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.)

Girl Behind The Blog: Learning

Today I am hooking up with Ashley at 5ohWifey and with Andi from The Hollie Rogue for a video blog link up party! This is Girl Behind The Blog round two and the topic is learning. 
What am I learning? 
What brought me to this point?
 How can I (or anyone) apply it to life?
I want to thank these girls for giving the opportunity to us all to share from our hearts via video.
Such a fun idea...
Mine is slightly longer than it should be. I just cant seem to hold a conversation in under 3 minutes.
My apologies. ;)

xoxo Julie Marie  

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fridays Letters

Dear Time, I'm gonna need you to stand still for about 3 days, if that is ok. I can never ever seem to get anything I need totally done.  Dear Vicodin, I appreciate the help, but if you really wanna help, try not to make me so sleepy. It's not good for the whole "getting stuff done" process. Dear HTC Rezound, you have me obsessed with take pictures. If I wasnt already obsessed, I am now.  The self portrait has become way too easy. You are making me look really vain.  Dear Ulcer, wait... why am I calling my ulcer "dear?"  You have done nothing but bring me trouble.  Dear Friday, sorry but I like Monday better. It's the day the kids go back to school. Seems like you have enough admirers anyways. Dear March, you're such a tease. This weather has been phenomenal the past few weeks. Bet you're laughing at us all now.  Dear Twitter, why do you keep malfunctioning on me? My tweets are not tweeting as a tweeter would hope. UGH! Dear BW3's, you sounded so good, and greasy, but you weren't all that special. Sorry to break it to ya! Dear Lukas, please, for the love of all that is good, please stop walking into our office and farting and then walking away. Goodness. Dear Husband, every day that goes by, I realize more and more what a good guy you are. We have our 'not so nice moments', but your love has been unconditional and your nightly massages have made life more possible.  Dear Blog, I love you, but sometimes I feel like you are selfish and want all my time. I loathe selfishness... so, chill. Dear Selfish People, do you even  know who you are?! think about others for a change. That is all.  Dear Motivation, where the heck did you go? Seriously, my legs feel like jello because I havent worked out in sooo long. Dear Daughters, please stop using the word poop in exchange for insults, or any other word that you can't think of.  Dear Wesley, I am sorry, but nope, you don't get a prize for having ONE day with all smiley faces at school. Dear Jesus, I am so dependent on you.  I had no idea how much your grace actually sustains me until these past few years. I will never ever question your goodness. My hope is always in you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


so maybe a few people noticed... i was MIA for a couple weeks. no real reason, except that I have been busy, tired, and just needed some down time... to do...well, life. i've been having lots of fun with my new phone. been uploading all kinds of pictures and videos up to my facebook =) speaking of facebook, and twitter, people have been mentioning that my "The Funny Thing Of It Is" facebook page isn't working... and I have also been told that my twitter link isn't working. I changed some settings on twitter so I will try to fix that, and as for facebook, I had deactivated my personal facebook one day for a personal day of clarity...and apparently when i reactivated, it just screwed up my BLOG fb as well... ugh, working on it...
here are a few things that have been going on the past few weeks...
Leila has been doing wonderful since the surgery. She is adorable as ever! Thank you again to everyone who encouraged me and prayed with us during this slightly nerve wracking time.!!
took a little plane ride to oklahoma. ok, this wasnt the actual super freaking awesome plane i took, it was just a mural in the Ohare airport... the airplane i actually took was one of those 3 seats across deals. fun times.
we went to an amazing conference at a church in tulsa, ok called church on the move. this pic was at an afterparty of one of the meetings. phenomenal church that reaches so many people... reaching people where they are at.

i have been highly involved in the hunger game series. i had no clue that sci-fi ever interested me. it has been years since i have read a book that i didnt have to, just for fun... and i am loving it. it's such a nice break from television.
well, with this amazing March weather we have been having in the midwest, we have been spending lots of time outside. of course my girls ARE girls, they love to model for pics, just like mommy...and like I said, with my new phone, i have a never ending supply of pictures... unfortunately wes doesnt make this cut often, because he hates pics and just is no fun at posing and looking crazy cute... he love making videos though =)
been working on the creative team at our church towards our easter service presentation and a few other things. i love writing, acting (if i can), creating... just being involved in anything that is artistic. little hand out i made for the presentation =)

Tell Me.... what have you all been up to lately? I need to catch up on some blogging!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

mommy blues

here is little leila when we first got in her room. she was feeling all special.
I think that one of the hardest things for a woman is to watch her child face pain.
~whether it is physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually...whatever... not knowing exactly what we can do about it. Much of the time there is nothing that can be done (aside from the obvious, which is pray and ask God for wisdom of what to do).  I've struggled with my son for so long with what I thought were extreme cases of temper tantrums. Between the embarrassment of him doing it in public, the stress of him doing it at home, the frustration of him doing it in front of his class, teachers~
and simply not knowing what to do about it. It gets overwhelming to the point of tears.
Because he is not disrespectful for the most part, he is very kind hearted, he is very very smart in school...he just gets overwhelmed with emotion when something doesn't go his way, and he fixates on that. Things like that are hard on a mother, a parent...
What can I do? Can I do anything? Is this a behavioral issue? Or is there something else going on here? I always feel like people are judging me as a parent because of this issue, 
wanting to give me advice...or maybe just looks...
Yet, I am approaching this the best I can with everyone involved... teachers, doctors, family members, my husband... but mainly with Wesley.
Because I have to realize this is affecting him most of all. It's not about what we think about his "behavior." It's about helping him steer his life, his personality, his talents & his struggles in the right way so that he can learn to live a happy life.

Then comes the teeth issue. All three of my kids have had horrible teeth. And the guilt by far on this issue has overwhelmed me, because I allowed them to drink juice and eat cookies.  Yet, after it happened to Jada & Wes, we determined, Leila's teeth were NOT going to go bad.  We started brushing right away, yet her teeth crumbled into nothing, worse than the other kids. The end result being surgery on her mouth =(
The doctor assured us, "It's not your fault. I have had 5 patients this week come in with the same problem. Parents literally watch their children's teeth crumble before their eyes."
It's just so hard to believe at times though.  I know that all we can do is learn as we go. 
We have to learn what works and what doesn't work, 
and adjust our parenting skills accordingly.
This is my first time being a parent with 3 kids at exactly these ages...
with these specific personalities.. so I learn as I go.
I can't blame myself, (especially when the doctors say its not your fault) and I am in no way feeling sorry for myself in this... This is about my KIDS. It's my child I want to help, my child I want to comfort, my child I want to say "I'm so sorry for this."  
And it is hard when you see your child struggling with other kids and teachers, or being wheeled away on a hospital bed for something you think maybe you could have controlled, but arent really sure. 
I'm really just thinking out loud here.
Leila had her procedure on her teeth done today. She is only 3. She had 4 teeth pulled, 4 teeth crowned and a few fillings. It took over 4 hours before they brought her back.  It breaks my heart even typing this. All I wanted to do is kiss her and snuggle her before they took her away....but she came back fine. . Praise Jesus!
a little zoned out, then got crabby, then went straight zombie on us. .  but she is okay. 
She is healthy and running and laughing.
I am thankful to my God for his PEACE in those moments where I could have completely lost it. I got teary eyed today, yes... but I had an overwhelming peace compared to the last few months of anticipating this day. SO thank YOU, to all of you who prayed.  
It made a HUGE difference.

Leila was having a grand ole time pushing buttons on the control. She went button happy & called a nurse even!
After all the fun button pushing wore off, she start getting restless & wanting to go home. And BEGGING for food & a cup. Poor Lallies... Daddy gave her some snuggles.

As Leila was wheeled in back to us, she was calm...but confused and looked like she wanted to cry.

After a few minutes, she started getting pretty upset about the IV in her arm because she kept saying it was hurting her.

The anger wore off, and she turned straight zombie on us for a little while. We couldn't get her to even blink.

At the end of a long day, Leila falls asleep next to me on an old dumpy office chair as I write out this blog =)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

please pray for leila (& mommy too)

here is leila as my blond haired blue eyed native american beauty cutie patootie. i dont get it. the whole blonde hair, blue eyed child to 2 brown haired, brown eyed people, (me being native american) but i sure love it.

 Today I am writing to ask for your prayers... and maybe your encouragement if you have the time.  Tomorrow morning, my precious Leila will have an outpatient procedure & be put under anesthesia for a massive amount of dental work that has to be done. She has something called caries disease, which is basically just a rapid progressive form of tooth decay, so she didn't (nor did my other 2 kids) just get cavities from juice and cookies, but her front teeth completely crumbled to nothing and the rest of her mouth needs a lot of work as well. Because she is so little and the amount of time it will take, we have to do this in the hospital. 

I am asking you for your prayers... of course the first thing I heard when the dentist was talking to me about this was "of course, I have to tell you about the risks involved with anesthesia." So, I have been relying on tears a lot regarding this as opposed to the peace of God,  Yet I also know his peace will pass all understanding!  I NEED his peace, his comfort during this simple procedure, (yet a struggle for me...)
Wrap Me In Your Arms, Lord!

and MOST OF ALL, please pray for Leila's protection! Please. I sincerely am asking you... I know Jesus will never leave nor forsake any of us... even little Leila =)
When I found out I was pregnant with her, I actually cried because I was in such shock and wasn't really sure I wanted another baby... but this little girl is the light of my life.  She is sooo precious and silly and best of all, she LOVES to "NUGGLE" mommy...
 here are some precious pictures of her...
This was my chance to brag on my beautiful baby Leila.. or Lallies as we call her =)

as you can imagine, now that leila is 3 years old, these moments happen less and less.. so i am glad i captured these. dont get me wrong, they still have lovey moments, but they are tied equally with hitting, name calling and tattling...
i am pretty sure every baby has one of these phases. am i wrong, mommies? whats a baby without a mullet phase?

i dont know that LEILA was ever really into rock and roll, especially when she was 1yr, but this moment makes us want to believe its true.

doesnt every baby have a phase where they have a very unique smile?  i think all 3 of my kids did. it was usually the scrunchy nose smile, and if you didnt capture it in the 2 month period they did it, then you lost it forever. leila had that as a baby, but last fall she went through this "scrunch my face into my body into my hands" phase... and there's no other words that come into my mind when i see this photo, but benjamin button...
well, gee mom, i know i was cute when i was 7 months.. but look at me now!
the obsession phase. another one EVERY kid goes through. dora was a major one. the insanity of screams every time she would see a dora sticker or balloon or shirt or birthday card were crazy. one day i actually had a lady make a disgusted sound at leila when she got excited about a dora birthday card! sheesh, it wasnt like she was throwing a public temper tantrum, she was excited to see her bff, dora...  but more recently its minnie mouse. she loves her some minnie.. and when she saw minnie at disneyland, her eyes and heart (im sure) lit up immediately~ it was so special because she was the only kid with us on the trip.   Just mommy daddy, leila... and minnie!
sorry, i just needed a reason to put this up...
ok, mom...i will be a flower girl, but i'm not gonna be happy about it... we are missing a kid in the second pic, unfortunately, otherwise it would have made a perfect christmas card.
Thank YOU for your prayers!!!
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