Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It was a Saturday...

On this day, three years ago, it all began.


I wonder if I will ever be able to forgive myself.

81 comments:

J said...

No forgiveness needed, you're a great mom with beautiful, happy, healthy girls who love you.

Happy Birthday sweet girls!

Anonymous said...

no reason to forgive yourself. you do such a wonderful job. happy birthday girls.....

paula_zaplitny said...

Coming out lurkdom to post...

You do not need to forgive yourself as you have done nothing wrong!!!

Kristin said...

Happy Birthday girls!!!!!! Billie you are a wonderful mother, and you have done nothing to hinder your children. It's so easy to play the "what if" brain drain, but you are a wonderful mom and your girls are so beautiful and precious.
Celebrate today for today and try to fight the thoughts that bring you down.
Kristin

lily's dad said...

Forgive yourself for what? For giving them life? For doing everything you can to make their lives happy and full?

You are an awesome mother, and you have wonderful daughters! Instead of feeling guilty, think back at how much you have truly given them, and how lucky they are to have you!

TBG said...

i am confused what could you possibly forgive yourself for.

You have two beautiful daughters that thrive by the love and care you have always given them.

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy 3rd Birthday Holland and Eden!
Billie you are a wonderful mom to the girls and your love for them shows in their smiles! I couldn't agree more with the posts from the others. Enjoy spending the day celebrating their lives!!
Love,
Dawn

Shannon said...

You could not possibly do more for your two beautiful girls than you already do. You are an inspiration for other preemie/CP parents.

Happy birthday Holland and Eden!!!

Anonymous said...

16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.

17 O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.

I look at those photos in amazement of what a miracle it is that your girls have come so far! When you feel down or that your circumstances are somehow your "fault," find your strength in the Lord and remember His wondrous works in your family. You are doing a fine job and they are clearly thriving in your care. Happy Birthday to the big girls!
Lori in VA (was FL)

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness for what Billie?

raeday said...

Everyone has already said it, but I have to agree. I think one of the worst things we do is blame ourselves for things we have no control over. You have two beautiful little girls who you love more than anything and they are lucky to have you as their mom. Just look at how far they've come already, it's because of YOU! Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!!!!

hallegracesmama said...

You are an amazing mother, an amazing family, and you have two incredible girls who have struggled against all odds since the moment they were born. I understand the feeling of needing forgiveness, wishing we could do more to make our kids' lives easier. I love you all to pieces. Happy birthday, sweet girls.

Sarah Furlough said...

Billie: I hope that you can let go of some of the guilt, there is nothing you could have done to change things. I hope you will take some extra time to be amazed by your sweet girls today. It's been said often, because it is true; you are a wonderful mom to Holland & Eden.

Happy 3rd birthday, H & E!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday girls!
It is amazing how fast time goes by. Billie you have done so much for Holland and Eden, you have helped them overcome so much. You have inspired so many people with all that you do for the girls and that is something you can never feel guilty about. Unfortunatly as mothers we always question ourselves with the 'what if's' but as we know somethings are beyond our control.
Hope the girls had a great birthday.
Angi
(mom to Elizabeth-Ann/busylizzy)

Jenny said...

Billie

You are an AWESOME mommy to those girls. You did absolutely nothing that you'd have to forgive yourself for! H & E are so very very very lucky.

Stacey said...

Happy birthday girls!!!

(P.S. I know how you feel. Every dang time something else comes up stemming from Ace's prematurity, I feel the same way. I just KNOW I did something wrong, and no amount of logic or other peoples' reassurance will change my mind. Hugs.)

Anonymous said...

Happy 3rd Birthday, Holland and Eden! Billie, they look so happy and if they could I am sure they would thank you for everything you do for them!

Amy

Jacqui said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!

Hechung said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!

Sammie said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!

BendingPeak said...

Happy Birthday Girls!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday girls. I know exactly how you feel my little ones are very similar to your with CP and I too struggle each and every year at their birthday and any special event.
It's bitter sweet happy and sad all those emotions are hard to deal with at times. Love and hugs from us and God Bless you all. M x

baby james said...

That puzzled me too, what do you need to forgive yourself for? Happy Birthday Girls. And happy birthday MOM!

Anonymous said...

Forgive yourself for what? I must have missed the post where you were using drugs and drinking heavily.

Actually, I'm not sure I've seen one where you explore what caused the premature delivery. I know that I did everything right (at least during my first pregnancy), no caffeine, no alcohol, no strenuous activities, no lifting, eating massive amounts of protein and fruits and veggies and my water still broke spontaneously and early.

It just happened and you've done everything you possibly can to make up for it. And then some!

Jacolyn said...

In every photo I see of the girls they look so happy. And I always think they must have such a wonderful mommy. I aspire to be that and hope that I can love my children as much as you love those girls. I've never met you but it is that obvious from what I know about you...they are lucky girls!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Girls

abby said...

Billie,

As so many have said already, there's no need to forgive you for anything...Holland and Eden are wonderful, happy little girls with wonderful parents. I hope that you guys are able to enjoy the day; our kiddos' birthdays are always going to be bittersweet, but hopefully more sweet than bitter as time goes by.

We are thinking of you today and Hallie sends a big "Ah---gack!" to H and E.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!! Wow, 3 years old already!

And Billie, you have absolutely nothing to forgive yourself of. I know it is so hard not to play the what if game, my girls came early and I play that game in my head all the time. But sometimes our bodies just don't cooperate, babies come early, and there's absolutely nothing we could have done differently to change that. You are obviously a great mom and your children are so beautiful.

SusanR

Keith & Sarah said...

Happy birthday to two beautiful little girls!!!

and ::hugs:::

Anonymous said...

Don't post often but wanted to wish Holland and Eden a happy 3rd birthday. Like everyone else has said there is nothing to forgive - you rock as a mom - they are blessed to have you.
Kelly in Canada

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to two darling little angels, who I love with all my heart. And to their awesome mommy, who those girlies are so lucky to have. They were truely blessed to be born with you and John as parents!! Hope they had a great B-day and can't wait to celebrate with you guys. Luv U All!! Liz

Ginny said...

Forgive yourself? For what, exactly? For being the best mommy you can be? For being their advocate and taking such superb care of them? For loving those adorable girls with everything you are? You have nothing to forgive yourself for. They're incredibly lucky to have you...and John, too!

Happy Birthday, Holland and Eden! I hope you had a very special day!!

Christina said...

Billie, You are a wonderful Mom. You probably couldn't have caused the girl's early birth if you'd tried. It just happened. That being said, don't feel like there's anything wrong with you for feeling grief and expressing it any way you need to. I feel the same way about my son, and I imagine many many preemie moms do. I am so sad for you, and feel that your pain is all the more apparent in todays post because it is so brief. But just LOOK HOW HAPPY YOUR GIRLS ARE!! God bless you!!!

Belle said...

Happy Birthday Holland & Eden!
Billie, there is no need to forgive yourself! You are the best mommy ever!!! I can't believe the girls are 3 yrs old already!

Love,
Sherry

Lonnie said...

I always tell my wife that Daniel could not have been born to a more perfect mother. Your girls have also had the same fortune.

Happy Birthday, Girls!

Anonymous said...

I just saw that the verses I used above did not have the reference. They are from Psalm 71(NKJV). Hope you have enjoyed a wonderful day of celebration!

Keri said...

Happy Birthday to Holland and Eden! It's so cool that your girls share a birthday with my son who is now 2 years old! Hope the day was loads of fun and love! =D

kellarsmommy said...

I am not sure what you meant about forgiving yourself? For what? Billie look at your children, they are beautiful,happy and blessed in so many ways that most of us will never know, when Eden was able to crawl up the steps, it meant so much to her, to accomplish something that we do daily and honestly take for granted, your little ones will appreciate so much more out of life because they are proving that they CAN when statistics said they couldn't...
Happy Birthday H & E...

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Holland & Eden!!

Joey

Shannon said...

Happy birthday Holland and Eden!!!

And Billie, I have to agree with everyone else. You have nothing to forgive yourself for. You are beautiful, your girls are beautiful and you are an inspiration to many of us!!!!!!!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!!!!!! It has been an amazing three years. To see all that you girls have been through and everything that you accomplished, well, it inspires me. I can only hope that my life will one day be as rewarding as your first three years. Holland and Eden, you amaze me and give me a sense of hope. Thank you.

Billie, there is no need to forgive yourself...you did nothing wrong. Your girls are beautiful and PERFECT. I can see the love you have for your daughters in every picture and every post on this blog. Keep up the good work and I'm sure that this year will bring many joyous moments.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRLS!!!!

Billie, you hope you can forgive yourself? What did you do? Burn the girls Birthday cake ;)

You're an inspiration to all moms.

-Vickie

Renee said...

Also delurking to wish Holland and Eden a very happy birthday, and that all four of you will share all the days to come without guilt. There is so much love in your posts, and you seem to do such a great job with your lovely little girls!

All of you are truly lucky to have each other....and we are blessed to get a peek at your wonderful family.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday E & H ! ! !

Billie, I can not know what it is like to walk in your shoes. I do empathize with what you said about wondering if you will ever be able to forgive yourself.

I hope you will give yourself that gift of forgiveness - whatever it means to you.

Marion said...

I'm 41. My son Adrian is 15 and my daughter Barbara 6. He was born in week 35 and she was born in week 31. Both of them are healthy and strong. My first daugher should be 17 uin November this year. She was born in week 24 and lived only for 6 hours. After Barbara I miscarried 3 babies... I always felt guilty but I don't anymore. I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't want it to happen. I always want the best for them. I think you are a very patient, wonderful and loving mother. You don't have to forgive you for anything.

Miracles said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL GIRLS!!!

Pam said...

I never quite new the true depth of the meaning of "bittersweet" before... It is so utterly difficult to celebrate an anniversary such as their birth with so much baggage that has come with that event. And furthermore, the children will not understand for many years to come - why their mommies and daddies may not be anything but thrilled.

Happy Birthday, Holland and Eden.
And to you, Billie and John, may you continue to find the strength and support to parent these 2 wonderful little girls and hold on to all of the positive memories!

Anonymous said...

what a powerful, sad statement...it makes preemie moms like myself cringe.

Anonymous said...

I'm the mom of a preemie and I know all too well about the guilt we feel when our bodies fail us. Knowing that my body is responsible for all that my son has been through is hard...but I have him with me. I can hold him, hear his giggles and smell his hair at night while I'm rocking him to sleep. I count my blessings everyday.
Still, I don't know if I can ever forgive myself either.
Happy Birthday to your beautiful girls.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!!!!!

Billie, I love you. Please feel joy on this day not guilt. You're an incredible mother. The girls are blessed with life and two great parents. Thats what you are responsible for.

Hope to have news for you soon!!

Sara S-M

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Eden and Holland. Big hugs to both of you, and to your Mommy and Daddy. I wish you all much joy.

Monique in TX

Tertia said...

Don't you dare my friend, don't you dare. Because if you need forgiveness, then so do I. For much worse. No, it had nothing to do with us. I am not sure who is to blame, but it isn't you and it isn't me. It is the shitty, unfair, horrible hand we were dealt, and I am not sure I will ever understand why. All I know is it wasn't you and it wasn't me.

Happy birthday girls and a huge big WELL DONE to their mommy for making it through these three years with her sanity and dignity in tact. You deserve a bloody medal my friend, you really do. Every single step forward they have taken, every single ounce they have gained, that is all because of YOUR perseverance, your determination and your hard work.

I am immensely proud of you.

With all my love and admiration
Tertia xxxx

liz.mccarthy said...

Billie, I’m so sorry you are feeling down. Your post was so sad on your blog. You are an amazing, amazing mother (I know that doesn't help your feeling bad and down slumps)...so feel free to have a good cry, you deserve all the love and compassion - Tell John and your mom to each give you a big hug from me, ok?

I'm sorry my birthday wishes are late....I thought of you all day yesterday. And all my best to your most adorable sweetest, amazing girls and their even more amazing mother who would do anything to change the circumstances of their birth...but at the same time knows that all of your lives have been touched and chosen because you are you.

All my love to you all!

Liz
(mom to Kaitlyn and her angel twin Corinne)
www.aLizard.com

Emily said...

Billie you are an amazing woman, mom and wife. What happened was beyond your control yet you stepped up to the challenge and have fought for your girls from day one. You have been a shining example to me of how to advocate for my children. You've touched more people then you will ever know.

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden!

Jennifer said...

"You deserve a bloody medal my friend, you really do. Every single step forward they have taken, every single ounce they have gained, that is all because of YOUR perseverance, your determination and your hard work."


I couldn't agree with Tertia's quote any more!

Happy Birthday sweet girls.
Well done Mom and Dad

Lisa said...

First time commenter here...

I can never know what you went through, but from everything I read here, you seem to be an awesome mom. Your girls appear to be thriving as a result of your love and guidance! No need for forgiveness. :)

Happy Birthday, Sweet girls!!

p.s. I know that you were looking for metal slides because of Eden's implant. This would be a bit of a trip for you, but there are some in the tot lot at Metro Beach on Lake St. Clair. 3 short slides, if I remember correctly. Plus there is the beach for sand play, and they have a fantastic "squirt zone" area where the girls can have a blast getting wet! A friend and I spent the day there not too long ago, and our boys had a ball. :)

Kim said...

I can't say anything that someone else hasn't already said more eloquently than I ever could (especially Tertia!), but I understand why this day can be bittersweet. Allow yourself the time to be upset that circumstances worked out the way that they did, but then look into those two beautiful three year old faces and know that you absolutely did everything you could have done for them. That it is because of you that they are alive at all. That it is because of your perseverance and dedication that they are as healthy and happy as they are today. You are amazing, Billie. I understand the guilt, but it is not your fault. I hope you can acknowledge it, then let it go and eat some cake.

Happy birthday, beautiful girls.

Korrina said...

Billie,
You do not need forgivness, only praise. Your girls are two beautiful examples of your greatness as a mother. However, with micropremie twins myself, I know exactly how you feel. I too blame myself whenever I hurt for them. Stay strong you are a great mom, the smiles tell it all.

Happy Birthday girls, you just keep beating those odds.

Minnesota Momma said...

I echo all the sentiments already said so eloquently and to share in the joy of your daughter's lives.

A very Happy Birthday to two beautiful girls!

Anonymous said...

Guilt only decreases your amazing ability to advocate for and LOVE your beautiful girls. Don't go there!

Happy Birthday Holland and Eden! I love being able to follow your wonderful adventures in life. Thank your Mom for including us all on the amazing journey you're on.

To many, many more wonderful years!

Kellie said...

No reason to need forgiven, just thanked for being a wonderful, fabulous, loving mother to two amazing and beautiful daughters. Happy Birthday to Holland and Eden! (sorry for the delay...just home from vacation)

Laura said...

Happy birthday Holland and Eden. I have watched all the videos on youtube of you playing with the girls. You take the time to play with them and make your house such a fun place to be. You're a wonderful Mom and you have two beautiful, happy, little girls.

Tanya said...

I have a faint understanding of how you feel. I lost a baby five years ago and still feel guilty every day for it. Even though I know it's irrational and there is nothing I could have done, I can't shake the feeling that I could have done more.

You're girls are happy and you are a beautiful family. Here's wishing you many years of love and laughter.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY HAPPY 3rd Birthday to Holland and Eden. For over a year now, I have enjoyed reading about your sweet girls and especially your thoughts as their mom. I think you have a GIFT for writing and should author a book with all of your postings. I am the mom of a micropreemie. I feel like I understand the mix of feelings you are describing. Our child is 5 and a half (and has profound disabilities). On the 5th birthday we had a HUGE party and raised over 3,000 dollars for our local NICU. We invited family, friends, hospital staff and therapists to our celebration. For me personally, this brought closure to our child's early beginning. I had struggled with letting certain nurses play havoc with my self-esteem as a new mom. Don't misunderstand me, we had some WONDERFUL nurses (who saved our daughter's life) but we also were exposed to over 100 different nurses and some of them were just hard to not take personally. The NICU period in our lives was SO HARD. So, in some small way, giving back to NICU has helped me move forward as our child is getting ready for school. Also, I heard somewhere that guilt involves "intent" and your intent was pure. Your girls are LOVED, ADORED AND CARED FOR. Many many children in this world do not have that going for them and are truly disabled in their well-being. I am not trying to negate the struggles our children have. Keep blowing bubbles and letting them have tea parties and take them to more Sesame street shows - they are lovely girls and I know you are the STRENGTH to all of their accomplishments. Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate! Sorry, this post was so long. THANK YOU, for sharing your girls and your thoughts with us.

Anonymous said...

Feel your feelings Billie and honour them, whatever they may be. Your feelings are neither good nor bad, they just are. Happy Birthday to your two beautiful girls.

Amy said...

Happy Birthday beautiful girls! I can't believe they are 3--I started reading just after B&B were born 2 years ago, so I feel I've watched them grow up.

I wish I could reach out and give you a hug. I hurt for you. You know I've said time and again that I am in awe of you and feel you are a role model for other mothers out there in similar circumstances. Tertia said it best (doesn't she always?) Still, it doesn't matter if *logically* you know you have no blame for how things turned out, your heart still feels that emotion. You just can't help it.

Your girls are awesome, and certainly that is due in large part to their wonderful parents. We all love you...

Anonymous said...

No forgiveness needed - you have always done the very best you can. NOONE can ask for more than that.

Happy birthday to your girls

Em

Kendra Lynn said...

Happy belated birthday, sweet girls!
You are beautiful, lovely little ladies. You are blessed to have a beautiful Mommy and a wonderful Daddy who love you more than you could ever know.
Big hugs for Holland and Eden from Kendra.

Tara said...

I have stumbled upon your page while looking for a connection with parents with other micro preemie parents and I have to say with all honesty that you do AMAZING things for those girls. They're such cool kids! You should be so proud of yourself! Just think about the difference between last B-Day and this one! Happy Birthday girls!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I've been reading your blog with a lot of interest over the last few weeks as my 11mth old daughter has been diagnosed with dystonic cerebral palsy. I think you have a lot of courage and you are an inspiration to me to hang on in there and I can only hope I can manage half as well as you do. They are beautiful girls and it has been fascinating to see how they have grown and developed into little people over the last 3 years.

Claire from London.

Stacy said...

Happy Thirdy Birthday, Eden & Holland!

Billie - I don't think there is a preemie mom out there that hasn't been in your shoes. You are a wonderful mom - the girls are so lucky to have you - and by golly, aren't they just so darn cute?!?

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often,and just want to let you know I aspire to be as good a mom as you are to your girls. I also had preemie twins, not as early as you and not as many complications, but I can relate to what you went thru and continue to go through.. I wish you and your family much happiness.. You have helped many many parents and their kids with your courage and devotion.. Happy Birthday to two special little girls!!

Jamie and Jill said...

Happy Birthday H & E! May this year be filled with nothing but happiness!

Billie, you are an inspiration to so many people. Your determination keeps me going!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday kiddos!
I think it's hard for people who don't have special needs children to understand...I have the most irrational guilt thoughts, and I KNOW they are irrational, they just FEEL totally rational.
Bittersweet, I know.

Ivanna said...

Happy Birthday, Holland and Eden!

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday girls!

Anonymous said...

Oh, God, I know what you mean. It may not be rational, but it's there in me too, deep inside and buried, rarely let out.
Blessings,
Janet

Anonymous said...

I understand your guilt, I really do. I delivered twin girls at 27 weeks, and one of my daughters died because of cystic kidney disease. My other daughter lived for four months in the NICU, went home on oxygen, and other than being very small for her age, is doing well.

Every day, I fight off the guilt for what suffering my children have experienced, even though I know it was completely out of my control. Every day that my daughter lags behind, every day that my other daughter is simply not here, I blame myself.

I don't know if there is any way of getting past it, but like everyone here has said, you've done a wonderful job with your children! When I am feeling like you feel now, I remind myself that we mothers do the very best we can with what circumstances we are given. Our beautiful children know that we are not to blame. Maybe someday we will find the grace to agree with them :)

Much love and peace to you...and Happy Birthday to your girls!

N

Anonymous said...

Dear Billie,
Thank you so much for sharing the story of Eden and Holland. You inspire me every day to be a better Mom to my children. Just knowing that there are people like you in the world makes me feel joy. When you live intensely, you feel intensely. Guilt, depression, sadness -- I'm sure because you are so sensitive, you feel these more intensely than other people. Your personality and circumstances force you to reflect more on things than other people... but Billie, you are one of the most alive and aware persons I have ever encountered. You are living life, not sleepwalking through like the majority.
There is a song they play a lot on the radio here (Germany) "These Small Hours" by Rod Thomas. When I hear him sing, "Let it go...let your clarity define you." I think of you and your family and send up a prayer for your happiness.
Wishing you all the best and happy birthday to you as a mother and to your little girls!

Patyrish said...

OOo this one got me right in the gut. I totally understand your "how can I ever forgive myself" statement. My daughter's genetic condition is something I am a carrier for and I struggle with this DAILY to let it go.

Rationally I know that I didnt purposefully give her Emanuel Syndrome, I had no idea I was a carrier or even what it was.

But as you know too well, when you see your child suffer and struggle, you want so badly someone to blame...unfortunately it's easier to turn the finger on ourselves.

I will say to you what everyone says to me
It's not your fault, you love your children and THEY ARE MEANT TO BE HERE, THEY ARE MIRACLES.

Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

You are forgiving yourself everyday with your love and care for your wonderful daughters.