Wednesday, January 28, 2009

most beautiful girls in the world (to me of course)

(feel free to pause music on bottom right of the blog)

Call me superstitious, call me paranoid...whatever. I kept putting off writing anything about Alyssa in fear that if I wrote how well she was doing, something bad would happen. But now that she has caught her first cold, and luckily it was JUST a cold, not RSV...I feel like it's ok to write something. Cold and flu season really sucks when you have a prem baby. My knuckles and skin in between my fingers are raw from washing my hands so frequently. We've had our share of colds in the household, but with washing and wearing a mask Alyssa kept fairly healthy, no hospital visits and 2 (almost 3) RSV shots later...Another disadvantage of having a prem baby is that we are supposed to try and avoid all the "big toys" as much as possible like the jolly jumper, exersaucer, bumbo chairs, etc. Mainly because they don't help in developping Alyssa's muscles needed to sit up and roll, and can actually enforce toe walking and extension in her legs which we DON'T want as these are often seen in children with cerebral palsy. In a perfect world we would be on the floor all the time with our babies trying to play with them and help them with head control, rolling, sitting up, crawling...Of course this isn't always possible when you have other children.

She hasn't been weighed in a couple weeks, but probably weighs around 13 1/2 lbs at 8 1/2 months and 5 months corrected. She is a super smiley baby, just like Emily was...her entire face lights up when she smiles. And her is the cutest thing I have heard in a long time, unfortunately we haven't heard it very often. We must not be that funny. The one day where she was laughing in hysterics was when Keith and Emily were goofing around, it was priceless! She has been to follow up appointments a couple times now, and will go again at 8 months corrected. This is where we meet with the doctor, a nurse, physiotherapist, dietician, and occupational therapist if needed. Developmentally, physio is happy with Alyssa. She seems to meeting all of her milestones, although her 8 month assessment will be a better predictor on how she is doing because she will be moving more then. She is not rolling yet, so I do have to work with her on that, but not ALL babies roll by this point. I am not concerned yet. She did have tight hamstrings a couple months ago, and would only turn her head in one direction, but with catching these things early and doing exercises to correct them (stretches), they have resolved and now I do them much less frequently then I did before. Other then her lungs, all the hand washing and extra cleaning and keeping her away from people with colds and flus (which happens to be most people this time of the year), all of her doctors appointments, and some extra hands on "play time," Alyssa is just like any other baby, except extremely special and probably the cutest baby I know at the moment. In saying reminds me of the other day when I was singing to her "You're the most beautiful girl in the world...." by Prince, although I sound nothing like him. If you know any Flynn' know how out of tune we sing, but Alyssa loved it. But then I stopped, because I had a moment of guilt. And started thinking of Emily, she's just as I changed the song, to "the most beautiful baby in he world, yes you are..."...but then I started thinking of Jessica, so I had to change it again to "the most beautiful baby in the world on earth..." My voice, these words, not a pretty site, glad Alyssa enjoys anything out of my mouth. Does anyone else ever get like this, where you say something and then feel like you need to rephrase to make sure all of your children know they are loved equally?? As I read over this blog last week, I started to feel bad again. This blog really was meant to be an update of my pregnancy and how the girls were doing, which it did, but I didn't mention my other daughter, Emily as much as maybe I should have.

She is "the most beautiful 2 year old girl in the world..." And she loves her sister SO much. She is definetly going through the "terrible two's", but luckily I usually only see this side of her when I pick her up from the sitter's, other then that she's good as gold. She is going through a "mommy, mommy" phase which can be frustrating for both Keith and I, but also makes me feel SO good when she wraps her little arms around my neck and tells me how much she loves me. I remember being on bedrest and being so upset that I couldn't lift her or play with her much, I'm pretty sure she's forgotten all about that time. Last night I was reading to her before bed. She picked the book "Goodnight Moon". Alot of memories flashed in my head as I was reading her story. I read this book to both Jessica and Alyssa every night before I left the hospital when they were in the incubators, and before I could do much hands on with them. The things that stick in my mind...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forgiving myself

Things change, people change...I've definetly changed. I say this after going for a run and realizing that I need to upload some new music onto my mp3 player. When I see other runners outside I often wonder what they are listening to. My first song on my "running tunes" is "You shook me all night long" by ACDC. The beat makes you want to run. Well, it used to anyways, not so much today. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of the song?? Probably not the most appropriate song for a mother of three to get pumped about. Today I ran my fastest to "Amazing"...the song you're listening to as you open this blog. Yes things have definetly changed. My outlet of running has become a little more then running itself. As I think ahead to probably the most difficult times ahead of me this year, Easter, the girls birthday, the week of Jessica's death, I am trying to find ways to keep myself busy. Mother's day weekend... that Sunday was a very scary but also joyous day in my life. I delivered two beautiful girls, both alive. I'm lucky to have spent a month with Jessica, and to have Alyssa doing so well and holding a special part of Jessica inside of her for us to always see and remember.

2008 was a difficult year. But as Joseph Campbell said " "We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." I have gone over in my head over and over again, to the point of exhaustion trying to figure out what went wrong, how this all happened, when did problems start, etc. I read over my entire blog last week and remembered that Friday before I delivered...the fluid around Jessica was minimal and dangerous...maybe this is when her brain damage occured, maybe this is when she lost perfusion to her bowels and developped NEC. Trying to find the answers for the 'what if we did something differently' is not possible. I have accepted that I could not have done anything differently to give Jessica the life I wish she had here with us. I have accepted that I did everything to have her with us as long as possible, and ultimately we made the best possible decision for her by letting her go without suffering. I was lucky to meet her, and to hold her and be able to call her my daughter. I miss her everyday. But I also count my blessings everyday. It could have been worse. I could have missed that very special month we had with her that gave us a lifetime of memories. I could have lost them both, which many mothers have saddly experienced.

So as the time approaches, my running outlet has surfaced again. It is now time to start training for a half marathon, with a little over 16 weeks from now. I was thinking of running the Bluenose marathon in Halifax, and probably still will. But Mother's Day is the day I really need to keep busy, so I've signed up for the Fredericton half marathon. Dad is also running this race, not the same reasons obviously, but it will still be nice to have him there. I'll be the one running through the finish line with tears in my eyes. Tears of sadness, and happiness and wishful thinking I guess...but not regret. I'm passed that, or so I think I am today. Do me a favour and kiss your babies, tell them you love them, and be grateful that they are with you today...they truly are amazing.

(Update on Alyssa in a couple of days)