"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Brigg!

Our sweet little nephew turns 2 today! I can't believe how fast he is growing up. This little guy is so much fun - I am such a lucky aunt! This summer while we were at the cabin with Jason's family Brigg jumped right into the hammock where Jason and I were resting. He just laid in between us for quite awhile. It was such a special moment to have with Brigg. He is a sweet little guy. Happy Birthday Brigg! We love you!
PS - I stole this picture from his mom's blog - I thought it was just too cute.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gavin's 1st Birthday Celebrations

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.) :)

When we welcomed Gavin into our family last year, I did not imagine we would be celebrating his 1st birthday this way. To say we are heartbroken is the understatement of the century. However, the time we did have with Gavin will always be the most precious and sacred 94 days of my life. We are blessed to have an angel for a son and we were granted his presence for three months and one day. Celebrating his life is an honor. Mourning his absence is the difficult part. I just can't believe how much I love this little boy. I miss him.

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.

So, happy birthday my sweet little Buggy Boy. You have parents who love you and we anxiously wait to see you again. That reunion will be beyond any joy we could have had here. We love you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Million Thank Yous

I can't wait to post pictures from Gavin's birthday celebrations - but before that I wanted to send a "thank you" to everyone who supported us this weekend. We appreciate all those who traveled to be with us, donated to Gavin's birthday basket, joined in the birthday celebrations and sent sweet birthday wishes to us. We have been so blessed to be surrounded by supportive family and friends. We love you all and thank you for your love and support.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Gavin

Today is our sweet baby Gavin's 1st birthday. I can't believe it has been a year! This day last year, our world was turned upside down as we welcomed our son into this world. Our lives haven't been the same since - and I never want that to change. Our little Gavin was born with numerous unexpected health issues and challenges . . . all which were incompatible with life. Today we celebrate the 94 days we spent with Gavin here on this earth, knowing that we have eternity left to spend with him. Today so many questions ran through my mind. I find that I don't ask "why" so much anymore, but I wonder what Gavin would have been like had he been a healthy and normal little boy. Would he have loved the bug themed birthday party we threw for him? Would he have run around a park with balloons? What would his favorite 1st birthday gift be? I also find myself wondering what Gavin is doing in heaven. He was a sweet and precious boy that didn't have to endure this earthly experience. He didn't need to prove himself like I do. He was valiant and strong from the beginning - and many times I feel inadequate to be his mother. His short 94 days have left an impression on my soul that will never be changed. I am forever changed because of this special little boy who was given to us this day last year.

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

Time Traveling

These past few days and the anticipation of the weekend have been like time travel for me. I think it is pretty normal for a mom to relive the days prior to a child's birth. I have to admit, I have been feeling a little sorry for myself . . . I just didn't imagine I would I would be reminiscing without my baby boy here. The day he was born was the most difficult day of all. We were happy to have a beautiful little boy, but we were shocked, scared, sad and heartbroken with the news of his health. So, for the sake of remembering I thought I would do a little timeline of the day before and his birthday.

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 27, 2007

6:00am Jason calls my mom and asks her to come sit with me for a bit. Poor guy . . . he had been up all night with me.

6:45am My mom arrives and brings the hairbrush I requested. (I won't even begin to describe what my hair looked like.)

7:00am I actually fall asleep for a little bit with the aid of the epidural and my momma. :)

8:00am The nurse comes in to tell us that it is time to get ready to have the baby.

10:31am Our sweet baby Gavin James Bailey is born. He is silent and stretches as soon as he is laid down on the table.

10:40am They wrap Gavin in a blanket and let me hold him for a few seconds. I told him he was beautiful and that he looked just like his daddy.

10:45am The nurses took Gavin from our room to the nursery. It wasn't until Jason came back into the room that we found they took him right to the NICU.

I would love to end this story by saying that they brought Gavin back into the room, I was able to nurse him for the first time and we carried our baby boy out of the hospital a few days later to go home. But, as most of you know, that is not our story. That is not Gavin's story. Beautiful as that one may have been - our story is beautiful too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Baby Bailey Update

Yesterday I went for a doctor's appointment. This appointment was with my regular OB, but can I tell you how much I LOVE him?! He has helped me through my miscarriage, multiple surgeries, Gavin and now this baby. To say that he is compassionate is the understatement of the century. I LOVE HIM. Plus, I think he is one of the best OB doctors here in Vegas.
Anyway! Back to the update. The baby is measuring 15 weeks and we still have a very strong heartbeat. We love to get these good updates! More to come next week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kangaroo Love

For anyone who has spent a good amount of time in the NICU, you will know that there is something called Kangaroo holding. Most NICU babies are not easily available to be picked up and held, thus making bonding a difficult issue. One of the ways a mother or father can have bonding time with their baby is to do what is called Kangaroo Holding. Basically, it is skin on skin contact with your child.

Something I read today reminded me that I need to write about my Kangaroo time with Gavin. It didn't happen until we were transferred up to PCMC. Gavin had been very unstable up until this point, but one night, after a string of good days, I asked the nurse if I could Kangaroo hold Gavin. Since Gavin couldn't suck, I never was able to breastfeed him, and that is something most mother's crave to do - especially when you are told that your child isn't able. Funny how that works, huh? I just wanted to feel his little body against mine. Anyway, one night, our nurse Melissa drew the curtains around his bed and helped place him on my chest in between a button down sweater I was wearing. Thinking about it now just gives me the chills. I remember sitting there for about three hours rocking and singing to Gavin and telling him all about his daddy. During those hours I held him Kangaroo-style, his breathing remained steady and his oxygen saturation stayed in the 90s. Maybe it was just as therapeutic for him as it was for me. I know it may sound like a little thing to many, but holding his little body against my chest was the most fulfilling experience. Oh, how I love my little boy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Fun

Jason and I have done some really fun things this summer.
Here are a few pictures . . .
Jason's Trip to China
Jason had a really great time in China for two weeks in May. He said the best part was visiting the Great Wall of China. He came home with a little over 300 pictures (good boy Jason!), but here are just a few.

Oh . . . and this is what the street vendors sell. Scorpions and Seahorses on a stick.
Hungry anyone?

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!

Girls Camp

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

6th Wedding Anniversary

Today Jason and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. I have to say that marrying Jason was the BEST decision I have ever made.
Jason and I met at SUU during our sophomore year of college. He had just returned from his mission, but was very well adjusted to being "home." We hung out as friends a few times and Jason asked me out on our first date at the university Halloween dance. Our first date ended up being on Halloween night . . . and it was so much fun. We watched scary movies and ate Starburst ice cream and spent a long time talking and getting to know each other. I knew from that night that I never wanted to date another boy again. We had so much fun dating and falling in love. I knew after dating him for only a few months that this was the boy I wanted to marry.
(I can't believe how young we look in these photos from when we were dating!)

Our Wedding
Jason and I were married in the Salt Lake City temple on July 20, 2002. I really felt like I had the wedding of my dreams. Everything about the day was beautiful. I felt so much gratitude that we were able to be sealed as an eternal family - it means so much to us. We had a beautiful reception that night at Magnolia Grove and then left for a week Honeymoon in San Diego, CA.


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

Gavin's Birthday Invitation

We will be releasing 94 balloons on Gavin's birthday. Anyone is welcome to join us!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Funny Memory

We are trying to stay focused on the good times we had with Gavin. This time of year is proving to be very difficult for us. Much more difficult than we anticipated. Reliving the memories can be exhausting and excruciating - but we know there were happy times as well. So . . . here is my happy memory for the day. The picture is a little fuzzy, but it's cute nonetheless. One day in September, my mom and and I walked into the Valley NICU to find Gavin in this light green and pink outfit. He was wide awake and seemed unsure of his new clothing (he usually hung out in the nude). At Valley we weren't able to bring in clothing for Gavin - for sanitary purposes - which I really understand and appreciate their dedication to our children's health. So, as Gavin grew bigger and packed on the pounds the hospital clothing selection became limited. I finally donated most of Gavin's 0-3 month pajamas to Valley, but not before we found him in this cute little number! You can't see it in the picture, but there was a HUGE pink flower down the side of this outfit. I was so happy that day to see Gavin awake and alert, so I didn't really pay attention to the girly pink flower that proved to be so controversial. When I showed Jason the pictures of Gavin that night - I couldn't understand why he wasn't jumping up and down like I was. He just looked at me and said, "Linz, he is wearing A GIRL'S outfit." I thought he was cute in the green . . . but after that we stuck with more masculine colors - for dad's sake!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Update on Baby Bailey

We received a call from our Perinatologist the other night with results from my blood tests taken the last time we were in his office. Essentially, this particular test looks for my risk of having a child with Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 (Trisomy 21 is Down Syndrome). These are the most commonly seen syndromes in children at birth. Unfortunately, the test cannot tell us if the baby has these syndromes - it can only tell my risk of having a child with one of these syndromes.

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

Gavin's Birthday Gift

I love this picture. It was taken the day of Gavin's heart surgery and I think he looks like an angel with Daddy's comforting hands.
Needless to say, this time of year is difficult for our family. I can't help but reflect on every moment of this time last year. It actually makes my heart leap and my stomach turn at the same time to think about July 27, 2007 and the days leading up to it. That was a day that changed my life forever. This wasn't exactly how I thought this first year with Gavin would be, but we are so grateful for this sweet little addition to our family. I would do it all again for our little Bug.
As a first time mother, you prepare for everything. I remember making a list of all the things I would need to buy before Gavin was born. And, boy, were we prepared to bring a little boy home. I went crazy buying everything I was sure I would find useful. Using hind sight, I should have prepared more in other ways. Of course, there was no way to know Gavin would be so sick when he was born, but perhaps I should have spiritually prepared myself a little more. Perhaps I should have spent more time on my knees talking to my Heavenly Father or reading my scriptures. I should have spent more time pondering the true meaning of motherhood and eternal families. I should have had more knowledge of the Plan of Salvation and understanding the Lord's will . . . because, you know what? I never used the swing I had to have, or the Little Swimmer's diapers I rushed out to buy just in case we wanted to take him swimming. He never slept on his bedding or in the crib. I never even buckled him into his car seat or walked him in the stroller. I spent so much time doing what I thought was "preparing", when none of that REALLY mattered. I should have prepared myself in so many other ways. This experience has truly changed my perspective.
Still, it is a mother's instinct to buy a birthday present for her birthday boy. This time, we would like to do something for another little boy. (This idea was actually given to me by a friend.) We are making a basket of new born baby boy supplies/toys/clothes to take to Valley Hospital for the first little boy born on Gavin's birthday. We would like to invite anyone who wishes to participate. We are just purchasing small items, so it won't be anything too overboard. It just feels nice to know that Gavin's influence has changed our perspective so much on life and the important things.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little Q & A

Ever since Gavin was born we have been asked so many questions. At the beginning the questions concerned Gavin's health and well being. After he passed away the questions became more focused on us and "how we were doing" . . . but as time has gone on we have noticed that there are so many questions that we are asking ourselves. I was reading a collaborative blog for mothers who have lost babies and one entry posed the questions below for all mothers who have lost babies. As I read through them I started thinking about my responses to them. Perhaps others will be interested in my responses - maybe they have wanted to ask the same thing, but have hesitated thinking we were too fragile to question. Or, perhaps people are tired of hearing about our grief. Whatever the case is, I felt answering these questions would be somewhat therapeutic for me. I know there are many other parents out there who have lost children as well, and if you are up to it, I encourage you to think about these questions as well. Perhaps it will bring perspective.

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

Gavin Is A Big Brother!

I know my blog has left something to be desired of recently. Really, I promise there is an excuse for the lack of creativity and insight . . .
and this is it . . . . . . please forgive me for being somewhat distracted.
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!