Posts filed under ‘psychiatry’

Happy 4th Birthday

cakeAnother year is here. You would be four years old. I can’t believe it’s been this long and yet it still only feels like yesterday. It has been building up for days now and my anxiety and sadness is at it’s peak. My journey in grief is still only in it’s early stages. But I know your day will be nice since we will be focusing on your day as a holiday from school to be filled with thoughts of you and celebration. We will be missing daddy though as he is off in Washington, DC, fighting for your cause. It will be the first that we are not together today and I hope it will be the only time. I was reluctant to let him go, but mostly due to selfish reasons. I did not want to have to wake up and face today with the other kids alone on my hardest day of the year. I know it will be hard on daddy too, since he is so far away and alone. We don’t have each other to lean on to make it through the day. Luckily daddy’s day will be filled with you and our battle to save lives. He is lucky. He gets to be on the frontline for you. I get jealous sometimes since I have to be in the background supporting him and taking care of our family. I wish I could be up there with him talking about wonderful you and helping to prevent more deaths. But I am slowly accepting the fact that my place is taking care of your siblings and encouraging daddy to fight the good fight. Without me backing him up, could he do this?

After four years, are we any further ahead? Some days I think not. Daniel wound up in the hospital again and the pediatrician offerred him medication to help stop his vomiting so he could rehydrate. She had no plans on giving him an IV. She decided on a drug. And even though we brought up drug risks, she went and got it anyway. She could have gone quickly to the computer and googled the drug to see that it is contraindicated in children under 3 and to not give it if the patient has electrolyte imbalance such as in dehydration. Or the other warnings Health Canada has put on it. Instead she came back and gave it to him. A few people have told us we had the right to refuse the drug. And yes we did. But how do you refuse a drug that she took out of it’s package as she came to our bed and then just shoved it in his mouth? Coming home and researching the drug, we would have definitely told her no. The study on it had shown that it is no better than placebo in children and in fact caused the vomiting children in the study to get diarreah. So I have to ask myself, how do these things get on the market? And then give it to my child under 2 with a heart defect? And the answer we get from the hospital? Those warnings have to be put there but don’t really need to be followed. All our work and this happens again? At least at the end, we were told that the hospital now monitors all newborn for their first 48 hours if they were exposed to antidepressants. That sounds like progress, only we didn’t see any proof. We’ve been jerked around so much, I am reluctant to believe them. And I question them if they even ask the women coming in if they are on them. I only pray that what they said is true and they are in fact doing this. Babies can be saved and maybe they’ll begin to notice how these exposed babies are reacting. That is a right step in the right direction. But I am still waiting for our case to be taken care of. I no longer want your death swept under the rug and pretend you never happened.

So again, I face your day with sadness. I will get through it. I will enjoy it. We have so much planned today that it should be quite happy. The kids have been so excited for today. They picked your cake and balloons and plan to spend the afternoon decorating the kitchen and your wish lanterns. It will be so nice to send those off this year and I’m optimistic since it’s much warmer compared to last year. Will you be watching? WIll you be waiting for your balloons and lanterns? I wish I could begin to imagine what you would look like now and sound like. I dream of that often. As you watch us celebrate from heaven, please say a little prayer for daddy so he doesn’t feel so alone and for your siblings so they always remember you. Happy BIrthday little man. Mommy loves you so much.

February 21, 2013 at 7:23 am 2 comments

Merry Christmas little guys.

boysAnother year without you. That makes it 4 now. It is still difficult. Knowing that you won’t be here in the frenzied morning ripping open your presents like the other kids. But you are far from forgotten. You two are stil included in our Christmas. You two have your stockings, but in a special place. We have ours and the childrens on our mantel, but you boys have yours held by an angel. As much as I wish they were hung with the others, I just can’t bring myself to have two empty stockings looking sad intermingled with the other full stockings. Your angel is dutifully keeping you two prominent and we look at her often as she stands guard with those socks. She even moves around the room, and occassionally dances around the room as Daniel likes to carry her around. I like to pretend he is playing with the two of you. I guess whatever I can make up to make myself feel better is never too bad a thing. So to my two angels, Matthew and Simon; Merry Christmas! We love you so much.

December 25, 2012 at 7:11 am Leave a comment

Photo Op

We went and got ourselves family portraits. We usually just set the camera on timer and do it ourselves. But we saw some work from a young lady who takes photos for a hobby. She charges very well and the work I saw is very good. We had a great day posing by the river although it was quite cold. Being November, it was minus 5 degrees Celsius. So our photos were taken quite quickly. Amery asked Matthew for some sunshine and he delivered. I wish he would have also asked to be a freak warm day, but it was a lovely day anyway. This young lady was very patient with our brood and especially our very busy and rambunctious boy. My favorite thing about her was her willingness to include our angel boys. After I discussed our loss of Matthew and Simon, she said it was important to include them as well since they are our family too. She made time to take photos of Amery and I with our teardrop ornament with two feathers in it, one for each boy and do something special. Getting the pictures done, I was moved by her kindness. She is young, but very empathic. I received the discs with the pictures and when I saw the photos, I was moved to tears. Here we have a photo to add to our wall of our angel boys.

It only takes a moment to make grieving parents feel some joy. And she took a few moments. We let the kids go to the van with daddy to warm up and she sat in the cold with me and listen to me talk about our boys. She said she was happy to find a way to incorporate them in our photos and was sorry we couldn’t have them in the photo with us. She said she would do something with the pictures and try to make them special. She also said that our boys are always going to be a part of our family and to not worry about talking about them in front of her. It was an amazing gift from a young lady I just met. Whenever I see her, I always smile. She goes out of her way to greet me and my children. Whatever her parents did while she was growing up, they did a good job. I’m sure they are very proud of her. I hope she continues with her passion and to touch other people. Who knows, maybe she’ll take the information I gave her on looking into the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep program and help other grieving families. Her kindness proves she would be really great at it. If only there were more adults as mature as this young lady.

November 26, 2012 at 6:15 am Leave a comment

WIll It Matter?

Will it ever end? The damage these drugs leave in their wake seems to pop up everywhere. I see it on the news and with new people I meet that tell me how it has affected them. I see it with myself and my boys. For me it’s still, 3 years after I got off of them, sleeping. The jerks or muscle crawling. The dreams. For my boys, it’s sleep walking and night terrors.
And Jacob. My poor Jacob. It has affected him the worst of my living boys. He has learning disablilities and dyslexia. His atonomic nervous system has been affected. The specialists at BC Children’s Hospital agree it’s his autonomic system, but unfortuately they can’t pinpoint exactly as they are not sure how to look since it involves the brain. They could probably tell us through an exam of his brain at autopsy. I for one, don’t want that option at all. His fight or flight is at extremes and we are never quite certain just how he will react. We have to be paying attention at all times so he doesn’t hurt himself or others. It’s quite a job to calm him down as he doesn’t have the capacity to calm himself. He just lives un utter fear or fight for his life, sometimes even over little things. It’s so hard as his mother to watch him like this because he wants to control it and he can’t. I can see the fear and begging in his eyes to help him make it stop. And then afterwards, if he can remember, he feels downright awful. Not the life I anticipated for my little guy.
And his digestive system. That is also something that seretonin affects. And my poor boys digestive system is an issue all its own. He cannot feel his bowels. That means he doesn’t know if he has to use the bathroom. And when he sits to try, doesn’t know how to use the muscles it takes to push since he can’t feel the contractions. Oh, he pees just fine and even stays dry at night for some time. But he can’t tell if he needs to have a movement. The doctors at BCCH have given us a regiment of PEG and practice. Give him the PEG to keep his stool soft and go on the potty after mealtimes to get in the habit of using the toilet. They anticipated that with a strict regiment, his bowel would shrink and he would learn to feel again and successfully use the toilet in a year. Here we are a year and a half later of the strict regime and still no where closer. Actually, I think he’s worse, as he hasn’t pooped in a week. Something so simple that we take for granted and probably never think about it unless it’s a problem, has been a problem for his whole life. I can’t help but hurt for my boy over a natural, automatic system, that he doesn’t have. So unfair.
So off to the hospital in Kamloops he goes. They are going to put a tube in his nose, down to his intestines and pump him full of fluids and PEG to get the poop out. His colon should only be 3cm wide and he’s at 7cm at last XRay. The doctors hope, is that they clean him out at the hospital so that his bowels are empty, and shrunk back down to 3cm. Then we continue our regiment, that shrunk back to normal size, his body will eventually learn to ‘feel’ when something enters the bowel and he will go on his own. After 7 years of this, I am not particularily optimistic. I have asked for help for so long and only recieved it after Matthew’s death. I am glad that Matthew left behind some clues to help his big brother. But until we find some medical professionals who actually believe these drugs are bad and could really be the culprit in his issues, we are up said creek without a paddle.
A new mission begins, and begins for Jacob. Finding a way for his body to work properly to some extent and getting the message out that these drugs affect the unborn in different ways. They will have long term damage. Even if they don’t believe that their son or daughters behavoiral label in school could be linked to the exposure they had in the womb. Drug exposure seems to affect impulse control and judgement among other things and at different levels. Of course, if most people look at an older child with behavioral issues who were born addicted to cocaine or meth or crack, they will agree it makes sense that the drugs could cause these things. But not antidepressants. No way. They are safe. They may not even pass through to the baby at all. Even if I show them the chemical makeup and the fact they are very close to cocaine, no way. Cocaine is an illigal drug and is bound to cause damage. Isn’t that why it’s illigal? But antidepressants are a prescription with the doctor certain they are safe so that makes all the difference in the world. And to compound the issues, parents seem to have no problem putting more of that poison into their child’s body such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and/or behavoiral medication such as Ritalin. How does one help change the world so our children are safe? It seems an impossible task. One that I will gladly take on. Even if I only help save one child from any risk, it will be worth it.

May 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

Our voices will not be silenced

February 21, 2012 at 11:55 pm 1 comment

Happy 3rd Birthday Son

Happy Birthday Matthew. I can’t believe that it is almost 3 years to the minute since we said goodbye. We barely even got to say Hello. 3 years and it feels like just yesterday. 3 years and it feels like an eternity sometimes as well. Every year, every day is a stark reminder of what we will never get with you. This is your 3rd Birthday. What will your 13th or your 30th be like?

This is not natural son. Mommy and I are not supposed to be celebrating your birthday without you. 3 is that age where kids really start to understand the magic of a Birthday Party. I hope you can see it. We’ve got balloons, decorations, even a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake picked out just for you. You would love it so much. It’s a really special day this year. Your baby brother Daniel will get to destroy a piece of your Birthday cake.

We’re working on change son. Just this past week we met some of the great people that have helped us to get your story told. Each one of them is a hero of mine in their own right. Yes, because they are fighting to help us make sure this doesn’t happen to other families, but more so because they remember you by name and you are important to them as well. It is that remembrance that keeps you alive.

3 years and still nothing major has changed though son. Sure they’re talking about implementing change, but until that happens, other babies and their mommies are in danger just like you.

Not a day goes by that I don’t ache to hold you once more. That day will come again. But we still have lots of work to do here, okay. I will never stop loving you. I will never stop missing you.

All my love,

 

Daddy

February 21, 2012 at 7:37 am 1 comment

Happy Third Birthday Angel Boy.

Well Matthew. Here we are again. Another year. Another birthday. Another anniversary of your death. And where am I? What have I done in this time? If I were to honestly answer that question, it would be; nothing. I still hurt. I hurt bad. But I haven’t done anything for you. Yes, I have been on the news to tell your story and the dangers of exposure to infants, but the only thing I have seen result in that is the painful comments that were posted that told me how I did it to you and on purpose too. That I should have known better. That I killed you. That I am a horrible mother. Did I help anyone? I don’t know. I have spoken to Interior Health about implementing protocol change in hospitals to newborns exposed to these drugs. But I am still waiting to see something happen. I went to Los Angeles, to the CCHR awards ceremony to meet all the other people who are fighting for their loved ones who have died because of these drugs. To meet others who are doing amazing things for their person. And this has made me realize just how little I’ve been doing. What have I DONE? I am not seeing things happen for you. I am still waiting for Interior Health. I am not seeing your story move or get bigger. I saw in LA that these other people devote more time, money and energy into their cause and I feel as though I am failing you on every level.

It’s as though I am standing on a crevice with a large gaping hole separating the two sides and I am struggling to stay balanced on both sides. On one side are you and Simon. You are gone and I want to be with you. I want to help you. I am depressed and scared. I want to help but don’t know how. I want to change things, but I am not good enough. I as your mother need to be with you and know you are safe. On the other is my living family. I love them so much and enjoy my moments with them. I homeschool them so I know they are safe from labels and lies. To give them the best learning environment. To give them the freedom to learn in their own styles and to follow the things they love. I play with them and cry with them as they are my life. But I feel guilty as well because to give my living children the best that I can, I let you slide. Your cause cannot get my full attention. I get busy and can’t blog or even think about it as it makes me feel so sad and useless that I just want to give up. I am overwhelmed at how much I still have to do and I feel afraid. Afraid because I will fail my children to give myself completely to the cause, or fail you by giving myself completely to my living children. But I fight the best I can. I have to give some to you and more to my children here. They need my right now. And as depressing a thought that it is, when they are grown and no longer need me, you will still be dead and waiting for me. Always. Forever. No matter which way I turn, I face guilt head on. How do I leave it behind and see what I am capable of doing? How do I learn to give more to you and help you to save lives? I no longer want to feel so useless in this fight. But others give so much more than I do. How could I ever accomplish anything even remotely close to what they have? My hero’s. The one’s I look up to. I feel I could never do what they do. I just don’t have the smarts, the time or the finances that they do. Does that mean I am every day failing you? I sometimes think it does. I want the whole world to know you and the reasons behind your death. I want so many others to say, “I won’t let that happen to my children”. I want to know that you died for something bigger than profit. Something more. Something great.

On this 3rd birthday/anniversary of death, I miss you so much. The pain can never be put into words. And I have no doubt, the pain will ever be better. You have left a huge hole in our family with your death. We see it every day and especially today. We are having a birthday party again. We will have cake and balloons. We will talk about you. Sing to you. Tell you we love you. Send off balloons and wish lanterns. We will hope you are looking down on us and enjoying your party the way a 3 year old toddler should. We will be telling Daniel about the brother he never met. The one who saved his life. How important you are and how loved you are. He will love you too. And as the day progresses through to evening, I will be torn between joy and sadness. I will rejoice in your short life that brought me so much happiness. But I will be saddened by your loss and the reasons behind them. I will be constantly wishing I could see what your smile looks like and how your laughter would sound. Feeling emptiness because I never got to feel your precious arms wrap around my neck or the words “I love you mommy”. But in my sadness, your siblings will help fill the hole with hugs and kisses for me from you and to you. In your short life, you have given our family so much. Thank you so much with blessing our lives with you my precious little angel. And I promise to keep doing what I can to fight for you. To continue on with my journey for the truth. And maybe one day, I will feel good that I did enough for you and will feel worthy of your pride in me. I love you more and more every day. Happy third birthday my special little man.

February 21, 2012 at 6:37 am Leave a comment

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  • Is not coping well at all. Loss sucks! 7 years ago
  • is scared to bond with this baby, just in case. 7 years ago
  • Happy 6 months today baby. I love you Matthew. 7 years ago
  • Living with loss, sucks. 7 years ago
  • Thinking I need to discuss plans for this baby soon or I will be having it in my doctors office. Where do I deliver? 7 years ago
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