On Due Dates and Miscarriages

I knew the day was approaching. Circled in red on my calendar, it was a constant reminder of what wouldn’t be. My momma heart was bracing itself for the day’s impact. The funny thing about calendar days: you can’t skip over them no matter how much you want to. The youngest reader in the house read the words and asked, “Mom, what’s due date?” He cried when I told him. We sank to the kitchen floor and snuggled.

But then I started to feel strange, and I secretly wondered. The cheap Dollar Tree test confirmed it…I was pregnant on the due date of our miscarriage baby. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so dark and gloomy. We danced through the day.

positive pregnancy test

We kept our secret tucked inside as best we could between the sickness and the excitement. We waited–for weeks to slowly pass and heartbeats to be seen. We waited for weekends with family to see the look on their faces as we told the story of God’s goodness and timing. We waited for just the right moment to slip a black and white photo across the table and have everyone erupt with joy. We waited, breath held with each passing day toward new trimesters and the next red circle on the calendar.

We danced through the days and high-fived at the end of each one we made it through. Then we said a prayer to make it through the next one. One day at a time.

We danced at my sister’s wedding in our vintage-inspired clothes. We toasted with our water glasses while others around us had a little something more. We celebrated.

vintage 1920's wedding

vintage wedding selfies

But then I started to feel strange, and I secretly wondered. The blood in the toilet confirmed it…I was miscarrying at my sister’s wedding reception. Suddenly, the day didn’t seem so happy and fun. We sat, shocked, while others danced through the night.

Everyone tried to get me to leave and go rest, but I didn’t want to. In a way, I wasn’t ready to face what was happening. I watched my boys move on the dance floor, oblivious to what was taking place. I yearned for their innocence. I made a choice to dance with them. To enjoy the night and make a memory with them. To be joyful even when my world was crumbling around me, because of the Hope of Christ in me.

The next day, we went to walk on the beach. To make a memory with the boys, spend a few more precious moments with those who love us, and to watch the sunset. As the boys dug in the powder white sand, we contemplated how a God that can make something so beautiful could still care so deeply and personally for us. His love is beyond all measure. He has shown us time and time again.

beach sunset

We said our goodbyes and settled in for a seven hour drive home. It was a quiet trip full of prayers that I’d make it home before the hardest part physically of a miscarriage. As we approached the exit for our home, the more intense my pain. I knew what was coming.

We carried sleepy boys to their beds, and I settled in for a night of pain and laboring over a baby we wouldn’t hold this side of heaven. It was intense, but I felt God’s presence strengthening me and comforting me as new life quietly slipped away.

And here I sit, numb and shocked about the whirlwind weekend full of so many ups and downs, wondering and crying out for answers. Trying to understand why and what purpose this holds in our life, knowing that only time will tell. Reminding myself that He carried us through this last time and knowing He will again. Reminding myself that I will still choose to say “Blessed be Your Name.

I’ve clung to the words in Nehemiah 8:10 “…do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” God laid the words on my heart to comfort me, and I’ve clung to them. He is my joy. He is my strength. Without Him I am nothing. And just as He used Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and purify the Jewish community, He will use this to rebuild my life and purify me for His glory.

Here I am, Lord. Use me.

Permission To Feel

Life isn’t a Hallmark commercial.

I think that’s why I found myself crying while folding the laundry and half-watching the television. The Mother’s Day commercials that usually leave me saying “Aww” have left a bittersweet taste in my mouth this year. For the first time, I understand what so many other women feel about just skipping the day all together. The day just serves as a reminder of what could’ve been.

Now, I know what you’re thinking–that I’m dwelling in the land of have-nots instead of remembering the blessings I have under my roof. But I’m not dwelling there. Sometimes, my mind just seems to peek over the fence for a while when I think about the empty chair at the kitchen table. You see, I realized that every first milestone I pass on the freshly paved road of grief will be be a little painful this year.

Mother’s Day just so happens to be my first hurdle.

I could say the things like “Every day is Mother’s Day” and other little platitudes, but that would be a load of bologna. Yes, I’m a mother and every day is, in fact, Mother’s Day, but then we go and place a special day on the calendar to celebrate. Then, we schedule baby dedications and bring the kids in from children’s church to hand out roses to their mommies.

This is the first year I understand how extremely painful this holiday can be.

not pregnant

I would’ve been 19 weeks by now. Just a week away from finding out if I’d be buying pink or using hand-me-downs from two big brothers. Most likely, I would be feeling the flutters of movement by now–just our little secret until the kicks got big enough to feel from the outside.

And it hurts.

I don’t want to dwell on the things that never will be for this child, because really, I could be in mourning every day for the rest of my life if I did. But, certain things just can’t be ignored or stuffed down deep. Certain things have to be mourned. So today, I give myself permission to feel because that’s where the healing begins.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

Let’s chat in the comments: Is this a hard holiday for you? What are some ways you deal with the pain?

My Very Important Lunch Date…

Today around lunch time, we’ll be meeting little brother.

Yes, today is the day.

I’ll be back soon to introduce you.

Until then, will you pray for us?  I had hoped for a VBAC, but am ending up with another c-section. I’m pretty nervous. I need lots and lots of prayers today. Thank you friends!

My Favorite Family Portrait…

One of the pictures I didn’t share yesterday when I talked about the “My” Sight Word Book Jonah and I made together was this…

Family Portrait

Did you catch it? Look closely…

Did you see those extra bodies on the right hand side?

You see, even though our family TECHNICALLY looks like this (atleast for the next few hours/days until I give birth)…

family

Jonah sees it much differently.

When he thinks of our family, he already includes little brother on the way and sister from afar.

And that, my friends, makes this momma’s cup runneth over.

Because he gets it….he really gets it.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 ~ Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another…

The quiet before the labor…

I’m here. Baby is not…yet.

I’ve had lots of fun things I’ve planned on posting for you, but well, it just didn’t happen…yet.

In the past week, I’ve found myself turning inward and going to my soul’s quiet place instead of writing and sharing with the world. While there is still plenty on my “to-do”  wish list before little brother comes, most of the things that really matter are done. The rest is just fluff and some of that extra nesting we mother hens tend to do. Instead, I’ve heard a whisper in my soul to slow down, clear my head of the static, and focus on the task at hand…and I’ve listened.

Just me, my thoughts, and the Lord….asking Him to fill me up. To give me strength and clarity when I need it most. To calm this anxious woman.

I think a lot of us get so caught up in all of the physical preparations for welcoming a new baby, that we often forget that there is work to do mentally, as well. I know this was the case with my first pregnancy…and I had the postpartum depression to prove it. This time, though, I find myself worrying more on the condition of my heart and mental state because that is what will really make this family transition  easier…not how many boxes of diapers I have or if a nursery is decorated.

I’ve been working  through my expectations and reminding myself that even on my best days, they are too high. Add a newborn to the mix, and well, the bar really must be lowered. I’ve been giving myself permission to break my own rules and have no expectations…easier said than done. Because really, if I have an expectation set in place, I’m setting myself up for disappointment and self-loathing. Not healthy.

I’ve been filling myself up with God’s Word and promises for me. Reminding myself that He came to bring me peace. He is my comforter. He is my rock and my refuge.

So there you have it, the quiet before the labor and the reason behind it. Hopefully, I’ll have cute baby pictures to share soon. We covet your prayers, dear friends.

{Almost} 35 Weeks Update

Ok, ok, so technically that would still make me 34 weeks, but I’m closer to the 35 week mark than 34….every little bit helps keep me going at this point!

I’m {almost} 35 weeks (like in 2 days). Like most women, I feel huge at this point…

34+ weeks

This one has me singing "I like big butts and I cannot lie"...totally inappropriate, but forever burned in my memory thanks to Sir Mix Alot and the middle school dance DJ.

but I’m not letting that stop me from having fun with my family…

slide

Shhh...don't tell my midwife!

We’ve been trying to pack in the fun and spend some quality time together before little brother arrives. I’m trying to fill Jonah’s “love tank” before the baby comes and I have my hands full with a newborn. While Jonah is beyond excited about a baby, I don’t want him to feel left out in any way.

We’ve had an ultrasound to check on little brother’s size and position (since Jonah was breech) and everything looks good. He’s measuring around 5 lbs 4 oz (give or take) and is head-down (unlike Jonah). I’m assuming, that since he’s head-down, that is the cause of all the extra pressure I’m feeling. It wasn’t something I really experienced with Jonah since he was breech and always pushing his head under my ribs. While I know you can’t predict when labor will begin, I’m thinking I might not make it to “full term” based on when Jonah came (37 weeks)….or maybe that’s just wishful thinking due to all the pressure?

I have had some contractions on and off already (No, they weren’t after going down the slide!) There was one day where they were consistently coming and I slightly panicked thinking that I might be going into early labor. As excited and anxious as we are to hold little brother, we want him to stay put as long as he should to be healthy and strong. The contractions did encourage us to put the carseat in the van. The pack-n-play has been set up by the bed for a few weeks and the baby clothes have been washed and hanging in the closet for months. Other than that, I have a list of things to do to prepare. But really, if I don’t get to my list, it isn’t a big deal…the major things are ready, except for my hospital bag….hmmm, better work on that.

Random Thoughts on a Summer Day…

Let’s see just how random I can be today…

~I posted at The MOB Society today On Protecting Family Time and Priorities. I went out on a limb and posted about sports & priorities. I know it can be a polarizing issue in some circles, but I’m hoping people see past that and search for Truth today. I’d love for you to join in the conversation that has already been booming over there! Apparently, I stirred the pot a little…I’ve gotten tons of comments!

Jonah kicking soccer ball

~I’m 27 weeks AND I’m off the Zofran pump! Let’s all do some cartwheels and a virtual high-five! I’m SO excited! Now, I can actually think about having a baby instead of hugging the toilet.

Zofran Pump

~Since I’m finally feeling good enough to deep clean my house, we’re scheduled to have our home inspection part of our Adoption Homestudy completed. I got sick right before we got to this important step and we’ve been temporarily “paused” until I felt better. I’ve hated having this extra waiting time added to our total time, but I know that God is aligning us with our child…and really, He can speed up the other parts of the process if He wants to get us to where we need to be at the right time for the right child.

~Our Homestudy visit is scheduled for the morning of June 14th. I’m cleaning like a madwoman (with plenty of breaks since I tire easily). I’ve come to realize I have WAY too much junk lingering around this house. The donation box is overflowing! Does this count as nesting?

~I went to my regular physician today for some adoption paperwork. It’s the first time he’s heard about our adoption and pregnancy. He didn’t quite understand why we would continue. I thought about sending him the link to my Adoption FAQ #4 post. He filled my paperwork out, but you could tell he thought I was a weirdo. Oh well, I’m getting used to that reaction.

~I get to see my Actress-wanna-be sister tomorrow! Aunt Rachel is visiting from Hollywood! We haven’t seen her since last summer.

http://happybrownhouse.com

~My hydrangeas are in full bloom! I thought they’d be blue like the ones in my granny-in-law’s yard that they came from…but they’re pink. (Kinda like when I thought for sure the ultrasound would show a girl, but it was a boy.) I’ll be adding something to the soil to turn them blue because the blue hydrangeas are my favorite, but these have been making me smile and have brightened my table.

~Tomorrow starts 21 Days of Prayer for Our Sons. Not sure what I’m talking about? Check it out! You can even join in on Facebook! It’s gonna be awesome. There are over 1,000 moms and dads signed up to pray!

I could go on and on, but I think that’s enough randomness for today….