Welcome to the Blue Butterfly Blog

Thousands of families suffer in silence from the loss of a pregnancy or an infant. My struggle is just beginning. I carried twins to term knowing that only one would survive. This is the story of my journey through shock, devastation, grief, anger, and hopefully someday acceptance. I know that other families are desperate to know that they are not suffering alone. This is for them.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bad Days

Today is another bad day. Usually, I wake up fine, jumping out of bed to get a bottle ready for Poppy. But, once I make it to the shower, the emotions show themselves. I think it's because I am finally alone and not worrying about another task. I just start crying for Spyder.

For some reason, today I can't cheer back up. I try to comfort myself by cuddling Poppy, but on days like this I feel like she doesn't want me. She seems so much happier with Brad. Maybe that is because he isn't depressed.

I'm not worried that I have post-partum depression. I am functional and can recognize my bad days. I just have a lot of bad days.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Best Birthday Ever

Today is my birthday. I got the greatest gift of all this year- my baby girl is home with me.

We brought Poppy home from the NICU last Saturday. I admit that I was truly terrified as the patient service assistant wheeled her out of the secured area, down the elevator, and to the front door of the hospital. It felt like four weeks of nurses and doctors, anxiety and smiles, setbacks and progress had passed in the blink of an eye.  All that waiting was worth it.

Brad and I loaded our tiny baby into the car and headed away from the hospital for the last time.

Poppy cuddles with her Grammi at our house!

At the NICU, Poppy was on a pretty strict schedule, and we are supposed to try to maintain that. So, on Saturday night, we got to give her a bath all on our own. For the first time, I felt like I was taking care of my own baby.

Yes, it's Rubbermaid - but it's straight from the hospital . . .

Of course, Poppy's homecoming was bittersweet. We should have brought home two babies. Everything we had prepared should have been doubled, and we should be twice as tired. But, Spyder is never coming home. It is very, very clear to me now. It is the "three of us" from here on out. But we will always find ways to celebrate him!

My first Pandora charm. Thank you, Brad!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Yes, I Would

A few weeks ago, before my babies' births, I wrote about wondering if I would do this all again if I knew how it would turn out. I wasn't sure that I would.

I have loved more than I knew possible. I have endured the physical pains that inaugurate you into motherhood. And I have suffered the greatest sadness.

Now that I have lived through pain, joy, and uncertainty, I know my answer really is Yes.

Yes, Spyder is gone from this world. Our families suffered from his death. Poppy has spent more than three weeks now in the NICU; we don't know when she'll actually come home. I am still physically recovering from a tough delivery and waiting on the medical bills to start rolling in. But, I would never trade that hour I had with my son for anything, and every time I look in Poppy's eyes, I know this was all worth it.

Poppy Jean brings joy when I need it most.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Moving Forward

There comes a day when you finally begin to move forward from a great loss. I haven't yet reached that day.

It was three weeks yesterday since the twins were born. For three weeks, Poppy has been a pampered Grant Medical Center NICU resident. For three weeks, I have missed the feeling of holding my little son. For three weeks, I've wondered when things will get better.

Yesterday a representative from my doctor's office called to do a postpartum survey. She asked about the babies' names, whether I'm breastfeeding, and if I've suffered from any depression. I answered, "Well, my son died and my daughter's in the NICU, so I can't really tell. But, I still get out of bed in the morning, so I guess I'm doing as well as I can." I got the response I'm becoming accustomed to: silence followed by "Oh, I'm so sorry."

I still cry everyday. I think about Poppy growing up without her brother, and I can't help but wonder how she will feel about being the "surviving twin." For now, I can vividly remember the warmth of Spyder's body as I held him close to my heart, but I am terrified that someday I will forget how that felt. I stare at his picture and wish I would know what he would look like when he grew up. There are so many ways in which I am sad.

But, sometimes, my tears are happy ones. Poppy is healthy and happy and developing beautifully and safely even if she isn't at home. Her nurses and doctors take excellent care of her. I can hold her close to me whenever I want (or whenever Brad will surrender her!). And I will know what Spyder would have looked like - there is so much of him in his sister. He will live through her and her story.

Often, we can see Spyder's face in Poppy's.

Maybe there isn't a day when you suddenly decide you can move forward with your life. Maybe it is a process - a long, dichotomous process filled with peaks and valleys on which you someday look back and see how far you've come.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prepping for Poppy

While I was in the hospital, one of the things that bothered me most was that I could not get the house ready for little Poppy. We had her room painted - a happy shade of green - and we bought her crib and dresser, but that was it. Everything was still in boxes.

Thankfully, Brad and I have great families. Brad's parents came down to clean and prepare our house while my parents came and kept me company. His brother and sister-in-law, Kris and Melanie, came down for a weekend and worked wonders on our home. They assembled the crib and dresser, washed all of Poppy's clothes, and helped put the finishing touches on her room. The only thing missing is her!

Poppy's room awaits her arrival!

Now we are likely days from Poppy's homecoming, and we've realized we still aren't ready! We've been spending so much time at the hospital, that we haven't bought all the essentials for her. We still need a baby monitor, mirrors for the car, and most importantly bottles and nipples. Our plan is for one of us to make the dreaded trek to Babies 'R' Us tomorrow while the other hangs with the 'Popster.' We'll finish out our shopping at Target for her Neosure supplement and preemie diapers.

Of course, we thought we had more time to prepare... but Poppy had different plans.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Letter to Spyder

Spyder's funeral was the most awful thing I've ever endured. No matter the child's age, no parent should ever have to mourn the loss of a son or daughter. The Reverend read this letter that I wrote to Spyder:

My Dear Son,
I will never be happier than the day you were born. For one short hour, our family was complete. You and your sister are the most precious things that your daddy and I have ever had.
I will never be sadder than I am now, saying goodbye to you.
But, you have an important job to do, Mr. Spyder. We need you to watch over your sister. You did such a good job of taking care of her before you were born that I know you’re up for the task. She will be lonely without you. She’ll know that she’s missing you. When she gets scared or feels alone, please stay close to her.  Be her hero.
As for your daddy and me, we miss you so much already. If it were possible, I would have kept you safe inside of me forever, but I couldn’t.  I had to let you go. I wish I had a lifetime to show you my love, but I had only an hour. I hope you felt it. I will live my life to honor you.
Be listening for me – I will never stop talking to you. I will never stop thinking of you, and I will never stop loving you.  You are my hero, little Spyder.
Until I can hold you in my arms again, be strong and be at peace.
Love always and forever,

Friday, February 3, 2012

How Will I Survive Tomorrow?

Tomorrow is Spyder's funeral. He will be laid to rest next to her Great-grandpa and Great-grandma Deering. I truly don't know how I will survive the day. I have thought about it for four months now, played it over and over in my head. But now it is here - his obituary is in black and white.

Everything is in place. We even had Spyder's casket painted by a local artist to personalize it. James Sewell, who owns OriginalWildlifePaintings.com, decorated the casket with a blue spider, a red poppy, and, of course, a blue butterfly. It even says Spyder's name in the top web and Mommy and Daddy in the bottom web. The image symbolizes that Spyder will always keep us together as a family. It is the least that we can do for a baby so special to us.

Our gift to Spyder is a beautifully painted casket.

I feel like I need to put something special in Spyder's casket, but I still haven't thought of the perfect thing. Everyone else knows what they are putting in. Why can't I decide? I suppose I am just trying too hard - I want it to be the exact right thing. I am just confused as to why that "thing" isn't apparent to me.

Regardless of what I put or don't put with him, he will be gone. I know he is already lost, but there is such permanence to a funeral. I'll never again see his little hands or his little feet or that adorably big head of his. I miss him so much already. How much worse will I feel tomorrow?