Saturday, March 22, 2014

Remember Her.

Tonight my husband and I sat down in order to nail down some thoughts and expectations for Naomi's celebration of life. We knew we wanted to do a balloon release, have our pastor talk and have it in nature but that was about as far as our thoughts went. Talking about our girl and what our expectations were definitely was hard and brought up a lot of emotions and other thoughts. I am exhausted emotionally right now but wanted to get the words down.

One of the hardest things to do post Naomi's return to Jesus is to tell people that don't know what happened. In many ways I blindside them. Nobody expects a baby at 40 weeks to die in the womb... Very little people hear of a stillbirth at that point or know someone that goes through it. Our culture is really horrible about how we death with infant death. I'm sure I'll blog more about that at some point because it is truly on my heart. We pretend that if we don't talk about a baby's death that it goes away. It doesn't. That baby still died and the hopes, dreams and future is no longer there. If the parents are believers then they will meet their baby again in Heaven but everything earthly is ripped away...

When I have to explain my situation to someone, I can summarize the responses in two ways: "I'm so sorry! What happened?!" and "I'm so sorry!! I don't want to bring it up and cause you more pain." Unless you've been in my shoes or in a similar pair,one doesn't know what to say and that's ok... I get that. I don't hold any ill regard to them. I really don't. I have been dealing with the death of my daughter for 6 weeks now. I think about her so many times a day that I couldn't count... the other person never saw it coming.

Although Naomi's death absolutely stinks and I would love nothing more to have her here there is also joy. Besides the joy of her being with Jesus and knowing nothing more than love and perfection in Heaven, there is the joy that we had while we had her with us. I love being a proud mama and talking about my daughter. Although at times it may be painful because I miss her, it really doesn't hurt me to talk about her. There is a difference. I love talking about my daughter. I loved when someone asks me how much she weighed, or what she looked like. I love being a proud mama. Someone this last week commented that I didn't just lose a baby, I lost a child. It is so true. I no longer have my daughter here but by not talking about her, it is doing me no good. Parents of children in Heaven like to talk about their babies. We want people to ask us about them. We want them remembered.

I'm a proud Mama of an Angel so please: Cry with me. Pray with me and walk through this next stage of my life with me... Remember her with us. Remember the other babies. Share special dates. Things that made you think about her. Ask me things. Talk to me. Let me share with you what I do have.

Friday, March 7, 2014

One Month

My dear sweet Naomi,
It's been one month since I started having contractions and called your daddy home from work. It's been one month since we walked into the hospital, got hooked up to machines and were told that you had already gone on to Heaven. It's been one month since I held you and looked at your sweet face. It's been one month since I left the hospital and you and man oh man do I miss you!

Sweet girl, my arms ache for you, my heart aches for you. There is nothing more than your daddy and I want to hear than your sweet cry, to hear you breathe and open your eyes for us. We would do just about anything to be awake all night rocking you.

We know that it can't happen and as much as we can wish it never will. So many people have shown how much they love you by loving on us. We've had so many phone calls, letters, gifts and acts of service. You are so loved.

I think about you in Heaven. In my heart, you will always be a baby so that I can hold you and have my time to rock you all night when I get there. I'm so glad that we have so many people that we have loved go on before us so that they can rock you and hold you while I can't. I wonder who was there first to greet you... Was it Grandpa Royal? Grandma Greta? Grandma Edith? Grandma June? Your cousins? Jesus?

The pain isn't as bad as a month ago but sweet girl. It will never stop. I will never stop wanting you here, wanting to buy dresses for you and your sister for Easter or thinking about you every time I see the color purple.

We never intended for the color purple to be that way but it worked out that way and I'm so glad. You see, your sister's newborn pictures were all done up in pink and we decided to do yours in purple so that they were the same but different. We used the color already in your room to design for the baby shower and since then it's just been what we think of for you. We had bought so many purple things and when I found out that your birth stone is also purple, well sweet pea, it just fits. I'm so glad.

Today I got so many sweet gifts to help remind me of you. Your sweet Aunt Beth brought a succulent in a purple ceramic egg, your Aunt Hannah sent purple flowers, your Gigi brought some beautiful yellow flowers and your daddy was thoughtful enough to buy me a beautiful pendant of a bluebonnet. Not that you will EVER be forgotten but I'm so grateful for these tangible things for me.

Love you sweet girl. Hope your one month celebration in Heaven was beautiful.

Your Mama

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Last night I had the chance to visit with another "Hope Mom" (one who has lost a child) and she shared with me that she calls some of her lessons, "Caroline gifts" and it is so true. Since February 7th, I have been so stretched and have grown so much in my understanding of God and convictions. I really feel like these are gifts that Naomi is giving me -ways to make me and the world around me- better. There are several books that I've been given since we lost Naomi. Two of them are by Nancy Guthrie called The One Year Book of Hope and Holding on to Hope have been both healing and convicting. One of the themes that has been one of the hardest one for me to wrestle with is that of bargaining with God.

When you go through something so unthinkable, some thoughts pop into your head about how you can handle it. I think it's common to think when you're going through something rough "I can do this as long as... (I don't lose my job too, I keep my good health and so on)". Until I read about it I didn't realize I was bargaining with God. I told him that I could manage losing my daughter as long as I didn't lose my other one. I think just about anyone can understand where I'm coming from. I was really convicted that this is something that I have no right in bargaining.

Genesis 33:5

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. "Who are these with you?" he asked. Jacob answered, "They are the children God has graciously given your servant."

Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

(italics by me)

What do all these verses have in common? That God gave us our children. They are from him. They do not belong to us. We are given guardianship over our children temporarily in order to raise them for the glory of him.

In reality, everything we're given is from him. When we realize that these are all gifts from him we learn to be grateful. We put our hearts in the right place and don't take them for granted. We appreciate his gifts and cherish them.

A couple months ago a speaker at MOPS spoke about a word in another language called "Brata". A "brata" is gift completely undeserved. She pinpointed that our house, our husband, our children are all "brata's". It may easy to think of these things as gifts but harder to think of them not being in our control. I can't sit and bargain with God and tell him that he can't take Sophia away from me. Who am I to do that?

Am I okay with this? Not yet. God's still working with me on it. I can tell you though- I'm so grateful for my gifts both here and in Heaven.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

You never know...

Tonight I'm sitting with a margarita in my hand and surrounded by paper, scissors, pens and lots of other scrap booking supplies as I create a memory book for my daughter who I never got to know out of my womb. The pictures that I am gluing to the page are documenting my pregnancy with her; 33 weeks, 38 weeks and so on. This is really all I have with her. Yes I held her in my arms and got to look at her sweet face but I got to know her in utero. She kicked me, she stretched into my ribs and punched my bladder. I had to peed a million times a night -or at least that is what it felt like- and I had heart burn constantly. I have three tiny stretch marks from her stretching out my stomach. My body will never be the same and you know what... I'm completely okay with that.

Sitting here with all these memories around me is somewhat comforting. These are some of the only things that are tangible that I have of my daughter. I don't have the ability to go scoop her out of her bassinet and kiss her... or smell her sweet baby smell. Heck. I'd even take some explosive poops right now. These thoughts really make me realize the truth behind the thought: " you don't know what you have 'till it's gone". I often see or hear people saying things like: " I hope these next 10 weeks go quickly. The third trimester stinks!". I get that. I really do... I said it.

Now, I just wish those days back. I had no clue that this is where I'd be sitting 3 weeks post delivery. I can only pray that God uses this horrible circumstance to better me and hopefully better those around me. This is why I share the thoughts I have via blog and FB. If I feel something really firmly, I wonder if God is using it to touch someone near me. If you're that someone that's reading this... Please think twice. I know that sometimes life is tough and hard. BUT, maybe what you have is okay... Maybe you'd miss it if it was gone. Maybe what you think is horrible isn't even the worst of it. Hang in there... Thank God for what you do have and try not to take it for granted. Every day is a blessing and not guaranteed.