Sunday, April 6, 2014

Eggshells in my mind

I cried violently today.  I opened the fridge and saw my leftover omelet from Denny's.  Without even thinking I almost told Jake he could feed it to Mitchell.  Then I started remembering how much Mitchell would have loved that omelet.  In order to survive I've had to hide a lot of my memories from myself.  It's like walking around on eggshells in my own mind.  Seriously I feel like I don't have a safe place to be.  I'm not sure which memories will paralyze me and make me think I cannot continue even one more minute, and which memories give me that comforting nostalgic longing for my little boy.  BUT once the tears come, then I want to embrace them.  I want to hurt and be mad, and hate everything that exists without Mitchell.  It's the weirdest pain, that's so hard even for me to understand.  Mitchy has now been gone for 6 almost 7 months.  I guess I want to record that it does get easier, that I am doing better, but I don't know how.  It hurts a lot.  I feel so blessed to have people who love me and care about me.  They have probably made all the difference.

Friday, January 31, 2014

I am printing our family blog after the passing of our sweet, precious son Mitchell.  Our hearts ache everyday with the emptiness our lives feel.  Keeping him here is the one thing I would have given my own life for.  I am thankful to the nth degree for my other children.  For every moment we had with Mitchell is what keeps our hearts beating. I Love being a mom... but oh how it breaks my heart.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Corbin's birth story

We would like to welcome CORBIN WILLIE GEYER!  Born November 15, 2013 @ 4:37 p.m.  He has been an exciting addition to our family and we are so excited he is finally here! 

I have been induced with all four of my babies.  This time I was positive I wanted to wait and not be induced.  However, after losing Mitchell, my anxiety doubled for the birth of this baby.  I couldn’t go to the doctor with out fearing I might have a nervous break down.  I didn’t want to have to explain the death of my son to every nurse, doctor, midwife etc.  As the time grew nearer I kept thinking maybe I should be induced.  I needed to have control over something. I wanted to feel that everything would be okay.  It also meant I would have time with just Jake and I at the hospital over the weekend, and the following week the kids would be in school be getting a week off for Thanksgiving.  I would have time alone to bond and adjust to the baby before the whole family would be around.  Jake and I finally agreed that induction was the right thing for us. 

We needed to be at the Fresno Community hospital 45 minutes away by 7 a.m.  We got up Friday morning and started the drive.   We are so blessed to have our nanny Holly, who was at our house to take care of Reesa and Jansen and get them off to school.  I knew this day was going to be emotional.  Having a baby is a very spiritual experience, but having just lost my third child, 2 months earlier I was still in the very early stages of grief… not knowing how to deal with or explain so many of the new emotions my heart was experiencing.  I remember being so scared to have this baby thinking, “how am I ever going to take care of a baby?  I can barely take care of myself!”  When I wanted to cry, I could cry.  When I wanted to sit and mourn, I could.  A baby changes all of that and you can no longer put yourself first.  I did NOT think I was capable to do that once again so shortly after losing Mitchell.  Honestly I didn’t think I wanted to either. 

We got to the hospital and they admitted me at 8.  I then got an IV and started the Pitocin at 9:10.  We had a wonderful nurse.  She was an older lady who was very kind and sensitive to my emotions.  She told me to cry whenever I needed and that she would just cry along with me.  I didn’t have to be embarrassed (because quite frankly I was embarrassed that I couldn’t control my emotions and that EVERYTHING made me cry!)  I was depressed and sad to be going through labor and I remember asking Jake if he even though I could do this.  I didn’t think I had enough strength to push a baby out.  Everything felt overwhelming and exhausting, and I was scared.  After crying through 2 contractions I decided I needed the epidural and got it at 10:40.  The anesthesiologist did an AWESOME job!  From start to finish it took him maybe 5 minutes.  He was so quick and efficient.  He gave me a spinal block to relieve the pain immediately, then the epidural to help in 20 minutes.  He was very attentive to my needs, and checked on me often.   I was so impressed with him.  This changed my view entirely.  With most of the pain being gone, I felt hope.  I remember thinking this is exactly what I needed to be able to greet this tiny spirit waiting to meet us. 

My doctor came in and told us he had a hysterectomy and would be back in 45 min to break my water.  He didn’t want to do it before incase my baby came fast and he wouldn’t be available.  I was a tiny bit annoyed.  I wanted to get er done!!!  Instead I laid there waiting.  BUT I couldn’t have silence.  I would quickly get depressed in the quiet moments where my mind could drift back to Mitchell.  Poor Jake.  He must have felt like a dancing monkey as I constantly asked him to tell me something… ANYTHING!  Finally he ran out of things to say and we put on a movie.
At 2 p.m. Dr. Thomas returned and broke my water. 

The nurse checked me at 4 :10 and I was dilated to an 8.  Less than 10 minutes later I told Jake I thought it was time to push… but was so nervous I was wrong.  It was the same pressure I had felt 3 other times, but of course you are always so worried about crying wolf.  Jake told me this is exactly what I had said and done with all of our other kids and he ran to get the nurse.  I could hear our nurse ask to have the dr paged, assistants ready to come, and warm towels brought in.  I kept thinking don’t you want to check me first as I was going to be totally humiliated when it might be another 2 hours before the baby comes…  I was completely dilated at 4:25. 

Dr. Thomas arrived and I pushed for 3 contractions.  They were hard painful ones that I cried through.  In fact I felt more like I screamed through them, but the nurse assured me she had seen much worse, and didn’t think I screamed at all…  Corbin was delivered at 4:37 p.m.

After he was born everything changed for me!  I knew I would love my baby, but I had forgotten how strong that bond would be.  Corbin has brought peace and love and comfort that I didn't even know was possible.  He is such a good baby.  I love him so much.  Jake was so strong for me the entire labor.  I cried and cried to him, and he loved and supported me.  I think that after Corbin was born, and I no longer needed him it was time for Jake to break down.  He started crying, well more like wailing and the nurse had everyone leave so we could just be together.  She later told us that she had to explain to others in the hall and rooms around us why that dad was so sad... and that our new baby was doing fine.  Corbin's birth was an amazing experience for us, but it was so mixed with our Mitchell emotions it was hard to separate them.  I think Mitchell and Corbin have a great relationship.  The veil is very thin for those newborn babies, and I often feel that Mitchell is present and maybe that is why Corbin is so peaceful and content.  I love and miss Mitchell terribly, and I am so glad to have a new baby here to love and hold.  I just wish I had two babies...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

3 months today...

It's 3 months today that Mitchell left us and returned to Heaven.  Oh how my heart aches.  I miss that cute little snuggling, bucking baby of mine!  He needed me so much I instantly felt connected to this little angel of mine.  I didn't know he would leave.  I never believed it would happen.  Even when it did I didn't understand the hurt and pain I feel.  I had tried to imagine it before.  I've cried like it was the air I was trying to breathe.  I've denied it over and over.  I can't imagine what it would be like to have both Mitchell and Corbin to take care of, to see two little babies in "feeted" pajamas on the living room floor.  One day.... just wait 60 years Kellie. You've had to wait for a vacation, a birthday, a graduation, some exciting event before... this is just the same thing.  ONLY IT'S SO MUCH LONGER!!!!!!

There is so much I've been wanting to say, to write about but I been worried I won't do justice the things that I'm feeling, so instead I've done nothing.  I want to write about the miraculous birth of our new baby Corbin Willie.  The amazing wonderful blessing that he has brought me.  The peace and comfort he's bestowed on our family.  Today I decided to spend 30 minutes and write what I could and instead clicked one of my best friend's blog and found a post she had written about Mitchell.  So in Mitchell's honor I am posting it here too.  Love you Mitchell.  Love you Jennifer for taking the time to find all these pictures of Mitchell and do what I want to do every second and write about my precious baby Mitchell...

Jennifer Kendall, posted November 20, 2013
I have been wanting to put this post up for the past 2 months, but have had a hard time knowing what to say or how to put my emotions into words. 
This is Mitchy. I love Mitchy. He has been like a nephew to me as I love his mom and dad as if they are my brother and sister. I love all of their kids. They are all my family.  
Mitchy spent a lot of his childhood in doctors offices and in hospitals.  
On the morning of September 12th, I received a text from Kellie saying that there were paramedics at her house and Mitchy hadn't been breathing for over 45 minutes. She said that he wasn't going to "make it".  I was driving my kids to school when I got that text- I had Gloria read it to me. I was so shocked because recently Mitchy had seemed to be doing better.  I immediately started crying and thinking that it couldn't be true. I turned into the next driveway I saw and told my kids what the text said. They all started crying as well. We said a prayer for Mitchy. I then asked the kids if they wanted to go to school, they of course, said no. I drove straight home and left Gloria in charge. I called Travis, who was at work and asked if he had heard from Jake. He said no. I told him about the text. He immediately told the staff to shut down the office for the day and to cancel all of his and Jakes patients. He drove up to Jake and Kellie's house as I started driving to the hospital. Travis passed the ambulance as it left their house with Jake and Kellie and Mitchy inside.  Soon after, the ambulance whizzed by me with it's lights and siren blaring. I pulled over to wait for Travis, we both drove up to the hospital together.  We got to the hospital and immediately ran to Jake and Kellie (the nursing staff kindly watched Annie for us so we could be with them). There were a lot of tears and anxiousness. It was very emotional to see Mitchy so lifeless, laying on a hospital table, surrounded by so many doctors. He had many tubes hooked up to him, but this gave me hope.  False hope. I thought that if he had all these tubes and doctors working on him then something must have changed and he was going to be all right. I really believed that he would be all right. That we would go home and say our prayers and thank Heavenly Father that our little Mitchy was safe and healthy. But that is not what happened. Instead, the doctors gave us a lot of unknowns and said Mitchy needed an MRI (I think) to see what was going on inside his head. They were moving him to ICU and we would know more later. At this point I was sure it was going to be ok. Well, pretty sure. But I was mostly just thinking that he would pull through this, Mitchy ALWAYS pulls through! After sitting in the waiting room for a bit while they moved Mitchy, his doctor came into the room to talk with Jake and Kellie. He basically said that it wasn't good news. That Mitchy would NOT pull through. Oh wow!!! It was like a punch in the gut. There was a lot of talking and explaining going on, but I didn't hear any of it. I was still in shock.  
I will forever remember that day. I will remember seeing Mitchy in his moms arms for the last time. I will remember the way he looked, so peaceful and still, so much like him when he was asleep. I will remember how he was finally free of pain. What a wonderful thing for him to finally be free of pain. I will remember the tears and the heart ache, and the love that filled that room. I will remember the look on his mom and dads face- you could feel their hearts breaking just by looking at them. I will remember the prayer that his dad gave as we all gathered around Mitchy surrounding him with our love and telling him of our love. I will remember, forever, seeing him take his last breath in his moms arms.  I will forever remember Mitchy. 
He touched our lives. He touched everyone's lives that he met. He was so close to his father in heaven and he carried that spirit with him. You could not know Mitchy and not love him. He was a special guy. I know he was not my son, or even really my family, but I love him as dearly as I love any of my family. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him- whether I am passing by his school, or sitting in church imagining him sitting in Relief Society with us, or when Kellie comes over and I suddenly think I need to go help her unload Mitch from the car, or when I go to her house and I don't see Mitch on the living room carpet- whenever we have leftover food I think of how much Mitchy would appreciate them. I think of him often and am grateful to have had the opportunity to know and love him and to be a small part of his life. 
This has not been easy on his parents and I wish I knew how to help them. How to love them. I have not suffered the loss of a child and I know that every thing that I say and do is wrong. But I don't know what is right. I love them dearly and know that I am horrible at comforting people. As much as I love Mitchy, I know that it pales horribly in comparison to the two people who dedicated their lives to making his life the best it could be. The two people who served that little man day and night selflessly for four tiring and too brief years. How can I even try to comfort them?  How can I ever understand, even a little, how deeply they are hurting and missing him?  I know that I can't help them. I haven't read books on helping people grieve. I haven't been a good friend, and I don't know how to be a good friend. But I do love them and hurt for them. 
We miss you, Mitchy.

Mighty Mitch

Jennifer Kendall, posted November 20, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Has it really been 2 weeks?

It's been two weeks since Mitchell passed away.  I have so many emotions and thoughts running through my head constantly I'm hoping by writing this down my brain can slow down for a few moments and give me some rest.  I can see my kids two other kids are changing and learning slowly as they are dealing with completely new parents.  Ones who are around more often, can spend more time with them... have such low energy they move like robots, cry so often they don't even notice half the time.

YESTERDAY.  Jake had the day off so we drove the kids to school together.  Late.  Reesa ran off to class so we walked Jansen to his class where the door was locked and the lights were off.  Another kindergarten class was walking by and the teacher told me there was an assembly and Jansen could go with her class.  So we waited to the end of the line and started walking with Jansen to the cafeteria.  Just then Reesa rounds the corner crying because obviously no one was in her class room either and she was scared. So Jake went over to her and explained there was an assembly.  I watch him take her hand and tell her he would help her find her class and away they went.  I just started crying.  I was sad Mitchell wasn't going to this assembly.  I was sad to see all these kids and know one of mine wasn't here anymore.  I was sad because the pain in my heart seemed unbearable.  Jansen of course is talking a mile a minute to all the kids in the other class while comfortably holding my hand.  He announces, "My mom is crying because she is sad that Mitchell died."  I chuckled to myself because in the previous years if I EVER cried around Jansen he would get very upset and tell me to stop crying. He has always had a very hard time seeing my emotions and being ok with them.  I was also a tiny bit amazed that Jansen had caught onto the reason for my countless tears.

Our kids were being recognized for our schools fundraiser so Jake and I stayed in the back to watch and just cried.  Several teachers came up to us including one of Mitchell's and hugged us.  Everyone is so nice.  We feel so loved to have others sharing this painful time with us, and offering support.  We snuck out as soon as we could and drove to Fresno to buy Jansen a dresser.  At the store we pointlessly walked around. Zombies.  Jake said, "so this is what it's like to exist now."  We came to the mattress section and sat down.  Probably for 45 minutes.  It was so hard to focus and try to get anything done.  It really does feel like "the blind leading the blind." How do you motivate someone else when you have nothing?  Then you finally get 2 ounces of energy to stand up, only to realize your spouse doesn't have 2 ounces to move so you sit back down.

Well we finally found the one dresser my mom had picked out 2 days before Mitchell passed away and told me to bring Jake back to see it.  Of course Jake looked at it, and said "let's get it.  Can you load it in our car?"  And we were done.  We went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch because I wanted cheesecake.  There we took turns crying in between the waitress coming and going.  It seemed like we should explain to everyone we saw we were so WEIRD because we had just lost our son.  We hardly talked, as friendly as we could be to strangers, which wasn't much.  But I was glad we were 40 minutes from home where we probably wouldn't see these people ever again.  Jake and I talked about our relationship and how hard the coming years were going to be as we were both entirely different people.  It was hard to provide the comfort to each other that in the past came so naturally as usually only one of us needed comfort and the other could provide it.  Now we are both broken, hurting and depressed. I love Jake.  He is an amazing father, husband, and person.  It's hard to see him hurting so much, but of course he is hurting.  How could he not be?  We have lost part of our meaning in life, our identify, our precious son!!!  It was so nice to have a day with Jake where we didn't have a HUGE list of things to accomplish to get done.  We even talked about how if Mitchell was alive we probably would have left him with the nanny and come to Fresno without him because he hates that drive so much...

Yep that's right.  He hired a nanny!  She worked one day before Mitchell passed away!   What timing.  We signed a year contract, so we have a nanny to help us take care of our two easiest kids.  I feel like a joke. I spent Holly's entire first day showing her how to care for Mitchell and how to meet his needs.  Her job description has drastically changed.  I guess Heavenly Father knew we needed someone to take care of us, not Mitchell. For the first week Holly fed me almost every meal.  I probably wouldn't have eaten otherwise because nothing but desserts sound good.  Holly has been great.  She is very unassuming and easy going.  She can take our kids and distract them when it gets too much for me or Jake, or if we just need sometime to cry.  Our kids love her!  She cleans our house and does the laundry and all the things I haven't even thought much about.  I'll start a load forget about it, and come back to it being done and put away.  Magic!!!  I am so grateful for her.  Honestly it would be SO HARD without her.

Last night Jake took Reesa to the ward's daddy daughter campout.  I got to have a date with Jansen, and my poor 7 month pregnant body was in no condition to leave our house.  In my attempt to be fun we had cold cereal for dinner, made popcorn and put on a movie.  Jansen told me "Don't forget the soda!"  So I let him have soda too.  I cried through most of the movie, while Jansen snuggled me.  When it was over I told him he could sleep in my bed.  He was ecstatic!  No fighting bedtime tonight.  As I tucked him in I couldn't stop crying.  It was that deep painful cry where you think your life is going to end.  It hurt so deeply and I was trying as hard as I could to suppress the tears, making them so much more painful.  I just wanted Jake to hold me and cry with me.  It was our first night apart since Mitchell left and I was aching for both of them.  Jansen wanted me to lay by him until he fell asleep, but due to the massive amount of pain I was experiencing I knew I needed to spare him. I got up to leave, and darling Jansen jumped out of bed, ran to my nightstand grabbed a box of tissues and put them next to me and said, "mom, now you don't need to walk anywhere to get some tissues!"  I was so touched.  Here was my 6 year old son telling me I would rather have you sit here and cry then leave me.  Jansen, who I told you in the past lost his temper over seeing my tears... was now asking me to stay.  I laid down next to him and tried to cry silently until he was fast asleep.

The best way to describe my tears is dramatic.  I have cried lots in my life.  I thought I knew what hurt was.  I kept thinking last night... when I was younger, I cried thinking my life would end, when I broke up with high school and college boyfriends.  That crying was very tense as it consumed my whole body.   I have matured so much since those years... But here I was again only this time I can't see how I'll ever recover.

We chose this life. We knew it would be painful.  We knew we would have to pass through sorrow in order to love and be loved.  We knew before Earth life that Mitchell would not stay with us long, but did we understand how much it would hurt to lose him unexpectedly, before we wanted?  Did we understand it would change us forever?  I have imagined losing a child, but because it wasn't real I did not feel this kind of pain...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Toys for Jansen

Got this email from Simone and just had to share...

"Before the funeral Benson told Jansen to fill his pockets with toys to keep him entertained. So Remy and Jansen filled up every pocket in his suit even his butt pocket. He had a teacup in the his butt pocket. I was dying laughing! oh yeah that is why he had that weird one tied to his tie."