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My cautious steps, to hope in our Rainbow

After experiencing the struggles of infertility after Everlee … I thought I JUST had to get pregnant. That was the path to Hope it seemed …. then I did, and all too shortly that baby was gone too, our baby Joy …. so the goal became getting pregnant and not miscarrying, staying pregnant …. and then after that milestone it went to passing the genetic and all other screenings, to learn our baby was free from things that could take them from us again. Healthy. ….  so yes all those goals and milestones have been met but I was naive in thinking that pregnancy after loss would be all rainbows. Or that the milestones ever really end to let you fully just enjoy this little rainbow.

Im almost 35 weeks now with a little baby boy that Everlee picked out just for us, is what I like to think. 35 weeks and I know that this is the first time I’ve decided to share on my blog about being pregnant or write in extent to what pregnancy after loss has been like for me.

I’m at a point now that I have officially been pregnant longer than I was with Everlee. It was  34 weeks 2days when my world changed forever. And we would loose the chance to bring our little girl home.

Now as I look back at this pregnancy I remember seeing that first pregnancy test, there was only guarded excitement with the disbelief from my struggles concieving but most of all I knew right away I was already afraid to let my heart run away with this baby when there were so many things to get through.  For the most part Jeremy and I kept the news to ourselves holding our breath really, waiting for another bomb possibily, afraid to get to excited. In a way I wondered if I expected or was waiting to miscarry again. Almost preparing myself or trying to “plan” ahead. After losing baby Joy I knew a positive pregnancy test was only the first step. And that my loss of Everlee didn’t make me immune to other struggles, or infertility, or another loss. At that point continued struggle was all to familiar to me. So as much as I wanted to be blissfully excited I also remained terrified to feel that defeat and hopelessness once again. It was a cautious hope I held at that point.

And even after I passed the point that I miscarried baby Joy, and we received a good report about genetics, and anotomy, and continued growth and thriving even into where we are today. I can tell you I know my heart is still guarded. I still catch myself saying IF we get to bring him home.

I’ve noticed I’ve dragged my feet on a lot of things, which is not like me, getting the nursery ready, moving Alice out of her room, buying things for him, and I know I try not to openly make plans for him after he’s here. For all the “plans” I had with Everlee were shattered. And it’s something I’ll never get over, what we were supposed to be doing with her.

I’ve even had a hard time with his name. I know full well we have picked out the perfect name but to announce his name feels like I’m stating everything will be ok. He’ll be coming home. And I know now that there is no way of knowing that. Things happen.

I remember when I was pregnant with Everlee and she got her diagnosis for her abnormality and what was ahead for her, I would tell myself when the worry got too much, “God sent you this little girl, so why would he take her away.  It will be ok. You were meant to have her.” And I know full well she was meant to be ours, I was right about that but not ours in the sense I was thinking in that worrisome time. My own reassurances could not keep her here.

So the phrase “it will be ok.” Is just meanless words now. It might eventually be OK but In a much different way that you ever thought.

I like to think of this little guy as my compass, leading me on and through. I was so lost after I miscarried. So hopeless. At my lowest ever since loosing Everlee. But then he came and pushed me through. Allowing me to cautiously hope again. Little does he know how he has allowed his mom to heal so much already.

Ive realized since being pregnant how I have set my grief aside for so long during our infertility phase. Being pregnant again has opened that up again for me which Has been a good thing in a way but also a waterfall of emotions to finally face. Anyone who’s experienced grief understands there is no boxing it up or setting it off to the side the only way through it is just that. Allowing it to just be what it is. Getting through it one emotion and step at a time.

This pregnancy has opened so many faucets connected to Everlee I had no idea I hadn’t dealt with. Pushing me forward in my grief.

Ive taken strides into returning to places and doctors that brought me right back to those days leading up to losing Everlee. And each step or emotion I deal with while hard has been healing to my heart.

It took courage to announce this little boys blessing. When I knew announcing him didn’t garentee we would ever bring my him home. It has took courage to share what I have on Instagram or Facebook, knowing full well my emotions regarding my pregnancy would maybe not be well received. Or seemed hurtful to those who still hope for a miracle. I have had people tell me I’m wrong in my feelings or thinkings and that I JUST need to be joyful for each day I’m pregnant. And I am, trust me, I prayed for so long to get here. And I’m also thankful for each day I was pregnant with Everlee. But like every step in life since Everlee with any of the wonderful Joys I experience, sorrow is also present. These two emotions can walk hand in hand. This is my reality now, and I’m accepting of this regardless of how others might view this.

Even though I have had this guarded heart throughout this pregnancy I’m happy It hasn’t stopped me from taking a million bump pictures, or relishing his kicks, or soaking up those moments when Alice talks to her baby brother or snuggles up to him. And even though it took me awhile I have enjoyed shopping for him and planning for him in small ways reminding me of the blissful times I shared pregnant with Everlee and shopping for her. Now picking out special things just for my little rainbow.

I wish I could tell you that now that we are to the point where I’ve been pregnant longer than Everlee, that the fears have subsided and I’m nothing but excited to meet this little guy soon. I wish, but I still can’t. I’m still feel unsure of what is ahead in so many ways. I’m still in a stage of cautious hope.

As time is ticking by, I’ve been forced to go through things and set them up in anticipation of his arrival home. But I find myself also packing things in my hospital bag that are special and very specific, and I do this knowing and thinking we didn’t have everything we wanted in our limited time in the hospital with Everlee. There’s so much I wished I had for her or would have done. So what I have packed for him I know is my way of making sure that doesn’t happen again, I’ll have every special thing I want for him regardless of any outcome.

I still harbor fears for delivery and if I’ll be plagued from traumatic events with Everlee’s birth. I’m planning for the unknown of emotions when he arrives, trying to think what it will be like to hold Everlee’s little brother after what it was like to hold her for the first and last time. What will it be like to hear him cry. When it was silent after I was finally given the chance to hold Everlee. Or to look into his eyes when I still wonder what hers look like.

Will bringing him home heal me from the nightmares I have from leaving the hospital with out Everlee in my empty car, no car seat, no baby, just tears and silence for the ride home. I remember bringing Alice home but those happy memories are so distant now it’s hard to think past the painful ones now.

Im fearful my grief will overcome me when I feel the joy of raising him. Reminding me of what I’ll never get with his big sister.

I just know this journey getting to him as been longer and harder than I ever thought. In a way it’s not over yet either. So I stand in disbelief at moments where I find my hope outweighs my fears and I think this is it, the moment we prayed for, the moment we wanted for so long, and it’s almost here. And there’s only joy for the future in those moments.

I am so aware that we would not have him or be here today if Everlee was with us.

So he is so much an added blessing to our family. That we are already so in love with despite our fears. But we also know he’ll never replace Everlee or take over the part of our hearts that remain hers forever.

So I leave you with this, be gentle to the mommas who carry a rainbow in thier bellies, be aware of the tug of war they face with joy and sorrow. Let them be however they need and don’t place judgements for emotions that are hard for them to understand themselves.

Mommas who have walked this road before me or are walking along side me now, I commend you for your braveness. It takes courage to repeat what has scared us and to give our hearts away again when we know it can be taken away. When our innocence has been taken to hope again.

And to those that still wait as I stood and waited for so long. Don’t give up. It’s worth holding on hope. I will hold space in my heart to wait with you still. And pray your moment comes at just the right time.

I’m going to try to soak up these remaining days of pregnancy. Be mindful of my heart as the next part of my journey is near. Anticipate continued healing with his arrival and the joy he’ll bring us. Knowing he’ll always know his big sister Everlee who came before him, and how she’ll always be with him too as she’s remained near to us.

“Be Joyful in Hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”   Romans 12:12

The Day that should have been for Joy 🌼

Today we could have been holding you in our arms. Today could have been your birthday. Today you were due to arrive to this world. Fully grown and healthy. But you couldn’t stay that long … and I’ll never know why. And I’ll always wish you could have.

You wouldn’t think you could love someone so much that you’ve never met or never got a chance to know. Never held as you should, and never seen thier face. But I’m telling you can. From the very first moment Joy was mine my love grew from there.

I have two babies in heaven. I thought loosing Everlee would have been enough, but we are unfortunately  never promised no more pain.  Everlee I got to hold and love and take pictures and soak a lifetime into a couple days with. And I’m forever grateful for even that. But Baby Joy we only got 8 weeks with. Just as we were celebrating this baby and dreaming of the future, the next thing we knew that baby was gone. I have no pictures, other than the one ultrasound we first got where we saw a beautiful beating heart and thought this baby was here to stay  ❤️image

With both Everlee and Joy I never planned to say goodbye, I never planned to let go. With Everlee there was more regarding her health but with baby Joy my own body cheated me. It felt so wrong. At that point we tried for so long and saught out treatments to be given this hope and this Joy in this baby. This baby was prayed for. This baby was wanted. But yet again goodbye came too soon.

I have to say I do know I am currently so so grateful and fortunate to be blessed with another baby growing inside and have had 23 weeks of renewed hope and Joy growing this baby boy, but yet it simply doesn’t diminish that that baby who we named Baby Joy was not wanted too. We had plans and hopes specially for them and looked forward to moments with that child. We had names picked. We loved that child the moment they were ours.

So today has been confusing to me. I feel the loss of Joy greatly. I feel the ache in my arms that should have been filled with that baby in this moment. Even though I’m continually happy to feel baby boy kicks inside me all day long. My heart is longing for the baby that was supposed to be my rainbow.  The second child I never imagined loosing. The second what ifs that plague my mind now.

And the only thing that gives me peace is to know that Everlee has a sibling up in heaven, while she waits for us. They have eachother. And I’m so happy they do.

My little Alice and I honored baby Joy today in the best way we could. We picked out some brightly colored flowers as a rainbow should be and brought them to the Angel of hope where Everlee has a brick and there’s one that says Joy on it there too. Like it was made especially for us we decided.

We spent time talking about why we remember baby Joy on this day and why it’s special. We spent time making Everlee’s brick beautiful and a special one for Joy.

Alice normally always asks me why Everlee and Joy had to go to heaven. And I normally say that’s something I don’t know. But today all she kept saying was when will heaven allow us to visit them and still come back. I wish it worked like that too. Cause to get one moment to hug them both when I needed it most would be such an amazing gift I agree.

But there will come a day where I get to be with both of my babies again. Hold Everlee like no time has passed at all and finally meet my baby Joy and put a face to the name and love I feel for this child.

Goodbyes hurt the most when the story had not finished ….

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I feel so blessed others have honored and remembered Baby Joy with me these past months since we said goodbye.

Tara Avery’s momma from @averysgarden drew this picture for me representing Joy and Everlee together. She draws pictures for angels and put them in coloring books. It’s such a precious gift to see our angels represented and remembered and all Together in these books.

She asked me to write a short story to go alongside it in the coloring book and I was so honored to share a bit about baby Joy.

“Baby Joy was so wanted.

Baby Joy was hoped for for so long. We prayed for 730 days for this little baby to come and be our Rainbow. And our prayers went unanswered for 730 days. There were many tears as we waited, our faith in hope was tested.

But then a Joyous day came. Our prayers were answered, our hope restored and the faith we kept finally showed us a great blessing. We found great Joy in this blessing of this baby. Where tears once kissed our cheeks, only smiles could be found now.

We celebrated the happy blessings this baby gave us with everyone. Everyone was so happy. These moments were so full of Joy.

I think Baby Joy’s big sister Everlee in heaven must have needed them more. Because our sweet baby only could stay for 63 days. Although this little baby we hoped to be our rainbow to keep was with us so shortly, we already loved them so and knew they needed a name. So Joy was the name we picked, because for 63 days we only shared Joy with this baby.

Shortly after Baby Joy left I was blessed with a dream of the sweetest kind. I was sure it was my sweet baby flying to heaven in the most colorful hot air balloon made out of flowers leaving a trail of sweetness as it floated higher to the heavens. The trail of flowers shone like a rainbow reaching into heaven. I could see Everlee waiting for my little Joy. And I knew everything was ok because all I could feel watching this vision was an overbundoundous amount of love and Joy.

So we remember our little baby Joy with colorful hot air balloons. Fly high my sweet angel.”

 

 

Dear Everlee, my letter to you on Christmas morning

-Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; Everlasting JOY will crown their heads. Gladness and Joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.- Isaiah 35:10

My Dearest Everlee ❄️

Christmas time is here again. All the lights are shining at night, they cut the darkness of the early evenings we have this time of year and add so much magic and delight to the season. Sparkling so beautifully. Alice loves to point out the best ones. The spirit of Joy is around. I see People giving and remembering to show kindness, spreading a little of heaven on the earth.

Your special Christmas tree is up. Still just as beautiful as the day it came home with us. I’ll never forget the miracle and the story behind your tree. Which is a little bit of heaven to have in our home to share.

There are lots of family gatherings. Lots of smiling faces to see. Lots of presents and cookies to share. Lots of Christmas concerts and festivities to attend. Each meant to enjoy, each meant to spread Joy in this time of year.

There is all this, but there is still not you. We are still missing you.

I sign your name always on our Christmas card, Evey bear travels with us and represents you in our pictures. Your presence in our home and our family sooo large. Your sister talks about you so. But none of this is you, here with us.

I fear with each passing Christmas it seems to get a little harder missing you. I found myself at a loss for words this year especially because missing you was like somebody had stabbed me a hundred times in the chest. Reliving the pain again. It felt as raw as it ever has in these past three christmas’s. There have been so many tears. It’s been hard to even say your name out loud. For when I did, I would crumple once again.

There have been so many gifts of kindness coming my way for you whether I seemed to be able to talk about you or not. A special gift from Germany for you and for Joy. Someone who took the time to write your name on a card to us. Multiple pictures sent to say you were on others hearts. Some new gifts of ornaments for your tree. And sunflowers that seemed to be present still at Christmas time. All was needed. And I’m so thankful you have touched so many other hearts around tge world and that you do not just live on through me or your Dad or your sisters but so many more.

As I unpacked the Christmas tree this year I pulled out three Joy ornaments that were added last year but as I held them in my hands I had a sense they were always maybe made to have for this year.

How I know you are taking good care of baby Joy this Christmas. Baby Joy was here for such a short time, but so wanted and so loved. I was crushed to loose another to heaven but tell myself maybe Baby Joy was more meant for you than us. Putting those ornaments up seemed to be confirmation of that thought. The Lord had already prepared me for baby Joy to be missed this Christmas a year ago, I can that see now. And it’s a little testament of His grace and love.

 

Celebrate Jesus’s birth with Joy this year my sweet Everlee. Teach Joy about Christmas and the why we celebrate. Tell Joy how Jesus came to us, how God sent his son to us all so we could all have everlasting life. This is the gift and scarafice I know can feel and understand in my soul so much more after loosing you. I praise the Lord and thank Him endlessly for giving us all this hope. For loving us endlessly as each parent loves their own children. I can deeply understand Gods love for us now.

As I hear all my favorite songs being sung this year, I always think how these carols and sounds of praise must sound in heaven. Even sweeter I imagine. And how one day all these painful Christmas’ without you will be replaced with an eternity of Christmas’s with you and the Angels, with baby Joy and everyone else who has gone before you. This thought always puts peace to my heart. There will come a day I can be with you again. That we all can. This was Gods gift to us.

This year someone else very dear to us is with you now too. Uncle Keith was very close to your daddy and taught him so many important things about life. Thank him for us for helping your Daddy be such a good dad through him. I can’t imagine how excited Keith was to meet you. And meet Joy. Keith loved your sisters I can see him getting great Joy about being with you this year for Christmas, and I can’t think of anyone better to hold you tight for us.

We were sad to loose Joy and Keith this year, and I miss you so and will ALWAYS wish you could be here with us. As I looked at Alice and Emma sitting next to me in church the other day I wondered what it would be like with you in this picture too. You would have been 2 and some months. How full our hearts would be, to experience Santa with you and not just Evey bear. Evey bear is always smiling for you but what I would give to see your own little sparkle in your eye. I can picture you obsessed with big sister Alice and trying to bug her as she colors so nicely. I can see you sitting on our lap at Emma and Alices Christmas concerts waving and pointing at your sisters.  I can see so much Joy in this picture I imagine with you here. And as I looked around church on Christmas Eve it was full of families, families with new baby’s, big children returned home and grandparents along. To me they all looked so complete. Complete, something we don’t have. But I wonder how many other families hide their stories too, how many are missing someone like I do you. What other families are incomplete too and thinking the same thing I was as they gaze at all the happy families in church that day.

But at the same time,  in my heart I know that if that was our picture I would have to scarafice other things you have given us by waiting for us in heaven. I’m not really sure I would be sitting in that church eager to soak up Gods word and hear the message He had for me on Christmas. So this is the way things are, and Ill find a way to be grateful at the same time of missing you. And for the passion you have given me in life, a for greater understanding of love, and for a heart that searches for heaven on earth, and a perfect understanding of why Jesus came to earth for us. I can and will be grateful for these things as I carry this sorrow for you.

I know you are doing wonderful in heaven. You have daddy’s Grandpa with you, Keith, mommys friend Tia, baby Joy and everyother Angel friend that their name hangs in your Christmas garden with you. I know meeting other angel moms and all the other babies you have put on my heart to love as I do you is no coincidence, for you are all together in Jesus’s arms. And have brought us all together.

Going into a new year I’m going to take the tiny ounce of Hope I have left after this hard year and bring it with me hoping it grows tremendously. I’m going to let God lead me and take my hopes and give him my faith and trust that He will grant me the desires on my heart. As I look back at these past three years He has remained Faithful in showing me Grace and carrying me in His love through the darkness that has surrounded me. I’m hoping for more light to shine on our family in this coming year. Mommy will be ok I promise. Sometimes I worry I upset you with my sadness you must feel from my heart. But I promise I will be ok baby girl and make you proud of who I choose to be.

We are bringing home a new puppy this year and it has given us something so Joyfyl to look forward too. We already named her too before she is even born. Jorgia will be her name and as I wrote the name in her collar for her I saw Jo in there. Jo is in Joy too. How you have continued to be apart of so many to come. Your dad wants to call Jorgia Jo Jo for short is why we spelt it that way. How meant to be it seems now that I connect the three names Everlee Jo, to JOy and now to Jorgia. This was all unintentional but seems perfect now. Shows me you are always near.

Everlee I want you to know you are sooo loved. So missed and never forgotten on your first Christmas in heaven, your third or twentieth.

I will always be your mom and you will always be my daughter. Not even the distance between heaven and Earth can change that.

Merry Christmas my special little Angel. Dance sing and rejoice in heaven. We are sending you all our love.

I love you baby girl – Love your mommy ❤️

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A letter to my Baby Joy

To my Baby Joy,

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I remember sitting down about a week after we came home without your big sister Everlee to write a letter to her, of everything I wanted to say to her but never got a chance. It’s been a little over a week now since you left and I want to write this letter for you now. Because there are things I want to tell you too.

You werent with us long, not even long enough for us to find out if your a boy or girl. Alice seems to think your a girl. I guess I’ll find out when that day comes and I can be with Everlee and you in heaven. I’m never one for surprises but clearly God thought I needed one surprise to wait for.

We wanted to name you even though we never met, because you will always be special to us. Names are special just like you. We chose Joy because for the little time we had you, you gave us so much Joy. Joy that had been maybe missing since your sister left us. Joy that reminded us there is light in these dark days. Joy that reminded us to hold on to Hope. Joy that was fleeting but non the less there.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you, I was so excited. I started making phone calls at 7 am in the morning. You were celebrated that day. You made your Daddy so excited, and all my friends that wanted this so bad for us too. Your Grandma could hardly contain herself and I think went out and bought you something the very next day. Alice chose rainbow leggings to wear that day like she knew a little rainbow was on the way. It was a good day. Full of Hope and Joy. Everything we had been waiting to feel for so long.

From that day on, I had your nursery all planned out in my head. I thought about how it would feel to hold you after we lost your big sister. I thought about how lovely it would be to finally have a growing belly again. How I couldn’t wait to feel you kick. The joy was so surreal, we had waited so long for you it barely felt real. I wanted to shout about you from the rooftops but I didn’t because fear has plagued me since we lost your sister Everlee. I’m not proud of the fear I let dictate my life, but I can’t help but fear now. I know you probably felt some of that and for that I’m sorry, I just wanted to keep you so much. I soo wanted you here with us. We all did.

Your big sister Alice is sad, she so wanted someone to play with here. For the week she knew about you, she hugged you lots and would constantly check to see if you were growing. She was so eager for time to pass so you could come out and play.

Your daddy wanted you to stay. I know he told you that a couple times and talked to you as much as he could. It was one thing he felt bad he didn’t do enough with Everlee. So I’m glad you got to hear him lots before you left.

All I can think is maybe Everlee needed you more. She’s a special girl your big sister.  And I’m jealous you get to hug her all you want now. Everlee has taught us so much and I know she’ll teach you everything you need to know too.  I’m happy you two have each other now. You hold on tight and shower each other with love. Maybe send some down to us too.

I know I’ll never understand why you couldn’t stay. I know it will always hurt in a way.

I’ll always love you and wish my dreams for would have come true. I dreamt everything for you that I dreamt for Everlee. I was so ready to give you the world. To tell you all about your big sister in heaven. But now Everlee will have to tell you all about us.

Thankyou my darling, for all the Joy and hope you offered to us. For showing us we can’t give up yet. You have given us strength to carry on and given us hope one day we will have a rainbow to stay. Somehow I thought I would feel more defeated after you left but I really am ready to fight harder. I’m ready to see where this journey is leading us to.

Youll always be in my heart. You and Everlee. My sunshine and now my Joy.

We love you so much , and already miss you.

Until I can hold you again,

love your Mommy ❤️

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A familiar place

I’m in a place I know all too well. It’s odd to say it feels familiar but it does. It wasn’t a welcome feeling, but none the less we are here again.

You see I had been keeping a secret. I was waiting for a certain day to share, a day that was significant to us in our journey with Everlee, A day that is still painful for me. I wanted to bring joy to that day again. Replace the pain that surrounded it for me. But now that day will come and go and remain a painful day still I’m afraid.

There will be no announcement of Joy, instead I come here desperate to share and sort out this new pain I feel.

I wanted to tell you our rainbow was finally on the way.  I wanted to tell you we finally overcame our infertility battle. I wanted to think Everlee sent us the very best birthday present, and tell you how special it is this baby was conceived on her birthday. Something I thought was meant to be and a sign everything would be ok.

But our baby couldn’t stay.

Instead I heard I’m sorry there isn’t a heartbeat.

This was a new phrase to hear, yet everything started to feel much to familiar. The screen got turned away just like it did when they found something wrong with Everlee. Nobody would look you in the eye. We got rushed to a quiet room. And the nurses kept saying I’m sorry. A little phrase that forever haunts us and continues to follow us it feels.

Nobody can tell my why again. Nobody can help me understand. I’m left confused, sad and angry. Maybe a bit in shock. I hold Jeremy’s hand until we can leave glad he is there to give me strength. They handed me phamplets on my loss hoping they will help me grieve they said. I threw them away. I don’t need to read anymore about what to expect. I’ve been grieving for two years, I know exactly what to expect.

We came home feeling beyond empty for the second time in our lives. All of it feels so wrong again. How are we here again.

Jeremy headed to the store right away. He seemed to already know his wife was going to be numb and lifeless again for awhile. He came home with super all planned, not wanting to have me worry about it. I watch him walk around knowing he feels helpless all over again. He hates seeing me in pain as I hate seeing him feeling helpless.

Yesterday literally felt like a repeat of the day we came home without Everlee. We were like robots as time stopped again and the memories of that dark time with Everlee came flooding back.

I feel like cursing my body as it feels it failed me once again. It was supposed to keep Everlee safe, and this baby too. Not to even mention the 14 months it continued to fail me to make a baby. Now we finally got our baby and my body decided to let it go. It doesn’t quite make sense.

I sat in tears and agnongy as my body let go of the baby that was once growing inside me. Why, God? I already loved this baby. This baby was so loved and so wanted. This baby was celebrated and already eager to meet by so many. This baby was supposed to complete our family and be ours to keep forever.

Jeremy and I decided to name our baby. We named this baby Joy. Because for the 8 weeks we had this baby there was a Joy that was returned to us. A Joy we hadn’t been able to feel in the last two years. A Joy that felt like Hope for lighter days.

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We don’t have much from Baby Joy. But I am happy I was able to see this baby once with its beautiful beating heart. It was such a joyful moment. I’m thankful for the utter Joy this baby gave our family for the little time we had with them.

Alice was the most excited for this baby. She made my heart so happy as she would wake me up every morning and give my belly a hug telling her baby good morning. Alice swore my belly got bigger everyday telling me that means baby was closer to being born.

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Alice picked out rainbow pants to wear the day I got my two pink lines. It was like her sister intuition went off and knew there was a rainbow to celebrate that day.

Telling Alice what happened maybe possibly was the hardest part. She was upset and yelled “why do all our babies have to go to heaven” “and why is it taking so long to have a baby here with us to stay” she broke my heart in two. Because what she said was so right and I don’t have any answers for her either.

I never thought I would be able to say I know what it’s like to loose a child, the pain of infertitly and now a miscarriage. I never thought I would have two angels in heaven. Maybe Everlee needed baby Joy more than we did. I know it’s comforting to know they are together.

Im beyond devastated and at such a loss as to how  I feel like again I’m right back to where I was after Everlee. You think after one loss you should be immune to anymore. But you aren’t. And I hate that I’m powerless to change it.

I know we can’t give up though. If anything Baby Joy showed us this battle is worth fighting, if not harder now.  One day our Joy will stay. I’m sure of it.

So I’m sorry I have no good news. But I needed to share Baby Joy with you all. Because regardless of how little time we had Joy deserves to be celebrated just as much as any of my children. And I needed to speak out because carrying the pain silently didn’t feel right.

So our season of healing begins again…

Our now two angels in heaven Everlee and Joy 🌻💜

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Capture your Grief, Day 1,2,3

Im late to #Captureyourgrief2017. And for that I have felt somewhat of a guilt as I watch my peers and the loss community pour out thier hearts and share thier precious angels this month. It’s such an important month for pregnancy and infant loss awareness. Last year I woke up early allowing myself time each day to write and engage in the project. I found so much healing, and met some amazing angel mommas along the way. The month left me at peace last year, rejuvenated in a sense, and an amazing sense of belonging again in this world, unlike the majority of time I felt like an outcast since I lost Everlee.

I know I’m late but my heart was not in the right place on Sunday. Everlee’s birthday was so hard on me this year. There was so much going on I couldn’t balance and allow myself to feel the emotions I know I needed to allow myself to feel. Two years in so unfathomable. Two years I have lived separated from her, and it still hits you like a rock falling on your chest. Two years is a long time. Two years since I held her close. It just puzzled every part of me this year. My mind has been spinning ever since. I’m lacking a much need balance right now that I hope this month I will be able to find. Writing has always been my tool to help me sort out the emotions that way me down. So why I ever stop I don’t know. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy.

Here is my new start to this month, to new balance, and renewed healing.

Day 1 Sunrise Blessing

There was no sunrise to be seen in my area of the world this day. In fact something extremely terrifying started out my day on Sunday. I can’t elaborate right now on what happened but I can tell you I have never been so overtaken by worry, fear, I was sure that yet another bad thing was happening to us. For I knew that nobody is immune to bad things. I was overtaken by the thought That maybe I shouldn’t have allowed myself to feel Joy and opened up my heart to this Joy that entered our life. My guard was down and this is what I recieved in return.

Fear is a powerful crippling thing that I found overtaking me that day. The only thing I knew to do is to find comfort in prayer. I spent the day being still and releasing my fears, praying for peace and strength and by the next morning I knew my fear had lifted and my trust and peace returned.

For me this was my sunrise blessing. As Monday felt like a new day i so needed. A sunrise to me is symbolizes the renewing, no matter what each day brings, a sunrise will always remind me to begin again.

The weekend of Everlee’s birthday we retreated to the north shore to surround ourselves with the peace and beauty we so needed this year. I was thankful I woke up in time to have one amazing sunrise to watch along the shore of Lake Superior. I grabbed Evey bear and my camera and headed to the beach that morning. Not another soul was out there that morning.

The sun peaked just over the horizon of the lake and as it rose it desapeared and appeared through the clouds glimmering on the lake it’s pink hue until it reached a high point in the sky and the warmth of its glow overtook the pink.

There is something about a sunset and a sunrise now. It feels like for a second the world is spinning at a pace I can keep up with. Ever since I lost Everlee I simply don’t feel as if I can keep up with the fast pace of normal society. But sunrises and sunsets I feel one with the world and timing again.

Its a time I always feel a glimpse into heaven, and I can feel Everlee in those moments. Its a special time for her and I and our worlds to meet. This sunset had such a persise Ray of light shimmering down. It seemed to shine right over Evey bear, making it seem as a special symbol of our connection in that moment.

I remember sitting on the log with Evey bear imagining Everlee sitting right next to me holding my hand. It almost felt like a real notion. I took so much from that sunrise that morning. I felt as if it symbolized how my journey is changing, how I would start to see the light peaking through the darkness. This sunrise almost felt as if it was a promise of Hope sent to light my path for this coming year.

We all need to carry that promise of a new day with us. And I need to come back to this sunrise on days like Sunday come around.

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Day 2 Morning Ritual

Day 2 of this scary ordeal, lead me to a physicians office, bright and early on that Monday. The peace of my answered prayers with me from Sunday. As I saw the whole loss community’s posts about the morning ritual and a tinge of guilt for sitting in silence, I was reassured I was exactly where I needed to be that morning. The reassurance I needed was found at that clinic. And not only that but a very nice lady who noticed my tattoo on my arm, immediately brought up Everlee. Truth be told I think it’s been awhile since I heard someone else say her name other than me. It was exactly what I needed. We spent a good five minutes talking about her and nothing heartbreaking or sad. It was simply a heartwarming conversation that filled my heart with so much Joy.

A lot of people are so gracious to listen to whatever I say about Everlee these days but her name is something that is often left out or maybe whispered or hesitantly brought up. But this lady it rolled so smoothly off her tounge , unfazed that it should be any other way.

I know so many remeber Everlee, but I think her name is forgotten in the sense of being said out loud sometimes, and it’s a welcome gift it really is. I knew in this moment I needed to gather my emotions together so I could join in this project for this month. Speaking thier names is one thing we all need. This month brings light to thier names. Shouting they were here. They were loved. And they mattered.

Day 3 Meaningful Mantra

The mantra I leave for myself to follow this month is “Don’t let the worry of today take the peace out of tomorrow”

This month I long to find once again the delicate balance this journey after loss requires. I long to find healing in the emotions I pushed off from the lack of balance and dedicate this month to my muse in heaven. My shining light that guides me so much these days. The wisdom she has instilled in my heart. The reason I’m grateful for so much during this broken period in life.

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Hidden Joy, Hidden Moments

 

I was never one that loved to be pregnant, I fought the unwelcome changes your body is subject too and always swelled up like a bloated whale no matter how much water I drank. I never felt like a cute pregnant lady. I always seemed to be sick and insanely uncomfortable. Sleeping was always an issue. My ankles would disappear at the about 28 weeks along and not be seen again till about a month after I gave birth. I always couldn’t wait till the end where my body could feel like mine again. And I always swore I would never do it again.

But that was before all this. Now I hear pregnant ladies all around me complaining of the same things I once did. And I understand, but I also know I’ve changed now. I often keep quiet and offer a small simple smile, but really the only thing I’m thinking is they are so lucky they don’t know Anything about the pain I do. They are so lucky it was easy to conceive and hope they know what a gift in itself is. And im happy they are blessed in this innocent way and yet for awhile I thought I wasn’t, but as time goes on I think I am too but In a much different way. It’s all about how you chose to find joy in any circumstance.

Because I’ve always been a little self conscious of my bloated whale like appearance , I’ve always found myself ducking out of pictures while I was pregnant, I did not want to remember that I really can’t find any with Emma or Alice. But the Lord must have opened my heart a bit while I was pregnant with Everlee, she was the only one of my three girls I stopped to take any amount of pictures throuh my pregnancy journey. And I’m so thankful now that I did Just even the little bit that I did. He must have known I would need these later.

 

 

12 weeks along and my first little bump picture. To 16 weeks and then 18 weeks when we found out Everlee was a girl that day! 💗

 

 

21 weeks along on Girls weekend up in Brainerd, and a stop at a zoo where of course I found a deer to pet.

 

 

Documenting The loss of my sight to my feet and Alice  and Daddy feeling Everlee kick. That was such a special moment.

 

 

Everlee was with us kicking with joy to celebrate some of our best friends big wedding day.

 

 

And some of the last pictures we got of that pregnant Everlee belly, about ten days later she was gone. And so was my pregnant belly. Couldn’t be more thankful for these pictures.

I find myself looking fondly at these pictures lately, as the seasons are changing right now and summer is coming to an end, I am remembering our last days before our world changed forever. We were still decorating for her and planning so much. Anxious for her arrival but excited to meet her and see her pretty eyes. As I flip through these pictures now I am ever so appreciative of that time, as I scroll through pictures of that year I realize she really was a part of so much. She was with us for Easter, mothers day, fathers day that year, fourth of July,  and all of her sisters birthdays that summer. She was here for our very first bonfire in our new house, big sister Jayda’s senior prom and graduation celebration. A friends 30th birthday celebration, girls weekend up North, a painting party, visits to the zoo, strawberry picking and all our summer fun. A family trip to the cabin. A state fair visit. And our good friends’ wedding day, she might as well been an honoree little bridesmaid that day.  And when I think of all that it makes my heart so happy she was a part of so much. I’m sure Everlee heard every ridiculous thing me and my friends talked about on girls weekend,  and loved hearing her sister Alice’s excited giggles as she felt Evey kick in mommas belly. And I know she had to have felt all the love me and her dad had for her. We did love her and want her so much.

She was here, for 34 weeks enjoying life with us and being a part of our family so completely. I know some may find that statement controversial but for me I take comfort in the memories I have with her, whether she was in my arms or in my belly.

“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.’   ~ Brene Brown

Knowing what I do know,  and the continuing longing for what was, I understand what an amazing precious miracle each and every child is! And the opportunity to carry your child is such a big blessing too. One that only us mommas get to.

Being truthful, you would have found me complaining while I was pregnant with Everlee, for I am only human and pregnancies are not easy for me or my body it seems. But I can tell you now how much I miss that swollen pregnant belly, and the innocence that came with it and my lack of fear that I lived my life with back then. I even miss my swollen ankles. I would take those back in a heartbeat to get another week carrying Everlee around. One more moment to feel her kick me.

Everlee has taught me so much through her short little life about the gift of pregnancy, I’m not sure I would wish that innocent, fearless self back either now even as much as I miss it sometimes.  Loosing Everlee and every mothering moment I was suppose to experience with her has fully flipped my mindset around, and opened my heart to much greater Joys in life. Struggling with infertility for over a year now hasn’t been easy either. I  wonder every day if I ever experience another pregnancy again. But that too Itself has taught me a great deal.

I do trust there will be a next time. I really do. I believe God has answered my prayers and brought wisdom to our doctors so they will be able to treat us just right. And I do ask for all your prayers this month as our IUI will be right around Everlee’s birthday. And that significance makes me wonder will this be it, the right timing of it all. I can think of how perfect this simple verse right now.

 “Perhaps This is the moment for which you have been created for” Esther 4.14

That verse hits me on so many levels on what I am talking about with you today. My one and only moment with Everlee in my belly, my one and only moment with her after, and each and every moment now I Have found joy I think of this verse and how simple ordinary moments become your most extraordinary in life.

I can promise you all this, next time around I will celebrate each and every moment of that pregnancy, take a million and one pictures of my swollen bloated whale like belly, and you’ll see me smiling ear to ear despite how uncomfortable I am. I can’t imagine how surreal that moment will be. To be pregnant again.  I will take joy in the next journey because we are never promised another tomorrow or another moment. And I will take what I have been given right now and still rejoice finding Joy in what I have learned and taken from each hardship.

‘And so it was… that she, having waited long and endured patiently realized and obtained what God had Promised.’    Hebrews 8:15

Everlee, I carried you every second of your life. And I will love you every second of mine.

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