I haven't written in a few days because my heart has been so heavy. The thing is I feel like I truly don't have words to express it. (which for me is unusual) The emotions are so raw, so...I don't even know how to say it. I cry every single day. I hurt every single day. And every day brings something new. Lately, I have felt like it must have all just been a bad dream. I was never supposed to get pregnant. Maybe I just made it all up. Maybe I just imagined it all. But, no ... his ashes sit beside me. His memory forever with me. Maybe it would be easier to have dreamed it. Maybe it would be easier to not have to wonder about what his life would have been. My heart is so heavy. My tears so hot. They betray me my tears. I hate to cry in front of people. When the tears come I don't know how to stop them. I don't know where to put them. I try and just cry in my car or in the shower...places no one can see. I hate not being the strong one, the one who has it all together. I have learned I can't be that woman right now. I can't be the one who can do everything. I just can't anymore. Would I change it...yes. Would I go back and get pregnant again if I knew this was the end...that I don't know. How awful of a person does that make me? How selfish? I want to get pregnant again now. I want to have the cerclage and save the next pregnancy. I am a mess.
But, me being me I am trying to see the positive. I am trying to focus on the future. I am trying to hold onto the truth that God does have a plan for me. One thing I have struggled with lately is watching people hurt with me. I don't let people in very easy. I never have. I have always been friendly and had lots of friends. But, the letting them in to the emotional part of me... that is the hard part. And with this I am so open. The wound is so large I can't hide it. The hole is so big I can't help but let people see it. Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn." Maybe the best thing is to let people mourn with me. I have shared Trent's story with people and they have cried with me. People mourning with me. People caring for our little family. It is strange but, it is good.
Lean on me when your not strong. I'll be your strength. I'll help you carry on.
Today I will lean on You. This is the first time in my life I have felt like I could not just pick up the pieces and carry them myself. I need others and I am grateful that God has given them to me. Strangers who share the same loss, friends here and far away, family, and my husband. I will mourn my son.
Yesterday marked seven weeks since he has been gone. Seven whole weeks. It seems like forever. It is hard to think that just seven weeks ago I was planning for my son. I walked through Walgreens today and ventured down the baby aisle (on accident) and just thought, "UGH!!" I was at church this morning and a lady gave me an invitation to her grandbabies baby shower. I walked away from her and teared up. All I could think was, "I am supposed to be having a baby shower!!" I think I am at the mad part of the grief. I have read all about the stages of grief and I do think they come and go very very quickly. But, today I'm mad. And, you know what?? I think that is okay. I don't think I need to be okay with this whole thing all of the time. I don't think I have to be Mrs. Cheery all day every day. I know that is what most people are used to. But, get over it...today I'm PISSED!!
With the mad part out of the way...I want to share about the brief meeting with hope I had yesterday. I know I know it is going to sound like I am a little bit bipolar with the above paragraph and the below one...but, remember grief is strange like that!!
Yesterday marked seven weeks...I know I said that before. Monday night I was dreading Tuesday. I always dread Tuesday. I always lay in bed on Monday nights and go through that week in the hospital and play the "what if" game. What if I had noticed I was dilating and got to the hospital for a cerclage? What if I had not gotten the infection and I was still laying there? What if he could have been saved by the NICU? What if Ken would have been there to meet his son while he was alive? What if...what if...what if... I can play this game for hours on end. And some nights I do. It really bugs me. SO, Monday night I waited until I heard Ken peacefully sleeping and snuck back out of bed. I laid on the couch and just started reading all kinds of stuff on the internet. Midland was expecting snow that night but, alot of times snow is forcasted and we don't see it. But, that night when I went to bed I peeked out the window and the ground was already covered. It snowed all night Monday and by Tuesday morning we were covered it in. Have I every mentioned how much I love snow? Snow is magical to me. I grew up in Atlanta and we only saw snow every once in a while. When I was 15 we moved to Daytona Beach, FL and we NEVER had snow. So, living in a place with snow is fun for me. I woke up Tuesday morning and just thanked God. I know He gave me that little Tuesday miracle. Why was the snow a miracle to me? Sunday it was 70 degrees here in Midland. And Tuesday we were covered in snow. I walked outside Tuesday and just thanked God for His provisions. I hate Tuesday's. I dread them. But, on this Tuesday I had hope. As I looked around at the beautiful white blanketing the earth I had hope. I felt like the snow was God's way of saying, "see, I'm still here holding you. I've got this. I am not letting you go." This has been the most painful thing ever and my God is still here. I know it is silly to think the snow was just for me yesterday. But, let's just say I believe in a God that is still in the miracle business. I believe He is holding me and yesterday He showed me He is still right here. Some days I don't feel Him. Some days I just feel the pain. I know that is bad...but, it is true. I am human and I hurt. I am human and I am vulnerable. But, my God is still in the miracle business. So, yesterday I had hope for the future. I had hope that we will have a baby. I had hope that He will move again.
See...I just needed to write and now my anger has subsided. I feel much better.
He is holding me.
Healing will resume when I stop trying to accomplish it by my own strength. God will move through me with His power that far exceeds mine.
"He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB).
Lord, I need to be honest. The pain is unbearable. Give me the courage to be real with others and to embrace Your power. Amen.
When I was about five years old my dad bought his first convertible. I remember the day he got it he came to pick my brother and I up from daycare. We walked outside looking for his old car and he climbed into this shiny new car. I loved it. It was brown and I remember it being super fast. That day he came to pick us up we went for a drive with the top down. My brother and I sat in the back seat. When I was little I had this wonderful pink blanket with giraffes on it. It had silky trim on it and I loved to rub my fingers on. I carried that dumb blanket with me everywhere. I loved it. My big brother was not always very nice to me and that day he decided that I was too old to have a blanket. He ripped it out of my hands and threw it out of the car. I wish I were kidding. It was gone forever. I was pretty much traumatized. I remember the next day I woke up and looked everywhere for it. I kept thinking I must have dreamed him throwing it out of the car.
A few years ago I told that story to my youngest sister Bridget. She cried. She has such a big heart. On my next birthday she gave me a pink blanket with silk trim. She had thought all year about that blanket. I love that girl. Isn’t it funny how some things can just be fixed with a simple gift. I don’t miss that other blanket anymore because she gave me a new one that means more than the first one. She took all of the amazing pictures of Trent. I can't even begin to explain what a gift it is to have hundreds of pictures of him. I have talked to so many women who lost their babies who only have one or two blurry pictures. Bridget gave me such a gift in that pink blanket and with the pictures of my son. I love that girl. I know that anyone that knows us would buy us a pink blanket today if it would fix our broken heart. I wish it were that easy. But, walking with me and praying for us is helping more than you can know.
Yesterday I would have been 28 weeks pregnant. As I move through these days and weeks that should have been filled with doctor’s appointments and sonograms my heart is heavy. I think about Trent all the time. I think about how Ken and I were planning our lives around this little boy. We have never been parents and we knew we were in for a shock. But, we were ready for it. I have been searching for ways tangible ways to remember my son. I want things around that remind me of him. I never stop thinking of him…but, I want to make sure I keep it that way. Ken bought me a beautiful ring for Valentine’s Day that has a big garnet in the middle (Trent’s birthstone). I ordered a beautiful plague from a sweet lady on Etsy. It has Trent’s name on it and a beautiful verse. I hung it up in my bedroom this weekend and cried. I looked down on my night stand and there were my son’s ashes. I want to still have him kicking inside of me. I want to still know he is on his way. I wanted to be hanging his name on his nursery door. Instead, I am hanging his name on my wall in a memorial to him. I hate this new world. I hate this new life. But, I will keep pressing forward.
Ken and I have been cleared medically to start trying to have another baby. I don’t want another child to replace Trent. I want another child because I want to be a mommy to a baby here on earth. I want to know what it feels like to leave the hospital with a child. I want to know what it feels like to have Ken strap that carseat in for the first time. I want to make that drive home at 5 mph because he is too scared to hurt the baby. I left the hospital the last time with just a memory of my baby boy and a broken heart. Please join us in prayer for another baby. I want to become pregnant right away. It took us four years last time. I don’t think I can handle that.
I will keep pressing on. I will not give up hope.
2 Corinthians 4:16 & 18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. . . . So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Thank you, God, that I don't have to strive in my journey, because You have already provided the grace I need to make it. Amen.
The sign that would have hung on his nursery door. It would have been a wonderful day to bring him home to that room.
After my son died I felt totally alone in the world. I felt like I must be the only person ever to have gone through this. I wish that were true. I wish no one else had to know the pain of losing an infant. I wish the world was a happy place with no pain and suffering...but, it is not. Anyway...back to the point of this post... after he died I cried...a lot. I could not sleep at night (I still can't always sleep). The pictures and thoughts of the hospital would race through my head. I would play the "what if" game forever. I wanted to sleep. I would get up after Ken had fallen asleep...my amazing husband hates to sleep without me next to him so, I always wait until he is sleeping to sneak back out of bed...I would go on the computer and read other people's stories. While I was in the hospital I had many many people email me websites and blogs to visit. One of those blogs lead me to my new favorite one...audreycaroline.blogspot.com. The writer, Angie Smith, is the wife of Selah singer Todd Smith. She is the mother of three beautiful girls and one precious angel daughter, Audrey. She started her blog a few weeks after learning her daughter had Potter's Syndrome. Audrey would not live outside of the womb for very long. I read her whole blog in a matter of weeks. I am still re-reading it today. Her story is amazing. I love the way she words things. I love the way her blog gave me hope. I remember in the first couple of days that I was reading we had a couple of different people staying with us. Ken's mom stayed for a few days, my mom, and then my best friend from GA came to stay. When I would get up at night to read I would cry. I would cover my mouth as I sobbed. She was writing what I was feeling. She was telling her story and it was my story. I hate to have people see or hear me cry...although these days it is not always an easy thing to hide. I hate letting people see me vulnerable. And, yet here I write my inner most personal thoughts... I have always been the strong one. I have always been the one to fix things. I can't fix this. I can't change this.
She posted something today that really hit home... "I'm praying for you as you read this, asking the Lord to grant you wisdom in discerning where He is calling you to go out on a limb and tell His story, even if it feels insignificant."
22 minutes of life may sound insignificant. But, I'm going to tell His story through my son's story. I am going to claim the name of Jesus through this awful awful storm. I am just a girl in little old Midland, Texas sharing her heart and soul. I am just a person who lost a baby. I am just a woman who fell in love with my Savior years ago. I want to world to know that even in this storm I will praise Him. So, as the song says....Jesus bring the rain. This blog may just be a place for emotional healing for me. But, I pray as people read it they will see Him. They will see that my only hope comes from above. I will take my insignificant life and try to tell His story with it.
Again, I am not going to say it is easy. But, I will say this...the depth of my sorrow has changed me. I am forever a woman that lost her son. I will tell his story. I will tell His story. I hope you hear me. I hope his little life will mean something... I hope.
My big push lately is to make life feel "normal." Altough, I am not sure what normal is supposed to feel like, I'm trying it out. I feel like normal people make dinner everynight. So, I have been cooking. I am not the world's best cook and in the four years we have been married Ken has cooked WAY more times than me. I have only messed up a few things, and on those nights we eat frozen pizza. Today, in my push to feel normal, Ken and I went and did a little shopping at the mall. Everywhere I looked there were pregnant women or women with three and four kids. We were at Shoe Carnival and the family in front of us had seven kids...yes, SEVEN! I just keep thinking why them and why not me? I want and have wanted to be a mommy more than anything else in this world. I don't want to grow bitter. That is my biggest fear. I know there was and is a reason. I just can't see it yet. I will always want to know why...but, I will wait for the answer. I don't want to be upset everytime I read someone's update on facebook that they have found out they are pregnant. I don't want to be mad athat it wasn't me posting it. I will not let myself grow bitter. I will be joyful for the 22 minutes I spent with my son. I will be joyful that I was and am a mommy.
I hate wastefulness...is that a word? Ken always says I'm wasteful when we go to a buffet. But, in every other aspect of my life I hate being wasteful. I try to use the toothpaste down to the last drop. I make sure I have used every last drop of the shampoo. When I was a little girl and I would see things discarded on the side of the road and hope they had fulfilled their purpose before they were thrown out. I would see a tire and wonder what family it had carried. I would wonder how many miles it got to travel before it was left for the trash heap. I used to save shoes if they took me to special places. I word a pair of Nike tennis shoes in Europe and even after they were WAY out of style I kept them because they walked through the streets of Paris on my feet. I used to give all inanitimate objects life. I thought everything had feelings. I know better now. But, now my outlook has changed. I was given this life. I will not waste it. I will not grow bitter and hate the world because my deck of cards sucks. I will not sit around and wait on death. I want to continue to walk these streets. I want to continue to live this life. But, I am a changed woman. I lost my son. I have held him in my arms and now his ashes sit in an urn on my nightstand. That is not a fair statement. It wasn't fair that the day my son was born I had to pick out the music for his funeral. It is not fair that woman walk around with four and five children and never think twice about how hard some work to have a child. It is not fair that some people have kids and beat them or neglect them. It is not fair that I would have loved that little boy with every ounce of love that I have. It is not fair that I will never again kiss his face. It is not fair that I will not celebrate his first birthday. It is not fair that I will never watch him take his first steps. It is not fair that I will never get to sit up with him the first time he is sick. It is not fair that I will never see him go off to school. It is not fair that I will not see him on his wedding day. But, this is my life and I must continue living it. I mean if I was sad that a tire was thrown out on the side of the road as a small child why would I not live life now? I must make the choice every morning to climb out of bed and live life.
I'm not saying it is easy. Infact, the truth is it would be much easier to curl up and die. But, I can't. I will not. I will live this life that has been given to me. I will continue on. My son had 22 minutes. They didn't expect him to live outside of the womb at all. He fought for 22 whole minutes. I will make those 22 minutes mean something. I will live this life for him.
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I will keep going. I will continue on. I will not waste it.
Until you have seen death, touched death, tasted death...you can't understand how precious life really is. The day that my son died the hospital room was filled with the smell of infection. That infection is what killed him. That infection brought on my early labor and that early labor was the reason I don't get to have him here with me. I think about that smell sometimes. I think about the sickness it brings to my stomach. I smelled like it for a few days after I gave birth. The infection was still in me so each time I went to the bathroom that smelled stayed with me. I have Trent's outfit that they put him in in the hospital. I have the blankets he was wrapped in. I put them in a Ziploc bag so that I didn't lose the smell of him. The smell of death. In the days after he died I felt such a grief and pain I didn't know I could feel. It was so real and so heavy that I literally could taste it. It was the taste of death. The pain would come up from my heart and I could just taste it. If you have never lost someone or never experienced this deep pain you may think I am crazy. But, I could taste it. It filled my whole mouth. I didn't eat much in the days after his birth. I couldn't. I had eaten to sustain his little life for the past 5 and a half months and I could bring myself to eat if it wasn't sustaining him. I lost 16 lbs in the week after he was born. (which was fine I could stand to lose 116) But, that taste of death stayed with me all the time because I wasn't eating. Sometimes when I think of him that taste returns. I held Trent's little body all day that day he died. I kissed him a hundred times. Each time my lips touched his tiny, beautiful, perfect face I felt his ice cold skin. You know when it is freezing outside and you push your nose down so you can feel it on your lips? That was what my son's skin felt like. I can push my nose down now and feel his cold dead skin. I have seen death. I have tasted death. I have held death. I have felt death. I have smelt death. And, I'm sill here. You know who else has been there...my Jesus. My Jesus hung on that cross. He felt them nail Him there. He tasted His blood drip down his brow from the crown of thorns. He has been there. And He did it for me. He did it for my son. He did it for you. So, I will continue to morn for my baby boy. I will continue to cry for him. But, I know He is in heaven because of my Jesus. I love my son for everything he was. I love my son for everything he could have been. And I love Jesus for taking him home.
Luke 23:44-49 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
He has walked before us. He has been there. He has tasted death. I will live for Him because He died for me.
Tonight I was laying bed thinking about how it felt as if my whole world had fallen apart. I pictured myself standing in this big field with all these pieces around me and none of them could or would fit back together. Where would I start? How would I make it right again? At age 18 I knew my body was different. The doctor told me it would be hard if not impossible to get pregnant. At 26 I started trying to conceive with Ken and again the doctor told me that it would be nearly impossible to have a baby. I had tests run. We used drugs to assist us and nothing worked. At 29 Ken and I decided to pack up our life in Florida and start again in Texas. We were laid off from the radio station and I had spent a night in the hospital from a panic attack from the stress of the radio station. We knew it was time for something new. We came to Texas in hopes of a fresh start. We left behind a house we loved, my family, and most of all a job that enabled us to have a wonderful life style. When we arrived in Texas we let our big, fancy cars go back to the bank. We quickly learned how unimportant all of the material things were. We had each other and we had a chance to start again. We both found jobs we loved. We had stopped trying to conceive. We had started on the road to adoption. We knew we wanted kids and we thought that was the way God had for us to expand our family. In September we found out I was carrying our miracle baby. I get tears in my eyes now just thinking of the joy of seeing that little stick with two lines. It was the most amazing feeling of my life. I never thought it would be me. I had spent years thinking and praying maybe and now it was my turn. As that little life grew inside of me the joy continued to grow. Our lives truly had started again in Texas. That little baby was everything right in our lives. That little baby was our future. That little man that was making mommy throw up and yell at daddy was our new little world. He was our everything and he wasn't even here yet.
On January 5th that new little world came crashing down around me. The hours and days after Trent was born and died are still kind of a blur. I was a mess. I had lost hope to survive.
When I was about 19 my dad and I were walking on the beach. He and I did that every morning for about a year. We had amazing talks. This one morning we were walking along and came up to a crowd of people just staring at the ground. We walked up to see what they were staring at. There in the sand was a sting ray just flopping around. It had been washed up with the surf and now was left to die. All of these people were just staring at it dying. I just picked it up and walked it back into the ocean...shoes on and all. I was soaking wet but I couldn't let it just die. I had to do something. Those days after the hospital were like that for me. I was just laying there. A fish out of water...what next??? My mom and Ken picked me up and took me back to the water. They pushed me forward and willed me to live. And now here I am still fighting for that life.
My world has crumbled away...but, I have hope and faith that God's not done with me yet. I was sick, very sick. I was six hours away from becoming septic. I had an infection that kills 100% of infants that contract it and many many of the moms. I was sick. And yet here I am. God spared me. He needs me. This new world. These pieces all around me...I have to pick them up. I have to figure out how to fit them back together. I have to figure out what comes next. I have to for Trent's sake. I have to because God spared me. He has a plan for me. What...I don't know. But, I can't give up.
I will take refuge in Him...until this destroying storm passes by me. He will carry me back to the water. He will save me from this.
Psalm 57 from the NRSV:
1.Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. 2.I cry to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3.He will send from heaven and save me, he will put to shame those who trample on me. (Selah) God will send forth his steadfast love and his faithfulness. 4.I lie down among lions that greedily devour human prey; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords. 5.Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth. 6.They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my path, but they have fallen into it themselves. (Selah) 7.My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make melody. 8.Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn. 9.I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 10.For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. 11.Be exalted, O God, above the heavens. Let your glory be over all the earth.
I created this blog one week ago today. I created it at the prompting of my grief counselor who said it would be helpful in the healing process to share this journey with others. How funny...but, the truth is it really does help. It helps to know that people can read about my son. People can share this journey with me. I added a counter on the first day and today noticed that it was up to 413! In one week 413 times my blog has been visited. It warms my heart to know that my son is being thought of. It makes me happy to know his name is turning over in peoples minds and hearts. He is the reason I started this. I love that people are walking along with me. I hate that I am here...but, I'm glad to have you here with me!
I am healing. Six weeks is such a short time, but it has been a long road. I know that God is the ultimate healer. "I am the LORD, who heals you." (Exodus 15:26) I hold onto that promise. God is the source of all healing. I started this journey with Him carrying me. I am still being carried today. But, I hope one day soon He will be able to put me back down and I will walk again with Him beside me instead of carrying me.
I will forever be Trent's mommy. I will forever hurt for the life my son never had. I will forever wonder why. But, I am healing and God is carrying me.
Jehovah Rapha, healing God, You are my healer, and I choose to walk with You. Amen.
I walked away from the computer and thought..."you whinny baby...you didn't say one good thing." So, here are the good things. I know I have good things. In fact I have a lot of good things. I have an amazing husband. Yes, he is struggling with this whole thing. Yes, our lives together have changed with the loss of our son. Yes, we are still madly in love. Yes, he is amazing. I serve a God that will never leave me. In fact in these last six weeks I feel like He has picked me up and is carrying me. He truly has held me through all of this. I could not even begin to be surviving it without Him. I have a wonderful group of friends online and in person who love and care enough about me to ask, "How are you?" And you know what? They do care. They only ask because they care. I have a wonderful job where I get to use my heart for ministry. I have a part time job where I get to work with kids and an amazing group of woman and parents. I have started a journey of loss and grief that has brought me in contact with amazing people I would not have meet. I have learned things about myself that I didn't know where there. I have seen the face of death and now know how precious life truly is. I am a mother. I have to keep reminding myself of that. It still doesn't feel true. It still feels like a dream. I have wanted that more than anything and I got my dream. I just didn't get it in the way I had hoped. But, losing my first born will change the way I parent the rest. I have a lot of good. But, my heart hurts. I need to focus on those good things once in a while. sorry...I will try to remember that more often!
My son died. Six weeks ago tomorrow. I hate Tuesday's. For 21 weeks I was counting down until he came, now I count the days since I held him. Here is the thing. I'm not okay. I don't know why EVERY one asks, "How are you?" I'm not okay. I'm not good. But, I'm surviving. I just don't understand that question anymore. Why do people even ask it? Do you really want to know how I am or do you want me to just be okay. I used to always say "fantastic." But, now I say, "Okay." But, sometimes I say "awful" and people just stare at me like I'm crazy. I don't think they really want to know. But, again I say, I'm surviving. I will make it to the other side of this. I am strong enough to survive this. I know that God is holding me. I will make it.
I have changed in these six weeks. I have become a different person. I have become a mom. The title I wanted more than anything else in the world is now mine...and he is in heaven instead of here in my arms. Last night when I feel asleep I was thinking about what it would be like to be holding him as I fell asleep. I will never know. I snore so at night I wait until Ken falls asleep and then I fall asleep. It makes it easier for Ken to sleep. Last night while I was waiting for the even sound of Ken sleeping to come I thought about what it would be like to hear both of my boys soundly sleeping. I thought what an amazing feeling it would be to have both the men in my life in one room sleeping soundly while I lay and listened. I will never get that. So, when you ask "How are you" My son sleeps in heaven and not in my arms...how should I be?
When I was a senior in high school I remember having to write a paper about where I would like to be when I was 30. Oh the hopes and dreams of an 18 year old. I can't for the life of me remember what I wrote. I wish I had that paper. But, I know this would not be the path I would have chosen. This would not be the life I picked for myself. But, I am here. I am living it. I will survive it.
My son died. I do want to talk about him. I do want people to ask me about him. I want him to mean something. I want him to be remembered. I want to be his mommy. But, I'm not okay.
I was shopping at Target yesterday...that in itself was a hard task...and ran into an old co-worker who was VERY pregnant. I said hello and asked when she was due. She said, "I'm ready to pop!" I was so jealous. I never got to say that. I just screamed from my hospital bed, "He isn't supposed to come yet!" She asked how my pregnancy was coming along and I just froze up. What do you say to someone who you don't really know? How do you say my son died? How do you tell a very pregnant woman with a cart full of baby stuff that five weeks ago your dreams came to an end? How do you say it? I said, "I had my baby and he died." She said, "Oh, sorry" and walked away as fast as she could. I don't blame her. She looked at me like what I had was catching. Maybe if she stood in that aisle too long she too would come to my bad fate. How do you tell someone you child is dead?
I never thought this was a journey I would be on. Infact, like I said before I truly believed you got pregnant and nine months later you brought home a baby. I didn't know as I struggled with infertility how many mommies were out there whose babies were already in heaven. I was so ignorant. I think that was good for then. But, now I know. Now I know the sad truth is 33% of pregnancies end without a baby in your arms. I know that my baby was a person and is in heaven waiting on me. I know that God already numbered his days before me. I know that there are other amazing woman who have come through this and have babies in their arms now. I have started combing the internet for other stories like mine. I have searched for support groups to know that I'm not the only one. I have talked to and emailed and read some amazing stories. All include heartbreak, all include a loss, but, not all include hope. There are some who walk through this not knowing our heavenly Father. How? I have no idea.
A few weeks ago I was watching Grey's Anatomy. If you watch it you will know what I'm talking about...a few weeks back Izzy came back to the show. She and Alex were in the Dr's room (I guess the break room) where the lockers all are. They were having a conversation about their life together. Alex said to Izzy, "We have made it to the other side." See they had been through alot in their short marriage. Izzy had cancer, she left him, she lost her job, and now she came back. They had made it through. I keep thinking about that scene. I want to make it through I want to be to the other side. Right now I am in the middle of this awful, dark tunnel. Death surronding me. Sadness. Memories of him kicking me. And hopes and dreams of our family. I want to get to the other side. I want to know that Ken and I can come out of this and be okay. I know we will. I continue to read stories and talk to woman who are. I know I will make it. But, for now I am here. God will carry me. He will see me through this. And one day we will have a family that includes a child here on the earth.
I used to believe that you got pregnant and nine months later you had a baby. I don't believe that anymore. Today I was driving and thinking about being at Disney. When you are at Disney it is like you have entered a different world. For 10 of the 15 years I lived in Daytona I had an annual pass to Disney. I can say I have been there 100's of times. Every time it is still a magical place. You go to Disney and you escape the real world. I have always loved Disney. Ken and I would go over sometimes just stay the night and go into the park to eat lunch. We would just feel like we needed a break from real life. Disney is a real life fairy tale. I think I need a Disney fix now. I want to go back to that happy little belief that you get pregnant and nine months later you get to have a baby. Guess what? Not everyone does!!! I HATE IT! I hate that my fairy tale has been shattered. I hate that my dreams of a child here now are over. My happily ever after is gone. I know I can have other kids, but I wanted THIS baby. I want Trent. I want his life with me. But, I don't get that dream anymore. I have a new reality.
On the first Halloween Ken and I spend together we headed over to my parents house. Halloween had never been a big deal to me but, I really wanted to see my nieces and nephews dressed up. (And let's face it I finally had a man to share holidays with so I was going to soak them ALL up!) I am one of six children. Doug is the oldest and he has two boys; Mark and Vince. I am number two and Trent was my first born. Kristen comes third and she has two precious daughters; Lily and Ella (although on this Halloween Ella was still in the womb). Zach is next and he was a wonderful little man; Aidan. Cassie is the fifth born and she has Aubree...but, Aubree is only a month old now and on the Halloween we are discussing Cassie was only 16. And finally, last but not least, my precious amazing sister Bridget. (Bridget was 11 on this Halloween and very much into dressing up.) Okay, back to Halloween...Ken and I headed over to my parents house. We took pictures of all the kids. They were all dressed up so cute. We took tons of pictures and laughed at the kids. My parents were having a ball see all their kids and grand kids dressed up. My parents live in a neighborhood where the houses are pretty spread out. So, all the kids loaded up on the golf cart to start Trick-or-Treating. My parents followed behind them in my dad's two seat car. Where were Ken and I you ask??? We were left behind. It was our job to hand out the candy. Why? Because we didn't have any kids and had no reason to go. I remember that night so clearly. I remember sitting on the front porch of the house crying. I kept thinking this will be our life forever. I had already told Ken it would be nearly impossible for me to get pregnant and I really never thought it would happen. I sat on those steps and felt about the size of an ant. My importance in this family would only come with kids. It wasn't always this way. In fact, it was hardly ever this way. My family loves and accepts me. But, that night I felt left behind. I wasn't a mommy. I didn't need to be part of the group. The focus was on the kids and the mommies. I say all of that to say this...
Tonight was my first night back at church. I started working in the nursery at First Baptist Midland a year ago on 2/18. I have worked with some amazing women in that church. I have grown very close to them and really they are my family and friends here in Midland. They have been praying for us as we went through this awful time. They bought us meals when we got home. They have showered us with calls, texts and emails. These woman are my support group here and I had missed them. Tonight I went back. Tonight was hard. Tonight I cried a lot of tears. But, tonight I was Trent's mommy. Tonight the focus was on me because I was a mommy. I cried as I drove home tonight. I cried because I don't get to show off my son in the traditional way. I cried because I had people cry with me all night tonight. As I showed Trent's pictures they wept with me. As I told them how sick I was in the hospital the cried for me. Tonight I was Trent's mommy. In all my life I have wanted to be able to be in the mommy talk. I have wanted to be able to say, "my son or my daughter." But, I couldn't .... tonight I could. I have talked about Trent hundreds of times since he was born. But, tonight I was having mommy talk. Tonight I was sharing his story. Tonight I was his mommy. Tonight I was not just the woman who lost her child...I was the mommy. I had one woman ask me what I learned in all of this. I thought for a moment and I said, "I have learned that people are good." I haven't always felt that way. I haven't always thought the best in people. But, from these woman I have learned that people are good. Nina, Marilyn, Marinda, Kiley, Lori, Lynette, LouAnn, Kitty, Liz, Erica, and Amy. These people are good. They have renewed my faith, they have renewed me. And tonight they let me have mommy talk.
Hebrews 12 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." These woman are my cloud of witnesses. People are good. People have walked with Ken and I in this. We have had people cry for our family, pray for our family, bring our family food. Just the notes and thoughts that come in on facebook continue to carry us forward.
People are good. Trent's little life gave me that. Thanks baby boy! Mommy, your mommy, loves you! I can't wait to hold you again...but, for now I will stay here...with these good people.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Last Friday morning I was at church. I saw this mommy holding her adorable son. He was blonde haired and looked about six months old. I just watched him for a little while. I noticed his tiny shoes. He had on the cutest pair of Nike's. I walked away thinking, "I will never buy my son his first pair of shoes." If you know me you know how much I love to shop. If you don't lets just say if I could be a professional shopper I would be. Shopping is my favorite thing, and shoes are one of the favorites to buy. We had our third ultrasound on December 21st. It was at that time that I learned I was carrying a precious baby boy. The name had already been decided, Trenton James. Trenton because Ken wanted a strong name and James is Ken's brothers name. I had begun shopping for the baby but, of course was waiting to do the major shopping until we found out if we were having a son or daughter. We left just three days later for our trip to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family. I was hospitalized during that trip. I never got to shop for my son. I never got to buy him his first pair of shoes. I had someone say to me, 'At least you didn't get to know him.' My response was, "okay." My thought was...think about your first born child. Think of your favorite moment with that child. Think about the sound of his voice. Think about what it felt like to nurse him to sleep. Think about those nights you were up with him because he was sick. Think about his first day at school. Think about his first crush...those are the moments I missed. I didn't get to know my son. I never got to buy him his first pair of shoes. I hate it. I hate every part of it. Hot, mad tears are rolling down my face as I type this. But, I hold onto the truth that God formed me in my mothers womb. He ordained MY days and Trent's. I got to hold that precious little boy for 5 and a half months inside of me. I loved him from the moment the little stick had two lines. I prayed for him and thought of him non-stop. But, God already knew his little life. He knew Trent would only have 22 minutes with me. He knew I would only have 22 minutes with him. The funny thing is that I can now see how my whole life lead up to this. I can see how every morsel of knowledge I learned about God built a strong foundation that would carry me through this. I picture my life now as a series of bricks I was putting together to build a path guiding me to Him. The moment I gave my life to the Lord...a brick added. The day I decided to pursue a degree in Christian Education...a brick added. The time a missionary came to my church and I saw faith in action for the first time...a brick added. The nights I sat outside my dorm room and watched the sun set and just talked to God...a brick added. The moments at camps when I felt God so close...a brick added. The hours I spent in the Word searching for truth...a brick added. The questions I asked to make sure it was real...a brick added. The times I doubted...a brick added. The times I was sure...a brick added. Each and every person God placed in my life to build me up...a brick added. I could not and would not be surviving this if it wasn't for this path that was ordained by Him. This verse in the Psalms says that He created my innermost being. He created every part of me. He knew what was needed to carry me through this. This is the hardest thing I have ever faced. My whole life I have wanted to be a mom. I just didn't know it would be this way. I never bought my son a pair of Nike's. But, I gave my son back to the One who formed me. I gave him back to the One who formed him. I will continue to praise my God. I will continue to follow this path he has laid before me...
I was 25 the first time I feel in love. I know I know I was a late bloomer. I didn't have a high school sweet heart. I didn't have any real realtionships before Ken. I had boys that I dated. I had boys I made out with. I had crazy childhood crushes. But, I had never truly feel in love. Let's face it I'm fat. Okay, you can put it in different words...plump, fluffy, elastic, vulumptious, full-figured, plus-size...how ever you phrase it I'm overweight...and okay with it. This is not about my weight....except that... My dad once told me that I would never find a boyfriend if I didn't lose weight. He said boys only wanted to date girls that they could show off to their friends. I held onto that. It was always ALWAYS in my head. So, I never let anyone in. Again I say there were boys I dated. Boys I made out with and of course crazy crushes. There was Josh from youth group who I followed around like a puppy dog. There was Brandon who sat infront of me in ninth grade homeroom. I was crazy about him. He was one of the grunge kids (this was 1994) so, I think I was attracted to him because it was the "wrong" thing. There was Joel who I marched next to. I would dial his phone and hang up (this was before caller ID and cell phones) just to hear his voice. There was Matt whom my mom was sure was "the one." There are many more boys that I had huge crushes on and back then would have even said I was madly in love with. There were years of searching for Mr. Right. There were countless nights of crying myself to sleep afraid I would die alone. I would picture my perfect wedding but could not picture who would stand at the end of the aisle waiting for me. I wanted one of those crushes to be "it." But, Ken is my only true love. I don't regret that fact. I don't feel sad about it. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have found it. Ken completes me. Ken is my lobster. Ken is my soul mate. Ken is my better half. I believe God created Ken with me in mind. I believe God created me knowing that I would one day marry Ken. I know I know it sounds like a Halmark card. But, the truth is I love him with everything that is within me. I love him from the depths of my being. And, do you want to know the craziest thing of all??? He loves me back. He loves me for me. He doesn't care that I'm fluffy. He introduces me to his friends with pride. My dad told me once that he could tell Ken was the one for me because my eyes twinkled when I talked about him. I think they still do. I love him and I will always love him. Ken was the first man I gave my trust to. He was the first man I made love to. He was and is the first person I let down my guard with. I trust him with all that I am. So, what is my point in all of this? What about Trent? What about the girl he was made for. Will she spend her life seraching for him? Will she spend her life crying for a true love she will never know? Will she marry Mr. Wrong because Mr. Right is in heaven? Or, maybe she is already there. Maybe they already get to spend eternity together. Maybe.
I wrote this a few days after I was released from the hospital. It is long but, gives all the details.
Trenton James WeatherfordBorn January 5, 2010 8:10am Died January 5, 2010 8:32am15 ounces 9.5 inches longOn Thursday December31st 2009 Ken and I were at the Hyatt in Orlando. We were scheduled to fly back to Midland after a week with my family for the holidays. I woke up at 3:45 to catch our flight. I was feeling awful and just thought it was lack of sleep. I went to the bathroom and lost my mucus plug. (Which I didn’t know at the time but, the hospital confirmed later). We got ready and headed to the desk to check our bags. While in line I was so dizzy. Ken offered me water and we proceeded to the security check point. I still felt miserable. I just thought it was being pregnant. When we got to the gate we were called to board and I ran to the bathroom. When I got into the bathroom I discovered I was covered in blood. I came out crying and told Ken. I was so scared. I was 20 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I called my mom and she said call my ob. I called my doctor and the answering service was able to connect me to him. He told me not to get on the plane and go to the nearest ER. Ken was already at the counter and the airline employees had already called 911. I sat at that gate scared, crying, and bleeding more and more. The firefighters and paramedics came on the ramp to get me. I was rushed out on a stretcher to Winnie Palmer hospital. I was numb at this point. I had no idea what to think. And I could not begin to expect kind of pain the next week would bring.The ambulance rushed me into triage at Winnie Palmer. They assessed me and immediately tried to find a fetal heart tone. Trent was kicking and his heart was just as strong as ever. The doctor did an internal exam and found that I had dilated to 5 cm and my bag of water was bulging in my birth canal. They rushed me from triage to the peri-neonatologist for and ultrasound. Again, Trent was moving and fine. It was the last time I got to see him on that screen. Again, I was given an internal exam. The Dr (who we later learned was one of the best at the hospital) explained to Ken and I our choices. I was in such a daze at this point it was hard to make any decisions. She told us that with the amount of bag that was already in the birth canal without any assistance I would deliver the baby within the day. I cried and cried. She asked if we wanted every option to save him. Ken and I were emphatic that we would do every and anything. She explained that she needed to an amniocentesis to drain as much fluid from around the baby in hopes my bag would retract. They would also use the fluid to determine if I had an infection. The doctor explained that with the bag being in the canal it was very likely the uterus could be infected with a very serious infection called chorisannitis. If this was the case she told me the chances of survival for Trent were zero. She told me my diagnosis was an incompetent cervix. She explained that this is a common occurrence but the problem is there is no way to diagnosis the condition until you have had a pregnancy that failed. She explained that I had dilated and to 5 cm and was fully effaced. I had the option to have a cerclage (a surgery that would stitch my cervix closed.) This surgery would give me a 90% chance of carrying the pregnancy to term. However, because my bag was bulging they could not do the surgery. She told us that the chance that I would deliver Trent that day was about 100%. I was admitted to the hospital and moved to the 9th floor. This floor of the hospital was for women whose babies were not expect to make it. I was the patient, not Trent. This made me so mad. They were expecting failure and I wanted hope. Ken had contacted our families and they were all in transit to make it to the hospital. In the next few hours I laid in the hospital bed as they put in IV’s, assessed me, and doctor and nurses came in to prepare me for the worse. People started adding Trent and I to their prayer lists. My mom and dad arrived and both just cried in our room. We were counting down the hours for Trent to come. As night fell and we made it 12 hours the staff started to treat me with a little more hope. Ken’s parents arrived. We were just waiting on the end. I had a sleepless but, Trent was still with me. The next day when we hit the 24 hour mark the doctor’s started giving us other options. They put me on retraction meds and anti contraction meds. They still warned us with the bag hanging it could burst at any moment. I was placed on total bed rest. They warned of infection, they warned of delivery, they warned of losing my uterus…I remained hopeful. We had hundreds praying for our little family. The day went slowly. But, I made it 48 hours. The second day was just like the first. The third day passed with nothing but more time lying in a hospital bed. I made 72 hours. The hope was that in those 72 hours my bag would have retracted. But, my exam determined that my bag was still bulging with no change. I cried and cried. I had lots of hope that with retraction they could do the cerclage and give me the chance to carry to carry him to term. I laid there most of Sunday with a heavy heart. I knew the chances of carrying to term now were slim to none. The nurse did come into my room and let me know they were moving me to the 5th floor. The 5th floor was for women who were on bed rest. I cried with hope for the first time in days. I needed 20 days more just to be viable. I had a fitful sleep that night. Ken left on Monday. I was sad that morning for so many reasons. I knew in my heart I wasn’t going to be taking a baby home. I prayed and a talk with God. I told Him that if Trent was going to live a life of sickness or serious problems because of his early birth I was okay with God taking him. I cried and cried. I went into labor five hours later. At lunch time they moved me to the 5th floor. When I arrived the nurse was listening for a fetal heart tone. I had my first contraction then. I didn’t even know that is what it was. I had never been in labor before. It was a small one but, it was there. The nurse gave me anti-contraction meds right away and told me that some women just have contractions for weeks and weeks. She said that because I was fully dilated my body may just think that it needs to contract. The small contractions continued all afternoon.My mom called at lunch on Monday and could see my spirits were down. She said she and Bridget would come and have dinner in my room. When she arrived I was having contractions about once an hour. She and Bridget were about to leave and I was starting to have more and more contractions. We called the nurse for more anti-contraction meds. She brought them to me. I called Ken and told him to get the next flight back. I knew the baby was coming. I started having much stronger contractions and they were only five minutes apart. They moved me to the Labor and Delivery floor. As they rolled me down the hall I cried out in agony, “He isn’t supposed to come yet.” I just yelled it and yelled it. I didn’t want him here yet. I needed 20 more days to make him viable. Just 20 short days. I arrived in the L&D room. Ken’s mom came back from the hotel, mom and Bridget held my hand, my sisters all came to the hospital and Ken booked a flight back. I was in active, hard labor. The hospital could not give me any drugs to help with pain or to make labor faster because he was preterm. If they assisted with labor it was considered aborting the baby. I arrived in L&D at 7pm and labored until 3am without the need to push. I started pushing at 3am. They called in the doctors and the NICU. We all knew that Trent would not be able to survive at such a young age but, I insisted the NICU be there to just try. I was emphatic that they had to be there. The doctor checked and I was still only 6 cm dilated. He finally gave me some morphine for the pain and said it wasn’t time yet. However, this check gave the doctors some important information. The birthing room was filled with a smell of infection. Every doctor or nurse that walked in could smell it. I was discharging yellow puss. The morphine slowed my labor and my contractions slowed to about one every 10 mins. I had been having about one every 3 mins that lasted 1-2 mins each. Ken was on the phone through it all waiting on his 5am flight. He listened to me labor, listened to me throw up, and listened to me cry for our son. I was in agony physically and emotionally. Ken held my had through the phone. His mom, my mom, and Bridget held my hand physically. I had no idea that the doctors were so concerned with the infection at this point. They had said nothing about it. However, a few minutes later they came back in with me to discuss my options. They told me that the infection was already in the uterus. It had to have been there a day or two. They were sure the infection is what brought on the labor. My body was trying to get the infection out. They told me that I had to make a decision. I needed to let them assist with my labor. He said that I had been laboring for so many hours and nothing had changed. He said I could lay there for the next 12 hours or two days in labor. He said the infection would spread to my blood stream within 6-12 hours. (We didn’t know yet it was already in me.) He told me that the least that could happen was that I would lose my uterus. He said that if I continued to labor on my own the infection would mean at the end of labor I would need a full hysterectomy. If I went much longer than that I could become septic and would possibly die within the week. Ken was on the phone to hear all of this. I had to make a decision. If I let them assist with labor they would make me sign a form saying that I was terminating the pregnancy. I said I could not do that. I could never sign a paper like that. (Keep in mind through all of this I was still in active labor with contractions every 5 mins or so). Ken said not to sign, I said not to sign. The doctors left. My mom was crying. Ken’s mom was trying to convince him to let me sign. The nurses continued to stress this was my life we were talking about. My mom finally said, “You can make another baby, Ken can’t have another you.” I opted to sign the papers. The hospital never brought the papers for me to sign. So, again God was taking care of me. As soon as I said yes an epidural was ordered. They gave me meds to help speed me along. Once the epidural was in place I could not feel contractions I started to think about what it meant to be giving birth at 21 weeks. I knew Trent would not make it. I just laid there and told my mom all the things I had dreamed for my son. I wanted to show him the world. I wanted to watch him take his first step. I wanted to nurse. I wanted to see him lie on his daddy’s chest and fall asleep with him. I wanted to watch him laugh for the first time. I wanted to kiss his little face every night as he fell asleep. I knew all of that was being taken away from me. The infection was getting worse. My temperature started to climb. The smell was filling the room more and more. That smell I will never forget. It was the smell of death. The nurses brought in papers that I had to authorize an autopsy for him. They brought me papers that said I authorized pictures to be taken of him. They never brought me the paper to terminate. At about 7:45 am the nurses told me they were having a shift change. I started feeling pressure around 8:00 am. I told them I thought he was coming soon. They walked away. Again, I asked for them to call the NICU. At 8:08 my water broke. I yelled, “My water just broke.” On nurse came over to look and walked away to call the doctor. I again yelled, “He’s coming he’s coming he’s coming.” My mom walked to the edge of the bed. The nurses took their sweet time putting on their gloves. Trent arrived at 8:10 all by himself. He just slid right out. The nurses did come and the NICU tried…but, none of the instruments would fit into his tiny little body. They worked for about four minutes. It is funny I was SO aware of the time. I wanted to know exactly what time everything was happening. I wanted to remember every minute, second of his life. When it was determined that he was too small I asked for him back. I held him in my arms. I ripped my gown off so I could feel him on my skin and he could feel mine. I wept and wept. He held my hand. He stuck out his little tongue in hopes of nursing. His eyes were still fused shut because he was so small. He was so peaceful. He lived his whole life in my arms. He only knew his mommies love. The Chaplin was there and baptized him into the kingdom while he was still alive. I knew he would go to heaven anyway but I wanted it done. Ken was still in the air and arrived about an hour later. I told Trent that his daddy loved him. I told him I loved him. I kissed his little head. They kept taking his heart beat. At 8:32 am he took his last precious breath. I tried to give him CPR on my own. I put my mouth over his. His lungs were too small to accept it. I cried with a pain I didn’t know I knew. It was heart wrenching to think I just watched my son die. I held him close for a few minutes more. The nurses took him to dress him for me. They took his little foot prints and dressed him. They handed my son back to me to hold. My mom held him, Ken’s mom held him, and Bridget held him. Bridget took pictures of every second of his life for Ken. She took video of him breathing. It was the most amazing, special 22 minutes of my life. We all just held and loved him. I knew he was already gone but, we had his body and we held him. The nurse began to clean me up, Trent was taken for pictures and finally Ken arrived. He came into the room and let out a noise that I will never forget. It was a pain that I knew all to well. It was the sound of a daddy mourning his son. He held him and kissed him and his tears fell on his face. The Chaplin snapped a few pictures of our tiny family. My dad came in a few minutes later and held his sixth grandchild. He wept for Ken and me. He wept for the life Trent never had. I was moved back to the 9th floor. At this point I had already had four rounds of IV antibiotics. The infection that brought my son to his early death was now coursing through my body with the same intention. The doctors and nurses were worried. That smell followed us to the next room. Trent came with us to the 9th floor. We were able to hold his little body all day. My whole family came to see him. Ken’s dad flew back in to hold him. They continued to watch my temperature the whole day and the antibiotics continued to flow. We spent the whole day with our son in our arms. I watched Ken hold him with ease and thought how he was such a natural at being a daddy. Every time I held him I tried to memorize what he felt like in my arms. I didn’t want to forget the weight of him in my arms. I kissed his tiny face over and over again. Ken and I took one last moment with him around 7pm before the nurses took him out. We said goodbye to our son together. Ken fell to the ground weeping when they wheeled him out. His whole body gave out on him. I just sobbed. I felt empty. I felt like a part of me just left that I would never get back. I had nothing left. I took a shower to wash the day off. I just cried and cried as the hot water hit my body. I just thought about the fact that my son would never get his first bath, we would never change his first diaper, and we would never have any of that with him. We lay in my bed with the IVs still pumping the life saving medicines into my body. At around 9pm I HAD to feel my son in my arms again. I needed to feel the weight of him. I needed to kiss him. I knew the nurses had him on the floor still. I knew that I had the choice that night to hold him and would never get the chance again. I went into the little room where they had him and for the first time was alone with my son. I picked his tiny, cold body up and wept again. I rocked him. I knew he was already gone but, I needed time with my son. I sang him the songs we had picked for his memorial service. I told him how much he looked like his daddy. I told him all the things I wanted to show him. I told him I loved him more than he could know. I told him the plan of salvation. I knew he was already in heaven. But, as his mommy it would have been my job to show him my faith and I needed to give him that. I sang and rocked. I kissed him over and over. And, finally laid Trenton James Weatherford to rest forever in the arms of God. It was the most precious few minutes of my life.On the day of Trent’s birth and death my dad took over making the arrangements for his memorial and cremation. I picked two songs. I had been singing Mark Schultz’s “He’s my Son.’ The whole week I was in the hospital. I also knew my mom would want “I can only imagine.” My dad picked Amazing Grace and it is well with my Soul. The service was set for 3pm the next day. A parent should never have to plan their child’s funeral. But, especially the day of his birth. We had to sign his birth and death certificate in the same day. We had to pick his urn. The morning after Trent’s birthday I was given my last round of IV meds. The doctors took blood one more time. They came back around 10am to tell me the infection was gone. My son had given his life to save mine. Had he stayed inside much longer it would have been both of us. I was discharged that afternoon. We had a perfect memorial service for him at 3pm. We played the Mark Schultz song first and everyone wept. The chaplain read scripture about Hannah who prayed and prayed for a baby and then gave him back to God. She prayed for Ken and me. She gave a wonderful homily that included a saying from one of Dr. Seuss’ books that said, “A person is a person no matter the size.” It lasted over an hour. My dad sang two beautiful songs. We all sang together. Ken and I just held each other and wept. The hours after Trent’s death have been a blur. I have ached with a pain I didn’t know could exist. I have thought I would never smile again. I have laid in bed thinking I would just stay forever. I have cried tears that I thought should have run out long before. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the fact that he is not inside of me and yet I can’t hold him in my arms. I ache for him. I long for him. I need him.I need his life and death to have meant something. I need to know that his 22 minutes were not for nothing. These are the things I have learned from Trent and the people around him so far. My dad, who has been through so much over the last year, had decided that he was never going to church again. Music had been such a huge part of his life. He sang at Trent’s funeral, and it was the first time he had sung in six months. He decided that night to start attending church again. He said as he held his sixth grandchild he knew he needed to go back. Trent gave him that hope and faith again. My brother and I have not spoken in over a year and a half. After the service he came and gave me a hug. Trent gave us that. Trent brought my family together in a time of pain. Ken was able to tell his dad what an amazing dad he had been. Ken had always felt silly about expressing his feelings for his dad, since it wasn’t manly. He told his dad and his dad cried. Trent gave us that. Lily and Ella asked why Trent could not stay longer. Kristen told Lily it was because God had a special job for him. Ella said Trent was in heaven protecting us. I told Lily and Ella that Trent had to die so that Aunt Trisha would not. Ella said, “I would have missed you a million.” I need to know that Trent’s life meant something. I have said my entire life that if at the end of my life I can look back and know that I touched one life it would all be worth it. Trent touched many.Trent gave me things that I have longed for my whole life. When I was 18 years old I was diagnosed with PCOS. The doctors told me how hard it would be to get pregnant. I longed to know what it would be like to carry a child. When Ken and I got married and I wanted so badly to make him a daddy. I have wanted to know what it felt like to have morning sickness. I wanted to know what it felt like to have a baby kick you from the inside. I wanted to hear my child’s heartbeat, see my child on the screen. Trent gave me all of those things. I had him for 5 and half months all to myself. I treasure those weeks and months together. I have wanted more than anything in my life to be a mommy and he gave me that. I don’t know how to go on with life without him. But, I know I will see him again one day. I will spend eternity with my son. He never has to feel pain…his whole life was spent in the love of his mommy’s arms.
5 weeks ago I held my baby boy. I kissed my baby boy. Today I will write about my baby boy and my journey without him. I hope this blog will help on my road to recovery. I hope it will bring me relief as my heart has been broken. I am not the same woman I was five weeks ago. I am forever changed. I am forever a mother. I am forever a mother whose son is in heaven. I know I will hold him again. I know I will see his sweet face again. I know that Jesus had a reason for all of it. I hope and pray that as you take this journey with me you will pray for healing, you will be inspired, and above all that we will praise God in everything.
I am married to an amazing man. We have two sons together, Trenton James, our sweet first born was born too early due to my incompetent cervix. We had 22 minutes this side of heaven with him. I ache for him but, I know the next time I see him I will never have to say good bye. Our miracle baby was born on May 23, 2011. Ian James was born full term thanks to a cerclage placed early in pregnancy. He is a joy!