Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Our Little Valentines

I just love these pics of the girls! They look so cute in the dresses Aunt Kimi bought them.

I called the Michigan Ear Institute today and scheduled an appointment for Eden with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. The place was highly recommended and they say that they often work with babies. I like the idea of going to a place that specializes in ears & hearing. Our appointment is on March 2nd and I will keep everyone posted on how it goes.

Holland's biggest issue right now continues to be her eczema. She has good days, where it appears to have cleared up pretty good, then bad days when it looks just terrible. One thing that we have discovered is that she is allergic to peanuts, and has a reaction whenever I eat them. This is more than just eczema, it's a red splotchy rash that quickly spreads over her whole face and itches really badly. John is allergic to peanuts too and has a similar reaction over his whole body when her eats large amounts of peanuts. The good news is that as soon as we stop feeding her it starts to clear up! So, as much as I LOVE peanut butter, it is no longer part of my diet.

The babies are still getting 100% breastmilk, although it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do! They each breastfeed about twice a day, and I pump three times a day. It's extremely painful, time consuming, and I absolutely hate it. I've been at it over 6 months, and hope to continue through one year because I know it is the best thing for them. They had such a rough start, I feel like it is one thing I can do to try and make it up to them.

I'm still having trouble dealing with my own feelings regarding the whole hearing loss issue. Mostly I feel really guilty, like everything is my fault, and that my kids will continue to suffer because of me. I'm also very scared. Afraid that I don't know how to be a good parent to a baby who is less than perfect. I also feel guilty and afraid because I brought them into the world, and they may not be happy in their lives. I know logically that these feelings are normal, and to some extent every parent faces them. We've just had it worse than usual... My friend Jessie pointed out something that helped me feel a little better. She said to think of all the kids out there who are perfectly normal, but whose parents do not love them and care for them the way we care for our babies. I hope I can love them enough, and that they will always know how much I love them. I will do anything, whatever it takes, to make them feel loved.


Anonymous said...

oh billie, i wish you knew just how lucky those girls are to have you and john both. it breaks my heart that you have those feelings. what jessie said is true -- i have kids who were born perfectly healthy, but have been neglected most of their lives. those children i feel terrible for. not holland and eden. i know that they will live happy lives, loved by parents who will give them every opportunity possible.

i love you (and these new pictures!) very much. give the girls (and yourself) a little hug from me.

Kendra Lynn said...

Dear Billie:
Lisa and Jessie are right...your babies will be loved...and that is what every child needs the most.
It doesn't matter if they are less than perfect. (besides, there is NO such thing as perfect!)
Remember when Merry had to wear that little helmet because of her head deformity? I felt the same way you do now...I kept asking myself..."Was there something I could have done to prevent this? Will my baby suffer because of this problem? How will it affect her in the future?" You know what? Merry is fine...she's a little less than perfect, but she's EXACTLY as God intended her to be. He have her to ME...so I could love her as much as a mom can possibly love their baby.
God gave Holly and Eden to YOU, so YOU can love them, no matter WHAT the future holds for them. You and John are only responsible for loving them and taking care of them to the best of your ability.
And let me tell you...Holly and Eden already know you love them. They know right from the get-go that they are special, and that their mommy and daddy would do ANYTHING in the world for them.
I love you, and I'm proud of you...you are a GREAT mommy.


p.s. I understand your pain with the breast pump...I had to do that with Merry...keep it up! I wish I had!

Anonymous said...

Dear Billie and John, You have been blessed in just having your babies with you and they have been blessed by being given two loving, caring, sincere and dedicated parents. Remember the old phrase "You are only given in life what you can handle" even though at times we may all wonder how much that really is, its the strength that you find deep within yourself to manage and do the BEST that you can do. And you have both proven that already together! My love is with you, John and the girls daily. They sure are pretty little things and I can't wait to see them next month. They are happy and will continue to be happy, strong and most of all LOVED. Keep your spirits up and remember these trying times will also pass and on to the next. You have such a large and wide support system that you cannot possible go wrong! Love You All Candy

Anonymous said...

Oh Billie, you're making me cry too early today. If they could manufacture a good mother in a bottle and sell her....you'd be a top seller. You are absolutely a wonderful mother and you need to stop being so hard on yourself (although I know it is a very normal thing to do). You're girls already love you and know that you do anything for them. You can see it in their faces. You and John have already made great sacrifices for them. As a mom, we always wish the worst would happen to us and not our babies. You'd do anything to fix it. You're girls will grow up knowing that they were lucky to have had such wonderful, caring, devoted parents. In this day and age, that is more than many children can say...I see it daily. You LOVE them and you'll be there to help them through any struggles they have. Hang in there, I think you're doing great. You are a devoted mommy for keeping up with breast feeding despite your own feelings and pain.

I love you much and can't wait to meet these fantastic girls, Kris

Anonymous said...

billie and john, I love you and miss you and waiting to love the girls.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate to know your feeling down. Those girls are two of the luckiest girls in the world to have parents like you and John. I'm sure I can't understand what your going through but you have done the best for your babies and I am 100% positive they will be two of the happiest little toddlers I have ever met. Happines doesn't come from physical things it comes from feeling loved and wanted (can you think of any babies who are more wanted or loved by you two and everyone else!) I hope you know how much we all love you and how extremely PROUD we are of you both! Lots of love Liz

Anonymous said...

Billie (& John),

I do not post on your site much, but I do check it nearly everyday. I am so excited to see each updated post along with all the darling pictures. Even though I have my own precious little one to bring me joy, I have to say that I look forward to the smiles your girls give to me. When I read your recent post, I felt that I had to make a comment. There are two things that I am most sure of when I follow your story; one is that your girls are VERY HAPPY, and the second is that you and John are WONDERFUL PARENTS. However, I am sure that what you are experiencing is normal. When you are feeling down, please keep in mind that there are many people that admire you. You only have to look at the pictures to know that you are doing a truely amazing job. There are many children that wish they had a mother like you. Keep up the good work!

Jen Waddell

Anonymous said...

My babies are now 22, as of yesterday, WHOOP!, and 16. 22 is off at ca sebnior at Texas A&M, but it's a rare day that we don't speak and we always, always,ALWAYS, tell each other "I LOVE YOU!" 16 is at home and she gets smothered too! Enjoy your future... it only gets better! You will see your love reflected in your children as they mature and mold their personalities.

Lauren said...

Dear Billie:

My name is Lauren, I'm friends with Kendra who told me about Holland and Eden this past summer and asked for prayers. I had our first baby in November and I can tell you, without a doubt, you and John are the most dedicated, loving parents I have ever seen!I really really respect you. The months you have spent caring so well for your babies, it is above and beyond. You need to be so proud of how much you have accomplished, how far you have brought the girls. They are wonderful, you have done such a great job. I know how difficult and emotional and overwhelming it can be to deal with just one healthy baby. You and John though, you two have gone through so much with beautiful Holland and Eden and STILL you have done better than any parents out there! You guys have such strength and love. My heart goes out to you, please try to know so many people are impressed with what you have accomplished when you are feeling down. I'm sure it must be very hard at times, but know you are doing a great job. Gosh, on top of everything, you are caring for twins! Now that is a great accomplishment in it's self!! Also the breastfeeding, that's super difficult and PAINFUL too. I know. What a wonderful Mom you are to stick it out. That's love! Someday, Holland and Eden will see this website and will really know how truely loved they are by you, your husband and everyone else. Keep up the wonderful job you are doing!!!

Anonymous said...

Not a day goes by that my thoughts don't drift to you, John and the girls, and if I know one thing as a mother and grandmother, Holland and Eden have been given the foundation of love and commitment that will be their base for becoming strong, well-rounded children no matter what the future holds for them. The feelings that you are having are normal as a new mother and for what you and John have been through just these last 6 months is more than some parents will ever go through in a lifetime.Please give yourself a break and try not to worry so much. It's so evident in all the pictures that the girls are happy,loved, and they are certainly becoming little beauties, so please try and brush off the guilt feelings.If you ever need to vent,I am always here to listen, and I think it's never too early to plan a big grandma babysitting party for the grandmas and all their babies! Since my Nick isn't a baby anymore can I borrow one of the girls from your mom? (hee-hee) I love you all, smooches and big fat hugs. Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...

The greatest gift a child can receive is love. Each of us has fears that we haven't done enough or we didn't do something right when it comes to our children. What you are feeling is normal. Remember we had a Miss America with a hearing impairment. I grew up partially blind in my right eye and cross-eyed. When you help a child realize that what they are is more important than what their appearance or handicap is then you help that child become successful. You will have daughters who deal with what life has dealt them and they will be successful and happy. What more can you ask! They are loved and so are you. May God grant you peace with what you are feeling. Connie Wilhoite

Anonymous said...

After reading your posting I needed to write back to you. I work at Children Services in Ohio and I have been doing this work for over 5 years and I see SOOOOOOOO many parents that do not want their children and do not care if they live or die and I have to take those children from them all of the time. I see the other side of life that many just do not see or it is too painful to hear about. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful you are to your children. You are exceptional parents and all of the feelings that you have are so very normal. I do not have kids yet, but what I do for a living makes me better understand how hard it is to be a parent even when you have the best of resources and support from family and friends. It does not matter what type of physical ailments a child has, but it is the emotional ailments that last a lifetime. I have witnessed this with the kids that I work with everyday. They are so desperate to have parents like you and only wish to be loved half as much as you both love your beautiful children. Because I see so much and mostly do not talk about to most because of the nature of my work, I want to let you know that all of us here at Children Services in Lorain County Ohio admire the work that you do with your children and hope for our children on our caseloads that they are blessed to one day feel the love that your children will feel throughout their lives from you and John.
Please be assured that you are great people and wonderful parents to those happy and cute little girls.
Your chiildhood friend,
Terri Fair (Sculthorpe)