Checking-in

Just a quick post to say, “Hi!  I’m still here!!!”

***waves frantically***

I’ve had so much on my mind and I think to myself, often, I need to blog about this…

Then someone cries, or whines, or poops…or cries and poops at the same time.   It’s usually the baby, but not always…

Baby C is suffering from the dreaded 4 Month Wakeful Period that I swear didn’t exist.  It doesn’t matter though, because I’ve decided to become a vampire.  That way I never ACTUALLY need to sleep again.  Do I have that right?  Vampires don’t sleep, right?  I never got into the whole Twilight thing so I’m a little rusty on my vampire trivia.  If I’m being serious, I still totally adore Baby C and recognize this, too, is only a phase.  Even if it’s shaving years off my life.

Baby C is 4 months old today and she’s doing fab.  She’s laid back and relatively easy-going.  Little A is doing great also.  She can be such a sweet little girl.  She can also be such a little hellion.  I recently took her to her first movie…Madagascar 3.  I kind of had an out-of-body experience sitting in the theater with her…her with her own popcorn, drink and skittles.  I can’t believe my little A is old enough to go to the movies.  We had a blast.  I really enjoy being out alone with her, she’s totally different when she’s by herself and now that she’s almost 3-and-a-half, I can actually hold a pretty good conversation with her.  She loves her little sister, no doubt, but one-on-one time with mom (or dad) is invaluable.

The whole “Hubs started his own company and doesn’t have an actual job right now” thing is going ok.  Actually, it’s going fine.  My “handling” of the whole thing is only going ok.  At least once per day I have a minor panic attack.  Each time I swear to myself tomorrow will be better.  Each time, I fail.  Bummer.  It still remains to be seen if this whole thing will be a success, but having him home (not traveling for work) has been amazing.  I love not having the stress of him having to fly out every few days.  He’s working pretty much non-stop.  The ideas just keep coming to him and he keeps acting on them.  I can only hope I maintain my end of the bargain and remain supportive and not melt into a big pile of dramatics.  I suppose I also need to get my business up and moving…because I have all this spare time and all.

Here’s Baby C today, at her 4-month photo shoot.
editIMG_3451
xoxo,

B

Advertisements

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day.  Tomorrow, the Hubs and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We got married young, the summer between our Junior and Senior year in college.  We were both 21.  We felt it fitting to mark our 10 year anniversary with this decision.

The past 10 years have been nothing short of exciting and to say we’ve both grown immensely would be an understatment.  We’ve had opportunities to do some amazing things, we’ve taken some great vacations and we’ve been through some serious rough patches, albeit very recently.  The majority of the past 10 years has been nothing short of amazing.  I don’t really have much to complain about.  But there’s been something missing.  There’s always been something missing.  Tonight, the sun will set on the life we’ve known for the better part of those 10 years.  The sun will go down, for good, on a seemingly predictable and safe future.  The sun will rise tomorrow marking not only a new day, but a whole new life for us.  One that we both believe has been in the works for a very long time, but only began to reveal itself to us over the last 18 months or so.  The Hubs will be resigning his current position which he’s held for close to 4 years.  He’ll be leaving the employer he’s been with for almost 8 years.  It’s a HUGE step.  He has not and will not be accepting a position with another employer.  He will be delving in, full force, going balls to the wall to make his small company a success.  Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new era.  I will continue my role as a stay at home mom, raising our 2 girls until the time is right for me to launch a small business of my own.  We won’t have any income coming in (until he starts making money on his own) and will be living off money that we have saved over the past 3 years.  Money that we couldn’t have saved if it hadn’t been for Dave Ramsey’s class, Financial Peace University, almost 3 years ago which I was firmly against.  I’m so very thankful for my husband’s gentle but firm stance that we needed to attend this class; he was aware of my sensitivity to the subject of money, but never relented.  It has changed the course of our lives.  We didn’t know what we were saving for, we were simply…saving.  There have been several big-ticket items we’ve wanted to purchase recently yet neither of us could pull the trigger.  I’m thankful for gut feelings and discretion and wisdom.  We’ve created and agreed to a budget that will allow this savings to carry us for many months and give him ample time to ramp-up his business.  If, at the end of the agreed upon time, the business is not performing as we desire, he will then seek full-time employment elsewhere.  In the mean-time he’ll be self-employed.

There is, of course, a certain amount of nervousness to all of this.  I keep telling myself there would be something wrong with the person that WASN’T nervous.  If you say it out loud, what we’re doing, it sounds crazy.  Truthfully though, we’ve looked at this every way possible.  Multiple times.  This is not a decision we’ve come to easily nor has the decision been made light-heartedly.  We have also sought the counsel of many people we respect in our lives.  We recognize the many sacrifices it will require.  If we want to make a go at this, this is how it has to be.  All in.  No questions.  One job and only one job.  He can’t make it work on a part-time basis.  Not with his travel schedule and the demands of his current position.  Not to mention he’s been increasingly unhappy in his current position and while he didn’t do anything wrong (it’s on permanent record with the company that he’s in no way violating company policy) by starting a business on the side, his current manager was less than thrilled when she learned about it.  There are also many signs his current division is in trouble.  All signs point to this being the right call.  While the seed for entrepreneurship was planted long, long ago, we started to see its growth while on vacation last summer, after the twins died.  If it hadn’t been for them dying, I’m about 99% sure we wouldn’t be where we are now.

So this is my last post as the wife of a traveling salesman.  As the stay at home mom while my husband brings home the bacon.  Going forward, it will be a joint effort to make this ship sail.  Granted, he’ll do most of the heavy lifting, but I’m sure I’ll be needed somewhere.  And before too long, I’m hoping to start my own thing that’s been in the works.  I know this isn’t true, but this really feels like my first experience with true faith.  I don’t know what’s on the other side…the unknown has always been scary to me.  But there’s something nudging me forward, something telling me to press on and to stay the course, and amidst all the nervousness, I recognize a peaceful feeling telling me this is the right move.  Although it’s often shrouded in the fear.  I’ve accepted the fact that even though this is the right move, it may not turn out how we want, but that’s not for us to decide.  All we can do is act and work our tails off.  To the life I’d grown too comfortable in yet provided me with so much to be thankful for I’d like to say, “Thanks.  It’s been an awesome ride.  I’ve had ups.  I’ve had downs.  I’ve had more ups than I’ve had downs.  I’ve made lots of mistakes, some of which were fun and I’ve grown into a woman who would be unrecognizable to the young bride I was 10 years ago.  I’m thankful, for it all, but I’m ready to move on.  To see what’s on the other side.  I’m ready to close the curtain and see what happens next.”

I’ll see you all on the other side.

xoxo,

B

 WMFlorida 2009 013

I miss blogging.

And I also know nothing lasts forever, so I’m trying to remember that my new baby is only 6 weeks old and the fact that I can’t nail down tons of time each day to blog is really ok.  But I do miss it.  I miss being able to put my thoughts down, to work out what’s on my mind.  Honestly though, there really hasn’t been any new developments as of late, but I’ve got some great pictures I need to share!

Baby C continues to be a generally happy and easy baby.  I can now see why people think babies are adorable, tiny little packages of squishy fun.  She sleeps pretty well, and has lately been stretching her feedings out to around 4 hour stretches.  When she does eat, it’s usually for about 15-20 minutes.  We’ll have the occasional 45 minute nursing session, but they’re so rare I don’t complain.  She’s SOOOOO different from  A.  I was still a wreck at this point with A and right now I’m sitting in bed on Hubs’ laptop while Baby C kicks around happily talking to herself and me in the pack-n-play next to me.  She makes it seem so easy.  Seriously.

A is taking a very rare after preschool nap right now.  She fell asleep on the way home and I just stuck her in bed; I try not to let her nap this late in the day but she’s staying the night with her grandparents so I don’t have to put her to bed tonight.  Hehe.

My 6 week post-partum check-up is tomorrow which means I’ll (almost) be officially done with this pregnancy.  Aside from an appt. to have my IUD put in and a follow-up from that, I should be in the clear for at least another year.  I’m thrilled.  I’ve had enough of my OB’s office for a while.  Not that I don’t love her and her staff, but between the twins and trying to get C here safely, I’ve spent a crazy amount of time in her office.  It will feel great to be “free” so to speak.  6 weeks post-partum also means I’ll be cleared for exercise, so, I suppose I should come up with something along those lines.  I assume I’ll run.  It’s free, and can fit into my schedule whenever.  We canceled our gym membership long ago since neither of us really used it and now isn’t the time to be taking on additional expenses.  Pregnancy is nice to me…I don’t gain much weight.  Breastfeeding is even nicer to me, as I drop a lot of weight quickly.  In order to keep it off though I either have to give up the booze (NOT HAPPENING) or exercise.  So, exercise it will be.  Eventually.  Maybe.  Probably.  The Hubs is thrilled for my 6 week check-up for, er, other reasons.  Because we have all this spare, alone time these days…

The Hubs celebrated his 31st birthday this weekend.  He wanted to spend the day in College Station as the football team was having their annual, open-to-the-public scrimmage.  I thought it sounded crazy, but agreed and we had a great time.  Both girls were great, A had a wonderful time at the game and running on the field afterwards and C was a super baby.  We also decided, for sure, that Hubs is quitting his job to try his side business on a full-time basis.  Right now, for insurance purposes, we’re planning for him to turn in his resignation on June 1, which also happens to be our 10 year anniversary.  Happy anniversary to us.  This whole decision is a huge step of faith (think the Indiana Jones movie where he steps out over the cliff only to set foot on a bridge that wasn’t visible) but I think think it’s the right one.  Please, oh please, let there be a bridge.  Just having him home, not traveling, will be awesome.  And I’m so proud of him and so glad that we have the opportunity for him to try this.  I’m really hoping we’re headed down the road we’re supposed to be on.  In order to stretch our savings as far as it will go, it will mean a change in life style (not that we currently live a super glamorous life or anything) for a temporary period, which has me a little wigged out, but oh well.  I’m really hoping it proves to be worth the sacrifice.

I promise to try to blog more regularly.  And I promise to be back soon with some new pictures to share!

How fast can we run?

Pursue your passions; chase your dreams.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, or you just found me and have taken some time to read through my past posts, you know that my husband and I have been on quite the journey over the last 12ish months.  I assume we’ve actually been on the journey much longer than that, being prepared for this time, but it feels like we were just brought into the loop, so to speak, only recently.  Baby C will be 1 month old tomorrow.  To say the last 4 weeks have been busy would be an understatement.  Much has happened and we’re getting ready to make some big changes.

Long story short, the Hubs’ current employer and he are not seeing eye to eye.  They haven’t been seeing eye to eye for quite some time, but it only recently got to a breaking point.  While not trying to hide or conceal his side business, he didn’t go around his current employer’s work place promoting it…that would have been in clear conflict with his current position.  His manager stumbled upon his site, and it has been an uphill battle ever since.  She’s a control freak and decided what he was doing on the side was an “obvious” conflict of interest and clearly he should have obtained prior approval before delving into such an endeavour.  I could go on and on about the absurdities that have transpired over the last few weeks, the poor handling of the whole thing and the ridiculousness that is his manager, but that isn’t the point of this post.  The truth is, for a few days, where we truly thought the Hubs was going to be fired for violating company policy, we were a little freaked.  I should probably mention this all unfolded on 3/22.  We were supposed to hear back from his manager and a decision from HR on 3/23 (the anniversary of the day we lost the twins).  We didn’t hear anything and got to sit and think about everything and come up with every possible outcome on 3/24 and 3/25 (the anniversary of their births).  This is all smack-dab in the middle of the 2 weeks he was SUPPOSED to be on vacation/paternity leave.  The timing of this whole ordeal is nothing short of poetic.  We received the decision from the ethics department yesterday, which was totally in our favor.  His side company is in no way a conflict of interest.  There was no reason for him to get approval from his manager and they’ve noted it in his permanent file so it will never have to be discussed again.  His website, that he had taken down a few weeks ago until this was resolved, was put back up last night.  As I write, he’s only moments away from a conference call his manager scheduled this morning to discuss the decision from the Ethics department.  No idea what she wants or how this conversation will end.

We’ve had a lot of time to think and to process over the last few weeks.  Emotions have been running high and we’ve talked ad nauseam about all the possibilities that lie ahead.  The timing is too impossible to ignore.  A year ago we lost the twins.  Almost a year ago the idea for his company started forming.  Last summer the idea for his company, and where we wanted to take our lives was solidified when we went on vacation.  It’s all documented here in my blog and we’re both a little ashamed to admit we haven’t really done much to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves.  The truth is, there is no way Hubs can start a business part-time in his current role.  He’s given it a good effort, but with his travel schedule, he flat-out doesn’t have the time it would take to get his business up and running on a part-time basis.  His dream has been, since childhood, to own his own business.  We’ve been able to spend the last few weeks considering a life style that didn’t include Hubs being gone 3 weeks out of the month.  A life style that included flexibility and the ability to work from home, or Starbucks, or Barnes and Noble.  A life style that allowed Hubs to be present, to make up for lost time in a way.  At the beginning of this whole ordeal, his boss suggested it was probably good he was already on vacation so he could take some time to think about what he really wanted.  That suggestion probably isn’t going to work out in her favor.  She’s called his integrity and commitment into question multiple times over the last few weeks…and he’s just not the type of guy to put up with that; and he shouldn’t have to.

The truth is, we’re currently in a financial position to allow Hubs to quit his job and take a stab at his company on a full-time basis for several months.  And while we have a substantial savings, the idea of him giving up his salary when I don’t work and we have 2 young kids still doesn’t feel like a good choice.  But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice.  In fact, a lot of times, the right decision is the most difficult road to walk.  The decision to leave his current employer has already been made, it’s just a matter of when.  This whole thing has been handled so poorly, and he’s been treated very poorly by his manager with regard to this situation.  It’s not a job he’s willing to stay at when the demands (travel, hours, etc.) are so high.  We’re trying to tie up a few loose ends before he walks away.  The decision of what to do after that is still up in the air.  The options are endless, really, but all boil down to whether or not he looks for another full-time gig or gives his business a go on a full-time basis and see where we end up in a few months.

We’re viewing this as an opportunity.  We’ve been given the opportunity to look at our options and see that yes, he can walk away from his current job and we’ll be ok for “x” amount of time.  We’ve been given the opportunity to think about what could be.  It’s not some far-off dream at this point, but more of an attainable reality.  So.  Are we willing to take the plunge?  Are we willing to take that step of faith?  How fast can we run to chase our dreams?

The Twins – Part IV

There is no end to this story.  There is no conclusion.  You can’t take all the pieces, put them in a box, close it, put a bow on it and call it finished.  No, their story will follow us the rest of our lives, and continue to unfold.  Possibly into further generations, we have no way of knowing.  As I sit here just days away from giving birth to our 4th daughter, and almost a year after their birth, I feel I need to offer some sort of end to their online story.  There are things that happened I haven’t yet written about.  The days immediately following their death and the intense emotional experience we went through just a mere month after the twins died.  This is the final part of their story.

The twins were born on a Thursday and Friday, respectively, and I was released from the hospital on Friday afternoon.  I don’t remember much about the ride home.  It was sunny and warm, I remember that much.  I also remember wanting desperately to see A, to see her smile, to see LIFE.  I slept a lot those first few days home.  Lots of flowers were delivered to our house, which I still find odd.  The last thing I wanted around my house were the living, beautiful floral arrangements to remind me of my dead babies. I know people were just trying to be kind, but I found it repulsive.  We put a sign up outside asking delivery men not to ring the doorbell.  My mom told me later about a conversation the Hubs had with one.  Hubs was asked if we’d just had a baby as he was accepting a flower delivery.  “No,”  he responded, “We just lost 2.”  How does one respond to that question?  It would only be one of many, many awkward conversations we would have.

We had a lot of time in the hospital to discuss what we would do with the twins’ remains.  We knew we would hold them, talk to them, keep them with us for some time, and we chose to have their bodies cremated and then we would take possession of the cremains.  Because the twins died before 20 weeks gestation, our loss was still medically classified as a late miscarriage.  Had they died past 20 weeks, we would have been forced, legally, to either cremate or bury their bodies.  This was my first experience with death.  I’ve lost grandparents, but I was never that close to them so conversations such as these were never had.  I’ve always avoided the casket at wakes and at funerals, but holding the bodies of my dead twins never felt gross or strange to me.  It didn’t matter if they were alive or dead, they were my babies and they had souls and I was going to miss them no matter what.   It was a no-brainer that we would want them home with us in whatever form we could have them.  There is a local funeral home that doesn’t charge a fee to cremate the bodies of stillborn babies.  They picked up their bodies from the hospital morgue on Friday.  We checked, and checked and double-checked with the hospital and funeral home about our 1 request.  We requested the twins’ bodies be kept together.  Cremated together, ashes placed in the same bag and then that single bag was to be placed inside the urn.  As impossible as it was to lose 2 babies, there was some sense of peace they at least had each other.  Because the twins were never alive, they didn’t receive birth or death certificates.  The only paperwork we have that bears their full names printed on it are the consent forms we had to sign for the funeral home to take possession of their bodies.  Those pieces of paper are very important to me.  I’ve read recently about certificates of stillbirth; it’s something I’m going to look in to.  We were anxious to get the twins home.  I left the hospital with a huge lump in my chest that wouldn’t go away.  It’s like I couldn’t breathe.  We’d been given a bunch of literature at the hospital and most of the books referenced this feeling and called it a broken heart.  The lump wouldn’t go away until we were able to collect their remains.

I don’t remember the exact day we got the call we could pick up the twins.  I think it was the following Thursday, a week after Megyn’s birth.  I know A was in school.  I pass by this funeral home a lot these days…it’s right down the street from the hospital.  I remember where we parked and I remember feeling so very sad, lonely and empty as we walked inside.  We agreed to pay $50 to have their remains placed inside an urn instead of a plastic box.  It’s very small, I remember both the Hubs and I being surprised at how small it is.  It’s ivory and gold colored, shaped like a heart and fits in the palm of my hand.  We confirmed again their remains were together inside the plastic bag inside the urn.  I held them close to my chest as we walked out of the funeral home and got back into the truck.  On the way out of the house, I grabbed a blanket given to us at the hospital.  I’m forever grateful to the organization Threads of Love for providing a handmade, crocheted blanket for our girls.  We had nothing for them, and I’ve felt guilty about it ever since.  It never occurred to me to purchase them something, anything.  A blanket, a stuffed animal…something that we could have taken with us that was intended for them.  The nurses took pictures of the girls on this blanket and it’s the only thing we have they actually touched.  As soon as I got into the truck, I wrapped their tiny urn up in this blanket.  “All babies go home wrapped in a blanket,” I explained to my husband.  I remember sitting in the truck, their remains wrapped in a blanket in my lap and taking a deep breath.  For the first time, I could breathe.  The lump was gone.  It finally felt like the longest day of my life had ended and we could attempt to move forward.  The twins’ cremains are in our bedroom.  In those first several weeks and months I would touch them daily, talk to them.  On Mother’s Day last year I held them near my heart and looked at their pictures.  It was important to me to spend time with them on that day.  I haven’t looked at their pictures since then.  I still touch them a lot and tell them I miss them.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them in one way or another.  While it may seem odd to some, having them home with us was the right choice.  We talked about burying them, but neither of us feels rooted here and I would have a really hard time moving away and not being physically close to their gravesite.  We may still bury them at some point, but not yet.  In the meantime, they’ll stay with us.  Their urn is small and in our bedroom.  It doesn’t exactly spark a lot of conversation from people visiting our home and the fact we have their remains here at our home is not information we openly share.  The weeks after that are a blur.  There was a lot of crying.  There was a lot of conversation. There were intense conversations about how odd it felt to be straddling life here on Earth and life in Heaven. I’ve never felt like dying, or taking my life, but it’s a strange feeling to suddenly feel like you’re in more of a hurry to get to Heaven. I believe my girls are there and I will meet them one day.  There was almost an immediate shift in life goals and priorities and there were relationship changes with our friends and family.  Family became really important…still is.  Some friends became more important, some friends fell away, and that’s ok.  I appreciated text messages and emails from friends, but I didn’t want anyone around me except my family.  I felt that way for a very long time and I still prefer family almost a year later, though I’m working on being a little more social.  I have a few close girlfriends that I’m constantly in touch with.  I took a year long leave of absence from the volunteer organization I’m a member of, stopped posting on facebook and didn’t return phone calls for months.  I needed some time to re-evaluate my life.  What was important to me and frankly, figure out exactly what I was going to do with this new life I was facing.  Things changed, I changed, my husband changed.  We were visited by a family friend who has had her own life’s battles after we returned from Sea World last April.  Since we’ve been dating, both Hubs and I have looked up to this couple as people we’d like to model our life after.  They don’t have children, they couldn’t because of a cancer diagnosis she got at a young age.  She talked to me about that stage of her life…how it changed her.  How it made her into the person she is today, the one I so respect and admire.  How it did things for her marriage no other experience could do.  She wakes up everyday and if she faces adversity, well, at least she doesn’t have cancer she says.  She wouldn’t trade her experience and I appreciated her visit very much.  It gave validation to what I was feeling, validating the feelings of change I had been experiencing. It also gave validation to the fact the Hubs and I had been discussing the changes in our marriage, how it seemed through tragedy, we actually grew closer, deepening our relationship, and it gave me confidence that losing some friendships was ok…that there would be people that would fall out of our lives because they couldn’t deal with the changes that were happening to us.  We still see those changes and almost a year later, I find it almost overwhelming to reflect upon all the changes in our life. This tragedy of losing the twins will foster positive growth, and something big and great will come out of it. I know it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

As husband and wife, we were doing the things that husbands and wives do about a month after losing the twins. It was that night I discovered a tiny lump, almost like a grain of rice on the Hubs, in a place you don’t ever really want to find a lump. I brought it to his attention, asking him if he’d felt it before. He said no. He was actually scheduled to head out of town that Monday and I was freaked out. I left it up to him, but thankfully, he squeezed in a doctor’s appointment that morning to see our family practitioner.  He was given an exam, and then a prescription for an ultrasound at the hospital as soon as he returned from his business trip. Not the diagnosis I was hoping for. I’m sure he was also hoping to hear it was no big deal, a cyst or maybe some connective tissue. I’ve never felt so panicked and fearful in my whole life. I called my mom in a state of absolute panic who in turn sent my dad to sit with me until she could get here. I was terrified of the Hubs leaving, of me being by myself. It was the first time he’d left town since losing the twins, and he was leaving with the knowledge that we might be facing a diagnosis of testicular cancer upon his return. It was heart-wrenching to think about. Not for one second did I think there was no way he’d be taken away from me. Not for one second did I believe God wouldn’t do that to me, to us. If he’d allowed the twins to die, what’s to stop me from thinking he’d take my husband too? I remember sitting in my den, on my knees, sobbing and begging a God I didn’t really trust anymore not to take my husband away from me, not to take my best friend. It’s a moment that has been seared into my mind. I was helpless, hopeless and broken. I had absolutely no where to turn and I was left to put my trust in a God that, in my mind, had hugely failed me only a month before. I can’t explain the kind of fear and panic I felt. I’ve never experienced it before, and haven’t experienced it since. Between the doctor’s visit and the ultrasound appointment I did as much research I could online. One of the hardest things to read about were the fertility discussions. We had been talking about when to have another baby after losing the twins and when dealing with testicular cancer, based on the diagnosis, future fertility becomes a question. Things like sperm banking and such are real discussions your doctor will have with you. We were both a nervous wreck on the day of the ultrasound. We actually had to check-in at the hospital and hurry up and wait…as is the case with most hospitals. The Hubs chose to have me go with him, for such an awkward appointment, I again, left that decision up to him. I promised him the tech would either be some gnarly dude or a 60+ year old Gerta. I was wrong. The tech that came to get us with 30ish, cute, spunky and had long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail. Looking back now, I feel bad for the guy. At the time, I didn’t care. I’d spent the last month with a doctor’s hand halfway up my vagina…who was I to judge? Even though she isn’t supposed to give results, she identified the mass pretty quickly. After she was done she let us know she was fairly certain the mass was simply a fluid filled cyst. There was good circulation and she didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. We had to wait until the next day to hear back from the radiologist, but he confirmed the mass was a cyst and only needed further attention if it grew in size. We were relieved, to say the least, but I certainly haven’t forgotten about the whole experience. It left its mark on me; reminded me how precious ALL life is, how important my relationship and friendship is with my husband. How very grateful I am to have him in my life.

Part of me wishes there was a way to wrap all this up and call it finished. But I know that’s not realistic and I think, as I approach the end of my life, I’ll look back and be thankful I was never given a conclusion. It’s an ongoing story/experience for a reason. I’m still struggling with the fear. The fear of something happening to A. To Hubs. To Baby C while she’s still inside me and of course, once she’s born. I don’t believe you have one gut-punch in life and you’ve then somehow paid your dues. I believe there are people who go through life unscathed, and people who go through life experiencing tragedy upon tragedy. Then there are those who fall in the middle of the spectrum somewhere. So, I struggle with the fear. I’ve known loss and I’m terribly afraid of it happening again. I’m also struggling with my relationship with God. I’m finding it difficult to trust Him, find it difficult to pray – to ask for things. However, I do believe what happened to me was intentional…was crafted by God and I believe it was intended to be a blessing in my life – I just haven’t been able to see it yet. I do not believe what happened was a random occurrence, an unintentional chain of events. These are the things I’m currently working on and I’m sure as time goes on I will find other things I’m struggling with and working on. Again, I think it’s a life-long experience. On a Saturday, a few months after the twins had died, I was sitting in a nail salon waiting to get a pedicure. I was at a place I don’t normally go, and I was facing an hour long wait. I decided to stay, A was sleeping, I had no where else to be and found myself sitting next to an elderly lady who had walked in to make a later appointment and was simply waiting for her husband to pick her up. I don’t even know how we got on the subject, but I learned she lost her youngest child, at about 7 months, to SIDS. For the first time, I was able to gather the courage and have the emotional stability to tell her that I lost identical twin girls at 19 weeks. I know it’s not the same as losing a 7 month old, but it’s still losing children. It seemed like such an out-of-body experience as she placed her hand on mine and told me how very sorry she was. She was gone shortly after that. I have no idea who she was. I believe that as I go through life, I will have opportunities, both big and small, to share my story. I’m very open about what happened, about the processes I’ve been through both physically and emotionally and I’m not afraid to tell people what I regret. I’m glad to have started blogging, to have a spot to share my story in hopes that it brings comfort or understanding to someone who is going through something similar. So, that’s where I’m at. I have my ups, I have my downs. I’m not sure I’ve handled this whole experience as well as one can, but I’m doing my best. I’m longing to share my story with others, to let them know the despair they feel will eventually subside, but to also let them know it never truly goes away. To let them know it’s ok to feel how you feel, no matter what. It’s ok to embrace your fear, your anger, your guilt and work through it. Don’t bottle it up or repress it. It’s ok to lose friends and relationships and to tell them you WILL change and that it’s ok. I want to encourage parents to not turn towards bitterness about their experience…to embrace the anger, pain and hurt for a time, but then to try to move forward. To start seeking out a purpose, a reason for the loss. To say I had it all figured out, I’d be a liar. I don’t. But I’m trying and hoping that some answers are coming our way soon.

I’ve seen changes in myself that I never expected. I’m much more conservative (not in a political sense) than I’ve ever been. I’m taking a deeper look into how I spend my time. Taking a closer look at what exactly I’m doing with my time, with my life. Focusing on fostering the relationships that are important to me and letting go of the ones that aren’t benefitting me. I think the Hubs and I are putting in a small garden this year, we’d like to start paying much closer attention to what goes into our bodies – trying to make the move to more organic foods, and trying to eliminate processed food. We’re also tossing around schooling options for A and one thing that has come up is a part-time homeschooling option. These are all things that were incredibly foreign to whoever I was before losing the twins. I hope this, in some way, wraps up our story for you. It’s taken me almost a year to write 4 installments and I feel their story deserved that much time. We will continue to recognize them on special Holidays and will recognize their birthdays on 3/24 and 3/25. We will forever consider Megyn and Whitney a part of our family, and will pay tribute the small but HUGE impact they’ve made in our lives. Although their time with us was short, the changes, decisions and goals we’ve made are substantial and never would have happened without them in our lives. We love you Megs and Whits and we WILL see you again; and until we can tell you in person, thank you for being in our lives, thank you for the changes you have brought about and thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice so that we can go on to fulfill our life purpose and destiny.

Here’s a conversation I never thought I’d have…

First, a pregnancy update.  I had my 36 week check-up yesterday (even though I won’t technically be 36 weeks until tomorrow) and I’m very thankful that my doc was able to confirm Baby C is finally head down.  It looks as though I’m able to table my concerns about a scheduled c-section due to a breech baby.  Weekly internal exams started yesterday and I’ve made basically no progress and Baby C is still riding high…which I kind of knew based on the butt and occasional foot in my ribcage.  I go back again next Friday, which is the same appointment with A I learned I was already 3 cm dilated.  We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days.  While I’d like for Baby C to bake as long as she needs to, I’ll be thrilled with some amount of progress at my next appointment.

The Hubs’ travel schedule has been INSANE.  Even he says so.  He was home Monday and Tuesday though and he came home from work Monday night with flowers for me and A.  He got A a potted Hyacinth plant that smells wonderful.  It’s in her room now, but we’ll put it in the ground eventually and I’ll do my best to keep it alive.  For me, he layed a dozen dark pink/light pink roses in my lap.  I was lounging in bed when he got home…no big surprise there.  After a few minutes he said, “My only request is that you take 2 of the roses and…” then he gestured to the top of our chest of drawers where the urn containing the twins’ ashes sits amongst our wedding photos.  I was speechless for a few minutes.  And I was surprised…which is almost impossible to do.  The fact that he even had to think about getting flowers for the twins is heartbreaking, yet, at the same time, why wouldn’t he think to get ALL his girls flowers on Valentine’s Day?  The whole conversation caught me off guard and made me equally sad and proud at the same time.  On one hand, there’s the realization there is no ending to the twins’ story.  There will always be Christmas, Valentine’s Day, their birthday…days that are special and meaningful to us where we want to honor their memory and the part they’ve played (and will continue to play) in our lives.  And I was immensely proud to be married to a man who is so very thoughtful and unafraid to show his love and devotion to ALL his children, even those that didn’t join our family in the way we had intended.  It made my heart swell; one of those “I think I just fell in love with you all over again” moments.  And if that wasn’t enough emotion for one evening, A pipes up and says, “I sure wish Baby C had a flower.”  Oh, the logic and the love of a 3-year-old.  And so, of my 12 roses, 2 are in a vase in our bedroom for Megyn and Whitney, 1 is in a vase for Baby C in her room and the remaining 9 are in a vase on the kitchen table.  And I’m okay with that.

twins' flowers

Megyn and Whitney's roses

c's flower

Baby C's rose, waiting for her in her room.

a's flowers

A's flowers

What a great day.

Gosh, I had a truly wonderful day today.  While nothing extraordinary happened, I thought it would be nice to blog about a lazy, uninspired day that was really great.  Being a mother is awesome, and I rarely find something to complain about with regards to being a mother; but parenting is hard folks.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or not doing it correctly.  So talking about the good times, as a parent, seems like a good idea.

Hubs had a 7am flight to catch, meaning he left the house at 5am, meaning he was up at 4am, which also means I was up at 4am.  I used to be able to sleep right through his getting ready in the mornings, not real sure what’s going on right now.  Anyways, after he left around 5am, I went back to sleep until 8:30!  Between 7 and 7:30 is the normal wake-up time around here.  I had asked him to put Goose in her kennel so she wouldn’t wake us up and it worked!  Both A and I snoozed until 8:30.  I needed it and so did she thanks to 2 late nights in a row.  We got up, had breakfast and to top it all off, it’s been a relatively successful potty training day around here!  She got enough stickers on her chart to get a new Beanie Baby (thanks to a large stash I had from high-school when it was all the rage to collect them) and went all day without an accident.  I’m admittedly kind of half-assing the whole potty training thing, but she keeps waking up dry in the mornings and holding it for long periods of time so I don’t feel like I can completely ignore this opportunity.  She still fights me to sit on the potty and always whines and, occasionally, screams and cries, but she’s just so proud of herself after she’s done and she’s so excited to put a sticker on her chart.  The Beanie Babies help too…she gets one after she gets 5 stickers…even though the LAST thing we need in this house is more stuffed animals of any kind.  Oh well.  I decided to give her Cheerios for breakfast.  In a bowl, with milk.  She loved it and did really well with her spoon.  After breakfast we watched tv.  We laid in bed for a while watching cartoons and I would occasionally get up and do something productive.  After a few shows we sang some songs and did some puzzles.  It was about time for lunch where she proceeded to eat all of her peanut butter sandwich (hold the jelly), all her pretzels and her entire cup of applesauce.  Mealtimes are normally a battle in our house so I was really pleased with both breakfast and lunch!  I was able to easily put her down for a nap and had some nice down time to eat my own lunch, take a shower and re-install her car seat in my car since I’d taken it out to wash the liner over the weekend.  I ended up waking her up after 2 1/2 hours because if I let her go these days, she’ll snooze for 3-4 hours.  That doesn’t bode very well for bed time.  After her nap we got dressed and ran a quick errand.  I needed to return something at the mall and while I was there decided to let her play at their indoor playground.  And oh by the way, how cool would it be to be so fascinated with something as simple as an escalator?  It’s like we were at an amusement park…We came home, watched a little more tv, ate dinner, took a bath then off to bed.

So you see, nothing spectacular happened, but there’s been very little crying and drama today and I’m functioning on enough sleep so I know my attitude is better which I think is KEY.  This week has the potential of being really rough as Hubs left this morning and won’t be back until Friday evening.  I don’t think he’s ever been gone that long.  I’m really glad our week started out so pleasantly and I’m thrilled to finally have a day where I feel I succeeded as a parent instead of failing.  My hormones are completely wonky these days, which is to be expected, but it’s still stressful.  And frankly, a 3-year-old is hard.  I needed a little reassurance that I’m not totally failing as her mother as things around here have been a little tense as of late.

I’ll know more after my appointment next week, but as of my last appointment it seems that Baby C may have flipped into the correct position all on her own.  My doc will begin internal exams next week (she thinks I’m a riot since I told her thanks for the warning and I’d be sure to “tidy up” for her, only I’m much more crass than that and so is she) and will be able to confirm her position at that time.  I haven’t totally ruled out the possibility of a c-section, but I did manage to scour up the motivation to finish up my Hypnobirthing book just in case.  The only complaints I have are feeling tired and a little achy and my ridiculous acid reflux.  I’m thankful to be at home and have the opportunity to rest whenever I feel the need.  My acid reflux is another story.  I doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, drink, don’t eat or don’t drink.  It’s horrible all day long and wakes me up at least once a night.  I take meds morning and night and chew Tums all day long.  Oh well, I just need to hold on for a few more weeks.  I’ve been told apple cider vinegar works wonders…I’m seriously thinking of trying it.

Since I’m feeling happy and thrilled about my girl today, I thought I’d be brave and post a recent picture of her.  It will most likely end up being taken down soon once I think about all the crazies surfing the Internet, but for now, here’s my little girl.  🙂  And for the record, she’s ridiculously tall with dirty blonde hair and big, icy blue eyes.  Her daddy has his work cut out for him.

A

Lord, I apologize…

I apologize for my ridiculous blogging hiatus.  It wasn’t intentional, there’s just been a lot going on around here and nothing seemed significant enough to blog about.  I’m sure my husband would disagree as I’ve recently dragged him, unsuspectingly, into a series of deep, emotional conversations.  He gets suckered into them, which really isn’t fair, but I digress.

Most of our time lately has been spent getting things in order around our house.  I have thrown out bag, after bag, after bag of trash.  Not 100% certain what all I’ve tossed, hope I don’t miss it anytime soon.  A’s room is almost finished and I’ve started to make some headway in the nursery too.  I don’t really have a timeline, but I’m hoping to wrap things up in the next few weeks.  We have a ridiculous amount of clothes.  That’s what’s taken most of my time…sorting, laundering, more sorting and putting it all away.  We bought Baby C a “coming home” outfit, and my mother has purchased several items (because I guess she can’t hear me when I tell her we have enough) but we truly and honestly need nothing else in the way of clothes.  Seriously.  We’re set through about the 3T mark where we’ll have to re-evaluate.  A started to get pretty rough on her clothes at that point, so there’s less and less to store.

Last week was a complete waste.  The plague hit our house and A and I literally spent the entire week in bed watching cartoons.  THE WHOLE WEEK.  And this thing is viral so there’s not a damn thing to be done about it.  “Give her Benadryl.” says her pediatrician.  Yeah, that doesn’t work.  Never has.  We had the best luck with Tylenol (well, acetaminophen because I’m cheap), Mucinex Cough during the day and good old Dimetapp at night so she could sleep without hacking.  Also, the Vicks on the bottom of her feet and on her chest worked wonders.  Seriously people, the child ran a fever for 6 days.  6 DAYS.  Luckily, I never got the fever, but I’m stuffy, had a terrible cough and still can’t breathe through my nose.  We’re on the mend though, so that’s good.  A was supposed to head to my mom and dad’s place last Saturday, but woke up with a fever of 102, so we kept her home.  She was heartbroken…as were we (for different reasons) but I think she’s going this weekend instead.  It’s perfect timing because there are a few things I’d REALLY like to get taken care of around the house and it’s just next to impossible to do with a 3 year-old running around.

Next on my list of happenings is this: I’ve been spending my time coming to terms with the fact I’m most likely having a c-section.  I’ll write a whole post about it but I’m definitely struggling with it.  Baby C is breech, has been this whole time and is pretty much out of time to turn on her own.  I’ll be 34 weeks on Friday and seeing as how I found her heartbeat near my ribs this morning (I had a temporary moment of panic and needed to listen to her heartbeat), I’m losing hope on a daily basis.  Anyways…more to come on that subject.

The Hubs flew out this morning to spend the next few days in some swanky hotel in San Francisco.  I was this close to boarding the dogs, saying “the hell” with my plans not to travel more than 15 minutes away from home and the 3 Level III NICU’s in the area, and going with him.  Honestly, the 4 hours flight was more of a deterrent than anything else.  All was not lost though, I spent my morning at my first ever photography class!  My mom gave me a gift certificate for a 1-hour 1-on-1 photo course and I scheduled it for this morning!  It was lots of fun and really nice to be able to finally ask some questions, in person, of a professional photographer.  I learned quite a bit and after my instructor left, I spent another hour or so just shooting.  Which I love to do.  Not sure why I don’t do it more often.  Anyways, I’ve instructed the Hubs to no longer purchase me certificates for massages and pedicures (because that happens oh so often) and instead to get me more photo courses with this guy.  I learn best in a 1-on-1 setting where I can DO and not just read about it.  Plus, it feels really cool to advance a skill that I want to, simply because I enjoy it!

I’m starting to believe…

No, not in Tim Tebow.  I was already a believer in Tebow…but I digress.

I’m starting to believe these fortune cookie fortunes are more than just coincidence.  Now, I’m a smart person.  I know these fortunes are mass-produced and randomly stuck into fortune cookies, shipped all over the world and there is no rhyme or reason to who gets what.  But I dunno, I kind of like believing in a higher power that works through something as simple as a fortune cookie to remind people to stay on track; stay the course…to remind them of their goals and dreams.  After my last post about my New Year’s fortune, Hubs finally opened his this weekend.  Now, if you’ve been following along at all, you know that the Hubs and I have some big plans.  That’s why his fortune kind of gave me goosebumps.

fortune 2

If you’re interested…here’s the long version of why this particular fortune is so cool.

I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today.  Hubs’ travel schedule has been fairly light since about Thanksgiving.  He’s traveled some, but not much.  He’s also had quite a bit of time off work and we’ve spent a lot of time together as a family.  He left today on the first trip of MANY over the next month and a half.  I knew it was coming and I understand why he has to put in so much travel right now, but it’s still hard.  It’s always hardest to have him leave when he’s been home for a while.  It takes me some time to re-adjust to being alone.  In addition, I’m feeling slightly anxious about adding a new baby.  I’ve treated this pregnancy as an after thought much of the time.  Partly out of fear, partly out of necessity since I have another child to care for.  We’ve been working like crazy to get A moved into her new room.  It’s coming together but still isn’t done and in the process I’ve completely destroyed the nursery.  Just walking past the room makes me nervous because it’s in SUCH disarray.  Not that Baby C will care what her room looks like, but I’d really like for it to be done before she gets here.

I’m starting to experience some sadness about A not being an only child anymore too.  I don’t think that helps my feelings regarding the heavy travel schedule; it just adds to my desire to have my family home.  Together, and close by.  I keep trying to tell myself giving her a sibling is an awesome gift, but I’m not sure I can fathom life with more than just her.  I’m not worried about loving another child, or having room in my heart for another child, I just find myself unable to grasp the concept of another child in this house.  The logistics are mind-boggling.  It’s been just me and A for so long, I know so much about her and I am able to devote so much of myself to her.  I know that just won’t be possible once Baby C gets here and it makes me sad.  I wish it didn’t, it feels like I’m doing Baby C a disservice and she’s not even here yet.  Makes me want to really dig in and savor these last weeks with just A.

I find myself worrying about silly things.  Getting upset about situations that haven’t even come to fruition.  I’m feeling fearful about the safety of Hubs and A…given the events that play out in my head you’d think I watch too much Lifetime TV, but I don’t.  Not at all actually.  I know it’s the hormones, but it makes me feel like a crazy person.  I’m doing better believing that Baby C will make a safe arrival, but I still have moments of sheer panic that send me running walking quickly usually kind of limping (since my feet and legs constantly fall asleep) for a glass of water or frantically tapping my belly to get some movement out of her.  As we start to make strides towards ACTUALLY getting our home ready for another baby I can’t help but wonder, what if?  I put off doing pretty much anything until after Christmas.  I just wasn’t confident enough to get anything started.  I fully believe tragedy can strike again.  I had such a hard time ordering my glider last week.  The last time I placed an order for furniture, I had to send my mom to the store the next day to un-order said furniture.  To top it all off, I have more contractions each day than I care to admit.  I know they’re normal.  I know they don’t “mean” anything.  But it’s still nerve-wracking.  I never had early contractions with A, so this is fairly new territory.  I plan to mention it to my doc at my appointment on Friday.  I’ll be 32 weeks.  I’m aware that if Baby C were to show up now, her chances of survival are very good, but we’d obviously be dealing with a long stint in the NICU.  I’d like to avoid it and I just keep telling myself, despite the daily contractions, she’s not coming until March.

On a lighter note, since it’s Tuesday, and I pretty much ALWAYS go to Target on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I had to laugh at my purchases today.  1 box of mac and cheese for A.  1 box of shells and cheese for me.  1 frozen cheese pizza for us to share.  1 box of individual deep dish cheese pizzas for me.  1 bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.  And 1 box of maxi pads for, uh, various reasons.  I was embarrassed as I checked out.  I’m still slightly embarrassed, but only slightly.

Turd in the Tub

Don’t laugh.  Because if you’re reading this it’s because you have either experienced the turd in the tub or expect to experience the turd in the tub at some point in your life.

WARNING: Potty talk and poop discussion to follow…carry on…

I was giving A her bath last night, which is humourous in itself given my current size.  Each night I wonder if she actually needs a bath, but yesterday morning I brushed dried yogurt out of her hair (to my credit, I didn’t know it was there to begin with) so I figured I should suck it up and bathe the child.  During the course of the bath she started to fidget.  She got squirmy (more so than usual) and started grabbing her, uh, we call them her girl parts around here.  I asked her what was wrong, she said her bottom hurt.  “Crap, I thought to myself, she’s got a UTI.”  I’ve been accused of being slightly dramatic.  So I asked her if she needed to go potty.  She said no.  I asked her if it hurt when she went potty, she said yes.  “Damn, poor baby.  I’ve had my fair share of UTI’s and they hurt.  Guess I’ll call the doc in the morning.”  Then all of a sudden she was fine.  A few minutes later, she assumes one of her many (pooping) positions and starts grabbing herself again.  Aha!  Not a dreaded UTI, she has to poop!  “Do you need to go poo-poo?” I ask her.  She says no.  I ask again, she says yes.  I tell her NOT to go in the tub.  Then I ask her if she wants to sit on the potty.  Of course, she refuses.  It doesn’t matter that she’s almost 3.  She refuses to go near the potty.  She actually demanded that I return the Minnie Mouse undies I bought her a few months ago.  “You take them back to the store, Mommy!” she says to me.  Doesn’t seem to matter that we’re already using the largest size Pampers makes.  Eh, no biggie, I figure in a few years it will be a nice mother-daughter bonding experience to go shopping for our adult diapers together.  That’ll teach her.

So I frantically start to make my way to my feet.  No easy task these days.  Let’s not forget the fact my legs and feet always fall asleep when I sit on the ground so I’m hobbling around while it feels like there’s a million ants crawling on my legs.  At this point she’s begging for a diaper.  I get her out of the tub, wrap her in a towel and then I see it.  The dreaded turd in the tub.  It wasn’t much, but let’s be honest, isn’t any size turd in the tub too much?  “Gross!” I think to myself.  I don’t want my delicate, fragile child to think I find her turds disgusting.  Surely that will damage her psyche, right?  I fish her numerous toys out of the water before they, too, become infected with turd germs.  I make a beeline for her room and tell her get a move on…we’ve got to get her in a diaper…she’s not done yet.  So there I stand in her room and there’s no A following me.  I call to her.  No answer.  “Crap,” I think to myself (literally) “She’s going to poop all over the floor.”  I pour Miralax down her like it’s going out of style.  We’ve had “issues” since she was about 6 months old.  This would have been no easy clean-up.  So I hike it back to the bathroom (ok, fine, it’s only across the hall) only to find her half-naked in the bathroom curiously inspecting the towel that is now only covering half of her.  The thoughts of her impending poop long gone.  I pick her up, carry her to her room and quickly put a diaper on her.  I keep a container of Clorox wipes in the bathroom, mainly to do a quick wipe-down of counters, toilets and floors while she’s in the tub.  Last night I was very thankful for the Clorox wipes to clean up the tub.  She never did finish, by the way.  I pity the person who has to change that diaper.  It will probably be me, but there’s also a good chance her preschool teacher may be the lucky recipient today.