Shannon is what they call “inspiring.” Since I started this Muchness thing, I’ve heard that word tossed around a lot. (could be that I’ve also watched an entire season of the biggest loser and they use that word a lot, but I digress….) She really is.
Shannon is a TTTS mom who, like me, lost both of her girls to that horror of a syndrome. I knew Shannon when she was still pregnant, offering advice and support to other moms in the support groups. When her girls lost their battle, within days, at a time when I was hiding under my blankets or staring blankly at the TV for hours and hours on end, Shannon pulled herself together and created a TTTS awareness calendar that featured hundreds of TTTS babies, survivors & angels, so that she could raise money for the TTTS Foundation and give back. And that’s just one of the things she’s done.
This women is a powerhouse- seems like she does a million things at once for everyone around her. And I am THRILLED that she is taking The Muchness Challenge. Because it’s time for her to do something for HER. I cannot wait to see her MUCHNESS!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for DAY 1!!!
Here is her intro…. Shannon writes:
My family is my whole world. If I had to choose, I would rather be surrounded by love rather than money. I have been with my fiancé, David, for 12 years and we have 5 kids together. We have 3 here on earth and 2 in heaven. Jacob was my first baby and he is now 5! He is sweet and tells me he loves me every day. When I had him I learned what unconditional love truly means. Our saying around the house is, “I love you forever no matter what” and I live by that. No matter what any of my family members do, everything will be fine and we will always have each other no matter what. My second baby is Andy and he is now 4! He showed me the strong bond between siblings. He is my teddy bear aka Andy bear. I consider my boys irish twins, they do everything together and have a tight bond. My third baby is our princess, Caitlyn. Princess is an understatement. She is the only girl in the family from siblings to cousins and everyone loves to spoil her and buy her pretty things. She is Daddy’s little girl and seems to get her way a little more than others because of her cuteness. Anna and Claire were our 4th and 5th babies who we said goodbye to 5 ½ months ago. They showed me how strong we are and how truly inseparable my family is. Even though they are gone they are always included and loved forever no matter what by us all.
My Grandfather is a fraternal twin and although he passed away before I got to know him, he left his grandkids a message. He said that one of us would have twins. Between me, my sister and my cousin Jenny, one of us one day would have twins. My sister had a set of twins that she miscarried and 6months later had a set of surviving, healthy twins. From that point I figured she was the chosen one to get the twin gene and any chance of that being me was gone. Then we got pregnant with Anna and Claire and we felt extremely lucky. To lose something so special and rare is awful. We felt blessed to be gifted these two beautiful identical girls. Our family would be bursting with even more love! Ecstatic, Blessed, Lucky, Special… those words don’t even describe our feelings, they were more than that.. Now, they are gone.
Anna and Claire were taken from us because of Twin to Twin Tranfsusion Syndrome. I delivered them stillborn at 23 weeks gestation after two laser surgeries. I had rare complications in both of my surgeries, and they were not able to separate their connecting blood vessels. I also got very sick and at one point almost died because of another anesthesia complication where my carbon dioxide levels were climbing and I could not breathe. I fought really hard against TTTS. I had the best doctors and we fought from the beginning full force. When we started I said I am going to have no regrets. In the event I lose either of them I do not want to look back and say, “I wish I would have done…” etc. I would never forgive myself. So I fought hard! The day we lost them, I will never forget. The day I held them, I will never forget. The day we buried them, I will never forget. These past 5 ½ months I’ve spent coping with their loss, I will never forget.
I’m happily taking Tova’s Muchness challenge, and am honored to be asked to do this. Muchness to me is being your best. Do something everyday that you try your best in. Maybe I want to challenge myself to make a new recipe, or learn something I never have tried before. Or maybe…. Just be the best mom I can be to my children on earth and/or to my twins in heaven. Or maybe, be the best girlfriend I can be. My 30 day Muchness photos will be things that make me smile, reasons to keep living, just noticing the small things in life that we all take for granted.