Sunday, August 28, 2011

Remembering the Good

With so few memories of Jonah's life it can sometimes be hard to not focus my thoughts to the times of trauma and grief. Sometimes I find myself thinking of holding him in that little NICU room and then, without thought, finding myself fixating on the moments of holding his lifeless body. It's hard not to though; trauma shapes the most vivid of memories. And while I certainly don't wish to loose even the most painful of memories, there is so much joy to be found in focusing on the good.

Lately I've been continually going back to one particular memory that has blessed my understanding of Jonah's purpose on earth so much. It's one I don't think I've really shared with many people.

In the last hour before Jonah's life here ended, I was holding him. Actually, if I remember correctly, I was pretty much hogging him that entire day. Ransom and I had gotten to the hospital at around nine after being finally discharged from UWMC. I was positively giddy to get there because Jonah's shunt surgery had been performed successfully the night before and he was finally going to be allowed to eat. I had been religiously pumping colostrum for him every three hours to make sure I had enough to give him the entire 3oz the nutritionist wanted him to have. So as soon we got to his room and warmed the milk, I took him in my arms and presented the bottle. Honestly, I expected him to latch on right away and go to town on that food! He was two days old and hadn't had anything to eat. But he didn't. He sucked a little here and there but really wasn't that interested. The nurse kept pushing to put a feeding tube down his throat but I wasn't going to give up that quickly. Ransom and I worked together as I held Jonah and the bottle and Ransom manually moved his jaw to force him to swallow. It took for.ev.er. to get that boy to make it through those 3oz but he finally did it. And not 2 seconds later, he threw up the entire feeding! I felt absolutely defeated. I was dreaming of being able to bond with him in the way that a mother and baby do with breast-feeding and not only was I not getting that, but he had thrown up everything I had to offer to him. There was nothing left. Of course the nurse ended up winning with the feeding tube issue because more than anything, I just wanted him to be fed.

We couldn't watch the nurse put in the feeding tube because we couldn't stand to see Jonah uncomfortable so we stepped out. A few minutes later we came back in and I, of course, picked him up again. There was something so magnetic about that little boy. Even the nurses commented on how whenever they passed his bed, they just had to come and at least squeeze his little cheeks. I remember placing him on the pillow on my lap and just staring at him. He was awake but since the feeding tube was in place, a little piece of tape holding it in was causing one of his eyes to open more than the other. I don't remember what I was saying, but I began talking to him. And when he heard my voice he looked back at me. Then, out of nowhere, his precious little hand lifted and swiped at my lips. For a few minutes he did this; sweeping back and forth. I remember how his sweet fingernails were kind of sharp as he explored my chin and mouth but I didn't mind a bit. It was that moment of bonding that I had wanted so badly. With his touches I knew Jonah knew who I was and that he loved me. And I know that he knew how much I loved him.

Months later I realized that this moment with Jonah was the last time I really held "him". His breathing failed very shortly afterwards and every time I held him from that point on, I could tell his spirit was no longer inside his body.

I don't know if it is a common thing for newborns to explore with their hands the faces of those holding them, but I do know that Jonah was well aware of what was about to happen. I know he was giving me that mother-baby bonding moment he knew I needed before he had to leave. And when I look back on those few memories I have with my son, I am so grateful that despite the sad and traumatic ones, I also have, and can always choose to remember, the good.

Of course as soon as we pulled out the camera, he stopped doing it, but these were taken just afterward.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

San Diego

Turns out Ransom and I are quite adventurous! (side note: I seriously just spelt "adventurous" correctly on my first try!) Anyway, we're quite the travelers. Last weekend we look a road trip to San Diego for our last vacation without homework for a while. Actually it was our first vacation (since our honeymoon) that we have taken where our main objective wasn't to see someone. It was super fun to stay in a nice Mariott Hotel in a KING size bed (it's funny how you can seriously get lost in those things!). We got there late thursday night, "slept in" the next morning, which for us means waking up at 8, went out to Denny's for breakfast since room service was $14 for a bowl of cereal and fruit and then headed to SEA WORLD!

SO fun! I hadn't been in like 12 years and I loved it! The dolphins were so beautiful that I actually cried watching them! :) Anyways we didn't wanna carry around the camera so we only got one picture with Ransom's phone:



But the downside was getting BURNT TO A CRISP!




Do you feel sorry for me? I think you should because this was using 35 spf sunscreen!

So the next day we got to visit the San Diego Temple! I've always dreamed of visiting and I was SO glad we got to see it!



(Yeah, I wish I took this picture!)

And then we headed for the BEACH! LOVE the ocean! If I weren't so burnt I could have honestly stayed on the sand for the entire day!


The water wasn't too bad. Not my kind of swimming pool but as soon as Ransom saw the water he turned into a kid!

video

And on Sunday we got to drive up to LA to visit our friends Daniel, Kylie and their newborn daughter Evalyn! It was so fun to see them and so wonderful to hold Evalyn! I kept looking at her and just thinking how lucky we adults are to be given such sweet and precious gifts. They really change our lives for the better and I can't wait to have another in my home someday!

And that was the end of the trip. So worth the money and sunburn!

(and since I know you can't get enough of the Young family happenings, don't you fear; there's a bonus post below!)

So Excited!



Remember this?




Well a week ago I woke up to this:



(and just about peed my pants)


Well now THEY look this this:



!!!!!!

ketchup for Christmas anyone? :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Home Improvement

Remember that show? Well this post has nothing to do with it. Except the home improving part...

If you will remember, I spent this summer moving into a new apartment (by myself). And with that move came some unexpected improvement projects.

The first:
Did you know that dryer power cords come in varieties of three and four prongs? Did you know that I didn't know that and as a result didn't check to make sure the one I bought off craisglist came with the one that fit our outlet? Well story of my life.

Of course the dryer came with a 4-prong power cord and the outlet only fit three.



What's a girl to do?

Thank goodness for the internet and an Ace Hardware store a mile away because I ventured to fix it by my SELF! Well after two tries, one small electrical fire, and a hand burn, my dryer works like a champ!

Project two:
Garden. Here's to hard work and self-reliance. I don't think one planter with tomato seedlings qualifies as a "garden" quite yet, but it's a start.



And #3:
Contact paper in the cabinets. My goodness, the cabinets were NASTY! Seriously, gross. And holy cow it takes for.ev.er. to take up the old and place in the new but it make ALL the difference! Thankfully Ransom was kind enough to lay the 2nd half and it looks great!

Before:


After:


Yay for home improvement! (and hopefuly a lighter load in the near future!)