Pregnancy after loss: Where my feet may fail and fear surrounds me.

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Above: Little Baby Davis #4, making his/her first appearance on the blog :)

I thought it would be a little easier this time around. Being pregnant after loss and after having had another healthy pregnancy. I think at first, I felt it was easier. Maybe it was because even though we had tried for this baby, we didn’t really have much time to sit and process being pregnant again. If that makes sense. Our summer was a whirlwind. It flew by and here we are entering out second week of September already.

The truth is, it’s not easier this time around. And walking through another pregnancy after loss, I’ve come to realize and accept that it will never be easier. Our pregnancies will never feel safe again. I was reflecting on my first pregnancy with Chase and how unafraid I felt. I truly loved being pregnant. I miss that so very much. I am so thankful that at least one of our pregnancies was blissful. We hadn’t yet lost our innocence to what could happen.

The thing about fear for me, is that it’s paralyzing, debilitating. I struggle with major insomnia this pregnancy, and I feel it’s due to this fear. I also struggle with wanting to connect with this little one, even thought naturally I do. I want to, I just throw my guard up as if it would be easier if something were to happen. Which I know that it wouldn’t be any easier. My heart, though afraid of the risk, loves this little one so much already.

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Last month Ted introduced me to this song called Oceans by Hillsong. It’s been on repeat every day since. I just absolutely love it. The bridge is so perfect, I resonates in me.

 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,

Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,

and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Saviour.

When we lost Eisley, though the pain was beyond anything I have ever experienced, I feel my faith was made stronger. I remember when we lost her I felt like everything around me had shattered and there I stood, broken and confused …but there He stood with me. The picture I get it me standing in a room of darkness and broken glass and Him beside me. I felt for the first time, that I trust Him. Even though my daughter was taken from me, I trusted Him with everything in me. I knew He knew what was best for her even if it was painful for us.

I still feel this way and please, do not mistaken my fear in this pregnancy with lack of faith. I think it breaks my heart further when people speak words over me about my faith, etc. I have the faith and I also have this fear. I have trust in Him, but I also know that trust in Him doesn’t make me immune to suffering and pain. I accept this, I know this and I love Him. He is FOREVER good, even in my fear, even in my pain and in my weakness.

I guess I just wanted to get on my blog again (I miss blogging) and declare that even though – like this song states – my feet may fail me and fear surrounds me, I trust You, Father.

 

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I trust you with this little one, even if it means heartache in the end.

I feel He gave me this word this morning, the first word I’ve felt in a while:

“Oh yes, people of Zion, citizens of Jerusalem, your time of tears is over. Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”

God will provide rain for the seeds you sow. The grain that grows will be abundant. Your cattle will range far and wide. Oblivious to war and earthquake, the oxen and donkeys you use for hauling and plowing will be fed well near running brooks that flow freely from mountains and hills. Better yet, on the Day God heals his people of the wounds and bruises from the time of punishment, moonlight will flare into sunlight, and sunlight, like a whole week of sunshine at once, will flood the land.” Isaiah 30:20-26

 

The 3rd year anniversaries of our Eisley-girl’s death and birth are coming up next weekend. While I can’t  believe it’s been 3 years, I also feel like it’s been a lifetime since we met her and said our goodbyes which breaks my heart. “But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home and it’s all you’ll ever know…”

triggered trauma + declarations

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The past few weeks have been pretty trying for our family. “When it rains, it pours” describes it best, I think.

So many things that were out of my control. Chase and Shailo somehow caught Whooping cough (Pertussis) … like an actual documented case. This was after learning Shailo had Pneumonia two days before (a result of the whooping cough). I had a sinus infection – not a big deal, just tiresome and annoying on top of everything else. Ted just had sinus surgery yesterday, which thankfully he’s recovery wonderfully.

Just a lot at once. And all of it, totally out of my control.

Since we’ve lost Eisley, I’ve really struggled with things being out of my control. Sometimes even more than one should. I used to take pride in being adaptable and adventurous and after September 14, 2010 – I felt as though those parts of me vanished.

My adventurous spirit is slowly rising up again, I can feel it. (Even my dad recently commented on seeing a bit of it again) I remember the exact day that I felt I dreamt again. I was at a little coffee shop with my friend Chey, late February. We were talking of future plans and I just felt excited, for the first time since Eisley’s passing, about a particular piece of our dreams that I thought I’d lost. Since then, I have felt even more adventure and courage rise up in me. I am moved to tears even now, with gratefulness.

But it’s also a struggle when things like the past few weeks come flooding in like they sometimes do.

I’ve struggle a lot in the past year. June of 2012 I started on anti-depressants. I’ve since had an on again, off again relationship with my meds. I hate that I need to take them to keep on moving, but I do. When I don’t, it’s really, really rough and dark. For me and for my entire family. I don’t like putting them through hell every time I’m not well, so I’m back on them.

And, yes, here I am sharing publicly… well, within the “privacy” of my blog and those who want to read it.

Monday, I sat in front of my counselor with this incredible weight on my chest. Tears wanted to burst through but again, I felt I needed to keep it together, be strong.

He said the words, affirmed what I feel deep down, but rarely affirmed. What we went through was horrific and traumatic and it’s okay that I (still) feel the way I do inside.

I told him I often feel crazy. I know deep inside that what we went through with the loss of Eisley was awful. I know this, if I let myself, I feel this. I’ve struggled feeling like I am crazy, because it’s not spoken of, most often it’s been ignored or I have been ignored. I get it, it’s very awkward, but I feel like it’s so much more than that.

I’m not crazy. I’m hurting. I’m still broken in many ways.

Trauma is triggered in moments like the past few weeks, when things are so difficult and out of my control. Obviously on a scale of 1-10 the things recently barely registered compared to the things we’ve walked through with Eisley. But my brain doesn’t know any different. It just triggers my trauma and I flip out, or shut down.

Friday May 31st, I sat in Shailo’s ER room, my hand on his little sleeping body and my head on the bed, tears pouring out my face. I knew he wasn’t in a life or death situation, but it all felt so scary. And to make matters worse, we were in the same hospital I lost Eisley in. Normally, I fet a little bit of time to prepare my mind for walking back in that hospital, but this evening there wasn’t time to “prepare” my mind and heart. A few different moments, it all felt too overwhelming. I just wanted to leave, but if you’ve ever been to the ER you know, it’s not a quick in and out experience.

I sought His peace but also felt so hurt and somewhat betrayed. I know He never leaves us or forsakes us, but there is still struggle and heartache.

That morning, before I realized how sick Shai was, I woke around 4am cramping and bleeding. The worst part was that we had just learned – 5 days before – that we were pregnant again. They were faint lines, but lines nonetheless. It all felt to odd, because if I’m being honest, initially I cried. But then wanted to be strong because the reality is that we didn’t really even have a confirmed ultrasound pregnancy – so it wasn’t a big deal, right? I had convinced my mind that it wasn’t a big deal, but my heart was so burdened and sad. Just days before we were talking about having our first February Baby and then here we were.

A friend helped guide me to truth and validation; we had a chemical pregnancy – which basically means I only knew via tests that we were pregnant. I guess it’s pretty common but most of the time woman think it’s their period starting late. I almost wish I hadn’t known I was pregnant, but then another part of me is glad I did know.

Talking with my counselor about it, I found myself choking up, tears filling my eyes, ” I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying.”

“Of course you would cry. Why wouldn’t you? You lost a baby. I would be worried if this didn’t affect you.”

Hearing that, the walls broke and so did I. Validation.

It’s not even been 3 years since we’ve lost Eisley and I just cannot keep living, denying my feelings and grief and the trauma anymore. The trauma is too much to bury and if I do, I wouldn’t be myself. I’ve seen it. If I continue to face this grief and trauma (in counseling like I have), perhaps I will continue to find peace and healing – and maybe even the pieces of me that I felt I’d lost will come back slowly. I know that I am forever changed by the loss of our Eisley-girl but I am not crazy. I am a broken, hurting, traumatized, emotional momma. But I am not crazy.

Declaring it. Standing firm in it. Choosing to walk in truth and face what needs to be faced.

Declaring that I will trust Him.

I wasn’t going to share about our little “Glory Baby”  – but within the “safety” of my blog – I know the people are read are ones whom I know what to hear what I have to say. Thank you so much for stopping by and listening to my ramblings.

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When my broken world caves in
And the darkness covers over
With a love, love, love that heals

You come, You make us one
So, Jesus, stay with my heart, stay beside me
You are hope for my soul, You complete me
You make us one
You make us one
When Your tenderness surrounds
And Your gentle whisper finds me
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
When the beautiful unfolds
And my longing touches heaven
With a love, love, love that fills
You come, You make us one
You are love, You are grace
You are kindness and compassion
You are love, You are grace
You are God

-Stay Beside Me by Future of Forestry

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I will bring praise, I will bring praise!
No weapon formed against me shall remain!

I will rejoice, I will declare; God is my victory and He is here!

All of my life, in every season, You are still God. I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship!

-Desert Song

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And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
What could stand against?

-Our God by Chris Tomlin

simply put: i struggle too.

Recently I hung out with a rockin’ momma to two boys. Our crazy boys ran wild and we talked. I felt at ease around her and like I didn’t have to worry if she saw just how crazy my life with my boys can get. What I loved is how very real she is: authentic and genuine. She shared her heart and struggles and thoughts. I appreciated it oh so much. We were talking and I realized I hadn’t seen her for months. Life gets super busy and while I know that was a part of it, I also realized something else this morning. I’ve tried to connect with other momma’s in the area, to be turned down, often. (This isn’t a pity party post, I promise :))

I have come to realize, that a lot of the struggle is me. Unless people really take the time to get to know me, they feel I am not relatable. Why? I’ve recently figured this out.

And oh.my.word. it breaks my heart.

I share a lot on social media, photos-wise. I share beautiful moments from our lives – down to the daily life that I find cute, or a meal, or I share creative things, places we’ve visited, things I’ve made, silly moments, etc. Over time and a handful of conversations later I’ve come to realize, people are intimidated. I guess from the outside looking in, mostly via my sharing photos, my life might seem like I have a lot of things “together” or “going for me”. I definitely know the reality of my life is far from these things, but maybe a struggling momma would see this differently when she sees a photo I post?

Today, I am here to say, I am not. I am sooooo far from having it all together. And I am so sorry if that is how you feel I’ve portrayed my life. It breaks my heart that in sharing, people might believe this to be true. After hearing little remarks/comments such as me being referred to as a “pinterest mom” or “super mom” or “that mom who makes all others look bad”, etc I know the importance of wanting to clearly share and portray my heart to you. I feel sick knowing that I’ve caused others to feel intiminated or downcast or like I am not able to relate.

My entire hope is to:

a) document our lives

b) encourage and uplift and inspire others in things I post: whether about life or in creativity

c) focus on the more positive because of where we’ve walked in life. I {have} to focus more on those moments or I sink deep into my depression.

I am weary of others either feeling I am unable to relate to struggle or that what I post is a facade. I’m here to say, I STRUGGLE and this is not a facade.

I know what the “world” says in successful and it’s truly a facade. It’s so difficult because we feel we need to put on these facades, to show the world that we’ve got it all together. When the reality could be, we are struggling, we are lonely, we need community. We need a safe place to share honestly and feel no judgement whatsoever. That is exactly why I recently started a momma’s group.

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(found this via pinterest and loved it!)

If we allow it, there is an intimidation that we sometimes feel when it comes to others and how we mother or even how we live our lives. Desiring their giftings or perhaps, when it comes to the lives we see online or what we think we see face to face.

 I struggle because I want to share the more positive because that truly is an honest outlook on our life. Some of this is wired in me and some of this has really become a part of me since we’ve lost Eisley. I feel more aware and thankful for things I once took for granted.

But sometimes I struggle. I mean really struggle.

Sometimes Ted gets home from work at night and I have yet to shower, I’m in boogy and food covered yoga pants, dinner is only just getting started (if that), laundry might be done but folded – no way. Sometimes I am in tears or just bone weary.

I struggle because I know that I can’t have the house clean all of the time – that is unless I go mad-crazy and decide to clean all day long. I struggle because I don’t like to cook – I’m a stay at home momma who actually, dare I say, HATES to cook. I have no creativity or passion when it comes to this area. Zilch. I struggle because I have never been good at a strict nap schedule – or really, any kind of schedule – for my boys. You wouldn’t believe how often I feel guilty that it isn’t my strong area. My boys more often than not, stay up way too late and get up way too early.

I struggle because some days I yell at my kiddos or cry way more than I “should” in front of them.

I struggle lately because my sweet Chaseyboy has become mouthy, rude and keen to tantrum throwing when he doesn’t get his way.

I struggle when my boys seem to they fight more than love on each other.

I struggle taking passive aggressive things people post online (that have nothing to do with me) personally.

I struggle when others think I have my life together when I feel so often it’s messy and I’m often lonely and living as a broken and depressed and (still) grieving momma.

I have been struggling lately as I hear the comments that continue to flood in. I’m a sensitive soul and a people pleaser and I try to be as authentic as possible.

I actually feel so dumb saying it, but I’m truly trying to share the more difficult moments as well. I share here on my blog a lot about my struggles with depression, or about the loss of Eisley or even about Ted and I and about Chase and our struggles with him. I haven’t shared those sort of things on facebook and other social media sites as much because to be honest, after we lost Eisley I realized it made people uncomfortable or people didn’t want to hear it. People didn’t want to know what was going on. And also, passive agressive comments fly around on facebook so often about people who use facebook as a diary – and at times, reading and hearing videos of things people shared regarding this – it broke my heart. Here I felt lonely and shared online because of this (is this right? probably not, however when you aren’t a part of a community of people who want to hear what’s going on, it’s hard not to want to reach out – which is lame, but for me at a time, that meant through my blog and through my facebook. Asking for prayer and hope and encouragement. To know we weren’t alone.)

Something that has helped me a lot recently is a book called Abba’s Child by Brendan Manning. I feel like I am accepting my broken nature and learning who I truly am in Him.

I was sharing with a friend my struggles with these comments and how I’ve begun to realize how people perscieve me. It breaks my heart. If you know me or have followed me here, you know I love to document our lives. A part of who I am is that when I feel inspired, I pick up my camera. I don’t often feel inspired when I’m battling through a tantrum with my almost 4-year-old or when my boys are pummeling each other out of anger or when my husband and I are arguing. Or when my house is a wreck. Or when I’m up for 4 hours straight with my 1 1/2 year-old due to weaning. Or when I’m popping in my anti-depression medication right before bed each night.

Photos and posts about this, it is actually harder for me. Not because I don’t want to share those moments in fear of judgement – no, in fact I’ve come to realize people judge less when I share such photos. And when I share positive, I feel even more judged at times. It is mostly harder for me because I truly want to focus on the positive. I want to capture the beautiful moments – and now, I am working on capturing the more difficult ones as well. I have realized that people feel I am more relatable when I share these moments as well.

There are comments and things I have to brush off as someone’s judgement of me, but as I’ve heard from people I respect and admire myself, I realize, even those who aren’t judging me tend to believe this true of me. It breaks my heart and I hope today I was able to share a bit more to help put things into perspective and explain my heart.

I struggle too. Every day.

It’s just that for me, I {HAVE} to create and I {HAVE} to focus more on the positive. This is for me personally.

If I wasn’t such a people pleaser and an empathy-person, this post wouldn’t be happening ;) However, any time that even ONE person has a struggle with me, I’m torn. So this post may be more for me than for you, but I hope I’ve clearly portrayed what I have hoped all along.

Authenticity, possitivity and inspiration.

Love, Jami

Disney on ice

We were recently blessed with a fun gift from Ted’s sister. One that Chase will talk about for months, and maybe remember for years.

20130410-122050.jpgDisney on Ice: Treasure Trove!

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(Above photos: Alice and Wonderland and the Little Mermaid)

We had amazing seats and both Chaseyboy AND Shailo sat quietly, in amazement, the entire show. Ted and I weren’t really sure what to expect, but I can tell you this, I never expected it to be as incredible and captivating as it was! I definitely recommend this if it comes near you! (Also, check Groupon and Living Social, that was where his sister found such a deal!)

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Above photos: The Lion King. Chase LOVED this one.

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Above photos: Snow White – I guess it was the first Disney movie! I didn’t realize that. Chase had never seen Snow White (or really, most of the princess movies besides my favourite: Beauty and the Beast and Brave)

20130410-185246.jpg20130410-185305.jpgAladin, just in case you couldn’t tell ;) I personally loved this one, hehe. I knew the songs word for word. Reminded me of grade school and a creative speech I had to give. I did the scene from when Genie is released from the lamp! HAHA!20130410-114357.jpg

They actually had an intermission and I asked the gal in front of us to snap a shot of us as a fam. Chase wanted to wear his pirate bandana to the show and Shailo joined in as well :)

Of course, Chasey’s favourite part of the night was indeed Peter Pan!

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There were others they showed as well but I didn’t snap photos of them all. It was just a really fun filled night :)20130410-114329.jpgThe evening ended with all of the princesses and princes coming out as couples and skating. It was really pretty but to be honest, it also made my heart ache a little bit. Maybe this is a bit heavy for this post, but I couldn’t help but think of our Eisleygirl. As silly as it may seem, I mean we were at a Disney show, I wondered how different this evening would have been with her along with us. Perhaps dressed in a little princess outfit and perhaps we would have known the scenes from Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, etc. Or maybe she’d be dressed as a pirate along with her brothers. :) Ever so often that evening I felt little aches in my heart, but mostly we had a really wonderful time.

20130410-190752.jpgIn the moments like that night, where my heart tends to ache, it also helps to guide my heart towards a deep gratefulness; for the moments I had that night, with my children that are here with me. I am overwhelmed and thankful, for even the silly, fun and goofy nights like this one – to the ones at home where I’m watching and listening to my little ones play.

A fun and wonderful memory as a family!

365 grateful {week 4 & 5}

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For time with my dear friend, Chey. We went wedding dress shopping and found her dress on this day! I am so blessed to call this girl friend (more like my sister) and I am {beyond} ecstatic for her to be married this summer to an amazing man and also, friend of Ted :)

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At the time I took this photo and was grateful that my boys were better. They had both caught a stomach bug. Unfortunetely Shailo’s lasted for over a week. Throwing up and then a fever (sometimes 103.2) for a week straight (which is apparently okay! Did you know this?! Crazy!) Broke my heart!

485897_10151254567471989_1962110312_nFor a few days with my beautiful, Aussie friend, Alanna. The last time I saw her I was overdue with Chase. She left just a week before he was born. It was so incredible to introduce her to our boys and to spend time with her!

196312_10151256784431989_2055762599_nFor precious time with our friends Alanna and Josh – visiting the zoo, but of course ;)

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For a day of painting, crafting, laughter and Downton Abbey.

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For this messy little one even when it’s really hard. Chocolate popsicle (hey, it’s homemade and healthy ;)) and an empty medicine bottle he dug out of the recycle. Momma of the year today during this week (jokes, seriously)
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 For Ted helping me be strong when I feel helpless and weak. My heart was aching. One full week of my sweet shai being sick (viral crap & teething.) He was a little better but wanted to be held literally ALL day. And only by me. I am thankful for a husband who helped encourage me while we let him “cry it out”. My first time ever doing that as a momma. Totally not my thing but it was this or my sanity. My heart felt so torn as I listened to him cry. Bah…
62336_10151263579956989_802508135_nFor a skype sesh with our dear friends that moved away. Here is a photo of our boys playing snakes  “together” from afar. At one point they even said, “I love you.” on their own accord! So thankful for Skype and amazing friends.
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For the ability to dream again. I am in the process of writing a blog about this. I haven’t really dreamt much since we’ve lost Eisley. In fact, I had thought I’d lost that ability. I was wrong. So very thankful for dreams and the ability to keep dreaming (of future plans, what we hope for our family, etc)…
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For time with my Madre and for her help and calming spirit that was able to put my clingy, sick son to sleep. Oh so thankful.
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Ted pulled out our juicer and juiced for the first time (for him.) I couldn’t be more thankful and excited that Ted’s now on board with me in learning what it means to be healthy! (I’ve been praying for this, shhh ;))
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For beautiful weather, fresh air …46694_10151269556736989_1817490193_n…and tons of chalk dust and laughter. :)

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For the opportunity to attend To Write Love On Her Arms (TWOLHA) Heavy & Light Tour. Truly an amazing ministry that in the past, spoke to me and my sisters hearts. I absolutely loved this night with my baby sis Abie and Ted. Moved to tears multiple times.

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For this boy and his fun imagination. He’s truly a {joy}! He and Shailo were my little Super Bowl Sunday crew. We had our own little fun “party” which ended with me muting the game and browsing through our Thailand photos, researching the cost of living in Thailand and sharing our stories and dreams with Chase! 5 years ago we watched the Super Bowl while in Thailand! I ache for Thailand lately… oh so much!

What’s something you’re grateful today?

for her. for them. for me.

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This summer I began running – or really, jogging (I’m still so slow.) It was very therapeutic for me this summer as it was one of the most difficult summers in my life. I have written a bit about it here on the blog before. I was so proud to make it out of this summer and into fall. And now, into 2013 feeling much better and ready to face a new year. Eisley’s passing date and birthday this year was one I didn’t share on my blog. I guess I didn’t really know how to best convey my heart because honestly, I didn’t even know what was happening within me. I was a complete wreck this year, 2 years later. I can’t explain it and I guess if you’ve ever lost anyone, you’d understand that – there really sometimes isn’t a way to explain your grief.

To top it off I had thrown up walls with every person in my life (Ted too). I had two friends (nearby) that really continued to pursue me despite my walls and pushing away – my “funk” – or whatever you’d call it. They are the ones I asked to join me in a 5k I did, not because I didn’t still love my other friends or anything! But because it was, at the time, what I felt was best for me.377847_10151065744211989_890910759_nA verse of truth that I still cling to, especially in troubled times where truth is hard to remember. (a piece of a letter I wrote to E in the hospital)
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This year, we had a simple picnic lunch on her birthday and did a balloon release. each year we write notes on pink balloons and release them. 267197_10151068118951989_1913800824_n  Chase was way more involved and understanding this year and that made our hearts both full and ache simultaneously. 380053_10151072238656989_1697785671_n

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our family photo on Eisley’s birthday September 17, 2012

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426795_10151068722831989_1162516962_nwe went out to a local ice cream shop, Scrumptious, for Eisley’s birthday after the balloon release.
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I knew I wanted to run a 5k around Eisley’s birthday and last minute, I found one. The {PERFECT} one. Colour Me Rad. How incredibly fitting. The final stretch was PINK powder too which just made my heart so very happy and thankful, like it was truly a run in honour of her.

This run was so much more to me than words can describe. The physical victory was amazing – 3.2 miles (mostly ran, I was sick with a cough and strep throat – which at the time I didn’t know that!) – but more than anything, the significance of this run meant more than anything. I felt like it was a declaration – one in honour of Eisley and also as a declaration that I WILL keep going. That I can. That despite everything I am FEELING, I can do this. I can live.

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for her.
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for them.
620886_10152252958760727_15126740_o for me.

the countdown {with photos} & a prayer request

I thought I’d do one final post before S comes! For those who can’t see my twitter or facebook, here is a belly update from the past few weeks. You {might} notice that I wear the same shirts a lot. It wasn’t staged for these photo, it’s actually because I really only fit in about 5 shirts max right now! ;)

(forgot to take a 35 week belly shot besides this heart one)

I attempted to zip up my hoodie and this is what it looked like :) Today I’m 39 weeks and days! Which means…

Yep, just {4 days} until Boy S arrives!

We travel to Denver Monday evening to spend the night. Tuesday morning we have to be to the hospital by 6am and by 7:30am I will be in surgery! We would love and appreciate your prayers. There is quite a lot of emotion going through both Ted and I right now.

Ted and I went out on a date last night and talked about how it’s really just hit us so hard this week. The fear and uncertainty is really hard to push aside right now. We’re seeking peace but asking for prayers as we know that these next few days will probably be filled with intense emotion. I personally haven’t been able to let myself “go there” – to the morning of having S. I am more afraid than I’ve ever been this entire pregnancy. We both just want him here, safe and alive in our arms. It’s hard to explain, but it is really hard to picture that after what we walked through with Eisley’s birth just shy of 14 months ago. Anyways, I guess I’m just asking for prayers for {peace that surpasses our understanding} surrounding us.

Thank you for following our journey and praying for us. Thank you for loving us so.

Next time you see a blog post… it should be filled with photos of Boy S!

xo, Jami

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”.

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.

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.