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!!