Carter's Story (1 Year Old)

I posted this last year, two weeks after Carter was born, six years to the day that Brandon and I had officially been together (that last part wasn't intentional). We wanted to share his story again, because it matters to us. He is our son. Today, on his first birthday, we are remembering the day we finally got to meet him, and the day we had to say goodbye...

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Another friend for Carter

This weekend was super nice, and very much needed after the busy month we've had so far. An hour after we got home from Boise last weekend, Brandon had to turn around and leave for Vegas for work. He got home Wednesday night and for the rest of the week/weekend we had really big plans to do absolutely nothing. Thursday afternoon we laid in bed and finished Big Little Lies (well, I finished it, Brandon napped). Friday was somehow relaxing and productive all at the same time. We got our Utah drivers licenses (which you're supposed to do before 60 days of living here but I feigned ignorance and held onto my Idaho license as long as I could!) and saw Spiderman that night. On the drive home from the movie, we saw a little rainbow in between the mountains on the east side of the valley. We ran home to grab our new camera, but by the time we got back outside, the rainbow had kind of started to spread and disappear, but we snapped a few pictures anyway. Then we drove back down the street to take some pictures of this lone sunflower on the side of the road. I know all this is kind of unnecessary to tell you, but having that time with Brandon to appreciate the little things made for a really nice evening!

It had been three weeks since the last time we were able to go see the babies, so we were pretty excited to get up to Logan on Saturday. We took them some Mickey-shaped crazy straws, a Disney keychain, and a little Hogwarts Express train. Brandon also bought them each a poker chip while he was in Vegas, so we left those too. When it comes to Disney, I almost feel like we spend more money on them than we would if they were there with us, and I love it. We bought them each a stuffed animal from Disney World too, but those are at home in the nursery. It was nice to spend some time at the cemetery, rearranging their toys, cleaning off the headstone, and giving them their new little trinkets. We took home the souvenirs from Amsterdam, and the Disney things will stay until our next trip (which, let's be honest, will probably be Disney again).

Brandon always makes an extra effort to pick up anything that has fallen over on any of the other headstones, and in doing so, we realized that there has been another little baby buried near Carter. When the first few babies after Carter was buried in front of him, we left each family a journal, and a note with our story and contact info on it. I leave the contact info, because I remember how alone we felt in the hospital, and I want to make sure these families have some sort of support, even if it's just a random stranger who knows some of what they are going through. There was one family I didn't leave a journal for, but we ended up meeting them at the cemetery on the day we spread Little Bean's ashes, and even though I am so grateful for the timing of it, have always felt bad that I didn't leave one for them. Brandon asked me on Saturday if I wanted to leave one for this new family, and at first I kind of declined. It had been a rough week, and I wasn't sure if I was up to writing our story down again, but in the end, I decided to do it, and am so glad I did.

The mom texted me last night, and my heart has been aching for her all day. Everyone's loss story is different, but it's hard not to feel at least some of what the parents are going through. I reach out to these women because I don't want them to think they are the only ones who have experienced a loss. I am so grateful to be in the company of strong parents that honor their children, and am so thankful for the support they have given Brandon and me, but most of the time I really wish we were the only ones. It breaks my heart to see and hear these other women suffering and feeling similar to how I felt. I know only a little of the pain, anger, and devastation they feel, and I wish I could take it from them. Losing a baby, especially so close to a due date, is not something I would wish on my very worst enemy. It is the only tremendous loss I know, but if losing Carter and now Little Bean could save everyone else from having to experience it, then I would gladly shoulder that burden.

It gives me a sense of peace to think about Carter and Little Bean, wherever they are, doing great things with other angel babies. I appreciate the parents who have unwillingly made this sacrifice since we lost Carter in October, but if the forces in the world care at all, I think Carter has enough friends for now.

I wrote a post a while back about how to help a grieving parent, and I would like to add to it here. If you know of someone who has experienced a loss, please let them know they aren't alone. I've had a few people tell me my blog has helped them, or that they planned to pass it along to someone they know. My blog is just one of so so many resources available to parents who have lost a child. There are blogs, support groups, counselors, websites, Facebook many resources for a part of life that we shouldn't be experiencing. Please pass them along.


Thinking about Carter & a visit from my parents.

This weekend was definitely a good one. My parents got to our house around six on Friday, and after catching up for a bit, we went to Godfather's for dinner. My dad used to work at Godfather's in Idaho Falls when he was younger, and has always loved their pizza, so I'm pretty sure we'll end up there whenever they are in town. And it's so good! After dinner, we wandered around The Container Store to make a little room in our stomach for dessert. The Container Store though...seriously I could buy almost everything in that place. It makes my organization senses tingle and I love it. We went to The Baked Bear for dessert, and Brandon let me choose our combination which meant dark chocolate ice cream and sprinkles!! It was a very good day.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove around to look at cars and houses. We weren't really shopping, but it's just fun to look. We wandered through a few model homes and dreamed of what life could be like. That afternoon, the guys went to the shooting range, and mom and I went to get pedicures. One of the ladies at the salon commented on how tall we are, then asked if I'm going to grow much more. I said I hope not, and then she asked if I was 15 or 16. What?! I wasn't offended, but honestly. I've had two babies, when am I going to start looking my age??? After pedicures/shooting, we went to see The Book of Henry. It was not at all what I was expecting, but it was so good!!! I definitely recommend it.

After a little breakfast on Sunday, we all drove up to Logan. My parents don't get to see the kids very often since Logan is so far from Boise, and kind of out of the way to/from Salt Lake, but I love that they never hesitate to say yes when I ask if they want to go. Brandon and I would have gone up later anyway, but it was nice to be there with my parents. We got to the cemetery and cleaned off the headstone, pulled the weeds around it, and left the babes a little 4th of July decoration. And when I say little, I mean big. Brandon's goal was to get the biggest American flag pinwheel he could find, and I think he did a pretty good job! We said goodbye to my parents at the cemetery, spent a little more time with the babies, then came home and had a relaxing night! We ate ice cream, and ended the weekend with a sunset walk at the lake in Daybreak.

I thought about Carter a lot this weekend, more than usual. On our way to Logan, I was thinking about the day of his service. I started to think that that day seemed like a blur, but that is actually the opposite of true. I remember that day so vividly, with the exception of getting to the cemetery, I don't really remember that. But I do remember how all the family that could be there was, and I remember the abundance of love I felt filling the cemetery that day. I remember going to the luncheon after and being able to share pictures and show off our sweet boy. And I remember going to dinner that night with everyone and wondering how on earth I could laugh when I felt so empty. When the table was minus one tiny person.

I also thought about our delivery, which is something I don't actually let myself think about that often. I am okay to think about being in the hospital, and the process of labor and prepping for delivery and everything after he was born, but it hurts my heart to think about actually delivering my boy. It was such an easy delivery, just a few pushes and there he was. They laid him on my chest, Brandon got to cut the cord, and just like that, we were parents. I was so afraid to touch him, because he was wet and delicate and beautiful. I didn't want to hurt him by cleaning him off, so I let the nurse rub some of the fluid off him while I just kind of laid there and stared at him. It made me feel like a terrible mom. I think about that a lot. There are so many things I regret not doing, and it's really hard not to be mad at myself. I wish I would have bathed him, dressed him, held him for so much longer. But his skin was so fragile...I don't know. I realize this last section doesn't really flow with everything else, but this was all on my mind this weekend. I don't know. I miss my babies.

Laying our little bean to rest.

On Wednesday last week, I left work for my hour lunch break, and texted Brandon as I walked out the door, asking him to call me because I was having a hard time. About three seconds later, my phone rang, but it wasn't Brandon. That call was from my endocrinologist's office, but while I was on the phone with them, my phone rang again, and I thought for sure it would be Brandon that time. It wasn't. I listened to the voicemail, and it was from the hospital, saying that we could go pick up our little girl. I called the lady back, and she said we'd want to pick her up as soon as possible. So I called Brandon and told him, then told him I would spend my lunch break finding a place that would cremate her. By the time I had hung up with him, I was at home. I called the mortuary closest to us, and they were seriously so nice. I cried at the lady on the phone while I was asking if they could cremate her, but she was so sweet, and said they would be able to cremate her, and that we would just need to come in and sign some papers. I was so happy I didn't have to call more than one place. 

When I hung up with her, I called Brandon back and told him that both the hospital and the funeral home closed at five that day, so we needed to leave work a little early to be sure we could make it to both places. Of course, of all days, Brandon was supposed to have a meeting at 3:30, but he said he would figure it out and call me back. After we hung up, the funeral home called me back and said they would be happy to go pick her up for us so we didn't have to do it. I told them I would call them back, then called the hospital to see if that was possible. After being put on hold for a while, they told me that would be fine, but I would still have to sign a release form. So I called Brandon back, told him the new plan, then called the funeral home and told them that would be great. On that phone call, I asked how long it would take to have her cremated, and explained what we were going to do with her. Again, they were so nice, and said it would only take a couple days. I called Brandon on my way out the door, one last time, and then found out later that he hadn't seen my text asking him to call until after that last phone call haha.

The guy at the mortuary was super nice. I know I keep saying how nice they are, but it's true. He put our little bean on their cremation schedule while we were sitting there with him, and he told us she would for sure be ready to be picked up on Friday before five. He called me around 1:30 on Friday, and he even used her name when he told us she was ready to be picked up. It's still weird for me to use her name (which is why I haven't shared it on here) but it's the sweetest thing when other people say our children's names. 

Anyway, we went and picked her up, then stopped at home to pick up my brother, his girlfriend, and the thirty pink and white balloons Brandon had bought earlier that day. We drove up to Daybreak, where we took both our maternity pictures and the pictures after we lost Carter. We stood on the dock and released the balloons while we held our little girl in our arms. I just kept crying at the fact that I was actually holding her. Far sooner than I should have been, but I still got to hold her. She spent Friday night on Brandon's nightstand, and Saturday on mine, and I held her in my lap the entire way to Logan.

We met up with our families in Logan on Sunday. My parents had been in Idaho Falls for the weekend, and they were nice enough to drive down and visit with us and our babies. We went with them and my brother and his girlfriend to buy some flowers for the kids, then spent some time at the cemetery together. It was really nice to have them there! My brother and his girlfriend left to drive home, and we went to lunch with my parents before meeting Brandon's parents back at the cemetery.

The six of us crouched around Carter's grave, and Brandon let me spread little bean's ashes. We had known we wanted to leave her with Carter from the second we found out we were going to lose her, and because there wasn't much to bury, cremation just made sense. It makes me happy (in a sad way) that both of our children are together, and that we can go to the cemetery and be with both of them. Eventually we want to get a smaller little cement plaque headstone to add onto the cement pad of Carter's, so that people will know she is there too.

This is a strange thing to say, but I know our little bean will be coming back to us. I don't think it was exactly her time to come now, but I think she needed to be with us just for a little bit to get us through the past couple months. I really feel like she will come back to us, in a healthy body, and that we will get to know her outside of my belly.

Sorry that this post was kind of a jumbled mess. I'm just trying to keep my head above water today, and it's not as easy as I wish it could be. But I'm so grateful for our children. They've turned me into someone I never knew I could be, and they've made me a mother, even though it's not in the traditional sense. I'm thankful for Brandon, too. So so much. He holds me up when I feel like sinking, listens to me vent and cry over and over again, and reaffirms the fact that I am a mother on a daily basis. And we appreciate all of you-friends, family, strangers-that love and care for us and our babes. Thank you for speaking their names, confirming that they are real, and continually sending us words of encouragment and love.


This kid is seriously so spoiled!


Fear of forgetting.

Half of this was written on the bathroom floor, and I couldn't bring myself to read through and edit it, so sorry in advance if there are any typos/grammatical errors.

I was going to post another day of Amsterdam, but I wanted to talk about Carter today. It's going to get real, and if I say anything that makes you feel like you should apologize to me, please don't. That's not what I'm getting at, I just wanted to write about how I feel.

I wrote about this two weeks ago, but it has still been looming over me. Honestly, I don't know that it will ever go away, but I wish my anxiety about it would just simmer down. I'm afraid of a lot of things in life, spiders, snakes, death, heights, the dark, but I've never been so afraid of anything as much as I fear people forgetting about Carter. It's a very strange feeling, to have carried a baby for nine months, have the ultrasounds hanging on your fridge, all the clothes washed and in his dresser, have the crib and bassinet set up, ready for a little body, and then never get to bring him home. I've said it before, but I'm the kind of person that over-prepares for everything. It feels like that's what I've done. Like, in preparation to maybe have a baby someday, I bought all this stuff, and even went so far as to have other people buy it for me, and I washed everything and I hung pictures on the wall and I straightened the sheet in his crib, just in case I one day was lucky enough to get pregnant and bring a baby home. And then I think about being in the hospital, and sitting at the cemetery, and I look at pictures of him, and sometimes I just wonder, whose life is this? Whose life am I witnessing because it surely isn't mine. It's not solid or tangible enough to be mine. I can't grasp onto any fleeting memory strong enough or long enough to recognize it as my own. It all went too fast.

But I, as his mother, am the only person that knows how it felt to carry him, to feel his little kicks, to feel the contractions and to go through the process of delivering him and know the pain of recovering emotionally as well as physically. I am the only person that knows what it's like to watch my husband hold his son and gently kiss him on the forehead as he cries. 

Other people know our pain. They read our stories and they see Carter's pictures and I know they know him and love him. For now. But what happens in one or five or ten years when everyone's lives get busier and our pain lessens, and not every single thing I post is tinged with a hint (or a heap) of sadness? How is everyone else supposed to remember when some days I feel like none of it was real? 

It means so much to have people write or say his name. It means the world to me when other people validate that he was real because sometimes it feels like he wasn't. There are days that I can't validate it myself, and other people, unknowingly, do it for me. But what about when no one does that anymore? What about when other people have babies born on October 27, and no one remembers the little boy born that didn't get to live with his parents?

I don't feel like a real mom, because my son is not here. What if, down the road, people will forget about the son I had in 2016? What if they look at our family, me and Brandon and whatever kids we have at home, and they forge about the one that isn't there? What if we move away and no one goes to see him? What if our future kids get made fun of because they talk about a brother that lives in heaven? 

What if what if what if.

What if Brandon and I are the only two people that ever remember him? Realistically, that's all that really matters. But what about when people forget that I have a giant, permanent hole in my heart? What about when someone wants me to do something on October 27 and I don't want to? Will they remember why I spend the whole day crying, or will they just tell me I'm too sensitive and need to get over it? How long is it okay to not be okay? Because right now, it feels like it will be forever.

Five months and time still moves on.

Sorry, I know my last few posts have been kind of down. I promise we're doing fine, March is just a rough month as far as anniversaries go.

I wrote a post after we got married about how, even though a significant event had happened for us, life continued forward every day like nothing had changed. I have felt the same way every single day since we lost Carter, but there are certain days that I feel like the universe should be more aware of our situation, and it's just not. For example, why do Thursdays still exist? They give me something to count the weeks on, but honestly, there is a part of me that looks forward to the day when so many weeks have passed that I forget what the number is, and more specifically, when I don't feel bad for not knowing what the number is.

This morning I said to Brandon, "don't you think it's unfair that the 27th still exists?" and I was happy that I'm not the only one who feels that way. Of course we always want to remember him, but each month on the 27th, we get dressed in our respective, Carter-honoring clothes, and it feels like a punch to the gut. Part of me wishes we could just skip the 26th and 27th of every month. I remember him every single day, but those two days are especially hard for me.

I know I'm not the only one feeling this, and it's not just moms who have lost their babies. To angel moms, parents, siblings, children, friends: I'm so sorry you have loss dates to mark your weeks, months, and years by. I'm just so, so sorry.

That's all I have for today. My heart has been heavy for the past little bit. I know I've said it before, but I just can't wait to get through this anniversary period of major milestones.


Carter's story.

There's a part of me that feels like I shouldn't be writing this yet. It has only been two weeks since we lost our sweet boy, so it feels like it's too soon. It all still feels like a dream. A nightmare, actually. But I'm writing it because I miss him, and I want people to know that it's okay to talk about him. And I'm writing it in hopes that it will make me feel better to get all my emotions out in words that I can't seem to say.

To tell the whole story I feel like we need to start a little earlier. About seven weeks ago, September 25th, I didn't really feel Carter move all day until really late that night. So the next morning, a Monday, I called my doctor and he told us to come in. They did a non-stress test to check his heart rate, which was stellar, then did an ultrasound to check the fluid around him, which was also stellar. The office called me the following Wednesday (the 28th) and said it looked like there were some enlarged areas of his heart, and asked us to schedule a fetal echo-cardiogram. I cried my eyes out at work that day because I had been just waiting for something bad to happen, and I thought it was finally happening. A week later (October 12th), we did the fetal echo, and the three doctors in the room said his heart looked great, and that we had nothing to worry about. Friday of the same week (October 14th) we had our 37 week appointment. The following Wednesday, (October 19th) we had our 38 week appointment, where my stomach measured smaller than it had that Friday before. So the next morning we went in for another ultrasound to check the blood flow in the placenta and through the umbilical cord. They said everything looked fine, and we saw his little heart fluttering, and got to watch him move a little bit. Over the course of the next six days, I noticed how little I felt him move, but I kind of just assumed he was running out of room in there, since I wasn't that big.

When we went to the doctor for our 39 week appointment (October 26th), the doctor asked if I had felt him move, and I just told him no. Brandon kept trying to say "but you thought you felt him this day, right?" and even though he was right, and I had thought I felt him move, I still just told the doctor no. And I think in that moment the three of us knew what was about to happen. He tried to find Carter's heartbeat for a few minutes, and there was nothing. It was the worst sound I've ever heard. Just the dead silence. I already was crying before he was halfway done listening. He helped me sit up and told me he was going to prep the ultrasound room. After what seemed like a million years, he came back to get us. The walk to the ultrasound room was awful, because you could tell he had told the nurses and other doctors what was going on. We could see the sadness in their eyes.

During the ultrasound, the doctor was blocking my view of the tv on the wall behind him. He wasn't doing it on purpose, but I could only watch his and Brandon's faces. The doctor's face dropped and he told us he was sorry, and Brandon and I just clung to each other. I couldn't cry anymore, because I had already cried everything out. I just was in shock; I had to ask him if this was real life. And I kept apologizing to Brandon, because I felt like I had let him down. After a bit, we asked what the next step was. The doctor told us he would call labor and delivery to see if we could go that night, or we could wait and go the next day, but we said we wanted to go that night. So we went home, fed the cats, put away the bassinet and a few other things, grabbed our bags, and headed for the hospital.

The whole drive there and the whole walk in we just kept saying how wrong the whole situation was. We were supposed to be pulling into the hospital on two wheels, and I was supposed to be taking breaks to cope with contractions while walking in. But instead, we were just walking solemnly in. The labor and delivery wing was so quiet when we got there, and we were grateful. It was a peaceful start to an awful night. 

Our nurse took us in and let us get comfortable, talking to us about the situation and trying to help us with our emotions. She got us some dinner, and walked me through what the night held for us. She checked me, and I wasn't dilated at all. Around 7:30 pm she gave me the first dose of Cytotech to get the process started, and said she would check me again in three hours. At eight, Adrian showed up to the hospital. At this point, Brandon and I had had enough of being sad, and were just kind of okay with what was going on, so it was nice to have another body in the room to talk to about other things. Around 8:30, Brandon's parents showed up, and again, it was just nice to have more people to talk to about other things. They stayed until just after ten, Brandon's dad gave me a blessing, and then we were by ourselves again. The nurse came in and checked me again, and I was already at a 1.5. The doctor wanted her to give me a double dose of the Cytotech then, but she decided to wait and check me again at 11:30 to see where we were. I honestly don't remember what time she came back to give me the second dose, but she didn't double it like the doctor asked. My parents showed up sometime (before or after the second dose, I don't remember, I think after) at 1:30 am. They stayed for about 45 minutes, then went to our house to sleep and try to let us sleep. Of course, at this point, the contractions started getting pretty strong. I kept trying to sleep, but they were coming every minute or so, and I legit thought I was dying haha. Brandon was sleeping so peacefully on his little couch, and I was just laying on the bed with my finger next to the nurse's button for probably a good hour. Finally around 3:30 am, I buzzed for the nurse. Our first nurse was supposed to leave at 3, but she was still there and came in with our second nurse. I asked for just a small dose of the pain meds, so they gave it to me, then left. And about thirty minutes later I buzzed them back in and asked for more meds. They checked me at this point, and I was at a 4. An hour (or less, probably) later, I buzzed the nurse back in and asked for the epidural. I had told myself that I was going to try and go without, only because I was afraid that when I asked for it they would just laugh and tell me I was only at a one, so I was just trying to be tough. But the nurse (first nurse still, and this was at 5 am, two hours after her shift ended) checked me and said I was at a five and that my water was ready to break. But the doctor told them not to break my water, so they just had to wait.

I got the epidural, which was surprisingly painless compared to the contractions I was having while he was trying to stick the needle in (being a woman is a joke). They gave me a faster acting dose, and then the regular stuff, so within minutes I was feeling pretty good. That was all around 5:30 am. The nurse came back in just after 7:00 am with our third and final nurse, who then checked me and told me my water had broke and that I was at a ten and ready to go. They went to call the doctor, and said he would be there in 30 minutes to an hour, so we sat back and prepped to meet our sweet boy. We were shocked at how quickly the whole process had gone. Our first nurse had told us that we wouldn't have a baby by seven am, but maybe early afternoon, yet here it was not even eight am and we were ready to go.

The doctor showed up around 8:15, and talked to us a little bit while they prepped the room. I have to put a plug in for him here: I love our doctor. I love him so much that I told Brandon that we are never leaving Utah because I want him to deliver all our children. And if you know me at all, you know that me saying I'll live here forever is a big deal! Anyway, they got me all situated, I couldn't feel my legs one bit and felt bad that I couldn't do much to help in that aspect. When the doctor finally sat down, the nurse would tell me when a contraction was coming, have me push for ten seconds, then take a deep breath and do it two more times in a row. I had to do three sets of three and then at 8:51 am he was there! Brandon got to hold one of my legs and watch, which sounds gross, but I'm so glad he did given the situation. They immediately laid Carter on my chest and gently cleaned him while Brandon cut the umbilical cord. I couldn't stop crying for so many reasons, but you guys he is beautiful! And he looked so peaceful.

After about ten minutes, they took him over to the little table to clean, weigh, and clothe him. He weighs 5 pounds, 15 ounces, and is 20 inches long. Once he was clothed, they gave him to Brandon to hold. It was one of the saddest, most touching things to see Brandon holding him, crying, and then to hear him say "he looks just like you." It broke my heart. We spent about an hour with Carter, talking to the doctor a bit and then having the nurse fawn over our cute boy. Our families had been waiting in the waiting room, so we had them come in and take turns holding him. I was so happy his grandparents were there to meet him and hold him for a little bit. We couldn't get over how big his feet are!! And his hair, oh my gosh his hair. He has a full head of dark brown hair that has a little bit of a curl to it. And he has Brandon's squishy lips and I love them.

We spent probably about two and a half hours with him, alternating between crying and just feeling complete joy at how perfect he is. And that is how we will always remember him: our perfect, squishy faced, skinny little babe. Sadly, his skin started to get really dry, so we called our parents back in to say goodbye, then had a few minutes with him on our own, and then said goodbye for the day.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching Impractical Jokers and trying to rest, again alternating between crying and just feeling okay. We left the hospital that night around 5:00, because I didn't feel like staying anymore. That night, someone went to the hospital and took pictures, and also took molds of his hands and feet that we now have to hold. It's not just like a hand and footprint, they are his little feet and hands that we can pick up and hold individually, and I'm so grateful for them!

Physically, the recovery has been fine. Emotionally, it has been a little harder. The first few days I cried a lot, but we also laughed a lot and felt a lot of joy and blessings despite the situation. My parents stayed with us until Sunday, and Brandon's parents stayed with us the following Monday night, so we always had extra bodies to distract us and take care of us. 

We had a little graveside service for Carter this past Saturday. Brandon and I got to go see him at the funeral home before hand, and he still just looks so perfect. We picked out an outfit for him that Brandon's mom altered to be a little smaller than his newborn onesie he had been put in at the hospital, and the clothes still were so big on him! He's just a skinny little thing. The service was so nice though. We had a ton of family show up, which was honestly so great. There was so much love there. My dad read a letter that I had written to Carter, and Brandon's dad said a closing prayer, and that was it. We left a little airplane for him, it has become our little symbol for Carter and all the adventures he'll be taking (airplanes were a prominent theme in his nursery). Then we had a luncheon with all the family, and again it was just so great to feel all the love and support.

I wanted to write this so people would know his story. We don't know yet what happened- we're still waiting on test results-but he made us a family, and he will always be our son. I also want everyone to know that Brandon and I are actually doing okay, despite everything. Some days are harder than others, some minutes are harder than others, and when we feel like we want to be sad or angry we let ourselves be those things. But it also takes a lot of work to be sad and angry all the time, and knowing Carter, he wouldn't want that for us. We have this beautiful memory of the nine months we got to spend with him, and a somehow kind of beautiful delivery (you know, for as beautiful as those things actually can be), and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I want to be able to talk about Carter! I want people to feel like it's okay to ask us questions, and for them to know that our future children will absolutely know about Carter, and that he will always be mentioned when we talk about family. The situation completely sucks, and I've said that so much that just saying "it sucks" no longer covers how I really feel about it. But Brandon and I keep telling ourselves that yes, it could be better, but it also could have been worse. We were lucky to know before we delivered him that he would be born still, it gave us a lot of time to prepare and fully understand what was happening. We also are lucky to not have had an infant loss due to SIDS or something else beyond our control. Our situation sucks, but it could have been worse. And honestly, we have so many friends right now that have just had babies or will be very soon, and we don't want to feel angry or resentful towards anyone. We don't want our sadness to take away from our happiness for anyone else. And like I said, Carter wouldn't want us to do that either. 

I know we are receiving so much comfort from Carter, God, and from all our family and friends. Thank you all so much for the kind messages, gifts, and thoughts and prayers. I want you to know that we really can feel them. And I want everyone to know that we're okay. I wouldn't say we're great, but we still are able to get out of bed every day, appreciate the sunshine, and find reasons to laugh and be happy. If anything, the blue sky that has greeted us every day for the past two weeks makes me feel like Carter is surrounding us with his spirit.

I didn't want to post any pictures on here, because I don't want to force anyone to look at them, but if anyone is interested in seeing a picture, I really would love to share. He really is so cute. One of the other first things Brandon said when he saw him was "We make cute kids! We can keep having kids and they won't be ugly!" haha. I know we're biased, but still. So really, don't be afraid to talk to us about him. He's our son and we love him so much, and we want him to be a part of other people's lives as much as he is a part of ours.