Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

What a year!

We started it with a bang with a visit from our cousins in January, they were the first ones in our extended family to meet Ethan. It was such a sweet time just hanging out and catching up!


Mid January we took our first (and last) trip to Mexico as a family of three. My friends and family got to meet Ethan. We went to the beach, threw his 7 month monster party and dedicated him to the Lord. We spent some much needed time with dear friends and family!


We also found out that our family would grow by two feet making it the 3rd year in a row in which we would have a baby. I know what you're thinking... Ironically, this year we also got rid of both our TVs!


In February we closed in and moved into our very first home. We've spent most of our time this year remodeling it and making it pretty!


In June we celebrated Ethan's 1st birthday. It was awesome to see how many people came together with us to celebrate the life of our sweet boy. We are happy to have so much love in our lives. Also, my mom was able to be here for the party!


September brought the sweetest addition to our family. A little surprise that has filled our home with even more joy, cries, dirty diapers, laundry and so much love! Thankfully my parents were able to stay with us helping with the boys. It's a blessing to have retired parents! We love you Jason Allan!



In November we received Bruce's parents and sister in our house to celebrate Thanksgiving together. We hadn't seen them in a long time so it was great to spend time with them and see how much they enjoyed the boys!


Christmas was family time. Just the four of us, no schedules, no rush. Just us, making memories, loving on each other, missing our Evan and enjoying our Ethan and Jason. Opening presents, wearing matching pajamas, sitting by the fire, enjoying our home and our little family!


Although, I think I'm safe to say that this year brought more ups than downs. It has also been the year in which I have missed Evan the most. I've noticed his absence more but that has made me realize how much I need to enjoy Bruce and the boys here and now.


I am looking forward to 2015 and what it will bring for our little family. I am excited to continue on this journey with my husband and kids. I hope next year brings lots of joy to my dear friends who are reading this. Let us keep on doing life together! I love you!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I miss him!

So, it's been a while! It's been a busy couple of... months. Two boys, holidays, kitchen remodel, parents and in-laws visiting. It's made for a crazy but very enjoyable time! Also, I was going through sort of a writers' block spell. I didn't have anything to write about till now.

I've been feeling kind of strange lately. There are lots of feelings going on in my heart and my head. I've been missing Evan a LOT which makes me feel a little guilty because, well, I have two AMAZING, healthy, growing kids. So here is the thing having Evan makes me appreciate Ethan and Jason more but having them makes me miss him even more. I miss what I never had. I miss seeing him grow. I miss him playing with his brothers. I miss his little steps around the house. How is it possible to miss something/things you never had? The more I see my boys grow and develop, do new things and reach new milestones the more I miss seeing Evan doing the same things, reaching the same milestones.

The holiday season doesn't make it any easier. It's like there's a a piece of our family missing. It's like we are not complete. I try to balance how much I miss my boy in Heaven and how much I want and do enjoy my boys!

Anyway, I don't have much more to write I just... miss my Evan! 

I love you sweet boy and I miss you a lot. You will always have your special place in my heart and in our family!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

He's here: Jason's birth story

Our Jason Allan is here! 




It's been a week since Jason was born, where did time go? I'm not sure why but I feel I've recovered a lot faster this time around. Maybe because I was under a lot less stress, maybe my body already knew what to do. I had a repeat c section and everything went very smoothly.

Let's start from the beginning. At 36 weeks we had an ultrasound to check were he was size wise and his position so we could know what to expect (haha). The ultrasound showed a healthy 7 lbs baby, head down "ready" for delivery (we did want him to wait till 39 weeks to be born). From then on we planned on having a VBAC, which my OB was on board with. We had our awesome birthing coach, Sharon, and our photographer lined up. We started our weekly check ups, he stayed head down up until 38 weeks 5 days. 

We were 39 weeks on Tuesday 16th, on Wednesday 17th we had our routine appointment and that's when we found out things had changed. His heartbeat was way higher than it had been the previous week so for good measure the Dr. did an ultrasound just to find out that he had turned! I had felt my tummy different the night before but I really didn't think he could have turned that far along. 

I know some may say my reaction was a little over dramatic (yes, I cried). I knew in my heart that it wasn't the worst news ever because guess what I have gotten the WORST news ever before and it doesn't compare. However, it was the fact that things were, once more, not going our way. We've wanted nothing but natural deliveries from the beginning and it just isn't happening. The doctor gave us some options to try to turn him back around, one of them being a procedure called Version (the doctor manipulates baby from the outside, turning baby manually with "little" risk form mom and baby). We considered it and decided that's what we would do.

For some reason we couldn't get to a place of peace with this decision. The procedure, which was going to take place at the OR, was scheduled for the next day September 18th. I could barely sleep and there in the middle of the night I decided Jason's safety was more important to me than being cut open not having things go my way. In the morning I told Bruce what I thought and he agreed. We decided to skip the version and have a good old fashion c section. We still had Sharon and our photographer there (I'm so glad we did). We had amazing support and gorgeous pictures taken. I'll do a picture post as soon as I get them back!

This time the anesthesia worked right away. I walked into the OR at around 9 am and at 9:25 we had a healthy crying baby in our arms. Daddy was by my side the whole time, as soon as baby came out he ran by his side. He cut the cord, watched them clean him up and swaddle him and as soon as he was able to he brought it to me. He let me kiss him and meet him for a few minuted before they were taken to the recovery room where I would join them about half an hour later.

In the recovery room I got to see Jason. Once the numbness in my hands was gone I was able to hold and nurse him. Over all it wasn't a bad experience, of course I would have preferred to have a natural delivery but God knows why that didn't happen again. I am just thankful that our boy is alive and healthy. I am recovering well. 



Thanks for reading and for sharing in our joy for the new addition to our family! Now on to discovering a whole new world as a mother of a rambunctious toddler and a newborn. I will be documenting our adventures here so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

And his name shall be

Naming a human is no easy task! 

A few years ago on a road trip we took to Oklahoma, right around the time we had started talking and dreaming about having babies, we came up with 4 names for the babies we were dreaming of having. Two boy names and 2 girl names. Evan Matthew and Ethan Andrew being the boys' names. 

When I was pregnant with them, the minute we knew they were boys we also knew what their names would be. It was who they were even before they were conceived. It is also amazing to me that both the boys have lived to the meaning of their names:

Evan Matthew is our "young fighter" and Ethan Andrew is definitely "manly, strong and enduring"!

We were ready to name a girl after that but to our delight we got another boy! 

Coming up with another boy name wasn't easy. We just couldn't seem to agree on one. We both like names with good meanings and I prefer names that are less likely to be shortened. After going through many names we finally agreed on one we both liked but for some reason it just didn't seem right and we didn't have a middle name. Even when we had decided on a name and told our families we didn't want to make it public because "what if we change our mind?". 

Anyway it was only about two weeks ago that we made it official so here it is...

Jason Allan Coy

Jason means "that who heals" and Allan means "Fair and handsome". So of course I know he is handsome (not that I am biased or anything) but maybe he'll be a doctor too!

Also, just now as I type this I was thinking (with no intention to stretch the meaning) that this pregnancy has been by far the easiest and least stressful of all. By no means am I completely "healed" from my previous experiences but I do feel that having Jason's pregnancy go so well has given me back a little piece of something that I had lost along the way. Perhaps the hope that a pregnancy can actually go as intended, with no complications and more peace than worry. 

Maybe, in that way, Jason is already living up to his name. Doesn't sound too crazy or does it?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Different kinds of love

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. It may be weird but I thought I would share anyway since it has been VERY real to me especially the past few months. You may be able to relate.


There are different kinds of love, well that's obvious you may think. Of course I don't love my husband the same way I love my kids or my parents. Yeah that's very clear and easy to recognize. But what about the love for our kids. I've discovered that I love each of my boys in a different way. Granted, all 3 of them are in different places right now and I am inclined to think that's were the difference lies.

Evan died and it was horrible, extremely painful and devastating. I loved seeing him in my belly on the ultrasounds. I enjoyed feeling him and dreaming if how he would be, what he would look like. I miss him terribly and what I miss the most is that I never got to really know him. He never took a breathe outside my womb, we never heard his voice. We never got to see his personality develop. We didn't get to really know him and I think that's what makes our love for him different.

Ethan is here with us, he has been for almost 15 months now, when did that happen? Since he was born we've spent countless hours getting to know him. Celebrating his milestones, nursing him when he's sick, disciplining him, working to mold him, getting frustrated at him, and then forgiving him. He has filled our house and life with a joy and chaos that we never knew before. We've had to learn to put his needs before ours. We've been intentional about spending time with him, teaching him, enjoying him. Our life changed in a very different way than it did when Evan was born. A way we didn't expect and we hadn't experienced before.

We loved Ethan when he was in my tummy but all the time we've invested in him and the time we've had to get to know him has changed that love. We don't love him the same way we love Evan. In a way the love seems deeper and greater but it's only because we know him in a way we never knew our Evan.

Same thing with baby. We love him very much but we don't know him yet. We haven't spent nearly as much time caring for him as we've had his brothers. I'm sure our love for him will change the moment they place him in our arms and will change even more as we spend time with him.

I guess this is why parents wonder, will I be able to love my second child as much as I love my first? It's not because you don't love them already it's because you don't know them and it's hard to imagine loving someone else as much.

It doesn't matter though if it's different kinds of love, I LOVE my boys and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world!

Monday, August 25, 2014

On pain and Rainbow Babies

Something has been weighing in my mind since we got pregnant with Ethan and today I re-read this quote and thought it might be a good time to share: 

We call rainbow babies to those born after a loss.
They are beauty after the storm.
We did not know about the concept of Rainbow Babies before we lost our Evan. We didn't really know about Rainbow Babies until we had our Ethan.

Having a Rainbow Baby is an interesting thing.


Losing a child changes you in many many ways. It changes the way you see the world, faith, and even yourself. Things that used to be important are not anymore and things that you never thought about now are the center of your thoughts. 

When you get the opportunity to be a parent to another baby, one that stays with you on this side of Heaven, you cherish more, you hold tighter, you love deeper. But here is the thing, having a Rainbow Baby doesn't "make up" for your loss. There is no replacing the precious life that is no longer with you. It doesn't make it all OK. It doesn't make you forget. It doesn't take the pain away. Experience has taught me that at times it even makes your heart hurt a little bit more because you find yourself thinking "If he were here, he would be...". It makes you miss what you'll never have. It makes you wonder how it would be.

You really never forget and you shouldn't. Evan is as much a part of our family as any other of our children. We love to talk about him. We love it when people ask or talk about him. We want our kids on earth to know they have a brother in Heaven. We know he was real and we like it to be acknowledged as such. He is and forever will be a very important part of our family. The way we love him and the way we love our babes on Earth may be different but we love him nonetheless. That is a topic for another post.

So that's where my heart is. As the picture says the rainbow doesn't mean the storm never happened (even a double rainbow) it means we get the privilege of enjoying something beautiful even in the midst of the pain. For that I am thankful.




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

When people ask

Ever since I was pregnant with Ethan it's been a common occurrence and I'm sorry to say that I haven't figured it out yet. Most interactions begin with "How far along?", that's an easy one. Then it is inevitably followed by "Is this your first?", that's when it gets complicated.

Let me be clear not complicated for me, I know Ethan is not my first. The answer is VERY clear in my heart and in my head. "No, this is my second. My first one is in Heaven, he's not in my arms or running around but he is still my first born." Well if you know the whole story Evan is really the third, so Ethan is the 4th and so on, see how it gets complicated? 

The thing is though, most people are not ready for a truthful answer. They are not asking because they really want to know. They just want to make conversation, like they're talking about the weather. So, here is what I haven't figured out. Sometimes, just to spare them of an awkward moment, I'll just answer "Yes, he is", and immediately after that I feel guilty. I feel I'm betraying my Evan. Does he not count? Why should I care more about this stranger than I care about honoring the place my baby boy has in my heart and our family? 

Sometimes I say "No, we have one in Heaven and he is our second", depending on the person the reactions will vary. Mostly it gets awkward and they try to change the subject. Rarely they compassionately just say "I'm so sorry!". I can count with one hands the times when their response has been of genuine interest and compassion "What happened?... I'm so sorry...", those are my favorite because it gives me the chance to share my boy with the world. When I do this I sometimes feel bad for making them feel bad or sad or awkward but at the end of the day I think, well they asked, right?

Here is what I've learned. When you ask a question you need to be ready for the answer no matter what it may be. If you don't think you are ready for the answer then don't ask! That's the cold truth. There is another side of things which I have also learned. If I hadn't gone through what I have gone through there is no way I would have the awareness I do about loss, so I can't expect everybody to have the same awareness if they haven't experienced what I have. 

So, I am just as ignorant about other people's experiences (pain, sickness, chronic sickness, different types of loss, etc) as others are about the loss I've lived through. All I can do is be kind and understanding when asked and when asking. When giving an answer and when receiving an answer I was not prepared to get. Bottom line:

Source
It is a simple truth yet a very important one to live by. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

My first guest post!

So earlier this month I was contacted by Cortney over at The Mommyhood Project via Instagram. I looked her up and found out she has a very similar story as I do. We both share deep loss and we both want our story to be known so others can have hope. She is hosting a series called Life After Child Loss on her blog and she invited me to be a part of it. 

I was super excited because I think the more people can hear our stories the better. One, because if they are going through what we've gone through they won't feel alone. Two, because when you've gone through such pain you don't want it to be in vain and if my story encourages 1 person then there is some purpose in it. 

I will be sharing Cortney's story next week but for now please go over and read my blog post on her page here. You can also hang around and leave some comment love for her.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Showing my blog some love

So I'm getting ready to make my blog public. I know it hasn't exactly been private but since I started it back in 2011 I haven't acquired any regular readers. My guess is because nobody I know in real life knows about it. It's been a struggle in my heart to let close people know about it or not. It's a lot easier to be vulnerable and open with strangers but it is time. I want my story to be shared and to touch people that may need to hear that loss sucks and it is hard but there is always hope! 

Anyway, in preparation for this step I've been trying to give my blog a face lift and add some features that I think necessary. I spent about two days trying to add social media icons and I just wasn't having any success until I found this you tube video 


Super simple, fast, and clear, right?

I love to design my own stuff but I am not very savvy regarding saving images for the web and re sizing and all that other good stuff so I found these and fell in love with them! I am thankful for talented people that are willing to share their skills with the community. Thank you Pancake Ninja! 

If you are trying to add social media icons to your blog go check these two resources, it will save you lots of time and frustration!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ethan is 1 little monkey


We had Ethan's 1st birthday party on June 29th. At first we thought about having it at the park but it was going to be way too hot plus all my decoration plans wouldn't have been possible there.

We went into overdrive to get the house ready for the party and I am glad we did! Every little detail I wanted came to fruition and I couldn't be happier with the memories we created for our 1st birthday party ever. I had been dreaming about a 1st Birthday Party ever since I got pregnant with our first back in 2010. Wow!!! It was a long time coming, things don't always happen like you imagine but this party did! 

OK, so on with the program. Let me give you a tour of the party and tell you a a little bit about it.

Right as guests walked in they saw a "one a day" presentation playing on our TV,
I tried to take a picture a day for his first year, I had to cheat on some days but
for the most part they were chronologically accurate.

On one corner of the living room we had the "present table" which
was our ottoman, it turned out great because we sat there to open his presents.

As you walked into the dining room to the right we had a cotton candy and
snow cone station.

Then we had the food station. We served banana chips (ruffles),
monkey tails (hot dogs), and alligator jaws (watermelon). 

Walking into the den we set up Ethan's high chair.
 
To the right of the high chair we had the "cake" table. Tons of monkeys
that spelled ONE and his special one with his candle.
   
Along the den we set up the table for everyone. Daddy had the last
minute idea to use banana clusters as centerpieces and I added
some pictures but I took the picture before I did that.
I loved how it turned out!

We decorated the mantel with his hospital onesie, some pictures, and his first
piece of art (which mostly we made cuz he didn't want anything to do with
the paint). He did stamp his footprint so there. Also we hung his "monthly"
footprints (I had to cheat a bit too, life happens way too fast!).

In the den we have a "window" that opens to the kitchen, we closed the
shutters and I set up his tiny bits picture, a frame with lots of pictures for
everyone to flip through, and our Evan's bear attending baby brother's party.
 
Outside we had the piƱata, that was all Bruce. He made a palm tree
and hung coconuts filled with candy, when the kids hit the trunk the coconuts
fell and some busted open. Everybody loved it, it was very original and it worked
like a charm!

We also had a cake for Ethan so he would smash it with his guests, we
didn't make a mess like the first time but he enjoyed it!
   
Our family picture. I wish it had turned out better but in the
heat of the moment that's all we had time for. 
   
"Happy Birthday" time, not too loud so birthday boy wouldn't
get startled because he was having a hard time with all the people
invading his house. Once he got over it he enjoyed the party!

Well, that's it for today. We had a great time and we were very pleased with how everything turned out. We had lots of friends and friends that are family join us to celebrate this very awaited day!

Only Abuela was able to make it in town for the party, she enjoyed it a lot and we were happy to have her. We wish we could have had more of our family here but that's how distance works. 

Happy Birthday sweet boy, I hope you'll like what you see when you look at this pictures!




Friday, June 27, 2014

My baby is ONE today

When did that happen? I know everybody says this, it must be because it's true. It doesn't really feel like a whole year has gone by but my itty bitty baby is turning into a big boy way too fast and right in front of my eyes!

I had been thinking about a theme for his 1st birthday party since he was like 6 months and this is what I came up with:

"5 little monkeys" is the first song I learned in English way back
in kindergarten and to date it brings back fond memories of those years. 

I chose monkeys as Ethan's theme and when my mom was in town before he was born we found this cute beanie baby monkey, so it all fit together. I came up with the play on words (and number) and with daddy's help the party started to come to life!

We have a lot of fun plans for the party. I will post pictures soon! 

Today we celebrated by waking up the birthday boy with balloons and presents.





After the presents we had his cake smashing session. I wasn't sure how that was going to go because he is not a fan of textures but once he got a little bit in his mouth it was over, the cake didn't stand a chance. I took approximately 589 pictures and I was able to narrow it to about 200, it's impossible to pick the best ones they are all super cute! 

The hat was a nice thought but he wouldn't keep it on!

What is this???

I think I like it!

Yeah, I like it so much I'll dive in it!

Now I'm having fun!

Staple monkey face, not sure were he learned to do it
but I sure don't want him to grow out of it!

Then we went out for breakfast and off to Explora (a kid's museum in town). Ethan and Daddy had a blast learning and discovering together. My heart is full just from seeing those two enjoy things together and each other!

Fascinated with the shooting water

Water is his favorite thing to play with

Bubbles!!!

This is how he shows love, I love you too my boy!

Abuela had a good time too.
To end the day we took his official 12 month picture with Daddy's 49ers hat, almost a monthly tradition.

Won't keep it on long enough for a picture but this works!
We had a really fun time celebrating his 1st year of life and we pray we get to celebrate many more!

My dear sweet boy,

It's been an honor and a privilege to see you grow during this past 12 months. For the most part it's been easy, not because I am a super mom but because you are a super baby. We lucked out with you, every transition and every milestone have been dictated by your readiness. There hasn't been any major drama or difficulty. Of course you've had hard days and I have too but nothing compared to the horrors some people warned us about. You've spoiled us!

I love to watch you play and see all the silly things you come up with. Sometimes I feel my heart is going to burst out of my chest with love. I don't understand how I can love a tiny person so so much. You have changed our life and I am thankful that you are growing strong and healthy.

Keep on growing my love, soon you'll be joined by your brother on Earth and we all will have a blast!

Love, 
Mommy

*Party post coming soon!





Sunday, May 25, 2014

Big boy's mama

Ethan will be 11 months on Tuesday, I know right? How is that possible if he was born just yesterday???!!! 


Since I am pregnant and due in September we had to start the weaning process earlier than we had originally planned. My doctor talked to me about the risk of contractions while breastfeeding. Since I don't have a history of preterm labor and I haven't had contractions she said I could continue to breastfeed as long as that continued to be the case. We discussed that further along in the pregnancy contractions are more likely to happen. I wanted to be prepared and not have to wean him cold turkey if anything happened.

We started about a month ago taking all the breastfeeding sessions during the day. It was a breeze, it was a little bittersweet that he didn't even seem to notice. I guess he was ready for it. The first couple of days he would  "attack" me when I was close but other than that he was fine.

The plan was for Bruce to start doing the night feeding at 11 months and then the morning one at 12 months. However today went differently. Ethan woke up at 7:30 am, Bruce got him and brought him into our room. I thought he would for sure go for his milk right away but he was content playing. We decided to give him his sippy cup and see how he did. He drank about half and was fine after that. Again, he didn't seem to notice!

Tonight, Bruce suggested we just kept on with the theme and he fed him his night milk. When I started writing this post I was sitting on the couch hiding. Bruce came out and Ethan made a little noise but right now he seems to be asleep so, so far so good. My baby is growing into a big boy. Now I wonder if I can grow into a big boy's mama and be OK with that little bit of his babyhood been gone. It has, after all, been something we've shared for 11 months! 



Grow on my sweet boy, your mama will be OK!




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Two years

Today is our Evan's second Heaven Birthday.

Two years ago today we held his little body in our arms in what was one of the most bittersweet days of my life. If you would like to read the full story you can go to the label with his name.

As you can imagine I miss him terribly and it hurts. My heart wishes I had been planning a birthday party instead of wondering how this day was going to go. Last year although I was already pregnant with Ethan being sad seemed like the most natural thing. After all it had only been a year and my arms were still empty.

This year felt different. In the days leading up to today I wondered how I was going to feel and more so how I was supposed to feel. It has been two years, I have my almost 11-month-old Ethan and am 5 months pregnant with our 3rd baby boy. So I should probably be focusing on my blessings, right?

I do, most of the time I do, but it's not like any of my boys will ever take my Evan's place in our family or in our heart. I still miss him. It's still hard. My heart still hurts and tears still roll down my cheeks.

Today I felt lost. It felt like it shouldn't be just another normal day but at the same time we are not throwing a birthday party and he is not here for us to make him feel special. What was I supposed to do? How was I supposed to feel?

I'm not sure. I do know I don't want to forget. I don't want it to feel like I'm forgetting. I don't want the world to forget. It is a very strange feeling and at times very confusing. I feel the need to be sad so I remember him. I need to cry to show he's still in my heart and mind.

I love you baby and I miss you more than words can express!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

It is a...

We've known for a couple of weeks now. We had our 20 week ultrasound on May 5th, we were 19 weeks 6 days and that's exactly what baby measured. I'm not sure what that says about this baby but none of my kids before had measure so exactly. Anyway, I think it would have been really difficult to hide it if we didn't want to find out. It was pretty obvious and we are super excited. We are having... 


... another boy!!! Everybody was rooting for a girl. There are no girls on my husbands side of the family and only 1 girl on mine but not this time. We couldn't be happier. Bruce says we make boys, so far he's right. 3 boys and counting!

Not only are we happy because this will save us a ton of money (we pretty much have everything for baby) but also because Ethan is getting a partner in crime. We pray they will grow close together and be the best of friends although he doesn't really know what is going on right now. 

I am also secretly happy that I remain the only girl and that I get to be loved by yet another guy. I love my boys, big and small!!!

I gotta go now one of them just woke up from his nap.