dryer balls

A Letter to My Daughter.

**TRIGGER ALERT** This post refers to the loss of a child and may upset those who have experienced a similar loss. I am not trying to hurt you so this is your warning. Stop reading if you are still too raw. This is also your warning that, if you are planning to comment with a nasty comment, I will delete your comment without warning. This is a sensitive topic for me and I will not tolerate those comments.Inline image 1

To my sweet baby girl Evelyn Joy,

Yesterday was three months. Three months ago, you came into the world sleeping. I had prayed for God to have mercy and save you. I admit that I did. I begged for your life because I knew God was able to perform miracles if it was His will. When we went back for the 2nd ultrasound, He hadn’t performed a miracle and saved your life. Your little body was still there. Lifeless. And, my body was in the process of ending your pregnancy. I asked my doctor to allow me to avoid surgery. I wanted to meet you. I wanted to feel the pain of delivering you. I wanted the privilege of honoring my child and, perhaps, burying you.

You should know that your daddy is the strong one of the two of us. Yes, I endured the waves of contractions. I felt my water break and I rushed to the bathroom to deliver you. But, your daddy. He’s the strong one. He’s the one who cared for you. He’s the one who cleaned you up and loved on you first. He’s the daddy who loved you (and me) enough to carefully place your tiny body in your coffin. Your final resting place. He’s the husband who lovingly urged me to see you and hold you. He’s the man who sat on the floor of the bathroom and wept as I wailed while holding you. He’s the one who photographed you, his 6th child and 2nd daughter. You see, he’s the strong one.

I’m not so strong. I cry a lot. I miss you more than I can ever explain. I have Our Milestones etched in my mind. I know when we would’ve had the sonogram to find out whether you were a girl or a boy. We had invited all of your grandparents to a sonogram while we visited Florida. When that date passed, I grieved. I know that we should be approaching the home stretch. We should be preparing for our 3rd trimester. I try to balance my huge love for your siblings with my huge love and grief for you. There are days when my body feels so empty. I miss you. I never felt you kick and that hurts. I never felt your hiccups. I will never change your poopy diapers. I will never help you learn to walk. I will never teach you to read. I will never comfort you when you are sick. I will never see you complete high school. I will never straighten your veil on your wedding day. I mourn these moments.

I ache for normal. I deeply desire to return to normal. But, Evelyn, when I think of normal, you are here. It’s end of January and we are anxiously awaiting your birth. If I’m honest, I don’t know how to be normal anymore. I’m desperately trying to trust Jesus. I’m trying to understand His plan. Mama believes that God is good and He is sovereign. He knows all things and plans all things. Mama isn’t going to lie to you or wear a mask. This is a hard thing to accept because, if He knows all things and plans all things, He knew we would love you and lose you. That is hard for Mama to understand. I’m trying. I don’t know how to understand it and search for a new normal. I know the new normal includes a greater trust in God. How do I not trust Him more?

A few things that I do know. I know, for certain, you were fearfully and wonderfully made. I know you looked like your brother, DS#3. I know you had tiny fingers and toes. I know you were sent for a purpose. Your short life had purpose. When I think of you and your name, I’m reminded of the need to find JOY even in the hardest of times. (The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise Him. Psalm 28:7 is the inspiration for your middle name.) I also am tremendously proud of you. You are my beautiful girl. I know I am thankful that God allowed me to be your mama. For the short time that He allowed me to carry you. For allowing me to see and hear your heart beating in an ultrasound at 6 weeks. For the grace He gave in allowing your daddy and me to see you and hold you when you were born. I’m thankful that He allowed me to see that you were sick and He does have our best in mind. I’m thankful for a GOOD God who gives us strength when we are weak and can’t understand.

Since I am proud of being your mama and I know God has a plan for your life, I am sharing your picture with whoever reads this post. This is your picture on your birthday. July 14, 2015. You were 9 weeks 4 days gestation when you passed.


Mama, Daddy and all of The Crazies love you.

When the night doesn’t end. 

I can’t describe the heartbreak I feel tonight. I feel like I’m drowning in grief. When I try to sleep, I can’t. I think of things that hurt. What would she have looked like? Would she have had my daughter’s big doe shaped eyes? Or her brother’s slanted eyes? Would she have an angel’s kiss at the base of her neck like most of her siblings?? Would she have been an introvert like her oldest brother? Or an extrovert like “The Twins?” Would her tiny fingers wrap around my finger like the others did when they nursed? The torture is neverending. I can’t do anything except rock myself while praying and begging God. “Please. I KNOW you can do ALL things. Please save my baby.” Over and over I pray these same words. 

My head knows the truth. I have seen tons of sonograms. I know that my baby’s heart was not beating. How, as a mom, do I not beg God to intervene???? I KNOW theology. I KNOW God is able to perform miracles. I KNOW He is sovereign also. I KNOW He sees the whole picture while I only see a fraction. I KNOW He works all things together for good. I will trust Him. I do trust Him. For tonight, I grieve. And I beg. Please. Please, save my baby. 

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah” Psalm 61:1-4

11 week appointment. 

I must admit that this will be raw. I can’t bring myself to put on a face. 

I originally had an appointment scheduled with the OB who delivered baby #5. They had to change my appointment to the new doctor in the practice (who I had not met) when the on call schedules changed. So, ever the lover of change (pretty much, no.) I decided to determine that I would like her. It was going to be a good appointment. I did the normal weight check, BP check, etc and then waited for the doctor. It was also time for my annual exam so we chatted as she did the exam. 

Then, she said, “let me listen to your baby” and reached for the Doppler. I’m only 11 weeks so I wasn’t surprised when she didn’t hear a heartbeat with the Doppler. None of my babies could be heard with Doppler until after 12 weeks and I wasn’t concerned. She said, “I’m just going to grab the ultrasound and we will look at the heartbeat.” 
She had her nurse bring the machine in and started the external sonogram. She didn’t say much at first and then said “I think we are gonna do internal sonogram because I can’t see the heartbeat.” I still wasn’t as concerned. I only thought, “leave it to our last baby to force us to look at him/her with an internal sonogram at 11 weeks.” There was the fleeting thought of simple biology. The fact that a baby at 11 weeks gestation should be clearly visible with an external sonogram. And the heartbeat should be also. 

She started the internal sonogram and I could clearly see my baby. With no heartbeat. She said the words my head was screaming “There’s no heartbeat. I’m sorry. I can’t find a heartbeat.” 

In the moment, there’s shock, anger, sadness, devastation, confusion all flooding in while the tears are flooding out. I see her measure my baby and say “Yeah, measuring 9 weeks 3 days….” And I know I’m 11 weeks. I know the cold fact is my baby has died. 

She asked if I wanted her to get my OB and have her do a second look to see if she can find the heartbeat. I’ve seen tons of sonograms and I know the futility of my “please.” I can’t help but hope. Perhaps the new doctor is inept. Perhaps …

My OB came in and did the sonogram. The results were the same. No heartbeat. “See the circle with the line in it here? That’s the heart. It should be beating. The baby is perfectly formed if you were supposed to be 9 weeks. There’s just no heartbeat.”

I cried. A lot. My OB rubbed my back and, honestly, spoke a lot of words I don’t remember. I know she tried to comfort me. 

“Genetic abnormality”

“Not your fault”

“Come back Monday and we will do another ultrasound to make sure nothing’s changed.”

So, this is my new reality. I’m still pregnant. I’m still carrying my baby who died 2 weeks ago and I’m devastated. 

Our new addition. 

I realized that I never updated with our news. We are expecting baby #6. We are all THRILLED. The kids are determined that this is the little sister they’ve all been waiting on. However, I’m not entirely sure. The odds aren’t in our favor in the girl department. 

I’m due at the end of January so, since we typically have snow in January, I’m a tad nervous about the whole going into labor thing. 

We had a sonogram at my 6 week apptmt and everything looks great. I was able to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat during the sonogram. It never ceases to amaze me to see new life!! I wonder who you will be, little one, and can’t wait to hold you!!! You are loved so much already!