Baby On Your Six



Monday, July 31, 2006

This Friday...

...is the date that DrummerWife and I have been waiting for. It's the big day, the day that Aaron was SUPPOSED to be born. Or, if you prefer, after he WAS born, the day he was SUPPOSED to come home from the hospital.

Now, this Friday is just another day. But it's not. Not really. Maybe in the years to come it will become something close to just another day - but for this year, at least, it will be The Day That Wasn't.

At the advice of our grief counselor, we're trying to settle on a way to acknowledge the 4th. We want to do something to just say "Today is August 4th, it was supposed to be a day of joy, but now it is a day of remembrance and grief." Then, we want to do something for us - something enjoyable, relaxing, and/or fun.

We have some ideas. We'll see what we decide on.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Giant Thank You - Memorial Donations

I received an email today from Bryn Mawr Hospital. They were letting me know that as of today 22 memorial contributions totaling $1,198.71 has been contributed in memory of Aaron and they still get them frequently. When we first decided to have contributions made there in his name we were hoping to hit at least $1,000 so his name could be put on a plaque outside the NICU. We thought it might take time, but it would be really neat to see. We intended to continue to make gifts there in his name on holidays, birthdays etc. So we figured we would get there eventually. I am so happy we will be able to do that sooner than I ever expected and I am also glad that we will be able to continue to help the NICU out. We receive letters saying who donated as they come in, but we didn't know a total amount. To be able to forever honor Aaron's life in this way makes me one proud momma.

As a side note - a girl that I know from a forum on pre-eclampsia (the reason I had to have Aaron early) sent me an email today with a petition to make October 15th a national day to Honor and Remember pregnancy and infant loss. Apparently most states already have this day set aside for this, but they would like to make it a national thing - I think that would be a very nice thing for those of us who have experienced such a loss. If you feel so inclined to sign it here is the link. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/557217746?ltl=1154019561

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

8 Weeks

To my sweet baby boy:

Aaron, I can hardly believe it has been 8 weeks and at the same time sometimes I wonder if it was a lifetime ago. Earlier today I was thinking about when you started yawning. That was what I thought would be the first of many "milestones" I would see you go through. I thought it was neat that I got to experience that - when many mothers don't experience seeing the first yawns because they occur in the womb. Little did I know that would be the last milestone I saw. I guess technically the first milestone was your first poop, I remember how excited daddy and I were for that one - but I must say, sweetie, the whole yawn thing was A LOT cuter.

I read something last week that has continued to comfort me through all of this. It was written to mommy and daddy's and it said - "Take comfort in the fact that the only thing your child will ever know is love." Boy were you loved. I know I told you every day how loved you were and how lucky we were. The day that sticks out the most is Memorial Day. So many family members came to visit you - some were just meeting you for the first time. We spent the whole day there with you with family rotating in and out of the NICU. Everyone said you were adorable - even though you were so puffy. I thought you were beautiful no matter what, but also knew I was the mommy. We laughed that day ("Hey Buddy") and we cried that day. There was probably about an hour of complete silence where we couldn't take our eyes off of your monitor because your numbers weren't looking so great. The next day you were better - that was the day daddy got to hold you for the first time and your nurse that day let us have you out of the isolette for nearly 3 hours. That was the day before you left us.

Now I look back and I know you gave us that time Monday and Tuesday - I think you were fighting hard until we were ready to let you go. Not that we were ever ready, but you were giving us time to know you more and love you more than we thought possible. Then we could clearly see your signs on Wednesday that you were ready to leave us. Thank you for all of that time. Thank you for the best 33 days of my life.

I love you Aaron - bigger than the whole wide world!

Hugs and Kisses -
Mommy

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It just doesn't seem to get any easier.

Well, I just made the mistake of re-reading the comments many of you left here on the day Aaron died, and on the day of his funeral.

I say it was a mistake because I'm now fighting back tears, and failing. Every day I go forward thinking I'm getting better at handling all of this. I see DrummerWife crying as she journals her pain and experiences, and I think to myself, "You're OK. You're handling this. You're not crying, you're not having trouble going through the day. You're improving." And that may be true to a degree - but just reading the beautiful wishes, prayers, and consolations you have all sent to us here reduced me to a teary-eyed mess. At my desk. At work.

I love Aaron so much. That will always be true. And it is such a wonderful thing to know that many of you loved him too, in your own ways. How many people can say that? How many people know, with all certainty, that their child (especially one who lived for such a short time) had such a profound impact on so many lives? DrummerWife and I are lucky, in a way. As hard as it is to see it through the tears and anguish of losing our son, we truly are. Our boy was loved, and not just by us. Not just by family. But by people who have never met him. By some people who have never met someone who has met him.

Thank you, everyone.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back to the Grind

With what would have been Aaron's due date quickly approaching, DrummerWife has arranged with her employer to only work 3-day work weeks until August 4th. Our counselor warned her that the next few weeks could be very difficult, but that things might start improving after the 4th. So, in light of that, DrummerWife has worked out a deal to work Tuesday-Thursday until then.

Thus, she is at home today. After a wonderful day yesterday. We were camping this past weekend. Before we left Sunday afternoon, Nikki spent the morning showing photos of Aaron to my aunts, uncle, grandmother and cousins. I think it did her good, and I know it did me good to get to talk about him again. We've also worked out that, come Easter, when my family does our annual "spring birthday party" for all of the Young clan whose birthdays fall into the Spring/Summer part of the year, Aaron's name will be included on the birthday cake. I think that when we gather around to sing Happy Birthday to Aaron, it will be incredibly difficult, but incredibly cathartic at the same time.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hallelujah.

It's Friday.

We've got some weekend plans. We're going camping near State College, PA with some extended DrummerFamily and my parents. It should be a good time. But camping is hard for the DrummerWife. Her philosophy on it is this - camping is one of the things we NEVER thought we'd do at this time of the year. She's supposed to be very pregnant right now. Camping should be the last thing we were going to be thinking about doing.

That's why we're probably not going to do the annual Labor Day camping trip we usually take to Knox, PA this year. Originally, Aaron would have been about 4 weeks old at that point, and our thinking was that we:

A) wouldn't want to take a 4-week-old camping

-and-

B) didn't want to risk taking a 4-week-old to western PA in the September to deal with the cold nights.

Now, none of that is an issue. But once you get it in your head that you won't be doing something because of your new son, it's hard to make yourself do it now that Aaron is gone. =/

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To Echo My Wife...

DrummerWife and I were watching TV last night, and this commercial came on - there's this woman, dancing around holding her baby, and in the background the song "Be My Baby" plays. I couldn't tell you the product, but as soon as I saw what the commercial was, I turned to DrummerWife and just said, "Don't watch it!" Of course, that just made her want to look more. And stupid me didn't think to change the channel until it was too late.

She started crying. I went over to her, and just put my arms around her, and we just talked about Aaron, about losing him, and about how strange it is interacting with people who know what happened, but who seem afraid to acknowledge that it happened, thinking that it will upset us if they do.

We both feel the same way about that situation...we'd rather people acknowledge that Aaron lived, and that he affected someone in some way - any way, really - than pretend that nothing happened. It might upset us. We might get quiet, or we might cry a little. But that's better than half-heartedly pretending that he was never born, or that his short life didn't matter.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's been 7 weeks

Wednesdays are kind of a weird day. For the last 7 weeks not one can go by without me going - ugh - it's Wednesday - that means its been one more week. When Aaron was alive it was Mondays that we always braced ourselves for - he NEVER had good Monday's...He was transferred on a Monday, got an air leak on a Monday, and then there was the infamous life threading phlegm wad on a Monday AFTER we thought we had made it through the day. It would be just like him to decide to throw mommy and daddy for a loop and make a Wednesday the ULTIMATE worst day ever.

I know we said this before but we have had nothing but support since the moment I was told I was going to probably have Aaron that night. Since he passed away that support has multiplied yet again. I am constantly surprised by letters from the hospital announcing more memorial contributions - that means so much.

People ask us all the time what they can do for us. There really is not a lot. We need time to grieve and it may be a long time, but calls, cards, emails, prayers etc. All mean so much to us. I will also say we have been lucky to not have any bad stories about silly things people say when they mean to be helpful. Just having someone say they don't know what to say is comforting, because we then know that they at least understand how big of a deal this is and they don't want to say anything dumb. One of the best things someone asked me was just today. I was talking about Aaron (which I LOVE to do by the way- what mommy wouldn't), but this person asked me, "Who did he look like?" I was kind of taken back by it at first - but quickly answered...

We always said that Aaron had my nose. When we had an ultrasound at 20 weeks we got a profile of him and my husband said "He has your nose". When he was born that became even more evident. Other than that - we think he looked like his daddy. I know he had his daddy's chin, face shape and eyes. I am pretty sure his eye color would have been the same as his daddy as well, but he never got past that steel grey color - probably around now we would have known better what color eyes he had. We also always said he had some of my personality. In the womb he was very playful. It gave us quite the laugh to that he liked to "tickle his eye" and had a lot of spit - two qualities that are very much his mommy for those who don't know me well. He was also pretty easy going and he liked to be touched by his mommy and daddy- even all the doctors and nurses told us that.

(Okay, so I didn't tell the person I didn't know that well about the spit and all of that, but I did tell him most of it.)

This person that asked me this question was not someone I know that well at all, but the question meant so much to me - thank you for acknowledging my sons life and thank you to all our friends and family who continue to help us grieve, while continuing to talk about him. Things like that is what will ALWAYS be helpful to keep Aaron alive in our hearts until we can meet him in heaven.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Quickly, to the Public Pool!

DrummerWife and I promised her cousin's two daughters we'd come out and go swimming with them some time. That time was this past weekend. We went to their local public pool and spent the afternoon swimming with them.

I never realized it growing up, but looking at it through the eyes of an adult - the public pool is just swarming with kids. I mean...overflowing with them. EVERYWHERE. It's strange, but little girls don't bother me in the least. Little boys are really hard for me though. I see them running around, stumbling and bumbling as little kids are prone to do, and I can't help but think that Aaron never got the chance to do any of that. And I never got to do any of that with him.

Our counselor tells us that when parents lose older children, the parents grieve their memories. DrummerWife and I, because we lost an infant, we grieve our expectations. Take it from me, it absolutely sucks to grieve expectations - they will never, ever, ever be fulfilled. At least if you have memories you have something to cling to. We have empty promises.

Despite the tone and tenor of this post, I'm really doing pretty well. DrummerWife is still having a lot more trouble than I am, but overall I'd say she's doing fairly well. It's a long road for both of us, and neither one of us is really "OK," but each day gets a little bit easier.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Well, we got a "new" car.

New to us, at any rate.

It's a '96 Honda Accord. Roughly, it's only got 63,000 miles on it. Clean title. For it's age, it's a really good looking, and good running car. And, frankly, 96% of my driving is back and forth to work. Any additional driving is done in DrummerWife's 2003 Accord. So, the age of car isn't that big of a deal.

It seems like such a stupid, simple thing - but not having to rely on other people for rides, and knowing that I can get myself anywhere I need to go again is such a huge relief for me. Something that...unrelated to anything else going on in my life just makes me feel so much more in control of things.

Now, tonight, I'm going to clean out the dead SUV we're saying goodbye to, and hopefully disposing of the thing. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

So, when do we get a break?

Because this "life" thing is getting awfully out of hand. I'm starting to wonder when things start going our direction.

My truck is D-E-A-D. Oh, they can get it running again for about $400.00. But apparently the shop that had been servicing it neglected to inform me out the shot rear suspension, damaged front sway bar, completely shot front tires, hole in the radiator hose, and multiple oil leaks, among other things. The shop manager actually laughed at me when I asked him for a rough estimate of the repairs. He just said, "I honestly didn't bother. I didn't think you'd even ask. If I have to guess, we're talking $2000 to $3000, before we even start talking labor."

And we're just talking about enough repairs to make the vehicle run again, and to make it "safe" on the road.

$2000 is more than the freakin' thing is worth. It's done for.

So, now we have to find a used vehicle, get it in our price range (which is small, since we weren't exactly PREPARING to buy a car), and just generally get our already crazy life back into control.

I just look at my life right now, and I feel like it's been in complete turmoil since the end of April. Nothing has gone according to plan, and life just keeps getting MORE complicated. Ugh. When does it start getting simply manageable again?

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Most Productive Sunday

Well, with the aid of DrummerMother-in-Law, DrummerWife and I cleaned out the room that would have been Aaron's nursery on Sunday. That room became the defacto "throw-it-in-there" room when we moved in, and Aaron was born so quickly after our move, that it never got cleaned out.

Now, the floor is clear, the junk is tossed, and it contains... *gasp* ...FURNITURE. We made such good progress yesterday, that we decided we wanted to finish the job, and we went out and bought a futon and some accent tables to go in the room. So, we now have a pseudo-sitting room.

After we got home from the store last night however, my truck died. I parked it, we unloaded our stuff, and then I went to move it. And it didn't move. It didn't even turn over. Nothing. Tried to jump it, and nothing. So, we called AAA, and had it towed to the shop. I have to call them this morning. Oy.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another meeting with the grief counselor...

I like meeting with her. She's just very easy to talk to, and it makes it easier knowing that she has a history dealing with infant & child loss. She gave us some homework this week - we're supposed to journal all the details of the moment that we first learned that Aaron would be delivered prematurely, and that DrummerWife would need immediate surgery.

Homework. I'm 20-something. And I have homework. It's probably not a bad thing, though. And I honestly don't mind doing it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Good News

Well, we met with the perinatologist. He gave us some very good news, comparatively speaking.

There will always be a risk of pre-eclampsia recurring in any pregnancy DrummerWife will ever have. But, the good news is that the risk is fairly limited - only 20%. Now, some of you may say that 20% is still very high. And you'd be right. It is high. But, that means that there's also an 80% chance that every pregnancy will be perfectly healthy and perfectly normal. I like that number much better.

Also - that 20% number also includes a percentage that should pre-eclampsia reoccur, it will do so less severe, and later in the pregnancy. Therefore, doctors will catch it, because they would monitor DrummerWife on a biweekly basis. They'll catch it, admit her to the hospital, put her on bed rest, and buy her, and the baby as much time as possible.

So, it's good news. We can safely try to have other children, which is absolutely joyous news for the two of us.

Now, we just have to get through the emotional issues of losing Aaron. And once that's done, we can get back to building the DrummerFamily. Someday. :)