Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Steps Taken

Yesterday was our MOPS kick-off party. We have it every year to sign up new members and reconnect with everyone before our meetings start up again. It is so much fun and the kids really have a good time. This year, though, I knew it was going to be a hard one.

Last year was my first year for MOPS. I came to the kick-off party knowing no one. I was sitting at a table watching Colton and Ethan play when two moms came up and sat on either side of me. They introduced themselves as Amy and Alicia and said they had 4 year old twins. Amy boy-girl and Alicia boy-boy. Now, Willy and I were just TTC and my grandma and his mom had already said it would be twins this time around. I laughed it off quite a bit, and then I meet these two wonderful women. I thought to myself, how funny, maybe it might be twins. We talked some and I got to know them some. And then Willy and I conceived Lucas and Caleb 4 months later.

Watching Amy walk in yesterday to the kick-off brought all this rushing back. The tears came fast and hard. It was only a year ago that I met them and I thought our chances of having twins were slim. And yet it was meant to be, kind of. I am so grateful for these two moms. They helped me so much when I was overwhelmed with the idea of two babies at once. And they have been there as I have mourned their loss.

I also cried for what I didn't have yesterday. I wasn't pushing a double stroller with newborn twin boys in it. I wasn't trying to juggle nursing them while visiting with my friends. I wasn't talking about how exhausted I was having two newborns at home and up half the night. And I didn't really know my place with all the new moms who have no idea why some lady is balling her eyes out. Especially the new mom who came in with the most adorable toddler twin girls. But at least they were girls.

But, drum roll, please......
I held a baby boy yesterday. Sarah H. came up with her 4 month old son, Brody. I looked at him and knew I needed to hold him, this particular baby. Then I warned her I would probably start crying. And to my surprise, it didn't hurt that much. The pain that I expected wasn't there. Yes, I did cry a few, but they were of happiness. And thank you Kristan, for shedding a few tears with me. A truly great friend is one who feels your pain as you are travelling this journey and isn't afraid to cry with you anywhere. You help me so much!! And thank you Sarah for letting me hold Brody. I know you may have been a little shocked with how forward I was with it. Thank you for being so understanding.

I know this MOPS year will be lots of fun. I am part of the steering team and am really looking forward to it all. I also know there will be some hard moments as I talk to moms who don't know our story and others who I really haven't shared much with over the summer. I will always remember all the conversations we had last spring as we learned we were expecting twins, then identical boys. The ladies who were so excited for us and ready to bring us meals after they were born, not after they died. And all the conversations about how big I was getting and how different a twin pregnancy was from a singleton. I think only time will soften these memories. But at least I will be surrounded by lots of women who love and care for me. Who are there tears or not. And who are now open to me about the stories of their losses.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finally, Our Weekend!!!!!

So, we took the boys on their first overnight camping trip this past weekend. We originally had planned on going with some girls Willy works with and their families, but they all backed out but us. The forecast was mid-90's, and we would be in a tent, but I needed to be away and busy for the weekend. We packed the van to overflowing and started Scooby-Doo for the boys and headed for SE Missouri (a three hour trip).

It seemed as though it took forever to get to Jellystone Park. There was very little to look at other than the trees and the haze. But the boys were pretty quiet with the exception of are we camping yet? hehe Oh the joy when we saw Yogi Bear.

Our campsite was right on the river. Seriously 20 feet from the edge of the water. Willy started putting the tent up right away and I began to air up the mattresses. Colton thought it looked fun, so he willingly went to work also.


Here is a picture of our view from my air mattress. Pretty darn cool!


Our first swim after setting up camp. Notice the cover-up I have on? I don't wear one piece suits well. And the cover-up when pulled all the way up squishes me like crazy. But there is no way I feel comfortable yet showing my belly and the "twin skin" Colton LOVED swimming in the river, although the life jacket assisted in his floating further from shore some.


Daddy and the boys all brought their fishing poles. You would think fishing would be pretty successful with it being the river and all. But not a fish was caught. Many were seen though. Here's Ethan concentrating real hard on his fishing skills.

Colton and Ethan shared the queen air mattress. Even though it was sweltering outside, the requested to be covered by the sleeping bag. Silly boys, they changed their mind a little later.

After putting the boys to bed, Willy and I hung out some and took a midnight swim in the river. It was so wonderful to be in the water with him in nothing but the moonlight, looking up at the stars. I wish we could have this time together more. After getting out, it was time for a late-night snack. Yum!

The next morning, while I was getting breakfast together, Willy decided to do some snorkeling and check out the fish. Colton thought it was pretty neat and had to try it too.

Instead of the 4 mile float we originally planned on, we decided to take our tubes and raft upstream about 1/2 a mile and float down to our camp. This was FREE and we wouldn't be on the water and the boys decide to get cranky after a poor night's sleep. Both boys wanted to help by carrying the oars. Here Colton is pretending to shoot deer with his.
Willy and Colton took the raft while Ethan and I took the tube. I love sitting in the tube and floating and it's really peaceful with one of my boys to snuggle with. Ethan was apprehensive at first, but soon loved it also.

I know I've made mention about how dragonflies remind me of Lucas and Caleb. And this has really been the summer for dragonflies. I was sitting tethered to a rock in the river when one landed on my toe. Every once in awhile it would fly off, but would always come back and sit. It spent probably 20 minutes sitting on my toe. This brought the most amazing peace.
And here is me sitting in the river going nowhere. We had TONS of tubers go by. One guy who'd obviously been on the river for quite awhile grabbed my rope and said, "Wait a minute, guys, I got a big one." and my comment back to him with a smile, "Are you calling me fat?" Hilarious. The poor guy was so embarrassed. I thought it was pretty funny.


Although no one caught any fish, an armadillo was caught floating down the river. Had to take this picture for my MIL, Dru, who collects armadillos.


We came home Saturday night, a day early. We figured we could quickly pack up and sleep in our air conditioned home and make it to church on Sunday. I really think it was a great decision. We put the boys in the van with Scooby-Doo and had everything packed up within an hour.
On Sunday, after church and naps, we went out to Mike and Dru's. Mike mentioned how there were some frogs that had been hanging out in their flower garden next to the house. And Colton LOVES catching frogs. He is boy through and through.
Daddy even worked to catch some. Just had to add this pic. Love you, honey!!


And here's grandma getting in on the action. She was all about blocking them from getting past her, but apparently wasn't excited about them jumping on her. I have not laughed so hard in months.


We also played some baseball with Colton afterwards. Here's part of the video Willy took.

video

The weekend was everything I wanted to be and more. And thank you to everyone who helped get it off to a good start.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I know, I know

I know that I should be doing a post with pictures about our camping/float trip right now. I promise I am working on it. Hopefully tomorrow it'll get up. We really had a great time and I can't wait to share some really magical pictures.

Yesterday was a little tougher than I expected. Colton had his pre-K open house/orientation. And I had crazy anxiety ALL day about it. I even forced some tears out at one point hoping it would make me feel better. It did for a short while, but it wasn't quite the answer. Why the anxiety? I would be seeing and talking to many people who knew we lost the twins for the first time, face-to-face. And then many others who knew I was expecting twins, but not that things went terribly wrong at the beginning of summer...just 2 weeks after school ended.

And Colton had some anxiety as well. A new classroom, with new teachers, and some new friends. Not to mention that the kid is ubersensitive and was probably feeding some off of me. I'm sorry, son, that I no longer can fully control or mask my feelings. I try, but it's a process.

Colton and I went down to his old classroom to see his teachers from last year who are absolutely amazing. They knew about Lucas and Caleb but we really hadn't talked yet. And you know, after crying with Mrs. Jenny, I felt all better and so did Colton. I have come to realize that there are still people around that I need to cry with. And that until I do, some things are going to be hard and there will be some anxiety. So for those of you that I haven't cried with yet, it's coming. It's inevitable, I'm sorry.

And I'm really missing the twins this evening. I am missing on some things we are going to miss out on being the parents of twins who are in Heaven. And I know what sparked that sudden pang. And it sucks. I hope that no one ever thinks they have to censor around me, because they don't. And for those of you that are reading and expecting soon, please know that my baby fever has elevated quite a bit and that I am wanting to be around babies. It's kind of crazy, really and I think it's a good thing. Just please also know, there will also be some tears.

And I will try tomorrow to post about our trip.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Hump

August 20th, 2010
The Day I turned 29.
The Day I would have been 36 weeks pregnant with Lucas and Caleb.
The Day I had marked as the "end of pregnancy" with the twins

Even though the EDD for the twins was 09/17/10, we considered the realistic due date to be 08/20/10. 36 weeks is considered full term for twins and we knew we would do good to make it there.

Last week sucked big time. I had some crazy difficult days when I really didn't think the pain would ever go away. I knew Friday was coming and it was going to suck. And the fact that it was also my birthday made it that much harder to approach.

But the day was FABULOUS!!! I mean seriously amazing. I woke up to so many wonderful notes, thoughts, and prayers. Thank you to all my wonderful family and friends who thought of me on my birthday and prayed for it to be gentle on me. I honestly believe that without all of you the day would have been horrible.

We left on our camping trip on Friday morning, which gave me something to do and away from the house. I'll post later with pictures about our great weekend.

I honestly feel a hundred pounds lighter now. I think Friday was my big hump and I survived, with help. I feel like I can really face the world now. For the past two days the thought "I should be......" haven't crossed my mind until I realized I hadn't thought it. Even then it wasn't "I should be...." it was "I haven't thought about time like that." I feel freer now. My baby fever is here with a vengeance and I feel the need to be around babies. Funny, huh? And this is a good thing, because I can name off 5 babies that will all be here in the next 8 weeks or so.

Thank you again to everyone who sent me birthday wishes, sent thoughts and prayers my way, and called to check on me. I honestly don't know how I would have made it this far without all of you. And I hope that as some of my BLM friends approach their due dates they feel the calmness after their humps just as I have.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Want to go to Bed

I have had the most amazing night tonight, especially considering the week I have had and the emotional buildup to tomorrow (today for some of you). My great friend, Kristan, brought her boys over for dinner and trains tonight. And Willy brought home an ice cream cake for my birthday. And "they" are right, there is nothing like celebrating with those you love. I really hope next year my family can come down for the big 30!!

While finishing up dinner, Dana (Jacob's mommy), called to check and see how I was doing. I spilled out to her via facebook earlier today and it wasn't pretty. And it made me feel so awesome and loved. How cool is it that I get a call from Canada from a fellow BLM that I have never seen to check on how I am doing and be willing to talk and help me out. Thank you, Dana! Your thoughtfulness has done so much for me.

Kritan's husband, Ken, came by a little later for ice cream, also. And we have visited all night. Seriously. We asked the kids to pick up toys at 9pm and they did. And I am pretty sure it was 11:10pm when we said our last good-byes for the night. And the really cool part...there were four boys playing all night and not a single disagreement! We got to visit as adults and friends and our boys got to play and enjoy themselves without us having to interfere. Thank you Hart Family for all you have been and done!

And thank you to everyone that has really poured out your love to me throughout this week. I really don't think I would be feeling the way I do right now if it wasn't for each and every one of you! I love you all!

But I don't want to go to bed. I am praying this amazing "high" will last through until morning. I know it is so possible that I will wake up dwelling on the other meaning behind tomorrow. 36 weeks....full term. And I am trying to concentrate on what IS not what WOULD BE. I want to enjoy tomorrow with my family, not be sad and mopey. My plan is to wake-up, enjoy my coffee, and write a post to get the tears out of the way for the whole weekend. But, if I am feeling pretty good, I might skip the post and catch up later.

Good Night

Lost

I have heard the phrase "lost in grief" several times throughout this journey. Yet I never quite fully understood what it meant. I am sure that is how I was the first few days after Lucas and Caleb were born...but I was also numb.

Tuesday I was literally lost in my grief. It was like I was running through dark, dark woods and couldn't find my way out. Every trail I would find would lead me right back to grief, sadness, and pain. Every new, non-loss thought was a new trail. It would last for 3 or 4 minutes if I was lucky, but would end with the twins. I thought about it all:
-How contractions started and that led to finding out we had lost Lucas
-How they thought Caleb was going to be okay after we lost Lucas
-How I held both my babies in my arms and cried more than I ever knew was possible
-How I was so ready to spend 12 weeks in a hospital bed to get my babies into the world safely
-How I truly hate that I am now a completely different person and it's not fair to anyone
and it went on and on. I even went back to running the events of that Saturday through Wednesday in my head as I was trying to go to sleep that night. I hadn't done that in close to 7 weeks!

Willy and I went out to dinner that night and I was still lost. I would look up and see the canopy of trees closing in on me. I was being swallowed by my grief. And this was 11 weeks from their birth. And I would get more and more frustrated with it all. Why couldn't I find my way out of all this? I had so many times, but not on this particular day. I was really lost....and I didn't know if I was going to find my way out. I could see the way Willy looked at me and was beginning to worry. I kept telling him I would be okay, just needed to get through the week. Yet, I didn't quite believe that myself.

And I was relieved to wake up Wednesday morning to see a clearing. I wasn't so lost anymore, and though it's still a long way to that clearing, I know it's there. I know I am making my way a little more steadily right now. And that there will be days when I feel like all paths lead to more grief and sadness, but I truly hope that I always remember where the clearing is and that don't ever again feel so lost.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tried, but can't stay away

So, I can't intentionally stay away from my BLM's. You ladies are the most amazing support I could ever ask for. I tried to stay away a few days and almost made it 48 hours. But it seems like I just felt worse in many spurts. Everytime I would sit down to check my email or facebook, I wanted to check and see how my friends on here were doing. It was hard. Glad to be back!

Yesterday was crazy hard for me. I cried and even had a meltdown....poor box with the infant formula sample in it.

I decided last night I would come back early and felt amazing this morning when I woke up. This definitely proves to me that my blog and blognetwork is healing for me. Here's to feeling great all day!

And special thoughts with my great friend, Rhonda, today. Her due date for her twin angel girls, Anna and Zoe is today and I know it has to be a hard day for her. I hope she can truly embrace the day and make it all she wants it to be.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Taking a Break

I hit rock bottom again last night. This week is the week leading up to my 36 week mark and it's harder than I thought it would be. I cried until there were no more tears last night. Then Willy came up and he held me while I cried some more. (I'm still learning that there's always tears somewhere) And I truly HATE all this!

I have a lot to do this week and need to keep my eyes on my goals. I hope to spend some quiet time thinking about some stuff in between getting the house ready for market and packing for our camping/float trip.

I will update my picture of the day when I get come back Thursday or Friday. I am going to miss keeping up with all my BLMs, but feel that maybe going away for a few days might help during this particular time....or it may not. I guess we'll see.

This really sucks!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Quick Post Before Church

I really need to be in church today. And I am sitting here in front of my computer typing and crying. I need to cry. I need to get it all out before I put on make-up and leave the house. I would much rather stay in my house, with the shades drawn, curl up under my blankets, and cry myself to sleep. But as a good friend has said many times, "Times that I really want to skip church are the times I really need to be there." She is so right and I know it today. I know there's love there and people ready to embrace me during another tough day. And I know there is a message I need to hear.

I still get angry with God once in awhile for letting any of this happen. I still question what I did to deserve such an awful loss. I still cry and pray that I'll wake up in the morning and none of this ever happened. That all this has been a terrible nightmare. But I know better than all of this. I am just grateful that He can handle my anger and just hold me closer as I cry my many tears.

Other times I feel blessed for all he gave me and put in my life to help me handle our loss. And I feel his strength as I am able to smile, laugh, and enjoy life again. Because I am able to enjoy my life again. Not every day, and not every moment of any day. But I am physically, mentally, and emotionally able to enjoy life. And that is a really big thing.

I am curious what the message will be this morning. I know it will have great meaning to me and where I am sitting in my life, it most always does. And I know I will probably be crying intermittently throughout both worship and sermon. But what better place to cry than A House of the Lord?

And I've cried the tears I needed to. Feeling better already.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fridays

Fridays have now become harder than Tuesdays. I have sailed through the past three Tuesdays. I didn't spend the day thinking it's been "X" number of weeks since Lucas and Caleb were born. It has been a nice change of pace. But Fridays have began to SUCK big time.

I would be 35 weeks pregnant today. I've woke up feeling the weight and thinking it. I didn't cry a single tear though until I just typed it. Typing it makes it real and makes it hit home. It was likely we would have had our babies in our arms today. Maybe in the NICU for a few days, but maybe not. Lucas and Caleb were on a roll to very healthy weights. That was my goal for them. To eat well and gain enough weight so they would have a great start when they were born. Where did it all go wrong.

I went birthday shopping yesterday and I kept pushing the thoughts away. "I shouldn't be able to shop like this. I should be at home on bedrest. I shouldn't be able to fit into these jeans, I should only be able to wear gym shorts. I shouldn't be able to button this shirt." These thoughts would start to creep up and I wouldn't let them finish. It is no longer what should have been, but what is. At least most of the time. And this is. Our loss is.

Next Friday will be my 36 week mark. It's a really big day for moms carrying twins. It is the goal date for carrying them. It is circled big on my calendar because after next Friday I would be ready to have them and they would most likely not even have to go to the NICU. Next Friday is also my birthday. I thought it was really neat that the twins might share my birthday with me. Wow, I thought, what a great birthday present. Now it's just another landmark I won't hit.

I'm really missing Caleb and Lucas today. I am really missing all our family was going to be. I am missing them for Willy. And I missing them for their big brothers, Colton and Ethan. And I miss you for your grandparents who were so excited and proud. And I am really wondering why babies have to die. And why mine had to die. It wasn't enough that I had to lose Lucas, but I had to lose Caleb, too. Two of my children are gone from this Earth. Two children that I have felt kick, watched play together, and held in my arms. This really sucks. And Fridays really suck.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Nursery Takedown

As many of you know, Willy and I have decided to put the house on the market next month. In doing this, I am being forced to redo the twins' nursery. It is a jumbled mess that makes it very obvious that something went wrong. After losing Caleb, I told Willy there was absolutely no way I would be able to come home and see all the twin things we had scattered EVERYWHERE. I told him our friend, Danielle, had offered to gather stuff for us if he didn't want to. But my amazing husband insisted he do it.
This black curtain has been hanging over their "doorway" since June 2nd. I have peeked around it here and there, and even spent a few brave moments on the other end. I even caught Ethan playing hide and seek behind it. Which really brought on some tears.

This is their nursery in the making. Anytime we would find something, we would throw it in here. Last week I stumbled upon their 12-18month outfits in a tote I was going through in prep for our yard sale. I was taken by surprise. I just choked back the tears, gathered them up, and tossed them into the crib. This room should have been done by now with the bed made, changing table cleaned off, and monkeys hanging on the wall.

This is the beautiful wall applique my friend, Melanie, bought for me. I LOVE it so much and truly hate that the twins will never have the chance to know how awesome she is. Or be best buddies with her son, Carter and their newest addition that is on the way.


This is the twin nursing pillow given to me by fellow MOMs member, Jennifer. She has twin boys that are nearing 2. I really enjoyed listening to stories about her sons and all the things they did because they were twin.




These are the matching bouncy seats we bought. I bought them because they were lightweight and I could carry them easy up and down the stairs. Every time I looked at them, I pictured Caleb and Lucas giggling together and trying to out bounce each other.




I bought this 2 days before my membranes ruptured. It really helped the back pain. It was truly fabulous how much better I felt. Though on Saturday I was wondering if it is what had ruptured my membranes, though I know better.


I HAD to have this diaper bag. It is very large and spacious. And I has wires along the zipper that keeps it open when you digging through it. This is the only thing that will be used with our rainbow baby, when that day comes.


The monkey sheet I fell in love with. We chose monkeys because we felt monkeys best described twin Earls boys.



These are all the shoes we had already bought. Buying two pairs of matching shoes was so
much fun! I LOVE shoes and I got to buy twice the shoes!


This is their going home outfit if they were preemies. The patch says "Best Buddies" It fit perfectly for Lucas and Caleb. We really didn't think they would be small enough to wear these, but were trying to be prepared. I never thought they would be smaller or that they would never come home.

This is their coming home outfit if they wore Newborn size. I just love the monkey on the butt. I would give anything to be using this outfit in two weeks.


Their monkey sleepers I just had to have. Basically anything with monkeys was going to be theirs.


For this winter. I had one for Ethan and we always laughed at how little he looked in it. Found these at the MOMs sale with tags still on and they were a great buy! And I hate that I will be selling them unused in the spring.


These are the hats our cousin, Jamie, bought for them. The Hawaiian pattern fits their Daddy so well. She was so excited about Lucas and Caleb. And I know her heart was also broken by their loss.


These are the overalls that Grandma Dru fell in love with. She found one pair and searched three other Wal-Marts in town for the second. She picked out several onesies for Lucas and Caleb to wear underneath them.

Totally love this outfit. I found the onesies at Gordman's and knew they were perfect. At that point I was determined to shop with Caleb and Lucas, but knew it would probably be a challenge.

This is the first sleeper bought for Lucas and Caleb. The week after we found out we were having twins, Dru and I went shopping. She bought matching boy sleepers and matching girl sleepers. She was my shopping partner when I shopped for Lucas and Caleb. I will never forget when we were shopping at the Moms of Multiples store and ran into a mom with identical 8 month old boys. They both looked at us at the same time and smiled. And we looked at each other and cried the happiest tears. I always remembered the thought of my boys smiling at me together. It used to make me giddy, now it really brings on the tears. I will never get to see that.

Their matching Hawaiian shirts. We love you, Daddy.

The matching Big Brother shirts with matching Little Brother bibs. I truly hate that these are being put away in a chest, never to be worn. And I hate what this signifies. Colton and Ethan have suffered a great loss, too. One no child should every have to endear.

I bought this for Willy's birthday. I thought it fit his take on the twins quite well. Every time someone mentioned the twins, he would have this goofy grin. I am quite grateful I don't remember who made the comment, "That's a little premature, don't you think." when he wore it. If I did, it may not be pretty. I found this shirt wadded up in their closet side of the chest. It broke my heart all over again. The last time he wore it was Sunday night/Monday morning in the hospital. He was so proud of his two little baby boys.

And these are little socks that I found and loved so much for them.

Here is me, as I am finishing up the room. Sorting through what will be sold in the far future and what would be kept in their memory chest. Today hurt so much. I've been building up to it for some time now, knowing it had to be done. I just wish, hope, and pray with all I have that I was finalizing the nursery to bring them home in two weeks instead of tearing it down and packing it away. Another reminder that we really went through this and that they really are gone.


All their clothes I won't keep. We were so ready for them!


The nursery after I finished. I put Ethan's crib set on crib and rearranged the furniture. Now it looks like it's expecting a different baby. It's not the jumbled mess that closely resembled the mess our lives have been since June 1st. It's easier to look into now and I don't feel the need to hide it behind the black curtain.
This project was so hard to tackle. Documenting it with pictures made it a little more bearable and sidetracked me a little. Although putting this together has definitely given me another good cry. No mommy or daddy should ever have to take down an unused nursery. But some of us do, and it totally sucks! Thank you to all my family and friends who thought of me yesterday morning as I went through this. Your strength helped me get through this part of the journey.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Our Choices That Week

One of the amazing sites/blogs I follow is Glow in the Woods. They have recently added a topic to their blog on "How to Plan a Funeral for a Baby." They have several experiences down for parents of lost babies to read about. I remember when we lost Lucas and Caleb, I felt we were on our own on this one. When, in reality, many before us had traveled this road. I thought I would share the decisions we made and the reasons we made them. Along with recoginze some amazing people in our lives.

Willy and I never discussed before this journey what we would do if one of our children were to pass. A parent never wants to think about that, let alone talk about it with their partner. I personally had tossed around the idea of being cremated instead of buried for several reasons. And I know Willy and I have discussed briefly his choice. But never for our children.

I read on another blog (but can't find it) about how the decisions you make at a time like this are gut decisions. That it's a good thing you are doped up and exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. That exhaustion keeps you from overthinking all the important decisions. At times you don't have the time to think about all this, you just have to answer. And 9 times out of 10, it's the answer you would choose if you pondered long enough. It may be years down the road, but it's the right answer. And I agree with this.

Willy and I didn't even discuss what we wanted to do with Lucas after both boys were delivered. That night before Willy left, we honestly thought we had some time to think about it, and that night wasn't it. We had no idea that just a few hours from that moment I would be delivering both boys and the hospital staff would want to know our preference.

I remember waking up in recovery. The nurse asked me if I wanted Lucas in my room so that I could hold him. I instinctively said, "Yes." She then said, "Lucas weighed over 15 oz, so the hospital can't take care of his body." My first thought was take care? What do you mean by "take care?" She asked if we would want him buried or cremated.

At this very moment I looked at Willy with probably the saddest look in my eyes. My amazing husband said, "Cremated." And I felt numb. I was okay with the decision, I thought. And I would ponder it later. And the only arrangements I thought of making was to cancel the baby shower. We would have a celebration when we brought Caleb home.

When Caleb passed in my arms 24 hours later, I told Willy I wanted to make sure the twins left the hospital together and would be cremated together. They are brothers and should always be together. He said he would take care of it. I told him I couldn't deal with any of the funeral home stuff. He said he would take care of it.

I knew that I wanted some kind of memorial service. Willy said the only person he would be okay with giving it would be Pastor Jeff. Pastor had been there when I was on bedrest, when we lost Lucs, and was standing with our family when Caleb drew his last breath and his heart beat it's last beat.

I called my wonderful friend, Kristan, and told her that we would really like to have a service at the church sometime the following week. She said she would take care of it. Within hours she had food arranged and childcare arranged. She had also contacted those in our church and MOPS family to deliver the sad news later the arrangements for the service. The only details I had to take care of was date and time, and a song to be played.

The service was beautiful. We had a table set up with Lucas and Caleb's ashes, their monkeys, floral arrangements, and a small scrapbook with their pictures in it that I had put together over the weekend. And there were over 100 friends and family there to support us. We really felt the love that day. Willy even had co-workers from over 200 miles away travel to be with us. Pastor spoke so well and so true. And Carmen and Kristie sang "Amazing Grace" so beautifully.

I am happy with all the decisions we made. Willy was right on in knowing that I would want Lucas and Caleb here at home with me. I could never imagine having to go somewhere to visit them. And what if we ever moved? I am glad we had pictures of them taken and that I held them both, seperately and together. I am also happy with the decision of having Colton and Ethan there. Even though they had very little of an idea about it all, they were there. And I am ever so grateful that we had the service to celebrate their lives and mourn their passing.

Thank you to those that have made this journey a little easier. And thank you to everyone who was with us for the service. Your presence on that day helps me everyday.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

An Angry Ending

So we had our yard sale yesterday and today. Colton and Ethan ran in and out all the time and mingled with some of our shoppers. And many times I would get the questions, "How old are they?" "How many do you have?" or "Are you stopping at two?" Everytime I kept it simple. "They are two and four." "I am chasing two." "I really want more." I really didn't feel like it was the right time to delve into the topic of us losing our twins with these complete strangers. There were many times when I almost did, but thought better about it.

Then there were the massive numbers of pregnant women that stopped by to shop. I would almost ask how far along they were, or if they were having a boy or girl, or when they were due. But then I realized the expression on my face would probably change if I received certain answers.

Then today a young girl (18 or 19) came by with her baby girl. She was pushing a stroller and carrying her baby in a front carrier. I went inside and let Willy help her. I didn't want to seem rude, but wasn't feeling up for it. After 10 minutes she was still standing there. It is 90+ degrees outside and the sun is HOT!!!! I went out and asked Willy if she was needing something and he told me she was waiting for her mom to bring some money.

After a few more minutes I finally asked her if she would like some sunblock for the baby. She said yes, please. I was hoping she would put it on her little girl, but she wasn't grabbing for the bottle. This baby girl is the first baby I have touched since Lucas and Caleb were born. And I did it, I survived it. I also found out she is 22 weeks old.

10 minutes later (25+ minutes in the sun) I told her she could follow me to the shade tree and sit down. Would have sooner, but I thought her mom was on her way. Anyway we get to talking and I find out she had a son who would have turned two last week. He had died from SIDS when he was two weeks old. They had been co-sleeping without a co-sleeper. This hit me hard. I then told her I understand how hard it is to lose a child and told her part of our story.

Her mom showed up, they bought some stuff, then all got in her car and drove off. And then the anger really hit! HER MOM WAS SMOKING IN THE CAR WITH THE WINDOWS UP!!!!! I would truly think that after losing a child to SIDS, a mom and/or grandma would be extrememly cautious with any known causes/factors of SIDS. Then it all piled on....baby in the heat, no sunblock, no hat, mom smoking in car. Seriously, I understand she's a young mom, but she is one that should really know better.

I think it's a good thing I was able to release some of my pent up anger. And I am glad I didn't aggressively take it out on anyone. Now I just really feel sad for the young mother and her little baby girl.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New characteristics

So Tuesday started out as a pretty bad day. I was feeling on edge and Colton and Ethan were fighting quite a bit. I decided to get out and visit my cousin, hoping it would help both me and the boys. I called her and we decided to visit my grandma in Columbia overnight. The trip was pretty quiet with the DVD player and Ethan sleeping. This trip was totally uncharacteristic of me as I normally have to plan things in advance. We were packed and on the road within half an hour.



When we got to grandma's she gave all four kids (my cousin's two also) ice cream. That sure got their attention. My cousin and her family left soon after.
Grandma then treated the three of us to HuHot. I hadn't been there before and I LOVE it!!!


I even stepped out of my comfort zone once again and let the boys try to eat with chopstix. Never before would I have done this.



On Wednesday we took the boys to this HUGE park Willy and I had passed when we were up there back in March for my grandpa's funeral. This was taken from the bridge at the entrance. There were numerous slides to go down to get to the lower level.




The boys really enjoyed all the different tube slides.





These dragonflies reminded my of Caleb and Lucas. They were flying around and playing together. It was great to have all four of my boys at the park with me.




Then I did some very uncharacteristic of me. I stopped at Lake of the Ozarks on the way home to let the boy swim at the public beach. I normally won't even stop for a potty break. Or take the boys swimming without a second adult. We had so much fun though.




I guess the experience of losing Caleb and Lucas has changed me more than I have realized. I am glad I can experience life with Colton and Ethan on a whole new level. But I really miss my babies.






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