Still Here

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm still here. I havent posted in what feels like forever. I have a lot on my plate and on my mind.

***

The Christening is this weekend. This was a day I thought about all the time in the hospital. Would we get to this date? Would the kids be 2 months old or older? As they approach their 5 month birthday (they will be 21 weeks old tomorrow), it is amazing to me that we are at this date. The beautiful Christening wear that my MIL made is washed and ironed. Terri's plane tickets are booked and Peter is bringing down the carseat for her youngest tomorrow. The house has been cleaned top to bottom. Peter's suit is dry cleaned and my dress is clean. Food has been ordered. The cake decorator nixed our initial plan and modified it. RSVPs are in.

And, now, we have snow. With a forecast of more for this weekend.

Of course.

Peter's uncle (and godfather) and aunt arent going to be able to make it :( They live farther south and would basically have snow for their entire 10 hour drive. This is the saddest development of the potential snowstorm. They plan on coming later, but I'm sorry that we wont have Peter's entire immediate family together (one of his aunts is local and his other uncle/aunt are flying in from CA). But, such is life! The best laid plans waylaid by weather. We are still praying that it is the snow that isnt. Recently, we've gotten snow that melts by midday. So, that's fine. Just no major noreaster!

***

Nicholas's birthday started off with his annual Mass. Fr. B., who I just loved, announced the intention for "baby Nicholas". I dont know why it makes a different, but hearing him called baby always warms my heart. It just brings to mind how little he was and how he reached for us. Hearing "Nicholas" makes me think of a 2 year old... Not an itty bitty baby. Peter's parents, Fr. B, and all of us went out for breakfast after, which was nice. Then, Peter and I hung out, took the kids to the park, and waited for the emotions that came. There were tears. Laughter. Our dear friends, the V's, gave Nick a beautiful card, that just touched us in so many ways. We had a card from his siblings as well as one from us.

This year, for Nick and Sophie's birthdays, we donated money to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Pastoral Services dept, for the needs of bereaved parents. HUP is where we were rushed for their labors because of the proximity to CHOP, and the chaplain was wonderful.

***

It's no secret that I'm pro-life and that Peter and I chair our Respect Life Committee. I'm having a hard time right now, with several folks I know in blogland contemplating aborting one (and in some cases more) of multiples. As a twin parent who had high risk pregnancies, I understand that carrying more than one child presents challenges; for women with IC, carrying even one baby presents challenges. Obviously people make their own choices; I was told by several folks that I shouldnt get pregnant again after Nicholas and Sophia, and that I was irresponsible for doing so. But, as both an infertile woman and an orphaned mother, reading about abortion, even if it is called "selective reduction" or "selective multifetal reduction", breaks my heart. I am thankful that these women have allowed me to be a part of their journeys and that they have let me say what I felt compelled to say (obviously in a respectful manner). Respectful discussion, I think, is one of the most important things that we can have together, no matter how we disagree or agree. Pray for them and their babies; no matter what side of the line you are on, their decisions are painful ones and arent easy to make. (And for those leaving them nasty messages, I wish they would think about how it makes them look. Four women I know have received really evil comments and emails. It doesnt make you righteous to condemn these moms as vile sinners. Jesus hung out with sinners. I dont think God judges one as worse than others. The tiniest white lie, in my opinion, is just as bad as the worst thing imaginable; they all were the nails that hung Christ on a tree. Okay... Stepping off my soap box...)

***

I have almost 1000 photos to go through. Our new camera is great, but I just havent had the time to go through photos for posting. Right now, Bobby and Maya are napping and I'm hoping to get through (at least some) of them.

***

I watched the Duggar special on TLC the other night. Because of our issues with prematurity, I wanted to see how things played out with baby 19. I was disappointed that more wasnt discussed as it relates to prematurity (and microprematurity to boot).

19 children. Wow. That's a lot of babies. 20 pregnancies in 20 years. In one way, I cant imagine, but I was thinking that we've had 5 pregnancies in 2 years, and 5 birthed babies, 8 biological babies, and, if you could our failed adoptions, almost a family with 10 babies in 11+ years. I guess, in light of that, 20 babies in 20 years isnt that nuts.

I cant imagine having 19 kids, aging infant through adulthood, in the house. My MIL watches the show and we chat about it now and then. She was telling me today how organized they are. I do wish for that in my life! I could use Michelle here to give me some pointers on that!

While our faith is vastly different from theirs, I do respect their commitment to it and that they raise their children with morals and values. I do disagree with some of their teachings, but I hope that we are able to pass on what we believe to Bobby and Maya with some of their successes.

***

I've been thinking a lot about babies these days. As Bobby and Maya grow out of clothes (dont worry, Sonja, I'm saving them for you!!! :) ), I'm reminded that this might be the last time we have infants in the house, the last time we see babies growing on an ultrasound. For us, the second of conception is the beginning of our child. Bringing them into the world is their birth outside of the womb, but they are alive at that first second and we love them, just as we love them once they are born. The ultrasounds and dopplers... I think I will miss those. As we move forward with adopting, we both are drawn to older children, in sibling sets. They will give us new firsts and their "pregnancy" will be filled with photographs instead of u/s shots and paperwork instead of dopplers and TOCOs.

We arent using birth control, so if it is God's will, we may end up with babies again, but, that isnt the statistical probability. As I pack things away, it reinforces the journey to get here, how long it felt (and was), and how quickly this goes by. Peter and I were discussing earlier in the week about what the nursery will be (a bathroom) once the kids outgrow it. And it hit me that the babies will be out of their crib and a bedroom down the hall... In twin size beds.... And the crib will be gone. And, instead of the room where I've rocked them and changed them, will be a bathroom with a tub where I will relax away from them. It was kind of a painful thought!

***
Bobby's Corner: Our little pumpkin is quite the big boy! He is now in his 3-6 month clothes and, I'm guessing, about 13 pounds. (We'll know for sure tomorrow at their 5 month check up.) He loves to eat (whatever we will let him eat!). The other night, we had Peter's parents and aunt over for dinner. Bobby enjoyed cornbread, seemed indifferent to mashed potatoes, and turned his nose up at the red wine I rubbed over his gums. He is teething ALOT. The teething tabs that were highly recommended seem to only take the edge off when the teething isnt terrible, and twice I've succumbed to using orajel at night. He has five different spots, three up top and two on the bottom. Three of the spots feel ragged, and one spot feels like the tooth is about to pop through. And it hurts. Oh how it hurts. When they bother him, nothing will work except a lot of cuddling and singing and gum rubbing. Last night, he used a frozen teether for the first time and liked it until the back gums started to hurt and he couldnt get it far enough back to satisfy him. Then, only Daddy's finger worked!

Maya's Corner: Our chunky monkey is lengthening out! Chunky Monkey might not be a perfect nickname anymore! She fills out her 0-3 months and, in some cases, her 3+ month clothes. She still spits up from time to time, but we havent had a serious vomiting instance in a few weeks. Unlike her brother, who gets stopped up, Maya gives us a good, nasty diaper daily. Even though she started teething first, either she has great pain management or her teeth are growing at a slower rate. She's her daddy's girl and loves napping. But when she is awake, she loves to give kisses (nice, juicy, wet kisses) and now is smiling like there is no tomorrow. She watches you talk to her and pays attention to the world around her. She seems disinterested in TV. Where I have to practically put barricades up in front of Bobby, Maya could be facing the TV and she is more interested in the photos on the wall or what is going on around her. She's about 10lbs and she enjoyed some cornbread, mashed potatoes, and when I put wine on her gums, her face lit up and she tried to eat my fingers! We'll have to keep an eye on this one!

***

Well, Maya just opened her blue eyes and is flashing me "why arent you holding me" dirty looks. Sucker that I am, I have to respond. :)

15 comments:

Jenn said...

Wonderful update! Hope that your family all make it in this weekend SAFELY!!!

Holly said...

I'm sorry some family can't make it to the Christening. :( I'm hoping that maybe the weather will change a little so that they can come! You never know!

I agree about having respectful discussion. Leaving nasty comments does not help at all. I hope that you can help these people who are considering abortion. And I also agree that God doesn't judge one sin worse than another.

Having 19 kids is just....wow!! They are really good at organization, that's for sure!

Glad to hear the updates on Bobby & Maya!

Michelle said...

Glad to hear your doing well. Hope everything goes great this weekend.

Just Breathe said...

Thank you for all the information.
I hope you have a wonderful Christening. Sorry some people can't make it. Can't wait to see the photos. Last nights Duggar show did mention the risks. I don't normally watch but I wanted to see Josie. I know this isn't funny but when you said that their room, where you rocked them, would be a bathroom I started to picture a rocking toilet in my mind. :)
I can't believe how much they have grown. Time is moving too fast!

bubbledragon said...

Hey, you promised us a picture of Maya's smile! I can't wait to see it. This is a really really great entry. I am so glad to hear about the kids, and your thoughts about Nicholas and other things going on in the world.

I am so so happy to read how well Bobby and Maya are doing! They are AMAZING.

Cheers!

AKD said...

Oh, Michele, I'm so glad to hear an update! That's too bad about the snow - we're getting a ton of it here, and it's made it tough to get to some appointments. I can only imagine how sad it must be to miss out on people, but what a joyous experience!

The kids are just getting so incredibly enormous! I can't wait to see some of those pictures! I love the updates on how big they're getting!

I just want to say thank you so much for your support - you've really helped me over the last few days. It helps to know someone who has been here!

Heather said...

Wow - you sound like one busy woman! I'm so thrilled for you that you are finally getting to have a christening - I can only imagine how much it must mean.

And GL with the adoption process! So exciting! I hope you find your next children as quickly as you would like. I am quickly learning how overwhelming it can be, and we're just planning to adopt embryos!

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Michele,
I'm always struck by how gracious and peaceful your words are, even when discussing something as painful as abortion. You are inspiring.
I am sorry to hear that not all the family will be present at Baptism, but I'm grateful you've gotten to this point with the babies. :)
You are doing a great job, Michele. Raising twins, plus carrying grief for your other babies is tiresome. You are a beautiful soul with a lot of strength.
Peace, my friend.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Good to hear from you, Michele.

I really appreciated what you said about respectful discussion. It can be such a divisive issue, and you really got to the heart of it when you talked about how difficult the decision would be for these families. Perhaps more than with abortion in general, with selective reduction you're talking about people who've often dealt with years of infertility and want the babies so badly, yet they're faced with a terrible choice. I am so grateful that I was never faced with that decision, even though it was a real possibility with the cycle that produced my babies. One of many blessings during that cycle.

drmedhus said...

I find your blog both insightful and comforting. My son recently committed suicide and has communicated with us in many ways. This inspired me to write a blog as well: Channeling Erik: Conversations with my Son in the Afterlife. (www.drmedhus.com/channelingerik) It is my hope that, with the help of a talented medium, a book can come of this. The goal would be to, with Erik's help, elucidate and demystify the death process, the nature of the afterlife, the survival of consciousness after death, reincarnation, how thought creates reality, and the quantum physics behind all of it, among other spiritual matters. I hope to help those who are bereaved, those who fear death, and those who are curious to understand the bigger picture. Healing others seems to be important to my own healing process. Please keep up the good work. Your wisdom is sorely needed in a world that yearns for spirituality and a deeper understanding. xoxo Elisa

Sophie said...

Is that last comment spam? Looks like a cut and paste job.

Good to hear from you Michele. Abortion is such a difficult topic. You handle your views sensitively and honestly and I think that is courageous.

xx

Now I'm off to ogle your beautiful bubbas on the next post! :)

cheryllookingforward said...

Your reasons for being mad at all the snow are so much bigger than mine! I feel like a dork for complaining so much! I hope lots of people are able to make it and everyone is safe.

Thanks for a great post!

Leah said...

I love your insight and your openmindedness. You have a gift to put yourself in other people's situations, even if you don't necessarily agree with choices they make. Such a wonderful quality in you. :-D

I'm sorry for the pain you feel. You have experienced such loss. Yet I love your outlook on the future. You are a ray of sunshine.

Sunny said...

Great post, I enjoyed your perspective on things. It's tough to tackle the abortion issue, and you did it extremely well.

Jessica said...

Michele, this is a great update.

I will say a prayer that everyone makes it safely to you and that the christening is more beautiful then expected.

I couldn't watch the Duggars special, but I have heard from a lot of women who did watch it that more attention to preemies should have been given. Our world is not as aware as they should be that preemies exist and even micropreemies.

Thinking of you and your family this weekend.