Avery Kate

Avery Kate was a healthy ten week old baby girl who went to sleep for a nap and woke up in Heaven. We miss her every second of every day. SIDS became a reality in our family and we will never forget our beautiful baby girl.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here comes the happiness

I feel like I've had a really good few weeks. There were so many wonderful things to celebrate and I actually felt some true happiness in my life. July is a really busy month for our family. Brandon and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on July 14. Not only that, but Hallie turned 3 years old on that day! Where does the time go? Since the 14th was on a Saturday, we had Hallie's birthday party at our house that day. She is one lucky little girl, let me tell you. Terri made her the biggest most beautiful cake! She had all of her family and friends with her to celebrate and it also made our anniversary special too. We were surrounded by everyone who loves us! Hallie even sent Avery Kate some party balloons to Heaven. That just brought tears to my eyes, but they were happy tears. As sad as it was knowing I would never be able to do any of these birthday things with Avery Kate, it touched me that Hallie could send something to her sister each year and always remember her on such a special day to our family. I loved that!

The morning after Hallie's party, Hallie and I went to Florida with my Maw Maw, aunt, and kids. We had such a wonderful, relaxing time! Hallie really loved the beach, and with the exception of me getting sick the first day, I loved it too! It brings a smile to my face to see Hallie having fun and to also see Maw Maw relaxed and enjoying life. It's hard to find happiness after a loss in your life, but boy does it feel good when you find it!

When we got back from the beach, it was time to celebrate some more birthdays! Brandon turned 30 on that Saturday and I turned 28 on the Monday. We celebrated the whole weekend and just had more happiness brought to us. Here is a picture of us at our family dinner at Regatta in Lake Arthur. If you haven't been there...you're missing out on some awesome food and a really neat atmosphere.

Not only did we have a great time celebrating, but we also have one more step of Aubrey's room complete!! A parent from the school where I teach came to the house and painted a tree on the back wall of the room. I have never been so pleased! It was even more relieving to be excited about THIS baby. I'm finally starting to feel how I am supposed to feel...happy! There is still that part of me inside that is scared out of my mind, but overall, I'm looking forward to her birth...finally! We will hang the new canvas "from the branches" once it comes in. It's all coming together just like I imagined it in my head.

On another note, I went to visit Avery Kate's grave on my birthday and literally had my breath taken away. When I walked into her section there was a big hole dug in front of her headstone. I thought they had dug her up! I haven't seen any "action" on this side of the graveyard since Avery Kate's funeral. My heart hurt so bad. I finally realized that it wasn't her grave, but it sure was close...too close for my comfort. It brought back all those memories of that day. I kept picturing my poor brothers placing her in that hole. I will never forget the looks on their faces. No one wants to put their baby niece into the ground, and the pain I saw in them will live with me forever. I was also really upset that another mother would have to watch her baby be put into the ground in only a few hours. I would never wish that pain upon anyone...ever.  With all the digging around Avery Kate's grave I decided her flowers just looked dirty and old. A few days later my mom, Jacob, Hallie, and I went back to her grave to put some new flowers. When we got to the graveyard, there was another shock...another grave was wide open, ready for a funeral in only one hour. And when I looked to my left, there was another freshly dug grave. I just don't understand what is going on. Why are these sweet innocent babies dying? Three in one week? That is just so sad and scary. It just doesn't seem like this is the way life is supposed to go does it? I still have faith in God and know that He truly knows what is best for this world, but it still doesn't settle easily to see such a thing.
We did get Avery Kate some happy, brightly colored flowers. I always like to put happy things there, hoping it will cheer up anyone who visits. Flowers always cheer me up, and maybe these bright flowers will do the same for these parents who have such a long road of grief and healing ahead of them. It's also really therapeutic for me. It's the only thing I can do for my child, and I enjoy making it pretty.

Overall, I'm doing good. I have my moments, and I still continue to miss that sweet face every single day, but I'm OK. I'll continue to keep Avery Kate as a major part of our lives and prepare to bring another joyous miracle of a life into this world. We have way too many blessings in our life to focus on the negatives of each day. Let's all remember to count our blessings each and every day :) 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The day finally came where we would have to transition Avery Kate's room to Aubrey's. I'm using the same bedding but I thought a coat of paint and a different color crib sheet would change the whole look of the room. As hard as it is, I want it to be Aubrey's room.
I had already cleaned out all the items that I would not be able to reuse for Aubrey earlier this summer. That wasn't as hard as you would imagine it would be. I had all of Avery Kate's clothes separated in her closet. I had a small little section with her super soft Kissy Kissy gowns and her Kicky Pants gowns with her name on them. She rarely wore anything else. I wanted her to be a baby as long as possible since I thought she was my last baby. I just kept her in soft little baby gowns as much as possible. Cleaning out her closet was as simple as just gathering that section and pulling it out. I left the Hallie hand-me-downs and of course the things Avery Kate never had the chance to wear. Cleaning out the drawers was also easy. I just grabbed the bibs and burp cloths that had her name on them. So I figured I was done. Don't get me wrong, I grabbed with eyes full of tears and a heart hurting from the memories these things brought me, but it didn't take long and it wasn't hard to decide what I was keeping and what I needed to take out of there. I left everything in a pile on her changing table.
Well when it was time to paint, I had to take her canvas down from the wall and move her stuff out. The act of moving everything out of the room is what killed me. Honestly, that was the hardest part of all. The minute I took everything out of there, it was no longer Avery Kate's room. To me, that was closure. I'm still not too sure how I feel about it, but it had to be done.
My dad, Terri, and Mrs. Christy came to help us paint the room. It was a very bittersweet day. I know I need to get happy about Aubrey and get in that "I'm so excited I'm having a baby" mode, but it's just so hard. We all got the room painted (step one of three) and had a really nice day together. It was just hard not to think about Avery Kate the whole time. I really don't think she minded though :)
I still wasn't sure what I was going to do with Avery Kate's canvas. It was a really special part of her room and I had many ideas about what I could do with it. The idea I decided on makes me happy. I hung it over the bed in our guest room. To me, she still has a room in our house and she can "watch over" any guests who spend the night. I never want her to memory to fade.

Hallie was confused with the whole transition at first. She kept asking us if Avery Kate and Aubrey would share a room and wanted to know why we were doing all this stuff. She gets it now though. She knows that it's Aubrey's room. I slip up sometimes and refer to the room as Avery Kate's, but I think that's normal.
Overall, I am beginning to get excited about Aubrey and I've even started buying her little things. That's the fun part! Deep down, I am scared to death for her to be here. I'm scared as to what my life will bring with this new baby and what kind of mother I will be. I don't want to live my life in fear and I don't want to constantly try to protect my baby from the world. I realize all parents live to protect their children, but I don't want to drive myself crazy trying to prevent the day from moving on. I'm also nervous that once Aubrey gets here, Hallie will forget about Avery Kate. I know she was so young when this all happened, but I don't want her to forget her sister. I know she will always have pictures to remind her, but I want her to have memories. She saw the double stroller in the garage the other day and told me she wanted to ride in there with Avery Kate again. She wanted to stand up and watch Avery Kate in her car seat like she did "yesterday." That's a memory she has of her and her sister and I want her to hold on to it.
I think and hope by the time Aubrey is born (due October 15) all these thoughts and feelings will be settled. Until then, my plan is to be excited about having a baby and get myself in gear for a new school year come August.
*Here's to positive thoughts and a healthy baby!

This is a picture of Aubrey's room so far. This is the back wall and will have her bed against it. We will paint a tree next week and I have ordered a canvas with her name on it. It will be similar to Avery Kate's because it was just so perfect in the room, but it will be different in some ways to make it her own.