Thursday, December 9, 2010

Healing is in Your hands...

One year ago (almost exactly to the day) I sat listening to a song I had never heard before, tears streaming down my face, my heart torn between despair and hope of what 2010 held. The song by Christy Nockels hit me so deep to my core as I sat surrounded by 20,000+ college students at Passion 2010 because I felt like it was written for just one person in the arena - for me. And I felt as if she was singing only to me. Little did I know the significance these words and this promise would have in 2010. Mental picture #1...

One month ago (almost exactly to the hour) we welcomed a wonderful miracle into our family - just as the same song was being sung softly from my iTunes in the background mixed with the sweet cries of our baby girl. Mental picture #2...

A few days later, we buckled her in the back of our car and drove (slowly) through Newark toward our home. As we pulled into our driveway, with pink balloons and an "It's a Girl" sign in sight, the same song once again began filling the car - a wonderful reminder that healing was in fact in OUR hands. Thanks mostly to hormones and lack of sleep - and the overwhelming feeling of blessing, I began to cry. And I cried hard. Mental picture #3...

As I walked into our home that day, now with those lyrics passing continually through my mind, I felt weak with emotion but strong with hope and joyfulness of what was taking place. All the mental pictures I had for years before - seeing a positive pregnancy test, listening to a swooshing heartbeat, hearing those first sweet cries and laying eyes on my OWN newly born child, holding her in my arms for the very first time, and taking her home - they were all coming true.

I walked Maelynn Grace through our house that day, with my tears dripping down onto her sweet cheeks.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Maelynn...

A pure bundle of joy, inspiration, hope, victory...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Room for baby...

Well, we're waiting...and trying to do it patiently. Still no baby. She's not overdue yet, but like most women at this point, I am...overdone. :) I see her pretty little face every Friday morning on the ultrasound but somehow I think she'll be just a little more cuddly than she is on a flat black and white screen.

I can't wait to hold her. For now, here are some pics of her room - ready and waiting to be filled with all the sweetness a little girl brings.

We'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

one year later...welcoming another

These figures that sit in my home were a gift from my mother this year.
These faceless figures represent my Glory Babies who, no doubt, have had a glorious year together in heaven.


Most remember where they were nine years ago.

I remember most where I was one year ago.

This date rings familiar for so many and is connected with tragedy, loss and pain for so many. In my life, it is also a clear reminder of God's faithfulness.

A year ago, I sat in the hospital having lost our second baby. Even now through my tears, I can see so clearly the recovery room where I sat in disbelief and anguish, feeling so far from the place I am sitting today. It is no surprise that I am being inundated with emotion as I write, when just this morning, I was getting pictures taken of my swollen belly with an active little girl inside.

The painful moments that turned into days that became months have now become one year. And I'm grateful to say that the Lord has blessed me through my pain and through my joy this last year.

One year from today, I pray that the joy and peace I have been given will be granted to another family on my heart today. On a day full of bittersweet memories for my family, I have learned of the tragic loss of a fellow collegiate minister and his wife. Having been carried almost full-term, their baby was welcomed into the gates of heaven today where his life will be full of worship and praise with a perfect body, standing before a perfect God.

I can picture my babies welcoming him today...


Please pray for Justin and Tara Woods as they search for peace during these painful days that they would see glimpses of the Glory to be revealed in their lives.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Hey, don't forget the blessing..."

I've neglected by blog...

And now I find myself with a list of things to write about and the fear of boring you with a long, exaggerated post.

I'll start with the (increasingly) obvious fact that I am 30 weeks pregnant and fastly approaching the day when, Lord willing, we'll met our little girl. What I'm realizing is that there is so much preparation that goes into having a baby - birth plans, baby showers, nursery decorating, ultrasounds, furniture assembly, appointments, (and the list is still growing). And even with all that prep, all the equipment, all the classes you can take, all the diapers you can buy serve no purpose without that tiny being taking it's first breath...and then taking another, and another.

The beautiful crib is not fulfilling it's purpose without a baby to sleep inside of it. The diapers do no good staying wrapped in the package. And as cute as baby clothes are, they are just not as cute on the hanger or folded in a drawer as they are hugging the dimpled knees and elbows of a chubby infant.

They all have potential, but will remain in that state if not given a chance to fulfill the purpose in which they were created.

I'm not sure how to wrap my thoughts these days into a nice "blog-worthy" package, and I struggle to click, "publish post" confidently even after typing for hours on end. What I do know is that the last 7 months have given me a glimpse into one more purpose I was meant to fulfill in order to bring glory to my Creator - carrying a growing soul within my body until God sees fit to introduce her tiny face to this earth.

It blows my mind that I was picked for this job.

I was at a doctors appointment a few weeks ago, and I noticed it was taking unusually longer for the doctor to make his appearance in my room. I waited silently, feeling little kicks that assured me that I would most definitely hear a swooshing heartbeat in a matter of minutes. I looked around a room I had been in SO many time before and thought through all the emotions I've experienced sitting in that very spot. Before I knew it, the doctor charged in, squirted some goo on my belly and there it blessed beat after another.

I hate to admit, but at that time, I had heard it so often by that point, that my thoughts quickly went elsewhere as I pulled out my list of questions and I spoke to the doctor about things far less important than that beating heart. I cleaned off the goo and walked out the door to schedule my next appointment. And just as soon as I had lost sight of the ultimate gift that beating heart was, I noticed a woman standing in front of me with tears in her eyes - and I was brought right back to reality. Having overheard enough of her conversation with the nurse standing near her, I realized she had just discovered that she did NOT hear a heartbeat that day.

It took everything in me not to hug that woman standing in front of me. I don't know why, but I even shielded my face from her so no one would see the emotion on my face. I hurt so bad for this woman. How could I have forgotten what it was like to feel the things she was feeling at that very second? How did I become so distracted by the preparation that I lost sight of all that was truly important - like a beating heart? I walked out of the doctors office in disbelief and in total humility understanding the significant blessing each good appointment truly is.

I face so many of those little (and big) nudges from God saying to me, "Hey, don't forget the blessing" on any given day as I find myself becoming consumed by the prep. God already uses this child kicking and swirling and stretching inside of me at just the right moments to remind me of the things that truly matter.

So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with the choice between Graco and Chicco, organic or not, lavender or pink, the 8x10 or the 12x18 inch print, choose to remind yourself of what truly matters.

Monday, June 21, 2010


I have made it to the halfway mark. My baby tracker emails have welcomed me to the second half of my pregnancy. Everyday, my first stretch after I wake up, (or the nagging urge to use the bathroom) reminds me of the little miracle who has taken residence in my belly. My first few steps out of bed are filled with an awe-filled appreciation - and sometimes disbelief - that I've made it another day.

It has only been recently that I have honestly allowed myself to feel connected to the baby girl inside of me. Even though I can't feel her yet, I am able to allow myself to think about mornings in the near future when the reminders of my blessing come in the form of sweet little cries from a crib down the hall. I have bought baby clothes for the first time for my own child. And even though I can't yet bring myself to take the tags off and throw away the receipts, I can safely find myself imagining a diapered butt in each of the ruffled, pink onesies.

I'm getting there.

Even to call her by name has caused my heart to skip a beat time and again simply because of the disbelief that I'm finally here.

I'm finally to the point of anticipation.

I am well aware that God may have other plans for me that may never allow me to hold this little girl. But these days, those thoughts are joined with the idea that God very well may have plans for me to not only hold this little girl, but watch her take her first steps, and to watch her graduate from high school, and to even get married and have kids of her own.

As Matt and I drove away from our ultrasound last week, having just seen a perfectly growing little girl, kicking and yawning, he said to me, "I still feel like something has to go wrong. I feel like after all we've been through this year, I can't believe our doctor uses words like, 'perfect' to describe her."

Our feelings are not full of doubt and pessimism, but rather a holy fear of an all-powerful God who keeps this child's heart beating yet can stop it in an instant - today or in the next 90+ years of her life.

Lord willing, we will welcome a baby girl into our family mid-November. We pray that we be able to hold her and kiss her face on that day...and for many days after that.

Thankful for that anticipation.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

comforting others...

A couple of nights ago, I got in bed...nauseous. I was in a bad mood because I have waiting (impatiently) for 7 weeks for my sickness to ease up to no avail. It was early....only about 9:30pm. My pity party kept me up for a bit, until I realized I wasn't going to fall asleep anytime soon. I felt stillness next to me in the form of my husband, who had journeyed off into dreamland. I was wide awake. This was so unusual for these days since usually I'm asleep minutes after my head hits the pillow.

I picked up my iphone, and opened facebook (of course). And then I knew why God was keeping me awake...

It was at that very moment I learned that just seconds before, a friend of mine, due only two days after me, had just posted the news that she lost her baby at about 12 weeks. My heart sunk for her. Right there in my bed, I felt the same despair and heaviness I had on many nights after my miscarriages. I cried in disbelief and knew of nothing to do except pray. And suddenly, I knew what it was like to be for all of those people around me who lay awake at night with ME on their minds. And it was so humbling.

My mind went into overdrive about how I could use my pain to care for Erin. Do I call her? Do I write her? I will definitely pray, but what do I say? I found myself trying to recall the things that were said to me from which I felt comfort. And I remembered all-too-well the things NOT to say, too. (Those never leave your mind). And, I fell asleep praying.

The very next morning, my heart heavy for Erin and what I know she was feeling on the morning of her D&C, I stumbled across this blog by a woman who had lost a child and has worked through the pain and process of mourning on her blog as well. As I read her words out lout to my sister, tears flowing, I KNEW how to help Erin. This blog entry summed up the emotions that I felt this year, packaged in a few paragraphs, and she is SO RIGHT.

My heart breaks for Erin, and for anyone who suffers a loss like this. And even though I could probably muster up some advice and tips for Erin for surviving the next few weeks and months, I knew that the best thing to give to her was my broken heart. I have cried nearly DAILY for her.

I've cried for YOU daily, Erin.

And I want her to hear that because I know it helped me most - to hear that other people hurt deeply for me, and that I wasn't alone.

You're not alone, sweet, hurting friend. Our comforting Father (along with me and an army of prayer warriors) are with you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

See my heart?

To try and give you a glimpse inside my mind over the last month or so (or the last year, for that matter) would only leave me short of describing the emotional roller coaster and mental battle I've had going on within me. Even though I've been told I wear my heart on my sleeve, (and tears and snot on some days) trying to explain my heart will prove to be impossible - mostly because I can't often pinpoint how I feel at most given moments. But I'll try...

Today, I walked out of the doctors office from my "nurses appointment" for the third time this year. I felt tired after listening to all the things I can and cannot do during pregnancy. My nurse was sweet. What is typically an hour long info session where the new mommy-to-be (me) gets to ask any question desired to the nurse (which was me, twice before this time), turned out to be a heart-to-heart with a woman who has watched me walk through one of the hardest years of my life. She has seen me enter a room with anticipation of a beating heart, only to walk out in tears, heartbroken from the lack of life inside me...twice. She has fielded hundreds (hundreds!) of phone calls from me, scheduling appointments, follow-up appointments, offering test results, and two tearful pre-op phone interviews, and she has offered her congratulations and her condolences.

"I was so happy to see your name on my list today, Katie. I can't wait for next week when we get to see your baby on screen again," she said as we walked out of the room.

I walked out her door and headed back down the long hall to my car, fighting back the tears from the love I just felt from a seemingly total stranger. As I was walking, with my bag of books and pamphlets and samples in hand, I saw another door that I've frequented this year - the door to the Surgi-Center where I had both of my post-miscarriage procedures done. I nearly lost my breath as I remembered the last time I walked in those doors, swollen, red eyes, exhausted from my sleepless night before. What finality those doors signified.

And I wondered if I would have to walk through them again soon...

I looked ahead, and kept walking. I felt such tremendous peace and knew I wanted to write about that moment. Why? Why do I share my heart so willingly, exposing my raw pain in detail?

Here's why...

One. I need to keep reminding myself. At some point in my painful journey, I've understood the truth of Christ and really believed in that hope. And at other times, I fail to understand truth, and avoid seeking Christ for help. So I write it down for me. When I'm doubting that truth, I can go back and read what I have known to be true at one point and remind myself that there is Someone else in this with me who can confidently take one foot and put it in front of the other because He's marked that path.

Two. So you (my three or four loyal readers) can see who is guiding my journey. If I wrote this story myself, I'd probably have spoiled the ending already. Thankfully, I'm not the author of my life. I see a new chapter unfold daily and because its such a mystery to me, I KNOW it must be from God. And I want you to see Him.

Three. Because I don't want to miss it. I heard this phrase used this year by a father who had just lost his son. His faith was so solid that he KNEW that something that made so little sense to him had to have a holy purpose, and he didn't want to miss seeing that purpose. And I don't want to miss it either. When I'm buried in diapers and dreadfully tired (Lord willing), I don't want to forget what it felt like to walk past those doors today. I don't want to forget what it feels like to be on my knees in thanksgiving because of a beating heart.

Four. For my babies. Maybe one day, they can read their mom's words and will know the extent of my love for them, and how it pales in comparison to their Heavenly Father's love for them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7th.

I've heard a lot of things that mom's appreciate while their kids are growing up - things that they are thankful for that they don't want to take for granted. Some as little as a certain type of pacifier or a special "miracle blanket." Some may say its that show that gives them the thirty minutes of peace and quiet. Others will breath the words, "I'm so thankful she wasn't hurt more," or "I'm so glad there's a treatment for that."

And one day, I pray I'll get to that point where I have those things to be thankful for.

But I'm thankful I'm here in this place, on the original due date of our second baby, with just one small thing to be thankful for.

A heartbeat...of our third baby.

And I will never take it for granted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Praying for the Carpenters

This is 3 months old Graham Carpenter, whose short life ended yesterday. His mother, Shelly, wrote on her facebook status this morning that they were "living a nightmare." Throughout the tragedy in my life, God has used people like Shelly to intercede and approach the throne in prayer on my behalf and when I didn't have the strength to. And now I'm asking you to do that with me for Shelly and her family.