The joys and pains of the end of 2011
I’m back! Since I’ve been away for many months, I am essentially re-launching my blog. It will take a long post to recap the events of the past few months, but it would seem strange not to share them. For those who are interested, the following is a summation of the events in my life since September.
First, as I shared a while back, I taught a couple of classes at a community college for the fall semester. Since I had never taught before, this became an all-consuming part of my life. Between the prep work and the grading, I barely had time to do anything else, let alone post to my blog. To make what could be an extremely long story short, while I enjoyed teaching, I am glad that I won’t be doing it next semester. I may share more details about my time teaching in a separate post.
I found out I was pregnant at the end of October. We were beyond excited. I had many pregnancy symptoms and was exhausted all the time. All I could bring myself to work on was prepping for classes, grading and sometimes cleaning and cooking.
It was an emotional roller coaster with constant uncertainty. We had a sonogram Tuesday, Nov 22nd that showed the baby and heartbeat. We were so excited and felt that we were past the stage of worry.
Then, on Tuesday, Nov 29th I started spotting and went on to have a miscarriage on December 2nd.
I still find myself overcome with grief at times. No words can explain the trauma of going through such an ordeal. The physical and emotional pains are like nothing else.
I am thankful that I have the most amazing husband possible, full of love and comfort. He holds me up and reminds me of God’s promises. He listens with understanding and carries me when I can’t walk. It was God’s grace that helped me through the experience, as well as the husband he blessed me with. I was also incredibly blessed by the comfort and listening ear of my mother-in-law and the love of my family, which I could feel immensely though we were far apart. They told me that each time they hugged each other, they were hugging me in their hearts. I felt those hugs.
As I was going through the worst of the miscarriage, I could feel God’s presence with me. He brought to mind passages from His Word and songs. One of the first songs He brought to mind was “I Will Praise you in this Storm” by Casting Crowns. All I could do was weep and mouth the words.
While I was angry, I did not feel for one second that God had abandoned me. When I was quietly begging for answers, relief and comfort, He whispered, “I’m with you.” When I was shouting and squirming and screaming in pain, He shouted over everything. I could feel his hand on me, and I know He was catching the many tears I shed in his hand.
I was full of mixed emotions, and I still have my good moments and bad moments. But through it all, the only thing I can do is cry out to Him. Cry out in anger. Cry out in pain. Cry out in sorrow. Often, he answers by giving me an overwhelming peace.
Creating little remembrances
The day after we lost that precious life, I was thinking about ways to ensure that life is never forgotten. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that creating something would also help me to heal. So, I’m creating a memory box to remember the life of our baby. The healing process for me involves creating, both through writing and making something with my hands. So, I decided to sew something special and put it in a memory box with the ultra sound image from 6 weeks, my writings about my feelings, and a letter to our baby.
I’m making a small blanket with some special fabric and hand-embroidering a few things on it, including our baby’s life verse in a heart in the bottom left corner. The verse that I chose is Psalm 139:13-16, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
This memory box will help us to remember the good parts about the pregnancy and the beautiful life that was cut far too short. We’ll always remember the joy that our baby brought us and others, even though we never met.
Letter to our baby
This is a very personal letter that I am sharing, but it helps me to share my experience with others. And since I was encouraged by reading the stories of others, I feel that I should share my own as well. If I can be of encouragement to anyone else who has been through the same thing, I will hold nothing back. I wrote this letter in the days immediately following the miscarriage.
My Dearest Baby,
I wanted you more than anyone will ever understand. I dreamed about you growing inside me and the day I would meet you. I didn’t want this to happen. I longed to hold you in my arms, to sing to you, to rock you, to kiss your tiny hands. But I was helpless to control your fragile life; I couldn’t help you past eight weeks. I cannot begin to say how sorry I am.
I miss you so much. Though we never met, we had an unexplainable connection. There are moments when I forget that I lost you, and I feel the weight of that loss anew. I hope that you know how much I love you! I know that your beautiful soul is in God’s hands, and I look forward to the day when I will meet you.
All My Love, Mommy
For anyone who might need comfort in the midst of similar circumstances, the following are some verses that comforted me through this difficult time:
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV -“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Jeremiah 1:5, 8 -“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…Do not be afraid…for I am with you…declares the Lord.”
Psalm 6:2-4; 6-9 -“Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long? Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love… I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.”
Psalm 4:1 -“Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”
Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV -“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
We went to Nashville for Christmas, and stayed a few days with my youngest sister-in-law and her new husband (they got married the third week of October).
We had a really enjoyable time relaxing and hanging out with family.
My sister-in-law has a very sweet and happy new dog named Jasper. He and Newton got along well and tired each other out.
We bought a new camera a few weeks ago. It’s a Canon EOS Rebel t3i. I’d been saving up for quite a bit for a digital SLR, and Alex agreed to pay for the rest if I agreed to do a few things for him out at his new shop (*See note below). We’ve been having fun taking way too many pictures. I’ll resist the urge to pummel you with an onslaught of photos.
Alex and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve relaxing. The day before New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day, the weather was perfect. Laura and I worked on getting those vines off of our back fence.The jungle behind our fence. It was much more difficult to get those vines down than you might think.
We also cleared the leaves away from the fence so that I could roundup the vines that are still alive. Just before spring rolls around, we’ll put pre-emergent down along the area where the vines have been growing inside the fence, and cover it with something to keep the sun from reaching the spreading vines.
I raked up the leaves and cleaned up the large branches in our front yard and part of the side yard. Laura went around the outside of the fence and took all the vines down from that side.
Wayne started working on replacing the siding around our new kitchen window.
He’s using siding from the bottom of the house. That way it will match the surrounding siding, and we can use new siding for the bottom where it won’t be as visible (Even if we get the same color siding, there will still be visible differences do to age and weathering).
I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and I can’t wait to share some writing and the many projects I have planned.
I hope you had a lovely end of 2011. Here’s to a happy and blessed new year for you and yours!
*Note: Alex is renting a separate shop for his business, and I will no longer have metal chips all over the house. 😀 Here are a few pics of his new shop, if you’re interested.
I plan to learn how to use his new CNC Mill to help him out and to make a few things for my purposes. I’m hoping to make some dyes for embossing and figure out (with Alex’s help) how to build my own embossing machine.