Me with the boys at 27 weeks. Hard to believe that I had no idea I would only get one more week together with both of my sons growing inside.
My little man after his first bout of the flu...I let him have fun with his food since it had been missing for just over a week! Boy, did we have fun and giggles!! It was EVERYWHERE!!!
I've almost been avoiding posting. I've been wanting to hold on to the memories of this final week I had last year carrying my boys together. Wanting to freeze it in time. But as I realize...time does not stand still. It does not reverse. It does not "fix" the past no matter how hard I replay how I WISH things would have gone. It breaks my heart to think that this time last year I was 27 weeks pregnant...and had no idea I would only get one more week of carrying my babies. One more week of hearing and feeling Zac beside Evan. One more week of holding on to a dream of a miracle that would spare my sons life...both my sons lives!
On Sunday I went to Michaels to look at some birthday cake pans for Evan's birthday...and I couldn't do it. I couldn't purchase one. I got so choked up that I just left after paying a few other items. I am just so unsure of how to decorate a cake in a way to honor both of my boys...because on March 6th...BOTH my sons lived. Both were alive. It is as much Zac's birthday as it is Evan's...just in different ways. And I don't know how to sort through the feelings I feel. I don't know how to separate them...because I can't. They are hand in hand.
Oh don't get me wrong...I am so happy and excited to be celebrating a year of Evan's precious life!!! What a blessing this little boy is to me and to Brett. What a miracle his life has been. He is what keeps my heart beating. Every day I fall more and more in love with him as I watch him growing and learning and becoming his own person. I'm starting to relax in things that had been holding me back with fear...and we are having so much fun together.
Yet...I can't picture the day without Zac's name on the cake. I don't want to do a separate cake on his "heaven day"...because to me, even though it is a celebration of his life in eternity and our life to come...it still isn't a day I want to "celebrate" with a cake. You know? I want to do something special that day, but it won't be in the form of a cake or party. It doesn't feel like a party to me. It doesn't feel like a day of celebration to me. It is a day of loss...even though I know he is not lost. I KNOW I will see him and touch him and hold him again...yet, here on earth it is a day that hurts because I'm human.
Anyhow, I know I'll figure something out that will be just right.
The other day in one of the donations I received for the NICU there was a special and precious gift inside. The initial E for Evan...and the initial Z for Zac. My heart just about burst with gratitude and I was so touched! You know who you are...and I thank you from the depths of my heart for doing something so precious and special!! Thank you for including Zac! It will hang beside his brothers intial!
So, after my venture to Michaels I went next door to Old Navy. Got Evan a couple items and me a couple of items and after I finished paying and was heading to the door I was faced with a very young new father with...a twin stroller with two infant bucket seats holding two twin babies.
I absolutely froze. My breath was knocked right out of me and I just about crumbled to the floor. I was caught off guard by how much seeing that affected me...but all I could do was stand in one spot, frozen, with my eyes glued to the floor. He was trying to get out the door, and I wouldn't even go to help. I COULDN'T!! I just prayed that he would hurry and leave. And once him and his sweet babies were out the door I bolted and ran to my car and broke down.
I feel sad that this was the emotion that I felt. I feel sad that I couldn't help him out the door as I would have hoped someone would have helped me if that had been me with Zac and Evan. I feel sad that seeing such a precious sight created the most agonizing pain inside of me.
And then I feel angry. Angry for what we have lost. Angry for so much. And then I feel ashamed. I am not angry at the people who are blessed with their gifts. I am not angry at their pregnancies. How could I be. I just get so sad inside because it always brings me back to "why were we not enough for the full miracle to bring both our sons home? What did we do differently that made us not worthy of that same blessing? Why TWICE have we had to go through the loss of twins?"
Then a few days ago I went over to our new house. I walked through the quiet house and tears just came flooding. As I've mentioned before, we can see the cemetery where Zac's body lays from our living room, kitchen and master bedroom windows.
I walked through each room and begged God for mercy that this new house would bring new joy and hope. That each room would be filled with renewed laughter and strength and blessings. That as we continue to live our lives with Zac missing from all these things physically, that he would always be present in a good way. I tried so hard to picture Zac running free and whole and healthy and happy in heaven. I tried to picture the life he now has. I tried to picture the fact that when we see each other again no time will have past and he will not look at me and say "why did you give up...why didn't you try harder?" I keep picturing him saying..."thank you for loving me enough to let me not hurt any longer".
I will never understand how quickly time changed a perfectly healthy pregnancy and my healthy Zac, and turned on us and him. I will always be stunned by that thought.
I am broken by women who go full term with healthy pregnancies and upon delivery experience the death of their child. Broken by women who learn that the child they have dreamed of is experiencing a genetic problem that only results in death.
I am broken by how common these heart wrenching experiences are, yet no one realizes just HOW common because all we hear about is the healthy births of children. Like the passing of an angel is something to keep quiet and not talk about. No...they deserve to be spoken of too!
I often think about our 6 little frozen embryos that await their chance to be back inside me. And I realize that I am not through with facing the pain and sadness of loss. The reality is that not each of these precious little LIVES will not survive. Some may not survive the thaw, some may not continue to grow, some may result in another miscarriage, some may result in another death of a child in my arms...yet I can't help but plead and beg and pray that at least one will result in a living brother or sister for Evan. My RE and I have pretty much agreed that due to my history of multiples it would most likely be best to transfer only one embryo at a time so that we eliminate the possibility of multiples. HOWEVER, my first transfer resulted in one embryo splitting and expecting identical twins. But that is a 1% possibility...I just happened to fall in to that category. The other reason I fear another multiple pregnancy is that I fear how Evan would feel if he had twin sibblings while he is without his other half. Thoughts that are reality for me.
I don't know how I will face these possible losses. I know the reality is that I will have to...but regardless of what stage I may lose one of my 6 frozen CHILDREN (these little embryos are our CHILDREN...they are precious little lives awaiting an opportunity), whether through thawing, stalled development, miscarriage or death...I will ache and I will mourn their loss.
One thought I have that makes me kind of smile is that I always wanted a house full of children on earth, and although I may not get a house full here on THIS earth...heaven awaits with a house FULL of our children from the many embryos that we lost our first IVF, and now our second and with the loss of Ethan, Jack and Zac.
However, I really would love to experience another pregnancy...a healthy, FULL TERM and SAFE delivery of a child! I don't know what I would do with a full term weight baby!!! He/She would seem so HUGE to me compared to how teeeeeny tiny Zac and Evan were!
OK...lets switch gears here. I want to share some updates and fun stuff about Evan too!!! It can't always be about the sadness and confusion that I go through every day. There is so much joy and fun in each day with Evan and I want to celebrate that with everyone too!!!
A couple of days ago Evan was trying to move forward with the crawling. He'd get a few "steps" forward and then belly flop and smile. Well, on Wednesday I was in my basement watching him as he actually crawled forward for a while!!!! It was hilarious!! Then yesterday morning my mom was over and she was downstairs with Evan and came running up to tell me to come down and Evan was REALLY going full steam ahead!!!! It was AWESOME!!!!! The telephone on the floor was encouragment enough to get him going!! And now is in exploration mode! I'm definitely going to be keeping busy now!!
He is also all mended from his first experience of the flu. It was awful!! The poor little guy!! But he is packing on the weight once again!! Brett came down with the flu on Monday morning so I instantly packed Evan up and we stayed at my parents for a couple of days! I felt bad for leaving Brett to fend for himself, but I did come to check on him too! I just really didn't want Evan re-exposed to the flu bug. It's too nasty!
Evan also has more teeth on the horizon! Man, that can't be fun!!!!! But he is still in good spirits.
We had HOPED to be in our new house before Evan's birthday, but that isn't going to happen any more. Our countertops were SUPPOSED to have been in by the end of this month and Brett just learned that they will now not be in until March 9th. Nice! Oh well...to be expected. There are ALWAYS delays and issues and problems with people following through on the timelines they give in this industry. You can't really be surprised. Just gives me a bit more time to get this house packed up and moved. We have YET to list our house!! Good grief!!!!! I guess we are testing the miracle theory here! :)
I'll be sad to leave my neighborhood, but the other day at the new house I started to get a better feeling...a more optimistic feeling. I hope that will continue!
Well, I suppose I should sign off for now. Evan should be waking soon and I like to be prepared for him. And we have a couple things we need to do today. So I need to get MYSELF ready too!
OH...do I know my boy or what...I hear him starting to wake now on the monitor!! So on that note...I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday, and a great weekend!