You Are Appreciated

I’ve focused some of my

blogs on the negative people Torry and I

had to deal with in the last few months.   I don’t think it’s fair

to single attention out on them without dedicating a post on the fantastic people

who have stood by our side and held us up when we couldn’t even hold ourselves up.

I have the greatest appreciation instilled in my heart from the many generous, loving,

caring people.  The outpour of love and help we received is beyond anything we could have

imagined.

Everyday I am in awe of what

has been done for us.  I am constantly thinking of ways to

give my big heartfelt thanks to everyone who has shared a kind word, a

sweet little care package, flowers, cards, gifts etc.  Believe it or not, it was actually kind of nice

to have something positive to look forward to in the mail in our time of sorrow.  They were all always

day brighteners and spirit lifters.

Everyone still sends their love and

tells me how much Brecken has impacted their lives.

A part of me just wishes, though, that he didn’t have to impact everyone

in the way it had to happen.  Tragedies bring people closer together and distances others

even further apart and I’m sure there is some weird, mad, and crazy reason this had happened.

In the mean time, though, I can be extra appreciative of everyone who has stood by our side

and supported us while we made the hardest decision any parent has to make in their lives regarding

their child.

To everyone who has private messaged us, 

wrote on our walls, shared our photos, shared our story, prayed for us,

sent their love, sent flowers, packages, cards, monetary gifts, donated to us,

shares images or quotes that makes you think of us and to everyone else who has touched our

lives in our greatest time of need…..we THANK YOU so so much from the bottom

of our hearts.  We wish we could do something more for everyone because I feel like a “Thank you”

just isn’t even enough to cover how thankful we are.  Just know that we carry your love in our hearts

every single day.

We were sent several bouquets of flowers

when Brecken came home and while we were at the Children’s Hospital.

They were BEAUTIFUL when they all bloomed.  My kitchen table was taken over.

Unfortunately, I never tended to any of them while they were in my care.  So they eventually wilted 

and faded in color.  But one day I looked at them and saw that even though they were dead, they were still beautiful

because they still held on to some of their color, naturally.  I decided to turn it into a little art piece and clipped the

heads of all the flowers.  I washed the several vases we had and chose one to put all of the flower heads in.  I think

it’s beautiful and I love how it gives off an antique feel.  It’s another way to keep everyone and our little

boy with us in our everyday lives.  Everyday I look at this vase I think of you all and then I think of Brecken

and that makes me happy.

Flowers1

Flowers2

*Remember, you can click on my photos to see them bigger* 

Facebook Helps Me Grieve

I came across an article a few days ago

about a woman who’s little sister died.  She talked

about how the use of the popular social media site, Facebook, has

actually helped her grieving process.  I can relate to that on so many levels.

Being practically alone in this uneventful state, I haven’t had too many options to

kind of put myself out there or to surround myself with all sorts of friends and family.  Talking

on the phone is one thing, but in person interaction is another.  I think, if it wasn’t for Courtney,

I’d go completely insane here.  But I needed more than just Courtney.  I needed so many more people

since I didn’t quite know what I’d need/want from who I’d need/want it from.

This kind of grief is an unpredictable one.

One day I’m happy, smiling, feeling nearly normal.  Then the next day I’m plagued by

nightmares, awful realizations and many, many tears.  One day I just don’t want to talk to anyone,

even my own mother and closest friends.  Other days I wish my phone was blowing up.  Thank goodness

they have understood my need for days of solitude.  I don’t think I could handle people taking offense

to my disinterest in them at this moment in my life.

Now, lets talk Facebook.

In the recent days/weeks of Brecken’s death I didn’t do much except listening

and watching.  I withheld from making any comments, or lol’ing on someone’s funny post.  I remained

on the outside while still hanging out on the inside. Logging on to Facebook helped me feel like

I was still a part of the real world since my own personal world was put at a complete standstill.

With time,

I began to interact.  At first I thought

it would be inappropriate of me to start cracking jokes again, or showing the world

I was having a good time.  I dealt (still am) with feeling guilt for everything I did for myself

that would make me feel good.  I felt (and still do to an extent) that I’m not allowed to be happy.

I’m not allowed to enjoy life without my little boy.  Any joy I have it should be because of Brecken.

It should be from my interactions with him, watching him grow, smile, laugh…

Facebook has allowed me

to reach out to any resource I would need.  It’s kept me connected

to many people in my life and it’s helped me to find strangers who share in

the same kind of pain that I am in.  I’ve made new friends, and have

re-connected with old.  Strange as it may be, I’ve found

 the most comfort in those who I didn’t know, or didn’t know well enough.

The only reason I can think of why that is, is because these people weren’t as closely related

to my pregnancy. Sure they ‘liked’ my progress photos or pregnancy related status updates,

or some not even really much at all.  But they were on the outside of it all.  Maybe it’s that outside

perspective that I needed.

I had always said prior to being

pregnant and even a few times during my pregnancy that

I wouldn’t know what I would do if I ever lost a child.  Ironic that I ever

even had such discussions, because here I am, dealing with the loss of a child.

I felt that I wouldn’t even be able to live myself.  Not that suicide was what I was thinking,

but I felt I would shut completely down from everyone.  I pictured myself knees up and hurdled in a

corner staring off into nothingness.  Physically, I may not be doing that, but in my head, I sometimes

am.  I can tell you this with absolute certainty that I think that’s where I would be today if it

wasn’t for Facebook to keep me partially sane.  I have hundreds of people at my disposal

whenever I may need them.  Even for the littlest of things.  There is great comfort in knowing that.

Here’s the link to the article:

http://thestir.cafemom.com/technology/153574/how_facebook_is_helping_me?utm_medium=sm&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=thestir_fanpage

A little PSA

This is going to be sort of

a PSA to anyone and everyone.  This topic is one I take

to heart as I personally went through it and endured the hateful, hurtful words

from three separate people.  Females to be exact with two of them being mother’s themselves.

The words they have spit at me have been replaying in my mind over and over and I just cannot get

over how anyone could say this to a pregnant mother about to have her baby.  All three females

(I feel uncomfortable referring to them as women because none of their actions have been worthy enough

to be deemed as such) are [were] close to us.  All three females are related to us.

Now let me tell you all something,

     when a woman is pregnant, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Sure,

there are all sorts of fun times, like when you first find out, picking out names, decorating the nursery,

finding out the gender, seeing him/her on the ultrasound for the first time.  We think about the happy future

we’re going to have and begin to dream of the life our child will grow up in.  But we all also have many, many fears

that roll through our minds on a regular basis.  Just because we are pregnant, doesn’t necessarily mean that all will

be well.  There are miscarriage risk factors and endless possibilities as to something happening to our precious

cargos in utero.  Just because we may have passed the typical ‘safe’ point, does not constitute a

guarantee that our child will survive a pregnancy.

 Just to be extra clear, all pregnant women are aware

of this!!! 

It is a constant fear we have no matter how good things are looking.

This is NOT something we need to be reminded of by others.

It seems, though, that

some people just don’t understand that, or the magnitude of stress a pregnant woman is under already.

Now, shockingly, as I said earlier, two of the three of these females are mothers.

Let me tell you about what these three woman have said to me in the last few weeks of pregnancy (and some

after Brecken had died)

We’ll start with female A. Mother of two, married, and pretty much cannot wait for her

own children to get knocked up just so she can be a grandmother. She had commented on my

Facebook status about my awesome results from my gestational diabetes test.  This test,

however, was not done in the traditional way that most pregnant women get. It was a simple blood draw.

No nasty concoction to drink for me! I was super relieved because I had this fear that

I would have tested positive.  I shared this joy with my Facebook friends.  But female A, however,

took no joy in it (as most things throughout my pregnancy).  She began to tell me how

the test I had taken was incorrect and that my midwives were not suited to be practicing.

Among the many things she had to rant about regarding the particular test I took, she also

began to tell me that diabetes runs in the family, supposedly my own mother had it

for one of her pregnancies and the risks involved of having it while pregnant (forgetting the

fact that I didn’t have it).  She went as far to say that basically, because of mine and my midwife’s

negligence, that I’m looking at having a stillbirth baby.  She predicted I was going

to have a dead baby.  Awesome.  Thank you.  That is JUST what I needed to hear at 30 weeks

pregnant.

Female B, mother of two, married and, well, that’s about

all there is to her.  At 31 weeks pregnant, female B, one day, told us

that I needed to stop seeing my midwife immediately and start seeing an OB at the hospital. (Why

all these woman  have something against midwives, I have no clue)  The reason for her insistence?

Because she had a dream that I died giving birth to my son at my midwife’s birth center.  Why was

she so hellbent about me changing my birth plan nine weeks before my due date over a dream you may

ask?  Because she dreams the future.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I’ll give you some time.  Yeah,

I’m laughing too.  This crazy person, wanted me to change MY birth plan because she dreams the future.

Thanks for predicting my death.  That’s JUST what I needed to hear nine weeks before my due date. Really.

Lastly, Female C. Single, can’t hang on to any friends,

and still lives with mommy and daddy.  Female C is also one of the two children of female B.  She

 had her own opinion’s to share regarding my unborn son.  She was one of the many who commented

on the same status update I made about gestational diabetes that female A had commented on.  Instead of

being in support, she felt the need to remind me (in my joy) that I shouldn’t get too excited about having

my baby, because for all I know, he could die.  She shared a story about a friend of hers who’s baby died

in utero just days before her due date and told me that I shouldn’t let go of the fact that something like that

could happen to me.  REALLY?!?!?!  really? REALLY? Really?!!

After Brecken’s birth and death, Torry and I have had to deal

with a lot of family drama- mainly involving all three of these females, plus one

of their husbands.  They just cannot keep their mouths shut in regards

to sharing their opinions.  Female C had the nerve to tell me, quote unquote, in a private message after Brecken had died:

“Here is me telling you I told you so. You think you know better than doctors and people that have

way more life experience than you do, look where that has gotten you.”

[In regards to Brecken dying, she was telling me ‘I told you so’ about the comment she left on my

status about not getting my hopes up of having a living, healthy child.]

What’s interesting about that statement she made to me is that it was because of Doctors interventions

that led to Brecken’s birth injury.  Not me, not my midwives, but the Doctors at the hospital.

But aside from all that, I just can’t help but think how sick these females are

to say such things.  I think that’s why it just doesn’t stop playing in my head.  I

just cannot get over how evil and hateful they all are.  And family of all people!

If there’s anything about Brecken’s life and death that has changed me, it definitely is

my level of strength in regards to dealing with such people. If I can climb my way out of

the tragedy of my son, then I can easily deal with and let go the major negativity that has been

lurking in mine and Torry’s lives.  It’s been a huge relief to not have any of them in our lives anymore.

When a woman gets pregnant, no one thinks about the fact

that negative things can and will be said and done to her.  I’ll be the first to raise my hand

of not ever thinking about this side of a pregnancy.  You could say I was a little naive to the fact

that there are cruel and hateful people out there that just cannot handle my happiness. I can’t think

of any other reason why someone like females A,B and C would do something like that.  What was

it about my happiness that they couldn’t share in?  Why did they feel the need to be negative towards me

and the newest member to join our families? I don’t think I’ll ever know that answer.

I hope with all of my might that something like this doesn’t happen to any of you who plan to have a baby.

Sadly, it’s inevitable for some women to go through it just as I have.  For those who  have,

I’m sorry you had to endure such negativity.  No expecting mother should have to deal with it.  None.

They Know

Seems hard to believe

that after two months there are still people that I know that

don’t know what happened to Brecken.  You’re reading this wondering how that is even possible.

Brecken’s story went viral and has been reached by thousands of people.  It did not reach, however, to the

very people who live in this complex with us.  The closest, physical, people we know and yet, they don’t know what

has been going on with us these last few months.

We aren’t particularly

close to anyone in the remainder three townhouses, so it’s

not like they all had Brecken’s due date circled on their calendars.  We also rarely ever

see anyone else and if we do, it’s generally in passing and accompanied by short, quick, half-smiles

and a quiet “Hi”.  Torry and I have been out and about many times the last 3 months and I’ve hardly seen

any of the neighbors.  The only one I’m close enough to, is our right next door neighbor, Jody.  She helped take care

of our dogs the first night I went to the hospital to have Brecken.  The last thing she knew, was that someone

else was coming to take over dog watch because we encountered complications and they would need a more

permanent sitter.

After Brecken had died, running into people that knew

I was pregnant but didn’t know what happened was one of my biggest fears. My chiropractor,

my OB/GYN, the Urologist, the tellers at the bank I frequent etc. were some on that list.  They were all

hard to face because all of them (minus the tellers) asked about my new baby and I would just look

at them like they had just stabbed me in the gut, twisted the knife and left me there to die a slow death.  The

looks on all of their faces quickly turned to match mine in fear of what I would say next.

Telling someone new about my

baby boy has not gotten any easier.  In fact, I feel it’s getting harder.

But one thing I know is that it’s harder when it’s unexpected.  It puts those who ask

in an uncomfortable position for asking and my spontaneous tears make my story difficult to tell.

Because of this, I wanted to be ahead of the game with Jody and beat her to the punch of the awkwardness.

I texted her one evening to ask when it would be a good time to go over.  She let me know and

we planned on later that night.  When she text me to tell me she was home and ready to have me over,

I grabbed the photo album Polka Dot Umbrella Photography made for me so that I could introduce

Brecken to Jody.  I sat down on her couch gripping the book.  She didn’t ask anything about

Brecken.  I started off by picking up where she was left off from our situation.

I began to tell her everything from the birth, to his NICU stay in Milwaukee, his diagnosis, and

our decision to bring him home.  When I shakily told her he had died after being home for 9.5 days she instantly

gasped, put her hand up to her mouth and broke out in tears. I was crying myself a little bit as I was telling her.

I then walked over to the couch she was sitting on so she could look at his pictures and ‘meet’ him.

I told her I wanted to tell her about everything before we ended up running into each other and having

her ask about him and getting the awkward feeling after hearing my answer.

Then, a few days ago as I was on my way

out the door to go spend some time with one of my closest friends, Courtney,

the neighbors in unit B were outside at their car.  Torry and I suspected something was going on in their

own personal lives as the mom was rarely ever there anymore.  This was my first time seeing her since before I gave

birth to Brecken. We said our “Hello’s” and proceeded to have small talk.  I hadn’t seen her little boy in a long time

and commented on how big he has gotten.  She then asked how our little one was doing.  I remained silent for a moment

looking off in a different direction trying to figure out the best, fastest way to tell her (since Courtney was waiting in her

car).  I just cut to the chase and told her that he had died.  She was instantly sorry

for asking and started making her way over to me asking questions along the way.  She asked if he was full term,

still born etc-typical questions.  I told her “Yes, he was full term, no he was not still born”-well sort of.

I then proceeded to tell our story in the shortest version possible.

  I couldn’t help myself from bursting into tears.  There was a sob that interrupted every other

 word I tried to get out.  My neighbor hugged me and as I started to tell her more about what

happened to Brecken I began to cry even harder on her shoulder.  I barely know her, but there was something

comforting about breaking down in her embrace.  I stopped telling my story for a few minutes and just

cried. She told me about how she understands not having your first born with you.  She didn’t experience

the death of a child, but she gave her first born, a boy, up for adoption when she was 18.  I asked her “Why?”

and she said that she wasn’t about to raise a child in the living conditions she was under.  She couldn’t financially

support him and made the brave, hard decision to give him up.  He may not be dead, but she understands

the pain of not having your baby anymore.  It’s gotta be hard knowing that he’s still alive and happy in

someone else’s home other than her own.

I know that over time, there will always someone who doesn’t

know about Brecken.  It will probably always be hard to explain why Brecken is no longer with us.

I’m sure it will get a little easier, but the reality of that pain will still be there no matter what.  I just can’t

see ever getting over this. I don’t know how a parent in this situation ever could.

It’s The Little Things

I don’t know what it is.

I can only chalk it up to be that the numbing state I

was in is now gone.  It seemed, in the beginning, that I was strong and

knew that I could get through each day as hard as they would be.  I felt that Torry was

crying more often then me and that felt sort of weird.  I felt that I should have been the one who was

more of a wreck then him.  It was a role reversal of sorts I think.  I was crying about once a day.  But then

I would go a day or so without doing it and I would think “Ok, my body is starting to heal”.

Well, not really. My everyday crying

 started lumping themselves up into one day  every few days and now I have a HUGE cry fest that lasts much

longer.  Gut-wrenching big globs of tears kind of crying.  I soak the top of the stuffed elephant with my tears

 and snot and go through endless amounts of tissues.

 (I now keep a box on the night stand next to the rocker in Brecken’s room)

Now I feel like I’ve transitioned into

an even more different stage of crying.  I feel like every little thing is setting me

off.  TV shows, pictures, songs, memories etc.  The other day I watched a three minute video

 of an embryo progressing through the stages of growth in the womb.  I cried watching it

because I felt like I was watching Brecken’s life before I gave birth. It was the only ‘normal’ life he had.  That hit me

hard because I’ve been struggling with the fact that his life was far better while inside of me and that hurts so

incredibly much that he didn’t get to really know his life on the outside.  I feel bad that this all had to happen to him.

I feel terrible for deciding that ending his life young was what was best for his overall being.  Just writing this

post is making my eyes sting

Yesterday, I had something hit me harder than most trivial little triggers

that I have been encountering.  I was browsing through the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s

Facebook page and came across a photo they posted of their Flight For Life team and the helicopter on the

roof of the hospital.  The stretcher in the picture is exactly what Brecken was transported in.  Most

likely that was the helicopter he rode in.  I never got to see the helicopter or his take off from the hospital.

Seeing that photo was like coming across a picture of Brecken I’ve never seen.  It instantly flooded my memories

of the night he was born and when I saw him in the NICU for the first time and when they wheeled Brecken

into my postpartum room on that exact stretcher, for one last look before he was flown away.  My god

that was a terrible moment for me.  My baby boy was leaving me on his first night of life.  It was

horrifying knowing something was wrong with him, but not knowing what it was and how bad

it was going to be.  I just kept thinking the worst was him having some sort of disability or impairment.

I sort of half laugh at myself now, as I write this, about that original thought.  What I would give

for him to have a disability or an impairment as opposed to permanent brain damage that left

him in pretty much a vegetative state.

Gosh, I miss him sooooooooo much.

On a little side note,

I have entered Brecken’s story into a contest on Facebook.

The question that all entrants must answer is when it became real for us

that we were parents.  I submitted my entry and voting has began.  Our story

is currently sitting in first place!!  But there’s still a couple of weeks of voting to go.

You can vote once each day until it ends (4/19)  I’m not sure if you have to ‘Like’ the page first,

but either way, it’s really simple.  Just follow the link provided, scroll down to the end of my story

and click on VOTE.  ‘Liking’ his picture won’t get us votes.

Thank you so much in advance!  Don’t forget to share the link with your friends!

Here’s the link:

http://bit.ly/10dSpMl

Here’s the picture from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Fan Page

of the helicopter Brecken flew in.

Flight For Life

Rocking My Way Into a New Reality

When I first got pregnant,

it was so hard to believe it.  I have wanted children since

I was a child myself, so when I first saw the two pink lines I laughed!

I couldn’t comprehend that I had, after all these years of yearning to carry life inside

of me, that I was going to be a mother.  Finally, my body was doing what it was supposed to do.

I spent my entire pregnancy

perfecting his nursery.  At first, the room was the spare room

storing the left over boxes I had never gone through when we first moved in.

(We found out  I was pregnant about 1.5 weeks after moving into our new place)

It was a chaotic mess of miscellaneous things.  Slowly though, I began to clean it up,

organize it and recruited Torry to carry out the heavy items.  Aside from what I asked him to do,

Torry had no part in putting Brecken’s nursery together. Torry recognized it as my own thing

that I needed to do by myself.  And he was right to assume that.  I was in my own little world in there.

Once I had the nursery set up

for the most part, I began to spend a lot of quiet time in there.

When I had the urge, I’d walk in and sit in the rocker with the boppy pillow

adjusted around me.  (It sort of felt like I was holding a baby)

I’d sit and rock in complete silence, taking in his room.  I stared at everything

 from the bouncer on my right, to the night stand placed at my left with the “Our Little One” frame

decorated with elephants waiting to hold a 4×6 image of Brecken.  What I mostly stared at though, was

his closet full of his tiny clothes.  Looking at that made it seem more real that our little boy would

be occupying that room and would be wearing those clothes.  I was so excited to be in there.  I was so excited

to be having a baby.  The more put together his room was, the more real it felt.  (You’d think my growing belly

would be plenty of reality to comprehend)  I always had the best feeling sitting in his room.

I always had the biggest smile when I would leave it.  Each visit had my heart filled with even more joy and

excitement.  These feelings intensified when my water broke and I knew I was going to be having our baby

within a day or so.

But now,

everything has changed.  The way I feel about his nursery has changed.

The way I feel when I rock myself has completely changed.

My mind, now, has to try and comprehend a different

future that doesn’t include my baby boy. That is the absolute worst feeling.

 I now have to wrap my mind around a completely different reality then the one I

had spent nearly 10 months planning on. Instead of sitting in anticipation with a huge smile on my face, I now sit

feeling slightly confused, my eyes stare out into nothingness and my heart just sinks into what feels like this deep,

dark hole that it will never crawl back out of.

The day I finally decided to clean

up his room after he had died, I played upbeat music to keep my spirits high because I knew it was going

to be emotional.  But the be-bops of the newest music playing on Pandora couldn’t stop the flood of

tears that fell as I worked my way around his room.  I had to stop at one point to finish my crying.  I sat

in the rocker, held the stuffed elephant we bought Brecken on the first day we arrived at the NICU and

cried.

The pain of losing a child is indescribable.

Torry had told me last night that it’s so frustratingly frustrating.  It totally makes sense to me.

We’re so beyond frustrated that Brecken is no longer with us that it’s frustrating.  We also just still don’t

understand how oxygen deprivation isn’t something that can be fixed.  We can clone something, but we

can’t fix brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. Our technology is so great these days that we’re hearing about

cases of people being cured of HIV.  So where’s the technology for the innocent babies who did no wrong

that suffered oxygen deprivation?

Our days are getting better to get through,

but going to bed at night is the worst.  He’s all we think about and when we are no longer

distracted by our everyday activities, we think and talk about him.  Sometimes we just stare off.  Out of habit

we ask each other what’s wrong, but it’s nearly stupid to do so because we pretty much know why

the other is staring off.  Our minds are engulfed with all of these “What if’s?”

For some reason, I have created a memory

inside of my head that has never and will never happen with Brecken.

 I can’t seem to let go of this image that plays through my mind over and over again.

It’s a short clip that plays and it’s just of Brecken at around 1-1.5.  he’s wearing foottie pajamas and

holding onto a sippy cup.  My view is from a 3rd person perspective and I watch Brecken jibber jabber

as he runs up to me in the kitchen while shaking his cup.  He says his name a few times in a row and it comes out

sounding like “Bekin”  I can see how his face has matured a bit and I can imagine what he would have looked

like at that age.

It makes me sad that I’ll never know.  I’ll never know anything about him.  I’m still

trying to comprehend that he’s gone.  I spent so long trying to grasp on to the fact that I was pregnant

and going to have a baby.  Now I’m spending my time trying to grasp on to the fact that I don’t have a baby.

Everything happened so fast and he was only with us for such a short amount of time, that his actual birth

is still something that I’m trying to accept. It’s like, “Oh hey I’m pregnant.  Oh hey I gave birth.  Oh hey, my

child died 3 weeks post birth”  All one right after another.  How does ANYONE comprehend that?

Until we have a new baby to rock in that chair, I will occupy it with

my tears and excruciating pain of the sweet boy I had lost.

Brecken’s Life At Home

I’ve  realized looking over my post’s

that I’ve failed to share the part of Brecken’s story from

when he came home from the children’s hospital.  I’ve gotten so carried

away with piecing my life back together as best as I can that I’ve lost track.

Brecken came home for the first time on

January 19th, 2013.  It was around 4:30pm-several hours later than

originally planned.  Of course, when does one ever get discharged from the hospital at the original time given?

We made it home in virtually record time.  Torry sped a little faster than what he normally does.

I never said anything after viewing the speedometer a few times because I knew why he was

going so fast: to get us home quicker to ensure there were less chances of something happening with

Brecken in the car.  Aside from that, I was a nervous wreck during our drive, not because of

Torry’s speeding, but because of the open possibilities as to what could potentially happen.  I

was scared to be alone, without any medical personal. I was scared that I wouldn’t do something right

and not be able to save my son should something go wrong or to stop any sort of suffering that may have possibly

occurred.  My mom was in her own car,

following behind, on the edge herself should we need to pull over for any reason.  It put a small

bit of comfort in me having that safety net.

To my surprise,

the ride home was uneventful.  Well, besides the bit of excitement I had

being in a different environment with my son other than a hospital.  I reveled in that entire ride.

I couldn’t help but smile seeing the sunlight touch his face while he sat there all content.  It

got too bright for most of the ride so I had to cover his car seat on the one side.

I cannot express enough

the relief I felt when we finally arrived in front of our home.

Bringing him home was what we were always supposed to do.  It just came 11 days late.

It was kind of chaotic at first.  Our house was a mess prior to giving birth to Brecken and we didn’t obviously

have anything set up downstairs for him to settle in to.  I was in a slight state of panic.  I was over

stimulated by the mass amounts of bags brought in from our cars.  I didn’t know what to do or where to start

to make Brecken’s life more comfortable.  One of the first things I requested was to have Torry

bring down the gliding rocker.  I knew we were going to spend our entire time with our son right in

our living room.   Brecken was never on a sleep pattern.  We never really knew if and when

he actually did sleep.  His eyes were not controlled well, so sometimes they’d be half-closed, one closed one open,

or both open.  So it wasn’t ever really a routine we needed to form with him to sleep in his own bed.

Once Torry brought the rocker down,

I was instructed to unbuckle Brecken and sit down with him

while everything else got taken care of.  My mom went on auto-piolet mode to start making sense

of the clutter we were surrounded by.  I couldn’t be more grateful for all the help she provided during

her stay with us.  We laid down some of his blankets on the one end of the couch and had

whatever small things we needed for him close at hand on the edge of the couch, the floor, or the

coffee table.  I also had Torry bring down Brecken’s lamp from his room so that

the lighting in the living room was softer then the lamp we already had down here.

Shortly after getting settled in,

a gentleman from Hospice came by to drop off the permanent oxygen

machine that Brecken would be on.  He taught us how to use it and what to do

should something go wrong.  It was an annoying piece of equipment as it wasn’t very

discreet in it’s sounds it produced.  All day everyday there was this constant motor sound going.

But, after time, we became used to it.

Since Brecken needed 24/7 care and watching over, Torry and I

had to do it in shifts.  This was extremely hard to do.  I wouldn’t sleep because I feared

Brecken would pass away without me with him.  My main requirement having him die at home

was to make sure, with all my might, that he did so in my arms.  We didn’t know when it would happen.

The palliative Care Team from the children’s hospital told us it could be days or a few weeks, but probably no

longer than a month.  I didn’t want a single minute with him to go to waste.

In the first day or so,

instead of going upstairs into our room to sleep, I’d make do on the floor in

the living room so I was close to my baby should anything happen.  I will admit,

part of my fear was not knowing how well Torry would handle suctioning Brecken. Eventually, my trust in him grew

and sleeping eventually became a little bit of an easier task. The floor

proved to be a very uncomfortable place to sleep, so I finally started going upstairs.  I’d

only sleep for an hour to maybe 3 hours max and run my days just on that.  I still have no idea how I was able to go 9.5

days with only 1-3 hours on average of sleep.

I just cannot explain the fear I had of not knowing

when ‘it’ would happen, so forcing myself to sleep was hard to do.  I felt somewhat guilty as well.

I felt that all of my seconds, minutes and hours should be holding Brecken and telling him

how much I loved him and how happy he’s made me-not on my sleeping.

Everyday, once I made my way downstairs to take over for Torry, he’d

make a cup of coffee for me so I’d have the energy to get myself through the day before he made his way upstairs for his

turn to sleep. Occasionally

I’d cat nap with Brecken on the couch.  I trusted myself to sleep with him.

Every morning the hospice nurse, Stacey, came by.  Amy,

the social worker, would come occasionally as well.  Two days after we brought Brecken home,

we had our amazing photographer, Danielle, from Polka Dot Umbrella Photography, take our family

photos, and Brecken’s newborn photos.  I felt my picture taking wouldn’t do justice considering

the circumstance we were in.  I cannot get over enough, how appreciative I was for her.  She did

our session at last minutes notice.  The photos turned out so beautifully and I literally look through them

all every single day.

Our 9.5 days home with Brecken were littered with

various visitors of friends and family members.  This was so hard to handle

because I wanted everyone to meet him, but at the same time, it was just

too overwhelming.  I couldn’t handle more than a few short hours with people

without my mind going crazy.  Most of me just wanted to be alone with my baby,

snuggling in peace and quiet.  My midwives came by for a few visits and post-partum care.  They

also put word out in their community of mamma’s about our situation so they were arriving with

food and gift cards to grocery stores etc.

After Brecken was born,

I stopped eating for the most part.  It was rare for something to pass

through my mouth of solidity.  My mom had to constantly ask me if I had eaten anything

yet in my days and my answer was always “No”.  She pretty much forced fed me as best as she could.

I just didn’t want to eat.  I had no appetite.  I was stressed and scared and also didn’t want to waste time

putting Brecken down to satisfy my own belly when he wasn’t eating at all.   The only thing I wanted

and craved was Coke & or Cherry Coke.  Because of my lack of eating, I had dropped all of my baby weight

and then some.  About 30 pounds total. (This has now been partially regained with slowly developing an appetite

back)

One of my other battles at home was weaning myself

from pumping.  I started pumping the day after Brecken was born and continued at the children’s hospital.

But, once Torry and I knew what our decision was, I found it to be very frustrating to leave Brecken

every 2 hours to pump for no reason at all.  I, stupidly and not knowing any better, stopped cold turkey

one day at the children’s hospital.  I paid for it later in the day with engorged, hard breasts and had

a clogged milk duct that was pretty painful.  My mom informed me that it’s something that I had to wean

myself from otherwise I’ll be in huge amounts of pain and could develop infections.

I was angry about that.  I was angry that I still had to waste time doing something that took my time

away from my son.  I also was producing so much, that I could have fed that whole NICU.  I felt

that it would take forever before I saw a decrease in the need for pumping.  It was definitely something I didn’t want to

be doing post-Brecken’s death.  I didn’t want to keep pumping for no reason after he was gone.  I felt that would have

been too painful of a task to continue doing. But, to my surprise,

the day right before Brecken died, I went without pumping at all for the first time.  And since then I haven’t pumped.

I successfully weaned myself in about a weeks time.  Granted, I still leak to this very day, as

I was warned by the lactation consultant, but overall, no need for pumping.  Thank goodness.

We had Brecken baptized on

Monday, 1-21-13.  I’m not going into major detail about that, as it

is a very sour subject for me.  It was something I didn’t want done with my son

and felt the pressure from other family members were to blame.  It angered me that it was done

because it was what THEY wanted instead of what we, as his parents, wanted.  It was a very short

ceremony performed in our home.  It probably only took about 15 minutes or so.  I took no part in it other

than holding him the entire time.  I said no prayers and didn’t do the sign of the cross on his forehead.  I was

too angry.  The priest left behind a candle with a glass holder and a baptismal gown Brecken never wore.

Everyday I watched my son slowly slip away.  There was

already a difference in him just after one day being home with him off fluids.  He began

to lose weight.  As if he wasn’t already tiny enough, he was even more so by time he died.  It

got to a point where I almost didn’t want to change his diaper because I didn’t want to see his poor

body withering away. But it had to be done and half of the time it was done with tears to

accompany it.  He was doing everything opposite a newborn baby should have been.  He wasn’t eating,

he wasn’t cooing, he wasn’t crying, and he barely moved.  As he began to lose weight he also began to

be a lot cooler so he wore his outfit, thick socks and he was wrapped up in a thin blanket to swaddle him and

then his thicker elephant blanket on top of that.  His head was especially getting colder a few days before he

died so I kept a knitted hat on him 24/7.  Because he was so wrapped up, I nick-named him my “Baby Burrito” (I rolled

my R’s and used a little accent every time I called him that) Ask me to do it for ya one day.  I love to say it =)

He often stared out.  It was as if there was no life in his eyes.

I always wondered if he really ‘saw’ me. Could he comprehend seeing another human being?  I had

no idea.  It still kills me to this day not knowing if he knew who I was or if he recognized my voice as I told him I loved

him or if he could hear the beat of my heart as he lay on my chest.  Sometimes, when it was my turn to watch him and

Torry made his way upstairs to sleep, I would sit with Brecken in my arms and just cry.  Half of the time I cried

so much it made Torry come downstairs.  He always feared that I was crying because Brecken had died.

Despite Brecken not being able to do a whole lot,

he still had a personality that we got to know.  For instance, when he needed to be suctioned,

he HATED it.  It made me feel so terribly bad, but at the same time it made me giggle.  I loved to see

some sort of reaction to something.  His mouth is what got suctioned the most, and that he didn’t

mind so much, but it was when we had to suction his nose that he reacted to the most.

That kid, the moment you put the suction close to his nostril, would start to move his head away

 and get this “No way!” look on his face -lol.  Once we were done suctioning, Brecken would always

do a really BIG yawn that included having his tongue stick out a little bit.  Brecken also hated

to have his diaper changed.  I think most of it had to do with him being cold and being exposed

to the air since he was always so bundled up.  He would start to shake a lot.  He was also the same

way the one time I gave him a bath.  I knew, because of how much he hated to have his diaper changed,

that he wasn’t going to like the bath either.  But I wanted to give him one since A.) he never had one since

he was born & B.) because I wanted to create that memory and do another mommy thing with him.  If

I picked him up and was moving him around to get him in a comfortable position to hold, he would,

as I describe, roll his eyes at me like “Oh my gosh mom, just get comfortable would ya?” -lol

Brecken’s life at home was filled

with so much love.  I don’t think a baby could have gotten so many

kisses and snuggles than what he did.  I feel like I didn’t kiss him enough even though

my lips were always attached to him.  For the most part, he spent his time in mine or Torry’s

arms.  Sometimes we’d let him lay down on his own because sometimes it wasn’t

always comfortable for him to be held due to his secretions.

There’s only one thing I regret not doing while he was home, and that was not reading him

any books.  Especially the very first book I got him before he was born.  It was a book I had

gotten when I was in first grade and had always loved it.  I’m sure most of you know it.

It’s called “Love you forever” by Robert Munsch.  Ironically this book was published the year I was born: 1986.

Even though I never read him the book, I repeatedly told him at the children’s hospital and at home:

“I’ll love you forever, 

I’ll like you for always,

As long as I’m living,

My Brecken you’ll be”

Love you forever

Enjoy some photos of Brecken while he was home ❤

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snug as a bug Snuggles1 Silly BreckenLooks like he's smiling

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Brecken and daddy

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P1080022 Laying on couch

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Nurse Stacey helping giving him is first bath.

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We had to finish is bath with him dressed because that’s how much he hated it.

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A few days before he died.

There aren’t too many pictures because I don’t want to remember him looking this way.

Brecken in hate up close Nickis picture

Hopefully Serving a Purpose

I’v been slacking.

I know.  I’ve been getting carried away

with other things and projects that I lose track of this.

It almost makes me feel like I forgot to take a pill.  My daily dose

of blogging.  I’ve noticed that I cling to the few things that make me happy or

give me a sense of comfort since everything that has happened.  I kind of feel lost and my days thrown off

when I don’t do what’s been keeping me going in the first place.  It reminds me of when I got slightly addicted

to working out a couple summers ago.  For the first time, I was working out on a very regular basis, watching what

I was eating but still enjoying the foods that I loved.  I lost nearly 15 lbs that summer.  I felt great, people were

noticing.

It was amazing, but I noticed that if I got carried away in my days or time spent hanging out with friends that I’d begin

to get worried and fidget.  For the first time in my life, I understood why people get addicted to working

out.  Not only does it feel rewarding to lose the weight, but the endorphins are amazing!

That’s how I feel about blogging.

I get fidgety and concerned if I don’t post one every day to every other day.  Blogging helps me

stay connected to everyone.  It’s also rewarding in that I feel like I’m serving a purpose.

I realize how new I am into this grieving world I’ve entered.  But I have loved

the couple of other mother’s who have sought me out for help.  In such a short amount of

time I’ve already learned so much.  It makes me happy to pass on what I have learned.  It’s half

the reason why I created this.  Because I knew somewhere, there was another grieving mother

like myself, feeling completely lost and alone in her feelings.  It is an instant connection

with that person who you discovered has suffered a similar, terrible loss.  You almost

already feel like you know them.  You want to hear their story so you can get a better

understanding of what you are potentially up against.

If my experience has helped just one person, whether it be to appreciate

their children more or to help through their own grieving process, then I’ve done my job

and this blog has served it’s purpose.

Currently, I’ve still been trying to perfect the art of couponing.  I’ve also

been working on creating a story/photo book of Brecken’s life from pregnancy, to birth, and death.

It’s going to take a long time to complete as I have so many complex ideas, but hopefully

one day I’ll be able to share the link on here for all to see.

My ‘lil peanut’s on the wall <3

I finally got some

prints done of Brecken.  On top of the awesome

free mug offer from shutterfly.com, they also offered me 101 free

4×6 prints.  I printed all of his professional photos and a few from my maternity

session.

FINALLY

some of my frames in the house can

have Brecken’s sweet face peeping through.  Thanks

to a brilliant idea from my friend Courtney, I have a beautiful display

of some of the memorabilia we have of Brecken. Prior to her suggestion, I didn’t know what to do with everything

because I didn’t want it to look like a shrine.

Torry’s brother and sister-in-law

got us a frame to have one hand print and one foot print on it with his name at the top.

Then I received the coolest picture frame ever from my friend, Lindsay.  And then we have Brecken’s

hand print molds created by the funeral home.  The hardest part was figuring out what picture I wanted

in that elephant frame.  Once I figured it all out, I found the spot on the wall where I wanted it

and put it all together.  I LOVE looking at it everyday.  I love being able to go into one of 3 rooms in our home and

seeing his picture instead of having to pull them up on my computer.  There’s just something different about

having the physical picture in my presence.

When we can afford it, I’ll be

getting canvas prints done of our family photos and creating a wall

display of those.

*P.S.  Incase some of you didn’t know, you can click on the individual pictures to view them bigger*

Big View of Wall Decor

I screwed up stamping his name 

and it ended up being off-center and slanting downwards.

Oh well. Nothing I can do about it now lol.

Handprint_Footprint Frame

Amazing elephant frame from Lindsay =)

Elephant Frame

And, of course, you all remember his handprints =) 

Molded handprints

Main Wall Art

Morning Glory

It’s still technically

morning in my neck of the woods, so this

post is rightly titled.  I just wanted to share that I got to wake

up with Brecken this morning.  Let me explain:  Shutterfly.com

offered me a free photo mug.  It’s something new they are doing.  So naturally

I made a mug with pictures of Brecken.  I have a cup of coffee everyday I wake up

and this morning I got to use that mug for the first time since it was delivered yesterday.

I also had an offer for free 101 prints.  So I printed all of Brecken’s professional photos in

4×6’s.  I have a wall decoration that will be shared in another post.

Back to my mug:

The quality of this mug is amazing.  It’s beautiful and with each sip I take I get

to see my baby boys’ face.

This was one of the happiest of mornings since

his passing.

I miss him so much.

❤ BTN ❤

*Since it’s hard to see in the photos, the quote on the mug says:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take

but by the moments that take your breath away.”*

Mug Part One

Mug Part Two