Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When Your Friend Has A Baby

As a mommy who recently (5 1/2 months ago) kissed her baby boy goodbye for the 1st and last time I figured maybe, just maybe, I can share what it's like to have a friend have a baby shortly after you do. I'm not talking acquaintance. I'm talking friend. A person that you spend time with often, you talk to all the time, someone near and dear to you. I have plenty of acquaintances that have had babies since Grant died. I even have quite a few that had baby boys in August, when Grant was supposed to be born. However, I also have a few good friends who have had babies recently or will in the near future. Only one of these friends actually lives in the town that I live in. The others live a few hours away so it's a little different for me with them. The one that lives here I see a few times weekly and talk to all the time.

One of my biggest concerns when we found out that Grant wasn't going to live was how was my friendship with this woman going to survive this? How was I going to be able to celebrate her baby while I mourned mine. Well, here's how. It's not easy. It hurts. However, it needs to be done. It's not her fault that my child died. Her baby is a blessing from God just like Grant is. Therefore, I'm choosing to celebrate her through my tears and pain. It's what a true friend would do and she deserves no less. I do have to say that it did help the pain a little when she found out she was having a girl. Something about knowing I wasn't going to have to watch a baby boy who should be growing up with Grant, grow up without him. They still would have been friends and would have grown up together but at least she wears pink and bows :) My first hurdle was getting through her baby shower. I decided I would help host it. We had talked baby showers before Grant passed away and it was something I wanted to do for her. I made hand-made baby presents so I wouldn't have to look at the registry and could focus on "girly" things. I survived that day with only a few tears, in private, before and after. I knew the next hurdle would be the delivery and visiting her in the hospital. She was delivering at the same hospital I did. There's not much choice around here. I thought her delivery would be in October, it's when she was due. I thought I had time to prepare. That's what I get for thinking. She texted me yesterday morning to let me know her water broke and she was heading to the hospital at 35 weeks. I called her and prayed over her and that baby girl. When I hung up I prayed some more. I prayed for safety. As a mommy who has lost a baby and knows many others who have lost babies and as a Pediatrician I know things can go wrong. I prayed that God would protect that little girl. A little girl I already love. I felt a peace and knew that she was going to be just fine. Then came the time to go to the hospital to visit before the baby came. We went up there last night and I think my husband and I did ok visiting while there. However, I have to admit that I did cry when trying to go to sleep because everyone was laughing and anticipating a healthy baby in that delivery room where the last time I was in a similar room we all had somber faces. Her baby girl was born perfectly healthy at 2:32am this morning. As soon as they told me the time I smiled and cried at the same time. Grant was born at 2:32pm. I felt like it was my little boy saying "hi mommy". I think it's really neat that they share a birth time (even though one is am and one is pm), since they don't get to share anything else. She was also born the month that Grant was supposed to be born. Today has been much more difficult emotionally. We went to see her this afternoon. I knew that I needed to make myself hold her. I knew that it was necessary and it would be hard. I didn't expect the look on my husbands face as I held her though. I don't know what I really expected from him but it wasn't that. He looked so sad again. He initially declined to hold her because it was so hard. Eventually he did hold her, and looked so precious doing so. I wonder if my face looked like his did when he looked upon me holding an infant. It took everything I had not to cry right there. How can one person feel so excited and happy for someone else and so broken for themself at the same time? That's how it is. Happy and excited for her, sad and broken for us. Intense longing to be where they are. Celebrating insetaed of grieving. I truly do think it is a necessary step of healing for me and I'm so so so happy that my friend and her baby are well. August has been a hard month and I'm happy to see it go soon. I'm hoping September is better.

For anyone who read all of that and is in my situation and wondering how they will survive it. Here's my advice. Try your hardest to do what you would have done for them before your loss. Constantly remind  yourself that it's ok to be happy for them and sad for you at the same time. It's ok to walk in your door at home and burst into tears. Heck, it's ok to cry wherever you want! Your friend will understand.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." Romans 12:15

It's not easy to do but God has taught me so much with this one little verse. Just because I am grieving doesn't mean I can't rejoice with others.

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Sewing Day is Planned!!!!

As most of you are aware I have been working to donate items to local Labor and Delivery units as well as NICUs for babies that are stillborn or die shortly after birth. The items that will be donated are for babies that are too tiny to wear traditional or even preemie clothes. Commercial diapers don't come this small. Having something that is made special for your baby when you are going through something no parent should ever have to experience is incredibly touching and heartwarming. It brings a smile to your face and heart in the worst and darkest moments of your life. Then to know that someone took the time to make two of them so that you could keep one and your baby didn't have to go without, well that's just icing on the cake.

I am super excited to announce that our first sewing day is planned for September 22. I can't wait to get together with other people to work on this project that is so dear to my heart. We will be making Teeny Tears Diapers, blankets, and hats that day. Here is a picture of an example of the items that will be made. Each family gets two identical items of each. One for the baby and one for the family to keep. 

All levels of ability are welcome. There is something that everyone can do. We need people to trace and cut out patterns, iron fabric, trim and flip diapers, pin diapers when they are done, bundle items together, sew, etc. If you have a sewing machine please bring it. Please also bring scissors to cut fabric, scissors to cut paper, size 2 safety pins, ribbon (like for wrapping presents), gallon size baggies, white thread, and fabric. The diapers are made out of flannel, the hats out of jersey knit and the blankets are made out of cotton on the front and minky flannel on the back. Please let me know if you are planning on attending. 1 yard of flannel fabric can make about 8 large and 6 small diapers. That will help 7 grieving families. The cotton and minky fabric can make multiple blankets depending on the size. The blankets are 10"x10", 12"x12", 15"x15" and 20"x20". These size blankets will fit a baby from about 14 weeks to about 30 weeks gestation. Since the hats are super tiny and take almost no fabric a yard of jersey knit will make quite a few. I've never actually counted how many I can make out of a yard. 

Here are the details for the first sewing event!
When: September 22, 2012 
Time: 1pm-4pm, come and stay as long or as short as you can, all help is appreciated
Where: First Baptist Church, Belton, TX Room 124
Who: All people are welcome. Children can even help pair items together and place in baggies. 

Please let me know if you plan on attending. If you can't come that is ok. Please keep us in your prayers as we plan and orchestrate this event. If you would like to donate materials or monetary funds we would appreciate that as well. 


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Living Room Before and After

As promised here is the before and after of our living room redo. Our house has a living room/dining room combo. However, the dining room area isn't very large and is a little awkwardly placed in my opinion. It also has carpet, which drives me crazy under a table. We decided when we moved here to just use the breakfast area for our table and we have placed a kid sized table with 4 stools and a toy box in the dining area to create a little play area. We normally have a rug under the kid table but a certain puppy decided said rug was a chew toy. 

TV Wall Before
TV Wall After.
The photo above the TV should still be there. However it came crashing to the ground last night. Will be on the lookout for a new photo to put there. 
Mantle Before
Mantle After.
With Grant's Urn. Please excuse the flash light. I didn't notice that until now. 
Cross Wall in the "dining room" before
Cross Wall in "Dining room" after
That open door is to our master bedroom
Breakfast bar before
Breakfast bar after
Note the accent wall in the picture. I LOVE IT!
Blank walls before.
This is the wall with the TV and future accent wall. That doorway leads to the hall to the bedrooms and bathroom. 
No more Blank walls!
Accent Wall/Family Photo Wall!!
Close up of Family Photo Wall
I LOVE how it turned out!!!
A view from by the TV.
Notice the kid table in the "dining room". The toy box hasn't been put back yet.  
My 2 Dogs.
The smaller one on the left is the infamous puppy. We think she is a Lab/Great Dane mix, her name is Kira. The big guy with the gray chin is my 9 year old Newfoundland Cubby.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Truly Wonderful Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend. I'm talking a smiling, laughing, repeatedly saying I'm Blessed kind of weekend. It started with dinner with some good friends and their two great kids on Friday night. We hung out for a long time (thanks y'all for having us over), ate good food and enjoyed being around each other. Late Friday night my parents got into town. We stayed up late talking and then went to bed to start an early day on Saturday. Saturday we were up bright and early to start painting (yay/boo). Yay because it was finally going to be done. Boo because I hate the detail work of painting and that is what was left. This is the reason my parents came down, so my mom could help me paint. She started on the hallway doors (all 6 of them) while I started on window sills in the living room and baseboards. I also taped and painted the picture frame molding. We painted 4 more doors (10 total) and all the baseboards. Then we had to call it a day!

Why, you may ask? We were going to meet D and A (now known as Destiny and Adrik)!!!!! I couldn't wait to see them. I hadn't seen their sweet faces or given them hugs in what seemed like ages (even though it was only about 10 weeks). They were running late but I didn't care. When they got to where we were meeting Adrik was initially hesitant to go with us. His parents then drove him to the bowling alley and his mom came in for a few minutes and then snuck off so he wouldn't get upset. He ended up having a great time with lots of belly laughs and silly 3 year old boy antics. Destiny was so so happy to see us. We had such a good time bowling together and playing arcade games. We met my parents at Chili's for dinner where the smiles and laughter continued. I honestly can't say how many times I thanked God for those moments. It was so good to see them doing well and to be able to love on them again. The evening came to a close too soon, just like it always does when you are having fun, and we had to say goodbye. Destiny wanted to come home with us but she couldn't this time. We are making plans to see them again soon. This time hopefully they will stay with us for about 24 hours. I am so so so glad that their parents are allowing us to spend time with them. I love those sweet children. Here are some pictures of them so you can see how beautiful they are (since they aren't in care anymore and I have permission from their mom).

Sunday was more painting. This time I climbed up and down the ladder about five billion times to paint the crown molding. We touched up a few areas and it looks AWESOME. My mom, and sometimes Jonathan, helped me with a photo hanging project (she's awesome at hanging things on the wall). I will post a before and after post soon. I need to finish up the picture project before I share. Hopefully I'll be done with it tomorrow :) I also helped my mom make laundry soap. I've been making my own soap for almost a year and she wanted to learn how. Tonight, Jonathan and I went on a date to the movie. We saw "The Odd Life of Timothy Green". I highly recommend it. It was heartwarming and funny. A good family movie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Busy Day And A Busy Weekend Ahead

I have a great deal of sewing to do in the next few days/week. My donations have been accepted into a local hospital and are pending in 2 more local hospitals. I can't wait to personally deliver the first donation. I spoke to the bereavement coordinator and she was so sweet and so thankful. I truly hope that families are blessed and a small piece of their pain is soothed with our gifts. As Jonathan and I were buying what seemed like reams of fabric today a lady next to us at the cutting counter asked what all the baby fabric was for. I showed her a diaper, hat and blanket and explained what they were for. She ooohed and ahhhed over them and then asked me for a business card. Me, a business card, haha. So instead I wrote down my name and email address for her. She owns a crafting business and is willing to donate fabric and possibly already made items. The lady cutting our fabric overheard the conversation and came to find us while we were looking at scissors to tell us how to get some of the fabric for cheaper. Blessings from God for sure. If anyone who reads this blog is interested in donated made items, fabric, money for fabric and stuff please e-mail me and I will be happy to tell you how you can help (kristybybee(at)mac(dot)com). If you can't help I understand but please be praying for this endeavor. I am in the process of setting up a sewing weekend to gather the troops for free labor :)

I'm looking forward to my busy weekend ahead. My parents are coming into town on Friday evening. My mom will be helping me to paint the trim and doors and hopefully finish off the painting and re-hanging of pictures. Saturday afternoon we will also see D and A for the first time since June 1. We talked to D on the phone yesterday and she is so excited to see us. A is still a little confused but that is ok. I can't wait to see their faces and hug them tightly. I'm so glad that their mom recognizes how much they mean to us and how much we mean to them and is willing to allow us to continue our relationship.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bybee Happenings

We really enjoyed our trip to Kansas City. It was nice to get away and spend time together and seeing friends. Jonathan starts back to school in a week, which he is excited about. I love that he is excited about school. Have I mentioned how proud of him I am. Well, it's a bunch!

Since coming home I have worked a few shifts and sewn some baby presents. I also helped host my best friend's baby shower. I wasn't sure how I would handle it emotionally but knew I needed to do it. When she told me she was pregnant early this year I was so excited I was jumping up and down. Being pregnant together was so much fun. We started talking about hosting each others showers almost immediately. Then, I lost Grant and she stood by my side. I know that it was scary for her to be only weeks behind me and know that life is so vulnerable. She has been the best friend I could have asked for. I worried that since Grant died and I was mourning the loss of my son that I would have trouble still being a good friend to her since she was still pregnant. I worried that it would hurt too badly to watch her pregnant belly grow while mine didn't any more. However, I made myself face it and talk about her pregnancy and I'm glad I did. I'm just as excited for her now as I was earlier this year and I can't wait to meet her sweet baby girl. When it came time to have her shower I decided I needed to help host it. I knew that it would be really hard but that it is what a friend does. I'm so glad I chose to do so. I had fun helping to make decorations, making her present, and watching my husband (yes my husband) pick out her shower cake. I did have to swallow back a few tears yesterday but I made it through without crying and truly enjoyed most of the day. I call that success!

We are also officially listed with our agency to take foster kids again. I don't want children to need care but I can't wait to have my house full of laughter, and a few fits, again. Hopefully this coming weekend we can finish painting the living room and hanging the pictures and I can show it off! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

We Made It!!!

We have made it past our original due date. The anticipation of the day and the days leading up to yesterday were by far worse than yesterday. It was still a bittersweet day as we were traveling on the road for part of it for a mini get away. I thougt a few times that I should be at home taking care of a new baby or anxiously awaiting his arrival. However, that isn't what we are doing and I am choosing to enjoy my weekend away with Jonathan, even with the moments of sadness. 

I have some truly amazing friends. Some of them I haven't "met" in real life but that doesn't matter. These women who really understand where I am and how I feel are a huge blessing to me. Emails, Facebook messages, blog comments, prayers; Thank You!!!!! To know that I am not walking this road alone means more to me than I have words to express. 

Tonight I will be crossing off another major league baseball stadium from my list. We are going to the Kansas City Royals vs Texas Rangers Game. To top it off there are fireworks after the game! I love road trips, baseball and spending time with my husband!!!!! I'm thanking God for the opportunity to spend this weekend away with the man I love and for the chance to be Grant's Mommy.