Having a child in the NICU and eventually passing is hard. I could not have gotten through it without my amazing support system! At Shaydon’s memorial, I took some time to reflect on everyone who had helped me throughout this 10 week journey.
Some of you may not know that July 20 was actually shaydons original due date. If you would have told me 9 months ago at my initial ultrasound, 4 months ago when we learned we were having a boy, or 4 weeks ago that we’d be here, I wouldn’t have believed you. But I am so thankful that as painful as this has been, I look out today and I see so many beautiful faces here. To support me, yes, but also here because they loved and cared about Shaydon too, and he was just as much a part of your lives as he was of ours. I thank God for how he’s shown me His presence and surrounded me by so many wonderful people to go thru this journey with me. I just wanted to use this time to acknowledge the people whom without, there’s no way I could be here standing today.
First to my family. My mom who’s dealt with so much in her life, yet continues to be a rock and never wavering in her faith. To my dad and brothers who flew up the week Shaydon was born to help take care of needs I had around the house. To Brandons’ family as well to Gigi and Diane who drove all the way from Crete, IL through downtown Chicago to see Shaydon and check on me as well as Ms. Lisa who picked up Leila from school and got her to my friends house when I was in the hospital
To my Park community church at south loop, if I listed everyone, we’d be here until probably tomorrow, but I hope you know who you are, and I hope you know how much you mean to me. Thank you Pastor Raef for leading a church who cares so much and truly live out the mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Bianca, Allison, Sarah, Christa, you truly are my sisters in Christ
To my friends today, there’s so many of you all and you all know how much your support has meant to me. To my friends Liz and Ryan who watched Leila for me the weekend Shaydon was born when she couldn’t come to the hospital, Jen who danced today, and babysat and brought food To Dee, who drove over to my condo, and walked up 3 flight of stairs 40 weeks pregnant to bring my mom some winter clothes she didn’t know she needed when she hopped on the first flight out of Florida that saturday morning, and who has continued to support us in too many ways to name
To my fellow advertising partners in crime, seeing so many of you here means the world to me and reminds me that despite some of the headaches that come with our roles, we can still all come together for the things that really and truly matter. To my boss Julie who came to visit me in the hospital with this tote bag that I used every single day carrying lunches, notebooks. and painkillers back and forth to the hospital, and for the Dunkin Donuts gift card that gave Leila and I daily and weekend treats on our way home from visiting Shaydon, and for repeatedly telling me and reminding not to worry about work, that she and the team would work it out.
Lastly, the NICU is a difficult place, and an experience I would wish on no parent. Yet the amazing teams of doctors and nurses make the experience so much better. Caring as much for your child as you do, and day in and day out trying to make the best decisions to support and help them in difficult times. They are patient with your many questions, and constant requests to “make the beeping stop” when the IV machines go off. To the entire Team 2 of doctors at Prentice and to his amazing residents team at Lurie, thank you for helping Shaydon make it to 10 weeks when we didn’t know if he would survive his first 10 hours. To his primary nurses, Kaitlin, Jessica and Alli who saw him grow from a 1lb nugget to our 3lb little baby boy. To Sue who was with me from the my labor and delivery room on 12 to when we walked over together to Luries and said bye for the last time. To the amazing team at Luries and his nurses Karina, Hannah and Theresa. And of course to Tracey who was there with us the first night and the last night. The words thank you are not enough, but they are all I have right now. Please know that Shaydon loved you, we loved you, and you will forever be a part of our family.