Monday, December 21, 2009
I went to visit you last week and take you your Christmas gift. It seems so unfair that I am running around everywhere spending money and finding the perfect toys, games, books, clothes, etc for your brothers and all I can give you is a Christmas wreath. Not only a Christmas wreath, but I have to make sure it is one that will live in the freezing cold, snow, and wind - outside. I should be buying you pretty little dresses, bows for your hair, baby dolls, and puzzles. I should be making sure you are warm and happy. I miss you my baby Bailey. I hope you know how very much I love you and that, although I don't get to spoil you now, you have all the love in my heart. Hopefully that is the best Christmas gift of all.
I love you, Bai!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
* Best Angel Friends * - Author Unknown
A beautiful little angel showed up to Heaven's gates.
Confused and unknowing the plan that for him awaits.
Then another little angel walked up and took his hand and said, "Please don't be sad you left, you're in the Promised Land."
"I'm glad to be here but I do not think I was to go. Perhaps there was a mistake, for my mommy wanted me so."
The little greeting angel gave a sweet smile and said, "My mommy wanted me too, but to Heaven I was led. You see, we do not get to choose when on Earth it's time to go. He gave us life, love and joy and a mother's womb to grow. The Lord still needs new angels to guide them down on earth. To watch over, comfort them, and help them see their worth."
"Is there still a way that I can sleep in my mommy's bed?"
The greeting angel grinned and said, "That luxury you'll keep. I visit my mommy nightly and softly sing her to sleep."
The little angel replied, "Then I think I'll like it here. I'll visit my mommy nightly and weaken her pain and fears. I love her and will keep her safe at night and in between; and let her know with a sweet memory that she is still with me."
The greeting angel gave her new friend a big hug and said, "Until our mommy's meet us here, let's be best angel friends."
"Okay," said the new angel, "that sounds good to me."
Then the angels sat and played keeping their mommy's in sight, humming the tunes to the song they would sing to their mommy's tonight...
Thursday, June 4, 2009
It has been 8 months today since you passed away. As always, I have been wondering what you would be doing now. It is so hard for me to remember when certain milestones are.
I have been thinking about you all week .. thinking about how you would have already been 8 months old on Tuesday .. how time flies!
Tonight, as I had been thinking about you all day, I saw a little girl at the table next to us in the restaurant while I was at dinner with my co-workers. I asked how old she was and, of course ... 8 months. She was so cute. The Mom proceeded to tell me how her latest "trick" was the "Uh Oh Game". She would throw her binky on the floor and then look from Mom to Dad to whoever was around and say "Uh Oh" "Uh Oh" until someone would pick it up for her. She did this numerous times .. it was so cute.
Her Mommy gave her a plate of broken up bites of breadstick to munch on and she LOVED it as she gummed them to death.
Now I know what you would be doing .. you would be enjoying munching on "baby bites" of food and learning new words and sounds.
I miss you my sweet little Princess. Have fun with all of your Angel Friends and know that Mommy never never forgets you.
I love you my beautiful baby!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Phew! What a relief! It has taken time but maybe I will get my happy boy back again after all. I sure miss his smiles.
I love you, Parker!
For those of you that are looking for resources for the siblings of your Angel, here are links to a few that we have worked with or looked into:
* Caring Connections - University of Utah College of Nursing http://nursing.utah.edu/practice/caringconnections/index.html
* The Sharing Place http://www.thesharingplace.org/
* Camp Erin http://www.camperin.org
Saturday, May 2, 2009
This past week was the worst week I have had since Bailey died. Nothing in particular and no special anniversary or date .. just a bad week. Everything I did I thought about her, I kept looking at her picture and seeing how beautiful she was and wondering what she would look like now and what she would be doing now. And, most of all, the biggest thing that is really, really bothering me .. does she even know who I am? Does she know I am her Mommy and that I love her so very much?!?!?!!
I know that I will be with my sweet Bailey again someday and I tell my boys all the time that she loves them and is watching over them. However, does she really know who we are? I mean .. she was only alive for 2 1/2 days and, during that time, she never even opened her eyes and looked at me. How can she know me? How can she know I am her Mommy? I know she knew my voice. I carried her for 9 months and I know she recognized my voice because she would turn her head when I would talk to her in the NICU but, still, how can she love me?
To top off the week of sadness and tears - on the plane on the way home on Friday I sat with a lady with an adorable little girl on one side (yes, I asked how old she was and yes, she was just a little younger than Bailey would be) and a girl who looked about 7 months pregnant on the other. Normally I deal with this ok. However, the little girl absolutely LOVED me .. and she was ADORABLE! She kept wanting to play with me. She kept reaching for me. She kept talking and smiling at me. This is a good thing, right? Not when I am having one of "those" days. I loved her and sat there with tears streaming as I watched her - so very cute! (Again, one of those "I don't want to ruin her day" things so I am sure she wondered why I was crying while looking at her little girl. No, lady, I am not psycho .. I PROMISE!)
Fast forward to landing .. I turn on my cell phone to check for messages between flights and it starts ringing the second I turn it on. It was Parker's School. Sparing you all the details let's just say that he had a "Bailey meltdown" at School. Apparently it was a bad week for him, as well. He has had his moments in the past but I really thought that he was getting better. However, this one was pretty bad to the point that the Teacher was quite upset. Parker said some pretty disturbing things and really just broke down and started crying and acting out and all I could think of was how could I get home faster than by plane!!!!
All in all, we all had a bad week. Granted, I had been out of town for two weeks for work and Chris had to go for 2 days this week, as well. My boys were taken very well care of by family and they LOVE them. But change is hard for all of us. I guess we had enough over the last year - we like our lives to stay the same now ... so we can predict and "own" what happens.
Things will get better .. I know this. But it is so hard. Hard to always be positive and say that everything will be ok. On top of me trying to deal with my own feelings I need to protect my boys. How can I help Parker when he is on the "waiting list" at 3 different counseling agencies and has been since last October? How can I help him when I have to be out of town for work to pay the mountain of bills that we have accumulated? How can I help him when I can't even help myself?
It will get better .. and we will have good posts soon! :)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Isn't it weird how sometimes the place you think you would be the most at peace, the happiest, the most comfortable can bring on such different emotions?
Ever since Bailey died our whole family has struggled with going to Church. Not because we no longer believe .. not because we don't want to be there .. not because we don't know it is a place of love and comfort where we can be close to our Father in Heaven ... why then? Because we struggle with keeping our emotions "in check". We ABSOLUTELY know that it is because of our faith and beliefs that we were able to get through our trials knowing that we will, one day, be with our sweet Bailey again. We KNOW how much our Heavenly Father loves us. We KNOW that Bailey is watching over us and we will all be together again as an eternal family some day. It is probably these beliefs that make it so hard for us as we sit in Church each week. We know that we are loved unconditionally and that is probably why we are overcome with so many emotions when we are there. We try to be strong all the time. We try not to show our emotions or let the tears flow "in public". However, I find myself sitting in Sacrament Meeting with tears streaming down my face every week. It has been especially hard over the last month or two because I find myself sitting there with tears streaming either alone or with just Caleb - not with all of my "boys". Although we ALL know that we need to be there to once again be with Bailey, we struggle. I have made it a point to go every week - no matter how hard. I just finally decided that I didn't have to "hide" my emotions and if I sat there crying, I sat there crying. So that's what I do. Parker, on the other hand, decided that his solution was to not go. I knew he was struggling and, deep down, I even knew the reason. So I asked him why he didn't want to go one day. He said he LOVED his Teachers and he LOVES his Heavenly Father and he knows that Church is where he should be but that going to Church makes him think of Bailey and it made him too sad. I tried to talk to him about it and explain that Church is where Bailey would want him to be. But how do I explain and make him WANT to be there when I struggle with the same things? So .. I let him stay home. It seems we have finally gotten over that "hump" - at least for now - and he has started going willingly again after missing several weeks but I know that he will continue to struggle from time to time. When discussing this with Chris he said to me "If we all have such a hard time, why do we go every week?". Why? The answer is this .. it is part of healing. It is hard for us to be there because we feel our Heavenly Fathers love. It is ok to be sad there .. to show our feelings .. we don't have to be "strong" there and we will make it through. To be together as an eternal family and be with our Bailey again - we need to continue to show our Heavenly Father how much we love Him and continue to learn about the Gospel.
This years "theme" in Primary (Youth organization in our Church) is "My Eternal Family". Chris and I are Teachers and the boys are in Primary so we are all learning and remembering one of the great principles we believe in our Church - that we will all be together as a family even after we leave this Earth if we live the way we are supposed to and follow our Father in Heaven. Although you would think this would be a comforting thing for us, it can be tough at times. It is a constant reminder that we are here on earth without our sweet Bailey. Yes, we believe we will see her again .. but that will be years from now - that is still a hard thing. We are very grateful to know what we know and believe what we believe. Chris said it best shortly after Bailey died when he told me that he didn't think there was any way he would be able to make it through what we had without the knowledge of Eternal Families. And that is what we need to remember ...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Posted on "The Blake Gang" blog - August 2008:
My awesome Sister, Tammi, gave me this story she had read on one of her friends blogs. (I don't know her friend so I don't want to post her info without permission.) She gave it to me as it really applies to the situation we are going through with the upcoming arrival of our little girl, Bailey. However, I think that it could really apply to many other situations as well so I wanted to pass it along.
WELCOME TO HOLLAND
By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987. All rights reserved.
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around ... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills ... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy ... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away ... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But ... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.
We have purchased our new guide books and are starting to learn our new language for our trip to Holland. We realize that, although it wasn't the trip we had planned, we are anxiously awaiting our visit to Holland - with all of our family - no matter how long or short the visit may be.
I love you, Sis!
Although I questioned starting this blog I am so very glad that I did. I am glad that I have record for the future of our thoughts and feelings - everything we went through as we waited to get our sweet daughter here.
I am also so grateful to have all of the wonderful words of kindness from all of our great friends and family. I have a book I am putting together FULL of letters and emails from people from all across the US. Some are friends we have known a long time, relatives from near and far ... others are friends of a friend of a friend that we have never met but, yet, were a part of Bailey's life in their own way. She was a very loved little girl and we are so lucky that we had so much support throughout our journey to get her here. I truly know that all the prayers on our behalf helped us get through what seemed at times unbearable.
We love you all! Thank you - we could never repay you for your love and kindness.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thank you for sharing!
I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.
I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms
One bright Celestial day.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I have been thinking a lot lately about what you would be doing now if you were still with us. The first years of life for kiddos are so fun! It is so fun for a Mommy and Daddy to watch their Children learn new things and so exciting to see them accomplish things. We were prepared for the fact that you may be "different" and would learn at different rates than most Children and that makes me think .. What would you be doing now? If I remember right from your Brothers, you would be about the age that you may be starting to teethe. You would probably be starting to sit up on your own. Would you be rolling over yet? I can't remember for sure but I think so? You would be giggling and smiling .. in response, of course, to all the hugs and kisses you would be getting from your Mommy, Daddy, and big Brothers.
I am not writing this because I am sad .. just wanted you to know that I think of you every day .. and wonder .. What would you be doing now?
Love you my little Bailey Bai ...
Monday, March 9, 2009
I had already made my weekly visit or two to "visit" with Bailey last week. However, I was on my way to see my Mom and Dad with the boys and I decided we would make a quick stop to check on things. (We had been having some MAJOR winds and I thought maybe we should check on the flowers to make sure they hadn't been blown all over the place.) Well, we pulled up thinking we would be making a quick "check in" stop and were SO excited when we realized that the headstone was there. Parker jumped out of the car and ran over and Caleb kept yelling for me to "get me out" of his car seat. It was obvious that it had just barely been finished as there was mud everywhere and our baskets of silk flowers were upturned next to our grave and blowing all over the cemetary. Parker and Caleb gathered them up and we got them all put back in the baskets and placed back on the grave.
In addition to the excitement we had over her headstone finally being in place, we had such a cute experience with Caleb there. I wasn't even sure Caleb would have any idea where we were or why. He is so young and has only been to the cemetary one time since the graveside service and he stayed in the car that time. However, as soon as he got out of the car he ran over to her grave and said "Mommy, Parker, Bailey sleeping in there" and pointed to her grave. I have no clue how he knows this - it is truly amazing how much little ones know and how in tune with their Heavenly Father and his plan they are. Once we got the flowers all cleaned up and took a few pictures we started walking back to the car and Caleb told me to "wait a minute" and went running back to the grave again. He started to pick up one of the baskets of flowers. I told him he needed to leave them there for Bailey and he looked at me with a stumped look on his face and said "But Bailey is sleeping". I guess he has a point - Bailey doesn't need flowers - she is sleeping! :) He is such a cute boy and I am amazed every day how much he understands. I am so very glad that he knows who his Sister is and that he loves her as much as we all do.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
With this said, the reason I felt the need to post today is this ..
Chris and I have discussed this numerous times and although we have experienced what we have, we still do not know the right words to say to someone who loses a baby. There is nothing you can say that is going to make the hurt go away. It almost seems trite to say "It will get better". However, coming from someone who has experienced the loss ... "It WILL get better". I still have my "bad" days. I still have moments of extreme sadness when I realize I will never have a little girl to dress in beautiful dresses and cute little bracelets or put cute little curls in her hair. I won't experience buying a dress for my Daughters first Prom. Chris won't walk his daughter down the aisle or have to "quiz" her dates. But you know what???? Life will go on .. and it WILL get better! We will probably always have "bad days" - especially when things come around that make us think of how fun a cute little GIRL would be. But .. we have our friends and family and, most importanly, we have our ADORABLE BOYS and each other. We, with the help of all of you, have pulled together and made it through the worst of it.
To those of you that are reading this because you have experienced the loss of a baby - we pray for you and our hearts go out to you. We are ALWAYS here to listen and sometimes that is what it takes. I never would have made it through without my friends that I knew were there to listen. They didn't SAY anything - but I knew they cared and wanted to do something although there was nothing they could do to change what we were going through.
So please .. just remember ... it's not WHAT you SAY but just a hug or smile and knowing you are there that got us through and we are there for all of you experiencing the same things .. we love you .. and it WILL get better.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Some may think it is weird that I am still updating this blog now and then. I had every intention of closing the blog when Bailey passed away. However, I want to share with you the reasons I have not done that.
Throughout the course of Bailey's Journey, I was referred to many many blogs created by Moms who have lost their little ones. They belong to an awesome category of women that I, regretfully, get to be a part of. We are "Angel Mommies". Although it is not a group that I would have chosen to be part of, it is a "title" that I now have that I will do everything I can to make the best of. Because of this, I want to be a strength to other people who find themselves in similar situations to those that I found myself in over the last year - the fear of what will come of your "sick" baby, coping with a roller coaster ride of ups and downs with your baby, or the death of your sweet, sweet baby. The many blogs that I have been directed to throughout our experiences have been such a strength to me. They have shown me that "life can go on" and helped me realize that I am completely normal and the feelings I have - good and bad - are feelings that everyone has when they are dealing with their grief. Not only did they provide me strength during the roller coaster ride and Bailey's eventual death but I still go to them often - when I need to remember that it is ok to be sad ... and .. it is ok to be happy.
I have had so many people contact me after they have been directed to our blog. Everyone has their own reasons. Everyone has their own challenges. And everyone has their own situation. If our blog can help just one person know that they are "normal" and that we have been through the things they are going through and we are making it, then I want it to do that! This is one of the main reasons that I will continue on with Bailey's Journey.
I also truly believe that through sharing my thoughts and feelings to help others see how we deal with things (or don't deal with them in some cases), I help myself heal, in a sense.
I need to be able to share my feelings. I need to talk about Bailey. She is my daughter. She is a part of our family. We didn't go through all we went through - the decisions, the preparation, the pain, the worry - for nothing. A very dear friend of mine who is also an "Angel Mommy" gave me some very good advice. She told me that if she didn't recognize her baby who had passed away then "it was all for naught." I have never forgotten that and I never will. People are often times very uncomfortable talking about Bailey to us. I understand why and I do my best to make sure that they know that it is ok and that they don't have to be nervous about it. But, still, there are days when I don't want to make them feel better. I want them to make me feel better. Again .. something I need to get through but something that it helps to be able to "blog" about.
These are the main reasons that I feel like I want to continue to blog. I would love to have you continue to follow Baileys Journey with us. Of course I had planned to continue her blog to update everyone on her progress as she grew bigger and stronger. That wasn't meant to be. However, as many of you know, our beautiful little girl - Bailey Grace Blake - touched the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people even before she was born. She was loved more than any newborn that I know. Good things came from her experiences - to our family and friends. We have seen the proof! I want to continue the good that she has already spread and I will do this by helping others with sharing our thoughts as we grieve and grow from her passing.
We love you all! Thanks for everything you have done - and continue to do - for us!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
As the time neared for the trip and Bailey had passed away, I continued to look forward to the trip - some time for just Chris and I. However, the closer it came, the more anxious I became. Apparently, I am having some major separation anxiety from Parker and Caleb. It isn't that I didn't think that they would be well taken care of. I KNEW they were in good hands. And it wasn't that I thought I could take care of them better than anyone else. Nothing like that .. I just don't want to be away from them. I am not 100% sure but I am attributing it to the fact that I lost my little girl - I don't want to be away from my boys, too. Silly, I know. But something I am dealing with. I have even had some issues sending Parker to school. I kept telling myself that that was because he was struggling so much emotionally and I felt I needed to "protect" him. However, he is doing better but I still have those feelings. *SIGH* Will I EVER feel "normal" again?
In addition to my worries about leaving the boys came my sadness at missing Bailey while in Hawaii. My thoughts kept wandering to "I would be snuggling Bailey here on the beach" or "I wonder if she would like the water", etc, etc. No matter how I tried, I couldn't keep my thoughts from straying to the time I should be spending with her. Then there was the baby on the Beach with her Mommy, Daddy, and big Brother. She was adorable in her sun bonnet and little sundress. She was barely learning to sit up and she was giggling and cooing happily. I asked her Mom how old she was and, as I had guessed, she was 4 months old - just a little older than my Bailey would be. Again, I know these things will get easier/better with time but it is still so hard to see little girls - I was so looking forward to dressing my baby Bailey in her cute little dresses and putting her cute little bows in her hair.
Don't get me wrong - we LOVED our trip and had a very enjoyable time. We are so very blessed that we were able to go. With all of the struggles we are still having financially due to the medical expenses, funeral expenses, etc there is very little money left for us to do things together so it was a VERY welcome vacation. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Allied, for the paid vacation. It meant so much to us!
Life CAN go on - even with ups and downs - and, luckily, the downs are getting fewer.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It is snowing outside again today and I keep thinking about how I would love to have you here to snuggle with. You would still be too little to go out and play in the snow with your brothers but it would be so fun to be able to bundle you up in your warm winter jammies and take you out to watch them. Instead, we all bundle up to come and visit your grave.
I imagine you would be starting to giggle and smile by now. I remember those days with your brothers and how much joy it brought to hear them gurgle and giggle and make all those happy baby sounds.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of what stages you would be in ... what you would be learning to do .. and how happy I would be to watch you reach those milestones.
I know that there is a reason that you are not here with me, Bailey. One day I will know what that reason is. But, meanwhile, I miss you so much. I love you my little "Bailey Bai".