Friday, July 1, 2016

missing someone.


I know that people mean well—but one thing you can’t say to a mommy who’s lost a child, a newborn or given birth to a baby who went home early— is to be glad for the ones she has. 

While that may be true….to me that is the equivalent of asking which one of my kids I could bear to be without. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

chris.


This Father's Day is certainly not the same for you this year. Our hearts hurt and we are in the middle of troubled times. But we have each other. Together we have Jesus.

I love you, Chris.

God always had a plan. Us being together was always His plan. And with all our beautiful children whom you love with every piece of you.

Happy Father's Day to the most patient, strong, selfless, gracious, faithful, loyal, persevering, God-fearing, handsome, fun person I have ever known.

May God always bless and protect you all the days of your life.

You're my LOVE!!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

06/17/16


Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers and blessed words of encouragement.

On June 17th, 2016, at 5:13am, I delivered our beautiful daughter, Sunday Brave.

And yesterday, shortly after, Chris and I said our goodbyes to the little baby daughter we loved and prayed for so much.

The pain of her absence is at times unbearable, but our Hope in Jesus that we will see her again is much stronger.

It has to be, in order for the healing to begin.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

sunday's child.


An ultrasound picture of Sunday Brave on Sunday.
The doctor gave her till 20 weeks and a bad report of fluid
filling many parts of her little body.
I'm now 20 weeks and 3 days....
He was surprised that her heart was still beating. 
She has now been given 4 more weeks to live. 
No matter the outcome, there is hope.
Hope for a miracle or the hope she will be with Jesus. 
Even though my heart breaks everyday for her sick little body,
I love her and I am blessed to be her Mommy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

yesterday's appointment.


Yesterday when I walked into the doctor’s office for Sunday’s heartbeat appointment, I was sure I would only hear bad news. 

The office was unusually slow and Chris and I were the only ones in the waiting room— even the tv with the home improvement channel was turned off. It felt awkward and I didn’t want to be there. 

The nurse who I usually see walking around was nowhere to be seen and I waited a little longer than I normally do. I began to wonder why. Everything felt a little off. 

When the nurse finally appeared and called my name she wasn’t smiling and I wasn’t smiling. I did try and make a joke since I sensed her nervousness by saying, “I know we both don’t want to be doing this.” She normally looks Chris and I in the eyes and smiles, but not this day. 

I immediately went into the exam room and she asked if I wanted to get weighed like normal and I told her, “Not today I just want to make this fast and get out of here.” I noticed that she was very hesitant in all she was doing. 

Suddenly, the extremely kind midwife who I mentioned in an earlier post popped out of nowhere and said it was her turn to do the heartbeat check. Now— for these appointments, I’m only scheduled to see one of two nurses so it was kind of unusual that the midwife (although I was very glad) was going to check for the heartbeat. 

She was very sweet and asked how I was doing. She told me that the only thing I could do is handle it the best way I know how and so on. I shared with her that finding the heartbeat has become more difficult with each week and that I’ve been feeling very little movement. 

However, when she placed the doppler on my stomach, we immediately heard a strong regular heartbeat. I couldn’t believe it. I silently cried. Sunday’s heartbeat was even a normal rate. Usually it’s high. Not sure if that even means anything. 

I mentioned how I had feared and was sure the baby had passed away last Friday. I just had a bad feeling. It was based on fear. 

She was very happy for me and shared that Kristin, my nurse was scared today, too. Now I understand why it was the midwifes turn; She was just helping out a concerned nurse. 

As I left the office my nurse was at the front desk and I noticed her searching the midwifes’ face for the result of the heartbeat check. There was another patient in front of me so when I caught her eye and she turned to me I whispered, “She’s still alive.” 

My nurse quickly gave me a quiet hug, smiled and showed me that she had goose bumps she was so happy. I told her I couldn’t believe it and I think I found a little hope again. 

All the way home, I couldn’t stop thinking, “I can’t believe it.” Then the pessimist in me said, “Well, she still isn’t 20 weeks. Not until Thursday.” I just hate that voice of doubt which you know just isn’t from God. But you sometimes listen to it. And think. 

But I know this— that she’s still alive, her heart is still beating, she might have a chance. And if she doesn’t, then I’m getting more time with her than I was supposed to. And I count that as a blessing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

before my appointment today.


There are a few things I want to share before I go today for my heartbeat appointment. 

In order to keep this from being a marathon post, I’m going to jump ahead to my first perinatal appointment at 14 weeks. 

I had no idea what to expect, but it was at that time that I realized my OB is not a baby doctor. OB’s are women’s health doctors. In the middle of all my research, I learned that it’s the perinatal doctor who specializes in babies in utero so in going to the baby doctor, I had high expectations.

My perinatal specialist was pretty thorough. He tried to see her heart multiple times, but it was still too small to get a good look. And he took his time to find the gender so I could know. He found that she did have only one umbilical artery and that the lymph node in her neck dead ended. 

I did expect a 3D or 4D ultrasound because that’s what I thought perinatal doctors used. Not true. 

He was kind, gentle and gave us his cell number if we wanted to ask more questions even if it meant in the middle of the night. But-- he was the one that said I wouldn’t need to see him again. When asked how long I had with her, he said that sometime around 20 weeks we would lose her.

Tears came slowly as our appointment came to an end. They fell from my eyes quietly. It wasn’t till we exchanged ‘goodbyes’ and both wished we’d met on better terms that I put on my sunglasses and couldn’t stop the outpouring of hurt and tears. 

If you know me, I’m smiling and putting on the best face even in times of despair. I put on a show for others so they never see me hurt. Unless it’s my husband and children. I’m real in front of them. 

Chris wanted to hug me, hold me and comfort me. He was hurting too. But all I wanted to do was get to the car. Now. Right away. Once inside the car, I felt safe enough to let the sadness out. And I did. 

While driving home, Chris stopped to buy me a coffee and even tried to encourage me to go in the coffee shop with him. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want anyone to even suspect that I had been crying. As if it mattered. Sometimes I care more than I should about what people think. 

While Chris was buying me a coffee I pleaded to God to give me as much time as possible with my daughter. A daughter. A blessing. I wanted a girl so badly. 

So many memories of when I was present for my nephew’s birth came rushing back to me. A sweet 19 week old who had passed away before he was supposed to. 

I knew that the longer my pregnancy progressed the more I would be able to see of her as my baby when I held her, even if she wasn’t alive. 

I also knew that she wouldn’t be considered a baby if she died before the medical world had decided when she was or wasn’t yet a baby. I felt she had to be considered a baby. As if the medical profession’s timetable justifies her being a baby. 

We came home and decided to tell all the kids since they knew about the appointment and why we went. They cried. They hurt. They were sad. Chris cried. I cried. We spoke about the hope of a miracle and the hope we have if she passes away. All while still trying to digest it ourselves. 

I was grieving. I was lost. And that same day, I realized it was God who made her like this. He was knitting her together. He was controlling her details. Undeveloped lymph node and all. 

I was angry. Angry at God. How could he do this to me. Someone who has trusted Him with their family size, who gave their life to follow and serve Him. Was this my blessing? And yet at the same time, He was the one I cried out to. The One I sought for comfort and understanding. 

I have read several of Angie Smith’s books and one thing that stood out to me was that God is not scared of us being angry with Him. Or if we shake our fists at Him. He loves us. We are His children. And I know how much I love mine. Then how much must He love His. 

I was crushed and blamed the One who I felt did this to me and her. And I was running to the only One I knew could help me. I sank into a dark place of solitude and grief. Only allowing Chris and my children in.

Monday, June 6, 2016

for tonight.


I have nothing good to write. Nothing positive. 

I feel really bad since so many people have hope for Sunday and are praying for a miracle, but right now I have no hope. I don’t even have the faith of a mustard seed right now. 

It brings me to tears and hurts my heart. 

I don’t feel this way because of some Mommy intuition that has let me know that Sunday’s heart has stopped— I have this feeling because before going to another doctor for a second opinion three weeks ago, I was sure with all my heart that I was going to walk into that appointment and they were going to tell me she was getting better. That there was an improvement. A miracle starting. 

But that’s not what happened. 

Actually, the complete opposite. In fact, she was worse. Not only was there fluid at the back of her head and neck, but now it was inside her entire torso as well. I was devastated. Disappointed. Broken. 

There were other things he saw, but wouldn’t investigate with the ultrasound since he felt the biggest problem was the hydrops. Not why her leg was pinched. Or what her heart looked like. And so on. 

Even though I believe in Jesus, and know that God does perform miracles. It’s still hard. I know where my trust and hope lie, but sometimes it isn’t always so easy to walk in it. It’s there in my brain, but it’s not in my heart. 

When I share this with Chris, he tells me it’s alright, that he has enough hope for the both of us; And that it’s understandable that I would feel this way on some days and that’s why he’s believing for the both of us. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  Two are better than one… For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.


So even though I want so badly to go to my heartbeat appointment tomorrow and the perinatal doctor on Thursday to get an update, I’m scared. Scared what bad news I’m going to hear. 

And even though it’s my daughter who needs her Mommy to fight once again for a miracle, it’s me who also needs one to find my hope again.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Saturday, June 4, 2016

a full day.



I must be crazy because I’m trying to talk Chris into this really cute bright orange kitten at the local shelter. He’s really cute. And he’s really tiny. Today, early in the morning, I was outside tending to the backyard garden and all my little animal creatures. 

Last night was a difficult night for me and Chris. My four littlest have had fevers and Jace did not do too well. He was pretty miserable and slept between Chris and I all night tossing, turning and sometimes crying. Poor little guy. He basically only wants his Mommy and I am waiting with open arms for my cute little guy. I love him to bits. 

This morning Chris and I had, sort of, a date to my puppy’s (Scout) first obedience class. She’s going to be trained using the clicker method which we were somewhat reluctant about initially. But by the time we left, we were sold on it being a great strategy for training your dog. 

The rest of the day was spent outside doing lots of different things. The girls had their photo day at the dance studio. This is a huge deal for them. The girls count down the days to photo day and then at the end of this month the big recital. 

And to close out the day, Chris had the privilege of marrying a couple who live across the street from us. Very friendly family. Their son actually plays football on one of Parker’s rival teams and we all have fun with it. 

I’ve been a little nervous for most of the day since I haven’t felt any baby movements. But I’m always worried about that. I think that since she has so much fluid (Hydrops), I don’t really feel movements like my other pregnancies. 

I want to thank everyone for their kind words on this blog. I’ve actually cried because they have been filled with love, compassion and a few of your own deeply touching personal experiences which you’ve shared. Thank you. 

I have an appointment on Tuesday for a heartbeat check and an appointment with the Perinatal Doctor on Thursday. I’m not sure what I am expecting to hear, but no matter what it is, I know God is still good. And without Him I have no idea how I would ever walk this journey. He is the One who created this baby and He is the One knitting her together. He knows her and every detail. Even the smallest. I have to trust in Him no matter the outcome. 





Friday, June 3, 2016

thinking about her.


This morning while I was in the shower, I began wondering what God was going to do about my little baby, Sunday. 

It was kind of like having a conversation, but I was really just telling God that I was wondering if He was going to heal my little one and show all the doctors and all the other unbelievers the great miracles He still performs. Showing them that He is indeed real. 

Or has He already decided upon a time that she will pass away to be with Him and that this is merely a journey upon which I have something to learn. Just me. Teaching me. Not a punishment but rather something He wants to do in my life that I am completely unaware of. 

I try to stay busy with my children, my new backyard animals, the garden, home projects, being a team mom for Parker’s football team. Spending a lot of time with Chris and just trying to feel safe in a time of uncertainty. But it doesn’t work. 

As I hose down the back patio, I’m thinking about her. While I’m cuddling Jace watching Chris build the chicken coop, I’m thinking about her. While I plan football fundraisers, I’m thinking about her. Sleeping restlessly, I awaken thinking about her. 

When I first got the news, I would wake up and suddenly remember that this was really happening. But now, my first thoughts are: “Is she still alive today?” 

Sometimes when I’m in my backyard, I am carried away for a moment long enough to enjoy life and my children, but it is short-lived. I suddenly feel sick to my stomach and remember this pregnancy isn’t suppose to end well. And I just die inside. Wanting it to just go away. Not Sunday. Just this death sentence the doctors gave her.