*******************The Adventures of **************** Zackary, Brycen and Cameron Tummers
-----------Dedicated, with love, to Cameron's twin brother, Cole who lost his battle to TTTS in Dec/08
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Merry Christmas from the Tummers Boys!!! It has been a very busy few weeks so I decided to just post all our holiday pictures at once. This was what our tree looked like on Christmas morning. We were aiming for a minimal Christmas and have decided to practice gift giving in honour of Jesus...he received 3 gifts on the very first Christmas and therefore, other than stockings, each member of our family only got 3 presents to open on Christmas morning as well. This worked well and kept the chaos to a minimum....but still we managed to have a crowded tree!!!
We celebrated with a few friends just before Christmas...and our boys got new pj's, books and movies.
Later that day we celebrated with the Ireland family at our annual holiday gathering. Cameron and Freya had a blast playing together. They are almost exactly 24 hours apart and both had some pretty serious stressful events in their early days so it was absolutely awesome to see them playing together like 9.5 month old babies should!
Cameron in his very adorable and very appropriate new monkey pajamas.
Cameron started a few creeping movements before Christmas and has been reaching up and getting into things. He cut his first tooth on Dec. 23rd and has also had his first (very nasty and gross) ear infection at the same time. He weighs 18lbs 4 oz, eats everything he can manage to get into his mouth as well as everything mommy feeds him on a spoon!!!
Christmas morning was lots of fun with all of our boys. Cameron enjoyed eating the paper and banging on his presents just as much as opening them. He got a lot of noisy music toys and has been motivated to practice his new army/inchworm crawl to get to them. Just today this movement became much faster and with purpose and we've decided NOTHING is safe from Cameron!!!
Never thought I'd see two boys so excited about new socks!!!
Our family gift was a Wii this year...it's the first year we've done a big gift (really our only gift besides clothes and one other toy). So far it has been an absolute blast to play and to watch. I'll have to take some pics and post them another time! Cameron got a new pair of jammies from his big brothers too...they and he are just so adorable...I had to post this pic! It was a very good Christmas at our house but it did have some bittersweet moments where we imagined what could have been. Cole, with Daddy's help, gave me a beautiful ornament titled, perfectly, You Will Always Have My Heart.
I had this message for him: Merry Christmas my sweet son, this first one without you is so hard. I miss you so very much. The ornament that Daddy helped you to give to me is so very perfect. I will always have your heart and you will always have mine. Enjoy this special day in Heaven...it is a season of Miracles and your twin brother Cameron shows me each and every day just what a miracle is! And a few snuggles later with that little miracle, a few adorable smiles later and... the love of our Christmas miracle surrounded me and the joy I felt at the knowledge that Cole was guiding us, loving us and spending Christmas in the best place of all, having birthday cake with Jesus made it all okay.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the worst day of our lives...the day that we heard those awful words..."This baby doesn't have a heartbeat....I'm sorry, your baby has died". The world, crazy and chaotic as it was once we knew we were expecting twins, collapsed around us and we've been left picking up the pieces ever since. It's been a hard few days for me but today is a much better day. We did some amazing things yesterday to honour Cole including a sky balloon launch. I may post some pictures later on but there are shots of it in the video that I am posting here. I created this video as a tribute to our angel...a way to honour the life and journey of Cole, to inform others about TTTS and to remember the ways we've honoured him. Please post comments here or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org We want...no make that need to hear from our family and friends right now as we remember this precious little boy and his short little life.
"WORLD TTTS AWARENESS DAY is an international mobilization effort created by The Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation to increase awareness of the #1 problem facing multiples. It is crucial for women to get an ultrasound in the first trimester to identify multiples and then to determine whether there is one placenta or two. Women must learn the warning signs of TTTS, the 15 questions to ask at each ultrasound, and the available treatment options. World TTTS Awareness Day is about empowering parents and is filled with messages of Hope, Help and Encouragement. Your babies can make it and be healthy. Don't ever give up. Please, Get Educated, Get Ultrasounds, Ask Questions, Get Treatment and Get Involved! This day is also a remembrance day for all the babies who have had TTTS. Candles will be lit tonight across the world during the vigil and messages may also be left for your babies through lighting online candles."
We lit our candles and sat quietly and thought about where this journey has taken us. Awareness is the key. As I told our exchange student today, we knew TTTS existed but had no idea how serious it was or how devastating. We had no idea that identical twins had so many serious life altering issues that can occur...we had no idea that we could be a ticking time bomb. Our doctor did see me often enough, I did have my scans early enough and frequently enough but that was only because of scheduling mix ups and necessity for repeats due to the size of the boys. All identical twins should see a high risk specialist if one is available...there were tons available to us in London. But NONE of this would have saved our sweet Cole, nothing different would likely have happened except a lot of added early stress. God does work in wonderful ways! Missing you so much today my TTTS angel baby...and loving you so much too. Amazed by you my TTTS survivor and loving you till I feel like I could burst. I love you both so much!!!
The boys posed for this holiday shot for me last week after we got our tree up. The house is all decorated and the baking is started. Most of the gifts are bought and none of the cards are done. Oh well, I am just enjoying the time with my boys this year....who cares about what needs to be done! Brycen LOVED watching all the lights...he could hardly wait to see Santa's float but he got on the Kinsmen one about 1/3 the way through the parade and road with Daddy. Cameron wasn't too impressed with the parade...not enough movement for him I think. Hard to move when you are bundled up like the abonimable snowman! The Kinsmen float with Zack and Brycen on board! Zack seems to be at the age where Santa is cool as long as no one expects him to smile for a picture!!! He did get his gift requests in though!!! Typical Brycen, all grins and giggles. Cameron's first visit with the big guy.... he hammed it up and LOVED Santa and his beard. On Sunday we went to the CUPE 4186 (my union)'s Kids Christmas party. The kids had a blast with facepainting, colouring, playing, eating and, of course, Santa. They all got a great gift and the smiles were HUGE!!! Cameron just wanted the gift...kids sure learn early!!! Brycen talked and talked and talked to Santa...he was so excited!!! Not sure Zack was too comfortable with this Santa but he sure was excited about getting a present!