Saturday, December 13, 2008


When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you’re trudging seems uphill, when you’re feeling low and the stress is high, and you want to smile but you have to sigh, when worries are getting you down a bit… by all means pray-and don’t you quit. Success is failure turned inside out, God’s hidden gift in the clouds of doubt. You never can tell how close you are- It may be near when it seems so far. So trust in the Lord when you’re hardest hit… It’s when things go wrong that you must not quit!

-Author Unknown

We are getting ready for Christmas now! Only 13 more days. It's so hard to believe that it's really almost here. I remember when I found out I was pregnant. May 19th- I left work and rushed to the doctor's to cofirm what the home pregnancy test had already told me. As I sat there, amazed by the news, I remember the doctor telling me I was about 7 weeks along and would be due around January 7th. It seemed so far away. I was so excited and not really sure how I was going to focus on anything else for the next 7 months.

But here we are. It feels like a lifetime ago that I was sitting in the doctor's office. It feels like an eternity since I came home to tell Brandon the news. Even the 3D ultrasound we had in July and the 3 hour long conversation I had with Melissa afterwards seems like distant memories. Time has moved so fast yet so slow at the same time. We are the same people, yet so different. Spending time wondering about what could have been is a waste, logically I know this. But I still find myself doing it. Always at the most random times. I want to move forward but I want to stand still. Starting 2009 without Caleb is going to be heartbreaking, but I can't deal with the holidays one more minute longer than necessary.

We are prepared for the holidays though. We have most our shopping done. We decided to buy for as many people as we could this year. I find peace in Christmas shopping actually. It makes me feel normal. I think I might actually do some baking next weekend too! Someone please put the fire department on notice.

Thanks Jennie! I can't believe this is what November looks like in St. Thomas. I'm jealous.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Preparing for a Different Kind of Christmas

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a
happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

My Little Caleb Angel

Caleb's Stocking

Our Tree

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I found this poem on another angel mommy's Myspace. I think it's the most beautiful one I've ever read.

I'll Be There

Daddy please don't look so sad,

Momma please don't cry

Cause I am in the arms of Jesus

and He sings me lullabies

Please, try not to question God,

don't think He is unkind.

Don't think He sent me to you,
and then He changed His mind.

You see, I am a Special child,

and I'm needed up above.

I'm the Special gift you gave Him,

the product of your love.

I'll always be there with you,

so watch the sky at night.

Find the brightest star that's gleaming,

That's my halo's brilliant light.

You'll see me in the morning frost,

that mists your window pane.

That's me, in the summer showers,

I'll be dancing in the rain.

When you feel a little breeze,

from a gentle wind that blows.

That's me, I'll be there,
planting a kiss on your nose.

When you see a child playing,

and your heart feels a little tug,

That's me, I'll be there

Giving your heart a hug.

So daddy, please don't look so sad,

momma don't you cry.

I'm in the arms of Jesus,

and He sings me lullabies.

Author Unknown

Friday, November 14, 2008

MRI's and Wedding Plans

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

I had the MRI on my pelvic area/ uterus this morning and I think I realized that I am claustrophobic. I've always suspected that I am but I really felt like I couldn't breath when I saw that machine. I did the best I could though. I just thought about Caleb and how much I want a baby and decided that if this is what it takes to make my dreams come true then I can do it. I can do anything for 30 minutes. We should get the results back from that soon and then we will go see a specialist who will be able to tell us if there is anything physically that is going to stop us from trying to get pregnant again. They will also tell us if genetically there are any issues. I keep praying that we will get a chance to be parents again by next Christmas. I hate putting a timeline on something like this but it's the only thing holding me together right now.

We went to Brandon's niece's-my future niece :)- 1st birthday party last Sunday. I thought it was going to be much harder than it actually ended up being. She is so adorable and at a really fun age right now. I think, or hope, I kept it together and that my sad moments didn't show too much. I did let some tears flow after we left but Brandon was there for me like always.

The Wedding....So what started off as a short ceremony and dinner is quickly evolving into a little bit more that I think we expected. We are still having a very casual wedding and only inviting close friends and family but we decided insted of doing dinner in a banquet room at a restaurant we are going to rent a private reception hall. We found a very nice and inexpensive one in Pickerington and, after going back and forth a bit with the owner, we have signed the contract and put a security deposit down. It is so beautiful and very intimate- which is what we are going for and what a restaurant lacks.


Everything is included- tables, chairs, etc.- so all we have to do is set up food and drinks. Oh- and I have to find something to wear! Which also means I need to start eating better than I have been. I'm sure going back to work will help the weight loss process. I'm open to suggestions on wedding attire by the way. Email me if you see any cute dresses. I don't want a big, formal dress. And I have this whole thing about my arms showing. Who knows what I want. I'll find something I guess. If not, it's going to be a jeans and t-shirt kinda day. Maybe something like this... :)~


Friday, November 7, 2008

Medical Update

If one truly has lost hope, one would not be on hand to say so. ~Eric Bentley

We received a call today from my OB/GYN's nurse. She said the doctor reviewed the genetic results and unfortunately, the tissue sample failed to grow and they were unable to run tests on it. So basically, we don't know if it was a genetic issue that caused us to lose Caleb. The final autopsy report is supposed to be out in the next couple of weeks and if that doesn't show the cause of death then we will probably never know.

I am going for an MRI next week so we can get a clear diagnosis on my uterine abnormality. Once the results are back from that and the final autopsy report is in, we will be sent to a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist for additional bloodwork and review. They may be able to look for indicators in our blood to see if there are any genetic conditions that future children may be prone to. I'm guessing we will have to wait until after the wedding, when we are both on the same insurance, for this to happen.

So, for now, we are just going to wait for the results of the MRI and autopsy and see what we find out. Eventually we will try again. I just hope that it's in God's plan to make us parents one day. As much we are trying to be at peace with the loss of little Caleb, it is still very difficult to walk by that empty room everyday. I can't wait until our home is filled with all of the sights and sounds of a baby.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Countdown is On


"Faith give us the courage to face the uncertainties of the future"
-Martin Luther King Jr.

I've never considered myself the blogging type. My life, in general, is pretty boring and basic. I don't have much to talk about and what I do have to say is probably not of much interest to many people. All of that being said, I've decided to keep this blog for other reasons. First, I want a place where Brandon and I can remember Caleb. A place where we can share stories, songs, and poems that remind us of him and help us deal with our loss. As hard as this time is right now, I personally want to remember it. I want to look back and remember how I felt on a given day and see how I'm (hopefully) progressing in my grief. Second, a lot of things are changing in our lives. Even though Brandon and I have been together for what seems like forever, we are making a big transition from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. We also plan of trying to have a brother or sister for Caleb one day and want to record the memories of our life together, our journeys and our struggles. Our family in bloom.

I could go back to the old-school style of recording thoughts and memories- keeping a journal. But frankly, I have boxes of journals starting with my first one when I was around 10 years old and I'm just out of space. I practically live online these days so it just makes more sense for me to keep these records in a place that is permanent and also doesn't take up any more space in our home. I also want something we can share with others. With family and friends all over the country, I think this is a great way for anyone who is interested to see what's going on in our lives. So sit back and enjoy. Stop by as often as you like. I'm new to this so I don't know what this page will eventually look like or how often I will post but I am excited about this new way to communicate with everyone we care about. Maybe I can even talk Brandon into posting something once in a while.
*Note: Diamond not shown at actual size (a girl can only dream!)

So the truly exciting news for the day- the countdown is on! 113 days until Brandon and I are officially Mr. and Mrs. Ballou. We are both really excited, probably me more than him right now. I think he'll get there around 2 weeks before the big day. So I'm still making plans and trying to figure out exactly how we want things to be. That usually goes like this:

Summer: "Hey Brandon, what do you think of *INSERT RANDOM WEDDING IDEA*?"
Brandon: "Yea that sounds nice. Whatever you think."

It is going to be a very small, informal affair but there are a few things that I really want to include and I think Brandon does too. For example, we really want to include Caleb. Right now, I'm searching for a memorial candle that we can personalize with his name and maybe a little message. I think we would like to include that in the ceremony. No luck so far. All the ones I have found remind me of old women's drapes. All floraly (is that a word) and kind of sad looking. So on the search goes.

Memorial/ Balloon Release for Caleb- 10/26/08

Photobucket Photobucket

The poem and letter I read at the memorial:

The world may never notice if a snowdrop doesn't bloom.
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon
But every life that ever forms
Or ever comes to be
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity
The little one we long for was swiftly here and gone
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on
And though our arms are empty
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of our hearts says we love you

Dear sweet Caleb, I sit here writing this as I look at what remains of you. I remember vividly the day I found out I was blessed enough to be your mommy. I was so scared because I worried about being able to provide for you the way that you deserved. I didn’t know if I was ready but I knew in my heart that you were meant to be. You were a blessing, a miracle actually. Daddy and I had a rough time before you came along. It’s hard to understand but sometimes even two people who love each other so much struggle to live happily ever after. You changed all of the struggles though. You quickly became the center of our universe. Nothing else could do it, but somehow a little stranger who we never even met made us grow up so quickly. You were not only a miracle but a blessing. A gift, the perfect gift. You were all that mattered to us. Everything else seemed so petty in comparison to the life we envisioned with you.

I will always treasure the memories we made together. Do you remember the first ultrasound? I do. Daddy and I loved seeing your little heart beat so strong. And the second ultrasound, we found out God had blessed us with a little boy. Your Daddy almost cried. He loves you so much you know? He had so many plans for you- sports, video games, and of course picking on mommy together. I miss singing to you every day. I’m sure it was awful to hear first thing in the morning, but I felt so connected to you when I did that. Sometimes I still rub my belly and start to sing but then remember you’re gone. Who would have thought you would leave us before we even got a chance to say hello?

You aren’t just special to us, Caleb. So many other people love you and miss you too. Everyone was looking forward to meeting you and having you in our family. Just ask your Grandpa Ballou who still thinks you should be Phillip II. Or your Great-Uncle Danny who looked forward to the days of Hawaiian shirts and sweat pants. Or all of your Grandma’s who couldn’t seem to stop buying you outfits. A wardrobe anyone would be envious of. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I look through your things. They are yours, Caleb but maybe you’ll be kind enough to share with a little brother or sister in the future?

I hope you are able to look down from the clouds and see Daddy and me today. I wish I could look up and see your face just once. Daddy and I are closer than ever because of you. We are filled with a lot of sadness because you’re not here, but we are thankful for the time we did have together. We’re getting married soon. I’m going to be a Ballou just like you. Maybe that will make it easier for me to find you in Heaven. Not that I’d have any trouble. You looked just like your Daddy.
Caleb, why did you have to leave? I love you so much and just wish you could have stayed. Maybe I wouldn’t have been the best mommy in the world but I promise I would have loved you more than anything. Actually, I still do. I’m holding your ashes now and I’m not sure how I’m going to make it. You were supposed to be here soon. I know you’re at peace and I know you’re in a place that is so much better than anything here. You will never feel pain or hurt or heartache. Only pure happiness. I guess I don’t really grieve for you Caleb. I guess my pain is selfish. I read a quote recently that said

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

You were definitely our delight Caleb. Every waking moment was spent thinking of you and I think that will be the case for a long time to come. You have eternal peace now, my sweet baby boy. But I will never have peace. There will always be a hole in my heart until I can hold you in my arms again. I will always feel incomplete- on the day me and your Daddy get married, when (God willing) we have a sibling for you, when I’m old and gray and look back at my life. There will always be a missing link Caleb. I know I don’t understand it now, but there is a plan, I’m sure of it. You were sent here for a reason and you were taken away for a reason. Maybe God just needed another angel for the streets of heaven.

So until we meet again please remember how much we love you. Ask God to tell you about me and Daddy. I’m sure he has some great stories. And please know that you are the most precious thing to ever happen to me. I love you. –Mommy

P.S.- Just one more time please “Little Caleb Ballou, I can’t wait to see you, I just want to scoop you up, and kiss you on your head.”