Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas morning....

Oh my!  We are ready!  MOre than ready!  Owen is just waking up....which means the house will soon be moving, rustling... crazy!  And I can't wait!  The kids are so excited.  And it is definitely a joint effort.  THey have been monitoring Santa's progress diligently and went to bed as soon as they could get done with all their last minute duties.  Their Christmas cookies for Santa are adorable! 

I can't believe this is the 14th Christmas I have spent with Patric.  The 12th Christmas as a mommy (or soon-to-be mommy!), our first Christmas in Colorado.....and our third Christmas without Chase.  Time certainly travels fast.  The road has been bumpy.  The highs have been pretty high and the lows have been as low as they can get.  This is the first Christmas in 6 years we have been able to make it what we wanted to and even shop for each other!   Because even though money doesn't affect the kids' Christmases, it does ours.  In ways only a parent would understand.  But we've come a long way.....the packages are plentiful.  The tree is lit.  (Soon!) the ham will be in the oven.  The stockings will be animated first, then the presents. We will eat breakfast eventually.  We'll play with our toys.  We'll talk to grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.   (I have to add this!--We'll even get texts from friends!)  We'll eat our Christmas meal together and play some more, probably watch football and maybe even get a nap in today.  It sounds like a perfect day....and it will be pretty close.  

But the truth is, no matter how happy and perfect any day or any moment in our lives's always got a little bit of sadness hovering over it.   Our hearts, though very, very full, still have a hole in them.  Our third Christmas without Chase.  I can't believe it.  I play in my mind what he would be doing today.  How busy he would be.  Who he looks like.  WHat he would wear, what he would eat, what he would be doing.  I miss him so much.  It hurts...even at the happiest moments.  It's always there...because he isn't.

And that's all I get.  Owen is now awake and tugging at me with a very wet (leaking) diaper.  I need to add that he touched a hot oven yesterday and burnt two fingers pretty bad......just what we needed on Christmas eve.  But I was able to evade the ER after calling the nurse and being reassured that he was just hurting really bad, and, in fact, not going to die.  He seems to be over it now!  Sure didn't help things last night--made things stressful.  But we are headed downstairs. Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Winner...

Thank you all to entered my giveaway this year.  I met so many new mamas that I plan on following--a few had 10-month old rainbows so we have something extra in common.  This is the kind of support that this community offers:  the feeling that you are never alone.  There is someone out there that is suffering very much like you and can relate more than you ever wish they could.  But this comfort helps us make it through the tough times.  And from reading everyone's "scores", I can only offer words of encouragement this holiday season.  You are not alone.  The holidays are tough for everyone.  Some of you will have a 10 Christmas morning.  Some are in a place where you are a 2 on Christmas morning.  No one is judged.  Everyone's feelings are validated.  Hang in there.  I wish for you peace this Christmas and any form.  Maybe a bright star you see in the sky, a tiny bird alone in a tree, a crisp breeze that kisses your cheek.  Our babies are there....everywhere....don't ever doubt that.  May this Christmas bring memories that make you smile.

Now for the winner......number 17, Jaime from Butterflies and Rainbows.  Please email me or leave me your address in a comment field, Jaime, and I'll get this sent out to you toward the end of next week. Thanks again for stopping by!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

25 Days of Giveaways

Thank you to Tina for organizing this blog giveaway that has helped so many people make it through a very difficult holiday season without some very important little ones in our lives.    This year I found this wood plaque with a saying on it that really touches me and hopefully it will you, too.  I like having things like this around the house that are mindful of our little boy who left us too soon.  It's a nice thought to have, in my opinion, anyway.  Please leave a comment giving me a score of 1-10, 10 being the saddest or worst, how you are doing this holiday.   I'd say I'm a 4...but Christmas morning I anticipate more like a 6 probably.  Which is a big leap from the 10 I felt my first Christmas without Chase.  I hope you will be honest and I hope you will find comfort in the other baby loss comments and blogs you are reading.  This is truly an amazing community that we all belong to and if it hasn't already, it will help you in your journey, I promise.  Thank you for sharing this with me....

  I will draw the winner tomorrow nite.  Good luck and I wish you all peace, love and happiness this holiday season.


Sometimes I feel blessed but not lucky.  Sometimes I feel lucky and don't know what all my blessings actually are....

I was talking to a fellow BLM and dear sweet friend the other day on the phone.  She is a little bit farther along on this journey than I am and I have looked to her for some specific help on mine.  She has supported me in ways more than she will ever know.  And hopefully I have given her the support she needs and comfort when it is not coming from anywhere else.  I know a lot of what she is feeling and she knows the same for me.


This is her fourth Christmas without her angel baby and my third and we were talking about the struggles we encounter during the holidays....the tears at the drop of a hat....the traditions that are happy but sad....the acknowledgement of our babies that is and isn't there and how to acknowledge them...still.  I was telling her how it has been killing me the last few months whenever I see Chase's photos around the house--and I see them All.The.Time.  They are everywhere.  Not huge photos but little tiny "reminders" posted in about every room.  Our bedroom, my bathroom counter, the office, the kids' rooms, the refrigerator door.  The one on the refrigerator door is one my daughter put there this summer--a magnet that was in her school locker last year.  Its of her holding her baby brother.  The photo is a snapshot in time--a moment in time that is dreadfully painful.  And whenever I see that photo, I feel on the edge of a very high that if I am not careful I'll slip and fall right off of.  Those moments were so dark in my memory.  So very tragic and so very very painful.  For a long time I needed those photos around me everywhere.  I needed them to keep him near me.  Everywhere I go.  To see him....not all those tubes and the machines and the blood.  But I saw him as my little boy.   

Now when I see those photos I see the moment in time that they were taken.  And it reminds me of what a painful time in my life that was.  It's hard to pull through that and see our son for the babe that he was.  I feel and see that pain all over again.  

And then while talking to my friend I realize that I am lucky.  So.Very.Lucky.  to have those pictures.  To have held my sweet boy.  To have touched him and felt him and seen him.  She never had that privilege and for that I am deeply saddened.  I am so very grateful for having those pictures and that thought helps me see past the darkness of my photos.  I am very lucky.  I wish so badly she had a picture.  I'm sure she does in her mind but one to see with her eyes and make a connection.  Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be so *lucky* to have pictures with tubes and blood and machines of a very very sick child and that the child would be mine.  But I am.  And I love them with every ounce of my soul.  Thank you to my sister for taking those pictures.  Thank you to God for giving me those four days with my son. Thank you to my son for giving us the love you gave us in that hospital room and I am so thankful that we were all with you when you left us that very sad and painful day.  Because you felt loved, from the very beginning, to the very end.  And that love is still present and felt every day of our lives. ...til we meet again little man.... I love you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sleigh bells are ringing....

It's full blown Christmas around here.  We have snow and cold weather and pajama days and all kinds of Christmas spirit.  I'm struggling a little bit....with parenting.  All my kids.  The kids I have with me I find myself wrapped up in spending too much money on them.  Yet there is nothing to buy for my little boy who flies above us.  I know money is just a number.  And I know the kids don't know the value of things, but I find myself trying to balance with numbers.  And all that seems to happen is the bottom line gets higher and higher.  And then there's Chase.  I feel like I am not doing enough to honor him.  My heart is torn....only never to be repaired.  Buying toys for Owen is so very fun and so much sweeter than it was with the others--because I know what it's like to not have the baby in your arms.  I still think of the things that I buy for Owen that I should have for Chase but never got to.  

Even reading this post I am disappointed.  Sometimes I wish I could take all currency away from this holiday.  I wish just for once we could celebrate, truly celebrate and enjoy this holiday without the expense.  How different would things be then?  I am so grateful for what I have and whom I hold in my heart and in my arms.  But do I show it the right way?  Do they know that?  It's not just the kids, it's my husband--my best friend--that I feel the same way.

I am working on it.  I look forward to my day of hosting the 25 days of Christmas giveaways because of what it represents for me--the good it did for me that first Christmas without Chase.  I will find more ways. I promise myself I will.  This will be the wonderful Christmas that it should be.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gratitude Challenge

From Emma's blog.....Since I'm 4 days late on this 21-day trek, I'm going to catch up.  And then try to stay caught up.

I am grateful for:
My husband
My health
My children
My angel and the heavens above

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A mess...I am

I've sat down to write this post a few different times...unable to get the words out.  No connection to the keyboard at all.  As much as I've needed to blog, I have so many emotions going on, when I sit down to do it, my fingers are still.  Even now...I struggle.  Here goes...

I've been hit by multiple waves lately.  I am not sure what is happening in my crazy busy life that is allowing for this but I have been caught off guard a lot the last few weeks, okay, months.  I miss Chase.  All. The. Time.  And sometimes, I miss him so much it hurts. I have really felt on the verge a if I look at  a picture and think about it too much, I'll go straight down.  The pain, the hurt, the aching is just right there...if I let it.  If I go back and look at those pictures and all those memories, I can put myself right back in that hospital, back in that NICU, ... and it hurts.  A lot.  Just like it was yesterday.  So I haven't let myself.  There was a time in my grief that I needed that.  I'd go straight to Chase's box of things and get myself a real good cry.  Because that was what I needed.  Now, I think I'm scared to.  I'm scared to go back there.  I've had so many good feelings and so much happiness since Owen that I'm scared to go back to those memories.  And feel what I'm so scared of feeling:  What it's like to lose a child.  What it's like to not bring that babe home.  The emptiness.  The pain.  An aching heart.  My sister gave me two boxes of hand-me-downs, some of them which were mine from Reese.  I find myself digging around in those boxes for the oldest of the outfits...the ones I had for Reese.  Because I. Can.  Because I remember the feeling when I couldn't use those clothes....and now I can.  They are old and not as good of shape as the others, but they are mine.  And I longed so badly to use them for Chase and never got to.  And now I can.

I was in a store last week and ran across some cute little Superman.tshirts.  They were adorable, so I picked one up for Owen.  Then I decided to get one for my nephew.  But when I put it in my cart, a 2T, tears came.  Out of nowhere.  Because that little tshirt should be for Chase.  And I would have totally dressed them alike.  It felt like I was headed for a spiral and I quickly recomposed myself.  I didn't let myself go there.  But I kept the shirt.  Both of them.  One I will put on Owen one of these days.  The other one sits on Chase's shelf.  That's all I can do.  

There have been a couple other times I've been at the grocery store or something and something will trigger some tears.   And I quickly pick myself up and dust myself off.....too scared to let myself go back down again. And not sure why.   It was healthy for me to face those darkest moments of grief...cry them about them....and ultimately get through them only to ready for the next one.  It's harder now that I have Owen, though because, like I said, I'm scared of losing him, too.  I always will be.   I know the hurt and don't want to ever put that and the happy emotions of having Owen in the same thought bucket.  Ever.  It's just too scary.  

So I'm not quite sure when I'll let myself get through this wave.  Right now I'm just standing here, taking in water.  Catching my breath and hanging in there.  Just happy to be here.  Still standing.  But, it's inevitable. One day, it will overtake me.  I'll get through it.  And keep on...because that's what we do.  I miss you sweet boy.  I'd give anything to hold you one more moment.   I love you so much. I love  you SO much.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy 2.5 years and Happy 8 months and Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day

Owen was 8 months this week....Chase would have been 2 1/2.  I can't imagine what this household would be like with both of them raising cain......but I want to know so badly.  I would give anything for the chaos....and the happiness and joy.  We think about it all the time.  We also think about so many babies that left this earth too soon.  And all the mommies and daddies and big sisters and big brothers they left behind.  We are sending love and kisses...and lighting our candle tonight.  I love  you sweet Chase.  I miss you so much little buddy.  I can't wait to see you again one day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's Been a While

I've had a lot going on.....the story of my life.  Not enough hours in the day most of the time.  Owen is a lot to handle....and I'm loving it.  The kids are keeping me on my toes.  I love days that we have nothing going on, and they do too!  October is fun, though; we are having fun decorating for Halloween and fall as the weather starts changing.  I have every intention of getting back to my blog, and I really want to make it over.  But I had to just pop in and say hi...and show you this picture I found.  It brought me to tears.  To me, this is Owen and his big brother Chase.  The older Owen gets, the more I ache to see Chase's face and how he has changed.  His own look.  I think he would look a lot like Owen.  Anyway, my heart grows stronger....but the hole remains.  I love my boys.  And I miss you sweet Chase.  You are with me wherever I go, all the time.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Never forgetting

The kids are always remembering and talking about Chase, every chance they get.  Being very careful about how they share their brother's story and who they share it with, they are still very comfortable mentioning his name or talking about him in school as if Chase is living in our house, sharing our physical lives as well as spiritual.  I am getting used to these things.....things that used to take my breath away or catch me off guard, now are "normal" occurrences.  However, sometimes, there are still things that make my heart skip a beat....or send me particularly comforting feelings.  This, for instance, is a picture Reese drew today at school. 
Reese's class was talking about freedom today and the teacher asked them to draw a picture of what freedom is to them.  Reese's picture says "freedom is to sleep in" (which he asked me tonight to please, PLEASE, let him sleep in tomorrow morning).  And then the picture he drew was of a bunk bed with three bunks so he and both of his brothers could all have their own bed.  (Of course Reese has the top bunk.  Chase is on the bottom and Owen is in the middle.)  I thought it was so cool that he thought of both of his brothers equally like this.  And I think he does almost all the time.  I wish I could.  I wish I could act like Chase lives with us...physically.  I do sometimes; I have images in my head, but with Reese's picture, I can almost envision it. I am so thankful my little boy knows both his brothers.

This is Karly's picture that she drew to decorate her Friday Folder:
A rainbow, a butterfly and the sun.  Beautifully colored.  She said it was a picture of all the things that make her think of Chase.   I am thankful for these things.  And Emma shares her brother at school, too.  She wrote a story about a little girl who lost her baby brother when she was nine years old.  This little girl climbs a mountain and on the other side sees nothing but sweet beauty and all good things....something she refers to as Heaven.  Right now, she's at 9 pages...don't know how long it will be!!

I love my kids with every beat of my heart.  I'm so lucky to be their mom.  All five of them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First flag football game

Bandits Flag Football 1 from Christy Pearson on Vimeo.

Reese's 1st Flag Football Game in Carbon Valley

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Remember When arms used to ache from being empty.  Some days I hold Owen and hug him.....and remember those days.  I never hugged my other babies this way.  I'm glad I never had to.  I remember the pain from the emptiness and there was nothing I could do about it.  I just held Chase in my heart.  Now I feel what it would have been like with Chase in my arms....and my heart aches again, a million times over.  I will never  stop missing my baby boy.  And I thank him for sending us Owen.  When I see Owen's quirky little smiles as he looks at my tears, I know Chase is behind it all.  They have somethin' on me.  I know it. I love you Sweet Chase. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tough Week

We had alot going on this week.  Thankfully Patric was here to help with it all.  Unfortunately we spent half of the week not talking much because of an argument and I really hated this because I knew I would need him for the deposition--I would need him to be there for me when I was weak and stumbling.  And he was.  We talked through our "spat" and got "us" fixed again....just in time.

I don't want to get into the deposition very much other than to "vent" about the whole purpose of this lawsuit from our perspective versus anyone else's.  Like the attorneys, for example.  I had met a few attorneys in our pursuit to find one that would represent us and those experiences were not pleasant, mostly given the circumstances.  One of the attorneys was completely heartless when he spoke to me and finally told me he couldn't represent me because he didn't think we could prove negligence.....all the while his wife was having a baby any day.  Ouch.  The attorney that we did chose is very good and friendly, respectful of our sensitivity to the topic and his firm seems very nice whenever I speak with them.  However, when I went to the deposition, I quickly learned the business of this lawsuit.  And it started when our attorney was telling me the "important" points in our case.  And when I told her things that led up to that or details that surrounding these points, she said "but none of that matters, stay focused" and I just looked at Patric with tears welling up and said "but it all matters, every second of every bit of this matters".  I can't understand it, but I start to see it for what it is...

There was no human factor to anyone but me while I was in that room.  This is a job for them and when the day is done, they go home to their kids and my dead baby means nothing to them.  I don't know why I would expect that--this is a job after all.  To me and Patric, however, this is about our baby boy and we go home at the end of the day, we only get to see his picture....and hope and pray we said the right things to the attorneys that will allow us to live proudly and with the same dignity we had before we walked into that deposition.  And if the cards are played right, we will get the satisfaction of knowing that what this doctor did to us will not go unnoticed and will not be allowed to do the same thing to anyone else.  But this is a game.  And while our stakes are our dignity and grace and peace, the stakes of the attorney are the money of the insurance companies.  And we are merely pawns in that game.  They never knew my son.  I don't think they have even seen pictures of him.  They don't want to, though.  They don't want to make this job of theirs "human" when it involves a death or loss.  That would be too painful.  Too real.  To them it remains a job, a profession with an end in sight.  Something we will never be satisfied with....the end to this story.
Growing up, my dad was a volunteer fireman for our community and I remember him going through weeks and weeks (or it could have been months and months, I don't know) of schooling to be an EMT, too.  There was a siren in town that would sound off in code (one siren meant something, two sirens meant something different and so on) in our town and he would rush  to the town firestation and prepare to go out on the call, whatever it was--a fire, a car accident, a farming accident or whatever.  Being a small community, a lot of the time he knew the people who's call he was going to.  One day he went out on a call and it was a 5th grade classmate of mine's house.  Dad arrived at the scene with the ambulance to find blood everywhere in the house and a young boy on the floor, lying there lifeless, dead of a shotgun accident with his cousin, also in my class.    Since there were only 13 kids in my class, we knew him well.  I remember my dad coming home from that call and taking me in his bedroom and telling me what happened--that my classmate had died.  Dad was very upset, I could tell.  And that was the last call he went on in the ambulance.  He quit that job (it was a volunteer job) because it hit too close to home to him.  The human factor of his job when he saw the trauma of a kid the same age as his own was too much to handle and he couldn't remove this from his mind anymore.  Unlike the attorney's. I wonder if there are any attorney's that represent malpractice cases that have lost a baby due to the negligence of a doctor.  And I wonder if that experience makes them better attorney's when representing someone who has gone through what they have.  It's kind of like talking to a nurse during your labor and delivery of your rainbow baby and finding out she, too, lost a baby and she, too, had a rainbow.  You know she knows exactly how you feel.  As her patient, that comforts me.   WIthout her even having to say a word.  I know she knows.  But the legal system doesn't require such.  Apparently you don't have to be human, though it would be nice.  It might make this process more than just a transaction.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

Today was our first day of school.  All of us were a bit anxious about the whole thing.  Each for our own reasons...but some of the same, too.  We have a couple short days before we go full days, so they are off playing the last days of freedom away right now....and I'm home getting done whatever I can when Owen lets me, which today is not much...(so I'm trying not to  stress too much about it, despite the huge mound of paperwork and design I have on my plate).  Anyway, the first day was a hit.  The kids had fun, met new friends and new teachers.  Cant ask for much more.  And I'm having one of those "holding Owen, missing Chase" days....comes with the emotions of the first day of school, I guess.  So very thankful for what I do have...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Half birthday, milestones and never say never

A few pictures of Owen...

Sitting up...for a few seconds, anyway.

Sucking my thumb.

My half birthday today! 
And the never say never part.  Tonight, with very little time and effort, I turned this.....
into this! 
Sweet potatoes and pears here....also apples, bananas and squash so far!
I never thought I'd be making baby food on my own.  I would have loved to, but didn't expect to ever have the time with my busy life and chaos.  I just "knew" it was a lot of work.  But after stumbling upon an article about making your own baby food and, what caught my eye, adding spices to it, I decided to ask my sister for her babycook processer.   And let's face it, baby food is not cheap.  I was shocked from when I bought baby food last how much the price has gone up.  Anyway, it was amazingly easy, pretty quick, and a great feeling to do this.  I just hope Owen thinks so, too.  We'll find out tomorrow if he likes it.  If so, I have some fun surprises for him!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finding Time

It doesn't seem like I have much time for my blog anymore....I hope that's not forever.   I love writing here but my time truly does get monopolized.  And it's only really therapy for me if I can sit here and type my thoughts out uninterrupted and in a continuous stream.  But I am not the only one dictating it these days.  If not work or the kids or errands or household duties, my little sunshine is with me.  In fact, he's on my hip through all of that usually!  I don't mind too much, though.  Because I know what it's like to not have that "burden", too.  And if I get a choice, I chose the former. (and he's kicking me and talking to me as I sit here and type!)

So much has been going on ..... I don't know where to start.  That last post is still heavily on our minds.  I got a call last week that our depositions are wanted.  It completely baffles me that we are the last ones they want to talk to.  Aren't we the ones this happened to?  Wouldn't we be the first ones to ask what happened that day 2 years, 3 months and 3 weeks ago?  I don't know that I'll ever understand the legal system.  So we prepare for our turn.  I expect the worst.  I read the defense's response my attorney's questions a year ago and it was very painful.  They actually blamed me for my child dying--the doctor letting me bleed all day long with this healthy baby in my womb was my fault.  I certainly expect this to get ugly.  Somedays I have no idea why I am going through with this.  So I dare anyone who has not held their dying baby in their arms to tell me not to.

At the end of the day, I still miss my baby boy as if it were yesterday I held him.  It's still just as painful to look at his pictures...and I have them everywhere.  He's never very far from my sight.  I think of him every time I hold Owen.  Many times I still think Owen looks like Chase as my memory of Chase is so big.  Actually, when we finally held him, he weighed almost as Owen does today with all the fluids they had pumped in him.  I cry for him.  These tears are random, sometimes triggered.  The thoughts are constant.   I still think of dying and getting to see him.  Though I would miss these guys so much that thought is hard to bear as well.  A conflict, still.  Always.  What I have and what I wait for.  The hope that one day I really will get to see and hold him again.

Even after 4 kids and 3 of them in my arms, I still marvel at the love Owen can give us and we can give him.  He is truly amazing.  Everytime I look at him, he smiles.  That's all it takes.  Just making eye contact.  I can't help but pull him close and breathe him in.  Kissing him as much as I can.  Love is a powerful thing.  How can he give so much to us?  I don't know.  But I remember that feeling in the hospital with Chase, too.  How even lying there, with very little physical, tangible response to us, I still felt his love.  And I knew he felt our love too.  I knew that deep inside me somewhere, that he knew how much we love him.  He still knows it, too, I'm sure.  Love is so powerful.

Well, this is going on day 2 of this post so I'm going to close for now.  School is about to start and we are finishing up swim lessons, going to gymnastics, swimming and library. Can't imagine once school actually does start.  I'll hang on for the ride, I guess.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So hard....but so necessary

I am still in the process of litigation with the hospital and mostly the doctor who delivered Chase.  The depositions have been completed and so things are moving forward.  My attorney said I did not have to be and he might not want me at the depositions, but that I would have full access to all of the transcripts.  Knowing that they were complete, I called and asked to see Dr. Harkins' and they put it right in the mail to me.

Patric read it first and gave me his opinion or his perception of the transcript.  From this, I thought that I was going to be really confused after I read it.  I thought I would see the doctor as remorseful and regretful and as confused as I was with what happened.  It was all what I wanted to hear.  What I did not get after the trauma.  An honest explanation of what happened to me and to my baby boy....from a man who was not only my doctor and caretaker, but also my friend.  I felt so abandoned after Chase's death by every sense of the word.  I was so lost.  So confused.  So hurt.  And so mad.  And I thought all of this had finally come out in his deposition--it was his one last chance to explain to me what happened and say what he wanted to say....with the help of my attorney and his.  

So the deposition came in the mail.  Patric read it and told me about it.  Then he gave it to me to read.  But I couldn't.  I wanted the time to be right.  I wanted to not be distracted, not be interrupted, but to read the whole thing as if I was in the room listening.  So it sat here on my desk for more than a week.  Waiting for the right time, when there is no right time for something like this.

100 pages of deposition...and it was the quickest read ever.  Because even when I get the opportunity to relive that horrible day and try to figure out how everything got so screwed up, it all goes even faster.  I couldn't get through it fast enough.  And I see how stupid this doctor is.  How much MORE stupid he is than what I ever thought.  His deposition is so completely incriminating to me it's insane.  And now I can't wait to talk to my lawyer tomorrow.  Because half the time I read the documents from my attorney, my interpretation is so far off base from what they are saying (in all that legal jargon), that I think it's white when actually it's black and it's on our side.  But what I read in that deposition was exactly what I thought the entire time.  The arrogance, the incompetency.  All of it.  When I read it, I can hear his tone of voice, his innuendoes, his condescending attitude, his duplicity.  And its rough.  It's hard to read.  But I've needed to hear this for so long.  And for me, it's therapeutic.  Reading his interpretation, even if it is for the attorneys, of the surgery that he did on me was healing.  Hearing the horror even from his side.....something I that at one point I doubted that he even felt.

So I read this deposition with my baby boy in my arms.  My healthy, alive, sleeping baby boy.  And my heart aches for what should have been, at the same time that it melts for what is.  I am so blessed with Owen.  I truly believe he has his brother in him.  Side note:  I took him to the doctor because I thought he had an earache (duh, just overreacted to teething, oh well).  This was a new doctor who does not know anything about us, not medically or anything.  He took one look at Owen and asked how old he was and said, "oh, he looks so much older.  Not in a bad way, just wise beyond his years sort of, you know?"  I thought, man, doctor, if you only knew.  My little boy is so much more than what you see.  If only you knew....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hafta share...

a great book about about favorite blankies...

cousin baseball summer

playing dressup...even a guard dog

The Move

We are all still adjusting to this move.  The summer has been crazy with where we have been and what we've been doing.  The kids played softball and baseball in my sister's town.  We had 7 kids on 5 different teams between the two of us. The initial plan was that I was going to be staying with her for a good portion of the summer but as it turned out we moved into our house quicker than we anticipated.  This meant that my dear sis had to shuffle kids to and from practice and games all by her lonesome, for the most part.  I knew it would be a lot to handle with her and I keeping up with 5 different practice schedules and game schedules--I don't know how she did her just herself.  And then to not get to spend the sister time that we had planned and hoped for on top of it all.  Instead I was moving, finding schools, swim teams, gymnastics teams, activities for the boys and things for all of us to do together.  And of course shopping.  

That was the month of June.  Now it's July and we've been settling in, though Patric's traveling back and forth to Ruidoso a lot, as we had planned.  It sucks, though.  The kids always asking when daddy's coming home and Patric having to be alone each nite (in the peace and quiet and solitude--in my perspective) while we are all here together (not getting any sleep because the sun rises sooo much earlier here and when you're the only one getting up with the baby at night, cuts in on your rest!).  And what I realize's not just us as parents that have been going through a huge change this summer.  We have business opportunities and changes going on on top of it all and a lot to get used to.  But also the kids have their side of all of this.  I realize that they are going through just as big of a move....and they're just kids.  A lot for them to handle.  Leaving behind close friends and a whole bunch of (boredom) familiarity.  It's hard on them, too.  As excited as they have been to meet new friends, they are just as scared, too.  I hate that.  But I tell them that this adjustment period they are going through right now will help them later in life be more adaptable to big changes in their life.  Maybe roll with the punches a little better?  I hope so.   I never expected it would be smooth as silk this summer.....but sometimes it's hard to keep looking forward when all you want to do is look over your shoulder.  A chapter in not just mine and Patric's lives is closing, but in our kids' too.  We are all starting over.  And we are bringing Chase with us---he's on every page of this book.  But as with many things in life, time has so much to do with it.  Just getting past this and getting into our new groove--and I never want to wish time away--but it's how it works.  We'll get there--just hopefully not too quickly and without smelling the roses along the way.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A new beginning

We've been pretty busy.  We relocated for one.  Moving was a lot more work than I thought it would be.  I was looking forward to a "purge", but it was hard....and I'm still not completely rid of my junk.  That is going to be a lifestyle change, not just a quick one!  Our new home is much more spread out.  It is much cleaner.  And it fits us perfectly.  The kids each have their own room.  Owen is in our room for now.  We have a garage so the cars can stay inside.  And I am living in luxury again with things like a garbage disposal and decent water pressure!  I know I appreciate these things a lot more having lived without them for so long.  

We really enjoy our new residence.  The kids are getting involved in activities slowly.  We met our neighbors last night -- they have kids and potential babysitters (yay!).   They also have dogs so Kate even has made friends.  There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood so it's just a matter of time until we meet them.  We have found so many things to do and I am overwhelmed by all the choices....even just in the grocery stores!  Really--I have to work to be efficient with my time.  I can find myself getting lost in making decisions on a daily basis!

The move has been difficult in other ways, though.  Leaving Ruidoso was also hard for what and who we left behind.  We left a huge yard and a our yard is about the size of the house we lived in!  There are lots of parks and sidewalks and trails everywhere, however.  We left a great church in our small town and we'll have to search for another one to suit us now.   The friends we had left in Ruidoso after Chase died were true friends.  I miss them, but keep in touch with them in several ways. 

Our biggest challenge has been moving here without Chase.  Of course he's with us in every way....except the one that settles our empty hands.  The feeling of leaving him behind was excruciating.  As we packed up, I guarded the 3 boxes I have of his things with my life.  I kept them in my car through the entire move.  We were a few different places until we found the house and I stored those boxes carefully.  His shadow box and pictures were the last things I took off our walls in Ruidoso and the first thing I unpacked here.  Placing them in our new home was painful, too.  I find myself aching for my little boy all of a sudden.  I squeeze Owen and hug him tight.....whispering in his ear messages for his big brother.  How I miss him and how I wish he were here with us in this house.  And then I look at Owen and marvel.  He is such an amazing little man.  And so much like both his big brothers, I would guess.  I know Chase couldn't look much different .... but then it's hard to imagine.  I unpacked my big pictures of the kids and framed more updated photos, added Owens to the mix.  But my photo of Chase remains the same.  It never changes.  And it never will.  It still hurts so much.  Big sister Emma proudly puts her magnets on the fridge that she has unpacked.  One of them is of her holding Chase in the hospital right before he died.  These photos of the kids holding Chase are some of the most painful ones. Maybe because I don't look at them as often.  I miss him.  I wish he was here but he isn't.  I don't always feel him, either.  And I don't know if that is my fault or his.  The lawsuit is progressing and we ask ourselves why?  What's the point?  It's painful.  It's wrong.  It's not fair.  And there is nothing we or anyone can do about it.   Sadly....

We are excited about our move.  It's a good move for us.  But it's also sad.  Like everything is in this life of ours.  But in a way, the sadness makes the happiness greater.  Hard to explain.  

I'm working on the blog--I wanted to give it a facelift with the move....part of my new beginning.  Not sure when I'll get it finished.  I need Francesca's help!  Thanks for bearing with me.  A couple pics, more later.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reese's kgartn Grad day!

Reese graduated from kindergarten today.  I held together better than I expected, though I did not look forward to this day.  My baby boy, as I will always refer to him, is growing up.  He's a school kid now....and always will be.

But I know he will always find me in the crowd.  He's singing "Skiddamarink-a-dink-a-dink, skiddamarink-a-do, I love you" in this picture.  And he's pointing to his mama!

I love you sweet boy.  Forever and always, my baby boy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Cherished" from Midnight Orange

A year and a half ago I came upon Midnight Orange from my fellow BLM circle and found her sculptures so very touching.  I knew I wanted to order something from her....I just didn't know what exactly.  Then she went in a hiatus from etsy for a while and I kept in touch with her and told her I wanted one some day.  I just didn't know which one and when I would decide.  She emailed me back and said that was okay--just let her know when I was ready.

When I brought home Owen I went through so many emotions with having him in my arms and loving him so much....yet missing Chase so badly.  I had such a strong conflict in my heart and I thought of D Antonia and knew that this was the strongest emotion I had so far on this journey I am on and I wanted a piece to reflect this.  I found her on facebook and started working with her.  She sent me a couple links to see which one I connected with most and I was so touched.  The emotion I felt when I saw what she created just poured out.  D Antonia is so sweet and wonderful.  I received her box last week and opened it to find this.  

I put her on my collage box from Francesca to take this picture.  I ordered the box from her a coupe weeks and it took my breath away when I opened it.  Both pieces are so very dear to me.  A reminder of these friends I have met because of Chase.  And each tells a story to me.  Of what I have endured.  Where I came from and where I am headed.  And I think it is all going to be okay.  My broken heart has a beautiful bandaid on it.  And I am forever grateful for this.

Life is a highway....

and we're going 85 miles an hour.....or so it feels like it!  It's been a while since I posted and so much is going on in our lives right now.  I can't (because I don't have time!) get into it all right now, but I need to write about a couple things that have really been about this journey I've been on these last two years. 

We had the motorcycle rally last week so that's where I've been physically and right now I'm (supposed to be) working on the wrap up from the event.  Everything went pretty well.  I accomplished the things I needed to with work and the show went well overall.  This is all good for our family.  This event is our livelihood and it allows me to stay home with the kids and allows Patric to spend as much time as he can at home--something that he wouldn't be able to do working a full-time job for an employer.  

This event has also been part of our journey.  Two years ago, we were in a lot of pain from losing Chase, yet "the show must go on" as they say and we had to work this event less than a month out from our loss.  I had to face a lot of people at a time when all I really wanted to do was crawl in a hole and be unnoticed, untouched, and left alone.   Not a lot of kids come to our rallies, but more than you would think since we have a "family friendly" atmosphere going each baby that was carried in caused my broken heart to ache even more.  Last year, not much was different.  The pain of our loss was maybe not quite as sharp, but the dull ache was there...only to be sharpened with each 1-year-old I saw come into the show.  

This year was different.

I had Owen with me for part of the my arms were, for the first time in a long time, not empty.  My heart.....was a little fuller.  Actually, a lot fuller.  I had a smile back on my face again.  Every baby that was carried into the show made me think of Owen this time.  And I thought of when I would get to hold Owen again.  And I could smile.  Because I had something to smile about....inside and outside.    And I was thankful for this.  I thanked Owen.  I thanked Chase.  And I thanked God.   Every 2-year-old, this time, I pictured Chase in my mind at that age, too.  And it didn't hurt quite so bad this time.   I have Chase in my heart....and nothing will ever take that away.  But this year I can hold Owen in my arms.  And the hurt just doesn't hurt like it used to.  I am thankful for this.  My family is so blessed.   I love you sweet boy.  I love you so, so much.

Big sis taking care of little bro.

My piece from Midnight Orange. Something I have been thinking about for over a year. When I brought home Owen, I knew exactly what I wanted (almost). D Antonia was so wonderful to work with. I am so thankful to know her.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The visit

Chase is buried in a cemetery 7 hours away, so we don't get to visit his grave but once a year.  This makes the visit all the more painful and momentous.  It's not something we do every day and get used to.  Though I don't think anyone can ever get used to visiting their child's gravesite.

We had a very short window of opportunity for this trip as Reese has had baseball games nearly every other day or two this past week/weekend.  So we got to the cemetery Sunday.  It was a very different feeling traveling this time.  First and foremost, I had my baby in the car seat this time.  The car seat that for so long, hadn't been used.  I remembered two years prior, instead of that car seat, we had a casket in our Sequoia.  A casket with the body of one of our children.  That was a feeling that nearly sent me over the edge.  I couldn't think about it during that 7 hour drive, or I could feel myself losing my mind.  But it was hard not to.  I thank Chase for carrying me through those days mostly.  Giving me the grace to handle all of that.  It hurts to always will.  

I remember buying flowers last year to take to the grave.  We all agreed on an arrangement and I remember wondering if the checker would ever guess in a million years what we were buying these flowers for as she commented on how pretty they were.  This year, they each picked out their own arrangement, and I still wondered....and it still hurts.  I will never get used to that feeling.  And I still feel like teetering on the edge of sanity when I buy those flowers for my sweet boy.  It's a very surreal feeling.

Owen slept nearly the entire three hour drive Sunday morning to the cemetery.  Leaving me to myself for the ride....again, remembering last year and the sadness of the drive.  Having my rainbow in my arms this year definitely helped me, somewhat through distracting me, somewhat as a physical comfort.  When we got to the cemetery, I woke him up because I wanted to take pictures.   And he cried.  The entire stay.  It was terribly windy outside and I know he didn't like it.  But it really infringed on our visit.  We all had our time at the grave and said our prayers and did what we needed to do.  But with Owen crying, it certainly wasn't as peaceful as the trip was last year.  To make matters worse, I looked up in the sky and found not a single cloud.  I looked all around me....searching.....but I didn't see him.  I didn't feel him.  As hard as I tried, I felt so abandoned.  I couldn't find any sign of my baby boy.   I felt guilty having Owen in my arms.... and I couldn't comfort Owen at all, either.  So I didn't get to be alone with Patric much at all.  Everything was just all wrong.  My other kids looked so grown up next his grave this year.  They were so little when I remember them at the burial.  It makes me so sad to see them sad and to know how their brother's death has changed them.  It was time to leave and of course Owen calms down right away.  But I was so sad because I couldn't feel Chase around me.  I wondered if God was mad at me and wasn't going to let me feel my baby's presence anymore.   This made me more sad.

After a while of silence in the car and once the kids started watching their movie again, I told Patric how I felt, all the while crying.  I mean, why would I expect to feel Chase there at his grave, 7 hours away from where he always is.  He's with us everywhere we go every day.  Why do we need to go all this way to visit him on his birthday/death day?  Of course, how could we not visit his grave is also the question.  I was so confused....and then....all of a sudden Patric turned up the radio.  And we heard it.  Sarah was singing Angel.   And I felt him.  It was like Chase was telling me at that moment, "It's okay, Mom.  You're exactly right, I'm not there at that cemetery.  That's just my body.  I'm with you guys all the time.  See, I'm right here."  And for as long as the song played, I closed my eyes and felt my baby boy.  Thankful for his presence.  And after that I was okay.  Because I knew he wanted me to be okay.  

As a babyloss mom, we are always searching for signs.  Some may call them coincidences or just luck.  But as a babyloss mom, I'll take what I can get.  And I got it yesterday.....I miss you baby boy.  I will never stop loving you and I will never stop thinking of you.  Sweet dreams, little man.  Godspeed.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man

Chase turned two yesterday.  We've been without our precious little boy for two years.  It seems like yesterday, yet it seems like forever ago.  I can't believe how time flies but I can still imagine him in his isolette as if it happened moments ago.  So many emotions, so many feelings, so much fear.  The trauma that we both endured still clouds over the fact that he is gone.  Still searching for reasons, answers, clues.  And I still don't understand it.  Emma asks questions from time to time about what happened and why Chase isn't here with us.  I don't have all the answers for her.  I never will, and neither will she.  The anger I harbor surfaces at his birthday....I think it will for quite some time.  I look at Owen and don't see any real reason Chase shouldn't be here.  Yet I look at Owen and know he wouldn't be here if it weren't for Chase.
I am so lucky to have dear friends and family that sent their best wishes yesterday, letting me know we were in their thoughts.  The difference this year....I am holding a sweet babe in my arms.  When I cry, Owen smiles to let me know it's okay.  He is here.  He is healthy and he is here to help me through these moments.  For now, anyway...while I can pick him up and hold him in my arms and see Chase in my mind, yet feel Owen in my arms.  A pain that will forever be there, and a comfort at the same time.  Just as I'm getting used to Owen being in my life, I am still getting used to Chase not.  The absence of one, the presence of another.  Both my boys.  Both from my womb, sharing a part of me that only my kids know.  And carrying that part of me with them wherever they go.  
"I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go."
We are doing fine.  We are laughing and smiling and enjoying life.  But we still miss our little one.  We always will.  Until we meet again...

Dear Chase,
Happy 2nd birthday my little man.  I know you had a terrific birthday party up in heaven.  I try to picture you as a toddler running around, eating cake, opening presents, sitting on my lap, playing with your siblings.  But it's hard.  I want you here with us.  You are a part of our family and always will be.  We will never forget you, always love you, always celebrate you.  I love you sweet boy.  I love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My April

April is here.  I have hardly had a chance to notice.  Though I know.  I feel it.  The date is creeping up on me.  I did not get a chance to post anything about our Spring Break trip.  We had a blast.

The kids loved the ocean.  It was their first time at the Pacific.  We could have/should have stayed there all day.  It was very relaxing and very peaceful.  My favorite landscape is definitely the ocean.  I looked around to find Chase....I hoped knew he was with us.  I found him in the clouds.....

Owen had a great time, too.  This was at Sea World, our favorite theme park!

Last week I was taking care of sick kids.  Owen had a cold that lasted 10 days.  It was absolutely horrible and very stressful--for all of us.  It turned into an ear infection at the end, which the antibiotics took care of.  He's all better now, but was pretty rough for a while.  Then Reese came down with some pretty bad bronchitis.  Another scare for me....though these days, it doesn't take much to make me worry.  After some meds, he's recovered, too.  So just when I think we are back on track....I look at the calendar and realize it.

I scheduled and rescheduled appointments this month several times and turns out, a couple rescheduled appointments are for tomorrow.  April 14th.  I can't believe I scheduled them on this day.   I don't know why, but I wish I wouldn't have done that.  We have Reese's first baseball game and I am so concentrated on not crashing his happy times with "having" to celebrate his brother's birthday and angelversary in the midst of his baseball season kickoff and his own birthday.  I'm not sure how to do this.  We are not skipping any games and are trying to fit in a trip to go visit Chase's gravesite before Reese's birthday.....but it's going to be a rush to fit it all in.  I hate that he is buried so far away.  We still have not laid his headstone.  It is finished and sitting at the funeral home....but we have not been able to complete this last step.  There are so many questions that were never answered and this was one of we have struggled with and still not answered....

I could not sleep last night after Owen's midnite feeding because I looked at the clock and was in shock at the date.  I found myself going through all the events all over again.  Remembering as much as I could as I looked at the pictures I have in my room.  Wishing soooo badly I would have held my baby boy with so much more passion than I did in those pictures.  Hurting because I feel guilty for not picking him up the first moment I saw him in the NICU.  Not picking him up, because of course I couldn't, but I wished I would have put my hands under him....something I would do now without hesitation.  Just to feel him.  So that he could feel me.  Those memories are so painful.  My eyes investigate every millimeter of those photos now.  Wishing I had more.  Trying to distinguish actual images in my mind from the precise moments captured with each camera shot.  Wondering if I really remember anything other than these photos nowadays.  Hurting.  Still. Hurting. So. Bad.  I miss him.  With every ounce of my body, I miss my little boy.  Owen sleeps on my chest while I tell him I love him.  And that I love and so painfully miss his big brother.  All in the same beat of my heart.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This Life of Mine (Ours)

After Chase died, I wanted to get pregnant immediately.  And I didn't want to admit this right away, because I didn't want to replace Chase--or want anyone else (Patric or the kids) to think I wanted to either.  But eventually I admitted it and yearned so deeply for the physical contact of a new baby that I did not get with Chase.  I felt we needed one more link in our family, to make it 7.  The doctor wouldn't give us permission to try to get pregnant until we had waited 6 months, he wanted 8 months, after my pregnancy with Chase.  He said the longer we waited, the more I would be healed and would be ready for the next pregnancy.  In my mind, I wasn't getting any younger, and didn't want to be having babies into my 40s, though I'm sure I would have changed my opinion of that if I had to!  I told Patric that if we got pregnant again, I was "sure", though I was half joking, that I would need a shrink throughout the pregnancy.  I anticipated those 9 months of being very emotional and me being very scared about what all could possibly go wrong.  Though, even when everything went absolutely perfect at each checkup, we would both look at each other with thoughts going through our mind that everything was absolutely perfect with Chase, so until we brought the baby home, none of this meant anything in our minds.

I was surprised.  Somehow, throughout this last pregnancy, I felt amazingly calm.  It seemed like after our first ultrasound at 13 weeks telling us that everything looked perfect, I had a monkey off my back.  I got through the first trimester (when my 2 prior miscarriages happened) and I credited Chase with this peace that I felt, thanking him for getting me through the pregnancy every day.  Near the end of the 9 months, my emotions started going down a different path as I missed Chase so dearly.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel so-to-speak and I felt like I should have done all this with Chase--that he was all I really wanted. Fear set in again and I began to get a little anxious, but for the most part, I felt sane.  I didn't feel crazy, as I read comments and blogs from other rainbow baby mamas that had felt the same things I was feeling.

Then Owen was born.

I never once thought of Owen as a replacement of Chase.  In fact, I felt like Owen would help me heal slightly.  He would help me remember Chase and imagine him at ages that I couldn't without this little physical being in my arms and under my care.  But all in all, I thought I would be happy.  I knew there would be sadness because I would miss Chase as I held Owen.  But overall, I pictured a road of fun and happiness ahead of me with the new baby.

What I am about to say is not to be interpreted as I do not want Owen.  That is not the case at all.  He gives me light in my life, he puts a smile on my face, he has made my heart grow bigger each day he is here with us.  What I did not know about this rainbow baby, is the state of fear that would come with him.  I did not know that I would be so scared to lose him; that every cough, grimmace, cry would possibly send me into a mini (hidden) panic attack.  My heart and head are at constant battle....still.  I know in my heart that Owen is doing just fine.  I know that his cries are because he is either hungry or has a dirty diaper and that his collicky moments are because his tummy hurts with gas pains.  But in my head, I am constantly on alert.  Is everything really okay?  And I'm not the only one.  Karly, who is not only Owen's big sister, but his second mommy, asks, "mom, why is he crying?"  Sometimes I say, "baby, he just has a tummy ache like you do sometimes."  But sometimes when my anxiety level is skyrocketed, I say, "I don't know."  Then when I get him calmed down after a crying bout, she asks me, "Mom, is he breathing?"  And the truth of the matter is, I'm always checking.   Now, to some extent, we all do this as mothers.  Even to our toddlers and big kids, we check...all the time.  It's part of our instincts, habits, etc.  But with Owen, our rainbow, it's to a much greater extent.  I look at her with a little smile and say, "Yes, honey, of course he is."  But when I know that my 9-year-old daughter really just asked me if her baby brother is dead or not, my stomach turns.  Because when you have held a tiny baby in your arms that is dead or dying, it doesn't matter if he is your son, your brother, your nephew or your never forget what that feels like.  And you fear it to ever happen again.

Editted to add: Tonight at supper Reese said the prayer.  He always prays, among other things, that Chase is safe up in heaven and tells God he misses him so much.  Tonight, though, he prayed that God will "let Owen stay alive."

I didn't know I would be living like this.  In some state of fear, constant fear, that something is wrong with Owen.  I find myself particularly scared of the things that happened to Chase, or the things we saw go wrong with him.  Chase's legs were severely blotchy his last two days.  I don't remember what they call it but it's due to poor circulation and it happens to us all, especially to our fingers and hands when we get cold.  So when Owen's hands or feet get this way, I go back to the hospital when Chase's whole body looked that way and I get so scared.  My heart knows that Owen is fine...but my head remembers.  All the jerks, facial expressions, breathing changes....all of that which is completely normal with newborns, now sends me into a frenzy.  Nothing that shows on the outside, but on the inside, the wheels are turnin'.   My thoughts get worrisome until I see whatever it is I need to see to make me feel better.  
Owen has been a little collicky this past week and it's very hard to comfort him, and then explain to everyone else that he's fine and give them their warm and fuzzy.  Patric is very good about not stressing me out, but I know that he's feeling/thinking exactly the same as me.  The kids are not so good about not stressing me but I can lie to them and tell them everything is fine, whether I know it is or not.  
There are days when I think about all this and just marvel at this life I now live.  I think about what life would have been with Chase compared to how it is now with Owen.  I wonder how this will affect us all long term.  Even Owen.  I never look at him and not think about Chase.  I feel the need to talk to Chase when I'm alone and talking to Owen, too.  I don't know why.   Owen is absolutely awesome.  I wouldn't trade him or everything I've been through (recovery, nursing pain) for anything.  He's worth every ounce of pain I've felt.  I just didn't know that I'd be living in constant fear for his life.  I was so laid back last time (with Reese).  Everything went so smoothly compared to this.  And I was even in the hospital with Reese for 4 days with RSV when he was 7 months.  I don't know, maybe I'll get there.  I tell myself that as Owen gets older, it'll get easier.  Ha!  Maybe if he could just tell me what is wrong when he cries, then I don't have to guess and tell everyone else for him.  But I don't want to wish away time.  I want to enjoy every moment.  I want to love on him and squeeze him and kiss him each day because I know he will grow up so fast.  
I love Owen.  I love having a new baby at home.  I just never knew a rainbow could be so scary.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Where we are

My friend Carly just published some amazingly helpful posts for babyloss parents and anyone who knows anyone going through this, from friends and family to healthcare professionals.  I find these helpful even nearly 2 years from losing sweet Chase.  This journey is not one I would chose for anyone, but we don't have the choice.  When we are on it, some days the only way to make it through the day is with the help of others on the same ride.  Through blogs, emails, cards, etc.,  I have found comfort from "friends" that have reached out to me and honestly know what I am feeling and going through.  Understanding that grief doesn't just happen and then it's over, but that it comes in waves is crucial to comforting someone experiencing this.  
I knew that bringing home Owen would be emotional, but I didn't know that I would grieve Chase as deeply as I have in Owen's presence.  There is not a moment that goes by that I don't think of Chase and miss him painfully.  Catching a glimpse of Owen from afar, sleeping peacefully and remembering Chase in his isolette; wishing I had a better picture of Chase that I could see his whole face; blotchy skin on Owen and remembering Chase's when he was declining; the clothes that Chase should have worn and handed down to Owen with spit-up stains but instead, they are brand new.  I worry every time Owen makes a funny face or twitches in his sleep that something is wrong, remembering how scared I was that Chase was going to have a seizure...and then he finally did.  And newborns twitch a lot, let's face it, so just imagine my anxiety levels these days.
I have listened to Chase's song, Godspeed, a lot since Owen came home--it's on all the playlists I made for him.  I could not listen to it before as it was just too painful.  And now when I listen to it, it really isn't any less painful, but I want to hear it.  It's strange to me because it acutely reminds me of the funeral service yet I want to hear it and listen to the whole thing, with Owen in my arms.  I feel a little safer, I guess.  I can still cry every time I hear it, but I almost want it to bring me happiness, too.  I can't take away the sorrow I feel, but I can make it a little happier by sharing these moments with Owen....being thankful for Chase and everything that he taught me and brought me.  It isn't any easier to hear this song, but now I want to hear it.....whereas before Owen came home, I couldn't bear to hear that melody.
I still feel a lot of pain, a LOT of pain.  I have thought about some pretty painful moments that I never let enter my head since losing Chase and I cry.  But again, I am thankful now, too.  This journey has continued, but the path I am on has changed.  Some moments I am so sad that I still don't think I can move on.  But I do, because I want to.  I have beauty in my life.  I am deeply blessed.  Yet no matter how much joy I feel, I will always feel sorrow.  But I know that I will get to see Chase again some day.  And that he is waiting for us in a place that is incredibly beautiful.   I know this in my heart.  Yet miss him with my entire soul.  Carly said it this way and I thank her for putting it in these words.  She is an amazing woman.
"I thank God every day for all 4 of my children. I am not angry now, but thankful that my son has given me this beautiful life that I live today. I know that the place that Christian is in is so incredibly amazing. I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. I thank my angels for helping me to rise above my sadness. I thank God for sending Christian into my life even if it was only for the shortest stay.
I found my way out of the dark forest and I am now living in the amber glow. Life is rich. Life is precious. Life is beautiful."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I can't believe Owen is over 3 weeks old already.  Time has flown by.  So have all the struggles.  Re-learning all the little baby signs and signals and Owen's own signals has gone pretty smooth.  Getting used to seeing Chase in this little boy and missing him every time I look into Owen's beautiful little eyes, thinking about him.  I've been letting myself think of those heart-wrenching moments of Chase's life lately.  I'm not sure why.  There were some extremely sad moments during that week back in April of 2009 that I have not let my mind visit for quite a while.  And when I did, only for fleeting moments and then shifted to something else.  The pain is fresh.  Raw.  And it's peculiar how my mind can conjure up such emotion without notice sometimes.  The  memories are there and resurface at some of the weirdest times sometimes.  But as many painful moments as there are, I try to think of the beautiful memories, too.  Even the fact that I have an angel son in Heaven.  
I just read Heaven is For Real, by Todd Burpo.  My sister found the book and left it behind in Albuquerque when Owen was born and I'm so glad she did.  It's a story about a little boy who had emergency appendectomy and visited Heaven while he was sedated.  I think this story touches a lot of people, but is special particularly to those of us who have suffered miscarriage and baby loss.  We struggle a lot with imagining our babies faces and what the look like, who they might look like and to hear this little boy's story of what heaven is like, how Jesus really, really loves the little children, what he did while he as in heaven and who he saw and all the little children he is comforting.  The question of whether or not to believe the story, whether it is true or not, is almost abandoned.  It is such a beautiful story, I want to believe it and do.......wondering how can I not believe it???  Through the eyes of a child and told this way, it is everything I want Heaven to be...questions answered maybe.  This little boy is not scared of dying, because he knows what is next for him.  And though I have felt this way before, knowing i will get to see Chase again, I am comforted a little more hearing this story and what Heaven is really like.....or so this story describes.  
I am still getting used to this life.  I remember for a long time being in my car and every time I looked in the back seat, I missed seeing the car seat and Chase in it.  It was a very painful reminder and constant.  I looked at my 3 kids and saw them, but more so saw who wasn't there.  Taking that car seat out of the car when we left the hospital is one of those painful memories that I wouldn't let myself remember....until we took Owen out of the hospital and put him in that very car seat.  It was cathartic in ways, sad.....yet happy.  I sobbed as I buckled Owen into Chase's seat....the one he never got to use.     Now, I am still getting used to seeing that car seat in the back seat of the car.  Some days I can't believe I have my little boy with me.  He's here with us.  All the time.  I don't know when it will ever get any easier.  I will get used to it.  But I won't ever stop thinking about the baby who didn't get to use it.  The baby who is missing in our car.  In our lives.  But I will always be thinking about seeing him again.  Seeing him in a place much better than this.  One day....

Owen with his Chase bear in his brother's outfit.