Life right now

Here we are, a week from the 9 month mark and I'm a wreck. My crying hasn't just been limited to alone time in the car or after the girls are asleep. I can now cry quietly and just let my eyes tear up and possibly fall, but I can do it silently. Of course I also have the times where my body shakes and I cry so hard I have to gasp for air. The reality of Zoe's death hits me over and over and over, it just keeps knocking me down. Just when I think I've gotten up again, it just rolls right over me. I just can not comprehend that I will go on living for another 50 years without her. I can not imagine that life will just keep going on and on and on. And we'll just keep living it.

I've been reading back through my posts from this time last year, just wanting to compare then to now...life was certainly busy and a bit chaotic, but it ought to be with three preemie babies under one roof, right? The girls were having fun, Avery and Lily were mobile and Zoe was doing great! Back then we thought our obstacles were feeding, steroid and oxygen weans, hearing aids or cochlear implants? and OT/PT/ST. That is a lot to be sure, but manageable...now, everything is different. And it's not the kind of different we thought it was going to be. In a lot of ways life has continued on as it should and would have regardless of the fact that Zoe is no longer alive...namely Avery and Lily are continuing to develop into "normal" two year olds, independent, fiesty, on the go constantly, and VERY talkative. Here is a sampling of their current vocabulary:

Ciraya = Cindarella
Bay-ul = Belle said as if Scarlet O'Hara were saying the name
Me-ilk= Milk again as if Scarlet O'Hara were speaking
He-yo = Hello
He-ci-cokter = Helicopter
Want shome = I want some
Try, try = I want to try it
Lipple peoples = Fisher Price Little people
mada do eet, caw = Mama do it, crawl (as in pretend you're a cat and meow and crawl and chase me)
abc's = said anytime they see writing on just about anything
crackter = tractor (as in Gampa Jerry's crackter)
watch a moomee = watch the baby noah video
dincers = watch the african dancers on a Barney episode
happy to to = happy birthday to you
push button = push buttons on the computer or telephone
car, car = mommy or daddy went somewhere in their car
heben = heaven, when you ask them where Zoe is

And their current favorite things: Cindarella, Elmo, Curious George, camels, swinging, running outside, playing with Little People, reading books, singing songs like Old McDonald, but we change it to say Grampa Jerry had a farm...they also like to sing "where, oh where, has my little dog gone", "frere jaques", "my bonnie lies over the ocean...we change bonnie to all the names of everyone they know", saying goodnight to everyone they know, doing anything Richard and I do like wiping their trays, hands, and face, feeding abby, washing their bellies and their hair, drinking from a real cup, and picking out Mommy's clothes. Avery will pull a shirt off one of my hangers and say "cute" as she hands it to me.

But the fact remains that I don't have a list of Zoe's favorite things as an almost two year old. We're getting farther and farther away from the girls as 14 month old babies. I think this time of year is especially hard, not just because of the holidays that are all about family and happiness and being thankful...but because these are the months that we have memories of having her at home and of course their birthday is five days before Christmas. We have 4 months of memories of Zoe at home...four months, that's it! It's just not enough for me but there is nothing I can do about it. This is what life is right now and will always be. I will always, always wonder what she'd be doing as we go through life and milestones and "firsts". I remember having her IFSP meeting with our EI team in October last year and they asked me what my goals were for her a year from then...I hoped that at this time this year she'd be crawling and eating by mouth. I can only imagine what that would be like...a crawling baby on oxygen...I would probably be untangling oxygen tubing all day. I bet she'd even be pulling up to stand by now too, maybe taking a few steps around the sofa...always with a big smile across her face. I can see her looking at me and bouncing up and down to say "look what I can do." I still have trouble actually remembering the good memories so it's like I take the current development of Lily and Avery, adjust for Zoe's delays and create my own version or vision of what she'd be doing and how I'd be navigating life with all three of them.

I also envision what she's doing at any given moment in her current "life" in Heaven. For some reason I always picture her at 3 or 4 years old with long dark ringlets down her back. She is always laughing, always running, always playing. But I always see her from behind, I can't quite see her face and I am longing to see her face. I am still longing to feel the weight of her body against mine again and to feel that soft silky hair of hers. I love all the photos we have of her, and we have them all over the house...but they are so flat, so still. I watch her videos, especially where I can be seen, or at least my hand can be seen, stroking her hair or cheeks...so that maybe in some way I can recapture that sensation of my skin touching her skin. I pray, well no, I beg God to let me see her again...I plead with Him to let her visit me in some way that I'll remember, send me some kind of sign, any kind of sign that she's here with me, actually. Sometimes I think I've dreamt about her, but I don't remember it.

Last week the girls and I were sick so I was sleeping in their bed with them one restless night. I don't know if it was a combination of me having a dream and Lily having night terrors at the same time, but I had the oddest sensation of reaching out to grab something...but it wasn't an actual object, it was like an image of something or maybe someone...it was right next to Lily. She called out, I called out and reached for this thing but then it was gone...in a blink it was gone. Maybe I was still asleep, but I later felt that I had been dreaming about Zoe, but had been jarred out of my dream so suddenly I couldn't remember what I was dreaming. Or maybe I've just finally gone crazy...

Looking back at those posts from last year, it seems a lifetime ago and I seemed so happy...just chugging right along with our triplets, going to our appointments, working with our therapists...I even sounded like I was getting confident in my ability to care for them and balance my time with each of them. Their one year check up was really great, especially for Zoe...she was doing so well. If you get a chance to go back, check out that post in January of this year...it really is interesting to read about all the things she was doing and how well she was progressing. That is one of the things that will always be so baffling to me...she WAS doing so well. She was getting healthy, she was developing, we had good reports from all her doctors. We were half way through RSV season, I was dreaming about the Spring and taking them to the zoo and the park... and then, the rug got pulled out from under us. I don't get it, I really don't understand it. Why, if she was getting better, why would He take her back then?

Her last 12 hours still feel like an out of body experience...like my body was there in the hospital, in the ER, in the PICU...but my mind was somewhere else...it was not allowing me to comprehend what was happening eventhough I knew on a logical level exactly what was going on. It happened so quickly. Even when you read back to my account of that day and the preceeding battle with the flu...again, Zoe pulled through, just like she always did. How did she not have enough left in her to pull through again? It wasn't for lack of love or prayers on our part or desire to keep her with us...why didn't He let her pull through this infection too? I don't get it, I really don't get it. So my questions to God are Why?...why, why why? and Please....please, please, please let me see my baby again.


Misty said...

I know there is nothing I can do or say to make life better, but I am sending you a huge hug! I truly can't image what you are goign thru. I know I stood very close to a similar situation several times. I have no answer as to why things end up as they do. Just know that somewhere in "cyberland", that you do have a friend. I'm sending you lots of healing energy and a big hug.
I am sure Zoe is there with you and your girls. I hope there is some comfort in that.
Love you,

McTriplet Mommy said...

Thinking of you and praying for your family.

Your friend,

Jodi said...

I'm sorry for your pain. I know it hurts. It hurts a lot. Someday you will see your little girl...in heaven...playing and laughing, as I'm sure she's doing right now. We lost a boy to miscarriage last June and I picture him in heaven having the time of his life! I do wish he was with us, but someday, we will see him again.

I too, have a little girl that was born in Dec 2006. It's ironic that you posted about what your girls are saying, because I have a drafted post that I have been saving about the words and vocabulary of our toddler! I still have lots to add to it. Our little girl has some of the same likes as yours...she loves Cinderella and Elmo!

The Kelseys said...


I don't know the right words to say, and I can't even begin to imagine what pain you must bare every day. I just wanted to let you know that although we have never met, you have and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I have followed your story since Zoe was first sick with the flu and you posted to trips-quads, and since then,I feel like I have grown to know you and your family through your heartfelt posts. I want you to know how amazingly strong you are. You may not feel that way at times, but I am in awe of your faith, your love for your girls, and your drive to be the best mom you can be. I will continue to pray that you will have moments of peace and release from your pain.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, as always.

Stacey said...

I still think and pray for you daily. I wish there was something I could say to help ease the pain. Your are doing a great job of teaching Avery and Lily about their triplet and they will always know her through you and your husband.


Dorinda said...

Like so many others I wish there was something I could do to take away your pain. I wish I could make it better for you or give you answers. My heart aches for you whenever I read your posts.

I know the Lord loves you and is holding you in His hands but I wish there were better answers as to why little babies have to die.

I will keep praying for you. Thank you for continuing to share.

Jessica said...

You words and pain are all to familiar. I just finised a book that you might like called "A Grace Disguised" I am sorry and I will be praying for you tonight. Zoe and Zach and playing O2 free

Jen Clark said...

Praying for you, Keira. (((hugs))) Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart.

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31