Wednesday, March 28, 2012

10 years ago: Life After Loss

I have been trying to figure out what to say today, actually as I am typing this I am still trying to figure out exactly how to approach this. It was 10 years ago today that I gave birth to my first baby girl. I say gave birth hesitantly due to the fact that I was mid term (about 4  1/2 months) pregnant with her and of course she was still born.  In other words, I miscarried. I have a hard time really explaining what I went through, because I feel in no way can I compare it to a full term still birth, nor was it anything at all like a "typical" miscarriage, which I also had experienced a few months AFTER this first loss.
It has been, wow, 10 years since I have written anything about this experience and I don't like to stand still in that devastating season of my life, yet I never want to forget, because I want to be able to relate to other women, couples that are going through this every single day. The loss of a baby at any stage can be devastating...and still 10 years later I get choked up and teary eyed when that memory draws me back,  
yet God has brought me so far since then.
There are no words comparable to "I am sorry. I can't find a heartbeat"- 
then to be rushed over to ultrasound and to see your sweet little baby with zero life in her precious little body. I remember looking over at Jeff while I was laying there, with tears streaming down his face, and hearing him call his mom in the car afterwards, choking the words out, "the baby died." I remember sitting at my moms house with my parents and Jeff's parents afterwards, watching my sister walk in the door and telling her, "the baby died" then hearing her race to the bedroom sobbing just as hard as I had been earlier.
Later that day, I was to be induced, so we just waited around all day, waiting for the dreadful moment when I would "give birth" to our precious first born. When she finally was born, I looked at her, not knowing for sure "at that stage" if she was a girl, but was pretty sure...
the nurse rushed in and confirmed, yes in fact, she was a girl. We gave her the name we had originally planned on which was Naomi Renee. She was so tiny, just under 6 inches. But she had such precious little fingers and toes, nose, eyes, ears, mouth... we were even able to take home tiny little feet and hand prints. And I am thankful I was even able to hold her...
A few days later, we had a burial service for just us and a few close family and friends.
But, I kept in mind, that I would see her one day again. For to be absent from the body, meant she was present with the Lord.

The months following were heartbreaking months of questions as to why this happened, blaming myself, waking up in the middle of the night in tears, sleeplessness, obsessing over getting pregnant again, and studying relentlessly all the causes of pregnancy loss. It was draining. When I finally did get pregnant, I was terrified. I knew everything "in the book" that could go wrong, so I was just waiting for it to happen to me, again. 
The problem was, when Naomi died, they never found a reason. It just happened.
The next 9 weeks of my 2nd pregnancy were filled with pure fear and terror, and when I lost the 2nd pregnancy, I almost felt a sense of relief that I got that over with. It's weird, I know...but I felt like NOW I can really focus on believing that God's promises are true.. 
and I did.
 I set my heart on studying what God had to say about children, families and how children were intended to be a blessing to us, not a curse.  
Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infertility is definitely a curse. 
It can break us. I don't care what the doctors call it, what anyone calls it... It is heart wrenching.
 All our hopes and dreams are wrapped up in that precious little life and when it suddenly ends unexpectedly, it shatters us.
(for the record, I HATED when I lost my 2nd baby, and the ER nurse called it "products of conception"-give me a break, that was my baby.)
It took everything in me to take my stand in faith, that God would not fail me. 
And that children truly were 
"...a heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward-Psalms 127:3."  He was no respecter of persons... I kept believing this as I watched every friend and family member I knew get pregnant...and they would come to me, scared to tell me "I'm so sorry. I'm pregnant."All I could say was "Don't be sorry. I'm happy for you."
I know that feeling of noticing every single pregnant woman and baby and wondering why am I not pregnant yet??  But I also was (and still AM) very confident in the God I serve. I may question things, but I never question him... and I most definitely NEVER ever blame him.
To make a long long story short (haha I know it doesnt look that way...), but you can see by my pictures, I am here now 10 years later with my life full of children laughing, screaming, crying, fighting, loving, and snuggling. 
These 3 kids are my life. 
So many times, I get SOOOO stressed out, I can feel like I am going crazy (as any mom of 3 does), but I stop myself and remember what I went through to get to this point..and I become so thankful.. (that right now at this very moment as I type this I hear my 6 year old daughter is yelling "momma! momma! momma! momma!" over and over right in my ear, while my son is mocking her and laughing at her...
the tension is building!!! I better hurry,
 she just asked me "why don't you care about me, momma? you dont love me?"  (-because I am not paying attention.)
...such manipulation, she must know what I am writing about..haha

I will never ever forget Naomi Renee, AND our precious little baby #2 (who I have left for Jesus to name for me)... I always will visit the place where we buried her, but I will definitely remember how faithful God is and where he has brought me. 
How could I forget? These kids WILL NOT let me... 

Here is a family picture from Fall of  2009. With all these kids, I simply didn't have time to take a new one ;-)...not that I didnt try...
 Christmas of 2010

Thats the best I can do for now... time for a new family pic =)

Naomi's Song
( my brother was 16 years old when this happened. He wrote and recorded this song for me. I still cry when I listen to this.)


Joanna said...

I cant wait to meet her someday! love you spuls, made me tear up. I love all your kids and know I would love naomi too! new family pics soon

Kerrie said...

wow. So touching. Thank you for sharing this. I was in tears and also felt joy in how God has been there for you :)

Kelly said...

My heart is with you.
I had to find out I miscarried that same way more times than is like to admit. I am so thankful that God carries us through. Your sweet.

Emily said...

Thanks for having the courage to write about this! A beautiful memorial to Naomi.

Anonymous said...

Julie, I was overcome with emotion reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing this and how your faith has sustained you despite such devastating circumstances.

Lauren said...

I cannot stop the tears throughout this post. Julie, I can't possibly understand what that must have been like, but I feel heartache for you. Have you checked out a blog by Small Bird Studio's Blog? She has some really amazing posts about losing her little girl.

Sending you my love.


Little Tiffanista said...

Hi Julie- Thank you for sharing, I am so sorry for your loss....I can't even imagine- God Bless you and your ADORABLE family! Xo Tiff

ginanorma said...

Oh Julie my heart aches for you, I can relate and I am so deeply sorry...I love how you memorialize her and keep her "alive"...You did a lot of soul searching and sought God and that is a beautiful thing to do in tragedy and darkness...
Have you ever read Is God To Blame? It's by Greg Boyd? Amazing book, it's a book that has helped me with SO many things in life I've gone through that raise heavy questioning...thanks for sharing this and your heart with us.

Maria said...

Hi Julie. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and understanding words. I'm so happy your wrote and now, to have found your blog, as I've been reading through so many of your posts and looking @ all of your gorgeous photos.
I am so sorry for all the heartache and pain you endured. This post was written with such love and truth...thank you for sharing your heart.
The ache we feel when we lose the life inside of us is one like no other.
I love the passion in your writing and the way you see life. I can relate so much.
I find myself feeling closer to God and trusting in him even more when hard times strike. Never have I found myself angry at him...
It has taught me to hope like no other and pray for strength and the drive to keep going.
To come here and see you with your 3 beautiful children beside you and your husband...makes me smile.
Time is such a gift. It does heal and teaches us lessons that we carry with us forever.
You are beautiful.
Thank you again.
Wishing you a sweet weekend with the ones you love.

Lots of love

AbsoluteMommy said...

This was a beautiful post. I'm sorry for your losses and I'm in awe of your faith. You are an inspiration to many who may not believe there is another side to this kind of loss. Thanks for sharing!

Cody Doll said...

Oh wow. I can't image going through something like that. I am soo sorry. It must hurt. Such a beautiful song.

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