead of us and commented on it.

Then Tim said something that would later give us chills... He patted my belly and pointed to the rainbow and said something like baby is up there right now playing with his/her friends until it's time to come out. I am borderline superstitious and I immediately got upset that he said this. He didn't mean anything bad by it, he was just being silly, but I was bothered by it. I just responded by saying no, he/she is in my belly, why would you say that!? It was an odd thing to have said.

We changed the subject and headed to dinner. Then tragedy hit. It wasn't until after Sofia died that we remembered that rainbow. I remember Tim pulling the car into the driveway, me looking at him and all I said was, "Do you remember that rainbow in the sky!?". He gave me a sinking look. At first it was a sad feeling but then we started to think maybe that was a sign from above, letting us know what was coming and that everything would be OK. We just weren't listening hard enough.

I'll never look at a rainbow the same way again.

One Month

Has it really been one month since we said good-bye in that hospital room? It doesn't seem possible. I guess the world does keep turning while we mourn our loss. We've already come such a long way in the grieving process. Some days are better than others. I'm pretty sure the sadness will come in waves for years to come.

Today I feel a combination of numbness and peace. Numbness because I don't know how I can cry any more tears for her (but I KNOW I will) and because I still can't believe she's actually gone. It feels like she was taken/kidnapped from us in that hospital and we're just waiting for her to return. There's a physical aching inside wishing she was here. It's a feeling that will never be resolved and I can't stand that.

I also feel a sense of peace when I think of Sofia. She was taken, but not by some evil kidnapper, so we at least know she isn't suffering. She was taken to heaven and I feel like she is around us, trying to comfort us. A few nights ago I woke up in the dark and felt a presence in the room above Tim. I can't explain it but I immediately thought of Sofia and I wasn't scared. It was a peaceful feeling-almost as if she was saying she's OK. Maybe it was all in my head, but maybe it wasn't. I remembered it in the morning and told Tim. I think it made him feel good.

We love you Sofia!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

4 Weeks

I can't believe it has already been 4 weeks since we held our cute baby girl and said good-bye in that hospital room.

In some ways it feels like it's been longer, but in other ways it feels like she was kicking me in the ribs five minutes ago.

We love & miss you Sofia!

Coincidences - L&D Room

I was in bed last night thinking of Sofia and replaying everything in my mind for the millionth time and thought again about our labor & delivery room at the hospital.

Tim & I took "Prepared Childbirth" classes over the summer and it included a tour of the hospital's labor & delivery floor. We walked the whole floor and made it to the end of a long hallway to see one of their labor & delivery rooms. We all walked in the room and looked it over. I remember feeling nervous with anticipation for our big day and wondered what room we'd be in.

As it turns out, of all the rooms in that hospital, we ended up in that SAME room. We realized that when we were admitted on Oct. 11th.

I remember thinking that was ironic and last night when I really thought about it more I realized that Sofia was in that room with us when she was alive & kicking back when we took the tour! I'm not sure why that made me feel better but it did. I hated the idea that room was all about death...she was alive in that room with us at one point.

Another strange coincidence in that room was after Sofia was delivered I decided to change my Facebook profile picture from a maternity photo of myself to a picture I had taken of a large pink hibiscus flower from my Dad's yard. The next morning I was up & moving around, looking out the window, then turned to the wall that was behind my bed. On that wall was a large framed pink hibiscus flower.

Tim & I like to think that was Sofia's way of communicating to us.

See the hibiscus flower on the wall in this picture, on the left:
From Slideshow

This is the photo I changed my facebook profile photo to while in the hospital:
From Other Photos

Monday, November 8, 2010

Up & Down

Some days are harder than others. We had a good time Friday night at Sarah's birthday party. We played games, I had wine (finally!) and Tim had some drinks too. We actually laughed again. I wore non-maternity clothes for the first time in almost a year. Life felt more "normal" again.

Then Saturday hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so emotional and cried most of the day off & on. It wasn't just a little tears here & there - it was full on crying like at the hospital.

It's almost like I keep thinking I'm sad now but I'll get my baby back then I'll feel better again...then I realize I'm not getting my baby back! It's so hard. I try to keep myself distracted with other things but when the dust settles my mind goes right back to the fact that our baby is gone. I actually feel like a part of my heart is gone. It hurts.

I still enjoy being around little kids/babies but when I went to the mall last week everywhere I turned was either a pregnant woman or a newborn baby. I'm sure I'm just noticing it more now but it felt like it was being thrown in my face. I tried to look away but couldn't help but notice. One couple walked right past me (I literally had to move out of the way) and the husband was holding the baby. Then some lady ran over to them right in front of me and asked, "ooh, how old is she!?" She was 6 weeks. It made me sick to my stomach. I had planned to take our baby to the mall while on maternity leave. Instead I go without her and feel like I'm lost.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back to Pre-Pregnancy Weight

Last week (approx 2 weeks after delivering Sofia) I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Normally I would have been so happy about this but given the circumstances I don't care that much. I still can't fit into my old jeans very well. Seems that even though I've lost the weight my body is still far from "normal" again.

I look forward to exercising when I'm given the "OK" from my Dr.

It's nice to sleep on my back again but I would gladly sleep on my side again for my baby. Sometimes when I wake up I feel my belly and wish it was still there.

Strangers would have no idea that I just delivered a baby...maybe that's why I don't like it.

Official Cause of Death

This seems to be the biggest question on everyone's minds, including ours. Unfortunately, an official cause of death has not been found and we will never know why her life was cut short.

If you really want to learn more about stillbirths I encourage you to read about it. I posted some links on the blog under "My Links" that talk about some causes and the fact that the cause of death in something like two-thirds of stillbirths are undetermined.

Like I mentioned previously, we chose not to put Sofia's body through an autopsy. Generally nothing is found in stillbirths and we didn't want her to be cut up.

In human error, the placenta didn't get sent on to pathology, so we'll never know if something might have been discovered there. That will be tremendously hard to deal with if/when we are pregnant in the future.

I've read that in some cases the cord gets hyper-coiled/twisted to much or there is a clot in the cord. It's possible this might have happened and it would be rare for it to happen again in future pregnancies. There were no knots in the cord in our case.

Anything is possible so we're trying to not dwell on it since there's nothing we can do to change it. Nothing will bring our baby back to us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mass at Resurrection Cemetery

On Nov. 2nd we went to a mass where they honored those who died & were interred in Archdiocesan cemeteries.  We were given a candle with Sofia's name on it to bring and light with the others.

From Slideshow

We listened as they read off all the names.  It was bittersweet to hear Sofia's name read aloud.  We love her name and wish it was being read for something else, with her alive, but it was nice to hear her name being read & recognized.

From Slideshow


We were so looking forward to Halloween this year until we lost Sofia.  She had a little "Baby's 1st Halloween" outfit and a costume.  We thought we might take her to her grandparents for her first Halloween and maybe hold her while handing out candy to the neighbor kids.

Instead, I barely got off the couch.  I couldn't handle handing out the candy this year - Tim had to do it for me.  I sat in the baby room looking out the window and just cried.  How could this be?  How could this even be real?

The weekend prior we went to the annual pumpkin carving party at the cabin and I carved this for Sofia.  This was a hard day too.  I was in tears.  She was supposed to be there with us.

From Slideshow

Common Loss

Before we lost Sofia I knew that miscarriage was common but I didn't realize how many people I knew were directly impacted by some sort of pregnancy or infant loss.  I guess it's not something people just bring up but I think it's sad that it seems like a "secret" or something.  We intend on talking about Sofia forever.  It might not be every day and to everyone but we want to try & incorporate her into our daily life so that she is never forgotten.  I'm still a mother - I just don't have the proof of it and that is hard.

I know many family & friends who have lost babies to miscarriage.  Although we didn't have a miscarriage, we can still relate.  I never realized how painful it must be until now. Those were babies too and their parents had hopes & dreams for those children.  It's sad they are rarely mentioned.

We've received cards & letters from people we know who lost children to SIDS or stillbirth and we never knew it until now.  I'm glad they have shared their stories with us.  My maternal great-grandma lost a baby to stillbirth and I didn't know it until now.  Granny said back then it wasn't talked about.  From many books I've read, in the past many mothers weren't even allowed to hold their stillborn babies.  I feel so bad for those women.  We had a few hours to spend with our baby but even that wasn't enough.  I can't imagine not even being able to see my baby.

We wish we weren't part of this "club" but we are. I don't think we truly realized the pain until it happened to us.  It would have been easier to understand others' losses or we would have reached out more had we been more educated on the subject.

I hope that our family & friends understand when we talk about Sofia and do things to keep her spirit alive.  We are not delusional - we know she isn't physically here - but we have a daughter and even though she isn't visible for the world to see, she is very much a part of our lives.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


A friend of mine sent us a card and a poem entitled, "What Grieving People Want You To Know".  She lost two babies to stillbirth and understands how we feel.  I think this says it all:

What Grieving People Want You To Know

I am not strong - I'm just numb. When you tell me I am strong, I feel that you don't see me.

I will not recover - this is not a cold or the flu.  I'm grieving and that's different. I will not always be grieving as intensely, but I will never forget my baby, and rather than recover I want to incorporate their life and love into the rest of my life.
That baby is a part of me and always will be, and sometimes I will remember them with joy and other times with sadness. Both are OK.

I don't have to accept death - yes I understand that it has happened and it is real, but there are some things in life that are unacceptable.

Please don't avoid me, you can't catch my grief. My world is painful and when you are afraid to call or visit or say anything, I am isolated at a time when I need most to be cared about.
If you don't know what to say, just touch my arm, or give me a hug and just say I'm sorry.

Please don't say to call if I need anything, I'll never call because I have no idea of what I need.
Please send me card on special holidays, birthdays or the anniversary of the death.
Please say their name. You can't make me cry, the tears are always there. It gives me the opportunity to shed some tears because someone cared enough to reach out to me.

Ask me more than once to join you in going out, I may say no at first, or even for a while, but please don't give up on me, because somewhere down the line I will be ready and if you've given up then I will really be alone.

Sofia's Work

We already feel like Sofia has made an impact on this world, and she didn't even live to see it.

She has brought Tim & I closer (if that's even possible) and has brought a lot of thoughts and prayers our way.  She has made families more grateful for what they have and made them appreciate their children more.

Because of Sofia, a friend of mine, Raela, has asked her family in Afghanistan to purchase 100 naans (bread) to feed the poor.  That's food the poor would not have had if not for Sofia! How moving.

As a result of this, a friend of mine, Danielle, was inspired to send extra Christmas boxes to the needy in Africa, S. America, and Eastern Europe so that some children will have something this year.

My best girlfriend, Holly & husband Travis have a fire pot business and she asked me to help her design a fire pot in memory of Sofia and the proceeds will go to a charity of our choice!  It will be the gift that keeps on giving to others in need.

Tim's cousin Eileen & husband Damian made a gift donation to Children's Hospital & Medical Center in memory of Sofia.  Through gift donations they are able to offer hope and healing to others.

Thanks to my great friends Carrie & Todd, Nicole & Cory, we now have a beautiful tree planted in our front yard in memory of Sofia.  It's full of berries (crabapples) that will feed the birds this winter.

From Slideshow

I imagine this is just the start of Sofia's work.  It's amazing I can be so proud of our daughter and she never lived outside of my belly.  Her spirit lives on.

Rest In Peace

We arrived at the mortuary on Friday, Oct. 15, 2010 at 9:00 am.  Sofia was in a separate room so that Tim & I could see her first.  They warned us that she didn't look good.  He said they had their best mortician working on her all night but said it may be upsetting.  We were so worried about what we would see but didn't care.  She definitely didn't look like the girl we said good-bye to at the hospital, but we still thought she looked ok to have an open casket.  For me there is closure in seeing the deceased and I knew that would be the case for many of our family & friends too.  We figured if someone didn't want to see her they didn't have to look.  I did wish that everyone could have seen her the way we did, in the hospital, but it is what it is.  We talked to her and kissed her cold head and cried.  We felt she was in heaven and not really there anymore but it was nice to see her body again.

From Slideshow 

From Slideshow

They brought her into the room where the service was held.  A black and white photo of her was setup above her casket and she was surrounded by beautiful flowers.  I gave her a black hills gold ring with a rose on it.  I had it since I was younger and it now fits my pinky.  I would have given her that when she grew older but since I won't see her grow up, it was rightfully hers.  I placed the ring on her tiny finger.

From Slideshow

Our immediate families arrived to view Sofia & say good-bye before the viewing officially began at 10:00 am.

The arrival of family & friends was overwhelming.  So many people came to show their support and to see our baby girl.  It was especially overwhelming to see people that we least expected to be there.  It really meant a lot to us.  I think we held it together pretty well, but we had already cried so many tears that we were just drained.

The service started at 11:00 am and it was very nice.  I don't remember a lot of what was said.  I was numb.  I mostly thought of Sofia during that time and how I dreaded saying good-bye one last time.  They played the song we chose, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and we said our good-byes.  My dad placed a white rose in her casket before saying his good-bye.

Tim wanted to be the one to carry her to the limo, so we gave her kisses, said good-bye, placed a lady bug toy with her and they closed her casket.  I was supposed to go out to the car but couldn't.  I wanted to walk out with Tim & Sofia.  We do everything together and it didn't seem right to walk separately.  We walked out and all our friends & family were there as the three of us got in the car.

The drive was a short one over to Calvary Cemetery, where she was laid to rest.  The day was bright and sunny.  Father John said prayers, handed us the cross he blessed and everyone placed rose petals around her casket.

The sad irony was that this date (Oct. 15th) is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Next year we plan to attend the ceremony in Omaha and hope that all of our family & friends will join us to remember Sofia Rose.

Going Home

We gathered our things in the hospital and I changed out of my hospital gown into clothes.  I had packed some maternity clothes but because I had a catheter & bag attached to my leg it was going to be difficult to wear my pants.  I looked over at Tim and asked if I could steal his clothes off his back-literally!  Without hesitation he gave me his t-shirt and warm-up pants.  (He had another shirt and shorts to change into)  I looked funny but the clothes fit well enough for the car ride home.

We loaded everything up on a cart and left our room.  We walked past the nursery where there were a couple babies.  It felt wrong to be leaving without our baby.  Instead all we had was a box of memories and a few gifts.  Our nurse Mary walked out with us.  I tried not to look at all the people in the waiting areas. I could feel them looking at us, wondering what our story was.  I felt like they were wondering why we were leaving without a baby. I wanted to disappear.

I waited outside with Mary while Tim pulled up the car.  It was such a nice warm & sunny day.  I thought about how nice it would have been if Sofia was going home with us that day.  She wouldn't have been cold and we would have been so excited to show her the world.  When Tim pulled the car around I looked in the back seat.  We had the car seat base and the baby mirror still in the car.  It felt awful.

We said our good-byes to our nurse and headed home.

I was out of it.  That day is a blur. I think from the meds, lack of sleep, and pure exhaustion I was ready to fall over.  My mom came over to be with us.

Later that day Tim's sister Michelle & husband Joey and Tim's brother Jeff & wife Sarah came over.  We watched a movie and hung out.  It was nice to have the company.  I didn't want to be alone.

I had some issues with my catheter and Sarah was able to help me.  She was nice enough to stay overnight in case I had problems again.

I dreaded going to bed that night because it meant going to Sofia's service the next day, and we'd have to say good-bye forever.

Hospital Stay

The time spent in the hospital was sad and I was recovering from a tiring labor.  A white rose hung from the hospital room door (a signal to staffers that I was a patient who lost a child).

From Slideshow

The nurses at Lakeside are amazing.  I was fortunate to have nurses who specialize in dealing with deliveries like mine.  How sad that it is even necessary but I'm so grateful to all of them.  Lori was my nurse when we first arrived & overnight.  She was there for my epidural and I saw her again at the end of my stay.  She was so kind.  Linda was there the morning I started pushing.  She was like a mom to me-very loving and caring.  She cried right along with us and was a great coach during labor.  She stopped in to say bye before we left the hospital.  Mary was great. She had the fun job of dealing with my catheter and trying to get me to "go" on my own.  That would prove to be quite the challenge for everyone.  She was very patient and caring the whole time.  Sarah was there when I woke up crying at 1:00 am on Wed. morning.  She sat with Tim & I for two hours and we just talked about random things until I could calm down enough to sleep.  She shared other birth stories that helped me cope with ours.  We are forever grateful there are people like these in the world.

I posted a few times on Facebook and received an overwhelming response from family & friends.  I really think the thoughts & prayers and seeing the support got us through those tough days.  We didn't feel so isolated and it was a way to tell people all at once.  I guess we didn't realize how much people cared.  I think that kept me sane.

It was hard being in a hospital bed when there were things to be handled (Sofia's funeral arrangements).  Tim's brother, Jeff was so helpful.  We truly appreciated him going with Tim to the mortuary & cemetery to work out the details.  They relayed information to me so we could make final decisions.  When it came to the flowers (for her casket), we naturally chose pink roses.  They asked Jeff if we wanted ribbon and I'm so glad he said yes.  The flowers were gorgeous.  My favorite part was how they tied knots in the pink ribbon and put baby roses in the knots.  It reminded me of flowers I'd seen in old family photos before my time, and I've always loved the long ribbon tied in knots.  It was meant to be.
Tim's sister, Michelle & family drove to town to see us.  Unfortunately they weren't there to see Sofia right after she was delivered but we were glad they came to support us.  Michelle sat with me until 4:00 am on Wed. night/Thurs. morning.  She helped me look through all the prayer card & scripture choices.  We both had copies and landed on the same one.  It was meant to be.
Sofia's going home outfit was what we decided she should wear for her service, but I didn't have any tights or shoes.  We felt it was necessary for her funeral so Sarah went shopping and bought those for her.  We really appreciated that.  My parents & sister and Tim's parents & siblings were all very supportive.  My mom sat with me a lot.

A couple women from my Dr. office stopped by with a signed card and offered a prayer in my hospital room.  It was very nice.  Tim was out with Jeff at the time but my mom & Sarah were there to join us in a prayer.  They were in tears, and so were we.

Since I had an epidural my labor wasn't physically painful.  I'd say the most physical pain I endured was each time they put in a catheter after labor was over.  Having that done after giving birth is very painful.  My bladder was over-distended (too full) for too long and my body was worn out from 4 hours of pushing.  I didn't have the urge to go at all.  It was so frustrating.  I've never talked so much about pee to so many people in my entire life!  All modesty has gone out the window.  I felt like a two year old being potty trained.  My body forgot how!  I had to leave the hospital with a catheter.  As if I didn't have enough to deal with.