Friday, November 26, 2010

Pictures and cards are worth a thousand words...

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us again and time for me to make Christmas cards and Calendars. Since having children, year after year, we have made it a tradition like so many other families to send out picture Christmas cards for the holidays. Every year, we use Shutterfly and I am always so pleased with how they turn out. Last year, I think I made my favorite and it was the most beautiful card to date. We were able to find an amazing layout that allowed for us to have pictures of Caiden, Izzy and Mackenzie all posed together but most importantly, I was able to include a picture of Declan and Lucas' names written in the sand. We had so many phone calls and about how beautiful the card turned out and I couldn't agree more. Just like last year, I intend to find a way to include the boys in our cards and will continue to do so year after year. It is important for them to always be remembered and included as important members of our family every year. I know how hard it is for so many of us angel mom's out there and the holiday's can make our grief all that much more consuming. I know for me it is an even larger reminder that there are 2 children missing out on opening presents Christmas morning or 2 car seats less in the car as we drive around looking at Christmas lights. So, for me including them in the family Christmas card seems like a small or trivial event but in my mind is the one most important piece of mail that I send out each and every year. So, for all of you angel moms or any moms or dads out there, share your family with those you love. Send pictures and messages of love because unfortunately sometimes memories or pictures are all we have left of the ones we love.

Here are a few links that might help you get started:

Happy creating!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Compassionate Friends

The link below has an amazing article and interview attached to about grieving parents and the Compassionate Friends organization. When reading the article linked to this interview, so many quotes with in the article truly hit home with me. I am so glad to have taken the time to have read it because it reminded me that everyone who is important to me is going to remember and feel comfortable talking about the boys. Yes, there are people who don't get it and won't understand it but that doesn't mean that I have to change the way I talk about my sons. I can talk about them and if other are uncomfortable oh well. A little bit of discomfort for them is better than have to endure what I deal with in terms of grief everyday. If you have the time, click on the link and listen to the interview and read the attached article. Both are insightful, helpful and well done.

All Things Considered : NPR

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A long time since posting and Prayers for Ella...

I feel awful for not writing more but, after so much time with my grief, I am often at a loss for what to say. I don't want people to feel sorry for me or to feel like I shouldn't have the "right" to grieve any more because I am so grateful for all the good that has come in to my life but it doesn't cancel out the bad. It does make the bad more manageable and it does help me to appreciate life in a different way. I have changed so much since the boys died but that doesn't mean that I don't think about them or miss them every single day. I have just learned to control that grief and at times when I am lucky to turn it in to positive work that the boys would be proud of. I often tell other moms or those whom will listen, "I can't be a "parent" to my sons in the traditional sense but I can still be a "parent" to them by doing things in their name and memory." For me, this has become a passion that I am proud of and will hope to continue throughout my life in one form or another. Right now it is all the work I do with the March of Dimes but I am realistic that as time creeps up on me, all that I do in their name may change. Right now, that doesn't sit well with me, but at the same time, I am realistic about how quickly life changes.

On a different note, a very special little girl, Ella, needs our prayers. She has recently been diagnosed with ALL Luekemia and is undergoing Chemo. Her parents are being rocked by this horrible disease as they have to watch their 4 year-old child endure things that no parent ever hopes to have to witness. They are amazing people and Ella is showing such amazing strength for such a young child. Please send them your thoughts and prayers for the Chemo to work and for Ella to go into remission.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Moment of Silence....

Another child, who left his family too soon. Our prayers for them...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Missing You!

Missing you both tonight... Wondering what it would be like to see 5 children running around our house...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday, Declan and Lucas! We love and miss you so very much....

All my love,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

With So Much Love...

We thought of you with love today
but that is nothing new

We thought about you yesterday
and the days before that, too

We think of you in silence
we often speak your name

All we have are memories,
and your picture in a frame

Your memory is our keepsake
with which we'll never part

God has you in His keeping,
we have you in our hearts.

Happy Birthday Declan and Lucas

Love, G'Ma and Poppa

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A whirl wind...

Life has changed dramatically since I last posted. I delivered 2 healthy babies on September 30th at only 32 weeks. Their delivery was a whirl wind and we were so worried about them being delivered at only 32 weeks. Caiden was born first and weighed 4lbs 8oz and is Isabelle came second weighing 4lbs 5 oz. They spent 22 days in the NICU but are home healthy and thriving. Going back to the place were Declan and Lucas died was pretty awful. The staff was amazing as they knew our story and the loss we had suffered the year before. I didn't get to see Caiden and Isabelle for 24 hours after my c-section as I had to stay on the magnesium due to the severe eclampsia I had developed. Kevin had to brave the NICU all himself and I came to find out many weeks later that they had placed Isabelle and Caiden in the exact same room and exact place in that room where Declan and Lucas had died. When I found this out, I want to vomit, knowing that Kevin had to endure such heartache, fear and shock all on his own. Being the amazing man that he is he calmly told the doctors that he was so grateful for their care for Isabelle and Caiden but that he needed to have them moved before I was able to see them. He did not want me coming in to the NICU to see our two premature babies in the same exact place where we had already lost two children. The staff was so apologetic and moved them immediately. He explained that there was no need for apologies as it was no ones fault but that he would just really be appreciative if we didn't have to be in that exact spot as it was hard enough being in the NICU given the circumstances and our history. Kevin really is an amazing person, I can't say that enough about him. We endured those 22 days and while our first experience in the NICU was always very present in our minds, we truly did focus on how well Caiden and Isabelle were doing. We spent time their everyday and did our best to bond with them while traveling the hour back and forth from our home. It was a long 22 days and I am amazed at the fact that some parents have do it for much much longer.

A few weeks after the babies came home, we had a scare with Caiden as he failed his Cystic Fibrosis test on the initial newborn screening. After 2 repeat sweat tests, that didn't work, we were told to do a different genetic test and had to wait an agonizing 5 weeks. The amazing news is that it was a false positive so while he is a carrier for CF, he doesn't actually have the disease. It was amazing news to hear only a few days prior to Christmas.

Christmas was very anticipated this year at our house by all of us. It was as I imagine it will be for the rest of our lives, a time to celebrate but at the same time we also feel the loss that Declan and Lucas are missing. While, Caiden and Isabelle made this Christmas exciting and fun, they did not take away that pain or replace the fact the Declan and Lucas were gone. We went to the cemetery on Christmas Day to lay our presents for the boys out under their tree. It was a time for Kevin and I to spend some time alone and talk about how much we missed them and how much life has changed in the last almost 2 years. We talked, cried and tried to remember the moments we spent with them only to realize that so much of that time was truly a blur. We could help each other fill in some of the missing moments but a lot of it is hard to remember... I guess that is what happens when you are in shock?

To say that life is the same is just not true. Life has changed for us dramatically and honestly life is good and we are happy. However, we both have our moments of overwhelming grief over the loss of Declan and Lucas. Yet, we both have come to realize that for our own sake and the sake of our family, we had to figure out a way to be happy again. Caiden and Isabelle did not replace Declan and Lucas. The boys can never be replaced, they will forever be our two middle children and they will forever be missed. But Caiden and Isabelle have given us hope and faith that for a long time we had questioned and/or lost. I have realized that for the rest of my life, I will always wonder "why" but I will never know the answer and I have to be as okay as I can be with that question. As the boys second birthday approaches, I find myself becoming more and more exhausted. I can feel that weight of their death pushing down on me and I do wonder if I will feel this weight every year for the rest of my life or if in time will that weight lessen? Grief is an odd thing as it doesn't fit a specific time line or have any rules. It comes and "goes" as it pleases and it always knows how to knock you down to the ground. I have learned that it is okay be knocked down, as long as I always remember that I also know that I have the strength to get back up.