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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Peacefulness

























     These are a few of the pictures we had of baby at our last ultrasound. The picture of baby's head is my favorite. Whenever I need some comfort, I love to look at this picture. For some reason I just see peace on my baby's little face. My baby just looks so content in there. It is just so beautiful to see how God has created such tiny little features. I can clearly see baby's eye, nose, chin, and mouth. Even in this blurry little black and white picture I am able to see the true handiwork of a mighty God. I am so in love with this tiny little baby!
     This past week has been filled with ups and downs for us. On Wednesday I had my doctor appointment. This was the first appointment that I went to alone. I was very anxious, but baby gave me such peace that day! I felt a lot of movement all morning, so by the time I got to the office that afternoon, I knew baby was going to have a good heartbeat!  Sure enough, my doctor heard a strong heartbeat right away. It was beating at about 152, which is right on target for our baby.  I love how she always gives me extra time to listen to the heartbeat. It is such a blessing! My doctor also determined that our little baby had completely changed positions. Just one week before, the specialist had told us that baby would not move out of the breach position (bottom down, head up). He said it is due to the short umbilical cord and low amniotic fluid,  which means baby isn't able to move very well. But within a week our little miracle had moved to the head down position! It is such an amazing miracle! 
     Later that evening we had our visit to the cemetery. This was an appointment I had been putting off for many months. I just could not make that phone call. In some ways I felt like I would be failing my baby by scheduling this visit. How was it fair that I have to choose a gravesite for my baby, when I had just felt baby move? I had just laid in the doctor's office and heard baby's heartbeat. How is it fair that I have to get ready for my baby's death, before it even has a chance to live? Reality hit hard. But I finally got to the place where I was getting stressed with all of the preparations that we had yet to make before baby is born, and I knew it was time. 
     It is so hard to accept that this is going to be the reality for us in the very near future. I get heartbroken when I think about my precious little baby being placed in the ground, rather than being in my arms. My baby is my whole heart, and I just want to be able to show it my love forever. But regardless of what happens, I know that my baby is in the hands of Jesus. That is the greatest reality of all. 
     On Friday, Josh and I made the trip to the DeVos Children's Hospital. There we were able to meet with an absolutely wonderful neonatal doctor. He went through all of our options regarding the birth of our baby. We were able to discuss some of our worries and fears with him, and form a birth plan that we believe will best fit the needs of our little baby and us. We have great comfort in the plan that we have created, and we know that we will be in the very best of hands with the neonatal doctors, if the situation arises. We are so blessed to have such amazing medical care in Grand Rapids. 
     In addition to meeting with the neonatal doctor, we were also able to meet with a social worker. She was so sensitive, helpful, and kind. She immediately told us that she was very impressed with how proactive we are being with the situation. She told us that we seem to be very well prepared. One of the things she asked was how we are able to cope so well with everything. I was able to share with her about our faith in a strong and mighty God. I also shared with her about the amazing support we have received from our family and friends. I think it was a beautiful testimony to be able to share with her. It gave Josh and I confidence to know that she thought we were coping remarkably well. But we were given some great resources to use if we ever feel like we may need them. 
     It was a very busy week, filled with many ups and downs. It was a difficult week, because reality hit me hard. Knowing that we are so close to the birth of our baby has been so hard for me to accept. But at the same time, God blessed me with his amazing peace. I felt so comforted by my moving and growing baby! Each moment I have been given with this little one is such a great blessing to me. Also, I just felt God smiling down on me, despite the difficult conversations and decisions that had to be made. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

31 Weeks


31 Weeks

     Today we have reached 31 weeks! I cannot believe how fast the time is going. In some ways it feels like we just started this whole adventure. In other ways it feels like the time is going way too fast. I hate the feeling of time passing you by. But no matter how much you try and stop time, it just keeps moving right on forward. 
     Today has brought so many bittersweet feelings. I cannot help but feel so extremely blessed for the 31 weeks that I have had with my baby. It has not been all fun, nor has it been an easy ride. But it has been the best 31 weeks of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. The time that I have spent bonding with my little one has been so healing for me. It has been so real, pure, and true. I will cherish these memories forever. 
     But at the same time it has been a hard day. I realize how short life can be. I realize how we cannot take any moment for granted. Because in a moment the thing we hold most dear can be taken from us, and so we must live each moment to the fullest. 
On my way home tonight I cried, once again asking God for peace. As my heart broke, I prayed for God to fill up my heart with His love. I asked God to hold my tears. Because I do not cry in vain. I know that God hears my sorrow, he feels my pain, he sees my tears. God knows.
     As I was reading my devotions this weekend I happened to come across the story of Lazarus. It is such a powerful story. Not only does God show his mighty and miraculous power through his response to the situation. But he actually gives us a beautiful, yet heartbreaking, example of his humanity. Here is the story found in John 11:

The Death of Lazarus

11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”


     This story holds so much meaning. I could go on for pages describing all of the amazing truths that it holds about our Lord. But during my reading I focused on the verses that describe how Jesus reacted to the death of his friend.  In verse 33, it says that when Jesus saw Mary weeping, and all of the other people with her weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Jesus did not simply stand there and watch His friends cry. He did not just observe what was happening around him, and ignore the reality. Jesus was deeply moved. Jesus felt true, real, and pure feelings. He saw the sadness that Mary was feeling. He saw that her heart was broken over the loss of her brother. And then he felt emotions that every one of us feel at one time or another. Jesus knows what it is like to feel sadness. Jesus knows what it is like to feel pain and heart break. Jesus knows what it is like to watch someone suffer through loss. Jesus knows. Jesus knows because He experienced it first hand. Jesus knew that his friend Lazarus had died. Jesus watched Mary and Martha grieve. He has been through the valley of the shadow of death. 
     Then came the part that hit me the deepest. "Jesus Wept". He cried real tears. He expressed all of the emotions He was feeling through His tears. Jesus knows what it means to cry. Jesus knows what it means to feel such sorrow, such agony, such heartbreaking pain, that it just brings tears to your eyes. Jesus knows. 
     I believe with all of my heart that Jesus cries with us through our greatest pain. We are not left alone with a God who is completely separated from us. That is the beauty of the sacrifice. God sent his Son to earth to experience our life. He knows what it means to suffer and to be sad. He knows because he has gone through these things too. Jesus cried when he saw the great pain that Mary and Martha were experiencing.  And I know that Jesus cries with us. He sees the hurt we are going through, and he cries along with us. 
     I know that God is crying along with me in my pain. I know that God is feeling my heart break. I know that God is holding my tears. I do not cry in vain. 
     What a beautiful comfort knowing that I have a God who does not expect me to just be okay. Because he knows that it is not okay. He was deeply troubled by what he saw at the grave of Lazarus, and I know that he is deeply troubled at the situation we are facing right now. Jesus knows. Jesus cries. 
     As I look back over the past 31 weeks I know that I have cried so many tears. Some of those tears have been tears of joy, tears of happiness, tears of love. But many of those tears have come from sorrow, pain, and heartbreak. It gives me such comfort to know that I do not cry alone. I do not cry in vain. My God is crying with me. He is holding my tears in his hands. He had never left my side. What a beautiful promise! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Decisions

   

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”                Joshua 1:9

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."                  Romans 8:38-39


       During our doctor appointment last week with the specialist we were faced with a very big decision. This is one decision I never wanted to make. I am angry that on top of everything else that we must go through, I have to make such a difficult decision. But nevertheless, it is something that I must decide before the baby arrives.
     Throughout the research that I have done it has become very clear that baby's who have a terminal diagnosis are often birthed through a C Section. This gives an increased chance that the baby will be born alive. Often baby's who are terminally diagnosed are unable to survive the long and stressful process of a natural delivery. Therefore, many parents going through our situation choose to go with a C Section in the hopes that they will be given some precious time with their baby alive.  
     Although I knew this to be the case for so many people, I desperately hoped we may be able to have a natural birth. I know that it would be a safer and much easier healing process for me. However, right from the moment I knew our baby was not normal, I knew that I would give anything to give my baby a fighting chance at life. Even if it is only for a minute. 
     The doctor did not give us the news that I had hoped. He told us that baby is in the breach position right now. He said that the baby will likely not move from that position, due to the shorter umbilical cord and lower amniotic fluid. So if I gave birth to baby naturally, it would be bottom first. The doctor did not seem concerned about the position of the baby, nor did he say that it would prevent me from being able to give birth naturally. So basically he told us that either a C Section or naturally would be options for us.  This was not what I wanted to hear. I am a very black and white person, I want a yes or no answer.  But this was not given to me. 
     So now I am faced with the difficult decision of choosing how to bring this baby into the world. I wanted to share this because I am asking for prayers. I need the wisdom that only God can give to make a decision that is right for Josh and I, for our baby, and hopefully for the other children we will have in the future. There are risks that come along with both, but I know that a C Section will ultimately change my body forever. 
     As a mother to this precious baby, I know deep in my heart what I must do. I would give anything to allow my baby a chance to live. I would give anything for my baby to be able to hear my voice, feel my touch, and meet his or her daddy. My baby has fought for his or her tiny little life from the start, and I know that I need to fight for my baby now. 
     I am asking for prayers that God will give me wisdom and clarity to make the right decision.  I have already gotten so much great advice from the people closest to me. I feel so very loved and supported. I am so blessed to have amazing people in my life who are willing to ask the hard questions with me in order to seek out the will of God. It is never an easy task, but to those who have walked alongside me, thank-you from the bottom of my heart.  
     As angry as I am for being put in a position where I must make such a life changing decision, I honestly believe that God will make it clear to me. He has never left me alone. He has always provided me with the strength that I need to make difficult decisions. He has never left me alone. Even in the midst of a very stressful and anxious time, where I over think, over analyze, and quite honestly freak out, God has been there. I feel his peace washing over me in the most beautiful way. He has never left me alone. 

Never Alone   by Barlow Girl

I waited for you today
But you didn't show
No no no
I needed You today
So where did You go?
You told me to call
Said You'd be there
And though I haven't seen You
Are You still there?

I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone

We cannot separate
You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen


And though I cannot see You
And I can't explain why
Such a deep, deep reassurance
You've placed in my life

We cannot separate
'Cause You're part of me
And though You're invisible
I'll trust the unseen


     

The Questions


    Sometimes I catch myself asking the question, where would we be right now, if everything was different? Would we have a baby room ready? Would I have spent many happy hours shopping for the perfect tiny baby clothes? Would we have had a baby shower to celebrate the coming bundle of joy? Would we have stroller in our garage, a high chair in our dining room, and a car seat in our car? Would I have a counter full of baby bottles?
     But as soon as I begin to ask those questions reality hits. There is no car seat in the back seat of my car. There are no bottles on the counter. We don't have a special room filled with the baby essentials. Our dining room does not have a high chair. There are no trips to the store to buy baby clothes, or diapers, or blankets.
     Going into the store is so difficult. There are constant reminder everywhere of what I will not have. I remember when we were about 8 weeks into the pregnancy, I happily grabbed Josh by the arm and led him into the baby section at Target. He was not too thrilled at first, but soon we began to make plans, pick out the things we liked and the things we didn't like. I spent hours online researching cribs, strollers, high chairs, and bottles. I wanted the best for our little one, and I couldn't wait for our house to start looking ready for the arrival of our baby!
     It is hard to not think about the "what ifs". I wish so badly that the "what ifs" on my mind were reality, but the truth is that they are not. I do not know if they ever will be. One of the most difficult parts of this journey is accepting the reality of our situation. Especially when I am feeling my baby moving inside. Everything feels normal. Everything seems to be okay. I have not had any problems that would cause me to fear for the life of my baby. So why then must we face such a dreadful future. How can so much be wrong, when everything feels so right? 
     People have asked me how I have been feeling, and my honest answer is GREAT! I absolutely love being pregnant!  It has been the greatest and best experience of my life. Being a mom is something I have been called to be since the day I was born. I have been waiting to be pregnant for what feels like forever. And now that I have gone through it, I know that it has been way better than I could have ever anticipated! Even the little bothers of being pregnant have been a joy to me. I have been blessed beyond all reason by my Heavenly Father to have the opportunity to be pregnant. It's a beautiful gift that I will cherish forever. 
     Despite the pain of what we are going through. Despite being scared to death of what we will face in the very close future. Despite the "what ifs" that bring tears to my eyes. Despite the loss of so many hopes and dreams. I love the moments I have right now. I would never trade this pregnancy for anything. I feel honored above all else to be the mother of this precious baby. I do not know why God choose me and Josh to go through this heartbreaking path. I do not understand why God would bring such pain to us and our families. I do not know if I ever will. That is the great mystery of a Sovereign God. 
     
     

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Miracles

 

     This is a blog post I have been wanting to write for many weeks. It has been filling my heart and my mind daily. The idea of a miracle has always been there, lurking in the deep places I tend to avoid. Yet somehow it is never far from my mind. 
     When we first received our news back in February, I began to wrestle with the idea of a miracle. Growing up, and even in the moments before we entered the doctor's office that day, I fully believed in miracles. There was no shadow of doubt in my mind that we have a God who has in the past, and continues today to perform great miracles. 
     But the moment we heard the words "incompatible with life" I began to question, I began to doubt, and I began to search. It was a three month struggle for me. Even as I tried to push the doubts aside, they only seemed to grow stronger. I questioned why a God who loved me would ever choose to put me through something so awful. I questioned what I had done to deserve this fate. I questioned why it was me that had been chosen to go through this. I questioned why my baby would not even be given a fair chance at living a full and beautiful life. I had so many questions, and was left with no answers.
    In the days following I didn't want to hear the words, God has a purpose for you, God has a better plan, or even, you will be able to try again. Those words made me even more angry. I didn't want to hear that God has a better plan, or that God has a purpose, when all I want is my baby. This baby. I just wanted everything to be okay. I didn't want to hear the reasoning or the positive outlook. Because the reality is that there was not anything positive about what we were going through.
     And so my journey of searching,and praying, and reading began. Each morning I would wake up with the thought of a miracle in my mind. But I stopped those thoughts immediately. Why should I ever let myself get my hopes up, when I know I will just be crushed in the end. After all, I had allowed myself to get my hopes up that we would be blessed with a happy and healthy baby, and look where that got me. I just could not allow myself to believe in a miracle,  it hurt way too much. 
     But yet I continued to search. The years that I had believed in a God who performs miracles would not allow me to just forget. But through the entire journey I have found it so extremely difficult to believe that a miracle could take place. We have been given no hope medically for our baby. All my research has led me to the realization that there are no survivors of the Limb Body Wall Complex. Our doctor told us that there is only a 50% chance that our baby will even survive inside the womb. There is a 0% chance of our baby surviving in the outside world. How do you believe in a miracle when the odds are completely against us? 
     Somehow, through all my doubts, I never wavered in my belief that God could perform a miracle on our baby. I just never allowed myself to get my hopes up. It hurt too much. We had our first doctor appointment scheduled for exactly one month following the terminal diagnosis. The night before, Josh and I had prayed with all our hearts for a miracle to be found. We asked for an ultrasound, just to see if there was any change. I allowed myself to hope. I allowed myself to believe. I wanted it so badly. I wanted to hear the doctor say that they were wrong. I wanted the doctor to be speechless at what we saw. I wanted everything we had gone through during that awful month to be gone. I wanted my baby to be whole. But when that blurred black and white image appeared on the screen we knew immediately. Our baby was still broken. 
     But as we walked out of the doctor's office that day I felt such peace. No longer did I feel angry at the condition of my baby, I just felt love. My baby was still my baby. Nothing would take that away from me, not even an awful, terrible, horrible terminal diagnosis. So in that moment I began to see miracles in a new light. I began to see my baby as the true miracle. The fact that my baby has life is a miracle. The fact that my baby has a heartbeat is a miracle. The fact that Josh and I can grow closer to each other and to our baby is a miracle. I have been surrounded by tiny miracles right from the beginning. I just needed to open my eyes and be aware. 
     I have slowly began to realize the truth about a miracle in our situation. I honestly feel like God has made it clear to me. I will continue to pray for a miracle, knowing that despite the worst of odds, God can do amazing things. If he chooses to restore my baby to wholeness it will be a great and beautiful miracle, and I will rejoice greatly. But I also believe that God can perform a miracle of a different sort. It may not be the way that I would ever hope for as a mother. But He may perform the miracle in heaven. The true miracle may be bringing my baby into the loving arms of Jesus. In heaven my baby will experience no pain, no brokeness, and no sadness. Either way, I believe that God already has, and will also in the future bring a miracle into our lives. That miracle may provide us with a happy and healthy baby here on earth, or it may be a happy and healthy baby in heaven. 
     Each day I begin my prayer by asking my Heavenly Father to perform a miracle on my baby, but I also pray for His will to be done. It is hard to trust and leave it all in his hands. But through my struggle in the past months I have come to the realization that the only way to continue on is to trust. I know that I serve a God who is holding us in his mighty hands. He will perform a miracle on my baby. I will continue to pray for a miracle. 
    


"You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples."
                                                                                                          Psalm 77:14



Sunday, May 11, 2014

29 Beautiful Weeks


    We have arrived at 29 weeks! These weeks are so very bittersweet. I love how baby continues to grow bigger each day. This past week I have finally started to feel real kicking! Josh and I have even had a few times where we have felt little body parts poking out! This week has been the best week so far with baby movements! I feel so blessed that God has allowed us to share these precious moments together as a family. I know they will be memories to cherish and remember forever.
     We know that our little one could make his or her arrival at any moment now. But we are praying for as many weeks more as God chooses to give us together. My hope and prayer is to make it at least past 35 weeks. It is scary to think that we are getting closer to the end, but I honestly feel at peace with the future. God already knows what will happen with the birth. I continue to remind myself each day of the promise in God's word where it says : "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
     These words offer me such hope. God has a plan already in place for me, and for our baby. God already knows what will happen at the birth of our baby, and in the days that follow. He has remained faithful to us throughout this entire pregnancy, and I know he will continue to be faithful in the days ahead. That is the hope that I can cling to through this darkness. That is the hope I can cling to through the fear of many unknowns. That is the hope that I can cling to in the midst of heartbreaking pain. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

International Bereaved Mother's Day




         As I have walked down this difficult path, I have been blessed to meet some amazing women, who have been bold enough to share their stories of loss and grief. They are forever changed by the losses they have experienced, but they all share a common purpose. They all want to make the lives of their angel babies matter. Through their stories they have managed to change hearts, and help other people realize the value of human life, no matter how broken or small. Before going through this journey, I never would have found all of the wonderful resources that are available to families who are walking the same heart wrenching journey. But these women have taken a very dark and sad situation, and used it to bring light and hope to those who are experiencing the same pain. It think that it is absolutely the most beautiful way to honor the life of a precious baby. 
       Through the past difficult months I have been able to find support groups and other resources online that have helped me to process and cope with the pain and sadness that I feel. I have been creating a list of these websites in the hope that I can share them with others. If anyone is experiencing the loss of a baby, whether through miscarriage or infant loss, I would love to pass along all of the incredible resources that I have found. Please let me know. I believe that in this amazing age, where technology is so relevant to our daily lives, we are so blessed to have unlimited resources at the push of a button. It has already made such an impact on my life, and I pray that these ministries will be able to continue to reach out and support people for many years to come.
     Yesterday I discovered was International Bereaved Mother's Day. I wanted to share what I read with all of you. This is taken from a beautiful ministry called Carly Marie Project Heal. Here is the link to their website: http://carlymarieprojectheal.com
        "International Bereaved Mothers Day was created to remind people about the true meaning of Mother’s Day. Do you know who started it? Anna Jarvis officially founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honour her mother Ann who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that corporate companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten. This day was created in honour of a bereaved mother. So I think it is time to take our day back to its roots. I believe we can do this by using our voices in a peaceful, loving way. To receive love, you must first give love.
     The traditional Mothers Day has proven to be an emotionally difficult day for so many mothers around the world. Mother’s Day needs to be healed and together we can heal it. International Bereaved Mother’s Day is a temporary movement. We take part in this day to use our voices to speak up and about what the true meaning of Mother’s Day. It is our greatest hope that sometime in the near future all mothers will be remembered and recognized and there will be no need for this day at all. On this day each year we come together to celebrate our connection, our mother hearts and our babies and children.
Sunday May 4th 2014, get together with your closest friends and family who understand and celebrate you. Celebrate your mother hearts, babies and children. And lets speak about the true meaning of Mother’s Day."

     I just wanted to share this with everyone because I think that it is so important to raise awareness. The loss of a child, whether through infant loss, miscarriage,  infertility, or child loss is so difficult to bear. In the past many mothers have had to suffer in silence. They were forced to just get over it and move on. But the pain of losing a child is not something that you can just "get over". It is a part of your heart ripped away. That is not something that will ever heal completely. Going through this journey has helped me to realize how blessed I am to be able to share our story, and not cover it up. So if you know of anyone who has experienced the loss of a child, no matter what type of loss, I challenge you to think about them today. Throughout this week we can celebrate the mother hearts that we have, we can celebrate all of the beautiful babies and children that God had blessed into our lives. But let us not forget those who are missing a piece of their heart.


“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.”

                                                                                                             - Franchesca Cox



Saturday, May 3, 2014

Baby is Growing!

    These are a few of the ultrasound pictures that we received after our doctor visit a couple weeks ago. Although that visit was very nerve wracking, we were rewarded with some precious time with our growing baby! It is so much fun to watch our tiny baby grow each month! 
     Josh and I already know that our little one is very stubborn! Our baby loves to play games with us. I will feel him or her moving around, but as soon as Josh or I reach out to try and feel the movements, baby stops moving.  At least until we move our hand away! I love the little personality that our baby has. It makes me smile knowing that baby got its stubbornness from both Josh and I. 


  Baby was poking out his or her little head for us to see! In the picture below you can see baby's mouth, nose, and chin. Sorry it's a little blurry. 


   "For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I have asked of him."
                                                                                                                1 Samuel 1:27
                                                                       

Hospital Visit


     When I flipped the calendar to the month of May, I knew what was coming. There it was, in carefully written letters, Birthing Class. Back at the beginning of December I had excitedly marked this event on our calendar with such hope and joy. Knowing that by the end of May we would be so close to finally meeting our little baby. I had eagerly anticipated the information we would learn at that class. But now it is just a constant reminder of what we will not have this summer.
     Everything can change so quickly. Instead of going on a tour with other happily expectant moms and dads, we went on a hospital tour alone. Instead of being able to ask the normal questions, we had to ask the really hard ones. Instead of walking out of the hospital with a sense of anticipation, we left with heavy hearts. But no matter how difficult it was, I feel so blessed. 
     Josh and I did not have to walk through that hospital alone. My mom, his mom, and my sister walked right beside us. We had a very knowledgeable and sensitive bereavement coordinator who took us on the tour. She showed us through the hospital,  and answered all of our questions with such kindness. It was a blessing to be able to meet her beforehand, and know that she will be there with us when our baby makes it arrival. 
     I was very impressed with how prepared the hospital is for situations like ours. They have nurses who are specially trained for cases where the baby is not expected to survive. We were told that many of the nurses will come in and specifically choose to work with us, because of their training. This gave me such comfort knowing that we will be well cared for during the birth. They also have special rooms set apart where we will be during our stay. It made me feel better knowing that we will not have to be in a room next to others who are enjoying their new baby.
     At the hospital they try and make our time with the baby very meaningful.The nurses will make imprints of our baby's hands and feet for us to keep. And we will be able to spend as much time with our baby as we would like. They will also allow our family to come in and visit at any time of the day or night.
     Before going to the hospital I honestly had no idea of what to expect. Knowing that this is our first baby we are completely new to this in the first place. Giving birth can be very scary, even in a normal situation. It was hard for me to have so many unknowns looming before us. But I feel so blessed that the hospital is well equipped and trained to handle our specific needs. I feel so blessed that we met the wonderful bereavement coordinator who answered all of my questions and is going to be there to help us in the future. I feel blessed that Josh and I were surrounded with the love and support from our moms and my sister. I feel very blessed that Josh now knows where to go and a little more of what to expect at the hospital. Most of all, I feel very blessed that our baby is going to be treated with the greatest care and respect. 
     The whole birth is going to be dedicated to enjoying and celebrating the time we have been given with our beautiful baby. Although I have no idea what those moments will hold, I do know that we will spend that precious time showering our baby with the greatest love.