Monday, January 14, 2013


I played the fool today
I just dream of vanishing into the crowd
Longing for home again
Home, is a feeling I buried in you

I'm alright, I'm alright
It only hurts when I breathe

And I can't ask for things to be still again
No I can't ask if I could walk through the world in your eyes
Longing for home again
Home, is a feeling I buried in you

I'm alright, I'm alright
It only hurts when I breathe...
--Melissa Etheridge, Breathe

If you haven't figured out from the blog titles or the song lyrics interspersed throughout my writing, music plays a big role in my life.  It is high on my list of coping mechanisms and the soundtrack to my life, contrary to my rocker exterior, is quite varied.  As I've said before, music is magical;  it can make your soul soar to the heavens and then hurl you to the depths of despair.  It can create a mood, it expresses what the tongue or pen often cannot.  If you're like me, you will often find yourself struggling to grasp a thought or feeling when along will come a piece that will make you say "Yes!  Exactly!"

Melissa Etheridge did that for me once.

Two years ago yesterday, as I was wrestling with the news that my unborn son had an AVSD and a very high likelihood of a chromosomal disorder, I listened to a lot of music to try and remain calm.  As hysterical as I wanted to be, I had to remain calm for all three of our sakes. I also had to let a whole bunch of people know that my naive little bubble had popped.  All was not well with my pregnancy, all was not well with the health of my babies.  So much so, that the pain of it all permeated everything.  Every task I completed, every moment, both awake and asleep seemed saturated with this new development.  As I struggled to maintain my composure, to pretend that it was all no big deal, it all had to come out somewhere.  It hurt, seemingly, with every gasp that I took.

So, I published a "note" to Facebook for all my friends and family.  The reach was a bit larger than I was comfortable with, but that was the price I had to pay for not seeking out those closest to me one by one.  Entitled "It Only Hurts When I Breathe", stealing a lyric from Melissa's song that I had been listening to as I wrote, I brought everyone up to speed, fast. Two years later, as I reread those words and summon up those old demons, I'm struck at how far we have come.

Almost two years later, I have three reasonably healthy children (Boogie Wonderland/Expectorate Boogaloo aside).  We are waiting for the pre-op appointment for Wyatt's heart at Sick Kids and there are some appointments in the next month, but other than that, it is business as usual. 

In those long, sleepless nights before and after they were born, one of the things that I worried about (aside from the myriad of other things) was their "twin bond".  As a culture, we like to mysticise this relationship, but the truth is that it exists and no chromosomal differences are going to interfere with it.  My twins, despite their physical differences, still play together.  They roll over each other like puppies and protest when one steals the others toys (it goes both ways, trust me).  Wyatt has learned to hold his own and will shove and pull Zoe down when she annoys him.  Here's a video I shot this morning of them fighting over the dinosaur.  You'll see Wyatt hold his own and voice his protest a couple of times.  You'll also see him tickle her foot and her to talk directly to him once or twice.

Wyatt and Zoe Fighting Playing with the Dinosaur

They are also very aware of the other;  when one is upset and needing comfort, the other will most likely seek some too.  Wyatt managed to pull a lamp down on himself the other day;  I had two crying toddlers in my lap for the better part of half an hour afterwards. If Zoe wakes up first in the morning, you can hear her trying to wake her brother up.  Once awake, the two will "talk" back and forth to each other.  This used to be very rudimentary with babbling, but now that things are getting more sophisticated, there are some words thrown in here and there.  I cannot describe how beautiful it really is.  Watching them play together despite their differences is also a thing of beauty... a fleeting thing, but a thing nevertheless.

Playing together
Playing nicely together.  A moment later, chaos resumed
Overnight, Zoe has gone from "baby" to "little girl".  A goofy little girl that is smart as a whip and makes me want to squish the stuffing out of her even when she is driving me insane.  She toddler giggle-word salads her way through the day with the occasional crisp sentence where you least expect it.

Zoe Boo
Where have I seen this kid before?
Boo from Monsters Inc.
Oh.  Right.

Wyatt is still developing strong.  He practices his kneeling whenever he can.  We are also working on his standing, but it isn't independent enough for me to get a shot of it yet.  He's popping out molars at an alarming rate and not surprisingly, is more exploratory with food.  He's also shoving it in as he has gained a lot of weight since his last check up.  Zoe has traditionally weighed at least a pound or more than him, once she caught up to him at the three month point.  As of this afternoon, he weighs 5 more ounces than her.

Born:  4lbs 1 oz, now 25lbs 7 oz
Wyatt.  Being Awesome.
Born 4lbs, 13 oz, now 25lbs 12 oz.  Boom!

Somewhere, along the way, things stopped hurting so much.  When you look at my babies now, it's really not that much of a stretch.  Most of it seems silly in a way.  I know that meeting him in person blew a lot of doubt and insecurity away, but the learning and experience I have gained since then are the reason that Wyatt's differences stopped being such a big deal.  The people I have met, both virtually and in real life, have helped me along.  Soon we will learn the details surrounding Wyatt's surgery and after that is over, I will finally exhale, deeply and with conviction.

Today, we are more than "all right".   That pain is gone... and in it's place is a bustling, busy little family that I am blessed to be a part of.  New pains will come.  There is a big one in the wind.  Until then however...



  1. I am so happy that you and your family are in my life.
    Yup. That's it today.

  2. We've been through this surgery (12/05/2012) i'd be happy to field any questions you might have?

    1. Thanks for the offer Brad. I'll keep that in mind. :)


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