So this last week was Kyle’s 9 month week. Crazy hard to believe.
Most of the new baby mail I was getting bi-weekly now only comes a few times a month. (I have lots of formula coupons if anyone wants them!)
The doctor visits have slowed down tremendously.
The girls remind me often though of how much they remember their brother. And one regret I do *not* have is how much we involved them with the entire process of Kyle’s life and death. Last week, Chloe made him a baby mobile.
And Kami picked out a pansy – a very certain one – from Lowe’s to plant in his honor. (She’s planting it here, but she picked all the flowers off of it to put in a vase of water in her room.) Now she wants to take it to the cemetery – we’ll see how well that goes over those nice folks over there.
We made a visit to his tiny little place on earth – in the pouring rain, so we didn’t get out of the car. The newly dug graves always get me. I think of the families who are just now embarking on their journey of grief and my heart hurts so strongly with them. I kinda wish I could just sit out there to wait for another broken mother to show up so we could sit and cry together and talk about the loveliness of our children together.
One of the things that made this whole journey so much more bearable was a dear sweet lady and her vision to help me and many others in my position. See, most women given a fatal diagnosis like we were with Kyle are given one option – termination of pregnancy. Many of them take that option. It was an option my husband and I agonized over for days. Those who do are in no way less of a person than I am. In fact, many of them are more than I could ever be.
For those who chose to take the chance of healing or misdiagnosis or love, though, and want to carry their pregnancy to term, they are usually left alone without any support from their medical doctors. Why would a doctor continue seeing a patient who will not deliver a live baby? Why would he continue tests and monitoring the mother’s health when she could just end things now and try again later?
We who chose to continue have lots of good reasons for such a choice. It’s hard to find a doctor who thinks scientifically and logically, though, to be able to listen to the heart cries of a mother.
That’s where Tammy, with Perinatal Comfort Care, came into our lives.
This lady spent months with us before the birth date of our little guy educating us, helping us understand the diagnosis, and guiding us in sharing with our children. It was so helpful to hear what to say, and what not to say. (For instance, we were told not to tell them that Kyle was “sick” – because she advised us that the next time they were “sick”, it might induce fears of their going to Heaven prematurely.)
Being an RN herself with several years of experience on Labor and Delivery floors around our town, Tammy was able to get us appointments and consultation (all free of charge to us), with NICU doctors, NICU nurses and even presented our case to the head nurse at our hospital of choice. When we arrived for delivery, all the nurses on the floor had reviewed our case weeks before we arrived and were ready to accept our birth plan and have things move as smoothly as possible. They even had a special room away from all the other delivery rooms set aside for us. It was larger (to accommodate more visitors) and was far enough away from the other rooms that hearing other new babies wouldn’t be an issue. This small gesture had such a huge impact on us. Tammy was instrumental in bringing that to pass.
Because of her intense passion for the wellbeing of her families, she was the key person in getting us ultrasounds with a specialist whenever we wanted. Again, at no charge to us (or even our insurance!) personally. She has special high risk OBGYN’s that she can work with who provide their services.
Taking time out of her busy schedule to come be with me the hours prior to Kyle’s delivery was such a huge encouragement to me. She was able to prepare me for what was coming and even printed a door sign, which at the time seemed extremely important to me.
This lady, who started the organization, Perinatal Comfort Care, has grown that organization to now be known nationwide with insurance validations, March of Dimes recognition, and even now, Continuing Education Credits for Labor and Delivery nurses, High Risk OBGYN nurses, and NICU professionals. She’s a regularly invited speaker with the Focus on the Family radio broadcast program and uses them help distribute her helpful resource, The Gift of a Lifetime. (A free .pdf of this book is also available.)
This week is my week for promoting Tammy and her organization for all it has meant to our family, and almost 100 others around the country. Tammy has plans to make her program available to more families, but needs help. Extra staff to meet her growing client base’s needs, travel funds for more conferences, funds for printing more literature for these mothers and their families…
Thursday is their big golf tournament here in town. It will be a lovely day of golfing and fun. But, I don’t play golf. All I can do for Tammy is share my story and my experience. And ask you to consider helping us share Kyle’s story even more. (Take a look at their site here to see who gets the lovely front page ad. Ahem. I’m glad I put makeup on for that video.)
Sigh. I’m not one to ask for things. Except at Christmas. And even then, I usually answer the “What do you want for Christmas?” question with….”uhhhhh…measuring cups?” 🙂
But because of how much I believe in this gal. And her organization. And the possibilities that can happen when people join together for a cause, I’m stepping out of my little box and reaching out to you.
So, golfer or not, I’d like to extend a personal request for you to consider helping fund this organization. You can donate online here. $1, $5, $25…any amount helps and means a lot. You can also feel free to share our story to whomever you feel led. For those of you local to me who like to play golf, here’s more information about the actual tournament.
I can’t shake a stick at the ground very well, much less hit a white ball with a silver club. So I’m just writing here.
(And be warned, I’ll be promoting Tammy and Perinatal Comfort Care all week…along with, maybe, a few new Kyle photos.)
Thanks for listening. This entire journey. Really. You all have no idea how much you mean to me.
And thanks to Lexus of Greenville for their awesome partnership with us on this crazy endeavor!