Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I've always considered myself religious...been a true believer in God and the life he gives us.

Lately, though, with everything that has happened over the last 5 months I have been searching for answers...searching for hope.

So I prayed. I prayed and still pray a lot.

Last week I received an email from a friend. She was letting me know of a lady who speaks to angels. To be honest I'm not sure what my feelings are on this but this post is not to debate (so please no insensitive comments). However, after checking out her site there was a part that just stuck out to me...it said that you have to pay attention to sometimes the most trivial things in life... because those "trivial" things can be an angel speaking to you.

Now I have always, always believed in angels. I believe they watch over us...I believe they help us to be better people.

I also believe that with the loss of Reid I was losing myself. So I prayed for the angels to please send me a sign that my boy...my beautiful, perfectly angelic boy was safe and was OK. Here's where the story begins...

A dear friend recommend a book for me to read called I Will Carry You. I immediately went to Amazon and placed it in my shopping cart but I didn't order it...this was on a Wednesday. On Sunday I received the above email that I was talking about. That night (I still had not ordered the book although I so desperately wanted to read it) I prayed to angels.

The next day as I was going about my daily business...I went out to get the mail. Now I'm sure you can tell where this story is going now but don't worry there is more.

There...lying in my mailbox was a package. We have received so, so many beautiful cards, letters and gifts but as the weeks go on the mail slows down so I was a little surprised to see this package and assumed that my husband must have ordered something.

When I got inside I saw that the package was addressed to me....hmmm. I opened it and wouldn't you know there was a copy of I Will Carry You waiting inside. This gift came from one of my amazing "sisters". She sent me the most beautiful note but most of all she sent me a beautiful gift....knowing that my son was OK :).

And if that wasn't enough there is more. That weekend (Saturday to be exact) my sister in law and I hit the antique fair. She was out shopping for things for her new home and I was out shopping for well..birds. Weird. I know. But I have had a strange "obsession" with birds for the last few weeks. Would you believe it if I told you that through all 5000 acres (OK I tend to exaggerate) of the fair I only managed to find one bird. One. Uno. Un.

I left. A little disappointed as the one bird I managed to find was well...Ugly. But I bought him anyways.

Well, last Tuesday the husband and I went out on a date and my parents watch the little lady. When we arrived my mom had a gift for me. She told me it wasn't anything fancy but wanted to see if I could figure out why she bought it for me. Now I should preface this by saying...I did not tell my mom of my new "obsession" with birds. I opened the bag to find a perfect, little blue bird. She bought it for me because Reid's song is "Somewhere over the Rainbow". But I know. I know in my heart that an angel led her to buy this. To answer my prayers.

So I believe in angels. Do you?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I just made an entire pot of coffee.

My husband is out work.

There is no other adult in the household.

There have been 5 sleepless nights in a row and I just might consume that entire pot to myself.

Fingers crossed the little lady sleeps tonight.

How do you survive on no sleep?

Monday, January 16, 2012

{ :) }

I was thinking today of all the funny things my little lady says....She really has away of always...and I mean ALWAYS putting a smile on my face...

Last month we came home after spending some time with my family...we weren't home for but 5 minutes when all of a sudden...the lights went out.

It was pure darkness in our home.

Just as quickly as the lights went out...the girl shouted out..."Ohhhh No! The house broke!"

Still makes me smile. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{Four Weeks}

Four weeks.

Today...my son. My beautiful, angel son should be four weeks. 

And technically...I should still be pregnant.

I know....shoulda, coulda, woulda. 

It is weird how my life has changed so much in four weeks. Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming and that any moment I will wake up with my baby safely in my arms. Sometimes I am so obsessed with "what went wrong" that I cannot focus on anything else. Sometimes I am sad as I think of what life could be like with Reid here. Sometimes I worry that my usually, happy, carefree self will never return. Most of all I miss my ignorant bliss. You know...that state of mind where bad things can never happen to you. 

(This is what ignorant bliss looks like. Our little lady when she was 4 weeks old. Her brother looked just like her.)

I think one of the hardest things I struggle with is that since September 2, 2011...that day when my whole world changed...we have never found answers to the "what, how, why." We still don't know what caused things to go so terribly wrong. We still don't know why Reid's wee little body failed him. And we might never know. 

A lot of people have so kindly told me how brave I am for sharing my story and I appreciate it so much but really I'm not brave. You see I'm not one for talking about my feelings...I never really have and probably never will be. This is my way of expressing myself and my way of hoping that my story can help someone else who might have to endure this awful heart wrenching pain. This is my way.

I have realized through all this that that proverb "It takes a whole village to raise a child" is actually more true of my life now except for it goes more like "It takes a whole world to pick you up when your whole world has crashed down."

We are blessed...we have an amazing family who has stood by our side and I know will continue. We have amazing friends. We even received a couple of beautiful, wonderful gifts this week from a couple of my sorority sisters. "Sisters" that I haven't really spoken to very much over the last few years but sisters who took their time to send us a little something...sisters who I feel so much closer too just for showing that they care. 

We have also been blessed with others who have shared their stories with us. Friends of ours who we had no idea were part of this "club" until now. Friends who when they tell us they know how we feel we cry because we know unfortunately they do. 

So today...my ignorantly blissful friends (and I mean that with love...I wish I still was)...please remember how lucky you are. Tell someone you love that you love them...kiss your child one extra time. Just be. 

Today...and everyday I remember my Reid. My boy. My son.

Monday, January 9, 2012

{Our Boy}: Angel Day

I've been dreading this post....like A LOT.

However, our story...our sweet baby boys story is just not complete without it.

I'm sure there are a lot of grammatical errors...as I'm sure there have been many in my past posts. But this is written from my heart. From my heart to yours, to my daughters, to my sons, to my husband. It is written to anyone who may be suffering. It is written with love. 

December 18, 2011

So we went back to our room and started our routine...pumping, teeth brushing etc etc. And then went to sleep. At 2:30 am the phone rang. It was Reid's nurse.

She said that things weren't going so well. He oxygen levels were dropping and they were unable to stabilize him on the ventilator so they had to switch him to the oscillator.

How could this be??? Just a few hours before he was doing...well. We jumped up and headed up to his room.

He still looked like our little boy. The oscillator made his breathing a little "different" but he was still there. He still was moving around...he still was opening his eyes...and was still maintaining his oxygen saturation...he was still our perfect boy.

After a little while we were beyond tired so we decided to go back and get a little sleep so that we could be rested for the next day.

Just after 7 am Sunday morning Reid's doctor came into our room. Now for a doctor to come all the way down to see us after a 24 hour shift usually is not a good sign. He told us he was very concerned and that Reid was just not doing well.

We got up immediately...got ready and ran upstairs....OK in all fairness my sweet husband pushed me to the elevator. We were both silent. I couldn't see or hear anything around me.

Arriving at his room was awful. Our beautiful, beautiful baby boy was lying there but...he wasn't really there. He was gray. He was not moving...at all. He was not opening his eyes. He oxygen levels were low. His blood pressure was dropping. He looked like all life had left his little body. We cried. I think our minds knew how bad things were but our hearts were just not ready to accept this fate.

Shortly after we arrived Reid's neonatologist for the day came in to talk to us. He decided that the oscillator was definitely not the solution and that they were going to attempt to place him back on the ventilator to see how he would do.

Immediately he looked better. His oxygen levels went up, his color returned. He even started to move around some. Was this our miracle? Was it happening? Were all of our prayers being answered? I was so sure he was going to do it. Reid...my little boy...was going to prove everyone wrong.

Over the last few days our family had made plans to come and visit Reid. Our parents were there, our daughter,  my grandmother, my aunts and my uncle. They all arrived. First, we brought Averee in to see her brother...we spent some time as a family of four. Just us and our babies. It was beautiful. The  NICU's policy, however, is that there are only two people in the room at a time so Ian and I went out to the lobby and Ian, my dear sweet husband, started taking everyone in...one at a time. Averee went home to take a nap.  During this time the EEG tech had arrived to start Reid's first EEG. After a few family visits she had to move the machine around and had all sorts of wires everywhere so we decided it was best for all of us to grab so lunch and then head back up to see our boy. My guardian angel even found us and offered the "rooming in" room to us so that we could be just a few doors down from Reid.

Things were really turning around for us. We could do this!

After lunch I saw a friend in the cafeteria...a perk...if you will...at being hospitalized at your place of employment. The rest of our family headed upstairs. When Ian and I got off the elevator we headed to the doors to go see our baby boy. Walking down the hall towards us we could see our mothers. They were both crying and telling us that we needed to go in NOW.

My heart broke. Before I wheeled through those NICU doors for the last time I knew what we were about to walk in on was going to change us.

Reid's room was full. Full of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and even his EEG tech.

The first and only words I heard from his doctor were...."We're going to need a hail mary." Now I may not work in an ICU but I know in medicine that if you need a hail mary....things are at the end. His neo took Ian and I out of the room as the RT started to switch Reid back to the oscillator to see if they could have any better results. His nurses were trying to start more IV lines because they needed to give him more medication. He was receiving blood, TPN, Lipids, multiple pressures, insulin, fluids and to be honest I don't even know what else.

His blood pressure was dropping. His oxygen was dropping. His life here on earth was leaving us.

I tried to compose myself but the tears were flowing. My heart was finally coming to terms with what my mind already knew...He was gone. Our boy was no longer going to be with us.

We still asked the questions though...."Can he come back from this?" The short answer? No.

The next few minutes went by so quickly yet seemed to last forever. We touched our boy as we watched his saturation and blood pressure drop lower....and lower...and lower.

It was time. Time for us, as Reid's parents...his mommy and daddy...to be parents. We had to make the decision that I wish no other parents would ever have to make again. We had to make the decision to stop.

To stop all of the poking, all the medications, all of the machines.

I'm positive the nurses were being helped by angels that day. They were so gentle with our boy. They treated him like their own. The treated him like the little boy he was. They cried.

As they handed my boy to me...I laid him on my chest. I felt his wee little heart beat next to mine. I kissed his beautiful, soft brown hair.  I felt as he took his last breath. I cried.

We all cried. Our family came in to say their goodbyes. My brother in laws arrived and brought our little lady back to say goodbye to her brother.

We spent the next few hours holding our son. Telling him...telling his soul...how much we loved him and how much we wish we could have protected him. We prayed.

We prayed that God would lead Reid to a beautify,l everlasting life. We prayed that his cousin, his grandparents and his great grandparents would be there to greet him. We prayed that Reid knew how much we love him. We prayed for peace.

We still pray. And will continue to pray...for the rest of our lives.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

{Our Boy}: The Big S....

The Big S? Yep, that's right the Big S.

December 17: Surgery Day.

To be honest those 4 days...those 4 very long/short days all kind of blend together. From the IV's, the blood transfusions, all the medications, the overwhelming amount of doctors, having abdominal surgery, pumping, bring Averee to see her brother, attempting to sleep and attempting to process what was going on...it's really hard to kind of keep it all in order.

Surgery Day though was the worst. We (my husband and I) would get up around 3 am each morning (after going to sleep around 1)...I'd pump, we'd brush our teeth ( :) ) and then we would head to the NICU. On Saturday morning/night (whichever way you look at it) Reid had an incredible nurse...to be honest all of his nurses' were incredible but she was extra special. When we arrived she gave us an update on his PICC line placement, all the meds, how he was doing etc etc. She then let us "help" with his care. This was the first and only time that I was able to change his wee little diaper. Now I'm sure many of you are saying...big deal...who wants to change a diaper? Well I am here to tell you that I would do anything right now to be changing his diaper. Anything. She let us take his temperature, get him a little washed up and get him prepared for surgery. We were told earlier in the day that his surgery wasn't going to be until afternoon time on Saturday. So after spending some time with our boy we went back to our room to sleep for an hour or so.

We woke up early that morning...around 6:30...started our routine over again so that we could get back to the NICU to spend time with Reid Andrew. Most of our time with him we just sat there...touching him...talking to him. After a few hours the PHU called (I choose to spend my time in the high risk unit post delivery because I already knew the nurses from my hospitalization in November)...I needed to go back to my room because my doctor was there and my nurse needed to do an assessment etc etc. We all thought we would have time to make it back to the NICU before they took Reid for surgery. About 20 minutes later someone called (maybe my parents...I'm really not sure) to let us know they were taking Reid down.

I panicked.

I needed to see my boy before he went in. I needed to see his face...his beautiful toes.

I hopped into my wheelchair (Hello...I just had abdominal surgery...I was not yet up for running around the hospital)...and we went as fast as we could down to RIO. When we finally made it down there...no one knew where Reid was!?! What?? Finally, we saw his doctor who brought us to the nurse who was expecting Reid...and just a few short minutes later Reid came through the door. We were able to spend a few minutes with him before they wheeled him back. Honestly, I can't even begin to describe the feeling of my not yet 3 day old son being wheeled into the OR. It was awful...I was a mess. His amazing surgeon told us it was ok for us to wait in my room and that he would come and see us as soon as it was completed.

I imagine to most people who have a loved one in surgery that it feels like an eternity. It was about 1.5 hours before Reid's doctor made it to our room. He said the surgery went well but he was concerned because his bladder lacked "tone". He wasn't sure if there was something actually wrong with the muscle or if it had just been "stretched" for so long that it would just take time for it to relax and function correctly. He said that he indeed had a posterior valve and that now it was just going to be a wait and see situation. We would leave the catheter in for a few days and then go from there.

We must have called Reid's nurse 50 times to see if he had returned to his room yet. When they were finally on their way back to his room we rushed to the NICU so that we could be with him.

After a few more hours it was time for me to be discharged. I cried. A lot. I didn't want to leave my baby. I felt helpless. The wonderful nurses of the PHU though told me that they would hold my room for me so that we could "room in" for the night. We decided that we would go home. Take a proper shower. Have dinner with our girl. And then come back for the night. My parents stayed at the hospital with Reid until we returned.

We also had to work on getting my prescription filled. Although I did "well" with the pain...I think I aggravated things a bit over the last few days just by simply making all the trips to the NICU, not sleeping etc etc. This did not turned out to be so easy though and long story short...we never were able to get it filled. Bummer.

When we got back to the hospital we went to see Reid immediately. He looked...good...well as good as a baby could look after having surgery and being hooked up to a million and one machines. We spent some time with him and then headed to our room to start our "routine".

It was Reid's last night on this earth.

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