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

Advertisements

April 20

A day late, but I couldn’t not honor William’s memory.

My precious William:
As long as I live, you will live.
As long as I live, you will be remembered.
As long as I live, you will be loved…

Thinking of you always,
Your mom

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?

—————
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!

IMG_0646

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.

IMG_0688

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

11 Days

**Warning: Pregnancy update.**

11 days to go and I am so ready. I’m not gonna complain, I’m actually one of those rare 9-months-pregnant ladies who isn’t really uncomfortable and desperate to get the baby out. I just keep doing things to get the house, my job, my life, ready…and I’m tired of doing! I’m on the cusp of the next chapter of my life, virtually 99% there, and I’m ready for it to begin. I want Luke here. I’m ready to be a mommy.

J says I should just rest, especially if I say I’m “tired of doing” constantly. But I can’t! I literally can’t. It’s like it’s ingrained in me to keep going. If I sit still I will see something else that needs to be done, or start thinking about things I can’t control (labor, delivery, family visiting…ahhh!). So I am still going. I told J that I just want an excuse to stop (although all I really mean by that is, I want labor to start), but he always responds, “you have one! you’re pregnant! rest!”. If he only knew what it felt like to be a momma. I think that’s what it is. It’s nesting, for sure, but it’s being a momma. I’ll never stop doing — for now, that means getting ready for our Luke. Soon, it will mean doing anything and everything in my power to protect Luke. It just is what it is. I have morphed into a mommy, and I’m loving it.

I think it just bugs me that everything else in life you can plan, you can predict…or at least you can have an idea of when something will probably happen. But this, this is out of my control (sounds familiar… just about everything in ttc and pregnancy is out of our control right?!). I can’t plan when Luke’s going to arrive. He could show up tomorrow, he could show up in 3 more weeks. So I am doing everything “just in case” he arrives tomorrow. Every day I operate like that. And by the end of each day I’m like, “let’s get this show on the road, already!” The docs think that Luke won’t be overdue. Of course they can never really tell, but at my 37 week appt (a week and 1/2 ago) I was dialated 2 cm already, and he’s been head down and very low since 35 weeks. So we’ll see! They did say that they really don’t want me to go later than a week past due, so it sounds like regardless, Luke will be here by the 23rd or 24th.

My oldest sister’s wedding anniversary is the 8th, J’s sister’s birthday is the 11th, my little brother’s birthday is the 13th, of course our wedding anniversary is his due date the 14th, and J’s dad’s birthday is the 19th. So I think there’s a chance Luke will be sharing a birthday or celebration with someone in the family!

I’ve been teary lately. Not sad teary, but wistful, sentimental teary. I honestly have been so far removed from what happened last year because of everything that’s going on now, so much that I haven’t thought of it much these past couple of months. But I’ve noticed that now that we’re thisclose to Luke’s arrival, I can’t help but think about William. Or just the realization that this is finally happening, and wondering what it would have been like if William had made it this far. I try not to think about it too much, because I don’t think it’s fair to my sweet Luke. But it makes me sentimental. And it makes me love both my boys that much more.

My sister found out this week that she’s having a boy. I am so excited for her, but also for my Luke! A boy first cousin close in age! Things seem to be going well with her, as well as my sister-in-law (although my sister-in-law has nausea so bad that she had to be admitted to the hospital this week for an IV with fluids! The baby is okay, though, so that’s what matters, but bless her heart she’s having a rough time). They are having a girl. So I will have a new nephew AND a new niece this December! It’s so much fun being an aunt, but I am just so thrilled for my Luke that he will have a boy cousin so close in age, and one that doesn’t live too far away (2 hours vs. the 10 hrs. it takes to get to visit my oldest sister’s kids!).

Okay, that’s a long enough update for now. Here’s some pictures!

36w2d

36w2d

These little shoes kill me!

These little shoes kill me!

36w2d

36w2d

Art that J made for Luke's superhero room

Art that J made for Luke’s superhero room

Thinking of everyone who is struggling with TTC, and for those of you that are in the delicate stages of early pregnancy. I’m praying for you all. I’ve seen so many posts lately with pregnancy announcements, and so many of you are making it to the second trimester and even anatomy scan with good news. I’m just overjoyed at how much God is moving in your lives! And I continue to pray for you all. Lots of love!!

Little Dude. Big Plans.

Little Dude. Big Plans.

Little Dude. Big Plans.

I have so much to update on. It’s been 7 weeks since I’ve written! I needed to get offline for a while, needed time to rest and reflect. God has given me an enormous gift, and I have been struggling this entire pregnancy to choose joy and not fear. It has been a HARD battle. It was harder than I expected. I really thought I could just choose faith but I underestimated the push-back the enemy has.

I am ashamed to say I chose fear most of the time, especially before 13 weeks. Then the 13th week came and went, and I had 2 separate things that scared the daylights out of me that week. Both were fine, but it was a good reminder that nothing is guaranteed, not even after you think you’ve hit your “safety zone.” I should have learned that the last time. I think God wanted to show me that He’s in control, and that whatever is going on with my body has no bearing on the outcome of this pregnancy. All of the days ordained for this child have been written in His book already.

Faith MATTERS. And it is a choice. You won’t ever feel like grabbing onto faith, but it is critical to just choose to trust in how much God loves you — and loves your child.

I am 17 weeks today.

Yesterday, we found out we are having a boy. The picture above says it all. Little dude…and yes, we have big plans!

Finding out it is a boy made my heart soar. I can’t really describe it. I miss my William everyday, he was my first. He will always be my first. And I really believe he was a boy. This ‘little dude’ in no way replaces him, but it helps my heart heal in a way I can’t put into words. I was hoping for a boy. I keep crying because I can’t believe it. I couldn’t sleep last night I was so excited. I am just melting. I’m falling in love with this child. I’m finally allowing myself to.

Our sweet boy

Our sweet boy

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved this child since day one. I loved this child the moment we lost William, knowing his little brother or sister was in our future someday. But I have weirdly not “felt” love, probably because I’ve felt fear the whole time. Maybe it was how my love manifested for so long. I loved him so much I feared losing him like we lost William. Every day I was scared of something different. I still am. I wanted to post yesterday but didn’t because I hadn’t gone to my appointment yet, I was afraid of jinxing it. Seriously. God is still working on me.

I’m going to keep this short(ish) for now, and will have more to talk about later. I just wanted to update everyone who’s been SO SO supportive. I may not have responded to all your comments, but believe me they meant the world to me, especially the latest ones from my 10-week post. I’ve been reading as many of your posts as I can squeeze in and I’m still here, rooting for you and thinking of you all.

I have been thinking about this blog and wondering if I want it to stay dedicated to my loss. That’s partly why I haven’t written, I didn’t want to post happy pregnancy updates knowing that I started this blog as an outlet to write about my loss — and knowing that others read it specifically because of their losses/their infertility. I know it’s okay to write about my pregnancy, but I also love you all and hate the idea of making your hearts sink. I know you won’t say it, because you’re the sweetest girls on the planet, but I know that is what it does, at least in part. Sometimes seeing this kind of stuff is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and I’ve noticed that many of you are at your final straw in your journey, or feel like it most days. I ache reading your updates and I think about you all the time. I have hope for every single one of you, and I know that right now there are more bad days than good, but it won’t always be like that. I hope you believe that too.

So I will probably still write, but it won’t always be about this pregnancy. I don’t want to be one of those women who “forgets where she came from.” I think about my William now more than ever; February was a bittersweet month as it was the month we conceived and found out about him last year. And the further this pregnancy goes, the more I remember him fondly. I love the idea of writing about that when the mood strikes. But I will probably also write about current events and excitement from time to time, just for myself. I hope people skip those posts as needed.

And I’ll say this again and again — thank you all for your incredible support and love. You keep me going and I know God has BIG plans for all of us. He is bigger than we think He is, and can do more than we realize He can do. And He WANTS to. Heck, He already has it planned, we just don’t know about it yet!

I’m going to, yet again, share the promise God gave me over and over, just before we found out about this pregnancy. I hope you find HOPE in it! And if you haven’t yet, please visit my Hope and Encouragement page on this blog. I go read it for myself often and it’s all I can do to not drop everything I’m doing and praise God right there. He is FAITHFUL.

Psalm 107:29-30