Yesterday we celebrated the girls' first birthday. We threw a little party with mostly family and a close friend. It's not ever what I would have imagined the first birthday of my children to be like, but it was just right for the situation. I felt their love all around me throughout the day, along with the love of all of my family and friends. Here's a few pictures of our celebration!
The whole setup
Butterfly birthday cake
The birthday girls!
Punch, birthday cake, and pink bubble gum ice cream!
Close up of the girls and their flowers
The butterflies from their cake
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Yesterday we celebrated the girls' first birthday. We threw a little party with mostly family and a close friend. It's not ever what I would have imagined the first birthday of my children to be like, but it was just right for the situation. I felt their love all around me throughout the day, along with the love of all of my family and friends. Here's a few pictures of our celebration!
Posted by Stacy at 2:59 AM
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It's been awhile! I am currently 17 weeks 3 days pregnant, and we found out that it is a boy! We have decided to name him Elim Henry Otto. The E and H initials are from our Emilyn and Hailey. I had heard the first name before, and thought it was cute. Then when we were searching for E and H names I thought of it and looked up the meaning. Of course on different sites there are a million different meanings, but the first one that came up for me for the meaning was oasis, and knew it was the perfect fit if our little button was a boy. An oasis is something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast and I sure hope this sweet little boy is just that for us! I'm sure that anything that includes bringing my child home alive and healthy will be a pleasant contrast to what we have known before, empty arms and broken hearts. We are still hopeful that our dream to bring a baby home alive and well will be fulfilled. Elim is pronounced with a long E. The name Henry is just because we thought it was cute and flowed well. Otto is a family name on my husband's side, it is his middle name and his Grandpa's name as well. We think it also may be my Great Grandpa's middle name, but we're still not totally sure about that yet!
I am now back in Oklahoma, and have been here for just over a week! I've already had my first appointments with both my regular OB and high risk doctor. Both appointments went great, and I like both of them! At my high risk appointment they basically did the full anatomy ultrasound and that is when we found out that little Elim was a boy! He is measuring a week ahead by his leg and arm length if I remember right. However, by head circumference he is measuring a full two weeks ahead! Taking into account all of his measurements, he is weighing in 8 ounces give or take an ounce. My cervical length is 4.68, which is still wonderful! I go back two weeks after my appointment for another cervical length check. The high risk doctor seemed fairly confident that my preterm labor was caused by me being pregnant with twins alone, though he said there's not really any way to say for sure. So since I'm only pregnant with one baby this time, we shouldn't have any problems, and I really hope that he's right! I had my second shot of 17P, and had to give it to myself. I figured I might as well start practicing since I'll be doing them myself for awhile!
Here's a few pictures of our little Elim Henry Otto!
His sweet profile!
Elim's crossed feet
Posted by Stacy at 12:58 AM
Sunday, September 19, 2010
In the past nine months I have been missing my girls I have learned so much about what happened. I've probably learned enough that I could be my own doctor, if only I was able to work the ultrasound machine myself! I thought I'd give everyone a little "lesson" to refer back to whenever I say something that just makes you tilt your head and furrow your brow in confusion when I'm talking about my appointments.
I was given two possible diagnoses for what happened. The first was preterm labor (PTL) and that is what we are leaning towards what happened. The other is incompetent cervix (IC). This is basically where your cervix does not do its job properly. Basically that means it doesn't hold strong, and eventually dilates on its own sometimes with no contractions at all. Since I showed up at the hospital already 4-5 cm dilated they can't be for sure what happened with me. They don't know if the contractions started the dilation, or the dilation caused the contractions. So they're monitoring or treating me for both. Though we are more leaning towards PTL, since a week and a half before I had the girls my cervix was plenty long. Following are the treatments for each and a few key words relating to each.
Cervical length checks: Basically they go in and do an ultrasound to measure your cervical length, pretty basic. They worry a lot when the cervix gets down to 2cm, though they will also worry if they see a steady downward trend in length at each appointment. For me, I will be monitored with bi-weekly ultrasounds to make sure there are no changes. My length at my 15 week 4 day ultrasound was 4.89, and at 16 weeks 5 days was 4.68, nice and long, so yay! I had those a week apart because I was originally going to be doing them weekly, plus we wanted to double check the plane ride caused no drastic changes. These will continue until I am 24 weeks, and at that point if there have been no problems I will switch to only being followed by my regular OB. If there are signs of problems, I'll still be followed by the high risk doctor.
Cerclage: Basically this is a stitch to keep the cervix closed. We are not going this route at this point in time, we are going to be monitoring and if we see things starting to change then it may possibly be an option.
17P: This is a progesterone shot that they give weekly. It helps to prevent preterm labor before it starts. It helps to calm the uterus and hopefully keep it from contracting. I just recently heard that it maybe makes the uterus more flexible. I just got my supply of this last week and give the shots at home, I'm sore at the injection site for a few days afterward, but it's all worth it to give this baby a chance!
Preterm Contractions: My doctor in Guam told me to go in at any sign of contractions based on my history. So I am sure I will be getting to know the L&D staff very well in the coming weeks whether they be "real" contractions or just Braxton Hicks. Better to be safe than sorry.
I think that about covers it, if anything "new" comes up I'll explain that later. Not all of my information may be correct, but either way it's my understanding of everything they're monitoring and doing to give Button the best chance at coming full term!
Posted by Stacy at 9:33 PM
Monday, August 30, 2010
Nine months is the time that a little one is supposed to be tucked away safe and sound in a Mommy's belly. I've now been missing my little girls long enough to have grown a whole little human to a fully developed baby. I so wish that my little girls had gotten their full forty weeks. Nine months on and I still miss them with every fiber of my being every second of the day. I think of them all the time, though not always with sadness anymore. I look at sisters playing together, especially if they are close to the same age and can just picture my Emilyn and Hailey at that age, wondering what things they would be interested in. I see other babies that are about the same age that my girls should have been and wonder what my girls would have looked like at that size, what milestones they would have reached by now. They should be four and a half months old now, their little personalities starting to develop, discovering new things every day.
Happy 9 months in Heaven my sweet baby girls! Mommy loves and misses you both so very much!
Posted by Stacy at 5:41 PM
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Most people say we are expecting, but not us. We know loss, and we know better than to say that we are expecting. To say we are expecting is to say that we know in the end that we will have a baby to bring home alive and healthy, but we don’t know that. All we know is that as of this moment in time, there is a little being growing inside of me and that this little one is due to be born on February 26, 2011. It's heartrate is 115 and length is about 6.3 mm which is right where it is supposed to be. We are cautiously hopeful, that this precious little one will be born alive, healthy, and full term.
Most people also wait until after the first trimester to let everyone know. They do this because after the first trimester you’re supposed to be home free, nothing can go wrong from that point. But it can, we know that. So we’re opening up now, to share our moments of joy with our family and friends for as long as possible, which we hope will be a full 40 weeks. But if it’s not, we’ve given those we love an extra six weeks to know and love our precious child.
It is not all going to be joy though, there are going to be many times of anxiousness and worry for our little button. It is during those times that we will need support the most. A lot of you may wonder why we aren’t completely over the moon with joy and happiness all the time. We are, but we are also anxious. We will not rest easy until we bring our button home.
We have decided that I will be moving back home to Oklahoma at the beginning of September so that I can have access to high risk doctors as well as be in a location that has a neonatal intensive care unit, just in case this little one is born a preemie and needs that extra care. As much as Charles and I love each other and want to be near each other we cannot afford to be selfish. This baby deserves the best possible chance at life, and we need to live with no regrets, and Oklahoma will fulfill both of those needs.
The best sound in the world, my baby's heartbeating strong
Amazing how we all start out as a little blob and end up being a perfectly formed human, my little button is about 0.63 cm (averaged between three measurements)
The small blob on the left is our button, the blob on the right with a black center is it's yolk sac.
Posted by Stacy at 11:57 AM
Sunday, May 30, 2010
It has been six full months since I last held my daughters Emilyn and Hailey in my arms, six months since I kissed their sweet little cheeks, lips, and noses, six months since my life as I knew it ended.
My sweet Emilyn and Hailey, I love you so much. Not a second goes by that I'm not thinking about you and wishing that you were here with me. I often wonder what you would be doing now if you hadn't gone to heaven. You would be about a month and a half by now and we would be just getting into somewhat of a routine. I so wish I could go back to that horrible day so I could give you just one more kiss, one more stroke of your cheeks, one more everything. You were and are my entire world, I love you, thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.
Posted by Stacy at 8:01 PM
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I got a 2 am wake up call, and I have to say I think it was the best wake up call ever. My brother insisted on calling me, even though it was 2 am our time. Today was the March for Babies in Oklahoma City, where the majority of my team was walking at. At the end of the ceremony they announced the awards. Much to my families' (and my) surprise, we won an award! We won for the "Most Outstanding New Family Team" you can see the video of my parents accepting the award at the link below. My mom had to be told to go up, she was in shock and couldn't move from where she was standing. They started the video right as they finished announcing my team had won.
My family after accepting the award
I'm so proud of my girls! If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't have been so involved with the March of Dimes like I am now, especially since there isn't a branch out here yet! I so wish that I was there with all of my family walking today, but hopefully I will be able to be there next year!
Most of the OKC crew, I think there were a couple missing from here, but here's the majority of them!
Cool Uncle Matt and Aunt Katie
My mom, Amanda (Katie's sister) and Amanda's twin boys Austyn and Tyler
Amanda found the perfect balloons for the walk! She found butterflies that were attached, so they were twin butterflies, perfect! She wrote the girls' names on them and also got a few other balloons with notes to the girls. At the end of the walk my family released the balloons. Such an awesome day, I wish I could have been there!
Posted by Stacy at 9:18 PM
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Following is a listing of all of the babies that were honored at the first annual Boonie Walk for Babies. I tried to separate a little the angel babies and the NICU grads, though a few I wasn't sure about so forgive me for any mistakes. It brought tears to my eyes to see all of the precious angels in heaven. I am keeping each and everyone of you close in my thoughts whether your loss was recent or long in the past.
Baby Absher One
Baby Absher Two
Angel Baby Bunyea: July 4, 2007
Ashley Marie: May 19, 1992-June 22, 1992
Baby Katchka: March 2010
Baby Tinsha King: July 1998
Gianna Elizabeth Marseglia: July 2, 2007
Kathryn Grace Mongillo: January 11, 2009
Baby Mongillo: September 2007
Baby Kyle Owen: 2008
Baby Kevin Owen: 2008
Baby Pomeroy: July 9, 2007
Baby Bear Ramirez
Emilyn Elisabeth Schulz: November 30, 2009
Hailey Grace Schulz: November 30, 2009
Angel Baby Trandell: August 4, 2007
Baby Jose Valdez
Baby Williams: November 2008
Annabelle Sanabia: 33 weeks
Isabelle Sanabia: 33 weeks
Posted by Stacy at 5:43 PM
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Our first annual boonie walk for babies was such a success! We had just over 100 people turn out to show their support for all the little angels! I cannot say enough how proud I am of my daughters, they are touching the lives of so many people day after day. While this event was a very emotional one for me, I am so very happy that we decided to go through with it and plan on having one next year. It will be bigger and better than ever in 2011!
734 AMS, Charles' squadron turning out to show their support!
Team Our Angels Emilyn and Hailey!
Me trying to give my speech. I had to stop a few times to gather myself, but Maryann was wonderful and jumped right in! My original speech was trashed the second I stood up to talk, but I think between the two of us we did pretty good!
Us with our little butterflies
Our littlest team member having some fun before the walk, she was such a trooper!
It's go time!
Me with some of the girls after the walk!
Posted by Stacy at 8:47 PM
Friday, April 30, 2010
Posted by Stacy at 11:39 PM
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Today was my due date, it was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. The day my daughters were to be born at their full 40 weeks alive, well, healthy and happy. But that's not reality. Reality is they were born 19 weeks and 3 days ago. Reality is they won't be lain down in their cribs to sleep tonight, they were lain to rest that day back in November. I miss them both so much. We spent today delivering baby blankets and caps to the US Naval Hospital where I delivered at as well as Guam Memorial Hospital where I work at to both the NICU and L/D floors for the preemies and babies that grow their wings and go to heaven before they have even had a chance. I've got pictures of that at my 365 blog
After that we went to Ritidian beach to release the balloons and then to Tarague Overlook to do something that was requested of us by my mother in law, releasing a bit of her hair at a beautiful spot while reading a note to the girls.
Us with the balloons. We wrote little notes to them on the pink mylar ones.
Releasing the hair, if you look close you can see the B2 in the background of the sky.
Releasing Their Balloons
Heaventree Cherry Blossom Candle I lit for my girls tonight.
Posted by Stacy at 5:13 PM
Monday, March 29, 2010
When I sit down and think about the reality of my life now, I am left speechless, almost thoughtless. It is incomprehensible that I am now living the life I am living. If you had asked me a year ago if in the next year I would get pregnant, find out it was twins, deliver them prematurely knowing they would die, and then hold them as they their hearts beat that last deafening beat I would have told you no, you’re crazy. There is no way I will have been pregnant, we’ve been trying a year already with no success. Let alone with twins, we can’t get pregnant with one, how will we manage two! Premature? No way! I was born two weeks late, us Johnston/Taylor women are made to carry healthy full term big fat babies! My babies died because they were born way too early? That’s not possible. That doesn’t happen to anyone anymore, doctors are miracle workers, they can stop any labor in any circumstances long enough to get the baby to “viability”. Babies don’t just die, they just don’t. Oh the innocence I had back then. I had no fear going to the hospital. I was a little worried about maybe having to be admitted and put on bedrest, but I had no fear for my babies, they were going to be alright. I was joking with the nurse about having to get yet another refund for my trip to Atlanta if I was put on bedrest. It wasn’t until the doctor told me that I was already dilated to 4-5 cm with a bulging amniotic sac that I grasped the reality. The reality that babies do die, that babies were born too soon to be “viable,” that doctors couldn’t always be miracle workers. It was in that instant, when the words “four to five centimeters with baby a’s amniotic sac bulging” that I lost innocence, my babies were going to die, I knew right away, without her having to tell me. Though I had that innocence before, at that point my nursing knowledge came back to me, and I forever lost that naivety. I pretended to have hope, was even dreading having to be there on bedrest for at least three more weeks, but in my heart I knew. I knew that I and my daughters were now a statistic, we were now included in the 12.8 percent, or half a million babies that are born prematurely each year, and the 6 percent of those born prematurely to be born before 28 weeks gestation. Figure that out, I and my daughters are one of the 0.768 percent of all babies born to be born that soon. Despite how small that number is, it is still too high. Anything above zero is too high when it comes to babies born prematurely.
So here I sit today. A full four months after my daughters were born and my eyes are now open, wide open. I have met many many wonderful women through the march of dimes, we all have very different stories, but the basic story is the same. Our babies were born early, too early. Some of them are angel moms like myself, and I feel like we are kindred souls. We can talk, finish each others’ sentences practically, we know what the other person is thinking without them saying it, and we know why they are feeling like that. It is so comforting to be around them, to talk to them, we belong to the angel mommies club, the club no one ever wants to belong to, the club we all hate being in. They are the best friends that I never wanted to know. While I hate that others are feeling the pain of losing their child or children, they give me support, and I would not have come as far in my grief as I have without them. Some of these women still have their children, were able to bring them home. Though it was only after days, weeks, or even months spent visiting their child in the NICU, having to kiss them goodnight and hoping not to receive the dreaded 4 am phone call, telling them something was wrong, their baby was having problems, come to the hospital quick. These moms amaze me as much as my fellow angel moms. The grace with which they handle their individual situations is astounding. They are in and out of the hospital with their little ones. Sometimes they even nurse their child from home, doing what no parent should ever have to do. They have to do dressing changes, administer IV medications, comfort their child when they can’t do things any other “normal” child can do. Things as simple as walking around the house without trailing tubes, or riding a bike, or even running their children are missing out on. Yet they smile, and their kids smile, and have such a joy for life! I am amazed every single day at these women, nursing their children for months, and even years to keep them healthy as they can be. They truly are deserving of the mother of the year award if there ever was one given. Some of these moms brought their children home, sometimes with minor problems, but they were able to escape the long term effects of their prematurity. They are however, forever grateful, because they know that fear. They know the uncertainty that goes along with having a preemie, they know what they almost lost and they rejoice in their healthy little ones. They do not take their children for granted. They are also spectacular mothers.
It is for myself, my daughters, and all the other preemie and NICU moms that I walk in honor of my daughters. That I am organizing a walk to raise awareness and remember my daughters on Guam. That I raise money, to keep this from happening in the future, in the hope that the next generation will be better off. The generation after next will have even lower rates of premature births, birth defects, and infant deaths until the number is zero. The march of dimes has provided me so much support, and so many other mothers support. The money raised will help fund research to keep this from happening again someday. Please, consider walking “with” me, join my march of dimes team and walk at your local walk. Or donate money to the cause, any little bit helps, we’re just raising money one dime at a time to find a cure for this epidemic.
Here is my reality. I am in constant pain. Though now after four months it is no longer the acute, sharp, stabbing pain I became accustomed to. It is more of a chronic pain, dull, aching, and always there. It flairs up once in awhile depending on what situation I am in, or where my thoughts go, but I am able to cope with it. There are a few things that bring on these flair ups. The biggest one is seeing babies. They remind me of what should have been, what I had but were ripped away from me. Every little coo, from baby or adult, shatters my strength. Another thing is pregnant women. I should still be pregnant, but my belly is empty. I am constantly reminded of this every time I see a pregnant woman lovingly stroking her belly. I can’t stroke my daughters like that anymore, and it hurts. So please, understand that it’s not you if I choose to avoid you when you are pregnant or have a baby with you. It’s not that I don’t like you, I just can’t deal with it just yet. I’m still grieving, over my lost daughters, and my lost pregnancy. My reality is that I am a grieving mother, only able to hold my daughters within my heart, not in my arms like I long to do.
Posted by Stacy at 9:01 PM
We walk for them. My twin girls were born on November 30, 2009 at 20 weeks 4 days along. Emilyn was born and survived for just over an hour. Just after she grew her wings, her little sister Hailey was born and fought hard for two hours in our arms before growing her wings. They were 13 ounces each and 10 7/8 inches... long. We walk so no parent has to follow in our footsteps.
Posted by Stacy at 10:39 AM
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I just got done making a couple blankets. I'm not sure if I will give them away or keep them yet. We'll see how I feel when I gather the blankets I've made up do donate to the hospital. It was so relaxing, almost like meditating. Just focusing on tieing one knot to the next. Not like the other flannel receiving blankets I made with the loud noises of the sewing machine. Just me and the fabric and my thoughts. A rare moment of peace in my life. My mom had sent me some fabric after I told her of making my first one in Maui. Peace is a rare thing for me to experience these days, and am so grateful to have found some today.
On my road to recovery, have my meds in the fridge ready to take every six hours for two weeks. Hoping it works this time.
Thank you for the moments of peace my little ones. Mommy loves you so much.
Peace with my puppy love laying on my knee
The finished products
Posted by Stacy at 9:00 PM
Monday, March 1, 2010
Happy three months in heaven my sweet Emilyn Elisabeth and Hailey Grace. Mommy and daddy miss you so much and we love you with all of our hearts. We are so proud of you and how strong you were for us!
Posted by Stacy at 10:53 PM
Sunday, February 28, 2010
We have been in Hawaii for a little over a week now. Tomorrow we fly back to Guam. Our time here has been wonderful. I was able to get in many shopping trips to Target, Old Navy and a few malls. We were able to eat at many different restaurants, my favorite being Yardhouse. We were able to visit with good friends from Little Rock and high school. We also went whale watching and saw several whales, they are so big and majestic, so amazing! While Charles attended class I kept myself pretty busy with shopping and a few other things. I hiked up to the top of diamond head and saw a beautiful view of Waikiki. I island hopped over to Maui to meet a new good friend of mine. She is a fellow angel mommy to a beautiful daughter, and recently a mommy to a beautiful son on earth. It was medicine for my soul to meet her and my trip there was the best day of my trip by far. It was so comforting being around someone who understands almost completely everything that I am going through. The next day I met with a maternal fetal medicine doctor, a specialist that we do not have in Guam. She gave her opinions as to what will need to happen when we choose to have another baby to keep me from going into preterm labor again. It helps, just a little, to know that there is a plan in place to keep this from happening again when we decide we are ready for a little brother or sister for Emilyn and Hailey. Charles got out of class a day early so the next day we hiked up to Makapu’u lighthouse and got a beautiful view of the entire eastern part of the island. Everything beautiful in Hawaii reminded me of Emilyn and Hailey. I saw so much of them here, everywhere I went it was so bittersweet, reminded of them constantly made me smile but not being able to share it with them broke my heart. They were watching over me though, and they let me know it from time to time, like the time I saw the twin rainbows.
As my time in Hawaii comes to an end, I find myself dreading the return to Guam, the return to normal. What is my new “normal” life going to be like now? Will I ever feel whole again? How can I mourn them and honor their memory at the same time? How do I continue.....without them in my arms, and only in my heart?
View of Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head
Twin Rainbows Watching Over Us
Lauren, Me and Baby Man Micah in Maui
Us on the Sunset Dinner Cruise
View of Makapu'u Lighthouse
Posted by Stacy at 6:44 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
What Makes a Mother?
I thought of you and closed my eyes,
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother,
And I know I heard him say:
A mother has a baby,
This we know is true.
But, God, can you be a mother,
When your baby's not with you?
Yes, you can he replied,
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies,
When they leave is not thier choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for a day.
And some I send to fill your womb,
But theres no need to stay.
I just don't understand this God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.
I wish that I could show you,
What your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile,
With other children who say:
We go to earth and learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow's where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
"Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here."
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are Ok.
Your babies are here in My home,
They'll be at heavens gate for you.
So now you see what makes a mother.
It's the feeling in your heart.
It's the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother,
until their time is done.
They'll be up here with Me one day,
And you'll know that you're the best one!
Posted by Stacy at 12:36 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I never remember dreams, but last night I had one and I remember every little detail about it and will never forget it. Our baby girls came to me last night and today I smile.
Last night I couldn't sleep, so I got up and came out to the living room. I started working on my shutterfly photobook for Emilyn and Hailey, up until this point I couldn't bring myself to do it, but I got several pages done and they're perfect. Anyway, I wanted to include the meanings of their names so I looked them up. Emilyn's name is a form of Emmalynn, which is Emma and Lynn combined. One of the meanings of Lynn is waterfall. Emma means one who is complete. Hailey is a form of Hayleigh which means meadow of hay. I finally got tired so I went to sleep and last night I dreamed of getting a tattoo. This isn't something abnormal even though I don't have one yet, I planned on getting one on our vacation to Hawaii. But what I dreamed about getting is different than what I was planning on getting. I dreamed about getting a tattoo of a waterfall, but not a blue waterfall, one that is all the colors of the rainbow. So I picked it out, and told the guy that was what I wanted. He wasn't the tattoo artist but he was getting it ready for her, she was on her way in. He traced it and put the drawing on me to transfer the outline. It was kind of weird becasue it was like he was putting an artificial tattoo on me now that I think of it but not the stick on one. I remember him taking the tattoo gun or whatever you call it and putting all the color in, but it didn't hurt. When he was done I didn't like what he did, it was in the wrong place. He used tape to pull something up, and I yanked it up from one side because I wanted it changed. Just as I did that Amy walked in the door and he was upset he didn't have it fully done. Oh, and I also remember he tried to trace some words on my arm to tattoo, but they were big and bold and I didn't like those either, don't remember what they said though. Amy is the name of the lady I have an appointment with in Hawaii to do my tattoo that I want. So Amy came in, and I got up and went to the bathroom while she prepared everything to do the tattoo. When I sat down I noticed that there was a huge spider in the corner on a web and a little butterfly fluttering around. I watched both. There was also a sign in front of the spider that said "Do Not Kill, Everything Has A Part In This World". The butterfly hit the web and of course got tangled. The spider went over to the butterfly and started trying to tear at it, but to no avail. I watched in horror as the spider then cut open the butterflies neck but couldn't take my eyes away. To add to my horror, I realized that it wasn't a butterfly but a little girl in a butterfly costume and the spider had all but killed her. The next thing I remember is the butterfly girl going over to a meadow of hay and flowers, laying down and dying. I went back out to the tattoo room shaken, and somehow knew that the butterfly girl was Amy's little sister and was afraid to tell her of her sisters death. I gathered up my courage as she started tattooing me and told her of her sisters death. She had no reaction. The other guy that did the first tattoo went into the bathroom to see, and came back and confirmed that Amy's sister was in fact dead. Still no reaction, she didn't say it but I knew what she was thinking, she was thinking that her sister was better off. She had been sick all her life, and was better off in heaven and not suffering anymore than living in this earthly world. Instead of breaking down, she continued on with my waterfall tattoo and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. So both of my girls came to me in my dreams last night. Emilyn with her waterfall tattoo, and Hailey with her meadow of hay and flowers for the dying butterfly girl. My heart is lighter today than it has been since I lost Emilyn and Hailey, I am so glad they came to me finally last night.
After I left my house, I decided that Hailey has a sense of humor as well. I walked outside, and saw a little yellow piece of paper tucked behind our mailbox (it's attached to our wall). Opened it up, and we had gotten a ticket for not mowing our lawn! I walked out and looked at our lawn to see how bad it really was. I swear it wasn't that bad just yesterday, we would have mowed it if it was. It's like it grew overnight! It literally looked like a meadow of hay in our front yard it was so high! I had to laugh, thank you Hailey!
Thank you Emilyn and Hailey for coming to me in my dreams, it makes my heart lighter and puts a smile on my face. Mommy loves you both so much!
Posted by Stacy at 11:36 AM
Monday, February 1, 2010
My Mom, she tells a lot of lies.
She never did before.
But from now until she dies,
She'll tell a whole lot more.
Ask my Mom how she is,
And because she cant explain,
She will tell a little lie,
Because she cant explain the pain.
Ask My Mom how she is,
She'll say "I'm alright."
If that's the truth please tell me,
Why does she cry each night?
Ask My Mom how she is.
“I’m fine. I’m well. I’m coping”
For God’s sake Mom, just tell the truth.
Tell them your heart is broken.
She’ll love me all her life,
I loved her all of mine.
But if you ask her how she is,
She’ll lie and say she’s fine.
I am here in Heaven,
I cannot hug her from here.
If she lies to you don’t listen
Just hug her and hold her near.
On the day we meet again,
We’ll smile and I’ll be bold.
I’ll say, “you’re lucky to get in here, Mom,
With all the lies you’ve told!”
Posted by Stacy at 12:31 PM
Saturday, January 30, 2010
My Sweet Emilyn,
Today is your two month birthday, but you are celebrating it in heaven instead of with your mommy and daddy. We miss you so much, and wish you were still here with us. I miss everything about you and what could have been. I can picture what our life would have been together. You were always twisting and turning inside mommy so I think you were going to be my little ballerina. I would gladly have brought you in your little pink leotard and tutu and watch you dance to your little hearts desire. We would pick out the cutest little bows and ribbons to put in your hair, though I'm thinking you would have been a little bald baby until at least two just like your momma. You are the older sister, so please take care of your sister Hailey, and come down to visit me often in my dreams. Momma loves you sweet little girl, and I can't wait until I can meet you in heaven and hold you again.
My Dearest Hailey,
Today you are two months old and celebrating in heaven with your sister. I hope you are both having a big party with your Great Grandpa, he is such a fun guy to be around. You even get to meet you Great Grandma and Grandpa Taylor before me, tell them I said hi and I will meet them someday. Your mommy and daddy miss you so much, we never thought we would be celebrating this day without you. I can see what our life would have been if you had been able to stay, not just as a two month old but what you would have been like in the years to come. You, my little girl, were my little kicker and puncher. I think you were going to be a tomboy, and maybe even a kickboxing champion! You woudl be so much like your mommy. I can see you playing with the bugs, catching the geckos around the house, and climbing any tree with limbs low enough for you to get your arms around. You would keep up with the fastest boys and hit softballs further than anyone else. I would have to bribe you to get any sort of bows in your hair or a dress on your little body. You are my second born child, and I will always love you and remember you. I told Emilyn to try to take care of you since you are the youngest, but I want you to take care of her as well because you are sisters, and that's what sisters do. Mommy loves you my precious little girl, please come down once in a while with your sister to visit me in my dreams. I can't wait to come to heaven to wrap you in my love again, but until then I will settle for visiting you in my dreams.
Posted by Stacy at 9:27 AM
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in other's eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don't hurt quite so much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.
Posted by Stacy at 9:00 PM
Saturday, January 16, 2010
For Friends and Family
This list was posted on SHARE by SuzanneMarie, Mom to Christopher on earth, and Hope, Lily, and Jonathan in Heaven. I think she did a great job explaining what it is like to live with the grief of losing a child. For those of you that don't know what you can say or do to help, this is a start.
If someone you know has lost a loved one, you probably have no idea what to do. Our society does not prepare us to deal with grief, our own or someone else's. These suggestions and strategies are intended to help you understand what may be helpful to a grieving person. As Christian brothers and sisters, we have a responsibility to one another, and when one of us grieves, the rest need to act.
Please do not ignore or avoid us. We are grieving a terrible loss and do not want to grieve your absence as well.
If you do not know what to say or do, tell us. I do not know what to say or do. We don't either, but your presence and patience are comforting.
If we start to cry, do not feel like it is your fault for talking to us. We cry a lot and you did not cause our tears. Stay with us while we cry. If we are in public and can't get hold of our tears, take us someplace quiet where we can sit down and then sit with us.
If you get uncomfortable, please do not leave. Grief is just uncomfortable.
If we ask you to help us in some way, please do it if you can. If you can't, please look for someone else who can. It is terribly difficult to ask for help, and if we actually do make a request, we really need it.
If we do not ask for help, ask us, "Can I help you with anything?" If we say no, ask again. If we say no again, don't believe us. Find a close friend who knows us well and inquire about ways to help. . .practical stuff, emotional support, or fun distraction like a trip to the coffee shop may be in order.
Daily responsibilities are nightmare right now, just another stress we can't handle. Show up at our house with a bag of groceries, a vacuum cleaner, tickets to take our children to the fair, or nothing at all. Just show up. While you visit, pop a load of laundry in the washer.
If you only have 30 free minutes, we don't mind. We will appreciate whatever company you can offer us.
Let us talk about our loved one and listen as we tell you stories.
If someone we love has died, do not say, "It is for the best," even if you believe it is. Tell us you are sorry for the death of our child/spouse/parent/sibling/best friend.
If we get mad at you or say something hurtful, please forgive us. The last thing we want to do is hurt someone, especially someone who is willing to be with us. We are just hurting so much and it comes out in inappropriate ways sometimes.
Please accept that we will feel angry, sad, numb, crazy, and many other things. This will make you uncomfortable, but please don't avoid us. We are more uncomfortable than you can imagine right now.
Please send us a card when you learn of our loss.
Send us flowers.
Remember our children (if we have any living with us). When you visit, bring them a small toy, cool rock, or magazine you think they'd like. And if we forget to express our gratitude for your kindness to our child(ren), it is not intentional rudeness. We are truly grateful for your gesture.
If we have miscarried early in pregnancy (before 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage, after 20 weeks the baby is considered stillborn), our response will likely fit into a range: we may be saddened at the loss of the pregnancy but accept it as a part of having children, or we may grieve the loss as the death of our child. You can figure out how we feel with a question like, "How are you?" If we begin to sob and say "I miss my baby, " then you know where we're at.
Wherever we are on the scale of grief with miscarriage, send us a card. If we are in the more accepting part of the range, an "I'm thinking of you" card is good. If we are grieving the death of our baby, a sympathy card is appropriate.
Please remember significant dates associated with our loss.
* The anniversary of our loss.
* The birthday of our loved one. (In the case of infant death or miscarriage, these events may be the same date.)
* In the case of miscarriage or stillbirth, ask our due date and remember it. . .for years to come.
* Our birthday, holidays, especially Mother's Day and Father's Day if we grieve our child or parent.
* If we have no living children, it is even more important to remember Mothers and Fathers Days.
Do not avoid speaking of our loved one. We really want to talk about him or her.
Do not fear you will remind us of our loss, for it is always with us.
If we do not feel up to discussing our loved one or grief, accept our feelings and move on to another topic.
If you wish to do something beyond offering us your friendship and ear, make a donation to a specific cause. For example, if our child or parent died of a certain disease, a donation to a research foundation that studies that disease will have very special significance.
Release a balloon in memory of our loved one, and write us a note that you did this.
If nothing comes to mind and you wish to do something, donate a book to the public library in memory of our loved on. We will be happy to know that the library patrons are reading of our special person and remembering them with us.
Be patient with us. We will not be better all at once. We will seem better then we will seem worse. We will seem at peace then we will be suddenly angry. In fact, we may never be the same again. Please don't expect us to be. And please please do not suggest that we should.
But most of all, pray for and with us. More than any other gesture, we will find comfort in your prayers and presence.
Remember that for every person on the planet and every situation imaginable, there is a different response and grief journey.
This is about the loss of Hope. She died sometime in May of 2004 in her momma's womb, for no known reason. For those of you who have never experienced the loss of a baby, or a child, or any of your loved ones, this will help you walk along side someone who has and is now in a dark place. You can't go there. In fact, you will prefer to walk away and forget about it. But your friend must live with this always. Buck up and offer yourself to one who has lost everything.
Posted by Stacy at 10:27 PM
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
So a lot of people just don't know what to say to me, so I figured I would help everyone out. The OB/GYN Doctor that I was seeing up until the birth of Emilyn and Hailey called and talked to me last night, and he had the perfect response so I'll share it with you with a little background. I've been seeing this Doctor for the past year, with on average about one appointment a month, sometimes more. We had been dealing with fertility issues and then my pregnancy with Emilyn and Hailey, so we "knew" eachother pretty well, at least as much as a doctor and patient can know eachother. I was supposed to be medevac'd off island at 24 weeks to give birth in a place that has a NICU, and at my last happy appointment about four days before they were born everything was fine, but he realized it would be the last time he saw me and said he wouldn't even be able to be there for the birth and see the girls after all that work he put in. So I promised him pictures of the girls, not the birth (lol!). We never thought it would be so soon. Four days later I went into labor, but he still wasn't able to be there because he had just left for vacation. Thankfully God knew just what I needed and gave me another wonderful doctor that took great care of me and explained everything that was happening and everything that may happen. So at my appointment yesterday I brought a packet for my original Doctor. I had my favorite pictures of the girls and a description of their little personalities, my little kickboxer and ballerina, their birth/passing announcement, and memorial service program. I didn't see him that day, but he called me that night. This was his response...
"I'm sorry, I don't have words, it just sucks"
it made me laugh (on the inside), it was so him and it was perfect. That is all that I need. So if you don't know what to say but want to say something, that's all I need to hear, "i'm sorry, i don't have the words, and it just sucks" because yeah, it does suck and thank you for saying you're sorry to hear about them. I would rather you say that, than the first thing that pops into your mind and have it be hurtful. Believe me, I've gotten my fair share of hurtful comments even though the people don't mean them to be, they mean the best but that doesn't make it hurt any less.
Anyway, I had my six week follow up appointment yesterday with the doctor that delivered Emilyn and Hailey. She cleared me for all activity, with no limitations. So scuba diving here I come! We gotta get my mom diving sometime!
Posted by Stacy at 6:22 AM
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I have been told that I am brave for going through with a memorial for Emilyn and Hailey. My question to those who tell me that is how can I not have a memorial? They are my daughters, and deserve to be remembered whether I am comfortable with it or not. I would rather not have to do this, but it is something that I want to do to honor them. Whether they lived only in my belly, only for a couple of hours outside my belly or for ten years they are still my daughters and they lived. They lived in my belly for five whole months, and they already had their own personalities. I figure my Emilyn Elisabeth was always twisting and turning, she was going to be a ballerina and such a little girly girl! Then there was my sweet Hailey Grace that was always kicking and punching, she was going to be my little kickboxing champion and a tomboy just like her Momma was! Then they were born and they were such fighters. Emilyn lived outside my belly for 1 hour 1 minute, and even moved a little to turn her head to Mommy and Daddy! Hailey Grace, born an hour and three minutes after Emilyn, lived outside my belly for 1 hour 59 minutes and even took a deep breath so Mommy and Daddy could see! So you see, my daughters lived, for five months in my belly, though only a few hours outside. How can I not have a memorial? It's not that I am brave, it's just something that has to be done because it is what they deserve. Following are a couple of poems that I will have laid out at their memorial service later today.
Last night two little angels
Came and whispered in my ear.
And this is what they told me
"Don't worry Mummy, we're right here.
It feels like a long time
Since we last felt your touch.
And we wanted you to know
We miss you and Daddy so very much.
We know that you love us
and think of us every day.
And it makes us very sad
that we had to go away.
But we know that our memory
will never ever die.
And we know that sometimes
when you think of us you cry.
But don't worry Mummy
There's so much here to do.
And every day remember
We are watching over you."
Then my angels kissed me
As tears rolled down my face.
And I knew we'll all be together again
Another time. Another place.
When God Calls Little Children
When God calls little children to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometimes question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child
Who does so much to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold,
So He picks a little rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, so He takes but a few
To make the land of heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult, still, somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be “goodbye.”
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind
Must realized God loves children… Angels are hard to find.
This poem is one that I found on the website of another mom who lost her sweet angel girls a few months before me. It is one that went along with what was going through my mind after some reactions I received when I told people that I lost my daughters.
Don't Tell Me
Please don't tell me you know how I feel,
Unless you have lost your child too,
Please don't tell me my broken heart will heal,
Because that is just not true,
Please don't tell me my girls are in a better place,
Though it is true, I want them here with me,
Don't tell me someday I'll hear their voice, see their face,
Beyond today I cannot see,
Don't tell me it is time to move on,
Because I cannot,
Don't tell me to face the fact they are gone,
Because denial is something I can't stop,
Don't tell me to be thankful for the time I had,
Because I wanted more,
Don't tell me when I am my old self you will be glad,
I'll never be as I was before,
What you can tell me is you will be here for me,
That you will listen when I talk of my child,
You can share with me my precious memories,
You can even cry with me for a while,
And please don't hesitate to say their names,
Because it is something I long to hear everyday,
Friend please realize that I can never be the same,
But if you stand by me, you may like the new person I become someday.
My Little Angel Girls
Posted by Stacy at 12:56 AM