It has been one month since I got to hold my sweet baby in my arms and my arms have ached for her since then. In some ways the month has gone by fast and I can't believe that it was only a month ago that I held Elizabeth and in other ways it has felt like our lives are in slow motion. I have gained a lot of perspective on myself and my relationships going through this experience. You know when you say your child will never do that and curse yourself for saying that because your child does exactly what you vowed they would never do. Well, grief is similar I think that because you can always look at someone else's situation and say that you would be different or you would grieve differently but sometimes we just don't have that control we just grieve and there is no rhyme or reason to how we grieve.
I have found over the month that I can put on the brave face during the day and go about a somewhat "normal" routine. Although, during that "normal" routine I don't feel "normal" at all, I feel empty most the time. I try to keep myself busy so that I don't wallow in my sorrow but at the end of the day it catches up and I normally end up crying myself to sleep if I am lucky to get sleep. (Elizabeth might not be waking up to eat every couple hours but she still keeps me up every night and I still have the no sleep look just not the baby to match the "why"). So I write this post more about we can't judge how we might grieve or how we should grieve. We just need to take it one day at a time and grieve whatever way works for us and not worry about what others may think of are grief. There is a great book I came across in my line of work called "Tear Soup" it is a great book that goes through grief and I feel that it explains the grief process perfectly.
Since we knew the 1 month mark was going to be hard we had decided to do something to honor and remember Elizabeth. So we decided to buy some chocolates and write thank you notes to the nursing staff at LDS Hospital. We then decided to take them up the hospital as a family. We obviously didn't think through this plan very well, as soon as we got inside the hospital my husband and I looked at each other and I said what are we doing to ourselves. My stomach had dropped and I felt sick... the hospital had difficult memories attached going back to finding out about Elizabeth's trisomy 18 diagnosis up to leaving the hospital without her in tow. So we both felt ill and wondered why we thought we could do this but we both still trudged forward since we were already there and ready. As we delivered our gifts to the different areas it was nice to thank those who took care of Elizabeth during her short time. We ran into one of the nurses who took care of her when she was first born and was also there during her last moments. It was emotional for both the nurse and ourselves but her words meant so much. She said what an honor it was for her to care for Elizabeth. I am so grateful for those kind words and to know they loved my baby too. I feel such a connection to these incredible women even though I don't know them.
We also designed Elizabeth's headstone. We wanted to get it done before winter hit so that it get down before the ground froze. It was hard to figure out what we wanted but we found what we wanted. We will post more when it is completed.