Monday, August 9, 2010


So I wouldn't say I am a regretful person. There isn't much in my life, previous to having the girls, that I can honestly say I regret. I dated losers, made bad decisions and really took some crazy paths along my life but not one thing do I regret. When it comes to my babies, and the events that surrounded their births almost two years ago, I am daily plagued by certain regrets that I have. Some of these regrets do have a valid explanation of why or why not they could have been done but mostly there is no explanation for them and that is what haunts me the most. Here are a list of my regrets.

1. About 19-20 weeks into my pregnancy I was at the grocery store with Tony and I felt some sort of something "fall" out of me. I immediately called the emergency line and they got me in contact with my doctor. He said it was just pressure because I was carrying three babies and to go home and prop my feet up and take it easy the rest of the weekend. I did do that; however, I regret not demanding to be seen. I regret not explaining to him that it didn't feel like pressure at all, but more like something literally just fell out of me. He was the doctor, though. He for sure knew more than me. Being a fertility specialist he has dealt with his share of higher order multiples and I was just a rookie. So I went home and didn't think any more about it, even though I constantly felt as though this feeling wasn't quite right. I wholeheartedly feel as though I had just felt Grace's cord prolapse and had I went to the doctor that very second and been examined, I could have been put on bedrest sooner. Would this have saved Grace's life? Probably not. But I would have felt better knowing I did something sooner than later.

2. The day Grace was born it scared me to see her. I felt awkward holding my baby who had literally JUST died. She was still warm. I wanted to give her a kiss and I didn't. I can't explain the feeling I had. I loved her so much and I was so distraught but I regret terribly that I didn't kiss her sweet face. I regret that I honestly CANNOT remember if I told her I loved her. Everything at this moment happened so very fast and the room was so busy. There were a million things going on in my mind and it was strange for me to hold and look at this baby and say hello and goodbye at the same time. My heart was so heavy but my mind couldn't believe it. Any minute I was waiting for her to start wiggling. I felt awkward when my family came in. Everyone was seeing me hold my dead baby and I felt strange. I know that sounds shitty and that I should have been focused on Grace and not anyone else in the room. But it was a total new experience for me and yes, I loved and instantly missed Grace. The feeling of actually holding a baby who wasn't alive was scary for me. I regret having those feelings of my sweet angel who couldn't help she was in this situation. I love you Grace.

3. I regret the fact that I didn't keep Grace with me and Tony all night long. I didn't know I could. No one told me. But this was MY baby...I should have just known that I didn't have to give her up at the end of the night. Our nurse was my favorite nurse and she was very sweet. She asked if we had a special outfit to put her in. Another we didn't. My nurse, Diana, picked out a really cute outfit complete with hat and booties to put Grace in. They were the tiniest of clothes that had been made by volunteers for situations like this. I was glad they had taken the time and made these little outfits out of pure love. It has to be hard as you are sewing an outfit to know that a tiny deceased baby would be occupying those clothes. She was so cute and I am greatful for those volunteers who made those. Grace was born at almost 11pm and after our close family left Tony and I kept her privately until almost 5 in the morning. Our nurse so kindly told us where she would be kept and that when we were ready for her to come get her to please let her know. She suggested we let her take her so we could get a good night's sleep. It was bittersweet. I slept very well that night, awkwardly enough. I didn't have to worry about laying flat on my back as much and I didn't feel leaking fluid every time I moved. It was a very strange feeling. I probably still would have slept just as well with Grace in my arms. I could have layed her right beside me and snuggled her all night. I looked at her the entire time. I memorized every tiny detail about her. When the nurse came to get her she asked if I had taken her dress off and looked at her entire body. I don't know why but I was scared to do that. I asked if she was bruised and she said no. We took her dress off and I got to see her tiny body with no blankets or clothes. I am so thankful we did that so I could see my baby in her entirety. Then she left the room with her and I slept. I would see her the next morning when the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer came but she wouldn't look the same. She didn't look like the Grace that left the night before and that is why I regret not keeping her all night.

4. I didn't get a lock of Grace's hair. Our family's favorite memory of Grace was how much hair that girl had. We all still laugh about it because Betsy has hardly any hair and we joke that by now Grace would be in long braids. So why didn't I think to clip a lock of her hair. I know things were new to us. After all, I didn't know what all to do. I didn't know anything. After Olivia died her nurse gave us a lock of her hair and immediately my heart dropped. I don't have Grace's hair. How horrible. I do have things of Grace's like her outfit, blanket, footprints, etc. But no hair. It's like the ONE thing that came from her own body. The ONE thing I could have taken that would have also been a part of me and Tony was her hair. How unfortunate that at the time we didn't think about that. I'm so sad that I didn't think of every single way to preserve her memory.

So as you can tell, my regrets focus around Grace. I think it was because the situation was so traumatic and the entire evening happened so fast that so much just didn't happen that I wish would have. We knew that Grace had a chance of not surviving so I wonder why we didn't prepare better. We knew that at any second she could be born, so why not have clothes waiting on her? I think it may be that we knew she could come at any minute but we all just wished so much that she would be alive and go to the NICU that we didn't prepare as much as we should for her passing.

I don't have regrets with Olivia. I know that we did everything in our power for her and so did the NICU team. I know that we gave her constant love and overwhelming support every single day, all the days of her life. We were by her side every day singing to her, touching her, telling her how proud of her we were, filling her bed with blankets and baby dolls. I know without a doubt we did all we could for Olivia and I felt at total peace with all that surrounded her death.

I want you all to know that I have healed from these regrets. I still think about them often and the woulda, shoulda, coulda, but all in all I know that Grace was and still is loved with all my heart. Tony and I have a constant daily reminder of her and Olivia and that is through Betsy. I took a GriefShare class through my church last year and that helped me heal tremendously. We focused quite a bit on regrets and the one thing I can say almost instantly healed me was the fact that even though you can regret something and wish something would have taken a different course, it wouldn't have mattered in the end. Grace would still have passed away, no matter what course of actions were taken along the way. I am at peace with that. It took quite a while for me to comprehend and for me to accept but I know now that the Lord has paved a new path for me and my family. One that only involves me, Tony and Betsy. This is our Earthly family. As much as we miss Grace and Olivia we have to understand that where they are now is far better than what we could have provided them here on Earth. And for that I have no regrets.


Lovey said...

Laci, I pray that you will be at peace with the passing of our Little Grace. You and the doctors did all they could to save her. As far not kissing her, I have a totally different memory. I remember entering the room and seeing you with her in yours arms. I remember the doctor telling you to hold her and love her because she was the hero. She hung on just long enough to give her sisters a fighting chance. I remember you crying and kissing her little face. I think things happened so quickly you are having false memories. You did kiss that sweet little girl many times. I remember holding her as your dad took pictures and you reaching out your arms to hold her once again. You did keep her with you for a long time. You and Tony needed rest and the nurse recognized that. Have no regrets! Grace was loved for 24 weeks inside of you and she felt that love every day of her life. We all look forward to an enternity together someday.

Anonymous said...

Laci, all of your blogs touch my heart, you are my hero to be so brave and keep their memory so well, I hope one day to come see you and betsy. I Love you and miss all my family. Janene Fair