Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Letter to Heaven

Our dear sweet Kaden,

Oh how we miss you...words can't express.
The day I found out I was pregnant with you I was so excited. I was debating should I call your dad? or should I wait and suprise him? I decided to call him. I remember exactly where I was. I was standing in our old apartment when I called and said "Guess what hunny!? I am Pregnant!!" We were both just so excited. We then couldn't stand ourselves and so we had to call our parents. I faintly remember saying..."so let's keep this to ourselves for a while." I previously had a miscarriage and didn't want the akward possibility of having to explain why I was not pregnant. But NO Grandpa Addington took it upon himself to tell EVERYONE! He even called Grandma's friends to tell them! She was so mad because she didn't get to tell anyone for herself. Needless to say, everyone was very excited. My brothers kept telling me it would be a boy. Rachel was convinced you were a girl and was actually very upset when she found out you were going to be a boy! But she feel in love with you just the same. Everyone who meet you feel in love with you.
So, as my pregnancy went on I was having your regular morning sickness, nausia, and tiredness. I asked your dad to give me a blessing one Sunday because I needed comfort. I was terrified of loosing yet another baby. He gave me a blessing to have Faith. I wanted to hear everything was going to be ok but Heavenly Father had something else in store for us. As we prayed and had faith we were blessed. I will never forget the day I was at work and had to leave early. I thought for sure I was loosing you. Your dad meet us at the hospital and was there to wait for the news good or bad...we would still try to have faith. So, the news came....I had what was called a Subchrionic Hemmorage. The Dr's said sometimes this goes away by the 18ish week of pregnancy and sometimes it results in misscarriage, still born, or early pregnancy.
Well, nonetheless, after many ER visits and being told what I was experiencing was contractions I was put on bedrest just for precautionary measures. Then the wait began. Would our little guy grow? would I have him early? would I misscarry? what would happen? I had many high risk testing...we discovered a cleft lip, and that the subchrionic hematoba would grow and decrease in size by the day...which would not allow good blood flow to get to you
which helps you grow.
The day we found out you were going to be a boy; I have to admit I was a bit suprised. I thought you were a girl for sure. But, we were excited. Your Dad was so excited! He couldn't hardly wait to play with you! I continued to have ultrasounds what felt like daily. All the doctors would say if he makes it he will be a miracle. That's what we prayed for. A Miracle.
We got a Miracle.
I thought we need a name! I sat in my mom's recliner looking for names...everyone I liked your Dad turned down. He made fun of everything. Then I called him...he was in California at Matt's Wedding....and I told him what about "KADEN!?" and he said "ooh I LOVE it! I don't want to hear another name...that is it!!" I was so excited because I loved this name too! I looked up the meaning and it meant "fighter." I thought boy is this perfect...He sure is fighting to get here. Little did I know that you would have to fight so hard once you got here.
Then your mommy was admitted to the hospital with contractions every 5-8 minutes...They put me on Magnesium Sulfate to help slow the contractions. I was 22 wks along with you and kept contracting. It was inevitable that I was going to deliver. I wanted to be transfered to Banner Desert where they can handle babies that small but it was this big ordeal. They would tell me you had no chance of making it before 24 wks and there was no point but for precautionary reasons and just my gut feeling I pretty much demanded to be transfered. I knew I would recieve better care from Specialists for me and for you at Desert.
Your Dad and Grandma would spend the night with me every night in the hospital because I didn't like to be alone. Then on June 4, 2009 (24 wks and 1 day) I thought well I could be here a long time and I thought that would be selfish to expect them to stay here every night. Little did I know that I would break threw the Magnesium and go into full Labor. They brought me down to Labor and Delivery. I was scared and nervous...would you be ok? It was a relief knowing I was 24 wks but still the chances were extremely thin of you making it.
June 5, 2009-A day that will NEVER be forgotten. Your BIRTHDAY!! The nurses called your dad when my water broke and he still got ready for work thinking it was another false alarm. He is a goofball. Then when I told him I for sure would be deliverying today he immediately got nervous but excited to meet you. He said to me "I know it is better for Kaden to be in you but it is kind of like Christmas morning because I get to meet him today!" Then at shift change for the nurses which happened to be 2:17pm you decided to come. You were immediately taken from me and your dad got to trim your cord which was barely hanging on to the placenta. There also happened to be an infection on the fetal side of the placenta, and it had abrupted 50% which was never caught on an abruption panel. Nurses cried and my doctor was amazed that you were alive. "A Miracle" they said. Two NICU doctors were in the room ready for you. They happened to be wondering the halls of Labor and Delivery. They intubated you and let me see you for about 2 seconds. You were covered in blankets so I could really only see your hand. I kissed it. Off you went with Heather (the high risk nurse who would become one of your primary nurses), Dr. Nigum, Dr. Watterkotie, an RT and Dad. They escorted you to the NICU while I waited in my room. I waited till I was able to move. Your Dad came back to let me know how much you weighed. You were 1 pound and 14 ounces and 13 inches long. Come to find out later as Kimberly (the nurse who admitted you to the NICU who would later become a primary nurse.) told me that when she was admitting you that she saw out of the corner of her eye your dad in the corner smiling from ear to ear. She just laughed and thought he must be a first time dad...she said most dads come into the NICU with a look of sheer terror on their face. Not your Dad. Then my nurse took me up to meet you.
We feel in love with you the second he saw you! Your Dad used to tease me saying are you sure he is mine and not some black guy's baby? Your coloring was so different than a "term baby" Your skin was fragile and then suseptable to any infection.
Your small body was the size of your dad's hand. So small and clinging to life. You were covered with about 4 different blue lights because you had such bad Jaundice. That eventually passed. When you were 10 days old they decided to switch you to the Jet Ventilator because you got really sick. Mom and Dad were really worried about you. Mom was really bummed because I couldn't hold you at first because of all the lights and now I couldn't hold you because you were switched to the Jet. The nurses were really sweet though they lowered the your incubator as low as it could go and allowed me to sit in a high chair to sing to you and talk to you. You loved it. I sang "I am a Child of God." over and over to you. You loved that song. The nurses were so impressed because all your "numbers" looked better than they had for a long time. They called this "Kind of Kangarooing."
You were on the Jet Ventilator about 20 days. They gave you some steriods so you could be "weaned" off of the Jet. Then, they wanted to get you stable on the Conventional to allow me to hold you. I came in one day and Heather was soooo excited! She said today is the day! You were 33 days old when I first got to hold you! I finally felt your tiny little body against mine. It was the most amazing day by far. I laughed, cried the whole bit! Your Dad happened to be there because he was going to meet me for lunch that day. That weekend your dad held you. Your Dad looved to hold you but would get ants in his pants or would fall asleep. The nurses would always catch him falling asleep and they would tease him.
As the days and weeks went on you made progress. Many people would visit you. Grandma's and Grandpa's, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, and Friends. Fighting infection after infection, having good and bad days, trying to grow, blood pressure issues, IV's, Picc line, PDA ligation, ROP surgery, pulling out your tube on your own and ventilator changes! That is the exciting part...
Kimberly got to extubate you! She was super excited but super nervous...we all wondered how you would do. We left the ventilator in your bedside for 24 hrs. just in case you tried to be a stinker. You were retracting really bad but they wanted you to fight threw it because at this point you were about 2 months old. You hated and I mean HATED the CPAP machine. You would absolutely love when we would take it off and put blow by oxygen next to you so you could relax. I would rub your head and your Sats would shoot through the roof! We gave to a sponge bath one day and put you in your first outfit that Grandma Fife gave you. It was soo cute on you. Technically they didn't want clothes on you yet but we just couldn't resist!
There was one day that Dr O'Neil was coming to check your eyes and you didn't like him too much as soon as he started talking you dropped your Heart Rate. So at another visit Heather and I decided to give you Sucrose (basically sugar water) and you took the syringe out of Heathers hand and started sucking on it.
He was on CPAP for a couple weeks and then they switched you to just oxygen. You did really well for about 3 days on the wall and then you pooped out and needed more help. So they put you on High Flow Oxygen. You got the worst bugers on that and when they would go suck out the bugers with the suction you would fight them and squirm. Your nurses would always say you were such a little fighter. Heather would always tell you she was Kimberly! Kimberly didn't like that too much and used to say you weren't going to trust Heather anymore because she lied!
They eventually were able to wean you. You didn't move from your bed spot from the day you were born until you were 103 days old. You were in B27 the whole time. An uncommon thing around the NICU but because your Doctors were so protective of you they wouldn't let anyone move you. Your Doctors fell in love with you. Dr. Nigum and Dr. Hamburg would fight over who got to round on you. They just loved you.
Kimberly took you over to the Continuing Care Nursery known as CCN. This was a bitter sweet day because the primary nurses: Heather, Kimberly, Jaime, Mary, Aimee, and Karly that so lovingly took care of you for 103 days in the NICU would not be able to take care of you everytime they worked like before. There were days few and far between once you were switched that we got our primary nurses. It was bitter sweet moving over there because we would miss your nurses but this also meant you were getting better and getting close to going home.
Once you were in CCN you had a couple obstacles to overcome or hurdles to jump. You were having a hard time taking your whole feeding from a bottle in your aloted 30 minutes. You also needed Double Hernia Surgery. And your Oxygen...they needed to wean you to a point low enough to come home on. You did fairly well being weaned. You had your Hernia Surgery. But, you didn't do so well taking your bottle. So Mom and Dad decided in order to take you home we would need to learn to put your NG tube in or in other words your feeding tube. You HATED it! You would thrash you head around and move your arms and feet all at the same time. Our fisty little guy! Then everything was being put together and organized for your discharge.
What a bitter sweet day that was. I began to love your nurses and doctors and would miss them very much. They not only became my best friends but they were adopted into our extended family. They are truely what helped me through the hard days and enjoyed the good days almost as much as me!
It was time...Time to take you home. We gathered everything up equipment and all and Heather was able to carry you around to say goodbye and flirt with all the nurses one last time. They would all say "FIFE?! Fife is leaving!!??" We were so happy. We brought you HOME!!!
A day I didn't know if it would ever happen. The day we brought you home your Aunts Rachel and Becka and your Grandma Addington were all there to welcome you!
You and I made lots of memories at home. We had lots of special moments and tender mercies. We didn't ever leave the house except to go to Grandma's and the Doctor's. There was one time we took you to Aunt Meggen's and to Aunt Lari's but we didn't let the kids come near you unless hands were washed and they were instructed not to touch you. You were too vonerable to getting sick. Your mommy and daddy wanted to do anything they could to keep you from getting sick. Some memories I have: I will never forget the first time we put you in your swing. Your dad and I laughed for about an hour because we couldn't see you with the tray in front of you. You just hid in there. You LOVED your swing and would just contently look around or fall asleep. You would always love when we would hold you on our chest and pat your bum. You would fall asleep on daddy's chest as he would watch tv. I'll never forget the one time you took your whole feeding from the bottle. I was so excited I Jumped up and Down....Your dad would tease you and say "Kaden so what your telling us is your capable of doing it but you just don't want to!?" We knew you would really get tired but your dad is a tease! You loved to lay on your always got so comfortable and would end up falling asleep. Whenever I would need to take you to the doctor I would have to get ready with all your equipment about 45 minutes before we would need to pack you up in the car because it never failed...everytime I would put you in your carseat you would start to cry and have a major pooping attack out of no where! It literally NEVER failed! The way your cleft would curl out when you would cry or smile. Your cry was such a soft and sweet raspy cry unless I really made you mad. You would get so made at me when I would change the tape on your face, change the NG tube or your Oxygen Canula. When your dad would Kiss you you used to bat him with your hands because of his wiskers. Your dad couldn't ever get enough kisses from you. Speaking of kisses when you were hungry you used to suck on our nose or even our bottom lip. It would crack me up! I thought it was adorable. You would also eat your hands and at one point in the hospital the second time you weren't allowed to eat and you just sucked on your hands and they became pruny. You had a couple spend the nights with Grandma Addington and the first night we left you alone with them we left with everyone gathered around you staring at you and about 10 minutes later we came back for something and they were all sitting there staring at you. We laughed pretty hard. Everyone wanted to be around you. Grandma Helen and Grandpa Larry would come visit you when they could. Your Aunts would come visit you too...especially Aunt Lari...she LOVED being around you! Her little girl is Olivia...which I am sure you two have meet by now. You had the most curious eyes. You would wrinkle your brow and just look around. Your Dad and I would love to come look at you in the morning and evening was your favorite time. You would just be so content staring around the room. One night, your dad thought you looked so cute in your crib he decided to climb in it. He called me in from the other bedroom to come see him. I cracked up and was in amazement that our crib was still standing. There was one morning I sat you on my lap and talked to you. You looked straight at me and smiled about 10 times. I actually got a picture of one of your smiles. I was soooo excited!! I called your dad and grandmas! I sent a picture to everyone!! That was a very special was like you said "I LOVE YOU MOM!!" There is one thing that you LOVED to do and that was a bath!! You LOVED your baths....We would give you a bath in a tuperware container and torwards the end you took them in the big boy bath I had for you. You would just relax. It was your spa time!! I loved to get you dressed. You had such you clothes! Your legs were too short for any of your pants though. It cracked me up! My favorite face you used to make was what we called your "Choir Boy" face. It was soo cute! There was one morning at 5 am that I was sitting in the chair trying to feed you and you were just too happy and social that you wanted to stare at me and smile. You had two nurses come visit you while you were at home. Heather and Kimberly.
They couldn't get enough of you!
We started to get concerned with you requiring more oxygen at home so we took you to the Cardiologist and Pulmonologist and they admitted you to Cardon Children's Hospital. You had Severe Pulmonary Hypertension. Your sweet little body had been fighting so long it started to get weak. You got better and then got much worse. They sent you to St. Joe's. We were hopeful but very concerned. They couldn't find any source of infection. The Doctors were very frank with us. They said "we can be hopeful but most likely he won't make it."
Sunday was a rough day for you and us as your parents. We didn't like to see you soo sick. We didn't think we would end up back in hospital like this. We ended up staying the night in the hospital waiting room. Grandma Fife, Grandma Addington, and your dad and I stayed the night. We were concerned that you were going to crash. We woke up to someone saying we need to speak with you Dad and the Dr. wants to talk to you. The Dr's were very frank with us again. They said you wouldn't make it through the morning. They asked us what we wanted to do-keep you vented or take it out. Out of the love we have for you as your parents we felt like we shouldn't make you live like you were. We had family come down and love on you and give you lots of Kisses. Then your dad and I gave you a bath and then they took everything off of you so I could rock you. You passed peacefully in my arms. A moment I will never forget. You were too perfect and Our Loving Heavenly Father had different things in store for you.
"The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escap the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again."
That quote gives me so much peace. I miss you and wish you were here with me...I mourn for myself and your family that we only got a short time here on earth with you but I will cherish those memories forever. We know we will see you again.
We love you.
Love, Your Parents


  1. i am so sorry for your loss. ive been reading your blog for a little while now and was devastated to hear that your sweet little boy had passed. i will keep your family in my prayers.

  2. jacquie, that is beautiful...thank you for sharing and rusty are amazing people and parents and kaden so lucky to have been yours. you guys continue to be in my prayers every day. i love you all...

  3. Jacquie, Thank you for sharing your story. I hope I will get to meet your son someday, and he was so lucky to have you and Rusty as parents

  4. Jacquie,
    I can't believe we lost touch and I am just barely coming upon your blog and your story. Collin and I have just been sitting here thinking about you all morning and we want you to know we love you guys and you're in our prayers. Kaden is absolutely beautiful and thank heaven for eternal families. You're amazing.

    -Ashlee Smith

  5. Jacquie,
    You are stronger then you will EVER KNOW! That letter is beautiful and PERFECT! Keep hanging on and hold close to the gospel you WILL make it I PROMISE...... Thank you again for sharing Kaden with all of us XoXoXo

  6. Jacquie, That was just a beautiful post. The funeral services were very nice. I was so amazed at yours and Rusty stregnth! You guys are such an example to me. I truly believe that Heavenly Father had to take sweet Kaden back because he was just to perfect to be here on this earth. I also believe that Heavenly Father only gives these perfect little spirits to amazing people! You and Rusty are truly amazing people! I love you. Take Care!

    JoLynn and Family

  7. Just know that you are often in my thoughts and prayers. It never goes away, but it does eventually get a little easier.

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful letter to your beautiful baby boy. You are such a strong women and a wonderful family. My babies were also in B-pod 25-26 and my little girl also suffers from Pulmonary Hypertension. My heart is with you and your family.

  9. thank you for sharing your story. i am so sorry for your loss and i could not be at the services. my thoughts and prayers will be with you. brittany

  10. I love this Jacquie. Thank you for writing it. You are so strong. You and Rusty are great parents & are examples to many others. You are in our prayers.

  11. Jacquie, I just heard the news of your baby passing away. My heart is full and really not sure the words I have to say will do justice to what I feel for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for the glimpse into your sweet world as loving parents. ~ Melia Lee

  12. Jacquie, I just started following your blog. You are such an amazing woman and my heart aches for you. I don't know what to say, but that your faith gives me hope and that I will remember you and your family in my prayers.

  13. thank you so much for sharing kaden with us. he's touched my heart and so have you. i can't believe the strength you have. your faith strengthens my own. i think about you and rusty everyday.

  14. Jacquie,
    It was hard reading that post through blurry vision. I am so grateful to be your aunt, and Kaden's great-aunt. I admire what an amazing woman, mother and person you are. I love you and your family so much, and I am so grateful that we are an eternal family.

  15. This is so random and I found your blog through Annie Skousen. We had a baby born at 24 weeks and we loved doctor Hamburg and the whole NAL team! I am a stalker and looked you up on Facebook and saw we are friends with the same people. Lynda and Jessica and Brittany were our primaries. We knew crystal too. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet boy. We had a long NICU stay and just came home in October with a trach and gtube. I wish you the best and thank you for sharing your story.