We are the Spinda family (John, Shanna & Stella Mae) from Murray, KY... on February 1, 2011 at 10:27am our beautiful baby girl, Stella Mae Spinda, was born at 26 weeks gestation. She weighed 12.34 oz and was 9 in long - Stella suffered from Intrauterin Growth Restriction (IUGR) which caused both her extremely small size and her being born premature. Stella spent five days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Norton/Kosair Hospital in Louisville, KY. She passed away late on February 5, 2011 from complications of her extremely small size. This blog was started when she was 23 gestational weeks old and we discovered her condition. It's original purpose was to keep family and friends updated on Stella's journey - we now hope to use this blog as a way to continue Stella's journey by honoring her memory and also as a way to support others who are struggling with infertility or have lost a pregnancy or baby.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A new normal

"You will need to find your new normal" - is what I keep being told. I'm not sure that "new normal" even begins to describe what we need to find. I know that I need to find peace, happiness, and a way to continue my life without my daughter.

I may not have written on the blog for a while, but I have been doing a lot of writing. I wrote and then bravely read a eulogy for Stella at the memorial service for her last night. I wrote our story and then submitted it to Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope (www.facesofloss.com). And I have been writing a lot on Facebook. I've been updating my status, trying to return emails, and commenting on posts and friends' pages. But I don't want to stop blogging! Stella's journey did not end with her passing. John and I have a duty to our angel to keep moving forward and to live our lives for Stella.

I feel overwhelmed by the love and support that John and I have received. I know I've said that before and I'm sure I'll say it again. You can not do something like this alone. Even though as long as we have each other, John and I are never alone... you need more than one person to lean on when you are grieving. It's been difficult to talk on the phone, but the support that I've gotten from texts, emails, and Facebook is unbelievable! Many people keep telling me how strong I am. When you are laying in bed at 3pm, haven't brushed your teeth yet, and haven't showered in two days, you do not feel very strong. But I do feel fortunate that I am not plagued with a barrage of negative emotions along with my sadness. Emotions like anger, regret, or guilt. I think the absence of these negative emotions have given me the ability to attempt to find my "new normal."

Strength has never been something that I have believed that I have. I just do! Especially now, I just do. I get up and walk down the street because I can't stand to look at the walls in my bedroom any more. I go to Walmart with John because I know that I need to eventually get used to being around people . I get up in front of my colleagues, John's colleagues, and our friends to eulogize my beautiful baby girl because I know how much I would regret it if I didn't. I don't think about being strong, I think about surviving and living for Stella.

Speaking of surviving... I survived the Kentucky memorial service. I'm now about 99.9% positive that I will survive the Pennsylvania memorial service. I plan to read my eulogy again on Saturday, as I feel that my friends and family who will be attending that service deserve to hear about my amazing Stella. I'll be nervous and I'll need to do a lot of praying to even get me up and in front of everyone, but I'll do it... for my Stella.

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