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Friday, December 31, 2010

Look at my POOP HOLES!

Speaks for itself. I'll blog about this later, maybe.

I Double Dog Dare You!

Do you Dare?

A Rabbit Hole Moment

Bereaved parents will KNOW this moment oh so well. Fighting with your child over dumb things are wasted moments. Appreciate what you have because you never know when it will be gone. Hug your kids tighter and tell them you love them a few extra times. Do it now! Because I would give anything in the world to hold my son and tell him I love him just one more time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sexbot named FISTO!

So Jory was telling me about the craziness in the game Fallout New Vegas that he's been playing, something about a Sexbot named FISTO! So I figured I better introduce him to any new Vlog viewers. Enjoy!

So I started thinking you might want to see this SEXBOT named FISTO so instead of waiting for Jory to get home to find FISTO in his game again, I found it on Youtube...


VLOG #2 Already? I know I should save this until tomorrow just so I can say I vlogged Daily but since the first one SUCKED so much, I figured I'd post this one too so you can continue to laugh at my lame vlogs. Enjoy!

Correction...its after midnight so it is tomorrow technically. So I have successfully Vlogged two days in a row, WAHOO Look at me go!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What is this? This is a VLOG! A What? A Vlog! Oh a Vlog!

My FIRST VLOG! It's dumb, but you have to start somewhere!
You should Subscribe to my Youtube channel and LIKE and FAVORITE my video if you like, you don't really have to. Ok Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rabbit Hole

Tonight a few of us from MISS went and saw the movie Rabbit Hole with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. They play bereaved parents of a four year old boy who was killed in a car accident. I wish they would have started the story before he died because it would have given the audience (who haven't experience the death of a child) time to know and fall in love with their beautiful little boy. Instead they start out 8 months after he died which created a safe distance to watch the horror from, emotionally speaking.

Don't get me wrong, I thought overall the movie was good. I definitely want to see it again without being so guarded and ready to judge. I was surprised by the amount of little things they included that were so Right On; Friends become strangers and strangers become friends. Veterans of Group Support. The spousal arguments. Moment in the grocery store. The grief not becoming easier over time, it just changes, becomes bearable over time. Being upset over comparing very different death stories. I don't want to give anything away so I'm not going to finish this long list or give you many details on purpose.

Most importantly, I loved the ending. I had heard previously that it didn't have a "Hollywood Happy Ending" and was excited by that. I wondered how they were going to do it though. Comes down to a conversation, "What do we do now?" "I don't know, but something." Which is so true...there is no "Happy Ending" after losing a child in real life. But we all have to do something, find some reason to live. Sometimes that "something" is simply, waiting it out until tomorrow.

My biggest complaint about the movie, is it only scratched the surface as far as the emotions go. I think Aaron Eckhart did an AMAZING job! I believed him immediately, it was real and raw. I didn't really get that from Nicole, she played a great sad person, but she never really "Went There" fully. I don't understand why everyone keeps buzzing about her for the Oscar because I don't think she deserves it. But that's just my opinion.

I think everyone should see this film, especially those friends and family members of bereaved parents. It does it's best to help you understand the insanity we woke up to the moment our child died.

Becca and Howie Corbett are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Painful, poignant, and often funny, Becca's experiences lead her to find solace in a mysterious relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason - the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny. Becca's fixation with Jason pulls her away from memories of Danny, while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders who offer him something Becca is unable to give. The Corbetts, both adrift, make surprising and dangerous choices as they choose a path that will determine their fate.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thank You KONG for supporting the MISS Foundation!

Special gratitude to the KONG Company for their generous, end-of-year donation of $15,000.00 to the MISS Foundation! If you have a pet, please buy KONG in support of their compassion!

And special thanks to KD Frueh, President of KONG, for this donation in memory of Cheyenne Cacciatore.

Monday, December 13, 2010

ABC15 covered National Children's Memorial at the Phoenix Hope of Angel

According to the news on TV tonight, they read all the names on the plaques, meaning they read Jack's name! How AWESOME is that? I'm sorry I missed it but I'm glad I went to the MISS Memorial to be with all my new friends.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

National Childrens Memorial Day

Today is National Childrens Memorial Day, It is a day set aside to remember all the children who have died too son. Around the world today at 7pm candles will be lit in their memories. As you light a candle tonight to remember the children gone too soon, say a prayer for the parents and the pain they endure daily and speak their child's name out loud. Remember them and make sure they are never forgotten. ♥Jack Kendrick Johnson♥

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Our Jack by GranSandy

I've been going through all of Jack's "things" while scanning(finally!) the photos of Jack the hospital took for us. I went through the few cards we received and found Sandy's(Jory's mom) card and she wrote a poem for Jack, that I thought I'd share.

Our Jack

We love you so
You touched our hearts
A ray of sun expanding
over all of us.

A sparkle in the night
that we try to catch
and hold.

Oh Tiny Jack our Baby Boy
Your universal yet unique
Sweetness is so profound;
As is our complete Love
For You

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Ghost of my Dad

Just now, I walked outside and saw my dad standing across the street, beside a truck with his back to me. In shock I dropped my smokes and tears flooded my eyes. The sound must have startled him because he turned and looked straight at me. I blinked, trying to clear the tears and I realized it was my neighbor Bruce, dressed just like my dad in jeans with his t-shirt tucked in and a leather belt. Same build, same bald spot, same everything! My heart was in my throat and I couldn't breath.

Bruce didn't say anything, which is odd, he normally YELLS "How ya doin?" when he sees me. Or maybe he could see the tears from clear across the street?

It shouldn't be a shock that I "saw" my dad, he's been on my mind constantly with Thanksgiving coming. See, the last time I talked to my dad was on Thanksgiving two years ago, not quite two weeks before he suffered a fatal heart attack up at the cabin in Utah. I had no idea that would be the last time I talked to him.

Thanksgivings were already impossibly difficult to get through because Jack is not with us. How could we "celebrate" a holiday where your family is supposed to gather for a feast, when our family is missing a vital component, our son Jack. And now Thanksgiving is officially the hardest to survive through without Jack and without my dad.

I was supposed to be cleaning my house all day today for possible guests tomorrow night and I just can't seem to get myself together!

Love you Jack, Love you Dad! MISS you Both more then words can describe!

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Molest OK?

I'm appalled! Practically speechless to be honest with you, that we are allowing the TSA to Fondle, Grope, Molest, Sexually Abuse and Humiliate us in the name of Homeland Security? How far are we going to Let them go? What's next Full body STRIP SEARCH? What is it going to take for people to stand up and FIGHT against this insanity?

People say this is necessary for our security, our freedom? Being MOLESTED is necessary for us to be FREE? WHAT THE FUCK? How is that being free? How long are people going to put up with Big Brother listening to their phone calls, reading their emails, videoing their every move in public and being sexually assaulted at the airport? Before they realize this is the opposite of a Free Country?

On the news last night, there was a video of a TSA agent who "patted down" a topless 6 year old boy in front of EVERYONE! Are you kidding me?! Why are we allowing this Abuse of power to continue? The boy's father had thought removing his son's shirt would expedite the process.


Seeing this poor boy in the video made me think about all the parents who go to great measures to protect their kids from child molesters on Halloween. They've totally changed the world of Trick or Treating to Trunk or Treating. But we're allowing STRANGERS to put their HANDS on our children's GENITALS? In the name of FREEDOM? Are you getting this people? We aren't allowing this for Freedom Fucktards, we are allowing this because of FEAR! The government and media have you all brainwashed into Giving UP our freedoms in FEAR of Terrorists! I remember when ol' Shrub said...
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." _ Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defense spending bill.
and this....
"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."—Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005
and lastly...
"Don't Let the Terrorists Win."
How many times have we heard that, read that? Google's like a Bumper Sticker for the Bush Administration!

Of course those three quotes are not directly related to the current TSA strip searches, but it sums it up perfectly don't ya think?

Regardless of your political association, How is allowing the TSA to FEEL us Up going to stop "Terrorists" from shoving their latest and greatest bomb in their ass and board a plane? It's not. Why are we paying the price for Intelligence Failures? I'm seriously asking you? WHY?

A traveler in San Diego, John Tyner, has become an Internet hero after resisting both the scan and the pat-down, telling a TSA screener: "If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested." That has helped ignite a campaign urging people to refuse such searches on Nov. 24, which immediately precedes Thanksgiving and is one of the year's busiest travel days.

You can read hundreds of accounts of abuse here. For more videos just search TSA Searches on YouTube. Here's a few more I watched:

Here's a website with more info and TSA's video on Meg.

And finally if you have to fly, OPT OUT!

The We Won't Fly Plan for Defeating TSA Porno-Scanners and Airport Rent-a-Gropers from George Donnelly on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Goldfield, AZ Photography

I know two days in a row, what's gotten into me?

So I twittered a picture of Goldfield, AZ back in April with the comment, "Don't waste your time." I'm not changing my mind, it's definitely a waste of time, but I did manage to take a few pictures I don't hate and wanted to share them with you.

My parents were in town to spend time with me before my surgery, you know just in case I died on the table. Seriously, my Mom said this. She gets her sense of humor from me. LOL I left work early because I was feeling the cancer pains again but magically the car ride home cured me. No really, my doctor said the vibrations of the car very well could have adjusted the cysts which resolved the pain. SO anyway, there we were sitting around doing nothing, when GHOST TOWN popped in my head. I had seen this place on my way to Canyon Lake and well, I love Ghosts and I thought I could get a few good photos. Plus I knew my dad loves history and old west stuff, so I took them to Goldfield, about 7 minutes from my house. We spent $8/each? for the train ride, walked around town and left with a few packs of Candy Cigarettes!

 And no, those aren't my parents in front of Peterson's Mercantile, the name is just ironic and those people are so Tourist-ey! OHMYGAWD...that could totally be me and Jory in 20 years! HA HA!

The End

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is Anybody Out There?

Is Anybody Out There? I know it's been a LOOOOOONG time coming but I'm Back BITCHES! No this doesn't mean the court case is settled(SERIOUSLY! Going on 2 years now!) I'm just done hiding, in more ways then one. So profound ;-) Can you believe it? A New/Old web address and putting it all out there for the world to see! Or maybe just a few moms who've lost their child too, who might be looking for others who know exactly how she feels. So Here We Go!

Back in August I decided that THIS was the year I was going to reach my hand out of this dark hole I'd been living in for almost 4 years. I figured if Jack could live STRONG for 4 hours then I should be Strong. And how ironic is it that he lived for 4 hours and it's been 4 years? So I decided this was the year, I MUST get reach out and get help!

One of Jory's coworkers, Angel lost her twin boys in February and she and her husband had been going to support groups so I reached out to her to help me "get out of my car" and attend a meeting. In the past Jory and I had driven to events and I could never get out of the car. I was nervous and because I didn't know anyone there, I felt like I didn't belong, even though sadly we do.

So Thankfully Angel offered to meet me outside so we could go into the meeting together. I left Keara's house that night, butterflies in the stomach. I had never met Angel, just chatted with her on Facebook so I was still nervous. As I pictured Keara still holding my hand, Jory called to encourage me. It was like Keara had passed my hand on to Jory and now he was holding my hand. He talked to me until I arrived and saw Angel waiting there for me. I hung up with Jory and walked over to Angel and she hugged me, just as if Jory handed me off to her. It was a great comfort knowing they were all rooting for me.

That first meeting ignited a fire inside me. Finally a place filled with scared, heart aching, empty armed people just like me! We went around and introduced ourselves, crying for each other and through our own stories. I barely got my name and Jack's name out before the flood of emotions was too much. Even though I couldn't tell our story, just talking with everyone about shared feelings and experiences was so FREEING! Finally a place I felt safe enough to remove this "mask" us bereaved parents put on everyday. I was able to be me.

Waiting another month for our next meeting was excruciating! Then when the date finally arrived, it was cancelled last minute, it was like my roller coaster crashed! How could I wait a whole other month?

October finally arrived and I went again, it was good, but not like that first meeting, I needed that comfort, unconditional acceptance, freeing feeling again.  I did however get a little further with telling my own story, but still just the simplest facts and dates and I felt the flood coming and had to stop.

Needing another meeting, I finally decided to take the trek up north to the MISS Foundation support meeting. This time, I wouldn't know anyone and I feared I wouldn't get out of the car. Again, my rock, Jory called me, he encouraged me, reminded me how I felt after my first meeting. And I remembered again, if Jack could be strong and live for 4 hours, then I could be strong too!

I went in! They were all really nice and warm and so welcoming. Listening to every one's stories, crying with them, laughing with them, it's something I can't explain. Dr. Joanne Cacciatore is the founder of MISS and the facilitator of this group. She's...there are no words, she's...AMAZING! She's like a mother, so loving, has your back, will fight to the death for you. She can sense when you still need to talk but don't know what to say or what words to use and she'll ask you questions. Even when she's talking with another mom in the room, it's like she's talking to you, you learn so much from her.

When it came time to introduce myself to the group, it was like I was possessed or on autopilot, I couldn't stop myself from telling my story. There were moments when that uncontrollable crying tried to creep in, but I regained control and continued my story. I kept talking until I felt like I had said enough. It still wasn't word for word of The Whole Story but I must have yammered on for 30 minutes! It felt so good, like a cleanse! I had never told his story OUT LOUD like that to anyone before. And there I was the first time going to that group and BLAM I put it all out there!

November came around and again, the Hospital support group was another disappointment FOR ME. Our facilitator was sick so she cut the meeting short and again I didn't get what I needed out of it. There's no fault here, things happen. I just needed more support. So Again, I went to the MISS meeting, it was great! Can't wait for December!

Except I didn't have to wait for December because one of the MISS facilitators is having WEEKLY grief support/workshops on Surviving the Holidays! I went to the first one last Sunday. It was another Amazing experience! The workshop part of this meeting was how to utilize meditation for your grief work.

We've(bereaved parents) have all had experiences losing control: at work, a coworker can't stop telling you about her child who happens to be the same age your child would be if he weren't Dead and worse, he also has the same name or one that sounds similar and this child is just SO out of control or SO cute you could spit. OR you're driving to the grocery store and as you turn in, BLAM there is a group of tiny little scouts selling whatever it is that they sell at the door. And you realize your son will never get to be a scout(even if you never planned on letting him be a scout LOL) because your son is dead. WE can feel the lump in our throat grow, eyes start to water, chest begins to hurt. We can't hear you anymore, we're looking for the quickest escape route to a safe cry zone because our "mask" is falling and falling fast! Before this workshop, I would have ran to my car or the bathroom or wherever and would not be able to stop the flood of tears. But now I can utilize meditation either during this horrendous conversation or after I escape the coworker or scouts. I can also utilize meditation as a way to be with Jack, to hold him, talk to him, learn from him.

I'm so thankful to have found the MISS Foundation and the RTS group at the hospital. Most importantly all these new people who know exactly what I'm going through are all so welcoming and supportive. I'm finally getting the help I've wanted and needed for the last 4 years.

Thank You Jack for your Strength and Bravery. I Miss you and Love you Forever!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Not Afraid

Hello November, where the hell did the year go or the last 4 years for that matter? I keep making promises to blog regularly and I keep failing, once again, I'm sorry. Looking for a job is exhausting, not quite as exhausting as trying to settle my father's estate which is not quite as exhausting as grieving for my son Jack. When will I be free to grieve for my dad? My mind is busy all the time. It's hard to put words down to express feelings while my heart is being squeezed and my lungs can't breath because my head throbs from the monsters in my mind. It's funny just as I start to feel like my insanity is getting a reprieve by attending support groups for bereaved parents, another boulder falls off one of my many cliffs and I'm reminded we have a shitty lawyer who can't seem to understand he works for us, not for Her. Which is followed by family members who are "friends" with the enemies on Facebook. All I'm asking for is support, is it that much to ask for?

Thankfully after this deep dark hole this day has become, I have support group tonight, it is the light I need to escape this collapsing place I'm in right now. And because I'm struggling for words, I thought I'd share some that bring me to tears then build me up for this grief road I'm traveling.

I'm not afraid to take a stand

Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel that you've been down the same road

And I just can't keep living this way
So starting today, I'm breaking out of this cage
I'm standing up, Imma face my demons
I'm manning up, Imma hold my ground
I've had enough, now I'm so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now

Interesting enough, these are Eminem's "Not Afraid" lyrics from his Recovery album. For him it's about drug recovery, for me it's about the unexplainable grief of losing a child and fighting for a way to recover just enough for my heart to not physically hurt anymore, I know it will ache forever. But there is actual physical pain that happens after such a loss. When does that stop?

Miss You, Love you Forever Jack!

Friday, October 01, 2010

I know

Most of the time I think I'm too crazy to share what I'm really thinking so I don't share and my Blog sits here all empty for months on end. I need to do something other than searching all day long for a job so I'm vowing to blog, regularly, not necessarily every day but on a regular basis. I VOW!

So Welcome to October 2010. Where has the fucking time gone? I would write more now but I'm heading over to Famous Daves to pick up dinner for Jory and I. TooDaLoo

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jack would have been 4 years old today

 I am the cactus
I'm still here, standing off the side of the Merry-Go-Round of life.
Watching as the world continues to spin, people go about their lives as normal.
And I'm still here...Watching...Waiting...for it all to stop.

As I do every year, I'm reposting the Whole Story for those of you who may not have read it yet. I wrote it 10 days after Jack passed away, so I wouldn't forget a moment of the Best and Worst day of my life.

September 11, 2006

I'm still in shock and don't know if I'm ready to write this yet but I'm going to try because I don't know what else to do right now.  Here's our story, sorry if it's long but it's all still so fresh.

I have severe PCOS with severe insulin resistance and hypothyroidism. We've been TTC for 5 years with medical assistance. We moved from UT to AZ in March 2005. I found my new (amazing) doctor in Jan. 2006. In March '06 I had a large tumor removed from my uterus, it came back clear. He also scraped my uterus and drained all of my cysts and found that they will one day become cancerous. After consulting with 6 Oncologists, they agreed we had time to try for a baby.

Our first try after surgery with Clomid, we got pregnant! We were in shock. After 8 years trying, this was unbelievable! I had no morning sickness, but had to get daily Progesterone shots to keep my level up to normal. I had ultrasounds every 2 weeks because this pregnancy was high risk. We heard the heartbeat a couple times at different appointments and had my 20 week BIG U/S set for Friday Sept. 1st.

Tue. Aug. 29th we went to bed and I had a hard time getting comfortable. After a few hours of tossing and turning I got up and went to the couch and thought I was having really bad gas pains. I was burping and passing gas quite a bit so I wasn't worried too much. I ended up feeling much better and fell asleep the next morning.

(Warming TMI) I woke up Wednesday afternoon and when I went to the bathroom there was really weird discharge, it looked like baby or child's snot with a bit of brown in it. I called my doctor and they made me an appointment for the next morning saying it wasn't abnormal and I possibly had an infection of some sort. I felt completely normal all day and was happy that those gas pains had gone away because that coupled with the weird discharge would have worried me more.

We went to bed around 11:30 PM Wed. night and I immediately felt like I was having a repeat of the night before. I couldn't get comfortable and after a short time I moved to the couch. The pains were a little different from the night before, this time they were more crampy, but I knew I had a doctors appt in the morning and figured I would wait it out, since they didn't seem worried. The more painful the cramps came, the more I got worried and jumped online to try and find out what could be happening. I knew at 19 weeks 3 days it was way too early for labor and this being my first pregnancy I had no idea what contractions were going to feel like and from what every pregnant woman has ever told me...nothing is as painful as being in labor. These felt only a little more painful than regular cramps. And they never seemed to go away, they got worse every 5 minutes or so but the pain never ceased.By the time I found something about preterm labor it was 4:30 AM. Just as I was making a decision to call my doctor, my husband woke up and insisted I call him. I don't know why I was so worried about waking the doctor, but I didn't want to bother him if it was nothing. I will never wait again!

I called the doctor, his on-call operator was going to page him so I jumped in the shower assuming I might be going to the hospital to be checked.

My doctor called back and told me to go to the hospital triage and tell them I was 20 weeks along (otherwise they won't monitor you, I was 19w3d). I immediately knew something was wrong and my husband and I jumped in the car and I cried all the way to the hospital. The pains continued to get worse and more constant. It was then that I started to wonder if these were indeed contractions.
6:00 AM: The Triage doctor examined me and told me that I was fully dilated and the water bag was covering the cervix. She told us that there was no question that I would be delivering and no chance that our baby would survive. She apologized and left to get the sonogram tech to verify. I completely lost it. I cried like I had never cried before. I knew I needed to be strong but I felt this was my fault. I had waited too long to call my doctor and I had wasted time worrying about whether to wake him or not. How could I ever forgive myself?

The tech came in and was quiet the entire time. We saw our baby, the heartbeat was strong he was moving his arms and legs as if everything was normal. She was measuring his organs and showed us my cervix dilated and the water bag making it's way down. The baby's head was also down ready to follow. The tech left, the doctor came back and again said she was really sorry but they can't risk infection and that I would be moved to labor and delivery as soon as a room became available. She also said they would be giving me as many pain killers as needed to make me as comfortable as possible giving the circumstances.

I was in absolute shock, this was not supposed to be happening to us. Our hearts had broken. Jory and I looked at each other in complete disbelief and cried together. This was our miracle baby, why couldn't I be able to carry him to term? Why are we having all these problems? We are the perfect couple, we will be the perfect parents. Why Why Why?

My doctor (the god that he is) showed up a short time later and came in with a little hope. He said the previous doctor was wrong, I was only 3 cm dilated and there was a chance that with medication they can stop my contractions and with a cerclage we might be able to stop the delivery. He said the chance was small but at least there was a chance. I would be in the hospital until I deliver, whether that be today, next week, or months from now. I didn't let myself believe in the hope because I knew I couldn't handle it if I let myself believe then be disappointed again. He put me in the Trendelenburg position (feet above your head). He gave me some more pain killers and we held tight until a room in L&D opened.

Jory called our parents to let them know what was going on and I told him to have my parents come immediately. I knew we would need family with life experience to handle the plans afterward if this didn't all work out. Within 30 minutes my mom and step-dad were packed and on their way from Logan, UT down here to Phoenix.

11:30 AM: Once they moved me up to L&D my doctor gave me an epidural with much disapproval from the nurses and other doctors because they had me on medication to stop my contractions, an epidural in their minds was unnecessary. But he knew, even with the pain killers I was in so much pain and discomfort as well as an emotional hell that an Epidural would lift some of that pain away especially if they weren't going to be able to stop the contractions. He was right and I could never thank him enough for that decision.

By 9 PM the medication was not stopping my contractions and the ultrasound was now showing the baby's head coming down, it was only time before my water broke. I already knew their attempts weren't going to work so I was prepared (as well as I could be) for the next step. They stopped that medication and gave me another to induce labor and told me I would probably deliver in a few hours. I had now been in labor for almost 22 hours. My doctor left the hospital to go home and shower and then he'd come right back.

9:24 PM I felt pressure and called the nurse.

9:25 PM My water broke. The Nurse came in, verified it had broke and said she'd call the doctor and be right back.

9:28 PM I called the nurse again, I felt really strong pressure I knew the baby was coming. I tried to stay as still as possible because I knew if I moved a muscle he would come out. In those split seconds Jory and I wondered "Why in the hell the nurse would not stay in the room?" Did she not believe us?

9:29 PM I had Jory call the nurse again, we told her the baby was seriously on his way, like NOW!

9:30 PM With only Jory and I in the room, our baby was born. I felt the baby kicking my leg.

The nurse came back in the room and was shocked to see the baby was out, she ran out and grabbed another nurse who came in and took charge.

(In a later conversation Jory told me the nurse who never stayed in the room acted like she was new and totally freaked out because when she went and got another nurse who came in and took charge, she pulled off her badge and put in on the desk next to me and stood by the door for most of the time, then left.)

Jory cut the cord and watched as they examined the baby and asked if we knew the sex, we didn't. She announced we'd had a baby boy. She wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to me. I immediately fell into tears and didn't stop bawling for at least an hour. I held him and cried. Every time I touched his skin he would make a fist. His eyes were still fused shut but he opened his mouth and smiled (even though we know babies don't smile that early). Jory said he looked just like my older brother Shane, I thought he had Jory's lips. He was perfect in every way. Perfect fingers and perfect toes.

We named him Jack Kendrick Johnson. Jack from Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean” and my maiden name is Kendrick. He was 9.5 inches long and weighed 9.5 ounces.

My parents arrived about 10:30 PM. After about an hour, I sort of kicked them out so Jory and I could spend some private time with our son. We continued to hold Jack and talk to him. We tried to stop crying and enjoy this time we had with him, knowing it wasn't going to be much longer. The nurses continued to come in and check for a pulse, each time surprising us how strong our little boy was. Some time between 12:30 and 1:00 AM on September 1, 2006 Jack passed away in our arms.

The awesome nurses at the hospital let us bathe Jack and brought in some outfits to choose from to dress him in and the most perfect tiny crocheted blanket to wrap him in. She took his foot prints and hand prints for us and later made a plaster cast of both his foot and hand prints. Later she would also take him to get some pictures done that we'll receive 3 weeks after we leave the hospital. We had taken a few pictures of Jack before we bathed him. Although I have yet to look at them, I already wish I had taken more!

We continued to hold Jack until around 2:30 AM, I was so exhausted and couldn't keep my eyes open another second. The nurse came and took Jack to take some photos and create the plaster cast for us. She would bring him back later to sleep in our room with us. I passed out and slept until 6:00 AM when the nurse came in to say she was going off shift. We could never thank her enough for all the mementos she created for us and the memories she helped us create!

The entire next afternoon we took turns holding Jack, I even napped with him next to me on my bed. The nurses continued to tell me that Jack would stay with us until we were ready, but Every time a nurse came in I was scared they were going to say it was time. I couldn't get enough time with Jack, I wasn't ever going to be ready to say goodbye. I expected to be released from the hospital that night so I was on pins and needles knowing I would have to say goodbye soon.

My parents came by and both took time holding Jack. This was the first grandchild in both our families so I know this was hard on them too.

Another nurse came in later and told us that I would be staying another night to make sure there was no infection and because my right thigh was still fully numb from the epidural. They would be moving me up to the maternity ward, but would put me in the area with the neonatal mothers so I wouldn't have to hear all the babies cry. She told us to let her know when we were ready for them to take Jack with the understanding that we can request to seem him once we are in our new room. Or if either of us did not want to say goodbye twice, the other could go into another room and spend as much time with him as needed. We both held him one more time, hugged him, kissed him and said our goodbyes, not really knowing if that would be our last time. But once the nurse came in and took him, we both lost it and bawled together. It made it so real for me, it was as if he had died again. I knew there was no way I could go through that again so I told Jory that was my goodbye, he agreed.

They moved me up to the Maternity ward and put me in my own room in the corner. I was so thankful to not have to hear or see any babies, but felt so empty knowing mine was gone. This was not supposed to happen to us. We had already been through so much for so long just to get pregnant. This was our miracle baby, what happened? I felt like the life had been ripped out of me. I was only a shell, trying to keep it together for Jory. I felt so close to really losing it, but promised Jory I would hold on for his sake.

Later that night my doctor came by and asked if I wanted to go home. He said the results came back, there was no infection, it was definitely incompetent cervix which can be helped next time we get pregnant with a cerclage at 14 to 16 weeks and extra monitoring. Unfortunately there is no way to know you have an incompetent cervix until you go into preterm labor the first time. He said there was nothing I could have done to prevent this or to stop the contractions from coming. There is absolutely no way I could have known until it was too late. I tried to believe him.

The feeling in my thigh had returned so we agreed to go home. As they wheeled me out of the hospital, what feeling I had left in my heart ached for Jack. We should be taking him with us, instead my arms are empty and we both cried the entire way home.

I don’t think either of us have cried so much in our lives. It was so hard to be home, especially with my parents staying with us. I could never thank them enough for coming because of everything they did for us, but I just wanted to be alone with Jory. Thankfully they were here to help keep us on track of those things we needed to handle like calling the different funeral homes and my work. They left Monday, Labor day to go home.

One thing I expected to be an issue was that fact that we have different beliefs from my parents and Jory’s dad. They are all Mormon, not necessarily practicing but have the belief that we should all be buried in a cemetery to later one day reclaim our body. Jory and I are not Mormon and do not wish to be buried. We want to be cremated and have set plans for our ashes. So why would we want to do something different with our child?

Our parents both took their turns letting us know they had family plots we could have in either Logan or Provo, UT. We appreciated their offers, however politely declined. I really appreciate them all for not pushing us or questioning our choices. This was definitely not the time or place to have that conversation. In fact I was extremely surprised and happy with the fact that my parents took an active role in trying to helps us pick out an urn. The funeral home also had remembrance pendants and I fell in love with a silver pewter covered glass vile with screw-on top that could hang on a necklace or in a display case and hold some of Jack’s ashes. Because of the price I knew I couldn’t get it with all the other costs we were incurring. My mother offered to buy it for me, I knew I would later regret saying no even though I would never normally agree to let her buy me something that expensive, so I agreed. And I look forward to having that piece of Jack with me always.

The days following my parents exit have been mashed together into one large blur. I wasn’t lucky enough to skip my breast milk from coming in though. I was actually surprised when it first happened, in total disbelief actually. I thought I would be spared this additional reminder of losing Jack, but no.

Jory had mentioned that my brother Shane offered us an escape at his house in Wyoming if we were interested. This was exactly what we needed and were looking forward to getting the hell out of dodge. We wanted to wait for Jack’s ashes and for our apartment complex to fix our A/C, it started leaking the night we got home from the hospital. We’ve also been waiting to be cleared by my doctor for travel which happened today.

I knew going back to the doctor’s office was going to be really hard. I had bonded with all the ladies there during my daily visit for my progesterone shots. They had become like family to me. Let alone the possibility of sitting in the waiting area with pregnant women or children. My doctor had told us how upset all the ladies were when they heard the news of our loss. They had all shed tears and were heartbroken for us.

When we arrived, I was surprised to see an empty waiting room. I have no idea if this was luck or if they had scheduled it this way. Either way I was very thankful. The nurse took my vitals and I was a shocked to see I had lost 14 pounds. I knew I had lost weight, I could tell by the way my pants fit. My doctor examined me and found my uterus was still at 8 weeks, but he was not worried.

After my exam, the doctor told us all the test results were back and that I definitely, with no question had an incompetent cervix. He said that there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this. He said that you don’t start contracting until well after the cervix starts to dilate so even if I had called the night before or right when the contractions started, it wouldn’t have made a difference. I know this was technically the second time he had told me this, but this time it finally freed my guilt I had been holding since losing Jack. Even though everyone was telling me it wasn’t my fault and that I couldn’t have prevented it, there was always still that question in me. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel guilt free, but this was definitely a freeing feeling and I will try to hold on to that.

My doctor said there was no doubt in his mind when we are ready that a cerclage with extra monitoring will work for us. He also thanked us for allowing him to be a part of "the beautiful experience" it was for him. He said he had never experienced the kind of love Jory and I showed, as well as the love we have for each other. He continued to tell us that he’s never met a couple as close and loving as we are and was honored to share in that with us. He said he’s never seen anyone with the glow I had every time I came into his office, even the nurses had mentioned it. He also shared with us that he’s still having a really hard time accepting that there was nothing he could have done to prevent this. He was just so sorry but wanted us to know there is promise for another miracle.

We told him of our travel plans and he agreed that it was a great idea to get away. We scheduled my next appointment in 8 weeks, I should be mid cycle by then. As we started to walk out into the waiting room, I realized it was full of pregnant women and children and started to tear up, by the time we got out to the parking lot, I fully lost it and collapsed against my car. Jory grabbed me and held me tight while I cried. I then realized everyone in the waiting room could see me through the glass front door and windows. I told Jory I wanted to leave so he helped me in the car and we left.

I’ve been approved for 6 weeks short term disability which thankfully I have that, but it is no where near enough time and I don’t know how I’ll ever feel able to go back. I pray that Jory gets the job with the video game company and they offer him loads of money and excellent heath coverage so I might be able to quit my job and never go back.

I haven’t even been able to talk to my friends on the phone yet. I’ve barely managed to talk to my mother, two of my brothers and my father. Talking business or bills to strangers is easier than someone I know. From reading the book the hospital gave us on losing a child, I know it will help to talk to others, but I can’t manage a 5 minute simple conversation with family without crying. How am I supposed to talk with anyone other than Jory about Jack without bawling?

The only thing going for us here in Arizona is that we don’t know many people and don’t see anyone except at my work. I have no idea how it will be to see our family in person on our way to our escape. I can’t manage to ride in the car and see a group of little scouts outside the local market without crying. Or watch TV without constantly flipping the channel every time I see a pregnant woman, baby or a character named Jack. Even a simple episode of Friends comes across cruel when it’s the one where Chandler and Monica get their twins and name the boy Jack. This is exactly why our trip to the secluded woods of Wyoming sound so enticing.

How will I ever not resent my two cousins whose babies will be born shortly after Jack was supposed to be born in January? How will I keep from punching the next person who tells me Jack wasn’t meant to live a full life here on Earth or that it just wasn’t meant to be? Or how about those that keeping telling me we will be with him again one day? How about today? Why not now?

I don’t know how I’ll ever wake up in the morning and not want to cry. I can’t imagine a night where I’ll go to bed and not replay the entire event over and over in my head until I finally decide to take another sleeping pill just to get some sleep. How will I ever feel strong enough to be away from Jory for more than 15 minutes at a time? How will my heart ever recover from losing my perfect precious boy? How will I ever move on?

I’m scared to face the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving, my 30th birthday, Christmas, his edd of January 22nd. Not to mention what would have been his first holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, his birthday and the anniversary of his death. I can’t even think about it right now.

The only reasons I get out of bed every day are Jory and my desperate wish to bring home a baby and give them the world. I miss being pregnant and can only wish we have time for another miracle.

I miss you Jack, I miss you every minute of every day and always will!

I love you forever, Mommy

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Modesty was my priority

Monday morning, I crawled out of bed at 10 AM, zombie walked to the bathroom to take care of the normal morning "Stuff". I then stumbled into our closet to put on a bra and tank top....and I hear a strange noise. Like a cough but not Mazzy's normal Pomeranian cough, like there's a BURGLER in my HOUSE who just coughed! I quietly close my closet door and eyeball Jory's "That's not a knife, THIS IS a knife" knife. In the same split second, my brain tells me I should drop the tank top and put on a real T-shirt. Because we must be modest when catching a burgler in the act. I KNOW, WTF?! But it was literally all in the same second and I didn't even laugh about it until later, but OK so...I put on the more modest T-shirt and figure I can peek my head out of the bedroom, and if I see Jory's backpack is on the dining room table, I won't have to call 911 from my closet.

The thing is, when Jory calls out sick or comes home early sick, he wakes me or calls me to tell me he's on his way home. He does this, so I don't freak out, think he's a burgler and stab him with his "THIS is a knife" knife. I'm thinking about this very thing as I talk myself into slowly opening the closet door. I glanced again at his knife as I opened the closet door and just as I turn to peek out the bedroom door, THERE'S A MAN STANDING IN MY DOORWAY! I jumped, hit the ceiling, fell down, had a heart attack and died before I realized it was Jory!

He giggled and said, "This is why I normally wake you, if I have to call out sick."

I proceeded to tell him, while I thought there was a burgler in the house, modesty was my priority. LOL

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The guilt I live with

It's nights like tonight(last night, since it's morning now) that drive me bat shit crazy! We went to bed around 3:30 am, not unusual for the weekend. But I layed in bed for 2 hours trying to sleep, obviously I was unsuccessful.

Thoughts race through my mind the moment my head hits the pillow, regardless of how tired I am. Tonight's episode was centered around Jack as per usual. Normally I can direct the thoughts to positive ones like picturing him as a 3, going on 4 year old running around with the dogs or playing in the dirt, excited to show me the neatest bug he just found. I secretly try to steer these thoughts into a dream with my sweet boy. Unfortunately, I don't get to have these magical moments. I don't know why I can't dream about Jack. He's constantly on mind, he's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night.

Instead my brain goes for the gut and I relive every moment leading up to Jack's birth and his death. Worse, I wonder why I didn't DEMAND the doctors to sew me shut (they would have, had they been able to stop the contractions) or FORCE them to TRY and help our son live by intubating or whatever necessary. He was SO STRONG! They told us, he would only live for a few seconds, maybe a few minutes. But Jack LIVED for 4 hours! Who made up this rule, that only life saving measures will be taken if the baby is 22 weeks? Why did I just accept this rule? Had I put up a fight, would someone have caved and tried to help Jack? Shouldn't they take them on a case by case basis? On the one hand, I know the hospital wouldn't have done anything, except maybe restrain me or knock me out if I tried to fight them. On the other hand, I will always feel like maybe I didn't Fight hard enough for my son. This devastates me. Eats me up inside when all the distractions are gone and I'm alone with my thoughts, head on my pillow....the guilt I live with. My son I live without.

I Miss You Jack! I'm SO Sorry! I Love You, Always and Forever!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All This, keeps me up at night...

I haven't given up the whole post a blog every day for a month goal, but I have far too much on my plate to post something every day so deal with what I give ya. THANKS for actually checking in and reading and viewing and commenting!!! Gives me hope that I haven't totally lost "my touch" whatever that is. That or you three are Really That Bored ;) Either way, I appreciate the Love!

So what have I been doing, all day, in the 105+ heat, other then weed whacking? Well, I spend most of my day looking for a job online, this has been cut down to about half a day recently, because Shane and I really need to sell the condo and pasture land that we inherited from my dad. We are out of money and promised we would never sell the cabin, so we have to find money to pay those bills, mean while we are waiting(what seems like FOREVER) to go to court against our EX stepmonster. Most of you know what's going on and those that don't will have to wait until after court(or feel free to check out my archives where I've discussed it at length with the most colorful writing of my life and those who commented...seriously good stuff! I'm looking at you Jory Dan!) and have to pay for more lawyer bills and court costs. Even if we can sell the pasture land and condo, that will only help pay for the cabin for a few are we going to afford the cabin until we die? It's so stressful, we know it's hard times(HELLO, I KNOW!) but what are we supposed to do? It sucks asking family to help, but we tried that, it didn't work. There's no way we could get even 1/8 of the money by renting it out in the summer time which is the only season you can use it without snowmobiles. DAAAAAD! Are you listening? What are we supposed to do?

I've also been spending part of my day filling out bank papers to see if we can get our mortgage adjusted because we are over 126% underwater on our mortgage because of the housing crunch. We didn't do anything wrong, we picked a 30 yr fixed mortgage with a payment we could afford. We waited a year after the cost of housing in Arizona had been dropping. How could we have known what was going to happen just 6 months later and now 3 years later? And honestly, if we do get approved for this Hardship(me being laid off) Help, it's only going to drop our interest rate, not even 2 percent at best. SO of course the thought of jumping ship has crossed our minds, but we've always chosen to see what else we can do, we're not cheaters! But after this, there really isn't anything left for us to do. Our house will NEVER EVER be worth what we paid for it. What are we supposed to do?

All This, keeps me up at night, staring at the wall, asking my dad and Jack to watch over us or at least help me fall asleep.

Actually there is WAAAAAY more that keeps me up at night right now, but this is a blog not a novel so you'll have to wait.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Yes I failed. What's new?

Have you ever felt lonely in a crowded room? Invisible at work? Randomly call people, not to talk, just to hear someone else's voice? I'm sure I'm not alone, am I?  I feel alone.

I'm having a bad day. A bad week. A bad few months. Several bad years. I'm sorry.

The Monsoon has arrived!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Weed Whack-A-Thon 2010

We bought our house three years ago and have never had an extra $10,000 to landscape. So about every 4-6 months, I have a weed whack-a-thon that normally takes a month depending on the weather to finish. See, when you have no grass, just a lot of dirt, a shit load of weeds grow into a desert-ey forest. It gets really over whelming because it literally grows overnight.

This time, I waited a little too long because I recently was in a lot of pain and surgery and recovery followed, so I think it was probably closer to 9 months since I last removed the weeds. I also normally take the job on during the fall and spring as to avoid the summer heat. However, I have a goal with a fabulous reward at the end of this marathon.

That's right people, an above ground (White Trash) pool! I've wanted one since we moved here but we just never got around to making the purchase. Then a month ago, Jory's mom came for a visit and was telling me how she bought one and really enjoyed it. She surprised me the next day when she wanted to go shopping and bought us one too!

In order to use this fabulous hot day relief, I had to start de-foresting the back yard. I don't have a BEFORE picture, but I have one picture from after my First Whacking:

That's about halfway to the fence and the weeds are about 3.5 and 4 feet tall on average. Because I hadn't bought more "plastic twine" for my weed eater, I was using a shovel and garden shears, seriously roughing it.
Mind you, it's been above 100 degrees now for about a month so I only get to work on it from about 6:30-8:00 PM, it's been a really slow process.

Second Whacking:
I cleared out more to the north. The pile you see was left last winter, my plan was to burn the weeds.

I also pushed west past the old for sale sign that the realtor refused to come pick up. It will be my "fire pit".

Third Whacking
I pushed through to the fence line on the west and further north, past and around the pile.

You can see the pile is getting quite large, but you have no idea how LARGE it ends up getting!
Well actually you will, because I'm going to add a video, Oh Fun!

The following two photos, is what's left of the back yard, not counting the two side yards.

And now for the exciting video!

A couple of days of 110 degree weather put a hold on things, but in the mean time I decided to start the front yard, which in no way compares to the back yard.

I actually finished the front yard today, took me 4 hours, but it was 104 degrees out!
AFTER pictures coming later...maybe tomorrow.

But back to the BIG MAMA HAIRY BEAST as I referred to it in the video...

This GIANT BEAST is 5.5 to 6 feet tall, probably 12 feet long and THICK as SHIT! Oh did I forget to mention it's a prickle bush? Gawd Damn heroin needle bush! I hate this weed! Not sure of the real name.

Here's a side view so you know I'm not exaggerating.

Pile number 2 is getting quite tall and wide itself. The rake is a bit longer then the shovel, but it's actually leaning a little bit so I'm guessing this pile nearing 6 feet tall as well.

Since these pictures, I have finally started in on the Big Mama Hairy Beast, I only got about a quarter of it removed, but I will make sure to take some updated photos tomorrow and also the AFTER pictures of the front yard. OH I almost forgot...I also had my first burning of the weeds and realized it will take me YEARS to burn it I have another idea which I will explain at a later date.

Until then, wish me good weather(I'm racing the rain right now, it's expected to start Saturday), good energy and good luck because I need it!

PS I've broke both of our rakes in this process.
PSS This is the lamest blog post ever! I'm ashamed of myself. Honestly I got bored with this piece of shit 10 minutes in, so I went and watched a bunch of YouTube videos about my new pool, then when Jory said he was going to bed, I realized I better finish and post this bitch to prove I'm not a failure. So there you have it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I'm not failing

This is what I would call a nothing post, but I have sat here for several hours tonight trying to concentrate on one thing at a time to post something but it didn't come until too late. It's past 3 am and I'm still uploading the video and editing pictures so tomorrow there will be a real post Come hell or high-water!

It's all about my Weed Whacking sorry this sucks.  Look forward to tomorrow, it's Hump Day after all!

Here's a nothing picture to go with this nothing post.
I actually find "nothing pictures" to be beautiful.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Wesley Dublin at 2 months

PS Again, I cheated. Hey, I have a life, I was busy hanging with the lil human OK! At least I gave you TWO videos this time.

UPDATE...I lied, THREE videos this time! It finally finished uploading. Beware, its dark, because Keara's house is like a museum, if there's a light on, it's most likely dimmed, you know, for the fancy art ;) I'm TEASING Keara...but it's true, it's dark as shit at her house, not ideal for videographers or photographers. But I'll take what I can get!

This third video is from tonight, he was super chatty, then I pulled the camera out and he got all camera shy. I'm pretty sure he said "HI" though!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Wesley Dublin at 1 month old

PS Yes this is technically cheating since I missed a day blogging. Get over it!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

How Would You Do It?

Friday, July 2, 2010 NaBloPoMo's writing prompt:

Take a random book, open it to a random page, and then post the passage that begins at the top left. If you want to go further, tell us if the passage you posted sheds any light on your life at present.
The closest book to me was Night Falls Fast understanding suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison. Random page 144:
"Publicity given to particular ways and places of suicide can certainly have a bearing on the methods chosen by vulnerable individuals. Alary seeds, from the yellow oleander plant, were unknown as a means of suicide in Sri Lanka before 1983. Newspaper coverage and a south Indian film broadcasting their use, coupled with easy public access to the plants, increased by orders of magnitude the number of poisonings in subsequent years. Similarly, press coverage of the terrible deadliness of the herbicide paraquat, noting that it took only a single mouthful to kill, greatly increased its use as a means of suicide in Fiji. An Indian film gave parallel prominence to a waterfall at Hogenakal in south India, as did television and newspaper publicity to suicides from high-rise apartment buildings at Takashimadaira, near Tokyo, and fatal jumps from multistory car parks in Australia."
I could have cheated and picked a better passage, but I chose to follow the directions and it ends up being partly boring. Of course suicide is Not at all a boring subject, there just were a million other passages in that book I'd rather share.
I don't even remember buying the book, not sure of where it actually came from and how it ended up on my desk, seriously! I haven't read it all the way through yet, I've picked it up a few times when I was bored and read a chapter here or there, and have always had the same thought....Where did this book come from? It very well could have been an impulse buy at Barnes and Noble, one of those On Sale $4.99 you see near the check-out stands. I honestly don't remember.
Without revealing too much by choice(for now), I'm going to keep this fairly light and give it a fun spin. So here's what I want to know....If you were in another dimension(I'm giving you this cover, so we don't have to know whether you've really thought about it or would and have never thought about it, so Everyone can feel free to answer)...OK so If you were in another dimension and depressed enough or forced(it's another dimension, crazy shit happens in other dimensions!) to kill yourself...How Would You Do It? (comment please)
OK, So I'll go first...Jory and I were talking about this recently because our neighbor down the street drove to a lake nearby, climbed an electrical tower and hung himself with coax cable. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned and when he jumped or let go, his body hit the electrical tower and he was electrocuted, leaving him with 3rd degree burns over 75% of his body! As horrible as that is, it's Not a big deal to a dead guy, BUT he didn't die! The cops found him within 2-4 hours of his attempt and rushed him to the hospital. His brain-dead level was a 3, meaning he was displaying nerve response but otherwise, he was gone. The family was forced with the decision to pull the plug. Super Sad Story...he left a beautiful 2 year old daughter behind.
Now that I've put that disturbing picture in your mind, I'll move on to How I Would Do It if I lived in that other dimension that's totally fake which makes it easy to tell the world...
Until my conversation with Jory, I always figured taking a mixed bottle of sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, pain killers and anti nausea followed by a strong alcoholic beverage to help the sleepy sandman take over quicker was the most pain-free, die in your sleep, way to go. But after getting Edjamacated by Mr. Johnson, turns out its not so pain-free, drift away while in LaLa Land that I thought. Most victims experience seizure activity, Tachycardia, Diaphoresis aka excessive sweating and Coma if you're lucky. If you and Lady Luck are not friends, you typically suffocate on your own vomit. DROWNING in your own VOMIT! No Thanks!
I haven't come up with another idea....but know how I wouldn't do it but I don't want to deter anyone from sharing with ideas from ANOTHER DEMENSION......SO Come On Peeps....get creative, tell me How You Would Do it!

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