Waiting on our Rainbow

I’m assuming that you saw our announcement on facebook… After over 2.5 years of praying, we are expecting our Rainbow baby this August 2017! 


We have been overwheled with so many thoughts since finding out in early December. There was so much more I needed to say besides simply announcing our pregnancy.  So, putting it here seemed to be the best way.

I have never known such a combination of this much joy, guilt, fear and hope. 

Joy. Because we have been trying and praying for this baby for over 2.5 years. I had reached the broken place of giving it up. And then in he/she came, just before our 3rd Christmas of wishing for him/her. We had joy when telling our daughter that after years of her praying with us for a baby brother or sister “that gets to stay here with me.”, she finally has a baby on the way. We had joy when telling family. There were tears and hugs and my five year old telling me “I almost cried tears of joy.  I am SO happy!”  There is a joy in me, in my little family that hasn’t been there in a long, long time. 

Guilt. Maverick’s not here… just a month shy of three years since he left us and I will never stop asking myself if I had done just one thing differently that day… would he be here giving me “two hugs, mama. One for you and one for the baby.” Or whispering to my belly “good morning baby… I love you.” Just like his sister has been doing? I feel so unworthy of this gift we have been given. The guilt never leaves… even through immense joy. 

Fear. It’s not because I don’t trust God. I do. I trust that He can bring me through the toughest storms the world can offer. He can. He will. He already has. I trust Him fully. But, I still know that sometimes, my plans and God’s plans don’t match up. I know how quickly dreams become nightmares… and I know how beautiful this dream is.

Hope. Through the joy, the guilt and the fear… there is hope. Where there is hope there is faith, and where there is faith… all things are possible. I have faith and hope that my husband and I will hold this baby in August. And hope that we will watch him/her grow and thrive and be used by God here on Earth in mighty ways.  Hope that my daughter will know ALL of the experiences of having a brother or sister… here. To hug, play with, fight with, pick on and defend… to grow up with.  I have hope for a full, healthy life for my children here. Above all my anxieties and fears I have HOPE rooted in the fact that God works all things for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)  My hope is stronger than my fear.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”   Psalm 62:5-6

7I have all of these thoughts, feelings and emotions bouncing around in my head taking turns running things. And even in the midst of it all, I know I am carrying the answered prayer of so many. The magnitude of that blessing is not lost on me. 

Thank you for your prayers and your support. If you would please keep us in your prayers… we still need them dearly.

Pray for strength. 
Pray for peace. 

Pray for eased anxieties.

Pray for calmness.

But most of all, pray that God would bless this child, and this family with health and that this baby safely makes it to our arms in August. And that August would just be the beginning of the long beautiful life that is in store for this child. 


“Pray for anything, and if you have Faith you will receive it.”    Matthew 21:22

Peace in the Unknown

How do you make peace in the unknown?

I have been in such a dark place lately. And I do mean Dark. It’s been deep and endless, and suffocating. I’ve turned my life into waiting game. An unpeaceful, heavy, broken waiting game… with a whole new struggle and a whole new set of rules. 

I’ve made peace with my “known”…“Maverick is gone.”

But how do you make peace with the unknown? The constant wonder of, “Will it be this month? Will it be next? At all? Adoption? Or perhaps just more loss? More heart ache?” How do you settle your pieces, when you don’t know where your pieces are, or even how many pieces there are. How do I accept that I have no control… That all I can do is wait for my “after” all the while, attempting to do life?

It drains me of all joy, the waiting. It takes my mind and my heart from the things in front of me and invests them into things that don’t exist. Things that may never exist. My impatient waiting has taken control. And I’ve let it rob me of that… “something” that makes life worth living. (Truly, my question as of late has been “What is the point in life?  Why am I still here? Can’t it just be over now?  I’m tired.”) It’s at the bottom of this “wait” soaked pit-of-a-life that I began writing this from. But as I started to complain that there is no light in this tunnel and that the “wait” is heavy and that it is closing in on me, along came a silent whisper…

“Stop waiting. Wanting is fine… but waiting is spreading your heart too thin. Waiting, is keeping your heart in three different places.
Past, where Maverick is.
Present, where your husband and Daughter are… Where you need to be.
And Future, where the possibilities are endless, but also beginning-less. The future where “this” may or may not happen. Where “that” may or may not happen. It is unknown… to YOU.

Stop pushing on that door you have fashioned in your vision of where your life is going. Stop acting like if you push a little harder… if you want a little deeper… knock a little louder… wait a little longer… Stop acting like any of that will open a door that can not be opened by you. It can not be known to you. Let go of not knowing. And hold on to this, the one known ever needed…

‘Be still, and know that I am God.’
Be still.
And know.

Don’t Wait on the unknownKnow.

That still, small voice calmed me. And brought my “present” heart back in center. The sun rose and the warmth burned up the moisture in the air that had clouded my vision. My husband has been holding my hand and my daughter has been growing right in front of me, behind that thick “waiting” fog.

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In letting go of the wait, I have been shown that even if nothing were to ever have come from this wait…

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They are enough.

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They are more than enough.

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And I am blessed to call them mine.

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If the whisper hadn’t given me such a peace, I would be ashamed that I took so much time for granted. And that I let the fog thicken as I piled up my “wait” in front of everything. I have been holding onto our possible future so hard, that they are slipping through my fingers. But answered prayer or not… my wait is over. I am living with my present heart, and I am going to love my husband and daughter that are right in front of me, and carry my son whole heartedly. I’m not waiting on the unknown anymore. Come what may. I have found my peace.

How do you find peace in the unknown?

Let go.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
And hold on to the only true “known” in life.
“Be still and know that I am God.”

Hello and Good Bye

February 28, 2013- It started out normal, except I woke up as quietly as I could and slipped away to the bathroom before my 15 months old daughter woke up. Silently I slipped into the bathroom and locked the door, because, afterall, if this was the moment I was going to find out that our family was growing, and that I had a tiny human growing inside of me, I didn’t want to be interrupted by cranky, sleepy, grasping hands trying to take away that stick mama was playing with. I wanted to remember this moment and savor it, just like I did the first time I had suspicions with my daughter.

I took the test and before the lines started to show, there was crying and banging on the door.

“Just a second! Mama’s almost done! Hang on, baby!”

Positive.

The cries and door-banging continued as that ball in my throat that blocks all breath until I let out a squeal of excitement welled up inside me. A smile spread across my face and I was, for lack of a better word,  giddy! And with my excitement, I opened the door, swooped up my first-born to my hip, and went about brainstorming on how I would tell my husband that our second born was on his way…

I’m glad I locked the door.

I’m glad I savored that moment.

Because little did I know, a year later… February 28, 2014 was the day we would bury our second born. In fact, my husband was reading his letter from “Lil Buckaroo” and learning our baby boy was on the way about the same time of day that they began releasing the dirt on top of his tiny casket a year later.

Today February 28, 2015, this is our third final day of February since that beautiful little soul crept into our lives.

It’s been a year. A whole year.  A full year since the last time I saw my baby… since I touched his tiny, cold hands, since I kissed his precious little head through his hat. (My lips couldn’t bare the unwelcoming cold touch where the warmth of his squishy, plump, kissable cheeks once was.)

It’s been a year since I’ve seen my forever sleeping beauty….

So far, this is worse than the anniversary of his death. Afterall this was the day we said our very first hello,  and also the day we said our goodbye to every earthly piece of him. (With the exception of a scattered clipping of his hair in an envelope in his room) And don’t tell me it wasn’t goodbye… it WAS.

I know right where his soul is, but the body that grew in my belly, the toes we counted,  the fingers that wrapped around his daddy’s, the little head that had a crown atop it just a week prior, his hair… his beautiful,  beautiful red hair, we said GOOD BYE to every physical piece of him a year ago today. Don’t belittle our loss. We will never see the body that we rocked, snuggled, kissed and held again. In that way, it was GOOD BYE.

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“Hello” and “Good Bye” are enough… but on the same day? …

Too much. 

She Remembers

It was my three year-old’s words that crushed my spirit today. Words spoken in her precious little voice, formed from her innocent understanding of things.

I thought she was spared this particular burden. I thought she missed it because of age. I thought she had some God-given hedge around her, as far as memories go. And up until that moment this morning, I thought we were in the clear, and that she escaped that day with some part of her innocence intact.

We were eating strawberries and watching one of her shows on Netflix when I noticed the time. So I playfully picked her up and darted back to her bedroom to get her dressed, all the while talking about how much fun we would have with her Auntie and cousin for the day.

As we went through the hall with her up in my arms, something caught her eye on the wall, that is normally above her eye level.

“Mama, stop! I want to see our picture!”

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I turned.

“That’s Bubba and Evalynn, Mama and Dada. That’s our picture.”

“Yes it is. Do you like it?” I said, while looking at our family caricature.

“Yeah. My like it. I love Bubba.”

“I love him too, baby.” I said as I set her down in the floor of her room and started to think of what she would wear.

She said it. I froze. I crumbled.

“But Bubba died. He was on your bed and Dada was looking at him, and Mama was looking at him, and I was looking at him. Bubba died. Bubba’s dead.”

It went from a sweet moment that she talked about loving her brother, to the moment my second-worst fear became reality. She remembers.

My first fear… that she will forget him.
My second… she will only remember that he died.

She slipped past me into our bedroom, where her Daddy was giving CPR to her brother, while I was panicking in the hall and waiting on the ambulance. She was in the room for less than thirty seconds before I carried her out. Thirty seconds, and it stuck with her at the age of two.

She saw.
She remembers.
And I know these are her memories, because we don’t talk about that day.

We thought,  and even said at the hospital after they pronounced her brother dead. “Thank God she is so young and doesn’t understand.  Thank God she won’t remember.”

But we were wrong.

Despite our efforts to protect her very impressionable young memories, we failed.

We never let her see his body at the funeral home and she was in the nursery at the church during his funeral. Seeing someone in a casket sticks with you. And that is not something we took lightly being that she was barely two. Her memories of her brother will always be limited, and fuzzy at best. But we didn’t want to tarnish those memories any further by adding such a strong, vivid memory. Besides, she had found an innocent peace in knowing Bubba was okay and he went to be with Jesus. We couldn’t bring ourselves to taking a chance at confusing that understanding. So we thought we protected her from that memory.

Now, if the last memories she will have of Maverick are her Daddy doing chest compressions… or me trying to make her look out the back door while I chanted
“He’s okay, he’s okay,  he’s okay, he’s okay… He’s okay, he’s okay, he’s okay, he’s okay….”
Quickly in a loop while the strangers from the ambulance were shocking him on the living room floor… or if it’s watching her mama chase those men carrying her baby brother wrapped in a white sheet out the front door…. If those memories we hoped she’d forget are her last of him, maybe his cold, still, yet beautiful body we tucked away into his tiny white casket would have been a gentler one to take their place.

I hate that my three-year-old understands death. I hate that… even more so that she learned about it from the death of her baby brother.

I so want to fix it for her. And to take that memory from her, or at least to travel back to let her see her brother in his little suit. I wish I could trade that memory for her. But I can’t.  And what is crushing, and something I hadn’t realized until this morning, a piece of my, then, two year-old daughter died that day too. Part of her innocence went with him… along with the parts of us that accompanied him. I never realized that. Maybe because I never realized that she would remember the day her brother died.

She didn’t just lose her baby brother, she lost her best friend, her playmate, her kids’ uncle, the possibility of nieces and nephews, and the person who should be standing next to her at my funeral. She didn’t just lose her baby brother. She lost the entire life they should have had together. And had to trade that life for memories of his death. I hate that she learned about death from him, of all people.

I can’t fix that. I can’t take it back. I can’t protect her.

She remembers.

“Bubba died.”

My three year-old used those words for the first time this morning.

Those words, spoken in that precious voice will haunt me until the end of time.

Worth mention

December 2014

For seven months we have tried. And for seven months I have failed. My husband. My daughter. My family. Myself.

And after seven months of one – line pregnancy tests. This month… two. Two lines. Two lines.

Hope. Joy. Dreams. Future.

I relished in it… cautiously, of course. Fearfully. Skeptically. But, thoroughly. Tremendously.

My husband and I talked, and planned what new adventures were on the horizon for us. We could see the light forming into a rainbow in the midst of our storm clouds. We could feel that joy building. We laughed. We smiled. It was just right. And the months of heartbroken negatives all made sense. We had to wait for this baby.

Our girl name is picked. Although, we have decided to keep it a secret. Actually,  her name has been picked for a while now, should we ever have a baby girl.

Our boy name is in progress.

This baby’s due date is in August. “I think I have some summer maternity clothes.”

“I’m glad we never put Maverick’s crib away. We are going to need it back to set up soon for his baby brother or sister. (I’m thinking I’d prefer her to be a sister.) Maybe if we did a fresh coat of paint,  this baby’s room will be ready for a fresh start.”

“Pinterest has some adorable angel/rainbow baby ideas. I need to do some of these photos. While I’m thinking of photos, I need to figure out which photo collage I will use for pictures of their big brother in their room…pictures will be the only way he/she will ever form memories of their brother. They will definitely have a few canvases of Maverick’s funeral balloon release on their wall. Perfect way to include him!”

Ideas, thoughts,  hope they all came and they gave me good dreams. They gave me happy, hopeful thoughts. They gave me a bright focal point for my future, that perhaps that could balance out the darkness in my past. They had eased the jealousy that rises up in me every time I see a parent with two or more kids, because Evalynn had another sibling on the way. We had something new to look at in our future. And then, we didn’t. And then he or she was just gone.

It started slowly…

“Dear God please no! Please. You already have Maverick, please! Let me keep my second line.  Why did you give it to me just to take it away? God, that’s cruel. This was supposed to be my rainbow. Ever since we decided to try,  I prayed to you that we would be pregnant by Christmas. I prayed.  I believed. I trusted. You gave me hope. And then you took it away. Please,  if there is a life inside of me give them strength. Protect them. Keep them safe and give them health. Let me keep them. I already love them. Please… let me keep them…”

But, no.

With my face on the bathroom floor, spiritually shaking my fist in the air at my creator once more, I knew they were gone.

This life slipped suddenly and silently into my life, and just as silently, they faded out.
And again, my body became a home to only one life.

The “why?”s came back with a vengeance.

Why?
Why?!
WHY?!

It was early on, so early on that they nearly came and went without notice.

In ways, I suppose that made it simpler. Although we already loved, wanted, planned, and prayed for this baby, the reality hadn’t fully sunk in, at least not in my brain.

My heart, however… was sunk. Fully submerged. It still is.

And now it’s drowning.

When will my rainbow come?

Oh, for the sake of my heart… I pray sooner rather than later.

I debated long and hard on posting this. I’m not looking for Sympathy. I’m not looking to make some testament of another trial we endured. I don’t want to show off my so-called “strength”, nor do I seek condolences.

I don’t really know why I shared this, other than the fact that it simply needs to be known. For a while, no matter how short, my body carried another life, besides my own. And at the very least, that is worth mention.

Our Forgotten Room

A few months ago, we decided to switch Evalynn and Maverick’s rooms. We just really needed the change,  and to keep that room a happy place in our home, not just the permanent holder of all our broken hopes and dreams for our son. Now his old room is full of dolls and flowers. That’s a good thing… for this situation. It’s a happy room with toys and giggles.

But quite the opposite happened to her old room,  or “Maverick’s room”, if you will. It became the forgotten room. The cluttered room. The dumping ground of all of his things. From my pregnancy with him, his birth, his life, his funeral, my letters to him, condolence letters to us… everything (with the exception of his curio cabinet in the dining room and “Bubba’s toys” that his big sister has claimed for her room… typical older sibling taking the baby’s toys!!). It’s all there.

His whole life.

Collecting dust. Fading from our memories. Hidden.

Tonight, after putting it off for… about 7 months, I opened the door and came in to straighten it up. Again, to make this room a usable, purposeful, happy place in our home, not just the holder of all our broken hopes and dreams for our son. And this time to really take care of it, not just to move it. To get the closure of finalizing this, of finishing packing up putting away his things.

(Packing is usually associated with going somewhere… He’s not going anywhere. He’s gone away. He’s not coming back.)

I didn’t realize how much of my heart I would have to invest into this cleaning/organizing project.

I told you this was the room we put things to forget them. It did its job. It did it well. I forgot.

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I forgot that he only used two diapers out of his first new box in a new size… He died in one of the diapers that came out of this box. I forgot.

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I forgot how much it hurt to look at the empty pages in his baby book. I don’t have a picture of him or a cute story to tell of his first haircut, on this page. I do however have the clippings of his first and only hair cut in an envelope from the funeral home… in this same room. I forgot how these empty pages felt.

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I forgot the letter I wrote to him in the back of his baby book telling him I wanted to follow him away into death…. If it weren’t for his daddy and big sister being here with me. I forgot.

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I forgot about this crocheted cowboy hat that I kept putting off getting pictures of him in. I had this hat for his entire life,  and I don’t have a single picture of him in it. I forgot.

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I forgot that his grave marker was in here. I forgot it was setting  so close to his lion towel, his snuggly blanket and even his going home outfit in the same box next to his little metal sign. All of this on top of his changing table.  The place that I rubbed his vanilla baby lotion on him after bathtime. The place that I put so many of his little diapers and outfits onto my baby boy who was usually screaming because he hated to be naked. I forgot.

I forgot that right in the doorway of this room is where I ran that morning. It is where I literally forgot how to move my legs while I screamed “Oh God! No!” over and over again and the wall in front of me became the ceiling as I fell flat on my back, and was clumsily trying to get up before I knew I had fallen. That was forgotten with this room as well, along with hundreds of other things.

It broke me all over again.

This forgotten room holds too many memories. It holds too much. And it is taking more of me than I imagined it could. I thought I was ready, that enough time had passed. But, no.

Time doesn’t matter. There will always be those things that I forget. And when I am reminded it will take too much, and it will break me again.

This room hold too much. Heartbreaking or not, it’s time.

I need the closure. I need to let air back into that room. I need it to be a happy place in our home again…