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Due date and visitation

Well it’s April 17th, which was my original due date, according to my calculator. The hospital had me at the 18th but I think my own experience from conception to birth should trump their wheel, and this was the date I had in my mind as Grant’s ‘upper threshold’ birthday, since I knew even if everything went perfectly my team would never let me go overdue. Not with my history, anyway.

It’s raining today, the temperature and weather almost identical to the day we buried him. Thankfully, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic craziness the cemetery is open, so I could visit properly.
Grant's gravesite

The baby garden section is quiet and pretty, though profoundly sad. Something about this section just seems so unfair. The cemetery is filled with memorials to hundreds of people, but something about the babies being gone seems harder to process. Maybe just because it’s me, and he is mine. But I find myself crying at even the thought of this little triangle patch of grass, bushes, and stones.

We haven’t had the time or money to get a headstone yet, but the little yellow flag marking where he was laid is still here. The grass patch was replaced over the top of the dirt, but you can still see the outline where his little box was placed and filled in. That feels a little better, in a way? That it’s not just blank like nothing happened, not just dirt like only death is there. Marked, but still living and fresh above. I don’t know why that matters but somehow it does.
Grant's grave

I haven’t cried much where anyone can see or hear, only at night or when friends say something that stabs at the raw places in my heart, however well meaning. In so many ways I’m fine. But I won’t lie to myself here - as much as time moves forward and the demands of the day wait for no one, I cannot say I am unchanged by the loss and pain and emptiness in my arms where my baby should be. Not today. It doesn’t help that another sweet friend who was due around the same time just safely had her baby yesterday, or that the doctors won’t even let me try again until next year. It just reinforces the empty, aching loneliness that seems part and parcel of being a mother without her child.

I’m going to smile. But I’m not all right. Not even close.

Still, God is good, even in this. Even when we don’t understand. Even when my arms are empty and my heart is broken. I don’t feel it right this minute. Right now I don’t feel anything but agony and sadness. But the rain today won’t last forever and neither will the storm inside my mind. Just as it has in the past few months, the loss will slip further inside and the ache will recede from my mind a bit. The schedules will fill back up, living children will need food and naps and worksheets graded, and I’ll continue on as this person carrying such a jagged mark on my soul that nobody sees but me and my precious Jesus.

I can’t really think of scripture right now, except the refrain I tell myself nearly every day. The Lord gives, the Lord takes. Blessed be the name of the Lord. That’s enough for me, even if I can’t bring myself to talk the proper Christian platitude game at the moment, to anyone who asks. Deep inside all the painful places this has exposed, I know with certainty that He is here with me, even though my baby is not. That is all I have. No coping, no nice words, no bible studies and sermons. Just this piece of myself that is left, when everything else is stripped away, that knows His promises are true even if everything else perishes.

Right now I’m sitting in my car weeping. Today is a day for mourning again, even though it isn’t Grant’s birthday or death day. This is still a time for grief, where I’m making space away from life and the kids and Peter to just be with what’s left of my baby. I feel like there will probably be many days like this to come, where I smile and perform and act the way everyone expects while quietly losing it in the safe places like this cemetery or my bedroom where I don’t have to hide. So if you’re thinking about it, pray for my peace. Or healing. I don’t event know. But April 17th, 2020, has been a very hard day. My God is with me, and it feels like he is the only one right now.


We buried little Grant today. Grant in grave clothes

Taryl was crocheting a baby blanket for him. She modified it to be a little sleeping bag. She also made him a little hat. That is what we buried him in. His mother’s handmade items for him.

Joey an elder from our church offering a prayer
Two elders from our church came. Joey offer an prayer and officiated at our little graveside service.

CoffinHe had a beautiful bouquet of flowers and we had a rose for each family member to place.

Lowered in the graveWe said our last goodbyes and lowered him in the grave.

We miss him all the time. Thank you to all the family who came even from other countries to support us during this time. It is a good reminder that despite our broken hearts over Grant, life goes on and we treasure our friends and family who we still can spend time with.

Thank you to our church for the amazing support they have shown through all of this. Thank you Paul and Joey for coming today.

We miss you Grant.


We picked out a little plot for our son today (2020-01-11). Grant won’t have his chance to leave his mark on this world, so we felt it was important to leave one for him. It is a nice little plot not too far from where we live. It will be his. It will mark that he was here. He touched us so deeply, it was the least we could do for him. We miss him.

Getting the details in order

Thank you everyone who is keeping us in your prayers.

We have a lot of planning and organizing to try and manage today with the actual arrangements, but I know people have asked how they can help.

If anyone wants to send flowers to the service or our home we are using Far Hills Florist with the graveside, you are welcome to call Barb and Jeff and send arrangements if you’d like.
Far Hills Florist

Beyond that, a donation in Grant’s name to the Preeclampsia Foundation would be wonderful. This disease is so poorly understood and there are no cures or even treatments that improve outcomes consistently, just symptom management to try and buy time. This side of heaven we know we suffer the effects of the fall, but I pray God would ease the pain of myself and thousands of other mothers who have been afflicted with this condition, once or multiple times. Research is happening, and I’m grateful for any more that can be done.

Thank you for the love, everyone.

Peter and I very much appreciate the concern, prayer, and outpouring of love you are sending our way. We do need some family time to process and grieve and just don’t have a lot to say right now, but the warmth of your care is definitely being felt. Excuse the radio silence on our end, it’s just a lot to manage and move through.

Details on a memorial service with the church will be forthcoming as we arrange it. We just aren’t there yet. Thank you for giving us some space and time, each comment is read and cherished even if we can’t really find words to respond.

I’ll probably delete this in the morning.

Only a single handfulGrant was such a little guy. He was literally only a handful. He is leaving such a big hole in our hearts.

Official sunset today in Dayton was 17:30 with last light at 18:00. I believe his last tiny breath was pretty much right at 17:30. As the sun set on today, so did his life. He never opened his eyes. He was too young. He never saw the sunlight. The sunlight of his last day with us did shine on his face along with our dream for his life. The sun set in the sky and his life here with us set. We will miss him so much.

Into his Creator’s hands we commit him.

Last kisses from mommy
Last kisses from mommy.

Even on the oscillator, his heart rate continued to slow. Even as they pumped as much oxygen into him as they could, he oxygen levels in his blood fell. They couldn’t do anything more for him. We held him as his heart rate slowly fell from 100 beats per minute to 50 beats per minute. His heart rate slowed down to the 35-ish beats per minute and we had the nurses pull the ventilator off him. He hung on for an additional 45 minutes or so. Twitching and moving fingers. A few minutes after 17:00, the doctor took his pulse at 20 beats per minute. As previously noted somewhere around 17:30 plus or minus 10 minutes, he finally stopped twitching and left us.

We got to hold him. We got to cuddle him. His last few minutes were mostly cuddled with mommy, but I think his actual last couple of minutes were in my arms. We will miss him so much.

We treasure the little time we got to have with him.

God is good. He gives us so much more than we deserve. He gives and He takes away. May he be glorified.

Grant Timothy
Grant Timothy

Grant Timothy

Born: 2020-01-06
Died: 2020-01-09

He wasn’t with us long, but we love him very much and will miss him forever. We will miss so much. We will miss watching him grow. We will miss seeing the man he would have become.

Grant Timothy

Day 3 Update

Not much change really.

He’s still not processing oxygen well. Still struggling with oxygen saturation.

His blood pressure was low, but a transfusion helped.

He’s not peeing again. They need him to pee more. They are concerned about continued organ function.

Basically, he needs to get oxygen into his blood, CO2 out, and organs to remain functional.

Grant with tiny baby sleep mask

This is the oscillator.

Mommy talking to Grant
Mommy talking to Grant’s box.

Grant Day 2 Morning Update

Unfortunately Grant had a turn for the worse. He developed PIE, you can read more about it here. His right lung is not really helping him at this point. He is having trouble getting enough gas exchange. He is on the oscillator (I should have taken a picture, sorry) and at nearly 100% oxygen.

His doctor said, “He’s pretty critical.”

His platelets were down, but the last labs came back right before I left and they were back up, so that is a good sign, but his air issues are huge.

He’s also down to 550 grams, which isn’t a huge deal.

Grant under billy light

Grant under billy light

Grant Afternoon Update

They continue to change his ventilator settings to try to work him off supplemental air. They were chasing the oxygen content around a bit to see where he needs it right now. His CO2 levels looked good and his blood pH looked good this afternoon.


Finger for scale

Mommy updates 1/7

Another little blessing - my pain is well managed and I’m feeling really good on the mag sulfate.  Just the smallest of hot flashes in some specific areas of my body and slight dizziness.  This is a drug some people do very poorly on so I’m grateful it’s not making me feel like garbage.

The surgeon had to reef on me pretty bad to get Grant out without hurting his delicate bones, but I’d say that retractor/pulling was where most of my pain is coming from and it’s only like a 2 at the moment with pain meds.

At this point we take our wins where we can.

My blood pressure has also gone back to normal without two med doses. It could still swing pretty wildly here over the next few days and weeks, but now that the placenta is out and isn't causing continued chemical signaling/autoimmune issues for me, my whole blood chemistry has improved drastically.

Day 1 Morning

Grant is “doing normal for his age”.

He’s had a couple of doses of Surfactin to help his lungs open up. They have him weaned from about 70%+/- oxygen down to the mid 30%+/-. (Air is of course around 20% for those that forgot their basic science classes).

He’s on some caffeine to help simulate being in mommy. Just kidding. He’s on some caffeine to help stimulate breathing.

He pee’d twice, but not measurable quantities. They need him to pee more so. He needs to show that all works. Plus he needs to not retain fluid too much.

A whole lot of this is super familiar. He has lots of differences though. Rather than brain damage, his brain isn’t developed enough to process certain stimuli. We just have to be careful and slow with him as he continues to develop and grow.

Weight as previously reported: 580 grams. Length 13 inches (because why not change unit system), Head size: 21 cm (because why not change again?)

Lots of time and challenges ahead. We hope things stay “normal” for his age”.

Mom is doing pretty well. Recovering from surgery. Not fun. Doing OK though. They say normal discharge for mom with the surgery/pre-e would be on the order of Friday or Saturday.