Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I miss you.. Until we meet again.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December is here.

One year ago today I was told that there was nothing more that the doctors could do for Bella.
One year ago today I sat next to her crib watching her, waiting for a sign that this was all a mistake.
One year ago today I realized that we had lost our battle; that my daughter was dying and there was nothing I could do about it.

She looked at me with those curious brown eyes of hers as they explained that the pneumonia would take over and eventually be the cause of her death. She reached for me as the tears started to roll down my face, as if she were telling me not to believe them. She was awake and active and full of life. I just couldn't understand how in the world we had gotten to that point. There are no words to explain how I felt that day. The anger. The shock. The guilt. The immense pain. There just aren't any words that can do any justice.

December 1, 2010 keeps replaying over and over in my head. I just miss her so much. I want her back. I want to spend the holidays with her. I want to see her face. I want to feel her soft little hands. I want to run my fingers through that full head of hair that I was so proud of. I want just want my baby back. I want this emptiness to go away.


For as long as I live you will live.
For as long as I live you will be remembered.
For as long as I live you will be loved.


I'm trying. I really am.
I want to grow from this.
I've decided to volunteer at the George Mark Children's House in honor of Bella. I want to make a difference; I need to make a difference. The doctors in Oakland had suggested that we go to this house for Bella's end of life care, but we chose not to go. We wouldn't have been able to live with ourselves if something had happened on the way there. It's a beautiful home, and I think that their vision is beautiful. They offer parents the gift of time. The gift to spend those last days being just parents.

Bella's godmother came up with a great idea of giving bears to the children in the NICU, in honor of Bella, and calling them Bella Bears. We need to do something good for Bella. We haven't quite gotten very organized with the whole thing, but we're working on it. My aunt mentioned our idea to one of her coworkers and her coworker mentioned it to her prayer group, and they decided to knit blankets and beanies for the babies. They wanted to send them on behalf of Bella. I picked up the blankets today. They are beautiful and I just can't express in words how grateful and honored I am. They know of Bella's story and have been praying for us for some time now. Bella has touched so many lives and I couldn't be more proud to be her mother.

This is a hard time. The holidays. Her birthday. The anniversary. All of it is just so overwhelming, so I'm doing my best to keep busy. I hate having to work so hard to survive these days. I hate having to put so much effort just to make it through each day. I hate grief. Absolutely hate it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oakland.

There was a remembrance ceremony held by Oakland Kaiser in honor of the children that had died at their hospital. They asked us to send pictures because they were making a slide show. I went. I didn't know what to expect, but I went.

The minute we crossed the Bay Bridge, I could feel it. When we took the same exit that I had taken so many times to get to the hospital, I could feel the overwhelming grief start to take over. We were in Oakland, but this time, I wouldn't be seeing my Bella. We drove past the hospital. We drove past the clinic where I had once had an ultrasound and the doctor had assured me that everything was okay. We passed by the shops that I had roamed around in so many times, waiting for Bella to get out of surgery or simply to try to catch a breath. I saw the nail shop where I had imagined someday, Bella and I would be getting pedicures together. I had not been back to Oakland since December 7th, 2010, and now I wish that they'd burn that stupid city down and forget about it.

We arrived at the chapel where the ceremony was being held. There were nurses, doctors, social workers, chaplains, and other families that had experienced the loss of a child. They gave everyone some time to see familiar faces and to catch up a little. I saw nurses that had taken care of Bella many times. They told me that everytime that a little girl came in dressed in pink from head to toe, they thought of her. They told me how they always remembered that her dad had been the one to want to see her in pink, and they thought it was the most adorable thing. I saw nurses and doctors from the NICU that remembered taking care of Bella. They told me stories that they remembered about her. I was touched that they remembered so much about her. I couldn't believe that these details about us were still so clear in their minds. Bella touched their lives, and I felt so so proud of her.

The ceremony was beautiful. They showed a slideshow of all the children. Bella's picture was one of the first ones that came onto the screen. She was sitting next to her birthday cake, dressed in her pink tutu and matching headband. I cried, and cried, and cried some more. It really happened. She's gone. And this is all it will ever be. There will never be a picture of her 2nd birthday. There will never be more than memories.

I was thankful for the people that put the ceremony together. It really was very thoughtful of them. I just wasn't prepared for it. I walked in there not knowing what to expect, and I wish I wouldn't have. The poems that they read were so sad. They focused on their dying, rather than on their lives. Seeing the familiar faces brought back so many memories. Driving past the hospital and Piedmont Ave just made me feel like I was reliving it all. Oakland was torture.

I'm still trying to recover from that visit. I find myself crying all the time. Remembering more and more the details. I keep coming back to the day that Bella stopped breathing. The way I had felt like my world had stopped at that very moment, and in a sense it had. I can still remember how silent the room was. The way that I could hear the ticking of the clock so clearly. The way that her father and I had looked at each other, afraid to breathe ourselves.

I regret going to Oakland. I want her back. The anger is still there; it's neatly tucked in the pit of my stomache. We didn't deserve this.

Mommy loves you Lovebug <3

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bella's Second Birthday

You were Bella, pure and simple. There was nobody else like you. I knew it the moment I first laid eyes on you.

What if things had been different? What if you had been born healthy? What if things didn't have to turn out the way they did?
You wouldn't have been you. We wouldn't have been us.

We figured out what to do for your birthday Lovebug, and it couldn't have been more perfect. On the actual day we decorated your site and your bench. Your Grandma gave you flowers, lot's of them. Your Nini took care of your bench and it looked amazing. Your Uncle Junior brought you a slice of cake so that you could celebrate with all your angel friends. Your Tio Jorge wrote you a beautiful card. And your auntie Lizard brought you the most beautiful birthday card made especially for a princess.

 October 28th, 2011.

We decided to do the balloon release the next day since it was a Saturday and everyone could join since they wouldn't be working. Everyone came together for you. The kids had decided to write messages for you to send to Heaven. They wrote on the balloons themselves and some of them had more to say so they attached notes to them. We gathered together in the garden and right before we started to sing Happy Birthday to you, a butterfly flew by! The timing couldn't have been more perfect! We all sang together and then sent your balloons right up to you! It was a beautiful sight.

Special delivery for a beautiful angel named Isabella!

Everyone gathered together to celebrate your life!

All the kids were so excited!

And then we sang Happy Birthday!

And off to Heaven they went!
I love you Lovebug!
The real perfect would have been with you here. The real perfect would have been a birthday party, with cake and balloons just for you. The real perfect would have been for us to sing Happy Birthday and to see a smile spread across your beautiful face. I have learned to define perfect much differently than before. Perfect is now a day full of sunshine, with the perfect breeze that simply reminds me of you. Perfect is now a butterfly that flies by to remind me of your beauty. Yes my Love, perfect has changed for me, but one thing that will never change is my love for you.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Complete

They walk.
They talk.
They laugh.
They play.
They like certain cartoon characters.
They know what their favorite foods are.
Two year olds can do those things.
My two year old cannot and I wish with all my heart that she could.

Lately, I find myself going back to that place that I’ve been avoiding for so long. That place where I wish that this wouldn’t have happened to us; where I replay things over and over in my head trying to see if I could’ve done anything differently. I find myself completely consumed by the memories; before her, after her, but mostly when she was actually here.

I was so angry with God for a while; beyond angry. Every day that I woke up to find her gone, I hated Him with such a passion. I believed that if He was such a wonderful being He could’ve just made her better. He could’ve given her a chance at life. He could’ve given us a chance, but he didn’t. We’re still in a love-hate relationship, and I don’t think I’m ready to apologize for that. I know that God could’ve chosen not to give her to me at all, but He did; and for that I am eternally grateful. He could’ve chosen not to give me the opportunity to know the feeling of a child growing inside my womb, but He did; and I will never forget that. God is good. That’s hard to admit sometimes, especially after having lost such a wonderful little human being; extremely hard.

I’ve been told on more than one occasion to give Bella back to God with the same love that He gave her to me. On the day of her funeral, I don’t remember much of what the priest said, but I do remember that. He said to give her to Him, the way he had given her to me. I would’ve never given her up willingly. It’s selfish, I know. I just wouldn’t have. I would’ve fought tooth and nail, if it didn’t mean that she would suffer. I would’ve pushed and pushed until they found a solution. I didn’t. I gave up, and I gave her back against my will. I did it for her; not for God.

Bella’s great aunt had a dream about Bella. She said that Bella talked to her in her dream. Bella told her that she was fine, and that we shouldn’t worry. She says that Bella told her that she was an Angel and that she didn’t belong on Earth. She said God sent her on a mission, and once it was completed, she needed to return to Him. Her mission was something about leading her mom and dad in a better direction because we were heading down the wrong path.

Before Bella, I wasn’t entirely a lost soul, but I didn’t have direction. I was going to turn 21. I had started to explore the partying world. I was never home. I was always with my “friends.” Had it not been for Bella, I wonder where I would be today. I wonder if I was heading down a path of self-destruction without even realizing it. I thank God for Bella. She taught me things that I would have never learned otherwise. Her bravery, her strength, her determination; she inspired me. She made me the person I am today. I’m a better version of myself because of Bella. I can’t explain it any other way. Bella came to complete me, and someday, our love will reunite us. I’m sure of it.

There are so many things that could’ve been; but they weren’t. There are many things that could’ve not happened; but they did. Bella happened; and there isn’t a day that I’m not grateful for that. I miss her every moment of every single day. I love her more than words will ever be able to express.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Almost 2

Oh little Lovebug, the day is getting closer. Only 10 days away.

Who would've thought?

A year ago, I was stressng about your candy boxes not arriving in time for your party. I had ordered weeks before and they still hadn't arrived. They matched everything. The theme, the cake, your outfit. It probably wouldn't have made a difference to anyone, but I wanted everything to be perfect. I had carefully planned out your entire birthday party. I wanted everyone to join us in celebrating our wonderful accomplishment. We had made it. We had beat the odds. You were happy, I was happy.
Yes, we practically lived in a hospital at that point, but it didn't matter. I had you.

I had spent the weeks leading up to your party trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get you out of the hospital. I had planned to become that mean parent that demands to go home and gets her way. Yes, Lovebug, I was planning on being mean. Then I thought that I didn't want to embarrass you, so I figured I'd cry our way out of there. Much less embarrassing right? We had a party to throw, and I was getting desparate. It had been weeks, literally weeks of doctors guessing what was wrong. They ran this test, and that test, and then they'd start all over again. Everyone knew us. Everyone. Doctors, nurses, social workers, the janitors, the cafeteria guy (he always said a prayer for you), they all knew you by name. Long story short, we made it out. Your dad thinks it's because his job sent cookies to the nurses, I know it's because they had ran out of a plan and all of our questions were getting to them. Either way, you were free!

Your party was a success. We all gathered together and sang happy birthday to you. You looked beautiful in your tutu. It was custom made. Princesses usually get their stuff custom made. There were kids everywhere. I keep thinking of that day. Of all that we had to go through to get there. I'm reminded constantly of how naive I was then. I thought, We made it. The first year is the hardest. I can breathe now. Someone lied Lovebug. Someone meant well, but they gave me false hope.

I miss you. Your birthday is right around the corner and I can't plan. I can't bring myself to do it. I don't know what to do. It seems strange to have a "party" without you physically here. But it feels strange not to come together again like last year. I want to celebrate your life. I want to share the unconditional love that you brought into my life; into our lives. I want everyone to think of you. I want everyone to know. Everyone deserves to know about you.

Something will come to mind. I don't think it's what we do that matters; the only thing that matters is that we'll come together and remember you. Don't worry Lovebug, we'll figure something out. I love you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Think of her. Even if for just one second.

There is only one thing in the world that I want right now.
There is only one person that I wish to see.
I wish to be able to hold her, just one last time.
To have her look up at me with those captivating brown eyes of hers.
To see her smile.
I wish I could feel the weight of her in my arms, just for a little while.
To have her reach up with those chubby arms of hers.
To have her lay her head in my arms, as if that is the most secure place in the world.

December 7th, 2009: I held Bella for the very first time. And I vowed to never let go. Ever.
December 7th, 2010: I held Bella for the very last time. And I had no say in it. Absolutely none.
The irony.
One year. I was given one year.
I can't say that I wasted time because I assure you, I didn't.
I held onto that little angel from the moment they gave me the go ahead.
I just wish that I could have had more time. Even just a little bit.
Who am I kidding? I wish that I'd had forever. I wish I'd had a lifetime.

Bella's family from her dad's side (or our family because to me they will always be our family), decided to have a memorial bench placed in the cemetery. It was a beautiful gesture, and I can't begin to express in words how grateful I am. Everytime that someone passes by that bench, they will be touched by the memory of Bella. They won't know her story and they won't even be able to imagine how much she means to us, but they will think of her, even if just for a second.



When I was visiting Bella today, I saw a woman with two men walking towards Bella's bench. They stopped in front of it and just looked for a while. The woman said, "This bench is new, and look, it's a child." The men nodded their heads and began to walk away. I watched as she stared at the bench for a little longer. I wanted to tell her, "Yes, it is a child. She's my child." But I didn't. I spared her from the tears that were slowly starting to form in my eyes.

I'm glad that the bench is there. I know that every day when someone passes by that bench they'll think of my Bella. Even if just for one second.



Sunday, July 31, 2011

Elephants

Elephants live in a society much like ours. They travel in matriarchal packs, mothers and daughters walk side by side for years with their aunts and sisters. They are either right handed or left handed. They find their way home years after they have left. When they are close to dying they make their way to a river bed for nature to take its course.

Elephants bury their dead, and grieve.
Naturalist have seen a mother elephant carry a dead calf for miles, cradled in her trunk, unwilling and unable to let it go.

The day Bella returned to heaven, I held on for hours hoping that at any moment she'd come back. Wishing that it was all just a huge misunderstanding. Waiting for her to take another breath, to let me know that she wasn't really gone.
I understand why the elephant holds on for so long, I know the reasoning behind it.

These past few days, all I can think of is the fact that this is permanent. She's gone. I can't remember how many teeth she had. I've tried over and over to count them in my head, but I just can't see them anymore. I can't remember how long her hair was. I don't recall if she'd actually laugh when I'd sing the itsy bitsy spider to her, or if I'm making that up in my head. The memories are fuzzy, and I'm terrified of losing them.

I don't know the reasoning behind all of this. I can't come to terms with the fact that she is gone. But one thing I do know is that Bella is always with me, in everything that I do. I took a trip to Hawaii, and everything reminded me of her.
The beauty of the sunset.
The feeling of reaching the top of Diamond Head Crater.
The reassurance of a butterfly dancing around us.
She is everywhere. She is my beautiful blessing.


The beauty of the sunset.
It reminded me of you.
I know you're always near.
I can feel it.

I miss you, every moment of every single day.
We made it to the top of Diamond Head Crater.
Together.



 

Monday, July 11, 2011

If you were to run into me today, and you didn't know anything about me, you'd probably think that I was a normal 22 year old. You'd see my smile, and you'd be fooled into thinking that life is good. You'd hear me laugh and you'd think that my life is carefree and fun. I could probably win a grammy at this point for my newfound acting skills. There are times when I am actually enjoying myself. There are times when I don't have to pretend. However, those times are very sparse and spread out.
This is a work in progress, and I hope that someday I might not have to pretend anymore.

Ever since Bella passed away, I'm not sure if I pushed people away unconciously, or if they simply went away on their own. I don't think I really had time to notice, so I'm assuming it was probably me. To be honest, I'm not completely bummed out about people having walked out of my life, it's just amazing how many of them go. On December 7th, 2010, I learned what it was to lose the most important person in my life, so anyone I've lost after that can't compare.
I made an effort to "reconnect" with some old friends and it was nice. I managed to pretend the entire time that things were absolutely normal. I put on my smile, I brought out my charm, and I managed to make it through. I had fun. The most fun I've had in a long time actually. But, I did this all without mentioning Bella once, and I hate myself for it. I knew it would make them uncomfortable, and to avoid the awkwardness, I spoke about things that didn't matter. I let them talk to me about how "difficult" their lives were because of their boyfriends, or their lack of boyfriends. I pretended to be interested. I had nothing new to tell them, nothing interesting or worth telling. I told them about my upcoming trip to Hawaii and I acted like I was excited. I think they think I'm the old me again. What they don't realize though, is that the old me is gone.

My worst fear is that someday Bella will be forgotten. I'm afraid that someday she'll simply be a part of the past. I want to take her with me to my future. I don't know how to explain it, but I desparately need to keep her memory alive. When someone mentions her name, I feel relieved to know that she wasn't simply a dream. She really existed. She really happened. She was here. She was mine.


"She was my dream.
 She made me who I am, and holding her in my arms was more natural to me than my own heartbeat.
 I think about her all the time.
Even now, when I'm sitting here, I think about her."
-Nicholas Sparks ♥

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'd do it all over again.

I wish I had something inspirational or admirable to say. I would love to be able to say that I've become a better person, or that I've grown so much since December 7th when Bella returned to heaven, but I can't.

There are people that can gracefully come out of a situation like this. They can see things that I'm starting to think I can't or don't want to see. I don't think I want to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I know it's there. I don't want to think of the future, but I know it's coming. I don't want to make plans, but I know they must be made. I'd love for the world to stop spinning, but it won't. The sun will continue to rise, despite the fact that I'd prefer it didn't. Life will go on, although, I wish it wouldn't.

I think I've always been a fairly optimistic person. I am usually the first to look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. I'm the person that gives a bum money along with a smile, because I'd want to be treated with respect if I were ever in that situation. I'm no Mother Teresa, but I would classify myself as generally a good person. I used to believe that bad things happen to bad people. I thought that if you'd commit a good deed, you'd be saved somehow, from bad things. That is probably one of my biggest mistakes. Bad things happen to everyone, and good things do too.

Bella is honestly the best thing that ever happened to me. I can't explain the happiness that she brought into my life. It's amazing, almost unbelieveable, how such a tiny little person can make your entire world feel complete. Given the choice to go back and do this all over again, I would, in a heartbeat. I'd take all the good, and even the bad. Yes, even the bad.

I'm not a strong person, I'm not an admirable one, and I'm most definitely not inspirational. I've been forced to go on this journey that no one would willingly go on. Some have said, "I don't know how you do it. I could never survive." But the reality is, that you probably would survive. You wouldn't be proud of yourself, but you'd survive nontheless. And I'm not even sure that I'd call it surviving because it doesn't feel like it.

These past few days we've been "blessed" with good weather. It's been very hot in the bay area. Days like these remind me of Bella. We had our fair share of "good weather" days together. Everytime I see a baby with chunky little feet, I'm reminded of her. It seems like parents have all gotten together and decided to dress their little girls in completely pink outfits, just like I used to dress her. I saw a Dad rocking his little girl to sleep, and it reminded me of Bella and her Dad. Days like these are harder than usual, but I'm grateful to have the memories. 
I love you.
 I am who I am because of you.
 You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had ♥

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Miss..

Yesterday, I drove and drove for hours. I didn't have anywhere to go, but I drove. I watched the sunset and the waves that seemed to try to reach up to the sky. I drove without thinking, and I had hoped that I'd end up somewhere interesting, but I didn't.
I was trying to escape, but it didn't work and I'm not surprised. I thought that maybe, if I drove far enough, maybe I'd find somewhere that could make me forget. I mean Highway 1 has to lead somewhere, right? Too bad, that somewhere, isn't where Bella is. Which is the only reason that I turned back and headed home.

I learned how to drive at a cemetery. I was horrible at braking and my dad didn't trust me not to hit anything. So one day we drove to the cemetery and my driving lessons began. He would tell me to pretend that every turn was a stop sign and he'd tell me to look both ways before crossing an "intersection." His reasoning was that I couldn't kill anyone there. I was never afraid of being there, but I learned very quickly how to brake so that I wouldn't have to go back. I never would have gone there alone.
Now, I can spend hours at the cemetery, alone. I think it's comforting to know that Bella and I are only separated by a wall. It sounds crazy, I know. I can sit there for hours and read or look at her pictures. Even if I can't stay for long, I like to stop by daily just to tell her that I love her. I know that I can tell her I love her anywhere, anytime, but I find it comforting for now. I like to keep her spot clean, and her flowers fresh. I like to decorate her area, and it's nice to include her godparents in the creativity. It feels like something I can still do for her.

They say time heals everything. Whoever said that either lied, or hasn't buried their child. Time. It's become my worst enemy. When we hit six months last week, I felt worse than I'd felt this entire time. It was like it had just happened a few days ago, and like it had happened ages ago, all at the same time. I can't explain it. There isn't a single word in Webster's dictionary that could describe it. I'm not surprised, because it's an unthinkable feeling. It's a feeling that no one should ever have to feel.
Miss: to discover or regret the loss or absence of.
They need a new word for miss because I miss you is not even the beginning of it. Not even close.

I never believed that love at first sight was possible.
Until I met you.
Now, I believe, because I've experienced it.
I love you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A little nudge..

On Sunday, when I was visiting Bella, I came across a bird that was "trapped" in the mausoleum. The bird had flown in and couldn't find its way out, so it just kept flying straight into a big window. I watched it for a little bit and I considered helping it. My first reaction was to help it actually, and then my bitter side kicked in, and I thought, "It'll be fine. Don't worry about the stupid bird."

Lately, that's how my thought's have been. I've developed a feeling of indifference towards some people, things, and situations. I hate feeling that way, but honestly, I could care less about people complaining that they are having the worst day ever because things just aren't going right. Try having the worst 5 months of your life, then come talk to me. Horrible, I know. It's just hard.

I sat down at Bella's spot to read my book. I looked at her pictures. Then I finally gave in, and got up to help the bird. I'm convinced it was one of Bella's nudges that encourage me to be nice. As I was getting closer, the bird panicked and started trying harder than before to get through the window. When I was really close, I put my sweater over it, and the bird stopped struggling. I gently picked it up and looked at it. It watched me intently, but it didn't move. I was scared that it would bite me, but it just kept looking at me. I thought about taking it back to Bella's spot and keeping it for a little while, but that didn't make sense. So I walked it outside, opened my hands, and watched it fly away. I can't explain why, but I felt better. Maybe because I helped it? Or possibly because it reminded me that sometimes letting go is the best thing you could do.

Over and over, I've played out different scenarios in my mind. I could've held on longer. I could've chosen to keep fighting. I could've done more to keep her here. However, I know in my heart that I let her go because I love her. I let her go because as her mother, I couldn't ask her to be strong for me. I couldn't ask her to fight a battle that she wouldn't win. I'd give anything to have her back. Anything. But in all honesty, I'd feel this pain anyday, as long as she's free of pain. I know she's not suffering anymore. Wherever Bella is, it must be beautiful. Despite the fact that I'm in a love-hate relationship with God, I know that He's taking care of her. I know that He must really love me if He gave Bella to me. To be able to say that I've held an angel in my arms, is an honor.

I saw a therapist a few months after Bella passed away. She was a very nice lady, and she seemed to be surrounded by death. She had all these stories to tell me about her loved ones dying. It was sad, but the way she talked about it, it didn't seem sad. She kept talking about all the lessons that death taught her. It taught her to cherish people. It taught her to love. It taught her things about herself. I liked her, but I stopped seeing her. It's weird. I felt like I had nothing to tell her. I knew that my decision was right. I didn't hate Bella's dad or God, at the time. I missed her, but I could function. I thought I could deal on my own, without her help or anyone else's for that matter. But as time has progressed, my feelings have completely changed. I still feel that I made the right decision for Bella. However, it's harder to function; life without her is empty and just seems to get emptier as each day passes. My heart is filling with hate, and I don't like the feeling. Maybe, I'm just looking for someone to be angry at, someone to blame.
She suggested that I go out, on my own, and allow myself to cry. She suggested this on the very first day that I met her. She told me that the only way to heal was to allow myself to feel the pain. To really truly feel it. To sream at the top of my lungs, to no one in particular. To give myself a chance to feel sorry for myself. To not be strong. And to this day, I can't do it. I unconsciously avoid being alone, or in my room, or being in my car too long. I don't know what I'm so afraid of. School ends this week, and I'm going to take her advice. I need to, or else I'm going to go crazy.

I remember the first time you got the hiccups. It was 5 am, and everything was silent. I could feel you hiccuping in my belly and I was so excited that I didn't move the entire time. I couldn't stop smiling. I remember the first time I laid eyes on you, I had never known a love so intense that it took my breath away. The first time you smiled at me will forever be imbedded in my heart. I'll never forget your first giggle. You giggled because your uncle Jorge tickled your little double chin and name it Chelly. Every memory is a gift, and I will forever be grateful that we were given the opportunity to make memories together. I love you my little lovebug.
 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Numb.

Incapable of feeling emotion.

I thought that I had experienced numbness the morning that Bella passed away. I cried when her heart stopped beating; I knew she was gone. I knew that was it, I'd never again be able to put my hands on her little chest and feel that beautiful pitter patter of her heartbeat. I held her for a few hours and when the nurses had offered to give her a bath I had refused. I had wanted to do it myself. I walked her down to the morgue, and when I handed her over to be taken in, I kissed her forehead and told her I loved her. I had carried her in a blanket, and anyone walking by us would've thought I was carrying a sleeping child. No one knew that in my arms I carried my daughter that no longer had a beating heart. My daughter that I had failed to protect. My daughter that I hadn't been able to bring safely into this world. My daughter who I had fallen so deeply in love with that it hurt.
 I remember that I went back up to the room, collected all of our things, and left. My brother was waiting for me, he expected me to be a mess, but I wasn't. I wasn't crying anymore. When I arrived at home, my family was a mess, and I remember that I tried to console them by telling them how peaceful Bella had looked when she passed. I honestly believed that I was feeling numbness at the time, that I was incapable of feeling emotion. I was wrong.

It's been 5 months and 12 days since Bella passed away, and numbness has become all too familiar for me. Its a horrible thing, not feeling anything, or not knowing how you feel. Numbness is usually followed by it's lovely little sidekick named guilt. Those two seem to be following me around lately, completely wearing me out. I'm exhausted all the time. It's incredible how missing someone can take so much energy, but it's not surprising. My mind is constantly racing with all the what if's and then the what will never be's. Life hasn't been about the things that could be in the future, more like what happened to bring me to where I am today. All day, my mind just works and works, trying to find an explanation, trying to find a reason behind this. I know there aren't any answers, but my heart doesn't.

Mother's Day came and went; I had dreaded it since the beginning of May. I wanted to just skip the entire month and pretend that it didn't hurt. I did however, take the time to remind my mother that she has always been a wonderful mother. That throughout my life, she has always been my best friend, and that she made a wonderful grandmother to my Bella. I kept a smile on my face, and I reassured her that it was a good day. I hate for my family to see me sad. I think I miss having to be strong, the way I was for Bella. If I fall apart, I feel that they will too, and sometimes, I think it's what has kept me sane; taking care of them. It might also be what's tearing me to pieces. It might also be the reason that the numbness has settled in. I purposely didn't allow myself to feel anything on Mother's Day. I avoided any feeling because I knew I'd fall apart if I felt anything. I felt it was what I needed to do, but I'm positive it's taken its toll on me these past few days. I should've let myself feel the sadness, because it's slowly eating away at my insides.

I feel as though I'm losing control. I feel angry quite often. Little things bother me. I'm impatient with people. It's almost like a really, really bad case of PMS that just won't go away. I cry over everything.

I'm angry that I didn't take more pictures. I've seen them all, and they just aren't enough anymore. I watched her video's and I wonder why I didn't take more. I take her clothes out more often and smell them, only to realize that I'm having a harder time finding the ones that still smell like her. I can't remember how many teeth she had. I keep trying to count them in my mind and I can't remember. I thought of putting her clothes away, like away, in a box. But the thought of her clothes, or anything of hers, being stored has only led me into a fit of uncontrollable tears. It has led me to long, one way arguments with God. I've repeated to Him over and over again that he took the wrong baby. That I love my baby. That we were meant for each other. That I hate him for taking her. That I hate him for making me do this alone. That I hate him for thinking I'm strong enough to do this. And then I find myself thanking him for allowing me to be Bella's mother. For allowing me those 13 months. For giving Bella to the perfect group of people, who love her unconditionally. I must be going crazy. I really truly believe I am.

Ever since the very first time I laid eyes on you, I knew. Your were meant for me and I was meant for you. My love for you is unexplainable. Love is such a beautiful feeling. The pain I feel, I'd like to feel it forever, because it's a reminder of how much I love you. Of how much I'll always love you.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

I promise

My phone rang and I let it go to voicemail. I'm glad I did, because had I answered, I'm not sure that I would've known how to react. I had been taking a nap and I could hear the phone ringing. It was Saturday night around 8 pm, but I didn't even look to see who it was. A little while later when I looked to see who it was, I noticed that it was a number I didn't recognize and they had left a message. I checked the message. "This message is for the parents of Isabella Flores. I'm calling from Dr. So and so's office to schedule an appointment.."
I stopped the message before it got to the end and I deleted it. My heart was pounding, my mind was racing, and I felt as though I had swallowed lead. I could feel the tears just start to spill all over my face, I could feel my heart break just a little bit more.
I called back, half hoping they didn't answer, because I didn't know what I was going to say. The receptionist answered the phone, and I told her I'd received a message about an appointment for my daughter. She asked, "For Isabella Flores?" Just hearing her say her name was painful.. "Yes, Isabella Flores. My daughter passed away in December." There was silence on the other end and then she quickly said, "Oh okay," and just like that, the line went dead.

I know things like this happen. Somewhere along the lines, not everyone gets an update that Bella has passed away. Toys R Us won't know, so I'll keep recieving that stupid weekly ad. Oriental Trading Co. will keep sending me their catalog in case I need any party supplies for Bella's 2nd birthday. Just when I think I've told everyone that she has passed away, there will be someone who will ask how she's doing. If only it didn't hurt so much each time. If only I could learn to gracefully take these low blows without falling apart. It never gets easier to tell people, but I've learned to say it and simply excuse myself to avoid the uncomfortable awkward moment that follows. I've learned to head to towards the nearest exit to compose myself, to allow myself to breathe. I've learned to smile so that people will be comforted that I'm doing okay. Honestly, I am doing okay. I'm surviving. I'm almost getting used to this horrible empty feeling; it's become a part of me. I'm learning to grow from this experience because I love Bella. Someday when we meet again, I want to have wonderful things to tell her. I want to show her that she did make such a wonderful difference in my life.

Grief. It's an emotional roller coaster that I've tried to get a hang of. I've tried to cross out the emotions I've experienced already and I've anticipated the ones I haven't. I thought I could get through this quicker if I knew what to expect and how to deal with it. The truth is, there is no quick fix. There are times when you can almost make sense of the things that have occurred. Sometimes I think, God just didn't want her to suffer in this cruel world. I thank God for allowing me to be her mother, for giving me the opportunity to meet such an extrodinary little person. And then sometimes, I hate God completely for taking her from me. One minute I'm okay, and the next, I feel like I can't possibly make it through another day without her. Not every day is horrible or unbearable. I don't fall apart all the time. I don't always feel guilty for being okay. I do miss her all the time. Bella is on my mind every second of every single day, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If she can't be with me, then she'll be in my heart always. End of story.


All day I've wondered how life can be so cruel. How you can be taken away from me just like that. No explanation. Nothing. I had someone tell me the other day that God has greater things in store for me. But really, could there be anything greater than you? Not a chance. I miss you Lovebug, more than words can explain. Someday, we will meet again and when we do, I promise that I'll have amazing things to tell you. I promise to make an attempt to be as strong as you. You have been my inspiration from the beginning and you continue to be every single day. To me and to everyone that knew you, you were and continue to be perfect. Someone as perfect as you deserved to be in eternal bliss. For that reason, I can't be completely angry that you couldn't stay. It'd be selfish of me, and my love for you won't let me be. I'm scared sometimes, that I'm not being a good mother. Sometimes when I visit you for a quick Good Morning before I head to school, I wonder why I didn't get up earlier. I wonder why I didn't stay there longer. I wonder how it is that I can smile and laugh despite the fact that you're gone. Sometimes, I catch myself wondering what life will be like years from now, and I feel a twinge of guilt when you're not in that vision, when I can only picture you're name in that mausoleum. You will forever be a part of me, that will never change, I promise. Just know that I love you Bella. I absolutely adore you and I always will.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

trying to grow..

As Easter gets closer, I can't help but feel this horrible twinge of sadness and guilt. A few days ago, when I was visiting Bella, I kept thinking about last year's Easter. For some reason that day sits in my mind as though it happened yesterday. It was pouring rain that day, and I dressed Bella without thinking of the weather. I had an outfit picked out specifically for Easter because of the pastel colors and the cute little headband that went with it. The shirt was short sleeved and the bottoms were shorts. Yes, I dressed her in shorts that day, despite the rain; All because I wanted her to look cute. That outfit and that day have both been on my mind lately. I can't believe I dressed her in that outfit, in that weather. I did bundle her in as many blankets as possible before taking her to her dad's house, but still. I should've put something warmer on her.
Lately, I can't help but think of all the things I should've or could've done differently. I can't explain exactly how I feel about those things, but they just seem to be lingering in my mind. I was thinking of the day that I went into labor. I felt the contractions that morning, and I remember that I dealt with the pain. I paced back and forth, I took deep breaths, I tried to ignore it. Four hours of dealing with it before I finally called a nurse. Four hours. What if I would've called right away? What if I would've woken someone up to take me to the hospital? Would they have been able to stop me from going into preterm labor? Would Bella have had a better chance? I had no idea what contractions felt like, but I should've known something wasn't right. I should've known that those pains were not normal. I should've known.
In the end, I should've fought harder. I should've questions things further. I should've exhausted every possiblity.
I fought tooth and nail for Bella from the very beginning. I didn't care if anyone agreed or not, she was mine and I loved her with every ounce of love I had. There were people that didn't agree with the pregnancy because I wasn't married, and then later because Bella would be born with a birth defect; but none of that stopped me from loving Bella with all my heart. I felt this connection with her from the moment I knew of her existance. She was a part of me, and I wasn't willing to give up on her. Which is why, I can't understand how things happened so suddenly; how in the blink of an eye she was goneI keep trying to make sense of it, even though I know it'll never make sense. 

Everything happens for a reason. Does it really? What reason could there possibly be for a baby to die? There just isn't. So no, things don't happen for a reason, they just happen. Do we learn from these horrible experiences? Of course we do. Will we grow from it? Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, we'll grow from it.
And so, I'm trying to grow, for Bella. I've decided to walk in the March of Dimes walk this year in honor of Bella. I hope that the research that they do will prevent others from having to lose a child due to prematurity or birth defects. I hope that they can find ways to prevent these things from happening. I hope that by walking I make a difference in someone's life, just like Bella made a difference in ours. She changed lives every single day of her short life, and she continues to do so today.

These four months have been so empty without her. I miss that smile. I miss those big brown eyes. I miss everything about her. There isn't a moment that she's not on my mind, and that's exactly how I want things to be. I'm not sad all the time; there are days that I can smile and mean it because of the beautiful memories of my sweet Bella. There are days when her presence is undeniable, and it's the only thing that keeps me from going insane without her. I miss her more than words will ever be able to explain.   

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bella is everywhere..

I woke up knowing that today was not going to be a good day. I have had this overwhelming feeling for the past few days. It could be that the 28th of the month is just around the corner or it could also be this depressing weather. I think that the sun needs to just come out, and stay out. I also think that we should really consider taking the number 28 out of the calendar. It hurts too much to know that by now we'd almost be halfway to 2 years old. Instead of planning a wonderful birthday party, I'll be trying to figure out ways to honor the memory of my little love. 

The day before yesterday I was sitting at the mausoleum looking at pictures of Bella. I was going through each one and trying to remember exactly what we did the day that each one was taken. One by one, they each had a story to tell; what caused that smile? Who was holding her? Who picked that outfit? I can usually get through each one feeling satisfied that I can remember all the details, relieved that I haven't forgotten. There is a picture where Bella looks like she is staring directly at me with that look. She used to stare at me when I would talk, almost as if she knew exactly what I was talking about, then she'd kind of sigh (like she was bored) and she'd turn her little face away. I sat and stared at that picture for the longest time, imagining that exact expression. Wishing that it was her and not just a picture of her. There are just some days that her absence is more devastating than usual and some days that the pictures are just too much of a reminder of what we're missing, but for the most part they are comforting. A reminder of this little angel we were blessed to have met.

I had a dream last night that Bella was with me. In the dream I was holding her and I didn't want anyone to take her from me. I sat with her and I had this feeling of completeness, I was happy. I couldn't see her beautiful little face, but I knew it was her. Bella started to choke on her saliva; that familiar sound that I used to worry about. I woke up from my dream looking for her. I wanted to turn around and find her there, but I just found the empty spot where she used to sleep. I know that it's selfish of me to want her back. I know that Bella is in a better place. I just can't help missing her so much. She completely stole my heart.

I stopped by 7-eleven today on my way to school and as I was walking out towards my car, I noticed that the car next to me had parked really close to me. I had to wait until the man took his daughter out of the car so that I could get in mine. I waited patiently, even though I was already running late (Bella gave me one of her famous nudges). The man was talking to his daughter and she was giggling; she looked like such a happy little girl, not to mention that he looked like such a proud dad. I couldn't help but smile. The man looked over at me and said good morning, his daughter was smiling at me too, she must've been about three years old. I told him how cute she was and he said, "Yeah, she gets her looks from her mom. Kids are so much fun, you should have one." I stood there nodding in agreement. You're right, kids are fun. I know, because I've had one. What I wouldn't give to have my sweet baby with me. Is it written all over my face that my child is gone? Or did you just assume that I don't have one? How in the world did you know that my daughter isn't with me? You didn't notice her car seat, it's still back there. That's what  I really wanted to say, but instead, I got into my car and drove off; the tears just kept coming. Of course, that man had no idea, he was just trying to be nice; but I felt like someone had knocked all the air out of me. I don't know why that comment hit me so hard, but it did. I felt like today was going to be a bad day, and it was. It's okay though, because not all days are like today.

Lately it feels like Bella is everywhere. She's the sunshine that comes out unexpectedly, or the gentle breeze that kisses my cheeks. The other day, I was out to dinner with Bella's godparents and we were talking about how Bella is with us wherever we go. I'm always running late to everything, but it seems like anywhere I go, I find the best parking. I like to believe it's Bella. She probably thinks, "I'll save this parking for my mom so that maybe she won't be late." It's a nice little image that makes me smile. Signs of her presence seem to pop up everywhere. There was a man sitting a few seats away from us wearing a shirt that said Chao Bella, we all smiled because we knew. Bella was there with us, smiling that we were all together. I was so blessed to have had Bella here with me, and as much as it hurts not to have her here, I know that she is happy. I know that she is always with me, and in that I find comfort. Sometimes, it just feels better to be angry, or to be sad, or to simply feel cheated of time. However, there are also days where I feel like the luckiest person to have been able to meet such a beautiful little angel, to have and to hold in my heart for a lifetime.

Just remember, there isn't a single moment that you're not on my mind.
I love you Lovebug.
I always will.






Thursday, March 17, 2011

I have a daughter..

I have a daughter, an amazing little girl. She has a perfect smile and beautiful brown eyes. She would've been 1 year, 4 months, and 17 days today. She might've been holding her head up by now, she might've even been sitting up, but you see, I'll never really know because she's an angel now. I'll never again be able to hold her dearly or kiss her little forehead.
So while there are mothers out there that complain about their baby that won't sleep, their baby that gets into everything, or the child that constantly wants to be with them, I long for an opportunity to deal with any of those things. I long for those sleepless nights. I ache to hear that cry, just one more time. I yearn for the feeling I'd get everytime she'd look for me with those big brown eyes.

As each day passes, I realize more and more how much of my identity is gone. I was a mother. Honestly, since the day I found out I was pregnant, that was the new me. When I gave birth to Bella I talked proudly about my wonderful daughter. I'd brag about how strong and brave she was. I wanted everyone to know about her. When she passed away, it was difficult to explain that my wonderful, brave little girl was gone; that I'd no longer have any new wonderful things to tell about her. There are no longer new pictures to show off. There are no more stories to tell of her bravery. There are simply memories. Memories that I can no longer share because the death of a child is something that no one wants to deal with. So, to the outside world I am a student, I am a woman, but I am no longer what I want to be more than anything else, a mother. How I had yearned to hear her call me mom. Now I am me, the me I was before Bella, except now I know that there was something missing all along. I wasn't complete until I met her.

Its been three months and 10 days since Bella returned to Heaven, but to me it feels like its been an eternity. I feel like the days drag on. People are astonished that we are already in March. I, on the other hand, am very well aware that we are in March; it feels like it took years to get here. I don't want to grow old anymore, I don't want to live a long life.
A healthy life, long enough to make a difference in at least one persons life, and then I want to be done. I'd like to get back to being Bella's mom.


Someday Lovebug, It'll be you & me again.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I never want to forget..

I had a dream about her last night. I saw her beautiful face, those eyes, and that contagious smile; the happiness in her little face was undeniable. She's happy.  

Words can't explain how much I miss her. They can't explain the profound emptiness in my heart. Words can't even begin to describe the harshness of my new reality. The heartbreak that I endure every single day that she's not with me. I wish there were words to explain; there aren't any that are the least bit close.

I woke up feeling.. okay, actually. I kept seeing her smile in my mind. I didn't want to let my dream go. I sat there and kept envisioning it. I kept going back to it. I didn't want to lose that smile. I didn't want to forget. I'm scared of forgetting. I'm afraid of one day waking up and forgetting what that beautiful smile looks like. I'm terrified that one day I'll struggle to remember. I wonder if that's even possible; I hope it's not possible. I don't ever want to forget this pain either. As crazy as it sounds, I want to feel this pain forever. I don't want it to go away. I want it to remind me every single day of what I'm missing. I don't want to wake up one day and not have Bella be the first thing I think about. I'm scared of that happening. I'm terrified actually.

My brother used to watch Bella on Satuday's while I'd go to work. He used to say it was his time to catch up with her about their week. He'd sing to her, they'd watch t.v., and "conversate" with one another (he did most of the talking). I remember one day I got home from work, Bella was laying in her boppy watching my brother talk to her. I walked into the room and started calling her name. I remember she turned to look at me and smiled; it made my heart melt. That smile made every day worth living. I remember picking her up and kissing her little cheeks, I felt so lucky to be able to come home to that. I thanked God for my perfect little blessing.

I never took those moments for granted. I appreciated every smile, every giggle, every flirtacious look Bella gave me. It's not fair. There are mothers that don't even give their children the time of day. I was willing to give up everything for Bella. Everything. I just don't understand. They say there's a reason for it all, but honestly, that doesn't make anything remotely better. It makes me angry; it shouldn't, but it does. I kept thinking to myself that I can't be angry, but I realized, I have every right to be. I love her. I loved being a mom. I loved being pregnant. I loved every single thing about Bella. I loved our wonderful, sometimes hectic life together. It was perfect, and I'd give anything to have it back. Anything.

What is part of us,
for however long,
is us.
And will forever be.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I had looked forward to this Valentine's Day because Bella would be older, more active, and playful. I had envisioned us together making Valentine's Day cards. Of course, she wouldn't be cutting or pasting anything, but I had planned on having her "write" in them. I would've taken her to take studio pictures dressed in the cutest dress with hearts on it. Yes, one year ago, I had all of this planned out.
Instead, I found myself sitting on a chair, in a cold mausoleum, arranging her flowers. Over and over I fixed the flowers, the bear, the picture. I'd take it apart, and put it back together again. I became angry that they didn't look right. I should've bought more flowers. I should've brought tape with me. I finally gave up.
I still remember the exact outfit that she wore last year. A white shirt with hearts on it, pink pants with a big heart on the left pant leg, and a pink little hat. The day was nice so we had decided to take her outside to enjoy the sun for a little while. She hated the sun; she was a total diva, so back inside we went. I had never felt more complete. I had never known that such an unconditional love could exist.


Bella with my little brother.
Valentine's Day 2010

What a perfect little person.
How I wish I'd be able to spend just one more day, or minute, even a second with my sweet Bella. I'd hold her tight and I'd never let go. Ever.

Valentine's Day. Never thought it'd be so significant. It became significant. Yesterday, it became unbearable. I so badly wanted to hide under the covers and not come out. The love of my life is in heaven, and I can only dream of the day when I'll hold her in my arms again. Someday.

Happy Valentine's Day. Cherish every precious moment with those you love the most.
Love.
It's such a beautiful thing.
It's such an amazing feeling.
It's all I can feel when I think of Bella; of how absolutely in LOVE I am with her.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I hope she knows..

I cried uncontrollably one night. It was during our last stay in the hospital; three days before they broke the news to us that Bella wasn't getting any better. We didn't have to share a room that night, it was just the two of us. The room was dark and I could hear the nurses just outside the door laughing amongst themselves about who knows what. Bella was sleeping so peacefully, I watched her as she took each breath in and then let it out. It was such a beautiful sight.
I had this overwhelming need to cry, it almost felt like I couldn't breathe. I remember sitting next to the crib and just sobbing uncontrollably. I ran my fingers through her hair, I told her that I loved her, I told her that I was sorry that life was so hard. I can't explain the desparation that I felt that night, to remind her that I loved her dearly, to remind her that she was my everything. I cried so hard that I woke her, she opened her eyes slowly and stared at me. She looked at me with so much curiosity, almost as if she were asking me why I was crying. She reached for my face, she touched my tears; there was no need to say anything more. She understood, I know she did.
That night was one of the very few times that I had broken down in front of Bella. I had made a conscious effort to be strong for her. I didn't want her to know that I was terrified, I wanted her to know that she could depend on me. Little did I know that Bella was the one being strong for me. She was the one that kept me going, she was my little rock.

That night replays in my mind constantly. That pain I felt. The curious look Bella gave me. The sound of her breathing. The darkness.

I told her I loved her. I told her that she completed me. I told her I couldn't live without her. I looked into thos big brown eyes and repeated over and over that I needed her to be strong. I begged her. I was selfish that night. I should've told her how proud of her I was. I should've thanked her for being so wonderful. I should've told her not to worry, that I'd be strong for her.

I hope Bella knows how proud of her I was and always will be. I hope she knows that she was the most beautiful gift I could've ever received.



I look forward to the day when I will see this smile again.

There isn't a moment that you're not on my mind Lovebug.
Words can't explain.
Just know that I love you & miss you more than anyone can imagine.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thank You..

"Oh, your young. Someday you'll have more children. You'll be fine."

Really? That's comforting. So basically, your saying that if I had other children, besides Isabella, that I'd be fine because I'd have others to replace her? Or that when I have other children this hole in my heart will be gone because, well, I'll have other children. Bella was a person; a beautiful, amazing, and strong person. Tell me exactly how me being young and eventually having children will somehow make me feel better? I know these people don't mean it that way, but it's just getting harder and harder to be understanding. Sometimes I wish they just wouldn't say anything at all.

Patience. Take a deep breathe. Forgive them for not knowing any better. Walk away.
I'm taking this approach for Bella. For me. I don't want to be angry. I don't want to become bitter.

I'm reading books. Any book that has to do with grieving the loss of a child. I desperately need to know how to do this. How to get through it. Anything. Can you believe it? I'm looking for instructions. How pathetic is that? I want someone to tell me that there's light at the end of the tunnel.
I remember when Bella was diagnosed with Spina Bifida. I remember the confusion, the anger, the frustration of not knowing what in the world this was or how I gave it to her. I went home that day and googled it. Spina Bifida. Not the best of ideas. I found some of the scariest things you could possibly imagine. I searched all sorts of websites, and then I came across babycenter.com, the website that made my pregnancy a little bit easier. I found hope.
There were other moms that were going through similiar things: the pregnancy, the ultrasounds, the diagnosis, and the fear. There were parents that had already had their children and they wrote about them with so much love and admiration. They inspired me. I was no longer alone, WE were no longer alone.
I worried myself sick the day they diagnosed Bella, I couldn't hold anything down and I cried so hard that it felt like my head was going to explode. I remember that I didn't want to be pregnant anymore. I thought it didn't matter if I ate or if I'd drank enough fluids. I was just about ready to give up, and then I felt Bella move. I'm pretty sure she elbowed me. I remember snapping back into reality at that moment. There was hope in my belly. Hope of a better tomorrow because of this little life inside of me.
I deal with things by knowing. I always wanted to know what the worst case scenario was first. I always wanted to know everything. I guess this is the approach I'm taking for my grief. Unfortunately there is no instruction manuel, it's simply about learning to live without Bella's physical body. Instead, I've got to embrace her spirit. That beautiful little spirit I was blessed with.

There are many lessons to be learned from Bella. She taught me a great deal in her short time here on Earth. As her mother, it is my responsibilty to grow from that. To live life for Bella. To make a difference in peoples' lives, the way that she made a difference in ours. Occasionally, I still feel a little nudge from Bella; to be nice, to care, and to make a difference.

There are times now that I find myself feeling alone, but I know that I'm no where near alone. Bella is always with me. I can feel it. I have an exceptional set of people that loved Bella and want to keep her memory alive in the same way that I do. And I have you guys. My virtual friends, who have become my shoulder to cry on. I thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Every day..

Every single day gets just a little bit harder. The unbearable pain that I was so afraid of has settled in at the pit of my stomach and doesn't seem to have any plans of leaving. There is an emptiness in my heart that I never knew was even there. It's amazing how such a tiny little person made me feel so complete. Every morning when I wake up, I hope to turn around and find her there. When I dream of her, I don't want to ever wake up. It doesn't matter if the dream is bad or good, I just want to be with her.

I dreamt that I was holding her. That she was dressed in the last outfit I put her in. Her body was still. In my dream I knew she was gone, but I wanted to hold on forever. I woke up from that dream, hoping that it was only a nightmare. Hoping that I'd turn around and Bella would be right there, sleeping peacefully. It was then that I realized that I'd never really wake up from that nightmare; for this nightmare is my new reality. It's a struggle to convince myself that each day is worth living. It's exhausting to smile and pretend that everything is going to be okay. It's tiring to hear people say that they are amazed at how well I'm taking things; as if they know exactly what I feel. They have no idea of the battle I fight every day. They have no idea what the agony feels like; the emptiness that I feel every single moment of every single day.

On January 15th, 2010, Bella came home from the NICU. I remember feeling absolute bliss as we packed all her belongings and dressed her in her "going home" outfit. We had practically moved into the NICU by that time, so her dad had to make a few trips to the car with her stuff. I remember the excitement, it was a beautiful feeling. The doctors and nurses all said their good bye's to Bella and wished us a wonderful future toether. She graduated from the NICU that day, she even got her very first diploma.
I remember stepping onto that elevator, Bella in hand, feeling like the luckiest person on earth. We were finally going home, where Bella belonged. My mind was racing with all the things we could do, all the people we needed to see, all the pictures I had to take. The drive home seemed to be taking longer than usual. When we got home, we had a few people there; and as much as I love them, I really just wanted to be alone with Bella. I patiently waited as everyone got to hold her and marvel at her beauty. I remember that when everyone left, I just sat there and admired her. It was me and her, in our own world. I don't know how long I sat there with her, I'm not even sure if I really slept that night, but I do know that I absolutely loved every minute of it. What I wouldn't give to be able to go back to that day. To hold her so dearly again, to soak in every single detail of her little face.

Memories. They float around in my head all day, every day. Everywhere I go, there's something there to remind me of Bella. I still have her carseat in my car. I carry the extra pacifier in my purse. I make sure there's always a picture nearby, just in case.. I try not to drive by the hospital, or the park, or the cementery if it's too late to go in. I miss her so much. When I drive by those places, my heart breaks just a little bit more. Sometimes I think, This is it. My heart can't break any more. It's completely shattered.. But, I'm always wrong. It's very much possible for my heart to break a little bit more. The pieces keep breaking into smaller pieces, and the pain hurts that much more each time.

Please don't tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too,
Please don't tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true,
Please don't tell me my daughter is in a better place,
Though it is true, I want her here with me,
Don't tell me someday I'll hear her voice, see her face,
Beyond today I cannot see,
Don't tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot,
Don't tell me to face the fact she is gone,
Because denial is something I can't stop,
Don't tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more,
Don't tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I'll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while,
And please don't hesitate to say her name,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Someday.. We will meet again..

I went for a walk in the park the other day. The same park that Bella and I visited just a few months ago. We had sat under a big tree and watched the squirrels run around next to us. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and I was the happiest person alive; I so badly wanted to sit under that tree and be happy again. I wanted to feel complete again. I had so much fun dressing her that day, I had dressed her in a cute little skirt and her shirt said 100% sweet with a cupcake on it. That day is so vivid in my mind. The senior citizens that live close to the area were out for their walks and had stopped and marveled at those big beautiful eyes of hers. She loved the attention. I remember her watching them with such curiosity; the cutest thing ever. Bella felt the sun on her face that day, she felt the air kiss her cheeks. I'm glad I had the opportunity to enjoy those little moments. I'm thankful that I have those memories to hold on to.

The pictures, oh those pictures.. They have helped to keep me sane. I literally have thousands of pictures of my princess. I could look at those pictures all day, every day. There are times when it's unbearable to even think of looking at her pictures, but I always find myself looking at every single one; soaking in that smile, those eyes, everything. I can't say that it makes things easier, but it helps to remember. It helps to remind me that this amazing little person will always be a part of me.

Before Bella passed away, a photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep came and took beautiful pictures of my little angel. I received them yesterday, the day before her one month anniversary. I had been anxiously waiting for them, and it was completely worth the wait. Bella looks absolutely beautiful. I'm grateful that this lady took time out of her day to take pictures of my little Bella. I honestly hadn't even considered taking pictures in the end, but I'm glad that they were taken.

"Every good and perfect gift comes from above." -James 1:17

This bear is 25 years old, it was given to her dad when he was born.
Teddy.
He went with Bella on her journey to heaven.
God sent us a precious gift.
A gift that was made for heaven.
I will always love you lovebug.


"Remember, each day that passes isn't another day without her; rather each day brings us closer to meeting her again." -Bella's Godmother

Monday, January 3, 2011

Faith

Faith: Confidence or trust in a person or thing.

I had never really thought about the meaning of faith. Honestly, I never really had the need to have faith in anything. Life used to be for the most part simple. Yes, there were times that I thought life was horrible and unfair because of a heartbreak or maybe a disappointment; but they were simple things that didn't take long for me to get over. When Bella came into my life, that all changed. Faith was the first thing I learned from her; the first of many things.

The first big ultrasound: I don't think I had ever been as excited as I was that day. I remember that I had counted the days down since they set the appointment date. I was anxious to see the baby and to find out whether I was having a boy or girl. The big appointment is supposed to be exciting. It's supposed to be the day that they tell you that everything looks great. It's supposed to be one of the best days; it wasn't one of my best days.
The day started out bad. My teacher was late for class, so I had to take my math test late. This made me late for my ultrasound. The tech wasn't very happy about this, which caused her to be pretty rude from the beginning. She kept telling me that she had specifically scheduled my appointment at 1030 am, not 1040 am. Blah blah blah. I was nervous, so I tried my best to brush her off. She didn't talk much during the ultrasound, and I couldn't see the screen. When she finally let me see the baby she was very brief and didn't explain much of anything. The ultrasound was taking a really long time, but I thought this was normal. She told me that she was going to get the doctor. At that point I knew something wasn't right. The doctor came in and took a look. The tech pointed at the screen, and she said, "I looked and I can't seem to find it." I remember the doctor frowning at the screen. I'll never forget her face when she turned to look at me. There was a lot of sympathy; that look said it all. Something was wrong. I remember her saying, "Something doesn't look right. There is something wrong with the baby. The head is smaller than we'd like it to be." At that instant my entire world came crashing down. I had taken care of myself. I had taken my prenatal pills. I had eaten right. I had done EVERYTHING. How was it possible that my baby wasn't okay? I asked for my doctor, maybe she could tell me something they couldn't. I couldn't stop crying. I didn't want to be pregnant anymore. I didn't want to know anything more. My doctor explained that there would be a need for another ultrasound, but she told me not to worry myself sick until then.. Sure, easy for her to say.
It had been years since I had stepped foot in church. The occasional baptism maybe, but to actually go to mass or to pray, nope. That day I left the clinic and drove straight to church. I remember sitting in the pews and crying hysterically. I didn't know exactly how to pray, but I asked God to make it better. I asked him to make my baby healthy. I begged him to fix everything. I promised him that I'd become more religious. I swore that I'd attend church as often as possible. I sat there for almost an hour, waiting. What I was waiting for I don't know. I was maybe hoping for an answer? For a sign? But none of that came. Instead, while sitting there, I came to a conclusion..
God wasn't punishing me. I could do this. Yes, things would be difficult, but this was MY baby. I had already fallen completely in love with this baby. We were meant for one another. This baby depended on me to the best mother possible. God never gives you more than you can handle.
It's amazing what faith does for you. I had faith that God would guide me through it all. That he'd be by our side every step of the way. I learned on that very day what it meant to have absolute faith; had I not been faithful, I don't think I could've gone on. I don't think I could've enjoyed my pregnancy the way that I did.

Faith. What a beautiful word. What a simple word. I live by it every single day. Its the reason I can pull myself out of bed everyday. I have faith that Bella is in a better place. I have honest faith that she is in heaven, flying with the angels.

Last night I dreamt about her. I could see her beautiful smile. I could see those pearly white teeth. The happiness in her eyes. It was my first visit from her. I know she was telling me that things would be okay.