Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How am I REALLY doing?

Ahhh. That question is asked all the time. Either it come from my Mom or a friend who I haven't talked to much the past few weeks or the cashier at Publix. Even though the feeling is always the same, the answer changes depending on the person. So I figured I would try to explain myself.

My close family and close friends
These are the people I talk to on an almost daily basis. They are familiar with the way I am grieving and can tell when I am having a bad day or "good day". I feel comfortable sharing my feelings with them. So when they ask, I can tell exactly how I feel and they understand. Actually, they don't really have to ask, they just know. This is my comfort zone. They understand my good days are just days I am distracted from the racing thoughts in my head.

People who I don't talk to often, or haven't seen since before Nolan
They always ask how I am doing, and honestly it's hard to say "good". I mean, if I say I'm doing "okay" doesn't mean I'm healed and this thing they call grieving is over. Do I really want to hash out all my true feelings? Naw, I spare them those since they can change on a dime. So my usual answer is... "so, so...same crap, different day" And if I am having a good day (smiling & laughing and enjoying myself) it does not by any means, make me all better. I have not forgotten nor stopped feeling the emptiness of Nolan. He is and always will be in my mind and heart. They say "time heals" but it really doesn't. What I have come to realize is, it just means your bad days come less. You have a few more good days in between your bad days. The feelings of unfairness, jealousy and emptiness NEVER have left my heart, well at least they haven't just yet. Will they ever? Who knows?

To the long time friend I have run into, but didn't even know we were pregnant, but asks whats new in our life...
Well this is a hard one. It's happened twice so far. They get all excited and say..."Yay your married finally!!! What else is new?" or "How has life been treating you lately?" How can I lie to them and say "GREAT!" or "Not much really"...I honestly wish I could, but how can I when Chris and I have gone through HELL in the past few weeks. But I also can't pretend like Nolan never happened. He did, he was 13oz of pure joy and IS my son. Does a mother who lost her son/daughter years later ever forget their son/daughter?....NO. So why should I? Why should I lie and pretend he was never here. So yes, both times...I have told them about Nolan. May it be too much to throw on someone and out them in a possible awkward situation, maybe? BUT, I LOOOOVE talking about Nolan- so I just tell it how it really is, a very simple & bittersweet version. Does it put the person in a semi awkward position? Sure, but I don't have the guilt of not acknowledging my Nolan.

The cashier that says... How you doing?
Well they get the lie... I smile and say "good"... I don't need a pity party. But what they don't know is, I'm dying inside. I just walked through the store avoiding the baby aisles, running into pregnant women and then slapped in the face with a family/baby magazine in the cashier if I told the would just be too much. And who says they are having a crappy day anyways? I guess now I think it's a stupid generalized question to ask, but I did it too as a cashier. But now I realize I bet a lot of people lie when asked this simple question. You never know what a particular person is fighting in life.

This was just all on my mind as I realize I get asked the same question a lot, but my answer changes depending on who asks. Bizarre I know, but it is, what it is.

I'm learning how to live "new normal". I'm not the same "exact" Ashley I was before this happened and I hope people will understand this and embrace me the same as they did before. I am more humbled, quiet and life had taken on a new meaning to me. Anything can happen at any time. I was the first person to think "this won't happen to us" and it did. I'm still in shock at times that this really happened. You think I wanted to wear these "new shoes" that mothers with empty arms wear? NO. I still feel like I am suppose to be getting ready for my baby to arrive. I am still in a "mommy mode" I don't have desire to party or "go out" because I know if Nolan was here, that's not what I would be doing. This probably makes no sense, but I know it does to the Mom's that are in this. I just want my baby back, and I just want to be his mommy here on Earth. This is just a lot to take in, and it's going to take time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear Nolan,

I miss you little guy. I don't know what it is about today but I'm missing you sooo much this afternoon- I'm feeling it more today I guess. Maybe it's because everywhere I turn, a baby is in my face, or a pregnant mom is walking by and friends are having babies. It makes me miss you 100 times more when I see that.

I feel like I'm your Mommy but your invisible and only I know about you. It hurts, I should be putting you in the cart when I go grocery shopping or carrying you into restaurants to show you off to friends at dinner. I want to talk about you and brag about you, but don't want to put others in a uncomfortable situation. You are my son, and I loved every single minute I got with you. I am so proud of your courageous fight you put on. You showed those specialist that you would survive, may it be for 3 short days..but you did prove them all wrong.

I ended up crying at church the other morning at Mass. Father Bob called all the kiddies (all ages) and expecting Moms up to the alter give them all a special blessing after the communion. It was so sweet to watch all the 3 and 4 year olds run up there. And to see all the Moms carrying newborns, or all the Moms with big ole bellies go up to the front. And one by one, he gave a special blessing to every single child and expecting Mom that morning. I wanted
so badly to be up there because I too have a son, you. But instead you are outside in a Memorial Garden and in my necklace. Should I have gone up there and had my necklace blessed, I'm sure Father Bob wouldn't have thought twice about it, but I didn't feel like I belonged in that group anymore and I want to so badly. Tears and lots of them just rolled down my face quietly wishing I still had you here with us.

I would never wish my experience on anyone, but I want them to know how much it hurts me for them to have what we don't. But then I don't want our pain to lessen their happiness because I would feel even worse. It sucks the big one, no question. I need your strength to get me through these feelings.

This month is going to be so hard on me Nolan. All my friends are having their babies, and it makes me wish you were here that much more. I want to be awaiting your arrival just like they are. But instead I am learning how to live my life with out you. You make it so hard on me mister, you were so dang cute and perfect looking, I still can't figure out why God chose you to take home.

I made a new flower arrangement for your stone at the Garden. I did it in your favorite colors and added an anchor. It's the same anchor that was on Mommy & Daddy's wedding cake. I still haven't taken your picture away because I like that people get to visually see what a miracle you were when they see it since they notice you were only 3 days old. And trust me, many people have approached me after church while I am visiting you saying they have said special prayers for us. It's very sweet. I promise when the weather is more tolerable, I will make sure you have real flowers all the time.

I need a special request from you..
Mommy's bestest friend Valorie's little boy Cyrus is going into the hospital tomorrow to get a cath in his heart. We are hoping and praying he doesn't need a replacement. I promised Valorie that I knew you would keep an extra special eye out for him and be his guardian angel. Can you do that for Mommy?

I love you Nolan, and that love grows stronger everyday. Which is why I seem to miss you more and more as the days pass. It's hard to think it's almost been 2 months, the time is flying. So keep an eye out for that special healthy little brother or sister for you and you can send him our way when it's time.

I love you so much baby, I just wish you were here, here in our arms. Give me the strength and peace to start accepting that I have to wait to once hold you again.

Your Mommy

I'm also adding an urgent prayer request for Stellen. His story can be read here
Prayers for Stellan

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm tagged

It's my first time getting tagged and I am so excited!!

Here are the rules to this tag:
1. Mention and link back to the person that tagged you. (I was tagged by Tania at Thanks Tania!!)
2. List 6 little things that make you happy.
3. Tag 6 other
bloggers and let them know "They're it".

There are a lot of things that make me happy so I will have to narrow then down. So here they are :)

1. My Husband- Chris
They say opposites attract and that sure is the truth. Chris is my perfect balance. I am hyper, crazy wife and he is the laid back, easy going husband type. He makes me so happy. I am so happy that we are on this journey together because he IS my best friend. I tell him absolutely everything. He is my rock in life. He knows how to make me smile, pick me up on a bad day, and enjoy life to the fullest together. I am so happy we are able to spend the rest of our lives together. He also gave me the greatest gift, our son Nolan.
2. My precious angel, Nolan
I always thought the saying, you have never loved as much until you have loved your child. And HOLY COW it is so the truth. Our son, Nolan makes me so happy because he taught me unconditional love. I never knew of this love before, it is a different love than you have for your Husband or family. Thinking of him may make me happy & sad, but that is only because I wasn't ready for him to go to heaven. But those 3 days he was here, I was the HAPPIEST mother. My son makes me happy because I KNOW one day we will be together again and I WILL be able to hold him in my arms. He makes me happy because, he made me a mother that I have been longing to be.

3. Our Church & My Faith
Our Church, Blessed Pope John XXIII makes me happy. I have not always been the best Catholic because I rarely went to church but that has now changed. Our church accepted us with open arms like we had been a part of their family for years when Nolan went to Heaven. I now go to Church every week and it really does make me happy. It's bizarre how every week something gives me a sign that I will get through this. My faith will get me through this hard time and I DO have faith we will be parents to a healthy baby one day.

4. Cruising
There's something about getting on a huge boat and floating around in a huge body of water that makes me happy. Chris and I are absolute cruise addicts. I guess it helps that we live 2 hours from the port so it's an easy vacation. But cruising means a lot to us. It was our first vacation ever together in 2003. We got engaged on a cruise. We got married by the Captain on another cruise and started our family on that very same cruise. Our life is cruising! Our dream, we would LOVE to go on the world cruise that's gone for months traveling to places all over the globe.

5. Photography
It's a new hobby of mine. I have plans to turn it into a mini career one day when I get better. I would love to photograph families and weddings. I have always been the camera whore at parties but now that I have better equipment, I have a chance to make this a business one day. It makes me so happy when I take a photo and the person absolutely falls in love with it. I can't wait to capture peoples memories and document special times in their lives.(A photo I took from Kate's wedding)

6. My Career
Honestly, my job does make me happy, and the fact I have a job in this economy also makes me thankful. I am glad I chose a career that I do love. Being a respiratory therapist is a very rewarding job. I'm sure the fact that most my best friends also work with me make it that much better.

I'm adding one more... because I can.
My Mom, Dad, sisters and brother and my in laws all make me happy. My family can always make me laugh and regardless the situation, they know how to make me feel better. And to my friends (Internet friend especially) I love you guys soooo much! You cheer me up on bad days, and make me laugh on good days. Your support through the past month and a half had been outstanding. All the flowers, cards, keepsake jewelry and money raised for us and for Nolan's fund has been AMAZING! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You guys sure do know how to make me smile.

Blogs I tagged:
The Freemans:
Myles Mom:
Moira's Mom:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An un-happy birthday

Well tomorrow is my birthday and there is only 1 thing I want for my birthday this year. We all know what that is, and it is impossible to make happen, so I just sit here in a "rut".To make it worse, Chris works tomorrow night. Last years birthday was crazy and fun and when I thought of this years birthday, I thought..."Wow this will be the first birthday we keep it low key, maybe a nice dinner" But that was 3 months ago when I thought that. That was when Nolan was still growing in my belly and we still thought he was healthy as can be. That was when I felt no anxiety & worry. It was before I knew Nolan was measuring small. It was the happiest time of my pregnancy. It was when I still had carefree excitement, before I recieved these "new shoes" I now wear.

In the past year, I turned 25, had my bridal shower, bachelorette party, went on a cruise, got married, got pregnant, celebrated my first Mother's Day, had a son, became a Mother and buried my son. All of the good things are still good, but the one bad thing over shadows it all. I hope the ripe age of 26 brings me a happy year, I need it. The age of 26 will bring me a lot of empty milestones without Nolan. I am not looking forward to these. I have a feeling this year will be an empty year.

Little did I know, my birthday would be spent without Nolan. I NEVER ever ever thought this would happen to us, but it did. "Never say never"
So my birthday wish for this year....
Well I can't tell you or it won't happen. Sorry.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sun from Heaven

Ever since I was a little girl, every time the sun shined down through the clouds with rays, I always said it was God or an angel in Heaven looking down on someone. Well tonight was our first "NICU loss group therapy" and it's at Healthpark (the hospital I had Nolan at). I have had anxiety of going there only for the fact, that is where I was the entire time Nolan was alive. It's all I know of Nolan.

So on the way there, I am convinced Nolan was telling me it's okay and to be strong. Chris was sleeping while I was driving so he missed it. But it's just what I needed to give me that extra strength to be brave and step into HP. Call me stupid, but it's my way of thinking he is "with me"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our wedding video

Here is our wedding video that Valorie just finished!! I love it! I wish we could go back and do it all over again, best wedding ever! It's where the story of Nolan started...(sniff sniff)

Yes those are Ruby Slippers I got from Chris before the wedding, I always wanted to be Dorthy and what better time than on the Ruby Princess. I also had a Dorthy garter and the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to a piano version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". I know, I'm a dork, and I don't care.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I wish someone could just reassure me that next time, we won't have to face this and we will be bringing a baby home. But there are no promises in life and I have to come to grips with that. I have to rely on my faith. It drives me insane not having Nolan still here. It hurts knowing my journey with him is no longer a journey. It's now a story, a story of Nolan.

I miss him. I sat at his stone/grave today for a long time talking to him and playing his favorite songs on my
iPhone. I wish I could be driving to Healthpark to go see him right now instead. It just seems so unfair that we are going through this. We should be where all other happy soon to be Mom & Dads are. We should be packing hospital bags and finishing up last details. Instead we are grieving our son who came 14 weeks too early.

I am just so scared we will be faced with this again. I know a lot of friends say "you will have a baby one day" but that doesn't fix what we are going through because that is no
guarantee. I want my baby back, no other baby will ever fix not having Nolan.

So I just have to keep telling myself..."Our time will come, and when it does...we will be the best gosh darn parents ever!"

I have to keep faith that our time will come. In the meantime, I will take each day one day at a time. Even
sometimes, that seems too much and I just take it minute by minute. Our life has taken a huge reality check, not everything goes as planned. This can only make us stronger and prepare us to be the best parents in the future.

I have faith that one day, we will be bringing a baby home to their nursery. I have faith my body won't give up because we will know the signs to look for. I have faith that Nolan will look down on us and bless us with the most perfect little brother or sister. I have faith we will be one of the parents at church getting their newborns baptized on Sundays. I have faith. Faith will get me through this.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Empty Milestones

Thanks to email yesterday and to a pregnant friends FB status stating what week pregnant she is today, I just was re informed I would have been 32 weeks this week. No big deal right? I would have been 31 one last week so why does 32 bother me?

32 weeks was one of the Dr's goal weeks for me. She said, if we can just get you to 32 weeks and deliver, I would be happy. 32 weeks would be a good and safe week to deliver tiny Nolan. His small size suggested he would do better growing in the NICU than in my "poisoned body" after 32 weeks.

I wish more than anything, he still was in my body. I wish I was going to Dr appointments scheduling an induction right now. I wish I still felt his kicks. The worst feeling is the world is when for 1/100th of a second, I feel a "kick" and I get a relief feeling until 1/50th of a second later I realize it's not real and just my belly having bubbles or something. I hate it. It reminds me how I am not pregnant anymore.

I'm just missing Nolan so much right now. A lot of things are reminding me of him and reminding me how I am not pregnant anymore. August and September are going to be very hard months.August brings babies for all my pregnant friends and September brings my due date. The month I had spent to much time daydreaming about. The month that felt like it was 5 years away when we first found out I was pregnant. I wish I could just fast forward through them and move on. But I have to experience all these feelings and go through the motions to help heal. I HATE IT.

I'm just overwhelmed with feelings and emotions and REALITY with the situation in hands. I want my Nolan back here with me. I want to feel like the Mom I am suppose to be. I just want my son.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I miss it, I miss my friends and I miss having a weekly routine. Most of all I miss my paycheck. So yes, I need to go back eventually, but I am not ready. There are things I am afraid of and things I am waiting to pass to go back.

I wonder how I am going to react to patients and situations when I go back to work. I know I am going to be way more humble, but are certain things going to trigger me into a night full of hurt? I'm scared to work a code (cardiac arrest) and hear a "time of death"...because its my very last memory of Nolan. My last memory is holding him as they preformed CPR on his little chest and were bagging him and that's when they asked me if I was ready to stop since "it was time". How will I hold up in code situations now, or will it not phase me? I have no clue. I'm sure over time it will be easier but I am terrified, I think because it's still so brand new. So it is in peoples best interest not to say "well you have to face it eventually" because YES, I obviously know that. But I am also not going to throw myself into a situation I am not sure if I am emotionally ready for. I need to work on some coping skills in therapy before I face it.

My job is so closely related to a lot of Nolan triggers that I don't think of now, but know I will when I got back to work. Nolan lived in the NICU and on a vent. I work in the ER and ICU's all the time (they are my favorite assignments). I run the vents on the patients. I also have to with drawl support from patients sometimes. I tape ET tubes just like Nolan had. I know to an average respiratory therapist this means nothing, but now to me...the simplest thing makes me think if Nolan and my empty arms. I'm sure it will get better after being at work for awhile, but I know it will never go back to normal.

Death has taken on a whole new meaning to me. Before Nolan, death at work never really phased me. I guess I was desensitized to it, as many health care workers are. I mean there were patients that would effect me emotionally but it was rare. Now, I know when I see a family member loosing their loved one, especially a son or daughter, it will be 1,000 times harder for me. It will take me back to the emotions that I have gone through and still facing now. It doesn't matter if you loose your son after having your son 14 weeks early and his life only lasted 3 days or if your son is 20 years old and moved out of the house. Regardless, it's loosing a child and I now relate to that feeling all too well. It's the worst feeling ever and they don't make words to describe it in order to protect those that don't have to experience this.

Lastly, this was me last time I was at work. This picture was
taken the last week I was able to work. I was pregnant. I had a belly. I was still sharing my pregnancy with another friend/co-worker. And now...I'm no longer pregnant, no longer sharing pregnancies and most of longer have my son. My son is in heaven and not at home where he should be. It's hard to realize how different my life is now. I am forever changed. I miss being pregnant. I miss shopping for baby onsies. I miss trying to find the perfect thing for his nautical nursery. I miss his kicks, which by the way, I felt for the first time ever while standing in the ER. I miss the exciting feeling I got when I thought of September and his due date. I miss daydreaming about what he would be like. I miss all the "mommy" comments from co-workers. I have none of that now.

So yes, I would love to be at work right now. That is, if I had a desk job or retail job. But I don't, I work in an environment that is so closely related to my baby. An environment that puts me in situations that are so closely related to Nolan. And quite honestly, I'm scared and not ready. I wish I could say I was ready, but it hasn't even been 5 weeks from seeing my son last. So for now, I will just continue to work on my emotions and healing my broken heart.

And for those of you wondering...YES, I still have plans on working in the NICU, just not when I hoped to be. For those of you that don't know, I had all intentions of transferring to the NICU shortly after maternity leave. I had mentioned it back before the wedding but since we got pregnant right away, I put it off. The whole reason I went into respiratory was to work with babies and in the NICU. I was actually offered a job at Cincinnati Children's in the NICU in my last semester of school. I never ended up moving and landed a job in trauma here in Florida. I decided to do adult care first and gain experience before settling in with babies.

So yes, I have all intentions of one day finally transferring to the NICU. It will be awhile until I am anywhere near ready, possibly after another child. I feel as I belong there, and know that my personal experience will only make me a better NICU therapist in the long run.


I'm mad at my body.
My headaches are still lurking and I am now back on my blood pressure medication, which helps slightly. My blood pressures are starting to creep back up which caused me to think maybe it's the cause of my headaches. I thought I was pretty lucky to have healed so quickly from the HELLP & Pre-e, but I guess I was wrong. I've never had blood pressure problems before pregnancy and it drives me insane that my body is reacting like it did and how it is reacting now, 5 weeks later!

I'm mad because my body is the reason Nolan came early. I'm mad because I am so afraid of this happening again. I'm mad because I don't have a son in my arms to hold or to post new pictures of or to put happy status updates about him on my FB. I'm out of pictures, you have seen them all. I just don't understand... I was a healthy, young women who just wanted a baby. I had no medical history to cause any of how could this all happen?

I'm the unfortunate one who gets to live every pregnant women's nightmare at my expense. Because in the mean time, I'm having to watch everyone elses dream come true, why can't we be in the same spot with them? This is a nightmare, it has forever changed good ways and in bad ways. I am just praying so hard that God will show us more good in the future and give us that baby to bring home we so much desire and not let this happen again. It's easy for people to say "don't worry you will have a healthy one next time", it's an easy response to give a grieving mother. But I wish I could agree with them. Just because you loose one baby doesn't mean you automatically get a healthy one next time...I wish there was a guarantee that we won't face this again. But for now, I will rely on prayers and hope that God is good (I know he is).

It's the unknown that drives me crazy. I am not trying to be negative, I am just being realistic and truthful. In time, my hope and positive vibe will return just like I had when Nolan was still in my belly. But for now, I am discouraged and hopeless. Maybe we will get some answers in the month of August from some blood work, but until then, I'll just pray for good to come in the future and for my body to heal.

Monday, July 13, 2009


It's a new thing I am experiencing. At first I was pretty worried about them and almost called my OB to ask if I should be concerned. But when I have checked blood pressures have been "normal" and they seem to go away when I am distracted with stuff like golfing or shopping ect. I mean I have tried everything to get rid of them, nothing really helps.

Well I guess it's the overwhelming amounts of stress, panic and lack of sleep causing them. I got a suggestion from therapy that exercise will help relieve them even if it's just 30 minutes a day. So tonight we tried it and took a long walk in the nasty humid Florida weather. It helped a little, but as soon as we got back, it found it's way back to my head.

I guess I consume so much time into thinking about "stuff" and NO I can not help it. It's part of grieving I guess and I just have to go through the motions. I'm not only grieving loosing our son, I'm grieving a empty stomach since he came 14 weeks early but I am grieving the future we never had with him. I don't have much of a past with him to help me grieve like you would with a older family member or good friend. My memories of Nolan are a few and short because of his 3 short days. But those memories are engraved in my head and never leaving, and I will NEVER forget his fight.

So this is the stuff that goes through my head, every hour...every day.
  • Nolan
  • Nolan not being here
  • REALITY vs Shock of not having Nolan anymore
  • Remembering my favorite 3 days
  • HELLP Syndrome
  • Causes on why this happened
  • Nolan again
  • Will I ever be a Mom?
  • Pregnant friends
  • How this has affected everyone
  • Missing Nolan
  • Preeclampsia
  • Death
  • Fear of my job dealing with Death
  • Avoiding triggers
  • Will therapy really help?
  • Wishing I could rewind back to June 8th
  • Replaying everything in my head
  • Worried about never feeling semi normal
  • grief
  • Will people forget I had a son?
  • Will people be afraid to talk to me?
  • How HELLP syndrome and Pre-e SUCK
  • What caused Nolan's IUGR?
  • Hospital Bills
  • How will I get through Aug and Sept?
  • Wonders if I did anything wrong (even though I know in my heart I didn't) BUT, when you have friends tell you that I shouldn't be doing this, and shouldn't be doing that during my entire pregnancy...YES, it goes through my head
  • What color where Nolan's eyes?
  • Will people understand if I am not myself even 2 months later? 3 months later?
  • Wondering what Nolan would have looked like
  • Who will hang out with me when Chris works
  • Again, will I ever be a Mom? or will this happen every time... My biggest fear in life has always been not being a Mom. Am I on that path?

So I guess all of THAT causes my headaches. I think about all those things constantly through out the day...kind of like I'm stuck on a merry-go-round. I know, there's a lot but I'm being honest...these are the things I think about day in and day out one month into this new journey. Time will help, but right's too new to me still. Maybe not to you, but that's okay, I was his Mom, I will feel this more than you. It sucks.

I just miss Nolan. I want my Nolan back.

A million times I've needed you
a million times I've cried
if love could have save you
you never would have died
things we feel most deeply
are the hardest things to say
my dearest one, I love you
in a very special way
if I could have one lifetime wish
one dream that would come true,
I'd pray to God with all my heart
for yesterday and you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Heaven Sent Message

We went to church today and I am so thankful we did.
Today Father Pat talked about Heaven and Hell...I automatically started to get tears in my eyes because I think of Nolan up in Heaven. Well he ended up doing a baptism on a little baby girl. It was just so symbolic to me. I am so thankful we were able to get Nolan baptised right away in the hospital. Aunt Mary made sure that a catholic priest came and baptised him in his first 2 hours of life. I was still in recovery at the time. We gave our son everything in our power. So when Father Pat was talking about baptism and heaven it just made me look up and be thankful we wwere able to do that for Nolan. Plus watching the ceremony was so sweet and I can't wait to bring Nolan's little brother or sister to church to have the same thing done one day in the future. Hopefully this time it won't have to be done in the NICU.

After mass we walked over to the Memorial Garden to visit our baby Nolan. We sat there for a few minutes and just as we were about to leave, another family approached us. The mother hugged me and said she has been keeping us in their prayers and then she goes on to tell us a story. She said that her 2 kids visit Nolan every time they come to visit their family member and they say a prayer. She said her 3 year old noticed we had left a Ernie Police toy car there for sometime. (It's now a firetruck- we switch his toy our often) Anyways, she said later on that night her son was ripping apart his toy box and she asked him what he was doing and he said he was trying to find a toy to bring to the little baby at the church. So she said not to be surprised if we find Nolan with a new toy one day, it would most likely be from him.

::Tears:: It was so thoughtful and the sweetest story of how Nolan has touched even a little 3 year old. Chris and I thanked them and left. As we were driving away the family's children were standing at Nolan saying a prayer. It just brought tears to my eyes that so many people truly
care about strangers.

This all comes after a semi rough morning grieving Nolan before we left for church. I guess this is what I needed, some happy thoughts of Nolan in a disguised way. I get told everyday by strangers that our story has touched them in some sort of way but to actually meet a "stranger" in person and get a hug from them means the world to me. Thank you to everyone that has taken their time to send us cards, write us an email or even send a text. Just to know you are thinking about us or Nolan really helps us. I may not have responded to everyone but it's overwhelming (in a good way) when you get so many things and thoughts sent our way. We appreciate it all very much. I just wanted to take the time to acknowledge everyone I have yet to respond to.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I HATE you Preeclampsia!
I HATE you even more stupid HELLP Syndrome!
I hate you more than anything in the world right now!
You robbed me of my child and I can never forgive you for that.
Hate is such a strong word, but I honestly 100% HATE you!

And now because of you two, I am determined to learn everything there is about you to the best of my ability- thanks for ruining my free time.
(that's the medical professional in me wanting to do this too)

Thanks, I needed to get that out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

1 month in Heaven

Dear Nolan,

I'm writing this in complete tears because I miss you so terribly. This is probably the worst night to be home alone, but I am because your Daddy went to work and plans fell through to keep me busy. So I am sitting here wide awake and alone waiting for the 230-330am hour to pass because it's when you went to Heaven exactly 1 month ago.

1 month ago it was our last night with you, we left you in the NICU around 12:30am after Nana and Pops came to give you one last visit for the night. We were actually up there pretty late hanging out but I am so happy we did. You did the funniest thing too. When Daddy and I walked in, Dad asked you if you were behaving yourself and you instantly took both hands and covered your ears. We laughed saying you were talking back to us already. You were so freaking handsome Nolan. We left there never thinking it would be our last time seeing you. On the way back to Mommy's room we were all talking about how Aunt Maggie was flying down to meet you the next day and how about Grandpa Jim was going to meet you in a few days and we all made a bet you would make him cry.

We all went back to Mommy's hospital room and Nana & Pops hung out for awhile and ended up leaving pretty late. I had actually just started pumping for you right after they left, and I fell asleep doing it. So when I woke up still attached I yelled at your Daddy for letting me fall asleep. I was so happy because I got a lot for you and was just about to bring it out to the nurse when she came flying in saying the NICU called about you.

She detached me from my IV fluid and your Daddy and I ran up there. I never expected this to be the end. Everyone in the NICU was working on you, thinking about it is so heartbreaking. They were doing CPR and trying to get your heartbeat back. It would only come back for a few seconds at a time after giving you epi. Nothing was working, it was time for you to go to heaven. It was so hard for me baby. Being a respiratory therapist in the hospital working with adults I am confident when we stop a code on an adult, but for you it was so different. I didn't want to give up on you.

They had me hold you while they continued to do CPR and asked us if we were ready because it was time. They had worked on you for a long time and your poor 13oz body couldn't take anymore, I couldn't watch you suffer. I just remember looking at your respiratory therapist and asking what she would do....I knew she couldn't answer, but I was looking for the RT to RT yes, it's time. But she just said she couldn't give me that answer, I knew that...but it felt better to ask. But how could I give up on you, I fought so hard for you the entire pregnancy and I watched you first hand fight so hard in the NICU. But it was so hard not to keep fighting for you, but I knew you would be more at peace in Heaven.

I question God everyday why he took you. I know he has his reasons and I will understand them one day because God is good, but right now I just don't and won't understand for awhile. I try to reason it by saying you were too sick for this earth but NO! looked so PERFECT so how could you be so sick?!

I'm struggling with out you Nolan, everything and I mean everything reminds me of you. I am reminded how you aren't here with us right now, and I am being selfish for wanting you back but we dreamed so hard for you. It is so hard to see all my other friends have their babies because you were suppose to meet them and be baby friends with them. I'm still suppose to be pregnant with them and anxiously awaiting your arrival just like they still are! I know your looking down on all of us, but I miss you so much and would rather have you here. All I have left is my locket of you and your blanket, which I sleep with every night and wipe my never ending tears with.

Nolan, I want to hold you. I want to be visiting you in the hospital right now. I want to feel your kicks against my hands and stroke your precious little head. I want to read you The Very Hungry Caterpillar and sing you a lullaby. I want to take your temperature again and change your diaper. I want to watch you grow and cheer you on. I just want to be your Mommy here on Earth more than ANYTHING in this world right now.

I miss you munchkin. You were the absolute most perfect 13 ounces I have ever seen. You were a true miracle that you were even able to fight for those 3 days. You gave your Mommy & Daddy a chance to meet you. We marveled over you. I just wish I would have spent way more time with you up in the NICU. I wanted to give the nurses and RT's their space and let them do their thing. But I wish I would have spent many more hours up there just watching your amazing self fight.

Today when your Daddy gets home, we have a whole day planned in your honor. Uncle Hunkins drove down this weekend to visit us since he couldn't make your service. So we are going to go visit you with him and then go play 18 holes in golf. I'm doing this for you munchkin, I NEVER golf but I am determined to play and have a good time for you. Then I think were going to all go out to dinner with Uncle Hunkins and Pops. I'm sure we will spend a lot of time talking about you, how could we not?

I love you with all my breaking heart Nolan. I look forward to the day I can hold you once again in my arms. But until then I have to live my life for you and do things you never got to.

Your Mommy

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Some days I feel like it can't get any worse and some days I feel like I'm doing "better". I hate this emotional teeter-totter. I miss the days when I was always happy, now I'm so sad and empty feeling. I was watching wedding videos tonight and it brings me back to a time I loved. I was so happy, carefree, and full of excitement. Our wedding cruise was one of the absolute best times of our lives, it was so much fun being with all our family and friends that week. I wish we could just go back and do it all over again, just to feel that overwhelming happiness.

Nolan should be at HP right now. He would be opening his eyes finally and kicking his legs in his isolette. I would be up there spending the night hanging out with him cheering him on vs sitting at my friends house reading grief/loss stuff. I miss my baby, I want to hold him in my arms and sing him a lullaby. I want to be a mommy and change diapers, and get spit on and feed my baby. I wish I was counting down the days to him leaving the NICU. But instead of all that, I am left to visiting my baby at a Memorial Garden. Nothing close to what I want.

I just feel robbed.
Why us? Why Nolan?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


So today was Nolan's real month birthday, I was counting Monday since it was the 4th Monday since he was born, but today was the 8th, so I guess that is the right date. So we started off the day golfing, since I plan on joining the boys on Saturday, I needed some practice. I try to do a lot of things in Nolan's memory now...things he never got to golfing. So I'll try it. Then we went to visit Nolan, I could sit there for hours and talk to him if it wasn't for the darn ants, that's Florida for you.

We booked a cruise! We needed something to look forward to in the next 6 months, given these next 6 months will be long, hard, and emotionally exhausting. We are going for our 1 year wedding anniversary and going in Nolan's Honor.

We picked a 10 day cruise on the best cruise ship....the Ruby Princess, where all this started. We are really excited and it's worth every penny to go out and do this for us, Nolan and our
future. We're going to the Southern Caribbean and it's going to be awesome! Best yet, we're going back to St Thomas, where we got engaged in St. Johns Honeymoon Beach. It's also going to St. Kitts, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and Princess Cays. This trip puts a smile on our face and I think we deserve this given our past few months. So after booking our cruise, we celebrated Nolan's birthday with homemade Spaghetti dinner and our new favorite wine...Barefoot Wine aka "Nolan Wine" since the footprint on the bottle reminds me of his. So cheers to my little munchkin turning a month old today. I know he's up there watching over us and gracing heaven with his precious smile.

So all in all, today was an okay day. Only happy tears shed today when talking about Nolan. I think golfing and spending the day together really helped, plus the fact we booked a cruise, it's like therapy to us. Speaking of therapy, we start next Monday and I am staying very positive about it or at least trying to. Now if I can just make it past the next two nights while Chris is at work, this weekend should be a decent one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rough Day

It was a rough day...started out in mountains of tears. Honestly, I have no clue what triggered it this morning, probably the fact I was starving...Chris was eating scrambled eggs and all that was in the pantry was frosted flakes. Seems like no big deal, but I ate eggs like crazy for the protein that last month I was pregnant to help Nolan grow and I craved frosted flakes every morning. So that's probably what did it. I avoid triggers that remind me of my empty aching arms. It's just easier to grieve that way for now. We are starting therapy soon, next week, but I am still not convinced it will work. Nothing will bring my Nolan back.

I have found comfort in a few new Mom's I have met through blogs and a grief message board for Pre-E & HELLP. It's amazing how naive I was going into this pregnancy. Those 2 lines popped up on the pregnancy test and I thought that immediately equaled a healthy baby in 9 months. Nope, not so much. I have met mothers who had no problems the entire pregnancy and lost their baby at 39 weeks, to Moms that worried through the entire pregnancy like we did and lost their baby at 24 weeks. I have met mothers who thought they got through the pregnancy and NICU experience and lost their baby 3 years later. No parent knows what the future entitles, we just had a small warning something was wrong in the near future for us. I never realized how many mothers share in the same pain I do, unfortunately...I wish it didn't have to be this way for anyone. It's just not fair. I think I now know more than I ever wanted to know on infant loss. It just plain sucks.

I feel now that it's been almost a month, reality is just starting to sink in. I find myself more depressed than I did shortly after he left my arms. I think maybe I was in shock then, now I am realizing it's reality. These next 2 months will be rough, friends having their babies, Nolan's due date, and attempting to go back to work. Work is a whole post of it's own. I find myself asking all those nagging... should've, could've and would've beens with Nolan. I think its because when you loose a family member...mother, father, grandma, grandpa grieve the past. But when you loose a child, you grieve the future and what isn't there and wonder what would have been there. It's hard and I hate every second of it.

The hardest part of this...Nolan looked absolutely perfect. He was just too small. We have no answers, yes, we know prematurity was against him and his little body couldn't keep the fight up. But what if my body never went into HELLP, I bet he would have held on a few more weeks and he would have ended up being okay- just small, and we would be coming home with him . I wish I had answers, I wish I knew if my body will do this again, and most of all...I wish I knew if I will ever be a mom to a brother or sister for Nolan. I try to stay positive, but my darn body did this, how do I know it wont happen again?

A month ago tonight was our last full night with Nolan, I'm sure today will be just as rough. I really hate Mondays and Wednesday late nights. I know time will eventually help heal, but it's only been 1 month...1 month. It's still very new to us.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Amazing" 1 Month Birthday

Dear Nolan,
Happy 1 month birthday munchkin! Today you would have been a month old and I just wanted to tell you, even though you aren't here with Mommy & Daddy here on earth, we think you are absolutely AMAZING. Not a day goes by that we don't talk about you, and think about how wonderful you are. We loved you before we even knew of you, we couldn't WAIT to start our family and were SO excited when we first saw your heartbeat. You brought us hope, joy and so much unconditional love. You brought your Mommy and Daddy closer than we ever knew was possible. Sure we have been together for hmmm, 6 years and finally got married in December, but we sure weren't expecting to go through this in our first 6 months of marriage. This has brought us together in ways we never thought possible.

I look forward to continuing to share your story. I want people to realize how real you were. I'm convinced that some people don't fully understand how unique and special you were. There is truly only one word.... AMAZING. When people met you in the NICU, you took their breath away because they saw first hand what a miracle you were. I wish more of our friends and family had the chance to meet you.

I have a new favorite song and wanted to put something together with it. The song is called "Amazing" and I wanted to add all the pictures and movies that we have of us 3. It's our family, it will always be that way, you made our family amazing Nolan.

I wish you were still in your isolette and and we were celebrating your month birthday with you in person, we would have gave you the best month old birthday ever! We love you, miss you and think about you every single day. You will never be forgotten, trust me, you have made such a difference in the 3 very short days you were here.

I love you,


Saturday, July 4, 2009

"New" Normal

Empty 4th of July
I made the attempt to get out of the house since Chris was working. So Trish(sister in law) and I drove out to the island for dinner and to watch fireworks on the beach. We picked a crappy spot on a whim and missed most of the fireworks, plus the bird size mosquitoes ate us up. So needless to say, we should have stayed home and we would have seen more.
I MUCH rather would have spent the entire holiday in the NICU with Nolan. But we all know, that's just a dream now. I did go to visit him and left some blue and red star candle jars lit up with battery candles. It's the best I can do.

I'm really trying to start the "acceptance" process of this grieving thing. I have made more attempts to get out and do things but then I find myself letting things bother me. Lets see, tonight I was doing fine until we went to the restaurant and there were babies EVERYWHERE. It just reminds me of Nolan and I instantly go back into an empty feeling. Oh then a Dad walked by with the same exact stroller we had picked out for Nolan and put on his registry. It is just constant reminders that we don't have our son in our arms anymore. Will this ever get better? Facebook even is a constant reminder of my empty arms, there are new baby pictures all over my updates. I guess it's just that time in our life that friends our age are starting families, but now we aren't on the same journey. I used to LOVE looking at all the new baby pictures. But now I feel like its a trigger that reminds me of how we don't have Nolan. Trust me I don't like feeling this way.

I know I have changed, I'm am trying to learn this "new normal" of life. I wish I could describe it, but then again...I don't want anyone else to ever feel this. I don't understand how someone who wants a child so badly has their child ripped from their arms. Why? We had dreamed of our first born for quite some time now, we always talked about it, and we were so blessed to get pregnant right away. But I'm still suppose to be pregnant right now...shoot, I think I would be about 30 weeks and we would be counting down the next 10 weeks. I would be growing by the second and feeling him kick up a storm. Honestly, I am still in complete shock that Nolan isn't in my belly anymore, let alone in the NICU. It's so hard running into people you haven't seen in over a year and they ask how we are doing....I can't lie. I like to talk about Nolan, he brings me joy talking about how awesome he was. He was the most perfect 13oz you ever could have witnessed. Unless you saw him in person, I think it's hard to fathom how real or small he was. Pictures do him NO justice.

I wonder what all his characteristics would have been. We all know physically he took after his Dad. His hands and feet were HUGE, and everyone even commented on them. He had his Dads ears and my head and hair. He was a perfect match between us. I wonder who he would take after...his Dad's laid back personality or my crazy hyper ADD personality. What would his first word be or his favorite baby food? What book would he have us read over and over again every night? All these things go through my mind day in and day out. I just wish we still had him here. Tonight, I wondered if he would be one to run from the fireworks or be amazed by them.

I just want my Nolan, I repeat this at least 50 times a day, ask Chris. We both want him back, I want to be the Mom that people claim I still am. I don't feel like a Mom even though I am, I'm Nolan's Mom. I find myself a lot calmer than I used to be and a lot more humble, is this the "Mom" in me? I don't know... Will this new journey make us better parents in the future? Maybe. We will never know. But I will say I have a new appreciation for the gift of life that I never would have realized before going through this. I'm dreaming of the day a little one wraps their arms around me and calls me Mommy.

I want to enjoy life again, I want to feel care free, I want to forget all my worries...and I have a feeling, I won't ever be my old normal ever again, I am now learning my "new normal' It's going to take time, hang in there with me.


Tonight was.......good
Hanging out with some of my FAVORITE OB nurse friends....Ya ya..ya know...Ash, Jess & Tina..
Thank You girls for making me smile...I can always count on you girls.

Now ASH... YOU.ARE.NOT.ALLOWED.OUT.OF.TOWN next time and I know Dr F will agree.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Out of tears

As I said.... everyday is different, every hour, every minute. This is all so new to me. Getting up out of bed is my hardest task of the day. I have to drag myself out, but I do it for Nolan. I woke up with Chris as he was getting ready for work. I knew I had plans to go hang at Val's most the night, so I forced myself out of bed to get ready. I was hoping and praying for another "good" night so I figured I would go visit Nolan and maybe even sit and eat my Wendy's with him before going to Val's.

Well here is where it all started....
Preface: The month before Nolan was born, my favorite song was "Beautiful" by Vega, it's the song that was used in his video. I just fit our situation, so I played it a lot. It kind of became his theme song. Well the song is from the movie "My Sister's Keeper" so I figured, why not buy the whole soundtrack. So that's what I did BEFORE I went to bed, I downloaded it off itunes to my phone.

Fast forward... I get in my car with plans to stop and Wendy's for dinner, and go sit with Nolan and eat my Wendy's and "talk". I'm sure it sounds morbid, but I don't get to hold my son or sing him to sleep or ever read him books- so if sitting at his memorial stone and eating dinner is all I can do, so be it. I plugged my phone in and started the new songs on shuffle. All was well until "Amazing Grace" (which I did not know was on the CD) came on and a huge rain cloud started to downpour. There went my plans on visiting Nolan. Then I couldn't stop crying, the music, along with the overwhelming fact my baby isn't here...I just lost it.

I still stopped at Wendy's with hopes that the Florida rain would stop, nope, that's when another song Heaven came on. Still in tears I drive to the church & memorial garden and park my car. I sat there and ate my dinner in the car and listened to his song "Beautiful". I think I needed this cry. It was a sad cry but I needed to let it all out. I talked to him from the car because no umbrella would spare you from this downpour.

So I get to Val's semi-overwhelmed with emotions, but the good thing about Val...we can sit there and not say a word and she still comforts me with silence. Not much was said between us tonight, it was a quiet night. We just sat on our laptops doing our thing. I think it was just one of "those" nights.

I went to leave and realized what time was approaching and decided I was no good alone. So I ran and grabbed Chris some food and drove over to his work to eat with him. 230am, 3 weeks ago...I was holding my Nolan in my arms while they did CPR on him and pronounced him going to heaven. I'm glad I was with Chris when I realized this...It's just one of those things, you loose track of time. And out of nowhere you think, what's today? And it's always on one of "those" days. Like tonight. But having dinner with Chris and talking about other stuff made me feel better and I decided to go home.....

Well as you know form the last post, I have some anxiety about driving past the hospital he was born at, especially on a night that has somewhat of a significance. I must have been in a zone while thing I know I'm being pulled over...RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL!

I lost it, poor cop. He knew Chris from the academy...I tried explaining and saying I'm sorry he let me go and all. But seriously? Did it have to happen right in front of where I have kind of been avoiding. It's sad that this type of thing bothers me, I mean I have worked many hours in that same hospital. But right now, I don't associate that place with's now associated with "where Nolan put his battle up and had to leave us" So I think I am out of tears for today.

I don't like being like this, but loosing a child takes on a whole new power. It's indescribable as I have said before. I know with in time I will feel better, but right now, the pain still feels like it happened yesterday. Some days I am in shock, some in disbelief and some I am just plain angry at the world. I have had a FEW moments of acceptance, but they don't last long. At least not right now. I never ever thought I would be facing this and I don't think any mother or father should have to. I mean I remember for the past year everytime we met a new baby I would get all giddy and tell Chris I couldn't wait till we had a "lil pumpkin" But I guess it's life and God chose us for a reason. I need to remember that. But on nights like tonight... it just doesn't matter. I miss my son, I saw him fight, and I had hopes he would make just feels like he was ripped out of my arms. And I would do anything to just have him back. Love you Nolan.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Tonight was Chris's first night back to work since my family had left to go back to Ohio. I'm currently scared to be all alone all night. It's not that I'm afraid of the Bogey Man coming to get me. I'm afraid of getting really down, depressed, upset, whatever and NOT having a shoulder to cry on and someone to hug.

So I started the night off by going to visit Nolan. It would be my first time going all alone so I had a few things I wanted to talk to him about. On the way there, I was discouraged by all the rain, but as soon as I pulled in, the rain stopped. I went to visit him, I had a very heartfelt talk with him. Told him how much I loved him, and how I wish he was here. But the main thing was I asked him to pass some strength down to me and that I really needed it lately because Mommy was loosing it. The sun came out of nowhere and shined down (no lie). I blew him a kiss and I left, I kid you started raining again 2 minutes later. It's like he knew I needed to come see him and stopped the rain.

I spent most the night at Val's and had a decent night. We worked on my wedding video she is putting together for me. We then took a drive up to work to get some stuff from another one of our friends because she had more videos from the cruise. I ended up going in to see everyone instead of Jen running the tapes out to us. I was brave and it was something I felt I needed to do, I didn't cry but it was so weird to be walking the halls I last remember being pregnant in. I was surprised with how well I did.

I ended up going to visit Chris at work during his dinner. I had anxiety about driving past the hospital that I had Nolan, but surprisingly...I forgot all about it by time I drove by. Amazing.

Nolan gave me strength tonight. So I wanted to write out a happy post so you guys can see, not EVERYDAY is bad, I just seem to write more when I am sad because it's therapy. So I want to write out a few things I am thankful for. I am going to try to do this once a week.

Things I am THANKFUL for
1. Chris with out my husband, I could not get through this entire ordeal. He was at EVERY SINGLE Drs appointment & ultrasound. Held my hand and gave me encouragement at some of the worst times we ever faced. His calming personality, calms me down more than you know. He is my rock, my bestest friend and honestly the best Dad ever. I love you Chris.

2. My Family with out my Mom, Dad, Sisters, Brother, Father in Law, Mother in Law, Sister in Law or Aunt & Grandpa. I have NO clue how we would have taken care of ourselves the past 3 weeks. We are so blessed to have the best family, we may be slightly dysfunctional at times, but I wouldn't ask for it to be any different. They were all here for us, that's what mattered.

3. My Health I am thankful that I checked my blood pressure that Sunday. I could have gotten WAY more sick than I already was. I am thankful that we were able to catch the sydrome when it first started. I COULD have been in ICU and never had the chance to meet my Nolan. I am SO SO SO SO thankful I was able to see him, touch him, and talk to him those 3 days instead of being stuck in an ICU and fighting for my life. Thank God I have wonderful Doctors that caught this syndrome early. I am very lucky I rebounded better than expected from the sickness and the c-section. I amazed my Dr by walking in my red heels at Nolan's memorial service, so I guess I am doing better than expected with healing.

So with that, I'm just waiting on Chris to get home in a few minutes with breakfast then off to bed. Today/tonight is a new day (I sleep during the day with Chris since we are both night shifters) and we shall see what it brings. Hopefully good before bad and I have Nolan looking over me and sending me his strength, I think it worked last night.