More on Connor and Colby!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


So... Colby's birthday is in just over 2 weeks and I have totally dropped the ball on this one.

We still don't know where we are having it... our house is way too small, so we're stuck. That's the only real obstacle, but it's a major one. We can't even do invites without knowing where it will be.

But that aside, I'm really, really, really, really nervous about the party and the day. To any who have lost 1 of a twin pair... how was the first birthday? Any special ideas of how to honor the baby who passed away while still keeping things upbeat for the baby who is here?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Almost 11 months

I haven't updated mostly because I don't know what to say that I haven't already said.

All I've been able to think lately is "I still can't believe it." But I think we've established that that's not going away any time soon.

The past few months have been a crazy whirlwind of school and work and life. Colby's getting bigger. He's more mobile. He's a ton of fun.

But I still can't believe that they were born so early, so tiny, and that we lost Connor. That this is where I am. That I'm left to try to figure out how to move on.

And until I can wrap my head around that completely I don't feel like I'll ever know what to write...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Some days I am so okay. At least on the outside... my heart will never be okay.

But then some days it all comes crashing down around me.

Last night was tough.

Not because it was an anniversary.

Or a question asked by a stranger.

It was just hard because he's gone.

Cuddled with the turtle and caressed his picture again.

Missing my boy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

9 Months

9 months ago we said goodbye.

As I usually do on the 19th of the month, Monday morning I watched the clock tick to 11:56am and welcomed Connor into the world 9 months ago. Two minutes later I kissed Colby and said Happy Birthday. Johnny doesn't get it. It's been 9 months, not a year, so not a birthday. He doesn't get why the months and anniversaries are so important... and I can't really explain why, either.

And again this morning I watched 7:08am roll around and said goodbye to Connor while cuddling Colby close. It was a sucky day as always. In some way it made me feel closer to Connor.

I miss him so much. It hurts so much. I need him here with me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm alive!

I've only partially fallen off of the face of the earth. I'm back to work, and things are super, super busy. I'm so far behind on reading and writing!! I'll get there... maybe over April vacation? But maybe not... I went back to work to find my kids almost 4 months behind!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

8 Months

The past few months have felt like a series of milestones...

Friday marked 8 months since the boys' birth. 8 months since our world was rocked by the two little tiny bundles. 8 months since one of the best days- and scariest- of my life.

As always happens- and will forever happen- this big month milestone for the boys is quickly followed by the worst milestone of all-- another month that we have been without our precious Connor.

I had planned a post for yesterday. We were walking around a lake in a nearby town enjoying the beautiful weather and I was scripting my words in my head. A post about the 20th, the "in between," the one day of Connor's life... but it was a hard day. It always is. I found myself worn, tired, saddened. The 20th of every month seems to mark my one day with Connor. And, though I've always been one to say that I don't have regrets because each moment, each mistake, each lesson has gotten me where I am, the 20th of July is one day for which I truly hold regrets.

I regret that I didn't spend more time in the NICU with the boys.
I regret that I didn't take pictures of the boys- Connor in particular.
I regret that I didn't take videos of the boys.
I regret that I didn't truly understand the seriousness of the boy' conditions.
I regret that I felt like I had forever and took that one precious, miraculous day for granted.

And those memories and thoughts pile up and wear me down.

My one true day with my baby boy, and I blew it.

And so, I'm here instead on the anniversary of his death. The anniversary of the day that I went from Mommy of 2 boys here on Earth to a Mommy of an angel in heaven and a miracle on Earth.

Lately Colby has been waking up earlier and earlier. 5:30am some days, 6am others. Today was no different. We came downstairs to allow Daddy to sleep... we played quietly with all distractions off. I wasn't completely awake and neither was Colby, so we relaxed in the peacefulness of one another's company. And as we relaxed, I happened to glance at the clock.

It was near 7am.

And I was transferred back to the NICU on the 21st of July, 8 short and long months ago.

We entered the boys' NICU room to find it filled with nurses and doctors fighting to save our baby's life. One nurse was bagging him to help him breathe. He was being transfused. But he was awake. He was watching. He was helpless. As his numbers fluctuated, hope would fill the air momentarily. He was tried back on the ventilator- but he couldn't handle it. He was taken off and another transfusion was forced into him. Again, his numbers slowly rose and the ventilator was tried again. But another fail brought yet another transfusion. Three transfusions later and the doctor looked at us and told us that she had done everything she could.

Our baby was going to die.

I often wonder... wish... daydream... what life would have been like if one of the ventilator tries had worked. What if they had saved our baby? What if Connor had pulled through? What if it was all just a horrible, horrible scare?

But it wasn't. Wires were disconnected and our baby was placed into our arms. He watched us for a moment, gripping my finger, holding on. But it was too much. In our arms, surrounded by our love, our precious baby took his last breath and we said goodbye. At 7:08am the doctor listened to his chest and sadly shook her head. Less than 48 hours after his terrifying entrance into the world, our precious Connor was gone.

8 months later, half-asleep playing on the floor with Colby, it still feels like a terrible nightmare that I can't wake up from. Sometimes I manage to convince myself it didn't happen, that life is still perfect and happy. That my pain is unnecessary.

In the 8 months the pain has remained, changed a little perhaps, but it's still there. I've learned to pretend I'm okay. I've learned to put on a brave face, to function, to confront strangers, to share our story... but really, I'm not okay. I'm not sure you ever really can be after seeing your baby die. After saying goodbye to your child in this life.

I try every day for Colby, but even 8 months later it still hurts so much.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I like to comment-jump from blog to blog. I start with a blog I read regularly, comment on the recent post, and then click over to a new blog from another commenter. I do this and bop around to blogs that I've never come across before. Sometimes I find blogs that really intrigue me and other times I just keep on jumping.

Lately I've been jumping around blogs of other baby loss mommas looking for comfort. It breaks my heart that there are so many mommy's missing their babies. I've started commenting on some of the newer blogs- many of which are blogs dedicated to the loss of both twins.

One such blog I found is in memory of Jill's twins Emma and Chase. Emma and Chase were born just under a month after Connor and Colby. Unfortunately Jill lost both her babies shortly after birth. Last night while reading I posted a comment relating the loss of her precious twins to the loss of Connor, but my words echoed in my head last night and again this morning. I eventually deleted the comment.

Because I felt like a fraud.

Here I was, commenting on a blog of a mommy heartbroken over the loss of, not one baby, but two.

I don't know the pain.

I know some of the pain. But, really, I don't know the pain of losing two babies. I don't know the pain of having all my dreams ripped away. Every day I count myself lucky that I had two days with Connor. I got to take Colby home. I didn't leave the hospital empty handed. I have a baby sleeping in his room upstairs. I have a baby to feed in the middle of the night and I have a baby to greet me with a gummy smile in the morning. Yes, I have felt pain, but I am so lucky.

When we were trying to get pregnant I had people who would make the "Oh, don't worry, we had a hard time too- it took us 5 months!" comments and while in the NICU we had the people who would console me with "My baby was born at 36 weeks!" Those comments didn't help. They didn't comfort. They caused me pain.

And it was only with my comment to Emma and Chase's mom that I realized that, even though my pain, I could be causing pain. And I don't want to do that.

I am one of the lucky ones.

Yes, I've seen pain. I've felt pain. I've cried. I've lost. And I miss Connor with more intensity every day. There is a hole in my heart that won't ever go away.

But I am still functioning. I still have a reason to function. I get days with Colby. And having Colby helps me remember that life can go on and in his own way he even helps me to remember his brother. And my heart just breaks for those who haven't been as lucky.

My point isn't to pretend that losing Connor was no big deal, that I have no reason to hurt, that I have moved on. Instead, I am thankful for what I have- I've found some peace. The peace is fleeting at times, but I know that I can function for Colby. I have a reason for moving forward. And I only hope that everyone can feel the same way.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Oh well, I'll get to Matt later... I've been a little lazy. (Coincidently enough, Matt is downstairs playing with a whiny Colby while I lay here on my bed typing this. Lazy. Lazy. And he's a good brother...)

Anyways... it's getting down to the wire for March of Dimes... we have two months so every one on our team has begun posting on Facebook to solicit donations. This is what my mother-in-law posted. I don't like it... tell me if I'm ridiculous...

Last summer my twin grandsons, Connor and Colby, were born at 27 weeks gestation. Connor died two days after his birth from complications of the premature birth. Colby was hospitalized in the NICU for over three months. Because of those events, I’m walking in the March of Dimes/March for Babies on May 8, 2010 to raise donations and I’m asking for your support.

First, I hate the word "died". Actually I hate any word relating to the death of my child, but died has to be the worst. I'd prefer "lost" or "passed away". Anything but died.

Secondly, does it have to say from complications of the premature birth? Obviously a baby born at 27 weeks who passes away 2 days later will have suffered complications. Reading it feels like a slap in the face. Like, he didn't just pass away, but it was because his mom couldn't stay pregnant long enough to keep him safe. I know that's not really the subtext there, but it's what I hear when I read it.

So I nicely asked her to change it a few days ago... no response yet. Fingers crossed. And, am I crazy?

Monday, March 8, 2010


My Parents: I am the 3rd out of 4th kid in my family.  The only girl.  You better believe that my mom was excited when she learned that we were pregnant...

We took about a year and a half to tell my parents about what we were going through with the fertility clinic and such.  As soon as we did they were supportive.  My mom followed my procedures, I sobbed on the phone to my mom when we miscarried, and then my parents visited the day of our egg retrieval so that my mom could teach Johnny how to do the PIO injections.  My mom followed my pregnancy with the twins like a hawk.  We talked every day and she grilled me about my protein intake and my sleep.  

On June 22nd my mom and dad accompanied us to the doctors for an ultrasound.  They were in the room to see the babies moving around, but they waited in the lobby while we were given the shocking news that the pregnancy was in danger and that I was on immediate bed rest.  I walked out of the room in a daze and collapsed next to them telling them what had happened.  Though they live aways away and both had to work the next AM (it was a late appointment) they followed us home to make sure that we had everything that we needed to keep me comfortable and in bed.  They went food shopping for us, grabbed us dinner, and tucked me into bed before leaving for home late that night.  The daily phone calls continued and the night I was finally admitted into the hospital my parents drove up to Boston to see me for my first night in the hospital (first night EVER).  I was stuck in triage way longer than planned and my parents patiently waited for 5 hours outside the hospital until I was in a room and they could visit.  

Throughout the month I was in the hospital, my parents who rarely drove in to the city (we're small-town folks :oP) visited twice a week every week to keep my spirits up.  They brought me dinner, my mom painted my toes, and they just hung around.  Still my mom continued to follow the pregnancy religiously.  

The morning I went into labor Johnny called them and my mom immediately started crying, but they drove those 60 miles to the hospital in record time and were there before the C-Section began.  (Though I didn't see them, but Johnny saw them out the window before he came to be with me.)  They waited in the main lobby for hours- they were there around 11am and they didn't get to come up and see me until 4 or 5pm.  They spent the day with me and the boys and they returned the next day with photos of the boys for us to hang in the room.  

The next day, Tuesday, they were at work already when Johnny made the call that they needed to come now.  Johnny didn't want to tell them over the phone that Connor had passed away, so he just left a message saying that I needed them.  They both rushed out of work and again sped to the hospital.  They didn't know where to find us so they went to my room and when they didn't see me there they rushed up to the NICU.  It was there that I collapsed into their arms and sobbed.  

After we said good bye to Connor and left him with the nurses, they came up to my room but then everyone left me and Johnny for a few minutes.  It turned into a long time and Johnny left to talk with them.  Awhile later my mom came back to visit me in the dark and she was such a comfort.  It meant a lot to me to know that, even though she was heartbroken about Connor, she was still worried about me.  I had a feeling at the time that other people were only sad about Connor (understandable), but it was important to know that my mom and dad knew that losing Connor would profoundly change me in ways others didn't seem to think about.

That night my parents and Johnny's parents stepped up to talk responsibility for Connor's funeral- in planning and paying.  Looking back I'm not sure it was the right decision for us to let them take the responsibility because it wasn't really fair but I will forever be grateful that they did.  They met with the funeral directors and made the big plans and paid for everything.  Johnny and I were able to personalize the arrangements as we saw fit, but we didn't have to sit down and make the plans.  I am so thankful for that and for them.  

The day of the funeral my parents were right there by my side.  Looking back I really think they were worried about how I would handle everything and how it would change me, but knowing I had their support meant the world.  I knew they were there, not only for the fact that they lost a grandson, but also for us- and that came first.  They put us ahead of themselves and what we needed came first.  

My parents bought me a necklace to honor the twins and it was just what I needed.  I've worn it every day since and I have felt not only the twins presence with the necklace, but also the love of my parents.  

Their support has been unwavering ever since and I have constantly felt their support in everything.  They visited Colby 2 times a week in the hospital.  One of the smallest things that happened in the hospital that meant so much came from my dad.  One day a nurse casually asked if Colby was his first grandchild.  My dad froze and choked up.  I saw the redness in his eyes and he quickly blurted "No, second".  It was left at that, but it meant so much because it helped me realize just how much my dad was touched by the loss of Connor.  

To this day I still have their support in every way imaginable-- my mom still calls every day and they still manage to find ways to remember Connor just when it matters most.  My mom still posts on the online Guest Book for Connor, we were given Connor ornaments for Christmas, I was given an angel necklace for my angel baby, Connor was honored in subtle ways at the shower, and they donated to the hospital in Connor's name for Christmas.  All this has meant the world to me because it is so important to me that Connor not be forgotten.  I know it's easy for some people to forget about him because we have Colby to fill some of the gaps, but I can't bear the thought that he be forgotten.  

And through everything my parents have managed to support us, be amazing grandparents to Colby, and remember their first grandson in subtle and touching ways.

Next up, my brother Matt.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


During the past almost-8 months (insert gasp here) I've spent more than my fair share complaining about the friends and family who weren't there for us when the boys were born and when Connor passed away.  

I think it's time to move forward and think positively about all the amazing people who were there for us (me) in those days.  

Johnny: I'll start with the obvious, right?  My amazing husband.  

We met about 6 years ago and have been inseparable ever since (well, except for those 3 months I spent in Australia).  We got married in August of 2006 and have lived pretty happily ever after.  We drive each other nuts, but we are nuts about each other too.  I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend my time with or who I would rather have as the Daddy of my babies.  

From the moment that we were pregnant he became a star (well, really he was before, but that's not what we're talking about).  Yes, he still did those little things that annoyed me sometimes (:oP) but he was always there.  It was no different when I went on bed rest.  Though he still had to work, he drove into Boston to visit me every night and stayed with me every weekend.  He made sure he was there for my weekly ultrasounds, got to know the nurses, and helped me out in every way that he could.

The day the boys were born was terrifying for obvious reason, but also amazing.  In those hours before the boys came into this world and in the nail-biting hours after, Johnny was my rock.  He held my hand, encouraged me, and immediately became a loving and protective dad.  While I was waiting for feeling to return while laying in the recovery room, he was torn.  He wanted nothing more than to be with me, to comfort me, but he also was anxious to get up to see our tiny miracles in the NICU.  He covered both roles flawlessly.  He was a supporting, wonderful husband and a worrying, doting dad.  He continued to run on adrenaline over the next 2 days to make sure that I was healing and taken care of, while spending as much time with the boys, learning about their condition and doing the best for them.  He was immediately so proud to be the daddy of our miracles.

The day we lost Connor was hard, but Johnny was once again a rock.  Though crushed beyond belief, he reminded me over and over that we would get through it.  I remember him squeezing me as we said goodbye to Connor and whispering that somehow Colby, he and I would get through as a family.  We were strong enough together to handle the heartbreak- and he was and is right. 

Though now he doesn't always wash the bottles when I want and has yet to wash Colby's clothes (:0P) I know that when I need him, when it really counts, he will be there 100%.  And really?  That's all I need.

Monday, March 1, 2010


How is it that I can still be jealous and saddened by people having babies when I have my own precious little bundle sleeping next to me and my other little bundle nestled sweetly in my memories and heart??

It's not that I'm not happy for people getting pregnant, but I am still just so jealous.  This jealousy doesn't apply to people I know going through IF or people who have dealt with babyloss.  It only seems to apply to people that I assume had an "easy" time getting pregnant.  I know this isn't a fair assumption because how do I know what they have gone through to get pregnant?  And who am I to decide that they've had it "too easy"?  And besides- I would never wish problems or loss on anyone.  But still... jealous.

Like... randomly reading Facebook and I notice that someone I did Girl Scouts with almost 20 years ago is expecting a baby in the end of March.  I haven't talked to her in years and still?  I'm jealous and can't bear to look at the ultrasound pictures.  What is wrong with me??  Seriously... I need to get over myself.  Obviously people my age are going to be having babies and I can't live my life jealous of every single one... especially when I have my own miracles!  I know a large part of it is still that I'm trying to deal with being sad that I didn't have a full term pregnancy or control in keeping the babies safe or saving Connor, but if I can't deal with it I'm going to have a hard time over the next few years!  My pain shouldn't influence how I am able to share in other peoples joy.

It's something I'm working on.  

And like I said, for some reason this jealously doesn't include people who have gone through IF or babyloss... I'm assuming because I know how it is to so badly want your miracle... but I'm am SO HAPPY that Kate is getting her miracle after losing her precious little girl last year.  :)  Send her some love!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Perfection and Wishes

As I posted on my other blog, I am a very lucky girl.  I know that.  I am so lucky for what I have in my life.  I have lost, but I have loved too.  Despite my loss, I still am lucky to have so much more than what some people even dream of.  And for that, I am so very thankful.

But knowing that I am so lucky does not stop me from wishing for more.  Selfish?  Maybe.  Normal?  I like to think so...

There's the obvious- what I cannot have.  I wish I had Connor- that's an easy one.  Forever my first son... the first grandchild.  

I also wish I had an easy pregnancy, that I didn't go into labor early, that I didn't know the inside of the BIDMC NICU like the back of my hand.  I've said before... I wouldn't go back and change things because I know that the steps I took are what brought me to this place in my life.  But, I do wish things were different.  At least some things.

Other than wishing for what I cannot have, there are other things I wish for.  Maybe I can't have these either, maybe they're not to be, maybe they're not in the stars... but for now I still count them as possibilities.

I wish to get pregnant on my own.  No drugs, no doctors, no intervention.  I want to make a baby in the privacy of my own house with my husband and that is it.  I want to take a pregnancy test because I have a feeling and not because it's been "x" days since the transfer.

I wish to have a full-term pregnancy.  I don't want to find out at some early point that things are dangerously close to ending.  I don't want to wake up one morning only to find out that I'm in labor.  WAY. TOO. EARLY.  I want to wake up to labor one morning when it is right.  When the room is ready, when my bag is packed... when the baby is ready.  I'll even take making it to a scheduled C-Section.  I just don't want it to be early.

I wish to have the delivery of my baby be a joyous occasion, not one filled with terror and uncertainty.  This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous wish.  I want people to know they can celebrate with us.  I don't want them thinking they have to stay away.  I don't want them afraid.  I don't want to be afraid. 

I want to be able to hold my baby when he's born.  I want the doctor to announce "it's a boy!" (or girl) and hand the baby to me.  Or at the very least, have the baby cleaned and then handed to me.  I don't want to wait hours before I can even view my baby through a plastic cage and even longer before I can actually touch him.

I want my baby to go home with me the day I go home.  I want to be sore from delivery being wheeled out of the hospital by a beaming hubby with a sleepy little baby in my arms.  I don't want to leave the hospital empty handed again.

I want my first nights at home to be sleepless because the baby gets up every hour to eat.  I want to be deleriously happy and sleepy all at the same time.  I don't want my first nights home to be sleepless because I'm worried about a baby miles away being cared for by nurses and doctors; a baby struggling to live.

I want my baby to know only happiness and a life free from pain from the moment he is born.  I want the pricks of needles to be infrequent and out-of-the-ordinary, not the normal course of the day.  I want his cries to be of simple hunger or wetness and not of knowing the pain of having more wires and needles and tubes than anyone should ever know in their lifetime.

Basically, I want my next pregnancy to be nothing short of perfect.  

Though I know my next baby couldn't be anything more perfect than my 2 little men.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

7 months

It's been 7 months since we lost Connor.  It's amazing how fast time is still passing-- through I know that Colby is part of the reason that it seems to be moving so quickly.

It still hurts to think about Connor, but it hurts in such a different way than it did 7 months ago.  7 months ago it was just a raw, agonizing pain of having my baby die.  The pain of not understanding, the pain of saying goodbye before I really got to say hello.  Now that pain has slowly become less severe.  It hasn't gone away, but that hole in my heart has started to heal.  It's not so dark-- it doesn't hurt to talk about him so much and I can look back to those first few hours and smile.  However, now the pain a horrible ache, a weight on my chest, when I think of how much I miss him and of how horribly things went.  The ache of losing the innocence-- of moving from a thrilled mommy of two beautiful, tiny blessings, to being a forever grieving Mommy wishing for nothing more than to have both her babies with her.

When we lost Connor I felt like pain of losing him was something that most people understood.  They might have really "got it" because they didn't lose a baby, but they "got it" in that they knew that it really sucked to lose him.  They knew that he shouldn't have died and that life would never be the same.

But now I feel so removed from everyone in my pain.  I feel like others-- friends and even family-- have "gotten over it" so to speak.  Yes, it still hurts to think that Connor died, but they don't understand how it still affects me because it doesn't affect them in the same way.  I feel like a piece of me is still missing, that a part of me is broken and can never really be put back.  They don't understand how I still sleep with Connor's turtle every 21st (and more often some months).  They don't understand that it's not a pain that goes away, instead it's a pain that changes, lessens in some ways, but intensifies in other ways.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Should Have

Colby's over 6 months old and has been home for exactly 3 months...

I've noticed a change in my thinking over the past few weeks.  When we first lost Connor and in the NICU and even when we came home I would constantly think about what "should have been". 

We should have been watching over 2 babies. 
We should have been changing 2 diapers.
We should have been feeding 2 bottles.  
We should have had 2 homecomings.
We should have had 2 cribs.
We should have had 2 car seats.
I should be rocking 2 babies to sleep.
I should be playing with 2 babies.
Connor and Colby should have been growing up together.
        ... and on and on.

Lately my thinking has been changing a little.  I definitely still have those moments where I dwell on the "should have".  (Today I should have been bringing 2 babies to the doctors...)  However, more than that, I've been wondering more about what Connor would have been like.  Up until now I think I've always thought of Connor as being just like Colby and it wasn't until recently that I've started to wonder how he would have been different...

Would he sleep well through the night or would he keep us up all night?
Would he smile a lot or be more serious?
Would he like Tummy Time or rather be on his back?
Would he love the Exersaucer or be overwhelmed?
Would he wake up bright eyed and smiling or crying?
Would he love the bath or hate it?
Would he love to cuddle when he's tired or would he rather be put down?

It hurts a lot to not know the answers, but I am so happy that I get to know all these answers with Colby.  

And randomly... I've started to notice a lot more that Colby tends to maneuver things with his left hand more than his right.  I don't know if it's left hand-dominance or if it's really possible to tell that sort of thing at 6 months, but it makes me smile and I find it pretty neat. (... And I feel like this is something I probably learned in one of my million child development classes...)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Missing Names

I think I've mentioned this before.  The NICU at BIDMC is a converted adult-ward.  It was converted into a NICU a little over 16 years ago in late 1993.  Because of this, it's not set up like a "typical" NICU.  Instead of large rooms with clusters of incubators there are 25, maybe 30, rooms each housing 2 babies.  

When you walk in the main entrance, you sign in and then along the left wall you see all the rooms going around the outside in a u-shape.  Each room has a sliding glass door covered by blue curtains.  Inside each room there are two computers for nurses to input their information, there are two incubators (or cribs depending on the baby), there are two monitors, and there is a curtain to divide the two babies to give families privacy.

 On the right there is a long u-shaped desk running parallel to the rooms.  In the very middle of the "U" bank of rooms the Level 3 babies are housed.  They are the most centralized to the nursing stations making it easy for nurses and doctors and therapists to pop in at the slightest sound of an alarm.  As you move to the ends of the "U" (back to the main entrance or to the very end of the NICU) you approach the Level 2 babies.  Alarms are fewer and it's generally quieter.  As babies became "feeder and growers" their rooms are moved toward the outside of the "U"-- they are getting closer and closer to go home.  Generally you needed to move to the outside of the "U" before you were discharged.  (Aside from a few full-term babies who were just admitted for observation-- they'd often stay in the centralized Level 3 rooms for observation and then be sent to the regular nursery without making the transition outwards.)

Oh the outside of each NICU room are two name tag holders.  When babies are admitted, the nurses write the baby's last name and slide it into the holder.  The baby in bed "1" is the top slot and bed "2" is the bottom slot.  Numbers next to the baby's last name indicates twins, triplets, etc.  So, when the boys were born this is what we saw in the NICU:

Connor was Jamerson 1, next to the door.  And Colby was Jamerson 2, next to the window.

Being smack-dab in the middle we got to walk through the NICU often.  In those first few days I was oblivious to the other names in the other rooms.  However, after we lost Connor and Jamerson 1 was removed from our room, I became much more observant as I walked through the NICU.  I would notice the twins and triplets.  (And ache every time I saw their cards.)  I would notice as families moved to the "outside" closer to going home.  Occasionally I would also notice that a name was no longer present.  This was more obvious with twins such as Connor... you'd see the "2" but not the "1" or vice versa.  I'd usually hope that I had just missed it and that the baby had gone home or perhaps had been transferred to another NICU or... something other than the worst possibility.

One such name was that of a little girl who was admitted around the time of the boys.  Her room was next to the boys.  She was the second baby in her room, her name was Maggie Lowe.  She was there and then her name wasn't there.  At the time I didn't think much of it-- like I said, babies were always moving rooms and some were transferred to hospitals closer to home as their needs decreased.

It wasn't until near the end of our NICU stay that I noticed a new rocking chair in the parent hallway of the NICU.  On the back of the chair was a plaque engraved with 

In Memory of Maggie Lowe 
July 2009

Reading it, and even thinking it now, my heart sunk.  Another baby that hadn't made it out of the hospital with her Mom and Dad.  Another set of heartbroken parents.  Connor passed away on July 21st and Maggie was still there.  In those 10 days before the end of the month Maggie, too, lost her life.  

I guess a part of me kind of wished that Connor was the oddity in the BIDMC NICU.  I hoped that the pain we faced that month was enough for awhile.  But I guess it wasn't-- more than one baby lost their life that month.  More than one set of parents saw their dreams end.  And I have no way of being sure that they were the only 2.  And that just sucks.

I guess I really have no idea where I'm going with this.  This is just something I've been thinking about for awhile... my heart aches for Connor but also for all of the families that have lost their babies.  

It just sucks.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

6 Months

July 21st to January 21st

6 months baby boy...
6 months since I saw those eyes light up.
6 months since I saw your smile.
6 months since I felt you squeeze my finger.

6 months since I lost you.
But I love you forever.

The past few days have been difficult leading up to this day. Every happy milestone is accompanied by a sad one. We were thrilled for Colby's 6 months, but missing Connor for 6 months follows two days later. Everything will be like this. Every milestone, every happy moment is followed by a bittersweet moment. That's how life is now.

The boys were born on a Sunday, Connor passed away on Tuesday, and I was discharged from the hospital on a Thursday. Returning to our apartment that day, I was in a daze. When I left for the hospital on June 26th I had no plans to return to the apartment empty handed, or to the apartment at all.

I thought that I'd be in the hospital with the boys until after we had closed on the house and had been moved. But, instead, on July 23rd I returned home. As I walked into my bedroom to collapse on the bed I was greeted by:

I completely broke down. When my parents went to Florida in March we had only just learned that we were having twins a few days before. My mom asked if I would be okay with her getting something for the babies while she was there and I agreed. She came home with Red Sox Spring Training shirts from Ft. Myers for the boys and the turtle stack for me. I love turtles so she thought it was perfect. There are 5 turtles on it, so she told me that it was my "Turtle Bus". The bottom turtle was the driver. The other four were Johnny, Me, Baby A, and Baby B. Our turtle family.

So returning home from the hospital with one baby gone and one baby fighting for his life, seeing the turtle stack crushed me. I grabbed the turtles, crawled into bed, and sobbed uncontrollably. It was a reminder to me of what was supposed to be and what was not meant to be. My heart was broken. The only time our family of 4 would be together was in that turtle stack.

Now, six months later I still look at my turtle stack and get choked up. It kills me to think of how wrong things went. But it does remind me of happier times. Back when we were so naive and sure of where life was taking us. Sure that both our babies would be home with us.

How could 6 months go so quickly? How could my baby be gone for so long?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

At a loss

It's been so long and I've tried to write many, many times.  (3 times today alone)  But I just don't know what to write.  Everything I'm thinking is just so hard to articulate.  I've started posts about words from parents at school, posts on having flashbacks to the numbness after we lost Connor, posts about grief and Christmas and the new year and jealously.  But I can't get anywhere with them.  I'm hoping I can get somewhere soon...