I've got my new email, memorized the passwords and now I'm excited to write my first post at momstown!
This amazing opportunity started with an inspiring 2 hour phone call with Ann-Marie, during which I had about 3 cups of tea and got to really know what momstown was all about. I knew it was a perfect fit for me!
Many of you may know me as @tjzmommy on twitter, but for many of you we have the chance to get to know each other!
To really know me is to know my family and the ups and downs that we've experienced over the years. Not only have then shaped who I am as a mother and wife, but also who I am as a woman.
I've been married to my amazing husband Paul for 12 years, but known him for 17 (boy, was I younger and skinnier then!) and we have 3 amazing boys; Ty, Jayden and Zack. Our journey has been filled with many of the same challenges that other couples face. While we both knew that we were meant to be parents, since the day we met on a boat cruise, our infertility struggles made that road a very bumpy one for us. We were lucky to learn relatively early that we needed to go through IVF (in vitro fertilization) in order to have a baby. So that's what we did. In 2003, our first miracle, Ty was born. He was the joy in our life and I knew in that instant that I was meant to be a mother. I loved everything about staying home with him; play groups, music class, baby massage and connecting online with other moms during nap time!
When it came to grow our family, we again went through IVF and were shocked to learn that we had twins boys on the way (we sure did get our money's worth with 2 for 1)! When they arrived in 2007, we learned that while Jayden was perfectly healthy, our little Zack had not only a heart defect, requiring surgery at 2 weeks of age, but an underlying genetic disorder. Our lives changed in an instant. The years that followed were filled with doctor's appointments, therapy visits and hospital stays for our sweet son. He brought us more joy that we ever could have imagined, but our life was anything but "normal". With every new skill he learned or sound he uttered, our hearts would soar. Our other boys loved their brother with their whole hearts and embraced him and his special needs. He taught them a tolerance for difference and a sensitivity to other kids with similar needs. Hearing aids, walkers, gtube feeding and medications took over our routines and still we managed to have a lot of fun with our kids!
In March of 2011, our Zack was once again hospitalized for pneumonia and contracted influenza B. While I lay in the hospital bed with him, I hummed his favourite Elmo song, snuggled him tight and told him to keep fighting for his mommy, daddy and brothers. Our sweet son's body started to shut down, and we had to let him go.
Zack's story doesn't end there, neither does his impact on our lives and on the lives of others. Shortly after his death, we started to build Zack's Dream Room; a pediatric room that was in desperate need of renovations and new equipment.
Now that Zack's Dream Room is a reality, I'm ready to move on, move forward in a new role, one in which I can bring the same passion and enthusiasm.
momstown is that for me. A new start, a new home and a new way to share my experiences as a mom.
I'm so thankful to be a part of this community and to get to know all of you! I'd love to hear who YOU are....so please comment below with why you love momstown!