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Five (long) Years

Shepard and Deacon would be five today. I do my best to not think of the “would bes” and the “could bes” mostly because I feel in my heart that this is the way it “should be.” However, now and then it’s humanly impossible not to try to imagine their handsome happy smiling faces mixed in with the rest of our five happy smiling faces. One long-awaited day that will happen!

I’ve wanted to share these pictures from the moment I saw them. They are the most beautiful, prized earthly possessions that I own. I have them blown up and framed in our upstairs hallway so our whole family sees them daily. They each show us holding our boys for the first and only time. Older brother Shepard first at 6 days old moments before being disconnected from his breathing tube, and younger brother Deacon who passed at 3 days old. Since these photographs are so deeply personal and also hard to look at for most, I’ve waited to make sure sharing them is the best thing for our family and something about now finally feels right. More importantly, I’m so happy to be able to share exactly why I love these pictures so much and love seeing them every day even though they still bring tears to my eyes.

Grief is beautiful and full of love. These pictures and moments in our lives are so intensely beautiful and striking to me and I hope that in addition to unavoidably feeling the anguish we are so clearly immersed in, that they also evoke in you the greatest horizons of love that two parents could ever feel for two children.

The instant love a parent feels for their new little ones is breathtaking. In my humble opinion, you do not become more in love with your children as they grow, you love them immensely and unconditionally from their beginning, and this doesn’t change depending on whether they were able to live out their lives on earth or not. The innate amount of fathomless sorrow we felt at the earthly separation from Shepard and Deacon was also a measure of our love for them. Grief is love! Though these pictures are vastly different from the average pictures parents share of holding their babies for the first time, the boundless love shown in my opinion is even greater than a smile could possibly ever emote.

I feel thankful to finally be able to do more than just talk about how much we love our boys, but to be able to show it. I feel thankful to share a breathtakingly-beautiful silver lining of grief. There’s so much more than just heartache there. I’m forever grateful to my sister Leah who was able to take these priceless pictures for us through her own loving tears. I’m forever thankful for all seven of my children who I love equally and immeasurably. Happy birthday my sweet boys. Mama loves you and your family is excited to celebrate you today.




Four Years

Shepard and Deacon wanted to share their birthday gift one month early this year so you could have a fun printable for Christmas if you wanted! I bought some cute digital stuff from Etsy to make my Christmas Card, so I used them to make myself a cute Holla Days print, and then decided it would make the perfect gift, so I bought the commercial licenses so everyone could enjoy a little holla’ in their days this season. :)




Click here to download Holla Days in four different sizes. The biggest size is a little funny looking, but it’s the size I used, printed at Costco, with the matte placed on top of the print (frame from Ikea), if that makes sense! And here’s a look at how it looks in our home…with a cute matching gremlin even. Though that gremlin is currently having a meltdown. I hate/love how when a babe is sick you get to really baby them, and then when they get better, you have to detox them from being babied! Ha ha.


And here’s how this year’s card turned out…there’s getting to be a LOT of names to try and fit on there ha ha!

img_7906blogbloghorizontalmilanblogDon’t ask me why it’s uploading a bit blurry…guess I don’t blog enough to know these things anymore! And the part of the twins’ gift to the family came a little early this year so we could hold them for our photos…beautiful embroidered S&D hooks for our back entryway from Anthro. :) I always tuck their present to the family addressed from them under their white tree, and it’s pretty sweet how I didn’t even realize it, but the kids actually think they’re from the twins. Of course they do, but I just didn’t really think about it closely! “I wonder how Shepard and Deacon get their presents to us from heaven.” Just the sweetest boys ever I think I have! In heaven and on earth.


A little peek at the trim we finally got finished a few months back! Love this corner of our home. And everyone is super happy that I stilllll love this wallpaper too ha ha. img_7904blog

Missing my twin boys just as much as ever these days. I love how much a part they play in our holidays with the Christmas card, their tree, and their gift from them, shortly followed by their birthday celebration in January. To feel their presence is a gift that has to be worked for I’ve come to find, but then again, the very best things on this earth come with work, so that makes sense. Merry Christmas everyone! Love Shepard, Deacon and their family. :)

6 C-Sections

The night before I checked into Foothills, I realized I hadn’t even worn my new mat swimsuit once or been to the river with my boys. Even though it was 7:30 at night, it was gorgeous out, so to my river we went! It was just what I needed. Derick took some pictures for me in all my 8 month-prego glory. Ha ha. Lots of lumps and bumps and I unfortunately re-gained the full 50 pounds I had lost, but I sorta’ just don’t care because dang I was just so happy to BE PREGNANT. Here’s why. :)

If I’m being honest, I’d admit that my high-risk Foothills ob-gyn Dr. Suri who delivered Watson and who I love, love wanted me to tie my tubes afterwards, and told me in no uncertain terms it was her advice that I absolutely do not have another baby. I had placenta previa with Watson, where the placenta is literally sitting on your cervix, (not comfy!) and provides the risk of causing unstoppable bleeds basically anywhere from 28 weeks on. These bleeds could resulting in pre-term birth, an emergency hysterectomy, or worst case, the mama bleeds out. At 30 weeks in the middle of the night, I woke up to a very scary, slow faucet-like continuous bleed. After a long, unforgettable night, it miraculously stopped to all of the doctors’ surprise, and I remained in and near the Foothills Hospital for 7 more weeks in case of another bleed and need for premature delivery of baby in order to stop it. Foothills Hospital is where all the NICU rockstar specialists and high-risk ob-gyns deliver, so it had to be only that hospital.


But unfortunately, this wasn’t all! We also knew there was a high risk of placenta accreta that had taken place inside my uterus, which did prove to be the case. It’s where the placenta embeds itself into the inside of your uterus, and it needs to literally be cut away (it usually just tugs free via the umbilical cord). The delivery took a couple of hours, and my doctor did cut it away, and then feverishly sewed up the inside of half of my uterus in hopes the bleeding would stop, negating the need for an emergency hysterectomy and blood transfusions. She inserted a balloon that they then inflated to keep pressure against the inside of my uterus, in hopes that I wouldn’t hemorrhage afterwards and they wouldn’t need to go back in to stop the bleeding. It worked! I “just barely” didn’t need the blood transfusions that were on standby for me, I was weak and greenish in color, but Watson, mama, and my uterus were all safe! I was SO THANKFUL to keep my uterus! splash

After realizing my still-broken heart just couldn’t be satisfied with a hard NO regarding a future baby, Dr. Suri kindly told me to come back in two years. She knew all about my history with the twins of course, and her colleague had even delivered them. For those two years, we pretended Watson was our last baby, in case he was. I even came to complete peace with that fact that if he needed to be, that was okay. For months and months I couldn’t even look at Watson without thinking, “You didn’t die! And neither did I! We got to bring you home, and I got to come home with you!” I felt so fearful going into my delivery with him, just praying we would both make it. I’ve never really let on exactly how “high-risk” everything was with Watson, because let’s be serious, I was contemplating doing it AGAIN. And I just didn’t need people looking at me with crazy eyes, ya’ know? Wally

After endless research, a long talk with Dr. Suri’s awesome colleague Dr. Albrecht two years later (Dr. Suri ended up being a patient herself in the ER the day my long-awaited appointment happened), soooooo much talking between Derick and I, prayer, temple attendance, faith, and I’d like to think some good old-fashioned mama intuition, we for some (insane? crazy? wonderful?) reason felt good about getting pregnant again. It’s tricky balancing medical fact with spiritual knowledge and faith! The facts were I should expect to nearly 100% have placenta previa again, and this time they wouldn’t wait for a bleed. I would move to Calgary as soon as 20 weeks for the rest of the pregnancy. Just as much for my safety as the baby’s. Dr. Albrecht told me I was a 7 out of 10 crazy for getting pregnant again, (I made her pick a number ha!), but that most every outcome albeit scary was manageable basically if I was all ready a patient at Foothills, such as a preterm baby and emergency hysterectomy. I’ll always be appreciative to her for giving us the tiniest window of hope.

Placenta accreta was not only most certain, but placenta per creta as well was extremely plausible, where the placenta travels right through the uterine wall, attaching itself to other organs. This would cause me to lose a part of my bladder and intestines, and of course my uterus as well. And I mean, worst WORST case scenario is I would bleed out and die. It may sound crazy, but deep down I felt bleeding out just wouldn’t happen, especially if I was renting a place blocks from Foothills, which was hopefully our plan. Also, Derick’s bladder is a hundred times smaller than mine! Lol. I felt a small part of my bladder, intestines and my uterus were all great trades for another healthy baby! Yes, I know how insane that sounds…but also kinda’ logical to the mamas at least hopefully? Yikes. BakerSmile

Imagine our relief when we found out I didn’t have placenta previa! Even though we chose to have another baby and did feel good about it, we still didn’t KNOW anything for sure as far as how it would turn out of course, and felt very apprehensive about it still! It was better than any Christmas morning ever finding out things were normal! What a miracle. After wondering for two years if Watson was our last baby, being pregnant at all let alone getting to have a normal healthy pregnancy felt totally unreal. I got to stay home and be with my family for literally months longer than I’d expected! Every day waking up pregnant in my own bed felt like a little gift. :) Of course, at 33 weeks, it was discovered on my ultrasound that my uterus was so thin at the site of my incisions, that it wasn’t even registering at all on the ultrasound. Apparently it’s very rare (of course, always my luck) to literally see nothing there at all. Still, the ultrasound tech didn’t think my doctor would change the plan much other than maybe deliver at 36 weeks instead of 37. After a quick stop at the mall, I met with my doctor, and she reluctantly told me I’d need to be hospitalized for the rest of the pregnancy, knowing it would be disappointing for me. I shouldn’t have been shocked. Hello, you’ve had five c-sections Pam! But I definitely was. Not once had any doctor told me my uterus was thin at delivery, (and I always made sure to ask!). I just wasn’t prepared to have to stay in the hospital at all after feeling like we’d all ready dodged the big scary previa bullet. Lean

But there I sat! And turns out, I was able to get day passes all my last week. We had such a good time with the boys around Calgary, sort of a last all-boy family hoorah. I was delivered Thursday, July 28 at 35 weeks, 1 day. Only a two-week stay total. They were still expecting placenta accreta and were not sure how my extremely thin uterus would sew back up, but we were confident things would go well. And guess what, it did! NO placenta accreta, and my uterus was, “about a millimeter thick of muscle actually, better than we thought it would be.” Boom. I had a few doctors request pictures of how thin the actual uterus was. Yes, I looked at the pictures…I looked like steak. Ha! They sort of regarded me like a funny specimen. Like who actually gets pregnant after a previa and an accreta? Oh, me I guess. “And just to be clear, your doctor DID advise you not to get pregnant again, right?” But, delivery number six went off thankfully without a hitch. Our sweet baby girl Seven Willow did spend about four nights in the nicu, but for nothing serious. She was 6 lbs 10 oz, a fatty for her little age! Everything about Sev from her sex to her existence has felt surreal…and sort of still does four months later. :)

I really only share this all now because I know how lonely it can feel when you’re trying to make a decision, and while I would NEVER advise anyone to go against their doctor’s advice, I just wanted to share our own experience just in case it helped anyone at all I guess? Thanks for reading. I may not have any amazing natural birthing stories, but I definitely still got stories. :)


On a break working late tonight, thought I’d blog even though no one blogs anymore. I’ve prepaid my hosting fees for at least another year I think? So I’m going to blog! Ha ha.


A few pictures from fall last year. Watson playing in this old tree shelter that Derick added a little deck to. Makes the perfect jumping off board for the trampoline. :) Not much cuter than a little toddler who can’t even talk play make believe with toys!IMG_3006

Well this might be cuter. Lol. Totally busted Chipits thief! Not that he cares. I was pretty impressed he got them open actually. I used to hide chocolate chips in my closet as a kid. Oh was that just me? And jello powder?


I’m not sure anyone is more excited to get older than Baker man. He wants so much to be able to do all the things Van and Boss can do. I scored this little turtle shell for 25 cents at a thrift store, and it’s perfect for my little “-inja”.


Derick found this bike at the dump and sprayed it up nice for his bday. Ha ha. Added a few stickers, good as new. :) I love how easily pleased kids are. I really believe kids come to us so sweet, and the trick is not spoiling them and ruining them like a piece of bad fruit. Ha ha. Some days I feel like we’re winning, some days we’re losing!


Van with his lego combine he built. Didn’t even know he knew what combines looked like in that much detail! Lol. The kids can pretty much have as much lego as they want since it’s the most adorable thing to see their little lego creations! They’ve got a little city going on in their bedroom nook. Ha ha. This Christmas they got some “girl” colours just to give their lego box some diversity. Ha ha. Though I’ve always taught them girls don’t have specific colours, that every colour is for every person if they want it to be. Never hurts to mix in some pink and purple into the box.


In October a bunch of our close friends were going on a cruise. We’d been thinking about it leading up to it, but just couldn’t make up our minds! A week before we decided to go for it! Since we finally decided to definitely try for another little one in the coming year, (I’m due August 28!), we thought it would be awesome to squeeze in another trip before the pregnancy and newborn grounded the whole family for a good couple of years. Ha ha. So glad we did! Not sure if going on a cruise could ever be a bad choice! Ha. Especially with good friends. :)


We ported out of Galveston, Texas, and I loved spending Saturday night and Sunday morning there. Why oh why can’t Canada have a billion old houses and buildings just packed with amazing history and character!? Well, western Canada. I really live in the wrong place. I mean, I like the mountains…but…I also like Target and Nordstrom Rack. I love shopping online and shipping stuff to Babb. I like to joke that I’m just going to the mall when I head there to pick up my packages. Ha ha. A mall full of my pre-packaged orders from every one of my favourite stores in one place just 30 minutes away. A girl can dream. I digress. palm

This resort in Mexico was definitely a highlight for me. Love me some pool lounging. Not a huge fan of salt water…or big waves…

I know I’ve said it before, but I really can’t recommend a cruise enough! And I get crazy carsick super easy, but the patch totally did the trick for me both times now. No seasickness at all. It’s like stepping into a completely different world for a week! Makes you feel ten years younger…or something anyways. Lol. Like you’re going back in time to when you were a completely irresponsible kid again. IMG_3183IMG_3200

Ha ha Derick still waking up from a little nap. We definitely stayed out a bit later than we should, but that’s half the fun! I like this picture because it shows our cute tiny room. :) IMG_3235

Not quite tall enough there Pam…

Thinking of the buffet food on the ship is bad for a pregnant mama late at night surrounded by easter candy not yet broken into by the shorties.


Soon after we got home we had to go to Calgary for something. Can’t remember what now? Hmm maybe our doctor’s appointment with my high-risk ob-gyn I think! Just a little pre-planning consultation. Grown-up decisions aren’t the funnest. :( We took the boys to the waterslides for the day. Nothing like leaving your kids to make you feel a bit guilty and plan something fun for them soon after!  I hate the nerves of worrying about them when you’re gone. I remember driving to Calgary with all of them packed into our truck thinking how relieved I was to be back home with them all! Not that I wouldn’t still go next time I get the chance. Ha. IMG_3260IMG_3307

Every Sunday I get annoyed I have choir practise after because the boys are all changed by the time I get home from church and I never get enough pictures. Ha ha. I LOVE dressing up my little men for Sunday. :) IMG_3447

Watson in his cousin’s monkey costume that I swear when Van wore it, he was like 4. It’s so bizarre how your oldest children feel so old and your youngest feels so little at the same age! monkey

Boston’s obsession with dressing as food thankfully continued this halloween. I actually wore his banana costume to an adult party. Ha ha. It didn’t fit so great…ha. Baker is wearing a bear costume my grandma made my brother (Trenty bear) as a kid. The monkey was the worst at cooperating for pics…if it isn’t obvious. banana

Van wanted to be a construction guy, then after getting his costume together, realized if he added a moustache he’d look just like his Papa (a former ‘construction guy’). They are pretty cute together! I remember dressing as the same thing in grade six…when I was 12. Ha ha. Weirdo. And a pic with Boston and his best friend donkey…carries him around everywhere. Though Donkey got some competition this Christmas. Ha ha. oaoa

All right, time to raid the baskets and then head to bed. Good thing I know the bunny has all ready placed a huge bag of mini eggs outside mama’s door! Ha ha. Happy Easter friends. :)

March 27, 2016 - 8:09 pm

Amelia Crippen Low - Ahhhhhh…the cruise. So many great memories. :) so glad you came. And all your Halloween pics are adorable. Love that banana and what a cute bear costume!!

March 27, 2016 - 8:10 pm

Amelia Crippen Low - PS my mini eggs are gone. :( we went through 2 of the big bags BEFORE Easter. I guess I’ve had my fill. (for the record I had some help.)

March 27, 2016 - 10:36 pm

Stephen Heggie - That Pic with Van & Fred is priceless….and Yah! what is Watson “saying” in that first pic. haha

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