Thursday, December 5, 2013

12 Days of Christmas: Day Five

Written by Lacy Gullage

We found out at 18 weeks into our first pregnancy that our baby had kidney problems that were going to be fatal. She had only one kidney and it was multicystic and did not function at all. I had hardly any amniotic fluid and her lungs could not develop as a result of that. They could not even tell us that she was a girl because the lack of fluid made it hard for them to see on the ultrasound.

We refused to terminate and carried her to term. I went into labor at 37 weeks and she was born on July 6, 2012. I had to have a C-section since she was breech and the doctor could not turn her due to the lack of fluid. After she was born, she was in better condition than expected, so the doctors advised us to send her to a hospital with a NICU. The doctors still couldn't save her, and she died after sixteen hours. It was agonizing to have to consent to take her off of the ventilator, but it was heartbreaking to think of her suffering by having to stay on it.

Last year I coped with Christmas by not putting up our Christmas tree and usual decorations. I did put up a wreath and a few other things, but that was all. We also (my husband and I) decided to take a cruise to the Bahamas during the week of Christmas, so we were actually on Cabbage Beach on Christmas Day. That is the only way we made it through Christmas last year and I knew we would not be able to stand going to the Christmas Eve service and doing anything we usually do to celebrate, including getting together with family.

I would suggest taking a trip somewhere during Christmas or just doing something that you do not usually do during the holidays. The trip does not have to be expensive or elaborate, but it takes you away from the most painful reminders.

Last year I was also unable to be around young children at Christmastime, and that included my three year old nephew even though I love him dearly. It just hurt too much and I had to protect myself. Make sure you protect yourself first and foremost. It is okay to be selfish in this situation--it is hell, and however you have to get through it is okay. My husband and I also did not go to a get together for his extended family since so many of his cousins had babies last year and some of them were only a month younger than Lily. Again, protect yourself.

Last year we bought a Christmas tree ornament in the Bahamas that reminded us of Lily, and this year I got another one that made me think of her. I will continue to do this each year. I also bought a stocking to match the one for her younger sister (the names are on both of them) and we will hang it with the others every year from now on. We will also make a contribution to a charity in her name and we plan to do that every year as well.
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from All That Love Can Do:
A great way to give back in your baby's memory is through random acts of kindness. You, your family and your friends can do something special for another person and let them know it was done in your baby's memory.

{If this is your first Christmas without your baby, don't worry one bit about doing this yourself. Your only job is to protect and heal your heart. Ask family and friends to do this in your baby's memory. As they do so, they can text or email you their stories.}

Use these FREE printables to spread kindness this holiday season. 

1. Click on the image to open the link,
2. Right click to save it to your computer, 
3. Open the document and print them out,
4. Cut into individual cards, 
5. Fill in your baby's name. 

Then let the acts of kindness begin!


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