Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter from Mommy

My dear, dear sweet Claudette Elyse,

Your daddy and I have had our fair share of "surprise" pregnancies. But not you love. We planned and tried to conceive you for months. When I saw the faint positive line in the Target bathroom, I wanted to scream for joy. Your big sis Amelie was at my feet and she super excited too. After so many negative test this was it; we were going to be parents again.

Our pregnancy was not easy, especially at first. The week we were to announce your arrival my mommy went to heaven. Her name was Claudette Olive. I told her on her death bed I would name this baby after her, thinking I would use Oliver. Daddy and I so thought you were a boy. My mom's quick reply was, "no one wants to pass on a name like Claudette." She knew you were a girl before we did.

The week after she died almost to the minute I started hemorrhaging. We thought we had lost you. As soon as the ultrasound machine turned on in the ER we saw our little fighter for the the first time. Your little fist and feet were kicking away.There were scares after that, but I always felt you would be immune to something really bad happening, perhaps because lightening doesn't strike twice right?

A  few weeks went by and another scare. But instead of learning something was wrong, we learned you were a GIRL! Daddy and I were shocked and so excited. We immediately knew your name. Claudette (which means dies young) Elyse (which means God's vow of protection). Little did we know how the truth this name would hold.

The months went on. I felt you so much. You were so active, especially when your brother and sister talked to you. I grew to love you each second.As plans drew near for your arrival, your aunties got so excited planning their trips to be here. Your poppy, grandma, grandpa, pappa and nanny all were getting so excited too.

Even though you were our third child, we prepared as if you were our first. I got a beautiful, soft swing for you and packed your diaper bag for the hospital complete with a soft pink outfit.
One last appointment I was to have before your appearence. The day started so wonderfully. Poppy and I had a great lunch and off I went to see Dr. Mitchell. But you were not to be delivered the next week. God had other plans. Plans I couldn't imagine. Plans I wouldn't wish on my worse enemy.

So my sweet sisters came for your birth early and haven't left my side since.
The day of your arrival had all the makings of a great birth story. Lots of family, love, laughter, pictures and tears. But as your daddy says you lived your lifetime in an afternoon.

Oh Claudette, how I long for more than an afternoon of holding your sweet body, kissing your soft new skin. I want to know you at 2. At 10. At 20. I want to attend your wedding. I want to see your children. Instead I will see you in the sparkle of your brother Henry's eyes. I will see you in the spunk of Amelie. I will see you in their button noses and baby voices. I will see you in the calm spirit of your daddy.

Your legacy lives on my love. You have somehow healed so many by your mere presence, as quick as it was. And as much as I long for you every second, I will never forget your impact. As your Uncle John says, "you have a regal presence."

And soon we will hold you again, which makes me long for heaven even more. Until then rest quietly in grandma's arms and Christ' embrance.
We love you Claudette Elyse Elliott,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Henry is Quirky

It may sound silly to most but I am super proud of my big 3 almost 4 year old. Yesterday he climbed to the top of the tunnels at Chic-a-fil. This may seem silly to most. I mean he almost 4 after all! But with Henry this is big. Perhaps, going to the dentist just before gave him the confidence to then tackle the tunnels. You see Henry has lots of fears. For a while he was scared of the mall, getting wet, ants, pretty much everything at the park, so of course tunnels. He has many more fears as well (too many to list really). Lately, he is gaining the confidence and trust he needs to complete things other kids have for a while now.
Henry's biggest fear is pain. Pain produces anger with Henry. While a stubbed toe may cause you or I to say a slang word, it causes Henry to lose complete control sometimes for the rest of the day. These fears along with other behaviors have caused us and those close around us to question something unique in Henry. Up to this point, we have called it "quirky". After a visit with an our pediatrician their is chance it more like, dare I say it, asbergers. I get chills just typing that. There is further testing that can be done to confirm. My husband and I, while we have differing opinions on how to go forward with this, we agree on one thing firmly it is an attribute not a handicap.
This is because the biggest "quirk" Henry has is he is bright! I mean really bright. The other day I was having them make daddy's day card and he just wrote out the word D.A.D. He doesn't know how to spell or read (at least I didn't think so). But more than how bright he is, he thinks differently about things. This makes it a great attribute. The way you or I might see something is not natural to Henry instead he sees it as something different and challenging. You have to explain to Henry that you are joking. He doesn't naturally understand comedy, but that doesn't mean he can't laugh with a belly laugh that brings a smile to your face.
Combined with his natural charisma and differing way of thinking, perhaps Henry can make a real change in his world and ours. I have great hopes for our little quirky guy! But for now I am just super proud of him for tackling his fears and climbing to the "flying cow car" as him and his 2 year old sis call it. He tells me next time he will go down the slide too!

Moon River

24 years ago tonight my sis and I were heartily preparing a "gourmet" dinner complete with an appetizer made with Hellman's mayonnaise. Of course, we never purchased a name brand so we substituted for an cheap Aldi's brand and had disastrous results.  None the less, the meal smelt great. It was time to get mom "fixed up" since dad would be home any minute.

Audra had the task of getting mom ready, since she had more style than I.  I was to get out the cardboard table and decorate it in front on the stove, that would not have a fire in it since it was August 15. You see it was a very special occasion, mom and dad's 20th wedding anniversary. Even though it was not until the next day, we knew we needed to surprise dad big or else he would already plan a wonderful evening for the two of them. The loved celebrating together...did every week really. It could have just been a "date" to get groceries Friday night at Checkers but when they returned you would have thought they just got back walked in the door from an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii.

Mom and Audra came down the stairs just in time for me to place the fake flower bouquet in the middle of the rickety old cardboard table that had fixed up nicely if I do so myself with the table cloth and fine china. She had a bit too much mascara on (sorry Audra she did) but she looked radiant none the less in my favorite dress she only wore when company came over after church.

We heard the door opening. Hurry turn on the music...oh man, Jake has Michael Card blaring again. "NO music with WORDS, Alyvia!" I know I know. Dad only liked KLJC classical music over dinner. Music on- check! Dad walked in the kitchen clearly exhausted, I mean who wouldn't be. He worked harder than any man I know to this day and I don't say that lightly; I know some hard workers. Walking in the door at 6pm meant he could have already but 14 0r more hours in for the day. But it didn't matter. He had yet to see mom and that would perk him right up. We urged him through the kitchen, passed the dining room (where he commented on our good taste of music-yes!), passed the staircase and front door and into our living room which had held such amazing memories over the years and was to hold so many more.

There was mom, nervous. I remember thinking how she is nervous?! 8 kids, 20 years. Come on! But she was. She was nervous and shy. Dad went over to and kissed her. He then began his characteristic over-gratitude to us saying over and over how sweet it was that his "love and joys" would prepare such a wonderful evening. He took mom in his arms they danced, pretty good really. You would never had know that arthritis had destroyed mom's joints by then. They danced and danced. They loved dancing. Did every chance the could. The food was getting cold, but it didn't matter. All was right with the world.

Audra and I went upstairs to put the Joshy and Aryn Lea to bed. We knew we couldn't go back downstairs (wink, wink) but as we heard dad signing "Moon River" to mom as went upstairs we had the feeling we gave back a smidgen of what was given to us.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Momma Bear is Angry

I was recently asked why I would continue to have babies if they could kill me or I could kill them. I would like to be a mature adult and look the other way and ignore this question with as much ignorance as it was asked. I got to thinking however that this question while asked out of hatred is probably a question on a lot of people’s minds. I mean it isn’t the first time it has been posed to me. The last was by another medical professional (although that time it was asked with more tact and love).  Anyhow, I guess it hit me so hard because after having two high risk pregnancies, then losing my beloved twins, and now on going on my 5 month of another high risk pregnancy (of which I haven’t felt the baby move in over a week or been able to get a heart beat on a Doppler but am too afraid to call the doctor and get yet another ultrasound) people have a right to question.

But let me say something VERY clear here. I would NEVER intentionally put my children (born or unborn) at risk!! For those of you close to me, you know I wouldn’t so much as intake more than 4oz of caffeine to put my pregnancies at risk, so why would I get pregnant if it puts my babies at risk of dying? While the fact is while I am considered a high risk pregnant woman and have more complications, it is now 2012 and my babies have less of a risk miscarriage then they do from you a woman consuming too much nitrates from a hot dog. So with all due respect, STEP BACK!!   I care for my children and love my children from conception to the moment I will take my last breathe on this earth.  I am not just talking about those overtly mean people who say hurtful things. I mean you too. You know who you are: The person who gives the look when I tell them I am pregnant rather than saying congratulations, the person who says don’t you know how that happens, the person who says well I am just so worried about you (Guess what? Stress in pregnancy is worse for my baby than my diabetes. So stop worrying, it achieves nothing but negativity), and the person who tell me you already have two babies as a diabetic you should be grateful. This last comment really gets me! Are you kidding me? Of course, when I look at the cutest little boy and girl in the world I am grateful! Couldn’t be more grateful!  Both that little girl and those precious twins were a complete surprise to us! We were not intending on having any babies at those moments, but God plans were different. So we trusted him and are grateful for both outcomes, yes even the outcome of losing the twins.

This pregnancy is different! We PLANNED IT!! We WANTED IT BAD!  We tried and tried and tried. So much so that after months and months of not having success, we set up an appointment with my OB to talk about my fertility. That appointment quickly changed from an infertility appointment to our first prenatal visit. Yes, this pregnancy has been the most difficult yet, riddled with complication after complication, compounded by the stress of losing the first love of my life, my mom.  But this one’s a fighter, I tell ya. So again I say, LEAVE YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF! When you say things like the above mentioned you are messing with God’s eternal plan for us. And for those of you who don’t believe in God let me put it in terms of nature: you are messing with my cubs, which makes this momma bear VERY ANGRY!