Elliott Arcile Reed

Elliott Arcile Reed
6 lbs 8 oz 19 3/4 inches

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One year


It has been one whole year since we were at the hospital awaiting your arrival. I remember how scared I was up to and while you were being delivered. I didnt know how one little hand grasping my finger and recognizing my voice would affect me so much.
It has been a long year in one sense but really fast in others. Cassi and I miss you so much and will never forget the time we shared, short as it was. I have found on several occasions that this computer is not very comforting. It is not nearly as soft as you were when you were finally put into my arms.
just leaving you a note to tell you happy birthday little one.

Loving and missing you ,
Breathe easy

Mommy and daddy

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Long Overdue

Hello Everyone!
I know it has been forever since I posted, not really sure why, guess didn't know what to say since this blog is supposed to be about Elli, not necessarily us. It seems as if though people tend to still care about the boringness of the Reed life. Not up to much, still finishing up on the house, which I am thinking might be a never ending project. We did get a new dining room table this weekend, quite the project getting it all put together, not to mention the 10 chairs that we got. We are hosting Brian's family Christmas at our house this year. It just seems so hard to get into the Christmas spirit for some reason. As for decorating, I have done minimal. The tree is semi up, Brian put it together last night while I was at work, but the branches are not fluffed, no lights, or ornaments. I was hoping that we could just for-go it this year, but Brian insisted since our nephews will be here for Christmas this weekend. I thought it would be okay to just have a present "corner" instead of having them under the tree. Speaking of presents, I am pretty much done shopping, which I am so glad about. Our Christmas's are this weekend for the most part, so I did my shopping last weekend. All presents are wrapped and ready to go, now if I was just that ready.
I had a little bit of a melt down today, poor lady didn't even see it coming. I have been going rounds with St. Luke's billing department. My portion of my labor and delivery bill is 500 dollars, which I paid the day after I got the bill. I didn't want to drag all this drama out over the holiday season. Needless to say, 6 phone calls later, and 4 late payment notices, I finally snapped. I was bawling and yelling at this billing lady on the phone. The deal is that I payed it a month and a half ago, and the check cleared nearly 3 weeks ago, yet they say they still haven't received payment. If one more call about it i will literally freak out. This is ridiculous, that was the reason that I paid it so quickly, which evidently means nothing.
I am becoming quite the night owl. I started working nights a few weeks ago. Man that first night really kills me because I wake up normal time and am up all day and then go to work all night. It was what I did when i worked in Maryville too, but it seems to be getting to me more up here. Really I do fine until I am on my way home, I start fading fast when I hit Treynor (about my half way point). I really like the ICU, and the responsibility that goes with it. I feel like I learn so much everyday. The doctors respect you so much and ask you what they need to do. Basically I called the doctor last night with this woman's issues and he asked me what I thought we needed to do...um start Dopamine and get a CT of the chest (I am thinking the lady threw a pulmonary embolism) and he said that sounded about right and that I could titrate the Dopamine to what I thought was appropriate. How different nights are, the docs really rely on the nurses to take the initiative to do what the patient needs. Either way it is going well.
Brian is still enjoying "farming" which entails a lot. This week he started hauling grain to the elevator. Our weeks seem to flay by, especially with me working nights, I am leaving when he is coming home and he is gone before I get home in the morning. He hasn't done much hunting, but his deer season is coming up. Supposedly there is a 200+ inch deer running around on our property. We get so many calls from people asking if they can hunt. On that note, no one will be hunting around our house considering we have a ton of baby calves running around. Oh yeah I forgot to mention, we live in a gated community of 1. My dad put gates up at the end of my driveway so he wouldn't have to fence both sides of the driveway considering that would be an extra mile of fence. In my opinion, it would have been worth it, I have to open and shut the gates every time I go anywhere. Oh and there is a gate up by the house too, so that is 2 gates that have to be opened and closed. He said that he is going to get me an automatic gate that is basically like a garage door opener, but that is yet to happen. As if you couldn't guess, I hate opening gates, and the calves are supposed to be here all winter.
My camera is officially out of commission. For some reason it just stopped working after Elli passed away, I can no longer get it to charge, so I am afraid after 5 years I am going to have to get a new camera. I really need to get a new one, so I can upload pictures of our house. It is so great, very grown up, no beer cans or booze bottles for decorations like in college. I have been experimenting with vinyl wall lettering. Brian got me a Cricut Expression, which if you don't know what it is, here is a link. It is pretty much the most amazing die cut machine for scrap booking ever made. Well I can also make vinyl wall art, even better then UpperCase Living if I do say so myself. I have been making a lot of stuff, not just for me, but friends and family too. Yesterday I made a sign for my friend Darci that would have cost over $50 from UL, and it basically cost me $.75 in materials, and it is so much more custom. I am a little bit obsessed with it right now. Hopefully my walls will not be covered with it, I need to remember moderation. Right now I have all Christmas and seasonal things on the wall. I am trying to think about a good saying for my Dining room wall. I am thinking of this one....
Our family is a Circle of Strength and Love,
with every birth and Union the circle grows,
with every death and crisis faced the circle grows stronger.
Or this one....
Home is where you can be silent and still be heard
Where you can ask and find out who you are
Where people laugh with you, about yourself.
Where sorrow is divided, and joys multiplied
Where we share in love and grow.
I just don't know yet, either one will be quite an undertaking for me. Hopefully when I get a camera I can show everyone my handy work, I am so excited. I have decided I must be bored, because I am thinking about painting one of my walls in the living room. I want to paint the wall with the huge window Red. I think I am going to have a super hard time finding the red I want for the curtains, so if I paint the wall red, I can get khaki curtains to hang up. We'll see with the boy says, he is not a huge fan of bold colors, but he seems to like his "hunting room" which I painted a barn red. It is so cute, and once again as soon as I get a camera I will post pics. Come to think of it, maybe I should have asked for one for Christmas, oh well, my birthday is in January, it has always been nice anything I didn't get that I wanted for Christmas, I would just ask for it for my birthday.
Sorry this post is so long, I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought. I almost forgot, we got Elli's headstone put in the other day. It is beautiful, but pretty annoying. I mean it seem so dumb for the lack of a better word to be visiting our precious Elli at a grave instead of cuddling up with her on a cold winter morning. The headstone turned out beautifully. Since the cemetery does not allow any headstones to stick above ground (I guess for mowing issues) we had to get a flat one. It is a custom size, bigger than the normal "grasser" as the monument company calls it. We didn't know if they were going to be able to get it in before the ground froze or not, but I guess they did. Brian went last night and cleaned the snow off it, he said that it looked really nice in the moonlight, the black granite against the fresh snow. I didn't stop since i was on my way to work, but I am sure it was a tear jerker. Well I see it is getting to be that time...work time. I worked last night and work tonite and tomorrow.
Brian and I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday season, give all your children an extra hug on Christmas morning, take too many pictures, buy too many presents, and take time to really enjoy this time of year spending it with friends and family.
I just remember this: When someone you love is in heaven, a little piece of heaven is with you every day. I miss Elli so much, and never imagined my life without her. These times faced can only make Brian and I stronger. I think I finally have a comeback for the old saying "God does not give you more than you can handle"nope he doesn't "give"you anything. Stuff happens and he helps you handle what you are given.
Thank you to everyone who continues to think of us and posts even though we don't. It is so awesome to think there are that many people who still care so much. We are so grateful to have this amazing support system. We would no doubt crumble to pieces without each other and all of you, Thank You again and have a blessed holiday season.
Love Brian, Cassi and Angel Elli

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Too Much Too Soon?

Wow, I had now idea how different working in the ICU would be from working the small Med/Surg unit in Maryville. Today was a prime example. The patient that coded on Tuesday, is still in the ICU on the vent, well today the Neurologist came in to test brain function. Needless to say, there was only a very small of deep brain stem function left. This is basically the part of the brain the controls the primitive controls of the body including blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. All of these things are even fluctuating a lot too. I was in the room when the Neurologist told the family his findings. He started talking about "brain death" and "decisions" that needed to be made and "withdrawing care" Once he started talking I was like..Holy Shit, and started feeling like I couldn't breathe and someone put about 7 winter coats on me. I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach, and knew I was about ready to burst. I had no idea the amount of tears the my eye-sockets could hold without the tears trickling down my cheek, but they must have held about a gallon, because I was able to hold it together until I got out of the room. Then it started, the gut wrenching crying. You know the type, the tears literally come from the bottom of your stomach, and you start learching because you are crying so hard that you cant catch your breath, and to add insult to injury, the nurse I was orientating with looked strait at me and said "Oh my God, are you okay" Well that comment didn't help at all, I just shook my head, and pointed to the bathroom. And always being Classy Cassi, I sat on the toilet and bawled for about 5 minutes, and then finally pulled myself together, washed my face, and went back onto the unit. I think even the people in coma's could tell that I had just bawled my head off.
I really thought that I would be able to control all my emotions and feelings, but all the talk about withdrawing cares, I was right back in the NICU at Children's. I could literally hear the doctors telling us about Elli, and her "quality of life" and our "decision". I felt so bad for that family, but moreover, I felt bad for Brian and I. It all just hit me at once, and out of the blue. I guess that it might just be too much too soon. I already decided I don't want to be in the room if the family does make a decision tomorrow when I work. They will extubate him and let him slip away, and that thought of Elli has already crossed my mind. I thought about it all the way home from work. I remember the look on her tiny face as she looked up at me and took her last breaths lying in my arms, and it is like I am right back there in that rocking chair with Brian's arm around my back and his hand on Elli's head telling her it was okay to go. I said that I never wanted to see that sight again, gasping for breaths, and to see my patient doing it even while he is on the ventilator just made it all come flooding back. I have seen people pass away in the past, but it was nothing like seeing Elli quickly slip away from me, to never have the life that she was supposed to have as Brian and I's beautiful daughter. So needless to say, I will hopefully be taking a different patient tomorrow. The "coolness" of ICU has so worn off, and now it is hitting a little too close to home. Oh and about the nurse I am orientation with, she is so nice, and knows about Elli, we were just really busy trying to discharge another patient and didn't realize that I had started to well up in the room and was shocked to see me in that state. She started crying and so did the other nurse working with us. So there I go again, making people cry, I should really work on that.
Wow Elli- This has been such a hard day, so many emotions and feeling creeping up on me that I thought I had control of, but in reality, I have control of nothing. I miss you so much, it's crazy sometimes how much I think of you. I picture you in my arms and those last hours we spent together. I cant believe we were able to make the decision to "let you go" and I forever hope it was what was best for you Elli. Just know that Daddy and I were only trying to do what we thought was the right thing to do. I never thought that I would have to make a decision that I would have to think about every day. People ask all the time, I don't know how you could do that or I could have never have made that decision. The truth is Elli, that we really had no choice, it was already made for us. We just had to follow through, and we deal with it because we have to. Of course we don't want to deal with it, but we have no choice sweetie. We no longer get to have you in our arms, but Daddy and I have you forever in our hearts, I just wish that that was as good a substitute to rocking you to sleep each night, but in reality it's not. I hate that this is how this whole situation had to turn out, but it is and there is nothing that we could have done to prevent it or change it, it is just what it was, You, Me and Daddy for 20 amazing days. We miss you daily and think of you constantly Elli. We love you forever and are so thankful for the days you were here and are so glad that you are no longer struggling and in pain. Good night sweetie, be with me tomorrow and the days following while I am at work to give me strength to be there for not only my patients but their families. All our love. Breathe Easy-

Monday, November 3, 2008

Reed Family Update

Wow I guess it has been a while since I updated anything. So many people have been asking how work is going, and it is going so well. I love it, but think I am going to dread making the switch over to nights, for right now I am on orientation on days. Three days a week goes by so fast and I love having 4 days to spend with Brian.
As if I had not already announced, I am in the Intensive Care Unit. It is challenging, but I really enjoy having to learn new things every day. I cant believe how much I didn't learn in nursing school. The good news is that it only took me a couple of days to get back into the routine of working 12 hour shifts and doing nursing duties. I had to start my first IV in over 3 months yesterday, and of course got it on the first try, must still have the touch.
The hospital that I am working at is much bigger than where I came from, but it isn't huge. Basically we will see everything in the ICU except open heart surgeries and transplants. Other than that pretty much everything else is fair game. They do a lot of heart caths, so we see several patients like that who will have to be transfered for bypass surgery to our sister hospital Methodist in Omaha, NE.
Today started out pretty slow, but there was a code in the ER and at least one of the ICU nurses has to respond to the code, so I went down to help out. What an adrenaline rush, for lack of a better word, it was fun. (for me, not the patient).
I thought that being around all the specialized equipment and the monitors would bring back memories of when we were at Children's Mercy, but it hasn't really until today when they were setting up the ventilator. It was pretty hard hearing the ventilator, not the alarms, but the actual sound of the air going though the tube. I guess the reason is that because when we finally got to hold Elli, they switched her over to the conventional vent, and I remember everything about those few hours, and the sound of the vent today sent me right back there. Luckily it wasn't my patient, but I am going to have to get used to it, considering it is coming on flu season and pneumonia time, where we will have several patients on the vent.
Brian has been so busy with harvest. He has been working pretty much non-stop trying to get corn out right now. They finished up at my house today, so they have moved on to yet another field. The corn seems to be yielding pretty good considering some of it got a lot of hail damage. I have been keeping Brian company on my day's off by riding in the truck and tractor with him. We have been seeing a lot of deer around and my dad says that he has seen a "huge" buck on every field, although Brian has yet to see any of them. Hopefully he will be able to find one and try out his new muzzle loader he got when we moved up here. He has been so busy he hasn't even had time to shoot it.
Trigger is still grounded, I want to let him and Molly out, but I am too afraid he will run off again, so they have to stay kenneled up when we are gone, which on the days I work is ALL day. Wish that little turd would just stay around the house. Gabby our cat is doing well also, she is so vocal and will sit at the living room door and meow constantly. She still thinks she is supposed to be an inside cat, considering we kicked her booty out when I found out I was pregnant last December.
Hello Elli my sweet. First off I just want to let you know how much Daddy and I miss you baby girl, but we are so glad that you will never have to suffer through any more surgeries, or spend a life time struggling to breathe. As hard as it was to let you go, it would be so much harder knowing that you would have to live a life of pain and suffering, so knowing that you are pain free and able to enjoy being a baby in heaven brings comfort to Daddy and I. I thought of you so much this weekend. I wish that I could have put you in a car seat and we could have taken Daddy lunch and went for rides in the tractor. I can just imagine you sitting on Daddy's lap learning how to honk the horn and pretending to drive and it puts a smile on my face just thinking how cute the two of you would have been. I really like my new job sweetie, even though it is hard to see sick patients, I know that I will be able to help most of them get better, and those that don't, I will be there for them during their entire stay on earth, just like the amazing nurses at Children's mercy were there for you and us during those last days. You know all that milk that mommy pumped for you Elli, some other sick babies are going to get to use it since you weren't able to. I got word today that I passed my blood tests and that I will officially be donating my milk to a bank in Ohio. I am so glad that all that work will help some babies, and not be wasted. I got some pictures hung up this last week, and put two pictures of you in your room. They look so good, chocolate brown frames on the light pink wall. I leave the door open so I can catch a glimpse of you when I walk by on the way to put in yet another load of laundry. Well Elli, I thought on Friday that you were finally going to get your headstone, I was on my way to have lunch with a friend from high school and followed a CLA Monument truck from Henderson to Carson, but it didn't turn to head to Treynor, just kept on going north of Oakland, so I will assume that they were not going to deliver it that day. I keep my fingers crossed that they will be able to place it before the freeze, because if they don't, we will have to wait until the spring. I think about you all day Elli, and especially when I use the hand sanitizer at work. I know that sounds weird sweetie, but we use the same kind that they used at CMH, and after you rub it in, it kind of smells like baby powder. I hope the other nurses don't catch me smelling my hands on occasion just to get a whiff of Elli Smell. I have told a couple of nurses about you Miss Elli, but not everyone yet, but I will in time. I miss you so much Elli, and wish things would have been so different, but enjoyed every minute of those 20 days you were with me. I miss you always. Breathe Easy Elli. Love Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Woo Hoo!!

Cassi and I got back tonight at about 9:45 she was riding in the truck and the tractor with me today and we were petting Molly our black lab and all the sudden I had a big yellow dog squeeze up between me and Cassi. Trigger is back!!!... and officially grounded. There will be no more galavanting around the neighborhood. Either way I got his and Molly's new collars with the current address and phone number so at least if it happens again we will have comfort knowing that someone could get ahold of us. So that close call has been averted. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts of getting him back.

Also thanks to Jason Newman for spearheading the raffle in Elli's honor, and also all those who helped with selling the tickets and to all those who bought the tickets. It has all been overwhelming the support Cassi and I have recieved through this trying time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Country Song

FYI he is wearing an apron from when I used to be a waitress

As of a about noon on Wednesday, our Trigger has been missing. I am royally pissed about this. He is such an awesome dog. He practically went into depression when we were in Kansas City for 3 weeks with Elli. When we finally got home, he followed us around like a "lost puppy" and seemed to realize that something was wrong and missing. He helped us through the last 6 weeks so much, and now he is gone. Brian is pretty sceptical and thinks someone may have picked him up on the highway. God I hope not. He is notorious for gallivanting around the neighborhood, but is always back in an hour or so. We have spent countless hours and gallons of gas driving around looking for him, calling his name, whistling, and honking the horn, but still no Trigger.
My mom is going to help me put flayers up around our small towns to see if anyone has seen him. We did see that another yellow lab went missing last week also, god forbid someone is picking up these dogs. Seriousley, we live out in the middle of nowhere, why should we ever have to lock up our dogs. My dad owns the entire section, and pretty much everything to the east and west of the section too, so it's not like he would be invading on someone else's property.
I feel like my life is a bad country song, I lost by dog, I lost my baby, the sun wont shine, I got no money, my house wont sell...you get the picture.
So now not only do I have to spend my days missing Elli, but now Trigger...jeez cant a girl get a break. Guess not... Well I officially start working in the ICU on Saturday, so I will let everyone know how it goes. I am so excited to be productive and get out of the house. Today is my first day off this week and I seem to be going crazy already. It has been a crappy week with the weather, and Trigger gone missing. Hopefully the sun will shine again and Trigger will come jogging up the drive way.
I am actually getting some pictures and junk hung on the walls, so that makes it feel a little more like home. Still haven't got our house in Missouri sold yet, a couple people have called on it but nothing solid yet. It would be so nice to get it sold before the winter, but who knows.
As if you don't all have enough to worry and pray about, if you want to add another person to your list, my best friend Darci's great Grandpa is in the hospital with a broken hip and he is not doing too well. I hope that he can pull through this and be out of the woods before Darci goes on her honeymoon the first week of November. All you St. Francis nurses reading this...take good care of him, as I know you all will. I miss you guys, and hope to come for a visit and a little "Girls Night" action again soon. Thanks for all the continued support, letters, texts, comments, and phone calls, you guys are my rock of support. Well I had better get back to the laundry. I know I am cool, and you are all jealous of my fabulous life of doing laundry and Swivel Sweeping my floors. By the way if you don't have a swivel sweep, get one they are the most amazing invention next to the Shark Steam Mop...yep officially a dork. Who thinks cleaning products are cool...probably no one but me....oh well.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shoot...Miss TMI

It's about time...finally updating the blog and getting to desperately needed chores. This weekend I finally made the time to clean up our yard...we were looking pretty trashy with so much junk sitting outside our front door from moving. Stuff we didn't know what to do with we just left out in front of the house in this old "flower" bed. I quote the word flower because really it was a trash bed with two nasty bushes. I dug out the bushes and put in several items and plants that we received at Elli's visitation and funeral. Here's my handy work!
I love this little statue of a baby sleeping in Angel Wings. We received it in loving memory from our softball team that we played with in Maryville. We played co-ed softball for 3 years, so much fun, one thing we will defiantly miss living up in Iowa. Thanks Bridget, Stuart & Tiffany, Mooney, Laura, Becky P, Becky C, Jeremiah, Shelia, Julie C, Marge. & Jill.
We got this praying Angel from my parents, we picked it out because we thought it looked so innocent just like Elliott was.

This is jumping around a bit, but that is how the pictures uploaded. This is several decorations at Miss Elliott's grave. The pumpkin of course is from mommy and daddy. The sorghum on the pole is from Grandma Teri and Grandpa Aaron. You can't see it very well but there is a purple Angel Wind chime hanging from the Shepard's hook from Brian's cousins Craig, Andrea, Ryder and Cheyenne. The tiny white pumpkin ( used to be painted purple but washed off) is from Shana, a girl that goes to my sister's before and afterschool program. The rest of the decorations are from Elli's Aunt Staci. It was so incredibly bittersweet decorating Elli's grave for Halloween. It actually made me pissy the rest of the day. It seemed for lack of a better word, Dumb to decorate a grave when I SHOULD be decorating a room or picking out a Halloween costume for Elli. I think it would have been funny to have Elli be a monster for Halloween instead of something super girly or pink, while she would be cute as a butterfly or princess, I think a little monster would be even cuter, so in my mind she is the cutest scary monster ever!

Here is the front "Elli Bed" I love the bark, it was donated by my mom since I was too much of a cheap skate to buy it myself, but it looks AWESOME! Even Brian was proud of my handy work. All of the plants are mums. Two were from our friends Brian and Diana Schmitz and Eric and Beth Hornbuckle. The other was from a family friends Curt and Sharron Husz.

We also received these two markers from my parents and they were set up at Elli's Visitation. This one says:

If Tears Could Build A Stairway

And Memories A Lane

I'd Walk right Up to Heaven

And Bring You Home Again

Our Hearts Still Ache with Sadness

And secret tears still flow

What it meant to lose you

No one can ever know

The little rock with Elli's name and an Angel picture on it is also from our softball team, Thanks guys! Oh and yes, those pumpkins are real. I am a super dork and spray paint them clear so they don't rot as fast once it starts frosting in the mornings. Brian says they look kind of fake but I think it makes them look cleaner...who knows.

This little plague is what the Angel is looking down at. We received it from friends of mine that I worked with at St. Francis Hospital...Thank you so much Andrea, Melissa, and Ambrose...We love it and it is such a true quote.

And now for what the title means....I made three people cry today. Let me back up for a second. I have been doing more orientation at my new job and there are three of us doing it. The other two are girls about my age, one is going to be a CNA and the other a Unit Secretary. Anyways, we had to tell a little bit about ourselves, and when it was my turn, I didn't really mention the last 3 months other than I had just moved. The questions got progressively more personal and then the dreaded question...."Do you guys have any kids" (both of the other girls each have children but are not married, so they assumed me being married at least had one)

I knew this question was going to come up sooner or later at work, and I am sure that they were thinking that I was an idiot because I didn't answer right away, I mean it's not like it is a trick question or something that I would need to ponder but I just stared back at them for a moment. Then all the sudden I gave a fairly detailed explanation of the last 7 months of my life. Well...20 minutes later and 4 crying women, I had told Elli's story to 3 complete strangers. A simple yes but she is in heaven would have sufficed, but for some reason I felt compelled to tell them almost everything. We spent another 15 minutes talking about Elli and CDH (the nurse doing the orientation had never even heard of it and she has been a nurse for 20 years!...I hate that). I am sure that those girls are thinking OMG, TMI (oh my gosh, too much information)

Brian has been so busy with harvest, basically working constantly trying to get the crops out. So far we are done with beans and working on corn. He actually got home fairly early today because it rained today. It was nice to get to see him before I was crawling into bed. He looks so cute in the tractor, I will post a picture later. Oh my camera is dead, officially. I cannot get it to charge up, I don't know if it needs a new battery or what, but it hasn't worked since we were at Children's Mercy.

So much going on and time is flying by. I don't get to start actually taking care of patients until next weeks some time, so I will keep everyone updated on how that goes. I know it has been a while since I updated, but just couldn't seem to make myself sit down and type so sorry this is so lenghty, guess I need to get some stuff out. Still checking up on all my CDH babies though, so far so good for all them. Also, I had a great lunch and afternoon with Liviana, her mom and brother and sister last week. She is so cute, you would never be able tell the she battled CDH. It was so nice to see a healthy baby survive this terrible thing.

~Hey Sweet Elli~ Can you believe that you have been away from mommy for 6 weeks. It feels like an eternity since I got to smell your sweet baby smell or feel you angel soft baby hairs, but I got to do both of these things the other day. Some of your amazing nurses sent us everything that we left behind in Kansas City. In the box was several items, a plaster replica of your foot and hand, the clothes they put on you for mommy to hold you after you were already gone, the blankets they wrapped you in, your binki, one of your little stuffed animals they used to position you, all the things that were hanging in your room, and even your blood pressure cuff. I know it sounds weird, but I sat on the living room floor and just smelled all of it. I can't believe how much the blood pressure cuff smelled like you. The other stuff didn't really, because you were not in the little onesie very long. I couldn't believe it Elli, but it was a preemie outfit. I guess Mommy never realized what a little girl you were. In the box was also a memory book with a lock of your hair in it. I wanted to stroke and kiss every hair under the piece of tape, but didn't want to ruin it. Elli, I am so mad. I don't want all that stuff, I want YOU, and I cannot figure out why you are not with me. Sorry that I don't visit your grave everyday, but that too makes me so sad and mad. It makes me furious to know that you are just a few feet below me, but I cannot touch you. The dirt there on the ground is so dirty, you are prefect and I hate that that pile of dirt is what is being displayed. There is still no headstone either. I feel so annoyed that I have to decorate a grave when I should be dressing, and decorating you. Your daddy and I have been racking our brains trying to figure out what we did wrong to dissever all of this, to have a beautiful baby suffer in pain with this disgusting defect. To have you ripped from our lives, to never know the sound of your little feet on our newly refinished hardwood floors. To have to live in constant wonder of what would have been. To have the eternal ache in our arm and hearts. To want so badly to have other children, but live in fear of losing yet another baby. To try to justify in our minds why this had to happen to us. To have to rely on your Sugarbear to cuddle with because you are not here. To know that this will happen to other families and babies, and know there is little we can do to help. To never hear you call out for your mommy and daddy. To always think of you when we are at a wedding and the father daughter dance comes on, knowing that daddy will never have that moment. And to Always miss you. I wonder if you miss me too, Elli. I wonder if when I get to heaven if you will still be a baby and I can raise you for eternity, be a part of all that was taken away from me, or if you will be all grown up. I wonder if you will recognize me, or if I will have changed too much for you to notice me. I think of you always, every day. Elli, I hate the rainy days, they make me remember the day you were taken from us, that drive home was 3 of the worst hours of my life. My body was drained, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I feel like I am getting filled back up, but it is still so hard for me Elli. I don't know how I am supposed to rejoice in a Lord that would make you suffer for days and they take you for his own. I am still certain that I need you more than he does. I don't care that heaven would be boring without young people. Or that people say "oh she was too beautiful for earth". I beg to differ. You were too beautiful to be taken away, I wanted to show your beauty to everyone I ever came in contact with. It amazes me how pretty and tiny your little features were. I love to think about your perfect skin, nose, lips, and eyes. I can't believe that your daddy and I were able to make such a precious little girl, luckily you got most of your looks from mommy! Well sweetie, it's getting late. I am going to head to bed and most likely dream of you which is what I spend most of my nights doing. Daddy sends his love and kisses sweet Elliott. Breathe Easy~ Mommy