Our Lives Now

December 14, 2011

I haven’t been on here in such a long while but I have been needing to update everyone.  I apologize that it has been so long.  The holiday season has been very tough on my whole being, partly because I miss my Joshua terrible and partly because that is what grief does.  It rears its ugly head and consumes those it targets.  Sometimes it is unrecognizable and when that happens, it is the hardest.

I do have some very exciting news though!  Kelli is 16.5 weeks pregnant and yesterday we found out we are having a girl!  Her name is Samantha Grace Campbell.  It is exciting and both Kelli and I are amazed that we are having another baby.  We have gone to see the specialist again since Joshua had so many issues and so far Samantha is issue free.  Praise God!  I still can’t help but think about Joshua and how it seems unfair that he had to be so “unique” but I am thankful for only good news this pregnancy.  It is very hard to go back to the specialist though as well.  We love the doctor there and she is amazing but there are so many horrid memories that are haunting me in the background that I come out of the place exhausted with a headache.  Our doctor is very ecstatic to give us good news that she gave us hugs and told us to go celebrate hahaha.  So far, Samantha has no signs of Down Syndrome, heart defects and the diaphragm looks to be intact.  Of course over the next 4 or so months, everything will watched closely but so far so good!  It looks like Matthew will actually have a sibling to play with this time around praise God.  Thank you guys for all your continued prayers and support.  I know a lot of people don’t really understand what we go through on a daily basis but continued prayer is always needed.  I’m just glad most people can’t relate to us, and for those of you who can, I am very sorry from the bottom of my heart and I will continue to pray for all those that do understand.  We continue to struggle through this life but God has been good and has given us the strength to manage through life up until this point.    Without Him, I would be utterly lost.

1 Year

March 26, 2011

It has been forever since I sat in front of the computer to type an entry to Joshua’s blog.  Part of it has been the journey myself and my family has been on and part of it has been the battles of emotion, lack of motivation and sense of loss this past year has brought into my life.

It is weird to me to be sitting here typing in my blog because about this time last year, we made the final venture into the hospital in an emergency situation because Joshua had decided to come 10 weeks early.  This was the final event in a very tumultuous pregnancy that had many twists and turns that many of you read about along the way.  The strange part is that right now I am feeling the very raw pain, fear, anguish, anxious feelings that we had in the hospital as we waited for the staff to prepare the operating room in preparation of Joshua’s arrival.  I don’t believe that I explained to the wordpress world the events of Joshua’s birth.  It was just as crazy as the rest of the story is and as I remember, I can’t even believe that the events took place as they did.

At about 1am or so, Kelli got up to use the restroom as is common for a woman later in the pregnancy.  Remember it had only been 2 days since we were discharged from the hospital because Kelli was leaking amniotic fluid and the doctors were concerned that Kelli would go into preterm labor.  The NICU doctors from UNM had already met with us and said that if Joshua did come early that he would not survive.  The poor child already had the odds stacked against him but the final blow would be if he were born early.  When Kelli went to the restroom she saw blood in the toilet and immediately got my attention.  Since blood is never good to see during pregnancy (Kelli bled 2 other times in pregnancy with Joshua), we took a trip down to UNM.  Once we got there, we waited for the doctor on call in labor triage to see her.  We were both scared and nervous what the blood meant this time and when the doctor came in and did an examination, our fears were realized.  The doctor’s eyes grew as he reported to us that Kelli was dialated to 9 cm and that her water bag was on its way out, albeit intact.  This caused a panic with the nurses and doctors as they carted her immediately away with me following to a hospital room in labor and delivery.  We were then told that Joshua was coming and coming very very soon.  Kelli was especially in disbelief because she had no contractions that she could feel and no pain to speak of.  We were both very scared because after all this, we knew that this meant that our Joshua would not survive.  There has been no greater fear in my life than this moment as I held Kelli’s hand and squeezed it trying to reassure her that I was going to be there for her no matter what happened.  Once the doctors and nurses got the OR set up with the NICU team setup in the adjoining room, they made me put scrubs on and they whisked us away to the OR.  There had to have been 15 doctors and nurses in the room with us but they were all very quiet and somber.  This was not the way it should be for a woman who is about to give birth but because no one expecting Joshua to be breathing when he was born.  The only thing I think that kept us going was the faith that God could still perform a miracle and Joshua could come out perfectly healthy.  As Kelli started to push, things went from bad to worse.  Kelli pushed for so long without any progress and she started to bleed a great deal.  The doctor then popped her water and once he did that, he realized that Joshua was still very high in her uterus.  Between that and the blood loss Kelli was suffering, the doctors decided that they had to do a C-Section.  After all that we had already had been through, I couldn’t believe that this was happening as well.   Again, the glimmer of hope was still in the horizon knowing that our God is powerful and could perform a major miracle for us as well as the doctors and nurses to see.  As they extracted Joshua from Kelli, I heard 2 or 3 tiny little squeaks and I was a little encouraged by that.  The nurses immediately got him into the other room with the NICU team and they immediately intubated him but they did not have to resuscitate him which again was very encouraging.

It is so strange to me when I think back to all that happened the days preceding Joshua’s birth, the birth itself and the miracle 16 days that we did have with him.  I have the same racing heart beat and physical pain in my heart.  I have the same, “I have a problem but don’t know what it is and can’t fix it” type feeling.  I have insomnia.  I just can’t believe how fresh the pain is.  A lot has changed in a year but at the same time, I feel that I have shed part of myself in the process.  As I type this late at night, it floods memories of when we were in the midst of the angst of trying to hold on to our son as he was slowly slipping out of our grasp.  The thing that kept us going was the glimmer of hope of knowing that our God can do anything and at any moment he could step in and heal our son.  Even as the nurse removed the breathing tube from Joshua’s mouth, I held fast to this and as he left us from this world, my prayers changed from, “God heal our son,” to, “God thank you for the time you gave us with him and please take care of him.”  In looking at those precious 16 days we had with him, God did perform miracles to give us that time.  We got out of it precious gifts of being able to hold him and teach him love.  These are the things that Kelli and I grasp onto as we try and move forward with our lives.  Every step has been of faith for God to help us keep moving one leg in front of the other.  As we drove away from the hospital on April 11th without our son, a piece of us stayed with him and that piece will never be filled in this life.  But we know that he is with God and does not have to suffer.  He does not have to live this life with the inevitable list of problems and complications that come from all of the birth defects he suffered from.  These again are gifts from God as hard as it is to experience.

People have said all kinds of things to help us along the way and have helped us get our feet somewhat on the ground.  I am so thankful for all the help that we have received.  I don’t think we will ever be able to repay the kindness that has been shone us.   We just hope and pray that God uses Joshua to touch people and that his little 16 day life means something to those who were a part of his life in person and through this blog.  I have had over 16,000 views of my blog and I am grateful of the support of those who have read through this and all your prayers that came from this.  There are lots of tough times ahead for us and we appreciate continued prayers.

Happy birthday Joshua!  Daddy and mommy love you so much and wish you were here to show you!  We miss you and we will always think of you!  I can’t wait to see you some day!  I love you!  Happy 1st Birthday!


August 14, 2010

Where do I even begin… First of all I am very sorry for not letting you guys know how we have been doing. We are still here although these past few months have been very difficult for Kelli and I. We have both been suffering from not only grief but also from a form of PTSD I believe. Kelli has been having some major anxiety off and on of which she takes a concoction to help her through the day. I have also been having anxiety issues which is a complete first for me but I think my issues come from many different areas of my life which I am not free to discuss in a setting such as this. All I know is that we are having to relearn how to live life and find joy in the every day stuff. It is so hard though as we are reminded of Joshua at every turn. That is not a bad thing because we want Joshua to be remembered and a big part of our lives but events that took place were so painful and it is so fresh in our minds. We also have recently purchased his headstone and we expect to receive it in a couple weeks. We also have finally received the pictures that Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep took on the day that Joshua passed away. It brought us right back to the NICU and was so painful to see but the pictures were all amazing and we feel blessed to have them. It made us miss him that much more.

I wish that I could give everyone reassurance that we are doing better and that it is getting easier but we rarely have good days where we aren’t sad. We feel very blessed to have Matthew in our lives because I think that he is a big reason why we are able to keep going. We have seen God working through this and we both feel that He is growing us to do something very special for His kingdom. I can’t wait for the day that God reveals His plan for us.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and all that everyone has done for us. We are still going through very rough times and your support is what we still need. Thanks to all those at cherubs for being there an supporting us as well as the many other families that have lost babies or are in the NICU right now. Pray for all the other families that have been through what we have gone through and for the babies now fighting for their lives. Thank you for all the support you have given us.

Here is a slide show of the photos from joshua’s last day on earth.


May 30, 2010

Grief is my companion.  Sometimes Grief feels like my only companion.  It is a very windy lonely road that takes you on many twists and turns and on either side is the abyss.  At the same time, your balance is off and is much easier to fall into than continue on the path especially when you see no end to the darkness.  It is funny because although we continue in life and everyone is in the hustle and bustle around you, you aren’t there.  You are back in the NICU or back in the hospital room holding Joshua, whispering in his ear that you love him so that he knows more than coldness and pain.  I long for those days to return so that I can continue to show Joshua that I love him and that he wasn’t alone.  At the same time, I am glad that he isn’t because he was in so much pain.  Our prayers were answered for his healing, obviously not in the way we intended, but he is currently in no pain and with our Heavenly Father.  Who better to explain love and to take care of our most beloved son than THE Father.  This fact, although helps in the overall, does not take away the pain and loneliness that his death has caused in our lives.  We are forever marked with the stain of Joshua’s blood in our lives and this will never leave us.  I have never loved so deeply than in the moments that he slipped from Kelli’s arms into the arm of the One and I doubt that I will ever act as selflessly than in that moment.  It feels like my heart was ripped out of my chest and will never be returned.  However, Joshua’s short life has taught me to love those around us much more and to appreciate them, appreciate the gifts we do have.  But this does not repair the hole that is left.  Some people I suppose, just want us to “move on” or “toughen up” and this was the feeling that I got from a couple people especially after the memorial.  I said in my post that day that sometimes it is better to be quiet than to say anything at all and that is still true.  But there are times to say something to acknowledge Joshua.  He is our son and that will never change.  We hang around with this fact all the time and whether people acknowledge him or not, he is there in our hearts and minds.  He would have been 2 months old already.  The fact that I am getting a good night’s sleep right now hurts.  It hurts that we don’t get to see his personality come out in the little things he does.  It hurts with all the reminders around us that our baby should be with us.  It hurts that we are coming up to his due date, June 4, and this will always haunt us because our wedding anniversary is the 5th.  How do you celebrate something when grief and sorrow are lurking near you to steal away any joy that you might have?

This is such a weird experience to be going through.  I know people just don’t understand around you and a lot of people don’t want to (which I don’t blame them).  It is just sad that not many people are willing to walk along side of you because they are most likely afraid of the pain.  One thing I am so tired of in this life is comfortableness.  This single thing kills all life around you.  It takes away drive, emotion, passion, everything that makes us human beings.  I know that the last 2 years of our lives have been a complete rollercoaster.  We went from living in So Cal in a nice apartment to living with family because of the debt we incurred from my parents losing their business (and their home as a result), then to the Q with my cousins who generously took us in, then to my uncle and aunt house here. We have moved 3 times in the last 2 years and moved away from everything we ever knew.  We were stripped of everything we had.  Then came the news we were expecting Joshua.  What a shock to us!  I was very excited about it and knew that I had to get our feet on the ground (which I have failed at miserably since we still are not on our feet after 9 months of being here).  But the one blessing that we were given, we had to give back to the One who provides.  “He gives and He takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”  We know this fully and understand it fully now.  This wipes any type of comfortableness from our heads.  I wish I knew how to use it.

These past 2 weeks have been the roughest since he passed away.  A week from last friday I picked up his death certificate.  Then on the following monday, I got his autopsy report in the mail.  It is hard to read things in the report like, “The body was received clad in a white hat and diaper.  The body is cool to touch.”  This is about our son and it seems so fake.  It hurts so deeply to read this and actually know that this was your son.  There was several findings in the autopsy that definitely had on affect on his death.  Here is the list:

1.  Large Diaphragmatic Hernia on right side
2.  Trisomy 21
3.  Meconium Peritonitis
4.  Respiratory Disease
5.  Bilateral BronchoPneumonia
6.  Atrioventricular Canal Defect
7.  Pulmonary Hypertension
8.  Hepatomegaly (Enlarged Liver)

Joshua was very sick and I am glad we didn’t go down the road of surgery because he would never have survived recovery and even if he did, there would have been other hurdles to overcome.  We both knew the day before he died that he wasn’t strong enough to fight anymore.  His body was simply giving out.  There were other findings in the autopsy report that are more subtle and I am not sure what it means.  I have put in a call to the pathologist who performed the autopsy to find out what some of it actually means.  I think this is one of the steps I need to take in my grieving. I am an information guy and I want it all.

What will tomorrow hold for us?  What will 5 minutes hold for us?  Grief is funny like that.  It sneaks up on you and takes you out like a blindside hit in hockey.  One second you are skating down the ice, the next second you are being taken off the ice in the stretcher.  I guess I just wish someone would ride in the ambulance with me on the way to the hospital.

Thanks for “listening” to me rant.  It just builds up and spills out in the form of this blog.  If you are actually reading this, please stop and pray for us.  My wife has been having bouts of crying that come out uncontrollably while I secretly have a knife in my chest.  I have never had an anxiety attack in my life until last week.  This is new territory for me and I don’t know the way.  I wish there was someone who would walk the road with me who will keep me from harm if that is even possible.

I know that God is there with us and His Word helps us that is for sure.  We are trying to give this to God and see what he would have us do.  I am lost right now and I have no idea what He has in store for me.  I feel like I am blindly going through life right now, not knowing where I am or what I am doing.  Thank you for all the comments on here and I am sorry I haven’t responded.  If you want to write me privately, here is my email: soupyz11 at gmail dot com.


May 16, 2010

Sorry I haven’t written in about 2 weeks.  I should really get on here and share more.  It is insane to me that today marks the fifth week that Joshua has been gone.  I still think about him all the time.  I started work two weeks ago and they have done a GREAT job of keeping me busy that is for sure.  Its funny because no matter how busy I am, he is always right there with me in the back of my mind and sometimes in the front of my mind.  But the world expects me to just move on so I do.  I do it not for the world but for my family.  I feel weird still about being back to work.  I should still be in the hospital fighting for Joshua.  I guess we are past that part of our lives now but it feels like I should still be there.  My mind and heart have not come to terms with the fact that my son is gone and that I don’t have to go back to the hospital.  That is not what I even want.  If I did have to go back to the hospital, it means that Joshua is still here.  Reality sets in and so I have this crazy empty feeling.  Something is missing and that is how I feel.  I get these strange feelings similar to boredom almost every day.  Nothing feels right.  It is almost like I’m a zombie just going through life because I don’t know what else to do.  Mother’s day was last Sunday.  Talk about a tough day.  I did everything that I could to pamper Kelli but it was still very tough.  After church and lunch, we went up to the cemetery to see Joshua’s grave.  We sat in the grass and talked about him for over an hour.  It is so weird to be there because Joshua shouldn’t be.  I mean he was a sick boy and he did pass away but I don’t want him to be there.  I know he is in a much better place than any of us could imagine and I am thankful for that.  He doesn’t have to suffer on this life.  He would have had a life of endless pain and suffering.  He would have been ridiculed for his Down Syndrome.  He would have had continuous doctor appointments and possibly surgeries.  So when I think of his life in that way, I am glad God took him home.

Where I get caught up is that I wish Joshua would have been healthy.  I see the things Matthew is learning and doing, playing with me from the time I get home from work to the time he goes to bed at night.  This is tough because I want my two boys tackling me and wrestling with me.  I want my two boys to play sports with and I want Matthew to be a big brother to Joshua.  All that is not going to happen and that saddens me.

The other thing is that I don’t know what to do with my life anymore.  I want God to show me what he wants for me.  I feel so lost after all this happened.  I know for sure that I am going to get involved with CHERUBS organization and maybe be the state representative for NM since we don’t have one.  I also know that on average, UNM Hospital sees 6-7 cases or so a year of CDH and I want to be able to be there for these families.  I want to get heavily involved with UNM NICU on this and be an additional resource for parents.  I also want to be involved at the Center for Prenatal Development so that I can be a resource to expectant parents.  This is even more necessary so that the parents can prepare by studying CDH and be “ready” for having a child with CDH.  I want to be there for parents because that is exactly what we needed and got through CHERUBS but not locally.  I don’t know when I will be ready for such a task but I am definitely wanting to do this.  It is insane the amount of knowledge I gathered through all my studying and I need to use that for others.

So, right now I am at a cross-roads in my life and in my grieving.  I know that God is completely in control and although Joshua’s passing is horrible and nothing can make that better, God has allowed this to happen for His purposes.  I will never fully understand for what purpose but I also know that God was with us in that hospital room with all of us.  He is here now with Kelli and I as we are walking this path of the grieving parents.  I want to help God’s purpose in letting Joshua pass away and I want to know how.  I also know that I have to be patient because I want to make sure that I am ready for such a task.  I know that I am too weak to handle certain things and so I have to make sure that I will not freak out or go into a deep hole or something because of a reminder.  I am a very driven individual and would like to get the show on the road so to speak but I also have to remember that I want to be strong for the other parents as well.

Anyway, I will be receiving the autopsy report on Joshua in the coming weeks and once I have everything together, I will put up a new post that explains some things that have been very disturbing to me since Joshua’s passing.  Like I said in my last post, I don’t think things would have turned out differently but it is some stuff that just really irks me when I think about it.  This is another reason that I must get involved at the UNM NICU.  I want to push the docs to become the best they can, not for themselves but for the children that are stuck in those little beds doing all the suffering.  It is all about them and sometimes I think that doctors forget that very important fact.  Until next time…

The past week

May 1, 2010

We got back from CO on thursday last week.  We decided to head home a little early because of many different reasons but mainly because Matthew just wasn’t sleeping well and was not acting himself.  It has helped tremendously to be home.  He has been sleeping through the night again and has been a much better boy.  He has a nasty sounding cough and is a little warm today but it is just left overs that won’t let go that he had in CO.

I am heading back to work on Monday.  I have been scared to go back simply because I am not sure how I will handle it.  Also, everything in my life is completely upside down ever since we lost Joshua and I don’t even know what to do or how to do them.  I know I need to pick up the pieces but where do I start and what do I pick up.  Important things before seem meaningless now.  I also know that well before we even knew we were going to have Joshua, we are in a heap of financial troubles.  Hence the reason we moved out of CA to come here and are currently living with my uncle (who has been absolutely awesome).  It is just tough because we were already in a horribly draining situation even before Joshua.  Now that Joshua has come and gone (and left a huge gaping hole in both mine and my wife’s hearts) we are still stuck in this stupid financial situation with no end in sight.  It makes this insane situation that much harder.  It still pains me to think that we didn’t even have any room for Joshua even if he had been able to come home.  All I know is that I want to run away but I know that this is just not possible or right.  I have a responsibility to both Kelli and Matthew and that includes working.  So, even though I am not necessarily ready for work, my responsibilities say to get back so that I can keep them fed and clothed.  Hopefully it will be a welcome distraction and I can again excel at my work.

Emotions over this whole thing are not as crazy as they first were.  Now my mood changes happen daily instead of every 5 stinking minutes.  Some days I do ok but others, just little things like smells will put me back in the NICU.  Most of the time it feels as though all this was just a bad dream or a horrible story someone told me but then I get sent back in the NICU and I get hit with the reality that my son is dead and has been dead longer than he was alive (it will already be 3 weeks tomorrow).  The hardest part lately is watching Kelli break down.  She is so fragile and her heart is so broken that I don’t even know what to do or say.  This is my wife whom she relied on emotionally for the past 5 years of marriage and I know her very well.  But this loss is so hard to explain and understand that I am at a loss for how to comfort her besides just being there and holding her.  Heck, I don’t even know what to say to myself.  I have been in my own head a lot lately and have been trying to run away from it with little distractions such as video games and movies and such.  I realize that it will hit me like a brick wall again somewhere down the line and I really am scared for that day.  When the pain hits, it is so completely brutal that you physically hurt and your arms actually long for Joshua.  It is the weirdest feeling but I can still feel Joshua on my chest just laying there.  I know I will never have that experience again and it is devastating.  I hope my explanations are clear but really it is so much more than these words I write.

Someday soon I am going to put up a whole bunch of information about Joshua’s condition, his xray photos of his chest, the official letter from UNM, the second opinion I received from Cincinnati just recently, and some other stuff.  I have been building a case in my mind of how much UNM gave up on him.  It is becoming more and more evident with the facts that I have been collecting.  There is some information that I haven’t even had the chance to put up here that will kind of shock people because it shocked me and I almost lost it when I found out.  I’m not quite ready to share but I will very soon.  These facts don’t change a thing because Joshua was just a sick boy and in the end, he would never have made it through even the first surgery as it was.  Lets just say that instead of going after UNM, I want to help them see their blunders so as to avoid this in the future.  I want to help turn them into Cincinnati or CHOP or UCSF.  There is no reason why this can’t be.  But for now, I am definitely not ready for any of this.  I am very volatile and I know that if I got even close to UNM that I would probably lose it.  Just the familiar surroundings of work I am a little afraid to go back to.  I was even afraid to go back to my uncle’s house or even NM at all.  I have had some people actually come across as shocked to see me here again.  Don’t get me wrong, the first response to something like this is to run away.  But also I am mature enough to realize that this will not solve any problems and indeed make them worse.

Sorry I have slowed down on my writings.  I need to get this stuff out more often but I guess instead of dealing the feelings, I have been trying to run away.  I don’t know why but sometimes it seems the easiest thing to do at the time.  I don’t even really mean to but it is almost like a natural response.  I became conscious of this last night and hence the reason I am on here now.  Thank you all for the phone calls and comments and gifts.  This has been wonderful to know that there are so many people that are supporting us.  I am not nearly the grumpy grouch that I was earlier.  I was hyper emotional and so people would say stuff and I would get annoyed or offended but also I would realize that they are just trying to help.  That in itself is weird.  This whole thing has been that kind of battle where emotions say one thing but your intellect says another and it is a constant fight to see which one wins over.  It actually takes a lot of will power to overcome some of this.  It is simply insane.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  Thanks for everyone who has supported both Kelli, Matthew and myself.

This last week

April 24, 2010

Man, it is so strange the feelings that one gets when you have lost a baby, a part of yourself.  At times, I feel so guilty for letting him go and taking the machines away.  Other times I feel guilty for leaving him on those machines for so long.  It is a crazy roller coaster.  We decided to go to Colorado to get some much needed R&R and were going to leave on Tuesday of last week.  My grandparents have a very nice house in CO with a huge very nice basement, so we decided that this is where we wanted to go.  I got a phone call from my grandpa on monday night after they got home as they discovered that their basement was flooded while they were out visiting us in NM.  It had happened a couple days after Joshua passed away so the water sat in the carpet for a week before anyone had discovered it.  Needless to say, their basement was trashed and the renovations will take 2-3 weeks to complete.  I guess our plans changed.  Instead my aunt who lives just about 20 minutes from my grandparents decided she would be more than happy to house us for our stay.  So we left on thursday morning and have been in CO ever since.  Matthew has been teething like crazy and last night, I was up half the night rocking him because of his pain.  At least we are being sufficiently distracted to not be dwelling on the fact that our Joshua is gone from us.

Before we left, every little thing was setting me off.  The stupidest things really but nonetheless they got me going.  I opened a package of adhesive remover that we had gotten from the NICU and was cleaning something off and I lost it.  That was the stuff that they used when they were changing his tape and one of the last things we smelled when they removed the tape off his mouth for the final time.  I didn’t realize that this is what I was smelling until I innocently opened a package.  Crazy.

Seeing other babies is super hard or even hearing about them.  It takes my mind right back to Joshua and that void that feels so real.  And of course, babies have been everywhere in front of us just driving the pain deeper.  I am lost without him and don’t know what to do with my life.  It feels like I am aimless and yet I have all these responsibilities.  It is a strange feeling.  I sometimes feel like I am going to explode, I sometimes feel like I am withering away.  I will get hit with opposing emotions all the time and I have no idea how to handle them.  Weird stuff.

Anyway, it has been good to get away from NM and great to see some actual green foliage.  I didn’t realize how much I missed green grass until we left to come here.  That fact kind of makes me laugh.  I thank everyone for all the cards, gifts and especially the prayers throughout this crazy time in our lives.  It almost feels as though all this was just a bad crazy dream except I am reminded that it was reality everyday.  It has already been 13 days that Joshua has been gone.  He was in the NICU for 16 days and I just can’t believe that we are already separated by that much time.  Thanks everyone for listening to me and putting up with my ranting blogs.  Hopefully this stuff will actually benefit someone that is or will be (I’m so so sorry) going through similar events.


April 18, 2010


Broken Heartedness

April 18, 2010

I can’t believe that these events have taken place in our lives.  I can’t believe that we had to let Joshua go.  I can’t believe that we had a memorial service for him.  I especially can’t believe we buried him on friday.  It was a week ago that we said goodbye but it feels like 5 minutes and it feels like a lifetime ago.  People ask how we are but I can’t answer them because I don’t even know.  I feel so sensitive and people say some things that are innocent and I take them the wrong way.  We went to church today and one of the lines of one of the songs was, “He gives and takes away”.  I almost lost it.  I just can’t handle all this.

There are so many emotions that flood without warning.  I sometimes feel like screaming, sometimes like being alone, sometimes like having people around.  It is a minute by minute thing and I don’t know how to handle it.  It is amazing some of the things that people will say in trying to help.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes saying nothing is best.  We miss Joshua so much and everything reminds us like slaps in the face that he is gone.  Even simple things like seeing two little boys that are obviously brothers.  It is crazy.  My soul is in anguish.  Watching my wife hurt so deeply hurts me worse.  She is truly brokenhearted and it kills me to see her like this.  I don’t even know what to say.  I wish that I could take her pain away because seeing her like this is just absolute pain.  How do you get over something like this?  I mean, we lost our flesh and blood.  This isn’t like losing a job or losing a house or something like that.  Being together as a family is all that matters and this is something that will not happen again.  How do you move on?  I am afraid that I am going to have a nervous breakdown soon.  It is just so weird to go back to the way things were before we knew that Joshua was with us.  It is almost like if we do, we don’t love Joshua anymore.

I have so much on my heart and mind that resting is out of the question.  I get sleep but wake up tired and sad.  I hate the fact that we are getting sleep.  That isn’t supposed to happen with a newborn.  They are supposed to keep you up with crying and hunger and poopy diapers.  It just doesn’t feel right after all the doctor appointments and seeing all the ultrasounds and the delivery and NICU, that we don’t have him and can’t hold him.  We weren’t even able to hear him cry.  The only noise that was his was when he was born, he squeaked about 4 or 5 times.  From then on, he was silent.  We would see his face scrunch up and tears in his eyes but no crying.  This is not normal.  I longed to hear him cry, I now long to be sleepless because of his crying.  We will never have that.  It is these little things that we were introduced to with Matthew that we long for now and know that we cannot have.  Our arms feel empty and so does our hearts.

We also know that Joshua wasn’t going to be a “normal” baby.  He had lots of issues and his life was destined for constant pain.  From that perspective (head knowledge), Joshua’s death means no more pain.  He will not have to realize his life of pain and surgeries and suffering.  And for that I am grateful.  It is just so hard when your arms are empty.  I don’t understand why this all had to happen but here we are on the other side of it now.  It all went so quickly and it feels like someone went through my life with a bulldozer.  Here we are, left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart.  Where do we go from here?  Do we continue in the monotonous life that was before Joshua?  In some ways, I look forward to it.  But that means that we don’t have him and I would rather trade in a “comfortable” life to have Joshua grace us.

Sorry for all the rambling.  I don’t expect many to continue to read my blog.  Why would they?  Joshua is gone after all and this blog was created to share his story.  The story of his life is now over.  How do I continue to tell his story after he is gone?  I guess there are some things we have to figure out.  Thank you everyone for your prayers.  Please pray for our healing.  There are some very deep wounds and it is going to take a long time to heal.  Thanks for the support…

Joshua’s Memorial

April 16, 2010

Here is the slideshow that my cousin James did for us.  We gave him the photos and the music and he put it all together.  He did a great job.

Kelli put together a pamphlet for the memorial as well:



The memorial went very well.  Short, sweet and intimate, just like Joshua’s life.  Tomorrow we are burying him at Vista Verde Memorial Park.  This is going to be hard for my wife and I but we will get through it.  We miss our little guy so much already and can’t imagine going forward at this point.  I know that we will and have to for Matthew’s sake but it just seems weird.  He should be with us and yet he is not.  There has been so many hard parts to this journey we have been on.  It was hard to finally tell the nurse that we were ready for them to withdraw the life support.  It was very very hard watching him pass away.  It was very hard to be there as I saw first hand my wife’s heart breaking into a million pieces.  It was hard to be in the room after he passed away because the room just did not feel the same anymore.  It was hard to leave the hospital without him for the last time.  It was hard going to the cemetery and make arrangements.  It was hard receiving the box of items from the NICU.  We saw the casts of Joshua’s hands and feet and how perfect they represented our baby’s feet and hands, I totally lost it.  Maybe this is because he was holding my finger and I was staring at his hand as he slipped from this world to the next.  It was hard to sit in the church and realize that our son is gone and we will never be able to hold him in this life again.  It is hard to believe that we are going to be burying him tomorrow.

This whole thing is so surreal.  You never think you will be the one to be going through this and yet it happens to families every day multiple times a day.  We were just chosen for this and we are proud and feel blessed to be a part of Joshua’s 16 day life.  People ask us how we are doing all the time.  The answer is that we are ultimately heartbroken.  I don’t know when this feeling will go away or if it really ever will but we know that our baby is in the presence of God with no more pain and no more suffering and that is an amazing feeling.  As I told my wife before, we have a little boy here with us that looks for us everyday in the morning and now we have a little boy that is watching for us in heaven.  I can’t wait to be reunited with him.

Thank you all who were able to attend and those that prayed for us and thought about us on this day.  We have another very tough day ahead of us tomorrow so I will ask for continued prayers.  We actually have many more tough days ahead of us and we will need prayers like you wouldn’t believe.  It seems so weird to be on this side of things.  For the past 7 months, we have been seeing Joshua and hearing all the bad news constantly every time we went to the doctor.  We heard that there was only a slim chance of survival even in the womb.  We were told that if he were born early that he would surely die.  We were told that he would not make it out of the delivery alive.  Then he lived 16 days despite what all the doctors said.  His spirit was evident in the entire NICU.  We didn’t know how large of a presence until he passed away.  Not only the room but the entire NICU seemed to be empty.  The whole place changed once it was done.  I can’t explain it but when he died, this massive presence was lifted off.  A few people noticed a flowery or perfumy smell in the room on Joshua the day before and the day of his death.  The smell was no longer there once he passed.  I don’t know what to make of this but we were told this by three different sources.  Strange.  This is the first time that I have been around someone when they passed.  This is the first time that I have been to a graveside ceremony and burial.  I just still can’t believe that it is my son that we are burying.  I wonder when reality will hit and what it will do to me when it does.  Pray for strength.

This was a tough day but we celebrated a very short life.  He made a big impact on my life that’s for sure.  I wonder how many others were touched by this?  Joshua, we will miss you very much.  We love you with all our hearts!!!