Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where has the time gone?

This has been an emotionally draining week.  Yesterday we celebrated Raelyn's 1st Angelversary/birthday.  It was a bittersweet day.  We had a very nice memorial at the Cemetery, released balloons, decorated her headstone and had cupcakes.  I didn't think it would be so "hard", but it most certainly was.  My heart hurts just as much today as it did a year ago.  My stomach turns as I remember the entire week I went through 1 year ago.  My stomach is full of stretch marks, which are a painful memory of the little girl I once carried in my belly.  I can still remember that gut wrenching empty feeling I had.  Yesterday I had a lot of support from friends and family and for that I am greatful beyond words.  I'm not really sure where I would be today, given everything I have been through, if it wasn't for my support system.  I try to keep my mind busy because it's when I'm alone that things really hit me.  Picking out things for her grave was very difficult.  I should have been planning a birthday party, but instead I was making a flower arrangement to put on her grave.  I should have been buying her clothes and shoes and lots of toys, but instead I was looking for "kids" stuff that could withstand the weather while it sat on her grave.  As I was looking through the birthday section I couldn't help but sob as I picked out things that said "my first birthday" and "birthday girl".  It's not fair, I should be buying these things to actually use...not to sit outside on a grave site! As I checked out at the store my eyes watered as the cashier said, in a chipper voice, "it must be someone's birthday?"  I choked back the tears as I said, "yes it is."  It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year already.  They say time heals everything, but what does it really "heal"? I do not think this pain I feel will ever go away, but I think it will get easier to cope with.  My heart will never be hole because with her went a piece of me.   
My dad has been doing pretty good since his hunting accident back in November.  He had his 5th and hopefully finally surgery today.  The doctor said things went really well, but we won't know if the cadaver bones are going to "heal" to his bones for another 3 months.  There isn't a lot of information on the type of surgery they done today with placing the cadaver bones.  This type of procedure is typically done on patients who have had bone cancer or bone tumors resulting in removal of the portion of bone infected.  The surgeons who completed the surgery do not have a lot of experience with the procedure in general, let alone doing it on someone who has lost bone due to a trauma.  The group of surgeons who have been doing his operations have done an amazing job thus far and have really done well with reconstructing his knee the best they could given the trauma and severity of his injury.  It's kind of complicated, but alls we can do is pray that everything heals and he is able to start rehab and walking again soon.  Through all of this he has remained in such good spirits.  Even when he is lying in the hospital bed, hooked up to a Morphine pump and still in escrutiating pain, he is able to cut a joke.  It breaks my heart to watch him go through all of this, but I am just thankful that he is here with me and that the doctors were able to save his leg.  He still has a long road to recovery, but alls we can do is take it one day at a time.  I am also very thankful for all the thoughts and prayers everyone has given him! I've said this all along...he most certainly had a guardian angel looking after him the day of his accident.  He is a very lucky man!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My daddy ♥

Well my dad had a hunting accident last Monday was life flighted to a trauma center, which is approx 95 miles from his home.  It was so scary.  My neighbor (it was actually my dad's neighbor) called me Monday morning while I was at work.  I had this terrible gut feeling the minute I felt my phone vibrate and seen that he was calling because he normally doesn't call me.  I answered the phone with fear in my voice.  He told me that my dad had accidently shot himself in the leg with a .270 deer rifle while trying to get it unjammed and that he would be getting flown to a hospital here in the City.  I was hysterical because I didn't really know what exactly was going on.  They told me he was conscious, but I didn't know how "stable" he was.  I know what kind of impact a deer rifle has on an object after being shot at close range, so I didn't know if he would even have a leg left.  All kinds of terrible thoughts were running through my head.  I tried to stay positive, but it was very hard.  My boss drove me right over to the hospital and we got there about 5 minutes before the hellicopter landed.  I waited at the door as they wheeled him into the doors on the gurney.  I grabbed his hand and let him know that I was there and that I loved him.  He was strapped down to a back board with a neck brace.  It was kinda scary watching the life flight crew take him out of the chopper and bring him into the hospital.  He told me later that he couldn't see me as they brought him in, but that he could hear my voice.  He was covered in blood and his right pant leg was cut open to his upper thigh.  His right knee had a compression bandage over it and was splinted.  I could tell he was in pain.  A trauma team was waiting at the door for him and took him on back to the ER for a better evaluation.  They wouldn't let me go back just yet and told me to wait out in the waiting room, that a physician or nurse would be out shortly to let me know what was going on.  The life flight nurse came back out and told me he had pulses and feeling in his foot and that his vitals had been fine on the way up.  That was somewhat reassuring.

About 15 minutes went by, but it seemed like a lot longer.  Finally a nurse came out and told me that I could go back to the trauma room and see him.  Several doctors came in and out of the room.  An anesthesiologisy, a ortho surgeon, a general surgeon and a "medical" doctor.  He was awake and able to answer the questions they were asking.  They told us they would be taking him into surgery very soon to clean the wound and asses the damage.  From the xrays and CAT scans they had already done they were able to tell us that he had completely shot out his entire knee and shattered the bottom portion of his femur.  There were a lot of bone fragments that would need to be moved as well.  He just about blew his entire leg off at the knee, yet missed all the arteries and etc.  I believe he had a guardian angel looking over him that morning.  He says he had 2. ♥  I have absolutly no doubt in my mind that both Raelyn and my Momma was with him.  I sobbed as they took him back to the OR.  I knew he would probably be "ok", but I didn't want him to have to lose a leg or something to go wrong during surgery, God forbid.  The unknown can be a really scary thing and I am not ready to lose my daddy.  He is all I have left (as far as parents). 

I waited the rest of that evening in the ICU surgery waiting room.  That really felt like an eternity.  12 turned into 1, 1 turned into 2 and so forth.  Finally at around 5 they told me that he was finally out of surgery and would be spending the night in the ICU for observation.  He looked pretty good considering what he had been through that day.  The doctor said that things went well during that surgery and that they would take him back to the OR in a couple days.  Because of the injury they were not able to completly close the wound.  He said they were able to pull the wound closed more than they thought, but that there was still about a tennis ball sized area which was "open".  He said he was very lucky to still have his leg, but that there was still a very high chance he could end up losing it due to the wound and risk for infection.  They showed me the pictures of what his knee looked like and it was just unbelievable.  A gunshot wound anywhere can be fatal and I was just so thankful that my dad was doing alright after this horrible accident. They put an external fixator on, which is a long metal titanium rode that is anchored into the top of his leg and lower shin, to hold his leg together and prevent movement. 

The next day they moved him out of the ICU and to the ortho/medical floor.  He had lost a lot of blood so he received 4 units of blood.  He went back to surgery on Wednesday.  The doc said that surgery went as expected also.  He said that it was still a pretty nasty looking wound but that it didn't look any worse.  His next surgery will be this coming Tuesday and they will do some skin grafting to cover the "open" wound.  His recovery is going to be a very long, rough one.  The doc said that his injury was a very unique one which has been challenging for the surgeons, but that we would continue to take it day to day.  He said that there is no written instructions on how to do this, such as there wasn't a do a first, then b, etc.  After the skin grafting heals he will have another surgery which will replace his knee and bottom portion of his femur with a cadaver bone.  Dad has nothing left to reconstruct of his "own", so will have to use either donor bones or prosthetic ones.  We have opted to try the donor bones since they are "real" bones and will hopefully heal to his bones better.  There hasn't really been any talk about when he will be able to go home, but they have mentioned that he will most likely need to either go to a nursing home or rehab for skilled therapy.  Hopefully we will be able to progress through this without any further complications. 

They started doing therapy earlier this week.  He will be totally non weight bearing for the next 12 weeks on his right leg and has been learning to use a walker.  They have also been teaching him how to do his activities of daily living around the external fixator on his leg (it's a very inconvient and uncomfortable contraption, but I know it is "necessary").  He has been doing really well with the addaptive devices they have given him to use so hopefully that will mean he can get out of here faster.  He has pretty much been totally dependent on someone to help him do anything so it is good to see him be more "independent" with the assistive devices therapy has provided him with. 

Like I said, I know it is going to be a very long road to recovery but I am just so thankful to still have my daddy here with me.  I have been at the hospital with him every chance that I can.  We have had some really awesome nurses and some that aren't so good.  The surgeons have been great and I have a lot of confidence that they will be able to "fix" his leg the best they can.  Please continue to pray for strength as he starts this bumpy journey to recovery.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Remembering all the Angel Babies

Well yesterday was Infant/Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.  I woke up yesterday morning like I do every Saturday morning and, being the facebook junkie that I am, got onto the computer.  I had a "special" day planned out of things that I wanted to do, mainly to honor our sweet girl, Raelyn. 
When I got onto facebook I couldn't hold back the tears though.  So many people had changed their profile pics to either a pic of the Infant/Pregnancy Loss Awareness Ribbon or changed it to "Raelyn's" awareness ribbon.  I wipped away the tears as I read what people had changed their status' to.  They were not only remembering Raelyn, but all our precious Angel Babies.  I sobbed as I read what my friend Carole from NC wrote, "Pregnancy & infant loss awareness day is today. Remember all the baby angels in heavens playground. RIP Baby Raelyn 2/22/11. Know you have the prettiest wings & halo heaven had to offer!!!"  She was not the only one who updated their status and I just want EVERYONE to know how much it meant to me for them to not only show support but mention my sweet girl specificly.  I miss my NC friends so much.  They have been so supportive with all of this even though they are thousands of miles away!! Now, with that said I don't want my friends/family "here" to think that I do not appreciate them.  I really just can't express how thankful I am to have each and every one of YOU in my life.  Your support truly means more than I could ever explain.
After I pulled myself together from all that I went down to the Cemetary where my Momma and Raelyn are buried.  I done my own little balloon release, not just for my baby girl but also for all the precious Angel Babies who have been taken away far to soon.  As I pulled the balloons out of my car and started to walk over towards the stones the windchimes started chimin like crazy!! I knew then that my Momma and baby girl were there.  I took the weight off the balloons and let them go.  I watched as they floated up into the sky.  They kept floating further and further up until I could no longer see them.  The windchimes continued to chime until the ballons were no longer in sight as well and then they stopped (in order to "get" the whole windchime thing you would have had to read one of my earlier blogs).  I guess my Momma and Raelyn had went back to heaven to catch her balloon.  I then laid a small arrangement of pink flowers on Raelyn's grave, which had a blue and pink ribbon tied around it.  I told Raelyn how much I loved her and missed her.  I let her know how missed she is from so many people.  I then told my Momma that I missed her too and that I wished she was here to help me through some of my "struggles".  I told them both that I loved them as I walked away and got back into my car.  I always feel so at peace when I visit the Cemetary, but it never gets easier.

Later that night I met up with one of my good friends, which I haven't gotten to see much since I moved.  She is one of my best friends and I miss not getting to see her as much anymore.  She went with me to get a new tattoo.  This tattoo meant so much to me and the fact that I got it on the Awareness Day made it even that much more "special".  I'm also glad that my bestie, Melissa, was able to go along with me!  I know that my Momma probably didn't like it, only because she didn't like me "markin" up my body.  One time my cousin, Jill, and I got tattoo's and she said, "I don't know why you girls always have to be markin up your bodies like that.  What would happen if I need a skin transplant one day?! I will have ink on it!"  Just typing her quote brings a smile to my face, she was so funny sometimes.  I miss my Momma so much!!  But all "jokes" aside, I  felt this was a special way to honor my sweet girl on such a special day and I am very happy how it turned out.  I just can't wait to see how it looks after it "heels".

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's been a while...

Well I'm not even sure where to start.  So much has been on my mind lately.  We celebrated our neices 1st birthday yesterday.  It has been amazing to watch her grow.  It seems like just yesterday she was an infant and now she is walking around, getting into everything.  We love that little girl so much.  Sometimes my heart hurts though because I wish we were watching our own daughter grow.  I look at Raelyn's ultrasound pics or even her tiny handprints and still have my moments.  I miss her so much.  She will always have a piece of my heart.  It seems like everyone is having babies or finding out their pregnant.  I'm not really sure how I feel about that.  I find myself having baby fever at times, but then I think about what we went through and it scares me to death.  I feel like it was a bad scene from a horror movie or something.  Those couple of days have been etched into my mind forever.  No one knows the heartache I still feel to this day. 

I've been feeling like nothing good ever seems to happen to me lately.  I've been going through some things with my dad and have had several run-ins with "bad luck" lately.  My dad had kinda hit rock bottom with his depression and things got totally out of control.  It was so scary to see him the way I had to see him.  He looked like a mad man.  I spent my birthday trying to get him help...and I'm pretty sure it was the worst birthday I've ever had but I would do it again in a heartbeat if I knew it would help my daddy.  Thankfully I had amazing support from the rest of my family and they really stood behind me.  I know he didn't like us to much in the beginning but I'm pretty sure he is glad he had the oppurtunity to get the help he needed.  He was able to go to a really good hospital where he could get the help he needed.  Since he has been out I can tell a tremendous improvement.  It's almost like he is a new person.  He has even gained 20 pounds!! That seems like a lot, but that is exactly what he needed...he looks healthy again.  I've lost my mother and I sure don't want to lose my daddy, especially to something senseless.  I know I can not control who he hangs out with or who goes around him, but I can at least try to get him the help he needs when he needs it.

So I had started writting this a week or so ago and I am just getting around to finishing it.  I have been terrible about getting on here and I promise to try to better.  Life is just so busy and hectic these days! ♥

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So it has been over a month since I have blogged.  June has been a tough month.  The 11th was the 2 year anniversary of my mom passing away.  I miss her so much and I find it very hard to believe that I have been without her for 2 years now.  There are so many days that I wish I could still call her and let her know about my day or ask for advice.  My dad has started seeing someone again, which I have had a very hard time with.  I've pretty much known this day would come some day and his happiness means more to me then anything.  I don't really know her and I have had a very poor attitude about accepting her.  My dad hasn't really been honest with me about her and I'm certain that hasn't helped things either.  I think he tries to avoid telling me things because he doesn't want me to be upset, but it is even worse when I hear about the situation second hand.  The 14th should've been my "due date".  A million different thoughts ran through my mind that day.  It should've been the happiest day of my life.  I should've been having my beautiful baby girl, holding her in my arms and kissing her forehead.  Instead it was just another day.  Some days I catch myself wondering what it would have been like with her here...even with all her medical problems.  The "selfish" part of me still gets the best of me at times.  I have no regrets about the decision we had to make because I know it was the best.  I would never have wanted my child to suffer.  No parent would.  No matter the situation though, I am just about certain I would not be able to go through another "procedure" EVER again.  It was horrific and I still to this day have horrible flashbacks from what happened during those 3 days.  It is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.  I find some comfort in being able to visit her at the cemetary with my momma. 

We have been given the "green light" on trying again, I'm just still scared.  Like I said, I'm almost certain that I would not be able to go through with another "procedure" ever matter what the circumstance.  It took every once of strength I had just to follow through with it this time.  The fear is simply overwhelming.  Our OB doc has been very supportive through this entire situation and has told us on several occassions that they chance of reaccurance is very low.  I guess since it "just happened" and they were not able to find a cause for the poor development of our baby, I have a terrible fear of it "just happening" again.  I know more than anything though that I was meant to be a mother and this experience has made me want a baby more than anything, especially since I feel as though it was ripped away from me.  For now I will try to patiently wait for the Lord to bless us with another baby.  He knows when the time is right and after everything I have been through, I trust in him more than anything.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Days go by...

I've really been slacking when it comes to updating my blog lately. I've been working a lot, just trying to keep busy. I've caught myself on the verge of tears quite frequently these past couple days, and I'm not really sure why. I see my facebook friends sharing their pregnancy "joys" and posting pics of their newborns and it makes my heart ache. I see them progressing in their pregnancies and think to myself, I should be doing these things along with them, or this person just had their baby. I should be getting ready to have mine.

I've also been thinking about all the upcoming "events".  Mothers Day, Memorial Day, Easter, my "should be" due date, the anniversary of my mom's death. All of these things are happening in these next 2 months and I find it a bit overwhelming just to even think about at times.  Mothers Day has been rough for me ever since my mom passed away and this year I will be celebrating it not only without my mother but as a mother who lost her first child. Ughhh!  I really hope my momma and Raelyn enjoyed their first Easter together.  My dad and I joked about mom forgetting to put her Easter basket out. I'll never forget the Easter mom forgot to put my basket out. I woke up, ran into the living room and there was NOTHING! I thought the Easter Bunny had forgotten me! Then mom came runnin into the living room, saying "oh shit!! go back to your room!"  I anxiously waited in my room as I heard the ruffeling of plastic bags and mom telling dad that she could not believe she "forgot" to set my basket out. When I came back into the living room mom sat her chair with the biggest smile and said, "he just left it in our room". Needless to say, the "secret" was out. We looked back and laughed about that for several years! And I'm sure if Raelyn is anytihing like me, she HATED them pees. Mom liked them though and I always found them in my Easter baskets. I would remind her every year that I didn't like them things, but her response was always the same. She would say "I know", with a big grin on her face, as she took them out of my basket and ate them herself. Man, I sure do miss my momma!!

I had went to the doctor last month for my 1 month "procedure" follow up. I can't really remember if I already mentioned what happened at that appointment so I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself. Anyways, the doctor said everything looked good with my cervix and such and said that things seemed to be healing well.  She also said that she wanted us to wait at least 3 months before trying again. I still feel a little "undecided" about the whole trying again thing. I feel like my daughter was ripped away from me and I want to try again more than ever. With that said, I am scared to death that it will happen again. The doctors say the chances of it recurring is very low, but my thought process on it is that it "just happened" do I know it won't "just happen" again. Brett says that our luck isn't that bad (for what happened before to happen again) but sometimes I swear that I am cursed, especially when I think about some of the things that have happended to me. I know I can not think like that but sometimes it's hard to be positive when I think of the things I've had to go through. One thing that I do know for sure though is that I was meant to be a Mother. This I know without a doubt. As terrible as this experience has been I also know that it has helped Brett and I grow so much and in so many ways, and I think that together we will be even better parents because of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another emotional day.

Well today was another rough day. We finally laid our little girl to rest. It was in a way a relief. I hated seeing her remains sitting on the dresser in the box that the Clinic had sent them to us in everyday. I never did open the box. Some how it made me feel better to just leave them in there. We decided to just do a private service with only Brett and I.

We (Brett, me and my dad) had an apointment at the funeral home this morning. We looked at headstones and were even able to go ahead and order one. We weren't sure wether we would be able to actually order it today, but they allowed us to make payments so that was a big help. Anyone who has ever had to purchase a headstone knows that they are NOT cheap!! The funeral home said that it should be installed by Memorial Day and I can't wait to see it! It's an "infant" stone so it is a smaller one. It has all of Raelyn's information on it and a teddy bear (Brett says it is a rabbit), ball and rattle down at the bottom.

They also gave us a temporary marker to put in the ground where we buried her until her stone comes in. I asked wether they had any little boxes or some type of container to actually put her into the ground with. When they went to get it the most ironic thing happened! The funeral home man came back into the room and had an odd expression on his face. He told us that he wasn't sure why he still had it, but that he had the container my mom had came in (when she was sent from the crematory back to the funeral home). He said that normally he did not keep those particular containers, but that we could use it if we would like to. Of course my dad and I both agreed that it was appropriate and said yes. My dad and I just kinda looked at each other with tears in our eyes as he handed me the box, which clearly still had "Susan Kneller: June 11, 2009" written on it. I opened the box and inside was a small velvet bag. It was a small portion of my momma's remains! I had ordered a cremation necklace and so the funeral home had kept some of my mom's remains so that they could be put into the necklace. Well apparently after they put a little portion into my necklace, they saved the remainder for my dad. At some point there had obviously been some type of miscommunication and so my dad had not ever picked them up. This is why they still had my mom's cremation container. I handed the velvet bag over to my dad as a tear rolled down his face. I handed the container back to the funeral home man and Brett went out to the car to get the box which had Raelyn's remains in it. The funeral home took her remains out of the box for us, put them into the container that she would be buried in (which was previously my mom's), and then sealed it. It just seemed so appropriate. I know my mom was smiling down on us, with Raelyn in her arms, as we sealed that box.

After that we went to the cemetary. It was a rainy, cold, dreary day today. As we pulled into the cemetary the rain eased up and, for the most part, seemed to have stopped. Finally the Pastor arrived and so we got out. It was so windy. Brett and I stood huddled together, shivering, as the Pastor done our little service and said a prayer. My mom has wind chimes hanging beside her grave. She loved those noisy things for some reason and it seems like they are always chiming like crazy when my dad and I are there. There have been days that there was absolutely no wind when we went to visit her. As soon as we get there though the wind chimes always start chiming like crazy! We like to think of it as momma talking to us. Like the wind is her, telling us that she is ok and that she loves us. Today was no exception and the wind was blowing like crazy!! I knew that they were both there with us. Between listening to the Pastor's words and the wind chimes it was very emotional for me to say the least. I watched as they put Raelyn's little box into the ground and then covered it with dirt. Brett and I then put up her own little wind chime and set an angel and teddy bear on her grave. I laid a rose on both my mom's and Raelyn's grave. I then told them both how much I loved them and said I would see them later, as I do for my mom every time I visit her. As we left the cemetary it began to rain again. I looked up at the sky and said thank you mamma for allowing us to have our service without rain.