Reflection: Gone too soon

“Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” – Unknown

I feel very fortunate that in my short 32 years on earth that I have yet to truly face deep tragedy in my life.  But, like my parents have reminded me in the past, when you get older that can change in a heartbeat.  The innocence you had a child where you felt invincible to pain, other than a silly broken heart, turns into so much more when life continues as an adult.  I have watched my parents lose parents and my friends lose parents.  Both of those experiences were difficult to comprehend, some were natural and some were way too soon.  As a senior in college at OSU, I will forever remember the night of the plane crash that killed ten men from the basketball team.  That was the first event in my life where I felt a true sense of tragedy and sadly knew it would not be the last.

Recently, God continues to shed light in my life on how is precious each day.  How we are never guaranteed tomorrow.  How we get caught up in the planning of an event and forget to stop and cherish the moments with people we love.  How we can put off calling a friend we have not talked to in months, maybe years.  How we have put off resolving conflict with people we love the most. How we let things like work consume us with such stress that we forget why God provides those opportunities. Yet, we have to forgive ourselves because we are human.

On Christmas Eve, a friend of mine from high school and college, Jenny Goodpasture Stiegler and her husband Chris, were tragically killed in a car accident in Texas.  Their daughter, Emily, who is less than a year old survived the crash.  Another couple in a different vehicle also died.  Jenny was 32 years old.  Her husband 35.  Jenny is my first friend in my life that has passed away.  And my heart hurts so deeply for their families and especially their little girl Emily or “Emmie” as she called to her.  Jenny was beautiful.  One of those gals who never knew how pretty she was, how guys in high school adored her and friends loved to spend time with her.  She had a wonderful smile.  She was on the Pom squad in high school while I cheered so our groups spent a lot of time together.  When I went to OSU, she was a Pi Phi and I knew that if people like Jenny were Pi Phis that I would love it there too.  I spent another three years sharing that experience as well.

It was not more than two weeks ago, that I was messaging with her on Facebook.  I was telling her how darling her girl was and she was telling me how great is was about the triplets.  Just last week, I was going to email her to tell her we chose Emily as well for one of the girls names.  We debated with Emma and then Emily came to me.  Irony has a weird way of playing out in these situations.  Well, I never got around to telling her about the name.  But, I hope somewhere she knows that her precious girl influenced my decision.  And I truly hope that her girl knows how sweet her mother was when she grows up.

My dad’s father was killed in a car accident when he was just five years old.  The implications of parents having to leave children behind will never be quite known, but I know that it has probably made a big impact on his life. My grandmother raised three boys the best she could with the absence of a male figure for her boys, which boys should never have to go through and girls should never have to endure the loss of a mother.

The moments you are not supposed to ask “Why” you can’t help but do so in your heart.  Even if you don’t say them out loud, God still hears your cry.  Another ironic moment was that just that day on Christmas Eve (day), we passed a cemetery in town and I said to Bryan, “Not to sound morbid, but we really should talk about each others wishes in the event something happened to one of us or God forbid both us after the girls are born.”  Bryan said, “Nice thought on Christmas Eve honey, but you are right.”  We have only been married a year and half, so its not exactly at the top of the list is to plan your death when you are starting a life.  But, it is those moments that we are reminded that death is a part of life.  It may come sooner, it may come later and either way your loved ones you leave behind are not prepared to deal with it.

I also have a friend, Erika Stedje, whom I am extremely blessed to have shared this triplet experience with over the past six months. She was a Pi Phi also at OSU and in a pledge class younger than me.  When I heard she was having triplets, not even knowing her very well, we latched onto writing each other weekly and sharing our excitement and fears.  Erika is an unbelievable strong young woman.  She lost a baby several years ago after a premature delivery and just recently her triplets were born way too early as well.  Unfortunately, one of those babies, another boy, did not survive.  She is still fighting each day with her baby boy (Sloan) and baby girl (Lane).  How she handles the hurt, the fear, the surges of breakdown, I have no idea.  God is powerful and I truly believe that he saves and provides when we need it the most.

Sorry for the long post.  It has been several weeks of reflection in the making.  Tragedy is something that can stop us in our tracks when we least expect it.  It is what we chose to do with those moments that can be the most meaningful.

Take time to tell people you love that you do indeed love them.  Don’t leave doubt on your heart in the event you don’t get the chance.  Put off those errands, working late, or other selfish tendencies we are all guilty of sometimes and look at the gifts God shows you daily. They are the most valuable gifts you will be given.

And for you baby Coy girls, you are loved more than you can know and you are not even here yet!

God Bless my loved ones!


What’s in a name? Naming the Coy girls!

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet

I never thought it would be so difficult to name three girls. I have never been one of those girls who knew what I wanted to name my children when I was 12, or what my wedding would look like someday etc. So, this has all been a beautiful process in the making. I considered the funniest things when thinking of names.  Would people take her seriously if she was Dr. so and so, or if someone wanted her to present to a judge/jury as a lawyer would they take her seriously?  We provide the name, the tools to make them strong individuals and the rest is up to them! 🙂

I am almost 24 weeks along and we thought it was about time to come to a conclusion.  We have not passed out womb assignments, so we may wait and see which name is appropriate for each girl when they are born.

We had personalized ornaments made for both of our parents.  Each ornament said, “Mimi and Papa’s/Nana and Papa’s favorite first born”  The name of each granddaughter was in the center of the ornament.  Of course, favorite first born is sort of funny because they are all first borns!

Here is a pic of what we gave our folks about a week ago.  If it is hard to read, we chose: Avery Lynn, Emily Ray and Camdyn Lea.  Lynn is Bryan’s mom (Nana) middle name, Ray is my dad’s middle name (Papa) and Lea is my mom’s (Mimi) and Bryan’s dad’s (Papa Randy).  They now have an identity which is surreal.  That was apparent this year at Christmas since they had gifts with their actual names on them! Very surreal.

What I have learned about my belly at 22 weeks

This is going to be a sort of cheeky post. I will be 22 weeks tomorrow. What I am learning about my growing belly lately is the following:

1. I wake up and it has literally grown overnight. I think my arms hurt just to push myself out of bed!
2. It is growing upward toward my chest. Soon enough, I should be able to open my mouth and see a foot!
3. Coco Butter is my friend.
4. It itches.
5. My belly button looks really weird. I am typically an “inny” but that may not last much longer.
6. Most importantly, the babies love to tell me exactly where their heads and bottoms are in my belly. They like to kick a lot more too! One baby like to hang out in my side, which is not very comfortable. But, I understand girl, not much room to stretch out.
7. I can now officially sit things like ice cream on it.
8. Can it really stretch more than this? I think that answer is YES but I can’t imagine.
9. I think my husband may be weird-ed out by the belly.
10. I regret all of those times that I pouted about having a “fat day.” Damn you skinny *itches!

Everyone always asks for pictures. I don’t feel like this is one of my better days, but here is me at 22 weeks! Oh, and that ball that looks like the moon is my belly. Crazy swirled night gown thing.

First Kicks and Nose Bleeds – Just shy of 21 weeks

A very cool thing happened today and a weird thing…

Cool thing was I actually felt a kick! It felt like someone knocking on my stomach like a door several times, but from the inside out. Also, one of the babies has been hanging out on my side all day. I think she is not happy that I am crunched in a chair up against my desk at work. Trust me, its not that comfortable for me either sister!

Weird thing today is that I experienced a full-on nose bleed. I never got nose bleeds before pregnancy. They say your membranes in your nose are inflamed due to increased hormones and blood circulation. I blame it on this weird Oklahoma weather. But, lots of weird nose issues during pregnancy. This growing girl is happy though for the colder weather and I am typically a cold nature person. Bryan would tell me that I am cold when its 75 degrees out. Not anymore buddy. Those three dog nights (literally, Bryan, me and Stella, our dog) are about to force me into the other rooms or the couch. Too crowded and hot!

Can’t wait until the girls can have their daddy and grandparents feel them move too! That part beats out a nasty old nose bleed any day!

Best report to date! 20 weeks and 2 days

Today was a blessed day. We felt so uplifted in prayer all week and the power of prayer really works. Our girls are growing and thriving at 20 weeks and 2 days!

Even my little girl A is almost leading the pack in weight and measurements. Just two weeks ago she was our smallest and she is the one with the two-vessel cord that they continue to watch to make sure she is developing and growing. She is a fighter!

Baby B is roughly 14 oz. and about 8.5 inches. Baby C is 12 oz and same measurement, with A measuring the same at 12 oz and same length. What is amazing is that already I have about 1 pound and a half of baby inside my belly and about 24 inches of babies wrapped around my belly pretty much all in a circle!

I personally am growing everyday and continue to set records myself for weight. Doc said I am doing great and to keep doing what I am doing.

Today was the first day that I looked at those babies on the screen and had the true feeling that those were my daughters. That is not to be insensitive, but so much anxiety goes into the waiting to see them and make sure they are doing well. As time goes on, their little faces are developing and I see parts of their features that I am connecting with and my heart just felt whole today.

We still have a ways to go, about 14 more weeks. Doc said if I am doing well, we will see from there but that is the goal. We are looking at mid-March.

Here are some great profile pics of the girls from today. Forgive the flash (bright white spots) on the pics. It was the best way I could take them from my phone!

Thank you for all the prayers and support. This week was a tough emotional week for other reasons and God placed a nice little report on the girls in our laps until the next visit. Such a reminder of his power and strength. Again, it is uplifting Bryan and I and the girls everyday!