23 September 2008

Anna's headstone

Seeing Anna's headstone for the first time was a little bittersweet. I think it is gorgeous and am grateful for the help we received in purchasing it. I was also grateful to be able to cuddle our little Peter while I silently cried and missed our Anna.

I'm so happy that it's complete, yet I feel sadness that there is no more to be done. Like every bit of Anna has passed.

17 October 2007

Dear Journal...

June 11, 2007

We had our first ultrasound today. We are having a GIRL! I am so excited! Boys are great, but I am so excited to have a daughter to dress up and to do her hair. So fun! The ultrasound technician said that she was measuring smaller than she should be, but our doctor told us not to be worried yet. They scheduled another ultrasound for next month to check her progress. Hooray for little girls!

July 11, 2007

We had our second ultrasound today. Turns out, our baby is growing…just slowly. She is still small, but I don’t know if that’s a problem or not.

July 16, 2007

I got a call from my doctor 3 days ago. She told me that she was a little concerned about the ultrasound results and referred us up to a specialist at the Center for Prenatal Diagnosis. The name kind of scares me. Today was our first appointment, and unfortunately not our last…

…We know nothing at this point and that’s the hardest part. Sometimes I just start crying for no real reason other than sadness. I was playing with Clark the other day and started crying because I realized that I may never get to know our daughter like this. Will I get to know her personality? Will I get to see her first birthday? Will I get to dress her and show her off? Or will I never even see her breathe?

July 20, 2007

A lot has happened the past few days, but not with our baby…with us. We decided that we don’t want to be sad right now. We have no idea what our future results will tell, but for now we don’t want to worry or cry or stress about what we don’t know. We want to be happy. We ARE happy. I think it’s kind of hard for other people to understand this. We aren’t in denial; we just don’t want to waste a lot of energy for nothing. So we wait. And we pray always for our baby. We are praying for miracles and for healing. I KNOW God can do both. Whether He will is up to Him, but I have faith in His ability and His everlasting love for us. I know that He will not let us walk blindly through this trial but that He is ever near to help lead us through. What happens to our little girl is up to Him, but what happens to me is up to me. I want to learn and grow and become strengthened. I want my testimony of faith and comfort to grow, and I know it will.

August 10, 2007

We have had a lot of blessings and miracles throughout this pregnancy, and now we get to deal with the pain and heartache. We found out today that our baby has a rare genetic disorder called “triploidy”, which basically isn’t compatible with life…

…I feel so sad. Not mad, not upset at anyone or anything, just sad that I don’t know how much longer we’ll get to have her and love her.

August 13, 2007

We have decided to name her Anna Lynn so we can refer to her by her name and make her feel even more real to us. Anna is the most beautiful name to me, which seems so fitting for such a beautiful baby.

It’s hard to put my feelings onto paper. I love my little Anna so much. I love how active she’s been lately as if she knows something is up and is trying to comfort me by showing me she’s still here, but I am so sad because I know I won’t be taking her home with me. Part of me wants to just “get it over with” and not have to worry anymore, but then reality hits and realize that I want as much time with Anna that I can possibly get and so I pray that I can keep her as long as possible.

August 23, 2007

In all this, I feel very comforted. I truly feel like this is all part of a much greater plan. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and knows what He is doing. I know that He isn’t giving me this trial because he’s punishing us – but because he loves us so dearly. I am grateful to be chosen to give a body to such a perfect and sweet child. I know that we will get to see Anna as a perfect being someday, how exciting! I know that this is only going to get harder for us, but I also know that when all is said and done we will be stronger because of it. I feel at peace knowing how much I am loved. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to feel comforted and for letting me know how special I am to Him. I also know that Anna is very special to Him also and I am so lucky and blessed to get to call her my daughter.

September 19, 2007

Happy 235 days, Anna! I have been able to hold you every second of every day for 235 day – Lucky me!! I love you, Anna, and am already missing what it would be like to raise you and see you grow up. Dad told me today that he sometimes gets really sad. Especially when he sees other little girls and knows that he won’t get to see you like that. I get sad, too. Today I am sad. I wish you were going to stay with us, but I guess there are other things you need to do. But please don’t leave me, yet. I am not ready to say “goodbye”.

October 4, 2007

I haven’t been feeling Anna in a while, but I don’t know if that’s the reason I suddenly feel like something isn’t “quite right”. I have no idea if she is still with us or not, but if I had to guess, I would say she is gone. I hope not, but that’s what my gut feeling says. I am honestly dreading our next appointment.

October 8, 2007

Dear Anna,

I have been thinking about you all day long. I am not sure if you are still with us or not, but I wanted to let you know how much I love you. You have been so strong and such a fighter, but I know that there will be a time when it is just too hard for you to fight anymore. I want you to know that I love you so much and want you to be here, but I will be okay if you have to leave us. I will be so sad and I will cry a lot, but it is because I love you so much. When you have to go, I promise not to be upset. Sometimes when people lose a child, they become bitter or upset with God and think “Why me?” or think that life is so unfair. But I have never felt any of those things. I have gained a testimony of the love our Father in Heaven has for each of us, and I know He is not punishing me. I am not better than anyone else and to think that my life should be free from trials is so selfish. And I feel that the only unfair part of this whole situation is that you get to come to earth, gain a body, be free from pain and sorrow, and get to return to our Father so much sooner than the rest of us. I actually think you’re a pretty lucky girl.

My sweet Anna. How I will miss watching you grow. I am sad to have had to put away all the baby clothes I bought in anticipation of your arrival and the double stroller and the car seat and everything else. But I will never forget you. Although the pain will lessen in time, your memory will always be with me. You are my sweet daughter and I can’t wait to meet you someday soon.

Love, Mom

October 11, 2007

Happy Birthday, Anna. I love you so much and miss you tremendously. Right now it is 4:00 am on Friday and I can no longer sleep. We are at the hospital and I feel like your bed is too far away from mine. I have pulled up a rocking chair next to your bed so I can just look at your tiny body and talk to you and cry for you. I don't want to have to say goodbye to you. I know that if I fall asleep, that morning will come too soon and I am not ready to say goodbye. I love your sweet body, just the way it is, and I love looking at your tiny nose and your skinny little bird legs - just like Clark's! You have a lot of dark curly hair and the sweetest hands and feet - so tiny!

Your delivery was quick - a lot faster than anyone anticipated. Dad and I came to the hospital at 8:00 and I was given medicine to get my body ready to be induced. They told me they would check on me in 12 hours to see if I was ready for the induction. This was so hard for us! We just sat around and watched movies and TV for hours and hours. I was hoping you'd come today, but it looked like we were going to have to expect things to take a lot longer.

At 4:30 Grandma Heiselt, Grandma Cookies, and Clark came to visit us. Clark had a hard time seeing me hooked up to an IV in a hospital bed, but soon he warmed up and just wanted to cuddle with me. He made me cry a lot because I kept thinking about how much I love him and how much I love you.

A little after 5:00, my contractions started. They were pretty mild but were fairly regular. I believed it was pre-labor and knew it was not doing much. They got a lot worse (as contractions do) and at 8:00 the nurse gave me some morphine to help relax my body. It worked for a half hour, but then I felt like it was no longer helping and I was in a lot of pain. At 8:45 or so I suddenly felt you coming! I was so surprised and I made dad run to go get some nurses (I think he was pretty shocked as well)! Our doctor had left for the night (he didn't expect me to progress very fast) so the resident physician helped me deliver you. It was a very easy delivery without a single complication or tear, and you arrived at 8:59 exactly.

And then I cried. A lot. Not from the pain of delivery, but from the pain of having lost you and knowing that I would have to say goodbye. You have a very special, fragile body. The nurses let me hold you for a couple of hours, but we couldn't touch you very much because your skin is very thin. But I can't stop looking at you, and my arms ache when I'm not holding you. The only time I was able to sleep was when I was holding you in my bed with me.

Dad is sad, too. He cried a little as we said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for your spirit and your precious body. He loves you very much.

October 14, 2007

Yesterday was Anna's funeral. I don't know really what to write. I had a very hard time getting out of the car at the cemetery and had a good cry. It was a nice service. Very simple and just how we wanted. Adrian dedicated Anna's grave, Dad Cozza said some very special things, Grandma Holben read a poem that she wrote, and I sat there listening to it all and not knowing exactly how I felt. I was so sad yet felt so much peace. I cried a little but mostly I felt like this isn't the end.

Her resting box was beautiful and handmade by Uncle Forrest. Adrian's siblings gave us the floral arrangement to place on top. We took many pictures and I took 2 roses home to dry and save in Anna's memory box.

This is so bittersweet. I am glad that we can begin to move on but I am so sad that it's at the expense of our daughter. I guess I hoped that I would be okay once everything was behind us but I guess it doesn't work that way. We will heal and we will get better I just need to remember that it will take time, and that it's okay to grieve.

One scripture that has touched me lately is 3 Nephi 10:9-10. This is when the Savior died and was getting ready to appear to the Nephites. There had been so much destruction and death. Verse 10 states:
"And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord, Jesus Christ, their Redeemer."
I want my mourning turned into joy and praise for my Redeemer. I want to be able to thank Him for trusting me with this precious baby and for being able to grow through this experience.

06 October 2007