I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A whole new world. Continuing the dance of joy and grief...

First morning of Kindergarten!

Another year without preparing Zac for school with his brother.
Resting with an angel...

The window...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..." - Jeremiah 29:11

So many of us are so familiar with this verse.  
It is a staple.  
It carries us through many times of questions and doubts, giving hope to the weary.

KINDERGARTEN!!!!  A whole new chapter, a whole new world!  A new school.  New friends and teacher.  New surroundings.  New life lessons and time to grow.
My 2lb wonder is now in Kindergarten three full days a week.

And this momma's heart is just NOT ready.  
Not ready to let go of the little hand that so often grabs mine for assurance and safety.  Now it is me that wants to grab HIS little hand for assurance and to feel those little fingers in my hand.

I know every parent surely goes through these emotions.  These new waters and a whole new world of territory unexplored up to this point.  
And for the experienced parent with multiple children going through school, this may make you nod your head as you remember back to your own experience(s).

The first of lasts.  

The difference for me as a parent with an only child (not by choice) is that these moments TRULY ARE first of lasts.

This summer so much really hit home to me. 

July 6th came and went.  My due date with Faith.  Also the birth dates of two of my nephews (cousins, not brothers).  This year Faith would have turned 1.  This year I "should be" chasing after a little one year old while I drop her big brother off at school.  She "should be" blowing kisses to her big brother as we leave him at school.

This is also yet another year of preparing one of my sons for school...knowing that Zac will never carry a back pack that I've prepared for him.  I won't be ushering both of my boys in to their class together.  I won't be watching them stand side by side in the security of the other while they face a whole new world.  I won't be hearing the events of the day from both of their perspectives.
And again, I will be asked the infamous question by families who we are new to: "so, do you have any other children?"

I hadn't been to the cemetery for a few months, so I decided to go have a visit while laying by Zac's head stone.  Ya, the picture may seem depressing to some...but to me...that was my resting place where I could look up to the sky and just talk with my boy.  With all my babes.  Where I could just be at peace and just soak up all that this year will bring for Evan, and for all that I need to focus on.
I smiled as I laid by my boy's resting place.  And just loved on him.

As I type this I am anxiously awaiting for the next  6 minutes to pass until I can go pick Evan up from school!!  
Today was his first FULL day.  He even stayed for lunch as they had a special hot lunch for the school (though I DID go and hang out with him during that!).
And how eerily odd it is to walk in to my quiet house.  

Change...I don't always deal well with it!

I have to share about a special experience I DID have on one of Evan's first half days at school.  Last week he had two half days as the teacher likes to ease them in to the year.
The very first morning I dropped Evan off...I struggled.  
I came home to my quiet house and opened up my windows and my patio door.  NOW, I've ALWAYS opened my patio door wide for the past 4 years and for the first time ever...a tiny little bird flew right IN TO MY HOUSE!!
And the part that broke me down was that this tiny bird flew DIRECTLY to the window that holds special memory items for Zac.  Now, my house has MANY windows.  That bird could have flown to ANY of them.  But for some reason it chose that very special window.

I quickly said a prayer asking God to help me catch this tiny thing without causing it any harm.  Then I went through my main floor and shut all the doors, then I put Nash in his kennel.
I grabbed one of Evan's soft blankets, climbed on to my couch and very slowly started to move the pictures from the window sill.  
I was able to lay the blanket over the bird while it fluttered in to my hands and went to my patio, opened the blanket and away the bird flew.

The moment I walked back in to my house I burst in to tears.

The irony!  
This tiny fragile bird flies to that very special place where my tiny fragile son is remembered.

I know that bird wasn't the spirit of Zac or anything like that.  But the whole think made me think about how we had to gently and lovingly say good bye to Zac in while he "flew home" to heaven from my arms.
We had to love that fragile failing body enough to let him stop hurting.
We had to let him fly.
I had friends share that they believed God used this moment, and this bird to speak to me.  To let me know that Zac is free.  

Being that this all happened Evan's first day of Kindergarten, it also made me realize that I had to let go of that tiny hand that has trusted me.  I had to watched him march in to his class, and then I had to turn and leave him.  Entrusting him to his teacher and the school.  
I can't do everything for him.  
I have to let him grow and flourish as he should.

I have to let him fly as well.

Don't get me wrong...I'm kicking and screaming the whole way!  To have my buddy at school three days where I'm used to our care free days together...oh my.  This is NO easy task.

So many first of lasts.  So many new experience.  So much for both Evan and I to learn!  
We couldn't be more proud of our boy!  
And I know without a doubt that he will flourish and grow and expand all around.  

Well, during tying this I went to pick Evan up from school.  He had a great day and proudly announced to me "I can do EVERYTHING by myself!"
I know my sweet boy...it's just that I still want to help with some things! ;)

Each new phase of life is scary yet exciting.  
It is always wrapped in joy and in sorrow.  
It always will.

Just because my joy is evident and present, it does not mean that my heart is "all better", and that I don't agonize every single day about the "what should have been" moments.

Of course I have great pride in Evan and who is becoming.  
But don't kid yourself...my joy and pride does not mean that I don't miss Zac and each of our babies every single day.  
I am trying.  I am learning how to carry those emotions and feelings inside of me.  

Grief is one of those "darned if you don't, darned if you do" type situations.
If you laugh and smile people assume you are dealing well and moving on and getting on with life without your loved one.
If you show pain and shed tears or just have a tough day you feel like others are thinking "why isn't she just moving on and being grateful for what and who she has".

Grief has no 12 step program.  OK...so, technically I know steps are out there in dealing with grief.  But come on...everyone has to take their own steps.
Grief is grief.  Time may pass.  Smiles and laughter may become more seen than the tears.  But never mistake that grief is a permanent and tender part of a persons life.  Those of us dealing with loss have to relearn so many parts of life and ourselves.
Walk with someone who is grieving.  Don't try to "fix" things and slam them with the standard bible verses or cliche pick-me-ups.  Rather, just sit in silence and listen.  Speak their loved ones name.  Be patient with them.  Just love us.  Love us unconditionally and remember that our grief doesn't just end weeks after a funeral.  Remember that our lives have changed drastically and life isn't moving on as usual.  We are sorting through the mess of it all.  Just be present and patient.
In my case, remember that every time I look at Evan...I see the place where his twin brother is missing.  It doesn't mean my heart isn't full of pride, gratitude and love for Evan.  It just means that it holds equally the emotion of pain and sorrow and missing Zac.

This new chapter of Evan in Kindergarten is so bitter-sweet for me.
I am working to make it the BEST experience for both of us.
And since it is both our first and last experiences with Kindergarten...I want to make it memorable.  Special.  Exciting.  Cherished.

I want Evan to grow socially, academically, personally, physically.  I want him to have a good experience with a solid foundation of enjoying the experience (and reality) of many years of school.

I pray daily for his protection.  For his understanding.  For his independence.  For the friendships that will be created.  For his character.  For his HEALTH (my oh my...how a preemie mom never stops worrying about this one).  

I am excited to see how he will grow.  How we will BOTH grow!
This is not just a time for change for Evan, but for me as well.

Who am I now?!!  
Who am I to become through these new years of school?!
What is my new role to look like?!

Many changes for both of us!  

I think this is such a cool verse for kids and young people.  Especially with a new school year starting.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."  - 1 Timothy 4:12

Well, on that note, I should get on to making supper.  Evan is off to gymnastics tonight.  I do believe he is going to sleep well tonight!!  Thank goodness tomorrow is a no-school day for him!  

Here's to a new year, and all that God has in store for us!!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer fun...

Wow, I really tend to go in spurts now.  
However, life is changing.  Peoples focus change too.  And to many, this blog was to follow my journey while in the hospital before having Zac and Evan, and then all that came after.
Then in changed to our further attempts with FETs and our further losses, either with a negative result, or miscarriage.

Now that the treatments are all over, and now that life has shifted so drastically from that focus...this blog is changing too.

It will forever remain a place I divulge my struggles with missing Zac and raising a twinless twin, Evan.  It will be my place of talk of our other heavenly babes.  It remains a place where I tenderly admit hopes and dreams of miracles.  It will always be a place where I showcase my precious Evan.

But it is changing.  And so has the following.  And I know to expect that.

So, if anyone still follows along...here is an update for you all ;)

Life has been busy this past year.  

Evan was in preschool and completed that.  I didn't think I would get so teary eyed at his graduation...but tears did roll down my cheeks.  For a few reasons.
I saw my little boy marching in with his class and my mind flipped back to the first time I saw him in NICU.  That tiny 2lb body, so frail, skin hanging on bones...yet already you could see the fight in his spirit.
And on graduation day there he was.  My "just under" 40lb boy...so grown up.  Marching, performing, singing and laughing with his classmates.
The pride in me was overwhelming.  It still is as I sit here getting all misty eyed :)

It was a bitter-sweet day as well, as Evan had twins in his class.  Watching those two boys stand side by side, and watching the bond...my heart couldn't help but ache and go to that "what should have been" place.
My Evan and Zac should be side by side...

All in all it was a really sweet day!  I'm on a new laptop now, so I don't have a lot of my pictures on here yet otherwise I would be adding those as well to this post!  

We have been busy with swimming lessons and gymnastics as well.
Still working on those swimming lessons.  The gymnastics have been a hit!  He loves that!  But who doesn't love running around, tumbling and feeling like you are learning the moves of a Super Hero!  I just love watching his interaction with the other kids and his teacher, and watching his courage and self-confidence grow.  And it is pretty darn good for those coordination skills too!
The swimming has become quite funny.  He is certainly getting more brave and willing to do more.  He is has still been not so fond of putting his whole head in the water.   However, we went to my sister-in-laws sister's home a few weeks ago and she has a swimming pool and diving board.  Well, buy the end of our day Evan couldn't be pried from that diving board!  He LOOOOOOOVES jumping off...over, and over, and over.  By himself.  Of course...with his life jacket on.  So the head in the water thing apparently doesn't apply when he is having so much fun jumping off the diving board!!
It was SO much fun for me to watch!  (man, I really need to put my pictures in order so I can add these things to this!)

We were also away at the lake for a week this month.  Lets just say...my version of camping includes our trailer with a kitchen, microwave, a/c, heat, and bathroom!  YES...now I will camp ANY time!!  
And that is where the above pictures come from.  Brett took some for me of Evan and I.  I realised I am forever BEHIND the camera, so I got Brett to put on his photography skills and take some for me.  And he did a FANTASTIC job!  

We had Nash with us too, and he did great.  His allergies seemed to be a bit more calm...except for the insane reactions to the INSANE mosquitoe bites.  Poor guy!  But he did really good!  It was fun to have him with us!  

Brett drove pulling our trailer, and I drove pulling our boat.  I was a bit nervous at first, but quickly found my comfort and confidence in my pulling ability.  
I wasn't too pumped about driving separately as that is when we seem to work out all our plans and talk our ears off...but we still managed some conversation with walkie talkies!  Evan quite enjoyed chatting with daddy on that too.

That has been our summer for the most part.  Still some to go...and desperately hanging on to every sunny, warm day.  I can't believe how fast it goes!  
Another round of camping ahead of us still, and looking forward to that!  

I've also started with a new (to me) health system called Isagenix.  I've known of the name as I've been on one of their cleanse products before, but I never knew of the whole system and the MANY awesome products and health benefits.  I have always tried to be a healthy person and eat right and exercise...but after I got sick in March my energy level took a MASSIVE blow.  To the point where I could barely function without wanting to cry at every move.  I couldn't even face my beloved workouts any more.  
I started with the system, and I am just floored by the increase in my energy and health.  And my workouts are back in full swing, and muscle tone...YAH!  It's coming back.  Even my forever struggle with my post baby belly (albeit 5 years later) has seen some improvement.  
As someone who has struggled with my own body image since I was a younger girl, but full blown in highschool...I knew I had to be careful.  I didn't want this to become an obsession and a "game" to see how much weight I could lose.  So I've had to be careful with that, and I'm learning how to adapt the system to my life and my personal goals.  But I am thrilled with finding my energy, which my energy level was the whole goal (the inches lost have just been an added bonus!)
Though let me say...I "fell off the wagon" a wee bit at the lake with not being able to get in my daily usual workout, and treated myself a couple times to a few out of the norm snacks...and my oh my...did I ever feel it!  I felt HORRIBLE!!
However, you still have to live and enjoy the odd treat!  Or it just becomes another strict "you can't do that" so set yourself up to fail program.  
Bottom line though...I am really pleased!

I was going to go and get all deep now, but I think I will save that for another day.  I'll just leave this one as an update of general life. 

I have lots rumbling in my mind these days, and new realities of what it means to have your son start to really feel the impact of the twin brother he feels missing at his side.  
If I start that...this post will turn in to a novel.

I am loving my summer.
I am cherishing my moments with Evan and Brett.
I am holding on to these moments of having Evan with me every day...as the reality of kindergarten begins in September (that will be a whole new blogging topic!).

Stay tuned for future posts...I'm not gone.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our final good bye to our sweet Bailey girl.

Sweet Bailey Girl

Our last day together.  Snuggles, love and a whole lot of agonizing tears.
How do you prepare to say good bye to your best friend?

February 25, 2004 - April 15, 2014

How do you say, "ok...it is time".  

I hate that saying.  
I hate having to make that horrid decision.

I hate saying good bye.

My very best friend in the whole world...my dog, Bailey.  And I had to admit it on the DAY BEFORE my birthday..."we can't let her hurt any more".

Bailey had been doing REALLY good once we got her on a pain med after being diagnosed with bone cancer in March.  Really good!
So much so that she would get a spurt of puppy-energy and would race around the back yard.
She never showed pain.  Ever.  
Just love, kisses and her infamous Bailey-affection.
My girl was certainly a lover!

April 13th, she was fine.  Totally fine.
I let her outside.  She went down the deck to the yard.  And when she came up to the patio door, my heart sank.  Actually...it broke to a million pieces.
My sweet girl must have tried to have a spurt of her energy, and she must have slipped on remaining ice in the back yard...and she hurt herself.  She couldn't put ANY pressure on her leg.  THE leg.  The leg with the bone cancer.
I cried.
I knew.
And I cried.

The day before my birthday, it was more than obvious.  And I just could NOT let my best friend hurt any longer.  She still didn't complain, but her leg and chest kept swelling, and she couldn't walk on her leg.  She was panting harder.  And never leaving my side.

That morning Brett and I agreed...it was time.

That afternoon I left Evan with my mom so that I could spend the whole afternoon with Bailey and Nash.  Just soaking in every last sloppy kiss from her, and ever snuggle as she laid on my lap.
Just soaking in every last minute with the friend who saved me.  Who carried me through so many dark days.  Who loved me through my saddest moments.  Who would come searching for me in the house when I would take a moment to have a break down...and would just watch me, and stay loyally by my side until I could gather myself again.

Bailey was such an amazing and unique dog.  She was our family.  She was my girl.  

I feel lost without her.  And there is a hole where she has always been.

It was hard to watch Nash trying to figure out where Bailey was.  He would search for her.  He would be so excited when we would come home, and then lay on his pillow when Bailey wasn't there to follow us inside.

Bailey had a very special place in our hearts.  
As Brett and I left the vet after saying good bye to our girl, I confided that saying good bye to Bailey was like a final good bye to such a trying time in our lives...trying to build our family and through all of our losses.
I was relieved to hear I wasn't the only one feeling that.  I wasn't sounding crazy.

I miss my girl so very much.  
I had hoped for at least the summer with her.
I wanted one more walk in the park with her, one more boat ride (she LOVED boat rides), one more camping trip.

Even though I miss her so very much, I am so very grateful for the loving friend she was to me.  For the way she saved me from many dark days of loss and sadness.  For the way she would keep licking away my tears until I couldn't help but laugh and smile.
I'm grateful for the memories of my boating buddy, and will miss her desperately this summer on our special spot on the boat.  I miss walking with her.  I miss her climbing up to sit on my lap.
I miss seeing her face looking out the window as I drove up to the house.
I miss her calm and loving personality.

I miss my best fur-girl, but am so grateful for every year that we had with her.
We never thought we'd have our 10 years as she went through such a rough start as a puppy.  
I know that she was worth it all.
She was definitely meant for our family.

I love you sweet Bailey girl.  You are forever in my heart!!!!
Thank you for the awesome friend you were to me!!

Many have said that they truly feel that our animals have a special place in heaven.
I want to believe that, because my sweet girl deserves one of the best spots in heaven! 
And maybe one day she will meet me once again! 

RIP my Bailey
February 25, 2004 - April 15, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh how he makes my heart sing!!

One of my first gifts as a new mom

Styling his new hat that he sweet-talked Grandma in to buying.  (It really WAS a good purchase!!)

Oh how this boy makes my heart sing!!
New Mom
You have been blessed by the unfolding of a greater plan with a new life.  May love guide you every day, and remind you that the bond you have found is everlasting.

I've always loved the gift I received when I opened this mug from a friend of mine.
Yes, it brought with it that newly aching "bitter-sweet".  Though, the saying fits for each of my children.  
I am bonded to EACH of my children, and that bond truly is everlasting! 

I still drink from that mug, as many times I feel very much like a New Mom.
New with each new year and new "personality-reaching" of my son, and exploring who he is.
And some times I wonder if I have any idea what I am doing, or if I am doing things well enough for him.
In those moments of self-doubt I look at that mug and read the back of it, and I look at my sweet boy's face and I think to myself "we are forever bonded together, and no matter what life brings...I will never stop loving you!  As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be!"

Every day I have those mommy-guilt moments.  
While rushing to get dinner made, or my house tidied up, or laundry done...and I see my son playing by himself or watching a movie alone...my heart rips in to a million pieces.
A)  I see those moments and my heart breaks knowing he was not meant to be alone
B)  In those moments I loathe the fact that I just have to do what I am doing 
C)  I know children need to know how to entertain themselves
D)  I can't beat myself up EVERY SINGLE TIME something needs to be done

I get those moments where I wonder if Evan will one day realize just how very much I love him.  Not that I'm just telling him over and over (and over and over) my love for him.
I wonder if his life is full enough by what we do together.
I wonder if he will grow to feel like life was just missing something...or should I say, someone.

And then I realize that the enemy wants to make me doubt myself, and question more than I should.  He makes me want to live with this never-ending fear of not filling Evan's life enough.  To make me live in torment by what we could not control and fix.
To take away my time with Evan by filling time with doubt and fears.

This is what I know...
I love my son more than my own life.
I will always stop what I am doing to look my son in the eye as he recites his favorite part from his Batman Movie.
The cleaning can wait one hour.
Supper will get made.  There is peanut butter and bread to tie us over if supper is delayed.
I might not be able to spend every single minute entertaining Evan, but I will soak up the time we do spend together.  
I will do my best to stop beating myself up, so that I CAN truly enjoy each day with Evan.
I am okay with hearing Evan reply "You already said that to me mom" when I tell him a zillion times a day how much I love him, and how proud I am of who he is.
I will never stop hugging my son.
I will take the time to play Lego games with Evan.
I will not let the perfectionist in me cringe and take over when Evan is helping me bake banana bread and the ingredients go flying out of the bowl as he stirs.
I lay in bed with him those extra moments when he says "but we JUST started snuggling mommy!"
I will embrace those moments of frustration I may feel as he tests boundaries and "attitudes", and I will help to guide him through to understand what is (and is not) acceptable behavior.  

But I will NOT doubt his love for me.
And I will NOT doubt my love for him, and that I am doing the very best I know how.
I will accept that I will fail time to time.
I will have to get that dinner in the oven on time.
I will have to take moments to clean our home.
I will have to watch Evan entertain himself while I do these things.
But I will stop beating myself up.
I will stop thinking I am not enough for him.

I will look in to that precious little face, feel our everlasting bond...and hear the song that my heart sings every time I look at him!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hanging my head. Now, to lift it back up!

Love this girl!!
It's strange...you get a sad diagnosis of someone you love (even a pet), and it changes things.  Yet it also helps you realize other things.

Since Bailey's bone cancer diagnosis she was prescribed a pain medication that is obviously doing it's job, because it is like nothing is wrong with my girl any more!!  She barely limps!  We've been going for walks, and enjoying the sun when it shines.
And it makes it tricky not to think "maybe the vet was wrong?!  Maybe they interpreted the X-ray wrong?  Maybe there was something wrong with the machine?"  
Good grief...I was misdiagnosed when I was in grade 12!!  I was told I didn't have a broken wrist, and for the next three months I walked around in pain with a tensor bandage.  Then I went to MY doctor who did another X-ray and I get a phone call from her saying "Just exactly WHO said you didn't have a broken wrist??  It IS broken, but now it is too late to re-set it!"  Physio it was for me.
So...it CAN happen!!

However, I know.  I know I'm just in my denial stage.  

Yesterday I started to think a bit more clearly though.  
I realized something that I am not too proud of.
I have put more emotion and love in to my sweet Fur-Girl than I have...God.

I realized that I associate Bailey to my healing and my comforting than I do my own God.

Maybe because I can see Bailey looking in to my eyes.  Maybe because I can feel her head on my lap when my tears are pouring.  Maybe because she is physically present, and I can cling on to her when I feel like I am going to break.

I felt my head begin to hang in shame when I realized it is GOD who I should be putting my everything in to.  It is His word I should be running to in times of fear, sadness, loneliness.  It is HIS arms I should be wrapping myself in.  I should be surrounding myself with His presence.  

I always THINK that I do that...but I don't.

I started hearing myself saying "I don't know how I'm going to face the future without Bailey.  I don't know how I'm going to say good bye.  I don't know what I'll do without her to comfort me."

Oh my.  

Yes, I adore my Bailey girl.  I believe God placed her (like many other people) in my life for a reason.  We almost didn't buy Bailey...twice, as a puppy.  And yet we did.  She almost didn't survive her puppy life...but we are crazy enough to pour money in to our pets to try to save them.  And she survived.  She has been a good friend.  

But she shouldn't be higher on my comforter's list than God.  And I put her there.

I guess many times I felt betrayed by God.  Like He didn't hear me.  Like He wouldn't help me.  And I pushed Him away, and clung on to my dog.

I placed her higher.

I don't want to say good bye to my Bailey, but it will happen.
I won't have her to cling to.  I won't have her to lick my tears away.  I won't have her head on my lap to comfort me and let me know things will be okay.

But I have a God who wants to love me sooooo much more.  To comfort me endlessly.  To wipe away my tears.  To wrap His arms around my heart.
A God who will never leave me.

It's moments, even odd ones like this, where we realize how easy it can be to push God away because maybe He doesn't seem tangible in the physical sense.  Yet...He is there!  It is us who silence Him.  It is us who push Him away.  And then we wonder why we can't hear Him.

My bible sits, unopened.
His loving words are right there.
His guidance and encouragement and teachings are RIGHT THERE.
And I keep my bible closed because I feel like it hurts too much not to be able to understand certain "why's" in life.  I excuse myself by saying I don't WANT to be confused and upset with God, and certain passages do just that to me.  Instead of trying harder to learn, and be taught.  I sit, stubborn.
And then I wonder why.

February 13th a friend of my parents passed away from cancer.
February 14th my mom's brother passed away from cancer.
Just over a week ago, another family friend passed away from cancer.

Cancer, cancer, cancer.  

And now my dog has bone cancer.

I'm tired of cancer.

I'm also finding that these situations are creating great anxiety in me.
I'm feeling anxious about loved ones health.  
I worry about my son and my husband.
I worry about my family.

I know I am not to worry and not to fear.  And I really have to work on this, because I know how well worry and I get along (dripping in sarcasm).

So I will refocus, and remember this:

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid".  John 14:27

Friday, March 14, 2014

The beginning of good bye to my dearest friend...

Some sunny snuggles after receiving my fur-girl's news

My best friend ever!

Still always making sure I'M ok!

How do you begin to say good bye to another part of our your life?!

My sweet Bailey has been limping off and on for a while now.  
I had hoped it would just be arthritis, or making a sprained muscle/joint.
Yet, deep inside...I had another feeling...

The vet began her examination.  Checking range of motion...perfect.  And then starting to work her way down Bailey's legs and joints.  And on the leg she has been favoring...there it was.  The yelp.  And Bailey never yelps unless she is truly sore.  She never shows signs of discomfort, because she is always so busy being so darn happy and loving.
Bailey has never EVER shown a grumpy bone in her body EVER.  

For all my girl has ever been through due to poor breeding issues, and the many times she endured painful treatments...she never stopped loving and being the most beautifully tempered dog I've ever known.

The vet hoped that where she showed the sign of discomfort would be good news.  She hoped it would be related to the joint and possibly arthritis.  But I agreed to an X-ray to be sure.

The vet tech brought Bailey back, who was so stressed and just crammed right up to my side.

The vet came back in...and I knew.  And there it was...the line I hate hearing more than ANYTHING in this world:  "I'm so sorry, it's not the news I had hoped to tell you."

And I knew.  This was the beginning of good bye.  My girl has bone cancer.

And I haven't been able to stop crying since.  

I know many people think, "oh who cares?!  It is just a dog!"

Well, this dog is more than that.

This dog NEVER left my side for WEEKS and months after my first miscarriage.  She laid on my lap while I was frozen to my couch day and night.  She licked my tears that wouldn't end.  She would look in to my eyes like she knew my pain, and all she wanted to do was take it away.

When I ended up the hospital for 5 weeks after PROM with Zac...she stuck to me like glue when I got to come home for my 5 hour daily passes.  And when I came home without either of my sons...one still fighting in NICU, the other passed to heaven...my sweet Bailey once again took her post by my side.

She watched over Evan like he was a piece of glass.  She loved him, and would walk so nicely beside my and the stroller.  Almost like SHE was the proud momma!!

She has comforted me through negative embryo transfers.  She has comforted me through our last miscarriage.  She has laid by my side and rested her head on my lap, and just brings me such comfort and peace.  She has helped me through so many moments of anxiety and frustrations.  

Her eyes.  I swear they see right in to me.  And I swear it's like I can see her understanding.

She has been the silliest clown and has made me laugh.  She has been the greatest walking companion.  She is just...the greatest.

If you are not a dog lover, or pet owner and just think this is ridiculous...I feel sad that you don't know this kind of unwavering companionship and true meaning of devotion and love.

Last night I said to my husband "all I can think about is how very much I just want to go on one more boat ride with her!"  She loves being on the boat with us when we are fishing or just enjoying a ride.

Last year we bought a camper, and took her and Nash (our other boxer) with us to the lake a few times.  And she loved it.  And I loved having them with us.  And I want that again.

I want to take her for a walk at the river dog park when trees are starting to bloom.  She is the best walker with me there.  She never leaves my view.  Just walks along side me.

The saddest part is...likely none of these three hopes are going to happen.

The vet told me that usually once an animal starts showing signs of pain, this type of cancer has typically already spread to the lungs.

She went through all the possible treatments.  None of which we will subject Bailey to.
She is over 10 years old.  
She has been through enough procedures.  And treatment wouldn't extend her life much more than 6 months anyhow.
We refuse to have her final part of her life one of pain and discomfort from surgeries and treatments that may have no affect at all.

So we have decided to provide her pain relief with medication.  And just take it one day at a time.
The vet estimated that without treatment for the cancer she may have about 4 months.  But that is the guess.  All we can do is monitor.
The hart thing I realized today...she showed signs of pain a while ago now when she would get bumped by Nash.  So...I really don't know if 4 months would even be accurate.  
But again...one day at a time.  

I hate the looming "when".  I hate planning a good bye.  I hate thinking about how it will be without her.  And who is going to be my comfort pal, and my snuggle buddy, and my confidant.  

I hate the reality of losing her.  And losing such a connection to the most major part of my life.  I know that sounds dramatic...but I tie her to my infertility journey, losses, Evan's life, and an ended journey of hoping for another child.
Without her...it just feels like so much has come to an end with her.

But I am so so so grateful to her for so much love.  For her friendship.  For the way she managed to bring me out of such sadness.  And I will never allow her to suffer.  When I see that it is more than she deserves...I will find the strength to say good bye.

When we had to put our first boxer Tag down, I wasn't able to go with my husband because it was literally the middle of the night and Evan was asleep.
I was able to have my final memory of my sweet Tag a happy one...watching him so excited to go for a truck ride.

But with Bailey...because she has been with me through so much...I owe it to her to be with her to the end.  And I can't imagine it any other way.  It will break my heart.  But I need to be with her to hold her and snuggle her and thank her as she falls to her eternal slumber.

Man, I hate this.  

I hate good bye.

So for now, we will take each day one at a time...and will watch her.  
Today I went and bought her a cozy new blanket...just for her.
I let her have a chicken finger (it's not like it will hurt her now!).
I've washed the dogs pillows, and they are both happily sleeping side by side.

She has always slept on our bed...but she will definitely be at my side during the night now.

I wish the weather would get a bit more sunny and warm so that I can take her for a walk, just her and I.

I adore having a dog in the family.  But this is the part that makes it so hard.

She isn't just a dog.  

She is our family.  

And I am going to miss my best friend so very much.

I love you Bailey.  And I thank you for being more human than any actual human I know.  Thank you for never leaving my side, and for your unwavering devotion and love.

I am going to spoil you rotten these days/weeks, whatever time we have left!  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

He's 5!!

Evan's Batman Cake!

Zac's Cake
Batman theme this year
Silly birthday fun with family and friends!

Blowing out the candles!
He is FIVE!!!!  Where is the time going!  

What a great day celebrating this precious little boy!  And remembering Zac as well!

This year it was Batman.  And bowling!  
How fun to watch 6 kids bowling and giggling and just enjoying each other.

It is always a tricky time for me.  And of course, I can't do one cake without the other.  It was fun to create one that Evan wanted, and add a little extra fun with Zac's cake!

Five years ago these precious little boys entered our lives, and changed us drastically.  We've marveled every day of Evan's life, and have missed our sweet Zac growing beside his brother.

These little miracles who brought us such joy, and heart breaking pain.

Two little lives who impacted us in two very different ways.

Though, I am forever grateful.  I am grateful for the months I carried these sweet boys within me.  I am grateful for the strength they created in me during very scary days.  I am thankful for the few short days we had to know Zac and touch him and speak to him, and ultimately to hold him as he drifted to heaven.
I am strengthened by the fighting spirit Evan showed in NICU.
I am blessed to watch the boy he is growing in to.
I am honored to be his mommy.

Five years ago these precious boys entered this world one minute apart, and will forever live apart until heaven joins us all together once more.

I celebrate the boy you are, my sweet Evan.
I cherish every breathing moment we have together.
I love you more than you will ever know.

And my sweet Zac...you are with me always.  Forever in my thoughts and heart.  And every March 6th, you are celebrated with your brother.  We love you, and we miss you.

Every year I watch as Evan blows out his birthday candles, and I see Zac's sitting on the counter.  I wonder...what would it have been like to watch both of our sons blowing their candles out on their cakes...side by side.

There is joy.  How could there not be joy in watching how far Evan has come!  
There is joy in remembering Zac's eyes, and touch.
There is joy in knowing how full our hearts are with love for our boys.

What a fun day we had indeed!  
What fun we had celebrating together.

And how grateful we will forever be.

We love you!!

Evan...we are so so so proud of you!  So very proud indeed!