Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Capture Your Grief (Project Heal) is a photo project for the month of October that is put on by Carly Marie. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Capture Your Grief is a way to explore and express your grief through photography and words.
Day one is supposed to be a picture of the sunrise. In our busy school morning routine, I actually remembered to get the sunrise picture. However, I couldn't see the sunrise. It was too foggy. I took the picture anyway.
I thought the foggy morning was appropriate. The sunrise is supposed to signify the beginning of this month and the beginning of this project. Foggy is kind of where I'm at right now. A little over a year after losing my son, I'm not really sure where I'm at in my grief journey. I don't know what stage I'm in or whatever. I desperately miss him. Sometimes his birth and death seems like a dream. It couldn't be real because babies aren't supposed to die, right?
But it wasn't a dream. I joyfully carried a baby boy. I painfully gave birth to him. I sorrowfully buried him. And I desperately grieved for him. I still desperately grieve for him. I miss him. I love him. I want him back.
Having his baby sister has been amazing. Something I couldn't ever describe. It brings a lot of that back though. She was born just over two weeks after his first birthday. I look at her and wonder what he would look like now one year later. I wonder if his personality would have been like hers or more like his older sister.
Some days, I look at his things and I'm overwhelmed by joy because of all that has been done because he lived. Other days, I'm selfish and I only want him back and here with me.
Grief cannot be defined. It is different for everyone. It doesn't make sense. It has no rhyme or reason. Grief just is.
Grief is a tough journey--a lot like making a journey through the fog. Sometimes you can't see where you're going. You push forward unsure of what is next. You trust God to get you through even though you can't see more than two steps in front of you. Because you can't see, you are surprised by obstacles in your path when you come upon them. Some obstacles are good, and some are just tough. Then, sometimes there is a light. You're not sure where it comes from, but it gives you something to walk towards. In grief, that light is hope. Hope that one day, we will see our babies again and a mother's heart can be whole again.
Monday, September 23, 2013
My sweet little baby is two weeks old today. Our rainbow baby has brought so much to our family. We are all head over heels in love with her.
Two weeks later, I am just now getting around to sharing her birth story. I have spent the last two weeks just taking her in and soaking up every moment with her. I have less than four weeks of maternity leave left and I am savoring every second of it. I love my job and will love being back, but I also know all too well that this stage in my precious baby's life will go by way too fast.
Cate's birth story:
We were scheduled for an induction to begin at 6 a.m. on September 9th. We were to check in to the hospital at 8 p.m. on that Sunday night before. I spent Saturday doing last minute things around the house and making sure our bags were completely ready so that I could spend Sunday resting before I spent all day Monday laboring.
Well, Cate had different plans on Sunday as I woke up at 2:30 a.m. with contractions. They continued all day, but they never stayed consistent with timing, so I breathed through them all day, and at 7:45 p.m., we checked into the hospital as planned. Though we didn't yet know it, we would never make it to that 6 a.m. induction.
At 11 p.m., I started having painful contractions. Brent had laid down and I decided to let him rest instead of waking him, because I figured that we would be up all day Monday laboring. At 1:30 a.m., while breathing through a contraction, I felt a "pop" and texted my mom to let her know that I thought my water might have broken. Sure enough, with the next contraction I got my confirmation that my water had indeed broken.
I paged the nurse and Brent shot up out of bed when his Daddy senses went off at the sound of "My water just broke". From 1:30 to 2:30 a.m., I breathed through constant, intense contractions until they finally showed up with that magical epidural. After that? I slept peacefully until 4:45 a.m. when I sent word to the nurses that I felt like I needed to push. Sure enough, Cate was ready and at 5:09 a.m. on September 9th, she made her debut into the world.
Cathleen Nora weighed in at a whopping 7lbs 15oz and 19 inches long.
I can't describe the feelings that you have when you give birth to a rainbow baby. Giving birth period is a beautiful and life changing experience. There are already no words. But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Cate's birth brought completely different feelings to me. After giving birth Barrett just over a year before, I was overwhelmed with emotion when I heard Cate cry. That painful silence wasn't present this time. Instead, I heard a loud and absolutely beautiful cry of a newborn.
I fought back tears as I watched them clean my baby and heard the nurse announce that she had red hair. I watched my husband taking her in as they checked her out and made sure she was 100% healthy. Holding her for the first time, I couldn't believe how perfect she was. I couldn't believe that her tiny little feet were the same ones that had been doing gymnastics on my ribs just hours before.
To say I feel blessed is a gross understatement. I have three beautiful children; two gorgeous girls here with me, and a handsome son who is waiting for me in heaven. Not only that, but physically I had the best labor and delivery ever--quick, fast, and so much easier than my L&D with Audrey was.
We hit a few "bumps" in the road with recovery. Immediately after Cate was born, I developed a headache that progressively got worse until around lunch time I couldn't move my head without crying from pain. I had all of the symptoms of a spinal fluid leak, but the doctor was a little baffled because it usually takes 24 hours for the symptoms of that to set in. However, a few hours later the nurse came in and found me in tears from the pain and they decided to do a "blood patch" on me. Not the most comfortable thing in the world, but man was it better than that headache.
After that, I felt great and Cate was doing wonderfully too so they let us come home the next day--a whole day early! I was so happy. I was ready to see Audrey and be home with my family. That week went pretty smoothly. Cate is an awesome baby and I seemed to be recovering well until late Friday night. I started having severe abdominal pain and by Saturday it was so bad that Brent was having to actually lift me out of the bed--I couldn't sit up or stand up at all on my own and walking was extremely painful.
We found ourselves in the E.R. in the early morning hours on Sunday and a few hours later after running some tests, I was admitted into the hospital and bawling at the thought of being away from my girls. Apparently there was still part of the placenta that hadn't been delivered that was causing my pain. They did a D&C and I had instant relief. Thankfully, I did well after the procedure and they let us go on home instead of keeping us for the night like they had originally told us.
Ever since, I have felt good as new and have just been enjoying time with my girls and taking in every second with Cate--all of her adorable facial expressions and bonding with her every single moment that I can.
Having a rainbow baby is an experience like no other. After such a hard year in 2012, I couldn't think of a better way to spend 2013 than with Audrey and our precious rainbow baby. For me she has truly been the bright and beautiful color in my life after the storm we endured with the loss of our son last year. She didn't "replace" him because no one could, but she is filling her own special place in our family.
Transitioning from one kid to two in the house hasn't been as hard as I thought. It has actually come pretty naturally. Getting Audrey off to school in the morning is sometimes a challenge because Cate usually decides that is when she wants to eat, but we have managed.
Audrey has been an amazing big sister. We have only had a handful of jealous moments, but they weren't bad at all and she adores her little sister. She loves helping by getting the baby's things for me and is constantly asking if she can give her a kiss. I adore watching them together.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support the last nine months as we awaited her arrival. I feel blessed to share my family with you!
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
—1 Corinthians 6:9-20
They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
As my daughters grow up, I pray that they will cling to these truths. I pray that they grow into Godly young women who seek after Him first in everything. I pray that they never forget that they were bought with a price paid by our Savior--a price beyond anything we could ever fathom.
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
So excited to have a guest post from Melissa at Home on Deranged today! Check out her post and then follow her blog and social networks!
5 Things You Probably Know About Parenthood
There are plenty of books, videos, websites and friends and relatives to share their opinions and thoughts, but in the end, it all comes down to this: none of us have any idea what we are doing. Not even the experts, who want you to buy their stuff so they can make money off being a mother.
So having said that, I decided to create a list of 5 things you probably already know but hadn't really said out loud because you figure, hey! everybody already knows that. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
1. Some days, you won't enjoy being a mom. It's not that you won't love your kids or the fact that have taken over your life and home. But the days when it's so tiring, when no one will listen to your wise instructions, when they decide that after months of liking corn, they cannot stand the sight of it, when they fight over two Lego blocks, and you can't get your husband to stay with them for 10 minutes in order for you to have a shower, you'll have a fleeting thought of, "Why on earth did I do this?"
2. Some days, you'll wish you were so rich that you could have a full-time nanny. No mother likes to hear, "I love the babysitter more than you." It's the cuddles and hugs and smiles you get when you've been gone for a while and they rush into your arms because they are so gleeful to get to see you again that make the best memories. But, sometimes, you'll wish for a fantastically rich life where the nanny handles every single thing. A world where the diapers and feedings and baths and bedtime and cartoon wrestling is handled by someone else, and you can just come in, get some ridiculously awesome cuddles and then sleep in peaceful bliss for eight straight hours.
3. Some days, you'll realize that being an older mom doesn't necessarily make you a better mom. I thought for sure that I would be a calmer, more patient and relaxed mom at the age of 41. I thought for sure that I would have a better handle on my emotions and therefore be able to handle meltdowns in a more reasonable fashion than screaming. Turns out, those hormones will rage no matter what age you are, and the incessant questioning of your skills will continue to rocket around your brain until you are sitting on your bathroom floor, reduced to a crying heap.
4. Some days, the urge to have just one more baby will nag at you so hard, you will want to have sex with your husband for hours on end, just to get to the jackpot. You will be jealous of your friends and family and even strangers you see at the mall who have that big, round belly and glow of pregnancy. You will ask yourself why you didn't start sooner so you could have had three or four or more and live out your life on some farm. You will try to rationalize the extra expense, the toll on your body, the way a new baby will throw what little structure you have in your life completely out of whack. Then one day you will either stop using birth control or ask you husband to have a vasectomy. It just takes time to figure out which one it will be.
5. Some days, you will be terrified. Once in a while, you will allow yourself the freedom to agonize over all the things that could go wrong. If your child had landed just a little differently on that jump, she could have broken her neck. If baby boy had landed a little to the left, he would have gouged out his eye. If I had been one second later, she would have consumed the entire bottle of bleach. If I hadn't yelled at the top of my lungs, that weirdo in Walmart might have actually just walked off with my baby. If I don't go see a doctor soon, I may not make it to my daughter's graduation or my son's wedding. If our baby gets a terminal disease - or worse - I will not survive it.
Luckily, all these moments pass. Luckily, there is so much more room in your heart for love that you won't believe it. Luckily, you do get paid for being a mother, because you can't put a price on hearing, "I love you, Mommy."