Category Archives: Pregnancy after Loss

Welcome Gumdrop!

Chris and I welcomed our fourth daughter on October 16, 2015.

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She was 7 lbs 11 oz and 20.5 inches long, and we are over the moon to have her in our family! Even though the timing of her arrival and Ladybug’s homecoming seemed overwhelming, we can see the grace God is pouring out on our family. His mercies are new every morning!

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Gumdrop

At the very start we were but two
As our love grew, that two became one
It wouldn’t be long before there would be a third
Having only three we desired more thus we became four
Hearing a call from a far off land, we decided to add a fifth to the band
Wouldn’t you know that God knew best and that’s when He added number six to our glorious mess

-written by my husband, Chris

Introducing Gumdrop

We are happy to announce that a little “Gumdrop” will be joining our family, due to arrive in October!

Bumblebee is Here!

Our sweet rainbow baby was born November 29, 2013.

She is a blessing.

All life is valuable. Precious. Worth it. But new life is blissful. I’m thoroughly soaking up her newborn days, eternally grateful that The Lord saw fit to bless us with her.

May He be glorified.

Elsie a few hours after birth in Daddy's arms. Photo by www.renetate.com.

Bumblebee a few hours after birth in Daddy’s arms. Photo by http://www.renetate.com.

Letters to Bumblebee Part 2

 

Our perfect little Bumblebee at 6.5 weeks!

Our perfect little Bumblebee at 6.5 weeks!

Because of our history, my midwives wanted me to see my perinatologist very early in this pregnancy with Bumblebee for my peace of mind and to see how baby was doing. Additionally, we were getting ready to leave the country for a few weeks, and we agreed that reassurance would be greatly appreciated.

So, we had an ultrasound at 6w5d to confirm the pregnancy and (hopefully) see a heartbeat. Turns out, the whole ordeal that was meant to reassure me took up a lot of head space in the days leading up to it. For one, the timing was undeniably similar to when we lost Basil. For two, I recognized that an ultrasound would make the situation clear – without an ultrasound, I was operating on the philosophy of “no news is good news.” An ultrasound would change that. And finally, the stress of literally packing for a nearly month-long trip without knowing the result of our ultrasound was immense. I so hate to admit it, but I cried to Chris of my struggle with whether or not I should pack to be prepared for a miscarriage. Or, if I should pack any maternity pants.

It was an even-more-than-normal emotional time for me. And, while I struggled to see the situation with clarity at the time, it’s obvious to me why I needed to write the following letter and prayer just two days before our ultrasound and leaving for our trip.

I think that when you’re walking through pregnancy after loss, you expect to struggle a bit. But, it’s the small things that have caught me off guard – like do I pack pads and pain medication or maternity pants and anti-nausea remedies? Ultimately, there is no guidebook to walking this, just as there was no guidebook for the grief process of losing our three babies. But God is gracious and has been my strength.


Second Letter to Bumblebee
4/8/13
Hi little one!

I love you so much. You sure are having fun growing, I think. Mama feels so pregnant!

For some reason, though, I’m worrying about you tonight. Worry isn’t good, sweet one. Worry isn’t of The Lord – it means we are not trusting Him and resting in His promises. He will never leave not forsake us. He holds you, Mama, Daddy, and Poppy¬†in His hands! He loves us!

So, instead of worrying, I decided to write you a letter and say a prayer for you. Daddy and I are having so much fun preparing for you already! We might even already know your name!

Lord, I pray for our sweet Bumblebee. I pray that you carry this little one through life – we give him/her to You because Your love is great and You are trustworthy. We cannot WAIT to see baby’s heartbeat. Lord, would you keep Bumblebee growing strong? This is big stuff – so much for such a little one to manage. It’s so big that we know it happens solely because of Your hand. You have breathed life out of nothing, and we praise You. We praise You because Bumblebee is fearfully and wonderfully made!

Don’t let us waste another moment worrying when we can spend every second praising You for the blessings You’ve given, the love You share, and the sins You’ve forgiven. We love You Lord! Amen

Sweet baby, mama loves you, always and forever, no matter what! See you soon!

This time, our story ended in good news. Even though baby was still very small, we saw Bumblebee’s sweet heartbeat on the ultrasound. I cried such happy tears, and our wonderful perinatologist rejoiced with us. What a happy memory!

Letters to Bumblebee

YellowTulips

I think it’s natural to guard one’s heart in pregnancy after loss. Just because it may be natural, though, doesn’t mean it’s something we want to settle into and get comfortable with. I know I certainly didn’t. I wanted to love this baby wholeheartedly. And I didn’t want to look back on my pregnancy and remember all the ways I tried to keep my heart safe. For better or for worse, this baby deserved a mama who was brave enough to love. From day one.

And so, of course, one way I combatted guarding my heart was by writing Bumblebee some letters. I know many mamas write their children letters throughout their lives, but so far it’s not been something I’ve done. Yet, I felt that writing Bumblebee was a necessary part of this unpredictable process that is pregnancy after loss. I wanted to share, again with my heart on my sleeve, in case someone out there can relate.

The first letter was written the day after I found out Bumblebee existed:

3/20/2013

Hello Sweet Baby!

Oh how my heart rejoices to know you! And in fact, you’ve been mommy’s little secret for a few days. ūüôā

God surprised me with you, little one. Mommy and Daddy didn’t know when you’d come, and I think now seems like PERFECT timing! You are being knit together, designed by an awesome creator. I pray you’ll know Him one day. I know Him – better now than ever probably, and I praise Him for you!! You are a blessing!

Little one, our “after” is forever changed because of YOU! You exist! We are so happy! And yet, there was a “before,” too. Before was sometimes very hard. We know that after will be hard, too, but regardless of it all, we trust God’s plan. We know that He knows best.

Heaven is close on our minds, you see. You have THREE beautiful and precious siblings there! Jesus is there! Mommy and Daddy will go there, too, one day. It really is our home, you know.

And I just want to tell you that Mommy and Daddy love you so much. We place you in God’s hands because He loves you EVEN MORE than we do. Your life is big and valuable because He is your creator. And we so want to meet you!

But, we trust God – even when it’s hard. If you meet Jesus and your three siblings in Heaven before we do, I know that will be wonderful for you! It will be very sad for us, but a hopeful sad because, really, we won’t be long behind you.

Either way, sweet baby, God loves us. He made us all, and He is working good things out of the hard stuff of our lives. We trust that He is doing the same for you!

We pray that you grow big and strong, sweet baby. We pray that you’ll get to meet Mommy, and Daddy, and Poppy first! We can’t wait to hold you in our arms… To watch you smile for the first time… Coo at us… Grow up entirely too fast… Play games with us and learn about Jesus with us. Serve others with us… We know God has already blessed us with you, and we pray with all that we are that He will bless us by keeping you healthy to come meet us!

We can’t wait!!! I love you, sweetie.

Love, Mommy

Mama still loves you, Sweet Bee. God is good, all the time.

Raw Moments

With Noelle, I only took one test. After loss, that second pink line is a great reassurance.

With Poppy, I only took one test. After loss, that second pink line is an even greater reassurance.

Pregnancy after loss is crazy unpredictable.

Even though I worried about Poppy¬†during my first pregnancy, it’s different with this baby. With Poppy, I felt more fearful of losing her, fearful in a “I don’t know what to expect” and a “what if…?” kind of way. The emotions I’ve fought against through this pregnancy with Bumblebee are different. I often feel… Wow it’s so hard to explain. In the early days, I desperately didn’t want to lose my baby; and yet I think I had learned to accept this blessing with much more open hands. It wasn’t fatalistic, but it was a deep-seeded, faith-filled realization that I was not and could not be in control. It was a buckle down kind of feeling, almost like gearing up for battle.

In many ways, pregnancy after loss is a battle: a battle for hope, a battle against fear, a battle to love, a battle to stay strong.

The first few days after finding out I was pregnant with Bumblebee, I was the only one who knew since Chris was out of town. I was alone with my thoughts much more, and I think it helped force me to process the whirlwind that existed inside of me. So, I wrote.

I wrote a hurried, afraid-to-breathe prayer in the moments after seeing two pink lines. It’s taken some time, but I’ve decided I want to share some. It’s deeply personal, but if it can help someone else process the ups and downs of pregnancy after loss, then it’s completely worth wearing my heart on my sleeve:

March 19, 2013
Lord Jesus,
I just had my fifth positive pregnancy test. FIVE! I can hardly believe you’ve blessed us with five blessings! Lord, I am in awe. […]

Lord, I don’t even want to go here, but I must. I cannot ignore my history away, pretend it never happened. I can’t deny the fact that the trials you’ve walked us through have changed me.

I want them to have changed me in only positive ways and never negative, but you know I’m being honest with you when I say I’m scared. […]

Lord, this child is yours. Please enable us to make the best decisions we can for this baby. Fulfill your will in his/her life. We would so love to hold this baby and have the blessing of loving and raising this child. But your will be done. I don’t have to fear. […]

You above all – far above all – know what this baby and I need! Please hold us in your hand, protect us, and let your will be done in our lives.

Thank you Lord for this blessing! I love you! Thank you for walking me through my years, for never leaving me Lord!

I love you and I praise you, for this baby and I are fearfully and wonderfully made! You hold our days in your hands! You will never leave or forsake us […]

Give me courage, Lord! […]

I love you. I thank you for this sweet baby!

Love, Kami

Looking back on this prayer four months later now, I see a clear pattern. I was grateful; I was honest; I did my best to not live in the honesty of my humanity and fears, but instead tried my best to remind myself of who my Savior is and what He has promised.

No matter your trial, remember that you can be so honest with The Lord. But also remember to not settle with your own emotions. Instead, we must practice claiming what God has promised to us. If we know Him, we can walk and rest in those promises.

Announcing…

Poppy has some big news to share:

BigSis

We are so happy and excited to announce that I am pregnant and due the end of November!

This pregnancy has been very normal, and we are so grateful! We had an early ultrasound and saw that sweet beating heart – a milestone we never achieved with our three heaven-born babies; and we’ve now even heard the breathtaking “swish swoosh” of baby’s beating heart through the doppler.

Poppy¬†is going to be such a good big sister – she is already so sweet about our Bumblebee (straying from the herb theme…). Most of the time, she is convinced she has a “bumblebee” in her tummy, too!

Pregnancy after loss has proven to be full of ups and downs, but we are eternally grateful for the ride that is our life!