Monday, November 14, 2011

Dear Finley,

Sweet baby girl, I miss you more than words can describe.

Today is the first time that I have been alone since you were born. Your big brother is sleeping in his crib and I've been thinking about you a lot. It makes mommy sad because I wish you were here to snuggle with, but please don't worry about me when I cry! I am surrounded by so many people who love me and who love you too. Mommy will be okay.

I keep touching my belly wishing I could take it all back and that you could be with me still. Or I find myself laying silently dreaming that you were in the other room napping with Eli; while I wait for your soft moans and waking up sounds.
Actually I'd probably just let you sleep on my chest, so I could listen to you breathe and smell your sweet baby smells. You'd probably snuggle up really close under my chin like your brother did, making me really uncomfortable... but I wouldn't mind. You'd probably giggle in your sleep like he did too. I wonder what you'd dream about...

It's selfish I know, to want you here with me. I know that heaven is so much more than what this world could give you. It makes my heart smile to know that you are in such a beautiful place and being taken care of. It makes me happy to know that you will never cry or get hurt.
I hope you're smiling, even when mommy isn't. I hope you're laughing, big belly laughs that make you fall over and lose your breath. But I so wish that I could kiss your cheeks and stroke your head. You should be with me and my arms ache to hold you; they always will.

I'll never forget when they put you on my chest. I was so proud. I was proud of what we had been through together and I was proud to be your mommy, I still am and I always will be. I will always love you. I will always miss you.

I know you're waiting for me in heaven. For now I need to take care of you brother and daddy, but I will come and get you soon! Don't worry about me baby girl, run off and play! Dance to the angel's music and run into God's arms for extra hugs when you need them.

I love you Finley, always!
Love, Mommy

P.s. Your brother just woke up! I'll give him an extra kiss just from you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hospital Ramblings

During my time at the hospital I took some time to write down what I was thinking and feeling. I think most of this was written late at night/early morning and I was on strong medications, but I wanted to post it here so that I wouldn't forget my thoughts.

I can not tell you how much all of the words of love, support, encouragement, confusion, anger, grief, empathy, hope, faith, etc. have helped to get me through some of the most difficult days of my life. My soul has been touched in such a profound way, I will be forever grateful.

Although these past few days have been tragic and heartbreaking, Daniel and I KNOW that Finley was given to us for a reason. She has had a lifetime of purpose and meaning in this world, even though her time with us was short.
I must share one of the most profound reasons that I believe she was given to me. I have come to realize, just this afternoon, that Finley was sent here to save me:

Through Finley's birth and delivery I was able to learn a lot about my anatomy. She was born at just 32 and 1/2 weeks gestation, with 2 more months of growing and developing left to do. She was small and easily manipulated, yet she still had a VERY traumatic delivery.
Towards the end when I was pushing her shoulder became stuck; even after the doctor cut me to make more room for her to come out she remained stuck for quite a while.
When I saw my OB this afternoon we discussed the gravity of this situation and the need for me to consider c-sections for subsequent pregnancies. Had this been a vaginal delivery with a full-term, live, healthy baby the outcome would most likely have been fatal for both of us.
The most chilling part of this realization for me is the fact that ever since I was a little girl and have dreamed about having babies I've had a haunting premonition that I would die in childbirth. I think I have only told Daniel and one or two others. Although it is completely unfounded, this was never just an offhand fear or phobia to me, it has always been something that I have accepted as my reality. When I became pregnant with both Eli and Fin, it was my first thought and it terrified me. Even on the drive to the hospital, with both Eli and Fin, I very consciously took in all of the sights around me because I believed I was experiencing my last moments in this world. I remember after Eli's birth, I didn't even want to see or hold him. I thought I was dying. I kept asking the doctors what my vital signs were, just waiting for them to gradually decline.
Finley's birth was a gift. It allowed me to have a vaginal delivery and to experience pushing my child into the world, something that Daniel and I so desperately wanted. However it also came with a warning, that this is not a safe option for future pregnancies. There is no doubt in my mind that Finley was my miracle. I believe she has saved me from a very real and grim fate. She came so that I could be a mother to Eli and a mother to our future children. For her, I will strive to be the best mother to my earthly children that I can be.

There are good moments and there are bad moments, there will be for weeks and months to come. A piece of comfort in my world is that I have so many loved ones lifting me up.
Although I will leave the hospital tomorrow with empty arms, my heart will be so full and overflowing.

I know all of our lives must go on, so the only thing I can ask of anyone now is to please not forget my baby girl.
Finley Fayth ♥ 10/30/11

The Hardest Thing

I won't be able to write much or very eloquently, but I did want to give an update for those following our story.

Finley Fayth White was born on Sunday, October 30th at 3:09 AM at almost 33 weeks gestation. She weighed 4 lbs 12 oz and was 16 inches long. She had Daniel's nose, my lips, and Eli's sweet toes. She had the longest fingers and the daintiest hands. She was perfect in every way.

We found out on Friday morning (at our appointment with the specialist) that Finley's heart was no longer beating. This was very unexpected and everything from that point on was a blur. We were scheduled for an induction on Saturday morning.

It is hard for me to write exactly what happened, so here is my dear friend Jenny's update she posted on facebook while I was in labor:
"Updating on Kelli... It's been a long a emotional day. She got here at 7 am and was started on pitocin at 8am. When she arrived she was dilated to about one. She ended up with very strong contractions that lasted about a minute to a minute and a half and they were about 30 seconds apart. She rocked and rolled on the ball and did such a wonderful job, so amazing and strong through it all. By 5pm she had not progressed at all and decided that an epidural would be her best option. She got her epi at about 5:30-6:00 and then got a well deserved nap. At 9:30 her doctor checked her and she was a 7, Praise God!! We have prayed so hard for this! We are now waiting for her doctor to get here and she will be checked again and then only time will tell. Kelli has done an AMAZING job! As we all know she has such a beautiful soul and spirit. Daniel has been amazing through all of this as well. What a beautiful example of what a husband and father should be. We are so very proud of them. I will update when we have more news."

At 1:30 am I reached 10 cm and we began the process of pushing. I was scared and I didn't want her to be taken from me. I wanted to keep her with me forever.
I don't remember much of the actual birth, but I was told that it was very traumatic physically.
I do remember: Daniel was by my side, holding my hand, stroking my hair, and counting the whole time. My mom was on the other side telling me that I could do it. My dad was next to my mom, I'm sure in constant prayer. My dear friends Jenny and Kerri were at my feet encouraging me the whole time. I am very blessed by the people God has placed in my life.

As soon as she was born Daniel cut her cord and she was placed on my chest. I remember screaming in agony. My little girl was in my arms, but it was only her body. I was holding out for a cry, I still had hope. I remember thinking that there was never anyone so beautiful and didn't want to accept that I wouldn't be able to keep her. It was one of the hardest moments of my life. I didn't want to believe that it was actually happening.

We spent all day Sunday with her. We dressed her in the clothes that we picked out and wrapped her in her blanket, we took turns studying her and memorizing her perfect features. We hardly slept, knowing we didn't have much time with her.

One of the best moments was introducing Eli to his sweet sister. He smiled at her and pointed at her and even said "Baby Sister". He looked at her as if she were "normal" and didn't see a thing wrong with her. We let him touch her hands and toes; he smiled.

On Sunday night we said our goodbyes. We kissed her forehead and let the nurse take her from us. We cried together in the hospital bed knowing that we'd have to wait our lifetimes to see her again. I still can't believe I had to let someone take my daughter away.

On Monday afternoon, Daniel decided it was time to leave. I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone that I wanted to be discharged. I didn't want to be. I didn't want to leave her. I didn't want life to go on or move forward without her... but I couldn't stay forever. My husband has been my rock throughout all of this; taking the initiative when I have been too weak. I don't think I have ever loved him more than I do now.

Leaving the hospital was THE hardest part. Driving away and knowing that I'd never get her back. Knowing that I'd never hold her again. Knowing that I'd never kiss her again. Knowing that life was moving on and that she wasn't with me.

Finley will always be my daughter. She will always be a part of my family. She will always be loved. The one thing I ask is that people don't refer to her as just a baby or just a pregnancy or just anything... She has a name. She is a person. She IS my daughter. She is very much a part of me and my life. She always will be. She will never be forgotten.

People ask how I am, the only thing I can respond with is that I am alive. I am breathing. I am living minute to minute. I am getting by. It's so hard. So hard.
The only thing that makes it better are Daniel and Eli. I am so thankful and blessed by their sweet spirits; there are no words to describe what they mean to me.

I know God is watching over my family at this time, but it is so hard for me to see past the pain at this point. I don't know what to pray or what to ask or what to say to Him. I know there is a plan, but I feel lost in it. I know He is at work... but right now, I just want my daughter.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." [Jeremiah 1:5]

Please pray.