Tuesday, July 29, 2008


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


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...



Us Girls


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.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Together again, sort of...

Well today, I decided that I needed to finish putting the pitcher I broke back together. Today, I worked on it for about 2 hours and went through 3 bottles of superglue, I believe I went through 4 or 5 bottles of glue total. As I sit and look at it, I am reminded that while the pitcher may be whole again it still has lots of cracks and even some pieces missing just like my life. I have come to realize that while I am allowing myself to pick up the pieces since losing the boys, they will never fit perfectly back together. Forever, those two essential pieces will be missing and yet, I will continue to re-build and add on around those empty spaces. As I rub my hands over the rough areas of the pitcher, I am remind that this current path that I am journeying on is a difficult one. At times, there are going to be areas that are jagged and sharp but the love of my family and friends, as well as my faith in seeing the boys again will keep me strong. I know that there will be days that I will feel like my life is a shattered mess of pieces but then again everyone at some point in time has felt this about their own life. I am not unique and I am not alone, everyone has or will be touched by heart break and tragedy at some point in their lives. That is the sad, hard truth. However, it is what we do with the shattered mess of our lives after tragedy has struck that indicates what path we will journey down. Will we curl up in to a ball never to see the light of day or will we fight to put the pieces back together, knowing that life will never be the same as it was once before? I think this is the hardest part, letting go of the past, letting go of the dreams of yesterday or of what should have been. Moving on to our "new" normal even though we wish with all of our hearts to have the "old" life back. We want those dreams back, the ones that were so close to being our reality. I never imagined, dreamed or asked for this path in my life, but it has been laid out before me and I am at a split in the road. Which road will I choose?