Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

So it's been 2 yrs 1 month since my sweet Vayden passed away and every day I find myself adjusting and understanding what is now normal in my life. It's normal for me to tell people that ask that I have 3 children. It's normal for them to question the 3 when they only see 2 and are told that Vashon is my 1st and Varen in my last. Telling Vayden's story to strangers is like telling them my name. I don't blink, hang my head or get teary eyed anymore. It's also normal for me to try to include Vayden in our daily lives, but it's also getting hard.
Does time heal all wounds?
I think it does. I still have the scars from my loss, those will never go away. I see them everyday, I'm reminded everyday that one of my kids is no longer with me. But sometimes I forget the pain I went through while carrying Vayden, and sometimes I forget the pain I went through in the early months after the loss. I sometimes read over my posts from the past, the rawness of the words I wrote, the feelings I had. Even I am brought to tears, I understand why people say they can't read my blog or when they do all they do is cry. The honesty of those emotions even bring me to tears. I can't even believe I felt those things, I can't even believe I went through that. Then I glance over at Vayden's photo on my shelf and all I can do is hang my head a little low and miss my baby.
It's a catch 22 because I know in my heart that if Vayden were here, Varen would not be here. So I don't know, am I blessed because I've had the pleasure of carrying and giving birth to 3 wonderful beautiful boys ? or Would I have been blessed with just Vashon and Vayden and never having to experience such a great loss? I guess I would say I'm blessed to have been able to have all 3 of my boys even if Vayden was only for a short time.
So when will my broken heart mend? Probably the day I see Vayden again.
25 months without you my sweet love.

Monday, May 23, 2011

In 2 yrs you've touched so many lives

Happy 2nd Heavenly Birthday Vayden. This experience has taught me so much, it has built me into such a different person. Many people tell me how strong I am. How if faced with the same situation they would not be able to get through it like I have. I suppose I would have said the same thing before it happened to me, but I thank them for their kind words. I had no idea what to write about on your 2nd angel day, there is a certain calm I have now that 2 yrs have past. I miss you like crazy, wish you were here, but I know you had a bigger and better purpose. Today I googled your name and was pleasantly surprised to find the entire first page full of links to this blog or My Very Own Angel stuff. I also came across the links of all the media we've done for you. I was shocked at how many times we've done a new segment or article. You will surely never be forgotten, with such a unique name and beautiful face, you were truly too perfect for earth. I gathered all the links to every media article we've done over the last two years and placed them in each of the 7 photos on this post. (click each photo it will take you to the links of each story)

Although I've slowed down the activity of My Very Own Angel, I still have teddy bear donations scheduled for this year and plan to regain activity once my busy life slows down a little and my living children are a bit older. In 2 yrs we've donated over 345 teddy bears to local Oklahoma City Hospitals, sent out over 20 carrying to term comfort packages. There are so many women wearing "I Have My Very Own Angel " t-shirts and the website full of wonderful useful information on carrying to term is a will still be active.

Vayden James Stewart was born May 23,2009 @ Midnight and lived for 3 hrs and 45 min

Vayden has an older brother Vashon Jordan, and now a younger brother Varen Jacob.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vayden & and his Grandfather

Today marks the 23rd month without my sweet baby Vayden. He received a wonderful early 2nd birthday gift by having his only grandpa join him in Heaven.

It is with sadness that I have to tell you all that my father (Marvin James Nolan) has passed away. I'm currently in California visiting my family with the boys, I've been here since early March. When I got here my parents told me that it was a high possibility that my dad had cancer. We were unsure of the stage and primary site at the time. After a few weeks of test it was found last Friday that it was pancreatic cancer that had spread to the colon, omentum and liver. It was in a very severe stage and they gave him 6 months to live.

On Monday he was having severe pain and went to the ER at that visit the 6 month prognosis changed to 2 months. Yesterday peacefully at home among his family my daddy took his last breath and went to sleep.

Many of you may know my father had other pre existing conditions and has been in a wheel chair for the greater part of his adult life. He has been through a lot medically, while he's also lived a great life full of many achievements. He was an amazing daddy and I have always been very close to him. I'm glad I was here with him to enjoy his last times together. I'm also glad that he is no longer in pain. But I do miss him so so very much.

My dad has now had the pleasure of meeting all of his grandchildren from me.

Vashon Jordan

He was there in the delivery room when Vashon was born. He calls him Koo Koo and the rides in his electric wheel chair he calls the Cadillac will be something that Vashon will always remember. Vashon is daddy's first grandchild. His pride and joy. And I am blessed to have many many photos of them together.

Vayden James

Vayden was named to honor my father and to keep the J in our lil complex of having VJS kids. My dad spoke to Vayden while I was pregnant but was unable to come to Oklahoma when he was born. He's still so very special to him and my dad purchased a lil angel statue that had moving wings for Vayden. My dad is also the only person in our family that has had a clear dream about Vayden.

Varen Jacob

Coming to California in March was the first time my dad got to meet Varen and I am so happy that we came when we did. I don't have a billion pictures of dad with Varen but I do have a good amount and this picture above is a photo of Varen giving my dad what he called therapy. He loved this lil guy and I'm so blessed and happy that my dad got to spend some quality time with him.

Vayden, sweety in one month you will be 2 yrs old and you have an amazing grandpa there with you, show him around and let him meet all your lil angel friends and Micheal Jackson too. :)

Take care of him when he has those sad days and show him that window you look out of that shows you how everyone is doing. Watch over everyone but especially your nanny because she's had grampie since she was 13 yrs old and it's going to be hard for her to be without him. I have so many reasons to want to be where you are but i'll wait til it's time and you and grampie are ready for me.

In honor and paying my respects I love you so much daddy and Vayden you are always and will always be my heart. May you both rest in peace.

Happy 23 months Vayden and daddy I love you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slowing down....Passing the torch

It's been 22 months since we said goodbye to our sweet Vayden, and in 22 months so much has changed. After nearly 2 yrs without him and rainbow baby to shine light on my gloomy days I can honestly say I'm alive again. But it only takes a moment to get that feeling and remember that I lost something precious. I often read through my old blog post to relive those raw emotions that I had while carrying to term and after the loss. I'm so glad I blogged those feelings because here we are almost 2 yrs later and I can smile after telling someone that I've lost a child. Not that I'm happy about my loss, but the smile means I'm ok, and can talk about it.

There have been many mothers before me and there are so many after me, most are like myself and after their loss just want to help. My Very Own Angel was my way of helping and in almost 2 yrs I did so much. I feel like I've honored Vayden's memory in an amazing way. But I bite off a little more than I can chew. I'm an Air Force Wife with a toddler and a new baby, when I started MVOA Vashon was able to play alone for a few hours while I worked and I was forgetful of the fact that we may move at a moments notice. My children need me in a way right now that even gives me limited time to blog and although most of my great blog buddies chose blogging over sleep, I'm just not ready to give up the little sleep I get. But more than anything I'm not able to give MVOA the correct amount of attention that it needs, it's like another child. It's my Vayden. I tossed and turned for months crying and begging Vayden to not be upset with me, I wanted him to understand that as much as I love him and miss him daily I needed to be a great mother to his brothers and maybe it was time to pass the torch.

While I'm up at night nursing I read through infant loss blogs from my smart phone and these women are amazing. I see myself in all of them, so ready to give back, hurting but thankful. Many of them have started their own small foundation like MVOA and I must say this is the only situation where the competition is not competition and the more the merrier. We need to get the word out about infant loss, the hard part is when your own life has to continue to grow around 2 yrs later. Varen deserves the same first year that his brothers were given. And MVOA deserves proper attention because a new mother who is carrying to term doesn't want to hear that I took 2 weeks to respond to her email because both my kids and husband were sick.

One day I went upstairs to look at all the things that have accomplished in the 2 yrs since losing Vayden, within minutes I got conformation from Vayden that it was ok to slow down on MVOA . The many newspaper clippings, the new station interviews, the amazing t-shirts, the booklets with his face on them, the bears, the blogs, the links, the speaking engagements that I've done and most of all the Thank You notes and emails, from people that have lost children and even those who have not.

I've made the decision to put on hold selling individual shirts and I will not be creating a new logo or design at the moment. I am going to also hold off sending CTT comfort packages, military life keeps me busy and also moving a lot. I am going to continue to donate teddy bears to local hospitals in Oklahoma City. The website will stay up it's full of wonderful useful information to mothers carrying out fatal pregnancies. And because Vayden will always be my son, when time is more on my side I will come back and be able to give this foundation the much needed attention it deserves without missing the precious moments with my earth family.

I have peace about this and I know that Vayden was proud of me from the day I said I would "carry to term" everything else is just icing on his cake.

Here's to 22 months of being a mom to an angel, Vayden you will always hold a special place in my heart.

p.s. this blog is not going anywhere.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Every Photo Misses You

Vayden today you are 21 months old and I am one very busy mommy. Your brothers keep me very busy, but I think about you all the time and actually get to tell your story more now with Varen being here.

Me and your daddy often talk about how crazy our house would be with all 3 of you, it's a thought that makes us shake our heads in fear of how we would survive with three crazy boys. But it is also a bitter sweet thought, you would have been our last, but I cannot imagine my life without all 3 of you, and I wish you were here.

I miss you in all the pictures the boys take together, I miss being able to introduce my boys in order and say "this is Vashon, Vayden, and Varen" I worked really hard on your names and I feel cheated sometimes. I wish it were easier to explain to people that Varen is not my 2nd child even though to outsiders looking in, I have only two children.

I'm still waiting for that glimpse from Heaven to see what you look like now, but you'll forever be my baby Vayden.

Here are some pictures of your brothers, get a look at the face on Varen in the picture above. (Lol) he's a silly boy.

21 months today sweet Vayden and we miss you everyday, thank you for watching over me, daddy, Vashon and Varen. You are an awesome son and brother.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My We've Come So Far

20 months without you sweet Vayden, I can't believe it's been almost 2yrs. I look at myself, my life, and my marriage and I see how so much has changed. I am a different person, I am still far from perfect but I am better. I have grown up since losing you. It's amazing to see the person I was compared to the person I am today. I thank you for it all, even my crazy germaphobe, and untrustworthy ways. Sure now days almost no one is allowed to babysit your brothers but I guess because of you I'm more aware.

I miss you everyday and wish you were here to join your brothers, I get to tell your story so much more now because people often ask if I want to try a "third" time for a girl. I reply "no this is my third" and then your story is told. You will continue to touch the hearts of so many people. But your family you will live in our hearts forever.

I love you so much Vayden

Happy 20th Heavenly Month baby boy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Testimony

I've always been a believer, but for a long time God sheltered me from the hardships of life and the true downfalls that cause people to question their faith. I was blessed with a wonderful family and tragedy was a word that was rarely used. I was a child who met my great grandparents, I MET my GREAT GRANDPARENTS, most people aren't that blessed. But like many I didn't know how truly blessed I was, like many I took my blessings for granted and like many a relationship with Christ was only necessary when things went wrong. Sure I prayed the same routine daily prayer from my childhood, I knew it so well I could have done it in my sleep.

2009 came and I had high hopes for my future I was pregnant with what I was sure was my baby girl and I had a good life, I imagined myself with my two perfect kids, and being the air force wife that I never wanted to be and then within a moment my life changed. "Your baby has a LOWER URINARY TRACT OBSTRUCTION" is what the Dr. said to me. Words like FATAL, SURGERY, KIDNEYS, FAILED, and DEATH is what I read online. My soon to be daughter was in fact a boy who was fighting a condition that could end his life before it even started.

Of course with my history of faith I began to pray, I prayed every minute of every hour and even now knowing how amazing God is I realize that I was praying for the wrong thing in the wrong way. How dare I spend years putting little or no thought into my prayers and at the sign of trouble my prayers become more detailed and heavy. To me everything was a sign that God was working in our favor, when I found out that the LUTO was not genetic I praised him, but when I went every week to see the progress and to find that his bladder was still enlarged I questioned God.

Intervention went on week by week and finally fetal surgery was an option, and I just knew God had eyes for me, my baby was going to be a miracle God answered my prayers. Fetal surgery failed and once again the praises turned to questions and I couldn't figure out what God was doing. I see now 1 yr later that he was molding me and using Vayden to show me that every baby is a miracle and every day that a woman is blessed to carry a child is a blessing and an answered prayer. So while Vayden was still sick inside me, he was still kicking me to let me know he was there and God has blessed me with another day with him.

The tragic week came in my 5th month of pregnancy when the Dr. phoned me to tell me that Vayden's condition was getting worse and that intervention was going to stop. I questioned God once again, and then questioned my faith for a short moment. Intentionally I took the high road to please those around me, I was a wife and a mother and I had to be strong for my family. But something amazing happened to me one day when God spoke to me and told me that my baby would die, but even in that darkest time God would stand with me. Many times Dr.'s would tell me that my baby would die and every time I refused to hear them, and refused to accept it, but when God spoke those words to me I had peace with his choice, I didn't have understanding, but I did have peace.

I stopped praying for a miracle and started praying for time, minutes, hours, or even days, I just wanted time with my baby. My prayers were granted when sweet Vayden James Stewart was born on May 23,2009 at midnight and stayed with us until 3:45am. 3 hours and 45 min, I felt like the luckiest woman in the world and I knew that God is real.

The dark days began that early morning and God kept his word and stood with me during the rainy days and stormy nights. He worked through me and I was inspired to create My Very Own Angel and bless many other women and families that unfortunately suffer infant loss.

But God wasn't done keeping his promises, and I wasn't done praising him. I read the story of Job daily for inspiration and I looked at myself as a modern day Job, and just as Job did, I was not going to turn my back on God even with the darkest most lonely days coming at me from left and right. I stayed faithful to his word, while others felt the time I had with Vayden was unfair, I praised God for that time.

"God has to prepare you for your promotion" - Pastor Ron McKey

I knew my promotion was coming because life was getting harder and the enemy whispered in my ear daily. I fought his words and continued on my path with Jesus and then I became pregnant again. While I was supposed to be in fear and worry of the life expectancy of my unborn child. I trusted God and before I even knew my official due date, I thanked him for the happy, healthy, whole, beautiful child that he has now blessed me with, that WILL come home with me.

"God Keeps all his promises" - Pastor Ron McKey

2009 was the darkest year for me, and although it was painful, full of tears and sometimes anger, I didn't walk that year alone, God was there with me hurting with me, angry with me and crying with me. I did all of this as preparation for my BIG promotion.

2010 was a wonderful year, with my faith high as a kite I entered into a rainbow pregnancy with little fear or worry, when I would have a dark day I would remind myself that God keeps all his promises and I that I was ready for my promotion. I would even remind God of what he promised me that day he told me that my baby would die. I carried on a pretty uneventful healthy and normal pregnancy and in November I gave birth to a healthy beautiful, whole baby boy, that came home with me.

I will never be able to question if there is a God, because I know there is. I can now honestly say that FAITH is real, because when people ask me how did I make it through a pregnancy after the loss all I say is FAITH.
I call 2010 my testimony year, in that year I learned so much about how good God is.