Baby Braden Petska

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

3 Months......

I didn't know if I could or would write today, but I find myself once again drawn to a place that connects me with the one thing I miss the most in this world....a place I shed tears for the sadness that lies so heavily within....a place I hope and pray can someday bring me peace and comfort....a place I can only wish will lessen the burden of this grief someday. I find myself rereading my posts only to find that some may be scratching their heads wondering about this journey that seems to be the eternal road to "nowhere." That's what I feel like it is anyways. It's been three months and I still feel my head is spinning and I don't know what each day will bring emotionally. You see as weird as it might sound, denial is where our minds and hearts bring us, so we don't have to feel all the pain at once. I never understood the power of denial and disbelief until I walked this road myself. Those are the days I can actually get through unphased by the gaping hole in my life. Then there are the "holy shit this is real" days. I'm not a fan of those days, but I know it's all apart of the healing process. Those are the days in which the reality is staring you right in the face reminding you that it isn't a dream and that the one you loved the most is never coming more hugs, no more kisses, no more bed time stories, no more waffles on Saturday mornings, no more cartoons or late day pajama wearing days, no more bathtime..... The never evers and no mores are so incredibly unbearable. It brings an emptiness I wish could disappear. I look at Braden's pictures that held so much life and I just want to reach right in there and squeeze him, touch him, smell him, hold his hand, tickle his feet, and bring him back.


I'd also like to take the time share this blog with some charity moments. On Monday, we honored Braden by delivering more gift bags to the hospital. We were also able to make our annual donations to the Herma Heart Center and Ronald McDonald House. On our stop at CHW, we were able to visit the brand new hospital tower that holds the HHC. It's a beautiful facility, and it helped a little by being in a new, unfamiliar place. We were able to visit our nurse Carol, Dr. Cava, and Dr. Ghanayem. It was good to see all of them and go over everything that happened with Braden. Although the results of the autopsy were somewhat inconclusive, it seems that the doctors feel he suffered from a sudden heart arrythmia...something completely out of our control and with his heart structure, something his body couldn't overcome. As difficult as it was, it did provide us some closure and we were glad we chose this day (his surgery date) to visit.

Our charity golf outing is coming up and it will be on Saturday, August 15th. All details can be found on our website:

Thank you for all of your continued support and prayers. I'm not sure where we would be if it wasn't for the amazing amount of support we've received over the past three months from our family, friends, and people we've never met. We are also extremely grateful that we've received this little gift of life at this time in our lives. Through the stormiest days on this journey we're traveling, Owen provides us hope, many smiles, and lots of sunshine. He is truly a gift and our little miracle!

Happy Birthday to Auntie Marci. B would be loving the chocolate cake daddy made for her :)

Thanks for checking in,
God Bless, Steph and Rich

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Owen Pics

Here is a link to Kim Youra's Blog where she has posted a "sneak peek" of Owen's newborn session. My favorite is of him holding the necklace/charm of Braden's handprint. She captured so many beautiful moments of Braden in his little lifetime -we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Bittersweet Moments........

Dear B,
I sit here and write with such a heavy heart and emptiness that still resides within. I feel as if the veil of denial has been lifted and I can no longer live there. This has been the toughest part as I think of you now more than ever and find myself grieving even the smallest joys you brought to our lives. Although it has been more and more apparent that you're not coming back, it's still so darn hard to come to grips that this is all real. It feels so cruel to think that a child can ever be taken away from his parents and yet we're living it each day. I hope and pray that this blog will continue to hold a purpose other than sharing just the sad moments I feel because I miss you so much....maybe when the pain isn't so sharp and fresh.

Owen is a little over a week old and has really added some much needed sunshine and life back into our days. I feel like I play a movie in my head of the big brother role you would've played when Owen arrived. I know you would've been the best big brother ever. I remember when you'd point at a baby on TV and say, "Look mama, that looks like the baby in your belly....he's so cuuuuute." You'd always ask when the baby was going to come out and play with your were so eager to share them.

A week from today would have been your Fontan, the last surgery that would've "corrected" your heart. It will be a bittersweet day as you are in a place now where there are no more surgeries or broken hearts yet it would've been a day that could've brought you more time with us here on earth. I look at my heart now just as yours was when God blessed us with your life. Part of my heart is broken and does not work like it should. I didn't know how I could love again with such emptiness. When Owen arrived, it was as if you helped my heart re-route itself so that it could offer love in another part of my heart. The broken piece may never be fixed, but my heart is now able to love again in a new way.

Holding you closer than ever to our hearts,
Your mama and dadda

Dear bloggers,
Life at home with a newborn is going really well. We couldn't have asked for a better baby as Owen really only squawks when he's being changed or is ready to eat (I'm knocking on wood as I type). He's eating like a champ and is having more and more awake time each day. We find ourselves just staring at him as he has been such a beatiful blessing and a precious gift granted to us from above. Since we didn't find out the sex of the baby before he was born, I knew that Owen's gift to us was planned long before Braden's passing. God has His purpose....we just wish we could know all of the reasons for His plans.

We had a newborn photo session today with Kim, so I'll be sure to post more pics when I write again.

Thank you for continuing to hold us close in prayer,
Love Steph and Rich

Monday, June 01, 2009

Our Ray of Sunshine

We would like to share with you our new addition, Owen Nicholas Petska. He came into this world on Friday afternoon at 12:19 pm. He weighed in at 8lbs 14oz and is 21 inches long. He is absolutely precious and we are enjoying all of the newborn moments (even the crying and sleepless nights) that are so new to Rich and me. We know B is loving him from afar and might be disappointed that we didn't name him Diego (his only name choice).

Owen's arrival came one day after heaven welcomed Rich's Grandpa Stevens. We know B is enjoying all of the neat stories Grandpa has to share with him especially all of his firetruck stories.

Please continue to hold us all in prayer,
Steph and Rich