Saturday, January 19, 2019

Our Boys, Zeal and Zac

In the span of all but five minutes to find out YES you are in fact pregnant with your eighth child, oh wait guess what? It’s twins, so 8th and 9th, and wait it’s also the most rare and extremely high risk form of twins there is (1 in 60,000 pregnancies) and they have less than a 50% chance they will survive but you have to go through the pregnancy anyway ready or not this is your new normal. 

It was an extremely challenging 3 months mentally, physically, and all the things. Despite the news we stood in faith, did all we possibly could do, and did our very best to imagine our new life with twins and “find happy”.

Unfortunately, our twins boys, Zeal and Zac, did not make it and I have no words to express the pain both emotionally and physically I am currently feeling or describe all that I had to go through the worst 24 hrs of my entire life. It honestly feels like I will never be okay again. I feel so numb. I feel so angry. I feel so guilty. I feel so sad. Yes, I have 7 living healthy children and I know that is rare and I am extremely grateful but it doesn’t ease the pain of this loss, double loss, at all.

I will never forget the horror in my husbands voice as I told him over the phone, the denial that this could possibly be happening to us. I will never forget the look of immense sadness on my face when I saw him for the first time. I have never seen such torture and pain and I was reminded this wasn't just happening to me-it was happening to us. At that moment I felt such guilt. Justin had been nothing but my rock throughout the whole pregnancy. I was so sick I was hardly able to even function most days, but he was always right there never once complaining. When fear tried to set in, Justin was that calming voice that always brought me back to what we were believing for. He was so excited for these twins, so excited. I felt almost as if it was me who had let him down. And my kids, they had endured months of me being sick, laying in bed constantly, missing performances, practices, being champions picking up the slack and helping one another. They are the most amazing children on this planet. I felt such guilt for them. They were so excited. How was I suppose to even begin to tell them? But before all that, Justin and I were about to experience a challenge that no parent, mother especially, should ever have to experience.

I appreciate one of my dearest friends driving right over to talk with me at the hospital the moment I called her before the really tough stuff began. I could never put into words how grateful I am for my amazing husband who despite his immense pain stood strong for me through the long and traumatic process and helped me make the tough decisions that no parent should ever have to make. I will forever be in debt to my two amazing nurses who went above and beyond the call of duty and even stayed past their shifts to see me though. I’m so thankful to my family for watching my kids for a lot longer than we expected. I am thankful to my children (including Zane who busted his chin open and required stitches while we were away) for being such effective and deeply healing medicine that no dr could ever prescribe-For handling it all with maturity and inspiring strength. And I appreciate the friends who stepped up to get our children to all the things while we grieved, who sent messages, sent over meals, flowers,  and so much more to help ease our load and continue to do so as the days slowly go on.

I keep telling myself I’ll be okay and people keep calling me “strong” and a “warrior” even though I feel 100% the opposite. I actually feel like a failure. Yes, I know that’s not true. People could tell me that a million times,but it’s hard to hear and to believe when I feel so helpless. I don’t want this to be the “note” adding to our family ends on. It’s hard to even pray right now to be honest, but I know it wasn’t God and I know he doesn’t cease to be good. I have a lot of questions that won’t be answered for a long time from now, but I have no choice but to wait and seek that peace. A situation that was so evil, some good will be found somewhere. My family will rise from the ashes. I'm believing from this situation that tears up some marriages, it will only bring my husband and I closer and make us stronger. We will fight that much harder to raise up this next generation that passionately seeks God and impacts beyond their years. My children will be testimonies that in situations where we could choose to be biter, they will overcome and be better! Their faith will be so strong, mountains will be moved. We will never forget these boys, but I will not allow myself to live a life of fear or let this consume me forever, but dang.... I will strive every day to make those boys proud of me. I will cling to the hope that my husband and I will meet them someday and they will know us and know how deeply they were loved and wanted by all of us.

What do I need right, people keep asking. I guess the only answer is time and “space”. Like I’m not ready to talk about it, I hope people can respect that. I dread someone not knowing the situation and asking how the pregnancy is going? Having to explain everything, ugh. Seeing newborn babies is going to make me extremely sad for awhile, because I know I was robbed of holding my own two. I can’t help but wish I hadn’t gotten so far on a level, everyone starting to get so excited, the pregnancy being announced to the world-that was such a step of faith for me that people may never understand, putting it all out there despite odds and statistics....

I find a small comfort in knowing I’m not alone-That other women have been through similar situations and have been able to eventually carry on after such overwhelming heartache, but today from where I sit right now I just can’t fathom it yet. My arms ache for them in a way I can’t even put into words.

I keep telling myself, give yourself time. Will it ever get easier? It has to. All I can do right now is look up and hope. Just so thankful right now for the 7 kids I have here and my husband-the only person who even has an idea what this experience really was like to walk though from start to “finish”-my best friend in the entire world, my everything. I love him more today than ever before and could not take even another breath or walk even one step without his help right now. Our family will come out stronger through this very unfortunate situation. We will rely on God and rest in the fact that He will work this situation out for our good. We were robbed, but we won’t continue to live in that. We can’t let ourselves.

Zeal: Devotion to God
Zac: Remembered by God

Isaiah 40:29-31

All eleven of us

Photos By: Mackenzie Koos

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Super Mom Who!?!

To be 100 percent candid, I kinda "hate" when people refer to me as some sort of "super mom". The truth of the matter is, I am by far my worst critic and definitely would not describe my mothering using those words. When people give me such compliments I honestly want to turn to them and ask "Are you talking to me?'. Yes, I have a lot of kids, but does that really qualify me as "super"? I don't know. Do I sometimes find myself in situations with 7 kids that not everyone would attempt? I guess. But to me this is my normal.

I am just like most mommas trying their absolute best to raise great humans but to be honest often times I do find myself sitting there at the end of the day feeling like I have absolutely bombed it! I definitely know my husband wouldn't refer to me as a "super mom". He knows the loads of laundry will probably never be all caught up ever again, the house is rarely spotless, and I often look like a hot mess after the 2.5 seconds I have left to get ready after I have dressed and prepared all the things for my tribe. My kids know that when mom cooks its probably not going to always be "pinterest perfect" and sometimes I do have to resort to yet another sunflower butter and jelly sandwich because I just don't have the energy by the end of the day to do much more. Maybe throw a carrot or two in there for good measure, lol.

I am just like those other moms who find themselves lying in bed late at night, eyes wide awake, struggling with the fact they definitely have way more to-do boxes left unchecked than checked. I am that mom who over analyzes every conversation and interaction with my kids that day honestly wondering how I could have done this better or communicated differently. I know I am probably not the only mom who at times struggles with keeping their marriage priority at times because seven kiddos have innocently sucked the life out of you by the time the day is done and at times you simply feel like I have nothing left to give. I struggle with the fact that I know some days I could have done so much more and been so much better just like I'm sure a lot of other moms out there feel from time to time.

I look at my kids' faces so often and wonder what on earth God was thinking when he entrusted them to me!? But then I also stop and remember, "God entrusted them to me". There must have been a reason. Even if I definitely do not see whatever it is He saw in me most of the time. Even if many times I feel undeserving or not enough as a mother, I have to stop and realize if I could do it all on my own than I wouldn't need Him and what then???

So, when people call me "super mom" I just try to hook up with their statement of faith over me. When people ask me for parental advice, instead of running to the nearest corner to curl up and hide, I want to believe God will give me just the right words to speak because the truth of the matter is NONE of us have it all together. I just hope my children know that I honesty tried MY very best while doing the best I could to rely on His strength and I hope they grow to learn to do the same when they feel "unworthy" or like they are not enough.

We are all going to have bad days, even horrible days as parents, that's just life. We are not perfect and from time to time we will "lose it", even "super moms"-lol. But its what we choose to do in those moments and after those moments that I believe is the biggest statement of all. It's easy to run away and give up. Not going to lie and say I have never thought "someone else could do this waaay better than me", but you know what...God choose me specifically for a reason just like He chose you. We have to rest in that.

Even on my worst day, He still chose me for them and for that I will forever be grateful.

-M&M Momma

These pictures are from the beginning of our trip to South Dakota (Mt. Rushmore). Honestly, even with it being 18 hrs from home it turned out to be the best trip ever!