Today marks exactly three months since the last time I was with Annaleigh before she became sick. It was a great evening, as the nurse let me give Annaleigh her sponge bath all by myself for the first time. I bathed her, changed her, dressed her in a new outfit. I remember how calmly and patiently she allowed me to handle her, and the surprised, Lily-like look on her face as I sat her up to wash her back. When I was done I placed her back in to her isolette, covered her with a blanket, read her a story, kissed her and told her I would see her tomorrow. I remember her laying on her side, watching me through the isolette door as I left for the night. If only I had known that was the last time I would really be with her. I would have drank it all in, committed every squeak and blink to memory. Still, I remember leaving there feeling so happy and content after taking care of her, so I am lucky to have had that final night with my daughter.
I have been thinking of that night for the past few days, after I looked at the calendar and realized that it has indeed been almost three months since we said goodbye. So it was ironic that yesterday I received in the mail a gift from my wonderful Multiple Mamas friends. A box arrived in the mail containing cards with sweet messages from my friends along with the beautiful necklace above. The necklace has three charms - one with an "L" one with a "C" and an angel charm with Annaleigh's name and birthdate engraved on the back. The women indicated that they chose the necklace so that I could always carry all my babies with me wherever I went. I LOVE the gift. I often worry that somehow Annaleigh will start to slip from my mind. I know that will never happen, but I love the idea of constantly having a reminder of her on me at all times.
Annaleigh herself though serves as a reminder to me each and every day. On those nights when Charlie or Lily are fusssing and whining at 2:00 am and I want to scream in frustration and exhaustion and abandon them to cry on their own, I think of Annaleigh. I think of how I would treat my beautiful girl if she was given back to me, and suddenly I find the energy and the patience to rock my babies, sing to them, cuddle them and help them get back to sleep. Annaleigh helps me be a better mommy each and every day, and for that I am beyond grateful. I think of her watching me and I want her to be proud of me. I hope she is. And I hope that wherever she is she has someone watching over her, taking care of her and giving her all the love that Joe and I would be giving her here on Earth.
In Charlie and Lily news, both are doing well. Lily has still been acting a bit off so I called the pediatrician and spoke to the phone nurse. She does not think that Lily is teething, rather that her reflux is acting up. She said that babies with reflux often want to eat even when they are not hungry because the food coats their stomachs for a short while and makes them feel better, which would explain Lily's desperation to have her bottle but then only eating a small amount. The doctor should call me back today and he may want to start her on some reflux meds. Hopefully he can do something to make her feel better!
Yesterday the babies and I got out of the house and took a drive. We headed to CVS to the drive-thru to pick up Charlie's caffeine prescription, but on the way we detoured to my mom's office so her co-workers could get a look at the babies. Of course, I could not bring them in the office or let anyone handle them because of RSV season, but her colleagues were happy to come outside and peek at Charlie and Lily as they lounged in their car seats in my CRV. At one point there had to be at least 12 people vying for a peek in the car doors - Charlie and Lily are two popular babies! Thanks, Besam! We'll come back in the spring when Charlie and Lily can give a proper visit.
This weekend is shaping up to be busy. I recently became a Pampered Chef consultant to help make ends meet and I have two shows scheduled - thanks Aunt Linda and Lauren! I enjoy doing the shows and love making some extra money, but I HATE leaving the babies, even for a few hours. While it is nice to have a break and adult conversation, by the end of the shows it's all I can do not to bolt out the door and race home to them. Luckily Joe will be right there with them the whole time and I know they will like the Daddy time! With Joe dealing with after-school meetings and parent/teacher conferences this week, the babies have been missing him! We're all looking forward to the Thanksgiving break next week so we can spend some quality family time together! Well, I may pop out on Black Friday for a little shopping, but I won't be long ;)
"Hmmm...those fishies on my swing are STILL swimming! Interesting..."
"Mommy!!!! I need my bottle NOW!"