Thursday, February 27, 2014


Time of isolation is rapid approaching the end!  Two more months, max, and I can leave the house!  It's been over a year now since I was first hospitalized with the boys.  Even longer since I felt like a human being ready to engage in regular, every day life.  One thing is for sure, being housebound for so long definitely reveals something about friends.

I have been shocked and appalled by what someone I once considered a close friend have said to me during this time, as they wait for me to move on and get over what happened to Reagan.  First, let me be clear that one does not "get over" the loss of a child.  And to try to put a time frame on that is just ridiculous.  Reveals the only reason we were ever friends is because of convenience as waiting just a few months was not worth it.  I'm getting off subject...not the point of today's blog.  What this person has made me realize, though, is how blessed we are by others around us.  It is so hard to keep in contact with someone you can never see, especially in an age when phone calls are rare and everything is done electronically.  The rest of the world continued living life - raising children and working - while I sat around on bed rest.  Then lived in the hospital 35 minutes away, unable to leave.  Then struggled with raising my own preemie, colicky babies while confined to the house and on a physician-ordered strict feeding schedule.  

A true friend is one that loves and cares for you, even when you can't do anything for them in return.  I have several women who I have gotten to know better during this last year, who reached out to me when I couldn't give back.  Who brought over meals without being asked, took me to doctors appointments when I couldn't drive, sat with me in the house and hospital on their brief time off, altered their schedules to meet me at the park (the only place the boys can go).  And I haven't said enough how much I appreciate that, how wonderful you ladies are.  Ever single text, phone call, and email has meant so much to me.  Helped me to not feel so isolated here.  Even when the timing doesn't work out, when my children are up all night and I cancel or yours are sick and you cancel, just the offer matters.  "It's the thought that counts" is for sure true.  I love the phone dates and emails sent back and forth.  BUT...two more months!  That's right, 13 months down, 2 to go!  It's just going to fly right by. (Unless Warren has more nights like last night when he was up screaming for nearly 5 hours...then it drags)  And then I can take all you non-flu shot people up on your offers!

So thank you, to everyone who emailed/texted/called even just once during this time.  I know it's been a long time since I've seen many of you, and I know life has changed each of us in the mean time, but I really appreciate every single effort!

Friday, February 21, 2014


Over the past several months I have had numerous requests to see the nursery pictures.  And I have been completely slack and never posted a single one!  So, since my boys are napping (at the same time!) and our water is out so no cleaning or laundry (darn!) thought this would be the perfect time.

Our reading nook, where we sit and rock for storytime before each nap.  Most comfortable chair ever!  And thanks Pinterest for the Ikea spice rack idea for books!  The blanket shows some of the theme, with elephants, giraffes, and a hippo (we think hippo...there's some debate on what that yellow animal actually is...)

Changing table/dresser (taken at an odd angle to avoid my pic showing up in the mirror)  Thanks to my parents for staining my old baby dresser and making the changing station for the top and my mother-in-law for getting and painting the shutters/window pane mirror to match the room.  Such blessings and generosity while we were all hospitalized!

Shelf behind the chair with handmade elephant/giraffe complements of Rachel (you can check out her stuff here to support adoption)

Cribs!  Well, one crib.  Dean's looks exactly the same right next to Warren's.  For some reason I didn't get a picture of that though.  

Our little piece of Reagan sticking out from behind Warren's crib.

The quilt rack with matching bedding hanging, shelf with our Reagan board (complements of Baby Boards) and the elephant/monkey stuffed animals that sat by their side in the NICU.

Nursery art painted by my talented Mom to match their bedding

Our first Clemson outfits! Signed onesies from Dabo, booties, and helmets I made during months of bedrest

If I get around to it one day, I'll take a picture of the whole room like I should have and add that back in right here.  :)


In just the past few days, Warren and Dean have become aware of each other.  It started off very slowly about a month ago during nursing and increased to some fights during that time only (bending back fingers, poking eyes, etc).  Then, last week, they started holding hands at the end of each nursing session...super cute.  I think they must have been trying to make up for the excruciating pain they were causing me with mastitis and blebs...ugh.  But it ended there.  Once we were downstairs on their blanket, they had nothing to do with each other.

Dean has really started moving around, army crawling his way around, and getting very efficient at that!  He has started showing his preference for toys, and notices immediately when Warren is playing with what he likes.  Since he's now mobile, he has begun "crawling" over to Warren.  This started off with a very tender moment, in which Dean gave Warren one of his super sweet, super slobbery kisses on the head.  I happened to capture the moment as I was just trying to get a shot of them interacting.  It completely melted my heart.  For about 30 seconds... And then Dean grabbed his face and tried to steal his toy.  Ahh, brothers.

The next day, they engaged in an all out brawl.  I love watching them play together and seeing them interact, both with the tender moments as well as their fighting.  It's just so fun to see them recognize that there is another human being their size right there.  They've been side by side for the months since coming home, and up until now you'd never know.  They would look at me or Andrew, but never each other.  Part of me wondered how much of that was due to all those months isolated in the NICU instead of having contact with each other.  They missed out on 3 months of bonding, those early months all the books say are the most important.  What a blessing to watch them now.  Here's the timeline of the brawl...initiated by Dean coming over, then Warren beating up on him, then Dean pinning Warren down to end it.  Love how he looks up at me at the end, like "what Mom?"

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Molly Bears

So, I received notice in early December that our "Reagan bear" from was going to be completed in January and shipped to us.  We registered with Molly Bears back in November we've waited 15 months for this day to come.  The package arrived yesterday afternoon.  Part of me was so super excited, part of me experienced overwhelming grief yet again.  I waited all day for Andrew to come home before deciding that I couldn't wait any longer and opened it right before I went to bed.  Maybe should have waited until I had moral support right there...

For those of you who have never heard of Molly Bears, it is an organization that creates a stuffed bear based on your child's weight and specifications.  So, our Reagan bear weighs 7 ounces and is sporting an awesome purple tutu.  I absolutely love it.  Yet, at the same time, it broke my heart to hold it in my arms.  To know it was the exact weight of our sweet daughter.  To imagine her dressed in a purple tutu, dancing away.  I close my eyes and I can see her just she was, so peaceful and at ease with the world, and as I imagine her today, happy and vibrant and dancing in that field of flowers.  I am sitting here, looking at the picture of her dancing hanging on the wall, blonde curls bouncing and a huge smile on her face.  I am simultaneously falling in love all over again and crying out in despair.  It has been 15 months since I laid eyes on that beautiful girl, our firstborn.  Over a year since our tearful goodbye.  And the pain is still there, still fresh.  Does it ever get better??  I find myself telling the boys "once upon a time" stories about princess Reagan after reading their manly books about construction trucks.  Every time I open the closet, I see her clothes hanging there.  And a little piece of me crumbles.  I just wish I could see her again, see her smile again, watch her wave to us, suck her thumb, dance away.  As time moves on, I no longer have the anger I once had.  A part of me always struggles with seeing little girls, not because I am hating these women but because it reminds me of what I am missing.  Don't get me wrong, I love my boys.  And I'll play cars and trucks with them all day long and be perfectly happy with that.  But for so many months I dreamed on princesses and tea parties and I still miss that.

We have started getting things in the mail for "babies first birthday."  And Reagan's due date is right around the corner (though I never really had any expectations of carrying a baby full term).  I think that will make her due date a little easier, knowing she would have likely been born well before that.  But once I realized these catalogs were not coming for the boys, they weren't implying that a super organized mother would already be planning her sons' birthday, I threw them all out.  Another painful reminder of an empty day coming ahead.

But then, I wake up in the morning and I get to see two smiling faces.  This morning especially, as Warren's little face lit up when I reached down to pick him up from his crib.  My heart just melted.  My boys in no way take Reagan's place or fill the empty hole her death left us with, but they bring me so much joy.  Sometimes they make me crazy and I wonder how I will survive the next hour, much less the next year or more.  But then they smile, I do something that makes them laugh, Dean gives me a kiss, or Warren gives me a hug (while simultaneously spitting up down my back...thanks for that) and it makes the world right again.  No child will ever take Reagan's special place in our hearts and lives, but each boy and all our future children will have their very own "special place," carved out just for them.  It's amazing how the capacity to love just keeps growing.