Thursday, March 29, 2012

Impacts for Trey 2012

This year's service project for Trey's 3rd Birthday is to make an impact on the world and/or their community donating to a charity, donating time or products, performing a random act of kindness, etc.  On this blog I will be listing the various impacts that people are making in honor of Trey.  Thank you all again for participating! 

  • Sadie will be giving her hair to Locks of Love!
  • Olivia is volunteering in her local NICU!
  • Jennifer is volunteering as a photographer with Stories of Autism!
  • Mandy gave her hair to Locks of Love! 
  • The Lephard family is participating in a charity run!
  • Rachelle is contributing to the Fight for ALS!
  • Mark continues to impact the world as an Armed Serviceman!
  • Alice M. gave used and new items to a shelter!
  • Ellen donated to her buddy with CHARGE!
  • Cindy is walking in the Color Run for Scottish Rite!
  • Lisa is going to reach out to 30 inactive CHARGE members!
  • The Gouteix family is donating books and movies to Scottish Rite!
  • The Herrera family gave bags of clothes and shoes to charity!  
  • The Nelson family is planning a family service project! 
  • The other Nelson family is giving out grown toys and clothes to charity!
  • The Fowler family is doing a service project on the 24th!
  • For Ella and Trey
  • Kathi is researching infertility in order to be a better support to those affected!
  • For Ella and Trey
    $5 of each purchase goes to CHARGE!!!
    After giving my hair to Locks of Love!
    Jeremy and Emily donating
     books and movies
    to a children's hospital!!
    The Lephard family fan in a charity run!

  • Girls of Graceful is raising money by donating $5 from sales of a special Rainbow Baby bow to CHARGE!
  • I gave nearly a foot of my hair to Locks of Love. 
  • Cathy gave FREE speech-language screenings at her local school.
  • Jennifer donated her time and talent to cutting my hair for Locks of Love.
  • Elizabeth is raising money for CHARGE in their Charge it for CHARGE campaign!
  • The Gagnon family is donating to Hope House, an outreach program that helps provide services to single women and mothers who are transitioning from domestic violence.
  • The Rivera family donated to a family in need.
    • The Smith family is donating to the CHARGE Foundation                         
  • I am helping the Smith family donate to CHARGE by selling my unused jewelry.
  •  Yolaine placed flowers on her Angel daughter Ella's beach and grave site, donated to CHARGE AND paid it forward in the supermarket!  Also thanks to Yolaine,  Trey has reach in Japan now: as donation to her friend's charity of choice for her Running Rica campaign: just in honour of Trey :)
  • Narelle Designs made this sun catcher for a beautiful lady who has four angels and she has such a ♥ of butterflies. It symbolizes her precious little ones as butterflies flitting from flower to flower, finally coming to rest in the garden ♥ in their mother's heart!
  •  Amanda donated a load of baby clothes, steriliser, bottles, 3 boxes of formula, nappies and wipes/toiletries and womens clothes and toiletries to a womans aid refuge for women and children who have had to flee their homes to get away from an abusive and violent relationship/environment as many leave with just the clothes they are wearing xx!
  • The Norton family is renting their house out and had many renters to pick from...they picked a mom of 2 little girls who lost their daddy/husband. Hoping their house will help her "start over."
  • Clare volunteered her services at the local food bank, to help unload the trucks on Wednesdays each week.....she is also reaching out to an estranged friend who she knows is suffering silently over a loss of a loved one. This is for you Trey!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


For Trey's 3rd birthday, I donated nearly a foot of my hair for Locks of Love,

"Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers." 

I have not had my this short since I was in middle school, so this was a big leap for me.  I was a nervous wreck but I feel freer than I did with my long curly locks.  I hope a little girl receives and BEAUTIFUL wig and I hope Locks of Love send me a picture!  
DANG, my back profile looks GOOD...oh, and  that's my hair before

A glimpse of how LL will look in the future

One last tug sweet girl

I hope she has hair like me one day, then maybe we can give to Locks of Love together!

Last wash

Liquid courage!


EEEEK!'s gone!

That's A LOTof hair!!!

I'm sexy and I know it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

3 is a Magic Number


Girls of Graceful makes an Impact!

I decided I wanted my Impact for Trey to be a fundraiser. I wanted to wait to tell you and launch it on his birthday. You are an inspiration to me, I thank you and Trey for this.
I have included what I wrote about the story behind the fundraiser. I would really appreciate it if you'd read over it and let me know if it is ok with you and if it is all correct. I have also included a picture of Lorelei's Flower.
If you would rather donate to another foundation/charity please let me know.
"On March 23, 2009 my cousin Sharon gave birth to her long awaited baby boy. Though gorgeous and perfect, just as God had intended, Trey was born with CHARGE Syndrome. ( The wonderful doctors and nurses did all they could for him but the toll taken on Trey's tiny body was just too much and God called Sharon and John's beautiful boy home on April 4, 2009. Everyone's heart was broken. The family had a Celebration of Life for him by the ocean and released him to spread his love, life, and strength throughout the world.
Two years later,in July 2011, Sharon and John welcomed Lorelei into the world. She is an angel sent from God and from Trey to be yet another representation of their love and to help heal broken hearts. Just as beautiful as her brother, she is of course an incredible blessing. She is also very blessed herself for her brother is watching over her. Who could ask for a better guardian angel?
This flower is in honor of Trey and the rainbow colors are in honor of Rainbow Baby Lorelei. From the sale of each of these flowers, $5 will go to The CHARGE foundation ( to help research prevention and possibly a cure for CHARGE Syndrome.
Exact colors and patterns may vary but, just like every child born each year with CHARGE Syndrome, they will be beautiful."
Much love,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Ugly Truth

Inspired by a similar horrific account in Chapter 36 in the book Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

You will see a positive pregnancy test and with a thankful heart, will you will envision 9 months of growing life.  You will plan plans, dream dreams, hope hopes the likes of which your heart an soul have ever known.  You will officially call yourself a mother, your loved ones will celebrate with you.

The the bottom will drop out.  One moment, everything is bliss then you feel it, you hear it, you sense it, you watch it.  No matter how or when it happens, your world will go silent and scream all at once.  You will grasp for those plans you planned,  hopes you hoped, the dreams you dreamt the likes of which your heart and soul have ever known, and will never know with the life you are losing.

As the life you created slips through everything in you that you are using to keep it from slipping on, parts of you will slip away as well.  Holes will permeate your entire being.  The love for your child, the super glue to ANYTHING that has left damage on you in this life, will erupt from you.  You will beg and plead, to anyone who will listen to tell you it isn't so.  You will deny that it is happening and pray that they are wrong.

You will kneel down on fresh  knees with hands clasped and bargain for your child's life, you will offer your own.  You will scream for a miracle.

You will cry with every cell of your body, sometimes with no sound yet speaking volumes.  You will sob, repeating your laments over and over again.  You will squall without embarrassment or fear of judgement.  Your tantrums will cause others to weep and you will weep harder because you don't want them to hurt like this with you.  Your body will convulse, you will heave, hyperventilate.  Eventually you will draw still, quiet, yet screaming inside.  You cease without the energy eventually to summon everything you have in you to unleash your sorrow again.

And sometimes you won't be able cry, as the deepest darkest corners of where your pain is but your sorrow hasn't found yet are just too dark and deep to even touch.   The sorrow you feels reaches deep into your bowels stealing your ability to nourish yourself or keep anything you try to nourish yourself with down.

You will WANT to feel better but won't be able to fathom how, ever again.  You don't want the despair but it latches on.  You probably will struggle with depression, anxiety, aggression, panic attacks, and lack of focus, often in as a little of a span as 5 minutes.

You will sign papers and learn to hate your signature.  There will be forms, an entire rain forest worth of paperwork to fill out and even more after the fact.  And they won't stop there, every medical form until the end of time will require you to stain it with your loss.

You will leave a medical facility with empty arms, maybe the very same facility that you should've left with your baby.  The silence will kill you but you have nothing to say.

You will arrive at your home with an empty car seat, if there were time to buy one at all.  You will walk into an empty house, by an empty crib, with an empty womb.  You won't be sure what to do with yourself, this was not a part of the plan.  You will wonder what the plan is now.  You will be exhausted but not from taking care of a new born.  Crawling into a ball will be your desired position, but the fetal position can be painful just on the name alone, not to mention it is not NEARLY tight enough for you to hide from the world.

Your body continues to function even though your brain and heart seem to stop.  If you were not lucky enough to watch your child grow even as few months, you will witness with despair as your womb empties it's contents the way it normally would after the birth of a child yet usually it signals your bodies healing process that makes you stronger to care for your newborn.  You will note the irony of that process and how it relates to you.

If an autopsy is performed, they will explain what happened, calling it "an event".  Soon after your loss, those who knew you before "the event" will ask to see pictures or for details about the birth.  You will want to scream the ugly truth to them, but you know that they just didn't know. In your anger, you will want to answer the questions about your kids honestly. Eventually, you just can't stand the shock and discomfort the truth brings so you have to weigh your options when revealing it.

Everything you thought beautiful in the world will be tainted.  Colors will fade.  Feelings will numb.  There will be clouds all around.  Lyrics of your favorite songs will have new meaning, you won't enjoy them the same, if at all.  There will be holes in EVERY aspect of your life that nothing and nobody can fill.

You will ask "Why me?"  You will question God, maybe even curse Him.

People will think you have Postpartum Depression, possibly confusing it with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   You will want to take everyone's sage advice and shove it where the sun doesn't shine, even though you know how supportive they were trying to be.  You will be angry when life goes on for everyone else, but you're still missing your baby.  You will wince while looking at pregnant people or young babies.  Everyone else's joys run a distant second to your pain, often limiting your enjoyment of them if you can muster up any joy at all.  You will be in the crowd but totally alone.

You will still cry, without warning, without cause, without provocation.  It will take a microbe of thought that will bring you to your knees.  You will have days of joy and feel guilty about it.  You will want to talk, be silent, scream, die, hide, stay in bed, walk away, be around others, be alone.  You will dread anniversaries and birthdays yet when they pass it's further proof that you are surviving.  You will ache in places you didn't even know had feeling in.

You will gt up everyday that you possibly can and, no matter how hard it is, you will face the day yearning for the night to blacken so the hurt can't be seen dreading having to gather the courage to rise again for another day.

Days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.  You will wonder how you're still standing, how you made it this far.  People will marvel at how strong you are even though you feel like shrinking into a dark corner.   If you're lucky, you will be surrounded by family and friends who understand that this will never be something you "get over".  Unfortunately, there will be people in your life that wish you would.

You will question the thought of trying for another baby, though you yearn for it!  You will worry that having another baby will bear the same morbid result.  If you're lucky enough to conceive again, you will rarely enjoy a moment of the pregnancy, analyzing every moment, waiting for the bottom to drop out again.  You will feel like a hypochondriac at EVERY doctor's appointment, questioning EVERY thing your OBGYN says and spewing out your fears like scalding coffee.

You will get a slight relief when/if your baby is born healthy but feel you should be more refined in your parenting efforts as you should have had more experience with the baby you lost.  As your rainbow baby thrives and meets milestones, you will wonder what it would've been like with your Angel Baby.  You will absorb EVERY joy that your rainbow baby offers, but in your alone time, you will grieve those same joys that you will never have with the child you lost.

If you're even luckier, you will have other parents who have lost their children that you can lean on and walk this horrible journey with.  You will all be in a club you never asked to be in.

You wouldn't wish this nightmare on your worst enemy.  You will wonder how and when you will ever be whole again.  And as long as you're experiencing all of the above, you are stronger than you think you are, you are a survivor and the longer you survive, the stronger you will become.

And on that day, when you are reunited with your baby, you WILL be whole!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fertility Monitor Give Away

As many of you know, I was given the opportunity to review an OvaCue fertility monitor with vaginal sensor!  So many of you expressed an interest in a giveaway that I had to figure out how to make that happen.  Not only did I get you a giveaway, I did one better!  I managed to turn this into an even cooler giveaway event by inviting my dear friend Jayme at The Tater Twins to join me!  What does this mean?  This means TWO monitors are going to be sent out to TWO lucky winners!!  

There is a tiny twist that could make this really exciting!  If you share this giveaway with your friends, blog readers, or trying to conceive buddy groups and they use your email address* as who referred them, if they win, you do too!!  So not only do all of your entries count as a possibility to win, every single entry of each person that you send, also means an entry for you as well!  So spread the word!

In the event the winner was not referred by anyone, a second winner will be selected for the second monitor! 

*The email address must match the one you use to enter via rafflecopter!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Wind

Everytime the wind blows I know you're in it.

When the weather is still, I feel alone, yet I feel you are busy being social in Heaven.

The wind cleanses me.

The wind comforts me.

The wind washes me of sad thoughts.

When the wind blows and the north star shines, my heart melts.

I love it when the wind blows while I am holding your sister outside.

LL feels the peace of the wind.

Watching the blooming trees move with the wind is breath taking, the beauty in addition to peace, sigh!

The wind blowing those blooms reminds me of your birth, the coming of spring, sadness yet celebration.

The wind at night somehow makes the stars shine brighter.

Wind before a storm helps me realize that I have made it through a storm.

Fall winds release leaves from the trees as it releases sorrow from my soul.

The wind passes through me.

The wind frees me.

The wind enables me.

Th wind makes me want to be outside a lot more.

I wish for wind everyday.

I want wind to free my heart of pain.

Your Daddy and I feel the wind the same way.

The wind brushes away all that is corrosive.

You are in the wind.

I feel you in the wind.

I love the wind

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making an Impact for Trey

Almost three years ago, on March 23, 2009, we welcomed out little boy Trey into the world, then on April 4, we let him go to become an Angel in Heaven and not live a life of sickness.  His short life made a HUGE impact on our lives and the lives of our loved ones.  This impact inspired me to start my blog and reach out to other Angel Parents and inspired me to spread the word about CHARGE Syndrome, the very condition that ultimately took my son's life.Every year I do a service project in his honor, as that is the only kind of gift I can give him on his birthday.

This year I will be donating a foot of my hair to locks of love and to those of you who know me, that is quite a gift for me to give, as I have not had short hair since middle school.  Trey made the ultimate sacrifice by holding on and fighting for his life and we made the ultimate sacrifice letting him go, NO parent should have to make that choice, sign those papers and go on living without their child.

This year I am asking EVERYONE to make an impact in their world or community between the dates of March 23rd - April 4th, whether it be donating to a charity, performing a random act of kindness, volunteering, offering services/products for free to those in need, etc.  Please make an impact in honor the impact that Trey had on all of us.

I would also like to collect all of the impacts andpost them on my blog to show the world the impact we can make for a baby we love and lost.  So, if you feel comfortable, please leave a comment on how you, or someone you know made an impact in their world or community for Trey.

Thank you so much for your participation and please feel free to share this service project with your loved ones and encourage them to share their impact.  Much love to you and yours!!  The Chathams

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Cord

We are connected,

My child and I, by

An invisible cord

Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord

That connects us 'til birth

This cord can't been seen

By any on Earth.

This cord does it's work

Right from the start.

It binds us together

Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there

Though no one can see

The invisible cord

From my child to me.

The strength of this cord

Is hard to describe.

It can't be destroyed

It can't be denied.

It's stronger than any cord

Man could create

It withstands the test

Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,

Though you're not here with me,

The cord is still there

But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart

I am bruised...I am sore,

But this cord is my lifeline

As never before.

I am thankful that God

Connects us this way

A mother and child

Death can't take it away!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Little Star

Heard this Madonna for Lourdes...I give this song to my darling daughter...

Never forget who you are
Little star
Never forget how to dream

God gave a present to me
Made of flesh and bones
My life, my soul
You make my spirit whole

Never forget who you are
Little star
Shining brighter than all the stars in the sky
Never forget how to dream
Never forget where you come from
From love

You are a treasure to me
You are my star
You breathe new life
Into my broken heart
Never forget who you are
Little star
Never forget how to dream

May angels protect you
And sadness forget you
Little star

There's no reason to weep
Lay your head down to sleep
Little star

May goodness surround you
My love I have found you
Little star

Shining bright

You breathe new life
Into my broken heart

Never forget who you are
(Whispered:) Little star
Shining brighter than all the stars in the sky
Never forget how to dream
Flying higher than all the birds in the sky

Never forget who you are
Little star
Never forget where you come from
From love

Little star
Little star
(Whispered:) Little star
From love

I Think Of You

I think of you when children play.

I think of you when other kids register for sports.

I think of you when I look at your sister.

I think of you when I see 323.

I think of you when Spring is coming.

I think of you when I look at your Daddy.

I think of you when I hear of another sick baby.

I think of you when I hear of a NICU baby.

I think of you when I get a CHARGE email.

I think of you when the wind kisses me.

I think of you in March and April.

I think of you when LL sleeps in the nursery.

I think of you when your Daddy cries.

I think of you when the stars shine.

I think of you when life gets hard.

I think of you when your sister smiles.

I think of you when a child dies.

I think of you when a mother suffers.

I think of you when parents struggle with infertility.

I think of you when the silence is deafening.

I think of you when I no one to talk to.

I think of you when I feel like no one wants to hear about you anymore.

I think of you when someone tells me that their relationship with their child has been enriched because of you.

I think of when I hear my favorite songs.

I think of you when I see your clothes.

I think of you when your Grandmama and I are at odds.

I think of you when I look at my belly.

I think of you when your little sister does something new.

I think of you when LL plays with your toys.

I think of you on holidays.

I think of you when I look into Lorelei's eyes.

I think of you when people mention you.

I think of you when people I know are pregnant.

I think of you when I hear the Beatles.

I think of your when I see an angel.

I think of you when I see little feet.

I think of you when I pass the hospital you were born at.

I think of you when your Daddy and I have nothing to say to each other but we know what each other is thinking.

I think of your when I hear your Daddy's name.

I think of your when I see the scar the IV they gave me for your birth.

I think of you when I see the tattoo I got for you.

I think of you in my new car, the car we were supposed to get before your birthday.

I think of you on your due date.

I think of you when I see toddlers.

I think of you when I see clouds.

I think of you when I get my period.

I think of you when I see your sonograms.

I think of you when I see my favorite picture of you.

I think of you when I see my parents, the way they cried when we'd lost you.

I think of you when I see a disabled person.

I think of you when I see a little boy.

I think of you when spending time with other Angel Mommies.

I think of you when a parents loses a child.

I think of you when Lorelei wears your clothes.

I think of you when I need solace from the trials of life.

I think of you when the ocean waves caress my feet.

I think of you when I say good-bye.

I think of you when I leave your sister at the sitter you were supposed to have.

I think of you when I'm in our backyard, the place you were supposed to play.

I think of you when organizations raise money for sick kids.

I think of you when wandering through the empty rooms of our home.

I think of you when I sing.

I think of you when I go to sleep.

I think of you when I wake.

I think of you when I am worried about your sister.

I think of you when I see ambulances.

I think of you when I see the gifts loving people made for you.

I think of you when I see the number 23.

I think of you as the months go by.

I think of you when I see the garden I tried to make for you with my army green thumb, barren.

I think of you when pregnant mommies have sick babies inside them.

I think of you when I think of sickness.

I think of you when my heart races.

I think of you when something goes right.

I think of you when something goes wrong.

I think of you with every glass of wine.

I think of you when I see my breast milk

I think of you in the quiet hours

I think of you on sleepless nights.

I think of you because I gave birth to you and  you're my son my first born,  and I love you.

Dear Lorelei,

Sweet baby girl, my muncheechee, you are SUCH a blessing!  You are our rainbow baby, but you were dreamt about and wished for since the beginning of time.  You will ALWAYS have a guardian angel in your big brother Trey.  You will also have parents who honor you as the individual spirit that you are.  I can already tell that you have an independent spirit, a strong soul, and a color that defies the rainbow.  You were not conceived due to Trey's loss, you were conceived from the same love that brought us Trey.

My heart is still healing from losing your brother, and it very well may forever be healing but that has NOTHING to do with my love for you!.  I have given birth to TWO children and you are the only one I get to watch grow up, to hold in the flesh, to experience life with.  Your growth and milestones continue to amaze me, you are a joy and a beauty to all who know and love you.  You entered this world with such anticipation yet everyone knew that your Daddy and I would not give up on having living children of our own, and YOU are the product of our love and need to have children to complete our family.

Your brother had so many health issues, I don't think he was sick, he was merely inflicted with a condition that he did not deserve to live a life coping with.  We let him go to live a perfect life in Heaven, a painless life, a Heavenly existence that forgives his suffering on this Earth.  We did not give up on him, we actually gave him the ultimate life, free of ailment, free of suffering, free of pain, he walks with Jesus, he  breathes in Heaven.

I take joy in watching you grow and thrive.  I ADORE making your food for you even though breast feeding didn't last the year I wanted it to, you are sustained with love, homemade food, and good old fashion southern parental loving!  Everyone who meets you says that you are beautiful, you're a good baby, you're the spitting image of me.  That makes me think of Trey, he was the spitting image of your Daddy, except for his hair...that was mine.  Now, we have you, the spitting image of me, but your hair is you Daddy's.

I SO want you to be a Mama one day so you can see the connection a Mommy has with her children.  It will only then when you know why I still hold Trey so close, even though I am sure he wants me to let him go, there's no way I can.  If not for him, we wouldn't have you, I still feel that in our grief he was holding hands with you waiting for the right time to send you down to us, he chose you to be his sibling, and he chose perfectly, he waited for you, he chose you for us.  You were destined to be our daughter, our inspiration, our salvation, our peace.

You are beautiful inside and out, you are colorful, smart, and inquisitive!  You have healed our lives so much but that was not your purpose, that was NOT the reason why you were conceived. The WONDERFUL thing about you is that your were destined for a driven life.  You are, as your brother is, a gift of love, a blessing, a life affirmation.  Because of you, our life has been enhanced, our souls have been humbled, our love for BOTH of our children has been cemented.

I would never say that you had big shoes to fill, I would never say it because both of my children wear different shoes.  While Trey wore your Daddy's work boots, you wear clogs, shoes of comfort yet strength. Your souls is separate from Trey's though you are bonded as siblings.  I hope you ask about Trey, I hope you know he is always with you to protect you and look after you.  I hope you include him in your life even though he is gone like we do.  Not a day goes by without us talking to him or sending him our love or joking about him.  He will forever be in our hearts, our home, and a part of our family.

I so wished you and Trey would've grown up together, I bet you two would've been good friends, as your Daddy and I are friendly, outgoing people.  I miss not being able to see him grow but feel blessed that I get to experience with you.  I often say that because Trey never got a chance to smiles, he sent all of his smiles and giggles down with her.  Your laughter, silliness, and smiles brighten our days EVERYDAY!!

Finally, I want to tell you I don't want you to be afraid something will happen to you because of what happened to him.  I cannot predict your life, although I suspect it will be brilliant, but Daddy and Mommy will do EVERYTHING we can to protect you and keep you healthy.  Unfortunately there are things in this life that we cannot control, that we don't want to happen, that are tragic. These tragedies, though hard to bare, teach us life lessons and allow us to learn more about ourselves and our place in the world.  I hope your heartache in this life is limited, but when it comes, know that Trey is with you and Mommy and Daddy will be also.  Know that you are unique, that you have your own guardian angel, that you hold the honor of having an Angel Brother, you are surrounded in love. 

We love you too much for  words, without measure, to infinity, unconditionally, inside and out!