Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas

Read to us Santa

Rather than traveling on Christmas day we opted to stay home until the day after. Santa delivered a few toys and clothes for the girls. They opened their gifts. I'd like to say they were excited about the things they got, but they are 15 months old. Everything is neat and new for a little bit. Including the boxes. However, they did enjoy the little doggie and the weeble wobble people like thing (don't you love my descriptors). Kate is so smart. She loves to try and figure out how things work. So, true to form, she quickly discovered that if you push the star the weeble toy lit up and played music. So, from the time they opened them until we left for brunch, that is what we heard over and over. I wrote a letter to Charlie and placed it in his stocking where it will remain. I've decided that I will do this for him every year.

Brunch was at Noah and Suzanne's. Their home was filled with love and laughter. It was so nice to be around the "adopted" family. People who don't have to, but love you and your children anyway. They were happy to see us and the girls.

Ultimately, we came home and got ready for our trip to St. Louis. The 500+ mile drive from Ohio to St. Louis. I'd be lying if I said I was so excited about the drive part. However, this time I drove 80 pretty much the entire way. No construction, no rain, and no snow. Fantastic! The girls were troopers.

Our first stop was to see Charlie. I didn't get home to see him last Christmas. I didn't see his little evergreen blanket or his little Christmas tree. This year, I did. His grave was so decorated and colorful. I'm so grateful my mom and mother-in-law take things to him. The sock monkey and stocking were hanging over him. Watching over him.

The remainder of the trip was family gatherings. Toy gluttony for the girls. Trips back and forth to see Charlie and visits with friends.

It was a nice week. Too short as always. There is never enough time to see everyone. Someone always gets their feelings hurt. In the end, I leave there sad and home sick. Wishing.

Always leaving, never staying.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh the holidays are here...Shit!

I've decided this year is more difficult than last year. How is that possible, last year we were only 9 weeks out from losing Charlie and caring for our two newborns. I mean, I made Thanksgiving dinner and then sat outside and sobbed (very loudly I might add). Well it is. I think last year everything was so new. I think for the most part we were still in the Hell, I mean shock. We went through the motions. Tried to be happy while screaming on the inside and sometimes on the outside. This year everything has set in. I have accepted this is and will forever be our lives. We will always miss him. We will always love him. We will always take joy in our girls. We will always love them (kinda sounds like a Whitney Houston song). But, no matter how fucking pissed off I get and demand that we rewind time and blah blah blah. It isn't going to happen. So now, I think it's a little more real. We can physically feel the void. It turns out, according to my therapist, that this is normal. Who knew we were that either. Hmmmm

Regardless of how much I miss him I am still thankful for so many things. I am thankful for:

1. My husband. While he drives me insane (I'm sure the feeling is mutual) some times, I adore him. I don't know of any other couple who would have survived all of the shit we have and still come out okay on the other side.

2. My girls. They are funny, smart, and just plain adorable. They make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me happy. They make my heart melt with their smiles and belly laughs.

3. My mom. As i've gotten older, I realize she really did know a lot more than I thought (insert..I told you so). While she is my mom, I think of her as more of a friend. This past year she has really been instrumental in my survival.

4. My sister. I hate that I don't get to talk to her very often, but I know she is busy. I hope she knows how much I love her. I know I don't tell her nearly enough.

5. My friends. I hve a wonderful group of friends. They love me for me. They understand that I don't have a ton of time to talk on the phone. I hope they know how much I love them.

So, as this holiday season comes and goes, I plan on reminding myself of what I do have. It is hard not to think of what is missing, but I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

Everyone have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

We went to one of the Halloween stores just to meander around and waste a little time. There was this grave stone-skeleton kit that just threw me through a loop. In this kit was a tiny skull. A skull that would have been pretty close to the size of the babies heads when they were born. It made me physically ill. I had to leave the store because I was sick to my stomach and light headed. All I could think about was is that what is left of Charlie? After that, Halloween was kinda destroyed for me this year. I could have cared less if it came or not. However, we trudged along and dressed the girls up. We passed out candy to all of the trick or treaters. And then took the girls down to Suzanne and Noah's for a bit. The girls had chocolate for the first time. I gave them one of those snack size hershey bars to chew on. Thinking "oh, they won't get them open." HA!! I was wrong. I looked down at them to find they had indeed opened the chocolate and had little brown rings around their mouths. Hilarious. What wasn't so hilarious was taking the slimy chocolate bars away. Holy Hell...the screaming that ensued. Overall, the day was enjoyable. Zach and Laura came over. Ryan and his girlfriend (also a Katie) came in from Chicago.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday My Three Beans

Happy Birthday Buddy

Happy Birthday Monkeys
Katie's Official 1st Birthday Picture

Emma's Official 1st Birthday Picture

A butterfly from Charlie's Butterfly release
The 5 of us

Today (okay, really this is November..let's pretend), is their birthday. It is filled with more emotion than one person should ever expierence at any given time. It is filled with extreme anxiety. I want their birthday party to be perfect. It is filled with joy. These babies have given me so much joy in their short little lives thus far. It is filled with sadness. I want there to be three little people smashing cakes with their names on them. It is filled with defeat. This is my life without him.
Last night was their first birthday party. We took cupcakes and balloons to Charlie and sang happy birthday to him. I had sang to him the day before. I needed to be the first person to sing to him. No one else was going to get that privledge. No one. As I sat next to him with his sisters, I spoke out to everyone around. I said: "This day, one year ago was the best and the worst day of my life. On that day, I met my three beautiful children. I also had to say goodbye. I spoke of how Charlie had changed my life. How I miss him. And how while I do not get to take care of him, I do have the privledge of taking care of his sisters. And I hope that I make him proud to call me his mom." Those standing around me agreed. Few had very little to add. We even took our second family photo. Not what we had ever envsioned, but none the less. Our family of 5 was in the picture. For, that is all I can ask. Once we left the cemetary we went back to my mom's house. Ate pizza and cupcakes. Celebrating the girls and all that they bring us each day. To end the evening we watched the movie Derek put together for their birthday. As Emma watched herself on the screen, she screached. As if she was saying, "hey that's me!".

I crept into where the girls were sleeping at midnight to sing happy birthday to them. I wanted to sing to them first on their actual birthday. Again, no one was getting that privledge.

As we left for the party with a million totes, boxes, and centerpieces in tow, I lost it. My sister hugged me, and I just lost it. No one understood why I made Derek wear a tie. Or why I wore a dress and did my hair and make up. The fact is, this had to be perfect. It had to be perfect because it was a celebration of my children. Children that without the help of medicine, I would never have. A son who is in Heaven. Two darling little girls who make me laugh and swell with pride. Overall, the party was good. Everyone seemed to enjoy it (for being a party for 3 One year olds). To conclude the party, we released 60+ balloons with birthday wishes to Heaven for Charlie. I watched the balloons leave my hands, reach the top of the building and that is it. I lost it. Paula hugged me and I sobbed. Not just weepy tears, but wailing, sobbing giant tears. While everyone was standing around, Derek's cousin grabbed my arm and pulled me over to the overlook. In the field was a single deer. Grazing in the field. This might seem silly to most, but it was 4 o'clock in the afternoon. It was a very unusual time for a deer to be out and about. It was obvious everyone was thinking (hoping) it was Charlie making sure we knew he was there with us.

Of the past 365 days since Charlie died, that day, I felt him everywhere. He was the single deer in the field. He was the voice in my head saying "Mom, relax, it will be okay". He was the last blue balloon floating in the cieling when all of the other decorations were put away and gone.
Emma and Kate were so ovewhelmed with all of the people and screaming kids. They both sat in the middle just watching. Especially Miss Emma. Kate was feeling a little more insecure with the chaos. She clung to me quite a bit.

They recieved pretty spectacular gifts. Of all of the gifts they could get, the gift of love is the most special. As I stood looking around at the swirling group of 60 something people, I realized that my children are extremely loved. We have some very special people in our lives. (including our friends who surprized us driving all the way from Ohio to celebrate with us.) How lucky are we?!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

Approximately today a year ago is when Charlie was rolling around and pinched his cord. Little did we know that he had died. We were blissfully awaiting for our weekly appointment and NST. As his mother, I wonder how I didn't know. How did I not realize he wasn't moving anymore. How did I not realize that my little boy had died. What I do know is that I was still feeling movement. Everyone seemed to be their active little selves. I go back to the days before we were told he died and try to figure out when exactly it happend. I've, at times, driven myself crazy trying to pin point it. There wasn't any specific "thing" that happened that would have alarmed me. I wasn't really feeling good on Sunday. That makes me wonder if maybe he didn't really pass away then. As far as Dr. Stewart could tell, Charlie passed away sometime on Monday 9/20. He guessed this by the peeling he had around his nose. I wonder if they had done an ultrasound at that Monday appointment, would they have found his heart had stopped then? We will never know. I don't know that it would matter if we did know.

I have to accept this is my reality. I don't want to. I can't accept this is my reality. My son did not die. He couldn't have. Maybe this is just some weird nightmare between reality and fantasy. Perhaps I am just in some bizarre other dimension. Mother's are not supposed to bury their children. I shouldn't be taking him cupcakes and balloons that he will never enjoy. There shouldn't be a little gray stone as the only physical proof he was alive ever.

I hate this. I hate everything about this. I want my son. I want to hold my son and tell him every day that I love him. I want to kiss my son on his perfect little lips like I do his sisters each day. I want to tickle his little round belly and hear him laugh. I want to feel his little boddy against mine as I read them a bedtime story each night. I want him to rest his little head against my chest so I can stroke his dark brown hair. I want to see what color his eyes would have been.

No matter how much I want, it won't happen. It can never happen.

Instead, I will take cupcakes to his small plot in the cemetary and sing happy birthday to him. I will tie balloons on his shephard's hook. I will take little pumpkins, fall flowers, and halloween decorations and place them on his grave. I will sit next to his small space and cry wishing this wasn't reality.

Ignorance really is bliss.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

11 Months...Wowzers

The monkeys are 11 months old. It is like something switched on. They are pulling up on everything. Chatting away. Crawling on their knees (although, not all of the time). Miss Katie bug is trying to climb up the stairs. They are eating almost everything. Chicken, veggies, crackers, cheese, yogurt, etc. We've started working on getting rid of the bottles. They will drink out of the soft sippy cups, but haven't quite gotten the hang of the hard ones. But, I think they are certainly on their way.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

For a Moment...

This evening we ordered chinese for dinner. The delivery woman (who delivers here a lot) started talking to Derek. I was sitting on the couch feeding the girls their bedtime bottle listening to the conversation. She was talking about her wedding and her kids. Then BAM! we were gobsmacked. I realize she doesn't know that Charlie died. She started talking about how the girls would make him the scapegoat and that he would be the protector. Derek didn't correct her. I sat there listening with tears in my eyes holding his sisters. I could see how hurt Derek was, but he couldn't bare to correct her.

Once she left I asked Derek why he didn't correct her. He said that he just couldn't. Why shatter her image. Why make her sad. And then he said "to her, Charlie is alive". I started to cry. He was right. In her mind, he is alive. In her mind, he is crawling and playing with his sisters. In her mind, our lives were not shattered. In her mind, we aren't picking up those shattered pieces and trying to fit them together like a jagged puzzle. For a moment, everything was okay. For that moment we could pretend that he was alive. For a moment, life was the way it was supposed to be.

I wish it wasn't a moment. I wish it was forever.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

10 Months...

My princess's
Katherine Bug-Bug

Emma Bean

The Covered Bridge

I know I say this almost every monthly post, but I just can't believe the girls are 10 months old. They are both just blabbering up a storm. Katie is working on crawling. Emma is right there behind her. However, she is a little more reserved. She scoots on her butt. She will scoot wherever she wants to go as long as she doesn't have to get on her belly. So dainty and proper. They have started feeding themselves puffs, peas, carrots, yogurt melts, mum mums, crackers, and biter biscuits. It seems taht a switch just went off and POOF! they wanted to eat regular food. They have also been eating yogurt. Kate isn't liking baby food as much. She spits it at if she doesn't like it. We are working on that one too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Charlie's Legacy: Family stories of grief, healing and solace

I had an experience this weekend that led me to an epiphany. I need to help other families. To do this, I think I would like to give other families experiencing this to be able to put their pain on paper with the hopes that it will help others. Our vision for this book is a family oriented book. We would like the experiences/thoughts/feelings of the parents, the grandparents, and the aunts and uncles. No matter how raw. Now matter the emotion involved. Many of the books that exist currently focus on the parents and thier aspect of the loss. Grandparents get lost. The parent's siblings are lost. The loss of a baby engulfs an entire family. The entire family is affected in a multitude of ways. We want to give families a place to document their journey. Their sadness. And for some, their rainbows. We want families that are in the very beginning of the process to families that are years in the making. It is the only way we can be of help to others while helping ourselves.

If you are interested, or know anyone who would like to contribute, please let myself or Derek know.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

We are not amused


They love the Fireworks!!! I can't tell you how happy that makes me. I love fireworks. I was afraid they would be afraid. Not one bit. They sat in my lap in complete awe of the bangs and the bright flashes of color.

As I sat there watching their excitement and wonder, I wasn't prepared for the wave of emotion that came over me. I sat there, stroking their silky hair, and sobbed. I had bought them outfits last summer for the 4th of July. I had bought Emma a little red dress with little flowers and Charlie little red plaid shorts with a white shirt that had a red stripe. I would have bought Katie a red dress to go with thier outfits. Instead, Charlie's outfit is packed away in a green tote with all of his other belongings and the girls wore new outfits that were completely different than what I had planned. It hurt. While the evening was wonderful, it hurt. Another first for them. Another first for us.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thoughts floating through my head...

I have been obscessing about finding pictures of the girls with Dr. Stewart and Dr. Nash. They seemed to have just disappeared. Finally, we found them. I was relieved and then I was sad. I just sat here looking through 500 pictures of the girls from their first few days of life outside my belly. The first picture in the series was a photo of me the day after they were born. Laying in my hospital bed. My belly was deflated. I was so sad and defeated. Sadness seeping out of every pore. There were all of these pictures from their first days. Pictures and moments I don't remember. I had forgotten how they looked when they were first born. I had forgotten about the places where their IV's were. I had forgotten how much Katie and Charlie looked alike. I just became sad. I'm sad because they are growing up. They aren't looking like babies. They are looking like little girls. I'm sure every mother goes through this with their children. I don't believe I am unique in many ways.

I find it so hard to believe that it has been 9 months since our lives took a 180. In just a few months they will 1. One year since the lights of our lives were born. One year since our hearts were irrevokably broken.

Last weekend I needed to get out this ball of saddness that was deep in my gut. So, as I was driving home from therapy I turned on "the song". The song that most reminds me of Charlie. I started to cry. I started to sob. Then, out of no where, the screams. I screamed so loud and from a place I can only describe as the pit of my being.

The bad days are fewer and a little further in between. The good days are more and more. I find myself able to laugh again. I allow myself to be happy even when I don't want to. Slowly, I am healing.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

9 Months...

Katie and Emma
Emma Bean

Katie Bug

The girls are 9 months old. That means in 3 months they will be a year old. I can't believe this. I just can't believe this. They are rolling around, chatting away, and just having a good ol' time playing in the floor. When they went to the doctor for their 9 month well child, Emma weighed in at 16 lbs and Katie weighed 18 lbs. The only thing they are "behind" in is they aren't crawling. Katie seems to want to crawl. She sits on tucks her leg in and haves the leg out. Puts her arms out and kinda rocks. She doesn't quite know what to think just yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

8 Months...

Two beautiful butterflies
Emma Bean

Katie Bug

Sometimes, I sit and wonder where has the time gone. My little girls are 8 months old. It is so very hard to believe that they will be 1 in just 4 short months.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Hell of a Week

So many things have happened over the past few weeks. Two are happy, but certainly sting a little.

My dear friend adopted a baby boy. I am so very delighted for her. She and her husband are wonderful parents to their daughter and their new son will be loved no less than their daughter. I'm rather intrigued to see what neat things they do with this new little tot. But, regardless of how happy I still had a little moment when I got that first picture of him on my cell. I guess it brought up some memories and feelings I wasn't quite prepared for or expecting.

Monday was my birthday. Last year I was 15 weeks pregnant and Derek graduated from Law School. What a freaking fantastic birthday. This year, was good, but I again...bittersweet. I missed him.

Wednesday my friend delivered a healthy baby boy. Here is the thing...I referred her to my doc and knew she would be delivering at General. I thought I would be okay. The co-workers and I decided to go over and see her around lunch time. As we walked to the car, I could feel myself start to falter. I stepped in the doors of the hospital and lost it. I turned right back around and walked out. That hospital is where my world was turned upside down. I could see the red chair in the lobby that I sat in at 1 o'clock in the morning the day after the babies were born. Sobbing uncontrollably. Shaking and pleading for any answer as to why our baby had died. That red chair was sitting in the same place. As I walked down the hallway toward post partum..more memories bubbled up. That walk I took over and over because I couldn't sleep. Instead of making the right to go to my room, we made a left. I took a deep breath. So, we entered the doorway of her room. I stood there. I looked at her new son from a distance. Quite a cute little guy. But, I couldn't get enough courage to hold him or even look at him for an extened period of time. Much to my delight/surprise the nurse came and said Dr. Stewart was coming to get the little man for his circ. I was excited. And then he appeared in the doorway. I walked over and he gave me hug. I kid you not, I started sobbing. Had I not caught myself it would have been the ugly boo hoo sob. He asked how I was. I said "okay until I saw you." I had wanted to see him. This man was such an integral part of my life for 22 weeks. I adored him. Silly, I know. So, we stood there talking until he really did need to do his work and we needed to get back. Once back at my desk. Away from anyone who could see me...I let go. I called Derek and I just let go. The ugly, giant tears, hyperventilating cry. Then I sucked it up and went to my meeting.

Tonight I am trying to make negatives of Charlie's foot moulds. I want to make a 3D image so I can put them in a shadow box. I made moulds of the girls hands and feet last weekend. I compared the girls to his. His are so tiny in comparison. When they were born, they were all the same size. It is another reminder that Charlie will forever be the 3lb 12oz perfect little newborn. He will never grow any bigger or do any of the things his sisters do. I won't pretend my heart doesn't ache. I guess it aches a little less intensely most days, but it still aches.

Tomorrow the girls turn 8 months. The are sitting, rolling over (when we aren't in the room), cooing, getting teeth, and fighting over toys. It is all so wonderful. It is all so bittersweet.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Well, it was my first Mother's Day with my babies in my arms instead of my belly. The day was fairly non-eventful. We hung around the house. It wasn't any different than any other day. Or atleast it didn't seem so. I won't say that part of me wan't sad. It wasn't the affair I had hoped. I talked to other mom friends and they were having tea parties and get togethers. I sat home and did nothing any different. We ended up going to dinner at the lebanese place, but that was about it. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I am certain the day was not it. I could tell you about how I stared at pictures of Charlie, but you probably already know that. Oh well, I suppose there is always next year. Right?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Going to the Zoo...

I was totally "that parent"
Taking a spin with miss Julianna

One of my faves...Emma and the goat

Katie and the goats

Emma and the Acme dog

Katie and Conrad Conservation

We ventured out to the Zoo! The weather was finally nice enough to leave the house. So, we packed up the girls and headed to the zoo with our friend Sara and her two munchkins. While the girls didn't really care too terribly much, I made sure they saw everything and experienced as much as I could. I showed the the animals. I had their pictures taken with the big characters walking around. I let them feed the goats. I rode the carosel with them. And I put there heads in the funny penguin statues for pictures. Overall, definately a good day. The fresh air and sunshine did all of us good.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Easter take 2

Egg Head's

The Easter Bunny came! Easter eve the girls and I dyed eggs for the doggies annual egg hunt. They didn't so much care, but they were rather fascinated with the eggs. The girls wore their special bunny jammies and went to bed. Not knowing that when they woke up there would be two baskets with goodies waiting for them. We sat them on the couch and let them "open" their baskets. For being 7 months old, they did a rather good job. They tore out the toys. Didn't care too much about the jammies. Put the candy in their mouths for a photo. Played with the grass and ribbon. All in all, they had a lovely time. They even posed for a few photographs.

What you didn't see in the video we shot was me sobbing. Like every other milestone, holiday, or event my mind wanders to Charlie. He should have been sitting there with his basket. Instead his basket sat next to his newly installed headstone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Charlie's Headstone and STL

Charlie's Headstone
Ready for the SHARE Angel Ball

My family

Last weekend we took quite the adventure. We flew to STL for the weekend. The girls did an absdolutely amazing job on the plane. In spite of being way off their schedules, they slept and played. A few of the passengers didn't even realize their were babies on the plane.

The first place we went after landing was to see our Charlie. We confirmed his stone would be in place and inquired about a few things. When we pulled up we saw they had dug another grave. There was another little boy being buried on Friday. We spent a few minutes with Charlie before we headed out to my mom's. I got on my knees and kissed the dirt. That is the closest to kissing him I can get. When I talked to the owner of the cemetary, he told me there is about 18 inches of dirt on top of Charlie. The first thought...I could easily unbury him with my hands and run with him. I won't do that. No matter how much I would want to. But as a mother who at times is consumed with grief, I won't pretend that my every thought is rational. I stood by my son and cried as hard as I did the day we found out he died. Saturday we stopped to see him and tell him we loved him before we went to the Angel Ball. Sunday our families gathered for his stone setting. I could only utter the words " to the moon and back little boy". For now, it is real. His name is carved in granite. I begged our families to visit him. For I am afraid he will be forgotten.

The weekend at home was busy as always. No time to relax. Only time to go from place to place to place. Thursday was dinner with my in-laws. Friday morning was Easter pictures with the duckies for the girls then dinner with our friends and family. Saturday was the SHARE Ball and Sunday we flew home. Overall, being home made me sad. It reminded me of how much I want to be there. It makes living here almost unbearable.

The SHARE Ball was full of a lot of mixed emotion. I sat in my chair at table 21 looking around at all of the people. Every person in that room had experienced the loss of a child. Although I was in a room full of people, I still felt very alone. I didn't want to be there. The organization has done so much for infant loss. I wish they didn't exist. I wish I wasn't sitting there among all of those people. We sat with family. A family member who 30 years ago lost a daughter. She hugged me and told me how sorry she was that we lost Charlie. She told me the story of how her loss went. I was appauled and amazed. Appauled at how the death of a child was handled 30 years ago. Amazed at how much had changed in 30 years. Overall the ball was a pleasant experience. However, it brought so many feelings I had been pushing down in my gut to the surface.

As we went to leave Charlie I said.."I'm always leaving him". I left him in the hospital, alone. I left him at the funeral home. Too scared to look at him in his casket. I left him at his return to the NICU to hug his sisters. And again, I left him to come back. From now until the end of my life I will be leaving him.

7 Months

Well, they are 7 months old. Last night I was sitting at my laptop looking through all of the pictures from the day they were born to just last night. I am utterly amazed. The first picture I looked at was Charlie being held up by my doctor. He was perfect. He and Emma had the same facial expression when they were delivered. The only difference is he wasn't with us anymore. Then I started looking at the ones of the girls. How alert and healthy they really were. Even Katie with the ET tube and ventilator. I had worked so hard to keep them in. I had worked so hard to feed them healthy foods. At any rate..things happened and as much as I want to turn back the clock to that Friday I was in OB triage, I can't.

The girls are sitting up with a little help. But, in general they sit up by themselves. Still not rolling over, but I know it is simply because they don't want to. I am rather certain they could, but they refuse. Katie has finally discovered how wonderful her feet are. And Emma is content talking to the flower on her exersaucer or making the rolling toy with the beads spin and be loud. They are getting a jumperoo shortly. They need this. They love to bounce. The exersaucer bounce isn't cutting it anymore. Unfortunately, we don't have door frames. So, we can't use the johnny jump ups. They loved playing in theirs at my mom's house.

These aren't the official 7 month pics, but for now, they will suffice.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Charlie's Headstone...

Today we had to create the last piece of our son. We went to go design his headstone. This permanent granite stone will tell whomever walks past him who he is and what he meant to us. Nothing, I mean nothing will ever be good enough for him. I didn't want something generic. I couldn't stand the idea of simply having an angel or a teddy bear on the stone. So, he will have a pea pod and a whale on his stone. Along with a phrase "We loved you yesterday. We love you still. We always have...and always will" I saw this phrase and it struck me. I didn't want a biblical verse. I didn't want some generic "our angel". Like I said, nothing will ever be good enough for him. He didn't get a chance to like anything. He didn't get a chance to have favorites. So, we chose two symbols that were representations of him. Symbols that have meaning. The pea pod is because from the moment there were 3 embryos I called my three beans. Their birth announcement was supposed to be the three of them in their special hats in a pea pod my mom made for them. I haven't been able to look at that since Charlie died. The second is a whale. If you go to you can read Derek's poem. While I was pregnant he used to speak "whale" to them. The first time he felt him kick was while speaking whale. This entire experience has been awful. The cemetary hasn't been peticuarly helpful and has certainly made this far more difficult than need be. I am still hoping we will have his stone in place by the time we go home in 2 weeks. I want to have a small ceremony with just us and our families. Nothing official. Just those around him who love him. I wish none of this ever happened. I wish I wasn't writing this entry. I hate whoever made the decision to take our Charlie from us. Or any of the babies taken from their parents.

The Shower..

The shower has become my safe place to cry. It is the place I can go and cry as hard as I need to and as loud as I want. I know Derek knows I do it. For instance, last night I watched the babies delivery on our video camera. Derek stopped recording before they brought out Charlie, but he did take some stills with the video camera. So, I looked at those too. I had been loving on the girls and trying to smile through the tears. I managed to get them settled and then hit the shower. I crumpled as I stepped into the hot water. I teetered against the wall, wailing into my hands. I screamed into my towel. When I came downstairs having pretended I was just taking a shower to wash my hair. I noticed the volume was up on the television. He heard me. He knew what I was taking a shower for. Afterall, I think he does it too.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

No really..they are 6 months old

Emma Katie
So, not only are the girls 6 months old, but they are changing so very rapidly. neAs previously mentioned, Miss Emma has two teeth. Little super star of a kid. Miss Katie I believe will be following suite shortly. She has been drooling and knawing on her thumbs. She thinks it is pretty nifty to chew on her binky and pull it out so it makes a popping noise. They continue to eat veggies and fruits. As of this evening they have eaten: Peas, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Bananas, Pears, and Peaches. We have Squash, Apples, and Prunes left to try. We are working on eating from a spoon. Some days they would rather lick the spoon than actually eat it off the spoon. But, we are working on it. I was looking back at the pictures from they day they were born. I am utterly amazed at how much they have changed. Not only in size, but features. Their personalities have really started to blossom. Emma is a little more reserved. She is happy to keep to herself and play with her feet and her various toys. Katie likes to be entertained a little more. She is generally happy. She smiles at almost everyone. They still only laugh at Derek and I, but I'm okay with that. I'm selfish. I will admit it.

Today I made arrangements to go design Charlie's headstone. Never in a million years would I ever think I would have design a headstone. I supect nothing will ever be good enough for him.

I love/hate my new life. I adore my girls, but I hate that not having Charlie is part of my norm. I hate that being all consumed with grief is now embedded in my core. I hate that he isn't here with us. I hate that he never got to feel my touch. I hate that we never saw him smile. I hate that he will not grow up with his sisters. I love that I have these two girls I get to love and nurture. I love that when I walk in the door they both smile as if I am th greatest thing that has ever happened. I love watching them grow and change. I love that when they are sad I am the only one who makes it better.

We leave in two weeks for STL. First time flying with the girls. Should be sporty.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Half a Year old and Easter...Take 1

Happy Easter


This week has been a huge day in the Haake house. First, I took their first set of Easter pictures. We will be having other done while in STL, but I wanted Charlie to be in some too. I suspect they will have lots of fun and cutesy stuff awaiting them while in STL.

Two big events this week: They turned 6 months old yesterday and miss Emma is getting 2 teeth. No, not just one. She has to continue to be the over-achiever and get 2. Now, most parents would think that was awesome. Then there is me. I am not excited. I am not wanting them to be six months old already. I am certainly not ready for teeth. Because I am gone all of the time working I feel like I have missed out on so much stuff. Especially these really big things. One of the big things I missed is Kate rolling over. And because she is stubborn (really, why would one of my kids be stubborn) she hasn't done it again. Yesterday I sobbed when I found those two teeth. Derek looked at me like I had four heads. I was just devistated, but of course promptly called everyone and posted a picture on facebook (broken, I think so).

Like everything else these things are bittersweet. My mind always says "YaY the girls did this really cool thing and then I wish Charlie was here too and I wonder if he would be doing this". And the tears start to flow. I also stopped pumping as of last night. I wasn't producing much, but I still wasn't ready. It is another one of those things I have to grieve for. Nursing is something I really wanted to do. More than once I wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn't. I was determined to pump and get them through RSV season. While I accomplished that, I'm still very sad.

This morning I was standing in the shower and just busted out in a wailing sob. Not sure why, but I did. Then I opened my laptop and sobbed because I have Charlie as my wallpaper. Then I started crying driving into work for no real reason. I guess today is the day to cry. Damn it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day

Thursday is St. Patty's day. I can't help, but stop and reflect on how my life has changed in the past two years. On March 17th, 2009 I was laid off. Yes, I was laid off on St. Patty's day. After a night of boozing, I woke up realizing this isn't the end of the world. Fast forward a St. Patty's 2010 I had just found out we were expecting triplets. And now this St. Patty's day..I have carried a pregnancy to 34 weeks, lost a son, and relished in every moment of my daughters. The drastic changes of life are rather astounding.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Should Have Been Happy

I sit days upon days thinking about all of the things I wish I could change. The most obvious being having Charlie with us. I sit and think, perhaps God is punishing me because I was greedy. I wanted children, so I did IVF. It wasn't enough to transfer two embryos, I transferred three becuase I couldn't stand the idea of one being just tossed in the hazardous waste. Then while pregnant with triplets, I wanted just one more baby. Why couldn't I be happy with what I was given. Is God punishing me for being so greedy and always wanting more? Of course, everyone says...oh no that is not it. Charlie rolling over on his cord was just a freak accident. I want to scream at them "don't you understand I can't accept that!". I supose I should add this to my list of things I did wrong for Charlie.

My neighbor said to me via facebook "why don't you quit your whining and be happy for the blessings you have." Who says I am not happy for my blessings. My blessings are my reason for breathing. If it weren't for my girls, I wouldn't be here. I adore my girls with every fiber of my being. However, that does not make me miss or love Charlie any less. It doesn't take away the pain of losing him. And it certainly doesn't make my heart ache less for him. Until someone has walked in these shoes, they should keep those kinds of comments to theirselves. They have no idea what they are talking about.

Next week the girls turn 6 months old. My heart is already starting to hurt. I dread those milestones because inevitably my thoughts turn to Charlie and that he isn't celebrating that milestone too. He will forever be frozen on September 23, 2010. He will never smile. He will never laugh. He will never cry. He will never know the touch of my lips on his. He will never know the tunes I hum to soothe. He will never feel me rocking him in my arms. He will never hear the words, I love you.

I am so very thankful to God for my amazing girls, but I hate Him for taking my son.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

5 Months!


My Princesses

I find it so very difficult to believe that it has been five months since my three beans arrived. This past few weeks has been increasingly difficult. On the 23rd of course is their birthiversary. The 25th is the day we found out we were pregnant. Coming next week is the anniversary of when we found out there were three. I suspect this will happen from here on out. Lots of these kinds of moments. With every accomplishment the girls make, I wonder if Charlie would have been doing the same.
Things the girls have been up to:

Emma is right on the cusp of rolling over from front to back. She talks all of the time. She laughs at her daddy (she finally laughed at me last night). She is amazing to watch with her hands. She grabs her feet. Grabs any toy she can get. Plays her piano. And she is trying to hold her bottle (not for its intended purpose).

Katie rolled over from her belly to back this week. She laughs. She is finally talking up a storm. She is almost sitting up with help. She has figured out how to put her binky in her mouth all by herself. She also enjoys playing with her toys.
Together they have discovered each other. I find them holding hands a lot and they lay in their crib and talk to each other. As I sit here typing, Katie grabbed Emmas hand. Sadly, they like to watch TV. They like the flashy brightness to it. Oh, and they love to rub blankets over their faces. I've noticed they have started rubbing their eyes when they are tired and snuggling with blankies. They are just so amazing.

Still not fans of cereal, but I keep trying. They stopped nursing there for a while. Then randomly today, I got Katie to nurse. Just as I was ready to throw in the towel for pumping. My goal was 6 months. I am roughly 18 days from reaching that goal. As my boobs start to give out, and I start to mourn yet another thing I was so looking forward to...I think Katie just knew I needed that.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

My sweet Charlie and his Valentine decorations
Katie Bug

Emmy Pooh

Monday is going to be a bittersweet day. Valentine's day is the day we transferred our three perfect embryos into my womb. Never did we expect all three would stick. We were hoping for one and instead we got all three. I have never been so happy as the day I found out we were having triplets. That happiness carried through my entire pregnancy. Each kick, each hiccup, and every smack to the bladder. I loved being pregnant with my three little beans.

Emma was the baby who held everyone in. She positioned herself across the bottom half of my womb to hold her brother and sister up. She is the fiesty one. She is strong. Emma is the leader.

Katie was a wiggler. She was the one who rolled and stretched and pushed her siblings out of the way. She is happy and gentle, but truly a little diva. She will be the instigator.

Charlie was the mover and shaker. Afterall, he started off as baby A and ended up as baby C. It was Charlie who I felt the most. I felt his kicks, his rolls, his hiccups, his rear end, and his elbows. I suppose, I knew him the best in utero. I think he would have been a handful. A welcome handful.

So, as Valentine's Day approaches, I am so very thankful for my three beautiful babies. I reflect on this past year with great joy and extreme sadness. If nothing else, I want my children to know how much they were wanted and how much they are loved.

Monday, February 7, 2011

4 Months...where has the time gone

Emma 4 months

Katie 4 months

The girls went for their 4 month check up/vaccines on Saturday. I am happy to report they are doing quite well. Emma weighed 11lbs and is 24 inches long. She is in the 10th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for length. That is not adjusting for prematurity. Katie is 12 lb 2 oz and 23.9 inches long. She is 25th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for length. Emma coos and talks all of the time. She is fascinated with her hands and feet. Some days I have to pin her down to get her to eat. She smiles at you and everything bad just goes away. Katie smiles and is generally also a happy munchkin. She laughed for the first time last week. It was so amazing. Kate plays with her hands and at night gets her feet moving and kicks the side of the pack-n-play. She likes the crinkle sound it makes. We tried cereal for the first time last week. They didn't really enjoy the experience. So, I waited several days and tried to introduce it again. Still not so fond of it, but did a little better. Truly, it is a little early for cereal. There really isn't much of a hurry, but I thought I would try. They are getting better at sitting in their exersaucers. Derek plays their water video for them a few times a week. They seem to enjoy it. I am guessing because it is bright and flashy. It has sucked me in a few times and I am an adult (or so the rumor is).

All in all, I would say I have two very happy healthy little girls. They love their mommy and daddy and we adore them. There is no greater feeling than walking in the door from a long day and having your princesses smile because you are home.

While it really isn't fair to Derek becuase he is home with them all day..I do love that when I walk in they want me. It becomes all about the mom. :)