I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 10 months processing the trauma of losing Brady. Weekly appointments with a therapist, grief support groups, grief hours, journaling, and, of course, blogging. Losing a child is a horrific, unnatural kind of loss. Even if I you haven’t experienced it yourself, I probably don’t have to tell you this. What I have started to realize is that I haven’t scratched the surface of processing some of the other traumas I’ve experienced. The fact that a significant date is looming, less than 2 months away, is making this all the more clear.
Of course I’d miss it by a day. I’m just not that organized, and I guess I never noted the exact date in my mind. August 8th, 2016 was the day that we found out I was pregnant with Brady. One year and one day ago.
I might not have burned that date into my mind, but I do have a lot of memories of that day. I remember driving home from work, noting that I was out of pregnancy tests and deciding to stop and get some. Tomorrow would be the day that I could take a test after the two-week wait. After the first couple of months of just winging it, we’d gotten strategic this month. The pressure was on.
I am grateful for my life, and sad that my son isn’t here. Those two things are not mutually exclusive feelings, and while that might not sound earth-shattering, it has taken several months for me to come to this realization.
Recently, I read an article about a young, healthy woman, Lauren Bloomstein, (a NICU nurse, actually) who died from HELLP Syndrome. (It’s long, but you can read it here if you want). While I had a very short amount of time to accept my diagnosis, I’ve always understood the gravity of HELLP Syndrome, and how sick I was in the hours before I delivered Brady. However, it’s taken me several months to come to terms with the fact that the decision to deliver wasn’t a decision of my life or Brady’s, it was a decision that was best for both of us. HELLP is not a slow killer, and had I not been under the care of competent doctors, I truly believe I wouldn’t have made it long.
It dawned on me last night, as I listened to a friend talk about how they chose their baby’s name on a podcast, that I hadn’t shared how we came up with Brady John’s name. I even looked back at my earlier blog posts to make sure. There’s a brief mention of why we chose John, but otherwise, nothing. Like most stories, there are two sides. In this case, I’ll share mine and my husband’s.
On Saturday, April 29th, we got to walk in the March for Babies to support the March of Dimes. My little sister, Christina, had text me a few weeks after Brady passed away, and asked if I would want to do the walk and raise money in honor of Brady this year. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and a way that we could continue to honor Brady’s memory year after year.
With everything that happened with my pregnancy with Brady, we had a lot of questions about what future pregnancies would look like, and whether we would be willing to take on the risks associated with any future pregnancies. We had always been hopeful we could find a way to reduce our risks and still be able to have children in the future. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make more babies with this stud?
Brady’s second week of life is a bit harder to write about. While his first week was full of ups, his second week was much more of a roller coaster. Then, of course, there is the fact that Brady’s second week of life does not have a happy ending.
This is the point in the story that I have to start looking back at journals to make sure I get all the details right. I thought my life was crazy leading up to Brady’s arrival, but it pales in comparison to how hectic NICU life is.
Sunday started out like any other day, well, besides being on day 4 of our hospitalization. Due to my sassiness the night before, and my hesitation at staying longer in the hospital, Dr. Pates had requested that Dr. Wagner round with me first that morning. Jeff had to leave early that morning to deal with our cable hookup at the new place (#priorities) so my mom had come by to hang out with me.
When we last met up, I talked about heading to the hospital for monitoring since the flow to Brady wasn’t looking good all the time. We’re going to call our little man “Brady” from here on out. In the last week or so of my pregnancy, Jeff and I had started calling him Brady, since we knew that’s what we wanted to name him. Friends had cautioned me against this, just in case he didn’t come out looking like the name. What can I say? I don’t like following the rules! Continue reading “Brady John: Two Days of Monitoring, and Then I’m Out, Right?”