Monday, May 30, 2011

Mourning Mama Gorilla

Blue found this most amazing story from National Geographic. A first time mother lost her two-week old baby.She wouldn't leave his little body. The photos caught were amazing. They show her grief, which I immediately connected with. But then there are photos of her community coming and sitting around her - at a slight distance, just watching, sitting. They are mourning with her! Wow, what a visual of "mourn with those that mourn." They are beautiful, though sad photos. I hope you get to see these pics before they are gone - they are so amazing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Early Birthday Gift For Jackson

     Hooray! Two days ago we paid off our car! We bought the car the day Porter Jackson was born - just hours before we went to the hospital to deliver. We'd sold our Sonata and felt such a rush to get another vehicle for this exciting third baby. It felt so odd, so cruelly ironic, to be escorted out to that shiny new vehicle when I left the hospital without Jackson. Here we were with a bigger car and a car payment, which we hadn't had in years, but no baby to justify it.
     My mom tried to be positive and say we would need that bigger vehicle soon enough - we would have other babies. Certainly no one expected the road getting there to be much more complicated.
     I've always wished to pay off the car. I thought earlier in the year, wouldn't it be cool to pay it off in September, a way of honoring Jackson's - can you believe it - 3rd birthday? But it just seemed like too much of a stretch financially to get it done. But, Blue got on board with me and his support and fresh ideas led to much faster progress than I expected. And two days ago, with the help of a small but unexpected bonus, we paid off the car! I know it's me projecting my own ideas about money, but I feel like Jackson would be happy for us not to be in debt due to him. I'm so giddy - like a kid at Christmas - to tell him that we are not! Medical bills are gone and so is the car payment. Now if only he could step in and make gas for the car less expensive!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Something to Think About

“Should all prayers be immediately answered … there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life ...”

-Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trey at 10 Months

10 months


5 months
10 months

I'm so happy Trey turned 10 months! You know how sometimes we have strange thoughts that we know aren't logical, yet we give credence to them nonetheless? For me it has been getting Trey safely past 9 months. I think because I know two wonderful people who both lost boys to suffocation in their cribs at 9 months. I think of them so often. If it could happen to them it could happen to me. While there is not a whole lot of logic to this, I am nevertheless slightly less worried for my boy than I was even 2 weeks ago. And when he makes his first birthday, I will be ecstatic at hitting this other paranoid milestone!
It's been different, certainly, raising a preemie. A big struggle is his slow weight gain. He's pushing 16 lbs now, which is not on the charts for a 10 month old and about 5th percentile for his adjusted age of 8 1/2 months. Underweight babies don't sleep as long a chunky babies, so I'm pretty ineffective at doing more than the basics!
I think it is mainly to do with him getting RSV around 6 months. That's when he stopped eating as well. Of course, all his energy went to fighting off disease. From then on it's been a fight to keep him healthy. But, I bow to the shrine of probiotics, which I have been giving him for the last month. He has not gotten sick since on them (he was getting ear and sinus infections).  I am hopeful that he will catch up soon enough and that it's nothing more serious. My doctor is ordering some tests just to be sure.
My family is having a ball with this child! We love on him constantly. I'm continuously surprised at the kids' patience when he's crying or needing something at the same time as they are needing something. I'm slightly surprised even at my own better attitude! I promised not to call him names when he was born - sound ridiculous? What parent would call their kid names? I know, I'm the devil, because I have! I remember when my others were little and keeping me up at night, or screaming in my ear, or making me late for some event, etc... I occasionally would let out a frustrated rant to them, knowing they couldn't understand. Or, I'd complain coarsely about them to my mom or some other trusted friend. But no way would I do that now. For one, I am more grown up! For another, I don't dare slap God in the face for my gift. Trey is a special gift, my life-saving gift, and I will NOT complain about the privilege of raising him (well, as best as I can!). This early resolution has affected the mood of our entire home. We are all more loving and happy. I'm so thankful for this experience of raising a baby again.
Where are Jackson and Claire in this mix? I think of them both every single day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of them. There are many thoughts I can joggle that don't cut me, and I have learned which memories are still too traumatic to toy with in a normal day. So most days, I have happy thoughts of them. I am glad to be their mother, I am glad to know them, and hopeful to get to know them better in the future. I'm curious about them. I'm slightly obsessed wondering what went wrong in my or my husband and I's genetics... why do some cords not develop right? What can be done to correct this? How can I help expectant mothers and doctors be more aware and careful so less babies die in the future? I really want to get some kind of fundraiser for research going in the near future. And I want to write a book about it too. But, all this has to wait til I am not so tired that getting housework done doesn't take all my concentration (has anyone seen my keys, btw? Or my phone????!!!!).
Several of my friends are due at the end of this month. Most of them have lost babies previous to this pregnancy. I am anxious for them and excited with them. Good luck! I can't wait to see these teeny miracles!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to you all! There are, to me, no better mothers than those who have given their children back to their Father in Heaven. What a great sacrifice, what a hard road to go down.  I love all the mothers who did it before me, even thousands of years ago, leaving an example for me to try to live up to. I look up to each and every one of you. Thank you for finding a way to go on and be happy, and for sharing your stories that help others, like me. Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Donations from Claire

Last week my husband and I ate sushi for lunch on his day off. He loves that stuff! When the bill came, there was a request for money for the Red Cross in Japan. There was a spot to write a name from the donor so we donated and wrote in Claire's name. I like to do that. It feels like she is living through me, she is serving on this earth. And it helps me gain valuable perspective when I am feeling selfish. Why not give money? I am not spending it on Claire right now. Why not give money that I would be spending on her to help others? She would like that. Don't parents enable their kids to make a mark on this earth? I love doing these things for my kids.

Salt River Sunday 5-1-2011

We went to the Salt River last Sunday afternoon. It was beautiful and breezy and we all had a great time. As soon as we got there my son saw two dragonflies. Later, when Trey and I joined him for a hike, he spotted a toy butterfly on the ground. He was so happy. So was I. We both felt like the 'babies' were there with us.
I feel like my heavenly kids accompany us a lot when we go places together as a family. This trip was spontaneous and short; simple to say the least. But there must something significant about spending time with your family, because it's on outings that I often feel for a brief moment that my babies are by me.
     To reinforce that, after we got home, my friend who I haven't talked to in almost a year sent me a picture of her with a butterfly fluttering just over her head. She said they seemed to love her hat and she thought of me. What a warm feeling I got when I got her text! On that day, after the other 'sightings.'  It is usually not just one little spotting that I will get - there are usually at least three at one given time, which helps my faith that is is a message and not just coincidence.
     I was especially happy Sunday at the river because my family felt whole, as opposed to earlier when we sat in church. Looking at so many unique, cute families, my chest ached. It felt like I was missing a very important part of my family. I missed Claire and Jackson. That particular pain lasted for hours. It's something I have learned to carry. Of course, Trey squirming in my arms certainly helped me ignore the empty place and get to work. I'm grateful for the reminder that Claire and Jackson still exist, and not so far away as I think.

my twins

my sorry attempt at a self portrait
toy butterfly found on the trail