Sunday, November 15, 2009

Happy 1 month Heavenly Birthday Grace

My sweet baby was in my arms one month ago today. The other night I had a dream and everyone in my dream was worried about me and I kept telling them it was ok and that I was fine. I didn't enter the dream physically until right at the end of the dream and sure enough, I was fine. I was on a ridge far above the people in my dream who were worried about me, and I was fine. There I was twirling and dancing as the sun was set behind me and when I turned around there I was holding my beautiful perfect baby, Grace. She was so sweet in my arms as I spun her round and round. And as I started to awake, tossing and turning, I held the blanket I sleep with every night wrapping the rabbit Bobby bought her last Easter, before all this began. I was soon awake with my eyes still shut, which happens for hours every night, but I clutched the blanket and rabbit and felt the weight she was the exact way she felt when I held her in my arms. Nothing will ever erase that from my memory. Nothing. I will always have my precious moments with my sweet Grace. Bobby also dreamt about her that night. We are coming closer and closer in our relationship with each other and God through all of this. It has been only a month but it feels like just yesterday. Among all this chaos of one thing I am sure, we are blessed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Last night Bobby and I went to our first bereavement group. It was at the hospital where we delivered Grace, of course, I was excited to be there. Is it strange that I get the same feeling when I go there that I get when I go to the place Bobby and I got married? I wasn’t sure about going, evening is the hardest time of day for me and November 2nd was the day Grace was going to be induced. You may remember I was hoping for a November 4th delivery, my birthday. None of that happened and now we are going to grief class.
I didn't know what to expect walking in and was slightly taken back when in the hallway outside the room we were meeting in there were ballroom dancing lessons going on. I thought "now this is my kind of hospital!" We found the room and the group had just started. There were about 20 people sitting around these tables wearing aprons and I could see a big block of red clay stuff on one. “What am I getting myself into”. We learned about studies showing art as a strong method of healing therapy. Then it was time to share our stories.

The stories were so sad and so different. Each person had a pain not like the next person. The couple next to us also lost their baby Grace in 2008; they lost their little boy in September. Another mom had lost her baby and is 28 weeks pregnant with a little girl; she just got the news her baby girl has Down syndrome. The couple on the opposite side of us lost their little girl to PKD, the same disease that took precious baby Jody from Carla & Joe in April. We were getting to the end of the circle and one woman spoke of the two babies she lost, one of the still born like Grace, and how she has had a healthy baby girl since and is 32 weeks along with another baby girl. “Wow” I thought, a light at the end of the tunnel. “This woman has lost two babies yet was able to have healthy babies after that”. I was beginning to feel better. Then came Brandy and Paul.

From the moment I walked in I felt drawn to this mommy, I learned her name is Brandy. They said that their little boy, Joseph Henry, was born on 10-15-09, same day as Grace! How cool is that! We met them after the group was over and shared stories. I am blown away by the strength they have after experiencing such an unexpected loss. Their pregnancy had been perfect, no problems at all. They thought that they were in labor (or maybe false labor) since they were a day before their due date and went in to the ER. That is when their lives changed forever. They learned that the placenta had ruptured, which is rarer than extremely rare, and an emergency c-section was done. Baby Joseph was born at 1:30am on 10/15/09 at Banner Desert Hospital. Baby and Daddy had to be flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital in hopes of saving him. Mommy had to stay back at Banner Desert. How I wish I would’ve known what was going on as it was happening. Brandy was in a room close to mine, without her husband and baby, while I was walking the halls hoping to deliver Grace. Who would’ve known that our paths would meet now?
I am so touched by their emotion and sorrow, and I find a serenity when I talk to them or about them. Their blog is beautiful:

The luminaries turned out wonderful, once we got started. At first I had no idea what to create. I started stenciling “ANGEL” then did a picture of an angel beneath it. On one side I spelled out “GRACE” on the other “10/15/09” and then put a heart on it with all of our initials “BS, KS, RS, GS”. Bobby’s took more time than mine; he really poured his heart into it. Earlier in the day he was preparing my birthday gift and was watching a scene from “City of Angels” that really touched him. The scene is a little girl and an angel standing outside of a hospital room watching the little girl pass away.

Girl: “Are you God?”
Girl: “Where are we going?”
Angel: “Home”
Girl: “Can mommy come too?”
Angel: “No”
Girl: “But she won’t understand”
Angel: “She will”

Bobby shared the scene with me when I got home from running errands and I started crying. I still miss Grace terribly and I wish she was here with us but it gave me a new perspective. The little girl in the movie didn’t want to stay here on earth with her mommy & daddy, she asked if her mommy could come to heaven. And she didn’t ask because she was scared, she asked because she knew her mommy would be hurting and she wanted to make her feel better. That’s why she said “but she won’t understand”. If it stopped there I would’ve been satisfied but it went on to say “she will”. That statement gives me hope. I may not understand it now, but someday, I will. Maybe not on this earth but, someday, I will.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Grace - Happy Birth Day

Thursday October 15th is a day I will remember forever, a day that changed my life.
After the experience we had the day before at the first hospital we were to give birth at I woke up in my bed wondering if it had been a dream. I quickly realized it had not been, I was still pregnant though Grace was no longer moving in my tummy. What is strange about that is now, 15 days later, I lay in bed and still feel her kick me; the Doctor tells me this is normal.

My best friend Christina got to our house from the airport around 830 and our house started moving after the hours of silence I had been laying in. Bobby got up and hopped in the shower and while I was in the shower after that our Doctor called and said we were set up to deliver at Banner Desert with Dr. Lee.

We repacked the car and called our family and friends to let them know the new plans. Once everything was done we headed out for another “last supper”, our second in two days! This time I got to pick and chose Jason’s Deli (you San Diego dwellers are missing out on this place, it is AMAZING!)Luckily the deli was next to a Verizon store because this hospital did not have free wifi which was a growing concern for Bobby. Verizon hooked him up with some software that works through your phone, not sure of all the details but it was $5 so I was pleased and Bobby had his wireless internet hook up.

Banner Desert was great to us from the moment we checked in. The lobby was pretty empty and they got us into our room in no time. The room was specious but didn’t have the flat screen TV or movie selection the other hospital had. I didn’t mind though; I got to put on my “designer” delivery gown again. The one I got online. I am very frugal but Bobby convinced me to spend the $50 on the gown since whatever I was wearing was going to be what all the pictures we have will show me in. I imagined the drab blue gown and how drowned out my place would already be after delivery and decided on a bright pink gown with lots of colorful swirly thingy’s. You’ll see it once we have pictures; I thought I was so cool.

Nurse Dana Bennett (I use her whole name because that was the name of a dear friend of mine when I was growing up!) came into our room and checked us in. She then brought in Dr Lee, she was incredible. They told us if Grace was still breech they would be able to go in there and maneuver her around. They also said that we’d do an ultrasound to see what type of breech position she was in. The feet down would require the maneuvering but if she was butt they could deliver her that way. Our U/S tech, Kim, was great and once she confirmed Grace was butt down she continued the U/S and let us see her face and body, something they didn’t do on Tuesday when they confirmed there was no heartbeat. I guess they think it is hard for mommy to see the U/S once baby is in heaven. Kim gave us pictures of the U/S and we went back to our room thankful that she was in the butt first position.

We had checked in around 1230, after the U/S and meet/greet the Doctor’s it was around 2pm and they started the inducing medicine. They gave me a pill (not orally)  that would start contractions (Cidatech, not sure on the spelling though); they said they would repeat it every 4 hours. As I lay there I started thanking God for bringing us to this safe place, this hospital had put my mind at ease. I was so scared at the other one and just thought, well this is what happens when you give birth, I guess. Not true! Once I was settled in here I was in total peace, THANK YOU GOD!

Soon enough the family started rolling in and we started unpacking all the goodies we brought including: a tub of licorice, chips, chex mix, homemade cookies, big bag mixes of sweet candy (sweet tarts, laffy taffy, etc.) and another of chocolate candy (m&m’s, kit kat’s, twix, snickers, etc.), granola bars and more! I can’t remember it all right now. It was like a family reunion, everyone starting to mingle with each other. My dad finally returned from the airport with my wonderful sister Melissa, I was so happy!! Around 5pm I got up and walked around with my mom. I think everyone knew we were coming from room 15, the one with the rose on the door which identified our situation for the Nurses; as we walked the halls we heard lots of laughter coming from each of the rooms. My mom started to cry. I would’ve cried too if I wasn’t preoccupied with thoughts of “I wonder if these nurses like my gown”  I may sound silly or shallow but I think it was a defense mechanism for me… and I really did want them to admire my gown. Finally on our way back to the room a pregnant nurse was walking by and told me she liked my gown. “sweet!” I thought. I told her where to get it online, I was very proud.

At 630 Nurse Dana came in and introduced Nurse Wendy who would be taking over for her. We also met Dr. Kimbro who was taking over for Dr. Lee, she was also wonderful. They found I was dilated to 2 cm and inserted another pill and said the contractions should get stronger now. Nurse Dana predicted we would deliver by midnight even though Dr. Lee said it COULD take a day or two. Dana was right about one thing, the contractions started coming right away, and fast.
I stopped watching the contraction machine when the monitor reached 80 (on a scale of 1-100) and never got below 50. The contractions weren’t too bad as far as severity but the frequency was unbearable; about 45 sec. from start of one to start of the next and each lasted about 30 seconds. My mom was coaching me and she was AWESOME! She would rub the spot between my eyebrows since I was tensing up there and then during the contractions she would like me in the eyes and coach my breathing about 2 inches from my face all the while holding my hold and pinching a pressure point around my thumb. I was getting one deep cleansing breath in between contractions and then they would start again. They were pretty intense and my body wouldn’t stop shivering. Perfect time for visitors, right?  Our Pastor came in and chatted with us and prayed with us. He was there for quite some time. All I remember thinking was “I am in so much pain and his arm muscles look huge, and painful” I just wanted him to cover his arms, just looking at his muscles made me feel pain. It is kinda funny looking back on it but at the time I was just thinking “just these painful arms out of here”..I didn’t express those thoughts out loud!

Pastor left around 7:30 and I was ready for some epidural. The Nurse asked me the pain number and I said 4…luckily she took the liberty of marking down 10 so we could get moving. So there my mom is helping through every contraction, which was really one HUGE contraction. And now, bobby’s mom was on the opposite side holding my other hand. The IV was in that hand and so the bag that was administering the drip was going in slowly. She was holding my hand in a funny was and then she told me “I know this is uncomfortable but look at that bag… that WHOLE bag has to be in your body before they will give you the epidural… this position is the way to get it in the fastest” Thank God for Debbie and my Mom… the best mom’s in the world!! We decided to have the epidural since she was breech and we weren’t sure if they would have to go in and maneuver her once she started coming out. Dr. Isaac came in and gave me the epidural at 7:54pm. I think he is the best Doctor in the entire world, Dr. feel good  Within 15 minutes I was feeling MUCH better. Now I could try to watch the Dodger game again! Nurse Wendy checked me again around 815 and said, you are at 5cm with a full bag of water…let me know when your water breaks. Within 10 minutes I felt a big water balloon burst and declared “we have breakage” when I called the Nurses station.

Nurse Wendy came in and said “yes, your water broke AND you are 10cm!”. Wow, I thought. She told me I would begin to feel pressure but not to push. I told her “I feel pressure” she said that it would increase and I said “No, I feel a lot of pressure…I think she is coming” she looked down and said “oh yeah, she’s coming”. She rushed out and came back in with Dr. Kimbro. They began preparing for delivery. The put the stirrup thingy’s on the bed and they were probably 2 ½ feet in the air, I thought “wow, what an odd position” but said “ok, here we go” and lifted my legs into them. That when Nurse Wendy said “No, no, those come down.. I am just hooking them in first” Oops! We got positioned and were ready…I was so excited. Dr. Kimbro said she’d tell me when to push and she did. It was took 3 pushes and the loud declaration “8:32pm” broke the silence. They lifted Grace onto my tummy and there she was, perfection. All the beauty of heaven in the face of a baby, my little angel. I didn’t see the skin that had come off at first, somehow my eyes missed it. The room was completely silent except for sniffles, eerie but soothing.

Bobby cut the cord and it took a couple more pushes to get the placenta out. I guess it was a little harder to get it out because when they tried to use the umbilical cord to ease the placenta out it broke off from it; how Grace was able to feed off of something so fragile for so long is truly amazing and a testament of God’s Grace. I handed her over to her Daddy and we held and loved on her for so long. Daddy took her over to the warming table but not to be warmed. He worked with all the nurses to clean her up and dress her. Angelina from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep was taking pictures and we started passing her around. Everyone got to hold her, she really looked like an angel. Angelina took as many pictures as she could and then had to go to another hospital for another delivery of a baby who had passed away, how she does this I will never know… she is incredible!

We want to thank EVERYONE who was there with us: My mom (best coach ever!) and Dad, Bobby’s mom (without you I wouldn’t have had a chance to get the epidural!), Christina (for being my best friend and videographer!), My sister Melissa (who flew out from Minneapolis to be here, sweetest most loving sister ever!), Bobby’s Grandma Taylor and Aunt Sue (who, with Bobby’s Mom, made ALL THREE DRESSES Grace wore!), Bobby’s sister and bro- in-law Tonya & Jed, bobby’s Brother Michael, my brother Jonathan (your letter to Grace was sooo precious!), Maybeth (the foot massage, watching kids and the footprints, thanks!!), Pastor Bush (you didn’t have to come, a lot of pastors wouldn’t have, we are lucky to have you as ours!), Nurses Dana, Wendy, Raquel and Cheryl, Doctors Lee, Isaac and Kimbro. I just know I am forgetting people but you are still in my heart…know that at the time I was grateful to each and every one, even if I can’t recall it now!!

After Grace’s pictures they worked on her a little more, Bobby was quite the plastic surgeon! At one point, he was at the table with Grace and was overcome and started crying, he felt someone consoling him and assumed it was his mom. When he turned around he saw that it was Dr. Kimbro! She had stayed in the room and was there consoling us. This is just one of the many ways the entire staff at Banner Desert wrapped their arms around us and cared for us. In fact, once everyone had gone Bobby and I went to the cafeteria to eat. On our way back we ran into Dr. Kimbro and we said thanks and said something about “you guys are experts at this you deal with this everyday” and Dr. Kimbro replied something like “we do our best but we don’t deal with this everyday; we’ve never met you or your baby before”. It hit us; she really cares.

She slept with us that night. During the night Bobby went with the Nurses to take pictures in a little room in the L/D unit. When we woke up there was a plaster circle with her hand and footprints, we were so excited. We had tried to get molds of her hands and feet but her little skin kept coming off. The Nurses have learned to use playdoh instead, they got perfect molds… we treasure it.

In the Morning, Papa Rohn, Bobby’s Dad, came to see her. We had just seen him the Sunday before when he prayed a blessing on us. Bobby’s Grandma Shedd came too. My mom’s dear friend Bernadine came as well. It was a great time. Riley, our 6 year old, finally got there to meet his little sister too. We went to the lobby to talk with him and then we walked him in to the room. He had already decided that he wanted to meet her, even though she was already in heaven. When we approached her bassinet he asked “Is she dead?” “Yes, she is dead” “Okay” he said. He climbed up to see her and after the initial shock he became curious. He asked about her skin and we explained that it didn’t hurt her, she got the scrapes after she was already in heaven. Then we asked if him to remember a scab he has had before. They look like they hurt but they don’t and it’s hard to remember the pain of getting hurt once you already have the scab because the pain is gone. He asked “what do we do now”…”we say goodbye”, he said “okay”. We directed him to her 6 toes so that he didn’t focus only on her skin… He eyes were as wide as I have ever seen when I said “Riley, count her toes” “I, 2, 3, 4, 5….6!?!?!” he was amazed!

Although I don’t think anyone is interested in the funeral home stuff I have to share because the hospital was once again amazing. When we called the funeral home to come pick her up they arranged it with the hospital to be able to pick her up directly from our room; she would never have to visit the morgue. This was unheard of but the hospital was glad to oblige. It involved security and their dog along with a lot of extra paperwork but none of them complained.
Once it was time to say good bye all the family held and kissed her and whispered special things to her. Then they went to the lobby and waited for us. Bobby and I spent a good amount of time in the hospital room just the three of us. We held her, kissed her, cried on her, loved on her, talked to her and changed for the last time. We prayed together and then I danced with her…she always loved music and dancing! For whatever reason the song that came to me was “you make me feel like dancing, I want to dance the night away”. We kept talking to her and crying and laughing and kissing; even after the funeral home came. Chris from Bunkers was incredible. She had met with us weeks prior when we were making the arrangements and she personally came to pick her up. She wrapped Grace in green blanket , the color we had picked out for her bedroom; and then she carried her out. Suddenly, it was just me and Bobby. We spent a good amount of time together in the room; private, intimate moments that I know strengthened the bond we share forever.

We love our sweet baby girl and we miss her terribly. We are learning how to deal with the loss of a child; something we never imagined going through. God is carrying us through this and we are finding strength in each other. Our first grief counseling is Monday night. Today we go to the hospital to pick up the pictures they took during the night while I was asleep. Every day is filled with thoughts of our little girl but not as many tears now. I am sure there will be good and bad days, Monday will be the day we were going to induce, had she been born alive. We firmly believe that God allowed this to happen to us for a purpose. Grace was so perfect on the outside that had she been born alive, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to handle watching her slip away.

Grace Debbie Shedd was absolutely beautiful. Born October 15th, 2009 at 8:32pm weighing in at 3lbs 4oz 15” long. She had sandy blond/brown hair over ½ inch long and her nails were so long she they gave her a mani/pedi (including the 6th toe on each foot).We got to spend so much time with her. I got to sing every song I know to her and kiss every precious part of her body. I made sure to do it in a rhythm and with my eyes shut too so that I would be able to kiss pictures of her in the same rhythm, eyes shut, and hope to recapture the moment.

I am reading a book that the hospital gave us and there is a quote from Abraham Lincoln, one of my favorite orators, who also lost 3 kids. He said:
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all…It comes with bitterest agony… perfect relief is not possible, except with time.
You cannot now realize that you will ever feel better…and yet this is a mistake.
You are sure to be happy again.
To know this, which is certainly true, will make you become less miserable now.
I have experienced enough to know what I say.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Easy Chocolate Recipes! :) Truffles & Oreo Cookies & Creme Freeze

I spent yesterday morning baking and thanks to a suggestion from Lindsey, I am posting my super easy and no mess recipes... between the two it took me 30 minutes of work time! The truffles are SUPPPPPEEERRR easy and great for kids to help with too!


2 ½ pkg. (20 squares) Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 pkg. (8 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I use the low-fat one and no one knows the difference!)

Melt 8 squares of chocolate. Hint: To avoid burning the chocolate I boil water in a small pot and put a glass bowl in it (large enough so that it doesn’t touch the water)
Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy; stir in melted chocolate. Fridge until firm (about 30 min).
Shape into 36 balls (I use a melon scoop to size them out or I wind up making them too big!) and put on was paper.
Melt last 12 squares of chocolate. Dip truffles into chocolate with a fork. Put on was paper.
Decorate immediately. My favorite is tiny ball sprinkles or powdered sugar, but you can use anything, cocoa powder is good too.

Oreo Cookies & Cream Freeze
4 squares Bakers Semi-Sweet Chocolate
14 Oreo Cookies (crumbled into pieces, I crumble a group of 8 and a group of 6)
1 pkg. (8 ounces) Philadelphia Cream Cheese (I use the low-fat one and no one knows the difference!)
¼ cup Sugar
½ teaspoon Vanilla
1 tub (8 ounces) Cool Whip
Melt chocolate and set aside. Line bread pan (8 ½ x 4 1/2_) with foil, enough so that there is an inch or so overlapping the sides. Put Oreo crumbs (8 cookies total) on the bottom of the pan.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until well blended. Stir in the cool whip. Scoop 1 ½ cups of mixture into another bowl and stir in chocolate.
Spread remaining cream cheese mixture over cookies in pan. Layer Oreo crumbs on top (remaining 6 cookies). Pack in good using back of spoon. Top the Oreos with the chocolate mixture.
Freeze for three hours. Flip dessert onto serving plate and remove foil. Flip back over so that chocolate layer is on top and serve!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Grace - Picture of Grace and donation information

A lot of people have asked me for pictures of Grace. We only have one right now but we will be posting many more once we have them available to us. The one I am attaching is from the hospital. They were so wonderful, especially after the experience we had at the first hospital. Grace was delivered breech and we were allowed all the time we wanted with her. They cleaned her up (manicure and all) and made molds of her feet using playdoh (after we tried unsuccessfully to get them made, the plaster stuff we were using was taking the skin off her little feet). As you can see in the picture her skin was peeling off, the worst was on the right side of her face and her abdomen. This was a result of her being passed away in the tummy for several days. When I saw her for the first time I didn't even see the skin peeling, I saw a perfect baby girl, with beautiful features, including mommy's nose :)

It was clear to us once we left Banner Desert Hospital that they were the organization God wants us to support in Grace's memory. Several people have asked where they could donate, in Grace's honor, so I am posting the information for the hospital as well.

Banner Desert Hospital is a high level trauma hospital and unfortuantely they have a very busy infant bereavement services department. They have an incredibly well trained and supportive staff and when we said "you guys are so good to us but I suppose you get used to it, dealing with babies dying everyday" the reply we got was "we've never met you or your baby, so we don't get used to it". Although they get some funding from the hospital I think the programs for patients that survive get the bulk of the money. They were genuinely caring people who rely on donations for funding their program. Donating to bereavement services probably never crosses the minds of the parents of the children who live and go hoome healthy from the hospital so the donating is left to the parents of the babies who don't come home and the select few who may be touched enough to donate in one of those babies memory. If you would like to donate in Grace's memory, here is how to do it:

Banner Health Foundation
Call: 602-747-4483
Mail check to: Banner Health Foundation PO Box 1897 Phoenix, AZ 85001-9940

Hospital donating to: Banner Desert Medical Center

If you donate $50 (silver leaf) or $100 (gold leaf) they will place a leaf in the "tree of life" garden in the hospital and you can choose a message to have displayed (up to 50 characters)

Grace's information is this:
Grace Debbie Shedd

I am posting an image of the donation envelope but I don't know how well it will show up...

This hospital is extremely dear to our hearts and we truly believe God led us there to deliver Grace. They were wonderful to us and we want to pay it forward to them.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Week

I will blog eventually about the day grace was born. I did write it out the other day for 2 1/2 hours only to find the blog was lost when I hit post...I was so sad but I will write it again, just not today.

Today I want to recap the last 10 days, since October 15th, when Grace was born.

Friday 10/16 - We got home from the hospital around 1:30 and we were exhausted. Tried to sleep, Bobby crashed on our bed and I waas on the couch. I got about 20 minutes of sleep, Bobby got several hours. Joe & Carla, friends who lost their son earlier this year, brought us dinner.

Saturday 10/17 - After sleeping a total of 2 hours I was laying in bed thinking about my little girl. I decided to get up and clean. I didn't get very far in the hours I was cleaning so I decided to see what my mom and sister were doing; I figured they'd be shopping. Bobby was sleeping when I left, I think he has it figured out. I laid in bed listening to him watch movies in the living room until 430 so by the time he came to bed he fell right asleep, I laid in bed listening to him breathe until I got out of bed at 6am. My mom, sister and I went to Costco and ran into a guy I worked with, he was holding his little girl. Within 10 seconds of talking to him is little girl looked at me, reached her arms out and shifted out of her daddy's arms into mine. She squeezed my neck as hard as she could and laid on my shoulder; I'd never met her before. Maybe she could see Grace with me? maybe she could see a mommy in pain? Don't know but I DO know that god knew I needed the touch of an innocent child and He gave it to me.

Sunday 10/18 - I finished cleaning my house which brought me more, or possibly less, satisfaction than it usually does... I can't figure out which, my feelings are confusing me these days. My boss, Lisa, came over and brought us lunch. It was just what we needed. Michelle, my older other fabulous sister, flew in today. We all went to my parents house for dinner and a time of baking.

Monday 10/19 - Today is a day that I am excited for. My sister, mom and I baked brownies and cookies, we are delivering them to our specialist, Dr. Ponkey, and to the hospital. We visited with both offices for a good amount of time. At Dr. Ponkey's she assured us not to worry about future pregnancies saying "the odds of another trisomy baby for you are 1 in 100" that wasn't reassuring at all but I quickly tried to think positively and said "none of the odds you give us start with 2 in ..., so I guess we are good since we already got our 1". When we got to the hospital I had butterflies, I was excited, it was a place of great happiness for me - the place I met my daughter. I suppose many mothers wouldn't want to return to the hospital so soon, if ever, after losing a baby there…maybe I am not handling this right, I thought… but I couldn’t help it, I would’ve stayed there and sat in the garden next to the Labor/Delivery wing for hours.

Tuesday 10/20 – Yesterday was great but nothing compared to the excitement I am feeling today. Today I get to go to the funeral home and see my girl, one last time. Words can’t explain my excitement, must be how a mom feels who is waiting to see her son come home from deployment or her daughter after a surgery, I don’t know for sure. I have a skip in my step and nothing can bring me down. We got to see Grace at 2pm. The funeral home director, Chris, met with us first and prepared us for what we were asking to do. She explained that Grace looked very different from the hospital and asked “are you SURE you want to do this?” I couldn’t understand why she was asking this “of course I want to see her, she’s my baby!” She asked if we had any questions and I had only one. “Can I hold her?” I don’t know why I asked because I would’ve done it whatever her answer was. She said I could and off we went. The door to the viewing room opened and across the room was a little white bassinet. I would’ve run up to it if I had the guts, but I walked to it and peeked inside and there she was, my beautiful angel. I immediately started talking to her “Hi, sweet baby” “mommy’s here” “you look so good baby, so beautiful” a flood of emotions came out through soft words meant for just me, daddy and my girl. I was holding her in a rocking chair and my family came in to say goodbye. My sister Michelle finally got to hold her niece; I was finally content knowing my sisters both got to spend some time with her. Grace looked great dressed in the last of the three dresses Bobby’s Mom, Grandma Taylor and Aunt Sue made and she looked just like she was asleep; the funeral home did an amazing job. My family spent some time then left bobby and I to say our goodbyes. We cried and laughed and I danced with her one last time all across the room. It was a time I will cherish forever. I was on a cloud the rest of the day, so happy to have been with my girl.

Wednesday 10/21 – I went with my mom to her eye Doctor appointment and when I came home Bobby had our entire yard landscaped. He knew how much I wanted this done and it was another example of how much he loves me and knows just how to express it in a way that means so much to me!

Thursday 10/22 – Today Michelle, mom and I had pedicures then we ran errands all day. I was a day of “normalcy”; I am not sure how that makes me feel. My family came over for dinner, my dad cooked steak and we made rice & carrots to go along with it. Although it was a great dinner they came over for a special reason… it 8:32pm we celebrated Grace’s birth, exactly a week after she was born. We had a chocolate cake with white frosting my little sister Melissa made. The pink icing declared “Grace Debbie Shedd 10-15-09 3lbs 4oz 15inches”. There was a single candle lit for Grace that bobby and I blew out together. It was bittersweet moment, again laughing and crying. We made the cake because my mom had made a cake for each one of her children when we were born; it’s a tradition I want to carry on.

Friday 10/23 – Michelle is on her way back home today. I am alone in the house. Bobby and my dad went to the crematory to see Grace off. Bobby is the best dad ever. It wasn’t easy, I know, but he protected Grace for her entire time on this earth. He made sure she was born into the world in the right environment and he made sure I was daddy’s hands that delivered her into her final resting place. I was at home writing a blog for 2 ½ hours, which was lost when I tried to post it; I was devastated. I called Bobby right away and he was so sad that he couldn’t hold me right then, as I was crying uncontrollably. I got over it quickly, realizing it is all God’s purpose. Maybe those words were for me and Grace and God only. When bobby got home he had Grace with him, she is cradled in the most beautiful urn I have ever seen. You should see this urn, it's so beautiful. A baby angel on a cloud, praying. She has one cheek slightly puffier than the other, peaceful sleeping eyes and the most serene look on her face... just like our baby Grace.
This last week has been such a rollercoaster. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry; I always go with whatever emotion I am feeling – not holding or hiding anything. That is the only “honest” way I can cope with this. I cry, but I can’t cry hard enough. I scream, but I can’t scream loud enough. I pound on my pillows but I can’t seem to get rid of the hurt & anger I have inside. I talk to her and smell the blankies that held her at the hospital, but it doesn’t fill my empty arms. I pray, but I can’t pray long enough to say “I am ok with this God, Grace is yours”… not yet. But I will continue to do all these things and whatever else comes to me as I, as we, begin healing. Sometimes, laughter is the only thing I feel… when Bobby handed Grace to me in her precious urn I said what came to my mind “Well Grace, I must say, you’ve put on a little weight”. I could joke only because I am at peace, my girl is home; her body with us and her spirit in heaven.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Daddy Shedd

Well...I've never commented on this before. Kim gave birth to our daughter Grace last night at 8:32pm. Once they induced her, Kim was a natural at dialating and giving birth in like 3 or 4 hours(there's nothing my wife isn't great at!) Kim was so strong.

Grace was not a live birth, it felt like she was simply asleep though. I talked to Grace as the nurses and I tried to clean her. Let Grace know how happy I was to meet her and told her how pretty she was. She was so at Peace...

Kim and I spent the night with Grace in our room. I got to help her frail little body pose for pictures at 1am with 2 nurses in a little room. Her left hand felt so compltely alive. I really thought she was clenching my fingers. (She had no defects on... the outside except 6 toes on each foot.) Crazy that it made me feel like I was missing a toe or something. Her poor little organs just didnt work.

Figure I better start talking about these things sooner or later or the stress is going to kill me...starting with my neck. I really feel that Grace wanted to pass away without us watching, to keep that visual from her mother and I. When we did finally get to meet her, instead of watching suffering, we just got to spend time. I love her so much and already miss her.