Baby On Your Six



Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Well, we really ticked someone off up there...

...because it's official - something is screwed up with our 2 televisions and computer monitor. We went to dinner at the DrummerParent's home last night, and borrowed a small 13" TV to see if that was also dark once it was plugged into our electric and our cable.

Hoping against hope that it would be (signifying something wrong with our electric or cable, and therefore not our financial responsibility to repair), I hooked the TV up last night just in time to watch Heroes. Naturally, it worked fine. Better than fine. Exceptionally well, I'd say. Which means...something is damaged in our TV's and monitor. Which is mystifying, because no other electronics in our home seem to be effected. Microwave is A-OK. Refrigerator is A-OK. Toaster, DVD player, video games, and computer itself all seem to be A-OK. Argh.

So, now we're going to humor Comcast I guess, and let them come tell us that nothing is wrong with our cable (which I already know), and then we'll have to file a claim with our renter's insurance. I'm just guessing that even if we do go through insurance, they won't give us that much money, just because our televisions and monitor aren't all that valuable or new. Cripes.

(A quick aside: I know I sound like a whiney pain in the you-know-what for the last few days, but I honestly feel like it's become one thing after another for us. This crap never ends. I'm just waiting for the tree to fall in our parking lot conveniently crushing ONLY our two cars and missing everyone else's. It's bound to happen.)

Also, DrummerWife isn't sleeping anymore. This job loss thing is really playing with her head, I'm afraid. It's a good thing we've got counseling tonight.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I have a migraine, I miss Aaron insanely much, and on top of everything...

...it's a Monday morning.

Ugh. So, DrummerWife's Great Job Hunt 2k6 is underway officially as of this morning. She got a bit of a head start on things Friday afternoon, sending out some resumes to friends who thought they might know of a job or two she'd be a fit for. To those friends - thank you.

But today, things begin in earnest - people she phoned about jobs will likely be getting back to her, she can start perusing the job sites for fresh positions, etc.

On top of all of that...we've got a bit of an electrical crisis at the DrummerHome. Both of our televisions are unnaturally dim, as is the DrummerComputerMonitor. We're hoping it's a lack of current flowing into the DrummerHome, and not that we took a surge damaging our electronics. Both televisions and computer monitor are on surge protectors, so there ya go.

Life just keeps on getting worse. Eventually things need to turn around, right? I mean, mathematically, we have to be getting a break at some point, don't we?

Friday, October 27, 2006

2006 AD (or, as I like to call it, "The Year Fate Crapped the Bed")

I've just been informed that DrummerWife has been laid off. Her employer has asked her to stay on for the next 2 weeks, but after that, she won't be needed.

Lovely. Ain't life GRAND?

I'm sure she's not taking this well, as I think I heard some tears as I hung up the phone. I love you, Hon. We'll figure this out. We got through losing Aaron, we'll figure out how to survive this. I promise.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

21 Weeks

Hi Aaron!

Happy 21 week Heaven Day sweet pea! I hope it's a beautiful day and your running and playing with all of the other kids. If you're anything like your mommy you're leading the way and playing lots of games :-) What I would give to hear you giggle, laugh and play. Goodness knows between your daddy and I you HAVE to be a creative little guy with quite the imagination.

Daddy and I have started to make some plans about some things we can do over the holidays to honor you and remember you. I know lots of people are dying to hear about it, but we still need to finalize some information so it might be later this week or early next week before we can "reveal" some of it!

Someone sent me some lyrics to a song this week. It's in the movie "Dumbo" (which is not one of my favorite Disney movies). Apparently while this song is playing the mommy elephant is rocking Dumbo in her trunk. The part that gets me is where it says, "From your head to your toes, You're not much, goodness knows, But you're so precious to me, Cute as can be, baby of mine" When I read that I just think of you so much. The "you're not much" part just makes me think of how small you were. Goodness knows your size certainly did not reflect the impact that you made on all of us :-)

I love you Aaron, and your daddy and I are going to make you REALLY proud over these next couple of months. Just you wait and see!

I'm closing my eyes and hugging you really tight (and smothering you with kisses)!
Mommy

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Monday, October 23, 2006

With the Holidays Looming...

...I suspect DrummerWife and I are finding ourselves staring up at a very, very large mountain that we have no choice but to climb. In an effort to alleviate some of the stresses that the holidays will present to us, we're looking at a number of distractions and diversions that will hopefully make the next few months a little bit easier for us.

We hope to be able to sort of announce one of those diversions later this week, and we'll be asking for any help that any of you would care to provide for us. If everything goes according to plan, we'll have news at some point later in the week.

...

Wish us luck the next few months. We'll need it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

20 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Happy 20 Week Heaven Day peanut. These past couple days have been rough on me. I have been missing you so terribly much. The holidays are getting closer and closer and its hard to take. We had a very nice time on Daddy's birthday last week though. I gave your daddy and figurine called "New Dad" to remember you that day.

Now Halloween is coming...but before you get the wrong idea I will tell you that your mommy really doesn't like Halloween - it's a dumb "holiday" as far as I am concerned. However, I would have dressed you up when you were younger - and especially as a baby. The costumes are just too darn cute!!! I saw the CUTEST costume. A little fuzzy duckling - it might have been a little big for you this year. Then I saw the cutest Tootsie Roll costume that was for an infant. I would have bought it for you (unless I could have found a peanut). I would have taken tons of pictures. We would have drug you around to see friends and family in it. Oh and your daddy - he probably would have complained and said it was not needed etc. (but deep down he would think you were absolutely adorable to). Over the top? Probably. Fun - eh, you would probably hate being in it and cry a lot. Something I wanted to do - YES! YES! YES! I would have taken you crying and in tears just to show people how cute you were. So I am not delusional - I know how it would most likely go - but I would still do it! And might I remind you your mommy hates Halloween :) Mommy and Daddy do love Thanksgiving and Christmas - so if Halloween is a hurdle, then I don't want to think about what is to come.

I love you sweetheart and I miss you.

Hugs and Kisses,
Mommy

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Long Time, No See

DrummerWife and I attended the baptism of a pair of twins who were in the Bryn Mawr NICU around the same time Aaron was on Sunday. The boy, Dylan, was out of the NICU before Aaron got there, but Skylin was right across the room (about 12 feet) from Aaron the whole time our little boy was there, and we got to know Skylin's parents pretty well while we were there.

It was tough watching Dylan and Skylin get baptized in a beautiful church, with a formal ceremony. I know it's selfish and stupid, but all I could think about was "we got machines beeping, nurses running around us, and were restricted to us, and our pastor. Dylan and Skylin get a church, family, friends, loved ones, a whole congregation, singing, the whole deal. One more thing that we get the short end of the stick on."

That's been a big issue for me throughout all of this. I've felt since DrummerWife and I had to spend those hard first days in the hospital waiting for DrummerWife's release, and we had to watch all these happy, normal families celebrate their newborns in the "traditional" way. We had to cry and wonder if our child would survive, while they got to have visitors in to see and hold theirs.

Like I said, I know it's selfish, but so many times I've seen the "normal" family, and said "why can't we?"

On another, happier, note, while at the reception after the baptism, we got to talk to some of the NICU nurses. And the grandmother of another preemie came up to us, and commented on the blog. I don't remember exactly what she said, but she told us that the link had been forwarded to her, and she wanted to tell us that it was evident that we were very loving parents, and that this blog was a "very loving tribute" to our son. That really did help to make my day a little. I finished reading the book I posted about a few weeks back, and one of the overriding themes Mr. Fleming wrote on was that the only legacy your lost child will ever have is through you. And to hear that we've reflected SOME of the love we still feel for Aaron is very satisfying. I only hope we can continue to do so in the future.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Drummer

Happy Birthday Drummer! I know that this past year brought more twists and turns than you ever could have imagined, but there is nobody else I would have rather gone through this with than you. Thank you for being an amazing husband and daddy. I know we both are wishing Aaron were here today to celebrate with us so at least so you could get a birthday snuggle. I am sure he is smiling down on his daddy today. Here’s to this year being better! I love you, Drummer – Happy Birthday!

Also speaking of birthdays and celebrations, apparently October 12th is a big day for our family. Aaron’s Uncle Dan (DrummerBrother-In-Law) is also celebrating a birthday today. Yes, my sister and I both married guys whose birthday is Oct. 12, they are just one year apart! Thank you for all your love and support as well not only to us, but to my sister as well– we love you – Happy Birthday!

Finally, I have two cousins that also decided to get married on this day. I can assure you I mostly remember this because it coincides with everything else – I am pretty good at trying to remember anniversaries etc., but these stick out in my mind because I know the date well. So, happy anniversary to The Grabill’s and The Risbon’s. Wishing you many more!

I need to echo my wife.

I hadn't really thought about what today would be like without Aaron until DrummerWife mentioned her concerns regarding my birthday the other day on the way to grief counseling.

Since then, I've been thinking about it a lot. It just amazing how much of your life becomes filtered through the "Aaron should be here for this" lens. The thing is, if Aaron had lived, or had been born on time, all these things that make us wish Aaron was here, would have been major (or minor) landmark events in our lives as a family.

Well, tonight, we're going out to dinner with Aaron's Aunt Sarah, Uncle Matt, and Grandma and Grandpa Young for my birthday, and then my parents are coming back to the DrummerHome to see the shadowbox.

I miss you, baby boy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

19 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Happy 19 week Heaven Day sweetheart! I really hope you are doing well. We have a lot going on right now. We had some of your things framed. It's kind of a mix of things that were yours and things that would have been yours. It's beautiful and a perfect reminder of you for your daddy and I.

Tomorrow is your daddy's birthday. I've been a little sad about that lately. I can't help but think you should be here for this. I know that this is part of the grief of not having you here and it will probably even be worse over the holidays. I just imagine me helping you "make" something for your daddy to give him, having pictures of Daddy holding you while we sing happy birthday etc. I just wish you were going to be here. I guess it's just one more of those things.

Our grief counselor suggested we find a way for days such as these (birthdays, holidays etc.) to acknowledge you and the fact that you are missed etc. She suggested having a special candle to light etc. I think it's a really neat idea, but we just need to find out how we want to do that.

The other thing coming up is on Sunday. Daddy and I are going to see Skylin and Dylan get baptized. Skylin was in the NICU at the same time you were - the two of you had a lot of the same issues. Dylan is her brother, he was already out of the NICU before you came there. They were such a ray of sunshine for us and helped keep your daddy and I positive. I am looking forward to seeing them again!

Well Aaron, I love you very much and I miss you!

Hugs and Kisses,
Mommy

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Shadowbox


In the above photo you can see the outfit we would have likely brought Aaron home in, the hat he wore shortly after being born, his handprint molds, his footprints, one of the diapers he wore while in the NICU, his hospital band, and two poems (one to Mom, and one to Dad). The blue backdrop on the matting is one of the receiving blankets we had for Aaron. DrummerWife has just informed me that she'll be posting the words to the poems at some point in the next few days.

In case you're wondering, the words on the blue hat read: "Thank Heaven for little boys." We thought it was a particularly appropriate choice.

Pop-pop came home yesterday...

...which is wonderful news. When all was said and done, he'd required an artificial heart valve (his second), and then he needed to be opened up a 2nd time because he'd popped a stitch internally. All-in-all, he was under anesthesia for just about all of Tuesday, and most of Wednesday, too. As of Sunday night, the general consensus was that he wouldn't be home before today. But he came home yesterday. So, hooray for early discharge, I guess.

I have to admit - it was difficult seeing him in the hospital. I went up to visit him Thursday night with my brother and father. It's amazing how much about hospitals and medical treatment I picked up during our time in the NICU with Aaron. I walked in, saw my grandfather's Broviac (central line), and said to myself "Aaron had one of those"; saw his pulse-ox (what measures oxygen absorption in his blood), and said "Aaron had one of those"; looked at his monitor and knew exactly what I was looking at; and watched a nurse give my grandfather a dose of lasicks (to help him urinate...Aaron got a LOT of lasicks). I heard his blood pressure cuff go off and start inflating and was instantly transported back into DrummerWife's hospital room hearing the same noise and saw my wife getting her blood pressure taken. It wasn't an easy night for me. But I made it. =/

Last night, DrummerWife picked up the shadowbox frame we had made of many of Aaron's belongings (or what would have BEEN his belongings). She had won a $500.00 gift certificate from a custom framing company last year, and we were just waiting for something worthwhile to use it on. Well...we got that "something worthwhile", and then some. So, we took one of what would have been Aaron's outfits, a receiving blanket, his hand-print molds, his footprints, two poems, and a few other items to them and said "mount them." They did a wonderful job. It's beautiful, and perfect. And it is going to be a fantastic addition to our home.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Golf Tournament Speech

Several people have asked to read the speech I gave last Monday. This is what I wrote up in advance...the speech itself followed this, but after a bit I was speaking through tears and couldn't really read what I had writted :) This at least gives you an idea...

Last year, the weekend after Thanksgiving my husband and I found out that we were going to have a baby! We were so excited – all we could talk about was the baby. We told our parents and brothers and sisters right away and then waited to tell the rest of our family at Christmas. What a great time of year to announce a pregnancy! At eight weeks I started going to the doctor every 4 weeks. I followed all the rules. On March 20th we went for a 20 week ultrasound and found out we were having a boy.

My next appointment was four weeks after that. My only complaint - my ankles were pretty swollen…she looked at them and said the past couple days were unseasonably warm for April and that probably caused them to swell. About a week or so after that appointment I started having some very uncomfortable pain above my stomach. At 26 weeks and getting ready to enter the 3rd trimester I chalked it up to indigestion. I even called the doctor’s office after hours. A doctor called me back and I described my symptoms – she recommended Maalox. By Thursday I was nearly in tears and doubled over in pain. I knew the doctor had to see me. I called and insisted on being seen. When I got to the office they took my blood pressure – it was something like 180/110. I was sent to the hospital for monitoring. I called my husband and asked him to meet me there. I called my mom and told her what was going on – she asked if they should come (they were just over an hour away) and I told her not to bother – it was just monitoring and I would call her later.

I got to the hospital and got all hooked up to monitors. They came in and took some blood. Not long after a doctor came in and was talking about my liver count, low platelets, going to another hospital, a shot to develop the babies lungs…and IV for me - magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures, and finally…we were probably going to have the baby that night. He asked if we had questions – we didn’t even know what to ask. He told us it was preeclampsia – I had read about it in a couple books, but thought it meant bedrest – not having a baby at 26 ½ weeks.

We were transferred to Lankenau hospital where they could handle a baby as little as ours. We were not there for very long and learned I would indeed have to have the baby that night. At first they weren’t sure if I would be able to be awake or not for a c-section. My platelets were dangerously low and if they could not get them stabilized they would have to put me to sleep. After two platelet transfusions they determined I was stable enough to be awake for the surgery. Being that our baby would be so small they really weren’t sure how long or if he would live. If he wasn’t going to make it I at least wanted to be awake when he was born. We were still deciding between 2 different names while I was on the operating table we decided to name him Aaron Keith Young.

As I was wheeled into surgery, I was unaware at the same time the doctor was telling my husband that they would be doing what they could for the baby and ME! They thought they had me stabilized enough for surgery, but they could not guarantee what would happen after the surgery. The “cure” (if you can call in that) for preeclampsia is delivery. After I was prepped my husband joined me in the OR. At 12:45am on Friday, April 28th Aaron was born. It was just over 8 hours since this whole ordeal began. Aaron let out 2 cries that were larger than his 1 pound 5 ounce and 13” long body. Those were the only 2 cries we heard from him before he was placed on a ventilator.

After surgery I recovered fine. I was told I was lucky. Had I NOT gone into the doctor’s office that day I may have started having seizures at home that night. But now I was a mommy and I was okay. My husband and I (and our families) were now on the NICU roller coaster. Aaron was doing great for about a week. We were allowed to care for him, change his diapers, and eventually hold him. Then they noticed a problem in his belly. He was transferred to Bryn Mawr hospital and proceeded to undergo two surgeries. After the second surgery his little body just could not recover. After 33 days of life we had to say goodbye to our son.

You can read more of our story at a website that was started during my pregnancy, www.babyonyoursix.blogspot.com Because of your support here today steps can be taken to continue to research this disease. While, I am thankful for the time that we did have with Aaron, I hope that in time a day will come where preeclampsia will not longer stand in the way of a healthy pregnancy. Thank you all for your support here today, it truly means a lot to those of us that have been affected by preeclampsia! Thank you!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

18 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi peanut, Happy 18 week Heaven Day! I realize a few days ago was also the 4 month mark. It's hard to think right now if you were still here we'd have a "5" month old at home (you'd be 5 months old, but probably more on track with 2 months since you were so premature). I wonder where you would stand developmentally - would you be smiling etc. or still very newborn like? Would you have other outstanding health issues? I guess I really don't have to worry about all that. I know now you are absolutely perfect.

Today I got a really neat gift in memory of you. The PR/Advertising firm I work with through work named a star in the international Star Registry after you. The naming date was dated for your birthday 4-28-06. What a cool thing on a nice starry night to be able to look up and know there is a star up there named after you. What a wonderful way to just make us stop and remember you.

I spoke earlier this week at a Golf Tournament about our story and why you were born so early etc. It was a very nice event. Telling the story was a little harder than I thought it might be. When I looked up and saw a lot of the men crying in choked me up. I guess I never realized our story had that much of an impact on others (outside of family and friends etc.) I want to do my part to make sure other mommies and babies don't have to be apart from each other and I want people to know you and know what a sweet little baby you are! Since I can't show you off I'll just talk about you! I love you Aaron! Meet me in my dream:)

Love you more than than the number of stars in the sky,
Mommy
XOXO

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2006 has been a banner year for the DrummerFamily...

...and that distinction continues to grow.

Yesterday, my grandfather underwent a heart catheter procedure to determine the status of his heart. He was scheduled to have surgery to repair nerve damage in his hands, but do to pre-existing heart conditions his doctors weren't sure his heart could handle surgery.

Well, that catheter revealed that my grandfather had a very weak heart valve. It required immediate attention, and he'll be receiving that attention any moment now in the way of heart surgery.

So, I guess we're all on call today, in case the worst occurs. Here's hoping Pop-Pop doesn't go visit Aaron just yet. It's going to be a distracted day at work, I'm afraid.

Monday, October 02, 2006

DrummerWife: ACTIVIST ON THE GO!

Today, DrummerWife and DrummerMother-in-Law are attending a golf tournament that is raising money for pre-eclampsia awareness and research. DrummerWife is also speaking at the event, about her experience. I can't tell you all how proud I am of my wife...she could absolutely sit back and let someone else do this, but that's never been what she's been about. She knows she has something that has directly affected her, us, and both of our lives, and she has the power to help.

Also, she's going to become quite involved with the March of Dimes walk starting with next year's event. We're trying to get a team together to raise money and walk, and I believe that DrummerWife will be assisting with the planning of the walk on a local level. She's amazing.

I'm sure Aaron is proud of his mommy, and will be smiling down on her today. =)