Tuesday, November 29, 2011

60 days and 60 nights..

Tomorrow will be two months since Ethan passed away. Sixty whole days without my baby. I remember missing him sooo much just being away from him overnight or for the weekend. Sixty days makes the weekend seem like nothing. It makes me wish that it was only the weekend or a couple of nights with Lola and Lolo that Ethan was away from us.

You would think that it gets easier as time goes on. For me, it hasn't. It's been hard, really hard. Sure, I live life like I normally would. I go to work, I go out with friends, etc. But then there are those moments. Those moments where I get a burn in my neck and my eyes start to water. Those moments where I miss Ethan so much that it my body literally aches. Those moments where I would think that if I could have one wish, I would wish to be able to hold him again just for a little while. Those moments are hard.

Ethan's crib is still left untouched. I can't bring myself to put it away. I don't think Erwin can either. His diaper bag still has his change of clothes in there and an extra g-tube. His medicine is still in the cabinet. His clothes are still tucked away in the tallest dresser dedicated to his massive amount of clothes. It's all still there. He's still there. Everywhere we go.

I still get the feeling that I need to go pick him up and that I have to bring an extra jacket for him because it's freezing in San Jose. On Sundays, we use to pick him up before his Lolo went to church. At around 7:00pm on Sundays, I'm still programmed to think that we have to go get Ethan. Is this normal? Am I just going through the stages of grief?

Thanksgiving came and went. I have a huge family so of course it was crazy and hectic. Although Ethan wasn't mobile, he still made his presence. That was definitely missing this Thanksgiving. This holiday season will definitely be a hard one for me. I always had the joy of opening Ethan's gifts for him because he couldn't. How am I going to handle watching all of my nieces and nephews open gifts?

Dear Ethan,

I miss you more than words can describe. Please be good for mommy and daddy and watch over your baby sister. Although you're not here physically, you're in my heart always. Come visit me in my dreams. I want to see you. I want to hear your voice. I want to see for myself that you're okay and that I can move on. It's so hard without you, Ethan. I love you so much that it hurts not having you here. But I know that you're in Heaven, where everything is perfect and it's "for real". You're not in pain anymore. Your daily routine won't involve medications and seizures. You can run around and play. Just make sure you're not too rough with Emily Anne!  I love you two both very much. I can't wait to be able to hold you in my arms again.



Remembering Ethan Jordan from AyyYoRae on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

4, 3, 2..

I never thought that I would be in this position. Ever. As you go through life, we all picture this perfect life, graduate high school, go off to college and meet the person you wanna spend the rest of your life with, get married and have children. Well, that's what the movies are like and it's what we all dream about. My life is definitely not like that. I wouldn't say that my life isn't normal because who are we to say that someone else's life isn't normal. Normal for you can be outrageous for another person and vice versa. I would say my life is normal, for my life, that is. However, life throws rocks at you. For me.. really BIG rocks.

I started this blog in 2009 after our precious baby angel, Emily Anne, was born into the arms of God. This was my escape; my place to vent to those that have gone through what I have gone through and can really relate to me. Many people will say, "I have kids too, so I know how you feel." Not to sound like a bitter baby loss mother, but no.. you do not know how I feel. Yes, you may know how it feels to have children, to nurture them and love them and raise them to be better than you are. You may think you know how you would feel if they were taken from your prematurely, but you have no idea.

We were a family of four at one point: me, Erwin, Ethan, and our little girl Emily Anne. When I was pregnant with her, I always thought to myself.. 'How lucky am I to be blessed with a boy and a girl. We're going to be the perfect family of four.' Little did I know that at 36 weeks gestation, our baby girl would die before she was even born. The books don't warn you about this stuff, or if they do, it's tucked away at the very back where most people don't read it. The books don't tell you that stillborns are more common than you think. So there I was, in an induced labor awaiting the arrival of our baby girl. No cries heard, no tiny hands wrapped around our fingers, no eyes staring back at you. So I labored for over 30 hours to deliver a babygirl that didn't have a heartbeat. I was crushed. I had never read about anyone losing their child before they born and I did not know anyone that had experienced what I was going through. How could this happen to me? My family was devastated. It was the first time my family experienced a loss so close to us. In the midst of the sadness and heartache, I had my family there to support me and go through with Erwin and I together.

So now, we were a family of three: me, Erwin, and our firstborn, Ethan Jordan. Since the day he was born, he has been a fighter and has continued to fight throughout his whole life. Through hospital visits, stomach flu, pneumonia, surgery, many many many doctor visits, seizures, infantile spasms.. he fought through it all. He is easily the strongest person that I know. He is my inspiration, my sanity, my everything. He fought for us.

On the morning of September 30, 2011, we woke up to the worst morning of our lives, by far. We always had a morning routine. I would wake up first and Erwin right after I did. I would hop in the shower and Erwin would get Ethan ready to go to his grandparents' house. That morning, I was running late.. I woke up and ran straight to the shower.

Before I stepped into the shower, I heard loud knocks on the bathroom door.
"WHAT?!" I said to Erwin with annoyance. (I was upset with him the night before).
"Ethan isn't breathing!"
"WHATT?!" I grabbed my robe and ran over to his crib. Ethan was in his crib, skin blue. I grabbed his hand and it was cold. I ran over to my sister's room and screamed that Ethan isn't breathing. I run back over, grabbed my phone and called 911. At that point, I was crying so hard, the operator probably couldn't hear what I was saying. I took a deep breath and told them where we lived. A woman got on the phone and had Erwin move Ethan to a flat surface, so we moved him to the floor. She gave Erwin directions to perform CPR while we waited for the ambulance to arrive. All I can remember is screaming and praying that Ethan would start breathing. I grabbed my phone charger, threw it in my purse, put my sweat pants and sweater on and I was ready to go the hospital. We were going to the hospital and he was going to be okay. He was going to fight through this like he always has.

The firetruck arrives first, and the ambulance arrives shortly after. We're shooed out to give the the paramedics room. We wait downstairs with an officer that had arrived about the same time the ambulance did. All I remember thinking is, it's too quiet. I heard defibrillators for a moment. And then here they come, one by one.. down the stairs without any good news. In my head, I was screaming, "No! No! This can't be happening!!" Our little Ethan, our fighter, our baby... he was gone. Four and half years old. Just four and a half years old.

A few other police officers had arrived. One of them explained to us that there was nothing that they can do. I can't even remember exactly what they said because I was just in utter shock and I couldn't absorb anything that was being told to me. We were told that we couldn't go up to see Ethan and we couldn't even get our phones that were in the room. I wanted to hold him so bad, to touch his soft skin and rub my cheek against his like I always did. I wanted to feel that I still had him. But I couldn't. We just had to wait. For what? We didn't even know.

My family started arriving one by one, all with tears in their eyes. Instead of being able to sit in the comfort of our home, everyone that wasn't inside the house at the time the event occurred had to wait in our garage instead. Our son's death was being treated like a homicide. I kept thinking, "Seriously? This is protocol?" It's not like the movies where we were able to hold him in our arms and sob. We were all stuck while our lifeless son was laying on the floor of our room and was being investigated like he was murdered. I felt hurt and offended because I felt like they had to investigate and gather evidence because we were the ones that did this to our son. The officers had to get statements from everyone that was in the house. It was like a crime scene. There were at least 6 cop cars outside of our home. The District Attorney and the homicide unit even showed up.

After a few hours passed, we were finally told that the coroner was on their way. As soon as the coroner did their investigation and gathered whatever they needed, we would be able to see Ethan, however, we couldn't touch him. Even my family that was waiting in the garage this whole time couldn't pass by and see him.

So there he was, my firstborn son, on a stretcher about to be transported to the coroner's office. I felt like I was stuck in a bad nightmare that was lasting forever. How could this happen? What happened? Was it our fault? Did he cry and we didn't hear him? These questions still run through my head everyday. We were told that the investigation and autopsy report can take up to 12 weeks for any results. Over a month later and still no results. So here I am, without any answers as to why my son is gone, why I can't hold him and kiss him and hug him and never let go.

And then there were two. Family of 4, then 3, then 2..

It's been a little over a month and I'm still at a point where sometimes I still don't believe it. I still sometimes feel like I have to go pick Ethan up from his grandparents. I still check the weather and think to myself, "It's cold. I have to make sure I dress Ethan warmly." I still check the rear-view mirror, even though Erwin took his car seat out. I still hear his feeding pump beeping. I still look at boy clothing when I go to Target. I still look over at his crib thinking he'll be there.

I miss him terribly. My life revolved around that little boy. All of my decisions were made based on that little boy. Now that he's gone, I feel lost. He was my sanity. But how can I be selfish and wish for him back? "Be strong, because Ethan was for a long time." I can only go on the fact that he's happy, he's pain free, and he's able to run, walk, and play like the little boy that he should have been.

To my dear Ethan, I love you and miss you every single day and that will never change. Watch over us and take care of your little sister. <3 Mommy

RIP Ethan Jordan DeCastro
April 25, 2007 - September 30, 2011