Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today I talked to the intensivist who reviewed Ellie's case. What an amazing doctor, even over the phone he was wonderful! He had some autopsy results and wanted to share them. Ellie had what is referred to as functional asplenia- meaning she had a spleen but it didn't work. They think either early in life or, mostly likely, while in-utero, the blood supply to her spleen was compromised. Her spleen died and was basically ineffective- it didn't function. He said there was no indication to assess her spleen in her past and without that, there was no way to know her spleen was "broken." I will be meeting with him in the next couple weeks to further discuss her autopsy results and look over her charts.

I told the doctor I still feel a lot of guilt. I had a gut feeling something was wrong and never pushed to find out what it was. I feel like I could have stopped her from dying. After all, I'm her mother, that's what we do- we are supposed to protect our babies from harm. Without missing a beat, the doctor said, "You feel guilty because you are a mother. You feel like that because you are a mom that loved her baby. Even though you could not have prevented this, you will feel like you could. You would feel guilty if you were outside with your child on a perfect sunny day, a freak lightning bolt came out of the sky and struck your child. You would feel responsible. Because you are a mother. Dad's are shattered too when a child dies but it's not the same. The connection between a mother and child is almost indescribable."

Doctor was right on. My brain knows I shouldn't feel guilty. My heart hasn't got the memo yet.

Ellie's pink & purple tree and specially decorated Christmas wreath at the cemetery

On a much brighter note, Max said MOMMY today! Intentionally! To me! Looking right at me! AND he said, "bye bye daddy!" This is a huge deal for Max. He has never referred to us as anything. He has never said Mommy before to me. Ellie said "Mama" a lot. After she died I didn't think I would hear that for a very long time. That was a much needed and appreciated gift from him today!

Little Man


Jamie said...

Monday, December 6 · 6:00am - 9:00am at the Maple Grove Arboretum. There will be a candle lighting for all the angels. There is an Angel of Hope statue. I went to it last year and it has all the families who have lost a child and they light a candle for them. If you google the Maple Grove Arboretum you can find more info on it. My nephew passed away 2 years ago from a rare disease and he was 11 months old, and it helps to be around others who have lost too. You can get a name plate by the statue with her name on it to. I hope I didn't over step anything. I read your post on MLM and now I am reading your blog. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

tim said...

We haven't met in over 25 years ago. I remember meeting you at either an Albert City or Storm Lake baseball game. I watched you grow up on your grandma's fridge in pictures when I stopped by for a cup of coffee on my trips back to SL. You were not someone that crossed my mind on a daily basis until a few short weeks ago. Now you and your family are in my thoughts everyday. I want you to know that your blog has changed how I do my job and how I treat people. You have shown me just what hurt and grieve are and the effects that such pain can cause. In the past I have told parents their child has died and as mom broke down I stood there stone-faced and would finish handling the call and depart and move on with my shift. No more. I am going to hold, hug, get hit on in rage and anger from mom, have a cup of coffee with, listen, talk, and whatever is needed before walking back into my life. I am going to take the time later to come back and check on the family and see what I can do to help. It's funny but looking back the first "old" cop that taught me about not showing emotion and "being tough" was your grandfather. Over time I figured out that he was a big softy. I have written enough. Your dad told me that you read the comments and it took me this long to be able to write something. Thank you for opening my eyes and making me a better person. Try to smile and laugh one more time today than you did yesterday.

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