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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas - oh how funny

Christmas fun
Remembering Zac and making him part of the season too!
Ready for a big day of fun!!
Mommy's lil' elf!
Daddy...OOOHHHHH, I mean SANTA and Evan!! :) hee hee hee hee hee
Well, we had a pretty good Christmas. The morning brought fresh tears and sadness for me, but after a good cry and a visit to Zac's grave I was ready to face the day with actual joy.
We had fun opening Evan's presents and watching him more thrilled with the paper and strings then the actual presents! And then a nice day spent between Brett's and then my family. Evan was completely messed up that day!! He didn't have a morning nap and didn't nap until 4pm which was frightening...but he was still in happy spirits. Once we got to my parents he crashed and slept a couple hours. We had just enough time to eat and then have some fun with Brett dressing up as Santa for Evan and my nephews and my niece! It was HILARIOUS!!!!!!!! My nephew and niece totally bought it and their faces were PRICELESS. Brett and I had been killing ourselves laughing getting Brett ready. We are convinced Evan knew it was Brett because when I put him on Santa's lap he just looked up at Brett and it was almost like he shrugged his shoulders and decided to just "go along" with it!
I knew we couldn't take Evan to Santa (at the mall) this year so I brought Santa to Evan and the kids.
I had told Brett I didn't want any gifts this year. I got my gifts...Zac and Evan, and that's all I could ask for. It was a tough year figuring out the balance of joy and sadness with this being the first year without Zac at our family gatherings or in front of the tree or sitting on Santa's lap with his brother. It also seems like yesterday since we lost our first babies. It has been 2 years since we had to say goodbye. It's hard to imagine, yet as fresh today as it was that sad December day! But we truly savoured every moment with Evan. We feel beyond blessed with this amazing little guy!! He continually blows us away every day we look at him!!! He is full of life, and so inquisitive and just wants to take everything in. He is full of smiles and ready to give a giggle or snuggle. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about how much joy he brings to my life.
In all the joy I feel anxiety too facing the one year marks of the things that began a troubled chain of events. I feel my chest tighten and my hands shake time to time. I try not to focus on it, but it's kind of impossible.
I have to thank a dear dear woman who lovingly gave me a card this year and in it mentioned the loss of her brother and how it's almost more difficult not to have people mention his name...and it's so true. As hard as people may think it may be for me to mention Zac's name...it's more painful for them not too! As strange as this sounds...I am greatful to one of my sister-in-laws who shed tears at the kitchen table when I gave her a card with our family photos but our "In Joy and in Sorrow" "announcement" info for Zac and Evan. I am greatful for those tears because in that instant I knew Zac is not forgotten, and that someone else remembers the sadness. Those tears meant the world to me. And it's so funny, because when someone gets teary I automatically say "don't do it"...but really...I don't want to stop it because I know someone is shedding those tears in loving memory. It is the day when others no longer shed tears or mentions Zac's name that will tear my heart out.
Anyhow, Evan is doing great. Rolling around like a mad-man, jabbering non-stop, and has a third tooth coming through...an EYE TOOTH!! It's adorable. He has outgrown yet MORE of his onesies. Tonight I went on a hunt for 6-12 month onesies at Old Navy and they had nothing but GARBAGE!! I was soooooooooooooooooooo disappointed!!! There was literally NO boy clothes. A couple 3-6 month onesies and some odds and ends. Cute pj's, but nothing useful in terms of clothes. So I went to Walmart and it was just as bad!! I was SOOOOOOOOOO annoyed!!!!!
Oh well, I try a couple other places and see if anyone else remembers that boys need clothes too!
Well, I suppose I should sign off. I just wanted to share a couple of Santa photos...MUCH to Brett's opposition!!
Hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"...let it be an opportunity for joy"

Well, for I think the first time since Zac passed away I pulled out my Bible that I had shoved under my bed in frustration and confusion and...well, lets face it...anger. I also pulled out a book that I had read a while after we lost our first twins. A book that I worked through before moving forward with our second round of IVF. It is called Finding God's Path Through Your Trials by Elizabeth George. I opened the book randomly and fell on a verse at the beginning of the chapter. Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. -James 1:2 Wow...I've read it before and was troubled by the thought of "HOW is one to use trouble to be an opportunity for joy?" When everything around a person seems to be falling apart, how do you be joyful? And if I didn't have God in my life...it would be impossible. I would have no hope. I've spent so much time angry at God for Him "allowing" the troubles for Zac and for not "fixing" things and not sparing our sons life. True...I'm still sad, and always will have sadness on moments lost with Zac, but...the anger is slowly subsiding. I know God didn't do this TO us. Zac has always been God's child...we just got the honor of having him in our lives for the 28 weeks I carried him and the three days after his birth. Just like Evan is God's child, yet I have the pure honor of carrying on being his earthly mommy. I have been entrusted to care for a child of God. I don't understand why this happened. I try to look to the future to see how the impact of what has happened will benefit others, or if it even will. I hope so. But I'm starting to learn to try NOT to understand...because I never will. I'm trying not to look at others twin pregnancies and births and wonder why did I lose 3 of my four twins? I'm trying not to cringe every time I hear another twin pregnancy announcement or commercial on TV mentioning twins. Even the word "twin highway" is like a daggar in my heart! And I can't do this anymore. In the book that I read one point said "Refuse to compare your trial or your suffering or your life with anyone else's". And a verse to accompany that was 2 Corinthians 10:12 "You are not to compare yourself or your dilemma with your peers. To do so is not wise." I have an opportunity for joy...my son that lives, my precious gift...Evan. And my sorrow and grief has hampered opportunities for joy. My fears from what happened to Zac have overshadowed moments of joy with Evan because I'm too focused on being terrified of what "might" happen to Evan. The risks that Evan still has for health issues always loom over my head...but we are doing everything we can as parents, and family to protect his life to OUR abilities. Yes, we pray for Evan...but we also do our human part of the responsibility to take precautions. The sorrow of loss and grief can no longer overshadow this sweet, amazing child that I am honored to be entrusted to care for. The sorrow and grief will remain...but it can not be front and center. The tears will absolutely fall, and the realizations of moments lost will hit with great force. BUT, Evan lives. He is here. He is precious, and awe inspiring. And while I feel the blessing of his life, I hurt for dear friends who ache with empty arms. Not for one moment do I forget the very real ache of the sorrow of empty arms. For 9 years that ache was ever present for me. Today I especially ache for a dear friend who received sad news. My heart hurts and cries for her and her husband. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I ache for others in my support system who are dealing with losses this holiday season either due to no pregnancies or loss of pregnancy and child/ren. My heart is with each one of you. My heart also aches for those who struggle with so many questions/prayers that seem to go unanswered. And I have no answers. All I can do is stand along side as a friend to pray and support and love. It's in these times of sorrow that makes me think...how does a person see anything as an opportunity for joy? I don't think it means that we are supposed to just shrug our shoulders and get up and start skipping through life. Life will ALWAYS contain struggles and sadness and disappointment and loss. And I don't think we are being asked to just brush it off and live in a bubble of disillusioned joy. But I think we are to learn that God doesn't say He will make life easy. He doesn't say He will give us all the desires of our heart. He doesn't say "yes" every time. But He always has open arms. We can always make our requests known. And even through the disappointment and sadness we can always be assured that He is there...even when He seems silent (although I'm learning that silence is ME pushing Him AWAY in anger). And even though there will be disappointment...there will be joy as well to help us through. I can't put such grand expectations on God...He isn't just a "yes" man. He never said He was. But yet as children we are taught "ask and ye shall receive". I think sometimes we grow up interpreting God and His word at times to skew in our favor...and then when it doesn't turn out the way WE expected...we get angry. I think sometimes we need to use caution in how we as humans choose to interpret God's word. Although one thing that can never be interpretted wrong...His love for us. God knows what it's like to lose a child. When I get angry I think of that, and think...in that case he COULD have changed the end result, but because His son died for us...my son now lives a true life in heaven...where one day we as believers will all be together. What a day that will be. One thing I will focus on today and each day forward...I am loved. I am not forgotten. YOU are loved, and YOU are not forgotten. And THAT is the reason for the season.

Monday, December 21, 2009

From the heart

Well, last night after some errands I went by the grave yard to "visit" Zac. It was dark, and I thought I'd be alone, but there was another couple there visiting a little one that passed away a few years ago. There are two specific graves that I will often walk past and say hello, and the couple was visiting the one. We exchanged "pained" hello's. I'm not sure if these were the parents or grandparents...but I know it was family. These two grave sites are decorated SO nicely for the Christmas season. It made me want to do more for Zac's. Anyhow, after saying hello I just sat over Zac's grave, swept off the snow from his plaque and the tears just began to flow. But they weren't ONLY tears for my sweet little Zac. They were tears for a dear friend of mine...a friend whom I have never met in person. See, we share a sad common bond, not only have we both dealt with infertility, but we both lost our first twins in the month of December. Me in '07, she in '08. I found myself sitting there just aching so deeply. For her, and for others I have come to know who struggle with empty arms either through no pregnancy or lost pregnancy or lost child. I started aching so deeply for those who have lost loved ones and now face the holidays with these empty spots around the tree. And although I forever feel the aching of sorrow with missing Zac...I feel a strange sense of comfort that I have a place to go to visit him. I didn't get that with our first twins, and that always created such a struggle in my heart. Even though I know where all my children ultimately are, there is just something with having someplace HERE to visit. In the beginning of this month Brett and I attended a candle light memorial service put on by the funeral home that took care of Zac's arrangements. They do this every year. Part way through the service each person in attendance walks to the front, says who they are there remembering and we are each given a lit candle. At the end of the service the lights were dimmed and we were reminded that even though our loved ones are no longer with us, they are still here in spirit to light our lives, and that we are all connected by this. It was a tough service. We brought Evan with us even though we are to try to avoid crowds for Evan's health safety. But we knew we needed him with us. And I'm so glad we did that. On the back of the program there was a poem that I want to share. The tears broke lose and the sobs were hard to contain. But the words of this poem were beautiful.
Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below
With tiny lights like heaven's stars, reflecting in the snow;
The sight is so spectacular; please wipe away the tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear;
But the music can't compare with the choir that's up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description, the way the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you near
Be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.
I send you each a special gift from my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, LOVE is the gift, more precious than gold,
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other, as Christ has said to do,
For I can't count the blessing, or love God has for you.
Have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
And remember I'm spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.
- Author Unknown
For each hurting spirit this season...I pray for peace and somehow joy! You are not alone!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Pics for smiles

My lil' reindeer!!
Cool dude in uncles hat!
Enjoying an awesome yummy mooshy banana in my meshy thingy!
Get that monkey off my lil' cousins back! I'll save you Mason!!
Me and my bud...my cousin Mason!
Just a few pictures. Yesterdays post was so heavy that I wanted today to put smiles on faces :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Silence...not a good thing some days

This morning started off pretty good! Laughter, smiles, giggles...it was wonderful. Then Evan went for his morning nap, Brett was out, the dogs were sleeping and there was no noise in my house. And it hit. That overwhelming wave of sadness that just hits in an instant with no warning and no stopping it. And then the whispers of lies from the enemy "where was the miracle for you son? Your sons will never play together. No one will remember Zac..." WOW...those whispers were pure toxic and I almost fell for them! I almost started to believe that we weren't "worth" it. Then a friend...(who I've never even met in real life!) reminded me how much Zac's life has impacted people, and from that, he will never be forgotten. And that although my boys may never get to grow up together here on earth...they will play together in eternity. I had also receive a precious email from my most special NICU nurse who lovingly reminded me that we loved Zac the best that we could and we looked beyond our own selfish desires and saw what Zac just couldn't take any more. That we loved him unconditionally, and unselfishly. I know these things are coming up because I'm being faced with these quick approaching 1 year milestones and memories. Our first and last picture at Christmas with both boys inside me, the night my water broke, the weeks in the hospital, the night I went in to labor and Zac went in to distress, the days of wondering and being called urgently to the NICU each time Zac began to crash, and then the morning we were told the worst news ever...and the day my faith was shaken to the core. Yet in these markers of sadness there are markers of joy. The 28 weeks I got to have with both my boys. Rocking them in my glider chair that I had dreamed of having for almost 10 years! Then while in the hospital the daily NST tests that allowed me to hear Zac's heart beating and him hiccuping. Watching the boys on weekly ultrasounds. Feeling them stretching, kicking, and moving all over the place, and then when they were sleeping and I wanted reassurance I would put my ipod earphones on my belly and play music to wake them up! :) Watching Doctors amazed that I was still there in the morning...for 5 weeks. And in the fear of the days when the boys were born I also got to marvel at Evan...this precious boy who was doing so well, when he was unknowingly and unprepared to enter a world he didn't belong in that early. The gift of my boys, although time with Zac was far too short. Now days are filled with wonder as I watch Evan just taking in everything around him, and watching him grow...and seeing the strength he posses. You see...I am greatful. It's not all just focused on the sadness and the grieving. Yet, just as my sons were meant to grow up hand in hand...I am now in a place where my sorrow and joy go hand in hand. It is the way it is. And although some may think I sound like I'm "wallowing" or not focusing on Evan...this couldn't be farther from the truth. Again, I am a mother with one son in her arms and another who I will never hold on this earth again. We each have our burdens to carry. I'm fortunate to have an amazing husband to walk beside me and pick me up when I feel I am falling down. I have this amazing child that gives me reason to breathe. I have wonderful family who help us out and who love Evan to bits and pieces with us! What would I do without them! Christmas time isn't always the rosy cheer-filled season that the TV advertises or the cards print out. Sometimes people are hurting and they are left to feel a sense "abandonment" almost. I think of others who have experienced recent loss of loved ones, people who are praying for their own miracles, people struggling financially or with health issues, people who don't have a home or money to buy their children presents with. People who won't get a nice turkey dinner or cards or gifts. I just wish I could do something for each one of these people. No one should have to feel alone. If we could each just do one thing for one person...think of all the people who would feel like they actually matter! Through my grief, I have been blessed. And for that I am greatful.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We have take off!!!!

So this morning I had Evan on the floor while I was doing some dishes...just on his usual play mat. Next thing I know I'm looking down at him right at my feet!!! He has decided it actually IS worth the effort to roll around!!! And now he can't be stopped!! It is soooooo cool! He has been partially rolling for some time now but I guess he didn't see the fun in fully rolling around. And now that he has had a glimpse of where he can get!!!! Unstoppable!! Too fun!!! I've been talking about these last 15 preggo pounds that I've been wanting to drop...and I think I now will be doing that with much more ease chasing after little man!! Just wait till he starts crawling...and then walking!! I am super proud of him, yet it's emotional because my teeny tiny little boy is turning in to a much more active, independent boy! My baby is growing up! The other emotional side is watching all this action and just feeling this unbelievable ache seeing the empty spot beside Evan. The spot where Zac should be, rolling and crashing around with his brother. Giggling together. Grabbing each others ears and feet and chewing on each other. It's tough. But I still see the joy and pride I have in Evan while he is hitting all these milestones. And I know his brother (well, brothers) are watching from above while they smile at their little brother. I know they are cheering him on!! On another note...Evan has cut a second tooth. He now has his two front bottom teeth. ADORABLE!!!!!!!!! But oh so painful when he decides he wants to use my finger as a chew toy!! Anyhow, Evan is napping so I better take this opportunity to get in a shower!! Yikes!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Smiling while remembering

I just had to share these pictures!! The one above was taken Dec 5/08. I was 15 weeks here with Zac and Evan and on our way to a staff christmas party :) The one below was taken Dec 11/08 at 16 weeks.
I don't know why I'm posting old pregnancy pictures, but I never got to share these moments with many people...especially not on the blog. So I just really wanted to share some over the next few weeks as we appoach the final times of belly shots. I would take a picture of myself every Thursday because that was when a new week would begin! I had soooo much fun doing this and watching my own belly growing on the camera!!
Pretty sweet belly at just 15 and 16 weeks hey!! I was showing by week 8!!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update on Evan

Today I am grateful. I am grateful for the sound of my son jabbering away like crazy on my bed while I also hear his daddy snoring!! So funny!! I am grateful that after 10 years and heartache, we have a son in our bed. I am grateful for the fight his brother held for us, and I am grateful that God did not choose to take Evan from us as well. I am grateful that I have this honor of calling myself "mom". Through unbelievable pain I have been given this ray of light, and I am grateful for him!! Well, we are 2 of 4 appointments done in a 5 day span!! On Monday Evan received his second/final dose of H1N1 and seasonal flu. I think I already mentioned that though (sorry if I'm repetitive...very tired these days!!). Thursday was Evan's appointment with one of his NICU doctors for a regular follow up. Dr. Wonko was thrilled with how Evan is looking!! He said that if he didn't know Evan and didn't know that he was 12 weeks early, he would never guess today that Evan is a preemie!!! That was nice to hear! He said that Evan is perfectly proportioned and is gaining weight very well. He did the regular run through of check points and Evan received check marks in all areas. PHEW!! It's STILL very nerve wracking going to these appoinments because we know the reality of the life a preemie...things can creep up at any given point. But to date we rejoice in having our little man doing so well. Of course it was again stressed the importance of this season of RSV in particular for Evan. Dr. W was happy to hear that we aren't planning any big trips and that we are going to be around home. He reinforced the importance of keeping ill people away from Evan and the importance of proper hygiene care when handling Evan. He said he knows we'll hear often how healthy Evan looks, so it may be overlooked the reality that looks are only part of the puzzle. Evan looks healthy, but in immune compromised, so therefore we can't just trust he will breeze through this season just because he looks healthy. It's nice to have the doctors support each of us as preemie parents and to help us understand that our house rules for our children are not just neurotic rantings, but very real guidelines. I had a good discussion with Dr. W and he helped encourage our efforts and all that we are doing for our son. Evan now weighs 17lbs 11ou!!!!!!!!!! And is 27 inches (69 cms)!! He is just blowing through existing clothes. I've packed two tubs of his clothes away and had to go out to buy more stuff for him for 6-12 months!! Right now he is in 9 month sleepers (from Costco....flannel jammies...OH SO COMFY!) but even those are starting to get short on him!! CRAZY!! So that was a good and encouraging visit. Then on Friday we were back at the hospital for round two of Evan's RSV immunization shots. This is month 2 of 5 months of double-dose shots for him. Strange, but Evan KNEW what was happening. He was just staring down the nurses (two nurses do the shots together so that it is only one shock for the babies when they need two needles) and was fussing. And then when they started to rub the alcohol swab on his legs...he started to whine and try to pull away. :( POOR KID!!! Well, then when they did the needles the tears began, and then the LOOK on Evan's face was that of total betrayal and hurt!! It's so sad that in order to keep my son somewhat protected from all this stuff we must inflict pain on him :( BUT, it's a necessary evil. Better that then him back in hospital! He rebounds quickly though, so that was good. Monday we are back at the hospital AGAIN for his second and final follow up from his hernia surgery. And then Tuesday we see my regular doctor for his 9mth/6mth wellness check. After that we are good for appointments for a couple of weeks. Ahhhhhh, it will be a nice break. Evan's appetite is relatively back to normal now that tooth number one is up. He is drinking his regular amounts from his bottle and eating his food. He is still chewing like mad on everything, but we have been able to cut out the Tylenol for a while. So that is the latest on Evan. He makes me laugh every day and he warms my heart. He helps to bring healing through the hurting, though the hurting will always remain. I miss his brother, our son. Thoughts of last year and my big belly and the excitement of Christmas...those memories are precious, but painful. I've started reading from an extremely helpful website from a group called CLIMB - Center for Loss in Multiple Birth. The information is like reading my own thoughts, the stories of other mothers so familiar. For once I don't feel so very alone in this unique situation of being joyful, yet grieving all at once. It is helping me validate things in my mind and my life. It is helping me to realize I will always be a mother of multiples...no matter who doesn't see it. And Zac will always be a part of our lives and our family, and there is nothing wrong about wanting to speak about him and make him a part of things. I remember a story a lady shared with a group of us on one of my support groups...when she lost one of her children her mother-in-law ALWAYS made their son a part of everything even though he was never to be physically present. She would bring over little "gifts" on each birthday, and this little boys name was mentioned at gatherings with her other grandchildren. She would stop by to bring her daughter-in-law a flower every so often when she was thinking of her grandson. This story touched me. It touched me that a person wouldn't be afraid to show that they remember, and that they want this little life to continue on. Thinking about that story still brings tears to my eyes. As difficult as it was for me to put up a Christmas tree this year, I bought ornaments for BOTH Evan AND Zac, and still have one special one that I made for our babies that we lost Dec '07. For Evan and Zac I have cute ornaments of reindeer holding an "E" and one holding a "Z". I also bought two ornaments that hold pictures, and am putting in a picture of Evan and one of Zac. My sons can at least be together in this sense. And I will not disclude Zac...ever. He lived, he breathed, he looked in to our eyes. He knew us, he felt us and we love him forever. I know that he is healthy, happy and loved in heaven. I know he is not alone. I know he will never suffer again. And I know he wants his mommy to be happy. And for me to be happy means never having Zac "tucked away" and not mentioned. It means remembering that Evan is a twin, and that he has a special brother. That both my boys are fighters, and both my boys are precious. And both have a very special place in our lives. Well, I hear Evan waking from his nap, so I should go. Blessings to everyone, and thank you for your continued prayers. As usual, please continue to pray for Evan's health and safety, and please pray for peace in my heart this Christmas season. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The new photo I have up of Zac and Evan...explanation in write up below.
Evan and Marley...HUGS (and pokes and pinches and squeezes!! hee hee hee)
Evan and his future wife Marley!! hee hee hee. Evan's NICU buddy!!
Evan's Christmas present from Marley. He LOVES LOVES LOVES this toy!!!! Bright and noisy! Sweet!!
Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms. She is breathing, but she is dying. She may look young, but on the inside she has become ancient. She smiles, but her heart sobs. She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS but she IS NOT all at once. She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity. A child that loses a parent is an orphan. A husband who loses his wife is a widower. A wife who loses her husband is a widow. However, there is no word for a parent that loses a child. For there is no word to describe such pain. - Author Unknown
Oh how true this poem can be. Yet as I typed it out I realizes that although I still ache every day and miss Zac so much, and feel sad for the brother Evan has lost...I realized I AM starting to breathe again, and smile with meaning. I am blessed that God allowed us to "keep" Evan, and I am humbled by how such precious little lives have touched many. I was a fortunate person to be able to get to have three precious days with Zac...to get to know my little man. To be able to hold him and touch him and capture memories by photo. As much as I hurt and ache for him...I am starting to feel the warmth of memories too.
Today is 9 months since Zac went to heaven...the time of a full-term pregnancy. Yesterday I took a huge step and took down the photo collage that we had done for Zac's funeral, and replaced it with a frame that has Zac AND Evan side-by-side...at least, in the photo. And even though we know that picture was taken as our son took his final breaths, it is a beautiful picture of our child with no tubes, no IV's, no monitors, no puffiness from the meds, warmly wrapped in a precious blue knit blanket and toque. I look at my angels in these pictures and now more than ever I see how very much alike my sons looked!! They were fraternal, yet they look identical!
I am a mother of a twin-less club. A mother of the club of children gone all too soon. No stranger will look at us with the awe of seeing multiples, yet Evan is. I am a mother of two sets of multiples. And although Evan appears to be a singleton...he has a partner waiting for him in heaven along with other siblings...and one day all our children will be together and what a party we will have. I have comfort knowing that Zac is with his brothers, yet sadness that Evan is here without. I wonder about the future, but am too afraid to pray my requests. Right now we focus on the present. I have 6 little frostie babes waiting for a chance to snuggle in to mommy's tummy (NO, not all at the same time!!!), yet I hold fear that pain will be the only result. It's hard to regain confidence and hope after so much heart ache.
I have still struggled to decorate my house with Christmas stuff. My GORGEOUS real tree stands there bare and I just don't find the "omph" to do it. Brett even asked about my ceramic village that is usually the very first thing I put up at Christmas. All still in boxes.
And it's not that I don't want it to be a special year for Evan, and not that I feel too depressed to do these things. I guess I just keep learning more and more through our pain that joy does not exist by how fancy I make my house. I can have that same experience just being with my family. HOWEVER...I AM now a mother, and want to make these occassions so very special for Evan. I look at this little wonder, this precious miracle and gift, and think...how can I not do everything in my power to make his life the best that I possibly can?! I am not the only one who has gone through loss. He has too. His daddy has too. So together as our little family it is time to start drawing on our strengths, our joy of watching Evan experience life and new things.
On another note...EVAN! Evan is doing well. He is having a tough time with this teething experience. Although today he seems to be a bit better than the last 3-4 days!! Poor little guy! I KNOW when something is up with Evan when he is more quiet and solemn and laid back. But today he started to get a bit more energy back. And this mornings bottle went down a bit better. The last 3-4 days I've struggled to get Evan to take even 3-4ounces per bottle!! Yet by the evening he'd do better and then DEVOUR his food!! He now has mastered and enjoys: pureed chicken (his favorite meat so far), pureed beef, carrots, avocado and for fruits he eats bananas and pears. Yesterday and today I've given him some prunes too to help him out, so to speak! Next on the list of veggies are peas! I'm having a blast preparing this stuff!!!! He was not a fan of lamb, so I chucked what was left and we are going to try pureed pork chops next for meat!!
He is rolling over back to front as he sees fit (he can do it, but would rather not exert the energy!! It's so funny!!), but doesn't like staying on his tummy too long. But he still prefers rolling front to back best of all!! We do hangstring stretches daily, and he is getting more and more stable with sitting on his own...but still just for shorter periods.
It's harder to realize that even though according to Evan's birth of 9 months, he is still technically only 6 months developmentally. And right on track where he should be for his corrected age. That's the tricky part of being a parent of a preemie...not expecting more than one should!! But really, he is doing really well.
He LOVES toys that light up and make noise...as does any child!! It's so fun to watch him!!!!
I have visions of us playing floor hockey and soccer the older he gets!! And although I don't want to fast forward time, I am excited for these new adventures!!
On Monday Evan has his second dose of H1N1 AND seasonal flu vaccinations. UGH, on top of teething!!!! He did really well. Cried a few minutes but then with all the people around he was easily distracted...especially since his uncle and cousin were there too!!
Tomorrow we go to the hospital for Evan's regular check up with his neonatologist doctor. Should be fun to see how much he is weighing and how long he is. Because if his clothes are any indication...he has stretched QUITE a bit from the last visit!!! Last night I finally had to go and buy a few more pants and shirts all 6-12 months!!! I've been trying to get in the last uses of some of his 3-6 and 6-9 month onesies...but it was starting to look quite humorous with his neckline stretched down and his sleeves riding up!!
Then Friday we go back to the hospital for Evan's second round of RSV vaccinations. Another 2 needles. JUST when he was probably starting to feel a bit better from Monday's pokes!! But these ones he seems to rebound from VERY easily.
Yesterday Evan had a visit with his NICU girlfriend Marley!! Ahhhhh, it is always sooooo good to see Leah and Mitch and Marley!!! I wish we could be closer in living proximity, but we will take advantage of any visit we can! Marley is looking AWESOME too!!!! We had the kids "standing" facing each other and they were holding hands and grabbing at each other. It was ADORABLE!!!!!!
Anyhow, that is the latest with Evan. Please pray that he will start to regain his appetite from this teething, and that our next appointments will go smoothly. It is always somewhat nerve-wracking going for his Neonatal follow ups. So I guess if you could pray for me too!
Well, better run and get some stuff done. Evan's nap is almost over and once again I've ignored everything I need to get done!! I'm going to go and get my decorations upstairs at least!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two years ago today...

Wow, it's hard to believe that two years ago today Brett and I learned of the loss of our first babies...identical twins. I had no idea that I had miscarried, and we learned when we went for a "routine" ultra sound to see the babies...only to be told "I'm so sorry, I don't know how to tell you this..." Those words as loud today as they did that day in the office. And then walking out the office knowing we had lost our babies. Something I never imagined would happen. It's hard to lose a child at ANY time of year, but when it's Christmas...something about that just really hurts. Watching people full of joy and cheer and you know you are walking around with this smile but huge scars inside. I've become so much more sensitive to others wondering how many other people walk around with that same pleasant "hiding" smile. That loss was the hardest day of my life. Then to have to drive to the hospital a few days later for my D&C...when we left that evening I felt like I had left my soul in that hospital. And the many months to follow were a battle to find myself again. Thank heavens for a wonderful husband and family. Those friends who stuck by me were angels too, and I am grateful for those who continue to remember our first babies with us. I thought that Zac and Evan were "redemption" for this loss in some strange way. No, of course their lives never replaced the lives of our first children. But I was certain that because of such a painful loss we would not be put through something like that again. And then week 23 brought the fear and questions. I am so very grateful for the three days we had with Zac. With memories together. Touching him, smelling him, loving him, and watching him look at us with his precious little searching eyes. This year has been difficult. This Christmas continues to feel difficult. And I struggle with making this a special year for our precious gift Evan while struggling through the sadness of our losses. Yesterday Brett and I went and bought a REAL christmas tree. I just couldn't face our artificial tree...not after all that it reminds me of. And we had such a good time picking out the tree and getting it set up. I've yet to decorate it, but boy, my house smells good. And now I think I want to do this every year! I was remembering back to when I was a kid and my parents would "drag" us to however many tree lots before purchasing a tree...and I remember being so cold and wanting to go home so bad. But you know what...after yesterday...I cherish that special memory!!!!!! And now I want to carry that on with our son! Thank you mom and dad for leaving us with so many precious memories...even though at the time we thought it was just "horrible". hee hee hee hee. We are off to a memorial candle light service this afternoon being put on by Mourning Glory. They did Zac's funeral arrangements. It is going to be tough...but once I realized the date of today...I knew I couldn't turn down the invitation. It's just nice to have a place to go where we not only remember our children, but a place where we can celebrate our children too. I may not have the house full of children I dreamed of here on earth...but I sure do in heaven!!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - FINAL ENTRY 11

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com
I always forget that my blog post pictures in the opposite order I post them! These were supposed to be last, but that's okay!!!
So since you'd have to start at post one and work your way back, I'll re-type what I wrote initially.
On Nov 28/09 we had family photos done by Lisa Landrie. AMAZING!!!! She is the best, and I so so so so so recommend her!!!!!! Anyhow...this day was one that was both so very special and meaningful, yet difficult. After our 10 year journey of wondering if we'd ever be a family...here we are...photos and all. Yet, in becoming a family we've also endured the loss of three children. These family pictures filled me full of smiles and joy and blessings...yet I had to work really really hard at keeping the tears down at knowing that our precious little Zac is not seen in these pictures. Only in our hearts where we carry him every day. And that is what these pictures above represent. I asked if we could do this pose so that Zac COULD be a part of these pictures. I wanted ones of Brett and I blowing kisses to heaven to Zac, and our other babies. And I had hoped to catch Evan looking up...and we got one!! These pictures bring tears to my eyes.
Evan is such a poser for the camera!!!! But I guess since he has had a camera in his face since day one of his entrance to this world and pretty much every day since...he is very used to it. He did soooooo good! These were all during his nap time, yet he was such a trooper!!!! By the end when I put him in his car seat to go...he was OUT COLD before I even fastened the buckles!!!!
We had such a great time doing this, and we will most certainly do it again!
Lisa, thank you for making these memories so alive for us!!!!! You did such an amazing job and it was so great getting to know you!!!! Until next time!!!

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART TEN

Photos created by Lisa Landre. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART NINE

Photos created by Lisa Landre. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART EIGHT

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART SEVEN

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART SIX

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART FIVE

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com

FAMILY PHOTOS!!!! by Lisa Landrie - PART FOUR

Photos created by Lisa Landrie. www.lisalandrie.com