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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is it Well?

Less than four months ago I could hear it.

I could make it through the first couple of notes without tearing up.

I could make it through the first verse without curling up into a ball and wanting to die.

Actually, four months ago, I could cut up and sing this song in funny voices along with my husband and children. It was natural for us. We're always goofing around together in our home and singing hymns in weird voices as we play air guitar. It's our "normal". However, there are two hymns we don't sing in our house anymore. It's a shame, because we chose these songs to sing at Wyatt's funeral due to the fact we sang them so often while I was still pregnant with him. I hope we can sing these again someday, but right now, they take me back to "that place".

As I was driving home from the store last night, the radio station I keep my dial turned to, was playing some good ol' hymns. I LOVE hymns, so I was driving down the road singing my heart out. It was so nice, because I really don't sing very much anymore. I've sang my entire life so it was wonderful to feel somewhat like the old me for a change.

My joy was to be short lived...

The next song started to play, and I could feel my throat tightening with each familiar note sounding through my speakers. In an instant, it was taking me back to the place I try not to let myself go. As the notes played on, I was sitting in the front of the church looking at my sons casket. I was hanging onto Joseph for dear life, because all I wanted to do as everyone was singing "It is Well with my Soul", was scoop Wyatt up out of his casket and run away with him. FOREVER. I wanted to hide away from the world and just hold my son close until the end of time. I wanted to close my eyes and make the image of him in his little casket go away... I wanted to replace it with one of him sleeping in his crib where he belonged!

On that day, it was not well with my soul.

On that day, I felt so empty... I didn't even feel like I had a soul.

I still have days (Most of them) where for a majority of the day, my soul doesn't sit well with God's plan for Wyatt. It's a constant battle for me. It seems like the further I get away from Wyatt's birth day, the harder it's getting for me to be okay with my son being gone. I'm becoming this (very annoying) teary eyed woman who is set off by everything!


I've been diving into my bible more.

I've been baking more.

I've been praying more.

I've been trying to keep myself busy with housework and children.

...And I just CAN'T seem to get over how much I miss him.

But do you know what is well with my soul?

Do you know what brings me back to my good place?

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, this life will be a wrinkle in time compared to the eternity I am going to get with my son. I might not have gotten to know him here, but I will have eternity to memorize his face and to imprint his laugh onto the very fibers of my soul. I'll finally get to see what color his eyes are, and I'll get to hear what his voice sounds like when I'm greeted by him. If Wyatt takes after his daddy, I'll probably get a greeting along the lines of "Mommy! I've been waiting so long to meet you!"

... And if he takes after me, it will be more like "What took you so long?"!

If all I had with Wyatt were two minutes, and I knew that was all I would ever get... His death would never sit well with my soul. Luckily, I know I will spend eternity with him. So here, living my life without him, there may be many, many days that God's plan doesn't sit well with me... but my soul accepts God's greater purpose for calling Wyatt home so soon, even though I don't understand his reasoning. And you know what? I can honestly sit here and type, even with my heart as broken as it is, that it really is well with my soul.

Although the above statement may be true, I still think I'll steer clear of my hymns for a while...

Do any of you have something that sets you off like this? Something that pulls you begrudgingly back to your place? Or am I just insane?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Honey

This man, is the love of my life. My life would be empty without him. He is my husband, soul mate, father to my children, and most importantly, my best friend.

I'll be the first to tell you our life hasn't always been peaches and cream... We've had our ups and our downs, but he has always been there for me. We've always been there for each other. I can honestly say I am more in love with my hasband than the day I married him. And each day I love him more.

So to my husband, I'd like to say thank you.

Thank you for being my husband. For putting up with me when I nag you for leaving your socks on the floor after you've had a long day and I've been sitting at home on my butt. You freely shower me with your love and affections even when I don't merit them. I know I'm stubborn, hotheaded, and most of the time, flat out impossible to be around... Thank you for loving me in spite of myself. You make me a better woman. You truly are my better half and I wonder around lost when you're not at my side.

Thank you for giving me three beautiful children. I love looking at each of them and finding traces of you in them. It amazes me how lovingly you interact with our two eldest children, and I know Wyatt would have loved being around his daddy just as much as his siblings do. You are a wonderful father!
Since we started our lives together, I can't believe everything we gone through together. We've survived a deployment, each other, and even our greatest fear... the death of a child. And you know what, we're still here to talk about it. I think maybe our marriage has even grown stronger for surviving an event we never thought we'd live through. When I don't feel like life is worth living anymore,... I make it through the day knowing I'll fall asleep in your arms and I wake up because I know the first thing I'll see is your handsome face.

Our family has gone from this...

To this...

To this...

To this...

...All in the five years of your life I've had the privilege to share in as your wife. Happy Birthday my love. I pray we'll be able to celebrate many, many more of your birthday's together. I love you like a circle...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lessons from Shooting Stars

Hello one and all, this is Joseph, Danielle's husband. Danielle requested I write this post as a contribution to her earlier post about things that remind you about our children. This post is simply about Wyatt, what reminds me of him, and what he reminds me to be. Please enjoy and may God bless you and your families.



Our Shooting Star.

Just a short little phrase to describe our son Wyatt. But what does it mean? What is the significance behind the phrase, what makes it special?

Glad you asked.

The phrase, "Our Shooting Star," does not appear to most to be a phrase of significance, but in our family it holds special value. Wyatt IS our shooting star, and I will tell you why, but first let's look at why shooting stars, a.k.a. meteors or possibly even comets, are special.

Stars, for all intents and purposes, are celestial bodies that do not move in position, are unchanging in brilliance, and until a star's death, only astronomers are interested in their lives.

Meteors are, as we know them to be, small fragments of matter that enter the earth's atmosphere and burn up. A meteor, before it enters the atmosphere, is unknown and relatively taken for granted. Much like how we took the news of a third child. We had two healthy children, why would anything be wrong with our third? Once a meteor enters the atmosphere, it goes on the ride of its life. The friction of particles against its surface causes heat, then ignition, which gives way to the streak of light we sometimes see in the night sky. Generally, these fragments never make it to the ground, but instead extinguish once it is spent and ceases to be. The silence is deafening. Only those that saw it remember, the general public oblivious to their short existence, but for those who observed and remember, the spectacle leaves a lasting imprint of how wonderful and marvelous life is, and how small we are compared to a higher power just beyond our perceptions.(Note: I personally believe in a living God that is actively involved in the affairs of men. The last sentence was structured as such for literary political correctness. Whatever that is.) There are many parallels in the existence of a meteor and our son, Wyatt. I don't feel the need to explain, as I'm sure those reading this have similarities all their own.

Comets are awe-inspiring. These majestic celestial bodies are on orbits that cause them to go in circles around a center point of mass. Comets are made of numerous materials and some contain ice. As a comet proceeds toward the sun, some of the ice melts and streams behind the comet which creates the tail. Comets are unique in the fact that very few will be seen in a person's lifetime. At the time of this writing, I personally have only observed two. Most comets are on orbits that will take hundreds, maybe even thousands of years to return to our solar system. They are exceedingly rare, and for this they are perceived in wonder and amazement. Comets are generally bright. I recall the two I had the great fortune of witnessing. One was visible for days both night and day, the other dominated the night sky. These celestial bodies are memorable to me, but if one were to ask another about a comet, the reply you would likely receive would be in regard to a group of religious nut-jobs, I mean zealots, that decided to kill themselves to hitch a ride on a comet's tail. Wow.

Now to Wyatt. The phrase, "Our Shooting Star," refers to a comment I made after the diagnosis which goes something like this: "Our children's lives are like stars, but Wyatt's life will be like a shooting star. His life will be brief, but he will shine brighter than those around around him and he will leave those that see him in awe and wonder."

Wyatt truly has done so. His life has touched those beyond our family, our circle of friends, even those beyond our continent. It is our hope and prayer, and I'm sure it would be Wyatt's wish, that his life not be in vain, but remind those here that are alive and remain, that life is precious: not to be taken for granted and that a life of significance is not measured in length of years or number of days, but by the number of lives you touch along the way, the number of smiles given in the gloom, the tearful eyes dried by friends, and the number of hearts comforted when the darkness of despair and separation enshroud us and give us no light to find our way. Be that light. Be a shooting star and remind those around you that our lives and our children's lives are not to be insignificant, dark, and dreary, but full of light and awe-inspiring.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Success with Article

City of Sevierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, left to right: Alderman Barry Gibbs, Vice Mayor Dale Carr, Alderman Travis McCroskey, Mayor Bryan C. Atchley, Alderman Jerry Loveday and Alderman Claude Ownby.

I opened my email this morning and found the following e-mail from one of our Sevierville City Aldermen/Commissioners: I never imagined I would get the attention of any of our City's leaders with my article. I'd simply hoped to make Tennessee residents aware of an injustice. God is good!

Danielle and Joseph – Yesterday, 9-22-09 I read Wyatt’s story in the Mt Press, Sunday issue. As a “Pro-Life” Christian, I have never considered issues raised by recognition of life by law. As a result of the same, I have just composed a letter to our State Senator, the Honorable Doug Overbey and with copy of the article will mail the same, today. I have encouraged Senator Overbey to author and sponsor the legislation you propose in Tennessee. For our knowledge, he is also a board member for: “A secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee”. I am in hopes that either you/I or both will have a response, forthcoming. Thank you for the honor and support of life which begins at conception. You are truly heroes and I champion your cause. May God pour out His richest blessings on you. Wyatt is proud of his mommie and daddy and so am I . In regard, respect and admiration, I am ……………Barry Gibbs – Sevierville City Alderman/Commissioner.

Let me stress again. I never imagined I would get the attention of any of our City's leaders with my article. Not only did I get his attention, he's pulling to have our Senator support me and even endorsed a letter on our behalf! I'd simply hoped to make Tennessee residents aware of an injustice and find places to leave my petition for signing. God is good!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Because God is Good Like That!

I had a dream.

A very weird dream.

But one of the most beautiful dreams I think I've ever experienced.

It happened about two months ago and I still remember it vividly.

I was standing in a beautiful field filled with red and yellow wildflowers that continued until they met the horizon. Big Puffy clouds contrasted a deep blue sky filled with millions of stars although it seemed to be in the middle of the afternoon. The stars were so brilliant, I felt as though I could reach up and pluck one from the sky. As I lifted my arms towards the stars, my body started floating towards them. I was surrounded by a pure light that radiated my body, and I just knew I was in the presence of God himself.

I wondered if I might be dying. I was so at peace, this had to be what dying was like. I immediately started looking for Wyatt. I was looking for heaven's gates or a stairway... anything that would lead me to my son. I just knew I was going to meet him.

"It's not time", I hear a voice say.

"But I'm looking for my baby. Please, I need to find my baby", I plead.

"It's not your time", the voice repeats.

I start crying. "Why am I here. I don't understand. Please, father, I know it's you. My heart is so broken, the pieces of it are as sand. I just want to come home to you. My heart will never be what it was".

"You're right my child. Your heart will never be what it was, but it is becoming what I meant for it to be."

"Father, it's too hard. I can't do this"

Suddenly, before my eyes I see a snake. I'm normally terrified of snakes, but there was no fear to be found in my body.

"What do you see my child?"

"A snake."

"What is the snake doing, my child?"

I examine the snake closer and answer, "He's shedding father".

"Why is he shedding, my child?"

"Because he's growing father."

Then my chest opens up and my heart floats out of my chest. It's a perfect heart with no rips, tears, or blemishes.

"Father, this can't be my heart"

"But it is my child, watch."

As I watched the heart, it suddenly cracked into tiny pieces and a bright light oozed out of the cracks.

"How will you fix this my child", I hear the voice ask.

"I can't father. Will you fix it for me?"

"You have to let go of it first my child".

I realized I was clutching my heart trying to keep the cracked pieces from falling away.

"But it will break if I let it go father."

"I know my child. Do you trust me?"

I didn't answer but immediately let go of the heart I was holding so tightly. The light shining through the cracks became so bright I had to shield my eyes. The broken pieces fell away, but underneath it was a bigger more perfect heart.

And then I hear the voice ask, "What do you see in front of you?"

"My heart, Lord."

"Why did it break my child?"

"It had to break father,... so it could grow."

"It's not your time my child, I'm not through with you."

And then I woke up.

What an amazing dream. I woke up and realized God had to break my heart to make me a better, stronger woman in him.

I grabbed the bible off my night stand determined to find a verse on broken vessels being used to God's glory, but I couldn't find anything. I looked for three days and was ready to give up. I put my bible down and prayed for God to direct me to the verse he meant for me to find.

Immediately upon opening my bible I opened it to 2 Corinthians Chapter 12. As I read, I started getting discouraged for not finding what I was looking for. And then it seemed to jump off the page. My heart started racing and I knew I had found the verse God meant for me to have.

2 Corinthians 12:9
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

I have been clinging to this verse ever since.

I'd forgotten about wanting to write this post about my dream until today. My week has been a challenge. Today has been one of my bad days. I actually got so fed up with everything earlier, I stormed out of the house and laid in the middle of my driveway sobbing.

I found myself talking out loud to God. In between sobs I begged God,"Please don't let this emptiness swallow me. I feel so empty. Fill this emptiness in me Lord. I need you. I can't do this anymore. I need you in my life MORE than I've been allowing you to be. So please, I begging you, Fill me with your presence."

Who knows how long I was laying in the driveway... but when I was ready, I picked myself back up and went into the house. I hopped on the computer to blog about my tantrum and came across Celia's post on Birthday Verses. She was kind enough to look up Wyatt's for me and post it on her blog (Love you girl, thanks!), so I decided to look up the rest of my family.

Would you like to guess what mine was?


2 Corinthians 12:9

I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Through a woman who is quickly becoming one of my best friends and a post she wrote on Birthday Bible Verses, he let me know he's with me. Celia, God IS using you through your blog to bring comfort to others. He used you to bring me comfort today.

Because God is great like that!



Joseph LOVES Helicopters. He's actually thought about getting his license so he could fly them as a "job". Could it be called a job if all you're doing is playing for money?I actually expect he'll get it one of these days. Me on the other hand. Ha! I don't do anything that leaves the ground.

Back when I was about six months pregnant, Joseph wanted to take Wyatt on a helicopter ride. Only problem with that, was our son being nestled inside the womb of a woman terrified of going up in a helicopter. After a lot of coaching I decided to suck it up and give this moment to my husband. So up we went.

My knuckles were cold and white by the time we landed. I wish I could tell you I saw some amazing views of the mountains, but I'd be lying if I said I did. I closed my eyes and focused on keeping the lunch down I'd eaten prior to the nightmare I'd gotten myself into. If I thought I could have gotten back up afterwards, I would have kissed the ground.

Jump forward to the present...

Ansley started taking an interest in Helicopters. Every time she saw one should would scream with excitement. Joseph and I made a special trip to take her on her first ride. Joseph took her up and I stayed safely on the ground taking pictures. As the helicopter took off with Ansley it suddenly occurred to me... Wyatt actually did something here before his other siblings! He was our first child to ride in a helicopter.

It may not seem like it's that big of a deal, but it's nice to have something Wyatt did before his other siblings besides going to heaven (God forbid I ever have to live to see another child go there). When Joseph finally takes Eli on his first ride, he'll honestly be able to say "I've taken all three of my children on their first helicopter ride". I know that will mean a lot to him. It means the world to me.

I didn't have my camera with me the day we took Wyatt for his helicopter ride. It was more of a spur of the moment "take me now or I'll never do it" type things. I wish I had a picture of that to share with you. I do however, have pictures of Ansley when she went up so I'll share what I have instead of dwelling on what I don't. I hope you enjoy...

Getting out of the car. Ansley was SO excited.

Waiting patiently for her turn to ride.

Watching the helicopter as it flew in to pick them up.

Ansley's headset so she could talk to daddy and the pilot.

Eli covering his eyes as the helicopter took off.

Almost safe again. I can stop holding my breath.

Ansley LOVES Helicopters just like her daddy.
I can't help but wonder who Wyatt would have taken after...

We did this Helicopter trip with Ansley about a month ago, and she hasn't stopped talking about it yet. Money well spent!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Just for Fun

I have a couple of cute stories to share with you.

First of all, I've been working on potty training Eli. HELP! I had Ansley completely potty trained by the time she was two... Eli is quickly approaching his deadline and we aren't anywhere close. Boys are so much harder to train.

Eli has learned just enough through our efforts, to know how to take his big boy underwear OFF. He'll wear a shirt, but Lord forbid he keep his pants on, much less his easy-ups. See...

And yes, he really walks around like this when he can't get his pants over his shoes. What a hoot! I actually started dressing him in overalls to keep his pants on him. It worked for a while, but he's figured out how to get his arms out to get them off...


I've been setting a Daddy Alarm lately. I got the idea off of Traci's blog. I set it for an hour before my husband comes home and the kids know the timer means Daddy will be home to play soon. Ansley will help me clean up the house, and when we're done, they are at the window waiting to see Joseph's car pull up in the drive way.

When Joseph walks up the steps, Ansley opens the door for him and he gets greeted by "DADDYYYYYYYY!", along with a truckload of hugs and kisses. They love seeing daddy when he gets home from work and it just melts my heart.


I cleaned the kids room.

They destroyed it in ten minutes or less. I swear I gave birth to forces of nature instead of babies!

After a quick bathroom trip, I noticed it had gotten very quiet. Quiet=Bad when referring to toddlers or small children.

I grabbed my camera to catch them in action. It's a given they are doing something picture worthy when you hear nothing but silence. Sure enough, this is what I found when I peaked around the corner...

Apparently, the kids became parched after all the hard work from destroying their room and felt the need to replace electrolytes. Miss Ansley recently learned she could open the refrigerator and stuff goes missing from it all the time now.

When Eli realized he was caught, this is the little face he flashed me before he went back to chugging the last of his daddy's gatorade.

And when I asked Ansley if she though she should have asked mommy to get her and Eli a drink, I was answered with this face and a "I sorry mommy. Ansley's SO thirsty".

She really looks concerned about being caught, doesn't she?


I've been trying to make more healthy snacks for the kids lately.

A big hit with them were these Banana Pops.

They made a HUGE mess and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them devour these yummy treats. The mess I had to clean up was a small price to pay compared to these faces...

In case you are wondering, they are super easy to make. Cut a banana in half. Stick a lollipop stick in it. Spread with peanut butter. Roll in shredded coconut. Top with melted dark chocolate. Freeze and Enjoy!

And finally, Looking at the picture below, you would assume the kids were enthralled with a Veggie Tale video or Dora...

Not quite! Ansley requests to watch Wyatt on the computer all the time. I'll pull his video up (same video I have at the bottom of my blog) for her and she knows how to keep making it play once it's over. She'll watch it over and over again. She even sings along.

Wyatt continues to be a daily part of our family's life. I think it's sweet for Ansley and Eli to want to watch their brother.


I know this was a rather lengthy post, but I really enjoy sharing my family. It seems like most of my posts are so sad. It's nice to be able to write a post without crying. I hope you've enjoyed sharing in some of the moments of my life that are precious to me.



I promised to keep you updated as progress is made with my fight for Wyatt's birth certificate.

I mentioned in an earlier post, that I had written a letter to the newspaper and was waiting for the editor to contact me regarding when it would be run.

He called me a few days ago and told he he wanted to run it the previous Sunday but it wouldn't fit. He made room for it this Sunday and Joseph ran out and bought a paper to see if it was submitted. I wrote it as a "Dear Editor" but they ran it as my own column. Here is what it said:

"If you could spare me two minutes, I would like the opportunity to share a lifetime with you. The life of my son, Wyatt Nathaniel Finchum.

On November 5, 2008 my husband and I found out we were expecting our third child. We were overjoyed to be adding a new member to our family. However, our joy was to be short lived...

The day we went in for our 18 week anatomy ultrasound our world came crashing down around us. We went into the ultrasound expecting to find out what we were having so we could share the news with our families. Instead, we found out we were having another son, and that he would die. Phone calls to families that should have been filled with joy, were filled with tears and broken dreams for a son we would never bring home. My husband and I were advised to terminate the pregnancy, but that was never an option for us. We decided to carry our son to term and to wait to meet him with love. We were told by numerous doctors that we would never see our son alive, but we hoped. We hoped with all our hearts.

I was just shy of 34 weeks when my water broke. I can't begin to describe the emotions that flooded through my body. I knew the birth of my son Wyatt, also meant his death. I wasn't ready to give him back to God.

As we made our way to the hospital I prayed Wyatt's movement wouldn't stop. I asked my nurse to hide the monitor of Wyatt's heartbeat from me because I didn't want to know if his heart stopped beating. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get through labor if I knew he had already passed away. I was clinging to hope. Hope for a misdiagnosis. Hope he would be healed. And if all else failed, hope to see my son alive long enough to tell him I loved him. As my doctor came in, I told her I wanted to do what was best for Wyatt. She advised he wouldn't survive a natural birth, and we decided to do a C-section. I was so scared. I've never had surgery up this point, but I wanted so desperately to see my son alive. I knew full well my son would die long before my body healed, but it was such a small price to pay. I can look back and know I did everything I possibly could have to give my son life.

On June 1, 2009, Wyatt Nathaniel Finchum was born at 10:03 am. And yes, he was alive! He had a faint heartbeat and he was breathing. I actually got to witness his chest as it rose and fell before they whisked him off to the next room. I laid on the operating table and cried tears of joy for the miracle I had just witnessed. Before the doctor even finished sewing me up, my husband brought our son back over and told me he passed away... But, he died holding his daddy's hand. Just knowing my son and I breathed the same air for two minutes means the world to me. It's the most precious two minutes of my life. I had 120 seconds where my entire family was here,... where my family was complete. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.

I called last Monday to order a copy of Wyatt's birth certificate. I was in shock when they told me he was listed as a stillborn. Of course I was upset, but I just figured it was a mistake. Fix it.
But there was no mistake. Because a new definition of live birth which took effect in 2005, my doctor was not able to medically acknowledge my sons life.

It States:
"...the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, that, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Heartbeats shall be distinguished from transient cardiac contraction, and respirations shall be distinguished from fleeting respiratory efforts or gasps..."

Although my son was breathing, his attempt to breathe was not deemed a good enough effort.

I'm not going to sit here and whine and complain about how unfair or unjust this is. But I am going to do something. I have a proposal for a new definition of live birth that is currently being used by the state of Maine. One I hope the state of Tennessee will adopt.

This new definition would state:
"...the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, that, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Each product of such a birth is considered live born and fully recognized as a human person under Maine (change to Tennessee) Law.

I want to make the residents of Tennessee aware of this regulation placed on doctors. My doctor wanted so badly to acknowledge Wyatt's short life, but her hands are tied. I have a petition that can be signed at I am currently looking for places around Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg where I can leave copies of my petition. I also have a blog at if you are interested in reading more about our family and our sweet Wyatt.

In the time it took you to read this, my son lived and died. Two minutes might not seem like much, but it's an eternity when it's your child's lifetime. I won’t deny the fact that my son was dying as soon as he was born, but he lived... he fought to breathe for those two minutes and his life deserves to be acknowledged. I would like to get Tennessee’s definition of live birth amended to a more acceptable definition that recognizes life no matter how short it may be. I don't want another family to have to go through this. A child dying is enough to handle without having the validity of that child ripped away as well. I come to you with a broken heart and a damaged spirit, asking for help. God performed a miracle when my son was born alive, and I just want that to be recognized."

I'm up to 156 signatures on my online petition.

I'm praying people will start flooding my e-mail with places I can leave my petition around town to have signed. The editor said he would contact me if anyone called wanting to sign.


The story was printed. If it just gets me one more signature that means I'm a little bit closer to having Wyatt's life recognized!

Family Day

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you know my husband is in the Marine Corps. If you didn't know that little fact about our family, you do now!

Once a year Joseph's unit has a family day. Attendance is mandatory for Joseph, but optional for the rest of the family. I've always enjoyed family day. It seems each new family day that rolls around I've had a new member of the family to show off.

I didn't want to go this year.

I should have had a new family member to show off, but I didn't. I went to family day out of respect for Joseph because I knew it was important to him. It felt so wrong to be at a family function when our entire family wasn't present. Joseph had a good point. He said he's thankful for the family he has left here and wanted to show off the members of his family that he could because he's proud of us. How I got blessed with such a wonderful husband is beyond me. I wish I could think more like him. I am thankful for my family here... But, my mind is constantly stuck on the one who isn't.

Needless to say, family day was a struggle for me to get through. Wyatt was never mentioned. Although his name was never spoken out loud yesterday, my heart was screaming for him. I felt like I was suffocating silently.

I tried to stay away from all the babies.

Joseph tried to keep the babies away from me.

There were babies EVERYWHERE!

I immersed myself with taking pictures of my kids. I tried to look busy so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone. I even used my kids as an excuse to get out of conversations when I was forced to be somewhat sociable. " Oh that's great. That's just wonderful that your due in February, excuse me though, I need to take my daughter to the restroom..."

Everyone in my husbands unit probably thinks I'm a not so nice word.
I can't say I'd blame them for thinking about me that way. I felt like a not so nice word.

Let me just say, sunglasses are awesome! I left the unit in tears and nobody was any wiser. Joseph got me out of there early and I am so thankful. I just wanted to sit down in the grass and cry. I wanted to shout, "I had a baby too but he died. All I can show you is his picture, but wasn't he beautiful?!"

I'm glad family day is over. I have a complete year to prepare myself for the next one.

On a lighter note, Remember how I said I tried to look busy as I took pictures of the kids? Here's a couple of cute pictures I got.

Ansley with the balloon she stole tactically acquired...
(She let it go and waved bye-bye as it went to heaven for Wyatt)

Eli in the jumper. He LOVED it.

Ansley in the jumper. She would only go in if Eli did first. Then she wouldn't get out!

The kids with Daddy.

They weren't too happy about sitting on the hood of the hummer... Can you tell?


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wyatt's New Playmate

I really wish I could be posting this under a different title...

Maybe "Miracle Recovery Stuns the World"...

But I can't.

Another mother was told "No" this past Wednesday.

Do you remember Lena? She was scheduled to deliver her son Chandler on Wednesday. If this is your first time to my blog, Chandler was a baby diagnosed with the same condition as my son. Thanatophoric dysplasia.

I received an e-mail from Lena this evening telling me she was able to meet Chandler alive before he traded his earthly body for his heavenly one.

Here is what she wrote:
"Chandler Thomas was born at 1.21 pm on September 16th and gave us 39 minutes of his precious life. He was a beaufitul little boy with thick black curly hair, 6 lb 16 ou, 17 inch. he cried when he was born, opened his beautiful eyes to see everyone, was trying talking whole time he was with us and peacefully fell a sleep. We had a chance to baptize him..."

Please keep this family in your prayers. My heart aches for them. I know all to well how they must be feeling tonight. If you feel lead, please head over and love on them.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Walking My First Mile

Just a quick update on my fight to have Wyatt's life recognized.

First of all, thank you so much to all who have grabbed and posted my button to the petition on your blogs! I have over 100 signatures already! 106 to be exact. I am over 1/10th of the way to my immediate goal. The first tenth of a mile in our journey is behind us. 1,000 signatures here we come. Thank you , thank you, thank you.

I've even had a couple of people write a post asking the followers of their blog to help. Thank you so much! I noticed a spike in signatures after each post was written. It really helped. The internet is a BIG place, so I know there are still many more signatures out there just waiting to find my petition to have life recognized in Tennessee.

I still haven't heard back from the editor of our local newspaper, so I put a call in to have him call me back. I'll update again when I hear back from him.

Rep. Montgomery's assistant Catie has contacted me a couple of times via phone and e-mail. She is receiving your letters written on behalf of Wyatt! Thank you! Besides that, I really don't have anything to update you on at this very moment. No major breakthroughs YET. However, I'm confident they will happen.

I'm looking forward to talking with Rep. Montgomery when he returns to work from his vacation. There are still a lot of things that need to be ironed out, and I'm anxious to receive his input and ideas.

Until then, thank you for helping me give Wyatt a voice is the big and backwards world!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Special Reminders. I want to hear YOURS!

I just wrote a post that was pretty depressing. If your already in a not so great mood and haven't read it, I wouldn't suggest adding it to your reading list. In light of that, I wanted to do a more upbeat post.

I wrote a post last week called Elephants that explained how elephants made me think about Wyatt. I got a couple of comments where some of my "blog friends" told me what made them think of their child. It was so nice to hear about what made other people think about their babies I decided to dedicate a whole post to finding out what was special to each of you. I'm very interested in finding out your story behind what makes a particular item special for you.

I'm posting a MckLinky up at the bottom of this post, and would love if you could write a post that introduces a special stuffed animal, blanket, or even something random that makes you think about your baby. Even if you haven't lost a baby you are welcome to participate. If you have other children living and would like to include what makes you think of them, I would love to read about it.

Of course, Elephants will forever remind me of Wyatt...

I've never mentioned what makes me think of my other two children. Eli has a stuffed frog that he carries everywhere. Here's a picture of him with it. Not really a special story behind the frog... Eli just attached himself to his "fog" as he calls it. It doesn't get too far out of his sight.

As for Miss Ansley, she's recently attached herself to this puppy. I won't even mention the fact that she's taught Eli to dump all his food on the floor and lap it up like a dog... Not my kids! Ansley is also the entrusted protecter of Wyatt's elephant. She carries both around with her everywhere. I managed to get her to put Wyatt elephant night-nights while I got a quick picture of her with her puppy.

Now it's your turn. Write a post (if you feel like it or have time) about what makes you think about your child(ren). When your done writing it, come back here and link up to MckLinky so we can all read about it. I can't wait to see what has a special meaning to you.

MckLinky Blog Hop