Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Something I'm Thinking About

Grant has inspired me. He has inspired me to be a better mom and wife. He also has inspired me to actually do something with my dream of helping people with my sewing. I love to sew. I'm no great seamstress by any means but I'm not terrible either. We had my aunt make us hats, gowns and blankets for Grant. 2 of each so that we could keep one and keep one on Grant. Having something that he wore or was wrapped in is very healing. The hospital where he was born also had a little tiny crocheted hat that he wore in most of his pictures. It was precious. Our hospital has people that donate little outfits for the NICU babies and little crocheted hats for them. They also have people that donate beautiful blankets and quilts for the babies in the NICU and children in the hospital. However, they don't have anything donated for the tiniest little angels or specifically for the child who go to meet Jesus. Just thinking about a family finding out that their baby has died and then not having items small enough for the child to wear or items that they can take home without leaving the baby without breaks my heart.

There is an organization that I have fallen in love with called Teeny Tears. You can find their website here: Teeny Tears This amazing organization makes and distributes the cutest, tiniest diapers I have ever seen to hospitals for bereaved families. These diapers are so that the infants can have their pictures taken with dignity for the families to keep. All families who have lost a baby treasure whatever photos they have of their little ones. This group also has free patterns for other people to make the diapers and distribute them locally. None of this is done for monetary profit. It's all done to support newly grieving families and I LOVE IT! They also have a woman who will contact your local hospital and find out how many diapers they need for you. Amazing. To help this organization just go to their web page. You can have money donated to their organization by shopping online just like you may normally do and it won't cost you a cent. Find out about that here: Teeny Tears Online Shopping Donations

So here is my idea. It is not fully formed yet and I am not 100% sure how to make it all happen. I want to make diapers, tiny blankets (some as small as 9"x9"), and hats to distribute to my hospital solely for the purpose of babies who have gone to Jesus. This includes babies that die in the NICU. I want to make 2 of everything and make them match so the parents can pick what pattern they want but will also have something to keep exactly like the one that the baby wore. I've even considered making tiny little sleeper gowns for the tiniest babies. I'm going to need help. This is a HUGE project and in my brain it seems even larger. Eventually I would like to have these being donated to all the local hospitals here where I live. I want to be able to bless other peoples lives in the darkest times like my aunt was able to bless us with something as simple as clothes for their baby to wear with dignity. If you would like to help in any way (sewing items, fabric donations, monetary donations to buy fabric, or just prayer for my endeavor) I would appreciate it. Another mom who lost her son is doing something similar where she lives so if you happen to live in North Carolina maybe you could help her instead :) Dancing in the Rain 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Thursday May 24, 2 months and 1 day after saying goodbye to Grant, we went to the geneticist to get the results of his tests and autopsy. We chose to have these done so we could possibly have answers as to a cause of his severe oligohydramnios (lack of amniotic fluid) and see if there was a chance for it recurring in future pregnancies. Our Geneticist is amazing. I work with her quite often and her bedside manner and empathy are wonderful. She actually came to examine Grant the day he was born and ordered all of the tests so our appointment was only to discuss the results. We learned that Grant had normal chromosomes and no gene defects. This means that there isn't a genetic cause for what happened, which is good. It means that the chances of it happening again are the same as it happening the first time. His autopsy confirmed what his ultrasounds showed us. He had severe oligohydraminos on ultrasound with a distended bladder and enlarged kidneys. He also had only 1 umbilical artery (which can sometimes correlate with renal issues). His autopsy showed that his kidneys were normally formed but slightly distended from urine back up. His bladder was very distended and thickened from being stretched so much. There wasn't a bladder outlet, meaning no way for urine to leave his body. While he was forming something didn't form correctly from his bladder to the outside of his body. Urine makes up most of the amniotic fluid so since it wasn't getting out he didn't have any. Amniotic fluid helps make lungs. His lungs on autopsy were only about 1/4-1/5 of the size they should have been for his gestational age. All of this together equals him having something called Prune Belly Syndrome. The chances of having a baby with this are 1/40,000-1/50,000. These odds don't seem all that high to me now but obviously it's pretty rare. Not all children with Prune Belly Syndrome have such severe oligohydramnios and some are able to survive pregnancy and outside of the womb. Grant however would have never made it. His lungs wouldn't have developed much more and he wouldn't have been able to breathe. Getting the results of his tests actually brought a sense of peace and closure.

Knowing that he didn't have a genetic cause makes me a little more comfortable deciding to try again. However, I'm still really scared. 1/40,000 odds are pretty good, unless you have already been the 1/40,000 and then it feels like 1/1 odds. Lots of moms and dads who have lost babies know how we feel as we embark on this journey to try again. I've lost the innocence of pregnancy. I know that if we ever get pregnant again I am most likely going to have a hard time being really excited until after my big ultrasound. This makes me sad. I loved being pregnant with Grant, even early on when I had morning sickness, but I'm afraid my next pregnancy is going to be covered with fear until I know things are ok. I'm also scared that it is going to take us another 3 years to get pregnant, but hopefully not. Hopefully things will go a little faster this time and we can soon welcome a healthy baby into our home.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Complaints with Thanks

Today I'm linking up to a friend's blog for her link up of complaints with thanks. You are allowed to complain as much as you want but you have to give thanks. I can see how this would be hard sometimes. Being thankful when things are really hard is sometimes not easy but I've found that if I find something to be thankful for it puts me in a better mood.

I HATE that D and A are retiring to their parents on Friday for good. I HATE that since they have "completed" their services people in the system think they are suitable for the children to return despite the things that D comes home saying and we have relayed to all parties involved. I HATE that D, A and their baby sister will likely be back in the system because of this.

I am thankful that we got to spend 13 months with D and A. I thankful for our friends and family who have loved them like they were born into our family and have helped us make an impact in their lives. I am thankful for the CPS system and the work that they do and that sometimes it does work and makes families whole again. I am thankful for D and A's lives and the life of their new baby sister. I am thankful for a God who knows all of the plans that I can place my trust in to keep D and A safe and loved.

Here is the blog I'm linking up to this week. She has been such a huge inspiration and support to me in this walk since losing Grant. Hepler Family Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Garden Greatness

Last summer we moved to a house that sits on half an acre and I LOVE it! I begin planning our garden for this year then, sine it was too late to start one. In the fall I recruited my best friend Allie to help. In the winter I knew by the summer harvesting veggies would be hard while super pregnant in the Texas heat and was glad I had recruited Allie. Then we learned it would be hard for Allie too, yay! We promptly recruited Laura and started Harvesting Joy (we are nerds and named our garden group). Mine and Allie's husbands built the 16ft square box and we ordered dirt. We were planting onions when I got the phone call that my quad screen wasn't normal and these two friends provided support. We planted the rest of the veggies (squash, zucchini, tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, green beans, and peppers) and watermelon after Grant was born. This gave me something to do but it also brought 3 friends together even more. Laura and Allie are true friends, ones who support you, love you, and surround you in prayer. Our garden is growing like crazy and we have been harvesting squash, zucchini, cucumbers and onions. The tomatoes and okra will be ready soon. Since we have an abundance of fresh veggies I have been trying to find ways to prepare them that the kids will like. Here are two favorites so far. I'll post more if we find some :)

1. Grilled squash and zucchini
We sliced both and placed on foil. We then added about 2 tablespoons of butter, garlic and herb seasoning and pepper, wrapped in foil and grilled for about 20 min. They were still slightly crunchy and we ALL loved it.

2. Meatballs with puréed zuchinni
preheat oven to 400
1 lb lean ground beef
2 medium zucchini
3/4 tsp salt
1 small onion diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2-3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs (may need more for density of meatballs)

1. Slice and boil zucchini until soft
2. Purée without extra water or cooking water.
3. Mix all above ingredients
4. Refrigerate for 30 min (can be longer)
5. Form into 1 1/2in balls and place on foil lined baking sheet
6. Place in preheated oven for 20-25 min until browned and done

We served it with spaghetti and it was delicious

Thankful Thursday #3

I'm really enjoying doing these. It helps me to focus on things I'm thankful for instead of always on things I wish we're different and I feel it really helps me in the grieving process. This is especially true when I think of things I'm thankful for about Grant or D and A.

1. Taking the kids out of daycare last week. This has allowed us to spend so much more time with them this week and I am loving it!
2. My vegetable garden. We have some yummy veggies that have contributed to dinner this week!
3. The time I've had off work. I have the greatest colleagues. I am ready to go back next Monday though, I miss my job.
4. Our neighborhood pool and afternoons spent there with family and friends.
5. Our appointment with the geneticist today. We were told the chances of us having another baby with the same diagnosis is just as rare as it was with Grant, 1:50000. I'll do another post on this a different day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2 Months

2 months. 2 months without you. Somedays it seems like forever, somedays it seems like yesterday and somedays it seems like a bad dream. 2 months since I held you and kissed your sweet face. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you or miss you. Missing you is getting a little easier. I still have a Grant sized hole but the edges aren't as raw. That hole will always be there but it won't be as painful and that's ok. I smiled and laughed the other day for real for the first time since telling you goodbye. I've smiled and laughed before that but not completely, but the other day it was all of me smiling and laughing and it felt good. I feel like my emotions are bigger now because of you. I love deeper because of you. You have made me want to be a better mom, wife and person. I know I'll be a better doctor, one who understands what it's like to lose a child. I am beyond grateful for your life and so blessed to have you as my son. I love you my baby boy and I always will.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Way to Go D!!!

Today was D's end of year awards assembly for the 1st grade. Earlier this year she received an award for the character trait "responsibility" and she also was chosen good citizen for a 6 week period. Today however was the last of the awards. We were super surprised (no one told us she was getting another award and we didn't think she could get 2 in a year) and super proud when she was chosen to receive the award for the character trait of "Citizenship". She also received an AB honor roll award as well as a certificate for her good citizen award she got earlier in the year.

JaJa and I are so incredibly proud of you. We are so blessed to call you ours, even if it's only been for 13 months of your life and we soon will say goodbye. You have come such a long way in just a year. You went from a first grader that could barely read to making the AB honor roll, with your only B being an 88 in math one time. It makes us so proud that others recognize how sweet you are and that you show it when you are with others. Here is what your teacher said about you: "D has been a model citizen all year. She has developed into a kind and respected leader. She is a great role model to others. She is dependable and hardworking. D is caring and accepting of others. She is always willing to lend a hand to a friend in need. She has been such a blessing to our class and we are lucky to know her." We completely agree with every word that she said about you. D, you are a blessing and a joy. We love you sweet girl!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vacation Part 3

Sunday morning we got up REALLY early after going to bed REALLY late and headed to Rhode Island for lunch with one of my other closest friends. It's quite a drive from Philadelphia to Portsmouth, NH with lots of tolls along the way. Sunday also happened to be Mother's Day and was a really hard day for me, made better by my wonderful friends, family and husband. I don't have any pictures from Sunday. Monday morning we slept in, went and ate breakfast and went to North Hampton Beach in Portsmouth, NH. It was cool, cloudy and windy but the beach was beautiful. This is where we chose to spread some of Grant's ashes. We still have some that we plan on putting in an urn to keep. It was very sad but so peaceful at the same time.

The rock where we spread Grant's ashes

Daddy and Grant's Name

 Mommy and Grant's Name

Tuesday we drove to our friends house to spend some time with them and our Godson. We had fun hanging out, eating good food, and we went to the gun range on Wednesday. Brad, Susan and Skylar, we love y'all and are so happy we got to see you. 

Thursday we got up REALLY early and headed to the airport so we could head home. We traveled most of the day but made it home in time to surprise D and A at the park and tuck everyone in to bed.

It was a wonderful trip and I loved the quality time we got to spend together. Some of it was sad, some was happy and some was a little of both, exactly like life for us now. 

Vacation Part 2

Here is the middle part of our vacation. Wednesday we drove from Washington DC to Baltimore, MD. We had been told that the aquarium there was wonderful and since we had tickets to the Orioles/Rangers game that night we decided we could spend the day there. First we went to eat at a cafe called the Blue Moon Cafe. YUMMY! Seriously some of the best food I've ever had. We will be going back and next time I'm going to make Jonathan try the Captain Crunch French Toast (since I don't like french toast). We spent the afternoon at the aquarium and people were right, it is an amazing aquarium. We had some time to kill afterwards though so we went and saw a movie and then headed to the baseball game. Of course it had to start raining as we were walking into the stadium. We sat at the game for over an hour watching the rain fall until they called the game and rescheduled for the next afternoon. Woohoo, double header tickets. While we were waiting for them to call the game we met some really great people from Lubbock, TX and we ended up sitting with them on Thursday.

Thursday morning we got up and went to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII memorial, and the White House. Everything is under construction so we will have to go back when it is done. Then we headed back to Baltimore for a double header. The Rangers lost the first game but won the second. We had a blast! 

Friday was spent at the National Zoo where we saw Panda Bears and we ate dinner with one of my best friends ever Kimberly! FYI all the stuff in Washington DC (Zoo, Museums, Monuments) are free!

Saturday we drove to Philadelphia where we enjoyed a Cheesesteak and headed to the Phillies game for the last game of our trip. 

The final installment is coming soon :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vacation Part 1

Here is the beginning of our vacation posts. I don't really know how many posts it's going to take to do this. I'll try to make it short and sweet since no one probably wants to know every detail of our vacation. Jonathan and I had planned this vacation originally for right after D and A were supposed to go home and before I was too pregnant to travel comfortably. Well, D and A were still here and I wasn't pregnant anymore, but we decided to go on vacation anyway. We actually extended our vacation by 5 days so that we could travel to New Hampshire to spread Grant's ashes. Thank you to my brother-in-laws parents Marilu and Dan for the plane tickets on the way home! Thank you to the Shoemaker family for the hotel for the first half of our trip! 

We went to Washington DC for the first part of our trip, simply because we had never been and always wanted to go. Jonathan and I are nerds :) We love zoos, aquariums, museums, etc. If you love these things too then Washington DC is a must! The weather there was beautiful for the most part. It is odd to me to need a jacket in the middle of May. That's ok though, it made for comfortable walking during the day, and boy did we do some walking. We left on Sunday May 6th and arrived that afternoon. That night we went to the Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies baseball game! One of my very best friends who lives in DC right now met us at the game. 

Monday we went to Arlington National Cemetery. We will have to go back there, that place is huge and so beautiful. I didn't know that President Kennedy had 2 children die as infants. They are buried next to him and his wife there. It was really hard for me at that moment. We were looking at their graves and the Kennedy memorial there and another man and woman walked up. The woman looked to be about 5 or 6 months pregnant and I started crying and had to walk away. For some reason I felt really close to Grant while we were there. That afternoon we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy Center....AMAZING! This is where they filmed part of Transformers: Revenge of  the Fallen and is also where the Space shuttle Discovery is! There were so many airplanes, helicopters, missiles, rockets, it was awesome! Definitely something you should do if you go to DC. 

Tuesday we went to the Smithsonian American Indian Museum, the National Archives Building and the Smithsonian Art Galleries. We don't' have pictures from the Archives building, you aren't allowed to take pictures of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, or the Constitution. It was amazing to see such important documents. 

Waiting in line outside the Archives Building

A VW Bug covered in beads

That's it for part 1! Will do part 2 later!

Update on D and A

D and A are wonderful as usual. It was so much fun to come home on Thursday and surprise them. My parents had taken them to the splash park to play and have a picnic so we surprised them there. The smile on their faces as they ran to us was so sweet, melt your heart sweet. We let them stay up a little later than normal that night so that they could spend some time with us. D made me this really cute book out of paper bags at school for mother's day. On the front of each page (paper bag) was a saying about what she could do by herself. Inside each bag was something that she needed help with from me. A made me a picture frame with a cut poem on it and a picture of him. They were so excited to give me their presents, once again, precious. They had a blast with my parents, Nana and Pawpaw. D's first question after telling us hi was "Does Nana HAVE to leave tomorrow?" Friday evening we had to drive them to meet their biological parents for their 48 hour visit. We have been doing 48 hour visits for about 6 weeks and had done 24 hour visits for 4 weeks before that. Every time we turn down the road that we meet their parents on A gets really quiet and upset. Sometimes he tells us he doesn't want to go. Friday was one of those days. He wouldn't talk or laugh, so not him, and when we asked if he wanted to go see Mommy and Daddy he whispered "no". When we got out of the car and I got him out of his seat he had tears streaming down his face and he became my little spider monkey. I had to pry him off to hand him to his mom. It breaks my heart that he doesn't want to go there but he has to. D also gets really anxious and nervous when it is time for visits. She says she wants to go but her face and actions say differently. We have tried to explain this to our case worker before as a concern, but she doesn't seem to think anything of it. It worries me that after over 3 months of this they still don't want to go to their visits, something seems not right. D is a smart little girl. She knows if she says that something is happening she won't get to go home and her loyalties are with her biological family. This makes her say things are fine or even going well, but once again her face and actions tell us otherwise. We are working with her on being honest, even when it is hard. She has also come home and told us some things that make us really concerned but when we told her case worker nothing really was done about it. The kids lawyer is trying to help.

I'm sorry if I sound whiny. We knew going into foster care that the goal is reunification. I agree with this goal sometimes, but sometimes it isn't what is best for the children. We will miss D and A terribly when they leave in 2 weeks. However, I'm really worried about them going home. Things don't seem right and I'm afraid they are going to get hurt again. Removing them from their biological parents again when something goes wrong is going to devastate them. I've tried giving them the benefit of the doubt but when an 8 year old comes home saying the things she has said it makes me worried for her.

All we can do is hand them over to God and trust in him. We have 2 weeks left with them. We go back to court to discuss reunification on May 30 and currently they are scheduled to go home on June 1. I plan on enjoying every minute with them over the next two weeks. Their last day of daycare was Friday so that we can spend more time with them. There are zoo trips and afternoons at the pool already planned. We even plan on going to a Rangers game on the last day of school for D.

Please join us in praying for them. Please pray that God will protect them and place them right where they need to be. Please pray for our hearts as we prepare to say goodbye to our other 2 children. Thank you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't belong

Sometimes I feel so out of place. Like I dont belong anywhere. I see moms with their toddlers and think "I have a 3yr old" but then I think "but I dont get to keep him, I have to give him back even though most involved don't think it's what is best". I see people who are pregnant and think "I was just pregnant, still should be but instead my baby lives in heaven now." I wonder if these strangers can see the pain behind my smile or if to them I am just a lady smiling and waving hi to their child. I look around and wonder, are any of these people like me? Or are they all blissfully unaware of the tragedy of losing their child?

When we found out we were pregnant with Grant we both said that Gods timing was perfect. We knew our foster kids would be leaving, most likely at the end of April, and we knew how hard that was going to be. We both said that God gave us Grant so we would have a child we could keep and have something to look forward to in our sadness of losing D and A. Apparently we were wrong. I'm not sure what Gods plans are but I know that He works things for His good for those who love Him.

Early in my pregnancy with Grant I had some bleeding. I was told this was normal but it still scared me. I remember praying then that Grant was my baby but that he wasn't really mine, God was letting me have him for a time to raise him but that he was actually Gods and I told God then exactly that. I recognized that God was just "loaning" Grant to us. When I told God that I understood this and that Grant was His I didn't really think that I would have to give Grant back so soon. I don't know if I would have so willingly said to God that he could have Grant if I knew what I know now. Maybe that is part of the plan. I was learning then to put my complete trust in God like I never had before. I was giving Him one of the most important people in my life. God didn't take Grant from us. I don't think God did this to us. I do think that God knew it was going to happen. Bad things happen, they have since the fall of man and will continue to until Christ returns. The beauty of it is that God will work the bad things together into something beautiful if we continue to follow and trust in him. Our story isn't over yet. I have no idea what the next chapter says and honestly that terrifies me, but I know there is another chapter and I know that by the end of the story beautiful things will have come of this tragedy.

I still feel like I don't belong. Like I'm walking around in a world that I don't really fit in to. I look at people and wonder if they know grief like I do and hope that they don't. I'm part of a "club" that no one should be a part of and I feel like these women are the only ones that truly understand what I'm saying.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday #2

Here are the things I'm thankful for this week. I'm posting a little early because I'll be on a plane or at the airport most of Thursday.

1. My wonderful family and friends that acknowledged that I am a mother on Mothers day. It was a really hard day for me and their love and acknowledgement was special.
2. Heading home from vacation today. It has been nice to get away and spend quality alone time with Jonathan but I miss home.
3. I get to see D and A's smiling faces today. I can't wait to surprise them. They don't think we are coming home until tomorrow.
4. Our amazing friends the Stillwells. We loved spending a few days with y'all.
5. My blog friends that I've met because of Grant. Y'all are such a blessing in my life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Things I Don't Want To Hear

As a mommy who first struggled with infertility and now has a baby in Heaven there are things that I didn't want to hear before and that I don't want to hear now. I'm going to venture to say that other women in my situation will agree with me. Other people have done posts like this but this is my take on things.

1. Just relax and it will happen (don't you think we've tried that?)
2. Start adopting and then you'll get pregnant, it happened to ...... (that doesn't happen as often as you think and it doesn't help me for you to say that)
3. You can always adopt (true and maybe we will but it doesn't take away a woman's desire to carry a baby)
4. Have a drink and a little fun (also, doesn't always work that way)
5. Did you hear ...... Is pregnant? (somedays I don't want to hear that random people are pregnant, you may want to make sure I'm close to that person first. Also, if you are the friend of a woman going through infertility and you want to share your exciting news don't dismiss your friends pain. We are excited for you but sometimes it stings. Talk to her in private and say something like this "I wanted to be the one to let you know that we are expecting a baby. I know that you are waiting for that day and didn't want you to be surprised by our news.")

Moms who have lost babies:
1. God needed your baby in Heaven (if the mom says this it's fine, but don't say it for her. It doesn't make the pain go away)
2. You are so blessed by the other children you have. (This is true but this baby was also wanted and is deeply missed. Children aren't interchangeable or replaceable)
3. You can always have another baby (This one has so many wrongs. Maybe she can't have another baby, maybe her and her husband will choose not to for whatever reason, and another baby doesn't replace the one lost. Someone wrote somewhere that if I lost my mom can I get another one, no, so why is losing a baby seen differently. Each child is not replaceable.)
4. "preaching" to you about how God will make it "all better" or if you believed more this wouldn't have happened. (If we happen to beleive in God we know He will get us through but no where in the Bible does he promise health, wealth and prosperity. God promises to be with us while we suffer, not take away our suffering, look at Job. If they didn't believe in God before you just made it harder to believe.)
5. Passing judgement on decisions made. Until you are in that situation, the one when you choose when to deliver your baby because no matter when you choose the baby is going to die (also called medical termination) don't judge. It is the most gut wrenching decision of a persons life that no one should have to make and neither decision is always the right one. Some parents chose to deliver early because they don't want their child to suffer any more than necessary and some choose to carry because they will have a little more time with their baby. Every family is different and both decisions are ok. If a friend had to make this decision acknowledge how incredibly hard it was and support them.$

This is for both categories:
We don't want to hear you complaining about your children or how hard your life is because of them or how terrible you feel because you are pregnant. You chose to have children and knew it was going to change your life and be hard. I would give anything to be woken up every 2 hours to feed my son or be so uncomfortable because I'm due tomorrow. Instead of complaining about your lack of sleep with your newborn why don't you look to heaven and thank God during those 2am feedings. I know that raising children is hard, I'm raising 2 right now, but think before you speak. So ,any people would love to be in your shoes. It's ok to acknowledge how hard it is to be a parent, it's not all happy and perfect all the time, but don't complain or whine. Try to thank God instead for your strong willed toddler because he is healthy enough to be strong willed, or for your midnight feedings because your child is alive and you get to spend precious time with him.

I really hope this helps someone see it from our prospective. I know that in situations like this people dont know what to say so here are some suggestions.
1. I am here for you. (mean it, call or just show up to sit with them. If they don't want your company they won't answer the door or phone. Don't be offended and come back on a different day. If while you are there they get up and start cleaning or don't do anything but sit quietly with tears streaming down their face, that's ok, you are there and it brings more comfort than you could know)
2. I love you
3. I know you are hurting and I am so sorry
4. Bring a meal or two. Deciding what to make for dinner and then making it is almost impossible when you are in such pain
5. Don't ask what they need. Thinking of what you need is impossible. Just do something, a meal, a card, babysit their other children, clean their house, mow the yard, pick up some necessary groceries, sit and listen.
6. Speak their childs name. We want to know our child is remembered and hearing you talk about them is healing for us. We may cry but that is ok.
7. Remember the important dates are hard. If the child was born early or stillborn the remainder of the time she should have been pregnant is hard. Milestones like reaching the 3rd trimester, original due date, baby shower date, etc. holidays like Mothers day and Fathers day, birthday of the baby, Christmas, etc. Later when it should have been the first day of Kindergarten or playing Tball for the first time. Acknowledge that these days are special and difficult.

I hope this helps someone, somewhere.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day hasn't been a day that I looked forward to in the past few years, and this year is no different. This year I actually am dreading Mother's Day. I was super excited for this day while I was pregnant. My first Mother's day with a baby in my belly. Last year I had D and A to celebrate with but I still had the sadness of infertility. This year I still have D and A (and I am so increadibly thankful for that) but now I have the sadness that instead of having Grant growing he is now living in Heaven. How does a mom of a baby in heaven celebrate Mother's Day. I am still a mom. I'm a mom to D and A and I am a mom to Grant. We won't be going to church this Mother's Day, we are on vacation, but we probably wouldn't have gone anyways, that would crush me to see all those mom's stand to be honored and have their children clap for them. Did you know that there is actually an International Bereaved Mother's Day? It was last Sunday. It was created in 2012 by moms who had lost children, because they understand. Mother's day was intially started by moms of soldiers who had died in war. It's been changed so much over the years. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to celebrate my mom, she's amazing, but it still hurts. There is this amazing community online of mommies who have lost children. They are some of the most supportive women I have ever "met". Some of these women write so beautifully and some of the things they write about Mother's day is amazing. You should go to this post here by Beth to read about what to say to bereaved mother's on Mother's day: Here is a post I wrote about my mom in the fall of 2008. She had just been taken off of a ventilator that had been keeping her alive for 2 weeks. These things are all still so true. Tribute to my Mom: I decided to list a bunch of words that I believe describe my mom. Too bad I'm not a walking thesauras because I would have many more.Here Goes: Mom, Grandma, Sister, Friend, Kind, Caring, Loyal, Trustworthy, Sarcastic, Empathetic, Selfless, Giving, Good, Big Heart, Worries, Smart, Strong, Proud, Passionate, Loving, Amazing, Beautiful, Talkative, Resourceful, active, and all around wonderful! Mom, you are the best mom in the entire world. Your love and support for me are never failing. You truly demonstrate unconditional love. You love our foster children just like you love your biological grandchildren and for that we are so greatful. God really did bless me by giving you to me as a mom. I love you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday #1

Another blog I follow does a thankful Thursday post. I decided I would start doing this too. This blog of mine has changed so much in the past 3 years and the most over the past few months as we navigate a new life without our son. Although I often talk of how hard this road is and how much I miss my Grant I am also still thankful for so many things. Yes, we have a son in Heaven but God has given us so many blessings. Here are the things I'm thankful for this week. 1. My husband. I am blessed to have him and he is amazing. 2. Vacation with my husband. We have needed to get away, more after the events over the past few months. This vacation has been so special to us. 3. The couple we met last night while the rain was falling at the Oriole/Ranger game. Now we are going to sit next to them for the double header today. 4. D and A staying with us 6 weeks longer than we expected. June 1 is quickly approaching but I am so greatful to get to love on them for a few more weeks. 5. My parents for watching D and A while we are on vacation.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We left for vacation on May 6. So far Washington DC has been beautiful. However, this vacation is bittersweet. We planned it for now because D and A were originally supposed to go home at the end of April. We also wanted to go before I was too pregnant to fly. Now D and A are at home being watched by my parents and I'm missing 2 precious weeks with them. I'm also not pregnant. I keep seeing women who are about as pregnant as I should be and it makes me sad. I would be 28 weeks this Thursday. I should be having to sit and rest while walking so much but instead I can walk as far and as long as I want. Grr. Our original vacation was only supposed to be for a week to Washington DC but we extended it so we could drive to Boston. We went to Boston on our honeymoon and it is one of our favorite places to go and very special to us. We are planning on spreading some of Grant's ashes there. Just thinking about it makes me sad. We have heavy saddened hearts yet we are still having fun and enjoying being together. I'll write another post when we get home about all the fun stuff we did.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A is 3!

Today, May 6, 2012, A is 3! He has lived here with his big sister D for 373 days and I have loved every day of it. Last year we shared his birthday with D because they arrived so close to their birthdays we didn't have time to have separate parties. Not this year! D's party is over and now it is time for the spotlight to shift to A! We had a pool party for him on Friday. Yes it was only May 4 and we had a pool party, oh the joys of living in central Texas. The weather was sunny and hot and the pool felt wonderful. A asked for monkey cupcakes, so monkey cupcakes he got. We also took sugar cookies to his school on Friday so he could share with his friends. The pool party was small with some close family and friends since we had to do it on a Friday night because of his family visits on the weekends. I wish we could have had a party on Saturday so we could invite his friends from school, but oh well, it was a lot of fun and he loved it (the only thing that really matters). He was one tired little boy when we drove him to meet his biological parents late Friday night for his weekend visit.

You are the sweetest, silliest little boy I have ever met. You are seriously the best toddler I have ever seen.  Your smile lights up a room and is so contagious. People tell us all the time how beautiful you smile is. I think it is because when you smile your whole face lights up and smiles, not just your mouth. You are all boy! You love to play soccer, play in the dirt, look at motorcycles, firetrucks, monkeys and bathroom noises :). I absolutely love to hear you talk. When you first came here you could say 2 words and bark like a dog, now you speak in whole sentences, tell us about everything (even things from a few months ago), name all of your colors, and make your opinion known. I love how when we ask you "are you Kristy's or JaJa's?" you answer differently almost every time, although I think JaJa is really your favorite. You try so hard to be just like JaJa and it is absolutely precious. You adore your big sister and follow her everywhere, even when she doesn't want you to. I pray that you keep your joy for life as you grow up and that my sweet little boy grows up into a sweet young man. A, you make us smile everyday and we love you so much.

Here are some pictures of the goodies from the week. Again, I so wish I could show you pictures of him. The look on his face as he was opening his presents was wonderful.

Animal Cookies for School

Monkey Cupcakes!!

I love you my little monkey!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Little About Me

I figure now is the time to tell a little about me. I am a Texas girl through and through. I love this place and don't plan on going anywhere. To me the weather is perfect. What is better than being able to wear flip flops for 10 months out of the year and having a flip flop tan line by April? What is better than swimming in April and May through September? And what is better than some of the nicest people I've ever met? OK, off my soap box about Texas :) I am married to a wonderful man named Jonathan and we have been married for almost 6 years. I have a Newfoundland dog named Cubby who is almost 9 and a new black lab puppy who is only about 3 months old. We have been foster parents for about 14 months now and I love it. It has it's ups and downs but is such a blessing to us. I am a pediatric hospitalist at the hospital here. I absolutely love my job and wouldn't trade it for anything. We recently had the hardest trial of our lives and are still walking down that road when our son Grant was delivered stillborn at 21 weeks. I know that God has such big plans for us and I strive every day to follow those plans. I love to sew, bake and cook. I have a garden in my back yard with a few friends and it has been so fun to watch it grow. I also love baseball and love going to different stadiums throughout the country. I guess that's it about me, how about you?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Conversation With A

Sometimes on the way to take A to school we have to pass the Harley Davidson Dealership. A loves motorcycles. Here is our conversation from a few days ago.

Me: yeah, motorcycles
A: I ride motorcycle with JaJa (for the record, we don't ride motorcycles). I not fall down. I put helmet on, cars helmet
Me: Your going to ride a motorcycle?
A: yeah, with JaJa
Me: Ok
A: I want one
Me: really (now laughing)
A: D wants the.........(with hand by his mouth really thinking) RED ONE
Me: Ok (Laughing harder)

You little man are hilarious.
Apparently a few days later A said he wanted a green one. Guess what he's getting for his birthday, yep, a toy motorcycle!