Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Memories from December 6, 2010

I'm trying to piece my memories together as best as possible. I didn't write in those first days and some parts are very fuzzy. This post is more for me so that some day I can look back and remember. These are my memories from 12/6/10. I don't know many families that got as much time with their babies as we did so I understand that this post may be weird to some, but I don't care because I wouldn't trade any of the time we had with Addison for anything!

The morning of December 6, 2010, Brian and I were sleeping next to each other in side by side hospital beds. I woke up to my nurse Shannon coming in with Addison. She placed her in the infant bed next to mine. She said she had warming blankets on her because she was cold. I had no idea how cold until I touched her. It was a feeling I will never forget and it shocked me. I decided to let her warm up before I tried again. I went to the bathroom (which was quite a production with stitches, gi-normous pads, cooling spray, medicated pads...I think there was even an ice pack down there...sorry for the TMI) oh and that water bottle...wow that part sucked! I think a potty break took 10-15minutes, like nothing I had ever experienced before.

I came out of the bathroom and Brian was awake. He had this look on his face and I knew something was wrong. He just looked at me and said something along the lines of "someone should have told me she was going to be cold". I felt SO bad, I didn't think he would wake up and reach for her. We just kind of sat there in shock of another terrible reality...they kept our baby cold so she wouldn't smell...just typing that makes me sick.

It didn't take long till I couldn't wait anymore and I pulled her close to me trying to warm her with my body heat. I held her little hands until the temperature matched my own. We handed her back and forth and just drank her in as much as we could. A social worker came in and was pretty useless, but did tell us we should do whatever we were thinking with her no matter how weird it sounded because we would regret it later if we didn't. After that we asked for a diaper. Brian had never changed a diaper his entire life and was looking forward to doing it, so he did it. You wouldn't have know he was a newbie, he did it like a pro. Throughout the day my family came back over. We just passed her around like it was a normal visit in the hospital. We all had turns. It was important to me that everyone got their chance with her because I knew it was all we would get. After dinner my dad came back with his hair cutting stuff (that's what he does) Brian got a brush and brushed her sweet silky blond hair and my dad cut it like a proud papa.

Brian and I cut her finger and toe nails and we asked for some more hand print pads so we could get Addison's hand prints and not just footprints. The nurse kept messing up and my dad kept on her until she got it right. The bath the nurse gave her the day before wasn't very good and she still had stuff on her eyes. I asked for a cue tip and water and as gentle as possible cleaned her lids and peaked at her eye...I had to know. I figured they would be blue and I was right. I still find it odd that I did that, but am more grateful than not.

We talked to Brian's parents on the phone and all decided it would be best for them not to spend the enormous amount of money it would take to fly from NC to WA last minute. We KNEW they wanted to be here and loved us, we didn't need them to come to prove that. Looking back we all wish they would have been here, but we made the best decision we could in the time we had. They are amazing parents and grandparents and we are so grateful for them!

A nurse came in to give me an IV, I had developed an infection I needed antibiotics for and they had already removed my IV. She was a new nurse I had never seen before. I have REALLY good veins and it's always easy for staff to find them...this nurse couldn't get it. It took her three times. My dad was about to go ape shit on her. I kept saying it was fine trying to keep everyone calm. I'm not afraid of needles and she wasn't hurting me, it was just annoying. It occurred to me later that she probably wasn't expecting a room full of people passing around a dead baby. No wonder she couldn't concentrate, I'm just glad my dad didn't kill her!

My best friend Sarah and her mom came over to see and hold Addison. After that Brian's brother showed up. He had flown in from CA. Brian was so proud to show his brother his baby and Will was uncomfortable. It was the first time it really occurred to me that what we were doing was weird and that there would be people who didn't get it. It was a sad moment, but an important one. I needed to realize that we wouldn't be getting a positive reaction from everyone. I know it hurt Brian (and still does) that Will didn't hold or touch Addison, but he also understands why he didn't.

Brian's brother and my sister were the last to leave. Brian was on the lap top researching urns while I was right next to him holding Addison. I knew it had to be done, but I made him stop because it was just too much....you want to put my baby in where?!?!? That's when we decided it was time for bed. Will told Alisa it was time to go and the look on her face was panic. I told him he could leave, but Alisa wasn't leaving until she had a chance to say goodbye to Addi in her own time and that NO ONE would rush her.

Will left to help get funeral arrangements taken care of and Alisa had her moment with Addi. She still thanks me for stepping in. Will meant well, he just didn't get it.

When it was time for bed our nurse came and got Addi again, we kissed her goodnight and told her we loved her.

I couldn't sleep that night. Maybe because I knew we would be leaving Addi the next day, maybe because of all the funeral talk....maybe a little of everything! The 6th of December was a day full of Addison and was actually a pretty wonderful day for us. We couldn't have held her more, kissed her or told her how much she was loved anymore than we did. This was the last good day...the 7th was a tough one. More to come tomorrow.


  1. I have to thank you a million more times at least for not letting him take me out of the room yet. I don't count the funeral as the last time I got to see her, and not getting to really say goodbye....I don't even want to think about how that would have felt.

    I'm so incredibly grateful that you and Brian let us all have as much time with Addi as we could. Nothing I haven't told you already, but it's still just as true. I love you!

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  3. What a wonderful day of memories! I know you are writing this for you, but thank you for sharing. Hugs!

  4. Glad you got to have so much time with your sweet girl!!

  5. That's wonderful that you were able to bond with her so much and the same with your family. So many memories that you will always have with her. That is the one thing I wish I would've done more of but was too in shock to think straight.

  6. I find it truly beautiful the ways you loved and honored Addi in the days after her birth.

  7. So touched...keep writing, sister! I feel like we have such a strong sisterhood and I love reading about your daughter.

  8. I'm so glad you were able to spend such special, precious time with Addison.

  9. Thank you for sharing this, Keleen. I think it's wonderful that most of your family was just as happy to love on her as you. I'm so glad you had that time, and mostly on your terms. Xoxo