Saturday, December 10, 2011

Worldwide Candle Lighting

Having lost a baby myself, this is a really powerful worldwide event.

The closest location here in Marin as it the Unity Church in Hamilton, Novato. I’ll likely be attending.

If you can’t go in person, please light a candle from 7-8pm on Sunday 12/11 in honor of all those children who passed away much too soon.

Candle lighting begins in New Zealand and circles the globe for 24 hours, and there are some local events as well. More information is at

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

October 4th 2011 - Kaitlyn turns 6 today.

Well, as many of you know, I don’t seem to blog much any more ..Guess life kids and a busy working mom has gotten in the way of a lot.

But just had to write today, Today is my twins birthday….October 4th.

Still not an easy day for me, all my mind goes to is a scene I play over and over in my head as I’m being wheeled to the OR saying it’s too soon, it’s too soon and then later holding my daughter as she passed away…not really the best of memory days for me..

Today my surviving twin turned 6 years old! So hard for me to believe that she is really 6 years old.

She’s doing really, really well, all things considered.

From a 26 1lb/10 ounce little baby to a 33 pound TALL little girl that is doing really well in Kindergarten.

We had our age 6 IEP transition meeting and thankfully my school is really incredible and basically “found” a way for her to qualify again. They are so great at understanding that we still don’t really know if she is going to have issues when it comes to learning in a few more years and they would rather have the IEP in place (as would I) in case there are more issues that surface.

She gets preferential seating, she has a weighted Lap-buddy kitty-cat that the school provides to help stop her wiggles. With her paralyzed vocal cord, this allows the teacher to better hear her.

We had a doctor appointment today with a plastic surgeon to talk about correcting her gtube stoma site. He gave us 2 options to put her under a General now or wait until she is 10 and can sit still enough to do it under a local. As she is once again sick, I’m opting to wait until she’s older, it’s just cosmetic at this point, no need to rush, she’s not trying to impress anyone in a bikini yet!

And to think that this is one of our biggest decisions, that basically it’s for such a minor thing. She’s really doing well.

What I find most amazing of all is how many people tell me all the time how amazing, special and incredible Kaitlyn is. Her therapists, her teachers, strangers, people I’ve just met. Everyone comments on the fact that she is one of the most amzing, engaging children they’ve ever met and that she has a very special energy about her.

I know what that energy is, it’s her sister looking over her and making sure she’s ok. Corinne, we miss you terribly, but we thank you with the bottom of our heart for hanging in there long enough for our wonderful Kaitlyn to be here with us today and for your special looking out for her all the time.

My love to both of my girls on this October 4, 2011.

I love you Kaitlyn my sweet girl from the bottom of my heart, you are the most special, incredible little girl and I'm so lucky to be your mama. I love you Miss Kaitlyn!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Micro-Tinis in SF for our Micro Preemies!

Dear friends,

 If you aren’t aware of my story, I just wanted to tell you that I delivered extremely premature twins at 26 weeks gestation, and my life changed forever.

I have gotten involved with Nick Hall, who also lost a twin as I did with his wonderful non-profit named after the twin he lost: Graham.

Graham’s Foundation delivers NICU care packages to families who are currently experiencing the stress of delivering a micro preemie baby.  These care packages will be for our very own Bay Area Hospitals, like CPMC , UCSF, Alta Bates and more.
I’m hoping you can join me (I am the local sponsor for this event) in San Francisco on October 27th!

If you might be interested in helping our or donating to the silent auction for the event, please let me know also!

More info about the event:
Every year 50,000 extremely premature babies – those weighing less than 3 pounds and delivered at less than 29 weeks gestation – are born in the United States, and rates of prematurity are going up each year. The earliest newborns to survive often require intensive care for months and undergo countless medical procedures. Parents of these babies frequently feel isolated from friends and family due to the serious risk to their babies’ health, and this experience is unlike any they expected with the birth of their child.

Jennifer and Nick Hall understand the joys and the heartaches that are a part of the parenting journey that comes with extreme prematurity – their son, Graham, and daughter, Reece, were born at 25 weeks gestation. Graham was with them for just 45 days, while Reece spent four long months in the hospital before coming home. It was their experiences that inspired them to create Graham's Foundation.

You are cordially invited to San Francisco’s inaugural Micro-Tinis for Micro-Preemies fund-raiser, an evening filled with inspiring stories, endless martinis and tasty treats, all to help Graham's Foundation continue their mission of supporting parents of premature babies.

When: Thursday, October 27, 2011, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Where: Hotel Monaco at 501 Geary Street in San Francisco

Ticket price: $75/person, $25/parents of preemies

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our website.
event website

To order more than two tickets or information on sponsorship opportunities, please email

Monday, September 19, 2011

I saw this poem posted today on the Compassionite Friends Network (a group for child loss), I just had to share it: Compassionite Friends Network on Face Book

 To those who look away ...
when I grow teary-eyed in the baby department, look a little deeper.
Surely you have some compassion in your heart.
To those who change the subject when I speak my sons' names,
 change your way of thinking.

 It just might change your whole life.

To those who roll their eyes and say that we barely had them at all, how could we miss them so much, in our hearts we have seen them live a thousand times.
We have seen their first steps, first day of school, their weddings, and their children.

We have had them forever in our minds.

To those who say we can have another,
we did.
 I thank God for her everyday,
but even if I have twenty more babies,
 I will forever have two in the grave,
and that is two too many.

To those who say to get on with my life,
 I have.
 It is a different life,
The life of a grieving mother.

 One with a tremendous amount to be thankful for,
 but also one with a lot to mourn the loss of!
Do not judge the bereaved mother.

 She comes in many forms.
She is breathing,
but she is dying.
She may look young,
but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.
 She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS, but she IS NOT, all at once.

 She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

Do not dismiss us: we have shaped more than just the future generation.

We have released all the tiny angels who are watching over you

Open your eyes to US
 and you just might see THEM

. ~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

Monday, August 15, 2011

So much, so little time

I guess when I'm so behind on blogging I don't even know where to start...

So quick run-down:
-Kaitlyn graduated from Preschool in June (mom cried of course).
-Quinn has in the midst of potty training, (he got the pee down very quickly, but the poop isn't going as well and mom is getting VERY tired of cleaning poop out of Thomas the Train and Buzz Lightyear underwear
-The McCarthy's have done some fun camping trips this summer
-Kaitlyn did a trial "hike" of a few miles on our last camping trip in preparation of a back-packing trip with Dad and Mom.
-Quinn turned 3 in July and was finally on the growth charts (at 23 pounds) I still swear he survives on air, he's not a big eater, (but I look at how far Kaitlyn has come so I'm not too worried).
-Kaitlyn has really taken to swimming and has even gotten the hang of treading water solo, so we are loving her being to be on her own in the pool safely finally.
-Quinn thinks he can swim but sinks immediately when pushing out of moms arms so is learning that he isn't really as capable as his sister as of this point.
-Quinn starts preschool in September 3 days a week.
-Kaitlyn starts Kindergarten next week. Mom is a bit freaked out actually. It's going to be such an emotional day for me for so many reasons... It seems that summer is only just hear weather wise and school starting seems way too soon.
-I continue to love where we live and get together with our neighbors all the time for swim parties and BBQ's. It's so nice to love where you live.
-As we redid our back yard and finished the end of last summer, it's been wonderful just hanging out and playing in our own back-yard most evenings this summer. what simple joys summer provides. I love watching and laughing as Q and K play in the yard.
-K had her semi-annual eye check the other day, and the doc indicated that her yes are some of the best ROP level 3 eyes he's ever seen. Her vision hasn't changed at all, and is fairly correctable with her glasses.
-I truly think that K has grown a foot in the last few months...she complains of growing pains in her ankles and is shooting up super fast all of a sudden, she also eats like there is no tomorrow. I still never get tired of watching her devour food and ask for seconds. She almost always eats two dinners, as right before bed she states she's hungry (I thought it was a stalling tactic) but she eats an entire 2nd dinner before bed.
-Neither K nor Q have been sick all summer, and everything has felt like we are just a regular family with regular non-preemie kids. What a joy!
-Kaitlyn really loves drawing and making art projects. I'll have to scan some of her work, she can spend hours on doing her art. She writes a lot of letters, but isn't reading or writing yet.
-Both Q and K love to give concerts, they sing and dance in the back yard, it's super cute! have some great videos of it!
-Quinn still pushes all of our buttons all the time. He loves to torment his sister in various ways, and is testing things all the time with mom and dad. We are using the " method with him, with some success, and thankfully it brings down my stress level too. He is known on our street as not being the easiest of kids and I'll certainly agree with that.
-as part of potty training, we got rid of the changing table and got bunk-beds, Kaitlyn is thrilled to have her own space that Q can't bother her, but with Q not being in a crib any longer, the mornings start earlier at the McCarthys (kids used to sleep easily until 8am, that's not longer the case, but maybe good with K's school starting at 8am next week - will be a shock to all of us!
-Work has been busy and keeps me always on the go. The real estate market in Marin has kept fairly steady due to a somewhat limited supply of family oriented houses. But the market conditions make every transaction much harder (and stressful).
-I played ultimate frisbee this summer for the first time in 2 years. In our Marin Summer league and our team came in first place. It was super fun for me to play every wednesday evening, I'm going to miss it. Loved doing something for "me" for a change!
-My micro preemie support group on facebook has now almost 1,000 members! Crazy
-I continue to help others with my support group, but just haven't been blogging as much as I'd like. I still promise to get my book published one of these days!

I hope you and your families are doing well. I'm sorry I haven't blogged at all. It's on my mind all the time, just too much to post so didn't post anything at all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Preemie Mother's Oath

It seems like I could have written this...
The following words truely state exactly how I feel in so many ways...This was very meaningful for me!

I have sat in the NICU and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover.
I will marvel at my surviving miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to a nurse taking another temperature, an alarm going off, another round of meds or because I am crying tears for fear of the unknown.
I will be happy because my baby is alive and crying out for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a preemie with physical challleges or medical issues, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.

Author Unknown

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My son, the blond Mexican..

You'd think that my son wasn't blond, blue haired...

He doesn't like to eat....except when it comes to Mexican food. He LOVES LOVES LOVES rice and beans, pico-de-gallo salsa, chips, name it as long as it's not too spicy.

Well tonight (after yet another night for dinner at Chipotle, as the little guy is still only 23 pounds and is 2 1/2 years old). I decided to google Chipotle rice and I found the recipe online. Yeah Google. I haven't tried to make it yet, but I'm hoping he'll eat the same at home!

I found this on the blog...very cool!

Chipotle rice receipie:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Featured in my local Newspaper

Today my story was featured in my local newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal.

Here is the link to the article. In the online article they didn't include any of the pictures that were in the print article so I am including those pictures here:
I was contacted by the features writer and he didn't know much about preemies at all. He asked me what angle the story should take, I told him that I felt the main stream media did a horrible job of telling the stories of micro preemies, that the story is usually, "...oh so and so had a baby weighing just 1 plus pounds and they survived, it's a miracle...the family was released from the NICU and all is just great..." bleck! I hate that story. Think of Octo mom, think of the Duggans, think of any other story. it always ends at release from the NICU. My point is that's when the "REAL" story starts, that's when the families start realizing how hard it is to have a baby that is so fragile and that will likely have life-time lasting effects from their prematurity. That's the real story and Paul Liberatore did a great job of telling the untold part of the story of having micro preemies.
I've had a lot of out-reach since the story was published, with other thanking for telling the real story and to thank the write for doing such a great job!.

Here is the link:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

March for Babies 2011

Wow, hard to believe it's that time again...We have been doing the March for Babies Walk now for 5 years!

This year I was honored to be asked to be the California State Family Teams Co-chair!

If you would like to walk with us or donate money to our team, here is the link to do so:
McCarthy Family Team

I created this video for the walk 2 years ago, every time I go back and watch it I remember how amazing my daughter is and how much she has been through.

(and still going through). Last night she want to the hospital to have a chest xray as her crappy lungs just can't handle getting sick. and she has walking pneumonia...

March of Dimes San Francisco Ambassador Family 2009 from lizmccarthy on Vimeo.

Here is a picture of the California State Family Teams Chairs (and me) at our recent Family Teams Retreat in San Francisco.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brian and King of the Hammers

McCarthy Motor Sports in King of the Hammers 2011

Well this has nothing to do with our kids...except to show where daddy has been for the last few years..

I'm so proud of my husband I had to share:

For all of you who know that Brian’s “hobby” has been building a 4x4 Rock Buggy, well, after 2 years… it’s done!

He entered in the “Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ)” for the big King of the Hammers Race in Johnson Valley (down in the LA desert)… and lo and behold he did great and finished…Well he not only finished but he finished #8 out of 120 entrants, VERY IMPRESSIVE…. so he got himself a space in the King of the Hammers race which is Friday.

He built the entire buggy by hand (with a lot of help from his friend Shawn Heywood) but without any sponsors…

This is a REALLY BIG deal.

His brand new-just finished buggy has only been out of the shop 2 times….In all of Brian’s rock crawling “career” he’s probably driven 50 miles (if that…)

His co-pilot for the race (who has also sacrificed a lot of time with his family) is Shawn Heywood…

The King of the Hammers 2011 (2/11/11) is a grueling 120 mile fast race over dessert sand as well as major rocks, boulders, hills… There are exactly 100 entrants in the race. They will leave 2 at a time in 2 minute intervals, one after another and the first over the finish lines wins. Brian’s starting time in the cue is actually quite good (In the top 40 - based on his impressive finish in the LCQ).

It will take them about 12 hours…his goal is to finish, many buggy's tip over, break or any other number of things….be safe boys.

This video clip from the last 2 days of of the LCQ race was just posted and I thought I had to share (it doesn’t include brian in the clip, but it’s worth watching). This video REALLY shows how amazing this race is:

I did attach a few pictures that were taken of Brian’s #415 buggy during yesterday’s LCQ that I found online (I’m home with the kids).

If you want to follow the live feed for the race, it will be here:
Watch by 8:00 am as his start time will be not that long after 8:00am.

Brian doesn’t have a “tracker” chip, so we can’t watch him directly, but you can see the track of the race here (they do 2 loops).

Be safe guys….


Well Brian is home safe and sound, (he was tired and DIRTY), but made it home safely. Heres a picture of hte buggy parked in front of our house.

During the race, Brian's engine cooling fans (even the back up one) both seized up (maybe do to the amazing dust?) so he only made it to mile 18 (of 120). Of the 100 racers, only 44 finished the race. THis is ONE tough race.

The cool thing is that someone took and posted a video of part of his qualifying run, here is the video:

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Corinne's name in the sand

Last year I posted Corinne's name to be "written" in the sand in Australia by a wonderful, amazing woman who lost a child and gives back to all of us by writing our children's names in the sand.

Of course tears sprang to my eyes.

I thought you might like to see Corinne's name with a beautiful sunset:


Carly is amazing, if you'd like to have your child's name written in the sand, visit her blog:
Names in the Sand

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy Holidays and Happy 2011

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wishing you all the best in 2011~!!

And what did we do for Christmas this year???

Here is the McCarthy 2010 Christmas Card!

Sorry if you didn't get a mailed one, just soo many friends on my list, at least I sent out cards this year!