Updates

A few updates/thoughts, since it’s been almost a year since I’ve written here:

-Luke (my rainbow baby) will be 2 in August. Time has flown. He is PRECIOUS. He has such a personality, is so much fun. He has my sense of humor too, which of course I find hilarious and darling. Anyway…I’m always so fearful that something will happen to him, even when I’m right there. That I can’t truly protect him from harm. I think some of that stems from loss. Has anyone else experienced that in parenting after loss? I feel like I am so overprotective sometimes and need to back off. I feel a strong urge to control everything. It drives J crazy.

LUKE

 

My dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s this past January. He is 62. I am still reeling from the news. I come from a big, close family (family of 7) and it’s just weird to think that this is happening to us. I can tell with some things that he’s just not himself anymore (for example, he used to be a penny pincher — big time, now he wants to throw money at stuff…SO not like him). Knowing that the disease gets worse and that I’ll slowly lose more of my dad over time, and that Luke may not remember much about him when he’s older, I can’t think about that. It’s too hard. He’s now retired and on disability, but he’s so bored during the day, now that he’s not working. He must have all kinds of fears and confusing thoughts in his head. I just want to rescue him.

-We have family drama going on right now. My sister-in-law, who has had narcissistic and toxic behaviors for years, physically pushed my mom to the point where she almost fell down…in front of my dad and my brother. All because my mom dared to show up at their house and say hello. (This just scratches the surface of what my sister-in-law does in her life, and to our family.) When this happened, my dad was scared and ran away (he actually turned around and ran), and my brother didn’t do anything. Actually, my brother defended my sister-in-law and to this day they both don’t think there was anything wrong with it (this happened about 6 weeks ago). Needless to say all the siblings know, none of us are happy about it, and the family is in an awkward state right now with my brother and sister-in-law. And the way my brother treats my mom (before this, because of this, after this…because of his loyalty to his crazy wife) really hurts her, and that makes us all incredibly angry at them. As if my mom doesn’t have enough to deal with, with my dad’s diagnosis.

-I’m having a crisis of faith. Not because of anything in particular… but just because. It started when Luke was an infant, so it’s been going on over a year now — mostly because I haven’t addressed it in a committed, focused way. I’m so confused about what’s real and what’s not, and I wonder if the emotions we feel about God and things we say about him are real, or just made up in our heads/just what we say. I start to think about galaxies and space, people and life, suffering, and what makes people the way they are, and just wonder what all this is, and why God doesn’t show himself, or that God should show himself to me. Major intellectual blockage here. Working on it. I know where I want to get (back to Him, absolutely and undeniably), but I feel the urge to find undebatable proof. Don’t I have my life experiences and His follow-through/provision/rescues as proof? Where did this come from? Why am I stuck? I feel so silly. But, it feels necessary for God to get me to a more real place with Him. I think a lot of contemporary Christians (especially in Western culture) just spout off things that sound right and good, and don’t examine their faith. Why do we believe what we believe, and what does that mean for the world? It is true? Because if it is, the stakes are truly high…so what are we doing with our lives? I think there is power in that. I think I’m grateful for this, as weird and unsettling as it is right now.

-We are not trying to get pregnant again right now, but decided we will start trying by the end of the year. I’m more excited than anything else. Maybe it’s the wistful nostalgia of trying to get pregnant, and being pregnant — I’m forgetting how scary both of those things were to me. I’m feeling butterflies about getting to initiate the whole process again. But isn’t the process hard? Scary? Why am I so excited? Maybe things going right with Luke gave me hope. Maybe only having one miscarriage makes it seem not so scary… I mean, I know so many people that have multiple losses (my friend had 4 miscarriages last year…and she’s the one who had 2 before with IVF). My successful pregnancy record is 50-50, and I don’t need medical intervention (that I know of yet)… so I have it pretty good, I know. Maybe I’ll feel different when December rolls around…more scared. Guess we’ll see.

-J got a job last May that he really likes. It is private sector (he used to be in non-profits like me), so the pay is better, and he is respected and appreciated, which is such a contrast from his last two jobs. We are so grateful. His commute is longer but he is so happy with everything else about this job that he doesn’t let that get to him. We know what it feels like to have a job you hate, and we are just so grateful for this one. He’s been there a year now!

-My long-time BFF (who I mentioned before was pregnant with me the first time and had her baby in October 2013) had a miscarriage earlier this year, around 7 weeks. It took them a few months but now she’s pregnant again, she’s around 8 weeks right now. She’s nervous but handling pregnancy after loss much better than I did. At least as far as I can tell. She did say she cried when she heard the heartbeat at the first scan last week, which I was touched by, because I remember doing the same thing in my 12w scan with Luke. (And she is not a crier.) Is there anyone who doesn’t experience miscarriage?? It is so prevalent.

I think that’s it for now. Got to get back to work. Or shower… I’ve got to shower. Haha 🙂

Planned Parenthood and Stones

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Some faith stuff (a crisis of faith, really, but I don’t really want to share about that right now). Some “how do I get it all done” day-to-day stuff. But mostly this Planned Parenthood stuff.

I read (and watch, if excruciatingly) everything I can get my hands on related to the ongoing Planned Parenthood exposé. And while I should have always known what happens, I am still finding myself overwhelmingly heartbroken, burdened, and outraged. These words don’t even begin to really describe how I feel about all of this. I sob as I watch and read, sometimes for hours and days afterwards, and my heart bursts with love and grief for those children (“tissue,” they barbarically call them) that we see in the videos.

I’ve always wanted to be a real part of the fight to save the unborn, but my passion has recently been re-lit. I am finding in myself the urge to truly DO something. Something tangible. Something that MATTERS.

Did you catch the tribute Kathie Lee Gifford gave to her late husband on national TV the other day? She talked about the primary “stone” we throw in our life. “What is your stone and where are you going to throw it?…Ask yourself, what is the gift that only [you] can do in this world to make it a better place,” she says. “…And then, spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well.”

Simple, yet profound. It makes you want to drop everything, re-evaluate where you are right at this moment, and re-direct your life towards throwing YOUR stone with your whole heart. The stone only *you* can throw.

I feel–no, I KNOW–that this is my stone.

Fighting for the unborn. Saving their lives. Returning to them their dignity and humanity. Helping women in crisis pregnancies to choose life–and offering them real help and solutions. Helping to heal those that regret their abortions and suffer from severe grief and (sometimes) lifelong trauma. Putting an end to this horrific “industry” altogether.

I keep thinking that my intensified emotions surrounding this Planned Parenthood news and abortion in general stem from my being a mother — in some ways as a mother of a living child, and in some ways as a mother of one forever lost. I know the deep love for both, but I also know the deep pain of losing a child in the womb. I actually felt like I was reliving my miscarriage when I saw the 11.6 week-gestated baby in the 3rd video. That was exactly when I miscarried William — between 11 and 12 weeks. Seeing that innocent, tiny baby, witnessing what was done to him (or her), my heart just exploded with grief, love, my own memories… so, so much.

I can’t think of anything I have ever been more passionate about in my life. I have an overwhelming desire to act. To not stay silent. To speak for those who cannot…those who deserve justice. I guess you know it’s your stone when there’s a seemingly unquenchable fire inside you that you can’t explain.

So… what’s your stone?

………………

More on all of this later I guess. Maybe even another blog.

My blog for Luke never really got off the ground, because well, it’s been a busy year to say the least!

…Along those lines, Luke just turned one. August 13th. So hard to believe…how fast time flies! I am actually more excited about the toddler stage than the baby stage. This kid is just awesome. I can’t wait to witness his personality unfold even more, to watch him discover new things, to experience the different stages of mother-and-son bonding with him. He’s my beautiful, beautiful boy.

Anyway, once I get my thoughts together on everything I will probably find some way to write again. Maybe on Luke’s blog. Maybe on this one. Maybe on a whole new one, one about my “stone.” Not sure yet, but stay tuned.

For now, here’s a recent photo of my not-so-baby boy. Happy 1st birthday, dear one. I can’t even imagine not choosing LIFE. We longed for you, we treasure you, and you are loved more than you know.

Luke

It Still Hurts

There are things that take me back. Take me to when the hurt was raw, the tears were fresh. Things that make me miss my first child so, so much.

Oh how I miss him. I heard this song while playing my iTunes on random today, and the memories flooded my mind of what is now almost 2 years ago. How has it been almost 2 years? What would he have been like now?

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Luke is 5 months old today. I wouldn’t trade my sweet Luke for a second. But it doesn’t and won’t ever take away the pain of not having William here.

He would’ve been 14 months old now.

Having Luke here and falling more and more in love with him just makes me realize how much I’m missing with William, and how I love him even more now, if that’s possible. Is it possible?

One Year Later

This morning, after a long night of us going to bed and getting back up again–times five, I’m reminded that for everything, there is a season.

This is the anniversary of the day we found out about Luke — December 3rd, 2013. The culmination of a very tough year, to say the least. Little did we know the next year would bring so much more joy than the last.

God is good all the time, and there are wonderful things in store, always, if you just hang in there long enough. And I’m beyond grateful for our sweet little man — sleep or no sleep.

He’s such a sweet little charmer, our Luke. He smiles all the time. He loves for people to get right in his face and talk to him, it gets him really excited and he starts “talking” back to you. He kicks up his legs and rolls to the side, and I think he’s now practicing that in his sleep because lots of times we hear a big “THUD!” on the monitor, and come in later to find him turned about 45 degrees from where he was, lol.

Luke and Santa 1 - 11-30-14

And what a growing boy! He gains about 3 pounds a month, weighing in at 16 lb 6 oz when we checked him at 3 months. Who knows what he weighs now! His next pediatrician’s appt is Dec 15, so we’ll see. That one is his 4 month shots, which kills me. I hated the 2 month shots. 😦

He’s been teething since 3 months, although it took me about a week and 1/2 to realize that it was teething and not just being overtired or something else. How do I know? Screaming for no reason (for an otherwise very happy baby), gnawing on everything, drooling, interrupted night sleep and naps, feeling a little warm here and there (although no fever), getting a little red in his diaper here and there (no real rash yet), etc etc. Plus J and I both teethed early, apparently, and genetics plays a part I hear. I hope we see a tooth soon, but I think it could be a few more weeks before those mean beasts erupt! Poor thing. The pediatrician said we can give him teething tablets or tylenol, so we’ve been doing the tablets, and they’ve helped some. I think as it gets worse tylenol will be good to have on hand for those rougher nights. Bless his little heart!

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And today — of all days! — Luke just laughed for the first time! He’s been trying to for months, giving that scratchy laughing sound (like Ernie in Sesame Street, for a comparison). But today I think he finally got it! I was finishing up nursing him and as he was just laying there looking at me, he did it. I teared up, and tried to get him to do it again so I could record it on my phone. He didn’t do it again (dang it!) but I’m on cloud nine now. What a special thing, to hear your child laugh for the first time.

I think I’m going to begin another blog sometime soon, something to jot down some thoughts on motherhood, record Luke’s milestones (since I never seem to have time to scrapbook them), and vent. I don’t really want to do any of that here. This is my place for William. It should be reserved for him. It’s the place where I poured out my heart about my struggles with miscarriage. I may still write here from time to time, but I don’t want to blur the two.

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I’m kind of rushing through this post so I can get back to work, so it’s not very eloquent, but I just wanted to provide an update on Luke. If/when I create another blog I will definitely post a link to it here!

Happy holidays, my heart is with you all.

November 4th

As Luke sits here in his swing beside me, fast asleep, I can’t help but think about how far I’ve come.

Today is November 4th, our first baby’s due date. Today would have been William’s first birthday. And yet, if he had been here with us now, Luke wouldn’t be. It’s a bitter trade, and you can’t really play the “what if” game in this matter, it’s just too much to bear. But still, it makes you think.

I miss my child so much. I think of him often.

Today is bittersweet. Loss is loss, no matter how many living children you have. I’m still sad. I still wish things had been different. But I love both of my babies equally, and I am beginning to accept how it all came together — even though it’s a trade no mother ever wants to make.

Luke is here. William is not.

I love this poem, the author put it so perfectly…

An Ugly Pair of Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in the world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some, have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much.
Some, have worn the shoes so long that days will go by,
before they think of how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

~Author Unknown~

I wear these shoes and always will, now that William is gone. I am forever changed by my loss. But I think of him and all I feel is this overwhelming love, after all that happened last year. I love him so much.

But I love Luke too. And I have the privilege of being Luke’s mother, here and now. So I just want to be the best mom to Luke that I can be.

And today, on November 4th…that’s enough for me.

I’ll always miss William. I’ll always protect his memory. And one day, when the timing’s right, I’ll tell Luke about his big brother. Because William will always be part of our family.

My sweet Luke

My sweet Luke