Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It Is Sinking In

I am not well. People don't know what to ask me, so they ask me if I'm ok. It is such a stupid thing to ask someone who's child just died. I get it though, it doesn't bother me or make me mad. Before this happened to me, I'm sure I would have asked a bereaved mother if she was ok. She wouldn't be ok. I am not ok. I don't know what to say when someone asks me that. I used to just say "I'm breathing," but that never felt right. My sister and I were talking about this the other night. We have a really dark personality, we laugh about things that we shouldn't. Angie said "I am not well!" about me, in her fake southern accent. It made me laugh. A lot. A lot more than it should have, and more than I've laughed since all of this mess happened. (Well, except for that time my dad came downstairs in his ridiculous Hawaiian shirt in all seriousness to go get his tattoo for Vi. But, that's a story for another post.) I have decided that is going to be my answer from now on. I am not well, BUT I appreciate everyone asking and checking on me. Truly, I do. I know it's hard to know what to say. I still wouldn't know what to say to someone who's child just died. Words don't suffice. There are no words to explain it, and no words to express your sorrow and genuine concern. I know that. I don't hold it against people for words failing. This paragraph is a little off topic, but I needed to get it out.

I can watch videos of Violet now. That's a newer development. A step, I guess? I opened up the video folder on my phone and was browsing videos, and then they ended. All of a sudden. Just like that. It caused a new sadness. A deeper, harsher, weigh me down sadness. I felt so heavy and so very, very sad. It took my breath away. How is it possible that I will never have a new video of her? How is it possible that I can't just open up the camera on my phone and record a new video of her? She would be crawling by now, my phone should be full of videos of her crawling. It's like my mind is slowly taking down the defenses. Slowly allowing it to sink in, because if it sunk in all at once I would die. My brain would implode, my heart would literally shatter, and I would die. It's too much for a person to handle all at once. So, slowly it is starting to sink in. The video folder hit me by surprise. I never open that folder, I always just go into the camera roll where the pics and videos are mixed. Something about that video folder being so small hits me hard. I can never record Violet again. It is sinking in. 

I'm scared for March 1st. It will officially be the second month without Violet. She died on January 31st. She didn't live a day in February. And, now she won't live a day in March. Or April, May, June, and July. She just got here. I just got her. It is so unfair that I don't get to have her anymore. I miss her so much. Watching the videos just makes me realize how quiet it is without her. Lyvi is loud. The dogs are loud. My nephews are loud. Tv is loud. But, it is still so quiet without her. I don't get to hear her yelling baby profanities at the butterflies on her bouncy chair. I don't get to hear her screaming back and forth at Rich. I don't get to hear her laughing at Lyvi. I don't get to hear her crying because I laid her down so I could go pee. I don't get to hear her grunting herself to sleep. It is so quiet. But, at night when I lay in bed awake all I can hear is her struggling to breath. The beep of the machines. The words "start compressions." My screams. Audrey telling me "Mama we're not looking good, I don't think she's going to survive this." The helicopter. Asystole. My screams. Over and over and over. My mind is never quiet. What I wouldn't give to have a quiet mind, who's only concern was getting a few hours of sleep before having to wake up to nurse a sweet healthy baby back to sleep. I hope I am hyping myself up, and that March 1st won't be any harder than any other day. Something tells me it will be a hard day. Every new month of my life is another month without her. It is sinking in.

The warm weather is hard. Violet was born at the end of summer, she only ever got to go outside in the warmth a few times. We went to the park today. There was a baby in the baby swing. That should have been Vi. She would have loved the swing. I know it. She was such a wild little thing. I should have taken her down the slide for the first time. We have pictures of Lyvi's first time on a swing and a slide. We will never have pictures of Violet's first time on a swing and a slide. She will never get to sit in the sand and try to eat it. She will never get to chase after her sister and try to keep up. She will never fall down and scrape her knee. She will never get to play at a park. She will never get to experience spring. She barely got to do anything. It is sinking in. 

Violet. Violet Violet Violet. If I say your name enough maybe you will come back to me. Maybe the universe will come to it's senses and realize it made a huge mistake. It has been so long since I was able to love on you. Why did you have to go away? Why couldn't you stay with me. I was looking through pictures like I do every night and I saw the picture of Lyvi's weird toe nails. It was the monday or tuesday before you died. I called the doctor and was going to try to get her in that day, but decided it wasn't a big deal and to make an appointment for friday so your dad could come with us. You had just barely started to cough, that stupid insignificant cough. What if I would have gotten her in that day? I bet your doctor would have tested you for RSV and the flu. Would you have already tested positive for the flu? Was that tiny insignificant cough the start? Maybe it was. Maybe you would have been given Tamiflu and maybe you would still be here. Instead I decided to wait until friday. And, then on thursday your cough got a little worse so I called and they fit you in right before Lyvi's appointment the next day. You never got to go to that appointment. You were already in the hospital trying to stay here with us. These what if's are eating me alive sweetheart. I just don't understand this. I don't get it. It is sinking in, and I don't want it to. I don't want to fully understand that you are gone. I just want you back. I would give anything. Take me instead. Pull some strings where ever you are, tell them your mom just wants one kiss, one hug, just one minute with you, and then I will take your place. And, you can grow up with your sister and daddy. Please honey. You shouldn't be dead. You just got here, how can you possibly be dead. I'm so sorry. I miss you fat baby. So much. I hope you are warm and happy. I love you. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

It Comes In Waves

Grief is a strange thing. I remember talking with my sisters just a few weeks before we lost Vi about how you would have to lock us up if any of our kids ever died. I think it was prompted by a Facebook page for a kid who passed away. When I said that I was serious. I honest to god thought if either of my girls died I would have to be put away. There was no other option in my mind. Lock me up. Throw away the key, cause there is no coming back from that. No way. And then, just like that, it happened to me. I cannot tell you how I am still alive. How I am still breathing. How I am still taking care of Lyvi, and loving my husband. I have no idea how I can still smile and laugh. I have no idea how I still exist. But, I do. I always thought that grieving mothers must cry all day everyday. I figured they would need an IV to stay hydrated because they would cry all the moisture out of their body. I have cried. OH have I cried. Do I cry all day everyday? No. Do I need an IV to keep myself hydrated? Sometimes maybe, but not from tears, just because sometimes I forget to eat and drink. No biggie. Do I need to be locked up? Na. Not today at least. I imagine that could change at some point, but for now I am not a risk to myself or others. I can't promise I won't be tomorrow though. No promises. I do cry everyday. I am sad all day everyday. My mind is a jumbled mess of crazy. My heart is shattered in a million pieces. My soul is split in 2. But, I am still here. I even function somedays. I showered today. That's a big plus. I think subconsciously I don't want to shower everyday, because when you have a baby everyday showers are not a thing you get to do. Sleep is a joke. A cruel cruel joke. Violet woke up several times a night to nurse, so I didn't get a ton of sleep. Now I don't sleep because she isn't here. I close my eyes and I am back in that hospital room with her. Or I am on the helicopter trying not to see my lifeless baby. Or I am in the room at Primary's holding her cold bruised beat up body. Kissing her little eyes. Wiping up the fluid that was leaking out of her nose. The back of my eyelids are a movie reel. The worst horror movie you could imagine. The only way I get any sleep at all is with sleeping pills. Just over the counter kind. Screw that ambien crap, I don't wanna sleep eat and then kill myself. Haha. What I would give to be tired because I was up nursing my sweet Violet all night.

Grief comes in waves. I noticed that the day after she died. I would be able to talk about her and what happened in spurts, and then all of a sudden a wave would hit and I was down for the count. It seems like I have a few "ok" (nothing is ever really ok) days, and then the tide comes in and I have a few days where I have to be in The Chair. Most of last week was hard. The day before her 6 month birthday was torture, I knew the next day would be hell. Then the 19th came and I was down. I knew it would be a hard day, but I didn't know how hard. My beautiful friend Shay came over that day, like she does most days, without even needing to tell me she was coming. She just knew it was going to be a hard day, her radar went off and she showed up right when I was going to break. I can't even imagine where I would be without her. Love ya Shay! This was also the day Lyvi hid from me and I honestly thought I had dreamt her up too. Bad bad day. Then Friday came. 3 weeks. 3 full weeks without her. How can that even be possible? Everyday gets harder. Everyday takes me farther and farther away from when she was here. From the last time I held her and played with her and kissed her and nursed her. Time doesn't even make sense to me anymore. The 5 1/2 months I had her feel like the blink of an eye, while the 3 weeks that she has been gone feel like a lifetime. How am I supposed to live like this for the rest of my life? I am swimming through a never ending sea of sorrow.Trying just to keep my head above water, and failing most days. I think maybe that is why I am being pulled to Washington, to sit on a dreary beach. That was one of the first coherent thoughts I had after she died. I needed to leave. I needed to go sit on a beach and scream. Or not scream. Cry. Or not cry. I don't really know why I need to do this or how I will react, but it is something I need to do. So, I'm going to Washington this weekend with my sisters and our cousin, Mindy. My husband made it happen. I love him dearly. Our cousin lives out there with his family and I am so looking forward to spending time with them. I also have a few friends out there that I cannot wait to meet in person. These women are amazing. I met them through Mothering, we all had September 2013 due dates. They have been there for me all through my crazy stressful pregnancy with Violet, through her 5 1/2 months of life, and they have been here for me after this unthinkable tragedy. I cannot wait to see them and love on their babies. I think it will be hard to see their babies, but I also think it will be good. I really think this is something I need to do. I absolutely do not think I will be any better when I come back, but maybe I will be able to breath just a tiny bit better. Oh, and I am getting a sweet ass tat for Vi. Can't wait. Getting the hell out of Dodge. 

Hi sweet girl. God I miss you honey buns. Lyvi woke up this morning and farted, which made her laugh like always. And, then she said "Oh! Baby Vi fart!" You were always so farty in the mornings. She still remembers. You would stretch your little arms up as soon as I unzipped your woombie. Your little belly would look so cute and tiny. And, then you would fart. Without fail every morning. You always smelled like yummy baby sweat in the mornings. Your blanket that I sleep with still smells like you. I don't know how that is possible since its been 3 weeks since you were wrapped in it, but I'm so happy it still does. I had to buy your sister clothes today, and it felt so wrong. I had been planning to buy both of you new clothes for spring and summer. I was so excited to get cute matching, but not too matchy, outfits for my girls. Everything feels wrong without you. I don't think anything will ever really feel right again. I expect that we will find our new normal, but it will always be missing you. Never perfect. I hope you are warm baby girl. I love you forever. You will always be my Sweet Violet. 

And, just for fun. Because it makes me smile. A video of my Vi. Listen close, you will hear a normal Violet fart. I miss her farts so much. And, see her huge thighs and bubble butt. I miss that fat baby so much. Bonus, a little bit of my Lyvi-Loo. I will never accept that her sister was taken away from her. Ever. Love both of my girls with every bit of my broken heart. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This is Nonsense

I'm having a hard time. Obviously. I just don't understand this. What did we do to deserve this? We are good, honest, kind people. We love completely and without fear. We are good people. We don't steal, cheat, murder, or judge. Violet was the purest soul I have ever encountered. She had such pure joy and love that radiated from her. She did not deserve this. She deserves to be here. She was cheated in the worst way possible. Cheated out of the life that she deserved. We were cheated out of the life we should have had with her. Lyvi was cheated out of the best sister in the world. Rich was cheated out of his mini me. I was cheated out of my soul mate. The universe cheated me. It let me sit here and feel like I had everything I could have ever hoped for. I believed that I was going to have the life that I always dreamt about. It made me believe that I was the luckiest person to have ever existed. And, I was. I still am. I am so lucky that Violet is mine. I am so lucky that she chose me to be her mom. But, I have been cheated. In the worst possible way. My baby was snatched up in the blink of an eye. She was taken away from me so fast that I cannot even believe that I ever really had her. I know I had her. I know she grew inside of me. I know I had her for the most amazing 5 months and 12 days. But, I don't have her anymore. At least not in the way that I so need her. It takes my breath away, literally. I have to remind myself to breath. But, I don't want to breath if she isn't breathing. I don't want to breath with such ease when the last hours of her life were agonizing for her. The sounds of her trying to breath will haunt me forever. It should have been me struggling for every breath. Not her. Not my perfect baby. This couldn't have really happened to her. There is no way that I will ever fully believe that this is real. That this really happened. I will always hope that I am somewhere in a coma, dreaming all of this up, and she is healthy and growing and happy. I will always expect that she will come back to me one day. I wouldn't be surprised at all if one day I wake up and she is laying next to me. It stuns me every morning that I wake up and she isn't there.

Lyvi and I went to my niece's birthday party at a pool yesterday. It was so hard for me to be there. It doesn't help that right as I turned the car on "Pompeii" started on the radio. Every time without fail. I'm starting to think maybe it is her doing that. Or it's just the universe being a dick. The universe is such an asshole. I had a good cry on the way there, but managed to pull myself together when we got there. Being out in public is so surreal. None of those people have any idea that my baby died 3 weeks ago. None of them know that I am struggling just to breath. There were so many cute babies there. Violet would have loved the water. She never got to go swimming. There was this adorable little girl there, she was probably a year old. She had the chubbiest thighs and bubble butt. I know that's what Vi's legs and butt would have looked like at that age. I couldn't stop looking at that sweet girl and thinking of my Violet. I kept asking myself why this happened to us. To her. Why did she get taken away from us, when all these other families have their babies still. Why can some douche bag with a tattoo across his chest that says "White Pride" be allowed to keep his kids, but our baby was taken away? It doesn't make any sense. It is complete and utter nonsense. There is no reason for this. Don't tell me God has a bigger plan for her. Don't tell me she is up in heaven being cradled by Jesus. Don't tell me she has her angel wings. None of this helps me. None of this comforts me. Nothing comforts me, but that shit pisses me off. She should be here with me. End of Story. 

The only thing that gives me any sort of comfort is this :

This makes sense to me. She may be gone, but her energy isn't. "No energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed."She was here before she was born, and she is here still after she died. She was a part of me before I knew that she was mine, and she will always be a part of me. Her energy will forever live on. I hope one day I'm more open to feeling her presence. I hope one day she will show me without a shadow of a doubt that she is still with me. I hope that right now the wound is too fresh, too deep, for me to be open to any sort of comfort. I hope that she will know when the time is right, when I can handle it, and if that time ever comes I hope that she will embrace me in her warmth. In her everlasting energy. I hope someday, I will find some comfort. Because, right now nothing comforts me. Yes, I believe that her energy is still here, but it doesn't comfort me. It just makes sense to me. The only thing that could comfort me right now is her being dropped back into my lap, where she belongs. 

I'm sorry that I'm so bitter sweetheart. I know you understand why. None of this is fair. None of this is ok. I wish so much that you were here. I know you would have loved sitting in the shallow water and splashing. I know you would have laughed at Milo and Lyvi running around being crazy. You would have been so damn cute in a little swimsuit. Everyone would have commented on your huge thighs. I miss you so much. Is it you playing Pompeii for me all the time? I hope so. I have a feeling that all of this is going to get much much worse for me before anything gets better. Your daddy is home now, and that helps. But, it also makes me realize how much is missing. We were all cuddling on the couch last night and I couldn't help but be sad. You are missing. You should have been cuddled up with us, pulling Lyvi's hair, trying to eat my face, yelling at your dad. This is so awful. I'm so sorry. I will never forgive myself for this. Yes, I know logically that it isn't my fault. I didn't make this happen. I couldn't have prevented it. But, I also didn't save you. I am your mama and I am supposed to keep you safe. I love you my sweet girl. Forever. 

Friday, February 21, 2014


Right after Christmas I made a little video for my Instagram about how great our year was. It was pictures of Lyvi, my pregnancy, Violet's birth, her life up to that point, and our family pictures. I used the Bastille song "Pompeii." I loved that song the first time I heard it. It just struck a chord with me. I loved the lyrics, even though they really didn't relate to my life at all. Ever since Violet died I have heard that song everywhere. I know it is still a popular song, but it has been everywhere since we lost her. It plays every time I'm in the car. It plays in stores while I'm there. My sister randomly started singing it out of nowhere one day. It is just everywhere. I haven't been able to listen to it though, I either change the station, try to tune it out at the store, or tell my sister to shut up. Today though, I finally gave in. I had taken Lyvi to lunch and while we were there a nice lady came up and was talking to Lyvi. She said something along the lines of, "Oh how fun! A mommy/daughter date." How can we  be having a mommy/daughter date when one of my daughters is missing? I have 2 daughters, not just one. I should be on a mommy/daughter date with both of my girls. I cried in Zupas while trying to make everything seem normal. Like I hadn't just lost my daughter 3 weeks ago. After that we left and went to visit my sisters. I was so sad. I felt so guilty for taking Lyvi anywhere without Violet. It felt so wrong. I know it isn't. I know I have to make life as normal as possible for her. So, if that means I have to cry in Zupas then I guess that is what I will do. When we got in the car to leave my sisters house I was trying so hard to hold it together. I was on the verge of a breakdown and I didn't want to do that in the car. Right then, Pompeii came on the radio. Instead of changing it I turned it up. I finally listened to the damn song that has been haunting me. I cried. Hard. Harder than I have in awhile. The lyrics take on a completely new meaning now:

I was left to my own devices
Many days fell away with nothing to show

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

When I close my eyes I can almost feel her. I can almost smell her. When I close my eyes I can almost feel like nothing has changed at all. I can feel like I am in a place I have been before, when she was still here. When she was still alive. But, then I open my eyes. And, reality sinks in. The dark clouds roll in and I remember that this is my reality. This is my life now. All of my walls tumble down. I crumble again. How am I gonna be an optimist about this? 

My sweet girl. You have been gone for 3 weeks. They have been the worst 3 weeks of my life. The absolute worst. I'm a mess. A complete disaster. Not having you hurts so much that I truly do not know how I am still alive. How can a person be in so much pain, but still be breathing. Still be living. How can I still be living when you died? Right in front of my eyes. How can a mother still live after their child dies? But, I guess really, I'm not living. Not in the way that I used to be. I will never live the way I did before I lost you. I will never live the way I did when my life was perfect and I had everything I could ever dream of. I will never live the life I was supposed to have, because your life was taken away from you. It is so unfair. You should not have died. It makes absolutely no sense. None. You are supposed to be here. You were supposed to grow up, do amazing things, and grieve when I die. Not the other way around. I shouldn't be the one grieving you. It makes no sense. I miss you so much that I am in literal physical pain. All the time. Everything hurts. But, nothing hurts more than my heart. I don't understand how my heart is still beating when it hurts so bad. I know I need to live for your sister and your dad. I know that. But I don't want to live this life without you. I'm so sorry sweetheart. I am so sorry this happened to you and that I couldn't save you. I miss you desperately. I hope you are safe and warm. I don't know if it is you making me hear Pompeii everywhere. Maybe? If so, thank you. Even though it's hard for me to hear because it makes me think of you and everything we had. I'm so sorry you were cheated out of the wonderful life I could see for you. I love you. I will always love you.

People Don't Really Scream Like That, Do They?

My very favorite show is Grey's Anatomy. I have watched every single episode at least 4 times. I love it. I watched episode after episode when I was on bed rest with Violet. I used to think that the actors were a bit dramatic when their loved ones died. Like when Denny died, I really thought Izzy was nuts. Alex had to pry her away from dead Denny. She laid on the bathroom floor for hours in that damn dress. Come on, no one reacts like that. Then she baked a million stupid muffins. I always get pissed off when the parents are screaming and crying and trying to get to their kid as the doctors are trying to save their life. Let the doctors do their job people! Get out of the way. Stop screaming. Get off the floor. Stay calm, your panicking doesn't help anyone. When Meredith screams in the woods after Lexie dies, come on. Really? I thought it was terrible acting and terrible writing. Screaming? Really? No one really screams in real life. Right?  How very very wrong I was.

The dread I felt when the doctor at the ER said "Well, she tested negative for RSV... But, positive for Influenza A" was immediate. I had already heard that Influenza A was killing healthy middle aged men this year, so what chance does a 5 1/2 month old stand? The doctor was so calm, so nonchalant. She was older, and obviously experienced. I know what happened to Violet isn't a normal case, so I'm sure this doctor thought she was going to be fine. She decided to admit Vi just "as a precaution." It took her a few hours to decide to admit her, and the whole time I was trying not to scream. Trying not to run out to the nurses station and shake her while screaming for her to just admit Vi already. The ER that we took Violet to isn't connected to a hospital so they took us by ambulance up to McKay 
Dee. It took so long to get all the paperwork done and to get the ambulance there. It took everything I had not to scream obscenities about how long everything was taking. 

Once we got to McKay they got her straight into a room, but it took forever for the doctor to come in and exam her. I knew that she needed to be on oxygen, they had given her oxygen on the ambulance ride over and that was the calmest she had been in hours. She was actually able to sleep a little bit. I thought she might be able to sleep if they just put the damn oxygen on her. I didn't want to scream at the sweet nurse that was so nice and so caring. So I didn't. I was patient. I waited for the doctor. When she finally came in she immediately got Vi on oxygen, and had the nurse do a deep suction of Vi's throat. Violet hated that so much, I knew she needed it but I hated that she was going through this. All I wanted to do was scream at them to stop so that I could pick her up and kiss her and make her all better. But, I didn't scream at them. I let them do what they needed to do to help Violet. After a few hours it was obvious that she needed more help. The simple nasal cannula wasn't cutting it, so they decided to hook her up to the high pressure oxygen. They assured me that this would bring her some comfort and that it would help her get better. Once they told me that I wanted her on it immediately. Right then. I have no concept of time, but I know it took forever for the respiratory therapist to come back with the whole set up. I was rocking Violet and asking the nurse over and over again why it was taking so long. I restrained myself from screaming at the respiratory therapist when she did finally come in with the machine. I told myself that screaming at her to hurry and set the damn machine up already would just make Vi's wait even longer. They did get Vi hooked up finally. But, it didn't seem to bring her the comfort that they told me it would. I told them this, and they told me it would take awhile, that there was a little boy down the hall that was not doing well the night before, but now after they put him on this oxygen set up he was doing so much better. So, I waited. I didn't scream at them that my baby wasn't getting better. I didn't scream at them and call them liars. I waited. But, she didn't get better. She kept getting worse. It was around this time that my dad came up. I collapsed in his arms. Something about dads makes it ok to break down for a minute. He held me up, he let me cry. But, I didn't let myself scream. 

From here things get fuzzy. Like I said before, I have absolutely no concept of time. Eventually we had to let Violet lay in the crib, because her heart rate would go up when we jostled her and her breathing was so unstable that being bent at all made her so much more uncomfortable. I hated that she had to lay in that crib. Rich and I stood right by her, held her hands, played her white noise, whispered sweet nothings to her, told her she was going to be fine, that she was so strong. But, she didn't get better. She kept getting worse. Finally, the doctor decided it was time to life flight her to Primary Children's. It took everything in me not to scream at him and tell him they should have taken her there hours ago. Waiting for the Life Flight team to get there was the longest time of my life. It couldn't have been more than 30 minutes from the time they decided to send her there to the time they walked in her room. But, it felt like an eternity. I could see the life slipping out of her. Every minute we waited felt like a year. I was pacing the room. From the door, back to her side. Kissing her forehead, telling her to hold on. That they were going to take her to the best hospital and get her all better. I was panicking. I could see her slipping away. Her eyes were glossy. Her skin was pale. She was cold and clammy. I could see the light leaving her. The Life Flight team finally got there. I didn't scream at them for taking an eternity to get there. I knew they were there to save my baby. Within a minute of them walking in the room Violet started to decline rapidly. Her heart rate had been in the 220-250 range for the past few hours, and then suddenly it was 135. I knew this wasn't ok. Everyone kept telling that it was fine, that's a normal heart rate for a baby. Someone told me they don't worry until it gets under 80. I looked at the monitor right then and her heart rate was 88. I looked at Violet, her legs started shaking. Audrey (the Life Flight RN) said "Start compressions." I ran. I screamed. I collapsed on the floor in the hallway. The person screaming was not someone that I recognized. The person screaming was not me. It was my soul. My soul was screaming out for my baby. The sounds coming out of me were so primal. So deep. It wasn't me. A nurse had to drag me down the hall kicking and screaming and put me in a room. My mom was with me. I screamed. She held me and screamed with me. Rich was in the room while they worked on Violet. I'm so thankful for his strength, that he was able to be in there at least for a little while with our daughter. 

Eventually, I was allowed out of that room. I sat in the hallway outside of Violet's room. I stayed calm. I knew that they would not allow a kicking screaming mother on a helicopter. So, I stayed calm. I was screaming inside my head. Screaming that this cannot be happening. But, I didn't let those screams out. I heard them saying push Epi. I know what that means from all my countless hours watching Grey's Anatomy. I know that means her heart stopped. I still kept my screams in. Audrey came out in the hall and told me honestly what was happening. She told me that they were trying to "cross all their T's and dot all their I's" so that Vi was stable enough for the helicopter ride. So that she didn't crash in the air. She told me I had to stay calm if I wanted to go with her. So, I stayed calm. She told me that Violet was very very sick. I didn't scream. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours, but eventually it was decided to get Vi on the helicopter. They moved her to the stretcher, wheeled her halfway out the door and stopped. The bed was rhythmically bouncing. I knew what was happening. I couldn't see her, but I knew she was getting chest compressions. My sisters, brother, and mom were behind me. I looked back at them shaking my head. I couldn't say the words, but I knew it was bad. I knew it had gone on for too long. Audrey looked back at me and said "Mama, we aren't looking good. I don't know that she is going to survive this." My heart dropped. I almost fainted. I almost threw up. But, I didn't scream. I knew I had to stay calm so that I could go with my baby. 

When we finally got to Primary Children's, and they had been doing compressions for the entire helicopter ride I knew there was no coming back from that. It had been too long. The doctor came out and basically told me this. I didn't scream. I said nothing. I didn't tell her to stop. I just stared at her blankly. How can a mother tell a doctor to stop trying to revive their child? I knew they had to stop, I wasn't angry at them, I just couldn't say the words. After awhile they had her cleaned up enough that I was able to go back and hold her. I sat in a rocking chair, and a nurse handed me my dead daughter. I screamed. The weight of her little body was too heavy. I screamed and cried out. I asked why this happened to my baby. Why my Violet? Why did this happen to my baby? I don't know how long I was in there with her before Rich was there. He opened the curtain, looked at me, and I told him that she didn't make it. I screamed at him that our daughter died. The look on his face will forever be engrained in my mind. Forever. I saw him change in that instant. He will never be the same man that he was. 

Eventually we had to leave. We had to say goodbye to our daughter. We had to leave her there, alone. I asked the nurse to please not let her be in there alone. To please make sure someone stays with her. She assured me that she would not leave Violet's side. I believed her. They gave me the blanket that they had wrapped her in, and we left the room. I had only been to that hospital a couple of times in my life, but I knew the front doors looked like a fish tank. I saw those fish tank front doors and stopped. I couldn't move. I should have been leaving that hospital with my daughter, and all I had was a blanket. I don't really remember what happened next, but somehow I ended up on the floor. Screaming. That primal scream again. That person who wasn't me was screaming again. My soul screaming out in complete agony. A piece of me died. A piece of my soul was ripped from me. It was the worst agony I have ever felt in my life. 

Some how Rich and I made it home. We didn't drive. I think my dad drove us home. Neither of us slept much. I had been up for nearly 48 hours by this point, Rich had been up for at least 24 hours. We both wandered around. Clutching each other and that blanket. I screamed. He cried out. A piece of us died, and we will never be the same. I may not scream out often, but the screaming in my head never stops. I can't imagine that it ever will. It hurts more every second of every day that passes. The agony gets worse. The rip in my soul gets bigger and bigger the more time passes. The farther away I get from the last time I held her.

I didn't start this post with the intention of reliving the events that took place. It took on a life of it's own and my fingers wouldn't stop. The comparison to Grey's Anatomy is ridiculous, I know. But, in that moment I truly felt like I was in a movie or TV show. Things like this don't happen in real life. People don't scream out like Meredith in the woods. Parents don't collapse on the ground. People don't do ridiculous things like lay in a bathroom and bake thousands of muffins. I'm here to tell you that they do. I screamed. I collapsed. I sat in a chair for 2 straight weeks. Touché Grey's Anatomy, you got something right. 

Hi baby girl. Lyvi asked to see pictures of you again tonight. She misses you. But, she loves seeing you in pictures. I was able to watch a few videos of you with her. She just laughed and laughed, while I cried. I can't believe that you are gone. I have a hard time believing that you were ever really mine. I'm so sorry I couldn't kiss you and make you better. That's a mama's job, and I failed you. I will never forgive myself for that. I know you wouldn't want me to feel this way, but it is impossible not to. You are gone and I am still here. Expected to go on without you. Expected to be happy again someday. I miss you. I wish I could take your place. I would have cut open my own chest and given you my lungs if they would have let me. I'm so sorry sweet girl. I love you. I hope you are ok. I hope you are happy. and, I hope you are warm. Goodnight my Violetta Villalobos. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What a Difference a Year Makes

She should be 6 months old today. She should have sat in a shopping cart for the first time today like I did with Lyvi on her 6 month birthday. She should have eaten sweet potatoes and maybe some banana as a treat. She should have had a million and one pictures taken so that I would always remember what 6 month old Violet looked like. She would have been crawling now. She was so close. She just needed a few more days, and she would have taken off. My baby will never been 6 months old. She will forever be 5 1/2 months. She will never be a day older than that. Forever frozen as my sweet 5 month 12 day old baby girl. The timing of things with Vi is insane. I opened up my Timehop app (shows what you did on your social media that day in prior years) and 1 year ago today I announced that I was pregnant with her. Exactly 6 months later I had her. And now 6 months later I am mourning her loss. What a difference a year makes. 

Today was a hard day. I knew it was going to be. I have been dreading today since the day she died. I knew I needed to sit in The Chair all day long. Lyvi appeased me for most of the morning. She sat with me and we watched a few shows. Eventually she got bored and started playing. She is really into hide and seek lately. She decided to hide from me without telling me. I could not find her anywhere. I looked in every single spot and still couldn't find her. I started to panic. I searched and searched. I ran downstairs, looked in every single room, behind curtains, in bathtubs, under beds, in closets, every single place I could think to look. I went in the backyard and the garage. I really started to panic. As I was running to the front door to look outside I had a moment of complete insanity and thought, "please don't tell me that I dreamed her too. Please." This is how my mind works now. I honestly believe sometimes that I dreamt Vi up. That I never really had her. How could I have had the most perfect baby, my soulmate, my missing piece, and just like that she's gone. Poof. Gone. I just do not understand how this happened. How can she be gone? To finish the story, as I was looking up and down our streets I looked back at the front door and Lyvi was standing there. I made her take me to where she was. Apparently she was hidden in the back of my nephews closet. I had a firm talk with her and hopefully I scared her enough that she won't do that again. Also, my brother in law installed toddler proof locks on all the doors that lead outside. Crisis averted. 

She has been gone for 20 days today. I am really struggling with where she is. Where is she? I never really thought about what happened to a person's soul after they died before now. Now it is all that I think about. I do know that she has to be somewhere. Her little spirit is too fierce to just be gone. Do I believe in heaven as a place in the fluffy white clouds with castles and unicorns. Not so much. Do I believe in reincarnation? Maybe. The only thing that kind of feels right to me is that her soul is with me. I feel like her soul was always a part of me, so it makes sense that she went back into me. Into my heart, to wait until I get to join her. From there I have no idea. I do feel like children take a piece of their mother and father's souls and if they die before their parents, that a part of them goes back with their parents. But, I also think she is everywhere. All around. With everyone who loved her. I don't always feel her, but I hope that's because I'm not ready to quite yet. She sent me the honey bee. That is enough for right now.

Lyvi asked about her tonight in bed. This is how our conversation went;

Lyvi: "Where Baby Vi at???"
Me: "Baby Vi is in your heart"
       "No! Baby vi go to doctor."
       "Baby Vi did go to the doctor. Baby Vi was very sick. She's not sick anymore though." 
       "Go see Baby Vi?"
       "We don't get to bring Baby Vi home anymore. But, we can always talk about her, and remember that she is in our hearts"
       "Oh, yes! Baby Vi in Lyvi heart?"
       "Yes baby girl."
       "Baby Vi in mommy heart?"
       "Baby Vi in Daddy heart?"
       "Yes honey."
        "Baby Vi in Aunt Angie heart?"
And, from here she named every single family member. I told her yes every single time. Then she said, "Lyvi in Baby Vi's heart?" UGH. Gut punch. I told her of course she is in Baby Vi's heart. Of course. She doesn't really understand. She wants Baby Vi back. I want Baby Vi back with every cell in my body. She really wanted to see Baby Vi, so we looked at pictures. She loved it. I let her watch a video of Vi. She was so excited. She yelled, "Baby Vi crazy!!" I used to say that all the time to Lyvi. She still remembers. I hope she never forgets. There is no handbook on what to say to a 2 1/2 year old after their baby sister dies. I have no idea if what I am telling her is right. We talk about Violet everyday. I tell her that Vi got sick and had to go away. I tell her that Vi will always be in her heart. I don't know what else to say to her. I just tell her the truth.

Violet got to live outside of my body for 166 days, almost to the hour. 166 days was all that I got with Vi. Well no, actually, I had her for longer than that. I loved her from the second I found out I was pregnant. Scratch that, I loved her from the second I had Lyvi and knew that my Violet was waiting for her turn. I loved her before I had her, and I will love her for eternity. 

Oh sweet girl. Today was hard. Really hard.  The whole incident with your sister hiding and me thinking I dreamt both of you up completely threw me over the edge. I just need you back. I need you here with me. It isn't fair that this happened to you. I will never accept that you died. That will never be ok with me. I hope you are with your daddy. He's in Alaska for work. I miss him. Lyvi misses him. We all miss you. I hate this. I am trying so hard not to crumble. Not to have a meltdown. Please keep me strong. But, please let me grieve you. I need to grieve you. And please understand when I do have a meltdown. I truly hope that you are at peace. I hope that you aren't sad and angry like me. I hope that if there is a reason for all of this (which i highly doubt) that you know that reason and that you are ok. And, even if there isn't a reason for this I hope you are ok. I wouldn't blame you if you are sad and angry. What happened to you is not ok. It will never be ok. You should not have died. You should be here with your family. You should be a big crazy crawling 6 month old. I miss you. My bracelet has about had it. It's falling apart. I don't know what to do with it. I might put it in the little box the hospital sent with your hand molds. I'm not ready to take it off yet, but the damn thing is about to fall off. I might just let it be until it falls off itself. That seems right. I miss you so much sweetheart. So much. I would give anything to have you back. I tried to sell my soul last night just to get you back. It didn't work. I know it doesn't work that way, but I will keep trying. I love you. I hope you are ok. I hope you are warm. I love you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Empty Sacks of Sorrow

When I had Lyvi I loved nursing her. Breastfeeding just seemed to come so naturally to me. I loved it. It is such a beautiful thing. But then, all of a sudden Lyvi was starving. She was never satisfied, she was grumpy and obviously hungry. This was at 3 months. I had low supply issues and by 4 months we had switched completely to formula. I was devastated and carried so much guilt. When I got pregnant with Vi I was 100% committed to doing everything right to create the perfect nursing relationship. I was able to nurse her within an hour after her birth. I held her skin to skin, she slept right next to me, and I put her on my breast near constantly. She took to nursing like she had been doing it for years. It was like she was a part of me. I loved it. Violet was 6 lb 9 oz at birth, and by 2 months she was 11 lb 5 oz. I was obviously making some serious breastmilk. 
Violet 1 day old
Violet at 2 months
It felt like I was nursing Vi around the clock somedays, but it truly didn't bother me. At all. I was just so happy that we were well on our way to a long term breastfeeding relationship. By about 3 months she started to space out her day time feedings, so she was only nursing every 2-3 hours instead of every 1-2 hours. She nursed a lot at night still, but I was able to lay on my side and nurse her. So, it wasn't a big deal. I would doze off until she was done, pop her binky in her mouth and we would both go to sleep. Everything was perfect. She was getting so chunky. At 4 months she was 14 lb 11.5 oz, and that night at the ER she was 15 lb 8 oz. Her legs were like nothing you have ever seen. Seriously. Don't even get me started on her butt. I cannot even handle her butt. I would let her lay on her tummy naked just so I could laugh at her huge bubble butt. I miss that so much. I miss her so much.

There is nothing more amazing than looking down at your beautiful baby, as she nurses and gets everything she needs from you. It is amazing. My body nourished Violet from the second she was conceived until she died. She never had anything but my breastmilk. I know for a fact that she would have nursed for as long as I let her. I started out telling myself I would only nurse her to a year, which would have been an amazing accomplishment, but the farther we got the longer I wanted to go. I honestly think I would have nursed her for as long as she wanted to. I couldn't imagine not nursing my sweet Violet. 

I nursed Violet like normal on the 30th. She ate fine, she was completely fine. I feel like I need to keep saying that, she was fine. Until she wasn't fine. I was able to nurse her at 1 AM, right before we left for the ER,  once right before they took us by ambulance up to McKay Dee, once at McKay, and then that was it. I had no idea that was the last time I would ever nurse her. She didn't nurse very well since she was trying so hard to breath, but she did nurse. I can't believe that was the last time I nursed her. We fed her some of my expressed milk through a medicine dropper once. It breaks my heart to think about that. I try not to, but I think about that moment so much, especially at night. Its no wonder I can't sleep anymore. She was so hungry, ravenous, her mouth was so dry. All she wanted to do was eat, but she couldn't. She couldn't breath enough to suck. The one thing that she relied solely on me for I couldn't give her. She ate close to 4 oz, but ended up spitting a lot of it up because having a full tummy put more pressure on her lungs. The nurses let us give her some sugar water, she went crazy for those too. She was so hungry. Her mouth was so dry from breathing so fast. They did end up putting a feeding tube down her nose and slowly fed her my milk through that, but again it made things worse for her breathing and it didn't help with her dry mouth. They were feeding her super slowly, but her tummy wasn't digesting anything.They came in and sucked what was in her tummy out, just to see how much was in there. Basically, everything she had eaten since we got to McKay was still there. I didn't realize it at the time, but now I know it's because her body was shutting down. 

Drying my milk up was one of the most painful things I have ever gone through. Not physically, but emotionally. It goes without saying that I was in some serious discomfort. My breasts were so engorged. Hard as a rock. I lathered them in peppermint essential oil, put cabbage leaves in my bra, and took Sudafed to help dry my milk up. But I didn't want it to dry up. It was for her. It was doing such a good job. She was so healthy. So happy. If it dried up it meant she didn't need it anymore. That she was really gone. My breasts would leak at night, it was like they were crying for her. They ached for her. To me, it seemed like the universe was kicking me while I was down. "Hey, yeah your baby just tragically died, but here lets make your breasts ache for her too." It is a constant reminder that she's gone. It took about 5 days for the engorgement to go down, and about 10 days for the milk to be gone. I didn't want it to be gone. I don't want it to be gone. It means she really is gone.

This part may seem inappropriate and weird, just a warning. I was finally out of The Chair and at Kohls with my sisters. It was just after my milk had completely dried up. We were looking at shirts. I realized that I was able to get a size smaller than I normally would because my boobs are so small now. I said such to Angie and Lisa, they looked so sad, so I grabbed my boobs and called them my "empty sacks of sorrow." We all laughed. It really isn't funny. But, it is. The size difference is substantial. They are so empty and sad now. It's so stupid, but every time I call them my empty sacks of sorrow it makes me giggle. It's the little things that keep me going. I don't even know where that nickname came from. It just popped in my head. It's the perfect thing to call empty sad boobs. I hate my empty sacks of sorrow. They should be big and full of milk to feed my fat happy baby. Not empty and sad. Not a constant reminder that my baby no longer needs me. Not a constant reminder that I watched my daughter die. Hey empty sacks of sorrow, fuck off.

Hi sweet girl. I miss you. I can't even put into words how much I miss you. There are no words that can even come close. I keep replaying everything we did for that week before you got sick. Where could you have gotten the flu? We barely went anywhere. It doesn't make any sense to me. It is 2014, how is the flu still a thing? How is the flu still killing people? And, how is it possible that the flu killed you? How. Is. That. Possible. I'm so sorry sweetheart. I wish I could have had you a month earlier, that way you could have gotten your flu shot and none of this would have happened. I'm so sorry I failed you. I'm your mom. I'm supposed to keep you safe from harm. Not only did I not keep you safe, but you died. You didn't just break your arm or need stitches, you DIED. That is no ones fault but my own. It was my sole responsibility to keep you and your sister safe. And now you're gone. I'm so sorry Vi. You were my missing piece. You made me whole. I don't know how to live without you. I don't know what to do without you. How do I live the rest of my life without you? I know that you are never coming back, I know that. But, I cannot accept it. I keep thinking that someday I will get you back. That you will just one day be in your carseat looking at that damn monkey mirror. Or one morning I'll come out of my bedroom with Lyvi and you'll be laying on the ground smiling and screaming at us. I can hear Lyvi saying "Oh, Baby Vi! Mama, it's Baby Vi!"I don't know if I can do this. Everyone thinks I'm so strong, but you know the truth sweet girl. You know I am a shadowl of the person I used to be. You know that I am nothing without you. You know that I need you back. I am so sorry. I love you more than words can say. I would give anything to have you back. I hope you are ok. I hope you are warm. I love you. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm a Disaster

The last couple of days have been really hard. I miss her so much. I've been out of the house quite a bit lately, and for some reason that makes me feel guilty. Should I really be out of the house, acting like everything is normal, when in reality nothing is normal. Nothing will ever be normal again. I know in my head that I am not ok. On the outside I look fine, but  my head is a disaster. I was at walmart today getting Lyvi play dough. It was so surreal to be there, to have so many people around me going about their daily lives. Happy as can be, when in my head I am screaming. I am a disaster. All of these people have no idea that my baby died 16 days ago. They have no idea that this completely normal looking lady is an absolute disaster. They have no idea that my world ceases to exist. It is so strange. It makes me wonder if I have been in a store, before I was a member of this club, and walked past a parent who had just lost their child and I had no idea that their world was at a standstill. That they were screaming on the inside. That at any second they could have a complete meltdown. 

I'm waiting for my meltdown. I haven't had a total and complete meltdown since the first few days. I know it will happen. I can feel it brewing. I almost had one when I was wandering Target to find Valentines things to put on her grave. I know it will happen, I just hope it doesn't happen when I am somewhere alone with Lyvi. I hope that my mom brain will kick in and at least let me get her home before I break. I'm a disaster waiting to happen. 

Certain things you'd think would be a trigger for a mom who just lost her baby aren't bad for me. I was able to walk into the hospital, stand right by the room where it all happened, and I stayed calm. I wasn't even close to breaking. It was, in a way, comforting to be back there. It was the last place I held her before she died. I can see other peoples babies and I'm ok. But I still can't listen to music. I used to play music constantly. I don't know why that is a trigger for me. A lot of grieving parents find comfort in watching videos of their child, but I can't watch many videos yet. I have watched a few, but I know my limits. I am so happy I have all the videos. I plan to watch them all at some point. But not until I'm ready. I didn't drive for over 2 weeks. The thought of looking in my rear view mirror, seeing the little monkey mirror on the backseat, and Vi not being there was too much. It made me sick. It still makes me sick. I have driven now, but its not easy. I look in the rear view mirror and honestly expect Vi to be there. Screaming at that damn monkey. It shocks me every single time I look and she isn't there. Every time I hear a helicopter my heart races. It's happened 3 times now. It seems weird to me that out of the handful of times I have left the house that there has been a helicopter 3 times. I'm sure there have always been that many helicopters and I just never noticed them. Because they were just helicopters. Now they aren't just helicopters. They are a reminder of that day. They are a reminder that my Violet is gone. For the first little while just the sight of her soap sent me over the edge. I bought her that soap for her Christmas stocking. It's almost all the way full still. She barely got to use it. But, now I use that soap. I smell like her. I like to smell her. I hope at some point all of these triggers will be like her soap. Maybe someday I will find comfort in the things that remind me of her.

I miss you baby girl. I wish you were here screaming at me. I would give anything to be pacing the floor while you had an ultraviolet meltdown. Lyvi misses you too. She asked about you a few times today. She gets sad when I tell her that you got very sick and had to go away. I tell her that you are in her heart, because you are. I know you are still here with us. Not in the way that I so badly need you to be. Not in the way that you deserve to be. But, I know you are still here. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm so sorry that I couldn't make you better. I will try my hardest not to let the anger and guilt consume me. I miss you so much I literally ache. All over. I miss you. I hope you are safe and warm. Love you so much my Violetta Villalobos. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Death is Cold

I barely remember the funeral. I remember there were so many people. I remember an endless amount of hugs. I remember being numb. I remember tucking her in with her purple minky blanket for the last time, so that she wouldn't be cold. Other than that it's all a blur. I know the graveside was hard. I had to leave my baby out in the cold. That hurts me. It is so cold. I'm supposed to keep her safe and warm. When they were rushing her to the helicopter I remember trying to scream about how cold it was and that she wasn't covered up. I know it didn't really matter, but it was so cold. I couldn't get the words out. I tried. But I was in shock. I think they covered her bottom half up when we got to Primary's. That was kind.

Somedays when I go to the grave I don't have much of a connection to the spot. Other days I do. We went to the grave the day after the funeral and I didn't feel anything. Then I didn't go back for a few days. It was so cold. I hate that it is so cold. I hate that she is so cold. Would it be easier if it was summer? No. It wouldn't. But, at least it wouldn't be so cold. When I held her after the doctors stopped, I was shocked by how cold she felt. She was freezing. Her little lips were so blue. Her little face was so bruised. She was so cold, I just wanted to wrap her up and make her warm again. 

Everything about death is cold. I feel cold all the time. I shake all the time. When I kissed her at the viewing she felt like an ice cube. Vi ran hot. She had so much fat on her little body, she was so warm all the time. Her little head was so sweaty at night, she would leave a big wet spot. She radiated warmth. She was the warmest little soul. She made everyone happy. I'm not saying this because she died. It isn't a figment of my imagination. This isn't my way of coping. Violet was special. Ask anyone who ever met her. She made you feel warm inside. She made you happy. She radiated warmth. I hate that she is so cold now. 

I went to the grave yesterday to clean up flowers with my sisters and our friend Ish. After we cleaned up all the old dead flowers and walked back, there was a honey bee on the fresh flowers I had put down on Valentine's day. A honey bee. It's too cold for a honey bee. It has been years since I've even seen a real life honey bee. This honey bee flew around us, and then would go back to the flowers. It stayed the whole time we were there. There were other fresh flowers in the graveyard. Really fresh flowers. But, this honey bee stayed right with us. Was that you Vi? Were you telling me that you are ok? That you aren't cold? That you are still with me? I felt warm when I left. Thank you for that baby girl. I miss you. I love you. I hope you are warm.

I started that earlier today. I'm sitting here holding her blanket. Lyvi is asleep in my bed. I can't let her sleep anywhere but right next to me. I worked so hard to get her back in her own room when I was pregnant with Vi. All of that has gone out the window now. But, does that really matter? No. When you watch your beautiful perfect baby die, sleeping arrangements seem trivial. EVERYTHING seems trivial. Your husband lost his job? Oh well, at least you still have all your kids. Your neighbor is being loud? Oh well, at least you didn't have the most perfect thing you have ever seen in your life violently ripped away from you with no warning. You hate your job? Get over it. Go kiss your kids. Hug them. Cherish them. You have a headache? At least you can breath. At least every breath you take doesn't cause you severe pain. At least your lungs aren't filling up with your own blood. Now take that, and imagine it is your child. Imagine the worst thing you can think of happening to your baby, now times that by a million. A trillion. There is no number to explain it. To explain watching the life leave your child. The baby that you wanted so bad. The baby you always knew you were meant to have. The baby you made from scratch. The baby that completed you. Your perfect, beautiful, amazing, sweet little baby. 

My baby is gone. I will never get her back. That just doesn't make sense. My mind cannot handle that. It plays tricks on me. This can't be real. There is no way that this is my life. Did I make Violet up? Did I dream the last 5 1/2 months? Am I actually stuck in a hospital somewhere, in a coma? Stuck inside the worst nightmare you could ever imagine? And, she is really alive and happy and healthy? Please let that be true. PLEASE. I wish so much that I got the stupid fucking flu. Why couldn't it take me? Why did it have to attack my baby, and get such a strong grip on her that there was no possible way to save her? I just want her back. So much. This has to be a movie. There must be hidden cameras all around me, recording me. Documenting what a mother goes through when they lose the most precious thing in the world. Just give her back to me. Give her back. How could she be here one second, and then the next she is gone? How is that even possible? The world is so much worse without my Violetta Villalobos. She would have done so much. She was so amazing. She should be here. Its not fair. This isn't a pity party for me. Who gives a shit what I'm going through. Its not fair that she didn't even get a chance! She didn't get a chance to do anything! She could have done so much. And now no one will ever know what she would have accomplished. She didn't even get a chance. I'm so mad for her. Its just not fair. I try so hard not to let the anger consume me. There isn't enough left of me, if I let the anger in I will be gone. There will be nothing left. I can't do that to Lyvi. Or to Rich. They lost her too, they can't lose me. I have to stay present, I have to face this shitstorm head on so that it doesn't consume me. I know I will need some help. I will need to talk to a professional about what I saw. Its not a normal thing to see. I already have some anxiety issues from it, but that's obvious. Of course I do. I hope to get through this without needing to take any medication, I don't want to numb it. I need to feel it now. I need to feel the hurt. The agony. The gaping hole that was my heart. 

Baby girl. I wish so much you were here. I would kiss your fat little face and tell you I'm going to eat you for breakfast, and for lunch, and still have a snack for later because you are so fat!!! I would kiss your sweet little nose. I would run my fingers over your sleepy eyes while you tried so hard not to fall asleep. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm so sorry you suffered so much. I wish I could take your place. I would take your place. Thank you for the honey bee. Please keep sending me signs. I can't keep going if you don't send me signs that you are ok. It will never fill the hole, but it helps to feel you still with me. I went up to the hospital to give all the nurses a card and a Violet keychain. They tried so hard to keep you here. I needed to make sure they knew that I don't blame them. The beads we got for the keychain were called "UltraViolet." That was you again. I love you so much sweetie pie. I miss you with every cell of my body. I hope you are warm. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pictures Tell the Story

Ever since I got pregnant with Lyvi I have taken pictures non stop. I have thousands of pictures starting from my pregnancy with Lyvi up until January 31, 2014. I have weekly belly pictures from both pregnancies, daily pictures of my girls, tons of videos of them, but it will never be enough. The pictures stop abruptly on January 31st. This is the last picture I took of Vi when she was still my healthy happy baby.

She was starting to get grumpy and wanted to chew on my finger. This was around 7 PM on January 30th. The last 2 pictures of Vi on my phone are heartbreaking. One is her in my arms at the hospital, with the little nasal canula on her. The last one is a picture that a hospital worker took for me after Vi had crashed. She took it to comfort me, she thought she was being kind. She didn't know Vi, so she didn't realize that the light had left her already. She was already gone. Her heart was beating, but only because of all the medicine they pumped into her. She was gone. It is just the top half of her face. She has tape around her mouth from the tube they put in her throat to try to keep her breathing. There are little tubes up her nose. Her eyes are partly open, but the light is gone. Her precious beautiful soul had already left her little body. I'm thankful for this. I am glad that she didn't have to endure the beating that her little body underwent to try to keep her here. It is a kindness that whatever higher power there is took her out of her body. I can't bring myself to delete this picture. I know it probably isn't healthy to keep it. But, how am I supposed to delete the last picture that was ever taken of my baby? I know it isn't really her. I know that she was already gone. Maybe I will delete it someday. I don't know. I know that isn't how I want to remember her. But I can't bring myself to delete it. 

I hope I can start taking pictures again someday. Lyvi deserves to have pictures taken of her again. Since Vi died I have only taken a few pictures. A couple of my favorite flowers we got, one of the dress we buried her in, and one of the things I put on her grave for Valentine's day. I can't imagine taking pictures. That means life is going on without Violet. My camera roll will fill up with pictures, but none of those will be pictures of my sweet Violet. I have tons of pictures of Vi, but not enough. Not nearly enough. I should have a lifetime of pictures of her. Instead I have 5 1/2 months worth of pictures of her. The pictures stop abruptly on January 31st, just like my life. 

My life has stopped. The day after Vi died I talked to her pediatrician, Dr. N. His son tragically passed away a few years ago, so he is one of the unlucky few who know what I am going through. He was the first one to put into words what is going through my mess of a mind. He told me that my world has stopped, but that everyone else is still moving. That is exactly how this feels. I feel like I'm in one of those scenes of a movie, where someone is standing in the middle of a New York sidewalk and people are zooming by. I know life goes on for everyone else. It has to. Babies and kids die everyday. My life has gone on when other people have lost children. Now my life ceases to exist.

 I move for Lyvi. I do things for Lyvi. I take her out of the house. But. Its not really me. I put a smile on my face for her. She genuinely makes me happy. She lost her sister. That breaks my already broken heart. My sisters are such a huge part of my life and I was so looking forward to watching their relationship blossom. I knew they would fight like crazy, but they would love like crazy too. It makes me so mad. It is so fucked up. Not only did I have to watch my beautiful baby die right in front of my eyes, but now I have to watch her big sister grow up without her. That will never be ok. It is one of an unending list of things in my life that will never be ok. 

It has been 15 days baby girl. It feels like just yesterday, but it feels like a lifetime. Only someone who is part of this stupid club knows what I mean. I hate this. I hate that this happened to you. It is not fair. I can't sleep without you. I can't breath without you. Where are you? I wish so badly that I was one of those people that had undying faith in God. I struggled with that before you were so violently ripped away from me. I know you are somewhere. You have to be somewhere. I tell your sister that you will always be in our hearts. And I truly believe that. I know you are with us still. Your blankets still smell like you. It will rip me apart when they don't anymore. I'm not ready to dream of you yet, but I hope one day I am. And, I hope you will come to me in my dreams when that day comes. I love you so much sweetie. I miss you. I hate that this happened to you. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

The First of Many...

Today is Valentine's Day. The first of many thing you will never get to experience. I should have dressed you up in an over the top Valentine's outfit and had your Aunt Lisa take 6 month pictures of you. That had been my plan for months. Instead your dad, sister, and I wandered Target for things to put on your grave. I had to buy things to put on my daughters grave. That sentence will never sound normal. 

I'm so mad. I am so mad about all the things you will never get to experience. You will never have real food. I was going to give you real food this week. I was going to go buy a big organic sweet potato and puree it for you. You would have loved it. I know you would have. You were such a chunk and you had been trying to steal my food for weeks. You will never get to eat a piece of candy. You will never get to run away from me in a store. You will never get to go to school. You will never get to annoy your big sister just for fun. You will never get to have a sleep over. You will never get to go to a high school dance. You will never get your heart broken. You will never have babies of your own. This list is never ending. You were so full of life. You would have done so much in your life. I am so mad. 

This time 2 weeks ago things started to get really scary. You were getting so much worse way too fast. I knew things were bad. But, I had no idea how bad things were about to get. Those last few hours are such a blur. I know that they gave you another breathing treatment and it didn't do anything. Your heart was racing. You were breathing so fast. I knew you were getting tired. I knew you had been working too hard for too long. I knew you needed help. I was desperate. But, there was nothing else they could do. They had done everything they could do at that hospital. At the time I didn't think about it, but now that I look back your last nurse Mindy knew how bad things were. She stayed in the room with us the whole time. She had tears in her eyes. Your legs started getting splotchy. I thought it was a rash. I remember thinking "Oh great, she's having a reaction to something, this is the last thing we need." Mindy kept rubbing the splotches, and I kept asking what that rash is. All she would say is "We'll keep an eye on it," and she would gently rub your chubby little legs. Now I know what that "rash" was. That is what happens when people are dying. Now I know. 

I am so mad this happened to you. It shouldn't have happened. I hate when people tell me you are in a better place. I know that gives comfort to some people. It comforts your daddy. But, it does not comfort me. You should be in my arms. What better place could there be than your mama's arms. I'm so sorry baby girl. I hate this. I hate that this happened to you. I love you. I miss you more everyday. every second. It gets harder everyday. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Bracelet

It's neon pink. Its fraying. The words are faded almost to the point that I can't read them. The numbers that the nurse circled are gone. The numbers that she told me were for any visitors that wanted to come up. The numbers I disregarded because I truly thought we wouldn't be there for long. The numbers that my mom memorized instantly. I'm sure if I asked her what they were today, almost 2 weeks later, she would still remember what they were. I can still make out her name, just barely. Villalobos, Violet. I remember thinking I was glad they put the bracelet on me and not on Vi. She still had the plastic one on her ankle form the ER that was cutting into her. A sweet nurse named Anne cut it off her while I rocked her and listened to her struggle to breath. 

Lyvi calls it a bandaid. She tried to take it off me a few times, but she seems to have forgotten about it now. I guess, in a way, it is a bandaid. I can't seem to take it off. I don't know why. Maybe, because if it is still on me then she can't have been gone for that long. The frayed edges and the faded letters tell a different story. It was 2 weeks ago almost exactly that she started getting uncomfortable. It has been 2 weeks since my baby smiled. It has been 2 weeks since I played with my baby. It has been 2 weeks. It has been 2 weeks. How has it been 2 weeks.

I twisted the bracelet around and around my wrist while I sat in the hallway outside the room where they were trying everything they could to bring my baby back. I stared at it so that I didn't see the panicked looks of the nurses and doctors that were flooding in and out of that room. I twisted the bracelet around my wrist while I sat in a helicopter, staring out the window at the valley, while trying not to see the reflection of my lifeless daughter getting chest compressions. I twisted it around my wrist while I sat in a chair next to a kind social worker at Primary Children's, while she asked me questions to try to take my mind off of what was happening. I twisted it around my wrist when the doctor came out of the room Violet was in and told me they had to stop, that it was cruel to keep going. That her heart was still, Asystole. She kept saying that word to me. I twisted it around my wrist while nurses and doctors came out of the room and started taking all their gowns, gloves, and masks off, signaling that they had stopped. I twisted it around my wrist while I waited for them to clean her up, so that I could hold her one last time. 

I don't twist it anymore. I hardly notice that it's there. But, I know I would notice if it wasn't there. I don't know when I will take it off. It's made of some sort of paper, so I know it won't last forever. I will, eventually, have to take it off. It's almost like, in my foggy grief stricken mind, if I take it off I am accepting that she is gone. I can never accept it. Ever. I will never accept that my sweet, beautiful, perfect baby died. 20 hours after she got sick, she died. I will never accept that. 

I love you sweetie pie honey buns. I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish I knew how you caught it so that I could change it. I would do anything to change it. I would trade places with you if I could. I miss you.