Saturday, January 31, 2015

1 week

A year ago tonight was the third night Meech spent with us. A week ago tonight  I was in the middle of a long two hours of pushing. Tonight I am sitting watching Golden Girls while watching my perfect baby girl sleep. If I have learned anything in the past 8 years it is that life is all about perspective. 
As I reflect on the past 7 days so many things have been made clearer. I often said when going through losing Meech that I knew God had a plan, I just wish I knew what it was. Now I feel like I can see a little more of the plan he had made for me. The timing of Meech's arrival in our family and the timing of him leaving are not by chance. I believe God sent him to me, for me and for Sammi. I honestly don't know how I would have been able to make it through my pregnancy without the 24 hour happy distraction he brought. He kept me busy. His case kept me distracted. He kept our entire family in a place of happy chaos. The timing of him leaving was no less a coincidence than the time he was here. Nineteen days before Sammi came. I am not sure I would have ever had the strength to make her nursery if I hadn't had the sadness of losing him. Needing his room to change made me want to do her room. We had time to grieve for him and let ourselves heal before Sammi came, but not enough time to be without a baby for long. 
Last Saturday when we left for the hospital it pained me to let TJ put the carseat in. I didn't even want to bring it to the hospital. I wasn't convinced I was leaving with a baby. After the trauma of labor and delivery, my recovery and My fears there was nothing more rewarding than bringing her home. When we walked through the door TJ even commented on how amazing it was to walk through the door with her- to bring her home. We know what a gift this is because the last two times we had babies we walked through those doors empty handed. Broken hearted. I will admit I am more nervous this time than I was as a first time mom. Not fearful of caring for a newborn, but for all of the scary things in life. But, fear is something that comes with loss. I am also grateful and so happy for each little smile and yawn.
Each time she cries and each time she stretches. It's hard to believe that it has only been a week because we feel like we have been loving her forever.
Anna and Wyatt are amazingly helpful and love her so much. She is what we needed. The feeling I had that our family wasn't complete- that feeling that led us back to foster care. The feeling that brought Meech into our life. That incomplete feeling is gone. I knew that we were not meant to be a family of 4. I just didn't know what God had in store for us. All along it was Sammi who was meant to be the final member of our family. Our amazing 5 kids- 2 in Heaven, 1 amazing little boy, and our 2 miracle daughters.
God may not always show us where we are headed, but makes it worth the ride if we keep the faith. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Welcoming Sammi

The past few days have been a whirlwind. Every time I look at my sweet baby I am astonished by her presence. I am overwhelmingly thankful and completely at peace. Even as we left for the hospital early Saturday morning I wasn't convinced we were coming home with a baby. As my labor was very difficult and many issues arose I was further into believing she wasn't going to happen. Each tiny scare- each pain - each moment was like a nightmare. I can't explain it. Luckily our nurses and doctor were simply amazing. We had the same nurse for the first 12 hours. We were her only patient and it felt like she had been sent from God just for us. My previous labor and deliveries were easy. I progressed quickly- pushed and delivered in 30 minutes. This time things did not go that way. After an epidural that didn't really take, two other meds to relax to get it in, blood pressure meds for dropping to 60/35 - 5 redoses of epidural and all of the fluid to boot, you would think I felt good. But, the pain was nothing like I had ever felt before. At 6;00 pm I was ready to push- then the doctor said I had a "lip" of my cervix left and the baby is positioned wrong. So I laid a way to turn her myself and waited. It was not until 3 hours later that it was time. I then pushed for 2 hours and 6 minutes. I was convinced she was never coming out. I had all but given up when the doctor said two more pushed and she's out. I felt every part of the last 1 1/2  hours of pushing- but I did it. When she came out the laid her on my chest. Memories of Connor came flooding back, until she cried. The most amazing sound. She was perfect.
As I had to lay and wait to be poked and prodded Tj was with her.
Once I was ready for her they told us her breathing wasn't where they wanted it to be and she had to stay in her Isolette. After 17 hours - after 9 months- after nearly 6 years of grieving Connor- I needed to hold my baby. It was over an hour later that my dreams came true. I held this amazing miracle.
The kids and our families had waited all night to meet her and came back to see her.
It was after midnight at this point and they didn't stay long. They wore their new shirts 3 days in a row to make sure she saw them though. We were taken to the mom baby unit and so began our stay.
I have had a problem in my recovery-praying for a short fix for this less than 1% of vaginal deliveries occurring issue.  Then we had the little jaundice that kept us at the hospital an extra day.
She had 21 hours of photo therapy and the doctor was happy with the result and we came home yesterday. I can't tell you the feeling I had when the wheelchair was brought to our room. That moment was the worst moment the last time I was in a hospital. Yesterday it was the best- going down the hall with my baby in my arms.
Nothing could ever explain that feeling.
Now we have been home a little over 24 hours. Walking through the front door with her was such a gift. I hadn't let myself ever get to the point of planning on doing that. She has allowed me to love her in my time  and Thankfully I was immediately in love. I do not want to put her down. I cannot even explain how much I love this baby.
A miracle.
She has been a rough one getting into this world, but an amazing baby since entering it. So if you see me and want to hold my baby, just know I may very well never let her go! Thanks for the thoughts and prayers...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dear Sammi,

Tomorrow is the day. I am so excited to meet you. So in need of holding you and looking into your eyes.  Our bags are packed. Your seat in the car. The strain of your presence in my body near the point of me being ready to let go. I will admit I am scared. Not scared of giving birth. Not scared of sleepless nights. Just trying to cope with the waves of emotion that come along with welcoming you after the loss of your brother.  I am thankful for the 5 1/2 years between your births. I am thankful for the healing I have done in that time. I won't lie when I say that it has been a long road between finding out I was pregnant with you and getting to tomorrow. You are our miracle. Just like your older sister. As I lie in bed tonight I will pray for you. I will pray for myself that I have the peace and strength to enjoy each moment of your birth. I cannot tell you how much I want to hear you cry. I need to hear you cry. 24 hours from now you should be in my arms nestled snugglily. As I push you around tonight to make sure you are okay by feeling you move, I will poke you tomorrow and watch you breathe. Get ready baby girl- there are a whole lot of people waiting to meet you. Mommy loves you and I am definitely at the very top of that list. See you on the outside....

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A week and 2 days...

We have made it a week and 2 days without Meech. It is still weird to look around and realize he is not here, but each day it is getting better. The message his Aunt sent me letting me know he was happy was a welcome surprise. Our house has changed so drastically and so quickly without him. Wyatt and I probably took his leaving the hardest- at least outwardly. Anna and TJ are so similar in how they show their emotion. Quietly- in their own time. Wy and I both let it out- crying, yelling, whatever it takes. 
His absence has made Anna and Wy even closer. They have spent most of their time together and seem to appreciate each other even more than before. They have helped one another to grieve and are helping each other go on. They have always been close, but seeing their care for one another through this hard time has been a blessing for me.
The timing of it all has been such a God send. As I sit and wait these final weeks for Sammi to arrive I am so thankful God sent Meech to me for the last year. I am not sure I could have made it through the fears and anxieties of this pregnancy without him as a happy little constant distraction. I didn't plan on doing anything to the nursery until after Sammi was born. But, the room reminded me so much of Meech that I needed it to change. Dad and Tj spent the weekend stripping wallpaper, painting, putting together the crib and hanging pictures. She went from not having a room to having a beautiful nursery. Meech being here helped me to survive this pregnancy, him leaving has helped me get ready for Sammi. The fear of loss makes everything different. I am proud of each little step I have taken to welcome Sammi. Now if she would just make her grand entrance we could put it all to good use. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

As if he were mine...

It's 3 a.m
Wide awake
As if my body
Knows nothing different
I have been awake at 3 a.m
Every night for a year
Awakened by suddle cries
Walking down the hall
To a little voice 
"Mommy rock for you?"
Sitting in our chair 
Until I was sure 
He was sound asleep
Lying him back in his bed 
Hearing "I love you" 
in the sweetest voice
As I pulled the door closed again
Now I lie here
Wondering if he lies awake
Praying he isn't thinking of me
Because I never want him 
To feel this pain
Praying that he forgets
Praying that he moves on
Praying she is rocking him
I can feel the tears well up
My face burning
As I try to hold it back
But the night brings me back
To the days and weeks
To the months
We spent rocking in that chair
To his sweet snuggle
To my love for him 
As I feel the warmth of my tears
Rolling down my cheeks
The silence of the room
So cruelly reminds me
I know he wasn't mine
I know he is okay
But at 3 a.m. 
As I lie awake
those things don't matter
My arms ache for him
My heart longs for him
Just as if 
He were mine. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

He is Gone...

The inevitable heartache has arrived. After weeks of knowing, preparing and dreading it happened. An answer finally came from court today and Meech went to live with his aunt. 
After a phone call telling us they would pick him up in a half hour I put my foot down. I said NO- he is not leaving without saying goodbye to our family. So sis brought the kids home early from school and Tj came home.
 His caseworker was supposed to pick him up, but by the grace of God she was called back to court. So in one turn we were able to avoid her and be able to drop Meech off ourselves.
It gave us time to stop and say goodbye to Nate Granny and a few more hours with him. 
Most importantly it gave our kids the opportunity to meet "nana". 
When we arrived at our meeting spot we had time to sit in the car together and play and snuggle.
When Nana arrived she was so happy to see him. As we got out of the car Anna and Wy were greeted by Nana with open arms to them. She hugged them both and was so kind. She then hugged me and thanked me again. As I handed Meechie over to her he looked at me and began to cry. I told him I loved him and had to walk away. Tj helped Nana's fiancé to pack all of his stuff into their car. The fiancé shook TJ's hand and thanked him or everything. These little things will help in the coming days and weeks. 
We all cried on the way home. Tj immediately took the carseat out and took down his bed. As I sit here it is surreal that he isn't here. Finding buzz light years, diapers and little reminders at every turn. 
As much as we know he will be okay
As much as we know his family loves and wants him
This pain sucks. 
Being without him is awful. 
Grief is the only word that can begin to describe it. 
Having loved someone so much for so long what else could we expect. 
Thanks so much for all of the love and support. 
For a community that has lifted our family and Meechie up in prayers. 
We will forever love this boy and forever be grateful for our time with him. 

Forever and always in our hearts and prayers.... 

We love you Meech. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Even if you never know...

I wake you each morning
Yet I know you are not mine
I rock you each evening 
On borrowed time
Seeing you change 
Learning more each day
Letting you go
Letting you find your way
Hearing your voice 
Seeing your smile
Watching you love 
Makes every second worth while
Coming to terms
Knowing your leaving 
Praying for your happiness
As we are left grieving
Tomorrow is never promised 
So we live for each day
God has His plans 
As you go on your way 
You are loved and cherished
No matter where you go
In our hearts forever
Even if you never know