Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dreams I Had When I Was Pregnant

I had a few dreams about the babies when I was pregnant.

I shared this one on my twins blog because it was really sweet:

I was pretty pregnant (I didn't look as big as I think I will by the end). I saw a calendar and was counting the days. There were about 5 days until my due date of October 15th. October 15th isn't set in stone, but it is my 37 week mark and that is the time they usually plan a c-section with twins. So, I have the babies. It doesn't seem too bad (which is definitely a dream because having a couple of babies pulled out of your tummy via an incision won't be a walk in the park). Then comes the best part...I see them. They are beautiful and they look exactly the same. They have perfect noses, sweet mouths, beautiful eyes, some hair, and are just so precious. Then I find out that one is a boy and one is a girl.

It's really weird because I had the babies early in my dream. I ended up having them 10 days earlier. The c-section wasn't that bad. I did have a boy and a girl and they did look a lot alike according to the nurse and from what I could tell by Alexis' ultrasound picture and Nathan's newborn picture. Both of them had perfect noses, sweet mouths, some hair, and were precious. Nathan has beautiful eyes and I would imagine Alexis did as well. That dream was pretty close.

I had these two weird dreams that I didn't share with too many people because I didn't think they would matter:

In the first dream, I dreamt we were at church and went to pick the babies up from the nursery but there was only one baby. I don't know who it was but I was upset because there was only one baby.

In the second dream, Lee, Luke, and I were in a big city (like New York City) pushing a stroller and walking around. I went to look in the stroller and we only had Nathan with us.

It's just so weird that I had two dreams about only having one baby and in at least one of them it was only Nathan. I don't know if dreams can really tell us anything, but it seems in this case they were on point. So strange.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It seems like everywhere I go or anything I do, I am confronted with reminders of my loss (not that I really need reminders). Since Alexis was a twin, whenever I see twins, especially boy-girl twins, it reminds me of what I was so excited about only 3 weeks ago. We've been watching a lot of shows on Netflix since I am nursing/pumping 8 hours a day and holding Nathan for what seems like the rest.

Our favorite shows all seem to have twins on them:

- Jon & Kate Plus 8 (the older episodes) - Mady & Cara are twins, plus they have a daughter named Alexis Faith

- Little People, Big World - the oldest two are twins

- 17 (18) Kids and Counting - they have two sets of fraternal twins (the older set is boy-girl twins and they are prominently featured on the show)

- Rugrats - Phil & Lil are twins

When I go places I am reminded of things that I planned to do with them:

- At the park I see the baby swing that I planned to put them back to back in

- When we get out the stroller I think about the double stroller that we were going to use to put our two precious babies in

When we are sitting around at night watching TV after Luke is in bed and I am holding Nathan, I feel like Lee should be holding Alexis. We talked about this all the time.

As we put things away that we had planned to use for her/both of them (like the double stroller, the double co-sleeper, and of course all of her stuff), it is just such a reminder that the world we planned with Luke and our twins, Nathan and Alexis, is just so different. To be honest, it just doesn't feel right at all.

I cling to the knowledge that God has a perfect plan for everything and that He works all things together for the good, but it doesn't make it easy, just bearable at this point. I know that I will think of her and be reminded of her forever.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Selah - I Will Carry You (Audrey's Song)


When we were getting everything ready for Nathan and Alexis' nursery, we chose blue elephants for Nathan and pink butterflies for Alexis. In her passing, the butterfly has become my reminder of her. My mother-in-law got me a necklace that has an amethyst (my birthstone) butterfly on it. I wore it to her funeral service and plan to wear it frequently (even though I am not big on jewelry). We are putting a butterfly on her headstone. My mom and mother-in-law put together a garden in her memory with the flowers from her funeral service. We have a step stone with a beautiful butterfly on it.

And here is the best butterfly story:
During Alexis' funeral service I saw a beautiful yellow butterfly flying around. No one else saw it. When Lee, Luke, and I went back for some alone time with her, I saw a yellow butterfly again. I believe in my heart that it was the same butterfly and that it was a reminder from God that everything was going to be okay.

I know that everytime I see a butterfly I will be reminded of my precious baby girl. In fact, we kept the butterfly decoration up in the nursery as a reminder for Nathan (and everyone else) that our baby girl is always a part of our family. She may not be here physically, but she will forever be here in our hearts and minds.

I Will Carry You Lyrics

I Will Carry You
By: Selah

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One who's chosen Me
To carry you

My Letter to Alexis Faith

When I was a little girl, I longed to be a mommy. I had countless baby dolls, loved on every baby that came my way, and babysat anytime I could. For me, being a mommy had to be the greatest experience in the whole world. I thought of the day when I would have children of my own and it made me so happy. I was so thrilled when we had Luke and loved being a mommy so much that I longed to have more children.

On February 24th, I took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant. I was so excited that I took one or more every single day until I finally believed it. We had been praying to get pregnant for months (well really for years) and we were over the moon when we did.

A few weeks later on March 25th, we went for our first ultrasound and were thrilled when we saw your brother, Nathan. Then the ultrasound technician said, “And here’s something you probably weren’t expecting.” I said, “Twins?!” and the nurse said, “YES!” She said, “Well it may just be an empty sac but I am going to check.” Daddy and I both immediately said, “Please let it be another healthy baby.” When we saw and heard your heartbeat, the tears and laughter started. Even though we never planned to have twins, we were elated. We knew immediately that God had a perfect plan and we were thrilled about it.

Over the weeks we got even more excited thinking about your names and what your genders would be and what you would be like. On June 4th, we went for the big ultrasound where we would find out your genders. I had a strong feeling at least one of you would be a girl. First we saw Nathan and we were thrilled. Then we saw our precious baby girl. We were so excited to have a little girl. We decided to name you Alexis Faith because it means “defender” and “faith”. We thought it was the perfect combination for our sweet girl.

I spent the next 17 weeks feeling your kicks, watching my belly move, and just loving carrying both you and your brother. It was the greatest experience of my life growing both of you. I felt like God really gave me a double miracle.

I thought about you all the time and dreamt about what we would do together, my first born daughter and me. I thought about all of the holidays and birthdays we would celebrate. I thought of brushing your beautiful brown hair (yes I knew you would have brown hair) at night as we talked about life. I thought about taking you horseback riding and painting your nails. I thought about the day you would get your ears pierced and how we would go for ice cream to celebrate. I thought about the countless hours we would spend in the kitchen, me teaching you how to bake from scratch and knowing that one day you would be baking for your own family. I thought of the day that you would accept Jesus Christ into your heart and how I knew you would never be the same. I thought about you graduating from high school and college and going out into the world a strong, Godly woman who would make an impact for Jesus. I thought about you finding your Godly husband and telling us that you were getting married. I thought about helping you plan your wedding. I thought about the day that Daddy would walk you down the aisle and give your hand over to your husband and the tears of happiness I would be crying from the front row. I thought about the days you would bring our grandchildren into the world. I thought about all the Mommy-Daughter days we would spend together making memories that would fill my heart and mind for the rest of my life. It gave me such a warm feeling knowing that we would be best friends. I loved you before I even met you. I knew you before you were even born.

With all of the plans I had for us, I know in my heart that God has a perfect plan for you. With all the love I have for you, I know God loves you more than I am even capable of. When I found out that you had gone home to be with Jesus, my heart ached more than it ever has. I can’t even put into words how it felt. But I know that He has a perfect plan and that all things work together for the good. He doesn’t make mistakes. I know you are in a perfect place that I can still only dream about. I know that one day Jesus will call me home and you will be there waiting for me. Until I see you again, I will dream of you each day, think of you each hour, and miss you all the time. Until then, I love you Alexis Faith.


Luke, Nathan, and Our Losses

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always wanted to be a mommy. I love children so much. Growing up I always loved playing mommy. I loved holding other people's babies and when I got old enough, I babysat all the time. I couldn't wait to grow up, get married, and have babies. Lee and I were blessed with Luke in January 2006. I wanted another baby when Luke got close to the age of 2. Lee and I discussed it and decided to wait a little longer since we had Luke so young (22 and 24).

In November of 2009 I found out that I was pregnant. I was ecstatic to say the least. Well on Thanksgiving morning I woke up and had some bleeding. Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that bleeding is usually not a good thing. Of course it was a holiday and the doctor couldn't see me until Monday morning. He said even if he did see me that if I was going to miscarry he couldn't do anything to prevent it. He also said I couldn't do anything to make it better or worse.

Over the course of the weekend, I passed two separate sets of gray matter. It was devestating to literally see my hopes of a baby (or babies) disappear. I was heartbroken. I went through a couple of months of all emotions - anger, sadness, frustration, disappointment. Then one Sunday morning in December, I was convicted about how I had been feeling and decided to lay it as well as my hopes of having more children at the altar. I prayed that God would do whatever His will was in my life and even if I never had more children that I would be content.

Well in February of 2010 I found out that I was pregnant again. I was over the moon excited. Since I had the miscarriage at 6 weeks, the doctor brought me in for bloodwork. My beta levels were high and tripled in 48 hours (doubling is the norm). I wondered if I was going to have twins since I thought I may have lost twins and my betas were so high and tripling, but figured I was probably just overthinking things.

At my 8 week appointment on March 25th, I got my first ultrasound. After what happened the last time I prayed that I would see a healthy baby. We did!!! She measured the baby and (s)he measured right at the due date. We saw the heartbeat and listened to it (one of the most amazing things in the world). The heartbeat was strong. Tears had already filled my eyes and my heart was full.

Then the technician said, "Here's something you probably didn't expect." I said, "Twins?!?!" She said, "YES!" I said, "Are you serious?!" She said, "YES!" Then we checked to make sure it wasn't just an empty sac. It's crazy how quickly Lee and I both thought, "Please let it be another healthy baby." Sure enough we saw another blob. She measured it and it measured around the same as the first. Then we saw another strong heartbeat. This time laughter filled the room.

Everything looked great. We got the whole run-down on twins (more check-ups, more ultrasounds, what else to expect). The due date was the same (November 5th) but they said we would try to make it to 38 weeks. To say we were thrilled would be an understatement.

I grew very quickly and felt movement very early on. It was so exciting feeling the babies grow and move in my belly. We went for more check-ups and ultrasounds. Things looked perfect each time.

On June 4th, we went for the big ultrasound where we would find out the genders. I had a strong feeling at least one would be a girl. First we saw Nathan and we were thrilled. Then we saw our precious baby girl. We were so excited to have a little girl. We decided to name her Alexis Faith because it means “defender” and “faith”. We thought it was the perfect combination for our sweet girl.

I kept growing and growing and feeling so much movement. It was so awesome growing the two babies. Everytime we went for check-ups and ultrasounds everything was perfect.

As we got into the home stretch I started having contractions but nothing was happening so I figured I would probably make it to the 38 week scheduled c-section. Well we went in for our 35 week ultrasound and we expected to hear, "Everything looks great. You are probably going to go pretty far."

The technician checked Nathan first and he was perfect, measuring ahead and had a strong heartbeat. Then she measured Alexis and she seemed to be measuring smaller and she didn't find the heartbeat. I wondered about it, but she just sent us to a room to wait for the doctor. As we waited I had this overwhelming feeling that something wasn't right as we have always seen and heard a heartbeat. I immediately prayed that whatever news we heard, God would be there to comfort us. I really just thought that maybe she wasn't growing as good and that we might have to have them early since we had discussed possible things that can warrant earlier delivery. When the doctor came in, she said, "I have some bad news." Immediately my heart sank. She said, "Baby B doesn't have a heartbeat and has passed away." At first they said it was Nathan, but I knew Baby B was Alexis. We were in limbo for a minute, but we found out it was definitely Alexis.

I immediately cried uncontrollably. I was completely overwhelmed with grief. I have to say that in the 9 years I have known Lee, I have maybe seen him shed a few tears a handful of times. To say he was overcome with grief is an understatement. We discussed going ahead and delivering Nathan. I will say that even though I was overwhelmed and my heart ached, I knew that God had His hands on Nathan and that everything would be great with him. Lee and I called our family and wept in the room until we could compose ourselves to leave and head home to get our stuff so we could head to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and they monitored Nathan and he was doing great - great heartbeat, very active. They scheduled my c-section for roughly 5:00pm since I had something to eat at 9:00am. The c-section went beautifully. I kept focusing on Scriptures that were encouraging. It took a while since I have had a c-section before and had a good amount of scar tissue, but at 5:45pm I heard the greatest sound in the world, Nathan crying. Immediately came the tears. At that point I was still hoping and praying that maybe the tech was wrong and I would hear my precious Alexis cry. Needless to say, I didn't. The nurse came and told me that Alexis was beautiful and looked just like Nathan. Lee brought Nathan over to me and I got to love and kiss on him. He is so beautiful and I believe he looks just like Daddy's baby pictures. I opted not to see Alexis as I knew that would be too much to handle while still finishing up my c-section.

We got everything finished up and I went to my room under the impression that Nathan would be in the NICU until 10:00pm (4 hours for observation). Well, he was doing so great that he came out in about an hour. I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to hold and kiss him. Lee and I had some time with him and then Luke came in and then family came in in groups. It was amazing having this precious heathy baby boy and enjoying him with our family.

Lee and I wanted to see Alexis and hold her and let our family have some time with her before we sent her to the morgue, but she didn't look good and it was too much for me to take, so I only saw her for a quick second and they went ahead and took her. I want to remember her from the sweet ultrasound pictures and active kicks in my belly for the past 35 weeks. They did give us a box with her footprints and some of her special items (blanket, hat, bracelets). I know we will cherish it forever.

Being in the hospital kept us in a little bubble. I didn't look forward to leaving because I knew that would mean we were going home with only one of our precious babies. I know it doesn't make sense, but I thought it would be harder at home than in the hospital. On Tuesday, October 5th, we were cleared to go home. When we got to the car seeing Alexis' empty carseat and the double stroller was almost unbearable.

When we got home it felt so weird to just be bringing home one baby. I had envisioned what it would be like to bring them both home so many times in my mind. The hardest part was going to their nursery that we had worked so hard on and seeing her precious baby girl crib stuff and her name on the wall. Opening the drawers and closet was heartbreaking as I saw all of her burp clothes, blankets, bibs, and clothes. The hardest thing was their coordinating stuff. I had envisioned them wearing their coordinating outfits so many times. I cried everytime I went in.

We had a funeral service for Alexis on Friday, October 8th. It was beautiful but heartbreaking. I cried uncontrollably the entire time. It was almost too much to take. I was thankful I had Lee, Luke, Nathan, and my mom to hold onto during the service. So many wonderful friends and family attended and had such kind words for us. That made it more bearable. Our pastor did a great job and he shared some great letters that my mom, my mother-in-law, and I wrote. Lee's cousin sang "The Old Rugged Cross" and a sweet girl from church sang "I Will Carry You." It was just perfect.

It's been so hard and I can't really completely explain all that I am going through, but I am hoping that this blog will be a great way to express it. I am not sure how often I will write here, but I will write as the need arises.

I am calling the blog "I Will Carry You" because of the song by Selah the perfectly describes a mother's loss of a baby. I will write the lyrics here as well as put the song in a playlist so you can hear it. I'll warn you now, that you will need tissues. It's a sad song even if you haven't gone through the loss of a child.

Why I Am Doing This Blog

I decided to start this blog because I really love writing/journaling/blogging and I thought it might be a healthy way to get out what I am feeling and hopefully encourage someone else that is going through suffering especially in the form of loss. I may be the only person who ever reads it and that is totally fine, but if others read it and are encouraged, then praise the Lord.