my journey through the loss of my first son and the life of my second

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I remember laying in my hospital bed the first day I was admitted. There had been a steady stream of doctors and nurses in my room all day preparing me for the death of my unborn son.  I had had tests run, ivs started, and been prepared for the end. It was New Year's Eve. I was in a hospital in Orlando close enough to Disney that we could see the fireworks from the hospital room. I made ken close the curtains. And, I sobbed. I could still hear them of course. I could feel Trent kicking me.  But, I was being prepared for the end. I remember thinking "how can the world still be celebrating?"  

Maybe it is the hormones that come with pregnancy ... Maybe it is that all holidays are hard when one child is in heaven ... Maybe it is that tomorrow marks 3.5 years since I kissed his tiny face ... Maybe it is that grief is always there ... I missed him today.

At least a dozen times today I thought, "this is our last holiday as a family of three." Gracie will be here in a few weeks. But, I kept stopping myself. I don't want to imagine losing her too. But, it is always there. God willing, this is the last holiday we will share without her.

We let Ian miss bed time by 2 hours tonight. He was so excited by the fireworks. He was sure it was "popcorn." This boy brings me such joy. He fills my life with a joy I didn't think would ever happen again. I couldn't help but think tonight that someone, somewhere was hearing or seeing the fireworks and could no longer see the joy.

I thank God daily for my son and husband. And I pray his protection over Gracie. 

Holidays are never easy. But, I am blessed to have spent tonight watching my child's face light up as the sky was filled with fireworks.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

20 weeks

I am 20 weeks pregnant with my 3rd precious one tomorrow.  20 weeks! 20 weeks is a scary time for me.  I was admitted to the hospital with Trent at 20 weeks and 5 days.  He was born at 21 weeks and 3 days.  A woman with an incompetent cervix, like myself, will generally go into preterm labor with little to no signs somewhere between 18-24 weeks.  The chance of survival for a baby born that early is zero.  I am nervous.  NOTHING like the nerves I was feeling with Ian's pregnancy.  I would sob into the phone to my mom.  I remember one night she told me, "maybe just one glass of wine tonight would help."

I remember laying in bed night after night BEGGING God to let me keep Ian.  I would sob and sob.  I would plan his funeral.  I would plan how I would tell my family that I lost another one.  But, that wasn't my story.  Ian came into this world perfect and living!

This pregnancy is not nearly as difficult for me.  Yes, I still am throwing up almost every single morning.  (I was not sick this long with either boy!) Yes, my blood pressure is giving me some issues. Yes, I am still high risk. BUT, I have a precious baby boy snoring next to me.

I didn't know my babies could live during Ian's pregnancy.  An incompetent cervix is a death sentence without a cerclage.  I have come to know many, many woman who have lost one, two, three precious children before a doctor would agree to place a cerclage during pregnancy.  There is no "cure" for an incompetent cervix.  I will always have it.  But, thank the Lord there is a fix during pregnancy.  My cerclage has been in place for nearly six weeks with no trouble.

This pregnancy I lay in bed and worry about how I will juggle two car seats, how I will be able to nurse two babies (since Ian sees no need to wean), how I will ever get enough sleep, how I will ever love another baby as much as I love Ian.  And, there are the nights that creep in that I wonder what it would be like to have all three of them.

The next four weeks are a scary time. My nurse calls them the "danger" weeks.  I am trusting God, my cerclage, and the weekly injections of 17p to keep this little one safe and sound.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Core values

During my pregnancy with Ian I attended a workshop. One of the questions asked by the speaker was about our core values. A man sitting at my table said "I don't care what happens in life, your core values never change."

I disagree.

Three years ago tonight I was in labor with my first born son. The contractions were 3-5 minutes apart for hours at a time with no relief. I was very very sick with an infection in my blood. Doctors came in and out of the room all night. At 3 am I could no longer make decisions on my own. Ken had to decide if they would assist my labor to save my life. "You and ken can have other children. There will never be another you."

5 hours after the doctors started to help my labor progress my son was born. Living, breathing, kicking. I laid him on my chest. I kissed him. I held him close. 22 minutes later the nurse pronounced him dead.

They took him from me to weigh, measure, get hand prints. I asked for him back. "He is cold now honey."

Those words change you to the core.

The child you gave life too is gone and all that is left is his cold, lifeless body.

When ken finally arrived to hold him they wrapped him in warm blankets so ken could feel his warmth.

My entire life shifted that day.

Nothing that was important from before was important anymore.

It took months if not years to redefine my core values. But, they are different. I love different. My faith is different. My heart is different. I see the world different. Relationships changed. My whole world shifted. And not all for the bad. In fact most changes have been for the better. I am stronger than I knew. I love with my whole heart. I mother differently than i would have.

3 whole years

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How can I ask for more?

Before Thanksgiving I heard a song, or a sermon, or just someone's thought ...

"How can I ask for more?"

I have been rolling that question around in my head for weeks.  I made a note of it in my cell phone.  I flip to it daily.  It says nothing more than that question.

God has given me so much.

How can I ask for more?

A few weeks before this question got stuck on my heart another question had been there too ...

Were we ready for another child?

From the time I was a little girl the only thing I wanted was to be a wife and mommy.  I am both of those things.  I fail daily at them. I try to be the best I can be.  But, I am human.  How can I ask for more?

After Trent died the thought of another child consumed my every waking minute.  I NEEDED to hold another baby, MY baby.  I needed it.  I was not complete without it.  After Ian was born Ken and I have said 100 times if he is the only living child God gives us to raise he is enough.  But, then the question crept into my head....maybe one more?

But, I don't know?  How can I ask for more?  How can I ask for more than the love and joy that Ian brings me daily?  How can I think I deserve another chance...a #3??

I asked Ken and he agreed he has been thinking we wanted one more.  Still, how can I ask for more?

It seems unfair to ask for more than I have already been given.  So, I didn't ask.

I didn't.

But, God answered anyway.

Weatherford baby #3 is due to join our little family in August!!!

Shock is the only word to describe it.  I have known for a little over a week and still it feels strange!

Pregnant, again.

I have thanked God a thousand times, and prayed for a spirit of peace this pregnancy, and more asked could I please bring this one home.


God is so good.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The missing chair

For all my days holidays will sting. For the rest of my life I will miss what should be. Today is no different. I could not help today, as we all laughed at Ian when he threw pea casserole in the air or gagged on the sweet potato, think of the other blue eyed, blonde almost three year old boy that should be there with us. One more chair at our table. One more giggle to enjoy. One more boy kissing my face.

I think thanksgiving will always be the hardest. It was three years ago that I was 18 weeks pregnant with him...showing off his ultrasound pictures, feeling his first kicks, dreaming of having him with us the following year. Two years ago I could barely stand. I was a shell of a person. My heart was still so very broken. My sweet, amazing Ian was 11 weeks along in my belly. But, Trent was dead. And I had no guarantee Ian would make it.

Oh, my sweet sweet son. I miss you so very much today.

Ian brings me more joy, laughter, love, peace, and healing than any words in the world can even express...

But man that missing chair haunts me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 - self after loss

This entire blog is my journey after loss ... So I don't need to explain the after me ...

This picture was thanksgiving day. I woke up sobbing ... I really didn't want to face the holidays without him. I was 11 weeks pregnant with ian. My cerclage was not in place so I was in constant fear my cervix was failing. As thankful as I am for Ian his pregnancy was not easy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 - me before loss

I wish I would have believed more, had more faith in God. I wish I would have laughed more, not cried every time I left the fertility doctor. I wish I would have enjoyed life a little more and not have been so desperate to be a mom. Once I was married the need to be a mom seem to consume my thoughts. I wish I would have trusted more.

I honestly can't remember being her anymore. She died on jan 5. Innocence shattered. Once a parent watches her child take his last breath ...there is no going back. The change is too great. The memory of the nurse taking his heart beat one last time, pronouncing him dead, signing his death certificate, talking to the morgue about his are never the same.

But, the change is not all bad. I love more freely now. I had never felt soul shaking, heart wrenching pain until Trent died. I know it now. I can walk with others as they experience life and love more, listen better, cry along ... The change wasn't all bad...

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