Here are some photos of TyTy. He's enjoying a banana in the first photo and is happily displaying his Anaheim Ducks hockey jersey in the other three. He loves hockey....loves to play and loves to watch.
Several people have asked us if we had (or will have) a memorial service for baby Kevin. Rick and I had our own personal, private service for him in the hospital. We decided not to have an additional service. Just wanted to answer that question. :-)
It's almost exactly a week ago to the hour that we found out there was no heart beat. Each day since we've been back home from the hospital seems to be getting a tiny bit better. As you can imagine, there are many different emotions I experience in one day. I get mad, sad, glad for what I already have, grateful, emotionally tired, lonely, overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of the support we've been receiving, and emptiness. I have all of those feeling several times a day. I have many crying spells but I'm not crying with such awful heart ache like I was those first few days and in the hospital.
On Saturday I had feelings of dread as I thought of Rick going back to work today. He had been off last Monday afternoon (when I called him at the OB's office) through the rest of the week. So far the day has gone pretty well. Ty and I went to Karen's and then Nicola brought Thai food for lunch over as a surprise. Sara N. is coming over later to learn the "ins" and "outs" of evites. Then Rick will be home at 6pm. Ty is actually napping and I think I'm going to fall asleep to Law and Order on TV.
I have learned an extensive amount about myself over the past six or seven weeks. When I can put it into cohesive sentences I would love to share it with you.
My heart is still aching for Rick because I just don't know how he's really doing. I'm an open book so I'm easy to figure out. Rick is more of a closed book. I'm worried about him.
I looked up the five stages of grief: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance
I don't know how that works. I'm way past stage one and I'm surely not at step five but I'm in a whirlwind of the steps in the middle. I'm not "bargaining" much but I am totally angry and there certainly is a lot of depression going on. One of my coping mechanisms is to play point/counterpoint in my mind. It works pretty well almost all of the time. The counterpoint is a way I remind myself of how things could be a lot worse. Well, I'm ticked off and don't feeling like playing the game. I need to let myself be angry and stop downplaying it. Yes, it could be worse but it sure the heck could be better.
I am angry because: I lost my baby. I have not been able to give Tyler a sibling. I've had 3 miscarriages. My husband has been caused such angst. Tyler's world has been negatively affected over the past several weeks. That family on the Discovery channel has 18 kids and all I'm asking for is 2. That stupid woman in CA has all of those kids via IVF because of her own selfishness. The labor and delivery hurt so !#%ing badly and FOR WHAT? I had a death in my family only three years ago and now we have another one. Kevin body is in 'limbo' because he had to go to a different hospital for testings and has not been able to cremated yet. It makes me sick to my stomach.
I am angry and I'm not going to counterpoint it for now. I'm numb and the only thing that will take that away is time. However, I do not buy into "Time heals all wounds." I think that time aids us to live our lives but traumatic things that have happened to us are embedded in our minds the way a tattoo is drawn onto skin.
I also feel that anger is simply a more robust version of sadness. Sadness undergirds anger.
Yet, I still feel grateful. And that's not even a counterpoint.
UPDATE 10:30am Friday Rick and I have an appointment at McEwen Funeral Home at noon. They picked little Kevin up last night. We will go in to sign paperwork and pick out his urn. They have ones for infants. :-)
We are back from the hospital. Gone a bit shy of 24 hours. I delivered baby Kevin at about 2:30pm. The labor hurt quite badly, more than Tyler's labor, and I didn't have any pain medication with Tyler. I had some kind of narcotic through my IV to help with the pain of Kevin's labor but interestingly enough it didn't help with the pain; it just made me sleepy.
He was a tiny baby, at zero pounds 13 ounces and 10 inches.
My wish was to hold him, touch his skin, and look at him. I will try to phrase this as respectfully as possible....I did not look at him or touch his skin. I held him completely covered up in a blanket. Kevin was not really viewable. Rick saw Kevin as he was being born and I could tell from the look on Rick's face that something was terribly wrong with the baby's appearance. Later we discussed it and Rick told me that for my own sake it may not be advisable for me to view Kevin.
I held Kevin and caressed the blanket he was wrapped up in. Rick and I prayed over him and I read a few psalms. This was a horribly difficult day but I can also say that it was a beautiful day. I got to spend time with my baby. Mommy loves you, little Kevin Joshua Burns.
Kevin, you never truly belonged to me. You belong to God. God let me keep you for a little while and you have returned to Him. This shall not go on forever for I'll join God, too, and will reside also with you.
I'm sorry that I was not able to call everyone but here is the news:
There was no heart beat at the OB's office today. I'm checking into the hospital at 10pm tonight and they will get things started so that labor will begin. Of course, Rick will be with me. Someone is going to stay the night at our house and Kathryn is picking Tyler up in the morning. The midwife said that I won't be in the hospital for very long, like not even 24 hours total.
We don't know exactly when the baby passed away. My best guess is that it was within the past 48-72 hours. I went to the OB exactly 2 weeks ago and there was a heart beat then. I suppose it could have happened anytime between then this morning. Last night my instincts something told me that something just wasn't right. But I've been wrong in the past so I didn't put too much faith into my suspicion.
Well, I just don't know what to make of this. I know that pregnancy symptoms can change and disappear but something funky is going on: my breasts are not tender (but have been through out the entire pregnancy) the tiny skin tag that I had on my neck is gone (I had a couple of little skin tags when I was pregnant with Tyler that disappeared shortly after I gave birth), I have not felt the baby move in about 2 days (not that I felt him a lot anyway), and my belly area isn't as hard and appears to be a bit smaller.
I called the nurse at the OB's office and she said to come in. She said that all of the things I mentioned could likely mean nothing but she wants to ease my mind. I just feel like the kid who cried wolf because I've been to the OB 2 or 3 times in the past month with what I thought were problems. Everything was fine.
Tyler is at school and I've just spend the past 1 1/2 hours rocking out and organizing/cleaning. (I know that's not very long but remember that I tire quickly from being pregnant!) It doesn't get much better than that. I'm listening to XM radio, alternating between Hits of the 80's and Hits of the 90's. It's up loud. Why don't I do this more often? Awesome music always makes cleaning and organizing better. I think I'll rest for a little while and the rock out some more while I clean the floor. Like nice weather, good music is like free prozac for me. :-)
Over the past several days the weather has been like free prozac. My spirits have been lifted! I know we're supposed to have rainy, yucky weather over the next few (several ?) days but I am savoring what we currently have.
I also decided to cut back on my OB and therapist's visits. I was going to the OB each week for a heartbeat check and the therapist every two weeks. I never needed to go to the OB each week but Dr. Phillips (whom originally I disliked but now I like) said I was welcome to come in if I felt it would make me feel better. I thought it would but I think it made things worse. It's a bit difficult for me to be around so many pregnant women in the office and in the hallways.
As far as the therapist goes, I think anyone can benefit from therapy but I'm kind of all talked out for a while. I think I'll just go once a month for now. I can always increase the visits if needed.
Physically, I'm still tired and crampy. What helps is to not to sit or stand for very long. I try to alternate frequently. I went to bed without taking an Ambien last night for the first time in several weeks. I didn't sleep much. Even though the doctor says Ambien is not addictive or bad for the baby I don't feel right about taking is so often.
I'm 23 weeks along and am showing. I received my first pregnant belly feel/pat from a friend today. It was kind of cute. She said, "Hi, Kevin." I still don't feel him move very often. Tyler was moving like gangbusters by this point. I actually feel semi-normal emotionally. I had been a mess for about a month but now it's like the sadness has lifted somewhat.
Granted, this is how I've been feeling over the past few days. It's always subject to change but for now it's wonderful.
Rick spent a large part of yesterday putting together most of Tyler's play set. We still have three pieces to go: see-saw, picnic table, and sandbox. The two biggest parts are finished which are the play house and the swing set. Here are some pictures.
Please ignore the patchy grass. Hopefully Charlotte won't be on water restrictions this summer.
I love my child. He is the most wonderful person. I never knew how much I could love a person until I gave birth.
All that being said, I have a few questions: 1. Why do my hands continue to smell like poop from cleaning his bottom even after I've carefully washed my hands with soap? Yes, this is gross but it is true. 2. How does one little kid manage to have six thousand crayons? 3. Is there ever enough juice (so sugar added) in our house? 4. How in the world can the horizontal blinds that cover the sliding glass door get THAT dirty? They were clean with it was just me and Rick! 5. When is the dog going to back her bags and move out because she's tired of being beat up by a 3 year old? (Who am I kidding? She loves it.) 6. Why does toothpaste taste so good and when will I learn that I need to lock it up? 7. What bribery (ummm, I mean positive reinforcement)method will work best in order to get him to use the potty? What will I do with all of the money I'll save by not buying diapers? 8. How do I convince him that the cat does not share his sense of humor and that pulling his tail is not funny? 9.How is it that he is so darn cute?
Over and over I allow myself to be disappointed by my dad. I consider myself to be a semi-intelligent person yet I am daft when it comes to my father. It isn't his fault, really, he is a narcissist and for some reason he has not evolved past that. I grew up totally without him and for many years I blamed myself, like if I would have been a better kid he would want to be around me. Fortunately, by the grace of God, I evolved past that line of thinking. I figured out several years ago that God was indeed doing me a favor by having me raised by just my mom. And for those of you who are privy to the relationship me mom and I had, I'm darn lucky I didn't turn out to be more messed up than I already am. Hey, at least I can laugh about it.
I told my dad about the Trisomy 13 situation the day after I found out. I said that I'd call him if I had any updates. But I never said, "Don't call me; I'll call you," or anything like that. His girlfriend sent me a card expressing how sorry she was for the situation my baby is in a few weeks back. Dad didn't sign it, which that alone is not a big deal. On the flip side, he never called to see how I'm doing. Not for an entire month.
I finally heard from him today. He left me a phone message saying that he had not heard from me in a month. What do I expect, he's a narcissist? I called him back and he did ask how I'm doing. I told him that I'm not doing very well. I told him that Rick is not doing very well either. He said he was sorry to hear that. He then said, "Well, I have not heard from you in a month and I didn't call you because I figured you were busy." Huh.
Why does this surprise me?
How is it that people I hardly know have extended a huge amount of concern for me and Rick and my own father acts like this? Now I have a decision to make....do I let my dad's lack of showing of concern eat me up or do I concentrate on how thankful I am for all of the lovely support I've been receiving? I feel really blessed for all positive things that have happened to me in the past month, particularly the prayers. I don't know why it surprises me that one of those blessings has not been my own father.
As much as I disliked my mom (I did love her, though) she would have been there for me. \
Hmmm, now I think I'm starting to sound like a narcissist.
It would appear that I have taken a small break from my 'mental hell' tonight! Rick and I have been totally back to our old selves, busy being our old stupid selves. This is part of the reason why we fell in love with each other. We're both completely off our rockers and a lot of people don't get it BUT we get each other. I admit that over the years the stupid Rick and Jen come out less and less, which really is a shame because we get such a kick out of it. You are probably wondering what we do. Don't be afraid, it's not that bad. It's not stuff that you'd find funny; you'd just say, "Oh my gosh, those two are crazy!" But we like it. We need to be stupid more often! Poor Tyler. He's going to be one of those kids who brings his friends home and says, "Just ignore my parents. They're a little kooky!"
Tyler LOVES hockey. It's so cute. He and Daddy play hockey every day in the garage or in the family room. They watch hockey games and Ty likes it when Daddy plays hockey on the XBox. By the way, Ty is actually pretty good and is coordinated. When he makes a goal he'll exclaim "score"! He will also use a baseball bat as a hockey stick. I like his creativity. Here are some photos:
Rick and I have been married since July of 2001. We have two sons and one daughter: Tyler, born in November of 2005, Corey, born in March of 2010 and Violet, born in October of 2011 Originally, Rick is from NY and I'm from OH but we moved to Charlotte in 2007 from Phoenix.