Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sharing our Story at UW - Remembering Carter

Earlier this week, we made the trip to UW to share our story at a bereavement training for the second time. Last time we had another loss family with us and this time it was just us, which made it a little more nerve wracking.

We told the story of both of our boys and the impact it had made on our lives, basically turning everything we thought we knew upside down and causing us to think differently about everything.

We had amazing NICU nurses and they are like a part of our family, but one thing that I have struggled with is that I never felt comfortable talking about Carter in the NICU. Most of the time, it was like something that was separate and done and that we needed to focus on Cohen. To some degree that is true, but the boys were a part of each other. They were both our boys and Carter's death affected a lot of how I felt about Cohen in the NICU. I always wished I had more of a chance to talk about Carter as well but, with the exception of one nurse, didn't feel like it was ever brought up or okay to talk about.

But today, after we shared our story, we had 2 separate people come up and tell us that they remembered Carter. One was one of the nurses who was there the night the boys were born. For some reason, I never knew who the nurses were in there that night. I asked one of the NICU doctors who was there when they were born to go over some of Carter's records with me and she didn't seem to understand why I wanted to know or what good it would do and I wasn't able to get any of the information that I was seeking. When your child is gone and you have very limited memories, you desperately seek anyone who might have something to share about your child. So after we were finished talking, this nurse came up to us and let us know that she was there with the boys that night. It was just so nice to see the face that had been there with them. She had actually been helping with Cohen, but she was in the same room. It seems like a small thing, but it was like finding a little piece of Carter.

The second person was someone we saw nearly every single day, the NICU secretary who really is an amazing person. She always had a smile for us, always asked us how we were doing and liked to tell us little tidbits about Cohen. With tears in her eyes, she told us she remembers Carter because he was the first baby that had ever died since she had been working in the NICU. When she told us that she always fought to keep Cohen as "Baby A" (Twins are given Baby A and Baby B, instead of just baby boy) on his charts and documents and was protective of that, it made me smile.

These two little stories just made my heart a little bit happy. To know that Carter was remembered and to be able to find little pieces of his memory out there in the world.


  1. I am glad you are getting the opportunity to talk about Carter. I can tell it is helping you to heal a little bit, even though we both understand you can never go back to the person you were before. I can completely relate to wanting to know all of the details that you can find out about your baby because it's literally the only thing you have of them left. A few months ago I ordered Braelyn's medical records. I felt like I wanted to really know as many details as I could about the time I spent in the hospital and when she was born and in the NICU. Sucks that those are the types of things we have to seek out...not fair at all. But I think what you are doing is wonderful and a great way to honor Carter!

  2. If it makes a difference in the way you think about it, two of the most valued pictures from the day of my twins' birth are the ones where there are nurses, NPs, and neos all around their beds. I didn't lose a child, but it is so nice to now be able to look back at that and know who was there with them when I couldn't be. Over our three month stay, I got to know all the people in those pictures that seemed so overwhelming at first, and it was nice to be able to thank those people who had been there since the beginning.