Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 30

I'm going to be honest and say that I totally didn't think that I would do all 30 days! I thought for sure that I would slack off around day 16 figuring it would be just like a diet where I do great for about 2 weeks ;) There were some posts that I did combine a couple of days BUT here we are, the last day of November!

I'm going to just wrap the month up with saying that I am thankful for every day that I wake up! Life is so short. One day, we are the present but one day, we will be the past. Gosh, it is so weird to think that one day, I will be gone. I am so glad that Cooper is here so that some piece of me will continue on and I pray that I have a lot of grandkids who then have a lot of kids...yeah, you get where I'm going with this. None of us want to be forgotten when we're gone. So for now, for today, I am just so happy to be here. I'm blessed to be able to talk, walk, love, hug, sing, dance and all of those other wonderful things that make life fun :)

I hope I didn't bore all of you with my list and thank you for reading! XOXO!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29

Today, I am thankful for the blessing of being a mother. I always say that Lily made me a mother but Cooper made me a mommy. A mother is carrying a child inside of you, loving this child and willing to die for that child. A mommy is being in the trenches, changing diapers, wiping up snot, doing anything and everything day in and day out. I'd die for Cooper in a heartbeat, too (hence, not terminating him at 17 weeks like the docs recommended). I LOVE knowing that there are 2 humans that were given life because of me and my husband loving each other.

I wouldn't trade this blessing for anything in the entire world!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28

Today, I want to specifically tell the babyloss community how very thankful that I am for each and every one of you. I joined this (suck ass) club on 8/3/08 knowing that my heart was forever changed. The stopping of her heartbeat had forever changed the beating of mine. I didn't see the world the same and although, I am happier these days, my heart will never totally heal. The very first babyloss blog that I read was Beth's blog for her daughter, Ada, and from there I found one babyloss blog after another. I wasn't alone. I found other women who grieved for their babies, the babies that we never got to hear cry or see their eyes. The other women that were treated (by the world) as if they should "let go" because, of course, "you can just have another one!" and we huddled around each other to give a virtual bird finger to whatever dumb-a*s hurt one in our community.

I found a sisterhood of grieving mommies that gave love and advice during dark times and celebrated with me during the good times. Thank you and I love you...really, I love you...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27

Today, I am thankful for my memories, those snapshots of time that are (for now) securely kept in my brain. I've worked in nursing homes for years (my pre-Cooper life) and I've seen the heartbreaking effects of Dementia and Alzheimer's and I truly believe that a life without your memories is a fate worse than death. And, I'm not being dramatic with that statement...

I have the memories of my first date with my hubby, our wedding, and meeting both of my babies for the first time as being my most favorite memories...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 25-26

Day 25- I'm thankful for the book Someone Came Before You which I bought off Ama.zon the other day to give to Cooper for Christmas. It talks about the baby before him that never got a chance to come home. He's still to young to understand that he has a big sister and that he's really not an only child. I included a picture of the cover because it's heartbreakingly sweet...

Day 26- On a silly note, today I am thankful for my sleep number bed. I had some muscle aches the last two days from the flu.mist vaccine then I fell on the pavement today while shopping so I'm so sore! I think I'll be putting my side's settings down for some extra softness, lol...

I swear I'll have some deeper thoughts on thankfulness as this 30 days starts to wind down!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 24

Today, I am thankful for my sweet neice, Abbi, who turns 7 today! She is always good for laughs and is such a special little girl! I love you!

AND, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you're surrounded today by loved ones and stuff yourselves full of turkey and happy memories :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 23

I'm cleaning my house in preparation for hosting the big Thanksgiving meal tomorrow so today I am thankful for my overpriced townhouse. It's 3000 square feet keep me busy with constant dusting and it's floor plan makes it impossible to buy baby gates to contain my over curious toddler is ludicrous but there's no place like home!

My hubby actually purchased our townhome about a year before we met. It was decorated sparsely like any good bachelor would do so it was a blank canvas for all my decorating dreams. This home is where we had our first kiss, we've celebrated and mourned within these walls, we've hosted our last Friday parties and have spent countless nights just being lazy.

I love this house but it's not our forever home. So, for now, I'm thankful for all the safety and security that it provides us everyday...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 22

I'm in no way endorsing the current state of our schools but I am saying that I'm ready for it to be back in session next week. I'm thankful that Monday through Fridays I am able to enjoy being out in public without it taking twice the time that it normally would because school age children are running amuck. Go back to school...thanks ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 19-21

I obviously suck at doing my thankful posts on the weekends, lol...

Day 19- I am thankful to be a citizen of the United States of America! When I was pregnant with both of my babies, I would talk to them and tell them that I may not be able to give them every last thing they'll want but I can give them the blessing of being born in the greatest country on the planet. I can be totally pissed at Congress but I would never live in another country. I will visit other countries and buy souvenirs but that's it!

Day 20- I am thankful for my family. I'm thankful that when we need each other emotionally that everyone steps up. Yes, we have disagreements like all families but I know that in the end that they're always there for me...

Day 21- I am thankful for good and reliable transportation. My car battery died twice this weekend and thankfully my hubby was there to jump my car off both times. He went and bought a new battery last night and I was so happy that it started up with no problems this morning! I feel badly for the people that have to take the bus in inhospitable weather and I really never want to be one of them. Again, I am spoiled, and I readily admit it. I remember taking public transportation a lot when I was a kid and don't want to do it now unless, of course, in an emergency...but, thank God that public transportation is there for those that need it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day #18

Today, I am thankful for being able to pick-up toys around the house. This sounds silly but I got a warm feeling in my heart tonight as I picked up Cooper's mega blocks that were all over the living room. These toys and the little boy that plays with them make this house a home...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 17

I guess today's post is going to be a combination of a thankful post and talking about World Prematurity Awarness Day so bear with me...

I started working with the March of Dimes the Spring after Lily died. I was heartbroken and needed to do something in her memory so we did the March for Babies walk and raised $1700. The cool thing was that I had found out that I was pregnant with our rainbow baby just days before the walk. My head and heart were so clouded with still having so much grief for Lily but have shards of hope push through with the thought of having a new baby growing inside of me. Our rainbow baby, Cooper, was born that November and he accompanied us to the walk in 2010. I make it sound so simple but in actuality, my pregnancy with him was life-threatening for both of us. His birth wasn't the happy experience that I always dreamt it would be. He was born at 31 weeks and I didn't even get to see him for 12 hours and didn't get to hold him for 2 days. He spent almost 6 weeks in the nicu and came home on a dreary December day. Actually, it could've been snowing outside but all I saw was my precious and perfect little one, nothing else mattered. Lily never came home in the way we wanted but her little brother did. He doesn't erase her absence but his presence has lifted a lot of the heartache. We've now worked with the MOD for 3 years and have raised more than $6,000.00 and will work with them every year until I am unable to walk anymore myself. Heck, I may still do it but rent a motorized wheelchair!

I talk about both of my babies today. The little baby girl that left us at 23 weeks which has left my heart forever changed and the little baby boy that came into this world with a vigorous cry at 31 weeks.

13 million babies will be born prematurely this year. 1 million of those babies will never come home. 1 in 8 babies will be born prematurely in the United States. We're one of the most developed countries in the world but still 1 in 8 babies will be born too soon.

Today, I am thankful for every single person that helped my son in the nicu. The nurses, doctors, lactation consultants, and those sweet chaplain ladies that helped us bring our sweet boy home. That sweet boy has brought me out of the depths of despair and into the world of the living and happy again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Days 14-16

Day 14- I am thankful for my little luxuries in life! My star.buck's runs are my favorite treats! Oh, how I love the gingerbread lattes :)

Day 15- I am thankful for mom's nights out, like Monday night's impromptu wine night with a few mommy friends. I only got 6 hours of sleep and had a slight hangover which wasn't cool with chasing around my 2 year old the next day but whatever!

Day 16- Today, I am thankful for electricity, seriously. Last night, our power went out around midnight and about 3 hours later all 6 of our fire alarms were saying "low battery" so my hubby goes down stairs to start changing batteries and sets off the house alarm which surprisingly didn't wake up Cooper. The power came on while my hubby was changing fire alarms and I was so happy because the air conditioning started working again. Yes, I'm a spoiled American...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13

Today, I'm thankful for day's like today. A day where there is nothing planned and we just went through our day without a care in the world. I got to sleep in, we had lunch out, we went shopping and then we had a simple dinner at home.

I'm so happy for my life with my boys. I don't care what we're doing just so long that we're together...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day #12

I'm going to be completely honest and I say that I was always wary of other women until I became a mom. Before becoming a mom, I was still shallow enough to care about being prettier, having a cuter outfit, or have your choice of any other catty/immature behavior. Hey, I'm being truthful...

These days, between running to one therapy session to the next or some other duty to a special needs child, I'm just happy to brush my teeth everyday. BUT, some of my closest girlfriends now are other moms. We don't go shopping at the Gap together but instead meet at the park with our star.bucks and talk about life. I've met some wonderful women through my mom's club and through MOPs. Oh, how some of my insecurities about motherhood were lessened when I started hanging out with other moms! I stopped crying in his nursery at 3 am and instead confessed my recent bad mommy moment to my other mommy friends and hearing "yeah, I've done that before, too!" goes a long way to alleviating guilt. And, there is no greater guilt than mommy guilt...

So, thank you to all my mommy friends!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day #11

Today, I'm thankful for my son's therapists! Cooper has been in physical therapy since he was 6 months old and it was originally thought that he had torticollis. His physical therapist told me thtat she thought Cooper had hypotonia at the end of his second appointment. I'm so grateful for the early diagnosis because he has received such awesome treatment. This diagnosis led to things like feeding therapy with speech therapy and he's on his second stint with occupational therapy. God has given us just wonderful and caring therapists!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day #10

Today, I am thankful for my blogs, especially Lily's blog, because I've been blessed to become friends with some awesome human beings! Most of the friends that I have made along this journey are fellow babyloss mommas but some are just people that happened upon my blog and for some reason they don't think I'm crazy and keep on reading, lol...

I have a group of blm friends that have been there since virtually day one of this crappy journey. I found a group of women that knew exactly what I was feeling and knowing that I wasn't alone was so freeing. I hate that other women know this pain but I didn't feel so alone in my isolation anymore.

I have one (known) male reader and I just love that he reads my blog posts and gives such awesome and caring advice. He doesn't make me feel like some crazy hormonal mom that needs to let things go. I won't point you out but you know who you are and THANK YOU.

I've had a few opportunities recently to meet some of my blm friends! Here are some pics :)

Me and Beth, Ada's mommy (she has 2 rainbow babies now!). Beth was my first blm friend and the first follower on my blog!

Me and Cass, Nathan's mommy.

Me and Susan, Gracie's mommy. I don't do this very often but the little boy in the pic is my rainbow baby :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day #9

Today, I want to give a big thanks to our military and their families! I so admire all the men and women that enlist to protect our country and wish that I had the guts to do the same. I'm willing to admit that I couldn't/wouldn't enlist when I was younger because I knew I would be homesick and now I couldn't/wouldn't enlist because I can't imagine leaving my husband and child. There are men and women everyday that are willing to sacrifice it all, including their lives to keep our country safe. The wives and husbands that are left at home to care for their families while their spouses are deployed are also heroes in my book!

So, THANK YOU from this coward to all the brave men and women (and, their families) in our military!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day #8

Today, I'm thankful for good health insurance because it has been such a blessing to us since becoming pregnant and since becoming parents to a preemie (31 weeker) with special needs.

We have Unit.ed's health saving's account which means that money is taken from my hubby's check every 2 weeks and is deposited into a health care account. It's tax-free money, too! The catch is that it has a pretty sizeable deductible, it's $2300 per person or $4500 for the family. Sadly, we've had no problems meeting our deductible since we started using it in 2008.

2008- My hospitalization with Lily was $55,000

2009- My pregnancy with Cooper was high-risk so I went to the doctor every 2 weeks and went to the peri on the opposing weeks. Then, my hospital bedrest and Cooper's nicu charges came out to $368,000!

2010- Cooper was a 31 weeker so he qualified for the Synagis shot (it's supposed to protect preemies from RSV) and it was $1200 a pop so our deductible was met by February!

2011- Cooper's PT costs $330 PER HOUR! So, our deductible was met by April...

I'm not ignorant to the fact that not every American in this country has the ability to pay for such great insurance and this is why I'm so grateful!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day #7

Today, I want to talk about my sister, Aimee, who is one of the most kind people on the entire planet. I'm going to be frank with all of you and tell you that I'm not very close to the rest of my family but I couldn't live without my sister.

My sister and I are only 18 months apart in age so most people thought we were twins while we were growing up. Funny, she has blonde hair and blue eyes while I have reddish brown hair and hazel eyes, but whatever! When we were growing up everyone would say that she's the nicer of us but I think she's getting a bit mouthier as she ages, lol...(I love you!)

Aimee has 3 beautiful and wonderful girls and she is an awesome mommy! She's a great sister and we talk on the phone at least 3 times a day. She's a great aunt and I think she loves Cooper almost as much as I do! She's just a wonderful human being and I'm so proud to know her and love her...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day #6

This one again is related to my awesome hubby but today I'm thankful for being a stay-at-home mom. We decided I would stay home with the kids before we were even married because this was important to both of us. Some call this arrangement (being a SAHM) as a luxury but no, it's a sacrifice and I'll explain...

It is a luxury in the fact that I won't/don't miss any of my son's new milestones but it's a huge sacrifice in the budget department. We watch every penny now whereas when I was working, we spent money like it was going out of style. My hubby works very hard everyday to bring home a paycheck and then works very hard to keep us on a budget.

Sometimes, I miss working, not because I don't enjoy being with my son but I miss having adults around and I miss having lunch breaks, lol...

One day, I'll go back to work (part-time) but for now, I'm just enjoying being a mommy. I didn't go through a high-risk pregnancy (and, lose my uterus) to only see him for a few hours a night and weekends. I hope that doesn't sound like I'm looking down on working parents BECAUSE I'M NOT. I have nothing but the upmost respect for any good parent whether that means you're working or staying at home.

Quite honestly, I wouldn't/couldn't dream about putting him in daycare with his special needs. I would be a neurotic mess wondering what they were doing for his exercises and if they were not meeting all of his needs in his way because he's not like all the other kids. I don't know if they have daycares like that...I've never looked to be honest.

So, in essence I've traded in adult and stimulating conversations for convos about Mickey Mouse. I've traded in stressful reports and projects for building block towers and playing with cars. I wouldn't have it any other way...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day #5

Well, let's get the "I'm thankful for my health" post out of the way. We should all be thankful if we're healthy but let me put it out to the world that I don't take it for granted. The only times I've not been completely healthy is when I was pregnant other than that, I'm good to go, thank God! I need to lose weight but I'm working on that...

I was reminded last week while my son was in the hospital about how precious your health really is. My heart clinched each time that I saw a child with no hair so it was obvious that they had cancer. I'm even more grateful for my child's health because I can't imagine how those families must feel to see their little ones go through something that could take their child from them. Oh, it brings tears to my eyes to even think of it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day #4

Please, don't read this post if you're not ready to read about rainbow babies (babies born after pregnancy loss). We're all at different stages of grieving and I recognize and am sensitive to that fact. Proceed with caution if this is a touchy subject for you...

I can't really and fully put into words how thankful that I am for Cooper, for everything about Cooper. Cooper just turned 2 on Tuesday and is absolutely the joy of our lives. We've had some challenges presented our way since Cooper came into our world, including my pregnancy with him, but quite honestly, I would live every challenge a 1oo times again just to have him in our world. Cooper has hypotonia (low muscle tone) and was recently diagnosed with Dysarthria (which I'm not completely sold on but that's a different story). In essence, at 2, he is unable to walk yet and doesn't really talk well, either. He was born at 31 weeks and has always been a fighter. I don't know why God has chosen him to go through so much but God has also given Cooper a will like no other human that I've ever seen. He's a fighter. He started therapy at 6 months when he couldn't even pull his head up off the floor during tummy time to now he's doing everything but walking. It's been a long journey and he's worked so hard. He's endured physical therapy for 18 months of his life, he's worn braces that have gone up to his knees, he's been in OT twice, he's endured an MRI and CT scan, countless genetics tests, has a new SPIO (special stablilizing vest for his trunk), and the list goes on and on...and, he has a smile on his face about 98% of the time (hey, he's a 2 year old boy not a saint! lol).

Cooper makes the saying "turn your lemons into lemonade" a truth everyday. He's sweet, funny, adventurous, curious, and loving. He's my joy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day #3 of thankfulness

I love both of my babies but I'm going to talk about Lily today. Oh, precious Lily, so fought for and so longed for everyday. It took me almost 18 months and 2 surgeries to get pregnant with her. Her life taught me patience. Each month during that 18 month period had tears of frustration if I'm going to be completely honest (okay, well, I was OKAY the first 6 months of trying...) but I always had hope that "next" month would be "the" month and that kept me going. Her death gave me a sense of mortality and to not take a single thing for granted. Seriously, I had never lost anyone close to me until she died. Yeah, I lost a grandfather when I was like 7 but I didn't even know him. Some would say that I didn't know Lily either but those that think that are 1. not mothers or 2. idiots. How can you not know someone that lives inside your body?

Her short life taught me so much and I try to remember how fragile life is everyday. One day your life can feel *perfect* and the next, it can feel as if it's slipping away.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 days of thankfulness

I thought about doing this blog project on Cooper's blog but then decided I'd rather do it on Lily's because I want to show others that you can still see the good and have hope after a loss. I'm a day behind so I'm going to do two things that I'm thankful for in this post.

1. Sometimes I'm more faithful and obedient than other times but I'm most thankful for my relationship with God. I've never kept it a secret from anyone that I believe in a higher power and I'm aware that all the good things AND bad things that happen are from Him. Sometimes, it's the bad things that make you want to turn away and even when you do for a period, He's always there to take you back with open arms. I've never once felt alone in the last 5 years (this November will mark 5 years since we started trying to have a family.) and it's not because of my family and friends. He was there when I was curled in a fetal ball in the shower wishing that I had died with Lily. He was the reason that I uncurled from that ball and continued on with hope.

2. My hubby makes #2 on the list! He's hot. He makes me laugh. He thinks I'm pretty after 2 babies and still not being at my pre-pregnancy weight even though my youngest baby is 2. He knows what I want to eat at every restaurant and will watch episode after episode of any girlie show just because he wants to be around me. He's passionate and vocal about what he believes in. He's marvelous, really...I don't know what I'd do without him :)