Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With every end there is a beginning? I read that in a Facebook post today and it made me stop and read it again. That is such a true statement and it can apply to everyone at some point in their life. Another Facebook friend is starting a new job today after leaving another one, that is her new beginning. What is mine?
When we started this journey of life after our little girl I would have never wanted to call it a beginning, but in reality it is. The beginning of my life as the mother of a SIDS child. I continue to look each day at what I can do to help others. How is this tragedy supposed to help me start my new beginning?
I pray a lot more and I am closer to God than I have ever been in my life. I sit with Chase every night as we pray for all of his friends and their animals each night and every time I want to add to that out loud prayer "God please watch over his sister". I am still afraid that he doesn't understand it all and I do not want to upset him by talking about it. I find each day that I am strong because I do not want to upset others. I am not sure how healthy that is on the inside for me. I hold a lot inside, I always have, it is a trait that I got from my mom. She was the same way. I still can't get through a service at church without shedding a tear. Some of it is because I am overwhelmed with emotions and that inside His church, I can feel him closer to me. Scriptures say that when you are your weakest moment, he is with you more. I guess he has been with my family quite a bit lately.

I ordered a copy of Jordan's death certificate today to provide to our insurance company. That was a hard website to go to. I did not have to talk to anyone on the phone, it was all done over the internet. That made it a little bit easier. I am going out to the cemetery tomorrow to take a look at tombstones for her tiny grave. We want to find one that represents her precious life that will last forever.

We finally had a dose of good news in the Connell Family. My husband's mom has gone through a whirlwind of tests after the doctors found a spot during her yearly mammogram. They saw what looked like something in the background on her lung. After several tests and surgery last week to remove a third of her left lung. She is CANCER FREE!!! Yea. It was nice to have something to celebrate something. She is at home and healing a little bit each day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beautiful Day today

It has been a while since my last update. We have been trying to stay busy, and that keeps my mind pre-occupied. We are getting better and better as each day passes.

We had a great Halloween with Chase. He was a fireman and loved every minute of getting candy. Randy and I have figured out that we have to cherish the good memories that we have. I do still at times feel guilty for enjoying life though. I will still stop and think, I should be sad, I am not allowed to be happy today. Then I realize that God has a purpose and it is his will. Life will continue to go on around me. and on pretty mornings like today I can't help but think that Jordan is smiling down on us. She is with us in everything we do.

Halloween is the first of many holidays to come that would have been Jordan's "first." What would I have dressed her in? Would she have even been awake to go? Would I have tried to match the kids costumes? I will always have those thoughts. Christmas will be the next big one.

Our next big task is to find her the memorial headstone that will fit her little personality. Another difficult day for the Connell family, but we are making it. I still find it hard to believe that it has been 2 months since we lost her. And I still tell myself that a mother is not supposed to bury her child. That is not part of the cycle of life.

I get a weekly email from a website called http://www.silentgrief.com/. It has given me lots of great articles and uplifting thoughts. This was a paragraph from the one I got today and it really hit home.

"Look at the sunbeams streaming from the heavens and be encouraged! Gaze at the twinkling stars at night and be filled with awe at the details of the universe. Watch a butterfly and be filled with home as you trace the steps of its formation. God's imprint is all around us, and His hands are tenderly holding our hearts and giving us the assurance that we will get through this pain"

"Hope is seeing the rainbow after the storm before the sun comes out"-Clara Hinton

My bible verse of the day is "But as for me, I trust in Thee, O Lord"--Psalm 31:14

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WOW..what a great turnout for the benefit

WOW...where do I start? I am still overwhelmed by the huge turnout and success of our Baby Jordan's benefit. God was watching over us and blessed us with great weather, wonderful food, and tons of people who were there to share their time, bid on some great auction items, and pay tribute to our Baby Girl. We are estimating over 450 plates were served.

I am still trying to find the words to thank everyone who helped make it a success. As Randy and I laid down to sleep Friday night we said that our worst nightmare was that only 25 people would show up and we had so many people who worked so hard to get everything prepared. There was a lot of personal labor hours from friends who mixed up homemade potato salad, fresh beans and delicious brisket that was cooked overnight.

I have pictures to post shortly, I just need to figure out the easiest way to post them all. From what I could tell everyone had a great time. It is amazing to me how many details go into an event of this size. Extra special thanks go out to Marlene, Cyndy, Bill and Michael. These were planning team members that we could not have made it without. We also thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and supporters. Words can not express our gratitude.

We are still taking life one day at a time. Today was a hard one for me. I think that the 21st of every month will be tough. This one was particularly tough since I am also in the process of fighting, or disagreeing with the insurance company and my next calls will be to the hospital over Jordan's bills. Because the hospital she was taken to is "out of network" the insurance company is not covering anything. Yes, I did say nothing. So far we have over $11,000 in bills to negotiate with the hospital. I have been told that they will work with me, so we will see. I pray that it all will work out. I mentioned this in a prior post but if the patient does not make it, you should get some sort of discount, not a battle. I am an emotional wreck at times and this is not helping.

I find it hard to find the bright side some days. I try really hard, but there are days that I just wish they would hurry up and be over. I miss her, and I just think that 3 short months ago I was holding her. I miss her crying, I miss her smell, I miss watching her wiggle when she takes a bath. I even miss her yelling at me when I tried to change her clothes. For a little girl she sure did not like to get dressed. Why did this happen? Why us? Maybe I should ask why me? I am a good mother and I love my kids. I know that God has a plan and that she is part of his family in Heaven now, but it just hurts so badly.

Chase is over his sickness but is still waking up in the middle of the night and wants to crawl in bed with us. By this point in the past before Jordan was here we would give it the "tough love" and let him cry himself to sleep. I can't do that now. It just breaks my heart and I second guess so many things now that I do not want something to happen to him and that be the last memories I have. He may be a bit spoiled now, but only with love. The past 2 nights he has waited until 4 to wake up, not too bad. Much better than the midnight alarm clock we have gotten used to in the past 2 weeks. I hug him more, and tell him I love him more. I am just glad that he is still little enough to not care or think mom's hugs are gross.

We keep trying to cling on to HOPE. Without that we have nothing. Randy and I will be going to our first Grief counseling group next week. It should be a great outlet to get some things off of our chest. I have a bad habit like my mother of holding things in and always being the "strong" one. I think that is part of the reason she died very suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 57. I sure could use her now to talk to. She too had to bury a daughter, but at the age of 9 years not 9 weeks. Anytime you bury your children it is hard. Our job is to protect them, and this was out of my control.

We thank everyone for the prayers for our great event. Next year will be bigger and better. Randy said that our little girl's first outing was a standing room only the funeral and her second big day of the benefit we sold out of food. What an amazing tribute to someone who only was on this earth for 9 short weeks. We love you baby J.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tribute to Baby Jordan Event October 17th.

Click on the link above for details for our Tribute to Baby Jordan Benefiting SIDS Research and Awareness this coming Saturday October 17th. Lot's of BBQ Hosted by Houston Texans Tailgater of the week the 'Raging Bull Tailgaters', Silent auction featuring autographs from Rockets Yao Ming, Hall of Famer Moses Malone, NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith, Houston Texans game tickets with VIP tailgating experience, and an appearance from Miss Teen Texas and much, much more....Hope you can all make it out. Let's all pray for good weather and a good turnout for our event. Yes we will have a T.V. with the Texas vs. OU football game.....Please come join us this weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October is here already.

October is here already. I can not believe that the time has gone by so fast. I still remember walking in the HOT Houston air in June before Jordan was delivered. And now it is already October.

Our Pastor at church gave us a quote this week and it is so true. "Christianity is not an infomercial". His messages have been REAL and about some of the promises in the Bible that are not all great. It says that we will suffer and that bad things will happen to good people. Boy do I know that to be true. I am not happy, not really happy and I do not know if I will ever be as happy as I was before she died. I miss my baby girl. I am thankful for my church and the great messages that Pastor Mark has been giving. You can tell that he is human and he has pain in his life just like the rest of us. His wife is currently dealing with colon cancer and chemo treatments and he tells us the hard part is he can't fix it. He said he is a "fixer" and he can't make her better. He relies on his Faith to get them through. Strangely enough her blog helps me get through. She is so strong. It makes me realize that we are all in this together. When Mark talks about death and Heaven he said that "they are the lucky ones, God likes them better".

We have been very busy with the benefit and are so excited for the 17th to come. This past Sunday we were Tailgating at the Texans game and raised money through donations in a box toward the benefit. A HUGE thank you to the 'Raging Bulls Tailgaters' for helping with our event. Even in 85% chance of rain, we had a great turn out. I am amazed everyday at how this tragedy touches others. I met a great lady who is a nurse and did research in school on SIDS. I learned somethings that I did not know before. SIDS is the #1 killer of newborns. That statistic is amazing to me, which is why we are doing what we can to raise money for awareness and research. We are not sure how big we can make this, but Randy and I are dedicated to helping others. I feel the need to have something good come out of our tragedy. I want her life to MEAN something even though it was only 9 short weeks, she was everything to our family.

I still cry, I think I always will. My husband knows when I am writing on the blog because he can hear me sniffle. I just miss her so much. It is easy to get caught up in the day's events, and getting back to work, that at night it creeps up on me. Night time is still the hardest. I spend my evenings researching SIDS and finding other websites created for infant loss. The web has a ton of information created by others to provide information for people like me.

As I read I find it ironic that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In 1988, then-President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as a national month of mourning in remembrance of babies who died through miscarriage, stillbirth, and other causes. This observance allows families and communities to come together to not only celebrate those infants' lives, but also to increase the understanding into why these tragedies occurred and work at preventing them-Coincidence that we are doing our event in the same month? No, I think that God is helping each step of the way.

Each year families and friends get together to celebrate their baby's life. Some do a balloon launch and there are some cities that hold a "Walk to Remember". I think these are all things that can be done in the future. We just want to help. Below is a great poem that is read at hospitals and events throughout the month of October in honor of little ones lost.

A Walk To Remember, by Kathie Ratoj Mayo

I walk to remember the steps you'll never take.
I carry you with me as I firmly plant my feet.
Our trek started long ago, before my belly swelled.
You were a love that grew like butterfly wings that beat.
Your gentle flutters then became kicks upon which I would dwell.
And I would talk to you, sweet babe, about the world you soon would meet.
The sun always shone upon us then when you were in my womb.
And I was eager to show you the world that would have been your home.
How you'd have loved the sun shining, blue skies without a cloud.
The autumn leaves turning, the snow falling all around.
The flowers in the summer, would have have filled your eyes with smiles.
And the rain that might have fallen would have caused you great surprise.
You would have traveled far with me, holding me by the hand.
And I'd have shown you all I could, more than I can imagine.
You hold my heart tightly now, as though we're holding hands.
How far we've traveled, little one, and my life with you has been sweet.
For I carry you in my heart, as I firmly plant my feet.

Sorry for being so long winded tonight, I had a lot to say and get off of my chest. Thanks for reading and for the prayers. We need them.... God's Blessings.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Tribute to Jordan August 21,2009

This was written by a great aunt of a child who also passed away in the same way that Jordan did. I found it on a website for grieving parents and I made changes to adapt it to fit Jordan because I thought it was so beautiful. The boy was named Jared and SIDS hit their family at the same age as my baby Jordan.

Look beside you Jesus,
there's someone at your side,
a sweet smiling little girl,
who needs you as her guide.

You'll know she's Jordan if her smile could melt a heart of stone,
She needs you,
She has never,
In her short life been alone.

If there's a puppy's soul up there,
Please bring the two together,
For kids and dogs do love to romp,
Through fields of sun and heather.

Please kiss her silky cheek at night,
and give her joy and peace,
The glow she brought our souls and hearts will never ever cease.

"Those we have held in our arms for a little while, will remain in our hearts forever."

One Month has passed.

I can not believe that it has been a month since my little girl left us to be in Heaven. Some days are still better than others. I still cry when I am in the car alone. I have made the investment in a good water proof mascara. Cover Girl seems to hold up the best for anyone who is interested. I listen to KSBJ, our local Christian radio station A LOT these days. I find a lot of comfort in the music. Fortunately for me, work has kept me very busy, and right now busy is good. The negative part is that my job is taking away from family things that I need to take care of. I have several items of dishes and Tupperware to return to my very sweet friends and neighbors who have helped get us through the rough days. I feel bad that it is taking me this long. We really are blessed to be part of such a great neighborhood of people who banded together to do things for us. The prayers have been tremendous. I really have to believe they are the reason that we have been able to have some sense of normalcy in our life. The prayers have really helped. I am still getting cards in the mail and Facebook messages from friends who are still thinking about us. Keep them coming, we still need them.

I really miss her. I think that at times it does get to me. I try not to get short with my family, but it happens. I just get down and think that life is just not fair. I know that this is all part of the grieving process. We learned from a pastor who came over to visit that there are 5 stages of grief. I think at times that I vary between all of these stages throughout the course one single day. Driving in my car alone is not very good for my mood. That is where listening to KSBJ comes in handy. There are days that seem like she was never part of our life. And then I think that I want to make sure that a day doesn't goes by that I do not think about her. It is hard to admit but life does go on even though our loved ones have left us. For me I still have moments when the loss of my mom 6 years ago still seems so hard. Now I just have to believe that she is in Heaven holding her granddaughter. That helps give me strength.

We are still talking about our "stories" in church. I really do not know when the road I am on is going to take the next turn. Even though you are still in the middle of a tragedy, people close to you still have potential life changing things come up. Life does go on around you and sometimes we still do not know why. What is the next chapter in "my" story? I still feel that a big part of me is to be a mom and to raise good Christian children who will have a positive impact on the world. We pray that God will help us with that. Having a third child would be a wonderful blessing to our life. Chase will be a great big brother. He only had a short opportunity to get started in this role.

We have been very busy working on the BBQ Benefit to honor baby Jordan. We have some big plans for this event to help raise money to contribute to SIDS research. It will get bigger as the years go on. We want to do something every year to celebrate her life and to help families be able to avoid this pain. The planning for this year is going well. We are going to have FABULOUS BBQ plates for purchase, along with a washer toss tournament to participate in and a Silent Auction with a lot of great items to bid on. If you are in the Houston area on October 17th, we would welcome any visitors to the event. Randy and I will have name tags on with her picture. So many people have offered their time and money to help this event kick off. We feel very blessed. Pray for a sunny day and lots of visitors.

I promise to followers to post more often. I am searching for articles from SIDS to post as well and hopefully have this site as an informational source for parents too. Thanks for reading and God Bless You.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The following post is copied from an email that a friend of mine that I work with. emailed to me. It really lifted my spirits so I thought I would share it on the blog to help out others. It is a good reminder of how God sees grief and that he is with us. I have saved these words to look back on every time I get sad. Which right now happens at some point every day. We are still taking it one day at a time. Some days are better than others. Monday was a tough day for me. I worked from home to take care of household duties. It was hard. Very hard. I needed to change the sheets in her room and I had a hard time not getting upset. I look around at all of the decorations that we worked so hard to put together. To give her a room fit for a princess. And now she won't be around to grow up in her room. I look at the the cute clothes that I will not get the opportunity to change her into. I miss my little girl.

Chase talked about her tonight. He said I was Jordan's mommy and then talked about the day that the EMS took her to the hospital. He said "those boys took her". Randy tried to explain that she is in Heaven with God. All Chase can understand is that she is gone. It is hard to really comprehend how much he knows and what I am fearful of what questioning him will bring out from his memory. I feel like at times I walk on egg shells around him. I don't want to be upset in front of him, but I don't want him to forget about her either. I just miss her.

It has been a month. I tried to contact the Medical Examiner's office to see what they have found out. I got nothing. They tell me it is still pending and that infant autopsy's take up to 3 months to get results back. The lady I spoke with at the ME's office told me that the babies take longer because of all of the Genetic testing that they do. That did not really make me feel better, but at least I got a hold of someone. We then received a message at the house from someone who gave us a direct phone number to call and check in. I guess we just wait. Time to head to bed. Please continue to read the entry below. If you have lost anyone close in your life, it may help. Thanks for all of the prayers, they are really helping.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4 (NKJ)
Grief is the price we pay for love! To love deeply is to grieve our losses deeply. Henri Nouwen writes: 'We wonder when grief hits hard, "Why did this happen? To remind us of the brevity and fragility of life? To deepen the faith of those who carry on?" It is hard to answer "Yes," when everything seems dark. The important thing to us at that moment is to be relieved of the pain. But when we move through adversity rather than avoid it, we greet it differently. We become willing to let it teach us. Like Joseph, we see how God can use it for some larger end. Ultimately, mourning means facing what wounds us, in the presence of the only One who can heal us!'
David writes: '. . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning' (Psalm 30:5). Morning always comes! Your grief will ease with time. Your willingness to embrace the pain rather than escape it, guarantees that. It is not that you will forget, it is that you will remember it differently; with more gratitude and less grief.
Your tomorrows are not in the hands of your employer, your banker, your stock broker, or even your family. No, they are in God's hands, and He will be there for you when every other support has gone. Has He not always protected, provided for, and comforted you? Times and seasons change, but not 'the God of all comfort.' He has promised never to leave you. So be encouraged, today He will be with you wherever you go!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The weekend.

It is now Sunday night and my family is watching the Dallas Cowboys play in their new stadium. The Houston Texans pulled a win off today so my husband is a happier guy. We have had a very eventful weekend.

Saturday started with me going to work. I met a very sweet lady who is wanting to sell her home so that she can move closer to her son and grandchildren. I felt the need to hug this lady. She reminded me so much of my grandmother, only a little taller. And as she decides to put her home on the market that she has owned for 40 years she begins to tell me stories of her kids growing up. She used to wait to wave to her child's teacher from across the way and when the teacher waved back, she would allow her son to walk over to class. At the end of the day the teacher would wave back and her son would walk back home. That doesn't happen in today'a world. And there are kids and families out there who do not get to celebrate the first day of kindergarten. Unfortunately we are one of those families who will not get to see their daughter achieve that milestone. This sweet lady just made me smile as she was telling me stories. I think that I am lucky to at least have one happy little boy to celebrate life. We miss our little girl, and we pray that if it is God's will, we will be blessed with another one. We are putting our lives in his hands and letting him be the boss.
We ventured up to College Station to cheer on the Texas A&M Aggies play a football game. My nephew is starting for them this year so it was extra special to go to a game at a school where I graduated from and see a younger generation of my family play. My mom in Heaven would be so proud of him. I remember days when I was a kid and she would cheer so loud for the Aggies. Now I know where I get it from. In a lot of ways I am truly my mother's daughter. We had a minor mishap and Chase got separated from us, but some very nice police men found him. My heart sank for a few short minutes. It makes you realize how quick they can get away from you. Chase is on the right and Mitch is on the left. These 2 boys have so much fun together.

We are now in the process of teaching my 2 1/2 year old what his mom and dad's names are. When they asked him he said "mommy" and "daddy". So he is now in training at the house.

We went to church this morning and as usual it seemed like Pastor Mark was speaking directly to me. I do not think that a Sunday goes by that I do not break down in tears when the music starts. It just really gets to me and I miss my little girl so much. I get teary eyed every time. Today's message was about your "story" and how your story changes when tragedy happens and what good comes from that. I sat there with tears in my eyes and thought about my story. Which is now the story of baby Jordan. She was here for such a short time and we are hoping that her "story" can reach tons of people. Pastor Mark talks straight to my heart when he talks about God taking people to heaven. He chuckled but said that maybe God likes that person who passed away better than us. They are the lucky ones, we are here to live our life and struggle daily with good and evil. She is the lucky one? I believe that, but it just tears at my heart when I think of her gone. Randy and I have work to do on our family "story". How will we be able to impact someone else's life for the good? We definitely have work to do. We are hoping to continue to help support SIDS research to help save babies. This cause will remain on our hearts and we want to do something every year to celebrate her little life and raise awareness and money for research. I need to continue to do something to help others. Even if that is continuing this blog so that it stays in the minds of others.

There are days that go by when I do not think about her every hour, there are still times that I feel guilty when she slips from my mind. I know that is not right and not fair on myself. She is in a better place. But I just REALLY, REALLY miss her. It has been 4 long weeks since she went to Heaven. There are times it still feels like just yesterday.

Randy's parents are coming to town for doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we will get to spend the evening as a family. Chase is excited to see his Poppy and Grandma. We just keep taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just Another Day

Today seemed like just another day. There are times that I get so busy and I almost forget about her. That makes me feel sad. I know that I can not think about her all day, every day. There will always be something that jumps out to remind me of her. I had a client that I was showing homes to this afternoon and I saw the cutest room. My immediate thought was "this would be great for Jordan's room" then it hits me. She is not here. She will not get to see how pretty we decorated her room. Randy and I worked so hard to get all of the furniture to fit and the decorations perfect. We were going to use the bedding from when Chase was little to save money and really decorate her room when she got a little older. My mother-in-law bought us the cutest bedding set as a gift. It was pink and green with little red ladybugs. And it was perfect! She never even got to sleep on her lady bug sheets. I miss her SO MUCH!

Now we need to figure out a time to get the room back to a guest room. But I can't right now. I really do not even go in there. Sometimes there is comfort in the glider, but mostly I keep the door closed. I am scared of the emotions that the room will bring up. I can get through most of the day ok, but if I go in there the flood gates open up and I don't want Chase to see his mommy sad. I need to be strong for him. I know it is healthy to cry and get it out, but I prefer to do that in private.

We are having a special BBQ benefit tribute to Baby Jordan in front of the Cy-Fair Coldwell Banker office on Saturday, October 17th, 11 am-3 pm. It will be our opportunity to hopefully raise money to donate to SIDS research in her honor. We are praying for a large turnout. We will have BBQ plates, silent auction, music and friends. We want to do something every year to help keep her memory alive and the donations raised to help find a cause for this horrible problem.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

I wanted to add a link to You Tube for a song that has given me great comfort in the past few weeks. They play it a lot on our local Christian Radio station and our church COF. Sometimes when I feel like I am beginning to fall apart, this songs helps to lift me up. It was one of the songs that we had played at her funeral. Click on the link to hear the song. Blessed Be Your Name

Today was a tough day for me, I had some complications come up at work and I lost some Faith. I remember these same feelings when my mom passed away. The tears just come flowing and the world feels a little tighter around me today. But that all passed when I picked up Chase at his daycare and he came running to me. There is nothing quite like the sound of your kid yelling "MOM" in a happy way with their arms open wide and about to knock you down with their bear hug. That was a great ending to my day.

We are working on getting a Bar-B-Q fund raiser set up to raise donations and awareness for SIDS. I will post more when we get the actual details set up. We will be contributed in her name to SIDS Research to hopefully help them find the source of the problem so that a baby's life can be saved and a family can be spared this heartache that will always be with us.

I pray at night for God to give us strength to get through another day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

3 weeks later..

I find it amazing on a daily basis that life does go on around you. We have 2 choices each day to get up and be part of the world or hold up and hide. Randy and I have chosen the first of these choices. Even though there are mornings that pulling back the covers and staying hidden would feel good at the time, but that is not good for either of us.

I can not believe that it is has been 3 weeks since we lost our little girl. The nightmare is official. I have woken up for 23 mornings and it is still a reality. So I guess acceptance is a necessary step. Every little girl I see starts to bring a tear to my eye. But I am not a blubbering mess so that is a step in the right direction. I keep waiting for everything to come crashing down but it hasn't yet. I need to remove her bassinet out of our room, but I just haven't. Denial is a happy place at times and I just feel comfort in having everything as it was. I am worried that when we move it Chase will be worried. I think I will move it to her room first and then we need to box up her things and move it all to the garage for now.

Chase seems to be doing so well for his 2 1/2 old little mind. He gets her photo album out and flips the pages and calls out what his baby sister is doing in the photo. I wince and wait for him to say something that will make me sad. But he doesn't. Looking at that book makes me cry every time, but for him he is fine. I guess God works in wonderful ways that we will not understand.

There are a lot of things that I still do not understand, and I do not think I ever will. We started in a small group bible study with some of our fellow church members. Good group of people, Randy and I are trying each day to get closer to God. At a time like this you can go either direction and we choose God!

I know in my heart that I will never know why? Not really anyway. But she is in the arms of my mom and I continue each day. I do have a sense of Hope in what God has in store for our family. We talked today in church about God being the boss of our life, and that is my mission every day. We are putting it in his hands to help us get through this.

We went to dinner to celebrate our anniversary. It was nice to get away and have a quiet dinner together. The first thing I wanted to look at was the wine list. We selected our little girls name after the first bottle of wine we drank together. Jordan. Yep, it is on the menu but I do not think that I can ever drink that wine again. It holds a different meaning for me. We have had that name picked out for years and I am so sad that I will not get to hear myself calling out that name to tell her dinner is ready, or that I love her in person. It is all in my prayers to God. I find that is the time I can talk to her. Kind of like I am speaking to her by way of God. I don't know if that is how it works, but I always add in a hello to my mom in Heaven at the end of my prayers. I figure that since she is up there with him, that the window of opportunity is open? Who knows. That works for me so now I end my prayers telling my mom to give her a kiss for me.

I miss my baby girl sooo much! But we just continue to take it day by day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary to The Connell's

Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary. If you look from the outside some may think there is not a lot to celebrate. We looked at today as a way of celebrating that we have each other and a happy little boy to watch grow up. We have to let life continue to happen. A friend sent me a note today telling me "Happy Anniversary" and saying that in a short 4 years we have been through a lot of tough events. The recent death of our little girl being the most traumatic. As hard as it is sometimes to get past another day, I could not imagine how I could get by without my husband. He is my rock and keeps me strong. We spent the evening eating KFC for dinner as a family, I worked late and need to go grocery shopping, so take out it was. Not a very romantic dinner, but I spent it with my boys. We are going to have a dinner out on Saturday when work does not call so early in the morning.

I spent the first part of today dealing with insurance companies. It was a weird morning to be talking to the billing department at the hospital she was born at to make sure they had the right healthcare information to file their claim and then sending over the insurance information to the company who sent us the first bill from the emergency room. You would think that they can do the math and look at the birth date, but both people asked for a phone number where they can call Jordan to ask questions. I reminded them that she was a baby, and is actually no longer with us. One person seemed confused, so I had to use the words "my daughter has passed away" That pretty much messed up my whole day. It set the tone and I had a hard time shaking it.

I open up a card that I received from a friend of mine from grade school back in San Antonio. It brought tears to my eyes to see that someone else has gone through the same thing, and that life does go on. I have not spoken with this friend in years, but we have reacquainted through facebook and she felt compelled to send me a note that she was praying for me. It is really amazing how many lives my little girl has touched in her short 9 week of life here on Earth. I am reading over the bible verses that she sent that helped them get through it. I fell so blessed and can honestly say that I think prayer is working! I have been able to be a functioning adult on most days. The cards,letters and books on grief have been very helpful.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First bill from hospital came today.

The first bill from the hospital came today. I see the date 8/21/09 on it and I get upset. You would think that you should get some sort of grief discount when your baby doesn't make it, like a bereavement package. How can I have bills from her death when I am still dealing with hospital bills from her delivery? Sometimes life just isn't fair. I wouldn't mind paying bills everyday for the rest of my life if it would bring her back. But we all know that is not possible and she is in a better place. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. God doesn't give us challenges that we can not handle. I do find strength in those words.

I have found a great website that offers some help and support to those who have lost someone. Her whole funeral service was about hope and what happens if you lose it. Hope is all we have to live for. I think that if we are fortunate and if it is God's will for us to have another little girl, I would like to name her Hope. The quote below is about the point when you hit rock bottom. I am afraid that I have not gotten there yet, but there have been some better days. From what I have been told about grief there is a day that it all just hits you. I have not had that moment yet. I find comfort every morning when I wake up and know that my sweet baby girl is up in the arms of her Nana Pat. My mom has been there for 6 years and I miss her too! Every day.

The picture I just added to the blog was of my 2 kids the morning that Jordan passed away. They both looked so cute in green with their red hair. I felt compelled to take that photo that morning. Strange, but I guess that was God's work. I called my mom the night before she passed away just to say hi. I had just talked to her the day before that, but I felt the need to call her.

I still ask why...why have I lost the 2 females that are the biggest part of me? I just take it one day at a time.

Thanks to everyone who is reading and following me. It feels good to be able to tell our story. I guess you can call this my on line journal. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for the donations that we have received. Hopefully we can help raise some awareness to keep another mother from having to write the same words as myself. One baby saved.

"When you get to what seems like a hopeless place in your
life, hold on a minute longer. It is right at that point that the
tide is beginning to turn." --Clara Hinton (http://www.silentgrief.com/)

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear." --Psalm 46:1-

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weekend with Family.

The first full week back at work is complete. I tried to stay busy and actually had a great client to work with who helped keep my mind off of things. Chase did well at his new school. I am very fortunate that he is able to be in the same class with his little friend Abby. That really helps even at his age to know someone in the class. These 2 have practically grown up together. And it really helps me when I drop him off to know that there is someone there waiting for him. There were days this week that it still doesn't seem real and that Jordan is not gone and I should be driving to our original babysitter's house. My car wants to keep going too. That was our routine.

Saturday comes and we loaded up the car and headed to San Antonio to see family. My side of the family gets together every Sunday before Labor Day to visit and hang out. We spent the evening with Randy's parents and my Aunt Judy on Saturday. The ladies and I took Chase up to play putt putt golf and tried to avoid the rain. I think that everyone had fun.

It is ironic how a 2 year old can only see themselves at the age they are at now. There are several photos around my in-laws house of Chase when he was a baby. Each one he saw he said "there is baby Jordan" . That gets me teary eyed each time. Trying to explain to him the difference is not worth it. How I wish that we were all here to spend the time together.

On Sunday we travel to my cousin's house just outside of San Antonio and had a great visit. Lots of hugs and prayers for us. I do feel at peace with where my little girl is at. The sadness is really for me, Randy and Chase. He was doing so well with her and he is just drawn to babies. My cousin has a little boy who is 7 months old and Chase immediately wanted to hold him. We sat out back on the lawn and I was holding the baby up so that he could stand and Chase was right there hugging him and trying to help. He is so good with little ones that it makes me cry to know that his opportunity to be a big brother was taken from him. He likes to try to make them laugh. That is part of life that he can not experience at the moment. We will see what the rest of life has in store for us and put it all in God's hands. If things are meant to be, he will help us make it happen.

Today we spent the morning running errands and trying to get caught back up with the yard work. Chase napped and Randy and I did some backyard garden therapy. It felt good to get out and do something with my hands. The sun felt great and for a short time it seemed as if everything was back to normal, I felt the need every once in a while to come in and check on the kids. But there is only one kid at home now. Everyday there are reminders of her here and the experiences that we will not get to share with her.

I got sad and actually felt bad for laughing and enjoying the afternoon with Chase and Randy swimming in the pool. I was thinking about how much fun the 2 of them would have had swimming in the pool together. And should we really be having fun? How long do you grieve and should we feel guilty? We do have a very happy little boy who really has no idea of what he has lost and he deserves to have his parents play with him.

We hold him and tell him everyday how much we love him. The evening finishes with a game of football in the back yard. My sweet family, Randy, Chase and me. I miss my little girl! Why did SIDS have to hit our family and what can we do to help prevent it from tearing up another family's hearts. What are the odds that if we are fortunate to have another precious angel that it would strike again? These are all things that I long to find out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to work

It was time to get back to work and try to start life as a parent who lost a child. What will everyone say? No one really knows how to act around you and I wouldn't either. We are all doing OK and taking it one day at a time. It feels good to be back in the office and around people who care about you. Randy and I both work with a great group of folks and feel blessed.
The hard part is what do I say to someone who knew me pregnant and now asks "How is your little girl?" That is difficult, but all part of going through this cycle of life. How many others have similar pain in their own hearts that I do not even know. When we meet people we do not ask those deep down questions. I would like to know if I can help someone else share their own previous grief and add them to my prayers. We all have internal holes in our hearts and I do not think that the one in mine will ever really go away.

Being back at work feels good, most of the time. I have photos of Jordan up with her sweet little smile and find some comfort in those. I miss her dearly, but if I were to stay at home alone at this point in time, I would be a basket case. Getting back into a normal routine is good for us all. It keeps my mind occupied and I have clients to help.

I listed 2 homes in my neighborhood this week that belong to friends. It is sad to see good friends move away, but it is nice to know that they trust me with one of their largest asset and have confidence in my abilities. Real Estate can really keep you busy. I also have a buyer in town who I have been working with for a year and they have finally sold their home in New Mexico and are ready to buy here in Houston. Co-workers showed them houses while I was dealing with our loss and we finally got the opportunity to meet and tour homes together yesterday. Wrote a contract this evening on a home they love. That is a good feeling. I truly enjoy my job and helping people find their dream homes. There is some real satisfaction in finding them the right home. And for the past 2 days I have been able to keep my mind off of what has happened.

Tonight as I type thoughts of her are coming back and tears hit my cheeks. Chase asked me this evening "Jordan is not here?" Yes I tell him. "Where is she mom?" What a good sentence I should tell him, but it caught me so off guard that I tell him" she is in Heaven" OK was his response. Like that was the most normal place to be. Little kids mind's are amazing at times. Randy said that he talked his ear off today, I guess he finally does have part of his mother in him :)

Time for bed, we are heading to San Antonio to visit family for a reunion tomorrow. More tears I am sure, but it will be good to be around family.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mommy and me! First bottle at the hospital.

Baby Jordan's Memorial Tree

Baby Jordan's Memorial Tree Planted in our back yard. Tree was donated from Randy's office. Chase and Baby Jordan will get to play together and grow together in our back yard for years to come. We are so touched by this generous jesture. Everyone has been so supportive. Thank you so much......

Friday, August 28, 2009

Outpouring of Love

It is Friday evening one week after our nightmare began. All of our Neighbors, Friends, and Family have been so supportive during this challenging time for us all. Family is going to visit with some friends so Chase can go swimming with Haley and Abby. Staying active helps to keep our minds from wondering too much. We miss our baby So Much!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The days after...how do we carry on with life?

The days after the funeral are still a bit of a blur. With all of the planning completed and the families all gone now what do we do? I kind of turned it on auto-pilot to get things accomplished in order and to give my baby girl the best funeral we could. I wanted the songs perfect and everything to go smooth. The attendance is still overwhelming to us and we are so grateful for the outpouring of love that we have been given.

Today was a day to decompress and spend some quality time with Chase. He needs us more than ever at this point and I am pretty sure that we need him even more than we realize. As long as I am around him I feel OK. I can keep the tears controlled and I know that he needs a mom. It still all seems like a really horrible dream. I find myself asking "Is she really gone?"

The day goes by slowly. We play cars and trains. Chase has a new favorite book called " A Pocket for Corduroy" we have read that book a lot today. Our wonderful neighbors bring us dinner tonight so we don't have to worry about it. I am so blessed to be in this subdivision. They have really rallied around to pray for us and help in anyway they can to help us get through this.

Randy and I decide that we need to get out of the house...try to do something fun with Chase so that he will be able to remember a positive experience from this week. That is very hard for us to do, but we load up Thursday morning and head downtown. The Children's museum is our destination. We called our sitter to see if she wanted to join us. This week has to be hard for her too. Her kids are older and are back at school this week so she has too much time to think about what happened. She did not answer so we will ask her to go next time. Chase misses her, she was a second mom to him and part of all he has known. We will definately see when we can get together with her. I miss her too.

This place is pretty cool. Once we get the map and talk to someone who knows what is going on we decide to head upstairs to the baby thru 3 year old room. With Chase 2 1/2 years old we felt that was the best place to start. Shoes come off and the 3 of us head inside the gate. Unfortunately for Chase he is a bit too big for this area. Lots of mats and small slides. The wooden cars are pretty neat and Chase spends all his time jumping back and forth between the car and the truck. "Beep. Beep" "Move cars, GOOOO" says my son. He gets out and uses the pump to pretend to add gas and crawls back into the driver's seat. "GOOOOO" out he comes and looks around..my son is officially bored up here.

The place was pretty crowded with kids of all ages, mom's groups were scattered around and as their kids got to play and the ladies got to catch up on gossip. I feel as if my recent loss is written all over my face. Do they know? Are there mom's in here who went through the same trauma? I never thought about asking that before it happened to me. How many of these mom's have lost a child, am I the only one?

Too many babies up here for me, I am getting a bit choked up and since Chase is bored I agree with Randy that it is time to find something else.

Chase then builds Lego cars and launches them down the track, we also try to build paper airplanes and use their "launcher" to send them up in the air. I guess Randy and I need some more practice on building the plane to begin with. Maybe Chase can teach us that as he gets older. This museum will be a lot of fun as he grows up. We miss Jordan, we see the older girls with their hair in ponytails walking around and realize that we will not see her at that age. We won't get to drop her off for her first day of Kindergarten, or even see her take that first step. I really miss my baby.

We grab a bite to eat at the museum, not so bad prices for not so good food. McDonald's burgers are better than these. Chase has his usual chicken fingers and french fries with plenty of ketchup. Randy and I snacked and were ready to head outside.

Waterworks exhibit was the best part of the day. Chase launched boats and generally had fun splashing in the water. Now that he is soaked, let's head home.

Mom and Dad are tired from the days past events. Better day than I expected, but I am ready to go to bed. May sleep find me quickly and help me stay that way. The night time is when it gets really hard. There is no one around to put up the "I'm OK" front for. Just Randy and I alone in the dark to grieve for our little girl. The bassinet is still here, we really need to move it out.

Good night again baby Jordan, mommy and daddy love you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today is the last day to see our angel...

Well actually we already said good-bye to her in the ER room at the hospital on Friday night. But today is the day that we lay her body to rest and allow her soul to go to heaven. I honestly believe that she is in Heaven with my mom and that they are both watching down over me.

It was a tough morning to wake up to. A very somber day in the Connell household. Both my dad's are here. I put on a fresh pot of coffee and step outside to get a breath of fresh air. Randy's dad bought us a great daily Bible reading book and I figured there was no better day than today to start reading. I find comfort in the words and take a few moments to reflect. I still ask "Why"...why me, why did he take her. I am a good mom and I loved her so much. She was well cared for and loved...I was so excited the day at 22 weeks pregnant that we found out that it was going to be a girl. A little girl...now I can raise her like my mom did me and we can grow up together. I was a soccer player and at the time I was worried about if she wanted to be a dancer or cheerleader...I don't know anything about that, but I can learn. I even fast forwarded in my head to the day that Randy would get to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. And as I think about it now, there are so many milestones of a little girls life that we will not get to go through together. She will never get to say mommy or have her first kiss and her first boyfriend. I won't get to put her hair in pig tails, or get to watch Randy learn how to do this too. WHY..WHY...WHY. Life is just not fair.

We arrived at the church at 10:00, funeral service will begin at 11:00 so this gives us time to grieve on our own with the casket. The sight of it makes me weak in my knees and I begin weeping. Well actually sobbing. My immediate instinct is to run up, open the box and hold her. But I can't. We have already had that moment. We kept it a closed casket, the funeral director said that she would not look like she did, on babies it is really hard and that was not the image I wanted of her. I remember her half cracked smile and those blue eyes shining up at me.

We have some pictures that we want to put up. There will be people coming who have never even seen our little girl, but want to be there for us. We are so blessed by the amount of love sent to us. I wanted it to all be just perfect, her last time with us to be treasured.

The flood gates open up and Randy and I are talking to the friend of ours who will be doing the service. He says a prayer over us and we are in the back where the doors are. The influx of people is just amazing. I was able to see so many comforting faces, ones that I have not seen in a long time. And ones that I see all the time, but knowing they are there to support us feels good. Hugs, Hugs and more hugs. At this time in your life you can never get too many hugs, they help make you strong and know that others are there to lean on. They had 160 chairs (I think) and they had to bring in 4 more rows. Some people even were standing in the back. AMAZING to us the number of people who showed up. All for a 9 week old angel.

We make our way up front and they read the poem "When tomorrow starts without me" I found this online actually and thought it was perfect for her. We had another poem similar when my mom passed away but it was more for a grown up. That one still brings me comfort today and hopefully this one will too. Randy posted the lyrics to 2 of the songs that were played, and both were perfect for the time. The third was "Blessed be the name" another great one.

The message was HOPE, that without this you have nothing. And I believe this to be true. Vince did a great job and I found more comfort than I expected. There is hope in the fact that someday I will be with her to hold her again. Life does go on, even if we don't think it should. The tears flowed and my nephew Mitch kept me filled with clean tissues. His mom kept telling him to take the old ones, but he never did. I don't blame him, he is only 5.

What is Chase doing now, is he playing, sleeping? Does he miss her? I hope he is OK and his daddy and I can take the time to spend with Jordan and her day.

We go through the line again and get the opportunity to thank everyone for coming and I get more hugs.

As we load up in the car to head out to the cemetery Randy makes a comment about being dehydrated from crying so much. Halfway done...now we must put her in her final resting place. Those words sound so final, but I guess it is.

The cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful setting. It is hot outside!

Vince completed the rest of the ceremony, again a wonderful job with words that somehow help me find peace. I look to find where she will be. There is a green mat of astroturf that I assume is where they will bury that very tiny white box. I asked to have 2 roses separate from her flowers. A pink one for her little girl soul and a yellow rose to symbolize my mom. My aunt Judy has always loved yellow roses and my mom used to get them for her. When mom passed away it just started a tradition of bringing a yellow rose to the cemetery for her and Judy in honor of their friendship. So in my own way this was how I memorilize the friendship with her that I won't get to have and to give it to her as a small token from my mom.

Did I mention that it was hot outside. After the final words we just kind of stood around and visited. I placed the flowers on her casket and went to visit. Our sitter was there too and she and I got the chance to hug and talk. We love our sitter like family and I know that she is grieving too. She lost someone very precious to her too in such a short time. Only one word still comes to my mind, WHY. I miss baby Jordan.

We head back to the house for food and visiting. I don't really remember what I ate, I had a few glasses of wine and got to sit with everyone for a little while. It was kind of like at my wedding, you get a small moment to visit because everyone is there to see and comfort you so I tried to spread my time around. I am so thankful for all of the people who made it and the dear friends who came over afterwards. It felt good to be around them all. Chase finally made it home and he was excited. He thought it was a party for him. A house full of people who all want to hug him.

My girlfriend brought her kids over and another group of friends who have children who also were kept by my our sitter brought their twins over so we had a house full of laughing children and the sound was music to my ears. It was the best medicine for everyone.

The last couple left around 9:30 and at that point all I wanted to do was sleep. I was finally exausted and my contacts needed to be tossed. The weight of the situation finally hit me and I could not be strong any longer, it was time to rest.

I really, really miss my little girl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is it only Monday....

As I sit here and write this I have reminders of our little girl all around me. We had to move the swing out of the living room because it was a constant reminder that she was not here to sit in it. That is really the only place that she would take a decent nap for me during the day. Otherwise I would sit and just hold her. She could be totally asleep and almost snoring and as soon as I would lay her down and walk away she would cry. My little girl just REALLY loved to be held. Maybe there was something inside of her that knew we only had a short time on Earth together and needed to get all the holding in that she could. These are the thoughts that jump into my head when I look back.

Today is a quiet day in the Connell house. There are errands to run, and we are keeping the florists in the area in business. My home smells so beautiful! Jordan would love the smell. With family coming and going we all had things that needed to be accomplished. First stop for daddy was to take Chase to get his haircut. It was getting really ragged and we had lots of company coming. At this point we are still pretty sure that Chase should go spend sometime with someone who loves him and play instead of coming to the services tomorrow. I know that Randy and I will be a mess and we need to stay strong for him.

Randy's mom and I go to the funeral home to drop off the items that we want to be buried with Jordan. I know we will not have the opportunity to see them on her, but there is a comfort in knowing that they will be with her and she will not be alone.

1. Clothes...what to put on her. I have a closet full of precious clothes, a lot that she had not even had the chance to wear yet. She was not very happy when you had to change her clothes. Her daddy liked that part and was thinking that he was somehow going to save money in the future because his baby girl didn't like changing clothes...but everyone said she would grow out of that soon enough. Now this one of the many tough decisions I have to face these days. All things that you are not supposed to worry about. Do I put her in a beautiful dress? I have one that is very nice and dressy that she would look great in, but is it to formal? No one will know but me and our family but I decide to go with a onsie that I just bought her that says "Little Sister" and is brown with multi color letters. My OB has a great picture in her office of a little boy and girl with "big brother" and "little sister" t-shirts on. It was very cute and it took me months to find this one. She must wear it...she is a little sister and will always be. Ok so that decision is made.

2. Fuzzy pink blanket. This will help cushion her in softness. Again just something for me, but comforting still.

3. Pink bear. She can't be alone in there and every baby needs a stuffed animal.

4. Paci. Both of my kids are pacifier kids. We had to force this one on her, even at 9 weeks she was already reaching for the thumbs and those you can't take away later when they grow up. The paci can be thrown away. She won't need it really where she is going, but it makes me feel better knowing it is there.

Next stop is clothes shopping for me. Unfortunately I am still not down to my pre-pregnancy size and I needed something nice to wear. This was a hard step. Especially when you are not really in the mood to shop, it seems like you can not find anything. When you are not looking you can always find a ton of things in black for women. But today, there was not a lot of choices.

Errands are done and people are still coming in to see us. It is amazing how many comments and emails we both are getting from Facebook and email accounts. The outpouring of prayer is giving us the strength to continue The prayers and Chase. My sweet little boy. He has no clue as to what is happening. There is a huge loss to him as well and he really doesn't know what he is missing. He won't get to grow up with his sister. She will not get to take his toys and pick on him. I love my little boy and have to be strong for him. I would be a basket case every minute of the day if I didn't have him.

Time for bed, we have a big day tomorrow. Very long night ahead I am sure. The nightmare is still here....this is not a dream.

Good night baby Jordan, Mommy loves you!

Day 3...Sunday trip to the funeral home

Sunday is here....Day 3 and we are still having trouble sleeping. The visions of her on the table in the ER are haunting my thoughts. I thank God that I have such a supportive husband. We have to remain strong together for our family and each other. Chase slept until 6:00 this morning and again he came to finish off his sleep in our bed. He is such a wiggle bug that only one of us gets lucky, he gets sideways on us and one ends up with his head and the other has feet kicking them in the ribs. He is not very easy to sleep with. This morning I was the lucky one, and Randy got up and was reading the bible. We are still trying to grasp what has happened and The Book is our first refuge.

We get dressed and try to get ready for the day, I forgot to pick up waterproof mascara so I just went without any. It is the little things that you don't think about.

Some of the co-workers from my office came by to visit and hug us. We do receive a lot of comfort from hugs. Keep them coming. Uncle Dee came to pick up Chase and bring him over to Vicky and Brent's. They had a fun filled day organized for him so that we could take care of details at the funeral home. We had a 1:00 appointment. Chase's day was going to be a lot better than mommy's.

We got to the funeral home and it was a strange feeling. Introducing ourselves as the family of the deceased. I did this 5 years ago when my mom passed away and it was the same sinking feeling. I start to turn on the auto pilot and go through the motions.

This is not supposed to be happening.

The funeral director was very nice and easy to work with. I think it takes a special person to work with sad people every day. I know that I couldn't do that for a living. They have opportunities to take advantage of people in their time of grief, but not these guys. Very professional and no pressure. Tough decisions...we decided to have the service on Tuesday instead of Monday. Our original thoughts were to just hurry and get it over so that we can try to get back to life. Tuesday was going to be better for everyone involved. It would give people the opportunity to make arrangements to come to the funeral, and with Monday being the first day of school I thought it was too hard of a day for parents and teachers to be able to make it. We wanted as many of our friends and family to be there as possible. We knew we would need their strength that day.

Next trip is out to the cemetery. Our little girl's new resting place will be in the country setting of Tomball. What a beautiful place! Tree's and tons of flowers. There are wind chimes in the trees that families have placed and it is so peaceful. We walked around the "Garden of Innocents" and looked at all the other baby graves. Way too many little lives that did not have a chance to grow. Randy makes a comment "they forgot to put the second date on this one" when looking at a gravestone. "No I said, that little one only lived for one day" Oh my goodness...we decided that we should be thankful for the 9 weeks we were able to have with Baby Jordan. There are parents out there that only got a few hours.

I feel good about the arrangements. Next visit is by our friend and Randy's co-worker Vince. He is a retired pastor and was the first person we thought of to do the service. He was coming over to discuss the details. We talked about Jordan and her life. He brought us the lyrics of the song Home Free. It is a great song and one that we will use at the service. During this process Chase picked up Jordan's photo album. I was waiting for him to have a meltdown. Dear God help me comfort my son, I do not think I can handle this right now. Really not ever, but I may not be able to avoid that. We looked through the book as we have in the past, baby Jordan with mom, having a bottle, first bath. No meltdowns. Thank you Jesus. Each of these moments caught in pictures to cherish forever. I tried not to cry in front of him. I do not want him to be sad.

I fell asleep on the couch while everyone was talking, once Randy woke me up to go to bed. The visions came back and it was hard to rest, My eyes were wide open for a while, nothing interesting on the TV. I think we watched the re-run of the Houston Texans game from the night before. They still lost. Same outcome, different day.

Time to rest and try to get to tomorrow. I would do anything to give back the periods of sleep to have her wake me up every 2 hours to eat. I REALLY miss my baby girl.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 2...Was it a dream?

We were awakened on Saturday morning around 5:30 to Chase crying "Mommy". Randy's parents were still sleeping in the room next to him and I had finally gotten a few hours of shut eye myself. I went in, picked him up and brought him into bed with us. We try not to do this too often so we don't create a habit. But who cares about the rules this morning. Yesterday was a very rough day.

For a split second I thought it was all a dream, until I looked in the empty bassinet in our room and realized that it was not a nightmare at all but a reality. Chase goes back to sleep until 8:30..very unlike him as well but much appreciated by his exhausted mom.

He goes through his routine in the morning telling every one that "Daddy wake up" and "Mommy wake up" and "baby Jordan wake up". We told him that she was in Heaven and not here. His 2 year old mind replied "baby Jordan is at the grocery store" I guess to him that is his idea of Heaven. We didn't correct him, there will be enough time to give him details on Heaven and where his sister is later.

We all got up, turned on the coffee pot and said "now what do we do?" I received a call from Life Gift to ask for donations of any organs that Jordan may have to help someone else. I wasn't sure at first how to answer this question when they called the night before, we had just walked in the door at that time and my little girl was in the back of the Medical Examiner's van. Not a good time to ask that question, so I asked if we could discuss with them in the morning.

Well that call had come and I was quick to respond "yes" she doesn't need them where she is, there are no organs in Heaven. After a very long 30 minute phone interview about where Jordan and I have been in the past 5 years, from every possible country on earth to every possible drug that is available to take we finally completed the interview part. I asked what they were going to take and can I find out if she is able to help someone. The heart valve is what they could try to save to be able to help a little baby or use for research to help save someone in the future. What a great gift to provide? But too much time had passed and the ME office had already started the autopsy. I was disappointed, I am trying to find a way that something good can possibly come from this tragedy.

We talked about funeral homes and cemetery locations....having never been to a funeral in Houston I had no idea where they were at. You never see what you are not looking for and up until this point there was not a need for one of these.

Someone mentioned Klein Funeral homes and we decided that we wanted to have the service at our church. We made the appropriate phone calls and appointments and spent the rest of the day with family. Chase played and was very excited to have both of his grandparents around. My brother and sister in law came over and so did several of our friends. It felt good to be around family and friends who are just like family to us.

The food also started showing up, every instinct when there is a death in a family is to cook. I think it is just part of our human nature. A way to show comfort and help the family not worry about cooking. We are very appreciative for the generosity. We are truly blessed with great friends and family. I will probably post this statement several times because they mean that much to us. The fridge was cleaned out and the new food found a home.

The phone rings and it is the medical examiner's office, they have completed the autopsy and she is free to be picked up by a funeral home. Oh my goodness...this is still not a dream? My baby girl is in a cold morgue at the medical examiner's office and she is all alone. I need to help her. They have no other news to relay. The cause of death is still in pending status.

We tried to get into the funeral home on Saturday but they were busy. A funeral home too busy to meet with you...that was a scary thought to me. I guess that means that there are other people going through the same emotions at the same time as my family is. What a circle of life we live.

We decided that going to Saturday night service at church was the thing to do. We could not have thought of a better place to drown our sorrows than in the house of God. Ironically the service was part of a series of answers to questions from the church members. 2 weeks ago they had a weekend where the congregation could send text messages to the pastor and his staff live during the service with questions that we needed answers to. The response was overwhelming that they are turning in the next weeks of services into Answers sessions to the 900 text messages that were sent. Tonight was "Why do bad things happen to good people?" What a great question to have answered for us at this time. I cried the whole service, but did feel better. It seemed like Lance was talking directly to me.

We made arrangements for the funeral with the church for the following days and went home. I felt some sort of peace, but still very confused and very sad.

Our Worst nightmare...

It was just a regular day. Or so we thought. the morning did not start quite like usual. Our sitter took the morning off so that she could take her youngest to meet the teacher at school. I had a meeting early that morning and Randy was at home with both kids. We traded off at 9:30. I spent an hour hanging out with Jordan and Chase until they could go to the sitter's house.

I took a great photo of Chase holding his baby sister on the couch. I was using a new camera and wanted to test it out before meeting with a client later that afternoon. Sure glad that I took that photo...

The rest of the day went as usual. Until 4:00. I received a call from my sitter that Jordan was not breathing and that the ambulance was taking her to North Cypress Medical Center. I didn't ask any questions, at that point I couldn't, I just knew I had to get to the hospital. I called Randy who was at home and he was on his way too. It seemed like forever until the ambulance would get there. I kept saying "why don't I hear the sirens" "Where is my baby girl"

What we found out was that Jordan had laid down for her afternoon nap. She was a little extra fussy and was not sleeping very well. They went in to check on her 15 minutes after laying her down and she wasn't breathing. The ambulance worked on her for 20 minutes there at the house while Randy and I paced the ER. Once they finally arrived, we watched them work on her for what seemed like an eternity. Timing still is all a blur at this point.

We had a ray of hope for a short period of time, her heart was beating on it's own and they were able to stop chest compressions. They were arranging to have her life flighted to the Children's hospital downtown. But the weather took a turn for the worse and they grounded all flights. It has not rained in Houston for months and now it decides to get bad?? Why is this happening? We prayed so loud that there is no way that God did not hear us.

From that point on we lost all hope. Jordan lost her heartbeat again and they were not able to get her back. I will never forget that image for the rest of my life. They tried so hard but God had other plans.

We had to talk to a sheriff and the medical examiner. Tough questions...did you drink or smoke during your pregnancy? Was she sick? Did she have any congestion...she cried a lot so I don't really know the answer to that one. She just had a very healthy 2 month check up 2 weeks prior. The Doctor said she was doing well. She got her first full round of vaccines and was not happy after that. We spent a whole week holding her all the time, she was extra fussy after the shots. But that too had gotten better. She ate great and was growing well. I was nicknaming her my chunky monkey.

After they stopped CPR I was waiting for them to announce the time of death like they do in the shows on TV, but they didn't. They just all walked out and gave us some quiet time with our little girl. A final farewell from two parents who loved her more than life itself. What do we tell Chase, he is only 2. At that point he was all I could think of. How can I now protect him from this tragedy as well?

How do you say goodbye to a 9 week old? What is there to say? We are supposed to protect them and keep them safe, not say goodbye in a cold ER room.

We were not able to pick her up cause they kept the tubes and all they were using to try to bring her back connected. I held her little hand and told her I loved her. Just like I did every day.

From that point it was still blurry as well. The police officers who were still at the sitter's house finally released Chase to go with friends to eat dinner and take a bath. All the while he really did not know what was going on other than "the boys are taking baby Jordan to the doctor".

My sitter went through her own nightmare, doing CPR on an infant and waiting for the ambulance to get there, along with her own children who had to watch it as well. They are in 5th and 8th grade and this was so hard for them too. They are like our second family and love my kids as if they are their own.

Members from our church came and prayed with us over her and a Father from a nearby church prayed her last rights. At that point I wanted as many prayers over her to make sure she was going to Heaven. Our dearest friends were all there to hold us. It was amazing to feel so much love. I remember asking anyone I saw who had some sort of experience with this how they talked to their kids. I had to find a way to protect Chase.

We got home and the house was full of friends!!! Parents showed up around 11:30 p.m. and I felt like it was an outerbody experience. People were talking about a lot of things and trying to keep us busy and distracted and all I remember is her. Where is she now? Is she alone?

We finally layed down to try to sleep. I think we saw the clock turn 3:30 am and I closed my eyes and all I see is her little body on the ER table. How do I get these visions out of my head. Prayer is all that can get me through this night. I almost crawled in the single bed that my son was sleeping in so I could just hold him.

Good night sweet baby Jordan.