Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dancing is good for the soul!

This past weekend I had was able to participate in some very beautiful experiences that I don't know if I can put into words, but I'm going to try.

I don't know if these woman know how much I admire and respect them or that I even consider them my friends. I feel like anyone that I dance with becomes my friend even if I don't stay in touch with them. There is a love and a respect and a bond that is created in my heart after countless hours are spent together doing what we both love so much - dancing. I seriously love these women. I love their ambition. Their inspiration. Their courage to do wonderful things. I love their caring hearts and I admire their beautiful talent as dancers.

A few of these women that I admire so much have created a wonderful organization called Artist, Interrupted. They put it so simply on their website, "An 'artist, interrupted' is a woman who has placed her art on hold from five minutes to fifty years, in order to support family needs, career changes, relocation, or just life in general…because sometimes, life just happens."  Even though our art is "on hold" they have created an opportunity to share and be a part of art, by hosting or organizing a variety of events.

Last weekend there was a conference and a performance in Salt Lake City. I had debated whether or not I should participate in the performance. I wanted to, but wasn't very confident that I could choreograph a dance worth watching. With a little encouragement, I decided last minute to do it.

It was stressful! I kept putting off working on my choreography until the day of the show! Crazy, I know. I've never felt like I could choreograph very well and once I come up with something I can never remember what I had done. I just wasn't excited about it so it never became a priority to work on in the weeks before the show. I was committed to doing it so I had to come up with something! Well, with lots of prayer, and a few hours of dedicated focus, and a borrowed prop from a neighbor I was able to create a dance!

It was nothing profound. I was sure, because I knew who many of the other participating artists were, that the other works were going to just be lovely, have artistic depth, and performed with such skill. I tried to remember it's not about comparing (but you don't want to be the dud of the show!) and was relieved and grateful that I at least had created a minute solo to dance. We were each assigned a letter. Mine was 'L.' Here's my program note:
L is for Love
The things we love is what brings us joy. Whether it's family, blue skies, or a simple lollipop—there is always something to smile about!
My simple, joyful dance, I guess, had a little more depth in my heart. Because for me, 'L' is for Luke. My joy is knowing that I will get to be with him again one day! And it turns out my performance wasn't a total flop. With no one else around, a husband of one of the dancers said, "I really liked your dance. I hate modern dance, but I liked yours." Ha ha! I guess sometimes it's good to not have too much artistic depth!

Love my supportive husband!! 
Love this girl! Old roommate and dear friend, Melissa. She danced so beautifully!
There was a particularly beautiful piece that was rich and filled real artistic beauty. It touched my heart and I could feel my emotions rising in me and almost surfacing as tears. The final piece of the show for the letter 'Z' was choreographed by my friend, Jessie* who I knew had recently miscarried. It was titled "The End is Another Beginning."   Words cannot relate the profound things that you feel about that statement when you see them put into movement -that's why sometimes dance is simply the best medium to communicate a message. Images of the movement are ingrained in my mind and it's moments like those that I wish you could capture, and bottle up, and feel, and see whenever you'd like. But like time, live movement is fleeting, and can only be captured as a memory.

My longing to capture that 2 minute experience of seeing something that spoke to my heart is the same longing that I had to capture and retain every moment that I had with Luke. I wanted to remember everything about those few hours that I had with him. But it's fleeting. Certain images are ingrained in my mind and will be forever, but the details begin to become fuzzy and it's just not the same as being in the moment. Yet, there's nothing I can do to bring it back. My time to hold him in my arms ended. But it is a new beginning. A beginning of a life of looking forward to the day when I can be with him again. A beginning of creating a different life than I thought I would have. Each end truly is another beginning.

Jessie, thank you for your heartfelt movement that touched my heart. Your artistic ability has and continues to amaze me. Ashley, thank you for dancing that movement with such integrity. I will always admire your talent. 

The morning after the performance I was able to participate in a dance class taught by an incredible teacher**. Many of us had been her students when she taught at BYU and I don't think there isn't a person that doesn't love and admire her! It was wonderful to be able to take a dance class and be so self indulgent. Let me explain. For years and years I have danced to try to be the best in class (though that wasn't ever achieved), to please the teacher so I could get a good grade, or to show to the teacher that I was capable and a good candidate for the next company or performance I'd be auditioning for. But this time, I was dancing for me. It was wonderful to be surrounded by talented women that were all there just because we love to dance and to move. It wasn't a competition to see who could still get their leg the highest after having three kids or to see who could learn the movement the fastest or any other preposterous thing. We just wanted to dance.

It was emotional for me. It was emotional to be given such a wonderful opportunity by my friends to be able to come and participate in such an event. It was emotional to be given such a gift from Robin, our teacher, to give us the opportunity to dance and to learn. It was emotional to put my body in positions that I had been in during labor (child's pose and cobra). It was emotional to think back and remember that the last dance class I had taken was when I was pregnant with Luke.  Tears wet my face at the end of class as I thought about my son and the new child inside of me. There are no words to describe it, but it was good to be taken back to something that I love so much which used to be a part of my every day life. It was good to be taken back to the memory of birthing Luke. It was good to be taken back to the memory of dancing with him nearly a year ago. It was good to be surrounded with women that I love and admire and have touched my life.

Thank you, Elizabeth***, Keely, Karen, Robin, Kristen, and anyone else who made last weekend possible. I didn't know how much I needed it and needed to be a part of it and needed to interact with all these friends that I love so much. Thank you for your vision and all of your hard work to make it happen - what a generous gift you created for each of us. 


*Jessie is also the founder and artistic director of Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company. They have an upcoming class, performance, and auditions. 

**This incredible teacher, Robin, also has an awesome website called Thank Your Body - a journey to real health. I'd recommend checking it out!

***Elizabeth has created an awesome project called Nap Time Dancers. It was started as a creative outlet for women who are focusing their energy, effort, and time on their families and don’t have many other opportunities to be dancing and choreographing; however, anyone interested in the project is welcome to submit works and participate.

Is it any wonder I admire these woman so much?!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All pregnancy loss is valid but can't be compared

The other day a friend shared a link and I ended up reading various posts on Birth Faith. I began reading her post Very Early Miscarriage. She related some experiences where she felt she was miscarrying even though she had never taken a positive pregnancy test. She communicated her frustration for the lack of sensitivity, emotional support, or acknowledgment for these losses.

I feel like anyone on the spectrum of pregnancy loss, even those that experience loss in the form on not being able to conceive, should be validated. I feel like others sometimes make comments that imply that they feel like their sorrows are not justified compared to mine because they lost their baby so early while I lost mine at full term. This "my loss is nothing compared to yours" attitude, in my opinion, isn't right.

Loss is loss. No matter if it occurs at 4 weeks or 40 weeks, it is a loss and its accompanying grief is real. I agree with the author of Gone to Soon who says, "To judge a the gravity of the loss by weeks of gestation is unfair."

I feel like so many of the emotions that may be experienced by mothers (or fathers) of loss can be similar -- sadness, questioning, heartbreak for the unrealized dreams of a future hoped for and even planned on (among many others). The feelings you experience with loss can't and shouldn't be denied and don't need to be minimized if you were earlier in your pregnancy. Nor can others who have carried their babies longer feel like their loss is greater (which I did initially) it is just different. It's not right to try to compare your grief or your loss. It is painful to each of us and the degree of pain and grief felt is determined by the individual not the weeks of gestation. 

Though the pain and feelings experienced may be similar or even the same or the circumstances regarding the loss might be similar, it is not right to even assume that you know what it's like for someone else. Everyone's experience is different and I don't think they can be compared. 

At the end of the blog post by this woman who experienced very early miscarriages,  I read the words "I have known the loss you feel." When I read those words I wanted to tell her:

"No you don't! You don't know the loss I feel. You don't know what it's like to give birth to your baby that has already died. You don't know what it's like to spend your initial post-partum recovery planning a funeral, selecting a burial site, and picking out your child's clothes for burial. You don't know what it's like to hold your baby in your arms with no life in him. You don't know what it's like to watch someone close a casket lid for you to never see your child again. You don't know what it's like to have to call your mother on the phone to tell her you're about to go deliver your baby that has died. You don't know what it's like to try to determine what you're going to say at a funeral or if you should even have a funeral. You don't know what it's like to visit the cemetery where you see your own name on a headstone because your baby is buried there. You don't know." 

As I continue to read over her words I don't think she really means, "I have known the loss you feel."  I think the point she is trying to make by saying those words is that thee feelings associated with loss are universal and can be experienced by anyone who goes through any type of loss. And I agree, full-heartedly, that the feelings of loss may be similar and are just as real at any stage in pregnancy. Yet each individuals' experiences are so different and cannot be compared. You cannot assume you know how anyone feels about their loss. So for her to just say, "I have known the loss you feel," is infuriating. Because she can't. She doesn't. Nor does anyone else. 

Only our all-knowing Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, could make that claim. They are the only ones that truly know how I feel. They are the only ones who understand my feelings that sometimes I can't even articulate or understand. Yes, having a community of others who have experienced loss is helpful, because sometimes we can understand and relate to each other's experiences, but only a relationship with a loving Father in Heaven can allow you to be truly and completely understood. He hears prayers that aren't spoken and understands feelings not shared. He knows every detail and emotion and is intimately concerned about each of us, His children. When we chose to turn to Him and pray to Him we can learn for ourselves of His love and perfect understanding that can only come from Him.

Update: I received a nice message from the author of Birth Faith. She apologized for her writing being infuriating to me and acknowledged that she doesn't know the loss that I have felt. I believe that I misconstrued her intended meaning of those words and am sorry for that; however, I can't deny the thought process that they caused me to have.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I've been struggling lately.

Struggling to get out. Struggling to get out of myself and serve those that I know I need to be watching after. Struggling to stick to my goals. Struggling to get to the grocery store. Struggling to plan meals and make dinners. Struggling to get to the gym. Struggling to clean up after myself. Struggling to get ready for the day. Struggling to not spend aimless time checking facebook updates and emails, all the while neglecting to reply to messages that have already been sent my way.

Is it grief? Is it pregnancy? Is it just normal struggling with life?

Perhaps I don't have to compartmentalize it and blame it all on one specific thing.

So for now, I guess it's just me, no matter the cause.

The good thing: I've recognized it. That means I can work on it. The great thing: I have a loving husband who is patient with me.

So, my goal for the day is to not get on the computer between everything I do. I have too much that needs to be accomplished and I want feel satisfied with how I spend my time today.

Here's to a better day than the ones previous!

Hospital Bills

Paying hospital bills is always a pretty sickening experience. I think the price of medical care is so high and I obviously don't understand it well enough to know if it's even justified, but one things for sure, it feels like a crock for them to charge so much money!

I don't know which is worse about my whole situation - that fact that the state of Utah doesn't recognize the death of a baby in utero as "a complication of pregnancy" so our insurance company won't cover the costs. Or that fact that the doctor has the gal to charge so much for doing so little.

Either way, even though the bills are now paid off, the whole thing infuriates me. And the late fees...yes they're my fault, but maybe if bills are sent out in relation to a death billing should allow a "grievance" period or something until they start even considering late fees. Because I sure wasn't on top of my mail and bills for a while after Luke's death and least of all the hospital bills that made me mad to even look at!

If anyone reading this has anything to do with hospital or doctor's office billing let me know. I'd love to talk to someone that could actually make a difference in the way bills are sent out to those paying for expenses related to a death.

Shopping for pregnancy test and graveside flowers

When I arrived at Walmart at 4:30 am on Monday morning (March 5, 2012) to purchase the pregnancy test to confirm my suspicions, I was so giddy and excited. When most women would purchase this item and be out of the store before the store greeter could even say "Welcome to Walmart," I stopped as soon as I spotted flowers and took my time to select the perfect ones to take to Luke.

Being delayed like this felt a little strange to me. I was there for a mission! I wanted desperately to know if I was actually pregnant. It's almost like time and my excited emotions stood still for me as I paused and took the time to think about Luke. My heart longed for him as much as ever and the anticipation of the prospect of another child couldn't take that away. I did what I always do, and methodically poured over all of the different bouquets. It wasn't a quick, hurried gesture that I was trying to do so I could get on with things. It was the same thoughtful, heartfelt searching for the perfect flowers for my son's grave.

I am grateful that I am able to continue to experience and feel my love for Luke at the same time that I begin to feel love for this new life. I am sure that this is something that anyone with more than one child could understand. It's just a bit different for me because my son dwells in heaven, yet the distinct love for them as individuals is the same.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: A must-read for all pregnant women

I have a few mom friends that I would always go to to ask questions about birth, breastfeeding, diapers -you name it. I loved their advice because not only are they experienced moms, but many of them are also thorough researchers too. I may not have a child with me but I have been through labor and delivery!

A few weeks ago I spent about an hour on the phone with a mom-to-be and the other day I spent almost the entire time at a BYU volleyball game with another mom-to-be just talking about birth stuff. I loved it. I love that now I'm one of those moms that has researched it and been there and done it. I love that I can share resources, thoughts, and experiences with my friends and moms-to-be.

I recently posted about my thoughts on Hypnobabies and what role it played in my birth. However, I think if there was just one thing that I could attribute to for having a positive birth experience (birth meaning the actually labor and delivery not the fact that our son had died just before) would be how my point of view changed after reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. 

The Hypnobabies focuses on not having negative thoughts or fear about birth, but I don't think it gave me enough facts to ease my mind - just told me to focus on the positive. Well I was still afraid. I was afraid I was going to have a really long labor and that I was going to get exhausted from laboring so long and that it was going to be painful! I think I was hopeful that I could do it, but wasn't sure it was something I could do.

Unfortunately in our world we're not told that we can do it. Every movie portrays a pregnant woman as a crazy, screaming woman. Our friends and our family members tell us that they couldn't have done it without an epidural or c-section. So why wouldn't we think that birth was extremely painful and impossible to do with out an epidural?

Before I continue let me just say, I never went into preparing for birth thinking I'm going to have a natural birth and I'm not going to use any medication for pain. I simply started doing research and once I learned more about the natural process of birth I learned that my body was capable to do this! And I think that is the message that we don't get from media or very many others around us.

Parts of the book that stick out in my mind which make some pretty good points about the perception of  pain are the following (do not read the first paragraph if you will be offended by the frank mention of sexual intercourse or feminine hygiene products):

"How is it possible that the same physical act [labor and birth] can be experienced in ways so completely different [both painful and painless]? To answer [this question], it may help to try thinking of labor and birth from a different angle than the usual one. Let's consider another act that involved the same female reproductive organs as labor does--the sex act. Sexual intercourse may be extremely painful or ecstatically pleasurable, depending upon the skill and sensitivity of the sexual partner and the willingness of the female involved. The size of the object inside her vagina actually has less to do with the physical sensations she experiences during the act than do the factors just mentioned. The same can be said of the sensations experienced upon the insertion of a tampon. To begin with, tampons are smaller than penises of adult men. Yet the same size tampon may be inserted in a painful or painless fashion, depending on whether the woman had too much coffee that morning, how cold it is, or the speed with which she tries to insert it. A lot depends upon how ready she is for the experience. Looked at from this perspective, it should be somewhat less surprising that there is such a wide variation in the way different women describe the sensations of labor and birth." (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, 150)

"When avoidance of pain becomes the major emphasis of childbirth care, the paradoxical effect is that more women have to deal with pain after their babies are born. Frequent use of epidural anesthesia drives up the rates of cesarean section and vacuum-extractor and forceps births. Epidurals cause long-term backache in approximately one woman in every five. ... Intravenous lines are painful as long as they are in place and for a couple of days after they are removed. ... Women who have cesarean operations must have a catheter inserted in their urethra before the surgery is performed. This hollow tube will be kept in place for at least twenty-four hours. While the catheter is in place, many women experience a constant urge to urinate. Of course, since they are constantly "peeing," there is no way to satisfy this urge.  Cesareans usually involve the placement of a surgical drain sewed in the part of the wound most likely to efficiently drain away blood and lymph from the abdominal cavity. Women find the removal of this drain on the third day painful, particularly when they haven't been given pain medication an hour or so before the procedure. ... Postsurgery soreness can interfere with a woman's ease in handling her newborn baby. Each of the procedures and conditions I have mentioned above involves pain after birth." (Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, 165)

Reading these portions of the book helped me realize pain was in a big part based on readiness for it and my perception of it. I also realized that if I did endure the "pains of labor" without other interventions I would be able to save myself a lot of the potential pains that could occur. And now, after being though labor and delivery, I would say that I did not consider it to be a painful experience and I did it with only taking  one 200mg Ibuprofen a couple days later to help with uterine cramping. This book honestly gave me the perspective change, tools, and education to be able to do that.

Finally, as always, my ending advice is the same -research it all for yourself and do what's right for you and each particular pregnancy!

PS I just found this inserted into the middle of my post (trevor is hot, and I don't proofread). I love my husband! And I do proofread. Caught ya!

Sick of "Maternity" Clothes

In the middle of February, I had decided I had had enough of my wardrobe! Of course, that seems like something every girl might experience, but this was different. Although I try to relish the memories of being pregnant with Luke, I couldn't stand to wear some of those clothes anymore. I was able to wear non-maternity clothes for most of my pregnancy so my wardrobe didn't change too much during nor after I gave birth. Recently, I would stand there in front of my clothes trying to decide what to wear and just look at one item and think that's what I was wearing the day we went to the hospital . . . that's what I wore for our one and only family picture . . .  that's what I was wearing the day that I was afraid something wasn't right . . . and I refused to put on a shirt that was so connected to the memories of those particular days. 

Of course, there are other articles of clothing that reminded me of better the day we went house hunting and I swear I could literally feel my belly expanding! Or what I was wearing on a walk Trevor and I took in spring. Or what I was wearing during our fun vacation to San Francisco. Or what I was wearing on the 4th of July. Or at my baby showers. All of these other memories are really quite delightful ones from my pregnancy, but now they've been tainted. I can't put on that same shirt and relish in that moment in quite the same way. I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it.

So, my not quite understanding, yet loving husband says, "Do what you need to do." And I take it as a go ahead for a little shopping excursion.

I used to buy clothes with the mentality - "that would probably fit with a nice pregnant belly" (hence why I was able to successfully avoid needing very many official "maternity" clothes). Not this time. This time I wasn't pregnant nor was I planning on being pregnant any time soon (hoping to be pregnant, yes, but not planning on it). So I picked out whatever I thought fit well with my, currently (at that time), not-pregnant-body.

Even though we're living on a student-life budget for now, I totally justified it by using some cash that was graciously given to us after Luke's death. Perhaps that money should have gone toward the more expensive parts of the this whole ordeal, like the headstone or medical bills, but I guess we can consider it going toward "therapy" costs. My shopping was definitely an emotional and mental need and not an actual physical need, but it's what I needed. I'm am grateful for the generous gift of money that made it possible.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Enjoying Every Moment in spite of Fear

There was one other couple that took the Hypnobabies class with us, Sarah and Chris (they were so nice and she was the cutest pregnant mom!). I remember Sarah mentioning that one of her favorite CD tracks to listen to was the "Fear Clearing" track. I thought that was interesting but didn't think too much about it. Later we discovered that her first child, Celeste, was stillborn. 

I can see now why getting rid of fear would be so important. I would like to think that I don't have "fear," but perhaps I'm just in denial about that.

In the past few months I have connected with other moms that have lost their babies and I have learned about so many other ways a child could loss his or her life. Those are the types of stories, when you're pregnant, you're told to avoid. Well, I can't avoid them now. They are my reality. My reality is that I lost my son. My reality is that so many other women lose their babies too. I can't just pretend I don't know these things. I can't pretend I'm not going to think about these things.

But what I can do is decide how I'm going to respond to this knowledge. I've read about woman that feel like they don't love their next baby because they don't want to get hurt. I've read about woman that can't connect to their baby because they're afraid he or she won't remain a part of their life. This is not how I want to be.

Learning about different things that have caused a babies' deaths can allow me to make educated decisions for my pregnancy.  And if it's something out of my control, I will simply continue to trust in God and His plan for each of us. What I can control is my decision to not be so paranoid about things which I can't control and enjoy the time that I do have with my child.

I don't know how long this pregnancy will last. Realistically I could miscarry, have another stillborn, have my baby die of SIDS, or any other number of tragic things. I am not trying to be negative, that's just a fact that I am now very aware of. Those things that "wouldn't happen to me" could really happen to me (our you). I know that because they have happened to me and they might again. I now know that life is fragile and fleeting and because of that knowledge I have decided that I will enjoy every moment I get with my child. If, for some reason, my time with this child ends prematurely, I want to be so certain that I lived this time to fullest, embraced it, and have no regrets about it.

On Sunday night when I took my pregnancy test, even though I really wasn't sure, I didn't want to miss a moment of this pregnancy in case I really was pregnant. So I secretly (Trevor was trying to discourage me from getting my hopes up so I didn't want him to know) took some initial "baby bump" pictures. I wanted to begin embracing this experience. I wanted to be excited and happy and in love with this baby that is going to hopefully join our family.

Perhaps I do have some fear and that will be something that I have to work through; however, I'm not going to let it stop me from being hopeful, from loving what I do have now, and from giving all my heart to this next child. I will admit that I believe my joy and hope will most likely be laced with fear, but I am not going to let fear rule me. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

When to announce your pregnancy?

When to announce your pregnancy? Most people wait at least a little while to announce their pregnancy. Last time I even waited until I was well past the first trimester to make a public announcement. Well, here's my thoughts for this time around:

After a loss, some women wait to announce their subsequent pregnancy until after the point at which their previous loss occurred. Seeing that I had reached my due date with Luke, I don't think it would be possible to wait that long this go around. 

Supposedly chances are a lot higher of miscarriage in the first trimester. Well, of course, I don't want that to happen, but if it does happen, I'm not afraid to talk about it. I know some people don't want to share that information or think it would be too difficult to try to share that information. I've had to inform everyone, before, that I didn't get to bring a baby home with me. It's hard. But I know it's something I can do if I have to. 

I want to embrace this second pregnancy and love every bit of it (you can read more about that here), so I want people to know about it. I want people to know what I'm excited about.  I want people to share in my journey and anticipation. This is obviously a personal choice and will be different for everyone, but I've decided it's no secret so I am happy to share the good news as early as possible!  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Does being pregnant make grieving easier?

Does being pregnant make grieving easier?

To this question I would answer, no.

What being pregnant does make easier is knowing what I might do with my life in the near future. It gives me a plan and a focus for continuing to prepare to be the best mother that I can be. It gives me new direction. It gives me hope that we can  have a family here on earthin this life. It gives me an undeniable sense of gratitude to the Lord for allowing what I hope and dream forto live my life as a motherto be a part of my life.

But it doesn't take away my longing for my son. It doesn't remove him from my thoughts. It doesn't take away the emptiness in my heart that waits to be filled with a relationship with my son, Luke. It doesn't push out the overwhelming love I have for my son.

My friend's mother lost one of her twins to SIDS many years ago. At the funeral someone made a thoughtless comment along the lines of "at least she still has one." How foolish to think one child would compensate for the loss of another! Like I think I've said before, children are not just one in a set of dishes that can be replaced. Each child is an individual. Each child has a place in my heart that could never be replaced by the love that I have for another one of my children.

So no, being pregnant does not change how I grieve my son's life which I will always wish could occur here and now with us, but it does give me hope for a life as a mother in the near future and there is most definitely joy in that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pregnant Again!!

*** Written Sunday, March 5, 2012 ***

So many thoughts and feelings are running through my head! And I don't even know where to begin this story! It's such a juxtaposition to have thoughts and words running through my head as I try to sort out my emotions of grieving as I also try to embrace my reality and hope of our future family, because I just found out I'm pregnant.

Yes, that's right. I just found out I'm pregnant!!!

 For anyone that's curious (and mostly for my personal memory and record) here's the lengthy story of how I finally found out.

It was Sunday, March 4 when I anticipated starting my period. 

At the beginning of February, I was doubtful and frustrated that I wasn't pregnant yet. I was sure that if it was the plan for Lord to take my son's life because he only needed to come to earth to receive a body, than surely the Lord would send another child soon so that my wants and desires to be a mother could be fulfilled. I had heard of mom's delivering their babies almost exactly a year after they had lost a previous child. That could be me. Surely the Lord would give me that blessing! 

Well, to my disappointment and lack of understanding His will - He did not allow that to happen. 

At one point I almost wanted to give up. Perhaps if we didn't try to conceive, I wouldn't be disappointed that I wasn't pregnant. I, for once, would actually feel like I was in control. But that was craziness, because not being pregnant wasn't the end result that I truly desired. 

I was recently blessed with enlightenment and understanding about faith and truly trusting in God's plan and timing of things (which you can read about here). I had come to grips with the fact that having a family here on earth could take a long time and I was okay with that. 

So finally when that anticipated yet dreaded 28th day rolled around I was ready to accept a 'no' for my answer. I had taken a pregnancy test a few days before and it was negative. I was going to let myself believe it this time and not just hope that it was a "false negative." 

You can imagine my angst when there was no period. Did I miss count days? Is it just late? Is this happening to try my faith even more? 

Feeling really stupid for using my last pregnancy test prematurely, I began texting some friends that I thought might have an extra pregnancy test around. It was Sunday and we don't shop on Sunday, so we weren't about to go to Walmart to get one. No one was replying to my messages. We googled "homemade pregnancy tests" to discover nothing promising, but some people claimed you can put your urine in bleach and it will supposedly fizz if you're pregnant. Before we could try this test, a friend was able to have her husband drop an unused test off at our house.

Trevor and I were in the middle of a weekly planning meeting and I knew I wouldn't be able to focus on it anymore if I took the test. I held out as long as I could, trying to plan our week and talk about our family goals. I had guzzled a ton of water once I found out the test was on it's way and I couldn't wait any longer!

Well...I was left even more mystified than before!! The test appeared to be negative but might have the faintest of lines in the positive area. Could it be? Could I believe it? How could I not get my hopes up?

I decided to try the homemade bleach pregnancy test to see if it would confirm anything. All the bleach proved is that Trevor is pregnant! That is obviously not a reliable test! 

We go to bed still unsure if I'm really pregnant or not. I wake up at 4:30 am, anxious and needing to use the restroom! Of course, I quietly sneak out of the house and head straight to Walmart to buy an overpriced test that won't leave me wondering. I guess I don't need to give a play-by-play from here on out because the picture speaks for itself!

Needless to say I am completely enamored, elated, and excited to be expecting! 


My decision to release this information so soon is based on a variety of things which I plan to write about in the near future. But mostly I wanted to be able to continue to write freely about my thoughts and emotions as I experience them. No secrets here...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

White Roses

Luke these flowers were purchased the same morning I purchased a pregnancy test to find out that you will have a sibling. Perhaps as a gift to let you know the good news...although I'm sure you already knew.  

It was a warm spring morning and my heart was full with anticipation and gratitude for Easter. I wept as I knelt there thinking about our family. You--in heaven accomplishing a marvelous work and another spirit that is now a part of our family. Even though I know you are not there it felt like for a moment that I was there with my two children. How grateful I am to God to have both of you.

I wish I had written about the experience sooner because the details of this beautiful Sunday morning are already fleeting from my mind. I remember how glorious it was that even though your grave is under the shade of a tree, the bright rays of the sun shown perfectly through the branches onto the grass next to your grave. It was like a little gift from God to be able to sit in the warm sun, next to your grave. It was a little miracle of the morning. I knew God knows me and He is aware of us and our family. How grateful I was for this simple tender mercy. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hope of Spring

On Tuesday morning I arrived at the Provo temple, stepped out of my car into the dark morning and felt the warm air around me. I heard birds chirping and Springtime felt so near. I could nearly feel it surround me. I felt so hopeful and grateful to the Lord for the blessings in my life. I felt myself choke up right then and there as the sound of the birds skimmed above my head. If only I could be sure to forever hold on to that feeling of overwhelming gratitude and hope for a warmer, brighter day that is lovingly bestowed upon me by our Father in Heaven.

To Him I am so grateful--for the warmth of His love and for everything that the new life of spring represents.

7 Months

Today I decided to give a mom a hand by taking her grocery cart to the cart return so it would be easier for her to get her baby in the car. Her cute little girl sitting in the cart and gave me the biggest smile. Upon asking, I discovered her baby was about 8 months.

It's strange to think that if Luke were here that would be him sitting up and smiling and being my buddy during the day.

I guess he's my buddy in a different way. He is with me in my heart and in my thoughts. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Luke. Yet, at the same time, sometimes it seems like it was all a dream.

The other day I was organizing and uploading pictures that had piled up on my camera. Many were taken while I was pregnant. I also stumbled across pictures of me that Trevor had taken on his phone. Since I hadn't seen them I almost didn't even know they existed (even though I was there for the picture!) Looking at those pictures seemed unreal. Is that really me with that big pregnant belly? 
May 7, 2011 -  27 weeks
May 12, 2011 - 28 weeks
May 30, 2011 - 30 weeks
July 4, 2011 -  36 weeks
July 24 2011 - 39 weeks
Sometimes in my mind I've wondered, Was I ever really pregnant. Was that my reality for nearly a year? Did that year happen?

It's like a math equation that doesn't add up. Not having my baby here with me should add up to not being pregnant. Or if I was pregnant than I should have a baby here with me. Well neither of those are true. It doesn't add up like that. I was pregnant and I don't have my baby here with me. It's no wonder my mind starts to wonder if I really was pregnant for nine months.

It's a weird feeling to feel like your life was a dream. To have memories and see pictures that you're not sure to smile or cry about. It's indescribable--to feel like you lived nearly a year believing something that isn't true now. It makes it seem like perhaps those moments that are now history are different. I can't put it into words the way it feels when --an experience that is so fleeting and illusionary--a reality seems like it was simply a dream.

Yet in my mind and in my heart I do know it was real. I remember seeing my stomach move when Luke moved. I remember feeling his kicks. I remember the awe and amazement of seeing his little body on an ultrasound for the first time--to see his perfectly formed spine and little bones ...all of which was inside of me!  I remember sitting in church on Mother's Day feeling Luke squirming and putting Trevor's hand on my tummy so he could feel it too.

I remember it. And it was real. My anticipated reality may have altered, but that does not change the reality of what happened.

My little angel, I love you. I love remembering you. I love remembering the time when you were with me. I never imagined that my life would be one without you, but you are still a part of my life. Every day. You are here. With me. In my heart and memories. I love you more than I ever imagined that I could. Love, your mommy. 


*Update* After writing this, I remembered a post with some different thoughts about wondering if I was pregnant and other people acknowledging it too which I never published. I decided to "back publish" it near the date that I wrote it in January. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Marketing - Make It Stop

Every mother who has lost her baby knows this - but it's something the rest of the world doesn't even think about.


Yes, junk mail. There isn't a week that goes by that marketing isn't coming through from Enfamil, Johnson & Johnson, or Babies R Us.

Usually it doesn't really bother me. And I even discovered that my sweet husband usually throws it out before I see it, when he gets the mail.

Today I decided I was sick of it. Yesterday, I received an email from Enfamil (Serouisly, why nearly 7  months after giving birth am I starting to receive these?). I tried to unsubscribe. They didn't make the process easy, but I did it. Today, I got another email from them and I decided I'M SICK OF THIS!

I don't even know how so many places got my information - if I had my guess it would be that the clothing store Motherhood Maternity sold it off to them, but I don't know for certain.

I remember the hospital gave me a paper that talked about sending something in to get off of the mailing lists for things like this, but it wasn't very clear. If it had been, I most certainly would have done it! I'm all about unsubscribing from any sort of junk mail -physical or digital.

No mother that doesn't get to bring her baby home should have to deal with the unending marketing, constantly reminding us of what we don't have.

I think I've finally discovered what I can do to give back to this community of bereaved parents. Like I mentioned before, so many people offer such beautiful gifts for healing after their own loss. I didn't feel like it was my call to make necklaces or anything like that, but I wanted to do something. Well now my blood is boiling and I think it's going to move me to action. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it. I'm not sure how long it will take. But I want to create a "one-step" process that will notify everyone -Babies R Us, Enfamil,, you name it- of your loss so that they can stop sending you the unwanted and even painful marketing that shows up everywhere.

I'm sure this won't be an easy task because asking a corporate company to stop advertising and trying to make money seems impossible. But they're not making money off of us! Hopefully I can find someone with a heart that will be willing to help me make it happen.

I don't really know how to go about this yet. But I'm sure going to try. Comments, thoughts, and suggestions are very welcome!