Sunday, October 30, 2011

Remembering LJS

As November 13th draws closer, I can't help but being overcome by memories of these days...two years ago.
It's weird the things that you remember. Small things that don't even matter. Like...laying on the couch, texting Clif while he was at work. Telling him all about the crazy movements that Lilly was making inside of me.
Black jack tacos. Yes, tacos. Laugh if you want :) but Clif and I ate at Taco Bell every single day (literally) for the last two weeks of my pregnancy. Black jack's were by far the best taco that they EVER invented... and when I asked about them this last pregnancy, they told me that they had such bad feed back on them - that they wouldn't be bringing them back! So sad... but funny that even something as silly as a limited time taco will forever remind me of my little girl, and that it will always be something special between me and her...because apparently, no one else liked them!
The highlight of Halloween two years ago? :) Waiting for Clif to get off of work and take me into town (this was a treat considering I was on bed rest... I lived for car rides) to Sonic and get 25 cent corn dogs! Can you tell that a lot of my first pregnancy revolved around food? haha.
I remember sitting on my parents couch, every day that Clif was working, spending HOURS on facebook. Playing brick breaker...or something like that. A very addictive was to the point of addiction for a while.
There were Chinese food runs, foot rubs, late night phone calls to my dad begging for ice pops...and the biggest highlight of my every day life then, my nightly shower. :)
And then there is the night of November 12th. I had been to the doctor that day, Dr.G checked me...and I was barely dilated a 1 cm (stupid cervix), and Lillian Joy sounded wonderful. Dr.G told us to go out and enjoy one last dinner before becoming parents. And we did. Logan's Roadhouse... I remember sitting in the booth across from Clif, feeling incredibly uncomfortable...but not complaining, because I knew it would all be over the next day. I also remember barely fitting in the booth...haha!
Most of all, I remember Lilly. I remember the thoughts running through my head as I experienced pregnancy (in all it's glory) for the very first time. I was so scared... but so excited. I remember feeling flutters for the first time...yes Clif, at the catfish ponds. ;) And I remember the day that Lilly (though we didn't know SHE was a SHE yet) woke me up kicking for the first time. *sigh* There are so many good memories of that little girl... in fact, all the memories I have of her are good...all except the memory of losing her. The memory of the nurses searching for her heart beat. The memory of them calling Dr.G, him coming in with the ultrasound tech, lights going off... and I am haunted by the memory of seeing her lifeless little body on the screen.
God is bigger though! Through losing our precious Lilly, we have learned SO much. We have learned to lean on Him more than ever, and we've learned to lean on one another. We learned not to take things or people for granted. We learned to let go. Ah, that little girl has taught us so much in the last two years... and continues to do so.
Though I dread it, I look forward to celebrating Lillian Joy's second birthday in Heaven, two weeks from today.
Clif and I plan to take the triplets to the "meet" their big sister, though we know that meeting won't come until Heaven. I've already picked out what we will fill her vase with. :) No flowers this year, just sparkly leaves.
I guess with every passing year, we take little steps towards healing. This year, I think I will make cupcakes in memory of her birthday...I'll talk about her more. I'll make sure everyone knows it's her birthday...and I'll tell of how a little girl that never took a breath, this side of Heaven, changed my life forever.
We love you Lillian Joy...and we always will, Baby Girl!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I'm Alive!

So much happening...and so little time to write about it :)

Life with triplets has definitely proven to take up 100% of my time. Most days I don't even get a chance to SHOWER until 9pm or later. It sounds horrible, but taking a shower is one of the things I look forward to the most... a whole 5-10 minutes to myself (well, sometimes).
Would I change my life? Absolutely NOT! I love my life, my husband, and my children. These triplets might keep me on my toes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... but it is so very worth it.
God has truly blessed me with the things (and people...big and small), and I will forever be in debt to Him.
Last Sunday was the debut of my Three Precious Peas (at church, anyway). I think it is safe to say that GBC is in love... but how could they not be? Ha! Enjoy a few pictures from the babies first church service...

It was a wonderful time introducing our children to so many people who have been such a huge part of my life for...well, most of my life! We chose to have our dedication service last Sunday as well, which went wonderfully :) That's why you see us sitting at the front of the sanctuary. We were able to voice our thanks to our church family, for all the prayer and support for the last three years. My dad (the pastor), Mr.Mason (deacon) and Sam Jr (my brother), all had prayer with us/ prayed over the triplets. My Mom sang...and it was just an all in all good service. It took us a long time to get to that point, so it was a very special time.

Last Saturday, I participated in the S.H.A.R.E Walk To Remember. It's put together by our local hospital's perinatal loss council. This was my second year, and it always proves to continue to help the healing process. Though through tears, I was able to share a little about Lilly this year - which I was not able to physically do last year. So that was a step in the right direction for me. Clif wasn't able to go this year, because of the triplets - but I was accompanied by my Mom, soon to be sis in law, Kristy, my niece Katie, and my sis in law Traci :) I was so lucky to have these four special gals by my side.
While at the walk, I was able to see and talk to one of the nurses that was a huge help during our loss of Lilly. Her name is Heather - and she is an amazing woman! I don't remember if this was mentioned or not, but while on the operating table waiting for the triplets to be born - in walked Heather :) That was huge! Not only was she there during our dark time, but she was with us during our time of joy as well.
Also, I encountered another RN from the hospital - and still do not know her name. She remembered me from the delivery room with the triplets, but not only that...she remembered me from the delivery room with Lillian :) She remembered all about us, right down to the purple dress that Lilly was put in for pictures...also the same dress she was buried in. That truly meant a lot. Not only did she remember us, and the dress, but Lilly's name. She'll never know how much that meant to me.
There are so many other things that I want to share! Things the babies are doing (Easton & Elliana rolling over...Easton holding toys...them starting to REALLY see ect.). There are emotions that need to/should be worked through as these next few weeks come at me... but there isn't time.
Will write more soon :)
If you are reading this, please pray for a fellow bloggers son, Cooper. Cooper is in the PICU with RSV. :( Praying for your precious little boy, Jen!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15,2011...we remember.

Remembering our Sweet, Lillian Joy today...and every day. We miss you Baby Girl...and love you more than you could ever know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An apology from the Smith's.

To Whom It May Concern:
Let me first off start by saying that there are probably many of you out there. And...I feel horrible for that fact. But, it's life...and it will eventually get better. I promise. Well, it has potential to - if you allow it.
I married my husband going on five years ago. Even before marrying, I longed to be a mother. It's been my dream for a long time, and I would have literally given up anything on this earth to fulfil that desire. Anything. And now, after three long years... I am finally living my dream...though it was not easy getting to this point.
Towards the end of my pregnancy with Lilly, things took a turn for the worse. I won't say that I had the worst pregnancies that I've ever heard of... but you could say that both of mine were definitely not routine. Blood pressure sky rocketed, and there was nothing that I could do about it. I spent the last month of my pregnancy with Lilly, parked on the couch - doing everything that I humanly could to preserve her little life. Never in a million years did I think that my baby would die. But she did. November 13th,2009 was the most uncontrollable situation that I've ever experienced in my life. Unless you have been through it first in, it literally happened to you, you can never know the pain. You will never know how it feels to go into an operating room, to deliver your baby...your dead baby. And you'll never know the heartache of still expecting to hear that shrill cry of a newborn babe...and even know that sound will not fill your ears, you still will it to with all of your heart. You pray that the doctor's missed beg God that your baby is okay. But she's not.
That day in November turned mine and Clif's world upside down. And the helpless feeling that filled our hearts that day will haunt me forever. My heart literally begins to ache, just thinking about it.
Fast forward to January 4th,2011. The day we had been waiting for. The day we got our first pregnancy test with the triplets. Talk about mixed emotions. Clif and I were overcome with joy, and thankfulness... but along with those feelings came fear.
Soon into my pregnancy with our triplets, my blood pressure became an issue once again. At week ten of my pregnancy, I was already on medication to help control it.
A triplet pregnancy in itself is high risk... not to mention my already existing history/problems. I feel as if there was not a split second that I wasn't asking God to protect our precious little ones growing deep within my womb.
There were several scares during my pregnancy with the three E's. Doctor's were called numerous times, not to mention all the times we called the emergency room & doctor on call. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I was sure that I would lose our three little blessings.
Throughout my whole pregnancy, I continuously bathed it in prayer. And an every day struggle for me was giving my children over to the Lord. A friend at church gave me a book that helped a lot... and showed me that God put these babies in my womb, and that He would take care of them. They weren't (and aren't) my children. They are His.
From January 4th,2011 until July 15th,2011 I silently stood by... waiting for the bottom to fall out. It's almost as if I expected something bad to happen. But God was faithful, as He always is. I only wish that I had trusted more.
Our little miracles arrived (semi-smoothly) on July 15th,2011. They all had minor issues at birth, but all in all - they did wonderfully. We couldn't have asked for a better outcome to have been born at thirty one weeks... not to mention that they are TRIPLETS!
As July 15th drew near, Clif and I talked a lot. Talked of things that may or may not happen...worst case, and best. We admitted to one another that we wouldn't experience relief until we heard our babies cry for the first time.
I cannot even begin to tell you the relief that we felt as Eli was born, followed by Easton and Elliana. All three screaming. Though, once Eli was born screaming...he stopped and was "touch and go" for a while, according to the doctors. He was given some medication soon after birth, and the day after.
Oh what a joy to give birth to three LIVE babies. Again, unless you have lost a baby yourself... you could never understand the feeling. Clif and I went through a lot, and my body went through even more... it took us three years, and a lifetimes worth of tears to bring three beautiful, relatively healthy LIVING, BREATHING babies into this world. It took a LOT to get them here. And we fully recognize that it was nothing that either of us did, it was all Him.
Clif and I believe with our whole hearts that Eli Zayne, Easton Layne & Elliana Rayne are gifts from God. And we realize that we cannot be selfish with our children.
That being said, please read on with an open mind.
Our babies spent close to six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Our first triplet born was given medication to help his lungs because for a short time, he was literally not breathing. He, Eli, still has immature lungs - according to our doctor, as of two weeks ago. Our second triplet born had a hole in his heart. Since then, Easton was given medication to assist in closing that hole. Praise the Lord, as far as we know - he has no hole...and he is probably our healthiest baby. Our third born triplet was born with a very large hole in her heart, known as a PDA. Elliana underwent two rounds of medication to assist the closing of the hole. Neither rounds all. When Elliana was two weeks old, she had heart surgery to correct her PDA - as it had begun effecting her respiratory system. We were told weeks later that the surgery that has a 1% failure rate, did not work for our daughter. As of September 6th, our daughter still has an existing PDA...which has also caused her left heart to be enlarged. In the future, if this problem does not correct -we are looking at having to take her to UVA to have this permanently corrected.
Clif and I were extremely blessed in the sense that our babies were not as bad off as the doctor's may have thought that they would be. BUT...none the less, our babies were still sick.
And that's huge. There is nothing in this world that is more important to Clif and I than the health and well being of our children. And in the process of trying our best to protect them, we have hurt many feelings along the way. Of family, and friends alike. And though we cringe every time we have to face yet another awkward situation involving our children, and other people - it's what's best for our kids.
We learned SO much during our stay in the NICU. And where we may seem like over protective parents, we are doing what we know best... the best we know how. We had a very talented staff of doctors, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses that taught us much. Among the things we learned, we were given many pointers to live by - especially for the first two months of our babies being home with us.
Things that we learned include, but are not limited to:

*don't be afraid to tell people no.
*if someone is sick, don't allow them to be near the children.
*school age children should not be allowed to be near the children.
*smokers (of cigarettes or anything else) should not be allowed near the children.

While in the NICU, we were told about RSV (a respiratory Virus) that is extremely dangerous to preemie babies. Anyone with a common cold (or even if you don't know that your "sick") can carry it, and give it to the babies. If our babies were to develop RSV, it could very possibly land them back in the hospital. In our eyes, our babies spent enough time in ICU, and we don't want them going back there. Therefore, we have been extremely cautious when allowing visitors into our home.
People probably think that we are whacked because of how cautious we are. We screen our visitors before they come, and ask that they "scrub in" with the antibacterial soap that we have seemed to buy stock in. Call us crazy, but it's what we feel is best protecting our children.
Basically, it is what it is. We hate that we have hurt feelings along the way - and we pray that we will be forgiven. We are new parents...and maybe we are wrong in the way that we are caring for our children...but that's just that. They are our children.
Right now, we just ask that you bare with us. As of this week, we have two sick babies. Elliana is still just considered to have a cold. Eli on the other hand, has a cold...he is wheezing (on medication for it), and has an ear infection (on medication for it). Praise the Lord that Easton is still well, which we are trying to keep that way!
So, after all of that we ask that:

*if you have been sick, you're getting sick, or you have been around someone that is sick - that you not visit until the incubation period has passed.
*if you are a smoker, live with a smoker, or have spent a significant time with someone who has smoked in close quarters...that you not visit the babies.
*if you have children - you are more than welcome to visit, just not with your children.
*if you do visit, please respect our wishes - washing hands upon arriving, not wearing strong perfumes/colognes, avoiding contact with the babies face(touching,kissing,cuddling ect).

I know this seems bogus... but right now, with sick babies and flu season on it's way to full swing - these are our requests. These requests are not more Clif than myself, and visa versa. We both fully agree in the above stated.
We hope and pray that you can be open and willing to understand our fears when it comes to these babies. And pray that you will not be offended.
In the weeks that the babies have been home, there has not been a single night that we wake up and scramble to watch (or feel) our babies breathing. To make sure that they are okay. Not only does that come from them being early, and sick... but it comes from losing our first born. We feel that the situation we faced with our Lillian Joy, could not be controlled by us. And while we know that our children are not in our hands, but His, we feel that we have a little more control on their health... on their lives.
Even though they are all home, we continue to face every day scares. Them becoming sick, them choking and not breathing, SIDS...everything the average parent worries about - we worry about times three. So, just because they are home, does not mean the worry ended at the hospital.
God gave us these children, and we believe that He will take care of them. We also believe that we are here to see that these children are taken care of, and doing what we feel is in their best interest.
Basically, all we are trying to convey with this post is that - we are sorry if you have been, or will be offended by us. We ask that you forgive us, and love us in spite of the situation. We don't expect everyone to know what we are feeling, but we ask that you try to put yourselves in our place...and just imagine how you would be.
It won't always be like this... but for now, it is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Smith's (minus one)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

this and that...and me :)

Do you ever just Not like yourself? Yep... that's how I've been feeling for about three weeks or more.
I want to blame it on the new birth control that Dr.G put me on... it just makes me feel weird, I hate it! I really believe that it's screwing with my body :( Just called his office, and am waiting for a call back...hopefully getting it changed - and possibly going to see him about some issues that I've been having the last few days.
Anyway... back to not feeling like myself. Clif asked if I thought it was PPD, and honestly... I don't think that it is. I think it's more than likely a mix between exhaustion and November 13th rolling around...and this stupid birth control messing with my hormones (and body).
Bleh... I'm hoping that Dr.G's nurse will call me back - switch my medicine, and that I will be back to normal in no time!
Ugh, speaking of the birth always hear about weight gain (fun stuff) when you go on it. Well, since I am currently going to Weight Watchers, it's not making it easy on me. That, mixed with my PCOS = a tough time trying to shed some pounds! BUT... I am determined. I don't want these babies to have a fat mama...ha! Slowly but surely, the pounds ARE coming off. It's taken work and dedication... but I've lost 8 pounds in the last three weeks. Doesn't sound like a lot, I know... but trust me... with my body, eight pounds in three weeks is awesome! Only eight more pounds and I will be back to my pre pregnancy weight... and then only 40 pounds to reach my goal weight. Don't know if I'll ever make it there again... but it's where I would like to be. Man, oh man... the things two pregnancies and four babies will do to one's body, huh?
Well...Monday is the day that our little family of five has been dreading. Clif going back to work... on night shift. Not the most awesome thing in the world, but we knew that it was coming... and I guess we might as well get used to it. My Mom will be helping out for a while, and I've had a few friends offer help as well. :) I think I can do it myself, if I can just get someone here during the day to let me sleep.
Actually, the babies have been doing much better at night! Oh Lord, hope I didn't just jinx myself. They slept almost five hours, and then a three hour last night, we were actually able to get some good sleep! I'm hoping that this is a sign of what's to come... and that me being home alone at night will be a smooth transition. :)
Speaking of Clif going back to work, and me NOT going back to Omg. I guess I never realized the expense of insurance.The babies were added to my policy upon birth (don't even get me started on the headache that caused...and is still causing)... but I have to reimburse the company that I was working for, because I was out on UNpaid leave. Two months = almost $700. Ouch. THEN, Clif went and had me and the kids added to his insurance, effective Oct. 1st. He is currently on UNpaid leave, so we will have to reimburse the company that HE works for...actually, it will just come out of his first two checks. *Almost* $500 a month for our family plan. Wow. Insurance is ridiculous. BUT...can't go without it... so I guess it's just one of those
On the home front, we are doing some home improvements! Oh the joys of being home owners. Can you sense the sarcasm there? We discovered a few weeks ago that our roof is leaking... and that it would cause some major problems (on the inside of our house) if we don't get it taken care of. So, for the last week...we have been searching out the best deal for having our shingles replaced. Talk about expensive! But, we will be having that done in about two weeks (the soonest they could get to us). Currently, though, Clif and one of his relatives (too confusing to even say how he is related) are adding on to our deck covering. I guess that's what you call it. We have this small covered area on our back deck, right outside the back door. We are tearing that down, and taking the covering all the way across our deck - the length of our house. This has to be completed before the roofers come, because it will be covered with shingles as well. We've been doing a lot of home improvements lately... mainly because we plan to try and sell in the next two years, and everything we are doing is adding property value. Something I AM looking forward of my dad's friends is going to come and plow our field. For those of you who know don't know where we live... we have about 3.11 acres of land. Past our yard, we have a very large field-type thing. It's been grown up (for the most part) since we bought our house, but Clif and my dad have been working on it this past month and have cleaned it all up (mowed it, cut down trees and bushes...dug up stumps, ect). This guy that my dad knows is going to come plow, and seed the whole hopefully, by next summer... we will have one HUGE yard. :) He is going to level it with our yard, so it will be one level slope. Pretty excited about having a larger area for the kids to play in. Well, okay... they aren't big enough yet... and probably won't be next year... but still.
Ah, well... enough blogging for me today! I have two babies waking up, ready for their bottles! Oh the joys of Motherhood. Sorry for all the babbling, and jumping around of subjects! More to come :)

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