01 Apr 2013 Leave a comment
I have this ferocious need to capture little moments with my kids.
Sometimes it’s to the point where I have to stop what I’m doing and just BE in the moment.
I try to remember that I will have and do have lots of time with them.
This year with my
perfect part time job that went away and turned into just kill me full time, has left me feeling scattered and sometimes afraid.
Afraid that I’m missing the big things and little things in my family’s life.
Except for this weekend.
I decided to put it all down. Lay all the cares, worries, and stresses behind.
Just play, enjoy, relax, and not stress for the perfect picture or activity.
So there was dirt, mud, and easter egg dying…
I want my boys to love each other. I may encourage random acts of affection a little too often.
I also may hear lots of screeching and giggling because of it.
Oh, the matching outfits.
When we lost our baby, I never thought we would ever find matching outfits for our boys.
Because they are over four years apart, it is really hard to find matching outfits.
These outfits make me smile.
Can you hear my heart healing as we speak?
Although the Best Friend is not technically ours, we’ll still claim him.
Hubs came up with a brilliant idea to put some change into a couple of the eggs…
They were all so excited to get money!
Isn’t a few coins way better than chocolate?
Speaking of chocolate, we had all natural candy, vanilla meringues, caramels, and jellybeans this year!
Thank you, Trader Joes!
And the cake?
Homemade frosting, all natural candy and sprinkles…for the win!
This Easter is a new beginning of sorts.
It’s a day to reflect on where we place our hope, how we can have more faith, and knowing Who holds our future.
This girl is starting to find her hope and faith again.
06 Mar 2013 6 Comments
I just happen to work where I may see both at the exact same time. I’m trained to be the personnel who tends to a baby’s first breath. As a nurse, rarely my services are needed to sustain a life, but in the event it happens, I’m there, along with a team.
This particular day I was needed. But not in the way I thought.
She was born many weeks too early to survive. Her little body pushed from her mother’s warm, loving interior, into the cold world. Her heart beating, trying it’s best to give it a shot, though her lungs were far too underdeveloped to oxygenate her vital organs. She lay still. Her nurse wrapped her in a warm blanket and handed her to her devastated parents to hold.
But after nearly an hour her parents were done. They asked the nurse to take her, do what you have to do, weights and measures. The nurse gently set her in the crib and started to walk toward the nursery.
I saw the look on the labor nurse’s face. Sad. Confused. Unsure. I asked if the baby had passed yet, she looked at me and said no. No? I asked confused. Why on earth didn’t parents want to hold their dying baby? I can’t imagine.
Oh wait. Yes, I can.
The overwhelm, the horror, the grace, and fortitude that came to reside in my soul after the 26 hours of labor I had to deliver my own stillborn son came flooding back in an instant. I held my breath and swallowed hard.
I told the nurse I’d take her. I pulled the blanket to the side that covered her tiny body. Still warm, I could feel there was some life in her. I carefully wrapped extra blankets around her so that the crib didn’t look empty as I walked in the hallway to take her to the nursery.
When I arrived, I made my way to the back where there was privacy and a curtain. I took out my stethoscope and listened. Nothing. And then a very brief series of heartbeats, irregularly fluttering in her little chest. She was still hanging on.
I walked quickly to the blanket warmer where I grabbed a nice warm blanket and I gently wrapped this precious baby girl in it. Her little head peering out from the swaddle I sat down in the rocker and began to rock.
But something told me she didn’t want to be rocked. She wanted to be held, but not rocked. So I stood up, walked around and held her close to my chest. I talked to her. I told her she was not alone. I told her I would hold her until the end.
After about a half an hour of walking with her in the crook of my arm, I assessed for signs of life. Again, the fluttering of a little heartbeat still present. I told her that I was going to weigh and measure her. I assured her that I was not going to do this because I was assuming she was gone, but that I do this for every baby. I took two sets of footprints, two sets of handprints.
For I know all too well that there will not be any first day of preschool pictures, a first lock of hair, or a first visit from the tooth fairy. Then quickly I wrapped her back up in the warm blanket.
I looked around the nursery and miraculously it was empty now. The hustle and bustle of the day had settled and it was just this baby girl and I. I took a seat behind our desk with one of our swizzle chairs and gently back and forth we swayed. I began to sing one of the lullabies that I sing for my boys.
We swayed and sang for nearly 20 minutes. I had to stop myself from reaching down and kissing her tiny head that peeked out from the blankets. I listened with my heart, melting with gratitude that this precious girl needed me. To just hold her. To just be in my arms.
The time that we swayed seemed like hours. I imagined her body feeling comforted, warm, and loved. I reminded her that her mommy and daddy loved her very much. I told her they did the very best they could. I told her that she paved the way for her future siblings. I thanked her for being so beautiful. I told her that she mattered. I told her that she would not be forgotten. I told her that there would be peace that passed understanding.
I closed my eyes and rested with her in my arms. I hoped she could hear my heartbeat through the blankets. And when I opened them again. I knew she was gone. I could sense her energy had lessened; her delicate mouth began to open. It was time to assess her heart rate again. But instead I held her a little longer.
Indeed she had passed. A sadness came over me. But a peace filled my heart. I thanked her for letting me hold her. I thanked her for needing me. I sent my well wishes to her, her parents, and her future siblings. I asked her to say hello to my baby that was in Heaven and hoped he would usher her into her Creator’s loving embrace.
I was needed that day. Not in the way I’m used to being needed. And in the process, I realized that I needed her.
I was filled to the brim with gratitude, love, peace, and grace. The ache in my soul from losing my stillborn son almost four years before was soothed in her presence. She filled a gap. A wondering for me. She gave me the opportunity to BE in the moment of life and death.
An amazing baby with an amazing message, and for that I am so grateful.
09 Sep 2012 Leave a comment
Somedays there isn’t much wrong in life.
Like when my husband makes us breakfast and I get to drink hot coffee.
Like when the kids play quietly for a millisecond.
Like when we all go the waterpark and cling to each drowned rats in a swimming pool.
Like when my 6 year old talks about angels and how he can still see them.
Like when my 2 year old laughs hysterically about something so simple like a wave pool.
Like when we all go to sushi and they try new food and love to use chopsticks.
And then when we all climb into the big bathtub full of bubbles to get
Somedays there are happy times.
08 Aug 2012 Leave a comment
Thank you to Tonya from Letters for Lucas who invited me to share my letter! It was not easy to process all of it, but I feel better having done so. Thank you to all who read it. xo
To God and the Angels,
I thought You’d explain the mess.
I thought You’d teach me before I’d have to ask.
I thought You’d speak directly to me so I didn’t have to struggle to hear You.
Where were You the day my body failed our baby?
I took my vitamins, wrote my affirmations daily, meditated, and prayed for a well baby.
I thought my children would be two years apart and in matching clothes, maybe even sharing bunk beds.
As the needles punctured my abdomen, the anguish my heart felt was far worse than the pain.
Watching the black and white screen with a baby who barely moved crumbled my spirit and made me wonder what I could’ve done to make this happen.
I blamed myself. My hormones. My distrust.
My faith was truly shaken to the core.
I wanted only to blink and see a thriving, moving, active baby with a great heart rate and perfect anatomy.
Not one with cysts in his brain, transposition of the great vessels, and a multitude of other problems.
“I’m sorry, but your baby has a slim to no chance of survival.”
I took a deep breath as the perinatologist gave me his card and told me I could go to another hospital to be induced for a terribly sick baby who would never survive.
I decided against a different hospital and went to my hospital. To the birth center I work at.
And I saw You there. I saw You in the way the sun shined through on my face during my long labor.
I saw You in my husband’s face.
I saw You in my friends’ faces.
I saw You when I delivered our stillborn son in all his peacefulness.
As we held him I felt Your love surround us.
I knew there was a bigger plan for us, but I struggled with what it was.
Then the grief impaled me.
I tried to trust You.
I tried to believe.
I cried. I took out my anger on my sweet husband and toddler.
I struggled with everything. The simplest things made me lose patience and strength.
I didn’t dare dream of anything. I was so afraid You’d steal it away.
Then, the day I fell to my knees when I found out I was pregnant again.
I told You I couldn’t do it.
I told You I wasn’t ready. It had only been a little over a year.
I couldn’t do it again. Not again.
You told me to just trust You.
I told you you were on crack!
I felt like I was trapped, but had nowhere to turn.
Except to You.
I did turn to you.
I did my best to believe.
There were many tears.
There was much anxiety.
And then, he arrived.
Safe and sound.
In my arms.
And part of my broken heart healed.
It trusted again.
It believed again.
I have to say, it hasn’t been the simplest of times, but it’s what You allowed.
You must have known something about me.
I must be stronger than I thought I was.
And I am reminded of the fact that I was given this life because You must have thought I was strong enough to live it.
So for that, I thank You.
26 Jul 2012 Leave a comment
The trees seem to gather together in families.
They stay close.
They protect each other from the elements.
They get it.
I just wonder how they do after one of them dies.
Do they fall apart like we do?
Or do they trust that all will be restored in time?
What’s so beautiful about it, is that they thrive during the harshest conditions.
Their thick skin can save them.
I think I may have just gotten some valuable information from them today.
Thank you, trees.
07 Jun 2012 Leave a comment
Often times when things get a little crazy, harried, pressing, or mundane, a trip to the beach is just what our souls need.
It doesn’t have to be a tropical beach, though that is nice.
There is something lovely about needing a sweatshirt, rolling up your pant legs and having the cold, misty breeze zip through your hair.
Or there’s always the need to play in the sand and dirt…
Or discover creatures in the tide pools…
And play with the cousins as if you were twins separated at birth…
Or playing Draw Something in the sand…
And letting your cousin turn you into a merman…
There were extra kisses and hugs…
And life just seems better after a trip to the beach…