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, December 29, 2011

Christmas morning...and stitches to boot!

I couldn't ask for a more priceless, precious gift!

My sweet boy Tag.  Having some fun of his own :)

Ever tried to get a nice picture with two silly dogs?!

Evan in his Santa jammies

Hungry Hippo here we come!!

Completing our "sports center"

Our "excitement" from last night.  Huge gash...

and 4 stitches later!  Oh my heart!

Well Christmas was full of fun, family and excitement.

Brett, Evan and I all slept in until almost 11am, which in itself was a nice gift!  And then it was time to open the mound of gifts that "Santa" left under the tree!  So much fun watching Evan and his little face light up. 
Then it was off for dinner one of two!  Off to Brett's parents to enjoy our first turkey dinner!  It's hard to pace yourself when it all tastes so yummy, but you know that within hours you are going to be gearing up for turkey dinner number two!  And that's what happened that same evening :)  YUMMMM!

Evan had so much fun with all his cousins.  And it was definitely fun to spend time with both sides of the family!

Then the "excitement" of last night!  Evan had run in to his bedroom, and moments later I heard "the cry" and started to head to him, only to see him racing to me holding his head with blood gushing from his forehead!  I just instantly scooped him up and started to go in to panic mode.  Thank goodness for my level-headed, calm (good poker face daddy!) husband!!  He moved my hand and said "we need to go the the ER now".  So I wrapped Evan up in his blanket...no boots or jacket (he was in the process of getting ready for bed!).  Just bundled him in his jacket with a compress on his head and held him to the hospital.  When we got to ER admitting the nurse came and asked what happened and I told her he cut his forehead open...and then she moved the compress.  I hadn't actually seen HOW bad the gash was...and when I saw it I just started to shake and cry.  It was NASTY!
She dug out Evan's health card from my purse as I couldn't move my hands from Evan and told me to go straight to little peds ER and she would bring the card to me.
The doctor came and said it wasn't as bad as I thought it was.  Ummmmmmmmm...when you can see that far in to a kids layers of skin...that's bad for a mommy!
He put on numbing cream on the gash and then gave Evan a mild sedative in apple juice. 
Brett had to keep reminding me (lovingly of course!) to "keep it together".  And seriously...Evan was SO brave!!!!! 
The sedative was actually kinda funny!  Evan was all goofy but in a "drunk" kind of way...and he would NOT stop chatting!  He chatted up a storm with every nurse and the doctor and us.  One actually couldn't help but giggle.
When they did the stitches Brett held Evan's head still, the nurse held Evan's one hand and I had my head on his chest and held his other hand.  All Evan cared about was the string he could keep seeing as the doctor stitched.  He was just so intrigued by that stitch.
Then Evan and I talked about the nurses stethascope and how it was just like Dr. Wonko's (Evan's neonatologist), and the doctor asked how we knew Neil (Dr. Wonko) so I explained that Evan and his twin brother Zac were born at 28 weeks, and Dr. Wonko was one of Evan's doctors and who does his follow ups.  I then also explained how I must have seemed like an irrational basket case mother for being such a mess...but after spending so many months in the hospital...we have seen enough of the inside of that place.

Anyhow, after the stitches were done (Evan didn't even flinch the whole time!) the nurse gave him a blue popsicle.  Again...like watching a little drunk person trying to lick a cold popsicle but not totally "with it" to realize his mouth was cold!  He ate it all the way home.  Lets just say I have one winter jacket to wash now, and his face around his mouth is still blue from the dye!
When we got home he kept begging for another popsicle.  Thank goodness I had freezies!  And then I took him to bed with me and we watched one of his movies before he finally caved and went to sleep.
He was up once in the night, but I think he had bonked his stitches.
And today he is back to his old self and trying to do summersaults!  And here I am chasing after him making him be still!  Fortunately he caved for a nap this afternoon and is still sleeping.

I know that this is likely the first of many scrapes, cuts, bumps, etc...but I am praying against any more episodes of racing to the ER for stitches, and praying for his little bones to be made of steel so he never faces a broken bone!  I don't know how much my heart could take of watching him go through these things.

It's hard enough knowing he still has another hernia repair on the horizon.  His first was one week after he came home.  And he has had this belly button hernia since as well, but that one they don't repair until they are 4 or 5...something like that.  But just KNOWING that he will face another surgery and I will hand him off to someone once again as he is taken to the OR...makes me sick to my stomach.  HOWEVER, that is still a bit down the road so no sence in panicking about it now!

All in all it has been a  good holiday.
I was able to "sneak" out by myself on Christmas day as well to just go and sit and have a visit at the cemetery and talk with my Zac and my Ethan, Jack and Whisper.  And that meant a lot to me too.  It was quite a nice day so I was able to take my little fold up chair and sit and journal as well. 

Being with family is so important...and that includes my angels.  All my family! :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

From an innocent, tender-loving six year old heart...

On Christmas Eve my family was over at our house.
Before most arrived, I was in the kitchen getting stuff ready and my precious 6 year old nephew came and kept me some company.  He looked at a snow-globe that I have with one side a picture of Zac and the other a picture of Evan.  He asked if the picture of Zac was when he died, and I told him no, that was just before while we got to spend time with him.  And then he said something that touched my heart to tears...

Finley:  "Auntie Heather, remember when we let go of all those balloons for Zac last year?"
Me:  "Sure do buddy!  I'm going to do it again this year!  And you are more than welcome to come again!"
Finley:  "I think those balloons are going to land on your house, and in them are going to be letters from God about Zac and letters from Zac too!"
Me:  "Finley, I think that is the best idea ever!  And I love that!  Thank you!"

And then off he went to play with the other kids.

Knock the wind right out of me.  You have to understand...my nephew gets what happened with Zac.  He knows about his cousin thanks to his precious mommy and daddy.  My sister-in-law always mentions Zac's name to the kids...and it is pure music to my ears and to my heart to know she isn't uncomfortable and trying to "hush" my son.  She feels him as much as our family as I do...and I adore her to no end for that.  She has no idea how very very much I love her for that.  And I love that my nephew sees Zac's picture and says "Hey!  That's Zac!"  I love it.  And I'm greatful.

It took everything in me not to shed some tears in front of him after he shared such a precious thought...but the smile that came to my face at such an innocent idea, and such a precious image of that very thing...it took over.  I just smile when I think of that thought!

A very precious gift to me indeed!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Time...

My little drummer boy

Zac and Evan's Christmas tree ornaments

Zac, Ethan, Jack, Whisper and Evan's stockings

Christmas time again.  
It has been just over three years that we found out we lost Jack and Ethan.  Weeks before Christmas.
This is our second Christmas without Zac beside his twin brother.
And the ache will always remain.  How could it not?!  Four of our five children will not be opening presents or sneaking through their stockings.  They are not here for family gatherings or pictures with Santa.  

But...they ARE here.  They are here because we carry them in our hearts and memories.  They are here because we love them.  They are here because we are not afraid to allow them to remain a part of our Christmas traditions we are creating.  They will always be here with us.  And one day we will be with them singing heavenly Christmas carols and praising and rejoicing in gift given through the birth of Jesus.  We will be together again because a precious baby boy entered this world to grow up among us and walk among us...and to represent himself to and through us.  
How greatful I am for that gift.  How honored I am that through His life I am given eternal life with Him and with all our children and all His children.

I will say that this season hasn't been filled with JUST the ache of our missing children.  It has been another new year of experiences and memories and laughter and learning and humble gratitude of the gift of our own son...our precious Evan.
This little boy...growing so quickly it takes my breath away...is more gift than I could ever ask for.
We have been having so much fun with new adventures.  Our latest...Evan helping me with my shortbread cookies.  He was my official "sprinkle helper".  Yes...mounds of sprinkles ended up on each cookie...but what a precious memory.

Then tonight I called our home line from my cell and got Evan to answer it.  I started laughing in the "ho ho ho" Santa laugh...as deep as I could get my voice to go.  And I spent a good 5 minutes talking to Evan from my closet and watching him as he was talking "to" Santa and telling him all sorts of things.  It was HILARIOUS!

My little boy is growing so fast.  And all I want to do is cling to every single moment with all I have.  I don't want to miss a second.  I don't want to blink...because it just goes so fast!

He is my treasure.  My joy.  My smile.  My laughter.  He is my heart and my soul.
I have so many hopes, dreams and prayers for him and his life.  I see the strength he possesses, the wisdom he carries, the determination and strong-will nature he holds.  His goofy personality that loves to laugh and make others laugh.  And I just pray that he will always know how much I love him.  How proud I am of him.  How much I pray that his strength never feels defeat.  That his wisdom never wavers.  That his determination and strong-willed nature will never take a beating.  That he will never forget to laugh.  That life will never take that from him.  And that he will always encourage those around him to laugh as well.  That he will be a leader with a kind and gentle heart.  That he will be accepting without compromising his beliefs and faith.

These are the gifts I pray for him this Christmas season.  The gifts that can't be wrapped and taped.  The gifts that truly count and matter.

He is my gift.  All my children are such a blessing and such a gift to me!  So when I am asked what I've asked Brett to get me for Christmas...what could I possibly want that could fill me the way the gift of our children have filled me!  
And for the gift of that precious baby Jesus...who carries us through our lives!

Praying for Christmas blessings, and for a New Year filled with only the love and joy and support He can provide!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Give Me Faith...

Give Me Faith
(For The Honor - Elevation Worship)

I need You to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need You to open my eyes
To see that You're shaping my life

All I am, I surrender

Give me faith to trust what You say
That You're good and Your love is great
I'm broken inside, I give You my life

I need You to soften my heart
To break me apart
I need You to pierce through the dark
And cleanse every part of me

I may be weak
But Your Spirit's strong in me
My flesh may fail
But my God, You never will

If you ever have the chance to pick up this CD...DO IT!  It's great.  This song is one that I listen to over and over...and every time it brings me to tears.  Speaks to my very core.

I am so thankful for music, and the way God ministers through it!  I'm thankful for a God that loves, and for a God who brings comfort and peace and compassion.

I'm thankful for a God who never fails.  And who always has time to wrap His arms around me!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Four years ago today...

My one belly pic with our identical twins...I was just over 8 weeks here :)
Our first ultrasound just under 7 weeks.  The second empty sac is where Whisper was...

It has been four years.  Four years ago this morning that we were told the most painful news to that point of our lives.  Our identical twins were no longer living.  We would never again see the flickers of their hearts on an ultrasound.  We would never see their movements.  We would never know who they were to become.  We would never meet them on this earth, or hold them in our arms.  Never count those 20 identical fingers and toes.  Never be "tricked" by clothing swaps and silliness.
Four years...and it feels like yesterday.  Does time REALLY pass this fast?! 

And yet...no one remembered.  Not as a cruelty to me, not as an unkind or uncaring way.  I know that.  But I remember.  I'm sure their are a select few who remember along with me...and for that I am truly touched.  But it goes to show how once someone has left this earth...unless they have been a part of lives for more than just weeks, or months...or even brief years...often their names are rarely spoken.  And that is tough.  Tough when all you want to do is have them remembered.  I know they are tucked in hearts and minds.  But I wish I knew why it was so "taboo" to speak of those gone far too soon.  It's like for many of us who have suffered miscarriage, chemical or eptopic pregnancies, stillbirth, and infant death...the names of our cherished children are barely whispered.

I have been blessed.  With heavenly and a surviving earthly child.  But I can't help but smile at the thought, had life turned out a bit more kind and all our children had survived.  We would have a set of triplets (yes, our identical twins had a fraternal triplet for a brief time...which is why we name this little one "whisper") and our fraternal twins, Zac and Evan...had Zac survived past his short 3 days.
Our house would have been pure chaos!  And as much as I know I'm sure I would have whispered words of exhaustion and insanity...I would have cherished every single second of our chaotic "multiples" life!  Yet, I still do.  I still "parent" our 4 heavenly angels.  I still think of them and whisper words of love.  I still dream...not obsess about that which I can never change, but dream of what it all could have been like.

Yes, I am blessed.  And I have the security, faith and promise that one day, I too shall cross through heavens gates...and one day, I will have that chaotic house full of multiples chaos.  I will meet our first three angels.  I will, for the first time ever, be able to hold them in my arms.  I will get to embrace Zac once again.  When our lives have passed from this earth...my five children will surround Brett and I, and we will know all that we have had to wait for.

An old friend of mine was so loving and kind as to send this following quote to me today.  She felt it fit well on a milestone day like today...and I cherish her for lovingly sending it to me.  

I love this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer and it seems to fit so well for you today...  "Nothing can fill the gap when we are away from those we love, and it would be wrong to try and find anything. We must simply hold out and win through. That sounds hard at first, but at the same time, a great consolation since leaving the gap unfilled preserves the bond between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; He does not fill it but keeps it empty so that our communion with another may be kept alive, even at the cost of pain."

I love that quote.  And it does fit.  It fits so well.  And I am forever thankful for these words.

On Facebook I follow a group called Jesus Daily, and this was todays post:

"Carry me through today, Lord, With gentle wings from above! Carry me through today, Lord, Let me feel your love! I shall not worry about tomorrow, Yesterday is gone. Just carry me through today, Lord, That's where I belong! Through all my trials and troubles, I know that you are there, Sometimes it's hard to see You, Through each tear and care. Carry me through today, Lord, Don't let me slip away. Tomorrow may be taken from me, So carry me through today! Amen."

Again, so very fitting for me today.  

Sadness and tears do not equal lack of faith or weakness.  It shows that we are human, and that we feel emotion as God created us to!  He wept.  If He can weep...why shouldn't we?!  Why should we lower our heads in shame.  Why should we quickly wipe away the tears that may fall for fear that someone may see us?  If someone sees us...my word...they should be able to offer a smile of comfort, an arm of compassion.  If we see someone shedding a tear, or we know that the smile on their face is only an attempt to protect the pain in their eyes...shame on us if we don't do something to let that person know that we care...and that we hurt too.  We are all human.  And we should be able to extend a hand of compassion.  
I know I try to quickly wipe away my tears.  I duck my head.  I hide behind the "mastered smile" of being okay.  And I too need to allow others "in" and allow them to extend that hand of compassion that I often need...even though I pretend like I'm strong enough on my own.

Anyhow...I appreciated these quotes today on such a painful marker day.  The day we were looked at with pity and sympathy and were told "I am so very sorry..."

And though my heart will always ache, and tears will always fall for all my heavenly angels...I could not rejoice more in the knowledge that our time together was not a finality...it was only the begin of eternity!  Because God allowed His only son as on offering to free me from my sins, and to a life of eternity...I am filled with hope and awe and...joy.

Until our lives are rejoined once more and never again to part...I love you all my sweet angels!