Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thanks Maggie!!

Sweet Maggie, Mamma of Alexandra sent me this Gracie photo. It reminds me of when Lilly our kitty gave Gracie a big hug around my belly and Gracie was kicking her, I could tell that she could feel her kick.


I found this poem at Rachel's blog: Three Butterflies and a Monkey and I love it!!!

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

There are women that become mothers without effort,

without thought, without patience or loss and though

they are good mothers and love their children, I know

that I will be better.

I will not be better because of genetics, or money or that

I have read more books but because I have struggled and

toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I

have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over

and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have

appreciation are those who have struggled to attain

their dreams. I will notice EVERYTHING about my child.

I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and

discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the

rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night

to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort,

hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take

another temperature, pop another pill, take another

shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be

crying for me.

I count myself blessed in this sense; that God has

given me this insight, this special vision with which

I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a

child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.

I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter,

neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my

own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many

never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from

their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see

it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it

less lonely. I have learned the immense power of

another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that

moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and

when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion

that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.
-author unknown

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy 101 Blog Award!!! (My First One)

Wow, Rachel from Curls of Fred gave me my first blog award!! I'm so honored!! Rachel is a beautiful artist who posts her beautiful and meaningful art on a regular basis. I look forward to seeing it each and every time she posts. She also hoped to bring her baby girl Lyra home, safe and healthy but has had to adjust to the fact that she didn't come home due to a cord accident. She gave birth to her, December 18, 2009, just 8 days after I gave birth to Gracie. I feel like I can relate so much to her journey through grief and maybe because we have a similar timeline.

The rules of this award are:
1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

10 things that make me happy (in no particular order):

1. Jesus
without Him I would have no hope or healing
love it that the Holy Spirit dances and sings around me in delight and love the moments when the Holy Spirit gives me answers that I have been looking for

2. Laiman
even though he doesn't relate to my grief much, he is a solid rock and does not waver in his belief that Jesus loves us and we can put our trust and hope in him, very thankful for him

3. Gavin
a few days ago he was pretending to be my doctor checking my eyes and ears and then held the radio up to my stomach and said he needed to check Gracie's heart...........so glad he hasn't forgotten her

especially love rocking him before bed and singing Baby Mine to him and love it that he wants to sing Jesus Loves me to Gracie every night

love looking forward to going to Disneyland with him in May. He's almost 40 inches and will be able to ride on more rides at this height. I love his fearless spirit and that he wants to go on the roller coaster rides

love it that we both love building train tracks and playing with trains.

4. Gracie
my sweet baby girl, we can worship God together, and I have hope that I will see you again and hold you and that you will know how much I love you. so blessed to have an unharmed, never disappointed or hurt sweet baby girl and I look forward to seeing you

4. Family and Friends
love making new friends and recently have met so many blms who thankfully i can relate to when it doesn't seem like i can relate to anyone else. So fortunate to have met my bb through this journey!!

friends that I had recently become close to since we just moved here less than 3 years ago. Especially my friend Lana who made a beautiful tree skirt for our Christmas tree which included all of our names, she didn't leave Gracie out and now I have something with all of our names on it and she left room to add more names should we need it. Just after losing Gracie it was just what I needed to look at and it reeeeeallly helped me get through Christmas when not many people would mention her name to me, I just looked at the tree skirt. She is a IRL friend who gets it.

Old friends like my friend Kyoko who still checks in with me and really wants to know how I'm doing not afraid to mention Gracie's name and is open to listening to my grief with a sensitive, compassionate ear. Even if she lives hundreds of miles away I'm thankful that she has checked in with me.

the friends who thoughtfully gave meals to us and made meals for us just after we lost Gracie.

All the cards and notes that friends and family sent especially at the beginning. But especially the snail mail cards that I received even a few weeks ago are the one's I'm most thankful for.

really love that my family has been there for me so much through this time, whether it selfless loving gestures like my sister making the blanket for Gracie or my mom who has just stayed with me and Gavin when Laiman had to be away for training.

5. Lilly and Chleo (my kitties)
especially that Chleo will let me hold her like a baby and she doesn't mind too much and that Lilly will at least cuddle with me even if she won't let me hold her like a baby. It probably sounds crazy but i am so grateful for them!!

6. Walks to the park
so grateful that I have a beautiful park 1 1/2 blocks from my house, that has a 3 1/2 mile trail around it, including 3 playgrounds, a Japanese garden, and hundreds of varieties of trees, absolutely gorgeous any time of year. especially loving the warm days at the park, where at dusk the air is calm and the water on the lake is still, breathtaking.

7. Avoiding something I need to do by spontaneously doing something else that's much more fun.
I'm currently suppose to be cleaning my house because my mom and dad are coming to stay with us this week but I switched to blogging instead, much more fun. but I love a day when nothing is planned and going from one thing to the next without knowing what the next thing will be. Probably why I like staying at home with Gavin instead of working away from home.

8. Amazing Race, American Idol, Lost, The Middle, and Survivor
much less meaningful but always a good escape and something I look forward to. Not everything wholesome brings happiness.

9. my Bible and One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie
its been several years since I have really delved in and wanted to read my Bible like this devotional has got me wanting to read it. She has really helped me have some closure to some of the lingering doubts and questions I've had since losing Gracie.

10. Going Out for Dinner
I usually plan our meals out 1 week in advance and I cook most of our food from scratch. I wouldn't have it any other way. But I love going out to eat usually once a week and I love doing it at the spur of the moment unplanned. Especially for Thai food.

And I pass this award onto the following bloggers (I don't know who may have gotten it already):

Megan at Graceful Willow
so glad we found in each other and so thankful that you have been able to help me understand what I'm feeling and not just bury it under my thoughts. and love that we can have fun and laugh even though were hundreds of miles away

Lynette at Little Grains of Sand
just found your blog a few weeks ago but was so touched by the beauty and grace you display in your grief. i felt like reading your blog helped me have faith that God isn't just jerking me around.

Michelle at Leaning on Everlasting Arms
so touched by your faith and Godly insight. and thankful that you turned me on to that Nancy Guthrie devotional.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Unless you haven't lost a baby, sorry I can't relate

So we have lived in SW washington for almost 3 years now. We are actually starting to like it here. We've made some good friends and getting more established here. But I feel like I've sort of hit a road block when it comes to meeting people and relating to people. I was talking with a mom at the park when I was there with Gavin. Her son was already potty trained so I was discussing strategies with her. I told her that Gavin was doing really well last summer but then he just stopped and didn't want to anymore. So she said to me, "Oh did you have another baby." And I never want to leave Gracie out of these discussions but when I see the reactions of how appalling it is to lose a baby when someone new finds out that I end up not telling them about her. But then I feel like I'm not being my real true self so then it seems like this wall is up and I can't relate anymore. And then if I did tell them, I still feel like a huge wall is up because then I feel like they can't relate to me anymore. And I'm always afraid that I will start crying if I tell them and I really don't like crying in front of a bunch of strangers. I wish I could be real and ok with talking about her when I meet someone knew. I wish I knew how to talk about her without getting upset and also in a way that would not make the person I'm talking to upset. It amazing how it's not just losing her that's horrible, it's also losing part of me.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Redeemer Lives

I know how the weather feels. Seriously, we have had rain for the last who knows how long, many days, no sunshine and overcast skies. It snowed about 30 minutes ago and now it's sunny. I have had about a week of the worst despair and depression I've ever felt. I had a hard time getting out of bed for the first time since we lost Gracie. My faith was shaken. Verses like: "I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and give you a hope and future," meant nothing to me in fact I said "no he doesn't" to that. I know.....I was shaken!! I have never been so distrustful of God. And last night God reminded me of how much he loves Baby Cherry, Gracie and all the other babies lost too soon and wouldn't miss being with them for nothing. I believe he didn't want any of them to die so soon, this fallen world caused that. And he is able to redeem it. He is able to heal my heart that has just about crumbled into the smallest bits and now he is putting it back together better than it was before. God is not jerking us around he is redeeming each and every broken situation. And this morning I wanted to get out of bed. My Redeemer lives.

Pause the music below before playing this video.

Hold My Heart, performed by Tenth Avenue North

Major Revelation

Baby Cherry, I will never forget you because of what you taught me. You left so quickly and I forgot how fearfully and wonderfully you were made. I was having lots of doubts and feeling very bitter towards God when I heard that you had already gone to heaven. Why would God bring a life into this world after your big sister went too soon and he knew you would go too soon also. It is so selfish of me to think why didn't God just skip over creating you because it would save your mom and dad a lot of pain and suffering. Really God didn't just skip creating you knowing that you would be taken too soon because he loves you and he didn't want to miss a moment with you. And he knows that your mom and dad will have an eternity with you. Earth is so temporary. Your mom and dad wanted you so bad. I don't even know your mom and dad but I wanted you for your mom and dad so bad. I was having thoughts that just didn't make since when I heard the news. God created you, precious, beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made one of a kind baby Cherry and he loves you more than I can even imagine.

Father God forgive me for my lack of faith and distrust. Help my unbelief and take my fears away. And Lord please hold baby Cherry's mamma and daddy close to you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

still swimming in my thoughts

still swimming in my thoughts. So I've been reading a new devotional "One Year Book of Hope," by Nancy Guthrie. Thank you Michelle for the recommendation, it has been so helpful!! And after reading Week 2, Wresting With God, I had decided to take myself down the line of thinking that God isn't necessarily completely sovereign. He is but in the case of Jesus, he allowed Jesus to suffer and die even though I'm sure God hated to see it and didn't want it. A truly sovereign God could have made a way for Jesus to be our Savior without all that suffering. But for whatever reason he didn't so he had to allow the suffering. And did He really have to make the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:16-17.) Couldn't he accomplish what he wanted to accomplish, a relationship with us without putting the tree of knowledge in the garden? And then sin would not have entered the world, I mean he knew that we would end up disobeying and taking the fruit from the tree of life. Maybe we would not be able to feel the impact of true love without suffering and sacrifice and so without the tree of good and evil and the disobedience which was inevitable which then allowed disease, suffering and death into our world, we wouldn't have been able to really know the true impact of how much God loves us?

I don't know I just feel right now like it would be so helpful to understand why God allowed disease, suffering and death. I'm feeling more at peace believing that it was the only way we would fully understand how much God loves us. What if we didn't know love. Would not knowing love in the end be worse than the suffering we have endured. I believe it would be.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter Gracie!! Our Savior is Risen!!!

Thank you so much Michelle, Juanito's mamma for taking the time to remember our babies!! You made my Easter!!!

It means more to me than ever that Jesus paid the price for my sin and He is risen. What would I do without my Savior. I will see you soon Gracie.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cookbook Fundraiser for Trisomy Foundation

A mamma, Stefanie, with a boy named Timmy was diagnosed with trisomy 18 (mosaic) and it's been a long road but he is doing quite well. His mamma is raising money for research on trisomy 18 and is writing a cookbook. She is requesting recipes and needs more by April 5 (I know short notice but sending her a recipe shouldn't take long.) She will sell it in late May or early June and will donate the proceeds to the Trisomy 18 Foundation. So if you have a recipe you'd like to submit send it to Thilar.czyk@optonline.net (remove the dot in the first word) include your name or who you would like it in honor of or memory of.

This recipe is in memory of Gracie Jane Miller, also known as "Blueberry"

Blueberry's Jello Salad
1 large box of blueberry gelatin
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 16 oz bag of frozen blueberries
1 large container of whipped topping
1 small jar of marciano cherries

Dissolve gelatin in pineapple chunks with juice. Stir in blueberries, drained cherries and whipped topping. Chill in refrigerator until its served.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Holy Friday

My flesh and the spirit have been wrestling a lot. This is my attempt to expose the darkness and let God's light shine on it. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is in the New Testament (Mark 9:14-30) .

19"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you?
How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
20So they brought
him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion.
He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21Jesus asked
the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he
answered. 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you
can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23" 'If you can'?" said
Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24Immediately the
boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

I can relate so much to the father in this passage. Father God I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!

I will warn you what I have written is very graphic about giving birth to Gracie, so feel free to skip reading the flesh part and read on to the what the Spirit of Truth is saying to me. Today is Good Friday the day that Jesus suffered and died for our sin.

the flesh is the sinful side of me the side that isn't believing
If I'm totally honest these are the thoughts that plague me:

I am disappointed in my God the healer who didn't heal my Gracie

Gracie afflicted with trisomy 18....God allowed it

Gracie died inside of me......God allowed it

God created her knowing full well that she would be afflicted with trisomy 18 and not live to give her first breath. God you knew the suffering we would endure because of allowing this.

I gave birth to her lifeless body and her body was tattered and bruised from being pulled out
breech and going through birth with a lifeless body. Her skin was peeling off by the time she came and her lip and forehead head were torn. I wanted to touch her but her skin was so delicate that when I touched her forehead her skin tore. She stayed with us in our room the whole night because I couldn't allow her to not be near anyone who didn't love her as we do. And in the morning her skin was pulling downward and she looked horrible.

We had intended to call our photographer from Now I Lay me Down to Sleep but since she came at 12:35 am, and we were in shock we decided not to call her leaving us with none of the photos I had hoped to take.

The funeral home attendant came and got her and put her body in a duffel bag, the last time I saw her lifeless body.

I experienced labor with full on contractions, high doses of mezaprol, 4 times the dose that is usually given induced labor, the doctor broke my water, a very painful procedure and petocin intensified and controlled the labor and within 5 hours I was having full on contractions as hard as they were when I gave birth to Gavin. I couldn't wait any longer I wanted an epideral and it was a pretty good epideral. But I still had a window of pain on the right side to know that I fully was in intense labor up to the the end (9 hours after I was induced.) When the doctor pulled her out, her head made a suction and huge gushes of amniotic fluid from the polyhydramios, a symptom of trisomy 18, gushed out like a river.

I looked at my lifeless baby girl who was tattered and bruised from being born dead.

We left the hospital with empty arms and broken hearts.

We came home without our Gracie.

We live now without our Gracie.

Doubt.....why would an all loving God who we pleaded with to heal our Gracie not bring healing?

Why do you continue to not heal all the babies who have trisomy 18 that we have come in contact with even when we plead with you to heal them?

Why do you allow over 5 million babies born with HIV become orphaned and impoverished?

Why did you allow me to go through this when so many people give birth to healthy children and never lose a child.

Now I don't have my Gracie and I don't get to see her grow or know her personality or dress her in pretty baby girl things.

Now Gavin is alone and doesn't have a baby sister to grow up with.

Not only do I not have my sweet Gracie but I have daily flashbacks of all these events. The flashbacks don't stop in fact they have come more frequently and intensely and they can't be ignored and lead to a huge lump in my throat and end in tears on a daily basis and constant pain. It makes it very difficult to be around anyone because I never know when the flashbacks will come. It has totally changed me.

My heart is broken and I don't see any end in sight. How can I trust you to heal my heart when you didn't heal my Gracie? How can I trust you to heal anyone?

The Spirit of truth has these things to say:

I am the God of hope and I love you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

I sent my Son to you and He gave His life blameless for all your sin. As far as the east is from the west your sins are removed so that you can come before me blameless. (Psalm 103:12 )

My Son sweat drops of blood and asked if there was any other way but knowing that He would would endure 6 illegal trials, sleepless nights, betrayal, rejection, beatings, torture and paying the price for our sin even though he had not sinned he agreed to do what was necessary to save you. (Luke 22-23 )
He knew his whole life what he would end up suffering in his last days and anticipated it his whole life.

This is the pain and suffering my Son endured.

I needed Gracie to come and fulfill a very important purpose, I took her life so that she wouldn't have to endure earth any longer after her purpAlign Rightose was accomplished. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I have a purpose for your life. You will accomplish more than Jesus did because His spirit lives in you. (Mark 11:20-25 )

Yield to me, don't allow your flesh to control you, allow yourself to be controlled by my spirit.

Give your life to me, obey my Word.

I know your suffering.

I know your pain.

I can and will heal your broken heart.

I did heal Gracie, she is whole and healed with me now.

You will be with her again.

Gracie never suffered anything, she was never disappointed and never will be.

I was betrayed but Gracie was never betrayed and never will be betrayed.

Gracie was so special to me that I took her life before she even took her first breath because I love her. You are mamma to a very special girl, not everybody lives and never has suffered from betrayal or disappointment.

You will be with her again.

You can't see what I am accomplishing but you will and trust me it will all be worth it.

Me to God:

Father God I don't want to have any doubts, help my unbelief.

Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever."

Pause the music below before playing this.