Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas

I have been attempting to find the words to sum up Christmas this year and all I could decide on was difficult, emotional, bittersweet and joyful. This was not the way Christmas was suppose to be! I should not have been at the cemetery on Christmas Day visiting the grave of my two children. Recap of this event was Kevin digging out a path, leaving gifts under their tiny tree, telling them we loved and missed them, crying, uttering words of disbelief and then driving off in an attempt to celebrate with the living. Trying to compose ourselves in the car, to put on a smile, to laugh and to attempt to enjoy a holiday where three (my sons and grandma) intricate parts of my family were missing.

They say that with each year it gets easier? I don't necessarily believe that, I think we learn how to be better prepared on what to expect and experts at faking it. Christmas nor any day for that account will ever be the same in mine or Kevin's eyes or hearts. I will always look under the tree to see presents missing, a family photo minus two of my children, a sister without her twin brothers to love and us without Declan and Lucas. I understand what they mean by "easier", I think what they really mean is to grasp what our "new" normal feels like.

Opening presents was a difficult task this year, watching all the kids unwrap...yet, knowing two were missing. As I sat watching my in-laws open up there gifts for their twin girls, I so desperately wanted to be in their shoes. Very few try to place themselves in our shoes because it is the unthinkable but I longed with all my being to be in theirs. Not to switch places, just wished us both the same blessing of ALL our children alive and well. The tears came as I stared at my sister-in-law as she quietly and distantly acknowledged my unimaginable pain and then at her daughter as I tried to imagine my own son on this day. I have learned that there is a point where I can no longer hold back the tears so, I let them come. I tried to quickly let the grief over take me so, that I could again get it under control. To push it back down so that it won't consume me like it use to do. To enjoy the smile and laughter as I watch Mackenzie run around and play.

For she is the sweet in my bittersweet life. She makes me laugh and smile...ones that are real and sincere. She is the blessing that God left with us here and for her I am trying to live each day to the fullest. I do it for her, in spite of what others have either requested or even demanded me to do because for me, her happiness and Kevin's are all that truly matter.

On Christmas Day I found peace in the dark. A peace that I didn't want to let go of, a place where I could acknowledge my pain and yet, I found joy in my "new" life. I realized that my grief is still going to sneak up upon me and I will never forget my sons but I also will be blessed with immense happiness. Happiness, smiling, laughter and living doesn't mean that I am betraying my sons or their memory. It only means that I am living and sharing their lives, their story, their love with others.

A very close and wise friend left me with this quote and I never really really took it to heart and understood it until these last few days.

"Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that's all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory." ~Mitch Albom

Memory becomes my sons. It doesn't seem fair but it is all I have, it is how I hold them, how I dance with them, how I nurture them and how I love them.... Memory is all I am left with...at least for now.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

11 Months

No words...hard to believe...

Missing you both so very much! I love you, Declan. I love you, Lucas.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Alone

I sit here on Christmas Day all alone with my thoughts and my tears. I didn't go to church today, I just didn't have the desire to sit and listen while watching all the happy families around me. I mainly wanted to avoid a place where there would be lots of new little babies all dressed up for the holiday. I just wanted sometime to myself so, that I could get it together before Mackenzie gets back and we have to do all the festive stuff at our aunt's house. I sit here struggling with how to get through the rest of this week, the days to come are going to be very trying on me. My chest feels like it is being crushed and yet, I know that I will need to find some joy in today for both myself, my husband and my daughter. I will find laughter as I watch her open her gifts and enjoy the company of family but for now, I need to let the tears come. For now, I need to feel the pain of not having you both here so that later I can allow myself to find some laughter amongst the tears. This is not the Christmas I had envision but it is what has been given to me and I don't have a choice but to endure through the pain and wrap my arms around the joy that will also be present.

To all of you mother's and father's on this journey of grief with us, I wish you peace and hope for the New Year. To my blog family and my real family, thank you for all your support, concern and love this year, I hope that this next year will be a better one. Maybe, we will be blessed with the gift of another child in 2009 that we can raise and love...atleast, that is what I hope and pray for in 2009.

Merry Christmas to all...
Melissa

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Declan and Lucas. We miss and love you both so very much! Wishing you were here with all my heart.

I love you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Letter

December 24, 2008

Dear Declan and Lucas,

It is hard to believe that Christmas is here already. So much has changed from this year to last. Last year, we were filled with excitement, nerves and joy. This year, we are filled with grief, sadness and loneliness. We miss you both so very very much.

We received some very beautiful gifts in memory of you both. They were heartfelt and wonderful which of course brought tears to both of our eyes. Yet, it is hard to be joyful and excited when we are missing you both so very much. We try very hard for Mackenzie and our family to put on a happy face and try to live in the now but it is hard to not dwell in the past.

Your daddy has been very patient with me this week and last. I have been short tempered and emotional with him. I know he misses you just as much as me but sometimes, I take it out on him even though I don’t mean too. I am tired of being sad but the sadness just seems to be winning this time of year. I won’t give in but I honestly feel as if I am truly being tested.

We will be coming to visit you tomorrow and bringing your Christmas gifts. I hope you like the few presents that will be under your tree. I so wish I could see you open them instead of having to leave them in the snow untouched and to never be played with. All the same, I couldn’t not get you something to enjoy this Christmas it just wouldn’t feel right.

I know you are up in heaven with grandma and having a wonderful time. You are whole and you are healthy, but I still miss you all the same. So, many want for your daddy and me to be “all better” but that is still just going to take more time. Each “first” holiday or special date for us is so difficult to endure. We imagined what it “would” have been like with you here and it is hard to not let those visions fill our heads and consume our thoughts.

I am sending you both a huge hug and kiss. One for grandma, Lorraine, too. We love you both, so very much! Merry Christmas.

We love you,
Mommy, Daddy and Mackenzie
xoxoxo

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Birthday...

So, today was my birthday and I can definitely say that I am a year older, a year wiser, and even a year stronger. I cried yesterday, in the car, thinking about turning 31. Not because I have a problem with being 31 but because another year has gone by and again I have had another pregnancy fail. Last year, I thought to myself, I am going to be 30 years old and have 3 children! How exciting, how tiring and how fun! Now, I am 31 and instead I still have my wonderful daughter at home to raise but my sons are gone. How did I go from having 3 children alive with me and all the happiness in the world to being a grieving mother of 2 children all by the age of 31? Today, I am struggling with my age in terms of becoming to old to have more children. How sad is that...31 too old. But, when you face fertility issues, they sure like to remind you of the statistics especially once you reach the dreaded age of 30 plus. I had this perfect little time frame all planned out and that time has come and gone and still my "family" here on earth is incomplete?

When I think back to my last birthday, I was so excited and so optimistic about having a healthy outcome. A year later, so much has changed... I am not that same person and I never will be again. I can't go back to whom I was before the boys died, when they died so did a large part of me. I can't be fixed, but I am working on being mended. I am getting stronger and I am definitely wiser. I know now that we really do have to take the bad with the good in our lives. We may not want to accept or understand all the bad but it is a part of life and we can't run from it. I am learning what it means to have faith even in our darkest moments and I am praying for the miracle of another life to be blessed upon us again. So, yes I am still grieving and yes, I am still sad and angry but I am also stronger and wiser. I miss my sons and that pain just doesn't vanish away because I am year older. That pain will always be there but just in more tolerable amounts as the years continue on without them.

My birthday wish is that by the time I am 32 we will either have or be expecting another healthy son or daughter that we get to bring home this time to be with us.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shutting Down?

***Update***

I have decided to keep writing for me and for nobody else. If people don't like it or are too depressed, well then they don't have to read it. It is not for them, it is for me to be able to express all that I feel and I am doing it for me, not for anyone that reads it. Thank you too all of you whom encouraged me to keep going. I truly appreciate all of your support and kindness.

************************************************************************************

Thinking of shutting the blog down...had some stuff said to me about the blog. I will post later and let you know if I am getting rid of it.

Thanks to all of you who have read and supported me...

Melissa

Friday, December 5, 2008

Heavy Heart

I sit here with a heavy heart tonight because my family has suffered two deaths this week. My grandma passed away after a very long battle with cancer. She died in the comfort of her own home with her family around her and her husband holding her hand. It has been an extremely emotional time for me because we were so very close. She was more than just a grandma, she was like have a second set of parents to care for me and my sister. We talked so often and she was so funny, loving and compassionate. It was hard to see how quickly she deteriorated these last few weeks and how much she was suffering. I know she is up in heaven with my sons and I am so comforted by that fact. To know that she is loving them, holding them and caring for them for myself and Kevin. I think about her death and I am at peace with it. I miss her but I am so glad that she no longer has to suffer. I know that she has lived an amazing and long life for which we celebrated this week. Death is difficult but with my grandma it was to be expected for she was sick and she was elderly. What I can't understand is the death of a child?

Kevin's cousin lost her child this week. She found out that the child that she was carrying in her womb had Spina Bifida only a few short weeks ago. Her husband and herself found the strength to continue with this pregnancy and made the decision to not terminate but to love this child unconditionally no matter what the outcome was. Tonight, I sit here with such a heavy heart to learn that this unborn child died in her womb. I sit here knowing this awful journey that her husband and her are embarking upon and I am devastated for them. I don't know the details of her labor but I pray that it was swift and as pain free as possible. I hope that they both got to spend time as much time as they needed with their son after his birth, loving him, holding him and just being with him. I know that the time they spent will never seem like it is enough but I pray that they can focus on the memories they made with that little amount of time they had with him. I hope that the nurses knew to take as many pictures as possible and allowed for them to do whatever they needed as parents during this time with their son. 

When a grandparent or the elderly die it is to be expected. We expect that we will bury our grandparents and then our parents but we never expect to bury our children. It just doesn't seem right, it just doesn't fit in the order for what we expect in terms of death. We don't bury the young, it just doesn't make sense...it is hard to comprehend and accept. It is difficult to accept "why" God chooses the young to come to heaven instead of allowing them to be raised by their parents. When God choices a child as an angel, we question the wisdom of his love and the reason "why"? I have realized that it is okay to question and that god can take my questioning and even my anger. He will eventually in either this life time or in the next explain to me the "why" I just have to be patient and not give up my faith in him, my family, my strength in myself.

There is a quote that I like by an unknown author:

An angel of the book of life wrote down my baby's birth. Then whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth." -author unknown

Each child is a beautiful gift from god. I have learned to not take anyone of my pregnancy for granted because there is no guarantees in life and especially not with pregnancy. Unfortunately for so some of us being pregnant is not an easy task because we have endured the worst due to miscarriage, premature birth, genetic defects and death of our babies. We learn to be more than cautious because we have suffered the no "guarantees" in our lives and our families. God sometimes blesses us with children and then takes them from us before we have had the chance to known them and raise them. We continue to love them unconditionally and we don't love them any less than those children that remain alive and in our lives to be raised by us. When you lose a child you are forever changed, there is no going back to the way it was before that child died. You are forever missing a pieces of your family and your heart. I am learning that while I wish the boys were here with me and knowing they never will be is different than accepting why they were taken from me. I can accept that they are in heaven but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with the fact that I didn't get the chance to raise them or know them. 

This is a long and painful road that I am learning to travel on but it is excruciating to know that another family member is just beginning her journey. This is one "club" that no mother wishes upon another mother. Telling her that her child is in a better place, may be true, but it is something that no mother ever wants to here. So, I ask that you pray for this woman and her family as they begin to find themselves on this dark path. Give them the strength to lean on each other and their family whom love them so. Pray for their hurting hearts and the wisdom to know that they did everything they could to protect and love their son. 

The saddest word, goodbye

When God calls our children
to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometimes question
the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with, 
the death of one small child.
Who does so much to make our world,
seem so wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling
the aged to His fold.
So, He picks a rosebud
before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them,
and so He takes but few.
To make the land of heaven
more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult
still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind knows
will always be Good-bye.
So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind,
Must realize God loves children.
Angels Are Hard To Find!

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black clouds following me...

I am at a loss right now, numb to be exact. I am expected to receive another tremendous loss either this week or the next and the pain is so raw. It is not a child but my grandmother and I am heartbroken to see her in so much pain. It tears me into pieces to watch my dad care for her so lovingly and gentle with the pain in his eyes as she moans for the pain to go away. This has been such a horrible 10 months and I feel like everywhere around me their is death. I feel like I have a black cloud over me and I bring pain to all those in contact with me. I want for this 2008 year to be over so desperately and for the pain to be gone but I know it will continue. I want to take the pain away from my dad and my grandfather as they sit there attending to my dying grandmother wishing with all their hearts that they could help her. They can't help her and I can't ease their pain... This Thanksgiving was difficult to begin with because it marked the boys 10 month birthday and a holiday without them. It also was the first holiday without my grandma their with us to celebrate because she is bed ridden. It just is so hard, I don't know what else to say... Her dying is opening up the rawness that I have been trying so hard to heal and I am exhausted from trying to pretend that things are going to be okay or that they are going to get better. Again, I constantly wonder "WHY ME, my family" and "what did I do" to deserve this much pain? I am sorry for whatever I did...please enough is enough I don't know how much more I can endure...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yesterday

Last night, I really needed to process what happened at school yesterday. It was an extremely tough day and I can honestly say that I was exhausted. As I think about yesterday and the days to come for these children, I am filled with so many emotions: sadness, fear and hope. My heart aches for all that they are enduring. A pain so deep that no one especially children so young should have to endure. A fear that some are trying to stifle their emotions and grief. That they are trying to be strong for those loved ones around them instead of allowing themselves to grieve the person they have lost. Hopeful that this experience will show them how courageous and strong they truly are and that they can enjoy life without feeling fearful or guilty for being happy. I was truly amazed at the strength of these students at such a young age. Some of them have endure more in their young lives than most adults and I pray that with love and guidance they can begin to heal.

I am also grateful and honored that I was asked to join their group and discussion. I know how hard it is to discuss feelings and show vulnerability in front of others. To show we are hurt or angry and to wonder if that is okay or even normal. I am so grateful that their group leader felt comfortable asking me and having faith in me to help these students. I don't know if my talking with them helped them or not but I do know that it helped me. I want for my sons death to have a purpose and not be in vain...I don't know if my attempting to help these children is the purpose that I am seeking for or not but it felt good. I am glad it felt good, I have waited for so long for something to feel truly this good. Even though, I was emotional and it was extremely difficult to talk with them but in the end, I felt good about what I did and I hope that is what matters.

The other reason yesterday was so hard for me to process was because we had a student pass away the night before due to cancer. I kept thinking about her pain and prayed that she was happy to be free from all of her pain and in a better place. Yet, I was so tormented because while I was relieved that she was free from her pain, I remembered being so angry when people told me to be happy that my sons were in a better place. That wasn't comforting when all I wanted was for them to be with me. So, I cried for her parents and their loss of such a precious child. How they have to endure no longer having her with them and this awful journey that they are now on. How they will have to hear from others that she too is in a better place which in their minds they understand but in their broken hearts they yearn for nothing more than for her to be with them. I pray that they can find the strength to grieve together and not isolate themselves from one another. I pray that all of her friends can find the strength to grieve for her and remember all the good memories. I ask that we send this family prayers to help support them through this most awful time ever in their lives. It is hard to find beauty and grace in this world when I hear of yet another mother and father losing their child but I need to remind myself that I have so many things to be thankful for especially my loved ones.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Helping Students?

Tomorrow, I am suppose to talk to a small group of students at the school where I work. All of these middle school children have lost someone close to them, either a parent or a sibling in the last year or so. I was asked to talk to them about what it feels like to grieve for my own children. I am nervous about what I should say to them and how I will respond to them. They can't understand my loss and I can't understand theirs but we can relate to the way it feels to lose that person or people that we love more than anything. We can relate and understand those same emotions, fears, regrets, the what ifs and the should bee's. I am afraid to break down in front of them as I talk about being angry over the death of Declan and Lucas. Telling them how my heart is broken and will forever have pieces missing from their death. The guilt of laughing, being happy and wanting more children even though it has been less than a year since they died. How do you help children come to terms with the emotions and feelings over losing those that they loved when you can't even do it yourself? How do you tell them it is okay to feel all of these emotions, when you so desperately don't want yourself to feel this way any more? Maybe, I don't? Maybe, I just tell them that this is the hard part of life, that life can be cruel and unfair...that it just plain sucks and we don't have any reasons for why bad things happen. I don't know what to say and I am afraid of letting them down. The boys died because I failed them, I let them down and I don't want to let these kids down. They are already hurting, sad and angry, I don't want to be one more let down for them. I want to help them, I want for the boys and all my hurt and struggles to have a purpose. Could this be the purpose I have so desperately been searching for....asking for... I need for all of this to matter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Parenting?

I realized that there is another reason that I am dreading the next few months and that has to do with not being able to parent the boys. The only parenting that I am allowed to do for my sons is to make sure that there grave site is clean and beautiful. I make sure that I pull any weeds, clear away any grass clips, put out new flowers, post new letters, place out new toys and take pictures of how nice the site looks. With winter and snow coming, I won't be able to do all these things nor will I be able to visit as often. Even though they are not here, I can't seem to stop being a parent to them. When I see things at the store, I think the boys would have had fun with that toy or that would have looked cute on the boys. Sometimes, I buy them things and take it to the cemetery for them to have, even though I know it won't be physically used. I am sure people think what a waste of money and even probably think it is morbid but I just can't not be a parent to them and this is all I have in terms of parenting. It is the same when it comes to traditions in our family. The boys had a pumpkin this year, decorated for them. They will have a Christmas stocking and presents will be placed at their grave site. I hate that my "parenting" exists only as there grave site care taker... I guess it is true, once you are a parent, you are always a parent. You want to care for and love them in anyway you can. You want to show them in anyway and everyway that is possible. That desire and yearning to parent doesn't go away when they die...I think in someways it becomes stronger or maybe it is just away I am using to try to hold on to them anyway I can?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Baby Girl!

Well, 46 hours and 1 c-section later, our friends welcomed the arrival of their beautiful daughter, Tessa Ann. Weighing in at 6lbs. 3 oz and measuring 21 inches long. We are thrilled for them and very grateful for all of the prayers. Both mom and daughter are healthy and dad is finally able to relax knowing both of his girls are safe.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Prayer needed

I am asking for all of you whom read this to please say a prayer today for our friends. They are currently at the hospital expected the arrival of their first child. Please pray that she has an quick, easy but most importantly SAFE delivery. Also, pray that she delivers a healthy little boy or girl. We are so excited for them!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Headstone




Well, I went and saw the boys headstone. It turned out really nice but I don't really know what else to say about it? Am I happy with it... not really because it marks the spot where my boys are buried. So, I just can't put happy in that sentence. It was a hard day. I guess, I wasn't really ready for the reality and finality of it. I thought I would be but, to just sit there and stare at is something of disbelief. I have to say it was an overwhelming day, a day of raw emotions and tears. I am glad that it is in and done because I wanted them to have marker. I want people to know where they are and whom they were but at the same time it just feels so wrong. I guess right now, I am still a little overwhelmed by the reality of having bought a headstone for my sons.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reality

The boys marker was placed in to the ground today (exactly 9 months to the day of Lucas's death) and I am going to go see it for the first time tomorrow. I am going by myself so that I can be alone with the boys and my own thoughts. I am so afraid of how I am going to react to seeing it? It just makes everything all the more concrete and real, like I can't pretend that this hasn't happened to us. I have to stare at this headstone and accept that I am a mother whom has buried two children. I have to accept that I am a mother of 3 even though nobody else sees me that way. Tomorrow, I will spend some time individually with all 3 of my children, it is a time that I cherish and yet it eats away at me all at once. Tomorrow will have some finality to all that has happened and all that is left is for me to deal with the grief.

Grief is so tiring. I had someone whom I work with, who is new to the building and whom doesn't know me really very well, tell me that I don't seem depressed and that I deal with all of this very well. I am always surprised by this comment because I don't know if I should feel ashamed, guilty or angry. Angry at the fact that I have learned to control my grief around others. At the fact, that she doesn't see how often I break down or at how numb I have become to the life around me. That I don't care if I stay home, go out, or stay in bed; basically, that I go through the motions of life everyday. That I don't care that I am fat, tired and looking old and I don't have any intention of doing anything about it....what is the point? Or should I feel ashamed and guilty that people see me as "over it" or as someone whom has "moved on" from burying her two children. Should I feel ashamed and guilty that I have figured out how to get out of bed, go to work, sort of take care of my family, carry on meaningless conversations and even laugh when only 9 months ago I said good-bye to my sons. I feel like she was saying to me, if I were you I wouldn't have moved on yet. You moved on too soon, you obviously didn't love them very much or they didn't mean as much to you as they would have meant to another mother. I don't know what to say any more. When I talk about the boys, I can often talk about them without crying because I have learned to talk about the facts. Talking about the facts is so different then talking about the missing, the love, the grief and the shattered dreams. Talking about the facts, allows me to stay in this place without tears, without overwhelming emotion, it allows me to be numb and not lose my composure.

Tomorrow my reality will be 10"x20" cold piece of marble in the ground. I will feel the smoothness of its surface and the cut of the letters. I will rub my hands across their names all while longing to feel their skin on mine. I will cry out there names and my tears will fall on to the ground where they lie below me. Tomorrow, my reality is a plot at the cemetery where both of my sons lay and where my heart has been buried along with them.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Panic Attack

It happened again, I had a Panic Attack. I haven't had one in months but I just have been so overwhelmed and frustrated lately. I knew I was having one and luckily, I was at the doctor's office so she knew I was having one. My resting heart rate was 97 and I was just so on edge all day.

The holidays are really starting to get to me...I just don't know how to put everything in to the right perspective. Every time, I think about them, I want cry or I do start crying. I miss the boys so much and I just want them to be here. The holidays just make it all the harder because you envision all the fun things outside of the everyday normal activities that we would have done together. I hate that I am grieving them so much everyday and yet, I feel that others forgot that they ever existed. I hate that I feel like people think it is taboo to talk about them, like I am diseased and if they get to close they will give them the dead child disease. I don't want to be sad all the time and I am not but on the days that I am sad I want for that to be okay. I want to be able to cry without people wondering why I am not all better or over it yet. I want to be able to cry and for people to not get uncomfortable. I want to be able to grieve over the holidays and cry without feeling like I am ruining everyone elses holiday. I don't want to have to hold it in but I know that is what I will end up doing.

I am tired of seeing so many happy families with multiple kids and feeling so envious. That should be us but it is not and it completely deflates me. I have teen at my school whom are pregnant and it is so frustrating and infuriating to me. Why them, why not me! Why can't I get pregnant easily, have an easy pregnancy and be taking home a healthy child. I want to know why not us?

I have started talking to my OB about trying again and it just put it all back in to perspective about how hard it is just to get pregnant. All the pills I have to take just to give us a chance. All the doctors appointments that lay ahead. All the wondering and the worrying. Knowing that if this doesn't work, it is back to more shots, even more appointments and even more risk, worrying and stress. Then comes the pain of feeling like I am trying to replace the boys. That if I bring a new baby in to this house, it will be like they truly never existed. That everyone will forget about them as if they didn't matter or as if the pain won't be there any more.

The guilt about enjoying not being pregnant right now. Want a baby but not wanting to be pregnant because it just is not enjoyable. I want to love being pregnant but when I am pregnant I am nothing but a nervous wreck and terrified. Every time, I use the bathroom I think the pregnancy will end in miscarriage. Every back ache, I think is cramping or contractions. Being on bed rest and the stress of just thinking about all that could go wrong. Now, I have experience the worst and so another pregnancy is going to be even harder because I am going to be even more terrified. I so long for a pregnancy where I can just enjoy being pregnant, enjoy getting fat, enjoy feeling the baby move and not worry about all the what ifs...but that just isn't my reality and it sucks!

If we do get pregnant, how will I really feel? Will I bond with this baby while it is inside of me? Will I be able to enjoy my daughter or will I miss out on all that is going on with her due to bed rest or complications. What will people say or how will they react when they find out? What do I do about work? Is it going to be safe enough for me to continue working while being pregnant given my history? Will be get to bring this child home? Healthy??? Will I miss the boys even more?

These are just some of the reasons for my panic attack, I could go on but right now I can't. My mind and my heart are racing. I just wish things were easier. I just wish that I wasn't so tired. I am so tired of being tired. I have to remember God never promised us a perfect life here on earth. Here I have to take the good with all the bad and make due with the cards that I am dealt.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tears...

The last few weeks have been filled with tears. Unfortunately, they are not just tears over the lost of my own sons but for two other mothers whom lost their little boys this week. My heart just aches for them and the weeks, months and years of enduring grief that lies ahead. After 8 months, I can still feel the heaviness and the emptiness in my arms. That ache to hold the boys and feel their weight in my arms but instead it is an emptiness but at the same time it is so unbearably heavy. The heaviness continues in to my chest, at times feeling like it is going to crush my heart. At times, I wish it would so that I didn't have to feel this pain any more. I cry for the moms that I email with and read their blogs for their pain is mine and mine is theirs. We are connected in a way that no mother should ever be and yet this bond is what helps each of us get through our days.

Today at the cemetery, I watched Kevin cry from a distance and my heart just felt like it broke in to a hundred more pieces. He misses the boys so much and I often forget that he misses them just as much as I do because he doesn't cry as much in front of me as I do in front of him. Leaving the cemetery, the tears streamed down both of our faces and we talked about the boys. The emptiness we both feel without them here and the finality of death is such a reminder when you sit at their grave site. Again, the tears are pouring as I sit and think of my wonderful, strong, loving husbands broken heart over the loss of the boys. I can't help but feel responsible for breaking his heart and that makes me cry even harder tonight. I am so sorry Kevin and while I know you don't hold me responsible. I can't help but hold my body responsible for the loss of our boys. You deserve to have them here with you...with Mackenzie....with us....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dreading the Holidays....

I just want the next four months to over and done with so that I don't have to deal with the fact that our family is not all here for the holidays. I use to love the holidays and now thinking about them puts a pit in the bottom of my stomach. Last year, I was so excited thinking about how this year was going to be around holiday time and now it is just literally heartbreaking to know that we won't be celebrating with the boys. There is Mackenzie's birthday, Halloween, Kevin's birthday, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Year's Eve, the one year birthday of Declan and Lucas and then final both of their angelversaries. Four long months...I wish I could just close my eyes and February 1st would be here. I don't want to celebrate, I just want to curl up in a ball and wish it all away. Selfish of me, I know, I feel like a horrible mom, a horrible wife, a horrible person. Tonight, just sucks and I just don't want to feel like this any more.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

8 months

I miss you both so much today and everyday.... Today, I can't think about all the what should have beens because I have to celebrate with two different friends that are having their own babies. I have to brave through the day with a smile and try not to think about how I wish with all my heart to have my own two baby boys in our home with us. I love you both and my love for you, Mackenzie and Kevin is what I will try my hardest to focus on.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good-byes...

The hardest thing about losing someone you love is saying good-bye and it is not only the initial good-bye that is the hardest. It is the fact, that you have to say good-bye each and everyday for the rest of your life. I wake up in the morning and think of the boys, knowing that I said good-bye to them and that in this lifetime, I will never see them again. I see them all around me everywhere each and everyday and yet, they are not here. I get asked questions about them from curious students and am reminded that I have nothing new to tell them. I will never have new memories of the boys all I can do is hold on to the old. Yet, holding on to the old memories are so painful but it is all I have of them so, I hold on tight wanting to never let go.

It is interesting how kids grow brave over time and begin to ask questions. I have students whom never asked questions last year, now asking about the boys. Some days it is a blessing in disguise while other days I am caught off guard and attempt to answer quickly as to not get emotional. Middle school aged children are an interesting bunch, they often are quick to speak before thinking but when it comes to curiosity surrounding death, they can be exceptionally tactful. I think there are many adults out there who could take some lessons from this kids when it comes to addressing someone who is mourning the loss of a love one. Often so many adults, feel that I should be moving on with life as if this were a thing of the past, over and done with regardless of the fact that they were my children. A few of my students, whom don't think I can hear when they whisper, think the opposite, they can't believe that after 7 short months that I would be at work, talking, laughing and going on with life. Had it been them, they would never be able to go on and they would still be crying.

In a nutshell, this is my life and I find myself being resentful of the need or want for me to be all better. While at the same time, I am sad that I don't cry everyday and that I have the ability to laugh and go on without them. I feel so much guilt when I truly think about that last sentence...going on without them. I don't want to go on without them, but I don't have much choice in the matter and on most days the tears have stopped flowing. I remember thinking I just want to stop crying, I am so sick of crying and now there are days where I wish I could cry but the tears don't always come. Even though their are days when I don't shed a single tear, the fact remains the same....everyday, I say good-bye to them and everyday is still as difficult as the last without them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

5 Years

Dear God,

Today is the 5 year anniversary of my marriage to my husband, Kevin. I just wanted to thank you for bringing him in to my life and to acknowledge how truly blessed I am to have him as my husband. The last 5 years have been filled with love, laughter, joy, pain, loss, heart break and strength. While, I never imagined this would be my life after 5 years of marriage, I am in awe of his strength and unwavering love towards me and Mackenzie. It is hard to believe that after 5 years, we still don't have a house full of kids and maybe we never will? However, I will never take the life that we have built together for granted nor will I take for granted all of his hard work and love.

Today, I try to remember all of the good memories that we have shared together over the last 5 years. It seems like we have grown up together and we have so many stories to share. Yet, it is hard to focus on the positive when our grief circles up around us sometimes swallowing us whole. It is hard to enjoy talking about our plans for the day when we know our plans for tomorrow are to go visit the boys at the cemetery. Yet, we try. We try to enjoy our anniversary even though, we know this is not the life we had envision for ourselves 5 years in to our marriage. By now, we were suppose to be done having our 3 to 4 children running around the house. Instead, we still battle the question of do we continue our family or do we just treasure Mackenzie all by herself. 5 years seems like it should be such a big milestone, especially in this day and age, but I feel some disappointment.... not in my marriage but in the aspect of growing a family. So, I ask of you today, God, give me the strength to enjoy this time with my husband even when the tears start to flow. To help me be the wife that he deserves and loves. Give us the strength to endure all that lies ahead in our lives, in our family and in our marriage. Give us the strength to make the next 5 years as memorable with more love, laughter, joy, strength and with less pain, loss and heart break.

Melissa

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dreams

I am searching for Mackenzie, Declan and Lucas. I am showing pictures of the three of them to people. Mackenzie looks the same as she does now but the boys are older than when they died. They are toddlers and they look so much like Mackenzie. Declan has the same hair that Mackenzie has now but it is a brown/red much like Kevin's and Lucas has shorter hair and it is Blonde with a tint of red to it. I can still see those pictures in my mind so vividly because they were not photographs, they were oil pastel drawings that I had done of the boys. I am running through the rain, frantically looking for the kids and I come to an old barn. Mackenzie is in the barn and I am so relieved she is okay. She is scared but she is okay. I hug her and kiss her and tell her she is fine. I tell her I won't let anything ever happen to her and then I ask her where the boys are but she doesn't know. I am then back at our house with her and I leave her at our home with someone so that I can go search for the boys some more. I am crying and frantic because I can't find them, I can't save them and I know they are gone. I wake myself up and I am so upset that I couldn't save them. Once again, I couldn't save them and in an instant they were gone. My chest is aching and I have to check on Mackenzie. She is sleeping soundly but now I am back in bed and shaking out of heart ache and fear. I wish that the last almost 8 months was a bad dream I could wake up from, I wish that I could have saved them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Emotional

I don't know if it is the date or just one of those days but I have been an emotional roller coaster all day. Remembering that today is September 11th, and thinking about that day makes my hair stand up on end. It always brings tears to my eyes and yet, even more so this particular year. I am more in tune to other peoples grief and it makes my heart heavy to think about all of those loved ones still grieving and mourning the loss of their family and friends on that very day. When we had our moment of silences today, the hair on my arms rose, the tears in my eyes welled up and my chest closed so tightly around my heart I thought I might not breath. Grief is everywhere and I am not the only one to experience it. We all suffer and have experienced it in one form or another. Whether it is as parents, spouses, friends, siblings or even as a nation, we all know how precious life is. Yet, I miss the boys so much today. Today, it makes me physically sick and I tear up over a Disney movie. Today is just hard, I want them to be here to hold, to hug and to kiss. I want them to be almost 4 months old instead of almost 8 months dead. I want to be decorating their room instead of thinking how to decorating their grave site and waiting for their marker to be placed in to the ground. I want to go back 8 months and do it all over again...to still be pregnant, to still be naive, to still be happy. I wish we could go back 8 months or 7 years and take those days away but instead we live with their memories and try to make that be enough, even though it's not.

Ecclesiastes 1:13 states, "And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith." I am trying to understand God's plan for my family and myself. But, on days like today, it hard to make sense of it all?

For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 1:18

Friday, September 5, 2008

Another Child?

Having another child has been weighing on my mind so much lately, I think because I don't know if it is the right thing to do or not? Should we or shouldn't we is what goes through my head on a daily basis. Do we risk losing another child? Do we risk the possibility of having a child with severe disabilities? Do we risk more heartbreak? I just don't know what to do? I guess I should re-phrase that as I don't know what is the RIGHT thing to do? I have always wanted to have multiple children but I am so afraid. I thought being pregnant is suppose to be an exciting, happy time? I long to have that in a pregnancy, just once. To enjoy the aches and the pains of a "normal" pregnancy without the intense fear of something horrible going wrong. I am so saddened at the FACT that I have been pregnant 5 times and dumbfounded by the fact that I only have one child here on earth with me. Yet, I am so grateful for having Mackenzie to love and watch grow so maybe I should learn to be content with her alone? However, my heart feels uncertain and our home feels too quiet and incomplete, but will those feelings outweigh and over take my fears?

I want to pray to God on this question but then I think why? What is the point? I prayed so hard and had so many people praying for us when I was in the hospital but it didn't make a difference. He still took them because he has his own plan. If he has his plan and is going to carry out that plan regardless of what I want, then praying won't make a difference? Right? I guess this is one way that I can look at what happened to us.

However, on the other hand I can think about all the prayers that I said and our family/friends said and admit that praying did work. I can hope that it was because of all those prayers that I was allowed to remain pregnant for 3 more weeks, which granted myself and my husband the opportunity to meet our sons alive. To hear them cry. To hold them. To touch them. To admit, that prayer allowed us to be with them and know they were safe and not in any pain when they died.

Which do I hold on too? The one where God has his own plan and no amount of praying will change that or the one that proves that prayer can change the outcome in the events of our life, even the horrible ones? Being stuck in the middle and leaning one way one day and the other the next day is where I am at right now. This is why I am so unsure of us having more children? How do I just take that leap of faith? Especially, when I know how devastating it can be when you are fighting to believe that everything is going to turn out okay and it doesn't. I want to know, HOW? If I knew how, if someone could explain it to me so I could understand it. I would do it but I need to know how? How to let go of it all...the fear, the questions, the uncertainty, the unknown? I will do it but I need to know how to take that leap of unwaivering faith.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tired...

Starting work this week has been mentally, physically and even emotionally draining for me. It has been a needed distraction and always feels good to be back helping my students. While, I welcome the distraction, I also can not deny the fact that it has been a little tough. I have thought about the boys and how I should have been taking them to their first day of daycare. How hectic our mornings would have been trying to get 3 kids under the age of two off to daycare in time to go teach middle school children. It was just a sad day to know that this wasn't going to happen and on the first day it brought tears to my eyes as I drove my lonesome self to work.

Needless to say, I have been looking for something to help remind me of the beauty in life even while I miss the boys. So yesterday, I was on a dear friend of mines blog, Devon, who also lost her twin boys almost 6 months ago. On her site, she had the most beautiful pictures of her boy's names written in the sand. As I read more about these pictures, she provided a blog of a wonderful mother whom will write your children's names in the sand and photograph them for you. So, yesterday I emailed this mother and provided her with some information about Declan and Lucas. I was hopeful that maybe in a few weeks I would have some beautiful pictures of my very own. Well low and behold they arrived today. They are so beautiful and I am so grateful to this mother, of whom is a stranger to me, that she would do such an amazing gesture and provide such an amazing gift. This strong amazing woman had her child born to her stillborn on January 26, 2007. She knows the grief that so many of us suffer and yet she reaches out to us by writing their names in the sand to honor them and all that they mean. On an even happier note, she had a daughter born one year later on January 30, 2008. She provides us with a glimpse of hope in the life of a her newborn daughter, all while remembering and loving the child that she has lost. You can go to her site and see all the beautiful pictures that she has taken here.




When I look at these pictures, how can I not see a god and heaven?



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Month...

Tomorrow is 7 months since the boys were born...I can't believe another month has passed. When do you stop counting the month anniversaries or are you forever waiting for that specific date each month? Do you stop after the one year mark or is it something that eventually just subsides as time passes? What is God's plan for me? For Kevin? For us? Does he want us to remember these days every month with such a vivid pain just so that we will be reminded of how fragile and precious life is? Is his plan for us to have more children? Or was this his way of telling us to only put all of our love and life in to our most cherished gift of life, Mackenzie? Is he trying to tell me that I would be too overwhelmed or not be able to manage 3 young children? Is he preparing me and Kevin for something greater? What is that he wants or expects or needs of me? Have I suffered enough or do I have more to endure at his hand? Am I just suppose to except what has happened and what will happen in the future without question? Or am I allowed to question with the understanding that some day when I meet my maker, he will allow me to understand his reasoning behind our loss? If I question does that mean that I won't be allowed in to the gates of heaven for not putting 100% of my faith behind his decision? So, many question...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Being Proud

I am feeling really proud of myself and of Kevin. It has been almost 7 months since the boys died and I feel like together we have really weathered this awful storm. Is the storm over...not by any means but I feel like we have gotten through the worst part of it and we did it together. There were times when we weren't always on the same page but we always found our way back to each other and I am proud of us for not losing each other. Are we going to have our moments where we drift apart? Probably, but I know they will be brief and that we will always find our way back to each other. I know that Kevin's love for me and mine for him will endure this storm.

I am proud of how far I have come in my grief. I look back to those first few weeks and I honestly didn't think I would ever really "live" again. I thought I would just be stuck in bed crying for the rest of my life but I forced myself to little by little see all the good that I truly have in my life and I do have so very much to be thankful for. Does that mean that I am "all better"? NO. However, I have made up my mind to really try to make peace with not having the boys here alive with us. It will not be an over night "understanding" but it is something that I am consciously attempting to do. I also know that while I am learning and attempting to embrace this new life instead of fighting it that I will have days were I take steps backwards. I will have days where I might start crying but I know that the tears will stop and I will find happiness in Mackenzie and Kevin. I have been told by other grieving mothers that it just takes time and that the first couple of years are the most difficult. Yes, the first couple of YEARS not just the first couple of months, which makes me feel better about where I am on my own journey. They also told me that I may start to feel "pretty good" for a few days or even a few weeks and then out of know where something or anything can just trigger an immense sadness, fear or anger about their death all over again. So, I write this to remind myself that I am doing okay and to not put too much pressure on myself to be "all better". That it is okay if I take a step backwards because I know eventually I will also take 2 steps forward. That I can feel proud of myself for being happy and not disappointed in myself for letting the tears flow. That I can struggle with my faith without feeling guilty because I know that eventually I will have to make peace with my God. I can be proud of myself for living through this awful heartbreaking loss of Declan and Lucas without also losing myself, Kevin and Mackenzie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Remembering

I hate not being able to sleep. I hate this weight that I feel on my shoulders and my chest. I hate the fact that when I think of the boys, I don't always cry any more. I hate that I know that time and life has moved on without them. I hate that I can go out in public and strangers see myself, Kevin and Mackenzie as this happy family of three. We are not a family of three, we are a family of five with two of our children missing. I want for everyone to know that I have three children not just one but three. I don't want them to assume that we have the perfect life because we don't, we have been rocked to the core of our souls. I want for them to understand how painful it is to try to live without the both of them. To think about all of the things that we are missing out on by them being gone. I hate that I am learning to live without them and that is all that I can do for them. I can be the best mom and wife for Mackenzie and Kevin because that is what they deserve and that is what the boys would want. I hate that after almost seven month without them, that I am starting to live a "new" and "happy" life. I feel guilty because I don't want them to ever believe that I could forget them or that I am "over them" just because I don't cry all time or because I smile more. As time move on, I am still grieving, I am still sad, I am still heartbroken but I also am happy when I look in to the eyes of Mackenzie and Kevin. It has been almost seven months and it is hard to believe how far I have come in my grief. There are still days when I am overcome with sadness, like tonight, but there are more days when I am starting to see the happiness around me.

I am tired of trying to please everybody. I am tired of worrying about hurting other people's feelings or saying the wrong thing or not doing the right thing when it comes to the way that myself and Kevin are dealing with the death of our sons. It has not even been seven months yet and I am tired of feeling like people are mad at me or that I am causing drama or that I am being oversensitive for not being ready to do things or for needing the extra encouragement to enjoy life. I am tired of feeling like I am the only one grieving when I know that it is tearing Kevin up on the inside. I hate that all eyes are on me because I am the woman, when I know all that Kevin is going through. This happened to the both of us and he needs to be allowed to be sad, angry and frustrated. But, even more importantly, he needs to be allowed to talk about them with someone besides me. It hurts me to know that he very rarely gets that chance because he is rarely asked about them.

I am tired of people trying to fix me. No one but another parent whom has lost a child can even begin to understand what we have lost. I lost not one but two children and I think I am entitled to grieve for as long as it takes me. They may not have been on this earth for a very long period of time but the impact that they have left on me is beyond words none the less. So I am entitled to cry, when I think about the fact that I did not get to give them a kiss tonight and put them to bed. I am entitled to be sad, when I think about all that Kevin, Mackenzie and I are missing out on without the both of them here. I am entitled to be a bit envious of other families of five, when it is all that I have wished and prayed for. I am entitled to be irritated, when I hear people complain about their infants not sleeping. I am entitled to mourn them for however long it takes me without the pressure of feeling like I have passed the allotted amount of grieving time.

I will however, never tire of talking about Declan and Lucas or loving them.



Remembering

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending she didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that she has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.

~ Elizabeth Dent ~

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vacation

It is hard to believe that our vacation is over...how quickly time flies by. This was a tough vacation for me...I wasn't sure that I really wanted to go. It felt bittersweet. It was something that I think Kevin and I really needed for us as a couple. At the same time, it was tainted in the fact that we wouldn't have taken this trip if the boys were here with us. It is hard for me to not think that way. Things would be so very different if the boys were here and I know that in my mind I have to stop thinking that way but making my heart do that is entirely different story.

The trip was nice and we had fun as hard as that is to believe. We were able to laugh and talk almost like before everything had happened. We actually talked about how far we have progressed in these last few months. I really didn't think that I would be where I am today looking back at the first few days after the boys died. I still have lots of questions and I still have my moments of tears and anger but I also am starting to smile and laugh more. I am starting to allow myself to remember them and love them without letting it consume me like it was doing before. This is not easy by any means but I am trying and that is all I can do.

I did find myself becoming anxious on the ride home and even this first day home. Being home is always tough because it is a constant reminder of what we lost and the pain we feel. Being away, we didn't forget but we allowed ourselves to be so busy that it wasn't as constant a thought. I have felt myself on the verge of tears these last few days but they have yet to come...instead I have a headache which I know is my bodies way of telling me to let go and cry. I guess I am just tired of crying and I am tired of the heavy feeling in my chest but the reality is you can't fight grief. The grief at some point will win and I will cry again...but for today, I fight back the tears.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A beautiful gift





Today, I received the most beautiful and heartfelt gift for the boys. Easily, my best friend in the whole world, Heather, made the boys this beautiful piece of artwork for their grave site. She bought some small letters, painted, and then decorated them so that they would spell our last name plus the word angels. It is so beautiful and such an amazing gift that she would think of the boys in this way. I also am so glad that she wanted to visit their grave site with me. It just meant so much that she wanted to share in what they meant to myself and Kevin. She wants to not only acknowledge them but remember them with us which means more than I can put into words. She truly is a special person and I treasure her friendship so very very much. She has been such a strong support to me through all of this and I can not even begin to know how to repay her.


Heather,

You are such an amazing person and friend. Your gift today was amazing and visiting the boys with me meant the world. Lunch and chatting was just an extra bonus! I also love when you send me cards out of the blue to cheer me up and make me laugh. I have kept every single one. I love you!
Love,
Melissa

Monday, August 4, 2008

Song Lyrics...

Since the boys died, I have found great comfort in music. On those days and nights, when all I need is a good cry, I find music helps. I have come to rely on these songs, almost like I would an old friend. Someone to listen to me cry as I sing through the tears and someone to respond back to me through the lyrics that go straight through right to my heart. I know that these songs won't judge me for crying once again or won't tire of me talking to them about the boys. They won't tell me it is time to move on but instead they touch me on such a personal level. Sometimes, I feel as if they were written for me and me alone. The following song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan is one that when I sing it the tears often flow deeply. I literally can picture myself questioning or feeling or doing all that she sings about....

ANGEL

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It don’t make no difference
Escaping one last time
It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

How many times have I begged for a second chance to do it over. Praying that I can hold on to the memories that seem to be seeping away. To be empty of the pain and sadness that I brought to our family. Wondering how I could ever be at peace with what happened? This endless fear of losing another child. Feeling like I live in my own internal madness. Picturing all the times that I have literally been brought to my knees. Knowing that every time, I go to the cemetery, I am brought to my knees once again.

Yes, this song speaks to me because this is me...this is the internal struggle that I live everyday. I can put on a smile, I can laugh, I can make small talk, but that doesn't mean that I don't miss them every second of every single day. That doesn't mean that I am done grieving. It just means that I am getting good at controlling my grief and hiding my sadness.

Another Letter...

July 31, 2008

Dear Declan and Lucas,

I can’t believe that it has been 6 months since you were here with us. At times it feels like this has been the longest 6 months of my life. I feel like I have aged a lifetime in only 6 short months. Yet, there are times when I can’t believe that it has been 6 months because it feels like only yesterday when I was in the operating room, waiting to see you both.

I wanted to tell you that I think you both were so beautiful. You had these innocent little faces and tiny round noses. Your fingers curled so lightly around our fingers and your toes, well they were so adorable. You had these tiny little feet and long toes. You were so small yet, when I look at your pictures it doesn’t seem like you were all that little. I know that in reality you were extremely small but in the pictures you look so perfect, so whole that it is sort of deceiving just how tiny you were. I remember looking at you in your diapers and smiling at how big they were on you. I kept thinking how ridiculous they looked on the both of you but that in time you would grow out of them and move on too much bigger sizes.

Your papa had a dream about the both of you and he told me that you told him that you thought I was great mommy and that you were with me always. I know that you are with me in my heart always I just wish I had you physically here with me too. I wish I could pick you up to hug and kiss. I hope that you watch over our family and see that we miss you so much. I pray that watch Mackenzie and keep her safe from harm. I wish you could help me mend daddy’s broken heart. It is so hard for me to see him cry over the both of you. I wish I knew how to take his pain away and how to make the tears stop but I don’t know what to do or say.

Please know that you have touched and changed our lives more than we ever could think was possible. You have given the meaning of life a greater purpose. You make me want to be a better human being to really make a change no matter how small. I wish I knew if I was making a difference but that is probably not the point? Not knowing that you are making a difference, but doing it anyway.

I love you both and will continue to write you both. All the hugs and kisses I could possibly give you are being sent your way.

Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Painting

I will probably end up painting over it and starting again, but here is the first draft...

I love the picture of Declan's feet.

Besides journaling, I have been trying to paint to help me through this experience. It has been really difficult trying to put in to a painting all that I am feeling. I see things that trigger ideas for me but then when it comes time for me to paint, I feel that what I have created is so inadequate. I am so disappointed by the outcome because it just isn't what I had envision in my mind. I can see it so clearly yet, to create it on a canvas is so disappointing because it just doesn't live up to what I want to so desperately portray.



I sit here night after night trying to remember what the boys felt like. I hold on to their hospital blankets and bring them to my noise to smell them, but all I smell is that horrible hospital smell. I want to smell them...to smell a baby, to smell life but all I smell is death. I look through their photos and try to examine them ever so closely so that I can see all the little details that I missed while they were alive. The lines of their feet, the folds of their ears, the details of their hands and the smiles on their faces. How I wish i could do it all over, to have another day, another hour, another minute... So, I paint or draw to the point of where I almost feel manic. I just have to do it at that instances and it has to be finished immediately so that I can purge myself of the anger and sadness.



It has been 6 months since I laid in my hospital room, numb from the death of not one but both of my sons. I laid there and said nothing.... It has been 6 months and once again, what more is there really for me to say... nothing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

6 Months

I love you Declan and Lucas

I can't believe it has been sick months since you were here with us. 6 Months ago around this time, I was in the operating room crying because I knew it was just too soon. I knew you were just too small and fragile to becoming in to this hard world. 6 months ago I heard you cry for the very first and last time. I try to replay that sound over and over again in my head, wanting to hold on to that noise you made with all my heart. 6 months ago I saw you move all on your own and touched you for the first time. 6 months ago you were alive and I was so in awe of your perfectness and beauty. 6 months ago seems like only yesterday and yet my life has changed so dramatically. I just can't believe it has been 6 long and yet short months? What more can I say...My heart is still broken and aches so desperately for you both. My tears feel just as strong and hot as they did in that operating room. The only difference is that 6 months ago you were here and today you are not, I still have trouble grasping that and understanding how this happened. 6 months ago I fell in love with you and 6 month later I love you even more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

FEAR

Mackenzie has been sick all week with a fever and I can honestly say, that I have been scared. Ever since the boys died, I have this intense fear of losing her. I check on her constantly at night to make sure she is still breathing...to the point where I actually will shake her a little bit to wake her up. Last night, her temperature was about 102.5 and I was so worried. I never use to be this way...I mean I would worry but not feel panicked. I am so panicked that my chest is heavy, my heart is racing and I feel like I can't get a deep breath. I was so worried last night that I actually crawled in bed with her and watched her sleep until I finally fell asleep myself. I don't know how to get over being so irrational...I just can't bare the thought of losing her, it would kill me.

Today at the doctor's they had to clean her ears with this horrible water machine and I about lost it. Just thinking about watching her having this water pushed into her ears and coming out her nose and mouth makes my chest hurt so bad. I was near the point of tears in the office because I just didn't want her to be so upset and so afraid. I wanted to protect her and so I finally told the nurse that, that was enough even though they weren't finished. It was horrible and I hate that I let them do that to her. I called Kevin and was shaking because of all that happened and they couldn't even tell me if she has an ear infection or not. I just want to know why she has this fever...I am beginning to think these crazy thoughts about her being horrible sick and not being able to make her better. Not being able to save her, just like we couldn't save the boys. I hate this fear that is consuming me...I hate knowing that death can strike your family and their is nothing that I can do to stop it. I hate that this perfect little fairytale doesn't exist and I know what it is like to be caught in the nightmare.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sweet Michael

I went to hang my student's artwork today for the summer art show and met another art teacher in the district whom had her son with her. I told her how adorable I thought he was and asked what his name was in which she replied, Michael. I then asked how old he was because he was such a big kiddo and she told me he was going to be 6 months old and that he was born on January 25th. When she said the date my heart literally dropped...I just stared at him, trying to imagine my sons at that age, being that big?

I barely managed to keep my composure, finished hanging my work and left. When I got to my car, I just sort of sat there for a few minutes, thinking over how healthy her son is. The entire ride home, I kept thinking how close in age our children would have been. How I was in the hospital the same time as her but for very different reasons and very different outcomes. I wondered would the boys and her son, would they have been friends at some point in their lives? Would they have been in the same kindergarten class and graduated high school together?

It was so heartbreaking to know that her beautiful little boy, Michael, will have the opportunity to experience all of these things and my sons will not. They will never wave good-bye on that first day of school, they will never ride their first bike, they will never have their first kiss, they will never go to the prom, they will never graduate high school, they will never graduate college, they will never get married and they will never feel me hug or kiss them ever again. There just are so many things that they will never get to do nor will myself or Kevin ever get to see them accomplish.

I wanted so badly to tell her to treasure every moment, every second. To take a zillion pictures, even when he doesn't want her too. To tell him everyday, how important he is and how much she loves him, no matter what. To smoother him with hugs and kisses. To always tell him how proud she is of him and all of his accomplishments, no matter how small. To help him live a life of happiness and not take any of it for granted. But, I didn't...I didn't want to break down...I didn't want to come across as the crazy lady. Plus, she is a mom so, from the moment he was conceived, she probably already knew to do all of these things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's over

Today, I realized that I am holding on to the fantasy that the boys are possibly going to be with me. At some point, I have to let go of that fantasy and really come to terms with the reality that they are no longer here. I have the scar and I have their foot prints on me to prove that they lived and that is what I have to hold on too. I don't have them to hold on to and I never will, at least not here on this earth. I can't think about how no one congratulated me because they weren't alive long enough for that to happen. I guess it wouldn't have been appropriate for them to do so considering the circumstances. I want so badly to hold on to them here alive but that is just not going to happen, no matter how hard I cry, pray or wish. They are physically gone and they are never coming back. I can't continue to play the what if game because that is literally killing me on the inside. It is so hard...letting go.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Congratulations...

Declan fighting...

Declan's tiny feet.

Holding Lucas


Lucas wearing Kevin's wedding band.

This has been weighing on my mind lately and I just don't know why...well, I do know why and I guess it just hurts too much to really admit it. I realized that when I gave birth to Declan and Lucas, nobody told me Congratulations. I know that it sounds so silly to be dwelling on such a simple word or gesture but even the nurses or the doctors didn't say anything. They didn't say Happy Birthday to the boys or anything happy or positive. I know that it was an intense emergency situation and they were trying to stabalize the boys and myself but it just seems so sad when I think about it. Here, I brought two beautiful little boys alive in to this world and yet, I feel like everyone has forgotten that this ever happened. I feel like everyone knew that it was going to be heartbreaking and tragic from the minute they were born so, I didn't deserve to be congratulated because in essence I had failed in this pregnancy. I had failed my sons in the most horrible way possible, they died because of my pathetic body.

After the boys had died, everyone told me how sorry they were for our loss and it was so final, like it never happened...like I was never pregnant. So many people, just don't see my loss as really the death of my two children, they see it more as having a miscarriage. It just isn't the same, I gave birth to them, they were alive outside of me for 2 days, and I held them as they took their final breathes. Kevin and I had to make the decision that no parent should ever have to make but we had to decide to take them off of all of their life supporting machines. They were my children, I held them, I loved them, I touched them, I talked to them, I kissed them, I cried over them, I watched them die and my heartbroke with each of their deaths. Yet, never once was I congratulated for giving birth and bringing such beautiful life in to this world. There was never a birth annoucement or even a death annoucement...it was like it never happened.

I have friends and family whom have never asked me about the boys. I know that it is the "elephant" in the room but it just hurts to know that people don't care enough about us to put themselves in an uncomfortable place and ask...the worst we could say is that we don't want to talk about it. But, that would never happen because they are our sons and it makes us so proud to talk about them even on the most difficult of days.

I have to be honest, if someone would have congratulated me after one or both of the boys had died, I probably would have not known how to respond. I guess, I just wish that I would have heard it right after they were born, just for the simple fact that they were alive and had a fighting chance. Who knows maybe someone did and I just don't remember it...I guess I am just dwelling and wishing that things would have been so different. Tonight, I am just sad and heart broken and this is the issue that I have for some reason focused on.

People say that your heart can't actually break but those people have never had their children die before them. I can actually remember my heart breaking over the death of both my sons. It is a physical pain like no other that actually takes your breath away. I remember vividly with Lucas, watching him breath on his own and then it stopping. I remember the nurse coming over and checking to see if his heart had stopped and it was at that point when his heart stopped, that the final piece of my heart broke in two. After the physical pain subsides, the numbness takes over and you go through your days in a fog. Eventually, the numbness wears off but the pain in my chest like the one tonight comes and goes without a moments notice. It catches you by surprise and hits you like a ton of bricks. These moments are the worst because you are not expecting them and you are caught completely off guard. My only reaction is to sob beyond control and pray that the numbness takes over again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Finished Room!

She loves Elmo!


We will be singing the Winnie the Pooh song.


I left one of the original bears from the nursery and then add 2 angel bears to watch over her.



I finally finished Mackenzie's big girl room. It was bittersweet...she has a room to call her own but at the same time the nursery is gone. I am really excited for her to see it finished, I hope she likes it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Crying over Winnie the Pooh?

This morning, I feel like I have completely lost it. I am sitting here with Mackenzie watching her favorite show, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, while she eats cereal for the second time. She loves when the show begins because she gets to sing the song at the begining and while I sing it with her, I just start crying. I don't know maybe because I haven't cried really very hard this week and I had this build up of emotion but I feel crazy! I guess I just started thinking that I won't get to sit here with the boys and sing this silly song with them while, they shovel handfuls of Cherrios in their mouth.

Maybe, because last night I sat and looked at pictures of Declan and Lucas for about an hour so the the images and memories are extremely vivid today. It is becoming easier to look at the pictures and I am so grateful for that. Somedays, I feel like I could look at the pictures all day long so that it will help me remember what they really looked like and felt like? I hate having only 2 days worth of memories, it just isn't enough. I hate that I didn't spend more time with them in the NICU, I shouldn't have slept, I should have stayed with them and because of that I have even less memories.

It is just hard today as I watch Mackenzie playing with her toys. She is so beautiful and I just wish she had the boys to interact with and love. I wish we all had the boys here with us. So today, I will go to the cemetary to sit with the boys and talk about what has been going on in our lives for the last few weeks. I will sit there as if I were at the park having a good day with my sons but, instead I am at the cemetary and feeling just sad, angry and heartbroken. Today, I will cry at least one more time...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Moving Forward...






I decided it was time get rid of our nursery. So, I painted over the nursery room paintings and am changing that room in to a big girl room for Mackenzie. It was really hard to paint over all of the bears that I had created but it was time to face the fact that we don't have any babies in our house. It was time for me to realize that I can't let Mackenzie live in the shadow of the boys. I want so badly to have a baby in the house but Mackenzie is not that baby, she is our beautiful little girl who is growing up so quickly. It is time for me to let go of the nursery...as hard as it is the reality of having our two beautiful baby boys in our home is over.

Saying that is so hard, so sad and so frustrating. I want so badly to be a mother to 3 living children, it breaks my heart to not have the opprotunity to rock them in the room that would have been theirs. I would give my life to switch places with them and let them be here with all of those that love them. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I just would have closed my eyes during my c-section and let go? I wanted to close my eyes but Kevin kept talking to me and bringing me back to the reality of this world. I wonder if I would have just let go would it have been an even trade, would they be here being loved by their daddy and Mackenzie? But, sadly I am here and they are not... So, all I can do is paint something new and try to be a good mom to Mackenzie which is hard because I often feel like a failure to her and the boys. At least, I can give her a room that makes her smile.

I remember not wanting to come home. Wanting to go anywhere but home because my home was suppose to be busy and noisy with three children but I knew that it was going to silent. Before I came home my mom and mother-in-law put all the baby stuff away for me. I imagine that was pretty deafing and difficult for the both of them. I remember being frantic about wanting everything in the house put back to the exact way it was before we started preparing for having 2 more children in the house. I kept thinking if everything is back to the way it originally was then I can pretend this didn't happen. I will then be able to feel like "normal" and I won't have to be reminded of the boys and that they aren't here. Then there were all the flowers and the plants...god, I hated those stupid plants and flowers. It was a reminder of something that is alive and growing while my boys are not. Yet, I still water them and actually get upset if I think one of the plants is not doing well.
Over the months, I kept walking in to the nursery only to be reminded that it really isn't a nursery anymore. We don't have any babies in our home so we don't need a nursery. So, I got out the paint and attempted to erase the pain away. I have come to the conclusion, the paintings are gone but the pain is going to be here forever.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pictures of the girls...

Maddy

Katie

Us Girls

Bittersweet...

The Road Less Traveled

Yesterday, I talked about what path to take on my journey and today, I choose that path. I choose to try to close a chapter in my grief by going to see my twin nieces. To say that this was an easy task would be a lie. It was really hard to sit in my car for an hour, walk up to the door and push the doorbell but, it had to be done...it was time. The anticipation of this event was probably harder than the actual visit itself which was very difficult. As human beings, we envision the worse possible scenario but in reality, it was rather anticlimactic or at least that is how my husband would describe it.



So today, I sat in the car thinking about what it would be like to hold these little girls and tried to imagine what I would feel or say. When I got to the house, I took a deep breath and walk to the door which my sister-in-law opened with a hug and a smile. On the couch sat two beautiful chubby little girls and I was introduced to first Maddy, then Katie. I sat down and picked up Maddy. It was hard to inhale that wonderful baby smell and look in to her eyes. I looked in to both of their eyes and thought I wish I would have gotten to see the boys open their eyes. To really look in to their hearts and their souls. As I looked in to each set of eyes, I saw innocence's and love which is what ever one hopes to see when they look in to the eyes of a child. We talked about the girls schedule, how they have grown, and how they have changed, yet we never really talked about the boys. I guess it is just too hard to talk about the shattered past when you have the future sitting in your lap. It is hard because you don't want to make anyone uncomfortable if they aren't ready to ask about the boys which usually means they aren't ready to hear me talk about them. I just wanted to talk about how beautiful they were, what it was like to hold and love them but instead, I remained silent. Instead, I tried to take in the girl's sounds, their smells and their movements all while trying to focus on who they were not whom I wished they were. I thank God that they were girls because I do think that helped to spare me a little bit of heartache.



At one point, my sister-in-law asked me how the visit was going and if I was glad that I came. As I choked back the tears and looked in to Maddy's face, I knew that I was glad that I had made the trip. My intention was to not only do this for myself but to help re-unite a somewhat split family. I felt like it was my fault for the split in our families and so I had to be the one to start repairing the hole. Is this hole closed? No...but I think it is smaller. Will it ever be closed? I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that I will love these little girls with all my heart not only because of who they are as individuals but because of whom they will always remind me of...Declan and Lucas.