Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Lily

Last Monday, on the 17th, we celebrated Lily's birthday. We were in Disneyland. It was a good place to be on her birthday. Last year when Lily was born, we weren't even sure we would pursue "heroic measures" to keep her alive. We were hoping we wouldn't have to. Charlotte was born to a room of people who didn't expect her to breath, let alone live, so she had to take the reins and prove she could make it. We hoped Lily would do the same.
She didn't.
Within minutes she was laying in my arms struggling to breath, grunting and turning blue. Her blood sugar was tested and it was very low. The nurses looked at us and we nodded and she was whisked to the NICU. So fast. Was that the right thing to do? Should we have just said goodbye minutes after saying hello? The room was bright and everyone looked terrified. It was not a wonderful day. Later I visited her and held her and it was good and quiet and she was pink and lovely, and then I returned to my room and fell into a drugged fitful itchy sleep. It was hard.
Lily's life was touch and go from the beginning. We kept hoping and praying, we gave her every chance, every opportunity to decide to stay. A long NICU stay, a g-tube, serious talk about heart surgery. But it wasn't meant to be. She was an uncomfortable visitor here, she knew she didn't belong here. I guess we knew it too, even if we fought it. We knew she wouldn't stay for long, but a few years? Why not? I don't know if I made the most of the time she had here. I don't know how I could have done better. I do wish I had held her more, and slept with her more, and hadn't kept waiting for her to get healthier. I cling to memories of those morning coconut oil baths and the quiet days the other girls were out of the house and it was just us. Why didn't I just sit with you more? Why didn't I just stop?
Oh Lily. We will get to know you later. Or perhaps we will know you, all of you, your smile and your quirks and your likes and dislikes, from the moment we meet, and wonder how we ever forgot. But right now all we can do is send you a pink Mickey balloon, sing a birthday song with dear friends and wonder, honestly, why you had to come and go. We won't really understand for a long while yet, but I have faith that it will all make sense eventually. I hope you will know I did my best, all I could do at the time.
Happy Birthday Lily. I miss every part of you and grieve for all I didn't get a chance to know.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From infinity and beyond...

We're back from D-land, all sugared out and headachey. Having a great Halloween season though! Hope you are too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Big Kid Stuff

The long awaited Monkey Party

First Teeth Cleaning

My big kid Ella turns 3 tomorrow. She's been growing up like crazy these past few weeks. She is fully potty trained and loving preschool, (even naming her new birthday doll after one of her teachers, Miss Karen) and yesterday we finally completed the big room switch which I started about a year ago. Finally the girl's clothes are actually in their own rooms. The girls also went to the dentist today, for Ava's first check up and Ella's first real cleaning. She was so brave and good, and it reminded me of her big sister being so brave and good though all she went through. Not that a dental visit even compares, but thankfully it's as close as we've gotten with Ella, as far as invasive procedures go.

I cannot believe Ella is three. It seems like she hasn't been here very long, and yet when Charlotte turned three it felt like she had always, always been with us. Somehow Charlotte managed to fit soooo much life into those three little years and 8 short months. Not that Ella hasn't, but time has definitely sped up since I entered typical kid life. Makes me want to slow down and enjoy the little things more, which becomes increasingly difficult as these kids get crazier and messier and so, so busy. I love it, despite the break neck pace. These kids are going to be teenagers before I know it. When Charlotte died and then Lily died, thinking of the long tedious life ahead was enough to completely overwhelm and depress me. Now this life is overwhelming me with how fast it's flashing by.