We have been here in Hawaii for 6 beautiful days. Our family vacation is slowly coming to an end. Last night, Steve and I took the kids down to the beach to let them late night snorkel with manta rays. Steve took them out and I sat on the beach and watched them swim away in the darkness toward the spotlights along the rocky cliffs. I was the only person on the beach. The moon was so bright and I could see so many stars. It was beautiful and so peaceful. My toes scooped into the sand, the waves crashed against the sand and I studied the dark sky. My mind of course drifted straight to my baby boy….my missing piece…my heart. Hayes. Read More
When you become pregnant with triplets, you become part of a select club. There are Facebook groups that “meet” to discuss advice and offer support to the scared new mother of 3 at once. It is so incredibly helpful and I truly found so much great advice from these Mother’s that had walked the path and made it through what I was fearfully facing. They were a huge resource for me.
When it came to potty training my first child, I was doing my research from the time Bo was 6 months old and on. I had a game plan and knew exactly what I had to do to get him going in the potty like a champ in no time. I was pretty certain that he was going to receive the Guiness Book World Record for Youngest Infant in History to be potty trained. I started and quickly came to the realization that Bo was not interested. He was perfectly fine wetting and even worse, pooping his pants all day long. It was a nightmare. I pushed him so hard and he pushed right back. It was at the ripe old age of 4 1/2 that he finally decided he should get on board with our plans to avoid me permanently losing my mind. So, why am I starting my “How to potty train your toddler” post with a story of failure? Because here is the thing….every child is different. What works for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another. And to further that, you as a parent have to be ready. It takes some dedication but once you both are on board, you are good to start!
It was around 11:30 on Sunday night when I started to feel that all too familiar sting…the cyclical sting that comes on those special days and anniversaries. I realized that exactly 3 years before that very moment I had been getting prepped for my cesarean. I had unexpectedly gone into labor at 31 weeks 5 days with the triplets and my OB saw that my babies were coming whether I was ready or not. Read More
It was two years ago, right before the 5K and the babies first birthday. We were finishing up Hayes’ second round of chemo and I was still feeling naively optimistic. All I cared about was getting out of the hospital for the 5K and celebrating the babies. Hayes was sleeping in his hospital crib and I was sitting on the fold out plastic couch in my daily “uniform”….sweats. We were in the corner room of the cancer unit. There was a double door to get into our room and you couldn’t hear a sound. We were completely closed off from the world in our little corner that overlooked the Salt Lake Valley. Read More
The past few weeks, I lay my babies down for their daily naps and inevitably, they end up talking to each other under their doors across the halls. At first it is really sweet and then all hell breaks loose and Heath is kicking the door….laying on his back, pounding the door with his feet. Yesterday was another one of those days and I found myself feeling more and more angry with each loud kick of his door….sometimes I just need a break from my kids, I will be honest! So needless to say I was frustrated. Read More
I watched him from across the room. He was wearing his perfect, un-walked in, black converse. He basically wore them for decoration, but they also kept his ankles steady during physical therapy when he practiced putting weight on his feet. He leaned up with his hands against the large red exercise ball and proudly “stood” on his chemo, weak froggy legs. I was so incredibly proud and clapped and cheered for Hayes, recognizing that he was doing something harder than I have ever done myself. Reese and Heath walked into the playroom and clapped along with me, not knowing the reason for the show of excitement. Heath walked over to the exercise ball and slapped it with his little hands and Hayes laughed. He was participating in play time with his triplet brother and sister and we were all overjoyed. He was making up for lost time and I was so happy. I had dreamed of this forever.
I remember, I was quickly pulled down from that excitement when the physical therapist explained that Hayes wasn’t progressing as quickly as she would like to see. She told me that she thought Hayes was going to need a walker. She was hopeful that he would respond well to the challenge, but it broke my heart. She told me that within the next month or so, Hayes would need to be fitted for his walker. My sweet boy was cancer free so why did it feel like life wasn’t catching up to the news of normalcy? I decided I didn’t want to believe her and so I shut it away to the back of my mind.
Every so often, my mind would drift to the worry. What if Hayes never knew how to walk? What if he never ate food like all of the other kids? What if he never got to participate in regular childhood activities? Sometimes these worries would consume me to the point of tears. I would get so frustrated for him. I would always have to remind myself of the incredible blessing that Hayes had with built in best friends. Regardless of the circumstances of his physical abilities, Heath and Reese were always going to accept him and love him as he was. Reese was a built in little mom and Heath was a bulldog. He was going to be fine. He would always be protected.
Looking back on that anxiety, I realize how completely ridiculous those worries were. I would give anything to see him grow now. I realize that none of those physical setbacks mattered…he was here! Who cares if he was going to spend his childhood in a walker, or eat through a feeding tube? In hindsight, it obviously didn’t matter. But, it is easy to get hung up on those fears, the worries that those dreams we envision for our children won’t come to fruition. Stepping back and seeing the bigger picture, now I am able to appreciate that Hayes was enough exactly as he was.
It is a reminder to me that my job as a mother is to encourage my children and help them to realize that no matter what they accomplish in life, they are enough. My job is to teach them to be proudly aunthentic. They are my greatest gifts. I hope Hayes knows this. I hope he knows how proud I am of him, how lucky I am to be his mom. I hope he knows that every accomplishment he made in his short life was enough. He is and always will be the strongest person I know.