Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birth Stories, Part Four - a second loss

Since I had experienced a miscarriage only six months before, I was very aware of what was happening this time. I didn't have contractions early on, so I tried an aggressive regime of cramp root, bed rest and vitamin E.

This pregnancy was totally different from the one this past spring. I was sick - big time. It felt just like the first trimester of Gracie and Faith. I would go about life & work, vomit, fall asleep, get up and eat some protein and do it all over again. I thanked God every time I threw up. I felt that it was a "sign" that the pregnancy was holding fast. I believed that the first one was an anomaly. I learned and grew in my trust in God's goodness through that experience. But deep in my heart, I never really expected that it would happen again. I hoped in nausea, I hoped in my "one-time" loss. I hoped (and prayed) God would bless us with a healthy baby. But my spirit was not surrendered. Like the old hymn, I needed to surrender all.

On Wednesday, January 13 - I began spotting. The moment I discovered the first spots, I was terrified. Gratefully Pete was near. I clung to him and said, "I don't want to do this anymore." He knew "this" meant the whole thing- I didn't want to lose this baby, I didn't want to try again, I didn't want my heart to break this time or ever again.

By Thursday the miscarriage was really setting in. The cramps were difficult but I spent a lot more time on my feet. I think the movement and gravity helped it progress easier. I would just slip up to the bathroom for a little while - take care of things and go back to light housework.

While I was praying/journaling, I wrote "because God is sovereign, I don't have to fear." I trust God's sovereignty. I am not the creator or sustainer of life. I want more children - I feel called to have more children. Does that mean I am guaranteed to have more children? No. May I live with an ache for a desire that may never be fulfilled? Maybe. I open my hand. I may become pregnant again. I may miscarry again. Praise be the name of the Lord.

My husband wrote an email to our friends. Here's a portion:
This miscarriage has already opened several doors to some very unexpected opportunities to share God’s love and help other wounded hearts. We know and are confident in God’s ability to work redemptively in and through this situation. The path leading through the shadow of death is not easy or, more ideally, avoided because of our faith; instead, we are able to take each step without the fear of evil… I know many others could write or speak about this more eloquently. So I’ll leave it there and let the Lord use this to encourage you that He loves you, we love you and even though life is painful sometimes, God is always good. One day we will see the fullness of the glory that this unborn child will bring the Lord! Until then, we walk by faith and trust and we praise God for friends and family like you that can share in our sorrow and joy.

We named this baby as well. We call her Peace. Within minutes of the onset of my spotting, I had about 10 people praying for me. More began praying as we shared the situation throughout the day. I knew I was losing my baby, but after the first moments of fear, I was completely covered by a sense of peace. It was physically and emotionally hard, but I did experience the peace that passes all understanding. Surrender = peace. My hope is in Christ.

A sweet friend told me of a song by Watermark called Glory Baby. The lyrics and a link to a youtube video can be found here. It is biblically solid and painfully articulate in a good, cleansing kind of way.


Anniversary Apple Pie

Yesterday was our ninth wedding anniversary. It was somewhat somber because the miscarriage began exactly one week ago. We had dinner with the girls here at home and caught up with "24 " (after the girls were in bed!) and talked. We reminisced about our wedding day and the things we have experienced since and about our future - imaging what God has in store for us. It was a very low key anniversary but a good one. It's not the "how" but the "who." I am so blessed with an awesome, godly husband. I haven't been anywhere so I didn't buy him a card. But I showed him love in a way that has been consistent throughout our marriage.... I cooked :-)

Apple (or Pear) Pie (either works - I've done both)
Homemade Pie Crust for 9" pan (I'll share my recipe soon I hope)
5 cups of pears or apples pealed and sliced thin
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp softened butter
Roll out your crust and lay into a 9" pie pan. Combine the rest of the ingredients and spread over bottom crust. Roll out the top crust and pinch the bottom & top crusts together. Poke a generous amount of vent holes across the top of the pie. Bake @ 450 degrees for 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 350 and bake another 35 to 40 minutes.

I highly recommend serving this hot with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. We had Breyers. I know - it has sugar! Honestly, we've really fallen off the "no sugar" wagon in recent months. Tasty food can be a welcome distraction when you're sad, tired or stressed. It seems like we've been in constant rotation of those feelings for about 8 months. I'm praying for strength and wisdom as we try to get our family back on a healthy groove. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Life is hard, God is good

Update: Miscarriage is complete - I feel very at peace. I appreciate your prayers greatly - they have sustained me throughout this.

I'm having a tough day. I'm losing my baby today. It started yesterday - we tried several things to slow things down with the hope of saving the baby. But most likely my body began to release this little one at least a week ago. My body is now doing the work to complete the miscarriage.

I was praying/journaling last night and I wrote "because God is sovereign, I don't have to fear." This passed through His hand and I trust that He will give me strength. I'm sad but at peace. I would appreciate your prayers for my strength and healing.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Shelf Story

Well I realized that I just threw out the shelf photo earlier without giving it all it's due. Can I tell you home much I really, really love these open shelves?

We received a huge blessing of some mega-discounted "someone wanted something better" appliances yesterday. My wonderful husband (and a generous student-friend) drove approximately 10 hours in a 15 foot moving truck to go to SC to retrieve these things.

It cost about $300 for the rental, the discount price and the gas. However the refrigerator alone would have cost between $800 to $1000 new. Plus we also got a cabinet that has the built in trashcan. Pete will incorporate it into the new kitchen layout. Can you imagine me grinning? - it's happening right now.

So I'm saving the "totally painted" shelving for a reveal when I finally commit to how I want to lay them out. I've never had such a cool element and I'm trying different decor elements. Ideas?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Resolutions and Renovations

Well, my blogging has been lighter because I just have been nauseous. One of my resolutions of the year is to learn how to spell nauseous. I am ridiculously dependent on spell check for that word. It really doesn't look like it should be spelled that way, but I think if I can take all these pregnant hormonal brain cells and dedicate them to the task - I can learn to spell the word "nauseous."

In a couple of weeks I'll be into my second trimester and I have high hopes of not needing to type, text or write that word quite as much. But hey - I have all of 2010 to learn it.

So renovations...
Pete has done an amazing job of laying out the rest of the kitchen. Our next hurdle is selecting the colors and finishes. I am currently campaigning for a cork floor. (Don't you love this photo? I can so see this in our kitchen!) It sounds perfect for a natural family kitchen. My favorite part is having a softer floor since I spend a lot of time on my feet in the kitchen. What do guys think? This Old House has an instructional video on installation. Hey, if they can do it...