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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my quilt

I talked to my mommy today. She called to say she cried when she read yesterday's post. She also said, "I don't think you are getting better honey, is your counselor a good one?" Oh, I told her the truth. I went off my prozac a week ago. See when I got pregnant with Trent I had gone off all my meds (prozac, allergies, metformin) the month before and amazingly enough I was pregnant the next month. I have always thought there was something to that...but, the truth is now I'm falling apart all over again. She says she lives 1400 miles away and can tell I'm not doing very well. I want to get pregnant again so bad!!! But, they doctors say it is safe to get pregnant with Prozac. I hated the way it seemed to numb my feelings...but, I guess it was letting me live life again. I called my refill into Walgreens...I can't disobey mom. So, maybe I will start to move forward again. I really hope so...because I have been hanging on to this cliff of despair with just a thread....and let's face it I'm a big girl for that little thread to hold up. (see the old me with a sense of humor is still in there)

I want to share a story I found this week:

A Quilt Story

Once upon a time there was a family with seven daughters. All were charming and fair and very close to their family, especially their grandmother. She was wise, delightful woman who had taken the time to be with each granddaughter and loved each one immensely.

When the eldest daughter turned twenty, the grandmother showed up early in the day to greet her with a beautiful package---a large box covered in white shiny paper and a sparkling gold bow. The granddaugher ripped open the package hastily and uncovered a priceless treasure. Underneath the tissue was a linen quilt, hand-stitched with homemade lace, applique and with her name embroidered in silk. All of the daughters were amazed and the birthday girl cried as she hugged her grandmother who had put so much time and love into this masterpiece.

As the years passed, each girl received a quilt on her 20th birthday. Most of the granddaughters cherished the gift but several took it for granted and neglected to care for it as they should. But the next to the youngest daughter, who had quite a special relationship with her grandmother, longed for the day she turned twenty. She had spent hours dreaming of her quilt and sharing her plans with her grandmother. She planned to save her gift for her wedding day and then to use it on her first bed. Later she would pass it on to her children and they would pass it on to the next generation.

Finally the big day arrived, her 20th birthday. Sure enough the doorbell rang and in walked her beloved grandparent. But instead of a big beautiful box, she had something unexpected in her arms...two long wooden beams and a stack of material. With a warm hug, she whispered to the child, "I have something extra special for you!" The granddaughter felt her face flush and her heart sink - where was her quilt? The grandmother explained, "I want to teach you so many things, not just about quilting but I want this time together to share with you the wisdom of my years. Let's work on this together." The young girl feigned appreciation, took the gift, and quickly went to her room where she sobbed uncontrollably. She was so angry and disappointed. She threw the quilt frame and scraps into the corner, covered them with an old blanket and vowed that she would never accept this.

There were so many questions running through her mine. Why did her grandmother pick her? She hand't made the others work for their quilt. Did she really consider this a gift? And the other sisters - ugh. It seemed they would all feel sorry for her now. Why? Why? WHY? When se was the one who had taken care of her grandmother last spring? Why, when one of her sisters had even lost her gift at college last year/ Worse yet, as the days wore on, no one seemed to understand and she avoided it all - the items under the blanket in the corner and her grandmother, who visited often asking her when they could get started...

Why do I have to work so hard for my gift of a child? Why did my first born only get 22 minutes on this earth? Why do so many woman have children with no thought and then take them for granted?

I don't know.

Don't worry mom...I'm off to Walgreens now...I will try to climb back up.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

life is just not fair

"He is cold now is that okay?"

That is the question my mom asked me before she handed my son back to me. The nurses had taken him away to measure him, dress him, wash him, take his little footprints, and take pictures of him. Once all of that was complete they wrapped my angel baby in a blanket and prepared to hand him back to me, the heart-broken mommy. My mom had been by my side the whole night. She had watched as my temperature started to climb from the infection, she had heard the doctors say that if they didn't help me with my labor soon I would die. She had held my hand through all the contractions...until I screamed at her not to touch me anymore. She had put the cold cloths on my head. She had feed me ice...until I almost chocked to death on a piece because a contraction started right as I took it in my mouth. She had chased down a doctor when I felt the need to push. She had gotten the NICU nurses when he finally arrived and they were not there to try and save him. And, now she was handing me my cold, dead son back. She wanted me to know he was cold. Isn't that a mom's way? Her oldest daughter had just given birth to a baby that only lived 22 minutes and she wanted me to be prepared for his cold body. I wasn't but, at least I knew what was coming.

Today I had a few little moles removed from my back. My dermatologist (whom I really really dislike) ((however, she is the only one in my area approved by my insurance)) is ALWAYS running behind. The nurse had called me yesterday to prepare me for the procedure and told me to call 30 minutes ahead and they would sign me in. I did that and still had to wait when I arrived. When they were finally ready for me they lead me back to a room, had me undress, put me on a table with one of those fantastic paper sheets and walked away. 45 minutes later....a mild panic attack was already in place within me! Here I was laying on a table much like the one in the triage room at Winnie Palmer. I was all alone and a little scared of the whole thing. I just kept thinking about being at the hospital. I kept playing those days over and over again in my head...until I finally locked in on the thought, "He is cold now is that okay?" I laid there and cried. I wanted to be anywhere else but here on this table. When the doctor finally came in I tried to ask her two or three questions but, she would not even acknowledge me. She talked quickly to the nurse and never even noticed the patient on the table. I had tears in my eyes and she never even noticed. I didn't want to tell her about my son...I just needed to know what the heck she was doing. She removed two of the moles and then said she had three other patients to see and would be back to remove the other two. HELLO!!! I have been on this damn table for over and hour at this point and you are walking away and who knows when I will see you again??? I laid there fore about 15 more minutes and my mild panic attack turned a little more violent. I got up, got dressed and walked out. I told the nurse I didn't want the other two removed after all. I was crying A LOT by now...which have I mentioned how much I HATE crying in public??? I paid my stupid co-pay and left.

"He is cold now is that okay?" NO!! I want him alive with me...but, this is my new reality. Today is twelve weeks. In my twelve weeks I have decided a few things: life is not fair!!! And, it seems my new mission is to take the things I can change and change them...I was not going to lay in that awful place for another 45 minutes waiting on her to come back. I needed, I left. Doctors seem to think they rule the world and I was taking control of my world. So, as silly as it was to walk out and not let her finish...I felt vindicated. I felt like I finally took one unfair thing and made it fair to me.

I love my mommy. I love that she stood with me all night. I love that she cared enough to even ask if I wanted him back because he was cold. I love that when she knew Ken was finally on his way into the hospital she asked the nurses for some warm blankets to wrap around our son. She wanted Ken to feel warmth when he held our son for the first time. She trys to make life fair...and let's face it most of the time it is not!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

here we go again

Can I just say this weekend was miserable?!?

I cried so much this weekend that I got on my own nerves! I mean I would cry and then stop think about some other pathetic little fact that is my life and cry some more. I would compose myself and then something else would pop into my head and yes, more tears. I got in the shower Saturday night and turned the water as hot as I could stand it just to feel something other than my heavy heart. I sat under the water until it ran cold. Ken was hunting this weekend so I was all alone with my thoughts. I have two dogs however the female dog is in heat. And, as much as Ken and I want a baby I don't want any puppies. "You should get her fixed" I know I should...however, I had an appt for her her the week after we came home from Florida...and well never made it to that appt - had a baby instead. I have never gotten around to making another day. So, I am keeping the dogs apart which means I didn't have them in my bed with me while I was crying. So, I was really alone. All my sisters and my mommy live in Florida so I couldn't have them come over...I was pathetically depressed about being alone.

I was watching a show tonight on this crazy man who had seven kids. He locked one of his daughters in the basement and kept her there for 24 years. He slept with her and she had seven more of his children. He took three of these kids upstairs to live with the rest of his family and left four of them plus the mom in the basement. 24 years. And, here I sat and least she had kids. HELLO, Trisha...this woman was locked up, forced to bear her fathers children, and he took three of them away from her. I think my compass on gauging life is a little off right now. I can't seem to put anything into perspective unless I relate it to parenthood. Strange I know...and yes, I do feel awful for her. It was only a split second I thought she was lucky to have carried seven kids...because then I remembered they were her father's kids. I need to figure out how not to compare everything to motherhood. I have said before...I had come to terms with not being a mommy and then all of a sudden I was pregnant. It is hard to get back there and the truth is I don't want to go back there. I don't think I can go back there. Because even though my title of mom is different than most I am still his mommy. I don't get to hear him say it. But, I will always bee his mommy.

I have to stop this cycle of beating myself up. I have spent the last 11 weeks focusing on my failures. (which if I was going to focus on them and name them I feel like there are many many many of them) But, again I'm not focusing. So, I went on Friday and joined a gym. I shopped tonight for all my low-carb foods. When I was first diagnosed with PCOS the doctor told me that the best diet for a PCOS woman was low carb and in the summer after I was diagnosed and followed that I lost 60 lbs. I will start working out again tomorrow. I will start focusing on the positive. I hate to be back at the beginning. I hate it. I really don't care so much about losing the is more about being healthy and feeding my body what will help get me pregnant.

I see our new RE on April 7th and want to walk in and tell her I am already on the right track. I have no idea what our treatment plan will be this time since I have now gotten pregnant. Before there was no way of knowing if I would or could get pregnant. Now we know I can...but, can't carry to term without assistance. We will see what she says.

I don't think the tears will stop just yet. But, I am going to try and stop laying around and feeling sorry for myself all the time. I am going to try and move forward a little.

a pair of shoes

A Pair of Shoes~Author Unknown

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

Saturday, March 27, 2010

sometimes i just don't know

I feel like I have a huge boulder on my chest. It is crushing me. I can't seem to breath under the weight of it. I can't move it. And, some days I don't want to move it.

2 months 3 weeks and 1 day since we said goodbye.

Move on already.

I can't. I have been trying. I can't.

I try to find things that will help me feel better.

I thought being "normal" would help. So, for a few weeks I made a huge production out of making Ken these amazing meals. It didn't help.

I thought shopping would help. Shoes and purses have always been a favorite of mine...twelve pairs of shoes and two purses later and I still don't feel better.

I don't know anymore. Do I wish it was me and not him? Every single day. I had 30 years...he could have had the rest. But, for some reason that is not the way God wanted it.

I tell Ken often these days he should leave me and go find a woman that can carry his children. It hurts to say but, I failed him. I robbed him of so much. He deserves better.

My therapist asked me to talk to a bunny this week like it was Trent. She asked me to ask him what he thought of me. I couldn't do it. I was scared of the answer. I failed him too.

But, this is what I would say to him if I could...

My dear sweet baby boy. I loved you from the moment I knew you were inside. I thought of you, talked to you, loved you more than I knew I could. I held you for such a short time. But, when I kissed your little lips I was complete. I loved you more than you can know. I fought for you so hard. I am so so sorry you came too soon. I am so sorry my body couldn't hold you in. I will carry you with me. I think of you a hundred times a day. I wonder what you would have been like. I wonder what your favorite color would have been. I want you to still be here. I know I will see you again. Love, Mommy

UGH!! I can't kick this funk I'm in. I want to feel normal again. I want to get over it.

I smile every day so the world doesn't see this pain. I feel like everyone wants me to just move on.

I pray through the tears that one day I will feel okay again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

should should should

I should be 32 weeks pregnant.
I should be setting up the nursery.
I should be annoyed that he is always kicking and never still.
I should be annoying Ken with going to the bathroom every five minutes.
I should be taking my birthing classes.
I should be shopping like a mad woman for baby stuff.
I should...
I should...
I should...

the list could truly go on forever!

Ken and I both started grief therapy a few weeks back. We go alone to two different therapists. I thought that was best since mommies and daddies grieve differently. I also thought it was best so that one of us (me) didn't hog the whole hour every week while the other one didn't get to talk. I think the therapy is good. It has brought up some other issues but, that is for another time or maybe another blog all together ;).

My last therapy session was on Tuesday. Tuesday being my least favorite day of the week. Why? Well, that was the day he was born. That was the day he died. I know I know I have to move past that day being a burden...but, I can't yet. So, this past Tuesday was 11 weeks. 11 whole weeks. It doesn't seem right. But, here we are. I woke up on Tuesday morning with a heavy heart like always. I got up, had my coffee, walked the dogs, and checked the mail. The mail box had one of those little keys in it meaning I had a package. I could not remember ordering anything... The mailbox had something so powerful, so meaningful, so had Trent's first baby blanket. Well, a piece of a blanket...made by an amazing woman who has also walked this road. She lost her baby girl too. She made me a blanket and embroidered his name and birth date on it. Such a normal thing for a living child...not so much for my child. I don't need a blanket for him, I can't cover him up anymore...which is why it was framed. But, the fact that someone else took the time to remember him. Someone else took the time to write his name. Someone I have never met. Someone whose heart knows my pain. Someone who gave my child weight in this world. I cried... alot. But, not exactly tears of sadness...the sadness was mixed in there. But, it was so much more about the fact that she cared. She knew his name. She cared. I have seen this so so so much since my baby died. Let's just say I have always been a bit skeptical about people. I have been hurt many many times in the past. (remember those other issues coming up in therapy) I just never really think people care or that people care about me. But, in the hospital the emails and phone calls and prayers flooded our lives. In the days after he died they continued to come. In the eleven weeks since I have gotten hundreds of real the mail kind of cards...with stamps and real hand-writing!! (I thought we all only emailed anymore.) I have gotten many many many emails...which mean just as much as the cards. I have gotten flowers, meals, gifts, money. I have shared tears with strangers, people from my past, people from my present. People took time out of their lives for us!

Seriously none of that was my point about the therapy...but, there you have it.

Okay, so back to therapy. I went in a little shaken up because of the whole blanket, it being Tuesday, I am an emotional mess right now anyway, thing. I cry more at therapy than I think should be allowed...if they charged by the tears my insurance company would cancel me. Anywho, I was telling her what I was feeling...which was basically the list above (should, should, should) She stopped me and said that she should have been counting the times I said should. She said I should stop saying it because it is not my life anymore.

Ouch... what a punch in the gut! I have thought about it over and over since then. It is not my life anymore. I am not on that road anymore. I was...but, not anymore. That road was happy, it was filled with joy and hope. That road was taking me to a place I thought I always wanted...a place I thought I would be complete. It was a road to the life I had always dreamed of. I was walking along, Ken at my side, my son in my womb...and life was good. It was a road with signs pointing the way, a GPS in our hand, rest areas along the way that were clean and well stocked. A road that was well maintained. A road that everyone understood. A road with stop lights that told us when to go, when to slow, and when to stop. A road we enjoyed. A road that was taking us to a place we could see. A road that seemed normal. NOW, I am on the back road. I am on the road filled with pot-holes. I am on the road with no rest areas, no lights, no lines marking the lanes. I am on a road that few travel and even less of us understand. I am on a road that is not on the maps. I am on a road that doesn't seem to be leading anywhere. I don't like this new road.

The thing is I can still see that other road. I can see it from here. In fact, I can even see me standing on that road...waiting on this new me to find her way back over. I see her waiting and wanting me to come back over there. I feel like there is a way to get back to it. But, I can't find it...yet.

I am jealous of that other road. I am jealous of her. She has it all together. She knows the way.

My life is not where it was. My life is not where I want it to be. But, it is still my life. I have to figure this out. I have to walk from map, no GPS, no road signs.

Can I?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

what I know

Are you okay?
How are you feeling?
How is today going?
Are you doing better?
How are you?

These are the new ways people greet me. I don't get the normal "hello" anymore. I don't get the "hey."

The truth is I don't know how I am...

This is what I do know...

I know that heart aches. It doesn't hurt all the time. I have learned how to live life without the pain following me all the time. But, things can trigger it and send me right back into the thick of it. Today Ken and I went and saw Alice in Wonderland. It has been months since Ken and I saw a movie together. We were in line for drinks and popcorn and a lady next to us had a seizure and fell to the ground. She hit her head pretty hard on the ground and was bleeding pretty bad. People in the line all called 911. I don't know her story. I don't know what really happened. But, as I watched her lay there waiting on the paramedics to come I was right back at the airport. I was right back sitting in that chair at the gate. People staring at me. My husband pacing in fear. The gate agent on the phone with 911 telling me not to move. I was right back there filled with the dread. It is funny how things can take you back. I watched her lying on the ground and felt like the whole world was caving in on me again. I felt like I couldn't breath. I felt like I was pregnant again and scared to death for my son.

I also know that life is too short for this. I know that I can't sit and wallow. I know that I must move on. I have read hundreds of articles, blogs, stories about people who have lost their kids. I read somewhere along the way that 25,000 kids die a day. That is 25,000 parents losing their children. They are not all infants like Trent. But, they are all gone. That means on January 5, 2010 24,999 other parents lost a child. Ken and I were not the only ones. We are not the only ones counting the days since that day. We are not the only ones whose lives stopped that day. We are not the only ones who wish we could turn back the clocks and fix it somehow. It doesn't make this any easier for me...but, it does give it perspective. I wish I could hug them all. I wish I could cry with them all. I hate that I can even say...I know what they are feeling. I can only imagine the stories...some probably lost to illness, some to accidents, some to drugs...the list could go on and on. But, again all lost. Here is the thing...they are gone.

I also know that my emotions are unpredictable...sometimes even uncontrollable. They change so quickly. This morning I flipped out and I mean FLIPPED out on Ken because I wanted to make him breakfast and the eggs were over a month expired. He gently pointed this out to me and I threw a royal fit. We are talking a throw the eggs at the wall, throw the pans in the sink, storm off and cry in the bed kind of fit. The intensity of feelings is something I have never lived with before. It is something I can't seem to get a handle on. I feel disoriented, out of control, and overpowered.

I also know this...I had made peace with the fact that I was not going to have biological children. I had given up on the idea. I had decided that was not God's plan for our lives. And then here he was. This is one of my biggest struggles right now. I had become okay with the idea and then all of a sudden I was going to be a mom. Here he was growing inside of me. He was going to be our son. We were going to be a family of three. Now I know that it can happen and that I lost him. I can't even wrap my mind around it. I can't even explain it. I hate that I can't get control back of that emotion. I feel like this must be a dream...will I wake up soon?

Job expressed this sentiment: (do you know Job? it is an incredible story of faith from the Old Testament. you should read the whole book if you can. it is a quick read but so powerful) "If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas-no wonder my words have been impetuous" (Job 6:2-3).

My misery placed on the scales...remember me saying I'm a visual person. I can see this...I can see me putting my heart on the scale and it just outweighing everything else.

It is funny how your perspective changes.

I know that my Savior has not changed. I know that He knows the desires of my heart. I know that in this confused, crazy, sad, aching heart He will give me peace. He is in control of this life and He doesn't make mistakes. Those are hard words to type. It would be easier to accept if I thought maybe He had made a mistake. But, no.

I know that through this I am being transformed. Romans 5 --

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Did you get that? rejoice in sufferings...suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Yes, I know that I am being transformed.

Hope. What a hard word to even use right now. How do you find hope again? I do hope for the future. I hope that we have many more children that survive past the first minutes of life. I hope that this death doesn't tear Ken and I apart. I hope that someone else, other than me, will be touched by his life. I hope that one day my heart doesn't hurt this much.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

the weight of his life.

Ken and I spent the last four days on a much needed vacation. We went to Fredericksburg, Texas. It is a small town of 8911 people and over 550 bed and breakfasts. We laughed together, ate together, watched movies, drank wine, napped together, and just relaxed. We were "us." It was a good four days. I put on my happy face and went for it. But, yesterday was Tuesday.

Ten weeks. I know it is silly to still be counting. But, I can't figure out how to stop. There were baby stores and maternity shops...all of which I should have been shopping at. It is hard to explain. Hard to understand. Hard to live. I walked by those stores...refused to go in, refused to look in.

A few nights ago I had a dream of Trent's fifth birthday party. We were at a park...streamers, balloons, cake, ice-cream, smiling laughing kids. My son was turning five. The hardest part of that dream is that it will only ever be that. He will never celebrate a first, second, or fifth birthday. He will never go to school. He will never have his first crush. He will never skin his knee. He will never... anything.

When I was pregnant the baby was all I could think or talk about. I had waited my whole life for this and really never thought it would be. Ken and I would lay in bed at night and talk about names. We would dream of all the things we would do with our child, all the places we would take them. I wondered which one of us he would look like. I wanted him to have Ken's dimples.

He had my nose. He had Ken's lips. He had my blonde hair. He had Ken's long fingers. He had my feet. He was our son.

The day he was born when they put him in my arms I was forever changed. Today, I have spent the day thinking about him. I didn't think about what could have been, I thought of the time I had with him. After the nurse pronounced him dead he gasped for breath. His who little chest rose and his mouth opened...he was fighting for what he would never have....a life. When he gasped for that last breath I asked if anyone else saw it. It was like I needed to know someone else knew he had been there. I felt the weight of his little one pound body in my arms. Did you? I watched him fight for a life he deserved. Did you? I cry tonight for what he could have been...

Ten perfect toes.

Ten perfect fingers.

He was here. The weight of his life forever with me. The love I had for him marks me in a new way.

I wish I could have him. I know that is selfish. I know he feels no pain where he is. I think that he is waiting on me up there. I think that he has made friends. I know he is complete. I know I can't fail him anymore where he is. I know he got to meet our Maker before I did. But, it is not how it is supposed to be. I should still have him.

Ken and I have stayed at bed and breakfast's a few times in our marriage. We really enjoy them. It is such a different experience than a hotel room. We opted to stay at a B&B this weekend too. We had a cute little room. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast each morning. I managed to make it for three whole days without dragging down the mood and telling anyone I had just lost my son. The last morning we were there, this morning, we were sitting at the breakfast table and a new couple walked in. If you have never stayed at a bed and breakfast it is very common that the inn keepers host breakfast and all the guests come together and share that meal. On the first three mornings we shared the breakfast table with four older couples, their kids all Ken's and my ages. This morning the table was filled with three other couples all about our ages. When the last couple walked in I got the wind knocked out of my sails...she was pregnant. I knew the conversation would soon turn to, "when are you due?" "is this your first?" "boy or girl?" I wasn't ready...I wanted to run for the door. I had survived three mornings without killing the mood in the room with our story. As they sat down I just took a deep breath and braced myself. As the questions started and the pleasantries turned to Ken and I....I answered that familiar, painful, heart-wrenching question "Do you have any children?" with..."Yes, we have a son. He was born ten weeks ago and lived for 22 minutes." The table and conversation came to a halt. The normal looks, the head tilted to the side, the normal "I am so sorry." But, this morning there was something more. Did I mention the pregnant woman's husband? He was a Marine. He had been severely burned. He had burns covering every visible inch of his body. He had lost his leg in the accident. He was badly disfigured. His ears were missing. His hands had special devices on them to help him function. He said to me, "I have never been through anything like you have been through." Here a man who fought for his life for months after he was burned. He told us they didn't expect him to live. He spent months in ICU. He has had countless surgeries. His life changed by this disfiguring injury...and he had never been through anything like me. It was such a quick remark. Ken missed him even saying it. He went on to say that since his accident people have told him how much easier it would have been if he just would have died. He would not have had to go through the pain that he did. He told me that people don't understand life and death the way we do. I don't even compare to him. I don't even come close to what he went through. But, to him...mine was worse. Is it because he has three healthy children at home and one on the way? Is it because he has seen death and walked away? I don't know. But, it made me think. I haven't stopped thinking about it. What a story he has. What a hard road. And, he thinks I don't compare. I wanted to stay and talk with them all day. I wanted to tell him how much stronger he was than me. I wanted to tell him I cried every single day. I wanted to tell him how weak I was and how strong he was. I wanted to tell him that what he had survived was so much more than what I was surviving.

But, I didn't. I drove away with a heavy heart.

I will never know my son. I will never hold him again. I will never ...

But, it could be worse. My heart is broken, heavy, empty today. I have cried and cried today.

Tomorrow morning that Marine has yet another surgery. His accident was over three years ago. I didn't even get their names...but, they are still holding on. Still fighting for this life. It must be precious to fight that hard. It is precious.

Today I have cried because my son gasped for air I could not give him. He fought for a life that my body took away from him. We created him and I failed him. I don't understand it. I can't explain it. But, I will keep pressing on because the truth is many, many people have it a lot worse than me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

here i am

How did we get here? Do you ever wonder? What lead us to this point? Right here. Right now.

Have I mentioned before that I always plan, visualize, plan, visualize, plan before I make a move? Well, I do. Or, at least I did. When I look back on this road I can see so many defining moments that got me to here...but, how did I get here? I can only think of one time in my life I didn't feel like I knew what was coming next. I worked in youth ministry at a small Presbyterian church from the ages of 21-25. I left that church and took a job at Warner Southern College (now Warner University.) The year and a half I spent at Warner was some of my favorite times of my whole life. I had always wanted to go away to college. But, I was too scared. I went to a community college near home and lived in an apartment with my sister. I worked full time and went to night classes to get my AA. I started my Bachelor's degree online at Warner and finished while I was on campus. My mom always said, "You will never meet your husband taking online classes." She has always been a little obsessed with finding her daughters good husbands. Anywho...back to Warner. While I was there I made some amazing friends, learned things about myself, and finally fulfilled my dream to "go" to college...although I was working there I still lived in the dorms. But, I remember one night I was sitting on the step outside my apartment and thought, "what next?" I could not just be an RD forever. I had no idea what the plan was from there. It scared me. I didn't have a plan of what to do or where to go. Let's just say ... that didn't settle with me. I like to know what is happening, what is coming next. But, He already knew.

In that next year I would meet my prince charming. He would sweep me off my feet. We would fall madly in love. We would marry. And, we would live life happily ever after.

But, here's the thing it isn't happily ever after. For better or for worse. Here we are. But, how did we get here? That is the funny thing. When I look back at the almost five years Ken and I have been together I can see the steps we took...but, none of them explain this now.

There have been other moments that changed and shaped me. There have been other parts to my story that have hurt. But, nothing could have prepared me for this.

But, here I am.
Beat down.
And yet... I am Loved, Held, Supported, Carried.

This was never my plan...but, He has never left me. I gave my life to the Lord at an early age. I rededicated my life to Him at around 19. But, this has changed it all. It has changed the reason I live. It has changed how I love my God. It has changed how I love people around me. I can't really see how I got here because the road is so broken. But, I know I arrived because He carried me. I never knew you could feel sorrow this great. I have never lost something so precious, so dear to my heart. How do you not fall in love with this life you created? I know it may seem silly to cry every single day over a son that only lived but a few minutes. But, he was already mine. I loved that little boy. I loved hearing his heart beat. I loved seeing him at each ultrasound playing in there. I loved giving into his food cravings. I loved him more than I knew you could. He was mine and I will carry him with me forever.

I have fallen back in love with my Jesus through this. I don't know how or why but at some point over the last couple of years I had drifted. But, He was right here waiting on me. He never left.

So, here I am. But, what comes next? I don't know anymore. I had planned to be a family of three. I had planned for Trent. I am scared. I am scared that with the next pregnancy I will not fall in love so fast. I will hold my heart and wait. I worry that I will not enjoy being pregnant like I did this time. I worry I will lose that baby too.

Here I am. But, where am I headed next?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I miss my wife...

Yesterday, Ken told me he missed his wife. :( The old wife...the one who could make things happen, the one who laughed, the one who loved him first, the one who knew where she was going and how she was going to get there, the one who had fun, the one who was before all of this. I said I wasn't her anymore, I can't seem to find her anymore. He asked me to try. Today I did try. I tried to be that happy, joyful person. And, it was a pretty good day. Yes, the pain is still there. Yes, I still cried twice. But, I smiled. We went out to our favorite sushi restaurant. I got my nails done. I tried to be me. I think she will come back all the way one day. I think she is still in me. But, I am not sure I will ever fully be her. I am a mother now. I have suffered a loss so great that somedays I can't seem to swallow the pain is so heavy. But, today I found joy in the little things. I bought coffee and my favorite kind of creamer. I got a slice of lemon cake from Starbucks. I laughed with my kids at the preschool. Today I was her for a while...and it was nice.

I am a romantic at heart. The first time I saw Jerry Maquire I knew I would know my husband when he said the words, "you complete me." And, Ken said those to me before I even told him that was a requirement for marriage. And, yesterday he stole another scene from the movie (although I am not sure Ken has ever stayed awake long enough to see the whole thing) But, Jerry comes home from a long trip and says, "I miss my wife." It melted my heart on the big screen and even more so yesterday when the man of my dreams said it to me.

So, while I will continue to grieve my baby boy I will also try and be the old me. The one you all knew and loved ;).

Ken is a 9th grade science teacher and he starts spring break tomorrow. We were supposed to take our "babymoon" this week. You know, the last vacation before the baby arrives. Well, our baby has already come. I really didn't want to take a vacation next week. But, I sucked it up and was his wife for a few minutes and booked us a bed and breakfast about five hours away. We leave Sunday. I know it will be good for us. I know we will enjoy it. I don't want to leave the pain behind because then I feel like I am forgetting him. But, I want to see it as mommy and daddy taking sometime for them! So, next week I will try and be the old me. The one who had hope for the future...and who knows maybe we will make another little one while we are there...people always talk about their "vacation babies" right?

He misses her...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

from the beginning

Let's start from the beginning shall we?

And, I did try and keep it PG...but, we are all adults we know how babies are made right?

And, why so much info?? Well, I am sharing everything else with you why not how we got where we are today? I have gotten lots of emails about it so here it is...

Well, not the very beginning...but, the beginning of my journey to become a mommy.

When I was 18 my mom was reading an article about PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. She read all of the symptoms and thought of course of me...her favorite daughter in the whole world (sorry Kristen, Cassie and Bridget you know it is true) She brought me the article and I read it and thought..."and." But, she scheduled a doctor's appointment for me and off we went. Doctors are not always the most friendly of people and don't always like to tell you everything. But, the doctor we saw ran a whole BUNCH of tests and agreed with my mom's diagnosis...PCOS. PCOS is: (as defined by the Mayo Clinic website)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most, but not all, women with the disorder — enlarged and containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary (polycystic appearance). Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Menstrual abnormality may signal the condition in adolescence, or PCOS may become apparent later following weight gain or difficulty becoming pregnant. The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome may have trouble becoming pregnant due to infrequent or lack of ovulation. Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome can help reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

I know that is long and involved but, there you have it. That is what I have. So, at 18 the doctors told me it would be very hard to get pregnant. At that point it didn't matter that much. I didn't get married until I was 25 so, I wasn't trying at that point. But, it was always on my mind. I have wanted to be a mommy for as long as I remember.

When Ken and I were dating I told him that I had the disease and that I might never carry any children. He has always said it was okay with him. He loves me for me...not, for my imperfections...isn't he amazing!

Normal treatment for PCOS is birth control. The birth control forces your body into submission...I mean to have a cycle. But, my lovely body kept rejecting or growing tolerant to the pill. The doctors kept having to give me different kinds, strengths, all kinds of stuff.

So, here we are newly weds and I am ready to get pregnant ASAP!! I mean hello I was 25 already...a late bloomer by many standards...and we were newly weds so we practiced making babies...A LOT ;) (sorry for the TMI but, you do know that is where babies come from right?)

Normally an infertility doctor will not see you until you have gone 12 months of trying to conceive and not conceiving. So, we practiced making a baby for 12 months and then FINALLY we were able to see a specialist.

The first doctor I saw said to me, "I don't think I can get you pregnant but, we will try. After all that is how I make my money." UGH!!!!! I cried all the way home. The next day I found a new doctor. They ran more tests on me and did an ultrasound. That doctor opted to start with Clomid which is a drug that forces you to ovulate. You take it for three months and each month the dose gets higher and higher. It kind of makes you a tad bit crazy. (and by tad bit I mean by the third month Ken was ready to marry someone else!) Three baby. So, we took a break for a month or two and did the Clomid again. After Clomid we went on to Metformin...which is normally a diabetic drug but used with PCOS patients too. Did I mention insurance companies will not pay for infertility treatments? So, all of this was out of pocket and it is NOT cheap. 3 more months no baby. So, they scheduled an HSG. That is a very FUN procedure (can you see the sarcasm in my writing) where they inject die into you and watch it move through your organs to see if they work right. That test showed that my fallopian tubes and uterus could in fact make a baby. Good news...the first good baby news in years. So, then it was Ken's turn. He got to go and get his "stuff" tested. He was fine. It was all me...

Fast forward...we are living in Texas. We had given up on kids of our own. We started on the road to adoption. We had taken all the parenting classes, done all the paper work, and were now waiting on our home study so that we could be placed on the list...

and then two little lines.

I had peed on HUNDREDS of ovulation monitors, pregnancy tests, and never NEVER had a positive result ... and there in front of me two little lines.

He was our miracle baby. He was more than we could have hoped for. It just didn't go the way it was supposed to. So, why us? Why when we struggled for four years and then got pregnant out of the blue did we not get to keep him??? I don't know. I really don't.

But, here we are...and that is how we got here.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

sponge bob

Here I sit another Tuesday. This one for some reason harder than the ones before. The tears have been flowing since I woke up. I think maybe because I am getting closer and closer to when he was due.

It is a beautiful day here in West Texas. The sun is shining, the winds are not blowing the dust (yet), and all is well...except me. I walked the dogs this morning and cried the whole time. I hate that. I wish I could figure out how not to.

I am one of six children (I know I have said that before) and all of us so different. I am the second but, first daughter. My baby sister, Bridget, who is not really a baby anymore...she is 16, is a lot like me. I have always seen it. I think it is funny because we are 15 years apart yet so similar in so many ways. A few years back my parents and Bridget were at Universal Studios. In the middle of the park there is a carnival know, you can play these games for a $1 and win cheesy stuffed animals. Well, this trip happened to fall in the time that Bridget was obsessed with Sponge Bob Square Pants. So, there was this one game that you could win a life size Sponge Bob. And, when I say life size I mean it was like 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide and weighed at least 100 lbs. It was crazy big. And Bridget HAD to have it. Let's just say when Bridget sets her mind on something she MUST have it. I will not say she is spoiled...I think I will call it determined (a lot like me) When I set my mind to it I figure out how to get it. So, Bridget HAD to have this silly life size Sponge Bob. My dad, oh my daddy, when one of his kids wants something so badly he always tried to find a way to get it. So, he played that stupid game for about an hour...spent over $100 on the stupid thing. But, they walked away empty handed. Bridget was heartbroken. She REALLY wanted it. While my dad was playing this young man one on for his girlfriend. My dad offered the guy $100 for it. He said "no way." He was so proud to win it. Did I mention the shear size of this Sponge Bob? He really was the size of a 10 year old child...and did you know Sponge Bob was rectangular? So, he was this huge, heavy, awkward, yellow, thing. Well, the guy walked away with this massive Sponge Bob and Bridget walked away empty handed. Did I mention it was probably 100 degrees outside...we are talking about Central Florida in the summer. My dad saw that kid a few more times in the could you not he was dragging a 100 lb Sponge Bob around. Well, every time my dad offered to buy it. He always said no. But, on the last time my dad ran into him...let's just say he was WORN OUT from carrying that stupid thing around all day. He gave it to my dad. The burden too much. He just gave it to him. Bridget was beyond excited. But, she couldn't even lift the thing so my dad was stuck lugging it around. They left as soon as they had it. How do you drag that thing around Universal? And, you can't rent a locker to put it in. What do you do with it? When they got to the car they could not even fit it in. Bridget was back in tears and I am sure my dad was yelling at her because he is now frustrated with this large Sponge Bob. What do you do with it? Where do you put it? Well, you really don't "play" with it. Bridget just put him in the corner of her room. And, there he sat...I think he still sits there. He will not fit anywhere else. He is so in the heavy. Where do you put him?

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend. We talked for a while about his life and then he asked me how I was. And, I get lots of "how are you?" But, he really wanted to know. I told him I just couldn't figure out where to put the pain. It is so in the way all the time. It is bigger than I can even explain. Most days it just follows me around. I can't figure out where to put it. He said to me, "In five years it will not even matter." umh....hello my first born child lived 22 mins and then died. Yes, it will. But, I think I will figure out where to put it. I think right now it is as big as that Sponge Bob. Right now I am dragging this 100 lb yellow thing around in 100 degree weather. It wears me out. It drains me. It is all around me. And, on some days it is heavier than I am. But, in five years it will still be here...but, I believe I will figure out how to make it fit...where to put it. Remember how I said I visualize EVERYTHING...I picture myself putting the pain on a little shelf in my heart. I think it will be close to the front always waiting to be knocked open. But, it will be put away for the most part. I am not there yet. I am not even close.

I was emailing a friend in the last couple of days that has also suffered a great loss. She wrote, "It's easy to fool the world and make them think you have moved on and are healing. People usually don't want to get close enough to know the truth. They want you to heal. They want you to forget and move on." I think sometimes that is true. I think we all like the world wrapped in a nice neat package. The bow perfectly tied. But, right now my bow is off and the box exposed for the world to see. I don't write to have you feel sorry for me. I don't write so that you will carry this burden for me. I don't write because I think it will make it all go away. I write because sometimes I can't figure out how to say it. I write because it makes my heart not hurt so much. I write to tell his story. I write to tell His story.

But, thank you for walking with me. It means so much that people read what I write. I mean I am just this woman in Midland, Texas who lost her son. People hurt everyday. People lose people every day. People's lives are not perfect and my pain is no greater than yours. It is just that it is mine. I don't underestimate anyone else's pain. In fact up to this point in my life I have always struggled with feeling compassion for people. I have always felt like if you tried hard enough you could figure out how to just be "okay." But, I don't feel that anymore. My heart is so open as people email me their stories, tell me of their pain I feel it so strongly now. I cry with them. I hurt with them. And, I know so many of you have done that, continue to do that with me. Thank you. If you need someone to hear your pain I will...I will care. Please share with me if you need someone.

I know this is a VERY long post today...but, like I said today has been hard! I just have one more thought and I will leave you alone ;)

My uncle Danny is the pastor of Kessler Krest Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN. If you are ever in the area you should look them up. It is a wonderful congregation of caring, loving people. My grandpa started the church years ago. My uncle took it over from him. I feel at home in that church. I didn't grow up in that church but I was there every time we visited. I was baptized there. I have always felt at home there. Anyway...back to my uncle Danny....when I was a young kid I spent a lot of time with my cousin Missy. It was the three of us...Kristen (the sister right after me), Missy, and me. We had so much fun playing. We lived in Atlanta and they lived there so it was not an all the time thing...but, when we did get together we had tons of fun. Danny had a recording studio in his house. And YEARS ago made a record. Yes, record. Not a CD a record. Missy pulled it out of us one time and we all giggled that there was her daddy on this vinyl album. But, she played it and one of the songs was, "People need the Lord."

Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?

On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who's lost?

Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For peo-ple need the Lord.

People need the Lord.

I always remembered that song...we need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams, He is the open door. I am the end of my broken dreams...and He is all that I have to carry me.

Danny sang this song with his wife Vicki in church when I was a teenager and I remember crying way back then...I knew those words were powerful...I just didn't realize how powerful until now...

now...all the grief I feel...

He is.

Here is Ray Boltz singing it...not my uncle :(

Monday, March 8, 2010

my slippers

For the record: I don't error proof my posts. Ken pointed out to me tonight that I make a lot of grammatical errors...sorry!!!

I love my slippers. I love them so much that the second thing I do when I get home is find them. (the first thing is I take of my bra...TMI) I say "find" because my dog is always dragging them off. I have a favorite pair. They are molded to my feet. They fit me perfectly. The keep my feet warm and they keep those pesky sand spurs out of the bottom of my foot. I have four or five pairs...but, on must days I wear my red ones with stripes. The others are backups for when my dog steals my favorite ones. The comfort they bring me...knowing they know me so perfectly.

Can I tell you something?

I will anyway...

I didn't want this to be my story. I didn't want to be on this journey. I never asked for this. I never dreamed it could even be like this. I wanted my son. I prayed for my son. I tried to do everything perfect during pregnancy. I hate that in 20, 30, 40 years the story will still be the son died in my arms. There is no easier way to say it. I know that in 20, 30, 40 years the pain will lessen but, he will forever be my son. I am not sure I can or will ever find comfort in that.

My life used to fit. My life used to be filled with hope of the upcoming. My life ... is different.

The slippers bring me comfort.

This experience has changed me in countless ways. It continues to change me everyday.

My mom used to tell me it would all be okay. When I hurt she could fix it with a hug or kiss. She doesn't say that anymore. I don't think it will all be okay. I don't think that my mom lied to me. I think she truly thought things would be okay...but, that is not our story. My mom is one of my favorite people in all the world. I have always looked up to her. She has always been a pillar of faith that I strive to be. In the past year my family has been through more heartache than I thought was possible. Trent is only part of her story of heart ache from the last year. For a few months she was angry with God. I can understand why. The things we have experienced are not good ones. In fact the only good things in the last year have been my little sister's pregnancy and mine. They gave the family comfort. They showed us all there is hope for the future. My mom cries daily for my son. I hate that for her. I hate that she has to cry tears for me. I wish I could bring her comfort with a beautiful baby boy. I wish I could tell her it would all be okay. My mom told me about a week after Trent died she had a knock down, drag out, fight with God (my words not hers). She yelled and screamed at Him. She wanted, needed to know why? But, at the end of that yelling match with God she told me that for the first time in her life she felt Him speak to her. He said, "I will show you many miracles."

I take comfort in that.

Will my story one day include a child on this earth? I don't know.

Will my heart ever not feel so broken? I don't know.

Does he know how much I loved him? I don't know.

Why me? I don't know.

Why my son? I don't know.

Will his life touch others? I don't know.

Will it ever be okay again? I don't know.

But, in the end, He is still in control. He still knows every hair on my head. He sees my heart and knows my pain. He is Lord of all. He is.

I take comfort in that.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The day after Ken and I were married we went to my parents house to open our wedding gifts. We were heading on our honeymoon but, we wanted to say goodbye to family and open all those presents first. That day I kept staring at Ken's hand. He was wearing that ring with such pride. I just keep staring at it thinking what a lucky girl I was. He chose me. He picked me. He married me. And, now he has this little piece of gold on his finger to show the whole world that he had a wife. I kept thinking that it was the sexiest thing he had ever worn. As he picked up my nieces and played with them, as he opened presents, as he hugged family goodbye I kept my eyes fixed on that ring. Such a small piece of jewelry with such a huge, huge meaning.

The day our son was born Ken was on flight back from Texas. His parents thought it was best for him to leave me in the hospital and go back to work. I was so drugged I really couldn't have an opinion on the matter. The thought was I would lay in that hospital bed for weeks before Trent would come. But, that was not our story. Ken left on Monday morning and I went into labor Monday afternoon. I told him to book the next flight out. The next flight was at 5am on Tuesday morning. That flight landed in Orlando at 10am. Trent was born at 8am. I will never be okay with the fact that he missed the birth of his son. But, on that day when he walked into my birthing suite. His wife hooked up to all kinds of machines. His dead son laying in my arms. I could not have been prepared to watch him grieve. In the four and half years Ken and I have been married he has only cried a few times. I on the other hand seem to cry alot more often. But, this day...he walked in kissed me on the forehead and I handed him his son. He was shaking when he took his tiny body. He cried. Those tears were much more powerful than the sight of that ring that day after we were married. Tears from a father that missed his whole child's life. Tears from a father. His tears flowed all day. His tears flowed at the funeral for our son. Our tears flowed together...creating one stream. He held our baby boy with such ease. He cried for our baby boy with such torment.

I have always struggled with self worth. This is not something I ever discuss...except with Ken, but here my plan is to be tell my son's story and hopefully tell His story in the process. I have always felt not worthy. I thought I would never marry because I was not worthy of a husband. I thought I would never be a mom because I was not worthy enough to be a mommy. The list could go on and on. But, I have fought this problem of self worth by taking on everything and anything in my path. If I can do it and do it better than everyone else surely I am worthy of this life. But, in the past few weeks I can't seem to do that anymore. I can't seem to let myself push so hard. And, it is funny for the first time every I am finding out who I truly am. I don't have to be that girl...the girl who does it all. I don't have to be the one that never stops. I don't have to prove myself. God deemed me worthy the day He created me. I can be a wife to my husband without being the best of the best. I can be a mommy to my son in heaven. I can live this life without perfection. I can't fix it all...I can't do it all. But, I am worth it anyway.

There is a story told in all four of the Gospels about Martha and Mary. Jesus came to Bethany before the Passover to have dinner. This is the place that Lazarus was raised from the dead. Martha and Mary were preparing the meal. And, Martha was doing what I would have done...working like crazy to make everything perfect. She probably worked all day in a tizzy making sure the house was clean, the meal perfect, the table set for perfection. This has been my life for as long as I can remember...making everything "look" perfect. But, bottom never has been. I have never been perfect. I sure did know how to make it look that way. But, Mary was different. And I like the way it is told in Luke the best. You can find this story in John 12:1-8, Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, and then Luke 7:37-50. Each tell the story slightly different...but, Luke talks of her tears.

37.When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
38.and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39.When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."
40.Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Tell me, teacher," he said.
41."Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42.Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"
43.Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.
44.Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45.You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46.You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47.Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
48.Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."
49.The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"
50.Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

She stood at His feet weeping. She was not perfect. She was not even worthy of His company. But, she stood at His feet weeping. She wet His feet with her own tears. She was a sinful woman. A woman who did not deserve it...but, He forgave her. He gave her life eternal.

In the past couple of weeks I have cried more than I can even tell you. I have cried in public, in private, everywhere. And, I hate to cry in front of people. I have always thought it showed weakness. Here this woman comes before her Savior and weeps. She washes His feet with the tears. I want to be her. I want to stop trying to live the perfect life. I want to stop trying to make it all "seem" okay when really it isn't. I will sit at my Jesus' feet until the tears stop. I will sit and worship Him until He makes me whole again. I will not try to be superwoman anymore. I will be worthy of Him because I worship Him. I will let my tears fall.

Friday, March 5, 2010

take a deep breath...

Today has been a rough one. And, I don't know why. I wish I knew why some days are better than others. But, today has been bad. I have cried a lot today. I feel helpless today. Somedays I feel hopeful for the future. Today I can't get there. Today is just plain old despair.

With that said...I want to say this... I was at church this morning and ran into an old lady that works in the nursery area with me. She is a woman who definitely looks at the glass half empty. When she first heard my son died she was mad at God. She always has something she needs to whine about. (I know you are thinking..."that is the pot calling the kettle black" but, believe me before all of this I used to be a much more positive person and I'm working on getting back to that) Anyway, this morning she asked how I was. (WHY does everyone ask that??? baby died how do you think I am?) I politely answered, "fine." (my normal response to that question) She proceeded to tell me, "You know sucks and then you die." I agreed with her and just walked away. I thought about that as I drove to my next meeting. Yes, my life sucks right now. But, I don't want to turn into her. I don't want to be this bitter old woman whose husband left her, kids live hundred of miles away, and she works making $8 bucks and hour with no one else to support her. I will not be her. I will not let myself grow bitter. Yes, life is hard at times. But, there is a lot of good too. Like: the day I met Ken on that blind date, the day I graduated college, the day I married my best friend, the day all of my nieces and nephews were born, any time I get to spend one on one with my mommy, the times Ken makes me list could go on and on. There is a lot of good in this life of mine. And, you want to know what else???...I believe there is a lot more to come. So, no I will not agree with "Life sucks and then you die." I will MAKE it good. Yes, I cry a lot right now. Yes, my son just died. But, I will not let this life suck.

I started seeing a grief counselor a few weeks after my baby was born. It has been strange...spending an hour a week just talking about me and my problems. Today we talked about my guilt. Yes, I feel guilty about what happened. I know that I could not have controlled it. I know it is not logical to feel guilt. But, it was my body that failed him and sometimes I want to not be logical. How do you not feel guilt when it was your cervix that dilated too early? How do you not feel guilty when you child never got a chance because of your body? I feel guilty about everything he will never have. I feel guilty for taking away Trent's life from Ken. I feel guilty that other people cry for me. I feel guilty that both of our families grieve the life that he never got. I feel guilty that .... well, I just feel guilty about a lot. I looked up the definition of guilt (yes, I'm kind of a dork) and this is what it said:

Main Entry: guilt
Pronunciation: \╦łgilt\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, delinquency, guilt, from Old English gylt delinquency
Date: before 12th century
1 : the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty; broadly : guilty conduct
2 a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously b : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : self-reproach
3 : a feeling of culpability for offenses

a sense of inadequacy...that about sums it up for me. So, today I feel guilty. But, tomorrow I am going to try and stop feeling that guilt. I am going to try and understand that it wasn't my fault. But, you want to know something??? Sometimes I think it might be easier if someone was to blame.

So, for today I will take the blame.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

forever changed

On the day I graduated high school I refused to let myself picture myself walking across the stage. I spent the day getting ready for the big event...but, refused to picture it. I spent the morning at the nail salon. I have a little problem with enjoying being pampered. Let's just say if I could find a job that required me to live in a salon all day every day...I would be a happy woman. Back to the nail lady was painting tiny sandcrabs on all 10 of my lovely acrylic nails. Yes, I graduated from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Fl home of the mighty fighting SANDCRABS! Don't laugh...we were amazing. (and by amazing I mean less than average) Anyway, while the sandcrabs were going on my red nails I kept thinking "I'm graduating today!!" But, I would not let myself picture it. I am a very visual person. If I am going to do something I need to "see" it first. I have to have laid it out in my head to make it work. If it is a complicated thing I sometimes even make drawings of it. So, most everything that happens in my life I try and picture it before it happens. But, not this. This was the biggest event of my short life (up to that point) and I didn't want to mess it up by picturing it. I could not let myself ruin it. So, I kept not thinking about it all day. I remember sitting in my chair waiting patiently for them to make it through the 350 other people (my maiden also started with W so it took a while to get to me) and kept thinking "Okay, you are here take it all in."

I am like that with so many things. I need to have pictured what it should be like before I actually get to the event. And, not just with the big things. Tonight I made steak...I pictured all the way home from the grocery what the end result would look like. You could even venture to say I am a bit of a control freak. I like things my way. MY way. I can bend...sometimes. But, I like them my way. I need to have figured out the plan in my head before it happens.

The day Trent was born I was laying in the Labor and Delivery room and I kept looking over at the NICU bed they had brought in for him. I kept thinking "This can't be real. This is not how I pictured it." My husband was on a plane, my son was coming too early, doctors worried for my life. This was not the way I pictured it. But, it was happening. It did happen...and not by Trisha's plans. I could not have known the amazing feeling of holding my son. I am not sure there is a way to plan for that. If your child lives or dies when you first hold them in your arms you are forever changed. That tiny, perfect little boy that I made. Not according to my plan...but, His plan. I smile now just thinking about when they put him in my arms. I knew he wasn't going to make it very long. But, at that moment the whole world stood still and he was MINE. He reached out and took my finger. He felt my skin on his. He opened his little mouth. He stretched his little fingers out. I got him for 22 whole minutes. He was laying in his mommies arms. A mommy that when she was 10 weeks pregnant had already found his pediatrician. A mommy that found childcare by about 14 weeks. A mommy registered for gifts at about 16 weeks. A mommy that had lists of the things she needed for his life at home. A mommy that already had figured out her life with him in it. A mommy who is now figuring out this new life...without him. It all changed when they put him in my or death...he was mine in that moment. I could not have planned for it...pictured it...but, it was beyond perfect.

When I was a little girl my mom always carried around a notebook with her "to-do list" in it. That list never ended!! Of course she was the mother of six so that explains it. I used to love to read her lists. I loved looking at her handwriting. I guess it was knowing that she had it in control. I am sure most of the time she did not feel very in control...did I mention I am one of six...hello chaos!! But, those lists gave me a sense she had it. So, I guess I learned that need to chart my course from her.

My lists are gone, the baby stuff packed away, the pictures are hung, my son in Heaven. But, the one thing that hasn't changed is my God. He still holds me. What have I learned. I can't plan it all. I can't picture it all. But, I can hold onto Him. Today I have hope for the future. Today I know that God will provide a child for Ken and I. Today I will wait on Him with anticipation. Today I will let Him chart my course, make my "to-do list", picture my future.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord

Here is what I know...I know that God could have saved my baby. I know that He could have chosen me to be Trent's mommy on this earth. I know that He is in control and I am not. I have to let go. I have to let Him. Yes, I could be angry that He took him away from me so soon. But, He gave me life. He gave my son life. I will not grow angry...I will praise Him in this storm.

Thank you Lord for this life and for these days. I feel like I'm barely hanging on...but, I know you have me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

another Tuesday ahead.

Here I sit...another Tuesday looming in front of me. Tomorrow is eight weeks. Eight weeks. Eight whole weeks. Last night I was laying in bed wondering what it would be like to be 30 weeks pregnant tomorrow instead of eight weeks away from his birthday/deathday. I don't know.

I am the Executive Director of a soup kitchen here in Midland, Texas. This last Saturday we had a big "spring" cleaning day with a local church. The day was very diffucult for me. We had scheduled the day in February (which is not very spring like) because I was going to be big and pregnant in March or April...the time spring cleaning should have been. When someone mentioned that we were spring cleaning in 40 degree weather I just blurted out, "well, I was supposed to be pregnant but, my son died." There were three people standing around me and they just kind of looked at me like, "How could she just blurt it out like that." But, it gave me the oppurtunity to share his little story. Two woman cried with me. It is touching to have strangers cry over your loss. It is also hard to realize how real it is. One of the ladies said to me, "Be prepared for people to be shocked when you tell them. It isn't supposed to happen like this." Those words so true, so powerful. It isn't supposed to happen like this. But, it does. I am proof that it does. I feel like I joined this new club. The membership fee is the price of your child's life. But, once in the club you are forever a member. You are forever diffrent. You are forever changed by your loss. There are hundreds of thousands of members...but, most never mention the loss. I want people to know that I have a son. I just don't carry him around with me in the physical.

Death is a part of life. I know that. I just wish I could have had a little more of his life before his death came on.

Please pray for my continued healing. Also, I want the whole world (or at least those that read this) to be praying that we get pregnant again SOON!! It took four years to get pregnant with Trent. I don't think I can wait that long again.

Thanks. Much love.
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