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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Gavin

Dear Gavin,
Happy 2nd Birthday! What a special day to spend thinking about you! Last night we had a "Cars" birthday party for you. Your Aunt Becca and I spent a few hours on Saturday making your birthday cake and talking about how much we love you. Your birthday party was fun . . . but we wish you would have been there with us. We always used to joke how you would have to blow your birthday candles out through your trach. :) We would always say, "If we don't laugh about things like this, then we will cry." We try to choose to laugh, Gav. It's not always easy.

You were born at 10:01am on Friday July 27, 2007. I remember everything about that day. I remember how silent you were when you were born and how you just laid there on the table while they worked with you. I remember how you didn't respond to your APGAR test. I remember how it felt when a doctor came in to tell us that there was something wrong with you - a "syndrome"- and they couldn't tell what it was. I remember crying and praying. I remember that the first thought that came into my mind was how grateful I was for our eternal family and the knowledge that we would be together forever. No matter what happened here on earth.

Then, I remember going into the NICU to see you for the first time. You were so tiny. Only 5lbs. 6 oz. You laid so straight and made tiny little squeaks. The only sound you ever made. But Gavin, the thing I remember the very most was the way I felt when I was near you. You literally radiated peace. It was like we could communicate through our eyes. I knew you. And I knew that you knew me.

I am sure you knew your stay on earth wouldn't be long. But, we didn't. We fought hard and did everything a parent could do. Your father and I (and the rest of your family) made a real effort to be happy around you. I didn't want you to see my broken heart - I wanted you to remember your momma smiling and happy. You made me happy. I have so many beautiful and fun memories with you.

Your birthday this year is easier than last year. We were able to laugh more and celebrate you the way I wanted to. Time and love can help ease the pain of a broken heart, but nothing will ever fill the void a mother has in her heart for a child who is no longer here.
This morning I was reading from the Teachings of Joesph Smith. I read this quote, "Those who have died in Jesus Christ may expect to enter into all that fruition of joy when they come forth . . . Lay hold of these things and let not your knees or joints tremble, nor your hearts faint; and then what can earthquakes, wars and tornadoes do? nothing. All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful."

I will do the very best I can to be faithful so that we can all be together again. I love you Gavin. You changed my life forever and you have taught me more than I ever could have imagined. You are in my thoughts today and everyday.

Your Momma

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gavin's 2nd Birthday Party (A Day Early)

Tonight we celebrated Gavin's second birthday. We planned a Cars birthday party - 'cause I am pretty sure that is what a two year old boy would love. We met my family at the cemetery and brought birthday balloons over to leave with Gav. We released two balloons (one for each year) with messages we had written on them as we sang Happy Birthday. I know I have said it a million time before, but this is NOT how I envisioned doing my son's birthday party.
The cemetery was so calm and peaceful. I was overcome with grief and peace at the same time. A very dear friend of mine sent me an email last night after I had talked to her about how I felt concerning Gavin's birthday and having the blessing of Jack in our lives. She pointed out that it doesn't matter how many children we have - not having Gavin here with us will leave a hole in our hearts. We may be able to cushion the hole with the happiness and joy of other children, and the hole may not be a gaping emptiness that it was at the beginning - but that hole will always exist. And that will never be filled until I get to hold Gavin in my arms again. I am so grateful for friends who understand the grief and complex feelings of losing a child. We are delighted with having Jack - but Gavin is deeply missed.
After the cemetery we headed back to my house for dinner and birthday cake. Our families and friends have been so supportive of us as we try to keep Gavin's memory alive and find joy in our family's journey.

Our family of four! :)
Jack spent some time with Gavin.

The "Cars" birthday cake. (It's not fantastic, but I was pretty proud of it!)
Making a wish for Gavin as I blew out his 2 year old candle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jack Is Six Months Old!

Jack is half a year old! One time I was told that the first six months take forever and then time after that flies. It has been a long six months, but I have LOVED all of it. I know I may complain about the crying, whining and sleepless nights, but there is nothing that I wouldn't do for my sweet baby Jack. He has brought so much happiness and joy into our lives. We feel so blessed to have this miracle in our lives.

This month Jack:

- 15 lb. 10 oz.
- 25 3/4 inches long
- Has started eating bananas, avocado, pears, sweet potatoes, squash, applesauce and Puffs.
- Sits up all alone without assistance
- Stands up against the couch with little assistance
- Reaches up to be picked up
- Is back to sleeping through the night (keeping our fingers crossed)
- Loves watching Little Einsteins while I get ready in the morning
- Laughs hysterically at burps (I know . . . such a boy!)
- Actually made it through most of church
- Loves sleeping in his bed
- Army crawls all over the room
- Likes to play the yelling game (you know, where he yells and I yell and we see who can yell louder?)
- Loves swimming and dunking his own head under the water

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Seven Year Itch

Today Jason and I celebrate seven years of marriage. We look like babies in these photos. What were our parents thinking letting us get married so young? HA! They probably saw more potential in us than we were capable of seeing at that time.
Seven years have flown by. They have been full of ups and downs, but we have been able to stick together and develop a more deep love for each other. I think we were made for each other. We just "fit."

I love you like crazy, Jason. I couldn't ask for a better husband. I am a lucky girl! Good thing you are mine for eternity! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Planning A Birthday Party

Next week is Gavin's 2nd birthday. I spent this last weekend buying party supplies and planning out the birthday cake . . . not to mention driving myself insane trying to make this party "perfect." Maybe it's my way of distracting myself.
We decided a two year old boy would want a "Cars" themed birthday party.
I can't believe it's been two years. I kinda want to curl up in bed today and feel sorry for myself. I don't feel like that too often - but today I do. Good thing I have Jason and Jack to keep me distracted and busy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Little Mother's Guilt Is Normal . . . Right?

I wish Jack could have Gavin's mom. I feel like I have been two totally different moms to my two boys. It drives me crazy. I wish I could be now what I was like with Gavin. I felt confident, strong and capable then. I felt like I had patience and love towards everyone. I did things no mother should have to do. Made decisions no mother should have to make. And yet, through it all, I felt like I was a good mother. I felt like I had all the time in the world for my sweet Gavin. My life stopped 100% and I spent every moment I had with him.

I swore that I would always remain that capable and loving mother.

I don't feel like that anymore.

I feel like life has somehow swept me away and I am struggling to tread water. Try to keep my head above the daily chores of laundry, dishes, bills and other motherly duties.

This has actually been a sore spot for me for a few months now. I wish that I could be the mother Jack deserves. I don't feel as confident as I did with Gavin. I worry about what foods Jack should eat and fret about how long he does or doesn't sleep. For heaven's sake! I used to feed Gavin through a port in his stomach and change a trach. I would resuscitate Gavin multiple times a day. I did all of this for three intense months and now I worry about Jack crying in public? I care what people say to me when he screams for 30 minutes on a plane ride?

Who have I become? I am starting to do all those things I swore I would never do again. Gavin helped me reinvent my life. Helped define me as a person and as a mother. Now, I find that I lose my patience on a daily basis even though I swore I would love and appreciate everything that came my way.

I am sure there were angels that carried me through our time with Gavin. I am sure they were there to give support, comfort and provide the assurance that I needed to have in myself. It just all feels different now. People talk about a "mantle" when someone is given a specific church calling or position. I felt like I had that with Gavin. I felt like I could do ANYTHING.

Now, I just feel like a normal girl raising a little boy. I never feel alone, but I do feel much more insecure and doubtful raising Jack. I wish that Jack could have known me when I was Gavin's mother. But, for now . . . I will do the very best I can. And through all my weaknesses and mistakes I will make sure that Jack knows he is loved insanely by his mother. I will do the very best I can to help him be who he needs to be. Because really, nothing else matters in life.

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,

Today you turn six months old! I can't believe all you have accomplished already. You have been such a blessing to our lives. Your smile and laughter helps us find joy in life and your sweet hugs and loves melt our hearts. You came to us at a difficult time in our lives. Your pregnancy was full of anticipation and worry. But, here you are. Healthy and happy - just like we prayed for. We are so grateful for you.

I am sure you spent and continue to spend time with your big brother Gavin. Jack, you are a very fortunate boy to have a big brother who will always be able to watch over you. I hope you will always make good choices so you can feel his presence.

Jack, you are a delight to so many people. You are a miracle in our eyes and a blessing to broken hearts. Your intense and bold personality makes us laugh and makes us crazy. You love to move around and explore your environment. I love watching you grow and progress. I love to watch you try new things and experience new places. I love to see your big grin and hear your belly laughs. That is music to my ears.

I hope you know how much you are loved. I hope you know that you have been a faith building experience for me and a tender mercy in my life. There is nothing I would rather do with my life than to be your mother. I love you Baby Jack Jack.


Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

I've been out of the blogging world for a bit - but I'm back. We have been traveling the past few weekends and the weeks are so busy when you have a busy baby like Jack!
We went up to SLC for a quick visit with Jason's family for the 4th of July. Typically, Jack was an angel all weekend and is now tormenting me with his incessant need to be entertained. Good thing I am SOOO crazy about him!
We had a fun time visiting family and getting caught up with one another. Thanks for a great weekend Bailey Family!
Here are a few fun pics from the Daybreak Lake: