Wednesday, December 1, 2010

To my angels....

With the recent holiday of Thanksgiving having just passed, I feel I need to share something that I am indeed grateful for this year. When we found out that our little Kingston wasn't going to be living for long, we were referred to a group of counselors and nurses that IHC provides called Angel Watch.

Angel Watch so graciously came into our home and got to know us on a couple of occasions. They would just come and listen to us talk about our life and our feelings. It was very difficult, but also very beneficial. They also asked us what our hopes were with Kingston. I remember telling them through very teary eyes and thick emotions that all I wanted was to hold my son, bathe him and put a diaper on him. I wanted to know that he was mine, that I was his mother. I also told them that I really wanted a picture of the twins together so that Scarlet knew she really was a twin.

We knew very early on that the reality of Kingston living long, just wasn't reality. We knew we would be lucky if he was born alive, and if he was born alive, he probably wouldn't live to his first birthday. This in and of itself was a hard fact to accept. We did our best to accept it though. We enjoyed every day we had with him.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I knew Kingston was struggling. I was afraid that every time we would go in for a non-stress test that they would not find his heart beat. I prayed harder than I had ever prayed in my life that he would still be there, that I would still get to hear the precious beating of his heart.

August 9, 2010 or 8-9-10. I told everybody that this was the day I wanted to have my babies. I wanted them to be born on a special day. Well, as 8-9-10 was coming to a close, I prayed to my Heavenly Father. I told him that I was ready to say good-bye. I was exhausted. The unknown was literally killing me. I cried all the time. I just needed it to be over. I told him that if Scarlet was healthy enough to be born, I was ready to go through the next trial that was coming our way. I also knew that Kingston was not doing well as I no longer felt him kicking inside me. I knew he was weak and very, very sick.

August 10, 2010, I went in for a routine non-stress test. Kingston's heart rate was bad. Every time I would contract, his heart rate would drop significantly. I sat there watching the monitor and just waited for it to pick back up. This couldn't really be the end, could it? When the nurse left the room, I looked at my mother and said, "I don't think I'm ready for this" (even though just the night before I had so bravely told my Heavenly Father that I was). My sweet nurse, Denise, must have been in tune with the spirit that day. She had been seeing me twice a week for a month, so for her, this was hard too. She sent me straight to labor and delivery to be monitored.

When I arrived at the hospital, everything was fine. I had numerous people watching my babies' heart rates. I talked to so many doctors that day, my head was spinning. I thought for sure that I would be going home that night. Much to my dismay, my doctor thought otherwise. He also was listening to a very strong voice telling him to make me stay.

The next morning, August 11, 2010, I delivered my son. He was obviously weak and we knew he wouldn't be here with us for long, but we were beyond thankful that he got to take a breath of the sweet air that surrounded him. Just as our camera died in the OR, here came Heather, of Angel Watch, with her camera. She captured so many priceless moments of us with our son. Kingston with daddy's ring on his arm.

After Kingston passed away, Heather was there to bring me a basin of warm, soapy water and cotton balls so I could bathe my son in my bed. She brought me a little tiny diaper to put him in and also the most perfect little blue shirt. She also made hand and feet molds for us and a set for Scarlet (notice his little elf ears, SO CUTE). After we got Kingston dressed, she rolled me into the NICU with my son to see my daughter. She softly scooted Scarlet over in her bed and laid Kingston next to her. This was the last time my babies would be together.

This is what I am most grateful and thankful for at this time in my life. I could not believe that this angel would drop her own personal life to meet me in the OR and literally hold my hand as my son passed away. She so selflessly spent her day with me and helped me enjoy the most precious moments I had with my son. Thank you, sweet, sweet angel. Everytime I look at the picture of Kingston hanging on our wall, I am thankful we have it, thankful to a woman who took her time to take hundreds of pictures for us. Words cannot even express the gratitude in my heart for this service. She took an unfortunate situation and made it beautiful. What a blessing. Thank you so much!


Stephanie said...

Once again you have brought tears to my eyes-- in a good way. You and Ryan are strong beautiful people.

Brett and Collette Merrill said...

Tender and touching, Ashley. Thanks for sharing.

Chris and Christina said...

What a sweet tribute to things and people that matter most. Beautiful. So grateful that Heavenly Father sends Angels to us everyday. :)

Diana said...

Tears. Again.

That picture with Ryan's ring around little King's arm is so precious. What an angel you have.

Sending you love as always,


Brande J. said...

That was beautiful...I have tears in my eyes. I'm so glad you have those pictures and memories with your little guy.

Stacy said...

Tears are just flowing. It amazes me to hear of the strength people have during these devastating times. I feel like I'm losing it a lot when I think of the time I have with my Oliver and when that time will end here on earth. I know it's coming. His symptoms are returning and he goes in for an MRI on the 15th. We are praying for peace and strength to deal with whatever comes. We are continuing to add parents that have lost their children, for whatever reason, to our prayers for peace... peace to get through the days until we can see them again. Thank you for your kind words on Ollie's blog. It strengthens me and lifts me up when I feel that people actually care. So... thank you.

Stacy Palmer

Stacy said...

Also... I see you live in Springville. My husband has several siblings that live there. Matt & Kari Kieffer and Eric and Anna Palmer. His other brothers and their families used to live there several years ago, Jared and Emily Palmer and Aaron and Agi Palmer. Just thought you may know some of them! :O)

The Hone's said...

You guys are so amazing and have so much strength. This made me cry thinking of how special it is knowing that you have an angel watching you from heaven.