December 27, 2011

Stella’s 1st Birthday & Angelversary…

Ever notice how some days are harder than others?  Yeah, I’ve had that day!  In fact, I’ve been feeling that way this entire weekend!  Really I guess I should scratch that and say I’ve been having a hard holiday season, since every emotion imaginable has struck since just before Thanksgiving and who knows how long this crazy roller coaster of a ride is gonna last? 

I knew December 23rd was going to be an emotional challenge like few I’ve ever seen being it was Stella’s 1st Birthday and Angelversary, but I didn’t accurately anticipate the long lasting affects I would continue to experience through out the Christmas holiday.  I was hopeful that by today, Christmas, I wouldn’t feel the struggle so much, but it’s still riding my coat tails trying to bring me down!

The whole week began with me feeling shaken and off after a very poor night of sleep.  I had fallen right asleep, but woke suddenly just a short while later with the feeling of extreme panic.  When I saw 1:30am on my clock I just wanted to sink deeper in to the bed and be swallowed alive!  Last year on the Monday evening before Christmas I was admitted to the hospital due to HELLP syndrome while pregnant with Stella.  I spent a couple of hours in the labor and delivery triage area while they tried to figure out exactly what was going on, but once they identified the problem they began working on getting me a quiet room, inform the nurses of my case and get me moved upstairs so they could begin my IV with Magnesium Sulfate and then my OB came up to begin the induction process (and trust me, it was a process!).  So, by the time my medications were on board and my OB had started the Cytotec it was almost 1:30am, so when I awoke in a panic last Monday night and saw the time I literally found myself flashing back to the hospital room, attached to the IV and terrified about what was laying a head of me and my daughter’s future.  Sure, I knew I wasn’t in the hospital, but instead in my own bed, but I saw everything so vividly in front of me like I was living through it all over again!  I laid in bed crying and holding my belly until I finally drifted back to sleep.  Needless to say I woke up in a foul, sad mood like my precious Stella had just been ripped away from me all over again! 

Sweet Stella Grace December 23, 2010

The pressure of Stella’s birthday and Angelversary, along with the Christmas holiday, surely didn’t help any as the week progressed.  My stress levels and bitchiness felt like they were at an all time high!  Although, maybe it was good that I was so busy and preoccupied because it kept me from having a full out melt down, even though I felt it building up inside me?  I was angry I was busy with holiday things because all I really wanted to do was plan a meaningful way to honor Stella’s short life and her importance to me!  With everyone’s various holiday and work schedules we weren’t able to have many family and friends join us in celebrating Stella, and that alone left me feeling even more sad and depressed.  I understand everyone has their own family and schedule to work around, but I couldn’t help feeling that if Stella was still alive and with us for her 1st birthday all of these significant people in my life would have made arrangements to celebrate with us.  Leaving me, once again, feeling cheated and robbed of an experience that was very important to me! 

We went ahead and commemorated Stella’s special day anyway.  It was difficult to figure out the best way to celebrate her spirit with out her being with us because nothing seemed appropriate.  At the same time I knew I needed it to be a joyous and fun occasion because additional sadness was the last thing I needed and I really don’t feel like Stella wants us to live in sadness.  So we decided to do the zany Happy Jollidays LaZoom Tour around Asheville to brighten our spirits and bring a little laughter to the day and prepare us for the Christmas holiday.  My brother and a couple we’ve been friends with for many, many years joined my husband and I for the fun outing.  It worked, we did smile and laugh, but it still felt like we were missing an important part of any celebration … the guest of honor herself.

Trey and my brother holding Sprout

Sarah and Jason giving Sprout some love

Our friends had to get back to their family holiday obligations, so we met Trey’s parents out that evening for a late night dinner at Ruth’s Chris.  We had an absolutely fantastic meal, which was a real treat, and Trey toasted to our little Stella.  But over all I was left feeling a little let down and like I had done a poor job of honoring our girl on her special day.  We had gotten a cupcake for Stella, did something fun for her birthday and celebrated with a delicious meal, but the day didn’t truly feel like it was about HER, which was the most important aspect of the day to me personally.  Our friends brought 2 stuffed animals over, one for Stella and one for Sprout, but other than that her name wasn’t ever mentioned again unless it was by me or my husband at dinner.  They made more of a fuss over Sprout then Stella and that left my heart hurting.  I know they all mean well, but December 23rd was supposed to be all about Stella, how she touched our lives and will always be loved and cherished.

Stella's Christmas tree, 1st birthday cupcake and gifts

Stuffed animals and a thoughtful card from another Baby Loss Momma friend

Realistically, I guess nothing would have been perfect unless I could have had sweet Stella on my hip, dressed in a special outfit with a birthday hat, balloons all around and watching her smiling, laughing face as she dug in to a big cupcake with her name written on top!  Anything else will always pale in comparison!  So the question becomes ~ How will we be able to manage all the birthdays/Angelversaries for the years to come?  I’d love to hear from other Baby Loss Mommas and how you’ve coped with these painful milestones? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry Stella's birthday fell short of your expectations...but I think all of us BLMs and BLDs for that matter put too much pressure on ourselves to make these milestones "perfect" and let's be honest, that will never be the case because our sweet children aren't with us celebrating like you said. I celebrated my angel's first birthday/angelversary just a few months ago and while it was a small thing with just my hubby and I (and definitely took on a more somber tone as a result), that's what I needed to do this year at least. Maybe next year I'll feel up to including more people, but then again, I don't want to set myself up for disappointment if people aren't interested in doing so, or worst yet, if they seldom mention his name during the "celebration" because that would crush me more than anything. I think we need to continue to take these milestones year by year and just be realistic with ourselves and remember that our sweet babies are having the most beautiful celebrations--ones that we couldn't even provide them if they were still in our arms. Thank you for sharing Stella's day with us and the precious picture of her. Sending you lots of love and support from Massachusetts!