Sunday, August 16, 2015


Things have been a delightful whirlwind for me lately, with life tossing me excitement and disappointment, new friends and new hurts, and as always both pain and joy. Grief always sneaks up on me when I am my busiest. That makes it kind of a slap in the face. I feel like I am trucking along the freeway at 90 miles an hour and then a tire blows out.

It starts with my stomach dropping and initial panic as I figure out whats going on. My grief starts with fear. I feel like my world comes to an almost complete stop, but only in my head
Then there is the recognition. Yes, it is happening. I am about to hurt.
Then there is acceptance. I have to deal with this, I can't avoid it. I have to figure out what the best way to deal with it is in that moment. Am I in a public place? Is there someone I know near me?
Then the pain...
Then I deal with it. I just do. There are no other options.

But why does it hurt like this? Why is the pain still so poignant? Its been nearly 3 years, and I don't feel the hurt every moment of the day. I don't feel like a pariah of pain and parenthood all the time. When the pain strikes, though, it hurts bad. I still cry; it's less often, less tears, less sobs, but I still cry.

Tomorrow will be Rhys's third birthday. If he were here we would be having a birthday party this weekend. He would be running around, probably climbing on everything, chatting up a storm, and growing every minute. He would run behind big brother and big sister, and fawn over little baby brother. There would be cake and ice cream, and maybe we'd get him a bike or a DS so he could be like the big kids.

It's so hard to not have that today.

My son Rhys,

I think about you every single day. A little piece of my heart is missing with you not here. I pour all the love I have for you into the family that is here and missing you. You are with me in every way.

I love you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Another milestone, in grief and growth.

This evening as I write, I am watching my beautiful baby boy sleep, with reflections of his dreams flitting across his tiny face, and the occasional twitch in his fingers, sucking periodically at his little blue binky. Most importantly, I am watching his rhythmic breath, in and out; his beautiful, life-sustaining breath.

Tonight he is five weeks and five days old.

Pregnancy was a huge emotional roller coaster. I had fear and joy, doubt and excitement, and more than anything, a growing sense of love. I had worries that all I would see in this amazing little guy is my lost baby. I dreaded that I would distance myself from him, just waiting for the possible end to happen. I lived in a state of unbalance, swinging between unease and a love filled contentment.

At 35 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was set on a low carb diet and a strict self-testing regiment to track my blood sugar. At my 36 week appointment the doc looked over my numbers and hospitalized me for uncontrollable sugars. It was explained to me that when uncontrolled, gestational diabetes can have negative effects on baby. It can cause excessive weight, premature birth, and possible breathing problems. Those last two words sent me into an absolute panic. And of course, guess what has a negative effect on blood sugar control? Psychological stress. Monitoring through the weekend showed that my blood sugar was difficult to get in check, even with insulin, and after a scary early-morning severe hypoglycemic episode the doctors decided that an early delivery would be best.

That afternoon, my beautiful baby Ash was delivered at 12:32 through c-section. It was an extremely emotional delivery for me, wrought with worry for my child. I did my best to not sob through it, fearing that I would shake my body as they were digging around inside me. My deepest fears were realized when they brought him out and he had trouble breathing. They immediately put him on a breathing machine, and took him to the NICU.

As I lay on that table thinking about what was happening, all those doubts and fears came back. Would this baby not make it? Would I be able to bring myself to go and see him? Would my heart be able to take it if I looked at his tiny little body? What if while I was looking, he stopped breathing? How could I do this? How could I survive losing another child? But then, what I did know was that 37 weeks in my body had already created a bond, a love that I couldn't deny. As soon as I was off the table, I was asking how long till I could go see baby in NICU.

It was nearly five hours later when I finally got to go and see my beautiful child. I got to touch his soft skin, and look at his beautiful little form, and I got the reassurance that a machine was making sure that he was breathing... I didn't have to watch his back rise and fall, because they were tracking every tiny breath he took.

Ashton did great under their watchful care. He was off the breathing machine by four am on Tuesday, and I got to hold him in my arms. His breathing was normal, and he was taking whatever nutrition I was able to pump in addition to the feeding tube he still had. After they took him off the feeding tube, they told me that as long as his blood sugar level was good through four feedings, they would let him leave the NICU. Unfortunately, he had trouble nursing, which we later found out was because he was 'tongue-tied' (that's a thing!), which was corrected at about 1 month old with a simple procedure. This little problem kept him in the NICU until we started supplementing with formula, at which point, he thrived! Ash left the NICU early on Wednesday morning, We brought him home to his adoring big sister and brother that evening.

It has been five weeks and five days of motherly bliss. I still get anxious, of course. I have moments of absolute panic when I can't see the rise and fall of his breaths. I awake from nightmares, in a cold sweat, seeking reassurance in his living body. I don't doubt my ability to love him separately from his lost brother, though. And now I know I can do this. I can live with a little fear and a ton of love.

Tonight marks the night. This is the age Rhys was when he left us. This makes for an extremely emotional night, and an extremely watchful one as well. I don't imagine I'll get much sleep. I will, however, spend every last minute of it loving the hell out of this amazing child of mine.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thoughts on the new one.

New baby Prescott is due 24 May. When I went in for my follow up, I got a young doctor, Army doc, who was clearly new to the game. He was incredibly sensitive while asking for a through history, including the loss of baby Rhys. He was kind, if a little awkward, and I appreciated his bedside manner. Some folks don't get enough appreciation. 

Sami is so excited about a new baby. Rowan still doesn't seem terribly interested or concerned about it, but I think he'll get there in his own time. Sami told Todd she wants a baby girl, and Todd told her that he wants another boy. The interaction made my heart full. I told my therapist that I wanted a girl because I would hate to feel like this baby is a replacement. He reassured me nicely, saying that the fact that we worry about feeling that way is a sure sign that we would never let it happen. New baby will not ever be able to replace the amazing boy we lost, and there is no way we could love it any less for coming after him. 

Sami has been obsessed with babies lately. She brings home books from school that she has to read to three people. She always picks Mom, Dad or Ro, and baby. The other day we were looking at pictures on my phone right before bed, and she asked me if we could please call and talk to baby Rhys. It was hard to explain to her again that he is dead, and that means that he isn't anywhere that we can call him. Her little eyes filled with tears, and all I could do was hold her, and tell her that I miss him, too. 

I guess I'm not the only one confused by all the feelings brought on by this pregnancy. We are keeping it positive. Only 7 months left. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jumbled emotions and waiting.

It has been two years and four days since we lost Rhys. The last month has been one of mixed emotions, confusion, lots of feelings, and lots of love, too. This year we both had our rough spot closer to his birthday, back in August. I am not sure what it was, but we both felt it. We did not do a cake this year, or anything special. I feel a little guilty about that. We didn't burn a plate on his day, either... but we remembered him in our own individual ways. It still hurts, it still sucks. It always will. We are functioning, for the most part, most of the time. We are raising beautiful children that lived, and remembering the beautiful baby that didn't. There is joy in memories, and such sadness, too; guilt about whether or not we are doing the right things to remember him, about whether or not we are loving the living children as much as we possibly can; fear that something could happen to them.

Adding to the jumble of emotions this year is the fact that I just learned I am pregnant again. This fills me with joy, but also with a heart stopping fear. I have known for nearly two and a half weeks, and today went to get my estimated delivery date. They did an ultrasound and saw a gestational sac, but could not find anything in it. Hopefully it's just too early. The doc said it looks like I am about six weeks along, and scheduled me to have another ultrasound on the 9th. He did not seem pessimistic, but was clear in telling me that there is no way to tell right now if I am developing a baby or if there is non-uterine pregnancy. I have already been having bad dreams... I can't help but dread the worst.

I want to say we've had bad luck, that life doesn't favor us because we lost a beautiful baby boy... but I also feel that isn't fair. We have two beautiful children, who bring us all the joy and frustration that beautiful children bring. We live with a huge and painful scar. All the hope and fear that comes with this pregnancy is not going to make a difference. Ultimately, I just have to wait.

I am waiting, breath bated, butterflies of hope in my belly and shadows of fear on my heart, I am waiting.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Today Rowan went to the hospital for an MRI. Because he is only three, they put him under anesthesia. I think that it would not have been so awful for me if this had been a year and a half ago. I guess I cant say for sure, but today was... beyond horrible.

It started with the build up, as all hard things do. For the last couple days I have had horrific images running through my head... having to see him the way I saw my other son, having to feel his cold skin, and having to make those phone calls... to stay sane and tell other people that I have lost a child. I lived it in my head in flashes, and each one came with a sharp pain deep in my heart.

I haven't slept much. I haven't been concentrating. I cant control this fear. I told myself that the risk was low. I told myself that it is for the better. Doctors do this all the time. He is a strong and healthy boy. No amount of justification took away that fear.

Being in the hospital was hard. Being in those rooms. It wasn't, but it may as well have been the room that Rhys went to, where they tried so desperately and so fruitlessly to bring him back to life. Those rooms weren't, but may as well have been the rooms that my children played in, blissfully unaware of the grief surrounding their parents. They may as well have been the rooms that we cried in... well, I did cry in them. I couldn't help it. I was so scared.

Then I watched them put him out. I watched him and was so scared, waiting for something to go wrong. I watched him breathing and sleeping, his chest rising and falling as it was supposed to be. I kissed his face and could do nothing but wait.

Things went perfect. Rowan went through his scan with no problem, and he woke up with no problem. He is my perfect boy.

But after today, I feel so broken.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Birthday, Rhys

Today is a day of cakes and decorations, the first taste of chocolate, messy faces, laughter, love, pride and adoration.

On Sami's first birthday she started walking for the first time. We had a pool party. On Rowan's first birthday, he got to spend time with his Uncle Cooper. He got a musical turtle and Thomas toys that he loved endlessly. I burned some plastic in the oven and it made the cupcakes taste bad. On Rhys's first birthday... I wrote a blog, wishing that I could be creating memories with my son.

Rhys Tracy Zael Prescott was born at 9:50 AM on 17 August 2012. He was 8lbs, 10oz and the most perfect, beautiful baby ever born.

We were fortunate enough to have five weeks and five days with him.
Happy First Birthday, my son Rhys.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Not sad... something else.

Days like today I feel like I should just be put somewhere alone, to live out this punishment for whatever cosmic crime I have committed. I just want to be by myself. I want to let my sadness out in whatever form it happens to be manifesting itself in, rather than let it be crankiness, irritability and impatience.

I fought with my husband today over nothing, I think because we are both sad. He said he feels nothing. I won't push, because maybe that is what he wants to feel. I sort of wish I could feel nothing, just for a little while.

Instead I feel like I snap easily. I don't have the patience for my kids... my beautiful, living, breathing children. I am short with my husband. I don't have it in me to perform day to day tasks. The laundry is piling up, so are the dishes. I just want to scream.

Why can't my sadness just be sadness? Why does it have to be irritation? Or anger? Or the desperate need to just be alone in the quiet?