Thursday, November 4, 2010

Landry's Story

My water broke on Saturday, July 24 at 5:15 am (That was the exact same time my water broke with Tyler) I was shocked and a little overwhelmed because Landry was going to be 2 weeks early and I did not have anything ready.. like a bag. I thought I had time so I rushed around like crazy while Ryan took a shower and shaved.... Who could shave and shower at time like this?!?! I was happy that I would finally get to see Landry and that precious face I had been dreaming about since last November. I was also excited thinking that Landry and Tyler's Birthdays would be two days apart. I was already planning on how they could share Birthdays. I was planning everything out because I thought I would be bringing our littlest home us, but sometimes God has different plans for us.

We called my parents and told them they news so my Dad came right over to the house and waited for Tyler to wake up. I know my Dad was anxious about meeting his namesake. We got to the Hospital and all checked in and I was in my room getting all hooked up to wait for Landry's arrival. Ryan called his parents so they could make the drive from Fort Worth and I started calling and text messaging everyone to tell them that Landry was on his way. I was not feeling any major contractions so my Doctor, Dr. Fothergill went ahead and gave me Pitocin that would start the contractions. I was thankful that he was on call that day and he was there for everything. The Pitocin was started to work so things were moving right along. My parents brought Tyler up to the Hospital in his Big Brother shirt. They did not stay too long because Ty kept wanting me to get out of the bed. He did not like seeing me in bed... Ryan's parents arrived in plenty of time. Papa went over to my parents house so Ghee could come back to the Hospital and wait with Nana.

One of the best parts of that Morning was when a good friend walked in and said she was being induced and our little boys would have the same Birthday. We talked about all the fun things they can together... oh, if I only knew then what I know now. Our nurses were so wonderful. One Nurse, Kala delivered Tyler and she was also going to be there to help deliver Landry. How special that she will be there to see both of my boys.

The contractions were getting strong enough and closer together so I finally got the epidural. This time around I really tried to hold out as long as I could and I am so thankful I did because I am honored that I felt everything about Landry. He was doing so well during all of this so basically we were just wanting on me to push so Landry could come and join our Family. I finally felt the urge to start pushing. When I started pushing Dr. Fothergill said that Landry had flipped over and was sunny side. I looked at Ryan and I know we were both thinking about Tyler..... Well, the good news was Landry with the help of Dr. Fothergill flipped right back. What a cooperative little boy we had. Tyler was not that easy.

Landry James Steele was born at 5:38 pm. Landry weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 inches long. He was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. The only thing that we could tell at first was that he was crier. I remember holding him for the first time and seeing those big beautiful brown eyes for the first time (he had my eyes). He calmed down for a while while I held him and and all our families came in to stare at their beautiful Grandson. We were all calling people telling them that Landry made his debut and he was beautiful and healthy. A hour or so after Landry was born his body temperature dropped so the nurse put him under the warmer and a few minutes his temperature was back to normal but he was still crying a lot...... at the time we thought he was just a crier but now looking back he was probably crying because he was in pain. Right before I was going to be moved to the Postpartum wing when they checked Landry's temperature again and it had dropped again. All I can remember is the nurse saying "Oh my goodness" my heart dropped. The nurse mentioned that his temperature had dropped again so she wanted to check his glucose level. After the level came back on the scan, she said " this can't be right" come to find out his level was extremely high. I am in full panic mode right now. Our nurse re took his levels several times because she thought maybe she did something wrong. All of the results came back the same. At this time she contacts the NICU and they decide to take him to run some more tests. The door opened to the room and a saw a familiar face. A friend from my childhood was the NICU Nurse that came to get Landry. I felt as though God had sent her to watch over Landry. Cindy was Landry's Angel.
The Grandparents had already gone home so we followed Cindy (NICU Nurse) in to the NICU as they started running tests on Landry. I was starting to cry, shake, and become very weak..... they encouraged me to go and rest, and Ryan kept telling me that would probably be best. I had him call my parents because I did not want to be by myself and they came up immediately.
This is when the whole story becomes a blur to me. I go them room that I should be in Landry but instead I am alone. Dr. Fothergill come by and is in shock of everything that is going on.... We all are. My parents are in the room with me when Ryan comes to the room with two Nurses that say Landry probably has a virus of some sort but they are going to have a specialist come in. Later on the specialist came in to our room. I can't remember his name. I know what he looks like and how his voice sounded because I heard his voice several times that night. He mentioned he thought Landry might have had a stroke because his hands were claw like. I know there is probably more going on but at the point that I started hearing all these things that were wrong with my littlest the room started spinning..... Ryan, Me, and my Mom tried to get some sleep in between doctors coming in and my sweet Dad sat with Landry the whole time he was in the NICU. Poppy did not want to leave his namesake. At 4:00am two Doctors and my Dad walk in and that moment I knew something was not right. They did a MRI scan on Landry and the head Neurologist told us the words that we never thought we would here. Landry has massive bleeding on the brain and surgery is just not a option because he is too tiny. The part that got me is they do not know what started it or where it came from... no tears just shaking uncontrollably and I was freezing. Ryan the rock during this whole time asked how long Landry had and they did not know. They told us when we were ready they would take Landry off of the machines and we could just hold on him and love on him until he went Heaven. Now looking back on it I know why Landry probably cried a lot when he was born, because he was in pain. As a Mom I feel like I should be able to fix everything and it breaks my heart that I could not fix Landry. Ryan called his parents whom were at our house with Tyler. My Mom called a dear family friend that came to our house at 4:30 am to stay with Tyler. I am still in complete shock because the whole pregnancy, labor, and delivery went so well.
Me, Ryan, and both sets of Grandparents go in to NICU while they remove Landry from the machines and the Chaplin comes a gives Landry a blessing while we all pray over him. A nurse takes us to a private room where all the family and friends can all be with Landry. Keep in mind this is Sunday at 5:00 am. A local photographer comes to take pictures of Landry. Landry was our little fighter because he was with us for 43 hours. He was so so strong just like his amazing Daddy. I will talk more about Sunday and Monday, July 26th (Landry's Heaven day later) To be honest a lot of the details are a blur because I was just going through the motions of everything because it felt like my world had stopped because my hopes and dreams for Landry and my family had been shattered and I was going to have to learn how to put the pieces back together and put all of our trust in God.
I have more to share with pictures but it has taken me almost 3 days to write this.

Landry's Story- Part 2 "Sunday"

The day after Landry was born should have been a day filled with getting to know our littlest more and a room filled with visitors welcoming Landry and wanting to get a glimpse of his beautiful face. However, our day was filled with tears and waiting for the Lord to take him to his Eternal Home. It reminded of a waiting game... we knew he was going die but we did not know how long he would live.
I was numb and still in complete shock of everything that was taking place that morning. Both sets of Grandparents were there and Ryan's sisters were coming in town to meet and say good bye to their Nephew. Ryan called our Church, Supper Club, and close friends. Ryan was my strength and support during this whole event and he still is. I am amazed that my husband whom was falling apart inside was so strong for us. I thought it was strange that on Saturday we called everyone to tell them that Landry James was here and prefect and not even 24 hours we are calling to tell everyone that something happened and Landry does not have much longer here on earth. What a mixture of raw emotions....
Our Pastor and his wife and along with some of our close friends and my Parents close friends came up to the Hospital during that Sunday to pray over Landry and our family and just to sit and be a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a chance to hold a beautiful Angel in their arms. Landry was always in someones arms the whole time he was with us. I know that he felt love from so many different people.
Every hour that passed that Sunday was a blessing to us. We had several scares that day when he would stop breathing but Ryan and I always knew how to get him breathing again. We would sigh a sign of relieve when we heard his big grasp for air. What a fighter we had. I loved the sounds he made while he was breathing. It truly was the most beautiful sound in the world. Since Landry was holding on longer than the Doctors expected they put him on a feeding tube so he would not starve. He only opened up his eyes for a little bit on Sunday but the majority of our time with him his eyes were closed and he looked so peaceful. Oh, how I wish I would of stared in to those eyes longer when he was first born. I thought I would have a lifetime to stare in to those dark brown eyes.
I finally broke down in tears when I saw my best friends standing in the hallway coming to meet and say their good byes to Landry. They were the ones that listened to my hopes and dreams and hosted Landry the most beautiful shower.
Tyler. My sweet little boy did really well with all that was going on. My heart immediately broke when I saw him because I know what it is like to loose a Brother, too. I was a lot older than Ty when my Brother died but still I felt a very special connection to my biggest. Ty was in and out of the Hospital a lot, and I know he did understand everything that was going on... and he still doesn't, which I am so thankful about. I just did not want Tyler to be hurting. We have some of the most amazing friends that would take Ty with them to their house, and my biggest also had his first slumber party with two of his friends so we could all stay at the Hospital on Sunday. I thought and worried about Tyler so much when he was away and even when he was at the hospital with us. I was aching for Landry but we also had another little boy that needed us and that was what was the hardest for me.
Our little fighter held on all day on Sunday, so we were anxious to see what Monday held. All of this pain is still so real to me but I am so thankful I am sharing it. Please share our story and our blog with anyone..... I guess the true testimony of our faith is that we are still standing and going through the days the best way we know how...... Landry's Heaven day will be next but I have to take my time as it is still so emotional for me to write this.

Landry's Story- Part 3 "July 26th"

July 26th will be a day that will live in our hearts forever. On July 26, 2007 we welcomed our first born, Tyler Justin. On July 26, 2010 our second born, Landry James went home to Heaven. It is amazing that one day could hold so much joy one year and then so much pain another year.
My friends were so amazing to Tyler on his Birthday. They took him to the park and then they went and got cup cakes and McDonald's and had a very special Birthday party for Tyler in the NICU wing. I am sure the NICU had never seen so many kids. We finally were asked to move to the waiting area. All I wanted is for Tyler to fill loved at all times and I know he did that day and every day since Landry was born, even though his Mommy was falling apart inside.
We had more family and friends come on Monday to see Landry. We were completely blessed and humbled by all the love that was being poured down on us and our family.
I remember walking outside the hospital around 12 with Tyler and my best friend, Christina to get Tyler's over night bag. This was the fist time that I had seen the outside since Saturday Morning. It felt strange to see that life was going on like normal. I felt as though it should have stopped for us...... I saw people laughing and talking and here I am waiting for my son die. Life felt very cruel at that moment.
As soon as we came back to the 3rd floor my Moms good friend said you need to go back to Landry and Ryan right now.... my heart dropped and Tyler started screaming because he did not want to leave the play area.... talk about torn. I walked through the the door with a screaming boy and then I turned the corner to the hall where our room was, and I see My best friends Lindsay and KC and My Mom and Ryan's Mom and I could tell by the looks on there face that Landry was gone. I walk in the room to see Ryan standing there holding Landry. Tyler is still screaming and when I walk in the room to be with Ryan and Landry Tyler screams at the top of his lungs "I want my Mommy" I collapsed on the bed and the tears starting coming down. I felt like a horrible Mother at that moment. Because I did not know how to help Tyler or Landry.
Ryan put Landry in my arms and I just stared at the beautiful face that was already being held by Jesus. Landry went to Heaven at 12:15pm on July 26, and he was being held by his strong and amazing Daddy when he took his last breath. I am so thankful I had said my goodbyes to Landry several times since I was not there with him when he slipped away. We all held on to Landry for a while before having to give him to the NICU nurse. All I could think of when Landry died was how his Uncle Justin, was now holding him..... I felt such a strong connection to my parents because they had walked down this road when my Brother died almost 21 years ago. We have had to say good bye to two beautiful boys a lot sooner than we wanted too.
Funeral arrangements were already being planned for Landry. I thought I would be planning a first birthday before a funeral. When it was time for us to say our good- byes and hand Landry back to the nurse that was so hard for me. I carried this precious boy for 9 months and 2 days after he was born I was having to give him back.... It did not feel right to be leaving the hospital with out Landry and a empty car seat. When we went in to the Hospital to have Landry we thought we would be leaving as a family of four but we were leaving as a family of three with just a beautiful memory box with Landry's hair, footprints, and hand prints. Driving home felt strange because it was normal, just the 3 of us.... but we had all changed and our hearts will always have a place for Landry so now it a new normal for us.
I am sure there is more to say but I can't. Sharing our journey has been very painful and healing at the same time. I miss Landry so much and everyday I long to have him in my arms. I know he is safe and being held so for that I am grateful. Landry James lived for 43 hours and those hours were the most amazing and heartbreaking hours in my life. July 26th will always be a bittersweet day for me. Joy mixed with sorrow......


Jen C said...

sweet Holly- I am praying for you. I can't imagine the strength it took to write this. Your faith and hope in the Lord is so great. Thank you for sharing your precious Landry with us all!

Linda said...

I remember standing in the room after they brought Landry to us and singing "Jesus loves me" and knowing that this was not was too soon...and it hurt so bad...

Chelsea said...

I had not read your blog in a while, and just came and read your story. I have tears streaming down my face just imagining what that day was like for you. The absolute heartache is just beyond words. But, you found the words to express so beautifully what it was like to meet "your littlest" that day. Thank you for sharing him with all of us.

I have literally been on my knees for you this afternoon. We will never know why we have all been placed in this "club" of angel mommies, but I'm so grateful we have each other to lean on. Please email me if there are specific ways I can be praying for you, friend. (

Sarah Danae said...

Landry's story brought me to tears. I know you are hurting so much. I am praying for your sweet heart today.
I love you, friend.

Ghee and Poppy said...

We are constantly reminded how quickly what feels whole, can change so quickly. When Landry was born our lives felt WHOLE, but what about the HOLE we felt 20 yrs. ago when Justin died...God is constantly filling the HOLES in our lives until we feel WHOLE...have faith sweet daughter, you will feel WHOLE again.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for being so brave and for sharing. I loved reading your birth story. I hadn't heard it before. It is a beautiful birth story and you have 2 of the most beautiful sons. Landry belongs to one of the strongest families I know. You and Ryan are amazing. Your faith and love humble me.

samskat said...

Holly, I am so sorry. I know this was difficult to share, thank you for sharing. I am in tears reading Landry's story. You are an incredible woman, mother, and wife. Praying for you.

The Curtis Crew said...

Thank you for sharing Landry's story. His 43 hours have touched many people. Thank you for being a testament to the power of a life dependent on Jesus Christ. I pray that your story and Landry's story will bring others closer to our God. He is such a beautiful, beautiful little boy.

Laura said...

Holly thank you for sharing Landry's story. I'm sure it was very difficult. I am praying for you.

Mary Beth said...

Life seems so cruel and unfair sometimes but I have to believe that there are reasons beyond what we will ever know and understand until the day that we're reunited with our babies in Heaven. Take comfort in knowing that Landry is experiencing so much joy and love and is without any pain. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it takes a lot of strength and courage. Remember to take it one day at a time - maybe even one hour at a time. And don't forget that you are not alone. Take care of yourself!

Maryellen said...

Holly, it is so hard to know what to say. I can't imagine what you're going through but I can say that I think you're amazing. You have so much love in you and you're whole family is lucky to have such an amazing woman in their lives.

Lisa said...

I just got around to reading your birth story and am now staring at my computer, tears streaming down my face. Party because I could relate so much to it, and partly because I just cannot imagine how bittersweet it would be to have your littlest son die on your older son's birthday. Your boys are beautiful.

Brandi Maynard said...

Tears are streaming down my face and I am in awe of your strength. I will hold my boys closer because of Landry's story. Thank you.