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

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who but You...

Take a listen to this song:

Our God by Chris Tomlin 

There is no one else like Him...

When you have a promise in your heart , a promise put there by your Abba Father , how long do you hang on to it?  Do you easily let it slip away or do you hang onto it with fierce determination no matter what obstacles get in your way?  It could be your marriage, a job, a wayward child coming home, a baby in your arms, a husband, a wife.  There is no person on earth that can seal a promise into your heart the way God can.  What is your promise?

One of my promises is a baby to hold in my arms again for longer than it takes to say goodbye.  I believe it with my whole heart.  Does it hurt to lose them?  Yes!  Do I give up?  Absolutely not!

Our most recent loss has brought people to ask, "Don't you think it is time to stop?" or some have commented:

"Maybe God is trying to tell you something here."
"How much more of this are you going to put yourself through?"
"You have three already, maybe you should just focus on enjoying them."
"You are getting older you know."

All those statements speak one single thing to me.  Give up!
I can't give up, the promise beats with my heart.  It is alive.  Does the loss hurt?  For sure it does, but love hurts sometimes and is worth the greatest sacrifice.
The promise of children has been sung in my heart since I was a very small child.  I cannot give it up.  Not yet.
In talking with a friend a short time ago she asked me, "So, do you have a perspective on this?"
At first I did not know how to answer.  What is my perspective?  I had not thought that through enough to put it into words. As we talked, it came out without me even realizing it.

The only thing that hurts me worse than a miscarriage, is giving up and ending my childbearing years with a loss. My family feels incomplete still.  I do not feel His peace about stopping here.  To stop here would only be me giving up because I do not want to take the risk of hurting again.  To give up now would be a betrayal of my heart.  It would be doubting His faithfulness.  It would be giving up hope.  Something I have stood so strongly against.  The words "never lose hope" have left my lips many times when encouraging a friend.  Should I not believe the same still for myself.  If I did not, I would be a hypocrite in this.  So, I press in for the completion of that sacred promise that I feel so deep in my heart.
We will stop when His peace floods our hearts with the knowledge that our family is complete.  When that will be, I don't know.  Until then we press on, one foot in front of the other, hanging onto hope with thankfulness to the One who loves us so.

Who But You by Mark Hall and Megan Garrett

This song washed over my spirit tonight, thank you Juanita. <3

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I Gotta Keep Singing

Tonight is a night my heart hurts so much it is hard to breathe. This is raw. The tears show no mercy. We buried our baby this week. I don't understand this at all. Lots of people talk to me about God's plan for all this, I don't want to hear it tonight.
The smile that is on my face, you think it is for real. Is it really?

These days I pretend life goes on. I smile through the days when I am sad. When night falls and I am alone, the tears come. At times so many tears have fallen, I can't even cry right. I was sitting here tonight trying to figure out where I am in all of this. I am frustrated, angry, blessed and thankful, hurt and broken hearted, loved and lost sometimes too. Some have a hard time understanding that, most of the time I can't understand it myself, so I smile.

Music, it brings a different level of depth to my tears. It speaks straight to my heart.
MercyMe has beautiful music that has spoken to my heart many times in the past.
The latest song of theirs that touches my heart is I Gotta Keep Singing
I know this heavy pain will not last forever, I have felt it and walked THROUGH it before.

This miscarriage is different than all the others. Harder, more painful to my heart in some ways. I will be honest, I am angry with my body this time. It failed me and it failed our baby. With all the other miscarriages, our babies died before they entered this world. This time was different. I saw fragile little life move, fight for life and then be still in my hand. I did not want to share this detail with many, but the weight of this "secret" is crushing my heart to keep it inside. Maybe I felt it should be a secret because I am ashamed that my body would betray our baby like this. I don't know.

What I do know is that like the song says, He is the One that keeps my heart beating and the only way I find healing is praising His name. I gotta keep singing. Jesus please sing over me, You are everything I need.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ultrasound Report

Yesterday was the big day! The Dr. thought (based on LMP only) that I should be 12 weeks. I knew there was no way I could be that far along because I know the signs of ovulation came much later. I thought I was maybe 8 to 10 weeks along.  Measurements are hard to get on a miracle so tiny! The radiologist's recommendation is a follow up ultrasound in the next week or two in order to tell if this baby is "viable." The radiologist pointed out and I saw a tiny flutter on the screen when he looked for a heartbeat so I know this baby is living right now.

And now, time for my soapbox.  My Dr wants to set up an ultrasound for 10 days from now. I do not want it. To me it makes no sense to expose my baby to even more ultrasound waves in order to determine if the baby is "viable." It makes no difference whether they determine that by ultrasound or not. If it is not, I will let my body continue doing what it needs to do, if it is, I will let my body continue doing what it needs to do. For me, it does not matter whether the baby is "imperfect" or not. It is my baby and I love it no matter what. I choose to not have the ultrasound. I believe God knows more than any machine anyway ;o)
There are many, many articles and postings about the effect of ultrasounds on babies in utero, many of them listed here: Doppler Danger

Here is another article on ultrasounds that is really good . It is by Sarah Buckley.

Yesterday, during the ultrasound and throughout the day today, I have felt God speak to my heart to just trust Him. To stand and wait. I have felt quite strongly with this pregnancy that I am to have the least amount of interventions and procedures done. I am going to hold to the Holy Spirit's leading on this one! Pray for me as I have not been one to stand up to people much in the past. I need your prayers for wisdom when I talk to my Dr. and for strength and confidence as well. Well, it is off to finish school with the kids now. We are doing candy science experiments today!!! I will put up pictures on my next post about it. The kids are so excited!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Remembrance Walk

October 15th is designated Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness day. Here is Moose Jaw and in many other places as well people come together to do a walk of remembrance. We do it for the little ones who were part of our lives for what felt like much too short of a time. Then at 7 p.m. around the world, people light a candle for them.

This year was a little different for me than last year. Last year it was so hard to even write Zoe's name on the memorial card because it was yet another reminder that she was gone. This year, it was more of a celebration of her being part of our lives, as short a time as it was. Don't get me wrong, my heart still hurts that she is not here, but I find joy in closing my eyes and remembering holding her little hands, wrapping her tiny fingers over mine. The night she was born was not only filled with pain. There was a sense of awe and wonder at this amazing little creature. Just like with all my other kids, we did all the things mommies do, marveling at the uniqueness and intricacies that a newborn baby is. Tears did fall yesterday, but they were not tears of desperation and agony. They were tears of understanding for all the other parents gathered there, who hurt over their babies too. There was even a lady there who, 55 years ago to the day, she had a still born son. She came to honor him. This year Jaron was our audio tour guide as he read all of the posters to us as we walked the path. It was easy to see he felt honored to be able to do that for us. We blew some bubbles and took some time to reflect. Greg was asked to share my blog entry and the poem in it at the service. Jaron kept reaching over to squeeze my hand or rub my leg whenever he noticed a tear. Kyler gave me hugs and Jinaea smiled a smile at me through her own tears. This year Della chose the hummingbird as our symbol instead of the butterfly. She chose it because of the beauty and wonder that these tiny creatures bring to our world. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of all the hummingbirds before parents came to collect them. There were many more...

At the walk here in Moose Jaw, we do a ceremonial bird release every year as well. A beautiful white dove flutters up into the air, flying beyond the trees and circles back over top of us and then flies home. If you close your eyes and just listen to the sound of it's wings beating, it is almost like your spirit soars too.

At 7p.m. I lit 5 candles in honor of Asa, April, Kane, Zoe and Ellie. I love the candle holders I bought. I found them just before Christmas last year and knew I had to have them. They speak perfectly to the atmosphere that God brought in the middle of the storm. Love, Joy, Cherish, Peace and Hope.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day at the park for the walk. Even the fountain was still flowing. There was a slight breeze and lots of sun. The leaves rustled ever so gently as we walked. What a beautiful day it was indeed. This scripture verse holds very true:
Psalm 30:11-12
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
         You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
 12 To the end that my soul shall sing praise unto You and not be silent.
         O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Now for those of you who are curious as to how things are going with baby #9, we are doing well. So far everything seems great. I am thanking God every day and praying over this beautiful little love that God has blessed us with. I have an ultrasound on the 31st and then a Dr appt on the 14th of Nov. The ultrasound will tell us "for sure" how far along we are. Please keep your prayers coming. I am forever thankful for every single one of them!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

When doubt speaks, do I listen?

I would like to say that I am always strong. I would like to say I never doubt or even for a moment have a fearful thought about this pregnancy. I cannot say that. I was having a really hard time lately with the emotions of this pregnancy. I love this baby already. From the bottom of my heart. One thing I learned from being pregnant with Zoe and Ellie was that I didn't want to waste even a moment of time not appreciating the gift that they are. Still, I find myself thinking I should not to get too excited about this pregnancy just yet. My heart doesn't listen. I want to love this baby FULLY with no doubt that I will hold it in my arms and bring it home with me. I want to TRUST....completely. Don't get me wrong, I still believe and know that God IS faithful, He WILL be my peace and strength, He BLESSES me all the time, He LOVES me beyond what I could ever imagine and He does all these things NO MATTER WHAT. I just have these thoughts and "what if's" running through my head. I know exactly where they come from too. So why is it so hard to disregard them?

Sometimes all it takes is a little refocusing. Some time spent with God, some praying, some listening and the encouragement comes. Sometimes it is a good friend pointing out what God's truth is, what His promises in the Bible are. Sometimes it may take a whack upside the head to say get it together. Today as I was praying for strength and peace, God spoke some scripture verses to me. They spoke straight to the doubt and fear and started to minister peace to me.

 Joshua 1:9 NIV
"Be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Isaiah 43:1-4 MSG
Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end.--because I am God....I paid a huge price for you.... That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you!

Psalm 30:5 MSG
....The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.

James 1:4 AMP
Let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be...perfectly and fully developed...

Hebrews 12:2 AMP
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith...and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]...

I am imperfect, but what matters here is that I fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for me, that He wants to give me hope. I do have hope and normally a stubborn faith that has gotten me through many things. I going to find those socks again, pull them on, I'm in for the ride.

I Hold, I Am Held

This is a testimony/sermon that my dad wrote about me when I was little. As I was reading it today, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to post it on my blog. I don't know who I was to do this for, but if it is for you, please leave me a comment and let me know how it encouraged you.

There I was driving down the highway, crying out to God with spoken words, crying out to God, it seemed from the very basement of my soul; "Please give my little girl back to me."
In a world where confusion and turmoil are the daily course from which little if any reprieve is often found, we are moved to ask the question: "Does God Really Care?" However, because this confusion and turmoil is often continents away from us living in North America, we find this to be at best, a passing though.

Does God care?

Every religion in the world at one point has to answer the question of pain. What sets Christianity apart from Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslimism, and Secular Humanism or other religions of the world? Is there something about the Christian faith that can make a difference when other religions can't? This is the challenge we have as Christians when we face the pain or share the pain of others in the Body of Christ.
Dorothy Sayers writes: "For whatever reason God chose to make man as He is-limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death - He had the honesty and courage to take His own medicine. Whatever plan He has with His creation, He has kept His own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile."
Knowing this doesn't provide a pat answer or automatic relief when we find ourselves in the midst of personal turmoil, but it does provide the perspective that God the Father did not play the part of an idle observer as we go through our pain. I get excited when I think of Jesus and how He dealt with the pain He was confronted with. Jesus wept when His friend, Lazarus, died. He identities with the pain and suffering of our lives and we should never be of the opinion that He enjoys seeing His children suffer.  
I think of the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus faced His suffering and He reacted much like any of us would. At first He cried out to His Father, "If there be another way let this cup pass from Me." Yet, knowing there was no other way, Jesus experienced -- perhaps for the first time -- that most human sense of abandonment evidenced by His cry from the cross, "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?
The writer of Hebrews states in chapter 4 verse 15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin."

On the edge of death

My little girl had been very sick and in the hospital for some days. We lived about 35 miles away from our community hospital and our jobs didn't allow us to be there for hours on end, everyday. When we did get in to visit, she looked absolutely terrible. She had been unable to hold anything in, as fluids and foods just seemed to pass straight through without stopping. We would try and hold her, and she was so restless that she would writhe and fuss. Through the day, she settled and began to hold some small amounts of nourishment.
The time came for us to leave and she seemed settled so we left for home. When we walked in the house, the phone was ringing. It was the physician from the hospital. He told us that our daughter had taken a turn for the worse and he was sending her by ambulance to a larger center -- Regina - to be cared for by a specialist.
I so wanted to turn around and go back as fast as I could, so I would be with her in the ambulance but the doctor said, "Just get in your car and head to Regina as fast as you can." These were not comforting words to say the least. In the car we got, mom and dad whose faith was being stretched by this turmoil, and a small boy who was oblivious to the whole matter.
I was praying with my words and with words of the Holy Spirit that seemed very guttural. These words came from so deep inside that I could not recognize the depth from which they came. My wife was in the passenger seat of the car praying and my boy was in the back, sleeping. I looked at my watch and it was around 10 pm. All of a sudden, I was enveloped in some kind of warmth and I heard a voice in my spirit or mind's ear say, "Why are you asking me for your daughter in bodily form? Do you not know that the body without the spirit is dead? Ask me for her spirit and I will return her to you."
My mind went back in time to Lazarus, Jesus' friend who had been dead for some days, to the point that his sister told Jesus, "He stinks." Yet, Jesus cried out: "Lazarus, come forth" and it wasn't long until others were crying, "He's alive, he's alive."
So, in obedience to the voice of the Lord, I asked for the spirit of my daughter. It seemed an eternity had passed before we reached Regina and the hospital. When we finally arrived, I was probably as amazed as the people standing around the grave of Lazarus when Jesus said: "Loose him and let him go." My daughter looked so well that if the specialist had told me I could take her home that night, I would have. It was a total transformation from just hours before.
When we find ourselves appalled at the overwhelming things happening in our lives we cannot always determine the source. It may be the world, it may be consequences of the choices we made, it may be opposition from our spiritual enemy, or it may be the very forces of nature in some disaster. We can wrestle over the probable or possible, as we seek to answer the heart wrenching, "Why?" Yet we cannot understand God nor can we always determine the answer to the "why?" even though we desperately want to. The only hope we have in times of pain and agonizing grief is the knowledge that God does care and He will help us through.

The rest of the story

So now, in closing, I want to tell you as Paul Harvey says: "The rest of the story." Some weeks later, I was speaking with the nurse that attended my daughter in the ambulance to Regina. She advised that around 10 pm, the intravenous that was putting fluid into my daughter to re-hydrate her had come out.
Because, my daughter was so de-hydrated, she was having difficulty finding a vein to get the IV re-started and felt my daughter was going to die, if she couldn't get the IV going. She had just about given up, when suddenly, and blindly, she found a vein, evidence by what is called flashback (blood showing in the IV initiation tubing). The IV started to run and over the next 45 minutes she was surprised at how my daughter seemed to improve when earlier, even with the IV, she wasn't doing so.
Is it coincidence that at the same time the IV came out, the Lord impressed me to begin to pray for the return of the spirit of my daughter to her body? Well, you can think what you will! All I know is that night Jesus cried out in the heavens: "loose her and let her go" and I received back into my arms a daughter -- just like Mary and Martha received their brother.
I never have understood all the twists and turns of my path as I journey toward heaven, but I know the One who has been my anchor through the storms of life and He longs to be your anchor also if you will allow it. He doesn't promise our lives will be free of trouble, yet He does promise to hold us close through it all. This was one of those times for me when I felt too weak to hang on any longer and then He reached out and held me.
I hold, until I am too weak to do so and then I am held by Him. This has been my experience time and time again and I wanted you to know it is as real as real can be. Never doubt God's love and care, or that He hurts when you hurt, reach out to Him because He is reaching out to you.

Written by Merv Tippe   April 12, 2007

Monday, October 10, 2011


What does thankful look like to you? People use the word for such a huge range of things. Being truly thankful everyday is something I am working on. I remind myself everyday, even through the difficult moments of child rearing, being a wife, and even just being me.
Our thanksgiving could easily have looked MUCH different this year.  If it had, would I still have been able to say I am thankful for this day? I would hope that I could. I would hope that my choice would have been to say, just as my blog name does, even still. God, even still I choose to be thankful. Thankfulness is a choice....

Rewind to Friday. Greg took the kids to swimming lessons so that I could stay home and pack up to go to my mom's. We were to be heading out at 4:30 and I did not want to have to rush. Kyler has started swimming lessons this year. He has always wanted to go to "fwimming lessons" but I have always had to say, you are not big enough yet." When I told him he was in lessons this year he said, "I am finally big enough? EEEEEE I am so escited!!!" He is loving it!!
Greg phoned me on the way home from swimming lessons (on speaker phone of course ;o) ), with tears in his voice and said, "We could have lost him today." After swimming lessons the kids are done, the children usually have about 15 minutes of free time. For the preschool group (about ages three and four) this usually means they can go on the little slide, play with the rings that sink or sometimes the teacher takes them to the hot tub. Generally they have to stay sitting on the steps of the hot tub, just into the water and the lifeguard stays very close. On Friday, she did not. The kids were sitting on the steps of the hot tub and she was across the pool. Greg was watching from the area where parents are allowed to view the lessons and saw Kyler stand up. Kyler took a step or two forward and stepped right off the ledge/bench into the deeper part of the hot tub. The teacher did not see, or if she did, she did not go to him. Maybe she thought he was playing, I don't know. Greg said he started to walk towards the hot tub which is quite a distance from the viewing area and all he could see was Kyler's hands just above the water splashing. His head or face could not be seen. He started running because the life guard still was not making her way to him. Greg was almost all the way to the hot tub when one of the older boys from our homeschool group reached down into the water and pulled Kyler out. I don't know exactly how many seconds he was under, but long enough that the outcome may not have been good. I thank God for guardian angels that watch over my children. Even a few seconds longer and, well I don't even want to go there. The lifeguard came and apologized saying she just thought he was playing, she didn't realize he was in danger.
I have spent this weekend watching him and my other children play, listening to their laughter as they ride bikes down the driveway and soaking it all in. I love them so very much!! Friday's incident has reminded me once again, to appreciate every moment. Sometimes we get frustrated, sometimes we make mistakes as parents, sometimes we forget that these little souls have been entrusted to us, to bless us. I am guilty.
I am guilty of not being patient, of grumbling, of speaking words that I regret, of wasting precious moments, of not taking time out of my "busy" day to read a story or go see the exciting discovery they just made. I am not perfect, but I am learning.
I don't want to look back on my life and regret the choices I made through the years my children were little. I want to discover butterflies, go on nature hikes, pet fuzzy caterpillars (okay, I will encourage them to do the petting as I don't REALLY want to touch them ;o) ) make glitter from shiny rocks, look for earthworms in the dirt, read stories, hug wiggly boys, dance around the living room with no inhibitions because my kids need a partner, and spend precious time with a girl who is growing up so fast. I want them to remember above all, that their dreams and ambitions,  loves and hopes, wants and needs were important to their mommy. No matter how small a thing, that I believe in them, that I am thankful for them even on the days where it is hard to remain a calm, patient mommy. I want them to know of God's unconditional love for them and that comes through us as parent's. It is our job to tell them and be a good example to them of how He cherishes them.
My list could go on and on, but here is a small list of things I am thankful for (in no particular order):

1. I am thankful for Kyler's warm breath as it left his lips when I kissed him goodnight. For the rise and fall of his chest and every beat of his heart when I tuck the blankets around his chin.
2. I am thankful for Jinaea's smile today as she curled up in my lap, for the way she blushes and wiggles when we tell her how beautiful she is.
3. I am thankful for Jaron's bright blue eyes that twinkle when he smiles and for the songs he sings throughout the day.
4. I am thankful for my husband who loves me unconditionally, who takes his marriage vows very seriously. He stands by my side through good times and bad, through sickness and health, and I believe he will until death do us part.
5. I am so very thankful for every single second we got to hold Zoe. For each of her tiny fingers and toes, for the kicks she delivered while in my tummy.
6. I am thankful for all my angel babies and the things they have taught me, for the changes their presence in my life has produced.
7. I am thankful for new friends and old.
8. I am thankful for opportunities to step out and show love to a hurting world around me.
9. I am thankful for the chance be a post partum doula and to share in people's lives as they learn the new dance of parenthood with these precious little ones.
10. I am thankful for God's saving grace on my life, for His mercy, peace,  hope and love.
11. I am thankful that right now there is new life growing in my womb once again. Yes that is right, in case you didn't catch my last blog entry (or didn't understand what we meant), we are pregnant again.
12. I am thankful that God always provides our needs, always.
13. I am thankful for my warm cozy bed to curl up in at night.
14. I am thankful for the pain and difficulties in my life. Yes, you read that right. I am thankful even for those. Without them, I would not be the person/wife/mother that I am today.
15. I am thankful for praying parents.
16. I am thankful for baby smiles and snuggles that I got this weekend.
17. I am thankful that I know where I will spend eternity.
18. I am thankful for the spiritual wisdom and insights of others, shared with me through blogs, books, conversations and prayers.
19. I am thankful that each and every day is a new day. A day to start over. A day to walk in grace.
20. I am thankful for Kiara. We have been through so much and God gives me love for her over and over. She will be making us grandparents in November, a new and exciting part of life begins.
21. I am thankful for guardian angels.

There is so much more, but it is 12:38 a.m. and I need some sleep. Good night to all, sweet dreams.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Walking with Him Wednesday

Woohoo!!! Pregnancy 9 here we go!!!
We would like to announce we are launching a competition with the Duggers. So far, it is not looking good for us as they are VERY much in the lead. We know that with your prayers, we can do this. God is in the miracle business! we have some catching up to do, but we are now one baby closer!!!!!!
This was our super cute (at least I think it was) announcement on facebook.  I am so very thankful for this blessing and I am determined to enjoy every minute of this. I will write more another day as it is so late, but I wanted to let those out in blog land know our exciting news.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everlasting Love

Well here we are, almost the beginning of October. Wow, how have that many months passed already in this year. Today, I read with my children. I know that sounds basic, but we had such a great time. I sat on the couch and I had one child on either side of me and one at my feet. When I told my oldest son to choose his favorite comfy place to sit, he said, "I will curl up right here beside you. That is my favorite place to be mommy." MELT! What an opportunity to speak positively into their lives. We talked about harmony in our home and in relationships. We read scriptures (taking turns), we talked out scenarios that we have dealt with or might deal with, we made a craft that required cooperation and being a peacemaker. It was wonderful. Then we sat back again to read a story from Ten Girls Who Used Their Talents, and Ten Boys Who Changed The World. Then on to a DVD about the Galapagos Islands and more discussion on creation and evolution. It was a full fall day.
Tonight I was laying on my bed reading my dear-to-my-heart friend Denie Heppner's blog Sunshine Daze.
She had a picture on her blog entry of the ocean. It made me think of how my life feels right now. I know that sometimes, out where I cannot see it, the ocean roars and is furious with storm, but right now on my own little beach, it is peaceful. The water is shimmering close to the shore as the sun's rays dance across the water. There is a peaceful hope reigning over me, it sneaks up onto the shore and covers my toes as I curl them in the blessed coolness. I take a deep breath in, the air smells so clean and crisp. There is newness washing up with every wave.
My path is taking a new direction. I am beginning a new ministry here that I am confident will be a blessing to many, simply because I know how much it would have meant to me. It is going to be called Everlasting Love.
I will be a chapter of an organization called Holy Sews based in Arkansas. It was started by a mama named Regina whose baby Ryan is also in Heaven. I hope this link works, HERE is the story of the first time Regina hit the road to hand out layettes. So amazing how God looks ahead in time and works things together for good.
I am going to be making layettes for babies are born in the second trimester. I had nothing to dress Zoe in after she was born and what a blessing it would have been to have these little layettes available. Regina is such a huge blessing in my life. She has been so encouraging and patient as we develop this new road together (she actually is doing most of the developing). I am so excited about this and I welcome any volunteers to help. I am starting my list! The layettes consist of a fleece blanket, a flannel hooded blanket that ties around the baby with a ribbon, a teeny tiny hat perfect for their little heads, a small little fluffy bear that can be placed in their arms and a little tiny gown. give dignity and honor to even the smallest, shortest life.

I will have my own section of space on the web linked from the Holy Sews website and I will have an email address directly associated with the organization. The tags on the layettes from my chapter, and the cards included with the layettes will have Everlasting Love on them in honor of Zoe. Since Zoe was born, I have searched high and low for a gown or gown pattern to make that would have fit her. I want parents to have something to hold, that was in contact with their baby, after they say goodbye to their precious little one and hand him or her over. I believe that these things will bring comfort and be treasured.
I have come up empty handed in my search until recently. I believe God led me to this ministry so that we can reach out to even more people in honor of our babies we didn't get to keep here on earth with us.
This is all totally God, how everything is falling into place so quickly. Within a few weeks, Regina now has 3 new chapters of her organization well on the way to being up and running.
As soon as things are closer to being ready, I will post again about it. Eeeek! I am so excited. Thank you God for the opportunity to show Your love to grieving families. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Shoes

This poem is a reminder that no one should judge another person's pain, or think that their pain is so much easier or worse. None of us have walked the EXACT same path as another human being because God did not give us copycat lives. We are each individuals with individual paths. Next time you tell someone, "I know exactly what you are going through," take a moment to think about that statement carefully. Yes we all hurt, but we hurt differently, some deeper, some not so deep, and we all have different responses to those hurts. Be sympathetic and empathetic in your response, but never assume you know exactly what it is like...I reminded myself of this a few times today as I heard the words, "I know," come out of my mouth. Do I know? Do I really know? In future, I will speak with more thought first.

My Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.

Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world.

Some woman are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.

Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything. They have made me who I am.
 I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

- Author Unknown?
(If you know who wrote this, please let me know!)

I have to say  a few things about my shoes. There are days, I have hated my shoes. There are days I have wished that I could be wearing almost any other shoes than my own. There are days that my shoes have hurt so much, I could not walk on my own.

There are many days I have loved my shoes. There are many days I would not trade my shoes for anyone else's. There are days that my shoes hold unspeakable joy and overflowing hope. There are days my shoes make me skip through the day. 

As painful as my shoes have been, I choose to be thankful for it. Why? Because I have lived, held, laughed, cried and most importantly, loved.
God, thank You for my shoes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bold enough

This is a post I began awhile ago. I just re-read my last post and realized that this one is on the same topic. I guess it is on my heart often so please be patient with me :o)

I have thought a lot about the tears I have cried since Zoe's death. Now a year later, she is still very much part of my identity. Sadly, an invisible part. To many of you, I am just Kiara, Jinaea, Jaron, and Kyler's mom, but you are missing a name. I am Zoe's mom too. I cannot always say that to people and when I don't, I feel guilty for not mentioning her. Like I am not giving her the honor she deserves as my child. How do I make my heart move to the place where I don't feel that anymore? I don't know if I ever will find it.

A few months ago a girl I hadn't seen in a long time came to me a church and after a short time of  catching upon detail of her life, she asked about my kids. She asked about Jinaea and Jaron and said, "This can't possibly be Kyler!! He has gotten so big. Wow, and where is your baby? I can't wait to meet him or her! Did you have a boy or a girl?" I froze. What do I say? How do I tell her? Tears filled my eyes and the smile left her face. I told her that I had a baby girl. I told her a short version of what had transpired. Tears filling her eyes now too, she reached out and hugged me, "I am so very sorry!"

This weekend I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in many months. We were talking about babies and kids and she said, "You have four kids right?" Again, my brain raced, "How do I answer this? Here goes again..." I replied, "Our baby girl was born last summer but she was still born at twenty-two weeks."
A quiet, "Oh," from her, and then awkward silence. 
I will admit I have often had tears spring to my eyes  just from a simple "How are you?" This usually brings about an apology from the person who then feels bad for even asking and "obviously bringing up something that is painful" which then makes me feel bad for making them feel bad. There are times that my tears seem to make others just downright uncomfortable and I wish it was different. Grief is not easy or comfortable for us or for you. No one knows what to say or do. There we stand in that moment, you fidgeting and unsure of what to say now. The tears fall from our eyes and we try to hide them by wiping them away. You have done nothing wrong, your question has just punctures my "I am fine" mask and touched a soft spot in my heart. "How are you?" is an innocent question, in itself very commonplace. Really there are days where almost no matter what a person says, it can bring a flood of tears. Those are the days, I just need a hug, an understanding smile or a prayer. Maybe even all three.  I am not crazy, just hurting in that moment.
Partly the awkwardness is my fault because I too, am uncomfortable and don't know what to say. There have been and are days that I don't even know how to say what I feel. I know, for the most part, people mean well with the things they say.

I know I have some supportive, be-there-through-anything friends and the following things are not true of everyone. Please forgive me if any of this post sounds too presumptuous. I mean no insult. I found some of this list in a pamphlet on helping others through grief. It says what I have not been bold or courageous enough to say in those moments....
  1. I wish you would not be afraid to speak to me about what is going on in my life, and to ask what you can do to help. Even if it means I may shed a few tears.
  2. If I cry or get emotional when we talk about them (the person who has died), I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me.  The fact that I have suffered a loss is what is causing my tears.  You have allowed me to cry, and I thank you.  Crying is healing.
  3. I wish you wouldn’t pretend that nothing is happening to me, because this is a large part of my life.  I need my friends and family by my side.
  4. I will have emotional highs and lows, I wish you wouldn’t think that if I have a good day, my grief is over, or that if I have a bad day, I need psychiatric counseling.
  5. Grieving and what I’m going through is not contagious, so please don't shy away from me.
  6. I wish you knew that all of the “crazy” grief reactions I am having are in fact very normal.  Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and questioning are to be expected during and following what is happening to me.
  7. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over if and when I appear to be smiling or happy.
  8. I wish you would understand the physical reactions to grief.  I may gain weight or lose weight…sleep all the time or not at all…want to surround myself with business or be all alone, all of which may be related to my grief.
  9. Birthdays, anniversaries of  big days, holidays, and the day I found out, are all terrible times for me.  If I get quiet or withdrawn, just know I am doing my best to cope. 
  10. It is normal and good that tough times make us re-examine our faith, values, and beliefs throughout this journey.  We will question things we have been taught all our lives, and hopefully come to some new understandings, deeper, strengthened faith and a closer relationship with God. 
  11. I wish you knew the only way I can get through grief is to experience it, and sometimes immerse myself in it.  I have to hurt before I can heal.
  12. I hope you understand that grief and difficult situations change people.  I am not the same person I was before I experienced this nor will I ever be that person again.  If you keep waiting for me to “get back to my old self,” you will be frustrated.  I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values, beliefs and goals. Please try and get to know the “new me”…maybe you will still like me.
   And particularly in the situation where a baby has died or a person is having difficulty conceiving:

13.  I wish for those friends and family that are pregnant to understand that we are happy for them. Our sadness / perhaps odd or distant behavior during this time is not personal but just a part of what we are grieving.

14. I hope that you will not avoid or stop calling because you don’t know what to say. Show me that you care and I can lean on you.

15. I wish that you would not judge the times that I am sad or find it hard to deal with things. (like finding out a friend is pregnant and baby showers)

16. I hope that you will try to put yourself in my shoes. Stop for a moment to think about what you would do and how you would feel if you were in my shoes and use that as your guide to support me.

17. Above all (and I know I have asked for this lots!!) Please pray for me to have strength, peace and healing, especially on the days you can see I am having a hard time. I appreciate your prayers so much.

I know that without God's love and His presence through this, I would not be able to make it through and still smile. I believe that something beautiful can be made from even the worst of circumstances and situations. We have seen God's hand in both small and in big ways all through our lives and I thank Him for that everyday.
If you are going through something difficult I encourage you to reach out. Reach out to God, a good friend, or possibly even a support group. Do not try to handle it all on your own. I encourage you to write like I am. It feels great to air out your thoughts and feelings. It does not have to be on a public domain like this, but even just in a journal. I have had many comments and emails from people who have been blessed or encouraged by me sharing my heart. Yes, there have been some negative too, but now I quickly move those in the folder they belong ;o)  You never know whose life you might make a difference in!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hello old friend...

 As Zoe's birthday approaches I feel overwhelmed with sadness at moments, numb at times. Sometimes I even smile through the tears when I remember holding her tiny body in my arms. I wrapped her little fingers over mine repeatedly because I didn't ever want to forget what they felt like. Her hand so intricate and small. I could hardly believe fingers could be so very small and they had nails too... I lifted her little feet in my hand and held them and marveled at the details God created in a baby who was far from being ready to meet the world. I can see those moments in my memory as clearly as if it were yesterday.        
Today we said goodbye to Kiara as she headed back to Winnipeg. I tried my hardest not to cry, but could no longer hold it in when she hugged me goodbye. I had decided long ago to give her our carseat and stroller for our grandbaby that is coming in November. This morning as I took it down from the closet, I could see Zoe's little face smiling at me from the seat (or what I imagined she would look like now). The tears stung my eyes and I forced myself to walk to her room and hand it over. Such a small thing, only a possession, an earthly thing that really holds no long term value and it was so hard to take into that room. Silly, I know. But what was hard to face was what that empty seat represents, and what is missing from our family here on earth. Kiara asked what was wrong, I guess she saw the tears I was trying to hide. I shook my head and said, "It's just a hard day." She deserves to feel happy about her baby and not carry  my sadness.
A year ago today Jinaea and I happily and excitedly went to the ultrasound office.  We could hardly wait to find out if the baby was a boy or girl!!! We sat whispering to each other in the waiting room, Jinaea telling me she so hoped it was a girl so she would not be outnumberd by boys anymore! That day my world shattered moments the carseat was not merely just a thing today. It was a stark reminder that my little girl who should be here, smiling and healthy, is not. And my big girl who I have loved so much and invested much of my heart in, is making a decision that as a parent, is so very difficult to stand back and watch. It does feel like we have failed again, but I know that we have given love over and over and that Love will produce fruit someday. It is in His hands and the Bible says that He will perfect that which concerns me...I leave her with Him.
Now Zoe's birthday is only 10 days heart has healed some yes, but it still has an emptiness that has no description and only He knows. I am so thankful for friends and family that have loved, supported and grieved with us through this. As I was reading on the SHARE website I found this poem. I realize that grief is difficult to see and difficult to share in. I have found myself in that awkward silence with friends who have lost a child or loved one too. Now that I have been there, it is different. A hug means so much, a kind smile, a prayer, and what means the most to my heart is to know that she has not been forgotten. She is still included as one of our kids and that I am STILL, even now, not alone.
My little girl lived for only a short while, but as short as it was, her life meant something to us. I was reminded today of something I read once, "Gone from this earth, but forever in our hearts." It is true, in our hearts she will stay till the day she runs to my arms! From my heart, thank you to those of you who have asked and listened without the blank stare, and to those of you who have not known what to say, I understand it is uncomfortable. I have been there too.
Hello old friend,
Oh yes you know
I lost my child a while ago.
No, no please
Don’t look away
And change the subject
It’s ok.
You see at first I couldn’t feel,
It took so long, but now it’s real.
I hurt so much inside you see
I need to talk,
Come sit with me?
You see, I was numb for so very long,
And people said, “My, She is so strong.”
They did not know I couldn’t feel,
My broken heart made all unreal.
But then one day, as I awoke
I clutched my chest, began to choke,
Such a scream, such a wail,
Broke from me..
My child! My child!
The horror of reality.
But everyone has moved on, you see,
everyone except for me.
Now, when I need friends most of all,
Between us there now stands a wall.
My pain is more than they can bear,
When I mention my child,
I see their blank stare.
“But I thought you were over it,”
Their eyes seem to say,
No, no, I can’t listen to this, not today.
So I smile and pretend, and say, “Oh, I’m ok”.
But inside I am crying, as I turn away.
And so my old friend, I shall paint on a smile,
As I have from the start,
You never knowing all the while,
All I’ve just said to you in my heart.
….Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What to say

 To those of you who check my blog, sorry about the long delay in new posts.
I want to write again, I just don't know what to write.
I have stared at this screen a number of times but the words are just not coming to me.
Partially it is because I have been criticized for being completely honest and open on here and the feelings I have had lately have not always been happy cheery ones.
I don't want to only post when I am feeling sad, though I know that has seemed to be the pattern.

Please know that I am thankful and blessed even in the sad and hard times.
God continues to amaze me and brings peace to my heart.

So, I guess just an update on life for now....
We are enjoying our summer, camping and yard work and playing in the little pool. (well yard work not so much. Shoveling many yards of topsoil is not much fun but has to be done ;o) )
Hopefully it cools off tonight. I have noticed at least a few extra sweat drips with this 41 humidex.
That is all for to you all who follow me and thanks for your patience.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The joy and laughter of flowers...

They say the world laughs in flowers. I had forgotten how much I love planting flowers. This year I have been itching to get them into my yard and into flower pots on the decks. I am  "a wing it and see how it goes gardener" an "expert" gardener of course! I have managed to kill, dah-dah-dah-DAH......only 6 plants. That, I am sure is a far better success rate than the greenhouses have and a personal all time record for me! WOOHOO!

What great, peaceful therapy it is to spend a few hours out in the sunshine, digging in dirt and planting life and making a yard beautiful! The thing I love most about flowers is the beautiful color that they bring to my heart. A flower is kind of like our hearts if you think about it. It needs nuturing, feeding, sunshine and when it is given those things, it can produce such beauty, touching the lives of all those around it. 

Vivid pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, greens, purples and so many more in-betweens decorate my yard. Jinaea and Kyler helped me with the planting and weeding. It was an awesome time talking about roots and leaves and petals and being gentle (for Kyler's sake). I am sure the flowers will show their forgiveness for me letting Kyler hold them in his sometimes gentle, sometimes not so gentle way.

I am now sitting here waiting for a fun, sweet, wonderful, loving friend/cousin to arrive. I am so excited that she is coming!!! Linda Mae (aka Ellie Mae to us) is going to be here in about an hour. EEKKKK!
We are going to do girly things, play with kids, hang out, watch movies, go for walks, cry and probably laugh till we almost pee our pants. What fun it will be!!!

Life is good and filled with flowery, sunshiny joy today and for that I am thankful.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A letter to my babies in Heaven

This is a letter I wrote for a memory album I created in honor of my first three babies in Heaven. I have not yet added Zoe or Ellie to the album.

June 11, 2006

Dear Babies,
There have been many times since you've been gone that I have wanted to sit and write our what I would like to say to you, but somehow the words to match my feelings and heart were not there.
Now I feel like it is time to put those thoughts down on paper. You were wished for, wanted and loved very much. Even though I never held you, I love you deeply. You died before you were born and our eyes never met. I miss that I never got to see your sweet faces, hold your little hands or nurse you close to my heart. I still miss feeling you move inside my womb and if it weren't for this never-ending ache in my heart, it would be as if you were never there. I had dreams of holding you and seeing your beautiful face. Although I never saw your smile on earth, I have seen it in my dreams and it moves me to tears.
With Grief comes change. Our lives are FOREVER changed because you were here. We didn't see your first steps or hear your first words, but your memories live on in our hearts every day. We have lost so much, but gained grace and mercy from the Lord through it all. When I cry tears of sorrow that seem to never end, Jesus dries them and holds me close to His heart.
I know He felt my sorrow and pain as deeply as I did. My heart beats with yours for eternity.
I love you forever.

Kane's Story (our 4th baby)

In April of 2003, we were living in Young, Sask, for a few months while Greg worked for a friend of ours. I was feeling so tired all the time. I could make it to lunch and then would be almost falling asleep where I sat! I started to wonder if I was pregnant again, but I wasn't feeling sick at all. At the end of May we came back home to Moose Jaw for a visit with friends and to get things looked after at home.

We decided that while we were home we were going to do a pregnancy test. We had been trying to get pregnant for about 5 months. We wanted to see the result at the same time, so I peed on the stick, set it on the counter and went outside of the bathroom to sit on the stairs with Greg and wait the required few moments.....
We were giddy! We watched the seconds hand go around the clock and when it was time we flung open the door (Don't ask me why we closed it in the first place. Maybe we felt the test needed its privacy to do its job, lol) The test had two blue lines!!!! Hooray! We were having another baby. I had wanted Jinaea to be between 18 months and 2 years when we had our next child and so this was perfect! She would be almost two when this baby came.

We decided we weren't going to tell everyone about the pregnancy yet, but as time went on, more and more found out anyway.We made sure to tell people that would pray with us through it. We made our way back to Young and prayed. We did all we could physically and prayerfully to keep this baby safe and growing well inside my womb. I rested and did as little lifting as possible. We prayed and spoke God's word over our baby. Sometimes people would say to us, "You must be so scared you might lose this one too!" We would answer, "No, we trust that God is faithful and will carry us through." I really was not scared about losing this baby. I knew that it was all in God's hands and that we could trust him with our hearts.

June 25th, I started having some cramps and spotting. We prayed lots that day! We had gone to Regina with my mom for church and shopping. As we shopped the cramping was getting steadily worse. The bleeding was increasing as we made our way back to the farm. We got to Bethune and the pain from the cramping was so uncomfortable that I could hardly stay still in the vehicle. I told Greg we needed to either turn around and go back to Regina or head into Moose Jaw because something was wrong. We stopped in Bethune to ask if there was a quicker way to get to Moose Jaw than through Chamberlain and thankfully, there was. When we arrived at the hospital, an ultrasound was done. They told me I was about 8 weeks pregnant and was having a miscarriage. My heart fell.....once again, no heartbeat.
Our tears were flowing as the Dr. came in and when I started contracting again he told me to push. I delivered the baby and the Dr. put it in a metal dish, covered it and took it away. Again I was overwhelmed with just how deep loss of a loved one is.
I was told I would have to have a D&C if the bleeding did not slow down. This would be my fourth one. By 11p.m. that night I had to go for surgery. The bleeding had not slowed.
I felt angry, sad, disappointed and so many other emotions all at once. As I lay on the operating room table I knew that we had done all that was in our control for this baby to live. There were no answers waiting here in this cold, sterilized and unfriendly room.

Only deep sadness and Him.

Those answers would have to wait to come till the day we stand before Him. I had the D&C done and went back to "normal" life, though it did not feel normal any more.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Much change in so little time

It is so funny how even after all the unpredictability of life we have seen so far, we still have moments of "Oh my goodness, what now? Does God really know what He is doing here? Does He realize how ill-equipped I feel to do this?" Why can we just not immediately trust that His plan IS perfect.
Greg and I are going to be grandparents in November. We found out in March that our oldest daughter Kiara is pregnant. She is due on November 18th. When she first found out, she was very scared and did not think she was ready for this new step in life. We assured her that there are many things much worse than having a baby at her age and that we would be here for her. Kiara asked us about some options and to be honest, the very thought of them did not sit well with me at all. Abortion was not an option as far as we were concerned and adoption, well, Greg told her that if she felt she was not ready or couldn't handle it, that we would raise the baby instead. I felt a little scared myself at first, but I began to try and picture what life would be like in 9 months if that were to happen. I decided that whatever the outcome, God knew ahead of time what it will be.
I felt a stir of excitement that maybe this was the reason I kept feeling we were going to have another baby.

I have to confess that at that moment I also started to have hopes and dreams for this new little family member. I never want this baby to experience even a moment of feeling that he/she is a mistake, unwelcome or unwanted. I want him/her to know that no matter what he/she is loved by us all. Even though this was not the future Kiara had planned for herself at this point, God has a plan and a purpose for this little life and we will be there wherever we are needed.

Kiara moved home again to live with us at the beginning of April. It has been a big change having another person in the house again but we have had many laughs. She has decided that she is going to keep the baby and raise it on her own (Unsure at this point of the involvement of the father) with love and support from us.
Emotions run a little high for me some days. I have my moments of thinking that maybe God has forgotten all we have been through in the past year. Why else would this have dropped into our lives at this point.
Then I remind myself how silly it is to doubt His perfect plan.  I am very excited about the little life that is growing in our home and I know that the coming months, though not ideal for everyone involved, will bring overwhelming joy to Kiara's heart and ours. We love you little one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Good news

Well, thank God, no ectopic pregnancy. I had blood drawn today and hopefully it will show that my HCG levels are settling back down. Things were a little rocky again today with the bleeding, but it has settled down now. Thank you for all your prayers, they mean so much to my heart. I would hug each and every one of you if I could!
I believe the story of my life was written long ago. Before I ever came to be, before even time began, my life was in His hands. While I was being knit together in my mother's womb, God knew what each day would hold.

Tonight this song He knows my name has been playing through my heart.

I hope it blesses your heart as well.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Overflowing with hope

Romans 15:13

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I want this to be me. I want to overflow with hope, so much that it will spill out onto others who feel they have none. I am pressed, but not crushed in my circumstances. My circumstances do not determine my ability to be content or to have joy....That is where I want to be.

Like Paul said in Philippians 4:11 (The Message) 
I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.

Does that mean I NEVER feel frustrated, act ungrateful, or feel jealousy or less than satisfied? No, it means I have a goal. To be satisfied, joyful and content. I do not want to be ruled by my feelings or let the thoughts that rumble around in my head control me. In Christ, I am more than that. (It says so in my Bible. I am more than a conqueror) So despite the disruptions that seem to find my life at times, I determine to find peace and contentment in Him. What are those things you might ask, well here is the latest scoop on our baby journey.

WARNING!!! Read no further if "female problems" or blood bother you!

My day Sunday was rough. I had a few scary moments on Saturday where I started bleeding heavier and passing large clots again. It didn't last long, about 10 minutes and then I had almost nothing until 10:30 Sunday morning. Within 2 hours I had been to the washroom about 7 times and could not see through the water at all when the blood stopped. I was passing very large clots again and starting to not feel very good. I called a wonderful friend, who is a nurse, for her advice. I didn't want to go to the hospital if it was not necessary, I don't like wasting the nurses/doctors time. I also didn't want to end up having to call an ambulance.
She wisely told me to go to the hospital, and I am glad I did.
I got in right away and was sent to a side room to await blood work. I felt like I had to go to the washroom and when I did, more blood gushes. I came back to sit in the chair and wait. I felt tired very suddenly and started sweating. Then I felt like I had to throw up. Greg tried to hand me a basin and I would have laughed if I had not felt so gross! Those little kidney bean shaped basins couldn't possibly catch what I felt was about to come out!
I said no thank you and headed for the bathroom. I made it to the door and my vision started to get black spots. Then everything went dark with flashes of light. The ringing in my ears was so loud.  I called out to Greg who caught me about halfway back to the chair. The nurse came right away and helped him get me back to the chair.
They brought a wheelchair and got me into a room across the hall. A few minutes later I was laying slightly elevated, clothed in a hospital gown, I.V. started and oxygen hose on my face. The ringing was getting quieter and my eyes were no longer seeing spots. The Dr. walked in and holding my file in the air said, "This is quite the chart for a 34 year old!" I lay there for the next couple hours while the Dr. waited for my blood work results and questioned me on my history. An ultrasound was ordered and I was taken to the room. I don't know how many of you have had an internal ultrasound but this was the most uncomfortable one I have ever had. Ouch.
The result I don't quite understand. I thought I did, until I got home and thought out what the Dr. had said.
I was told that the ultrasound shows that there is still placenta in my uterus from a miscarriage that has blood flow and is functioning (we knew this already), causing the higher HCG hormone results in tests. It was sitting at 1367.
Then he said we also cannot rule out an ectopic pregnancy because there is something in your fallopian tube that looks like that is a possibility. I was told my Dr. would decide whether a D&C was best, or a drug that would induce "labour" and cause the release of the placenta tissue.
Now the part I don't understand is this...Are we now talking about two separate pregnancies, one that I still have placenta tissue from and then a second possible ectopic pregnancy? It seems highly unlikely to have two pregnancies in 3 months? A fertilized egg cannot come down into the uterus long enough to produce a placenta and then move back up into the fallopian tubes creating a tubal pregnancy. If there is an ectopic pregnancy, it would have to be a recent one because I would be in great pain or in great trouble if it has been around for up to two and a half months, which is about how far along I would be according to other tests taken.
I was given a dose of Cytotec and told to see my Dr. in two days. I see my Dr. tomorrow and hopefully he can clear up a lot of my questions for me. I was told if the Cytotec works, my HCG levels should dramatically drop very quickly. I took the Cytotec at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night. It has not been as terrible as some people have said it would be. I have had a lot of lower back pain and cramping but it is almost gone now. The bleeding seems controlled now and I think the medication has done it's job.
I am now trying to build up my iron again so this light headed feeling will go away. It was spinach and asparagus for supper for me. Tomorrow we should have some answers. I am learning that in whatsoever state I am, therefore to be content. Please pray for me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ultrasound report....

 I will bless the Lord forever, I will trust Him at all times
This is the song that played through the night in all my dreams on Monday night. I hold tight to these scriptures. I will trust Him at all times, He has made me glad. He is my strength, my shield, my portion.....

There is a silence that hangs in the room during an ultrasound when the technician knows it is not going to be the news you hoped for. It has become all too familiar to me. Body language is a giveaway as well.
They avoid eye contact, most of the technicians I have had, seem very uncomfortable with the tears that they think they will see. At least that is what it seems. There was no screen turned on at the end of the bed for us to watch the miracle of life unfold as the ultrasound wand moved across my tummy. I could slightly see the screen in front of the technician and was watching intently, hoping to see the little form of this baby we loved already. There was only black emptiness. I fought back tears as I laid on the table praying and telling myself I just didn't know what to look for exactly.....maybe the baby was just really small, please God, just let it be that.
I looked at the picture hanging above the bed. A showcase of Toronto Maple Leaf jerseys throughout time.
The picture is a familiar sight as well. It is the same one I stared at while I tried to quiet the screaming in my head when they told me Zoe had no heartbeat.
The technician speaks the same words we have heard with four other babies that have died in utero...."I need to go speak with the Dr and make sure we have all the pictures we need."
And again, when he comes back, the Dr accompanies him with sympathy in his eyes. "I understand you may have some questions about your ultrasound."
He then tells us that his previous diagnosis of a miscarriage was correct, the baby has already "passed" already and what had developed of the placenta is still hanging on. My queasy feelings and tiredness is most likely caused by the placenta still producing pregnancy hormones. "I am sorry we are here again."
I can hold back the tears no longer. We gather our things and head out to the car.
Now home to tell the kids. We pull into the driveway and shut off the car and sit in the silence. Greg tells me he has no words, he doesn't know how to tell them. I don't either. I have had people ask me why we tell the kids about the pregnancy early on before we know that it is a for sure thing.....well, do we ever know it is a for sure thing? In my world we don't, so we tell our kids early on so that we can all enjoy the happiness that comes with the announcement of a new brother or sister joining our family. We do things as a family, even when it is grieving. Imagine my kids confusion and questions if mommy was just all of a sudden in tears often. They would be wondering if it was something they did. In fact, even with knowing what has happened, one of my kids asked me if it was something they did to make me sad. No, I do not regret telling them. We are family and we share in joy, sorrow, thankfulness, blessings, love, celebration and yes, even grief.
So many things have not gone according to our plans for our lives that I have learned to not waste one moment of that which brings joy. Even if the joy is brief, it is still joy and I am glad we share it together. How else do we teach our children that grief is not something to be ashamed of and hidden. Our children learn by example and I want my example to them to be one of honesty and openness not one of shame and hidden truth.
We go into the house and Jaron meets us at the door. "How is our baby?" Tears fall again and we tell him what the Dr told us. Before my friend leaves, she gives me the tightest, longest hug she has ever given me.
I am thankful for her hug. Tears in her eyes too, she says goodbye and we are alone again, just us and our children here on earth. Jinaea comes up and says, "So, how did it go?" I just shake my head. Sadness fills her eyes too. She makes me a card that says I love you mommy. I am sorry about the baby.
Yes, here we are again saying goodbye to a life so briefly shared with us and looking forward to the time we will meet in Heaven. It is very hard to choose a name for a child that is already in Heaven. What meaning should we choose? Do I even want to choose a name again for a baby I will not hold.......I will, but it may take some time.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Well, tomorrow morning I will be in the ultrasound room at 9:30a.m. I am expecting to hear very different news than I heard last time!!! I want to see a little flicker of a heartbeat on the screen. I know my God is faithful and will be right there with me the whole time. Love never fails....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomorrow is the day...

Well here we are, the night before going to see the Dr again. I am excited!! I am expecting good news when I go. Because I am not perfected in the spiritual fruit of patience so excited, I have now done four pregnancy tests (yes, four) and the result is............da da da dahhhhhhhh. still POSITIVE!
It has now been almost 3 weeks since we had the ultrasound that told us I was having a miscarriage. The fact that my pregnancy tests are still coming out with a positive result is a good sign as far as I know.
I feel hope-full. Tomorrow I am expecting to be sent for an ultrasound to see a little heartbeat.
I have really been enjoying the new book I am reading...

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

I am thankful for so many things in my life. Through all the "hard" things people have to face, there IS always something to be grateful for. Always. In reading this book it has challenged me to think more about what exactly I am thankful for. To name those things and take them as gifts. So, a new fresh page in my journal will be turned soon and I will start to fill the crisp lines with all the things I can think of that I am thankful for.
It makes my heart happy, I am in anticipation of the joy that will fill my heart as I name them.
Today as I was reading, I realized that what Ann is talking about is very true. Joy is found in thankfulness. I started to think back over the months following Zoe's birth. Zoe's actual due date was a turning point for me in how I felt about her death. I have had much more peace and contentment and yes, even joy when I think about her since that day. I didn't know how it had happened, or why, but Ann brought it to light. (Thank you Ann)
As I sat in the hotel room and rested in His peace on her due date, I was amazed at how the devastation and emptiness seemed easier to bear on that day. Why? I believe it is because in the days surrounding her due date, I began to be thankful for the time I did have with her. I mean really thankful, deep down in my heart. That thankfulness ushered in joy and peace.
So many people have recommended Ann's blog and her book to me.
I listened promptly
put it on my list of must reads because I did not have the TIME right now to read yet another book
promised myself I would read it later "when I get around to it"
okay, I was simply not listening to the prompting of my Heavenly Daddy as quickly as I should have. SOOOOO finally what does my wonderful, loving Daddy do? He gets one of His other beautiful daughters (who was listening and acting a little quicker than I ) to give me one!! Thank you Juanita for your help in opening my ears. You are on my list of grateful fors. You are a blessing.
Anyway, on that note, tomorrow I go in to see my Dr with a thank-full heart, knowing Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

I was not able to get in to see the Dr. today....his office was closed until tomorrow.  Good one God, lol. I laughed when I called in and the message said that. "Have patience Michelle," is what I hear!

Well, I went to see my Dr this morning and the test is still "very positive." He said this is very good and he is very happy and hopeful about this. I have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday morning 9:30a.m. The kids are so excited and so are we!!!!!! I determine not to have an internal fit of carnality (adult temper tantrum) and impatience while I wait for tuesday to come!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Thousand Gifts....

Eeeeeeeeeek.   I was recently given a copy of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I can hardly wait to start reading. I believe I should be allowed to duct tape the children to the wall (only so I know they are safe and sound while I am distracted with reading this book ;o) ) maybe in the garage (so it is quiet in the house and I can absorb all that I read) I'm sure Ann would appreciate that type of dedication to hear writings, no?
I have been wanting to buy this book ever since I heard about it a few months ago. It was the new subject of a book club. Every one I know that has read it has come back with rave reviews about this woman's wisdom and challenges to live life differently. I know that as I read, I will gain new perspective on mothering, enjoying the little things in life and so many other things as well.
I am going to dare to live fully right where I am!
I will write as I read........

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time keeps on ticking....

God, please accept my humble apologies for trying to rush you into doing what I want you to do on my time. It obviously doesn't work and I have seen the light where that is concerned now. I really believe I have learned my lesson already but if I haven't, would you please hurry up and teach me patience already!!!!
Have you ever prayed a prayer something like that?
I still have my little internal temper tantrums behave with perfect grace, dignity and composure when it comes to waiting for God to do His thing.
I see I am fooling no one here, sooooo I will admit, I have my little fits of carnality in my head. Even though I know that I need to just rest and be quiet before Him, that everything will happen at the perfect time. Why can't I just trust perfectly.
Days seem to be going by so slowly right now while I am waiting to go back to the Dr.'s for a pregnancy test.
I want to know.....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


1 Thessalonians 5:13-24

Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
      Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

There are certain things in this portion of scripture that stand out to me right now. Be thankful in everything and faithful is He who calls me, He also will bring it to pass.
I had another Dr's appointment today to go over the results of the ultrasound. Yesterday morning began with me feeling fine and then all of a sudden, I felt really sick. I ran to the bathroom and ended up ridding myself of anything that was in my stomach! I have felt nausea for about 5 days now off and on. I am still really tired through the day too. These two things seem very strange to be feeling if I have had a miscarriage. On the other hand, I am not an expert. I have no idea how long it takes for hormones to settle back down.
I decided to ask my Dr about it. He said,
"I think we need to do another pregnancy test today.  I don't want to get your hopes up unnecessarily, but I don't want to disregard how you are feeling either. There was a sac seen on the ultrasound in the clotting. Nothing was seen in the sac, but it is possible that the conclusion of the ultrasound was wrong. It has happened before, where we have thought that there had been a miscarriage because of the bleeding and a few weeks later through a second ultrasound, there is a baby seen. It is possible that it was just too early. If in a few weeks you are still feeling these symptoms, we will repeat the pregnancy test. if it is positive still, we will repeat the ultrasound and see what it shows."
I feel excitement stirring again. Really? Could this possibly be true? I wondered last night if the ultrasound could have been just too early, and this morning a friend asked me if that was a possibility.
I did the pregnancy test again today and it still says positive.
I feel thankfulness. Thankfulness for every moment that I have with my kids.....all of them. In everything I will give thanks, and I know my God will be faithful to me no matter how this goes. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When the rain falls......

March 3, 2011

Bring the Rain - Mercy Me

"I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that's what it takes to praise You,
Jesus bring the rain" An excerpt from the song above. I am still going to praise Him no matter what life throws at me.

Baby #8 is now in heart has had very little time to adjust to this.
I have been having some strange bleeding issues and decided to go to the dr this morning to try and get it figured out.  My doctor asked if I was pregnant. I said I didn't think so, the bleeding had been going on for about a month now. I have been tired, but thought it was maybe due to lower iron. He said well first let's get a pregnancy test done. So I headed off to the little girls room with my purple cup in hand and the excitement stirring in my heart for what might possibly be happening.
I went back into the office when I was done and my doctor returned. The test was positive!!! My heart skipped a beat. Really? Really, really? WOW! Congratulations were given from all at the office as my heart filled with warm mushiness.  I could hardly wait to get home to tell Greg. I got in the car and thanked God for this little life.
Now because of not knowing a date of my LMP (sometime in Jan, putting me at about 5 or 6 weeks) for sure, my doctor wanted an ultrasound done A.S.A.P.
They booked me in for an ultrasound at 4:15.
We managed to scramble up a babysitter for the kids because Greg wanted to come with me and I am so glad he did. We didn't want to tell the kids anything just yet so we spent a day with just the two of us and Ellie (we jokingly called the baby that because the news of this pregnancy was the white elephant in the room)
We went in to the ultrasound room and the end result of it all was, we were told that I am in the midst of another miscarriage.
In such a short time, we started to dream and hope for this baby. I didn't realize just how quickly that part of being a parent kicks in. We have never dealt with miscarriage after only knowing of the baby's existence for a day. This has kind of been a sucker punch day. I still am not quite sure what to think, it is such a whirlwind of emotions. I am once again waiting for nature to "take it's course." 
Hopefully it will be done soon. I do not want another D&C.
I am resting in His arms tonight and I am very thankful for His love to carry me.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Never fear.....God is here!

You may chuckle at the title, but is is so true. God has never failed us.
There are so many times where I have had no idea how the little bit of money we had went as far as it did. It was a very supernatural thing. I am thankful for people who obey God's promptings too.
We were well looked after throughout the time Greg was sick and recovering from each of his surgeries (stories to follow).
With a new baby on the way, there were things we still needed to buy, things we had no money to buy.
Here is a write up of some of the blessings we received. I don't share these things to brag, but to show you that when you are in need, God is faithful. Always trust, stay positive, believe that He will provide what you need when you need it.
Checking the mailbox became a more interesting thing to do because every once in awhile, there was a cheque waiting there for us. Sometimes from someone we knew, sometimes we didn't have a clue who the person was, but God had laid it on their heart to send us something.
We would be getting low on groceries and there would be a knock at our door. Someone would show up with bags of groceries.
The mom's group at a local church called and said that they had talked and decided they wanted to help us out. They brought over a huge load of groceries including diapers, wipes and various baby necessities.
We won a hamper drawing through the cancer clinic.
We were selected by Farm Credit to be the sponsored family for christmas. They showed up with groceries, baby things, presents and some money.
A man approached our pastor and said he wanted to give some money at christmas time to a family in the church and asked if our pastor knew anyone. Our pastor told him of some families, us included. The man said he knew immediately that we were who he wanted to bless and he told our pastor to pass on the message that we were to use the money wherever we needed it and he wanted us to have a merry christmas.
Many friends and family gave to us financially to help meet our living costs and medical travel costs during that time.
The people my mom works with surprised her one day with a roomful of groceries for us. They had been collecting food for months. When they came to bring them in, it was literally a minivan full of food and necessities. Our little cupboards were full and overflowing.
The Kinsmen organization helped us twice with travel costs and daily expenses of being away from home. (GIVE TO TELEMIRACLE!!!!)
When we were on flights to go for surgeries for Greg or come home after them, we were upgraded for free a few times. The extra room was much appreciated when Greg was so uncomfortable sitting for long.
Our flight was delayed in Minneapolis once and so we were given lunch on the airport.
Friends and family helping us move to our new house (twice). The first time we were scheduled to be in Rochester for Greg's surgery the day of the move. Our friends and family got together and handled it all for us. Every detail was worked out and my mom even managed to get some unpacking done for me so I wouldn't have so much to do when we came home.
My mom said, "Some people will do anything to get out of having to move their things!"
We were blessed with meals brought to our door.
At Greg's last surgery, they would not let him leave the hospital without the antibiotics he was on. The problem was they were I.V. antibiotics that I had to give Greg through a PIC line in his arm. In order to travel with them, the medication had to be in these pressurized little chambers that would release the medication over a period of 15 to 20 minutes. The antibiotics in the pressurized chambers came to just over $300. We did not have $300 to pay for them before leaving the hospital. It was a long process with many phone calls back and forth between Sask Health and the Mayo Clinic. Sask Health would not pay for meds prescribed upon discharge from the hospital. There was a charitable organization affiliated with the hospital there in Rochester that stepped up to the plate and covered the cost of the meds for us.
Once we pulled into the gas station to get gas and a man who we knew, but not very well, paid for our gas before we got in to pay for it.
There were so many more things as well, I am sure I am leaving some out.
My heart is full and overflowing with gratitude........