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.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grieving all over again...

It's been three and a half weeks since Aubrey has been born. I thought I had let out all my "Avery Kate" tears before she was born and I just knew I was prepared for everything. WRONG. I've stumbled across so many different occasions where I was blind sided with something belonging to Avery Kate or special memory of her that hit me like a ton of bricks. The first time I went to put diapers in the diaper bag, Avery Kate's were still there in the little pouch. At night when I feed Aubrey, even though I've changed the decor in the room, it's still that same room at night. I cry almost every night when I feed her, and I always feel like someone is "sitting" on my shoulder when I'm sitting in the chair in her room. I'd like to think it is my little angel watching over me and helping me through tough times.
I guess when you have a baby, you have those same routines; change the diaper, feed, burp, swaddle, snuggle, walk back to the room, etc. That routine reminds me so much of my special times I had with Avery Kate. No one else was awake, it was dark, no TV, no cell phones, no interruptions. It was just Avery Kate and me. She would look into my eyes when I fed her and those moments are all brought back to me each night. I look into Aubrey's sweet eyes and pray that God will let her stay with me. The truth is, I have no guarantee. Faith is the only thing that will keep me grounded.
Aubrey is the quietest sleeping baby I have ever seen! She doesn't move or make a sound when she sleeps. I put her to sleep at 10:00 and she makes the smallest little squeak at 2:00. I feed her and put her back to sleep, and then she makes the same little squeak at 6:00. So you'd think, I'm sleeping so good right? WRONG. I put her to sleep, turn on her apnea monitor, get in bed, and close my eyes. Did I turn on her monitor? Did I hook her up correctly? Is that monitor really working? Let me see if she's really breathing, Maybe she spit up and she's choking, will the monitor pick that up? Let me turn on the little light and see, I bet she came out of her swaddle and she's smothering herself, that monitor can't be working right.... Then I try to pray myself to sleep.... Hail Mary, full of gra..... Did I just hear her choke? OK, here we go again... Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is .....I wonder if she found her pacifier and now it's blocking her mouth to where she can't breathe.... That's every night. I close my eyes, sometimes I even put a blanket over my eyes so I'm forced to sleep, and I'm freaked out!! I feel like a first time mother times a million! I never did this with Hallie or Avery Kate. I just need to give it time, but I sure hope time will calm me down. My mind has to relax so my body can do the same. There have been hundreds of times that I stare at Aubrey in her seat, just waiting for that next breath to come. She's so still and so quiet that it's hard to see her breathe. And then sometimes, when I look at her sleeping, I have flashbacks of that day where I saw Avery Kate's lifeless body on the table in the ER. Avery Kate just looked like she was sleeping. Her color had not changed or anything. So how can I rest assured that Aubrey is OK when she just appears to be sleeping too? That's where I have to let my faith come in once again right? It's just so hard!
This is also the same time period that Avery Kate and I were out and about last year. Brandon and I took Hallie and Aubrey to the MSU Homecoming parade last night. It was the same place and same routine from last year when I took Hallie and Avery Kate. We ate at Gatti's with our friends and watched the parade. I put Aubrey in the same outfit (Hallie also wore that outfit and bow to her first MSU parade) and it was complete deja vu. Of course I made it through the night with a smile, but I kept remembering every detail from the year before. It's like I'm grieving Avery Kate all over again.
Last night, I sat on the couch to feed Aubrey before bed time. Sadie was of course all curled up next to me and then Hallie joined us. I looked at Hallie and said, "I've got all my favorite girls right here." She looked at me and said, "But someone's missing!" Of course she was referring to Avery Kate. I tried to explain that she was here with us, but of course she can't see her. So I told her she was in her heart. "In my skin???" She asked. I'm having a hard time explaining how Avery Kate can be with us without us seeing her. Then I told her we were going to baptize Aubrey on Sunday at church. She asked me if Avery Kate was going to be there for that. I guess she's just thinking that maybe Avery Kate is still at church and will come back one day??? I wish that were true!
We are taking it one day at a time and I know in my heart that it will get better. I know she will be OK, and we will be too.
I came across the lyrics to this song and I feel that we can all benefit from them:

Oh Lord You lead me
By the still wa - ters
Quietly restoring my soul
You speak words of wisdom
The promise of the glory
The power of the presence of God

Have faith in God
Let your hope rest on the faith
He has placed in your heart
Never give up, never let go of the faith
He has placed in your heart

Verse 2:
Oh Lord You guide me
Through all the darkness
Turning my nights into day
And You'll never leave me
Never forsake me
The power of the presence of God

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our Rainbow Has Arrived!

Aubrey Kathryn Soileau was born on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 1:03 PM. She weighed 6lbs 11oz; 19.5 in long.
I did really well the morning of the birth even though I had been anticipating this day for 9 long months. I knew it would be just a tidal wave of emotions. I was so nervous to hold another baby in my arms, feel such strong love for her, and at the same time have that fear that it could be ripped from me in an instant. The moment I saw Aubrey, tears immediately fell from my eyes. I was so happy to meet my baby girl. I cried tears of joy at that moment and knew I was already completely in love. I felt such a relief as I watched them clean her up and take her measurements. I did it! I made it through the delivery and I was OK. We let all our family and friends in the room to meet the newest addition to our family. The nurses had just finished cleaning her up, and they placed her in my arms. I cannot even begin to explain the way I felt; there are no words to describe it. I fought so hard to keep the tears in, but I broke to a million pieces. I was so happy and scared at the same time. I was reminded of that moment I held Avery Kate for the first time. It was just so overwhelming. These two pictures capture that moment:

She had a little trouble with her breathing once she was born, so they kept her on the warmer for a while. She finally got the hang of it and Hallie was able to hold her. She absolutely loves her!! She knew exactly what to do with her and was an amazing big sister right from the start.
That night we decided to send Aubrey to the nursery to sleep. She was on a sleep apnea monitor from the hospital but we knew we would sleep better with her in the nursery under constant supervision. When the nurse came to get her, I had a really hard time. It felt like that moment when I gave Avery Kate to the social worker in the ER for the very last time. Of course I broke down once again. We had such an emotional and wonderful day and it is one I will never forget.
We stayed at the hospital for two nights and went home on Thursday. I wanted them to keep me forever! I love the staff at the hospital and it's so comforting knowing that Aubrey was being monitored. The hospital sent us home with an apnea monitor. They told us it would have many false alarms and it would probably go off a lot. It went off like crazy at the hospital and Brandon and I were completely freaked out. It seemed like this monitor was going to be more of a pain and a curse than the blessing we were hoping for. Our first night at home was amazing though! Aubrey slept like a champ and that monitor never went off. Of course Brandon and I woke up a million times and checked on her anyways. I was actually able to rest knowing that monitor was on her. Thank goodness we have it!
One of my biggest fears has been that once Aubrey was born, everyone would forget about Avery Kate. I was especially worried that Hallie would forget about her now that she has a little sister again. Mrs. Christy took Hallie to go get some pumpkins on Saturday. She came back with some big pumpkins and some little tiny ones. Hallie said she wanted to bring one to Avery Kate's grave. My heart completely melted! I know Hallie's memories of Avery Kate will fade with time because she is so young, but we will be the ones to keep her memory alive through pictures and stories that we tell her. I just love that she thought to bring her sister a pumpkin though! I still tear up just thinking about it.
I've had some deja vu moments here at home these past few days that have made me have little break downs, but I know I have a very special angel on my side helping me through every step of this new journey. What they say about rainbows is true, it does not mean the storm never existed, or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light can appear through the dark clouds. Aubrey is our rainbow baby for a reason. She was handpicked and sent to us for a reason. I'm so happy and thankful to have her in my life.
This is a collage of all three of my girls on the day they came home from the hospital. It is so special to me!