Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give the Grinch the Boot!

The holidays are very hard emotionally for me. Last Christmas I should have had a 3 month old or been pregnant, and this Christmas I should be holding my twins; but similar to a lot of things in life that plan has changed. My sister and I had already made plans of taking photos of our four children together. We talked about the photos for next Easter, how cute it wold be with all four kids in matching outfits and little bunnies or chicks at their feet. One of the hardest things when you miscarry a pregnancy or lose an infant is having to literally forget about all the plans you have made. When Easter comes this year, I know I will think about that photo that I should be taking.
During my last pregnancy, I tried to not make future mental plans at all. I didn't want anyone to talk about how old my twins would be at Christmas, and what a fun Holiday season it would be. I remained emotionally unattached to my unborn children until I knew their sexes. At that point in time (18 weeks) I thought it would be safe. I made it past all of the major mile stones I had heard about for miscarrying. I began buying them matching clothes and talking about what an amazing Christmas this would be! At times I really regret making mental plans, because it makes the future months that much more difficult, but reality is I will make mental plans again with my next pregnancy. I can't live in fear and never think about the future because of what might go wrong. God does not want us living like that. He wants us to trust Him and live accordingly!
For the past month, I have been dreading the Christmas season. I have not wanted to decorate at all; and if you know anything about me or the family I come from, the women go crazy with decorating for the holidays!! I believe my mother put up 7 trees one year :) Lately, if people brought up parties or family get togethers I wanted nothing more than to think about this coming spring; because at this point the entire Christmas season would be over!
However, at Church on Sunday I was convicted. I realized I had to give the Grinch inside of me the boot. I realized the Grinch was actually Satan stealing the real meaning of Christmas from me. He had me so consumed with what I don't have, I couldn't focus on the good things in my life. I know there will be a Christmas season, when Ferrari and I are holding our first child, and we will be overjoyed! For now, we have each other, our health, a beautiful home and amazing families supporting us!
So, this weekend I started decorating, I bought EggNog, and baked a pumpkin pie! I have a tree up and my Christmas Village will be my next project. Yes, this next month or so is still going to tough but I will have to lean on Christ even more. I know He has great things in store for those who love Him! I would be a fool to think God doesn't keep a good word on His promises! If this Christmas season is going to be particularly hard for you, please focus on the good! Lean on Christ and your family and friends to help you get through, and if you have children be mindful around others who have lost children. This is a particularly hard season for them, and they might not enjoy watching your children open up gifts from Santa for hours. It may be too painful. Ferrari and I have discussed not taking part in that specific part of the festivities this year. It is not wrong to remove yourself from a situation that is too painful! Your friends and family will surely understand!

Lots of love to you all, and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Tale of Courage

Today, I'm making my blog public. This may not seem like a huge deal to some of you, however it will take a ton of courage for me to do this. As many of my friends and family know, Ferrari & I are pretty private people. We don't have facebook and never expected to be bloggers. However, God has been tugging at my heart so hard lately, I can no longer ignore it. I know God wants to take the hardest and most tragic things we have gone through as a couple; and make them useful. You know when there are those things you keep saying you will get to at some point in your life, maybe tomorrow, or next week! Well that is how I've been feeling about this blogging business. All I needed was one more day or one more week to get up the courage to do it, well that is no more! God has made it very clear to me, that I need to reach out and provide support and encouragement for women who are struggling with infertility, infant loss, or grief in general. This past week alone I have been told about 2 women who have lost babies. My heart breaks every time I hear about another family having to go through this terrible struggle. My heart hurts even more when I think about the lack of resources available to these women. Trust me, they don't give you a "how to" manual on dealing with this at the hospital. No one tells you about when your milk comes in and you have no baby in your arms to ease the pain. No one tells you how to plan an infants funeral, or what to say at the grave site ceremony. As hard as it is for me to remember going through all of this in May, my heart rejoices when I think about how I can provide some answers or support for someone that is going through this today. We need each other! I have a group of Bible study girls, we refer to ourselves from time to time as the broken hearted babes :) - these women are such an amazing support system for me. There is something incredible about getting together with women who have endured similar hardships, we thrive on the opportunity to encourage each other! I know not everyone feels comfortable seeking out a grief Bible study, and that is pretty much how this blog came to be. If people can come to this blog to seek hope, then I am thrilled! I'm hoping one day to write a book to give mom's hope and encouragement, but for now I know God will use this blog to touch people's lives. Please leave me comments or email me! I would love to chat!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Tale of Postal Frustration

Frustration is a common feeling I have had for the past couple of years, frustrated with my body for not working the way I want it to, frustrated with family and friends for having baby after baby when I can't seem to get one, and frustration with doctors for not being able to "fix" me. I spoke with a friend a few weeks ago about my frustration with getting the mail. She challenged me to make my frustration into a positive thing.
I know this may sound silly, but let me explain. While pregnant with the twins I was told to get everything done in my second trimester because the third trimester would be a lost cause. Therefore, I went and registered for my baby shower. I had so much fun picking out everything, and it was quite a task picking out stuff that worked well for a little boy and a little girl. However, when the twins came too early and went home to be with their Heavenly Father- who is, I might add, doing an amazing job watching over all of my little ones for me; I never thought that registry would cause me so much frustration!
My sister was pretty much amazing! She knew I would have a hard time calling the stores I registered at and explaining what had happened, so she did it for me. I am forever grateful for those phone calls she made. She even got the custom rockers I ordered from BuyBuyBaby returned without me having to pay a dime. (Props to BuyBuyBaby for being so understanding!)
However, beginning a few weeks after delivery things came in the mail that I wasn't prepared for. Yes, I expected those blasted medical bills to start rolling in; but it was other envelopes that would have me in tears. No one prepares you for the mail your are about to receive!
I can vividly remember the pit in my stomach when I opened the mailbox and found their social security cards, death certificates, pictures of the twins the hospital took, baby coupons, and BABY FORMULA. This one was especially painful, because this one comes in the great big mailbox you need a special key to open. Now, in the past, I would get so excited when I saw that shiny key in my mailbox, because it meant I got a package! However, now I have to take a deep breath before I open it, because I know what is inside awaiting me- Baby Formula! They must have handed my address out to every baby company in town! You know those annoying sales calls you get and you wonder how you got on their list, this is exactly like that only this is some crazy "mommy to be" list! Yes, the first time this occurred there may have been a few tears shed, but now it has happened so many times I seem to handle it better. Plus, I try to do something good for somebody else once I get it in the mail. I never take it outback and shoot at it for target practice (which has crossed my mind a few times) I give it to a friend who is in need of formula, one of the positives to having so many friends and family members with infants. Today, I am going to make a promise to myself. Instead of getting FRUSTRATED when I open my mailbox and find baby related items, I am going to pray for moms who have lost children. I will pray specifically for the moms who will be going to their mailboxes and getting "baby stuff" for the first time. I would love to make my frustration into something that will make Satan squirm!!
Frustration is such a common feeling, we all deal with it daily. Try driving on the I-10 at 5:30 pm and you will learn road rage frustration really quick. Today, I challenge you to take your frustration and find a way to make it positive!

Monday, November 1, 2010

God's timing, not mine!

I don't know about you, but I have always been that kind of person that has to plan out everything. If I wanted to be spontaneous, I would have to actually plan it into my week! Well, a huge lesson I have learned in the past few months is just how bad I needed to let go of the plan I had for my life. Now, I am not suggesting dropping all hopes, dreams, and aspirations I have. Rather, acknowledging, that my timeline is not perfect. God, in fact, has a much better plan for my life. One that may include more hard times and struggles, but I can rest assured in the fact that He does not set anyone up for failure. He equips us with the tools we need for what may come our way in the future.
If Ferrari and I had never endured our first two miscarriages together, we would have reacted much differently when we lost the twins. God prepared our hearts and minds through those first two losses. He equipped us with a stronger faith in Him and a much stronger relationship as husband and wife before he led us into the most difficult season yet, burying our children. I will admit I never would have thought we could have done what we did. If you would have told me when I got married that I would lose 4 children, and have to bury 2 I would never believed you. I didn't think it was possible for me to have the strength to get through something like that. However, God is funny that way. He knows exactly what you need, when you need it. If you pray for patience, watch out because He will give you more opportunities than you could ever dream of in which you will have to display patience. If you pray for wisdom, heads up! God will give you more situations than you could imagine to display your discernment. As Christians, we want to grow. We strive to be better than the day before. I clearly remember attending a high school friend's funeral. He had gone to Mexico on spring break. upon his return he was diagnosed with Meningitis and passed a few short days later. Sitting at a friend's funeral when I was 20, I couldn't help but think about what an amazing life my friend had led. He was such a Godly man at such a young age. His memorial service was beautiful. I left thinking to myself, I want to leave a legacy too. I want people to remember me for not just good things, but great things! I prayed that day for God to stretch me and grow me. I asked to be used in other people's lives. God has given me situations already to help those who are hurting around me. I have had the opportunity to accompany an amazing friend of mine go through virtually the same thing with her baby girl, at the same hospital I had delivered the twins, just a mere 4 months prior. God's timing is impeccable, if I had not lost the twins when I did, I would not have been there to help my friend walk through her loss.
If you are holding on tightly to your own plan and timing, I encourage you to let go. Trust in the Lord! It's a great feeling! You will be amazed at how much God will stretch you and use you!