Monday, April 23, 2012

2,190 Days...312 Weeks...6 Years

Dear Miles,

So the day has come. Wait -- the day actually came and went ten days ago. You are six years old!

When I wrote last year's post, I was in a very different frame of mind. That was a tough post to write. First, you were turning five. Such a milestone in one's life (or maybe just for the moms). Second, you were a few months away from starting school. I was so happy for you, and at the same time feeling a bit lost because I had never envisioned that you would go to kindergarten and not have a baby brother or sister at home.

It turns out that I was able to survive that first day of school, me and Daddy both, although there were some tears on the drive back home. You, on the other hand, handled it all like a pro and have learned more than I myself learned in kindergarten. So much reading and writing and math! And now that your first year of school is nearly over, I know now that we can do it all again in a few more months.

Not long after school had started, you wanted to write your name everywhere. I'm still so thankful for our friend Jen N., who had her camera on-hand for me to capture your letters scrawled in the sand. It's been my computer desktop picture ever since.

We now have so many school projects saved from just the past eight months, not to mention the awesome drawings you've made that hold a special place in a mama's heart. I know I'll have to go through and clean out some things, but others I will hold onto (or frame) and never let go.

When I write these posts, Miles, I always talk about your sense of humor. I can't help it. You are a naturally funny kid (maybe Mama and Daddy helped out a little) and I love it. More and more I have tried to capture your different expressions, and even in one 'photo session' I was calling out, "Mad! Sad! Surprised! Happy!" just to see what you would do with your little face.

Speaking of faces...yours changed in a big way recently. I am talking about the morning after your birthday, when you came and stood by our bed at 6:30 a.m. holding your very first lost tooth. You had waited patiently, wiggled it back and forth until it pretty much popped out nearly on its own. I'm glad I got the before shot a few days prior! (At some point we'll have to talk about your aversion to the flash on my camera.)

You are still my outdoors boy and you love all kinds of animals. Granted, you have moved toward a great fascination with Legos and iPhone/Wii games, but I have no doubt you'll stay connected to nature and the beauty that God shows us there.

Daddy and I are so proud of you. And I'm so proud of your daddy for the example he sets for you every day. I tell you what a great dad you have, and I know you'll appreciate how much he's done as you get older. He is sweet and kind, patient and loving...and the silliness never hurts. I love seeing the two of you together, working in the yard or wrestling in your room, or just plain snuggling on the couch having a conversation. Whether you know it or not, these are the simple things you'll hold in your heart always.

Now me and you...we have a special bond too. It's just a bit different. I have wrestled with you, sure, but I can't do that like Daddy can. We laugh together, but I know there's a special kind of silliness that daddies and sons share. But me and you, Miles, our hearts connect in a special way. I love being that safe place you run to when the nightmares come, or the one who wipes the tears from your face when you fall down. Of course Daddy can do these things too, but I have a feeling that having me hold you close and giving you comfort is a little different -- I remember that with Granmom when I was a little girl.

There is a love that is so sweet between us, a love so pure. You and I went on a 'Mother/Son Date Night' last summer, and a few days later Miss Meagan mentioned that you had told her we had gone to our wedding. I laughed at the sweetness and innocence of it, and I think my heart might have grown in that moment to hold all the love.

Things are changing so much these days, Miles. By the time you start first grade, the three of us will be getting ready to meet your baby brother and sister. Even typing that I have trouble believing it, and I know there will be a lot of newness (and craziness) forced upon your life. I am slowly trying to prepare you, and at the same time knowing that I really can't be fully prepared myself for all the changes to come.

But there are a few things I can tell you, with 100% clarity and certainty, that will not change: I love you. Daddy loves you. God loves you.

As long as you've got all that love to lift you up, you'll be doing fine.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012


If I'm not mistaken, this is the longest I've taken to write a birthday post for Miles. And it will be a little longer, because this is not that post. I did beat myself up just a bit the other day for not having it done yet, but I've decided to let that go for two very good reasons: Baby A and Baby B.

I still thought I'd post something in the meantime, and this will hopefully be an uplifting thing rather than bringing you down. As you might know, I went to the doctor a few weeks ago with a horrible cough (plus aches, chills and the occasional fever) and was told I had bronchitis. While I was there, my OB took the opportunity to draw a lot of blood for a number of other tests he felt might be necessary. At the time I felt inconvenienced since it took the phlebotomist a while to find test codes since they weren't all that common...looking back now, though, I'm grateful for the foresight my doctor had in ordering the labs he did.

A small side note: Since Casey and I began our IVF journey back in September 2009, we had collected quite a few sharps boxes (seven, to be exact). Sharps boxes are those plastic red boxes you see in doctors' offices and in hospitals where old needles/syringes are discarded. With every cycle came a box of meds, and with that box came a sharps box. We had seven because we'd been through five complete cycles plus two canceled cycles.

Fast forward to the present day, more than two years later, and we were still housing these things -- safely, mind you. But not a week had passed since my doctor visit and Casey came home declaring that he was finally going to get rid of them; had a medical care facility that would dispose of them safely for us. This was the closing of a chapter -- a small one, but a chapter nonetheless -- along our journey, and I was excited for it. Before Casey could take them all away, I lined the boxes up in the sun room and took pictures of them (we've established I'm strange, so leave it alone). After lunch, the boxes were whisked away by my ever-thoughtful husband.

Not two hours later, I received a call from my OB. He had the results from my labs, and unfortunately I had tested positive for the Lupus Anticoagulant. (Note: This does NOT mean I have Lupus. I know, it's confusing.) What it meant, even more unfortunately, was that I was going to have to start blood thinner injections. Injections. Because, you know, I haven't done that enough in the past two-plus years. I was able to get enough information from the doctor (I was on the way to pick up Miles from school) to understand the what and why of the test results, then hung up the phone feeling a mix of frustration, sadness and anger.

I called Casey from the school pick-up line, gave him the news and cried for a minute or two. My 'this isn't fair' signal was on high alert, but at the same time I felt a thankfulness and have felt it more as the days have gone by. Lupus Anticoagulant, as I understand, can cause late second and third trimester miscarriages, not to mention heart attacks and stroke. I am thankful that myself and the babies were spared some very scary possibilities, and that easily overshadows having to give myself an injection in my abdomen every day until these babies are six weeks old.

Don't get me wrong, I do not like doing this. Fortunately I am switching to a different blood thinner tomorrow morning which enables me to do just one injection a day as opposed to two a day, which I've been doing for two weeks now. My stomach is horribly bruised and sore in some places. It's not the happy pregnant belly I have wanted it to be...but I'm safe and my babies are safe from some crazy blood clot.

Here's the part where Miles comes in. Who knows why, but he is not afraid of watching me give myself an injection. He's only seen it a handful of times, and for the most part he's not that interested. He likes to count to three for me and that's about it. I try to be brave for him and show him that I'm okay and this stuff isn't so bad. It's helping me and the babies and he knows that.

So last week I picked him up from school, and as we're driving away he tells me I've got to see something he drew. He digs around in his backpack and pulls out a piece of paper, and he tells me that it's a picture of me with my belly and the shots. I took the paper and looked at it. The first thing I noticed was how high and round Miles had drawn my belly, and the second thing I noticed was the purple dots all over it. I asked Miles if it made him sad that I had to do the shots, and he said no. I was glad.

When I looked at the drawing later that day, I saw it differently. There I was, with my belly bruised with all the injections...but my arms were raised high in the air and I had a huge smile on my face. Whatever Miles meant when he drew it, I hope it meant that he sees me as triumphant no matter the circumstance. I hope that's what I've taught him.

Either way, it's probably my best portrait to date.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Pink/Blue Permanence

I don't get to be sneaky all that often. And with our journey of having another child, there weren't lots of ways to surprise anyone, especially ourselves. It's all numbers, labs and the waiting-for-what-seems-an-eternity game.

We told a few people that we'd be finding out the genders of the babies soon, and in fact the date scheduled with the doctor's office was this Friday -- Miles' sixth birthday. It was all very sentimental and sweet, but then last week I found out that Miles was off school today, so I called our doctor's nurse to see if there was any way of moving us up. And there was a cancellation! Here was one of my few chances to be sneaky.

So this afternoon Casey, Miles and I got to find out the big news. It was fun and sweet, and Miles kept rubbing my hand and smiling at me. We're not sharing names just yet, so if you've heard anything about names from us in the it! And as before, we thought we'd let Miles make the announcement:

Edited later to add this: Casey suggested I make the title for the post something that sounded like a 'Big Bang Theory' episode title...which led me to the thesaurus to find synonyms for the word 'fact'. I just thought my readers might enjoy that extra tidbit of information. That is, if you're strange like me.

Another edit: If you can't watch the video, it's just Miles saying, "We're having one boy and one girl!" In the first take I think he said 'one boy and two girls,' after which I said 'Cut!'
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