I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Monday, November 25, 2013

New chapters...

Wow...it has been a while for sure.  I'm sure that any people who have been faithful in following my blog are probably wondering if I've brought it to a close.  And to be honest...it likely won't be as faithful as in the beginning.

HOWEVER, as the post heading states...today it is about new chapters.  Whether I want them or not.
Life has changed.  Parts have come to an end.  Other chapters are just about to begin.

In the fall I accepted treatment to proceed with our very last frozen embryo transfer.

I had gone in to this believing that no matter the outcome, I would be ok.  And that I would just be relieved to finally put this long journey to a close.  I told myself that I would just be content to GET to transfer since my lining issues.  That I would embrace whatever life brought.

So, I began my meds.
I went in to this cycle trying to be calm and focused and not stressed about the thing that I could not control.
I went RELIGIOUSLY for acupuncture to assist in my cycle and lining issues.
I ate right.  I exercised moderately.  I cut back on coffee and anything that MIGHT be a blocker.
I did my "Bend, Breathe and Conceive" yoga DVD religiously.
I did castor oil packs with fertility massages.
I devoured prenatal vitamins and Folic Acid.
I tried to sleep well.

And I prayed.

But not your typical "please, please, please let this work" kind of prayer.

Lets not dance around it.  My prayers in regards to conceiving and having a healthy, living child are somewhat shall we say, jaded.
I know the pain of praying with "certainty" and claiming healing and the desire for a child only to be left with confusion and hurt and a multitude of "why?  Why not us God?  What did we do so wrong?"

I know God is not there to be my magic genie to grant my wishes.
I know that God is good, and that He has a plan for me, for my husband, for Evan...and for us as a family of three.

So I just prayed that He would help get me through in one final piece.  
And that I would have some level of PEACE.

I prayed that I would just have a lining good enough to get to this transfer.  That this transfer wouldn't leave us with no hope in even proceeding.
And even though my lining still did not hit that magic "minimum 7mm" lining...it was close.  My first check was 6.3mm.  And from my history from last October's transfer we knew it would likely thicken more given a few days of grace.  So, I was not subjected to a repeat ultra sound check.  It would have been irrelevant anyhow.  We weren't going to cancel the cycle, and we knew we just had to go with what we were given.
For that I was relieved.  In all of this, I have hated those ultra sound checks.  Continually being faced with the reality of a body that does not do what the typical woman body SHOULD do.  I was tired of being faced with a body that doesn't meet the norm and continually hearing "not good enough".  Ones self esteem can only hearing that so much before believing that ALL of her is not good enough.
So hearing that the first lining check was CLOSE...I figured since I got pregnant last year with an under 7mm lining, that it could happen again.

And so our FET was scheduled.  For October 31st.

I won't lie...I teared up when I heard that date.  Because exactly one year prior...TO THE DATE...was when I both learned I was pregnant and also realized our baby was also in a world of trouble with the pregnancy.
October 31st last year began my own physical Halloween horror show and also hearing I was pregnant with a super amazing HcG (Beta...otherwise known as pregnancy hormone levels).
And then that November seeing our sweet little Faith's heart beat, only to have it stop one week later.

We hoped that the date would not be an indication of things to come.

This time we hopped a plane to head to our clinic.  We've never flown before.  But this time I figured since it was our last shot, why not go out in style!

The day of my transfer was so emotional for me.
The last time I would be in that city for THAT reason.
The last time we would be hoping and praying over this little life as it thawed from it's deep slumber.
The last time we would drive up to the clinic with my bladder on the verge of exploding.
The last time I would be in the waiting room with other couples with the same look of either new and excited anticipation...or worn and tired experience.
The last time I would gown up and Brett and I would try to keep the mood light.
The last time I would endure the physical discomforts of the transfer.
The last time we would feel that...hope.  As we would see our little embryo on the screen.  As we would watch on the ultra sound as that little life was being placed back in to my body.
The last time I would wonder if my body would accept, or reject another little one.

I was SO excited that it was our initial RE doing the transfer.  It truly felt like a closure day, and it was just too perfect when I heard that it would be Dr. Greene doing our transfer.  It was just how I hoped.

And after the transfer was complete and I was to remain laying on the table for 10 minutes, Dr. Greene came and put his hand on my shoulder, and he shook Brett's hand and wished us well and talked for a little bit...I lost it.  The second he left the room and it was just Brett and I and our newly transferred child...I lost it.
I burst in to tears for so many reasons.  6 years of IVF/FETs alone.  13 years of desperately praying and trying for a family.  So many losses.  One amazing living miracle.  Every visit to that clinic.  EVERYTHING came rushing to my mind in that moment.
And the realization that it was now truly...over.

There is no more.  Our last little one was now inside of me.  And all we could do was hope and wait.

We left the clinic and I felt so confused.

Relieved to have this journey come to an end.  Relieved that we had made it through, together, with our marriage still in tact.
But also so very sad.  Up to this point I had always had "well if this one doesn't work, maybe next time!"  I no longer have "next time".

During our waiting period we went to a service on healing one night.  The pastor prayed for us after.  And told us to "send a picture of the baby".
We struggled going to that service.  We have struggled with so many moments of being told "I know this will work out this time", "everything is going to be ok"...even that I was going to have a baby girl.

I often want to ask now...how?  How do people genuinely believe that they hear God assuring them of something?
I'm not trying to be negative here and say that God does NOT speak through people...I know that He can and He does.  Just, in my situation where things have gone quite the opposite to what people believed God was telling them...I just wish I could have an answer.  How did they know?  And how do they explain it now?
Again, I'm not saying that in a bitter way or negative way.  I'm genuinely interested in wanting to know the how.  And I most certainly do not doubt or question God and His goodness.  
Sometimes people mean well, and believe that they have been told something.  But sometimes it just isn't correct.  Again...I'm not saying I feel angry or hurt.  Just confused.

Well, back to the current transfer.
We waited our 2 weeks and then it was off for the blood test.

I have to admit something here.  These last few FETs I did my best to emotionally distance myself and not try to guess the outcome.  That is a very dangerous emotional game to play.  I've always waited for "the call" to hear yes or no.
But this time..without meaning to, I actually genuinely thought it had worked.
I would get so excited at the thought of hearing my Doctor say "positive" that I would get butterflies.
And the morning that my Doctor DID call...I just about jumped for joy.  Because my doctor has never EVER called to give me the negative news.  So I knew if her assistant called it would be negative, but if SHE called then it would be good news.
Well, she tricked me this time.  My Halloween "treat" turned in to the "trick" I so badly didn't want.
I heard her voice and my heart took off soaring.  And then it was shot in mid-air and came exploding to the ground.
She said "I'm so sorry bud, it was negative.  I've been sitting here for 20 minutes trying to work up the nerve to call you.  I just didn't want anyone else making the call this time."
She knows this was our last transfer.  Our last hope.
I calmly hung up...and then did something I never wanted to do.
I broke down right in front of Evan.

He crawled up on me and asked me why I was so sad.  And I gently told him...the truth.
Mommy had hoped we would be able to have another baby one day, but it wasn't going to happen.
He got a sad look on his face and said "aaaaaaw mommy, that is not fair!  Didn't Jesus hear you when you asked Him for a baby?"
That BLEW ME AWAY.
We have never explained the whole FET journey with Evan.  Good grief...what 4 year old should have to learn about the science of trying to have a baby.
We never told him WHY we had to go for an appointment for a couple days.
We've always kept him protected and sheltered from it all.

Other children just get to be told "You get to be a big brother/sister!!  There is a baby growing in mommy's tummy!"
They get the joy and innocence of something natural exciting.  They get to be dressed by their parents in the "Best Big Brother/Sister" t-shirts.  The cute Facebook announcements and emails and mail outs.

All Evan has known is that his big siblings are in heaven.  His twin brother is in heaven.  His baby sister is in heaven.  And now this.

And it makes me so angry.

I am angry.  And yes, even JEALOUS.  Yes, I said it.  Jealous.

And then I am mad.  Mad at myself for even letting my mind go to the possibility of this transfer working.  Mad that I almost pulled out my maternity clothes.  Mad that I pictured next summer with a new born at the lake with us.  Mad that I saw Evan with a proud look of love on his face doting over a baby sister or brother.
Mad that I let myself believe that it could happen for us.

And now I have to work through that mad, angry and jealous emotion.

And more grief...

I now grieve not only another loss of a transfer and child and dream.  But also grieve the knowledge that there is no more.  There will be no more treatments.  There are no more little lives waiting.
It's over.
And sometimes finality is far too bitter to want to accept.

I don't feel "bitter".
I feel grateful that we had the chance to go through 2 full IVF cycles and all of our FETs.
I am grateful for the positive pregnancy test phone calls I did receive.
I am grateful as we were able to watch Ethan and Jack's hearts beating at that 7wk ultra sound.
And for seeing Faith's heart beating, if only the one time.
I am grateful for knowing what it was like to be pregnant, if only to a max of 28 weeks gestation.
I am grateful for precious moments with Zac.
I am grateful for life with Evan.

I am grateful.

Though I still grieve.
I grieve that I watch others so easily get pregnant and have healthy living babies.
I grieve the dream of how I had pictured life.
I grieve that Evan won't have an earthly sibling, and that hurts my heart.
I grieve that I don't have the strength to believe that God could still preform a natural miracle.  I guess that comes from 13 years of this journey and never ONCE having a natural conception.  I guess I just don't see how it would happen now.  And I can't even let myself go there.  Because if I do, and if it doesn't happen...I will be angry.  And I don't want to be angry.
I grieve that my heart has not found peace in the closure of treatments.
I grieve that my heart still aches for another living child.

This has been a closure chapter for sure.  But I honestly wasn't prepared for how much I would grieve it.
I thought it would bring some peace to this long journey.  But I don't feel the peace yet.
And I feel like I'm kind of floating right now trying to figure out myself now.
I've been so focused on building a family.

My focus now?
Well of COURSE it is my family that I DO have!  
And that is my greatest pleasure and honor!!  
I get to pour even more of myself in to raising Evan in to the man he is meant to become.
I get to pour even more of myself in to the friendship and relationship of my marriage, that has often times been overshadowed through this journey.
I now need to learn who I am outside of the desire to have another child.
I want to build a bucket list, and start checking those things off.

Most importantly...I need to come back to my relationship with God.  Knowing and believing that He does have a plan for my life.  So much of my life and the pains of it seem so senseless.  I can't imagine how He could use any of it.  
I need to come back to the beginning.  
I need to trust.
I need to believe.  Truly believe.

This has been the most intense chapter of my life.  
And even though it is hard to close it...I know it needs to happen to fully embrace all that is to come.

Don't get me wrong.  It doesn't mean the pain of pregnancy and birth announcements don't hurt any less.  I don't know if that will ever happen.  
It doesn't mean that the tears for my heavenly children won't fall.  They will.  No one could expect that they wouldn't.
It doesn't mean I just forget everything.  That is impossible.

But I am opening myself up to the future.  And what may come.
And becoming the best mommy I can to Evan.  The best wife to Brett that I can be.
And the best to myself that I can become.

I honor the past, and I open myself to the future.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blessed...

Sometimes it is easy to forget how blessed I am.
Sometimes the sadness of missing our heavenly angels washes over me, and the knowledge of my blessings can become a bit clouded...for a while.
Sometimes the ache in my heart can feel more intense than I would like to feel.


And then...

there is the HUGE majority of time where my heart is just overflowing with joy, love and feelings of how blessed I am.

I am.  I really am.

And I am grateful for that.

Yes, there will ALWAYS be those moments of sadness, and missing our children, and the ache in my heart. 
That will never disappear.  Because our children, though no longer on this earth, will never, EVER disappear from our memories, our hearts and our family.


I am grateful for my amazing husband.  I love him more than I can express.  He is my rock.  He is my support.  He is my strength.  He is my best friend! 
For a man of integrity, determination, wisdom, respect and love.
I am grateful for the blessing he is to me.

I am grateful for the most amazing gift of our son, Evan.
For his life being spared.  For his survival.  For the love he has brought to our home.  The laughter, the light, the hope...the very real presence of a miracle.
The most unique little guy I know in so many ways!
Unique brother...little brother to his angel triplet siblings, twin brother to his angel brother Zac, and big brother to his angel sister Faith.
Unique indeed.
He has the most inquisitive mind.  You can see when he is pondering something, and then when he asks his question it often catches me off guard how someone so young could ask something with such depth.
Watching my athletic little guy exploring his abilities and trusting his instincts.  Though moments of heart-stopping concern often over takes me...I trust that as long as I am near by, he needs to be able to TRY. 
He gives my soul breath. 
He gives my heart joy.
He gives my life meaning and purpose.
He is living proof that I am indeed blessed!

I am grateful for the beautiful HOME that my husband has been able to provide.  For his ability and creativity and for his unbelievably hard work in growing his company. 
That I have been given the blessing of being able to stay home with Evan and raise him because of my husband's hard work.

We have been having a fun summer indeed!
We bought a RV and have been able to get out camping twice.  The first time it rained the WHOLE time.  Bummer, but still fun.  Even the dogs had fun!
The second time we left the dogs at home with grandma and grandpa and brought my nephew and niece, and had my younger brother, sister-in-law and nephew come for a day too.  The weather was fantastic, and we all had such a fun time!!

Evan and I have been keeping busy and enjoying days at the spray park, paddling pool, parks and exploring on walks.  We have been working on his big boy bicycle and he is starting to enjoy it.  He loves his glider bike far more as he can go WAY faster on it.  And what little boy wouldn't prefer speed!

It feels as though summer has barely been here.  A very long winter this year.  A delayed spring.  And the summer days are already starting to feel cool.  UGH!!  NOT ready for that!  This morning there was cold dew on the grass...and even the dragon flies were unimpressed.  I transported 8 of them from the shade and dew on my lawn on to a sunny, warm spot.  Good deed for the day.  I adore dragon flies, so it warmed my heart to watch as their wings dried off and they started flying away. 

Fall brings with it a new adventure for Evan and I. 
He begins preschool.
Whuuuuuuut!?! 
This momma is NOT ready for that either!  I love having him with me all day every day. 
And even though preschool is only a few hours two mornings a week...it is W.E.I.R.D to me to think school is becoming an actual part of our lives. 
Yaaaa, sooooo not ready!

It is hard to watch how fast Evan is growing up. 
Exciting, encouraging, grateful for his health and growth...but still...it is going so fast!  And I am just clinging to these younger moments. 
Though on the other hand...it just gets more and more fun!  He is such an independent little guy.  And determined.  But still loves his snuggle time with mommy!
It is a riot to watch him with his cousins, and to watch his personality with each of them.
They are treasured moments...our coffee visits at the coffee store (Starbucks!), chatting and sharing and giggling.
The stolen smiles or winks that I get.  The "hey mommy...I love you"s. 
Watching him process moments of learning life lessons.  Lessons of kindness, fairness, sharing, obedience.
Lessons for MYSELF in teaching him these things.  And in those moments, learning to watch myself too! 
Bed time prayers.  Mine, and then his added prayers (which are far too adorable!!)
Listening to him singing praise and worship songs!  LOOOOOVE this, as my love for praise and worship music has wrapped itself around him as well!  YESSS!!

I am truly blessed.  I will never deny that.

Though my heart holds many hurts and scars...it also holds an abundance of joy and love and gratitude.

I was talking to Brett the other day saying how hard it must be for others who have not experienced such losses to understand how a persons heart can hold such an intricate balance of love and sorrow all wrapped up in one.  Where one does not outweigh the other.  Where sorrow does not overshadow the joy and love for life as it is, but where sorrow does remain.
Those who watch my love, laughter and joy with Evan and assume that my heart no longer aches...
Or when they see the moments of my sorrow and possibly assume that the sorrow shadows the joy and that I should just be "all better".
I'm learning not to take the lack of understanding as lack of compassion...even when sometimes it sure does feel that way.

I don't expect people to understand that personal balance of joy and sorrow.  How could I?  It is mine.  And I am learning what to allow others to see.  And what I share.

Life is changing for me.

New adventures are beginning. 
Parts of my life that have been front and center for the past 13 years (trying to start/grow our family) are coming to a close.
And it is both exciting, and scary.
And even a little sad for me.

For 13 years we have struggled for the family we had dreamed of.  The three children we thought we would raise, or so our "plan" had been in the niave, innocent phase of "when we have our family". 
For 9 years I have been through various fertility treatments, medications, poking, prodding, extracting, replacing, ultra sounds, pregnancies, losses, and life.
Who would ever think that someone who has only ever dreamed of being a mommy would be one who would face such struggle for something so pure and innocent?!   Something so ridiculously easy for so many others...even those who never wanted children.  Or the oh so popular comments "we weren't even TRYING!"
I will never understand that.  Lucky for them...frustrating for me and wondering why it couldn't be us!
I dream of a scenario where I would ever see a positive pregnancy test WITHOUT intervention.  A full term pregnancy that resulted in a full term, healthy take-home baby.  To experience the "normal" of it all.  The "innocence" of it all.

Though, that has not been the way it has been.
And likely never the way it will be.

But again...I am grateful.  I am grateful for those treatments and procedures and medications and poking and prodding that have resulted in hearing three times "you are pregnant". 
I am grateful that three times I have been able to see those early ultra sounds and seeing the beating hearts of all five of our six babies...except for Jadon.  Jadon was gone far too soon before we saw that sweet heart beating.
I am grateful for getting to dream, even if 5 of those 6 sweet babies were not able to fulfill the hopes and dreams I had for them on this earth.
And I am OH. SO. GRATEFUL for the life of Evan!

I am grateful for the blessings of my life.

Each scar tells a story, even if the scars are only visible to me.

Each tear holds a truth.

And my smile...it shows the love I feel and the blessings I have been granted.

I am blessed indeed.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Faith's Memorial...

Well, this is not your typical Father's Day type post, but this is what is most current, and on my mind at the moment.  The Father's Day post will follow.

Yesterday was a day that felt like it didn't truly belong to us.  I didn't WANT it to belong to us.
Yesterday was the joint Memorial Service for baby loss families.  This is done through one of the funeral homes here in our city.  An amazing, and selfless gift that they provide to hurting families who have to face the loss of a child...no matter what stage of pregnancy or reason for the loss.  I am forever grateful that this funeral home has gone above and beyond and cared for SO many babies who may otherwise never get a chance at a "decent" burial or place for families to come to and KNOW where their child/ren have been cared for.

I never knew about this service that is provided.  After we lost our first babies I was haunted for YEARS wondering what I had done, just aimlessly leaving the hospital after my D&C, and not asking what happens to our babies from there. 
I always had this horrid fear that they were just tossed aside as medical waste.
I didn't know.
I didn't know that this funeral home is contacted to come and collect the remains of babies, and this funeral home lovingly (without financial cost to the family or mother) cremates the remains, provides each their own cremation capsule, and then buries them with other babies lost too soon.

Is there ever TRUE comfort after losing a child? 

No, I honestly don't feel there is ever a "comfort" so to speak.  Your heart aches for the rest of your life...no matter how much I know my children are more alive today in heaven than here on earth...my mommy heart aches, and I miss all of my babies.

However...when I finally learned of this service provided by the funeral home, and then the Memorial Service they do for families to join together...I felt...relief.

I didn't just walk away from that hospital and walk away from all that remained of my babies.

And now I know.  And I will advocate for as long as I have breath for all families going through loss. 
And for those who work in the medical field who deal with the intimate and painful experience of a patient losing a baby...PLEASE...learn about this loving option for families.  PLEASE!  Don't let them wonder like I was left to wonder!  Don't let them carry the guilt of just walking away after their child is taken from their body, and not knowing the loving care they can be (and are, even without knowledge as in my case after our first miscarriage) given.
All that has to be said is "contact the Saskatoon Funeral Home" and make sure they pick up my baby's remains. 
That is all I had to do when I was waiting for that dreaded D&C with Faith. 

Know that you can have a place for your baby, and a place to visit.

I know everyone is so different and deals with loss in different ways...but it still means the world to me to have Zac's gravesite to visit, and now know with certainty that the remains of Jadon, Ethan, Jack and now Faith have a "place" here on earth.


Yesterday did cause me to have to face something I wondered when would be the "right" time to share with Evan.
If you remember...Evan was with me in the ultra sound room the day I learned Faith's heart had stopped beating.  He saw the tears.  He saw the grief.  But all I told him was that mommy was sad because an angel had to leave her, and I missed her.
He never knew he was going to be a big brother.

He loves to hold my family chain pendant, the one that holds each of our 6 children's birthstones.  He loves the colors, and always says how beautiful it is.
He has never known what the stones stood for.

But because Evan is so intuitive and so sensitive, I knew he would need an explanation for the service we would be attending.  It was time he knew.  It was time to share what an incredibly unique brother he is.

Of course he knows of Zac.  We have Zac's picture in his room beside Evan's picture.  He has seen the 3D ultra sound picture I had of the boys before our nightmare began.  He comes to the cemetery to release a balloon and blow a kiss every birthday, and every night during prayers we remind God to give Zac a hug and kiss for us and tell him we love him.

He knows he is a twin. 

What he hasn't known is that he is a little brother to our triplet angels, Jadon, Ethan and Jack.
Yes, he knows he is a twin brother to Zac.
No, he did not know until yesterday that he is a big brother to our recent angel, Faith.

Now he knows. 

He is still innocent enough where the knowledge is not weighing on his mind.  But now...it's all there.  It's all in the open.  All of our children have been shared with him.  And though it breaks my heart into a million pieces that on this earth he will never know his brothers and sister...at least now he knows. 

When I first told him why we were going to this service I explained "mommy had a baby in her tummy, but she got sick, and now she lives with Jesus and Zac in heaven", his face LIT right up and he was so excited and said "WHAT BABY mommy!!  OUR baby?!"  He was so excited about a baby in my tummy.
It stabbed me to have to say "no buddy, there WAS a baby in my tummy.  But she isn't there anymore."
So he said "so we are going to go meet her at the service?"
And I said, "no bud, we are going to remember her.  But we won't be able to see her.  We will let a balloon go for her like we do for Zac, and then we will go visit her special place like we do for Zac.  But we won't actually see her.  We have to wait for heaven for that."

As I type this replay, I am angry.  I am so so so so angry.  I am so tired of our babies leaving us.  And I just don't get it.  I don't understand.  And even though day to day I have found "peace"...I am still angry to have to constantly have to say good bye.
And angry that Evan even has to know what all of this means too. 
Especially since he will very likely be an only child.  At least that how I see it.  I don't see another miracle in the future for us.  I just don't.  Not right now.  And if there is...I will be grateful and humbled...but right now, after so much loss and heart ache and after so many prayers for healing and saving our babies only to lose them over and over...it's hard to believe why now.  Why would we expect or allow ourselves to hope for another miracle...no matter how badly we would love that to happen.
It's too hard, and too scary to hope right now.  And I won't apologize for that. 

The service was BEAUTIFULLY put together.  It was beyond precious. 
And to be gathered with so many grieving parents/families...those who truly understand and just want a chance to remember and honour our babies in the safety of non-judgement...it was amazing. 

The tears flowed.  I couldn't stop them.  Why would I even try?
They are real.  The scars run deep. 
Yes, time changes them...but never erases them. 

After the service we each received a balloon to release in remembrance. 
We went outside of the funeral home, and beautiful music played as each family gathered, tears flowing, looking up to the sky as the balloons drifted away.
Treasured.  Beautiful. 

And then we gathered at the cemetery (oh, did I mention there have been INSANE down-pouring rain storms the past few days...) to see the memorial inscriptions of our children placed with so many others lost. 

For me, it was especially touching to see Ethan, Jack and Jadon's names above Faith's.  To SEE their names.  To now know that this sacred ground is where their remains were cared for and placed.  After almost 6 years of not knowing.  I now know.

Still, the day did not seem real. 
It didn't seem like it was meant for us.

We are just weeks away from what should have been Faith's DUE DATE, not standing there seeing her name on a memorial wall after her burial.  I found out her remains were finally laid to rest on June 13th. 

It all seemed so senseless and wrong.  And like a really bad dream.

Yet, as it sunk in...I am at least grateful for the fact that I know 4 of our 5 angels are "together".  That I KNOW that ALL 5 of our angels are running together in heaven. 

It touched my heart to know that they are remembered by others who read the inscriptions on those memorial stones, as I have done with so many of the other names there with my children. 
They will never be forgotten. 
Ever.
Not only are they written on the palm of God's hand...but they are forever inscribed in stone, and in my heart.

There was a song played during the service, and the balloon release.  I don't know the artist that sings it, but I want to include the words of that song now because they just wrapped around my heart...

In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child.
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child.
In my soul, there is a hoe
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
'Cause you are with me still.
 
In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone.
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever...in my heart.
 
In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child.
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, precious child.
 
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is a hope
And you are with me still.
 
In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon,
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever...in my heart.
 
God knows I want to hold you,
See you, touch you
And maybe there's a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you are not forgotten until then.
 
In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever...in my heart.
 
 
Always and forever, my sweet babies...you are with me!!  I love you all!  Ethan, Jack, Jadon, Zac and Faith!!  We love you, and we are so proud of you all!!  xoxoxoxoxoxo
 
 
Fly high

Evan with his balloon to release

Heading to the cemetery

The memorial stone that now have Jack, Ethan, Jadon and Faith's inscriptions
 




Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gratitude in grief...

On Sunday Brett and I were at church, and as we stood to sing during praise and worship...a very "tricky" emotional moment hit...HARD.
As I looked in to the chior, there I came face to face with someone I both cherish and hurt from when I saw.
It was the face of the OB/Gyn who did my D&C at the end of November last year when we lost Faith.
I found my breath absolutely catching in my chest. Tears instantly welled up. My head began to feel like it was spinning.
I didn't know whether to run or just stand firm in that spot and focus on my worship to God, or the pain in my heart.
I stood firm in worship.
Don't get me wrong...I wanted to start asking all the "why" questions and allow the enemy to fill my head with feelings of confusion and hurt and anger. And for a long time I could not bring myself to sing aloud. But I knew I couldn't allow myself to bend to the enemy.
I refused.
In that moment, I felt something that caught me by surprise.
I felt gratitude.
Let me explain...
When we lost Faith, Brett was out of the country. I had gone for a follow up ultrasound after just seeing her precious beating heart a week earlier. We were just going to gauge her growth at that appointment as she was a tiny bit smaller than what my due date would have suggested.
At that follow up ultrasound, my mom had come with me. My mom had to witness baring the news of once again "I am so sorry Heather, it's not good news..."
And a whirlwind of events to follow as I chose another D&C option.
Brett was stuck out of country, so my mom came with me the day of my D&C.
I just remember pleading with God to send angels my way in the form of the nurses and staff, because how was I to bare the loss of our 5th baby?! I needed some earthly angels. I needed to know He cared in that moment.
Now, the first few nurses I dealt with...no, not angels at all. Actually...they should retire or quit...or at least not be in those settings. 
But as the admitting nurse was filling out my forms for the "procedure", in walked a woman. My mom looked up and instantly burst in to tears. And at that moment...I knew my angel had just arrived. It was the OB/Gyn...a woman my parents know well from our church. And I burst in to tears as well and looked at her and said "I have been praying for an angel. He sent me you."
The admitting nurse didn't even KNOW who the doctor was! She thought she was just a nurse to take me down to the OR. So she explained that no, she was the doctor, and she would take me down to the OR personally.
From the moment she took me down...more angels appeared. In the form of the OR nurse staff and anesthesiologist.
I shared about my losses with the first nurse who took me back from the OR waiting room, and she just wrapped her arm around me. When I got up on the table she said to the other women around her "this poor woman has been through so much pain...lets be extra caring".
(OK...I am now in tears as I recall this day.)
Now, back to Sunday.
As I looked at the chior and saw this OBs face...I felt so thankful that in the midst of such pain and heartbreak, God provided physical, earthly loving arms and people I knew were praying over me as Faith was removed from my womb.
I knew this OB/G was praying over me, and praying for the soul of Faith now in heaven.
I knew God was showing himself in a time of suffering and heart ache.
I knew He was with me, showing me that He loves me.
I looked at the face of this woman, and I thanked God for her.
I thanked God that it was her hands handling our baby girl, lovingly, gently and with prayers of blessing over her life.
Even though I would rather that her hands would have been handing Brett and I our daughter, alive and well and loudly crying this July (my due date was July 6th), at least I knew she was handled with hands that know and love the same God that we serve, and that in the moment of loss...she was still handled with love and care.
Yesterday I was talking to my mom and sharing how difficult that moment had been when I saw the Dr's face on stage, and my mom told me that the Dr has been asking about me and wanting to know how I was doing. That she thinks of me and prays for me often. And that she herself believes that day was nothing less than God's hand in the day. I guess she wasn't even supposed to be there that day.  And I remember her telling us as she took my mom and I down to the OR waiting room that she has never gone to get a patient personally.
God was there that day. Proving that in this time He loved me still. Proving that He was sending His protection and earthly care in the form of this OB and her OR staff.
He was there.
And Faith was cared for, loved, and dignified.
And so was I.

Loved always Baby Faith!!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Friday, April 12, 2013

This and That...

Well, I am realizing how little I post here any more. 
Maybe because life is just too busy (for sure).
Maybe because life gets complicated (absolutely).
Maybe I get discouraged because I know the focus of this blog was to update so many who were praying, petitioning and encouraging me through my weeks in the hospital and then following the journey after the boys were born, Zac passing away, and the NICU journey of Evan...and the comments were encouraging to want to keep posting even after we got home.  But now...with no comments or feedback...I guess I wonder if there is any point to keeping this blog going.  I wonder if this blog has a purpose anymore.

Then again, maybe it isn't about who comments or wondering if people read this anymore. 

Maybe it is still a good outlet for myself.  Though these days I am finding myself far more guarded with my personal life.  So there are a few reason why I debate about keeping this blog going.

However, in the meantime...I sure hope that somehow this blog remains somewhat of an encouragement to someone. 


Lately I've been thinking about loss. 
For me, it has obviously been regarding the loss of our 5 heavenly babies.  But there are other losses I have encountered and endured in life.  Losses that have hurt my heart and left me confused and sad.  Losses that sometimes you just come to realize there is only so much one person can do.  And in order to care for yourself...you have to move forward and pray for the best solution that GOD can provide. 
I won't lie...I am a "fixer".  I want to take care of everyone and everything.  Sometimes at the cost of my own personal care.  I worry about others and carry others pains and burdens. 
And when I realize that my help or friendship is not enough to repair a situation, it's hard to accept.

But the lesson God keeps on trying to hammer in to my head is that it is HE who needs to be the healer.  Sometimes through me, and sometimes in other ways.  And when it is not particularly through me...it doesn't mean that I have failed.  It just means that I have done what I can, and now HE needs to carry on the way HE sees fit.

Over and over God keeps trying to get me to FINALLY accept that I can NOT control everything. 
I can NOT fix everything.
He is the one in control, and he is the ultimate Healer.
My job...is to continue to pray.  Sometimes that is all a person can do...pray. 
No matter how hard it is to step back.

I am to trust God.
I am to take my burdens, my worries, my cares, my hurts, my fears, my doubts...to HIM.

I am to thank God.
Thank Him for the many blessings in my life.  For years of health and protection.  For guidance.  For peace.  For comfort.  For security.  For safety.

I am to let go of that which I am not in control.

So today...it's yet another new day of letting go.

I may have to do this multiple times a week...but each day is a new start.  I have been granted that blessing in each morning I wake up.  Each day is a new day to BETTER myself, and not stay stuck in yesterday. 
Hurts remain.  Of course they do.  Loss hurts.  And He is not asking me to forget the ones I have lost on this earth.  BUT, I DO know that this will last only for THIS lifetime.  Because heaven is my home.  And there...life truly begins.  And I will rejoin with the ones I have lost on this earth.
Until then, I pray for the ones who struggle to find their way in Christ. 
I pray for healing and renewed spirits and minds.
I pray for protection and hope and a new sense of joy.
I pray that we would live lives that would honour God and His word.  Not live life one way to certain people, and then become the complete opposite to others.  That we would live with dignity and follow God's word and be pleasing to Him.

We are responsible for only our own actions and words.  We can't be responsible for others.

Today I own myself.  And today I release the burdens I have been carrying.

God will make something beautiful out of brokeness.  I know that with certainty.  He has created some precious master pieces in my own life with the brokeness of this heart.  And I will choose to honor Him!

Blessings!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 9th...party day on earth and in heaven...

Birthday Day...for both of my boys...



Who ever thinks that they will celebrate their sons in such opposite meaningful ways in one day?

March 9th.

We threw Evan's 4th bithday party on March 9th.

But we began the day with celebrating, just the three of us, Zac's 4th Angelversary Day.

March 9th, four years ago...we said "see you in heaven" to our sweet Zac, our first born son, Evan's twin brother.


We started the day with heading out to the cemetery to release four balloons to heaven for Zac.

Evan releasing his balloons
 
It's strange how one can find a way to smile and find a strange sense of joy in such an act.  But there is something about at least being able to watch those balloons rise up to the skies, and just for a moment, pretend that Zac will reach out and grab them, or at least see them from heaven.

But the moment was precious, and cherished.


We then headed home where I started prepping and doing a mad-dash cleaning before our guests began to arrive.  The night before cleaning is useless to me in some respects, having 2 dogs, lots of snow and wet paws that enter the house.  So some stuff just has to be left.

The day was loud.  The day was full of 6 excited and lively children.

The biggest hit...the pinata! 

But as with every birthday comes that forever bitter-sweet ache in my heart. 
To watch my sweet Evan celebrating, being celebrated and enjoying his day...fills my heart with joy.
And in the same breath...feeling the ache of the spot missing beside him...the spot where Zac should be.  That silent ache that stays hidden in my heart, that stays masked behind the smile (don't get me wrong...the smile is truly genuine!)
But those are the emotions of a parent who has lost a child.  Especially on a birthday where your twin sons can not be celebrating together as they should have been.

I know it is more for my heart and my determination to have Zac a part of party days, but as usual, I made two birthday cakes.  One for Evan, and one for Zac.


 
 
This mommy heart just can't do one cake without the other.  It brings me joy and a bit of healing each birthday.  And maybe one day when Evan is older it will end...at least at parties, but for now while these parties consist mainly of family and close friends...I will continue.  And one day those cakes will be a private time for our family alone.
But...right now...I just can't end this tradition I have begun.
 
 
Though our sons may not sit side-by-side for birthday photos, and open gifts together, and we may not hear "Happy Birthday dear Evan and Zac..." when singing is going on...my sons will always be in my heart together on their birthday.  And each March 9th, Zac's Angelversary, will be a special time for our little family.
 
I am blessed by the lives of our children, though 5 will never celebrate birthdays here on this earth...we will celebrate one day together in heaven ALL of our children!
 
But this March 9th was filled with love, joy, gratitude, thankfulness and peace.
And it was pure heaven to watch Evan just so excited and having so much fun, and knowing we were celebrating his miraculous life here with us.  And I am so grateful.  So very, very grateful!
 
Mommy loves you my "little" boy!! xoxoxo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Happy 4th Birthday my boy!! xoxo