Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our little Glory girl

Time is passing by so quickly and my pregnancy is moving right along with it. Each and every day is so significant and special to me. There are many reasons but one of the main reasons is because I get to go through it with my sweet husband and kids right along side me. It's such a blessing to me to share it with them. Not a day goes by that we don't aknowledge our sweet daughter and little sister growing in mommy's tummy.

Asher likes to give me updates on the growth of my belly as if I don't notice for myself..."You're tummy is getting bigger"..."How much longer till she comes??"..."You look bigger today." That last one was my favorite because he said it when I was walking in front of him so I'm not quite sure how to take it. He states these things very matter of factly. Much like he does on a cloudy day when he says "It's going to rain" if he's the weather man.

Bella tells me every day that she is going to put the baby on her shoulder and sing "You are my sunshine" to her. She kisses my tummy, points to it and says "that's my sister". She is going to be a proud big sister. I'm going to have to break it to her that she is not her mommy. It will probably shock her, as Bella seems to have been born with an incredibly strong sense of mothering and nurturing.

It seems like this little girl may have inherited her daddy's night owl gene (as a matter of fact, he is outside watering the grass- it's 11:30 at night) because in the evenings and at night is when she seems most active. I told Brandon that when she comes they can keep each other company while mommy goes to sleep. Every time she really starts moving I tell him to hurry and put his hand on my tummy and every time he does, she stops. So I told him "See, you've got a way with her already, it works out perfect!" ;)

I can't wait to see what she will be like. I already know she is entering this world with a whole lot of love waiting to be poured out on her. When I think about the moment I get to hold her, I feel overwhelmed. In some ways I want to speed up time and in other ways I want to savor it all. You know how there are just those times in life that you know you will look back on and have such great memories of? This is one of those times.

After quite a few conversations, Brandon and I decided to name Glory, "Mia Glory." We've always referred to her as our little glory girl and we still knew that "Glory" should be part of her name. It's very much what she exemplifies in our life right now and always will. Glory means a number of things, one of them being "the splendor or bliss of heaven; perfect happiness." No other word could better define what this little girl means to us. When I started to feel like I should give her a name that would be easier to go through life with, the name Mia came up and when I found out that it means "my little girl" in spanish and italian, I knew that would be her name.

"Splendor or bliss of heaven" is quite possibly the most beautiful imagery that could be placed on a little life... And so "Mia Glory" is truly who this little girl has become to us. In every way.

Our little glory girl, we are waiting for you. We all love you so much already. Grow strong and big and when it is time for you to come, we will be ready to kiss the face of our little splendor of heaven.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taming the tiara wearing Toddler

Potty Training....

I've tried to put it off until I knew Bella was ready. She is not one to be pushed into anything that girl.

Asher was so easy, being the people pleaser he is, if he knew it made us happy he was all about it. As soon as he could understand what to do, we took him to Target, let him pick out big boy underwear and called it a day...potty trained by 2 1/2.

Bella on the other hand? The girl is smart. She knows what to do and she knows we want her to do it. She doesn't care. She is going to do it when and IF she is ready...more like willing. I'm not one to push my kids to do anything, particularly Miss Priss, because I don't want her to run in the opposite direction. Cause she will. She's like her daddy. I can't pester Brandon to do something, I simply have to ask in the most loving, wifely way possible and then let him do it when he is ready. It's a testing of my patience. Daily. You couldn't find two more opposite people but gosh I love him.

Back to the point...I would love to hear some tips or suggestions on successfully potty training a hard headed little girl. And when I say hard headed I mean that in the most positive way possible. When I was little, people used to tell me my mouth was going to get me in trouble (don't be shocked) but my mom always said it would instead be used for the Lord and His work. So, I am going to speak forth that this hard headed quality in my sweet angel girl, will be used for the Lord. One day. For now, it must be nurtured...channeled...conquered! Kidding. Well sort of.

Let it be clear that I am not making her do it before she is ready. She is definitely ready. When she brings me a diaper and wipes and tells me she needs to be changed, she is ready. Now, not later whenever she chooses to give in. I refuse to have a 3 yr old still in diapers, simply due to a stubborn streak. Not gonna do it.

My goal is to have her fully potty trained by November. Maybe this is a stretch, at minimum I would at least like to have her well on our way.

The other day, I sat with her for a good 10 minutes while she sat on her potty. We were having a fun 'ol time, talkin it up on everything from Abby Caddaby to the boo-boo on her knee. She had me take her picture, she hammed it up big time, thought she was hot stuff. After 10 minutes, I told her she could go play but if she needed to go potty come tell me right away. Two minutes...TWO minutes later, she comes downstairs with a big smile on her face and tells me she went potty. In Asher's room.

Lord help me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Remembering Faith

Today is one year from the day we met our sweet daughter Faith Marie face to face.

I can still see her little face when I close my eyes and take myself back to that hospital room, Brandon at my side and our close family members surrounding us. I will never forget the love I felt in the room that night. The peace and strength of those around me girding me in prayer.

There is a lot I vividly remember to that night, but not much I will share. Maybe one day. For now they are memories. Some painful, some still heart wrenching, yet others bring me hope and remind me of the new faith that was stirred in my heart in those moments.

My sisters made me a frame with some very special pictures that were taken that night.It is one of the most precious things anyone has ever given me and I treasure it like I do the special frame they made for Grace Ann as well. The frames sit on a window sill in Bella's room. I look at them almost every day. Today, I looked at Faith's a little longer, as I remembered that day 1 year ago.

I would love to tell you about my sweet girl. She had her daddy's lips. She was soft and precious and so innocent and pure. When I held her, she had already left this world to go and be with our sweet Jesus in heaven, but I was and still am, so thankful that I was able to hold her. I remember fighting through all of the pain medication, the aching empty feeling in my stomach, the burning pain in my lower abdomen from where she had been taken, the tears blurring my focus. Focus on her, focus on the moment. I wanted to remember it all. I knew I would look back on that time and want to remember the details. I made it a point to look at every part of her. I unwrapped her from her little blanket and studied her feet- she had toes like her Aunt Jacquelin. I memorized her hands and even turned her around to look at her scrawny little butt because that's always my favorite on a newborn baby. She was perfect.

She may not have been completely developed yet, but in my eyes she was perfect. All she had left to do was put on weight, but other than that she was a perfectly formed little baby girl.

I know I leave a lot of blanks in my "story." Many don't even know why we lost Faith at 23 weeks or what happened. I will try to fill in the gaps as much as my heart will allow me to, but that part of my heart is still very much guarded. The details, the memories stay locked away for the most part but today, the day she was brought into the world for just a small fragment of earthly time, I want to talk about her, and to tell her story.

I want to remember her.

We had complications from about 10 weeks on in my pregnancy with Faith. It began with some spotting and we found out I had a tear between the placenta and the uteran wall. The weeks went on and honestly now trying to recall, I can't quite put a specific time line on it all. I just remember going weeks with nothing happening and then suddenly I would start bleeding. We thought the tear had healed, but it hadn't and it was causing my amniotic fluid to leak along with the bleeding, which therefore meant Faith's lungs were at risk to not develop properly. I ended up in the hospital on bed rest at about 22 weeks. I remember the number 24 being this magic number everyone kept mentioning and I wanted so badly to get to that point. At 24 weeks she would be considered "viable" and would have a slightly better chance at surviving on the outside. Although not ideal as the first part of her life would be spent fighting and struggling through every breath.

I was sent home on strict bed rest with the understanding that I would most likely be back in the hospital to stay for as long as I could keep Faith growing. I struggled with this. It was so hard for me to imagine being away from my kids and husband, yet I knew I needed to do it for my little girl. I've tried before to put this into words, but I simply can't. All I know is this was one of the hardest things I've had to face. My heart was at home, being a mom and a wife. But physically my body was in a hospital room being monitored continuously and not even able to get up on my own to use the restroom.

It was humbling, it was breaking and it was life changing. I couldn't do this all on my own. I couldn't be everything to everyone and be perfect at it all. What a lesson to be learned.

The night of August 3rd at 23 weeks, knowing I'd be going back to the hospital soon, I sat in Bella's room, rocking her to sleep...and I prayed. I had prayed continuously though out the pregnancy but this prayer and the heart it was coming from was different. I prayed to God to let His will be done. I told him I just wanted to be home with my family yet my heart was breaking for this little girl inside of me ..that I wanted to hold her in my arms and have everything be ok with her but I was tired and I couldn't fight anymore.

In those same moments I felt a flood of tears come over me. It was overwhelming and uncontrollable. Up until that very point, I was fighting as hard as I could for my baby's life. I was relentless and hardly allowed myself to cry... to show weakness. I felt like it would seem as though I had given up. And so I refused. I would not cry and I would not give up. But that night, as I sat praying, rocking my two girls- one in my arms and one growing inside of me, I cried.

I released it all to God. I gave it to Him. I stopped trying to fight on my own and I let myself cry.

Within the hour, I completely ruptured and began to bleed uncontrollably. Brandon rushed me to the hospital and after discussion and a decision made by the Dr. on call, it was decided I would be taken in to surgery for an emergency c-section. I remember being rolled away, looking back at Brandon and seeing concern and fear, written all over his face. He had been right by my side the whole time. My heart hurt for him. I wanted to keep fighting for him...for her. But I couldn't. I physically couldn't anymore.

I didn't realize the depth of what was happening. I knew my baby was ok, I heard her heart on the monitors, loud and strong. The nurses had reassured me that she was ok. Even as my body was failing me, she was still fighting. I can still hear her heartbeat echoing through the room as people all around me fought to keep us both alive.

Laying in the stark white room, a sheet being draped in front of me, the world fading around me, I felt relieved. My thoughts began to fade, the noise went silent, vision went blank...The decision was no longer on me, the weight was off of my shoulders. It wouldn't be all on me to fight for this little girl anymore.

I didn't realize it was basically inevitable that she would not have much chance to live. Her lungs were not mature enough and I'm told she fought to take a breath but couldn't. Her first breath was in the arms of Jesus.

Faith Marie was born on August 4Th, 2009 weighing a little over 1 pound. She passed away soon after birth. She and her sister Grace are buried in a very special spot. On family land in Seguin, in a place called Sunset Hill. I imagine there are many scenes just like it in heaven.

We will all be together one day. I will get to see her daddy hold her in his arms again and fall deeper in love. I will see those pouty lips turn into a smile and I will catch a peek of her little baby booty again.

Until then I will always remember our Faith.

I don't believe it is by accident or coincidence that I sit here, one year from the day, nearly 23 weeks pregnant with a healthy, kicking, perfect little girl growing inside of me. I cherish the time I have her with me. Sharing it with my two breaths of heaven and the most loving daddy I could imagine.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My little Superhero

Asher has been running around here in his underwear and Superman cape, jumping off anything he least until I can catch him and tell him my furniture is not a jungle gym. He has heard that phrase so many times in his short life that I am sure it will be one that sticks with him forever. He'll catch himself saying it to his own kids one day and realize he's become his mother. Oh wait, no that's me.

I don't know what it is but the last few weeks he just seems to be growing up before my very eyes. Where did my newborn baby boy go? Maybe it's my hormones (which Brandon will tell you are totally wacky right now) but I feel like he is just getting way too big. I got teary eyed yesterday as I watched my dad bouncing him around like a wild child on his knee. I saw him as a newborn for a second and then remembered he is 4 1/2 now.

He had Brandon tie a red string around his head (apparently this made him look like more of a superhero?... What do I know, I'm just a girl) and he ran around in his Spiderman underwear and red Superman cape (he doesn't discriminate between superheros) pretending to fly. We made a name for him "Asher Dasher the Superhero"... He loved it. I told him he was so cute and that he would always be my little superhero but apparently I was cramping his tough guy act because he ran off as fast as he could making superhero noises (I'm assuming that's what they were, but again, what do I know).

The ironic thing of it all is that he has never seen an episode or movie of any kind with any of these superheros in it. I am convinced it is an innate characteristic of every little boy to: love cars, balls, superheros, airplanes, trucks, tools... to make noises with there mouths, jump off anything that is above ground, throw any liftable object just to see what happens to it and where it might land, to torment their sister (and mom) with odd "experiements" (like sticking a sprinkle up his sisters nose).... and ultimately hold his mama's heart in the palm of his hand.

Yes, we have officially entered that Superhero phase. I tried to hold on to Mickey and Curious George as long as I could knowing of course this was all inevitable. My heart feels torn between holding on to that little baby boy with pouty lips that stole my heart and the big boy in a superman cape pretending to save the world. I guess we have to let them grow up at some point, but in my heart he will always be my baby boy, no matter how big he or his cape gets.