Tuesday, March 31, 2009

AJ's Nursery Pics...

See post from 2-18-09...I finally got pics posted of AJ's nursery before we repainted. We aren't quite done yet with the new room...I'll post those soon. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday AJ!

What a beautiful day your birthday turned out to be! I have been praying for a 'non-rainy' day, and my prayers were answered. We always plan a family holiday for AJ's birthday...and well - being 35 weeks I couldn't travel, so we decided to stay close and go to the Fort Worth Zoo. It was a beautiful day. We traveled the paths of the zoo for about 3 hours. I bench hopped and people watched while Eli and daddy went to explore the inside exhibits. We always wear our MEND t-shirts on AJ's Birthday . I secretly hope that someone will ask so we can share his story. A lot of people stare, but we are yet to be asked. Maybe next year. :) Admiring the turtles...I love these moments!

That is THE sweetest look ever!!!! (both the birds and E's expression)
I missed this exhibit, so glad daddy had the camera!Gotta love the elephants! Good thing I didn't wear gray...I'd blend in!

We finished the day with family and close friends coming over for dinner, cake and a balloon release. I absolutely love everyone coming together to write a special message on balloons to send up to AJ. The love, hugs and fact people remember him with us on his birthday make us so happy. I will post pics of the balloon release soon...gotta figure out how to get them off of the camera onto this new machine. Daddy will have to show me the trick! :)

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, I overheard Al and Eli sitting in the office at the computer. Al was looking at an email from my Uncle Joe regarding fallen soldiers. It showed the American Indian rituals that are performed for those fallen soldiers. This email sparked questions from Eli about where AJ was buried. I heard Al trying to explain to Eli that AJ isn't buried, but instead cremated. Eli said he didn't remember what AJ looked like. Al pulled up the pictures and began talking to Eli about AJ and going through the pics. Al started to cry a little and Eli said, "Are you crying because you miss AJ? Sometimes I cry too when I miss AJ."

My heart was sinking listening to them. I truly regret not having Eli come up to the hospital to hold his brother. We thought it would scar him for life, but in hind sight, probably not. He is such a wonderful, insightful little boy. Such a gentle loving spirit. I can't wait to see him with Alex and how he interacts with him. He is always kissing and rubbing my stomach telling Alex he loves him. It should be an exciting month coming up as we meet AJ's handpicked little brother. ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The last heartbeat...

It was 2 years ago today that I last heard AJ's heartbeat. I'm sure I've posted about it before, but today it is really resounding in my memory. I decided Alex and I needed donuts this morning with our orange juice to be sure that he stayed moving all day strong so I can feel him. That he is. :)

I hope I never forget the look on Dr P's face when he listened to AJ this day 2 years ago and paused and said, "Isn't it the best thing you've ever heard?" Dr P mind you is a mellow kind of doc and he truly marvels in the the awesomeness of the sound of a heartbeat and the miracle of life. I believe that it's a large part of why my heart ached for him to find out that AJ had died when he returned to town that weekend.

I have friends through MEND who actually saw their baby's heartbeat stop on a sono. I don't know if I would want to know the exact moment or not...? I do believe that he died in the early morning hours of March 27th, but I'll never know for sure. And that's ok. Our story was written just the way God intended for it to happen. I have to trust Him and His plan though we may not like it or agree with it.

I have so many people who tell me that they admire my strength and faith. I don't see myself as anything special or remarkable. I am thankful for my core faith beliefs because if I didn't have those, I would be lost right now. My strength comes from Him...in the flesh - I cry, I'm weak, I'm fragile...still 2 years later I never know what will release my pressure valve and will cause me to lose it. The void is real...keeping my focus on God is my way of dealing with the pain and the physical void in our family.

On another note...I'm sure everyone has see the "I Am Second" billboards by now. On Monday of next week there will be 2 billboards placed in the DFW area by an atheist group saying things like "Don't believe in God? You're not alone." I believe to each their own...I'm not one to impose my beliefs on someone else. But I found great humor from a DJ this morning that said the next billboard will read "I Am First - because there is no one else". I can only imagine how lonely that would be to not have a relationship with God and have to endure life without His grace and strength to carry you when you need him most.

Thank you mom for being sure that God was a part of my life growing up. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

34 weeks now...38 weeks then....

As we near AJ's 2nd birthday, I find myself wondering if I will ever be able to live through the month of March without counting days. Maybe last year because it was his first birthday...maybe this year because I'm pregnant again....but I count the days until he died - literally torturing myself in some ways with the thought "at this time 2 years ago, he was alive". Everything was still ok at this time 2 years ago.

Yesterday, 2 years ago we had a baby shower for him at work...it was a rainy morning that day, but full of love and excitement for him. 9 days later it was again a rainy morning, full of sadness and pain because he died. Oh how I pray for sun on March 30th this year. I need to wake up that morning and see all of God's beautiful creations glistening under a beautiful sunrise. But as life has taught me in the last 2 years, it will be what it will be that morning and what it is, will be what it's supposed to be.

I say this with wishful thinking on my part, but I hope that we will induce Bubble Jack at about 38 weeks. I fear reaching the 39th week since AJ died at the 39th week...although, Eli was born fine at 39 weeks. Oh the psychosis of a paranoid, heartbroken, excited, fearful, proud mother! I know the odds, the statistics, the reality...but emotions - coupled with hormones - usually win the day. I count every kick wondering if it's the last...I laugh with every hiccup and attempt to implant the memory of it in my mind in case it's all I get...I try to live each day appreciating the aches and pains of pregnancy because it's an experience some never get. For all of the craziness I go through on a daily basis, I am thankful for it all because without AJ, I would probably not have such a rich appreciation for all that I am dealing with. Odds are, Bubble Jack wouldn't be on the way without AJ's life story being what it is. I do believe all things happen the way He intends for them to happen...and through the psychosis of March, I know I have no control over any of the coming weeks. I can only pray my way to the finish line with a sweet tender angel looking over my shoulder whispering - "mommy-it will all be ok."