26 August 2011

I want to give you something.

When we first found out about Ewan's congenital heart defect, we felt incredibly alone. I had never known anyone personally who had found out that something was so grimly wrong with the child they were expecting, and the news made me feel isolated and frankly, like an oddball. They were taking blood and running tests and shoving informational pieces of paper in our hands before I even had the chance to absorb the words "heart defect." It was all so surreal. It was a nightmare.

One of the things that helped do away with the feelings of isolation was networking in online communities and finding other families who either had gone through or were going through the same thing.

That's how I found out about baby Bowen and his heart.

Many of you probably already know about Bowen Hammitt, who was born 9 days before Ewan on September 9, 2010 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Like we were with Ewan, Bowen was diagnosed with his heart defect prenatally. Bowen's dad Matt is the lead singer of the band Sanctus Real and like us, he and his wife wrote a lot in the time between the diagnosis and Bowen's birth. We blogged (as did the Hammitt family), and Bowen's dad also wrote songs about their journey during that time. Though initially written for his family, those songs are about to be released on an album called "Every Falling Tear."

I only needed to hear a line or two of "All of Me" before my own tears started to fall. It spoke so much to what we experienced in my pregnancy with Ewan, and after his birth and death. It spoke to our resolution to love him fully no matter how broken he might be. It doesn't have to be a heart defect, but any parent who, ecstatic to see their baby for the first time at an ultrasound, has heard the dreaded words "there's something wrong with your baby," will resonate with the lyrics of the music. They are not only heartfelt, but speak to a deep kind of knowing that we all hope to avoid: being afraid to love for fear of what you could lose, of how you might completely fall apart. This music speaks of a commitment to love fully in spite of the risk -- even if all that love is not enough -- because that little one is worth every falling tear.

I couldn't agree more. (Please pass the tissue now.)


"All of Me" from Ryan Lynch on Vimeo.

And that's just from one of the songs. It's incredibly meaningful to me when I find words -- whether in an essay, a poem, or song lyrics -- that speak to me in a way that resonates deeply and has me saying: there is someone who gets it, who found the words I couldn't find. It only took hearing a few lines of "All of Me" to be convinced that not only does the man writing these songs "get it," but that he dared to risk his heart on something that could break, and found it was worth it.

I can't wait to hear more.

If you're interested in hearing more too, Matt's label has offered me the opportunity to give away a copy of the album to three Team Ewan readers. All I need you to do is to leave a comment in this post if you're interested, and you will automatically be entered (only one entry per person, please). I'll be taking entries until 9 pm Sunday (August 28) EST and will select three random entries to be the winners that I will announce here on the blog on Monday, August 29. The copies of the album will be available the first or second week of September.

* * * * *

If you're interested in getting your own copy of the album, "Every Falling Tear" hits shelves on September 13. To read more about Matt and the story behind the album, this article is a good one. To read more about Bowen and how he's doing now, you can read the family's blog, Bowen's Heart.

60 comments:

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Kirsten,

I'm so glad they connected with you! I will be giving away 3 copies of the CD as well during the 2nd week in September! I don't want an entry into your contest, just wanted to share that I'll be giving away some copies as well in the very near future! :o)

Kathryn @ Expectant Hearts said...

I have also followed Bowen's story, almost from the beginning. Seth wass born, and died from HLHS as well.. I know how their songs speak to the heart..

AND Monday, 8/29 is my birhtday. Woldn't that be perfect?

Jillian Vanover said...

I would love to be entered for a chance to win the new album! Can't wait to hear it!

Matt and Kristen said...

Kirsten,

"All of Me" was actually released the day that my sweet little Charlotte earned her angel wings. I fell in love with it immediately and wanted to share it with all of my family/friends. I posted a link to it on my Facebook page and then headed to the hospital with my little girl for what was supposed to be a simple imaging scan to look at her lungs. Never in a million years did I think that I would come home without her. Charlotte was just over 1 year old and was born with PA/IVS, HRHS. I have read your blog since little Ewan was born and my heart broke as I followed your journey through grief. Little did I know how much I would learn from that journey as I was thrust into a similar one. Your words are always beautiful and I am so grateful that you have chosen to share them with us all.

Kristen (http://littlemissritchie.blogspot.com)

Kristin said...

The song is amazing...would love to hear more!! Thanks for the chance!!

Andrea said...

Hi..Christopher and I would love a copy of the album.=) Aug.29th is my birthday also! Happy early birthday to Kathryn.

Michelle said...

this is so beautiful...

Susan said...

the song made me cry too... painfully beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity. Much love!!!

christianne said...

This song is so powerful. Makes me think of the post you wrote earlier this week about love having always been there.

Love you.

Kaci said...

Hey! I would love a copy of this CD as well. :) I love his song "All of Me" Although my son doesn't have a complicated heart defect, he still has one that will need to be repaired via open heart surgery, we just never know when that will be until it's time. Praying for you all! ♥ Take it easy and May God bless you!

erika2011 said...

Oh My Word, what an amazing gift you are able to give out. I have been reading any heart baby blogs i find, preparing myself for my future. I have constantly read your blog about Ewan as well as Matt's for Bowen. I would love the chance to win a CD.

Erika Clink
Age: 17
Future NICU Nurse

Carolina Carters said...

Love them!

Ever since we found out about Derrick's heart there have been so many songs that have brought me to tears, and even to my knees. I love, love how Matt "gets it" and can express his feelings through amazing words and music. (Much like you can!)

Always praying for your heart...and that sweet little one, who I'm quite sure is on Team Pink! ;)

Michelle said...

If I was lucky enough to win, the CD would be placed into one of our "Bereaved Mother" baskets for our auction at a walk I founded for families who have lost a baby. Awesome Kirsten. And thank you to the band!

Jessica said...

The songs on this cd also have a connection with me and my family as well, I have followed Team Ewan's blog and Bowen's Blog since the days of diagnosis for both families, not knowing that soon after my nephew would be diagnosed with a cogenital heart defect, he was born 2 months early, but we were unaware of his heart condition at birth, they found it afterwards during some testing. He lived to be 6 months old, and passed away during his second open heart surgery. My brother-in-law and his wife listened to Sanctus' Real "All of me" over and over again, the song hadn't been released yet but Matt was great enough to email me a copy so that my family could use the song at my nephews celebration of life service, having a copy of this entire cd would be a great gift for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as it would also be a great gift for me!

Tracy said...

My son Ian was born November 9, 2009 with Transposition of the Great Arteries that had gone undiagnosed until shortly after birth. He had open heart surgery on November 18th and came home on December 2nd. He will be turning 2 this fall but I still can easily go back to that time and the emotions that came with it - learning to love Ian with "all of me" despite the fears that we could lose him. The first time I heard that song I just wept and was thankful that someone could put into words the roller coaster of emotions that you experience walking the CHD journey. That is awesome they are allowing you to give these away - thanks for the opportunity.

Jay, Leslie and William said...

Would love a copy...thanks!!

Hi, said...

Wow, I'm in tears right now. This post as well as the comments have blessed me today. Thank you sincerely,

Matt Hammitt

HennHouse said...

You're right, any parent that has been in a chair or on an exam table expecting to hear one thing, but instead hear something heartbreaking and life changing can identify with these lyrics. I can't wait to hear the whole album.

Papillon Sky Photography said...

Wow! That was amazing on many levels. First, before I even clicked on the link for the song, that exact piano music popped into my head. It was quite a shock to then hear it on the video! What a touching song and sweet story!!

Sarah said...

I have a friend here whose daughter was just born with a congenital heart defect. I'd love to give the album to her!

Joye said...

Given my post yesterday, I would love to own this album! That's some good stuff, no doubt.

Always thinking about you, Kirsten!

hopeannfaith said...

Love you ... Love Ewan ... Love Sanctus Real!
Blessings to all of you.

melifaif said...

Kirsten....I would love to hear this music!!!! But, I have to tell you....I have been reading every step of the way. And praying too. For you. For your husband, your family. Your baby...and you....mean more to me than MY WORDS could EVER express. Much love and many blessings.

~ Meli

Momma Dana said...

I'd love to cry to this song many times over.

not2brightGRAM said...

Please enter me in the drawing, but IF I win, just let me know ('cause I never win drawings), but then choose someone else. I have been so blessed with healthy children and now grandchildren that I would like to see someone else receive it...

Kelly Sauer said...

Oh what a gift, K. I'll be ordering this one if I don't win.

Love to you. You are always close to my heart.

HISgrace805 said...

I am sitting here wrecked with emotion...win or not...I too will be purchasing this album and praying for your family.

Lizzie Vincent said...

Our family has been praying for both families for a while now. We will continue to do so.
I would love the chance to win Matt's new CD!
Thanks and God bless :-)
Lizzie Vincent

Donis said...

Please know, thanks to many prayers and a great medical facility, there are some hlhs kids who thrive through all three surgeries. My hlhs son is doing great!

Rebecca Mobley said...

I love this song already, it speaks volumes to a parent's love for their child. My son London also has HLHS and just turned 11 yrs old. When we found out about his heart, we vowed that no matter how much or how little time he had with us and we had with him, that he would be happy and know he was loved. ♥

Rebecca Mobley
http://londonsheart2000.blogspot.com

Carol Lightcap said...

I know about Bowen from following Matt on Twitter. I have been a prayer warrior for many children who have had similar problems at birth. A friend of mine's daughter had heart damage from the flu and while they were at the medical center, she would tell us about another child who needed prayer. Most of the time they earned their wings. I don't know why God allows this to happen. I have to think that these children bring people closer together and prayer more intense and that might just be their purpose on this earth. I will pray for your family. It can't be easy. God bless.
Carol Lightcap

Anonymous said...

Wow,where do I begin I had a chance to meet Matt and his beautiful wife when they had just learned they were expecting Bowen. They had came to Dumas Ar. And gave a small servive it was actually the 1st time I had heard of him. I have been a huge fan every since. In October last year I lost my only nephew at the age of 20 in a tragic car accident, he was killed the same as our mom passed 21 years previously, so it is a double whammy for myself but especially for my sister. So if I win this I will be sending this to my very special only sister in honor of her son Cody Acton. My prayers are with you all always !

Jen said...

We have been following both of your stories for awhile now. I have almost 6 year old twins, one with HLHS. It is amazing the things we witness and take such joy in.

Joanne said...

Beautiful, beautiful song.

Neysa said...

Yes, please. I've typed and deleted so many different responses to this, so I'll just leave it at "yes, please".

Sarah Lee said...

I would love to be entered into your contest! I got to meet the Hammit family at the Ronald McDonald House we were both staying at! My son was born with TOF with PA. They are the nicest people.

hannah said...

I would absolutely love to get Matt's new cd! Even though I'm still a teenager, his story...his family's story about Bowen has impacted me. He has such great love for his family and for Bowen that it just reminds me of my Heavenly Father's love for us! He's such a great example to all the young guys out there! :)

Hope's Blog said...

All of their songs hold a special place in my heart. We have been listening to Sanctus Real for a long time and the connection now is unbelievable. You don't have to include me in your drawing...I will be picking up a copy as soon as it is released as well as downloading onto my Zune as soon as they are available.

Aimee said...

Great song! Would love to win a copy!

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog AND Bowen's blog from the very beginning and pray for the both of you!

Shay said...

what a beautiful song...it touches me and my heart goes out to you and all of those who are in similar situations. praying for you! <3

Anonymous said...

I have also been following Bowen's story for over a year now. His family are such an inspiration. We were going to see Matt's band perform at the Indiana State Fair but it was canceled due to the tragedy that happened the day before. I recently had my 2nd heart baby 6 weeks ago at 29 weeks and she is another miracle baby. Thank you Kirsten for sharing your story. I have a feeling Tressel and Ewan are playing in Heaven together.

Miranda said...

That song is so beautiful. Would love to win that CD. I will keep your family in my prayers! God has everything in His hands.

Harvestmom said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I worked in NICU in the past and it's so hard to watch babies and their families suffer. Imfollowed Bowens story as well. I stood in line at a concert last July to tell Matt about my friend who just had a baby with serious defects and he has been closely following her. Her name is Annabelle and she actually was able to have a transplant already and is doing quite well at the moment! So many prayers and tears over that little girl who is now ONE! God is good and will continue to give all of you strength day by day! Blessings!

Lisa said...

Such a beautiful song! I'd love to have a copy of the album as well.

Tara said...

Such a beautiful song...I have a feeling this song will hold a special place in my cousin's heart as she has her own little heart angel. If I were lucky enough to win a copy of this it will be going straight to her.

Jamie said...

I would love to be entered!! My little gal has spina bifida, so different, and we are working on adopting another little girl with spina bifida. I love them music!

curtandjenb said...

What an amazing, beautiful family. Thank you so much for introducing them to me! You're right, All of Me really speaks from the heart...I think it should be my new motto in life.

lisa said...

I have also been following Bowen's story!! You and the Hammits are amazing family's! I thank you for sharing your story with all of us! I love Sanctus Real and would love to win this CD!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Crystal M. in IL

Tyler & Cathie said...

Thanks is beautiful! Thank you for sharing that! Praying for your current pregnancy and that the Lord will sustain you while you wait!

Jamie said...

Love the song! Can't wait to hear more!

Anonymous said...

I can't even THINK about that song without crying! I wish I could hear the rest of the CD right now! Thanks for the opportunity to win a free copy. Praying the rest of your pregnancy goes well! Go Team Blue!!!

M. Miller in TX

liz houser photography said...

Hi Kirsten. Always love reading your heart felt writings. You are an amazing writing and an amazing light for Christ. Thank you for sharing your heart! What a beautiful song! I would love to be entered for this CD. Thanks so much!

Dee Dee said...

Love this song very much. I heard it on K Love sometime ago. I have followed your blog soon after Ewan was born. You remain in thoughts and prayers. I love following your pregnancy now. It is so exciting to read you blog as travel this journey. I have also followed Bowens Heart, The Real Life of a Red Head, & The Sexton 3. All of these stories have touched my heart. I would absolutely love to win the CD. Good luck and I can't wait to find out the gender of your new little bundle of joy.
Dee Dee

Mitz* said...

We have downloaded three of the songs already from the CD and would love to win one of the albums. Little John was diagnosed with TOF and my wife and I have followed your blog since before Ewan was born and Bowen's blogs just after he was born. Please enter us and Little John into your drawing for the CD. <3

*Hugs, The Fowler Family <3

Jen said...

Words cannot express...This is my first time on your blog but I know that God will use Ewan and your story to reach out to others. I have been following Bowen's Heart blog and was brought her by Matt Hammitt's tweet. God bless!!

Shannon Egan said...

I have followed Bowen's story for some time now. What a beautiful gift Matt has for putting into words the feelings and emotions that I believe ALL heart families have experienced at one time or another.

So excited to see that you are expecting another miracle! Congratulations - you are your husband and blessed.

Shannon Egan

Miranda said...

I love your blog and Bowen's! Our daughter was born around the time "All of Me" was released, and we found out after she was born that she probably has a genetic disorder that affects her bones. Though she doesn't have a CHD, the song still really resonates with me. That no matter what we have to go through or what we have to do for her, she is loved beyond measure. I would love to win a copy of the cd, but I will definitely be buying it if I don't!

Ann said...

Yes, I'd love to hear more. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.