Thursday, July 29, 2010
Hi boys, it's been awhile since I've written you on the blog. It usually helps so much to just talk and cry to your pictures. But today I am really missing you. No reason in particular, except for the fact that you aren't here with me. And oh how I wish you were.
Daddy and I have been really busy around the house lately, getting it ready to sell. It's help to keep my mind occupied, but there are still days like today when the two of you are right there in front. There is so much that I miss about you. I miss you kicking me everytime I sit down. I miss the both of you getting the hiccups at the same time. It always made me laugh. And I miss rubbing my big ol' belly and you tapping my hand.
Days like today are so hard. I cry alot of tears for you. Except today I was really good at holding them until naptime. But once the boys fell asleep, they came pouring out. I just really wish you were here with me. I really wish I was getting impatient to deliver and meet the two of you. I really wish you carseats were ready in the van to bring you home. Once again, this really sucks!
I had some guilt earlier this week. For a couple of days, I just couldn't shake that I should have made some different decisions, that I should have asked different questions. I know losing the two of you isn't my fault. It's just part of the grieving, I'm sure. And when I woke up yesterday, I remembered a couple of facts that helped to remind me that there is nothing I could have done differently to get a better outcome.
Mommy really loves you, Lucas and Caleb. And I know you are watching over me, but it shouldn't be that way. I think of you every hour of every day. And Colton talks about you and Ethan still kisses your necklace. Daddy is missing you also! We all love the two of you so much.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
We are going to leave the nursery furniture in the nursery when we put in on the market, but I have to straighten it up. Not to mention take down the black sheet that covers the entryway to the nursery. I have decided that instead of waiting until I was in the right mindset (that may never happen) that I would mark a date on the calendar to do it. It couldn't be the 1st of a month, it couldn't be a Tuesday, and it couldn't be a Friday.
I chose Wednesday, August 4th. On this day I will go in there with a box of Kleenex and totes and do what I don't want to every do. I will pack up blankets, clothes, and the sets of pairs of shoes that line the wall. I will take the matching bouncy seats and put them in storage along with the twin nursing pillow. And I will put Ethan or Colton's crib set in the crib so it doesn't look so empty. The twin's monkey sheets will be put in their box.
I am going to try and journal that time with pictures. I hope it helps me get through it a little easier. Because I know it will be like saying good-bye all over again. Honestly, if it wasn't for us selling the house, I probably would never do it.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Too bad I don't and won't have any with my whole family. It totally sucks. I have such a hard time these days taking and sharing family photos. We are missing Caleb and Lucas. I try to tell myself they are with us, or in my necklace, or we'll hold the monkeys. But it's just not complete.
I was asked today for a family photo. I don't even remember who from right now. I just know that I started crying and became frustrated because I'll never have a complete family photo. We took the one at Six Flags a few weeks ago and that was really hard. I look at it and think, I should have been crazy pregnant. The twins would have been in it because my belly would have been HUGE!!
I know that after another month or so I'll see pictures of Willy, Colton, Ethan, and I and will probably feel a twinge of pain because Willy and I should each have a baby in our arms. But we won't. And I know that pain will always be there. I just hope that I can learn to live with it.
And maybe I will find a family photo from when I was pregnant with Lucas and Caleb and give it to that friend who asked for one.
Within an hour of delivering Caleb and Lucas, Dr. M came in to tell me that the c-section went well. She also informed me that we were in lucky in that she was able to do a horizontal incision instead of the vertical, which is typical at 24 week gestation. She then explained that this was important for future pregnancies. I was instantly horrified! How could she mention future pregnancies when I had just delivered a stillborn baby and my other son was seriously battling for his life? I couldn't imagine having anymore babies right now.
About a week after Lucas and Caleb were born I started getting that itch. The one that I needed, no I HAD to be pregnant like right now! I just had to. It was really weird. My good friend, Rhonda called it that empty need to be pregnant. I felt it and wanted it. I felt some guilt, it wasn't that I was trying to replace the two I had lost, I just missed being pregnant. I just knew that being pregnant again would make me feel better.
When I asked my doctor at my 4 week post-op visit, I was hoping she would tell me 3 months. The answer I got from her was 6 months. SIX MONTHS!!!! I actually started crying. There was no way I could wait that long! Then she explained to me that getting pregnant any earlier would drastically increase my chance of miscarriage and even stillbirth. And I very quickly accepted it. I am willing to wait that 6+ months so that I never have to go through this kind of pain again. Even though it isn't guaranteed, at least I can give my self better chances for a successful pregnancy.
Over the last week I've noticed a sudden change in how I have been feeling in regards to being pregnant. I no longer have that empty need, I have full blown baby fever. I want another baby. When I hear a baby cry I think how I miss it, I want it to be my baby. I want to play the role of a mommy to a newborn, infant, toddler, all the stages. I want to do it all again. And I find so much peace in all this. The change is comforting. I no longer feel rushed. I still feel cheated. I know I always will. And I know having another baby won't take all the pain away. But I remember that when we conceived the twins it was because we were wanting a third child. Losing Lucas and Caleb didn't take away that desire. It makes me more anxious about it all, but I still feel like our family isn't complete.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I can hear the ticking this morning. I woke up and was like, "Crap" Seriously haven't had a morning like this in a couple weeks. I came downstairs and Willy was making waffles. He says, "Damn ants."
Tick, Tick, Tick
The cramping starts while I am setting the table.
Tick, Tick, Tick
Ethan comes in and scrapes his toe on the corner of a piece of tile that is coming up off the floor. Willy bends over and rips it the rest of the way off.
Tick, Tick, Tick
Colton finishes his waffles and proceeds to scrape his fork very quickly back and forth along his plate.
Tick, Tick, Tick
The first of my three pregnant friends from church is having her baby shower today. I've been ready to go all week. I've been determined to be there and actually thought I would make it. It wasn't until last night I realized the reality of it all. I couldn't. I didn't want to be some heaping mass of tears while everyone was celebrating her and her husband's exciting day.
The world is really moving on without my babies.
Friday, July 23, 2010
With Much Love,
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I really loved having them everywhere. I needed to have them everywhere. I almost felt like I wasn't doing them justice if I didn't have them everywhere. And I know I would have had so much more out to display if I had the space. I would probably have plastered their pictures all over my walls if I could.
Today something changed. Something just clicked. All of a sudden I had cleared off one of the center shelves of our china cabinet. I had moved their ashes there, the painting from Steve and Brandy and their plaster footprints were there. The corner in the living room where their monkeys had sat on top of the memory suddenly had a chair in it. And it happened just like that.
I guess I no longer feel I need to have them everywhere. I will always physically carry them around my neck, close to my heart. And I will always carry their memory and love with me. I miss them so much every day. And the pain is still incredible, but bearable most days. But Lucas and Caleb deserve their own place in our home. A place that anyone can look at and remember them also. A place that is kept neat, free of dust, and out of the reach of their brothers.
This change makes me sad now as I sit and think about that I really did all this. And it wasn't even a gradual move, it was a whirlwind through the house. It's nice to feel like I am moving along this road, but that weird guilt is still kind of lingering. I am sure it always will, it's part of the awfulness. And their picture is still next to my bed in their frame.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Did Caleb ever open his eyes?
Did Caleb cry when he was born? Or at all?
I know at 24 weeks he was physically developed enough to do either one. I finally asked Willy last night if he saw Caleb open his eyes. Willy was able to spend more time with him in NICU and I was hoping he got to see our son's eyes. And he told me he doesn't remember seeing them open, but that the nurses had mentioned that Caleb had opened them.
Willy also remembers hearing him try to cry right after they removed the ventilator. Which makes me HATE that I don't remember that or that I didn't hear that. I was right there, in my bed and I didn't hear a thing. I know the only way to find out if he cried when he was born is to ask Dr. M, the doctor that delivered him. And I don't want to go back to the office until there is good news to share. So I guess I'll sit on that one for awhile.
I hate that I didn't get to see Lucas or Caleb's eyes. I hate that I didn't get to hear them cry at all! I remember thinking about hearing baby cries in stereo. And I would always laugh at the thought of it. I so wish I could have at the memory of their eyes or cries to hold onto also.
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope it just that site. Kristin (Stevie's mommy) decided it was time for all us babylost parents to compile our stories on one site. She is amazing in all the work she has done. Now when a parent unfortunately joins our community, they can find exactly what they are looking for. There are so many of us out there. Although it is said to see all the faces of all the parents who no longer have their babies with them, it is also helpful to those of us who have lost our children. The community is full of amazing and strong women (and men) who are living through this nightmare also.
You can find the site by clicking the picture to the right that is labeled Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. Lucas and Caleb's story is on there under Twins, TTTS, Infant Loss, and Stillbirth
Thank you so much, Kristin. Many of us would be lost without you!!!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
But now it feels like I have to pump myself every morning to just smile. I'm not full out depressed, I'm just really sad again. Like I was the week after we lost Lucas and Caleb. I need major doses of caffeine to come alive and not be close to tears all day. And it really kind of sucks. I don't like feeling like this at all.
I know tons of things happened this past week that could have added to this, but I honestly believe that it is the calendar that is working against me. I realized on Friday that I should have been 31 weeks pregnant. 31 weeks. That is 5 weeks until they would most likely be here. It's been creeping up and now it's like a bull rushing at me. Maybe I'm not doing as well as I thought. Or maybe this is the way all mom's who lost their babies before full-term feel at this point.
I honestly think that I am going to give myself until Wednesday to be feeling better. I might have to call my doctor for some help just to get me past my due date. Because I really feel like I am no longer making progress in my healing, but moving backwards.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
We even received a binder full of information. There was details about our local chapter of M.E.N.D. Information on how to tell Colton and Ethan. Pamphlet on grief and counseling if we need it. And a whole slew of other information that we just might need at some point. But the one thing that was missing is information for friends and family.
I honestly believe that friends and family need handouts also. Many don't know what to say unless they have traveled this road. And there's tons of stuff out there that can be given to them. I know those around me had the best intentions, but a few kind of went in the wrong directions. I don't really hold it against them, but it didn't help my pain or anger any. If they had a piece of paper of things NOT to say or do, it would be so helpful.
And let's throw in an article explaining why bereaved parents lash out and say and act the way they do. That it's normal to react like some insane and irrational child. Because we just lost our baby(ies) and we are raw inside. We very often don't mean to hurt anyone. We don't mean to alienate them.
So to do my part to help the family and friends of parents who have lost their babies, I am adding a tab up top with links to articles and posts that will be of assistance. I hope that they are useful. And if anyone wants me to add something, let me know and I will get it added. And for the babylost parents, check out the link below. You'll appreciate it.
P.S. I'm not angry or upset with anyone. And I don't hold it against anyone who may have said anything that hurt me or upset me. I just know that some of my friends and family had no idea what to say or what to do to help. And I really understand that. It wasn't too long ago that I didn't know how to help a friend who had lost their baby.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending she didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that she has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.
~ Elizabeth Dent ~
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I have been doing really well over the past couple of weeks. I have been able to see pregnant women, be around most babies, and even some twins without crying and running away. A smile even pops up once in awhile. A distant friend even announced her pregnancy early last week on facebook and I sent her congrats. I thought I was headed in the right direction.
Then yesterday I ran into a brick wall. One of those that you can't get around. It stops you in your tracks, and hard. A close friend whom I've know for over three years told me she was pregnant. She sent me an e-mail because we just couldn't seem to be able to get together. I read the words, "I'm pregnant" and the tears just poured out. I couldn't explain it. I really felt excited for her. But all the pain I felt 6 long weeks ago came flying back. It was the raw pain. I felt all that hurt all over again. It seemed so fresh. And the thought came....I really lost my boys. How did all this happen?
I hated myself for how I felt. I hated my reaction. I hated that at a time when I should be jumping with joy, I was crying hysterically almost to the point of hyperventilating. I honestly haven't cried that hard in weeks. And I didn't get it. How could I be around other friend's who are pregnant? But I just couldn't handle this friend announcing hers. And now I think I might understand. Her being pregnant means this is all real. We had talked so many times about trying last fall. She was still on the fence when Willy and I decided it was time. And now she is pregnant and I am not. I was, but now I'm not. I lost Caleb and Lucas. And I pray with all I have that her pregnancy has a better end. I pray that she brings home her healthy baby early next year. And I guess this is just one of those steps we all as babylost parents have to take as we heal and learn to cope.
And I feel better today. I slept well last night and now I can look how I feel. Excited and thrilled for her. Colton and Ethan will have another playmate. Her son will get to be a big brother. And he'll be a great one.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I know what hides in this envelope. And it will remain hiding for quite sometime. I don't know if I will ever open it. It's the final proof that this isn't a nightmare of some sort. No parent should ever have to look at this. Maybe one day I'll be ready. Or I may never be. And I know that is perfectly okay. I really miss my babies.
P.S. Thank you Willy for being strong enough to get in this envelope to fill out the needed paperwork. I truly love you!
We went to Michelle's wedding and Ethan was getting tired. He actually slept through the ceremony.
That evening I took Colton to my old elementary school to play on the playground. They still have most of the equipment there that I used to play on. And he loved it!
On Sunday we went to Six Flags. We rode rides and played in the water park.And we found this on the side of the restroom by the Ninja and thought it was a great place for a picture. Even though most days it still feels weird taking a family picture, I was okay with it today. After all, Caleb and Lucas are always with us.
Today marks six weeks since you were born. The sun has been shining and I am feeling pretty good today. We miss you so much!!
Yesterday was a really hard day. I woke up with The Cloud of Doom over my head. Within an hour I learned baby Zaylond had been lost. I cried so hard. And I knew he was with the two of you.
Your Daddy is such an amazing man! He shows me once in awhile how much he misses you and loves you. I know you know he does, but sometimes I like to be reminded. I honestly don't know how I would have survived through all this without him.
You see, on the day the two of you were born, your Grandma Dru gave Daddy three gold coins to use at a vending machine for a much needed snack. He noticed one of them was dated 2010. He decided to keep it and carry it with him daily. He wants to have it engraved with your names one day. It is something he carries with him all the time to remember you by.
He told me this yesterday as he was putting his wallet and other coins into his pocket. As he was explaining this to me, he got choked up. I cried. Your Daddy is so wonderful and thoughtful. He has been so strong for me through all this. To get a glimpse of his raw emotion along with the explanation of the coin reminds me how amazing he is. And I truly hate that the two of you aren't here so he can show you. He loves you so much! We all do!
Monday, July 12, 2010
My dear friend, Amy, lost her son Zaylond last Thursday. She called me this morning to let me know. She was 28 weeks along and went in for a scheduled appointment. They couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler and confirmed her worst nightmare with an ultrasound. They induced labor and she gave birth to her beautiful son that evening. My heart goes out to her and her family. She has a son, Leighton, that turns 1 on the 21st of this month.
I met Amy through the Young Parents Mentoring Program a year and half ago. Although we graduated the program in March, we have kept in touch. I really enjoyed being her mentor and enjoyed her friendship more.
I remember how it took 3 weeks for me to be able to call and tell her we had lost Caleb and Lucas. I knew it would be hard for the both of us, especially with her expecting and due so close to my due date. And I completely understand her not being able to call me this morning.
I am grateful that I can be here for her and help her through this nightmare, but I hate it also. I hate that we both had to lose our babies. It totally and completely SUCKS!!! When she called me this morning, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I kept thinking, how could this happen to the both of us. It's not supposed to happen at all. Babies aren't supposed to die. And I am sure the same thoughts ran through her mind.
Zaylond's funeral is tomorrow morning and I will be there for Amy and her family. I didn't think twice about it. I know it's going to be hard as I am still in the thick of my own mess. But I know that she needs me to there for her and I want to be. I know what I needed at that time and I am going to be there for whatever she needs. I just truly, really hate all this.
There is so much more I want to write, but in my emotional and physical exhaustion, the words aren't flowing very well. I just wanted to get this up on the blog. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
But here I am. Sitting in my dad's living room typing away on his computer. Yesterday was hard as we arrived and settled in. The thought of what should have been kept creeping up in my mind. And the need to talk about Caleb and Lucas with my family was really strong. I wanted them here with me so bad. I hadn't seen my parents since the twins' service. And I wondered if it would be awkward or if conversation would just flow. I looked to Willy for my comfort.
I was getting ready for my friend's wedding and needed a couple safety pins to pin my bra to my dress. I was in my own world and did what I have always done when needing a safety pin at my dad's. I walked into the kitchen, reached on top of the refrigerator for the blue cookie tin, and took two out. Wait. What was that? This tin is where it has always been no matter where Dad has moved to (he's moved 4 times in the past 10 years). The tin has always been the same. And there it is, a smile. I feel good. I feel comforted. And by two safety pins.
As I was driving through Washington afterwards, I looked around at everything. And the comfort I have always felt when here was back. The anxiety was gone, completely gone. I felt like a sick child wrapped in her mother's arms. I needed this. I needed to come home and be surrounded by my history. I needed to be reminded that the world is okay. And that home will always be here to comfort me.
I suddenly realize everything around me. The smell of my dad's clean laundry. I love it. The river air. I love it. My elementary school with a new playground. I love it. Driving 25 down the main drag in town. I love it. The view from the riverfront. I love it. And the hugs from my parents and those that love me and have hurt with me. I love them all. And I really needed to be up here as another step in my healing. I am comforted by the familiarity of it all. And by the reminder that not everything changed when I lost Caleb and Lucas. And I know they are here with me. Looking back today, I know they were in all the seeds flying around with their white feathers, making it look like snow, as we drove into town yesterday. I LOVE snow. I feel comforted and am ready for a nap.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
When I was pregnant with Ethan I would watch Roseanne re-runs every morning for an hour. It would be during Colton's morning nap when I had a hard time sleeping. There was a specific episode that really touched me. I hated at the time that I had watched it, and ever so grateful now that I had sat it through until the end. It is the episode where Darlene goes into pre-mature labor and delivers her baby girl way too early.
I don't remember how far along Darlene was when she gave birth, but I remember the doctor's giving her little baby girl very little hope. The part that always stuck with me is when Darlene decided to let the doctor's unhook her baby girl from all the life support. The family stood in a circle. They each took a turn holding her baby girl and talking to her, showering her with love. I remember how serene she looked, how tiny and fragile she was. I remember my heart breaking as I watched the episode until I just couldn't anymore. I didn't know if she had lived. I felt better at the time not knowing how it ended.
That particular episode always sat in the back of my memory. It would randomly pop up on its own. I never knew why it stuck with me so much, and I never really wondered whether or not her baby girl survived. Not until writing this did I even bother to check. And I am grateful, in my new warped way, that I never did.
The night Dr. E came in to inform us that Caleb was just too small and too much had gone wrong, that episode came exploding back to me. I pictured everyone standing around and how peaceful it all was. When Dr. E asked if we wanted Caleb brought to the room, or if we wanted to come to the NICU, I knew we wanted Caleb in my room, with all our family all around the three of us. There was no question in my mind. That is the way it had to be.
Throughout the entire 2 hours that we watched and loved Caleb as a family, the episode would replay in my mind. As I lay in the bed and held him, our family members took turns standing next to Willy, Caleb, and I. They all shared their love with us through tears, words, and by just being there. The love and strength that was in that room that night was amazing. I will always treasure that time we all had together, with my baby boys Caleb and Lucas.
Since losing Lucas and Caleb, that episode still pops up here and there. Usually around 2:30am when I am having a hard time getting back to sleep. I am hoping that in writing this and getting it out there, that it can leave me alone for awhile. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that I watched this episode three years ago, and that it made a lasting impression. But it's time has passed, it has finished it's duty.
Monday, July 5, 2010
So I am adding a separate page and on July 5th of next year I will be able to look back and see how things have changed. Hopefully this journey will get easier with time, as many promise it will. I am really excited to see the outcome of this project.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Those first few weeks I had tons of reminders. The pain of my milk coming in really sucked. And I didn't realize the bittersweetness of it all until after it was gone. I hated having to go through that without having Caleb and Lucas here to make it worth it. But it also reminded me of the realness of it all. Same with my incision area. The pain was excruciating!!! And I really would not have minded it so much if I had my babies in my arms. Now that it really doesn't hurt so much and it is actually fading, I feel back to "normal". And I don't want normal. Not without my two baby boys alive and with me.
I have lost the 37 of the 40 pounds I gained with the twins. And although the weight is in different areas than before, it's almost gone. And I would do anything to be up 50 lbs right about now with the twins. Every time I see maternity clothes, it makes me sad. Not the crying hysterically sad anymore, just plain sad. But then when I put on my pre-maternity shorts, it also makes me sad. I shouldn't be wearing them right now or for the next 6 months or so. As a matter of fact, most of my pre-maternity shorts are in storage where they should stay until next summer. Another sad trip I will have to make.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Yesterday was my follow-up appt with my doctor. It was so hard to be in the same room as I was in so many times while I was pregnant with the two of you. And to know that I should have been there for my glucose test instead of a post c-section exam. She still seems in shock that we lost the two of you so fast. That's a shock I have to live with everyday. It seems I still can't wrap my mind around the quickness of it all. One day all was okay and the next you were born and then gone.
Sometimes I really want to try and turn back the clock to when you were both inside of me, playing and kicking. But I know it wouldn't change everything that has happened. I miss the two of you so much. I think about you every day. I think about what all of us is missing. I think about how I should really be pregnant with the two of you. 29 weeks tomorrow.
I know this next month will be an easier one. But it is so hard to make it through days like today. The ones that have more meaning to me than the others.
I love the two of you so very much! There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't think about you and wish you were here with me. I wish I could be blessed with your smiles and cries. I wish I could hold you and smell you. I miss you!