My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:15,16

Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
John 11:40
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands… Isaiah 49:16a

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Praise You In This Storm......Part 2

This is all part of something that is so much greater that just me and our family.  We are an intricate part of a larger, very detailed, well thought out plan of an infinitely loving God, Who will never leave me nor forsake me.
These last couple of days the feeling of helplessness and being out of control in this situation is gone. I do not mean that I am the one in control, but that there is One who is much better at handling the panning of my life than I. I rest in hope and confidence in Him.  I was reading Psalms last night. There are so many times David, like me, called out to God to save him and every time God was there.

I heard this song tonight called Hope Now. The lyrics really spoke to my heart.
It says, "If everything comes down to Love, then just what am I afraid of?
             When I call out your name, something inside awakes in my soul.
             How quickly I forget I'm Yours. I'm not my own, I've been carried by You all my life.
             When the world has broken me down, Your love sets me free...
              Everything rides on hope now, everything rides on faith somehow."

How very true that it all comes down to His love and hope and faith now.  That is what life is about.
That is what Zoe's life was and is about. There is no "What purpose did her short life serve", there will be no why's answered here, and even if there were, it does not change anything. She awaits me in a place where I don't have to worry about her.  She and my other babies are very well cared for by their Heavenly Father. I will be with them one day and until then I have peace ( and yes tears). I will love, I will hold onto hope and have faith.....even still my Jesus is the same.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Praise You In This Storm......

I don't know if I will get this posted by midnight or not, it is 11:39 right now so we'll see. I may end up making two posts just so I can get something on today.  I wanted to put on a post on Zoe's due date to share how much peace we have the last couple of days. I turned on my ipod shuffle to listen to my music as I type and the song Praise You In This Storm started playing.  That is the picture of the last few days, the eye in the middle of the storm, where all is calm and we are resting in His arms.
I was not sure what to expect from my emotions and heart today.
I have felt an overwhelming peace surrounding me (at times sitting here thinking shouldn't I be crying?)
but I am in His arms and He never lets me go.  He holds me close to His heart and I have felt the "sounds" of it beating with love for me and also for Zoe.  I am so very thankful for her presence in our lives.
Last night I sat in a beautiful room in a big arm chair.  The fireplace was flickering and the worship music playing....there is just something extra special about worshiping when I hurt.  He was there with me just the same as He was the night Zoe was born and we held her in our arms.
It was okay not to cry lots last night and today.
It still hurts and we still miss her so very much, but there is so much love.
I am not questioning why at all right now.
I am thankful for every moment we had with her before and after she was born.
I am thankful that we got to hold her tiny hands and feet in our hands and see her beautiful little face.
I am thankful that God chose us to be her parents.  He chose us....what an honor.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All my days were ordained before one of them came to be.....

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:15,16

We have been waiting for months now for the results to come in....and they did today.  I thought I had prepared myself enough for them but I am not sure about that now.
When Zoe was born we were given the option of having an autopsy and genetic testing done to see if a reason could be found for her death.  It was a hard decision to make but we decided to go ahead with it because of having so many other miscarriages and not knowing why for any of them.
Her autopsy came back with no evidence of what happened or why, just that she appeared to be a normal healthy looking baby.
Then I went for blood work of MANY kinds to see if anything could be traced in that.  Nothing so far.  We are still waiting for a few more test results to come in from the last set of needles.
Today we got a call from the Dr.'s office saying the results of her genetic testing were in.....our specialist had said that because nothing was showing in the blood work and nothing had shown up on the autopsy, that most likely it was a genetic abnormality that caused her death. He said in situations like this where we can find no other answer, that is usually the cause.  
So I thought through what the possibilities might be when the results came back and tried to figure out if it really mattered anymore anyway.  It did matter to me, simply because I want to fill in as many blanks as I can about this, or as the case is turning out to be, rule out as many things as we can. I prepared myself to hear that she had spina bifida, or maybe one of the trisomy problems or whatever else they might tell me.
I told myself that at least if we knew she had a reason for dying it would make it understandable. That maybe it was true, she was better off (for her sake) not living a difficult life and having to face all the things that those genetic problems involve.
What I did not prepare myself for was if it showed nothing.
The results came back and I quote "Testing shows a completely normal, healthy baby girl."
First my heart thought "thank you God for a healthy baby."
Then I realized we still have no answers.
The tears fell again.  
After our other miscarriages I wanted to try again right away.  It couldn't happen fast enough for me.  This time that is not so.  That spot seems to belong to Zoe still right now.
A small part of me wants to try again, but the life that was there is still so fresh and that spot still feels sacred to me.
There are so many what if I had's or maybe I should have's or if I had only known's....they are brought to the surface again now that there is no scientific reason on her part, for her death.  Then the questions start to fly around in my head.  Does the problem then lie with me? What could I have done differently?  Was there anything I could have done to change the outcome?
I cannot go very far with questioning myself because I do not want to open the door to let fear in.  I will not go into the next pregnancy being afraid and second guessing myself. I can't allow that.
So far I have been able to manage the subsequent pregnancies after miscarriage without being scared that it would end in miscarriage again.I want that to be the case this time as well.
I trust that Psalm  139:15,16 is true. That the number of days she would be with us was decided from the beginning of time, before she was ever in my womb and I have to be okay with that.
Those 5 months she was here are incredibly special, valued and yes......ordained. Thank you God for a healthy baby girl......

Sunday, December 5, 2010

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you......
God, today I cast all my cares on you.   Not just the little, "I can't find my left shoe" cares but the really deep heart-heavy, unbearable-on-my-own kind of cares.
I am reminded that I need Your strength in every part of me.
My mind is consumed daily with thoughts of her, God.  My most recent hopes and dreams sit across the room from me in a tiny, angel urn.  What would you have been if you had lived Zoe?
What would you have looked like laying in my arms? What color would your hair have been? What would your giggle have sounded like as your daddy chased you through the house?  Would you have been quiet and a little shy like me or more outgoing and boisterous like your daddy?
I see a picture in my mind of a dark, curly haired baby with bright blue eyes that sparkle and whose smile can capture a roomful of hearts in a moment.
If I close my eyes, I can almost feel her in my arms.  What does she feel like in yours God?
Does she capture your heart with a glance?
Do You tell her about us?
Does she love to dance like her sister?  I know she must love to worship You like we do.
God please forgive me in my humanity when I search for answers instead of just trusting in Your infinite wisdom.  Help me to wholly trust in You always.
How is it possible to fall so in love with a little person we never met alive?
But fall I did......we did.....the moment that second line showed up on the pregnancy test.
We talked to her, sang to her, loved her.
God, did she hurt or was the warmth of my womb and our love the only thing she felt? I pray that she did not feel pain when her life ended.
  The questions play over and over again in my mind.
I remember back to the day we found out she was with You and the two weeks following that until she was born.
God I know you heard our prayers asking You for life in her little body.  Days later we stepped out in faith asking our Dr. to check for a heartbeat again.  He said he didn't want to make this any worse for us than it already was.  I told him we wanted him to anyway.  I waited eagerly for a miracle with hope and faith in You, knowing that no matter what the outcome, You would see us through. The Dr. could only find my heartbeat and I said, "That's okay.  It's still not too late."
God, thank you for strength in that moment.
We knew what we, in our human hearts, wanted.  To have her back here on earth with us.
It felt somewhat selfish at times to want her back here with us when she is healed, whole and complete with You God, but it hurts so much to not have her here.
My "mommy heart" is having a hard time letting go.  God help me to leave this in Your hands, give me the courage to do it.
Another scene flashes to my mind.  I'm standing in our camper out at the farm two days after the ultrasound.  We wanted to get away, out of the city. I am getting beds ready and my mom comes out to see if I am alright and if I need help with anything.
She sees my tears and pulls me into her arms.  I collapse into her, sobs shaking my body and in her arms I feel like a little girl again, desperately wishing she could make things better.  I say "I just want this to not be real, I want to be able to fix it, I want to make it better."
She cries along with me and says "I know, I wish I could take all the hurt away."
In that moment I realize she feels as powerless holding me, as I feel holding Zoe.
God you have done miracles in our lives before, is one more too much to ask?  I know it is not.  I know You can do it, there is not a doubt in my being.
Many friends are rising up around us, praying with us for a miracle. Some who would not have prayed that way otherwise.
God, I know Zoe is first of all Yours.  She is held by You as I am. I will trust Your plan and not expect my own. I will follow Your leading and not panic or let doubt and fear overshadow the opportunity before me to stand firm in my faith and conviction.
The reality is I am still carrying her and I will not give up on her before she is delivered in Your timing.
God You are still the same, You have not changed. You are our healer however that may look in this situation.
God I thank you for friends who came around us.  I ask you to bless them greatly for the meals, tears, love, hugs and prayers that were the greatest gift they could have given us.
God I thank you for Your open arms that wait for me each time I feel broken, empty and alone.
Just when people think I should be "getting better," "getting over losing her" it feels like it is getting worse again. It feels just as devastating as the moment we found out.  It feels like so much time has passed since and yet no time at all.
So, though I did not get the miracle that I was praying for in exactly the way that I was asking, even still, it happened somewhere else. She is healed, she is happy, she is loved where she is. If I were ever in the same situation again (God forbid), I would pray the same way, who wouldn't.  If there is a chance to see a miracle happen before your eyes, if it was your child the Dr. was talking about, I'm sure many of you would hope the way I did as well.
God, You bring me hope for a new day, a rainbow after the storm, and a promise that it won't always be this hard. Healing for me will come. Zoe you are forever and always my little angel and I am so glad I will get to spend eternity with you.

Babies, babies everywhere....

It would seem that God has filled my world right now with pregnant women and newborn babies.  At times, literally everywhere I look, everywhere I go, there are bellies growing and the innocence of a new life.
A constant reminder of what I don't have and what is not coming to my life in the next couple of weeks.
It also is a reminder of the hope, promise and joy I have in Jesus. 
We always have a choice in life, how we will respond to situations that arise in our lives. When something doesn't go according to our plan we can choose to be angry and bitter, or we can choose to walk through with hope for the future, knowing God will give us the grace, strength and mercy we need to get through.
We were out shopping the other day and the sound of a newborn baby's cry drifted across the store to me.  It felt almost like a punch in the stomach.  It hurt.
I am very happy for my friends and family that are about to experience the wonder and awesomeness of childbirth, I am sad that I will not be joining them on the journey of new motherhood in the next few weeks.
Today (Saturday) was a "stuffing" day, a day to ignore what I could feel welling up inside again.
We have church again tomorrow. It has been a month and a bit full of baby dedications every Sunday.
Tonight the tears fall like rain.  We talked at our grief support group last week about how cleansing tears are both for our body and for our soul.  Did you know that tears from dry eyes, tears from laughter have a different chemical composition than tears that are cried?  Tears help us get rid of the things that build up in our bodies when we are stressed or upset.  I am glad for tears.  A good cry does make the load a little less heavy.
We had a conversation the other night with a friend about his son who had passed away.  I felt a heart connection with him when he made a comment similar to what I posted at the end of my last blog entry.  He said he felt somewhat better about the ache in his heart when he realized he didn't ever want it to go away. He realized it was okay to have that ache because his son was such a huge part of his life and it meant that his son remained in his heart forever. Sometimes I feel like I am losing it a bit when I find things put away in the cupboard when it should have been put in the fridge or when I go to a drawer and pull it open only to realize that the thing I am after is and always has been across the room in another drawer.  Sometimes I am in the van and I am going somewhere I have been a hundred times before, but I miss my turn or head the wrong way.  I have been forgetting appointments and needing my calendar more and more.  I feel lost even in writing this at times.
It is now Sunday.....
I am humbled by God's unconditional love for me and I know that even when I feel lost, He can use that for His glory.
There is nothing quite like a baby's smile.This morning in church, I was blessed to hold a baby boy for most of the service.  His eyes literally light up when he smiles. My heart melted and I fought back the tears a few times when he would lay his head on my shoulder and snuggle in.  When he laid his little forehead against my cheek he filled a tiny piece of the "empty arms ache" in my heart.  Thank you God for bringing me what my heart needed today.
When I find myself in those situations where babies seem to surround me everywhere I go, I want to hide away at home.  Now, instead of always listening to the urge to just hide myself away, I will continue to love, smile and hope.  Even still.