Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February Balloon Release Pictures

Thank you to everyone who has shared their Angel Baby and their stories with me.  I feel I know your angel when you tell me about them.  I am greatly blessed by making these balloons for you and your baby.  If anyone did not get their pictures via email, just let me know.  One was returned to me as the wrong email address.  Just get in touch with me.   Blessings, Gale

           Now, pictures of the beach release of these balloons over the Atlantic Ocean off of the coast of North Carolina, USA.
                                                  Fly high sweet Cameron 
                                       Fly high, Lily May, with your twin brother Cameron!
                                                  Fly high precious Luke Shiloh! 
                                               Happy Angel Birthday Corbin!  Fly high!                         
                                                   It was a blessed sight!                          

Reita Gale's Story: Part One

January 1982,  James and I began talking about having another baby.  It had been our plan all along to have three munchkins running around ever since we were engaged and dreaming of our future together.  Even though I felt extremely blessed to have my two rainbow sons, I felt a baby girl might be nice to try for.  James agreed.  It was our secret.  If we got pregnant, fine.  If I couldn't conceive, well we could live with that also.  We were excited about trying!  In February, I was late!  That  never happened unless I was pregnant!  I had always been like clock work.  We now had an option open to us that we never had before.  We could go to the drugstore and buy a Pregnancy Test!  Gosh, we lived in a fairly small town.  The druggist  knew us.  Hmmm...where to go?  We just went to the closest one to where we lived late in the evening so less people would be there.  We quickly picked out one and bought it.  With the test safely in the bag, we headed home.  The next morning I took the test and it was pure positive!  We were so excited!  This was on a weekend, so I made plans to call to make  an appointment with my OBGYN on Monday morning.  We didn't tell anyone.  Monday came and I called to make my appointment with Dr. A who had delivered Taylor.  I had to wait another week to see the doctor.  Meanwhile, the thoughts of another baby in the house was thrilling!  I just knew this was going to be a girl.  I was really confident about it.  I was getting all giddy about it!  The next Friday night, a week after the positive test, I started spotting a little.  I panicked and went to lie on the sofa.  I didn't move except to prop up my feet.  I was on my back.  I prayed it was only spotting and nothing more.  I had never spotted during my other three pregnancies, so to say I was concerned was an understatement.  I stayed downstairs on the sofa that night, not moving for fear of what might happen.  The next morning was Saturday, but James still had to go in to work.  He made breakfast for our two small sons, dressed them, and got them busy playing before he left for work.  I slowly got up to go use the bathroom.  The moment I sat down, I heard and felt a "plop."  Something had fallen out of me.  I got up to see what it was.  I just stared at a medium size oval bloody mass.  I hurriedly called my doctor at the hospital.  He rang me right back.  He also lived in our neighborhood, so we were neighbors as well as doctor/patient.  I was told that I most likely had just had a miscarriage.  End of story. Most likely??? I asked if I needed a D & C and he said it wasn't necessary.  I was very emotional.  What should I do with the miscarried baby???  I couldn't just flush it away!
What I did next was horrifying, but I did it anyway.  When I loss my James Collins, Jr to stillbirth, one of my fellow teacher friends told me her story of miscarriage.  She told me what her doctor told her to do and she did it.  Looking at the mass and wondering if it was just a clot or if it was a baby, I decided on my own accord to do what my friend had done.  I do NOT advise anyone to ever do this.
 I went to the kitchen, got a butcher knife, went back to the bathroom, put some paper towels on the counter, picked up the mass from the toilet and laid it on the paper towels.  I picked up the knife while deciding where to cut, then I cut through the mass.  I heard the loudest clearest "pop" noise.  It was at that point that I realized I had just cut my own baby half into.  It was a mass, but it had a spine!  The popping noise was the spine breaking into, at least this is what my friend had told me her doctor had said it was.  My baby was developing  inside of me before it came out.   I do understand the baby was no longer viable and I had miscarried.  That didn't diminish the fact that I actually felt the spine as it cut into.  I can't describe in words how I felt then and how I feel now.  I should have thought it through some more.  I acted too quickly.  I became ashamed of myself.  Why did I ever think it was okay to cut into that mass?  I can only say I did it out of selfishness because I wanted to know for sure if it was a pregnancy or not.  so, what God had created I destroyed. I took away any dignity the forming baby had. It has taken me years to understand that.  To add on more insult to the child, I just considered it a mangled mess at that point.  It pains me to know end to say that I flushed it down the toilet.  To be honest, I didn't know what else to do.   I have pushed these thoughts to the back of my mind for decades until recently.  I've pushed that baby into the very back of my mind until recently.  Oh, I have thought about that day before through the years, but quickly moved on to other thoughts.    What will will he/she say to me when I get to Heaven?  That child of mine had a spirit and soul already.  I believe that.  I never mention this child because I am embarrassed.  I'm embarrassed by what I did and that I have just pushed this child away.  This is something I'm going to have to figure out.  I am that child's mother. 

We continued on with our lives which were hectic with two boys.  Everything was normal until one day I realized that I never have had a period since my miscarriage.  There wasn't any real bleeding with it, just the one bloody mass.  This was unusal, so I made an appointment to see if perhaps I should have had a D & C after all.  My regular doctor was away on vacation.  He had a doctor from Duke Hospital taking over for him for 6 weeks.  After talking with this doctor and having an exam, I discovered that I was pregnant!  Who would have thought?  We weren't trying.  This doctor told me that he felt sure I had been carrying twins and that one of them miscarried while the other continued on growing.  I didn't know what to think or say!   The due date was scheduled for the first of October.  But gosh, twins!  I am a twin.  I have an identical twin sister.  James and I always had hoped for twins.  We lost her sister.  I say sister because like I said before, I knew in my heart I had a daughter.  Now I know I had once had two daughters.  Before I left, I was told to take it very easy and not to travel unless it was absolutely necessary.  My dad had cancer and I had to travel an hour and a half to get to him. I had to put a halt on my visits until it was safer for me to travel.  My family now knew I was pregnant, but didn't understand my need for less travel.  I was doing everything to hold on to this pregnancy.  It was a few weeks later in March that my daddy died.  I definitely had my baby bump, as you moms now call it.  We just said we were showing!  I squeezed into an outfit that my twin and I had that were alike for daddy's funeral.  He always said we had to dress alike and I was going to do that for his funeral.  He was very proud of his twin girls.  As soon as I got home, I put on maternity clothes and felt so much better!  It was sad that my daddy wouldn't see my baby daughter.  April came with its promise of daffadils and dogwoods blooming!  I loved being outside with the boys.  We had a Pop-Up Camper and got it out for some cleaning and air-out.  The boys loved camping and so did I.  James began laying out plans for our new white picket fence to go around our white Cape Cod house.  With three little ones, I would need that fence!  It looked great going up.  I enjoyed a trip to Raleigh to buy some cute maternity clothes.  I loved the latest styles in maternity wear.  May was coming up.  I was cautious during the month of May because my precious James Collins, Jr. was stillborn May 2, 1975.  Dear Lord, please let me get through May.  I almost did.  The last Sunday in May I was feeling great.  It was getting late, nearing supper time and we were sitting out in our camper.  All of a sudden I knew.  I knew I hadn't felt my baby girl move all day.  I asked James to get the boys in the house and said by the way, our baby hasn't moved all day. Instead of going to the hospital right then, I waited until the next morning to go see my doctor.  It was Memorial Day Weekend in 1982 and all the family had plans.  James kept the boys while I went to get the news on that Monday morning.  No heartbeat detected.  Then I had my first ever sonogram which showed no beating heart.  I was numb.  I was going through the motions.  Next, over to thehospital for another sonogram from a better machine.  Same result.  Your baby's heart has stopped beating.  I knew that!  I knew that Sunday late afternoon when she had stopped moving!  No daughter to come home and live with us.  Plans were made for me to enter the hospital the next day and induce labor the next, May 31, 1982.  The last day of May.  We were like robots....just making movements to get the necessary things done to get ready to have this baby girl.  The boys didn't really understand what exactly was going on.  Only the baby wouldn't be coming to live with us.  I don't remember who kept the boys while James and I registered at the hospital.  Friends or James' mother, I don't remember.  I do remember that I spent a lot of time alone in the hospital.  I was put on a different floor than maternity.  One friend came to see me and I will gladly say her name out loud, Lynne Lynch!  She had three boys of her own at home, but she came to see me.  She brought me a chocolate candy bar and a chocolate milk shake.  I have loved her so much for that and have never forgotten it after all of these years.  Now, two family members came by together.  James' daddy & his sister.  Neither mentioned the baby or talked to me.  They carried on a two way conversation about something I had no idea about.  Excuse me?  You could have had this conversation at home!  Why bother to come by & see me?  After 10 minutes they were gone.  James was home taking care of the boys.  He needed to do that and he needed to be with me. I wanted James to be with our sons and keep life normal for them.  I didn't want to bother the family or ask for any help after my non-support from James Collins, Jr.'s stillbirth.  I cried and cried that night.  How could I sleep knowing tomorrow my baby girl would be taken from me.  I was between 5 and 6 months pregnant.  Before we left the house for the hospital, I asked James to take a picture of me pregnant with our baby.  Taylor, is with me in the picture.  He was two.   I am going to end this part of Reita Gale's story here.  I will write Part Two of her story shortly as it is lengthy as this part is.                                              
             May 31, 1982  On my way to the hospital to have my precious baby girl, Reita Gale Fitts.  My two year old Taylor is with me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Looking For The Courage

I have to do this soon, tell my story about my only daughter, Reita Gale.  It is a hard story for me to tell.  I have to do this to honor her.  There are so many ups and downs in her story.  She was the last baby I gave birth to.  I was 32.  She was stillborn.  Please send up a prayer for me as I get ready to write her story which also involves the loss of her twin.  It will be as difficult for you to read as it will be for me to write it.

Hugs to all of you. xx

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Balloon Release Part 2 Life Changing Event For Me!

My life has been changed dramatically since I have posted about my Balloon Angel Birthday Release.  I have met some incredible mothers with stories that just touch my heart and soul deeply.  I feel like I know these moms and just as importantly, their precious angel babies.  e you sign up, I go read your story if you have on online for me to read.  I get to know you and your baby so I can really feel I know the angel I am creating the balloons for.  My husband James and I talk about your angels and speak their names so normally.  I know your angels have been greeted by our angels, James Collins, Jr. and Reita Gale.  My Angel Birthday Balloon book is filling up and I love it.  James has bought us a helium machine, we have bought & made enviromentally symbols to go on the ballons, plus have ordered at cost due to "The Party Place" hundreds of balloons.  I can't put your art on your balloons until I blow them up.  We have had some nasty weather that has prevented some Feb. releases.  I can't decorate until shortly before release.  However, I have planned what I am going to do and what you have requested so I can decorate quickly.  I will send pictures if you have given me your email address.

Okay, I started by saying how my life has changed. 
Let me give credit to Catherine over at for reading my story and then posting a story about me! Please go read it.  For the first time ever in my life since my babies were born, Catherine wrote about what is was like for me and other mothers in "our time of slience."  When I read her post yesterday, I cried and cried.  I wanted to scream out, "Finally my agony of having not a single soul to talk to about my babies has been recognized!"  MY BABIES COUNTED THEN AND THEY COUNT NOW!  Thank you Catherine!  The release I felt of carrying the burden for almost 38 years now was incredible!
Catherine has an incredible story herself you should read about her son, Gabriel.  Through her site you can discover, Gabriel's Gardens.

I have seen God work in Hannah's life over at  I feel everyone should read her story not only for the child you lost. but also for your rainbow baby and how you can help you rainbow from bullying.  It starts so much earlier than you think.  Try second grade!  We have to prepare are rainbows as well as honor our Angels!  Corbin's story over at The Pearl in the Oyster has left me with such respect for mothers who battle with many surgeries for their babies born with heart defects.  James asked me what I was reading as I read Corbin's story.  I told him I was reading about a tragedy we had no knowledge of.  I have felt sorry for myself that one day I was was pregnant and the next minute a doctor telling me my baby was dead in my womb.  Don't get me wrong.  That was just horrible for us to go through, devastating especially with no support.  Corbin's parents went through many weeks of ups and downs wondering if their Corbin was suffering.  The end was the same result as mine or yours, he died.  It took weeks.  Mine died suddenly and swiftly.  I just don't know how they did it.  PLEASE LISTEN UP!  iF YOU ARE EXPECTING A RAINBOW, DEMAND A PAINLESS PULSE OX or PULSE OXIMETRY TEST TO BE DONE ON YOUR BABY AT BIRTH!  Not all states mandate this, you HAVE to ask for it.  Passing is 95% or above.  It determines if your baby has a heart defect that went unnoticed during pregnancy.  It is a very simple test and painless.  ALSO, at your 20 week ultrasound, ask about your baby's heart.  For more infomation go to Corbin's Story with the address listed above.  Since this is Heart Month several guess posts are on this site about baby's with heart disease.  So many more Angel Stories to share with you that I will mention SOON.  So many mothers!  I am honored to met you all!

I am WORKING on getting my own page on Facebbook about my Balloon Releases.  Hoping to have it up and going very soon.  I am having to learn and teach myself by trial and error.  Remember, I am 62 and didn't grow up with the internet!  I'm not a savy techy person!  I am just thankful I know how to blog!!!

God bless all of you in your grief and trials!  Thank you once again for accepting me as an older mom and pulling me into your babyloss groups!  You have blessed my life greatly!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sign Up For Angel Birthday Balloon Release & Personalized Picture

So many mothers of babyloss have been very kind to me in various ways.  One way that has impressed me the most is that you have shown me that age makes no difference when it comes to offering support and kindness.  The only qualification is to be a member of the club none of us ever wanted to belong to, the babyloss club.  Unfortunately, there is no way out of the club.  Babyloss is forever and ever.  The support, kindness, listening ears are also for the long run. I want to give back, although I know it is not necessary.  It is necessary for me. I want to do this not only to remember and honor your angel babies, but for my own two stillborn children, my firstborn son, James Collins Fitts, Jr. & my only daughter, Reita Gale Fitts.   I will be giving a free balloon for each baby's angel birthday and releasing it over the Atlantic Ocean off of the east coast of North Carolina, USA.  If you want your angel baby's birthday remembered with a helium balloon decorated with your input, just sign your baby's name up on this blog post by leaving a comment with your baby's name, birthday, color of balloon you want, any short message you want.  I will also add decorations to the balloons if you wish like stickers appropriate for your child's gender and age.  Of course a Happy Birthday sticker will be included.  I will do a release from my dock on the day of your child's birthday which will go over the ocean or if you choose I will do a beach release of all balloons on the first Monday of each month.  Let me know if you want your child's balloon in the beach release or dock release.  Pictures will be made of both.  I will do a blog each month dedicated to that month's releases.  I will also send you a free personalized picture of your baby's balloon if you send  your email address to mine which is  Remember that every baby counts!  Every baby matters!  (I will do a special release soon from the beach for January babies & February babies that the birthday dates have already past by for this year)  Biodegradable balloons used and no strings attached.....crepe paper instead!

Hugs & Love,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Hospital Lost Our Newborn Rainbow

I could not believe how busy the hospital maternity ward was that August 27th morning.  One baby was being born right after the other!  There was literally no where to put me!  I wasn't due for another two or three weeks, but my baby chose today.  Actually my OB was going to Boston for a vacation and chose this date to induce me.  I don't like inductions.  It just reminds me of my first son which was stillborn.  What a mess I walked into that day!  James wasn't with me yet because he was trying to get himself together enough to come since his stomach bug hit him the night before.

My vitals were taken on a gurney in the hallway!  My baby was not checked at this time.  I was directed to the "waste room" to put on a hospital gown.  The nurse apologized over and over, but it was that place or in the hall.  It was so gross to me.  The room was filled with other mother's "after births."  I saw umbilical cords.  I can't begin to tell you how I felt!  I put the gown on, just covered up before an orderly opened the door the deliver more to the disgusting room.  There were no tags to tell what belong to to whom.  The smell made me gag.  I left very quickly  with my belongings.  A nurse directed me to the lounge area around the elevator to have a seat, still holding my things and in a very scant hospital gown.  I sat to wait.  Soon she brought me a pill to take to induce my labor.  Ha to them!  I was sneaky.  I never swallowed that pill!  They were too busy to notice.  I was not going to "shove my baby out of me" to fit someone else's schedule!  I was 30 years old by now and had more wits about me!  Also, I had not told anyone that I had felt small contractions earlier in the morning before going to the hospital.  I wanted my baby to progress at his/her own rate. 

Just as I was figuring out where to put that pill as I spat it out, James came out of the elevator doors and was such a welcome sight!  Along with him, the Assistant Hospital Director came with him.  He was our neighbor and long time friend.  He saw this mess first hand!  A laboring woman in front of everyone including strangers.  It was chaos!  My best friend in Lamaze classes and neighbor had just had her son born the day before by C-Section.  She and her husband came to watch me labor.  Side show everyone!  Actually, since these were close friends, I didn't mind the company.  The nurses kept assuring me a labor room would be available  shortly.   Then the pains began!  Give me privacy and check out my baby please!  I was moved to a regular room to labor at last!  Everything began to flow normally.  My doctor finally had time for me.  Baby was fine.  This was going to be a no drug, completely natural childbirth with me in control with the techniques I had learned.  I had a bed for once and not a metal table!  Progress!!!  Poor James had some tight hand squeezes, which at times he thought I had actually taken his hand off!  He was feeling the pain!  I kept my focus point.  I realized from my two previous births, that when the pains get there worse, you are going through transition, which shouldn't last long.  Just when I felt that I couldn't make it, I was dilated and ready for the pushing.  Now I was moved to the delivery room.  James went with me this time.  I was still in a bed, not the small metal table, as those of you who have followed my previous deliveries proved very uncomfortable for me.  I was glad to push.  It wasn't painful, as nature numbs the area on its own.  James says differently, as I was still squeezing what was left of his hand!  Our baby was crowning! For once we were experiencing a normal labor and delivery!!!  No, this is when the problems began in earnest.  As our baby's head came out the cord was around his neck twice and had begun to tighten.  The doctor swiftly removed the cord and our son came out.  He cried!!!  Our baby cried!!!! If you have lost a baby in pregnancy, YOU know how much that cry means! The doctor transferred our son over to be checked out.  His apgar score was very low.
I  did not realize that I was having problems also.  I was looking down on the room from up in the ceiling corner of the room.  I kept straining my ears to hear what was being said about my son, my second rainbow baby.  Several nurses and a doctor surrounded my baby.  I saw my doctor and nurses surrounding me and working profusely.  That didn't concern me.  What was going on with my baby son?  I tried to get to him so hard.  I tried to be with him.  My ears and head were being pulled away from my body stretching down to his bassinet.  Don't talk about my baby without letting me in on what you are saying!!!  I saw his bassinet being removed from the room.  I stretched as far as I could to follow.  The next thing I knew I wasn't up in the top of the ceiling corner, but back on my bed.  I was hemorrhaging.  Blood was everywhere.  Everything was being done to stop it.  I did manage to find out that my son was in intensive care and on oxygen.  He would be alright, but needed some extra care.  My bleeding had calmed down, but guarded.

I was finally put in my regular room again.  It was night.  Our son, Taylor, had been born about 3:59 PM.  What a day!  But the night would not be outdone by the day...
I was in and out of it.  I remember finally being able to get some real rest after being checked for bleeding every 20 minutes since delivery.  It was during the night that I was suddenly awakened by a flood of icy water all over me.  I jumped with a start that took my breath away!  Ice was everywhere in my bed and my bed was wet!  A nurse, who was new I later found out, was changing my sheets since they were blood soaked.  I kept bleeding through out the night heavily, which I wasn't aware of.  The nurse or nurse's aide, got my IV tubes caught around the pitcher of iced water by my bedside table while trying to change my sheets, and it threw that pitcher across my bed releasing the ice and water all over me!!!  I was freezing cold, trying the wipe the ice off of me.  Small screams were coming from my mouth.  The poor little nurse was trying her best to warm me and get my wet gown off, but it became tangled in my IV tubes pulling them partly out of my hand.  Other nurses came running and it was one cold mess.  No rest for the weary new mother.  It took many warming blankets to get me back to normal, whatever that was at this point.

The next morning, Taylor was taken off of oxygen and brought to me to nurse.  Finally, normal and peaceful!  Taylor was a good nurser from the get go and I was happy at last.  My bleeding was much better once I was nursing.  I was relieved that no transfusion was needed.  Once I had Taylor in the bed with me, I kept him there....not in the bassinet, but cuddled close to me!  He was so good and content.  He was very long and had a head full of black hair, where my other babies had been born with brown hair.  Taylor weighed the least at 7lbs. 14 oz, but was the longest at 21 inches.  He appeared to be fine to me.  I was assured he was.  His apar score jumped up to high as soon as that oxygen was administered.  My doctor saved his life getting both wraps of the cord off of his neck so quickly.  Why do I have so many cord problems?  I wondered if it was measured.

My parents came to the hospital to visit the second day.  Taylor had been taken back to the nursery for the PK check among other necessary things.  They saw him a few minutes from the nursery window.  It wasn't long after they left, that he was brought to me to nurse.  In strolled the Fitts bassinet by a nurse.  It seemed that I always had a different nurse!  She took Taylor out to give him to me and I looked at her in horror!  This was not my baby!  This baby in my Fitts' Baby bassinet had blonde curly hair!  Lots of curly hair and chubby!  My son was not chubby!  Also, this was not a breast fed baby!  Also, this baby had been delivered by C-section!  In those days days mother were put completely asleep for these sections, so she didn't see her baby right after birth!  Was she bottle feeding MY baby????  I was irrate!  I was screaming and crying for my baby!  The nurses were scrambling to find my baby, my Taylor!  I called James immediately to get to the hospital.  Our son was missing!  GET MY BABY TO ME NOW!  I WAS CAUSING A BIG FUSS AND WITH REASON!  HAD I NOT BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH??? 

Taylor was found in another bassinet in the room of a mother from another town.  That is all I found out.  I was beside myself.  I had to get out of this place. I put everyone on noticed that Taylor would not be leaving my room again for any reason.  The head of the hospital was our neighbor also.  We let him know everything that had gone on.  Tomorrow I could go home.  I took care of everything for Taylor until then.  The nurses knew to keep an hands off approach to me by now.  Just let me get home with my new baby!  Tomorrow would be our 10th wedding anniversary, and we had a second rainbow baby to celebrate the day!  I couldn't wait to show Collins his baby brother!  Tomorrow would be different from May 1975.  Instead of leaving this hosptital with empty arms, I would be leaving it with my baby Taylor in my arms this August of 1980.  Bittersweet......

            August 30, 1980, we bring our 2nd Rainbow Baby home on our 10th wedding anniversary!

                                      Mommy and her precious rainbow, Taylor Scott Fitts!  

Mother sharing her new Rainbow with her first Rainbow!
My sweet baby boy!
                                James rocks his third son, second Rainbow, his baby Taylor.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Need To Rant About Grief!

I can't post about myself right now, because there are way too many of you with fresh hurt, fresh grief and I hurt so much for you.  I want to stop your hurting for you.  Even though I have loss two children to stillbirth, I can't do your grieving for you.  I wish this part of babyloss could be skipped.  I wish babyloss could be skipped.  I am reading so many blogs everyday full of grieving mothers and fathers.   Grief is lonely.  The hurt is lonely.  The endless days and nights you endure with soul wrenching hurt is your walk.  I can walk it with you from cyberspace, but I want to hug each one of you and talk forever about your lost babies.  I can feel your heavy hearts, your cries, your anger, your frustration, your desperate need to hold your babies, your hope for a rainbow baby.  Yes, your baby needs a brother or sister for your sake.  It isn't fair, what you are going through.  But it happened to you and there way out.  No cure for your grief.  The only hope I can give you is that it will get better, I promise.  I was one of those "really bad cases."  I wanted to die so I could be with my son.  For times to get better, you still have to grieve first.  I will be glad when your first raw experiences of grief is over.  It consumes you.

When this happened to me, I wouldn't have wished this suffering on my worse enemy.  You have become my babyloss friend.  I am sorry we are friends under these circumstances.  More sorry than you probably realize.  I thought after 37 years, progress would have been made in babyloss.  I see it hasn't really.  I do see better after taken, cold cots for longer time with your babies.  BUT WHAT WE NEED IS PREVENTION!!  RESEARCH!  BETTER THIRD TRIMESTER CARE!  Stop the babyloss and the grief won't happen in the first place. 

Do we need to gather and rally for better pregnancy care?  We have to stop this maddness!  Every woman who wants to become a mother should have the chance with a happy ending.  The UK appears to have it together as to close support groups and getting petitions signed.  I am at a loss as to what is going on in the USA.  I think we are really far behind.

I don't want to just try to help you grieve, I want to stop your need for grieving in the first place.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Easy Isn't in My Vocabulary

Since our sweet rainbow son, Collins, would turn three in a few months we started to try for a second rainbow baby.  So much had changed in pregnancy knowledge.  This time, we had information about  how to track my temperature for the best time to conceive.  It was like a full time job getting pregnant.  For us, it sure hadn't been easy in the past.  The try and wait game began.  Achieving a pregnancy positive for us had come down to a science.  Nothing romantic about it!  It was work and that in itself is a sad story.  This time our science worked and by January we had an announcement!  Baby due in September, around Labor Day!  Phase 1 had been accomplished, conception!  Phase 2, the actual pregnancy would prove to have its problems.

  I was having my bridge club meet at my home the first Thursday in March of 1980.  I had been sprucing up the house a little and cooking a dessert for the group.  The card tables and chairs had to be set up.  James did that part, plus give Collins a bath and get him ready for bed.  After the girls arrived around 8:00,  we talked, then started playing bridge.  I had some strange feelings in my abdomen, but kept right on chatting and playing bridge.  It didn't seem like much.  However, while serving dessert, I began having some mild contractions, like Braxton Hicks.  I sat and calmly finished out the night.  We usually stopped about 11:00.  After everyone left, I was putting 2 of the chairs away. James had gone to bed.  Why I felt compelled to put those chairs up is beyond me.  Just plain stupidity on my part because it was at that point  I felt a real contraction.  I stopped putting anything away and went to bed to relax.  Maybe there wouldn't be anymore. Everything stopped and I felt okay.  False alarm, but I would call the doctor first thing in the morning!  Stupid me.  Why didn't I just either go to bed at the first sign of feeling strange or either call my doctor????  The girls could have handled bridge without me.  I don't have a good answer for my actions.  I just didn't want to go to the hospital, call my MIL over to stay the night with Collins over a false alarm.  Since when did I have false alarms?  When it comes to having a baby, easy isn't in my vocabulary.

The next morning I went to see my doctor. We now had a new fantastic OB/GYN in town so I didn't have to drive an hour to see him as I had to with Collins.
Upon checking things out, he told me that I was three cm dilated.  I was immediately hospitalized and put on strict bed rest.  Further test revealed I had some vitamin deficiencies.  This was my third pregnancy in just a few years.  I guess my body was just depleted in some areas.
I don't remember how long I was in the hospital, but Collins' birthday was the 22nd of March and I had already sent out the invitations.  I was in the hospital on his birthday.  My friends called the guest list and canceled the party until the end of the month.  I was told by my doctor that we had to keep this baby girl or boy inside of me until at least the end of May.  MAY?  I wasn't due until early September!  How could my baby survive outside of me in May?  I never did go into labor, so no drugs were used to stop my few contractions.  Doctors orders were for me to get household help and no lifting.  Collins couldn't come jump into my lap anymore.  No more laundry lifting or lifting groceries.  I just had to be careful.
I was put on a special diet to build up my body some more.  Ladies, I had been pregnant for the most parts of 1974, 75, 76, 77 and now 1980.
The rest of the pregnancy went smoothly.  I even had my first ever sonogram done.  That was so special.  I made it to May.  Now May is a month that I call my sad or just plain bad luck month.  James Collins, Jr  was stillborn  May 2, 1975. I made it through May with no pregnancy problems.  I started breathing easier in June, but never let my guard down. Summer turned out to be a nice time.  I was enjoying my growing belly and anticipating getting the new baby here.  My biggest problem at the moment was to prepare for a girl or boy?   We still couldn't find out the sex of the baby until birth. As long as she or he was born healthy, I really didn't care.  This baby was carrying low and sometimes I felt like he would just fall out!  We attended for the first time Lamaze classes!  I loved it!  finally, some real birthing advice!  I did practice my breathing!  I was going to be ready for natural childbirth this time.  Labor with Collins had been such a nightmare.  He was worth it, but I was going to know about the stages of labor and birth this time!  James was going to be allowed in the labor and delivery with me for the first time!  This was exciting for us!  By August, I was so big!  I was ready for this baby to make his/her debut! 

 As it turned out,  I did go into labor in August.  I was a few weeks early, but in a safe range.  James had a stomach bug, so I had to  drive myself to the hospital!  He would come as soon as he could!  His mother came over to keep Collins.  When I arrived at the hospital, they were packed with laboring women!  There wasn't a room for me anywhere!  Between James' stomach bug and no room for me at the hospital, I would soon realize that I was in  for another rough ride.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blending Grief With Joy

The birth of our rainbow son has brought joy into our household again.  Did the grief  for our firstborn son just go away?  No, it did not.  So many times, as I held my rainbow son, Collins, I felt like I was holding both sons at once.  When Collins smiled at me, I saw both sons smiling at me.  It was almost like a blend.  Grief was blending with joy.  I know they are not the same babies.  They are however brothers!  Brothers favor each other.  I could often feel my James, Jr in the nursery with Collins and myself encouraging me those first days as I soothed Collins during a diaper change or a sponge bath.  Collins could let out some loud cries during those!  I had to keep calm, so Collins would calm down.  Collins was such an easy going baby.  He was so good that James and I had to pinch ourselves sometimes!  Would James, Jr be as calm?   When Easter came, we strolled Collins outside for the air was warm and the flowers beautiful plus the robins were everywhere.  Collins loved to be strolled in his carriage and just being outside.  I was actually getting to do the baby routine for for real......not just dreaming of how it could have been.  I still grieved over the fact that I didn't get to do these things for his brother.  God was gracious enough to allow me to feel James, Jr. with us.  I always knew that he had passed right on to Heaven and was with his Heavenly Father only feeling peace and no pain.  He was free from earthly bonds.  He had his wings!  He knew of the love we had for him.  It was now my turn to mother his brother as best as I new how through life.  Even though he is now grown, married and has three adorable children, I am still his mother.  I love him more than ever.  It was very hard to let this rainbow of mine go out on his own, but I did. I suffered from "Empty Nest Syndrone" but tried to be a good sport about it.  I grieved over  not having my sons at home the way it used to be.  I am no longer the soccer mom.  I am a Grammy to my grandchildren, whom I adore and treasure every precious second with them.  My wonderful DIL always keeps me & Pops up-dated on them.  We get to have them spend time alone with us in the summer.  That is super fun, almost like parenting again for a few days!  I see in my granddaughters my own daughter.  I never had but one stillborn daughter and I miss her so much.  I wonder about the grandchildren she might have given us.  I need  my daughter more than ever.  I missed her terribly during Christmas.  I could just picture us cooking together goodies for the grand kids.  Daughters are the glue in a family.  I want my glue.  I want my daughter, but she is in Heaven with  her brother.  James, Jr.  appeared  before me right after I was home from the hospital and spoke to me.  Reita Gale never has.  I wonder why?  I pray God will permit her to give me a sign soon.  Sometimes I see her in my g-daughter Lawson.  Maybe it is because Lawson was my firstborn granddaughter.  I bonded so quickly and deeply with her.  We have spent time together each summer.  I adore her.  My other g-daughter is coming into her own quickly.  She is more of a mama's baby.  My love for her grows everyday profoundly.  She is like a carefree bird!  Oh, our only grandson!  Does he have us wrapped around his fingers!  He is so loving and runs to his room to pray at 5 years old.  He is all boy!  He still has a very tender heart.  I love spending time doing outside boy time with him.  I guess it is because I raised two rainbow sons.  I do enjoy boys!  I still want my daughter.  I know I will never have her back, but I grieve for her more than ever.  My hear hurts.  Lawson always make me happy.  Could she have some Reita Gale in her????
Life does have a way of blending the grief with the joy.  Grab both.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Thankful For Our Turn To Be Happy

There is no way that I can adequately describe my feelings of having a live baby to hold; to look into his eyes and have him look back into mine.  It a joy that is indescribable!  I hope all of you waiting for your Rainbow Baby will soon feel this joy! James and I have wanted this for so long!  We  cried many tears of joy with our new son in our arms intertwined. In fact, we just sobbed for John Collins Fitts is here!  We will forever call him Collins.   After 7 years of marriage, we have our baby son to bring home!  It is such a good feeling to the depths of our souls to cry for joy instead of despair.  He is alive and he is ours!  He is also the most beautiful baby ever!  We are so thankful and can hardly believe it is really true. We get to take him home to his nursery!  Thankful, love, and yes, relief describes this moment most of all.  Pinch us!

 I have fed him, changed his diapers (nappies) and bathed him.   I feel like my son has had first rate care while at this hospital. Pediatrician!  We now have a pediatrician!  This is new to us.  We would put our faith and trust in our new pediatrician for many years to come.  I had to go to a mothers' room with other new moms to feed our babies together and bathe our babies as a group with our own nurse.  Mothering classes in the hospital!  I was glad for them!  Frankly, I am a bit nervous that I do everything right!  I have been through two full term pregnancies....feel like a pro there.  Caring for a newborn?  Never!  I am treading in new territory for sure here.  Dr. Spock's book is always by my new best friend in mothering tips.  Honestly, when Collins cries, I get nervous! This will soon go away as I get more comfortable with him.  This is our time, our turn, to have this joy!  Right now, all I can think of is thank you God for this child of ours.  I will try to take care of him to the very best of my ability!  Can you tell how nervous I am?  You lose a bit of confidence when you have had a child that died.  You view things on the cautious side. 

 Most of all we are HAPPY!  James can only visit with us at set times. Rules!!!  He has to dress in a sterile outfit.  Whenever he holds Collins, Collins sneezes!  At first I thought the baby was allergic to his daddy, but we finally decided it was the paper sterile gown James had to wear that made him sneeze! So we sneaked it off!!!  We had so much  deep happiness.  We spent a lot of time just looking at our newborn child and at each other in awe.  Collins brought a joy to us that I thought I would never feel.  Our dreams were coming true!  Collins felt so soft and supple and was pinkish....not that white purple color of James, Jr.  Collins weighed a whopping 8 lbs and 4 oz!  His hair was so beautiful, like his brothers.  You could tell they were brothers.  The only difference was that Collins moved and cried.  Collins was pronounced super healthy!    He was so kidding he was a beautiful baby with deep deep blue eyes that everyone remarked about!  I never saw the color of his brothers eyes, but I'm betting they were blue also.  Collins immediately stole our hearts and became the center of our universe.  We couldn't wait to get him home!  Yes!  I would be wheeled out of this hospital with a baby bundled up in my arms as it was a cold March day when we left.

Many friends came to the hospital to visit us, even though it meant a ride to get there.  Collins had presents!  Flowers of joy!  So this was how it was suppose to be!  At last, it was our turn to be on the other side.  My twin sister and her husband drove back to the hospital again to video Collins in the nursery.  They had tears of joy for us.  I honestly believe they were the happiest for us next to ourselves.  So many people were happy for us........the cards, gifts, flowers came pouring in.

Let me say that if we got our Rainbow Baby with so many odds against us, I hope you can too.  The wait was long and hard.  We never gave up the fight.  Having a Rainbow doesn't mean you forget your Angel in Heaven.  When Collins was just a few weeks old, his first stroll in his buggy was to his brother's grave.  We strolled there often on sunny days.  I'd lay out a blanket and sit with Collins, telling him all about his older brother.  I always wanted their spirits to be close.

Welcome to our world dear sweet baby Collins!  You have already blessed our lives more than we had ever hoped for.  I hope one day you realize how much you are loved; what you have added to our little family!

                                        At three months I had our portrait made so if anything ever happened  I had this to prove to people that I WAS a MOTHER!