Monday, April 21, 2014


Easter is one of those holidays I didn't think about too much until right before it arrived.  It was never heavily celebrated in our household.  Good Friday service, Easter Sunday service, lunch...and I just went on with my life.  I know that sounds terrible.  I knew the significance of Easter, knew the sacrifice Jesus made for me, knew that was the one and only reason I would go to heaven...but Monday was just another day.  Really, the Saturday in between was just another day as well.

Having children in heaven makes Easter that much more real to me.  I understand better the sacrifice God made by sending His Son to die, knowing the pain He would endure, and allowing it to happen to save a bunch of sinners who deserve nothing.  I would never intentionally allow my children to hurt.  Sleep training last night, listening to Warren's screams, I sat at the kitchen table and just cried.  And I knew he wasn't even in physical pain.  So, the sacrifice for God to send Jesus to rescue me takes on a whole new meaning.  In the past 2 years I have said goodbye to two children and watched two more fight for their lives.  Both processes are incredibly painful.  And yet, God chose to do it.  For me.  Wow.

Easter signifies Christ's triumph over death.  "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  Because of that, because of Christ's selfless sacrifice, I can rest assured that I will be reunited with Reagan.  My sweet daughter is laughing and playing and enjoying her Creator because of Easter.  Praise the Lord!  And, again I reflect on what a celebration Easter must be in Heaven.  Oh, how I can't wait to know!

I still love looking at Reagan's painting, seeing how my mom created her to be so beautiful and happy, capturing everything I ever imagined for her in a single moment.  Just beautiful.  One of my fellow Hope Mommies shared this with me, and I love it even more as I think about Easter.  "They say that time in heaven is compared to a blink of an eye for us on this earth, sometimes, it helps me to think of my daughter running on ahead of me through a beautiful field of wildflowers and butterflies. I imagine her so utterly happy and completely caught up in what she is doing, that by the time she turns around to see if I'm behind her...I will be"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


To kick off the end of isolation, we took the boys to their very first Clemson game.  We did a single tailgate last year which is such a blur now.  I think I spent more time trying to feed the boys/pumping in the car than I did actually out at the game.  But this time, we explored Clemson a bit.  We took the boys downtown to do some window shopping.  And, along the way, we ran into Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins!  They signed our boys jerseys and smiled awkwardly for a picture before getting in trouble for signing merchandise not purchased in the store...oops.  But who can resist twins??

Next we walked through campus, across Bowman field, and into the amphitheatre where Andrew officially asked me to be his girlfriend back 11 years ago.  Hmmm...that suddenly makes me feel old.  They loved it.  Warren looked all around, inquisitive and taking it all in.  Dean gave big goofy grins.  And we received the expected number of "are those twins??" questions.  Still not quite sure what to say to that...
Taking in Bowman and watching the frisbee/football games

Family shot in the amphitheater 

After all that excitement, we headed into the stadium.  Warren was a little terrified and clung to me for dear life.  He never cried (except when Grandpa was holding him and yelled at the game...) but we could tell he wasn't super excited about it.  Dean, on the other hand, loved every second of the game.  His blue eyes sparkled and he laughed the whole time.  Such big grins.  Overall, they did far better than we ever thought they would.  I think we paid for it the next day, though, as we fully expected we would.  Still trying to get them back on track now...

Friday, April 11, 2014


Today, I am longing for what I have missed.  I'm not sure why these recent days have been more difficult...possibly sleep deprivation?  Possibly spending more time with some amazing Hope Mommies and sharing Reagan's story?  Possibly seeing all the hugely pregnant women on FB and realizing how much my boys missed out on?

Coming home outfits.  I have several friends pregnant and due any second now all posting about coming home outfits.  Ouch.  Reagan had no outfit...her tiny little body was too small for even the little tutu I brought with me to the hospital.  Her head didn't fill out the handmade hat.  With my boys, we didn't know exactly when they would come home.  Dean came home in something semi-cute, but we were so heartbroken at leaving Warren behind it was one of those bittersweet moments.  Warren coming home was a complete and utter surprise.  I don't even know what he wore home...whatever the nurse decided to put him in that morning I suppose.  Don't get me wrong, I was delighted to have him come home a day early.  But it was a frantic rush to gather 3 months worth of stuff from our NICU area, put it in bags, and get picked up.  No cute little matching smocked outfits as I had once dreamed.  And, they came home to a room full of random junk as they had no nursery yet.  Never what I dreamed for us and the first children we would get to bring home.  Never dreamed that I would even have to clarify that - first children vs. first ones home.  Makes me long for heaven and our future so much!

On a positive note, we are headed to Clemson this weekend!  That's right, no more isolation.  The boys will attend their very first Clemson game since we weren't allowed in crowds this fall.  The spring game.  Should be so much fun!  I am excited to get to take them to downtown Clemson and walk the streets where Andrew and I fell in love.  It will also be their very first shopping trip!  They've never set foot in single store, restaurant, etc before.  I hope to have some great pictures along with reports that they did well with the change in schedule (gulp) for next week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wire Free

After more than 9 months of constant monitoring and wires, we are all now officially wire free!  Warren has finally graduated from his apnea monitor!  I don't think I realized how much time we spent prepping those pads and wrapping the strap around his chest until we didn't have to do it for the first time last night.  And we were ready for bed so much faster!  Sweet Warren gets to have lotion on his chest for the very first time.  And nothing uncomfortable poking him and rubbing him all day and night!  Swaddling is easier.  I don't have to worry about stepping on the wires or getting them caught in the crib as I lay that sleeping child down to bed.  No more "loose lead" alarms in the middle of the night because he wiggles WAY too much for these baby monitors.  God is so GOOD!  All outward, blaring signs of their preemie-ness is gone as they continue to grow and develop.
If you look closely, guess what you see.  Nothing!  No wires sticking out of those pants!!  Woohoo!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


April 1.  The day we've been counting down to is finally here!  The end of isolation.  That's right.  Look out world, here come the Savants!

Maybe... Well, let's face it, things change when you spend 14 months confined to your home or the hospital.  And ultimately, I'm a little terrified to bring the boys out in public.  Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited for them to meet people, to take them to church, to bring them to the office.   I can't wait for the freedom we're about to have.  But...their lungs are still weak.  If they catch a respiratory illness, it can still send them right back to the hospital.  I shutter when I think of events like church...everyone shaking hands when they get there, sending their germ infested children along after holding their hand walking into the sanctuary, sitting in the service and scratching their faces.  And THEN walking up to us, greeting us with a smile, and touching Dean's hand...which immediately goes into his mouth.  Uck.  The whole "you have to build an immune system by exposing them to germs" thing absolutely does NOT apply to micro preemies with chronic lung disease.

So, how does one communicate this nicely while in public?  Please don't touch my child?  Put them in a onesie that says "You can look but don't touch"? Or "Share your prayers not your germs"?  How do we kindly let people know that the end of isolation doesn't mean our boys can now interact normally with other adults or children?? (Besides blogging about it and hoping everyone who may come in contact with them reads this and understands...subtle, I know)  I'm going to have to invest in industrial strength hand sanitizer and just squirt it on people's hands if they come relatively close to us.  Any advice/help from you other preemie mamas out there??

That being said, there is so much hope moving forward.  We survived our first winter of isolation.  The boys can see people who haven't had a flu shot...after they've scrubbed up to their elbows for 1 minute and only have healthy children of course!  I am taking them to visit Andrew at his office tomorrow.  The boys first trip indoors that is not to a doctor's office!  Then, I may stop somewhere on my way home.  Who knows, cause I can do that now!  How freeing it will be!  And yesterday we went for a walk without screaming in the stroller the whole time.  Praise the Lord!  Baby steps...all about the little things.

So tomorrow we will cautiously reenter society (armed with sanitizing wipes, lysol, hand sanitizer) as the boys visit daddy for the first time.