We are finally settling into some sort of a routine. And some days I even feel like a person! I no longer dread each feeding and I am only pumping a handful of times after they nurse each day, giving me so much more time to spend with them. We now try to play a little, which is just adorable to watch. And then we attempt naps, which are successful about 10% of the time. But at least I get to shower about every other day now! And each week is better than the week before. I love watching the boys develop personalities and learning how to comfort each of them.
I was up last night for several hours after the boys' middle of the night feeding thinking about where all we have been and what we have been through this past year. From giving birth and watching our daughter taken away to bedrest and hospital stays to home. And I am just amazed an in awe of what God has done for us. Losing Reagan was the most horrific thing I could imagine. To know your daughter, name her and have her room all picked out, to feel her kicking, and then be told suddenly she was gone. You don't just recover from that in a month or two. It changes you. And it makes me sad that some people just cannot deal with that or understand our need to grieve both then and still now. But God used Reagan to reach so many, to mend relationships, to strengthen friendships, to teach people about Him. And we are so blessed for that, for all those who shared how much she changed them. Because who can say that about a child so young?
And she paved the way for her younger brothers, healed the endometriosis that was rampant in my abdomen. There were so many times during that pregnancy we thought we had lost the boys. I still vividly remember the nurse in the hospital telling me my water was breaking back when they were only at 8 weeks. We mentally said goodbye and started grieving again until the ultrasound proved God was bigger than any symptoms. The specialist then told us just a few weeks later that we needed to prepare for the inevitable. He did not believe the babies would make it. But they did! And when I went into labor at 21 weeks, the admitting doc told me that following week he did not think I would make it through that night. But we did, and made it another 6 weeks after that. God carried these babies through the worse of situations. They are truly little miracles that no one thought would make it through. I am just amazed at how big God is. And how quickly I forget.
Last Thanksgiving was tough. I said to Andrew that day that I felt as though I had nothing to be thankful for. Our daughter was gone and everyone else was happily pregnant or caring for their newborns. I felt like I had no where to turn - I couldn't tell these women how much pain it caused me to see them so happy when I felt like I was dying, couldn't figure out how to put into words that I was happy for them to have that but devastated I didn't, and I lost a lot of friendship because of that...which only made the pain harder. Last year I had hope only in knowing that Reagan was in heaven and we would be reunited one day. And this year? This year we have so much to be thankful for. As I move further away from Reagan's birth, I can be thankful for each and every day with her and the time together in the hospital. I can celebrate her life, our firstborn child. And I can be thankful we serve a God who is bigger than all circumstances and can bring peace no matter what. I am also thankful for Warren and Dean, for the joy the bring me - the little smiles and giggles, the baby sighs, how they lay their heads on my chest and just snuggle in to sleep.
At times it is easy for me to have myself a little pity party...to think of all we've lost, the life I once had. To feel trapped in the house, unable to go out because of the boys' mandatory isolation. I went from menopause to morning sickness to grieving to bedrest to hospital and now isolation. It's been a long 2 years, a lonely 2 years. And there are 5 more months ahead of me before that will change. Some days I dwell on that and think how unfair it all is. But then I think about everything above, remind myself this season is temporary, and am thankful once again.