Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Great Report

I am excited to share the news I got from my ultrasound appointment today (10 weeks, 4 days). Things are looking up!

First off, the doctor asked the technician to show me the heartbeat to ease my mind. There it was, fast and strong! Once I saw the baby's heartbeat, I was able to relax and focus on the details. Next, we looked at the tear in the placenta. The blood clot is about the same size, which the doctor referred to as very small - it has not grown in the last 10 days! This is awesome news. That means bedrest is doing its job.

At that point, the doctor said it was not a cause of concern and that we had "a 98% good news report." But that was before he saw the placenta previa.

I have a partial placenta previa, which means my placenta is lying unusually low in my uterus, next to or covering the cervix. The placenta is normally located near the top of the uterus, and is what supplies the baby with nutrients through the umbilical cord. If the placenta covers the cervix completely, it's called a complete or total previa. If it's right on the border of the cervix, it's called a marginal or partial previa. If the edge of the placenta is within 2 centimeters of the cervix but not bordering it, it's called a low-lying placenta.

What I have is actually a very small portion of the placenta over the cervix, a partial placenta previa. Throughout my pregnancy with Madeline, I had the similar low-lying placenta (which was what determined the pregnancy to be high risk). But it did move up throughout the course of the pregnancy, and became a non-issue. That's the doctor's hope for this previa. In the meantime, I am still on restricted activity...no lifting, no bending, minimal walking, etc. Which is easier to handle today, since I know it is really having a positive effect.

The baby measured right on target at 10 weeks, 5 days! That means my lack of appetite, nausea and placental tear have not affected the nutrition to the baby.

Towards the end of the ultrasound, I finally saw the baby moving and it brought me to tears. The image of a still baby is probably my worst fear. My doctor's wife lost a baby around the same time as we did, and so he is very compassionate. He asked the technician to let me watch the baby live for a while and do a 4D ultrasound for me. The baby was a dancing machine! We watched the back arch, the legs and arms wave around, and even take its little hand and rub its eyes. As a matter of fact, the baby moved so much the tech couldn't get any decent ultrasound pictures, they were all like strange blurs, but I didn't mind. I'd rather see a healthy, active baby. Praise God! As I add these pictures to the photo album we've started, I'll just include a little note: Too busy dancing to stop for photos today.

Thank you for all the prayers that went out today for us. God's presence and peace is strong, and that unexplicable peace helps fight away my fear and doubt.

Specifically, our prayer requests are:
  1. the baby continues to get the blood supply and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong, (or as Olivia prays each night: that the baby will stay inside mommy's tummy until it grows big and can come out to be with us).
  2. The tear in placenta will not grow and the blood clot will absorb.
  3. The partial placenta previa will move upwards as my uterus continues to grow.
  4. That God will continue to provide the help we need as long as I am restricted to bedrest.
  5. That God will guide us in our decision regarding an OB and hospital to deliver at. I would like to stay with my same OB, since he is familiar with my history, but there are a few complications that need to be worked out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Baby Boy

January. 26. 2009.

Today is the due date of the baby boy who never made it into our arms, but left us early for the arms of our Heavenly Father.

As we've dealt with the complications surrounding my current pregnancy, the grieving process was sort of....stunted.

Yesterday and today, though, I've been hit full force with the ache of this loss. I should not be going to an early ultrasound tomorrow to see if this baby is growing OK; I should be holding a newborn baby in my arms today.

As I laid in bed last night, contemplating what emotions today would bring, one thing was certain. This little, little life taught me so much about Life. And has given me a desire I never felt before, to reach that place of eternal life where I will get to hold my son, wholly perfect. Heaven is our hope.

I am so full of contradicting emotions and thoughts, I almost didn't write at all today. Mourning the loss of one baby, while trying to hold out hope that the baby I'm carrying will grow, safe and strong.

But I felt compelled. I had to write to remember. The only thing worse than the pain, would be to forget.

Today I thank God for the short time he allowed our son to grow inside me. And for the incredible impact that experience had on our entire family. I am looking forward to the day when we will meet again. And I don't ever want to lose sight of that hope.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

All My Praise

This song was speaking to my heart today. I don't have the option of not praising God just because my situation is hard. Because God is seated on His throne, and He has promised not to abandon us. The song says He knew my name before there was time. Well, He knew this baby also. I am working on fully trusting those promises, and replacing my fears with praise.

All My Praise

I will follow You through green pastures
And sing hallelujah to Your Name
I will follow You through dark disaster
And sing hallelujah through the pain

And even in the shadow of death I will praise You
And even in the valley I will say

Holy, My God
You are worthy of all my praise
Holy, My God
You are worthy of all my praise

You are seated on your throne in heaven
And You see all of us down here
And You have promised You will not abandon
So I shall not fear

And even in the shadow of death
I will praise You
And even in the valley I will say

Holy, My God
You are worthy of all my praise
Holy, My God
You are worthy of all my praise

You made every star
And You taught it how to shine
You knew my name before there was time
And all this was just part of Your glorious design
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Holy, My God
You are worthy of all my praise

For more songs that inspire, visit Amy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Grand Re-Opening

At the Well Blog Button

At the Well is having a Grand Re-opening on February 2nd. You can click the image to check out the new site and "grand opening" giveaways! I can't wait to jump in again next week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Fresh Start

Today is Thankful Thursday, and I've been waiting all day to write this post. This evening, my blog got its first design, a fresh start so to speak, thanks to Danielle. If you haven't checked her out, you should! She has designed many of the blogs I enjoy reading.

Also, she's offering $10 off a blog design to the first two people who email her. Use the name of this blog as the discount code.

In addition to being thankful for my new blog, today I am especially thankful for:

my husband and my girls,

the miracle pregnancy God has given us and for this baby,

the many, many prayers for healing and peace (they are working!),

and the support of so many, especially Emily and Lauren, who come help us out every morning (and even evenings if we need them).

For more Thankful Thursday, go here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Purpose for Me

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands." Psalm 138:8

I was dwelling on this verse this morning and thinking about what a wonderful promise we have been given! Then I realized that this verse used LORD, all caps, versus Lord. I remembered from our last women's Bible study that there was a difference between the two spellings, so I looked it up.

When we see LORD, it means Yahweh or Jehovah, "I am who I am." It denotes God's personal name and his eternality. It is often used in relationship to God as redeemer and covenant keeper.

In the midst of life's ups and downs, it blessed me to know that it is the LORD, my redeemer and covenant keeper, that promised to fulfill his purpose for me! Even when our situation looks like it is meaningless, God promises us that he has a purpose.


For more inspiring Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy

Just an Update

It's time for an update, as last week held some scary events for us and the baby. The beginning of last week I continued to be incredibly nauseous and unable to smell just about anything without getting sick. I stayed on bedrest like the doctor prescribed; too bad it wasn't helping ease the nausea. Two nights in a row I went to bed, sick, by 6 pm. Then on Wednesday evening, I had some incredibly sharp cramping and pains in my abdomen. I was hoping for the best, that it was something as simple as gas, even though though it didn't feel that way to me.

By Friday, I noticed my icky pregnancy symptoms had decreased dramatically. Things that were sore before were no longer sore, I wasn't nauseous and I no longer had aversions to smells. To test my theory completely, I sat with the family at dinner (I was fine) and I ate a hot dog to see what would happen (nothing). At this point I was convinced that something was terribly wrong and I started to get worried.

That's right, I started to feel better - and it made me upset! The backstory is, last summer we lost a baby right around this same week. And the series of events leading up to it were sharp abdominal pain and loss of nausea. I was also on bedrest for a separation of the placenta then too. I'm sure it didn't help matters that the baby's due date is coming up next week as well. And although the tests confirmed there was a chromosomal reason we lost that baby, there were too many similarities and a lot on my mind.

With all that history, and more than a few pregnancy emotions, I just began to believe that this baby was gone. I started to prepare myself for the worst and told my husband to do the same. My next ultrasound was still 4 days away, but I got in touch with the doctor's office Saturday morning and explained my symptoms to them. They asked me to drive down immediately.

This was no small task, but we managed to arrange instant childcare for the girls and then make the hour and a half trip down. I cried, knowing what to expect at this appointment. My mind alternating between whether I should take a look at one last picture of my baby, still and gone, or not watch and just save the last ultrasound image in my brain. My husband, on the other hand, stayed quiet during the drive because he said he wasn't sure about it all.

When we got in the room, I tearily told the nurse practioner about the pains and decrease in pregnancy symptoms. She said, "Oh that's good!" And I told her it wasn't a good sign for me, as I'm ALWAYS nauseous until week 14. She smiled and said pregnancy symptoms come and go. I just thought, This is my 4th time around, I know how things go. And then, without warning, the ultrasound picture came up. Even before the tech could locate the heartbeat, I saw the movement. The baby was kicking and waving and moving all around. My hands flew to my mouth and I gasped. The tears were pouring and the nurses were handing me kleenex. I was shocked!

I've never been so happy to be so wrong! And the good news kept coming. The heartbeat was fast and strong. The baby was growing exactly the right size to the day! This was important because one of the signs that the blood clot, or separation as they now refer to it as, is causing harm is that the baby's growth rate diminishes. The size of the separation (of the placenta from the uterus) did increase slightly from 1.5 cm to 2.5 cm. But the size of the placenta has also increased, and there is still much attached. The doctors were not too concerned because I have not been bleeding and just reinforced that I stay on strict bedrest.

And can I just tell you how much easier it is to be on bedrest when you are not nauseous and sick to your very core? I feel like a new woman. At least now I have the energy to do other things. I picked up some books and am able to read now. I downloaded some games to my iPhone to keep my brain working. The girls can come in and jump around on my bed, without it making me queasy. It's much more bearable. The nausea does seem to come and go, just as the Nurse Practioner said it would. Some days are better than others.

And so I ask you to continue to pray for our little one. We need the separation to heal and for any blood clots to absorb. I need to rest in God's peace, and stay off my feet as much as possible.

We've had lots of meals delivered to the house and offers to run errands. We still have help in the mornings for another week, until Emily returns to college. And I have a couple of good friends that call everyday to cheer me up and check up on me. We are SO thankful for all the support. And most of all for your prayers.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Desert Song

The Testimony

If you're short on time, skip to the bottom and just listen to the song. If you've got just a minute, you must hear this amazing inspirational story. Jill McCloghry suffered the imaginable just days before the recording and taping of the brand new Hillsong album, This is Our God, including this song "Desert Song."

While it would have been easy to turn inward, she decided to turn her pain into praise, and went ahead and recorded the album. What a painful, beautiful example for us all.

Desert Song

This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in the hunger in me
My God is a God who provides

And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon forged against me shall remain

I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

And this is my prayer in the battle
And triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

The Song

*Jill McCloghry sings "Desert Song" with Brooke Fraser

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Looking at the Bright Side

Last week I said I had been "sentenced to bedrest." And while sentenced is none too harsh of a word, I thought today I would focus on the bright side. Welcome to Thankful Thursday, bright side style.

I am thankful for bedrest because it gives me time to catch up on making home made birthday thank you cards with Madeline.

I am thankful for bedrest because it allows me to do something that mothers of young children rarely have time to do by themselves (and I'm not talking about going to the bathroom),

nails painted and not one smudge from moving too soon!

I am thankful for bedrest because when my girls do this

I have a wonderful helper to assist in the cleanup (thanks Emily!)

I am thankful for bedrest because it gives me more time for this

hot creme brulee tea and time in God's Word. (Disclaimer: not the normal state of the desk. If my husband saw how uncluttered it was, he would be screaming "fraud!")

And I am thankful for bedrest because I have more time to finish projects such as printing off this encouraging Scripture verse from Lori's blog and actually getting it in a frame.


Today Iris was thankful for fulfilled dreams. What are you thankful for? For more words of inspiration visit her at Grace Alone....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unfailing Love

A few months ago I shared that we chose a life verse for each of our girls. A verse that simply expresses something God has laid on our hearts for their life. I'm still working on my project to somehow display each of their verses in their rooms. For Olivia we chose Isaiah 54:9-10,
To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you."
Olivia's name is derived from the olive branch, which is a symbol of peace and is mentioned in the story of Noah. We love this promise for her that nothing in life can change the unfailing love of her God or take away His promise for peace.


For more inspiring Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy

Friday, January 9, 2009

While I'm Waiting

I had a different song set to post as part of today's Then Sings My Soul, but God was really working on my heart and I felt I had to share this song instead.

I've been so encouraged by each of the emails, comments and PRAYERS you all have left. They have helped keep me in the right place, which is closer and closer to my loving Father. I have been praying that I would feel His peace. I'm craving it.

Tonight in the middle of family movie night, I started to have noticable pain in my abdomen and I got so distracted and worried about what it may mean. To be completely transparent, I think my desire for this baby (that in my worry I was working so hard not to get attached to) was stopping me from resting in that peace that I desire so much.

I realized what I had to do. I had to hand over my desires, and even my plans for this tiny baby's life, to the God who created us. Just as I have with each of my other kids. Only then will I be able to rest in His perfect peace.

This last summer when we lost our baby, I was able to bring glory to God through my response afterward. But this time I have the opportunity to bring Him glory in the midst of it. It's a challenge, for sure, but I can only pray that God enables me to accomplish it.

A friend recently shared part of a quote by Elisabeth Elliot, ""Waiting requires patience - a willingness calmly to accept what we have or have not...." And I've been thinking about that. Am I willing to accept whatever God has for me and for this baby? And can I do it calmly, without being rendered useless by all the worry?

I heard this song, While I'm Waiting, on Debra's playlist, and I cannot stop listening to it. What a message it sent straight to my heart. This is what I want my life to be during this time - an offering of praise to the living God.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

For more songs that inspire, visit Amy.

Essential Oils Giveaway

(Artwork designed by Lori at I will take it Lord, all you have to give.)

When the girls had their MRSA ordeal this summer, I "stumbled upon" Jen and her amazing resource of essential oils. I had heard of oils before but was uncertain how to really use them in our everyday life.

The more we researched and begged God for direction during that scary time, the more I kept reading about the effectiveness of essential oils against MRSA (a potentially life-threatening antibiotic resistant staph infection) and other drug-resistant strains of infection.

Oils for Wellness happened to have a giveaway posted through CWO and I got in touch with her. She not only sent me samples to try (since Madeline is allergic to most everything), so I wouldn't have to buy something we couldn't use, but she sent emails everytime she found something that was useful for our situation. She became an excellent resource.

I credit those essential oils with clearing up the stubborn and resistant infections that invaded Madeline's system. She was too allergic to handle the antibiotics, so we ended up using the oils long term. Eventually, we didn't need them anymore.

Jen is having another giveaway on her site. This is for an aromatherapy sampler of 9 essential oils! I just ordered this set last month and it worked wonders on calming Olivia down before bed time and relieving pain my husband was having from his accident.

Simply leave a comment to be entered. Random drawing is on Jan 31. There are only a few comments today, so your chances are good. This is a wonderful, practical resource! Head on over....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thankful for a Miracle

I'm happy to be joining Thankful Thursday again. I have something I want to share, that I am incredibly thankful for. But I want to be sensitive to those of you that I have connected with because of our shared loss. I have been so encouraged by the stories of women who have dealt with infertility and who have lost babies of their own. I hope my story only continues to encourage you that God is bigger than what we can see.

If you've read my story of infertility, you know what we have faced. After my diagnosis of severe endometriosis, it appeared that we would only become pregnant after surgery, which has happened twice. And even then the doctors give us a slim 0.5% chance of conceiving.

Today, I am overwhelmingly grateful for the little miracle God has blessed us with, in spite of the doctor's diagnosis, and without surgery.

Although our intentions were to wait until we were well into the second trimester to share our news, a complication changed our minds. This little one is 8 weeks and could use some prayers. The same ultrasound that confirmed there was indeed excellent growth and a strong heartbeat, was the same to show that there is a large, threatening blood clot. It could be something old, although it was not detected in an ultrasound just 2 weeks ago, or it could be the placenta trying to separate from the uterus.

The doctor sentenced me to bedrest/no lifting, with the hope that the blood clot will reabsorb or the separation will heal. Incredibly, my husband is also recovering from double wrist surgery and has a 1 lb weight limit at the moment. I also have severe aversions to smells, mostly anything fragranced or edible. And I get extremely nauseaus when I eat, so I haven't been. The doctor said this was not helpful to the pregnancy and we are looking into a couple options to help with that as well.

Again, we seem to be in a battle to keep this baby, but that's the way it always is around here. Please pray for our little one (and for us). The pain of our last loss is still strong. In spite of that, we know who our God is and we put our lives, and the life of this very tiny baby, in His hands.

Today Iris was thankful for God's word and she shared this verse. Little did she know how meaningful it would become to me.

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” ~ Psalm 119:50 (ESV)


Today Iris was thankful for God's word. What are you thankful for? For more words of inspiration visit her at Sting My Heart....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Promises for the New Year

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I ran across an article the other day, in which the author was particularly excited about some Chinese fortunes they had acquired. They went to the trouble of saving them and framing them, putting much hope and expectation into what they promised.

I thought about how blessed we are to have the promises of God's Word to get us through the difficult passages of life - and how glad I am that I don't have to rely on the luck of a fortune cookie to tell me what my future holds.


For more inspiring Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy

Monday, January 5, 2009

Resolutions - Looking Forward to Newness

Today's Topic: Regrets and Resolutions

Today's Host: LauraLee at LauraLee's Lifesong

LauraLee writes, "The New Year is a time for us to let go of the past and look forward to newness. Everyone thinks about that differently." She poses these questions for us to think about:

1. What is your favorite "resolution" in the Bible?

2. Do you do a New Year's resolution? Why or why not? Does your family make a resolution together?

3. Usually a resolution comes as a result of regretting something you didn't do the year before. How do you let go of the regret and move forward?

4. Have you ever made a resolution in the past that you didn't keep and wish you had?

One of my favorite resolutions in the Bible is Psalm 92:1-2. "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High. It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening," It is something I have worked on throughout last year, giving God thanks and praise everyday, no matter my circumstances.

To be completely honest, I've never been much of a resolution-maker. A year-long list maker, yes; a once-a-year goal maker, no.

But I've also never quite looked forward to a New Year like I have this year. I was looking for a concrete point where we could put the craziness of the past year behind us and start fresh.

While I haven't decided on any detailed resolutions, I did have a few ideas. Resolutions seem to flow from our priorities. So for the New Year, I want to consider some of my personal, marital and family priorities.

First off, I want to review our Family Vision, as a family. I want to see where we got off track and where we've accomplished what we set out to do.

Secondly, by accident, it seems my husband and I somehow got on the same page, and we're getting our house in order. He's wrapping up the loose ends of incomplete home improvement projects (don't ask how since he still has a 1 lb weight limit from his double broken wrists) and I'm getting rid of the unneccessary around here (clearing out closets, cupboards, craft rooms). Getting rid of the excess appears to be a common goal.

Thirdly, I want to continue to put some serious energy into our marriage. I'm thinking the Love Dare book that I did not complete last year. Or maybe another round of the 30-Day Encouragement Challenge.

Lastly, I want to be purposeful in my relationship with God. I want to guard the time I have to spend with Him, not fill up my days so that I am too busy, and really dig in this year. I want to hear what God has to say and dig into His word even more. Last year was a year of pruning and taking away, this year I want to bear some fruit!

To start, I found a list of questions over at Ashley's that were helpful in taking spirtual inventory. She says, "Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we're going and where we should be going. The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God."

1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Blessings in the New Year,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

....What She Said

Last month was a doozy. So many things happened at once, I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry myself into hysterics. (And I didn't even tell you the one about the "lady" at my husband's work party, who obviously didn't see me with my hands full of children at the buffet trying to stick their hands in the food warmer burners or snatching highly allergic foods off the platters, who allowed me to travel approximately 2 feet away before she proceeded to deliver an exceptionally loud [and long] diatribe announcing how I walked past her without saying Hello and how glad she is that she doesn't have to "deal with me" but once a year). And here's where, yet again, I desperately wish that I could think of a clever retort in the moment. But alas, it is not my gifting.

In spite of everything, I found this one thought persitantly making itself heard: whining or complaining was not going to make anything change for the better. I was not in control of the situation, but I certainly controlled my reaction.

And so I attempted to talk about the glass half full. I laughed. I searched high and low for the irony in it all. And I tried to find some lessons in whatever the Crisis-of-the-Day happened to be. (Note: Lesson #1, be sure to say hello to women prone to long and blustery speeches.)

I'd been composing in my head a very thoughtful post about the choice we have to recognize God's hand in things or freak out about them, when I found this Internet Cafe devotion in my Inbox (thanks to Sue, at Praise and Coffee).

I could not write what I had been pondering without being accused of plaguerism by those of you who also enjoy Internet Cafe devotions. I had no choice but to direct you to Sue and simply write, "what she said."


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oh, the Glory of It All

This song spoke to me a few weeks ago in church and reminded me that through each event in our life, God is capable of bringing glory to His name - no matter how impossible that may seem to us.

At the start
he was there, he was there
In the end,
he’ll be there, he’ll be there

And After all our hands have wrought
He forgives

Oh the Glory of it all is:
he came here
For the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all
for the glory of it all

All is lost
find him there, find him there
After night
Dawn is there, Dawn is there

After all falls apart
he repairs he repairs

Oh the Glory of it all is:
he came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

After night
comes the light
dawn is here
dawn is here
it’s a new day
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same

Oh, The glory of it all is
you came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

Oh you are here
with redemption for us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all
for the glory of it all
oh the glory of it all

For more songs that inspire, visit Amy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Chistmas Gift to Me

Each year, when the stockings are filled, my husband tries his best to find special treats to put in my stocking. He doesn't necessarily enjoy it, but he knows I do, so he sacrificially makes that extra trip each year when he realizes he has forgotton. When I told him this year that I had my own stocking covered, you could almost see R-E-L-I-E-F spelled across his face.

For some time now, I have been trying to figure out a way to honor the baby boy we lost to miscarriage. I finally decided I was going to find what is called Mother's jewelry - a piece that in some way symbolizes each of your children. In our case, our two girls, and the baby we lost.

After searching long and hard, my dear friend Joy found this site, Queen Bee Designs by Amanda. She had the perfect necklace (and the perfect price). It came the day before Christmas, just in time to make its way into my stocking. I eagerly opened it on Christmas morning and instantly adored it!

This is the Three's A Charm design. The large disc is imprinted with Olivia's name, the medium disc with Madeline's name and the small disc is blank on the front, but has the baby's due date imprinted on the back. It was Amanda's idea to put the charm on the front so the small disc would blend better. She was so sensitive and thoughtful, and a delight to work with.

I'm normally not a big jewelry-wearer, but I've worn this every chance I get. In some strange way, this necklace has brought a little sliver of peace, that somehow helps lessen my grief. Maybe its a tangible assurance that our baby will not be forgotten.

The holidays were harder than I expected, with rogue thoughts of "I should have an 8 month pregnant belly" popping up unexpectedly. I guess in my naivety, I didn't think I would still be feeling the loss this strong for so long. It's a peculiar combination, the healing of moving on and the pain of remembering.

We have a little flip calendar in our bathroom, a verse a day kind of thing. And the verses of the last 2 days, were a good representation of that combination to me:

Psalm 23:4 "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou are with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me." (The remembering.)

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (The moving on.)
Both represent that wonderful hope that I have in trusting God's promise to comfort me and protect me. Beautiful promises to hang onto in the New Year!