Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just Another Day

There is nothing special about today and I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. We went about our day doing what needed to be done dishes, laundry, picking up around the house, and just like any other weeknight my husband went off to work. All these things are just signs that our lives are getting back to normal. (at least our new sense of normal)
Since the girls have been out of school I have had time to watch them play and interact with each other. They like to play "mom and dad". When I was little we "played house" I guess its the same thing. My nephew came to spend the night tonight and him and Addy are playing and coloring as I type this. Normally they are in bed long before now but Jax doesn't spend the night too often and they are playing well together. (and secretly I am hoping they will sleep in.) I love watching kids play when they don't think you are paying attention.
I am hoping the sick bug has finally left our house. Can it be that I managed to escape its wrath this time around?
Tomorrow will be like today, nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary, just another day but thats ok with me.

Monday, December 27, 2010

When the Tree Comes Down

When I was younger I remember putting up the Christmas tree not too long after Thanksgiving and it would stay up until new years. Maybe thats just when my mom would get to it, but I liked to think we just kept it up for my birthday, which is new years eve. No matter what the reason for leaving it up I appreciate the fact that we kept the decorations up that long and plan to do that with my own family. I have seen numerous posts on facebook of people taking down their decorations and putting them away, my own grandmother wouldn't even let my grandpa turn on the Christmas lights one last night just because "Noone else has their lights on." Really? I may not have been too much into the Christmas spirit this year but the one thing we wanted to do for our children was to establish some traditions with our children. (although moving in the middle of it wall was not planned and not a tradition we plan to stick with) So, with that I guess I will continue to leave my decorations up just a little bit longer. Whats another week, anyway? My question for all of you is: When does your tree come down?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus

Jesus had a birthday
just like me and you
he got lots of presents
and a party too
for a birthday candle
God gave him a star
shining so brightly
men came near and far
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus
Happy Bithday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday to you
Angels gave him music
declaring his great love
stating he is coming
sent down from above
now that its his birthday
where do we begin
open up your heart
and say Jesus please come in
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Jesus
Happy Birthday to you

This is the song Emmaleighs class sang for their Christmas program at school and I thought it was only fitting to share it today. It is such a sweet song, especially when a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds are singing it.
We went and visited Hudson yesterday. The drive to the cemetary had not yet been plowed and snow covered his grave. If it weren't for the flowers we had left after the service we may not have been able to find it yet since he doesn't yet have a headstone. We took him a cross with flowers on it but the ground was too hard so we just had to lay it on top. While we were there I couldn't help but think what Christmas might be like in heaven. What a celebration they would be having up there. I was sad for my own loss but so happy that my baby boy has so much more in heaven.
We went to my sister's house yesterday afternoon and had Christmas with my side of the family. It was a great time. Afterwards we had Christmas with my father-in-law. Again something we have not done since JRs mom passed away. He has come over to give the kids gifts but we have never had a dinner with him. The kids had a great time playing with the other kids.
Landyn has been sick since Thursday and this morning JR woke up puking. Made for an interesting morning opening presents. Landyn could barely hold his head up to open his presents and JR just wanted to go back to bed. The girls of course we super excitd. My mom was here to watch them open their presents (my dad had to work last niht. Since he works for the stat highway department he was out plowing snow), then fixed breakfast for the girls and I while JR went back to bed. Landyn tried to eat something but in the end that didn't turn out so well.
The girls went home with grandma and grandpa and are staying there overnight (hopefully that will keep them from getting sick.) Landyn and JR are sleeping, so that leaves me by myself. I will probably finish putting gifts away and work on some laundry.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Count Your Blessings: Part Three

Landyn Charles Edward Snell

September 17, 2008

9 lbs. 0 oz.

21 inches

When we found out we were expecting a boy , we were excited (not that we wouldn't have loved a girl just the same) I had a horrible case of morning sickness the first three months, something that I didn't. At 33 weeks I fell and began to have contractions. The doctors were able to stop my contractions with no problems but determined that it was possible that I could go into labor with in the next two weeks. Fortunately that was not the case and Landyn was born at 3:27 a.m. on September 17th, 2008, just an hour and a half into labor.

Because I had gestational diabetes he had to be taken to the NICU for observation. It took a while to stablize his blood sugars and once they got them stablized his platelet level dropped severely and he had to have a platelet transfusion. Finally after a five day stay in the NICU he got to go home.

Landyn was a relatively good baby and always ate well. He has always been with in the normal range for his weight, height, and head circumference. Now he is quiet, somewhat shy, and lover, and a flirt. He stares at you with his dark brown eyes and bats his mile long eyelashes to get whtat he wants. He is also a thinker. He loves to work puzzles, play with his trucks.

For being the third child he has had quite a bit of one on one time with his mommy (and daddy now that JR works second shift) Because of this he is starting to become a mommy's boy.

With Landyn we have learned that time goes by quickly and to take advantage of the time we have with them while they are little. My little man (as I call him) is growing up so fast!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Count Your Blessings: Part Two

Addyson Deianira Snell

January 31, 2006

7 lbs. 7 oz.

19 inches

My pregnancy with Addy was what one would consider uncomplicated even though at times I was worried because I had Emmaleigh so early and I had a fairly easy delivery. That, however, is the only part about Addy that has been uncomplicated or easy.

From the start Addy was nothing like Emmaleigh. She had severe reflux and colic. She was a screamer and trust me, she could scream. At four months old Addy was hospitalized due to whooping cough and complications from asthma. Once she started regular breathing treatments she was a some what happier baby.

Addy did not start walking until she was almost 18 months old and didn't really talk until she was two and a half. From the time Addy was to until she turned three she was hospitalized for having MRSA infections. Addy received three different types of therapy from first steps, which really improved her speech and helped with her coordination. Addy also had to have eye surgery this may to correct an eye muscle that was causing her left eye to turn inward.

We have had to face a unique set of challenges with Addy but we have always taken everything as it comes with her. She still struggles with separation anxiety, doesn't do well with change, and has a speech delay, and lacks some social skills. She is my worrier. She worries about the small things and gets worked up over them at times.

With Addy we have definately learned patience, but also compassion, and understanding. We are thankful to have been blessed to have her in our lives.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Count your blessings: Part One

I started this blog to tell Hudson's story and to help with the healing process. I have three blessings that have helped me get through and I thought it was time to dedicate a blog post to each one of them.

Emmaleigh Kaylyn Grace Snell

September 9, 2004

3 lbs 15 oz

16 inches

When I was pregnant with Emmaleigh, I was visiting a friend in Bloomington (a three hour drive from home) when I suddenly began to have contractions at thirty weeks. I was a first time mother and scared to death. Once the doctors at the hospital in Bloomington decided that I really was in labor the rushed me to IU medical center in Indianapolis. When I got there they started giving me magnesium to stop my labor, which was successful. What I didn't account for was the extended hospital stay I was about to have. The doctor came in one morning and told us that I would be staying in the hospital until I had the baby and since the hospital I had planned to deliver at was not equpped to handle a delivery under 34 weeks, I would have to stay in Indianapolis (an hour and a half from home), but once I got to the 34 week mark then they would transfer me back home.

Our little peanut had other plans though. At 32 weeks my water started to leak. The doctor's monitored the fluid around her closely and monitored me for signs of infection. At 33 weeks I began to develop an infection and the doctor decided it was time to induce. After six hours of labor...and I don't know maybe a couple broken hands (from my squeezing them), we welcomed Emmaleigh Kaylyn Grace into the world at 3:23 pm weighing just shy of four pounds. I got to hold her for just a minute before they took her away to the NICU.

Emmaleigh spent the next four weeks growing bigger and stronger. She had to be on a CPAP for a couple days and on oxygen for a little over a week. She had no major health problems and was what the nurses called a "feeder and grower" By the time we left the hospital four weeks later on October 6th she weighed exactly six pounds.

Now fast forward six years......Emmaleigh is my quiet observer, she doesn't miss a thing. We often have to remind ourselves that she is only six because she has always acted older. She is my little mommy. She is always trying to take care of and boss the younger ones around. If one of the younger ones is in trouble or crying for any reason, it is Emmaleigh who is there to take care of them. She is also my picky eater. She won't touch hardly anything until she examines it thoroughly and knows exactly what is in it. She really reminds me a lot of myself.

Emmaleigh has taught us that good things come in small packages and was our first reminder that God is truly in control and that he has a plan for each and every one of us no matter how small.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Lights, Christmas goodies, Christmas parties

After spending the afternoon at my parent's house helping my mom wrap presents, making some christmas cookies, and having dinner with my whole family (I love that we all live so close), my dad wanted to take all the kids to look at Christmas lights. We all piled into my mom and dad's and my sister's vans and took off for Rossville then Frankfort. The kids loved the lights and saw Santa (a.k.a. HoHo). It was fun to see the reaction Landyn had to all the different lights since this was the first year he really paid attention to them. The girls decided that they were going to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's, so its just the boy and I tonight. As I am typing this, he is laying in my lap almost asleep. (I love it when he decides to snuggle)
I decided that I would invite my family, including my grandma and grandpa and aunt over for dinner tomorrow night so that they could see the new house. My husband gets a ham from work every year and there is no way we would eat it by ourselves without eating ham for a week.
My sister and I are going to make christmas goodies sometime, I am making up plates of goodies to take to the neighbors, the mailman, and the girls' teachers. I also got ambitious and am going to try to make mini gingerbread houses for Emmaleigh's Christmas party at school. That is if they even have school that day. We are supposed to get more snow monday night and tuesday. Also for those of you wondering, the girls' program was not cancelled, it will be monday afternoon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Slow Down, Breathe, Feel

Smallest Wingless

Dear son, we've been waiting for you

Thrilled beside ourselves that you've arrived

White coats came in, heads held low

Talked for a bit, shuffled outside

We closed the curtains,

Held each other,

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

And smallest wingless, oh you came to us

Leaving as soon as you'd arrived

But sadness is just love wasted

With no heart to place it inside

We closed the curtains,

Held each other,

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

We closed the curtains

Held on to one another

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.
Dear son, we've been waiting for you

Thrilled beside ourselves that you've arrived

White coats came in, heads held low

Talked for a bit, shuffled outside

We closed the curtains,

Held each other,

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

And smallest wingless, oh you came to us

Leaving as soon as you'd arrived

But sadness is just love wasted

With no heart to place it inside

We closed the curtains,

Held each other,

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

We closed the curtains

Held on to one another

And cried

We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

-craig cardiff

Where has time gone? I can't believe it has already been a month. When talking to a friend last night she commented on how busy I was and it wasn't until then that I realized how busy I was keeping myself to avoid feeling anything. It has been easy the last couple weeks with the move, I have had plenty to do, but there were times when I found myself wiping off the same table or counter ten times just because I didn't have anything else to do. My laundry is done and I feel like I am continuously washing dishes. Last night I even started painting the bathroom.
I want to be the one who has it together and I do what I can to make it look that way on the outside even though I may be falling apart on the inside. My heart is hurting but I don't dare let anyone know.
With Christmas only a week away and some moving still to do, I know that I still have plenty to keep me busy but as the days pass and the holidays come and go, I know I will eventually have to slow down, breathe, and let myself feel what is inside, maybe then I will start to feel better on the outside as well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friendly Neighbors and Another Snow Day?

Last night as I was unpacking boxes, the doorbell rang. I wasn't expecting anyone and when I looked outside there were no vehicles in the driveway. At first I though I was just hearing things or thought maybe it was just on tv but I opened the door and there stood a man and a woman who introduced themselves and said they lived across the street. In their hands was a plate full of chirstmas goodies. I was pleasantly surprised as I thought noone did this anymore. We were sure to wish them a Merry Christmas as they began to head back home. I think this weekend the kids and I will make some Christmas goodies to take to the neighbors and the mailman.
When the alarm went off this morning I immediately turned on the tv to see if there was a two hour delay as we had gotten more snow last night. Sure enough there was. I happily went back to bed and reset the alarm for eight o'clock. The kids awoke just a few minutes before the alarm went off and we got up and had some breakfast. I again turned the tv on and still a two hour delay. I started to get the girls dressed and walked back into the living room to see that school had been cancelled. I told the girls they didn't have to be in a hurry to get ready because we weren't going anywhere. Emmaleigh began crying because that meant that they wouldnt have their Christmas program.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Program

My nephew had his preschool Christmas program tonight and it was really quite comical. Getting thirty some 3 and 4 year olds to sing seven songs in unison I am now convinced is not possible. Some kids were busy waving and yelling hi to family members in the audience, others were just dancing around not really paying attention.
Today was also Jaxson's birthday....Happy Birthday Jax! He is truly our miracle baby. He has had several surgeries including two open heart surgeries. I love the little man to pieces, he is so sweet and so funny.
The girls Christmas program is thursday night, that is if the weather allows. We are supposed to get another few inches of snow tommorrow night. It is also sooo cold. I keep telling myself we are going to move to a warmer climate but I could never move that far away from my family.
The house is starting to come together but we still have a few loads to move including our christmas tree. I hope it survives the move! The girls are getting worried because they don't think santa will know we moved and that he won't leave any presents if we don't have a tree. I think I have them convinced that santa will find us no matter where we are.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Birthday Parties, Snow Days, and Pictures

Yesterday was my nephew Jaxson's birthday party and it never fails, whenever my sister plans his birthday party, the weather man also predicts a snow storm. This year was no different.
It rained all day saturday then saturday night the temperature was supposed to drop and everything freeze. Fortunately though we didn't get the bad stuff until after his party had started so pretty much everyone was able to make it.
The snow continued to come down, the wind started blowing,the temperature was dropping, and before bedtime the school had called a two hour delay! We had a wonderful evening at home as a family and I was able to get the laundry all caught up and put away.
My sister called on her way to work at six o'clock this morning to tell me that school was cancelled. Snow Day! I was glad that I didn't have to get out in the nasty cold weather to take the girls to school, and everyone cooperated by sleeping in a little bit.
We finished putting stuff away so that we can hopefully get a couple more loads tomorrow. Late this afternoon we went to my sister's to get the kids Christmas pictures done. We actually got some decent pictures in a short time (six kids in less than an hour)
Now I am at home watching the kids play nicely with each other. Maybe we are really starting to get back to "normal"

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday in Heaven

Today would have been my grandfather's 76th birthday but he passed away almost 5 years ago, rght before my daughter Addyson was born. He was a good man and I have a lot of memories of him and my grandmother, who passed away the day after my daughter Emmaleigh was born. They used to take us to a cubs game every year. We had one holiday tradition that some would find a little odd (christmas bags anyone?) but we didn't care and if anyone even suggested that that tradition change it would cause an uproar. We haven't done that tradition since grandpa passed away though. We would spend countless hours at the table playing various card games whenever the family got together. (come to think of it we don't do that much anymore either) Its funny how things like that change once you loose someone you love.
Anyway, I know that today there was a great big birthday party in heaven. All our loved ones who have gone before us were there. Its getting late now but I'm sure the party is still going, if its anything like the parties we had here. This year my baby boy is up there celebrating with them.
Today has been an emotionally draining day. Not just because I am missing Hudson, or my grandparents, just one of those days. I will end this post with a poem I came across. Happy Birthday Grandpa Pete, take care of my boy!

Ask My Mom How She Is

My Mom, she tells a lot of lies
she never did before.
From now until she dies,
she'll tell a whole lot more.
Ask my Mom how she is
and because she can't explain,
She will tell a little lie
because she can't describe the pain.
Ask my Mom how is she,
She'll say "I'm alright."
If that's the truth, then tell me,
why does she cry each night?
Ask my Mom how is she,
she seems to cope so well.
She didn't have a choice you see
nor the strength to yell.
Ask my Mom how she is,
"I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping."
For Gods sake Mom, just tell the truth
just say your heart is broken.
She'll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how is she
she'll lie and say she's fine.
I am here in Heaven.
I cannot hug from here.
If she lies to you don't listen,
Hug her and hold her near.
On the day we meet again,
we'll smile and I'll be bold.
I'll say, "You're lucky to get in here, Mom
with all the lies you told!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sleep! and Moving!

I must first start off by saying that last night was the best night's sleep I have had in about 3 weeks! I felt really good today, which was a really good thing since I had a lot to do.
I went to my grandma's early this morning to finish her laundry, then met my sister at the new house so she could start painting. Thank you Cassie and Steve! While they were painting and my husband was getting a load with his dad, I'm not really sure what I was doing. I guess keeping Edynn and Landyn out of trouble.
We got My bedroom and the girls' bedroom finished other than a few touch up spots in the girls' room. We moved our bed and the washer and dryer today, hopefully tomorrow we will be able to get some more of the big things moved. We are attempting to move our real christmas tree (hopefully it survives!)
Tomorrow is more moving, then tomorrow evening Emmaleigh and I are serving in the Living Nativity that our church puts on every year (Brrrrr...) I am beginning to feel a little more at peace everyday and we are excited to start this new chapter in our lives with our guardian angel watching over us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ode to Wednesday!

Oh wednesday how I hate you right now! Its nothing you did, its just the way things happened to work out. Bad things happened on wednesday. Not to worry though soon enough I will learn to like you again, perhaps even forget that I ever hated you in the first place. I will move on to hate a number. (sorry 17) as time progresses I will move on from that and eventually only start hating a certain day.
That is how I feel right now. As wednesdays roll around I find myself hating the day. I know I shouldn't really feel that way and I should be thankful for each day that I am given. I know in time it will get easier and that hate will slowly diminish. I will only hate one day a month and then in time only one day a year. I may never learn to "love" his birthday but it will get easier in time.
My husband reminded me this morning that it has already been three weeks (as if I could forget) I'm sorry honey didn't mean to sound so bitter, I know you mean well. I just wish I knew what you were thinking sometimes.
I really thought I would have more to say even though it is early in the morning but I guess thats not the case. I will end this by wishing everybody and safe and happy wednesday since most people look forward to "hump day"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Laundry and Leases

I go to my grandma's once a week to do laundry and today happened to be the day I made it there this week. Landyn usually goes with me so he can spend some time with his big papaw and mean mamaw. I don't really think he thinks she is mean I think thats just how it comes out when he tries to say great. Its funny the names kids make up for things. Today Landyn spent the day at a friends house though. It was kinda nice to not have to keep him out of things but I think big papaw missed his cowboy a little.
This afternoon we went and signed the lease on our new house. It's official, we have the keys and everything. Let the fun begin! If I had boxes I would probably be packing everything I could but I can't seem to get any from anywhere. We tried all the local stores today and nobody had any.
The kids seem to be excited about the move as well. I asked Emmaleigh if she wanted to go to a new school after Christmas or wait til next year and she said she wanted to start after Christmas. (I still haven't decided about that one). Emmaleigh will adjust well no matter what happens. She makes friends easily. I don't really have much choice with Addy unless I just start working with her at home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Doctors and Diapers

I had another appointment with my doctor today. He gave me a z pack for my sinus/ear infection. (just another medicine to add to my growing list) I go back in three weeks for my six week appointment. He also gave me some medicine to hopefully help me sleep since the other medication wasn't working. Over all it was just a "check on me" kind of appointment and I guess I passed the test. I didn't show up in my pajamas looking like I hadn't had a shower in a few days.
I had to go to Wal-mart to get a few things after my appointment including diapers. It was then that I realized that I had somehow managed to avoid the baby section in any store in the last two and a half weeks. It was a little difficult walking past all the cute baby clothes. We saw all the cute little shirts that read "Baby's First Christmas" and I had to let my mind wander a bit. Maybe it was because I didn't feel well or maybe it was the thought of how things were supposed to be but my eyes got a little misty.
I hate it when I cry in front of people, even my husband. I always turn my head and try to wipe my tears before anyone else notices, and thats just what I did today. He caught me though! I was busted! He was asking me a question about something else and I couldn't get the tears away in time, but when I looked at him all misty eyed he knew better than to ask what was wrong, so we just finished what we needed to in the store in silence.
We are getting closer to being able to move and we may be in our new house before we planned to. As much as I hate packing and moving, I am really excited about this move.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Frustrated, Irritated, and Exhausted

If I had to use three words to describe my mood this weekend it would be those words. I was trying to get the house cleaned up this weekend and go through things and the kids decided they didn't want to cooperate with my plan. Addy was in one of her moods. If you looked at her the wrong way she would start crying. Emmaleigh asked a hundred times if she could go somewhere and Landyn just wouldn't stay out of things. Needless to say I had a difficult time getting done what I had set out to do. Very Frustrating.
I was easily irritated but I think that is from a combination of being exhausted and sick. I found myself snapping at people for no particular reason. I had to stop and pray for patience several times throughout the day. I can't sleep at night and when I finally do get to sleep it is a restless sleep. I think this may be the cause of my perpetual headache. My body is still so sore, I have tried to cut back on my activity but nothing seems to help.
I have been fighting a cough and sore throat for the last couple days. Was hoping it was just a cold that would go away but now I am beginning to think it is something else. I go back to the doctor tomorrow so I will probably end up with an antibiotic.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


As I mentioned in yesterday's post we went and looked at a house yesterday. We decided we liked and are going to try to move. So I have spent the day going through all the baby clothes and other items. We are really excited but are going to try to start moving by the 15th of this month. I know crazy right. Moving during the holidays?? Looks like Santa may come early to our house.
We got our first major snowfall last night and this morning. Not that it has affected me in anyway. I hate being out in the cold so we just stayed at home all day. Today is also my aunt's 40th birthday...Happy Birthday Anne! We are having a "surprise" birthday party for her tomorrow. It was supposed to be a surprise but my mom slipped up and gave it away. I guess noone can keep a secret in our family!
My post probably won't be very long today because I am not feeling well. I hope it is just a cold and will go away on its own.
JR had to work today so it has been just the kids and I. I hate it when he has to work on the weekends because then we don't get very much family time. The extra hours are nice when it comes to payday though so I don't complain too much and at least today it is only a half shift so he will be home sometime this evening.
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and the snow if you have any!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Life Goes On

It has been two weeks since Hudson's birthday. Sometimes I can't believe that it has been that long and other times I feel like it has been much longer than that. Either way the world keeps turning, and the days keep coming and going, and our lives must go on as well. We may have "moved on" in a sense but we still have a long way to go. All I can do is take each day as it comes. Some days are good and other days I just want to stay in bed and cry until I can't cry anymore, but how productive would that be.
Several people have mentioned how "unfair" this whole situation was but I can't allow myself to think that because then I would become angry and bitter. We have found comfort in our faith, knowing that God has a better plan for both Hudson and us and who are we to question that plan. Do I understand what that plan is? No, but its not my job to understand it, it is our job to accept it and put our trust in him.
The crib is still up and the baby clothes are still in their place. I haven't had the heart to do anything with it. I know my husband means well but once every couple of days he will ask what we are going to do with the baby stuff, and each time I give him the same answer. "I'm not ready to do anything with it right now." I know that it is just stuff, and thats the way he looks at it, but I'm just not ready.
With that said, we are currently looking to move. Largely due to the fact that there are some issues with our house that our landlord just doesn't want to fix, but since everything has happened we are also ready for a fresh start. We are actually going to look at a house this afternoon. If we decide this is the house for us then it will be time to do something with it all.
Then we have the issue of whether or not to try again. Since we weren't planning to have four children when we got pregnant with Hudson this is kind of a touchy subject. My initial thought through all of this was that I wanted to try again, but at the same time I know that I was not thinking clearly and wanted a way to fill that void as soon as I could. Now that I have had more time to process the whole situation we are discussing our options.
I am not as anxious when I think about Christmas. It truly is my favorite time of year and even though it will be hard, we are thankful for what the holiday symbolizes and it gives us hope to know that we will see our baby boy again one day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Final Goodbye

The sky was gloomy and it looked as though it was threatening rain. The temperature was cold but we all gathered outside at the cemetary to say our final goodbyes. The service was nice and ended by our friends and family throwing dirt into the grave and everyone singing Jesus Loves Me. Addy continued to question why baby Hudson was in a box...how do you explain that to a four year old. Even today she questions when baby Hudson is going to come home from heaven. It takes me a minute to answer but then I explain to her that baby Hudson is already home with Jesus and one day we will join him and we will be able to hold him and love on him.
After the service we gathered at my parents with family. My brother-in-law took my husband out for the evening and my sister came over and spent time with me. It was a good time and my husband needed to get out. He didn't really have a support system outside of my family.
The next few days kept us busy, which was good for me, I didn't have to think about it or feel anything, because when I thought about it I would let my mind wander to the what ifs. Was there something I missed in that last week? Why didn't I pay more attention to his movements? Those were common thoughts that went through my head, and I just preferred not to go down that road. I could just do what I needed to do and keep my focus on that. On monday I went to see my doctor, who couldn't apologize enough for what had happened even though I know that it wasn't his fault.
I was dreading the night that JR would have to go back to work, but that night had come on wednesday. It was the night before Thanksgiving and I had things that needed to get done and my whole body ached from keeping busy. I didn't allow my body the time it needed to heal and I was paying for it now on top of everything else. That was a set up for an emotional breakdown.
Thanksgivng Day had come and I did really well. We were invited to have dinner with JR's dad this year, something that we hadn't done since his mom passed away 5 years ago. The kids had a wonderful time and it was nice to essentially catch up. That night my friend had asked me to go shopping with her. (Secretly, it was her idea of getting me out of the house) I of course said yes, I needed to get some christmas presents anyway, why not get them at half price. The exhaustion and hype proved to be a little more overwhelming than I had expected. I didn't know what to get and quite frankly I just wasn't in the mood. Was I really turning into a scrooge? Once I got some sleep friday night I was in better spirits, I was ready to try this christmas thing again. I spent saturday cleaning the house so that we could get the christmas decorations out. We were going to put up our artificial tree but I just couldn't bear the thought of looking at the depressing little tree so I convinced my husband to go get a real one. (it really didn't take much convincing) Maybe this Christmas thing wouldn't be so bad after all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Empty Arms-Hudson's Story.

I have to start off by telling a little about our family. My husband J.R. and I have been married for six and a half years. We have three beautiful children. Emmaleigh is 6, Addyson is 4, and Landyn is 2. We thought our family was complete until we found out this spring that we were expecting baby number four. At first we were anxious about how we would be able to provide for our growing family but we put our trust in God, after all this was his plan. With some prayer and planning we began to get excited about our new arrival. In July we went in for our mid-pregnancy ultrasound and found out we were expecting another boy. Two girls and two boys, the perfect family. We began to collect baby clothes, and other necessities that we had gotten rid of once Landyn had grown out of them since we werent planning on having another one. We had a hard time choosing a name but we finally decided his name would be Hudson Levi Snell. Each doctor's appointment brought more excitement because it meant we were getting closer. By the end of October I was going to the doctor weekly and having weekly ultrasounds since I was an insulin dependent gestational diabetic (wow thats a mouthful to say) The baby's room was ready, (He would actually be sharing a room with is older brother.) and we had everything we needed to get us started. Now it was just waiting for the baby to come.
Sometime on the evening of November 16, 2010 I began to have contractions ten minutes apart. I finished some things I needed to do around the house and finished packing bags then took a shower. By 12 am my contractions were starting to get closer and by 1245 I knew this was it. I called the doctor who told me to go ahead and come in and then I called my husband home from work. We threw everything in the car and took the kids to the babysitter. I then began making the necesary phone calls to family and posted a status update on Facebook saying we were on our way to have the baby. They hooked me up to the monitors at the hospital and checked my cervix. Once they determined I was dialated to 5 and in active labor they transferred me to a delivery room. Finally after 36 weeks it was time. We were going to meet our new son.....
Thats the way it should have happened. Once I got to the delivery room, the nurses were no longer able to dectect the baby's heart rate. They gave me oxygen and I started to panic. When the doctor arrived he tried finding the heart rate with an internal monitor and still nothing. They immediately did an ultrasound and I could tell from the look on their faces that it wasn't good. My poor husband was watching everything and still hadn't realized what was happening. When the doctor told us that there was no heartbeat our world shattered. They determined that he had been gone twelve to twenty four hours prior and the heart rate they had at first was actually that of my own heart.
The variety and intensity of emotions that hit me at that moment were overwhelming. I didn't know what to feel, but I did know that I didn't want to go through labor anymore, I just wanted it to be over with. You forget the pain once you see your beautiful baby and get to love on him or her but I wasn't going to get that chance. That just made the pain that much worse. I even asked for an epidural, which if you ask my family, was something I was strongly against because of my fear of needles. I was not able to get the epidural but did get some pain medication. At 5:05 am on November 17, 2010 Hudson Levi Snell was born with his angel wings on. My first thought was that I didnt want to see him, I just couldnt bear to hold him and truth be told, it took a while before I could even look at him.
The next few hours are a blur to me. People talking about funeral arrangements, and pictures, and autopsies, it was so surreal. I didn't want any part of what was taking place. I wanted to wake up from this horrible nightmare. By 9 am our story was all over facebook and we were bombarded with phone calls, text messages, and even friend requests. Our Nurse on that first day barely left the room and we are truly thankful for her compassion. Our doctor, genuinely concerned, checked in on us frequently throughout the day. It is funny how God uses the people in our lives even in the most devastating circumstances. I finally decided that I needed to hold my baby boy. I picked him up and grabbed the outfit we had planned for him to wear home. I dressed him, hat and all, and just held him. I didn't want to let him go.
The rest of the day drug on and I tried to rest since I had been up since early the day before. Later that evening my sister brought our two daughters up to see him. Emmaleigh, our oldest,who gets her fear of hospitals from her mother, wanted nothing to do with the situation. Addyson, our four year old, sat on the couch in the hospital room holding her baby brother. She hugged and kissed on him as if there was nothing wrong. My heart just ached for them because they didn't fully understand.
After the girls left we were visited by other family and friends. Eventually it was just JR and I left alone with baby Hudson. I was finally able to get some sleep after everyone insisted I take something to help. I didn't want to sleep, I just wanted to love my baby boy and love him for as long as I could. When morning came I was just hoping that I had a bad dream and I would wake to Hudson's cry. Instead I awoke to my own tears. Decisions had to be made and no parent should ever have to make them.
We did not want to go through the pain of having an autopsy done....decision 1 made. We knew what funeral home we were going to use.....decision 2 made. We knew where he would be buried......decision 3. We kept checking things off our list and as it got closer to time to let him go I became more and more anxious because I knew that once they took him from me I would not see him again. We made arrangements to meet with the funeral director at 4 pm and he would take Hudson when he left. It didnt take very long to make the final arrangements and we said goodbye to our little boy.
About an hour later the doctor came in and said if we felt like it we could go home that night. I didn't really want to go home because that would mean that it was real, but I knew that staying wouldn't bring my baby back and I had three beautiful children at home that needed their mommy and daddy. So, at 6pm on November 18th, JR and I left the hospital to head home with Empty Arms.
I will add another post about the service and our Thanksgiving Holiday later.