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

1184761_10151648025996989_1311880847_n

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.

1185662_10151655018976989_111385324_n

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.

 

1170654_10151657713891989_2052477004_n

 

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…”

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.

Pregnancy After Loss {Part 1}: two pink lines & the feelings that followed.

March 4th, 2011- I ran to the grocery around 6 am and bought pregnancy tests and tampons; I knew it was one of the two. I headed home with this gut feeling but with a hope that maybe I was wrong. I could barely sleep the night before, out of fear that I was right, that I was a week late because I was pregnant again. We had planned on trying for another little one late summer, after I’d gotten to a healthy weight and place. I had just finished week 3 in a program called TurboFire and really wanted to be healthy and fit before I got pregnant again. I still had 17 weeks to go before I thought I’d ever have to “prepare” my heart and mind for another pregnancy. So according to our “plan”… there was just no way I could be pregnant.

I hurried home and used one test and watched with fear and utter shock as two pink lines showed up immediately. I was pregnant again?! …6 months after losing Eisley, I was pregnant again. How could I be pregnant so soon and while I’m still grieving?! I slapped my hand over my mouth and started panicking. I paced around the bathroom for a while and then ripped open another test and used it. Again, two pink lines.

I ran to our room where Ted and Chase were still sound asleep and woke Ted. I told him I had taken two tests and that I was pregnant again (I had warned him the night before I would be doing getting tests). As I shared we were pregnant again, I looked up at the wall beside our bed to see a photo of Eisley and me. Suddenly, I couldn’t breath. I began to panic. Memouries flooded my mind, the fear overwhelming. Ted sat up quickly and told me to calm down, for the baby, which made me freak out a little more. There was another little baby inside of me… so soon after Eisley’s death. I had another little one to take care or, to worry for…Ted finally calmed me down and just held me. I asked him how we were going to do this. He told me he was excited and that it would be probably be terrifying and bring up a lot of memouries but that we can do this. He believed, from the beginning, that this pregnancy would like it was with Chase.

I hoped, with everything in me, that he was right but the fear swept in much faster and swifter than the hope stayed…

Part 2 coming soon.