Oh, what can I say about you? You are so much more than words or pictures can ever describe. I find as you get older, the harder it is to put my thoughts into words when it comes to you.
You are a force beyond words. And yet, you are compassionate.
You ask me regularly about the "owie in my tummy." You want me to show you where it is, then shower me with kisses, and hugs, and pats on my owie and declare it's "all better now."
I love how you are finally showing that independent streak that I know you have and dressing yourself, and starting your own movies. You've even tried to get your own breakfast and pour your own drinks. As much as I fear the mess that brings, I am ever so proud of you wanting to try.
You take in the world around you with such abandon. Nothing gets you down. You are so full of "why's" and I don't have all the answers, but you are so determined to find them.
I can't believe how much time has passed since those days before you were such a part of my life. You bring such joy to everyone you meet.
You are the very epitome of amazing. And I love every little bit of you.
Please be sure to visit and see Nicole's letter to her daughter.
And yet, that's normal. And not a concern? It couldn't be caused by something else internally going on. It's just "one of those things."
Let me just say this, though. I am ok. I do not feel the same amount of devastation I had from the first two. Maybe it's because I am truly lucky and blessed with my two. And content. They are my life and my miracles and I love having them in my life. The only two my body decided not to reject.
I can't remember how many times I've been told "I've never seen that before" in relation to some condition my body has dreamed up.
"I've never seen such an advanced case of endometriosis in someone so young."
"I've never seen a cervix dilate backwards."
"I've never seen gestational diabetes present so early."
"I've never seen a cyst like this following a miscarriage."
Enough already with the "I've never seen's." Why is it that even though I keep getting told "I've never seen that before" after I push my way into being evaluated, does the medical profession still not seem to think I know when somethings wrong. Why is it, that 6 weeks into this most recent bout, am I still fighting for recognition that something isn't right. That this isn't "normal" following a miscarriage.
I'm pretty sure the endometriosis is back, and I'm no longer sure how to get the doctors to do the testing needed for it. After all, endometriosis doesn't "normally" present this severely in such a short time. Never mind such a strong family history of it.....
So, long story short. In these last 6 weeks, I've had a miscarriage, followed immediately by a 6cm cyst that then ruptured (I thought the pain from the miscarriage was bad....). Then developed another cyst and a uterine fibroid on the right side.
(This post is going to be rather long, as this was a very eventful week we just had. And since this is part of a blog circle I participated in, I wanted to make sure you have a chance to visit Nicole's blog and read her letter to her daughter here.)
I am not even sure where to start this letter. This seems to be a common theme, I know. I am still processing the events of the past week in our lives, and as they are very important to the story of your life, I want to share them with you in a way that might help you remember when you are grown. And maybe even tell your own children someday.
You see, you are one very special little girl. You always have been. And you would still be even if you hadn't been born 11 weeks premature. And a 4 hour plane ride away. (To see more of this my dear, see this blog entry.) However, this part of your history is pivotal to your story.
We have JUST returned home from a visit to your NICU. That place we spent 47 long days, after 19 long days on bed rest. The place that haunts my memories, and yet holds a very special place in my heart. That place saved you. But I hate that you had to be there. That's quite a contradiction to wrap my head around.
I did ok, until we walked through those doors. Even now, I steal myself against the tears of remembering that moment. I can hardly explain the intensity of the feelings that washed over me as the sight of that hallway, and that very distinct smell of that NICU crashed into me like a tidal wave. While it didn't stop me in my tracks, oh did it hurt in a strange way. 4 years ago we walked out those doors and I swore I would never go back. Too much pain came with that place. But the people we left behind were too important to truly leave it all behind. We even went to your very room as it did not hold any tiny, sick babies at the moment (thankfully!) Your nurse even went so far as to make sure there was an isolette in the room so you could see it. So you could know just how much went into your care. Room 226. Straight down the hall from the entrance and off to the right. Probably one of the only rooms in the entire NICU without any windows.
As fascinated as you were, you seemed a little withdrawn. A little unsure of this machine in front of you. Almost afraid to touch it.
But your curiosity won out and you did. Even though you wouldn't put your hand inside to feel how warm it was in there.
Even now, just from looking back in my mind at the memory of walking in those doors and down that hall, I feel completely drained. The emotions sucked dry. That empty feeling that comes from being emotionally wasted. I did not expect that reaction. I was apprehensive to go, but I did not truly expect to be that overwhelmed by emotions. I don't know still that I have processed it all. Or that I ever will. There are moments that just define you. That just change the course of your life. Some of them, you chose to make happen. Some of them are thrown in your face when the rug is pulled out from under you and all you can do is stand back up and keep moving forward.
I think this moment defined me. Not you. As you will never be defined by your prematurity. You have proven time and again that prematurity will not hold you back. That it's just a word. That it's just a part of your story. But I will always, and forever, be a preemie mom.
You changed my life. Not in the "simple" way of "making" me a mother. But in showing me what I could do. That, as the Kutless song says, impossible is not a word...it's just a reason for someone not to try.
What an amazing person you are. You changed more lives than you will ever know. The hearts you touched while in the hospital, and the healing you gave.
And it doesn't really stop there. You seem to give hope . The more your story is shared. The more people who see you in all your 4 year old glory. Healthy, happy, spunky.
So for that very reason alone, I will keep sharing you, your life and your story. And I hope someday you will want to share it yourself. Stand up proud and say that prematurity did not hold you down. Did not keep you from achieving your dreams. It didn't define you, but you took the challenge by the head. You squared your shoulders and stuck your tongue out at the world. I am so very thankful you got to meet some of the people so pivotal to those first days. Not only did they care for you, but they cared for me. They gave me the strength to go on. To keep putting that foot in front of the other. There is much more detail to our trip than just our visit to the NICU, but that is another post, for another day. And, I think, what I want you to know the most as you grow up. The itty bitty details of getting on a plane, seeing some butterflies, cactus walks, meeting lots of new people, will always be there and you will probably remember it. But knowing that you changed lives, that you had an impact just by being born, that you won't know unless you are told.
Oh, what can I say about you? You are such a ham. All full of 2 year old wonder. And tantrums. The tantrums, man, sure don't remember those from your sister.
Speaking of your sister, one of the things you definitely have in common (most likely got it from me) is you like to put things in "order." Now, this order is only known to you, but an order it is. And don't you dare mess up your "order" unless you want to witness another of your infamous tantrums. You and your sister fight like dogs over your competing "orders."
You've also really started to copy everything she does. You are so in awe of her (most of the time) and just want to do everything she does. You go along so easily with her suggestions, and happily. You love to play with her. But I also think you love your time when it's just you. If I can judge anything by the fact that you take her favorite toy to bed at nap time when she's in school.
You are still a momma's boy and get insanely jealous when your sister is in my lap. You could be across the room, but once you see that she's crawled up into my lap for a snuggle, you are right over there demanding that she get down. That I'm "your" momma. Insert tantrum here when she doesn't oblige to your demand.
These cars go with you everywhere. It is so cute when you head into bed for your nap, or even bedtime, and you gather up as many cars as your little arms can hold and crawl into bed and cover them with your blanket. I don't know how it can be comfortable laying on all those little suckers, but you do.
Never mind the baby spoons, you want a "real" spoon. One of the ways you definitely are different from your sister is your outright refusal to still use "baby" things. You will not, for the life of me, sit in your booster seat at dinner. You have to sit on the chair like a "big boy." Unfortunately, this trait does not reach into our potty training efforts. As you have no problem sitting in your diaper and even refuse to sit on the potty anymore. You might be in diapers until you are 4 at this rate.
But despite it all, I love you. Every little bit of you. The way you laugh when you are being tickled and cry out "that tickles!" The way you run to me when I've been gone and throw your arms around my legs and shout "mommy!" The way you grin sheepishly when I ask you for a kiss and you plant an open mouth slobbery mess right on my lips. The way your little arms wrap around my neck and squeeze tight when you just want some comfort. The way you grab my hand and ask me to hold it. The way you crawl onto the couch and pat the seat next to you and declare "room for you, mommy!"
You are such a big part of my life. I couldn't imagine it any other way. Love you baby boy.
I know I haven't been the best mom these last few weeks. And that you have been struggling with the upheaval of our house and the coming changes. You never did like your "routine" messed with. And trying to prep a house for a potential sale can certainly mess with your routine.
You really are handling it like a champ though. You've been quite a bit less of a challenge than you could have been. There are, however, a few things I'm noticing about you lately.
You are eccentric by nature. You know what you like and you don't care what anyone else thinks about it. You've taken to wearing halloween costumes anywhere and everywhere. It was quite amusing to see the chuckles of the patrons at Chick-Fil-A as you sat eating your chicken nuggets in your lion costume.
You have this hideous (well, I think it's hideous anyway) Dora the Explorer dress that I can not get off of you. You wore it for a week straight once and only managed to talk you out of it because it stunk so badly that it absolutely needed to be washed.
You have a very strong will. I think this goes with knowing yourself and knowing exactly what you want. It lead to quite a few battle of the wills lately as you've decided you don't need to take mommy or daddy's answer if it's contrary to what you think the answer should be. We have found you several times hiding behind curtains, or in your tree house outside, munching on that snack we told you that you couldn't have. Because it was too close to dinner. You think time out is a joke and while you don't relish being in it, you don't seem to mind...
But you are compassionate, and seemed to be very concerned about Grandma Shirley's IV's when we went to visit her. You really have a lot of love in your heart when you decide to show it.
And are helpful, again, when you want to be. Sometimes your 'help' can be more of a hindrance than help...but we love the moments with you when you do chose to help.
Love you baby girl.
Be sure to check out Jennifer's letter to her daughter here and check back next month for another letter.
I know it's been awhile since we've really chatted. It's just that, there's not too much going on. (Or maybe there's too much?)
It's another long, cold winter. I think we all are starting to feel the cabin fever. We bake a lot of cookies (and eat them too. We are going to regret that.)
E spends a lot of time at school. And A spends a lot of time missing her.
But he does like the time hanging with daddy. And even some odd lunch dates with mommy. But he sure can't wait to go to school himself. (Slow down there buddy.)
A's language suddenly came in with a bang. Overnight he started speaking in sentences and showing understanding of the relationship. Last week, he saw a picture of a little boy on tv and said "Look, a boy like me!"
I think I about fell off the bed.
We also had to spend some more time sleep training...since mister thinks early mornings are appropriate. And mommy and daddy just don't. But like the smart boy he is, it only took a week and we are settling back into a better time to wake up.
A also has moved away from being as MUCH of a momma's boy as he was. He does like his time with daddy just as much now. I will admit to being a little sad of that. As much as the clinginess bothered me when he was smaller, I sure did grow to love it as he got older. Loved that he got so much comfort from me. He has, however, decided that a kiss makes a booboo all better so regularly comes crying to me with some owie just for a kiss. And sometimes he even makes up an owie just so he can give a kiss.
E is continuing to show her stubbornness and tenacity. We seem to like to be in our room for time outs from our disinterest in listening. In fact, just this morning, we had 3 time outs before 830. I know we are going to be thankful for that stubbornness in a few years...but for now, it kills us.
Both kids are sick at the moment...and that means for some cranky, crabby moments. For mommy and daddy as well who are exhausted from spring cleaning and possible upcoming renovations.
So we will leave you for now...Enjoy the rest of your winter and hopefully I'll be better at updating here again.