"This night last year our whole world came crashing down.....My husband and I decided at about 9pm or so to take our son Maiysn to London sick kids ER. I still remember watching my husband carry our little boy into that hospital and how Maiysn was clinging so tight to his daddy with not a worry in the world, fully trusting that his parents were taking care of him....Little did we know that we would never walk out of that hospital with him again...They immediately looked at him and told us he needed to be in the PICCU (pediatric intensive care unit). They did blood work, x rays of his belly, and within a short time we were told he was in liver and kidney failure. They told us this wasn't good and they were going to do their best to try and get his kidneys working again....As soon as we got to the ICU something in Maiysn changed. He was mumbling words, he was confused and he was never the same! I remember they kept offering me a chair, or somewhere to sleep, but there was no way I was leaving his side!!!! My hands never left his warm body that whole night because I kept telling myself that I will never get the chance again to touch his soft warm hands, and maybe I felt like if I closed my eyes, or stopped touching him, that he would just give up!" 

This is what my best friend wrote remembering last year at this time. This is what a momma went through when losing her little boy. This is what a momma had to deal with when cancer decided to get involved. This is what every other momma's nightmares are made up of. 

This my friends, is tragic, unfair & so heartbreaking. This is what cancer can do. 

But what cancer can't do, is take away who Maiysn was to his momma. 

"Maiysn used to say to her "I love you more than you love me, mommy". And she would always say "that's not possible"

Cancer can't take away his memory or the legacy he's left behind...Tomorrow, November 17th, is the first anniversary of the day my best friend had to say good bye to her little boy. And while I literally suffocate just thinking of the pain she is dealing with, I truly can't even begin to imagine all she's been through. 

Tomorrow will be so very hard for her but I want her to know we remember Maiysn - We always will. Tomorrow, the legacy he left behind will soar and 100 Kick-It-Capes will be given out in honour & in memory of a little boy who touched so many. 

But friends, I also need you to help us remember him: 
  • Tomorrow please wear RED - It was Maiysn's fav colour and I joked with my best friend today, that if/when I make it to heaven, I'm going to give Maiysn heck for picking the only colour I don't wear, as his favourite. So please, wear RED & post a photo using #RedforMaiysn so that my best friend can feel the love.
  • Do something kind for others - Maiysn had such a kind, sweet spirit about him. The last time I saw Maiysn was a few weeks before he passed away and I wanted nothing more than to just hold him. And that’s what I did - So tightly and for so long, just soaking in all I could of him. And later Maiysn told his mom, "Auntie Tara was holding me too tight, my spleen really hurt but I let her cause I knew she wanted to." He just endured my snuggles, almost as if he knew I needed them. So do something kind for someone else in memory of him.
  • Please join Little Hands Kids for a Cause Holiday Toy & Loonie Drive in memory of Maiysn - All toys will be donated to hospitals & programs that helped him when he was in treatment. More information can be found HERE.

Imagine if you can, for even one second, the deep pain you'd feel of losing your child. To me it would be the biggest heartbreak in life. My best friend described it well when she told me her heart is just so "heavy"...

So, help me help lighten the load a wee bit & keep Maiysn's memory alive. 

The Baby After My Baby with Special Needs...

My beautiful-BIG-baby boy Theo was born almost 2 weeks ago & everything about him so far has been incredibly intense. 

This 3rd pregnancy was far more intense in terms of how I felt, how sick & tired I was & as a kicker, how long the little bugger stayed in

The labour & delivery was outta-control-intense, racing & just making it to the hospital, him arriving 48 minutes later at a whopping 9.9 pounds. We can all go ahead and just agree that me & my vagina get a gold freaking star for this one. 

But what I'm finding even more intense is how I feel now. The awe I felt when my first two children were born is there. The overpowering sense of love is there. The feeling like he belongs & was always meant to be a part of our family is there. But a new feeling, that I can't shake is also present. 

A feeling I blame his big sister for. 

You see with Pip, we were in a way, cheated out of the "newborn stage" - She was born & days later we were told she had Down syndrome, Congenital Cataracts, Congenital Heart Defects & more. We went from being in a "new parent bubble" to trying to keep our daughter alive & get through each surgery, each challenge, each hurdle. We went from innocently kissing her sweet newborn head to kissing through tears, while begging God to let us keep her. We went from figuring out each others bodies & breastfeeding to learning how to put in a feeding tube & look for signs of heart failure. We went from looking into her beautifully speckled Brushfield spotted eyes to maneuvering an itsy bitsy contact into one of them, patching the other & constantly being aware of if the contact was in place. We went from nothing was wrong, to what felt like everything was, in just a matter of days.

And in a way it's coming back to haunt me now. I don't think I got to truly think about it during the time because it was just survival mode and then move forward. 

But now every time Theo snuggles into me, I subconsciously think, "Oh no, little guy your contact" and then have to stop myself because he doesn't wear them. When Theo is breathing erratically instead of knowing all newborns do this, I automatically remember the signs of heart failure & begin to panic a little. And even though I know he doesn't have Down syndrome, I am checking the folds of his neck and the creases in his hands. 

It's almost as if I have to re-learn to just be...Just be still, take in & enjoy this "newborn" stage that I missed with my daughter. 

So, in a way I'm kinda thankful for having my last baby, after a baby with special needs. It's making everything more intense but it's also making me more grateful, more aware of every passing moment & more appreciative of what we've been through & what an absolute gift every baby & every day really is.

So, I'm intensely soaking it-them-Theo all up...

The Waiting Game....

I never felt this before...

- The daily anticipation that it could happen
- The not sure what to plan because it could be any day now
- The maybe it's go time cramps, back pain & exhaustion

I never felt this before because my first two babies were early...Noal was 3.5 weeks early, put me through 21 hours of labour, almost made me get a blood transfusion & I ended up passing out. Good bloody times!

And Pip was almost 3 weeks early; we had just moved across the province to a new city & had only been living there for 2 weeks when she rocked our world...Literally. I feel like in a way with her, I was "cheated" out of the newborn stage - We were slapped with her Down syndrome diagnosis, petrified of the holes in her heart & geared up for her first surgery at 5 weeks old

But with #3 well it's just different. With this one, well he isn't officially "over due yet", but I just thought he'd be here by now. I thought by early October I'd be getting baby snugs, breastfeeding like it was my job & running on even less sleep if that's even possible.

And while I'm physically way over being pregnant {this one has been my hardest yet} and I'm anxious as anything to get on with things & meet our little man, I'm kinda trying to take in these days with just my Noal & Pip...

See to the two of them, they have had each other their whole lives...Noal was only 7 mths old when I became pregnant with Pip - He even thinks him and Pip were in my belly together, he truly doesn't remember life without her. And while he's so excited to have a little "broder" & Pippy couldn't possibly be any cuter snugging my belly or "her baby", I know that this will bring with it big changes. Changes I don't know if I wanna make because there are some things I absolutely adore more than anything in our lives right now.
  • The way I still rock Pip to sleep and she falls asleep on my shoulder all nuzzled into my neck. 
  • The way I can still manage two kids out in public, at a grocery stop or at the bus stop. Add another one, with a car seat & diaper bag and I'm tired just thinking about venturing out let alone doing it.
  • The way Noal still crawls into our bed at some point through the night and wants to sleep cheek to cheek & in his sleep says "love you momma".
  • The way I still have to hold Pip half the time because she's tired of walking or lazy or just wants to be close.
  • The way the car seats were behind me in my van so I could pass them stuff, tickle their toes or wipe their nose at a light. Now I'm literally throwing arrowroot cookies back at them like a MLB player hoping for a catch.
  • The way we have family time every night - Dinner with the 4 of us, baths & books and chats.
  • The way Pip still feels like my baby & Noal is my "favourite boy".

And while I love all that we are & wish change didn't have to happen, I know #3 will complete us even more. I know that soon it will feel like he's been here the whole time.

And I guess if he's making me play the waiting game, I should relish in the way we are now.

Wear What Matters...$75 Giveaway!!!

Any day now, I'm going to become a momma of three...This blows my mind in a sense. At 22, when I met my husband, I was the girl that had big dreams, was set on travelling the world & really wasn't even sure if I wanted children

Now, my world, my purpose, my heart is in these two, soon to be three tiny little humans that I pour my life into. Now, I find nothing more important than raising my hooligans to become people with big, generous hearts, joyful spirits and happy souls. Now, I find that nothing means more to me than our little family. 

Change...It's all around us, it's bound to happen & it is those in it that actually help change who we are. 

"he’ll change your world in beautiful and amazing ways.
he’ll show you how to love more deeply than you can imagine.
his smile will light up a room.
he’ll wrap his arms around your neck and and work his way into your heart.
he will run and laugh and love life.
you will know his soul and he will know your soul."

Lisa Leonard wrote those words about her son David after hearing from a doctor about his disability - This is a momma who gets what is important, who inspires others to change themselves and who loves with her whole heart. This is a momma who designed & made me something I will cherish forever. 

Around my neck & close to my heart, is the most beautiful necklace that has all 3 of my babies names...{Besides my husband, she is the only person on the planet who knows #3's name}. Wearing it reminds me of what my purpose is, what inspires me & truly what matters.  

I honestly love Lisa's stuff so much & I'm uber excited that someone else is gonna fall in love with a personalized piece too. We are doing a $75 Gift-Card Giveaway to a lucky winner who gets to pick out anything in Lisa's amazing jewelry line... 

Here’s how you enter to WIN:

1. Visit Lisa Leonard Designs and fall in love with something... 
2. Then either visit & like Lisa Leonard on Facebook or Instagram...
3. Leave a comment below on Happy Soul Project's Blog or Facebook Page about what has changed you the most about become a momma...

A winner will be randomly selected & announced on October 4th, 2015.

Unless you've been there....

Unless you've sung your child to sleep in an operating room, kissed their sweet cheek and been led away by a nurse, you have no idea the depth of helplessness a momma can feel...

Unless you've lied awake all night begging God-Fate-Karma to let you keep your child, you don't know what wanting something more than anything feels like...

Unless you've experienced having your baby back in your arms in recovery, you don't know the sensation of feeling overwhelming gratefulness that lets your body breath once again...

Unless you've been there, you really don't know how hard it can be.

And today for some reason, it was one of the hardest. Pip had a "routine" eye & ear surgery which was obviously nowhere near as complicated as others, such as her heart surgery - But today those feelings of helplessness took over. 

Blame me being 34 weeks pregnant with #3, my first born starting Kindergarten a few days ago or just simply loving Pip longer, but this one was not good - Is it really ever though?

This time I laid awake thinking how complete Pip makes our little family. How we wouldn't be us without her.

This time holding her hand walking towards Day Surgery at 6 am, choked me up. She kept looking up at me so trusting & it almost felt, like I've never loved her more. 

This time Pip worked the waiting room, making people laugh, fall in love and be put under her spell before they themselves went under. 

This time Pip knew more than ever that something was going on and clung her little hands around my neck not letting me put her down for even a second. 

This time when my twonk-of-a-husband forgot to pick up my "lucky-surgery-charm-aka-snickers" and a kind, very thoughtful hospital receptionist delivered some to me, I started to cry. 

This time Pip forcefully & loudly made it clear she didn't want her oxygen levels checked or an iv in. Her "no, no, no" over & over made me want to stop the whole thing.

This time when the anesthesiologist went over the routine risks, I tuned her out and just took in the moment of having Pip's cheek against mind as I rocked her. 

This time I didn't care how loudly I sang "Row Row Row Your boat" in the operating room as Pip drifted off to sleep while holding my hand. 

This time I actually felt bad for the awkward male nurse who didn't know what to do with the over-emotional-bawling-pregnant momma as he lead me to the waiting room.

This time when 2 men that smelled of cigarettes and were talking cars in the waiting room bugged me, I simply got up and moved to the other room. 

This time I only ate 2 snickers, 1 Toblerone {another amazing surprise left for me at reception with a book for Pip - Thank you!} and 2 donuts...Dare ya to seriously try to judge.

This time I profusely thanked the two doctors who needed to share operating time in order to perform on both her eyes and ears so that Pip didn't need two separate surgeries.

This time I smiled as the recovery nurses joked about us being frequent flyers or something like that.

This time I didn't rush her but simply just held her and breathed with her as she woke up. 

This time I spent the rest of the day pretty much glued to her. 

This time I know won't be the last but she, we, survived together.