Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sydney Grace's bath

At this very moment four months ago, Sydney Grace was taking her first and last bath in a tub. I keep thinking about that tonight. That was the night that she passed away. The whole week before, she was struggling. At first she had terrible diarrhea which caused her to be severely dehydrated. Then it turned into constipation. That was why she had the warm bath. Her tummy was so bloated and she was so uncomfortable. Just as soon as she was placed in the tub she just relaxed. We could tell she really like it, which was so unlike the first time Rafe took a bath in a tub. He screamed bloody murder.

I have never shared this photo before, but this is Sydney Grace taking her bath. She was so sick and it breaks my heart seeing her this way. For some reason I did not want people to see this photo. I guess because she looks so weak. At first I did not even think about taking a picture because we were all so concerned about her health that night, but then she did something that made me have to get my iphone. She was so relaxed that she crossed her little legs and propped them on the edge of the tub. She was in heaven. Of course, I did not get the photo fast enough with her feet on the edge, but I think you can see in the picture that she was really relaxed. This was the second to last photo ever taken of Sydney Grace. I have one more photo, her last, that I have never shared. It is of her wrapped in her towel crying after her bath. I am not ready to share that photo...not yet anyway.

I remember as everyone was leaving that night, my sister offered to stay with me. I told her no, that I was planning on sleeping with Sydney. She called me later on that night still concerned about Sydney Grace's constipation. I remember saying I had a bad feeling that this was a sign of the end. That her body was probably shutting down. I said the constipation was not worrying me so much, as her breathing was. She was struggling even with the oxygen tank. I did not know for sure if she would pass that night, but I had a feeling it was coming soon.

It's been four months now. It feels like such a long time ago, yet I can still feel her in my arms. I can still remember how I woke up that night and felt her limp body and her heavy breathing. How she just looked at me the whole time as she was taking her last breaths...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

It's been a long time... I have been so busy with work, Rafe, life...that I have not been able to sit down long enough to write. Since the last entry Joel and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. We started dating when we were 16 years old, so we have been together for almost 17 years. I feel old... We have had a really full life together. We have lived in three different states (California, Alabama, and North Carolina), Joel completed graduate school and got his Ph.D, we have had two wonderful children, and had to bury one of them. I just keep thinking about if someone told us back in 1993 when we started dating if in 17 years we would have to bury a child what would we say? We have had a lifetime of experiences just in our short 10 years of marriage. I can honestly say that although this past year has been difficult, Joel has amazed me. He has shown me a side of him that I have never seen before. I love him more and more each year.

Sydney Grace would have been four months old on Friday. It seems like an eternity ago. I went to visit her grave today (on Mother's Day.) I just sat there by myself and talked to her. I so wanted to hold her. For some reason, I love to listen to music while I am visiting her grave. I usually listen to two songs, "I will Carry you," and "Fly." I can not remember if I have shared this before, but as Sydney was taking her last breaths I played those two songs as I rocked her. I had not woken up Joel yet so it was just me and my baby. I will never forget how she just looked at me the whole time. It was so peaceful... That is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I have been reading the book "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith. She is the woman that the song was written about. Her baby, Audrey Caroline, passed away after two hours. This book is really, really good. Angie tells the story of Audrey by bringing in the story of Jesus and Lazarus. I am only half way through the book but it amazes me that all our stories are so similar. We, mothers, all go through the same decisions, emotions, hurt when we are faced with having a child that will die. I am looking forward to finishing this wonderful book. I really recommend this to anyone that is going through something this terrible or to those of you that want to understand.

I had breakfast with Rafe at his school on Friday. The preschool gave a "Muffins for Mothers" breakfast in honor of Mother's Day. Rafe was so excited. For the past few weeks he has been telling me about all I was going to get. He was so funny. He would say, "I am going to sing you a song, but I can't tell you," or "I made you a picture frame, but I can't tell you." I will have to say Rafe's teachers really did do a lot of crafts with them. I got a shell picture frame, a poem, a paper rose, a bracelet, a plant and a song. Of course, I forgot my camera with the video recorder so I could not get Rafe singing his song. Here is a picture of Rafe and his future wife, Shelby. Rafe informed Shelby at the breakfast that her name was going to be Shelby Fodrie.

Please continue to pray for me. I am going through a difficult time right now with my health. My thyroid is completely out of control. If any of you know about hypothyroidism, you know that it affects a lot. The last month I have really felt the effects of this. Hopefully, my wonderful doctor will get it under control soon.

I would like to share an email I got today about mothers.

A Newborn ' s Conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have
to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you.
And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words
you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will
teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach
you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach
you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth
could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave
now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers of Angels in Heaven