Saturday, November 9, 2013


Anyone who knows me will agree that I am a planner.  I like to know what is coming ahead so I can plan for it.  And those plans are not just general, they are as specific as I can possibly get.

Oh, I had all kinds of plans for myself this pregnancy.  I was going to have the nursery unpacked and decorated by the time I was 30 weeks along, I was going to have meals prepared and frozen so I wouldn't have to worry about them after the baby came, I was going to deep clean the house before the big day.  Plans.  Lots of them...

Well, I would guess that Heavenly Father gets a kick out of listening to my "plans".  I say this because whenever I have a plan, He has other ideas for me.

At 26 weeks, I began to have cramps and some contractions.  They were concerning enough to make me go to the hospital to get them checked out.  It's a good thing I did.  I was, indeed having contractions.  At first, the nurse wasn't too concerned, but then the doctor ordered a fetal fibronectin test (an indicator if labor is soon), and it came back positive.  Then I started to dilate a bit.  I was put on some medicine to stop the contractions, and I spent the night at the hospital.  I was put on bed rest after that.  There went my plans for the nursery and everything else.

I was planning and hoping to deliver naturally (drug free), by using a technique called Hypno-birthing.  But, after so many false alarms (seriously, I went to the hospital a half dozen times), I ended up needing to be induced at 41 weeks.  With Pitocin, I wasn't allowed off the monitor, so there went my plans for the natural labor I was hoping for.

I planned to breast feed exclusively for at least 6 months.  Well, my son ended up not being able to latch on, and I pumped and bottle fed for 6 weeks before my milk supply dried up.

There are so many plans I have had, and they haven't worked out.  But, I am learning that life isn't really meant to be planned.  It is meant to be lived.  As I have lived each day since my son was born, I have made it a point to live in the moment.  I realize all too well that this time is precious and will be gone all too soon.  This means I have let go of those control issues I usually have about cleaning the house and other things.  Has it been easy?  No.  Absolutely not.  Has it been worth it?  Yes.  Emphatically, yes.

So, what are my plans going forward?  Guess I'll have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for me.  =)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Joy and Grief

It's amazing how emotions work.  The dichotomy of those feelings has always been a mystery to me.  Why is it that when you are feeling the highest of highs that something can drag you down to the lowest low?  How is it that a simple thought can bring you back from the depths to the clouds?  Of course, I am specifically talking about grief and joy.  Unfortunately, these two have been my companions for some time now.

I have kept the intense pain and sadness that I have felt for the past few years hidden in my heart.  I realize that it was an inefficient coping mechanism, but it was the best I had.  For some reason, I haven't felt "allowed" to grieve publicly for my many losses.  Perhaps it is that I am very sensitive to what others say, or maybe I haven't been ready to deal with those losses head on.  Somehow, keeping them under my pillow makes me feel safe.  But it's that same pillow I hug at night and cry into.

Today, I would like to bring some of my losses to light.  I have found it therapeutic to name each of my children, even though I didn't get to hold them.  I have kept a list of those names in my journal.  My husband and I (and a few close family members) are the only ones to know of them.  But I think it's worth it to share them now:

Elizabeth Rose - Jan 2010
Noah Benjamin - Jan 2010
Emma Christine - Feb 2010
Joseph Bradley - May 2010
Elysia Amber - May 2010
Emily Ruth - May 2010
Elijah Jacob - July 2010
Isabella Rose - July 2010
Evalyn Anna - Aug 2010
Seth Alexander - May 2011
Kate Marie - May 2011
Spencer Morgan - Apr 2012
Eden Grace - Apr 2012
Alayna Faith - July 2012

A hole was torn in my heart with each loss.  This is a hole that will only be filled on the glorious day of the Resurrection, when all of our losses will be made up.  I know that each of these precious children is mine, and that I will have them again.  It doesn't make the waiting any easier.

Many will not understand how I can feel such loss for so many babies that were only within my body for a very short time.  It is not something easily understood with the mind.  It is something felt in the heart.

This great shadow that has been over me has had a beautiful ray of sunshine break through.  I am pregnant again.  This news fills me with joy, but also with terror.  At 20 weeks, most risk of loss is diminished.  I should be jumping for joy that I have made it this far - and I do.  But deep in the recesses of my mind, I still hold some fear that there will be a grand "just kidding" from the Lord, and I will lose yet another piece of my heart.  It is difficult to explain, but I still remain cautiously optimistic about this child making it to my arms safely.

It is this child that I am carrying now that brings tears of joy and wonder, but also tears of grief and pain.  How is it that both can coexist so acutely?  I realize that this is my own struggle, and perhaps no earthly answer will ever satisfy.  And so, I try to focus on the joy.

I think that Psalm 30 helps to express my feelings... "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." and "...thou hath turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness".

I know that all pain is temporary.  I know that all challenges can be overcome.  It is the enduring part that will always be difficult for us mere mortals to deal with.  But I do have hope and faith in a glorious and joyful reunion with those loved ones I have lost.  That is what keeps me going.  What will tomorrow bring?  I don't know.  But I will face each day with the hope of brighter tomorrow.