Friday, May 11, 2012

What Makes a Mother?

What makes a mother? I have asked myself this question quite a bit in the past 8 months. Often times the only aspect of motherhood that is acknowledged is mothers who physically have children with them and are/have already raised them. Honestly, this is how I viewed mothers until my world came crashing down last September.

There are so many aspects of motherhood that it is hard to pinpoint just one example of what a mother is. With Mother’s Day coming up this next Sunday, I think so many different types of mothers are often left out of this day of appreciation and celebration. Just because a mother no longer has her baby with her, does that make her any less of a mother than a woman who loves her live children just as much? Or what about mothers who have estranged relationships with their children, do you think they feel appreciated on Mother’s Day? I could describe different mothers until I am blue in the face, but the point is there are so many different types of mothers that all long to be appreciated on Mother’s Day and to most of all be remembered.

In this letter written to pastors, I found myself shaking my head in agreement. Just a few days ago I was talking with my friend Amy about how we were not looking forward to mother’s day and I had told Adam and I did not want to go to church because it was going to hurt too much. It is hard enough that we have lost our baby, but to walk into church on Mother’s Day, I doubt I would be acknowledged as a mother. I mean, I have no belly to show for it, and I have no baby in my arms. I would see all those happy mothers being appreciated and loved on. While I, would be holding back tears. I would hope that being in the community of Christ, all different types of mothers would be appreciated and remembered, even though they may not look like your ‘typical’ mom.  The world often does not recognize these beautiful babyloss mommas as mommas, but we are all mommas and we always will be. Nobody can take that away from us. We have loved and lost, even if it was for a short time. Our children grew in our wombs and we watched them leave our bodies and slip into the presence of our savior. We are mothers. Even though we look different than what you may describe as your average mother, we all love our children just the same.

I do not know what is in store for Mother’s Day this year, but I think I will be spending it with my husband, his parents, and my furbaby, somehow we will make this hard day into something beautiful.  <3

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Due Date

Dear Little One,

Well. It’s here. April 12, your due date. Today is the day we were excited for when we first learned we were pregnant with you. April 12 was our goal, your expected date of arrival. In reality you could have come weeks ago or you could have been stubborn and waited a few more days, making your momma even more uncomfortable. Who knows.  I often find myself thinking of how different our lives are supposed to be right now and all of the things we should be doing. However, our lives are much different than we had planned and I am learning to be okay with that. Of course, I want you back more than anything, but no matter how hard I pray or cry that will never be.

Your daddy wrote me a note this morning saying, “God has a plan for us, it may be confusing now, but we still have to trust Him.” He is so right. Nothing makes sense to me today, but I know I serve an awesome God who can make sense amidst the confusion and healing to our broken hearts. I can rejoice in the fact that you missed all the pain and suffering that the world has to offer and you slipped right into the presence of our Savior. I can rejoice in the fact that you are whole, pure, and blameless. You will spend all of your days in God’s presence. I am thankful for those truths because that means I will see you again.

Today is hard as I expected it to be. This is when you were supposed to be in our arms and home with us. Today is just a sad day. In my mind, it marks the end my supposed-to-be pregnancy and begins the time of us having an alive, healthy baby at home. I am not sure if that is going to be easier to think like that, but in reality you are in Heaven, basking in God’s presence and today that gives me peace.

Little One, so many people love you and miss you. We know you are whole and happy. Please know that your momma and daddy love you very much and miss you even more. You are our precious baby and we will always remember you.


Monday, March 26, 2012

The Past Six Months..

Well, it's been awhile to say the least since I have written. I have done some re-evaluating in the past few weeks in trying to determine what my purpose is for being public about my grief. I know everybody is not going to understand my reasoning, but I can’t make everybody happy. I have learned in the last few weeks that my purpose in being public about my grief is to not only mourn as well as celebrate our child, but it is also to help others. There is no doubt that miscarriage is still a taboo subject and many women are forced to grieve in silence while other people who have lost a mother/father/sister/etc can say whatever they feel. Miscarriage is such a taboo subject because not very many people talk about it. I know that grief is extremely personal and not everything is meant to be shared on a public forum. However, there are some things that should and can be shared. My purpose on being so public is to raise awareness towards miscarriage to help bring people to a greater understanding on the issues behind miscarriage. It is so encouraging to me to hear stories from people on how my words have helped them better understand miscarriage. I am simply sharing my heart, sharing my life, and bringing you all on this crazy journey we call life.

The past six months are nearly indescribable. First of all, I can hardly believe it has been six months since last September when our whole world changed. How can it be a half a year already? Where has the time gone? In the upcoming weeks we will be facing Little One’s due date. It blows my mind and breaks my heart every day when I realize we could have been bringing a baby home any time now. I often imagine the nursery all set up, clothes and cloth diapers all washed, folded and ready for a baby. I imagine all the baby things scattered throughout the house and being anxious about meeting our precious baby. It’s hard to think about those things, but I don’t hide from them. I know things are not necessarily going to get better as we approach April 12th, but I am thankful for the supportive people in my life who care about my journey with grief and honor our baby’s memory.

Thank you all, for journeying with us and supporting us. It means so much to Adam and I. <3

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Welcome Eli

Well, I am feeling human enough to write. It’s been a rough few days. As I have shared before, my sister-in-law, Ariella, and I shared a due date. This due date was not until April, so Adam and I were so surprised when Adam’s mom called Sunday night to tell us we may have a new baby in the family soon. I have been having a lot of good days recently. I have just finished my crazy semester; my days of sadness have been more dispersed. The tears are less. Even though I have been doing okay the sadness and fear for the future are always there. So, I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with the birth of my nephew so soon. I thought I still had a few more weeks before I had to face the reality of the situation.

My nephew, Eli, was born on March 4th. He was early, but from what I have heard, otherwise healthy. I experienced a mixture of emotions. I was of course overjoyed that Eli was healthy and that Ariella was okay. I knew that Aaron (Adam’s brother), Ariella, Noah and the rest of the extended family were thrilled and excited in welcoming baby Eli. Adam and I were so happy for them too. A life should always be celebrated.

However, I cannot avoid the painful reality that that could have been us. Adam and I could have welcomed our baby this weekend. We could have seen his/her face for the first time and kissed our baby’s forehead and whispered how much we loved him/her into their tiny ears. We could have been celebrating with family. This could have been us. The reality is though that it’s not. Grief hit me like a brick wall on Sunday night. I cried until I couldn’t even keep my eyes open because they were so tired and swollen. I didn’t cry because I was angry or resentful towards Eli. I cried because of the realization that I don’t have that. I cried because my womb and my arms are both empty. I also cried because when I looked at the picture of Eli, I really realized that the tiny baby I lost was a baby. So often miscarriage is degraded to the fact that ‘you just lost a wad of cells’, but that ‘wad of cells’ is a baby that was developing into a beautiful baby, much like Eli. My grief hit me so hard, I felt like I had just lost Little One all over again and my heart had been crushed into a million more pieces. I spent most of Monday on the couch, crying, being angry with God and questioning why he continues to make us suffer? Most days I just don’t get why. I often struggle with the thought that I have let people in our families down because I couldn’t make them proud happy grandparents, aunts, or uncles. I know I could not have prevented losing my baby, but I still hold some responsibility…I want to be able to give my husband a baby and our parents a grandbaby. I want to make them proud and happy. My body has failed not only me but my husband and family. Losing my baby has left an emptiness as well as desires that are vast and so deep, it is my greatest fear I will never be able to keep a baby, I will never provide my loved ones with baby. I know, I know, one day. I just wish it were now. I obviously still have a lot to work through and that this week and upcoming weeks are going to be some more very dark days.

I am thankful for people who get it like my husband, my fellow angel mommies Amy and Sara, and of course our family who are being understanding towards our needs. Sara, Adam’s cousin, sent me a message as soon as she heard the news and said to me, “I just want you to know we are thinking of you too; I can’t imagine what you are going through now…Someday, we’ll be celebrating your little rainbow baby.” Those are the words I needed. I needed to know that even amidst the joy of celebrating Eli’s birth, my grief and my baby were acknowledged. So, thank you, Sara, you really helped me.

I don’t know what this week will look like or what the weeks leading up to Little One’s due date will look like. I can’t say that I am excited to get through them, but I know I have to. It’s been an impossible few days. However, I would like to say…welcome to the world, Eli. You are beautiful and loved. I can’t wait to meet you one day! Congratulations Aaron, Ariella, and Noah…you deserve every moment of happiness and celebration. Enjoy your precious baby. <3

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This guy...

This guy...

My amazing husband! I am so blessed to have him as my husband <3 Over the last 6 months I have been moody, hormonal, depressed, angry, sad, mean, terrified and any other emotion you can think of. This guy, has seen me at my worst. This guy, has seen my worst days. This guy, chooses everyday to love me. Thank you babe, for loving me when I least deserve it! I am so grateful for you and I love you! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Wave of Creativity

A wave of creativity came over me this afternoon. When I found out that I was pregnant back in August, Adam and I brainstormed creative ways to tell our parents. We bought these and planned on giving them to our parents as 'casual gifts':

Well, we obviously bought these before we found out that our baby was not going to make it. When I came home from the doctor that day, these bibs were sitting out on the counter and I stuffed them in the back of the 'junk drawer' in our kitchen. I haven't looked at them since that horrible, awful day. I don't feel right about using them for another baby and these bibs are the only item we had bought for our baby. So, those bibs became...

Adam and I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics after church and I bought some fun fleece fabric to make a tie blanket. I decided to put the heart from the bibs on the blanket..

And here is the finished product:

 Can't wait to cuddle under this tonight. I love you, my precious baby <3

(Note: The ability to comment has been removed due to unnecessary comments. If you would like to comment, please comment via Facebook. Thanks!!)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Waiting for Our Rainbow

Let’s just say, this is a post that I did not want to write. I was hoping to bring good news by now in announcing a pregnancy; however, we are still waiting for our rainbow baby.  A rainbow baby is a baby conceived after a loss.  The loss could be miscarriage, stillbirth, or early infant loss. Just because parents are expecting a rainbow baby does not negate the ravages of the storm.  When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath.  What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of darkness and clouds.  Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. I am so looking forward to our rainbow baby, whenever it happens.

There is no doubt that the world of babylost parents is often confusing, heartbreaking, and lonely; the world of babylost parents who are struggling with conceiving again is even more confusing, heartbreaking, and lonely. The most comments I have received from well-meaning people is “you should get pregnant again; it will help reduce the pain.” I couldn’t agree more with these comments. However, ‘getting’ pregnant again is not always that easy. Adam and I have been trying for our rainbow baby for the past 4 months, but we haven’t experienced the joy of a positive pregnancy test. It’s been a long 4 months to say the least. Every single month my body has tricked me to believe that I was pregnant. You name a symptom and I had it. But every single month I saw only one pink line with the words ‘not pregnant’. Sigh. It’s exhausting.

We are at the point now that getting pregnant in the next few months would result in a due date during the time I am supposed to be student teaching. You can’t take maternity leave from student teaching. You either student teacher or you don’t. It’s a tough decision on whether to keep trying to get pregnant or stop and pursue it at another time. Adam and I want a baby more than anything. I also want to finish my degree on time and to graduate at my expected graduation date.  I fear if I push my student teaching back, I’ll never finish. I so wish we were already pregnant. I just don’t understand. I know our time will come, it’s just waiting after a loss is so hard. When you have an emptiness in your heart that is so vast and so deep, you want to do anything to fill it and to feel some sort of peace. My heart breaks all over again when I think about not getting pregnant soon; it’s like I have to grieve a baby that hasn’t even been created yet. We are torn and so wish it didn’t have to come down to such a hard decision. Please pray for us. Pray for our decision and that it will be the right one for our family. <3