Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Callie Elizabeth

This is the second post in a series about the six babies we lost to miscarriage. We made the decision earlier this year to give each of them names as a special way of remembering them. You can follow this link to read about our first baby, Emily Grace. I hate that it's been so long between posts, but this week's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness/Remembrance Day brought all of these memories back up for me again. Thanks for reading.

After my first miscarriage in July of 2002 I was in shock. It rocked my world and I wasn't sure how to continue. I was so hurt and I wanted to grieve, yet I wanted to quickly move forward at the same time. Never before had I actually wanted to be a statistic -- I was desperate to be one of those people everyone kept telling me about when they said that miscarriage was very common and that it would all work out fine. Everyone had a story about someone they knew whose first pregnancy ended in miscarriage before they went on to have a healthy pregnancy right after. All I could do was hope that might also be me.

My sister, who had been due with her second child a month before my first, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on December 3, 2002. I was thrilled to be in the delivery room when he entered the world. Being an aunt is such an incredible joy to me, and I was nothing but happy on that day. It was only later, after a family member pointed out that it must have been hard for me after losing my baby, that I let myself grieve my loss again. It had been an experience I was eager to share with my sister, but I felt hopeful that soon my time would come. Instead of making it more painful, loving on my brand new nephew was like a balm for my aching heart.

My unfulfilled due date passed in late January of 2003, closely followed by the suspicion that I might be pregnant again. There was indeed a positive pregnancy test on February 10, 2003. We were nervous but excited, certainly hoping we would be meeting our sweet baby around our due date of October 10, 2003. While the first loss had made me skittish and overly cautious, I had no reason to think we would have the same problem twice.

There aren't many details recorded in my journal about this pregnancy or the next one. After our first baby died in my womb, I put some of the things we bought for him or her, along with the pregnancy journal, up in the closet of what would have been the nursery in our new house. I didn't want to forget her short yet meaningful life, but the memory of her was so fresh and so raw. I couldn't let myself feel it completely just yet, so I saved it all up and busied myself with other things while hoping I would soon be holding a sweet bundle of my own.

My memory is fuzzy, but I know that the second pregnancy progressed almost exactly as the first one had. I'm beginning to recall how nervous I felt about going back to the doctor, even to confirm the pregnancy. I knew I was pregnant, but I'd fooled myself into thinking that I could keep potentially bad news away by simply avoiding it. Besides, I was just sure it wouldn't happen to me again. No news was good news to me, I thought, and I continued to hope and pray that sweet baby into existence. That sounds completely ridiculous to me now (not the hoping and praying, but the avoiding of information) but it was my funny way of dealing with it at that time in my life, I guess. I finally did go for the exam and the blood work, and a week later found out that all the numbers looked good. (Hooray!)

My joy lasted only about a week before the awful news came. We went for an ultrasound on March 25 and were again crushed to find out that the baby was no longer living and growing. Again, at 11 weeks gestation, we found out in that little room (with a little experience under our belts -- we knew what that silent, empty screen was saying this time) that I would miscarry for the second time. All my hopes again came crashing down. How could this have happened in such a similar way? Was there something wrong with me? This time, on top of my grief was a growing sense of fear.

After the physical pain of my first miscarriage, I decided to schedule a D&C. I'm still very glad for that decision, as I know I wasn't ready to face that trauma again so soon. The blood work showed that my HCG was falling. Even though I know she was already gone, I remember my sweet baby on the day she left my body, on Friday, March 28, 2003. Again, I don't know for sure that our second baby was a girl, but I know that we had envisioned ourselves with a couple of daughters in the early years when we would innocently allow ourselves to dream and plan for the future -- a future where we never imagined losing our first two children to miscarriage.

In those young married years, we had two favorite girl names always tucked away that were special to us: Emily Rae and Anna Elizabeth. I think it's special that our two daughters here on earth still carry one of those names each (Lily Rae and Anna Evangeline). We chose the name Emily Grace for our first baby in heaven.

Our second baby we've named Callie Elizabeth.

Callie is not a name I've always known. It's totally new to me. I don't personally know anyone by that name but it's funny how, much like how you suddenly begin hearing a word that is new to your vocabulary, I'm hearing it everywhere lately. I chose it as a tribute to two special women in our lives -- my sister and my husband's sister, and two of the best aunts our children could have ever asked for. It is a combination of my sister's name (Connie) and my sister-in-law's name (Allison - nicknamed Allie). Callie. I think it's adorable. And her middle name, Elizabeth, is the only one left that we haven't used from our original favorite girl names, and it's a name we've always loved.

The name Callie means "Beautiful" and the name Elizabeth means "God is my oath."

Callie Elizabeth,
Our beautiful girl, we miss you and we love you so much. Your daddy and I had so many hopes and dreams for you. We wish more than anything that we could have held you here, but we know we will have that chance one day in heaven. Oh, how special it will be when we finally see your face along with Jesus, who loves you even more than we ever could dream!
Love, Mommy


Hope in Virginia said...

Thanks for another post. I've been looking forward to it. I really hope that this process gives you peace and comfort. Sweet Callie!

twondra said...

So precious. Thanks for sharing your story and letting us ride it with you a bit. Love you

I Believe in Miracles said...

Love this. Beautiful.

Jenn said...


Connie said...

Oh, my sweet Callie... I love you and cannot wait to hold you and cuddle you! XOXO

Shannon said...

I love these sweet posts - so beautiful to remember and honor your babies in this way.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing Callie Elizabeth with us. Remembering her with you with love. xoxo