Friday, September 30, 2011

One Month...

"...the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
-Job 1:21

It's hard to believe that it's been one month since we lost Owen.  Whenever these little markers arrive I try not to think about them too much.....  One week, two weeks, one month.  It's unbelievable.  My ultrasound appt. was at 2:15pm a month ago when I learned that Owen was gone.  That is the one moment in time I would most like to forget about.  It is the ultrasound tech's voice I hear most nights when I close my eyes telling me that there was no heartbeat.  I don't think I will ever forget the panic in her voice or not relive the shock of it, much as I would like too...
Most of the day is a blur, but I also appreciate the many kindnesses that we experienced on that awful day as well. Our families, friends, church, and dear brothers and sisters in Christ have done more for us than I will ever be able to thank you for.  The support shown to us has been unbeliveable.   I know that I have said "thank you" a lot over the past month, but there are some that I haven't been able to mention yet until now....  it's been hard to think back to the day that we lost Owen, but here are some of the ones I think about: 

I am so thankful in God's providence for Akron General Hospital.  The staff in the Labor and Delivery unit are the most compassionate and thoughtful people I ever could have asked for.    I am so grateful for each and every person that we interacted with while we were there.  My main nurse, Ashley, was absolutely wonderful and I appreciated the tears she cried with me as well as the memories she made for us of Owen...from taking pictures of him to making the plaster molding of his little foot as well as putting together our memory box.  She was supposed to be "off" at 3am and she came back into my room at 3:30 am with the box that she and the other nurses had been working on.  Then, the next nurse, who "replaced" Ashley when her shift ended was just as incredible and kind as Ashley had been in a whole different way.   Her name was Trish and I will never forget the way in which she took Owen from me at somewhere around 4 am and cradled him assuring me that she would look after him while I tried to get some sleep.  I don't think I would have let anyone else take him out of my arms but I did her, because I knew that she meant it.  What a blessing in the midst of a flood!
I, in all my naivete, always thought that if I were a nurse I would most definitely want to work on the maternity floor so  I could be with all the babies etc....  never comprehending the tragedy that also takes place on that floor.  I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for the compassion shown to me by those nurses...and there are a couple more whose names I didn't get or don't remember but each one was as kind and thoughtful as the next.  I know that I couldn't do it, but I am thankful that there are women who do....

Because of our insurance, everything with Owen was different than it was with our other 2 children.  I had to switch OB's and hospitals which is how we ended up at Akron General even though I had delivered Braden and Addison at Mercy Medical.  I know even these things are in God's hand.... I am thankful for my midwife at the practice who I had been seeing each week.  She wasn't able to be at  the hospital when I delivered Owen, but she came the next morning to spend time with me and she shared with me that she had also lost her 3rd baby and we cried for her baby and for Owen.  I am also thankful for Teresa, the midwife who was providentially on call a month ago and who helped deliver Owen at the hospital.  I had never seen Teresa for my monthly or weekly appts. at the office but I am so thankful that she was a part of Owen's story.  She was absolutely wonderful...again, compassionate and kind.  I don't think I could have asked for anything more as I was trying to wrap my mind around what was happening.

 Delivering Owen was the saddest  and most surreal thing I have ever experienced.  It was almost total silence in between whispered bouts of encouragement while I was pushing.  And then, when he was born there was the awful silence of a baby who is already gone.  We never got to hear him cry or see him open his eyes, but he was beautiful. Absolutely perfect..... little fingers, little toes, lots of hair, he looked just like Braden and Addison did when they were born....   and I know in the back of my mind I was hoping that they were all wrong.  That once he was born it would be all right and he would start to cry and honestly, he looked like he should!  I just kept thinking that he looked perfect.... he just looked like he was sleeping and any minute he would wake up and this nightmare would be over.

In the mail yesterday I received the pictures from Amy, the photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, who came to the hospital at midnight to take pictures of Owen for us.  I didn't even know there were people who did that, but I am so thankful that there are!  Some of the pictures she took are the ones on this post.  She volunteers her time and then sent us a cd with all the pictures that she took for us.... she also made us a slideshow of pictures.  They are beautiful and I am so thankful to have these to look at....     If you get a chance, look up Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep online to see what they do.  It's not something that you want to think about but I am thankful for NILMDTS and the care that Amy took in preserving precious memories for us. 

Until we lost our sweet baby I had no concept of  how many families were touched by similar tragedies.  But again, I am thankful to each of the mommies who have taken the time to write me, email me, come and talk with me and share your stories of loss as well as listen to mine.  You each have touched our family in a special way and I am thankful that we are not walking this path alone even though I wish that none of us had to walk it at all. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Brick in my Pocket

“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died–you’re not reminding them. They didn’t forget they died. What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift.”
-Elizabeth Edwards

I heard a quote recently during the coverage of 9/11, where a reporter asked a widow about the loss of her husband and she likened his loss to a brick in her pocket.  I think the quote is originally from the movie "Rabbit Hole", which I have never seen.  At any rate, she said that you might not think about it every day or every moment, but you never forget it's there.  You are always carrying this brick in you pocket.  For me right now, that is a good description of how I feel.  I have good moments and I have bad moments.  It doesn't take much for the tears to well up and there are just some days when I feel this cloud hanging over me.
It's been a tough week, things are kind of calming down and  last Monday was the first day since we lost Owen that I've really been "alone" once I took the kids to school.  It is during this time that I feel the loss of him the most because this was supposed to be our one on one time...  The house is so quiet without the kids and without out our baby.  It just stinks.....  

I made some phone calls this week as well to try and find out when we might hear some results from the autopsy.  I guess that can take 6-8 weeks to come back.  So, I feel like I'm on hold waiting for that....   I am just praying that "something" comes back.  I am holding onto hope that "something" happened to Owen that was inevitable and unpreventable.  I know that sounds crazy given the fact that I know and believe that nothing happens outside of God's Sovereign hand, and that even if I had asked to be induced a week earlier it wouldn't have changed His purposes.... but that fleshly part of me still thinks that if the results don't come back with some kind of genetic "issue" or congenital defect then I will be questioning those last days of the pregnancy and what I should of, would of, could have done....

Last week we went and picked out Owen's headstone...that was really hard.  I was feeling "good" about it and liked the little picture we picked out of a baby in a bassinet with an angel bending over it... then I ran into Kohl's for something and saw a woman with a newborn baby in a carrier and realized that I was feeling "good" about picking out a headstone!  I just keep thinking we "shouldn't" be doing this!  We "should" have our baby home with us and I "should" be taking him shopping with me instead of shopping for a grave marker.  I just don't understand what happened....  How could I make it through an entire pregnancy and lose him right at the end? 

So, all this is to ask that you continue to pray for us...    I am hoping for answers when the autopsy comes back, but there is no guarantee of that, so please pray that no matter what the findings are that we would continue to look to Christ, where we would truly find peace, comfort, and hope.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thank you....

I just want to say THANK YOU.....  I don't even know where to begin.  There has been so much kindness, prayer, thoughtfulness, letters, emails, texts, gifts, and comfort poured out on our behalf that is is overwhelming in its scope.  I want to thank everyone that was able to come and support us yesterday at the service for Owen and I want to thank everyone who couldn't attend but was praying for us and lifting us up before the throne.  It means the world to us to know that so many care for us and grieve alongside us as we navigate these waters.  So, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU....
Derek, Cat and Family

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Service for Owen

We would like to invite any family and friends who would like to attend a graveside service for our sweet baby boy.  It will be at 10 am on Tuesday, September 6th 2011 at Union Cemetary in Louisville, OH.  There will be a luncheon following the service at Faith Bible Church in Canton, OH.  We would be greatly encouraged if you are able to come and help us through what is going to be a very difficult day.
-Cat, Derek and family

Friday, September 2, 2011

Owen Paul Marx

Owen Paul Marx...precious son and much hoped for baby brother

Owen Paul passed away on his birthday, August 30 2011. His loss has been unexpected and unbearable. I have so much that I want to share about the last few days, but I am just not ready to talk about things too much and I thought it might be cathartic to be able to write things down as I think of them. I want everyone to know Owen and be able to meet him in some small way. At the same time I want to be able to grieve our loss and grieve for the baby brother that Braden and Addison are missing.

My husband was talking about Isaiah 43 to me yesterday and was mentioning the comfort that he was finding in verse 2 where we are told that the rivers will not overflow us because He is with us as we pass through the waters and I just found it incredibly reassuring in that moment because I do find sometimes that I will drown in all these tears and that they will never stop. Even I am amazed at how much I can cry.

Even so, in the midst of this flood, I am seeing each and every day the multiple blessings we have been given. I thank God for my husband. I know Derek is hurting and grieving as much as I am, but I am thankful that he is my rock. He holds it together when I am falling apart and I can see so clearly the true Rock upon which he is gaining his strength. It's been strengthening for us, when we have quiet time at night to cry and talk about Owen and how much we don't understand and how we will miss him forever. And I can see during this time how much he loves being a Daddy and how deeply he feels the loss of Owen. Even his name...Owen... that was the name that Derek has always wanted if we were blessed with another son. I remember him mentioning that 5 years ago after we had Braden and I always teased him about it and would pretend like we were still thinking about other names. But, it was always Owen.... Daddy picked that name out a long time ago and it was perfect.

I am thankful for our families. The support we have gotten has been overwhelming and I know that both of our parents and siblings would do anything and everything for us. I think back to how I have always been so unsure of myself and what the right thing to do or say for someone who has experienced a loss like this is and I now I see and feel that the right thing to do is to just be there. I don't even know what I need half the time and I am thankful for both of our parents that they are just coming over here and "doing". Braden and Addison love their grandparents and this time for them has been precious as well, even though they don't understand the reason for it.  I am thankful for my sister, who stayed with Braden and Addison until it was time for them to come to the hospital... I know she wanted to be there with us from the beginning and yet how precious was that time for Braden and Addison to be oblivious to what was happening and able to play with Aunt Amanda and Frank.  I am thankful for my sisters-in-law who stayed with me and talked with me and even mowed our grass!  It's all these little moments that make you realize how much family means. 

I am thankful for the dear friends that the Lord has blessed me with. I was told over and over again at the hospital over those awful hours how amazing my friends were. You girls know what you did and how much you mean to me. Things have been taken care of and thought of that I didn't even know that I needed. It has been precious and incredible to think over those long years of friendships and to know that the Lord knitted them together long before this tragedy threatened to overwhelm me. What a blessing in the midst of a flood!

I know also that the Lord has blessed us richly in dear family and friendships and that I have a ton of emails, as well as messages and posts on facebook. I am thankful to each and every one of you who has felt this loss with us and I am trying to steel myself to read all of those notes. I will hopefully get to it over the next few days. I will read them all and I know that I will be encouraged by the love and prayers that have gone up and continue to go up on our behalf.


I can still believe that
a day comes for all of us,
however far off it may be,
when we shall understand;

when these tragedies
that now blacken and darken
the very air of heaven for us
will sink into their places
in a scheme so august,
so magnificent, so joyful,
that we shall laugh
for wonder and delight

-Arthur Christoper Bacon (Thank you Kristine, for this....)