Monday, March 28, 2011

One Month

Hi all!

We're just past the one month mark since Pennie came into our world.  How are we all doing?


I'll tell you.  All you moms out there know how the first couple of months are with a new baby! And yes, the first several weeks have been tough here too.  Just because my baby is the most beautiful and sweet baby on earth doesn't mean it's been easy!! Ha.

How am I personally feeling?? I'm sleep deprived.  You know, there's nothing quite like that feeling when you wake up at 3 AM, and your shirt's all crusty and your b**bs are 7X's their normal size, and you're soaked with leaking milk.  Your hair is dripping grease and your eyes are crusted shut from not showering in a month......You're wearing the same outfit you wore when the baby was born, and you haven't had a square meal in four days.  Yep.  That about sums up how I'm feelin'!  AND you gotta get up and be a mom to everyone and a good wife......I've made it through by God's grace.

Our Pennie is absolutely thriving, I mean, she's growing like a beanstalk and is having more awake time during the day now.  We never get tired of seeing her vivid, denim blue eyes! And wow, her eyes are BIG!  Her birth weight was around 5 lbs 13 oz, and now, at 5 weeks old, she weighs around 8 lbs 7 oz!!

Yep, she's definitely a good nurser, and she likes to nurse a lot! I have never, ever had so much milk! I joke that I have at least a gallon per side.

Alas, even though she's about the size that a newborn should be, the darling clothes we have all saved up from the other girls just don't fit her yet.  She's still tiny, really compact.....But it seems our world has started to revolve around her!

Everyone else is really, really great.  I have a whole family of helpers, and they are so willing to pitch in with her, as evidenced by the fact that Sis is holding Pennie while I do a quick post!  They're all enchanted with her and it sure does seem like we just couldn't do without her.

I actually was fortunate enough to get a shower this afternoon!! AND I even fixed my hair! Wa-HOO! I feel semi-human again.

I do think there's a bit of postpartum blues going on, and my hormones are still freakin' out.  I've got a case of the hives and I have NO idea where they came from.  My digestion is not working! Yay.  Hey, just keepin' it real here, just sharing and trying to be transparent cause I want ya'll to know that yep, you're not alone in these newborn days, if you're reading this and you've recently given birth.

I'm trying to remember that this too shall pass......and Pennie's really growing so fast and I'm already melancholy over it!

Pennie is a very vocal sleeper and nurser.  She murmurs and sighs and sings and coos and smiles, both as she nurses and as she sleeps.  I love it.  She's such a sweet cuddly-poo too.  Ah, she's just exactly what my heart needs right now.

Yes, I miss Olivia.  Every day.  My heart whispers for her.  When I look into Pennie's eyes, I am comforted to know that those are Olivia's eyes looking at me too.  Today, I'm doing well with my grief.

Yesterday we went to some dear friends' 50th anniversary celebration, and a gal I hadn't seen in a while asked me, as she was holding Pennie, if she was Olivia or Pennie.  Ouch.  I'm learning to talk about them both, to tell people my story.

I just want to do this with grace.  I want to shine forth His faithfulness.  Yes, He gives, and He takes away.......But my quiver is full and I know there is so much more.  Pennie is the latest stitch in our canvas, and yes, there are rough seams, but I hope they add beautiful color to the overall work that He is painting for me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011



It's what I feel like, my thoughts, my heart right now.


A curious jumble.  Just to caution you, this is going to be a very forthright post.  A direct, honest, straightforward writing.  I need to post because I need to straighten these things out.  This will be a raw post.  You may be shocked.

"Give sorrow words; the grief that doesn't speak whispers o'er the fraught heart and bids it break" From Macbeth


For some reason, more than any other time in my life, twins haunt me.  We prayed for twins for at least 5 years, and never thought about it.  What I mean is, it seems that everywhere I go, everything I read, every post I see.....I see twins.  Everywhere.  It pierces the very depth of my heart with a hot, sharp, rapier-like sting.  I've read countless blogs, through surfing from other people's blogs, where the mom has had or is having twins.  I see twins at the grocery store in my hometown where I never even noticed them before.  I see matching outfits at the thrift store.  I remember the day I was told I was going to have twins.

It sucks.

I'm surprised by how painful it is, even with one of my twins in my arms.  Even while nursing Pennie.  Even while having the fulfillment of having one live, healthy, beautiful baby.

I'm taken aback at the depth of my most intimate thoughts.  I look askance at myself when I feel the cheated emptiness of that place that Olivia left unfilled.

I'm ashamed of the anger I feel when I see those other families, happy and full with their twins. When I sit in a room full of people and hear the words of the man who paid someone else, a surrogate, $20,000 to be implanted with two embryos and now has twins, I feel that sick, scornful pain.  When my specialist tells me that what happened to us happens in less than 5% of twin pregnancies, I feel the scoffing irony that we are now in that 5%.   I try to quell it, to give it to the Lord.  I'm hollowed out by the skeptical sarcasm of the voice in my head that tells me it's all so unfair.......and why me?? And it's MY voice!

Why did God gift us with our very fondest desire, our most fervent prayer of two lives, just to spirit one away on the very heels of my clamping down in possession of those lives?


Even as I glory in every nook and cranny of Pennie, even as I soak her up like a thirsty, dry sponge, my heart asks why.  My heart is half, but strangely whole.

I can't make anyone understand it.

I scarcely understand it myself.

My arms are full, but oddly empty.

The cloud of joy that I live in is rimmed with sorrow.

My smile is tinged with........hardness, against my will.


I continue to give all of these things to Him Who knows exactly why.  I try to remember that He is neither shocked nor repelled by these tears and frays in the fabric of me.  I remember that it takes emptying out to be really full.  It takes feeling deep sadness and going through sorrow to know real joy.  If there isn't any hardness in me, or sickness in me, I don't need a Doctor.  And the half of my heart that is gone is being taken over by the other half that is still living, that is Pennie's.  The arms that are aching to hold two halves of one whole shell are now learning to be filled with cradling, kissing, gazing at the face of Heaven in my Pennie.....

And remembering that I can hear the wind, hear the ocean,  and feel the cleansing flow of healing in that half of the shell, and I feel whole again.

Friday, March 4, 2011

12 Days Old!

Yes, I know.

You all probably do not want to hear from me unless this post contains new photos of Our Pennie.

Sorry to disappoint new pictures will be on this post.  My Computer People have been busy lately and haven't gotten the new pictures loaded onto the computers.  I do apologize and will remedy the situation shortly.


How are we doing? Pennie is now 12 days old and it's been 12 days of the sweetest, most blessed, most blissful time ever. Gals, I'm living my own private Bissdom here!  I'm typing this while she is deeply asleep on my chest.  All of her warm, fantastic goodness is right here for me to kiss and smell and folks, it's just better than melty butter on waffles!!!

My mom keeps on asking me if I've put her down for more than two seconds since she's been born, and truthfully, I have, with giving her to her sisters to hold so I can go potty and putting her down to change her, but......I'm holding her a lot.  Most of the time.  Isn't that why God gave moms newborns? I mean, Mom has to recover too, and what better way to recover than with your newborn in your arms?? Besides, she needs me and the fact is.....

I need her.

We complete each other.  We fill the place in each other that is an open wound from Olivia's death.

My dear friend who attended her birth said.....

We're healing each other.


Pennie is such a peaceful baby.  She allows me to sleep at least 4 hour stretches at night.  She scarcely ever cries.  She's not fussy.  She loves to be kissed and she loves it when I cradle her tiny feet.

Today I noticed that her feet are incredibly soft and small and her second toe is longer than her big toe.  It is a unique characteristic and it is totally hers.  She is Pennie and I am so, so grateful for her.  A couple of days ago, while lying in bed with my husband and Pennie, he was so grateful that we would never have to wonder what Olivia looked like, that we would always have Pennie to remind us.  They are mirror images of each other and there will never be the pain of wondering who she looked like or whose eyes she had.  God is good to give us a flesh and blood reminder!

I'm more at peace now, cuddling my newest daughter, than I have been for months.  I know that is how God intends it to be, after a mother has a baby.  What I am doing right now, resting and sleeping and holding her and concentrating on her, is exactly what is supposed to be happening.

And it's so wonderful to know that my family has not put a deadline on my resting.  I can just do what my body, my heart, tells me to do.  I love my family and I'm so glad my husband had the vision to teach our girls to be very helpful and to do most of the things around the house.  My husband hears from God, and I respect that and love it!

Now I'm going to feed Pennie and have some family time and just relax and chill out.