Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I had a busy day

I started the day with a phone call from my perinat with the AFP test results. Negative! Yay! The baby doesn't have Down syndrome or spina bifida.

Then, I went to my OB for my regular once a month appointment. Everything looks great. I've gained 10 pounds. I guess that's not bad for 20 weeks. I am allowed to lay out at the pool!! I need some sun! My pale legs are blinding people! (I can only go to the pool for 1-2 hours at a time. I have to drink lots of water, and I can't get too hot.)

Then, I went out to Gwinnett Daily Post. I told my boss I would pick up 6 copies of Saturday's paper. I remembered Monday afternoon. Oops! So, I stopped by the newspaper and picked up the 6 copies today. (There's an article about my work's new building in Saturday's paper.)

Then I want to Caleb's old NICU. I was next to the hospital, and I decided I was ready to stop by and visit his old nurses and nurse practioners. It was good to see everyone. They all said they were very sad to hear about Caleb passing away. Usually babies don't fight so hard for so long, get almost ready to come home, then get an infection and pass away. His death was a surprise to everyone. They all asked how the new baby was doing. And they were all thrilled to know it is another boy. I told them I would stop by again after the baby comes. I will bring him by in stroller without any attachments! My goal is no NICU time with this one. The closer I get to 40 weeks, the better. White boys don't do so well as preemies. (Black girls do the best as preemies and white boys do the worst - "wimpy white boys.")

My belly is getting huge! I now have strangers asking me when I'm due. I didn't start getting that until a few weeks before Caleb was born. I am one of those people - you know the ones who only gain weigh in the belly. Everything else looks the same pre-pregnancy size (every though it isn't) and there's just a belly sticking out. That's me. You can hate me for that if you need to. But, I would trade it for gaining weight everywhere and a healthy term baby in a second!

Oh, I haven't told you that my sister came by Sunday and took back all her maternity clothes. (ok- she really only took a few things, mainly things that don't fit me. I do have plenty of clothes left.) You know why she took all the clothes??? Can you guess why? The same reason why my sister-in-law will probably want her glider rocker back...

I guess there's something in the water...

Here's a new picture of Caleb. It was taken Saturday, April 22. He was still recovering from surgery so he was still on the resptirator.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I've been trying to blog when I'm happy-ish so this blog isn't depression. That doesn't always happen.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I was just barely holding on all day. After I work, I had a breakdown. I had enough of a break from the breakdown to update the blog. Then, I found out about this. Some people at my work are friends with this family. I don't like hearing about other babies and children dying. It hurts. After I heard the story on the news, I realized why I had such a hard time all day. One month ago yesterday, Caleb passed away.

I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss him.

See, blog's getting sad again. I'm going to watch some Simpsons and cheer up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lockeness Monster #2 update

I went to the perinat. yesterday. The baby is developing normal. My cervix is still nice and long. My mom and my mom-in-law went with me yesterday. The baby flashed them - a few times.

I went back to work Monday. It is going well. My new office is big and bright.

Nothing else to say now.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

nothing to write about

I set up this blog to keep everyone up to date on Caleb. Now, I have nothing to write about.

I survived Mother's Day. It was my first Mother's Day. It was also our first holiday without Caleb.

I started the P17 shots last Friday. I get one shot every week. A nurse comes out to my house to give me the shot. The shots are to keep me pregnant longer. I'll only heard good things about the shots. The nurse told me everyone she has given the shots to has carried their pregnancy to term. Everyone she has given the shots to has a history of preterm labor.

I go back to work Monday. I had taken some time off after Caleb passed away. I would have gone back this week, but my work is moving this week. Monday is the first day in the new building. It will be fun to watch everyone unpack my stuff. ;) The old building was about 15 miles from my house - not too bad. It was about a 45 minute drive during rush hour. The new building is about 6 miles from my house. In rush hour traffic, it will take me a full 10 minutes to get there. Everyday after work since November, I have gone straight to the hospital to see Caleb.

Friday, May 12, 2006

It's a...

The picture is of the baby's legs spread wide open. The extra part in the middle isn't another leg...

One day, this baby is going to hate me for posting this picture.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So close

We got this letter in the mail a couple of days after Caleb passed away:

Your son, Caleb, was referred to the Developmental Progress Clinic (DPC) by the doctors and nurse practitioners that cared for him in the nursery at Egleston Hospital. He qualifies for follow-up in our clinic because he was premature or sick at birth.

The DPC is a special clinic for babies who were very small and/or sick at birth. The purpose of the clinic is to monitor neurological and developmental outcomes of these babies during the first 4-5 years of life. I have enclosed a brochure that will give you more detailed information about our clinic.

Caleb is scheduled for his first appointment in the DPC on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, at 9:00 am. If this appointment date or time is not convenient, please call and we would be happy to reschedule...

The letter was postmarked the day Caleb passed away.

He was so close to coming home. This Mother's Day I was supposed to have a baby at home. Now, I have an angel baby.

On to happier things...
Everything went well at the perinatologist Monday. My cervix is nice and long (average length is about 25 mm., I'm measuring 50 mm. Crazy, but GREAT!). I don't have any restrictions - besides the normal pregnancy restrictions.

The baby kept flashing us during the ultrasound (I get an ultrasound every time I go to the perinat.). I had a dream that the baby was a certain gender. I told Cary I thought it was that gender (even though they told us on April 24 that is probably wasn't). The baby's legs were wide open the whole time. It was like it was saying "mom, stop calling me a ____. I'm a ___."

I'll scan in ultrasound picture later and let you figure out the sex of the baby.
Oops- the scanner doesn't work. If I can get my butt to the office this weekend and if they haven't packed up the scanner yet, I will add the ultrasound picture this weekend.

Friday, May 05, 2006

1 year

1 year ago this week, we found out we were going to have a baby. Things can really change in 1 year.

Baby #2 update:
My last visit with the specialist was the day Caleb passed away. I see them every 2 weeks. I go back May 8. Everything looked good at the last appointment.
I went to my OB yesterday. Everything sounds good. The doctor I saw yesterday was the doctor who delivered Caleb. She was very upset when we told her he passed away.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


In case you missed it, here is what Cary and Ellen said at Caleb's Memorial Service.

Before Cary spoke, Ken (Heather's husband) read Caleb's favorite book, God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren.

When our son was born we needed a name with strength. I was in the process of reading the Bible for the first time end to end and remembered the name "Ca-lob." I called one of my close friends and asked him to read about "Ca-lob" in the book of Numbers and meet me for dinner later. I mentioned the name to Elizabeth, but I don’t think she liked my pronunciation of the name "Ca-lob." She needed to think about it.

I left to go meet Tom at the I-Hop for food and some inspiration a little after midnight, and he told me "Ca-lob" would be the perfect name for a fighter. Perfect! When I returned to the hospital, the second I walked into the room Elizabeth said “I love the name Caleb.” After I pronounced the name correctly, Elizabeth agreed Caleb was the perfect name for our little man.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Respiratory distress syndrome
Countless blood transfusions
Brain bleeds
Water on the brain
Severe UTIs
Severe acid reflux
Severe oral aversion
Metabolic bone disease
Liver damage
5 surgeries
Necrotizing entercolitis

Caleb Robert Locke over came all of these complications. He was a pure Fighter.

6 ½ months in the NICU. Caleb gave all of us 195 days of courage, fight, strength, and a determination to live that inspired every one from a 5th grade class in an elementary school across the country to his mom at his crib side daily.

Every baby in the NICU would chart their own path, but Caleb wanted to explore every thing the NICU had to offer. Caleb Locke never lived by numbers. When 90 percent of the babies with a complication would go one direction, and 10 percent would veer in another. Caleb would confuse his NICU doctors and challenge them with some thing completely new around every corner.

The voice of the minority is not often given a hearing.
Truth cannot be measured by numbers.
On the contrary, it often stands against majority opinion.

Caleb Locke gave it everything he had to fight the numbers.

One of my best friends pointed out in this past week, “you know what you’re made of.” If any member of our family has ever wondered what we, our souls and spirit were made of, Caleb showed us a bright example each and every day. He thought me, and gave us a glimpse for 195 days what we can accomplish and how far we can reach.

Caleb also reminded us that while you fight for the things you want don’t forget to rest, be respectful of others around you, and most important to make time for a smile. Caleb showed this in the purest form. By doing this we feel he has impacted more lives in his 195 days then Elizabeth and I have in our combined 59 years of life.

I want to tell you how it felt to hold Caleb. I could feel his body completely relax and his stress melt away. His therapy for our souls, and a time for complete rest and recuperation for the battles he would win. Elizabeth would hold him after work, and I would hold him in the late night to early morning hours.

We thank God for the chance to meet such a great soul and the time we had with Caleb. We will cherish every smile, every coo, every dirty diaper, and every phone call we received waking us up at all hours of the night.

We were ready for what ever destination God sent us to, we were inspired every step of the way and never had any doubt in our mind of the love Caleb had for us from the inspiration he filled our souls with.

Let me finish by reading a poem:
Welcome To Holland
By Emily Perl Kingsley

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes on and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

E's eulogy:
Two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter. We wore our new clothes, ate our chocolate bunnies and hunted Easter eggs.

Two weeks later, we gather here with heavy hearts, with strained hope, with tested faith to honor the life of Caleb Locke. This is not the ceremony we expected or desired to celebrate yet it is our reality today.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter. Today, possibly Easter has a different meaning for us. For the reality of Easter is never more poignant than when we face death.
We know the story. Jesus was crucified. He died and was buried in a tomb. Jesus’ followers thought there was no hope. They thought that death was the end. They scattered and for three days they mourned. Then on Sunday morning, the women found the stone rolled away from the tomb. The angels appeared asking, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

I pose that question to us today. Why do we seek the living among the dead? For Caleb Locke is not dead but lives forevermore. Yes, his precious little body is dead but this is not the end for Caleb. It is the beginning of his life with Jesus.

Would we rather have him here with us? Of course. But this is our reality today. So we mourn; yet we mourn with a unique hope--the hope of Jesus Christ. In Titus 1 the Apostle Paul describes a, “faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…”

Because of Christ’ resurrection on Easter morning, we have the promise of resurrection for Caleb and ourselves. You see, this frail body, may be dead for now, but one day it will be raised again to eternal life.

1 Corinthians attempts to explain the wonder of resurrection. “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

Caleb’s future resurrection is a mystery; as Easter people we choose to believe the mystery—the mystery of salvation and resurrection.

What is not a mystery is the steadfast love of Caleb’s parents. They waited and hoped and prayed for him. They stayed up long nights worried about him. They drove hundreds of miles to be with him at the hospital. They loved him before he was born. They searched for just the right name that would describe their hopes and dreams for him.

Many of you know how Cary and Elizabeth chose Caleb’s name. For those of you who don’t know, I would like to share this story with you. It tells of a great warrior who was brave, strong, and Godly. These were the traits Cary and Elizabeth wished for their son.

Way back in the Old Testament there is a story about how God freed the Israelites from captivity in Egypt and gave them their own homeland. When Moses and the Israelites reached the Promised Land, Moses sent out scouts to do reconnaissance on the new land. When the scouts returned back to the camp they gave this report as recorded in the Book of Numbers. “They gave Moses this account: ‘We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful and the cities are fortified and very large. We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are. All the people we saw there are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them. Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." Well, the Israelites continued to grumble and were at the point of mutiny but Caleb and Joshua stood firm and put down the uprising.

Then they spoke to the entire Israelite assembly, "The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."

In this account, Caleb does not falter or give up. Caleb and Joshua are the reason that the Israelites reached the Promised Land.

Our little Caleb was a fighter. Born just shy of 27 weeks gestation he was a miracle child from birth. He fought hard to live. He survived many medical procedures.

Our little Caleb was a leader too. For he had helped Elizabeth and Cary reach their promised land. Caleb’s short life strengthened and grew their faith. His short life showed them the amazing power of a parent’s love for his or her child.

We find ourselves much in the same place as the Israelites. We are stuck in this strange land of grief, sadness, and mourning. The shock and pain seem overwhelming and we are sure that we can not stand up against it. We seem like grasshoppers compared to the great sadness we feel. We are scared and may even feel hopeless. But remember Caleb’s words from the story.
He said, “Do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them."

Today, I say, “Do not be afraid of the grief of this strange land because Jesus has swallowed death up. Death’s protection is gone and the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid.”

Two weeks ago, we celebrated Easter. Let us go now as Easter people with the hope and promise of eternal life.