Dear Samantha,

Hi baby girl! You have been on mind a lot this week. I have a story that I want to share with you. It’s about you, my little baby girl. In a few weeks it will be year since we found out about you. In December last year your daddy and I found out we were pregnant for the first time. We were so excited. We shared with all our family that they were receiving an early Christmas present. That present was you!

Things were going well and you were getting bigger and bigger. Daddy and I were getting ready for you to come. We got a crib, made plans for the changing table, and began to plan what your room was going to look like. At Christmas you received a cute little toy in our stocking and I received things to help understand pregnancy better.

Shortly after Christmas I began to feel you moving around. To me, it felt like butterflies fluttering around. On ultrasounds you were a busy little girl, bouncing around inside or maybe even dancing. I would be sitting in the chair and start giggling when I would feel you move around. Daddy would always ask “what?” and I would say “the baby is bouncing around”.

At our first doctor appointment the doctor decided that I needed an ultrasound to see really how big you were. The doctors said one thing, your daddy and I thought another. So, we had our first ultrasound. It was you, me, and the doctors. The ultrasound tech said nothing other than that she needed to go talk to the doctor. I was moved into a room where the doctor talked to me about what the photos showed. I only remember bits and pieces of that talk and that day. We were told that the road ahead was going to be tough. There was extra fluid around your head and the doctor said it was most likely due to Turner’s Syndrome. Just to rule out other possibilities a bunch of test were run and we were sent to the perinatal doctor.

The visit at the perinatal doctor gave us a lot of pictures of you and another chance to watch you moving around. They were unable to do anything else that day, other than say they were pretty sure that you had Turner’s Syndrome. Another appointment was scheduled at a later time to run an amnio. In the meantime we were sent home and brought all of our family up to date on what was going on. We had a busy few weeks. Daddy had a holiday work party that we went to, I had one at my work as well, and we celebrated my teaching achievements at a gala. So you got a chance to be a part of some different things.

We never got a chance to return to the perinatal doctor because in the morning I went to a regular doctor appointment. That is when I found out that you had grown your angel wings. I left the doctor and made a bunch of phone calls. I was told that I needed to go home, get some stuff, and head to the hospital. So, daddy and I packed up some things and headed over to the hospital. That night we had some visitors stop by and then it was just us.

Then next our two, became three when you arrived into the world on January 27, 2011.  You were 17 weeks old, 2.4 ozs., and 5 inches long, a beautiful baby. Daddy and I held you for a while, took some pictures, and got your handprints and footprints. The next day we made your handprints and footprints in clay. That night we went home with a keepsake box (that has now become two boxes) in our arms.

One week later you were buried at Resurrection Cemetery with 25 other little ones. There was a beautiful service and we received a lit candle to honor you. In May your name, Samantha Jean Lauterbach, was written on the children’s memorial garden wall. Every so often I visit you there and you sometimes visit me. You visit me through dragonflies.

You are always in my heart and I wear a special necklace every day that helps me feel closer to you. I miss you baby girl. Some day we will meet again and I will be able to hold you in my arms. I love you!

Love,
Mommy

     

 

This may be the end of “The Story”, but it is also the beginning of what unfolds in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  This will be the last post from my journal entries. 

Needless to say, the following days ahead brough many up, downs, twists, and turns.  The physcial side of everything seemed to slowly fade away, while the mental and emotional, even sometimes social aspects of it all seemed to come through more.  Some days it was only on side of things I had to face, other days it was all.  They could start out just fine, and with the drop of a hat I would hit the wall, run to the bathroom and breakdown.  It could go the other way too.  I could start out with tears in my eyes all the way to work, then be pretty good for the rest of the day.  I don’t know if Iwould just numb myself to get through the day or what.  But the days began to come and go in a way the used to.  I was different, but the basics of the day were the same.  I know that the mental and emotional side will never truly go away.  It will always be there, I will just lern how to deal with things better.  This type of thing never goes away.  It will always be a part of me.  I will never “move on”, as people have told me to do, I will only “move forward”.  Samantha is a part of me, she always will be.  I will still grieve, it will just be less and it will change as time goes by.

Did I have my major melt downs?  Of course I did.  I even had a few blow ups, but I learned from them and oddly enough they helped me to move forward.  I continued to visit Samantha, once the warmer months had arrived and her name was written on the wall.  I learned to live life a little differently.  I knew things would trip me up and I took them as they came.  Deep down, they are making me stronger.  I am not sure how yet, but somewhere down the road things will be connected and make more sense.

My journaling seemed to go from writing every day to get through the days and the weeks, to writing weekly to sum up the week and really take a good look at what happened.  Then it got spaced out considerably by talking about things as they came up from month to month.  All of the good, the not so good, and everywhere in between.

Don’t worry though, take heart, I will still continue to write, but it is time to change things up a little.  I will continue to share my story, but in a different light.  I am “moving forward”.

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