Monday, December 31, 2012

Humor, Christmas list and my Husband

There's a song about a grown up Christmas list.  "No more lives torn apart, that wars would never start, that time would heal all hearts.  Everyone would have a friend, right would always win and love would never end.  This is my grown up Christmas list."

I missed Christmas this year.  My parents had a Christmas party the Sat before everything happened so I am thankful for that at least.  Christmas has always been very special to me.  A love passed down from my Nana, thru my Mom and to me.  This Christmas Eve I suffered a great loss and had surgery.  Christmas day was spent having a blood transfusion, watching someone else's blood go into my arm to make me better.  Creepy, gross and creepy!  I feel like I missed half a year, being sick for the most part since July.  Missing most of December in the hospital.  I would say I'm looking forward to a new year but I don't know if that would be accurate.  I'm just looking forward to a time I feel better.

Here is my Grown up Christmas list.  Imagine this was last week if you must, not New Years Eve.

1.  Healing.  Mind, body, soul.  Friendships, relationships, family.  So many people I love are hurting for so many different reasons.  Before all this happened there was deep hurt for many.  Through the loss of the boys some of those bridges were crossed and healing has started.  Not all though.  I pray that this will be a year of healing.  That egos, pride and hurts can be let go of.  That people can come back together.  That hearts, relationships and lives can be mended.

2. That humor will always take up such a big part of my life.  Jason is many things to me.  He is my very best friend, he is my strength, he is my heart.  He also makes me laugh when I most need it.  So many times when I was stuck in bed, he would come and lay beside me and we would talk and laugh until we had tears running down our faces.  That continued in the hospital.  One of the funniest things happened Christmas day.  I was having chest pains and was scared and he was laying in bed with me holding me.  A man walked in and Jason thought it was the dietary people delivering dinner so was prepared with the regular, just set it over there.  This man was someone the nurses deemed McSteamy, for good reason.  He wasn't there with a food tray, he was there to do an EKG.  I had on a tshirt and no bra.  Jason, having gone thru some EMT school, knew where McSteamy had to place the tabs.  My husband loves me.  A lot.  I have never in my life felt more valued, loved and appreciated than I do from this man.  He is also quite protective of me and will hurt anyone who looks at me wrong or inappropriately.  So I am laying on this bed, watching his reaction as this guy raises my shirt and connects me.  It wouldnt havent mattered if the guy was a troll, talk about uncomfortable.  That he wasn't a troll at all, very uncomfortable.  I wish I could have that on camera.  Jason trying so hard not to snatch the tabs and wires and do it himself.  As soon as McSteamy leaves, my mom comes running in the room to see if Jason was breathing or had the EKG guy by the throat.  Then the nurse comes in fawning all over the guy and Jason was not amused.  It was hilarious.  He handled it like a champ.

He did things for me during our hospital stay that no man should ever have to do for his wife.  I was crying at one point asking him, please still love me, please still think I'm sexy.  Being on complete bedrest he rose to the challenge.  We were in a labor and delivery room for the biggest part of our stay and the cabinets were stocked with dr gear.  He comes out at one point wearing a plastic surgery mask shield, cap and gloves.  He was the nurses favorite.  Of course.  Nearly everyday nurses that weren't mine would come in to see how we were doing and all complimented how Jason was always still there.  How most husbands were in and out and how he was always by my side.  I think he showed more than a few ladies what the true love of a husband looks like.  He was the dr's favorite.  Of course.  I love that man so much and know that laughter is healing and I know that God gave me him for so many reasons, him giving me deep belly laughter being one of the ones I love the most.

3.  The last year was the year of us getting pregnant.  The first 7 months was so emotional with IUI, IVF, tests, meds, shots, scans, appts.  Then pregnancy happened and it was sickness and appts and throwing up and worry.  We got what we wanted but it consumed us.  I don't know what this next year will bring.  It's hard to believe that we will celebrate our 2 year anniversary in a few months.  It feels like we've lived a lifetime together already.  I want this year to be the year of he and I.  Just loving each other, growing together, healing together and enjoying each other.  God will give us what we need along the way.  I pray that we can have a year of rest and a year of unexpected blessings that I know will come our way.

4. Shoes.  Haha, just kidding.

I knew we had a strong support system.  I have always had a very special relationship with my parents. When I went through so much so many years ago, they never left my side.  This was no exception.  My mom stayed at the hospital and got hardly any sleep.  Holding my hand, praying with me, talking to me, keeping me from going to a dark place, reminding me constantly of God's promises even in the midst of such loss.  Dad ran himself ragged doing chores and getting us whatever we needed.  My inlaws were so supportive, my family coming in from KY to just be here with us, My Nana coming to the hospital to hold my hand, my aunt and uncle staying with us.  So many friends, some I havent seen in 20+ years but connected with thru facebook lifting us up in prayer, sending me messages and texts of love and encouragement and hope.  Unexpected visits in the hospital.  Dr's that cried with us.  Nurses that held us and cried, got into bed with me to hold me, nurses that became friends.  People who have been on their knees in prayer for us.  Flowers, texts, calls.  We are absolutely overwhelmed with your love.  Thank you for standing with us.  I will never be able to tell you what that means to us.

I'm blessed.  Each day I feel myself getting a little bit stronger. I know when my physical being is healed that my emotional self will get stronger as well.  I am filled with sadness but also hope.  I am surrounded by such love that I can't stay down.  I have the most handsome of men holding my hand and dragging me, inch by inch, forward.

2013 won't bring what I expected but that doesn't mean that what it does bring can't be great.  I'm trusting and believing that this journey we are on will continue to take us on a path that grows us, molds us and makes us stronger.  I pray the same for you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the meantime...

Right now I am back in the meantime.  It's not someplace I missed.

I don't understand anything that has happened.  I know I'm not meant to but as someone who likes to have things wrapped up in a neat little bow, none of this makes sense and I have to fight to keep the anger away.

I don't know what the purpose of the past 3 weeks is.  I never lost hope.  I never lost faith.  I still haven't.  In the midst of the greatest pain I have ever known, the heart of who I am says that God is still in control and Jason and I will have better.  Our pain isn't forever.   I get that.  Even though right now it doesn't feel that way.

I feel cheated.  I'm praying that God understands all these emotions because I'm trying my best to fight them off but right now I'm just angry and feel cheated.  I also feel naive.  I thought because of all we had been through that we were safe.  I'd lost J, surely my babies would be ok.  It took great means for us to get pregnant, that had to mean that we'd have 2 healthy babies.  I was so sick my entire pregnancy, what kind of cruel joke would it be if something happened to the babies?  In the times I was scared because I wondered what all the sickness and throwing up might be doing to my boys, in my heart I thought, well maybe that's why God gave us twins.  Something may happen to one but no way could something happen to both.

I've been stripped completely bare.  3 weeks ago I had everything I wanted.  Now I am empty.  I have my husband and I have my parents and family.  I don't understand what lesson there is in this.  I know there has to be a lesson because God isn't a mean God.  Just nothing makes sense.  In the hospital I had dreams of breastfeeding Fletcher after we lost Tucker.  I couldnt imagine that I would have such vivid dreams if it wasn't going to be.  2 nights before we lost Fletcher, one of the other moms in the hospital on bedrest gave out cards of encouragement.  Mine was a butterfly.  We all started crying, thanking God for the sign that has held and sustained us for so many years.

I'm not questioning, please know that.  At least I'm not questioning why me, why us.  I just don't understand what all this means.  I can't believe that the babies just couldnt make it and that is the end.  Up until hours before I delivered them we saw them moving, their hearts beating strong.  They both lived.  Fletcher longer than Tucker.  It was amazing to see how much bigger he was than his brother.  What a difference 11 days makes.  4 more weeks in his home inside of me and he might have had a fighting chance.

I don't understand why this is my testimony.  I don't yet see how being a mom to 2 babies that didn't make it can glorify God any bigger than if I was holding each of them in the spring.  I do know that God has placed dreams in my heart and they have done nothing but grow stronger.  I am angry but I trust that God is ok with that.  My heart is empty and broken but I know, from experience, that scar tissue is stronger than regular, unscarred tissue.  I know that for whatever reason I'm in this place, it's never been more important to not miss such an experience, such a lesson.  I just wish I knew what that was.

I'm blessed.  Right now I'm blessed because even though I've been bent further than I ever have, and as much as I feel like I'm breaking, I know I'm not.  God will use me, this experience, somehow for His good if I allow Him to.

I thank you once again for your understanding of my heart.  This blog is honest and today it's hard to be ok but I will be.  The prayers of so many people have gotten us here and I thank you.  I never expected this to be part of who I am but God brought me here, I know He'll be faithful to see us through.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fletcher Thomas Neu

"I close my eyes and I see your face. If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place, Lord won't you give me strength to make it thru somehow...I've never been more homesick than now."

I wasn't expecting to have to write this post.

Fletcher was born on Christmas Eve, very early in the morning.  My precious husband was there with me, he really never left my side.  I'm so thankful my parents were there also.  My body had never been through so much physical pain, nor my heart.

So much I don't understand.  I never will, not meant to.  The babies we prayed so hard to create, the babies we prayed so hard to survive.  I have never been more confused.  More empty.  More broken.

I don't understand.  My babies were taken too soon but I know they served a purpose.  Their short lives weren't in vain.  We had so much love and so many prayers surrounding us the past 2 weeks I can't say anything other than thank you.  It's one thing to stand in prayer with someone for something hopeful, it's another all together to share the burden and pain of ones grief.

My boys lived.  Not long but they breathed life and they opened my heart to a love I will never regret.  My Dad was carrying Fletcher after he was born and Fletch wrapped his hand around my Dad's finger.  At some point that will give me comfort.

God hasn't left us.  He hasn't forsaken us.  I don't understand so much, this is a pain greater than I know what to do with.  I know in the hospital after I delivered Tucker and Fletcher was fighting so hard, I had real and honest fear consume me that I wasn't going to survive.  I can't tell you how many times I asked mom to pray for my physical healing because the fear was so great and I wasn't ready to leave my husband.  My family.  I never had any of the "symptoms" I should have had.  I labored with Tucker and they thought I had severe gas pains before I delivered Fletcher.  I never showed physical signs of infection that they assured me was there.   The fears for myself very well could have been manifested by Satan who has been working overtime or its more than possible that my boys being born when they were saved my life.

I've never been more homesick than now.  I miss my boys so much sometimes I feel like my heart is actually broken.  But they are in heaven now for a reason and I am here for one as well.

My husband is the strongest person I have ever known.  My heart was in so much pain watching those who love me so much have to watch me suffer.  He was always there.  Even though his heart was breaking he was there holding my hand, praying with me, loving me and always making me smile.  I will never get tired of saying how special he is and how lucky I am that he is mine.

My parents have always given me comfort.  I pray for theirs now.  My inlaws, our families ,the kids.  So many hurting and sad.  But once again I will boldly say, I may feel lost but this won't break me.  I am empty now but God's promises will sustain me.  I have more questions than answers but I believe God is ok with that.  We will get through this.

I'm blessed.  Even though the tears not stop I know that God has placed the desire for me to be a mom in my heart.  And now I have 2 special boys that will always be mine.  Will always be perfect and will never know pain or fear. Only the beauty of God's love.

When the time is right I know I will hold mine and Jason's babies and all the dreams we had for TUcker and Fletcher will be passed on to them.  This isn't the way I pictured our story ending but as always, I will trust and wait.  I never wanted an ending.  Always a beautiful ending and until that day I will just do what I can.  I will hold the hand of the most beautiful man I know and we will do what we do best.  Love each other and keep moving on...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tucker Harris Neu

I have waited so many years, wondering what my baby would look like.  I've spent the past few years wondering what Jason and my baby would look like.  I now know.  He was absolutely the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.  He was ours.  He had my lips.  My nose.  He is our creation of a love more powerful than anything I have ever known.

I don't know what to say. For such a public forum that I've chosen to document our journey on, this is such a personal thing.  But Tucker has been my greatest accomplishment, there is no way for me not to talk about him.

The past week has without a doubt been the hardest I have ever faced.  I have gotten thru it by having the most precious man beside me.  I have loved Jason with a love that I never really knew existed.  Having his baby is my proudest accomplishment.  

We are surrounded with more love and prayers than I could ever imagine.  Texts, calls, emails, flowers, messages of prayers, encouragement, sharing our's been completely overwhelming.  Our parents, our family, our faith and most importantly, our God, has made this something that hasn't, nor will it, break us.  

"Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos but somehow there's peace.and though its hard to surrender to what I can't see, I'm giving in to something heavenly. Whatever you're doing inside of me, it feels like chaos But I believe, You're up to something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly."

Our grief comes in waves because there is still so much uncertainty.  Fletcher is holding on strong and I'm trying so hard to keep it together for this little guy who now fills the deep hole of loss his brother has left.  What a huge burden for him.  I'm pretty sure my little fighter is up for the challenge. We are being told everyday the odds aren't good. But we are also being told that I've made it further with him than they expected.  We need and covet your prayers for all of us. 

We didn't have long with Tucker but I can promise that a baby has never been more loved.  I'm not ready to talk about details, not sure that I ever will be.  But I just have to say that this hasn't broken me.  This has made my love for my husband so much stronger.  This has made my faith that much bigger.  I don't understand.  My heart is broken but I haven't lost hope that God is still writing our baby story.  

I am blessed because even thought it was much too short of a time, I know what it finally feels like to be a mom to the most beautiful of babies I will ever know.

Hold tight Fletcher. Your mommy and daddy will bring you home!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Full disclosure

These boys are wearing me out.

I'm having weird cramps, stretching, pressure, aches.  It's frustrating being pregnant like this for the first time because I have no way of knowing what is normal.  When a cramp is normal stretching or when it's time to call the dr.  Add to a twin pregnancy the hypermesis and still swollen ovaries, I'm a hot mess and more than toeing the line of neurotic.

Last week I was puking non stop again and got to where I couldnt keep liquids down so I ended up in the ER.  I got some IV fluids and meds and felt a lot better.  Yesterday was a rough day and today has been kind of worse, in a new, entirely different way.

BUT I got to see the babies this morning at the dr.  Instead of laying on top of each other, they are laying stretched out across my stomach, head to head.  It feels like maybe they are playing soccer with my ovaries and relaxing on my bladder which could explain all the weird cramps.  Regardless, prayers are appreciated that these lil guys are good and healthy and strong and everything inside me is as it should be.

Thursday we have an anatomy scan.  It's a long, detailed sonogram to make sure all the fingers and toes and kidneys and bladder and heart chambers and all look good.  It absolutely still is so amazing to me that I have 2 babies with me.  All the time.  I see them flipping and moving and waving and kicking but I can't feel them.  However, the other night, I think I felt one.  I was laying in bed and it felt like the remote control rolled off my stomach.  I went to reach for it and it wasn't there.  Then it did it again.  The remote was on the nightstand so I'm guessing it was either Fletch or Tucker rolling around inside.  Crazy!!

The night I met Jason, the first 5 mins of our conversation was him saying, "I'm divorced, 3 kids, pay x amount in child support and alimony, have an ex wife who stays actively involved in my life and yada yada yada."  I told him I was divorced, living with my parents, a little about J... Then we looked at each other and he asked, "Still want to talk?"  I said sure and the rest is history.   As we laid it all out upfront our little inside joke is "Full Disclosure."  When life gets crazy because of something we brought to the table, one of us will say, Full Disclosure, you knew what you were getting yourself into.  A little accurate but reading the chapter titles doesn't give you the full story until you delve into the book.  Much like life.

Life gets crazier and weirder by the day but it's worth it.  This pregnancy is harder and has taken so much more out of me than I expected but I wouldn't change it.  As miserable as I am a lot of the time, I love that I have 2 babies inside me.  Nice and warm and protected.  As awful and as torturous as the draining was when I hyper stimulated, I have already forgotten that pain.  I know when we hold our babies, when we kiss their cheeks, when we bring them home, all this stress and tears and puking and pains will be a distant memory as well.

I read more than I should have about what could happen with IVF, what could happen with a twin pregnancy.  I went in eyes wide open for the most part, share most all of it on here, full disclosure.  I had to date half of Jacksonville to find Jason but it was worth it to find him.  I've been blessed with the this pregnancy but just like my life with Jason, sometimes with the circumstances you're given, it's harder than I ever expected but the reward is also so much beyond what I ever dreamed I would have or deserve.

I'm so in love with Jason it's crazy.  I'm so tired of being home it's ridiculous.  I'm worrying about finances which is stupid.  Full Disclosure.  God didn't bring us this far to leave us.  I know that.  I believe it and I'm standing in that.

I'm blessed because the reason I'm so sick is because I am carrying the biggest blessings I could ever hope to have.  2 babies that will be all mine and Jasons!  I could not ask for more!!