Monday, April 29, 2013

Wonderful Up-Date News!

I just got off of the phone talking to the very head of the NC Vital Records in charge of issuing my Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for James Collins, Jr.  She called me!  She was so very nice and apologized of how my case was handled.  Best news of all is that I am getting my certificate for James Collins!!!  He will be legally in the system!  I studied on the internet everything I could find to make double sure I was right concerning my rights to get his Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.  I knew I was right.  I was ready to go to Raleigh and camp out on their doorstep!!!  Somebody dropped the ball on this matter.  I was asked many questions on how I was treated and if anyone had contacted me by phone or letter.  They had not.  Hmmmm.....  It doesn't matter to me what I had to go through to get it just as long as I have it.  It will be expedited to me and I can't wait to see it!  It is important for family records for generations to come as well as for my peace of mind.
Thank you head lady!  You are so kind and gentle!  I could tell that you get it!  Praise God for sensitive and kind people!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Is Going On Here?

I mentioned in an earlier post that James and I were going to receive a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.  North Carolina along with most other states have this certificate now which is a legal document for parents of stillborn children.  In North Carolina the General Assembly last modified this on February 12, 2012 as states in the NC General Statutes & 130A - 114, with 114 referring specifically to Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.

The county your child was born in does this automatically for you now.  But, parents can request this legal document themselves, according to this NC law if  they 1) obtain the proper form and fill it out
2) send a legal copy of the Fetal Death Certificate notarized 3) send a certified check to cover costs
4) send a copy of your driver's license for ID

We did all of this for our son James Collins Fitts, Jr.  We could not do this for Reita Gale because the baby had to be over 20 weeks gestation.  From the medical records we obtained recently from the hospital where both of our children were stillborn, Reita Gale was exactly 20 weeks gestation.  I accept that she did not live just one more day.  James Collins, Jr is an entirely different story.  He was according to our medical records full term.  He met the requirements of NC State Law.

The NC Department of Vital Records turned us down flat out last week stating they had no information on James Collins, Jr.  They have what we sent.  We offered to send my medical records.  No dice.  We asked to speak to everybody and the supervisor of their supervisor.   However, they had cashed our check weeks ago and NEVER contacted us in anyway.  We have been to Raleigh to the department and they were closed.  We have called too many times to count.

I have contacted the representative who sponsored this bill to become law to help us.  I did this yesterday.  I will not stop.  I will fight for my son to get what is rightfully his and ours until the day I no longer am on earth.

I carried my son for 9 months.  He was perfect.  Only his cord tightened cutting off his blood supply and he died.  I birthed him.  Some people think I didn't give birth.  What do you call three days in hard labor, and then pushing for hours to get this child through your birth canal and out into this world?  Just because he didn't take a breath didn't make him less a human being.  He wasn't a mass of tissue.  He was a beautiful baby boy with lots of brown hair, 7 lbs and 14 oz.  I did birth this baby.  He didn't cry, but he was born.  He was birthed.  He was still, but he was still born.

The hospital shoved forms at us to name him.  They wanted to know which funeral home should they call.  James was put down as his father and I his mother.  He had his own bassinet with Baby Boy Fitts on it.  The obituary in the newspaper said, Birth and Death, under the announcement.  Just because he was carried to the cemetery instead of his beautiful nursery doesn't make him less precious and legal.

He deserves and I deserve this legal document saying I gave birth to him.  I would love to hear any suggestions of what I should or might do next.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We Dress Up Foot Stones

Last Saturday morning James and I made the three hour drive to Roanoke Rapids where James Collins, Jr and Reita Gale are buried.  We got everything out of the car to clear the grass away, even though the city does this.  We just like their foot stones trimmed just right.  Next, we got out our tools for cleaning out each individual letter of their names.  We talked as we worked together.  It was a sunny day, but chilly.  I could hardly believe that I had been visiting his grave for 38 years come May 2.  It seems like only yesterday that I would walk to his little grave and just sit by it and talk to him.  Later, after my rainbow arrived, I would stroll him over and put out a blanket and we both would play and talk to him.  When we moved across town, I would drive us.  By then, I had two rainbows.  Then we added our precious little Reita Gale's foot stone.
Today, it was just James and myself and our memories.  We never did find our usual lambs to put on the grave site.  We searched around and found something even better to us!  We found beautiful plaid blue pinwheels and pink plaid pinwheels!  We also found a butterfly and a dragonfly for each grave.  They were beautiful as the wind made them twirl and sing!  We were proud as punch to see those pinwheels going around!  It was like they were singing and cheering the whole place up!  We left satisfied and even though sad, joy was there also.  We both are aware our children aren't there, but we do this to honor their site of burial.  We have the matching pinwheels, butterflies to put in yellow sunny sand buckets to view as the ocean winds stir them at home with us.  We fill peaceful. 

Thank you Shauna, from over at Pinwheels From Heaven, for inspiring us!

Dressing up their footstones makes me feel that I am doing something for each child.
James does most of the work, bless him!
Reita Gale Fitts   May 31, 1982 - May 31, 1982
James Collins Fitts, Jr    May 2, 1975 - May 2, 1975
We didn't want to leave them.  It was hard.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm Lonely & Scared

I am.  I am lonely and I am scared.  I have been having panic attacks recently.  Those have been rare in coming for awhile now.  But then again, it is that time of the year again.  I go to pieces on the inside.  This year I thought I was in control because I have made plans for activities to keep James and myself busy.  We thought ahead.  We haven't heard from the State of NC Vital Records on getting the Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.  We paid and filled out all of the paperwork.  We should of heard from them by now.  We went looking this week for our white baby lambs with a blue bow for James Collins, Jr and a pink bow for Reita Gale when we go to visit and decorate their graves three hours away.  I have checked in three different towns for these lambs and come to find out, the man who has been supplying them since 1975 has died.  It seems that what I have planned so far has gone bust.  Suppose no one remembers with us?  I am afraid of that most of all.  I am very nervous that no one will remember our special dates with us.  I guess that we will do what we have always done, celebrate and remember alone.  That wouldn't be the worse thing that could happen.  The worse has already happened, our babies died.  I have been listening on YouTube to  Precious Child.
It gets to me everytime!  But then again when I listen to Garth Brooks, The Dance, it make me realize that I wouldn't have missed those pregnancies for anything in the world. 

I hope that I am just in a slump.  You know, one of those days.  But this has been slipping in on me for the last week now.  I'm just plain lonely with my thoughts and fears and I miss my babies something terrible.  They are gone, have been gone for a long time and there isn't a thing in this world I can do about it.  It hurts and feels like I can hardly describe it. 

I am so glad I have found all of you babyloss mama's out there because I KNOW you get it.  Our babyloss blogs are our refuge in times of need.  I just feel so dang lonely.  HELP!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Do You Ever Wonder What Your Baby In Heaven Looks Like?

Well, I do.  It used to bother me a lot during those first years.  It bothered me even more when I was given an invitation by a kind friend whose son was graduating from high school the same year my son would be graduating.  They would have been in the same class all of those years together.  As I saw her son grow and change, I always wondered if my son was growing and changing in Heaven.
I couldn't imagine James Collins, Jr being any way but a baby as I had last seen him.  It was weird to be thinking this as all of what would have been his friends were putting on caps and gowns.  I was still stuck back in babyland, and I still am to this very day.

My minister came over to my home to talk to me about it.  All he could tell me was what I already could figure out for myself.  His body was gone.  That much I was sure of.  But did he get a Heavenly baby body when he arrived there like a reconizable spiritual body?  Does God age?  I have always thought God was an old wise spiritual figure.  The Bible does say we will recognize our love ones when we get to Heaven.  Will my son and my daughter know I am their mother?  Will I still be their mother once I get to Heaven?  A man and a woman in their marriage vows say to each other as the Bible instructs, "until death us do part."  That is scarey.  Why?  Because will we  still be James Collins' and Reita Gale's mother and father?  Or will our children just know and recognize us as the parents they would have had on earth?

So many questions!!!  Can anyone comment with their 2 cents worth?  I hope so!  I'm stuck!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dear Babyloss Friends

My experience of being a babyloss mom is coming up on 38 years come May 2.  I never thought I could live that long without my children.  I have.

At first, after my first ever experience with child birth ended with my stillborn baby, James Collins, Jr, I really thought the pain would kill me.  Like you, I could barely put one foot in front of the other much less show a face that didn't have that grief-stricken look.  You know, that somber face. I made everyone uncomfortable around me and I couldn't help it.  That first year of grief was something else, always trying to dig yourself out of a hole that kept getting deeper the harder I tried.

So many of you are now at the first year angelversary, just recently past it, or getting ready to be there.   I have heard from you  how you dreaded "that day."  I was the same way.  I still remember it clear as day, maybe in part because I am nearing my 38th angelversary in May for James Collins, Jr. May 2, just to be hit again May 31 by Reita Gale's 31st angelversary.  Wow, two in one month, plus you throw in Mother's Day and it becomes a very emotional month.  I thought I would never enjoy May again.

Some of you I am so happy to say have rainbow babies or sunshine babies.  That helps tremendously.  My sweetest days of my life were the two days I brought my rainbows home from the hospital.  For those of you who have not had a rainbow baby or fight infertility, may God bless you for your pain and longing to have your baby that stays home with you.  One you can actually touch, hold, and get sweet kisses from.  I can not pretend to relate to your pain.  I pray you will get that baby soon.

Since we did not have the medical ability to have a child any other way except naturally or adoption, we did decide on adoption.  We were lucky enough to conceive naturally.  I can say that since we were so use to adoption in James' family, we were very comfortable with that option except that it meant waiting at least three more years.  That seemed like forever to wait.

Some of you are experiencing your third, fourth, and even longer angelversary.  You are expressing how each one just pounces on you.  In my years of experience, it always will.  Some years will be better than others.  I can't explain why.  Some years down the road will hit you like it was the first.  You can make your traditions and I think you shoud because then you don't have the worry and stress of how you are going to celebrate your baby's angelversary.  That doesn't mean you can't deviate from that tradition at times.  I think you should.  We do.  We have done everything from just eating out alone (not my favorite at all) to James sending me flowers, simple talks, a suprise from James.  It was always just between us.  No one else cared, except for my twin sister who would call or send a card which just simply stated that she knew what date this was for us and wanted us to know she was thinking of us.  She was the only one who EVER remembered or said anything to us about it.  We put flowers in the church also on their angelversary and although James parents sat right beside us in church they never mentioned it.  Not to knock down his parents because mine didn't either.  We always took flowers to their graves and took our rainbow children with us.  They never got it.  I guess I just never explained it well enough to them.  To this day, they don't like to hear about their brother or sister, even though it means so much to me.  They just don't get that these babies are a part of our family.
My daughter-in- law does.  She has done several nice things for me like getting me a Button for my balloon blog and FB page!  She also has made me candle holders for my babies.  Perhaps she understands because she lost her brother suddenly at age about 21.  She knows grief.  I fel so much for her and her family.

Friends, it is never going away, but how we deal with it is what matters.  I have found doing something for others has helped me tremendously.  So many of you do the same.  You have been so kind to me and I have appreciated it so much....there are no words to express my gratitude to you.

Always know that a "down day" is so okay no matter how long it has been.

My best friend is Jesus.  He helps me in so many ways.  The words in the Bible are so true.
I have been mad at God so many times and at Jesus for not performing a miracle and saving my children.  He did save them right into His Kingdom.  Some days I just marvel in that.  You do know that they were His before they were ours.  In fact, they were always His.

Find your joy in life.  Try your best not to be down every single day if you are past the first angelversary.  I guess what I am trying to say is  that it is okay to grieve forever for your child.  I have.  However, find something else to help you enjoy life.  Planting flowers to enjoy.  Doing something to make your baby see you get some joy from life.  It takes time.  Do all of this at your own pace.

Lastly, if I had not found all of you in this babyloss world since last November, I would still be in a rut of wondering how to honor the memory of my babies.  YOU have let me know it is okay to shout it out loud.  YOU have allowed me to blog and  continue follow it.  I appreciate all of your comments and emails.  It had lead to better communication between James and me about babyloss.  He understands it so much better now.  We are a team on our balloon project.

Perhaps one day, my rainbow children will read my blog and "get me" and my journey through babyloss.  I hope so or they will never really know their mother completely.

Always do something for other babyloss mothers and involve your children while you still have them living at home with you so they will understand what the loss of a baby or child means and how it affects the family.

Oh yes, I am still waiting for the NC State of Vital Records to send me my Birth Certificate Resulting in Stillbirth for James Collins, Jr.  Carly Marie sent me a Certificate of Life for Reita Gale and James Collins, Jr.  April 19th I am suppose to pick up all of my records of childbirth for James Collins and for Reita Gale from the hospital in Roanoke Rapids!  I hope all of this is done before Mother's Day!

I have put in my years of grief for the month of May.  I found joy in May in the year of 2005 with the birth of my first grandchild, my precious granddaughter!  May turned out to be a blessed month for me in time.

Blessing my friends,

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mother's Day Bouquet of Balloons Event

I am hosting a Mother's Day Bouquet of Balloons this year! I want to put a dozen balloons in each bouquet! Help me make MANY bouquets up to release this Mother's Day! Here is how! Just go to my Facebook page, Fittsie's Angel Balloons, find my Mother's Day post, comment under the post the name of your precious angel baby and angel birthday, LIKE the post, and finally SHARE the post! Like and Share are right beside where it says Comment. IF, you aren't on Facebook, go to my page anyway and find near the top, under my Timeline Picture where it says, Message, and you can message me. Sorry, but I am not taking requests from this blog:) Come sign up and help me fill the Carolina blue skies with bouquets of balloons as my Mother's Day gift to YOU and also to remember your precious angel that made you a mother.

Many hugs to all of you this Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Orange Cabin

One would think that as almost four decades have passed by I would have found a way to hide from the sneaky grief that always comes crashing especially hard into my life with all of its might at this time of year. I haven't found a way and I seriously doubt that I ever will be able to hide from it. How can I? How can any mother ever forget the season, the day, the moment she discovers her sweet innocent baby has died? It was a time of so much bargaining with God, with Jesus to perform a miracle and bring back my baby from the dead. Death stole my first son from me and from my arms. It happened April 26, 1975 early Saturday morning about 6:00 AM while I was sleeping. Did I tell you that my baby died on his grandparent's yacht? He did. James and I were sleeping in the forward cabin, the one decorated in orange. There were two berths. I was in one and James just across from me in the other. I always sleep good on the water. I love the sound of the water lapping at the sides of the vessel. She was docked at the Washington Yacht & Country Club, where she stays. "She" is the "Edna Mae" named after James' mom. We were staying on board that weekend in April to attend the wedding of my high school friend. I was sleeping so peacefully when I was awakened by my baby kicking my belly like I had never felt before. It was forceful and wild kicking. The force of it made me decide to wake James up and tell him about it. I just thought he was really anxious for more room as he was carried up high under my ribs which is very painful. He stopped kicking. I thought he was resting, so I went back to sleep. Little did I know that my son was dying and had just kicked for the last time. I was with him, awake with him and feeling him die. I will never forget that feeling. Not only did he die inside my body, but I felt it. How much closer to actually experiencing death can one get and not actually die yourself? It wasn't until two days later that I found out that my son had died when the doctor didn't get a heart beat. When I finally got up that morning, my baby wasn't under my ribs anymore, but had dropped down into the pelvic area. The first thing my MIL said when she saw me that morning was that the baby had dropped. I could tell for sure he had because my ribs didn't hurt anymore. He had a true knot in his cord. When he dropped, the cord tightened. That is when he woke me up struggling for life. I hadn't a clue as to what really happened that April morning. I thought he was in position for birth and that sooon I would actually start labor. We all thought that. With the thoughts of pending labor and the wedding I didn't notice all day that he didn't kick once. I felt movement, but it was my baby floating aimlessly around. I hadn't a clue that my life was about to change forever. Grief was circling all around me, just waiting for me to get the news. My baby had already left me. His spirit and soul left me while I felt him struggle for life here with me, but instead he went to be with his Jesus that April morn as I went back to sleep in the orange cabin.