Friday, January 29

99 Things...

Bold the things you have done...

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching 
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo 
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee 

Wednesday, January 27

Baby in the mirror

Colby loves watching himself in the mirror  He can stare at himself for the longest time squealing and laughing and smiling.

It makes me wonder how much he would enjoy watching another real baby, not just the baby in the mirror...  I really wish I could have seen my two little beans grow up together.  

Tuesday, January 26

Colby's 6 Month Pictures

I've been awful about taking specific "monthly" pictures of Colby.  I've taken pictures every day, but I always had intentions of taking the picture with the signs (6 months: January 19th) but I never seem to do it.  So, finally at 6 months I remembered to at least use blocks.  (Though the idea actually came from Erin and Trevor.)  

Since he was born I've regretted not taking size-proportionate picture of him-- like with my hand or a stuffed animal or something every day (or week or month or whatever).  We went to Carters the other day looking for 3-6 month pjs (my baby is getting so big!) and we stumbled across preemie pjs.  It was so tiny- for babies up to 5lbs.  When Colby was born (and for a few months after) he would have been swimming in it.  Every day I am amazzzzzeeeed by his growth.

Monday, January 25

27 week 1 day

Today is 27 weeks 1 day from July 19, 2009.

What does this mean?  

It means that today Colby is 27 weeks 1 day.  
It means that 27 weeks 1 day ago I had my baby boys.  
It means that, today, Colby and Connor have been out exactly as long as they were in.  (In theory.  Technically there were those 3 days between retrieval and transfer, but that's too confusing for my little brain to comprehend right now...)

It means that tomorrow the boys will be older out than they were in.  It means that tomorrow they will be a part of the outside world longer than they were a part of the inside world.  

Crazy.  Crazy.  Crazy.

Sunday, January 24

1 Year Ago

1 year ago today we had our Retrieval!  I can't believe that it has already been so long.  

This year we have our cutie:

And our angel:

What a difference a year can make!

Saturday, January 23

Congrats are in order!

Congrats to Ashley on the birth of her baby girl McKenzie on Thursday and congrats to Heather on the birth of her baby girl Annabel on Friday!

Thursday, January 21

Gone 6 Months

Missing you for 6 months.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, January 20

Their Words

I talked the other day how my cousin's words in my Colby Chronicles book expressed exactly what I want Colby to know about his brother.  Because my cousins wrote them so much better than I did, I thought I'd share them here.   Hopefully they don't mind!

Dear Colby:

As we sit down to write this letter to you, we try and imagine what it will be like for you to read this when you are older.  We could tell you about all of the love that you and Connor were given, how dedicated your Mom and Dad were, how 2009 was probably both the hardest and most wonderful year of their lives.  But you have Aunts and Uncles who can tell you that story much better than we, as they were there through it all.

While we searched the internet, looking for inspiration about something to write, we stumbled across some articles discussing left-handedness in twins.  It's all speculation, but the theory goes that twins, both identical and fraternal, mirror each other in the womb.

What's my point?  My point is that you may not be left-handed, Connor may not have been left-handed, and that really doesn't matter.  You have a twin brother and just because he passed doesn't mean he's gone.  Not only does he watch over you every day, he's a part of you.  He was the first person you ever met, and you two were more alike than you will ever be with any other person in this world.  You can see little pieces of him in you every day.

So the next time you throw a ball, tie your shoes, or write something down, think about Connor.  Think about how he's watching over you, how when he's throwing a ball up in heaven, he throws it just like you -- only backwards.

Love, B, M, & D

Tuesday, January 19

Six Months

Today is Colby and Connor's Six Month Birthday.

I've been thinking about it for so long.  Half a year since they came so early.  Half a year since our lives changed for the better.  And I planned a big post... but I'm not sure what to write.  

You already know what I'm thinking... it's been an amazing six months.  It's also been a heartbreaking six months.  Just as the whole journey getting pregnant was, the past six months has been about learning to accept what has happened and taking things a day at a time.  It's been about enjoying the good while understanding that I might not understand why things happened- and that's okay.  It's about knowing that, no matter what happens, we will make the best of it, move forward, and remember how lucky we are despite the sadness.

I'm not so much in a place of sadness as I was a few months ago.  I've accepted that the boys were born so early and I don't beat myself up so much.  Colby is doing so wonderfully and it's hard to be sad and angry about his time in the NICU.  I've come to a place where I think that I accept Connor's death more.  I can think about him and those moments and smile.  I can remember that I have two boys and think that things have happened for a reason, if only to make me more thankful for the time I had with him.  That's not to say that I don't have moments where I'm not completely overwhelmed by the loss, but those moments are getting easier to deal with-- perhaps because I've come to realize that it won't ever go away and I've been more okay with that.

Either way... six months.  Amazing.

The boys' birth day!  The only picture we have with the two of them...

1 Month

2 Months

3 Months (+1 day)

4 Months

5 Months

6 Months

Monday, January 18


I feel like there are two ways of dealing with Connor's loss as it pertains to Colby.

Of course, the path we chose was to remember Connor and to live our day with his memory.  This means that we have a little "shrine" to Connor in our bedroom.  It has his ashes, pictures, bookmarks my brother made with his picture, flowers from his service, a poem, his turtle, a precious moments, and my turtle "bus" (when I was just a few months pregnant with the boys my mom and dad went to FL on vacation and, since I love turtles, my mom got me a souvenir that was a "stack" of turtles.  It has 5 turtles, but our family only had 4, so my mom told me the bottom turtle was our "bus" and the other 4 were Johnny, me, and the two babes).  We talk about Connor often and we plan on telling Colby about his big brother.  We don't want Connor's memory to "dominate" Colby's life because we want him to know that he isn't any less important just because his brother passed away, but we do want him to know his brother is important too.  And watches over him.  I'll always tell Colby he has a brother and I hope he understands and is proud to have Connor as a brother.

The other choice we had was to pretend that Connor did not exist at all.  We could hide his memories and we could chose not to let Colby know he had a brother- a twin.  I can't bear the thought of this choice, but I do often wonder about it.  I have found myself wondering for a long time what it would be like if we chose this path.  By that I mean, without anyone telling him, would Colby know he had a twin?  Would he know that something (someone) was missing?  You hear all the time about the connectedness of twins, so I wonder how true it is and if it pertains to IVF fraternal twins?  ...  My curiosity isn't worth the pain it would bring me, but it's just something I think about.  

Remember the book I talked about? The Colby Chronicles book from Christmas?  Although every entry touched me, I often think about what my cousin's wrote.  I could go grab the book, but then I might disturb Colby who is peacefully sleeping, so instead I'll go from memory.  My cousins talked to Colby about the connection that he and his brother share.  That, although Connor isn't here, he is still an important and integral part of Colby.  That forever Colby and Connor knew each other first and knew each other the best, that Connor couldn't be Connor without Colby, and Colby couldn't be Connor without Connor.  (It was written so much better by my cousins!)  Their words were exactly what I always want Colby to understand: That the two of them are forever linked, forever brothers.  And for that reason, I could never pretend that Connor didn't exist because, though Colby is his own person (and an exceptionally amazing one at that), he is who he is because of his past- because of his brother.

Look at those eyes!  And the drool...

Saturday, January 16

An update again?

We're doing great.  

Colby loves his hands.  

And his new ExerSaucer is growing on him.

We've been busy.  I can't really think of what we've been doing, but it's going by quickly.  I'm off from school until Mid- or End of March.  I know I am lucky to have that much time off, but I am very nervous about going back... although I know I have at least 2 months left.  :)  There aren't many people I will feel comfortable leaving Colby with.  I know I'll be comfy with my mom watching him because I know that she will take into consideration my feelings about everything and do things "my way".  (Not that I'm a huge "my way" person, but I take comfort in knowing that she understands that I'm the mom and will listen to my opinions.)  My mom can only do 1 day because she lives a ways away and she's still working full time as a nurse.  I'd love it if we were closer to her so that I could see her more and she could take more days.  So I'm nervous about finding someone.  With Colby's lung disease and prematurity we're looking for a nanny to come to the house.  (Though, even before the boys were born we had always planned on having someone come over.)  We haven't really started looking yet (procrastinate?) but we'll get there.  :)

So, while going back to work worries me, I love my job, I miss my students, and I miss teaching.  Being a mom has always been my number 1 goal.  Other little girls dream of their weddings.  I never did, I always dreamed of having kids.  Lots of them.  :)  But, having kids early, buying a house, and being a teacher-- we always knew that I'd have to go back to work.  That was the compromise of starting our family early (we started trying when I was 22).  We could have started in a few years and I would probably be able to stay home from the beginning but I wasn't willing to wait.  So... we'll make it work.  :)

Have I mentioned how much I love being a Mommy?  I can't even explain how much I love it.  Yes, I'm tired a lot.  Yes, I feel like I'm always washing bottles, making formula, changing diapers, and doing laundry.  But, I LOVE it.  I hate doing my own laundry.  I usually leave my clean clothes in a laundry basket for days before finally hanging them up.  I put dishes off as long as possible.  BUT.  I love doing Colby's laundry.  I love hanging up his clothes.  I love having a shelf full of ready made formula.  I love having a row of freshly washed bottles.  Every smile, every laugh, every cuddle makes it worth it.  

AND I can't wait to have my next baby.  I miss being pregnant more than I would have ever thought.  I look back at belly pictures and remember the feeling of rubbing my hand over my stomach.  The feeling of kicks and squirms.  Only near the end of the pregnancy were the babes big enough for me to really feel elbows and feet and heads from the outside.  I remember one night where one of the boys stuck his foot out and I pushed it back in.  I miss those feelings more than I can express.  I am so ready to start the process again.  (And again, and again, and again.  :-P)

Wednesday, January 13


I have so many thoughts bouncing around my head.  I can't articulate them right now... so things have been a little slow on the blog front.  Maybe one day we'll get there... :)

Today Colby graduated from the Lasix.  He'll still see his pulmonologist in 3 months and then every year there after (assuming his 3 month visit goes well).  It was nice to graduate.  He also got weighed and weighed in at 13lbs 13oz.  This puts Colby on the 6 month curveuncorrected.  This is HUGE.  He is on the growth curve as if he was born full term 6 months ago.  He is surpassing everyones expectations.  

We've been trying to get his blood draw done for the past week or so.  We have been back to the pediatrician 3 times... all three have ended in failures.  The pediatrician can only poke him 2x a visit.  The first visit they tried each arm once.  Then the subsequent 2 visits they only tried 1 time.  I went on Monday and they swear they almost got it, so I was specifically told to come back today.  We stopped by after the pulmonologist and after hydrating the little guy with 4+oz.  After trying in the same arm as Monday the nurse told me that the vein was "too damaged" and needed more time to heal-- like 1 or 2 weeks.  I was probably being overly sensitive, but I felt like she was lecturing me for bringing him back today after only 2 days.  But I was told to.  Oh well, now we wait for the pedi to send down her recommendation.  We might have to go back to Children's in Boston to have them try.  We'll see...

I wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions of blogs to check out.  A few people offered emails, but I don't think I'm quite there yet.  :)

Monday, January 11

Sunday, January 10

He's so big! And suggestions please!

He's such a big boy and holding his own bottle!

Colby will be 6 months on January 19th.  Connor will be gone for 6 months on January 21st.   

I'm still having a hard time balancing the joy and heartache.  I've found so many blogs about the loss of babies and even the loss of twins.  But I have yet to find one about the loss of 1 twin while the other goes on to thrive.  If you have any suggestions they'd be greatly welcomed... someone in a similar situation might be the help I need.

Sunday, January 3

Piggy Boy

So I confess, I rock Colby to sleep while giving him his night time bottle.  I know I'm making him dependent on the rocking and bottle, but I looooveeeee the time I spend with him.  So, I'm okay with that.

But I digress... every night I give him a 4oz bottle.  Most nights he conks out around the end of the bottle, but then wakes up 10-15 minutes later to be topped off by a little more.  We prepare our formula in 2oz increments in the morning so we can easily warm up 2oz bottles as we need them, so when he needs to be topped off I end up heating up an additional 2oz only to have him fall asleep .5oz in later.  

Anyways, so, tonight I thought I'd be smart.  I decided to heat up 6oz all at once.  I knew I was running the risk of wasting 2+oz, but I was okay with that.  

So... we're rocking and he's eating and he's getting sleepy.  And next thing I noticed?  He finished ALL 6oz in just minutes!!!  :)  My little piggy boy!  :)

He woke up 15 minutes later, but I didn't give him anymore food because that would just have been ridiculous!  :)

Saturday, January 2

Goodbye 2009

It's been awhile.  I've been at a loss of what to write.  As much as I'd love to gush that Colby is doing so great and he's so adorable, I don't want to bore people.  I do that enough on the family blog.  :)

I had all the intentions of writing my "Year in Review" to rehash this past year, you know, IVF, and twins and bedrest and premature birth and the boys and death and the NICU and on and on.  But, you already know it... and if you don't you're more than welcome to read back posts.  And if you don't want to know, well, I'm not going to repeat it. 

But I will say that saying goodbye to 2009 was hard.  I was sitting there on the couch with my hubby, two of my brothers, and my brother's girlfriend welcoming in 2010.  (Colby was in bed... as much as I wanted him down with us, the past week has been so busy and overwhelming and the poor boy needs his routine very badly.)  Anyways, as we counted down I suddenly felt this huge weight on my chest as I thought about what saying goodbye to 2009 really meant.

2009 was a year like no other.  

It was the year that realized our dreams, made our struggles worth "it", and filled us with so much love and hope.  It was also a year that then confronted us with pain and agony like we had never imagined.  It was a year that helped Johnny and I to realize just how strong we are, how strong we are together, and how badly we really need one another to hold it all together.  It was a year that we learned to let go and take things as they came.  We realized that things cannot happen how you want and no matter how much you've been through, when the end is important enough, you can get through just about anything.  It was a year that, as my cousins put, was both the greatest and hardest in our lives.

And so, saying goodbye to 2009 was hard.  It was the year of the twins.  It was the year that we officially became parents.  It was the year of Connor and Colby.  And it will be the only year that ever saw Connor here with us.  So, by saying goodbye to 2009 I feel like I'm saying goodbye to a huge part of Connor as well.  2010 and beyond will be Colby's time, but 2009 was the only time we had with our first little boy.  And suffice to say, that's just hard.

And so, it's with a hopeful heart I look forward to 2010.  But I will never forget 2009 and the precious 27 weeks 3 days I had with my Connor.  And I will never forget the joy, pain, heartache, and wonder that accompanied Colby's first months.

I entered 2009 a wanna-be Mommy.  I left 2009 a Mommy of 2 amazing, beautiful little boys.  Little boys that have forever changed me in their own ways and will continue to change me for the better for a long time.