I am a wife and mother. I married Travis the summer of 2007 and life really took off. We welcomed our first born, Adrian Reese, June of 2009. We welcomed our second born, Ainslee Ryan, October of 2010 and had a short time with her. She was taken from us in February 2011, just 3 months and 10 days old, from the silent killer called SIDS. 6 months after she passed away, we found out we were expecting our 3rd, due in April of 2012. Our rainbow baby is a girl, sweet Hadlee Hope. We're slowly picking up the pieces and learning how to fit grief and happiness into this crazy thing called life.
So...a little Hadlee update! I have some good news. I have been able to get Hadlee OUT of her swaddle...FINALLY! At 6+ months, she is out of her swaddle and sleeping in her sleep sacks over her sleeper. Oh that in itself makes me happy. That's the first good news. The 2nd good news is we moved her over to her room! On Ainslee's birthday, we moved Hadlee to the girl's room because sleep was just not happening in this house and it was exhausting. I wasn't ready to move her, but we had to try anything. And....the 3rd good news-It worked!!!!!!!!! Hadlee is sleeping so much better in her bed. Last night was her best night yet. She went to sleep just fine, got up at 2:30 in the morning, and then back to bed until 6 this morning. I am one happy Momma. I think she had to get out of our room and sleeping next to me. She could sniff me out as soon as I'd come in the room to get in bed. I am sleeping in the guest room now because it's closer to her room and makes me feel safer until I get used to her sleeping. Even though she's sleeping better, I am still checking her monitor every 30 minutes to an hour.
The other night we did have a little scare with her monitor. I haven't had any false alarms on her angel care until the other night. I was having a hard time falling asleep and finally started to doze...then it happened, the alarm went off. I flew out of bed, covers flying, my legs were like jello as I was trying to figure out how to use them to get running. It was an awful kind of panic. I got down the hall, into her room, scooped her up and couldn't even look at her to see if I was going to be looking at a breathing baby, or a lifeless one. I took her to my husband and could feel her breathing so knew she was fine. I told him what happened and I was taking her to bed with me to just feel her breath for a bit. I laid with her for an hour just holding her and then she was ready to eat. So so scary.
The next day, we had her 6 month pictures and our family pictures before Christmas card time. I love our sneak peak and how they turned out. I am feeling incredibly blessed to have 2 beautiful living children, a wonderful supportive and handsome husband, and the hope of heaven to be reunited with our entire family. Hope you enjoy some of my favorite pics!
Ainslee's birthday has come and gone. Again. She turned 2! I can't even believe it still. We have had such a busy last week and a half...well actually all of October is always busy for us. So, blogging comes last unfortunately even if I wish I could do it more often.
We participated in our annual Holton's Drive for SIDS event again this year which was on October 27th, my due date with Ainslee. Last year was my first event to attend and I had recently found out I was pregnant with Hadlee. I was only about 8 weeks along and wasn't telling a soul. I was scared last year of where we'd be this year. But as this year approached, I began to see how beautiful life is. I don't always understand it, but it's beautiful nonetheless....if you allow yourself to see the beauty. I was so incredibly grateful to have added another baby girl. And it was great to show up to the event with our Hadlee in tow. No one knew last year I was pregnant, so to show up this year with a 6 month old was fabulous! We made great memories and raised money to help find answers to the mystery of SIDS.
That Sunday, October 28th, we had Ainslee's birthday party at the cemetery. We invited some friends and family and our Deacon at church. It was a beautiful day, sunny with a cool breeze, just perfect. We started with words from the Bible and blessing of her headstone. We then sang Happy Birthday, released balloons with our birthday wishes on them, and then had cupcakes. I got Rainbow Roses for Hadlee to give to her big sister and I think it's a tradition I'll start every year. It was truly a wonderful way to remember the day we had Ainslee. On Ainslee's birthday, October 29th, we didn't want to plan anything because we didn't know how we'd feel. We woke up, and I immediately cried. I longed for my 2 year old. I missed the last year and 9 months of watching her grow, hearing her sweet voice, feeling her face and hands on my face. I just missed her and grief took over again. Luckily, I have 2 pretty sweet living kiddos to really help me out. They can help restore such happiness in this broken Momma. I am really thankful for that.
We ended up hanging out at home and then visiting her at the cemetery as a family. Later, Travis' parents picked up some food and came over. We just hung out as a family and it was low key, but just what we needed. The entire day, I thought about the day I had Ainslee. How beautiful she was with jet black hair, sparkly brown eyes, and beautiful olive toned skin. She was like a sack of potatoes, so healthy, so consuming, so perfect. I remember feeling a different feeling becoming the mother to a little baby girl. I remember holding her in recovery and just staring at her thinking, she is mine. The day of her birth was a happy one.
For Ainslee's birthday, I did 2 things. I heard a story of a 4th grade class that is wanting to take a class trip to Austin to the capitol. Most of these children don't financially have the ability to support a trip like this. So, I decided to "adopt" a child to pay for their trip. I got a very sweet thank you card in the mail, mentioning Ainslee and how happy the little girl was that we got another daughter. Her teacher, one of my roommates in college, must have told her about our story and the compassion that this little girl had was beyond sweet. The 2nd thing I did was to purchase a birthday gift for a girl who was turning 15 that is in a foster home type setting but doesn't receive much for her birthday. Giving to two other girls during Ainslee's birthday was fulfilling.
We are now in the time period of when we had Ainslee alive. I relive those events. We had her at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, her baptism, and followed by her death. The countdown to February begins. My hope is in Heaven and the reality that we will be together again....one sweet day.
Happy 2nd Birthday my sweet Ainslee girl. Your brother talks about you every day. He says how much he misses you and Jesus. :) He thinks Jesus is one of our babies too. :) Oh your brother cracks me up. I love you Ainslee!