Category Archives: Celebrating Our Little One

Week 30: Facing reality.

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I so appreciate all the texts and emails and notes about how I’m doing and how things are going…I think my mindset – even if subconsciously declared, has been one of denial. For a couple of reasons:

1) Dates have always been significant to me and coming up on week 32 has been a huge weight on my shoulders. (That’s the week we lost little Kyle.) Just like I ignore the calendar dates as much as possible to avoid knowing that “the nineteenth” is coming up (Kyle was born on 12/19), I’ve been kinda ignoring the weeks thing a bit too. Usually the midwives would tell me when I came in for appointments.
2) This pregnancy has been a complete breeze, so I haven’t had to dwell on any discomforts. (The hospitals here, are a different story!) But the pregnancy – actually as easy as Kyle’s without weekly ultrasounds. I’ve only had 3 appointments so far – which is so nice. I love being so “normal” and “forgettable” and not having to be checked up on all the time. Such a far cry from the girls and Kyle! I was preeclamptic with both of the girls, gaining 10 lbs a week towards the end in water weight, and even had to get my rings cut off because of rapid swelling with one of them! And that was in the winter!

I was super terrified of having an August baby and what the heat would do to exacerbate my preeclampsia tendencies – but so far I’m doing fantastic. My rings are still loose and I’m still sleeping with only one pillow at night. Not that those things are marks of any sorta heroism – just interesting to me the comfort levels I’m still at when I assumed I’d be in a much different place at this point.

I also suffered from severe restless leg syndrome with the girls that would keep me awake until 2 or 3 am most nights. I’ve had a few bouts with it this go around, but I’ve learned that it is solely from an iron deficiency, so if I miss a few days of supplements, I’ll have flareups. When I’m more consistent with those vitamins, I’m just fine. (I’ll also use this as an excuse to have my husband grill lots of steaks the rest of the summer. I have a feeling he won’t mind in the least.) 🙂  Most of my “success” with this pregnancy is definitely due to my diet – I’ve been following this plan fairly closely for most of the pregnancy and it’s made a huge difference for me. I’ve had no swelling, I can still outpace the girls most of the time, and not a single blood pressure issue. Also, my average weight gain with the girls was 70 lbs. I’m hanging pretty tight with this guy at +28 and super happy about that!

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3) I still don’t have a hospital yet – things are looking up in that department – but the hospital and midwives I had picked are not going to end up working out. (Part of this is because of the 90 minute drive during rush hour it would take to get there. I’m too old for that kinda drama. And we all know how drama finds us. So we’re gonna assume the full rush hour scenario with me in hard labor and my driving to the hospital on interstate medians would be the way things would happen.)

The other option I had was taking the subway instead of my car, then walking a 1/2 mile or so in center city to the hospital if I went into labor during rush hour.

Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

Here’s what they do with people who have babies on the subways. Great care + a free news story. I prefer to write up my own stories. 🙂

So while the idea of having this baby at the first hospital in America, started by Ben Franklin himself, a block away from the liberty bell and Independence Hall was rather historically romantic – I’m going for something a little closer to home. No bells. And hopefully no drama. 🙂

4) We’ve been crazy busy finishing up school, going on vacation, and just really enjoying this Philadelphia summer! I’ve had three trips over the last two months – one to Iowa, one to Georgia to speak at a ladies’ event, and one to Tennessee…and I have another quick trip coming up next weekend to South Carolina. I guess I have this crazy fear that they won’t let me on the plane at this last one if I look and act super pregnant. So I keep practicing my “sucking it in” skills and acting like I could run a 5K on demand if need be so I won’t be denied access. Although I’m starting to think booking a first class seat would have been a good idea at this point. 🙂

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5) I’ve been scared to purchase anything for this baby. Partly because I’m in denial and can’t think about what we’ll actually need – we’ve been out of baby mode for so long it seems, do I really need anything more than a few baby gates and some diapers and a few clothes? This last weekend the girls and I did a little shopping though – picked up a few super cute things.

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In fact, I bought Kyle’s one outfit from this store. And hadn’t gone in one since then. But my good friend convinced me to try one again while we were in Tennessee and I managed to avoid the preemie section I shopped in before completely and go straight for this amazing charmingness. I told the lady while I was checking out about Kyle. I figured she’d wanna know why I was crying over these adorable shirts. She cried. Then when I went into a Pottery Barn Kids outlet and bought some bedding, I told the lady about Kyle. Because I figured she’d wanna know why I was crying too. She cried. And hugged all of us girls. And grabbed my hands with the biggest glossy-eyed smile and said, “I am truly hoping for the best for you.”

The girls at my church here (which is awesome, by the way – can’t say enough about the friendships and support we’ve had in this crazy-big-new-place-with-crazy-hospitals!) had offered to do a shower for me. But since baby showers are still the most heart wrenching thing for me to even imagine, much less attend, they decided to do one for me after this little guy arrives safe and sound. Everyone seems pretty convinced that will be the case – I’m still holding out hope – only because I really truly don’t know how to imagine having a baby and bringing him home anymore. So not having a baby nursery set up and ready to go overflowing with stacks of freshly washed clothes is definitely keeping the reality of how our lives are hopefully about to change to a very distant idea.

People comment on my swelling tummy now. “How sweet! And how nice to have such a big gap between those two and this one!” How do I respond? In my mind, I have five kids – just three that most people can’t see – in some ways, I don’t feel there is a gap at all. In other ways, the gap around the table, and in the backseat, and in photos seems larger than the Grand Canyon.

On that note, some of you have *relentlessly* asked for a baby registry link. So, against my better judgment, but according to the unanimous advice of all my friends, here it is.  Please note that the shark and dinosaur towels were specific requests from the girls. 🙂

6) On a more serious note, I can’t stop calling this baby Kyle. Not like a normal “I get his name mixed up with all the others” sorta mom-with-more-than-one-kid thing, but like I almost feel like this *is* Kyle, we’re just picking up where we left off? It’s so strange to me.  But I’ve said several times, “Hey babe! Kyle’s kicking again….” or sometimes it’s just in my mind, “I’ve gotta get these purply red cushions changed on the glider – Kyle is not going to want to be rocked in a red glider, right?”

We took this picture on vacation – in the same place that we took a photo of the girls and I with Kyle. Love Dollywood – but it was so surreal to be back again, pregnant again, but this time the baby will probably live?

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New Baby 🙂

 

Baby Kyle at 26 weeks. :)

Baby Kyle at 26 weeks. 🙂

 

So maybe always calling him that without thinking about it, is keeping me from thinking of this sweet baby as his own person and that he really will be a new member of our family and the girls will in fact have a brother here as well as in heaven? That idea is so incredible to me. Like – not-believable incredible. Then I feel so guilty! Gracious the pregnancy hormones and how they make you feel such drastic things in such a short period of time. It’s enough to make you seasick! Or maybe it’s just morning sickness. 🙂

Anyway. That’s why I’ve been kinda silent around here. Because I’m in this weird state of denial. But based on the way things are going, this baby is coming. Whether we are ready or not. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. But I do know that this little guy is starting to change me. From the inside out. I feel like I am healing and hoping again. And the girls are for sure. And the big daddy? Oh he’s just beside himself. He says it’s about time we start balancing out the pink loads of laundry a bit. 🙂

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Week 20: Defining Moments. (aka, we really are doing this again.)

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Happy April!  These are my best April Fool’s Day jokes. But today isn’t one. This day has been marked on my calendar for 8 weeks now. April 1st. 1:00. 13th floor. Maternal Fetal Medicine.

I can not believe we’ve made it this far. Half way? No issues at all? No bleeding, no spotting, no crazy weight gains, no preeclampsia? I mean – it could set in at any time. But still. I *have* to make myself look back and see the wonder of this 20 weeks of….normal. I feel like making it to this halfway point is a sort of defining moment for me. No matter what happens later today, I’m here now.

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I love this baby dearly. But when your heart has been nearly stopped for your last child, and it’s pieces are just barely coming back together….there are scars that are still so painful. It’s so natural to want to protect it – keep anyone from ever touching it again.  This baby is starting to touch it.

I talked to my baby for the first time today.

But I guess the biggest defining moment to date will be later this afternoon. We have another ultrasound. These are so difficult for me. I wish I could drug myself up and sleep through the entire thing. After the last few days, I’m sure my family wishes they could have drugged me up and made me sleep through the entire thing. 🙂

This is it, folks. 2 different ultrasounds. It’ll probably be close to an hour. Of intense examination of every vital organ searching for anything that would alert us to something amiss. I’m terrified. I feel like ultrasounds are like a corrupt trial – where I assume my baby is going to die – unless it happens to be proven alive and healthy. Mustering the energy to hope is almost impossible at times.

Most women have these ultrasounds somewhere between 18-20 weeks. Most women look forward to them excitedly. Take videos of them. They call them the “gender ultrasound”. That’s not what this is. Most women don’t find out about their babies’ diagnoses until these ultrasounds. Not to be a downer – but just a realist. Every facebook post of “gender ultrasound today! What are your guesses? boy or girl?!” sends me into a ball of anxiety for that dear mom. Hoping against hope that this will in fact be all that’s exciting about her scan.

I don’t really care to know the gender. I don’t really care to figure out a name, decorate a nursery, buy clothes even. It’s not that I don’t want to know. It’s just that it’s as far from my mind as the next time I have to take trash to the curb.

Can’t I just have a healthy baby, then find out what the gender is after we’ve passed 18 hours or so? And the name thing? How long do I have for that? What can it possibly be like again to have a baby, and just move on to things like feeding problems or falling asleep and not making yourself stay awake for every possible moment because you only get a precious few of them? Is it ok to not take 1,500 photos in the first 18 hours? Because I really may get to take more at hour 19? No one is going to take the baby away?

These are seriously questions that just seem almost impossible to think about. The most telling one was from Kami, my youngest –

“Mom? We’ll get to go see the baby? And even hold it? And then you’ll bring it home?”

She’s never known that normal.

More defining moments.

But back to the gender. I don’t really care. I wanna see four heart chambers. And I want to see an esophagus attached to a stomach bubble. And functioning kidneys.

But my husband and my girls wanna know the gender. They are ganging up on me. And from what I’m gathering, no matter how hard I fight this one, no one is going to come to my rescue on it. 🙂 So we’ll find that out today. But only after I see that heart. And those kidneys. And that stomach bubble.

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So this is it. I’m in my pj’s still. But the girls are dressed and ready. They can’t wait to see this baby. It’s their first ultrasound for this one.  They’re dressed and ready. And excited. I’m getting there.

Pray for us? Not for a perfect baby….God has already formed it from the beginning. But for our hearts. That no matter what, we’ll keep fighting for faith and joy. And that the peace we’ve grown so accustomed to knowing in these sorts of moments will continue to fill our hearts.

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Thanks, friends.

 

 

{December 17} Advent: Lifting up the Little

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Oh how I dread this day now, the day my son’s heart stopped beating. Or at least the day we confirmed it by ultrasound. I actually think it stopped several hours before at a Christmas party I was at…playing the piano singing Away in a Manger – that last verse always gets me. But that year it was a Saturday night…and I couldn’t get in to see my (amazing) doctor until first thing Monday.

(On a different note, this was the 3rd baby we had lost. And all three were lost on weekends. When I was forced to go through a Sunday of waiting-yet-knowing…sometimes those waiting valleys become some of the most life changing days of your life. But also some of the darkest.)

It’s a day that can fill with so many haunting images…

Sorry I’m rambling.

That day. Oddly I felt at peace that day. The entire ordeal was finally almost over. We had almost made it to the finish line of the insurmountable 220 day marathon. There was a sense of relief. We felt like a “normal” was so close to us…we even decided to go to the mall after that appointment. No reason except to be around people. Normal people doing normal Christmas shopping sorta things.

And while I sat there at the top of the stairs while Chris was getting us Starbucks drinks, feeling mild contractions beginning to gear up in preparation for my body’s natural reaction to the end of a pregnancy, I wanted to scream out to everyone what was going on.

I thought how many times there are normal looking people all around me who have giant problems and I have no idea.

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And here we are two years later.  So many come here looking for a story similar to their own. In fact today, even, today, I was contacted by a young mother who had her devastating confirmation ultrasound today. Totally unexpected. She was planning her big facebook announcement to go live after the ultrasound.

There will be no announcement.

Women come here and read through Kyle’s story from the very beginning and skip to the end to see how someone is faring a year, or two out. They are looking for hope.

This post is for them.

Two years later on this day, my heart hurts. My body aches. My arms feel just as empty. Not a day goes by I don’t think about him. Every two year old little boy catches my eye. Sometimes I shed a few tears. Mostly I smile, though. I picture my head-full-of-dark hair boy running around Heaven doing those exact things.

Today Kami caught me crying over a few of Kyle’s things. She said, “It’s OK, mommy. Kyle is having a great birthday in Heaven. He’s probably making a mess like boys do. But don’t worry. God will clean it up.”

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Now, two years later, the tears don’t come as easily or as heavy. I’m a little more predictable than I was before. I know what my triggers are.

Grief is such a process. And wherever you are on that road, know that each day gets just a little easier than the day before. But you can’t look at it in day by day progress or it’ll seem too small. Like a little one’s growth. You have to look at it in the sense of months or from one year to the next.

God made our emotions the way they are. Grief is a part of those emotions and it can make up who we are. You will heal eventually, but everyone’s time table is different. A slower time table doesn’t make you any less of a woman, a mom, or a spiritual person. Neither does a quick healing schedule.

I grew up in a “get over it” culture where even childhood ailments and hurts were made light of.  Part of that was my dad’s innate nature to be able to make a (seriously funny!) joke about everything. He really was good at it. And kept many serious moments from being too overwhelming for us kids growing up. However, I think I was shielded a bit from what real life hurt looks like. So when I experienced it, it was rather a shock to my system.

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I think I’m rambling again. This one won’t make a guest post anywhere. 🙂

Can I say, though…this is my “secret”. My life isn’t perfect. My kids don’t make breakfast for me everyday and behave perfectly in grocery stores. My house right now is a wreck because I’ve been rather down today…and unable to do many things considered productive. (Although, my girls all afternoon practiced gymnastics routines by copying videos online…and now consider themselves ready for the Olympics…so I consider that PE for the rest of the year.)

You have to be able look at the good. I have to-when I can. I find the good things that point me back to my core beliefs. That God is in control, yes. But that He’s also good. That’s the one I have a hard time with often. When I separate those two vitally important parts of who God is, I crash hard.

Sometimes the good is small things – like, Trader Joes is offering samples of their dark chocolate caramels for free and everyone can take two and my girls are with me but they don’t like dark chocolate so I get, like, six pieces of Heavenly goodness for free. Maybe that’s actually a big thing. 🙂

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Sometimes it’s big things – like someone sends me a message about how Kyle’s video has impacted their life. Or their pregnancy crisis center. Or their prenatal comfort care organzation. Or an entire Southeastern region of OBGYN’s at a conference. Or the doctor and nurse attendees at the March of Dimes annual conference.

I have to look at the good things. Think about them. Write them down even. Take photos of them. (I have almost 3,000 photos on Instagram chronicling these gifts now.)

Because the bad days will come and when they do you need to have some good memories to look back on to hold you over until the dark clouds pass. And they will pass.

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Here’s today’s goodnesses:

 

 

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Kami rocked her Kyle bear all morning long with one of his blankets (made by my Grandmother) along with a toy someone gave Kyle along the way.

 

 

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And she wasn’t going to let his birthday-into-heaven-day go by without a celebration treat. Notice the blue frosting cookie on top of the stack. ❤

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Being away from his grave today and this week has proven to be particularly difficult. Images like this reminding me of finding joy in the hard cold days really brings smiles.

 

Join me for Advent? {links to a simple Christmas}

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I remember not knowing what “advent” was a few years ago. I always knew the “true meaning of Christmas”. I didn’t need that. Besides – “isn’t it a Catholic thing?”

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Then I had a son. A son who was here only to teach me the truth about life in the dark of death. And when we lost him in December two years ago, I knew Christmas would never be the same. And it isn’t. We still have gifts for the girls. We have a tree. We get excited at the beautiful displays of reds and greens and lights and sparkles. We hope for snow on Christmas Eve. {We are even more hopeful this year. :)}

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But the month is just full of memories of the lasts. The last ultrasound. The last kick. The last maternity sweater I bought for a Christmas party…and had the intuition to not remove the tags. These thoughts would overwhelm me in a sea of sorry.

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This advent thing keeps me from drowning. Because there’s another boy who came to earth. For the purpose of teaching us about life in the dark of His death. Did Mary know that He would live a different kind of life? A shortened one that was meant to reach far more than any one person usually reaches in a long one?

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Everything is whispering softly the truth – “Jesus is coming.” I want to be still and hear it. I want to be focused and see it. I don’t want to sink this Christmas. I want to stand straight and tall and smile.

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Join me. Every night around 7 PM Philly time. Make it big or small. Make an advent spiral out of simple things, flour, water, salt, or just light a candle by your computer. Sit by the fire, or the tree, or that candle – light.  Think about the Light of the world and let it brighten and slow and lift your holiday to something higher and more peaceful and full of sparkle.
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{ A few links to get your started }

>> DIY for making your own salt dough spiral – We do this in about an hour – or 20 Christmas carols. <<
>> Advent book for you – my favorite study for Christmas << and for you, for today, a special deal? Only $8.39 if you use code HOLIDAY30?
>> Free reading plan for the Jesus Storybook Bible for littles. >>
>> The book we are using for advent this year for our whole family. Big pictures. Big truths. Only $10.49 in you use code HOLIDAY30!>>

Forget Me Not

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To my child & grand children in heaven,  

I can’t wait to see you and I am so thankful for the chance to hold our precious Kyle!

Love Susan (Kim’s mom)

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Kim,
I cherish that Kyle is a part of my life.  God has blessed me in so many ways just by your path and my path crossing. I am forever thankful to know Baby Kyle, you, and your wonderful family.
Love you!
Jen

(The ultrasound nurse who performed all 20 or so ultrasounds – and gave us some of the best photos I’ve ever seen a tech pull off. And hundreds of hours of video footage to cherish forever.)

Baby Kyle
To those whose mothers were grieving so hard they couldn’t muster the strength to say what they wanted here:

You are loved. Every single day.

To Sam. And Catherine. And to my precious Kyle, whose birth time stands still on this clock. As my entire world stood still that cold day in December. 

You are loved by your sisters here, your dad, and me. I can’t count the days until I see you again. But I can make the days until that day of our meeting count.  I love you. I always will. 

Love, Mom

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Baby P

I remember.

– a sweet mother, aunt, and friend in South Carolina

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There simply aren’t enough candles……I’m remembering Baby Kyle and you and so many other babies and their parents and families.  I have been blessed by so many and I am forever thankful.
♡ Jen

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The 6 candles we lit tonight are in memory of the four waiting for us, plus the two God has blessed us with here; our precious boys, Caleb and Josiah.

“Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But, baby, let sweet Jesus hold you til mom and dad can hold you….
You’ll just have Heaven before we do
You’ll just have Heaven before we do”

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Baby D

This is for my son – Nate

Choosing Joy,

Penny

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Baby K

To my sweet baby,
On June 13th, we said goodbye to you at only 11 weeks. It is difficult not being able to see you grow into a beautiful child but we know it was part of God’s plan. We love you!
– Mommy, Daddy, and big brother in California

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To our precious babies, January 24, 2014... our lives were changed forever as you left this earth to meet Jesus. We love you so much little one & miss you every day. We know your great-grandparents are loving having you in heaven... we will see you soon. July 9, 2014... Little one, we so longed to hold you in our arms. We prayed for you, asking God to sustain your life, but He had different plans. We know your enjoying heaven with your big sister. We love you so much & can't wait to hold you in our arms one day... until then rest in the arms of Jesus. Love, Mommy & Daddy

To our precious babies,
January 24, 2014… our lives were changed forever as you left this earth to meet Jesus. We love you so much little one & miss you every day. We know your great-grandparents are loving having you in heaven… we will see you soon.
July 9, 2014… Little one, we so longed to hold you in our arms. We prayed for you, asking God to sustain your life, but He had different plans. We know you’re enjoying heaven with your big sister. We love you so much & can’t wait to hold you in our arms one day… until then rest in the arms of Jesus.
Love,
Mommy & Daddy in Missouri

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Baby H

I didn’t get to see the first two babies I lost, but I did get to see my third, a week before I lost him (do not know the gender for sure, I just *felt* he would have been a “he”), in a moment of grief I decided not to keep those ultrasound pictures, a decision I regret now. But a friend made me this and I always keep my angel babies close to my heart!

– a beautiful mother not too far away

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Baby (s) C

For my nieces and/or nephews that I will only meet in heaven.

– Janna in South Carolina

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Baby C

April 3, 2014

“You are my first baby.  The one I waited 3 years for.  I knew you were with me for 8 hours.  I went to sleep with my hands holding you, and your daddy gave you kiss.  Although we lost you that following morning, I will never ever ever forget how much joy I had for those precious few hours knowing that you were the first person to give me the title, ‘mom’.”

– Rebecca in Georgia
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 In remembrance of little Kyle, and all the little babies everywhere.
– a sweet friend  
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Kyle’s Candle
– Sara June in Michigan
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Baby (s) G
Remembering on this day and always:
Colt Nathan Galyean – Born into Heaven on October 25, 1990
Talerie Paige Galyean – Born into Heaven on December 28, 1991
Olivia Grace Galyean – Went to Heaven 8 hours after birth on September 27, 1999.
– Rhonda in WV
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Baby N

Today we will light a candle for our Grayson Paul and our precious little one we never got to meet – but whom Dalton calls Landon. (That’s one of the names we had picked and Dalton suggested that’s what we should name our little bean.)

All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mommy. I am so very thankful for our three beautiful babies God has blessed us with to take care of on this earth. It’s been 8 years since we held Grayson in our arms but I think of him every day, several times a day. He’s never far from my mind.Sometimes, I will look at all three of the kids doing something sweet together and I immediately think of him. What would he have been like? Would he have been a lot like Dalton? But then I remember God has a plan. I know Grayson & Landon are being well taken care of. And I know they aren’t alone. They have so many little friends there, even a few cousins, and some amazing grandparents.

To my friends who have experienced this kind of loss, I’m sorry you, too, have had to go through losing a child. I’m praying for you today and sending extra hugs. It is a loss that no one else completely understands unless they have been through it.

Know that you are not alone.

– Mary in West Virginia
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Baby V
For sweet little Aldora Baelie (“winged one”, “before all others”). Your Mommy is still hurting so deeply. But she loves you. And protects even your memory with the fiercest passion in her heart.
– Kim from Kimzkitchen posted for little Aldora’s beautiful mother, Anna in South Carolina
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Baby S 
To Karis Elizabeth Schubert,
Here is the candle I lit for you. My son was a year old and I was told that it was a miracle that I conceived and carried him. I was shocked and thrilled to become pregnant! The weekend before my first appointment, I lost you. Our pain was so deep. We had not told anyone yet and it was too painful to explain after that. My husband and I carried that pain for well over a year before we were even able to tell our families and others. It will be 6 years ago this next month. I look forward to the day I am reunited with you, my sweet child. I have no idea whether you are a boy or girl. My feelings always were that you are a girl. 
– from your lovely mother Beth in New York
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To add your own memory to this post, click here for the details. The post will continually update throughout the evening.

Remembering Kyle in Philadelphia | Day 14

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Special Update on 10/15/14: There’s a virtual memorial service going on here at Kimzkitchen beginning at 7 PM (EST) See the info at the end of this post, or click here to get all the details. It’s a special day. Because the babies are all special. wpid-img_20131011_194930

We had a service for Kyle. A memorial service a few weeks after his birth into Heaven to celebrate his 220 days with us. After that service, the nearly 250 people in attendance formed a sort of impromptu receiving line. I had spent the last hour or so thinking about my little guy dancing on Heaven’s streets. I was on a supernatural high from everyone’s prayers for me. But the thought of greeting every one of those people became overwhelming to me. My girls were tired. The physical and emotional strain of all the pomp and circumstance was getting to them. We had friends who had traveled far to be with us that day and were looking forward to crashing with them over dinner. The long line of people stretched pretty far.

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But you know something? Women began sharing their stories. Men began sharing their stories. A lady from my church in her late sixties said to me, “I lost a baby at birth forty years ago. They took the baby from me in that small hospital room. I never saw him. We never talked about him. Today, I came to grieve with you. But today, I began healing. You’re the first person I’m telling this story to. Thank you for letting me heal.”

View More: http://rebeccacerasani.pass.us/baby-kyle

The stories continued. And I was humbled to be a part of them. Some babies had names. Some didn’t. Some babies were looked at by their mothers. Some weren’t even (allowed to be) touched. But no matter what parts of our story matched, we had something in common. We were all grieving, and, because we were able to share, we were all healing.

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The thing is, death does sting. It hurts. It’s awful. But that sting isn’t going to be forever. One day there will be an amazing victory over sin. One so amazing that death will not sting any more.

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I can’t wait for that day.

Tomorrow is day of grief, healing, remembering, and sharing. It will be a day that will sting for many women. Some will talk about it. Some won’t.

Tomorrow is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

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This is a big day for me. And for Jenna. And for Hanna. And little Allie’s Mom. And so many others. Including some who are very close to my heart.

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Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about my little Kyle. Or Sam, or Catherine, the other two we lost before Kyle.  And there’s not a single mom out there who has lost a baby who doesn’t think of their little ones.

Tomorrow is a day that others are a little more open to hearing about them. Share your stories. Light your candle at 7PM tomorrow night. Even if you’re the only one who knows what it’s for. It’s ok  good to remember. It’s good to grieve. It’s the only way you can heal. It’s good to share.

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Thanks to my friend, Tammy, over at Perinatal Comfort Care, I was able to get the support I needed. And not only me – but also my girls. And my husband. We were all taken care of in our own special way.  I had help with formulating my care plan, delivering that to the doctors and nurses who would be over my care, and creating keepsakes that I hold on to so dearly.

If you know of someone who is in the middle of a pregnancy with a terminal diagnosis, the best gift you can give them is to introduce them to Perinatal Comfort Care. 

And join me tonight night at 7 PM? I have readers all over the world. We can have a candle burning a flame of rememberance for most of the day. And when you light that candle, say a prayer for those mothers who are grieving their losses. Not just tomorrow, but everyday. I’ll be putting together a virtual memorial service for anyone who would like to participate. Send me your photos of candles, babies, moms, ultrasounds. Or just short memories or just names. You can comment here or email me at kimzkitchen@gmail.com – i’m happy to include them in my post that will go live tonight at 7 PM (EST). If you can’t get it in by then, no worries, I’ll be updating the post throughout the evening. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. ❤

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A Mother’s Day – it is. Happy – it can be.

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Mother’s Day has to be the most emotion-filled nationally recognized day of the year. Perhaps not for everyone. But, to me, it seems like it must be.

I’ve only personally celebrated 5 of these special days. Sure some of them were filled with delightfully handprinted cards and banana breakfasts in bed (orchestrated by my ever grateful and special husband).

But yet, of the five, one was spent rushing a 3 year old daughter to an ER and then a PICU from a copperhead bite.

Another one was spent alone in a quiet home with only the sobs of my grieving heart as my precious baby’s body passed from mine after a pregnancy that was far-too-short, but so greatly desired.

On this day for Mothers to be happy.

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So many women long for the time to be able to celebrate this day. (“Can I stand with the other mothers in church if I’m still *only* pregnant?”)

So many women dread it. (“Do I stand with the other mothers in church if I’ve only ever been pregnant?”)

Some despise what it means for so many others – because their own mothers weren’t what they wanted.

Sometimes the emotional pain and dread I fear for this day makes me curl up in bed and not want to do anything. Even weeks before this Mother’s Day was due to arrive.

But, I wanna be real for a second here. Because, I’ve learned in the last 362 days since my Mother’s Day loss last year, that there aren’t too many women that still have a beautiful “innocence” of motherhood as I call it. For them, Mother’s Day isn’t just about sentimental gifts made in Kindergarten and a special day off from cooking.

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How can you be happy when you have more children in Heaven than you have here?

How can you be happy when now, perhaps for the first time, you have children who are no longer here to feel your love for them?

How can you be happy when your heart’s desire is to change terry cloth onesies and diapers – but all you’re changing on Monday is fertility supplements?

How can you be happy when your older child has you (and your tears, your prayers, your love), but you’re not even sure if, on this day, they will want to call you their Mom?

These questions thunder deep in my heart these long afternoons. I see new photos of my sweet baby Kyle that I haven’t allowed my eyes or my heart to see, and I feel the sense of loss all over again. As if he was just taken from my arms this day. His tiny hand out of mine. The hope of his healing here on earth gone. The minutes he didn’t move felt like hours – and during each one the hope I had of his healing, of his being alive, drained from my heart. And the hours he didn’t move over that weekend turned to tears that carried that hope from my eyes to my hands.  And I sat there in a crowded shopping mall. Numbly making phone calls and arrangements for my girls while people around me had no idea of what I was carrying.  The new maternity sweater I had worn once the night before – the last time I had felt him move – had to be returned. But I couldn’t do it. Couldn’t even walk near the store. My heart was so much heavier than my womb.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” 

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Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who walked with the very person of God was sick with grief. Grief of lost expectations, a lost brother, a lost friend, lost hope.

And “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” Not because He had lost a dear friend. But because He saw the hurt of sweet Mary. “Jesus wept.” Some around them even asked the hard questions.  “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus never rebuked them for their grief. He never rebuked them for their questions. In fact their grief moved him so much to weep himself. He feels our hurts. He hurts for us. He said this thing to Mary. “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”

But perhaps that believing is the hardest thing yet.

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Believing that God is in control. That God is indeed bigger than any of us. And our dreams. And our plans. And our desires.

My girls and I quote a verse often “For I know God can do ANYTHING…” 

but saying and believing are two different things entirely.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

A woman, who believes her baby will be born within the next nine months healthy and strong. She has hope. She has joy in believing.

A woman, who believes her family’s future is already planned in God’s mind. And His mind is set on Heaven, not on things on this Earth. Her family is just getting an early start there. She has hope. She has joy in believing.

A woman, who believes through the Spirit’s power, she can be a God-glorifying vessel to show God’s light to her own children, despite the past example she grew up with. She has hope. She has joy in believing.

A woman, who believes her heart and her future is tenderly held in God’s hands. And that because of that belief she can hope for the joy of children. She has hope. She has joy in believing.

A woman, who believes all little children are God’s children and can be her children. And loves them all.

She has hope. She has joy in believing.

God says, “Look to me. Watch what I can do.” (Micah 7:7)

Perhaps a Mother cannot solely be defined as a female who births a child. But instead, perhaps, as some explain, the definition is rather difficult to compose — “Because of the complexity and differences of a mother’s social, cultural, and religious definitions and roles, it is challenging to specify a universally acceptable definition for the term.”

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So perhaps a woman, who loves a child playing in the backyard, or anyone’s backyard, or one who loves a child playing in Heaven, or one who loves a child that hasn’t been given – yet, or one who loves a child that no longer reciprocates that love can still be called Mother. And can still be happy on this day.

Because she believes, and hopes, and loves.

“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

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–Romans 15:13, I Corinthians 13:13