Monday, November 16, 2015

6 months

 I have so much on my mind so please remember that this is some sort of weird therapy for me and I have always been way too blunt, judge if you must.

You know that line, "When it rains, it pours"?

I think that's true for some, but for my life right now its, "When it rains, get ready for a tsunami".

Last year when we lost Conor there were a few other things going on that I wouldn't consider awesome. We had some major car problems, Chris was trying to figure out a job and we had saved up a measly $4,000 for a down payment on a house and then had to spend every last penny on little things like, burying my second child. I remember telling myself that that was it. I've heard bad things happen in three's, like waves, so I was really trying to live by that. Stupid I know, but it's got to end at some point right? And I had hope back then.

Then we lost our little miss, I killed a dog, we moved (which is good) but Owen started going crazy, then Chris started the academy (which is also good... and bad-we hardly ever see him and we just found out that he is working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the next three years #bottomofthetotempoleprobs) and then Chris got pulled over, I got pulled over, I found out that I need total knee replacements and neither of our insurances will pay for the testing we need done in order to try for another baby.. if we even decide to do so.

{I'm just now reading it back to myself and I realized if you didn't know what happened with the dog it probably sounds pretty bad, it was. I was in the Costco parking lot and a dog (not a small one) ran out in front of me and both sets of tires went over it. There was whining and crying (from both parties), blood and finally death, and the Animal Control}.

Hold on a second while I reminisce about the carefree times when I had a killer tan and body.

Okay, I'm done. You all know I hated it out there and now, of course like you told me it would be, it is in my memory as a time of pure bliss.

About the ticket.. he was in a construction zone, without his license going 16 over. Flashed that beautiful smile and got what we like to call, "The Hendrickson Discount"- (that's a post for a later time). No ticket, just a warning. Later that week, I get pulled over, going 79 in a 70. Owen is screaming and crying because, well, he doesn't want to go to jail and I'm WAY more emotional than I should be, the Highway Patrolman is WAY more bent out of shape than he should be and I paid my $120 ticket.

I have severe osteoarthritis in both of my knees. We think it's genetic.. so maybe a good thing more than half of my kids died. (it's either I'm joking or crying about it, just accept it). I need both of my knees completely replaced but we don't want to do it yet because well, I am only 23. I've had a series of three painful gel injections to help relieve the pain for some time until I just can't take it anymore. I have six weeks until I can "judge" them but as of this moment they are both throbbing.. so for now we're praying this will work.

 I guess now I'm just waiting to see what else is coming. I thought about carrying around an umbrella but then I thought I'd probably get struck by lightening.  I know this is so bad and morbid but it's kinda my life now but I had a dream about Chris dying and I woke up feeling sad but not surprised. Wrong in so many ways right? When I had those dreams as a newly married wife, I would wake up crying and throw a tantrum when he had to go to class. You could say I was pretty mature back then.

Also- this was three years ago today. (Thanks Facebook for reminding me that I have a lot to be grateful for)

And when I say "newly married" I mean, like a year. I know it's only been five but in a good and bad way it feels like we've been together for decades, maybe even centuries. I think Conor and Charlotte aged us. We may look young but we feel old and so very experienced, in the best possible way.

Some may say it's just a bad attitude I have but I've learned sometimes/most of the time life just sucks. There is no explanation and probably no reason (for the ticket anyway, there better be one for Charlotte). Either way, this tsunami named life hit us and we are drowning and it doesn't look like the waters are drifting out anytime soon.

We met with a genetic counselor at my maternal fetal office and we talked about the possibilities of what chromosomal defect Charlotte had. They won't say that for sure she had Pallister Killians because it's so hard to diagnose but they keep telling me that's what she had. It's all very confusing. She said the likelihood of one of us being a carrier of a genetic defect is "extremely" low. "Less than 1%" she said. I then reminded her that I've lost two babies in less than a year, both due to so called "extremely" rare conditions. I told her that Chris and I make that 1% statistic possible. She laughed and said "Ya, true. Okay sorry".

So there are two tests we wanted to get done, one testing specifically for a 12th chromosome defect. And the other for any chromosome abnormality. By testing for the 12th we would be able to see which, if either, parent the problem came from, Chris or I. Obviously NOT to place blame, because honestly I've already been blaming someone, but it would be to know if there is a problem at all.

You know, a couple years ago when I watched friends lose their babies, I felt bad for them but not at all understanding the depth of grief and pain they were experiencing, thinking to myself about how I would handle it. I told myself so many things that I would never do. I really thought I knew how I would handle it, how I would cope with it.
I would never blame anyone.
I would never blame God.
Or Chris.
Or myself.
I would never doubt.
I would never question.
Because well, there is a plan.
Basically I would be just fine because I understood the Gospel.
I am here to tell you that's all wrong.

Sure it's better to have some understanding of the Gospel. But does it make it in any way easier? I am here to tell you no. These last five months have been the scariest, most destructive to my soul, heart breaking months of my life. (And I pray I never feel that way ever again).

I have done them all.
I have blamed God.
I have hated God. (not my finest moment)
I have blamed myself.
I have blamed my doctors.
The hospital.
I have questioned and doubted.
If there is a God.
If he cares about me let alone anybody.
If he heard my prayers begging for my baby.
If he has a heart.
I have begged for an answer.
I have questioned life.
If it's worth living.
I have felt it all.

But in the midst of all of this, I started praying again. Just last week. They've been angry prayers. But at least I'm starting somewhere. Chris and I sat down to talk about life and he told me he saw this quote that said

"If you are on the right path, 
it will always be uphill"
Pres. Eyring 

I just cried. And then we laughed. Because I feel like we are trying to climb Everest in our swimsuits without oxygen or food. We are dying over here. Nothing is making sense. We are so confused. We haven't gotten any answers (and don't expect to). We don't know where to go from here. I don't fit in anywhere. All of my friends are either pregnant or just had a baby, which is what they should be doing At our age that's what everyone is supposed to be doing and we can't. And I truly, truly am happy for them I just feel so left out. I should be talking pregnancy or baby and I just can't, well I can but things get really awkward really fast when I bring up my dead babies.

See, you feel weird now don't you?

I know this post is forever long but I just feel I need to share I am okay. Really.
Something flipped a switch in my brain this last week. When the, so called, "new" LDS church policy came out. It's totally not "new" by the way. When I first read it I thought, well "That's actually really kind".

Not that I was surprised. But I thought, for the church to put families, no matter how they are made, first. That is kind. That is the definition of charity.

I put that thought and all of the articles to sleep. When I woke the next morning I was appalled by the venomous words coming from dear friends about the church, the prophet and apostles and this policy. I was in shock. Now days, everyone has an opinion, whether it's hurtful or not, they love to share it. It's like they can't get enough of themselves.

I am usually pretty quiet when it comes to politics because I don't want my head to get bitten off. Cyber bullying is horrid these days. But this I just couldn't shake. I was getting so mad at the "active, good, temple worthy" friends bashing my prophet and my church, only a few stepping up and saying that they still believe and sustain the prophet. (Love me some returned missionaries that don't care what people say)

Then I thought, I said "my prophet", "my church".

And something changed.
I had to decide.
I had to choose,
Do I believe in a living God, who tells his prophets how to direct us
or do I not?
Am I going to let how much I know crumble because of something I don't?

I found this quote a while ago and it's exactly what I needed to hear.

"When adversity comes, don't let 
something you don't fully understand 
unravel everything you do know". 
 Elder Kevin W. Pearson

Right then I knew. I believed. I always have but I am telling you it got rocky for a while. And my relationship is changing with him. I'm not sure how yet but it just is. 

Hopefully we can get some answers. To anything. And we're doing okay. We visit our babies often and dream everyday but I am determined to see them again.

Hanging some pictures and I found the most perfect shadow box for her dress. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

I'm sorry

 I don't think I ever said thank you to those of you that helped us financially with Miss Charlotte and for that I am sorry. It probably seems like we are the most ungrateful people in the world. Which if we're being honest here, I feel ungrateful. I didn't want money, I wanted my baby. I would have given everything back if it meant we could have her. Like a trade? I would have given my life, if I had been given the opportunity.

When we had Conor, it was such a slap in the face and we felt like we lost everything, especially our financial stability (because we did). Charlotte was such a difference. Our dear friends set up a GoFundMe for us and believe it or not, our out of pocket for our insurance was $7,000. (CRAZY right?) But, I think the GoFundMe made just over that. Miracle. We were able to pay off all of my bills because of the money donated. There is no way we would have been able to do that without it. We were still trying to recover from losing our last baby.

 Also thank you to those of you that just sent us or handed us money. People we haven't talked to in years donated and that was the most beautiful miracle of them all. Thank you to all of our friends from all over the world who put our names in temples. Thank you. Even though I still hate what happened and I feel like it will take me years to be okay with it, it obviously was meant to happen the way it did because our names were in almost every temple throughout the world. From Paraguay to New Zealand and all over the U.S.

 Even though I still feel that way, the money helped more than we could have imagined. So thank you dear friends, old and new, thank you. Because I'd like to think that's what I would do if the roles were reversed. To be honest, I'm not sure I would know what to do. I get the feeling you all feel that way or you forgot, which I know you didn't, so it must be that you don't know what to do, how to help.

The newly married us

Send me texts, letters, emails, messages and don't be afraid to invite me to things. It's okay to stop by my house and talk. Being invited places is nice and makes me feel not forgotten and also hard for me lately. I want to be invited to play groups and outings with friends but it's hard for me to sit and talk about a long night of painful breastfeeding or how many poopy diapers you changed yesterday. It's hard for me to sit and listen to you complain about how exhausted you are because I would give anything to complain with you. In fact, I did once and I loved it. I loved being apart of something with other women.  I feel so out of place right now- it's weird. There aren't many people out there with one three year old. There are usually other babies involved and that's hard for me.

So please don't feel like I don't want to be around you or your beautiful babies when I make up a dumb excuse to not come. It's not that I'm avoiding you, but I guess I am. I don't even know what I'm doing. Please don't take offense if I never responded to you because the last thing I want to do is try to explain my roller coaster ride of emotions. Some days I can take it and others are horrible. Some things set me off and some things don't. I was completely fine in Target the other day (while avoiding the baby girl section) and saw a pink bow someone had left in the kitchen area. Right then and there I sobbed. Seriously, I don't even know how to explain it.

Please understand that I love you and I treasure our friendships but it's hard for me right now. Please understand that I understand how hard having a new baby is. How post postpartum depression is real and awful. I understand. I know that you are having a hard time too right now so it's not that I don't understand, it's just hard. Please understand that I am happy for you, truly. I am happy you have beautiful little girls, kids. I am. I would never wish this trial upon anyone. I just want mine to be able to play with yours that's all.

 I love and truly appreciate those that keep texting and emailing me. It makes me feel like I'm not the only still thinking about her, still missing her. If you let me know you miss her too, it helps. If you let me know you saw a butterfly or a pretty flower and remembered her, it helps.

 I miss her. Four months old is a fun age. They are just figuring out how to smile and giggle. I wish I could see her smile and hear her giggle. You know I never heard her voice? She never screamed, she was alive but couldn't breathe on her own. I wish I could have heard her. I wish I would have recorded her while she was alive. Even though she didn't do anything others might think was too impressive, she lived and that was impressive to me.

You have been good to us. We've been given money, gift card after gift card, letters, Mauna Loa chocolates from Hawaii, sweet children's books to help with Owen, teddy bears, gorgeous meaningful quilts, beautiful necklaces, plenty of flowers, hugs, kind and helpful emails, texts, Facebook messages.

I want you to know I've seen them all. I've cried when I've received them. I've loved them, every single one. I may not have responded to them but I saw them and I am grateful for them. I guess sometimes it's too hard for me to respond. Sometimes I wonder if you need me to say something strong because you keep calling me that. If only you could see me on a daily basis. We cry for her a lot.

Owen and I were looking at Halloween costumes a few days ago and he saw an adorable pink flamingo costume for a baby. He said we should get that for Charlotte. I told him we couldn't because Charlotte isn't here. He responded with "I know mom, when she comes back".

You make this heart wrenching, Earth shattering experience a little bit lighter and easier for me to attempt to handle.

It's one of those cliche sayings but we are truly at a loss for words because of the kindness shown to us. I know I basically just said "Invite me but don't expect me to come" and honestly that's just how it is right now.

Since I'm being honest here.. I'm still angry. It's been four months and I'm still angry. I wish the world could stop, stand still and remember my sweet girl. I wish the world understood how much pain I am in. I wish everyone would stop what they are doing, get off their computer, put down the laundry or dishes and hug their babies. Smother them in kisses. Smell their sweet baby breathe. Lay down on the floor with them and just be. Take the time. I regret so much just wanting Owen to grow up. I regret being so angry that "he wasn't letting me sleep".  They are hard but oh so worth it. They are exhausting but oh so perfect. When you get up for the fourth time in the middle of the night, be grateful. Try to think happy thoughts, even though thoughts don't come in full sentences at that hour, try. Hug your sweet baby for me.

Speaking of angry, Chris and I went to get tested but before we could my genetic counselor put in the case to our insurance and they denied it. As if losing my baby to a genetic defect wasn't bad enough, now we can't even find out if our future babies will get it. They denied it. They said it wasn't medically necessary for future pregnancies.So to say I'm angry is an understatement.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Three months

Its been exactly three months and five days since we had last held our little girl in our arms.

Though you see me at the grocery store, church, the park and I look fine, I'm not. This little girl left me with the biggest, deepest scar. My entire soul longs for her. I think about her at the grocery store. I think about her at church and at the park. While I'm putting my makeup on after a morning shower, while I'm painting my chairs, while I'm making salsa, while I'm picking out shoes for Owen, while I'm washing dishes, while I'm weeding. There isn't a time I don't think about her.

 I think about what people think when they see me and my one kid at the store and I can almost guarantee you they are wondering why I only have one.. I wish she was with me. I wish I looked like everyone else here, with armfuls of healthy babies.

I want her in the backseat of my car screaming her little lungs out. I want to put her in her stroller and have everyone comment on how cute she is. I want her.

It's been three months and five days since we last held her and I can't imagine the rest of my life without her. I can't imagine living happily. But, I have the the rest of my entire life left and I have no choice but to spend it without her. She feels like my soul mate, like I will be lost without her.

We miss you baby.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

S.O.S. Owen

Because I'm already up, I figured I'd write all of my very angry feelings out and hope that one of you has an idea how to help. He woke up at 1:30 demanding he isn't tired and he needs to sleep on the couch, we are just now nearing 4 am and he has been quiet for about ten minutes. What was he doing all this time? Yelling, whining, arguing, going potty (twice), using the classic "moooooooommmm', a hundred times, "I'm not tired" he says. Does he do this every night? Funny you should ask, only since he was about.. hmmm born.

Owen is horrible. And I mean that in the most loving, affectionate way. He can be the sweetest, cutest funniest, most awesome and happy little guy but can so quickly turn into the devil himself.

I don't want to hear "He's three, that's what they do". If you haven't noticed by now, Owen isn't your average three year old. He is absolutely amazing and awful all within the same minute. Won't sleep, throws a tantrum over anything and everything, enjoys being punished, is rude to other adults, the list doesn't stop. It's not the average "hard three year old" it's like freaking World War 3 over here. I teach him to not say hate so I wont say it, but we are close to how much I dislike this Owen. We are at our wits end. I honestly feel like this is why the last two babies died, because I wouldn't be able to handle all of them.

I have been trying to research and read online all about three year old's, their learning process, their behavior, etc. You know, get to know my enemy? All of these articles are for the three year olds that "can't explain their feelings, blah, blah, blah". Well, Owen has always been advanced, not only can he explain in detail his feelings but he can almost make sense of them and try to negotiate his way out of things. The one common trend I'm finding that could be the cause of tantrums is one or all of these-
in which case we are succeeding.

a. death in the family
b. moving
c. spouse working longer hours than usual
d. parent depression or stress

I believe some of his behavior is due to all of these, that's why I'm trying not to be so hard on him, but I still hate it. He won't sleep. Ever since he was a baby, he has never slept through the night. Our bedtime routine has never happened before 10 at night. He won't sleep. We have tried everything. We have tried to do no nap and put him down at eight, a long nap and put him down at 10, nothing works. He refuses to sleep. BUT, he is exhausted. He will take a nap after a long debate on "why our bodies need sleep" and a song and a story and what ever the hell I have to do to put him to sleep without a fight. That usually goes okay, for him, by the end of the nap time routine I'm irritated but he's happy.

Sometimes he sleeps for hours and sometimes for twenty minutes. Then we play and I usually try to wear him out as much as possible. We go to the park, I chase him, he feeds ducks and he runs, a pretty enjoyable time. Dinner is next and he won't touch it, but I'm picking my battles and that's one I don't care about. He refuses to eat dinner with us so why force it? We play inside for a while, do "movie night" which is just watching a movie but it has to have an official title to make it an event he will participate in and food. I try to make this a small deal but inside I'm secretly trying to give him as much as he'll eat so he will hopefully sleep (applesauce, cheese stick, pretzels, popcorn, milk and tonight he had Pringles). Then we start the bedtime routine. By this time it's getting close to 9-9:30 and Chris and I are exhausted. We do a bath, teeth, jammies, in bed and Chris tells him a story. By the end of the story he gives us the usual toddler procrastination game and try's to have Chris stay in his room for "one more minute".

He does, hoping that will be all and then we close the door, but not before him yelling that he "isn't tired and doesn't want to sleep". To which we are so incredibly tired and irritated we just lay down and try to explain things, we calmly give him a sentence or two and walk out to which he responds with the most ugly, horrible, screaming whine I've ever heard. But we can't just let him cry it out because 1.) I can't stand it and 2.) we currently live in the basement meaning he wakes everybody else up. And we will be moving to an apartment so same problem. When the calmness wears out we turn to threatening things like his toys, shows (because Paw Patrol can make or break a toddler), his blankie, his butt. Anything to just have him stop screaming. Sometimes he is so caught up in screaming, I slap his leg to get bring his attention back into this world and he looks at me as if "That's it? That's all you got?". I learned a while ago that spanking won't work for him, the problem? I don't know what does!!

When we follow through with the "no shows", he usually acts better, not great, but the next day (and I'm mean and take them away the entire day) as soon as he earns them back he does the same thing. When we yell, he gets more upset, so that's out. When we are calm he is calm until we leave the room and then he throws the nastiest tantrum. When we spank, he laughs. When we take things away, he doesn't care. Am I missing something? I have to believe he is over-tired. But I don't know how to fix that. I give him plenty of opportunities to sleep. The room temperature is normal, he has enough blankets, we have a white noise machine with a little light and it plays music, I mean if there was ever a way to fall asleep, this is it. He is spoiled. And still won't sleep.

He is constantly grunting and being rude to other people. Using "I don't like you", "You're mean", spitting, whining, and yelling. And when he's mad at me "You're not my mom anymore". Now obviously I'm not entirely offended by this but I have no idea where he learned it and I don't love it.

He throws a tantrum when we clean up, when we do baths, when we eat, when we run errands, when we get toys out to play (seriously), when we go to a movie, basically, I wasn't exaggerating. Everything. When we go to a friends house, when we try to potty train (which he is refusing to do). It's like any kind of change at all, he throws a fit about it. It's not just the classic, we-can't-buy-a-toy-so-he-throws-a-fit (well, he does that too) but he has a problem with everything.

I have tried to let him choose what we do. I push off errands and crafts and whatever else I need or want to do. When I suggest things, he throws a fit but we won't choose what we do or it's something only a toddler would request. Like pet a dolphin. Make a snowman. Things I physically cannot do for him. Lord knows I try. When he asks for the dolphin, I take him to the aquarium. But not before he throws a fit about getting in the car. When he asks for the snowman, I try to explain that there isn't any snow yet but when there is, we can do that. Guess what? He doesn't like that answer. Is he too spoiled? Is there a way to not completely spoil the one and only living child you have? Don't answer that unless you've had more than half of your children die.

I'm finding that when I take the time to look at him with a Christ-like point of view (which is hard) I can tell he is struggling with the losses of our babies. He mentions them all the time. He talks about death and dying all the time. When he plays with his toys the story line is almost identical to ours. The mom and dad are married and mom has a baby in her tummy. Then the mom goes to the hospital in a helicopter and the baby dies. He never fails to leave the helicopter out of it. He mentions that the mommy is so sad. He talks about the boxes they are in. I can't imagine how he perceives this. He must be so confused. He is struggling and I don't know how to help him, because honestly, I don't know how to help myself. I am struggling, therefore he is.

Basically things suck right now. When we are with other people or at the store we look pretty happy and we put on our pretend faces, but inside we are hurting. I'm not saying that when we are home, things are bad. We still play, and laugh and have fun together but we hurt. And we both hurt in very different ways. And Chris is officially in the Fire Academy which means he is gone. So it's me and Owen against the world and we are both fighting to be happy.

So I understand, more than anyone actually, that he is grieving. I understand that he grieves differently than me. BUT, I can't do the not-sleeping-tantrum-throwing-screaming-little boy anymore.  I feel like he is in the "terrible three's" stage but it's magnified by 100 because of the moving, Chris' new job, my stress level and the deaths. We just need help.

Because grieving is exhausting.

I need sleep, he needs sleep. If you have any tips on how to help me help him go to bed earlier, behave better, cope with death, I will gladly accept. But if you tell me this is "normal three year old and it'll pass" I just might not like you. I know it will pass, as what they say most things do. I want to know how to deal with the here and now, not suffer through and celebrate everyday he gets closer to turning four. I like him. I do. I like his awful, hurting, horrible little self. I just want to help and I have no idea how. Because as much as I would like to send him to Grammys house,where he is happiest, that's not realistic. Or is it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ryan and Lou are engaged!!

My brother in law Ryan has been dating the cutest girl and they FINALLY got engaged. Just kidding, it's been like, a few months, but you know, in Mormon time that's like eternity. We hiked to the Grotto in Payson canyon where they had their first date. Owen was not thrilled with this idea. 

Dark heavy clouds and thunder started rolling in so we tried to hurry.

Owen playing fetch with a couple dogs. He loved it.

As he was on his way to the ground, she said yes. haha It was the sweetest thing. He got to his knee and asked and by that time she had said yes at least ten times.

Owen has had a little crush on Lou and he was not happy at all that they are now going to get married. haha He said "NOOOO" after she said yes. Poor guy.

We are so happy for them and we just absolutely love her. And in true Mormon fashion the date is October 10th, that's about seven weeks I believe. haha It's possible, we did it. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Charlotte's due date 7-31-15

  Today is our little miss' due date. July 31st, just like her brother (Owen). I had a feeling this day would not be my best but I didn't think I would be completely depressed either. Thanks to the hospital for helping with that.

I got a call a couple days ago from the hospital calling to confirm an appointment. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I was not remembering. When I asked what for she jokingly said "Well it's your due date tomorrow and we've gotta get that baby outta there".

Obviously, she didn't know. She didn't know how much that one sentence took me to such a deep, dark, sad place.  I just told her that I already had her and she didn't live. That's all I could muster out. As if I needed another reminder that I won't ever have my baby in the way that most women/families do. She apologized and I hung up. I fell to the kitchen floor sobbing. Sobbing so loud it woke Owen up from his nap. He quietly opened his bedroom door, walked over to me, sat on my lap and patted my chest while I cried. I hadn't cried that hard since the night we lost her.

This wouldn't be as upsetting but this is the fifth time I've had to tell a someone at Inter-Mountain Health Care that my little girl did not live. The thing is I LOVE Inter-Mountain Health Care. I have never had a problem with them.. until now. Everyone I have dealt with (and that's a lot of people) have been absolutely amazing.

"So you just had a c-section six weeks ago? Hows the little one?"
"I'm just calling to see when I can come by and check on how Charlotte is doing. Babies that are born prematurely sometimes develop slower"
"I see you just had a baby, how's she doing?"
"Calling to register you to have that baby"

Why is this not in my file somewhere? Why does it not have her time of death? Why are the doctors/nurses/anesthesiologists not informed? Everything is electronic now days, it should be easy right? Just in my file? Why?

I get it, someone didn't enter it in. Someone forgot. Someone didn't take the time. And the first few times it hurt but I let it roll of my shoulder. But now it's starting to hurt. Like really hurt my feelings. To be honest, I'm kinda surprised I have any anymore. After all I've been through you'd think they'd be all gone.

Owen and I went to her grave before all of this happened. I shed a few tears but did pretty okay, I thought. The grass is just now growing in. And that seemed to hurt my feelings too. Everything does now. It feels like a year, at least, since we buried her. But at the same time it feels like it happened last night. Time seems to disappear. The days are long but the weeks are short.

At church today, everyone in Relief Society was asked to introduce themselves for all of the new people in the ward. A friend next to me introduced herself with her two months old on her lap, I introduced myself and the girl next to me did, also with a baby on her lap. To which the teacher responded "And look! They all have beautiful little babies".

I know it was an accident but it hurt. I think I'm a little fragile right now. People don't seem to be aware of things they say. I'm not claiming to be perfect at it, but I sure try. I need to build up a tough skin for those types of comments that I'm going to get my whole life.

Finally some good news! We are moving and that is good for us. Chris got on with Salt Lake City Fire (again) and he starts the academy on August 31st and he/we couldn't be happier. But the commute was going to kill him so we decided to move to Draper. The "in-between" city, close enough for him to get to work and close enough for me to see friends and family in Utah county. It will be good. I told Chris right after he was offered the job again that we needed to move. I need out of this little apartment. This is the place I was supposed to bring my baby home too. This was where her clothes, blankets, crib was set up. I hate being here because it's a constant reminder of what I can't ever bring home.

A few weeks ago my mom found this picture of Chris and I that was in my local newspaper about our engagement. She said something like "Did you ever imagine that these two would experience what they've experienced in these short five years?"

My answer- never in a million years.

I remember being a young, naive, little Young Woman with no life experience whatsoever and listening to lessons on Sundays about temple marriage, families, motherhood and life. Everything seemed like if you got married in the temple you'd have a good life. That it didn't necessarily mean it would be easy but it would be good. I've doubted that a lot lately.

I could have never anticipated what was coming to me.

 I look back at that girl in the picture and the decisions she made to marry in the temple and make covenants she didn't understand. I look back at her I want to warn her. I want to warn her and tell her that that so called heart break over the boy in high school was absolutely nothing compared to what was coming. I would tell her that life gets even harder for her. That she needs desperately to stay close to what she believes in. I would tell her that she needs to have a firm standing in it. Because that is the one and only way she will survive. That she will experience trials that will shake her down to the core of who she is and even doubt what she believes. That she will want out. That she will cry and yell and ask why. A lot. That she will feel lost and alone. That she will have to reinvent herself.  I would tell her that she will have a new perspective that she won't want. I want to tell her that she will experience pain and heart break like never before.. and that it will never fully go away. That there will be a hole in her heart forever. I want to warn her. I look at her I'm glad she had some time to experience happiness. I see pictures of her and I want to be her again. I want to be carefree, silly, outgoing, confident and happy because it will be a long time until she feels that way again. I want to tell her that I'm proud of her for getting married in the temple and making and living by those covenants she made.

Because now, those covenants mean a lot more. Now, she understands them. She appreciates them. They mean the world to her. They are the reason she is still breathing and living. They are her life.

So, no. I never saw this coming. Nothing can prepare you for it. But, at least now, I'm seeing the reason for going to Young Womens. For listening to those lessons. For going to church when I didn't want to. Because somewhere along the way,
I gained a strong testimony of this gospel. I gained a testimony of families. And that they can be and will be together forever. I am making it my life goal to be able to be with them again. They are mine and I will do whatever it takes to reach their level.

Owen turns 3!

Our sweet Owen boy turned 3 on the 19th of this month.
We had my family over and all crammed in my tiny apartment to celebrate. 

Phrases commonly said: 

"That's besgusting"
"What's a boom boom?"
"But why?"
"Don't talk to me"
"Dad, do you have work tomorrow?"
"Mom, watch this trick"
"Can you pway with me?"
"But why?"
"Dad, do you have work tomorrow?"
"But mom I just have to grow up"
"I wuv you"
"Ya.. sorry mom"
"Hi mom" (always in a high pitch voice and when he did something bad) 
"Can we got to Chic Fur Way?" ( I will admit, the weeks after Charlotte, we had WAY to much 

Opening his great grandmas present

Because what three year old doesn't use scissors to open presents.

And my parents just had to get him one..

That's the I-told-him-to-say-cheese-and-he's-eyeing-the-other-presents face

Like this monster train set that took hours to set up and he hasn't touched..

This was a big hit..until Paw Patrol came around.

And right now he loved off of pizza lunchables, chicken nuggets, chocolate milk and applesauce.
I felt guilty about it for about 10 seconds until the pediatrician told me has grown two inches in six months. (what normal kids grow in a year) and by normal I only mean kids without a 6'5 dad.

Also- Chris and I decided to get on top of our health because well, let's face it, the emotional and mental can't be fixed. So we are starting with the physical and  Take Shape For Life is our choice. We are already one week down and have lost 5 pounds each. This is our "before" face picture.. just you wait, in a few months from now we are going to be sexy again. :)

Enjoying the Minion banana smelling bubble bath mimi got him.

Happy Birthday sweet boy. We love you and are so grateful you stayed with us. You really are our miracle. I didn't see it when you were born but I see it now.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Charlotte Pictures

Right now, I'm having a hard time putting my feelings into one box in order to label them. That's actually been going on for about.. well.. months now. Angry, distraught, hurt, mad, betrayed, toyed with, played, teased.. I think I could go on for days. 

This little girl has changed my life. This experience has shaken every little ounce of faith I've ever had to the surface and I'm trying to hold on to the piece I have left. Somedays I feel okay, not great but okay. And others, I feel so betrayed, by God. I know, that's not what I'm supposed to say but that's how I feel. We prayed, faster, begged, and pleaded for her. We needed her. And then she was taken. What's worse is that we had to take her. We had to make the decision to let her go. 

 My sister in law worded it perfectly when she said "I imagine it's hard to be happy when so much of your heart is buried in the ground". 

That's how I feel. Like, I only had broken pieces to begin my journey with her and then I buried most of them with her when she died. 
We got the rough draft of her headstone today. As if that's something I wanted to do. With Conor, I wanted it done fast. I wanted it over with. And with her, I feel like once it's done, it's done. She is officially gone.  A name and a date on granite and it's over. That's it. 

That is why I am eternally grateful for these pictures.