Monday, August 22, 2011

You may not know...

There is a part of losing a child no one thinks about, something that you don't predict but makes sense when you think about it.

I never thought about it. I didn't realize it had happened till today. It's common sense and an "outsider" could probable point it out but being in the "storm" I haven't seen it till now.

My little world of me, the hubby, and the Monkey has been turned upside down. It has been shaken to the core and will never be the same. For the rest of my life I will always be the mom whose baby died. My hubby will always be the guy whose baby died. I will always be worried for other newborns and always checking their toes and hands. I will never stop worrying and never stop advocating for pulse ox.

I went over to my best friend's house today. I meant to bring fabric so we could be crafty and make homemade stuffed animals. I forgot. I was so mad at myself for forgetting because it was something I was looking forward to. I thought to myself "why am I forgetting everything!?"

"Because your still grieving, duh"

And it all kind of came together. My brain has been wiped clean. I was so focused for so long on medical terms, medications, doses, chest tubes, cardiology terms, oxygen numbers and feeding schedules; I can't remember anything else. It's all gone. Thank God most of our bills are taken out automatically. If I didn't get a bill in the mail, I would forget to pay anything. I don't go grocery shopping like I used to. I don't pay the bills like I used to. My schedule has been completely upended and is scattered all over the place. I have to focus and tell myself what to do. I used to keep a mental schedule of all bills and appointments but now I can't ever remember something from 3 seconds ago.

My brain is focused only on Corbin and the Monkey.

I feel stupid typing this out for others to read but I never thought about it before. My life will never be the same again. Ever.

I will always have a grave to visit. I will always have this scar. I will never forget.

My best friend and I ran a yard sale this weekend for my friend's mom. A grandma, her daughter, and the grandson stopped by to buy baby stuff. The first thing I did when I saw the infant was check his toes and hands. I looked for any sign of blue tinted skin. I can't help it. It kind of bothered me. Am I ever going to stop?

No. I'm not.

And that's okay. Corbin was born and he died for a reason. If I do happen to come across a newborn with blue toes I am now educated enough to let the parents know what could be wrong. I can save a life and it's all thanks to Corbin. I would never know about pulse ox and how to save a life if he hadn't came into my life.

So it may take me a while to get back into my old routine. My memory may never come back. We may go without groceries for a week longer then usual. But the knowledge I have gained from this experience is so important. It had a high price but it is helping me make a difference.

I hope you're proud of me Peanut. Love you baby.

You are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.

You make me happy,
when skies are grey.

You'll never know dear,
how much I love you.

So don't take my sunshine away...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good in their name

A had the honor again (yay!) of guest posting on a blog. This time it was for my dear friend Kristine on her Good in Their Name blog.

Kristine started this blog to help gather and share stories of mothers who have lost their child(ren) and who have done good in their name. Whether you have donated blood or helped start a new state law; it is a great website to read uplifting and inspirational stories of good.

Please take a minute to read and share some love! And thank you, again, to Kristine for all she does! xoxo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Things I never thought I'd say or do: A list

Being a mother brings surprising experiences that you can only laugh at. Here is a list of some of the things I never thought, before I had kids, that I would ever say or do.

1. "No dear, we do not eat doggy poo."

2. Chasing after my child, who has stuffed trash from off the ground, in his mouth.

3. "Will you please stop lifting mommy's shirt up!?"

4. Being the mother of the child that is screaming throughout Wal-mart.

5. Turning on Spongebob to keep my child's attention so that he will actually eat.

6. Being excited when a new episode of Phineas and Ferb airs.

7. Suffering a mild concussion from the head butt my toddler served me.

8. "Dear child, I love you so much, but STOP pulling my hair out!!"

9. Making silly faces through the grocery store to keep my child entertained.

10. Knowing every word to the Hot Dog song on Mickey Mouse clubhouse.

Though I would have never imagined I would do and say these things, they are what make my life better. I would not trade my bouncy, loud, silly-dancing, babbling to himself, climbing on everything, lungs of steel, sloppy-kiss-giving Monkey. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Your true, beautiful colors

Everyone's story of loss is different. The beginning and middle of the story will vary, but the end will always be the same. We have suffered a loss. Though the journey may be long or short, it will always be heart breaking. Relationships are put to the test in a journey like this.

During Corbin's 81 day stay in the hospital I would have to say relationships were made stronger. I honestly don't have a story of someone who acted horrible or treated us badly. Support was given at all angles and there were many friends that really stepped up and showed their true, beautiful colors.

The Hubby works with a man whose daughter has cardiomyopathy and who understood our journey better then any other immediate family and friends. The Little family really went the extra mile to show their support.
While I was staying at the Ronald McDonald house the Little family gathered together supplies they knew we would need and probable forgot to bring with us. Which they were right! During the hustle and emotional shock of hearing our son would have to be transported to Morgantown, we weren't thinking of bringing deodorant or shampoo. So one day, Mrs. Little showed up at the McDonald house bearing a bag full of supplies and a big hug. We were so touched that they had taken the time to bring us supplies but their kindness didn't stop there. A couple weeks later, they made the four hour drive, with two kids, to come visit and take us out to dinner. We will never forget their kindness in our time of need. They have been a big support to me and my husband by lending a shoulder to cry on or to give advice on doctors and nurses. They are truly great friends.

Not only were relationships with friends made stronger, but with coworkers as well. Hubby's workplace stepped up and showed that they cared about him more as a father then an employee. They were very lenient if he had to call in for an emergency or if he needed to work more hours; they did their best to help him out. His workplace was so supportive by setting out donation jars around the building, having a hot dog sale to help raise money, and they also participated in Corbin's balloon release the day of his burial. They took the time to ask about updates when I or he would call. They sent a package of food so we wouldn't have to buy groceries, they sent cards, they called to check in. They really went the extra mile to show they cared.

Then the support from the online community! Wow is all I can say. After finding out Corbin had heart defects caused by Williams Syndrome (WS) I had the support from the heart defect groups, the mothers-of-kids-in-the-hospital groups, and the WS groups. It was amazing. After I set up a Caring Bridge page to update everyone on Corbin's progress, the comments poured in. As his progress got worse, the word spread for prayers. I had friend requests on Facebook constantly. After I set up a Facebook page for Corbin, I couldn't keep up with the notifications. There were fundraisers started and many people chipped in to help. Everyone wanted to share their love, concern, and prayers. I had people from Australia, the UK, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Sweden, the Netherlands, the Phillipines, and all over the US rooting for Corbin. The traffic to my blog shot through the roof. He was showered daily in thoughts and prayers from his new extended family. It was inspiring how many people cared. I will never forget the kindness we were shown through Corbin's fight. He is loved by many people all over the world.

We were not the only ones within our families to lose a child.
My parents lost a son when I was about seven or eight. His name is Elijah and he was considered a miscarriage. My parents told me that he was about 4 months along, developed but still tiny. He fit in the palm of my mother's hand and looked exactly like my younger brother. My father-in-law lost a daughter to lupus, and my mother-in-law lost her middle aged son in a car accident. Hubby's aunt lost a child, as well as my step-grandmother who lost a girl and my mother's best friend lost her daughter shortly after she was born. Some of these stories we knew, but others were a surprise to find out. You never hear these things until they happen to you. We all are a tighter family because of it.

Though we suffered a tragedy,  the whole family carries the scar of child loss. It is not something just me or just my husband show, but all of us together. A grandparent lost a grandchild. A cousin lost a baby cousin. Parents lost a newborn, and a brother lost his little brother. We are all in this together and for that I am thankful. Thankful that we don't have to go on alone. Corbin will never be forgotten.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


When I visit Peanut's grave, there always seems to be a soft breeze blowing. The air is soft, the light is golden, and the wind chimes are singing. It's like the souls of our lost children are floating around and playing music on the wind. 

It's calming. Peaceful. I like it there.

To me, it's not depressing or morbid. I don't think about where my son's body is because his body no longer matters. He has been released from his broken body and given wings. He is whole and perfect. I know he tried his hardest to stay with us. I know he fought hard for his life. It was not meant to be. I understand that now. I accept that. That doesn't mean I don't miss him. That doesn't mean my heart isn't broken. I love my angel and I thank God every day for giving me the time I had with him. 

Enjoy your chimes, Peanut. I love you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tip Me Tuesday

I've been a big fan of do-it-yourself blogs, TV shows, and websites for a while now. I love to see the before and after pictures and imagine how I could use those tips in my own house. I came across a blog party and decided it was time to join in!

The two weeks after Corbin passed away, Hubby and I did not allow ourselves to sit still. We constantly had projects going to keep our minds and bodies busy. It was part of our grieving and it may not work for others, but it helped us.

This is one of my projects: to make curtains for the kitchen.


Exhibit A: the fabric

The walls are grey and I wanted something bright and cheery to warm up the kitchen. This fabric made me jump with joy when I found it online. Per-fec-tion.

Introducing my new best friend: no-sew Heat-n-Bond!

Measure it out...

I line pins down where I need the edge of the fabric to meet.

Line the Heat-n-Bond down the length of the fabric.

Fold over and start to iron. Once I folded the fabric over, I pulled the pins out then stuck them back in the fabric on the very outside edge and pulled them out as I ironed down the line.

Keep going!


Make sure you leave room for the curtain rod!

Monkey approves :)