Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
I'm glad I have such a busy day today, but thankful I am able to be there tonight as well. I will also be lighting a candle for 2 of my friends children as well.
I miss you everyday my precious baby boy!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The tags we made to go on the blankets.
Ready to go!
Collin's bear with the first blanket to be handed out :)
<3 <3 <3
My mom, my sister, my stepdad, and 2 friends Alison and Jen joined me, and we were "Team Collin". We made T-shirts and got a ton of compliments on them. My sister made bracelets to hand out, with pink and blue ribbons to represent Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. They were a hit! Everyone kept asking others where they had gotten the bracelets, and we ran out quickly.
The walk was a 5k, not too long and not too short. All of the babies names were places on signs throughout the walk. I was lucky enough to get a larger sign for Collin, which was really neat. It was the first thing I saw when I got out of the car, I had to stop myself from breaking down before the event had even begun! But my sister saw me and my reaction to the sign, and quickly ran over to give me a huge hug. There was a memorial service prior to the walk. All of the mothers recieved a rose as their childs name was read, and of course my sister was right there again when I needed her, after I got my rose.
After the walk my sister and I stuck around for the picnic. We got some raffle tickets, and we actually won a necklace. My sister is going to get an Auntie necklace. My sister also got Collin an angel bear, there was a booth with girls engraving ribbons to personalize the bears. I know I will cherish it forever!
Here are a few photos. My camera was acting up, which explains the pink tint. We are participating in the Orange County Walk to Remember on the 23rd, I hope to get more pictures, that aren't pink, then! The first pic is my absolute favorite... it looks like Collin is shining down on all of us from above. It gives me goosebumps. I can't wait to get it printed and framed! I'm so thankful for this event, to help raise awareness, allow us to meet other Mommy's such as ourselves, and to provide a positive experience for us all. I can't wait to do it again next year!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I feel like so many wounds were re-opened. Almost like I feel raw. But I know that I need to work though these feelings, they won't just go away, and I can't just ignore them. But I also feel as though this is going to be a great thing for me. Finally, I might be able to help someone else with their healing. It's strange being in a room with everyone who has been through what you have, or something very similar. It makes it a bit more real... yet it helps you realize that you're not alone.
I'm hoping to look forward... to more healing. To having some comfort that something good has come out of all this. It's so hard to see any good right now, but I know I will someday.
Another exciting thing... we're participating in the Walk to Remember Los Angeles on October 9th. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and October 15th is the actual rememberance day. I can't wait to do the walk. We're making T-shirts for "Team Collin". This is the first annual walk. I hope to be able to get more involved as the years go by.
A couple small things to help heal the wounds that are so deep.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
My whole family sews, and I never really took to it. The last few years I've finally discovered the crafty side of me... although I'll never be my sister or my mother in that department. My sister taught me how to do a blanket stitch yesterday, and I was able to complete my first blanket last night, and I'm so excited about it. I'm keeping the first one for myself / Collin, I had planned on making him something originally before we found out he would be born sleeping. It's far from perfect, but it was made with love, and that's what counts. They'll get better as I go.
This will give me something to focus on when I'm feeling down. And I can't wait to have some to take to the hospital, and to know that I'm helping out another Mommy.
I'm in love with the print. I also got the girl version... pinks and purples instead of the blues and greens. I love it because of the moons and stars... since the babies are born "sleeping"... and I'm hoping the sunshines on the fabric remind the parents that the sun will rise again, even though they may not feel like it right then.
Collin with his hand-made blanket...
Everyday is another challenge, but I'm doing it. Not a day goes by that I don't think of and miss my perfect little allstar.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I just want to hold him again. My arms ache. This hurts more than anyone could ever imagine.
There are 4 phases of mourning after having a stillborn baby. I'm not sure if I am experiencing the end of the second phase very strongly, or the beginning of the third phase. Either way, I'm in so much emotional pain right now. I thought I was getting better. Everyone tells me how strong I am. I can put up a good front, but inside this is killing me. For some reason this weekend was almost unbearable. I do better with distractions, and I didn't have many of those the last 2 days.
The first phase of mourning is shock and numbness. You don't believe this could be happening to you. It's difficult to make decisions and concentrate. Sometimes you become unaware of your surroundings, cry uncontrollably, or stare into space. I went through all of these things. I don't know how many times I was embarrassed because someone was talking to me and I didn't know it. The first few weeks were kind of a blur. My phone would ring and I would hear it, but my body wouldn't react to it right away. A few minutes later I would be like "oh my phone went off", then check it. I still do that sometimes, someone will text me and I won't really realize until 20 minutes later. This stunned disbelief is the way you cope with a shock that is too much to deal with all at once.
The second phase is called searching and yearning. Some mothers hear phantom crying, feel the baby kick, dream about the baby or being pregnant again. I didn't experience the phantom crying, but I did experience feeling like Collin was kicking me again. It took about 5 weeks for me to be able to take a shower without crying. Every time I would touch my stomach, I would just cry. I just felt so physically empty, like I still wanted him to be there. At night was difficult too. I sleep on my stomach usually, something you can't do while pregnant. After having Collin, I still slept like I was pregnant. The first time I actually layed on my stomach it felt so weird. So empty. I don't think it would have felt as empty if I had been able to have my son alive.
In this phase you ask yourself why a lot. Cry a lot. I've done a lot of this. Everyone tells me that everything happens for a reason... that's hard to believe. but I'm working on it. Some days I can believe this myself, other days if someone says it I want to scream at them. But I don't. Luckily I've been able to manage the anger part of this phase rather well. Its difficult to answer questions about the pregnancy and the baby. I'm getting better with this. Starting a new job has forced me to answer the question of "do you have kids" quite a few times. Working in an office with 95% women is tricky... being the new girl they all have questions. Luckily some of them already know what I've gone thru since my friend Alison also works in that office. My tattoo has also brought up the question quite a few times. At first I would say Collin is my son, then act like I was on my way to go do something to prevent the obvious next question. I've been able to tell a couple of the girls what happened, I'm hoping maybe they told some of the others so I don't have to in the future.
Another thing you experience is wishing you were dead instead of your baby. A scary, scary feeling. And you feel guilty. Again, both feelings I am having to cope with. I am still working thru these emotions. This is why I am unsure if I am still in the second phase or reaching into the third.
The third phase is called the disorientation phase. You feel empty, lifeless and hopeless. I have been feeling all of these things the past few days, alone with some of the strong emotions in the second phase. The third phase is the most difficult for a few reasons. It starts when everyone thinks you should be "over it". And some parents feel multiple losses - of pride, control, strength, and self-esteem. It is not uncommon for parents to wish they were dead, simply because their grief seems unbearable.
You find yourself going thru these phases of grief again, but in short forms, on special dates, anniversary dates, holidays, changes in season, etc. For me, I'm very aware that this is the month in which my son was conceived. His father and I were together between now and Thanksgiving, last year. So this time of year is going to be a tricky one for me, for years to come.
Grieving takes a toll on your body as well. Its been suggested to eat right, exercise, limit caffeine and get a physical 4 months after your loss. I'm trying to do all of these things. I take my lunch to work instead of going out, go for walks on my lunch as well, I'm avoiding starting drinking coffee and soda again. It's important to take care of yourself, because when you are emotionally exhausted, the natural disease-fighting mechanism is depressed in the body and you are more prone to illness and disease. I'm very aware of this right now, and I hope to be able to continue to be strong so I can keep taking care of myself.
The fourth phase is reorganization - getting on with living again. You'll never forget, but you will accept what happened some day.
So, right now, is a very difficult time for me. I'm working through so many emotions and it seems like no one really realizes it. And I understand that, unless you have gone through it yourself how can you really know what it feels like? So if I seem withdrawn sometimes, please don't take it personally. I mean it when I say it isn't you, it's me. This has really been a roller coaster for me, one I thought I would never be on, but something I have to deal with none the less. I'll be starting going to a support group soon, and I hope that will help me deal with all these feelings. I'm also going to start reading a book my mother in law gave me, I think it's time. Slowly, but surely, I will get thru this. I will continue on the path to becoming a stronger person. I will be able to help others, and I can't wait to do so.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We arrived at the hospital on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, June 29th / 30th. We got checked into the hospital and they took us to my room, had me changed into a gown, and into the bed to start my induction. First thing on the agenda, hooking me up to the monitors that would track my contractions as well as Collin's heartbeat. The nurse (I can't remember her name) was having a hard time finding Collin's heartbeat. This seemed normal, since he always seemed to dodge the monitors during my doctor office visits. After a couple of minutes I told my mom and sister "See why this makes me nervous?" jokingly... since just that morning Collin had done the same thing. The nurse assured me that sometimes it just takes awhile. After a couple more minutes I got more nervous, and had a bad feeling. She got on the phone and asked for someone else to come help her, and assured me again, that sometimes this happens. She continued to move the monitor around my tummy, still nothing. Another nurse came in, with an ultra sound machine. At this point I was trembling with fear, not knowing exactly what was going on, just thinking this couldn't be good. The nurse smiled at me, tried to anyways, and explained they were going to see if they could figure out how he was positioned to see if that would help. The second he popped up onto the screen, I knew. I didn't see the little flicker of his heartbeat. And he wasn't facing down like he had been that morning. I started crying, and my mom and sister were holding each other, not knowing what to think. They told me they were going to get a doctor but I already knew. Another ultra sound machine was rolled in, and a doctor came. He looked very concerned and looked for himself with the newer machine. The result was no different. He looked at me, and said "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat". It was such a weird moment. There were 3 nurses in the room, and the doctor was just looking at me telling me he was sorry. My mom and sister were sobbing, and my mom asked if there was anything we could do, he just said he was sorry, that there wasn't anything that could be done. He just kept telling me how sorry he was, sitting on the edge of the bed, delivering me the news that broke my heart and changed my life forever. This wasn't what I signed up for, this wasn't why I came to the hospital! so many thoughts were swirling around my head, I couldn't grasp what he had just told me. I was now shaking from the shock. I think someone, maybe my mom, asked how I was going to deliver him, and he said like a normal delivery. The ultrasound machines were wheeled out of the room, and the doctor left with a couple of the nurses, leaving me alone with my original nurse and my family. I just could not stop shaking. The nurse took my blood pressure, which was high, especially for me. Someone put a warm blanket on me, perhaps to try to stop me from shaking. I'm not to sure what happened the next several hours, they were kind of a blur. Well, the whole hospital stay kind of was a blur, but I can remember most of everything. My mom called some people, my best friend Melissa who was going to be there when I delivered Collin, to let her know what happened. My step dad Walter came down, and so did my sisters fiance Joseph. At some point my IV was put in, and my blood pressure was still being monitored. We were pretty much left alone until around 6am. Then a nurse came in to start my induction.
I still was barely dialated. A medication was inserted into my cervix to try to help this along and make my cervix "more favorable" for the induction. 3 hours later, I was put onto Pitocin. This medication causes contractions. I was contracting regularly, which wasn't too painful, although I could feel them. At some points they were uncomfortable and painful, and at some points I barely felt them. The word had gotten out about what happened to Collin, and I had quite a few visitors. Because of the situation, I was allowed as many visitors as I wanted. A lot more phone calls were made, and recieved. My Uncle came and stayed most of the day, along with my mom, sister, Walter, Joseph, Dan and Melissa. Basically we were just waiting all day. Josh, my ex-husband, and Crystal came that night for a few hours. Aunt Lynda came by as well. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. As difficult as the situation was, it was nice to have people I love around me. We tried to keep the mood light, that's how my family copes with things. At some point during the day, the room next to mine was occupied with another expectant mother, a mother who would be able to hear her child cry for the first time. That was extremely difficult to hear. The walls are thin, you can hear everything, from the nurses encouraging her to push, to the baby's first cry. Everyone in the room was upset, I'm sure not only from knowing that wouldn't be me, but watching me in agony as well. I did my best to try to hide my feelings, so I wouldn't make anyone else in the room upset, but that's pretty impossible, especially when you're the center of attention in the room. It seemed like that baby cried forever, he or she was not a happy camper, at least that was what I told myself.
At some point everyone left except my mom and sister. They refused to leave me, even though I tried to tell them I would be ok. I know it couldn't have been comfortable laying in the chair beds that the hospital provides. I sure as heck wasn't comfortable. Being hooked up to a monitor constantly was no treat. It was tight around my tummy, and even though I was encouraged to sleep, every time I moved the nurse would come in and have to readjust the monitor. Everytime I had to use the restroom, I had to call for a nurse to unhook me from the monitor and help move my IV cart. Since I was on the pitocin, which was increased every so often, I had to wheel the entire cart with me, and it was quite a production. Around midnight on Wednesday, another doctor came in to see me. He explained that my doctor had called to check on me, and wanted my labor to progress quicker, I should have had Collin by then. He was going to break my water. He checked me, and was shocked to find out I was still not dialated past 2 cm. He told the nurse there was no way he was going to break my water, and said it was ridiculous that I had been on pitocin all day, and made no progress. They left the room to talk about it and call my doctor back. My mom followed them to find out what was going on. The doctor came back in, and told me that he had made a suggestion about the route we were going to take, and she had agreed with him. He decided to put me back onto the original medication that they had put me on that morning, the medication that was inserted to make my cervix ripen. The nurse held my hand because she could tell I was nervous, the procedure that morning had been horrific and painful. He jokingly told her "hey I'm not going to hurt her!!" and I told him how it had been that morning. This time was much much easier, it's strange how someone doing the same procedure as someone else can be so different. They took me off of the monitor and pitocin, and said I wouldn't need another dose until 6, so I was able to get a small amount of sleep since it was so much more comfortable without the monitor on. I had barely slept since Monday night, so the rest was much needed. I was able to get up and use the rest room on my own, since I was able to just carry my Iv bag (I called it gatorade, since it was just electrolytes haha). That was almost a treat, being able to go to the restroom alone. Around 6, I got a new nurse. Her name was Stacy (the wonderful nurse I mentioned in my previous posts). She brought in a resident to give me another dose of the medication they were using. She wasn't able to check me, her hands were small, but she was able to insert the medication to keep the induction moving along. Stacy let me rest a few more hours. Around 9 she came back in to check on me. She asked if I wanted to shower, I couldn't believe my ears! After almost 36 hours in the hospital, in the same bed, that sounded amazing. She also asked me if I wanted to eat, something else I hadn't been able to do since I got checked in Tuesday night, and this was Thursday morning! She sent my mom and sister down to get breakfast, and a much needed break. She fixed my IV line, put a hep-lock on it, and covered it to make it water proof. She called my doctor to make sure I could have breakfast. While I showered she changed my sheets and made the bed and ordered me breakfast. After the shower I actually was able to make myself feel human, I brushed my hair and teeth, and actually put on a little bit of makeup to make myself feel better. I was going thru hell emotionally and physically, but I didn't have to look like it. I got breakfast, and even though it was hospital food, after than many hours of not eating it tasted amazing. Aunt Lynda came by to check on me, Walter was in and out visiting, and reading in between walks and such. Alison came on her break, and my old boss, Brandon, even stopped by for a few hours and visited with me. He left around 1, and Josh and Crystal, Dan and Melissa all came back, along with Uncle Bill who had been at the hospital almost as much as my mom. I was checked at some point, and making progress so I never had to get put back onto the pitocin.
Around 3pm my contractions were starting to get stronger and more uncomfortable. I had gotten up to go use the restroom, and everyone had cleared the room so I could do so, since it's difficult to be modest in an open backed gown. When I got back into the bed, the contractions got a LOT worse very very quickly. Within a few minutes I was on my side crying from the pain. Up until this point I had said no to any pain medication, I didn't want it until I needed it. And I needed it NOW. Someone called for the nurse, she was with another patient, so I had to wait for a little while to get to tell her what was going on. When she did come in, she asked me if I wanted to get my epidural, I told her yes, I needed it. She asked if I wanted anything until the anesthesiologist could get there, since he was in surgery and it might be awhile. I said yes, even though I wished I didn't need it. She gave me some morphine, just to take some of the edge off. It just made me kind of groggy. I'm so thankful I had my mom, sis and Mel there, My mom did a great job at reminding me to do my breathing, and that helped a ton to get through the contractions. Eventually the anesthesiologist got there, and Stacy cleared the room. I was so nervous having them leave, I started to cry because I needed them. Stacy swooped in and assured me it was going to be ok. She gave me this weird chair thing to sit up and prop myself up on, and she just talked to me. I can barely remember what she was talking about, I think she was talking about something from her childhood. I just remember her holding my hand, and talking to get my mind off of the pain and what was going on. She did an amazing job, I was able to sit there calmly while the epidural was inserted, and I was able to stay still even thru my contractions. The second the medication went in, my legs got a warm feeling going down them, and the pain went away. She helped me lay back down into the bed and I felt wonderful physically for the first time in a couple days. After my family came back in, I asked Stacy if she had put down a cushion while I was sitting up. She said "nope sweetie, you just feel THAT good". I guess the combination of morphine and the epidural made me believe I wasn't in the same bed. Everyone was allowed to come back into the room. So we went back to waiting.
Maybe an hour later, I started to feel some pressure. Stacy had told me to let her know when I felt this, so when she came back in I let her know. She had everyone except my mom sis and Mel leave the room again, so she could check me. She discovered that I was completely dialated and he had moved down, I was almost ready to go. She left to go call the doctor, and they started setting up the room for the delivery. Everything seemed to be happening so quickly. Next thing I knew I was ready to push, with my mom, sister, Melissa and Stacy all by my side. Luckily, even though I had an epidural, I could still feel a lot of what was going on. It made it easier to know when to push and where to push. I didn't have to push for very long, maybe ten minutes max. I just kept hearing everyone telling me to push and that I was doing good, so I guess I did what I was supposed to. Collin arrived at 6:03 on Thursday evening, July 1st. As soon as he came out, and I stopped pushing, I started bawling. I heard Stacy saying how beautiful he was, and my mom and sister were telling me too. Everyone in the room was crying. Stacy took Collin to the newborn station and cleaned him up, wrapped him in a blanket, and put a beanie on his head. In the meantime I was getting stitched up and taken care of. She asked if his grandma could hold him, I of course said yes. Everyone was still saying how beautiful he was. When I was done being taken care of and could sit up in the bed, he was placed into my arms and I finally could see who had been growing inside me the last 9 months. He was perfect. I couldn't stop staring at him , he was so precious. Stacy brought in a small box, and a blanket. She took a knit cap out of the box, and took off his hospital beanie to put the homemade one on him. She layed the blanket over him as well, it was also handmade... by a Mother who had gone through the same thing I was, and still am, going through. It was almost surreal being there, holding my son, being able to see him, but not able to look into his eyes or hear him cry. My mom took pics with her camera, and my sister took pics on her camera and phone, and Stacy took some pics with the hospital camera as well. Ampy, my nurse for the night, came in, and we gave Collin a bath, took his footprints, and measured his height and weight. He was 20 inches long, and 5 lbs, 1 oz. At some point, I'm not really sure about when everything happened, everyone came back into the room. Sharon, the chaplain, came in, and did a blessing and prayer for Collin. She let me know that she had talked to a photographer, from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and she was on the way.
It was a bit hectic when the photographer was there, only because there were a lot of people in the room. Parts of it are still a blur to me, there were so many extreme emotions going on, plus the lack of sleep and medications weren't helping either. And my body had just been through so much physically. My mom and I put Collin in the outfit I was going to bring him home in. We tried to take as many pics as possible. I let anyone hold him that wanted to. I felt proud watching other people hold my son. He was so perfect. I didn't want to let him go, but at the same time I wanted to share him. So many people love him. Chris, my youth pastor, came to talk to me and said a prayer with us for Collin. I hadn't seen Chris since my dads funeral, it was so nice to see him. So many people came to meet Collin, the room got crowded, but I don't think anyone minded. Paula came with her mom Maryanne, my Aunt Nancy came, my brother John, Alison, my cousin Chet and his boyfriend Erik, and Aunt Lynda came back again as well. Add that to the people who were already there, My mom, sis, Joseph, Melissa, Dan, Uncle Bill, Josh, Crystal. That's a lot of people in one hospital room (at least I had a large room), but it was a room filled with love. Later, after everyone else had mostly left, my cousin Renee came to meet Collin. She was able to hold him and visit for awhile as well.
Around 1am I was taken to the recovery room. We still had Collin with us. I was wheeled over in a wheelchair, and my new nurse, Amanda, covered Collin up with a blanket so we didn't get stopped by anyone asking questions about him. She told me I could keep Collin with me as long as I wanted. My new room was much smaller, so my sister was able to go home with Joseph and get some much needed sleep. My brother left as well, leaving myself and my mom. I let my mom hold Collin for awhile longer, and she gave him back to me one last time. We kept him until about 3am. At this point, I was so tired from the lack of sleep, I think my body was protesting and giving out on me. I was afraid I was going to drop Collin because I was starting to get delirious. It was time to say goodbye to my Angel. We told Amanda we were ready, and I kissed my son goodbye for the last time. I fell asleep almost immediately, not really by choice. The next morning she brought me a paper that had some of his hair taped to it, along with his hospital bracelets. I was still in the hospital until about 7 or 8 that night, due to various reasons. Melissa, Dan, my mom, Crystal and Ruben kept me company the whole day. It was so nice being able to wear regular pjs and not be hooked to an IV.
Going home was bittersweet. I wanted my baby. Never did I think I would be going home without him.
Well, I think this is already too long, so I'll stop there. There's more to talk about but that will come soon.
Monday, August 9, 2010
My son is now the reason I go on and face every day... I live every day to make him proud. This is a constant visual for me, to remind me why I have to stay strong. I have to make my son proud. And I'm honored to have his name on me... people that don't know me can ask who Collin is... I can smile and say my son. :)
My arms ache for him... so much.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Someone very dear to me posted this on my facebook page when I found out that Collin was going to be stillborn. It's so true...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This is one of the professional pictures we had taken at the hospital. The morning that we found out Collin was going to be born sleeping, the chaplain from the hospital came to see me. She told me about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an organization of photographers that come to meet your angel, and take pictures, free of charge. Sharon, the chaplain, arranged for them to come see us. Tammy was there within 45 minutes of getting the phone call that Collin had been born. The photographers do this free of charge, and they work on a volunteer basis. It really is a wonderful thing to have these pictures of my son. We've only gotten a few back, but I cherish them so much, and can't wait to see the rest of the pictures. This picture is my favorite so far, he really does look like an angel. And look at all that hair! So perfect.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I dated a guy during the fall of last year, from September to the first week in December. It was a short, but fun relationship. It never got too serious, he didn't want to settle down yet, and I didn't need to settle down (again) yet. We had fun though. Ended quicker than I expected. I was working a lot, so was he, so it was hard to see each other. I was working 2 jobs, and he started to get flaky, not a good thing when you only have 2 nights a week to be able to do anything. I was a little relieved when it ended, only because it was getting tiring trying to work around schedules and such. We parted ways and didn't speak again.
I found out I was pregnant the first week of January. Long story short: I had no idea I was pregnant, and the father of my child couldn't care less. My Mom and Step dad were supportive, as was the rest of my family. A few friends were mad at my decision to keep my child. They said things such as "how can you raise a child without a father?" "You're going to ruin your life and your future", etc. The way I looked at it, I was getting a second chance at becoming a mom. It wasn't going to be the easiest road to take, but in my eyes, it was the right road to take. My family was behind me, and the majority of my friends were as well.
Sometime during the end of January, I started to have severe pains in my lower abdomen. After talking to my mom and my doctor, I went to the ER to get checked out. I was there for several hours, turns out I had a severe UTI. They did an ultrasound and I was told I was further along that I had thought. My due date was June 24th. I was given some safe antibiotics, put on bedrest for 2 weeks, and was told I should be fine. It was scary finding out I was further along than expected. At my doctors appointment the next week I was assured that everyhing was fine and not to worry, the baby was doing well.
My pregnancy was a very easy one after the ER incident. I never had any morning sickness. My energy returned in the 2nd trimester, and I felt great. I was working for the Census, and loved my job. At my "big" ultrasound, as they seem to call it on pregnancy chat boards, Collin hid from us and wouldn't let us see that he was a boy. My mom was so anxious to know, she made an appointment for another ultrasound that same night. She just couldn't wait to find out what her first grandchild was going to be. Luckily he was much more cooperative at this ultrasound. We found out it was a boy and were overjoyed. I would have been happy either way, but I was really hoping it was a boy. It was so neat looking up at the screen and seeing Collin wiggle around. I had caffiene for the first time in months right before my appointment to wake him up, and boy did it work! He was so active. I wish the appointment could have lasted forever, I just didn't want to take my eyes off of him. Phone calls were made to everyone we could think of, and we took our first trip to Babies R Us to buy our first "boy" outfit. Everyone was so excited.
My pregnancy continued to be fairly easy. My weight gain was perfect, I didn't gain too much. My only real issues were heartburn and swelling in my feet / ankles. Other than that, things were great. I was able to work until about 38 1/2 weeks. Collin stayed active and it was a joy to feel him kick and squirm. I was so happy, getting ready for my little guy. My sister threw me a fantastic baby shower. Collin was sure spoiled. If I wasn't working I was busy getting ready. Always shopping, washing his clothes and bedding, organizing his things. I was reading all the time, books about pregnancy, books about how to care for newborns. I took birthing / lamaze classes, with my sister as my coach. Life felt perfect, the house was ready, his things were ready, my family and friends were ready, and I was ready to meet the little guy that lived happily inside of me for 9 months.
My due date came, and still no Collin. I had a doctors appointment the next day. I was put onto a monitor, and I was indeed having contractions. The doctor said that Collin's heartbeat was beautiful. He just wasn't ready to come just yet. I left the doctors office with an appointment for Tuesday, and some disappointment. I was ready, why wasn't he? I spent the weekend trying to walk as much as possible. The phone calls and text messages started... Is he here yet? Everyone seemed as anxious as I was. Tuesday came before I knew it. I was in the docs office again, hooked to a monitor, listening to my sons heartbeat. My doctor "checked" me, and I hadn't made any progress from my last appointment. We talked about induction, if he didn't come soon we would probably try to induce at the end of the week. My doctor then did an ultra-sound, and said his fluid was a little lower than she would have liked, and decided to send me in for an induction that night. The hospital usually only does scheduled inductions between 12 and 5 am, so I was going to go in at 1 that night / morning.
Again with the phone calls /emails / texts. We wanted to let everyone know what was going on. I spent the rest of Tuesday with my sister and Mom. We went shopping, put up the letters above Collins crib... my sister custom made letters spelling his name, they were so adorable. I doubled checked my bags to make sure I had everything I would want or need in the hospital. I was told to try to get some sleep before we went in, but that was so hard. This was the last time I would sleep without being a Mommy. This is the last time I could lay down and feel him kicking. My favorite time of day used to be the evenings right before bed, when Collin was the most active. I was finally able to relax a little bit, and got about an hour of sleep. Since I wasn't in a deep sleep I woke up to Collin having the hiccups. I layed there for a little longer, and decided it was time to get up, there was no point in trying to get back to sleep. I was too excited. Around 12:30 we grabbed a few last things and headed to the hospital, my mom, sister and myself. Filled with anticipation... how long was the induction going to take? Was I going to be in pain? Was the IV going to hurt? Was Collin going to be ready to enter the world? So many questions and thoughts. It was quite an overwhelming drive... fear, excitement, and wonder all rolled into one.
I'll write more soon.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Since that day, I've noticed my mom is scanning the mail for me. They always separate the mail, my stuff goes in a separate stack on the dining room table. Yesterday I took my stack, and noticed again another baby product logo, in my parents stack of mail. I peeked and there were about 3 things addressed to me that my mom held onto.
Emails have been pouring in also. During my pregnancy I had signed up for a couple different websites, getting weekly updates about what your baby is doing that week, how big they are, etc. Well now I'm getting the emails about what your baby should be doing new each week, things like that. I get email on my phone, which can really kill your day if an email happens to pop into your inbox, and you glance at it on your phone, and the subject line reads "Your baby at 3 weeks!" Not good.
If you know anyone who is going through a loss like this, my suggestion would be to have someone scan all of your mail for you. If you get emails, have someone unsubscribe to them for you. I did this myself, I picked a night I was feeling particularly strong, and went through and unsubscribed to every email I had left in my inbox. I went onto the Enfamil website and asked to be taken off of their mailing list. I would love to just be able to forward these things to someone that could use them, but it's just too painful to see, I can't do it. I still get some emails, but I'm being as strong as possible when I get them. It's hard. But I'm doing it...
Thursday, July 22, 2010
This is the letter that was read to Collin at his Memorial Service...
Words cannot express the love I have for you, my first born child, my son, my beautiful baby boy. There is no word to describe how much I miss you. Three weeks ago I was so nervous about meeting you, praying I would be the perfect Mommy to you, hoping you would come into the world soon. Never did I dream that I wouldn’t be able to bring you home from the hospital, I never would have imagined having to live my life without you. But the little time I did have with you was such a joy. I loved feeling all of your kicks, hiccups, squirms and wiggles. I miss our evenings together, when I would lay down and talk to you, and you would kick all over the place. Right before bed was my favorite time of day, because you were always so active when I would lay down at night. Everyone would try to feel you kick, but you wouldn’t do it for anyone but me, except for the one time your Auntie Mary got to feel you. She was so excited! Then your Grandma tried and you refused to cooperate, I think you were stubborn like me. I wouldn’t let my Grandma feel any kicks either! After you were born, the size of your feet made me realize why the kicks started to hurt in the last part of my pregnancy! I’m not sure you would have ever gotten to enjoy the adorable Angels socks I got you, they probably wouldn’t have fit! Even with your seemingly larger than average feet, every single part of you is perfect. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when they placed you into my arms. Even though I know you were with Jesus when I was holding you, I still got to look down upon one of the most precious faces I have ever seen. Everything about you is perfect, your little nose, those lips, even the ears you inherited from your Grandma. Grandma says you have my hair, I can’t believe how long it was and how much of it there was! I couldn’t stop staring at you, caressing your soft cheek, holding your tiny, perfect hand. Even though I never wanted to let you go, I felt so proud letting the rest of our family hold you. I’m so glad I got to share you, so thankful I got to see your adorable face. You looked so perfect in the outfit we got to dress you in, my favorite outfit for you. It was the best outfit to bring for you, since it said “Mommy’s All Star” on it. You were my all star from the day I found out you were a boy, and you will always be my all star. Everytime I see a star now, I think of you… and I always will. You will always have my heart, you will always be my angel baby. I love you so very much. Please tell your Grandpa and your Great-Grandparents to take care of you until we can meet again. I know they’ll do a good job. Make sure they shower you with kisses and love, for those of us here that can’t do so. I’m praying someday I will be able to give you brothers and sisters, but know they will never be able to take your place. I’ll be able to tell them about their Angel brother in heaven, and I know you’ll watch over them like you are watching over me.
I miss you so much it hurts Collin. I love you with all of my heart.
The service started with a slide show that my sister made for Collin. It was just a power point slide show with different quotes, quotes that have helped me so much the last few weeks. We made bookmarks for people to take, and the different quotes were on these as well. I love the background on the power point slides... clouds in the sky with rays of sun shining through, so fitting. We played songs that I love and think about Collin when I hear them. The pastor opened us up in prayer, then Jenn sang Homesick, by MercyMe, while David played the piano. It was beautiful. It's such an amazing song, I found myself singing along with the chorus in between my tears. David then read a poem I picked for Collin. Dan read some scriptures he helped me pick out prior to the service. I had so many we could have used, but we were able to narrow it down to 3. Pastor Jon then spoke, his sermon was based on comfort, and the fact that with God, everything does happen for a reason. We may question why, but nothing happens without reason. My Aunt Lynda read a letter I had written to Collin, the letter that had taken me so long to get right. I could hear so many people crying during it being read, I myself was almost bawling. I actually got a lot of compliments on the letter after the service, I suppose it turned out ok afterall. We all sang Amazing Grace together, which was pretty difficult after the letter being read, but it worked out just fine. Pastor Jon then led a closing prayer, and we were to go outside to release the balloons. At the end of the service no one really stood up... I was trying to compose myself when I realized that everyone seemed to be waiting for me to walk out first. I was able to get it together, and walk out of the chapel standing tall, trying to stay strong to make my son proud. Everyone followed after and we all met in front of the chapel.
Prior to the service, we had let people know they could write on a balloon to be released. The idea being that we were sending Collin letters up to Heaven. I had made sure my balloon was written on before many people got there, so I had time to write what I wanted to without being rushed. I glanced at a couple of the balloons while we were waiting for everyone to be ready, and some of the notes were so touching.
After everyone was outside and ready, Pastor Jon counted to 3, and everyone let the balloons go. It was neat to watch all the balloons go up into the sky. Immediately afterwards my sister found me to give me a hug, I think she knew I needed it. It was a very emotional moment, thinking Collin would feel all the love that everyone released up to him. It's amazing to think that someone, who never was able to take a breath on this Earth, was able to touch so many people. I cannot be prouder of that fact, my son was able to make an impact on many lives besides my own.
I got so many hungs after the service. It was almost over whelming. I think I cried when just about every person hugged me. When it cleared out a little bit, I went into the chapel to get my tissue that I had forgotten to bring out with me. While walking back into the empty chapel I almost lost it. I think it just hit me, seeing Collin's pictures in the front of the chapel, and being alone with those pictures and memories. I felt my legs get weak, I just wanted to fall onto the floor and cry my eyes out. I managed to make it back to my seat where I had left my purse, and I just sobbed. I had let out a few whimpers between the flowing tears before, and during the actual service. This was my time to just cry it all out. I didn't care who heard me, I didn't care who saw my shoulders heavy with grief, I just cried and cried. Sitting there alone with my sons pictures was just too much to handle. He was so beautiful, so perfect, so wanted, so loved. The pastor came up to me to let me know if I needed anything, he would be there for me. That was nice of him. And a friend from high school / old church days came and sat with me. It was nice to have that time with her as well, just alone talking about Collin, and how much things have changed the last 10 years or so. I regained myself, and went back outside to let everyone know I was ok and we could meet up with everyone else in the Fireside room.
Afterwards we went to another part of the church and people were able to hang out and eat if they wanted. It was really nice to be able to take everything in and see everyone I love. It was mainly family, and friends close enough that I consider my family as well. I'm so thankful that the church was able to provide us with not only the chapel, but the other room to have a place to relax and talk afterwards.
Before the service my sister approached me to let me know we had a special visitor. The nurse I had the day I gave birth to Collin was there. Stacy was the nurse that touched me the most during my hospital stay. I was there longer than usual, so I had quite a few nurses, and Stacy was by far my favorite. She was so kind and caring. I'll go into more details about her later when I write about my hospital experience. It was so wonderful to see her, I just wish we had met for a different reason.
I'll write more soon... it's difficult to write so much at once. These days I have so much going on in my heart and mind...
Monday, July 19, 2010
There has been so much going on in preparing for this service. What am I going to do after the service is over? I won't have anything to focus on... to keep me from remembering I'm supposed to be spending these days caring for a newborn. I'm not going to lie, I'm scared of the freetime, terrified of the silence. I hope I can make it. I have to be strong for my Collin.
Again, it's late. I need to force myself to start trying to sleep earlier.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My hope is that someday someone will be able to read this blog and find some comfort in the fact that they are not the only one going through this. Hopefully some of my friends will read it, and get a better insight as to what I'm going through, or what I'm feeling. I can tell that people don't really know what to say, are afraid to ask what happened, are unsure of a lot of things. I want my loved ones to realize that I'm still me, perhaps a little more fragile... even though everyone is telling me how strong I am. I'm a mom now... I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy... Even though I don't have him in my arms, he is still my son, he is my Angel Baby. It hurts to talk about him, but at the same time I love to talk about him. Please don't be afraid to ask, if I don't want to talk about it, I'll kindly let you know.
It's getting late and I need to try to get some sleep, so I will update more soon.