Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am thankful.

In the midst of this horrific pain, I am thankful.

I am thankful for the love from the God of creation, I am thankful for the promise of Eternity. I am thankful that Jesus is the Savior and has provided a way for us to be with Him until the end of time. I am thankful that He loves us and wants a relationship with us. I am thankful that we do not walk alone through this world. He is with us every step of the way. I am so thankful that He is constant. I am thankful for Him. Father, I love you, and I want to know You more each day. I cannot survive without You. You are the Rock, the Anchor in my life.

I am thankful that I am Gideon's mommy; that I get to love him and that he is and will always be part of our family. I am thankful that I got to have him on earth for 33 weeks and that we got to hold him, kiss him and snuggle him. I am thankful that I got to see the love on my husbands face as he held our son.  Gideon has been in heaven for more than 6 months now. I miss him more today than I did the day we had to say goodbye to him. My heart aches to kiss him again and the desire of my heart is to see his smile and hear his laugh. But I won't see that on this earth, and yet, I am still thankful. I am thankful that the Lord decided to create his life. I am thankful that I get to love him, and that I spent 33 weeks loving on him. I am thankful for every single time he kicked and moved within me, and for the times when his daddy got to feel him move. I am thankful that he looks like me and his daddy. I am thankful for the people that his life has touched. I am thankful that he is, and has been for over 6 months, in the presence of the Lord, experiencing perfect joy. I am thankful that he knew how much he was loved. I love you, Gideon, with all my heart, and I am so thankful for you. More than I can express.

I am thankful for Todd , the father of my children, because he loves with all his heart and is such a strong man of faith. I am so thankful for the man he is and for the father he has become. I get to experience selfless love from him every single day. It blows me away that I get to be married to a man who has tremendous faith and a giving heart. I am honored to be his wife. I am thankful that the Lord brought us together to walk through this life. I am thankful that he is truly my best friend, that we can laugh and cry together. I am thankful that I can be totally open and vulnerable with him. I am thankful that he prays for me and that he loves God first. I am thankful that he loves our children. I am thankful when I get to see him smile (and his dimples!). I am thankful for every moment I have with him. I am thankful that I get to love him. Todd, I love you, you still take my breath away, you are the most beautiful and courageous person I know. You have my heart.

I am thankful for this new addition to our family who is growing strongly. I am thankful that this baby has been brought to our life to add to our family. I am thankful that we love this child so much already. No matter what happens, I am thankful that for today this child is alive and kicking in my womb. I am thankful that I can feel him/her moving around in there, right now. I cannot explain how incredible it feels to be the mother of our children. That Todd and I are parents to such amazing miracles. I am thankful that God has a plan for this child. I am thankful for the hope that this child has given us. I am thankful that we get to love this baby. I am thankful that this baby was created by the Lord. I am thankful that I may get a chance to see this child grow up. And even if I don't, I will be thankful for the time I have with this child.  Precious one, you own part of my heart, I love you and can't wait to meet you.

I am thankful for the family that I was born into.  Through my whole life and especially through the past 6 months they have given me more support and love than I deserve. I am thankful that they make me laugh through my tears. I am thankful that I can be myself around them with no facade, no pretending. I am thankful that they allow me to fully grieve our son and that they grieve along side us. That they want to talk about Gideon. I cannot tell you how thankful it makes me that they talk about him, and want to look at his pictures and want to remember him. I am thankful for the hugs I get from my nieces and nephews. I am thankful that when my heart is aching, they make me smile and can make me crack up laughing. I am thankful that my nieces and nephews love their cousin, even though none of them got to hold him or see him, only pictures. I am thankful for my family. To you, my family, thank you for loving me always and for always making me laugh. I love you.

I am thankful for my friends who are like family to me. I cannot even explain how amazing it is to have friends in your life that are just like family. I am thankful that these friends encourage me, and my faith. I am thankful that these friends have walked beside us through this time, and will continue to do so. I am thankful that they love Gideon and that they miss him too. I am thankful that they pray for us. To have people in your life that lift you up, and love you, and encourage you is a huge blessing from the Lord. I am thankful that they let us process our grief how we need to and that they remember our son and think of him often. I am also thankful for the friends I have made because of Gideon, those who have lost a child. I am thankful that God has brought these friends to my life. Mommies and daddies truly understand our hurt. We hold each others hands as we walk the same journey of grief. To all of my dear friends, you are more amazing than you know. I love you.

I am thankful to be a child of the Lord, a wife, a mommy, a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and a friend.

My heart is broken, but I am thankful. Thank you Lord for pouring out Your love on us each second of the day. Thank you for each blessing in my life, they are a gift from You.

And I am just thankful for the Lord. Because He is.

 "But as for me, afflicted and in pain; may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God's name in song, and glorify him with thanksgiving." Psalm 69:29-30

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Brother

Gideon is going to be a big brother!

Yes, Todd and I are pregnant!

Pretty shocking, huh? It was a huge surprise to us too! It took us 41 months to get pregnant with Gideon and so when we found out we were pregnant again quickly, we were shocked! It took us totally off guard. Its crazy what God does sometimes. But this child, like Gideon, is a miracle from him. Especially considering Todd and I have infertility issues.

We are so excited to be blessed with this child!

I have been to the doctor already 4 times and I have had 2 ultrasounds. And so far, so good. Everything looks great with this little one. Every time at the doctor we have seen or heard this baby's heartbeat and it has been strong and fast. Gideon's was the same way at this point. When I was 15 weeks pregnant with him, everything was perfect. I have been able to feel this baby moving for a while now. Since I was about 11 weeks or so. I felt Gideon move for the first time at 19 weeks. It is wonderful and exciting to feel this little one move all around! I loved getting to know Gideon through his kicks inside of me, and I will love getting to know this little one too.

This baby is due on May 3rd! I am hoping to be induced a little early. For many reasons, one being that Gideon's first birthday will be on May 17th. I am not sure how I feel about them having the same birth month. And then, as we get closer to my due date, I can imagine, and from what I have heard from others, it is very stressful. So, I am hoping to have this baby a little early for my mental state, and because part of me doesnt want both of my children to have the same birth month. I dont know if I can handle that, honestly. But we shall see how I feel come April. I might change my mind.

My belly is huge already. I mean, take a look at that big ole' belly in the picture! Hahah. Like I said before, I am 15 weeks with this baby and my belly is as big as it was with Gideon at like 20-21 weeks. It is because I have already had a baby and my stomach muscles are all relaxed and since this baby and Gideon are so close together, it usually means that you start showing sooner.

I go in to have another ultrasound in about a week. I am using the same doctor I had with Gideon because I trust him and he is a very cautious doctor. And he is a Believer and so we hold the same views on life. He is always careful with his patients, but he is being even more so with me.  There is nothing wrong with me that would cause another stillbirth, but he is being extra safe anyway. He is also having me go and see an Internal Fetal Medicine doctor, just to be on the safe side, so she can check me out too.

Still, I am terrified. I know the Lord is not a God of fear, but I am afraid that this child may die too. 

 What if we have to say goodbye to this child, too? Am I strong enough for that? Can we survive more grief? What if this baby dies? Can I handle picking out another headstone?...The thing is, people will say "well, lighting doesnt strike in the same place twice" or "nothing will happen this time" or something of that nature. And the reality is, there are no guarantees. Job had everything taken from him. His children, his livestock, his health. Everything. For him, lightning struck more than twice in the same place. I know a beautiful woman who has had 5 miscarriages, a stillbirth and a son who passed away after spending his precious, short life in the nicu. I know another woman who has had 3 stillbirths. Her first 2 losses were caused by the same medical reason and her last loss was from something completely different. Another woman I have met, had a daughter pass away at a week old, and then had a son at 15 weeks, and after the birth of 2 living children, has had 2 more miscarriages.
So many people I know with so much loss. So many babies who have gone to heaven. I know all too well that there really are no guarantees. Just because I am out of my first trimester doesnt mean I am "safe" now. Gideon died at 33 weeks, if he had been born alive, he could have lived. So there is no "safe."
I am fine with people telling me "I really feel like this baby is going to live" or if God Himself gives you a revelation, then by all means, please tell me. But I know; I know the true pain of loving and getting to know your child and then them dying and being left with empty arms.

The truth is: this baby might die too. This baby might die before I want him/her to. However, I am trusting the Lord. We are trusting Him through this. Trusting; not that this child won't die, but trusting in the promise of Eternity and the Resurrection and the coming of the New Heaven and New Earth. In Him, is where my trust rests. Not in what may or may not happen. On Him, not on my circumstance.

Having a baby doesn't change this grief that we are carrying. It doesnt make it "ok." It doesnt make us "all better" or "over it." Because that is impossible. I will never be ok with Gideon not being here, I will never be better or over my son's death. So know, that we are still hurting deeply. We still ache with all our hearts. I constantly feel pain, no matter what I am doing because of the space that Gideon left. We still miss Gideon with everything that is in us. He has a completely special place in our hearts that cannot be replaced.  Every single moment, I wish Gideon was still here. Every single breath, my heart aches for him. Every single heartbeat, I crave to have him in my arms. I still weep every single day. Just the other day, I got out Gideon clothes and held them tightly to my chest and wept on the floor of my closet. I kissed the inside of his hat because his skin touched it. I looked at his foot prints and sobbed. I still feel a great emptiness where Gideon should be. I just miss him.

Please do not think that this child is a replacement of Gideon, because it is impossible to replace one child with another. Because each of our children are in our hearts. Each has their own unique place there. Whether we have living children or children in heaven,  each one of our kids is special to us in their own way.  I was told by someone that maybe I am having twins; a boy and a girl, because that would mean God would replace Gideon with a new boy. And I told this person "well, I do not believe it works that way and we know there is only one baby in there." And tt doesn't work like that. You cannot replace one child with another. To think that one person can replace another is just crazy.  Say, your mom died and your dad remarried, would your new step-mom be a replacement for your mother. Of course not. Or what if, you had a brother that died and your parents had a new baby and that baby was a boy; would your newest brother replace your other brother. No, not at all. Just know that each of our children are special to us. Our first child, who was miscarried; our first born child, Gideon and this little one are all special to us.

Its a very strange feeling to be grieving one child and hopeful about another child.

Just know how much we love this little one. Since I knew about his/her life, I was in love. The day we found out I was pregnant, Todd said "I love you, I love you too" and I was like "huh?" and he said "I was talking to you and the baby." So sweet. Daddy loves all of his kiddos. I sing to this baby, like I did Gideon. I rub my belly. We talk about names we like. I always tell Todd, when I feel movement, "your baby is moving!!" We all wish that the older brother was here as we plan our future, but we still plan. I know that my loving this child take nothing away from my love of Gideon. I am friends with this beautiful, Godly woman and after I told her we were expecting, she said something that was so encouraging and true. She said this; " Gideon is your first child. That will never change! He loves his mommie and his mommie loves him! That will never change! Can I encourage you to never doubt your love for Gideon or even for a second, or think that your second child will ever diminish Gideon's memory in any way. The thought of allowing yourself to fully, fully, fully embrace your second child and at the same time cherish everything about Gideon hopefully do not feel like a conflict for you."  And what she said is so true. And it doesn't feel like a conflict, it feels like a compliment to each other. As, my love for Gideon has intensified, my love for this child grows every day. Its like, Gideon taught me how to love SO strongly, more than I can even express, because of him I am able to love this child with the same strength. This child is so special. And this child has a special plan for him or her that God has set for them. This newest addition to our family has a purpose in this world. Just like Gideon, just like me and just like you. We love this baby so much.

I just wish we could have both this child, and Gideon with us.

So as we grieve our first born child, we are hopeful and excited about hopefully bringing this child home to raise. This child will know of his or her older brother and will carry Gideon in his/her heart, like we do. We are so thankful for this baby. For this life that God has gifted us. We are so thankful that God decided to perform another miracle and give us this child. I am thankful for this baby. Even if I only have him or her for today, I am thankful for today. I am thankful that right now, our baby is living and healthy. I am thankful that I get to love Gideon and this child. I am thankful that Todd is an amazing daddy to our children. I am thankful that I get to experience a mommy's love. I am thankful for what I have been given when God gave us this child and thankful for what we were given when we were given Gideon. 

I picture Gideon in heaven, being so excited about his new sibling. That he is in heaven cheering us on and laughing and smiling at the idea that he has a new brother or sister coming. I think he is ecstatic that he is a big brother. I can picture him being extremely happy for our family. And I know he is awaiting the day when we can all be together in eternity. And I am waiting for that day too.

I have this verse on a picture frame that I have of Gideon and it is true for him and it is true for this newest addition to our family.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well."  Psalm 139:13-14

Here is a picture of our newest miracle:

This is from our 10 week ultrasound on October 6th.  Its so cool that even at 10 weeks along you can see the baby's arms. Look, you can even tell that the baby had his/her legs crossed! Its so cool to think about what the baby looks like now, at 15 weeks!! The next ultrasound will be in about a week and we will get to see how much this baby has grown in 6 weeks! :)

And because I am a proud mommy, here is a picture of our Gideon. He is so beautiful. I miss him.

 Both of our children, beautiful creations of the Lord, both fearfully and wonderfully made.