Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

April 3, 2021

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Tonight's picture was taken in April of 2007. That day we were going to celebrate Mattie's fifth birthday! We held his party at the National Zoo. I will never forget that day as there was torrential rain, and I thought Mattie's party was going to be a disaster. However, the kids loved the zoo tour in the pouring rain and the animals were out and about enjoying the fact that there were few to no visitors at the zoo. Except for us. The theme at the party was Lightning McQueen! 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins.

  • Number of people diagnosed with the virus: 30,667,184
  • Number of people who died from the virus: 554,773

I will never forget April 2, 2002.....19 years ago. That evening I got into bed and was very pregnant. I was awaiting Mattie's arrival. While sitting in bed, Mattie was moving around in my tummy and was kicking up a storm. Clearly he wanted out. I began to watch TV, but within an hour, I literally felt something within me pop. I jumped out of bed and could see I was leaking fluid. My water broke, which only happens in about 15% of pregnant women. 

We called my doctor's office and the doctor on call asked if I was in pain. I said no! She then said I should get a good night's sleep (FUNNY!) and come to the hospital at 8am for admission. She said I would be having our baby tomorrow, which would be April 3! What she did not realize was I was going to have a hard labor, and through a cesarean section would have Mattie on April 4.

Honestly giving birth to Mattie was surreal. I found breathing exercises useless and given that Mattie's head was pressing against my spine, I was thankful for Dr. Mike (an anesthesiologist). I have no idea how women with an epidural actually deliver a baby vaginally. I say this because once I had the epidural, I couldn't feel anything beyond my breast bone. Everything was numb, and pushing wasn't going to happen. Even if I wanted to go through the birthing process, Mattie's body was in a position making delivery impossible. After over 24 hours in labor, I was running a fever and Mattie's vitals were weakening. Therefore, it was decided that I would have an emergency c-section. 

Things happened so quickly. We signed some sort of liability form and Peter got suited up to go into an operating room. I always find these liability forms entertaining. Mainly because if you are going to have surgery or a procedure, you are basically doing this because other options aren't available or safe. Therefore, when signing these forms I always think to myself... what other choice do we have? I used to say that often when signing all of Mattie's forms for cancer treatment! 

That evening, I got to see the importance of an anesthesiologist. Dr. Mike was right by my side during the c-section and explained everything that was happening. Setting me up for c-section was memorable, as my arms were tied down, and all I could think of was Christ on the cross. In addition, I saw a rope going from my abdomen to over my head. I had no idea what that was about. Later Peter told me they were using this rope to hold open my abdomen during the c-section. I was better not knowing! 

I will never forget what the doctor said after she opened me up. She literally said.... what is this? Not what you want to hear when delivering a baby! I remember asking her if something was wrong with the baby! She finally said the baby was fine, but that I had a grapefruit size lipoma on my bladder. She pulled Mattie out and I heard a big WAAHHH! The doctor told me he was beautiful and they brought Mattie over to me. Since my arms were tied down, all I could do was touch Mattie's foot with my fingers. 

They took Mattie to the hospital nursery and Peter went with him. I was then headed for surgery to remove the lipoma on my bladder. Honestly the whole night was a blur, scary, and stressful. Given that I had a c-section, I remained in the hospital for 5 nights, as I was in a lot of pain and was having trouble recovering. 

The first night, I was in a shared room and Peter wasn't allowed to stay. But I was a mess and I needed an advocate. Thankfully the next night I was moved to a private room and Peter was able to stay with me. It was Peter who changed Mattie's diapers for the first five days of his life. Peter had his hands full between me and Mattie. My legs and abdomen swelled up with fluid, and in addition being in pain, I began to have great anxiety and the start of postpartum depression. So much so that the hospital staff was willing for me to stay on longer in the hospital if I wanted to. But by five days of constant chaos in our hospital room, I needed a break. Coming home was a challenging adjustment, but I would say within a few weeks, my mood stabilized. Regardless of my mood, that did not prevent me from caring for Mattie, as right from day one he was my number one priority! 

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

We both hold April 4 very dear in our hearts. We both had C's, though yours was much more harrowing. Mine was scheduled (though I did have one of those two days labor and emergency C's with Katie so I can relate to that part of your story). I also remember the arms strapped straight out like a cross. Very weird. I will be remembering you and Peter and your families all day tomorrow in my prayers. There are things in this life I just don't understand and why Mattie is not here with you is one of them. I'm so very sorry. I love you, Vicki.