365 days ago, at around 2:30 in the morning, I wake up to my phone ringing loudly. Much to my dismay, “NICU” shows up on the screen, with a number I to this day still have memorized. It was a neonatologist telling me that my sweet son was back on 100% oxygen, having trouble keeping his blood pressure up, and that she was concerned. This wasn’t the first time this happened in his brief 6 days of life, because no lung development generally means breathing problems. Jerry and I were going to go back to bed and just have an earlier start, but my mother’s intuition kicked in and I knew my little guy needed his Momma.
I still remember packing up our shower supplies in the duffel bag I kept packed so I could grab it and run. I still remember the long, silent car ride to Waukesha Memorial Hospital. I still remembering checking in the emergency room, and taking the elevator ride to the NICU. I remember walking the an all dark NICU and seeing doctors and nurses working diligently on my son. I knew it my heart of hearts that it was time to say goodbye. I didn’t want it to be time, but I knew that my son would never make it home.
One final chest x-ray revealed the same pneumothorax, and zero lung development. At this time I was told that it was the nature of his illness and we had to make a decision. We had always promised we would not let our little guy live on machines, so at 6:00 in the morning, I watched as the same respiratory therapist who put my son on a ventilator, remove him from it. At 6:29 that morning, a stethoscope was placed on his tiny chest and his passing was confirmed. I didn’t think it was possible to cry as hard and I did, and still do as I write this.
Today marks my first year as a childless mother. It has been the hardest year of my whole life. I still remember kissing my son’s tiny head of blonde curls one last time before he was taken from me. I still remember the utter despair I felt the first day without him in my life. I remember having to find a funeral home, and buy and urn…all things I thought I wouldn’t have to do at 24 years old.
Today also marks my amazing husband’s 27th birthday. It saddens me that our son passed on his daddy’s birthday, but while I lost my son, I celebrate the life of both my husband and my little guy. Rest in Peace Charles. 365 days seems so long to be without you in my arms. You’ll forever be in my heart little guy. I look forward to the day we meet again. We love you!
Happy First Birthday In Heaven Charles!
I decided that every year of what would have been your life, I am going to try and write a letter to you Charles. Here is your first birthday letter!
Happy First Birthday!!! I miss you a lot today. Your first birthday should have been today. When you were inside me, Daddy and I always thought about what themed party you would get. Well since we planned to have a car themed nursery for you, we would have had a car themed party too, complete with your own racing suit! I would have liked to have a cake smash for you too at your party little man. It would have been so much fun!
Now, since you were 11 weeks early, I think you would have been behind on a few things, so maybe you wouldn’t be walking yet, but I’m sure you would have been cruising around in your own way. I also think you would have figured out how to communicate with me when you needed things. You were a good little guy, and I know we would have reached all of our milestones eventually.
It’s been a rough year without you Charles. Mommy and Daddy have missed you so much. It was so hard to go on with life after fewer and fewer people wanted to reminisce with Daddy and I about how amazing you were. Don’t worry though, Daddy and I talk about what you would have been like every single day before we fall asleep, and when we wake up. Every night before bed we kiss your little cube and tell you how much we love you. You are never far from our thoughts.
Happy First Birthday in Heaven baby man. I hope Great Grandpa Charles is celebrating with you. Maybe someone got you a little race suit like Daddy and I wanted, and maybe you can have a cake smash in Heaven. Daddy and I are eating cupcakes today in your honor.
I miss you sweetie, and I love you bigger than the whole big blue sky. Daddy says he loves you and misses you too. Rest in Peace nugget.
My first photo of my sweet baby man.
It’s nearing a year since my little guy was born and passed. It wasn’t so long ago that I remember thinking I would have another baby by this point. Month after month, and two failed attempts with fertility medicine and I am no closer to getting my rainbow.
In the last year, I have found that it was easier to keep my struggle to get pregnant between Jerry and I. When we invited other people into our struggle, we were met with a lot of unsupportive people. People who would tell us to just “Let it happen” or “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” Even for the few months when we quit worrying about it, our rainbow still did not happen.
I’ve reached the point in my journey where I’ve began to wonder why I can’t have another baby, why I cannot be blessed with another one. It is usually during these times that I begin to wonder why my sweet, tiny man couldn’t stay with me for forever.
So world, this is me finally talking about why I am not pregnant again. Yes, Jerry and I have been trying, and yes we have been taking fertility medicine to try. I have an appointment with a specialist July 8th. So world, be kind to my heart, for it hurts for both my handsome son that had to leave me too soon, and for the rainbow baby I may never get.
Thanks for reading.
I recently read an article about “Things a Woman Learns by the Time She Turns 25.” Having recently turned 25, I was intrigued to see if I had in fact learned anything new in 25 years of life. A lot of it focused on owning your beauty, and gaining independence, but the one line that caught me was “You’ve learned that your own version of being a 20-something is just right for you.” It caught me by surprise because at 21, when I got engaged, I got the usual responses varying from how young I was, to asking me if I was sure this is what I wanted. When I got married at almost 24, the responses had moved onto our decision to try having children right away. I was still considered too young to everyone, and I was still asked if I was sure children were what we wanted. Anyway, I had decided at that point that maybe my idea of being a 24 year old woman, included being someone’s wife and a mother. Five months later, I was pregnant with our first child, and so begins how I spent my 24th year of life, fighting for the tiny human inside of me. As I enter my 25th year of life, I am still spending it fighting to create life, while at the same time fighting to keep my son’s brief life important.
I am 25 years old, a wife and a mother to one amazing son, who happens to be soaring high in the sky. I am 25 years old and I am desperately trying to conceive another child, one I will hopefully get to strap into the beautiful car seat I bought, but sadly had to put into storage. I am 25 years old, and in my spare time I scour the internet for articles ensuring me that I will not have a repeat of what happened in my last pregnancy.
I am 25 years old, and while being married and a mother at such a young age is not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s mine. It’s my own version of being a 20-something.
I have long been absent from my blog, and for that I apologize. Life sort of took over.
I made it through the holidays without my little man. It was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. If my son cannot be here on Earth with me, what better place for him to celebrate than in Heaven?
We have desperately been trying for our rainbow baby. It’s been 6 long months with no results yet, but we haven’t given up hope. We have our first appointment for Clomid at the end of this month. My amazing doctor has urged me to give them a try (which I was leery of at first) because nothing is happening yet.
The grief hasn’t stopped, however it has lessened. I still have the overwhelming waves of grief where I am not so sure how I made it 6 months without my son. I however belong to an AMAZING group of women who also carried to term. These group of women are by far some of the best support I have ever received. I feel so fortunate to have an amazing group of friends.
The focus of the blog will most likely be shifting from my process of carrying to term, to the rest of my life without my son, and of course a hopeful rainbow pregnancy.
Thanks for reading…
Today I was thankful for Charles. Although I am thankful for him everyday, I was particularly thankful because he made me the mom I’ve always wanted to be. I was thankful to have the opportunity, for however brief because many people will never get that at all.
Today was another day where I was thankful for Jerry. He has always been such a constant source of support through all of our life together.
Today I was thankful for my age. It seems something stupid to be thankful for, but I am so thankful that this didn’t happen to me at 39 years old.
Another thing that might be stupid to be thankful for: my parenting outlook changed after I lost Charles. Things I think I would’ve taken for granted before, will now become precious memories. I have been considering cloth diapering, and for sure becoming a stay at home mom.