Thursday, March 28, 2013

Our Surprise Gift

James and I just downloaded the forms required by the Vital Records Unit in Raleigh, NC to receive our Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.  We have our Certificate of Fetal Death mailed to us back in 1975.  I was so hurt to read back then, that our son was called a fetus instead of the baby he was.  He was a full term baby weighing 7lbs 14oz and was 21 inches long.  He had a head full of brown hair.  Every inch of him was beautiful.  None of us could help it if his cord decided to tighten into a double knot as he moved down into the birth canal.  He was hours from making it home free into our wanting arms.  He never made it into our arms because he was whisked away to somewhere in the hospital to be alone, without his parents to hold him and kiss him and take pictures, foot molds and hand molds.  We had no idea to ask for these things.  I was in that hospital from Tuesday - Saturday morning and not one nurse or doctor ever suggested we might want to have these moments, minutes, hours with our son.  We were broken into a million tiny pieces of heaviness and hurt.  We didn't have a tear drop posted over our door.  We had to explain our situation to each nurse that walked in thinking we were experiencing a blessed event.  I saw my son for less than 3 minutes in the delivery room, never being able to touch him.  James saw him with his parents in a hallway outside of delivery for just minutes, possibly longer than me.  Our son's image is forever burned into my soul and eyes.  We did share time with him at the funeral home, but again we were rushed.  I will never forget how beautiful he was is his blue outfit with the white kite on it and his white babies booties.  He simply looked liked he was sleeping.  I was so proud that he was so beautiful. 

Then the letter arrived at our home.  The one from the Vital Records Unit informing me that I had a fetus.  Certificate of Fetal Death.  It came to our attention recently that in 2005 the laws in North Carolina had changed.  Babies in North Carolina that are stillborn can now be recognized as a real birth!  It was a real birth!  But legally my son is now just not a statistic!  He will receive a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

Tomorrow we are going to Raleigh to spend the Easter Weekend with our son, his wife, and our glorious three grandchildren.  Before arriving at the home, we will go to downtown Raleigh and visit the Human Resources Office and the Vital Records Department to present our original Fetal Death Certificate which will allow us to get tomorrow, our long awaited Certificate of Birth for our son, James Collins Fitts, Jr.  I hope I have the courage not to cry when I finally see it in print!

Our daughter, Reita Gale, will not be getting one of these certificates.  It grieves my heart so.  She was the baby we got to hold and spend time with while still in the hospital.  She was born before the so called "cut off date."  Back when she was born in 1982 we still called how far along we were in months instead of weeks.  She was a fully formed beautiful daughter, weighing at 1lb 4 oz.  Even though she was stillborn, she was before the 24th week.  I do believe in years to come, she too, will be recognized with her certificate.  For now, we wait until her turn.

Thank you North Carolina for changing the laws!  What a wonderful surprise gift for us!

Easter!  A time of rebirth!  A time because of Jesus Christ, the sting of death is gone!  Through Him, our King of Kings, our babies live on in His Kingdom!

Glory be to the Father, Glory be to the Son, Glory be to the Holy Spirit!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Easter Is My Joy!

Easter is a happy time for me.  It is a time of triumph and thankfulness.  It is a time to thank God and Jesus.  It is the greatest of all Christian celebrations in my heart.

I remember so vividly the Easter of 1975.  That Easter I was pregnant with my firstborn son, James Collins, Jr.  It was a glorious Easter Sunday!  The entire Fitts family was seated in the old sanctuary of Rosemary Baptist Church.  While seated my mind wandered to my younger years while I was still at home with my parents, brother and sisters.  Mama would get a kick out of dressing all of her herd of children  up for Easter, corsages included, and sitting in the First Christian Church where we all grew up. Tears filled my eyes as I could picture them in church, probably singing the same hymns I would be singing.  I missed that.  I knew we were all in a church somewhere celebrating Easter!  Next Easter I would join them with my one year old!

  My mind returned to everyone rising to sing the opening song.  While we were standing singing ,Christ The Lord Is Risen Today, my hymnal was resting on my belly.  James Collins, Jr would kick it.  While it hurt, it was also a great feeling too!   I was wearing a big yellow dress my MIL made for me just for Easter.  I was so big and felt like an Easter egg myself!  I did have that glow!   This was the season of life and I would join in by giving birth soon.  How could it get any better?

It didn't.  The last week in  April my baby stopped moving.  The doctor could not get a heartbeat.  I delivered my most precious first baby, my son as a stillbirth on May 2.  The world  I had known would change forever.  Grief immediately aged me beyond my 24 years.  My mind returned to Easter.  This time, I saw Easter in a completely different light.

God watched from Heaven as His only Son suffered after riding into Jerusalem.  God knew what was about to happen as did Jesus, yet the plan continued on.  Why?  For you and me, sinners.  Jesus going through the crucifixion was the only way for sinners to gain mercy and grace and forgiveness for our sins.  Jesus knew of the suffering He had to go through for us.  He also knew it was the only way.  In Matthew 26:39 we read: ...he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will."  The cup is is a symbol of deep sorrow and suffering. Here is refers to his Father's face being turned away from him when he who had no sin was made a sin offering for us.

I thought if God had to suffer as His son was crucified, who was I to ask to be spared grief over my son?  Also, if Jesus suffered through the crucifixion so that I, a sinner could be saved, who was I to think I was any better to be spared pain?  There is no pain we can ever suffer to compare to the pain and agony Jesus suffered for us!  Let me assure you that the pain of losing your child is hurt beyond hurt.  It is a deep gut wrenching hurt that comes from down within your very being.  It hurts so much that you wish you were dead to stop the pain.  Yet, Jesus suffered so much worse!  Thank you my sweet Lord, King of Kings for doing this for all of us!  We can never thank you enough!

Oh sweet victory!  Matthew 28:6  He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.
Jesus had over come death's grip.  Death no longer had a grip on  Christians who believe.  I believe!
My sweet baby son was swept up by God from my womb as pure a snow and went directly to Heaven where he was held by my sweet Jesus.  Death had no grip on my son, thanks be to the resurrection of Christ.  How thankful I am!  My sweet son is safe!

The night before I went to the hospital to give birth to James Collins, Jr. all I could picture in my mind was Jesus with the little children surrounding Him.  I thought to myself in tears, if Jesus loves the little children, then he will spare mine most surely! 

Matthew 19:14  Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.

Such as Jesus asked his Father to take this cup from him, I also prayed for my child to be spared so that I could be spared the grief that never ever leaves a parent.  You live with it and continue your life, but when you least expect it, grief catches you off guard.  God did spare my child from the sufferings of this sinful world.  I am honored to have carried not just one angel, but two as my only daughter, Reita Gale, died in my womb, also going straight from her mother's womb to Heaven.  She was pure and free from sin as she entered Heaven's gates for Jesus to take her in His loving arms on May 31, 1982.  Again, I was not spared grief.  I won't begin to say I don't miss my babies every day. I am so hungry to see them and feel them, hold them, cover them with kisses! Patience I have learned as it has been 38 years ago I lost my first son.  I am getting closer to seeing my babies again.  I know I will have them waiting for me when it is my turn to be called to Heaven.  Jesus will be with them!  What a great time to look forward to!

Thanks be to God for His Son Jesus Christ, the King of Kings!  Thank you for the real Easter!

If you are reading this and have not made your profession of faith to Christ Jesus, I invite you to do so right now, this very minute.    Make a decision to receive Christ as your Savior.  How?  By confessing  to God that you are a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross and was raised from the dead for your sins.  Then say that you now receive and confess Him as your personal Savior.

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

May God bless you and keep you!

                                                               HAPPY EASTER!


My precious babies, God has shown you only the love and joys of Heaven where you are safe and have joy!  Praise be to God!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

These Are Just Beautiful!

Alanna Phoebe's Clay Names over at did these names for me.  I just love it!  Thank you so much to baby Alanna's mom who does these for baby angels in remembrance of her precious angel.



                                     These photos just make my heart sing with gratitude!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why We didn't Have Our Last Baby

James and I always wanted three children running around the house.  We talked about it many times after we were engaged.  When we both had graduated from college and our careers established, we knew it was time to start our family.  We knew we would have our three children.  I would give up teaching to become a housewife and mother.  All of our planning and hard work was going to pay off.  We were ready to begin our family.

So, if you have been keeping up with my blog, you know by now that our plans fell apart.  Right away we joined the "infertile" club.  After dealing with that and starting the adoption process, we joined the pregnancy club.  Then the devastating blow of the "babyloss club."  James Collins Fitts, Jr was stillborn at full term May 2, 1975 due to a double knot in his cord.  He was such a beautiful baby at 7lbs 14 oz.  We were not allowed to touch him until the funeral home had  prepared him for burial.  We joined the never ending grief world.  March 22, 1977, we joined the "Rainbow Baby club."  In fact, our rainbow baby will be 36 years old next week.  It blows my mind how quickly he grew up.  August 27th, 1980 we had our 2nd rainbow baby.  Then in February of 1982 I miscarried not knowing I was carrying twins.  I had an early miscarriage of just one of the twins.  My pregnancy continued on.  I was due in October, but our only daughter, Reita Gale Fitts, was stillborn On May 31st, 1982 due to a twisted cord.  She was a doll baby perfectly and wonderfully made weighing in at only 1 lb and 4 oz.  We were allowed to hold her and have her in my hospital room.  We marveled over her and then we buried her.

We started out pregnant when I was 24 in 1974 and through 1982 we have had two live births, 2 stillbirths and 1 miscarriage.  We loved our boys so much and probably spoiled them growing up way too much....nah.  But we still kept our dream alive of having 3 children running around the house, so we kept on trying for that 3rd live birth.  I was 32 by now.  We tried.  We each saw the doctor.  Why wasn't I getting pregnant again?  I had always suffered from endometriosis which is why I was diagnosed infertile in the first place.  It was playing with my body again is all that I could reason was the problem.  Then I remembered the doctor changing his mind about giving me the D&C when all of the placenta didn't release after Reita Gale's birth.  I had always known I should have had that operation!  Nothing had been right with my body since!  I suggested this to my doctor.  He just blew it off.  My youngest was now 5 years old.  It was now or never for me to conceive again.  My body had gone wild being off schedule.  It had never been like this in my life, ever!

Then the doctor strongly advised me to have the BIG "O."  It was May 1986.....notice the month of May coming up once more???  I needed to have a hysterectomy.  May was when my first child had been born.  May was when my last baby was born.  Now, May would be the month when all hopes of ever having another child would be buried. 

The month of May is when life blooms in nature.  The world is so beautiful with life.  May had always taken life from me.  I had no idea that years later May would come to life for me again with the birth of my first granddaughter!  May 25, 2005!  Celebrating life in May once more!  Wouldn't you know, my first grandchild was a beautiful granddaughter! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Why Do You Have To Be So Mean?

I saw the movie, Safe Haven, over the weekend.  The girl is trying to escape from abusive behavior her husband inflicts on her.  She runs for her life and sanity with the help of a friend.  She finds her safe haven in a small town far away.  She finds friends and comfort there.  She smiles again and even laughs.  However, she never forgets her abusive situation.  She knows he will find her at any given time.  He does.  With the help of her new network of caring friends she wins.  She faces her husband with bravery as she stands up firmly to him and tells him to go away.  She will not accept his abusiveness anymore.  He doesn't listen and tries to kill her, but he ends up dead.  She is free of him at last.  Life for her continues and thrives in the small town she found.  Her Safe Haven.

Over the past week and a half, I have read many of your blogs, FB comments, and tweets.  I discovered that you were going through tough times with people making unthoughtful comments to you while you were out and about.  Gosh, I could not believe what some people said without thinking first! Some of you got some pretty mean comments from complete strangers!   Then there were others who spoke deliberately.  I had the same thing happen to me during this time.  I kept quiet.  I was processing what had been said to me and comparing it to what you yourselves were coping with.  I was asked to stop talking about my two babies who were stillborn, my balloon project (which I love) and how much I enjoy being able to have people in my babyloss friends to turn to.  It made this person uncomfortable.   They didn't understand baby loss or babyloss groups.  In fact, I was told I was obsessed.  I folded.  I told the person I would never speak of my babies to them again.  You can take it to the bank that I won't either!  At first, I was embarrassed by their comment.  I felt like a fool.  I didn't even tell my husband about it.  After I had cooled off, I told him several days later.  Wow!  He was livid!  I had to keep him from calling this person up. 

So what does this have to do with Nicholas Sparks' movie, Safe Haven?  Everything!  I am going to stay in my safe haven of babyloss moms on twitter,email, blogworld, and facebook.  I am going to keep surrounding myself with people who understand and care.  That is YOU my babyloss friends!  Of course my husband has been absolutely supportive of me, my blog here, and my new blog about my angel baby birthday balloons & releases.  He is so involved and helps me with beach releases.
 This is not an obsession!  This is giving back and helping a mother and father on a difficult day of their lives....remembering their child's birthday in Heaven when they had rather be giving their child a birthday party here!  Once more, it is having someone else remembering your baby with you!  Writing their names in different ways and sending it to you.  It is people making donations for other parents to have knowledge and the items they need when it suddenly and unexpectly happens to them.  We have each other to turn to when we are emotionally and mentally abused by others who say they don't understand.  What is there not  to understand?  We feel just like any other parent.  We have milestones we just have to dream about!  Don't even bother to ask us to forget something so tragic as losing a baby!  I am living proof that come May 2nd it will have been 38 years of living without my firstborn perfect son.  I think of my son every single day.  Also, come May 31st it will have been 31 years of missing my precious daughter.  Who are YOU to tell me not to speak of them?  They are my children!  Just hope & pray that at a second's notice you don't lose your child or grandchild.  Would you not want to speak of them?  Oh, I am just preaching to the choir.  Stay in your uneducated, unfeeling, non-understanding world and never have compassion for a baby that died too soon and its mourning parents.  Done with you already!  I choose to stay with my friends who know about loss and compassion!  We know about giving to others because it means so much to us to receive from each other.  Just a cyber (((hug))) means so much and can make our day.  God made us special mothers who can (albeit painful) know that our baby is with Him.  We do have that one comfort.  The cost is grief. 

Grief....we learn to live with it, but it is always lurking around the corner to beat us down.  It gets to us, but we pick the pieces up and keep going by the grace of God and the blessing of babyloss support groups always waiting to help us on the internet if you aren't lucky enough to have one in your area. 

But those people who are our friends and family that scatter when they see us b/c they think we might say our baby's name....why can't you spare a few minutes to lift someone else up since you have so many hours and days and months and years to spend with your children?

You, with your words like knives and swords........why do you have to be so mean?

Credit given to:
Safe Haven: book by Nicholas Sparks
Last sentence & title by:  Taylor Swift's song, Mean.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fittsie's Angel Birthday Balloons: March Balloon R...

Fittsie's Angel Birthday Balloons: Fittsie's Angel Birthday Balloons: March Balloon R...:
 March Balloon Request List :

March 6th:  Aiden
March 9th:  Janessa
March 10th:  Tossie's 1/2 Year Birthday
March 11th:  Jamie    (due date)
March 16th:  Lily Katherine
March  20th:  Kaylea
March 23rd:   Finley

If you want your Baby Angel's name added just contact me!

Days & Years After Reita Gale's Funeral

The days following Reita Gale's funeral were dreadful.  I missed my baby girl so much.  I had to try to carry on some kind of normal life for my rainbow sons.  They loved all of the flowers that came to us from our friends.  Invitations came for them to go play with their friends so I could have some time for my own to reflect.  To keep my sanity, I carried on with household duties and thank you notes to be written.  At least own home wasn't filled with silence as it was after James Collins, Jr died.  I can tell you that from my prespective, having rainbows kept me sane.  It was very different from when it was my firstborn to die.  My household was alive with the sound of children, slamming doors, and running little feet around the house.  It helped so much from keeping me from digging the deepest hole and climbing in it.

The first night after the funeral, I got out of bed and went downstairs with a blanket and pillow.  I went into the dining room and closed off the doors.  I got down on my knees and crawled under the dining room table, dragging my pillow and blanket with me.  I curled up on the hardwood floor and cried until I fell asleep.  I needed to be completely alone with my thoughts of the "what ifs" and the "never will be's".  My beautiful little baby girl gone.  Gone with her were the ponytails and ribbons in her hair, her first doll baby from Santa, painting her toe nails pink, pretty girl dresses, mother and daughter talks.  My life with her was shattered.

The next December, which would have been her "First Christmas" James and I went Santa shopping for our sons in Richmond, VA.  The first aisle we came to were the dolls.  We looked at each other and broke down all to pieces crying as people walked by us.  We just cried until we could get ourselves composed.  We went on with our shopping, but never of us has ever forgotten that Christmas shopping day in 1982.

As the years passed us by, we saw girls that would be her age.  We couldn't help but wonder what she would be like.  We often took our sons with us to visit the grave sites of their brother and sister.  They never really understood what it meant to us.  Only James and I talked of her.  Her name was never mentioned to us by anyone else.  It was as though she never existed.  The same was for her brother.  We always remembered them in our church at Easter with an Easter Lily and at Christmas with a Poinsettia.  We remembered both of our children to each other often.

My sweet precious baby daughter.  You would be 30 years old today, almost 31.  I have missed your proms, graduations, first boyfriends, your wedding, and possible grandchildren.  I didn't get the chance to teach you to cook, go on shopping sprees, or learn make-up tricks.  What I didn't miss, my sweet child, were your kicks in my womb, listening to your heartbeat, and planning your funeral.  The rest we will just have to catch up on in Heaven.

Until then, just keep sending me butterfly kisses.  I will blow sweet kisses your way.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reita Gale's Funeral & I Was There This Time

June 3, 1982 we buried our only daughter, Reita Gale.  Unlike her brother's funeral, 7 years earlier, James and I planned this funeral to the tiniest detail ourselves.  I not only planned this funeral, but I also went to this baby angel's burial, which I had been denied of her angels brother's.  (see my earlier post about "They Left Without Me".

James and I decided to make this a small funeral with just us attending and our two rainbow sons which were 5 and 1 1/2 years old now.  It was just the four of us.  We buried Reita Gale beside her brother, James Collins, Jr.  Our wonderful minister and associate minister gave the graveside service.
It was an 11:00 service.

The funeral home sent a car to pick us up at our home to drive us to the cemetery just before 11:00.
When we arrived, we were escorted to our seats.  Our rainbow sons behaved perfectly.  James held me close as we both cried a certain parts of the service.  I just stared at her white tiny coffin covered with baby pink roses.  I knew it was just her body inside and her pure spirit had been released to God already.  She went to Him perfect, never knowing of earthly sin.  God had already prepared a place for her and I feel sure it was with Him and her Jesus.  I am sure her perfectly made pure spirited brother was waiting to greet her also.  What did God have in store for her in Heaven?  Was it to help her brother to greet the other new angel babies that would be following along?  One thing I did know for absolutely sure; they were both safe with their God and Lord Jesus Christ.  All of these thoughts were fleeting through my mind in bits and pieces during the service.  Then, we prayed the Lord's Prayer and it was over.  The funeral car drove us back home.  I wanted to linger longer, but "they" were standing in the background to lower her into the ground and cover her with dirt.  Before leaving, each of us put a pink rose to be buried with her.

We went home to an empty house and ate some lunch.  Several friends had brought over food so we had plenty to eat.  Next, we went right back to the cemetery to take pictures while the boys were still dressed up.  We let them play around and showed them their brother's grave all dressed up for the occasion.  We tried to explain to our rainbow sons what was going on.  They seemed to understand some of it as much as they could at their age.  How could they understand when we could hardly grasp it all in.  The only thing I knew is that I had a daughter that could not come home and live with us.  Understand it?  No, I didn't understand why she had to die.  No one has ever mentioned her since that day.  Our parents never inquired about a funeral for her or have mentioned her to us.
                                                          Pictures of that day:

                                         The blue lamb is over James Collin's grave.  The white lamb with the pink ribbon is over Reita Gale's grave.  Such a small little grave.

                              Our rainbow sons, Collins and Taylor at their sister's funeral.  I don't know how I would have managed without them. 

                                          Reita Gale's gravesite
                             This was taken after her foot stone had been laid
                                         Both of my babies' foot stones as their graves are side by side

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reita Gale's Story: Part II Her Stillbirth

The morning dawned on May 31, 1982.  My heart was so full of agony, sadness, and just plain heavy with hurt.  I would give birth to my baby today and she would be stillborn.  How well I knew that feeling.  May 2, 1975 I gave birth to my firstborn son, also a stillbirth.  Now, here I am again, in the same hospital going through it again. My mind wasn't comprehending  how this could happen to me twice!  It wasn't fair!  I was tired of "making lemonade out of lemons!"  Enough already!  Oh please, not that raw pain again that just engulfs your entire being!  But there was no way of escaping.

Dr. A came into my room to explain that this would be a difficult labor and birth.  Since my baby's heart had stopped beating at between 4 to 5 months along, he said most times these babies don't want to let go.  Thus the mother's body has to work more intensely to deliver.  Well, this scared me!  My other deliveries had been no picnic.  I prepared myself mentally, phsically and spiritually for what was about to happen.  I just concentrated on Jesus nailed to the cross to bear my pain for me. I knew I could not get through this without Jesus with me.  The nurse came in with the pills for me to take.  I swallowed them down with hard gulps.  These were the pills that would rip my baby from my body.  I felt my belly and its roundness.  I felt my baby inside me trying to memorize the feeling.  I knew my time with her was precious and few.  Labor began shortly. The pains came sharp, but I just kept the image of Jesus in my mind as my pain reliever.  I just couldn't believe I was going through this nightmare again!  Giving birth to a dead baby is an extremely horrible experience, but going through it twice was just unthinkable.  My doctor told me after the first stillbirth seven years ago that this would never happen to me again.  I believed him. Don't ever say never!  You just didn't hear about these types of births much at all.  Twice to one mother was just unheard of.  I didn't understand at all why this was happening to me.  The pains came in waves, shaking my very being.  I just kept that image of Christ for me to focus on.  I KNOW it helped with the pain because it never got as bad as the doctor had described to me.  All of a sudden, I felt the urge to push.  This was much sooner than anyone had expected. No!  I don't want her out!  I don't want to push my baby out of me because then she will be gone from me!  I was hurried to the delivery room where my daughter was soon delivered.  I had known the entire time that this child of mine would be a girl!  I had a daughter! We had conceived a daughter after all of this time! She was handed over to me to hold for just a few seconds before it came time for the afterbirth to be delivered.  All of a sudden I felt like all hell had come down on me.  The pain!  The afterbirth wasn't coming!  Without any noticed for me to prepare with a cleansing breath or anything, Dr. A just went in to get it with his hands!  I felt like I was being ripped apart!  I screamed with all of my might and grabbed his arms to pull them out of me.  Once again, my hands were restrained by nurses.   I didn't have time to catch my breath.  He just kept right on pulling.  Suddenly he stopped.  He said he got " most of it" leaving me with a D&C to have the next morning.  Next,  he and the nurses started massaging my belly to try one more time to get it to release.  Oh how that hurt!  Please just stop it!  Do the D&C and leave me alone!  They stopped because it wasn't working.  I was cleaned up and carried back to my room.  James came in.  His mother was there also.   The nicest nurse came in carrying our precious baby girl wrapped in a little blanket.  The nurse put her in my arms as she told me how beautiful our baby was. The nurse told is she weighed 1 lb and 4 oz.   Our daughter was just so tiny, but was perfectly formed and made. We both knew already that her name would be Reita Gale Fitts.  James had given our firstborn son the only gift he could offer, his name.  I gave our only daughter now, the only gift I coud give her, my name, Reita Gale.  She had died from another cord accident.  Right where the cord met her abdomen, it had been pinched tight due to her moving round and round.  I had more umbilical problems than I even knew were possible.  She had ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers perfectly formed.  Everything about her was perfect, except the cord.  Her face was not like James Collins, Jr's though.  He had a peaceful expression when he was born.  Reita Gale did not.  Her face had a very painful expression which saddened us to know end.  She had suffered.  She had known pain.  You could just tell that without a doubt.  Poor baby.  She had suffered, but was no longer in pain.  Her spirit had left already for Heaven.  She was with her brother in God's arms.  She was my 2nd angel baby.  And I cried as I held her.  I wrapped her finger around mine.  It was so tiny.  Her head had fuzz for hair.  Her eyes were shut as James, Jr's had been, but I already knew they were blue.  My two rainbows sons have beautiful blue eyes, so hers had to be also.  Wow, she had three older brothers to look after in Heaven and two on earth.  What a great time she would have had with two older brothers making over her and protecting her here on earth.  That was not to be and that saddened me immensely.  I had always wanted two boys and then a girl, so the boys could take care of her during her high school years.  So many things we were now going to miss. Her first steps. Her first boyfriend.  Her wedding.  Her children.  Spoiling her.  James just wept for his daughter. I did too as my heart was beating heavily with pain.  It is a pain so intense that you can try to describe it, but never do it justice.  My heart was just so heavy and I felt the grief aging me beyond my 31 years.  Who is to say what is fair or not?  I didn't matter.  Fair or not, I was holding my dead baby daughter who was wanted beyond words.  I was trying to take a lifetime with her in with me during the short time we were given with her in my room.  Did I tell you that she had little fingernails and toe nails?  Her nose was so cute.  I kissed her.  We had not thought of bringing a camera to take her picture.  I wanted pictures of me kissing her and her finger wrapped on mine and her daddy's.  Then it was over.  Too quickly the nurse took her away.  She was gone.  I would never see her again. I was numb with grief already.  James left as I was going to rest.  It had been a very hard morning to say the least.  His mother stayed a short while after he left.  I closed my eyes, but could not sleep.  My only daughter had died.  I knew I would grieve for her forever.  As I layed resting the nurse told my MIL she was sorry for the loss of her granddaughter.  My MIL told the nurse that she already had a granddaughter that took up all of her time.  She told the nurse that she really didn't have the time for another one.  My eyes were closed, but I could just imagine the shocked look on the nurses face.  As I layed there quietly, my insides were ripped out once more to hear from her own lips in her own voice that she didn't really have time for my baby girl.  I have never ever been so hurt by that woman.  Did she even understand what she was saying about her own granddaughter?  My daughter had just died and she really didn't care.  She left.  I was left alone in my room to rest.  Right!  How does a mother who has just given birth to her dead child rest?  She doesn't.  She cries her eyes and heart out!

Suddenly I sat up in my bed, reached for the telephone and called the funeral home to plan my own daughter's funeral.  With my son, she planned it and I didn't get to go!  I wasn't going to let that happen again!  This time things were going to be different.  I would not only plan her funeral, but I would also not be left behind!  I planned the date to be June 3, 1982.  This would give me time to have the D&C and still be home to help with everything.  I called James and we discussed the funeral plans I had made thus far.  He promised to do the rest, right down to the flowers I requested.  He agreed with me that no one would attend the graveside services but us and our two sons.  We told no one of the funeral.  He called our church minister and the associate minister to  give the service.  It would be at 11:00 because I love the morning time.  As it turned out, my doctor decided I didn't need the D&C after all.  I questioned this call as I wanted to try again for another pregnancy and I knew the best way to get back on schedule would be to have the D&C.  He wouldn't do it.  So, on June 1, 1982 I left the hospital for the second time with empty aching arms.  I should be holding my daughter all dressed up in pink and white.  It was even harder this time than the first.  I think it was just the sheer disbelief that it was happening again.   The silent ride home was deafening.  How would we explain this to Collins & Taylor?