Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Visit

A few weeks ago we had the Harts and Gipsons over for brinner (breakfast for dinner).  It had been so long since we had been able to spend an evening like this.  We ate TONS of food, the kids played together, and the adults enjoyed each others company.  At one point chocolate was mentioned. So we pulled out the candy box.  Well, we ended up dumping it out on the table.  Lots of fun was had and way too much candy was eaten.  Kristan took this photo of all our fun.

Look closely between Ken (far left) and Sam (holding Baby Morgan).  This picture was taken in the dining room where we keep Lucas and Caleb's ashes.  Absolutely amazing.  I cannot find the word to describe how they make me feel.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011


I'm doing much better this week.  I feel like all is falling back into place (it's new place), and I'm back on track.  The weight I'd been carrying for a couple of weeks is gone now, and I can get back to being a mom and wife.

I've been super busy with Colton's school fall festival.  I can't believe it's almost here.  I was told yesterday that it was "my baby."  How funny. I thought about that some.  And there's some dark humor that is going to come out I am sure.  But I really remember when this fall festival was just an idea.  It was mentioned in passing during a phone conversation with M about becoming the events chair for the PTA.  I thought, yeah it sounds like a good idea.  I remember when deciding to have a baby was like that.  Yeah, let's do it. Get pregnant, carry baby, deliver baby, go home.

When the school  year started, we really began working hard to organize things.  My ideas began to come to life as I made lists and prepared orders. I remember how I would make lists while preparing for Lucas and Caleb.  Things we needed, who to invite to shower, meals to freeze, contacts for when they were born.  With each list, their movements increased, and they were closer to be born, being in my arms.

Then orders were placed, and items started coming in, piling up in my dining room. We bought so much for them.  And everything set up, clothes washed, and shoes organized.  We had SO much stuff and were so ready for Lucas and Caleb.

Now it's a waiting game.  Almost everything is done, we are just waiting for next Friday to arrive.  I have watched this fall festival grow and become so real.  We were just waiting for weeks to pass.  Watching them and my belly grow, ready to meet them.

I have a small fear that we'll do all this work, and no one will come.  I know this fear is probably unwarrented.  I've prepared and expected before, only to be crushed.  Fear and uncertainty is what I know now.

So here's to hoping it all goes well.  That we have a great turn-out and everyone has a great time!

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15th

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month saying, "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan.  When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower.  When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them."

Tonight we light candles for all babies gone too soon from 7pm to 8pm.  Light a candle during that hour in your time zone and candles will burn in a wave around the world.  What an awesome picture!

I was planning on attending the M.E.N.D. breakfast and balloon release this morning to honor Lucas and Caleb.  But I have worked incredibly hard this week to get where I am at emotionally.  I am so afraid that going will really set me back quite a bit.  I feel my current position is fragile.  I will light their candle tonight and remember Lucas, Caleb, and all their heavenly friends throughout the day.  Oh how I miss my baby boys.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting There

**Baby picture at bottom**

I am finally feeling close to 100% again!  I still can't believe how much last week took out of me.  I am grateful to be on this side of it all.  You would think as much as I have expressed my hatred for grief that it would get the picture and just stay away.  If only it were that easy.  hehe

I have to say, though, that I haven't gotten to this point, today on my own.  My friends and family have helped to pull me back up.  And for that I am ever so grateful.  To the ladies in my bible study, your stopping to listen and pray with me got me over the huge part of this hump.  Being able to release all my emotions honestly with others and handing them all over to the Lord was quite freeing. 

The patience from my amazing husband has not gone unnoticed, either.  He has helped around the house, and let me just be emotional.  I am so grateful for that.  And to all the people who have asked, and really listened, wow it's great to be surrounded by such wonderful people.  THANK YOU!

The only thing that I'm really having a hard time with right now is when people seem disappointed that I am not bubbling over with excitement.  Really, folks, I understand that many can't (nor want to) understand the pain.  And I really don't blame them, much.  I just don't like feeling guilty, either.  The hole that was left when we lost Lucas and Caleb is very much still there.   I DO love my niece, Emily, bunches.  And today I really started to miss her some.  It just might take me awhile before I can be where I should have been last week.

Now for another picture of the girlie herself:
She does have tons of hair!!

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raw Grief (a revisit)

Well, as I've written a few times on here, my sister has been expecting a little girl.  On Tuesday her water broke and I headed to Washington, MO.  Ethan and I arrived in a few hours.  Below is what I felt, how I felt, and a few pictures.  I am saving the pictures until the very end for those who just can't look at pictures of a newborn yet.  I get it.  I hope that if any of you go through this with your sisters/brothers, that this post will help you to know what to expect.

When I arrived at the hospital, I was on total adrenaline rush.  I was feeling excitement for truly the first time.  I was saying things I hadn't even thought, and I was doing things I normally would completely avoid.  Erika's entire pregnancy has been tough on me.  The few hiccups during labor through me for a minor loop.  I have cried many a tears the past several months, missing my boys.  But I stood there and seriously rubbed my sister's pregnant belly while she lay there in labor.  I stood there, watching my hand, in complete awe of what I was doing. 

When she started pushing, we had to go ALL the way down to the waiting room.  Now, this was tough on me.  I needed to hear this baby cry.  I needed it to know that everything was okay.  But we were sent down three halls, through two sets of doors to sit in the quiet and wait.  While we were waiting, a new mom (obvious by the half bent post c-section walk) walked past us to the elevators.  With a pack of cigarrettes and a lighter sticking out of the top of her shirt. We got the call that Emily was here and crying and healthy.  We walked down the hall and waited outside the nursery for the call for us to come in.  The earlier mom walked by again with her husband, carrying two infant carriers.  Seriously!  The anger and resentment started to build. 

We went in and was able to see and hold Miss Emily.  She cried and cried and cried.  But she's healthy and a cutie.  I felt pretty good as I held her, but emotionally distant some.  There was really nothing until I entered the elevator to head back to my dad's.  Then the tears started to fall.  All the emotion that was missing earlier was coming to surface.  I called Rhonda and we talked for awhile about it all.  Friends texted me through the day and that night with their support.  I slept pretty well.

Wednesday came and we headed back up first thing in the morning.  We were there for a few moments, I was holding Miss E., and the picture lady came in.  She brought in a bassinett with items she can sell with pictures on them.  Right there, staring me in the face, was a 20X30 bag with a picture of identical twin newborn baby boys holding each others hands, looking at each other.  My heart exploded! I quickly, and carefully I am sure, handed Miss E back to my sister and tore out of there with Ethan.  The pain that came was seriously insane.  I tried over and over for 20 minutes or so to keep swallowing back the tears and the screams.  But everytime I thought I had succeeded, that picture would pop into my mind. Finally, I gave in and let it loose.  I stood there in front of the nursery on the baby floor and cried until I couldn't breathe. 

If I were to rate the pain and anguish I felt during the first weeks after Lucas and Caleb were born I would definitely say a 10.  The pain I felt all day Wednesday would be an 8 or 9, easily.  I relived everything all over again.  My heart was physcally hurting from it all.  I couldn't stop crying, I could barely breathe, and I didn't know how to find my way out of this dark spot.  This lasted all day long.  I tried sleeping it off, I tried eating it away, but the pain and grief had found their way back in.

That night I hung out with my high school friend, Michelle, and was finally able to stop climbing out.  Ethan was full of hugs, and once again my friends and parents were there with encouraging words. 

Thursday was better.  I held Miss E some more and enjoyed the sweetness.  But having her in my arms reminds me of who we don't physically have.  And makes my arms feel that much more empty when I put her down.  I am determined to be a great aunt to her...it just might take some time before I can put my heart into it. 

I have to say that I am ever so grateful to Dana, who warned me of how all this would go down.  And I am grateful to all my friends who have been by my side through Erika's pregnancy and the days I was up there.  I could not have made it through this on my own.  My goal was to not take any happiness away from my sister...and I am pretty sure I succeeded at that with the help of so many.

Now for a picture or two...

 Emily Oma Jo.  Born 10/04/11 at 7:37pm.  Weighing 6lbs 11oz and 19 inches long

And check out the bow...it's the first one I made!!

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

16 Months

Dear Lucas and Caleb,

Well, it's been a crazy month.  Really super crazy!  Your big brothers have kept the family really busy with school and sports.  I've fallen in love with my crockpot all over again!  And I really am enjoying the business.  I am still having a hard time with Ethan being in school.  Although I am sure it's more the two of you not being here, my house being empty than it is him being in school.  I am just really not ready to be out of this season of my life, and I have some hope that I'm not completely out of it.

Something else that is brewing is that your cousin, Emily, is about to enter our world.  This is tough off and on for me.  I am sure you understand.  I bounce back and forth emotionally all the time about how I feel.  I really don't want to go into all the ugly details of my emotional roller coaster today, but will soon.  Just know that I think of the two of you when I think of her. 

We really miss you boys.  And we love you so very much!

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