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Defining Moments

There are moments which will mark your life; moments when you realize nothing will ever be the same and time is divided into two parts; BEFORE this and AFTER this.

Everlee will always be my BEFORE and AFTER. That moment I held her in my arms, feeling her beautiful stillness, that was the moment I knew nothing would ever be the same again. I would never be the same again. Time stood still for three days in that hospital room we shared with her. It was a time I’ll always cherish, never take for granted and always wish for more. I remember feeling at peace for that moment, and at a place of acceptance. It was a time of great sadness but when I look back I only can remember the peace that surrounded me, the love radiating throughout that room, and the flawless beauty of that peaceful angel in our presence.

However as beautiful as that sounds that peace didn’t seem to last. The moment I was being wheeled out of the hospital room and down the hallway to go home, without her, the gravity of AFTER finally hit. Any peace I found was gone. I watched people walking by me as we traveled through endless hallways, just going about their lives. I kept waiting for someone to ask me about the blanket I held that didn’t contain a  precious little baby to bring home. But nobody did. Time was going on for them. They were all blissfully unaware my world was crashing in as I was being taken farther away from my precious child. This was simply it. I would never see her or hold her again in this lifetime.  I was headed home to deal with the AFTER. I was headed home without my baby.

imageAll I got to bring home instead was my memories of my perfect little girl, her cute little pink hat, and the blanket we wrapped her 4 pound 11 oz body in, still stained with some plaster from the hand molds the nurses made for us.

Returning home, to normal life, the AFTER really has been the hardest part. Walking out of the peace that surrounded the only moment we shared with her.

My AFTER, has it been a whirlwind of emotions, additional losses and heartaches to add additional sting. So much Pain and suffering that you would think to yourself how is it possible my own heart is still beating when its this broken. Everything about you and everything around you starts to feel utterly broken in a sense. You think and hope this brokenness can be fixed but only time will be able to tell you. You look back at old photos from BEFORE and wonder if you’ll ever be able to smile so carefree again. That smile doesn’t look forced like it does today. Today it’s forced because you so desperately and genuinely want to be happy again, but no matter how big that smile is it just can’t seem to hide the sadness in your eyes. Your eyes will never be able to lie. You realize that all this sadness has forever changed you. You wonder who you are now and what the future holds. Because right now the aftermath looks bleak.

And two years down this road truthfully I still feel the brokenness, my future self is still so uncertain. There is still so much more healing to be had. Currently in our struggles with infertility I still feel time stands still. I’m still so very much in the aftermath of this. Infertility is a different heartbreak of its own, so for awhile I feel I pushed aside my feelings of grief and maybe prolonged this whole process. There is only one way to finding yourself through this. And it’s digging deep and through your grief. There is no running from your feelings. They will always catch up with you. Through it is allowing yourself to feel each and everything. One step at a time, dealing with each situation as it comes. I know We all wish there was this rule book to guide you through grief, a timeline, and a picture to show you who you are now. That will never be a thing though.  Each Journey is as unique as you are, Each journey everyone will find themselves and happiness again at all different moments.

There are times of despair in this journey that I find myself wandering in Hopelessness. Times where I resent all the  pain. Where my mind spins in relentless questions of why and feelings about the what ifs. Despair that I won’t make it through, that I’m not strong enough. Times of wondering if I’ll ever feel comfortable in my own skin again. Where I’ll be able to see more joy and light in my eyes than sadness. Times of utter defeat as you give in to emotional exhaustion. Times of retreat.

These times of hopelessness can last for hours, a day, weeks at a time, sometimes months or full seasons. You try not to let it over take you, but this is grief. This is also getting through it.

But as I shut my eyes and picture myself holding my little Everlee Jo, my heart Is once again surrounded by the peace that I found in that hospital room. I gaze upon my photos of that beautiful sleeping angel, and I’m reminded of so much more than just pain and sadness but rather more the endless love she has shown me. The endless love that has poured over me from that very same moment. The many gifts and signs the Lord has granted us to let us know she is safe in his arms. His Faithfulness to guide me through the dark. The beauty I have created out of my love for my littlest daughter. My heartwork for her. The beauty and Joy my eyes are now open to and that surrounds us on a daily basis, times of utter beauty and stillness when you know heaven is reaching Earth at the moment.

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When I gaze upon this photo of her all that is radiating from Everlee to me is the peace and beauty that I speak of now.

imageA Sunflower was our first gift from heaven on the day Everlee gained her wings. Now a bright reminder and sign my angel is near and a gift to let us know she is ok.

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Everlee’s garden, where angels dance, a place I created out of my love for her. My heArtwork. A place I’ve found purpose and healing. A place to find stillness in this chaos of my broken heart.

imageThe beauty I’m thankful I can fully recognize and see. Moments I call when heaven is reaching to Earth, and Everlees home and mine meet. A glimpse into the glory of heaven my daughter’s forever home. I can find her in these moments.

So while I might be wandering through bouts of hopelessness and relenting pain still. There are moments of great clarity of who I am becoming from this defining moment. In my AFTER. Enough to help me not give up and chase after my aspirations and dreams of how I would want this loss of my child and myself to change me. Enough to make me continue to find hope through our season of infertility, knowing God can work wonders through brokenness. I understand this very much and believe someday I will understand just why I was chosen to walk through these struggles.

I believe very much that I was blessed to be given Everlee. Even for a moment. She has taught me a great bit and opened my heart to so much. I may not like the winding path of grief, and find myself fighting with the hardships this journey entails. I would never wish this on anyone but I have come to accept this as my path in life. My burden to carry. For the light I find along the way seems to outweigh the darkness looming over me at times. And even though I long for that misplaced smile of my BEFORE I know when the day I find a new true smile, I really won’t ever miss that one again. For the new smile will shine the blessing of Everlee through.

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“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ a loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” 

– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The day time stood still

I’ve taken a step back lately. A step back mentally for my weary heart and tired spirit to try to again regain some much needed strength. My grief feels different lately, almost harder to manage in a way. I’m at a loss for answers right now and time keeps slipping away from me. They say time heals all wounds, but I don’t feel as if time has healed me. Time seems ever passing. Oblivious to my feelings about it. Time simply doesn’t always feel like my friend but rather an uncontrollable enemy.

  • “Time by definition is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.[1][2][3] Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.”

No matter how much time continues to pass on this journey, My mind will always return to the day time stood still, the day Everlee was born. The day she lost her fight, the day I held her for the first time, never to hear her crys, never to look into her eyes.image

I wondered how time was to still go on when in that moment time had stopped for me. In a way my mind seems forever trapped in that moment. The day that time would be forever changed for me. I remember every little thing. Every thing about that day. And in a way it haunts me. In a way I know it’s a precious gift also to hold dear.

I remember the time leading up to that day. Every scan, every sound of her heartbeat beating safety and soundly. That strong little heartbeat that assured me everything would be ok. That she was Ok in that moment in time. I remeber the smile we caught on the ultrasound, oh what a gift to see her smile! unknowingly it would be such a blessing, such a moment in time to hold onto, for I would never see my daughter smile again.image

I remember all the tears and fears as we didn’t know what to expect when she was born. There was such a sense of wanting to protect her and keep her safe. But I felt this huge overwhelming amount of love for my little Everlee already, A ever growing bond that assured my fears, making me think everything would be ok. That whatever the future held I had trust we would all be ok. That love would surely keep us together. And that love has, just not in the way I thought back then. I had no idea that huge amount of love I had for my little Everlee was going to have to span from earth to heaven and back. It WAS there to bond us together forever, but through worlds apart.

And now here we are almost two years after that day. And time keeps going. Ever turning and changing around me. Which is In part why I have tired to take a step back. I miss Everlee like crazy. My broken heart hurts, my weary soul can’t seem to not search for the missing almost two year old in our life that should be here. My mind still can’t fathom the fact  I will never see her again in this lifetime. She was so perfect, she was everything we ever wanted to complete our family and why I can’t have her I’ll never fully understand.  My heart still holds so much love that it physically hurts as it has no place to go. I wanted to give it all to her. I’m still lost without her, my empty arms still ache. My grief and heartache still feels very raw and untended too, feeling as if I’ll never heal from this loss. That the pain is and will be never ending.

As time goes on my other children keep growing, I signed my little Alice up for preschool this upcoming fall. That hit me harder than I ever thought. Alice has been my one to hold through it all, keep close, and shower with every hug and kiss Everlee should have gotten. My little earthly angel to get me up every day and release a hidden smile out of her momma. When I stopped to think about it, the one year of preschool she would have and then it would be off to kindergarten, I panicked. I didn’t understand how my baby was gone. I had already lost my little Everlee and just by time continuing I felt as if I was loosing another.

Grief has a way of making me feel isolated and absent from the current world. Standing still while time goes on. There are situations and functions I now decline and miss Because my fragile heart can not take. Relationships are lost or put on hold because the amount of energy it takes, or situations it puts me in. Small tasks become energy suckers, you begin to prioritize what is important to put your energy into. You become forgetful, absentminded and it’s all because time stopped that day. You replay every little thing on repeat whether you want to or not. That day and the moments leading up to it will affect so many areas in your life from that day forward.

There are times I retreat, to save myself from the storm of grief. Here in the Midwest we have tornados, they come in suddenly sometimes without much warning and the safest place to be is in a basement in your home. You normally have everything you need to wait out the storm feeling safe and sometimes forgetting what is going on above ground and outside. After the storm is passed you ascend the stairs to face reality, the debris and devastation that went on.

That is the best way I can explain to you how one retreats in grief. Finding a safe place in a way under the surface. Distracting yourself with be busy or loosing yourself in a book, tv show. Pushing every painful emotion, every frantic feeling, every darkening mood aside. But you can only stay there for so long disconnected from reality, pushing aside the questions your mind has, the fear, the heartache. But the pain of loss never goes away. It never will. Time goes on while you retreat. Alice grew up in there. And now I feel as though I’ve been absent the past two years tending to my broken heart. Adding more guilt onto my broken heart.

With the pain of infertitly waging heavy on my heart right now, I find dealing with my grief for Everlee evener harder. After all this time I’m more tired than ever. More broken than ever. Infertitly has  broken me more after already trying to come back from those depths of despair. It has added more pain and loss on something that was already earth shattering to my very existence. When Jeremy and I set out on this journey a year ago, I was excited and eager to welcome a rainbow baby into our family. It took a lot of emotional preparation and healing to get to that point because in the beginning I only wanted Everlee. But I did get to a good place I was out of my basement ready to find healing on a new journey. How I had no idea the continuing  pain that would follow.

Last month was the first month we actively had treatment for our infertitly finally. I promised myself I wouldn’t hope, I promised myself I wasn’t going to get excited for nothing. And I didn’t think I did but subconsciously I must have. Because here was another negative, after a million this past year, it sent me crumpling. Everything I had tried to bury inside came out, I was gasping for air, the flood of tears swallowing me. I was crushed, here we were again after painful procedures and still no postive results. but honestly my mind when right back to remembering and relating this with the crushing pain of that one day. I felt like I was reliving it all over again. I remembered every little thing all over, cradling Everlee for the first time, begging to hear her cries. Falling so utterly completely in love with her and realizing I would not be able to hold her forever even though I wanted to. I thought about how I held her and looked at her for hours, how I burned every little detail of her in my mind. She was perfect. So perfect. I felt the physical pain again of walking out of that hospital with out her. Of returning home without her. My empty arms.

No matter how much time passes and how much little I try to hope anymore every failed month through this infertitly journey brings me back. To my empty arms. Everything I’m missing with Everlee. Everything I’m not sure I’ll ever get again. everything I feel I have missed these pasts two years with Alice because I was just surviving through it all maybe retreating through some storms.

Time is a cruel enemy sometimes. I haven’t gotten a grasp on it yet still after that day. It hasn’t been healing. It hasn’t brought me closer to holding a rainbow baby in my arms. Time is the “irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.” Time will keep going. Yet I’m here I am feeling like I still stand still from that day.

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This picture was a gift, I never thought I would receive. A “new” picture. Everlee’s grandma sent this to me a couple months ago. A picture I had never seen, a moment where I was on the bed watching grandma hold her ,my heart breaking as I watched Everlee would miss out on the amazing love I knew her Grandma had to give to her. I love her little hands curled up in this picture. I’ve kept this picture to myself lately wanting to take in every new detail. A new picture from that very day. Another precious  moment in time to hold onto.

I know one day I will finally feel as though I’m moving in time again. I know there will come a time I might not have to retreat anymore. But right now in this broken state I’m trying hard to just be present in the day I was given, especially with Alice for time goes by to quickly. Time is precious and something you’ll never get to go back to. Time is a gift I will never take for granted again. I’m forever thankful for the time I was given with Everlee. She has taught me so much about how precious time is. One day I hope to only carry the joy from that day, but right now the pain follows me and haunts me. I know it’s time to yet again start cleaning up the debris from the last storm, leaning my weary heart and soul on God to lead me and shelter me.

  • “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
  •  Psalm 32:7

Healing my broken heart on Mother’s Day

I havent written in awhile and for that I’m sorry ….. I find when Grief catches up with me in a hard way, everyday life and tasks start to become exhausting and are all I can really handle. I never understood how hard it was just to live until Everlee took a piece of my heart to heaven with her. It seems there will forever be a push and pull effect between heaven and earth.

Mother’s Day ….. How that has become a confusing day for my heart. Last year was my first Mother’s Day without Everlee, I found myself in a whirlwind of hard emotions I didn’t seem to expect that day. I ran across a writing of mine I wrote after I waged through that day and the after effects a year ago …..

One year ago…

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“Mother’s Day came and went and left me in a raging sea of grief I thought had past over me already. I’ve ended up in a raw state again. This picture says it all. The minute you feel as though you turn a corner enter smoother sailing and your taking ten steps back. Into the storm again.
They say having a baby unlocks a love in your heart you never knew was missing. Loosing a baby, your child, unlocks a pain your soul never imagined feeling. A eternal pain.
There is no road map for a journey of grief and I believe it is unending, never to cross the finish line. Not In this lifetime at least.
You can never plan for steps or what road blocks will be thrown at you. Mother’s Day clearly was a trigger for me. Again I’m at a point of despair. Trying to manage the stormy waters. My heart is pained. My arms ache for her. My mind isn’t shutting off.
Realizing I have past reminders everywhere of a happier time when Everlee was safe and growing and the dreams were endless of what’s to come. The present state of just trying to be ok with out her. Trying to figure out the future, the future you were supposed to have, but don’t and knowing this is permanent and planning for her absence. The missing piece of you. How do you complete this puzzle missing a piece.?
I don’t have the answer today. There will always be a missing piece. She was suppose to be yours to have to hold to care for. So Maybe there is no answer to that but just the realization to continue day by day. There will be happy days and there will be sad days. And to be kind to yourself In letting it be a happy day and feeling joy. Or letting it be a sad day. A day you can no longer push those feelings off. A day your out flow of tears feel as though a they are a welcome kindness and lifting some weight off your breaking heart.
I have suffered the un thinkable the day I had to continue without my child.
It’s natural to have times where the full weight of loosing Everlee will come crashing down on me. Its those days I need to be gentle on my soul and allow it whatever it needs.
Sometimes to heal a wound there will be times you need to uncover it clean it out really good before the proper healing will occur. It will hurt. It will be painful. It won’t be fun. But it is nesscessary. And there will always be a scar afterwards. A scar that is forever a part of that wound.
Be kind to your soul. Feed it and nourish it.
One step at a time.”

And Today ….

Today I find those words still resonating Truth for me today. This Mother’s Day my heart STILL pained for her, my arms STILL ached for her, my mind NEVER shut off as I thought of what it would be like to have Everlee here with us today. I was plagued with thoughts about our desire to have another and how we struggle with why it just won’t happen again and the incompletion of that struggle coming into our life after we lost Everlee.

I broke again, the waves of grief and waves of emotions of our struggles fully caught up with me. Again I felt as if I was a boiling teapot. I could feel myself piling on emotions and feelings but not letting them out or allowing myself to feel them. I boiled over. It was the Friday before Mother’s Day. Everything I was stuffing silently down inside came out. I sat in front of my husband and shook and cried, there were no words in that moment to even be said just my body doubling over in pain and tears and sobs that were to strong to choke in anymore.

I haven’t cried like that in quite sometime maybe since when we first came home from the hospital in those early months. My steadfast and gracious husband , for he has learned all to well now. For he didn’t try to speak or ask me what’s wrong for he knew this was not a time for words and he just held me. He held me till I was calm enough to make  into bed. And even then he didn’t leave me. And when sleep didn’t seem to find me he went and grabbed Everlee’s bear for me to hold. I simply don’t know what I would do without that man.

I think we both knew from there that this Mother’s Day was going to be just as hard as last years. That a year’s time didn’t change anything. I’m slowly realizing and accepting no matter how much time has passed any holiday seems to highlight the hole in my heart and make Everlees absense that much more felt. Time simply doesn’t heal a broken heart. Instead im learning not to rely on time to heal me but make my heartache a part of me by the way I chose to live each day after.

– “God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing”.        Joel 2:25 –

And I do believe God was able to help me restore that day ….. This Mother’s Day I was surrounded by my family and sweet surprises. There were lots of heartfelt wishes from friends that knew I was hurting still. I simply felt blessed with the gift of peace that day. I felt so much peace washing over my heart for that one day. It WAS a good day 🌻 We took Everlee with us the best way we knew how. Everlee’s bear spent the day with us giving my heart comfort that she was represented in a physical way.

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The day started out with coffee and breakfast in bed with Evey. The sun was shining through the window you could hear the birds singing songs of celebration. Alice carried me in breakfast that her and Daddy made. Giggling and smiling the whole time.

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I was showered with gifts that I didn’t expect, three flowers one from each one of my girls and a special ring from Evey, Jeremy was sure Everlee lead him to this special gift this year. The ring looked like it has angel wings wrapping around your finger. I actually had my eye on a similar one a few weeks ago. That’s how we know it really was Everlee. My family truly knows how to make me feel loved and always including Everlee in our gift giving. I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Alice made sure she signed her’s and Everlees name along with Emma’s and Jaydas.

We spent the day at the zoo and the zoos conservatory and japenease gardens. It’s one of my favorite places to visit on a sunny day. We brought Evey bear with us. What comfort this bear has given us all helping the hole of her physical absense. Evey bear got to chill with the gorillas, climb on a giraffe with Alice, laugh at the monkeys with us, take a picture on Toby the turtle. That way I get all my girls in one picture( minus Jayda who was not able to come). Evey bear got to see all the beautiful flowers that enjoy to look at and smell, watch the coy fish in the pond with Alice, enjoy the peace of the Japanese gardens and get a ride on Dad’s shoulders back to the car when our day was done.

I have realized how silly we might have looked, carrying this bear around all day and stopping to take pictures of her as if she were a person. But I’m at the point where I could care less, I think if they only knew who this bear represented. Who are family was missing that day and why we chose to bring that bear along, and how bad our hearts hurt. There would simply be no question as to why.

There was one lady I caught staring at Evey bear quite intensively as I waited for for my family to return with drinks at a table. She caught my eye and gave me an empathetic smile. I had to gather she must have known someone who shared a similar story and had a similar bear to ours.

It made my heart full of Joy to hear Everlees name spoken all day as we each took turns carrying Everlees bear around. Alice enjoyed giving her lots of hugs and kisses that day. We stopped to take a picture of Alice and Evey bear by the pond in the gardens. She held her close and was pointing out certain things to Evey bear gushing as strangers told her how cute she was.  That moment my heart was still, for in that moment my mind could picture perfectly my two little girls sitting on the rock together, Alice holding Everlee just as a good big sister should. I knew right there this was my healing moment I needed and why I was so thankful I listened to my heart and brought her bear with us. That was the moment my soul needed. Healing comes in all ways and this Mother’s Day it came through A bear, Everlees bear, that represents that beautiful little girl that my heart misses so much.

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I was thinking of so many this Mother’s Day, ones that miss their babies just like I miss Everlee. Ones that miss their own moms that aren’t here. Ones that wish they were a mother and are facing times of struggle with infertility. The ones who didn’t get recognized because their children are all in heaven. The ones who feel their hearts pulled as they have children here and in heaven. The ones who deserve to be recognized that sometimes don’t adoptative mothers, step mothers, guardians that give their all. All superheroes, all mothers.

I hope you all had a full day, felt loved and maganged your broken heart however you needed. I hope your day was gentle as was mine. I Leave you with this, recognize the hurt. It will be the greatest gift you can give the hurting. I was overwhelmed with how many took a moment out of their day to say some heart felt words to me or remember I was missing Everlee on that day. For anyone who has a child in heaven like I do, say their names out load on these important days.  let thier mommas know their child is still carried here on earth through remembrance. Let them hear thier names.

Listen to your heart, listen to your soul. For your heart and soul normally knows what it needs to heal. The challenge is to silence your mind and fears. The challenge is in faith and trust that He will carry us through.

May we all heal our broken hearts ….. 🌻

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My Leap of Faith

A Leap of Faith by definition is ….. an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.

A leap of Faith is not having it all figured out yet still moving forward. A leap of faith is suddenly knowing it’s time to start something new and TRUSTING in the magic of new beginnings.  A leap of faith is changing your thinking when you realize life will change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are in your comfort zone. A leap of Faith is making choices to reflect your HOPES, and not your fears. Sometimes what your most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.

So I Leapt today ….. trusting the net to appear.

Before I continue, I want to touch on the symbolization of Rainbows to the loss community and explain the term Rainbow baby for anyone who is not familiar…..

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I have personally always loved the term since I have heard of it. Loosing Everlee has created a huge storm of heartbreak, emotions, and struggles. Is Everlee the storm? Of course not! Its never the way I saw it. The storm was the mess of pain that entered my life and completely threw me off in every aspect and way.. And does a rainbow baby mean there will be no further struggle of course not. This baby is simply a sign of Hope and Light. A new Joy. A new little love to ease your aching arms. Easing an aching heart and reminding you good things still happen.

Jeremy and I are still waiting for our rainbow baby. The wait has been long and emotional. Hard is an understatement. We never imagined to be struggling from infertility. Its drained both of us in so many ways. These struggles seem to heighten our grief for Everlee even more. We wanted her, but here we are opening our hearts to another little one, that never seems to come.

Romans 12:12

” Let your hope make you glad. Be Patient in time of trouble and never stop praying.”

I haven’t stopped praying, nor will I, for another baby. Lately I have asked God in my prayers to take away my desire for a child if it’s just not meant to be. He hasn’t. I only feel that desire growing.  Therefore I know I will just have trust in Him. I believe He knows my heart and my desires for another child. I believe He gave me these desires, my heart was a broken mess after we lost Everlee and I never thought I could open my heart to want another child that was never going to be Everlee. But my heart was healed in that way. And I do so very want another baby. I believe in signs from heaven and I have learned God speaks to you in many amazing ways. To tell you the truth Jeremy and I were given this name, a perfect name we know we are meant to use. I have honestly always felt my girls have picked out their names before they were born and maybe that’s why I was always felt comfortable naming them before I saw them. I can say each one of my girls confirmed once they were here they were exactly who those names were meant for.  I just know and trust we will be able to use this new perfect name that has been placed on our heart. The When part is what I don’t know and waiting is hard and that’s where my leap of faith come in …….

There has been many rainbow babies being welcomed into the world lately. I have found myself shopping for each one lately searching for something a little extra special for each little miracle. Yesterday I found my heart strings being tugged a bit more. I’m so incredibly happy to see each one of these special babies born healthy and safely into this world. It brings me so much Joy to see my friends holding them watching their hearts smiling from the outside. But at the same time my heart continues to hurt, only wishing I can experience this too one day.

 

As I shopped for a special little girl I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with pings of pain wishing I could double the shopping experience and buy two instead of just one. I want so bad to be right there with my friends on this new journey. I can’t help but to feel left behind. Still stuck in the stillness of grief. My emotions got the best of me that night, there was no hiding the pain I silently carried anymore.  I told Jeremy how nice it was to hold that little baby in my arms and how I found myself picking a gift with a little special meaning behind it that I so wanted to be purchasing too. I’m so ready, yet it just doesn’t seem to be the right time. I have been trying to “wait well” for a baby, but last night my heart hurt knowing it really is exactly what I feel I need now and am missing after loosing Everlee. I got robbed from buying cute outfits and cute fuzzy animals for her to have. I feel the need to be able to do these things again, things like shop for a baby, something that continues to plagues my mind with anxiety every time I enter a store now.

You can see now how the pain of infertility ties into the pain of loosing Everlee. They both seem to plague me the same.

The name that has found it’s way to Jeremy and I’s heart for a future child, it’s very much a girl name. Both him and I feel strongly we were made to raise girls. Time will tell if our heart is right about this, I just can’t deny how we both feel we were given this name for a reason.

So I went back to the store today and took a giant leap of faith. I bought that same outfit with the rainbow on the back and that cute little fuzzy unicorn that played music. The lady checking me out was extra bubbly and starting chatting with me she then asked me is this for your baby or someone else’s? I looked at her and with out hesitation said Yes this is for my baby.

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I saw this cute little quote once that I held onto.

Lesson’s from a Unicorn….. There’s magic inside you. Anything is possible. Dreams can come true. You don’t need wings to fly. It’s OK to be different. And always believe in yourself even if nobody else does.

Between the magic of unicorns and the promises of rainbows the two seem to go hand in hand. We decided to call the unicorn Faith and can’t wait to put Faith in a new nursery one day probably decorated with rainbows and unicorns. This was such a giant leap for me, and it wasn’t painful it felt amazing. This is how much faith I have that we will have our rainbow baby, it will be us someday, and I’m not giving up.

I can write this now and smile wondering why it took me so long to get here. I am the mom who painted Emma’s room pink before they told me she was a girl I just knew. And I was the crazy girl that bought her wedding dress six months into dating before Jeremy even proposed to me, because I knew that we were going to get married and I would need that dress! I have been known to do these things. And today I got back a little of myself that used to trust In my heart more.

There was a time I felt like I knew something was wrong with Everlee and ever since then I have hated being in touch with my intuition. It wasn’t a happy ending and I didn’t want to be right then.

But today I let go of those fears …..

Instead today I did something terrifying and amazing at the same time. I didn’t let my fears lead me and I let my choice reflect my hopes for the future Instead! I found something that I was so afraid of freeing. I felt freed today. I fully committed to my dreams and fully placed my trust in the Lords plans for my family. I leapt.

There is a rainbow waiting for me too.

How Everlee has changed me

I was going to title this how grief has changed me, but when I thought about it I realized it’s not grief alone that has changed me. Grief comes from missing someone, a longing. A product from your love for them. My love for Everlee. So more appropriately I thought, How Everlee has changed me. If I only knew where my life was headed the first time I heard her little beating heart.

I decided to check in with myself recently write a list of things I feel have been blessings or something I’m thankful for now after loosing Everlee. I find myself doing this, so I continue to see the growth. Grief can feel never ending because it really will be, but I find myself needing to find this type of light, so it will allow me a great reminder why I continue on. Why I remain compassionate to myself and my hearts needs and by not pressuring myself to heal faster than I can.

I believe there will always be something beautiful to emerge, some blessings and growth from any situation. You just need to find it. And hang onto it.

“You were made to grow, and growth only happens in the places that you stay fragile and Brave enough to Break. Then you will break Free.”

This has been my quote to remeber lately. Growth happens in fragile places. Places were I break. Only then will I be able to break free. This is why I continue to share my broken heart and spirit. Vulnerability brings braveness. And in braveness you will find freedom.

And all this growth, braveness and new free nature …. It All brings me back to Everlee. My littlest love. My sweet little girl. My angel in my dreams. My sunshine in the dark. It’s amazing how much love resides within me for her. It’s amazes me how such a little girl with such a short life has impacted hearts and changed those closest to her.

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So how has Everlee changed me …..

– I feel as though my eyes have opened to greater beauty around me. As I gaze upon the ocean I focus on the line where the sea reaches the sky. So vast and great is our world. Beauty in the delicate nature of a flower how each petal forms into a little masterpiece. Beauty in the sky how I feel as though it’s a glimpse into the heavens as you watch the sun rise and set through out the day. Beauty is all around us, it is ready to be found in the eye of the beholder.

-Everlee has taught me how to express love in many differant ways. For she is not even here and I still feel I can find ways to love her from here to heaven. I find myself expressing my love now through writing, words that still need to be said and written even though she’s not here. I find love reaching through song. There are a lot of songs that allow me to feel connection to her. I send love through her garden and each flower or angel or special rock I add in there.                          Not only has she expanded me to find ways to send love to heaven, but my openness had allowed me to love those around me better, more expressly and more fully.

– Everlee has given me a heart for others pain. I feel like I can better serve and help now that I have felt such pain. I have the desire to reach out and comfort whenever possible. My heart is simply bigger now. Everlee has left such a hole but also has found a way to grow her mommas heart too.

-Pain and Grief has opened me up to the feelings of Joy. Joy is more recognizable now. Joy is always welcomed never stopped. I’m forever thankful for Joy like I’ve never been before. Even simple joy is treasured.

-The amount of carnage grief has left my body in my idea of healthy is forever differant. For healthy is a mind, body and soul combination. Each important and worthy of the care. Healthy goals will forever be different now for it might be a book for my mind or a walk with prayer for my soul. As well as the physical aspect as healthy. I’ll never take for granted the strength it takes to keep yourself healthy as a whole.

– Everlee has opened up my heart to a deeper connection with our Heavenly Father. For I wanted to know the One that keeps her safe. I have had many talks with loss moms and it never surprises me to see such deep faith brimming from them. He is close to the broken-hearted. I have never felt his presence nearer. Or understood how he speaks to you. How you can have a personal relationship with him. I’m thankful for the signs and gifts from heaven. I’m thankful for the reassurance and guidance.

– Everlee has brought her mom and Dad together in a way I would have never imagined. Our love for one another runs so deep. I fully understand how to love someone fully, you should need them and let them need you. I gladly grab his hand knowing together we can get through whatever. The silly things that used to plague our relationship are no more. We enjoy eachother and realize what we have now is a gift.

-Everlee has placed many other loss mommas on my heart. I have found amazing and instant connections with complete strangers and know that we only have our angels to thank for our paths crossing. To know our angels are together is great comfort. Sharing your grieving hearts. Knowing that this person will always know your pain. For their pain is yours. You grow and wage through the unknown together. These mommas will love your little angel as their own. Another great gift and blessing.

-My new found love for sunflowers my gift from Everlee the day she went to heaven. How pure and simple this one flower is and can brighten my day. It Reminds me of my daughters beauty and how She lives on in this world still. Also reminding me to stand tall and face the sun and light and enjoy the warmth it sends.

-Everlee has opened my heart to a lot but I know the journey from here on out will only be more fulfilling more meaningful and more joyful because she came in my life. And because I was chosen to be her momma. I have a new understanding, new faith, and new goals to guide me. A lot of love to give and a lot of beauty to see and find. My brokenness will set me free.

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A dream from Aiden

Today I want to talk about a special little boy, whom I never got to meet, but has a very special spot in my heart. Today is Aiden’s Birthday. Today we celebrate him even though he’s not here to blow out his candles.

Aiden’s momma came into my life after our losses. We were both attending a retreat to help grieving parents. I remember Briana was worried she was placed in the wrong group for Aidens story was a little different than all of ours. They lost Aiden to a rare disease ,one that has no cure as of now, when he was about 15 months old. I think both her and I know now she was placed in the perfect group. For we were meant to meet. That is very clear now.

Since the day I met Briana it didn’t take us long to become instant friends. We are a lot alike in many ways but different in others. And I think those differences especially in our grief for Aiden and Everlee only make our friendship work better. She always helps me see those hard things from a side that I can’t see to begin with. It was one of those things you knew you were meant to meet this person for a reason. An instant love for them and what they bring to your life. One of the good and amazing things to form out of such great loss.

A while after I met Briana I was blessed with the most amazing dream. Everlee and Aiden were together. This dream couldn’t have been more affirming to why we were meant to be in eachothers life. A dream I’ll never forget. And always feel like I knew Aiden even though I met Briana after he was already gone.

The dream happened last summer before Everlees birthday. It was a hard month leading up to that date and my emotions were all over the place. But at this time I had already experienced a dream about myself dieing. It was awful I was trying to get to Jeremy and Alice but I couldn’t because I was dead. It was an awful feeling being separated from them. The dreams of me dieing continued that week. Night after night.

And the last night Aiden and Everlee found me. In this nightmare I was running from people trying to kill me, it was a dark and desolate land and I just kept on screaming I don’t want to die …….. And the best way I can describe this next part is two little hands reached out to grab mine, I was pulled into a beautiful place, a much different place than I was. It was almost like an ice castle glistening with color and beauty. I looked down to see who the little hands belonged to and Everlee and Aiden were staring up at me holding eachothers hands and one in each of mine.

I have had dreams with Everlee before but this is the first time she was with someone. She looked just like she always did when she comes to me, blonde curly hair blue dress about four years old. But I could tell in her eyes this wasn’t supposed to be a moment for me and her. For she wanted me to meet the little boy next to her. She placed Aidens other hand in mine and was gone.

Aiden looked just like the many pictures I had seen of him. I sat there with him and as he showed me countless memories. Most of Christmas. We blew bubbles together and I remeber wanting to take a picture of him for his mom. He looked at me the same was his mom does when she thinks I’m being silly with my picture obsession. He said no this was just for me right now. I felt like he was showing me I needed to go to his mom that she was meant to help me.

And just like that he was gone. I was standing on the desolate street again. I looked down at my feet and Aiden had left me a Polarid picture. I picked it up and smiled right before I woke up. That was the last of my nightmares.

I told Bri right away about the dream. I asked about the Christmas memories. Doing the math in my head it made sense, I thought that must have been right before Aiden got sick and his health started to decline. Sure enough it was. Some months later Briana got all those pictures out from that Christmas. I’ll never forget when I was looking through them. It brought me right back. I had seen it all in the dream! Aiden showed me these exact moments I was now looking at. Ones Briana had never showed me before. But I had seen in my dream.

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I feel so overwhelmed with comfort To know that Everlee and Aiden are together now.  They probably meant for us two and wanted their mommas to meet. And I’m so thankful for the dream I felt like I got to meet Aiden in that dream. The little boy I had heard so much about. Aiden will always have a special spot in my heart. I love him. And think of him. And know Everlee is in heaven celebrating with him today.  I told her to give Aiden a big happy birthday hug from me today. We all wish Aiden was still here today. But I’m so glad those two have eachother.

Just like I have Aidens momma in my life now. It’s one of those blessings from hardship. Something I’ll always be thankful for.

Happy 3rd Birthday Aiden ❤️ Sending all my love to you up to heaven today. Wishing you a joyous day. Sending love to the Koch family. May you feel peace as you celebrate your precious little boy today. A little boy that will always be remembered. Aiden is so loved and I hope you feel that today too. I’ll never forget that big smile of his. He’s smiling down on you today.

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-dedicated to Aiden James Koch 3/30/14 – 6/17/15

A Dream that’s hard to give up …..

The very moment we were confirmed Everlee was indeed a girl, pictures of the future together with all my girls were erupting in my mind. It’s like your whole future flashes before your very eyes. My hopes and dreams made new with this new addition. For it now contained a little girl named Everlee.

I imagined all the more pink Jeremy would be swimming in. I imagined how much Alice would love to have a little playmate. The dolls and Barbies that would fill our house. Two girls growing up close in age. Allowing them the opportunity to be best friends for eachother. I imagined how as they got older fights about bathroom time and eachothers clothes might become a problem. They would get to be at highschool together. We would have one graduation right after another. Maybe weddings too.

It was a good picture, a good future I saw. A complete and whole one. Till the day when we found out that dream was never to become an actual reality. It forever remains what if now, and what could have been. It forever haunts me in a way now. Something that was never meant to be but felt so possible and real at the time. It felt like it was mine to have. A type of a dream that is hard to give up on.

I knew I needed some time to heal after loosing  Everlee. I wanted to give myself a year to heal physically and mentally. There was a time in that year when I was asked pretty regularly if I was going to have anymore children. And at the time it took everything out of me not to scream “why would you ask that” because at the time I just wanted Everlee. The thought of another child and what that meant to me was too hard to comprehend. The only child that would feel right in my arms would be her, and all the plans I had I wanted back on the table. But that wasn’t a possibility so I knew at one point I had to let that go. Everlee couldn’t come back no matter how hard I wished it. If only my love was enough to save her, I don’t even think I would be here writing this today.

There was this one defining moment that changed my heart, a moment where I got to hold my friends newborn baby son in my arms. He was her rainbow baby (a baby born after a loss) she was blessed with after loosing her first son. I remember how instantly I was filled with this joy and new love for this little baby sleeping in my arms. He helped me feel what hope felt like that day. And I knew I was finally ready to open my heart to another. I was ready to Welcome in new joy to our home and fill our hearts with hope of our own.

Soon after our journey of trying to conceive began. A journey I never knew would end up being this hard and draining. Something I’m still wondering why my heart was opened to if it maybe will never come to pass.

I guess God never promised life to be easy, so I’m not sure why I let myself assume anything should be. We simply were promised that we would never be alone. That He would carry us in our times of trouble. Maybe I felt like In a sense God would right what happened. I felt I had earned some easy sailing after the hard storms I already passed through.

It took months to open my heart up to prospect of welcoming a new baby that would never be Everlee again. But the promise of hope and new Joy to fill our lives again was worth trying for. Or conquering a fear that we might loose another child.

But every month my excitement over the process seemed to slowly disappear. Instead of Hope and Joy I was filled with desperatation and longing. Longing for a child that has never yet even been. Grieving yet again another loss. Infertitly is another loss in itself. The loss of a dream. A loss of a assumed future.

The dream I thought I had given up and lost with Alice and Everlee I found myself holding onto hoping I could still find that future I so desperately wanted with a future child. But as time kept ticking by so did that age gap. Alice is now three and a half. We now are looking at a four and half to five year age gap. I think a part of me thought if we had another baby sooner than later that never ending image of two girls growing up together that my mind is plagued with would release its grip on my thoughts a bit. I felt so cheated. And yet again, here I am being cheated all over again.

We have tried everything, and I mean everything. Every vitamin or supplement or special diet you could think of. Every tea, every essential oil, special lotion, candles for fertitly. Every different way of timing, position. Destressing our lives, tricking ourselves into thinking we aren’t trying.  Really there is nothing I haven’t heard of or given a shot. And still there is nothing to show for the countless efforts we have put forth.

And every month you tell yourself you will not waste any more money on tests. But by the end of the month, it never fails, your hope and positivity are built back up at this point and you think well maybe this is it. So you take the test, burning a hole staring at it, hoping for that line to show up. But it never does. Another negative test sitting in the garbage. You feel stupid you allowed the hope to return and disappointed you wasted more money that you literally have thrown in the trash.

I find myself at a point where I feel like I’m begging God in my prayers now. Ultimately I think this will have to be left up to Him and His timing. Im not ready to give up yet. But completely handing over your burdens to Him is hard. Maybe that comes from the independent side of me and my need for control. Still after all this time, I find myself grasping at the need for this false sense of control over my life and future.

To say this has left Jeremy and I furustrated is an understatement. And to all those who tell me “it will happen” please explain to me how you would know. Or to the ones who say ” you must not be believing hard enough it will happen” how would I not be believeing hard enough? Trust me I hope and wish on it everyday. Then there’s “you must be trying too hard” ok well how is this going to happen if I don’t try at all?

Maybe this is why this part is even less talked about then losing a child. A silent heartbreak. Understanding someone’s grief for their child is hard, but trying to understand grief for someone that has not even came to be is even harder. Im fully aware they don’t because I never understood until I was here. And maybe that’s why I’m telling you all this today, to try to make someone understand this new heartbreak that has entered our lives.

I was ready to mother Everlee. I was ready for the countless hours at night trying to rock her to sleep. I was ready to shower her with love and kisses. I was ready to see Alice be a big sister. I was ready to see Daddy holding two little girls in his arms. I was ready for a whole lifetime with her. I was ready for it all.

I still feel ready…  Ready to mother another child. Ready to use that rocking chair again. Ready to dig out the crib and finally see Alice holding her sibling in her arms. Alice is a great sister to Evey her baby sister who lives in heaven, but I’m ready for her to experience that with a sibling here. I’m ready to welcome another lifetime with someone ……

But we still wait. We hold on to Hope our own rainbow will still come. But like I said ultimately I will have to leave it up to God now and his timing.

Lamentations 3:25-26 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord