Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cole's Name Gallery

This one was sent anonymously to us!
 Marlise: "I was driving home from work the other day and got totally lost (i know, i's a talent).  Anyway, I pulled onto a side street to figure out where I was and when I looked at the street sign, I noticed what it said."
Kirsten: I continue to pray with you guys! From the boy mommy in me. Love you guys!

 From our neighbors (story following) Lights On
 Lights Off

Can I just tell you how wonderfully blessed we feel every time we open our email and see a photo. I know it may not seem big to you, but to us, it's the feeling that someone out there was thinking of our little boy. I think when people lose a baby or a child, they're so afraid that the child will be forgotten. I know I feel that way. It makes me feel that Cole isn't forgotten!!

Story about the pumpkin: Our neighbors tried to grow pumpkins in their yard this year and only one pumpkin arrived this Fall. It was quite tiny (we'll have to post a photo of how tiny it is...I know it's hard to tell from the photo) and never grew to be anything "pumpkin sized." They thought the symbolism was perfect for making a Cole Pumpkin for us to have in front of our house for Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Saturday & Giraffe Photos

On Saturday, Connor was invited to a Halloween Party. He dressed in his costume!
 His friend Sophia!
 He had such fun in all the scooters and tricycles
 Wild Giraffe on the Loose
 Diana and Connor playing Football
 When we took the costume off, Mama was able to relax (hey! I was worried about him getting the costume dirty)
On Sunday, my mom, sister, Connor, and I had a Play Date. My sister took these photos!
 Nana & Giraffe Hugs: The Best Kind
 Didn't you know Giraffes love pumpkins?
 Giraffe Face: Oooh
 Giraffe Laughs

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Wonderful Coworkers

My wonderful coworkers bought us the most beautiful angel statue for our yard. It honestly took my breath away. We put it in our yard right next to the Dwarf Japanese Maple that our neighbors got us to honor Cole Jayden.
How lucky are we?

Would it make you uncomfortable?

At a halloween party that Little Man went to on Saturday, I was asked a new question, twice, by two different people. Then, yesterday, while at an ELD training I was asked the same question.

Is Connor Your Only Child?

I was so caught of guard at the Halloween party that I answered, "Yes, he is." I didn't know what to say. I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. But the second the words came out of my mouth both times on Saturday, I was heartbroken. Cole is my baby. And while people may not understand that or feel uncomfortable when I say it, it doesn't change the reality.

So...Yesterday, when the woman asked me if I only had one child, I said no. "I have two sons." And then the inevitable question came out.

How Old is Your Other Son?

I tried a new approach. I said, "I don't want to make you uncomfortable, because I promise it's okay. My other son passed away when he was little. He's in heaven." She started to look horrified that she had asked and I just said with a big smile, "I promise it's okay. It makes other people more uncomfortable than it does me. Do you have any children?" She smiled and continued on with the conversation.

I'm not sure what I'll say or do the next time it is asked. But, saying that Connor is my only child is no longer an option. I will not deny Cole's existance.

A friend suggested I say in response, "Connor is my first." I ABSOLUTELY loved that response. And I actually tried that with the woman at the conference. But she said, "Oh so you have others?" Anyone else go through this? How do you handle it? Lindsey, I'm thinking of you...what do you say when people ask if you have children?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Little Brother is an Angel in Heaven

I found THE most adorable shirt ever and just HAD to get it for Connor to wear.
 He was a little tired this morning when I snapped this photo. I'll get another photo the next time he wears it.
**PS Grandma & Nana, if you need Christmas ideas I'm sure he'd like more clothing about being a big brother.**

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2

Here is the second batch of photos my sister took. I truly think she is just fabulous!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

A few weeks ago we went down to Bishops Pumpkin Patch with my mom and sister. We are blessed to have a wonderful photographer in the family and so when we go places with her we always get the best photos. I had taken some too, but I knew hers would be a zillion times better. Instead of posting mine, I just waited.

Isn't she FABULOUS??!

The Maze Video:

Saturday, October 23, 2010


The doctors believe that Cole had Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney Disease, based on the results of his autopsy. I found a really helpful website about MDKD (Click Here). If Cole had only had one multicystic kidney, he more than likely would have survived. But unfortunately, both kidneys were filled. In addition to having 2 kidneys filled with cysts, Cole's left kidney was also significantly enlarged. Our poor baby didn't just have Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney Disease, but also reverse diastolic flow in the cord (blood moves back toward the heart when the heart relaxes), which meant that Cole wasn't getting enough nutrients.

There is a slight chance that Cole had Polycystic Kidney Disease, which is a genetic disease (and would NOT be a good disease to have). The doctors are going to do ultrasounds on my kidneys and Mr. Howard's kidneys in order to determine whether or not we have cysts in them (and are unaware...apparently it's possible to have cysts and not have any symptoms). This won't definitively tell us anything, but if neither of us have it, it will either mean we aren't carriers or we carry the recessive gene. If either of us has cysts in our kidneys, it will mean we are carriers of the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) gene.

Both Mr. Howard and I are feeling like the results were very inconclusive, but we were happy that they are going to do ultrasounds on our kidneys.

All of this means that we have a 25% chance of having another child with MDKD, which is clearly beyond heartbreaking news! I know that those aren't horrible odds, but I don't know if I can go through this again. How would I survive?

Too Soon

Everyone was telling me at the hospital that I wouldn't want to be in an empty house, that I wouldn't want to be bored, and that I should probably go back to work after I healed physically from childbirth after about 3 weeks. So I listened. I had one friend who suggested I might need more time and that I should be flexible, but everyone else was saying to go back after a few weeks.

I went back to work after three weeks. And that was not a smart decision.

The wonderful joy of being a teacher (ha!) is that we feel responsible for our children. Yes, of course, I also feel responsible for myself, Connor, and for Cole. But I am responsible for the 30 children who sit in my classroom each day. I need to be there for them. And that is what motivated me to go back to work (did I mention I had a sub who did nothing to help me?).

And now I'm paying the price. I had all the markers of post-partum after my doctor's visit on Wednesday, which means I now have psychologist appointments, follow-up ultrasounds for Mr. Howard and I (to check our kidneys), support group meetings, and not enough time in the day to do it all.

It's all too soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Mama & Daddy Photoshoot!

  This morning, miraculously, both Mr. Howard and I were home at the same time and decided to take some photos!
 And who wouldn't want to take photos with THIS adorable little monkey?
And then here are a few photos from last night with Connor and Me:
My ABSOLUTE favorite!! He was dancing in this one!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bad Night!

Where did my loving, happy, fabulously wonderful sleeper, always on-the-run boy, from this picture, go? Last night he was replaced with a grumpy, horrible sleeper.      =( I hate, hate, hate teething!! I am so very sad that I can't take away his pain and make it all better.

We were up every hour! I am suddenly reminded what having a newborn will be like again some day.

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