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, June 28, 2010

13 years ago today...

I married the most wonderful man ever. We went to elementary school together, we went to high school together, we attended the same church...he dated who is now my sister-in-law :) hee hee hee...yes, it's a funny story!!! And NO it's not wierd! Just the way God worked things out! My brother and sis-in-law were married a few years before we were. ANYHOW, in high school...I really didn't like Brett at all. He was, what I thought of, as a typical football quarterback jock. He had a "different" sense of humor that didn't appeal to me. However, I really was never interested in him during any of our school years anyhow so other than knowing him as the quarterback at highschool, our communication was next to nothing. UNTIL he upgraded an algebra class and sat directly behind me! How funny!!!!! It wasn't until we were both working with the youth group at our church and began to interact more that I began to realize he wasn't really how I had pegged him at all. He was quite funny, and charming, and fun to be around. So an innocent friendship began, and then blossomed. I remember EXACTLY the day I realized that "oh my gosh...I like this guy and I'm excited to see him!" It was a Friday night youth night...and I had butterflies all the way to the church knowing we were going to hang out through the evening events. And from there...well, neither of us recall a structured "dating" scenario. We just hung out all the time. And more and more I realized what an amazing person he was! I had been through a string of painful relationships...one very emotionally abusive relationship, and at this point in my life I wasn't sure if I was ready to allow another person in. I DO remember saying to God the year before "the next guy I let myself date BETTER be the one you have chosen for me...or I'm becoming a nun!" And it's funny because Brett had said that he too was tired of the dating game and hoped that his next relationship would be one with substance. (I learned that info AFTER we got married!) Our wedding day was amazing...and HOT HOT HOT!!!!!!!!!!! And I had booked too much time between photos and the reception, so I went home and got OUT of my wedding dress, got in to a tank top and shorts and went to the reception room to help set up. I remember the attendants at the room asking who got married and I said "ME!", and they laughed that I actually got out of my dress and was there setting up. They asked me to stop by the front desk on my way back from getting back IN to my wedding dress so that they could see me. We had the usual ideas, dreams, goals, hopes that I'm sure many people have. And children were always front and center. I remember when we finally decided "ok, lets start trying". I remember my excitment and squeeling with joy. Wow...I remember that like it was yesterday! We have seen the best, we have seen the worst. We went through 8 years of unexplained infertility and various treatments with heart break at every end. We went through 2 fresh IVF rounds, and have said good bye to our first identical twins, and now one of our twin sons just last year. We have had ups, we have had major downs. We have laughed, we have cried deeper than any couple should be expected to. We have had fun times and we have had agonizing moments. We have been through so much together. And so many are often surprised at how strong we have remained, especially through the death of Zac. And even though we knew that statistically speaking there is a higher chance of a marriage not surviving after such an experience, we often wondered HOW such an intimate experience could pull two people apart. Only once have a caught a glimpse of how it may be possible. But we fight on. We love on. We stay solidly together because of our love. And YES, it takes MAJOR work at times. What marriage doesn't! Your lying if you say it doesn't! (in my opinion). We have good days, we have bad days...but we have each other. And I couldn't be more greatful for a more wonderful, loving, supportive, caring husband. He has seen me in the darkest of days, and he has always been there to offer his hand to pick me up, and his arms to hold me, and his shirts to drench in tears. He has seen me in the best of days, and we laugh and we joke and we poke fun at each other. I am SO glad that all my other relationships ended, because I know not one of those guys could have ever been who I needed in my life. I know not one of them could have been the rock that my sweet Brett is to me. If you know Brett...you have the honor of calling him friend. He will be there whenever you need a hand. He will listen if you ever need to talk. He will laugh with you, and he will never hide the truth from you. And of course...if you like to golf...he would be more than happy to assist you in that outing! hee hee hee. If you know Brett...you are lucky. He is one of a kind. If you don't know Brett...you are missing out. For those of you who have stuck by Brett in our darkest of days, and have had the guts to cry along side him...you are a treasure, and I know he would say how thankful he is for you. When you know Brett...you know that you will be respected and you will have gained a wonderful friend. I know I sure have. I know I have been blessed beyond measure to call Brett not only my husband, but my dearest, closest, truest of friends. My husband is a wonderful man...and I am so blessed to be called his wife. Thank you for 13 of the most up and down years TOGETHER! And thank you for never faulting me for being myself. Thank you for loving me not only in my best moments, but also my most painful. Thank you for saying..."I do"!!! I love you!!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy 2nd birthday my lil' peanuts...

November 7, 2007...our first, and last picture of our identical peanuts whom we lovingly named Jack and Ethan. I had found this card for miscarriage, and bought it for myself a while after we lost our babies. Why doesn't any one make cards like this any more? There are cards for the loss of a pet...but not the loss of a baby through miscarriage. Sad.
Well, it is 3:38am and here I am at my computer. Evan just had a rough moment and I haven't been able to get back to sleep, so after watching a pretty crazy rain cloud off in the horizon for the past half hour, I decided to come and do a follow up to yesterdays post about my sweet Jack and Ethan...and to wish them publicly a Happy 2nd Birthday!
I pray that they are having the best birthday part ever with their little brother Zac and other siblings that we never got to know on this earth.
And I wanted to share the only picture I ever got of my sweet babies.
Oh how I remember that ultrasound day sooooo very clearly! First, my bladder was sooooooooooooo full that I was in tears...and then was told I don't actually HAVE to drink what the instructions say. Sorry, but no one told me that, and I follow instructions very carefully.
But as the tech did the ultrasound she kept going over and over things. They started with an external ultrasound and then did an internal to "verify what they were seeing".
Identical twins!
The tech said she hardly ever saw this, so wanted to be sure it wasn't one baby just mirroring off a reflection.
Nope...two little ones, two precious heart beats beating away.
And this was to be the only picture I was to ever have of my sweet babes.
And I cherish it. It is actually in a frame...and only after Zac passed away did I place it next to Zac and Evan's pictures out in the open. I don't know why I had it tucked away for so long. Maybe so it didn't make any one uncomfortable? Maybe because I just didn't know the proper "miscarriage etiquette"? Maybe because I didn't want to face reality? I don't know.
But now their picture is proudly presented, and it does my heart good :)
Mommy loved you before I knew you...and will love you ever more until we meet again!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tomorrow...another harsh "anniversary"...

Tomorrow would have been my first identical twins 2nd birthday. Tomorrow I would have had 2 year olds. Tomorrow...I don't. And losing my Jack and Ethan was the most devastating moment of my life over 2 years ago. For years and years of trying, and then finding out we were expecting identical twins via IVF (we had lost a triplet in there somewhere along the way as well :( ), I niavely believed and trusted that these precious little ones would enter our arms alive and well. We often laughed at how we would tell them apart in the early days and thought of different ideas. We niavely allowed the news to spread. We niavely believed there would be no retracting our announcement. And then...there it was. The worst moment (at that point) of my life. Brett and I had gone for my 12 week ultra sound...and as the doctor pressed the wand to my belly...I turned my head away. For some reason I had felt doomed that morning before our appointment. For some reason...something was eating at me...and it wasn't my babies taking nutrients from my body to their own. And then the most horrifying thing to hear (once again at that point in my life)..."I am so sorry...I don't know how to tell you this...your babies are no longer alive." Then looking at Brett's face, and feeling the room going dark as my head spun with the news I was just informed. WHAT?? My babies had died?? When?? How?? WHY??!! And why didn't I know!? Why couldn't I feel that my babies had stopped living? What kind of mother was I?! I remember the doctor giving us a private moment and then out of sheer luck my OB had come in to the office on her day off so we were taken to her room, where she appologized and hugged me and went over my options. OPTIONS?? What do you mean?? What was happening?? I could take a medication to bring on the miscarriage to completion, or we could schedule a D&C. My OB recommended the D&C because a "natural" miscarriage could take weeks and would be very frightening...and other medical issues could have arisen. We were given time to think about it, and she said she would call me later that day. We were led out a back hall so we wouldn't have to face the room of pregnant, joyful, hopeful, blissful mothers-to-be, with their babies still alive inside of them...while I...was a walking tomb. I remember calling my mom on the way home and only being able to say "they are gone". I remember my parents coming and sitting with us as we tried to process our new reality. The death of our first children. The death of our hopes and dreams for these precious little lives. The death of...niave, blissful, hopeful, joyful pregnancy. I went in to a depression. I couldn't stop crying for months and months. Ya, I got to a place where I could foster a laugh and a smile...and so began the mastering of the disguise of what was truly going on inside of me. I was a mother who failed her children. I was a mother who couldn't protect her babies. I was a mother who believed with everything in her that her prayers and cries were finally to be answered. I was a mother who lost a part of herself. I remember the day we went for the D&C. I remember I couldn't stop crying, and the precious nurses who just held me, and removed the polish from my toes to prep me for the "procedure". The final removal of any piece left of my first children. I remember a nurse saying "it's okay dear, you can try again! You will have another baby". And I remember wanting to take my IV tube and wrapping it around her neck and screaming "DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THIS TOOK THIS TIME???? DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG WE HAVE DREAMED OF THESE BABIES? DO YOU NOT REALIZE THEY WILL NEVER BE REPLACEABLE? DO YOU NOT KNOW I MAY NEVER GET THIS AGAIN???" I wish people would read a persons file. I wish that nurse would have known in advance my lovely label of "unexplained infertility" and that this was my one chance from our first IVF round. I wish this nurse had just said "I am so sorry for your loss" and left it at that. I remember after the "procedure". And the angel of a nurse who walked me in to the bathroom and lovingly cleaned all the iodine off from me, and then as she stood...looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked if she could give me a hug, and then telling me "I truly understand, and I am so very sorry." We found out of our loss on December 6, 2007. At Christmas time, where we are to be thankful, and joyful and greatful for the gift of Christ. And I was, and I am. But in the same breathe...I wanted to go to heaven and scream at God. And ask Him WHY he would dangle such beauty in front of me only to rip it out of my life. I was angry. I still get angry. Even more so now that Zac is up with his siblings instead of all four of my children clammering around my legs, screaming at each other and laughing and giggling. I never knew what became of the remains of my babies. I remember walking from the hospital thinking...why didn't I request their remains? Did they get tossed in the garbage? Were the burned in an incinorator? Where did they go?? And then I learned something I never knew. Last week my dad spoke at a memorial service that is held yearly at one of the gravesite here in our city. There is a funeral home in our city who realized the need for a resting place for our "unknown children". I don't know all the details, but this funeral home realized that there are parents out there who will never have a grave site to visit their precious little one(s). Apparently they go to the hospitals and gather the remaining tissue of the little one(s), cremate the remains and take it to this memorial site where they are given the dignity of a resting place. They still may remain nameless...but they now have a place where their families can visit them, and know that SOMEONE out there loved them that much...even though they never knew them. I don't know if my Jack and Ethan are there. I don't know if their remains were given that precious dignity. I do know that I have always felt like I dishonored them by just leaving them there at that cold hospital. And every day I would drive to work, I would see that hospital, and every day the tears would fall thinking that this was the only resting place they had. I had precious 12 weeks to believe the dreams we held for our babies. And for 12 weeks...I was so blissful and hopeful. For 12 weeks...I was a mommy. And then in a blink of an eye...it was all gone. Yes...I was...AM still their mommy...but no one knows. No one knows tomorrow they would have been two. No one says their names...but really...what would they say? No one knew them...except me. Even for Brett it was a different experience because only I had the physical connection to my babies. It was just different...and that's okay. I have been a bit surprised at how hard the past few days have been as I felt tomorrow approaching. It has been over 2 years since we said goodbye...but it hurts just as much today. Even more so now that we had to say good bye to Zac as well. Harsh feelings come over me about myself. I feel like a failure as a mother. I feel like I couldn't protect my children. Evan is a miracle! Evan beat so many odds! Evan is who gives me the knowledge that some miracles can still happen. I am so greatful for my son....for all of my children. I am so greatful that Evan has kept parts of my heart alive. But right now...I miss my babies so much. And it hurts all over again. Maybe more because I hurt alone. Maybe because tomorrow I know I don't have a gravesite to visit. And still don't even really know if they were ones that made it to this precious memorial site at the other cemetery. What I DO know is that my children ARE very much alive and well in heaven. And that I WILL be with them all again one day. And for that knowledge...I will smile tomorrow through my tears. I will hold them close to my heart. I will love them always!! Mommy loves you so very much my sweet angels!! xoxoxoxoxo

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today I feel...

lost and a little alone. Now off to try organize some of my closet before Evan wakes from his nap.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am thankful for the constants in my life. The family and friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin. For those willing to tredge through the trenches of life with me. For those who are there for an encouraging word, or a laugh, or a tissue, or a coffee... I am thankful for those who are not afraid to face the dark times along side the good. I am thankful that there are people who genuinely care about others in this world. I am thankful for those who have helped restore parts of "me" through the past 18 months of pure confusion of joy and sorrow. I am thankful for those who can gather Brett and I together with them and just have a good time. I am thankful for a husband who has never given up on me...although I'm sure there have been days where he could have been justified to throw up his hands. I am thankful for a man who works so hard day to day so that I have the opportunity to be home with our son, and to be the one raising him with the values and morals of our lives. I am thankful for parents who pick me up when I crumble to the ground and don't think I can take another breathe. I am thankful that God chose MY parents for ME. I HATE that they had to go through the loss of their own twin daughters...but through that they have been able to support me in ways that no other person could...TWICE! I am thankful for the little things in life. I am thankful for the hidden treasures in each day. I am thankful for the chance to face each day with new attempts of hope. I am thankful for my children...on earth and in heaven. I am thankful for my 6 lil' totsicles still waiting for a chance to meet their crazy mommy and daddy. I am thankful that even though I know the chances all...or any of these precious "pre-made" lives will survive to enter our arms and home...I know that I will meet them one day in heaven. However...the loss of any, or all of these precious little ones is so much to be faced with. I am thankful for a God who continues to love me, even though I continue to scream at Him in anger and in hurt. I am thankful for a God who is waiting for me with open arms to finally watch me tear down the wall and allow Him back in to my life. I haven't walked away from Him...I haven't turned my back. But I'm hurt...and for some reason it is easier to be angry at Him than anyone else. And yet He loves me still. Yet He waits. What a truly loving Father. I am thankful for the most precious little boy in my life. For a boy who I dreamed of for 10 years. For a boy who I watched fight with everything in him for his 66 days in NICU. For a boy who had taught me what "fight" really means. He is my light. He is my breathe. He is my joy. He is my hope. And when the human nature emotions can come in to play (ie, tiredness, frustration, confusion...) I look at this little boy and see the world in him. I look at this boy and I love him. I look at this boy whom I get the honor of calling SON. I love my little Evan with everything in me! I am thankful for Zac. I am thankful for the 28 weeks and 1 day I got to the honor of carrying him. I am thankful for HIS fight for five weeks after I ruptured with him. I am thankful for his strength, for his protection, for his will to carry on. I am thankful that he saved his mommy, and his brothers lives. I HATE that through this he had to lose his own life. I HATE that I had so little time with him. Three days outside of me was not nearly long enough. I HATE that we had to say "see you later our son". But I am thankful that he is our son. That he is our fighter. That he has left a mark of love so deep inside of me. For the handprint he left not only on my soul, but on the very skin of my chest where his head and hands rested as he drifted to heaven. I am thankful for all my boys...my sons, and my husband. They are my rocks. They give me my smile and the shine in my eyes. They give me the drive to carry on every day. I love them with all my heart. Today...I am thankful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thoughts...and updates

I've been finding it harder to update as much as I'd like. Partly because my thoughts are so jumbled these days, and mostly because life is pure chaos with trying to settle our lives down with the unpacking and trying to figure out what furniture we still need to buy, etc. I think I'm really battling with my thoughts. I have so many of them. Yesterday was a sweet, low-key Father's Day. And then last night we had both our families over that were able to attend for ice cream cake and coffee. And it was so fun to be able to entertain in a house that could hold more than just a handful of people! And really a ton of fun to watch Evan playing with his cousins and family. Yet, I found it so bitter-sweet to give Brett his Father's Day card, signed only with Evan's name inside. For cards to me, I'd LOVE to see both Evan AND Zac's names. To me...that is precious. But I think I'll have to do that for myself, because I don't think it will happen any other way. Yet, for Brett...I don't know. I don't know if it would have bothered him it I had written in Zac's name. And I hate that I second-guessed myself and hate that the feeling of akwardness is even a part of it. However, it was his day, and I didn't want to make anything strange. We are just blessed that we were given the opportunity to share these precious days with one of our children. To be able to be a part of the hoopla. But it always makes me a bit sad thinking of so many friends who dream of the same thing, yet are still empty-armed. The ache that they feel, and the longing to hold a child of their own. It's hard because it still hits so close to home for me. And because I'm faced with the very real reality that we may never have any other children again. And that reality makes me sad too. Very blessed to have Evan and Zac in my lives, to be called their mommy. Very blessed for the brief time I carried our first identical twins. To be called THEIR mommy also. What is it about grief that makes so many uncomfortable. I know it's uncomfortable to be around a hurting person because we want to be able to do something to fix things and help lift the pain...yet we can't. I guess I ask this because I feel like so many people have disappeared from my life. And I understand the rotation of life and such, but it makes me sad. I know I am to be blamed for a lot of it because in my sorrow and sadness of losing first Jack and Ethan, and now Zac...I changed. I ached. I cried. I questioned. I still do. But I also still laugh. I still smile. I am still there for a friend WHENEVER they reach out or need me. I may get teary-eyed every now and then, but I try to hide it so that others aren't bothered. And yes...I still question, but I try to keep those questions to myself. I don't want to feel like an outsider. I don't like feeling like I'm watching everyone building their relationships while I sit in a corner feeling like I don't belong. But I know I am responsible for reaching out as well. I guess maybe pain is supposed to have a time limit, and patience for those grieving runs thin. I don't know. But I do feel bad if I've pushed people away. It was never intentional. I just didn't know how to reach out. I was (and sometimes still am) lost. I know there was an expectation that because Evan was home I should be happy and not sad...but that is just silliness. That can't be expected of a parent. I know people offered help, but it felt strange for me to call someone and say "can you come over and help with a meal?" or "I just really don't want to be alone, can you be with me?" Now looking back I think I must have had an unrealistic desire to just have someone show up and just "be". Although, Missy Wendy Loo...if you still read this...you did your share of this! And it meant the world to me! I've always prided myself on believing I am a friend who would do anything for another friend. And I guess this is making me question myself. Am I? To those of you who have "disappeared"...I miss you. I know other's lives carry on and things are busy and you each have your own things on your plates...but...I miss you. I am trying to find a piece of who I once was. And maybe that part of me is gone. But I'm trying to be a person that other's WANT to be around, and who want to include in their lives. However, I'm starting to feel like I'm sounding like a groveling, needy person. And I don't mean that. I just miss friendship. I miss encouragement. I miss having someone know me for more than just what they see. I am looking forward to this summer as my Calgary "bobsy twin" (as we've called ourselves since we were 5!) is hopefully coming for a visit! She is a very special woman, who isn't afraid to ask me the heavier personal questions and truly wants to hear the answers. No attempt to fix things, just an ear to listen because she truly wants to know. She is a really neat person, and I am so lucky to have her in my life!! And she definitely helps me with the organizing and fun cooking! :) You are a gem my dear! I'm looking forward to the visit!! OK, enough of all that. Here are some updates: Evan had his NICU follow up with neonatologist last week and got GLOWING reviews!! His weight has gone down a bit in the percentiles...now in the 25th percentile, but his height is still in the 75th percentile. He has grown 3 inches in the past couple of months. Dr. W commented on how good Evan's muscle tone is, and realizes that he is a very busy boy, so he isn't concerned with the weight. It is expected that he will plateau. But he was over all just THRILLED with how Evan has developed. He said he would NEVER believe that Evan was such a preemie, and that he isn't a baby any more...he's a little boy! Evan got the okay to go to straight whole milk too. Dr. W was pleased with Evan's eating, and is happy that he is still getting 3 bottles a day. So that was good. I still have half a can of formula, so I'll keep using that up until it's gone. I use mostly whole milk now as it is. At the end of our check up Dr. W just looked at us and said "thank you for coming in today...it was the highlite, and I needed this today! You have made my day! Thank you!" I just about broke down because all I could think was "no, thank YOU for helping us bring one of our sons home!" He is a very good doctor. And very caring! We don't have to go back until November! We saw Evan's dietician after and she said "well Evan, you are too big to see me any more!! We are all done!" That was a crazy feeling! To see each of these people who have been so instrumental in our lives now fading out. It's almost sad in a happy way?! She was really happy with Evan too, and wasn't concerned about the weight either. I can still call or email her if I have any questions or concerns, so that's nice! For the past 5 or 6 days now Evan has been sleeping GREAT through the night! AND sleeping IN!! I'm not used to that! The routine has changed once more! Yesterday morning he slept in until 10:15am, and this morning it was just after 11am!!!! CRAZY!!! He is napping right now, so that is why I get the chance to update! My sweet dog Tag is limping again, and that makes me sad. We really thought we had gotten passed the possibility of a torn ACL in his knee...but I don't know. He isn't limping AS bad today, so that's good. On Friday Brett gave Tag a shot of insulin and then in the morning we had to do another urine sample to see if it affects Tag's levels. Here's hoping it worked! I know we were relieved that it was diabetes and not kidney failure, but the fact of the matter is...I'm seeing my sweet boy in a new light. He is getting older, and his body is now reflecting that. And I don't want to think of saying goodbye right now, but I don't want him to hurt either. And once we know that he is hurting more than enjoying life...we know what we will have to do...and it will be a day that will make me sick. Once more...to pack up one of everything, since we have two with the two dogs. I am tired of packing up one of everything. But for now...we enjoy our Tag. And we give him the best care we can. He has had a GOOOOOOD life!!! My dogs are so pampered!! And he will continue having a good life!! The unpacking is still a gong show. Having people over last night was a good kick in the butt for cleaning the living room and kitchen. And it's nice to see my island cleared of clutter! Brett and I got our new bed Saturday morning (where has a king bed been our whole marriage! It's wonderful!!) so we brought our old bed up to the bonus room. We both just stood there feeling frustrated that there is just so much to do, and we both are feeling overwhelmed! Which is why I don't get to update as much as I'd like. We'll get there. So, I checked the weather network this morning and was DISGUSTED to see that it is supposed to start raining tomorrow until SATURDAY, and then Sunday is supposed to be nice and then rain again on MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT IS GOING ON????!!!! Brett and I were saying we should have built an arc instead of a house!!!!! I feel sooooooooooooooooooooooo bad for all the grain farmers! It breaks my heart! I wonder if any of them ever remember this much rain?! And it gets so depressing!!!! For me it's very difficult as we are STILL waiting for our deck rails to be installed so my dogs can at least get to the dog run from the deck. When it is raining it is HORRIBLE because I have to walk them around the house. And then if they need to go out while Evan is awake...a tad bit tricky to say the least!!!!!! And I'm tired of all the mud!!!!! But I can't expect much else when I live in a new development area with no grass to be seen! It's those moments that make me reeeeeeeeeally miss my old house...the back yard. Bleck!!!!! Well, what else can I update on? I think I'm all updated-out. Once Evan wakes up and has a bottle I'm going to pack him and the dogs up and go for a walk. We can't go to the off-leash now that Tag is limping again, but there is a pond just a few minutes over from us that we walk around. Ya, I have to walk around it at least 3 times to feel like we've actually walked, but it's at least a nice view and area! If Tag wasn't limping I'd make the walk to my parents so we could all enjoy THEIR yard!! I might just drive us all over anyhow. OK, that's about it for today. This actually helped me a bit today!! And if you've read the whole post...bless you! Hugs, Heather

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Please, not now...

My sweet boy Tag! Bailey and Tag
My girl Bailey...a few years younger
So, it has been really chaotic since the move, and so much has been going on with me.
I've been "sick" for almost 4 weeks now. 3 weeks of a brutal cough, but nothing more...and then just when I thought I was getting over it...WHAM, a big time cold with the whole shabang...throat, nose, sinuses, chills, fever and once again, the HORRID cough!! I'm sick and tired of this.
All the dirt and dust in our area isn't helping with my asthma and allergies either, but I can deal with that. It's this blasted cough that is driving me mental.
And I've been TERRIFIED that I will pass this to Evan. So far he has just had a stuffy, then runny nose for a couple of days with a minor cough, so hopefully that's all it amounts to.
Yesterday we had his check up with the speech language pathologist where Evan is tracked due to his severe prematurity. This appointment was just more of a formality to get him off the call back list. The SL path was more than happy and said that he is advanced beyond his corrected age and well in to his birth age. So that was good. HOWEVER, as routine she did a test on his ears and instead of spiking, his were both flat. She was really surprised and said "well, I didn't expect that at all!" Then asked if he had been sick or congested. I told her he has been stuffy and runny nosed and a bit of a cough, and she said in that case the reading is what she would expect in that respect. Soooo, we will have the test done again in 6 weeks.
I did end up going to get myself checked at my doctors office and while I was there I got them to check Evan's ears and told them about the test, and the doctor said that both Evan's ears looked great with no fluid. So of course that stressed me about this test.
So last night I left the SL path a message asking her to explain the test results to me because I didn't read anything in to it when she said the results were to be expected in a child battling congestion. I told her about taking Evan to the doctor and said I'm concerned about the test now. I asked her what it could indicate or what it could foresee.
I'm confused, because in March (or was it April?) Evan had a full ear exam with the audiologist and his results were normal. So I don't get this.
Like I need another thing to stress about.
Well, guess what...I GOT another thing to stress about...but this time...with my sweet dog, Tag.
Tag is the first dog that Brett and I got. He is like one of my kids to me. I know you animal lovers will get that.
Tag will be 9 this year. A boxers life span isn't huge...10-13 years. Cancer is a big thing for them.
Well, about 5 days ago Tag started drinking insane amounts of water and peeing like there was no tomorrow. At first I thought it was because of a pain med he had been put on for a sore leg, but turns out this med has never been known to cause this type of side effect.
We took Tag back to the vet yesterday. Three things could be happening...cancer, kidney failure or diabetes. With the diabetes there are two types and one is a brain tumor which is basically impossible to cure. Fortunately THAT has been ruled out. The vet didn't think it's cancer...so we are between kidney failure and diabetes. Brett spoke to the vet this morning and they are doing some testing on a urine sample of Tag's from this morning to try and figure out which bad news they are going to give us. I almost wish I hadn't called Brett because as soon as I got off the phone the tears started to pour and my stomach was so upset that I almost got ill a few times. Like Evan needs to see his mommy crying MORE!
I feel like we are awaiting another death sentence here. I feel like even though I sit here with this stupid, niave hope that things will be fine I know the call will not bring news we want to hear.
I WANT to hope...but I just don't know how. I'm expecting the worst.
I know Tag has had an unbelievable life. And I know that he has never gone without one day in his life. Most people shake their heads with how pampered my dogs are...but I don't care. They have been my world for so long.
But the thought of saying good bye to Tag any time soon is more than I want to think of right now. I just don't want to deal with this. I don't want to have to make a decision I don't want to make.
If it's diabetes...I'll do whatever I can to figure it out. If it's kidney failure...then I want him to have the best summer ever or whatever days he will have left.
It breaks my heart, and I just can't bare the thought of not having him with me every day.
I don't want to say good bye to another member of my family.
Now a switch to another topic.
For months I've been trying to do a special project for the NICU wall. It's called the "graduates" wall of all the little wonders who have come out of NICU. Parents place a picture of their child.
There is also a "wall of angels".
And here I am again...right in the middle of both. So how do I do this?!
I have decided that my frame will hold pictures and blurbs of BOTH my sons. Both graduated from NICU, but in different ways. Zac had the ultimate graduation in to heaven, Evan graduated out those NICU doors and in to our home.
While I was in the hospital the 5 weeks prior I was already in contact with the NICU liason and connected. She had taken Brett and I on a tour, and she showed me the walls. I noticed one of twins...and the one son had passed away while in NICU. But this mother did the same thing I plan to do...she included BOTH her sons.
But while in doing this project it means going through my electronic picture files of the days where Zac lived and then passed away in my arms. And those pictures tear my very soul out, even though they are so very precious to me. It has been very hard to face this task.
However, Evan has his next NICU follow up on the 17th and I hoped to have this project done by then so we can take it up to the NICU after our appointment.
I'm just finding that I'm so drained before I've even started.
On one hand it is the proudest moment to share Evan and where he is today, on the other hand it is so agonizing to once again face the reality that Zac is no longer with us.
And then the never ending question...why? Why me? Why us? Why did we have to say goodbye? Why couldn't Evan have his brother with him? What did I do so wrong?
I'm pooped!!
OK, ANOTHER topic. Our new house.
Our new house is nice. It's a DISASTER and in forever chaos while I try to unpack and care for my son and my dogs. My deck is FINALLY being worked on, but the railings are still not up. The stairs had to come off yesterday which means more annoyance with trying to get the dogs out to the kennel while packing up Evan. Although, the weather is finally somewhat decent, so that makes it less frustrating.
I feel bad for the dogs not having a yard to roam around in. We had a nice yard at our old house, and they had the run of the show.
I think after Evan wakes up and has lunch I will pack up the crew and head over to my parents so the dogs can lounge in their backyard and play with their dog, and Evan and I can play on the grass and blow bubbles. Evan LOVES bubbles!
And that way I'll be able to try and take my mind off of the phone call at the end of the day. TRY.
Well, I suppose I should get going and do a couple things before Evan wakes up.
Please pray for me today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It has been a while...

Things have been pure CHAOS in my life this past while. I have had no time to update my blog, check in on my support sites, email, chat in real life...it has been crazy. BUT, we are officially done our move. We have been out of our old house OFFICIALLY since Thursday. However, we moved our beds over a week ago, and I only stayed there one night!! Then Brett had a golf tournament out of town and I couldn't deal with the dogs at the new house alone because our deck is not done and the dog run not up. Add the fact that it rained FOREVER...and that didn't help matters. Sooooo, I packed up Evan and my dogs and we moved in to my parents place for a week. Which, was an amazing help to have my parents available to care for Evan while I continued packing, cleaning, sorting, and moving boxes to the new house. Yet...I was starting to get very unsettled and wanting to get "home" so that Evan and I could figure out life as it now is. So finally after a week I packed up Evan and we went home. The dogs are still at my parents until the dog run is done. The deck is still not totally done, but at least the stairs are now on. The dog run is not up yet...but the "plan" is to get that done today. And then our two oldest "children" (as I like to refer to them since that's what they are like to us...) will finally get to come home. When I took Evan home on Friday he was crawling around the new house going "woof woof"...looking for his doggies!! And it just feels so incomplete without them there. So I've really been pushing my husband. Trust me...if building this thing was something I could do on my own...I would have done it long time ago. But again...weather was very unforgiving. In the last few days before our official move out from the old house, Brett and I just looked at each other and said how we just felt like we were going through the motions. Not sad to leave, not excited about the new house...just feeling almost robotic. Of course, we are both unbelievably tired...but I still feel that way. It wasn't until I packed up Zac's duffle bag containing his items and keepsakes and funeral DVD, etc. that it REALLY hit me. And then...I broke. And I still feel broken all over again. I carried his duffle bag and put it on the passenger seat beside me in the car and just cried the whole way to the new house. Ya, the old house holds sad memories of the loss of 3 of our 4 children...but it also holds some very precious memories. Not just children related...but this is where I will stay with this thought process just now. As I went through each room one last time memories of Jack and Ethan flooded me, memories of carrying Evan and Zac overwhelmed me. The old house holds the reality of Zac...even though he only lived there within me...the house held memories so sweet of him and Evan together. I thought of the day I finally allowed myself to let my guard down and purchase an outfit each for the boys, a special blanket each for the boys, one pair of fun socks for each of the boys, the twin stroller and car seats that sat in our basement waiting to bring both our sons home in, the two beautiful cribs that were waiting to be put up in their bedroom. That bedroom held dreams of BOTH my sons. Yes, that bedroom holds sweet and beyond precious moments with Evan and I...and I am so forever grateful for that. But it was realizing as I set up Evan's new bedroom...Zac is not a part of it. There is no excitement of where to put his crib, or his share of toys and clothes. Evan's favorite thing in the new house is being chased around the island in the kitchen. When we finally went home on Friday night I chased Evan and Evan chased Brett around the island and we were all laughing and giggling...and then all it took was one glance outside my back window and I saw the cemetery where Zac "is"...and it took every single solitary bit of strength in me not to crumble to the floor and let go of all the tears that so desperately still want to fall. I didn't want Evan to see that, and I didn't want to feel weak in front of my husband. So I swallowed with all my might and pushed on with the smile plastered to my face. Don't get me wrong...that smile for my sweet Evan and husband could not be more genuine...but the pain of knowing that Zac is not here with us racing around the island...it becomes more than I can bare some times. I thought it would be "comforting" being this much closer to the cemetery...but it isn't. Because every time I look out my windows or stand on the deck...I see the painful reality. Even though the distance between me and the cemetery is shorter now...it's the reality of how very far apart we are. And I miss my Zac. I miss the certainty that after losing Jack and Ethan I was certain God would not allow more pain in to our lives. I miss the confidence of my faith. I miss the "niave" feeling of hope. I guess part of why I haven't even made time to update my blog lately (outside of all the madness) is that I just haven't had anything to offer, and nothing of myself to give except this broken person. I know that people think I'm so brave and doing well...but I'm just good at showing what others need to see. I guess a part of me feels like I SHOULD be more brave, and I SHOULD be doing so much better...but the reality is that I'm not. I don't know how to be just yet. I find myself reeling through the stages of grief over and over, and one thing after another just sets off another "stage"...even if I've already gone through it 10 times. Right now I'm finding I'm back in the stage of anger. Yes...I feel angry. I am angry that something so stupid had to happen like my water breaking. I'm so angry that for every single day of those 5 weeks, even though I screamed and begged and pleaded and prayed and stood in faith for my water to stop leaking...every moment I made created a new gush of amniotic fluid. I'm angry that I had to listen to so many women giggling during the breaks of pain in the labor as they looked forward to the arrival of their term babies. I'm angry that I didn't get to experience my third trimester. I'm angry that doctors can't find a way to replenish fluid or seal a tear in a womans membranes. I'm angry that Zac had to experience that brain bleed that sealed his destiny. I'm angry that we agreed to "let him go". I'm angry that I can't feel secure. I'm angry that I feel like God gave me a broken body and that I've failed my children through loss. I'm terrified of the future...to BE pregnant, and NOT to be pregnant. I'm angry that I feel angry because I DO NOT want it to affect who I am to my son and husband. After we lost Jack and Ethan and were considering a second round of IVF, I remember Brett saying "I'm just scared I'll never get you back if something should happen". Keep in mind...it took MANY months for me to even be able to go out in public after we lost our first twins and I was so depressed and broken with grief. I finally found my way out, and was able to live again...but not 100% the Heather my husband knew. And I think after this experience with Zac...I think neither Brett nor I are completely who were once were. I think we both lost a piece of ourselves. How can you not. It's tough. It's tough to fight for who you were, and tough to keep being who you need to be. I always hear how people question their faith in their circumstances. When I couldn't get pregnant I often heard "just pray" or "just believe God"...all the cliches. I don't mean cliches in a mean way...just the standard "wisdom" one is given in their time of trouble. I hear many women question if their faith is not strong enough and that is why God is not blessing them with a child. I've come to realize something. STOP DOING THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP QUESTIONING YOUR FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We can't allow our faith to be the reason for our gains or losses. If we do that...do you realize how EASY it could be to walk away if we aren't getting what we are asking for??!! I HATE when I hear "if I just had more faith" or "if you just believed and trusted God". We CAN'T do that!!!!! God isn't here to give us all our desires. Ya sure we hear how "children are a gift from God" and all the stories of barren women who conceived and on and on...but that was THEIR story...it's not ours. I almost get tired of hearing "it's because we live in a fallen world" too. Of course that's true...and of course I'm sure that has a hand in a degree of things. But I will NEVER understand the why's of pain. I don't believe that we are given these pains as a lesson or as a way to become stronger. I can't believe that or I will just lose it. I can't believe that holding my son as he died was a character building lesson. I don't know why we didn't get our miracle for Zac. But it is what it is. I WANT an answer...but I know I'll never get it. I HOPE that through this I will become stronger in my faith and relationship with God. I know that it will take MY share of effort and work too. I can't just shut God out and expect Him to work it all out for me as proof of His love for me. It doesn't work that way. He didn't promise me an easy life. He didn't promise I'd be pain-free (although I truly feel that I've had more than my fair share for my short life span!). He isn't my geenie in a magic bottle where I rub and he grants my wishes. He never promised me life without pain, but he does promise to be here to hold me up...if I let him. And lately...I've pushed him so far away because of my anger and sadness. Yet, I'm not special to loss or pain. I've watched and listened as others have experienced loss of their newborns, toddlers, babies yet to be born. I've watched my grandpa pass away, and then my step grandpa. I remember when I was very young I learned of my first experience of an infant death as my toddler cousin passed away. Parents of friends who have passed away, and on and on. We are not exempt from death. We are not exempt from sorrow. A friend of friends of ours has a young son who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He has been through treatment, and now she and her son have to move to Calgary for more treatment. Where is the fairness of this for that little boy? Yet, the brutal and sad reality is...no one is spared grief and trials. I often smirk when I hear some speak like life is perfect and nothing is ever wrong. That might sound mean, but a part of me feels sad that they can't be honest. And maybe they just don't want to appear like everyone else...struggling in some way. And that's okay. To each their own. I'm coming to a place where I refuse to stand in judgement on another being. Who am I to put on some "high and mighty" act towards another human being. I am no better than the next person. We all have our share of sorrow and struggle. OK, maybe some the greatest struggle is what shoes to wear with what outfit...but hey...if that's their struggle, then so be it. We all suffer. We all hurt. I don't know how to make like "perfect". I don't know how not to feel my sadness. I don't know how to feel brave and okay. I do know that certain situations still put me in to anxiety mode. I still have moments where I can't look a person in the eyes because I'm scared they will see what a failure I've been in my pregnancies and even in being able to GET pregnant. To see how I've failed being able to protect all my children. And don't worry...I wouldn't expect anyone to understand that feeling unless they've been through it. Don't even try to understand it. It's just me pouring out what has been building up inside. Sometimes I write things in here that maybe I shouldn't. Maybe I'm a little TOO real for a lot of people. I guess I just don't really think about who all may be reading this. And a lot of times it is just for my own sanity. I'm a writer. I write. I flood pages with raw emotion and reality. MY reality. I opt to put my struggles "out there" and not hide them. Take me or leave me... Anyhow, so that has been my latest ongoing sagga of struggle. I've been physically exhausted too. With everything going on and all the emotional stuff...it is starting to take a physical toll on me. I've been suffering through a horribly annoying cough for almost 3 weeks now. Thank goodness Evan didn't catch whatever bug this started as!!! I've also been super stressed because tomorrow morning Evan goes for an echocardiogram. My doctor just wants one done as he has always had a heart murmur and she was surprised one was never done in NICU. But they just didn't see the need for it as it comes and goes and he was hemodynamically correct. So, this is supposedly just routine and just to have on record because my doctor wants to be extra careful with my special peanut. And I love her for that. But it just puts me in to a tailspin of panic and fear. It sends me STRAIGHT to a dark place of fear and doubt and then the thought "here we go...the floor is about to fall out from under me once again" come pounding in. I am literally frozen with anxiety and my stomach has been in knots. And I just don't know how to pray for peace about it all. I'm struggling with my prayer life. I'm struggling with a lot. NO, I'm not "turning away" and NO, I don't need to be told how I'm not trusting God and needing to have more faith. Again...I'm doing my best. I send up prayer requests and thanks for what I've been blessed with...but I feel so very feeble and weak. So, if you've been brave enough to read up to this point I just ask that each of you would also send up a prayer that tomorrow's echo will INDEED be just ROUTINE. I don`t know if I could actually take anything else right now in the form of set back and sadness. Well, on a different note...an UPBEAT FUN note. Evan is indeed doing GREAT! He is as busy as ever and is such a little dare devil and clown!!! He wants to climb everything, and wants badly to walk...and has taken a couple steps here and there. He will stand on his own until he realizes it and then chickens out and in a very controlled manner sits on the floor. My kid is all muscle!! It`s so funny! He goes for his next NICU follow up on the 17th and I can`t wait to hear how much he has gained and grown! He is no longer on his special preemie formula! YIPEE! Just a regular step 2 formula and soon I will begin to transition to whole milk. And he is doing really good with table foods. He is not a big carbs fan though. He does love meat though!! He has been a bit uncertain about the new house, but loves the fact that we have a fan in our bonus room, so he is forever wanting to get up there. He can go up and down stairs quite well now! He loves giving kisses, and is totally my snuggle man at night! He ADORES his walks (thank goodness for motivation for the last 10 pounds I so desperately want to be rid of!!). Right now walks around our new neighborhood aren`t the most exciting, but we`ll start venturing off to other parks and trails. He is trying to imitate what you say, and yesterday Brett and his brother heard him say `thank you`. That was hilarious because Brett hasn`t heard that yet. Evan ADORES playing with his cousins!! It is so much fun to watch. My niece and nephew were over last night and the three of them were playing away, and I felt a twinge of sadness. Watching how much fun Evan has with other kids...this was how it SHOULD have been every day!! He was meant to have a partner to play with EVERY DAY. He was closer to his brother for 28 weeks and 1 day than even I was. They played together and knew each other in a way I never will know. And now he doesn`t have that. And he should. Anyhow...I won`t get back on to that topic right now. Now, the new house is lovely. My hubby is a VERY talented man!!! He is an Architectural Technologist, and he designed our house top to bottom. Actually...he did about 90% of the houses in our new area!! It`s funny going on our walks saying `he did this one, and this one, and this one...` I`m very proud of him!!! There are boxes everywhere, and Evan is having a grand time unpacking for me. It will take some time, but at least we are in there now! Now just to get our dogs home!! Well, I should go. I realized the time, and I`ve been at my parents with the dogs in the yard and now I see I need to get home for Evan. Brett had him at his parents for the morning, and I still have to go get formula. We`ve officially missed morning nap...so we`ll need to regroup this afternoon. So, that`s things in a nut shell. I will update a little more clearly soon. I haven`t stopped blogging or sharing...I just had to take this break while we moved. And now I`m back in action. Thank you to those of you who sent me emails checking in to see if we were doing okay. That meant a lot to me to realize I`ve been `missed`! Take care, and I`ll chat soon!!