The panic started on Monday evening. I went into labor with Naya around 10pm on July 23 and I tried to force myself to go to bed before then so I would be asleep when that time hit. I took two Tylenol PM (don't worry - they are doctor sanctioned), took a bath and went to bed. I didn't fall asleep though. I sat there and pictured myself feeling those contractions that I felt a year ago. I pictured my water breaking like it did as I laid in the same spot and how excited Dan and I were. I remembered how my contractions started picking up soon after and Dan rushing to get our stuff together and dropping Ty and the dog over at a neighbor's house. I could feel those contractions I was having as he raced to the hospital and lied to me about how close together they were coming. And I cried. I cried because at that point a year ago, I was so excited for the change that was about to happen. And I was so incredibly naive.
The Tylenol finally kicked in and I fell asleep. At exactly midnight, our puppy Buena decided to wake us up even though she has been sleeping soundly through the night for weeks now. I didn't know what to think but they do say that dogs are more observant than humans. Maybe she was here and Buena sensed it - I would love to believe that and I am going to choose to at this point.
We got Buena back to sleep and I eventually fell asleep again with every intention of sleeping in and not waking up until late morning. But my inner-alarm clock woke me up at 6:30. I gave birth to Naya at 7:10am. At 6:30, one year ago, I was getting ready to start pushing. Dan woke up to me shaking and sobbing and we held each other and cried. At around 7, we went outside and sat by our hummingbird garden, holding each other and crying as we waited for her birth minute to pass while two hummingbirds started their early morning feeds.
The rest of the morning passed by quickly as we looked at pictures and video of her and cried. We went and picked up a floral arrangement, balloons and cupcakes and brought them to her grave. We sent cupcakes to the NICCU at CHLA. We also decided to make our contribution to the name gallery by visiting four area beaches and taking a picture of a letter at each one. (This not only made for some beautiful photos and family time but also helped kill time.) Here's what we came up with:
|Sand - Pismo Beach, CA|
|Seawood - Avila Beach, CA|
|Rocks - Montana de Oro - Los Osos, CA|
|Drift wood - Cayucus, CA|
We got home and were pretty exhausted so we rested with the dogs for a bit, ate dinner and took Chinese Wish Lanterns out to Oceano State Beach to launch. Unfortunately, there was a slight wind so we weren't able to get them to fly but a friend of mine (another grieving mother) went out around the same time at a different beach and also launched one for Naya and her son.
All in all, it was a hard day. I cried. A lot. And I missed my baby and ached for her, more so than I have done in awhile. But I feel like we celebrated her and gave her a birthday that she deserved. We had so many people reach out to us yesterday and remember our daughter and told us how she changed their lives. I am so proud to be her mother and so thankful for all of the wonderful people in our lives that helped make her birthday special and helped us get through it. I don't think I can write anymore through my tears right now, so I am going to leave it at that. Thank you, everyone, for your love and support.
Here's a link to the name gallery again - I am in shock and awe at all of the amazing submissions. Incredible.