Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Do you remember this photo from last year? I took it while trying to hold back tears as I watched Ryan remember his brother. It broke my heart. I thought that taking the picture would somehow stop my tears. It did much more. This picture has been etched in my memory. It was at this exact moment that I knew this is where Kingston was supposed to be buried. I was so overcome with emotion that this is where our son would be buried. I saw what a significant and sacred place it already was for Ryan. I wanted exactly that for our son. I hated thinking that within a short time, our son would be in this same spot, resting for the remainder of his earthly existence.

This year for Memorial Day, I took our daughter and let her feel what a special place this is, multiplied by 2 now that Kingston lies there. I sat on the damp grass with Scarlet in front of me and cried. I was so sad that my son is no longer in my arms, but lying in the ground. I like to consider Memorial Day the Day of the Dead. I know it is much more than that, but for me personally, it was a harsh reminder of what I have been through over the last year. It was almost like pouring salt on my open wounds. The pain stung. Although I am very grateful for what I have been given, I am human, and I tend to miss what I have lost. My arms ache to hold our precious little boy. With the thought of being reunited with him, I am overjoyed. I often imagine what it will be like to be wrapped in his arms just as he was wrapped in mine. Rest in peace sweet child. Mommy loves you!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

NICU Reunion 2011

I have been waiting for this day for what feels like forever. The NICU reunion. I remember reading about it in the newspaper last year, knowing full well that we would be attending this year! Scarlet was in heaven. She absolutely loved it. She got a "creepy clown" tattoo on her face, she won a pinwheel and some necklaces, that she would not let us take from her for any reason, and also got some candy for her parents. We enjoyed pizza and ice cream as well. Thank you UVRMC NICU for putting together a great reunion! Maybe, just maybe, we will see you next year!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dear Scarlet -- 9 months

Dear Scarlet,

I find myself speechless today, your 9-month birthday. I am still amazed that you are my beautiful child. I love waking up to your happy sounds that you make.

This month hasn't really brought much change. You are loving the concept of sitting up on your own. You think it is nearly the greatest thing. Your grandmother asked why you had a bruise on your head the other day and I realized it was from when you tipped over and bonked your head on the bundt pan. Your grandmother thought that was odd that you would be playing with a bundt pan, but you love it! You love to bang your wooden blocks on it and makes lots of noise.

We took you to the doctor the other day and you weigh 14 pounds 5 ounces. You're 25-1/4 inches long! Almost 9 inches longer than your birth length. Holy guacamole! You are still wearing 3-month clothes and you'll also wear 6-month clothes on occasion. Most of your 6-month clothes are summery and of course here in Utah, even in May, the weather gets confused and it doesn't quite know if it wants to be 80 degrees or 40, so most of the time it's 40 and you're stuck wearing your small 3-month winter clothes.

Kingston got his headstone last week and it is so wonderful to have it. I love that we finally have his resting place marked so we can always find him when we go visit (not that it was hard before, but this just feels official).

We're still preparing to move to California in August. I can't believe we're moving! I think it will be good for our little family, but I think it's going to be a challenge, one I am up to facing. I will have you by my side the whole time. We're best friends.

I love watching you grow and learn new things. You are soaking up the world around you. When you grow up, will you still let me sneak in your room and admire you while you sleep?

Love you always,


Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Horrible Situation Made Beautiful...

I talked previously of the women from Angel Watch. They so selflessly gave up their time to comfort me before, during and after Kingston passed away. The Daily Herald has written an article in today's paper about Angel Watch. Please take the time to read and if you are willing and able, feel free to give back.

I may or may not be mentioned in the article. And also, they may have mentioned my age. Ugh. I may have been interviewed this last week for this article and I feel it is very well written. I'm honored that I was chosen to be a part of such a wonderful program. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have shared my story.

Thank you so much Angel Watch. Heather (my angel), you are everything I hope to be. You are amazing! I will never be able to thank you enough for what you did for us.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My First Mother's Day

Here we are. My very first mother's day. Yes, I guess you could say that last year I was technically a mother, but the minis were still growing. Do you remember? I surely do. We had just had our gender ultrasound and found out there was a "complication" with our son (Boy Baby, Baby A). I remember trying to brush it off and play it cool around our families, but deep down in my heart, I knew what my son had... I knew he wasn't going to live. I remember my heart just aching. It was painful. I didn't want to eat or sleep. However, my body thought differently, or maybe it was the minis telling me otherwise. In the back of my mind, I had to tell myself things were not really as bad as I thought. I was just thinking the worst, but no way was it possible that our son could die. Could that really happen? No way. I thought for a moment he could be fixable, that his diagnosis really wouldn't be "incompatible with life."

You never want to give up on the hopes and dreams you have for your unborn child. Afterall, he was a boy. He was supposed to be like his daddy, extremely talented in all aspects of life (school, sports, music). But alas, it was not meant to be. I was forced to give up on every single hope and dream I had for him, and for my twins together. I had to quickly change my focus to my healthy little girl I had on the inside. There would be days that I couldn't look at my growing belly in the mirror because it was too painful to see my son growing, knowing that I would soon have to give him up. There were also days when I felt so weak from my sorrow, that I would lay down and sob. I would plead with my Heavenly Father to give me just a brief moment with my little boy. A kiss on his palm for him to hold forever was all I needed to give him before I sent him away, back to heaven, away from the evils of this earth.

Three months after we had a diagnosis for Baby A, he was born at 9:02 a.m. on a beautiful August morning. August 11, 2010. There was no cry. He could barely breathe. He was weak. He had been fighting so hard to hold on, and now it was time for him to say good-bye. At that moment, I became a mother. My first-born child came to this earth for only a brief moment, but a mother he made me forever. A mere 73 minutes after birth, while I held him in my arms, I watched him as his spirit slipped from his mortal being and into the arms of our Heavenly Father. It was amazing. You see, right after his diagnosis, I knew I had a choice to make. I could choose to be bitter and angry, or I could choose to make the best of what time I had with my sweet Kingston. I chose the latter. I did not want to make it an ugly situation. I wanted it as beautiful as it could be... and that it was. There's not one thing I would change.

Before sending my son away, I kissed his perfect little nose, his cheeks, and last, but not least, the palm of his hand. I believe he's still holding my kiss in his hand. I watched as Ryan took him from my arms and placed him in a beautiful basket, lined in white. The poor young guy from the mortuary had to watch as I sobbed as he covered my son with a white sheet and left carrying my most precious cargo.

Last year, I did not think this is how my mother's day would be, but it is. One child in heaven, and another here on earth. Both beautiful blessings. Today I stood in the early-morning sun while my son's name was read over a sound system. What came next was a moment of silence. Kingston's moment, and every baby's, every child's, moment who has left this earth. I stood there with Scarlet in her stroller as I shed a tear for my child who is gone. I received a comforting touch from my beautiful friend standing behind me, who was also there because of her sweet baby becoming an angel. How grateful I am that even when I feel alone, I am not. I have beautiful women who surround me and lift me up in my times of grief, even while they go through their own. I am never alone. Kingston, I'm sure, is close by. He's got to watch over Scarlet.

How grateful I am that I have two beautiful children. They made me a mother. This is not how I envisioned motherhood, but I have to say, it has been more spectacular than I ever could have imagined.

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful women out there. You are amazing. You are strong.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kingston's Place

We finally have a headstone for Kingston and it feels so good! I'm so glad we were finally able to get it. I wanted to have it before we left, so Ryan and I hurried and picked this one out. I love how it turned out! It's perfect!

They placed it in the cemetery yesterday and called me today. I was so super excited to go see it. I had to wait for Ryan and Scarlet to wake up before we could go and I swear it took forever for them to wake up.

Why a snowflake? The snowflake represents Kingston in that he was uniquely individual and only on the earth for a short period of time, just like a snowflake. If you look really close in the bottom left hand corner, you can see Scarlet's cute little footprints.