Sunday, February 28, 2010

Butterfly Dishes and Such

We moved. Our place is crazy messy with boxes everywhere, but it's glorious.

I'm just about to unpack my butterfly dishes. Very soon I'll write an entire post about my butterfly dishes. They are lovely.

Sylas and Ivy are sharing a room for the first time, with Sy is sleeping in a big boy bed. It's...well...interesting. Let's just say mommy and daddy are being very patient with Sylas and Sylas is being very patient with his little sister.

It's going to work. Eventually.

I have a lovely giveaway coming up this week, so stay tuned.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where We're At

Baby girl has an infection. In both ears. Blech.

And we're moving. This weekend.

I'm having a bit of deja vu. Sy had his first seizure ten days before we moved to Wisconsin. And come Saturday {our moving day}, it will have been ten days since Sylas had his last seizure.

Perhaps February is a bad month to move.

Also, it would seem that Ryan and I don't have very good luck with our Valentines Day celebrations.

{And ohmygoodness, wasn't Sylas tiny a year ago?}

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Best Medicine

Sy is on the mend and he's back to his silly self.

Today, when getting ready to go to the grocery store, Sylas asked if he could walk with his tractor {walker} out to the car. He had never done that before, but no problem.

So there he was, booking it through the garage and out on to the driveway. There was a tiny snowbank he had to go through to get to his side of the car, and when he spotted it, he looked at me with mischievous determination and plowed ahead. He got his front two wheels in and then tried {with his scrawny arms} to get the rest of the way through and ker-SPLAT! Face first into the snow. Oh, we laughed our heads off and it felt so good.

Later at dinner, Sy told the whole family his story about how he took his tractor in the snow when we were going to the grocery store. Ryan asked him what happened next, and with a twinkle in his eye, Sy said, "I went KABOOM!" And we laughed again. We laughed and laughed.

And it felt so good.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Letting Go

It's been 3 days since Sylas had his seizure, and it's the first time I've left him since then. I'm sitting at Starbucks, enjoying my espresso and trying to recharge. I'm drained. So many emotions have surrounded this experience. Worry, fear, relief, tension, thankfulness and guilt. Oh, the guilt. I feel so guilty that we weren't with Sy when he seized. My aunt did everything we would've done, but how did Sylas feel? Was he afraid? Was he wondering why we weren't with him?

I know I need to let go of this guilt. It doesn't accomplish anything. And as Sylas gets older, we'll be apart more and more. There will be school and friends birthday parties and summer camp. I can't hover over him every moment. This letting go is inevitable. But my heart is fighting it.

Anyone else think being a mom is hard?

Sy has been lethargic and feverish since Wednesday evening. Thankfully with pain relievers, we've been able to keep his fever from spiking, and in turn avoiding more seizures, but I'm ready for him to feel better. Like he felt last Saturday.

Enjoying tunnels and slides.

Please, oh, please. Get better soon, Bug.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our Baby Needs Us

We're not in Kohler.

We're home.

We got a call right after dinner. Sy had a seizure and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. It was a febrile seizure and the only one he's had since his first seizure over a year ago.

He's okay. Exhausted, but ok, and we're so grateful. It seems to just be a virus, so he was discharged from the hospital after a couple of hours. Right now, he's snuggled safely in our bed. Exactly where he should be.

And I'm going to join him.

Kohler will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Really Have the Best Husband. Period.

Ryan is taking me away tomorrow. It's a late Valentines celebration since Sunday's are busy with him being a children's pastor.

I'm so excited, because this year, Ryan splurged. Big time.

We're staying at the American Club in Kohler. You all know about Kohler right? The bathroom stuff? Amazing showers? Tubs that are to die for?

It's made near our home. At least I think it is. That's where it started anyway. Kohler is a lovely and strange town all it's own. It's beautiful and well maintained with excellent shopping and an amazing chocolate shop. {Or shall I say Chocolatier?}'s almost too perfect, which makes it a little weird. But I like it. A lot.

And just a bit further down the road is Sheboygan. In my opinion, Sheboygan has the best Italian restaurant. It's actually the only Italian restaurant in the U.S. I've liked since returning from Italy 7 years ago. Yes. I am a pasta snob, and I'll be happily dining on al dente pasta less than 24 hours from now.

My aunt is keeping the children overnight. She's a saint.

I'll miss my babes. Even so, I'll force myself to enjoy this.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Day of Love

One word frees us
Of all the weight and pain in life;
That word is Love


Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Story (Part 2)

{You can read Part 1 of our story here}.

We arrived home from the clinic in shock. I'm not entirely sure how we made it home. Ryan's parents were there within the hour. Praying for us. Comforting us. My parents would be coming in a couple of days. A few close friends were called. We were loved and supported. And we were in shock.

I took the zofran hoping for even the slightest relief of my never ending nausea. It didn't come. Instead of relief, a whopper of a headache was added to my discomfort.

For days, Ryan and I were in a haze. Not really believing it was true. That my body was trying to sustain six lives. We questioned so much. Why was this happening? All we wanted was one baby. We didn't ask for this. We didn't want this.

And the nausea continued. Worsening by the day. Every morning, Ryan would blend one frozen gatorade ice cube before he left for work, telling me I had to eat it by the time he got home. It was a struggle. Some days I couldn't finish it. I was losing weight. By the time I was 8 weeks pregnant, I looked like this.

But I had lost 11 pounds.

That week I was admitted to the hospital for hyperemesis. Because I wasn't able to eat anything, the doctors inserted a PICC line, and for the next month, 2,000-3,000 calories in the from of TPN were pumped into my body. I was released from the hospital after 5 days, still unable to eat.

The next two weeks were some of the darkest I've ever experienced. Even sleep could not offer relief from the nausea I felt. Over and over again, I begged Ryan to let me end it all. To selectively reduce. Surely if there were fewer babies inside of me I wouldn't be as sick. I was out of my mind, spending my days in a state of delirium. By this time, I couldn't even put a toothbrush soaked in water in my mouth without vomiting. Being on the phone made me vomit. Light made me vomit. Touch made me vomit. I felt as though I was dying.

Ryan was terrified for me, so at 10 weeks gestation, he called a doctor in Arizona. This doctor is known as the "quad god," due to his experience taking care of women pregnant with multiples. Ryan explained our situation, and the doc recommended that I take a steroid known as prednisone. Ry called my perinatologist and that day, he wrote a prescription for the steroid.

That first day, I was to take six pills. Are you kidding me? If I couldn't even stick a toothbrush in my mouth, how was I going to swallow six pills? I will never forget the love of my husband during this time. He got the pills, a small glass of water and a saltine ready. I took the first pill and a tiny sip of water, then laid as still as possible. My Love sat next to me and sang. In his beautiful voice, he sang songs of hope to me. A half an hour later, I took another pill and Ryan sang. Another 30 minutes later, another pill and more singing. Three pills in 90 minutes. It was all I could do. I was trembling with exhaustion from tying to not throw up. But I did it. 3 pills. And it was enough for now.

The next morning, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law came to our apartment. Cleaning, folding laundry, being family. Soon after they arrived, I walked out of my room feeling different. I still felt slightly sick, but I wanted to eat. I was starving. I ate an entire blueberry muffin.

I even opened the shades. I wanted sunlight.

The next 7 weeks were the easiest part of my pregnancy. I was still sick, but if I snacked ALL.DAY.LONG, it wasn't so bad. I was slowly weaned off the TPN. I had a bit more energy. And the most beautiful part of this time was falling in love with my babies. Each of them carved out a place in my heart that is theirs alone.

{13 weeks}

And soon, my babies started kicking. First tiny flutters all over the place, then like a 24 hour wrestling match. I adored them. I couldn't wait to meet them. I started dreaming of what it would be like to care for 6 children. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I couldn't wait.

I was being seen by my perinatolgiests every 2 weeks, and at my 15 week appointment, everything looked superb. Nice long cervix and weighing five pounds more than when I got pregnant.

{15 weeks}

I walked into my 17 week appointment feeling on top of the world. The nurses commented on how great I looked. I laid down on the table ready for an ultrasound, but when I looked at the screen, my world stopped. I asked the technician where my cervix was. It had shortened and I was already dilated to 2 centimeters.

Ryan drove me straight from the clinic to the hospital where I was put on strict bed rest. A cerclage was scheduled for the next morning. I wasn't allowed to eat for the typical 12 hours before a surgery, so when I went into the operating room, I was terribly sick. I was strapped to a table and put in the trandelimburg position. Basically I was upside down. Not a good position when you need to vomit. It was awful. For almost the entire 30 minute procedure, I vomited.

But it was worth it. The procedure was a success. My cervix was closed. The babies were staying in for awhile longer. And I would be on bed rest in the hospital until they arrived.

{All photos in this post are by Noemi Photography}.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Headbands, Pest Control and BabyLegs

My Etsy shop.

It isn't happening. Not yet anyway. So many of you have been encouraging me. Asking me {over and over again} when I'm going to open one. Hopefully soon.

In them meantime, if you would like me to make a felt flower headband for your little one, send me an email. I'd love to work something out.

Also, thanks to everyone who entered the EcoSMART giveaway. If you didn't win, but still would like to purchase their products, check out their blog for a coupon code!
And lastly, Inspired by Finn is still offering 10% off their amber teething necklaces and BabyLegs. Just use the code 75 during checkout.
Whew. That's a lot of linkage. Happy shopping.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


We have snow. Just a little right now, but they say we're going to get a lot. I don't have anywhere to go, so I like it.

Usually by February I'm begging Spring to make it's glorious appearance. Watching with anticipation for the first bud to reveal itself.

But I'm learning. Slowly. Learning to live in the moment. To not wish for the next stage in life.

I'm finding color in the everyday. Like in my new shoes.

And my beautiful children who helped me open them.

It was a really big event.

I'm trying to remember what life was like before babies, but it's hazy. I know for certain that as a mother, every emotion is experienced more deeply. Joy is more joyful. Sorrow more sorrowful. Delight is more delightful. And pain more painful. It's exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
There is so much color. Every day.
I don't want to miss a moment of it.
UPDATE: If you are having a bad case of shoe lust, you can buy these beauties here. For a steal. They also come in black or purple. If anyone buys the purple, please send me a pic of them on your feet. I had such a hard time deciding. Oh, and order a size up {I'm usually a 7 or 7 1/2 and size 8 fits perfectly}.

Friday, February 5, 2010

About Mothering My Girls

I wrote about losing the three boys and how we knew early on that their lives would be short. But I haven't written about the girls.

It's painful.

Not that losing the boys was any less painful, but after that first precarious week of life, we had hope. We thought we would get to keep the girls. Especially Lucia. Cadence, the smallest baby, struggled for each of the thirteen days she lived, but Lucia was strong. Lucia lived for six weeks.

I gave Lucia baths. I put teeny tiny pink clothes on her. When she and Sy were about four weeks old, I started planning their nursery.

I was able to hold Lucia for the first time when she was five and a half weeks old. We have it on video. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. And then I didn't hold her again until she was dying.

I miss her.

But do you know what's beautiful?

I have a girl. With me. Right now.

When I got pregnant with Ivy, I prayed she would be a girl. I needed a girl. Not to replace Lucia and Cadence. Not ever. But because after having a small taste of mothering girls, I needed more.

And my sweet baby Ives has brought such a beautiful healing to my heart. I no longer question every decision that we or the doctors made during my pregnancy with the sextuplets. I no longer ask the "what if's." Because if Lucia or any of the other babies had lived, our lives would have been very busy, and Ryan and I would have taken more precautions to not get pregnant. And that means we wouldn't have Ivy, and I can't imagine my life without Ivy.

I can't trade one child for another.

So while I will always desperately miss my girls, I'm at peace.

My life is good. So very good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This Day

The snow is falling. Jack Johnson is singing. Laundry is almost done.

Forget groundhogs.

Shadow or no shadow, it's a beautiful day.

What are you up to right now?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Here's Looking at You Kid

My Granny knit this sweater for my Ivy.
It makes her look like a yummy candy cane.
All sweet and sugary.

And the cheeks. Oh, those cheeks.
She's entirely good enough to eat.