Baby On Your Six



Monday, April 30, 2007

Post-WalkAmerica

Well...WalkAmerica has come and gone - it was a huge success. Both for the A-Team and for the Lancaster area walk. The A-Team's little get-together on Saturday was a great time, and it was wonderful to be together with all of our friends and family who were walking with us to celebrate the team, and to celebrate Aaron's birthday.

As for the walk, the team ended up raising well in excess of $4000.00. Not too shabby for a first-year team, who didn't have time to actually do any fundraising events. We have plans to raise a lot more money for next year's walk.

The Lancaster area branch of the March of Dimes was shooting for $126,000.00+ in funds raised. As of a phone call DrummerWife received last night after dinner, they were expecting the final count to beat that target number by at least $20,000.00.

So, thank you for all your help, donations, love, kindness, and support over the last year; both for the A-Team and for Aaron.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Aaron

At 12:44am, in the middle of the night, on this date 1 year ago, I was holding your mother's hand, and hearing you cry for the first time. It wasn't much, but it was a cry, and considering the fact that the doctors weren't sure if you'd be able to breathe much, if at all with your tiny, imperfect lungs, that cry meant the world to us.

Over the next several hours, your mother and I tried to sleep as best we could in unfamiliar, uncomfortable hospital beds and fold-out chairs. Your grandparents went home, or back to our apartment to try to sleep as well. Everyone we knew was praying for you.

Around noon, this time last year, I came to visit you in the NICU for the first time. You were so small, but I remember you being feisty and active, even at one day old, and 14 weeks too early. The nurse asked if I'd like to touch you. Of course I would. I couldn't believe they'd let me: surely my clumsy hand would break you, or knock a tube loose. But I didn't hurt you, thankfully. I put my hand on your arm, afraid for all my life that I'd do something wrong and the nurse would pull me away. But I didn't, and she didn't.

It was in that moment that I knew that you knew who I was. You put your tiny hand on mine, almost instinctively. There is a similar moment, on the day you died, when you squeezed my finger twice, immediately after I said "I love you, Aaron" for the final time. In those two moments I know we were together, father and son, and I treasure those moments dearly.

I took some pictures of you once I pulled my hand away. Your mother couldn't come visit you yet - she needed more bed rest - so to assuage my guilt at seeing you before she could, I took pictures with our digital camera and took them back to her. I feel so sorry that the first good look your mommy had of you was on the tiny display of a digital camera, but you know your mommy would have been right by your bedside if she could have been.

After that, you had a lot of visitors that day - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins - they all wanted a peek at the little miracle that had rushed so much to get into our lives.

We're having a party of sorts for you today, Aaron. Your mommy and I are coming to visit you at the memorial garden in a few minutes, and then we're going to be preparing for a big cookout here at our house. Everyone who is walking in your honor tomorrow is coming, and we're going to celebrate what today is, and what tomorrow will be.

Thank you for being so perfect for the short time you were here, Aaron. I love you, and I always will.

Dad

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Friday, April 27, 2007

47 Weeks etc.

Dear Aaron,

Hi baby boy! I know I am a little late, but this time I was waiting until now to write on purpose. I wanted to write today. Today is when it began. I think "it" is the best way I can think of to describe everything. "It" is the happiness, the tears, the fears, the frustration, the support and the outpouring of love and kindness that daddy and I experienced. Today we did a lot, but whenever I finally stopped and slowed down I finally broke down. I cried and what happened last year. I was so scared and trying to be so tough. I thought if I could convince everyone you were okay that they would just leave you alone. I just told daddy for the first time tonight that I can remember being told that they would most likely have to deliver you that evening, my first reaction was that of any mother...pure excitement. I was so excited that I would get to meet you. Then the reality set in, that this was not a normal birth. You might not even survive the night...I might not even survive the night. This was serious or else they would just leave us alone. I remember everyone rushing to the hospital and daddy and I trying to finalize the name. Heck, we even told the doctor we were going to name you Owen. I changed my mind on the delivery table and told daddy I really wanted it to be Aaron. I am glad we did...you are definately an Aaron. Everyone was scared, for you, for me and for daddy too. I was laying there in the hospital watching your heart beat in the monitor. You were FINE....you had no idea what was about to happen. If there was anything I could have done I would have done it....anything at all. I had a GREAT pregnancy until that week...no morning sickness even.

Today, I should have spent the day with you...getting ready for you BIG first birthday party. Instead, I made a stepping stone to put out front with your name and "You are our sunshine" on it. It's beautiful and I'll be very glad to have it, but I didn't spend the day with you. I miss you peanut. I'm sorry that all of this happened. I'm sorry for all of us. I love you so much and always will and I hope that this weekend all that we are doing to remember you makes you smile while you are watching us and makes you even prouder to call all of us your family. I am so proud of everyone for everything they do to remember you, and I will always make sure everyone knows that I'm Aaron's Mommy.

Lots of love,
Mommy

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nightmares and Dreamscapes...

DrummerWife fell asleep on the couch, as she often does, last night. She even started talking in her sleep, as she often does, last night. But...her dream was different than it usually was. Usual dreams generally include ice-skating monkeys, horse-riding monkeys, needing to go for a walk, needing to go the store, and the like. Last night...well...she was dreaming that it was about 1 year ago, and she was swollen from pre-eclampsia and needed to go to the hospital because something was wrong with her pregnancy.

She kept asking me to take her to the hospital, and I kept telling her that she was sleeping, that the dream wasn't really happening, and that she wasn't sick. I asked her to wake up, and when she finally did, she just started crying. Not that I can blame her.

Being just 3 days from Aaron's birthday, I have to admit it's hard to think back to last year at this time - knowing what we know now - that if someone had put the signs together, if someone had realized it wasn't just the unseasonably warm temperatures that were causing DrummerWife's swelling, that her "heartburn" wasn't really heartburn at all, then maybe Aaron would still be with us, and last year's nightmare would never have happened. And then DrummerWife wouldn't have had last night's nightmare, either.

On a somewhat happier note...the plan is for all A-Team members who want to join us at church on Sunday morning (if you'll be in the area by 8:00ish on Sunday) to wear your team shirt if you have it. We're going to show up in force, and proudly show what we're doing, and to remember Aaron's birthday in the sanctuary he was memorialized in.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

What a Weekend

DrummerWife and I were busy this past weekend. Friday night, we were at a Reading Phillies game, using the first of the tickets from our 8-game season ticket plan that we purchased for our anniversary last year. Then Saturday we were mowing, cleaning, and prepping the house for THIS coming weekend. Sunday found DrummerWife, DrummerMother-in-Law, and I scouring the Lancaster/Harrisburg area for a grill and a patio set, also in preparation for THIS coming weekend.

So, this coming weekend: Saturday is Aaron's birthday. He'd have been one this coming Saturday. To remember him, and to thank all of you who will be walking with us on Sunday, we're holding a cookout and a little party at our house. If you're on the A-team, you've been invited. If we somehow managed to miss you - sorry, tell us, and you'll be invited.

And Sunday, as I mentioned above is the walk. I remember sitting in DrummerWife's room at Lankenau Hospital last year - the day after Aaron was born - and seeing a story on the news about the March of Dimes WalkAmerica and thinking, "What are the chances that the day after Aaron is born premature, Philadelphia holds its March of Dimes walk?," never imagining that the next year I'd be walking in my son's memory.

What a difference a year makes.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

46 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi peanut! Finally, I think spring may be here to stay. Thank goodness. It has been a CRAZY week. I was at a committee meeting for WalkAmerica...we're making all the last minute plans for the walk and leaving I realized that my tire was flat. I had to call the guy whose house I was just at to come and help me change my tire. Ugh! So that led to a whole string of events with the car, but I now have it back and Monday I take it back in for inspection.

Our whole walk team is getting ready for the walk. I am getting so excited. We have such a great team together and everyone is doing an amazing job. Tonight, daddy and I are going to a baseball game. Last year for our Anniversary we got a 6 game package for the Reading Phillies so that ought to be a nice night. My allergies are acting up, but it will still be fun. Tomorrow daddy will finally be able to mow the lawn for the first time. Yay! We need to get it all ready because next Saturday on your birthday we are having "The 'A' Team" walkers and supporters over for a cookout in your honor of course. I cannot wait!

I can't believe next week would be your first birthday....where does the time go.

Well, daddy just got home, so we need to get a move on! I love you my sweet baby boy!

XOXO,
Mommy

Friday, April 13, 2007

45 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi peanut! This week went pretty darn fast for me. I tried to write on Wednesday, but the website was down, so I ended up just journaling instead. So here I am just a little bit late...forgive me? Last weekend we made it through Easter. It was a little tough, seeing all the little ones in the Easter outfits and it church got to me a little bit. I think what made it even harder was that it was my birthday and I would have loved to celebrate that with you. We also celebrated everyone's birthday on Saturday with the whole Young clan. Grammy Young did a very nice thing and had your name on the cake in a heart so we could all remember that we would have been celebrating your birthday then as well. It was very nice.

Also, last night I started to learn how to knit. I had a good teacher cause I think I mostly caught on quickly. I am learning to make the preemie hats....I am excited about that. There are a bunch of people making those hats right now and your cousin Tracey is putting little labels in them that say "Made with love by Aaron's Angels". So cute!

Well peanut, I think that brings you up to speed. I miss you so so much! I love you!

Hugs and Kisses,
Mommy

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter, and Happy Birthday DrummerWife

So, DrummerWife is another year older as of yesterday, and we celebrated our first Easter without Aaron. It struck me yesterday morning during church that Sunday was the last of our "firsts without Aaron." We managed to hammer out Easter and DrummerWife's birthday in the same day, and now all we have left to tackle is Aaron's birthday on the 28th, and the day he passed away on May 31st.

It's still so hard to believe that it's been almost a year since Aaron's birthday. It still seems so clear in my mind the night we rushed to the hospital, and the hours leading up to DrummerWife's emergency C-section.

On a happier note, I overheard DrummerWife and DrummerMother-in-Law talking about how the March of Dimes thought The A-Team was a business team because of how much money we raised in our first year. We're kicking butt, people. Keep up the good work. :)

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

44 Weeks

Dear Aaron,

Hi sweet pea! Happy 44 week Heaven Day! Sorry this is a little late. Mommy hasn't been feeling that great this week, my allergies got the better of me. I feel much better today, of course it is freezing cold again. This weekend is Easter weekend. I am off tomorrow and we will be spending this weekend with lots of family. Mommy's birthday is actually on Easter this year. Last Sunday, Daddy and I were watching America's Funniest Videos and they were showing clips of little kids doing Easter Egg Hunts. I just started crying. It's one more thing. I could just picture coloring eggs with you and hiding them. Making a basket for you. Picking out an Easter outfit. Watching everyone play with you over the weekend. Sometimes, while it hurts initailly it is just nice to picture what we would be doing with you. As much of it hurts to not be doing it, it helps a little just to acknowledge that we would be doing it. Your birthday is quickly approaching. I just can't believe you would be a year old. Aaron, I miss you baby and I hope you have a great Easter. I can imagine it would be pretty amazing to be celebrating it with Jesus! You'll be in our hearts and minds and I know I'll be thinking of you all weekend (as if I don't every day).

I love you peanut!
Easter Hugs and Kisses,
Mommy