Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baby clothes....

Tomorrow, I will be 31 weeks pregnant and am so grateful for this time that I have had with my children growing inside of me. Since, I reached the 28 week mark, I have had a few people ask me when I felt like I would be ready to take out the baby stuff. My thought was the day I brought them home from the hospital but I know that it needs to be sooner than that. It is hard to imagine being so afraid of things like baby clothes, bottles and nursery items, but it is so hard to have them in front of you and actually open the lids to touch them. To all of us whom have lost children, one of the most difficult things is to come home and see constant reminders of what should have been. To have to pack up the things they never got wear or use. I was so grateful that my mom and MIL were able to put the majority of stuff away for me but I still had some items to take care of myself. I remember wanting my house to be back to the way it was before we had rearranged it to make room for two more children. I put every little thing back to where it "belong" "before" everything happened as if it would help to ease the pain, it didn't but at that point of insanity it made sense to me.

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary and I have been thinking all day about how much we have endured the last few years. I know that without my husband being the type of man that he is that I would never have survived these last years. Because of our tragedy, we are stronger both as individuals and as a couple because we force ourselves to be. We didn't give up as much as we both wanted to but we have endured and although the pain is still there, we have learned how to acknowledge the pain and use it to do better in our lives. We miss the boys everyday and not a day goes by that we don't think of them and what they would be like if they were here with us today.

So today, I am looking for the strength to open up these bins of clothes. To remember, the last time they were opened and find the strength to have faith that this time will be different. To believe that these babies will get to use these clothes and come home with us. To remember, Declan and Lucas and the short amount of treasured time we had with them instead of dwelling on the horrible grief. To allow myself some excitement over baby stuff instead of the excruciating fear and guilt. So, here I go...I will touch and smell their clothes. I will cry and smile at the same time. But most importantly I will love Declan and Lucas just as much as I love their older sister and these two little peanuts growing inside of me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I feel as if I am treading water and just trying to keep my head a float. This week we are 23 weeks pregnant and I am constantly going back to this same week with Declan and Lucas. This week was the week when everything went from being "stable" to out of control. As I count the 6 days down to 24 weeks, I am reminded that the boys were born at 23 weeks and 5 days. I know that 24 weeks is considered viability but it is still way to soon and the chance of survival, as we know all to well, are very slim. I have been counting the days to 28 weeks and we are only 34 days away. This seems like a realistic and do able amount of time but at the same time I am very aware of just how long it really is. Things can go from good to bad in literally a heartbeat.

I lay here tonight scared and frustrated at the "unknown". I am trying to put my unwavering faith in God but, I am only human and the fear can be consuming. I am only 4 and half weeks in to bed rest and I am exhausted. I often lie around thinking about Declan and Lucas and all that we have been through. I talk to them constantly, asking them to watch over Mackenzie and of course their little brother and sister growing inside of me. Praying to them, to help protect their sibblings and asking them to speak to God on our behalf. It is hard to not feel guilty about asking them to watch over their siblings, I don't want them to feel forgot or that these babies are their replacement. Declan and Lucas will always be our 2nd and 3rd children and these babies will be our 4th and 5th no matter what. All my children, hold a special place in my heart whether they are here with myself and Kevin or up in heaven.

Tonight, I just am so tired and emotional. I missed the boys so very much and wish they were here. I have become so in love and attached to the two growing inside of me that I am in anguish over the horrible thought of losing them too. The reality is that no one can tell me why my pregnancy failed with the boys and no one can guarantee me that we will bring home from the hospital two children. So, I sit here and wait, pray, and cry over the unknown. We are so close to having two healthy children but at the same time, we know just how far away we still are from having two alive children.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Prayer Request

****UPDATE - I just wanted to let everyone know that Devon is still in the hospital but both her and the baby are hanging in there. She is now 22 weeks and is hoping for a minimum of another 2 weeks. The doctors continue to monitor and change the dose on her Magnesium levels as she needs them. Thank you for your continued positive thoughts and prayers. ****

I am asking for prayers from all of you that read my blog. My dear friend Devon, whom lost her twin boys at only 23 weeks about 16 months ago, is in the hospital fighting to hold on to the baby girl growing inside of her. She is currently just 21 weeks pregnant and is having complications with this pregnancy. She is in the hospital on Magnesium to help with the issues that she is experiencing but needs for this baby to stay inside of her until at least 24 weeks which is about 21 days away. Having a child born at 24 weeks is terrifying beyond belief because there are no guarantees of survival at this stage which she knows all too well. Please pray that she will keep this baby in for at least 3 more weeks but preferably more like 7 or more weeks to really give this baby girl a true fighting chance. This mother, like so many others I know, has endured so much pain in the last year in half and it is beyond comprehension for me for her to have to experience it all over again. The doctors are doing everything they can but she needs prayers to help ease her body, mind, and heart on this situation. She is exhausted to say the least physically, mentally and emotionally over her circumstances.

Devon, you are loved by so many and I hope that all of our prayers are answered. I pray that you will be bringing home a beautiful healthy little girl many months from now.

Love you, Melissa

Friday, June 12, 2009

News of Loss and Sadness

A mother from one of my support boards gave birth to her son earlier this week at just under 24 weeks. Her sweet baby fought hard but his little body could no longer endure the trauma of life outside of her womb. Her sweet baby enter the kingdom of Heaven today and joined not only Declan, Lucas and so many others but also joined his very own brother. This woman and her family have already endure the horrible loss of a child born premature and my heart breaks for her as she once again is faced with the death of another child. Please send her and her family prayers to help her find the strength to endure the loss of another beautiful baby. 

As I sit here thinking about this woman, I am reminded of just how unfair life is and how difficult it is to remain positive amongst such tragedy. It is hard for me not to questions God's plan for this family and even for myself. She has already endure one loss and to have to endure another is just hard to fathom. It just shows me that tragedy doesn't just strike once, you are not exempt from it striking again just because you endured it once. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle but he sure may push you close to the edge. I want to believe and have faith in the positive but at times like this I am shaken once again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vivid Dreams

I have been having so many vivid dreams lately but last night was unbelievable. I was dreaming about having to explain the death of Declan and Lucas to a group of people and the people I was explaining it too just didn't get it. They were saying the most awful things and didn't stop interrupting me until I finally started sobbing and screaming all the horrible details of the events leading up to and after their death. I literally woke up around 4 am this morning just sobbing and my heart was racing because I was so upset. My pillow was wet from crying and I just continue to sob because it brought back so vividly the feelings from all those weeks and months. The feelings of needing to validate their lives to people who just didn't and still don't get our loss or the grief we feel over not having them. The people who think we are "all better" because we have been forced to continue on with the "normalcy" of life even after burying two children. I don't like going back to that dark dark place that I was once stuck in but there are times like this morning when I don't have a choice. When the grief just knocks you down when you least expect it all over again. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

March of Dimes Follow-Up

We participated in our 2nd March of Dimes walk a few weeks of ago and it was a beautiful day. We all met at the zoo and by all I mean about 35 of us, adults and children, on our family team. The weather was so beautiful for this early in May, in the Midwest and the zoo was a great place to have a walk with all of the children participating. We were the Ambassador family for our area's walk and I was asked to speak. I spoke about the importance of walking and raising awareness because not every family, like ours, gets to bring their babies home from the hospital. That not all families get to experience those miracle 24 weeker stories but instead deal with the grief of the death of their child or children. It was not a long speech, it was too emotional and I choked back the tears as I looked over the faces of all of our supportive friends and family. Yes, it was an emotional day but it was a good day. We raised an astounding amount of money as a family team and I am anxious to hear how much money was raised as a community. We honored our sons in a beautiful way and we were reminded just how much they were loved by so many people. 

Thank you so much to all of you whom walked and/or donated to our family team. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March for Babies

I have been trying to help out with the March of Dimes as much as I can without over doing it. They asked me to speak a few weeks ago to kick off our walk season and it went pretty well. I was all prepared for what to say and was totally caught off guard when I started to get all choked up. Talking to a room full of people, some of whom I knew really got what I and Kevin are living thru. Often the speaker is one of those miracle babies parents but that wasn't us. I was the speaker who put a face to the fact that there is still a very high precentage of babies that don't survive because of so many different reasons. I was the mother up there talking while trying not to sob about the grief she is experiencing because she misses her sons so much. I kind of figured after choking thru the first experience they wouldn't ask me to speak again but I was wrong! They asked me to speak at a March for Babies Egg Hunt in our area and then they asked our family to be the Ambassador family. I am so thrilled to be able to honor our sons this way. To show that we have lost so much and this is why it is so important to continue to support this fight for our children. I am nervous about breaking down but at the same time, it makes me feel good to do something positive in the midst of our tragedy.

Tomorrow, marks 14 months since the boys were here. I miss them so much right now...tonight...this minute.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Prayer Request..

To all of you whom read my blog, I am so grateful and I ask a favor of you all. My best friend, Heather, whom has stood by us and supported us through the death of Declan and Lucas needs a prayer answered. Her mother, whom has not been feeling very well lately, just had some test results returned that showed she has a growth in her brain. I am unsure currently, if the growth is malignant so, please pray that it is not and that she will recover from any treatment that she may need. Please pray, that she will continue to live a strong and healthy life in which she can see her beautiful daughter get married and have amazing children of her own someday. I know that God is listening and I pray that he will bless this woman with strength and health.

Heather, I love you and am so grateful that you are in our life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thinking of you today...

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Blake and Ethan. These two special boys turn one today up in Heaven instead of in the arms of their mom and dad.

Devon, I am thinking of you today and wishing you some sense of peace. You are an amazing woman and mother and I am so grateful for our friendship. You have helped me so much this last year and words can not express how grateful I am. I hope that if you are all feeling better, you get to do some of the things you hope to do to celebrate B and E's birthday. Please know that you are loved by so many.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Loss for words...

I haven't been writing much any more...I often feel like I am at a loss for words. I don't know what to say or I have too much too say and don't know how to convey it all. I have been journaling some privately, I guess I just feel to vulnerable right now to talk about trying again publicly. I fear people are going to tell me we are selfish for trying again or criticize us for the possibility of another pregnancy with complications. I also feel like a broken record, like all the grief I have, I have told over and over and over again. Afraid, people are tired of hearing our story and will tell me to stop talking about our sons because they have heard it all before and the story never changes. That is the part that people really don't get, the story will never change because all we had were those few short days and now they are gone. All we have to hold on to them are those memories that we repeat and tell over and over again. Telling me to move on or not wanting to hear them is like telling me to forget about them which I can never ever do.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


A big fat negative!!! Why can't it be simple, I pee on a stick and it be positive? I am so frustrated, I hate my stupid body and that it can't do anything right. I hate that stupid insurance companies won't pay for treatment and that it costs an arm and a leg to get treatment. I am just angry right now that we just can't seem to catch a break. I feel like we deserve one, just something to re-new our faith and give us hope for the future.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One year ago, today...

One year ago today, I remember waking up and thinking this can't be real. My face was already wet from crying because that was all I had done for a week now. I struggled to get out of bed mentally, emotionally and physically. As the morning progress, I know that I got ready but I don't remember getting ready. I know I borrowed black pants from my sister's roommate because my maternity pants were to big and my regular pants were too small. I know my sister went and bought we a new black shirt to wear because my breasts were so engorged from my milk coming in that I needed something bigger to wear. I do remember having to be wrapped so tightly and how much it hurt because I couldn't relieve the pressure since I had no babies to feed. Having your milk come in seems like some cruel joke since all it is, is a painfully physical reminder of not being able to feed your new baby. I don't remember putting on make-up, maybe I didn't? I don't remember the car ride? I don't remember any conversation in the car? But, the minute we entered the parking lot of the funeral home, I know have vivid images. My uncle directing us where to park our car. Him helping me out of my car and giving me a big hug. Walking in to the funeral home and being directed to where to hang our coats. Then being led to where the boys were in their casket and seeing them for the "first" time. I remember my uncle taking them out of the casket and allowing us to hold them again. Feeling how cold they were as I stroked their faces and kissed their heads. Helping us to put on the little bracelets we bought to use as necklaces so we could bury them with tiny gold crosses, one mine the other my sisters. I remember helping to rearrange the items in the casket so we could add their blankets and stuffed animals. I remember when people started to come and instant tears that were produced the minute they saw us and the boys. I remember sobbing so hard when I saw our friends from Minnesota because I was grateful that they had driven so far for such a hard day. I remember hugging my uncle Duke because he is like a second father to me and just the two of us sobbing. I remember being so sore from my c-section and it hurting so much when people hugged me but not caring because I liked being able to feel something even if it was painful instead of feeling numb. I remember when the deacon started our small mass but I have no idea what was said because I was just staring at my sons in their casket. I remember watching everyone take turns walking up to the casket paying their respects to the boys after the mass ended. I remember watching my grandma and my aunt both kisses the boys good-bye. I remember everyone leaving the room so that we could be alone with them again and hold them one last time. I remember holding them with Kevin and crying so hard again. I remember having to give them back so that the casket could be sealed. I remember having to go to our car and wait to be led to the cemetery. I remember being shocked when they opened my car door and placed their casket on my lap for me to carry to the cemetery so that we would have a little bit more time with them. I remember driving to the cemetery and always being so amazed at how people actually stop for a funeral procession. I remember arriving at the cemetery and seeing the tent set up for us to sit under while they laid the boys to rest and said final prayers. I remember us all huddled together because it was so cold and there wasn't much room. I remember sitting there thinking this isn't real, this isn't real as the tears rolled down my face. I remember them asking Kevin if he wanted to place the boys casket in to the ground. I remember him holding the casket and lowering it in to the ground. I remember that some strange cry or moan came out of my body as I watched my husband so lovingly and gently place their casket in to the ground. I remember being helped out of my chair and back to my car so we could go to a small luncheon. After that I don't remember much about the rest of the day. Today, I played those final hours/minutes with my sons over and over again in my head. How vividly they came today. What they were wearing, the way they were laying, and how they felt. All day, I just kept thinking I can't believe what I did one year ago and how trivial everything I am doing today seems. Today, I asked God to comfort me as the tears ran down my face this morning. It honestly seems like only yesterday this all happened and hard to believe it has been a year...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1st Birthday

Your 1st birthday was definitely not spent the way I had envisioned it. In my dreams, we had friends and family at our home watching the both of you dig in to large pieces of birthday cake. So messy that you needed to go straight from your high chair to the bath, clothes and all. 

Instead, we went to the hospital where we last held you. We delivered gifts to the Antepartum and NICU in your honor/memory. We saw so many of the nurses whom took such good care of us. It was hard to believe that they actually remembered us but they did. They were so gracious for the presents they received for their new patients and couldn't believe that an entire year had past since we had last been their patients. We received so many hugs, thanks and words of encouragement. It was a wonderful tribute to the both of you. 

From there we went to the cemetery for a short visit. We met all four of your grandparents and sang Happy Birthday as we left presents on your grave. We all had written letters to you and decided to tie them to balloons. On the count of 3, we let all of them go at once and watched them float up above us in to the clouds. I didn't think it would actually work because it was only about 10 degrees that day and Helium doesn't react well with cold air. But, it did and it was so incredible and beautiful. All of the balloons, grouped together on their own and continued straight up above us the entire way until they disappeared in to the clouds. It was like you were pulling them straight up to you so you could enjoy their fun and read our letters. 

After leaving the cemetery, all of us went out for dinner. We had a really nice meal and conversation. It was nice to all be together for your special day. After dinner, we lit a candle on your birthday cake and had Mackenzie blow it out. Having cake was a nice way to end our day. We really did focus on making the day a celebration of your lives instead of a day of mourning. It was really difficult and the tears did come but overall, it was a wonderful tribute to you both. 

The days following your birthday, your daddy and I spent a lot of time talking about those days in the hospital and all that we have endured since. We are in awe of how many of our friends and family have been touched by your short lives here on earth. How many of them you truly impacted and wanted us to know that you were remembered by them all. We received so many emails, phone calls, cards and even a few gifts in honor of your big day. You are loved and missed by so many.  

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by and we have survived. At times, I didn't believe that we would or that it was even possible and yet, we are still here. The pain is still there but it isn't as raw as it originally once felt but, I still miss and long for you every single day. I try to imagine you a year older but I can't because you will always be my newborn babies. I love you so much. All my hugs and kisses...mommy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


It has been exactly one year to today's date that we last held you. How I wish my arms weren't empty. I hope that you are watching out over Declan and enjoying all your playing with Blake, Ethan, Issac, Asher, Vivian, Annemarie, Issac and all the other babies that left this world too soon. Know that we miss and love you so much. Not a day goes by that I don't think and long for you both. I love you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It has been exactly one year since you left us, sweet little boy.  We miss you just as much now as we did on that very day. I pray that you are watching over you little brother, Lucas and spending all your time with Grandma D'D'. I love you so much.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy First Birthday, Declan and Lucas!!!

We miss you and love you so much!
Mommy, Daddy, and Mackenzie

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Yesterday, Kevin and I purchased a variety of gifts for the NICU and Antepartum floor in honor/memory of the boys 1st birthday. These are gifts that we hope will make the time that other mothers and fathers spending long days and nights on these floors a little more comfortable. A lot of thought went in to these presents because how do you make parents more comfortable when you know they are beyond scared, exhausted and frustrated. The gifts are nothing fancy but we wanted to give items that would be serving a purpose whether that be making their stay more comfortable or providing them with items that could help them with their grief.

It was a difficult thing to do because we were forced to go back to those weeks and think of things that we could have used or that would have helped us through our stay. It is hard because you know in your heart that there really is nothing that will ease the mind of a parent when their child's life hangs in the balance of life or death. But at the same time, for our own sanity we had to talk, even laugh, watch TV, read books, play games to pass all the time that went by over those 3 weeks in the hospital. So, we do know the importance of trying to create a distraction even if it is for short periods of time, just to give your mind, emotions and relationships a rest. When you are in the hospital lying their helpless because your body is failing your child, all you can do is wait and see. That is all the doctors and nurses can tell you, wait and see and hope for the best. They remind you that lying there is the best thing you can do to help your unborn child but for the mother and father, lying there only forces them to question and wonder about all the bad that is going to happen to their child. Minutes feel like days and days feel like weeks so, we remember vividly wish for the time to fly by quickly because everyday we remained pregnant was one more day closer to saving them. We know we can't ease what these parents are going through but maybe we can make time seem like it is moving forward in a positive direction. For those parents, whom lose their children, maybe we can help provide them with items that can help preserve those memories of their children and the short time they had with them.

We go to the hospital on Tuesday and I am extrememly worried about making it thru the doors with out breaking in to tears or being paralyzed with fear. To go back to the place where our world was shattered seems like an unbelievable task. Yet, we will go to honor our sons and to thank the people whom provided us with those precious days that we had with Declan and Lucas. Without this hospital or staff, we would have never had the opprotunity to meet our sons alive and provide them with a chance for life. We are eternally grateful to those whom cared for us during the remainder of our pregnancy, while the boys were in the NICU and even after their death. So on Tuesday, we will celebrate their birthday. Not the way we had hoped or dreamed but instead with heavy hearts and a purpose.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I often wonder about the timing of events in my life. I have found that throughout this year when I am having an especially difficult day, usually due to specific date or anniversary, something happens to me to make me wonder.......was that Declan and Lucas trying to make the pain more manageable for me. January 12th was a difficult day because all I thought about all day was how different things would have been if the events of that day had never taken place. I tried to keep myself busy, but it is amazing how hearing one specific number, such as the 12th, can keep popping up over the course of the day. Especially, when all you want to do is forget that day ever happened.

When I got home, I realized that I had a voicemail message and it was from a woman at the March of Dimes. Now this is a where things get tricky because this is a double edged sword. Had the boys lived, we would not be such active participants in the March of Dimes but because they died this is a cause very near and dear to our hearts. Anyway, the gist of voicemail was that they would like me to chair a committee to help other family teams gather more support and donations. They would also like for me to help come up with ideas to make their walks even more family orientated. Why me? Well, our family team raised the most amount of money for the southern part of the state and they want to know how we did it. It was such an easy answer, we have family and friends whom love us and want to support us throughout this tragedy. Plus, I wanted my sons story to be known and to have a purpose besides just sadness and grief. I want the love that we have for them and all that they have taught us to be put to good use. Which means, raising money to hopefully help others to not have to experience the tragedy that we endured and are still enduring.

So, back to the timing aspect...Why on this specific day did I receive this phone call? Why not the next day or the week before? Was it to remind me of our loss? I doubt it because I am reminded of that everyday. I believe it was a sign from them to show me that their life and our love for them is serving a purpose. Does that purpose take the pain away or make their loss any less? No, but it does make the pain more manageable because it put a smile on my face to know that we did something good in their name and they can be proud of us for that. So in a few weeks, I begin helping on an even greater scale than I ever imagined and I am happy to be helping. I know it will be hard because it is bittersweet but I know in my heart it is what they want me to do. Otherwise, why else would I have received that phone call on that specific day?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A year ago today...

One year ago today, life for us changed forever. In one instance, we knew that life as we knew it would never be the same but what we didn't realize was that we also would never be the same. I can remember everything about the evening, even the clothes I was wearing because I knew I would never ever wear them again. I have re-lived that night over and over in my head wondering if there was anyway that I could have prevented it or atleast postponed it? I replay it wondering how I could have change that night so that we could have had the outcome we had hoped and prayed for but like a bad dream there is nothing that I can do to change that night. All I can do is replay it over and over again.

One year later and I have thought all day about that night. At times wondering did this really this couldn't have really must all just be a bad dream...but sadly it is not.

One year later and I can't believe that a whole year has gone by. I never thought my life would be this way...I never thought I would be this way...I never thought I would be part of the "grieving parent club" but I am.

I never really understood what they meant your life can change in an instance but now I do.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 12th

One year from tomorrow, everything in our world came to an earth shattering halt....
Fear took over and then a few short weeks later sorrow, anger and grief joined that fear. We have been battling them for 12 long months....

12 months since I stood up and my water broke...

This one instantance change not only our lives, our family but us as people. This one specific event forever changed whom we are, forever...there is no going back.

Monday, January 5, 2009

2008...never forgotten...

To accept that your children are dying is simply unbelievable. To realize that there is nothing more that can be done for them is unimaginable. To let them go is the unthinkable and yet, that was what was asked of us this last year (2008).

As 2008, came to a close, I initially thought I would be relieved but instead I felt sadness. 2008 was the year that I gave birth to and held Declan and Lucas alive. It was my last connection to them and it was painful to have to let go of that connection too.

I have been asked by a few people if I am glad that 2008 is over and behind us? Oc course, I am looking forward to the possibilities that are ahead of us in 2009. But, do I wish to put 2008 behind me like it never existed...No. 2008 was full of pain and heart ache but would I trade all that sorrow and wish it all away...Never! Our live definitely did not turn out how we had planned them but I still received 1 and 2 days with my sons. I would never trade those days just so that I could be void of this grief and pain. Do I wish it differently...of course, but I would never wish it away.

I hope and even dream that 2009 brings us joy, happiness and an unexpected blessing. I pray that if we are blessed with another child that this child will be healthy and allowed to come home with us. 2008 has taught me that I can only do so much. I can eat healthy, go to the doctor, exercise, take it easy, even stay on bed rest but, inevitably my life and the life of my family is in God's hands. Having faith that we will be blessed with good things is what I need to focus on. Not dwelling on the fears that will attack me, especially with regards to another pregnancy, is a battle that I am willing to fight. The love, want and need for another child definitely out weighs all my fears of never having or even losing another one. I am not ready to concede to those fears nor give up my dreams of a larger family. Yes, the fears are ever so present but my love for more children is so much stronger. I know it will be a battle, for none of my pregnancies have ever been easy, but the outcome of another healthy child is more than worth the fight.

My quote for the New Year:
~ Dance as though no one is watching you,
Love as though you have never been hurt before,
Sing as if no one can hear you,
Live as though heaven is on earth.

I know that my grief will still be visible during this next year and for years to come. The boys will always be a part of our lives, of our memories, and of our family....they will never be forgotten...Never.