Its that time of year again. How has it been 2 years already? For those of you with kids, when you aren't with them, how often do you think of them? Like all the time? That is about how often I think of mine, all three of them. Everyday brings different emotions. At this point, with Blake around now, it brings distraction, and most days are pretty normal. But, they're my new normal, which I know isn't normal for most. I know others struggle with child loss and depression and much more with chronic illness, poverty, unclean water, war, etc., but here in good ole Edmond, Oklahoma most of us have it pretty good. Me included. Each day though, is a fight to put on my mask. My mask is pretty pathetic. Its my no makeup face (usually), clean yoga pants (i hope) and baggy tshirt. Its a smile and a hello and hopefully I've made it thru at least half the day without crying. August and September come around though, and I can't hide from it as easy as the other months. Its her birthday, mine too. Its the days spent in the PICU and its the death. The funeral. All of it, memory after memory just slam into me. Its awful. Its so freaking awful. Im so grateful for Bart, Berkley and Blake. But I want Bryn too. Most people forget we have the same birthday. I understand. I forget things about other too, important things. But its hard. People mean well, when they say things, but its hard. I don't want to celebrate my birthday. I don't want to celebrate because I can't do it with her. To me, its not a good day. Its nothing to celebrate and I want to skip past it. I know it won't always be like this, but for now, its how it is. She was my best birthday gift ever. But, to not have that gift, is heartbreaking in a way you can't understand unless you've lost a child. Ive got a great deal of things that are more than wonderful in my life, and on the days I can focus on that, it helps. But, the depression, the grief takes over most times and it can be hard to be thankful for anything. People don't know what to say to me. I don't blame them. Grief, child loss, depression, its a nasty beast. Add in sleep deperevation from the sweetest 11 month old...well I'm just a bowl full of fun to be around. Its usually more than people can handle. So they avoid it. Some try and its good for a while, but then its too much. Im thankful for those who try, who pray for me, who have stuck with me. Im not exactly always fun to be around. Ive realized through therapy that Ive prob been struggling with depression for a long time. This has all just brought it to a head. Life can be hard, but God is good. God has blessed me with a sweet, thoughtful, patient husband. He has blessed me with the cutest girls ever. Berkley and Blake love each other something fierce. They light up when they see each other, and that brings me joy. Berkley can get the gut laugh out of Blake, which has us all laughing along, and the way they look at each other... Melt my heart! Its a hard time of year, but it will pass. I believe that faith brought Blake to us after Bryn went to Jesus. That faith brings me hope I will feel myself again. Hope I that my children, husband, family and friends will get the best of me, instead of what I fear is most days not much. ****My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He worketh steadily. Oft' times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside. Not 'til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why. The dark threads are as needful In the weavers skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned. -Author Unknown**** Love and Blessings, brooke
So these are my girls. These pictures pretty much sum up how most days have been going around here. Blake is super happy and full of smiles, all the time. Berkley is a tad moody. She is either so funny, full of stories, songs, pretend and giggles, or scowling, hiding, talking back, pouting, etc. We are working on speaking kindly and being polite even if we are mad about something. I have trouble with it, so its not that I expect Berkley to be perfect at it, but man...the talking back is so frustrating. I'm sure I never did that to my parents!? Right!? haha. We are studying Matthew in BSF (bible study fellowship) right now. Part of what we are studying is 'not being a stumbling block' for others. What are we willing to sacrifice to bring others to the Lord, or not cause them to stumble. What people, situations, activities, comforts, habits, etc., and I wiling to avoid, quit, change to make sure I am not willingly sinning, or causing another to sin. Man oh man is that convicting, humbling and hard. I'm praying about this, and working on this. I've made some small steps the last few days in this area, and they have been hard, but I am hoping the Lord is pleased with my heart. Another part of the study is taking care of the 'little ones'...that includes literal little ones (children) and those deemed little by our society (widows, homeless, sick, shut-ins, elderly, disabled, etc.) My goal is to work on both these areas. I first want to make sure I am spending as much time talking about Jesus, teaching Jesus and his word to my children as I do focusing on their clothes, their education, playing, etc. Having my heart truly for Him, and having Bart and our children's hearts truly for the Lord is all that matters to me in the world. I love my friends, I love all the fun parts of life, but getting us to heaven to be with our Lord, and to reunite with Bryn is my focus. I struggle with so many demons, sins, and hangups, but I am working on cutting out things that cause me to stumble so I can focus fully on the Lord. Feel free to remind me of this, and call me out on it. Love me enough to do that. But, please do it with love and care...because after all, I am human, I am a sinner, I am not perfect. The Lord is still working on me! Love and Blessings to you all. -brooke
Im clearly not a good blogger. Im really only doing this to help myself remember some of the things going on in our lives. We have had a busy last 2 years, highs and lows I still can't believe happened. We are doing well, life is good, God is good. We had Bryn on my 31st birthday, August 23, 2012 we lost Bryn Sept 27th, 2012. We had Blake Sept 9, 2013, it has helped restore joy into our hearts but it hasn't taken away the grief. Berkley has become an amazing big sister. I don't say that flippantly. She really, really, loves her little sister. I think the anticipation of actually getting to keep this one really set into her deeply. She wanted to know why her friends all had siblings and she didn't. So, when Blake came, she was over the moon! We all were and still am. Im very tired physically and emotionally. I still haven't dealt with all the grief from Bryn's death. Its a long, slow, exhaustingly lonely process. I've had to learn many hard lessons and with the help of an amazing therapist, I am doing well. Most people don't realize the toll grief takes on a person. I have been so physically, mentally and emotionally pulled on for so long, I am not the same person any more. I may act the same in many regards, at least on the outside, but I am SO different. I love my therapist, she has helped me deal, grow and stretch. She's on speed dial. I love my family and I love the friends who have been patient enough to let me deal. In my own way, in my own time, with lots of forgiveness as I still walk this crazy path. To be a friend to someone dealing with grief isn't an easy thing and I appreciate those who have stuck around. I still miss Bryn so much it is usually to much to bear. Im so thankful for Berkley and Blake, I know how lucky I am to have them, but I want Bryn too. I have been blessed with some new friends, renewed friendships and its all because of my Bryn. I am thankful to my Lord for those people. I hate that most of the people I speak of, have lost a child too, so we have a bond that shouldn't be. I ask you to continue to pray for me. Its a daily struggle I usually can deal with, but its still a DAILY struggle and most people don't realize its still going on. Berkley is thriving! She is so crazy smart, doing so well at school (proud mommy) and even though she can throw a temper tantrum with the best of them (me), I love her so much it hurts. I have the two best kids ever. Berkley is obsessed with horses and Ariel the little mermaid. When I say obsessed with horses, that is an understatement. She literally has over 50 (I realize I allowed her to have that many). She is scared of cats and dogs and other small animals (though she talks a big game), but you walk her up to a huge horse, and she will jump right on. She is so smart, its scary. We are in big trouble with her. In a good way...but still trouble. You can't get anything by her, no trickery or bribery. She remembers everything and will hold you to something you said weeks ago. She remembers people and what they gave her for presents and places you went or said you would go, etc. Its creepy. I love her and all her craziness because I know I gave her 1/2 of it at least! She's also very tender hearted and can be very shy, so I've already cried on her behalf of being left out, or getting her feelings hurt and so forth. I am not looking forward to dealing with some of the stuff girls deal with as they grow. She's also very resilient and I am so proud of my Berkie. She will be 4 soon. I am amazed at how fast and slow time can move. Blake is doing great. She's growing like crazy...girl loves to eat. She's crazy happy all the time. Wakes up smiling and talking and rarely cries. She's beautiful and she lights up our world. She actually loves me so much that she still wakes up 1-2 times a night to hang out. :) I'm tired and I have a crick in my neck, but its worth it. A nap and a Dr.Pepper help...not my waistline, but my attitude. Usually. Ha. She is so wonderfully happy and healthy (so far) and we are so thankful for the blessing she is to our family. Bart is a rockstar dad. I of course can be the typical wife who complains and would always love more help, more sleep, more me time...but he really, really does so much more than most men and more than me most days. He cooks, he plays, he serves, he does laundry, etc. He's awesome. His girls love him, I love him. God WAY outdid himself when he brought Bart into my life. I started BSF (bible study fellowship) this past fall...ITS AMAZING. I am so, so glad I sucked it up and went taking my 3 week old with me (Blake was born the day before it started). I was placed in a group with some amazing ladies (mostly 50+) who are mentoring to me, helping me grow and showing Blake and I the Lord's love. They cuddle on Blake every Tuesday morning, and encourage me as I learn more about the Lords word. My leader is someone I knew and respected previously, and is now my Stephen minister and mentor, my first grade teacher is in my group, a girl I taught with, a friend of a friend, and another friend of a friend, etc. It really wasn't where I wanted to be placed, I wanted in the moms with babies group with another friend. But, I was put where I was meant to be and I'm grateful for God's clear hand in that. I'm so grateful I was encouraged and invited to go to BSF and I'm so thankful every time I walk out of the doors feeling blessed. After small group I get to attend an amazing lecture each week on what we studied and enjoy sitting by some friends I care deeply for. God is good. Im a Christian, a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend. I love all the people who make those titles possible. I'm also a really big screw up, a big time sinner and so daily, usually hourly I have to redirect and try again. I go to bed most nights praying for forgiveness and hoping to finally learn from my mistakes so I won't make them again. I am slowly making some changes and while God is all that matters, I hope that one day you will seem them too. I am working on me, God is working on me. Thank you Lord for so much more than I deserve. Thank you all who have prayed for us, shown us love, and walked the past two years with us. You are loved and appreciated. I am looking forward to 2014! Love and Blessings, Brooke
People have been asking exactly how Bryn's arrival came about, so I thought I;d give a quick lil blog about how that all happened. I am keeping up in general via FB. Well Thursday, the 23rd was my birthday. That morning I had a scheduled NST (non stress test) at our Perinatal specialists (Dr. Mirable) office. The tests were happening twice a week, they basically have you do them for any high risk situation. There are prob a ton of you out there who have had them. Within a couple minutes of being on the monitor Bryn's heart rate dropped down a couple times and the nurse didn't like what she was seeing. So they got a hold of my OBGYN, Dr Goff and told him what was going on and it was decided that she was in distress and would need to come out, but wouldnt make it thru a regular delivery and a c-section was needed. It was a tad overwhelming because you go in expecting about an hour appt, then to go on about your day. I was going to head home and shower and meet Bart for a bday lunch...but plans changed! I was sent to OU to get on their monitors, as thats where I was delivering. It was best for us to be down at Childrens so Bryn could have the care she needed. Dr Goff met us down there and within a few mintues Bryn had another bad heart rate drop and they took me quickly back for surgery. Bart barely got in the room to sit down with me and Dr Goff had Bryn out and crying. So, she was doing good, good color and crying! Bart and the neonatal team went with Bryn to get her settled into the NICU and I finished getting closed up. It was fast and furious but went great. SO...that's how Bryn came 5 weeks before her due date, and 2 weeks before her induction date! Overall she has remained stable and the past two days she has been resting very comfortably. It is nice to have her here, but hard to not have her with us. Please pray specifically that she continues to breathe on her own, remains stable so they can operate sooner than later. They are predicting Tuesday or Wednesday. Thank you all. love and blessings, brooke, bart, berkley and bryn
Berk got to have her first Smores experience and she loved it. She really like putting the stick in the fire, she made me nervous with her lil pyro action. We made a trip to West Virginia (a central meeting spot for Bart's maternal side of the family) for a family reunion and we survived! I knew we would, I just wasn't sure what would happen in between going and coming back. Ha. Picture a 2 year old and a 31 week preggo who doesn't always travel well and you can come up with some scary scenarios. We set out last Thursday and took 2 flights, and then a 2.5 hour car ride thru the mountains. Anyone who knows me well, knows I had my nausea meds on hand and a tight smile of "I'm fine, just keep going". No one killed each other and Berkley actually was a great lil traveler. She got many compliments on her excellent in-flight behavior. We all slept a lil crazily at the reunion spot,had no schedule, slept late and went to bed late, but overall it was really a successful trip! It was neat to see all the grand and lil great grand kids running around together for a few days. It was fun to have all of the adults together as none of them lives in the same state. Coming from a small family its a tad overwhelming to coordinate that many people for me, but everyone did great, had fun, and I look forward to the first time Bryn can enjoy all her extended family too! The weather was about 20 degrees cooler than here in Oklahoma and for me and my huge self, that was wonderful. I could be outside for hours at a time and not fall over of heat exhaustion. It was quite exciting to not constantly be stuck inside. We had another doctors appointment and it kinda went the same as the others have gone. So far all looks the same, we will wait till our next appt in a couple of weeks and hopefully make a plan of action to get Bryn here safely and then get her heart worked on to keep her here. We have a 'maybe' induction date of Sept1 16th, but depending on the next appt that could be moved back a few days or a week. We will continue to wait and trust our docs and know that it will all work out. GOd is good and we know how blessed we are that things have gone smoothly so fart Things have been pretty calm overall, just normal right now and expecting that for at least another 6 weeks. Prayers are always appreciated that I can carry her as long as possible, the goal being to get all her other organs formed and working well before she arrives. Prayers as we make a plan and for the doctors taking care of us. We thank you all for the continued kind words and support. Blessings and wishes for cooler weather to you all! With Love, Brooke and the other B people living with me.