A Heart’s Desire for Mother’s Day

Ironically, yesterday was a difficult Mother’s Day. I say ironically because I have 3 babies that I can hold, squeeze and hug. I was brought coffee in bed, was able to celebrate with both my mother in law and my own mom. It really was a beautiful, perfect Mother’s Day. Yet, there was a part of me that felt empty, lacking, and robbed because of our recent loss. I couldn’t help but ache for all the women that were without yesterday. All the women that wanted to be celebrating yesterday, but weren’t.

Because I have 3 earthly children I know that I cannot fully appreciate those have a desperate heart’s desire to be celebrating Mother’s Day. However, because I also have 2 heavenly children, there is also a piece of me that understood how truly difficult Mother’s Day must be. There was a part of me that wanted to turn off all of social media and hide and I have children so I can only imagine how hard it must have been for those that do not. Mother’s Day has to be a painful reminder.

And yet, I have to say, that all you women aching to be a part of Mother’s Day…YOU are amazing. All of you that have lost a mother, longed to be a mother, held a positive pregnancy test only to say goodbye to your baby before you got to say hello, waited in agony for the 2 week wait to pass by only to grieve the baby the wasn’t there, you who have a heart’s desire for Mother’s Day…you are strong, brave, courageous, and admirable.

So to all the moms in the thrones of raising littles; the ones that can’t sit down for a moment to relax on Mother’s Day because they are too busy wiping noses, pushing cars, combing doll hair, or helping dress, bathe or feed their children…

To the moms that are in the trenches of the teen years where their kids may not want anything to do with them…

To all the single moms that have children too little to know yesterday from today, or all the single dads that have 2 roles to fill…

To the moms that have had their littles grown and gone…

To all the moms that are separated from their kids for whatever reason…

To all the moms that have loved and lost long before they should…

To all the women that have played a significant role in raising a child…yours or someone elses…

To all the step-moms who have very large shoes to fill…

To everyone that has lost a mother of their own that taught them what being a mom was all about…

To all the women that have had the courage to place a child up for adoption because it was in the best interest of the child…

To all the adoptive moms that have embraced motherhood wholly and completely despite “conception” being different…

To all the moms in waiting…waiting for the positive pregnancy test, waiting for the phone call to say a family has chosen you, waiting for a pregnancy to stick…

To all the women that have been unable to have children of their own despite their heart’s desire…

Happy Mother’s Day

Two Little Souls

A letter my husband wrote after our heartbreaking miscarriage.

Two Little Souls…

I sit here tonight, the last one awake in my dear family…heart heavy, with tears in my eyes. For today we found out that the little baby inside Greta, just 10 weeks old, was actually two. Identical twins that shared what was supposed to keep them alive…and in the end could not sustain their newly formed life. I sit here wondering what those two heartbeats sounded like, what lives they could have had. Yet smiling that they will always have each other. It’s hard to believe how much the heart can hurt for something that was barely living, for two souls I have not yet met.

My heart goes out to my beautiful wife who has had to carry these two little ones. I know her heart is hurting so much more than her physical pain… so great is the pain I see, and feel in her. I admire her strength, and want to save her from the pain I know I cannot. I again sit here wondering what these two little beings would be like…knowing the kindness given to them by their brothers would have given such joy brings a smile to the heaviness that sits within me tonight. And yet through the pain I see the blessing of the amazing boys I do have in my life.  Tonight I look back with such thankfulness, for after sharing the days sadness with our two oldest boys I watched them cuddle into their mommies sobs, my sweet 6 year old asked his mommy what her belly felt like, she shared that it hurt…like what mommy, he said. Like needles sticking all around…with deep concerned eyes he touched his stomach and said that his belly hurt as well. Mommy said that it didn’t hurt as bad as her heart…”mommy my heart is hurting too”, he said. With tears in my eyes so many times today I feel most blessed for the family I do have…and for these two precious souls I do not get to meet.  So with great pain, faith, and felt blessings, I say farewell to these beautiful unborn children, my heart going out to all parents who have lost children both born and unborn alike. And to the two young souls I have not met….I love you, and always will.  Thank you for reminding me of the blessings I do have….Good night, and goodbye my loves!

With Warmth,

Your hurting daddy

Until We Meet Again

This past week has been an extremely difficult week. This is the week I should be finding out if my babies are boys or girls. I should be prepping my older boys in the excitement. I should be going shopping for gender outfits and I should be planning a celebration. In fact, I’m not. I’m not doing any of those things. At this pregnancy milestone I’m instead trying not to blink for fear that the icy tears of disappointment and grief that are pooling in my eyes will spill over. If my sadness is masked by my lack of blinks it won’t be hidden with my burning hot cheeks, my red nose, my puffy eyes(I am not an attractive crier) as I soak in this new and different sense of longing. If this wasn’t enough also coupled with this week is the painful reminder brought on by my first period since the miscarriage. Since I lost them. You know blood is a funny thing. It is part of what gives us life, and yet, it in this case it’s a painful reminder of everything that isn’t.

Baby LossMy heart still hurts. I still find myself bringing my hands protectively to my belly expecting to feel it’s roundness as if my presence there can change what is no longer. My eyes magnetize to every beautiful pregnant woman around me focusing on her growing belly which of course seems like these days is everywhere I look. I long to put my hands on my belly and feel them there, safe. I long to feel their kicks. And damn it I even long for the morning sickness to assure me everything is okay. But it isn’t, and every time I’m only being reminded of my own emptiness.

This is still hard. I feel like with miscarriage it’s expected that you’ll get over it quickly. Maybe the thought is that it’s not like the babies were really here. I realized how quickly the perceived grieving period for a miscarriage is…maybe a week at most? And then you’re expected to push your grief aside and jump right back in to life with a smile on your face. Maybe I’m wrong in that assumption but regardless for me the pain is still real. Sure, it’s not as raw as it was 2 months ago; I’m not crying at the drop of a hat, or the mention of a new pregnancy and I certainly have more good days than bad but it’s most definitely there. I know everything I’ll be missing with the twins as I look at my 3 beautiful boys recalling all my experiences with them… I’ll be missing their tiny flutters inside my belly, their kicks and jabs as they grow, and the excitement leading up to their birth. I will be missing their beautiful birth story, holding them for the first time, covering them in kisses, getting to know each of their tiny little features. I’ll be missing comforting their cries, hearing their sweet giggles and coos, encouraging them to walk, to talk. I’ll be missing them calling me mama, rocking them to sleep, and kissing their booboos. I’ll be missing seeing them grow and learning their own unique qualities despite their identical looks. Instead, I’m just missing them.

But I am timidly pressing forward. Something I am incredibly grateful for are supportive friends. The ones that still ask how I’m doing, know when to be protective, and yet are also there with hugs as I bravely face discomforts because I want very much to be included in everything. I have beautiful reminders of my tiny twins that I hold on to and wear close to my heart that I can cling to when I am missing them. I’ve learned the hard way how to support friends through pregnancy loss, what not to say, and how heavy their hearts are. I am pressing forward knowing that there must be a reason for this. Though I can’t walk with my head held high yet, I am walking…one foot in front of the other. Confidence slowly finding it’s footing. Will these be our last babies? We don’t know. We felt certainty and finality over this pregnancy and our new definition of family so we’re carefully praying. Carefully waiting and hoping for answers. But never forgetting.

My heart still hurts, this is still hard, but I am timidly pressing forward. 

Sadly so many women have gone before me in pregnancy loss. I pray that no one ever feels this type of pain again but with a heavy heart I know am I am not the last. I am not alone in this journey and yet, some days I feel like I am. And some days I want to be as my shoulders heave and I relinquish to the tears seeking solitude. My heart goes out to all the women hurting. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. To all the women that have lost babies. To all the women that are longing to be moms. To all the women that have loved and lost or not even had the chance to love. My heart is with you. 

What I do know is that my heart, though full of the life and laughter of my 3 older boys and loving husband, will always have a void until we meet again.

Miscarriage–a letter to my unborn twins

My Dear Sweet Angel BabiesIMG_3521

As I stood in the bathroom, hovering near the pregnancy test, I could feel my heart beating in my chest. I knew I didn’t need to take any tests to confirm what my body had already been telling me. With 3 healthy pregnancies behind me, I knew. I was pregnant.

Though you weren’t a ‘timed’ pregnancy, you was most definitely a planned one. By that, we knew we wanted 4 kids, just didn’t know that it would be this soon.

From day one, everything about this pregnancy seemed right. It was God’s timing, not ours. It was in the middle of a move we weren’t even sure we would make until the month before. And we had an offer on a house initially that would have been too small for a growing family…and we beat the odds with our new house which would fit us all perfectly. The cards had all fallen in to place for this pregnancy to happen.

Though it took a couple of weeks for the shock to wear off and the idea of 4 kids to settle in, both your Daddy and I were elated, especially knowing you were so meant to be. I had a certainty about it that I didn’t have with any of the other kids. Within a week we had told your big brothers and they were so excited to tell all our family and close friends. We had already begun to imagine what our family would look like. We began making plans, arranging vacations, and ‘sick leave’ based on your impending arrival. July couldn’t get here soon enough…

You don’t have a disease, you’re pregnant!

Today’s Transparent Moment is written by Kenna. Kenna is the Mommy of 3; their adorable little boy, Brighton, and two angels in heaven, Bennett and a little sweet pea. Kenna is a Mommy that embodies grace, poise,  and is a true example of a wonderful mom. She and her husband have been through so much in the past couple of years, but their strength is astounding and admirable; their story is heart breaking. Thank you for sharing your heart Kenna! I think it’s such a great, important reminder. You truly are remarkable!

 

“You don’t have a disease, you’re pregnant.”

My sweet husband had to remind me of this on an almost daily basis when we were pregnant with our first child, our little girl, Bennett. I’d respond, whining, “I know, but I’m so sick and so tired.” And he’d remind me of all the women that had been having babies for thousands of years. Well, I wasn’t those women; I’m me, and I am living now, not in the 1800’s when they were a lot tougher! He wasn’t trying to be unsympathetic, he was just trying to be real―trying to take some of the attitude out of my attitude, so maybe I wouldn’t focus on all the throwing up I was doing. I remember saying, “She better be cute!”

Then came the thirty week appointment. I was beginning to feel like after 210 days of throwing up, I was finally getting there! It would all be worth it once we met our little lady. But the unfathomable happened: at the end of the appointment, our doctor was unable to find a heartbeat. My world collapsed.  In the midst of all my complaining, I hadn’t stopped to realize: I was so deeply in love with my sweet little girl. She was my future. I’d have died for her. Guilt knocked me over like a tidal wave. In an instant, heartburn and puking became cherished memories, shared with a child I would only be privileged to hold once.

After that experience, the first time I heard a woman complain about her pregnancy, I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. I wanted to punch her, but I also so badly wanted her to know how lucky she was to still be pregnant, and how much I wanted to take her place. She should know my pain: then she’d know better than to complain. Immediately, I knew I couldn’t really wish this hole of despair on anyone, and a rush of guilt filled me. My husband gently reminded me that I didn’t have this unfair perspective before, either. How could she know?

Thankfully, we were able to get pregnant with Brighton ten weeks later. I remember beaming each time I ran to the toilet or lost it in the sink. “The baby’s growing!” I’d cry.  And I hardly noticed the pulled groin muscle that caused me to limp my entire pregnancy. Around seven months, our little guy sat on my ureter, causing a sharp pain in my back―like a kinked muscle―that lasted until Brighton was about a month old.  Instead of whining, I chuckled at his masterful movement. His movement was constant: and I praised him for his reassurance, no matter what time of day or night.

I am now so aware of women everywhere that don’t have the I-got-pregnant-the-month-we-started trying-and-posted-the-positive-test-on-Facebook-and-forty-weeks-later-had-a-perfect-vaginal-delivery- and-posted-the-healthy-baby-photos-on-my-Wall experiences.  Our stories are all different―there are women that lose more babies than they get to hold, or ones who try for years to conceive, feeling each month like they’ve had a loss when they start their period.

Readers: Kenna’s heart is transparent in this post. It’s so difficult to lay your heart out there with such a tender topic. I hope you can see how deeply caring she is. She knows there is nothing they can do to bring their sweet little Bennett back, but hopes that they can use her life to help bring perspective to others, or a sensitivity to others tragedy. Thank you Kenna for sharing your heart.