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Friday, May 12, 2006

Difficult day

Drew's been gone almost 1 month yet it feels like just a day and forever at the same time.

I did two things today that really upset me.

The first thing that I did was go finalize our order and pay for Drew's headstone. We should have a more detailed sketch from the artist in about 10-12 days and then it will be about 6-8 weeks before it's installed. I'm glad that we've put in our order because I don't like Drew only having a temporary marker. But at the same time, it makes things so final. This was really the last thing that we needed to do for our son. :( The last thing that we COULD do for him. I've posted a picture of the front of the marker but here's how the back will look:



There is room for the names of any additional children that we may have in the future. There will also be a vase attached to the base. It will look very nice--clean and simple.

The second thing that I did was go back to Children's Hospital. That was very difficult, I knew that it would be but it was even harder than I had anticipated. Just driving there caused a panic attack but I was determined to go through with it. Elizabeth was so happy to be there, it's a place where she spent quite a bit of time. She was a bit disappointed because none of the helicopters were there but she got to go down to Aikman's End Zone again. There was a young boy about 8 years old in the End Zone who overheard me telling the director that our son had died. He was asking me all sorts of questions about Drew and his condition. I know that he was just curious and I answered his questions and held it together but it was hard.

In the elevator going up to the 5th floor (where the NICU Drew was in is located), I almost lost it. I just went up to the window and gave the lady at the desk what I wanted to drop off--just some personal thank yous for the doctors, nurses and staff. I didn't even attempt to go inside; I had no reason to go in the back other than to see if some of the nurses were there but at that point, I just needed to get out of the building. Elizabeth was so confused as to why we weren't going back to Baby Drew's room. She was pushing on the doors trying to get in! (The doors are locked and you have to be let in by a member of the staff.)

Anyway, that's over with and no matter how nice everyone at the hospital is (and EVERYONE who works there is so nice, I really noticed that), I hope to never go back there again.

I woke up around 4 this morning hearing a baby crying. It wasn't Elizabeth, she was fast asleep. I just looked at Drew's crib and cried. I was pretty thrown by that because it really didn't seem like it was all in my head. I actually *heard* a baby crying. I hope that never happens again, I felt so empty and alone when I realized what was going on.

Mother's Day is coming up. I've really enjoyed it since having Elizabeth but I have mixed feelings about it this year. I'm happy because I'm Elizabeth and Drew's mother but Drew's not here and that hurts my heart. I don't know how else to describe the pain, both emotional and physical. I feel as though I don't deserve to celebrate Mother's Day because I couldn't help my son. Yeah, yeah, irrational I know but there's no escaping that thought.

The book that I ordered, "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby," by Deborah L. Davis arrived yesterday. I've only had the chance to start reading it in the past couple of hours and am only on page 12. I was going to include some quotes from the book that ring so true to me but then I realized that I'd be typing out the entire book. Pick it up if you're inclined, so far it seems to be a very good representation of what happens when one loses an infant/baby and how it is so different from losing an older child, friend or family member. The reading is going slowly because it's hard to read through tears and my brain doesn't seem to want to absorb what I'm reading. Thank you to Heather from Breath of Hope for recommending it.

Ok, so I lied. I'm going to post two excerpts from the book that are really speaking to me at the moment.
~~~~~
Now, when I hear people talk about statistics with different situations I get a little upset because, you know, statistics are fine until you become one of them, and then they take on a different meaning! -Sarah

"Grief is the painful price we pay for our heartfelt connections with others."
~~~~~
Another BOH member told us about a photo retouching service that will remove all of the tubes, even out skin tone, etc. of your critically ill or dead child. They will retouch 2 pictures free of charge. I have submitted 2 of Drew's pictures and they are working on them now. I can't wait to see the results! If you're interested, the website can be found here: Angel Pics.

I have decided on my tattoo design. I'm just going to get Elizabeth and Drew's names in black with a golden halo around the "D" in Drew's name. Just very simple. I haven't decided where on my body to get it or on a place to do it. Since tattooing just became legal here, it's kind of hard to find a shop! I'm thinking that I'll get it on my left shoulder or the center of my upper back, I don't know.

This afternoon, we planted our maple tree that my friends got for us. We didn't put the stone down with it because we want to wait until our summer flowers die. Aren't we practical?! I need to get some light blue hydrangeas now, they remind me of Drew because that's the main flower we used in his casket blanket. They are so pretty and delicate looking. The question is can I keep them alive? Plants in my care don't seem to fare too well but maybe I'm getting better.

While driving home from the hospital today, I put in a CD without looking at what it was. It was one that I had burned that had songs that remind me of Drew. I should have looked before putting it in because most of the songs are sad. But once I had it in, I wanted to listen to it. The 2 songs that got to me were "You Are My Sunshine" and "Who You'd Be Today" (Kenny Chesney). When I was pregnant and Drew was kicking all around at night, I'd sing him "You Are My Sunshine" while rubbing my belly and he would calm down. One of the verses hits hard right now:
~~~~~
The other night dear,
While I lay sleeping,
I dreamt I held you in my arms.
When I awoke dear, I was mistaken,
And I hung my head and I cried.
~~~~~
As for "Who You'd Be Today," if you haven't heard it, it's a lovely song. I was going to have it played at Drew's funeral but decided on something more hopeful and inspirational. Anyway, here are the words:
~~~~~
Sunny days seem to hurt the most
Wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
See your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
Still can't believe your gone

(Chorus:)
It ain't fair you died to young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing, no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder, who you'd be today

Would you see the world
Would you chase your dreams
Settle down with a family
I wonder what would you name your babies
Someday's the sky's so blue
I feel like I can talk to you
And I know it might sound crazy

(Chorus)

Today [3x]
Today [3x]

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
The only thing that gives me hope
Is I know, I'll see you again someday

Someday, someday
~~~~~
I often wonder what Drew would have done with his life. It's so hard to know that his future has been taken away. We won't get to see him grow up and have a family. He won't give us sweet hugs and kisses like Elizabeth does. Ugh, it's just so unfair that babies have to die. And I just wonder if Drew truly had to die. If there were a foundation and research for CDH, would he still be here? I have no doubt that he would have had a better chance if any of that were a reality. It just makes me so angry.

Some more of my friends sent me a box with a beautiful picture frame (and that picture of Raymond and Drew nose to nose, one of my absolute favorites), a bracelet for E. and a necklace for me. These reminders of Drew are so wonderful and they help. They help bring me peace and know that Drew will not be forgotten. This was in the card and just had me in tears because it's so beautiful:
~~~~~
We thought of your little boy today,
We will tomorrow too,
We thought of little Drew yesterday,
And we also thought of you.

We don't know the perfect words to say,
We don't know what to do,
Your little boy had too short a stay,
And our hearts ache for you.

Your family is always in our thoughts,
Your son is in our hearts
And in that battle that he fought,
More knowledge of his condition starts.
~~~~~
There are truly a lot of exceptional people in this world and we're blessed to know many of these exceptional people. The messages that I've gotten from complete strangers are astounding and I appreciate every one of them. Even if I don't reply, I do read them all and will eventually get around to replying. Tonight is the first night I've felt like writing anything and now I'm done. I'm going to go enjoy a nice cold beer (my biggest craving when I was pregnant with Drew. A craving that I never caved on, of course!).

7 comments:

Shawna said...

Just wanted to give you (((HUGS))) I'm not sure what else I can say right now. I can feel your pain in your words, my heart is still so broken for you. Always know that Drew will NEVER be forgotten sweetie. Love ya!

Lauren said...

Jana,

It never ceases to amaze me how similar our feelings are. I hope you don't mind me quoting this entry of yours in my blog. I was just going to tell you the things I agree with here, but the list would have been too long. I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. I am downloading the Kenny Chesney song as I type this. I hope tomorrow is a little easier for you. You are so brave. Now go enjoy your beer and get some sleep!

Keep Smiling, Love Lauren
Avery's Mom 3/17/06 - 4/3/06 LCDH

Shawna said...

Your family continues to be in my thoughts daily.. Please know I will be praying for you tomorrow (mother's day) I imagine that will be an extra hard day for you.. I hope and pray you are able to find the peace knowing you did all you could.. I truly believe Drew's life will help people become aware of CDH. I believe God used Drew as a stepping stone in the process. His job here was done.. Imagine that!! To know your son did exactly what God put him on earth for.. He did it and got to go to heaven.. Most of us struggle daily finding what our earthly calling is.. Don't feel guilt.. :)Drew wouldn't want that.. He KNEW he was loved and that you were doing everything you could..
I can't wait to see the touch uped pictures.. What a cool thing to do...HUGS

Shawn C said...

I'm bursting with pride for your strength...I wish I knew you personally!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for all that you are going through! I can not even imagine how difficult going to the hospital and finalizing a headstone must have been. You are right...it is not fair that babies die and my heart is breaking for the loss of sweet baby Drew. I hope you did enjoy your Mother's Day b/c although I know you don't think you deserved to celebrate you really and truly did! I have never met you but I can feel your strength and love in your posts and no mother deserves to celebrate Mother's Day more than you at this moment!

Hugs and Prayers,
Tasha

Anonymous said...

just wanted to come on and tell you taht i am still thinking of you and the whole family every day and hold you close to my heart. the part abou the angel pics is absolutely amazing, i can't wait to see them if you share them, what a wonderful idea and what kind pp there are still out there in the world, you inspire me so much jana! luv lori

Jenn said...

What a beautiful stone. Your beautiful baby has touched SOOO many lives. He will never be forgotten. Jana, I admire your strength and courage.
(((((HUGS)))))

Jenn