Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday July 26, 2008
We began Gavin's birthday celebrations with a dinner party and bug cupcake-cake. I just love how the night went. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and feel Gavin's sweet spirit. We decorated for his 1st birthday with bugs - and I think it turned out so cute! It felt surreal celebrating Gavin's birthday without him here to blow out his candles - but it was wonderful to celebrate his sweet life.
Sunday July 27, 2008
We gathered with many family members and friends at the cemetery to release the 94 balloons that represented Gavin's 94 days with us. I woke up Sunday morning and then proceeded to count the minutes until 10:31am - the time Gavin was born. Being surrounded by so many loved ones really helped us get through this difficult day. I have to say, the cemetery was beautiful as we held the balloons around Gavin.
We sang Happy Birthday to Gavin and then released the balloons into the air. We watched them float right to heaven. I just imagined Gavin catching them and sharing them with his friends. (I know he must have a lot of friends . . . he is such a fun boy.) :)
Later that afternoon we took the birthday basket to Valley Hospital to be given to the first boy born on Gavin's birthday. I am amazed at the response we had from so many family and friends . . . the basket was overflowing. Thank you for your support!
Walking the halls of Valley Hospital made my feet tingle and my stomach turn. It seems like we were there in a dream, but, that dream is all too real. My greatest joy and greatest heartbreak occurred walking that hallway to see Gavin for the first time. I used to imagine the day we would walk down that hallway with Gavin in our arms to go home. That day never came for us. Those dreams didn't happen the way we thought they would - but we did have beautiful days. I may not have walked my son out of the hospital, but I was there as he entered into the presence of our Savior. I was a mom who was able to walk her son right to that doorway where we had to say goodbye. To some that may seem sad - to me it is a blessing and a privilege.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
So, Happy Birthday Gavin! You are the light of our lives. You have brought more purpose and meaning to our lives. Your mommy and daddy love you and want you to know that we are proud of you and all you have done. We had a birthday party for you last night with your grandparents, aunts and uncles. We talked about you and looked at pictures. This morning so many of us gathered to set off 94 balloons in the air to represent your amazing 94 days with us. You are a little boy who is loved by so many. Your daddy and I hope you were able to hear us sing happy birthday to you and blow out your 1st birthday candles. We miss you Bug - but we know we will see you someday, and that reunion will be so joyful. You are in our thoughts every moment of the day. Keep working hard, Gav. Happy Birthday and we love you more than you could ever imagine.
Mommy and Daddy
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday July 26, 2007
9:00am My brother Matt is leaving for the Boy Scout Jamboree in London and sends me a text that says, "Don't have baby while I am gone." I send a text back and say, "No worries. He won't be here for another four weeks."
9:30am I arrive at my 36 week check up with my OB. I tell him that I have noticed a difference in fetal movement since last night. He was still moving, but it wasn't quite the same.
9:45am My doctor sets me up on a non stress test to observe fetal movement in his office.
10:15am The nurse brings in a glass of juice to give the baby sugar in hopes that he will move a little more.
10:45am The baby is barely moving and the doctor tells me to go get lunch, drink something really sugary and meet him at Valley Hospital triage for more observation.
10:50am I call Jason and inform him I have to go to the hospital. He freaks. I call my mom who is at the airport with 20 boys scouts trying to get them on their international flight to London. She starts freaking out too and I say, "Mom, there is NO WAY I am having this baby today. Don't freak out."
11:30am I go to the mall and eat a Hot-Dog-On-a-Stick and order a large lemonade. I was sure food would get the baby moving.
Noon I meet Jason in the parking lot at Valley Hospital. I really wasn't worried, but I could tell Jason was nervous.
1:00pm I am hooked up to a monitor to observe the baby's movements. He is not moving at all, but he has a very strong heartbeat.
3:00pm The decided to induce contractions to see how he reacts to them and see if that will get him moving.
5:00pm The doctors discover that the baby's heartbeat is dropping every time I contract. They stop the induced contractions and we wait to hear from my OB.
6:30pm We discuss our options with my OB and he feels like the cord may be compressed and it is too much stress on the baby. A lack of oxygen could cause damage to the baby. We decided to induce labor that night.
7:00pm My mother and brother James arrived at the hospital after we call to tell them we are having the baby tonight. Jason gives me a blessing before they take me to my labor and delivery room. In the blessing he tells me that I will be bringing one of the Lord's choicest spirits to this earth. As soon as the blessing was over I asked Jason, "How special is this boy? Does he have brain damage?" They all tell me I am overreacting . . .
7:15pm My dad arrives at the hospital and takes Jason home to pack the bags and get the car seat. We are all a little nervous, but mostly excited.
8:00pm A nurse comes in with a wheelchair to take me to the labor and delivery room. My brother James pushes me down the hallway.
9:00pm My dad and Jason return with newborn outfits, a car seat and all the essentials to take a baby home. The nurse starts the pitocin.
11:00pm My family leaves the hospital knowing it will be a long night for us.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Our Bailey Summer Vacation
We had a very nice weekend with Jason's family late in June. We stayed at my parents' cabin and played in Cedar City most of the weekend. It was so great so spend some time with his family (even if I was pregnancy-sick all weekend) and see my cute niece and nephews!
Our Night at the Venetian
Jason and decided to spend a Friday night at the Venetian in June. Jason had just returned from his China trip and we wanted to celebrate the pregnancy news we received the month before. I have to admit, I wasn't much fun . . . all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. We did, however, get these awesome bathrobes that we just had to model! :)
A Weekend With Friends
Two weekends ago we met up with some friends in Utah. They actually both knew Jason from high school, but we have become very close over this past year. They also lost their sweet son, and it was nice to get together and talk about our cute boys. It is interesting the people we meet in life and how we meet them. I feel like I have known this couple for a long time - and I can't help but wonder if our two boys helped line us up to meet. They are just an amazing couple and we love them so much!
And last, but not least. . . last weekend we were invited to the church girls' camp to talk about eternal families and our experience with Gavin. They spray painted our hair green as soon as we got there and we were able to have dinner with them as well. Expressing our testimonies in eternal families has been such a strength to me . . .it helps me remember why "this" is okay. I think the girls liked looking at Gavin's pictures and I hope they were able to connect to the lessons and testimony that we have in this gospel.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
(I can't believe how young we look in these photos from when we were dating!)
Over the past six years Jason and I have really enjoyed traveling and seeing different parts of the world. That was one thing I always wanted to do . . . and I have the perfect traveling buddy. Jason and I have been to some beautiful places and enjoyed so many different cultures.
Our Little Gavin
Last July we welcomed our sweet Gavin James to our family. His life and passing has been such a trial and blessing in our lives. I often think about how different my life would have been if I wouldn't have married such a faithful and strong man . . . and how much more difficult losing a child would have been with someone other than Jason. He was (and still is) my voice of reason through the pain and the sorrow. But, most importantly, he is the most amazing father. I saw love radiate from him every minute we had Gavin with us. Jason is such a proud father and a wonderful example for me to follow. Our family is eternal. The covenants that we made six years ago make it so that we can get out of bed every day and find hope in the Plan of Salvation and the knowledge of eternal families. I often wonder if Gavin was there the day that Jason and I were sealed to each other. I can only imagine the comfort he must have felt knowing that his parents were taking the steps to prepare for what would be a difficult journey. That decision to be an eternal family has been our strength and our foundation for all that we are able to do.
Six Years of Bliss
Jason and I have had so many wonderful years together. When he proposed to me he promised me that he would make me laugh each and every day. He has lived up to that promise. Even through the trials we have had this past year, our relationship has grown even stronger. We lean on each other more and we have a more dedicated goal to return to our Heavenly Father and be with our family for eternity. Like I said before . . . this was the best decision I ever made.
Our Hopes for the Future
I think this picture says it all. We have hope.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Our risk of having a baby with one of these three syndromes is 1 in greater than 10,000. The doctor was VERY happy with the results - and so were we! Of course we know that Gavin did not have Trisomy 13, 18 or 21 . . . but having one child with a genetic abnormality usually increases your risk of having another child with a syndrome or chromosomal abnormality. In my mind, the result of this test just reaffirms that Gavin's syndrome was so unique and the genetic mutation was so rare that the chances of having another child with the same issues are minimal. Our little Gavin was just our Little Gavin - we were lucky to have him as long as we did.
We still have many more tests and ultrasounds and appointments for our new little one, but we are proceeding (ONCE AGAIN!) with cautious optimism.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
How would you describe your relationship to fear before and after the loss of your baby?
Fear. It's something I have always struggled with. I was the little six year old girl who would sneak into my parents' bedroom in the middle of the night to make sure they were still breathing. I was terrified they wouldn't wake up and I would left to take care of my three younger siblings alone. After Gavin was born, my mom and I were talking and she asked, "What are you afraid of? What is the worst thing that can become of Gavin?" I, of course, like any other desperate mother said, "I'm terrified he is going to leave me." I was so scared of death - of Gavin's death. I am not scared of death anymore. One of the greatest lessons I have learned through this experience is that we are not to fear too much. Heavenly Father's will has, and will always be done. If He is in control, what do we have to fear? I would like to say I am not the scaredy cat I used to be, but I still worry and fear about many things. There are some things I have learned to let go and relax, but now there are other things I still fear and worry over. I will probably be the most paranoid mother ever, but I have learned to not fear His will.
Is your lost baby present in your life? In what way?
I feel Gavin has remained very present in our life. One of the strongest effects was how he has changed our determination to live worthy to be an eternal family and return to our Savior. Gavin's pictures are up in our home and his cute face is the screen saver on our computer. Looking at his pictures bring me peace . . . and at times when I can his presence I find peace there as well.
Tell us about something said or done after your loss that left you feeling nurtured or supported.
I know I have mentioned this before, but we love when people remember Gavin. We love to know that there are others who visit him, read about him, ask about him and think of him. Whenever someone mentions his name, I feel like I could burst with happiness. So many people are scared to talk about him, but the moments where people say his name and talk to us about him help us feel nurtured and supported.
Tell us about something said or done after your loss that left you feeling marginalized or misunderstood.
The worst thing to say . . . "Sometimes babies just die. It just happens." Well, you never expect YOUR baby to be the one who dies. Let's face it. Babies aren't supposed to die. We don't think about babies dying. So, when it happens to you - it isn't something that "just happens."
What's taken you a long time to do again? How did it feel, if you have?
I actually saturated myself with everything to do with Gavin after he passed away. However, the one thing that took us months to do was pack up his nursery. We just kept the door closed for months. Boxing up the unused clothes and toys, bottles and bibs, blankets and bedding was excruciating. However, the worst part was the little suitcase sitting in the middle of his floor that contained all of his belonging from PCMC. I think his suitcase sat on his floor until February. It was too hard to unpack the few outfits he did wear, the toys he did play with and the medical equipment we had grown so accustom to. I still cry when I see the trach supplies, suction catheters and g-tube guide book book in his box. I really would have done anything for him.
How would you describe yourself as a partner before, and after?
I wish I could say that I feel like I am 100% better as a wife to Jason. There are aspects I think I have improved on in our relationship, but I also know Jason now has somewhat of a broken wife. We often talk about our loss of innocence and our newly found altered reality. We no longer feel that life can be "just how we planned." I think I used to be so much more carefree and adventurous. Now, I am more reserved and a little bit more quiet. Things trigger memories and I tend to be much more emotional than I ever was before. I hope with time I can be a better wife and mother. We still are healing and I know this takes awhile. The good thing is that Jason and I both allow each other to have our "break down" moments and we don't judge each other for the number of times we cry. We sit with the other during the difficult moments, but we are also beginning to feel a little more happiness and joy that we didn't particularly anticipate we could feel ever again.
Ok, so there it is. A few answers to a few questions.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We are excited to announce that we are expecting another baby! We are in our 12th week, but as of this morning's doctor appointment the baby is measuring around 13 weeks. We were fascinated today watching our little one arch it's back, stretch it's arms and legs and flip flop all over the place. We have been working with quite a few specialists and so far things are looking good . . . but there is still a long road ahead of us. We are also in the process of many tests and the anxiety is high, but we know what needs to be will be.
Heavenly Father has blessed us before, and He will bless us again.
We are so grateful and happy Gavin will be getting a little brother or sister. I think he will be the perfect big brother!