Pieces from The Mighty

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sharing The Month: Breaking The Silence

Today I received a message from one of my best friends asking me if I have Time Hop on my phone. Well, unfortunately I do not! This friend of mine told me that according to her Time Hop, seven years ago we were making t shirts together, but not just any t shirts, “Save the Ta-Ta’s” t shirts.

As I looked at those pictures I realized that "back then" the month of October meant two things to me: Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was such a big deal that I decided to join in on the awareness and make a fun t shirt with my best friend.
Wow! How things have changed!
Like I did seven years ago, most people think of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My grandmother and great grandmother both battled breast cancer, so I am absolutely for finding a cure for breast cancer. However, October has become something more for me.
October is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. October came to have a whole new meaning to me when infant loss became personal with our loss of Robby.
Over the years the “silence” has been broken about breast cancer awareness. Everyone has heard some of the hundreds of fun sayings like:
“Save the TaTa’s”
"Save Second Base” 
“Yes, these are fake, my real ones tried to kill me.”
Men, women, and children will all wear these shirts, join in on fun runs, and are active in supporting breast cancer awareness.
1 in 8 women are affected by breast cancer. 
1 in 4 women are affected by pregnancy and infant loss.
It is my hope that someday our society will be able to break the silence. We know that it can be done! Look at how far breast cancer awareness has come. It does not bother most people to talk about saving the “ta ta’s,” so why should it bother people to talk about pregnancy and infant loss.
We don’t have any clever sayings to help, just our plea. Please remember our babies this month. The babies who were loved, but never seen, the babies who were born sleeping into this world, the babies who were born but never got to go home, and the babies that went home but did not get to stay.
While saving the boobies this month please take a minute to help raise awareness for the babies. 1 in 4 women are affected by this, so chances are you know someone who has been affected by pregnancy or infant loss.

If you have not already heard about Project Robby, click here to learn more. 

Part of our mission with Project Robby is to break the silence about pregnancy and infant loss by giving grieving families something special to hold onto <3

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ellie Is Two

Two years ago today, our sweet little Ellie was born. She made quite the entrance into this world as a micro-preemie at 14 weeks early and gave us a big scare. For the longest time we wondered if she would live, but not only did she live, she is thriving and continues to amaze us each and every day.

This past year Ellie’s personality has really blossomed. She truly is her very own little person with her own opinions, likes, dislikes, and wants.

So, for Ellie’s birthday blog this year, I am going to tell you about Ellie and her personality.

Ellie is a blankie lover! After Ellie was born, a very dear friend of ours (Pat) sent her a special handmade blanket. Over the past two years Ellie has become extremely attached to it, and loves it very much!  She loving calls it her “Bee Bee” and the smaller version that Pat made for her is “Moo Moo” because we were calling it mini blankie. She will not go to sleep unless she has both ‘Bee Bee’ and “Moo Moo.”

Ellie is rotten!  After we found out that Ellie was a girl, my grandfather (Pop Pop) would say, “She is going to be so rotten that you will be able to smell her coming!” Well, he was absolutely right! Ellie is in fact extremely spoiled. She has four adults in this house (five on weekends since my brother spends a lot of time here) and we all tend to her every wish and desire, dote on her, adore her, and she certainly does know it!

Ellie is a giggle box! Ellie’s laugh is contagious! She doesn't just giggle, she has a full on belly laugh! When she gets going she just can’t stop! She loves being tickled, and will laugh and when we stop she will raise her arms and say “tickle tickle” or “more!”

Ellie is dramatic! Yes, she does indeed have a flair for the dramatics! One of Ellie’s “tricks” is that when we ask to see her pout lip, she can give it to us on the spot! Here are the stories behind the pictures below:
*She wanted to go outside instead of to bed.
*She didn’t want her “BeeBee” washed even though she had “Moo Moo” with her.
*We wouldn’t let her draw on the sofa.
and the in the last picture
*She is crying because we went to the zoo!

Ellie is a girly girl! Ellie truly is a “mini me!” Ellie loves princesses, purses, tutus, shoes/boots, lipstick, bows, dresses, tiaras, sparkly and glittery everything, dolls, Hello Kitty, the colors pink and purple, bracelets, shopping,  rings, and earrings. I have always imagined what it would be like to have a little girl, but Ellie is so much more fun than I ever imagined. When Ellie wakes up in the morning, the first thing out of her mouth is that she needs her “Nay Nay” which in Ellie language means necklace!

Ellie is a little sister. On October 15, 2011 I woke up and took a pregnancy test, which was positive. That was the day I found out that Tanner and I were expecting our first child, Robby. As many of you know, Robby was born at 23 weeks, and unfortunately did not survive. On October 15, 2012, exactly one year after I found out that I was pregnant with Robby, I woke up and as I was eating my second breakfast of the morning that consisted of a bagel, I went into labor, and that night Ellie was born. I absolutely believe that Robby has been watching over his little sister this whole time. This spring we realized that Ellie loves to spend time at the cemetery “visiting” Robby. Although Robby isn’t here with us physically, I know he is with us everyday watching his little sister.

Ellie  is a miracle! When I look at Ellie, I see a miracle. Ellie was born so early, and she was so very sick after she was born. When I think back to the time when she had pneumonia in the NICU I just want to cry. She has overcome so much in her short two years, and I just thank God every single day for her. She can be extremely stubborn sometimes, but when it starts to get difficult to handle I remember that her stubbornness is part of what got her through the NICU.

Ellie is opinionated! Ellie knows exactly what she wants. She knows what food she wants to eat, which clothes she wants to wear, and which toys she wants to get! Although I must admit that sometimes her having an opinion does make for some interesting outfit choices, I love that she is so opinionated and likes to think for herself!

Ellie is adventurous! Ellie has no fear! She is an absolute dare devil! She likes to stand up on her four wheeler while it is moving, she likes to climb anything and everything, and she loves to jump off of things! She will take off exploring our large backyard with Molly and you can tell she is confident and not afraid.

Ellie is blessed-!After Ellie was born, my mom started a Facebook page called Loving Ellie. Two years later there are still so many people who check in on Ellie through this Facebook page. We update about once a month and add pictures about twice a month. These people prayed for her, loved her, and encouraged us through not only her NICU and hospital stay, but through these past two years. To all of our Loving Ellie followers, thank you. Thank you for praying for Ellie not just then, but now as well. Thank you for being apart of our lives and for loving Ellie! Ellie is very  blessed to have so many people praying for her!

Ellie is a friend! Ellie is a friend, not only to Molly, but to someone else as well. This summer Ellie started to have weekly play dates with a little girl, Briar. Briar’s mommy and I were best friends in high school, and luckily for us, Briar and Ellie picked each other to be best friends! The girls have really become comfortable playing together and it looks obvious to us that they actually enjoy playing together (and eating cheetos and drinking juice together) each week!

Ellie is artistic! Ellie loves art, especially if it is messy! Ellie loves to paint, use glitter glue, draw with markers (or “doodle” as Ellie says), and use lots of stickers! She colors or paints and stickers nearly every day.  We all absolutely love to display our Ellie art!

Ellie is bossy! We say that she gets this trait from Nanny! Ellie will tell everyone what to do! She directs everyone to where they will sit, and what toy they will play with! She calls the shots on what she wants you to eat and who it is that will get her juice out for her! She even tries to call the shots on when everyone is “done” eating supper at night! She will go around the table and point to each person and say, “done!”

Ellie is bashful! Since Ellie was in isolation for so long, she really is not used to being around a lot of people all at once. While she was in the hospital, we could not really have many visitors, and once we got home, we had to be in isolation due to Ellie’s prematurity and chronic lung disease. During Ellie’s second RSV season, although we would allow people into the house to visit, we still had to be so very cautious, which meant that not very many people came. It really takes Ellie a lot of time to warm up to people before she will let her true personality show.

Ellie is full of love! Ellie has the sweetest kisses, the tightest hugs, and the most precious little pats. It just melts my heart when she will just come up behind me when I am sitting in the sandbox and give me a great big bear hug! There are truly no sweeter words than when Ellie says, “uh ooo” (Ellie’s version of “love you”)unprompted!

Ellie is perfect! The night Ellie was born, when I looked at her for the very first time, I didn’t see the black bruising on her head, I saw perfection. When she was sick with pneumonia I didn’t see the swelling from retaining fluid, I saw perfection. When she was on oxygen I didn’t see the nasal cannula in her nose, I saw perfection. When I was told of her brain bleed and what complications could possibly come from it, it didn’t matter because I knew that no matter what she was perfect. When Ellie’s eyes were crossed because of ROP, I didn’t notice it because I saw perfection. When I look at the scars that are still on her chest and heels from surgery and blood draws, I see perfection. Ellie is perfect, absolutely, 100% perfect in every single way.  

Everyone says that children grow up so fast and that time passes by so quickly. Although I have always known this, as I put Ellie to bed for the last time as a one year old, it really truly hit me that my sweet little baby is growing up, and it is happening  very quickly. We only get one chance. One chance to enjoy and savor each and every moment of Ellie’s childhood because in the blink of an eye, another year has passed.

"You will never have this day with your children again. 
Tomorrow they’ll be a little older than they were today. 
This day is a gift. 
Just breathe, notice, study their faces, and little feet.
Pay attention. 
Relish the charms of the present.
Enjoy today- it will be over before you know it. "