Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Friday, June 5, 2009


We all have regrets, right? Maybe you don't. But I do...

I don't have too many pertaining to the normal parts of my life. But I have some related to my time with Grady. I'm having a hard time grappling with this lately. I'm trying to "let it go" but my heart aches. And it aches deeply. Let me explain.

I've blogged about my two NICU friends from Emma Grace's 4-month long visit there. Lori is an RN, and Suzanne is a Nurse Practitioner. These two beautiful, loving, caring women had planned to be at Grady's scheduled c-section with me on Nov. 14, even though they weren't officially scheduled to work. When we found out Grady had died on Nov. 12, Suzanne was already working at the hospital, but Lori came in that evening to be with me at my c-section. What a precious gift of her time! (Many thanks to you!)

When I got to the hospital at 3:30, Suzanne came out to the waiting area with a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep brochure. The brochure was a bit overwhelming to me, and I immediately said no to having pictures taken. We had our camera and planned on taking a few pictures with it, and at that moment, that's all I wanted. She didn't pressure me at all.

Closer to the time of my c-section, she and Lori came in to my pre-op room. Suzanne had the brochure again. She was very gentle yet firm, got in my face and straight-up told me that this was my only chance....I wouldn't get this time back....I never had to look at the pictures if I didn't want to, but I would have them if I decided to. That's what it took. Hearing it was my "only chance"..."I wouldn't get that time back"....I agreed to have NILMDTS pictures taken, but ONLY of him....


Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Here's the deal. It felt "morbid" (if I may use that word) to take pictures of my dead baby. We don't usually take pictures of dead people! I felt disrespectful to Grady and thought how simply "wrong" it would be to smile at a camera with me holding him.

Have I mentioned the word "STUPID" lately?

I would give my right arm (and I'm right handed!) to have a picture of me holding my baby. I didn't have to smile at the camera. I could have just looked at him. What was I thinking? That's just it....I wasn't!

I held him for two days in the hospital. All I have is the memory in my head. At least I have that, but it isn't enough. But it has to be... I can't go back... I have nothing to look at to prove that I held him. That I cuddled him on my chest under a blanket just like any other alive baby. Nothing. How nice would it be to have pictures of Gib holding him? Pictures of our hands with his? A picture of me and Gib with him? Maybe even pictures of the girls with him? A picture of all five of us? Imagine that. But, I can't get that time back and do it over...

BIG sigh...

Why didn't I have Gib leave the camera with me at the hospital? I could have taken 100 pictures of him, capturing every inch of his beautiful little self.


I was alone at the hospital a good bit of the time. Just me and Grady. Gib was in and out as he chose to be (he's NOT one to sit at the hospital!) I asked for no visitors, even though a few did come. I wanted it that way. It was a very private, intimate, alone-feeling experience. But why didn't I take more pictures?!?!


The nurse asked me if we were going to bring the girls to the hospital to see their brother. Mine and Gib's immediate answer/reaction was "No!" She left the room, and we talked about it. It was SO hard for us to grasp the situation. Seeing this perfectly beautiful newborn still, not moving, not breathing...I didn't want them to have that image in their head forever. I thought, at the time, that it would be enough for them to see pictures of him and form their own images in their head. That seemed okay until three weeks after I was home, and Jessica (my oldest) said "I wish I could see Baby Grady." I told her that she could see the pictures and DVD from NILMDTS any time she wanted to. She said, "No, I mean see him in person."


My heart sank, and I began to cry. I explained that her daddy and I were trying to protect their little hearts but that maybe we had made the wrong decision. I told her how hard it was to see him not alive, but that maybe we should have asked them instead of deciding for them. I was heartbroken. I didn't know what else to tell her, but I asked her if she thought she might ever be able to forgive me? Sweet girl said yes. That lifted a little of the pain, but very little.

I robbed them of their ONLY chance to see their baby brother this side of heaven!


So there you have it. My BIGGEST regrets in life to this point.

I needed someone to explain things to me. I needed someone, like Suzanne, to be blunt and tell me this was the ONLY chance. To put it in perspective for me. You would think that I realized this after her telling me about my only chance to take pictures. But I didn't. It's SO hard when you're in that moment. I was simply trying to process and accept that my baby had died. The baby I worked SO hard at trying to keep safe and healthy had somehow slipped away from me. I was going home with empty arms. It was a lot to digest...

Regrets....maybe someday I'll be able to move forward and accept my STUPID decisions. (Maybe the title of this post should have been STUPID!)



  1. Oh Tonya,
    My heart breaks for you. I can totally relate, even though we have pictures of us all with Samuel there are things I regret now about our time with him.

    I wish I had kept him longer... we only stayed 5 hours with him and then left the hospital. I wanted to be in my own home. At the time it felt right, I felt like I wouldn't be able to give him up if I held him longer... now I would give anything to have more time... I also realize no amount of time would be good enough... I wanted him forever, till I went home to the Lord. I also REALLY regret not waiting until some of my family came. No one else saw him but my one friend, not my parents, Greg's parents, any siblings. Being in a new city we didn't have any other friends that we wanted there at all. Brutal reminders of how alone we were. I think to this day that no one except that friend can grasp the enormity of my loss because they never saw his still body like we did. I think I struggle with that most of all, that because of that choice people can't relate to me or understand what I am going through. I think them seeing Samuel would have made a difference in that.

    Please be gentle with yourself. Don't burden yourself further, trust me I know just how burdened you are by the loss of your son, you don't need any extra guilt put on yourself. You did the absolute best that you could at that time. I know that we probably weren't even thinking clearly when Samuel died... so much to try to take in, grasp the enormity of your child dying let alone having to make all of the decisions that you are forced to in those first hours. You did your VERY best... I will pray that the Lord will lift that burden from you.

    You are an amazing woman. Look what you have survived in the last 7 months. Trust me I know that survival may not look pretty or even decent at times, but you are surviving. You are relying on your Lord and you are making it, you are doing life with one of your children in Jesus' arms not your own... and that is sooooo hard. I am proud of you for putting one foot in front of the other each day and stepping forward. And I will pray for the Lord to strengthen you each day. I am here for you anytime. Thinking of you and praying for you right now! Sorry for the novel and getting long winded... I think you struck a nerve in me with this post... I so relate. I think we have so many regrets because it is not how it should have been, how can you cram a lifetime of perfectness with your living son into hours with your son gone, it is just impossible. Does that make sense. God will be faithful to sustain us Tonya... I am counting on it! Hugs to you today.

  2. (((Tonya)))

    I feel your pain, as I too have regrets. You can NOT; you simply can NOT blame yourself!! In that moment, when they tell you that your child is do not think of anything else but that horrible feeling that you failed somehow and that the precious little life in your body is gone. You arent thinking of pictures or anyone else for that matter. Only of that tiny little person you were all set to bring home.

    My daughter is 7 and my son is 5. I let them both come to the hospital. My son had no idea what was going on but my daughter did and she didnt want to hold him and I told her something that I will regret for the rest of my life. I told her that this was her only chance to hold her brother that he wasnt coming home with us. How horrible to say that to a child. But I did, and she did hold him. But I will forever think that will haunt her.

    At this point God is all we have. I know he is up there holding all of our missing babies. And hopefully, he is telling each of them about us.

  3. I know, Tonya. I know. I feel so STUPID too. We didn't know though. How could we have known that there were all these things we would have wanted?
    I wish we had kept Owen with us all longer. I didn't know where they were taking him when he left the room. I really regret that.

    I wish I had changed him and bathed him.
    I wish I had called EVERYONE I knew to come in and meet him. The only chance they had to meet him face to face.

    One day, Tonya, one day, these things won't matter and we'll have them in our arms for eternity. Everything will be okay. It's not right now...but it will be.

    i love you!

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  5. Hey girl. If my kids were reading this they would say, "Mommy, Miss Tonya said a bad word"! Don't ever say that how you reacted in that situation was stupid. You did exactly what you knew to do during that time. All I can say is that I love you, I love Grady and I was honored to be able to see him during his way too brief time here on earth. Like Ebe above said, it's not right now, but one day it will be.

    Still praying for you....

  6. Tonya,
    You are NOT stupid! You were in shock! Under the circumstance, you made some very good decisions (the amount of time you spent with Grady being one of them!) They are regrets and we grieving moms all have them. There is just no way to make good decisions when you're in such a state of shock. Praying for you as another Heaven date approaches in a week!