Friday, February 25, 2011

So Much for Pretending

I sit a lot and pretend a lot. I know it's not healthy and doesn't achieve anything, but it is so nice to just pretend for a few minutes that she didn't die. Here's how it goes...

October 1st, 2010 -
We go in for our ultrasound and see Nathan. "He looks great. We think he's close to 7 pounds. He's got a strong heartbeat. Looks like he is growing and doing great." Then we see Alexis. "She also looks great. We think she is about 6 and a 1/2 pounds. Look at that strong heartbeat. She is growing really well." We talk to the doctor and she says, "Things are looking great for both babies. I really believe you will be able to carry the babies until your scheduled c-section in a few weeks."

October 22nd, 2010 -
We arrive for our scheduled c-section. I get prepped for delivery. I am laying on the table and hear a strong cry. "It's a boy!!!" Lee tells me that Nathan looks perfect. A couple of minutes later I hear another strong cry. "It's a girl!!!" Lee tells me that Alexis looks perfect. I start to cry tears of immense joy. Then a few minutes later Lee brings over the precious babies. I look at each of them and they look the same. I kiss them both, tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so happy and overwhelmed with gratitude to God. I get in my room and the babies are brought in. They are just beautiful. All of our family and friends come in and hold them. It is the greatest day of our lives.

We bring the babies home. It's crazy and overwhelming, but we are so thrilled to have two precious babies. They grow and change more and more each day. They sleep together, play together, and it's so fun watching them together.

I know it's silly to play this game, but it feels so good to just pretend sometimes.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I got a positive pregnancy test for the twins. It was so exciting. I called Lee, my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sister. I was so excited!!! Who would have known that a month later we would see two heartbeats, 14 weeks later we would find out we were having a boy (Nathan Reid) and a girl (Alexis Faith), and 31 weeks later I would have the worst day and one of the best days of my life all wrapped up into one day.

It's been one of the best years of my life. I got to be pregnant with two precious babies. I got to grow two lives in my body. I got to hear, "It's twins!" "It's a boy!" "It's a girl" I got to have 3 awesome baby showers and get spoiled with gifts and fun (and lots of yummy cake). I got to decorate the most beautiful nursery. I got to anticipate so many wonderful things. I got to have my precious son, Nathan Reid. He has been the biggest blessing in my life. He has given me joy and happiness on days when I would've just liked to stay in bed away from the world. When he smiles I see hope.

It's been the worst year of my life. A lot of the above was crushed when I heard, "Baby B doesn't have a heartbeat." Baby B was my sweet Alexis Faith. It was the worst day of my life when I lost her. It has been really hard these past few months.

It's been a crazy year - lots of happiness, sadness, joy, grief, pain, heartache, and overwhelming closeness to the Lord. The one thing I know for sure in all of this is that God is the same today as we was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He has me in His hands and won't drop me. He will carry me through each day of my life. He understands my pain.

So Glad I Blogged

When I was pregnant with Luke we were not in the digital age quite yet. We were a little behind, so we didn't have a digital camera or camcorder, so I only have a handful of pictures from my pregnancy. I only took a few notes on my pregnancy and never even thought to blog the entire thing.

This time, since I was a little more digital and was having twins, I decided to take progressional pictures each week and blog and Facebook them. In addition, I would blog my thoughts on a pretty regular basis. Each week I would fill in a survey of what the pregnancy was like.

At times I wondered if I was being self-indulgent and I probably was, but I am so thankful that I did it all. I only had 35 weeks with my Alexis Faith and I am glad that I chronicled it all. Now I can see pictures of my belly and know she was alive and well and I was so happy growing her and Nathan each week. I can read all the details of my pregnancy including my thoughts about the babies.

I have a horrible memory unless things are written down so I am glad that I can go back and read things and it jogs my memory. I am just so glad I blogged.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lost Innocence

When I was pregnant with Luke I had this innocence. I found out I was pregnant and told the whole world (well everyone that I knew). I never worried one second about anything and the word "miscarriage" was foreign to me. I had a perfect pregnancy and didn't even have an ounce of morning sickness. Yes you can hate me. LOL. I did get to carry him an "extra" 8 days and had a 26 hour labor with a c-section to finally get him out, so I guess I got some payback for such a smooth pregnancy. I had no fears, no worries. I just assumed, "You get pregnant, you stay pregnant, and you have a baby at the end."

Then a few years down the road, I got pregnant again. Again, I had this innocence about me. Again, I told everyone including my 500 Facebook friends. And then the unthinkable happened...I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. I never thought in a million years that I would lose a baby. I knew it happened but I just didn't think it would happen to me. I lived in a little bubble of innocence. The doctor called it a "chemical pregnancy" and told me I would probably get pregnant really easily again and it probably wouldn't happen again.

Well a couple of months later, I was pregnant again. I was so happy but this time I had my concerns, "What if I have an early miscarriage again? What if it doesn't take? I don't think I could go through that again." Well at almost 8 weeks, I started spotting. I just knew it was happening again. I was so sad. When we went for the 8 week ultrasound I just wanted to see a healthy baby. I got my prayer times two. We saw two healthy babies. I remember seeing that second heartbeat and just being so happy and overwhelmed with gratitude to God.

I remember being a little nervous about losing one or both because I knew that the chances were higher. When we got to 12 weeks and saw them both so perfect on the ultrasound I was relieved. I had gotten to "THE SAFETY POINT." You know, all the bad stuff happens in the 1st trimester, or so I innocently believed. I thought that we were good to go. I enjoyed the 2nd trimester feeling the kicks, feeling better, eating, and growing our babies. We had extra ultrasounds so I got to see that they were perfect everytime. It was awesome. I just knew everything was going to be okay.

Fast forward to our 35 week ultrasound. On October 1st, 2010, I heard the worst news I've ever heard in my life, "Baby B doesn't have a heartbeat and has passed away." Baby B was my sweet Alexis Faith. I've never hurt or cried so hard in my life. I've never seen my husband so broken. It was the worst day of my life coupled with one of the best days of my life as it was the day our son, Nathan Reid, was born. It was the most surreal day of my life. I had to experience such joy and such pain within seconds of each other.

The past few months have been filled with happiness, sadness, joy, grief, pain, heartbreak, and lots of personal and spiritual reflection. One of the harder things to deal with is my lost innocence. Everytime I hear of a baby about to be born, I wonder, "Will they be still born?" I never thought of that before in my life. I just assumed, "You get pregnant, you stay pregnant (especially when you get to a certain point), and you have a baby at the end." Now I always wonder, "Will they actually have a baby at the end?"

I hate that I wonder that. I hate that the first thing my mind goes to is stillbirth or miscarriage. I hate that my innocence is gone.

I know that if I get pregnant again that I will give the pregnancy and baby to God just like I always do, but I know that I will have those thoughts creep in. "Will there be a baby at the end?" I will enjoy my pregnancy and hope and plan and prepare, but I know that those thoughts will creep in. I am praying now that God will give me complete peace and comfort for any future pregnancies and babies I may have.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family's life.

Normal is feeling like you can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming, because you just don't like to sit through anything.

Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand what if's & why didn't I's go through your head constantly.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind, holding your head to make it go away.

Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he is my baby's age. And then thinking of the age they would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.

Normal is telling the story of your child's death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember them.

Normal is that everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you - it doesn't compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because..." I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why healthy babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.

Normal is being too tired to care if you paid the bills, cleaned the house, did laundry or if there is any food.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have a child, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have no children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.

And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Butterfly

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
and beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.
Author Unknown

The Bereaved Mother

“Do not judge the bereaved mother.
She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”
–Author Unknown

I found this on another grieving mother's blog and it spoke to me in so many ways.

I know this woman.

I am this woman.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Grief is Like the Ocean

I've heard grief described like the ocean. You are out in the ocean and sometimes the water is really calm, peaceful even. You could just float and look at the sun and feel warmth and peace come over you. Then there are the times when there are a few waves, you know the kinds you just sort of float with. They aren't so bad. You can deal with them. Then there are the times when the waves seem to just keep coming and pounding you, even to the point of pushing you under the water for a few seconds. You think you might even drown because they are so rough. The ones that are the worst are the ones when you are enjoying the calm peace and all of a sudden a huge wave crashes down on you.

I can honestly say that is one of the best descriptions I've heard for grief. I know it is so true because I go through the ocean everyday. Some days it's calm and even enjoyable. I can enjoy my life, feel the sun, enjoy God's glory, laugh, and even think of Alexis and smile. Then there are the days when I see a baby girl or twins or hear Alexis' name and I just sort of bounce with it now (those used to be hard waves). Then there are the days when I just want to get in bed and cry until the pain stops. Everything makes me sad. I get angry and yell (usually in my head), "WHY ISN'T SHE HERE?!?!?!?!?!?!" It feels like wave after wave beating down on me. I just want to get out from the undertoe and back on shore but I can't do it. I can't swim hard enough. Then there are the times when things are going okay like before and all of a sudden a huge wave crashes down on me and I just lose it. I don't know where it comes from. It just hits me so hard. That is usually followed by lots of rough waves.

The great thing about this analogy is that God created the world and He created the ocean. He created it huge and magnificant. He knows that the waves are going to come and that they are going to come hard at times. He knows everything that we go through. He knows how we feel. He understands. If you look in the Bible there are a few key stories that go along with this analogy that bring me comfort.

Moses and The Red Sea - When Moses was freeing the Israelites from Egyptian rule, he got to the Red Sea and God parted it so they could get through and be free. The Egyptians were taken out. Sometimes I just need God to part the waters so I can just go through them without being overtaken.

Jesus Calms the Sea - When the disciples were scared of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus calmed it. I know that I am scared of this storm in my life. I wonder, "Will I get through it? Will I make it?" But I know that Jesus will calm the seas.

Jesus Walked on Water - Jesus walked on water (the Sea of Galilee) to get to the disciples. No matter how rough the water gets and even if I feel all alone, I know that Jesus will walk on that water to get to me.

There is a great song that gives me so much comfort when I hear it or sing it. Here are the lyrics. There is also a link to hear Selah sing that and I Need Thee Every Hour (another great song for life).

When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea
When I cry for help, oh, hear me, Lord and hold out Your hand
Touch my life
Still the raging storm in me

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Father Daughter Dates/Dances

With Valentine's Day coming up I have heard about or seen a couple of things regarding "Father Daughter Dates/Dances". To be honest, it makes me cry. I know that Alexis Faith would have only been a few months old this Valentine's Day, but I know down the road Lee would have taken her on dates throughout the year, and would have definitely taken her to Father Daughter Dances (and maybe she would have even gotten him to dance).

I don't know what the future holds for us, if we will have more kids or even daughters, but it breaks my heart thinking of the things we will never get to do with Alexis Faith.

What brings me happiness in the midst of my sadness and even pity parties is knowing that she is dancing with her Heavenly Father. I can only imagine what my beautiful daughter looks like twirling holding onto Jesus' hand.

Weird Things People Say

First off let me start this post by saying that I am pretty sensitive these days. I am really emotional and it doesn't take much to bring my loss to the front of my mind (if it isn't already there). Also, I try my best to give grace to people especially if they don't know our situation.

Well today, Lee, Luke, Nathan, and I went to get haircuts (Nathan didn't get one obviously). The lady saw that we had two boys and of course doted on Nathan. When we got to the chair she said,


Obviously it took my breath away and I had to hold back my emotions. I just wanted to say, "I AM BLESSED TO HAVE MY BOYS, BUT I WISH I HAD MY BABY GIRL WITH ME, BUT SHE IS GONE." Of course, I said nothing. I thought of it the whole time she was doing my hair and have thought about it since.

I give grace to her, but it really makes me think, "I hope I've never said anything that has hurt someone who has gone or is going through something really difficult." I am sure that I have and I pray that God forgives me and those people have forgiven me as well. I think we just really need to think before we say stuff.

I have countless friends who have struggled with infertility, miscarriage, and even stillbirth and infant loss. To hear the things they've been told breaks my heart. I just pray that God puts a guard over my mouth in every area, but especially in accidentally hurting someone who is already hurting.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mother of the Bride

The other night I was watching one of my favorite shows, One Tree Hill. Please don't judge. It was an episode where one of the main characters got married and was a beautiful bride. Even though she and her mother have a unique relationship (hey they all do on TV, right), she was there even though her father wasn't and walked her down the aisle. Even though in my dreams Alexis' daddy, my wonderful husband, would have walked her down the aisle (God willing of course), it made me cry.

When I was pregnant with Alexis I would envision our life together and one of my big visions would be of her wedding. She would say, "Momma and Daddy, I'm getting married." We would plan a beautiful wedding and we would go to a bridal boutique and pick out the perfect dress. Then on the night before, I would tell her how proud I was of the Godly beautiful woman she had become and that she was going to make a great wife and mom. I was going to tell her what a honor and blessing it had been to raise her. Then on the big day everyone would leave the room and I would help her zip up her dress, put her veil on, fluff her dress, and give her a big hug and tell her "I love you."

I know that we don't know what life will bring or how things will go, but it is so fun to dream. I know that I may have other children and maybe even daughters and get to enjoy their lives with them, but I will always remember the dreams and plans I had for Alexis.

Today at McDonald's

I took Luke to meet some great church friends today at McDonald's. Right when we got there he ran off and started playing with the most precious girl. She had big brown eyes and long dark brown hair. She was just beautiful. A few minutes later he yelled to me, "Hey mommy, guess what my friend's name is? ALEXIS!!!"

At first it took my breath away, but then I just smiled. Not that I know what Alexis would have been like, but I envisioned a dark brown eyed, dark brown haired, smiley little girl (just like myself). I thought she would be fun and spunky (just like Luke and myself). That's what that little girl was like. Luke played with her for a long time.

When I think about Alexis I feel a myriad of different feelings (sometimes more than one at the same time). I feel sadness that she isn't here with us, I feel happiness that she is with Jesus in Heaven, I feel anger that I'll never get to enjoy having my daughter here on earth, I feel disappointment that I will never get to have those mother-daughter times with her here, etc.

I know that life goes on, but I also know that anytime I hear Alexis' name or see girls that remind me of what I thought she would be like or any of the other reminders of her (butterflies, sweet baby girl stuff, and twins), I will feel different feelings. That is normal and a part of life without the ones we love. I don't ever want to forget her and know that I won't. That's the amazing thing about being a mother. You carry your children and love them before you ever hold them. Thank You God for that!