Saturday, December 31, 2011


2011 was a rough year to say the least. That doesn't mean there weren't great things that happened though.

It started off looking up. Nick was starting a new job after being out of work for 3 months. AJ was turning a year old and we found out we were expanding our family.

Not long after all of the excitement of those wonderful things it all seemed to start going downhill. I remember this guy on tv talking about how the world was going to end on May 21st. I felt like my world did end that day. I was blessed with the most beautiful baby boy born18 weeks too early. We spent a lot of the time after Ryan was born trying to get back to living and not just existing and going through the motions.

Now we spend our time making sure we remember, honor and love Ryan every single day. We're better people because of him. I'm a better mom and Nick is a better dad. I've made some new friends because of this. I've found a wonderful doctor who was like an angel the night Ryan was born. Changes have been made at the hospital to help other families who have to go through this same thing. Lots of money has been raised for the March of Dimes in honor of Ryan thanks to our very generous family, friends and even strangers.

As 2011 comes to a close I'm sad to see it go. Sounds crazy after everything that's happened, right? It feels like a new chapter is starting but it's hard to anything new without Ryan here. I've had to "re-learn" how to do things...and it's not always easy. We'll get through like we always do but it's not easy.

I pray that 2012 is a healthier year filled with a lot less tears. I hope it's filled with a ton of happy memories. I hope...

I love you sweet boy...forever and a day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


For a while now I've been saying I just want this year to be over. There has been so much pain and heartache. Now that we're only 2 days away until 2012 I'm having trouble letting this year go. I'm hoping next year will be a healthier and happier one but at the same time I feel like turning that calendar to a new year puts me farther away from Ryan. I guess it's a new chapter of sorts and I don't like it. It's been 7 months but once it's 2012 it'll be "last year". That sounds and feels like a lifetime.

I think the little baby boom that's happened around us lately has been sending my mind into overdrive. I've been having more flashbacks and have been thinking about the night Ryan was born a lot more lately. Today we were in a store and I saw a display of the small decorative flags like we have at Ryan's grave. I went through them all looking for a cute one for a holiday or occasion I didn't already have one for. Then we looked around the rest of the store and I found a few other little things for Ryan. I started to cry. I realized that the items I was getting weren't really for Ryan, they're for help me feel better. All I can do is decorate his grave and make it look nice. I can't go into a store and buy him a cute little outfit to wear. I can't buy the toy that I think he'd love. Instead I buy things for his grave and anything I see with his name on it. I sleep with his blanket and teddy bear to feel closer to him. I pull out the box with his pictures and trinkets in it. I usually sit there and cry missing him so badly.

I'm not really sure where this post is going...I just needed to write get some of this out.

I love you and miss you my sweet boy. Forever and a day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


There have been many days on the calendar that I've wished I could fast forward right through. Ryan's due date, the 21st of any month and Christmas.

I knew it was going to be tough. I didn't imagine the roller coaster I'd be on. The last few days have been a series of ups and downs and everything in between.

We've got a beautiful new addition to our family. Brynn arrived a little before schedule on 12/20. She's a cutie. I was a big ball of emotions hearing the news she was here. I was so glad she was a SHE! So glad that she was here safe and sound. Then I thought about Ryan. This would be the first baby I've held since Ryan. I should be holding Ryan still. I was nervous about seeing Brynn for the first time. I wasn't sure what my reaction would be. It's one of those things that no matter how much I think I can predict what I'll feel or what will happen it's not always so.

It felt so good to hold that little girl. That tiny little one. She fills a tiny piece of that void that I will always have. Holding her brings a calm over me. She's a sweet baby and seems pretty laid back. I like to think that when I'm holding her and she smiles that Ryan is whispering something in her ear.

Christmas eve and Christmas have been very hard. All I could think about was what we're missing. A part of our family is missing and no matter how many ornaments or stockings or trinkets we have Ryan will never be here with us in the way that I want him. I know he's watching but at the holidays that doesn't bring much comfort. The anger typically takes over. 7 months later and I'm still as pissed off as I was at the end of May. I don't know that I'll ever get passed it. Some days it feels like an impossible task.

Today I was trying to cook and get dinner ready. I couldn't keep my thoughts straight, couldn't focus. In the end it all came out ok but I hate that feeling.

Nick and I went to see Ryan this morning. We happened to be there when Ethan's mom and dad went to visit too. I was so glad to run into them. I needed that hug from Ethan's mom in the worst way. I cried my eyes out for a good few minutes and then we left.

We got a phone call when we got home that there was another new addition. Our very good friends welcomed their new baby boy. He came earlier than expected but is healthy and came out screaming according to his mom. I'm so glad that everything is ok with mom and baby and that he too arrived safe and sound.

I had moments of missing Ryan so badly and moments of pure happiness watching AJ play with all of the goodies Santa brought him. I could still hear whispers of people talking in the other room, no doubt they were talking about me/us. I know it's out of concern but I hate that people walk on eggshells when they're around sometimes. I guess that's something I'll have to get used to.

I'm not going to lie, I'm glad Christmas is over. The anticipation was there as usual and the days were hard but we made it through just like we always do and we always will. Thanks to my teammate for always reminding me that we're in this together. I love you.

To those of you who sent a nice message, card or good thought our way, thank you. I appreciate you all so much.

To my sweet boy - I hope that you all had a nice family dinner up there. You've got some great cooks with you and I hope they spoiled you like they used to do to me. I wish you were here. Thank you for watching over Brynn and Evan. I love you with all my heart, forever and a day. <3

Monday, December 19, 2011

Silent Night

After Ryan was born I would have flashbacks about the night he was born. It was like I was reliving it all over again. It would stop me in my tracks and I could feel the tightness in my chest. My therapist said it was PTSD. It started to happen less and less as time went on. Before tonight I can't remember the last time it happened.

I'm not sure what triggered it tonight. I was walking to put some of my chocolate supplies away. Was it because I was in and out of the room that Ryan should be sleeping in right now? Is it because Christmas is less than a week away? Is it just something that happened because I miss him every single minute of every single day? I don't know.

I was walking down the hallway when all of a sudden it hit me. I could hear myself crying that night. The sobs that I cried after the doctor said that there was no fluid around him and that I was going to deliver. It's hard to shake the sadness once it happens. I'm hoping some sleep will help and that tomorrow will be a new day.

As I've been sitting here thinking about that night one thing struck me. I never really thought about how quiet the room was. I had just had my second child but there wasn't the cry a new mother longs to hear. I can remember the nurses by the isolette talking quietly so I wouldn't hear what they were saying about Ryan. I remember laying there in disbelief and the silence was deafening. The only cry I heard was my own...not unlike many of the days since that night.

I miss you so much sweet boy. I love with all of my heart, forever and a day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New Friends

Yesterday I went to breakfast to meet with two other moms. It was so nice to sit there and be with them and talk about our kids. It was our boys that brought us together.

Ryan, Hayden and Ethan are buried next to each other. I got to meet Ethan's mom at the mass I spoke about. Hayden's mom reached out to both of us after that. We have all been emailing and set up a breakfast meeting. I can't even begin to explain how nice it was to sit there with two other moms and tell our stories. To talk about the good days and the bad days, to talk about the range of emotions you can go through in a matter of minutes and to hear them say "Me too". Those two simple words can make a world of difference. People will sympathize but until you've walked this path you truly can not understand what it's like, but they do. And as much as I wish none of us had to go through this I'm glad that they're there with me.

Our meeting was filled with hugs, laughter and tears. There's a connection there that some people don't have after knowing someone for years.

We've all found similarities and "coincidences" in our stories -- who had the same doctor or who's got the same names in their family. I'm not sure they're coincidences at all. As Hayden's mom said -- I used to believe that things happen for a reason and after all of this it's hard to believe that but I know that SOME things really do happen for a reason.

Our boys got us together. I know they're up there watching us, smiling at the good work they've done.

Thank you Ryan, Hayden & Ethan.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Funny Boy

I've told you how AJ makes me/us smile every day. Lately he's been hysterically funny -- and he knows it. He's at the age where he does things for a laugh. it's amazing what he retains and remembers. You don't even realize he's paying attention but he's always listening.

Have you seen that commercial with the people in the mini van that break out into Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train"? Yeah, AJ does that. One morning over the monitor we hear "bum bum". Nick and I look at each other "that sounds like that commercial". Next we hear "ay, ay". Yup, definitely doing the commercial. I don't even know when he's seen it or how many times.

He's a huge RIT hockey fan. He'll chant RIT every chance he gets. He's starting to know the other chants too. He even does the arm movement when "Jump Around" comes on at the Ritter. And now he'll actually ask to watch hockey.

Tonight we were watching Jeopardy. It's just starting the music is ending and the announcer says "This is...." and AJ goes Jeopardy! HUH?! When did he learn that?

Every day it's something new. I can't believe how fast he picks things up.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Birthday Wishes

I'm a planner by nature. I like to have a plan and try to stick to it. I like to know what's going on and when. Lately I've gotten used to the fact that things don't always go as planned. I never know how my day is going to be or what will set me into a tailspin. Celebrating seemed to be the last thing I wanted to do. I didn't know how I could celebrate and be happy when a part of me is missing. Today I figured it out.

Today I had one of the best birthdays I've had in a very long time. We had a plan and it went off without a hitch.

We had a nice breakfast all together, then we met Lauren and Cole and AJ went to spend the day with them.

Nick and I went to the tattoo parlor. I finally got both of my tattoos. I waited so long. I'm so glad I got them. I love them and can't stop looking at them. (I went to Physical Graffiti for anyone who's wondering)

After the tattoos we went to see Ryan. We spent a few minutes and then headed to lunch. We had a nice lunch together. We then met Lauren, Tom, Cole and AJ at the RIT hockey game. The boys had a great time and so did we.

It was the perfect day. I got to spend some time just me and Nick. It was like we were dating again! :) Then we got to have some great family time. I seriously could not have asked for anything more.

I also had so many birthday wishes...from Facebook to email to phone calls and messages. Thank you!

I hope this is the beginning of a wonderful year.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making Connections

Today there was a mass at the cemetery for families who have buried children over the last year. We got to the small chapel and sat down. AJ is at the age where he's learning if he does the opposite of what we're asking (ie. whipersing instead of shouting to hear his echo) he gets attention. The mass had barely started and Nick went outside with him. Nick ended up missing the whole thing. I felt terrible. I so wanted them to be there as I went up and lit the candle when they called Ryan's name and gave me his ornament. Sometimes it's hard to grieve while AJ is around. I wanted so badly to have that time to site and reflect and focus on Ryan and there AJ was causing a ruckus. It left me and Nick angry for a while but I guess it's something we need to learn to balance. Looking back we should have just gotten a sitter but AJ is usually good when we go out so we didn't even thing about it. Next time.

While we were there I was looking at the program they handed out. All of the children's name's were printed in it. I recognized 3 or 4 from the section that Ryan is buried. One name stuck out though and the family was right in front of us. I knew he was buried just 2 spots down from Ryan but there was something else. I couldn't figure out why I knew the name. All of a sudden it hit me. Sitting in front of me was one of the founders of An Angels Love. (I've written about the great things they're doing). I asked someone who was there with the family if that was her and she said that it was. At the end of the mass she introduced me. I was a bumbling mess! I was so emotional from the service and had so much I wanted to say it came out in one big jumbled mess. We did agree to go and have coffee one day so hopefully I can get my thoughts straight by then. I hope this connection helps me on this path. I hope it enables me to further help someone else going though or who will go through such a loss.

After the mass we went to see Ryan. It was so sad. Usually when we/I go there's no one else there at the same time. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen someone else there. Today we were all lined up in the front row staring down at our child's marker. You could hear the sniffles coming from all of us. Everyone was hugging. What an awful club to belong to.

There was another first for me today too. Today was the first time that I said Ryan died. I always say passed away and if I was talking to someone close to me I always said "when Ryan was born" or something to that effect. "Died" just sounded so harsh and final to me I couldn't bring myself to say it. Someone asked about Ryan and it just came out. I was surprised myself. A baby step? Maybe.

I've set up our team for the March of Dimes walk in May. This year it's the day before Ryan's birthday. I'm hoping to recruit some family and friends to be walkers on our team (you can sign up to be a walker and not actually walk -- you can still help fund raise) Ryan's Racers. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Ryan's birthday than raising more money for this cause.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not Feeling So Merry

Other babyloss parents will tell you that the holiday season isn't easy. Thanksgiving was tough but we made it through. The hardest part for me (other than people constantly calling AJ "the baby") was being so far away that I couldn't go see Ryan. My sister asked me if I wanted her to go. I jumped at the chance. She, her husband and my nephew went and spent a little bit of time with Ryan on Thanksgiving. She even was able to Skype with me while she was there so I could "be" there too. It meant the world to me.

Decorating was hard for me. In fact, it's still not really done and I just don't have the desire to finish it. We put up the tree and at one point I stood back and watched as Nick showed AJ how to hang an ornament. That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. There's a piece missing. It should have been that exact scene but I should have been sitting with our 6 week old. Instead we're hanging ornaments with his name on it and we're making a stocking to hang knowing that he's never going to be here to see if there's anything in it. I honestly don't know if we didn't have AJ if I would have decorated at all.

It's such a strange place to be. I want to be so excited for AJ, and most of the time I am, but then on the other hand I'm so sad for what we're missing. I feel like I need to be two different people.

My sister got Ryan a little Christmas tree. She even decorated it with lights and a couple of ornaments. My mom bought him his "first Christmas" ornament for our tree. My BIL and SIL also got us a beautiful ornament with Ryan's name on it. I got a cute little Santa ornament and wrote his name on it. Seeing his name always makes me smile. We picked out a toy we would have gotten for Ryan and donated it. I think these things will help me get through this month.

I miss you so much sweet boy. I love you with all my heart and I always will.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell anyone but this has been the hardest year of my life. I sometimes look back and still can't believe all that we've been through. What do I have to be thankful for? From the surface it might not seem like much...but there is.

I'm thankful for my health. The infection that was brewing for all those months could have easily have taken my life.

I'm thankful for the good doctors that I had the second part of the year.

I'm thankful for our family and friends who have been so supportive in every aspect of our lives.

I'm thankful for the social worker at Highland who has helped me in this process and who's allowed me to feel like I've done something to help.

I'm thankful for the on-line and in person groups that I've joined. Those ladies are amazing. (pen-pals included)

I'm beyond thankful for my husband. I know I've said it before but I seriously could not have made it through this year without him. 

I'm thankful for AJ. He makes me smile. Every. Single. Day.

I'm thankful for Ryan. My sweet boy who left too soon. My hero. The little boy who I believe saved me. The one who's made me a better mom for AJ. The one who's pushed me to get changes made. The one who's given me so much inspiration. No one else in this world, in this life will touch me as much as you have.

I'm thankful for a new year. A clean slate of sorts.

Thank you...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Six Months

How is it six months already? It's unbelievable how much has gone on in these six months.

I've been to more doctors and had more tests than I can count. I've had 2 surgeries. We finally got answers as to what happened. Changes have been made. New doctors. Better info for new angel moms. New connections. A new drive. We learned to smile again when I never thought we'd be able to. We've laughed. We've cried, a lot. I became a better mom. I'm a small business owner. We're fundraisers.

One thing that never changes -- I miss Ryan just as much today as I did 184 days ago. I would go through these last six months all over again if I could get a chance to hold Ryan in my arms just one more time. I'd study every inch of him, trying to remember every detail. I'd take more pictures and I wouldn't have let him go that night.

I miss you so much sweet boy. I love you today and always.


Saturday, November 19, 2011


I've been trying to write this post in my head all day. I was trying to find a way to be thoughtful about how this is all going to sound. At this point I need to just write it and get it out -- I'm not looking for comments about it -- it's just something that I need to say and I need people to hear.

I think about Ryan every single day. He's in my first thoughts in the morning and the last thoughts at night. I know for some people he's just a "name". I imagine it's hard to miss someone you never met. Him not being physically here doesn't mean he doesn't count.

When someone asks me how many children I have I answer 2. Ryan is always included. This was something I struggled with in the beginning -- I never wanted to leave him out and I don't want any of you to leave him out either. If it comes up in conversation how many nephews, grandchildren, cousins, whatever PLEASE include Ryan. I know it's not always easy to talk about what happened -- believe me I know.

If you're not comfortable doing it all the time please try to do it in front of me. I need to know that he counts not only to me but to you too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Bad Mommy Day

Yesterday was a bad mommy day. I know we all have them from time to time.

I was watching my nephew yesterday. We (me, AJ and Cole) were outside. We had gotten back from a wagon ride and were playing with chalk. We had been out for about an hour. The boys were both on the porch and I was picking up all the chalk pieces. I turned around just in time to see AJ taking a tumble off the top step and landing on his head right on the concrete. The sound was awful.

I picked AJ up right away and I could see he was bleeding a little. I grabbed Cole and we all went inside. AJ has a nice size bump on his head from where he landed and he's also scraped from the top of his forehead down to the side of his eye.

After washing it off and seeing it was only bleeding from the scrapes he was fine. Literally 2 minutes after it happened he was asking for a snack. He recovered a lot faster than I did. I felt guilty the rest of the day. I was so scared right when it happened. I couldn't take something happening to him.

All of this seemed to screw up the rest of my night. It made me think about Ryan so much. We went to a store and were looking at Christmas decorations when we got to the aisle with all of the "baby's 1st Christmas" stuff. It was like a punch to the gut.

Today will be a better day.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Here are our favorite pictures taken the other day. I'm really happy with how these came out. AJ got new shoes for the pictures and he really seems to like them. I think they're adorable. He looks so big to me. How is he almost 2?

We tried to include Ryan in our family picture. The blanket on AJ's lap is Ryan's. You can also see the blue bracelets. We all have them (Nick's is on his other hand).

Here's another one I love. AJ loves to drive. It might just be his favorite thing to do right now. If it's got wheels he'll drive it. This car is normally used for special promotions at the photo studio. Nick saw it and asked our photog if AJ could get a picture taken in it. He then drove it all around the studio while we sat and completed our order.

Look at that smile!

And finally -- my little man.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Picture Day

Today we went and got new family pictures done. We also had some done for AJ's 2nd birthday. I was looking forward to updating the frames in the living room but as today approached and it got closer to the time for our appointment I became more and more sad.

I remember sitting on the couch with Nick while I was pregnant with Ryan and looking at those pictures. "I can't believe there will be 4 of us when we have those done again" There are 4 of us but only 3 are in those new pictures. We gave Ryan a special tribute in them so he could be apart of them too. It was hard taking a picture of me and AJ though. I should have had a child on each hip. It's things like this that still really get me.

I just found this online and wanted to share. It was written about handicapped children but this part seemed to fit us...

When a child is born that will never achieve worldly success, cannot provide the usual source of pride for his parents, all extraneous reasons to love him fall away and what's left is the purest love that there can be. These children are lovable not because of what they do for you, and not because of what they will one day become, but simply because they are.

I love you my sweet boy.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I've been in contact with one of the Social Workers who work on the L&D floor. I first met her while I was in the hospital after Ryan was born. Then I called on her to help me when I couldn't find a therapist. She was so wonderful throughout those few weeks. After that I thought I would contact her again to see if we could help improve a few things for other parents who will unfortunately travel down this same road. She was so excited to have my input and I was glad to share it.

With her blessing and encouragement I reworked the resource list that they include in their bereavement info. The one that was being used had incomplete and outdated info. There were also so many great resources that weren't included. She had to go through the proper channels, but it was finally approved for use. This week she used it for the first time. It's so incredibly bittersweet. I'm so glad that others will have the info to help them but I'm so sad that the list needs to be used at all. That means another set of parents walking out of that hospital empty handed and broken-hearted.

We're also working on setting up something so we can speak to her boss. They are currently revamping their program for pregnancy/infant loss. We're hoping that hearing my experience will make a difference. Who better to tell you what helped and what didn't than someone who's been there?

I'm also going to write something about Ryan. I've been struggling with this for a bit. What a huge undertaking. I'm so excited to spread his name and have even more people know him but I'm so nervous that what I write won't do him justice. I want to do my boy proud.

I've so enjoyed being involved with all of this. It's given me something to focus on. I've gotten so much out of this...I only hope that the people receiving the new info will get something out of it too.

So to K., thank you for being in my corner. I hope this is just the beginning of progress and I hope this is something I can be involved in for years to come.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I'm pretty sure we all look for signs from our loved ones who have passed. They may even be there and you don't realize.

As a mother who has lost a child I find myself constantly looking for reassurance that Ryan is ok. In my heart I know he's fine and I know he's got family up there taking good care of him but sometimes it's nice to get a sign just when you need it. It makes this whole process a lot more bearable.

Last night my mom was working at the restaurant. They host a "Psychic Night" from time to time. Last night Theresa Caputo was there. She went around reading the customers for about 3 hours. She read some of my other family who was in attendance but never went to my mom with anything. My mom went up to her after she was done with the patrons.

Mom: Theresa, about my grandson? (that's all she said to her -- nothing was mentioned the whole night about the night Ryan was born)

Theresa: Oh, he's with your mother. She was there for the birth. He went straight from your daughter's arms into your moms.

Mom: Thank you -- and she starts to walk away.

Theresa: She's going to have other children you know.

Amazing. So much validation in such a short conversation. I so needed to hear that. I'm so glad that I'm lucky enough to have gotten that information. It's a huge comfort to know that on a night that was so difficult we had someone there watching and taking care of us.

So to my Grandma -- thank you for taking such good care of my sweet boy. I knew you would.

And to Ryan -- I hope she spoils you like she did me -- and be a good boy. I love you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It's funny how something so simple and innocent can send your day in a totally different direction than it was originally going.

Yesterday was a pretty nice day weather wise. AJ and I did a few things around the house, we dropped off an order from Little Dipper and after lunch I decided we would go to the cemetery. I'm trying to squeeze in as much time as I can while the weather isn't too cold and before the hours change.

We're in the cemetery driving to the section and I see something running on the open space to my left. Someone is across the road moving towards it. I think it's a dog. I'm figuring they had the dog in the car and it got out and now they're trying to catch it. I slow down as I get closer. I realize it's not a's a deer. This deer was having a good ole time running and prancing around. It was quite a sight. Unexpected to say the least, especially that it was two in the afternoon.

We get to the section and I take AJ out of the car. He walks right to Ryan's grave. He knows exactly where it is. Then some trucks catch his eye in the next row. Usually he makes his rounds to see all of the different toys but this time he kept bringing them over to Ryan's stone, as if he was showing his brother the trucks. Then he went and put them back (in the right spot!) and went and got something else from another place and did the same thing. I guess, in a way, he was playing with his brother.

We spent some time and then decided it was time to go. We turned out of the cemetery and I always blow one last kiss to Ryan as we pass the section from the road. AJ saw me do it and blew two kisses. Then he says "bye Ryan". Well, that was it for me. It's a good thing there weren't many cars around because I couldn't see very well through the tears. He blew one kiss to me and one to his little brother.

From that point on I couldn't help but miss Ryan so badly. Nick was working late and I was home with AJ. I put him to bed and was going to go and look at Ryan's stuff. I knew if I did I would most likely spend the rest of the night crying. I tried my best to distract myself but it didn't work. I ended up sobbing in the bathroom. Sometimes missing him overtakes me and I can't seem to anything else but miss him.

I heard this song on the radio today...I've heard it many times and know the chorus but today was the first time that I really heard this verse:

Lord make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my colors
Oh, and life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even gray, but she buries her baby.

This type of loss is so hard. You don't have memories to look back on. All you have are the hopes and dreams of a future that are shattered in an instant. Kristin is the founder of Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. It was one of the first on-line sites that I found after Ryan was born that dealt with infant loss (and miscarriage and still birth). She blogs to her daughter Stevie. This post of hers puts it all in to words that I can never find.

Everyday I miss Ryan, some days I miss what should have been.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writer's Block

I’ve tried to write this post a few times but I just can’t seem to get my thoughts straight enough for it to make sense on paper. I’m going to just write it anyway…

I’ve got babies on the brain. I don’t know if it’s all the babies that will be joining us in the next few months or what but lately that seems to be all I can think about. I want to have that newborn in my arms so badly. I’ve finally gotten to that point physically. I feel better than I have, literally, all year. I’ve still got to let my body heal so it’s out of the question for a while. That really pisses me off. It’s one last part of all of this that’s out of my control. I can’t do anything about it though so I’ve got to deal.

The weather here has turned to fall very quickly. It’s been gray and raining. That doesn’t make it very easy to go to the cemetery and spend any kind of quality time there. I used to go and sit for an hour. What am I going to do when there’s snow on the ground? Granted, I haven’t felt like I’ve needed to go and sit like I used to but what if I do? I’m going to end up with pneumonia and/or frostbite and Lord knows I don’t need either of those. The cemetery also changes it hours as of Nov. 1st. They’ll only be open till 5pm – there are no lights and it’ll be dark outside. I really hate that there are set hours that I need to follow to go visit Ryan.

Little Dipper has started off slowly. It wasn’t the response we were hoping for but as someone said to me “you don’t know until you try”. We’ll see where we end up as far as the gift baskets. I’m going to work on getting some holiday samples posted on Facebook and maybe that’ll get us something. I might also look into some local businesses to give some samples to keep in their shops. We’ll see. Either way we’ve gotten some orders and I’ll have a little bit to donate to An Angels Love. Hopefully it’ll allow them to get something they need to donate more items to the hospital.

Last weekend we went to the Al Sigl walk at Marketplace Mall. They encourage the kids who are attending to dress in their costumes so we thought it would be a great “practice run” for AJ to wear his costume. He wasn’t happy about it at first but I think once he saw other kids all dressed up and realized that people would give him candy he didn’t seem to mind as much. He makes one damn cute spider if I do say so myself.

Oooh! A lollipop! Maybe wearing this stupid costume isn't so bad after all.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My little hockey fan

Tonight was RIT's hockey game at Blue Cross. The place was sold out and a sea of orange. The game was awesome and was back and forth the whole time. RIT scored to tie the game with 9 seconds left in the 3rd period. And then it only took 14 seconds to win in sudden death OT. The place went crazy...and so did my little hockey fan.

AJ loves going to the games. He chants "RIT, RIT". He claps when everyone else does. Tonight he even started to do the point at the goalie when the corner crew does "it's all your fault!" He also learned how to fist bump tonight. With 5 goals in regulation we had done it enough. He thought it was so much fun that he would go down the row wanting everyone to do it just because he could.

I love seeing him watching all of the action. You can see him taking it all in. Who knows...maybe we'll have to get him on some skates next year (and lucky for us I know a good teacher ;) )


Today is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day. There was a wave of light going throughout the world. At 7 pm people lit candles to remember the babies who aren't here but should be. I wish it was more than a day but at least it's something. But for those of us who have lost a child you know that it doesn't matter the date you're always thinking about and remembering that child...and it's nice when other people remember too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A little of this and a little of that

I was told today that I've been slacking updating this. I've been meaning to do a post but just haven't had the energy when I've had time. So here are some ramblings...

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. We've been married 4 years. Who would have ever guessed that when we said our vows 4 years ago that we'd live almost all of them in just one year. Richer or poorer, check. Sickness and health, check. In good times and in bad, check. I can't express how much I love my husband and how I wouldn't have made it through without him. I can only pray that this is the toughest year of our marriage and all the years to come are happy and healthy.

Tomorrow (Oct 15th) is a rememberance day for miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. Light a candle, say an extra prayer or just think a good thought for all of the babies that should be here with us. There are a lot more of them than you realize.

We had our appointment with the high risk OB at Highland. She's the chief of the department. She was very nice. She met us in the lobby so I didn't have to go up on the Labor and Delivery floor. She read and re-read all of my records starting with AJ's birth. She concluded that I had chronic appendicitis. Some people get the fever and abdominal pain and it's diagnosed. Others get sick in bouts while they have small ruptures. I was having small ruptures and my body was walling it off creating the abscess. Every time I got sick it was another rupture of either the appendix or the abscess. The infection from this passed to the placenta. That's what caused the premature rupture of my membranes (water breaking) and the premature labor. Because of everything being so squished in there from being 21 weeks pregnant and having an abscess the size of a grapefuit it then involved my ovary and fallopian tube on the right side.

She said that there is no reason to believe that I can not go on to have a successful full term pregnancy as I did with AJ. They will classify me as "high need". They'll treat me however I need to ease my fears and anxiety during another pregnancy. Whether that means more sonograms of more frequent appointments they'll be there to support us during what will most definitely be a stressful time.

She also said that once I'm healed physically from this surgery that we have the green light. We'll see if I'm emotionally ready but it's nice to know that the option will be there.

For the first time I've had some hope. It was so nice to have everyone on the same page and all have the same conclusion. I'm not the zebra anymore. I can have that bit of confidence back that we will have another child here on earth.

Since that appointment it's been an internal struggle for me. Happy to know that we should be ok and we can have another child but so terribly sad that this seems to be "bad luck". No one seems to know what to say about it. It happened. There was no way we could have stopped it. But I'm having a hard time feeling like we lost Ryan because of "bad luck". I know it's just wording but it bothers me. I've been trying to find a way to say it better...although I don't know if it'll ever be better. Bottom line, I lost a son and that will never be ok.

We took AJ to the RIT hockey game last week. It was the first home game this season. He had such a great time. We even made it on tv! A few days later we woke up to him chanting "RIT" over the monitor. I can't tell you how much I love this kid. His words, his hugs, his kisses and snuggles. He keeps me going.

Little Dipper is back in business. We've sent out mailings and we're hoping to get some gift basket business. There's a possibility I might get some chocolate business too. We'll see! I'm on FB so go search it out.

So I think that's everything for now. I'll try not to go so long in between updates :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A sleepless night

It's 1am and I can't sleep. I'm having one of those nights where my brain won't stop. Maybe this post will help, but who knows.

Nick and I were laying in bed watching tv and he fell asleep. I looked over at him and he was sleeping with his hand to his chin. He often falls asleep like this. But for some reason tonight it made me think of Ryan. When Christa brought Ryan out to us the Monday after he was born he was wrapped in his blanket in this same position.

I'm missing him so much tonight.

We've had family here for the last 3+ weeks helping out while I recover. There have been countless times that someone has referred to AJ as "the baby". Each and every time that's happened I think "but he's not the baby". If things would have gone differently no one would be calling him the baby right now.

I miss my son.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My promise

Driving in the cemtery on the way to the section where Ryan is we pass a dirt pile. Some days it small and others it's much larger. No matter what size it is I always hope that the dirt that is there is not from a new spot being used in the infant's section.

Today when I went to visit Ryan the pile was big. I'm pretty sure it was the biggest I've seen it in the last 4 months. I pulled up to the section and took a deep breath. I looked over and there was the burial platform. It was all set and waiting for a new baby. This is the second one in about 2 weeks.

Ella joined the row last week. Today there will be a new friend, and that kills me. It's always hard to see a new child there but to see that platform there, waiting brought me right back to May 24th. The weather was very similar that day as it is today. I remember pulling up to the section and seeing that platform and I didn't want to get out of the car. I didn't even want to look at it. And then seeing Ryan's tiny casket sitting on top of it...

So now here I was visiting my son with this platform just 3 spots away. I couldn't help but be sad. I knew what that family is going through and what today will be like for them. I spoke to Ryan and asked him to welcome the new friend. I prayed for all of the children in the section and I made my promise again.

After my surgery Nick took me to see Ryan. It had been about a week since I was able to go. It was so hard. I made a promise to stay on the path I'm on. I made a promise to Ryan and myself that I'm going to continue in any way that I can to help other families who are going through this. I'm going to continue to keep this promise until there are no more new friends added to the Christ Child section. I know there's no way to stop that from happening but I feel like I need to try to help when it does.


I was on the phone the other night with a friend who we hadn't spoken to in a bit. He does a "25 days of thanks" on his blog. Nick mentioned that maybe I should do the same this year. But in talking with my friend I realized there's no need to wait. In a year full of difficulty and tragedy we still do have many things to be thankful for. That's a post to come...

And to that friend -- thank you for the kind words, I always know that you truly mean what you say and I appreciate that so much.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This is where I should be

I had two doctor appointments today. The first one was with my new ob-gyn and the second was the follow up with my surgeon.

I was a little nervous going to the first appointment. I didn't know what it was going to be like seeing that doctor again. The last time I saw her was the worst night of my life. She was so kind that night, so gentle. A little background for those who don't know the story: after we had Ryan we had many issues with the OB practice I was with. The follow up care we recieved was far from acceptable. I knew I needed to find a new group of doctors but didn't know where to begin. My sister was taking my nephew to his ped. for a visit so I asked her to get a name from that doc. I got the name of the group and made a phone call. There are 8 (I think) doctors in this practice with 3 locations. I called and asked to make an appointment. They gave me an appointment at the location I wanted. They told me which doctor I'd be seeing (I didn't have a specific name of who to see so I just went with whoever had an opening). Around two weeks after making the appointment Ryan's birth certificate came in the mail. It was signed by a doctor with the same name that I had the appointment with. I called the birth certificate office at the hospital to ask who signs them. The lady answered "the doctor who delivered".

So I had an appointment with the doctor who delivered Ryan and I didn't even know it. There was a sense of relief that came over me. I couldn't tell you what she looked like or her name but I can tell you verbatim every word she spoke to me that night.

So today was finally the appointment. She walked in and shook my hand and Nick's. She sat down on a stool and rolled right over to where I was sitting on a chair. She asked about my history (finally a Doc who reads them!) and asked about my most recent surgery. I started to tell her why I had this surgery. I told her she was the one who delivered Ryan. She looks at Nick and says "that's why you look so familiar". She remembered. She remembered that night. She remembered Ryan's name. She remembered Nick pulling her out in the hallway and asking advice on what to do. She was one of our angel's that night. When I broke down crying telling the story and how much she helped us in the short amount of time she was there she rubbed my arm. Just as she did that night.

This is where I'm supposed to be. She took the best care of all three of us that night. I'm pretty sure Ryan had a hand in getting us back together and I'm so thankful for that. I feel like I got another little piece of Ryan back today.

She said looking at my history and all of the strange ways all of this went down that she doesn't see a reason there can't/won't be another child in our future. She's going to refer me to a high risk OB for an appointment just to get an opinion on how long to let my uterus heal, for my own piece of mind. We're in no rush for anything and know we need to be in the right place emotionally but to hear that the option is still there is a huge burden lifted from me.

The surgeon had the same outlook for us. He said everything looks good. I'm healing nicely (slowly but surely) and he sees no reason not to have another child. He did tell us the abcess he removed was the size of a grapefruit. Pathology came back fine -- no cancerous cells anywhere -- just lots of infection.

Today was a good day. We got good news with definitive answers. It's nice to go in and have a routine visit for a change.

On another note -- today I was watching the news and saw a story about a pair of women who were making a donation to Highland Hospital. They were donating knit hats and blankets and angel kits to the hospital. These are two babyloss moms who want to make a difference. I commend them for what they are doing and sure as hell wished we would have had one of those kits when we had Ryan. I'm including the link so you can all check it out. This is near and dear to my heart.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Due Date

Today was my due date. In reality Ryan would have been born last week via a scheduled c-section but this date will forever be burned on my brain. It's been a day on the calendar that I've been wanting to avoid for months.

How can you not think about the future you were supposed to have on a day like this? What you thought it would be like to have 2 children here with you.

I tried my best to keep busy. AJ had a fever since last night so he wasn't his normal happy self. It's hard with him not being 100% and me not being able to fully care for him.

I decided a while ago that I wanted to go to the cemetery and have a balloon release for Ryan on this day. My dad and step-mom and grandparent's are here helping us out so they joined us.

It was a beautiful, clear day. We got there and wrote messages on our balloons and then let them go. It was amazing how far they got and we could still see them floating to the heavens.

I hope Ryan got our messages...

After we released our balloons the family took AJ so Nick and I could have some time alone. We spent a little while there with Ryan. Then we took a ride to the tattoo shop where we're going to get our tattoos done. I'd like to get mine as soon as I'm cleared from the doctor...but we'll see.

Here are some pictures from today.

Getting ready for our balloon release

Nick helping AJ draw his picture for Ryan on his balloon

AJ concentrating on his artwork

There they go!

I love you my sweet boy. I miss you today and always.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Four Months

Four months and here we are still dealing with my health issues. I pray with all of my being that this is the end of it and we can start looking ahead to a healthier me.

Four months and I still miss his as much as I did that first day, those first hours.

Four months and some changes have been made. Over $4,000 was raised for March of Dimes. The hospital will (hopefully) soon begin using the new resource list I compiled. Nick and I will get to speak to some administrators at the hospital to let them know what needs to be improved and why. We'll also meet with the social worker at the hospital to possibly include a letter about Ryan in the packets they give to other babyloss families.

Four months and not a day goes by that I wish that we were meeting him for the first time this week.

Four months and I've tried really hard not to think about the "what-if's" and the "I wish we would have known". It's torture and it still happens from time to time but deep down in my heart I know we did everything and looked for everything we could have.

Four very long months...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Best Medicine

Last night was rough. I ended up throwing up at one point -- not really something you want to do after abdominal surgery. They had to hook me back up to the IV fluids and give me 2 meds for nausea.

I asked Nick to come up to spend the day with me to help me out. I didn't want AJ coming up and seeing me in pain. My mom spent the day with him and he had a great time.

By the afternoon I was feeling much better. AJ and my mom came up for dinner. They were here for about 3 hours. AJ is always so good when he's here. He plays with his toys, hams it up for the nurses and just hangs out. After he got in his pj's tonight he was looking to snuggle with me. He didn't ask "uppa" like he normally does but I could tell he wanted to come in bed with me. I got a pillow and put it over my belly and Nick layed him next to me in bed. He snuggled up and just stayed there with me. That was the best medicine I could have gotten. My little man taking care of his mama.

I really must have done something right to have such great kids and a wonderful husband and family.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A New Chapter

So my surgery went well. They didn't have to do too much to the uterus itself. They found that once they got in there I had an abscess. It was affecting my appendix, ovary and tube on the right side. They removed them all. They said it could have been there for a while (and we know it was) but I never ran a fever. Always the zebra.

Recovery hasn't been too bad. I've got a pretty big incision. It's been pretty sore but the pain pump they had me on yesterday was fantastic. Today they took my off IV fluids and I've been managing on Percocet and Toridol. There was talks of sending me home tomorrow but we'll see. I'm not sure I'm ready. I'll talk to the doc tomorrow.

I do still have a drain too. It's gross but with all the nastiness they had to clean out of there they wanted to make sure none of it stayed behind.

I brought my picture frames with me. One of them is from AJ from last mother's day. It says "I <3 Mom" on it. The other is the frame we had engraved to put the picture of me and Nick holding Ryan. I've gotten so many compliments on them both. I've gotten to tell Ryan's story and it's been helpful through this.

I also finished the resource list for the hospital. I met with the Social Worker today and got to tell her all that happened since we saw her last. She was shocked to hear all of the issues we had. She asked if Nick and I would talk to some people here at the hospital to let them know what has gone on and how they can fix it. We'll do whatever it takes to help fix the issues here. I hope Ryan is looking down on us and is proud of what we're doing. I want both of my boys to be proud of us. I know I'm so proud of them.

I'm off to get some rest. I truly appreciate all of the prayers and good thoughts that have been sent our way. We finally had something go in our favor...I hope this is the start of a new chapter.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tomorrow is the big day

I've done my best to keep myself busy today. I did more today than I have in the last week. I did what an good Italian mama would do -- I cooked -- a lot. I made beef stew, white rice, egg noodles, chocolate muffins and an apple crisp -- and that was all before noon.

I also did 4 loads of laundry, some other cleaning and of course played with AJ.

I did all that I could to try to keep my mind off of tomorrow.

I did get all of your phone calls and well wishes and I appreciate them more than I can tell you -- but the more the phone rang and the more I thought about it the worse my anxiety got.

I just put the finishing touches on the new resource list for the hospital. I'm so glad it's done and I think it's pretty good. I hope it helps at least one family in the future. If that's the case it'll all be worth it.

Surgery tomorrow is 11:45am. We're going to the cemetery tomorrow morning and then heading to the hospital.

I'll update when I can (and I'm not too drugged!) :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

And a good Monday morning to you

So our plan today was to go to the hospital to speak to someone in person about the bill we received for Ryan. I called (at 8am when they opened) to see if there was going to be a manager or supervisor available to talk to. I found out the billing office is not on site and I would have to do this over the phone.

The lady on the other end of the phone (who I've spoken to numerous times about some of the many bills I've received this year) asks for the name so she can pull up the account.

Me: Last name is Ippolito

Lady: Patients first name

Me: Ryan

Lady: OK, so it's for the newborn?

Me: *total silence*

Lady: For the newborn?

Me: Well, that's just it -- you see, my son was born at 21w5d gestation...

Lady: Let me get you a supervisor

Me: (in the best sarcastic tone I can muster) Yeah, thank you.

Supervisor: Hi, how can I help you?

Me: Well I'm having an issue with a bill I received. It's for my son and at the bottom of the invoice it says that it's being denied because he's not added on the policy.

Sup: OK, yes I see the claim was denied in July.

Me: (chocking back tears) Let me tell you that my son was born at 21w5d gestation and didn't survive. He lived for 55 minutes (officially -- we know it wasn't even that long). Am I supposed to add him to my insurance for that?

Sup: I am so sorry.

Me: And I want to know why I'm receiving this bill almost 4 months later.

Sup: Well the claim was denied in July. I show that we sent something out then.

Me: No, we never received this. I would remember. I save all of my bills. I've been in the hospital more times than I can count this year and I'll be back for another surgery on Friday. I know we didn't receive this. I've been getting bills in drips and drabs. I only received the bill for my delivery 3 weeks ago.

Sup: I don't know why you didn't get anything. It does show that we sent it out. It does show a zero balance on that bill so I'm very sorry you received it.

Me: Well I just wanted to let you know how I felt when I got that in the mail. And I want to know what is going to be done so another family doesn't have this happen to them. We've been the example for many things over these last 4 months that have not been handled properly. This can't happen again.

Sup: This phone call will take care of that. I'll make sure of it. I can't even imagine. I'm so very sorry.

So needless to say her Monday morning didn't go as planned. And I hope that this does take care of this issue but who knows...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crashing Down

Today was miles apart from yesterday. I was still pretty exhausted but we had a good day. We went to the market in the morning. AJ and I enjoyed our empanadas. We did a little shopping too. Nick had to go to work for 10am so me and AJ came home and hung out for a while.

After his nap we went to visit Nick at work. They were doing an event and were having a bbq. We ate (AJ had a frozen custard for lunch). Then he went in the pool and had a great time.

After that we came home took an afternoon nap (I think I needed it more than he did). We were going back to Nick's job for the concert they were having, the last one of the summer.

I was waiting for AJ to get up so I was getting a few things together. The mail came so I was sorting through. Two more bills from the hospital. I can tell from the envelopes. I open them up and the first one is for me. $18 and change for bloodwork. Fine. The next one isn't for's for Ryan. My heart skipped a beat and my stomach sank. What could they possibly be billing me for? And why are we getting this almost 4 months later?

The bill says "regular nursery" with a charge on it. At the bottom there's a message "We are unable to bill this claim to your health insurance company because your child is not listed as a member on your policy." Then there's another sheet with the bill...

Dear New Parents,
Congratulations on the birth of your child! This letter is just a friendly reminder that your newborn needs to be added to your health insurance policy.

It goes on to talk about how you only have a certain amount of time to enroll...yaddda, yadda, yadda.

This was just what I needed to send my day crashing down. I sat there starting at this bill, reading the letter over and over. Are you kidding me? Does no one have a clue? This can't happen. This shouldn't happen.

I've decided I'm going to the hospital Monday morning to take care of this. I want to sit in front of someone and make them listen. I want them to see me and hear me. It's going to be one hell of a Monday morning. But I'll be damned if this happens to someone else.

After the shock wore off and I was able to think straight again AJ and I went to the concert. We met up with Nick and had a great night. AJ had a blast dancing and running around. We actually got to stay out later than 8pm! It was a nice way to end the day.

Tomorrow Nick is off (finally) and we can spend the whole day together. I think it's just what we all need. Back to our routine.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wake me up when September ends

Today was awful. It's right up there with one of the worst days in the last three and a half months.

I went in for my pre-op testing this morning. I was the first appointment so I didn't expect it to take too long. It was just bloodwork, chest x-ray and instructions from the nurse. After two and a half hours, having to tell my story again and waiting 40 minutes for a simple x-ray I was done. And I was emotionally drained too.

It took 3 tries to get the bloodwork done. I should have just let them go to the vein I knew would work -- stupid me for wanting to give my poor arm a break. Then I had to go to get a chest x-ray. The woman checking me in commented on my necklace. She asked if it was for my son. I said yes, one of them. She asked how old he was. I told her he would be three and a half months. She looked at me and said "would be?" I replied with a simple yes while looking her straight in the eye. She didn't really say anything after that.

I wanted to cry when I was out of there. My nerves are starting to kick in. Being there made it worse. I so want it to be over and done with but I'm scared out of my mind.

I had a therapy appointment this afternoon too. I cried the whole time. My anger has been really getting to me. I'm sad, yes, but lately I'm more angry than anything. I should be going for a c-section not a different surgery. People should be coming to meet a new baby and helping out, not for this. It shouldn't be this way.

After my appointment I took some time and went to the cemetery. I sat and sobbed the whole time. I finally got myself back in the car and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I screamed and yelled and asked all of the questions that have been plaguing me all these months. I felt a little better. It felt good to get it out.

My day was shot after all of this and it was only 2pm. My whole body hurts like I've been hit by a truck. I'm exhausted. I need the physical issues to be taken care of so I can focus on my emotions. It's too hard trying to balance the two.

I'm praying to God that Friday will be the end of this chapter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thank You

There are so many people who have been so amazing these last three and a half months. Our families and friends have been wonderful. They've helped with whatever we needed, whenever we needed it. They spread the word while we were fundraising for Ryan's page on March of Dimes, they offered to come up and stay and help out, they've offered financial support and most of all emotional support for all of us. These coming weeks we'll be depending on them all again to get through surgery, recovery and my should-have-been due date. I don't know what we'd do without all of you. Thank you doesn't seem like enough.

There's also another group I need to thank. It's a community you never want to be a part fellow babyloss moms. I've made a few new friends through this journey so far and I can't begin to explain what these women mean to me. Some of them are women I've never met in person. My pen pals and FM buddy mean the world to me. I honestly don't know what I would have done without them. I still count on them quite a bit and hope they know that they can count on me as well.

I'm also thankful for finding Parent Link. Just in the two meetings I've attended I've learned so much and made great contacts. I know this is something I'll be involved in for years to come.

I hope no one ever has to go through this but know that God forbid, there is a wonderful community out there of women who have gone through it before you.

So to all of you who have helped -- even if you think it's something small -- know that it all counts and we couldn't have made it this far without you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ryan's Stone

Ryan's headstone was placed on Wednesday. We've been waiting for it to come in for weeks. Christa from the funeral home called to let us know it was there.

Nick took his lunch break and we took a ride up to the cemetery to see it. It's beautiful. I'm glad it's finally there. It's so much better than the little temporary one they had. It was a bittersweet moment. It was nice to see his name but sad to see it there.

And here's a picture of all of Ryan's things...we've got puppy that Cole gave him, a ladybug (of course), his angel statue, his flag and another angel hanging from it.

You can see in the background some of the other graves. Almost all of them have flags and toys. If there was ever a "happy" place in a cemetery, it's here.

Oh, and yesterday before I went to the cemetery I saw my bunny. :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've been getting a lot of ladybugs this last week. I've had 3 come and visit. One of them actually smacked me upside the head (no really, it literally flew right into the side of my face).

Ok, make that 4. As I sit here typing this I notice a spot on the ceiling. I get up and look -- it's another one.

I guess she's been around a lot this week and I think I've needed it. It always makes me smile. I know she's watching and letting me know it'll all be fine.

I haven't seen my bunnies lately though. It's been almost 2 weeks. I know it seems silly but I really need to see one. Maybe she's filling in with ladybugs...but it's not the same.

I guess when the time is right I'll see one, it's just hard being patient.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I need a break

After a string of days that were terrible yesterday was finally a great day. I could tell from the minute I woke up it was going to be a better day. I didn't feel like I had that cloud over my head. AJ and I met up with Lauren and Cole. We had some lunch and did a little shopping for the boys. It was nice. The rest of the afternoon was just as nice. We played outside, the weather was perfect and we enjoyed ourselves. After dinner we went and checked out our new library. AJ had a blast. All the toys and books and other kids. We'll definitely be back there soon.

I think part of the reason why the day was so nice was because I didn't think about the surgery and I wasn't in pain from the mass. I felt pretty decent. You've got to understand I can feel the mass in there every second of every day. It's cost me so much. It causes me physical pain. It's a constant reminder of what I've lost and the uncertain future.

I know everyone is concerned and is trying to help and I appreciate that more than I will ever be able to explain but I need a break. There are other things I'd like to focus on instead of this thing.

So here's what I know -- my surgery will be Friday September 16th I don't know what time. I'll be in the hospital for 2-3 days and then recovering at home for a few weeks.

My mom is coming up Saturday the 17th and will be staying until the Friday after. I've got other people coming to help but I haven't figured out the schedule yet and I'm giving myself a few days "off" before doing that.

So please if you ask about it and I seem a little short don't take offense. Understand that this has been going on for months and I need a break.

EDIT: Of course right after I published the original post I get a call and they changed the date. It's now the 16th.

Monday, August 29, 2011

This sucks

Plain and simple. I don't know how else to put it. The last few days have sucked big time. I feel like I'm back at the beginning. I can't make it through a day without crying (usually sobbing). I'm exhausted. I'm in pain the last few days too.

As we get closer and closer to September it gets harder and harder. The surgery is looming over my head, my due date at the end of the month and new babies to be born right around the same time. Some days it's too much to handle and I fall to pieces.

I should be going in for surgery but it should be to deliver my beautiful little guy not having some mass removed. I should have family coming up to help with the baby, not because I'll be so limited on what I can do for myself and AJ. I should be so excited at a new arrival, not scared to death about the possibility of another loss.

I'm pissed. I'm so angry. So angry. I want to scream at the top of my lungs.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Good Day

Today was a good day. We all slept pretty well last night. The morning was easy. AJ woke up in a good mood. He got to watch Blue's Clues (his new favorite and the ONLY thing he wants to watch) and we played and did his on-line alphabet game. He took a nap and then we headed to hang out with Lauren and Cole.

We brought lunch with us and all had something. The boys played (read: fought for the same toy). I love watching them together. It's comical sometimes. We went outside and played in the dirt and rode on Cole's Big Wheel Bike. AJ loved that. There might be a bike under the Christmas tree for him this year.

AJ was tired from all the playtime and fell asleep on the way home. We had dinner once Nick got home and then decided to take a ride to RIT to walk around on campus. We brought AJ's red wagon and his pull-along puppy. He had a great time. He walked the puppy all around and spent a good chunk of our walk pulling the wagon himself.

We saw one of the Facilities workers that used to come and fix stuff in our apartments. Nice guy. Got a kick out of AJ. Told us we should have another so he can have a playmate. Nick did a good job trying to get him off the topic but he came right back to it. It stung but didn't ruin my day.

I know that I'm on track trying to get healthy again. I pray once this mass is gone that my body feels normal again. I'd like to be able to focus on the emotional stuff and not have the physical pain on top of it. I'd like to get to a point where we can think about expanding our family. I pray that we can do that one day. I know AJ will get his playmate and we'll have our rainbow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is there a "kick me" sign on my back?

I feel like there is...and I feel like it's been there for a while.

Last night was rough. I took something to help me sleep and I still coudln't sleep. Then I finally started to fall asleep and AJ woke up (and kept waking up) from the storms we had. In total I think I got 3 hours of sleep.

AJ got up around 7:15 and I went to put on Blue's Clues for him. The episode we recorded last night was about bringing home a new baby. What a way to start an already very stressful day.

Went to the appointment. My blood pressure was high b/c I was so nervous. They asked the standard questions. The doc comes in. Talking about this thing and the pain and he asks me if I'm breastfeeding. I looked at him like he was crazy, told him what happened and then looked away. I took a deep breath and sat there for a second debating if I should just walk out right then and there. Seriously people, you have me fill out a damn history form -- how about you fucking read it?!

After I got passed that we went over what our options are. I knew it was going to be surgery. This one is more involved. I'll have to be in the hospital for a couple of days. He's going to do everything in his power to just take the mass and leave my uterus as intact as possible. There's still the chance that bleeding can occur and I'll lose the uterus all together but that's worst case scenario. His number one goal is to have us go on to be able to have another child.

The surgery will be either the second of third week of September. I'll find out at some point next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Deep breaths

Tomorrow is my appointment with the specialist. I'm hoping for some answers. Good answers. I know I can't control any of this and I'm trying to be ok with that fact but it's so hard.

I was asked today if I was nervous about the appointment. No, I'm freakin' peachy. Of course I'm nervous. I'll take stupid questions for $200 Alex. This may be one of the most important appointments I've ever had and will possibly tell me what my future will be.

I'm going to apologize in advance for those of you calling to see how it goes. I know everyone cares and is hoping for a good outcome but I think, no matter what I find out tomorrow, I'm going to take some time for myself to process it.

I'm going to try and get some sleep -- I know that's not going to come easy tonight.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Is this thing on?

I know it's brain that is. I can't seem to shut it off. It's as if the calendar flipped to this week and it's sent my brain off and running. Thursday seems so far away and can't come fast enough. I'm scared to find out what they say. I'm nervous that they're going to have me go for more tests and drag this on even longer. I'm ready to be done with this damn thing.

I'm trying to keep busy. Tomorrow is the Parent Link meeting so that should help a little. Wednesday I have my therapy appointment and then Thursday morning is my appointment with the specialist.

When my mind runs like this it makes missing Ryan so much harder. It gets more intense. The timing isn't great either -- Nick is so busy at work. Sitting in a quiet house isn't easy. The quiet always makes it worse.

I'm going to try to find something to keep me occupied and distracted for a few hours....

I miss you my sweet boy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3 Months

How has it been 3 months? I've said it before and I'll say it again...some days it feels like yesterday and others it feels like an eternity. Today it feels like an eternity. I can't believe it's been three months since I've felt my little guy. Three months since I held him. Three months since we had to say goodbye.

Angelversaries have been hard (I'm not a fan of using anniversary when talking about someone's passing -- that word just seems too "happy") Last month I was a wreck the whole day before. The anticipation of the day was too much to handle. I felt like I was the only one who remembered. Then I realized that honestly it's just another date on the calendar. I don't love or miss Ryan any less than I did the day before so why get hung up on a number on the page?

I really tried to remember that this month. I'm sure the distractions of the busy weekend and my upcoming appointment took some of the anticipation away too. I made sure I took some time and went to the cemetery. I thought about him all day (that's nothing new). I spoke to him a few times and I saw the bunny in the yard that will always remind me of him.

So now, while the house is quiet I'll take a few more minutes, look at his picture, talk to him some more and shed a few tears.

I miss you my sweet boy. I love you.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Night Out & Making Changes

Last night Nick and I went to a friend's wedding. It was the first big event we have been to since we lost Ryan. I was looking forward to a night out with friends that we don't get to see very often. I also knew that I'd be "safe" with this group because everyone knew what happened and I wouldn't get the question.

One of the hardest things for me these last 3 months has been the question "How many kids do you have?" The first time I was asked that question after Ryan I didn't know how to answer. I was caught so off guard. I felt terrible that I hesitated giving my answer. I decided it was easier to say that AJ was my only child. I was in Wegmans -- did the cashier really need to know my story? Not really.

I got home and felt so guilty. I remember asking Nick how I'm supposed to answer that question. How do I answer without feeling like I'm denying Ryan? This point was one that I've been working on and is a question I ask other BLM's (baby loss moms) when I can. I think I've finally come up with a solution that I'm comfortable with.

Rewind to last night. I'm with "our group" but there was one friend of a friend. He was being nice and making small talk (not my strong point at all). He asked what I do for work. I told him I'm a stay at home mom. He asked how many kids I have. I got flustered because I wasn't prepared to answer. I wasn't in that frame of mind because I was with friends who all knew what had happened. I responded with "I have a 19 month old" and spoke a few words about AJ. The friend of a friend then asked if we're going to have more children. *sigh*

I wanted to say that we do have another child. I wanted to tell him a few words about Ryan. I wanted to tell him what was going on and that we might not be able to have more. I wanted to tell him that as innocent as that question seems and was intended, it's something you should never ask anyone. I didn't. I said a simple "yup" and walked away.

I took a few minutes, told Nick what happened and tried to push it from my mind. I didn't want to let that get in my way of enjoying my time at the wedding. We ended up having a really good time.

Earlier in the day I got a call from the Social Worker that I was dealing with at the hospital after Ryan was born. She helped me find my therapist and was there in the days and weeks after when I needed the help the most and couldn't seem to find it.

It took weeks to find a therapist and months to find the right support group. I knew I needed and wanted the help and was so frustrated that it was taking so long to get that help. Now that I've found both I decided that no one else should have to wait that long. No one should want help and not be able to find it.

I contacted the Social Worker hoping that I could pass along some suggestions for them going forward. Things that I knew didn't really work or could be done differently. After our conversation we agreed (much to her delight and support) that I would compile a new list of resources that would be given to new parents dealing with a similar situation. I'm so excited about the project. I hope it can make a difference for someone. And maybe this is the start of the path that I'm supposed to be on. I've got to believe that Ryan is leading me somewhere...maybe this is the first step.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Big Brother

Usually when I go to the cemetery I'm alone. I try and go when I have a sitter so I can actually spend my time doing what I want and not chasing AJ around. Today I didn't have that option and really wanted to go.

We get there and I take AJ out of the car and he knows where to go. At first he was trying to grab at Jaiden's toys (the little boy next to Ryan). I sat him down and told him those weren't his to play with. He grabbed the ladybug stick we have there out of the ground. No problem. If it'll keep him occupied it's fine by me.

AJ sat so nicely for a few minutes. I was spending time with my two boys. AJ was starting to get a little fussy so I asked him to give Ryan a kiss. He leans over to the angel statue we have there and gives it a kiss right on the head. Then he goes back to playing with the ladybug. I got a few more minutes out of him. And in those minutes he kept scooting back over and giving kisses to the statue.

As I was watching him my heart was breaking. I was picturing what I had pictured in my mind from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I imagined AJ coming up to the hospital to meet his little brother for the first time. I'd be holding Ryan and he'd come over and give him a kiss on the head. And knowing what a loving boy AJ is, he'd want to do it again and again.

I'm so sad that we won't get to see that. I'm so sad that AJ won't get to know his little brother. He'll know all about him but God how I wish he could have had the chance to get to know him.

The uncertainty of the future is weighing heavy on my mind lately. My appointment is still a week away and I can't stop thinking about the "what-if's" and possibilities.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I love you very, very, very, very, very, very.....much!

I was rocking AJ before bed one night and said "I love you very, very, very (add about 15 more very's here) much" He looked up at me with just his eyes, his head still resting on my chest, binky still in his mouth and said "very, very, very, very, very..." It was the sweetest thing. I'm pretty sure it brought me to tears.

He's been saying so much now it amazes me. One of the best parts of my day is waking up to him chatting to himself (or maybe the stuffed animals in his crib). He runs through a lot of the words he knows as if he's practicing. This morning he said "much" a few times. Last night we were working on that so he could get the "very much" down.

He also says his letters if we play the alphabet game online. He can say book, there it is, I did it, a clue (he's been liking Blue's Clue's lately), more, good, all done, oh no, uh-oh, aww nuts, oh man, bear, hi, bye, bath, sock, car, keys, milk, where'd it go, open, closed, ball, binky, help, up, choo-choo, thank you and so many more I can't think of.

He'll give you a kiss and a hug if you ask him (and sometimes unprompted). Lately he likes to put his shoes on and ask for the car keys. He's a funny boy who loves to smile.

He keeps me going. I don't know how we would have gotten through these last few months without him. He's been a great distraction and source of joy -- even if it's bittersweet sometimes. Sometimes when I'm missing Ryan so much it's hard to watch AJ and all of his accomplishments. It's hard knowing what we won't get to see Ryan do. But then I think that somehow AJ is living for both of them. I know Ryan is watching and having fun with his big brother. I just wish he were here so we all get to see it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm a Zebra

They say when you hear "clip clop" to think horse not zebra. Apparently I'm the exception to that rule. Nothing about this whole year has been "by the book".

I've been dealing with an ovarian cyst (or so I thought) since the week after Ryan was born. I went and got checked and they did a sono. Looks like a large ovarian cyst that's ruptured and is starting to heal. Here's some Percocet for the pain. See you in a few weeks.

The pain stopped before the next appointment. I thought it was gone. WRONG. Now it looks bigger. GREAT. It wasn't bothering me so they left it alone. Follow up in a few more weeks.

I didn't make it to that appointment. I woke up in so much pain one Sunday morning it landed me in the Emergency Room. We waited 3 hours just to get seen. They took more blood, gave me some fluids and did another sono. Oh yeah, large ovarian cyst. Follow up with your doc. They'll probably have to do surgery.

I was relieved. Not to be having surgery, of course, but to finally have an end to all of this. At this point the cyst was so big that I can feel it in there. It bothers me. They tell me it's probably a little bigger than a baseball.

I went in for a laproscopy on Aug. 3rd. I woke up from anesthesia to Nick telling me it's not a cyst. What?! Then what the hell is it? They're not completely sure but it could be a fibroid. So I went and had surgery pretty much for nothing. Well not nothing -- the doc did say that this is what probably caused the preterm labor. My uterus was in so much stress between this large mass and Ryan that it couldn't take it. So we've got the answers we've been so desperatly searching and hoping for but it doesn't bring the kind of peace I thought it would....but that's another post.

I was scheduled for another MRI. Even to the MRI it looks like a cyst. That's what the report said. My doc said if she hadn't seen this thing with her own eyes she wouldn't have believed it.

So now I'm scheduled for an appointment with a specialist. We'll go over my options. I'm pretty sure all of them are going to involve surgery -- I think it just comes down to if they can save my uterus or not.

I'm tired of not being in control. I'm tired of being on this rollercoaster. I want to have a say in something. I want to have another child. I don't want that decision made for me...

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Story

My submission from Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope

Our world was turned upside down in 25 minutes. It was actually happening for 5 days we just didn’t know it.

I was pregnant with our second child and what a different pregnancy this was. My first was perfect. No morning sickness just some fatigue. I loved being pregnant. I was so proud to have that belly. I loved feeling that little life kick inside of me. I had never felt better about myself.

Almost from the moment we found out we were pregnant I was sick. I was not quite 6 weeks when the first bout of illness hit. We all thought it was the stomach virus. I couldn’t keep anything down. I went to my OB out of concern of being dehydrated. They did the usual urine test and it came back fine. Not dehydrated. I was relieved. They gave me some Zofran for the nausea and told me to rest and drink as much as possible. I felt better about 2 days later.

We had our first “official” OB visit at 8 weeks. They did the usual exams and we got a sonogram to check for dating. The sonogram tech moved the wand and there was our little one. I could have stared at the screen all day. Our 13 month old was going to be a big brother! We couldn’t have been more excited. Everything measured great and was right on time. It was Valentine’s Day – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend that day.

At around 9 weeks my husband came down with Strep Throat that I of course also caught. It took 2 rounds of antibiotics for it to go away. Then about a week later there was another bout with the stomach virus. “Seriously?! Again” I thought. This time it lasted around 4 days.

The doctors started thinking this probably isn’t the stomach virus so many times in a row. “No kidding!” I thought. Maybe it’s the gallbladder they said. Eat bland and keep away from fatty foods. Whatever I needed to do to keep this from happening again. It was so hard being so sick and having to try to take care of my 13 month old. My husband had just started a new job when we found out we were pregnant and he had already had to miss some work to help me out. (I’m a stay at home mom and all of our family, with the exception of my sister, lives 6 hours away)

I stuck to carbs for weeks. Eat bagels and pasta – not a problem for this preggo! Too bad it didn’t work. I got sick again. They sent me for a sonogram to check my gallbladder and did blood work. The tests came back fine. The sonogram didn’t show anything wrong with my gallbladder.

The next time I got sick I ended up in Labor & Delivery (L&D) for dehydration. Even the small sips of water I was taking wouldn’t stay down. I was weak and this had gone on for 2 days already. They gave me fluids and I felt better after the first half a bag. I was given another medication for nausea.

All the while in between these bouts of whatever this was I was ok. Once it went away it was as if nothing was wrong. The baby always sounded great on the Doppler. We had another sonogram somewhere in between all of this and there was our little one bouncing around happy as could be.

The next time I got sick I ended up in L&D again. In the midst of throwing my guts up yet again I pulled a muscle in my abdomen. The pain from this was worse than my c-section recovery. I couldn’t get off the couch or out of bed. I couldn’t walk upright. The docs weren’t sure if it was a muscle at first so they sent me for all kinds of tests. I had more sonograms of my abdomen (while the tech was scanning where the pain was she started to laugh – there were baby’s feet on the edge of the picture), I also went for an MRI and met with a surgeon. My white blood count was elevated a bit and they were concerned it was appendicitis. After a week of terrible pain it was determined that is was just a badly pulled muscle. I was given some pain meds, a walker to help get around and was told to rest. My mother in law flew up to help us out. I could barely take care of myself no less my now 15 month old son. She stayed a week.

I was good for a few weeks after that. On May 11 we had our 20 week anatomy scan. There was baby looking great. Moving around and trying to suck a thumb. The profile looked just like big brother’s. Everything measured perfectly. Everything looked great. We left with pictures in hand on top of the world. I was so happy that even with all this illness our little one was doing just fine.

I had a trip planned with my sister to go see our mom with our boys. We were going to leave on Thursday and do the 6 hour drive. On Sunday night I started not feeling well again. I took some nausea meds and went to bed.

Throughout that night I couldn’t sleep and spent a good chunk of it in the bathroom. This time was different than the others…I wasn’t vomiting. I was thankful for that. The stomach issues continued for the next few days. I wasn’t hungry and was fighting to eat even crackers. I was having cramps but I thought it was because of the stomach upset.

I didn’t go to the doctor because this was the 5th time this had happened and there was nothing they could do. I stuck it out. My son and I spent the next 3 days in front of the television. I went from the couch to my bed. Whenever my son went for a nap I would do the same.

On Tuesday I told my sister I wasn’t going to make the trip with her. I still wasn’t feeling any better and knowing how this was in the past I knew I wasn’t going to wake up overnight and just feel better.

By Wednesday the cramps were a little worse. I was taking Tylenol but it wasn’t doing much. I also wasn’t sleeping. I was getting exhausted.

On Thursday morning I was sitting at the computer when all of a sudden I felt a gush. I didn’t know what it was. I ran to the bathroom. I looked and still wasn’t sure what it was. I called my husband to come home and then called the doctors office. They told me to come in. My husband walked in and we turned right around and went to the doctor’s office. I was still leaking whatever this was.

They called me in and had me do a urine sample. The nurse said she saw blood in my urine. She asked if I thought my water had broken. I told her I didn’t think so. The color of whatever this was didn’t look like amniotic fluid to me.

She brought me into a room to wait for the doctor. He asked what was going on. He did an exam and said he thought it was bacterial vaginosis. The discharge was probably from that and some antibiotics should clear it up. He measured my belly and put the Doppler on me. “Baby sounds pretty happy to me” he said. He also checked my cervix to be sure. “Long and closed”. I could have cried in relief. I told him I was still cramping and he said it was probably from the stomach issues.

Later that afternoon I noticed a little spotting. I called the doctors office and he said it was probably from “poking around in there” during the exam.

The bleeding got a little worse as the night progressed but I was also still having gushes of “discharge”. I figured how can the bleeding stop if I have all of this stuff coming out?

Friday it was still going on. I called the office again. At that point I had a few doses of the antibiotic in me and thought it would have started to help. I spoke to my OB on the phone. He told me “we need to wean you from worrying. You can’t worry like this for the next 20 weeks”. I felt a little more reassured but I was still cramping and still having the stomach issues.

As Friday went on the cramps got worse. I even described them to someone as contractions. I was only 21 weeks 4 days. I couldn’t be having contractions. I was just at the doctor and they said everything was ok. I need to stop worrying. Try and relax and you’ll feel better.

By Friday night I was in so much pain and it had been so many days already. I was at my wits end. I was in bed with my husband trying to figure out what we should do. I was trying so hard to avoid going back to the hospital. I got up to use the bathroom and I passed a big clot. My stomach sank. I came out and told my husband I needed to call the Doc on call. She called back right away and told me to come in.

We called some friends to stay with our sleeping 16 month old. It was 11pm when we called them. Something felt different to me. I didn’t know what it was but I started to panic. I was trying not to scare my husband so I didn’t say anything.

We got to the hospital around 11:40. I was wheeled right up to OB triage. A nurse came right over and helped me change. I was almost in hysterics at that point because as I was getting out of the car I passed something else. I didn’t know what it was. It turns out it was another clot.

She brought me over to a bed and got a Doppler. She scanned my belly for what felt like an eternity. She couldn’t find a heartbeat. I grabbed my husbands hand and started squeezing. She went to get the sonogram machine. She came back a few minutes later with the sonogram and a doctor. As soon as the doctor put the wand on my belly she couldn’t see the baby. She had to move it lower. The baby wasn’t where it should have been. I took a peek at the screen and I could see there was no fluid around the baby. She confirmed that. “I’m so sorry sweetheart”. She checked me and the baby was right there. “You’re in labor and you’re going to deliver”. I broke down. I cried like I had never cried before. The sounds coming out of me as I sobbed were so primal. I cried with all of my being. I remember looking over at my husband and apologizing. I felt like this was my fault.

They wheeled me into a room and my body started taking over. I had to push. With 1 push the baby’s head was out. The doctor did the rest. I wasn’t even on the bed yet. I was still on the gurney from triage.

They took the baby to the warmer. It was 12:05am when our second child was born. We got to the hospital at 11:40. In 25 minutes I felt like my world ended. I kept shaking my head trying to clear the fog. What just happened? How could this be?

A nurse told us the baby was alive but we knew it wouldn’t be long. My husband went to the warmer and came back to my side. He told me we had our second son. We held each other for a minute and cried. I was still bleeding and the placenta hadn’t delivered yet. They finally got it to deliver and I was ok.

I wanted to hold my son. My husband went and got him. He was wrapped in a blanket. He was so tiny but so perfect. 10 fingers and 10 toes. A perfect little nose just like his brother. His eyebrows were just blonde shadows.

Ryan Matthew was only 15 ounces. He was born at 21 weeks and 5 days. I’m pretty sure I was holding him as he passed.

We took turns holding him and talking to him. We cried. We prayed. About 2 hours later I asked Nick to have the nurse come and take him. I was afraid if I held him too long I wasn’t going to be able to let him go. I had a minute alone with Ryan. I told him I was sorry for not being able to protect him and I asked him to watch over us and his brother. Again I cried like I hadn’t cried before.

Leaving the hospital was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I wasn’t leaving with my son. I wasn’t leaving still pregnant. I was leaving with a memory box of things of my son. His tiny little footprints on a card, what should have been his hospital tag, a beautiful note from our nurse and a tiny hat that was still way too big to fit.

We buried our son that Tuesday. The days leading up we were just trying to prepare for a final goodbye. Every time I left him it hurt. It hurt so badly. I’m thankful for the time we got to spend with him (we were able to hold him at the funeral home Monday and Tuesday) but that time will never be enough. I should have had a lifetime with my son. We weren’t supposed to meet until September. How do you say goodbye when you’ve barely had a chance to say hello?

We learned once the pathology results came back that is was a terrible infection. It was in the placenta, sac, cord and fluid. The doctors don’t know how it got there or what caused it. They also told me there was nothing that could have been done.

In the days after Ryan’s birth I needed to do something to ease the pain. The worst pain I’ve felt in my life – something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. We did a little research and decided to set up a page for donations in Ryan’s name for the March of Dimes. In the first 24 hours we had more than $1000. We were shocked and amazed. We both thought “wouldn’t $500 be nice”. To date our family, friends and even strangers have donated more than $4000. all in the name of our son. I can’t think of a better way to honor him and make him proud.

It’s been 27 days and it’s been hard. I miss him every second of the day and will for the rest of my life. I know we’ve got a special angel watching over us.

I love you my sweet boy and I always will.