Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifts for Luke

It meant so much to me that my family members remembered Luke on Christmas. I was so grateful that he wasn't forgotten. I, of course, think about him everyday. Yet it was so wonderful to see that others think about him too.

My mom and step-dad gave us a miniature Christmas tree that they took to the cemetery and made a charitable donation in Luke's honor. My sister-in-law, Maryanne, gave us an ornament with Luke's name and birth date. Trevor's mom said that the ornaments are made by a mother of a stillborn baby. I haven't had a chance get all the details from Maryanne yet. I love it and thought it was so thoughtful of her to have this ornament specially ordered for us.

Trevor's dad gave us an ornament as well. This one is a Willow Tree ornament that depicts an angel holding a little boy. To think, that the angels are looking after my baby boy! It really means so much to me that he remembered us and his little grand-baby and gave us this tender gift in honor of him.

Thanks to all my family and friends who have remembered us and Luke -with your gifts, prayers, and even thoughts -this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A memory of what might have been...

It was two Christmases ago when I started to really picture myself as a mother.

The whole fam (Trevor's side, that is) was together in Seattle for Christmas. Our sister-in-law had recently given birth to twins. This meant there was always a baby to hold! When normally I would shy away from holding young babies and let people (like the grandmother) who really want to hold them do so, I was able to often have a baby in my arms (since Grandma was already holding one).

I was so glad that there was enough baby to go around so that I could spend lots of time with either my niece or my nephew. With one of the twins hoisted on my hip we looked into the mirror together as he discovered his little face in the reflection. As Jacob looked at his own face, I looked at the two of us and thought, this looks right, I'd definitely like to be a mother.

I vividly remember sitting in the quiet upstairs in the dark in an old rocking chair, soothing my niece, Jenna, as I quietly rocked her to sleep. It felt so right to have a little baby in my arms. It felt so comfortable sitting quietly rocking and humming lullabies. I knew then, I wanted my own rocking chair. I wanted my own baby.

My niece, Jenna and me
It's strange to think that if Luke were living he'd be the exact same age that my niece and nephew were two Christmases ago. Being born in August they were just about 5 months old. Luke would be coming up on 5 months too. It's strange to think that I could have been doing the same things -looking in the mirror with Luke hoisted on my hip as we smile at each other or quietly rocking and singing him to sleep.

Now I just look in the mirror and just wish that there was a cute, smiling baby looking back at me.

Hopefully one day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Christmas Cry

Lots of people have been concerned that Christmastime would be particularly hard for us. For the most part, it hasn't really been any harder than any other month. I still think about Luke every day, but the holiday season in general hasn't brought any more sadness into my life.

In the past week I was chatting with my my mother-in-law about the season and how we're doing. She told me of a woman who was from Australia (or somewhere really far away) who married someone here in the states. Each Christmas she missed her family so much and wished she could be with them. Instead of denying these feelings, she allotted herself one hour to go to her room, dwell on her family, cry, or whatever she needed to do. Then she would carry on with the rest of her day.

During church on Christmas day it was hard to not dwell on Luke. Trevor inquired, when he noticed my cheeks wet with tears. I responded, "When I hear songs of a perfect baby boy laid in a manger, how can I not think of my own baby boy? I miss him and wish Luke could be here with us."

At the conclusion of opening all of the gifts I sat and turned the pages of a wonderful book my sister-in-law made, containing highlights of the annual Fitzgerald vacation to Lake Chelan. This is when I quietly put the book down and went upstairs to our bedroom.

It was my time for a good cry.

It made me so sad to see the pictures of my adorable nieces and nephew and know that Luke will never be in the family pictures with them. It made me so sad to not have Luke here with us. It made me so sad to be left wondering if Luke would be as cute as my nieces and nephew. I cried knowing that if Luke were here I'd get to show him off to his great-grandma and all of his other family, but he's not here. I cried because I longed to be with him. I cried because I wanted more than anything, on Christmas, for Luke to know how much I love him. I cried because the sweetness I see in my growing niece, I don't get to see in my own son.

I allowed myself to have a good cry. My sweet husband found me alone and listened to my sorrows and held me as I cried some more.

I needed that.

Then I went downstairs and joined in all the festivities once more.

Luke, I don't know how heaven works exactly. I don't know what you're up to. But I hope you know how much I love you. That's my Christmas wish -that you know how much you are loved. Perhaps we were together long ago -both part of that heavenly host, singing praises to the newborn King. One day, I'm sure we will be together and be able to sing praises of gratitude to our Redeemer. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Luke, this cute little Christmas tree is actually a rosemary bush. It smells delightful. Your Grandma and Grandpa Banks gave it to us for you. Even if we couldn't visit you on Christmas Eve and light candles for you, you were constantly in our thoughts during the holiday. We hope to be in Utah next year for Christmas. I hear it's beautiful to see all the candles lit. Hopefully we'll get to be here for that next year.  Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Power of Patience

I don't feel like I've been particularly impatient lately, but I feel like I could be. It could be so easy for me to become extremely frustrated that I'm not currently living out my life as a mother, which I want more than anything to be doing right now. The words from a talk, given by Robert C. Oaks called The Power of Patience, that I listened to recently included counsel that I think I needed to hear. I think they are words that are not only beneficial to me, but to anyone that is currently suffering from unrealized desires. He actually sites a teaching from the apostle Elder Maxwell as he says:

"Elder Neal A. Maxwell linked patience and faith together when he taught: 'Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best--better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His' ("Patience," Ensign, Oct. 1980, 28)."

How humbling those words are. To be reminded that our Father in Heaven knows what is best for us. Of course He does. He loves us perfectly. He knows us perfectly. Of course He knows what we need. Yes, what we are given (or even what is withheld from us) may not seem desirable. It may be painful. It may be difficult to deal with, but He knows us. Each of us. He knows our needs. He knows what will strengthen us.

How grateful I am to have a Father in heaven who knows and loves me perfectly.

I love the example of patience Elder Oaks shares as he speaks of our Savior:

"The greatest scriptural examples of patience are found in the life of Jesus Christ. His long-suffering and endurance are beset demonstrated on that excruciating night in Gethsemane as He uttered, in His atoning agony, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt' (Matthew 26:39). He truly suffered and bore and endured all things."

Again, I am so grateful for a loving Father in heaven, and His Son who was the perfect example.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My First Attempt at Spin

On Friday morning my friend, Emily, and I decided to give the spin class at our gym a try.

I wasn't quite ready for it.

If anyone has been to a spin class before, you know what it's like. I'd never been before, but I soon discovered what it was like. There is a totally buff instructor who spins away, while the lights are off, the black light glows, and really loud music pumps through the room as the instructor yells at you to trun up the resistance on your bike and pedal harder, faster, and longer.

Some people really thrive off of a workout like this. Not me. It pushed me over the edge. I seriously started crying because I couldn't take it. I felt like I had so much anxiety and unrest internally that I couldn't take it externally too!

It's not like me to just give up. I usually push through, knowing it would make me stronger. My own life is making me stronger right now though, so I didn't need a spin teacher trying to make me stronger too.

When I came home and told Trevor about my experience of walking out of the spin class partway through, we laughed together as he better described a spin class that would suit me. "Imagine you're in a field of flowers...pedal through the meadow to see the butterflies...pedal faster to catch those butterflies..." A feel good class like that would definitely suit me much better!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4 Months

Luke has been on my mind a little more lately. I've longed for him a little more. I've missed him a little more. I've cried over him a little more. It's good though.

It's not an all day long, depressing thing, just dwelling on him and being miserable. It's not like that. It's thinking about him. Caring about him. And loving him with all the tenderness of my heart.

Just the other day I told Trevor that it will be hard to not compare other people's babies to how old Luke would have been. There are certain people that I watched as they posted pregnancy updates on Facebook just like I was experiencing all along the way - "Finally out of the first trimester" or "Already at 20 weeks! Can't believe I'm halfway," and the likes. There's one woman who I was neck in neck with, our pregnancies being at the same point the entire way - just a few days off. And even another who had the exact same due date as me. Then there are other friends who gave birth weeks or even days within me.

How could I not look at these women and their babies and not think of Luke?

I don't feel resentment towards them. I wish I could describe the feeling. I, of course, am happy for my friends and these woman and am so grateful that they were able to have healthy babies. I can't help to look at them, though, with a bit of ... I can't find the right word ... awe, or wonder and think, That's how big Luke might have been. He'd be starting to smile, interact, sit up... or whatever it might be. I think it will never end. I think in five years I'll think, Luke would be starting kindergarten, or in 12, Luke would be going to the Priesthood session of conference with his dad, or 19 get the idea. I don't think it will ever stop. It's strange though, to stare on and think about what might have been. I can't find the right word for how I feel when this happens, but it is definitely a feeling that is coated in a bit of sadness. It's not all sadness though. The sadness is only the bitter dark chocolate coating of the caramel and nuts of contemplation, amazement, and love.

Luke, I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about you. My sweet angel, I love you and still long to meet you. I wish so badly that that could be in this lifetime. If you ever get a break from whatever angel duties that you're busy with, please know you are more than welcome to come and visit. Even in a dream. We love you so very much! Love, your mommy. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Pain of Losing a Child

Knowing Luke is ours for the eternities brings so much comfort to me. I love knowing he will always be a part of our family. I love knowing that one day I will get to raise him. Without these truths I think I would be lost.

Even with this knowledge which brings joy and peace I still experience pain.

Tears watered my checks as I sat in church yesterday. Seeing the cute smiling baby in the pew in front of me and being surrounded with loving families, I couldn't help missing my son. I couldn't help wishing I was living out my dream to mother my own children. I couldn't help feeling the pain of having to wait to be with my son. I couldn't help feeling the pain of having to wait at least another 9 months to hold a baby of my own in my arms.

There is so much hope and joy for our future, but it doesn't remove the pain I experience.

Elder Hales shares the following quote about the pains that we experience:

"Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: 'No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God, ...and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire" (quoted in Improvement Era, Mar. 1966, 211)." (Robert D. Hales, Healing Soul and Body, Oct. 1998)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gratitude - sometimes it takes a little reminder

About a month after Luke's birth I was visiting with a friend who was pregnant the same time I was. She has three boys and decided not to find out the gender of her fourth baby. She told me that one of her fears about her pregnancy might have been that it was going to be another boy.

After she found out what had happened to Luke she said that she realized she just wanted a healthy baby and it would be okay if it was a boy.

We sat together with our arms around each other and tears in our eyes as I kind of laughed and said "I'm glad I was able to help you appreciate your son!"

Another friend of mine who gave birth the same week that I did wrote an email to me. At the end of the email she said, "I have not cherished my little one as much as I should at times, and hearing your story and reading your pain changed me."

I know that others have been reminded to be thankful for the children that they do have. Even if it includes ornery children, sleepless nights, and endless diaper changing.

I would never request this experience in order to help others be grateful for what they've been given, but I am grateful that something good has come from our experience.

Thanks, Luke, for giving others a reminder of the importance of family. We love you! Love, your mommy. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Trip to Dallas

It seems like I've had so many adventures lately that I can hardly keep up with them! Our latest get-away was to Dallas. Trevor got a job offer with a company whose headquarters are in Dallas. They flew everyone out for a little "Office Visit" no matter what office location you plan to work at. There were about 20 students from BYU that went. Even though most of these guys are married, somehow, they missed the memo that you could bring your spouse! So besides me there was only one other spouse that went along.

A few highlights included:
  • Delicious meals (all provided by the company!)
  • An adventure to a nearby park to find a geo-cache 
  • Getting to know the other students in Trevor's program
  • A service activity at a therapeutic horse ranch
  • The old man putting me in charge of driving the tractor just because I know how to drive a manual
  • Trevor getting to drive the tractor because I couldn't figure out all the levers on it
  • An hour long massage for the spouses while our husbands did a "team building activity" (amazing, right?!)

Tryin' to drive the tractor
Check out our "big winnings" from the carnival and card games at the party on the last night. I couldn't believe Trevor almost left them in our room! Good thing I went back inside to confirm we had all our belongings!

I wasn't so great at taking pictures. Probably because everyone else there wasn't quite the tourist that I was, since they were there for business. I got out the camera as we were getting on the bus to leave and told Trevor: "Since we haven't taken any pics all weekend lets make up for it by taking tons of them today!" He didn't go for my idea.

Fortunately, I "needed to use the restroom" before we left so I ran inside and snapped a bunch of pictures of the hotel practically as the bus was pulling away! I loved so much about the design of the hotel I just couldn't resist!

Love the color and design of the different patterns!
It had such a glamorous yet fun feel.
Love the mirror!
They had already started resetting this room when I returned to take pics. The pic doesn't even capture the beauty of the drapery and crystal light fixtures. 
One of many different chandeliers found throughout the hotel. I loved all the light fixtures.
A whole hallway of chandeliers. I loved the glam!
Some students, usually from other schools, would ask what I was studying or what I do. I spared them the long story of why I'm not in school or working right now. I like to talk about Luke, but sometimes it just doesn't seem like the right time. I did get to tell the other spouse that was there about him. I liked that. 

It was a fun trip yet I'm glad to be home exercising again and not eating so much food!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Luke, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is focused on expressing gratitude. We decided to host a family dinner at our house for this celebration. It always feels a little void not having you at family functions like we hoped to, yet we are grateful for you. We are grateful you are our son. We are grateful we get to see you again one day. We are grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ through whom it is all made possible. Happy Thanksgiving my little one. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Fall Break"

Many of you may know that BYU does not have a Fall Break for their students. That doesn't really matter though, because it didn't stop us from taking one! In September we were able to go to Seattle to spend time with Trevor's family.

Out to lunch:
Trevor and Rachel (our niece) in the parking lot

To the fair aka "Do the Puyallup":
On the Marry-Go-Round
Ready to Ride

Laura and Rachel watchin' us soar

Upset because mom didn't come on the ride with us
Rachel finally calmed down and enjoyed the ride 
Out for a hike:
Grandpa and Rachel
Most of the Fitzgerald fam 
Taken Captive 
Barb, Rachel, Laura, & me
Watched the BYU v Utah game with friends:

It was a fun trip and I am so blessed to have such great in-laws! As you can see, we did lots of fun things and had a great time. I'll have to admit though, it was a little hard to be there. It was hard to be visiting "grandma and grandpa" but have no grandchild. Being there empty handed made me wish even more that I had my little Luke. I think that's normal though. I think there will just be certain times in life that I'll want Luke to be a part of our experience, and having a good time with family is definitely one of those times ...but it just isn't meant to be.

Thanks Barb and Jim for a great trip! I always love coming to visit. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Luke's Nursery

I can usually go into the nursery with no problem. I have an incredibly comfortable lazy-boy rocking chair I got for my birthday back in July. It's great to read in, nap in, or just sit and think in. When I'm in there I usually curl up with the quilt that I made for Luke. I love the nursery. It was a labor of love for my little baby --everything from the painted walls, painted crib, refinished changing table, custom window valance, sewn bed skirt, and mommy-made wall art--was all part of the environment I created in anticipation of spending long hours and endless nights in there with my son.

Some people offered to help take down the nursery right after Luke was born. I wasn't ready for that. I'm still not. I even stained and painted a shelf and some frames (that I hadn't gotten to before Luke's birth) and hung them up. I guess that's kinda strange. There was no sense in finishing the nursery since it won't be used as one anytime soon. But I did it. Maybe I just want to finish it to see what it could have been. And instead of filling it with a baby I'll just fill it with my dreams of a life to come. It makes me sad to brush my finger across the top of the changing table I painted just in time for Luke's arrival to just discover that it's collecting dust. How empty it seems. When walking by the nursery, I turn the light on, gaze in, and turn it off again with a sigh. Only to turn the light back on, gaze on again, almost smiling at the thought of my son that I love so much. Just to turn the light off and walk away.

Last night I was just tidying things up in our house. Gathering a pile of sympathy cards I took them into the nursery. I thought I could store them in the basket on the changing table that was still holding the baby powder, baby lotion, and other little baby essentials. I started to put the unneeded baby items on the top shelf in the closet. I held the unopened diaper wipes to my face and just smelled the sweet, clean, baby smell.

I just lost it. I couldn't keep the tears from coming.

Was putting those items away confirming what I already know? That my baby isn't coming. He's not going to need these items. Not now. Not ever.

So in their place I put a lovely pile of cards. The room is empty, but at least I have that tangible confirmation of all the love and prayers that have been offered in our behalf. So for now I guess it's just a nursery filled with love.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beautiful, Bright, Millennial Day

Yesterday we sung The Day Dawn is Breaking as the closing hymn in Relief Society. Tears fell down my cheeks as I  sung the words:

          Then happy reunion and sweetest communion
          We'll have with our friends in the beautiful day.

          Beautiful day of peace and rest,
          Bright be thy dawn from east to west.
          Hail to thine earliest welcome ray,
          Beautiful, bright, millennial day.

What a beautiful day and happy reunion it will be when I finally meet my son. 

Luke, I think about you every day. And I look forward to that glorious day that we will be reunited. I love you my precious son. Love, your mommy. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Great Week With Friends

I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends! And this week I was able to spend time with so many of them. Earlier in the week I went to book club with my "Provo" friends. I love that they let me still come to book club, even if I haven't read the book! Honestly, I just haven't felt up to reading the past month. It's always so great to spend time with these ladies. That night I was feeling a little in the slumps so I probably wasn't the most amazing guest to have. That's life these days, I guess. I am so grateful for their love, concern, and kindness.

This weekend was another fun filled event with woman that I love so much! I got to be a tag-along on a "Quilting Retreat"  with my best friend, Suzanne, and her family ... even though I wasn't going to be making a quilt. (Are you noticing a pattern? Book club; don't read. Quilt retreat; no quilting.) I guess it's the company I'm after!

Suzanne and me, sewin' away!
These woman are seriously like my second family. Suzanne and I have been best friends since we were two and three-years-old. I just love being with her and her family! It's always a guaranteed good time filled with Coke, conversation. and often crafts.  

(As a totally random side note: Suzanne and I used to secretly take Coke cans out of her refrigerator and take them back to my house where we would hide in my loft in my bedroom, shake the cans, punch 'em with a push pin, and let the Coke shoot like a fountain into our mouths. I'm not really a soda drinker, but it's no wonder I prefer the taste of canned coke. It's nostalgic.)

While Suzanne's mom, sister, aunt, and sister's mother-in-law quilted we worked on our own projects. Suzanne made a beautiful log cabin style table runner and I made napkins.

Log Cabin Table Runner
By the looks of it you'd think Suzanne's was the hard project! Ha! Don't let looks deceive you! She finished way before me and lovingly stayed up well past midnight with me so I could finish hemming my napkins. I know it seems simple, but 28 14.75"x14.75" napkins sewn twice = 3,304 inches of sewing! That's 91.7 yards! That's nearly the length of a football field!!

It's probably no surprise that I felt like this:

when the remainder of the adults were turning in for bed and I'd spent the last hour dealing with a sewing machine that wasn't sewing right for me (turned out to be a user error!) and I still had lots of sewing ahead of me!

Don't worry I finally finished! (Notice how NO ONE else is in the room by this time!)

I also made a great banner for Thanksgiving. I love the fabric and am quite pleased with how it turned out!

What a fun filled weekend it's been!

Thanks for such a great time! 

It's Not Fair

Tonight as I thought about my baby I felt like things just aren't fair.

I went through nine months of pregnancy and labor and delivery and I still don't know how to hold a newborn. I don't know how to not be awkward with a new baby. I don't know how to hold them, swaddle them, or rock them to sleep. I don't know how to breastfeed. I don't know how to do such simple things that become so second nature to moms.

I'm a mom, but I don't have those skills.

It doesn't feel fair.

Tears filled my eyes as I dwelt on these thoughts.

It's not fair. It's not fair that my only memories with my baby are the 15 hours after delivery, many of which I was sleeping and recovering. It's not fair that I don't get to hold him. It's not fair that I don't get to be with him.


"The Atonement will not only help us overcome our transgressions and mistakes, but in His time, it will resolve all inequities of life--those things that are unfair which are the consequences of circumstance ... and not our own decisions." (Richard G. Scott, Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, 1997

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Beautiful Gift

After Luke was born I wore this necklace around me neck for quite some time. Trevor had made it for me and given it to me on a very special day in my life, while we were dating. It is such a special piece of jewelry to me. I love that he made it and I love that it's a heart and a symbol of his love for me. 

It's hard to pin-point with words, exactly, why I wore it once I came home from the hospital. I know those days after giving birth to Luke, I felt loved by my husband more than I ever had. I know that part of my heart was broken and missing. Perhaps it was just something tangible to symbolize the things I was feeling. Maybe something physical to be with me when my baby, who I love so deeply, was not. 

A couple weeks after Luke's birth, I received this beautiful gift from my brother, Kevin, and his wife, Magen. They had it made especially for me by Madison Craft Studio. The green stone is to represent peridot, the birthstone for August. I love it. I don't wear it every day, but it is often found around my neck.

Thank you for the beautiful gift and memento to honor and remember my precious baby. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Joys of Life

I can't decide if my favorite part about my day, yesterday, was:

running around the cul-de-sac with the all the neighbor boys with nerf guns and hearing them scream, "Here comes Shelley with the nunchucks!"

or my friend's cute kids acting out the silly monkeys as I read them Caps for Sale.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Most Days

Most days are good days. Most days I don't want to just hide under the covers and sleep the day away.

But Monday I did. I didn't want to get up. I hadn't really wanted to get up Sunday either, but I did so that I could go to church. Monday I got up to go work out with my neighbors (we joined a gym together last week), but once I came home I just got back in bed. I woke up, read my scriptures, and feel back asleep. It was one of those "all I did was the dishes and a load or two of laundry" days. I felt pretty mopey most of the day. I even started crying while doing the dishes. Just a little cry though. I didn't have enough thoughts in my head for it to be a real good cry.

It wasn't until Trevor came home, we had dinner, and I just crawled up on his lap with my arms around his neck that I had a really good cry.

I cried because I missed my baby. I cried because I just wanted to hold him again. I cried because I wanted to look at him. I wished I'd spent more time looking at him --his stomach, his back, his little bum. I never looked at those parts of him, because the photographer dressed him for me while I was recovering from labor and he stayed wrapped in a little blanket. I just want to hold him and see him. Tears fell on Trevor's sweater and he just held me. It feels like it will be forever until I get to hold my sweet baby again.

Luckily, a good cry and a little ice cream usually helps that depressed feeling dissipate.

Thanks Trev, I love you so much and am so grateful for your love, patience, and tenderness.  

Monday, November 7, 2011


Just over a month ago I began to be filled with doubt.

These thoughts filled my mind: Could I have kept my baby boy? What if I had scheduled a c-section before his due date? What if I had asked for a healing blessing? If Christ could raise Lazarus from the dead could His power have also brought life back to my son?

I couldn't stop dwelling on these and other similar thoughts. I couldn't help thinking that I could have done something differently in order to have been able to keep my son. These thoughts consumed me. They immobilized me. All I could do is lay in bed and think these same thoughts over and over. What could I have done differently?

A scripture that had been shared in church the previous week came to my mind.

"Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"

These words found in Doctrine and Covenants 6:23 were a vivid reminder that I did feel peace. I felt peace on our way to the hospital after we found out Luke was no longer living. I felt peace every day of my pregnancy as I prayed to God to know if I should do anything different concerning my prenatal care and choice to deliver naturally. I felt peace knowing that this is God's will for my son. I felt peace knowing Luke only needed to come to earth to receive a body and had no need to withstand the trials of mortality.

I think it's normal for anyone wishing their circumstances were different to ask "what if....?" But that's a road to unhappiness and doubt. It's a road that, if traveled, needs to be abandoned.


"I have come to understand how useless it is to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlys for which there likely will be given no answers in mortality. To receive the Lord's comfort, we must exercise faith. The questions Why me? Why our family? Why now? are usually unanswerable questions. These questions detract from our spirituality and can destroy our faith. We need to spend our time and energy building our faith by turning to the Lord and asking for strength to overcome the pains and trials of this world and to endure to the end for greater understanding." (Robert D. Hales, Healing Soul and Body, October 1998)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

3 Months

Luke, I can't believe it's already been three months since I got to hold you in my arms! I miss you. I miss you terribly. 

Today I was determined to get up in church during testimony meeting and talk about you. I was able to tell people that you have taught me of the reality of our bodies needing spirits, of the plan of salvation, and of the necessity of Christ's atonement in order to return to be with God. I don't usually get too emotional when I talk about you, but I was afraid I was going to start crying. I didn't.  

I love you so much and am so grateful for you, because of the many things that you have been able to teach me as well as other people too. It's incredible to think that you never lived on this earth, besides your 9 months inside of me, but you've made a difference in so many lives. It reminds me of those famous painters that no one thought twice about ...until they were gone. I've thought about you plenty while you were here and since you've been gone, but I think so many others have thought about you since you've been gone. Your life was so short, but because of it, you've been able to give so much to those of us that love you. 

Time is a funny thing. It seems like it has flown by, yet at the same time I think, Only three months have past? How much longer must I wait until I meet you? One thing is for sure, I still can't wait to meet you!

I love you, my sweet little Luke.

Love, your mommy. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A New Friend

Let me introduce you to Katie. Katie has a contagious smile and beautiful red hair. She is always employed by a job that allows her to help others in some way. She is courageous and faithful and loving. She is an excellent conversationalist and makes you feel important and loved. I love her and I admire her.

I actually just met Katie today. Katie and I share an experience that has changed our lives forever. That is because in addition to all of those other qualities, Katie is the mother of a beautiful and perfect son, Porter, who is in heaven.

After my initial blog post, I got connected with Katie online through a mutual friend. And after blog stalking her for the past couple months, I decided I wanted to meet her in person. Luckily she complied. We went to lunch today at Cafe Rio.

Who would have thought that three months after I felt my baby kicking me and moving around more than ever, I'd be back to that same restaurant to meet with a mother who has also buried her baby? Not me. That's for sure.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for this opportunity to meet and get to know such an amazing woman!  

Katie, thank you for your example of hope and trust in the Lord's plan and timing. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life Is Hard

In the past couple weeks I have had some very dear friends struggle with miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and adoption issues. Why can't this baby business be a sure thing?! It breaks my heart to watch these wonderful women deal with these trials. 

After I got off of the phone with one of them, I said out loud, "Life is hard." And I thought in my head I can handle hard things, but why do they have to experience them too?

I wish I could take these trials away from my friends. I love them so much and hope and even pray that the Lord will grant them the desires of their hearts. 

An anonymous comment on my blog was from a mother who was directed to my blog after losing her baby. I cried. I love and admire the women who have gone through what I have gone through and turn to them for hope and inspiration. I knew that there were women before me that have experienced the loss of their sweet angel babies, but I hadn't thought about the women that will come after me. It breaks my heart to know that other's are yet to experience this pain. I wish I could stop it. I wish I could prevent it. I wish no one else had to go through this. 

Unfortunately, my wish will not be granted. 

I read some surprising statistics I found over at I Am The Face

  • 25-50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage (
  • Stillbirths (the death of a baby after 20 weeks gestation) occur in one in every 160 pregnancies–about 60 stillborn babies every single day (March of Dimes).
  • Each year, in the US alone, about 20,000 babies die in their first month of life, many after being born prematurely (March of Dimes).
  • SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants ages 1 month to 1 year.
  • Every single day in the US 2,000 women lose a baby to pregnancy/infant loss. That's 700,000 a year, a quarter of every female in this country.

  • Aren't those numbers astounding? It has been incredible to me how many stories of loss I've heard now that I too am part of this group. Not many have been 41 weeks along, like I was, but no matter when the loss occurs, I believe, it is heartbreaking. 

    "No matter the burdens we face in life ... we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last from heaven's perspective, for 'but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.' We must do everything we can to bear our burdens 'well' for however long our 'small  moment' carrying them lasts." (L. Whitney Clayton, That Your Burdens May Be Light)

    I know that my prayers can't and won't stop infant and pregnancy loss, however; I just realized that perhaps I should pray that these women may be able to bear their burdens and endure them well. And if we can endure, what a glorious promise! To be exalted on high. 

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    I've Got a Bag of Popcorn & I'm Not Afraid to Use It!

    On Friday I was struggling a bit. I was trying to be motivated and productive, but I wasn't really either of those. It took me all day to shower, get the house tidied, and clean out the fridge. With a list like that you'd think that I was actually caring for a newborn. Nope. Just one of those days.

    Some days I can pin-point the thoughts that are making me feel a certain way, but Friday wasn't like that. I just felt kinda "blah." I'd even done the normal make-you-feel good things like pray and read my scriptures and even prayed again. Still felt "blah."

    Well thank heavens for friends! We'd been invited to go to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point with some of our friends from Washington. At first I still couldn't get over my "blah" feeling, but after some time, some distraction, some laughter, and even some screams I felt a lot better.

    Thanks for the fun time guys!

    Janessa and me in the giant wooden semi-truck. I'm pretty sure I want one for our backyard now. See the cool slide coming off of it? Yeah, awesome. I know.
    Scott and Trevor in the guillotine. Not sure why this was there, but still a fun kodak moment. 
    I'm pretty sure the funniest thing that happened all night took place in the haunted corn maze. I had bought a huge bag of kettle corn and was munching on it all evening. There was at least half of the bag left so I tied off the top right before entering the haunted corn maze. Before we entered a lady had to go over the "rules." She informed us that we were not to touch the people and if we were real flinchy to just keep our hands in our pockets. If we didn't follow the rules, we would be dismissed from the maze. We enter the maze and before I could even look around this guy in a mask pops out of no where! Instinctively, I swing my bag of popcorn and hit him in the head with it! It wasn't until after the fact that I realized what I'd done. I gasped and started to apologize profusely and begged him not to kick me out. It was all pretty funny ... until a few seconds later he comes after me with a chainsaw. Yeah, that's the last time I go around whacking scary guys in masks with popcorn!

     All in all I was grateful for a fun time to lift my spirits.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    I Am The Face

    You may have noticed the button I added to my side bar.  I came across this website/foundation recently. The goal of I Am The Face is to spread awareness of pregnancy/infancy loss and raise support for those who are affected by it. 

    They have a page about Myths Vs Truths concerning infant & pregnancy loss. I particularly related to following Myth Vs Truth:

    Myth: A woman who has just lost a baby wants to forget it ever happened and move on with her life.

    Truth: While this may be true for some, many are dying to talk about the child they lost, especially if it was a late-term pregnancy loss or infant loss. The chance to talk freely about their baby(ies), without feeling like they are making everyone uncomfortable, is something many, many women who have lost a baby wish for. 

    It's true. I want to talk about Luke. I want people to know that I have a baby boy that I love. I want people to know that I am at peace with our situation. I want people to know that I know this is God's Will.

    It's strange though --going through life in my day-to-day business. People don't know. The cashier in Provo probably thinks I'm just like any other college student running errands. But I'm not. I've been through a lot. I've given birth. I've buried a child. I'm not that same, young college student that I was years or even months ago. 

    I wish people knew.

    I know I'm not the only one that has faced trials that have forced me to grow in ways I never thought imaginable. Since Luke's death, people have shared about how they too have lost a child, a father, a mother, a brother. My heart literally changes towards these people when they share this part of their lives with me that I had no idea about. 

    My sister-in-law, Maryanne, shared this video with me. During part of the video people are holding signs describing their trials. In my surreal life of wishing people knew what I've really been through, I had recently thought, what if people had signs above their heads informing you about their challenges, heartaches, and griefs. I found it interesting that this video does just that.  

    I recommend watching the video a second time with your eyes closed so you can really hear the beautiful message of the song. I couldn't take it all in the first time around! 

    I know not everyone may want others to know about the pain that they experience. For me, it eases my burden to know that others share in my tears and in my prayers. I am grateful that you have taken the time to show interest in my life, my journey, and my Luke.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Withheld for a Time - Greater Appreciation

    When I was in 9th grade I auditioned to be on the high school dance company. I had been on the middle school dace company, selected to be a guest performer with the middle school company the year before, and had 11 years of private studio training.

    When I found out that I did not make the final cut for the company I was heartbroken. I came home and cried, and cried, and cried. I wanted to be a part of that company SO badly.

    So what did I do? I worked my tail off! I refocused my commitment in my studio training and I signed up for dance class at school and worked as hard as I could at it. It was a hard year. Each time the Dance Company would perform I would ache to just be a part of it. I would hear some of the girls complain about rehearsals and everything that was required of them. I hated that. I would have given anything to be in their shoes.

    The next year I auditioned again and was thrilled to have made it onto the company! Because I had wanted it so badly, once I was on the company, I never complained about long rehearsals, vigorous tasks assigned to us, missing lunch period every other day to rehearse, or being sweaty and gross during school. I dove in and loved every bit of it! Not only did I love it I even excelled. I was given the opportunity to be one of three "dance company officers" the next year.

    Dance Company photo shoot in Arches National Park, 2004

    Would I have loved Dance Company the way I did if I had not had to wait and work for it?

    I think the same will be true with motherhood.

    Being a mother* is something I want more than anything right now. Like the dance company, I would even consider myself qualified for this right now. I'm married, have the desire and willingness to commit my time to it, and I LOVE children.

    But now is not my time. Not yet. Hopefully, one day, I will have the opportunity to raise children. Because I'm spending this time yearning and longing for it, I think I will love every bit of it --dirty dippers, messes created before I can clean up the previous one, sleepless nights, etc. I can't even imagine how hard it will be, but I know it will be worth it. And if I ever forget or start to feel bogged down, I will just have to remember this time, right now, when I want it so badly that I weep.

    For now this quote brings comfort:

    As prophets have repeatedly taught..., ultimately "no blessing shall be withheld" from the faithful, even if those blessings do not come immediately. In the meantime we rejoice that the call to nurture is not limited to our own flesh and blood. (Jeffery R. Holland, "Because She Is a Mother")

    *I know I am a "mother", but doing the day-to-day mom stuff, reaping the joys of selfless service, and having a little one that loves you more than anything is what I want. 

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    Trust Him

    "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." 
         -Proverbs 3:5-6

    When we [trust in the Lord], we will come to realize that we have been on His holy errand, that His divine purposes have been fulfilled, and that we have shared in that fulfillment.  
             -Thomas S. Monson, Becoming Our Best Selves

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Missing You

    Luke, today I missed you. I just wanted to hold you in my arms. I long for you. I know your mine forever, and for that I am grateful, but today I just wanted to be with you. I wanted to nuzzle up next to you, hold you close to me, and smell that sweet baby smell. At church, seeing the other babies, especially ones your age, just made me miss you more. I'm sure people that don't know me wonder why I stare. I just can't help it. I love you so much and feel so incomplete without you here. I know, I know, in the whole scheme of things life is short and I'll be with you again one day, but today it hurt. Waiting can be hard. I can't wait to hold you in my arms, kiss you, and tell you how much I love you. I'll smoother you in kisses, you'll giggle, and it will be wonderful day. In the meantime, be a good boy and don't get into any angel trouble. I love you. Love, your mommy. 

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Luke Ray Fitzgerald

    In April, Trevor and I went to Seattle to see his grandpa. He wasn't doing well and he wanted all of his grandchildren to come and be with him. At this point I was about 5 1/2 months pregnant.

    As Trevor's sister picked us up from the airport she gave us a run-down on Grandpa Ray's status. After a surgery, his health was deteriorating by the hour and she was giving us the details. I sat in the back of the van listening. I knew at that moment that I wanted our baby to have Ray as his middle name in honor of Trevor's grandpa. With Grandpa Ray so near death and Luke so near birth I just felt like there was a connection. Little did I know that their connection would be so much more than that. I, of course, had no idea that Luke would shortly be leaving us and joining his grandpa.

    Throughout the week that we were in Seattle I felt like I learned so much about Grandpa Ray. Below is an excerpt from an email I sent to my family a couple months after returning home from Ray's funeral:

    With each story I heard and each picture I saw I realized what an example Grandpa Ray had been to everyone -especially his family. I learned that Grandpa Ray was an honest, hardworking man. This made me realize that because of his example, his children and grandchildren were able to learn from him and also obtain these qualities (among many other great attributes). I started to see that the wonderful people who are my family and that I admire for being such great people are who they are in part because of Grandpa Ray. I learned that Grandpa had made his family a priority and because of that I know that Trevor's parents also made their family a priority. And in turn Trevor makes our little family a priority, and for that I am so lucky and blessed.  I am proud and grateful that our son (who’s almost here) has a great-grandpa that was so influential in shaping all of his family into wonderful people. I will be forever grateful to Grandpa Ray for his role in our family and how his great character has directly blessed me in my life. What a great man he was during his life on earth and I am honored to now be a part of his family legacy that will continue on. (June 5, 2011)

    Grandpa Ray with Trevor, Scott, and Laura
    Grandpa Ray was a handsome man!

    Luke, I hope you get to hang out with your Grandpa Ray! He was a wonderful and loving man. We're so glad that your name can honor him. We love you! Love, your mommy.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Easter Flowers for Luke

    Yesterday I spent the afternoon working in our yard. I weeded the entire flowerbed in the front yard in preparation for planting flowers. Then I planted one-hundred-thirty-nine bulbs. That's 139! That's also 139 holes that I dug. My hand is so sore from shoving the shovel into the firm dirt that many times! Hopefully it will be worth it. If my bulbs survive the cold winter my yard will be full of flowers like these:

    more tulips

    I can't wait until spring!

    In a way, my spring flowers are to commemorate Luke.

    When I spoke at Luke's funeral I shared some of the following thoughts. Anyone that know's me knows that asking "What's your favorite (insert noun here)?" is always a question asked in vain. I like a variety of foods, a variety of ice cream flavors, a variety of colors, a variety of music genres, a variety of flowers, etc. You name it, I probably won't have a favorite. Until now. Now I have a favorite holiday.

    Easter. I love Easter. I love that this holiday is a day to celebrate the atonement and resurrection of Christ.

    Because the scriptures teach that "no unclean thing can dwell with God" (1 Nephi 10:21) I know that I need to utilize Christ's atonement in order to be with my son again. I know that through Christ's atonement I can be made clean and pure. I love that Easter is a time to rejoice in this and remember that His atonement will allow me to live with Him and with Luke again one day.

    The scriptures also teach of Christ's resurrection. Luke 24:34 reads, "...The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." The book of Matthew also teaches of the resurrection of the saints. "And the graves were opened; and the bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt 27:52-53). I know that one day there will be a time that all are resurrected like the saints of old. I look forward to that glorious day that my son's body will have life in it again.

    My spring flowers will be a reminder of this resurrection, of my son, and of the Son of God.