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Our son Maxton was diagnosed with left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) at his 19 week ultrasound. Maxton was born on 3/3/09 at Vanderbilt University. He fought hard for 18 days but earned his wings on 3/21/09. Maxton was an inspiration to many during his brief time on earth and has forever changed our lives. If your child is diagnosed with CDH, please feel free to contact us. Maxton may no longer live here on earth, but he will live forever in our hearts...

To start at the beginning of our story click here and scroll all the way to the bottom.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

One Week

I sit here alone for the first time since Maxton passed. I cannot believe tonight it will have been a week. In some ways it seems like yesterday and in some it seems like a lifetime ago. I wonder, was I ever even pregnant? Was this all a bad dream? Like Marion said, I have the battle scars of pregnancy with no baby to hold. This time last week I was very concerned over my baby and was so fearful that he would pass away, and just a few hours from then that became a reality. I am now a childless mother. Every time someone asks, 'Do you have children?', the question will be bittersweet and the answer will probably make them feel sorry for me, or sorry for asking. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I just want them to learn. To learn to love. To learn to hope. To learn to be a better person. Those are just a few of the things I have learned from this journey. I will always have Maxton in my heart.

Shockingly, I have not been sitting around wondering "why?" I know that Maxton was sent to me for a purpose that he fulfilled. What I don't exactly understand is why he had to be taken. I'm not sure why he couldn't have stayed here and still fulfilled his purpose. One day, I am confident, I will be able to ask God this question, and until then, I have a certain peace about it. A peace that I am sure will grow over the next few days, months, and years. I know my Maxton was loved by multiple people while on this Earth and I know that his death, though untimely, was not in vain. I am forever grateful for you all reading this and sharing it with your friends. I find comfort in knowing that Maxton was able to touch multiple lives, the lives of friends, the lives of strangers. It may sound odd, but it makes me find hope in his death. I am hopeful that those who read this will love their children or family that much more. They won't take as many things for granted. I know that when God decides to bless us with another child, we will certainly be better parents because of Maxton. I cannot say this enough, but Maxton has forever changed my life, my husbands life, and our marriage.

I feel as though I have to mention my CDH friends in this. These women are the most amazing women I know. Regardless of individual outcomes, the women I met through this journey are so strong and inspirational. I have made some forever friends and I am grateful to God for that, as well. I think that God chooses us mothers for a reason. I don't think I am any stronger than any of them. I plan to be a part of this community of love and support for the rest of my life.

Having said all of this, I miss my baby. I wish I was holding him now, or watching him take a nap, or even visiting him at Vanderbilt. I suppose I will always miss him. We had a very nice service for him. Thanks to PJ, my pastor, for making it extra special. It is so surreal to be here... in this place.. somewhere I never thought life would bring me. I see that I am starting to ramble so I will leave you all for now. I intend to continue to post here as it is very therapeutic for me. Read at your own will, as it may make you sad depending on my mood.

11 comments:

Ashworth Family said...

Hi there. I just want to tell you that your strength is amazing. There is a book I read when I was pregnant and preparing myself for the "what ifs". It was called "an exact replica of a figment of my imagination", a memoir of a woman who lost a child at birth. I really recommend it.

I am so sorry Maxton is gone. I wish you were holding him too. I can tell you that your experience has made me so grateful for Davis. Thank you for sharing his life with us.

Elizabeth said...

These babies choose us. As for why - it has been ten years - some days I think I know most days I don't. Sort of the great wonder of life. You both are the best parents for Maxton! And you will be wonderful parents in the future.

You know in this world if you have your parents die, your an orphen. If you have your spouse die, you are a widow or a widower. When we have our children die - there is no name for it. How tragic it is. But true we don't want pitty we want awareness and knowledge and others to see the hope in our children too!

I wish you peace - always and may Maxton send you angel kisses,
Elizabeth

Craig and Kristi Kuehl said...

Ashley,
I find comfort in your words. Never doubt for a second that you are in fact a Mommy. Max will always be your precious son--no matter where he is. I understand your sadness and so admire your strength. It sometimes is hard to make sense of the "why's", but like you I know God gave us these babies for a reason. I also know we will have an opportunity to ask God why, but by then, we will probably know the answer. I cannot express how much I value your friendship and support--even if it is online. We love you guys and hope one day we will be able to meet in person :)

DrmCtrsLtSl said...

I know I don't know you, but I love you. I love all CDH babies and the blogs their families keep for them. I will wear turquoise on the 31st. I pray for you and yes, you are always a Mommy, Maxton's Mommy.

Dotty said...

just want you to know we pray for you still. we know like you, Maxton is up high above and he is in no more pain, he will watch over you until you can see him again. Maxton chose you for a special reason, it was an honor, though im sure its so hard to understand and i know you long for him back in your arms. until then, please carry him in your heart. share him whenever you can, and just know we are here for you whenever you need.
Roses4me777@yahoo.com
carepages=zacharydavis
oct 26 2007 cdh
dotty

Jonathan and Sarah said...

We will continue to pray for you. I have been praying for peace to wash over you both because I can't even being to imagine what is going through your soul right now.

Vince and Patty said...

The two of you are so strong and we know that God has a very special plan you. His plan does not always make sense to us, but it is always perfect. You have inspired us and countless others by your love. We will continue to pray for you both and send you love and hugs from Syracuse.

casau said...

please know that you have many prayers going up for you guys. thank you for sharing your journey and maxton's life even though it may have been difficult. you never know who will read/benefit from what you post! your strength is amazing!

Marion said...

I know that God chose us to be parents to CDH babies for a reason. I know that I have been changed for the better, and I will in time be a much happier and caring person having had Addison in my life.

DJ said...

Ashley,
Your words, your evident faith, and your hope are an inspiration to any and all who find their way to your blog. I consider myself lucky to have known you from your childhood days at age two until this day. I have seen your faith and your love of others grow and bloom... as you grew, I watched you discover a deep love for God, and as I watched, you discovered your sweet love of David, and as I watched even more, I saw you experience this precious moment in time when you began loving a child who received that love...a difficult time that demanded a strong love, such that grew from all that you had experienced along life's journey. How proud I am to see that you hold on to that love. How proud I am to see your faith continue. And how proud I am to watch that love and that faith carry Maxton's priceless gift to us all,through all that you share with us. Yes, I will follow your blog. And my prayers will follow you and your family as well. My turquoise is ready for Tuesday as I prepare to return to clinical practicum in Louisville, and I will release balloons from there in his honor at your set hour. Thank you for sharing with us.

Stephanie said...

I agree with all these lovely ladies. You will always be a mommy. Your posts are nothing short of inspiring and you can tell you have a caring heart. My heart aches for you that you are hurting, but you will see and hold Maxton again some day. I will absolutely continue to read your blog, as I find it TRUE and REAL! You're honest with your feelings, and that's inspiring to me.

You're in our prayers.

Stephanie,
Kamryn's mommy