Tuesday, July 27, 2010

There Will Be a Day

One of my favorite songs. I only discovered it after the girls died and I started to really take notice in particular songs and soak in the lyrics and true meanings. I found quite a few that I really liked, ones that seem to speak directly to me and my loss. Upon researching this song, I found out that the artist, Jeremy Camp, had lost his first wife to ovarian cancer. So the words really meant the same to both of us, as we had suffered a great loss. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear the song because I can't wait for that day...the day where there will be no more heart and no more pain. There will be a day I get to see Grace and Olivia again and all the loved ones that will pass between us.

My favorite verse in the song is this:
Troubled soul don't lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that's in store
Outweighs the hurt of life's sting

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering.

I especially cling to the words "the beauty that's in store outweighs the hurt of life's sting". That is amazing. It says to me that no matter how hard it is down here, how hard I miss my girls and how much it hurts me every single day, it will all be worth it in the end because nothing else will ever matter. That is overwhelming at times, for me to think about the day that I get to see them again.

I am really trying to be better in my Christian walk so that I feel more confident in my eternity. Sometimes it is hard for me to set aside things that really don't have that much of a significance and focus on things as how Christ would want me to focus on them. I hope that I can lead Betsy down the same path and teach her to be a good Christian woman. I am trying to lead by example and God willing he will guide me in the right direction. I try to steer Tony that way as well. We both sometimes fall short of our Christian duties and that really scares me. I am so afraid of not making it into heaven and seeing the Lord's face as well as my baby girls. All I can do is continue trying and every day praying for guidance I need.

I know that there will be a day...a day with no more worries and no more of this earthly vessel. Life is so precious and our time here is limited.

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face

I can't wait until that day where the very one I've lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I've faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery...

One day God will wipe away my tears and all the sorrow that was in my life and he will lift me up to be reunited with my babies. Until that time comes...and Lord willing it will be a long time from now...I have to hold onto his words and hold onto his promise that there WILL be a day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reaching Out

Ever since Betsy came home from the hospital it has been my dream to reach out to other families who have had an NICU baby or most certainly suffered the loss of a baby. I have wanted to share the story of my babies and our struggles and obstacles but most importantly I have wanted to give families hope. I've wanted to be a shoulder for other babylost parents to cry on. I've wanted to be a supporter to NICU families who really struggle daily wondering if their journey will ever end and wondering how they will make it. I want to help families who have to say goodbye too soon to their angels by sharing how I have gotten through it. Not only can I give someone the support I wish I had but I believe it will be so therapeutic for me.

So let me tell you how I am making this dream a reality. We met a family in 2009 at our very first March for Babies event. Just so happens this family knew my dad from his bank. Just so happens this family worked very closely with March of Dimes. They were so kind to nominate us to be the ambassador family last year at the March of Dimes Signature Chef's Auction where we got to share our story for the first time to a crowd of supporters and help raise tons of money to benefit March of Dimes. I was hooked from that moment and knew this was exactly what I wanted to do.

I wouldn't say I "bugged" the March of Dimes Community Director, but I did reach out to her quite obsessively to get myself involved. She so very kindly met with me and told me she would love to have me sharing my story and helping out as much as she saw fit with the March of Dimes. I was ecstatic. This was exactly what I wanted...just to let them know I AM HERE and willing.

She went on to tell me she had quite a few people comment about Team Betsy and how they loved our enthusiam about March for Babies. She wanted to get me involved for next year's walk which was my ultimate goal...I LOVE March for Babies and can't wait to really get my hands all over this. I was also invited to be on the comittee for the March of Dimes Signature Chef's Auction for this year. So awesome. This is a big event that raises a TON of money. I'm excited to see what all I can bring to the table.

And lastly, I was asked to join other volunteers at Mercy Hospital NICU to become a Parent-to-Parent volunteer. This is exactly what I have wanted to do. I want to be able to sit down with other families and share with them, to really be there and listen to anything they need to talk about. I really wish I had had someone who I could talk to when my girls were in the NICU. I needed someone, another parent who had been there, to talk to, to let me know I WAS going to get through this. I am hoping I can be the support families need as they have to say goodbye too soon to their little angels and that I can share with them my experience and how I have picked up the pieces. That is so important to me because there were days I wasn't sure I was going to make it. To be able to see and talk to someone who had JUST walked in my shoes would have been HUGE for me. I am hoping this brings some great peace and comfort to myself as well. I hope while at the same time I am listening to other families cry, I can find the strength inside myself to overcome the loss of Grace and Olivia.

I feel as though this is my "calling", as though these people were placed in my life for a reason and this is it. I am always so afraid of losing Grace and Olivia's memory, and have struggled to find a way for their legacy to live, not only through Betsy, but through me helping other families. I can't wait to see what all is in store for me...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Play Group, Zoo and Fourth of July

I am one of "those" parents. "That" parent who doesn't put their kid in any kind of activities that requires me to drop her off and leave. Now I have heard it's great for socialization and also teaches them to not be too dependant on mommy. I beg to differ. Betsy is a very social little girl. She knows no stranger (which is perfectly safe at this age) and she walks into any room with confidence. She does go to Sunday School at our church which I was actually nervous about because I wasn't sure she would sit down in the little chairs. My head fills with the thought of my sweet Betsy being the only kid that won't be still, runs all over, steals toys and won't share. Her Sunday School teacher is so sweet and probably wouldn't tell me if Betsy wasn't cooperative; however, the few times I have snuck out of class to sneak a peek, Betsy has been sitting in class like an angel. Either that or they have her strapped down under her dress! She apparently does very well in class and really likes going to church. Anywhere she can go and have people tell her how pretty she is she enjoys going! Haha!

So back to my original point, I don't do daycare. I don't do Mother's Day Out. It's not that I don't agree with these types of childcare, it's just that Betsy doesn't HAVE to go to them...so why take her? For a while I considered Mother's Day Out. After all, it's only a few days a week and I could even take her one day if I really wanted. But, being the ever-so-proud mother that I am I just worry. What if they don't like Betsy? What if no one plays with her? If she gets a doll stolen from her she just stands there all sweet and innocent and doesn't know to take it back. For me....just toooo much worrying! I'm sure her first day of Kindergarten is going to be fun for me! I'll probably strap a hidden camera on her so that I can watch and make sure no one is mean to her. I kid, I kid.

Well last week Betsy did start going to a play group. We were invited by our Sooner Start speech pathologist. I get to go with her so this is a win-win. It's a play group with other little ones from Sooner Start who are also having trouble with their speech. ***CAUTION--MAJOR MOM MOMENT COMPLETE WITH BRAGGING***
There are only 5 total kids in there including Betsy. I have to say, even though we all think our kids are the smartest and the prettiest, mine really is. Okay, I'm not getting a big head. But Betsy was the only child who didn't cry when they walked in the room. She was the only one who walked in with her head up and went straight to playing with toys. Betsy was the only child who signed. And my most proud moment was during circle time. We all sat on the floor with our children in our lap while the group leader led us in songs and books. Betsy was the only child who would sit down. All the other kids were running around or wouldn't sit down and were fussing. One mother looked at Betsy and said, "You can tell who has been to circle time before". I was soooo proud when I looked back and said, pointing to Betsy, "Who her? Betsy's never had a circle time before. This is her first time also." I was so proud of my good girl. Not bad for someone who has never been "away from mommy".
Here are some pics of Betsy in her play group.

Last week we also had some family come in and we took our kids to the zoo. My cousin, Tori, is only 4 years younger than I am and we grew up very close. She has two children, River, 5, and Allie, 21 months. Betsy and Allie love to play together and I love that they are so close in age. Betsy is exactly one month older, and about 2 sizes smaller. Ha Ha! I can't wait to watch them grow up together and Betsy get to go down to my grandparent's farm to play with Allie like I used to when me and Tori were growing up. Here are some pics of our trip to the zoo together.

This past weekend was Fourth of July. We took Betsy to her very first parade in Bethany, Oklahoma. The Liberty Fest Parade. The weather was perfect. It was nice and cool. We got to enjoy about 30 minutes of the parade before it started raining. We decided to leave and just made it to the car before it starting really downpouring. I'm sorry that Betsy didn't get to see the entire parade. She seemed to really be enjoying it. Hopefully we can try again next year. Here we are at the parade.

After the Bethany parade Tony, me and Betsy loaded up the car and headed to Southwest Oklahoma to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who live down there. Betsy got to play with Allie again which made her very happy! We were very fortunate this year to get to spend the holiday with both my dad and step-mom and also my mom and her side of the family. We usually only go to my grandparents but because of the extended weekend we were able to fit everyone in! We thought we might try an "every other holiday" situation where we rotated which holidays we spent where but with my grandparents getting so old, we all know our time is so precious with them. With Betsy growing up we want her to get a chance to spend holidays with both of her grandparents. We really enjoyed splitting the time this way and we are going to try to do this more often. We are so blessed to have an amazing family!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Decision

It has been 22 months now since my girls were born. There are days when it seems like it was just yesterday and days where it really feels like a long time ago. Even so, the memory is so very vivid in my mind and in my heart. There is not one day that goes by and I don't think about my babies and what could have been.

Here goes...even though I am ashamed to admit it, there have been times I tell complete strangers that I have triplets. I wonder why I do this. It's people I know (or at least hope) I will never see again. One time I was at the casino with a friend and while we were separated I struck up a conversation with a lady next to me. Somehow I found a way to work into the conversation that I have triplets. Maybe it's the reaction I get from people that I enjoy so much. People are so thrilled to hear that. I absolutely love the comments I get from people...it's what I so longed to hear when I was pregnant. I couldn't wait to see/hear people's reactions. I justify this by saying that "technically" I am not lying to these people. I DO have triplets. Just not all with me. Do they really need to know that two of them aren't alive? I don't think so. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like they ARE alive. One time I told the lady at the grocery store. One time it was the lady who was doing my pedicure. I haven't ever told anyone that. Although it's embarrassing to admit, I can't help it. I wonder why I couldn't just tell people about my living miracle, Betsy? It would be just as an amazing story and people would still be moved. I just like saying it I guess. Dont worry, it's not a habit. I don't seek out to say these things and I haven't actually done it in a while. And it's not like I need help for it or anything. For pete's sake, I'm a grieving mother trying to find a way to make my babies seem alive. No harm, no foul. It's just tough...

So this brings me to my next subject. More babies. I have had people politely inquire if Tony and I will ever have children again. Now that Betsy is approaching 2 years old, I guess that is the universal age that people want to start having more children, people are beginning to wonder. Well, the answer to that question is No. We will not have any more children. We actually made the decision immediately after we lost Olivia. I wanted to have my tubes tied the next day. We followed the advice of some family members and waited a year. Just in case we were in a state of grief and letting our emotions talk first. We thought if we waited a year and if we still felt the same way then we could talk about permanent sterilization. We waited a year and nothing changed. We kept putting it off just so we wouldn't make a hasty decision and regret it. We still feel the same. Betsy will be our one and only. Both Tony and I are 32 years old. I don't even know if I COULD get pregnant. And if it took another 3 years that will put us at 35-36 years old. I know I will never do fertility treatments again. It was just too expensive and too physically draining. I couldn't go through it again. Ever. And IF I did get pregnant, who is to say I would carry my baby to term? Even getting a cerclage can't guarantee I won't go into preterm labor. And if I lost another baby? I just can't. I can't even begin to explain how I would feel. I think I would be an emotional wreck my entire pregnancy. I would worry all the time. I seriously don't think I could enjoy it. And I hate to say that. For someone who loved being pregnant with the triplets, felt great and had an easy pregnancy, it's sad to say I don't think I would enjoy another pregnancy. I would compare everything to being pregnant with the triplets and it would just be too much. And I can't help shake the feeling that if God intended for me to have more than one baby, I would have Grace and Olivia.

So there is our decision. No one has to ask us about it. No one has to try to change our mind. That's it. I am absolutely fulfilled by being a mother to Betsy. I tried for 3 years to have a baby. I'm getting to experience everything I ever wanted and I couldn't be happier. Plus, I don't want to share any of my love with anyone else. I know I am being selfish but my heart is so full of love for my angels that I don't want to take one iota from them to give to anyone else. I'm sorry. The only babies I will ever have are already here. Two have already been taken from me. It just doesn't seem fair.