Tags: baby loss, death of a baby, H.E.A.R.T.strings Perinatal Bereavement Office at Northside Hospital, Jake, life, NICU, Sawyer, ways to honor the memory of your child
The “consult room” – every hospital has one or several. The “consult room” is where Evan and I held Jake for the last time. It is where we were when the ER doctor told us that Sawyer was dead. They were different “consult rooms,” in different hospitals but they looked the same. Standard issue plastic couch and chair. Generic flowery art. Striped carpet.
No one wishes to be in these rooms. The hospital where all 4 of our children were born has a Perinatal Bereavement Office where I volunteer at times. The extraordinary people who work at the office decided that they were going to renovate the consult room in the Special Care Nursery of the NICU. I was lucky enough to help with this special project.
One of Evan’s mother’s paintings is now on a wall of the newly decorated consult room. On another wall there is painting by an artist who is the great-aunt of other parents who also used the room when their little girl, Lily, died. Her parents helped with this special project too.
This is still a room that I hope none of you have to enter. I know that realistically there are people who will be in that room holding their precious baby for perhaps the first and last time. I wish that one day all babies will go home with their parents but until that day I am glad that there is now a warm comforting room where families can spend whatever time they have together.
Evan and I are truly honored by the dedication of this room and that this will be part of Jake and Sawyer’s legacy.
Tags: death, family, grief, life, perspective, thoughts
We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives. Dr. Maya Angelou
My amazing cousin’s mother (who was also my cousin) wrote this poem in a comment to one of my posts last year. She peacefully passed away a few days ago after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May. She did not want a funeral and followed the “honor me not by mourning my death but by celebrating my life” philosophy.
So on Monday, there was not a funeral but a memorial service/celebration of her life. My amazing cousin and my mom spoke – it was a beautiful tribute.
We decided that the twins should come to the celebration. They were not exactly at the service but they were running in circles in the entry way of the funeral home. As I left the service they both stopped running and came to hug me. One said “Mama, we will behave if you stop crying.” The other one said “Mama, you have to focus on the positive things.” As we drove away I stopped crying and I tried to explain to them that I am sad, I might cry again but I would try to focus on the positive.
“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.” Mattie Stepanek
Tags: Gay Marriage legalized, gratitude, happy, hope, Love wins!, new normal, rainbows, thoughts
I am trying to stick to my spring resolution of looking for happiness. It is not always easy but I did not have to look very far today because when I went to write this post this is what I saw on WordPress:
How fantastic is it that the Supreme Court ruled today to legalize gay marriage nationwide?! And it is great that WordPress is helping to celebrate the good news.
Other, more local, happy moments I found are the following:
- I am always joking that I wish I could wrap the twins up in bubble wrap to protect them from the world. Well, the other weekend they wrapped themselves up. . .
- Did you know that there are shirts with built-in chest protectors? I learned about them this week. The twins went to baseball camp and came home asking for shirts to protect their hearts. How could I not get them?
Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend!
Tags: cancer, dark days, family, life, new normal, post traumatic stress disorder, Sad, thoughts
My amazing cousin’s mom and my mom are first cousins. I am heartbroken for my cousins, my mom and the fact that I feel so helpless.
Tags: baby loss, death of a baby, first grade, gratitude, hope, kindergarten, loss of a child, motherhood, new normal, second grade, summer, thoughts, Trees, ways to honor the memory of your child
The twins finished school on May 22nd. Their elementary school is divided into 2 campuses (k-2 is in the primary campus and 3-5 is in the intermediate campus about a mile away).
The pictures below are from their 2nd graduation parade. They both picked out the same concert t-shirt to wear.
Evan said that I should not be sad about the twins going to 3rd grade and at the same time be sad that Sawyer is not starting kindergarten. The twins growing up and finishing 2nd grade is the way life should be unlike Sawyer (and Jake) who are forever frozen in time.
I did cry in the corner a little bit during the parade but for the most part I have not been as emotional as I was at the end of 1st grade and kindergarten. I am not sure that if it was Evan’s words of wisdom or the fact that one of the twins had a temperature of 103.8 on the last day of school but we have left the primary campus without too many tears.
So far this summer because of life and work the twins have been spending time with a babysitter. When I got home from work yesterday they were both so excited to tell me that they went to the park and checked on Jake and Sawyer’s trees. I have not visited the trees to check on them in such a long time. It made me so happy that the twins thought to do it.
Tags: anniversaries, birthday, happy, hope, life, new normal, quotes, siblings
On the road of life, it is not where you go
but who you are with that makes the difference.
A very happy Birthday to my brother!
And, a very happy anniversary to Evan!
Tags: gratitude, March of Dimes, new normal, parenthood
Over the years one of the twins has drawn different versions of our family portrait. This is her latest creation that she drew a few weekends ago at the March of Dimes’ March for Babies.
Her imagination of what Jake and Sawyer would look like makes me happy and so does she and her twin brother.
Tags: death of a baby, gratitude, hope, March of Dimes, new normal, premature birth, thoughts, ways to honor the memory of your child
Last weekend we walked and remembered Jake, Sawyer and all the other babies who were not there to march with us. In the 1950’s the March of Dimes helped to fund the cure for polio – which led to the effective end of the disease. Who knows maybe some day there will be similar medical breakthroughs that will help to end infant mortality and there will be less flowers in the memorial garden.
Tags: baby loss, death of a child, hope, life, love, March of Dimes, mother's day, new normal, Northside Hospital, premature birth, thoughts, ways to honor the memory of your child
This weekend our family is walking in the March of Dimes’ “March for Babies” just like we have in years past. Originally our team was named Jake’s Journey. After Sawyer died we renamed it to Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides. This year the walk is on Mother’s Day weekend. Although I wish we were walking with all of our children, I think this is as close of a perfect way to honor all 4 as possible.
The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. I believe that the March of Dimes is making a difference and saving babies.
I cannot do anything to bring back Jake or Sawyer but maybe, just maybe, I can help spare other parents the heartbreak of having to live in this world without their child/children.
Thank you to all those who supported our team this year and in past years. Thank you also to the Northside Hospital for matching funds. We appreciate all of your kindness and generosity. Please consider supporting Jake’s Journey & Sawyer’s Strides and click here.
Tags: death of a baby, new normal, perspective, post traumatic stress disorder, Sawyer, thoughts
The other day was kindergarten round-up (the “orientation” for rising kindergarteners). Sawyer would be have been 5 in November and he should have been there that day getting a tour of the school he should be starting next school year.
I know that I am not supposed to grow him up in my mind but sometimes I find myself wondering anyway.
My therapist suggested that I slightly adjusting my thinking – kind of like those radio dials we used to turn until the station came in more clearly. For example, one of the twins goes to a doctor in the medical building attached to the hospital where Sawyer died. One day Evan was going instead of me. He had not been there yet so he asked me to clarify which building. There are a lot of medical buildings in that area so I tried my best to explain but was not making any progress. Finally, I said “remember the turn around where we waited the night Sawyer died?” He got it – and knew exactly where to go for the appointment.
If I adjust this conversation slightly in the future instead of giving directions that involve “where we waited the night Sawyer died” I can say “where we park for the doctor.”
This August Sawyer would have started kindergarten (it would have been Jake’s 10th birthday and the 10th anniversary of his death but I am not going to think about that today). Last week was kindergarten round-up. Sawyer was not there. He will not be there on the first day of school. I am trying to adjust my thinking but I am still working on the fine tuning.