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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 3, 2010

I set the alarm three hours before we had to leave. I was awake, but waited until it went off to crawl out of bed. The morning went by in a bit of a blur. I showered, put on sweats and got Dayne some breakfast. I woke up Steve and did my hair. I curled my hair. I rarely do anything with my hair and when I do, it's usually just running a flat iron through it, but it was important to me to look nice for my last meeting with Alexandra.
I took an hour to put ringlets, lots and lots of ringlets. I got dressed in the clothes I had bought specifically for this day...I will never wear them again. Dayne told me I looked beautiful, and Steve made me happy to think that perhaps Alexandra was thinking the same thing.
I dressed Dayne, he wore a a white dress shirt with a grey tie and a black sweater over it...and of course, his black dress pants and some black dress boots. He complained that his baby sister wouldn't be able to see his whole tie, and I had to explain that it was important for him to wear black.
We had to go and pick up Steve's suit and get the flowers for the grave. Steve changed in the suit store and walked out...he looked handsome. It was hard for me to think that, considering why he was dressed up.
We had given ourselves way too much time. We had to drive around for a while before we could go to the funeral home. Steve decided we'd drive by the burial site...I was opposed, but said sure. I'm really glad he thought of that. The sight of the burial site, with the equipment to lower the casket and the mound of was a lot to take in and I broke down. I am glad that I knew what I was heading for when the time came to bring Alexandra there, I was more prepared.
What I wasn't prepared for was seeing Alexandra. She had make-up on. I knew it was to make her look more like she was sleeping, but it wasn't what I remembered from the hospital and it was difficult to have such a harsh reality handed to me like that. I held her and she felt different, she was wrapped under her clothes and blanket, in towels. When I touched her face she was so cold and her skin was hard, like she was made of porcelain. It wasn't what I had expected at all. But she was still my angel and she was still beautiful and her little nose was still perfect. Her hair, under her hat was dry and a little if she was sleeping and moving her head around. I touched her hair a lot.
When we found out the news about Alexandra, a lot of people told us about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They are professional photographers that go to the hospital when this sort of thing happens, and take pictures. They touch them up, make them black and white and put them on a CD for you to print out whenever you are ready. They do this all free of charge. It's a very wonderful foundation. The day that Alexandra was born, there was a snow storm and the photographer was not able to make it to the hospital. We had asked if they would be willing to send someone to the funeral home and they were so kind, they sent a photographer to the funeral home and to the burial site.
The photographer's name was Mason and he took a lot of wonderful pictures. He was very kind and I am so happy that we will have some pictures that are appropriate to show family and friends, should they ask.
Once the pictures at the funeral home were finished, we were allowed some more time with Alexandra. Saying goodbye was, once again, very hard. We had to leave the funeral home and head to the cemetery. The celebrant did a wonderful job, her words were heartfelt and touching. We released balloons for Alexandra, this was Dayne's favorite part, he asked questions about where they were going, it didn't look to him like they were going to make it to heaven, so his baby sister could have them.
After the balloons there was a prayer and we put the roses we had on the casket. Steve and I both placed a white rose and Dayne placed a pink rose. They lowered the casket and we were told to take some time to say goodbye. We thanked everyone at that time and our photographer thanked us for allowing him to be present. I had felt so badly for making him witness our grief, but he seemed so grateful. I found it touching.
After we finished our goodbyes to Alexandra, we headed home. I didn't leave the house for the rest of the day. It was a difficult day. Steve had to run some errands, and I felt badly not going, but I just couldn't, I had to take some time. Dayne and I hung out, we played and watched TV. I find myself more grateful for his million questions and stories and for his laughter than I think I have ever been. I don't think he will ever understand the role that he is playing in keeping us strong. He is such a wonderful and sweet little guy.
That night I fell asleep quickly, and slept for a shorter amount of time than usual. I had started dreaming. I remember one dream vividly. A little boy, about 6 years old, was sitting at the head of Alexandra's grave, he was helping her. I don't know who that little boy was but I felt like he was there to help my daughter.
I woke up shortly before 1am to the sound of the wind. It was blowing in really strong gusts. The wind has always scared me, so I first checked the weather network to be sure there wasn't any kind of weather warnings. There was nothing, so I tried to go back to sleep, as I drifted off a thought crossed my mind. The rosary on Alexandra's grave...had it blown away? The rest of the night, the little bit that I slept was haunted by dreams of Alexandra in the cold, windy cemetery, with her rosary blowing away from her grave. I would have felt a lot better if her first night there was calm and warm.


  1. Oh, Melissa.....I really wish I could have been with you through all that. It's so hard, so very hard, to say good-bye. It's good that you have photos though. The time will come when you want to look at them. I wish we had more - we've only got two, and they're not pretty at all. Nobody has seen them. Joseph and Kaitlin haven't even seen them. It's so nice that Dayne will have nicer pictures of his sister to remember her by.

    Know what I did in those first weeks without Abby? I spent a ton of time with Joseph and Kaitlin. When my arms hurt to hold her, I picked up one of the kids and smooshed them in a monster hug. I sat with them and read them stories, or tickled them, or just sat beside them while they watched a show or read. They were such a huge comfort to us. It's odd how much things like this make you appreciate your kids...just when you think you couldn't possibly love them or need them one bit more, and then you do.

    Love you...thinking of you.

  2. I am very sorry for your loss. I read your journal on babycenter and my hearts breaks for you. I am so sincerely sorry for your loss. Don't be afraid to cry because sometimes you just have to cry. It takes time but, eventually it will be easier to make it through the days without breaking down. It has been 4 years since I lost my daughter and it still hurts but I am able to talk about her without crying and I can even smile when thinking about her. I know you don't know me but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. If you ever would like to talk, please feel free to contact me. My email address is

  3. I heard through the grapevine about Alexandra. I read a few of your entries and my heart is breaking for you, Steve and Dayne.