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.