Friday, November 20, 2009

Reflections

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!"

Roger likes to watch the fishies too!

I don't really have much to say about this picture, just that it pretty much sums up their two personalities!

24 comments:

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Michele from FTHS said...

What a wonderful present for you to always cherish. Hope Lily is feeling better soon. They are both so adorable!!!! Thank goodness the meetings are over....at least for the next month. ;-)

Lauren said...

Oh, what a beautiful, beautiful necklace. What a special gift!

I want you to know that I think of Annaleigh daily too. And like you, thinking of her grounds me and reminds me to be more patient and to just drink in every precious moment with my own babies. She will never, ever leave your heart - nor the hearts of those she touched during her brief visit to this world.

I love the image of your mom's coworkers crowding around the car. Hee hee!

And your pics, as usual, are just too sweet.

Christi said...

What a sweet tribute to the beautiful and strong Annaleigh...I still remember reading your blog recounting the birth of the babies and how she surprised everyone with a cry...thinking of you...

Anonymous said...

your little Annaleigh was your baby even before she was born and she will always be. i'm sorry that you could not spend a lifetime with her, but she is not gone - just in heaven where she is safe and at peace. as far as leaving the babies goes - it doesn't get any easier. i recently left my two year old for the first time overnight and i thought i was going to have a breakdown even though he was safe with his grandparents.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that Annaleigh helps me to be a better mommy too... when I am getting frustrated with my (non sleeping) almost 5 month old, I think about how lucky I am that she's here to frustrate me, and suddenly things don't seem so bad. So I thank your baby Annaleigh for that, and both of you for sharing your story.
And Charlie and Lily are as cute as ever... and growing like weeds! Keep it up babies!!

Kristin said...

Thank you for always being so open and honest. How do Charlie and Lily continue to get cuter and cuter? You'd think there'd be a limit! :-)

MJP said...

Your post was very touching. I know your Annaleigh is proud of you. Your babies are extremely cute, and what miracles they are. My sons were born at 25.5 weeks so I understand some of what you have been through.

AngelaBeth said...

So sweet. My mom has a necklace with the birthstones of us kids on it with one angel with a birthstone for our sister as well. It's a great reminder and a way to have her close to you.

p.s. Charlie is TOTALLY making the baby Zoolander face! :)

Diana Lopez said...

wow, they are both getting bigger each time I stop by to read your blog...God bless your family.

sunfrog said...

What a beautiful memory of Annaleigh to share with us -- thank you! That necklace is precious.

I definitely can relate to the feeling of needing to get home to the babies Right Now! It is a very primal feeling. Now my babies are getting old enough that I don't feel that as much, and in some ways its a big relief. Though if I were gone for long I bet it would crop up again....

Take care! Your blog is wonderful, glad to have found it!

carrie said...

Just wanted to add how beautiful your necklace is, and what a wonderful tribute to your babies. I am a fellow triplet mom who delivered at 28w2d on 7/22/09, and have been following your blog since the summer. You are all always in my prayers, and your blog is beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

They are beautiful. The pictures are wonderful and the necklace is amazing. Brooke, I hope that your new job opportunity is working out!

Cheryl

Amy said...

Oh, I love the necklace! Thank you for sharing that, and for your thoughts. Thinking of Annaleigh also helps me not take my own two little ones for granted.
- Amy/"Macchiatto" from MM

The Madeira Triplets said...

Beautiful necklace! I have definitely been given my BBBs more hugs in Annaleigh's memory as well. I've been thinking lately that they are growing up so fast--I am determined not to miss a moment of it. The reflux meds should be a huge help--one of ours had reflux and projectile vomiting (Fun!!! Lots of crazy pajama pants in the wash!) and Prilosec really helped with that. It was odd watching your baby drink something that smelled like strawberries though :D And about the photo of Lily crying--I really smiled at that one. I don't know how many pictures I have taken of my crying babies :D There's something so comical about it sometimes, provided nothing is really wrong of course. That was after we got past that "On NO the baby is crying what do we do..." stage. It didn't take long... Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

That was the sweetest post! Of course made me cry! I really believe Annaleigh is looking down feeling very proud of her mommy & daddy & brother & sister.

Boy, they are getting big! They are just so cute! The last picture of Charlie looks just like you Brooke! Have fun!!

Anonymous said...

Annaleigh is very proud of you - as we all are. We will never forget our Annaleigh for we have Charlie and Lily to remind us and keep her alive. Annaleigh will always be your strength - she will always be with you... Hang on to the fact that she is in a beautiful place with people that love her and cherish her for the beautifully strong person that she is. Annaleigh - you are forever in my heart. I love you my sweet baby girl. I cried of course - but then as the sobs came - the chuckle came as I looked at Lily crying... No offense Lily - it's just an adorable picture... When you read this blog many years from now - you will laugh as well... And cry...

Pamphered Chef looks like it may be you. You were great.

All My Love, Auntie :) xoxoxooox

Katrina said...

You know, Brooke (ha, I just typed brookie, do you think I like cookies and write about them too much!), anyway, I catch up on your blog every week or so and think, "oh, I'll just read what's up real quick", But then I've got to stop and tell you even though I don't even really know you, I think you're pretty amazing and doing a great job with the babies!
Really. It is SO hard when they are home and in the stage Charlie and Lily are in with figuring out life and eating and sleeping, etc. But just wanted to reiterate as others have probably said, Hang in there, it gets better and is worth it! I know you know that, just wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth. You guys sound like great parents! And I love seeing your babies grow. So cute!

Rebecca, from CT said...

I also love the necklace!! How thoughtful!! I hope that Lily is feeling better and back to herself soon!!

Lori (o: said...

Wow Brooke, your post really touched my heart. Annaleigh is definitely watching over Lily and Charlie, and is ABSOLUTELY proud of her Mommy. I think your new necklace is just beautiful, and I can completely understand why something like that would make you so happy. Such a wonderful symbol of your 3 little miracles. Your right about trying to seize the moment and appreciate your kids. Thanks so much for the reminder... I needed it today.

Gretchen said...

The babies are getting so big and taking own their own looks and starting to show more features! They are soooo precious! Keep up the Awesome work! You guys really are doing an Amazing job with them, and 'lil' Angel Annaleigh sure is looking over her family! That was so nice of your friends to send you that necklace it was such a thoughtful gift and now you can have a little reminder of her with you at all times, you guys are so very strong and just all around wonderful people! God Bless and Hope you guys have an AWESOME first Turkey Day with your little ones!!!
With Love and prayers,
Gretchen

Gretchen said...

Also I just wanted you to know Annaleigh has touched so many lives and though your time with her was way too short she is an Angel and has helped not only me become a better Mommy to my 6yr. old but it seems that is the case with any Mother that has been touched by your story. I want to thank you for sharing your story even when it had to be so very hard to do so. We all have so much love for you and your family! Not only have you been blessed with your babies but your babies have been blessed with VERY loving and WONDERFUL parents and an Angel watching down on all of you!
Thank you so much!

Colleen said...

i love the necklace - what a great way to carry annaleigh with you on the "outside" too. i think about her a lot and love watching charlie and lily grow through the pictures.

The Halls said...

I also had triplets (BBB) and we lost one also. They were 33 wks, my boys are now 3 1/2. I was also very worried that in the hustle of having 2 babies I would forget out our Mason, so I had a bracelet made with all three boys on it so every time I see it I remember him. The thing I find hardest now is when the boys say how much they miss him. Everything happens for a reason, we will understand it all one day.