Pregnancy, Loss and Love – part 3

I’m so pleased to share with you a post by my amazing friend Kristen.  She is one of the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve ever met who always has a kind word .  Often in our society, we don’t talk openly about trouble conceiving, miscarriages and infant loss.  Kristen has weathered such an experience, and she has some wonderful advice and perspective to offer.  Here is part two of Kristen’s experience.

You can read part 1 HERE & 2 HERE

Pregnancy, Loss and Love

The loss of a pregnancy is not an easy thing. For me, there was pain for the loss of the baby and also for the uncertainty of the future.  I wasn’t sure where I stood in the grand scheme of Motherhood anymore.  With four children already, I knew I was closer to being finished having babies than just getting started.  I wasn’t sure if there were more children for our family or if the four we had made our family complete.

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I felt like I was at a crossroads.  I knew I wasn’t ready to try again just then. I wondered if I would ever be.  A part of me couldn’t bear to think my that my time of having babies was over in such a pull-the-rug-out-from-under-you kind of way.  But if that phase of my life was over, I wanted to be able to mourn the loss of my baby, mourn the end of the “birthing” phase of life and jump with both feet into a new stage of life.  Oh, how I wanted more children!  I wanted  this to be the right thing.  Yet it was terrifying to even imagine having more.

As time passed, making the decision to have another baby became another trial of faith.  Although I always wanted another baby, it was terrifying to think of putting that into reality.  As women and mothers, we know the dangers and risks of pregnancy. However, I felt that I knew even more intimately the risk I would be taking.  I knew the heartbreak of things not coming to fruition and so I knew that before I could try again, I had to be willing to accept the chance of a loss again.  And for a long time, I just wasn’t ready to take that chance.  My heart and my spirit needed time to heal.  I prayed.  I pondered.  I searched. In time, I finally felt ready to try again.

Only my husband, Cory, wasn’t quite ready.  A loss like that takes its toll on the whole family.  Cory showed such love, support and strength toward me during the days, weeks, months and even years after our loss, even though it was his loss, too.  I could not imagine having a more loving partner who really stood by me and loved me through it all.  There really just aren’t enough words to express the depth of love and gratitude I feel for him.  He was there in times and ways that make my jaw drop with awe at the wonderful, beautiful person he is.

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{Image Credit Tree Photography}

Making the decision to have a baby is a big one anyway, and even more so in our situation, so I knew I needed to give him the love and respect to honor his “not yet” vote without pushing.  But that required another act of faith on my part.  I didn’t know for sure if he would ever come to different decision.  Knowing the kind of man he is, I knew he would go forward prayerfully and faithfully, but it still was a challenge for me to accept.  Eventually, I made peace with waiting a while longer.  Sometime in the Spring of 2012 we came to the realization that we were both ready and the time was now.

Getting pregnant has always come easy for us–a blessing I have not ever taken for granted. This time getting pregnant took a few months.  The one thing about pregnancy that I had expressed was that I didn’t want to have a baby in April, the same month the baby we had lost was due.  After getting that positive test result I calculated my due date–April 18th.  Five days before the due date I had with the baby I lost.   But what I came to see was that the Lord helped soften that loss with the blessing of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  The Lord blessed me with something I didn’t even know I needed.

For me, a pregnancy after a loss was something completely different.  Such pure joy, elation and terrifying anxiety I felt at seeing those two lines on the pregnancy test.  I felt more like a first time mom than the seasoned Mother I was.  I was anxious and worried quite frequently.  There were moments I felt sure it was not meant to be.  The night before my many ultrasounds (I had 6 altogether), were agony.  In my head, I knew this was a different pregnancy under different circumstances.  But I couldn’t shake the dread I now felt about having ultrasounds, given that was how we found out the complications in our other pregnancy.  It took much faith and many prayers to get me through.

As great as the moments of doubt and anguish were, the moments of faith and clarity were even greater.  There were countless times when a quote, a facebook post or a song would provide just the message I needed to hear.  There were scriptures that were brought to my remembrance in my time of need.  Sometimes I wondered if Heavenly Father would grow impatient with my imperfect faith and pleadings.  Why couldn’t I just trust that everything would be ok? What I came to see and feel was His infinite and perfect love and  patience as I honestly tried to be faithful amidst heartache and doubt. One of the sweetest experiences came after enduring the nerve-wracking experience of my first two ultrasounds.  As I sat waiting for my third ultrasound, I silently prayed that all would be well.  And I felt the baby kick!  Almost without fail as I would anxiously wait at each doctor’s appointment, I would feel the baby move and kick.  I felt like he was saying, “I’m here, Mom.  It’s going to be OK.”  It was a beautiful gift.

Although I didn’t have complications, the pregnancy was not easy.  It was difficult taking care of the responsibilities I already had while growing a baby inside my body.  It was a sacrifice of time and energy.  It was a sacrifice on the family as we worked together to get “everything” done.  Pregnancy was not easy.  But it was worth every single bit of sacrifice it took.  It was worth that and more.

Having a baby after a loss is an experience unlike any other.  It has been a deep, soul-searching experience all along the way.  It has been one that is both so painful and so beautiful that I don’t know that I can ever capture the thoughts and feelings in my heart.

All I know is that it was worth it.  So worth it.

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Epilogue:

At 5:47pm on April 13, 2013, Jay Ammon Rich Barnett was born into the world.  Immediately the nurses laid him on my chest.  That moment when a baby is born, that moment you lay eyes on your baby for the first time…there are no words.  I wish I could capture that feeling in a bottle.  It is pure joy.  Pure love.  Pure happiness.  Pure, Pure, Pure. He was beautiful. Perfect. Amazing.  He began crying and I stroked his little face, talked to him and cooed softly.  Almost instantly he settled down and just lay there peacefully.  I thought how jarring and shocking birth must be for a baby.  I have to think he wondered where he was and what was happening.  And then he heard his Mommy’s voice–the one he already knew so well.  And somehow he knew it was ok.

Getting a baby here is no easy task.  This time was definitely a greater challenge both emotionally and physically and even spiritually.  But the incomprehensible joy of holding a brand new baby, fresh from Heaven is worth it.  Each time I have cradled a newborn baby in my arms, I have known I was holding  a piece of heaven in them.  The awe and wonder of it never cease to both amaze and surprise me, each and every time.  In fact, maybe I appreciate it even more as time goes on.

As I sit here and contemplate those feelings again, I am overwhelmed at the blessing it is to be a Mother.  To be the mother of those five precious, beautiful children of mine.  My heart is filled to the point of overflowing and the only thing I can think of are the lines from a hymn I love, “My God, how great Thou art!”

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{Image Credit Tree Photography}

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This week in Webland

This week we have some fabulous ideas with eye candy, recipes and decor ideas!

Everyday-Creative.com - We love this week

1.  30 Easy Crockpot meals

What’s better then an easy to put together meal.  I always think of the Ronco “Set it and Forget it” infomercial!  lol   Today my family has an awesome chicken taco soup on that I can’t wait to eat!

I’m looking forward to trying the crock pot BBQ chicken & beef stew.

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2.  Beautiful Pictures

A lovely images share from a photographer in Poland taken of children over the summer.  Childhood is like magic, and these images are going to be treasured by the kids in them.  Can you imagine as an adult being able to look back at pictures of yourself in such fun, imaginative and sweet everyday moments?   I love to encourage every parent to learn how to take better images of their family.  What we do now can make such a huge difference in the memories of our children when they are older.

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3.  Inspiration using Color in Design

Follow the image link to see some wonderful use of color in designs to fit many styles.  I’m a huge fan of color!  One of these days we’ll finally get to decorating our bedroom, and I will be all over some great uses of color!

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4. Home Remodel ideas

Pretty much all of the ideas on this link make me want them!  I especially love the idea of the netting/hammock in a really tall room!  Life is worth living to the fullest and it would be great if our homes reflected little surprises that fit our family personality!!

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Thank you so much for visiting our website!  We’d love to hear your thoughts and appreciate all followers, shares and likes!

Shannon White Everyday Creative Bio About

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You need to watch this…now!

I can’t tell you how many times I have faced another bedtime routine, and looked back on my day feeling like a failure.  If you’ve ever felt that way…even for a moment, this video is for you.

 

 

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Emily - September 18, 2014 - 2:57 pm

I needed to see this today, thank you!

Pregnancy, Loss and Love – part 2

I’m so pleased to share with you a post by my amazing friend Kristen.  She is one of the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve ever met who always has a kind word .  Often in our society, we don’t talk openly about trouble conceiving, miscarriages and infant loss.  Kristen has weathered such an experience, and she has some wonderful advice and perspective to offer.  Here is part two of Kristen’s experience.

You can read part 1 HERE

Pregnancy, Loss and Love

Coming home from the hospital without a baby, was one of the saddest moments.  As beautiful and wonderful and joyful as bringing home a brand new baby is, coming home empty-handed and heavy-hearted is as sad and lonesome as you’d imagine.  However, some beautiful, even miraculous things happened as well.

From the moment we received the news–the devastating diagnosis about our baby–several things were very clear to me.  One, was that I realized I had a responsibility to the four children I already had.  I had the opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson about how we respond when bad things happen.  I knew I wanted to teach them that it was okay to ache and grieve and be sad, but that life could go on and we could even be happy.  They were a lifesaver when life began to fall into a routine again.  Sometimes it was hard to put a smile on my face for me, but I knew I could put a smile on my face for them.  They helped me remember why it was important to choose happiness and reminded me that I could do it.

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The other thing I learned, was how to be gentle on myself.  I gave myself permission to take things slow.  I said “no” to things that felt like too much and didn’t feel guilty about it.  I eased back into taking care of the house and adding my responsibilities in little by little. Sometimes that meant things weren’t in perfect order.  Sometimes they weren’t even close.  But I decided to choose the important things and let some of the other things go.  It was so freeing to let go of the guilt I sometimes felt for not doing it all or for not doing more.  It felt so good to choose less and feel good about it.

I learned to appreciate the small things.  I learned to love fingerprints on my front door because it meant I had a 2 year old who was alive and able to make a mess.  I felt gratitude, not resentment, for the mundane messes of life, like ten loads of laundry or a sink piled with dishes.  These things meant we had life and we were living.  I found more joy in the ordinary parts of my life than ever before.

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I knew I had a wonderful husband before all this.  He was a good man when I married him.  But as we grieved together, as he supported me and lifted me up, I knew he was a blessing that cannot be measured.  He listened when I needed it, he let me cry when I was sad, he let me know he thought I was strong and amazing and wonderful.  I cannot think of the deeply personal way he showed his love for me during this time without tears coming to my eyes.  The way our marriage was strengthened and deepened is something I will always treasure and give thanks for.

I also realized what an amazing group of friends I have.  They were such a wonderful support as they reached out to me.  The lifted me up, cheered me up, distracted me and loved me.  They listened if I needed to talk or just let me feel normal again for a few hours while we were together.  These were women who could relate.  Their friendship was sunshine to my soul.

Pregnancy-Loss-Love-5{Image Credit Tree Photography}

The other thing I knew was that I did not want to be bitter.  I knew I could spend time feeling angry that this happened.  I could question, “Why me?”  I could let bitterness and anger seep into my heart and crowd out the sadness that swelled there now.  I could have.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t want to turn the beauty that is a baby, even a lost one, into something ugly.  Sometimes this was easy and other times it was a lot of work.  But I didn’t want to cheapen the wonderful blessings I’d received by spending my time feeling bitter.  I was sad–yes.  My heart ached.  This was not the plan I’d seen for myself.  But I fought hard against feelings of anger and bitterness, so that I could feel peace.


No, this wasn’t the plan I had seen for myself.  But as it turned out, it was the right plan all along.  I don’t have all the answers.  I still don’t know why this happened.  I still wish it could have been different, but I would not trade the lessons I learned as I came to see the hand of God in life for anything in the world.

Read Part 3

EC-KristinBarnett-Bio

{Image Credit Tree Photography}

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[…] Part 2, Part […]

This week in Webland

So excited for another chance to share some of the things we like on the web!

Everyday-Creative.com - We love this week

1. Sun Damage and Sunscreen

We all know the sun can damage our skin.   What we don’t often/ever see is our skin under UV light which shows the damage.  This video shows skin damaged by the sun, skin with little to no damage and what the UV light camera sees when you wear sunscreen.   It is the best PSA I’ve seen on why we should wear sunscreen!  I also love the peoples faces both in grimaces and joyous smiles.  People are just fun to watch!

2. Cinnamon Twist recipe

This recipe looks ultra yummy!   For me, I’d like very little if any frosting.  I know, weirdo right!?  ;-) If you try it, please come back and let us know how it tasted.

cinnamonrollbreadtwists

3. Decorate and control your Board Games

OK, so this is above my personal skill level in making, but I would love love to do something like this for our house.  We have a second staircase which has tons of wall space and is rarely used.  One side of the wall is where I’ve started a collection of family prints mounted on plastic.   The prints are all pretty casual of different daily life, holidays and trips.  The kids are already in love as they sit and talk about those different moments.    Back to this share!!  Our 6 year old twins are getting to a super fun age  where they love to play board games.  It has been fun playing games together after dinner instead of watching TV.  I bet Aleesha could do this and would help a girl out!  :-)

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Shannon White Everyday Creative Bio About

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