Thank You, Kara!

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We bought Brielle a charm bracelet, of course she only had one charm, but I thought it’d be fitting for us to have mother daughter bracelets. David bought me a matching charm bracelet and I wore it for the first time at her funeral. We’ve begun to fill it with charms that remind us of her and our own history.

Kara R. sent me a beautiful necklace with Brielle‚Äôs name and date of birth. And I think it’s a perfect addition to my bracelet.

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The charm reads, "The love between a mother and daughter is forever."

I have been wanting something like this, but I wasn’t sure where to buy it. I think these charms are a beautiful addition to my bracelet.

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Brielle's name and birthday.

Kara has been incredibly kind and giving to us through this journey. She always has been a very good friend and I’m very thankful for her kindness, mentorship, encouragement, and presence in my life.

One Week Since Brielle’s Birth

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Thursday, November 19, 2015 was one week since Brielle was born. It’s hard to believe that she would be a week old already. In some ways it feels like I just had her and in other ways it feels like it’s been years and years since I was holding her in my arms. Today was one of those days where I had imagined doing things with her and I spent a lot of time today wondering what she would look like now. How would I feel physically today if she were here? How much more exhausted would I be and would I even care or notice? How many poopie diapers would she have had by now? It’s the little things that drive everyone else crazy that I spent the day wondering about.

I told David that I feel a bit out of place. I’m a Mommy, but I don’t have a baby to hold. Our lives have reverted back to just me and David again. We won’t need a babysitter, we won’t be drowning in baby things, we can go on vacation. I can buy myself expensive things and not feel guilty. I’d rather have poopie diapers. I am empty. My arms are empty, my womb is empty, and my heart is empty. I miss my little girl, my joy.

Today wasn’t all sad though, and I am very, very grateful for that. Kelle S. and Susan V. flew in for the day from Texas to check on me. They won’t be able to make it to the funeral, but still wanted to see us. I can’t express how much I appreciated their visit. Kelle, of course, had us all laughing with her ridiculous stories. And they brought news of home and what was going on there. I had fun listening to their wonderfully normal lives and it distracted me from my own pain. And somehow Kelle was able to bring homemade cookies and an entire Simply Bundt pumpkin spice cake, through security and onto the plane! She’s so funny. Susan shared things going on with her family too and it made me happy to hear about Craig’s recent trip to Mexico and what was going on with Brian and Matt.

It may seem odd to many of you, but our church friends from Texas are like family to us and helped raise Tessa (my sister) and I. Just hearing things going on in their lives and seeing them warmed my heart. It was like I had a slice of home and comfort for a short while. And I didn’t feel so alone and stranded in Georgia. It was very nice.

I also want to thank Veracode, the company my Father works for, for the beautiful pink roses. They’ve opened up beautifully and match Brielle’s chalkboard perfectly. The day they arrived was a very hard day for me and they were a wonderful surprise that brightened my day.

I did little things for Brielle today. I meant to eat skittles, but forgot, and then was mad at myself for a few minutes because I forgot. I drank a coke for her, her favorite soda, and updated her chalkboard, which was extremely painful to do. Wiping away 40th and six days from the board broke my heart, I don’t want life to move on, but it does, whether I like it or not. My Dad took pictures of David and I in front of the sign, but I couldn’t manage a smile. I tried my best and it turned out more like a snarl. Well then that had me laughing, who snarls in a picture? So then he caught some awkward smiles, which I can share if y’all would like. In each picture I held my belly. I still hold her even though she’s not there anymore.

Carrying Brielle wasn’t the hard part, living without her is. This part that I’ll be living for the rest of my life, is the part that hurts the most. I miss her.

Brielle’s Baby Shower

Saturday I was given a surprise baby shower for Brielle. I am in a group of wonderful ladies that also suffer from gastroparesis. A condition where the stomach organ is paralyzed. I’ve struggled with gastroparesis for nearly ten years now. The past three or so years I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this wonderful group of women. We are all very different, but have grown close through our struggles with gastroparesis, but also through sharing our lives and becoming good friends.

They each sent me cards to open on Saturday, and then they sent a large envelope that I was instructed to open last. Each card was beautiful, uplifting, and encouraging. And I treasure each one. The final envelope was truly a big surprise. The group had not only donated to Duke University (where they research anencephaly), but had bought Brielle a star!

David and I were so excited about her star! We’ve wanted to get one for her, but have not had the time or energy to look into it. This was a huge surprise and greatly appreciated. It was so sweet and made me feel so good to have a shower for Brielle, especially such a special one. This will be something I tuck away in my heart forever.

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Brielle’s Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

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Brielle is 34 weeks! Sunday we took Brielle to Guthrie Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze. It’s my favorite pumpkin farm because they have an amazing selection of pumpkins. Fall is one of my favorite seasons and I really wanted to share this time with Brielle. I’m very happy we’ve made it this far, that is definitely an answered prayer!

We met some friends from Chattanooga at the farm (I’ve left out images of them due to privacy). We hung out at the petting zoo. I told Brielle all about the sweet animals and we loved on just about all of them. I’d love to teach her how to ride horses and share that experience with her. At least we got to love on a sweet horse.

Then we went on a hayride out to the pumpkin patch. And then it was like an Easter egg hunt! I was on a mission to find unique colored pumpkins. The first pumpkin I found for Brielle was a blue grey pumpkin. That is her first pumpkin and it is small, just like sweet Brielle! I stomped around the patch looking for the perfect pumpkins for my little girl. David forbade me from bending over or lifting (I may have done it a couple of times and got some severe looks). So I’d find them and wait as he retrieved a few and then brought them back to the wagon. In addition to the blue grey pumpkin, I found a couple of peachy white pumpkins, a beautiful deep orange pumpkin, a bright yellow pumpkin, a bright green pumpkin, and a large light orange pumpkin. As we were getting back in the wagon I found a tiny cute striped gourd, so I grabbed that one (it was not heavy).

We bought some apple and pumpkin butter, I’m excited to try that with Brielle. I’ll need to try it with a pumpkin spice latte too and maybe a Halloween movie. Overall I think Brielle had fun! She stayed right on the edge of my tummy and did not burrow at all, which is what she does when she is happy. Sweet girl was able to have a fun fall experience!

I do want to add that I have a really great picture of David, but he doesn’t want me to share it. He doesn’t like me to post pictures of him.

Mexico Independence Day

Wednesday Dennis G. had a layover in Atlanta and came out to see me and Brielle. We had lunch at The Marietta Diner (very tasty!) and caught up on things going on back home in Texas. It was so great to see him. The last few times I’ve been in Texas I either haven’t seen him or I’ve only seen him for a couple of minutes, so it was very good to see him again. For those that don’t know, Dennis and Rene have been a part of my life for the past twenty years. I grew up with them and their boys and they feel more like family than family friends. Scott and I grew up playing in the New Mexico Rockies and beating each other up back home. Him and Robert were the brothers I never had and I love their family dearly. David is also extremely fond of Robert as well, Robert is a computer nerd just like David. David always says, “Oh, I like Robert, he’s a cool dude.” I guess that’s guy talk for he likes him?

Wednesday was also Mexico Independence Day. Again, for those that don’t know, I am a born and raised Texan and I took my fair share of Texas history. It grieves me that my children will not be Texans, really, it pains me. So, I’ve decided if they can’t be born Texan they can at least be raised Texan. Since Mexico’s independence from Spain is a big part of Texas’s own history I decided that I should educate David and Brielle about this day.

We went to Pappasito’s, which is about the only place in Atlanta with homemade tortillas, so of course we went there for dinner. Brielle loved her fajitas and onions! And she really liked the mariachi band too! She had a lot of fun and wiggled around quite a bit. When we came home, I read them the story of Father Hidalgo and we discussed Mexico’s independence from Spain. David was sad that Father Hidalgo’s life didn’t end well, he was surprised by that. Such is war and revolution. Overall, I think Brielle had a great day today! Even if it ended with the story of a man dying.

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