Journal Entry: July 22, 2007 We have another little girl in the house!

We got a puppy!

She is officially my dog, but I am willing to share her with the family. I've named her Coco in honor of Lil Miss. My dad mentioned that maybe I should change the name, just in case something happens to her, it may be too hard to deal with. But I really enjoy saying that name out loud. It's what I would have called Charlotte.

So Miss Coco is tiny. Just about 7 weeks old and fits in the palm of my hand. She snuggles with me, lets me wrap her in a blanket and even lays on her back so I can hold her like a baby, cradled in the crook of my arm. I know it may sound lame, but I really am enjoying the baby-ness of something small and warm. The other night I was letting her gnaw on my finger...very sharp teeth, by the way... and she began to suckle on my finger. It surprised me because I'd never felt a dog do that, but it was really cute.

Her breeder mom sent her home with us with a receiving blanket and a stuffed giraffe. She cuddles up to the giraffe in her crate at bedtime and lets me swaddle her in the blanket while I sit watching tv. I was able to go into the closet and get out a couple of blankets that were Charlotte's and used those to line the bottom of her pen... Bittersweet.

I am so surprised at how much I love this little dog already. My heartache has lessened tremendously. I wish I would have gotten her (or another dog) about 6 months ago when I really needed it. I haven't had the *almost* obsessive thoughts of Charlotte like I was and I feel like all can be (at least) ok in the world again. I had started to get a bit scared about things latey and since she's been here I guess I'm just more distracted maybe?? But she definitely makes me feel beter. When I say scared, I don't really mean like paranoid, but I could work myself up to feeling like everything was falling apart. All of the sudden I feel happy, without guilt.

On the way home from getting her, I began to cry. Brian asked if my tears were because I was so happy to get a puppy, but they weren't. I was crying because I now had a dog in my hands, rather than a baby in my arms. It was a sad realization of the loss of Charlotte again.

But on a lighter note...she is so darn cute!

Journal Entry: July 2, 2007

Don't know why, but a wave of sadness has enveloped me tonight. Must be because of the silence in the house. God, I miss Charlotte.

I don't even know what to write about, but I guess that writing for me keeps me closer to her. I know that she's gone and I don't believe that her spirit is 'watching over me' or any thing like that, but sometimes I wish I believed otherwise. My comfort has to be soley from Jesus, and I know that. I had wondered why He allows us to go through these trials and tests. Why He allows these thorns. But they are here to keep us drawn close to Him. But they hurt so bad. I know that He is our Great High Priest that completely sympathizes with our pain, but still, I sit here crying for a daughter I'll never know. She knew me and my every emotion. But I didn't know hers. All I knew is that she liked me talking and singing to her ...and shrimp.

I've been thinking a lot about the final few days I had with her, before she died. And after her heart stopped, how quickly those six days passed. There is a woman that contacted me who's daughter was not expected to live and they opted for a C-section at 37 weeks so they could have a chance to see their baby alive. Her story is that the baby was delivered and had multiple problems and passed away four days later. I am so thankful that I did't have a C-section, for selfish reasons..I'm a big 'ol chicken, but now I wonder what it would have been like to get to hold a live baby. Oh how I wanted a baby to bring home!

I'm glad to archive these days online, so I can go back and see where I was in my emotions at a particular time. The only thing that a computer screen doesn't show is the real tear drops on the page. That's good though, this page would be soaked.

So I found some loose pages of journaling that I found while clearing out my books the other day. I'll have to save those entries for another night. I'd probably be up all night reading those pages.

But I suppose I should write down what the geneticist said to me before too much time passes. She called the day of Charlotte's burial and said that the lab would be able to salvage enough of the placenta to do a partial panel analysis of the chromosomes to zero in on T18, but wanted to know if Brian and I wanted that testing done. She said that she knew how much we DIDN'T want testing done while I was pregnant and said she would hate to have it done and the results come up unexpectedly at a later appointment. I appreciated her efforts to put us first, but she did say that she would like to know...or something along those lines. I asked her to give me a bit to talk to Brian about it, she said ok, but we needed to decide right away because a few days had already passed. When I asked Brian if he wanted to have it tested he said no. That was good enough for me. I never called her back.

But in that conversation with her, I told her how the appointment with Charlotte's cardiologist was cancelled the day before (Thursday) and the day before that, everything was fine (Wednesday). I told her how scared I was to go see the heart doc on Thursday but I didn't know why. I also told her about the kind nurses at the hospital where I delivered. One nuse inparticular asked what I would need from her upon our arrival, emotionally speaking. I told her that all I needed was for her to treat our baby with dignity and respect, no matter what she was like when she came out. And she did. My last vision of Charlotte was of the nurse holding her like a baby, close to her and nuzzling her and walking out of the room, wrapped and ready to go. That's a beautiful thing for me to have seen. She was treated like a baby.

The geneticist said that it was awesome for me to have had that moment because if I had seen the Cardiologist that day (Thursday) and if she were to have seen anything troubling or struggling with Charlotte's heart, she would have ordered an emergency cecarean on the spot. Can you imagine... oh heck no! I am so thankful that didn't happen. The Lord was merciful even in that He didn't make me choose what to do. She also said that after Charlotte was taken from my body that all efforts would have been made to sustain her, because she would be an individual patient, with independent rights, and that what I probably would have seen is my baby being taken away in haste and transferred to another hospital. I cried so hard when she said that because I knew that would have meant Charlotte being poked and prodded and pumped. At least she passed away with out any pain. She was comfortable the whole time. She never struggled. There was no frantic movements or anything. Just a quiet passing into His arms.

See, writing this has help shore up the tears. I suppose I'll write more later.