Thursday, November 29, 2012

The ache

The ache is still there. Everyday a part of me aches for my sweet boy. Some days my entire body has that physical ache for him. It doesn't matter that it's not been over a year (ugh, I hate that). It's still there.

Yes, there is a difference in the ache from the early days. In the early days it affected my whole being. Took over my entire body and mind every day. Now it is most often a more manageable dull ache, but there nonetheless. But there are still days, still days where the ache pulsates through my body and the only words I can manage to get out are, "I miss him. It still hurts." I woke up the other morning just hurting for my boy. No special date, no particular trigger. I just woke up with the intense ache in my heart.

No, I might not post on Facebook about him as much. About the hurt. But that doesn't mean it disappeared. Part of me feels like no one wants to hear it anymore. After all, it's been over a year and we're now expecting his little brother or sister. But I want you to know it is still there, not because I want you to feel sorry for me. I want you to know because that ache is there in my heart because of one amazing little boy. That ache is there because he was here, because he is my son.

Yesterday was the 28th, Marcellus would have been 13 months old. I usually post something on Facebook for all his monthly "birthdays." I didn't yesterday, not quite sure why. No, it did not slip my mind that it was the 28th. Of course I knew it was the 28th, 13 months since that day he was born and one month since we celebrated his first birthday without him here. The time, it keeps moving. I didn't know if I was allowed to count months anymore. Now I'm past a year, do months matter? They do to me, so I don't know why I worried about it. Each month that passes is another month without my boy. Another month I wish he was here.

Marcellus, Momma still aches for you my love. Every day I ache for you, some more than others. Sometimes there's a special reason the ache might be more intense, but sometimes it's just because. Just because you are not here. I wish you were here so bad my sweet little baby who wouldn't be so little anymore. I miss you my squirmy wormy. I miss you and love you so very much. If I have to put up with the ache to be your mommy then I will. I will always and forever be your mommy and you will be my son. xoxox

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today for Thanksgiving I wanted to write a post about what I am most thankful for. While I am thankful for my family in general, what I am most thankful for is motherhood. My journey as a mother is not what you would traditionally think of, but I am a mother. Having placed my first child for adoption, surviving my second child's death, and currently carrying my third child this journey has many roads with ups and downs. But I am thankful. So thankful I was chosen to carry these beautiful children, to be their mother.

My journey started when I was 16 years old in an unplanned pregnancy. As my heart immediately transformed into a mother heart full of mother love. It is with that love I chose adoption for my first born, a beautiful little girl. I was 17 when she was born on 10/28/2002 and I knew I would do anything for her. And I did. I sacrificed my mother heart and did what I thought was absolutely the best thing for her. I still get updates with pictures a couple of times a year and I see how grown up she's becoming. She's an amazing little girl, still so beautiful. She carries on some of my characteristics. She is in a wonderful home with a very loving family. Of course sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have raised her, to have a ten year old daughter her with me. I would have given her all I could. I am thankful to have carried her, thankful for her life, thankful for the loving family she has, thankful for the updates I get, thankful she is healthy and happy. Seeing those pictures with her beautiful smile face makes my mother heart smile right along with her.

And sometimes I wonder if I would have chosen to parent Angela, would Mike and I have met? We met in college, and the way things where if I would have had raised Angela I doubt I would have went to college when I did. I really can't imagine being with anyone other than Mike. I am so thankful for him, but this post is about being thankful for motherhood. Without Mike, I wouldn't have my first born son, Marcellus Robert.

I never thought it would be 9 years later that my motherhood journey would expand. After having Angela, I knew I was meant to be a mom. I wanted to raise a child more than anything, but I wanted to be able to give that child everything I could, so I waited. I waited until I was truly ready and Mike was ready too. We waited until that moment, and that moment brought us Marcellus.

Once I got that positive pregnancy test my mother heart immediately expanded. This time it was different, this time I was going to bring my child home. This child was mine to raise and parent. This child was ours. I had a loving husband by my side, what could possibly go wrong? And then he was born at 28 weeks 5 days, for no known reason on 10/28/2011 (Angela's 9th birthday). What an amazing day though, meeting my sweet baby boy for the first time. And those days to follow, while difficult yes, were complete joy. My baby, that was my baby. And then he died. My last act of mothering him while he was on this earth was to hold him as his little heart stopped beating and tell him how very much I love him. But I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for the complete bliss I had during his pregnancy, thankful for getting to the hospital in time the day he was born, thankful for the NICU he was in that allowed him to live the days he did, thankful I could be there as much as possible, thankful for every single second I had with my him (especially those amazing k-cares!), thankful I could provide him with breast milk, thankful to be with him when he died, thankful he has inspired and touched so many, thankful for every memory, thankful to share his life. Oh how I am so thankful for that little mister. While Angela first made me a mother, Marcellus truly transformed me in ways I couldn't imagine. I've said many times, if this is the journey I have to go on to be his mother, then I will because I could not imagine not having him.

And now, my third child. My rainbow, baby Beamer. I am 23 weeks 6 days today. Another road in my motherhood journey. I pray and pray this road leads to bringing a healthy baby home. This new road does not take away the other roads on my journey, they weave in and out, crossing paths. But this new road has hope. The hope does not take away the pain, it does not make me miss my sweet baby boy or my first born any less. I do miss them both, though in different ways. I am thankful for this new road on my journey, thankful for every second I have with Beamer, thankful for the kicks, thankful for my growing belly, even thankful for the intense heartburn I've been feeling, thankful for the vigilant doctors I have, thankful for the extra precautions and monitoring that is being done, thankful for this hope.

I am thankful for motherhood.

Marcellus, while your sister first made me a mother, you my sweet boy gave me the opportunity to be a mother. I may have only gotten to mother you for 12 days on this earth, but I am forever your mommy. I will continue to try to find ways to mother you. I am so thankful for everything you have given me, I am so so so thankful for you my son. My son, my squirmy wormy, my amazing little warrior. How could I not be thankful for you?! I will go down this journey because it means you were here and it means I am your mom. Happy Thanksgiving baby boy! My heart is full of thanks for you, your siblings, and the gift of motherhood today. I miss and love you so much! xoxox.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

World Prematurity Day and my hero

Today is the second annual World Prematurity Day. You can check on the info on March of Dimes, see their Facebook page, and make sure to wear purple today in honor of all premature babies. Those little preemie babies are truly amazing.

Before Marcellus was born I didn't know much about premature birth. Why would I? I wasn't planning on having a preemie baby. When I first started to suspect I was having contractions the early morning of October 28th, 2011 I first thought, "no way these can be contractions! I'm only 28 weeks 5 days. This doesn't happen." But it does happen and it can happen it a normal healthy low-risk pregnancy. And they don't know why all the time. We have no answers as to why I went into labor.

I've written about what it was like for me to be a NICU Mom. I didn't get to see my baby for the first 5 hours of his life. I didn't get to hold him for around 30 hours. I didn't get to pick him up when I wanted to. I had to set an alarm to pump because he was way too premature to even think about breastfeeding yet. I had to see my baby hooked up to all those tubes, wires, and monitors. Learn the lingo and routine of the NICU. I had to leave him every night. But what about him...what about that tiny little baby in that isolette?

Well, he's my hero. So brave, so strong. What was it like for him? To be taken away from his parents immediately after birth. I'm sure he was scared. To not be able to be snuggled and held when he needed to. To have IVs, breathing equipment, a feeding tube. Monitors constantly going off. What was that like for him? And yet he fought. He grew. He did so much for us. I wish I could put into words what it did for us to hold him. He loved on us in a way only his little 3 pound self could. He squeaked those beautiful little preemie squeaks. He melted into us when we held him. He knew when we were there and he was never mad at us when we had to leave.

And then when he got sick. Oh how he fought. I am so proud of him. He fought for us. I know he did. Having gotten through the first anniversary and thinking a lot back to that day, November 9th, 2011 I realize how he was ready to go, but he stayed longer for us. He stayed to make sure we were able to do everything we needed to.  He stayed to make sure his mommy and daddy knew how he loves us.

In those 12 days on this earth that little baby did more for us than anyone else has in their lifetime. And he continues to. He continues to amaze me with all he has accomplished.

He truly is my hero.

Marcellus Robert, you couldn't make me more proud. You are the most amazing little baby ever.  You accomplished so much in your short life and you continue to accomplish things even after your death. Everything you put up with and still were content. I hope we were able to help you grow and accomplish those things, but the truth baby boy, is that you've done more for Daddy and I than we could ever do for you. You will always be my hero. I love you so very much! xoxox

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A year ago: The days in between

The last post I wrote was about the day Marcellus died. I needed a break after emerging myself in those posts, in his life, in his death, in our grief. But that doesn't mean I stopped thinking about what was going on a year ago. I don't remember much from those early days honestly. They're a blur, they run together. But the emptiness and rawness of it all, I can remember that. And today's date, today I am writing one more "a year ago" post because it was a year ago today we buried our son. I'm starting with a recap of the days between November 9th and November 15th. I just have the urge to write about them.

After we arrived home from the hospital on November 9th, our house just felt so empty. So cold. Even though Marcellus was never in our home outside of my womb, knowing he never would be made the emptiness echo so very loudly. Some of our really good friends came and went. They came to bring us things and to just be there. Even stayed downstairs while we were up in bed trying to make sense of what in the world just happened to us. They were there just in case we needed them. One friend went to the pharmacy for me. I hadn't filled my Percoset prescription for pain I might have from my c-section. I had gone over a week without filling it, I didn't need it for the physical pain. We filled it so I'd have something to take to help me sleep. Judge me if you will. I took Percoset those early days to help me sleep. It is what it is. The night was so scary. Sleep was so scary.

I remember that first night, after everyone had left it was just Mike and I. I was upstairs and he was downstairs. He was sobbing, just sobbing. I had the urge to be by him. To sob into each others arms. I started down the stairs and I remember I slipped a little and almost fell. I had to use my ab muscles to catch myself from actually falling. I remember how sore I was from that. I was still recovering from a c-section. A c-section I had only 12 days earlier. 

I remember wondering how in the world we were just supposed to go to bed. That the day really existed. But then the hope of maybe if I just go to sleep I will wake up and this will all have been a nightmare. It had to be a nightmare. The shock is so strong at first. But like I said I was scared of sleep. I was scared of the thoughts and images that would come at night. And so we avoided the dark. We left a light on. For about a month we slept with a light on. An adult married couple, afraid of the dark. We would sleep, but not really sleep. It was like going in and out of consciousness. Each time I would get restless and awake it was like realizing all over again that my baby had just died. My baby died. I couldn't say those words at first.

The next day I remember people coming and going again. I remember sitting on the couch. I remember crying into my husband. A friend from out of state came. She was in town for work, but was going to make it to our baby shower scheduled for that weekend. No baby shower to be had. Instead she came and was there with us in those early moments after Marcellus's death. My advisor came. She had met Marcellus when he was two days old and was going to give me a ride to the NICU that weekend. Our midwife wouldn't come, but the midwife that worked with her did. We had met her once before. She came and sat with us. She helped me figure out how to manage my milk. The milk that was there for my son. But my body didn't know my baby died. My body still wanted to feed my baby.

We were showing anyone that was there the pictures and videos we had of Marcellus. I know we were in absolute shock. Like seeing him alive in the pictures and videos was telling ourselves, "look he's there, he can't be dead because he's right there in the pics/videos!"

I remember that I went up and down the stairs too many times. I was supposed to limit the stairs because of the c-section. They recommended coming down once for the day and then staying downstairs until I needed to go back up for the night. Well that wasn't hard when I spent the entire day in the NICU. I was never at home to use the stairs. But with my baby dead and no longer being a the NICU I ended up going up and down our stairs too much. It was a restlessness. I couldn't stay in one place to long.

One thing I don't remember is if I ate. I honestly don't remember eating any food at all those first days. I'm sure I did. I'm sure someone had to remind me to eat and even encourage me to eat. What was the point? I no longer needed to worry about my nourishment to make sure I could produce enough milk. I wasn't hungry. In fact I was sick to my stomach. Shock and going back and forth between the intense rawness and numbness. There was no feeling of hunger.

That night, that Thursday night two friends came over to help us pack for MN. I don't think I mentioned in my post about the 9th about wanting to take Marcellus to MN. No one expected us to. In fact, Mike's dad had already bought a plane ticket to NC to get here as fast as he could. My mom was trying to figure out what to do. She said she probably wouldn't have been on a plane, but with as quick as everything happened she didn't want to be in the air and have me trying to reach her. She was going to come though. I don't remember when it came up, but at some point while still in the NICU spending time with Marcellus after he died I just had the urge to take him to MN. I don't even know that Mike thought about it, but I said "I want to take him to MN." And so we did. My mom called the funeral home in my hometown and they arranged everything with a funeral home in MN. I don't know what the main drive behind my urge was, but I knew he had to meet his family. They had to see him. I also knew we aren't tied down to NC. I couldn't imagine moving in a couple of years (or even farther down the road) and leaving him buried here all by himself. No family around whatsoever. We will always have ties to MN.

So we had to get ourselves to MN too. I honestly don't remember how we even went about getting the flights. I know Mike dealt with that. We had already had tickets purchased for over Thanksgiving. It was supposed to be our last trip to MN before Marcellus was born. Somehow we switched those around to get on a flight that left early Friday morning. We probably left our house somewhere around 48 hours after that call from the NICU telling us our baby was doing so well. A friend drove us. We sat in the back together. We couldn't be separated. Those early days I constantly had to be right by Mike. He was all I had left.

I don't remember the airport much, but that flight. It was miserable. To be in such close proximity to all those people. What were they traveling for? Probably not to go bury their son. I took Percoset before the flight. Again, judge me if you will. But I couldn't figure out how I was going to manage three hours on a plane where I couldn't just break down and wail, sob, be hysterical.

Once in MSP we had a ways to walk from our gate to baggage claim. Far enough that we were worried about me walking that much. So we rode on one of those cart things. I remember Mike telling the driver that I just had a c-section and if we could get a ride. I wonder what he thought of that. I just had a c-section, but I had no baby with me. Did that register to him? It was registering for clearly to me. I had all the signs of just having had a baby, but my baby was now dead.

The most vivid memory I have from traveling that day is meeting my family at the airport. My mom, my sister, my little brother, and my nephew were there. At MSP you go down an escalator to get to baggage claim. They were waiting for us at the bottom. As soon as we got close the rushed up to us with open arms. Everyone just crying. I don't even know if we said anything. We just cried on each other and embraced. It was so emotional, so raw. That word again, raw. It's about all I can say to describe it. My mom (or sister, I can't remember which) later said that a man waiting on the bench nearby had tears in his eyes watching us. Did they know? Did they know what we were going through? Like I said I can't remember if we said anything. What that man did know is our hearts were broken, something was terribly wrong.  

It's over a 2 hour drive from the airport to my hometown. The ride was so miserable. With everyone along the only place for Mike and I to sit together was in the backseat. The backseat facing our four month old nephew. I couldn't look at him. I couldn't acknowledge him. A live baby. My sister's baby. I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to bring a baby with when ours had just died. Nephew or not, it was too much. Way too much. We still loved him. It was just too much of a, "here's what you'll never have with Marcellus." And he cried. At one point he started crying a lot. Oh it hurt. It hurt my heart, it hurt my body. My body was still responding to the cries of a baby. But it wasn't my baby crying. My baby would never cry again. My baby was now forever silent. I remember trying to hold it in. Trying not to break down in that van. But I couldn't, I remember saying, "you have to make him stop crying! You just have to!" I couldn't take it.

I really have no idea what we did right when we got back. But that day we went to the funeral home to plan the funeral. To plan our baby boy's funeral. How it got planned I don't know. But I was part of it. I just don't remember. I do remember worrying about him. They had to organize getting Marcellus from NC to MN. It made me sick not to know when he'd arrive in MN, to not know where he was. The funeral home was great though. They did everything they could to make our planning go as smoothly as possible. We went out the cemetery and talked to the groundskeeper about our options. There were the baby plots or the full plots. Did we want to pick out a place where we'd all be buried and buy our own plots too? Who has to make those decisions at 26 and 28 years old? We did. And we ultimately decided to buy a plot for Marcellus in the baby section. It was the easiest to do at the time.

Mike's parents came. Everyone was at my mom's house. Another very overwhelming thing. I didn't want to be around people. I wanted to hide away from the world. I didn't want to have to talk about anything. I just wanted to cry. My head was spinning with what we had just been through, what we were going through. I couldn't care about if I was acting the right way or doing what people thought I should. I just couldn't. I remember having to retreat often. The chatter and the business, it made me feel like I was going to explode.

That night we found out Marcellus made it to the funeral home. The funeral directed said we could come see him anytime we wanted, even if it was the middle of the night. We decided to wait until the next day. We went just the two of us at first. We went into that room and there he was in that stupid little white casket. With that stupid two-sided liner and blanket. Once side blue for boy and the other pink for girl. We had brought the blanket they wrapped him in right after he died. We immediately swapped out the stupid reversible blanket for the one we brought. We got to see him. And honestly being in that room was the first time the three of us were alone together. The first time it was just us, Mommy, Daddy and Marcellus. A part of me still felt a little bit complete being there with him. It was very apparent he was dead. The smell, the coldness, the change in some of his features. But he was still absolutely beautiful. I could still touch him, his soft hair especially. I could still kiss his sweet face. I could still hold him. I could still see Mike holding our son. We could still do those things. We could still hold onto those things. And we did. We touched him, held him, kissed him, rocked him, read to him, sang to him, took pictures of him. Everything you would do if your baby was living. We did them with our dead baby in the funeral home.

One thing that drove me crazy is Marcellus was wearing the wrong diaper brand. We never thought to get a diaper from the NICU. And so the funeral director went and got one for him to wear. It's the wrong brand. It wasn't what he wore. And honestly to this day it drives me crazy. I can't stand knowing he will forever be in the wrong diaper. My sound insane, but that's how I feel.

We asked my mom, sister, and little brother if they wanted to come see him. And they did. They all came.  Somehow we had thought to bring an outfit for him. A special outfit from his Auntie. She had bought a couple of preemie sleepers for him while in NC visiting. One had a doggy on it. We decided that's what he would be buried in. We didn't want to get him anything new. That outfit had been bought especially for him and so he would wear it. The first and only clothing to ever go on his little body.

After that I have no idea what happened for the day. At some point that weekend our friends came. Was it that day? The next? I really have no idea. We are blessed with some amazing friends. Marcellus's "Auntie" Beth flew in from NC. Some other really good friends came from a couple of hours away. They got a hotel in town, so they could be close and help with getting ready for the funeral. And they did. They helped so much. They helped make picture boards. We printed off literally every picture we took of Marcellus and filled up three picture boards full. Three picture boards for 12 days. Hardly anyone got to meet him alive, so it was so important to me that they at least get to see his pictures. To see how awesome and amazing our life was for that short time. At one point I realized I had accidentally saved over some pictures. I had resized them to send via email and I saved over the high quality images. I freaked out. I absolutely lost it. One was of our first family photo. Our friends took Mike's camera card to a local photographer and explained everything to him. Turns out he volunteers for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and offered his services to us. I of course then stressed about that. I was already feeling so guilty for not doing professional photos with Marcellus in the NICU right after he died, when he looked his best. He was changing. We had to admit that. He had been dead for four days at the point we were offered the photography. But ultimately we took it and I'm so thankful we did. It felt natural to pose together as a family, not restricted by wires and monitors. My family. Together.

A couple of my MN friends came to visit that weekend as well. They came in the bedroom and sat on the bed and cried with me. Words we exchanged, but the words are not what's important. They were there, that's what was important. The hugs and the touches. They mean more than the words. One of those friends picked up Marcellus and us a copy of his story, "Guess How Much I Love You." The one we read to him in the NICU was the NICU's copy. We didn't own it. We knew we wanted him buried with that book. And we wanted one for ourselves, so she bought us to copies.

At one point it came to trying to figure out what I was going to wear to the funeral. I was at that in between stage where most of my maternity clothes were too big, but I was nowhere near fitting into my regular clothes and I still had to watch out with my incision. I did know what shirt I wanted to wear. One of the nursing shirts I had bought while Marcellus was in the NICU. I bought them for him and so I wanted to wear one for him. I needed black pants to go with it. My sister picked me up some because I couldn't bear to think of going out shopping. No way I would have been able to be in public. No way.

Marcellus's visitation was going to be right before the funeral. We couldn't deal with two days. Originally we were going to do a family only open casket visitation, followed by a closed casket public visitation, then the service. That Sunday we decided to do closed casket only. I hate that we decided that. It's because we saw a big difference in how Marcellus looked from Saturday to Sunday. I was afraid he was going to keep looking worse and worse and worse. His funeral wasn't until Tuesday, so two more days. Six days after he had died. Was I ashamed of how he looked? Why was I worried about what other people thought? I thought he was beautiful that should have been enough. But I don't know, we opted to do closed casket only. What we did do is call our family and close friends and told them they could come to the funeral home anytime before the funeral to see him. And many did. My grandma, my dad and stepmom, my other brother, our friends, Mike's brother. They came and they met him. Some touched him, some didn't. Some stayed for awhile, some only a short time. It didn't matter to me. It just mattered that they were there, that we could say, "look here is our son, isn't he beautiful?!"

Mike and I spent a lot of time in the funeral home those days leading up to Marcellus's funeral. And I'm glad we did. I am thankful for that time. I would look forward to going to the funeral for the day. To have those last moments we got to be mommy and daddy to him on this earth. Sometimes I wish we would have spent more time there. Held him more. I think I will feel like I always could have had more time with him. Alive or dead.

Marcellus, the days after you died are such a whirlwind. They run together, they are a blur, I don't remember many details. I remember spending time with you though baby boy. Even though you were already gone, it didn't feel like it completely yet. We still got to be together. Daddy and I still got to touch you and hold you and actively love on you. We still got to physically be together as a family. I'm glad many other people came to see you too. To get a real sense of you. To express their love for you. Oh baby those days were so hard. So raw. So exhausting. I hope you know we did the best planning for you. We did the best to spend time with you. I miss you so much. I miss touching that soft hair of yours, something I still got to do during those days. Kissing your little face. That sweet sweet face. Holding you. Feeling you in my arms. No more squirming though. You were still, silent, cold. But you were still mine. You still are mine. You will forever be my son and I will forever been your mommy. One of my most important roles in life will forever be Marcellus's Mommy. I love you so much little mister. So so so very much! xoxox.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A year ago today: November 9th, 2011

This post is about the day Marcellus died. 

A year ago today: Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 
I wrote a lot of this a couple of months after Marcellus died. I'm glad I did that then because I don't know if I'd be able to do it now. I added a few things today. As difficult and horrible as that day was, Mike and I have both talked about how we are thankful for it. If our baby had to die, we got to be there for him. We got to pour our love into him and be there as he left this world. He was not alone, he was with his Mommy and Daddy. He died in my arms that day. He died during a loving embrace with his mother. 
Dear Marcellus,

The first call regarding your x-rays that night was around 3am. Michelle said the x-ray showed an increase in dilation of your intestines, but that’s it. At that time she still didn’t know if you would go into surgery. It sounded not good, but not horrible and we tried to get more rest. We should have gone in baby, we should have been there with you through all of this, not in our bed trying to sleep. I’m so sorry we weren’t there. I am really sorry. We got another call about 4:15am that they thought maybe you did have a perforation and would need surgery. They were waiting for some test results that would show if you had lactic acidosis. If you did, that would be really bad. At 4:15 when Michelle said we should start thinking about coming back in, Daddy and I immediately got out of bed to get ready. Daddy let Perkie out and before he could even get back inside Michelle called back again and said you did have lactic acidosis and we should come in right away. We didn't say anything to each other the entire drive. It was dark and foggy. We were so scared.

We got there before 5 am, they were getting you ready for surgery. It was chaotic and there were a lot of people around you. We talked to Michelle, we talked to the doctor (Dr. Young), we talked to the surgeon (Dr. Watti), we talked to the anesthesiologist, but I don’t remember what any of them said. The day is such a blur, a really big blur. I know Daddy signed the papers for surgery and anesthesia. I know the surgeon was getting antsy to get you to the OR. I think they were trying to make sure you were stable enough to move. When they did try to move you they didn’t even get out of the NICU, your stats started to drop. You weren’t stable enough to move. I think that's when I started to realize that you were going to die. 

Things weren’t looking good for you. So instead of doing the surgery they just put a drain in your belly at the bedside. This would hopefully get enough of the bad stuff out and help to get you stable enough to go to the OR. We had to leave while they did that. We had asked for a chaplain to be with us. Her name was Jackie. She wasn’t really that good, but we needed someone with us. Daddy and I were so scared. After they put the drain is when I think I called Grandma. I’m not sure though. I just know I called her and I asked her if you were going to die. I said, "Mom, is my baby going to die?" It was the only time all morning I said it out loud, that you might die. She had to tell me she didn’t know. She knew you were really sick. She asked to talk to the doctor. I don’t remember that part. She asked to talk to the doctor because I wasn’t making sense and I didn’t really know what was going on. I was just so frantic baby, so frantic because I was losing you. Daddy and I both knew it. We knew you didn’t have a very good chance of surviving. How did this happen to our perfect healthy growing little boy? You were doing so well, so well. 

I don’t really remember much of what happened between them putting the drain in and Tawny getting there at about 8am. We just tried to be by your side and talk to you. At one point I remember telling you “Mommy needs you baby, Mommy needs you!” Was that selfish of me? I do need you baby. I do. I still need you. I still need to know you’re here with me. I didn’t want you to die. That’s why I said that to you. I didn’t know I’d be able to survive without you. I felt like if you died I would die too. And I kind of did Marcellus, a part of me died with you. 

I don’t remember how it came up, but shortly after Tawny was there she was by my side at your isolette and I mentioned that Grandma was doing healing touch for you. Tawny said Patty (another chaplain) knew healing touch. We met Patty. She came by your room before and Mommy met her with Grandma and Auntie Katie at a dinner they had for NICU parents. Tawny called Patty and Patty came to do healing touch on you. She did it for a really long time, almost the whole time until your surgery. One thing Patty talked about was a pink cloud of love over you. I can’t remember all the details. I hope that means you felt the love surrounding you that day. We were there trying to support you the best that we could baby boy.  I hope you felt that. It was so hard to keep it together though. I do remember Patty telling me to tell you about what was waiting for you at home to encourage you to stay with us. I told you about Perkie and I think I told you about your great-grandpa. We didn’t have anything ready for you at home because you came so early so I didn’t know what to tell you about. All I could tell you is how much I love you. There was one point in the morning where Patty said something along the lines that she thought you were coming back. And maybe you were coming back, maybe you were coming back to make sure you told us goodbye.

The next thing I can remember is your baptism. We asked for a priest to come and baptize you. It turned out to be quite a stressful process. The priest took forever to get there, Tawny called him multiple times. That really frustrated Mommy. In my head I was screaming “Doesn’t he know my baby is dying?!” But I wouldn’t say it out loud. Then when he got there he didn’t have his holy water.  He had the oils, but no holy water. Wow, ridiculous. Then Tawny went on a search for something to put tap water in and have him bless it. Eventually the only thing we came up with was one of our breast milk storage containers. Is it ironic that the container meant to hold the nourishment I was able to provide for you ended up holding the water you were baptized with? We still have it. We have holy tap water in a breast milk storage container stored in a biohazard bag. On top of all that the priest didn’t want to give you a full baptism because we did not have Catholic godparents present. I tried to say they were on the phone. He said he could do a conditional baptism and plus that way we’d be able to get you baptized in a church later. Again, I was shouting in my head “Don’t you realize my baby is dying?! He will never see the inside of a church!” I’m sorry I didn’t stand up for you better baby. I should have said it; I was so scared of saying those words out loud though. Even though a conditional baptism would have been “good enough” for some reason it was important to me that you get the full baptism. I think it had to mostly do with the baptismal certificate. I wanted you to have a certificate. I needed that for you. You deserved that. For a little while the priest was trying to get us to ask the nurses if they were Catholic. He really didn’t understand the severity of what was going on. Eventually he said he’d do the full baptism and around 9:30 am you were baptized while Grandma, Uncle Luke, Great-Grandma, Auntie Katie, and your cousin Nolan were on the phone.   

The whole morning all I wanted to do was hold you. I just wanted to hold you up to my chest and rock you. But I couldn’t because you were either on the ventilator or being bagged. It was so hard not to hold you. Now I can’t remember who told us about our options or why they chose to tell us about them then. I do remember Patty telling me the only way I could hold you was if we took you off of everything. Then we were told we had three options. We could do just that, take you off of everything and hold you as you went. They could continue with trying to stabilize you, but you would keep making a slow decent. Daddy told me the doctor explained it to him as like steps. You would go down a little and they’d try to get you back up, but they could never get you up to where you were then you’d stay there for a bit before going down again and repeating the process. The last option was to go ahead and do the surgery bedside. The surgeon told us if he would have just been called on you he wouldn’t do the surgery because you were so sick, but since he was called early he would do it if we wanted to. He warned us though that 1) you might not survive the surgery and 2) because you were so sick it was likely you had the totalis case and there would be nothing they could do. 

We knew we didn’t want the second option. We were either going to let you go peacefully or try to do everything we could to help you fight. Like I said before I just wanted to hold you so bad, so my initial reaction was to let you go. Just take you off of everything and let you go. We had to leave your bedside to make the decision. Tawny stayed with you so you weren’t alone. We had to make the decision regarding your last moments in the room that is used for parents to “room in” with their baby before going home. Patty came with us to help talk us through it. Daddy kept saying he wanted to do the surgery. He said he needed to know we did absolutely everything we could for you. Then I started to go back and forth on letting you go and the surgery. Marcellus, I don’t know if we made the best decision. I hope we did. It was such a difficult decision that no parent should ever have to make. After hearing how much Daddy needed to know we did everything and part of me needed to know too we were leaning toward the surgery. Then we talked to the doctor and asked if there was any chance you would survive. He said there’s always a chance. Even if that chance was one in a million, we had to give you the chance to fight. You were so brave through the whole thing. You kept fighting so hard. We decided for the surgery. 

While they were getting things ready for the surgery Daddy and I were by your side.  Honestly I can’t remember if anyone else was by your bedside, but for a few moments it felt like just the three of us in that NICU, just our family. We were telling you how much we love you and how brave you are, how proud of you we are. Daddy went and got the book “Guess How Much I Love You” – your story. It will always be your story Marcellus, always. We will always read it to you. He read it while I stood across from him with my hands on you, trying to comfort you. It was hard for Daddy to get through, but he read it for you. When he was done I got as close to you as I could. I don’t know the exactly wording but I said something like, “Marcellus, Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you for fighting so hard. We will be proud of you no matter what. You’re going to have surgery now. The surgery is for Mommy and Daddy to know that we gave you every chance to fight. So you fight, but if you need to go then go before the surgery. If you need to go, that’s ok you go.” I meant it baby. I knew I couldn’t keep you here if you were meant to go. I didn’t want you to go, but I had to acknowledge that it wasn’t up to me. Did you listen Marcellus? I don’t want to be keeping you here. You need to be enjoying Heaven. 

When it was time for us to leave your bedside Daddy came over by me and hugged me. I then noticed you were opening your eyes! You weren’t able to open your eyes all the way, but baby I know it was a conscious effort on your part to do that. I can still picture it in my head. I said “He opened his eyes!” I was excited by it. At the time I thought it was maybe a good sign, that maybe you would make it. I know realize it was you telling us goodbye. Thank you Marcellus, thank you for doing that for your Mommy and Daddy. We may have never gotten to hear you say, "I love you," but in that moment you were telling us just that. 

We went back to the same room to wait while you were in surgery. Beth came. She had gotten to the hospital before your surgery, but was just in the waiting room. I think it was after we had already decided on surgery and so Daddy and I were just spending time with you then. Marcellus I really think I knew deep down that you were going to die that day. What a horrible feeling to know your precious baby boy is going to die. They told us that they would come and get us if you started to crash during surgery so we could get to you. Every little noise in the hall made me about jump up. Then there were people coming into the room or to check on us. Finally the doctor and surgeon came in. The surgeon walked in just shaking his head no. That’s when we knew baby, when we knew you were either dead or for sure going to die. He told us you only had 7in of questionable intestine left, the rest was dead. He also said your stomach was questionable. You had made it through surgery though there just was nothing they could do to save you.  My stomach dropped. I asked to see you and we went to your bedside. I don’t remember the walk there. I do remember Daddy telling me to breath. Then I told myself yes I have to breathe because I have to see my baby, I have to hold my baby. When we got to your bedside your stats started dropping, you started crashing. It’s like you were fighting to keep your body going until Daddy and I got to your bedside. Another thing you did just for us. All I could do at first was say “My baby! My baby! My baby!” and collapse into Daddy. I didn’t realize it until I was later told that I was literally collapsing and Daddy had to hold me up. Then things became frantic trying to get you off the table into my arms. You were hooked up to everything and it seemed like they were moving so slow. They probably weren’t, but it felt like it. I know Daddy made sure he got you into my arms. He just knew I needed to hold you. They got a chair for me and I sat down with you. I wish I remembered what I said to you. Did I say loving things? Or did I just sob into you? I wanted to make it peaceful for you and I’m afraid I didn’t. I’m afraid I didn’t tell you how much I love you as you took your last breaths and your heart beat for the last time. I didn’t want you to go with only tears. I know I held you close to me, I clutched on to you as if that could keep you here. I wanted to make sure Daddy held you one more time before you went, so I handed you to him. He wanted you to be in my arms as you went, so you came back to be with your Momma. You were pronounced dead in my arms at 12:43pm. Daddy sang your song to you, your special lullaby that he made up for you while I was pregnant with you. It was so painful to hear him sing your song for that reason, but I’m glad he did that for you. Your Daddy would do anything for you. I really wish I remembered more about the moments of and after your death. I’m sorry that I don’t.  

Patty had asked me about pictures. I know that. She said there’s a photographer and did I want them to take pictures. I wish I had said yes. I really regret that. At the time I just couldn’t imagine another person coming into the room. I also thought to myself “why do I want pictures of my dead baby when I have pictures of him alive?” I didn’t know people took pictures of baby’s after they died or how much it would mean to me. I didn’t think about the fact that it would be our only chance to get pictures of you without all the stuff on your face. I wish someone would have talked me through it more.  I’m sorry we didn’t get pictures with you then. 

I do remember that a nurse tried to talk to me about what to do about my milk. I wasn’t ready for that. It was way too soon. I do remember that I pumped then. I wanted to pump while holding you. I had been so looking forward to breastfeeding you and pumping while holding you was the closest I ever got to that. I feel like we didn’t hold you long enough. Why didn’t we stay longer? Who told us we should leave? I know I didn’t want to leave, so why did I! I guess I just felt like I had to. I think we stayed for over an hour and a half after you died. We could have stayed so much longer. I really didn’t want to leave you. It was so hard to leave you. I made sure I knew that they were going to treat you right. I didn’t like that you had a new nurse that day. I didn’t know her. You didn’t know her. I’m sure she is a great nurse, but we didn’t know her and I didn’t like leaving you with her. Kathy was taking care of the baby behind you so she came over and said she would watch over you for me. That meant a lot, I needed that. Tawny and Patty were also there to make sure you were taken care of. I regret a lot of things from that day. 

Not doing the pictures, not asking to bathe you or dress you, leaving you on that table when I should have placed you in someone's arms. So many things I would have done differently if I would have known how. But baby, this was all so new to us. This world of dead babies and grieving parents, we were just entering it for the first time.

I didn’t want to leave at all. Setting you down was so hard. I kept saying, "I don't want to leave him." Then we had to walk out of the NICU knowing we would never be back in there. They had to get a wheelchair for me. I almost collapsed again. Beth drove us home. I don’t remember it. I think Daddy and I sat in the back and didn’t really say anything. Beth later told us that the sun that day was the brightest she’s ever seen it. Were you shining down on us? I hope so. I hope you shine down on us often. I don’t know what we did when we got home. I think we just crawled into bed and cried. I know people called. Grandpa called, uncle Garrett called. They didn’t know what to say. They were sad. Everybody was very sad, they still are especially Mommy and Daddy. 

Marcellus I miss you so much, so very much! I don’t know what I’m doing without you.  I don’t know how this happened. Why did this happen to us? I often feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t wrap my head completely around the fact that you are forever gone from this earth, that it's been a whole year so I held you as your heart stopped beating. I do believe you are in Heaven and that you are experiencing complete joy, love and happiness. It’s still so hard for Mommy and Daddy though. We are still suffering. We need help figuring this out. Please be there for us. Please ask God to help us. We love you so much buddy. We love you with everything we have. I cannot wait to see you again. I cannot wait to spend eternity with my squirmy wormy! You are the best son we could ever have. Daddy and I will always be here for you. We would have done everything for you and we will try our best to still do everything for you. 

Daddy wrote a message to you on your board after you died. It's right next to the upbeat positive drawing your nurse had drawn you just a few days before. 
On the left is the drawing Angela did that says, "Blue Skies Ahead". On the bottom of the left is where your touch times were listed, it used to say 3, 6, 9, and 12. After you died Daddy wrote, "in our hearts always." On the right hand side Daddy wrote you a note, "Marcellus, If you ever get scared know that Mommy and Daddy love you more than their hearts could imagine. Be strong, be not afraid, love will always connect us." You seriously have the best Daddy in the world. I was so amazed by him that day. Reading you your story, singing you your song, and writing you that note. He loves you so much baby boy. We both do. Like he said, more than we could ever imagine.

He also write in your journal that day.
You passed away at 12:45pm in your mother's arms. All the pain you felt from the last day was gone from your face. You were in peace. Our hearts will forever belong to you Marcellus Robert. You got sic very quickly and fought on with great tenacity. Mommy and I were with you every step of the way. We never wanted to leave you scared. Even though you are gone from our grasp you are in our hearts. We are going to miss you so very much and we wish we could have given you the world! Instead you gave us 12 great days with you. 12 days which will forever change and shape our lives. 

Marcellus Robert, Born 10/28/11 at 3lb 2oz. You had such a strong personality and a stubborness that came surely from your mother. Mommy and Daddy will miss you so terribly much. We just widh you were back with us. Our lives will never be the same. 

Mommy and Daddy tucked you in forever. We love you!

Goodnight little baby, goodnight. 
The stars in the sky are shining bright.
Sleep tight little baby, sleep tight.
Mommy and Daddy love you with all their might! 

You did look very peaceful after you died. We got to see your full face, your beautiful face without all the tubes, tape, and wires. And you were at peace. 
Here you are baby boy. Just as beautiful as always.
They gave you a matching hat and blanket to put on you after you died. You are buried wearing the hat and we still have the blanket (Grandma made you a knew one to have with you). This picture is honestly one of my favorites of you. You look so peaceful and you are so beautiful. You can really tell how much you look like your Daddy here. I just wish I could kiss those cheeks one more time. Feel your soft hair, whisper in your ears. I wish I could hold you one more time, hold your body close to mine.

I don't know what else to say about that day right now Marcellus. It was hard, it was scary, it was horrible, it was painful, it hurts to think about, I still can't believe it happened, but I am thankful. I am thankful we were there for you. I am thankful we got to hold you as you left this earth.

I love you more than I can ever express. I miss you just as much. There will always be a whole in my heart. You took that piece with you. And I want you to have it. I want you to have that piece of my heart. I will never feel whole again on this earth. We will be together one day though. I live for that day. That day when mother and son will be reunited. For now, while I am here without you, I will do my best. Each day I will do my best to live for you, to share my love for you, to share how amazingly awesome you are with the world. Everyone needs to know of the little 3 lb 2oz baby boy named Marcellus Robert. Your 12 days on this earth my have been short, but they were the best days of my life. Although you are no longer physically here, we will make sure you live on. And you do live on baby boy, you have touched and continue to touch the lives of so many. I am so proud to be your mommy. Thank you for blessing our lives. xoxox.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A year ago: November 8th, 2011

I struggled with I should write about Marcellus getting sick and about the day he died. Do people want to read that? But it's part of his story and it doesn't matter if people want to read it or not. If you come here, you are doing so because you want to know more about him, more about this journey. If you don't want to read it, you won't. The day he got sick and the day he died are days that he was here, that we had with him. Days we still were able to parent him on this earth. In fact, in those days we had to do things and make some of the decisions that most parents don't ever have to. And so I will write, I will share.

I've been having flashbacks of the 8th and 9th all day today. I'm sure they will continue tomorrow. Flashbacks of what we were doing at this time. Flashbacks to the denial, the disbelief. These two days are very hard days to relive, but I feel like I'm doing just that. Reliving those moments.

A year ago today: Tuesday, November, 8th, 2011
First I will summarize the short of it and then I will share more detail in a letter to Marcellus. The day started out like any other. Antsy and eager to get to the NICU to see my sweet baby. Things changed not too long after that when Marcellus was diagnosed with NEC. Everyone was so hopeful because they thought they caught it early. My biggest fear was him feeling hunger since he had to be taken off of his milk and put back on IV fluids only. Nothing seemed to change for awhile, but then at night it got worse. He got very lethargic and also had to be put back on the ventilator due to some really bad apnea episodes. We went home that night, in denial that our baby was as sick as he was. We should have stayed. We should have sat there with him all night and not left him alone when he was so sick and hurting. I have so much guilt over that. But we didn't know. We didn't know he was going to die. We just needed to get some sleep.
Dear Marcellus,

The morning started with me having to throw out some milk I had accidentally left out the night before when pumping. I was so bummed about that. But my next pumping I got 210 mL, the most I had ever gotten at once. I was pretty proud of that! 

Mommy got to your bed a little before 11am on Tuesday morning. Daddy was going to take another test. As soon as I got there you were fussy. I could tell instantly that you were being fussy. You had a new nurse that day, Shelley. She told me about how you were being feisty, but I knew it wasn't your normal feisty self. I knew something was off. I told her this wasn't feistiness that you were being fussy and you never fussed like that. Shelley told us that they were still watching the blood in your diaper. That Rod said it had pretty much gone away over night, but that morning it was back for her at 9am. They decided to do an x-ray to see what was going on with your insides. They didn’t have the results yet.  She also had stopped the human milk fortifier in your milk. Daddy came in not too long after Mommy because he ended up not having his test that day. We decided that Daddy would hold you first so I could pump (I was always pumping). While Daddy held you, you were still being fussy. You didn’t really all out cry or anything, but it’s like you were working up to. I took some pictures of you and Daddy. I just realized in my last post I said the picture from Monday night was the last one of you alive. That's a lie. We have some from Tuesday, but we can't look at them. You look in pain in the picture. We can see it in your face. Your curled up on Daddy's chest and he's so unaware of what's about to happen. He's just happy to hold you as usual. But you are pained my sweet baby boy. I can't bear to look at those pictures knowing how unaware we were of what was going on inside you.

We were getting ready to switch for k-caring, but it was around your assessment time. Shelley changed your diaper while you were on Daddy. Bad news, it was bloody stool. It looked a lot different than the diapers from the day before. They were very small amounts of blood on top of normal looking stool. This was blood mixed in the stool. We were now worried. Mommy tried to hold you anyway while Shelley went to show Michelle and see if the results were in from the x-ray. Something in the transfer from Daddy to Mommy must have hurt your insides, either that or you were just trying to tell me something. Baby you cried while I held you, you really cried. It made Mommy cry too. I couldn’t comfort you. I tried talking to you and tell you “Mommy’s here” and tried rocking you back and forth a little, but nothing helped. You just kept crying and so did I. I hate that that’s the memory I have of our last k-care. I almost wish we wouldn’t have even k-cared that day. But you needed to know we were there. And maybe that’s why you felt like you could cry like that, because you were with us and knew we were there for you. We put you back in your isolette and got the news that they suspected necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).  Michelle, the nurse practitioner, was hopefully that we caught it early. I even remember her smiling at us that it would be okay. The only signs you had was the blood stool, some residual (7mL out of 28mL), and a slight change on your x-ray. They said it was good you were fussing and acknowledging something was wrong. They said when babies are really sick they are lethargic. You were definitely letting us know there was a problem. They started measuring your belly to see if it was getting distended. At the time it wasn’t. They took you off your food and put you back on IVs (which was easy since you still had your PICC line in). I was so worried about you feeling hungry. They said if it is NEC you would need bowel rest for 7-10 days. They put a different tube down your throat to get some of the air and stuff out of your belly, to relieve the pressure. They also started you on antibiotics. Michelle told us that they should start working in 24-48 hours. She also told us about how NEC progresses and that you may need surgery if your bowel perforated. 

We were worried, but not frantic. We knew this would be a setback from getting you to leave the NICU when we thought you would, we just never imagined it would be a setback that prevented you from leaving the NICU alive. You had another x-ray done while Daddy and I were there. You were still being your feisty squirmy self. When Shelley picked you up for the x-ray you moved all around. We finally went to go get something to eat later in the afternoon. On our way out we ran into Michelle and talked to her about the results of the most recent x-ray. I think she said there wasn’t too much change, but they were still watching it. She talked about dilation of the loops of your intestines. It was all very confusing for Mommy. You would continue to get x-rays throughout the day and night. We went and ate and talked about how we were worried about you. Daddy was struggling with if he should go to his CNA class that night. He only had one more he could miss. We talked it over and decided he should go. We came to that decision because at the time we thought at most you would need surgery. We decided Daddy should go that night in case you would need surgery the next day. We wanted him to be able to be there for that.  Of course in hindsight Daddy should have stayed with us. But we made the best decision we could at the time and he was doing it for us. That’s what matters is that we did the best we could at the time. I hope you know that love. 

Originally I was going to go home with Daddy for supper and then get a ride back with Tawny. After you got sick I decided I needed to stay with you. Also, Auntie Beth had set up a meal train for us and a friend was going to be dropping dinner by our house that night. I don't think I had her number at the time, so I text Auntie Beth telling her to pass on the message that I wasn't going home. All I could say to Beth is that you were having a bad day. I couldn't even say you were sick. I didn't want to get people worried. I was also in super strong denial that you were as sick as you were. Really what I should have done is told everyone I could, so that they could pray for you. Maybe if a lot people would have prayed for you God would have listened and saved you. I never gave them the chance to because I never told anyone you were sick.

At time Tawny was a chaplain at Wake Med and she came up to the NICU right when she got off work. She stayed with us until Daddy got back. Daddy had asked me to keep updating him at least every hour. You were getting tired baby, very tired. That really worried Mommy. I wish I would have asked Daddy to come back sooner. I don’t know if it was denial or I wasn’t really aware of how sick you were getting, but I thought you were doing okay. I thought you just needed to rest and that’s why you were tired. I feel so guilty about not asking Daddy to come back. I feel really really guilty. Your stats were staying pretty good though, you were just tired. You had more x-rays that night. During one of your x-rays you didn’t fight and squirm like you normally would have. That really bothered Mommy. I knew something wasn’t right. You also had stopped gripping my finger when I held your hand. Oh baby I should have known something was going terribly wrong. Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I call Daddy? I got really tired and had to rest a little in the reclining chair. Tawny stayed watching over you and comforting you. I am really thankful she was there, but it should have been Daddy. Can you tell I feel really bad about this? That is something I really regret. He left it up to me to let him know if he should come back and I failed him and you by not asking him to. I thought you were okay, I really thought you were going to get through this and be okay! That we should save his day for a time when we needed it more, like if you had surgery. You had your head ultra sound scheduled for that night. You had a couple apneas while she was doing it, but I thought it was just because you were irritated by having that goop on your head. Oh how I realize I was in denial. 

Daddy did let me know when he was on his way. Between that time and when you got there, you quickly went downhill. You had some really bad apnea. You needed to really be stimulated to get out of it, to start breathing again. I cried a lot. I was so scared Marcellus. Knowing that you weren’t breathing was scary. Poor Daddy walked in on that, on you not breathing and Rod trying to stimulate you to breath. They decided you need to go back on the respirator. I now know that was a tell tale sign that things were not good at all. But at the time I was naive and like I said in denial. I thought to myself “at least now I know my baby is breathing, he can focus on resting and getting better without having to worry about breathing.” That’s what I thought baby, I still thought you were going to make it through but I was oh so scared. While they put the respirator in I called Grandma. She didn’t answer right away; I think it was about 11pm, so it would have been 10pm for her. She called back a few minutes later and all I could say is “Mom, he’s sick.” Grandma tried to be comforting, but we were all scared. We all just wanted you to be okay. Daddy and I went back in to the NICU when we could and stayed with you for a little while longer. We then decided to go home.
I wish we would have stayed the whole night with you. Rod even said to us, “You can stay if you like.” I think he was trying to hint to us that we should, that you were really sick. Again denial crept in. We thought we should go home and rest in case you needed to have surgery the next day. We wanted to be able to have energy to be there if you needed surgery. We still didn’t know that we would need that energy to say goodbye. I don’t remember what time we went home, but we knew you were having another x-ray at 2am. I asked Michelle to call us after every x-ray and keep us very updated.

Before we left Daddy wrote in his journal. It's hard to read and type up. The desperation, worry, and fear are so apparent. 

I didn't want to write about it yesterday because I had hoped it would be nothing. It turned out to be a big something and your mother and I are absolutely worried about you. You had blood in your stool yseterday. Not a lot but it was noted and they took you off the human milk fortifier. Today we arrived at 11am and you were being fussy. Shelly, your nurse, checked your diaper during k-care with me and there was blood mixed in this time. Shelly got concerned and pushed for an x-ray of your intestines. They are inflamed. You got put on IV fluids and antibiotics and taken off feedings. I went to lcicals and Mom stayed behind. On my way up you had some bad cases of apnea. You took a couple of chrashes when I arrived and they put you on a ventilator again. We won't know till tomorrow how you are doing. You got really tired. So far signs are god. We really need you to pull out of this. I never wish anything bad upon you. You never deserved this. Please come out of it buddy. When I saw your O2 crash and your heart rate drop I feared the absolute worse. Never scare me like that again. We love you so very much it hurts to see you in any pain. We need you. More than you need us. The Lennon men are strong willed and stubborn. Your mother gave you some strong genes. You will do going. I love you little man.

Baby boy, this all hurts so much. So many things I feel guilty about that day. I'm sorry I couldn't comfort you when I held you. That broke my heart. I'm the mom, I'm supposed to be able to fix it and I couldn't. All I could do was cry with you as I held you. I'm so sorry you were in pain. I hate to think of that. My sweet little boy hurting. I can't imagine how you felt. My poor baby. I'm sorry that Daddy didn't stay. I feel like that's my fault. And I'm sorry we left you that night. You had to be scared and we just left you. I hope you could feel our love and concern for you. We were so scared, so worried, but yet still hopeful. When we left that night it honestly never crossed my mind that you could die. I mean you were in the hospital after all. If you were going to get sick it was a good place to be. A high level NICU where they have amazing doctors and nurses. You were in good hands. Yes, I was worried about complications and what you would have to go through. But I never thought what you would have to go through was death. Oh Marcellus I miss you, I ache for you, I long for you. I just don't know why they couldn't fix it. Nobody could fix it. Today has been hard. Really hard. Tomorrow will be really hard too. It hurts just as bad as it did right after you died. It honestly does. I miss and love you so very much my sweet boy. So so so very much. xoxox