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

Thursday, October 28, 2010


 Smoochies from my babe!
 Learning the value of "sharing"...
 Much to daddy's joy...Evan is a hockey ADDICT!!!
 Bath time!

Yesterday was one of those big days.  Evan had his KCC clinic follow up.  This is where he has been tracked for physio, speech language, OT and sees the Pediatrician.  Now, he has only ever seen the speech pathologist and the pediatrician twice...and OT has been done with for quite a while now.  But physio still checks in on him...although she has absolutely NO concerns about him as he is well meeting all his corrected age (and actual age) milestones!

Anyhow, yesterday Evan saw OT and the pedi, and both just had glowing comments...and no concerns...and no need to see Evan further!!!!  WOW!  This was huge!  They both felt that he is doing amazing, and that other than if I have any concerns in the future, we will not need to see them for further clinics!

As I sat there listening...I got so choked up and teary eyed...yet REFUSED to cry.  But hearing all this positive feed back, and hearing how thrilled they are to see how well he has done ESPECIALLY because the boys were born 12 weeks early...it just really choked me up.
It was a GOOD emotional day. 
Yet, of course there is always that "what if" factor.  What if Zac had survived and was plagued by all the ailments the doctors foresaw...even though we would have worked through each day and each struggle...what would it have been like?
Yet...I would have taken it.
Even though I felt so proud of all Evan has accomplished...there was still that twinge of anger wondering why Zac had to go through what he did...and why he couldn't be getting these great reviews along side his brother.
Why are not BOTH my sons getting all these praises and amazement from their doctor.

But we will never know why.

I truly felt so fortunate and so lucky to be hearing all these wonderful comments from OT and the Pedi.  It is an amazing feeling to hear a doctor say "thank you for coming in today, and for me getting to see how well Evan has done and is doing!"

I am the thankful one. 

We are the lucky ones.

And even though I know it is by God's grace that Evan has done so well...we still get to say "we were a reason for this!  We have been a part of him doing so well.  Our pain, fears, wonders, struggles and questions have been validated."

So yes, yesterday was very emotional.

And it was also another realization that life is moving forward!  This means we are less a few appointments, and more "normal"!
In a way it is hard to let go, because this has been such a part of our lives since Evan came home.  We have had this "comfort" or "safety net" in the support of these professionals.
And they are still there.  We are left as "open" to contact them if we ever have concerns.
But it just feels like chapters are coming to a close, and the future is broadening in to the way I always wondered it would...feeling some what "normal".

We will have another NICU follow up with Evan's neonatologist.  It is supposed to be some time in November.  These appointments are always big for me.  I always feel the nerves rise.  Because these are the people who have watched Evan from day one.  This is a doctor who has been such a part of our security.
And I know this MAY be our last appointment...and I can't help but feel a bit strange...or sad even.

All I've wanted was "normal"...but it turns out that this has been OUR "normal".  It's a strange normal.  It's a different normal.  But it's the normal that we know.

My tiny little boy is growing up.  My tiny fragile baby is a sturdy, active, intelligent boy! 

It's so true.  Time goes so fast.  We always wish for the next "big" event or change in life...yet if we aren't careful...we will miss what is happening now because all you have to do is take a moment and realize how much changes in even just one week! 

I am blessed by today.  I pray to be blessed in my tomorrow.  But I will focus on today and all that it holds for me. 

Yes, a good emotional day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Family Photos 2010

 Although you don't see him...Zac is part of this picture!  This bear was given in memory of Zac after he passed away by the loving kindness of a mommy who understands the pain of losing a child.
Zac will always have a part of our family photos!  xoxo
We wish you were right beside us in these photos!!

 This picture absolutely makes me smile.  The way the sun is shining through the trees, and the way that the light is falling on Evan, I can't help but picture it being Zac shining down on his brother! 

 Evan loves his piggy-backs!  Sharing a moment with a ride and our piggy-back song!

 The gang.  xoxo

Needing a run break!

So, back by popular demand, we had photos done with WONDERFUL Lisa Landrie!  Check out her blog of other photos as well at www.LisaLandrie.blogspot.com

But Evan definitely gave her a run for her money!  As soon as he saw the camera he went TOTAL GQ!  There was not a smile to be found...except in moments where he thought it wouldn't get captured.
There are many more photos, but for now I'm disciplining myself to post ONLY five...for now!!  I love them all, and there are just so many great ones, but I'm trying to harness it in!  Last year I posted just about all of them!! 

And just like last year...it was still hard for me emotionally.  I was so excited for the day of photos, yet there was this ache so deep in my heart and my stomach.  And even though the smile is big and bright (and REAL!), it took a lot within me not to break in to tears.
I am sad that Zac is not in these pictures.  I am sad that we are not sharing these moments with our son.
Yet, I am touched that I had a special something to include Zac in these photos.  A gift from a fellow baby-loss mommy who creates and donates teddy bears to parents who have lost a child.  She does this in honor of her daughter who passed away.
To be honest...this teddy bear hardly makes it out of the special spot in my closet beside all of what were Zac's belongings.  I am so scared that it will get tattered or ruined.
But it meant the world to me to have a couple of shots with this special bear included.
And really...no one would understand the significance of this bear without me saying.  They would just think it's one of Evan's special bears...and it is...but it is more mine, to hold when I am missing the feeling of Zac in my arms.  You'd think that bear would be sewn to me! 

However, we had a wonderful time.  Evan was tired and grumpy...but he was a good sport.  I love his serious face though!!  We did get a few with some cute grins and smirks, and I'll post a few of those later, but for now I just wanted to share a couple.

It's wierd to watching how time has gone on with us, and watching Evan growing...and reflecting on all that has happened.  It's wierd posting pictures knowing 4 of your 5 children will never be seen by anyone on this earth.  It's hard knowing that people see these pictures and those who don't know our story don't know that Evan is missing his twin brother by his side.
But it is amazing to see how Evan is growing.  How well he is doing.  And the joy and love that I hope is evident on our faces as a family.

And it is a joy to be able to share these with you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some days you just have to be thankful for the mischief...of dogs!!

 "WHUT!?  I didn't do anything!!"
 "You're lying!  I see it!  And for once you can't pin this on me!!"
 The proof is all over the floor!  Oh my!
Well, if you can't beat 'em...join 'em!!

So this morning Evan and I ran a couple errands and then went to get our flu/H1N1 shots.  Evan is far too familiar with the smell of the alcohol swab, and knew what was coming before it even came!  He started to cry when he saw the nurse cleaning my arm with the swab and kept saying "no no no!"  Then when it was his turn...he wanted OUT OF THERE!  The tears happened, but quickly passed as I said "ok, lets go running!!"  And off he went happy as could be to be free. 

When Evan and I got home I was greeted with Bailey (our younger boxer) acting rather suspicious.  And then I noticed Tag (our older boxer) hiding sheepishly with a rather "cakey" face and front legs!!  I KNEW I had closed the pantry so I couldn't figure out what he had gotten in to, but then it hit me...and I burst out laughing.  Brett had brought up a container with a few bags of quick cooking rolled oats and a few other odds and ends and had left it by our front door.  I of course had forgotten to deal with the items.  So right away I ran to the box and sure enough, a bag was missing. 
I went up to the living room and just burst out laughing.  There on the floor was a half eaten bag of Organic Quick Cooking Rolled Oats.  And there plastered all over my dogs face was the evidence that HE was indeed the culprit!!!!

I used to always automatically "blame" Bailey for these indiscretions...but now the light is dawning who the true instigator has been!!  This time he couldn't hide the evidence from me!

Evan saw the pile of oats and decided he may as well get in to the action too!  He was whipping oats faster than I could vacume them up! 

Honestly...if it weren't for days like this where my dogs and child make me laugh so much...I don't know if I'd ever make it through the sad times.

While Evan and I sat for the 15 minutes after our shots I noticed a guy who obviously had disabilities...and for some reason it just hit so hard.  Those moments when I see others with valleys to live with, even though to them this is their life and they are making the most of every day...it also makes me think of my sweet Zac.  It makes me miss him so much.  Even though I know the doctors said that he would never walk, talk, eat or anything like that on his own IF he made it through his brain bleed and other issues...I just always find myself wondering "what if".  Maybe that's the selfish mommy heart that wishes for another ending.  Even if it meant with a life of hard work with Zac's disabilities.
I don't know.  I guess it's not something one can "what if".  The fact is...Zac is not here on this earth.  The fact is...he will never struggle a day.  The fact is...even though he lives a fuller life today than one I could have ever attempted to provide...my heart still aches.

And then I watched as Evan ran around laughing and saying "hello" to every person he saw.  Blowing kisses to strangers.  Watching how his sweet actions lit up peoples faces.  He brings me to my knees in gratitude every day.  Yet, I just always wonder...what will he think one day?  What questions will he ask?  How will I be able to answer them?  How do I explain the decision we had to make? 

But today, I revel in the love and laughter that Evan is to me.  Every day I know I am blessed.  Every day I know how precious life is.  Every day I know how fast life can change...and I want to make the most of every day.  I want Evan to always have good memories together with us.  I want him to ALWAYS know how loved he is.  And how proud we are of him.  He is so precious.  So special. 

And when the day comes when he asks questions, or if he feels sad...I pray for the wisdom and the words to answer him, and to help him through. 

But today, I will smile as we go picking up every rock off the ground, and watching the ducks and geese land in the water behind our house, and as Evan instantly perks up and says "choo choo" when he hears the train passing by...and when I watch the mischief spread all over his face as I try to interpret what is about to happen :)

Today I will surround myself by the love of those in my life.  Today I will make the effort to be the friend I seek.  Today I will not make the excuse that "life is just so busy"...because life is also so very short.
And today I will work a little harder at seeking God for His true comfort and constant presense in my life!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


It's hard to believe that just over 3 years ago this time we underwent our first IVF transfer, and six weeks later we learned of our sweet identical twins, Jack and Ethan and the loss of our sweet Whisper.

Three years seems like a long time ago, yet it feels like yesterday.  I can remember that Thanksgiving so clearly.  I was uncomfortable from the procedure from overstimulating, and tired...but hopeful.  We had dinner with Brett's sister and her family in Calgary.  And then we made the treck back home...not knowing our three littles had indeed nestled in :) 
My sadness is as close to me as it was when we learned of the loss of our babies...but I can actually look back at that short time of blissful happiness and smile.

Each Thanksgiving I AM thankful.  Last Thanksgiving stung bad...without Zac and our three other heaven bound angels...yet there we had Evan at dinner with us.  It hurt not to be sharing the day with all of our children.  It hurts every year, and every holiday.
Yet...I'm thankful.

I am thankful for the sweet precious boy who fills our life with joy.  I am thankful for the weeks we had with our first children.  I am thankful for the 28 weeks and a day that I got to carry both Evan and Zac.  I am thankful for the three days...no matter how agonizing...that we had to know our Zac and see his eyes and know that he KNEW we were there beside him.  He heard us, felt us, saw us...and I pray loved us.

I am thankful for an amazing husband who holds my hand and laughs and cries with me.  I love my husband.

No matter how painful our lives have become...I also love our life, and am greatful. 
We are learning about ourselves.  We are growing together.  We are a team...here on earth and in heaven.

I think of so many people who are hurting this Thanksgiving.  Who can't make sense of the pain.  I'm one of them.  But I no longer try to make sense.
This earth is but for a season of our lives.  Living...TRUE living is yet to come.
Those gone before us have left us with memories, with love, with sadness in the places where they will be missed.
But I believe we will be united again.  I believe that through the gift God gave us...we will be together.
Does it mean that loss won't hurt and we won't question why?  Nope.  Not at all.
Loss hurts.  We question.  It's what we do.

But God loves.  He holds us.  He carries us through.  He comforts us.  He guides us.  He welcomes us home when we've shoved Him aside.

Pain stinks.  Death stinks.  But death is not the end.  We will hurt on this earth.  We weren't meant to be comfortable here.  We're meant to make the most of this place while we are here. 
But we will still always wonder why lives are taken all too soon.  Why such a path of grief, pain and sorrow surround us as we try to process our pain.

I found this poem the other day, and would love to share it.  It's called The Broken Chain.
We knew little that morning that
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved you dearly, in death
we'll do the same.  It broke our hearts
to lose you, you did not go alone;
for part of us went with you, the
day God called you home.  You left us
peaceful memories, your love is still
our guide; and though we cannot see
you, you are always at our side.  Our
family chain is broken, and nothing
seems the same; but as God calls
us one by one, the chain will link again.

I pray for each person who is suffering this time of year.  I pray that peace will find its way to you.  That precious memories will flood each one of you.  I pray that kindness will find its way to you through others.  I pray that you never feel alone or forgotten.  I pray that you each day will bring new strength.  I pray that the questions and confusion do not cover you in darkness.  I pray that light will shine through shadows.
I pray that an angel crosses your path today to remind you that you are loved.
I pray these things for myself too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Walk for Remembrance and Hope...

 Tree of Remembrance

 Candles lit in remembrance of all our little angels

 What a beautiful day to walk and remember together...

 Releasing of bird to symbolize our angels.  What a beautiful moment!

 Together, yet apart...

Every time I see Evan chasing his shadow...I can't help wondering what it would have been like with him chasing his brother!

On Saturday we participated in a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Walk for Remembrance and Hope.
It was held in Moose Jaw, SK.
Perfectly fitting as this was where our journey of unexplained infertility and years of heart break began.

The ceremony was beautiful.  There were maybe 25 of us gathered together to remember all our angels.  My heart broke for those who sat empty armed while some of us had our living children with us.  My heart broke, because I know that pain of sitting in agony with my arms empty and watching others with theirs filled with laughing children or sleeping babies.  I know all too well that feeling after we lost our first three babies.

I don't often speak of the third baby we lost.  Maybe because in the medical world this baby barely began before we knew we lost him/her.  This baby was a whisper of a triplet in our first pregnancy.  But at our 6 week ultra sound our little whisper was already gone...but the proof that he/she had begun was there.
I'm often ashamed that I don't include this little one when I speak of us losing our identical twins.  We named our identical twins, but never this little angel.  So to me, this little one is known as "whisper", because we only caught a whisper of his/her existance.

We walked in remembrance of our four heaven-bound babies.  We walked in honor of the fight Zac gave for me and his brother.  For saving both of us. 
We walked in honor of my twin sisters, Catherine and Michelle.
We walked in memory and in honor of friends who have lost special angels.
And we walked in love and support with these strangers we did not know, but who we are forever connected to because of our losses.

The day was emotional.  I could feel the tension in me the day before.  I could feel my panic.  I could feel every emotion of the day we lost Zac, his funeral and burial.  I could remember the agony of learning we lost our first babies at our "routine" ultra sound...and the feeling of loss walking in to that hospital for our D&C and feeling like we just walked away and left our babies remains to who knows where or what.  Never knowing what became of them, or if they were given the decency and respect of more than just a garbage can.

As we all gathered before the walk, a song was played.  A song that tears the very core of my heart out.  "I Will Carry You", sung by the group Selah.  If you have heard this song...then you know why it would have broken my heart.  Every time I hear it I can't help but sob uncontrollably.  And there, as I tried to sit all brave and holding myself together...I lost it.  Uncontrollably.
I felt Brett's hand take mine, and I lost it even more. 
I am so glad he was there.
I am so glad he reached for my hand while I tried to be all "tough" and "brave". 
I am so glad that he is by my side every day.

The walk was beautiful. 
Living in Moose Jaw, I had never enjoyed that park before.  Never knew just how beautiful it was!
And it was perfect.  The perfect path, perfect distance, perfect sunny (yet windy) day. 
And how do you call such a reason for this walk "perfect"? 
The reason was by no means perfect...but God allowed a sunny day.  He allowed the beauty of the leaves and the colors of fall, and the reminder that as one season comes to an end, another begins.

I don't know if this season of loss ever ends.  I don't know if the pain and heart ache ever ends.
But we are given an opportunity to hope again.  We are given a choice to celebrate our little ones in heaven by the way we live each new day.
And even though there are days where my pain is more than I can bare...I can hope.

Hope as a word has become very distant to me.  Very scary.  Hope is scary.  It is making yourself vulnerable.  It is putting yourself out there.
But what is life without hope?  It's sad, and dark.
So no matter how much hope scares me...I WILL hope!

And no matter how alone I feel on the journey...I know that I am not.  I know that God is with me.  I don't have to chase after Him and beg Him to be my friend.  I don't have to hope that He'll want to ask how I'm doing...and will lovingly sit by my side and listen.
He just IS by my side.  He IS my friend.  I am NOT alone with Him on my journey.  He DOES want to genuinely know how I'm doing.  He WANTS me to allow Him to be there for me.  He DOES listen.
I just have to allow myself to let Him in.
He is the friend that never fails, who never turns His back.  Who loves me even though some days I'm sad.

I am also greatful to those in my life who walk this journey with me.  People that have encouraged me, and helped me to laugh.  People who inspire me to be a better person.  People who allow me to speak of my hard days, and people who really want to listen and really want to know how I am doing...truly doing.
People who have come along side me through some of the darkest days, and also celebrate in the good! 
You are special to me.  More special than I can ever say. 
You have been a true blessing to me.  You have been an answer to prayer.
It is a freeing feeling to be real.
Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for loving my children through my memories.
Thank you for encouraging me, and for being by my side.
Thank you for being the true meaning of friend.

Last night I was so drained after we got home and Evan went to bed.  I looked at pictures of the days when Zac was alive.  I looked at pictures of his beautiful eyes.
I looked at pictures of my precious Evan, and pictures of him as he has grown.
I remembered the hope I had those first days after their birth.  The dreams we had of watching both our boys grow together.
And it hurt.  It will always hurt.
And as I watch Evan as he chases his shadow...I will always wonder what life would have been like.  I always see the reflection on the ground of who should be by Evan's side.

But we do have the truth of eternity.  The truth that we will not be apart forever.  The comfort of knowing that one day all my babies will meet me at heavens gate with a smile and open arms, like no time has passed between us at all.

I am blessed to have had Evan with us on our walk.  What a true blessing.  What an honor.  What a gift.
Every day I know more and more how lucky I am. 
He is precious to us.  He is my heart.  He is my air.

As you all know, the cemetery where Zac "is" is no more than a look outside my windows.  Every day a train passes that way, and every day we hear the train's "choo choo" as Evan calls it.  And now that the leaves are falling we can see it very clearly.
Evan loves that train.  Every time he hears it we have to stop what we are doing (including eating) and go on to the deck and watch it pass.
The other day I was telling Evan how when the train passes the cemetery and "choo choo's", it is saying "Hi Zac!"  I said to Evan "can you say Hi Zacy?" and out of his precious mouth came "hi acy!"
Tears just sprung to my eyes.  To hear my son say his brothers name was pure music to my heart.
And I want him to know his brother as best as I can share him with Evan.  Honestly...Evan knows Zac more intimately than I ever did...he knows his brother in a way I never could have.  But we will say his name!
And then as we were about to head in to the house, Evan blew a kiss...and that just melted me even more!
How precious.

Anyhow, it is now past midnight.  I really should get to sleep.  I was cleaning like a crazy person and doing laundry before this post so I could breathe a bit easier in the morning.  But now it's time to get some sleep so I can keep up with my busy little boy!

I am thinking of you all, those close to my heart who have lost precious little ones...and I want you to know that your babies were remembered with us yesterday!  They are remembered EVERY day.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month.
My challenge to each of you is to really reach out to someone in your life that you know has lost a child/ren...and ask them about their babies.  Ask them how you can remember them along side these parents.  BE THERE for them even if it's just by lighting a candle or a moment of silence.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I can't remember the exact time, but at either 7 or 8pm in each your own time zones, (I'll have to double check and confirm this for you all) we light a candle in remembrance of each of our lost ones.  Candles are lit all over the world, and we come united to remember and just share a moment of silence.
I ask each of you to share in this time.  Light a candle.  Release a balloon in memory of a lost angel.  Call a friend or family member and let them know you remember.  Don't be afraid to reach out. 
We ache every day...it doesn't go away.  But knowing we are not alone helps to comfort us!