Thursday, December 3, 2015

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I am sorry for the long silence.  In the latter part of my pregnancy I didn't know what to write except that I was fighting the fear, frequently praying for the baby to kick so I would know she was okay.

And then finally, on July 31, our little rainbow Chickadee decided the time was right to hatch.  My water broke at 10am as I was on the way out the door for my 40 week appointment,  and Chickadee let out her first scream at 7:55pm and it was just about the most beautiful sound this Mama has ever heard.

My Chickadee is 4 months old now,  rolling over,  grabbing at her toes, and smiling and laughing at everyone she sees.  We had a rough start to breastfeeding,  battling thrush, overactive letdown,  reflux,  and milk protein sensitivity,  but I am pleased to say we're still going strong even though she's had to have a few bottles of formula when I started back to work until I figured out the whole pumping thing.

I wish I could say that my heart is healed and no longer has a gaping hole, but I cannot.  What I can say is that the rest of my heart has grown and stretched and been filled up with joy once again. There is still a hint of bitterness in all the sweets (like washing the "baby's first Christmas" outfit that should have been worn last December, or having a photo shoot of my daughters with only a bear where Mikayla and Selah should have been), but I am also seeing new sweetness in the bitter. And through it all, I find myself clinging to and calling on my savior all the more.  I am so grateful that He has allowed us to find joy and light once again.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

FMF: Dream


Dreams can mean things we see while we are sleeping. I have strange dreams while pregnant, like the one where my husband turned into a giraffe...

Dreams can mean things we wish for or hope for. Right now my dream is to hold a living, breathing, squirming, screaming baby in my arms and actually get to bring her home.

Dreams can turn into nightmares. I've lived through two of that kind. Twice I have dreamed of bringing home a new baby and ended up with empty arms and two holes in my heart.

I find in these last few weeks of pregnancy that the fear is beginning to creep up again. I do not want this beautiful dream to change into a fearsome nightmare yet again. I find myself over-analyzing every tiny symptom, questioning whether or not I should go in to Labor and Delivery for each little thing.

I am having to remind myself several times daily that I need to choose FAITH over FEAR. I need to hold on to the beautiful dream, and take the nightmare I fear to the Lord in prayer and leave it at His feet. I need to repeat Philippians 4:6 to myself again and again: Do NOT be anxious about ANYthing, but in EVERYthing by prayer and petition, with THANKSgiving, present your requests to God.

Friday, June 5, 2015

FMF: The Gift of Discomfort

Joining Kate for a 5-minute free write called Five Minute Friday. This week's prompt: Gift.


Life truly is a gift. And after experiencing loss, the preciousness of the gift shines through even brighter.

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby, whom I have nicknamed Chickadee.

32 weeks pregnant is not all pleasant.

I am getting more and more tired, yet finding it hard to get comfortable enough to sleep.

My emotions are all over the place.

Everything I eat gives me heartburn.

I wake up a million times a night to pee.

My hips are starting to ache, and by the end of the day my feet and ankles are swollen and sore.

And all of this is a beautiful gift!

I love the blessing of each and every discomfort and pain and difficulty because each one is due to the precious little gift that is growing in my womb. I will gladly take every one of these and more knowing that each day Chickadee is making Mommy uncomfortable is another day she is here on earth with me, growing and getting bigger and stronger and closer to being a squirmy little screaming bundle of joy in my arms.

I thank and praise my gracious loving Father for the beautiful gift of third trimester discomforts!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

FMF: Following Jesus

Joining Kate  for another Five Minute Friday


As a child, I used to read the verse, "take up your cross and follow me," and I never really understood what it meant. I used to think it was very strange. As I grew I started to understand it a bit better, as I had to bear things like ridicule from non-Christian friends, and being left out of things that happened on Sunday mornings because my family went to church every Sunday without fail unless you were home sick in bed.

Now in my adult life, I am learning a whole new meaning to the phrase, "take up your cross and follow me."

I am learning that every single one of us has a cross to bear. We were given it at conception in our mothers' wombs along with the sin-nature that was handed down from Adam. We all have to bear that symbol of death and destruction due to sin.

We don't have a choice what our particular cross looks like. For me, it partly looks like saying good-bye to my precious babies. For my cousin it partly looks like raising four preschoolers one of which has special needs including a feeding tube. For my college roommate and dear friend it partly looks like losing her father as a teenager.  For a dear friend and colleague this week it partly looks like holding her mother's hand in the hospital not knowing if she will ever come home on earth or if it is her time to go home to heaven.

We do not have a choice whether or not we will bear a cross, and we do not have a choice what our particular cross might look like each day, but we do have a choice of what to do with our cross. Some choose to buckle under the weight of carrying our crosses ourselves, barely inching along life's road weighed down, tired, and discouraged. Others choose to try to ignore their crosses, paint them up fancy and disguise them to look like something else. Some might just plunk their cross down in the dirt and refuse to go on.

Me, I have chosen to daily pick up my ugly, heavy, pock-marked cross, and follow Jesus. I follow Him because He bears my cross alongside me, shouldering the heavy load. I follow Him because He doesn't disguise it or ignore it, but rather promises to one day exchange it for a crown of glory. I follow Him because He gives me strength to put one foot in front of the other, even when I cannot see where the road I am walking goes up ahead, and I am surrounded by darkness.

And one day when I get that crown of glory, I will lay it down again at His feet and I will be able to say with that great hymn, "All the way, my savior led me!"

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy Bereaved Mothers Day!

A day that I never knew existed until last year is here - Bereaved Mothers Day. You learn a lot when you lose a child. 

And I know some people would question my blog post title, because how can anyone ever put the words happy and bereaved in the same sentence? And yet, even as a bereaved mother, I have a lot to be happy about.

I am happy that I had the opportunity to carry my babies in my womb even if only for a short time.

I am happy that I have a sweet sunshine daughter June Bug who loves and remembers her baby sisters Mikayla and Selah.

I am happy each time I remember Mikayla's kicks, that hot chocolate always made her dance, and I am happy I got to see her face even though it was only a brief moment. Though all these memories are mingled with sadness, there is happiness there, too. 

I am happy that Selah passed peacefully and at home instead of in a cold hospital bed with drama and needles and doctors and nurses. I am happy I had the time to truly say good-bye. Again, I wish the ending could have been different, but if she had to go away so soon, I am glad it happened the way it did.

I am happy that I have a rainbow on the way who will not in any way replace Mikayla or Selah, or make me love or miss them any less, but who will enrich our lives and bring joy to our family.

I am happy that I have a loving heavenly father who knows and understands the pain in my heart and offers His comfort and peace.

I am happy that the same heavenly father is holding and loving my precious babies for me until the day I get to see them again. 

I am happy that through the wonders of the internet I have learned and found other beautiful and courageous mothers who are walking this most difficult of roads alongside me. I am happy we have each other for support and encouragement, and the healing power of a simple, "Me, too!"

So yes, I wish each and every mother who has ever had to say good-bye too soon to her precious child a very Happy (though probably bitter-sweet like so much of life) Bereaved Mother's Day. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

One year old today

365 days of this earth traveling around the sun,
And now you're one!
Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

I imagine how chubby your thighs would have been, 
As you toddled around with frosting coating your chin,
From your beautiful birthday cake.

I imagine the curls of your hair,
and the sticky crumbs you would share 
With your loving big sister June Bug.

I imagine the gifts and ribbons and bows,
And dressing you up in the cutest new clothes,
And watching you play in the paper.

I imagine the giggles and smiles and babbles,
And the wonderful sound of your voice speaking 
Straight to my heart, "Mama!" 

I have to just imagine, you see,
Because you are no longer here with me.
365 days since my heart shattered. 

You are one year old today.
I wish that you could have stayed,
To celebrate with us. 

But even as we are down here,
We smile through our tears, 
To think of Jesus holding you in heaven.

I never got to bring you home,
But one day He will bring me home to be with Him,
And you,

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sibling Day

In case you didn't know, today is sibling day.

My Facebook news-feed is filled with photos of people with their siblings. Some when they were children, some as adults, some even have both.

As much as I love my siblings, and enjoyed seeing the photo my own sister posted, it does hurt a bit. You see, I will never be able to have a photo with all my siblings, and neither will June Bug. I can't help but wonder how many of those other photos have missing siblings as well.

Though it was never talked about a lot in my house growing up, I lost a sibling to miscarriage when I was 4 years old. We never got to meet this sweet baby, and I don't even think we knew about the existence of this baby until we were much older. I never really gave it much thought until I experienced losing a baby of my own.

And now June Bug has two siblings she'll never get to see this side of heaven. I could try to get a photo, using the teddy bear we have for Mikayla and the little owl knitted by a fellow loss-Mama for Selah, but it's just not the same. Our family photos will be forever incomplete just like my heart will forever be missing pieces.

Until we are made complete. One day when I stand before my savior and he fills in the holes in my heart with His healing love, and fills my aching arms with my babies I miss so much, I will be complete. Until then, I will be glad that June Bug has a sibling she will hopefully get to see and touch and play with come July. I will be thankful for the siblings God blessed me with on earth and the laughter and tears we have been through together. And I will mourn for the missing siblings in far too many homes.