I know and I realize I need to be next to my wife, supporting her every step of the way, and I am happy to do that. Unfortunately, I don't know where the line is to say "I love you and want to help you, but I need some time to myself." I feel selfish if I say something like that, and worry that I'm not giving my wife the help that she desperately needs. I suggested last night that I wanted to spend some "guy" time to just leave the house and do something for myself for a little bit. I'm sure this is just a part of my grieving process, but I can't help but feel guilty.
As many of our friends and family know, Haily and I learned in May that we were to be parents again in January. Although Haily was determined that our new baby was to be a girl (and had several names picked out), we learned on August 10 that our she was going to be a he (and a new list was quickly put together).
Haily and I thought about several names, ranging from Alexander to McRea, but nothing seemed right to me. We eagerly anticipated his arrival. I started moving some furniture last month to prepare for him. Even this past Monday night we were looking at a discounted stroller/car seat combo that we found on sale at Costco.
Haily had an appointment set up on Thursday for a routine ultra-sound and exam. Both the tech and the doctor spent about 20 minutes, but were unable to find a heart beat. Haily called me at work at about 1:30, to tell me the bad news. We spent the rest of the day in shock as the weight of what happened settled on us.
My mom was already in Arizona, and Haily's mom drove from Las Vegas to be with us. Before leaving home for the surgery, we decided upon his name, Eric Collin from my name and from his Grandpa Bratton's middle name. We've been in touch with funeral homes and cemeteries and believe we have that aspect lined up. Haily went into surgery a little after 8 and Eric Collin was stillborn at 9:21 last night. He weighed one pound and measured in at 11 inches.
Adrian and McKenna are doing well. Adrian is young enough to realize Mommy is not at home, but has been happy having Grandma to play with. McKenna know's Mommy and Daddy are very sad, and that Mommy is at the hospital with the baby. We've told her that her new brother will be living with Heavenly Father and Jesus.
Haily is recovering in the hospital tonight. She has had some time with our baby. Haily's doctor and the nursing staff have been nothing but helpful through all of this, and have gone out of their way to help us with our grief. Although we are devastated by this turn of events, we are grateful to our friends and family who have sent us their thoughts, kinds words, and prayers.
Little Eric was too precious and pure for this world, and it is in our Heavenly Father's wisdom and mercy that we were selected to be his parents for this short time. We know that he is a part of our eternal family, and that we will be with him in the next life. We know that he will be resurrected at the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father has a plan for us to return to his presence and we will be together as a family in the eternities.
Most everyone already knows on Facebook, but I figured I would also update my blog. Haily and I have suffered a tragedy these past 48 hours. Both McKenna and Adrian are fine. We really want to thank everyone who has reached out to us with their kinds words, thoughts, prayers, and support. We know Heavenly Father gives us trials to overcome, and though this may be the most difficult one we've faced together, it helps to know there are others out there who have opened their hearts to us. Thank you.
I can't believe it has been twenty years since my scout jamboree trip. I got to relieve some of it last summer when my wife and I flew to Washington D.C., spending the day with an old friend as we walked up and down the National Mall and visited the Air and Space Museum, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.
The second day of our trip found us in New York City. We spent the morning riding the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. I started to climb up to the crown, but chickened out midway - good thing I did because I nearly missed the ferry back to Manhattan. We toured the United Nations building, rode the Subway to Shea for a Mets game, took our tour bus through Queens (where I could see the statuary from the 1964 World's Fair), back for a tour of Manhattan (Times Square, Broadway, Empire State building, St. Patrick's cathedral) before stopping for dinner at a very unprepared Burger King. After getting my order, I followed the other scouts across the street and sat in a plaza eating my hamburger (ketchup and mustard only, please), and pondered what we were about to do next.
The final tour of our day was to travel to the top of one of the World Trade Center Towers. I remember feeling nervous. I had certainly never been so high in a building and I was a little scared of how I would deal with the heights. The elevator ride seemed to be shorter than I thought it should be. As I stepped out and looked around the observation deck, I was amazed at the thousands of lights dotting the horizon (it was dusk). I leaned my head against the glass and looked down towards the dark ground, vertigo quickly forcing me to lean back. Before returning to the elevator, I looked around one more time and caught sight of our first adventure that day, the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.
I'm all alone with my thoughts tonight. I was last night too.
Grandma and Grandpa B have been asking to spend some time with McKenna. After Haily's day care kids went home, she packed up McKenna and Adrian and flew up to Vegas for the night. Haily and Adrian came back this afternoon, but Haily had to rush right back out for her Enrichment activity. Adrian's been fed and put to bed and now it's just me, all alone, with no idea of what I should write about.
I know a few of my relatives and in-laws get tired of how often we go to Disneyland. Actually, we haven't been since May, due to money issues and problems with my herniated disc. At almost the last moment, we decided to go, and I'm glad we went. Not only did we get a really good discount on a car rental, but we also had a wonderful time together as a family.
McKenna got three new experiences on this trip. On Saturday, before we left home, we measured her height - she was pretty darn close to 40 inches tall with her shoes on. Once we had an opportunity to check at the park, she came in right at 40 and she got to ride Big Thunder Mountain and Star Tours with me. And even though she has seen Fantasmic a few times on You Tube, there's nothing better than seeing it in person.
In all, we had a great time. We usually spend a lot of time together, rarely do Haily or I do anything without involving the kids, but it's sure a neat feeling to find yourself flying in an elephant, or sailing over Neverland with your child beside you.
One of our "must do" activities is to watch the "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" show at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. These four brothers, each named Billy Hill, put on a bluegrass show that touches almost every muscial genre from Elvis, to the Beatles, to Country and Disco (They call that style Crisco) and Country meets Rap (no name for that style yet). They always put on a good show, and I've yet to be disappointed.
Special thanks go out to Karen and Charles for hosting us for the night, and extra thanks also go out to Bryan and Jamie who helped us out with an issue after we got home.
Living in Arizona, we're constantly aware of any changes to the dry heat of the summer. One of the most dangerous changes comes with the monsoon, a seasonal weather pattern that brings moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. The storms often appear unexpectedly, and bring a high amount of rain, preceeded by high winds and dust. Many of the local television stations broadcast a special about the dangers of the monsoon.
On Thursday night, we got caught up in one of the storms. We were driving after dark and fought the wind for a good distance. We could see the dust getting kicked up, and watched as heavy raindrops splattered on the car, muddying up the windshield with a thick paste. Our field of view diminished to the point where we could see only a few feet ahead of us. We pulled over, turned off our headlights, and turned on the hazards. A signpost that was only ten feet ahead of us disappeared in the gloom. We sat for several minutes, in silence, watching as cars slowly passed us, and others, following our example, pulled off the road. At one point, McKenna said she was scared and wanted to go home. In all, we waited for about fifteen minutes for the storm to pass us over.
As the wind slowed and visibility increased, we could see that the car was covered in dirt. I'm glad we had the sense of mind to pull over and let the storm pass over us.
And I was just getting used to it being August. I only just realized that Labor Day is next week.
Growing up in Idaho, the first week of September was always exciting. It signaled the opening of the Eastern Idaho State Fair, probably the biggest thing to hit the area. For a few dollars, we could see arts, crafts, livestock, and a selection of the best food to choose from. Over the years, different things would appeal to us, but we always had to get a tiger ear and go on the carnival rides. There were even years which found different members of our family behind the booths, serving up the ubiquitous tiger ears, and I later manned the booth for the TV station I worked for.
Different music acts, mostly country, would perform, and it was at the fair that I went to my first concert. What I consider to be my first real date was at the fair. And I'll always remember the night I came across my two best friends before and after they attacked a certain ride. The after was definitely worse than the before.
The pictures used for today's blog came from http://www.idahofallstoday.com/2008/08/31/idaho-state-fair/