Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Trip Home

I was able to go home and visit this weekend, unfortunately it was because my mother was in the hospital. She had a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in her lung. This is very serious and we are extremly lucky and blessed that everything has worked out okay. She is still in the hospital today and anxious to go home.
I am extremely grateful that she is okay. Abbie and I were able to travel out to visit her and some of my siblings were able to come. We took the grandkids to see grandma in the hospital but they still have the ban of children in the patient care areas of the hospital due to RSV so, she had to come see us in the lobby. We were really fortunate it was a weekend and hardly anybody was in the hospital because we had the whole waiting area to ourselves. The kids did get a little goofy playing "catch me and give me a hug" with each other. It was a good thing there weren't any pink ladies to "shush" us.
It was fun to see my siblings, I just wish it was under different circumstances. It really makes you realize how much you love your mom. I am SO grateful that she is still here with us. Pulmonary embolisms are really scary and can be fatal. We are so grateful! 
I am so glad for the time I was able to spend with her just talking. I needed that...the kind of discussion you can only have with your mom. Mom, I hope you know how much you mean to me. It really made me realize how much I love you and want you to always know that. I love you mom and are so glad that you are still here. With everything that we have been through lately...I couldn't imagine losing my mom. It made me think again of how fragile life is and that we need to make sure that we make use of the time we are given. I am so glad that you are still here to be my mom because I need you and your advice. I love you and am truly grateful that everything is turning out okay. I hope everyone that reads this will take the time to let their moms know how much they mean to them. Let them know how much you care for them. I know now that I really haven't told my mom enough how much she means to me and I need to let her know that more.
This is my baby brother, that really isn't a baby...but will always be the baby of the family...looking all GQ. Love ya Jordan....I just couldn't resist putting your cute picture on. It was great to see ya and eat a few burgers with ya! Next time...Abbie will out eat you!


The day I got the call about my mom, it was Reed's birthday.  I left the next morning to go home. Reed had to work on his birthday...sad...but, we celebrated when he got home from work! The kids were so excited that they got to stay up late to open presents and eat some cheesecake. I decided to give him a cheesecake instead of baking a cake. Cheesecake is one of his favorite desserts. Isaac had been trying to convince dad all week to want a "Chocolate cake with chocolate icing" for his birthday cake. If you know Reed he would rather have most any flavor rather than chocolate with chocolate icing. So, we got a variety flavored cheesecake and we cut the peices in half so that the kids might go to bed SOMETIME that night. Good thing it was a friday night and they didn't have school the next day.
It was a really crazy weekend for us and we are just glad that everything is turning out okay. Hopefully she'll be able to get out of the hospital soon. Kaden did the scripture in Primary for the first time and I am glad Reed was there to help him. I am so proud of you Kaden! I am so thankful for a wonderful husband that supports me in everything and I hope we made the end of your birthday day great! We love you!  Cassy Final

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good Mail

Amidst all the mail that we get, not all of it is pleasant. We are getting bills from the doctor, the hospital, the anesthesiologist and so on. I am really grateful today for good insurance and that it hasn't been a huge burden on us. I do hate getting them though, you paid how much to have this experience and then don't even get to keep your baby. In a way it is like throwing salt on a wound, you have all these expenses associated with it and your don't get the prize at the end.
We did get some good mail yesterday though. We finally got Jacob's birth certificate in the mail. Even though it says "Utah birth resulting in stillbirth". I got this envelope and was really excited to open it. I actually held it to my chest and sighed with relief. This birth certificate means so much because it's validation. It validates that he was a person. He wasn't just our son but, others recognize he was a person too. I don't even know how many men and women had to fight the legislature to get this certificate but I know it was a momentous day when it happened. This hasn't been possible for a lot of people in the past (I believe legislation finally passed it in 2002) but, I would love to tell each and every person that fought this fight "Thank You!!" Because of what you did, you impacted our lives. So today, I want to share my gratitude for everyone that helped us get this certificate even though at the time this was happening...we didn't know we would need that battle fought. It gives me the hope that someday maybe I could help someone win their fight. So, today I just wanted to share my gratitude that I have been validated in a small but big way and it has helped heal a small part of my heart. It is a continual healing process and yesterday we did get some good mail. 
Cassy Final

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Came!

Isaac put the tooth in a baggie incase the tooth fell off the bunk bed, the tooth fairy would be able to find it!! That would be...tragic!
Just some fun news to share...Isaac lost his first tooth. It has been "wiggly" for a while but, Reed just couldn't convince Isaac that tying the tooth to the dog's collar and then throwing the bumper to get the tooth pulled out, was a good idea. Reed has been trying to get Isaac to do lots of funny things to get his tooth to come out but, Isaac would just laugh and tell him no. It finally came out and Isaac was so excited to put it under his pillow so the tooth fairy could come and give him some money. The tooth fairy was excited..this being the first tooth in this family and had to think long and hard about how much to give. Luckily the tooth fairy was smart enough to realize this wasn't going to be the last tooth and this could get expensive with other siblings to follow. So, the tooth fairy brought a crisp dollar bill with coins to equal another dollar. Isaac was so excited and informed us that the tooth next to it is "wiggly" too and can't wait for it to fall out too! Goodie...I just better inform the tooth fairy to keep change on hand from now on. LOL!!
Cassy Final

Monday, March 15, 2010

An Entire Month

Reed and I have been talking about how this day was coming up in a few days. We are genuinely surprised that an entire month has already passed. It feels as if a lifetime has passed us by and it amazes us how time keeps moving yet doesn't seem to move at all. It definetely seems surreal how everything has happened yet, we both feel like it was yesterday. That probably sounds as confusing as it feels. This first picture is one of the first hugs I received at the hospital. Of course, it's my little huggy bears...Abbie and Kaden. They always knows when I need a hug and are great about giving hugs and kisses. I loved that the kids were themselves and weren't shy about crawling up on the bed to give hugs.
Some people have asked about what the blankets looked like that we gave the children from Jacob and I realized that we posted pictures of the kids with their presents but, not what the blankets looked like. The kids love their blankets and held onto them the entire time they were at the hospital. Because Jacob was born at 4:35 a.m. the children were at the hospital REALLY early in the morning and were good sports about being there. Even after they held Jacob with their blankets, they each kept their blankets close. They were so good at the hospital even though it was early.
These next two pictures are the ones that make me cry. These pictures were taken at the Mortuary right before we closed the casket. We dressed him in his tuxedo and got to hold him for the last time. It was so sacred to be able to hold him one last time. It was so hard to let him go. He has the softest baby brown hair and I just couldn't stand not to touch his hair. It felt like this was just his body and that his spirit wasn't in it anymore. We felt him there with us and we knew he was near. Feeling this made it a little easier yet, saying goodbye was heartaching and tearful. Jacob, you have taught us so much and made us better people but today is a day to remember and ponder. We still greive for you and the loss of you being able to grow up with our family. You are precious to us and we will always remember you. You will always be apart of us. So, today marks one month on our journey to healing and we truly pray that we may find Joy in our Journey.
We love and miss you always!
Our Precious Son, Eternally Ours
Jacob Merrill Tenney
February 15, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Running in Memory of Jacob

We have decided to run in memory of Jacob. It is called "Running with Angels" and it is a 5K run/walk through the gardens at Thanksgiving Point on Saturday June 19, 2010.You can find out more information at http://www.runningwithangels.com/ and find out all the details. This run/walk benefits Angel Watch and Utah Valley Women's Services. Those that don't know but, once we were given this diagnosis our doctors put us in touch with Angel Watch. They have literally been that...angels. They provide greif counseling, preparation information and put you in touch with the wonderful people at nowilaymedowntosleep that took our precious photos. They have been with us through this entire process helping us navigate this tender journey.The people in these organizations provide these services for free to the families of these precious angel chlidren. We want to thank Angel Watch for all they have done and want to do something to honor our son. I hope all of you will join us in running in memory of Jacob and help these extremely phenomenal organization that help make these extremely difficult times a little more bearable. You can register online like Reed and I did but let us know that you are joining us for the run/walk because we want to do something like t-shirts for everyone joining us to honor our son. We hope you can come help us support these great organizations.
All our Love Reed and Cassy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Sunshine at the Park

Yesterday we went to the park to get out for a little bit and enjoy some spring sunshine.
We took some soccer balls and went to the local soccer park so Reed could fly his "park flyer" while the kids got to run around. The kids ended up running around chasing the park flyer. I don't think they realized that the airplane could fly faster than they could ever dream of running but, they didn't seem to care and kept chasing. Keep running....you'll sleep well tonight.
The kids had a great time playing with playdough. I had snapped a few photos and caught a few funny moments. Abbie brought over her "cookies" to show daddy and he played along. Abbie really thought he was going to eat them...such a tease, Dad.
Abbie was using the lid to cut a circle in her playdough but, after several attempts, she resorted to her foot. I guess that's one way to do it. If you can't get the lid to cut a circle, resort to your feet. This just cracked me up.... I love ya girl!!
Kaden kept making funny faces when I was trying to take his picture. Such a Ham!!
The boys had a great time playing with the playdough. Abbie and Kaden had been playing for over an hour before Isaac got home from school. Thanks Annette for sending the playdough for valentine's day...the kids have loved it! It was fun to spend some time doing things as a family yesterday. The kids needed to get out and the spring sunshine sure felt good! It was fun seeing Reed fly his airplane! I can't wait for some warmer weather!
Cassy Final

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life Keeps Moving

I don't know what to say because I have found that life is harder now. I know it probably sound simple but, I am actually proud of myself when I get the dishes done and get a load of laundry done. During the end of the pregnancy I had a really hard time physically. I would get so tired that I would cook dinner, send Reed to work and then have to sit down for an hour to get enough energy to do the dishes. The kids were great help but, they are too young to do the dishes or anything else by themselves. They love to help but definetely too young to do them alone. So, since having the baby I have been feeling better physically. Now, I feel like I am dealing with the emotional. I now don't have the drive to do very much. I now keep the house picked up but, really don't do many other things. I don't have the drive I used to. I know that this is temporary but, it is really hard trying to figure out who you are now that you've had to deal with losing a little part of yourself. I really miss Jacob and find myself teary a lot. To put it simply...I just miss him. He was a part of me and I miss feeling him close. I even miss holding him in my arms. I loved him so much during this whole journey and couldn't wait to meet him. I still love him. A mother's love is something you can't describe and I didn't even understand until we had our very own child. A love that is indescribable. I don't know how to let Jacob go...even if they say this life here is "just a moment." I think people looking from the outside in would say I am doing okay because the house is at least picked up but, looking at who I was before to who I am now, I feel like a different person. I feel changed and that what we have been through will always be a part of us. I feel like life has picked up and moving on and I just want it to stop for a while so I can really deal with what has happened yet, life never slows down and that is the hardest part. Life keeps moving on and we are left to pick up the peices and keep trudging along. I am sorry this is not the most uplifting post but, I wouldn't be honest with myself or anyone reading this if I didn't. Losing someone is really heartbreaking and losing your own child is like losing a part of your future. What would they be like, what would they be when they grew up? You are now missing everything that they would have done and become. The greif comes from the fact that you have to let go of all the dreams you had of them and deal with the fact that you will have to wait to be with them again. It give you new perspective. I have wanted to post how we were doing lately but, it's not exactly easy to write that everything isn't always a bowl of cherries. We are picking up the peices and praying for our hearts to be healed. One of my favorite songs says it perfectly...."When I feel my heart breaking, I never leave your hands." We are truly being watched over during this difficult time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Special Family Day

Our Special Family Day had been decided on for over a week. We had an ultrasound coming up and we wanted the kids to see Jacob on the ultrasound. Isaac had been asking about having a birthday party for Jacob on the day he was born. Knowing what we knew...we steered him away from having the birthday party on that particular day and planned one for the day of the ultrasound. By this time we had met some really amazing people at NowILayMeDownToSleep (professional photographers who donate their time and talent to take photographs of babies for their families) and Julie had asked if we wanted to do a maternity session before the babies birth. We agreed and set it up for the afternoon of the ultrasound day. So, we had the ultrasound in the morning, photos in the afternoon, then birthday party after dinner. The kids and us were very excited and we were looking forward for this day for over a week.
The kids were so excited about seeing their brother on the ultrasound. The Dr. came in and talked to the kids about what each of them wanted to see the most. Isaac wanted to see "the brain, heart, arms and legs." The other kids followed his lead and agreed. So, we started the ultrasound. We looked at his head first then onto his heart. The Dr. kept looking and moving the wand to get a better picture of the heart. But, anyway he kept looking we kept seeing the same thing. No heartbeat. My heart just sank and in an instant everything changed. Our whole world changed. The doctor leans over to me and asks "You know?" I nodded my head to indicate I knew. "Do you still want to do this for the kids?" I nod my head again, Yes. Reed leans around the doctor (he was taking pictures and video of the kids, capturing their excitement) and we lock eyes. Without saying anything we both knew and could read the hurt and disappointment in each other's faces. Our lives were forever changed.
So, the doctor puts on his happy face and shows the kids all the special parts about our baby. Talking with the kids and letting them ask questions and answering everything for us. He shows them all perfect fingers and toes and all the other things about this baby, that is their brother. He finishes the ultrasound and we ask if we could speak to him privately. The kids are ecstatic to get a stack of post-it-notes and new pens and sit with the nurses. The nurses even promises to take them to see the fish down the hall. We privately talk to the doctor about everything we never wanted to have to talk about and leave with a general idea of what we needed to do. We then go pick up the kids, who hadn't even had time to see the fish yet, because their pen and paper were so cool. We walk down the hall and see the fish. It is taking everything we have to keep it together. This day had been planned and looked forward to for so long that Reed and I didn't know if we should just cancel or continue the day because it would be our last time for precious memories as a family. We had been expecting a different outcome. We were expecting something similar after the birth...just not this soon.
We decided to continue with the day. I don't know if everyone would have made the same decision but, we did...and it has been the most precious day filled with memories of our family. Jacob had been part of our lives for 8 month. If we hadn't made the decision like we did I would have lost some of the most tender and treasured moments of my life. Looking back, I am glad to say that through something extremely difficult we made a decision that was best for our family and I will never regret doing something hard to have something I will treasure forever.
The kids were so excited to have pictures taken with Jacob. The mood in that studio was of happiness and excitement. The kids talked about Jacob, gave angel kisses to my baby belly and talked about how much they loved him. At the end of the session, Julie asked if there were anything else we wanted a photo of. I said yes, just one more thing. I wanted a picture of Reed with his arms around me....just holding me. That is how I had felt during the entire day...that Reed was holding me up. Ensuring me that we could do this. He has been such a strength to me...and I needed him. This was the last photo we took. It truly captured the feeling of the day for us as a couple. After this shot...the photographer was crying too...the feeling in that room was something so strong that I can't even describe it. We knew that this was going to be the hardest thing we would ever do but we could do it together.
We finished off the day with the birthday party. We had homemade birthday cake and yummy icecream.
Then the last thing we did was to open the children's gifts from Jacob. We had gotten each of the children their own baby blanket. Each blanket different and special. All hand edged and beautiful.
This blanket was to be their keepsake after holding their brother in their arms. Something they could keep with them forever. A blanket to wrap Jacob in when they had their turn holding him at the hospital. Something tangible to hold onto after he was gone.
This will be a day we will never forget.One of the hardest ever and yet one that I will treasure forever.
Cassy Final
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