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Friday, July 31, 2009

Lessons I'm tired of being taught

Remember my sweet little puppy that so completely attached himself to me Monday morning? With a heavy heart, I must tell you that he lost his fight with Parvo this afternoon.

Really, I am at a loss for words.

I didn't even want another pet, but he wagged his sweet little tail into our family. I can honestly say I have never in my life been so attached to an animal... and so quickly. I would just sit in our rocker and hold him while I stroked his head... and he thumped his tail in approval. It was nice to have something in my arms, even if it was just a sweet little puppy.

I know if I hadn't of taken him in, he most likely would have died in the woods alone or something to that effect, but come on! This brings back all the pain and heartache I felt when I lost Wyatt just 61 days ago. I put my heart into every second I got with Wyatt, and for some reason, I've done the same with this puppy. I guess maybe because I don't have Wyatt here, so the puppy was the next best thing I had to "mother". (My other two children won't sit still long enough to let me cuddle on them)

I've spent my last couple of days pushing pedialyte down Patton's throat every 30 minutes because I've desperately been trying to keep him hydrated. I even slept on the floor with him when he was too sick to be rocked...

I'm sitting here holding the pieces of my heart in my hands again. I just started trying to piece it back together, and now, I'm wondering what's the point in trying? Before Patton got sick, I had a little piece of joy placed back in my life that I so desperately needed... Joy that left me when Wyatt couldn't stay here with me. I just want to be happy again, is it so much to ask?

You may think I am being completely ridiculous over being this upset from losing a puppy I just got on Monday, and, maybe you're right... but I'm heartbroken. I've been having a hard week in dealing with the fact that I'm living my life without Wyatt anyways...but this... this just adds more weight to the tons of bricks that were already on my chest suffocating me in the first place.

After Patton passed away, I sat on the couch and held him for quite a while. My mind was racing with thoughts like,"God, why are you doing this to me?" or "Please Lord, I really can't handle my heart breaking anymore", as I sobbed until I could hardly breathe. As I sat there wollowing in the mangled mess that used to be my heart, I hear my sweet daughter's voice singing. As I listen, I hear "God never fails... God never fails... God never fails... No, he NEEEVVVEEERR fails". I have never heard her sing that song up until now, but hearing her sing those words in her sweet little voice gave me enough strength to get off the couch and put Patton down.

I don't know what God's purpose in placing Patton in my life was, if he was just going to take him away again... but I don't know what his purpose in taking Wyatt away was either. Trust and Faith are two words that I am learning to hate! But I do trust that God knows best, and I do have faith in the fact that God truly, Never fails. Lord, I've learned my lesson in Faith and Trust... Please stop teaching them to me!


July Under The Tree

Another month's end, and you know what that means... time to meet under the tree and talk about our sweet little babies!
If you would like to participate please click here to follow and receive better instructions...

How do you see or imagine your baby/ies now that you do not have them with you?

I see Wyatt just as he was when he was here in my arms. The only exception is that his body is now whole and he is growing into a little butterball. He must look so much like his older brother Eli did when he was 2 months old. I can't say that I imagine him as being an angel... as lovely as the idea is, I personally don't believe it. I believe he is being cared for by loved ones that have gone on to heaven, and that he is in the presence of God himself. I imagine Wyatt has seen more in his 61 days of being in heaven, than he would have seen had he lived an entire lifetime here on earth. Really, what could I have possibly been able to show Wyatt that God couldn't? I'm sure the beauty and love I planned to show him pails greatly in comparison to the beauty and love God has already blessed my sweet, sweet baby boy with.

Below is a picture of my oldest son Eli at two months old... This is how I imagine Wyatt today, of course, with a more defined chin like his daddy and a little Elvis curl of his lip! Oh, how I wish I didn't have to imagine...

How did the loss of your last pregnancy affect your choices/decisions about the birth of your subsequent pregnancy?

Our loss is new...very new. As much as I would love to hold another baby in my arms, I am scared to death of looking at another child as "Wyatt's Replacement", or even worse, having to carry another baby to term with a fatal diagnosis.

Joseph and I wanted a truck load of kids... we aren't sure anymore. We honestly don't know if we will ever have the courage to try for another child. We are throwing around the idea of foster parenting or adopting later on down the road, but honestly, at this very moment, I can't see us getting pregnant again. Maybe once our hearts have healed a lot more, we may feel differently... Right now it just hurts too much to give it much more thought.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Ugly Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.

They are ugly shoes, uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes, they are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Author unknown


My Very Own Angel Website Launch

I would like to take a moment to direct you to a new site that was started by Stephanie Stewart called, "My Very Own Angel". It is a place of support for those who are trying to decide whether they should carry to term once a fatal diagnosis has been received. All of the website's content is 100% supportive of continuing the pregnancy. There is even a place where I submitted my own story on "Why I carried to term". Click here to follow the link and scroll down until you see Wyatt's picture. He is the seventh story from the top.

Here is an exert from her website, explaining how this wonderful place of support for families came about:

How My Very Own Angel Started?

Stephanie Stewart planned the pregnancy of her 2nd son Vayden. At an 18 wk routine U/S it was found that Vayden suffered from a rare condition, Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction (LUTO), which affects kidney function, as a result of that, amniotic fluid is low and lung maturity is at risk. Vayden’s kidneys proved to have failed at 22 weeks and there was no amniotic fluid. Stephanie was told that intervention was going to stop and Vayden’s condition was incompatible with life. Given that info, she was also given the choice to terminate. Her faith and support network lead her to carrying to term, praying for a total and complete healing, but preparing for that healing to occur on earth or in heaven. The rest of the pregnancy was spent showing Vayden 100% unconditional love. At 35 wks, Stephanie went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Vayden James Stewart. Although a struggle Vayden fought a great battle, and lived for 3 hrs 45 min. The time he spent in the womb, and outside the womb he knew nothing but 100 % unconditional love.

Although carrying to term was hard, Stephanie feels it was definitely the right decision. She learned so much about herself and her baby in that time.

Stephanie was surprised at the out pour of support she had, once she opened her life and Vayden’s story in a public blog. She developed relationships with other families to angels and wonderful organizations that opened their hearts and ears to her, giving her added strength through her journey of carrying to term, and coping with the loss of her baby.

Stephanie had a strong need to keep her son’s memory alive while also paying forward the support she received during her time of need. That is when she came up with the idea to donate 345 My Very Own Angel Teddy Bears to OU Children’s hospital and the OU Physicians Perinatal Diagnostic Center, where she and Vayden were so well cared for. The 345 represent the 3 hrs and 45 min Vayden lived. She then decided that since she will not be able to purchase the yearly birthday, Christmas and various holiday gifts for Vayden, instead she would continue the 345 Teddy Bear project and donate 115 teddy bears to 3 other hospital and diagnostic centers in various states, every other year, to be given to mothers who choose to carry to term, suffer later term miscarriages, deliver still born, or lose their little fighters in the NICU. All in Vayden’s memory

Only weeks after her loss, Stephanie found that she had an unexplainable peace over her. Life was different without Vayden around and she missed him dearly, but was pleasantly surprised with how she handled the death of her 2nd son.

“All things work together for good, to those that love God” Romans 8:28

At a weekend BBQ, around people she didn’t know, Stephanie found herself talking about Vayden , as two women at the table asked her "how many kids do you have?". Her close friend started to answer for her, but Stephanie declined and said “I have two, Vashon, the one running around with the stick, and I have my very own angel , Vayden who passed a couple of weeks ago.” The women paused as their hearts sunk, they replied “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.” Stephanie said “No, don’t be sorry, I’m proud of my angel, and if you don't mind, I can share his story with you…..” That day Stephanie made two new friends, and realized that no women should have to be careful of how they respond to that small talk question How Many Children Do You Have? Your angel is your child, he or she counts in that question, as you were not asked how many living children you have. You were asked how many children you have. A mother’s love never dies.

She was so proud of herself that she faced the 1st of many of the How Many Children Do You Have, question, with such grace and maturity, she thought how wonderful it would be if every mommy to an angel would be that proud. Her goal is to open the eyes to so many people who are not even aware of the lasting effect losing a child takes on a person. She came up with the name from her responseMy Very Own Angel and then the t-shirt idea, in hopes that every mother to an angel will wear the shirts on National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness day, Mother’s day, their baby’s Angel ~ Versary, at a support group meeting, and whenever they want to honor their angel.

Vayden James Stewart
"Too Perfect For Earth"
May 23,2009 - Midnight - 3:45am

This is such a great resource for families during such an impossible walk when so many hard decisions need to be made... I wish this site were around as I looked for support during my pregnancy with Wyatt. I wish it were around to direct my family to, so they would better understand how I needed to be supported. This website will help a lot of families, and I just wanted to take the time to send you in it's direction.


When it Rains, It pours...

Today has not been a great day.

For you to follow, I'm going to need to tell you about my last couple of days...

Monday morning started off like any other day. I begrudgingly awoke to the sound of my alarm clock and got the children ready to take Ansley to school. I have no idea what set me off, but tears would not stop their flow as I drove to drop Ansley off for the day.

As I arrived back home, my elderly neighbor from across the way practically chased me down my driveway to talk to me. I did not feel like being sociable in the least. I wanted to take Eli inside the house so we could hide away from the rest of the world until I absolutely had to leave the house again to pick Ansley back up. No such luck.

D had a little black puppy following her as she made her way up my drive way. She said the puppy had been up at her house since that Friday, and wanted to know if he belonged to us. I promptly informed her that "No, he was not ours, and that we didn't need anymore pets."
She continues to chat, and finally remembers that I was expecting a baby and asks if he is in the car... Ouch. I really didn't want to have to go into that story today.

I explained to her what happened and she replied,"Oh, I hate that, but at least since he was a baby, you know he's at rest, he's probably better off..." Yes, thank you, but that still doesn't take away the hurt!

We talked a little more, and as she started to walk away (without the puppy) I asked her if she was going to take the dog back with her. "I suppose he'll follow me back if he wants to", was her reply as she continues to disappear down my driveway. The puppy stayed with me. Great!

To be honest, I really didn't pay the puppy any attention. I didn't want another dog, and I figured he would just run along back to D's house since she had been feeding him. Nope. When I went back outside to feed the other dogs, he was still there.

I caved. I sat down on the steps to pet the puppy and he just climbed up into my lap. I swear my heart melted. It was so nice to have something need me. To have something I could hold in my arms. This puppy needed me, but really, I think I needed him. I needed to be needed.

After I got Joseph warmed up to the idea of keeping the dog, we decided to name him Patton. We went to the store and got him some flea shampoo and puppy food and decided we were going to keep him as an inside dog, as he was doing superior with "puppy training"...

I have to tell you, this puppy has completely won my heart over.

But here's my problem.

Patton has progressively gotten very sick today. After a couple of phone calls, we determined his diagnosis to be Parvo. And he's got it bad. We don't know if he is going to live. I am feeding him liquids every 30 minutes through a syringe because he won't eat or drink, and I'm trying desperately to keep him hydrated. He's not keeping anything down.

I called my grandmother today and told her what was going on, and boy did she get an ear full! I mean really, can I please catch a break here? I'm really trying not to throw my own little pity party here, but this just opens up a lot of very fresh wounds.

I have this puppy here, that I have completely fallen in love with...

I have no idea if he is going to live or die, but I do know that realistically his outcome is looking very grim...

And you may be asking why I haven't taken him to the vet?... Because two weeks ago, you may remember my post about our chocolate lab, Colonel, being hit by a car, which completely cleaned out our bank account... We just don't have the money.

So here I am... Back to trying to mentally prepare myself for the worst, while trying to be hopeful.

I promise I'm not comparing Wyatt to a dog, but my heart just was not ready to handle this... Patton just has to be alright. I can't handle losing another piece of my heart right now... the piece that Wyatt took with him is still pretty much gaping. I would really prefer not to add salt to injury.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Urgent Prayer Request

If you have not had the privilege of meeting Stellan click here. Stellan was supposed to die before or shortly after birth, but when he was born, he was completely healed! A couple months later, he started going into SVT. This poor little guy is fighting for his life right now, and desperately needs your prayers. My heart is hurting for Stellan and his family right now. Sorry this post is so short and jumbled up, but I feel like I need to go get on my knees! Please, If you are reading this, do the same!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Return to Sender

I just got back from the emergency room with the kids. I took Eli in because I thought he "might" have swallowed a pill. Turns out he didn't. Lord knows what he swallowed, but it wasn't a pill...

Yesterday, I decided to flush the rest of my Oxycodone (from the C-section) down the toilet because I wasn't going to use anymore, and I didn't want them just sitting in our house. I am not a big fan of taking medications, so after I had Wyatt, I used just enough to get me through his viewing and funeral and stopped taking it. It has just been sitting in our cabinet, and I told Joseph I was going to go ahead and just get rid of it so there wasn't any chance of the kids getting ahold of it. (Ansley and Eli are climbers and nothing in our house is safely out of reach.)

Today was my first day of being completely alone with the kids. Joseph won't be home very much over the next month, as he is going to be playing G.I. Joe with the Marine Corps. I thought I would be okay, but the truth is, I'm freaking out with him being gone. The house has already seemed so quiet without Wyatt being here, but with Joseph being away too, it's eery.

I know, I'm chasing a rabbit. Back to our ER trip...

After the kids finished their dinner, I got them both out of their seats and took them into my bathroom to clean them up. I swear they were wearing more of the macarooni and cheese than they actually ate. I started to clean Eli first, but Ansley decided to get into my make-up. I rushed over to get her cheesy fingers away from my favorite lip gloss, and as I glanced back over towards Eli, I saw him put something white in his mouth. My heart stopped. I immediately remembered flushing those pills down the toilet yesterday. I raced back over to him and tried to hook whatever he put in his mouth with my finger, but I was too late. I even tried to gag the poor boy to get him to throw up whatever it was that he swallowed, but all I managed to do was make him mad!

My mind was racing... I was 99.9999% sure all the pills made it down the toilet, but what if...

I have been so scatter-brained since losing Wyatt. I've gotten out of the shower and realized I forgot to shave my other leg, or better yet, I've started to blow dry my hair and realized I left my conditioner in...

I've come out of the grocery store, and realized I had no idea where in the world I parked my car. I then proceeded to walk back and forth across the parking lot with a cart full of groceries at least 3 times before finding my car... and I still couldn't remember parking there after I found it!

I've taken the gallon of milk out of the refrigerator to get the kids drinks, and tried putting it back in our cabinet that holds glasses. I sat there fighting with the stupid jug trying my best to "put it back" in the cabinet, all the while wondering why it wouldn't go in... If it would have fit, I would have never even realized what I was doing.

I've made it to the grocery store, only to realize I forgot to put a bra on... Oh, and did I mention I forgot to put shoes on as well (needless to say, I didn't go grocery shopping that day).

I've even gotten in my vehicle to drive somewhere, and forgotten where I was going, or how I made it from point A to point B!

There have been countless other *little* things, but you get the point... I've been living on some sort of auto-pilot.

So can you imagine, after catching myself do all those other silly things, what I was thinking when I saw Eli put something white in his mouth, while being next to the same toilet I flushed the pills down not even 24 hours prior... I panicked! What if I was on auto-pilot when I flushed the pills and I accidently dropped one?

Off to the emergency room we went. I swear the nurses and doctors thought I was a blabbering idiot! I know I wasn't making any sense, and I was shaking too bad to fill out the paperwork. They asked what kind of pill he swallowed and they looked at me like I was insane when I told them I wasn't sure if he had actually swallowed one, but that he could possibly have swallowed an Oxycodone...

After four hours of observation... A negative drug test, a ton of weird looks from nurses, and making the kids scream bloody murder an innumerable amount of times... we were finally discharged. I felt so stupid for freaking out, but I really didn't know what else to do. Joseph is normally my voice of reason, and I felt so lost without him being here today. All I could think was,"God, NO. Please don't let anything happen to another one of my children. NO! Don't do this to me Lord!"

Do you know what the sad part of all this is? If I could figure out how to stop flipping into auto-pilot, events like this wouldn't happen. I feel like I have lost my mind, and every time I start to look for it, I forget what I was doing! So, if you happen to find my mind before I do, please do us all a favor and return to sender! The world would be a much safer place...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unbroken Heart

I think you would all agree that this necklace is beautiful, even before you know what this necklace is supposed to represent...

"There is an old proverb that states it is only after a heart has been broken and healed, is it truly strong, compassionate, and wise. Healing a broken heart may be difficult, uncomfortable, and seem an insurmountable task... but when you embrace the process, you will see the beauty of your unbroken heart."

I had the privilege today, of talking with Ms. Catherine Bonner, the founder of the Unbrokenheart. Let me be the first to tell you, that she is one of the most caring, compassionate, and convicted woman I have met in a long time. Her concept behind this necklace is meant to symbolize that on the other side of pain you will find strength... On the other side of fear, you will find love...

What a beautiful concept.

I fell in love with this necklace and wanted to share it with all of you wonderful ladies who frequent my blog. Maybe the purchase of this necklace would be a much needed step towards your own personal healing? You can actually purchase it unmended, and when you feel you are ready, mend it yourself... The strand of gold is sent with the unmended heart so that you can piece your heart back together when you're ready.

Just thought I would share!


Ripping Off the Band-aid

Today, was a small step towards healing, and a giant leap for yours truly.

You remember my Baby Stalking post, right? Well, it finally caught up with me.

I ended up going to the gym today by myself. Joseph was kind enough to stay home with the kids so I could have some quiet, unrushed "me" time. He knows the rest of my week will be rough, as he is leaving with the Marines until Sunday night. So, I really did appreciate the gesture. Praise the Lord for small miracles!

I did really good at the gym today. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill and worked out with one of the personal trainers. Needless to say, when I was leaving the gym, I didn't look or smell my best. I hopped in my Expedition and headed to Food City (I needed to return movies we rented) where I was hoping to slip in and out of the store quickly and inconspicuously. Of course, that didn't quite go as planned.

As I was walking in the store, I saw a man standing outside holding a baby girl. She looked like she was about Wyatt's age and I wanted to walk over and "oohh" and "aahh" over the little sweetheart and find out how old she was... but I didn't. I walked into the store, put the movies in the appropriate bin, and headed for the car. I'm improving right!?

Not really.

As I walked out of the door, the guy was still there holding the little girl and she was fussing like you wouldn't believe. I just had to walk over.

My first question to him was, of course, how old she was. I was right, she was exactly one week younger than Wyatt would have been today. I talked with the guy a little while and to my surprise (and horror) he asked me if I wanted to hold her! I didn't know people actually let complete strangers hold their babies... I was completely caught off guard!

You won't believe me, but I actually turned him down the first time. I said, "I would love to, but I just got back from the gym..." All this time I'm freaking out over what it would be like to hold a baby for the first time since Wyatt. I didn't know if I was ready.

But he said, " Oh, are you sure... here I really don't mind", as he's practically handing his child to me. I mean, how do you say no to that?

The guy told me that she was a fussy baby, but as soon as he handed her to me, she stopped crying. I looked down into her little eyes and she stared back into mine. I snuggled on her a bit and she just smiled at me and cooed so sweetly. It was heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. I would give anything in the world to see my Wyatt staring back into my eyes and curling his lips into a precious little smile...

Then, I blew it. I started crying. The guy was looking at me like "Oh my God, I handed my daughter to a crazy lady that is going to take off running with my baby at any minute" (I might have attempted to make a run for it if I hadn't spent so long on the treadmill today). Ha ha. No-No. I handed "B" back to her father and apologized. He looked confused, so I told him that I had a son who would be a week older than his daughter... I explained this was my first time holding a baby since my son passed away and that I was sorry for not holding myself together. I tried to make a quick exit before completely losing it, so I told him how wonderful it was to hold his precious little girl, and to enjoy every second he got with her.

Through the blur of tears, I somehow made my way back to my car. Once inside, I lost it. Of course, I parked next to one of the cart returns, where one of the kids that worked at the grocery store was gathering carts... I'm sitting in the driver seat of my car bawling, and the poor kid is looking at me like "Can it really be that bad?". So embarrassing. I hate crying around other people, but I really couldn't help it this time. I can't explain how many different emotions I was feeling all at once. It was wonderful to feel the weight of a baby in my arms... To feel her warmth... To look into her bright blue eyes and see the innocence in her smile. I was overflowing with Joy.

On the other hand, I feel like my heart broke all over again. Holding her was a reminder of what Wyatt should be here doing right now. I should have already seen his first smile. I should know what his voice sounds like. I should know what color his eyes are...

I didn't think I was ready to rip that particular band-aid off, but God had other ideas. I'm glad I held that baby girl today. As I drove home, I thanked God for her little life, and asked God to protect her as she grows up. She was a blessing to me today. I have a couple of friends up here that are due with boys soon, and I was really nervous about going to visit them in the hospital... I still think it will be hard, but at least now I know I can handle it. Isn't it true what they say about the first step being the hardest? I whole heartedly believe that, and I feel like I took a huge leap in the right direction today.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Wyatt's Due Date

I have been dreading tomorrow since the day we learned of Wyatt's diagnosis. Most woman can't wait for their due dates to arrive, but I knew my due date would most likely be the day I would have to give Wyatt back to God. I just wanted to keep Wyatt safe, and if that meant staying pregnant forever, well, I would surely try!

God apparently had other plans for me than being the first mother ever to stay pregnant her entire life, and took Wyatt to his eternal home 47 days ago. So now, there is a completely new sadness surrounding Wyatt's due date. What if I made it to this day? That would have been 47 more days I could have gotten to spend with my son. Would he of lived longer if he were able to develop more? I already know my answers to these questions... Wyatt lived every second here on this earth that God meant for him to live. But that still doesn't lessen the sting of what tomorrow represents. I have seriously contemplated sleeping the entire day away just so I wouldn't have to face it. That's healthy, right?!

Actually, I was hoping Joseph would be able to take tomorrow off of work so we could do something special as a family, but he wasn't able to. So, we sent our love to heaven for Wyatt today... Let me explain.

Ansley has been coloring pictures for Wyatt lately. When she finishes a new picture for her baby brother, she says, "Mommy, I colored a picture for Wyatt! I want to give it to him. Please mommy, I want to give it to Wyatt."

So I tell her to hold it over her head really high towards the sky so Wyatt can see it from heaven. This worked for a while (she would even stand on her tip toes to give Wyatt a better view), but she has become very adamant about wanting to GIVE the picture she colored to Wyatt. So I decided I would let her do just that!

Ansley colored a very special turtle picture to send Wyatt... Joseph and I wrote him a letter... and we attached them all to three big helium balloons. We made our way up to the top of a pretty hill near our house... hugged and kissed the balloons... and let them fly away to heaven carrying all of our love with them.

The weather was beautiful, and I can't imagine a more perfect way of celebrating the day we were supposed to meet our son. I walked away from that hill with a peace that completely encompassed me. I know the balloons probably just made it over the tree line, but Ansley really believes her baby brother got his turtle picture and all of the hugs and kisses we sent him. I truly believe today was a day of healing for every member of our family, and I know tomorrow will be a little easier to face. Who knows, I might actually attempt getting out of bed!


Amazing Fact

Just wanted to share an interesting fact with you that I stumbled across on Tina's blog...

Did you know that EVERY time a woman carries a baby, her child leaves their DNA in her? So,... if enough of my blood were taken, traces of Ansley, Eli, and Wyatt's DNA would be found in my blood. How amazing is that?!

You have no idea how comforting it is to know that I physically carry around a piece of my children with me everywhere I go... They are more a part of me than I even realized!

Hope this little fact may be helpful to a mother who can't hold her child the way she was meant to... It really brought a much needed smile to my face!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This "Broken" Mother

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. I have this question that has been consuming my thoughts. Over and over again I feel like Satan has been whispering to me, "You are so weak... Why would God ever want to use a broken mother and her broken baby to bring him glory? You are so weak...".

When thoughts like that creep into your mind, you start to believe that voice of doubt. These last couple of weeks, I've felt like I am drowning. I wonder how I will ever make it through this season of my life. Seasons are supposed to end... not continue to linger for what feels like an eternity. Not only did we lose Wyatt six weeks ago, but we took our oldest son to the emergency room two Sunday's ago because he couldn't breathe (He's fine now thank God).

To top it all off, someone hit our dog Colonel and left him there to die... Colonel has been a member of our family for the last three years. Our children have grown up with him.

Colonel somehow managed to make his way from the road to our front steps with a severely crushed back leg, where I came out of the house and found him bleeding to death. Of course this was on a Sunday when the only place open was an emergency clinic, where we shelled out $900 and all they did was "clean his leg"! The next morning we took him to another vet that informed us his leg needed to be amputated... which was another $1,100, but that they did not offer any type of payment plan. So, after many phone calls, I finally found a vet that would let us make payments. But of course we owed the first vets office $200 for having him look at Colonel's leg and wrapping it up. So, almost $2,500 later (That we really did not have), we have a very sore dog with only three legs... We're thankful that Colonel is going to be fine after he learns to walk without his back leg, but we really don't know where the money to "live off of" is going to come from. We spent all of our savings to pay for Wyatt's funeral... the money we spent to save Colonel came from money that was already budgeted elsewhere. Please keep us in prayer! I know God will help us make it somehow. He always does.

But that still didn't leave me from feeling so small. My faith was wavering. I wished God would stop showing me that I can handle more... I didn't feel like I could. I needed God to speak to me, and just like all the other times before, he didn't forsake me when I was too weak to carry on.

A sweet woman at the gym yesterday stopped me as I was walking in to start my torture routine workout routine. I really wasn't in the mood to talk. I just wanted to get my workout done so I could get out of there. But I politely stayed while she helped another gym member with a question while I wondered what in the world this lady wanted from me!

D informed me that God laid it on her heart to pray for me last night and for her to tell me a story from the book of Job. She told me that Satan was the source of all Job's sufferings... Not God. God allowed Satan to test Job because God knew Job could handle it, and in the long run, it would bring glory to God.

Whew! My mouth about hit the ground! Was God really telling me that he trusted me enough to let Satan try to break me? That God had faith in me?

Now, I've read this story many times... It is actually one of my favorite books in the bible next to Ester. But to hear it from this sweet lady who was obeying what God asked her to do, well, that was really amazing! And do you know, I never told D that Wyatt passed away at birth, or even what was going on in my life up to this point. She knew I had a baby on June 1st, but I never told her that he died. She just saw that I was really down (I'm normally a very upbeat and happy person) and felt lead to pray for me. When I told her what has happened over the last six weeks and how much I needed to hear what she had to say to me, we were both fighting tears. God is so amazing, and he uses the most unexpected people to fulfill his purpose.

So back to this voice...

I realize Satan is trying to bring me down. Well, I have news for him... he isn't going to succeed! This "weak, broken mother" will continue to bring God glory by telling the world about what he did through her perfectly "broken" baby boy...

2 Corinthians 12:9 says

But he said unto me,"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

So yes, I am weak, but I know as long as I am obedient to God's ways, my weakness will bring glory to God. I will no longer question why God chose someone as weak as I to carry such a burden... I resign to being the unlikely woman whom God has chosen to fulfill one of his purposes while I'm here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Isn't it amazing?

I have a couple of posts lurking around in the back of my head that I have been meaning to, well, post! This just happens to be one of them. I'll get around to the others eventually.

As you may very well know, Joseph and I had Wyatt cremated. I still makes me ill. I so would have preferred to have him buried, but that really wasn't an option for us. Joseph and I don't even know where we want to be buried. All of our family is in Florida, which feels more like "home" than here, but I'm sorry, I didn't want to have to drive 13 hours to put flowers on my sons grave. Plus, I'm not a big fan of cemeteries. I would prefer the only time I go to one is when I'm the one actually being lowered into the ground. Anyways, We hope in time to find a place up here that feels like home after we have settled down in our forever house. But right now, there is no such place.

As much as I am against cremation (just personal preference), I will admit it is nice to have "Wyatt" here in the house with us instead of having to drive somewhere to "visit" him.

When we started looking for an urn we were mortified by what we found. Everything looked like fancy cookie jars or ash trays. This wasn't acceptable for my son! We searched website after website trying to find the perfect urn for him with no luck. We still had not found one when Wyatt was born. But this is how wonderful God is...

I went back to In the Light Urns to order an urn Joseph and I had "settled" on. We weren't thrilled with it, but it would work until we found the one that was right for Wyatt. As soon as I clicked on infant urns, there it was! I have been to this site numerous times, and this urn had NOT been on the website before. As a matter of fact, with all the urn websites I've poured through, this was the very first time I saw it. I shouted to Joseph to come over to the computer... there was no disputing this was the urn we were meant to buy for our son.

And it gets even better... I swear God himself chose this urn to be Wyatt's. I didn't see it in the picture when we ordered it, but the baby has his finger in his mouth just like Wyatt used to do. Every ultrasound we had done, Wyatt had his fingers in or around his mouth. Joseph and I joked all throughout the pregnancy, that Eli was our right handed thumb sucker, and Wyatt was our left!

Upon inspecting the urn further, I noticed there was a slight imperfection on the face of the baby, but before I show you where, take a look at this picture of Wyatt... More specifically, his little nose.

Did you see the dent in the middle of his nose? It's kind of hard to see it in this picture...

Now look where the "imperfection" I found on the urn was...

The "imperfection" I found is what actually made the urn perfect. I really think God was showing off! (Not really) He was just showing us that he takes care of even the smallest details.

There were no coincidences here. God's hand was guiding everyone involved in this experience. I really thought getting Wyatt's urn in the mail would be a heartbreaking experience. I was dreading the day I would open the box and see his urn in person for the first time. It would make everything seem permanent. But God found a way to make a dreaded time into a bittersweet experience. Instead of crying because we were putting our son into an urn, we were able to rejoice! God cared! He made sure our urn was as individualized and as special as our son. Thank you Lord for your compassion and peace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

God's Little Angel

I came across a beautiful website earlier today and wanted to share it with everyone. God has given Sue from Heaven's Roll Call a tremendous talent. She writes beautiful poems to help those of us who are grieving, and couples this with breathtaking art. I happened across this poem today, and asked Sue for permission to post on my blog. When I read this poem, it almost felt as if it were written for my son. I was in tears before I was even halfway finished. If you want to walk away blessed, stop by her website and read some of her poems... just don't forget a box of tissues!


As Christians we should look forward to the day that our souls leave this earth and go on to heaven, right? Well, to be completely honest with you, I wasn't one of those Christians. Sure, going to heaven would be great, but in order to get there I'd have to die... which didn't sound very ideal to me. I wanted to live a long life and see my children and grandchildren, and maybe even my great-great grandchildren, grow up. I didn't want to be cheated out of living my life.

Don't get me wrong, I would still like to live a really long life. I want to go to sleep one night in the comfort of my bed and wake up in heaven... Wouldn't it be nice if it really happened that way?

I just couldn't imagine not having my family with me. They are my entire life. But that's my problem. My entire family isn't here.

Joseph, Ansley, and Eli have permeated every fiber of my heart. They mean the world to me... But Wyatt molded himself into my heart as well. When he went to heaven, my heart went with him too. So where does that leave me?

I'm living my life in limbo. I feel like my heart is somewhere in between my life here with my family, and my eternal life in heaven (which just happens to be where Wyatt resides). I'm stuck in the middle, being pulled in both directions. The trouble is, I want to be in both places. You know, all my problems would be solved if God would just allow visits! I don't believe he received my memo, I'll keep trying...

Seriously though, I trust God. Ultimately, my heart belongs to him. I know he has a purpose for me here. Just like he had a purpose for Wyatt while he was here. If for nothing else, for me to realize I needed to get my thinking correct. I wouldn't be cheated out of my life if it ended today... I have an eternal life to live. I have a savior who died on the cross not only for me, but for my family. Wyatt is living his eternal life in heaven now, instead of God knows where, because of Christs' love and sacrifice. I couldn't save my son. But God could... and he did. He saved his soul. In the big picture, the body really doesn't matter does it? No, not really. The body is nothing without the soul.

For now, God has chosen that my soul stay in this body. He still has a purpose for me that I need to fulfill for his glory ( figuring out that purpose is a completely different story. I'm still working on that one). I will accept living in limbo, because, aren't we all living in limbo anyway? This life isn't permanent... But when the day comes when it's my turn to surrender my body so my soul can enter into the gates of heaven, I will joyfully accept my saviors call whether it's 80 years down the road or tomorrow. Learning to let God have complete control of my life hasn't been easy, but I'm trying. After all, I'm sure he's much more qualified than I.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My First Award Nomination

One of my very new blogger friends from Filled with Praise, nominated me for this Honest Scrap award. Amy is a mother to "three blessings" and has been married to her husband for nine years. She has a heart overflowing with love for her family, her friends, and most importantly... for God. I am so thankful God placed this sweet woman in my life. Thank you Amy. You have no idea how much I needed someone to "pick me up" today. Thank you for being a blessing.

The award comes with the instructions that I am suppose to share 10 honest things about myself and then nominate 7 other people for the award (then comment on their blog to tell them about it of course!)

So without further ado, I give you 10 honest things about myself:
  1. I am not a morning person. I could sleep until noon everyday. I used to, but that was before my name changed to mommy.
  2. I met my husband in church. Our families went to a small church together, but we never met because Joseph lived in Tennessee. When he moved to Florida, his Uncle played matchmaker. The rest as they say, is history.
  3. I did ballet for 12 years... I still miss it and hope to do it again one day.
  4. I love taking photographs. There is so much beauty in life if you take the time to look for it.
  5. I am horrible about charging my phone and getting things in the mail. My husband has to charge my phone for me, and if I tell you I will mail you something...expect it in about a year!
  6. I can't stand putting gas in my vehicle. It's like throwing away perfectly good money.
  7. My husband and I only dated for about eight months before we got married. We didn't have our first kiss until we were pronounced man and wife.
  8. It breaks my heart to see children mistreated. I have always wanted to adopt to give a child a chance at life who wouldn't have one otherwise.
  9. When I get upset, my husbands clue is a kitchen overflowing with baked goods... It's therapeutic to turn my hurt or anger into something productive.
  10. I have a weird water phobia. I only drink nestle purelife.

My nominations go to seven blogs that inspire me daily, they are in no particular order:
  • Oh, The Possibilities - Sarah is a wife and mother with such a sweet spirit. She takes beautiful pictures with the help of her brother for families who have lost children. I opened up my e-mail one morning and found a truly priceless gift.
  • Our Journey of Love - Adrienne is the mother of a sweet little boy named Owen who was adopted from Russia. This amazing woman has endured heartache after heartache through numerous miscarriages and failed adoptions. Adrienne's faith in God in unshakable and she is such an inspiration to me.
  • Love Reign Over Me - Carly is a mother of three (expecting her forth). Her only son Christian, was called to be with the Lord. What a legacy this woman has built for her baby boy... She writes children's names in the sand for bereaved families and photographs them at sunrise or sunset. Her work is tremendous.
  • Happily Henninger - Kimberly is a wife and a mother. Her son Hudson is not able to be here with her this side of heaven... he was born still at 30 weeks. Her faith through this journey is a breathe of fresh air, and fills me with hope.
  • Finding My Feet - Raechel is one crafty momma who is trying to "find her feet" after losing her sweet little girl, Evie Grace, to Triosmy 9 after 31 weeks. She has a sweet little boy named Oliver and the love she has for her family is very apparent. I love visiting her blog.
  • Beauty from Pain- Celia is a mother of four children. Her youngest child Noah, was diagnosed with anencephaly during her pregnancy, and lived for 19 short hours before going to his eternal home. Although her loss is new, she is so transparent in her writing... She helps me realize it's okay to be human and to hurt or be angry.
  • Caring for Carleigh - Holly is a wonderful mother who is trying to navigate this new world she was thrown into after she lost her daughter Carleigh to anencephaly. Her determination to love the Lord regardless of her circumstances deserves to be applauded.
It was very hard for me to just pick seven blogs for this nomination... It takes so much courage to "expose" yourself in order to help others through your blog, and I have come across so many blogs that are wonderful sources of encouragement. But this is my list, so go meet these wonderful woman and learn from them. You will walk away blessed. And once again to Amy... Thank you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baby Stalker

Today after I dropped Ansley off at school, Eli and I went on a scavenger hunt to find all the supplies I needed to make a cake for a dear friend on Friday. After an entire morning and afternoon of plundering through all the baking stores in our local area, I still haven't found half of the items on my list... but that's a different story altogether.

Before I say anymore, I must warn you that by the end of this post, you will be utterly convinced that I am a certified crazy person. I'm actually throughly a little embarrassed to even write this post. But, this blog is about my journey with Wyatt, as well as how I'm finding my feet since he passed away. So,... In the spirit of hoping to help someone else who may be going through this as well... here it goes. gulp.

I caught myself stalking babies today... Seriously!

I didn't even realize it until I was walking away from talking with a mom who had a baby girl that was eight days younger than Wyatt... this might not seem so bad, except this was the third mother I stopped to find out how old her child was, in a little over an hour.

Every time I see a baby, boy or girl, that even looks like they are close to the age Wyatt would be today, I HAVE to get close to that baby. I want to see what milestones the baby has reached and I try to picture the baby with Wyatt's face. I obsess over what Wyatt would be doing. I wonder what his little face would look like now, or what his voice would sound like. I want to go over and scoop the baby up and hold them close to my heart... I know it wouldn't help... I don't really want that baby. I want my baby. I want Wyatt.

But still, I have no baby to hold. I want my arms to stop aching from the emptiness. I want my ears to stop ringing from the silence...

Seriously though... stalking babies! Shame on me. I don't like this crazy woman I've become. I mean, what do I think will happen if I stick around a certain baby long enough? Do I just think the mother will say, "Here, take my baby."? No. More like my husband will be serving me with a restraining order against all the babies in the world!

I want out of this nightmare. I want this nagging pain in my heart to stop. I don't want to have to be strong anymore. And I most certaintly don't want to be the crazy lady that lingers around other women's babies... I just want to be ME again. The ME I was before I could only hold Wyatt in my heart...

MckLinky Blog Hop

The day my husband and I met our son Wyatt was one of the best and worst days of our lives...

We were able to smile because we finally got to meet our son. We got to gaze upon his tiny, beautiful body... We got to see that he looked like his big brother but with a more defined chin like his father. We got to soak up his newborn baby smell and cuddle him close to our hearts...

At the same time, it was one of the darkest days of our life. It was the day we had to say, I'll see you someday in heaven", as we surrendered our son to God after just two minutes of life.

My husband and I both love this photo. In the midst of our darkest valley, Wyatt was our little ray of sunshine that guided us to God's peace in the middle of a raging storm. I think you can see the peace we felt that day in this photograph. Although June 1st will always be the day my son passed away, It will also always be the day he lived! I prefer to focus on the latter.

This week, on TUESDAY, 7/7/09, the theme is A FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPH. Post up one of your favorite photographs and a caption that tells the audience about it. Here is a sample: Do not change any part of this snippet of code except for this paragraph only.... replace the text that falls between (and includes) the opening and closing asterisks. Be sure to enter your own link to your own blog hop post as soon as the blog hop starts!***

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, July 3, 2009

I am following in the booming trend of the famed Mr. MckLinky...

If you are visiting my blog for the first time, Welcome! My name is Danielle and I started my blog as a general way to keep my friends and family updated on my pregnancy with my youngest son Wyatt. We went to our 18 week ultrasound to find out what we were having and found out our son had a condition that was "incompatible with life". We were urged to terminate our pregnancy, but that was never an option for our family. We waited with love to meet our son, and prayed for his healing. God used our sweet, broken little baby boy to bring him glory during his short life here on earth. Against all odds, Wyatt lived for two minutes after his birth (Doctors expected him to die during the pregnancy or be born still). It was only through God's glory that I got to breathe the same air as my son for those two precious minutes and bask in the comfort of his warmth. I continue this blog in hopes that our son's story might comfort other families who are going through a similar journey. As I carried Wyatt knowing the pregnancy was all I would have with him, I found there were not many places to turn for support. I hope my blog of our time with Wyatt will in some way help others through a very difficult walk. If you are walking this lonely road, I am so, deeply, sorry... I would love to pray for you. Don't forget, God is still in the miracle business!

This week the theme is INTRODUCE YOUR BLOG. Write one paragraph that introduces your blog to the blog hop participants. Do not change any part of this snippet of code except for this paragraph only.... replace the text that falls between (and includes) the opening and closing asterisks. Be sure to enter your own link to your own blog hop post as soon as the blog hop starts!***

MckLinky Blog Hop

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy One Month in Heaven!

Recently, I managed to sneak away into town all by my lonesome little self. I found myself shuffling through the children's book section at our local Wal-Mart and ran across a children's prayer and meditation book that I decided to pick up for Ansley and Eli. It was filled with simple prayers for every occasion that are easy for kids to remember. As I was flipping through the book after I got home, I found a section on grief. There were a lot of nice prayers and verses but lets face it... they were all for kids.

Just before setting the book down a little prayer caught my eye.

"We thank you, God, that we are able to trust all that we are into your keeping, with faith that all that belongs to eternity will endure forever, and that nothing real can pass away."

Up until that moment, my heart was aching because my baby was gone. But is he? Did I really say good bye to him or just I'll see you again later? As Christians isn't it wonderful to have that blessed assurance? To know that when our loved one's belong to God's eternity we will see them again? To know that our earthly death means new life... a life that knows only beauty and happiness.

I equate the heartache I'm feeling to the long absence I will have without Wyatt physically being in my life... It is like a mother whose child will be moving to another part of the world and will live there for many years without the means to write or call... The mother knows in advance she wouldn't be there for birthdays, graduations, the day her child gets married, grandchildren's births... Can you imagine how hard that parting would be? How hard it would be for her to let her child go? How that mother's heart would ache to be a part of her child's life... I feel like that mother, only I don't have to worry about the fate of my baby. I know he is safe in God's keeping.

It has been One Month since I held my sweet little boy and kissed his soft chunky cheeks. It has also been One Month that Wyatt has been in heaven. No pain. No tears. No sorrow. Why would I ever want him here instead of in heaven, except for my own selfish desire to make my own pain stop... Wyatt will never have to know anything but love and I will take comfort in that. So, Happy One Month in Heaven my sweet, sweet little boy. We all miss you dearly and can't wait to see you again!