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.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Value of Care

I can't put a value on saving my daughter's life, but the hospital sure can - $117,372. That is the grand total for "room and board" at the NICU for 26 days. Spyder's care and autopsy was probably about half of that. Thankfully, our insurance covers most of the costs, but truly I would pay that amount and more for the love and attention that the doctors and nurses gave to both of the babies.

I am not condoning the astronomical health care costs in this country. I cannot even imagine how an uninsured mother would ever recover from a financial setback like this. I am simply saying that everything I have today, I owe to the staff of Grant Medical Center.

So how do I properly thank them all? Obvisouly, I'll start by paying my bill. I also tell as many people as will listen about the positive experience we had at Grant. But neither of those things tell the doctors and nurses how much they meant to us.

When I first went into labor, Michelle and Susan spent many unsure hours with me, helping me fulfill my "daily plan" of staying pregnant. Dr. Halpern waited and reassured me as I finally lost my nerve and broke down.

In the long-term wing, Jane brought me nail polish and Gina found me books at the library. Jen scheduled my blood draws for late morning so I could sleep in, Kelly helped throw my baby shower, and Holly kept me company at night. Drs. Alderman and Corley checked on me every day.

On labor day, Christa and Michelle waited after their shift to see the babies born. They cried in the hallway for Spyder. They hugged my mom. There were 12 nurses and two doctors making sure that Poppy pulled through and that Spyder had the best life possible. Michelle took my camera and snapped dozens of photos of Spyder with our families. Nicole, Holly, and Roberta helped me through the night and took special care of Spyder as he laid in my room with Brad and me. Holly took me to see Poppy.

Drs. Mingione and Moraille came with Kamil to see Spyder before he was taken to Nationwide Children's Hospital for his autopsy. Dr. Mingione hugged us. Chaplin Diane took Spyder from my room while we visited Poppy.

Poppy's bff's in the NICU were Danielle, Becky, Ashley,  and Sam. Dr. Naik and Char took special care of her. Dr. Moraille kept us laughing with his optimism and humor. Everyone was sad for us when we didn't go home the first time we were scheduled to, but they said they were secretly glad to see Poppy a little longer.

Poppy's bulletin board in the NICU

I think of these people and many more every single day. To them, we were patients at their place of work, though they never let us feel that way. To us, they were angels to whom we owe so much.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Sunday

On Easter we visited Spyder’s grave. It was the first time we’ve been back since the funeral because it is in Sandusky at Brad’s family’s church.

I was immediately overtaken with sadness when I got out of the car at the church. We had come from family and fun and suddenly we were standing in the cold cemetery. Brad said it was good that Spyder was out of the bitter wind.

The site had been well cared for. Grass is starting to grow back so you can only faintly see the outline of the hole that was dug nine long weeks ago.  The decorative stone that says “those we hold in our arms for a short time are held in our hearts forever” still sits where a gravestone soon will. Brad’s parents put a decorative butterfly alongside it. I tucked a tiny, blue stuffed Peep under the stone. Poppy has the purple one.

Then we said goodbye again. We picked up Poppy and headed back to Columbus. That was our first Easter as a family.