Tuesday, June 29, 2010
at 4:39 PM
Monday, June 28, 2010
at 11:45 AM
Friday, June 25, 2010
at 9:17 PM
Real Doctors, nurses, RT's, real hospital and real stories. I just watched last nights show and thought it was awesome. Maybe it's because I have hospital envy and wish I could work in such a huge hospital like that. I would eat up that experience in a heartbeat. I mean I feel like I am at work while I am watching it, but in a way cooler hospital. Mines cool, but come on... Mass Gen and Boston Childrens?! I would die to work there! Anywho, I found my self wiping tears away many times, why I don't know but it had some pretty powerful stories.
But next week, watch this...
One of my dearest closest friends in this grief journey traveled to this EXACT hospital with her heart baby Eli. Her little Eli's short life was started & spent at this very hospital and next week is going to be such a powerful week to watch. I encourage you all to watch this series. Say a little prayer for my friend, J and think of her precious angel. He was in the absolute BEST care and I am excited to watch the very same people that took care of him save another heart baby.
I love you J!
I love this show & it makes me want to move to Boston and work there.
at 7:41 AM
Thursday, June 24, 2010
As of today at 13 weeks, I am halfway there.
26 weeks is when I came down with preeclampsia and delivered Nolan.
I’m not so sure what to think about it. I am hoping to get further than 26 weeks, I like to pretend I’ll have an normal pregnancy but the reality is it can happen at anytime.
Actually, I just want to have a non-IUGR baby make it to 24 weeks. That baby would already be bigger than our little guy Nolan. I think the next few scans are the most crucial for us. It will tell us if we are heading in a similar direction that we did with Nolan.
SO KEEP GROWING BABY!
Every week is a week closer. Hopefully 18 weeks is my true halfway mark considering I am c-sectioned at 36 weeks. Lets hope and pray I breeze through 2nd trimester since I never made it out of 2nd tri last time. It sure would be nice to see 3rd trimester this time.
It just makes me wonder, when? When will be my halfway?
On a brighter note, I have another ultrasound this morning. It’s the 2nd of the week and I am not complaining. I have to look on the bright side of being high risk, lots and lots of peeks at this baby.
at 11:19 PM
at 4:35 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
at 5:25 AM
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
at 7:10 AM
Sunday, June 13, 2010
at 11:24 AM
Friday, June 11, 2010
It was a good day and I knew it would be. Out of the entire week, I was looking forward to celebrating his birthday the most because it was his life. A life one Dr assured me wouldn’t happen. The hardest parts of the day were in the morning when I was replaying everything in my head. At this ‘time last year’, I was being prepped for OR, at ‘this time’ last year I was getting my spinal… ect ect. After that passed I was fine. Then later on at the very end of the day, it really hit me that Nolan isn’t here like he should be to celebrate. So I did have a break down, but the Glee episode made it all better. So what the heck did we do for his birthday?
We spent the day out on the boat.
Had a family dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise.
My favorite part of the day was singing Happy Birthday to Nolan. It was a bittersweet moment and it brought tears to my eyes. Tears of happiness for a life we were given but tears of sadness because it seemed so ass backwards singing to our baby at a gravesite.
(Like my awesome anchor/rope headband, my best friend made it just for me and said it’s a ‘one and only’. But that was until I demanded her to make one for a giveaway- so that will be next week. FUN)
We all released balloons after with little notes to Nolan and loved ones in Heaven.
at 8:59 PM
at 2:22 PM
Thursday, June 10, 2010
"Grief is a winding, nasty road that has no predictable course, and the best thing you can do as a friend is to show up for the ride. You cannot rush grief."
One year ago today I experienced pain that I never knew existed. The type of pain that only seems real in nightmares. I have never felt like the wind had been knocked out of me until that very night, standing in the NICU holding Nolan while they did chest compressions on him. I never knew how much you could lose in a matter of seconds, because just seconds after putting my hands under his 13 ounce body, they called the code. He was done, his fight was over, he laid there lifeless and not kicking and moving around like we knew him. All I remember is falling into Chris' arms and Valorie wrapping her arms around us. It was a nightmare, surreal and I couldn't even grasp what just happened.
Our hopes, our dreams and our new life was just ripped from us in a mater of seconds with out warning. Just one hour ago, I just finished pumping, I was tucking myself into bed and ready to get some much needed sleep. I knew Nolan was in good hands and never suspected a thing would go wrong. NEVER. Until they called down to my floor and told us to get to the NICU as fast as possible. I remember the tech saying she thought he was coding.
It tore me apart that the first time we held our son, he had no pulse, he was turning blue and was cold. I couldn't keep him warm, I couldn't protect him, I couldn't do what Mother's are suppose to be able to do. What good was I? I was in disbelief that we were in the "quiet room" it's the room they only take people to give bad news or take people when bad things happen. We were there.
Grief then was raw, indescribable, confusing and down right painful. It felt like there was no reason to continue on, how could we? We lost our innocence, we lost our new life and now what do we do? I never again want to go back to those weeks following June 11th, it's painful just to think about it. I'm not really sure how I survived because I don't remember much, I think I was in auto pilot. I went through the 5 stages of grief daily. I had moments of peace and moments of complete anger where I wanted to throw a brick through a glass window.
I counted the weeks since we lost him, that turned into months and now I am sitting here a year later asking where time went.
I tried counseling, I tried therapy but in the end blogging my feelings was my therapy. I did it for me and only me. I hated when people said how 'strong' I was because I didn't feel it. If it was up to me, I would have slept for weeks in a row, I didn't want to get out of bed but I had to. It was survival, it was what I had to do in order to put one foot in front of another and continue life.
So a year later, I am here. Simply here.
I have learned how to cope, how to grieve in my own way and how to survive. I think about Nolan everyday, I look forward to the chances I get to talk about him because it keeps him real.
A year later, I still have a hard time with others pregnancies, looking at new babies and watching new parents. I run from these situations. In all honesty, it has been my biggest battle. Jealousy and envy are ugly beasts, but I can't help but look at those people and ask, why not us? I crave that perfect naive pregnancy and the exciting birth and all that follows it. I would do anything to have a screaming baby keeping me up, I would do anything to make it to 40 weeks no matter how uncomfortable and huge I was, I would do ANYTHING to feel normal again. So a year later, I run. I run far from any pregnancy and I can't help it. Pregnant again or not, it's something I still hide from. I am scared of my own pregnancy let alone, others.
A year later, people expect me to "get over it, time to move on and focus on the 'important' things"
Well people, grief is something that can't be rushed. It is a different journey for every single person. As Angie Smith says, it's unpredictable. Some days are easier than others and a year later the bad days are fewer. But I still have days that I want to crawl in a ball, close my eyes and not wake up. I have those days where I let things people say bother me. I have those days where all I want to do is wallow in my tears. Sometimes the triggers hurt more than I can bear. I think about Nolan EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It could be 3-4 years from now and I can guarantee you, I will not be "over it" Grief is a life long journey. I have learned who my true friends are because of it.
I will NOT get over it, nor will a new pregnancy make me "move on". I am blessed and 100% completely thankful for being pregnant, especially during this time. But the hormones don't help the overwhelming emotion. You don't move from one baby to another to 'fix' things. So if I want to dwell on something at that very moment, let me. Get over yourself, it's not your place to say how I need to deal. Let people grieve the way they want to, as long as they are not hurting themselves, that is all that matters. Just because I am grieving doesn’t mean I am NOT taking care of our new baby.
One year later, I smile more than I cry when I think about Nolan. I think about how we got the chance to meet him, learn his personality and have that hope. I think about the life we were given after a DR said it was never going to happen. I think about how Nolan made us parents and how special that is. I think about all the support we received after we lost Nolan. I think about how many people remind me daily about Nolan. I smile when I talk about him.
A year later, I think I am doing 'good'. I could have fallen off the deep end. Tragedy can rip marriages apart but Nolan brought us closer. I have met amazing friends, life long relationships and I am thankful for these girls.
A year later, I can laugh again. I can remember pieces of how I used to be happy. I look back at pictures of 2008 before everything happened and miss how simple our life seemed. I miss it, I do.. and I wish I still felt THAT way. But I have accepted our new way of life. I can't change it so I try to accept it. It’s just a new normal that takes A LOT of time to grow on you.
A year later, I still wonder what our life would be like if Nolan was still here. I wonder how big he would be, what milestones he would be hitting and simply what our life would be like. I have a hard time looking at babies that would be his age because it makes me crave him a million times more. I may be a 'Mom' but I sometimes don't feel like it because I couldn't tell you how to care for a newborn, when to feed solids or how to do anything baby related. So I struggle with that.
Grief is ugly, unpredictable and it's a tool that truly shows you who true friends are. I have learned that in the past year. It has caused me to hold grudges, lose friends and feel pain I never knew existed. But I have accepted that it a life long journey, it's here to stay. Good days and bad, it's just part of the motions.
So at 2am tonight, I hope I am sleeping. I don't want to feel what I know is in store for me. Because I know how raw and painful it is, I NEVER want to feel that again. But it's hard when your thinking,
"At this time last year...."
The next 24 hours will be hell, and I am NOT ready for it. But I know I will survive and will conquer it with the love of Chris, family and my dear best friends. I plan on reading all of Nolan's cards that we got last year tomorrow. I remember opening them all, but I couldn't tell you one thing that was said because I was not in a frame of mind to comprehend when I read them last.
Tomorrow will be bittersweet. I will be stepping foot through the same doors I was wheeled out of last year empty handed. I couldn't wait to get out of there that very morning after I wrote his last blog. I was done. But tomorrow, I hope to get a healthy glimpse of what is taking residence in my belly. And I hope that I can walk out with a brief smile and some new ultrasound pictures in hand.
God bless everyone who had been here for us in the past year. In the good and bad times, who didn't selfishly walk away from us when we needed you most. Because my new motto is...
You may be there in our good times, but if you can't genuinely be there in the bad, what good are you to me?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
at 1:52 PM
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
THIS WAS THE ONE, that I needed today.
First of all, today went perfect and I can’t wait to blog about it. But this just had to come first.
Tonight, I was bummed we were going to miss Glee’s season finale, but hey, that’s what DVR is for and we had “better” things to do. Not like I would stay home for Glee on a night like tonight. After dinner tonight we all went and visited Nolan and then after the group decided to go to our favorite restaurant to grab a drink in memory of Nolan. So that’s what we did.
The group decided to go to a new place and being me, I wanted to enjoy the night and stay out for a bit. On the way to the new place, my dad text me and my sister called me freaking out over Glee’s season finale.
Like seriously freaking out!
But I wanted to know NOTHING and ignored them.
We got to the new place and I think all the bottled up emotions from the day hit me. With in 5 minutes of walking in, I was a sobbing mess. I was literally sitting in the corner of this dark place with tears uncontrollably falling from my face. So Chris suggested we go home and chill out. And that’s exactly what I needed.
So what was the first thing we did after my breakdown? Watch Glee.
Here is the insane part.
The first song had a part that SCREAMED at me. I know in the song, the lyrics are totally unrelated to the way they used them in the show but in any matter…
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind
During this time this part of the song was being sung, they were showing one of the characters giving birth. So I figured that’s what my sister & Dad was talking about. Sure, I thought about it like Nolan was sending a message of a sort.
The very last song…
Somewhere over the Rainbow. (Iz’s version)
I turned into a damn water fountain. I can’t even describe what I felt. It was like Nolan was saying he was okay. In the same exact way as when we played that song at his service and a rainbow formed on the floor from the sun shining through the stain glass windows right when the song started. Amazing. I just sat there smiling but with tears pouring down my face. Like did Glee write this show for me?!
Did you know I was secretly hoping to hear the song all day, even put it on a CD we brought on the boat. But when the song came on, it followed a party song so I skipped it. So here we are, 11:55pm watching the last 2 minutes of Glee and that happens.
Tears of joy that for one second I KNOW Nolan was looking down and giving me a hug even if it was in the most unexpected way.
at 9:53 PM
at 3:24 AM
Sunday, June 6, 2010
If I can only get through this week, I will feel better. I know I will, I have survived a lot and I know a lot of it is the anticipation of this weeks events that make it worse. One foot in front of another, expect to cry and feel things I haven’t felt in months and remember there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
So what are our plans for the week?
Tomorrow I am spending the day preparing for Nolan’s birthday. I plan on attempting cupcakes and hopefully they will turn out. I’m sure I won’t be no Suzy Homemaker and will probably use Funfetti cake mix but that’s my favorite and it’s a no fail. I think the decorating will be my favorite. Hopefully with Dad's help, Mom's knowledge and Val's creativity, I won’t fail.
Nolan’s birthday our family and a few very close friends are spending the day out on a pontoon boat out in the ocean. I think we will stock up in beer, sandwiches and snacks and make a few beach stops. Then later visit Nolan and do a balloon release before having a family dinner.
And for the days I’m not looking forward too, I’m not so sure what I will do. I’m not looking forward to it, I am already replaying the events in my head. I just can’t believe it has been a year since I last saw Nolan kick, held Nolan or felt like our life was complete. I never once thought in those 2.5 days, that death was even a threat. I saw it as he made it this far, he will make it out of here. But I learned the hard way things don’t always go as planned.
On the 11th, I will step foot back into the one place I couldn’t wait to get out of that dreaded morning. This time I plan on leaving with new ultrasound pictures vs being wheeled out empty handed. I’m hoping that going there for an ultrasound, I will have something to smile about on that day. Be around the people that were there that morning and see Dr F who saw it all herself and sat and cried with me that very morning. I feel a connection to those people and maybe seeing them, will help even if it’s just a little.
And hopefully after all this, I can feel a sense of relief that we made our first year. I know we will honor Nolan like he deserves, I just look forward to all this being over, that is, at least for another year. And hopefully, next year we have a healthy 6 month old celebrating his/her big brothers birthday with us.
at 11:54 PM
Friday, June 4, 2010
at 12:55 PM
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I have a best friend, we came together because of our unfortunate circumstances.
Over the past year, we have shared our deepest thoughts, cried to each other over the phone numerous times (more than I can count) and prayed for each other. I could not imagine going through this journey without her, she has been a rock to me.
She has NEVER ever held any of my feelings against me, because out of all people…. she just GOT IT. And 99.9% of the time, she felt the same way.
So when I was talking to her the other night about my fears & irrational thoughts it dawned on me. She is 4 months further along in this process and from our convo she had many of the same feelings. So I asked her to write it out, I explained it’s therapy and that I would to post it on my blog.
So here we are, a guest blog of sorts from a women who doesn’t have a blog, but who has the words, feelings and thoughts to share.
I love you Amy and I couldn’t have done this past year without you.
I am Kalli's mom.
Nolan and Kalli went to heaven almost a month a part and our circumstances were really close....I mean scary close. To read about my journey, just reread Ashley's blog because she wrote down exactly what I did in my journal to my daughter. That journey still continues like Ashley's does.
It has almost been a year since I have kissed my angel and that kills me, can you imagine not being able to kiss your baby for a year and beyond. That is what we deal with daily…
But this isn't about that, it is about what is going on in my belly. I’m once again pregnant, and it is growing and I still fear having to tell people. I wasn't ready, I wanted to hide until I for sure had a healthy baby in my arms. The thought of people saying congratulations made me want to throw up. I know what happened to Kalli and I know it wasn't my fault, but the though of losing another child......... was more then I could handle!
I grew up healthy, loving life and never thinking or expecting that my body would betray me. I am an athlete and could always push my body to it’s limits and it never let me down, except that one time when my legs gave out at a track meet and I practically crawled across the finish line, but that has happened to everyone, right? My body has it's own agenda and for some reason bounced right back to where I was with Kalli. It was pretty obvious as soon as I got pregnant.
FEAR is my middle name right now, I have been waiting for the bottom of the barrel to fall out. I am literally a ticking time bomb.....just waiting for something bad to happen. I know that isn't a way to live. Everyone tells me to think positive, I did and look where it got me. I have to think realistically so that I don't get bulldozed again.
“I will let you be positive for me...I have to stay real to myself...my body is the one going through this.”
I know that I am pregnant, but it still hurts when people tell me that they are. I am not here to judge, but I don't take being pregnant lightly anymore! I did it the right way and I still can't figure out what I did to deserve this. I know it is the devil testing me and my faith, but he failed....so back off!
From day to day and even hour to hour or minute by minute my feelings change. I am excited about the possibility of new life. I am terrified that my body is going to fail, I know that it will, but when? I can't even dream of having a 4 lb. baby, just let it be a healthy 2 lbs - if that is even possible.
I don't get think like “normal” people do and my friends and family respect that. They love me for me and the ones that haven't been around or don't like what I have to say, have found other people to talk to. That is fine with me and you will have to understand that I can't be that person for you.
I am in a selfish battle right now for my baby and my life. I don't have to tell you how high risk this pregnancy is for me.
No one is worth getting me upset, I have to be in sound body and mind. I have to find a good place in my life for me to try and figure this out. So that I can live with the fact that I am a broken mommy trying to figure out my nitch in this world and how to handle a new baby coming into my arms knowing that it isn't my sweet Kalli. I can't imagine loving a baby more, but any mom that has had 2 or more kids tells me about how your heart grows to hold another. I am really looking forward to that. As the Dr. Appointments become a weekly tradition, the shots come everyday, and the blood pressure cuff comes more often then my meals do..... all just to give us a fighting chance.
I do want to thank all of my friends and family out there that do read this blog and know how to handle the new me. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! They have never been afraid to ask me a question or talk through things and have never hated me for the honest answers that I give now. I have grown into a different person and will continue to grow through this. I can't tell you for sure if I have grown for the better or for the worse, I wonder that a lot.
In the end I know that it will be for the better, I just don't know when the end is..........no one does.
at 3:10 AM