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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Full Circle Moments

It seems that I've had a lot of these lately.

Full circle moments that, at one point in my life, I never thought would happen.

This experience triggered my thinking on this. And after standing in the room where Grady and I spent our time together, holding Matthew in my arms, I started paying attention and thinking back.

Just last Wednesday, September 15th, I drove down to have lunch with Dr. Joe's crew. I didn't expect him to be there because I was told he had a meeting. But the whole point of the lunch was to celebrate mine and his birthday. I was a bit disappointed, but I love his office crew and was excited to see them and spend time with them. Not long after I arrived, Dr. Joe walked in, and I was shocked. He left his meeting early to come have lunch with us. :)

My full circle moment came when he was holding Matthew. He literally held him from the time he finished his salad to the time he left. He ate the rest of his lunch with Matthew in his arms, which was nice for me, but I felt bad for him. But the thing is, that's the way he wanted it. I made it perfectly clear that I would take Matthew back, but every time I asked, he refused my offer to take him.

I think it was a full circle moment for him, too.

If you're new to my blog, then you may not know that the night after Grady was born, Dr. Joe sat on my bed and held Grady for an hour, telling me how beautiful he was and how we shouldn't have lost him. I remember as clear as day Dr. Joe telling me that he hoped I wouldn't close the door on the possibility of having another baby. I never thought it would happen...that we would have another living child.

It was truly heart warming and soul pleasing to see Dr. Joe with Matthew, full circle from our last experience. When Grady died, he said, "your baby is my baby, too". That's exactly the way he feels about Matthew, and I'm so very grateful! I didn't have my camera with me, but I wish so badly that I could have captured the moment. Dr. Joe didn't talk much during lunch, but rather held Matthew's feet (because he said they were cold) and stared down at him. Absolutely precious!

Even my six week postpartum was a full circle moment. When I went after Grady, I prayed the waiting room wouldn't be full of babies. It was hard to be around pregnant women, but I definitely couldn't "do babies" then. Praise the Lord, there were no babies, and I didn't have to wait long with the pregnant women. Oh how I dreaded that appointment.

But this time, I was there holding Matthew. So grateful. Not taking for granted who I had in my arms and what he represented. To everyone else, I was just there for an appointment. But to me, this was an accomplishment. I felt like I had won a prize. I had survived one of the longest emotional roller coasters of my life. I had a living baby in my arms. And I got to have my picture taken. This may seem very silly to you, but let me explain...

In each of Dr. Joe's rooms and in the hallway, he has pictures of his patients and the babies they've delivered. He takes these pictures at their six week appointment. When I was pregnant with Grady, I would think about having my picture somewhere with the others. But that didn't happen. When I was pregnant with Matthew, I could only hope that mine and his picture would join the others. It all became a reality that day. I haven't seen the picture Dr. Joe took that day, but I'm thankful there was a picture to take!

As I was rocking Matthew the other night, I had another full circle moment. I used to sit in that rocker and cry. And cry. And cry. I would journal to Grady and pray to God to take the pain away...or at least help me learn to live with it. He was faithful in that, but I don't take lightly the fact that I'm now back in that rocker with a living baby. I still wish, so badly, that Grady could have stayed, and I could have rocked him. But it wasn't God's plan. I thank God for the healing that Matthew is bringing to my heart. But I'm also thankful that this healing and joy for Matthew don't erase my love and feelings for Grady. He will always be a part of me.

We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner last night. When Gib came home and announced that's what he wanted for dinner, I didn't dare tell him I had gone there for lunch, too! We went early because everyone was hungry (except for me!), and we wanted to beat the Friday night crowd. We literally saw eight families that we know (One of them was the family who has the little boy who is one week younger than Grady would be. It is still so hard to see that precious boy and what he represents to me. And he's so big! It's hard to imagine Grady being that big.). Everyone had to see and ask about Matthew. At lunch earlier in the day, I saw two people who also asked about and congratulated us on Matthew.

How is this a full circle moment?

Because after Grady died, I had nothing to show for my pregnancy and my baby who had been very much alive. My arms were empty. I would have tried to escape without much conversation and/or people would have tried to escape and avoid me. If there was conversation at all, it was very superficial and cordial at best. No one knew what to say. No one knew what to do with me. And I understand that. Shoot, I really didn't know what to do with myself!

But it was very different last night. And it felt good. It made my heart happy but also sad that I didn't get the opportunity to show off Grady the same way.

I know there will be more full circle moments ahead. And for me, that's what they are.

A circle.

Moments that don't end, but keep going.

Moments filled with never ending love for both of my boys.

Memories of Grady and the hopes and dreams I had for him that will never go away.

Happy times to share with my precious, living Matthew.

All of these intertwined on a daily basis in my heart and in the moments we call life.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Heart and Soul Sleep

Matthew's appointment with the cardiologist today went well. But not as well as I hoped.

The hole hasn't closed. His foramen ovale is still open, but it's very small, less than 2mm. The nurse said it was as small as, if not smaller than, the tip of her pen. They only saw one hole, not two, which is good. The doctor said that even if it doesn't close they will not need to do any kind of surgery, which is GREAT! He said people often live with this condition and live healthy, full lives. He might have a problem if he ever wants to go scuba diving, seriously, but at least we know its there. He said only about 10% of foramen ovales never close. You already know how I feel about statistics! I will take him back in six months to have it checked again.

I told them about Matthew's breath holding with feedings. It just happened to be time for him to eat, so they hooked him up to the EKG machine. Just as I suspected, his heart rate went from 130 down to 54 as he turned blue. He recovered quickly and his heart rhythm didn't change. The cardiologist agrees with everyone else that this is something he will have to outgrow. The great thing is that it is not related to his heart. I'm not ready for Matthew to grow up, but I am ready for him to grow out of this stunt!

And even though scales vary, Matthew weighed 10 lbs, 8 oz today, which is a whole pound more than last Thursday! He has developed some reflux that he handles amazingly well. I'm hoping it doesn't get too bad. Emma Grace battled it, and it's not fun.

Now, on to some great news...

Matthew ate last night around 9:00/9:30. He sacked out on my lap around 11 pm. I was able to put him down to pump, and when it was time for him to eat again, he was sleeping soooo soundly. I decided we would go to bed and whenever he woke up I would feed him. He did not wake up until 4:30 this morning! If I'd have known that, I would have gone to bed right after I pumped. Of course I awoke with a feeling of panic, but that four hours of sleep was nice! I'm hoping the same will happen tonight, but I'm not counting on it. I'll take every bit of sleep I can at this point!

As always, thanks for your prayers for our "Baby Love". (That's the most recent nickname I've given him because he's just a bundle of love. And well, you already know he's a baby!)


Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Months Old

I can't believe Matthew turned two months old last Thursday, September 16th. I want to take pictures of him with a little sign like I've seen other people do, but that will have to wait until next month. I'm already four days late getting this post done, and I don't want to wait any longer.

So, Matthew, here are some things about you at two months old...

You weighed 9 lbs, 7 1/2 oz and were 21 1/2 in long at your appointment last Thursday. The doctor, Dr. E, was pleased with your growth and very happy with your head strength.

You are still holding your breath and turning blue when you eat, especially at the beginning of your feedings. Dr. E witnessed this and said you need to stop! He did say that, but he also said it's something you will have to outgrow. You can do it because you didn't hold your breath once during four separate feedings this past weekend. You drink about four ounces of mommy milk every three hours during the day. You have started going four to five hours at night which is nice. I still don't sleep extremely well because you are right next to me and you still grunt...loudly at times! But I'm not complaining!

You have started staying awake for longer stretches of time, and when you get tired, watch out! You are not happy! Just the last few days you've started being more vocal, cooing at times. Very cute!

You are wearing 0-3 or 3 month clothes, and you are in size 1 diapers. You are too tall/long for newborn sizes now. You are growing too fast for my liking!

You are still a great baby, only fussing if there's a reason. You do great in the car and you love to be carried on my chest in the Baby K'tan wrap. You just simply love to be held. And the truth is, we love holding you!

Here you are on your two month birthday.

And just two days later, here you are loving your bath!

We love you sweet boy!

***I will be without a computer all day Tuesday, but please say a prayer for Matthew. We go to the cardiologist Wednesday for another echo to make sure the holes in his heart have closed. Thanks! I will update as soon as I can.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Time to Remember

Anyone who has the crazy, messed up, misconstrued idea that the baby who is born after a baby dies is a "replacement baby" really is just that. CRAZY!

I had a bereavement committee meeting yesterday at the hospital. I realized shortly after getting there that I would have to walk right past the closet room I was in with Grady to get there. (The room was extremely small!)


My plan was to keep my head high and walk right by. It didn't quite play out that way...

I was in a corner room. When I turned the corner I couldn't help but look to my left.

And there it was.

Door open. Lights dim. Bed ready and waiting for a patient.

I was drawn in by a power that is not my own. I walked in the door and just stood there. Taking it all in. Like I had just been there. Tears filling my eyes. Heart as heavy as if there were a ton of bricks resting on it.

The bed where, on my chest, I cuddled my baby who was gone all too soon.

The wall space where his bassinet stayed. The place he was when not in my arms.

But the place my eyes were drawn to the most was the far side of the bed. The place where Gib and I last kissed Grady's sweet cheek. The place where I swaddled him and placed him in the basket the funeral home brought for him. The place where Gib and I collapsed into each others arms after he was gone.

The irony of this moment is that I was standing there with Matthew snuggled and sleeping on my chest in my baby wrap.

I don't think I can accurately put into words what I felt and am still feeling today. One baby here. One baby gone. One heart beating. One heart not. Both equally special. Both forever living in my heart. But clearly two different, separate, special, precious people.

Standing there, again knowing that if Grady had lived, Matthew wouldn't be here. No words...

Even though I had to physically say goodbye to Grady, I will never really say goodbye. I know that we will be together again in heaven one day and for that, I am so very grateful. Thank you, Jesus! But Grady is alive in my heart and mind every single day that I live on this earth. Even now that Matthew is here. One baby doesn't replace the other.

Aimee, my friend and leader of the support group that I attended for so long, sent me this song. If you have a moment and want to, listen to it. Make sure to scroll down and mute my music first! I have a feeling all of you baby loss mommy's will be able to relate. It's perfect.

And as painful as it is to let myself go into these deep places of emotion and grief again, it's often where I feel the closest to Grady.

I couldn't linger long in that room because I had to get to my meeting. I had to quickly compose myself, and outwardly, I did a pretty good job.

As Matthew and I were leaving, he was awake. We paused at the door, and I told him that was where his big brother once was. But not to worry. Because one day he would get to meet him, too.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Dust and Cobwebs

Kelly posted this on her blog over the weekend.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow,
So quiet down cobwebs,
Dust, go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.

It couldn't have come at a better time for me. My days are spent holding my baby, and my house is suffering miserably for it. I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me at all because it does. But not enough for me to spend hours making sure its perfect. It's certainly a choice I'm making, but a definite contributing factor is that Matthew loves to be held! He's already growing way too fast. The time is slipping by, and I want to savor every minute I can.

Especially since he's our last...

It's still hard for me to think that if Grady had lived, Matthew would not be in my arms right now. Instead, I would have an almost two year toddler running around. You will never know how much my heart longs for both of them to be together, here with me.

But the hard, cold truth is that Gib was going to have a vasectomy after Grady was born. And when Grady died, we both were very adamant that we would have no other children. At the time our hearts and minds couldn't fathom more pain and uncertainty, especially when you factor in Emma Grace's very premature birth and my miscarriage. But for some reason, that appointment never got scheduled for my hubby...

And I'm so very thankful!

God had a greater plan for our lives, and it was on this day one year ago that we decided we would indeed try again for another baby. I remember the conviction I had after our church sermon. The uncertainty I felt as I approached Gib that night to talk about it. The excitement I felt when we both agreed that was the direction we felt God leading us in. The fear that then quickly appeared, knowing full well that things might not turn out the way we hoped again. The anxiety of whether I would have a medical condition that would prevent us from conceiving or if I would be able to even get pregnant again. We had never had a problem before, but I've learned that life is unpredictable, and we are not immune to anything.

Here we are today, our biological family complete. Four children. Three on earth and one in heaven. Not exactly the way I imagined or planned, but I'm so thankful for it all...

Especially the dust and cobwebs!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Best Gift Ever

My sweet friend, Leah and her precious boy Jay, gave this to me for Valentine's Day earlier this year.

When I opened it, my heart leaped with joy. But that joy was quickly overcome by fear and apprehension as I was only a few weeks pregnant with Matthew. I knew we had a long, uncertain journey ahead of us. And I had no idea what the outcome would be...

Would I have a baby to wear this precious gift?

I brought it home and put in on the crib where is stayed for a long time. Praise God, it is now washed and in Matthew's drawer, waiting for the weather to get a bit cooler and for him to get a little bigger.

My birthday was yesterday. Many people wished me a happy birthday and a few gifts were handed my way...thank you for both! It's just nice to be remembered at this age, ya know?

But I have to say, this is the "best gift ever"!

And the fact that Gib is giving me the night off tonight to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still Here...

This is literally the third blog post that I've tried to start in the last two days. I promise you that Matthew knows when I'm on the computer and he does NOT like it!

For instance, he was just sleeping soundly (and safely) on my bed under his big brother's blue blanket, and now I hear him stirring. Good thing I hadn't planned to write very much...

I just wanted to post something to let y'all know I'm still here, and we are doing good. Matthew is becoming quite the little chunk and is letting me rest a wee bit more at night. The girls are doing well besides the fact that their legs are covered in about 100 mosquito bites. They had great fun this past weekend, and the past few days, playing down the street in what they call "cricket canyon". I think it should be renamed "mosquito canyon". Gib is super busy with work, testing and his school work. We don't see much of him. :(

Matthew is now crying, and I need to get him. But I just need to say that I've been missing Grady more the past few days than I have in a VERY long time. I always miss him, every single day. But my chest has had moments of complete heaviness with longing for him and deep sadness that he isn't here with us. The tears haven't flowed yet but are ready to at any time. I pity the poor soul who might have to encounter that with me...that is if anyone else is around.

Gotta go but will try to be back soon, at least with a few more tidbits and maybe a new picture or two.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Due Sadness

Here's another one-handed post. Probably won't be very long...

Today was my due date with Matthew.

And I'm a bit sad.

I went for my six week check-up yesterday.

And I was a bit sad.

You probably think I'm weird, and that's okay. My emotions belong to me, and they're very hard to explain. I'm choosing to share them with you the best I know how.

I'm SOOOOOO thankful for this sweet baby in my arms right now. In so many ways this is just the beginning. The beginning of his life and our lives as a family with him a part of it. PRAISE THE LORD! It's hard to imagine that I might have just recently given birth or would soon be having him if I were a "normal" pregnant woman. I guess that's because he has already been with us for so long. I wonder how big he would have been...

While this new beginning is wonderful and I'm so thankful for it, in some ways it's the end. And I'm sad about it.

This is where it gets tricky to explain.

For me, it's the end of Matthew's pregnancy, officially that is. No more dates to anticipate related to his birth. It's the end of regular visits to Dr. Joe's office. Sure, I'll go once a year, and I'm sure I'll have lunch dates here and there. But it's not the same as seeing them every two weeks or three times in one week. Maybe I have attachment issues, but I was really sad yesterday when I was leaving. (No I didn't cry if you're wondering) Dr. Joe said they weren't going anywhere and their door was always open. Very sweet, but not the same.

I think I'm just plain sad that my childbearing days are officially over. And now, mentally, they're over, too. Because in my mind I would tell myself that I could have technically still been pregnant with Matthew. And I can't say that after today.

I'm not really sure why I've shared this tonight except that it helps me to write things out. And I wanted to document this as Matthew's due date.

So long for now. Much to do before bed.