Saturday, April 23, 2011

Charlie's Headstone and STL

Charlie's Headstone
Ready for the SHARE Angel Ball

My family

Last weekend we took quite the adventure. We flew to STL for the weekend. The girls did an absdolutely amazing job on the plane. In spite of being way off their schedules, they slept and played. A few of the passengers didn't even realize their were babies on the plane.

The first place we went after landing was to see our Charlie. We confirmed his stone would be in place and inquired about a few things. When we pulled up we saw they had dug another grave. There was another little boy being buried on Friday. We spent a few minutes with Charlie before we headed out to my mom's. I got on my knees and kissed the dirt. That is the closest to kissing him I can get. When I talked to the owner of the cemetary, he told me there is about 18 inches of dirt on top of Charlie. The first thought...I could easily unbury him with my hands and run with him. I won't do that. No matter how much I would want to. But as a mother who at times is consumed with grief, I won't pretend that my every thought is rational. I stood by my son and cried as hard as I did the day we found out he died. Saturday we stopped to see him and tell him we loved him before we went to the Angel Ball. Sunday our families gathered for his stone setting. I could only utter the words " to the moon and back little boy". For now, it is real. His name is carved in granite. I begged our families to visit him. For I am afraid he will be forgotten.

The weekend at home was busy as always. No time to relax. Only time to go from place to place to place. Thursday was dinner with my in-laws. Friday morning was Easter pictures with the duckies for the girls then dinner with our friends and family. Saturday was the SHARE Ball and Sunday we flew home. Overall, being home made me sad. It reminded me of how much I want to be there. It makes living here almost unbearable.

The SHARE Ball was full of a lot of mixed emotion. I sat in my chair at table 21 looking around at all of the people. Every person in that room had experienced the loss of a child. Although I was in a room full of people, I still felt very alone. I didn't want to be there. The organization has done so much for infant loss. I wish they didn't exist. I wish I wasn't sitting there among all of those people. We sat with family. A family member who 30 years ago lost a daughter. She hugged me and told me how sorry she was that we lost Charlie. She told me the story of how her loss went. I was appauled and amazed. Appauled at how the death of a child was handled 30 years ago. Amazed at how much had changed in 30 years. Overall the ball was a pleasant experience. However, it brought so many feelings I had been pushing down in my gut to the surface.

As we went to leave Charlie I said.."I'm always leaving him". I left him in the hospital, alone. I left him at the funeral home. Too scared to look at him in his casket. I left him at his return to the NICU to hug his sisters. And again, I left him to come back. From now until the end of my life I will be leaving him.

7 Months

Well, they are 7 months old. Last night I was sitting at my laptop looking through all of the pictures from the day they were born to just last night. I am utterly amazed. The first picture I looked at was Charlie being held up by my doctor. He was perfect. He and Emma had the same facial expression when they were delivered. The only difference is he wasn't with us anymore. Then I started looking at the ones of the girls. How alert and healthy they really were. Even Katie with the ET tube and ventilator. I had worked so hard to keep them in. I had worked so hard to feed them healthy foods. At any rate..things happened and as much as I want to turn back the clock to that Friday I was in OB triage, I can't.

The girls are sitting up with a little help. But, in general they sit up by themselves. Still not rolling over, but I know it is simply because they don't want to. I am rather certain they could, but they refuse. Katie has finally discovered how wonderful her feet are. And Emma is content talking to the flower on her exersaucer or making the rolling toy with the beads spin and be loud. They are getting a jumperoo shortly. They need this. They love to bounce. The exersaucer bounce isn't cutting it anymore. Unfortunately, we don't have door frames. So, we can't use the johnny jump ups. They loved playing in theirs at my mom's house.

These aren't the official 7 month pics, but for now, they will suffice.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Charlie's Headstone...

Today we had to create the last piece of our son. We went to go design his headstone. This permanent granite stone will tell whomever walks past him who he is and what he meant to us. Nothing, I mean nothing will ever be good enough for him. I didn't want something generic. I couldn't stand the idea of simply having an angel or a teddy bear on the stone. So, he will have a pea pod and a whale on his stone. Along with a phrase "We loved you yesterday. We love you still. We always have...and always will" I saw this phrase and it struck me. I didn't want a biblical verse. I didn't want some generic "our angel". Like I said, nothing will ever be good enough for him. He didn't get a chance to like anything. He didn't get a chance to have favorites. So, we chose two symbols that were representations of him. Symbols that have meaning. The pea pod is because from the moment there were 3 embryos I called my three beans. Their birth announcement was supposed to be the three of them in their special hats in a pea pod my mom made for them. I haven't been able to look at that since Charlie died. The second is a whale. If you go to you can read Derek's poem. While I was pregnant he used to speak "whale" to them. The first time he felt him kick was while speaking whale. This entire experience has been awful. The cemetary hasn't been peticuarly helpful and has certainly made this far more difficult than need be. I am still hoping we will have his stone in place by the time we go home in 2 weeks. I want to have a small ceremony with just us and our families. Nothing official. Just those around him who love him. I wish none of this ever happened. I wish I wasn't writing this entry. I hate whoever made the decision to take our Charlie from us. Or any of the babies taken from their parents.

The Shower..

The shower has become my safe place to cry. It is the place I can go and cry as hard as I need to and as loud as I want. I know Derek knows I do it. For instance, last night I watched the babies delivery on our video camera. Derek stopped recording before they brought out Charlie, but he did take some stills with the video camera. So, I looked at those too. I had been loving on the girls and trying to smile through the tears. I managed to get them settled and then hit the shower. I crumpled as I stepped into the hot water. I teetered against the wall, wailing into my hands. I screamed into my towel. When I came downstairs having pretended I was just taking a shower to wash my hair. I noticed the volume was up on the television. He heard me. He knew what I was taking a shower for. Afterall, I think he does it too.