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

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The precious heart of a 5 year old...

today's additions to Zac's grave site.
So, my 5 year old nephew has always been far more intelligent for his age. So sensitive, so inquisitive, so absorbent of that which goes on around him.
I've shared stories of how Zac's passing was remembered by Fin in the past...but last night was something else!
Last night my sis-in-law and the kids had a sleep over at my house. We met at Blockbuster first to pick out some movies for the kids, and when Fin saw me and Evan in the store he came running up to me and said "we were talking about Zac!!"
I was taken off guard and had to compose myself for a second...but my heart over-flowed with love for my precious nephew!
Then as we were scanning the movie aisles Fin said "I don't know why Zac's balloon had to pop!?"
Sis-in-law and I looked at each other and then at Fin and said "what?" And he repeated himself. Sis-in-law asked "do you mean Evan's balloon?", but Fin was adamant that he meant ZAC'S balloon.
Then he looked at me and said "Zac's balloon in your TUMMY!"
I was stunned. Not a hurt stunned, not a shattered stunned...just stunned that he would say that. Then sis-in-law explained that Fin had been asking questions about Zac and this was the way she explained what happened. And to be warned that Fin might talk about it through the night.
I was so touched. Touched that my precious nephew would be the one to ask questions. Touched that my sis-in-law would be open and honest with him and try to explain things in ways that might help him to understand. Touched that my precious Zac is not forgotten and his name will be spoken. Touched to HEAR Zac's name come from someone. Leave it to the pure innocence of a child! A child who remembers his cousin even though he never met him. A child that remembers the funeral and how the music made him sad.
On the way home we has swapped Fin's car seat to my car and on the drive Fin asked who Evan's favorite person was when he was a baby, and was it Zac? Then he asked if Zac moved a lot when he was born and I carefully explained that no, Zac didn't move because he was so sick and was on many medications that wouldn't allow him to move so he wouldn't hurt himself. Then Fin states "ya, Zac needed lots of fluid in your tummy to breathe and that's why he got sick. But he had enough to breathe and save Evan!!"
OK...I didn't know how much more my heart could take without having to pull over and fall to pieces. But you know...hearing things so innocently and matter-of-fact from Fin was so special to me. Hearing him talk about his cousin, and asking these questions and associating that Zac saved his brother's life...can I just say I am blown away.
So many days I feel like I will never hear anyone acknowledge Zac or have them say his name.
When I refer to Evan's birth it is ALWAYS "when I had the boys" or "when the boys were born"...but to so many others it is just "when Evan was born".
And I get it. I can't fault anyone for that, because their topic has to do with EVAN, and I understand that. But I guess I just wish I could hear from someone else "when the BOYS were born" because Zac was born, and did live.
It's tricky. I get that. And I try not to feel hurt. I CAN'T allow myself to feel hurt.
But moments like last night...restore my heart and fill it with just that much more...hope.
I am so greatful for my nephew, and for my sister-in-law who is helping keep Zac's memory alive in his cousins!

Monday, August 23, 2010


I love this picture...looks like the two of them are so deep in conversation! Evan getting a hair cut from Grandma. First official one since his poor little head had to keep getting patches shaved to accomodate IV's in NICU. This one was much more pleasant! Evan snacking on his ride.
My lil' monkey up in a tree...with his cousins foot in the picture! :)
I love how photogenic Evan is. But since he has had a camera in his face since day one of his life...it can only be expected. I LOVE how when he sees the camera now he stops cold and says "cheeeeeze". Love it!!
Well, I finally put together Evan's wagon. It was a baby shower gift, and one I thought was super genius!! I would have never thought to get a wagon! But I love it.
Admittedly...I wouldn't look at the box for a loooooooong time. Even the phrase of the title on the box "A wagon for two...or more" just hurt too much. Because I knew this special wagon that SHOULD have held my two would not. And for that fact...as with anything that holds the word "twin" in it...I had to block it from my mind for a while.
But last week I decided it was time!! Before Evan outgrew it! And it deserved to be used because it is so awesome!
My nephew has been at my mom's last week and this week so Evan and I have been spending our days over there playing. It has been fun for both of us! But especially Evan getting to spend so much time with his cousin. Mason is 4 months younger than Evan.
On Friday we took the boys for a walk in the wagon...and I have to admit...looking back as I pulled them was such a typical bitter-sweet stab to my heart. It was hard for me to look back and see these two sweet boys in the wagon. SO glad that Evan has someone to share the other seat with...but SOOOO hard knowing Zac will never be the other partner.
However...it was still fun to watch the two of them just as proud as could be in that wagon! :)
I have to admit that my heart has been in my throat a few times, and I have had to fight unbelievably hard to control tears that suddenly spring to my eyes as I watch Evan and Mason together.
I have to admit that it's hard not to see them together and wonder what life would have been like..SHOULD have been like with Zac here.
I have to admit that time to time I have to quickly walk around a corner or go to the bathroom to regroup and pull myself together.
I don't feel depressed...but admittedly I feel like our lives were cheated.
I feel torn. Not depressed, not all wierd or anything like that...just always that blasted bitter-sweet.
I LOVE watching Evan and Mason together. Last week Evan walked in to my parents house and went straight to Mason and got on all fours and put his head on Mason and gave him a kiss. Ya...talk about breaking my heart...in a mushy way! It was adorable!
I am glad that Evan has Mason who is so close in age. I am so glad for Fin and Brighton...Evan's cousins. Because they are all 5 and under and it's so fun to have them in a good age group together. It's very special to me.
I always wondered if we would ever be a part of the "family" setting even within my family. I always wondered if we would EVER have children to play with my brother's kids, or to call my parents "grandma (or as Evan says - mama)" or "grandpa (which Evan calls papa)".
So many times I felt so broken and empty and alone and like a self-inflicted outcast.
I adore my nephew and niece and Fin and Brighton got me through some really tough times. I was able to love on them and feel a bit more fulfilled.
Now with Evan and Mason becoming fast buddies...I couldn't ask for more. Well...I COULD, but I won't because I can't change the reality of our lives and the loss of Zac. But I'm VERY happy that Evan has a bud that he can grow with and get in to mischief with.
I am so grateful for my nephews and my niece. I am so grateful that my brothers and their wives never had to experience what Brett and I have had to experience. I am glad that they don't know what it's like to lose a child or have difficulty conceiving a child.
Because honestly...infertility SUCKS!! And watching a child pass away will change the very core of who you are.
I look at the kids all together...and I smile. I smile with such sincerity and with such proud auntie/mommy love that I feel like I could explode some days.
I feel blessed.
No matter the sorrow and sadness in our lives...I feel blessed. We ARE blessed.
Life will always hold a sting for me...and that's the way it will be.
The other day Brett said to me (upon my admittance of having a tough time watching Evan and Mason and missing Zac so much) "I just don't know how to make it hurt less"...and honestly...no one ever can. And I think that's okay.
I'm just so lucky that I have Brett and family to love me through it. Family who never leave my side. These people who allow me to hurt, and then help pick me up.
They don't expect perfection. They don't expect I'm "all better". They don't make me feel guilty or bad about myself for the tough days.
And that is what love and support is.
ANYHOW, on a completely different note...I'm SOOOOOO annoyed of all the noise and MESS of living in a new development. The house beside us (right beside Evan's bedroom window) is now going up, and at 7:30am this morning the banging and noise began. Out my back they area is now undergoing development so there are trucks, tractors, graders and diggers of all sorts plowing and moving earth and leveling things. No matter where I turn...noise, dirt, mud, dust, construction. Ugh.
I keep hearing "it will get better, and it will be so nice in the end"...but when exactly is the END?? It's only the beginning, and it's going to take a loooooong time before it's what the "vision" is to be.
In the meantime it's frustrating and messy!
I was really worried about how Evan would EVER nap again with the noise outside his window, but amazingly he went down for a nap and has been sleeping through all the banging!! PHEEEEEEEW!!!!! That makes this momma VERY happy!
EWWWWWWW, I have the news on right now (well, that's the chanel the TV ended up on and has stayed there) and the heading was "you won't believe what is used to make makeup..."
I HAVE to watch this part. Although I think it's going to make me ill!!!
What I can't understand is WHY so much garbage and horribly unsafe and unhealthy ingredients go in to things that are supposed to help you feel "beautiful". Is it a matter of companies just using the cheapest garbage in order to make a profit? Wouldn't you, as a developer of these products think to yourself as you are pouring and mixing all these disgusting things together stop and say "this is toxic and why am I supporting this? Why am I CREATING this?"
Here we go with the "gross details".
Placenta from cattle, insect parts, dried whale vomit (brings out aromas in high end French fragrances), red lipstick contains ground up beetles (ARE YOU KIDDING ME???) and is in over 300 colors of lipstick, the gloss in nail polish can be ground up fish scales, facial cleansers holds fat scraped from cattle carcass.
However a dermetologist says that of the products are typically "safe".
ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH, so, I also just heard that some hair products contain the after birth or placenta from cow or sheep that contain hormones that could seep through the skin and potentially disrupt OUR HORMONES!!!
And now I sit here and wonder why I'm not surprised that so many women are dealing with hormone imbalances.
NOW, I'd like to know the actual NAME of that ingredient so that I can avoid it at ALL COST!!!
This was from the Detroit news.
OK, so now that I've grossed everyone out and taken my post from one extreme to another...
I think I am going to sign off and go through the list of ingredients of all my make up products and shampoo!! BLECK!!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Some days...

While we were sitting at our dining room table I looked out the window and there was the most brilliant rainbow...right over the cemetery where our little Zac's grave it.
I needed that rainbow that day!
Trying to climb the ropes at the Forestry Farm like his big cousin Finley! Peek-a-booooo Chasing the geese at the Forestry Farm. He thought it was hilarious when they hissed and honked at him! Yikes!! Hangin' with his cousins, Finley and Brighton. First off, let me start by saying I still don't get a lot of this blogging stuff, and some days the spacing and paragraphs are as I type them, and other days it is just one string of sentences. Very annoying. But, that's just a side note of annoyance for technology and nothing to do with my post title :) The pictures really say it all. The rainbow that evening seemed to get brighter and brighter instead of fading like they usually do. And right over the cemetery. I told you...I see the cemetery out of every back window in our house and from our deck. Some days it is "soothing" to be so close to my sons body...other days it rips my heart to shreds knowing I'm so close to his now bones...yet so very far from where he truly is. And even though one day we will reunite...on earth it hurts to be so close, yet so very far. I miss my Zac. It never changes. Each breath holds the ache of missing him. Each heart beat reminds me of the heart beat missing in our home. Every where I look...I see where he is missing. And I still get so very angry. I still see each dream I held for my sons together. And it hurts to have those dreams taken away and left only as memories. One day...one day I will hold all my children again. One day we will ALL be together once more. And that is what I have to remember while the pains stings down here on earth. Then each time I look at Evan...my heart over flows with love and gratitude and thanksgiving. Each time I look at Evan and realize how easily I could have lost him too...yet we are so blessed to see his smile, to hear his laugh, to watch him growing and learning and becoming this amazing little boy! We look at him in awe from where he came from. 12 weeks early. Do you REALLY comprehend how early that is! A trimester early. And we are so blessed to have this strong, healthy, intelligent little boy. We are truly blessed, and we know it. And we are greatful for him. I shed tears often as I hold him and rock him to sleep (YES, I STILL rock him to sleep when he wants and I will never regret that!!!) As I sit there holding him and watching him drift to sleep I constantly am thrown back to NICU days...and I remember this fragile, uncertain little life that we watched in his fill-in "womb" as I like to refer to his isolette. Watching him grow how he should have been growing inside of me. Watching this fragile skin, body, bones, breath. Wondering every day if today was going to be the day for a set back. Wondering if we were ever going to bring Evan home. Wondering if we would walk out of that hospital empty armed and broken hearted all over again. And I look at my son now and think...I am so very lucky. I am so very very lucky. Even the days where I am tired and run down and frustrated...I hold him and I let the tears fall because I have him here with me. I get to hear "mommy mommy mommy" over and over again. I get to hear and watch the temper tantrums that occasionally occur. I get to have the mommy-frustrations...and I love them. And each time I feel frustrated, I feel ashamed. I don't feel like I deserve to feel that way. We waited 10 years for our children. We lost three children. We were granted the responsibility and honor of parenting Evan. Ya...I might feel frustrated some days in my own tiredness...but I will NEVER tire of my son toddling behind me pulling on my pant leg and shouting "mommy mommy mommy" over and over again. I wish I were hearing it in double...and both pant legs were being pulled around. But that is not the way life is, so I savour EVERY single solitary moment of ANY emotion or attitude my son may have. Even watching his (very occasional...seriously!! I'm lucky!) tantrums...it warms my heart (even if it grates on my nerves) because I see the 2lb 9ou baby that fought so hard to stay with us! So I will savour the sounds of his melt downs and I will look at him and say "you are strong, you are determined...and you will always be a fighter! And I love you!" One thing that I will always struggle with is talking about pregnancy, birth, etc. with friends. I have come to realize that people don't really ask me how I felt or what I experienced...because I missed the most active part of my pregnancy...so what do I have to comment on or advice to give? Really...it's the truth. I was only in my 3rd trimester for one week.
And I guess I get jealous listening to the woes of the third trimester and the "I wish this baby would be born already" comments...because all I got to wish and pray for was more time for my sons to remain inside me! I am envious of listening to all the discomforts (granted I had MANY of my own with carrying two babies inside!) and all the normal pregnancy talk and memories and feelings. I have no memory of my sons being born. I didn't get to be awake. The only memories were terrifying, and felt like the worst nightmare of my life. I honestly felt like I was suffocating when they were gassing me to put me out for surgery. No one held my sons up for me to see them. I didn't get to hear them cry. I didn't get to touch them or weep tears of joy and awe. I have no idea what all went on to revive them and get them breathing. My husband watched as they were whisked by to the NICU. He got to see them. I didn't even get to have my husband by my side as our long dreamed of sons were born. I didn't get to hold his hand and giggle with him in nervous anticipation. I didn't get to yell at him through contractions. I didn't get to tell him how scared yet excited I was. All I got to tell him was that I was bleeding, and we needed to get back to the hospital FAST. I just remember being torn from him from L&D observation to the OR. We didn't get to say goodbye, we didn't get to kiss each other, I didn't get to see the reassuring look in his eyes even though I know I would have seen fear. I went in to that OR alone, without my rock. And I was shaken. I woke up with him by my side, and with pictures for me to see of our boys. That was my introduction. And the feeling of fear and uncertainty. So really...when the girls all sit around and talk about their pregnancies and deliveries...as happy as I am that no one else has had to experience anything so frightening and devastating...I feel alone and left out from the conversation. I admit that it hurts my heart. Even though I am now a mommy, I have no exciting HAPPY story to tell of my delivery. I have no labour story to share. I have no story to share of how I felt when I saw my sons held up after they were born. I have no idea what it feels like to have happy, blissful memories. And it hurts. And even though it is unintentional...I withdraw. Because I feel so outside of the comprehension of the conversation. And that makes me feel sad. It's just hard some days. I wish I were one of them. I wish I had my sons on each of my laps as I shared my labor and delivery story. I wish I could say how I felt the moment they were born. I wish a lot of things that will never be. Yet...my little Evan is my shining light. Our son, who we wondered many days if he would ever come home, is HERE...and for that I am blessed. I may not ever fit in to the conversation...but Evan and I, and Brett and I...we have our stories to share that only we will ever really understand. I don't know if I will EVER get to share a normal pregnancy/birth story. I don't know if we will ever be blessed with another child. So for now I have to just rejoice in the fact that none of my friends have had to experience the fear and pain and grief and confusion of my type of pregnancy/delivery and the days, weeks and year that has followed. And instead of withdrawing I need to just rejoice with and for them. The envy may always stir inside of me...but I want to be a joyful friend! Yes...I have GREAT joy! His name is Evan. And he is my world and my light and my joy and my pride. But this proud and joyful mommy will always hold the ache of the loss of her son. It will never go away. It will always be a part of who I am. Evan is just so full of life and curiousity and determination and will power. I NEVER want him to lose that! I want him to always be a fighter for what is right and for the life ahead of him. I want to be a strong example for him...but I want him to know that it is OKAY to hurt and feel sad too. I want him to learn how to love others through their times of pain and rough patches. I want him to learn the value of being a good and true friend and mate. I have so many hopes and dreams for my son. They may have changed in respect that he is without his brother here on earth, but I still have such hopes and dreams and prayers for my precious son. But I need to be an example. I need to be the source of where he will learn these values. He is such a character. He makes me laugh so hard. It's so fun watching him becoming his own person. I am truly lucky. But there are always those days... and that's okay. I'm human.

Friday, August 6, 2010

This and that

Enjoying rainbow sherbert on a hot night in Kelowna! Yummmmmm.
First time in a pool!!
The life of holidays! Crashed!!!!
Pit stop on our way to Kelowna at the spray park in Drumheller to cool off before more driving.
Doesn't Evan looked thrilled to be driving driving driving!
I've really been struggling since being home. Besides still recovering from the flu I have just had this rock sitting in my stomach. This constant aching sadness. Not the flu...and NO, not any other bright ideas that "oh, maybe it's something else"...cause that's always laughable to me! Not with our history, and I'll never hold my breath on that one!
Just plain old knots in the stomach.
Yes, partially the flu. Yes, it's always sad to have a holiday end...especially when you haven't been on a real one in 13 years. And yes, it's always hard to come back to reality.
But there is this constant feeling in my stomach that I just haven't been able to shake.
And like I said before, the tears are just finding their way to my eyes and down my cheeks.
A lot of it is because we heard some sad news of a couple we know...and they lost a child they were about to adopt. Literally. He passed away just before they were going to pick him up overseas. And my heart is broken. My heart aches, because although this precious angel may not have made it to his new home and family...I know he is emersed in their hearts, their dreams of a future together...and my heart aches.
I know all too well the pain of not being able to bring your son home after all your dreams and hopes and prayers. The confusion and the pain.
To this couple...my heart is aching so deeply for you in a unique way that not many could ever understand.
And like I said before...I've been missing Zac so deeply lately. But that will never change...no matter how many years pass us by. He is in my heart, and my heart will always ache for the dreams we lost with our son.
BUT, the past couple of days I was determined to pick myself up from my funk. I was determined to create some adventures for Evan and I...and I did. I think today was by far the most fun this week! We did a few errands this morning and then went by daddy's office where Evan ran circles squeeling as daddy got to have a few minutes of chasing him around the office. And then on the way home on a whim I stopped at a waterpark by our house (thank goodness I had come semi-prepared with a change of clothes and a swimmer diaper...see...it pays to be over-prepared sometimes!!) and Evan ran around and through all the different sprayers with the other kids. Of course, as it will always happen...I was faced with a set of twins...and possibly two sets (I wasn't sure if they were all this one mom's kids)...and of course my heart panged with the ache. But I kept my focus on Evan, and ran around with him and got wet with him and laughed and giggled with him. THAT was my focus!! Even if my eyes and mind did wander over to the set of twins.
We came home, had lunch, Evan napped and then when he got up I packed him and the dogs up and we went for a walk through the park that was my old elementary school park and rivalry elementary school park. We found a swing that Evan could be in, but he kept reaching for the empty one beside him and grunting until I pushed that one too. And yes...there it was again...the sadness of knowing this is the swing that Zac should be beside Evan in. Not an empty swing that I was pushing. NO, I wasn't losing my mind or going loopy...Evan just wanted to watch it swing too. Every where on that playground was the reminder of TWO. Two infant swings, two slides side by side, two rides, two ropes...it will never be something I can hide from. It will always be a part of my reality. No matter how much it may sting from time to time.
But today I had a wonderful day with Evan. We have been having so much fun on our outings, and I want him to just feel totally engulfed by my love for him. I can't hug him enough, kiss him enough, tell him how much I love him enough, how proud I am of him. I can't stop awing at the little boy he is becoming.
I can't thank Brett enough for all his hard work so that I CAN be the one to raise our son! That I CAN stay home with him and teach him and raise him the way I hope he will grow. I can't be more proud of my husband for all he does, and for what he does. His hard work is allowing me to be the mom I always dreamed of.
No matter how hard things can be day to day...I am bursting with love for my sons in different ways. I will love both of them until my dying day. I am bursting with love for Evan for each day we have together on this earth. Life is so fragile. There are no garauntees. There are no promises. There are no warantees. There is just day by day. And I want to make each day count. I want Evan to know each day how very much I love him, and how much I love being with him. And that I pray for the very best of life for him.
Today, even though that gnawing pit in my stomach is still there...my heart is overflowing with love. And that is what I am focusing on!
I've included just a few of our holiday pictures. I will post a few more in my next post...so keep an eye out :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Well isn't that just a kick in the pants!!

So, after a wonderful holiday away the following day all three of us got HAMMERED with the flu! Brett got it by far the worst. I felt awful for him. And once again...enter super-parents (my mom and dad). Because Brett got sick around 2am and me around 2:30am, I hoped that maybe Evan would escape the illness...so early in the morning I called my parents to come and take Evan to their house to try to rescue him. And just as I was about to scoot them all out the door...Evan got sick. So my amazing parents stayed at my house risking their own health in order to care for Evan while Brett and I lay in agony in bed. Honestly...my parents are one of a kind. I don't know if it's just from being so sick so fast or what it is...but the past few days have been an emotional nightmare for me. I can't stop crying. I can't get rid of this nagging, gnawing pit in my stomach. And I'm missing Zac more and more. I miss my son. I miss my baby. I want to go away on another vacation with Brett and Evan. I'm not ready to be back here. And since being back I feel more alone here than when I did in a city where I knew literally no one. Evan has been such a trooper through this hit of the flu. It literally shakes me to the core when he gets sick. Granted, he has only been sick once since coming home. He had the flu last winter, so really...he has been fortunate. But it terrifies me. The thought of anything wrong with my son terrifies me and shakes me up. Yet...he is my warrior. He just keeps on trucking! He puts me to shame! And he has bounced back just fine! He is as busy as ever. And sleeping really good through the night. He has actually been sleeping about 12 hours each night...but he has also cut out one of his day time naps. Can't expect him to sleep that much during the day when he gets up later! And it's working fine, so we just go with the flow. But to see my son tired and weak from illness...it breaks my heart and sets off fears that I'm sure will always be a part of me because of Evan's start to life. I just wish I could protect him from anything crummy! He is walking all the time now!! Unless of course he wants to get somewhere really fast...then he gets on his super-knees and just flies! However, he is ATTEMPTING to RUN too!!!! It's absolutely adorable. Being away on holiday was good for all of us. You could see how much Evan loved having both his mommy and daddy to himself all day every day...and it was so precious for me to have my guys all to myself as well. Everything just felt so relaxed. I even caught myself thinking for a split second...what would it be like if we moved? But then I knew that could never happen. How could I ever leave Zac? How could I leave where he is buried? I don't think I could. We realized on this trip how very important time together is. Yes, life has so much stress and pain...but we HAVE to make one another a priority, and our family first. Because without that...there wouldn't be much of a life. And watching how much fun Evan had with us...that is what I want. I want my son to know that he is first. I want my son to know just how very much his mom and dad love him and adore him and want to have special times and moments together. I want us to have special memories for him to hold on to and say one day "remember when..." That's what I want. It's funny...even though Evan is peacefully sleeping right now, I just want to go in to his room and scoop him in my arms and just hold him and watch him breathing peacefully and perfectly. I'm already looking forward to the chaos of the day :) Anyhow, I am working through our vacation photos. I feel sad because there are a lot of shots that I wish I had taken, and feel like there are just NOT enough to justify the time away. And a lot of the times they are pictures of just Brett and Evan or me and Evan...and not enough of the three of us together. Always hindsight you see what you wished you would have done. BUT, the important thing is that every minute of each of those days are ingrained in my memory. And it warms my heart. Well, one of these days I'll get some of those pictures posted to share!! Soon! But for now, I must get ready for my son to wake up and get ready to play. Hugs, Heather