For my seven year old son school project, he had to find some objects that represented him and that are important to him. He was given a brown paper bag, drew some cute little pictures on it, and placed his special objects inside. Some of them included a gaming remote as he is addicted to video games, an orange and black ball as his favorite animal is a tiger, a craft because he likes to do crafts with his mom, a Pokémon card because he likes to collect cards, and a picture of his beloved dog Zoe. He happily and proudly went through all these objects explaining in detail what they meant to him. It was his "practice round" before he had to present to his classmates the next day. And it was so stinking cute!!! After he was done he looked at Daryl and I and said "okay now you can ask me two questions".
Daryl asked him some question about video games. Naturally. And being the mother I am, was like hey what about that crazy awesome family you got?? Who are they? He answered-- "Well I have a mommy, Sarah. A daddy, Daryl. A baby sister, Brynlie. And I have two brothers in heaven. Brecken and Grayson."
My heart literally skipped a beat. But let me now explain.
After the loss of our little boy Brecken, we decided as a family that we were going to go ahead and do IVF or in-vitro-fertilization to grow our family. This would allow us to, with the help of science, make sure our future babies were Alpers Free and healthy. In the process we ended with two healthy embryos that we would at some point implant and add to our family.
Brynlie was our first successful implant. She is a HUGE joy to our family and we are extremely grateful she is free from the syndrome that took her brother. Then this fall we decided to try our last embryo. This little embryo we knew, was a little boy. Unlike our first three, who were ALL surprises to everyone, we openly talked about this little boy, who we had already named Grayson. He was going to complete our family, again knowing he was healthy and Alpers free.
On August 24th, we went in and had our little boy implanted. Two weeks later on September 2nd we found out that our embryo was unable to successfully implant. As hard as it was to get to this point with a ton of meds, appointments, and uncomfortable shots; it was devastating to learn that our little boy Grayson was with his brother Brecken.
Grayson was always a part of our family, and always will be. That little embryo, although a tiny little speck of cells, was our finale. He was so very important to us. He was the little guy that would make our family complete. And just like that he wasn't.
Grief is a weird thing. On the same day that Hurricane Ian was heading to the Florida shores ready to create a disaster, my hurricane of emotions came flooding back. All my memories of Brecken and losing him. All my memories of being pregnant. I LOVED being pregnant. I had saved all the boys clothes in bins downstairs and now had wanted everything that was meant for a baby to be taken by Hurricane Grief out of my house.
We don't know what our future will hold as far as adding to our family. Most of you that know me, I had always talked about having a lot of kids. There are options but with options comes a lot of money. And that is also the hard part. Through all this grief and pain we have a lot of hope.
For now though, I am holding my two kiddos here on earth with me tight in my arms. I am so extremely grateful I have them to keep the joy and craziness in my life everyday. I truly am. And I will always hold that special spot for Brecken and Grayson in my heart. Easton's two little brothers in heaven.