Yikes, I am literally the worst at keeping my new year resolution of blogging more - but life is so busy! I will eventually edit and add his monthly pictures to this. He is growing like a weed. Loves his sister and she loves him too. I am so much enjoying summer break with them both. Life with two under two is now Home, but I wouldn't trade it. As he gets older, he is crying less frequently which is a nice reprieve. But there is still about an hour every day that he screams, at random! He is starting to love bath time and doesn't mind riding in the car anymore :)
As usual, life has been busy and I am behind posting this! It will be short and sweet :)
Rhett is a joy. After losing Sawyer I didn't know if I would ever have the privilege of raising a baby boy here on Earth. And when we found out Rhett was a boy I was filled with so many emotions. His first few weeks here were rough - lots of crying all around. Rhory wasn't ever crazy upset like Rhett would get sometimes so we all just felt overwhelmed. My mom came the week after Josh had to go back to work and helped a lot! I needed extra hands to deal with my extra active toddler. I was also having to go to physically therapy for my ankle (that's a story for another time).
Overall we have adjusted to the addition of Rhett and Rhory LOVES her baby brother! She loves to get his paci and diapers and rock him when he is in his car seat LOL. Here is a picture for now, more later!
It is that time of year again- and I am super excited! Since deciding not to attend the Congenital Heart Walk this year and also not to sell t-shirts, we are extending the collection dates for the art drive in hopes to collect more art supplies than years past! Here is the scoop on "Sawyer's Art" for those who are just taking part this year: In May 2013, my husband and I welcomed our first baby - a sweet boy named Sawyer Joshua. Before he was born, he was diagnosed with a very rare heart condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot with Absent Pulmonary Valve Syndrome - in English terms - 5 different heart defects that would possibly cause some pretty serious issues after birth. We didn't know much about the condition or how it would affect him but after he was born it was apparent that it was very serious. He was immediately transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where he underwent open heart surgery at 13 days old and over the next 5 days underwent several other open heart procedures. Unfortunately after the first procedure he was put on ECMO (life support) and at just 18 days old we had to make the heartbreaking decision to say goodbye to our sweet baby boy this side of Heaven.
While at Egleston we were surrounded by an amazing group of nurses, doctors, etc that really tried to help make our stay the best they could despite the circumstances. I spent my first mothers day with my very sick baby in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and it was a rough experience to say the least. I had not ever envisioned I would have spent any Mother's Day that way. Yet, the child life specialists at Egleston made sure I had a sweet picture with my baby and a card from him. I also remember walking from the waiting room to the CICU and passing by what I would call a "fun room" for siblings - full of books, art supplies, etc to make life easier for those kids who had a brother or sister at the hospital. I knew after Sawyer passed away that I wanted to give back to the hospital that allowed us those 18 days with him, and collecting art supplies for the child life specialists was the perfect opportunity! The child life specialists help make the hospital stay easier and as fun as possible for the children in the hospital and their siblings that come to visit. This is our THIRD (!!) Art Drive and I am really hoping that it will be the biggest one yet! You can drop off donations with any member of the Anderson/Davenport/Murphy family! We are accepting donations from April 1 (TODAY!) until May 29! We will be taking the donations down to CHOA on May 30. Per hospital request, the donations must be of new art supplies. The flyer I will post below has recommendations for donations - but really ANY art supplies will be awesome and put to great use! Help us continue Sawyer's legacy by giving back to the hospital that really gave us so much in those 18 days with him. Please let me know if you have ANY questions or want to meet up to drop off donations! Thank you in advance and please share with everyone so we can make this donation the greatest year yet!
Here are some pictures of us with our sweet boy Sawyer!
The sweet Mother's Day card I will cherish forever!
Here is the flyer for this years Sawyers Art Drive!
I made a New Years resolution to blog more often and so far that has failed! My job has kept me pretty busy and the end of my pregnancy was rough physically because I was so tired and trying to spend as much time with Rhory before her little brother arrived! Maybe I'll go back and try to blog about events I haven't, but I'll probably just try to go forward from here!
Rhett joined our family on March 22! Josh and I went to the hospital on the night of the 21 at 11 PM to start the induction process. Once I got all checked in and the medicine started it was probably 1:30 AM - yikes! Because I had a c-section with Sawyer and was attempting another VBAC (I had a successful VBAC with Rhory) they can only use pitocin to get things started. The plan was to start pitocin on the lowest dose (2) and up it by 2 every 30 minutes. She checked me and I was still only at 2 cm (the same as my 39 week appointment) The nurse left and said "try to get some rest!" How am I supposed to get rest when she is going to be coming in every 30 minutes?! Around 2:30 my contractions had started being regularly between 2-3 minutes apart. The nurse called Dr. Pohl and he said he would come break my water. I had already requested that the epidural be done first because with both Sawyer and Rhory it took forever to get the epidural AND it only worked on my left side so I wanted time to fix it first if it did the same thing. The epidural was done at about 3:15 AM and Dr. Pohl came in around 3:45 to break my water. He checked me first and I was still only at 2 cm! It was as if the contractions had done nothing! At that point I wasn't feeling any pain and was completely exhausted so both Josh and I decided to take advantage and sleep. Fast forward to 5 AM. Apparently the contractions on the monitor were picking up to about every 1-2 minutes so the nurse came in to check me. Because of the epidural I did not feel the contractions picking up and was only feeling some pressure. When she checked me I was at 6 cm! Wahoo - finally some progress! I told her that I was feeling pressure with the contractions, but she told me to let her know when it became constant. About 15 minutes later - it was constant. She decided to check me again. At 5:15 AM I was officially 10 cm - literally within 15 minutes I went from 6-10 and ready to push. She called Dr. Pohl and he said he was on his way. She wanted me to do a test push just to make sure baby was close to being ready. Well, I couldn't finish pushing because she said if we didn't wait the baby would be born without Dr. Pohl, and I wanted no part of that! Dr. Pohl finally arrived around 6 AM and got everything set up. They had me push one time - and baby Rhett had made his arrival! This kind of intimidates me for the next baby (later on down the road, of course) because if I go in to labor on my own I could have that baby at home! Rhett Levi 6:13 AM 7 pounds 13 ounces 20 inches
Hopefully this will be the first of many more posts!
It's a new year! I didn't blog as much as I wanted to in 2015 and I really want to make it more of a priority in 2016 to document our lives and our memories. 2015 was a good year for our family, even though it is hard for me to use the word "good". It's hard because a piece is always missing - our Sawyer. I have learned however though that God still has great things in store for our family, even though we are missing a part of our family. We're getting ready to welcome our second son in March - Rhett Levi and we are so excited! More blog posts to come this year, I hope!
Recently the news has been filled with story after story of parents losing their children much too young, and it hits home every single time. I've learned that ,regardless of the age of your child when you had to say goodbye, the pain is unimaginable even for those who have experienced the same. I never know what to say, along with everyone else, because the truth is I know that nothing makes it better. There aren't magic words that anyone can say to make you feel better or make the situation seem not so bad - in fact it usually backfires when people make an attempt to 'bandaid' the situation.
I once had someone tell me "well, at lease you didn't have him for that long so it couldn't have been as hard as someone who lost them at age 5, 10, etc". I stood there dumbfounded not knowing what to say. I don't compare my loss to anyone else's because it is my own, not theirs, nor is their loss mine. In the end, we have both said goodbye to our children too soon and are both missing out on monumental occasions.
Two and a half years removed from the loss of Sawyer and it still hurts just as bad. I've learned to deal with daily life, but when it hits, it hits hard. I will never forget attending a support group about 6 months after he passed away and we were celebrating the birthday of another angel baby who would have been five years old. I watched as the mother sobbed, the same way I sobbed, only there were years between our loss. I think before then I had this strange thought that surely I wouldn't be this upset forever, but on those special days I know I will. When I got home and told Josh - it's always going to hurt this bad. Sure, daily life has gotten easier to deal with and I feel that I have a better hold on my emotional stability and how I deal with the pain. The special days though rip straight through my heart, and some days its just a random day when a random thought pops in to my head. For instance, we have been discussing fitting two car seats in the backseat of my car - when it should be three. I've even been hit with a wave of sadness when the hostess how many are in our party, because one is always missing.
Days go by when I don't cry, but never does a day go by when I don't think about that sweet boy. The days when the tears hit can be completely random or tied to a specific event or holiday. I wish he was here with us always, and even at 2-1/2 years removed from the freshness of it all, it still feels so fresh. It feels fresh when people don't acknowledge him in our growing family. It feels fresh when I am reminded he won't be here for the holidays. It feels fresh every time I look at Rhory and wish she wasn't missing out on that sweet big brother- little sister relationship. It just feels fresh.