Thursday, November 20, 2008

We didn't lose him.....

I went for my first doctor appointment and was told basically the same things I already knew. We will never know what went wrong. We have to accept that fact. I was told that it could have been a placenta problem and that if I ever decide to get pregnant again I will be monitored closer to make sure everything is OK. Still no guarantees but at least I'll know everything that can be done will. I was also told that my chances of having another baby with Down Syndrome has only increased by .75 percent. That means that based on my age and the fact that I delivered one child with Downs, I now have a 1 percent chance of it happening again. The doctor says that is a very low number and "lightning usually doesn't strike twice" However I only had a 1 in 1000 chance of it happening in the first place and it did so to me 1 percent is a lot. Once again I will say that having a baby with Down Syndrome wouldn't bother me at all but I just want a different end result. As for the title of this blog, I find myself saying "I lost my son" Well I didn't lose him. I know exactly where he is , he is being raised by God and is happier than I could ever make him. As much as I would like to have him back with me I know he is where he needs to be. He is in heaven, most of us spend our whole lives trying to get there and he got to go straight back. I know he is always going to be taken care of by God and my mom, until I can get there to be with him. I miss him more each day and that will never change but I am healing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Month And Two Weeks

One month and two weeks ago today we lost a part of our hearts. So many people have been affected by this. Me, Tommy, Brayden, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends will forever be in pain over this. Everyone has their own relationship with him and their own memories of the anticipation of his arrival. He was a blessing to everyone even tough he never lived outside of me. I have been struggling everyday to just exist. I know I have to, so I do. I have people that depend on me, and I would never let them down. I can go one day without having a breakdown and I think- OK I'm gonna be OK, then I fall apart all over again. I have been told that this is normal so I deal with it. I know people don't mean to say things to me that are hurtful but I hear from a lot of people " well, you can always have another one" I know I could but that doesn't change the fact that I still want Noah here with me. Or they say" at least you didn't get to know him and get attached" Um.... I DID know him, I carried him with me everywhere I went for almost 10 months. I felt him kick and flip and I knew that he didn't like it when I laid on my left side because he would kick and wiggle around until I turned over. He went on canoe trips with us, to the movies, swimming, shopping, everywhere I went he went and we always made him a part of the experience. So actually I did get attached to him from the very first minute I knew about him. Maybe it was better for Brayden because he really didn't understand, but for me it is not better. Some days I feel like maybe I should go to a support group or see a therapist, but then again I feel like I have my own built in support group with my family and friends. I have met some really great women online that share my experience and they have been my life line although I have never met any of them. I feel that if God brought me to it, he will bring me through it. Everyday is a battle that sometimes I think I'm going to lose but I'm trying and that is all that can be expected of me. As I have said before It is hard to survive with out part of your soul. Losing my Mom last year was hard and I didn't know how to go on with out one of my best friends, but I did, I didn't like it but I did. I learned that when I wanted to talk to her I just had to talk out loud instead of over the phone or in person. I had to have faith that she was always with me and that she could hear me. It was hard but this is so much harder. I have never experienced this much pain before in my life. I take comfort in the fact that Noah is with my mom. They are both waiting for me and I will live my life so that I can be with them again one day. So overall I am coping the best way I know how. I am a different person than I was before and everyone will have to get to know me all over again.

Noah's coming and going

The last week of January 2008 we found out that I was pregnant. Although it wasn't planned, we were very excited. I went to the doctor for the first time on Feb. 18th. I saw the heartbeat in the little black circle that would become the baby that we were already in love with. Seeing the heartbeat just made the love even stronger. I was about 4 to 5 weeks along and due to deliver in October. The doctors and I disagreed on the actual due date. They thought I was about 2 weeks farther along than I thought I was. The doctors suggested that I have a routine ultrasound and blood test to see if the baby had Down Syndrome, they had no reason to think he did but they offered the test to everyone. I decided to have it done. I went in at 11 weeks to have the test. The baby didn't have a nasal bone at the time and the blood test results increased the risk to 1 in 16. I immediately went out and started reading everything I could about raising a child with Downs. I was never upset about the fact that he might have it, I was only concerned that he would have some of the other health issues that came along with it. My entire family was very supportive about all of this and we grew anxious to have him here. I chose not to have an amnio because knowing for sure didn't matter enough to me. I was having him no matter what. From then on I had several more ultrasounds and fetal echos to make sure he was healthy and that there was nothing that needed to be fixed with surgery right after birth. The last ultrasound was very encouraging because the doctor told me that we had absolutely no reason to be concerned about the baby's health. Everything looked good. All of my other appointments were good, always a good heartbeat and no problem that they could find. I was 1 day sort of being 38 weeks pregnant when I went into labor. My contractions were too far a part to go to the hospital so I waited until the next morning to go into the doctors office. I had called the doctor a few times to see what I should do and he told me that unless the contractions were closer or my water broke to just stay home. We got to the office and the doctor said that I was about 3 or 4 cm dilated. I was excited because that meant we were going to be meeting our baby for the very first time. He tried to find the heartbeat but was unsuccessful. I was a little worried but I thought I had just felt him move. We went into another room to use and ultrasound machine. He told us that the baby was no longer alive. His best guess as to why was that his kidneys had failed because I didn't have a lot of amniotic fluid. I don't remember exactly what I did at that point but I think I screamed and started crying and thinking about what he was telling me and what that meant for us. I remember thinking that I didn't know how I was supposed to go on living without part of my soul. So many things were going through my head at that time I'm not sure how it didn't explode. Tommy's mom had called only a few seconds after we found out. I called my sister and she immediately came to meet us. Paula and Bob (Tommy's Mom and Step Dad) started on their way too. I was told that I would need to go over to the hospital to deliver. I was unsure of how I was supposed to go through the labor process while I was dealing with the indescribable amount of emotional pain that I was in. We went over to the hospital and went up to labor and delivery. They had placed a white rose on the door of the room. I was induced into labor. People came and went. My entire family and most of Tommy's was there at some point. I had to have an epidural because the pain got unbearable. I kept feeling pressure and then I felt him actually coming out. I told the nurse and she and three other nurses delivered him. That was it. The moment every mom hopes for, her baby coming into the world. But instead of hearing a beautiful cry we heard silence. I had been told that he was gone but some part of me still expected to hear the cry. They wrapped him up and handed him to me. Noah Paul Crickenberger, the most beautiful baby I had seen since my other son had been born almost six years prior to that day. He was perfect in every way despite the fact that he was gone. I held him and kissed him and told him that I loved him. Tommy held him and did the same. As did all the other people that were there . The amount of love love in that room was overwhelming. We all had to say hello and good bye all in the same breath which is something no one should ever have to do. The nurses told us about a non profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that would come and take his picture. The photographer did an amazing job and those pictures have been more help than anything else I have to remember him by. My dad went to pick Brayden up from school and he brought him to the hospital. We made the decision not to let him see Noah. He was very dark and I didn't want to scare him. I told him that Noah was born but he was sick and he had to go live with God. He cried, which broke my heart even more. Brayden went home with my cousin Holly that night. We went back to the room where there were still a lot of people. The nurses did everything they could to make sure we had as many memories as possible. They put his foot print on a seashell and cut a lock of his hair for us. Tommy and I laid in the bed and talked to Noah and kissed him as much as we could until the funeral home came to pick him up. The next few days were filled with funeral planning, family night and the actual funeral. It all seemed to go by quickly and in a blur. I am still remembering things that happened and people who were there. We got the pictures developed and put them into an album. We put some in frames on the walls of our house. We tried to stay busy. Tommy went back to work and I stayed home alone as little as possible. People would call all day long and I got tons of cards and flowers. I love my family and friends and am so grateful that they all care so much. Now I am just living life one hour at a time, one day at a time is too much for me right now.