Friday, May 26, 2017

10 year anniversary

Image may contain: one or more people

10 entire decade.  It seems like a long time and, yet, not long enough.  Our decade together has been filled to the brim with joy and happy memories, great trips and shows, quiet moments and cuddles, and heartbreak and sorrow.  Through it all, I have learned immeasurably about love, sacrifice, and family.

I still remember those moments, exactly 10 years ago to the minute, when I was waiting in my white wedding dress to be escorted down the aisle.  I wasn't the least bit nervous or unsure, confident of the 22-year-old versions of us, with just a touch of anticipation.  I was so excited to finally begin our life together, to set off on new adventures, to wake up with you by my side.  Those first years were relatively carefree.  Don't get me wrong, we both worked hard, but we had no major stressors, and a lot of fun.  Weekends were spent lounging by the pool, visiting with friends, studying or playing golf, and getting to know each other.

No automatic alt text available.

And then came some hard years.  Years of infertility, of wondering if our hopes of ever having children would be fulfilled.  You held my hand as I sobbed over another failed month, more negative results and bad news, and countless tests.  You stood by my side, never once blaming me for what my body was failing to do, encouraging me even when I refused to listen to what you said.

And then we celebrated pure joy, as we planned and prepared to bring our daughter into this world.  I loved watching your face as you talked about your little girl, as you played with my hair while I napped, as we planned out her room.  And then she was gone, just like that.  And we both learned so much through the pain of her death.  Some of my most tender memories are with you during those weeks following.  I remember how you held me that night before she was born, sleeping for the only time in her nursery.  How you rubbed my back through my contractions, reading scriptures to me to calm me, loving us both so perfectly.  And I remember the expression on your face when you saw your daughter for the first time, as she was laid silently in my arms, pure love.

Image may contain: 1 person

You were just as supportive when I was pregnant with Dean and Warren - in an out of the hospital several times, on bed rest.  You handled all the cooking and cleaning during that whole time, in addition to your job and managing doctor appointments, and never once complained.  You were pushed to the brink of your comfort zone during those months and learned far more than you ever expected or wanted to know.  And yet, every night, you cuddled up with me in that hospital bed, holding me tight, praying over your children.

Ironically, it was the months and years after we brought home the boys that would test us the most.  The sleepless nights, the stress of feeding, the colic and crying and crying and crying (and crying..), the years of isolation and inability to just settle into "normal," the therapy appointments, the weekly goals, the growth chart.  Having children instantly exposed our weaknesses, and how much we need our God.  We're still in this stage of learning how to love each other well while balancing the demands of some very demanding kids.  But, there is no one I'd rather have by my side, for any of these moments.  No one else I want to fall asleep with or wake up next to.  No one else I want to share my heart with.  I love you for your ability to make me smile, your strength when I am falling apart, your desire for good things for your family, your devotion to your children, your work ethic, and mostly for how you lead our family.  Always & Forever.  Happy 10 year anniversary to the best husband and father a girl could ever ask for!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The silence of drowning

So, we had a few seconds of excitement this morning in the Savant household.  First of all, it was such a fun morning.  It's been a long time since we've had a full morning at home without having anything going on - no school, no church, no MOPS, no play dates or trips to the park.  So, we played.  And played hard.  We made a big breakfast together, all ate around the table, then made pretend breakfast in the playroom kitchen.  We played hide and seek and chase and laughed lots.  And then we got dressed and headed outside to the pool.

Hannah LOVES the pool.  She just walks around on our sun shelf or around the bench portion of the spa.  I would never think of leaving her out there, but she's remarkably safe and never tries to leave where she can't touch.  She HATES her life jacket and actually throws herself backwards to get out of it, so it sometimes feels less safe to have her in that, especially if I'm already planning on being in the pool with them.  So, Hannah is walking in the spa.  Over and over and over.  Every time she gets to the pool side, she stops and waves and smiles.  Warren and Dean are playing with her.  It's a glorious time.  Then, Dean decides he wants to swim in the "big" pool.  Without his puddle jumper.  We're working on their swimming, but they're certainly not what I would consider "swimmers."  So, I get in the big pool with Dean to help him, keeping my eye on Warren and Hannah in the attached hot tub aka "little pool."  Everyone is having fun.  And then Hannah goes under.  I'm fairly sure that Warren helped create this situation, but I couldn't actually see that from my point of view.  As quickly as my pregnant body will allow, I get to Hannah and pull her right out.  She was completely fine - under for at most 10 seconds.  She didn't seem scared, never coughed or was out of breath, just calmly sunk to the bottom with her big eyes wide open, staring straight up, waiting for someone to rescue her.

So, here's what struck me.  I was never worried that Hannah was drowning, because I saw the point when she went under and was there quickly.  But if my back had been turned?  If Dean was needing more help in the big pool?  If someone else was loud and distracting me?  Here's the thing...Hannah was silent.  No splashing, no noise.  And Warren?  Warren was literally inches away from her and wasn't alarmed in the slightest.  No helping her, no calling out for Mommy.  Just watching his baby sister sink.  I stressed to him after this that Hannah couldn't swim, that he needed to help or yell or something if he ever saw someone under the water like that.  His response?  Blank stare.  And a "but she was in my way" comment that got the initial suspicion going.

So, from now on, Hannah stays with me in whichever pool I'm in.  Not convenient, but I'm only going to get slower.  And if I miss the initial under the water moment, well, things can be very different.  Any looking a bit more intensely at some swim lessons for her!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day

I started a Bereaved Mother's Day post on that day last week, and I just haven't been able to let myself get back in the mindset to finish it.  The lack of nap times, the start of a new job, the pregnancy hormones.  Well, it all makes for writing anything that requires focus and meaning a bit more difficult.

So, this year, on Mother's Day, I'm going to focus on the children I have in front of me.  I'm still thinking of and missing my sweet Reagan.  I'm still worrying over this little boys who still refuses to move, anxiously awaiting our echo and ultrasound next week to figure out a little more of what is going on.  Those are still heavy on my heart.  But, this morning my kiddos (and mostly my husband) made me feel extra special!

My morning started by being woken by 3 cute kids in their jammies.  Dean and Warren came running in to wish me Happy Mother's Day in a true boy fashion - door flung open, a bit of screaming, and some jumping on the bed.  I was greeted with my very own breakfast in bed complete with yogurt, fruit, and gluten-free pancakes, no easy early morning feat.  My sweet boys gobbled up all my fruit and half of my pancakes, leaving me with some Greek yogurt.  I tried sharing that with Hannah, who gave me a look of horror as she promptly spit it back out on her jammies and my sheets :).  Doesn't get any better than this!

This was my first ever year getting those adorable fill-in-the-blank cards made at school, and they made my heart melt.  (Thank you Tammy!!)  I have realized, though, that perhaps my kids have never actually looked at me.  And clearly have no concept of age.  And had NONE of the same answers, so at least life isn't too predictable here.  But their little personalities just showed through, made me laugh and smile.  Perfect answers for their 3 year old hearts.  And the coloring I received on their other papers and cards - well, let's just say it was nice to feel so loved.