Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He Did Not Promise It Would Be Easy

Today was a day that tested my strength.

After Fridays amazing ultrasound, I began to finally let myself get excited over this pregnancy and the growing baby in my belly. I spent the weekend so grateful for this baby's health thus far.

Today, I went to the bathroom to find that I was spotting. I was in a hurry and very nearly did not notice but I did and panic ripped through me. I stood paralyzed in a very real moment of facing loss again. The boys were with me so I did all that I could to push the sobs down and away so they would not see.

Of course, I immediatly called the doctor. They got me in and did, yet again, an ultrasound. There was a heartbeat! The baby was fine! The placenta was perfect. My cervix was as it should be. There is no rhyme or reason for the spotting. They assured me everything is fine! I finally felt oxygen flow through my body again. I think I was holding my breath praying for the best but preparing for the worst.

I stepped back and realized that although the baby is fine, I must still tread lightly. I let go of a lot of my worries after Friday and maybe I did it a bit to soon. So, I will take each day as it comes. Although we have been blessed with another pregnancy, HE did not say it would be easy.
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On a lighter note, I am 15 weeks pregnant this week! I was laying in bed last night reading People magazine. Lost in the Hollywood drama when I suddenly realized the fluttering just above my pubic bone. I stopped and sat very still only to realize that the very active baby I have been telling you all about, was kicking me. It wasn't the kick you would think of but more of a pointer finger just tapping me lightly from the inside. Early, yes! However, this is my fourth go round at this and I know what I am feeling by now. I mentioned this to the nurse and she said it's very possible to feel it at this point due to my size and that this is my fourth pregnancy.
Then on the way home today after my scare, I felt the fluttering again! S/He was telling me that everything was o.k.

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As for my other two angels. They are doing amazing. Mason is completely obsessed with his "Ma Ma" right now and will not let me out of his sight. In fact, he won't even let me do anything except be with him. He knows I will give in for I do NOT let other things take precedence when wants to be with me. When he pulls on my legs and looks up at me with those beautiful eyes, screaming "Ma Ma!" i just cannot even begin to NOT give in. He says it like he's a little Italian man too. It's so darn cute! He continues to talk up a storm. He still sleeps in our closet at nap times. This set up seems to allow everyone a much better rest. Today during story time at Barnes and Noble, we were singing a song and Mason got up on the little stage, front and center, and started to dance. The more the Moms laughed and clapped, the more he danced. Dave Jr. through and through. Mr. Personality!

Austin is growing up so fast. He is feeding himself with utensils now! He loves to dance and "jump" about. He is imitating and pretend playing. He pretends to feed his little animals. He calls his dinosaurs Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs. He also knows where "his" baby is. If you ask him, he will pull up my shirt and point to it saying "baby." He loves to swim and go under water now. His favorite thing to do is take his big red car and tip it upside down to "crash" it and then climb about in it. I am blown away by how quickly he is growing up. Happy and sad all at the same time.


The boys love each other so much and I am so happy that they have each other.

Blessed beyond blessed!



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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Praise God!


(although blurry on here, in our hands it's so vivid and perfect)
Yesterday we went for a "redo ultrasound." It was more than I could have ever asked for. She scanned me for nearly half an hour and showed us every inch of our baby. H/she was kicking, waving and even swallowing. Lips puckered and all. It was breathtaking. You would think after as many ultrasounds as I have been to in the last 3 years that it might get a little old, but it never does. If anything, this one was the most special, I needn't say why.
Our ultrasound tech, had a perfect view of the under area and although we may be a little early to tell, and she didn't reveal because of course, as always, it's a surprise, I saw a special smile cross her face while inspecting. Hmm... Time will tell. What do I want you ask, a healthy and whole baby. Would l like a little girl power in the house, oh yes! Can I see myself with all boys, FOR SURE! Only God knows and well...maybe our ultrasound tech.
After yesterday, I truly feel that I can begin to get excited. She ranted and raved about how every single thing on the baby looked perfect. We saw the brain, all four chambers of the heart, everything! It was amazing. I think she knew that I needed that more than anything right now and her time, her words and her smiles were irreplaceable. They told me, everything was going to be ok. So many people have been telling me lately, all on their own, that this baby is going to be ok. I like to think it's God working through those around me to bring me peace with this pregnancy. I think I may have found it. Do I believe I will have nervous days and bumps in the road ahead, absolutely, but we are passed a crucial point and from here all I can do is continue to pray for God's will to be done. I am giddy and happy and showing. Such a blessing, an unbelievable blessing, yet again. Praise God!
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Ok, so if you know my boys, which some of you that read really do, then take a peek at the picture and tell me who the baby resembles. The similarities are insanely noticeable in person, even our ultrasound tech said it!

Here is the new baby again!


And then we have a very similar looking baby... (although blurry, the profiles are strikingly similar)


Yes, my friends, that is Mr. Austin at exactly the same time in gestation. She just zoomed in on the new baby so h/she appears to be much bigger but is not. Their profiles are IDENTICAL! Makes me wonder if it's another boy...

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday In Heaven


Dear Tadem,
I have waited to write this letter to you until your "due date." It is here. Today is the day I thought we were going to meet you. Sadly, God had other plans for you. I questioned them at first, fought them and was filled with an anger I didn't know I was capable of. Today, I stand on the other side of that in peace. It was a long road filled with heartache, a loneliness I have never known and more tears than I knew one person was capable of. The tears still fall freely but they are different tears. They are not full of bitterness and rage anymore. I just miss you, that's all. I didn't know it was possible to love a person you have never met, so deeply. I just want you to know that I loved you the minute I knew you were inside of me. I was filled with relief and said so aloud every time I saw you. I look back at my words then and somehow, someway God was preparing me to let you go before I ever heard the words that you were gone. There was a place in my gut that knew something wasn't right. I was and am your Mommy and Mommy's just know those things. I called and asked for the last ultrasound myself and they got me in that same hour. When the doctor could not find your heartbeat, it was an overwhelming mix of emotions for me because part of me knew, I don't know how, but I did. The other part of me always held on to hope and knowing that hope was gone crushed me. I screamed for you. It was all I knew to do. I will never forget the last time that I saw you alive nor the last time I saw you, when you had gone. I wanted to reach inside and hold you. I didn't get to do that. I didn't get to tell you that it was all going to be ok. There were and are days that I think, how do I do this, like right now. How do I write you this letter and get all that I have ever wanted to tell you, out. I could write forever about my hopes and dreams for you. I could write forever about how badly I wanted you and how much I love you. Words don't seem enough and yet they are all I have. They are all I have had since November 11, 2008.
I have been to depths of grief so deep that I wondered if I would return from it, yet I always have. I have questioned why more times than I can count, but in doing so I have found out why. You had a purpose and as I have written so many times before, you accomplished that purpose. God's plan for you was laid out before you were ever conceived and now you rest in heaven an angel, a brother, a son, a grandson, a nephew and most importantly a teacher. You taught me Tadem, the meaning of life. I thought I knew what that was before you and I look back and see how wrong I was. In falling so deeply into despair over losing you I felt I had nothing to cling to, I felt alone. No one could understand where I was. Then, I believe it was you, having gone before me, that guided me to my knees. I prayed, I begged, I sobbed, I apologized and most importantly I learned. I learned about Jesus through you. Did I know before, yes. But not to the level that I do now. I am a changed person having lost you, but it's for the better. I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were brought here to lead me home. It may not be my time yet but my faith and my commitment in these past months, the months to come and for however long God wills me here on Earth have changed and they have changed so that when my time does come I will walk through the gates of heaven to find you standing there. It is a day I cannot begin to fathom. I don't rush it for I am busy raising and loving your brothers and I know that however long I take, you will be there in the end. That brings me peace and comfort. I know you are happy and whole. I know you are in a place those of us on Earth cannot imagine. I also, know that I will be joining you someday and I will be joining you because you showed me the way. Thank you baby boy for all that you did for your Ma Ma. You are not only an inspiration to me but to others who have quietly shared their love for you. You may not have been here long and we may not have seen your Earthly presence but your presence was and is still here. Your presence will always be with me. I will always have a place in my heart for you and as time goes on and the tears subside, know that I do not love you any less. I look to the sky each night and smile because I know you are up there looking down on us. I pray that you are our angel. That you might watch out for your brothers. That you will tell Grandma and Grandpa how much I love and miss them too. That I might feel your presence fill me up when I am down.
I love you Tadem more than words can ever express. I look forward to the day that I will see your precious face. I imagine you to be smiling. Just as you were in the last picture I have of you. Literally, you were smiling and it sits beside my bed and always will. I pray that you can feel my overwhelming love in heaven. I pray that you know our family and how much we wanted you to be a part of it here on Earth. I pray and give thanks for you. For I would not change having you with me, however short, for anything. Somehow this letter seems so empty compared to what I hold in my heart for you. Maybe you are a little piece of heaven for heaven is incapable of Earthly words. I don't even know what to say. I can't end this, I don't know how. I just know I miss you so deeply. The tears are flowing for you and yet I know the best is yet to come. Until we meet again, until I can hold you again, know that you are loved, missed and forever remembered.

For this momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Love you, mean it,
Mommy

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Time To Let Go

It seems that I am on Jesus' mind lately, and I am so grateful for that. For I know there is much worse going on out there in the world than what is happening here in my corner of it, yet he continues to grace me with peace and reminders that I am not alone.

Yesterday I received a card from an old friend. Although we live ever so near to each other, we have trouble staying in physical contact. I do, however, know by now that we were destined to be forever friends. Different lives and time keeps us apart but thanks to hard changes in her life and a death in mine I know we are spiritual sisters here on this Earth and ever after. I am convinced, as most people are, that these things happened for a reason and had they not, she and I would not be in the places we are today. What I also know is that if I could take it all away for her I would. Thank you C, if you are reading this, for reaching out to me. Please know that even though time slips away from me, I do think of you nearly every day. Love to you and D.

Then today, I got the mail and in it was a card. Now this card may be one of the dearest gifts I have ever received. So simple yet so unbelievably meaningful. The card was honoring Tadem. She knows the day that looms ahead (2 days actually), Tadems meant to be birthday. She wrote about the impact he had on our lives and that she would never forget. I sit here with tears streaming down my face.

Somebody remembered...

It is a gift that can never be bought or replaced. All I want is for him to be remembered, it's what I have struggled with since he left us, and she remembered. How is thanks ever enough... Thank you, M, for something I have longed for all these months. I will never forget your kindness.

I went to counseling yesterday and she asked me how I was doing with the date coming up. I have been doing really well at repressing the thoughts as they enter my head. Today, I have some anxiety about it. She and I decided that Monday I need to lay Tadem and his story to rest. That's NOT to say forget about him but that it's time to let go of the sadness, to say my good byes, to let go of the guilt and to be happy that he is healthy and whole in heaven. I have an overwhelming need to hang on but I know that it's time.

I miss him today, I miss him everyday... but especially today.

It is a complex mix of emotions storming my body today as I get ready to lay one of my children, theoretically speaking, to rest, then turn around and lay on a table, to see another moving and kicking in my belly. My heart is thick. So full of love for two children (well 4 actually) but one that is gone and one that is hopefully on its way. I am torn between utter joy and loss right now.
I am ready though... I am ready to let the sadness go. When I think of Tadem I want to remember all that he taught me and the joy that he brought me while he was here in my belly. I believe if he could, he would tell me to be happy. So I will take Monday, to let it all hang out, and from there I will think of him and smile. I will praise him for his impact on us and I will find peace in knowing that he will be waiting at the gates of Heaven for me.

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As I mentioned above, I did see baby #4 today and h/she was BEAUTIFUL!!!!
Unfortunately, my regular, amazing, ultrasound tech was not there today, I did not know this or I would have cancelled. I got what Dave calls "the Ultrasound Nazi" She was rude, mean and the most impersonal woman I have come across in a long time. She took measurements, maybe said two words to us and handed us a very blurry picture of our baby and sent me on my way. So sadly, I do not have a picture to share with you all. I left sad for her and for the woman she was. To take such precious moments like that from a parent and turn them into uncomfortable ones is wrong.
I can TELL you what I saw though. I saw a beating heart (140 bpm). I saw a big, bald beautiful head. I saw a mouth (open). I saw a baby arching its head back like a big stretch. I saw a tiny heiny like Daves. I saw thigh bones with feet attached that kicked and kicked. My how I cannot wait to feel those kicks. I saw a baby that was alive and I was relieved and ever so grateful. I will go back in three weeks for another ultrasound with my "regular, amazing tech" where I will hopefully have more good news and photos to share. Please, if you like, continue to keep us in your prayers as we walk this journey that is now a little more delicate for us.

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The boys are amazing and beautiful and perfect. They started swim lessons again and although they fought it at first, they did really well. Mason is now sleeping in my closet for naps due to the fact that Austin now thinks nap time is a reason to rip every shred of clothing out of the dresser, to scream and keep his brother awake during the whole process. Austin took my (very blurry) ultrasound picture and he hugged it to his chest and said "awww" when I told him it was a baby. I melted like a snowcone. My boys are the lights of my life and as I say in nearly every post, I never go a moment without remembering how utterly blessed I am. Until next time, thanks for stopping by our itty, bitty corner of the world; my whole world...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

I promised you an Easter post, and I have delivered!

Warning: These may be the cutest boys you have ever seen. Not biased, just honest =)



We hope you had a wonderful Easter and may you continue to be as blessed as we are.
xoxo

Monday, April 13, 2009

Update

There is an Easter post coming. The boys had a blast and I got some amazing pics of them but quite frankly, right now I am to tired to do it. I know my rest is important but do stay tuned for an update tomorrow. I promise =)


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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Days

Hello, Hello! It has been awhile. For starters, I was sick last week with an awful migraine. I felt it coming on and went to the chiropractor and even got a prenatal massage from my dear friend, but to no avail. It came anyway and I was laid up for over two days vomiting and writhing in pain. Big thanks to my sister for all of her help with the boys during this time, thank goodness for spring break. It killed me that I could not get out of bed to be with my boys. I could hear them and all I wanted was to go and snuggle with my babies. It is a very helpless feeling when you are that sick and all you can do is just wait it out. There is migraine medication that works wonders but I am unable to take it when I am pregnant and yet I seem to get the most migraines when I am pregnant, argh! As awful as it is, it so worth the pain, although I have stated on more than one occassion if I can deal with the pain of migraines, I can most certainly do natural labor. Hmm...still on the fence about that one.
Now that I am better, I most certainly wanted to update on my boys. Let's just say they are amazing. Most important on our update list is that they are...drumroll please.... "PAPPY" (pacifier) FREE! I cannot even begin to tell you my joy at finally getting rid of them. I was such a wreck about taking such a comfort from my boys but I knew I had to bite the bullet at some point. There was one day that was really hard, especially on my highly addicted Austin. Nap time nearly put me over the edge. He lost it beyond lost it. Kicking and screaming, like losing his voice screaming, but I did not give in. I sat with my head in my hands and asked for the strength to finish what I started. It was hard to do on my own, Dave was at work, but now that we are on the flip side of things I am proud of myself and BLOWN AWAY by the boys! They adapted so much better than I could have ever imagined and I must say I can already see that Austin is talking more without "pappy" being in his way. WAY TO GO BOYS!
Austins speech is improving rapidly. He is now working on three word sentences. He is now calling his brother by his full name instead of "Mae Mae", it is so cute to hear him say Mason. It is almost always followed by a "NO! NO!" You see, Austin thinks he is boss and continually tells his brother what he can and cannot do.
Coincindentally, Austin has been super into babies lately. I can't even fathom why, but it gives me hope for October. He also ran a kiddie race this morning and did well. He ran back and forth across the street like a drunkin' sailor but he finished none the less. He proceeded to run up to me with his green ribbon as proud as proud could be and I was glowing from ear to ear!

Mason is doing amazing as well. He is talking so well, walking, running, getting into trouble and unable to follow directions in the least. I have a feeling he is going to give me a run for my money. It's the gorgeous grin he gives me when he knows he shouldn't be doing something that makes me wonder. Only to turn around and snuggle with me after bath time for minutes on end soaking up the TLC from Ma Ma. He is super into rocks still and loves to show off his boots, nevermind that he can barely walk in them, he just knows how adorable he is in them and thats what matters. Like Ma Ma and her heels.

I love it! I love my boys beyond measure. Each day they astound me with their continued intelligence. We have had a lot of fun in the past few days and I am going to post some pics of them. We bought a kiddie pool and have had fun in the driveway splish splashing around enjoying the start of Summer. We had the kiddie race and an Easter egg hunt today in my parents neighborhood. The boys did good collecting eggs although the bigger kids ganked most of them from them, but they handled it well.

Tomorrow is Easter and what a day to stop and give thanks for blessings in life that we would never have without Jesus Christ. May you all have a blessed day and take time to remember what is important in life. Until next time, enjoy my baby boys! We could all learn a lot from these little men.






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Monday, April 6, 2009

Emotion Filled Days

I am 13 weeks this Thursday. I am a bit of a nervous wreck because we are getting extremely close to the awful week when we lost baby Tadem. I am obviously still very small. I feel great, other than being tired. Not a lot of huge pregnancy signs are noteable to me on a moment by moment basis. If I could feel the baby move, I may be able to relax more. If I could hear the heartbeat every morning when I woke, I feel I could go about my days without worry in the background. I may feel more comfortable breaking out the maternity clothes. I am at an in between stage in clothing. I can't really fit into my regular clothes, am scared to break out the maternity ones should I have to put them all away like last time... Instead I keep busy with the boys, but the moment things quiet down I find myself wondering if everything is ok...I know we are close. We are at a pivitol point in this pregnancy. We don't know what happened to Tadem therefore I feel there is always the possibility that it could happen again. I pray each night for this babys health and for God to grace me with a peace as I encounter the days and weeks ahead. I have two big dates looming before me. I have these next two weeks where my strength is going to be tested. I have to wait until next Friday to ultimatly know if the baby in my belly is ok. To know if we will pass that ever so scary week with triumph. Then on April 20th, two weeks from today, I have what was meant to be Tadems due date. It seems a little strange to me to be talking about two babies that aren't here, one that passed ever so recently and the other growing in my belly where Tadem lived not all that long ago. I know it's meant to be. I know all of this was known before I knew it but when I get worriesome I wonder if these next two weeks will have any negative correlation at all. Or if there will be a life given for a life lost. My positive side sees that latter. My scared side does not. My husband promises me everything is going to be ok and I know that no matter what it will be ok. I know that I have no choice but to forge ahead. I have two beautiful boys depending on me and when I look at them, somehow, it all melts away. My counselor told me some of the wisest words I have ever heard and I literally take them with me everyday now. She told me Tadem is in heaven as happy as can be. He knows no grief. There is no grief there. Grief is OUR journey and my goodness, isn't that the truth. I don't know why that rang so true for me but it did. There is no grief in heaven and isn't that so much more than I could give him here on Earth. That makes me happy...
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I have been waiting to share this because... well I guess I don't really know. It's so special and so dear to me. Everything with Tadem is so dear to me. It was a loss like no other and though I have learned more than I can ever share from it, it also changed me. I promised Tadem when others wanted to forget that I would never forget him and I am keeping true to my promise...


I think its beautiful!
It's not a reminder to be sad. It's a reminder that he was a part of us for a short time but that doesn't mean he didn't have an impact!

A new favorite quote of mine:

There is no foot to small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world...


So, so true.

I think of the strength I "feel" I need to get through these next few weeks and I suddenly stop and realize that I SO already have it. To get through those first few weeks after losing Tadem. To get up, shower, kiss my boys good by and head to the hospital knowing they were going to take my deceased baby from me, my friends, that is strength. I can do this. I have faith in Gods plans for us. Whatever they may be, however hard or easy they may be to handle. I can do it. I am so blessed in this life and if God chooses to bless us once more, then won't I be the luckiest woman in the world...



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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hello Again

Well hello, hello. It has been quite a long time for me since I have posted. I find that by days end I am barely able to cleanse myself with a shower let alone blog. I literally sat on the toilet (the lid, of course, I wasn't actually going and no, I don't know why I chose the toilet) yesterday and prayed to Jesus for energy. I prayed that I might begin to feel the lightening of the first trimesters grip as I enter the second. I will not lie, it is exhausting being pregnant and caring for a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. It is a non stop life and I can truly say that I would not change it for the world. I have the most amazing boys and I give thanks for them, their health, their smiles and their chaos every single day. Sometimes all day. No really, I never thought I would be so blessed in life and I find myself constantly grateful for what I have been bestowed. I picture life with a new little one added to the mix and all I can do is smile. The exhaustion of pregnancy is all so very worth the result. I can't get enough of the two results I have right now tucked in bed.
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Let's see, as of last Friday, after one mini meltdown derived of complete fear and lack of control, one trip to the doctor, one ultrasound, and many kind reassurances from one amazing nurse, a devoted u/s tech and my OB; it's official that West baby #4 is doing just fine. I saw the heartbeat (162 BPM) and saw kicking of the legs. I cried, no really, I sobbed, like well... a baby. There is such a relief in seeing the heartbeat and the movement. I told a friend of mine the other day that pregnancy is not the same as it once was. That's not to say that I am not elated, blissfully happy and excited because I SO am, it's just that I am treading lightly and am more than anxious to get past our 16 week mark. Ultimately I know this is not in my hands and 95% of the time I am in complete acceptance of that but every once in awhile the worries creep up on me and I sob. Typically when I am tired, well... more tired than normal =) or if my hormones fluctuate I see the anxiety build. For now, I am doing well. I have even played out a scenario that I don't want in my head and prepared myself for how to handle it. I hope and pray with all that I am that I don't have to use it but sometimes hitting it head on helps...in some weird way I hope you all can understand. Until our next visit... stay tuned and keep the prayers a comin!
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Hmm... my boys! Where to even begin. Well this past week they have been sick with nasty, nasty colds. Today we ventured out for the first time all week. I awoke with some energy and we went and got the boys haircuts. Austin got his big boy Summer hair cut. I think he looks adorable and those big baby blues are even bigger and bluer without the hair to take away from them!

Yes, that is an orange peel in his mouth. He was running around the house "scaring Mason and I" acting like a monster. Super cute!
Today as I was getting ready to take the boys out, Austin managed to climb up and onto our bar stools. From there he sat on the counter, our very high counter and got a hold of his vitamins that I have up and out of harms reach, or so I thought. He proceeded to eat an undisclosed amount of them. After freaking out and calling poison control it was determined that he would be just fine. I then ran around the house baby proofing the completely already baby proofed house. Sheesh!
My Mae Mae is doing wonderful. Although he thinks he has already turned two, which he still has 5 more months I will have you know, his tantrums erupt like nothing other than the terrible two tantrums. He throws himself on the floor, belly first and kicks and screeches until he realizes that nobody is paying him any mind and then he gets up and wanders into another room feeling rejected, at which point he grabs a blankie and paci and comes back to make up. It quite comical really and I must get it on video for his future dates.
The boys continue to get into trouble as evidenced in the photo below, and really, I wonder why I am tired...

I mean really? Did you have to dump the entire thing and then run your hands through it to make sure it flies ALL over the room. Ahh, the joys of Motherhood. In all truthfulness, I probably did need to vacuum anyway!
They continue to rock my world, they are the cherry on my sundae, the apple of my eye and I never ever want to miss a moment of their lives, although not realistic, I know, I know!

I am just astounded at my love for such tiny little men.
My big man too, must not be excluded for I love him so! He handles me, my ups, my downs, in all my glory with such patience and I am forever grateful to him for building a life with me.
Lastly, thank you Lord for all the things I am so thankful for. For I would not have any of it were it not for you. Thank you for walking with me on this journey we call life and for accepting me for all that I am and all that I am not. For coming to me in my darkest hours and for surprising me in the simple times you have graced me as well. Thank you for sending me Tadem, even for the short time that it was, so that I could find my way to you. I think back to my life before you and it seems I had it all wrong. Sometimes the most unexpected, grief stricken moments in life can lead us to the most clarity we have ever known.
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For now, I am signing off. Time to get some shut eye. Thanks for checking in on our little corner of the world. I will try to update more often, until then may God keep you in the palm of his hand.

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