Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Final Moments in Grandpa's Room

We spent the first 48 hrs of our trip in Grandpa's room.  He passed away saturday around 5:30 in the morning.  More than 48 hrs ago, and yet for whatever reason we all find ourselves coming back to this room.  Each visit is a little different.  Sometimes I personally come in here to just reminisce on the good times.  Other times to grieve the wonderful man we have lost. 
I know that for all of us, this room represents so many wonderful times and memories with Grandpa, but most memories pale in comparison to the beauty of his final night.  
Beauty may seem like an odd word to use, but it has honestly been one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever witnessed.  As a nurse I have experienced death many times.  But Grandpa's death, as well as his life, was a reflection of God!  
It was indescribable.  I honestly know that I cannot even begin to replicate the events so I won't try.  But I know that I will never doubt my faith after hearing Grandpa's words.  
  Grandpa's eyes were fixated on the ceiling.  He was in a total gaze when he said in the most peaceful voice, "Lift me.  Lift me so I can be free".  Aunt Laurie and I asked "Grandpa, can you see Jesus?  He said,  "I feel like something is lifting me up".  He didn't say much else for hours. He didn't need to.  We knew God was with him, and he was at peace.  
We sat around his bed, holding his hands...stroking his hair...scratching his back.  
We weakly sang Jesus Loves Me and Amazing Grace.  And Demi and Wyatt with his deep voice read scripture of heaven and spoke of getting a new body.   Grandpa stayed silent for many more hours.  He slept from time to time, but mostly gazed like he was (as my sister said) in and out of his body taking a final trip of the earth he has known for the last 97 yrs.  I imagine he was holding hands with those he loved that have gone before him.   He kept grasping the air with a perfectly cupped hand.  Like someone we couldn't see had a hold of it.
It was early in the morning when Grandpa's silenced ceased.  He suddenly yelled "stand me up!  Stand me up, I see my Doctor". It was only seconds and grandpa was gone.  I have no doubt that he was seeing God, the great doctor was there to take Grandpa home.
We cried tears of sadness and tears of joy.  What a testimony in his final moments!  Grandpa has always been a living testimony to God.  I knew that.  It was obvious.  What I didn't know was what a testament his death would be.  His gaze.  His words.  His peace will never be forgotten.  If there is ever a time in my life when I begin to doubt Gods existence, I will remember this night.  Through grandpa, I felt Gods presence.  What an honor.  What a blessing!  

 I realize again just how lucky we are and Grandpa was to have Aunt Laurie to care for him.  I want to take the time to thank my Aunt Laurie for doing such a wonderful job over the last few yrs.  Who knows how Grandpa's last years would have been without her.  Because of her this room is a place we can come to...we can come to remember, to reminisce, to grieve.  To remember the beauty of that night.  We will always be grateful for that!

And if Grandpa's final moments weren't enough, I found an entry in one of the many journals grandpa kept.  Sitting in his chair, in his room, I read his words.  His words say
(What better way could we serve The Lord than in helping to bring someone to Jesus, that they might accept him as their personal savior.  We mean to do well but we wait for the right opportunities which too often do not come.  Time is short.  We must do what we can while we can.)

I want to take this moment to let all of you know that God loves you!  I hope that you will come to know Jesus so that you too can spend your eternity in heaven.   By saying and truly believing in this simple prayer, and you can receive the free gift of salvation, made possible by Jesus Christ shedding his sinless blood. 
Romans 10 says:
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
 



  


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Birthday fun!



Can you believe that our youngest just celebrated his 2nd Birthday?  We still call him the baby, but it is becoming more evident with every day that he really no longer is a "baby".  Funny thing is though, he calls himself the baby.  Constantly saying things like, "Let the baby do it", and "Baby wants it".  (I bet you are wondering how many times one person can say the word baby!) Anyways...we celebrated his big birthday at my mom and dad's house with a Pirate Pool Party!
  We had lots of friends from all walks of life come out to play.  Some we know from church.  Some from work.  Lots of family, too of course!  Ages ranged from 2-8. 

A girl from work made the cake.  Isn't it cute!  It was DELICIOUS, too!  Everyone really enjoyed it and kept complimenting how yummy it was.  I highly recommend Cynthia at the Bakery Box in White House.  Super good cake, baked by a super sweet gal!
 


We mostly just hung out by the pool and enjoyed the company of our lovely guests.  We had some good food and snacks, and even had a little treasure hunt.  The kids seemed to enjoy it all.  Here are several pictures of the day.




I love these two pictures.  Brooks really enjoyed blowing out the candles.  


















Brooks LOVED fixing himself a drink at the koolaid station.  The jugs had those little spouts on them so you don't have to pour.  He fixed at least 20 cups of tea/koolaid.  It was sweet.




The weather was supposed to be iffy with chances of rain.  It looked cloudy at first and I got a little concerned.  The concern was for nothing because it was scorching hot!  I was so thankful that we were by a pool and not at the park or something!  











Steven and I got the birthday boy this cute little bike.  He can peddle it and everything, but definitely does not get the concept of steering just yet!  He loved it though! 

It's kinda crazy though...just how in one minute you can be mourning the life of one, and then in another you are celebrating the birth and life of another.  If there is one huge thing I have learned from the past week it is that life is short!  You never know what tomorrow may bring!  So let's celebrate those we love always!  Let's Make memories!  And let us thank God for every moment we do have together!  And right now...I am beyond thankful for Brooks...for my three beautiful boys!  I thought that I cherished you before, but now after losing a child, I really know just how lucky I have been to have given birth to all of you!  I will celebrate each of your birthdays with a new gratitude!  
Tonight...I sang the happy birthday song to brooks as I rocked him to sleep.  I always do that for the boys on their birthdays.  But tonight i sang it with such joy and happiness...with a new thankfulness! It really was a happy birthday!   We love you more than words can say!  Thanks for being you and for bringing us such joy!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Process of Miscarriage...

I am going to try not to be too graphic for the squeamish folks out there, but again, feel that I need to let people know how this process can be for some.  I had no idea!
 
Yesterday started off much better!  I was just so much stronger emotionally.   I was sad still, but I could hold it together.  I felt like the tears came in waves, but not a tsunami like yesterday. 
 
My friend Ashley texted me early that morning and asked, "How was your night?". My response kind of sums it up well.  I said...

 " Fell asleep at 12:30.  Slept till 6:15.  My eyes are ten times their normal size.  Fell asleep with my hand on my belly...but that being said a hard night has led to a better morning.  I feel that God has already started to heal.  It will be a long road ahead...one I never thought would be so hard.  I am so thankful that this happened as early as it did.  The hurt has hit me hard...and I thought that I'd be so much stronger.  I can't imagine the pain that people feel that are even further along or who have had to bury a child.  But I keep thinking of that verse, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you"...and that makes me again realize even more that this was A baby...GOD'S child...MY baby.  It hurts to know that I won't get to say a real goodbye.  And my nose hurts...I look like Rudolph."
 
The day went on with mild cramping and waves of tears.  It wasn't until 7:30 when the real hard stuff began.  I am going to try not to be my usual nurse self and give every detail, but I want to give a look into just how hard this was for me. 
When the process really began, it was as though I had turned on a faucet.  I ran to the nearest bathroom, which happened to be where Steven was showering after getting home from work.  Steven is very private person and very squeamish.  I was concerned at what his reaction would be seeing me in there. But honestly, I am so thankful that he didn't really have a choice.  He was in there as I passed the actual baby.  It was small...tan...like a bean.  He saw me cry with every wipe.  It comforted me to know that I wasn't in this alone.  That he was seeing the visual that I had no choice but to see.
The bleeding was so much more severe than anyone had explained to me.  I am a nurse and have been for 9 years.  My background is critical care.  I am very used to blood and I don't panic.  I have had 3 wonderful kids without any epidural.  I say this to show that I am not now being dramatic.  It was just a horrendous experience. 
 I was no longer teary, bc I had already passed the baby.  At this point I was just concerned.  Was this really normal I thought?  I showered in the beginning thinking that I might just feel better.  But the bleeding was so severe that I couldn't even get out of the shower.  It covered by legs instantly.  I kept turning the water on and off again hoping it would slow.  It never did.  By 9 I was finally out of the shower and trying to lie still.  It came with a vengeance.  It couldn't be contained.  I was flooding everything.  I ended up in the ER because things just never got better.  Of course, things slowed down as soon as I got to the hospital.  But, I didn't even care that I couldn't show how much I was bleeding at home.  I was just thankful it was done.  The last episode before I left for the hospital had me so scared.  I felt like I was going to pass out at any moment.  I had diarrhea.  I was nauseas.  I was so pale.  I was tired mentally, physically, and emotionally. 
The hospital was AMAZING.  Quick, easy, painless.  They did several things, but most importantly informed me that it looked as though everything had passed.  I was so thankful.  I went home wearing a diaper.  I was also thankful for that.  I laughed as I was getting dressed and told Steven that I hope this is the only time he'd have to see me in a diaper until I was old and gray. 
I went home and slept for 4 hrs.  I woke up some, still scared.  Still afraid to move.  When I did wake up for the morning I could tell my blood levels were low.  Still pale, nauseas, upset stomach, etc.  I went to the bathroom and had one more episode.  This time with dry heaves at the same time.  After all of that, I did feel better. The pain through the whole thing was pretty minimal.  It was just the bleeding that was so difficult.
We got in the car to head back to my mom and dad's house.  The kids were there.  Steven had to work and I didn't want to be alone.  As we drove I saw that I still had blood on the soles of my feet from the whole experience.  My legs, my back, and even my fingernails had some too.  I tried to clean as well as I could, but it took so much energy.  Energy that I honestly still don't have. 
No one could have prepared me for last night.  It was the worst and scariest day of my life.  And the hard thing was that I didn't get anything in return.  With my other natural deliveries, I stayed so strong because of the gift received in the end.  This left me with fear and sadness.
But, now...I am just so thankful.
Thankful it is over.
Thankful it wasn't drawn out over several days.
Thankful that I didn't have to go through this at home and still require a D&C.
Thankful honestly for diapers for that helped me sleep.
Thankful for my husband who had to see things I know he didn't want to see, and who has been by my side every step of the way.  He is such a gift.
And Thankful for my mom who has worked so hard watching the boys, keeping me safe, and emotionally sound.  I don't know what I would do without her.
Thankful for my 3 beautiful boys that feel me with such happiness. 
Thankful for my 69 year old dad that still runs races with the boys in the back yard to keep them busy.
Thankful for all of the support I have been given.  From sisters and family, to friends on facebook.  It has helped a ton.
We have decided that maybe soon when everyone is feeling better, that maybe we will release some balloons as a family, or plant a tree.  Not sure exactly how we will say a final goodbye, but we will.  It is just so hard figuring out what feels right.  And let me just say this.  If you are going through this and don't know what to do, just remember that this is your journey (and your family's).  Even if something seems weird, it is ok.  If it makes things easier, don't worry about weird.  Worry about the peace it will bring.
 
 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Until we meet again sweet baby!

Disclaimer: this post may have some gross (to some) remarks about the process of miscarriage.  I want this post to be real with real emotions, so I am going to be point blank with some things.
 
 
I don't at all know how to start this post so I am just going to start with Wednesday. 
 
 
Wednesday:  I woke up without any issues.  It wasn't till lunch time when I became concerned.  The bleeding was much more substantial.  Although it only happened once that afternoon, I lost my stomach, and instantly called the dr.  I told the dr. that I wasn't sure what the right protocol for this was.  Did he even want to know?  They told me to take off work Thursday and come in for an ultrasound at 10:30.  That evening things seemed better.  I thought, they are gonna laugh at me tomorrow, tell me everything is fine, and that I am just being a typical over-reacting mom to be.  But then it got worse and I think I knew something wasn't right.  I layed there in bed trying to envision the ultrasound and how I would act with either the good or the bad news. 
 
Thursday:  I made it through the night without anything major, but it wasn't long before the bleeding began again.  I took pictures and texted them to my mom and friends.  All were expecting the pictures to be better than they were.  I could hear the concern in their texts.  Sonia arrived early to watch the boys and to allow me to take it easy until the appointment.  I headed to the dr's office early; hoping they could maybe start the ultrasound sooner than expected. 
 
Steven had to work. I was by myself.  It was 9:53 and I sat in the parking lot waiting to go in.  I wanted a minute to myself first.  I turned on my iTunes music and sat and made it halfway through the first song before the tears began to flow.  I already knew.  It was just going to soon be confirmed.  I pulled myself together and headed in.  Of course they were running a little bit behind.  I sat there in the waiting room and listened to a group of young girls talking about how much they wanted her friend to have twin girls.  The friend was already in the ultrasound room finding out the sex of the baby. One said that the "friend" had already decided that if one was a boy and the other was a girl, she would be giving the boy to somebody else.  I sat and thought about how selfish they were, and how much I just wanted to see a tiny heartbeat on my own baby.  My stomach began to hurt when 10:30 came around.  I let the ladies at the front desk know that I was heading to the restroom.  The bleeding was even worse at this point. As I washed my hands and dried them with the paper towels there, I noticed that they were much softer paper towels than normal.  I decided that i better place one in my pocket just in case I needed a tissue.
I returned to the waiting room and the ultrasound tech soon called my name.  I was thankful that it was the sweet tech that I am used to having.  The room was dim.  I set my purse on the chair.  The tech asked, "so you are having a little bit of bleeding?".  I told her yes and that it seemed to be getting progressively worse.  I began to get teary and said that I brought a tissue just in case.  She began to get nervous.  I think she knew something wasn't right too.  She looked. I looked at the monitor and knew what I was looking at.  I could see the baby, but I could not see the heart beating.  She soon confirmed that she was concerned.  I had already had an US at 6 weeks and was able to see the heartbeat.  She said that they baby had stopped growing at 7 weeks and 5 days.  3 weeks ago from today.  I cried.  I was thankful for my tissue.  I had to sit up because I honestly felt like my chest was heavy.  It was hard to breathe.  We talked some.  She was so nice.  I was thankful for her.  We did a more thorough ultrasound.  As she got started she asked if she could turn off the monitor that is displayed overhead so that I couldn't see the baby.  I cried and said that was fine.  She took lots of pictures.  I cried as silent as I could.  It wasn't long until she was done and I was in the exam room talking with the dr.  The dr. was also very kind.  I headed out the door with tears in my eyes and sat in the car for about an hour as I called family and friends to let them know that we lost the baby.  They were hard calls to make.  Most everyone was very supportive and very sorry for our loss.
It didn't really hit me until later that day.  Around 1:30 in the afternoon I started to feel a little more pain and cramping.  A physical reminder that my baby is no longer with us and that he or she is already in heaven waiting to one day greet us.  I started thinking about how happy I was that the baby is with Jesus; that the baby will never have to feel the pain of this world or pain at all; and that he or she is happy.  But then I thought about how sad I was to never be able to hold the baby; feel the baby kick; or even know if it was a boy or a girl.  For some reason that last one is the hardest.  I feel like he or she should have a name.  Even if I gave the baby a unisex name, I can't really envision the babies true identity without knowing if it was a boy or a girl. 
Anyways...I told Parker what was going on, bc he kept asking about the baby and why I was sad.  I explained that the baby had died.  He cried and asked why a lot.  I explained with heavy flowing tears that God has a plan for us all, and that He is all knowing.  He knows best.  I explained that the baby was probably not going to be completely healthy and that God decided to save the baby from that pain.  I talked about heaven and being united again there.  We talked about how much more fun it will be to know that whenever we die, we will have a baby sibling waiting for us.  Parker then asked if the baby was having fun and sleeping on a cloud.  I cried as I answered yes.  I know that that is not an exaggeration.  He or she is having a blast.  And I am so thankful that the first person this baby will ever meet is Jesus.  What an amazing thing!
We went to dinner to distract ourselves later that evening.  My mom and dad came up to meet us and take the boys out to their place.  They knew that with three young boys in the house, it might be harder to concentrate on the grieving process.  It was hard for me to let them go with them, bc a part of me wanted to cling to them for dear life.  They are my world and in sad times, I want them right next to me.  But...I also knew that I needed some time.  I decided to let them go. 
After dinner, we went to walmart.  I had to pick up afew things to get me through the next few days.  I started with coffee.  Coffee is a definite stress reliever for me.  As I walked to the coffee isle, I was saddened by the fact that I don't have to worry about my caffeine intake anymore.  I saw babies in carseat carriers and felt saddened that I wouldn't have this little baby to tote around in one of those heavy contraptions.  I bought feminine pads and was saddened by the thought of the pain the passing would cause physically and emotionally.  I checked out at the register and looked down at my belly.  I thought, this cashier doesn't even know that I was just pregnant.  That this belly isn't just fat.  That I am not just about to start my period.  I am losing...well I have lost my baby.  It broke my heart.
i walked to the car with a heavy heart...even felt light headed.  I saw another brand new baby sleeping peacefully.  I thought about our baby and hoped that she is sleeping like that on a cloud like Parker envisioned.  I responded to multiple texts of sympathy on the ride home and I cried some more. 
I got home and put on some pjs.  As I saw my maternity pants sitting on the floor, I thought, I guess I wont need those anymore.   All of these little reminders.  It is so very hard!!!  I have cried more today than I ever have.  And the worst part of it all is this.  And this is where It may get a little graphic.  I get to watch this baby leave my body.  With every bloody wipe.  No funeral or normal way to care for a deceased body.  I have to flush it down the toilet.  It just doesn't seem natural.  
I have yet to ask why or say that this isn't fair.  I am not mad that this has happened.  Just so sad.  Life is ugly sometimes.  I am just so thankful that God is there to pick up the ugly pieces and one day make them perfect again.  I trust in God's plan and know that he knows all.  I rejoice in the fact that He has taken our baby home to be with him in a wonderful place.  We will meet one day.  But for now, I am heartbroken but not broken by this loss.  God is with me along this journey. 
 
Until we meet again sweet baby!  We love you very much and will never EVER forget you!

 
 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My Big Birthday Boys!

My big boys both had Birthdays this past week.  I CANNOT believe how fast time has gone.  I look at these kiddos and feel like there is no way they can now be 6 and 4!  Is it just me or do both of those ages just seem incredibly older than 5 and 3?  Either way, they are getting older and discovering who they are.  Let me just say, that I am loving who God created them to be!  I am so thankful for the blessing of my boys!


This was from the weekend before their Birthday.  We let Merrick ride the bus home from school with Parker.  Parker loved that!  After a few minutes of playing, we headed to the movies to meet a few other friends.
 
The kids were sooooo good and sooooo sweet!  Let me just say that I think I will do this every year.  It was so easy, not too expensive, and lots of fun!  Plus the parents went on a little date night while we saw the Lego movie.  Fun for all!


The kids at one point all lined up holding hands.  So sweet.  Too bad I couldn't get a good picture.


Cousin Houston and Aunt Julie spent the night with us after the movies.   We had lots of fun!  The boys love any excuse to sleep in the pull-out bed.  We really enjoyed the company!


The next day we went to Cracker Barrel with Steven's parents, Uncle Bob and Aunt Leigh Ann, and Julie and Houston.  I wish I would have gotten some pictures, but I get distracted with good food!  After the boys' soccer games we headed to Nonna and Papa's.  Mom had gotten the boys a Despicable Me 2 cake.  The boys enjoyed time with family and being able to roam around their yard.  We spent the night and headed back home Sunday afternoon!


Easton's Birthday was Monday
 March 17th.  The day started out with a WONDERFUL birthday kiss!  Great start to any day! 



Parker had made Easton the sweetest little card all by himself!  He hid it from him until the morning of his Birthday and was thrilled to give it to him!


Easton loved the card and so did I.  A keeper for sure!


I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we sang the ole Happy Birthday song.  Easton has a way of being shy with most attention.  For the most part, he smiles bashfully.


I think somebody enjoyed the icing, don't you?

 
Too cute not to share this picture!


My favorite part of the day was our visit to the Chocolate Covered Strawberry!  They have got to have the best sandwiches and salads ever!!!!  I could eat there every day!  Easton got a special strawberry with another Birthday candle in it!  
 
 
Here the boys are opening up their gifts! 


We went to Casa on Easton's Birthday.  They of course got to wear the big hats and get ice cream on their noses.  Brooks enjoyed it too!


Parker looks grumpy here, but he wasn't at all.  Uncle Bob had the boys laughing and having a good ole time!
 

Here is Easton loving on Aunt Leigh Ann and her pretty hair!

                     The next day was little Park Park's Birthday.

I had to work on Parker's Birthday, but I was lucky to be able to meet Steven at the school to enjoy an early lunch with the Birthday boy!  


This is Merrick!  Parker really enjoys Merrick, and so do I.  He is a calm kid with a sweet demeanor.
I think he calms Parker which makes me happy!


He was happy to have his Birthday Ribbon!


Seeing as how we had cake at Nonna's and Papa's a few days before, Parker opted for Rainbow Sherbet instead. 


It was another way to sing Happy Birthday to the Birthday Boys.  


We let both boys blow out candles on both days this year.  Because I had to work on Parker's Birthday, it put a little damper on being able to do a special dinner for Parker.  Just because I get home so late.


I love these pictures.  The flash made his eyes look a little funny, but there is nothing like sleeping babe!  So sweet and innocent.


Look at these big red lips!  Every year, on there Birthdays, I sing them to sleep with a soft version of Happy Birthday.  Usually I get a little sad singing this lullaby to them.  This year wasn't quite so sad for me.  I think because I am really enjoying who these little guys are becoming.  I miss the baby-ness of them YES, but I do love seeing them turn into the Bigger boys that God has created them to be.  It's kinda fun to watch them grow!