Creating Precious Memories through Scrapbooking: May 2008

Creating Precious Memories through Scrapbooking

A journey through pregnancy / infant loss to healing through the art therapy of scrapbooking.

Daddy Don’t Cry For Me

Saturday, May 31, 2008
This was the second layout I did. I had found the great dad paper and wanted to use it for a layout with my DH and Zackery. I chose the contrasting yellow paper because it so closely matched some of the words in the dad paper. I also chose the green ribbon to tie both papers together. I left an open area at the bottom to journal, which I am hoping to get from DH but will likely have to come up with something myself. LOL
I have been trying to do more than just the typical blue boy pages for Zackery. It is so difficult to know what typical boy things he would like. I just have to do what I think he would like and be satisfied with that decision. Hey, if I don't like the page, I can always redo it in a different fashion again in the future.

Dad's are often overlooked when it comes to grieving. They are supposed to be the ones that are strong and stable, the ones we as moms depending on when we are feeling low. But, everyone forgets they need to grieve as well. And we also have to remember them for Father's Day. They are father's too, even if our only child(ren) are no longer with us.
For our first Father's day, I found a frame that held 4 different photos. I took a picture of my DH holding Zackery, a picture of Zackery's footprints, a picture of Zackery's ultrasound and a poem I had found and put them all together in the picture frame. I then took scrapbooking sticker letters and labeled the frame Daddy 'n Me. My husband just loved it and made him cry. Something so simple, meant so much to him.
I have gathered some poems I am going to share that are Father's Day related. Feel free to use them for something for your significant other for Father's Day.

by Andrea Lobdell

Daddy don’t cry for me
I’m right here
Don’t you see.
The way you walk
The way you smile
It all portrays,
What I would be

Daddy don’t cry for me
I’m right here
Don’t you see.
Look in the mirror
Isn’t that me
Dark brown hair
Big blue eyes
That’s what you gave to me

Daddy don’t cry for me
I’m happy here
No pain
No sorrow
I’ll watch over you
With every tomorrow

Daddy please,
Don’t be blue
For I will always
Be a part of you

You may contact Andrea at

© May 2002 by Andrea Lobdell. The author of this work has given full permission for its distribution, electronic or otherwise, as long as the entire work is presented in full, the author information from the bottom of the work is retained, and this copyright and permission is retained.

Mommy & Daddy's Little Angel
Your Dad
December 2001

I thought long and hard as to what I wanted to say,
Not a day goes by, that I wish you were here to stay,
Your Mom and I were anxious for you to look into our eyes,
But all we could really see was the silence of your cries.
It hasn't been an easy task to watch you go away,
Although heaven sent us an angel, now in God's hands you must lay
The little time we had with you we will cheerish everyday
Oh Keller Evan, our son, our boy, we pray
Now it's time to say goodbye, the part we do not like
But in our hearts, our minds and our souls,
Our angel will sleep tonight

© December 2001 by author. The author of this work has given full permission for its distribution, electronic or otherwise, as long as the entire work is presented in full, the author information from the bottom of the work is retained, and this copyright and permission is retained.

My First Child
"Oswego Bill"
July 1999

I never got to tell you this
Or see your little face
Couldn't hold you in my arms
Or feel your small embrace

I'll never know just what I lost
The doctor couldnt tell
All I know the grief I felt
Was the closest I've been to hell

Since then you've gained a sister
Lifting this dark and angry curse
Although I love her more then life
You'll always be my first

Comments: Just a simple poem written to articulate the pain and loss that I as a father endured as a result of the loss of my first child.

You may reach "Oswego" at for comments.

© July 1999 by "Oswago Bill." The author of this work has given full permission for its distribution, electronic or otherwise, as long as the entire work is presented in full, the author information from the bottom of the work is retained, and this copyright and permission is retained.

"Dear Daddy"

Dear Daddy,
I know today is Father's Day
And you miss me really bad,
But if you could see what I see,
You wouldn't be so dad.

I have all kinds of playmates
And playgrounds everywhere!
With swings and slides and
Balloon rides that whiz right
Through the air!

We have ice cream, cake and candy,
Milk, cookies and punch;
We never have to go to bed,
And we choose what we want for lunch.

There's even a river where you and I could fish,
The water's as clear as a day in spring,
And beautiful rainbows and fluffy white clouds
From which I can see everything!

So you see, daddy,
Even though I'm not with you,
I'm under my Father's care,
And when it's time for you to come,
You'll find me waiting right here!

And I'll give you the biggest hug -
Gee, I can hardly wait.
And when no one's looking,
We'll even swing on Heaven's Gate!

I love you daddy. Happy Father's Day!

from Darrell, miscarried at 16 weeks on June 15, 1962
and Melody, miscarried at 16 weeks on June 23, 1963.
Written by our mommy, Jo Ann Taylor
This June 15, 2000

(c) Jo Ann All Rights Reserved

A Man in Grief

(Eileen Knight Hagemeister)

To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test
And field calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through,
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"
He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew
And try to be so very brave--
He lost his baby too.

Father's Day

Just a note, a little note,
she asked me for a note.
And so it is with pen in hand
This is what I wrote.

I wrote of Father's Day
and what it meant
to be minus my boys.
My little gents.

I wrote of the days
during which I cry
in those private places
where no one can spy.

I wrote of memories
which always flood back,
Like the wind that whistles
down this well worn track.

Then I turned away
from this path of distress
'cause I know so well
that strength is my quest,
and is easily found
in those who are left.

So Father's Day is like any other:
In love with my children
and their mother.


A Father's Love

I remember when you were born;
a father's joy turned to sorrow.
There was no one to smoke cigars or wet your tiny head,
no pats on the back, no 'Good on ya mate',
Just emptiness and despair.

You worry about your wife and the way that she feels
You start to hide emotions as if it isn't real.
You bottle up your feelings
Because you think that men can't cry
while all the time the hurt is tearing you up inside.

When you're back at work it's always, 'How's the wife?'
You can't tell your mates the pain cuts you like a knife.
So you learn to suffer in private, don't want to show that you can't cope
with the fact that your child's life was taken away
and you have lost all hope.

You dream of what would have been,
of playing cricket, or football
Of checking out the daughter's boyfriends
and walking her down the aisle.
It all hurts so much; but all you can do is smile.

Gary Unsworth, Nepean SANDS group
A Father's Pain
Written for Evan by his Dad, Randy

A part of me travels with you
As your spirit travels forth
A perfect child in my heart forever
You will never be forgotten
The short time that we shared
A time so precious to me
You shall always be my beloved son
From not through eternity
My cries of pain are silent
An emptiness fills my soul
Evanm I'll always remember
how your passing took its toll
Good-byes are difficult to say
May the angels care for you above
But evend eath can never break
The bond of you fathers love.

People Don't Understand...

People don't understand...
why I miss you so much...
they've never had a baby...
they could not touch.

I never got to hear you cry...
dry the tears from your face...
or watch mommy dress you up...
in clothes made from lace.

To hold you once...
on my chest while you sleep...
I long for that moment...
it's hard not to weep.

To hear your giggle...
count your fingers and toes...
do up your hair...
with ribbons and bows.

Oh the longing at times...
is selfish I know...
people wonder about me...
when there is nothing to show.

But we know you're there...
awaiting the day...
when God brings us home...
forever we'll stay.

We miss see...
the reason for this...
just thought you should know...
we send up a kiss.

Until then God promised to keep you...
safe and warm in his lap...
then it's forever...
on my chest you will nap.

Written for "Terri" by her husband,
this poem was posted on
the Internet Group Infanlos.

The Grief of My Man

There are no words to ease his pain.
He has that look in his eyes again.
He travels on down that lonely road.
It sure has been a heavy load.

The pain does not ease. The tears do not flow.
He keeps it inside. That is all that he knows.
He stands all alone, so proud and so strong.
Inside he is broken. This trip has been long.

His knees never bend. His back never breaks.
But deep doewn inside, oh how his heart aches.
He counts all the days. He dreads all the nights.
Try as he may, he can never make it right.

He keeps on going, from one day to the next,
Finding the good, and leaving the rest.
He tries not to question God's life plan.
But, still I can feel the grief of my man.

For My Loving Husband, Andy
I Love You Forever

Written for her husband, Andrew
in memory of their son, Kieran Andrew,

The Coxwells have two living children,
have had three miscarriages
and one neonatal loss(Kieran).

What Makes a Woman a Mother and a Man a Father?

Mother's Day and Father's Day. What do these days mean? Who do they commemorate? Some would answer, "those who have living children who bring them breakfast in bed and honor them with gifts."

What makes a woman a mother and a man a father? Many might respond, "hours of labor for the woman while the man patiently paces the floor to then be rewarded with a screaming bundle of joy that they raise for the next 18 years."

While this answer is not wrong or inaccurate, what about the couple who lovingly conceived a much wanted child then miscarried the baby early in pregnancy, suffered a stillbirth, or lost their baby shortly after birth? Has this man and woman earned the title of "parents?" Should they be acknowledged on these two Sundays? Absolutely! However, most of the time they are not. Bereaved parents often feel very isolated on these holidays and privately wish these days would have never been created. I have noticed that despite all the attention given to the mothers by their living children, there are some sensitive people who do recognize the pain someone may be enduring due to the loss of a parent. However, very little recognition, if any at all, is given to bereaved parents on these days. There are many parents who choose to forget these days all together and some who don't ever bother getting out of bed.

I challenge and encourage you to celebrate these days with pride! Whether you have any living children or not, you are indeed a parent and deserve to be honored. Make these days special and filled with memories of your baby. Talk with one another about the memories of your pregnancy, take flowers to the cemetery, even give your spouse a gift in honor of the life you created. Above all, rejoice for this is the day that the Lord has made!

Rebekah Mitchell

"Calling Daddy From Heaven"

I'm calling you, Daddy, from Heaven
Because we are apart,
But the phone won't ring on earth today;
In heaven we call heart to heart.

I just want to say, "I love you,"
And I think of you each day.
I hear you say you love me
Each time you kneel to pray.

Sometimes I watch you working
At a job you do se well.
I tell all my friends in Heaven,
"That's my daddy, and ain't he swell!"

I'm working on a project
To send you as a gift,
And when you finally see it,
Your spirits will really lift.

I'm painting lots of colors
All across the sky,
And after rain you'll see them
And know we never die.

I'll also paint some flowers
And send them down to you.
They'll look so fresh and pretty
In the early morning dew.

But best of all, I'll take some notes
Of all the things I love,
So you can read my journals
When you meet me here above.

Your name will cover pages
Of my moments to be shared;
You'll see how much you've meant to me
And how very much I cared.

Then, I'll have story time with Jesus
And he'll tell me stories of you.
I'll listen with a smile
Of all the things you do.

He'll tell me of your kindness
And the smile upon your face,
The way you make the world
A really nicer place.

Of all the things I ever do,
This will the best;
I'll ask the Lord to Bless you,
My very own request.

And tonight when you are resting
From the day you've spent so well,
I'll whisper in your ears
All I have to tell.

And as I hold you through the night,
This is what I'll say,
"I'm proud to call you Daddy
on this special Father's Day."

Love, Your Little Angel

Author Unknown

Men do Cry
I heard quite often "men don't cry"
Though no one ever told me why
So when I fell and skinned a knee
No one came to comfort me.

As I grew to reasoned years
I learned to stifle any tears
Through "Be a big boy" it began
Quite soon I learned to "be a man".

Then one long night I stood nearby
And helplessly watched my son die
And quickly found to my surprise
That all the tearless talk was lies

And still I cry and have no shame
I cannot play that "big boy" game
And openly, without remorse
I let my sorrow take its course.

So those of you who can't abide
A man you've seen whose often cried
Reach out to him with all your heart
As one whose life's been torn apart.

For men do cry when they can see
Their loss of immortality
And tears will come in endless streams
When mindless fate destroys their dreams

Ken Falk
Father's Day Poem
oh dearest daddy....
what can I say today ???
To mend your broken heart....
On this fathers day???

You know I would be there with you....
if only there was a way....
Although l am in heaven now....
It's in your heart I will always stay.

Just like you were always there for me..
I will be always there for you....
Just look for a sign and you will see....
in each sunrise....
and each sunset too.

My love for you daddy ......
Will always be true....
You are the best daddy in the world....
And that includes the heavens too.

So I'm sending all my love....
To you from heaven .......
And remember I will be with you....
Just look for me this fathers day.

I love you daddy!
From your angel in heaven above.

Author unknown.
My Dad's a Survivor

My Dad is a Survivor
My dad is a survivor too...
which is no surprise to me.
He's always been like a lighthouse
that helps you cross a stormy sea.

But, I walk with my dad each day
to lift him when he's down.
I wipe the tears he hides from others.
He cries when no one's around.

I watch him sit up late at night,
with my picture in his hand.
He cries as he tries to grieve alone,
and wishes he could understand.

My dad is like a tower of strength.
He's the greatest of them all~!
But there's times when he needs to cry...
Please be there when he falls.

Hold his hand or pat his shoulder...
and tell him it's okay.
Be his strength when he's sad,
Help him mourn in his own way.

Now, as I watch over my precious dad
from the Heaven's up above...
I'm so proud that he's a survivor...
And, I can still feel his love!
Oh Father, my father

Close your eyes and feel me near
keep me inside your heart
let me live in your soul
you see through tears
the things we will never do
running across the fields of my youth
games never played
but it is not gone
those dreams you hold so close
for I live on in every child you see
little ones standing alone…lost
or laughing in a playground
swinging so high
touching the tree tops
that is I
wanting just to love
feel my happiness in the song of a bird
see my sorrow in mother
hold her close forever
feeling your strength
for there will be one to come behind me
whether through God's grace or
from a different calling
a child chosen through His hand.
For in darkness, a light will appear
even if it is just the dawn
signaling a new beginning
and as you gather my mother to your heart
release your tears
let the healing begin
and discover that I am here
in your dreams
in your tomorrows.
Every rainbow is the path home
and if you should stumble
I am the wings that shall lift you

Love, your child

Theresa Cochrane

Husbands Must Grieve Too
(The death of a baby)

When death visits a family, everyone tells the husband to be strong,
he must find the strength to carry, himself and his wife along.
Some people tend to forget that the husband is grieving too.
He also needs someone to carry him through.

The death is so much harder to take when it is a wee one,
it is like an arrow in your heart and you brain has come undone.
You feel that you need to put on a brave face to support your wife,
but how can do this, when death has taken your sons life.

If you feel like crying, please do not feel any shame,
any man who has lost a family member would do the same.
The baby was part of your life for a while and then he was taken,
and this has left the both of you very shaken.

Do not bottle up your feelings because this will cause you more pain.
You must let it out or it will drive you insane.
Grieving is a process and it has to run its' course,
even if you are screaming and crying yourself hoarse.

Be there for each other both wife and man,
and talk over your feelings the best way you can.
Cry in each others arms until the pain starts to ease,
and remember you baby boy at times like these.

Jim William McVean


Lost and Alone

Lost and alone,
is there any point in going on.
Life was far to cruel, it has cut us too deep,
we even dream about you in our sleep.

A baby so small, he had not seen the light,
Me and your Mummy still cry silently in the night.
We wish we had just been able to see your wee face,
in your wee cot all decked out with bonny blue lace.

Snatched away before you drew your first breath,
now you lie buried in the deep dark comforting earth.
We are lost and alone so much so we cannot say,
our minds are full of questions but no answers come our way.

We need to grieve so much but we cannot let you go,
hours are like days and days pass so slow.
No minutes of peace, now you are not here,
no minutes of peace for me and my wife so dear.

Help us to cry if crying will help us,
Help us to see if seeing will help us,
Help us to understand if understanding will help us,
Help us to cope if coping will help us.

Jim William McVean


Joy Turns to Sadness
(at last reunited)

Joy turned to sadness the day we said our last good-bye,
but you will be with us in our hearts until the day we die.
Run to us, with you arms open so far and wide,
and jump on Daddys' shoulders and he will give you a shoulder ride.

So many things we wanted to do with you,
take a trip into the city and maybe even visit the zoo.
Teaching you to all the things that you would need know,
where it is not safe and where it is safe to go.

But you were called away so early, you never had a chance,
to laugh at Mum and Dad, as they tried to show you how to dance.
All these things and more are safely tucked away,
and when we are in heaven, we will teach you anyway.

Until then my son, we will continue to grieve,
and wondering to ourselves, why did you have to leave.
Look down on us my son, as we shed our saddest tears,
because where you are now, there are no tears or fears.

Rest peacefully in his arms, our bonny baby boy,
and maybe in Heaven we will catch up on all our joy.

It will be a time of rejoicing and of crying many tears of joy,
when we are at last reunited with our bonny baby boy.

Jim William McVean


Death is not an Option
(Nor is it a choice)

Death is not an option, it comes to us all,
whether you are seven foot or you are very small.
If you had the chance would you even choose at all
death is not polite, he does not knock on the wall.

The hardest death to take is when it is a babe,
if it had to be a decision, it would be the hardest made.
I for one could not, I would not make the grade,
but who would want to, when all is done and said.

It is always left to fate, to do the choosing in our place,
I would not want his job, nor I would enter the race.
If it was up to me, I would die in your stead,
so that you can lie cosy and warm, in your bed.

I am afraid that is not a choice and it certainly is not an option,
and no amount of money can buy you protection.
Once he has your number and he has left his calling card,
he takes your hand gently so that your passing is not so hard.

He passes so quietly, his heart going out to all who grieve,
it takes him all his time, to take the dead and leave.
Have your time of grieving, it is different for us all,
when the pain is too much to bear, ask Him not to let you fall.

Jim William McVean


Suffer The Little Children

Suffer the little children and come unto me,
this is what the Bible says, so it must be.
But why do they have to suffer, for they have done no wrong,
let them stay with their parents where they all belong.

Some are taken quietly in the middle of the night,
some of them from the many injuries that they received in a fight.
Some do not even, get a chance at all to be born,
late in its' mother pregnancy, from her womb is torn.

Leaving grieving parents wondering why and how,
why you left it so late and why now.
Now a void has appeared in their loving life,
who consoles the husband as he consoles his wife.

So suffer not the little children because they see enough pain,
let them be happy and not to feel disdain.
Let no bad come of them, while they are in your care,
because you will have to answer for all when you too get there.

Therefore be happy little children in all your childhood things,
and listen to your parents and to the songs your mother sings.
Parents this is for you listen to your child and watch over them too.
And maybe in the end, they will do the same thing for you.

Jim William McVean


What Makes A Mother

Friday, May 16, 2008
I know that Mother's day was last weekend but I thought I would post this anyhow. I want those that are without their children are still moms!

"What makes a Mother"

I thought of you and closed my eyes and prayed to God today I asked what makes a mother and I know I heard him say; A mother has a baby, this we know is true But God can you be a mother when you're baby is not with you?

Yes, yes you can, he replied with confidence in his voice I give many women babies, when they leave is not their choice.

Some I send for a lifetime and others for a day And some I send to feel your womb but there's no need to stay.

I just don't understand this God I want my baby here He took a deep breath and cleared His throat and then I saw a tear "I wish I could show you what your child is doing today and if you could see your child smile with other children and say "We go to earth to learn our lessons of love and life and fear.

My mommy loved me oh so much I got to come straight here.

I feel so lucky to have a mom

Who had so much love for me, I learned my lessons very quickly My mommy set me free.

I miss my mommy oh so much but I visit her each day.

When she goes to sleep, on her pillow's where I lay.

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek and whisper in her ear, Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm still here...

So you see my dear sweet one,

Your children are ok

Your babies are here in My home and This is where they'll stay.

They'll wait for you with Me until your lessons are through And on the day that you come Home they'll be at the gates for you So now you see what makes a Mother, it's the feeling in your heart It's the love you had so much of right from the very start Though some on Earth may not realize until their time is done Remember all the love you have and know that you are a Special mom.

I don't remember much from my first Mother's day after losing Zackery since it was only a week afterwards. Bless my mom for acknowledging me as a mom even though Zackery wasn't with me.

This was the gift she gave me that first horrible Mother's day. I am going to be sure to include it in one of my layouts in the future.

My mom still acknowledges Zackery any chance she gets. I will little things in the mail from her that reminds her of him. Have I mentioned I love my mom? :)

This was technically my third layout but felt it was very appropriate for Mother's day. I am still needing to do journaling.

The Case of the Intimidating Layout

Thursday, May 15, 2008
My friends and I have been getting together on a semi regular basis now to scrapbook. It helps me to get out of the house and gives me an excuse to actually work on my albums. I am so pleased with the way my scrapbooking skills are growing and changing. I only started my first layout not even a year ago even though I have been gathering supplies for years. Heck, I was not even interested in scrapbooking until I lost Zackery. And then, that is when I started to collect supplies and tools.
I was frightened to get started on my own but felt uncomfortable going to crops with others that would be scrapping happy moments in their lives. I wanted a space where I would be comfortable with others seeing his pictures, where they would be ok if I ended up crying.
I was attending a local pregnancy / infant loss group one night and it was announced a new scrapbooking group was being started just for our kind of losses. I was ecstatic! Finally a place where I could actually go and be comfortable with everything.
After several months, and meeting several great angel moms, the group was on hiatus for the summer. When the startup date loomed in the near futur, I started to post the information for the group everywhere I could think of. I was sure there would be others that were interested. Unfortunately, 3 months later and myself the only one attending, the group was canceled. I was heartbroken but was not discouraged. I know there are others out there in my area that are wanting to scrapbook about their loss, I just have to find them.
For Zackery's first page, I knew I wanted to use his actual footprints somehow. And what a better way to highlight his footprints than make them the center image on vellum over the poem:

Little Footprints

How very softly
you tiptoed into my world.
Almost silently,
only a moment you stayed.
But what an imprint
your footprints have left
Upon my heart

-D. Ferguson

The right image is one of the pictures of Zackery's little feet showing his super long toes. The left says:
Date: May 3, 2003
Time: 4:44 pm
Weight: 7 lbs 10 oz.
Length: 20.5"

And while I am not 100% happy with the page, it was my springboard to start into scrapbooking. Its not such a scary venture anymore!

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5 Years and Counting

Friday, May 9, 2008
I wasn't too sure if I was even going to start this or not but with a meeting I attended on Wednesday, it only got my mind thinking of starting a blog about how to scrapbook a pregnancy loss / infant loss.

A subject that is so taboo to begin with that people don't talk about it let alone think about scrapbooking about it.

Scrapbooking is supposed to be about happy events in our lives.

Not always so.

We scrapbook about those we have had in our lives and have passed at an old age.
We scrapbook about those that have made some kind of impact in our lives but are no longer with us or are still with us.
We scrapbook about those that we celebrate with every year for their birthdays.

We scrapbook about life changing events. Babies, new house, new puppy, marriage.....

Why can't we scrapbook about a baby that was so loved, it impacted our lives right from the beginning?
No matter when you lost the baby, there are ways to scrapbook that precious little life. There are many ways to capture that precious life in a layout. You do not need pictures. You do not need talent. All you need is time and a willingness to try.
Before I get into the scrapbooking part too much, I need to give my reasons for wanting to scrapbook about pregnancy / infant loss.

At the beginning of August 2002, my husband and I decided we would start on our trying to conceive path and I stopped taking birth control. We left on vacation to visit family, and to have a small vacation away from family on our own. Little did we know that when we returned home, we had an exciting souvenir with us.

Upon returning to work, the girls there were quick to note how I was feeling and promptly bought me a pregnancy test. I took it the next morning and it was almost immediately positive. We were ecstatic and surprised at how quickly it happened.

The pregnancy progressed along normally. In December, we found out we were going to be having a son. While at first I was a little bit disappointed, (what woman doesn’t want a daughter!) the thought of having a son really grew on me.

In February, I ended up with edema but was told it was nothing more and everything else looked good. I continued to go to work and move along in my pregnancy as normal.

In April with just 2 weeks left to go, my OB pulled me from work due to a rise in my blood pressure. I was put on modified bed rest. Labour classes were winding down and it was during my last breastfeeding class that I noticed Zackery was really active. We didn’t think anything of it since we had had Subway for dinner and he had seemed to really like the sub sauce. The following day was my 39 week appointment. My blood pressure was still a bit high but they were still not concerned. When they were not able to find the heartbeat, I definitely got concerned but the OB told us it was likely just their equipment. They sent us to the hospital to have me checked out anyhow just to be sure.

After waiting for some time in the waiting room, I was taken into the exam room and hooked up to the monitor. They still seemed unable to find his heartbeat and could only ever find mine. The nurses kept telling me that it was likely he was in a funny position and they just weren’t able to pick it up. They checked me out asking about all the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (or at least I know that now) of which the only one I had was the spike in my blood pressure. Two ultrasounds later, the on-call OB had the unfortunate task of telling us that Zackery no longer had a heartbeat. I remember wailing, thinking it just wasn’t possible. The nurses suggested that I had him vaginally and that I hold him once he was born. I remember thinking how there was no way I was going to do either of them. I just couldn’t. Now, I am so glad they suggested that to me.

They gave us the option of staying and waiting for a bed or going home for a bit. We opted to go home to let everyone know what had happened. We called everyone which included my parents which live 3000 kms away from us. They would be leaving in the morning to drive to us. We ended up going back into the hospital later that evening and were promptly taken to a room. My mother-in-law was on her way into the city. While this technically was not her first grandchild, he was the first one to live close by. She had been just as excited as we were on the pending arrival only to find out he was gone. She wanted to be there for us for support. I can only imagine how she was feeling since she had lost her dad only 2 weeks prior.

My water was broke at 9:30 pm. At midnight, we talked with a social worker about everything that was going to happen and what our options were going to be. We talked to her for quite some time before we decided to try get some sleep. I was given a mild sedative to help me out.

At 3 am, I had started to feel contractions and at that point, I was just so exhausted with everything that I opted to get an epidural. I remember shaking as the epidural was being put in and how painful it actually was. I was able to lightly sleep after the epidural was in. I was given control over how much of the pain I wanted to feel. In the morning, I had a catheter put in as I had no feeling from my waist down. I had a bit of toast and juice for breakfast and I only remember that because I ended up throwing up because of the epidural.

I don’t recall what we did for most of the day. I do remember getting a phone call from one of the girls at work and talking to her about everything. I remember getting flowers from work and I remember my husband calling our friends to let them know we needed them to stop by our house to feed our cats. I don’t know how else we spent our day.

At 3:30 pm, I was checked and I was found to be very close. I could feel no contractions. At 4 pm, my body was ready for me to push. My epidural was so strong, the nurses had to tell me when to push by feeling my stomach. I was exhausted. They were having trouble getting Zackery out. The nurses ended up standing on stools and pushing on my stomach to try and get Zackery to come out. They were having problems getting his shoulders out. The OB gave us the option of forcepts and a small episiotimy to help him come out.

At 4:44 pm, May 3, 2003, Zackery Austin Kirk was born an angel at 7 lbs 10 oz at 39 weeks 1 day. He was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. He had 10 fingers and 10 toes and a little tufts of red hair on his head. Upon delivery of the placenta, they noticed a very small infarction on it with no explanation as to why I had it. I was stitched back up with a couple of stitches and the epidural was stopped.

They cleaned up Zackery and clothed him, took pictures of him and then gave him to us so we could spend time with him.

We had a couple of friends stop by to see how we were doing. They were able to meet Zackery. As I was lying there waiting for the epidural to completely wear off, I noticed a gushing, especially when I coughed. I asked my nurse if that was normal and she had told me that it can be normal.
I got into the shower and noticed I had large clots to the point where I was almost fainting. The nurse put me back on the bed and had the doctor come back in so that he could see why I was bleeding so much.

It turns out that when they were trying to get Zackery out with the forceps, they had inadvertently clipped a small artery. I was bleeding everywhere and that little artery was giving the doctors a heck of a time closing it off and I in pain from the poking they had to do and no drugs in me. Poor Adam thought he was going to lose me to the point where he ended up falling asleep on the couch after having a sedative.

I was now finally able to spend some time with my son but I was not able to hold him anymore. I could not sit up for fear of passing out again and I had a fever. The pictures we have of me with Zackery, I am lying down with a cloth over my forehead. I now have so many regrets from that day. Why didn’t I insist that I bathe him? Why didn’t I take off his clothes and look at “all” of him? Why didn’t I spend more time with him? Why didn’t we take more pictures of him? I know that no matter how much we did do, it would never be enough.

6 months after losing Zackery, the autopsy results found nothing wrong with Zackery. Reason for our loss was labeled as unknown. Ironically, after finding out the results, we got pregnant with our daughter Natalia. It was as if my body was waiting for the results. Natalia was born 15 months after losing Zackery. She is now 3.5 years old. We also have another daughter Anya that is 19.5 months old. The hardest thing about the subsequent pregnancies was the anxiety that I might lose those pregnancies as well. But, I am a survivor. And our children will know their older brother. His urn sits where everyone call see it as do his pictures. I have 3 beautiful children, one that was just too perfect to stay here with us.

This will be my way of remembering my son, introducing him and the love I have for scrapbooking to others that may not think they can or should scrapbook their loss.

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