Thursday, September 30, 2010

To My Best Friend

I wrote this last year and wanted to share it again.  Love you so much, Willy!!


Dear Willy,

I love you so much! Although we have only been married for four years, it seems like we've spent a lifetime together.


You are the most amazing man I have ever met! You love me for everything that I am. And I am grateful everyday that you chose me to be your wife and the mother of your children...(even though there were so many others to chose from.) hehe
I truly love everything about you. You make me laugh everyday. And you are always true to who you are.



We always have such a great time together and you remind me that life doesn't always have to be so serious. I have never had so much fun with anyone else.






And the love you have for me is so apparent. I love how you like to show me off to everyone. Not only am I proud to have found someone so amazing, but you let me know that you feel the same.

And I know that we will always be together. This year has been incredibly tough for us, but you have held my hand and been by my side for every single step of this journey. You bring to true meaning the words, "For better or worse. Through good times and bad."
The day we got married was absolutely beautiful. You make me feel like a princess everyday. And you told me I looked like one on our day.
Everyone was so happy that I married you. Grandpa always told Grandma that he didn't have to worry about me anymore, because he knew you would take care of me. I miss you, Grandpa!

You know I adore you so much! And I love the look in your eyes when you look at me. I can see all your love in your smile.
And even though we took a less traditional path in our lives together, we are doing it our way. And we love each other and we are teaching our kids how to love.


And how to dance through life.


I just had to add this picture of our cake. Your mom did such an amazing job. She put so much love into this cake.


I think one of the things I love most about you is your sense of humor, even though there's a lot of orneriness. (This is when instead of pulling out my garter, he pulled out a black bra....that belonged to my SIL...thanks Brandy and Steve for playing along, it really added to the memories)



And you have given me four beautiful boys.
Colton 04/18/06





Ethan 11/29/07




Caleb 06/01/10

Lucas 06/01/10



I know this year has been the toughest. Our marriage has been tested more than any marriage should have to. But we have stood together, strong, through it all. You have watched me change, and been so patient with me. And I know it has been hard to watch me hurt and that it hurts you, too. But know that I love you more than the world and that I always will. I admire your strength and patience. We have had some good dances together and I know that the future holds some more.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain" Anonymous

I love you, Willy. I always have and I always will!
Here's to a lifetime with my best friend,
Happy Anniversary
Carrie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Changing of the Seasons

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope's monthly topic is how the changing of the seasons has effected our grief journey. I've thought on this quite a bit, and might ramble some, but here it goes.

I am thrilled for fall to FINALLY be here! The summer started with the twins being born and dying. Going into the summer (May-ish) we all talked about how hot and miserable I would be throughout. We joked about getting an window unit and closing me into the living room, making me a personal igloo. It was SO much fun joking about it and waiting for it all.

Instead the summer was comfortable instead of unbearably hot for me. I was able to do things with my family that I shouldn't have been able to. And I missed what should have been all the way.

The coming of fall was hard also. Lucas and Caleb should have been born the end of August. I should have been struggling to get them in their double stroller and Ethan unbuckled and Colton into school three mornings a week. And I should have been hearing oohs and ahhs, not "I'm so sorry." I should have been wondering when I would be capable to juggle everyone so I could go to MOPS meetings, not crying hysterically at the first meeting that I was able to help plan and set-up. And when the summer births were announced, their birth announcement shouldn't have been followed by their death announcement.

But, the changing of seasons also brings a new beginning. In a few months we are looking at Operation CA. Right now we are trying to sell our house. And let's not forget the greatness of fall decorations and Halloween decorations! I LOVE this time of year, next to winter, probably because it precedes winter. I know there will be some hard moments, but I honestly believe the worst left with summer. The worst summer of our lives has come and gone, and I truly hope the fall brings much better things for us.

Oh and I updated the picture of the day. I know, I keep getting behind.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wave of Light October 15, 2010


As many of us know, October 15th is National (everyone around the world is welcome) Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Since there is not a gathering in the Springfield area that I could find, I decided to organize one for all of us parents that are missing our babies. I am really excited about this and that Kristan is so willing to help me with it. The church is wonderful to let us have it there because we are hoping for a good turnout.
I am really beginning to see how hush-hush people still are about their losses. To each their own, I guess. But I am not one to sit down and not let the world know that Lucas and Caleb were here and they touched and still touch so many lives every day. I agree with so many women that the chain of quiet needs to be broken and we need to stick together. I felt so very alone when I found out Lucas passed and again when Caleb passed. I had a few close to me who had suffered losses, and if it weren't for two of them, I have NO idea how I would have made it through those first few days. Thank you for your openness and willingness to share your thoughts and feelings everyday.
****Getting off my soapbox now******
If you are reading this and live in the Springfield area and have suffered a loss, please consider joining us. I am sure there will be lots of tears on this night. How could there not be? We are a safe group and safe place to cry all those tears. Don't worry about not having the strength to be there, together we give each other strength. And don't worry about feeling exposed, you are part of this club, unfortunately, it truly helps to meet some of the other members. They know where you are, where you've been, and where you're going. And if you know someone who has suffered a pregnancy or infant loss, please share this with them.


Also, below is the link to the I Am The Face campaign. Please check it out!
http://www.iamtheface.org/Face/I_AM_THE_FACE/I_AM_THE_FACE.html

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My two Butterflies

I'm having a peaceful day today and thought I would share this with everyone. I watched these two butterflies at the Nature Center a couple of weeks ago for 20 or so minutes. I was really missing Lucas and Caleb on that day and I honestly feel they sent me the butterflies to ease my heart some.

These two butterflies flew and played together for so long. They would land on a flower on top of each other then fly off as though they were playing tag. I am sure my two babies are playing together now in Heaven. Oh, how I miss them, but I have faith that one day I will be with them again.

video

Monday, September 20, 2010

Where I'm Sitting

Well, Friday wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was busy getting ready to go to the Lake and stay at a friend's cabin. He's been a close friend for 14 years now and has always been here for me. His wife and him were so warm and welcoming to me and my family this weekend. We are so grateful for the chance to get away and relax at a time that could have been so very difficult. I hope to blog more about our stay with pictures at some point this week.

So, the due date has come and gone. I was really shocked by the immense emotional rollercoaster it brought with it. I honestly believed since we never thought we would make it to September 17, that it would sting a little. How foolish I was. And now that it's gone, it feels different than I expected also.

It feels like I am starting back at the beginning in a way, just a lot milder. I guess it's a new chapter in all this. But I still spent a lot of time missing the twins this weekend, thinking about them, and trying to change things in my mind with the "what ifs". And it drives me absolutely batty. I mean, I've been through all this already. It makes me wonder if I am just going crazy or it's really part of the whole picture.

But I am doing better today. I feel like a did a few weeks ago and am ready to get on the ball with house stuff and Operation C.A. (hehe) I have a million things going on and am trying out a few new routines to make sure everyone and thing gets the attetion it needs and deserves.

I also would like to really mention my social anxiety. Just to put it out there to see if anyone else is going through this, or been through this and it's gone away on it's own. I have always been a very social person. I live for larger crowds!!! But since Lucas and Caleb's birth, I have issues if surrounded by more than 10 or so people. I feel physically and emotionally ill. My heart starts to race and my knees want to buckle. And it doesn't really matter what kind of group I am in, it just hits.

And I find myself feeling the same way when I think about being around extended family. There are a couple of dates coming up where there will be family around and I just start to panic a little. I can pinpoint this one a little more, but I can't seem to work through it. And I really can't decide if I want to push through it and suck it up, or just wait until I am truly ready to be there, around it all. It might be awhile, but I am sure everyone will understand. The combination of it all might just be a bad idea for me at this point.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Here's some bits and pieces of thoughts I've had this week. It all may seem a little random and choppy, but I really wanted to share it all and thought I would just get it done in one post. Tomorrow (the 17th) is the due date for Lucas and Caleb. It is written very big on the calendar that used to hang on our wall. I honestly did not think this week would be a hard one. Or at least anywhere near as hard as what it has been. We were never going to make it to 40 weeks. But the pain this week and all the tears are pretty similar to the week the boys were born and then gone.

I truly hate that we have all had to go through this. I know many of you are fellow BLMs who have lost their baby(ies). And many others are friends and family who have lost beside us. Grandparents that lost two of their grandsons, aunts and uncles who have lost two of their nephews, and friends who have lost the opportunity to meet and enjoy two more of our sons. The journey of being pregnant with twins was supposed to be a good one. There was supposed to be good times with some tough spots. But there wasn't supposed to be death, there wasn't supposed to be tears of udders sadness. I was supposed to bring home two smiling little boys in their car seats, not two white boxes with their ashes.

I have kept myself very busy over the summer, trying to push through all this. Colton and Ethan have really enjoyed doing and experiencing a lot. And every time we would head out to go somewhere for the day or days, I would think back to two days before my water broke. I was talking to Willy (more like crying) about how I hated that Colton and Ethan would probably miss out on many summer activities because there was just no way I would be able to do it all. I then said that I wouldn't change it for the world, but that it just made me sad. There has been alot of personal guilt from that conversation. I know it had nothing to do with this outcome, but it's still there.

I was looking at pictures earlier, trying to get some together for a memorial video. I came across one of the only ones of Willy and I together during the hospital stay. I was holding Caleb right after they had removed his breathing tube. Willy is sitting next to, looking at us with a single finger on my arm. This picture says it all. I know he wanted to take all the pain away. I know he wanted nothing more than for our babies to be healthy. And I know he felt helpless. My husband is such an amazing man. He is so strong and sensitive. He is always there and always knows the right thing to do, even if I don't agree at the time. I love him so much. And I hate that he didn't get to know Lucas and Caleb the same way I did. I hate that so many visions of the future of our four boys running around wild will never come true. And I hate that he has to learn how to live with his new wife. Not the one he went to the hospital with, but the one he left with. The one that is unpredictable at certain times. One who cries more. And one who isn't fully whole and definitely not carefree. I know we have an amazing marriage and that we will survive this. But I am sorry just the same.

I have a project starting up soon for October 15th. It is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and feel I really need to do something. I will put up more details next week sometime when it is all nailed down. This is helping me some in giving me a little more purpose. Also, I want the world to know how amazing my MOPS family is. They managed to pass around a card last week at the meeting to share their love and prayers with me this week. I received the card yesterday and after crying for 20 minutes or so, I have felt lighter. Thank you, ladies for doing all you have for me and my family.

I touched earlier in the post how I am doing really bad. I honestly cried all the way to a consignment sale yesterday and continued to cry while standing in line. I saw two sets of twin boys being pushed by and heard the announcement of a baby girl behind me. A lady was on the phone just finding out. And the last time I was at this sale was right before we found out the twins were boys. Mon, Tues, and Wed were all like this. I cried in the car, in stores, and of course at home.

But today shows a little more promise and I KNOW the weekend will be a good one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some Kind of Sick Joke

Seriously, this month is sucking it up BIG TIME!

As many of you know Friday is my Due Date with the twins. I am a complete mess this week. I am crying at things I cried at in the beginning. And I am sitting on the couch staring into oblivion thinking about the twins, my pregnancy with the twins, and sometimes just nothing at all. Did I mention the crying? Seriously tears are falling a couple times an hour.

And to top of this week, I'm on my period! Thank you Mother Nature for yet another reminder that I am not pregnant and won't be for awhile, yet. Thank you for the reminder that my baby boys are not here and I'm not breastfeeding them. And thank you for magnifying the already over the top grief I am feeling.

That's it. I just wanted to vent and get this out. I try to keep this blog honest and this is pretty much as honest as it gets. I truly hate this!

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Funk

So before anyone goes off about the wonderful people that have birthdays this month or their anniversary's that are this month (mine is on the 30th.) I just want to say I truly could go to sleep and wake up in October. And I know that I am not the only one. So many of my friends (including many of you) are really in a funk this month. We just can't seem to get ahead, let alone caught up. I truly thought after a very emotional morning this morning I was working on it...but nope, here I am typing and crying big ol' elephant tears. The pain is still raw and it just won't let go of me. I have begged it to leave. I have apologized to the happiness for missing the tears. Please, please just go away now. I have spent all week crying multiple times a day.

Today was the first official meeting for our MOPS group for the school year. I am on Hospitality so I've been crazy busy this week getting everything together with Kristan and Kim to be ready for today. It's been busy and a little overwhelming. I thought my roller coaster emotions this week were due to the build up of today, along with magnified PMS.

I really had a good morning. Even though I cried a lot of tears and I know many others who cried some with me. Every year they recognize the babies that were born over the summer. This year, unfortunately they had to recognize the angels. It was hard, somehow hearing their names being mentioned in this category to women who knew and some who didn't made this all a little more final, I guess. I am so grateful they were mentioned. It just hurts a little extra right now.

I also want to thank to the special women who really stood out to me today. I don't know if they want their names out there, but they know who they are. Thank you for approaching me, thinking of me, and supporting me. So many of you are just amazing and I know it was God's directing for me to find this specific MOPS group out of the 20+ in Springfield. I just don't know where I'd be today if I didn't have each and every one of them.

All in all, this month is really sucking it up right now. And I know that I am not the only one feeling this way. I am sure it probably has a lot to do with the changing of the seasons and all that. But I really thought I was getting it together. I'd expect a rough day here and there, but I've had FIVE in a row. Seriously? Is this how it's going to work? I find the song below, "Wake Me When September Ends" to be so very fitting.

I miss my babies so much right now it hurts.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Dentist

Yesterday was my ever-dreaded dentist appointment. Back in January, I had an appointment to have two cavities filled. I had to reschedule it because I had just found out we were expecting and was EXTREMELY ill. They said we would reschedule it for sometime after my 1st Trimester and I said sure. Well, by the time the appointment came around again, I had to reschedule again because it was set for the same time one of my OB appointments and those came first. So we rescheduled it for June 1st. I called on May 26th to cancel it until after my pregnancy. I explained to them that I was carrying twins and that all the wait kept me from being able to lie on my back for more than 20 minutes at a time. They congratulated me and said they understood.

Well, the rescheduled appointment was yesterday. I was almost physically ill from the anxiety of having to go, update my file, and explain to the hygienist and my dentist how my summer started. So, I get the file to update and have to write out: emergency c-section 06/01/10. Then on meds taking: birth control, prenatal vitamins, and Zyrtec. How's that for confusing someone....prenatals and birth control? I push the tears back and just stare at the wall waiting for my name to be called.

My usual hygienist wasn't there so Tara took care of me. I hadn't met Tara before, and I am sure she had NO idea what was in store for her. The following is a conversation I am sure she'll replay for days:

Tara: "You're not trying again so soon are you? "
Me: (Quietly) "No"
Tara: "Okay, was just asking, we just found out we are expecting again and we have a nine month old. Just wondering if you were doing things how we are."
Me: ( I nod my head and stare out at the gloomy sky."
Tara: "An emergency c-section in June? What happened?"
Me: (I start to really choke up) "We lost our twins in June."
Tara: " I just don't know what to say. Oh my, I am so sorry. I just couldn't imagine."

She then quickly left to find tissues. The next hour was good. Even though she was hormonal and pregnant, she wanted to talk. She asked questions, listened well, and had the perfect responses. I was so amazed at how easy it was to talk to her. And at how willing she was to talk. Most pregnant women don't want to talk about Baby Loss. And yet, here was a mom who had a 9 month old daughter with another baby on the way and she was there for me. My anxiety completely disappeared and I felt so grateful for her. I had considered canceling my appt yet again earlier in the day, but am so happy that I sucked it up and went.

And then the dentist came in to let me know that I need a root canal on one of my front teeth. And I responded with crazy laughter and tears. On my way out I honestly look at the sky and ask out loud, "What more do I need to endure at this point? How much strength do I have to muster up? And why I can't I catch a break?" I know these questions are a little selfish, but seriously, I am tired of it pouring. We've been dealt a crap hand the second half of this year. And it sucks! But as a friend, Danae wrote on facebook..."Give it all to me in 2010 so 2011 can be amazing." I am now going to try and concentrate on the great things that are coming our way next year.

And a huge thank you to Tara. You have made a difference with your kindness.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Black Tuesday

So, we coined the term Black Tuesday almost 3 years ago after Ethan was born and I was back on birth control. It is the Tuesday before my period starts and the only day of the month I would PMS. I would always warn Willy on Monday night that Black Tuesday was the next day so he knew it would be kind of rough. And he was great about it all. The day would be filled with the usual moodiness, crankiness, and irrationality.

The Lucas and Caleb were born on a Tuesday. The term Black Tuesday took on a whole new meaning. I would spend entire Tuesdays crying and sulking. I would pretty much check out for the day. And I began to miss the old Black Tuesdays. At about 9 weeks after their birth, they began to get easier, a much welcome event.

Now Black Tuesday has become all encompassing. I am back on birth control because we have to wait a full SIX months before we can try again. And the PMS on Tuesday is back. Only it is multiplied by like 100!!! These are now the days that the pain is the most raw, the loss of my baby boys is the most real, and the tears fall the most freely. I am a complete wreck this morning and it's not even 10:00am. And my poor husband didn't even stand a chance this morning. He was probably so relieved to go to work. I love him so much and he is so understanding. Not that I yelled at him, I was just a little snippy this morning, which is out of character for me.

And to add to all this I feel like I failed Colton this morning. We were sent home a worksheet to fill out about him. It said to be as creative as we wanted. My thought was that he needed to do most of it. I honestly thought that was the idea. So we got some yellow cardstock (his favorite color) and pasted the worksheet on there. Then I let him write his name and color the worksheet. (Which he colored yellow) I cut out a picture of him and the family and he glued them to it. I thought it looked pretty good. Well, we show up to school and my heart sank. The other kids' moms had done theirs for them. They looked awesome. Some were scrapbooked, others were neatly designed on poster boards. Obviously not a 4 year olds work. I could have made Colton's look crazy cool, but I really thought the idea was for him to do most the work. I hope he can concentrate on being proud of the amazing job he did himself. And so here I am wondering what path I want to take this year with his school work. I know in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that big of a deal. But on a day like today, it kind of blow up some.

Well, Playhouse Disney has finally returned from it's summer break. I am going to put on some gym pants and a t-shirt and cuddle up with Ethan to watch "educational" cartoons. And I'm going to "float" for awhile as has been suggested by a close friend of the family.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Super Busy, I'm Sorry

***Newborn mentioned in last paragraph***


So, I know I have been kind of absent in many aspects of my new life, lately. I'm not writing so much anymore, I keep getting behind on my Pictures of the Day, and I haven't been communicating like I normally do with my BLM friends. I miss everyone of you. And think of every one of you everyday.

We have so much going on right now. Mentally and physically I am constantly on the move. The house is coming along great, but there is just so much to do. I am also trying to completely re-organize my life. The past couple of weeks I have felt so overwhelmed it was getting kind of scary. I love ALL the different projects I am doing and have going on, and I know that I can handle it all. I just really needed to figure out a way to organize it all so I don't forget anything. And I think I have and am crazy excited about it.

With all of this going on, I have been doing wonderfully, emotionally. I haven't had a complete meltdown (Stage 4 as a fellow BLM has called it) in almost 3 weeks! This is fabulous...most of the time. Although I really enjoy being able to enjoy life, I am waiting for the ball to drop at any time. Every night when I go to bed I wonder if tomorrow will be the day. And every morning I wake up feeling just as wonderful as the day before. In a weird sort of way I miss crying for Lucas and Caleb once in awhile. I still have the random tears, and they must be just enough to keep it all from building up.

I also want to mention that I held my first newborn baby boy on Friday. Baby Porter was born on Thursday a healthy 9lbs 8 oz! He is beautiful! There were four of us girls at church who were all pregnant together in the spring. Three of us were due within a week of each other. Pretty cool stuff at the time. After the twins were born, I kind of dreaded the entire month of September. Knowing that healthy babies would be born and mine would be missing. I just knew I would think of the twins every time I saw one of the babies. And I honestly believed I wouldn't be able to hold any of them for months without breaking down into tears. And yet, here I was holding Porter, grinning and just embracing the greatness of a healthy baby. I feel it's time to be around healthy babies. I need the positiveness to give me the strength to TTC again and not be scared the whole time. Thank you Brad and Nickie for letting me hold him and rock him. It meant so much!

I hope that my strength and growth and progress on my journey gives some of my BLM friends some strength and hope, also. I know some of you are hurting immensely right now, and I am so sorry for that. Know that even though I may seem distant, I am still here for you and thinking and praying for all of you!

With much love,
Carrie

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dreams

Now that I am finally free from the re-enaction dreams of all the events surrounding the twins' birth and loss, I am actually dreaming. Those dreams of the twins' were hard to have. I would play over and over everything that happened and would try to change something so that I would wake up and the outcome of all of it would be changed. No such luck, ever. I reached a point where I would wake up and continue thinking about it all. It was so unfair that I couldn't even escape all this in my sleep.

Well, I am back to having dreams, not quite normal, but I guess my new normal. Some have been very vivid, others a little daunting, and some quite frightening. Last week I woke up in middle of the night from a pretty crazy dream. I decided to write it down. Then I couldn't sleep so I decided to interpret it online. Some pretty awesom insights came to light! Even though I'm not directly dreams about Lucas and Caleb, this journey is still represented in so tons of ways through my dreams. Which makes sense, beings it is permenantly stamped on my subconscious.

So I've decided to keep a dream journal. On those nights when I wake up remembering specific details and storylines of dreams, I am writing it all down. Then in the morning I dissect it, look it up, and figure out what in this crazy world my subconscious is trying to make me see. And it works! I mean there are a few things I have been bouncing around on and the logical answer is right there in my dreams.

Of course there are some that are pretty "Well, duh." But others are really helping me out. The best from last night was in part of my dream I was lost in a dark area and it interpretted to be, "still adjusting to new situation where rules and conditions are ever changing." Well, that pretty much sums my life these days. I think many of you BLM's can agree that this road is always changing, how we feel is always changing, and a rule that might apply today has no bearing what-so-ever tomorrow.

I encourage my BLM friends to try this just one time. I honestly think it could be worthwhile and maybe a little fun. Then if you want, share pieces of it that fit together for you.

And I plan on updating 365 on Monday or Tuesday. I know I am way behind, but things are a little chaotic right now and I am feeling a little overwhelmed in some areas.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Month Letter to My Angels

Dear Lucas and Caleb,

Today marks three months since we have said hello and good-bye. I can't believe it. Some days it hurts like it was yesterday. And others I feel so distant from it all. I thought I would tell you about what we have done the past three months. I know you've been watching and that you would want us to have some fun. We have, although we've also cried many, many tears. We miss you so much, babies. And we miss everything you would have become.
Here is your shelf on the china hutch. We still haven't ordered your urn yet. I am so sorry. Not really sure what the hold up is. Maybe it's still a little too final for us. Your footprints were taken at the hospital in these molds. I run my fingers over them often. The two of you had perfect little feet. The painting in the back is from your Aunt Brandy and Uncle Steve. They did such a wonderful job. And the box in the middle with the two boys is from Alicia. She has 5 year old twin boys and bought this for us. It holds to roses that were part of all the flowers we received.
This is the last belly pic taken. When I took it, everything was okay. You can see how tight the contraction monitor was at times. Both of you kicked at it often and we had to move it all the time. I really wish we would have taken more pictures and videos while in the hospital. But we were optimistic and thought we has so much more time.

This is one of two pictures I have of holding both of you. I dreamed of this day for so long...only I should have been able to dream of it for longer. Lucas, you were already gone and we were losing Caleb. But I will never forget what it felt like to hold the both of you together.


Caleb, here is the best picture we have of you without all the tubes and wires. There's a little grin on your face. It is the only movement from you that I got to see. And I know you smiled just for me and your daddy.

Lucas, you look so peaceful here. They had you wrapped in so many blankets in your little bassinet. I held you all night that night. And everyone that walked in was told they could hold you. I was so proud of you and that you were my son. And I just couldn't believe you were gone before I ever had the chance to see you smile, hear your cry, or look in your beautiful eyes.


On June 7, we held a service for you at our church. Over 100 of our friends and family and co-workers came down to remember you. Your Daddy designed this program for everyone to have and save. He did such an amazing job. He loves the two of you so much. And he lets me in to see his sadness once in awhile. But more often than that, he shows me how he thinks of you and misses you. The two of you would have learned so much from him.

These are only some of the beautiful flowers and cards we received. Your memory boxes are also shown. These tables were set up in the living room for weeks.


On to some good times we have had. Here are some pictures from the waterpark in Strafford. We went with the Harts one Sunday afternoon. It was so much fun. I thought of you so much. But I think it was honestly the first time since you were born that I honestly had a good time.


We took Colton and Ethan to feed the ducks about 3 weeks after you were born. It is one of the many things I wouldn't have been able to do this summer. They really enjoyed it, though.

We went to Michelle's wedding. I definitely had a lot of anxiety on this day. She called and asked me to be a bridesmaid back in January. I told her yes, although I would be pretty huge pregnant. A few weeks later we learned I was pregnant with both of you and I had to back out. And then you were born too early and I was able to make it. I am glad I was there, but I was also sad to be able to be there. She came down for your service, babies. She is such a great friend.

We went to Six Flags the same weekend of the wedding. We had so much fun! And it seemed that everywhere I looked I found identical twins. Double strollers with infants EVERYWHERE! But I sucked it up, sent you love and enjoyed the time with Colton, Ethan, and Willy.


Daddy holding Colton in the sharks mouth. That boy is completely fearless!




Ethan and I on the log flume! He is my buddy!


We spent tons of time with James and Thomas. You know their brother, John. The Hart family has done so much for us down here. I honestly don't know how we would have made it without them. Colton and Ethan play with James and Thomas all the time. And they all play well together, which makes it that much more fun!


Your brothers and I took a spontaneous trip to Columbia to visit Great Grandma Hughes in July. There is this extremely large park up there. We had so much fun, but I missed you so much this trip.
Then you sent me the dragonflies and I could breathe a little better. Thank you, boys

A few weeks ago, we met Daddy at the park near his work for a picnic. It was the first not sweltering day in weeks. We had a lot of fun!

We then went camping the weekend of my birthday. My birthday was likely going to be yours. Would have been pretty cool! 36 weeks marked full term for the two of you. The week was really hard leading up to this Friday, but the day was a good one. I celebrated the fact that we had you for 24 weeks and 3-4 days.
We took Colton and Ethan floating down the river. They loved it. And we learned that Daddy doesn't float well on an inner tube.

And I love the dragonfly you sent while I was floating on the river. It brought so much peace to me. Thank you so much, babies!

Then on that Sunday we went to Grandma and Grandpa's and caught toads. The two of you would have learned so much from Colton and Ethan on how to be true boys. I think I really found my true normal this weekend.

Here we are at the STL zoo! We visit here 3 or 4 times a year. Grandpa Tim goes with us frequently. We always visit the penguins first. I can only imagine the fun of chasing four boys through the zoo. I thought of the two of you a lot during this trip.

Here's Colton working hard to resist petting the penguin that is swimming by. I might have to sneak one home one day. hehe

These two sleeping monkeys almost brought on the tears! I wasn't going to take a pictures, but Grandpa Tim insisted. And I am pretty sure he had the right intention. Thank you, Dad. This picture will probably get printed and put in your memory book.
And we HAD to go through the butterfly house. I took tons of pictures of butterflies. A different butterfly for each baby of my BLM friends. I hope to get all the pictures done this week and sent to them.

And here is me in my reunion outfit. Luckily the date wasn't set until after you were born, so I didn't have the "I shouldn't be able to go." anxiety. I just knew that I would be around a lot of people that night. Some who knew we lost you and others who didn't. I was nervous about the questions that I hate answering. "How many kids do you have?" "What are their ages." and so forth. I love this outfit and that I could fit into it. I bought the shirt when shopping with Bettie. I only seem to buy peach when I am with her.

Here's mommy after a few glasses of wine. Michelle is in the brown shirt and Ashley in the dress. I don't think I would have stayed long if Michelle wouldn't had come. Thank you, Michelle for being my safety net for the night. I had a blast!

I honestly don't remember what we are laughing about, but I am sure this is what we looked like most the night.

A great shot of Michelle and I. It took several attempts to get one this good. But we were having so much fun. And I know Craig and your Daddy had a really good time watching us.
And this is when we decided it may not be a good idea to roll down the hill. It took some convincing, though. Then I fell and was on the ground anyway. And your Daddy was 15 feet away taking pictures of me instead of helping me up.


Then we came home for Colton's first day of Pre-Kindergarten. He was so excited. I really missed you today. I missed the way I had pictured today. I should have been pushing your double stroller, struggling to manuever it into the elevator, and juggling three kids after dropping Colton off, not one. I think this might be one of the last days for a while that I have this feeling of loss dreams. I know it's not the last, but it should be a few weeks, hopefully.

Lucas and Caleb, I have met some amazing women through this journey. I hate that I now know that babies do die and for so many reasons. I know you have lots of playmates up there in Heaven. Please hug Jacob today as it's his 3 month angelversary also. And he has just been joined by his brother or sister. And Emmett and Everette who just recently joined you. I can only imagine the trouble the four of you could get into, but the fun you will have doing it. I am so grateful to the BabyLoss community I have found down here. These women are so strong and wonderful.
The past three month have been the hardest months of our lives. Your Daddy and I were so excited to watch you grown and learn. We often feel so robbed of all of it. But we try to remember that we will see you one day. Colton talks about the two of you almost everyday. He is such a rockstar big brother. And I hate that him and Ethan have to also go through all this. But they play with your monkeys and even sleep with them once in awhile.
I have felt all the emotions throughout all this:
The extreme anger that I finally released. This poor box never had a chance. I am just grateful I wasn' t home when they brought it. The mailman probably would never come back.

Of course, there are all the tears I have cried. Very few days have gone by when there haven't been tears of some sort. But it is getting easier, I promise.

I've also had some good times. I know that you don't want me to always be sad, so some days I happy just for the two of you.

And of course I make sure to truly enjoy and appreciate your brothers. I am so grateful to be blessed with them. They are the reason I get out of bed some mornings.
Well, babies, this has been a long letter. We've done a lot these past three months. I've tried to keep us busy as to help the healing process some. And it has helped. Hopefully next month I'll be sharing the good news of our selling our house. And I will compile all the memorial pictures we have for the two of you from all the moms in my new community.
We love you so much and miss you so much. I truly hate that we don't get to watch you grow up. And that although we are still the parents to twin boys, we won't have all the experiences that comes with being the parents of twin boys.
With all our hearts,
Mommy and Daddy
Colton and Ethan
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