Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nesting {After Losing a Baby}

Nesting….it’s an innate maternal instinct.  I’ve fought it with this little guy, and yet it keeps persisting.  So after crying out to the Lord decided it was time to prepare a little for this little guy’s arrival and it’s been fun to replace some of those fears with excitement for this little man that we are very much looking forward to meeting.

So I now have a dresser full of baby clothes that are washed and folded (thank you so much Jen).

There are a few diapers and wipes ready to go in the changing table.

The little guy has a bed set up, with new sheets I whipped up.

I picked out fabric for his baby quilt.

And whipped one up.  I love how it turned out.

But it’s been a battle to get this far.  I have not let all of my fears disappear, and it shows in the little details of nesting….The diapers are still in the package, just in case we have to return them.  I’ve held off on some purchases because I’m not certain we’ll need them.

There is always a plan B floating through my mind with those items I’ve made. 

When packing the hospital bag, my number one priority was to get a little outfit in it ASAP, not anticipating leaving the hospital (a nice perk that I’m praying we get to do this time), but primarily because I wished I would have had something to dress Seth in as we held him for the first and last time at the hospital.  Plan B.

So as we get closer to this little man’s due date my prayer is that the Lord will give me peace about his perfect plan for his life.  We’re already thankful how he’s knit him into our family.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's not meaningless

We had a really sweet time at a conference with colleagues and it was so good for my heart to have some time to unpack the last 3 ½ years. 

We both were able to have some precious time alone, a gift after lots of packing, moving, travel, etc.  Sweet Jesus time, without any other distractions. 

We enjoyed lunches without the boys and I loved being able to engage in real conversations.  It was what we needed and it is always nice to be around people who get the life we live, and have a better understanding of how it shapes you.

The past 3 ½ years have been some of the hardest years of my life.  It’s been filled with lots of grief.  6 months in we said our first good bye, and they just keep getting thrown in our face.  We’ve said goodbye to 15 families/singles in that time.  Many have had no choice in their departure, others moved on to new places by choice.  Regardless how they left, a dent in our heart remains from these precious friends and we treasure the fact that we get to spend eternity with them someday. 

Each week it seems like there is another family added to that mix and I’m left to wonder….

 “What is Lord is up to in all this?” 

I have a very fleshly perspective on this life, and from where I am sitting it’s hard to reconcile all of it.  But trust Him I will.  I’ve seen the treasure that comes from that.

We choose to trust him through the loss of a child, and Jesus has truly been our breath and light in a dark and suffocating place.

We’ve weathered some storms that can only be survived by clinging to the Rock of Jesus Christ and because of that, the depth of who we are has increased tenfold. 

“Therefore, therefore, do not lose heart.  But take these truths and day by day focus on them.  Preach them to yourself every morning. Get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.”  John Piper

“Though you take from me I will bless your name!”-Shane & Shane Though You Slay Me

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Small Talk

One of the hard things about being in a new place, is meeting new people.  I don’t actually dread the meeting people part, that part I enjoy, it’s the question I am asked every time that is difficult…..

How many kids do you have?

I knew a conference we went to recently was going to be hard due to this question, but I survived the question and answered it more times than I could count.

It seems like an innocent question, and one I’ve asked a thousand women myself, an ideal conversation starter, but for me it’s a constant reminder that we are without one of our blessings.

Currently most people ask me what number this baby makes, that question isn’t hard to answer.  It’s the follow up ones, what ages are they?  Are they all boys?  “Oh where is your third, I only see two?”

Some days it’s easier, other moments the tears well up like we lost Seth yesterday.

Comments like…”You must have a busy house.”


“Wow another little boy.”

All are yet reminders that yes we have a full house but there is one voice missing.

These are the things I’m learning to embrace as normal.  It’s the life I’ve been blessed with and it’s a constant balance of discerning how much to share with those I meet.

I’m thankful that I’m a mom to 4 boys, even if that simple question might bring tears to my eyes for years to come.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5, 6, 7, 8

Well I’ve been a little slacking on the blogging.  Life just hasn’t given any time to sit and let my fingers unpack and capture a few things with words. 

I’m thankful that we are settled in the house where we will spend our time in the states, that I have a good game plan for homeschool this fall, and that I haven’t had to touch a suitcase in a week.

Many have asked about this pregnancy and it’s been a journey in trusting the Lord.  In fact just in the last week have I even let myself prepare for his arrival.  There are still moments when the “what ifs” hold my heart at ransom but the fact that he’s going to be here in about a month (by my gut) and this little innate nesting thing have helped me prepare a little more.

To sum up this pregnancy I think Calvin puts it best when he prays for his new brother,  “Lord, please help this baby not die right away, and for it not to have any problems like Seth did.”  Some days those prayers from his little lips bring tears to my eyes.  My little Calvin doesn’t want to see pain again, and wants to play with this little brother.  His mama feels the same way.

So it’s been hard, and it’s been a daily battle to enjoy this little man and not be gripped by fear.

Thankfully he’s looking very healthy, no signs of hydrops but I do have an abundance of amniotic fluid.  So I look much more pregnant than I am.  We were able to see the perinatologist and all test came back normal, although the excess fluid it puts me at risk for preterm labor and stillbirth.  All things that came with the diagnosis of polyhydramnios with the other boys, but those words are very real to me now.  I have emotions tied to them and pray desperately the Lord will keep this little guy safe in my womb until 36 weeks.

My OB tried to reassure us that things are looking great and that even if he does come early I’m getting to the safe point, where the death rate for preemies drops to 2%.  What he meant for comfort, didn’t take root  in my heart because we’ve had a baby in that 2%, we know that it’s possible, that only the Lord knows the number of our days.  The thought of it happening again is terrifying.

Thankfully the perinatologist is monitoring me weekly, with ultrasounds.  It’s been good for my heart to have that reassurance that he’s still okay on a weekly basis.  Plus getting a peek at our guy each week has been fun.  We’ve been told he already has hair and he’s got some pretty sweet cheeks that I can’t wait to smoother with kisses, in a month.

I’m having some consistent contractions and trying my best to rest when I can and let my crazy boys run circles around me.  Marvin and I would really love to attend a conference for parents who have lost children in Nashville on Labor Day weekend.  But if this little man comes before then, we’re just praying he’ll be healthy and safe.

Thanks for continuing to pray for us and for the health of our 4th son.