Thursday, March 17, 2011


My heart is filled with anguish for all the things we didn't get to do... never getting to hear his laugh or cry, never being able to lay in bed with him and Brad, morning walks by the lake, celebrating Doug's 1st birthday, 1st word or 1st step, laying him down in the crib I painted in the room that is filled with his clothes, toys, pictures and books. But, I am also filled with gratitude, for the handful of times I was able to change his diaper, having story time each night, watching Brad and Dougie listen to music, when he opened his eyes and stared into mine and the dozens of times his little hand wrapped around my finger and squeezed. I suppose I will spend the rest of my life trying to balance out the heartbreak of losing him, but also treasuring the precious six and a half weeks we had with him. And I know I will spend the rest of my life missing him, his sweet eyes that saw right into
your soul when he glanced at you, the calm and peaceful look to him after he had a massage from mommy or while he listened to music with daddy, and his smell.... his perfect scent that was so wonderful it's impossible to describe. I pray I will never forget.
Brad and I are constantly being commended for our strength, everyone tells us how they would never be able to go through what we've been through and survive, and people ask how we are able to function, because if it were them, they wouldn't be able to. And to be honest, I don't know how we are functioning; most days feel like a blur to me, we are keeping busy enough to get through each day then on to the next; Because - what choice to we have? If we don't have the strength, we have to find the strength for our son.
Don't get me wrong, I could lay in bed all day let the tears get the best of me and have each day drag on and on. But what good would that do? It won't get me to see Dougie any sooner, it won't bring him back, it won't heal my heartache, and I have never been one to feel sorry for myself or whither in self pity - so I will take one day at a time. It is what it is and we have to accept it and get through it, for him. 
Brad and I would like to thank everyone who was able to make it to Dougie's Services, I cannot express how amazed we were with the amount of people who came to celebrate Doug's short and beautiful life. 250 chairs surrounded the room and yet there were still dozens of people standing. In the front and center of the room was Dougie's casket.... custom made for our little man. We couldn't have asked for a better pastor to speak for Douglas, Pastor Sam did a beautiful job and made everyone feel comfortable. Thank you to Jess for speaking, I know how hard it was for her and we appreciate her kind words and also putting together a play list for the ceremony. Thanks to my mom who, although loved the podium a little too much, kept it lighthearted and made everyone laugh their tears away. I am soo grateful that Dougie's favorite nurses Jamie, Charlene and Kristen were able to make it to the services and speak of their experience in the NICU with our
little man. Other than Brad and myself they knew him the best and loved him so so much. I think everyone in the room was blown away by Katelyn and Jake's performance of Dougie's favorite song 'Godspeed Little Man', it was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever heard and I am sure most people would agree with me. Kevin made a wonderful video montage with pics of Doug, and video we had from our days in the NICU, I will treasure that forever.
A million thank yous to Dougie's Grandpa's, Grandma's, Uncle's, and Aunt's for completely taking over and planning this beautiful day for us. Because of you Brad and I were able to relax, We appreciate it so so much.
Thanks to Santora's for hosting an amazing fundraiser for us. Brad and I are so grateful for everyone's generous donations, wonderful words of comfort, all of the beautiful flowers and gifts we've received. To those of you who have tried mailing things to our house I apologize if they were sent back to you, since Brad and I were not home for a few months the mailbox was full, so the post office sent all of our mail back to sender. Our address is still:

36 Calle Bella
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

God Bless Our Little Man,

Brad and Mere
ANNOUNCEMENT: A wonderful friend, Stephanie Bongartz, has organized a Silent Auction Fundraiser to help Mere & Brad as they adjust to the world outside CHOC NICU and a life without their son.  It will take place on Sunday, March 27 at 2PM at the Mission Viejo Elks Lodge.  This is also meant to be an afternoon of fun and a chance for Mere & Brad to share their memories of Dougie with the people they love and who have come to mean so much to them.  Everyone is welcome!
For more information, please contact:

Monday, March 7, 2011

An Angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth. And whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth"

He fought an incredible fight, but our amazing and beautiful Dougie passed away on Thursday March 3rd around 11:00AM. At only 6 weeks and 3 days of being here on Earth we had to make the hardest decision in the world and give him up to God. I was able to hold my baby for the first time as he passed away in my arms. I will always remember the last breath he took right there in my arms and the feeling of emptiness in my heart thereafter. Brad and I sat and held him for hours as our family and friends came to say goodbye, then we were able to give him a bath and get him dressed. It was tragic knowing we will not be able to bring him home with us, to meet his Doggies, see his nursery that is filled with toys, clothes and books; but it was also relieving to know he is no longer in pain, no longer fighting to live, no more surgeries, no more drugs, just at peace. He is now able to be the happy baby he should have been.

I lay here in bed, on what would have been Dougie's 7th week birthday. The questions have started to slow down in my head, why him, why us, why now, why was he put through all he was put through only to be taken from us. I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that we will never have those answers. But because I realize that, it in no way means I have accepted what has happened. I am still angry, heartbroken, and lost. It will be a long time before I'm able to accept what's happened. As you can read from all of my previous blog post's I did not expect that we were going to get the outcome that we did. But we did. So now I have to find the strength to move on.

Brad and I continue to be so touched and in awe of the support we have gotten from all our friends and family as well as complete strangers. We are beginning to realize what Dougie's purpose was. We know he has touched so many of you and brought faith and belief in what is bigger than us, and he brought awareness to CDH.

Services will be Held on Wednesday March 9th at 11:00AM at Saddleback Church (1 Saddleback Parkway, Lake Forest) in the Plaza building.

We ask any of you that have followed Dougie's Journey, and anyone that Dougie had touched to please feel free to join us in celebrating this amazing little man and his incredible life, although it was a mere 6 and a half weeks we have so very much to be thankful for.

God Bless Our Little Man, God Bless Our Beautiful Angel,
Mere and Brad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Faith consists of believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe - Volitare

Dougie is really in need of prayer right now. Today has been one of the bad day's... His pulminary hyper tension (PPHN) is causing him to D SAT(which means his oxygen saturation levels are in the 60s when they should be in the high 90s)... they've had to severly sedate him almost all day to help him relax. Docs are doing everything they can, and exhausting every resource possible to help his PPHN. They are even begining a new medication that has only been used on 2 other babies in hopes that it will get his PPHN under control. Right now Brad and I are holding on to every shread of hope and faith that he will overcome this and get better. I have prayed all day today, begged the Lord to give him strength, give him our strength and help him pull through this and I have faith that he will. We have told Dougie all about his Doggies, Patsy and June, his beautiful nursery filled with toys he has yet to see and play with, all the football and baseball games we have to go to, and all of the hundreds of people that love him and are praying for him. Keeping positive is all I can do, he is in Gods hands and I believe.

God Bless our amazingly beautiful little man.

Mere and Brad