Friday, May 20, 2011


I can't believe an entire year has gone by since we said goodbye to Charlie. The memories keep surfacing, like flashbacks, breaking my heart all over again as I relive them.

I remember starting out the day with the hope of weaning him off of the ecmo. I remember the delight at how well he was doing at first only to begin tanking towards the end of the clamping off. I remember feeling the dread as they confirmed he had had a stroke, and that we were out of choices. I remember reading him Love You Forever, and wishing the doctors and nurses would just leave the room for a little bit so we could be alone. I remember tears flowing as I said the words, as I selfishly begged him to keep fighting. I remember seeing everyone's Facebook status change to "Praying for Charlie".

I remember the look on Dr. Su's face as she walked in to tell us he was crashing, and this time, his chances were minimal. I remember asking our families to leave the room, then breaking down knowing we couldn't keep putting our son through this. I remember telling them we had decided to stop.

I remember holding Noah tightly as we sat outside the nurse's station, waiting to be called in to his room. I remember alarms ringing and people running into his room. I remember being pulled into the room as they restarted his heart one last time so that we could say good-bye. I remember the surgeons frantically putting a plastic cover over his open chest so we could hold him. I remember putting on surgical blue gowns over our clothes so we wouldn't get blood on them.

I remember my heart hammering as I stepped towards the warmer, hesitating. I remember the nurse shooing away Dr. Sinha, picking up Charlie with one hand and pressing him into my chest. I remember the tears flowing as I stared blankly at the monitors, saying his heart rate was 100...then 70...then 50...then they were turned off. I remember staring at my cold, sweet baby, in the midst of his blood all over the table..the lap.

I remember family coming in to say goodbye. I remember them making his hand mold. I remember wondering how I could ever get the strength to leave the hospital without Charlie with me. I remember staring blankly at three bags full of small bottles of frozen breastmilk and wondering what the hell I'd ever do with them.

I remember wondering how I could ever go on after losing so much.

Could this have really have happened an entire year ago?? Feels like yesterday, the way the memories keep coming back.

I miss you, Charlie. I'm sorry your life was filled with pain. I'm sorry you aren't here now.

I love you...and I'll always remember you.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Chincoteague Island, VA

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Birthday Letter To My Sons

My dear boys,

So much has happened in the past year...I have spent the past month having flashbacks, of good memories and bad memories and laughter and many emotions. So much love. So much heartache. Tomorrow is your first birthday and I can't believe everything the Baer bunch has been through...

My little Charlie, celebrating your first birthday in heaven...oh how I miss you. It seems insane that I knew you for less than a year and yet there is this gaping hole in my heart that will never fill again. I am the only one besides Noah who knew you from the moment you were created - from the first sono (taking up all the room in there, of course!), to the first nudges I felt since you were so high up. You took over my belly from the get go and made sure Noah knew who was in charge (don't think I forgot you kicking him in the head all the time...). I picked your name because even inside you were the more mischievous one, sticking your butt out in the air whenever you wanted attention (ps - that hurt!!!). I wish I could know what you would be like now. How your laughter would sound, what your favorite toy would be, or your favorite book, or your favorite food. Would you love bath time like your big brother? Would you also be getting into everything possible? (based on what I know of you...yes). I can't imagine how insane my life would be right now, especially if you were the more mischievous one (Noah is working hard to fill your shoes). But I wish I could know. I wish your life hadn't been filled with so much pain. I hope you understand that I loved you from the moment you were created, continue to love you, and was only trying to give you a chance to live. I know you are happy now, without pain, and in the end that's all I ever wanted - for you to be happy.

And my little chunkeroo Noah...As you turn one year old, I find myself filled with all sorts of emotions that I am still trying to make sense of. This past year has been both joyful and heartbreaking. However, I want to make sure something is very clear to you: Watching you grow over the past few months has been indescribable. You came into this world a tiny, shriveled little thing (in the words of your Tia Lucy, a little Benjamin Button). Little by little, you grew. You became more aware of your surroundings. Your great big blue eyes took in everything - continue to take in everything. I see the wheels turning in your head as you observe everything, get into everything and try to make sense of everything. It is incredible. You smile a lot, you laugh from deep down in your belly, and you flirt with everyone, and strangers stop to comment how cute you are. You simply smile, throw your hands up and keep swinging your feet. Such a sweet little man. You're a perceptive little guy. When something makes me cry, you pause and look at me with your inquisitive eyes and I can almost hear you ask "what's wrong?". Then you reach out your little hand and do something to make me smile. I know it's not fair for me to be so sad. You need your mama. And I promise I'm trying my best. But I really do hope you understand something:

April 26th 2010 was by far the best day of my life. Nothing that has happened can EVER change that. You are an amazing little boy, and I am so lucky to be your mommy, and to watch you grow. I'm not perfect; in fact, I'm not even sure I'm all that good. But I love you more than life itself. And I promise to do my very best for you forever, and to try to not be so sad.

One year ago, my life changed in indescribable ways. But one thing remains true - I am blessed, SO blessed, to be your mommy, boys. I thank God everyday (literally) for both of you.

Happy first birthday, Noah and Charlie. I love you boys.

Love always,