Monday, October 31, 2011

Our spOOky Family!

Before we headed out to go Trick or Treating...and yes my husband is a Parrot.

Sporting Ainslee's Halloween bow on the pumpkin costume to have her with me while we did trick or treating. I felt blessed to have that little piece with me to remind me she is still very much alive.




I guess I'll start with a quick Happy Halloween! Here's a sweet picture of my little lion...

I feel so blessed to have Adrian. He is the light in our lives. Tonight while we trick or treat, I am going to take Ainslee's little Halloween outfit she wore last year, so I can feel her close with us. I am so ready to bid farewell to the month of October.

And to welcome the month of November, we get to find out tomorrow if Baby "Hope" is a BOY or a GIRL! They are doing a gender check for us early so we can find out. I will be 16 1/2 weeks along. My sonographer is the best I've ever seen. She has this amazing equipment on a flat screen. She can look at the umbilical cord to tell the flow of blood in the various arteries and veins, she's just amazing.

So, I am now 16 weeks along! I can't believe that in 4 weeks we'll be halfway done. I can't wait to have this baby in my arms. It is definitely the hope we've prayed for.

Within the last 4-5 days, I've had it brought to my attention that "God isn't finished yet." This has given me hope as well. Although Ainslee's loss is awful, it's not our entire story, there is more to tell. And there is more that God has in store for us. I sat down this morning at the cemetery to wish Ainslee a Happy Halloween. I couldn't believe this was her 2nd Halloween. Last Halloween she was only 2 days old. I sat there and we talked about this baby coming and I imagined bringing this baby to see his/her older sister at the cemetery. I can't even imagine it. I decided it was time to read to her and opened her Bible story book and read the title of today's story....

God Isn't Finished Yet...

This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened to me. No coincidence my friend. I think the big man and His little helper Ainslee are trying to tell me something very important. And as I sat in the cemetery reading her her story, thinking about our Baby "Hope" and ever greatful for Adrian, I remind myself... He isn't finished yet, and Baby "Hope" is living proof of that. Thank you Jesus for this much needed reminder.

Keep us in prayer tomorrow as we see our little baby. I pray for a healthy report and look forward to finding out....



Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Birthday Girl

I finally feel caught up on some sleep and don't feel as exhausted. I actually had enough energy today to do quite a bit of housework without a nap. I haven't felt like that in awhile. So, I promised an update today about Ainslee's birthday. I wanted to write more yesterday for her birthday but the emotional exhaustion wore me out and I had to listen to my body telling me to rest.

Yesterday Ainslee's birthday celebration was beautiful. It was a beautiful day here in DFW and the only thing that could've been better was having Ainslee's face to kiss on. I got up early in the morning and started ironing our clothes for the day. Everyone was to wear pink or their Walk to Remember shirts in honor of Ainlsee's special day. I had one of my dear friends come over at 8:30. I picked Ainslee's cake up at 8. This cake we would all eat at our house. The cake turned out just precious. I had them do baby blocks, just like her headstone. I felt she's my baby and I want everything to be age appropriate.

After the cake I headed to the flower shop and picked up Ainslee's birthday cake for us to take to the cemetery. We then headed to Party City to get Ainslee's 29 balloons. We rushed back to our house, got ready, and headed up to the cemetery.

We met about 30 people at the cemetery at 10 am ready to celebrate this special girl. As everyone arrived, we all held hands, and used the power of prayer to start her celebration. I prayed for our sweet girl. I thanked God for letting us have her, for being her parents. I prayed that we would always remember the life behind this sweet girl and all she taught us. From trusting, to faith, to unconditional love. I then prayed that God would take care of everyone else's pains and sufferings and hold us all close to Him.

We then dispersed all the balloons and sharpies and wrote our birthday wishes to our daughter. I wrote how proud of her I am, and how much I miss her. I wished her a Happy 1st Birthday. We counted to 3 and as we released all 29 balloons, we shouted, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY AINSLEE!" Adrian loves sending up balloons to his sister.

We finished the balloon release just in time to gather around her headstone, light her candle on her flower birthday cake, and then it was 10:36.....the time she was born. We began singing... I did pretty good throughout the first part of the song until it came time to say her name, and I couldn't finish. I couldn't believe we were singing to a headstone. That the life I felt so wonderfully was gone. And not just temporarily, permanently.

Concluding our cemetery ceremony, we then headed back to our house for cake and ice cream. It was a pretty relaxed time with our friends and family. It was wonderful to see all the support we had. We had so many others across the US that wore pink for Ainslee and released balloons for her. All of these people put pictures on facebook for us to see. I even received a video of a little girl singing Baby Ainslee a Happy Birthday song. I was so greatful to have all the support, all the love, all the thoughts, all the prayers. The pain was still ever present, still knowing she wasn't coming back.

As everyone left, and Adrian laid down for his nap, Travis and I decided we needed to nap as well and it was much needed, although not enough. We took Adrian to church at 5 for Mass followed by Trunk or Treat at our church. The flowers at the alter were in memory of Ainslee. I felt going to church on her birthday and ending it with seeing Adrian having fun was a good way to end the day. Seeing him happy brings joy to our lives and keeps us going.

Tomorrow marks Halloween. This was the first holiday we had with Ainslee. I vividly remember being in the hospital with her, dressed in her Halloween outfit and bow, looking cute as can be. I look at that outfit all the time and just remember holding her, thinking I finally have a daughter. I am the mother of a little girl.

Ainslee girl- I hope you had a heavenly celebration. I so wish you were here to celebrate with us. We miss you more than words could ever begin to express. You brought us so much joy in the short 3 months you were with us. We never would have expected that we would only have 3 months with you. At any rate, I am thankful to have had you for those three months than not at all. And all this pain is so worth it, just having held you and been your mother for that time. I know you would be walking now, talking more, laughing, playing with your brother. I would've given anything to see you smash into your birthday cake yesterday. I look at Adrian's 1 year pics and try to imagine what you'd be like and how you would've changed since 3 months. I pray that you are well taken care of. I pray that Mima is taking care of you and holding you close. I pray that you don't fear anything, that you have laughter all the time, that you aren't scared of darkness. I pray that you see us everyday and know what you mean to us, know how much we need you. I pray you hear us when we talk to you, when we pray, when we read you stories, when we sing to you. I pray you never stop watching over us and I pray you keep us all safe. We love you, we love you, we love you. And miss you every day.

Happy birthday my sweet girl.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Ainslee girl!

What a day. It has been an exhausting couple of weeks in anticipation of this day. And it has all caught up to me. I am flat out exhausted. Today I want to celebrate the life of our precious daughter by sharing pictures from the day we had her along with her first few days. Tomorrow I'll update about her birthday celebrations along with my birthday wishes for my sweet girl. Enjoy...

Ainslee was born at 10:36 a.m. on October 29th, 2010. She was a whopping 9 pounds, 7 ounces and 21 inches long.

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday sweet Ainslee girl, Happy birthday to you. Wishing you a heavenly birthday celebration, lots of laughter, and the sweetest birthday dances. I love you and miss you my girl.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27th, 2010

One year ago today marks my due date with Ainslee. Just wanted to share a couple maternity pics of my last days being pregnant with her.

Today I was sent a story, another blog post, and I read through this woman's story about adoption. The one thing through this woman's pain and confusion that she kept referring to was this:

When telling God: "God, we are confused."
He would then reply with, " I am not finished yet."

This thought just made me weep today. I know we are in the middle of a very bad storm, one that is consuming and confining at this point in our lives. However, reading those words "I am not finished yet" gave me hope. It made me cry because it's true. He's shown me He's not finished yet. Our story is not finished. It's been an ugly chapter losing Ainslee, but a beautiful one having her. It's been a beautiful chapter in our marriage, a beautiful chapter with Adrian, and He's added another beautiful chapter with Baby "Hope."

I need to remind myself that while Ainslee's loss is very much a part of our story, it's not the entire thing and there are good things to come.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Busy Weekend!

So this weekend has been so so busy. This past Thursday was Trav's 31st birthday. I am glad to have made it through another October milestone. We have 2 more left for this month and then this dreaded month will come to a close. I have Halloween of course, and then the ultimate dreaded day. Ainslee's 1st birthday...without her.

Thursday night we celebrated with family for Trav's birthday. Friday night we had dinner with another couple that have been one of our best friends for years. We had a great night catching up with them and having some good laughs.

Today has been filled with a very busy day for me. First I started off with a trip to the florist to order Ainslee's flower birthday cake to take to the cemetery on her birthday. We are officially one week away. Her birthday is the 29th. Then I stopped by Target to get a pair of silver flats...only to leave with a pair of gray heels. I always think I'm going to do flats. And then realize since I'm only 5'1 that it's in my best interest to go with the heels.

After that, my pregnant body was calling for a chili cheese coney from Sonic. I crave these when I'm pregnant. I try to limit my hotdog consumption, but sometimes I have to cave for these babies.

For Adrian's school, I am in charge of doing the bulletin board this next month, for the month of November. So, I headed up to Teacher's Tools and put my Early Childhood Education degree to good use! I love being able to get creative. When I was wrapping up my teachers trip, I got a text from our neighbor saying she wanted to stop by with her little girl. So, I ran home really quick so I could see her.

This little girl is only 2 weeks behind Ainslee. My neighbor and I were pregnant together and shared our joys when our daughters were born. And we shared our sadness when Ainslee passed away. Watching Adrian and this little girl play together today seems so strange to me. It's wonderful to see how great he is with babies, yet so sad to think that is supposed to be our life. I can't even imagine Ainslee being a year old and what our house would be like with the two of them playing. I can't imagine the amount of laughter, tears, smiles, flying toys, and how much more love would be around. Being around babies, of any sex, that are Ainslee's age doesn't really seem to affect me much. I think it's because I don't know her at a year old. I can't even begin to imagine what she'd be like.

After our little visit, I headed up to this antique shop just down the road. I have really been itching to get a few pieces of furniture and do a little extra decorating. These simple purchases and temporary mind consuming activities can get me through to the next moments. I've been on the market for a vintage white buffet but have yet to find one that I love.

Tomorrow we're headed to the Cowboys/Rams game. It will be chaos down in Arlington with the World Series going on too. I had originally wanted to get these silver flats so I'd be comfortable for the long hike that accompanies a Cowboys game. It is so far away to park and walk to the stadium. But, instead, this pregnant Momma will be in my new high heels, huffing and puffing, and eventually ending up with Travis carrying me. Go Cowboys! And Go Rangers!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh the Pain

Oh the pain. The pain has hit me once again full force. I knew two days ago it was coming, the grief tornado. I told Travis it was coming, I could feel the storm brewing. I can cry everyday and feel sad, but it's nothing compared to the grief tornado.

I took Adrian to school today and as I was walking out, the emotions came flooding over me. They engulfed me as a hurricane engulfs a shoreline. I could barely make it to my car. The pain of not having Ainslee was unbearable. How are we still doing this 8 months later? I'm dreading her first birthday. We have 11 days to go. The 29th will be here before we know it. The day we've dreaded since she passed. I can't even imagine having a one year old. I can't imagine looking down at my little brown eyed girl, hearing her say Ma-Ma, and smile her gummy grin. Oh the pain.

Lately on facebook I've seen that there are other little girls turning one. I've seen their enormous bows. I've seen their adorable tutus. I've seen their One year old pictures. I've seen the life behind those pictures, the life in their smiles, the happiness that comes from a one year old. It's a slap in the face of all we're missing out on. Oh the pain.

We are planning a birthday party for Ainslee starting at the cemetery, releasing 29 very colorful balloons for her heavenly party, singing her happy birthday, and following it with cake and ice cream at our house. It only feels natural to plan a party for her. On the other hand it feels incredibly UNNATURAL to plan a party without her here. To pick out a cake just perfect for her. To choose every balloon so carefully to make her feel special. To choose her party hat, her plates and napkins, to choose every little detail without this special little girl here to enjoy it. Oh this pain is awful.

I think today has been one of the hardest days in awhile. As I said, I can cry every day and I can be sad everyday. But there is something different about today. And maybe it's my anticipation of her birthday. But this pain is almost unbearable. Today has been one of those days where I felt I couldn't do it anymore, where I was ready to throw in the towel. Adrian wasn't here for me to cling to him and hold him tight which then makes it worse. Those are the times when I need to cling to him. I love my husband, I love my family...but my little boy is my reason for living. He is just such a kind hearted little boy. He comforts me, he kisses me to make me feel better, he hugs me, he holds me. He needs his mother, and I need him. When I concentrate on him, he helps the pain.

Today my heart is just heavy. I miss Ainslee beyond belief. I miss her face. I miss her brown eyes. I miss her gummy grin. I miss her talks, our talks we would have. I miss giving her a bath. I miss falling asleep with her. I miss nursing her. I miss rocking her. I miss waiting for her to wake up to eat. I miss my little girl.

Oh the pain.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today marks my 30th birthday. Yep, 30. Old. Another October day I've been dreading. But, I've gotten through it, so far. I remember when my 28th birthday came around. It was my first birthday to have a child. I remember that it was a day that I felt so elated to have a birthday, to have a child to celebrate with on my birthday. I wasn't expecting that feeling. It was so unexpected and so wonderful. So, naturally this year I was excited to have this feeling all over again...this time with two of my babies. Only that was never to happen.

I've dreaded this day, thinking it was another October day of events that I would have a hard time getting through. But, all in all, it was a good birthday. It was a good birthday because Travis made it so special. He always makes my birthdays special. I never know what to expect, and he always ends up surpassing any expectations I could ever have. I don't tell him often enough, and maybe this is my way to do so, but he sure is a very special man and I'm so thankful to be married to a man that tries to bring a smile to my face and make me feel loved. He is good at doing that.

This morning I got up and immediately wanted to open my gift. I love gifts. And I love surprises. I opened my gift carefully and out I pulled my brand new....Fannie pack. Are you kidding me!? I know I'm 30, I know I'm headed into a new decade, but a Fannie Pack...seriously? After careful consideration of how I was going to be so ecstatic for my new Fannie Pack, I simply looked up at Travis and said...."a fannie pack?" He laughed and told me there was more to my "fannie pack" and to look inside.

Carefully placed in my beloved fannie pack, was what would help us to make memories for a long time to come. It was something I've wanted but never thought to ask for because it is such an investment. There laid my beautiful new Canon t3i. It's wonderful. I have A LOT to learn.

After opening my gift, we headed to church. I wanted to feel that Ainslee was with me, that she was singing me Happy Birthday too. The song during communion today was a song that was sung at her funeral. "On Eagle's Wings". I surprisingly didn't cry through it. I got choked up, but didn't cry. After that, the priest asked for everyone to be seated...all except expectant mothers....

God showed His grace, His mercy, His promise that He is taking care of us. He showed me during church that I am being looked after. He showed me that He is there, that Ainslee is there, and that there is hope for our future. Our Baby "Hope" will help us heal.

Baby "Hope" is due April 15, 2012. Yes, that is also Spring for SIDS day. Ironic huh? I am now 13 weeks pregnant and baby is doing great. I saw the baby on Tuesday and this is by far the most active baby I've had, highest heart beat I've ever seen-170.

So..even though Ainslee is not here, and I hate that more than anything...I technically have 3 children to celebrate my 30th with. I have 3 babies. 3 babies to help me be a better person, a better mother, a better wife, and to welcome another year...another decade. Here's to my 30's!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Walk to Remember 2011

So last weekend was our Walk to Remember. It was on October 1st so it was a good way to start off the October month, remembering her. It was a beautiful day, sun way out, a little toasty, but perfect weather. There was over 1,000 people participating, remembering their babies. We had 40 people in our group to remember Ainslee.

When we first got there, we registered and then were able to set up some of our child's belongings or memories on a memory table. After that, we all lined up and started our walk. Along the way, we were able to find our sign for our child that had their dates of birth and death. We then sat through a very nice ceremony where each name was called and we were able to hang our Christmas ornament for our baby on a tree they had out there. After that was our balloon release. We each wrote on our balloon a special message for Ainslee. If your baby was a girl, you got a pink balloon, boy is blue, and if you had an early miscarriage, you got a white balloon since gender was unknown.

Here's a few pictures from our day. For some strange reason, I'm not able to load pictures that are vertical onto blogger. Drives me crazy. :)

Well, we got through the Walk to up is my 30th birthday which is this Sunday. Slowly trying to get through the events that lead up to her birthday. I will try to update more of our weekend this weekend.