Friday, December 31, 2010

the best of the worst

Two thousand and ten will go down in my book as one of the best years and one of the worst years in my life. It was definitely filled with a whirlwind of emotions from start to finish. I am thankful for the joy I had during my pregnancy with Reese and Scotlyn. I had a lot of fear in my pregnancy, but the joy of expecting my two girls was overwhelming. I was so excited to meet them and to hold them and to spend the rest of my life loving them with all my heart. We were very fearful when I was admitted so early, but I held on to hope and the fact that I knew I had strong little girls in there. I had experienced prematurity before, but I knew this would be much different. I knew my babies were in for the biggest fight of their lives and I needed to do whatever I could to make their fight easier. I often feel like I let them down and I feel responsible for the heartache my family felt with their loss. At the end of this year I think I have experienced about every feeling or emotion that one person can. Half of which I wish with my whole heart I knew that no one would ever have to experience again and the other half I wish with my whole heart that I get to experience again with a more positive ending. I am thankful for the time that I got to spend with Reese and Scotlyn, while I was pregnant and after they were born. So proud of Reese and Scotlyn and their fight. I'm sad for what they had to go through. I'm devastated by their departure. I miss them every moment of every day. I long to see them again and to know that they are happy. I feel a lot of loneliness and emptiness without them here. I'm confused by why something so horrific would happen to me. I've felt an enormous amount of guilt thinking of anything I could have possibly done wrong to deserve this. I have had a lot of anxiety, worsening in the last couple of months. I'm envious of people who have their babies and wonder how it is so easy for so many people. I feel frustrated with myself sometimes for not being farther into this process of healing and for resorting to medication. I feel uncontrollable emotion when I think that something could have been done differently and my babies lives could have been spared. I'm grateful that my feelings are supported by my friends and family. My feelings aren't necessarily feelings of the past, they are still very present in my every day life. I sometimes feel like people think that since time has passed that the worst is over. It is a daily struggle living this life without my babies. I'm not sure what I would do without the people in my life who understand that this is a long and difficult process for me and are there anytime I need someone to talk through my feelings.

I am very honest about my feelings through this. I have to be, mostly for myself. When asked "How are you?" My whole life it has always been easier to just say "good" even if things aren't really the greatest. It is really difficult for me to say things are "good" right now. I know that's what people want to hear because it's happy and "good", but I have to be truthful with myself and everyone else. There are not many people that I know in real life who have experienced what I have (and for that I am extremely thankful!) so I know it is really hard for someone to understand what I am experiencing. I think anyone who has experienced true grief can relate to the ongoing process a tragedy like this brings. Anyone who hasn't cannot possibly understand, but I do appreciate those who try. I have an enormous support system that I cannot even begin to imagine living this life without them. Talking and writing through my feelings has been a big part of making any progress and I could not be more thankful for the people in my life who allow me to express my feelings no matter how bizarre and sporadic they may be.

Needless to say-I'm ready for 2011..

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas

Merry Christmas

Missing my glory babies so much!

A glimpse into our Christmas morning...

Friday, December 24, 2010

hard healing

I am torn by this day-Christmas Eve and the day Reese and Scotlyn would celebrate 5 months of their life if they were here on earth. I block a lot of "life" out, I numb my mind to many things to get through the day. Sometimes I can't control it and let go, sometimes I don't want to control it anymore and sometimes I make the conscious choice to face it. I have been having a lot of anxiety in general-which I feel I have somewhat gotten a handle on. Last night I was having some anxiety about what was behind the doors in the closet in Brennan's playroom (which was supposed to be Reese and Scotlyn's room). I knew I had some Christmas outfits in there for them and felt I needed to free my mind of the anxiety that accompanied the curiosity when I thought about what was in there, so I did. I'm not sure it really helped, but I did it. This is all definitely a learning process for me. Really learning who I am now and what I need to do to get through this. Unfortunately grief is unpredictable and definitely reigns control at times. Blocking things out does not mean that I block them out, it is more like avoiding the avenue that leads to intense thoughts and feelings of how things should be, could be. Imagining the life that we should be living right now and knowing that the more vivid the thought is leads to that much more emptiness. Sometimes I need to let go and allow myself those thoughts, I need to get deep into what I am missing because that is part of healing. It's hard to let go knowing the sadness and emptiness that is coming, but I do not want to deny my girls. It hurts every day, but if hurting is what I need to do then I will let go and give myself to them.

This is a different Christmas for me as I'm sure every Christmas will be. I suppose the first is expected to be the worst. I think about Brennan's first Christmas and how long ago that was, how special that was and how much I want to be experiencing that with Reese and Scotlyn. I think about the natural way of life and how it is time that I get to experience that again, that I should be experiencing that again. I want them to be wearing their Christmas outfits with reindeer on them and the cutest reindeer slippers ever. I want them here with me, with our family where they belong. Instead I am experiencing this completely unnatural life-a life where my children that I carried and loved with my whole heart are not here. Every day is different than it should be, but this holiday, a monumental time of year without them absolutely brings a solemn kind of joy.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Message from Santa

Brennan got a message from Santa this morning:)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cookie baking and memories

Today Brennan and I went to my grandparents house for a visit. My aunt lives in Arizona and she is in town with her family. We were due 6 weeks apart with Brennan and her daughter, Alex. Well, we all know Brennan came early so they are actually 4 months apart. This pregnancy we were due about 2 weeks apart. I got to meet her little guy, Jack, for the first time today. I must say he is quite the sweetie and I got a lot of snuggle time with him, which I thoroughly enjoyed! I was a little nervous about my emotions with this visit, but I felt really well which was a relief. Brennan and Alex baked cookies for Santa, drank hot chocolate, watched Christmas shows, and played alot! They had a great time! When we left Brennan said "I had fun, mom." and then fell asleep in the car about 2 seconds later. I texted my aunt when we got home to tell her and she said Alex was already asleep too:) I'd say they definitely had a lot of fun and made some great memories, ones I hope they are getting old enough to remember.

We are looking forward to going back tomorrow to celebrate Christmas and make more memories of this holiday season:)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baking with Bear

Anyone who knows Brennan well knows that he loves to talk to his animals (and many other inanimate objects) :) He has a lot of 'friends' that sleep with him, but a few are very very special and Bear is one of them. Brennan's class is having a cookie exchange tomorrow so we baked cookies for the Reception and Exchange yesterday. I'll give you a little play by play of his conversations with Bear.

"Bear, do you want to bake cookies with us?"
"Mommy, can Bear bake cookies with us?"
Me: "Of course honey."

"Bear, you have to measure out the sugar."

"Bear, do you want to help us mix?"
"Mommy, Bear wants to help us mix?"
Me: "Okay honey."

See how he has pulled Bear closer and his paw is holding the mixer?

So we made the cookies yesterday and today he says to Bear "Thank you for helping us make cookies, Bear."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mrs. Claus

Christmas time is always about Santa Claus, but Mrs. Claus is a big part of Christmas too because she takes care of Santa:) Brennan's preschool teacher arranged for Mrs. Claus to come all the way from the North Pole to see his class. They really enjoyed it.

The got to sit on her lap and tell her what they wanted for Christmas so she could tell Santa.

She read them stories

and just talked about everything Christmas:)

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We received these two most precious ornaments in memory of our sweet girls from one of my very best friends, Kate. I know that time has passed for everyone else, but it really has not for me. I miss Reese and Scotlyn so much every day. It really means a lot to me to know that others still think of them too. The ornaments have each of their names with their very own footprints on them. The message reads,

"First Christmas in heaven. The world wasn't ready for you, angel baby. We miss you."

Kate, thank you for being so thoughtful and giving us this treasured gift that I will cherish at Christmas time and always.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

snowy delight

Our first snow and Bren finally got to use his sleds he has been begging to use every time he sees them in the basement.

It was so cute watching him pull his own sled up the hill...such a little man.

He made his first snow angel:)

He played outside a lot longer than I expected. I thought he would be too cold right away and want to come inside, but he toughed it out. I think he would have stayed out longer if Casey wasn't ready to come in. He has been begging to go out again, but it is way too cold. There will be plenty more snow in more tolerable weather.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Favorites

This is the first year Brennan has really gotten into Christmas. Christmas time is always the most fun with kids, but when they really get into the spirit of Christmas, it is truly magical. This time of year is tough after losing the girls, but truthfully every day is. I am trying to focus on Brennan and making this a really memorable Christmas for him.
The day we decorated for Christmas was the hardest part of the holidays so far. A huge range of emotions hit. Joy while watching Brennan display every sense of his sweet and funny personality while decorating-talking to the snow man, feeding the reindeer ornament "reindeer food", he really is a riot! Then just being heartbroken that it is really that time of year already and my girls not getting to be any part of it with us. It really is that constant lingering of sadness in every joyful moment.
When I hung Brennan's stocking, it seemed so lonely. I knew I wanted to get stockings for the Reese and Scotlyn. When they came I hung them right along side Brennan's and I had this instant relief. I just felt their spirit here with me and still do every time I look at them. I recently thought ahead to when Brennan is rummaging through his on Christmas Day and theirs will still be hanging up there, but I'm hoping it just continues to bring this positive feeling like they are here with us.

We also made our first gingerbread house this year. It turned out very cute, however I think Brennan did a little more eating than decorating:)

We have always managed to get a picture of Brennan with Santa, but definitely not without hesitation. This year he sat on Santa's lap and even told him what he wanted. It was really sweet watching him have this conversation with him.

He told him he wants a rocket ship. Then when we were leaving Santa gave him his bag of goodies and Brennan said to me "I want my rocket ship, too." Apparently he thought Santa would have all of the requested toys on hand:)

Tonight he was running around the house saying "It's Christmas Time! It's Christmas Time!" Really puts a smile on my face:)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

hopes, dreams and everything in between

This wasn't really something I expected through all of this, although I really didn't expect much more than heartache, but I constantly think back to when Brennan was a baby. It's really realizing every day what is missing. The memories I have now of him and things that remind me of him when he was just born or after he came home and everything for the last 3 years and just thinking about never getting those memories of my girls. I feel guilty for looking back at pictures of Brennan and picturing Reese and Scotlyn at that age. Almost like I'm cheating Brennan out of my memories of him and disappointed in this life where I can't look back at my son as a baby and only think of him. I have this huge lump or rock or something in my chest all the time, but sometimes I can feel it getting bigger and bigger. Then it moves up into my throat. It's hard to swallow. Recently I was getting my 2011 calendar ready. I'm definitely holding my breath for 2011 to be a better year overall, but some of the things to come are going to be very difficult. Every day is a challenge, but there are certain times that bring a lot of emotion just to think about. I always go through and write important events and birthdays and I had to refer to my 2009 calendar (yes I still have my old calendars back to 2007) I can't bear to look back at 2010 on paper. I am going to chronicle through my pregnancy on here soon with ultrasound pictures I have been avoiding and I'm hoping it will help with some of the flashbacks I have. If I really get deep into everything that happened then maybe once I've gone there those parts won't be so painful again? Hope. Every month brings some memory-the big ones-February I went to Jamaica with my very best girlfriends. When I think back to that trip I get this strange feeling about myself-like looking back at a different person. It's kind of a memory of the last time I was "me". When someone says that losing a child changes your life-it really changes your entire life. every. single. aspect. Even the past. You may be wondering what the past would have to do with the present or the future, but for me it's thinking back to the person I was before. Things were so easy, even if they weren't. Everything was happy, even if it wasn't. My heart was in one piece. That was also the month we found out we were pregnant. May-Mother's Day, a mommy missing 2/3 of what makes her a mommy. June will bring Brennan becoming another year older. Sigh. July.

I had a miscarriage in 2009 and that was very devastating for me, but I was sure there was something for me in the future so I was willing to move forward with the hope for my next baby to enter my life. And for almost a year after my miscarriage I tracked my cycles. Every month experiencing all of those emotions that goes along with actively trying to conceive (anyone who has knows the stress that comes every month), taking ovulator predictor tests, every month being faced with disappointment when finding out that it's not the month. I understand that I still have a lot in life. I do not forget this, I promise. When something that "would never happen to me" happens to you, you realize that anything tragic really could happen to you as well as the things that are truly important in life. And I don't by any means feel like I'm free from any other tragedy because I've gone through this-it makes me more scared that something else could happen. When everything in life is perfect and your world is shattered, the remaining pieces are all you have. Even with everything I do have and everything in the entire world, it does not bring my girls back and it does not take away the pain. I don't expect anyone to understand this until "you walk in my shoes" because nothing, and I mean nothing in every single sense of the word, compares. Every day I realize over and over what a challenge this is going to be for the rest of my life. There are a lot of reasons I wanted to continue this blog-I think there are things that people in my life want to know, but don't want to ask. I don't mind talking about things. It isn't going to make me more sad than I already am. I might cry, but that's okay. It's not going to remind me of my girls because they are never ever far from my mind. Something else I hope this blog brings is comfort to others in my situation. Other blogs by loss mothers have been very helpful and comforting to me and if I can offer something to someone else, even one person I will feel like I have given something in return.

I know Brennan didn't realize with my miscarriage that he had lost a sibling, but he did hold a little sign that read "I'm going to be a big brother!" for a picture. So this time we waited until we knew for sure that everything in early pregnancy was going to be okay and we made a video and he said "We're having two babies!" We talked to him all the time about the two babies that were coming. He was there when we found out he would have two sisters, wearing his "Big Brother" shirt. We talked to him about them all the time. He visited me in the hospital waiting for them to arrive, he visited them in the NICU, and he gave them their names. I know at 3 he doesn't fully realize what he has lost so maybe it's more me being upset about him not having his sisters right now, but I just wonder how many times we can tell him he is going to be a big brother when in the end he has no constant play mate, no one to share secrets with, no one to kiss and hug, no one to have that special bond with. It truly breaks my heart.

It's very difficult being in the situation we are in and not being able to try again naturally. It's easy to say there is adoption or surrogacy-easy to say. To be dependent on someone else to carry out a dream you've had your whole life is discouraging. Hope is a huge a part of moving forward through a loss like this and some days it's hard to find hope when your future is truly not in your hands. I know that people wonder why we can't be happy having Brennan as our only child. Brennan is the definition of happiness in my life right now. Casey and I have enjoyed raising Brennan more than anything else in our entire lives. His energy, his love, his amazing personalty leaves us longing to experience that again. The minute I see a positive pregnancy test my whole life is changed. Immediately. Please never underestimate how devastating a miscarriage can be no matter how many days, weeks, months into the pregnancy it is. Those pictures of the future start as soon as you see those two lines. With Reese and Scotlyn those dreams were so vivid, within our grasp, literally at our fingertips and gone before we knew it. What left with them are all of the pictures and plans of what our life would have been like. Forming new pictures of our entire life without our two precious souls is extremely difficult. After having that dream so close within reach, we still want that. We want our girls, but when it all comes down to really realizing that isn't possible, we still want that experience what we have dreamed of for so long.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

New Shoes

A Poem About Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes,
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown