Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday

Three years ago today on December 27th, 2007 a little girl, Mckenna Jodell was born into this world and she changed my life in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. That morning at midnight my then husband and I went to the hospital at 1230 am to be induced. On the way to the hospital I was full of excitement and a little scared but more excited than anything. I remember thinking we are gonna get to see our baby girl, the little girl that was kicking inside me and pushing on my insides. We started the induction at 2 in the morning and by 3 I started to feel the contractions, by 8 I was in full labor and man it was way more intense than I realized. I went 15 hours when I got an epidural at around 6 pm, they broke my water and gave me pitocin. I was laying on my side when I told my nurse I was feeling a little bit of pain on my side and she said she should check me since it had been awhile. When she checked me she said she didn’t feel any cervix and felt Mckenna’s head was right there. Being so out of it I was confused on why she couldn’t feel my cervix I was thinking what does that mean? Where did it go? She then had my Dr check and he confirmed it was time to push. At this point I was overwhelmed because it had only been 2 ½ hours since I got the epidural and they broke my water. She then didn’t waste any time and put my legs in the stirrups turned on the lights and I was very overwhelmed because it seemed to be happening so fast. So the pushing began. At one point Mckenna’s heartbeat dropped pretty low so we waited out a couple contractions to see how she tolerated the contractions without pushing. I started pushing again then had to stop so my Dr could come in. I pushed a few more times then he told me the next push she would be born. So I just sat up to push and her head was out so fast the doctor almost dropped her. He placed her on my belly and I just looked at her and just kept saying oh my god, oh my god touching her. I was just in awe that she just came out of me. At exactly 9:00 pm Mckenna was born, she weighed 6 pounds 2 oz and was 18 ½ inches long. She was a little peanut. Every once in awhile she would let out a big cry and Billy and I didn’t know quite what to do then she would just stop. The nurse said it was normal after what she had just gone through. As we waited to get to our room we just stared at her saying how beautiful she was. I couldn’t believe that we were parents, that I was a mommy. I was never scared, once she was born it all became so natural. When we got up to our room I laid there just staring at her feeling like I was going to cry. Billy asked if I was ok and I told him I just can’t shake this feeling that I won’t get a lot of time with her. Either something was going to happen to me or something was going to happen to her but I won’t have a lot of time. He said nothing was going to happen she was perfect. If only my feeling didn’t come true. I remember those moments as if it were yesterday. Every detail of that day is etched into my memory. I will never forget the day my sweet, amazing, wonderful, beautiful daughter came into this world. It was the day my life changed forever. She was the reason I was born and the reason I am here today. I love you Mckenna.

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Girl

I love you and miss you more and more each day. You are my sunshine through the rain. Hope you are celebrating your day where ever you are. Lots of hugs and kisses sent your way. Here is your favorite story:
Clap your hands, and make a sound,
Wiggle your fingers all around,
Bend and reach to touch your toes,
Stand up straight and point to your nose,
Open your mouth big and wide, where’s your tongue? It hides inside,
Count your eyes one and two, what color are they? brown, green, or blue?
Now we’ve said our silly rhyme lets play game one more time,
Point to your eyes, mouth and nose, wiggle your fingers and your toes

 I love you Mckenna Jodell always and forever.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Please Just Let it be Over Already

Well the dreaded days are approaching and I seem to grow more and more distant from my feelings about the significance of the next few days. As families are preparing for Santa Claus to come I am sitting alone in my room missing my daughter. Day dreaming about what it would be like to watch my 3 year old open presents, What toys she would love the best, if she would be waking me up at some crazy hour in the morning telling me Santa came, telling me he ate the cookies and drank the milk, seeing the excitment on her face. But no instead I will wake up that morning to an alarm clock and get ready for work and take care of patients for 12 hours hoping it will take some of the ache away. Then 2 days later I will celebrate Mckenna's 3rd birthday with some friends making cards and taking her a birthday cake. Not the way I ever expected to spend her birthdays or Christmas's. I feel more alone this Christmas than I have for the past 2 years. The first year I was still so very numb but was with Mare and her family, the second year I was in Australia surrounded by family and this year no one. It is a strange place to be in really. This has been the hardest Christmas and Birthday yet. I am surrounded by it all and I can't escape. I went to Target the other day only because I had to buy the one and only gift I was buying this year for my nephew and found myself wandering around not looking at the clothes section, feeling the tears form as I pass the little girl toys hoping no one would notice the sadness in my face and the tears in my eyes. If people only knew how much my heart aches that I am childless on Christmas and what it is like to sit at your daughters grave on her birthday. I just want this month to be over. I just want my daughter back. If only being good this year really got you what you wanted. Bah humbug.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

National Candle Lighting 2010

My daughter Mckenna Jodell was born on December 27th, 2007 and so full of life. Her presence would light up the room she was in, so happy and always smiling loving to explore the world around her, I would love to hear the sounds she made because each new sound put a joyful look on her face. She was a very vocal baby and had lots to say, she loved to listen to way it sounded when she would bang a toy on the ground especially the dog bowl also liking to taste it too, I loved listening to her light breaths as she slept, the way she would put her thumb in her mouth right after a bite of food making a huge mess all over her face, the look on her face in the mornings when I would go get her from her crib, her Mckenna lovin that would melt my heart. Her curious spirit taking everything in, the way she loved water and would splash and spin in a circle in the tub, she loved her bath time, she made my life full and complete. On Sept 27th, 2008 my world turned gray and broke my heart into a billion pieces. I remember that day like it was yesterday. While I was reaching behind a television to pull the cords out of the wall I turned it too far and it started to fall and tried to push it back into the  entertainment center but it was too heavy and I let it go thinking oh who cares it’s just a tv. I then looked down and saw her feet sticking out from under the tv. As I pulled her out from the tv she was lifeless and like a ragdoll in my arms. I knew in that moment that she wouldn’t ever be the same if she did survive. She was air lifted to phx children’s and I got the chance to hold her while her heart was still beating. I sang to her and talked to her told her how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her, told her to come to me in my dreams. She fought for 6 hours but the trauma to her head was too much and she passed away in my arms at 2:56 in the afternoon. There are just no words to describe those last moments I had with my daughter. I didn’t have the strength to pick her up again the last moment I had with her so I just laid my head on her and put her hand in my hand and talked to her I told her over and over how sorry I was, how sorry I was that I didn’t protect her and that I loved her so very much. Those were my last moments with her, the very last time I ever touched her skin or kissed her face or felt her in my arms. I didn’t know how I was going to live the rest of my life without her.

When I heard that the theme this year was “permission granted” it got me thinking. This has been one of my struggles on this journey. I don’t give myself permission to cry, feel sad, feel the pain when it comes I push it aside most of the time. As time goes on I am learning to truly feel what I am feeling when I am feeling it and it is not an easy thing to do. I found a quote that struck me a couple weeks ago, “we must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” Kenji Miyazawa. This is hard for me to do and has not been easy for me to embrace the pain.  It is not easy for me to sit in my room alone feeling that gut wrenching pain in my chest and that yearning that consumes my whole body rocking myself back and forth clinging to my daughters pajama’s contemplating taking another breath because the pain is just too much to bare. It is an indescribable pain deep in my soul. But one thing I am learning is that it is in those moments that help build my muscles to carry the grief and to let those moments come when they come. If I don’t give myself permission to feel what I feel when I feel it I am missing out on life. It is learning to incorporate my pain and sorrow into my joy and happiness. If I don’t allow the pain to come in when it comes I am losing a part of Mckenna because her life good and bad are all a part of her and she is worth feeling the pain. The reason I feel that unbearable pain is because I loved her so much. It is my love for her that helps me get through each day. It is my love for her that helps me tell her story and talk about her. I am giving myself permission to feel whatever I feel and the pain when I tell Mckenna’s story because her life is worth every ache, her life is worth every single tear I shed. Joanne Cacciatore said that “There is incredible power in ones testimony, every time you share your story with another gentle soul, you help yourself remember and heal”. In my remembering her and telling her story I might save another child’s life and make parents cherish their children a little bit more. As Christmas and her 3rd birthday is approaching I am finding that it is harder and harder to talk about Mckenna because I can feel her absence all around me. But I am making an effort to talk about her because she would want me to be happy and remember all the good times and not focus on all the things I am missing (though easier said than done). I want to make Mckenna proud, have her live through me because if I don’t speak her name it is as if she never existed. But she did exist and changed my life the moment I knew I was going to be a mommy. Her name is Mckenna Jodell Fox and she was 9 months old and the sparkle in my eyes. While writing this so many emotions came to the surface and I could feel my heart swell with such love and what it felt like to be her mommy here on earth. I could feel her presence as I was thinking about her and remember everything I could. She might have only been here for 9 months, but in those 9 months she taught me more than the 24 years I had been on this earth and even 2 years later she is still teaching me each and every day. She is missed so very much and loved more and more each day. Though it is hard to feel like a mommy when my one and only child is in Heaven I am also learning that I am still a mommy and proud to call her my daughter.

My Mommy is a Survivor

My mommy is a survivor, or so I heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night when all the others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mommy who thinks of me each and everyday.

She wears a smile for others...a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door, I do see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mommy tries to cope with death to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her, knows it's her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mommy through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that the angels protect me forever more.

I know that doesn't help her, or ease the burden she bears.
So, if you have a chance, go visit her and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says or feels,
My mommy has a broken heart that time won't ever heal

Kaye Des'Ormeaux