My previous blog of finding joy in every moment lived comes from some wishful thinking this past week. I was pregnant until Tuesday, June 23, 2009 when I delivered my baby girl prematurely at 20 weeks gestational age. She lived for 43 minutes before making her way back to heaven.
I have thought about the reasons for this whole ordeal a lot in the past few days. I am the mother of 2 boys ages 4 and 6. About 2 years ago, a bunch of my girlfriends and I were out to dinner. The drinks were flowing and we were having a wonderful time. I was asked at that moment if I was going to have any more kids and my slightly-sauced state answered with extreme conviction “no – I am extremely content with my family”.
And that’s when the overwhelming signs from the Universe to have a third child began. That night I dreamt of having a baby girl all night long. A few days later the name “Isabella” popped into my head. I got a spiritual magazine in the mail called Isabella. I opened a Pottery Barn Kids magazine where a picture frame caught my attention; the name engraved below was Isabella of course. At Staples one day a little girl runs into the aisle and looks right at me. She was probably no more than 4 years old and stood less than 10 feet away. While wondering where her parents were; I hear her mother calling for her - should I tell you or can you guess what her name was. The signs were relentless.
Anyway, these messages from the Universe kept coming at me for 6 months before I broke down and took the “plunge” and tried to go for it again. My feelings ranged from terrified to somewhat excited. Well after trying one time, I got pregnant. Immediately I knew that something was wrong; I just knew I was going to miscarry. Sure enough I miscarried at 9 weeks. I told myself that it was ok and that we’ll just go for it again and it’ll all be ok. After getting over my anemia and fatigue we tried again 2 months later this time to miscarry at 15 weeks. We actually were going in for a routine ultrasound only to find no heartbeat so a scheduled D&C took place for the following morning. I thought at this point that there’s no way I’m ever going to try again but the feeling of having that baby had its grip on me and wasn’t going to let me go. So I decided to go about it the spiritual way. I read books, I journaled, I meditated, I logged my dreams, I sorted through my feelings, I did Psych-K, I went through EFT, I got acupuncture … I did it all or so I thought. The end result was go for it again! This time it’ll work. The reason all the other times didn’t work is because of my hang-ups of having another baby. I thought I had worked through them.
Well, apparently I didn’t work through them. Anything that could’ve gone wrong in this last pregnancy did. I had a 1 in 200 chance of getting placenta previa but I got it. I had a 1 in 100 chance of getting placenta abruption but I got it. Through all this, the baby was strong and growing magnificently. I was put on bed rest and pretty much stayed on it for about 9 weeks. It was tough but I found things to do; I uploaded music, I created this blog, I created a Facebook fanpage … I am not one to sit around a feel sorry for myself.
Then the unthinkable happened. I went into labor and delivered Isabella Marie Salfi on June 23, 2009. She was perfect in every way. I have gone through too many emotions to go through them in this blog. The biggest question that comes to my mind is “did I misread the signs?” and “what in the world did I just go through and for what?”
I may never get the answer to these questions but I do know that Isabella has given me a few gifts so far:
- I almost lost my life on June 23 so I feel like I’ve been given another chance at life. I feel that the page has been turned and the pen is in my hands to write the story the way I want it to be for the rest of my life.
- I feel that I have had an opportunity to realize that joy is in every moment of my life if I choose for it to be there.
- I feel that my husband and I have been given the opportunity to remember how much we love each other and to keep our eye on the important things.
- I feel that I won’t procrastinate until tomorrow what I can do today.
- I learned that I’ll never tell someone that they “should” do anything ever again. What an extreme word to use; I feel it’s loaded with a lot of disappointment.
- I learned that I won’t try to tell someone how to grieve; it’s different for every individual and it can never be wrong.
- I'm looking forward to discovering more as time goes by.
My heart goes out to every mother who has lost a child. I will love my Isabella forever.