Wednesday, April 20, 2011

March for Babies Update

The March for Babies is only a little over a week away.  I'm so excited to take part in this special event as we have every year since Logan was born.  

This year is going to be a little different though.  Last week I was asked to write out our story for the March of Dimes Mission Tent.  They are going to have multiple family story boards and we were asked to submit ours along with pictures if we wanted.  I took my time and really thought about what I wanted to write.  After I finished I emailed it to Doug so he could add, remove or change anything.  Yesterday I finally submitted my story.

This morning I had an email:

"As I read this I cry all over again….Are you and your family going to be at March for Babies?

If so would you read this story from the stage?

If you don’t feel comfortable doing so I completely understand.  Just let me know."

I thought about it for only a moment before I said yes.  

Getting on that stage and telling our story is going to be one of the hardest things I have done since Logan's funeral, but I HAVE to do it.  I HAVE to share my son with other people.  

It's easy for me to write, because I can experience any and all emotions and take as much time as I need without anyone knowing.  But public speaking is different.  I have to be at least somewhat composed and speak clearly and loudly enough for everyone to hear our story.  And I'm scared.  

I'm not one of those people who is very comfortable getting up in front of a crowd and talking... about anything.  But I actually feel like God has kind of been preparing me for this.  After Eli's baptism I volunteered to be a Lector at our church.  I've been reading almost every other weekend and on several of the weekends, the person who would have been sharing the reading responsibilities with me didn't show.  So I have been facing my fear of public speaking quite regularly.  And I'm hoping that practice helps me get through this very important task.  

So I am asking for your prayers.  I am certainly going to need them when I stand on that stage but I also need them as I prepare.  The March is April 30 and between now and then I am going to be doing my best to prepare to do the best job I can to tell our story.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

6 Months

We had our 6 month Well Baby Appointment yesterday and everything went really well.

Eli now weighs 17 lbs. 15 oz. which puts him in the 56th percentile and is 26 in. tall, which puts him in the 32nd percentile.  The doctor didn't even ask me if Eli was sitting, reaching or babbling because he did those things as soon as the doctor walked in.  He really wanted to play with the stethoscope and kept reaching for it.

He is wearing mostly 6 month clothes, with some 3-6 months still fitting and some 9 months already fitting.  He loves reading and singing and this ugly giraffe who thinks it might be a zebra.

He has started reaching for more people than just me and is pretty much willing to go to anyone.  He sits up very well on his own and when we lay him on his back he rolls to his belly and gets mad because he can't go anywhere.  When he does stay on his back he scooches across the floor.  He still loves his Jumparoo, maybe even more than before, because now he can actually jump up and down in it.  I think he would sit and bounce all day if we let him.  He even bounces when he's out of the Jumparoo being held.

He sleeps on his side or his stomach most nights, no matter how many times I flip him back on his back.

His favorite color is orange, or so he tells me by his choice of foods.  He loves sweet potatoes, carrots and squash but hates green beans and peas.  He also likes peaches, prunes and pears.  Last night he had his first taste of chicken baby food and it was not successful, but I've been told not many babies like the meat baby foods.  He has started taking a sippy cup recently and can drink well out of it when we hold it but still hasn't mastered holding it still long enough to get a drink.

He is also giving kisses now.  They are open-mouth and slobbery but ridiculously sweet.  Most of the time he puts his hands on the person's face and holds on before planting a big ole wet one!

He loves skyping with all of his favorite people and usually stops what he's doing when a camera is pointed in his direction.

He LOVES the dogs, especially Bella and tries to catch her tongue while she tries to get close enough to lick his face, with me in the middle trying to keep them from unintentionally hurting each other :)

He's going to the zoo for the first time this weekend and I'm excited to see how he reacts.  Then next week our favorite photographer is coming to take 6 Month photos and then there's Easter.

The past 6 months seem to have flown by and Doug and I talk all the time about how he's getting big too fast. It seems crazy to me that in less than 6 months he will be 1-year-old and that in that span of time he will learn to crawl and stand, and maybe even take a few steps.  As much as I am looking forward to the person he will become, I am also trying to hold on to every minute of who he is now.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Revelation

Last week was a kind of tough week.  On Thursday I attended a memorial for the son of someone I work with who had been killed in a car accident.  That night I watched Grey's Anatomy, which I watch every week.  But that night there was a preemie and it hit me hard. 

Grief is a funny thing that way.  You can be going on with your life, happy-go-lucky, living with the memory and then... BAM!  Something happens and throws you right back to the moments and days right after the loss.  That's how it was for me Thursday night.  I found myself staring at our video baby monitor to remind myself that Eli really was here and that I hadn't somehow gone back in time to July 2008.

On Sunday, though, sitting at church listening to the homily I felt like God reached down and touched me, giving me comfort during that week and for all of the days/weeks like that.

The Gospel reading this Sunday was about Jesus making a blind man see.  
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
                                         - John 9:1-3
Hearing this and our priest saying it was for God's glory that the man was born blind, it struck me.  Since Logan died I have wondered how the death of my little boy could possibly bring God glory.  Sure, if he had lived I would have said his life was a miracle and it was only possible because of God.  But how on earth could his death bring God glory.

Sitting in that pew, by myself (because Doug and Eli were in the cry room), it was hit me like a jolt...

If every baby lived, no one would think it was a miracle.  If every preemie went home healthy, it wouldn't be amazing when a 24 weeker survived.  It would be expected, and people wouldn't praise God for the miracle survivor.  

At one time, a baby born at 30, 32, or 34 weeks was not expected to live.  But now, with all the advances in medicine, they are expected to go home.  Not many people marvel over the fact that they grow up healthy.  But when a 24 or 26 weeker makes it, that's news.  

Even within my own little family, I doubt I would have regarded Eli's birth as such a miracle if it hadn't been for Logan's death.  Sure, I would have thanked God for giving me this little baby, but I most likely wouldn't have felt the deep gratitude and praise that I feel now.  I probably wouldn't wake up every single morning thanking God for one more day.  Even on the days when Eli is at his fussiest, when I can't get anything done, I find myself thanking God that I have a reason to be so frustrated.  But I doubt I would have felt that way if Logan been born healthy.

And there are plenty of other people in my life who give their kids extra hugs and kisses and hold them a little tighter, all because of Logan.  And that gives me some measure of comfort, at least a partial answer to the often asked question, why.


In other news, Eli is 6 months old today!  It's so crazy to me how fast the time is passing.  He has his 6 month check up next week, so I'm going to wait until after that appointment to update you on all things Eli.