Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life Goes On

I haven't been excited. Part of me won't let me and a part of me just . . . can't.

There are pink and purple and frilly, girlie items I need to put away and replace with little boy stuff.

I just haven't. I can't.

I still envision the worse. I still think something tragic is going to happen. That is what I have prepared myself for.

But with each kick I start letting myself think . . . believe . . . that everything will be fine. Tragedy doesn't strike twice.

But I know that is false. And it's dangerous to believe that it doesn't.

My innocence has been stolen. That last thread gone forever.

This little guy makes his presence known. He moves so much more than his three sisters ever did. Alexandria rarely moved. I could always feel her curling herself up in a little ball and resting right under my right rib cage. I believed that she would be a snuggle bug. It wasn't so. She was born and she hasn't stopped moving since. Even in her sleep, she doesn't stop.

I think her sisters would have been the same way . . . constantly busy.

This little guy doesn't stop moving now. He's busy and I have no idea where he thinks he's going. He doesn't curl up, he stretches out.

I feel him move and I think of all that I missed with Emmerson and Vivienne. I feel him move and I am reassured, for the moment, that he is alive. Maybe that is why he moves so much, to reassure me that for the moment . . . he's alive.

I feel him move and I think I need to start preparing for this little guy. I need to go in that room and take care of some things. I need to acknowledge that he is coming and that Emmerson and Vivienne are not.

It's not that I haven't taken care of myself. I have. I have tried to eat as well and healthy as I can (as much as all the nausea and sickness will allow) and follow the restrictions that accompany pregnancy. I have changed my wardrobe from snaps and buttons to material that stretches and is forgiving. But that is where it ends.

I haven't planned, I haven't dreamed. Because what if? What if we don't get to bring this baby home either? I know that lightening can and does strike twice. I know that following all the rules doesn't always equal a happy ending.

And guilt overwhelms. What if the lack of planning and lack of dreaming not only protects but means a lack of love?

It's been hard. It's been different.

I was told, after I lost my twins, that if I ever got pregnant again, it would not be the same. It would be different. How can it be the same when all innocence has been lost? How can it be the same when what you once thought only happened to others has happened to you? You know that tragedy strikes even when you do play by the rules.

It has been hard because this pregnancy has taken place almost exactly a year later as the one with my twins. All those milestones have been hit at the same time, just a year later. The mind automatically goes to the milestones hit a year ago.

The mind automatically goes to my sweet look-a-like babies. My heart automatically feels that it is them.

I was told, after I lost my twins, not to drive for several weeks or do anything else requiring serious attention because I would hallucinate. I would see things . . . hear things . . . believe things that were not there. It happened while I was pushing with each contraction to deliver Vivienne. Emmerson was swaddled in a blanket and placed in a crib. From across the room, I saw her kick those blankets. I saw her move and I believed that she was alive. For weeks after, I awoke in the night when those cries startled me from sleep. See? It was all a nightmare. They were here . . . alive, crying in the next room.

That level of crazy has returned. Especially this past month when their first birthday was approaching. I feel this baby move and my first thought is that it is the twins moving.  Because some days, a year ago doesn't feel like it was a year ago, it feels like it is still the same year . . . like it is still the same moment. And because some days, I still feel like I am living a nightmare. And I still desperately seek an end to it.

I'm not out of touch with reality. I know what happened. I have a forever hole in my heart that weeps every single day. I own a piece of land in a cemetery. I know what happened.

I also know that life goes on. I have a husband that not only loves me but he adores me. I have a three year old daughter who needs me. Her eyes still light up when I walk in the room. For this brief moment, she wants to sit next to me, she will hold my hand in public. I have a little girl I need to raise. I have a little girl that I want to watch grow from that little body of hers into a teenager and then into a young woman.

Life goes on . . .

I know that life goes on. My stomach is swelling tight . . . for a third time . . . with the promise of a fourth life. A precious gift. With each pound gained . . . with each kick from within . . . I know that life goes on.

Life goes on and it is scary yet it is so beautiful.

I feel like God has gently, quietly, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered "you're not done yet. There is still so much more. Embrace it!"

Life goes on. 

Though it may be beautiful, though it may be scary, though it may hurt, I will embrace it.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I wouldn't label myself as a jealous person.

Over the last year, I have heard, They are in a better place, Grandma is holding them and rocking them, They get to play with the angels now, They are safe.

And while I believe that, it doesn't take away the pain. It doesn't take away the fact that I miss them so much.

I wouldn't ask them to return from where they are now. I wouldn't ask but I still wish things had turned out differently. I still wish I could hold them. I still wish I could have watched them grow.

I won't ask them to come back, I know they are in a better place. But I can't help but feel a little jealous of the ones who surround them now.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Redeemed Outdoor Collection

Life has a way of sometimes pressing down and causing one to forget.

To forget what really matters.

To forget what they are living for.

To forget how much they matter.

I have plaques and various decoration items placed throughout my house to rattle this brain of mine when I get overwhelmed and forget.

They are nice reminders, gentle nudges to get your brain to remember and your heart back on track.

DaySprings offer some items that do just that.

The month of July they have included some beautiful outdoor items to their Redeemed Collection and these items offer beautiful ways to decorate the home (inside and out) as well as the heart.

Life can sometimes turn ugly. Life can sometimes turn hard. But if we keep faith and trust . . .

He makes everything beautiful!

We just need to give the appropriate attention and care and He will do the rest.

And what about for those days when you feel so small and wonder if what you are doing really matters at all?

If His eye is on the sparrow, how much more does He care for us?

To view the complete Redeemed Outdoor Collection click and possibly even shop(?) here.

If you like anything you see, you can type in this code, JOY2012 to receive 25% off your entire purchase.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First Birthday

The days leading up were worse than the actual day.

On the eve of what would have been their first birthday, I spent thinking, "a year ago, they were still alive. A year ago, we were so hopefull."

The days leading up were worse than the actual day.

On June 30, 2012, my husband surprised me by coming home from work a day early.

We had two really good friends come and stay with us.

It was bizarre to know that a whole year had past.

Four seasons had come and gone. The blazing sun of summer turned into the crispness of fall. The crispness turned into the quiet of winter and winter turned over and birthed new life. That newness has once again turned into the blazing summer sun.

Four season had turned into each other . . . a whole year has past and I have survived.

We bought two cupcakes, pink balloons, got in our car and drove to the cemetery. I had not been there since the day we buried them. That day, I saw the hole that had been dug in the earth and I fainted.

This past year, I have wanted to go and at the same time, I have not. The thought of going caused me to stop breathing . . . caused my heart to skip another beat. But the day of their first birthday, I went.

We went and gave them their cupcakes. Their older sister placed two pink hearts on their grave. That was her birthday present to them.

I was shocked to see that some grass had grown. Had that much time really passed for something new to grow?

I sat down on my knees at their grave and looked at their name plates from the funeral home (still no headstone. That's another hurdle. Baby steps . . . ), I noticed the flowers and ceramic angels that others had left. I noticed weeds. WEEDS!!! Their presence made me angry! I started pulling them, ripping them out of the earth. Didn't they know they didn't belong? Didn't they know that this place was sacred? Pure? The evils that accompany life never once touched them so why did they think they had the right?

Ripping and pulling.

Ripping and pulling just like the emotions on my heart.

I told them I loved them. I told them what kind of party I would have thrown for them. I told them how blessed I felt and continue to feel for being able to hold them and feel them the day of their birth. And then I tried to envision the celebration they were partaking in.

My husband and I held each other and we prayed. We thanked the Lord for them and the time we did get with them.

We sang Happy Birthday to them as a family and then we released the balloons. We watched in silence as they easily floated into the heavens.

That sky that I always catch my gaze floating to.

They floated so quitely and effortlessly. Those pink balloons became smaller and smaller until you could not see them anymore. They floated into the sky that I have now become obsessed with. I see them, my babies, in that sky. I see the beauty they paint with each sunset and swirling of the clouds.

The balloons floated to the East and later, in the West we saw a beautiful stretch of pink painted across the sky.

It was them. I smiled.

A whole year. A year has passed. I never thought I would celebrate my children's birthday without them physically present.

I never thought I would have a year to live like the one I just did.

A whole year has passed and I have survived. I have lived everyday with the pain, made it through holidays and special family events. A year ago there was so much uncertaintity laid before me, not knowing if I could survive this. I know now that I can. I don't want to live out the rest of my days with this ache and without them but . . . I know that I can. Joy is returning amid the pain.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Life Is A Story

I'm linking up today with Lisa-Jo for another Five-Minute Friday.

Topic for today: STORY

My life is a story. Part of the story I am living is something I never dreamed . . . never imagined would be part of me.

The story doesn't begin with what happened a year ago. The story doesn't begin the day that my husband and I said I Do or the day we started dating. The story doesn't begin with my first memory or the day my mother realized she was expecting baby #2.

What happened a year ago, however, has changed the course . . . the theme of how I thought my life was being written.

What happened a year ago was tragic . . . heart-wrenching . . . life changing.

What happened a year ago has taken who I was, who my husband and I were as a couple, my faith, and my role as a mother and started weaving in new fibers, different threads and textures. It has changed me. I can't remove those new threads without undoing everything that came before. And so, as much as everything hurts, I can't change any of it.

It has become a part of us. It has become a story that needs to be told.

It was always meant to be told.

It is a story that didn't begin a year ago or the day I took my first breath. It is a story that began with the creation of land and sea, light and night, woman and man.

Who am I not to share?



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