Thursday, November 15, 2012
Now, I am a pretty positive person. It takes quite a bit to knock me down. Especially when it comes to my kids. I am a "go with the flow" kind of person and I generally take everything that comes at us with a smile on my face. Even when Cooper was a baby, still on oxygen and hospitalized twice. Yes, I was worried but I stayed positive and just saw it as another bump in our extremely bumpy road that we were traveling down. Or when the babies were in the NICU. I was scared every day after they were born and in the NICU. It was an incredibly scary time. I cried more in that 4 1/2 months of our NICU stay then I ever have before in my life. But still, through all those tears, I tried to stay positive. I was happy that I had babies, so I tried to stay positive no matter what happened.
But, wow, this last couple of months has been hard. I am tired. More tired than I've been in a long time. I'm sure I was this tired when my kids were babies, but I think that is one of the things I have blocked from my memory.
When the kids were babies, we did everything we could to keep them healthy. No one was allowed in our house if they were sick, or if someone in their household was sick. No one could come over if they hadn't gotten a flu shot. We limited the number of kids that we allowed to visit. A lot of our family didn't meet the babies until they were a little older because we didn't allow visitors outside our immediate family in the NICU. I made everyone wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, wear clean clothes and take off their shoes before they came in my house. We avoided public places during cold and flu season like the plague.
My kids couldn't get sick when they were babies. A common cold literally could have killed them. Seriously. Even with all of our precautions, Cooper still ended up in the hospital twice. The day after he was released from the hospital the second time we called 911 because he choked so bad while eating that he quit breathing and turned some ugly shades of purple and blue.
We tried hard to keep them healthy. And for the most part, we did. I thanked God everyday that I was able to do that for them.
I took a lot of grief from a few people for being so high-strung about germs and not letting them get sick. I heard more times than I could count, "You have to let them get sick. They will never build up an immunity if they don't get sick now." Yes, this was in fact true, but it was different for my kids. I knew that if I was successful in keeping them healthy as babies that they would be sick a lot once I started taking them out in public more but I was OK with that.
The first year that we were more relaxed about germs wasn't too bad. They got sick, but nothing too major. Now this year has been different. I knew once they started school they would be sick a lot.
But I honestly didn't think it would be like this. This bad. This CONSTANT sickness.
I guess I have been feeling a little defeated. Tired. Exhausted. Broke down.
Here's the thing though. The reason I am going to change my thinking RIGHT NOW and be happy that I have sick kids. What????? Did I really say that I am going to be happy about having sick kids? Yes, yes I did.
Having sick kids means that I have kids. Four of them. Something that for a few years I thought I would never have.
When I did finally get pregnant it was with four babies. It wasn't going to be this dream pregnancy with one sweet little baby. Even though I was finally pregnant, I still didn't know if I would make it home with any babies. I had faith that it was going to be OK, because that's how I generally think about things, but in the back of mind I really didn't know what the outcome would be.
Then when they were born at 23 weeks I really didn't know if I would bring any babies home.
But I did. I brought four healthy babies home.
I am so incredibly, beyond belief, blessed.
For some reason, God gave me these kids. He let me witness the most amazing miracle I have ever seen.
How can I not be happy that I have sick kids? Having sick kids means that I am a MOM.
Ahhhhh.......Mom! The most wonderful name I have ever been called. A name that fills me with more love and joy than ever imaginable. Even when it's in the middle of the night and followed by a cough, sniffle or a sad "I don't feel good" cry. Amazing. Simply Amazing. Most awesome job EVER, even when they are sick.
Tomorrow will be a better day. I really believe that. Even if someone else is sick. It will be better
because I am going to make it be better. When I look at these four sweet little faces, how could I ever not be happy?
Now excuse me, I get to go snuggle a tired little boy that needs his momma. I am so blessed!
Thursday, October 11, 2012
So far, the kids have been sick with colds and croup twice and the stomach flu once. Two months in to school and three illnesses? Oh my. If I was forced to pick an illness, I would take the colds over the stomach flu any day! Colds might last longer, but the flu is horrible! It started with Brett on a Tuesday and thankfully only lasted about 4 hours. Then I woke up Thursday not feeling well. I had Lee take the kids to school and then had to have my SIL pick the kids up. I even asked Lee to come home early from work because I was so sick. Every time I stood up I felt like I was going to pass out. Cooking lunch for the kid that day involved opening a can of soup, microwaving it and dumping it into bowls. While I was waiting for it to warm up, I had to lay down on the kitchen floor for fear of passing out. Scary! I finally felt better by Friday evening. Then Parker was up all night Saturday night and was fine by Sunday morning. Then Cooper and Kaden got sick on Sunday afternoon, stayed home from school on Monday and were good by Monday evening. It was a rough week with very little sleep for me. I'm happy it's over!
We took Kaden to Omaha for a check up with his pediatric orthopedic doctor. She feels like he is making improvements with his range of mobility in his ankles! YAY! He has completely outgrown his old braces so I took him last week to get casted for new ones. He still occasionally complains about his knees hurting, especially at school so I am excited for him to get his new braces next week. If I ever get the pictures of our trip to Omaha and Kaden's appointments off my camera I will post more details about it then!
One of my favorite Aunts, my Aunt Debbie is not doing well. She has been battling cancer. She has put up a good fight, but the cancer has won this fight and her days are numbered. Pray for her, my friends. She is ready to go Home to be with Jesus. Pray that she is able to go Home in peace and pain free. Her pain has been unbearable for the last several weeks, and she only deserves to be comfortable in her last days.
My kids are such a blessing and always know how to make me feel better. I was explaining to them tonight that Nana had to leave lunch early today to go visit Aunt Debbie. I told them how she is very sick, has cancer and gets to go live with Jesus in Heaven very soon and she won't be sick anymore. They all know that I am sad, but are quick to remind me that when she gets to Heaven she will feel all better and won't have anymore owies.
Matthew 12:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Wow, I really can’t believe that my kids started preschool on Thursday! It’s hard to believe that my little 1.5 lb. babies are 4 1/2 years old and in school! Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that I was holding my babies on my chest and watching their sweet little faces as they slept? When it comes to kids, the days can be long but the years will fly by! That is so true, and something I try to remind myself of constantly!
The first day of school was a little rough for all of us. Brett and Cooper were feeling pretty good about school and Parker was thrilled with the idea of being able to play with GIRLS every day! Kaden was not so very excited about school. All of my kids are painfully shy and definitely have some social anxiety. They have never been super comfortable around large groups of people, even if it’s family, and they are very uncomfortable in new situations. Kaden and Parker struggle with social anxiety the most so it’s no surprise the first couple days of school have been the hardest for them.
The first day of school Lee’s awesome boss let him go in to work a little late so he could help me get the kids to school. Brett, Parker and Cooper did great getting ready for school, while Kaden cried the whole time. We had to fight him into the van, fight him out of the van, fight him into the school….everything was a battle. He was latched on to me and not about to let go. Brett and Coop jumped right in and washed their hands and stood in line to go to breakfast. At that point, Parker was starting to get nervous and Kaden still wouldn’t let go of me. We got down to the lunchroom and I told Lee it was time for us to go. I handed a screaming Kaden to his teacher, Miss Betty and went to say good-bye to the other three. Brett and Cooper were nervous, but being brave and holding back the tears. When I leaned down to hug Parker, she started crying and didn’t want to let go. I had to push her off of me and give her to a teacher she didn’t know, which I’m sure made her feel even worse. I told her I loved her and walked out the door. Absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I made it outside the school before the tears started flowing! Lee took me home, gave me instructions to go inside, have a breakdown, and then find something to do to keep myself busy for the next three hours. About 15 minutes later, Lee texted me and said the school had called his phone to let us know that they were fine and no longer crying! Thank God! I knew they would be fine since Betty is a good friend of mine and the kids love her, but it was nice to get that call so I could carry on with my day! I forgot how much I can get done when I am alone in my house!
Me and my baby girl! She looks so grown up with her new haircut!
Me and Brett! Can you tell how excited he was?
Cooper didn’t want to smile but at least we got his picture!
“Daddy, take my picture again so I can say pickles this time!”-Brett
“Daddy, take my picture again too!” –Cooper
While we were taking pictures Kaden disappeared. We found him in the back entry hiding from the camera. Lee did his best to get a decent picture of him.
I know they all enjoyed their first day of school. Brett was excited that he got to eat breakfast AND a snack while he was there (the boy loves to eat!). Cooper didn’t really have much to say except that he had fun, there was only one other boy in class to play with (not really sure how I feel about that), and that he didn’t want to eat breakfast. Kaden said he didn’t want to eat there, didn’t really like it, and definitely did not ever want to go back! He did tell me that Miss Betty is the best teacher in the whole world though. Parker loved that there was tons of girls to play with and said she played with a girl on the swings but couldn’t remember her name. She wouldn’t tell me if she was excited to go back or not, but I know she liked it!
My kids have been home with me for the last 4 years. The only other people they have had take care of them is my parents and Lee’s wonderful sister Stacie a few times. This is a big change for all of us! We will all get used to it and preschool will be a good thing for everyone!
More to come later about their second day of school…..right now though, I need to get to bed! This whole getting up early for school is hard work!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Oh, wait….it’s me that’s been gone from the blogging world for almost a YEAR! I have been wanting to get back to blogging, but time kept getting away from me and then I had no idea where to even start with blogging again. Really, after a year, it’s hard to pick a starting point. I guess I will pick some random events, and get started!
I can not believe that the kids are 4 1/2 and are going to start preschool in just a few short days. I am so proud of how far we have come, but preschool? Already? I’m not sure I’m ready for it! It’s only four days a week for 3 1/2 hours each day, but that is way more than I have ever been away from my kiddos! The short break every day will be nice, and I am excited to be able to clean my house and keep it clean for a few hours every day, and I am super excited to have some ME time….something I very rarely give myself!
Speaking of being 4 years old…..how about we start by looking back at the kids 4th birthday party (I know it was 6 months ago, but better late than never!)? They had a great party, with lots of family and special friends. They all had a different idea for birthday cake ideas, so I compromised and got one big cake divided into four little cakes all with a different design. They were happy, but I think next year I will make cakes myself and save a little money. The kids and I love to bake so it will be a fun project for us anyways. Now…on to some pictures!
The Birthday Cake! Wiggles for the boys and Princesses for Parker!
Cooper spent the first part of the party snuggled up with Nana. He got hurt (mostly his feelings) and decided to take full advantage of the alone time with Nana.
Nana and Papa with all 6 of their youngest grandkids. Brett, Rhidelle, Parker, Rhelynn, Kaden and Cooper (still snuggled up to Nana)
Getting ready for the Happy Birthday song(s)
Lee and I with our babies (they will ALWAYS be my babies!)
Blow out those candles Kaden!
Brett listening to everyone sing Happy Birthday to him!
Happy Birthday Cooper!
Cooper was feeling too shy to blow out his candles
Parker wouldn’t look at anyone while we sang Happy Birthday to her
The boys showing Aunt Trisha how cool their cake is
Opening Presents! Thanks Uncle Shane, Aunt Vicki and Kenleigh for all the cool new playdough stuff! Definitely one of our favorite things to play with!
More presents! My kiddos are so blessed to have so many people that love them!
Checking out their tennis rackets from Nana. One of Brett’s favorite gifts! We use them a lot and Brett is getting pretty good!
More posts coming soon…..I promise!
Monday, July 9, 2012
I have been following a blog about a woman trying to conceive and then getting pregnant with quads. She lost one of her babies resulting in triplets. She went through IVF, implanting two eggs, one of which split three times resulting in identical triplets and a singleton. She lost one of the triplets. She is now planning on selective reduction. She hasn't made it clear if she will abort, oh sorry, selectively reduce the twins or the singleton. She says she will be fine with twins, but when two babies share the same placenta, you can't only reduce one....both will have to be reduced to leave them with one baby or they will reduce the singleton leaving them with twins. I'm not writing this to judge this other woman or attack her. I know of several people that have made the same decision as her so this is my know means directed at one person. It's just something I feel very passionate about and want to share my opinion. I don't know her personally, I've only read about her story. I've followed her journey through trying to conceive and then finally conceiving. I'm not going to like her, or any other person that makes this decision any less because they make the choice to selectively reduce. I am simply writing this in hopes that someone out there that is facing the same decision will read this and think twice about reducing. Maybe someone will read this and think that it will be ok and that they can do it!
I have shared before that our pregnancy started as quints and we lost sweet #5 around 8 weeks. As soon as we found out how many babies we were having, our doctor immediately brought up selective reduction. I told him no. No way. No! Don't even bring it up again, it's not an option. To me, selective reduction is only a nice way to say abortion. Abortion, selective reduction....whatever, same thing. It's all about killing a baby. Taking a life that God created. It's wrong. I believe life begins at conception. Abortion is wrong. Not going to happen! He never brought it up again. When we met with our high risk doctor for the first time he also brought it up. He said he knew we weren't considering it, but he still had to talk about it. So he told us all the risks and I still told him it wasn't an option. I left his office knowing that, God willing, I was going to carry four babies. I know there are times when reduction is the only option. If a baby has a condition that it is 100% known he won't live outside the womb and reducing him would give the other babies a better chance at survival, then that is different. What I am talking about here is situations like ours. Where all the babies appear to be healthy and developing fine.
Now, let me honest. Totally, brutally honest. This next part is hard for me to write. It's not something I'm proud of. I hate this part of myself, these thoughts that went through my head. I walked out of the doctor's office with my head held high. I knew what my decision was, that we would continue with the quad pregnancy and hope and pray for the best. Once we got in the car though, I had a breakdown. Complete and total breakdown. I started really freaking out. Four babies??? Holy shit, I can't do that. Four? We can't afford that! We don't have a big enough house, big enough car, enough money! I will need to work just to support these babies, but I don't want to work and how could I work?! I would be working to pay daycare! I want to have ONE baby, be a stay at home mommy. Spoil him or her rotten. Focus all my attention on ONE baby....not four! I told Lee maybe we should consider reducing. He looked at me like I had completely lost my mind (I think I had). I had always said I was very strongly absolutely opposed to abortion and there I was completely freaking out and basically saying that I thought we should reduce our pregnancy! After Lee was able to calm me down and I regained my composure, I realized what I was saying. It was a weak moment that I am not proud of. I was saying that I didn't want all of my babies that we had created! Ha! I was having ridiculous, crazy thoughts and I actually laughed at myself. Yes, I was still scared out of my mind but I knew it would be ok. I think I briefly panicked and had to say all the thoughts in my head and hear them out loud to reaffirm what I already knew. I knew that we could do it. I knew it would be hard, but I knew that it was the blessing I had been given and I accepted that. God gave me these babies so I was responsible for them. I would never give one of my babies up. I was going to do everything I could to protect them, carry them as long as I could and give them the best chance for a good life.
I knew all the risks. I knew that higher order multiples have a huge risk of being born with serious disabilities. I knew we would deliver early and most likely spend some time in the NICU. I babysat triplets for several years starting when I was in high school. I knew how much work multiples would be. I knew we were going to be short on money, completely broke actually, for the next several years, well, the rest of our lives really. I knew everything was going to be hard, really, really hard. I also knew that it was going to be ok.
My babies were born at 23 weeks and 5 days. They technically shouldn't have survived. They should have had major complications. Don't get me wrong, they had their share of difficulties those first few months. For the first couple months we didn't know if they were going to make it. The 137 days they spent in the NICU were the hardest thing I have ever done. It changed me forever. But it changed me forever in a good way. I have a much greater appreciation for the little things in life. I have a stronger faith in God. I believe in myself more. The days after they came home were hard too. Cooper came home on oxygen and all but Brett were on monitors. I constantly had people in my house. I needed the help so that was a good thing, but it was hard. Our marriage has been pushed almost to the breaking point, but we stuck it out and now we are better than ever. I rarely slept when they were babies. I was tired all the time. I was physically, mentally, emotionally exhausted. But I was so full of love for my babies, that it was worth it. Snuggling my sweet babies was amazing. I never had empty arms because there was always someone that wanted to be held. It was awesome. Kaden has cerebral palsy and wears braces on both legs. He has sensory issues that have made a lot of things difficult for him. Cooper still has some breathing issues. They have mild problems that we deal with everyday. It should have been more serious issues. If my children were severely disabled I wouldn't love them any less. I can't imagine not loving an incredible gift straight from God. After trying for so long to get pregnant, I would love my children no matter what. Sometimes the days with my kids are sooooo long and soooo difficult. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom and cry because I can't do it anymore. Sometimes when Lee gets home from work, I leave. I go to the park. I enjoy the silence.
But then I go home to my kids. All four of them. I wouldn't change it for anything. I love the way my life has turned out. Who would of thought that having four kids would meet every expectation of my life I have ever had. My kids are amazing. They are beautiful. Wonderful. Incredible little people that fill my heart with so much love that I feel like I could burst. What an amazing feeling. I quite possibly could be the luckiest mom in the world.
If we would have opted for reduction, we would have aborted Brett and Kaden. Oh, how that thought hurts my heart. I can't imagine not having my buddy Brett. My momma's boy. The boy that doesn't like to be away from me. I can't imagine not hearing his giggle, watching him sleep, hugging him every morning. What would life be like without Kaden? Daddy's little mini me. To not hear his "I love you, mommy" every day. To not get hundreds of kisses from him everyday. To not hear his knock, knock jokes, see him entertain everyone and work hard to make sure that everyone around him is happy!
Sorry I have rambled for so long and congratulations if you actually made it to the end of this. Please, if you are considering abortion or selective reduction, think about it again. Think long and hard and make sure it's something you really want to do. Something you really want to live with for the rest of your life. Feel free to comment, but please keep in mind that this is only my opinion. It's something I feel strongly about and wanted to share my thoughts.
Cooper, Brett, Parker and Kaden