This past Saturday night we celebrated Bella’s birth with family, close friends, and many others who were touched by my little angel. It was so clear that Bella was there partying with us; her presence was strong. The room was bursting at the seams with love and support. It was a night I wish I could freeze in time and go back to on my difficult days.
People expressed very mixed opinions about the fundraiser. Most people were very supportive, although a few didn’t understand what the purpose was or how it would benefit anyone and chose to be critical. I can honestly say it was the best thing I’ve ever done! So much healing occurred that night and it also allowed me to do something for Bella, which helped me get through a very difficult week.
I couldn’t say what we were fundraising for but made the big announcement at the Bash, so here it is. Tentatively, we are raising money for a splash park in Bella’s memory. It will be a process and a lot of work, but this is our goal. The idea started with a park bench, and a friend took the idea and ran with it. Bella’s Birthday Bash was just the first of many fundraisers to come. Any help is always appreciated, whether it be help fundraising, donations, or much needed emotional support. To make a donation, go to http://www.gofundme.com/ffz1hc
The original purpose of the bash was to distribute “Bella Angel” cards and ask people to do a random act of kindness for someone and give them a card asking them to pay it forward. I’ve mailed out many to friends and family and have more to send out, but you can print them yourself and glue them together. According to Bella, LOVE is the answer and will HEAL ALL, so PLEASE help us SHARE THE LOVE by using Bella’s cards! You can download the PDF file here:
I haven’t had much energy since the party and am struggling to write this, but it is important for me to share this. Today was another difficult day as we said goodbye to Bella’s Papa D. The difficult days continue to come, but it’s important to #StayStrong❤️ and push through them.
Please help by sharing this post, and let me know if you are willing to help in any way. Thank you in advance 😊
It’s hard to believe it’s already been 2 years since the best day of my life. It’s even harder to believe that she’s not here to celebrate it with us. My heart fills with love when I remember that amazing moment I saw my baby girl for the first time. My heart then shatters into a million pieces when I realize how brief my time was with her.
The day before is always harder. I think it’s the anticipation. It’s a gift that I can get the negative emotions out a day early so that I can enjoy the important day, but I was a complete disaster yesterday. The pain was unbearable. Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by people who love me and were right by my side.
Bella’s birthday bash has been a much needed distraction. I’ve been keeping very busy preparing for her big day tomorrow. Distractions are great but it feels amazing to be able to continue doing things for her.
Since the last few days have been so busy, I’m taking a few minutes now to remember the day of Isabella’s birth. I just came across a letter my niece (who was also my doula) wrote to Bella about her birth. Everyone has such a unique birth story. Here is mine and Bella’s:
The Birth of Isabella Maria Kasner
Isabella, I am addressing this to you because I wish that I could have something as precious as this. This is the story of the day you were born, and I hope one day you cherish it as I would.
Your mom texted me at 1:47 am on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012. She wanted to know how she could tell if her water had broken, since she noticed some fluid come out in the toilet. I reassured her that it could be her water, but it is most likely her mucous plug, which is what comes out first before you go into labour. I told her to try and get some sleep since I anticipated that you would be coming shortly. At 6:14 am, mom texted me again saying that the midwife, Ali, said to go to the hospital soon since she thought she was in early labour. Her contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart and lasting about 50 seconds. Your mom and dad left for New Liskeard at 8:00 am, and your brother Hudson stayed with Nonna and Grandpa. The midwife arrived shortly after your parents and checked mom’s dilation at 9:45. She was 2 cm dilated and almost fully effaced, which means her cervix was almost paper thin. Your head was all the way down, which meant you were on your way! Your mom really enjoyed sitting on the toilet to help with the contractions. Zia Lori and I arrived at the hospital at lunchtime. Your mom was in the middle of a contraction when we walked in, but kept her focus to get through it. Your dad was very supportive of your mom during her contractions and knew exactly how to calm her down. Her contractions were still about 50 seconds long, but were now occurring every two minutes. She was 4 cm and fully effaced, which meant she was now in active labour. Ali was very helpful in using encouraging words to help your mom get through her contractions. She also brought in a birth stool as an option, but your mom did not need it. Your mom was very good at listening to her body and switching positions during her labour. She got on her knees beside the bed and began to feel like she had to push at about 1:15. Her water broke close to this time and it was a perfectly clear fluid, which means that you didn’t poop! (always a good sign). The midwife frequently checked your heart rate. It fluctuated between 130 and 145 which meant you were very excited to meet your family! Your mom got on her hands and knees on the bed and was swinging her hips back and forth. She had found her rhythm, which is exactly what she had to do. The midwife checked your mom’s dilation one more time, and decided that she would push back the last centimeter of cervix, since your head was right there! Your mom began to push at 1:45 on her hands and knees, and she did an amazing job. Your head came out at about 2:08 and you were born at 2:11. Everyone cried. It was a moment of pure bliss. Your mom was given a shot of oxytocin in her leg and yelled louder than she did giving birth to you! There was a large amount of bleeding after your placenta came out, and was considered a postpartum hemorrhage. Thankfully everything was ok. You were a whopping 9 pounds 3.5 ounces and 21 inches long. Everyone was blown away about how big you were since your brother was only 7 pounds and your mom was only one day overdue! The midwife showed everyone the different parts of the placenta and gave it to me to dehydrate and encapsulate (for your mom to ingest to help with postpartum symptoms). The midwife left and Zia Lori and I gave your mom and dad a few moments to spend with their new beautiful baby girl. I am truly blessed to have been able to experience this wonderful journey with your mother and you. I hope that one day you realize the miracle of birth, and realize that you were brought into this world in the most calm, natural, loving and beautiful environment possible.
And to you Auntie Angie…Thank you for letting me be part of this. I can’t express the gratitude that I feel for being able to be part of your special journey and the fact that you trusted me throughout this experience.
The problem with life is you can’t plan for the unknown. Things can change in an instant. Once a moment passes, all you are left with are memories. I’m so blessed to have captured so many beautiful memories of Bella. Prince Charming never had the opportunity to meet her but with all the moments I have captured, he can get to know her.
Who was Bella? She was a very persistent and stubborn baby girl. She hated sleep. Her mommy was her favourite “thing” and she used me as a soother. She loved her big brother sooo much, and he loved her just as much. Nonna Bis was her favourite person (other than mommy and Hudson). She would visit us every single evening and Bella would greet her excitedly at the door, take her slippers out of the closet and put them on her feet.
Bella loved to dance. She loved scribbling. She was as independent as could be. She feared nothing, climbed everything in sight and liked to scare her mommy. She had a one track mind and once she decided on something, there was no changing it. She loved food and I loved cooking for her (and I hate cooking!). She loved her dog Buddy. She was affectionate and loved kissing mommy, Hudson and Buddy.
Did I mention she hated sleep? She would scream for hours (crying it out was useless). She was a very restless sleeper. She slept in her Mommy’s arms for the first year of her life, most of the time with a boob in her mouth. It’s the only thing that would soothe her.
She got into EVERYTHING!!!! She loved making messes and taking things apart. She would always get into the cupboard and take every single baggie out of each box. She’s get into my plants. She’s climb onto Hudson’s desk and eat his markers. She’d climb on top of her high chair, onto the kitchen table, and onto the chairs at the table where she would get stuck and scream because she couldn’t get down. You would think she would learn but persistence would win and she’s go back over and over until mommy moved the chairs.
She loved pushing buttons and often played with the printer (it still starts up on it’s own). She’d use her baby swing to help her get up and down the stair in the living room, and would start it up and turn the music on (it often starts up in it’s own at daycare, where it now is).
She absolutely hated having anything in her hair, which always looked messy because she refused to keep it up. She also liked to take her clothes off. And socks and shoes… She’s take them off in the car and throw them, and I’d have a hard time finding them.
Hudson, mommy and Bella did EVERYTHING together. We had dance parties every single day. Hudson and Bella loved dancing naked on the table in the living room. They would also dance in their car seats.
Barney, Elmo and Abby were her favorite characters. She loved that annoying 4 squares show. She’d try to put her DVDs on herself and would get upset if you tried to help.
She was essentially non verbal. She started calling me “mamma” the last few days of her life, finally! Her vocabulary included “yah,” “no,” “dis,” “dat,” “tickle” and a few others words. She was excellent at communicating despite her lack of verbal skills.
These are just a few of my favourite things about Bella. Thinking about her makes me happy and sad at the same time. Watching videos of her warms my hart and makes me cry. I am so thankful to have all these moments captured. It’s all I have left of my precious angel. And now I get to share her with the world!
Time does not heal all wounds. It takes a lot of hard work to be happy. For me it’s going to take a lot of hard work to heal the emotional wounds. People can remain scarred for a lifetime if they don’t do the work to heal emotional scars. It’s time. I’m ready.
I’ve been living in this happy fantasy land where Prince Charming came and swept me off my feet. There’s nothing wrong with that because I know I deserve to be happy, loved, and respected. I can’t stay in this fantasy world forever because it’s a safe place where healing is postponed. And by “fantasy” I don’t mean it’s not real. Believe me, it’s VERY real. But this fantasy world is a place where pain does not exist. This pain can no longer be ignored.
Reality is my 19 month old baby girl left this realm. Reality is I will never get to feel her physical touch again. I feel her energy, but it’s not the same. It brings me joy to feel her this way, and I’m thankful that I at least have this much. A part of me is gone. Taken from me. And it’s something I can never get back.
What I need to do now is come down from cloud 9 and feel the pain of being robbed of the most precious gift I ever received. In order to feel this pain, I will go back to the beginning. Bella was a challenge right from the start. I was not only robbed of my daughter but was robbed of the enjoyment of being a new mom.
I now feel that I have the strength to go back to those days. Relive them. Feel the frustrations again and remember what they have taught me. The main purpose will be to heal, but also to help others going through similar struggles.
Now that happiness has found me, I finally have the strength to do this. “Love is the answer” and will help me heal. So here it goes….