Monday, August 31, 2009

One Week Ago...

It was only a week ago that we buried our little boy. I think I just realized that a minute ago. At times it seems like longer than a week. It's hard to believe that only 13 days ago he entered our world only for a brief time. It was way to short. I love him! I miss him terribly! I cry daily for the most part, but am doing better than I would have thought. We've had so much support and family lending a helping hand.

My parents left on Tuesday morning after Patrick's funeral. My aunt, Nan, stayed with us through Thursday to help. I was so sad to see her leave for the airport. I can't wait to get to visit with her again. She brings so much comfort to me. Then Friday morning, Sue, Jason's mom came. She is still here and will be leaving on Thursday. She's definitely been keeping the house running, laundry and dishes clean, and spending lots of time outside with the boys. I'm glad she's an outdoors person, although her flowers are probably a lot easier to tend too. Liz also came over this past weekend. I know the boys enjoyed seeing their favorite babysitter. It's a mutual admiration of the boys and her. Ben has a run for his money when he gets to town.

Wednesday, Jason, Jackson, and I went to SMG to visit Patrick. It was the first time I'd been back since the funeral on Monday. I didn't want my first time going back to be on Sunday when I went to church. I brought plenty of kleenex, but didn't need one. I felt completely calm and we talked to Jackson about his brother. I only hope Jackson doesn't think that dirt is named Patrick. We'll have to keep working on that. As we were leaving the garden, Jackson was holding Jason and my hand's. He turned his head to look back and said, "Bye-Bye Patrick, Bye-Bye Patrick." It was sooooo cute. It's like he knew all along about his brother. It was moving. I try to keep Patrick alive in my conversations, thoughts, prayers, blog, whatever I am doing at the time. It was what Fr. Mike said to do at the funeral and I agree. He is alive! More alive now than even we are. Rejoicing in heaven with his other brother or sister. Watching over all of us! Seeing me at Mass each week and praying for us! It does make it somewhat easier but I would still rather have him here.

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Heart

It's been such a whirlwind since Patrick was born. Things I thought I never could do, I've done. My heart is broken, hurting. No pain medicine can make it feel better. I'm trying to recover from surgery, focus on my boys, be supportive for my husband, and grieve the loss of my baby. Sometimes it feels surreal. Did this really happen?

I decided to spend an extra day at the hospital to try and recover more before coming home. I'm so glad I decided this. I didn't come home until Saturday morning. I thought I was ready to come home. Things had been all taken care of, at least I thought. As I'm waiting for my discharge paperwork to be completed, Jason came barging through the door of my room flustered and angry. We find out the hospital made a huge mistake with Patrick and our paperwork we had filled out for the funeral arrangements. Without going into details, all of my preparation ahead of time to make this as easy as possible for when we were in the hospital was all for nothing. The hospital blamed the funeral home and the funeral home blamed the hospital. Needless to say, I was hysterically crying and Jason was not the person who needed to fix this, so we called his parents who came to the rescue. All I can say is that without them, Patrick's funeral would have not happened until next week. I knew I couldn't wait that long, and thankfully we didn't have too. I just told Ray that I needed someone to fight for Jason and I and he said one of the nicest things I've heard in my life, "I'll fight for you, Jason, and Patrick." Patrick needed his Pa to make sure he was taken care of with dignity and respect and he was.

The funeral was postponed by just a few hours. All the people who we had invited were still able to make it. That was important to us. My friends from AECPTA prepared a wonderful lunch for our family and friends prior to the service. So many people took the time to come over and have lunch, pay their respects, and then attend Patrick's funeral. I felt so loved and supported and it gave our families a chance to see how important our friends are to us and how much they love us too.

Patrick's funeral was peaceful. When I was walking up to the garden, all I saw was the hole and I lost it. Hiding behind my sunglasses wasn't enough. I know everyone could hear me sob. I felt like my heart had jumped out of my body. I wanted to jump in the hole with my baby. I thought that I wasn't sure I was actually going to make it. As Jason and I sat down, Fr. Mike went to get Jason a towel as the sweat was pouring off his head. The church bells started to play. I think it was Immaculate Mary playing and was beautiful. I couldn't have planned it better. Fr. Mike then began the service, reading from scripture and also a letter he had. He blessed the hole with holy water, sprinkled rose petals into the ground, and then poured his ashes there. He began to fill the hole with dirt and asked our family and friends to do so if they felt they wanted too. Jason and I walked up and placed a scoop in ourselves. I couldn't even bend down to get the dirt or I would have put in more. Thankfully my brother, Jeff, was there. He came forward and began to fill in the hole. He just kept going and all I can think of was "he's doing this for me". I watched in awe of him as he was going to make sure he did all he could for me. It was my favorite moment of the whole funeral. I'll never forget it as long as I live. Then Jason's parents, Ray and Sue, took a turn. Then my parents, Jack and Cheryl. Lastly, Liz, went and poured in a scoop of dirt before Fr. Mike filled the rest in. After a short prayer, it was over. Several of our family members as well as Jason and I laid white roses on top of his little grave. It was finally over.

The last five months have been full of anxiety and questions. The final steps of this journey were over and now we can start to heal and keep Patrick as a part of our daily lives.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Patrick Steven Banks

We are proud to announce the newest addition to our family. He was welcomed into Jesus's arms on August 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm, weighing 4 lbs. 6 oz. and 16 1/2 inches.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Day Filled With Milestones

Today, Jason and I celebrated our 6th wdding anniersary. On August 16, 2003 I was blessed to marry such a wonderful man. I don't think I was fully aware how much we would be tested over the course of our marriage, much less in 6 short years. Thankfully, we have been a strength and support for one another and that our love has also grown. I remember the priest saying at our wedding, "This is the day that you will love each other the least." I was a bit confused but then realized that it was just the beginning of our lives together and that we would be constantly growing and our love would grow too.

I also hit 34 weeks today. It was exactly 17 weeks ago when we found out the news about our baby. I was thinking that I've been pregnant for as long knowing about our little angel as I was before we found out. I only have 24 days until my c-section. That is not long at all. I'm starting to want to push the date back a week. I don't know if it's because I think that I need more time for a miracle to happen or if it's my way of not wanting to deal with it. I know eventually I have to deliver, but for now, I'll leave everything alone. After my drs appt on the 26th, I'll talk to Dr. S and see what he says.

My parents have been here for the last few days and I'm so thankful for their help this weekend. With Jason working long days, it's always nice to have an extra set of hands (or two). Jackson will be so sad tomorrow when he realizes they aren't going to magically appear out of their room. Brayden has loved playing with my dad, but I know they are tired and need to go back and restup before the baby is born. We'll see them in just a few weeks. I love you Mom and Dad!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome Home Slackney's!

I wanted to say that I'm so excited to have Laura and family back in Texas. I'll get a chance to see them in the morning and can't wait. It'll be a race between Lindsay and I to see who can drop off the boys at MDO first and drive fastest. Thankfully I have a husband who is an Arlington cop and feel I have permission to speed down Green Oaks (at least until I hit Fort Worth). :)

This week has been a great week for the boys. On Tuesday, Mema & Pa (Jason's parents) came down for a visit to see the boys. It was great because Brayden went down for a nap about 20 minutes after they got here, so Jackson had them all to himself. Then we had lunch. After lunch, Jackson went down for a nap. I took Ray & Sue to see the cremains garden where we plan on burying the baby and when we got back, Brayden was up, so he could have them all to himself. It seemed much more peaceful this way.

Today, my parents came in for the weekend. Jason starts another week of Rangers games tomorrow, so it'll be nice to have a helping hand through the weekend. Of course, Jackson doesn't understand why Poppa's tractor isn't here. We're making do with Tonka trucks and building big towers while Brayden is busy showing us all his climbing skills.

Only 4 weeks to go

I had my drs appointment yesterday and just wanted to give a brief update. Nothing new to report as far as they can tell. I didn't have a sono, but the heartbeat was strong at 140 bpm. The nurse actually commented on the fact that she can't believe how strong the heartbeat has been through all of this especially with no amniotic fluid. Our little baby is a fighter and I hope is fighting so he/she can meet us.

I did find out that if I were to go into preterm labor, that my doctor would try to stop the contractions so that I could go full-term. If I go into active labor, then he'd have to deliver via c-section because he doesn't want to risk my uterus rupturing (which I appreciated)! I haven't had many contractions at all lately. Nothing that I can really even pinpoint. I'll go back in 2 weeks for another appointment and sonogram.

For those of you who saw my comment on facebook regarding a story that sounds really similar to mine, here's the link: It is a glimpse of hope that a miracle could happen to us too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just needed to write...

It's only 8:40 pm, but all 3 of my boys are in bed asleep. It's been a long day for everyone. I'm trying to get some last minute stuff to memorialize the baby and before you know it, I'm crying uncontrollably at the computer and saying out loud, "I don't want to do this!" This is the downfall of it being too quiet around here. I'm all done with the dishes, not tired enough to go to bed, and time to think. I guess with all the contractions earlier in the week, I was thinking I would have a baby soon. Now that it's been 3 days since I've had any, I'm starting to think we might make it another 4 1/2 weeks. I even have tears running down my cheek as I type this post.

I look at these other women who have put their scrapbooks together and realize I'm not the only one who has had to go through this, but it just makes my heart break. The other day I finally found a small enough t-shirt for the baby to put on after he/she is born. One in pink and the other blue with a yellow duck. My dear friend Lexy made the baby a blanket that we'll wrap him in and then take home with us. She's made one for both boys and they sleep with them every night. It really is special.

I don't know what else to write, but am just sad. It's been a long few months and with end nearing soon, I'm ready for it to all be over so we can try and move on and enjoy the boys we have been so blessed to have already.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A letter to our angel

My sweet little angel,

It seems like yesterday we found out you would be joining our family in September. I remember the shock on your dad's face as I told him we were pregnant...again. We were excited, but nervous too. That only took us a few moments to get through before we started to plan out how we would rearrange your brother's rooms, put you in the nursery, and squeeze a third carseat in the car.

I remember having to go see Dr. Seligman for my many blood draws as I'm always progesterone deficient and need supplments. I then got the phone call that things were progressing, but not the "textbook" way they were supposed to. After a few days, all that changed and I was given the "you're officially out of the woods" speech. So for a few weeks, we just plugged along with our plans to figure all this out.

Seeing you on the sonogram pictures, your heart beating so perfectly strong and trying to guess if you would be a boy or a girl brought so much excitement too. I still get excited to see you at every sonogram appointment. Last week, you were moving your mouth like you were trying to say something to me. All I could imagine was "I love you!" Your dad and I wish you could know how much we love you already and wish you could stay with us.

Today we took pictures of mommy's belly with you safe inside. It's our way of holding on to the short time we have together. As happy as we were to do it, at lunch we talked about how sad it was too. We just want to see your precious face, kiss you, tell you we love you and share you with our family.

As we get closer to this day, I remind ourselves that we will only be seperated from you for as long as daddy and I live. When we see you again, you'll be in a perfect body, free from imperfections, rejoicing in heaven and ready to greet us when we come to see you. We will only ask that you watch over your brothers as they will only have had the memories we gather to know you.

We'll be meeting some day soon! Keep fighting and prove those doctors wrong. Your prayer warriors are still fighting for a miracle for you and you deserve it!

Mommy & Daddy

A Quick Update

So it's been quite a week so far and it's only Tuesday. Last week, we had decided that Jason was going to have sinus surgery tomorrow. Well, that's now been put on hold.

I had my OB appointment last Wednesday. I've officially hit the 8 month mark. Who would have thought? It went as well as can be expected. The baby weighs about 3 lbs. His abdomen has now started to slow in its growth. They call it Intra Uterine Growth Retardation which is fairly common in abnormal pregnancies. So his head will be bigger than his belly when he's born. They still were not able to tell if it was a boy or girl, but there was one shot that looked like it could be a boy so I still call it "him". I also asked if he thought I would actually make it to September 9th and he said he never expected me to make it this far. He does think that the baby will live for a few hours after birth, that the nursery nurses will do no heroic measures to save the baby and will just hand the baby over to us to spend as much time with him as possible.

On Sunday, I began having really bad contractions, so I called Dr. Seligman and he said he thought they were Braxton Hicks. I've never really had contractions before like this, so I just thought it might be the beginning of preterm labor. There are a few cases where people have shared their story on Potter's Syndrome and all of them delivered between 32-35 weeks. I've continued to have contractions and am just waiting for them to get close enough together to go to the hospital and see if I will deliver early. So needless to say, we have postponed Jason's sinus surgery until after the baby is born and at the end of his paternity leave.

Today, Jason and I went to my friend Carleen's house who has been awesome in offering maternity pictures and will be there at the hospital to take pictures of the baby. I had approached her at one of our PTA meetings to see if she'd be interested, and lucky for me, she said she had been thinking the same thing. She has now joined the non-profit Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization and am so glad she is willing to do this for us. I know the pictures will be beautiful and will give us memories for a lifetime. You should check out her website Thanks again Carleen!