Tuesday, October 27, 2015

birthday eve

We had just wrapped up a whirlwind, hot October day of the kids' soccer games and the Trunk-or-Treat at church.  Our kitchen was a bomb from concocting a hopeful winning batch of chili, and evidence of costuming 3 children was scattered around the house, along with dirty soccer uniforms and equipment strewn about.  However, after getting those highly sugared kids to bed, not much was going to interfere with my tired and aching pregnant body plopping onto the couch with a good TV show.

My due date was scheduled for November 16th.  Throughout my pregnancy (which I had adamantly declared as my last), I had shared with a few people that I had one wish.  I wished that my water would break so that I could experience labor in a different way.  It just seemed so fun to me to have your water break, and I had never experienced it with my 3 previous babies.  I pictured running around the house with excitement, grabbing suitcases, and running to the hospital with urgency.

So, that night we laid down on the couch, turned on a show and I elevated my feet.  We were utterly exhausted from the day's events.  My feet were tingling with relief.  Every inch of my pregnant body was aching.  Just as we were settling into the show, I felt a strong kick followed by a rush of warmth.  I swear I even heard a popping noise!  It had happened.  Not only had my water broken, but it had happened THREE WEEKS EARLY!  Now that was a wish I never dared to wish for.  3 weeks early!!  Was it Christmas???!!!!

I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself.  I said to Troy, "Babe...my water just broke."  He was in total disbelief.  We both just started laughing.  I hustled to the bathroom to remedy the situation, then without another thought, I told Troy to start cleaning!  I knew we'd have to call my parents to come over, and even though they are my parents, there are some house situations you don't even want your own parents to see and usually our house is in one of those "situations".  So we shoved stuff in closets, wiped down counters, cleaned bathrooms, changed the bedsheets.  You name it, we did it.  I was also texting friends who I had just complained to that night at the Trunk-or-Treat about my pregnancy woes, and I'm pretty sure I had a permagrin the entire time.

Once we got a handle on the house, I called the hospital for instructions.  They wanted me in immediately.  I, however, decided to follow my own counsel and take a shower and get ready before rushing off to the hospital.  Glad I did.

My excitement was still pulsing through me when we got to the hospital.  I just couldn't believe my water broke and labor was happening 3 weeks before my due date.

Once we were settled in our room, and hooked up to the machines, we could breathe deep and take it all in.  Our last baby was on his way, and it felt just as exciting as it did with our first.

Things progressed much slower than I anticipated.  I guess I imagined the baby just slipping out by the 4th go-around.  Wasn't the case.  We spent the entire night in the hospital, not sleeping a wink.  I was so frustrated with the wires and the nurse visits every 1/2 hour.  I was wishing we had stayed at home to sleep in our own bed.

Morning came and still no sign of baby any time soon.  The day rolled on with very slow progress.  I'm pretty sure they started me on pitocin to get the ball rolling.  I think that had something to do with potential infection after your water breaks, but I can't remember.  At any rate, the initial excitement was starting to dull.  We were getting antsy to meet our boy.


Finally around 6 pm I was ready to start pushing.  Troy suited up to deliver our boy.  Our doctor, Dr. Phelan, was always nice to allow him to deliver the baby as he coached from the sidelines.  We set up the video camera in just the right flattering and modest angle, and it was GO time.  I pushed only a few times and our precious son, Charlie Troy, was born on the 27th of October.

He was perfect. We noticed right away his unique ears.  They looked different than the rest of our kids.  He also had a really cute mouth.  His upper lip protruded forward over his bottom lip.  We adored him.  We studied him and held him until the kids arrived later that night with Grandma and Grandpa.  We couldn't wait to show him off and to see each of our kids meet their new brother.

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As expected, the kids fell in love.  They each took turns holding him.  They stared as the nurses took his measurements and ran their tests.  They just couldn't believe he was here.  We were all in LOVE!
We could have never imagined in that moment just how special this little baby would be.

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(He was a whopping 8.1 pounds.  I thought that was impressive for his early due date, and it made me even more grateful he didn't go full term!  He was also 19 inches long.)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

For my boy

I have sat at this computer 50 times in the last 6 weeks attempting to articulate my feelings about the passing of my 22 month old precious baby, Charlie.  Each time I am paralyzed with fear.  Fear of my inability to write eloquently.  Fear of who will be reading this story.  Fear of recounting the details that scare me.  Fear of sharing miracles that are sacred to me.

But for my sweet boy, I have to put one finger in front of the other and type.

My prayer is that I can document all that needs to be written on Charlie, his life and his death.  It's also my hope that anyone reading this will feel of my absolute adoration for a loving Savior and an all-knowing God.  It is without reservation that I testify that they live and love us so personally.  I have always believed this, but never as much as I have in these last 6 weeks.  I believe our Heavenly Father has an eternal plan for us.  I will trust in His plan, though as a mortal it is at times hard to be patient.  I will never doubt the miracles I have seen and felt in the days proceeding and following Charlie's death.  I believe heaven's angels were sent to carry us, and continue to do so today.

Thank you for your love and support.  I hope you enjoy our little corner of the internet.


Charlie Troy DeGraff
October 27, 2013 - August 27, 2015