Sunday, February 28, 2010

How'd I do...

Hmmmm....good question. How'd I make out surviving the first birthday of my sweet boys...the day I remember with such bittersweet emotions, the day I said hello to two and goodbye to one.
Well it was actually not too bad. My emotions were high in the morning but my mom called and came, with my sister in law and nephew to spend the day with us. We went and got Cameron's birthday pictures taken and then had lunch.
Lunch probably had my only other emotional moments but they were kept entirely hidden. You see my nephew was born 3 weeks after Cameron. My mom, and entire family, planned for these THREE babies to share close birthdays and grow up together. I say my mom because she was the shopper Grandma who bought 3 of everything for her grandbabies. At lunch Cameron and Joel sat together and made a huge mess!!!! It was hard to watch them together and awesome too.
When we had cake that night...see photos below...I expected to tear up, expected to have trouble singing Happy Birthday. But that didn't happen, not then and not when we've had cake and singing any of the 3 times we have for this special birthday. I had thought I'd NEED to send a sky lantern up to Cole in Heaven for his birthday but it just didn't seem as important as it did back in December.
I don't know why this is but I suspect it is because we lost Cole 11 weeks before his birthday and though I know that this should have been his birthday, should have been the day I welcomed them both into the world with great joy I think my heart really feels like Cole never had a birthday. We never got to plan for a joyful arrival day, we knew for 11 weeks that we would welcome our still and silent son. It hurt so much but it was reality. So many of my TTTS mommy pals did welcome two babes into the world, they did have 2 birthdays to celebrate...and unfortunately a few days later they have an angelversary to celebrate.
Part of me will always have some sadness on my twins birthday but I think the joy outweighs the sorrow. Cameron brings sunshine and happiness to everyone he meets and has brought immense joy to my life. I need to celebrate his day for the miracle it is. It came so close to not happening, and so so so very close to not happening in February for sure. The progression of the TTTS was so rapid that another 3-4 hours without the surgery could certainly have meant death for him. It definitely would have meant permanent disability....there were so many large vessels connected our boys that the drop in blood pressure would NEVER have produce anything but catastrophic results. Cameron was severely anemic after the loss of Cole...this too could have had horrible outcomes but was caught and fixed right away. My water broke 3 weeks later when Cameron was definitely at micro-preemie size (he was 650 grams...not even really on the charts yet for growth). Had he been born then he would have been on intense breathing support, he would have endured trial after trial in the NICU and would very likely have had some negative outcomes.
But God is good and his (and our)angel Cole is good...and Cameron was absolutely and perfectly fine when he arrived 54 days later. God is amazing and performs such amazing miracles. He rewards us for our faithfulness and trust. He promises to be with us, to protect us and to bring us home to Him and all our loved ones in Heaven...all we need to do is believe.
Well I believe, I have Hope and Faith, and I know, one day, I will celebrate this birthday in Heaven with this perfect son of mine after having celebrated years of birthdays with this perfect son of mine on Earth.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Miracle Boys!

Wow, a year has gone by since we welcomed our boys into the world. I've read through all the posts from last year at this time and it, of course, brings tears to my eyes. I am so very emotional today but also so filled with joy and hope for us all. Cameron has brought joy to so many people and Cole has brought Hope for so many.
Of course I just wish I was making cakes for two, buying cute matching outfits for two boys to get their one year photo taken in and really wish that I was sitting here thinking 'where did the last year go, I was so busy with my twins that it's all a blur and I don't remember much'. Instead I am trying to find a way to include Cole in the cake (an angel food cake with butterfly candies on it), am taking Cameron today for his photo, alone, and can remember clearly so many of the moments in the last year because I treasured each and every one with this little miracle who endured so much and came so close atleast twice to not being here with us at all.
Just as I started typing that last paragraph Cameron yelled and cried from his room where he's supposed to be napping. I went in and picked him up...and began to cry. He snuggled in and wrapped his arms around me (he never snuggles like that) and kept looking up at me and putting his hands on my tears. I wish I was holding them both but I am so grateful to God that I am still holding him and that I can appreciate life so much more now.
My sons have taught me so much about myself and life. I am so very blessed to be the mom of twins, the mom of Cole and Cameron, the mom of a pair of twin miracles!!!
Here's something I wrote to honour this day;

Two Miracle Sons

One year ago I welcomed you into the world with tears of joy.
Your loud cry breaking my heart
Your sweet face touching my soul
Your tiny, active body making my arms ache.

One year ago I welcomed you into the world with tears of sorrow.
Your silence breaking my heart,
Your still face touching my soul
Your broken body making my arms ache.

One year ago I ached to be allowed to hold you and say hello.
One year ago I ached as sobs racked my body when I held you and said goodbye.

In the last year I have watched you, a baby, born too soon and too small,
Grow into this strong feisty little boy
Who is so full of joy
And truly has the heart and soul of two.

In the last year I have gathered with friends and family
To say goodbye to you, a baby who touched so many hearts
Without ever meeting anyone
And have tended a garden built out of love to honour you.

In the last year I have learned that joy and sorrow can go hand in hand.
In the last year I have learned that it truly is better to have loved and lost
Than to have never loved at all.
In the last year I have learned to appreciate every ounce gained, milestone met
And every single minute with my children.
I have learned I am strong,
I can help and inspire others,
And I will not hide from this grief.

One year ago I became the mother of two identical miracles
And I will forever be thankful for all you both have given me.

I love you both so much, Happy Birthday boys!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Ups and the Downs

I had no idea what to use a title for this entry. It’s been a few weeks since I blogged and the last time I did I was writing about the possibility that maybe my desire to help others and obsession with all things TTTS was maybe not the healthiest thing I could be doing.
And then I seemed to disappear from the face of the earth…well the cyber earth anyway. I’ve been back to work for 2 weeks and am home today for a specialist appointment for Cameron and then the weather got crappy so I came home instead of going in this afternoon.
And so hear I am at the computer again and I have so many thoughts in my head.
It’s been an okay transition back to work. I am doing a good job I think and feel valued and successful there. But the stress level of managing things here and working has been a bit high…but we’ll get through this.
The stress level at work was high last week too….and I had part of an afternoon full of tears and emotions. I was sitting in one of the classes I support when I realized that there very likely was a set of twins in the class as there were 2 girls celebrating their birthdays on Friday (the 19th). As I looked around the room hoping to figure out who these two girls were I identified one of them but couldn’t find the other. The first one left the room and a few minutes later I saw her enter it again…. And then a few minutes later she entered again???? Yup you guessed it, not just twins but identical twins.
I spent the next half hour staring at them, watching them interact with each other and with their friends and teacher. I was full of emotion and trying so hard not to lose it. I finally gave in and left the room and had myself a big ol cry in the staff bathroom. I felt stupid and embarrassed and so very alone. It is so hard to be in a new place where no one really knows you and none of them ‘lived’ it with me like my old staff. I had no one to turn to, no one to give me a hug when I really needed one. In the end though I did okay. I talked to the teacher later and she was so wonderfully kind and understanding…and totally expects that it’ll happen again…and she’s cool with that.
Knowing that was my reaction, I know that I am going to be filled with emotion on Friday when I celebrate the day I welcomed my sons into this world….and therefore plan to stay home and protect myself and my mental health….and enjoy the moments with my kids.
Ironically I have to add this info to the twins who just had a birthday...they were born Feb. 19 and weighed about 4lbs. They were due April 3rd. Where is the irony??? Cameron and Cole were born on Feb. 26th (one week later than the girls) and were due April 9th (one week later than the girls due date) and Cameron weighed 4lbs 1.5 oz. Bizarre eh!!!

And now back to the positives…the ups. I have discovered one of the reasons I am drawn to TTTS mom’s and the sites I visit….because I do make a difference and so do my boys and the story of their journey. A few months ago I connected with a woman in England named Tara through facebook. Her boys were not doing well, she was only about 22 weeks and had had the surgery but it was believed to not be a success. It looked like TTTS was reversing and it also looked like her donor, Noah, would not survive. When we first connected (she requested my friendship) I had no idea what to say to her or to her comments. She was blunt about how hard my life must have been and still is and that she didn’t know how she’d go on if and when she lost Noah. She didn’t understand my faith and didn’t really believe in God. She felt that He couldn’t be great if he allowed these things to happen to us.
I explained how my faith grew because it HAD to. That I had to believe that Cole was in God’s arms, that he was at peace and that I would see him again. I told her that I knew Cole had kept Cameron safe and that I felt that Cole and God wanted me on this TTTS journey.
We continued to chat frequently and really connected. Last night we chatted on facebook and she told me that she plans to name her donor, her little baby who needed the help of my angel, Noah Cole. And yup, I cried, and I am crying now. And right now, at less than 29 weeks gestation, Noah and Jack are likely on their way to the world as Tara went into labour a few hours after she told me this heartwarming news about honoring my little angel.
And so that is why I am the TTTS mommy I am. I need to be there, I need to make a difference and I know my angel son does too…he has a purpose and a job too!!!

One last thing…a quote I found…
The true voyage of self discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Post.