Monday, June 29, 2009
3 weeks ago today, you made your appearance. Mommy was so scared and afraid but you amazed us all with your energy and fight. I wish you were still here Nolan, I miss you more than anyone in this entire world. I find it hard getting through my days because all I think about is you and how perfect you looked and acted. I know you are happy up in heaven and I will see you and hold you once again one day. But right now, my arms are empty and my heart is heavy with out you. We have gone to visit you at the garden every single day. I make sure your flowers still look pretty and we put a Bert & Ernie Police Car there, it was only appropriate since your Daddy is a police man. It's just not the same visiting you there, we should be going to HP NICU to see you
I'm still working on your old room to make it a memory room for us. I still have to iron your curtains and hang them. Plus we have a bit of clutter stashed in there from when the entire family was here- so I need to clean that out. Your Nana and Grandpa finished the paint and it looks so perfect. We kept the dark blue and plan on buying a big chair to put in there for Mommy to hang out on. We set up your sailboat lamp Daddy bought weeks ago and it makes the room perfect and my favorite picture of you next to it. Only thing missing is the big nautical chart that is being framed right now. We added a small plaque at the bottom that says "In memory of our Ruby Baby, Nolan Michael" You will always be my nautical baby. You were the perfect token from our wedding cruise. I wish I could be adding your crib and dresser and all the other baby things we had picked out. That's what we should be doing, but this is the alternative and we have to accept it. I still have to attempt to do the closet, this will be very hard emotionally. I had bought a bunch of things for you that I need to pack away in a tote and put somewhere special. My favorite outfit I bought for you was a onsie that said "Mommy's Little Anchor" and it was stripped with and anchor on it. Daddy hated that outfit when I bought it but I didn't care, it was so fitting. We had so many sailboat and tugboat outfits we bought you, it's going to be hard packing them all away, we should be hanging them all up preparing for your arrival.
I love you Nolan, and I will NEVER forget about you. I carried you for 6 months, felt you kicking everyday, and saw you first hand as a true miracle kicking around in your isolette. You had so much energy, you probably got it from me, I do have ADD. As time gets further since the last time I saw you, it seems to get worse. People keep telling me time heals, but I don't feel it. I know you are watching over your Mommy & Daddy and that's very sweet of you, but I would rather be selfish and have you here. Daddy has been real good at taking care of me, he reminds me to get up and do things because you never got to. Even if its going for a walk outside, he reminds me to do it for you, you never got to.
Nolan, give me some strength. You gave me so much when you were in my belly. I had a huge reason to fight, have hope and not give up. But now that your gone, I'm loosing those qualities. I want to enjoy life again, and do it on your behalf like you would want me to. But it so hard when my heart is so broken without you. I pray to you every night, sleep with your blanket that Aunt Cathy bought for you and dream about you. You are always in my heart munchkin, love you.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I'm not really sure if I can type my feelings today, but figured I would give it a shot.
I feel empty, I feel all the weight I should be feeling in my arms (All 130z of Nolan) has gone to my heart. I am heart broken, and not the same heart broken you feel after breaking up. It's a heartbroken in it's own definition; indescribable.
And I want to feel that excited feeling I felt on Dec 30th when I took that first pregnancy test. I can't even tell you how, excited, thankful and hopeful we were. We couldn't believe it, we we're finally going to be parents. It had been a long year of waiting, and we were so shocked it happened right away, but we couldn't have been happier.
Those 2 feelings combined were the absolute best. I look forward to the day I can feel those again. But I have so much anxiety that I won't. I'm terrified this will happen to us again. Nolan leaving us has put me on a new journey that NO ONE can understand unless they have unfortunately lived it. I want to get better, I want to feel better and gosh darnit I want to smile all the time again. But currently, the only thing that can remotely make me smile is thinking of Nolan when he was here and thinking of the past when I was carefree. The future scares me.
I've always been a positive person, but this past 3 weeks have sucked all that out of me. I never once gave up hope on Nolan, so how can I give up my strength now? Well he's not here, it's 1 million times easier. He's suppose to be here, in my belly, kicking and rolling and making me fat. So I hope people understand when I'm having bad days, or if I am having a good one, it doesn't mean I am "better" Nolan will be my main thought for the next few months, no doubt. Aug and Sept will be my hard months. I'm not looking forward to it. I need distractions, I need a lot of them.
I guess I'm just scared people will forget about Nolan. I already feel like some people don't recognize how real he was. He was perfect in every sence just a tad too tiny, and I wish I knew why God chose him. I wish everyone could have met him to see what a miracle he truely was. He moved, he sucked on his thumb and he fought like a warrior. He's my little boy and always will be.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I miss my old life, happy go lucky me, excited about being a mommy. No worries, and a heart full of hope that my lil munchkin would keep fighting until he's just big enough to make his arrival. I miss wearing my cute maternity clothes and watching my growing belly.
I hate this new life so far of grief, shock and hopelessness. I HATE feeling negative, absolutely hate it. But I can't stop thinking about why Nolan? Why can't we be the parents we wanted & planned to be? Why am I walking this path of loss? Why do I have to be surrounded by pregnant happy women everywhere we go, friends, strangers and the lady sitting next to me at the Dr's office looking at her ultrasound pictures. I am so happy they are having good news, but why couldn't we have the same? I don't want to feel this way...it's not fair to others around me.
Today we tried to go to the social security office which we were instructed to do while we were in the hospital. The NICU case worker came and talked to us to inform us since Nolan was under a certain weight, SS office has a program of some sort that helps with NICU costs. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but we went to the appointment that she set up for us today to start the process. We left empty handed because they said they can't help us now that Nolan isn't here anymore. Now we have to go in this backwards way with Medicaide or something like that. Who knows, I'm too confused by it all. I just left in tears and heartache.
I would just do anything to rewind my past 3 weeks to have that feeling of hope back and the feeling of excitement that we will be parents. I would still be thinking about what crib we were picking out and thinking about all the classes we had to schedule to prepare us to be parents. I would still count down the days to every upcoming ultrasound(even though they were every other day it seemed). We would be decorating the nursery while my family was here and buying furniture. But instead we're in a whole new journey now. I hate EVERY SINGLE PART OF IT.
Here's the poem I read at the service and it pretty much sums up how we feel.
By Nancy Scott
Sweet child whom we never really got to know,
It’s hard for us to let you go.
We waited and we wanted you.
We had so many dreams for you.
We think of smiles we'll never see.
We think of events that will never be.
There will be no first steps and no first teeth.
There is only a void and our own grief.
We planned to take you to places far and near.
We yearned to keep you safe and free from fear.
We hoped to show you much of your new world.
We wanted to teach you as your life unfurled.
It’s hard to understand why you, our baby, died.
We feel so numb right now, many tears we’ve cried.
We have so many questions and no answers seem to come.
We tried so hard to save you; nothing could be done.
God, we stand before you broken-hearted
and ask you to heal these lives that must be parted
from this little one we can no longer hold,
who will always be a part of us, even when we're old.)
No more can he suffer any harm.
Bless him always and bless us too.
Be with us and help us to make it through.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I wish I was in Chicago right now like we had planned months & months ago for my cousins wedding, I was suppose to be a bridesmaid. It would mean that Nolan was still healthy and my Dr was letting me go because there was no worries. Then I really wasn't going due to bed rest, but now I'm not going because Nolan isn't even here and I'm just not ready for huge social gatherings. NEVER EVER thought this would be the case. I wish I was just in Chicago because it would mean my little man was healthy.
I'm just terrified of all this happening again to us. I always said my biggest fear is never having kids, so I guess that's going haunt me for the time being. Never thought we would be in this situation. I have 110% trust in my OB's that they will do everything in their power to help prevent this from happening again but in the end, they don't get the final say so. God does. I have to remind myself, at least we CAN get pregnant, that's a huge positive.
Just a rough boring day to think about all negative and positive things. I wasn't going to post anything but decided to in hopes I will feel a tad bit better.
Well, I just realized, 2 weeks ago today Nolan went to heaven, maybe that's why I feel so empty today. Makes some sense huh? I feel like these past 2 weeks have been years but it's obviously why happy, go lucky, hyper Ashley you all know is still "missing". I miss that part of me. It's only been 2 weeks, it's not like I will heal overnight.
Tomorrow we have to go to the Social Security office to deal with NICU SSI he was entitled to help pay some bills. So tomorrow will be a bit rough.
I know you all you guys have sent so many prayers our way already, but maybe a few extra prayers for home hope in the future would help. I can't dwell on the past but need to start having new hope for what the future has to bring us.
Off to go visit Nolan with my Mom and then dragging myself over to Valorie's house with my Mom to watch some cruise videos from the wedding cruise. That will make me smile, even if it's for a little bit.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We also got the time frame when we can start trying for a little brother or sister for Nolan. It's sooner than expected and a little more than hoped. BUT it could be WAY worse. We're excited so until then we are going to set little monthly goals to get us through the time we need to wait. Plus were hoping on maybe planning a anniversary cruise for December. I think we have definitely earned a cruise, so maybe I should go book one. (If you know us, we are addicted to cruising...we will find any excuse to go on a cruise)
So some future things to look forward to...
July : another Dr appointment and My Birthday (whoo-hoo)
Aug: Nothing yet, probably me going back to work, I hope I'll be ready.
Sept: Will be a bad month, maybe take a weekend trip SOMEWHERE
Oct: Noelle's Vegas Wedding!
November: Nothing yet
December: ANNIVERSARY (cruise??)
Here's another crazy story.
So the 2nd song in Nolan's video "I Will Remember You" was used because it has importance in our family. It was a popular song when my Grandma died and we played it at her funeral and also played it at my Uncles a few months later. Then the song would always ironically come on the radio. Times such as, going to visit the graves, visit Grandpa, or when we were talking about them.
Until Nolan, I had not heard the song in FOREVER at least a year or so.
Today we took our "wedding cruise" authentic Nautical Chart to the frame store to be framed. We plan on hanging this in Nolan's new room (was a nursery, now a sitting room with Nautical & Nolan stuff) As we are picking out frames and mattes....THE SONG COMES ON THE RADIO right after explaining to the guy why this was so important to us and told him about Nolan. Insane huh? It just goes to show us Nolan is with us all the time. :)
I'm sad my family is leaving tomorrow, well my Dad and sisters are. It's been a HUGE help having them all in the house, they have kept me nice and distracted. At least my Mom is staying with me a few more days. I need her around especially with Chris back to work. So maybe I'll get semi used to it this week since my Mom will still be with me for a few nights.
I have come to realize I can't change what happened, so I need to try to move on. Easier said than done, but I can at least make an attempt. Trust me, it's hard being around or hearing about all my friends that are pregnant and due around the same time. I want nothing more than to be in their boat, and NEVER EVER want them to go through what we did. I think it's going to be hard for awhile, especially until September 13th when he was SUPPOSE to arrive. But it hurts, in a backwards way.
I have to realize that maybe Nolan was REALLY sick and more sick than he looked and never would have lived a good life. He could have had a lot of medical problems, and with that, heaven was a better place for him. I love him more than anything, it's amazing how much you can fall in love with your child so fast. I look forward to having that love for a baby sister or brother and that's what keeps me going. Time is our enemy but we want me to be healthy and my body be ready so that I can give everything I can to make that baby healthy. I hope and pray we will NEVER have to go through this again, and I know Nolan will watch over us in the future. I really do think Nolan has made us even better parents for the future. He sure did make a difference in his short time here.
I love and miss you munchkin, and we have not missed one day yet without visiting you.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday 6/1- Appointment with my normal OB's (who I love) and the ultrasound showed 2.9ish AFI (amniotic fluid) which is NO GOOD. I am normally around 7-9 (Not the greatest but better) The Doctor sent me down to Labor & Delivery triage to get some fluids and sent me home on bed rest. His biggest concern was was viability. Nolan's size at the time concerned him because even though he was over 24 weeks (viability) he still wasn't the size of a 24 weeker and he was worried about admitting me and having to do a c-section if his heart rate dropped and Nolan not making it. We decided that we would go back to Fetal Maternal (the one I didn't like) but I would see a different doctor to determine the next step. My OB was also concerned with his cord and lack of fluid and he was concerned something would happen with in the next 3-5 days. I told him he was nuts in a joking way and I wouldn't let that happen as I fought back tears.
So we went home and started my bed rest. I increased my fluids & protein, laid on my left side A LOT. This week was one VERY STRESSFUL week. I think we were at the hospital 4 out of 5 days, getting labs done, NST's for no fetal movement, steroid shots for his lung maturity and ect. So obviously every time they checked my blood pressure it was higher than normal but we chalked it up to stress and nerves. And on Wednesday it was 112/80 (normal) and it was taken after we had some decent news. SO, I just thought my BP was higher because of stress. On top of this, Chris was not sleeping at all. He was working night shifts all week but dragging me to all these appointments when he was suppose to be sleeping. Poor guy. But I do give him an award for not missing one single appointment or ultrasound the entire pregnancy. (We also have jobs that allow him to do so, thankfully)
Saturday night I went to bed with a decent headache which was abnormal for me. I also had new onset of heartburn this week, but again...another pregnant symptom and I ignored it.
Sunday, I was getting stubborn being on bed rest and wanted to go get a sub at Publix. I had a minor headache and thought what the heck I will check my blood pressure while I was there. The specialist did have me do a 24 hour urine to check for preeclampsia earlier in the week and I had just turned it in on Thursday so what would it hurt if they haven't called me yet with results? Since Chris was sleeping because he had to work I decided to escape the house. Right before I left, Mary called...I told her what was going on and she insisted on going to Publix for me and she also was bringing my grandpas BP machine over so I could check my BP.
Well the BP machine gave a reading of 183/112. Ya, no good. So I called the OB's and he told me to take some meds, lay down for 30 minutes and call back with a new reading. So 30 minutes later it was the same, so he told me to go back to L&D triage to be checked out. (They knew be by first name there...sad huh)
My BP readings weren't changing so he decided to admit me to monitor my BP, give some BP meds and do another 24 hour urine. I told him I had already done a 24 hr urine that FM ordered and turned that in 2 days ago so he went and checked that. He said my number was about 300 and that is borderline preeclampsia. He also said I had stumped him again with everything because ALL my labs were normal once again. I wasn't upset about being admitted, it actually made me feel better that they could keep a better watch on Nolan and me. BUT, I was going to miss another cardiologist appointment that we had scheduled in Tampa in the morning..once again I convinced Nolan didn't want us to see his heart.
Before going up to my room, my favorite FM Dr came in (sarcastic) She stressed for the 40th time that Nolan would not survive if he was born because he was too small, blah blah blah...they wouldn't be able to get an ET tube down him, blah blah blah. And she was SO CONCERNED about my headache. Well it was gone, thankfully b.c my OB said she would have whisked me right to c-section if I still had a headache. I was so freaking confused by all of this. Yes I work in medical but none of this was my area and wasn't making any sense to me.
The BP meds brought my BP down the first time I took them and the nurse even thought I would be discharged with PIH and on BP meds and I would do well on those. I was all comfy in my new room, Chris brought P.Js and my laptop so I was all set. The nurses were all so sweet and were very calming. I had NO WORRIES. Sure I had a high BP, but at least the meds were helping.
About 2am my headache came back and it was about time for another BP pill, so she gave it to me. My BP's never responded to the meds this time. I think I scared the poor tech taking my BP's out of the room because my BP was so high. So she drew my labs again, and called my OB back.
She returned with fluids and told me I could have nothing by mouth now. I knew exactly what this meant...he was worried the specialist was going to come in and c-section me. Little did I know. I then text Valorie and told her for the first time I thought I was going to loose it. She said she was just getting out of work and would be right there. I called my mom, but told her I had a feeling the specialist was going to come in and scare me again, but my OB wouldn't act prematurely so I would be okay.
Fast forward to 10 minutes later. 630am
The specialist came in and told me I am very sick and that we HAD to deliver Nolan. I absolutely lost it. She told me my morning labs showed my liver enzymes had shot up and I was in HELLP syndrome that is life threatening to me as the Mother. I STILL didn't believer her and I wouldn't consent to c-section until I saw my normal OB. I was convinced I could just be given some more meds, and monitored until Nolan found it ready to come out. (I had NO CLUE how serious HELLP was at the time)
With in 5 minutes, Dr F arrived. THANK GOD it was her, she knew EVERYTHING that Chris and I have been through. she knew how stubborn I was and how much I had fought for Nolan. She also knew how much hope we had that everything would be okay. So I knew what ever came out of her mouth would be what I would have to do.
YUP, she said it...We needed to deliver Nolan now to save my life. Seriously?! I had to trust her- she knew what was best. So she came in to check to see if he was still breech to decide if it would be an induction or c-section, he was breech so I had to have a c-section. She explained the HELLP syndrome a little more and said how the only cure is to deliver Nolan or else I can get even more sick and end up in ICU, on a vent or even need a liver transplant. Next thing I knew...4 nurses were in my room trying to prep me for the OR as I am balling my eyes out. I kept saying over and over, he's not ready, we have no name for him...this can't be happening. I'm sure the nurses we're ready to shoot me. Thank god for Valorie holding my hand through all this as Chris called all the family.
It seriously felt like I was living a dream. I would have laughed in your face if you told me 12 hours prior I would be delivering Nolan. I cried the entire way through the hallway and kept repeating 'We don't even have a name", and this is when Chris said..."do you want to name him Nolan? He's going to have to fight throught this..."
Holy crap! I wasn't going to let his one slip out of my hands. YES! But I still continued to cry up the elevator, through the pre-op and even as they finished my pre-op stuff. Thank GOD it was Dr F, she seemed to calm me somehow...I just felt safe. I knew I had to put everything in Gods hands. I knew Nolan would fight. The NICU knew we wanted everything done. I was convinced he was over 500g, so that made me feel a little better.
Next thing I knew...I was in the OR, I was asking annoying questions, trying to keep my mind settled. I was driving everyone crazy with questions as they prepped me. I wanted to know about the NICU team, the foley, the cuts. ANYTHING to calm me down. I hated my c-section. But the best part was hearing Nolan squeak when she pulled him out. The nurse came to let me know how well he was doing and that they WERE able to get a breathing tube in and that his APGARS were GREAT. Even Dr F was surprised and said some of her full term babies don't even get those APGARS. The rest of the surgery was a blur..but DR F told me later on that I wasn't the easiest to put back together so I guess that's why, they kept me pretty knocked out after THANK GOD.
You know the rest after since I was able to update. I am SO thankful I was able to have one of the 5 OB's on my team that was VERY VERY familiar with our case. It put me at ease. I kept telling her how thankful I was that she was there to deliver him, I probably told her over 50 times. But remember I was all on drugs too so I kept repeating myself. I'm so happy he showed everyone he was going to put up a fight and not give up right away. I love my little Nolan. I miss him more and more everyday. I can't stop asking, why us? We are healthy individuals that have been dreaming of being parents for a long time and couldn't wait to get that wedding over with. We wanted to start our family so bad, but now our family feels so empty without Nolan still here. TRUST ME, it's not the same visiting him in a memorial garden. We feel so empty. We went up there today to change out his flowers, the Florida heat is killing the pretty real ones, so for the time being he has a fake arrangement that I made with love.
It feels so weird not to be pregnant anymore. I don't have to wear my maternity clothes anymore, I can have a glass of wine and I can lay on my stomach, and no more bathroom breaks every 15 minutes. But all these things bring tears to my eyes because it reminds me how Nolan isn't here anymore. I am trying so hard to stay strong. Thankfully my body recovered from the c-section and HELLP fairly decently. My blood pressures have been great the past few days and I'm pretty much off all pain meds for my c-section. I am so happy I checked my blood pressure that Sunday, it enabled me to be admitted and they were able to catch the HELLP right when it started. It could have gotten way worse, and I could have gotten VERY sick. Nolan saved my life by coming out, and he sure did put up one good fight. I love you little guy.
Sorry this is so long.
More information about HELLP Syndrome if your curious about it.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today we are working on Nolan's old nursery. We decided not to paint over the beautiful blue we had started. I feel if we were to paint that room in a new color it feels like we are erasing part of Nolan, and I DO NOT want that feel to the room. So instead, we are not adding the wainscoting, and just painting the bottom half white, adding chair rail and still using the curtains we purchased for Nolan's nursery. We are going to go get our Nautical Chart framed this week and add a small plaque to the bottom that says, "In memory of our Ruby Baby, Nolan Micheal" or something along those lines. We bought a ceiling fan to install so my Dad can do that. I still plan on using Nolan's sailboat lamp in this room. I just want this room to be a place I can feel comfortable in and go to and think about my baby Nolan.
The ONLY thing I am going to sell is Nolan's bedding. His nautical anchor bedding. I can and never would use if for another child and I spent a pretty penny on it, Nolan is our one and only Ruby Baby. I know a lot of girls would love to get it for a cheaper price. So when I sell it, I will use the money towards Nolan's Guardian Angel Fund. It only seems right.
We know in the future when a baby sister or brother is on the way we MAY have to repaint again or what not, but for the time being this will be perfect. So THANK YOU Mom and Dad for taking care of this for Chris and I. It makes it so much easier on us. I wish that we were fixing up Nolan's nursery instead this week like we had planned, but that's not the case so this will have to do.
So I have to remember, one foot in front of the other. Trust me, it's hard, I hate it, and grieving sucks. Chris and I are so different when it comes to grieving and that's perfectly okay. And honestly, I am glad we are different because I need him to push me and get me out of bed every morning. I can't wait for the Ashley everyone knows to start shining through again. But I hope as my friends and family, you will hang in there with me and deal with me in the time being. I also can't wait for this blog to take a positive vibe to it, but as we know...this is all real, takes time and wont change over night.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I just wanted to say Happy Father's Day to Chris, My Dad, Senior and Grandpa. I wish we could celebrate this day under better terms, but what we have to remember is Chris IS still a Father to our little fighter. We started out the morning by going to church and visiting our Nolan. We went shopping for a few odds and ends to fix up Nolan's spot later for later on tonight. He deserves only the best. We woke up this morning thinking we should be able to go visit Nolan in the NICU but you get reminded every morning, he's not there anymore. Instead, we have to go to a memorial garden to see him. I pray every night before I go to bed that when I wake up, the nightmare will be over. But it's been over a week and I think I am coming to terms that's not going to happen. I hate mornings.
Last night was bittersweet. My brother Charlie graduated from college with the same degree I did in Respiratory Care from the same program. It's the whole reason my family was originally flying down here in the first place. It was to celebrate Charlie's accomplishment, he also gave the class speech and mentioned our little fighter in it, which made me cry. He also won an award and I am so proud of him. And he's even one of the ones in his class to already have a full time job lined up. Congrats to you Charlie.
But last night was also my goal night I made for Nolan. Doctor's kept telling me that they thought Nolan was coming in 5-10 days. I kept telling them, "NO! He will come after my brother's graduation, so 14 days!" My one Doctor said he hoped he was wrong and I was right. I kept making 2 week goals for Nolan to stay in my belly. And Charlies graduation was the next goal because I would have been 28 weeks and Nolan would have been a little bigger and a little stronger. But instead, Chris and I went to visit him at his grave before the graduation. I NEVER would have thought that would be the case, he was suppose to still be in my belly for last nights graduation.
Last night also hurt because I always joked around with the other teacher I taught with who is also pregnant, saying we would be the 2 knocked up teachers at this years graduation. We were planning on taking our big ole belly pictures with our students. So it was real hard emotionally to realize I'm not in that spot anymore. I found it very hard to be in a huge group of people who all know what happened but are afraid to approach me in fears of not knowing what to say. I understand their feelings but it made me realize I'm nowhere ready to go back to work. It's just too fresh. I want nothing more than for Nolan to still be kicking around in my stomach. I wish my body never gave up. I know I shouldn't be beating myself up over it, but how can I not? My internal incubator gave up on Nolan. I know for a fact Nolan would have stayed put to grow in there longer if my body let him.
I'm looking forward to going to meet with my favorite Doctor this week to maybe look at some possibilities on why this happened and the odds of it happening again. We're also looking forward to meeting with a new specialist to look into some further testing so maybe we can figure out why my body did this. Nothing else matters in this world to Chris and I than to be parents. We can't wait until Nolan can have a sibling, it's very very important to us, but we have to find out if we can help prevent this from happening again.
So Happy Father's Day to all Fathers out there. Go give your little ones extra hugs and kisses for Chris's sake. Because I know he wants more than anything in this world right now is to do that very same thing. We should be hanging out in the NICU today, not a memorial garden.
I love you Chris and Happy First Father's Day. You were the best Daddy in the entire world and I fell in love with you all over again when I saw you look at Nolan the very first time.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I miss you Nolan, so so so much. I am so happy so many of our family and friends got to meet you and see first hand what a miracle you truly were. You were real, you were our son and you fought one very tough battle. I love you munchkin!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Everything was so perfect for you today. Today we laid you to rest and I know your are in a safe and special spot, they will take extra special care of you. Daddy even buried his first home run baseball with you. The church made sure everything was perfect for you, everything was even in your favorite colors navy and red. The prayers and songs were perfect for you and Father Bob said beautiful words about our family, you touched so many people little guy. Mommy's best friend, Valorie made a video to share your story with everyone and there was not a dry eye in the church. Nolan, so many people came to say good bye to you today, it was amazing how many people cared. Nolan, even Mommy's Doctor that delivered you came to say goodbye to you, she's the first person who ever got to hold you, how special of her to come. You touched so many people with out even knowing it. A lot of Mommy and Daddy's family, friends & coworkers came to show us support today. Your Aunt Molly read a reading and your Great Great Aunt Bev did too. Thank you Nolan for giving me the strength to read the poem in front of everyone, I wasn't sure if I would make it through, but you must have been looking over me so I could finish it.
And Nolan, I knew you were there watching over us when we noticed the rainbow you sent through the glass windows right when the closing song Somewhere over the Rainbow started playing. It was the perfect finish to your service. It was absolutely amazing and made me smile. You were our Ruby Baby, you knew exactly how to say goodbye and tell us your okay.
I love you Nolan, you are a very special little boy. I wish you could still be here with your Mommy and Daddy but we are trying to understand why you had to go to Heaven. Today gave us some closure and it will help your Mommy & Daddy.
You are perfect on every way and I am so proud of your fight you put on this earth. You showed all those specialist that you would fight, when they told me you would never survive, even the day before you were born they told me so. I can't thank you enough for those 3 days you gave us. I love you Nolan and I promise to come visit you all the time.
This was honestly the hardest day of my life, but Nolan must have gave me the strength to get through it. I hope and pray we never have to be faced with this again. I know he will be the best guardian angel to his Mommy and Daddy and his future little brothers or sisters.
I want to say THANK YOU to all of you that came to support us today and say EXTRA Thank You to all of you that donated to Nolan's Guardian Angel Memorial Fund. We are overwhelmed with all the support. I know and hope we will have enough to add the statue to the garden but we have hopes that we get enough to extend the garden to have a Children's Garden for all the little ones that go to heaven to be angels. Nolan will have angel friends.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to my best friend Valorie. Valorie, I can never tell you how much you mean to me. You were there in a heartbeat when I text you the morning from the hospital. You even held my hand as they prepped me for the OR while Chris was trying to make phone calls to family. You were there in less than 2 minutes when I told you Nolan was coding. You were there with open arms the minute Nolan's heart stopped and were there to hold Chris and I in a time of shock. My Mom is so thankful I had you since she could not be there the morning of my surgery and was 20 minutes away from the hospital the night Nolan left us. I LOVE you and couldn't have asked for a better person to hold our hands through all this. Thanks for taking care of my benefits at work so I didn't have to worry about it. And most of all, THANK YOU for the best memory I can have of my son. That video was so perfect and it even made his Daddy shed some tears. I love you and I thank God for sending you to me. You are like an older sister I never had and I look forward to many many years with you.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I miss you Nolan, I want nothing more than for you to be here with us right now. I wish I could feel you kick those huge feet against the palms of my hand again or have you grasp on to the tip of my finger and hold on. I wish I could stare at you through the glass isolette and just be amazed at how you were there in front of us, a perfect product between your Daddy and I. I want to see you kick and move all over the place trying to get comfortable just like I do in bed. I just miss you so much Nolan. You were perfect in every way and I was longing for the day you would be well enough to be one of those mothers down in the drive up buckling you into the car for the first time and packing all your flowers and balloons into the trunk of the car. I couldn't wait to show you your perfect nursery all decked out in anchors and sailboats. But instead we are picking you up at a funeral home, bringing you home for one night before we place you in your final resting spot tomorrow. I really think you will like it Nolan, we picked a very special place. This special place will take care of you and we promise to come visit you all the time. Your service is going to be absolutely beautiful tomorrow, a lot of mommy and daddys family and friends are coming tomorrow to support us and say good bye to you Nolan. You have no idea how much you are loved, NO IDEA. Every single person that got a chance to meet you in the NICU left there and were so completely amazed by you, your daddy loved showing you off to everyone. Your Daddy was the best Daddy Nolan, and I feel in love with him all over again just watching him look at you and talk to you and blow you kisses goodnight when we would leave you to sleep in the NICU. He was so proud of his little fighter and so am I. I know I am being selfish when I say I wish you could have stayed with us, but I understand you were very sick and couldn't fight any longer. I'm sorry my body got so sick and we had to take you out- I know you weren't ready and were still growing in there, but Mommy had no other choice. I know if that wasn't the case, you would have listened to me and continued to grow and you would have waited just a little longer to make your appearance. I understand.
I hope one day we can give you a little brother or sister. I can't wait to explain to them what a special big brother they had. I can't wait till they can understand how brave you were and how much you fought. I know you didn't want to give up, but its is humbling to know you are not suffering anymore and and that you are in good hands and being taken care of up there in Heaven.
We love you Nolan. Tomorrow will be a day full of good and sad emotions. I need your strength little guy to get me through this. Look over us tomorrow.
I love you so much, and you will NEVER EVER be forgotten. You have touched so may lives little one. It just amazes me that so many people say your story has changed their lives and the way they look at things. You sure did have a mission on this earth and you didn't even know it.
Love you always and forever,
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I want nothing more to go back to Dr appointments and see him on ultrasounds, or to hear his heartbeat on the doppler, or dream about the day he would arrive. But instead it all happened backwards. I wish he was still in my belly growing and waiting to make his arrival. Instead I got really sick and he couldn't thrive inside me anymore and I was on my way to being dealthy sick. I trusted in God to take care of him and I will say again, I am VERY thankful to at least have gotten 3 precious days to be his mommy. But I can't help but be upset he's not here anymore.
I feel robbed of this pregnancy, I never really felt like a normal happy pregnant mom. This pregnancy was full of worry and anxiety. We never got the happy baby shower everyone else gets, never were able to do his nursery or pack a normal hospital bag for the day he arrives. I know these are all silly things but they are things I would have taken for granted if I never gone through this. I would do ANYTHING to be woken up at 2am to feed him and change his diaper. ANYTHING.Now the nursery we started is going back to an office and my Mom & Dad are going to repaint the beautiful blue we had started for his nautical nursery. He is our one and only nautical baby. It will never be the same for another child. On the other hand I am glad we never finished the nursery or bought all his furniture, we were so close. But I think it would make this even harder if I had to come home to that.
I know I am a mommy and will always be a mother to Nolan, but it's so hard to actually feel like a mom right now. I really felt it for the five best minutes in my life when I was able to change his one and only diaper. It's something I am really struggling with. I just want my Nolan back, I know you guys are sick of hearing it but it's the god honest truth. I know he is in a better place and I have to remember that he isn't suffering anymore, but it is so hard to comprehend right now.
Hope got me through these past 2 months. I have to remember to keep the hope in the coming months that one day I will be a mommy again. Nolan will one day be an older brother. It all comes in hope. Honestly that is what's helping me get through this sad time, is one day we will be parents again to Nolan's baby brother or sister. I am just so terrified my body will fail again in the future and we will never be parents, it's another nightmare I keep having. I just have to keep the hope and pray everyday that someting good will all come out of this. Something ironic I found out today.....
“Hope is symbolized in Christian iconography by an anchor. And what does an anchor do? It keeps the ship on course when wind and waves rage against it. But the anchor of hope is sunk in heaven, not on earth.”
Thanks to one of my best friends, Ashley (AshNicole331) for making Nolan's symbol.
One thing that we have learned through this past week and we have seen so much good in people. From the church to the guy at the jewelry store that engraved Nolan's keepsake neckalce. There are so many loving people.
THANK YOU to those of you that have already sent in checks to our church in Nolans Name to his Guardian Angel Fund. It means SO much to us.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Last night brought tears to my eyes. The night Nolan went to sleep forever, we spent many hours in the quite room holding him. The NICU took him for a few minutes before we were ready to give him back and put a little outfit on him and wrapped him in a blanket. This was incredibly sweet and all. But they asked if I wanted to take his outfit home and I declined. It was too morbid and it's not how I remember Nolan. I remember half naked Nolan with just his diaper and Oakley sunglasses he wore while the bilirubin lights were on. Well last night we decided to go through his memory box that the nurse gave me before we left the NICU for the last time. You know what was in there? His Oakley Sunglasses! You know, the black little glasses you see in most his pictures. I couldn't stop crying, that's how we remember him. I know its such a little thing, but it means SO MUCH.
I want to give a HUGE thanks to Blessed Pope John xxiii Church, they have been WONDERFUL. They have opened their arms and welcomed Chris and I into their family. Most of all they have made Chris comfortable. I can't thank this parish enough. They have done more than they ever needed to. They are personalizing his service just to make it so special to us.
We have decided that we want to start a donation for A Guardian Angel statue for the developing Children's Memorial in Nolan's name. Our church has a beautiful Memorial Garden which we are placing Nolan for his final resting spot. It's absolutely beautiful and our church wants to extend the garden to make a Children's area. We really want to help them start this process. So in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to our Church and they will send you a letter of thanks back. It would be greatly appreciated. Flowers are welcome too, but we really want to help our church designate a children's area.
There is a walkway in the shape of a cross with four rays coming from the center. Brick stones outline the walkway where many of our beloved deceased members and friends have their ashes buried. Benches are available in the garden and we invite you to visit and spend some quiet time in prayer remembering our loved ones.
-Taken from the Blessed Pope John xxiii church website
I'm still in recovery. The HELLP syndrome and Preeclampsia is still haunting me with high blood pressures. But after another trip to the OB, they have me on continued BP medications and have hopes that this shall disappear in the next 6 weeks. It's still sore moving around a lot but I am healing pretty decent considering the way my Dr had to do the incision to keep Nolan safe. I never realized how much recovery was required when having a c-section. I plan on writing out my birth story with in the next few days. A lot of people have been asking how and what happened. It all happened so fast for me to, so maybe writing it out will help. I didn't realize how sick I really was.
Thank you for all the continued support. It is so comforting knowing that friends, family and strangers are all praying for our strength. I'm just so amazed that this blog has turned into what it has, considering I never had plans for that. I'm just so amazed people enjoy reading my thoughts, they do truly come from the heart and if it changes just one person or helps one other person go through a difficult time in their life, then I'm happy to continue writing in the blog.
If you would like to donate to the developing Children's Memorial Garden in Nolan's name please contact the church or send a check to
13060 Palomino Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 19th
BLESSED POPE JOHN XXIII CATHOLIC CHURCH
13060 Palomino Lane
Ft Myers, Fl 33912
We would love for anyone to come celebrate Nolan's life with us. He was a very special boy. We just ask that nobody wears black. Nolan's favorite colors were Navy Blue and Red. But Nolan was not a fan of black. We want to celebrate his life instead of mourn a death.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
So if you have any children, go hug them a little closer, give them an extra kiss and thank God you can do those two things. There's nothing more in this world that I would rather do then give my baby another kiss.
We found a very special place for our baby to be laid to rest forever. It's perfect, peaceful and serene. I think he will like it there. God, I never thought I would be planning this even just a week ago. Nolan was still suppose to be in my belly and I had plans on him making his appearance after 30 weeks. It sure does show God has other plans.
It's going to be a long time before we feel semi-normal again, so please just bear with the both of us. We're going to church tomorrow with the whole family, it just seems like the perfect time to go. Father Bob said this weeks mass is about celebration of life, how perfect.
I will post Nolan's memorial service information tomorrow afternoon. We have a few more details that need to be finalized.
I love you Nolan, there isn't one moment I don't think about you. I wish you could have stayed with us but understand the fight for you was just too much. Please look out over us. We love you always.
Friday, June 12, 2009
People have asked me if I am going to keep this blog and I thought a lot about it. I enjoy writing my feelings out, its almost like therapy to me. I NEVER EVER thought in a million years this blog would have so many hits and readers. I've NEVER have been good at writing but I guess when I talk from my heart it flows out easier. The thing that helped Chris and I both yesterday was so so so many people that left comments saying how much my blog (Nolan's story) has inspired or changed them. I never had those intentions.
Keep in mind, I started this blog back in January after finding out we were pregnant. It was for the sole purpose to share my pregnancy with my Mom who was all the way in Ohio. I wanted to write about what I was going through and share some pictures of my growing belly. I would have been something that if my Mom would have have done this with me, I would have loved to read it now. On May 7th, I decided to open the blog up to extended family, friends and strangers. All I wanted were a few extra prayers to help our baby. They gave us some pretty awful news and I needed some extra strength to get through it. I never thought sharing my feelings and Nolan's story would change so much for me.
Thank you again for all your thoughts, prayers the past month and a half. I can't thank the readers enough for making me feel like this blog had a purpose. In matter of fact, Chris always poked fun of me for writing in the blog. He never took the time to read it because he said he was living it with me. That was until yesterday when we went back to my hospital room together and we both sat down and went all the way back to the first blog post and read every single post. It helped remind me that this pregnancy started out pretty normal and happy normal feelings. I didn't always feel anxious and worried. He was so thankful I wrote this blog because it is such a great memory of Nolan. I then refused to leave the hospital yesterday until I wrote Nolan's last post, it was something I just had to do. I had to leave the hospital with a feeling I said it all. I owed it to Nolan to finish the last part of his story. Everything I knew of Nolan took place in that hospital. I found out I was severly sick there with Preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, that I was having him early there to save MY life from the HELLP and I lived there in room 2211 those few short days we spent with him. So when he left to lay peacefully asleep early that morning, it only felt right to write his last post from 2211.
I am so thankful I had the team of Dr's I had. I can't even tell you how great my OB's were. I put my trust into them and when every other specialist only had bad news to tell me, I knew I could turn to them and get some hope back. It's all I wanted. To Dr Fish, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. I am so thanful you were there to deliver Nolan and I am SO thankful you came and cried with me yesterday. It shows Drs are still human and no matter what the tests showed, or what the root of the problem was, you still cared 110% how I felt. Thank YOU!
Thank you to the nurses that all took care of me in 2211, you guys were so great and I'm thankful you guys cared too.
This blog will still go on, I plan on keeping it to write out my feelings and share future experiences and pregnancies here. I never thought writing from my heart would make such a difference.
I miss Nolan more than anyone would ever know. He really did make me a Mother and I will always be but he taught me that love is so unconditional. He was and always will be so perfect. I am just happy I was able to have those 3 days with him, some mothers don't even get that. I love him. He was the most perect little baby I have ever seen.
I will annouce any service plans as soon as we know them today. Today just sucks, plain and simple.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Last night we saw him at 1230am, everything looked great. We went back to our hospital room one floor down and started to go to sleep. We were so excited that the rest of his family was flying down to meet our little miracle tomorrow (now today). We had such a great night with you. The nurse came flying in our room and asked us to go up to the NICU because he was coding. We ran up there to everyone working on our Nolan. It was the worst feeling to see people pumping his chest and drugs being pushed. They opened up the isolette fully for me to hold him while they worked on him. I wanted nothing more than to stay out of the way and let the nurses and RTs do their job but they kept insisting on me being next to him cheering him on and praying for him. We reminded him to keep fighting just like his name said. It was a nightmare coming true right in front of our very eyes. I was holding his whole 13oz body in my hands while they repeated code after code, pumping in his so tiny chest and bagging him while holding him praying. We finally had to tell them stop after being asked if we were ready or not, nothing was working and our poor baby Nolan could not keep fighting any longer. I knew the NICU would be a rollercoaster ride and was ready for that, I wasn;t ready however to get on the broken rollercoaster. It's just not fair.
We love you Nolan, you were the absolute BEST thing that happened to me and your Dad. We realized how it is to love someone so unconditionally and fight for something almost every Docor told us was unfightable. You came early, as much as I didn't want you to, but you saved my life. You knew you had to come early before I got too sick and I put my body in a life threatening situation to save you. You are my life saver. You made every minute of this pregnancy worth it.
You are still so perfect in our eyes Nolan, everything about you. And everyone that got the chance to meet you thought you were so perfect too. You were just a little tiny. You amazed all the NICU nurses and Drs with your strength and they all called you the feisty one. I was so looking forward to you growing up and watching you play basketball with huge huge hands you had that took after your Dads. I couldn't wait to take you, our little Ruby Baby, on your first cruise on the Ruby Princess for our first family vacation.
Thank You Nolan for letting me be your Mommy the past 6 months, and even more so the past 3 days. It was the best days 3 days I could ever ask for. You showed me how strong I really am and how awesome your Daddy was in all your triumphs and tribulations. Last night was the best when I was able to feel like your Mommy by changing your diaper and taking your temperature and helping change your isolette blanket and finally getting the chance to really feel the mommy with you at least once before you went to Heaven.
I know you are so strong Nolan, you proved to us you are these past 6 months. You showed us a true fight the past 3 days. We are proud to call you our first son. We love you Nolan. You taught your Mommy and Daddy never to take anything for granted, you were our special blessing even though you had a rough start, we hope you are at peace now. Life is beautiful, and you are such a miracle and you touched a lot of strangers lives and you don't even realize it.
Love you always our first,
Your Mommy and Daddy
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The nurse and RT waited to do "touch time" until Chris and I were there and we were able to bring Nana Trina and my best friend Valorie. They were so excited to see him without his "Oakleys" on and see his little face. His facial features are so tiny and he hasn't grown into his face yet, but give it some time, he is going to be a true heart breaker. Well we all already think he is.