Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sawyer's treat


Sawyer gave us a treat when we went to visit him today. His headstone was finally placed. Happy Halloween to my little pumpkin - we miss you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And I'll cry...

Today is my birthday.

And please note, for all the haters out there, this is not a pity party. But, it is my party and I'll cry if I want to.

It's another "milestone" I suppose that one has to hit after you lose a child. There are a lot of them. Things you'd never think about twice. The next one I'm dreading? The day we found out that a new baby was on his way. After that? The holidays.

I tried to forget.

Today is the day I was born. My Mom told the story tonight. The day before my birthday it was a gorgeous late-fall day. So perfect in fact that she scrubbed the floors, stripped all the beds, hung sheets outside on the line - all while she was nine months pregnant with me.

Exhausted from a busy day, Dad thought it would be nice to take her out to dinner. When she finally went to bed late that night and just started drifting off to sleep, I let her know that I was coming. And fast.

Out of her six children, I was the quickest delivery.

I can only imagine what that must be like. Going into labor at the right time, a vaginal birth, holding your baby. I have two children, and I've never had any of that.

Sadie never felt my skin against hers until she was six days old. Intubated and taken away from me was one of the most traumatic experiences I have ever gone through in my life. I think because she was our first, we had much higher expectations. Her birth was sad. The days following were devastating. We thought we were going to lose her. I hated seeing my baby in such pain. It broke my heart. I felt so helpless.


When I got pregnant with Sawyer, we were so hopeful. Things were going to be different, we always kept telling ourselves. And they were.

My water breaks at 28 weeks. Placental abruption. Emergency c-section.

"Your baby is very, very sick."

"There's only so much we can do."

And not even two days later, he died.

After I put Sadie down for a nap, I crawled into bed, engulfed by all of this. And I wept. For all the sadness. No balloons or flowers. No happy visitors. No baby nursing at my breast. Just empty, hollow sadness.

I don't cry for myself. I cry for my babies. You can tell me over and over again that Sadie won't ever remember and that Sawyer is in a better place - but why my babies?

Questions I will never have the answers to. But, I need to trust. And know, even through gritted teeth, that God is good. God is good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I just want him

There are moments now where things are okay. Not good, but okay.

And I'll take okay any day.

Except, lately, okay has eluded me. Maybe it's the falling leaves or the changing of the seasons. Maybe it was going to the pumpkin patch and knowing how I imagined in my head how that day was supposed to be. Sadie running through the patch with Erik chasing after her. Me with Sawyer, all dressed up in his little pumpkin outfit I had washed, ironed and hung up in Sadie's closet - along with all of his nice clothes.

When we came home after Sawyer was buried, I asked Erik to bring up all the empty baby boxes from downstairs. I never thought that so soon after emptying them, we'd be filling them up all over again. Clothes he'll never wear. Hats that will never keep his little head warm. Socks for his tiny, perfect toes.

I imagined this winter to be a busy one. But, in a good way. Instead of being cooped up inside the house as the cold winds howled, Sadie would be the dutiful big sister. Helping Mommy in so many ways. All of us, laying on the floor - playing with our new baby.

And now what? I have nothing.

No baby. No clothes. No toys. No swing. No crib. No bassinet.

The grief, it creeps back in so heavy and you never expect it. You think time will make it better. So far, time has done nothing but mess with my head.

December is coming. The day we found out we were expecting.

Then, the day we found out we were having a boy.

The day there was something wrong.

The day he died.

At night, I pray. I thank God for what I have and what I had. I pray to Sawyer and ask him if it's okay if we had a new baby. I worry that people would think that we were replacing him. Because nothing in the entire world could ever take the place of our sweet, precious Sawyer.

My birthday is coming up in a few days. I don't want to be happy. I don't want "happy birthdays" thrown my way. I just want him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Regrets

Yesterday brought it all back.

Same place, same room. We went over everything all over again.

In my surgical report? Horrible, awful things no mother should ever have to read - "Infant boy taken to ICN. Subsuquently expired."

Anyone else want to throw up with me?

His name is Sawyer. He's a beautiful baby. He died in my arms. He didn't "expire." I just hate so much of it.

We were driving home tonight, all of us in the car. Something hit me. I don't know what. Maybe it was the way the clouds were drifting over the moon. Maybe it was the song on the radio. Maybe it was knowing that there should be four of us in the car. Not three.

I started to cry. I didn't want to let him go. When he died, holding him was okay. My baby was gone from this world, beautifully welcomed into the next - and I was okay. Because I had him nestled against my breasts, covered by his blanket and then wrapped tightly into my robe. I wanted to keep him warm.

Everything was okay. I had him.

Then the man from the funeral home came. And it wasn't okay.

We stood up, I told Erik I didn't want to let him go. Please don't make me do this God. Don't make me let him go.

And the man opened up a black case. Set it on a chair near the window, the sunlight pouring in.

If this was a different world, a different place - I would never have done it. I regret not asking to hold him at the funeral home. Why didn't I ask to hold him again?

My son is gone. He's gone every moment. Every aching second.

I found out yesterday that I had lost a lot of blood. And I mean, a lot. Is that why I was blanketed in God's grace?

Why didn't you take me too?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Postpartum

Conference with my doctors today.

Same place he was born.

Same place he died.

It is so hard. Relived every single moment of that delivery. Every one. We went over all the reports. Figured out some things...

I lost over 800 cc's of blood. That's a lot. I had a transfusion. Didn't know that either.

Pathology on the placenta showed nothing wrong - a few small clots. But during the csection, a large pooling of blood and a large clot were noted in the uterus - that's what caused the abruption.

Why? No idea.

Will it happen again? No idea.

I have Protein S deficiency. Yippee.

We know - and this breaks my heart for a million different reasons - that into the final moments before he was born, Sawyer was perfect. Heart rate was great, he scored 8 out of 8 on his last BPP. He had no idea what was coming. He was happy, he was warm and loved - and then he was born. I can't imagine how they got him out of there. It makes me sick to think about it.

He had IUGR - so small and tiny. Of course, we don't have an answer.

We got the go-ahead to TTC. I'm scared.

Life for Erik and I has been one giant shit-storm after another. I would like to think that things can't get worse, but how can I anymore?

I'm trying to put this worry and anxiety into God's hands - because if there is something wrong again - really, what can I do?

The same thing I did before I guess. Pray, hope, love, lose, die, cry.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Walk To Remember 2010


Today was moving, powerful and beautiful.

Over 150 people came out to support our first annual "A Walk To Remember" in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month.

The idea to start a walk sprouted up just two months ago when we learned there were no events locally to remember our babies. Erik came home from work that night and I told him, "I want to do this. I want to do it for Sawyer and I want to do it for every other parent who has lost a baby."

Less than 24 hours later, we booked a site for the walk and the next two months we poured our blood, sweat and LOTS of tears into making this day a success.

By our early calculations, we have raised well over $3,000 for Angels of Hope - NFP, Inc. This local non-profit organization supports bereaved families, assists parents who can't afford burial costs for their children and provides funding toward families who are in need of IVF treatment but cannot afford the cost. We are so happy to say that our goal of raising $1,000 was met and exceeded beyond our expectations!

This morning as we began to load our vehicles, Erik and I were standing in the driveway when a giant red-tailed hawk swooped down so low you could see his face. He gracefully soared right through our front yard, over our heads and then down the street. I never in my life have seen a hawk fly so low to the ground like that. There is no doubt in my mind that it was Sawyer's way of saying hello to us and he continued to visit us throughout the day.

We had such amazing success with our silent auction and raffle. T-shirt sales were through the roof and the kids loved painting pumpkins, hopping around in the inflatable jumper, face painting and LOTS of cupcakes.

The weather was breezy, warm and beautiful. As we neared the end of our walk the sun began to dip lower in the sky - warm, bright rays shooting out from behind the clouds. It was breathtaking.


We had a remembrance table upon the top of a hill, decorated with little pumpkins and gourds - where each family placed a flower when their baby's name was called. After the walk was over, Erik and I took all of the flowers, gently placing them in the river behind the pavillion and watched them slowly drift away with the current.


I am so thankful to our many friends and family who came out today to help - sisters, cousins, friends, family and neighbors. To our walk committee who has been working so hard to get this walk accomplished in such a short amount of time - We thank you so graciously.


To my friend Carrie - without you I couldn't have done any of this. She was my never-ending support and friend during the entire planning process. I always say she was the last one to hug our "lil Sawyer" when we were rushing off to the hospital at 4 a.m. the day he was born. Again Carrie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

To my husband, Erik. I never could have accomplished this without your support and constant love.

To all of you - the mothers and fathers of our angels and their sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends - Thank you for making today so beautiful.

And to my Sawyer - we love you so much and your short, beautiful life has touched so many. Today we were able to share in our grief and grow from the love you have shown us. Your spirit keeps us going. We miss you. We love you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hard, happy

I took Sadie to "Yo Gabba Gabba Live" yesterday with a friend.

It was honestly one of the first times since Sawyer died, that I actually enjoyed myself.

Hard - lots of pregnant moms, infants. Families with a son and a daughter.

Happy - watching Sadie dance and be her typical two-year-old self. Me, smiling and singing.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bully behavior

Normally, I don't get this fired up.

Normally, I don't "like" groups on facebook only to disagree passionately with everything that they have to say.

Normally, I let someone else fight their own battles.

But last night, after witnessing some of the most atrocious, vile behavior I have ever seen in my life - I couldn't sit quietly in the corner. I had to stand up. And I wasn't alone.

A mother, Jill Haskins, lost her beautiful baby Joshua early yesterday morning. His perfect, broken heart worked as hard as it could, but after a long fight his tiny body succumbed to a CHD - Hypoplastic-Left Heart Syndrome.

And now, he is resting in the arms of Jesus. Everyone in the CHD community followed Joshua's story. He and his mother are an inspiration to so many. His loss is so great. And this week especially, after so much loss - while still coming to terms with the death of my own son - has been extremely difficult to comprehend.

Within hours of her son's death, Jill's blog, facebook page, email account and Joshua's caringbridge page came under attack by "intactivists" who full believe that her son's death was the result of his circumcision - you know, not the fact that he was born with half a heart.

Even more disgusting was a certain blogger condoning this type of behavior while just a few weeks earlier - this exact same blogger sent her followers over to this very spot where a relentless attack on me began and continued for weeks.

Is there some sort of movement going on that I don't know about? Is ganging up on the bereaved mother considered some sort of easy attack because maybe she won't stand up to your antics in her time of great sorrow? Maybe she'll take it and you'll get your point across while getting your name out there? No matter what the reason, it's nothing short of the most juvenile, disgusting behavior I have ever seen as a mother in my entire life.

Jill, you are in the hearts and prayers of so many.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The little things

It's fall and it's beautiful.

Thanking God for today, my husband, my daughter and my son.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Perspective

I remember when I gave a shit. When I woke up happy.

When things were "normal" and I didn't cry every.single.day.

How did any of this happen? How can it be four months? It's so fucked up.

I took Sadie to the park today. "Is she your only child?"

What do I say? No. Yes. Sort-of?

I say the truth - I have a son. Not had a son.