Thursday, March 20, 2014


So, Warren got a little blurb - only fair to give Dean one too!  I thought now, in the middle of screaming chaos in our house as we "sleep train" (ha!) would be as good a time as any.

Dean came home our easy child.  I remember thinking during those 10 days it was just him how easy it all was.  When I drove back to the hospital each morning around 6:30 everyone commented on how great I looked (aka showered and dressed in real clothes).  I thought, of course.  I've already done the pumping thing every 3 hours.  What does an extra 10 minutes to change and feed this child really add??  Cumulatively, it was 30 minutes less sleep per night.  We just fed him, burped him, and put him right back down where he would quietly drift off to sleep.  Oh, what I wouldn't do for someone to quietly drift off to sleep again!

Dean has been our more content child, for the most part.  BUT, he is definitely all or nothing.  When he is happy, this is what you see:

But when upset...

Poor little guy, wears his emotions right on his sleeve.  All or nothing, that's what you get.  

Dean doesn't contemplate like Warren, he just goes for it.  He'll be sitting and just reach for the toy that is so far away he slams his head down on the ground.  He started "crawling" in February and there's been no stopping him.  But because he starts things so early, he takes a while to perfect them.  Breathing trials started, stopped, started, stopped, countless times before he figured it out.  He would nurse great one feeding and then have no clue the next.  He rolled over a few times in early October (when his adjusted age would have been only about a week old) but then nothing for a while.  Same pattern now with sitting and crawling.  While Warren doesn't start something until he knows he can master it, Dean plows full steam ahead.  I envision countless trips to the ER in my future for this little guy and stitches/broken bones.  Yesterday evening he manage to hit his head about 5 times in the 2 hours Andrew was home.  And he'll manage to fall in the one direction we can't catch him or toward the single corner/hard toy around.  Or just roll right into it.  No fear in that child.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reagan's Due date year 2

Today is another painful day in our journey of loss.  Sweet Reagan's due date.  I don't know exactly how to feel today...we knew she would not have actually been born today.  We always thought she would come early, probably sometime in February, but there is still this sorrow associated with today.  I spoke with another mom who had a loss about it, about how it was still so difficult even though it was a day that would have meant nothing had she lived.  But, for the entire pregnancy, this is the day you count down to, look forward to, dream about.

Last year, her due date was absolutely awful.  We had a wonderful trip to the beach planned to have some time to rest and celebrate her life.  And I ended up in the hospital a few weeks before and told not to travel.  And, just the day before her due date, we were told by the specialist that we should expect to miscarry at any second.  That the twins would not make it.  That at 11 weeks, the boys would not live to see 12.  I remember spending the weekend in utter despair and crying out to God that we wouldn't have to endure the pain anymore.  The physical pain I was in from the pregnancy complications plus the emotional pain of what we lost put me over the edge.  Andrew finally convinced me to take a full dose of my pain medication and I vaguely remember him holding me tight as I sobbed and eventually drifted off into sleep.

Today, one year later, life looks so different.  God performed a miracle and saved little Warren and Dean.  I have been immensely blessed to watch them grow and develop despite their trials in the womb and very premature birth.  Part of me will always wonder and question why God didn't chose to perform that same miracle with Reagan.  And part of me will always feel a sudden pain and anguish when I see other little girls.  I pray that will one day go away, that I will be completely filled with God's grace and peace that I no longer feel that way.  But today, it is just bubbling up fresh.

There is so much joy that I associate with Reagan's life.  God used her, her short life, and my love for her, to teach me so much about Him and others.  Nothing will ever be the same.  I often find myself only blogging when I have these moments of immense pain and loss, but I am really so grateful for every moment I spent with her.  I'm grateful for the video we have of her dancing away in my tummy, smiling at the camera, sucking on her thumb.  I love that she was the first little one I ever felt kick, that Andrew got to feel that.  I love the little pieces of her that have found their way into every room in our house - pictures, butterflies, board, mementos.

One verse is hanging on our bathroom mirror, has been since about a month after her birth.  Romans 15:13 "May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"  We serve a God of hope, even on days like today.  Even as I sat sobbing in the chair clinging onto my boys (who are old enough and aware enough now to just both stare at me with big eyes of concern, looking from my face to each other and back again).  God is bigger than all my pain.  And, on days like today, I must be in constant pray that I will remember what Reagan is doing.  That she's dancing away in heaven, playing with her brother, singing with a perfect little voice.  As I look at her footprints, I imagine those tiny little feet running through the flowers, see her blonde curls bouncing, and her face lit up in laughter.  She's not here with me, crying because she's hungry/tired or needing/longing for anything.  She is perfectly satisfied in a place without sin.

We love you always, Reagan.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I feel as though I am getting to the point where I say "the boys" too often.  Everything I've read and heard about discusses the importance of making sure they have their own identity.  When I write, I discuss either how grateful I am for both boys, or how frustrated I am.  And I feel like poor Warren gets the brunt of my frustrations.  So often I discuss his health conditions, reflux, colic, screaming, etc.  And he is the more difficult and fussier child by all means.  But, when he chooses to be sweet, he is also the sweetest boy.  Many of our pictures feature this face:

BUT, sometime you capture this one:

Here's what I have learned about Warren.  He is very inquisitive.  He loves watching you, figuring things out.  There is no gradual learning.  He takes it all in, and then just does it.  From the very beginning, that's what he did.  He started his room air trials in the NICU 3 weeks after Dean and came off breathing assistance on the same day.  He took over a week longer to start bottles and yet got his feeding tube out only a few hours later.  In early December, he couldn't pick his head up while on his belly.  A few days later he could pick it up and roll over.  Another few weeks and he could roll all 4 ways.  And this past week, on Tuesday he couldn't handle a pull-to-sit with the Early Interventionist.  Flopped right over, major head lag.  And yet, on Friday, he decided to start sitting by himself.  Not propping on his arms or leaning on something, just full on sitting.  No assist required.  Look at this kid!

Warren has also become my cuddler. I never would have imagined that after our NICU stay, but he loves to just sleep right on us.  I try to not do that too often, as he got spoiled with visitors and Daddy and now fights to fall asleep on his own.  But I can still only handle so much screaming (as can Dean before he wakes up) so Warren wins out and sometimes will fall asleep on me.  Such a sweetheart, and such tender moments we share.  I have to remind myself that he won't do this one day and make the most of the fact that he is not napping and I'm sure not getting that shower in...  But worth every second of it.  Speaking of which...he's now reached his max crying time for this "nap" and I'm going to rescue him.