Pregnancy After Loss {Part 4}: Was I hoping for a boy or a girl? (Word heavy blog post)

(You can read part 1 herepart 2 here, and part 3 here.)

This “Part 4” is where I feel the most fear and hesitation about sharing honestly but I also feel a desire to share my heart regarding this. It’s a question that comes up a lot and also I think an unspoken one among many and I really do want to share.

 Was I hoping for a boy or a girl?

Mustache or bows? :)

I really want to pause here before I write about my response. I want to say that if you’ve walked through the loss of a child and are reading this, PLEASE know that this post isn’t to say that how I felt is the only way to feel or that you were wrong in your feelings. Another reason I feel so hesitant to share also because I don’t want another momma who has lost a child to feel an ounce of guilt over what they/you may have/will feel. Even though we may walk the same path of losing a child, we all grieve and ache differently and have different desires and longings when it comes to pregnancy after loss. Okay, whew, how’s that for a disclaimer :)

From early on in this pregnancy I journaled my heart away and I will share a snit bit of my response to these very questions. Let’s rewind to the beginning of this pregnancy.

If you’ve ever been pregnant or have known a loved one who has been pregnant, you know that the moment the two little pink lines show up, they never shut up :) You/they are flooded with all kinds of emotion and the excitement pours out at any given moment when a new thought arrises; thoughts about a future with a baby, will it be a boy or girl, wondering what day they will be born, early or late, big or small, hair or bald, daddy’s nose or mommy’s, etc, etc, etc…

Newly pregnant with baby #3, I wasn’t able to enjoy these questions that arose within me as I did with my first two babies. Instead I was faced with a loads of fear and anxiety as I finally began to think of the future. Thinking of labor was out of the question due to fear and memouries from a stillbirth. Thinking of a life with another little one on the way, I just couldn’t. I had a hard time finding hope to believe this little one would make it into my arms healthy and alive, breathing.

When it came to the thought of gender of this little one… whew. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have hopes for one gender or the other in each of my pregnancies. In my pregnancy with Chase, I had thought it was a girl all while deep inside I had hoped it was a boy because I loved the idea of having my kids have an older brother as I never did. With Eisley, I just had a feeling from the beginning that she was our Eisley-girl. I wanted her to be and she was.

This time around I found myself in an entirely different place than with the first two pregnancies. I cried out to God in regards to this little one’s gender. (And here is where my fear sets in before I share my heart…) Here is a quote from my journal that I feel says what my heart felt the best (I edited out some more personal things, but this is the main portion I feel to share);

“…you know my heart, you know how I’m wired, you know me better than even I know myself…I know that you know what I need, even if it’s not what I would have thought….but my heart doesn’t feel ready for another girl. Not so soon after losing my Eisley-girl…. I feel like I would be replacing her, I know I wouldn’t ever do that intentionally but I know myself and I know I would struggle believing that lie. Everything that I had dreamt and hoped for my Eisley, I would struggle as maybe those same thoughts arose if this is another little girl. And they will, I mean, even just how different it is to dress a boy and a girl, they would arise…. Please hear my heart. I know that either way You will be with me, guiding me in healing, whether this little one is a boy or a girl. But please, hear my cry … my heart just doesn’t feel ready…”

Even though that sums up what I had felt, I want to share a little more extensively. From the beginning I had hoped with everything in my that this little one was a boy. As you read, I was terrified of what my heart and mind would do if we were pregnant with another girl so soon after losing Eisley. I will be having this baby just 14 months after we lost her. It felt too close for my heart. I know that Eisley and this baby are two totally different children, two different personalities, etc. I just knew that my heart and mind would struggle in feeling like I was replacing her. I know myself well enough to know that it would be a daily battle at least for a while.

I struggled immensely in deciding when to share our pregnancy with the “whole world”. Hence waiting 5 months, and even that was hard!

For one, I found myself struggling to believe in myself for this pregnancy, that I could carry to term and grow/nourish a baby. A part of my fear of sharing was fear of hearing people ask me if it was too soon after Eisley or if I’d be able to carry this baby full term, etc. I needed people to {believe} in me and in that we could do this. I was afraid of even the few responses, like that, that might come. (I’m thankful that I only ever had one response where I felt they weren’t happy for us but more fearful!)

I also wasn’t in an emotionally stable place (not that I am now ;)) to share. We decided to share with close friends and family right away, which was terrifying, but we immediately found ourselves surrounded with their joy, excitement and belief that this would be a healthy pregnancy. As we began to share, questions were brought to me that I didn’t know how to process. I realized that if we were to share with the “whole world” that many more questions would arise and I really wouldn’t be able to share where I was at. I didn’t know. I was in shock. Fear and anxiety had a strong grip on me and what I was able to feel during that time. I needed the time to “process” the best that I could. I found taking it one day at a time, even still, is the best medicine for me. God guided my heart in showing me that important “one day at a time” lesson when I was pregnant with Eisley. Not that I am a faithful do-er, but I try to remember that and it helps immensely.

Another huge reason for not sharing early on was due to fear of having my heart wounded. After we lost Eisley, I was incredibly stunned to find myself wounded by people I’d never imagined myself hurt by. I had an incredibly hard time being able to sort through what people intentions were when they shared something publicly or to me personally. It was (and occasionally is) a constant daily struggle.  I found distance creep into even some of my closest friendships. I lost friendships due to feeling abandoned and ultimately wounded in the time of our darkest season, but for the most part, I allowed distance between friendships and people because of my assumptions. God has brought a lot of healing to my heart and now I rarely struggle with bitterness anymore. But it’s taken time and I still feel the ache of the loss of those friends when I really think about it. All this to say, I wasn’t sure how much more hurt I could handle at that point, where I first found out we were pregnant. I was in an incredibly vulnerable state that I feared more pain. I feel much stronger now and am able to (for the most part) sort through what’s said, or not said, and let. it. go. 

Perhaps, though, my biggest reason for not sharing my pregnancy with everyone for months… I didn’t want to have people think or even say things that implied that I would be replacing Eisley with another baby. Especially if this baby would have been a girl. As I began to share our pregnancy with family and close friends, I found myself in tears after sharing more than standing in joy and belief. I didn’t want to hear how “redeeming” this pregnancy could/would be. I didn’t want to hear that people had hoped I was having a little girl, because it conflicted with what I had hoped and my reasonings, and so I would believe that ultimately people were saying to me “I hope you have a little girl! Wouldn’t that be so redeeming?!” Even when that was {not at all} what people were really saying. I struggle believing that if we shared with everyone, perhaps most would hope we’d have a little girl. In my heart, I ached at the thought that others might really think having another little girl would be redeeming when in fact I knew for myself, even though that might look to be like redemption, it would not be at all. It would never bring my Eisley back and in that way, it could never be redeeming. (I hope I’m making sense)

All of the above are the “reasons” for why, for the most part, I kept my mouth sealed tight, until we shared at our Mustache or Bows Party. As I shared all of these above struggles with one of my dearest friends, she suggested that maybe I wait to announce to everyone (like on social media) until after we’ve had the party and can share with the “whole world” that I was pregnant and it was a boy. That way it left very little room for my heart to feel wounded by responses of people hoping it was a girl for redemptive purposes. Even when that wasn’t what people meant or their intention, it was/would be hard to hear.

So a quick summary of what I felt when I first learned that baby #3 was a boy… well, first things first, I noticed before anyone told me! I have seen quite a few ultrasounds and I just noticed that it was a boy. I asked the ultrasound technician  if what I was seeing was little boy parts and she looked at me quite surprised and said, “Yes! I’m almost positive that what we’re seeing it outdoor plumbing.” :)

At 13 weeks pregnant I found out that I was having a little boy. My heart and mind felt relief. He had heard my cry and knew that this was what was best for my heart right now. I was also so thankful I found out so early in this pregnancy. That same week, I chose the perfect name for our boy and I can’t wait to share the name and the incredible meaning for him and for our family, in less than 10 weeks now!!! Boy S will have to do for now :)

Do I want a girl in the future? Yes I do. And I feel so strongly that we will have another little girl in our family but that time is not right now. I feel in my heart that when we do know that we are pregnant with another little girl, I will be as “ready” as one can be. I imagine that some of these same fears, struggles and lies will arise, but I also know that time will help my heart to heal and become ready for another precious baby girl.

Part 5 I’ll share what it was like to share the news at our gender reveal and also to the “whole world”.

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3 weeks.

I’m not really sure where to begin today. My heart is so full of emotion and aches as we begin to reach weeks that last year, were of the most painful weeks and days in our lives. I guess I’ll begin with a bit of what happened on this very date last year.

August 23rd, 2010, I went in for another check-up on our Eisley-girl and instead of releasing me to go home, they put me in the hospital to be monitored and to be on strict bed rest. I was already on strict bed rest, but being home with a 1-year-old (at the time) “strict bedrest” wasn’t as strict as it could have been. Being hospitalized, I was only up to use the restroom and shower. I’ll never forget that first night in the hospital. They put me in a labor and delivery room for the night, until they could ready a room for me, as an antepartum patient. They hooked me up to a monitor and immediately began checking on our Eisley-girl. As Ted and Chase arrived, I could see the fear written all over his face. We both felt so helpless.

Ted had just begin his fall semester load of classes that very day. I had called him as he was leaving the college to tell him I wouldn’t be coming home anytime soon. It felt as though everything was slowly digressing and going downhill. We held so tightly to hope amidst this chaotic journey we were on for our daughter’s life. Ted and Chase weren’t able to stay with me and had to head back home, 1 hour and 15 minutes away. I wept when they left and then found that I couldn’t breath. That was the moment I had my first (of many more to come) panic attack. My nurse Lindsey (whom I love and can’t wait to see again) put me on oxygen and calmed me down and comforted me.

I don’t think I slept but maybe an hour that night. I looked around the labor and delivery room and couldn’t help but think that I shouldn’t be there in such a situation like we were. I saw the little area in the corner where they put your newborn infant to clean and measure, etc. I just felt so sick and terrified. The memouries still haunt me from that night. The only window I had in my room was a sky light that was way up high. I felt hopeless and oh so weak. I just cried out to God. Not even aloud, just within my heart. The most desperate cry from the momma heart in me.

The very next day I was moved into a room with a window and a view. I was so grateful for the sunlight. I felt something change within my heart and decided then that I would make the most of my time with my Eisley-girl. I am so thankful that I did that. I wrote her notes and read them aloud to her everyday.

 I sung and sung and sung to her. I prayed for her. I watched Gilmore Girls “with her”. I always held the palm of my hand on my belly and savored her every movement within.

(“143” was Ted and I’s silly way of saying “I love you” when we were dating. When I saw her heart rate at 143 repeatedly one night, I couldn’t help but think she was saying she loved us and snapped this photo for Ted and I)

I cherished my time with her and I often wonder if that change in my heart was actually something that was preparing my heart for September 14th. I missed my Chasey-boy and my Ted but I am so thankful for those last few weeks I had to focus on just her.

Today, August 23rd has arrived. I’ve sent my hubby off to his second fall semester of college and we’re 29 weeks pregnant with our Boy S who is growing and thriving within me. I feel hope, but I also have this constant ache, an Eisley shaped hole in our family remains. I long so much for her to be here, even still and I feel like I’ll be one of those momma’s who always ache. I read that happens with some and I really feel, that’s me. Maybe it’s because it was our girl, our precious Eisley-girl, who I’d dreamt of since I was a teenage girl. She’s captured a place in my heart that will never ever be the same again.

Her first birthday is coming up so quickly. I feel like I’ve barely been able to catch my breath since she passed away and now the date of her death (September 14th) and the date of her birth (September 17th) are arriving ever so swiftly.

I am so thankful for a Father in heaven who reaches our hearts with comfort and peace amidst the aching. And the most incredible thing is that even as He is comforting our hearts, I know our Eisley-girl rests between His strong shoulders.

Around 3 weeks from now, we’ll be both grieving and celebrating our Eisley’s life.

Oh my heart…

Pregnancy After Loss {part 3}; Facing Fears, Finding Hope.

I’ve been doing what you could call a series of my journey through pregnancy after loss. I often wonder why I’m even posting such things because I wonder who’s even want to read this kind of thing. I guess I just want to share about pregnancy after loss and how I am doing for those curious, but I also really hope this “series” will help another momma who might walk this road.

In case you missed it, here is Part 1 and Part 2.

(As I was looking back in my journal, I re-read this quote I’d written down and it seems to fit this post perfectly. Maybe it will give a glimpse into why I sometimes fall back to fear instead of hope.)

We left off with me 12 weeks pregnant, about to head back to see the specialist that I saw in my entire pregnancy with Eisley.

So, there I was, 12 weeks pregnant, making the dreaded elevator ride up 4 floors to our Fetal Medicine Specialist’s office. You might remember me talking about these trips in my pregnancy with Eisley. We saw her almost every week to check on our Eisley-girl. She was incredible at her job, but her job doesn’t leave much room for optimism. If someone was seeing the FMS, that usually wasn’t good to begin with. The day before Eisley’s death was the first time she had ever been optimistic about Eisley’s life and the chance of her survival. So, with all of that said…. the thought of going back and seeing her was almost unbearable.

I walked in with a racing and fearful heart. I knew that they’d be doing a lot of testing (blood work and ultrasound screening). What news would today bring? Ted wasn’t able to be there (not his fault, just fyi :)) so my mom came along for support. The checkup began and we waited as the ultrasound technician went over baby #3’s body. She’d explain along the way what we were looking at and I felt small relief with each positive comment. The amnionic fluid was great, the blood from the placenta through the cord to the baby was great, the placenta has no clot or abruption, etc. Sweet relief. But my mind kept falling back to fear; I also knew that I hadn’t begun bleeding with Eisley until week 13 and I knew that at any given moment, things could take a turn for the worse, no matter how great everything looked just the day before.

After the ultrasound technician was finished, she called in Dr. Daye. I hadn’t seen Dr. Daye since the day of Eisley’s birth and was kind of worried as to what she’s say about me being pregnant only 5 months later (only for safety reason for this baby, not at a matter of opinion.) She came in smiling and told me she was excited to hear that we were pregnant again. What? Smiles and excitement. I felt as though I was looking at a different doctor. Remeber, I had said her job doesn’t leave much room for optimism so imagine my surprise and honestly, my relief. She looked over the scans of our new little one and then did her own thorough checkup to again confirm, everything looked awesome thus far.

She did go on to warn me that mother’s who have had a placenta abruptions, have a 10% chance of reoccurrence. My heart dropped. Even just 10% terrified me. She went on to say that mother’s who’ve had such a severe case like ours, usually don’t have as severe a case again, if at all.  I tried to find hope in that but then again, we were always on the bad news of the percentages with Eisley. We were the small percentage that ended with devastation.

She asked me personal questions about how I was doing. I told her that I just really wanted to get past 13 weeks. She told me that I was almost out of the 13th week. I was so confused and told her I was only 12. She showed me that the day of my last period and where I was currently was indeed 13 weeks. (it’s a long story, but the OB/GYN office had their records wrong of when my last period was which confused the information that was sent to Dr. Daye’s office).

I felt hope in hearing that I had made it to 13 weeks and there were no problems. Bittersweet “milemarker” number one.

In the beginning of this pregnancy I found that my fear far outweighed my hope but as each week passes, I find myself hoping more than fearing. Little by little…

This very trip that I’ve just written about, was also the trip that I spotted a little something that gave away baby #3’s gender. Part 4 will be a post {just} about what I hoped the gender would be from the beginning and what I felt when I learned this little one’s gender… This post I am a little worried about sharing publicly however, the question of what I feel regarding having a boy comes up a lot and I really do want to share my feelings and thoughts about this…

part 4 coming soon.

a remarkable memory.

I haven’t been able to find the time to share this, but now I’m able and thankfully only just a few days late.  August 8th last year was a remarkable day in our lives. The day we had our ‘Pink or Blue’ gender surprise party and unveiled we were having a girl; Our Eisley-girl.

We weren’t able to ever give her a birthday party or a celebration of her birth, or even a baby shower. I think that is another reason why our ‘Pink or Blue’ party was so incredible and one of my favourite memories. Celebrating HER. I will never forget the moment I cut the cake and revealed I was indeed a girl. All along I felt that she was a girl, our Eisley. I just knew.

This party was one of the few “highs” in our pregnancy with her. The very next day we recieved the worst news we’d heard yet and so began the downward spiral until the day she was in our arms. I am so thankful we were able to throw this party and to celebrate her in this way. I read that the memories you make along the way in a pregnancy where you lose your baby, are the most precious memouries ever. “They” were right about this one. This memory is forever etched in my mind.

I wanted to share this precious memory. Especially as our most difficult memouries to bear are coming up rapidly. I needed to share something precious and good. Thanks for listening and sharing in our sorrows {and} our joys with us.

26 weeks 4 days…

I’ve been processing and thinking a lot, very privately, as you may have noticed…or maybe not :) I haven’t written much on how we’re doing or where I’m at. I realized just the other day that I’ve been posting such “light” posts like I used to, I guess just to blog and to kind of say “I’m still here.” But today I really want to share a vulnerable place within me and what today means to me.

Today I am 26 weeks and 4 days pregnant with Boy S. This was exactly where I was at when we lost our Eisley-girl. 26 weeks 4 days. This is the most bittersweet day of my pregnancy with S thus far. I am extremely thankful as I look down to see my quickly growing belly and knowing that there is a strong, well nourished baby boy within me yet at the same time, I am in awe that we’re already here; The very same place where in my pregnancy with our daughter, I wept. Where our dreams and hopes for her shattered the moment her heart stopped beating.

My heart aches and heals simultaneously every single day. In some ways it’s been aching more and more as each month passes by but I can say I am now I finding my heart is slowly healing. Last month, when we reached 10 months since Eisley passed away, I couldn’t even comprehend that. 10 months?! It seems so long since we last held her yet some days it feels like just yesterday since they told me she’d passed away. Soon, 11 months and then a year… can you believe that? We can’t.

A few weeks ago I spent the evening at my grandparent’s house having dinner, catching up and later, we all watched America’s Got Talent (it’s one of their favourite shows :)) As the show came on, this sudden wave of memouries flooded my mind and it took everything in me not to break down right there in front of everyone. Memouries of the last time I had seen this show, almost a year ago now…

I flashed back to the evening September 14th, hours after Eisley had passed away in my womb. We sat in our small hospital room; Ted, myself and Chase and Eisley’s godparents. We had turned on America’s Got Talent. My mind had grown completely numb. I know Ted would say the same, hence him turning on a television show at such a time. I remember sitting there blankly watching the “acts”. I’d keep placing my hand on my belly, as pregnant mothers often unconsciously do. I looked down to find my hand resting on my belly and then it suddenly hit me, like really hit me, she was no longer alive inside of me…

Next month is September which is incredibly hard to believe. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that it’s been almost one year since we said our goodbyes. I’m just astounded. How can that possibly be? I’ve said it before on this blog, but time is flying a lot faster than my heart is healing. Even though I now recognize this as our reality, it doesn’t mean that my heart and mind have connected and come to terms with this. Will I ever? Is it humanly possible to “wrap my mind” around everything? I’m starting to think that it’s not because everything we have/are walking through is moving against how “it should be”. I’ve learned that no matter how detailed a conversation I have with our doctors about what happened and what went wrong doesn’t actually help much at all. I’ve realized that there truly isn’t one “answer” that could be said to me that would ever completely heal the aching heart of a mother. She is no longer with us and I will always ache knowing that to be truth.

How do you grieve the loss of one precious baby all while hoping and dreaming for another in little one in your womb?  I reach milestones with S that I never did with Eisley and can only describe them as bittersweet. I reach dates and (pregnancy) weeks that with Eisley were emotionally painful and here I carry within me a strong and growing baby boy. Processing both has brought me on an incredible “emotional rollercoaster”. It’s also brought me to places of healing. I’ve found that in my pregnancy with S I’ve become even more aware of how much of a miracle it was that Eisley fought for so long.  Our Eisley-girl was our miracle baby, even though she wasn’t able to be with for as long as we’d hoped.

I’ve realized that I don’t need or even want the “answers” if there are/were any. God has really helped my mind and my heart in this season. He’s close to my heart, I feel it.  I fight fear everyday in this pregnancy and some days I give in to fear more than I do in just resting in Him, but all along I know He’s never left my side. I know this because I wouldn’t be able to do this without him. It’s all too overwhelming and terrifying by myself. It is {truth} that in our weakness, He is strong. He truly is my refuge and my strength.

I read this verse just the other day and it resonated within me and I hope as I share, it too can resonate with someone who reads my blog who is walking in their own struggles, griefs, sorrows, or whatever “it”might be for you….

      Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines;  though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold,  and there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 

The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Here we are, at 26 weeks and 4 days with aching yet hopeful hearts. Thankful that He really will help us to walk on the steepest, highest, most treacherous hills. My heart is heavy and more fearful than most days, but it’s also expectant and hopeful of incredible things to come.

________________________________________________________________________

We miss you more than words can say, Eisley-girl. I am comforted in knowing that you, my precious baby girl, are resting between His shoulders. And even more comforted to know that someday I will see you, hold you and kiss your little nose. I love you and miss you deeply, momma.

Our most bittersweet news (the latest on Boy S)

5 1/2 months

Thought I’d share the latest on our growing Boy S for those who are interested! Once a month I’m seeing the same specialist we saw weekly in our pregnancy with Eisley which is incredibly bittersweet (I’m sharing more on that in my part 3 of pregnancy #3). My friend CayeDee (Eisley’s godmomma) joined me on Tuesday for support and to keep an eye on Chase who isn’t crazy about these appointments. :) At the specialists they do a thorough ultrasound. I mean, they literally go over every part of the little one’s body “with a fine tooth comb” and measure and check fluids, heart chambers, the brain, the fluid around baby, etc.

Just like his big brother, Boy S really doesn’t like ultrasounds. From the very moment they begin, he is squirming and kicking up a storm. Oh and not that I needed convincing, but we got more confirmation that he is in fact a HE. A shy little boy, he is not (photos of the first time seeing it’s a boy, also in part 3, soon)

I knew Boy S was big. I could feel it. Like in my pregnancy with Chase I really swear I can feel him growing some days when my “uterus hurt” and the muscles around my belly ached. Seeing him confirmed that, boy, is he a big guy. I swear I could see chub on him. Apparently I’m a pro on making big boys;  Chase was 8lbs 15oz which for my 5′ self is crazy! I’m still convinced that his 14.5″ head was the reason he got stuck and we had to have a C-seciton 42 hours later. Seriously, convinced.

Ready to “meet” Boy S for the first time (on my blog);

What you see here is Boy S flexing his muscles. Look at that muscle tone?! ;)

This is where it begins to be hard for me to fully express with words of what my mind and heart felt during this appointment. Fear, for one. As they went over every part of his body, my womb and placenta, I just “held my breath” and each time they’d say something positive and encouraging, I felt more and more relief. I think I am finally able to start enjoying watching his movements on screen, rather than wondering what was normal and if everything was okay.

His “little” body is measuring two weeks ahead and his head is measuring a little over a week ahead.

Sweet, sweet relief.

It’s hard to not compare this pregnancy my pregnancy with Eisley. In fact, I can’t not. This pregnancy has made me even more aware of just how “off” my pregnancy with her was. I mean, I knew the severity of what was going on, but I didn’t realize or remember what a normal pregnancy felt like. From the movements all the way to the swiftly growing and achy belly.

One night before this appointment I laid in bed, rolled onto my back and felt my stomach. I could feel my uterus just above my belly button. I can’t tell you how many times in my pregnancy with Eisley, that I laid on my back in the hospital, hoping and praying that I’d feel my uterus reach my belly button. It never did. It stayed right below it. That is why I feel I knew a head of time, that Boy S could possibly be bigger than she ever was.

Before we walked out of the appointment with the specialists Tuesday, I took a deep breath and asked them how much Boy S weighed (with all the measurements they do they can pretty accurately tell you).

They told me and tears filled my eyes. Here I am at 5 1/2 months pregnant and he already weighed more than his sister ever did at a few days away from 7 months. 3oz more to be exact.

Our most bittersweet news. Ever. When I picked Ted up from work I shared this news with him (I wanted to be face to face with him). He too was in awe. We felt thrilled for S but also this incredible sadness within. We feel hopeful for S but even more confused about our pregnancy with Eisley; “what really went wrong?!” So many inexplicable things felt simultaneously.

One thing is made me realize even more than ever before, was what a true miracle it was the Eisley lived  just 3 days shy 7 months. What a miracle that she made it so long, so tiny. What a miracle that we were able to hold her in our arms and experience the beauty of our daugher before letting her go until eternity. Whew. What a miracle.

I am so very grateful beyond words, that Boy S is big, healthy and thriving. I am also, with an aching heart, so very thankful beyond words that our miracle, our Eisley-girl, having fought so hard and survived for so long.

{Bittersweet}

Eisley’s Song.

We asked our friend Darren to put together a song for Eisley’s memorial service (October 2nd, 2010). We asked him to piece together ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and a few lyrics from ‘I Can Feel a Hot One’ by Manchester Orchestra. You Are My Sunshine I sung to her every day. The Manchester Orchestra song Ted heard on his hour long drive to the hospital after hearing Eisley had passed away. If you want to listen or download Eisley’s Song please click here.

 

Pregnancy #3 {Part 2}: Paralyzing Fear.

If interested, you can read  part 1 here.

The very moment we found out we were pregnant with another little one the fear set in. Every day I was a wreck. My fear was paralyzing me, almost quite literally (with the major exception of a super active boy) and the anxiety within me would ruin any hope that my heart wanted to have. Ted would come home from work or school to find me… and our home… a mess.

For a while I told myself and those around me that my reason for not doing much was because I was so sick and exhausted from pregnancy. Yes, that was partly true but I also knew that a lot of why I wasn’t moving, why I wasn’t doing things I love and brought me hope, why I wasn’t even doing things that I should be doing… was out of fear.

At 8 weeks I had to make the trip to Dr. Hill’s office to have the first checkup on the baby. I walked in his office feeling so nauseous, fearful and shaken up. They put me in the room to wait for him and I began to cry and shake. I couldn’t do this. The last time I had an ultrasound, I was a few days away from 7 months pregnant with Eisley (one week away from potentially delivering her) and they showed me the most devastating thing a mother could see. My baby girl’s heart had stopped beating. The memouries came flooding back and I almost couldn’t handle even being there. When Dr. Hill came in he did the ultrasound and I saw a tiny little baby the size of a bean, wriggling around and when he shared the heartbeat aloud. I cried the entire time.

Even after seeing his swift heartbeat, I allowed myself to sink so quickly into fearing for this baby. And even though I had heard and knew this would be “normal” for a momma who lost a child, it was worse than I’d ever imagined.

There was a part of me, of course, that wanted to hope and trust and believe with everything in me that this baby will be in my arms, healthy and breathing. Of course, I wanted to hope for that. However, with everything we’ve walked through, I feel it would be incredibly ignorant to not remember the reality. I can’t even forget that reality that we’re faced with everyday. I began to believe very fatalistically. I’d constantly dwell on the reality that any given moment I could begin bleeding, I could lose this baby, despite how “good” the heartbeat sounded just the week before, despite how everything was going thus far…

When people who knew we were pregnant would hang out with us or talk with me about this little one, I would say things like, “IF we get to November…” or things like “IF we can carry this baby full term…” I remember one night we had a whole group of friends over and afterwards Ted sat me down and had a serious talk with me. He was so sad and weary of hearing me speak so fatalistically. He wanted to see me hope again and believe that this could happen. He felt so strongly that this pregnancy would be just like it was with Chase.

Not long after our talk I had a major breakdown. I was almost 12 weeks pregnant and the fear was unbearable for my mind. I couldn’t move from the couch besides helping Chase or getting him out of trouble. I laid on my left side and drank a ton of water (both of which I did with Eisley because they were what could help her). I never even got Chase out of the house for most of my first bit of pregnancy.  Most days, I couldn’t even get myself to the shower. I was depressed, fearful, full of anxiety and worry. I didn’t believe in myself. I’d, once again, convinced myself that I was to blame for Eisley’s death and that maybe if I did everything “perfectly” with this pregnancy things would be different.

One huge struggle I have had with believing I had failed Eisley, that my body had failed her, was with this little one, not knowing what it was that I really could do differently. They never gave me a solid reason for why my placenta clotted and why it pulled away from the uterine wall. There wasn’t something they could pin point and say “Do this differently next time.” Nothing. So imagine my fear of doing anything.

The road to 13 weeks was incredibly daunting. At 13 weeks with my sweet Eisley-girl, I had begun bleeding. At 12 weeks with this little one, I had to see the specialist I saw weekly with Eisley. Talk about traumatic experiences… I’m still working through my times in her office when I was pregnant with Eisley.

The thought of returning to her office was more than I thought I could handle. Having rarely ever heard or seen our fetal medicine specialist speak positively or with hope, I only feared the worst…

Part 3 coming soon with how it was to walk back into the specialists, facing week 13 and how I felt in learning this little one’s gender.

Grace.

I’m on my knees
only memories
are left for me to hold
Dont know how
but Ill get by
Slowly pull myself togetherTheres no escape
So keep me safe
This feels so unrealNothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it seems
Turn my grief to grace

I feel the cold
Loneliness unfold
Like from another world

Come what may
I wont fade away
But I know I might change

Nothing comes easily
Fill this empty space
Nothing is like it was
Turn my grief to grace

Nothing comes easily
Where do I begin?
Nothing can bring me peace
Ive lost everything
I just want to feel your embrace

-KateHavnevik
(heard this song among many others lately that have deeply touched my heart and ring true)
Almost 8 months later and it is still so hard for me to grasp. She is gone. I know people are tired of hearing this. I know many would love to hear me say “I’m doing much better now, thanks” but the truth is I’m not. I’m struggling to even get myself off the couch a lot these days. I do, but it’s a serious battle.
I miss her so much I ache. I watch Chase grow and become a little boy and always miss his baby sister beside him. I can’t help but think about what that would have been like. What she would have been like here with us. How she would have changed our family dynamic, here. I still think of those things and much, much more. I still ache. And to be honest, for all those who feel I should be healed or moving forward or feel complete peace by now, sometimes I just want to scream aloud… it’s been 8 freaking months. Not 8 years. 8 months. I even had someone pray against my “spirit of grief” and it broke my heart even more. Why do I ever share aloud?
I NEED grace. When it’s not given or when I feel wounded for even saying anything, I began to shove it in, and feel so upset that I shut myself up from sharing with others.
I heard one too many comments on where I should be or a look of “I’m done talking with you” when people ask how doing and realize they didn’t really care, that I slowly began to shrink back from speaking honestly and freely with just anyone. But tonight, I realized, this is a place I can and will freely write.
Maybe honestly to hear someone say it’s really okay where I am at.  Even to hear from those who’ve walked this road before me…To know I’m not failing because I’m still grieving and aching so very deeply. The flip side is I do have a pretty incredible support in my loving friends and family. I get caught up on the negative too much, but I think it’s because I really can’t imagine saying or doing some of the things I’ve been faced with from others since we’ve lost our daughter.
Whew… came on to just share this song… and look at me now. I’m a pretty big wreck, a broken mess and missing my Eisley-girl more than my words or tears could ever express…

The first of many precious memories.

I will always remember April 26th as a day of celebration (and surprise! :)). Dates have always been an important thing in my life. Whether really good or really bad things happen, the date stays with me forever.


(the very first photo of our Eisley inside me)

Tuesday was a good day to remember. An anniversary to an amazing memory. The very day we found out we were pregnant (2 months to be exact) with our precious Eisley-girl. I can’t believe it has already been one year. Time is flying so much faster than I want it to, but at least this weeks anniversary was a really good one. (you can read last years post here.)

I wouldn’t trade one second of what we walked through in because we were given our sweet Eisley. We had our precious daughter, even though our time with her was so much shorter than we’d ever imagined. I am so very thankful that we had her, our Eisley. We were given such a precious gift, she was and is a gift! I am so honoured to be her momma.

My prayers to my Father have changed quite a bit since we’ve lost her. One of the ways they’ve changed is how often I ask him to show or tell Eisley such and such. To kiss her on the nose for me. To tell her how much we love her and miss her. Call me childish, but I believe He does.

On another note, for the first time ever, my blog didn’t save a draft when I requested it to and instead it deleted it. I have something so heavy on my heart to share about struggling and being a Christian and poured my heart out only to watch it disappear before my eyes. So… I’m going to write again, thankfully I hadn’t written everything! I can’t say for sure when I will be posting it, just keep checking in.

Well, Happy Saturday everyone!