Saturday, June 29, 2013

Faking it, Nervous Breakdowns and God Conversations

I had a Publix sub sandwich when I was in the hospital.  I don't remember what day it was but it was in the 2nd of the 3 rooms I was in.  It tasted so good.  The spice of the jalepenos, the crunch of the bread, the saltiness of the pickles and ham.

Pregnant woman aren't supposed to have lunch meat.  It can give the baby listeria or something.  Tucker had already died at that point, Fletcher was delivered a few days later.  It wasn't the ham that caused it but I guess my subconscious is dwelling on that and gave me a moment of panic, 6 months later. 

I got so frustrated one day, in the midst of some family issues, that I was crying and slammed a pot on the island.  I was pregnant.  The pot slamming came at the end of a very stressful week that was a culmination of some very stressful months.  Stress isn't good for pregnant woman.

After months of bed rest and day after day of throwing up, I had a dr appt.  The nurse convinced me that I was suffering from depression and told the Dr in her notes that I needed meds.  I didn't think I was depressed.  I was worried.  I didn't know what all the throwing up was doing to the babies, I didn't know if they were getting enough nutrients.  I was tired of laying around and I was unsure of when I would be able to go back to work but I wasn't depressed.  But I took the script for Zoloft and went home.  I googled side effects on pregnancy and there were as many pros as there were cons.   I talked to Jason about it and made the decision I would try it.  I took one pill and immediately regretted it and never took another.  I wasn't depressed.  I was a pregnant mom of twins who was having a really hard pregnancy.  The depression would come later.

I think about all I did for my babies, all I would have continued to do, but my mind keeps going back to the things that might have altered the course of my pregnancy.  It's really hard to come to a place of understanding that my boys served the purpose they were meant to serve.  That I will be with them one day, just not now.  Guilt is a cruel thing, robbing you of what you know to be true.

Watched a special on 20/20 and it got me thinking.  Everyone puts their best on social media.  The profile picture that gets 40 likes was take number 17.  The rest got deleted because of bags under my eyes, a double chin, my hair wasn't perfect.  I think I've opened myself up to a certain transparency with my blog of showing the pain and truth of what grieving looks like but it's still not an honest picture.

If it were I'd put pictures of the ceiling at 4am that I'm staring at most nights I can't sleep.  It would be more posts about anxiety or fear and less of how much I love my husband or how great the massage felt.  I think social media has a big element of faking it til you make it.  Which for me, has been a good thing.  Because if I only get out of the house 1 day out of 7 and post about the fun I had at the beach with my family on the day i finally was able to leave, then the feedback I get is how great it is to see me happy.  How beautiful my family is. If I put up pictures of the kids being active in different things it shows me living for that moment.  Not capturing the other moments of despair, of heartache.

You can't judge someone based on instagram, Facebook, twitter or even blogs.  A picture is worth 1000 words but to the person in the picture, or behind the picture, their 1000 words may be a world apart from yours.

 I was sitting with my family last weekend at a water park and it was a good day.  I was feeling very much connected and present with them.  We were eating lunch and somehow the conversation came around to God.  On the ride down L had asked us about animals going to heaven.  I don't know if that was weighing on A's mind or something else but she asked me about God and how you get to heaven.  In the midst of people running around us, kids screaming and laughing in the background, I talked to her about salvation.  I talked to her about asking Christ into your heart and turning from sin.  She listened, she processed, she asked some questions and then moved on to another subject.  But I could tell that she was weighing what I said "got you into heaven" with what she sees in me.

That's heavy.

People are always watching.  You have to be careful and mindful of what you show them.  If it's a picture that took 20 mins to get right, filtered and edited to look so carefree and beautiful or a status of what you are thinking, people pay attention.  And they see what you are showing them.

I don't think I'll ever share more pain than I've shown.  Part of grieving and healing is private.  The moments and days that hurt the most are often not documented.  They are between me, Jason, God and my boys.  But I put my life out there for people to see.  That means people will judge but that also means people will love, encourage and comment kindness.

I googled nervous breakdown and I have all the symptoms.  Serious.  All of them.  Anxiety, check.  Rapid heartbeat, check.  Pulling away from people you love, check.  Scared of everything, check  Hypochondriac, check.  Fear that your family will die, check.

I know I'm not having a nervous breakdown, I'd have been locked up by now if that were going to happen I think.  But I can't get over how hard this is.  How it weaves it's way through every fiber of your being, every piece of your life.  This is real.  It's suffocating and it's all consuming.  I'm trying to let is consume less and less of me.

I read somewhere recently that coming to the end of a road, be it grieving or something else, is often scarier than it should be because we know that when something ends, something else begins.  I'm praying that through my transparency, though my pictures, through my words, that my healing will come and lead me to a smooth beginning that won't be as scary as it feels.

Blessed because through these struggles and dark days, God is continuing to show me truth, give me hope and mend my broken heart.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shame on me, I had another good day

If perception is reality (which I hate btw) let me clear up a few things. 

I'm grieving. Somedays I'm able to grieve quietly and outside of my house, others times I grieve out loud stuck in my bed. If you understand this, you get it. If you've never been thru a loss like this, you probably don't, count yourself blessed.  Many days I've gone to the store, the dr, or anywhere else wearing sunglasses because I didn't sleep the night before and my eyes are swollen shut from crying.  That doesn't suck at all.  

You will be judged regardless so grieve the way that helps you to heal. For some, they won't understand if you can get out of bed and have a good day, why you are still incapable of functioning at a level you could before, but that goes back to the whole, they have no idea what you're going thru. 

I had days where I couldn't get out of bed, for days at a time. I still have those days but thank God I'm further than I was. I am still sometimes paralyzed by grief, and more often than not, anxiety, but thru grace and mercy and prayers, I'm able to stand.  

Anyone who knows someone who has faced a baby loss says its the hardest thing anyone can face. Times that by 2 and then talk to me about how YOU think I should be acting. I'd love to hear your opinion.  Because I'm sure you know more than my psychiatrist who I see monthly and my grief counselor who I see weekly. 

I used to be very independent. I wasn't scared of anything. This has changed that.  I can't do much of anything alone and I hate it.  With Jason, my parents and kids I am able to live my life. They understand my breakdowns and they don't require any conversation about why I'm having an anxiety attack.  It feels very good to be able to go to dinner with them, go to the beach or just be together. When I have Jason beside me, for the most part, I'm able to push myself to do things. Sometimes it works, other times it blows up in my face and I have a total meltdown.  I think of scenarios or times I would have to do something or go somewhere without him, or face strangers and I have a total breakdown. 

Glimpse into why my attachment to my parents and Jason is so strong and the fear of losing them so real. They are my lifelines. I can do things when I'm with them. I can be ok or I can be a wreck, with them, they understand. 

I can't control my temper. I can't control my emotions. I've lost pretty much all coping skills. I have tried to take the advice of my therapist and do more outside of my circle. After talking about if for a month with her, I was finally able to go to the gym. Kicking and screaming and crying and only because Jason was beside me the whole time but I did it. 

I'm not going to apologize or try to hide my good days. I wear them like a badge of honor. Because God knows, I've earned them through blood, sweat and tears.  I may not be able to take an art class or go to the gym by myself yet, as my therapist wants me to do, but I'm able to enjoy my family, blog out my feelings and cry out my emotions and all of that is leading me further down this crappy road of loss. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm running away

Back to reality. 

I really wanted to run away but it's a lot more complicated than you'd think. 

Vacation, like everything else in my life for the past year, was an emotional roller coaster. Highs were fun, laughing, riding bikes, snorkeling, integrating 2 families for the peace and ease it brings. Enjoying being away. Lows were miserable and lonely. My emotions started the night before Father's Day. I woke up watching the movie in my head that I can't ever turn off. Jason driving me to the hospital as my water was breaking, seeing the looks of knowledge on the dr's faces, the looks of sadness on the faces of the nurses, the blind hope on my families faces. The labor, the births, holding our babies, having to give them to the nurses to be taken away forever. Leaving with nothing. Having 2 boxes of our babies ashes that we have no idea what to do with.  It literally was crushing my spirit. I couldn't pull it together. But I didn't want to ruin Father's Day for Jason so I went to a water park. Did you know they have floats for very little babies so they can be in the lazy river with you?  I didn't, until I saw a dozes mothers with their babies, floating. Not a care in the world. I couldn't stop the tears. Then a baby cried and my breast leaked milk. For a baby that wasn't mine.  Everyone else was off having fun and I was the crazy lady crying, leaking milk. While families all around me enjoyed Father's Day. 

I couldn't go to dinner last night with everyone. I couldn't stop the tears. I wanted to run away, never felt so lonely. There's no where to run when you are in a place you have never been and don't know how to get anywhere.  Luckily I couldn't find my wallet so it kept me there in the camper, alone, with nothing to do but think. 

It's hard for me to do normal things. I'm fine one minute then a wreck the next. I don't have much to talk to anyone about because no one wants to hear what's upsetting me, this time.  Again. 

I'm back home and I'm lost. That's the thing about vacation, you have to come back. Now I'm home and I'm lost. I'm sad and I'm frustrated. 

Life passes by. Life keeps going.  Good days and bad.  I feel like its time to make  some decisions but every option scares me. 

Have been toying with the idea of thinking about trying another pregnancy at some point. And then I have a dream that I'm pregnant. And all is good. Until I throw up and realize I have thrown up my baby and there is nothing I can do but try to shove it back in. And I wake up in a panic and I'm crying and hysterical. 

I don't expect this to be easy. But I didn't expect to feel so alone. So much like a freak whose emotions are literally all over the place. 

I'm tired of the good job for getting out of bed, out of the house, that my dr gives me. In tired of missing something I can't have back. 2 very special something. I'm tired of being alone bc I don't know how to be with people anymore.

This has changed me. I'm trying so hard to make it into a positive change but the pain is still so raw, the fear is so constantly in my face, I'm always waiting for the next disaster to happen. 

It's a sucky way to live. I have to figure out how these small steps are going to get me to a better place. Where the desire to run away isn't there. Where the guilt and shame and pain doesn't suffocate me.  

I'm trying, the best I can, to make my days ok. I'm a mother. And I don't have my babies.  That makes having good days hard. 

But I'm doing the best I can.  God hasn't left me and I know wherever I run to, even if its far away only in my mind, He is still there. 

This isn't how my life was supposed to be. I should be up checking on my babies. Feeding them with the breast milk I still have. Singing them the songs my parents and grandparents sang me to sleep. 

Today was bad. Yesterday was worse. Tomorrow, I pray that somehow, it will get better.  I need some rest. I need some peace and I need that blind hope that got me thru 3 weeks of hell in Dec. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Stupid Disney, happiest place on earth my butt

We are officially campers, I'd say. I love the camping life. Hair in braids, trucker hats, cooking out, riding bikes. All so fun and relaxing. 

Then life happens. One of the kids gets sick and throws a wrench in the plans.  But I wouldn't trade A sitting on my lap sick, while in our camping chairs, at the campsite, away from life for anything. 

But life still happens. Once I finally got my bike up on 2 wheels and it stayed that way, I may have fallen off a few times, blame the rain and slick flip flops or my uncoordinated self, I took a ride with K around the campground. It's been a good time of some one on one time with the kids at different points. And vacationing with the other set of parents is easy. The kids don't feel pulled, they get to make memories, together with both their families, and we get to relax and enjoy being together. 

But I must warn to any grieving parents out there, maybe don't go to Disney when you are getting over the loss of children.  It's not always the happiest place on earth when you see a mom holding a newborn. When you see toddlers toddling around. When every golf cart you pass has babies in it, it seems. 

It's so hard, this sucky balancing act between wanting to be happy and enjoy your time and trying to find a place to let your sobs escape without ruining anyone else's fun. 

I was naive, again, in thinking all the important dates and holidays had passed. I don't know why I assumed Father's Day wouldn't be hard. In a lot of ways, it's harder than Mother's Day. I see Jason with the kids and he's such a good dad.  He's a ride the bikes, throw the ball, hold the hair of the puking daughter, kind of Daddy. 

I'll never forget the care and love he had holding our boys. Our babies. The look of love, of awe, of pain and of heartbreak. All wrapped in one sucky bow of love and loss. 

Father's Day is hard. Being at the happiest place on earth isn't fun. I mean, if I'm being honest I've never really been a Disney and Mickey fan but I'd have still really liked the option of taking Tucker and Fletcher and buying them $30 mouse ears to wear, while complaining about long lines and smelly people and taking 1000 pictures of them smiling with the Disney characters. 

Love and loss.  It's not fun.  But the hurt is the price your pay for loving completely and unconditionally and that is one thing that even such a great loss won't take from me. 

On this Father's Day I have 2 special men, who I love with my whole heart, to wish a very happy Day. 

From them I know what love, strength, compassion, care and wisdom looks like. Jason has an abundance of wisdom, as evidenced by his gray beard. 

Tomorrow won't be the celebration I expected to have this year, and I don't have the gift I wanted more than anything  to give my husband, but tomorrow, like every other day, I will be thankful for what we do have. 3 beautiful kids, a loving relationship and a very full life. 

Happy Fahter's Day, my dude. I love you! And so do K, A and L. Enjoy this day, you deserve it! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Guilty people, smart dogs and thunder thighs

Nearly 31000 page views.  Holy crap!   I need to figure out how to monopolize on this writing thing.

So it's no secret that my patience is near record lows and nearly everything gets on my nerves but the past few days I've really been thinking about some things and I think I'm starting to figure stuff out.

Going on vacation this week and it can't get here fast enough.  It's the first annual joint family vaca with the kids and both sets of parents.  We're going camping at Disney and we're going to some waterparks.

I don't know whose idea a waterpark vacation was. (it was mine.)  But I must have had this genius thought on a skinny day.  2 days in a swimsuit walking around and 1 day at an amusement park walking around sounds like as much fun as a day spent trying on shorts.   I don't wear shorts.  Ever.  Because if I do find a pair of shorts that fit me standing up, as soon as I sit down, my thighs expand to 3 times their normal size.  And the boys did a number on my stomach.  If anyone gets past my thunder thighs to look higher, they will see what looks to be a busted can of biscuits where my stomach should be.

Can't hardly wait!

We are snorkling one of the days so last night I practiced in our pool for the first time.  I was minding my own business and concentrating on my breathing and suddenly I see a rare albino dolphin swimming through the pool.  For those who haven't read my previous blog post about the beach, Jason swam below me with his white hiney exposed.  Then he was so kind as to put water in the top spout and I nearly drown myself.

I make it out of the pool and go home to relax with our dog.  Our dog that is is short bus special.  Today Jason heard a weird noise coming from the kitchen and went in to see that our genius dog had figured out if she pushed on the water dispenser on our fridge she could get water on demand.  As she was drinking the water that was coming out, she also flooded our kitchen.  She looks so sweet to be so rotten. 

I have had a hard time praying since Dec.  I have always believed in the power of prayer and even though I kind of knew that Tucker wasn't going to make it, I really believed that Fletcher was.  God and I have had a kind of tumultuous relationship lately.  I try to pray then remember that I'm angry and I can't finish.  But I pray during my non prayers that God understands.  Which I think He probably does. I've had a lot of people close to me request prayer over the past few months and I always find it easier to pray for them than for myself.  A dear friend requested prayers for his daughter this weekend and I have been praying for her.  Expecting and believing that God will heal her and that they will get good news this week.  Today it hit me, for the first time since we lost the boys I think, that maybe God took them to save us from future heartache and not to punish me.  I don't think I ever really even realized that that was what my heart believed.

I have also come to understand that people that get annoyed with things I post or people that get annoyed with anything that someone else may post on social media is probably a result of something I have termed "Guilty Flippin Conscience."

If I post about my feelings being hurt because I haven't heard from someone and you take offense, maybe, even though it wasn't directed at you, you are guilty in your own mind.  If I post that I want to punch someone because I got into a fight you are unaware of and you think I might be talking about you, maybe you are guilty because you know that I have a right to be hurt by something you have done or said or not said to me.  The thing about fb, twitter or blogs, for the most part, you don't always know the circumstances surrounding my rants unless you have the unfortunate luck of being my husband who hears EVERY rant.  So maybe don't assume and your feelings won't be hurt over something that isn't about you.

I'm healing.  Part of me is.  Part of me won't ever fully heal because I'm walking around with only half my heart.  But a weekend spent with the kids, their friends, our friends, family, my husband, our dog and my full life, the part of my heart that is left, is full.  And the more we live, the more full it becomes.

I don't have all the answers to all the crap that life deals us but today I got part of my ability to cope back.  I came to an understanding with my Jesus that even though my prayers weren't answered how I wanted them to be, that doesn't mean they weren't answered in the best way to further His kingdom, to show God's love and grace and to grow my trust in His plans for us.  Doesn't make my hurt go away.  Doesn't make me miss Tucker or Fletcher any less.  But I know the plans God has for Missy and Jason.  It's plans to prosper us.  Plans for a bright future.  I know this.  Today, I believe this.

I'm blessed because today, as I prayed healing for someone else, God healed another piece of me.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Just a step mom and chaos

If there were any questions of how awesome our kiddos are, this week confirmed it in big ways.  Awards for all the kids at school, Patrol, 6th grade Math student of the year.  L turned 7 today, lost a tooth yesterday at school.  We have so much to be thankful for and I really lucked out in the stepkids department. 

The girls are having some friends sleepover this weekend.  So last night, we spent some time cleaning.  Found out if you give the kids a can of pledge and a rag, they will return an empty can, a dripping wet rag and a pledged out house.  They did a great job.  While jamming out to Regulators.  We are awesome parents like that!  

In our cleaning frenzy I forgot I needed to run to Publix so at 930 A and I jump in the truck and run to the store.  Only as we were inside did I realize I'd run out without a bra on.  Awesome!  But it was L's bday today and we needed supplies. 

Got back to the house and after he fell asleep we went to work.  We made an obstacle course on the first set of stairs and made him some cards and had some balloons.  This is the first birthday I think that we have had the kids on their bday and it was so nice waking him up to surprises and a breakfast cake made out of waffles with a powdered sugar doughnut on top.  Then a slide through the course and they were out the door to school! 

I was riding high on cloud 9.  I love those kids so much.  They are all so different and have their own personalities but they are all loving.  They are kind.  They are funny and they are fun.  We have fun together.  I really love them so much. 

They leave for school and Satan starts in on me.  "You know, you're just a stepmom..." They don't make me feel like that.  I don't try to be their mom.  They have one who is very involved in their lives and very much loves the kids.  And is gracious enough to allow me to love them as well.  But I got so wrapped up in a big birthday morning sendoff that it took me to my knees when later I saw on fb pics she had posted of L when he was born.  Of A and K holding him and loving on him and adoring their baby brother.  

I was getting ready to head to the school for A's awards and L's birthday cupcakes and I just lost it.  So many of my dreams aren't not just not fulfilled, they are crushed.  The kids were so excited about us having 2 boys.  L most excited I think, to teach them all the weird boy things that boys do.  But they were so excited.  They talked of who would feed them, who would hold them and rock them.  It appeared my only job would be diaper duty.  I couldn't wait to share that with them.  

Out of nowhere, something benign happens, and it sucks the breath out of you.  You can't prepare for it because it's a moving target.  Is it twins at a table near you at dinner, is it baby pics of one of your step kids, is it seeing a pregnant Mom with that pregnant glow.  Any of these send me into a tailspin. 

The kids ask questions sometimes.  They know we have been back to talk to a dr and wanted to know what was going on so we try to be as open as we can.  They want us to have another baby but they are as scared as we are of trying again.  Of the what ifs.  If I can't make it make sense to me, I find it even harder to try to make it make sense for them.  

I'm still struggling with the understanding portion of this crap.  On one hand we lost our boys and that creates a hole that we all feel.  On the other hand, our family is pretty awesome.  We have all grown this past 6 months.  Together, individually and collectively, our family has changed.  

We are stronger.  We are closer.  We are better.  We are happy.  We don't have the fights we did before.  We don't have the separation we did before.  We don't have the confusion, the picking sides and chaos that brings.  

We have peace.  We have laughs.  We have fun and we make memories everytime we are together.  

Our life is chaos.  Always.  Tomorrow we are going to have 5 girls staying with us.  Poor Jason and L are going to need to find some man things to do in the garage or something.  But I wouldn't change any of it.  Nothing I can do will bring Fletcher or Tucker back into our arms.  Our home.  Our lives.  But because of them and what we have gone through, we love more, we love deeper and we share ourselves wholly.  

I may just be a stepmom.  But I wouldn't trade any of these 3 kiddos for anything in the world.  We may not have their brothers with us here, adding to the chaos, but they are part of all of us.   God saw something in me to decide I could handle these roles.  He saw patience and understanding in me to afford me the right to be their stepmom.  He saw strength and perseverance in me to allow me to walk this road of Grieving mom.  I know I am equally equipped to add a baby or 2 into the mix of our chaotic lives and I know that when that happens, it will be because everything else has fallen into place.  

We aren't the same family we were in Dec.  I don't know what bringing 2 babies into that life would have done to the dynamics of our family as it was.  I know now that we are strong, we are united and when God decides it's time to grow our family again, it will be for the better of the whole Neu Crew. 

I still miss my boys.  Today was brutal.  I wanted to hold them and sing to them so bad it actually hurt my heart but I made it out ok.  And I went to a bday dinner with L and the family and I didn't just go, I went and I had a great time.  

Things still hurt.  Sometimes I still forget to breathe.  But at the end of the day, I have my family, they make me smile, they love me and for right now, we are all better than ok.  

I'm blessed because I have 3 very special kids here I get to love, hold, talk to and tell them how special they are to me.  And I have 2 little boys who I can only imagine are spoiled rotten by some loving grandparents in heaven, holding them tightly because they know how my heart aches to do so.  

And, as always and forever, I have my best friend.  Always by my side!  I so love that man of mine!

Tomorrow I will be better. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lies, lies and more lies...

Well the operation "Have Parent's 40th Surprise Anniversary party at their house," went off better than expected.  Their Einstein daughter needs to be told NO if she ever decides to throw another surprise. Don't do it at the person's house.

It wasn't the least bit stressful. 

IT WAS SO STRESSFUL!  Trying to keep up with what I'd told who and who knew what and then I'd let something slip and had to slide to the next lie.  It was exhausting.  But the end result was worth all the stress.  My parents had a houseful of friends and family, of love and celebrating their 40 years together.  It doesn't get much more special than that.

End results, worth the stress.  The fear.  The unknown.  So the sayin goes!

Dr last week was a scary thing.  I had been told what happened with us losing both boys could have been for a few reasons.  One Dr thought it was a doomed pregnancy.  Sucks.  But with the hyperstim, the 2 draining, the huge weight gain of fluid so quickly and the swollen everything, she just thought it was a bad pregnancy.

This Dr didn't agree.  He is the dr that had a daughter who died 3 years ago.  He understood what we were going through in the hospital.  He shared a little.  The nurses shared the rest and it's just a heartbreaking thing he's lived for the past 3 years.

Sitting there, I didn't know what to expect.  I hate going back to the OB office.  It just sucks.  But I was there, Jason by my side and we talked to Dr B.  I love that man.  He's just simply amazing.  He talked a long time about his loss and how it still affects each area of his life.  How people deal differently.  How we both need to cut ourselves some slack and realize as sucky as this is, we will get pregnant again.  He firmly, wholeheartedly believes that.   He cried with us and gave something we really needed.  Hope. 

But with that good news comes unknown.  Will I have to have a cerclage to close my cervix?  Will I need to be on bed rest?  Will the frozen embryo transfer be successful if we only transfer 1?  Too many unknowns.  But he talked to us.  He cares about us.  Not just about us having a baby when we are ready but cares about us now.  He talked to Jason, man to man/grieving dad to grieving dad.  Jason needs to be ok too.  We're going to get there.  I think we both are ready to get there.

After a month of planning and scheming and mostly having my mind consumed with 1000 projects I was working on for their parties, my thought were here and there with the boys.  It felt good to not be consumed with what is missing from our lives.

Tonight we went to Longhorn for dinner to kind of unwind and relax with Mom and Dad and Sheila and Reece.  They seat us and I go to sit down and I see Sheila and Mom looking kind of anxious and trying to move me to the other side of the table before I saw what my eyes connected with.

Twin boys.  Probably 1 yr old.  Blonde hair.  Adorable.  Just chilling out, having dinner with their family, their parents.  It sucks.  Hits you out of nowhere.  We requested a table change while I was in the bathroom trying to pull it together.  And I did.  And we had dinner and talked and laughed.

I've been telling lies to try to keep a surprise for Mom and Dad.  I've also been telling myself lies.  I should have done more to protect the boys.  I shouldn't have done this.  I could have done that.  God changed his mind and decided I couldn't handle 2 babies.  Lies, lies, lies.

I want my life to be different.  I want my life to be ok again.  I want to know what it is I'm supposed to be doing and I want to do it.  I'm tired of being scared.  I'm tired of being mad.  I'm tired of being hurt.  I'm tired of not breathing, of holding my breath because sometimes it hurts too much to breath.

I miss my boys.  So much.  They were at the party with us.  But I hate that they were in their boxes, sitting in a high chair I was supposed to feed them in.  I miss them so much.

Here's some advice to people dealing with grieving parents, grandparents, siblings.  Say their names.  So few people say Tucker and Fletcher and when they do, it means the world.  It gives them back to me if only for those few seconds.  Just be present.  Nothing you can say is going to make my heart stop hurting but having you beside me makes me feel less alone.  Trust that they are doing the best they can. And even if you don't believe it, or see it, realize it's really none of your business how they are handling their grief.  If it makes you uncomfortable, love them from a distance.  They don't need your advice.  Telling a grieving couple that having a baby will help is silly. You don't know if they are able to get pregnant again.  You don't know if they are ready, or able.  But having another baby should never be based on fixing something.  Grief, broken marriage, blah blah blah.

I saw twin baby girls in the store yesterday being "mothered' by the nastiest 16 year old girl.  Nasty and mean, to babies way too young to know why she was screaming at them.  I wanted to walk up to here and offer my services.  I'd be happy to take your babies home and love them, sing to them, show them the love of Jesus.  I would be more than happy to be a mom to your babies, or even just hold them so you don't drop your cigarettes and beer.  I was so angry I couldn't see straight.

I'm mentally and physically exhausted.  Being a mom is hard.  Being a grieving mom is awful.  When you have bad days with your kids you still get to kiss them, love them, pray with them and let them know how lucky you are that God chose you to be there mom.  When I have a bad day and miss Tucker and Fletcher, I close my eyes and try to filter through all the nightmares and concentrate on the hours spent holding our sons.  I rub my tattoo.  I cry.

I don't know where I'm headed.  I know I never expected to walk in the shoes of a grieving Mother but I'm here, I'm walking, I'm wearing the shoes and I need to figure out where to go from here.  But I know I have to make time for myself. I can't worry about things like I've been doing. I can't change people. I have to take care of myself so I can take care of my family. 

I miss you Tucker.  I wish I could hold you.  Fletcher, Mommy has been wondering if you'd be tall like your Daddy.  I don't know if you grow in heaven.  I don't know much about heaven but I know I have some work to do on earth before I find out what heaven is like.  I'm doing my best boys, your Dad and I both are.

My boys.  Our sons.  Tucker Harris and Fletcher Thomas.  I saw something that 2 (parents) - 1(child that dies) equals 0. Ours doesn't equal 0, we still have some beautiful, special kids in our lives.  And I have my beautiful husband.   I've got parents that are celebrating 40 years married.

I don't know where I'm headed but I have some great people walking with me.  I'm just wearing some shoes I never wanted to wear...