Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 30, 2013

I was staring at our screen saver this afternoon.  It's a picture from when Andrew was 3 months old.  (Maybe I should update???)

I often find myself thinking in terms of Before v. After.  That picture was taken Before.

What if we had stopped growing our family at 3 children?

We would have missed so much.  We wouldn't have known it, but our lives wouldn't be as wonderful.  We would have missed the opportunity to learn so much, to love so much, to embrace the pain and the joy.

I'm so thankful that we decided to open our hearts to another child.

And I'm so thankful that we opened our hearts to loving Abigail.  Our lives are rich with the gifts she brought to us.

Some days I can feel my love for her, other days my walls are up and I can only think about my love.

I feel distant from Abigail today.  I can't feel her in my arms.  I can't get to that special place that I share with her.  It makes me feel sad to be distant from her, to realize that my heart is distracted.

Maybe I'll go snuggle all my kids and then spend some time with my Abby Bear.

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18th, 2013

March is Trisomy Awareness month.  I remember learning a few years ago that March 21st was Down Sydrome awareness day.  At the time I didn't realize that each of the first 23 days of march held a different significance.

March 18th will probably always feel different to me.  (March because it is the 3rd month and Trisomy is a condition with a 3rd copy of a chromosome... just in case this isn't making sense.)

I spent time watching our video from Abigails service.  I watched it with Natalie.  We both with Abigail had stayed with us.  My heart is so sad for Natalie, and for myself (and the rest of the family) when I hear her say "I wish Abigail had stayed".  What a loving a precious sister Natalie is, I wish she had been given more time to love on Abigail.

I remember being so thankful we were at the hospital.  But I'm always torn when I look back.  Wishing we had been at home, that our kids could have come and gone from the room.  Living their life and interacting with their sister more.

It's not healthy to think too much about those thoughts.  The past can't be changed.  And I know at the time we were very peaceful and thankful for how the story unfolded.  I'm just so thankful we had the kids come back to the hospital to spend more time with Abigail.

In the video it's so obvious which pictures were taken when she was still strong and which came later when her body was working so hard to live.  It's clear why we felt so confident in her life those first hours.  What a gift, to feel so much hope.

My feeling of being incomplete isn't as strong lately.  My heart aches for Abigail, but it also feels peace from the love that still surrounds me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13th, 2013

It was one year ago today that I talked to our doctor about the concerns regarding our baby.

I can go back to that moment so easily.

The tension of sitting and waiting for the call, while trying to interact and remain present with my friends.  The apprehension as the phone rang, and walking over to the other side of the pool to have the conversation with Dr. Sears.

Hearing the list of concerns.

Being both overwhelmed by the intensity of the emotions, while also feeling numb.  Utter disbelief.

Sobbing so hard that she had to sit and wait for me to catch my breath.

The rest of the night I was in shock.  Knowing our life had just shifted, but not knowing what the journey would look like.

Just thinking back to one year ago brings tears to my eyes.  My chest is tight.  I ache for the days before our reality became known.  For the morning that we ate birthday cake, celebrating our first son and getting ready to go for our ultrasound to meet our youngest baby.

I had no way of knowing that although our news was devastating, the journey would hold beauty.  Our story didn't revolve around the loss and sadness.  There was so much love, so many precious memories to be made.  Memories that I get to hold onto for all of my years.

The worst chapter that I ever want to experience in my life was also filled with so many blessings.  Lessons about life, about love, about embracing the journey.

I'm so glad we got to meet our little Abigail.  To hold her and love her.  To cherish her while we grew her.  To know that she touched so many and she will always be in our hearts.

We were so blessed to have time with our angel.  But, oh what I would do for just a few more moments.  To feel her in my arms, to touch her soft skin.  To tell her how much I treasure her, how much I miss her.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March 6th, 2013

We're getting close to the date when we started to get to know Abby.  I remember that we had birthday cake in the morning for Nathan before we headed off to the ultrasound.  Since Trever wasn't able to be here on his birthday we started bright and early the next morning.

I can't help thinking about the complexity of that day when I see those pictures.

Today I had two little Abigail moments. Both totally out of the blue.

First, as I was preparing dinner Nathan walked up and showed me a note he had just written.  He had found the paper that my friend Katie made for us to write notes to Abigail and attach to a balloon at her celebration.  My heart feels a strange mix of calm/appreciation/sadness/overwhelming love when one of the kids shows love to their little sister.  I'm so thankful she is in their heart.

"Thank you Abby for coming to live with us for a day.  Have fun up there! We love you!"

And then just a minute ago I was copying my name from Pintrest, which reads "JenKissel".  As I pasted it, what I saw was "Abigail Ann Kissel, born July 25, 2012".

I tried it again, copying and pasting into a new browser window.

This one really has me feeling strange.  I have no idea how it happened.

I guess I can just decide to let my heart feel warm with thoughts of my darling girl.  Some things in life don't need an explanation.