After a thorough cleaning with the good ol' Lysol wipes, Evan got to swing on a swing in the park! Then we went for a slide.
So, last week we had a few gorgeous days of weather. One evening Brett and I took Evan and the dogs for a walk in my wonderful neighborhood, that I will miss greatly once we move!! :(
ANYHOW, on the way home from our walk we stopped at the little park that is just right around the corner from our place. Let me tell you...I have DREAMED of the day when I would be able to take a child of MY OWN to this park to push on the swings and slide down the slide with.
It has two swings, two dump truck rides, a rocket with two seats...do you see where I'm going with this? Yes...two of everything.
When we learned after our first round of IVF that we were expecting identical twins (and lost our triplet early in the pregnancy)...the first thing I thought of was this park by my house! I was finally going to be able to take my twins to this park and play with them. And then that dream brutally and cruelly ended.
After our second fresh IVF round and then learning of our fraternal twins...again, my thoughts went to this park (well...it was a good couple months before I let myself daydream of this park once more).
And again...I am faced that my twins are now twin-less. One twin-less in heaven...one twin-less on earth. And that second swing beside Evan will remain empty, that second dump truck ride will be unridden, that second seat on the rocket ride will go without Zac's bottom sitting on it.
Don't get me wrong...that day in the park with Evan was so unbelievably precious to me, and it took EVERYTHING in me not to burst in to tears of gratitude and thankfulness. Even though I battled the sadness of missing Zac...I was so thankful that Evan is HERE with us. He survived. My son was granted life with us. And after all these years of daydreaming about that park, I am able to take my son there.
Although, after we move it will no longer be a 2 minute walk around the corner to the park. And that kind of makes me sad. But...on to the next park.
I felt so proud pushing Evan in that swing! I felt so full of life sliding down that slide with him. Even though half of me ached so deeply...I was able to smile and mean it whole heartedly.
That moment, that day...meant the world to me.
Then on Thursday I was at Safeway getting a few things for a salad. I could hear this commotion going on and looked over to see two disabled people in their wheelchairs with some of the staff surrounding the one who was extremely distraught and saddened. Then I could hear "I lost everything. I lost my wallet, my watch...I lost everything." He either misplaced these items or had them taken from his backpack on his wheelchair. But he knew that he had these items with him when he left and now they were not there. He was so upset, and so scared.
And I stood there in the produce aisle, and tears just started to pour down my cheeks. In a second I thought...that could have been my son. That could have been Zac. Yet according to the doctors, he wouldn't have even been able to do anything independently, and certainly wouldn't have been able to speak.
And the thought went through my mind..."how can I be grateful that Zac did not have to live this life? How can I say that I am grateful that he was spared what the doctors were telling us? Because in being grateful...that means I am okay that he is no longer here in my arms. And for that...I am NOT grateful."
I am not grateful that his membranes ruptured. I am not grateful that I felt him losing fluid every day. I am not grateful that he had very little fluid and very little ability to feely move around inside of me. I am not grateful that every day was a ticking time bomb for him. I am not grateful that I lived in agony of fear for my sons for 5 weeks when I SHOULD have been proudly parading my huge belly around for everyone to see. I am not grateful that I went in to early labour. I am not grateful that I didn't get to experience my sons births. I am not grateful that I couldn't be with both my sons right after they were born. I am not grateful that I never saw them side by side outside of me. I am not grateful that Zac had to endure all that he did in his short three days of life. I am not grateful for the decision we had to make. I am not grateful for making the decision we made. I am not grateful for losing my son.
However, I am grateful that even in those terrifying 5 weeks...I got to hear both my sons heart beats 2 times every day. I am grateful for seeing them moving about on the ultra sound screen weekly. I am grateful for listening to Zac's hiccups during NST tests. I am grateful that he had "enough" fluid to thrive those 5 weeks. I am grateful for the nurses who saw me day one of my admittance and 5 weeks later and telling me each day how much bigger my belly was getting. I am grateful that I didn't have to listen to the nurses and doctors working to save my sons lives after they were born. I am grateful that I got to see Zac alive outside of me. I am grateful for getting to see those eyes piercing in to my heart and soul and watching him respond to my voice. I am grateful that even though we had to make the most sickening and horrifying decision in the world...I am grateful that I could be with my son and comfort him and love him as he lived his final moments on this earth.
And as mad as I am at God that my mustard seed faith wasn't enough to move THIS mountain, and my sons life was not spared on this earth...I am grateful that he lives more alive in heaven today than he would have a day on this earth.
I am beyond grateful for the life of Evan. I am grateful for his strength, for his determination, for his will. I am grateful for every moment we had together in NICU, and in awe that I was watching my son growing on the outside world when he should have been growing inside me. I am grateful for the care he received. I am grateful for the grace God granted in allowing us to keep Evan with us. I am grateful grateful grateful for my sweet, precious, amazing son. I am grateful that Evan has done so well, developmentally and physically and health wise. We have been blessed in those areas greatly...and how can I not be thankful for that!
I remember when I lost Jack and Ethan and one thought that I kept screaming out to God was, "why did you have to take them both? Why couldn't we have kept even one?" Not like I could ever pick and choose...but that was my mindset back then because I had to walk out of a hospital with an empty womb, and empty arms and no trace of my babies.
Be careful how you question God. Be careful what you ask. Because now I know that neither situation was ideal. Losing both, and losing one...it's loss. And loss is agonizing. And losing one twin and watching your other child growing up without their sibling...just be careful what you question God on. I feel like He is saying "there, are you happy?! Stop questioning me. Stop testing me. Just STOP!"
And yet I KNOW He didn't do this on purpose. I KNOW it wasn't to teach me some divine "lesson". I KNOW He isn't that cruel.
I DON'T know why, as He knit Zac together, why he would have chosen this path for us and that three days would be the life Zac would live. But I can't think of it that way. I don't understand, and it's time to stop trying to understand.
I am so grateful for Evan. I can't even express it in words. My heart does something when I look at him, smell him, hold him, giggle with him, read to him, love him...
My heart does something that I can't put in to words. I am so proud of him. I am so proud of who he will become. And I want to be the best mommy possible for him so that he grows in to a person who HE will be proud of. A person who will touch lives still. I know his life is a living example of grace, blessing and miracles. I pray that his life will continue in that way. But it is up to me, and to us as parents to guide him, teach him, develop him and allow him to grow in to the person he is meant to be.
Time moves so quickly. So much time can be stolen when we don't allow ourselves to move forward. Yet, grief and sorrow can hold a part of a person back. I get that. I get that all too well. But there comes a time when you HAVE to make yourself move forward because the past can never change...but you can sure change the future in the choices you make today!