"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Friday, June 19, 2015

Our 4th Child : Celebrate her life!

April 23rd: I found out with GREAT joy that I am pregnant with our fourth child. I am elated!

April 25th: I can't hold in the excitement any more and I tell Jeremy, He is super excited too! We LOVE our children and are HONORED to welcome one more into our hearts! Christmas Day is the due date!

May 10th: Mother's Day we video taped the kids hearing the  news about their LONG awaited and prayed for new sibling.

Augustine was kind of like... "I knew it. I prayed for a baby and we have one. We have TWO babies. Two baby girls. I want the baby to be named "lizzie"....

Gianna was like... "I am so happy. For the baby in mommy's tummy."

June 1st : I was preparing for my 12 week Dr's visit. It was a beautiful day. Like a day you just want to bottle and drink. As I was getting ready I was preparing myself for any bad news. I always do this. Not to be morbid but I like to mentally be prepared. With three pregnancies and virtually no complications. I wasn't too worried. However, I was reflecting on what we would name our baby if they didn't live. The name Elizabeth popped into my head. That is her name... if she doesn't live. Augustine's prayed for Lizzie. I felt so good about that. And didn't give it another thought.

On the gorgeous drive to the Doctor's with the windows down and music blasting I was caught up in a special song... "Be Blessed... Be Loved... Be glorified!" (Anyone know it? I can't figure it out.) Caught up in an emotional and tearful worship of my God who I love with all my heart. I said,

 "God I give you everything my whole life! If it is your will this baby doesn't get to be my baby to hold they are yours and I am HAPPY to give you this little life to glorify you all eternity."

On a total high and feeling love from God I happily head into my appointment excited to hear my baby's heartbeat.

My weight was 123... feeling good about that. Check. My blood pressure is terrific. Check. Can't hear the heart beat? No problem.

We head to ultra sound. I was really not concerned and neither was my Dr.

Little sweet baby pops up on the monitor. Immediately I see no heart beat. I've seen enough ultra sounds to know that heartbeat is pretty easy to spot.

My Doctor said she is now concerned but would like to try the internal ultrasound. I change and frantically (and now very insensitively text "Miscarriage" to Jeremy.) My baby is not alive and I know it. But emotionally it hasn't hit me.

2 more ultra sounds later and we have a confirmed miscarriage. I started crying when my Dr started sharing... what is next. It's a blurr until that moment. And I wonder if I can pull it together enough to leave. Rhogam shot. We decide to wait 2 weeks to see if the baby passes naturally.

I drove teary eyed to a park in White Bear to take a few minutes. Called a friend and cried. Called Jeremy and cried. It was like God prepared me for this moment. He is so kind so gentle so loving. So good. And yet... my heart still was aching to know this little child. To love this little baby. To KNOW this baby, my child.

I came home and cleaned my disaster living room. Now I know how I respond to pain. At least something in my life can be in order. Jeremy and I eat watermelon with the kids outside and I kept watching him tear up watching our kids. That was heartbreaking, knowing he was hurting to.

A wonderful friend  watched our kids while we went together to see our baby in an ultrasound for final confirmation. There she was. I could see her little limbs, head, butt... She died at 8weeks and 6days, which I calculated was May 20th. Jeremy and I cried as we talked about the baby's name and we decided to see if we would be able to find out the sex before naming her. I say her because we don't know and we won't "know" but Augustine prayed for a girl and I want to refer to a gender.

My little sister my mom miscarried about 25 years old, Mary. She is holding my baby in heaven. My little sister who I have thought about my whole life is my baby's auntie in heaven. Makes me cry with love to think about.

Jeremy and I talked and cried for quite a while and I wanted to go home and just curl in a ball and sleep. But my husband encouraged us to go out... where? I don't even care. And then I remembered that when we found out I was pregnant Jeremy rejoiced because we get to go to Buffalo Wild Wings before the baby is born. It's a weird tradition of ours... but I then felt a lift in my spirit and felt the desire to celebrate her. CELEBRATE HER LIFE! She lived inside of me and she lives eternally! I even got a beer. Because I could. And we actually laughed and reminisced. It was another amazing God moment!

The weeks that followed were filled with such unimaginable grace, love and support by our friends I can hardly contain my heart when I think of the kindness and generosity we have received.

Of course, I would remiss to say I didn't cry and feel down. When the Aidan and Anias baby blankets I bid on became mine. When Gianna told me how much she loves and misses our baby. (This is before they were told.) When I would eat and Augustine said, "You are eating for the baby in your tummy!" When I brought up the idea of a baby dying in their mommy's tummy to Augustine and he got so sad he asked me to stop talking about that. I found great comfort in God's promises and even joy at the thought of our baby in heaven.

The thoughts of passing our baby terrified me. It was described as a mini labor. Painful. Risk of an ER trip. Seeing the baby. Finding the baby. My brave husband truly comforted me and said he would help with taking care of the baby and I could face it as I was able.


A panicked trip to get supplies.

More waiting.


Joy in my own living children.


Fear. Worry. Anxiety.

Comfort, Friendship. Support. Love


June 18th : Almost 3 weeks of waiting and Jeremy is in crunch mode with opening and lighting a show. We go to meet with the Surgeon/Doctor. The much feared D&C it's inevitable and despite the bad timing I want to get it over with. Our surgeon prays with us... I mean who gets that everyday?! Amazing. I know I am in great hands.
As we head home I just want to just curl up in a ball again... but Jeremy hints at going for a walk, coffee and food. I'd rather eat a sand pit. But, ok. He is a wise man. When I see Cosetta's up the hill.... I get excited. How have we never been here? We talk and laugh and enjoy piles of sweets, Gelato and Italian food. I am so thankful for my wise loving husband.

Back to reality... Jeremy heads off to rush hour traffic and a missed day of work to catch up on, which means an all nighter of no sleep. Everyone is stressed and kids are cranky. I get a call from the clinic I can get in at 7:30am I need to be at the hospital at 5:30am. Jeremy is pulling an all nighter working-- 5:30am. I can't do this. I don't have grace. He can't do this. It's our only option.

Ring. Ring.

A friend calls and has no idea what is going on but she asks if she can pray with me. I tell her in about 1 minute and she starts praying for me on the phone. God is amazing.

The kids need to sleep over and I'm thinking I can't do this. I need to pack food, clothes diapers, medicine... get the kids sleepovers figured out. Feed them all. Feed myself before my 8hr fast starts. Get them dropped off... and Becket didn't nap, he is a crying mess. Augustine is getting a cold and is a crying mess and doesn't want to go. Gianna is threatening no more hugs and kisses for mommy. Jeremy is stressed to the max, work doesn't relent. But literally my friend prayed into me the strength I needed. That we are a witness to life. That basically swimming upstream isn't easy. If it was we would all do it. Sacrifice is a beautiful and a gift. I'm not sure if those are things she actually said but God put them in my heart. Suffering is powerful and redemptive! I have some seriously HERO friends who have blown me away and yet I knew the kids would do best for a sleepover with Jeremy's mom. Jeremy's mom is a wonderful woman and cares for us deeply but we hadn't told her yet because she does not respond positively to us having more children. We know we are wild trust walkers who do crazy things like start theatres with Christian values, pay our bills with no money in our account, and are open to having as many babies as God wants to BLESS us with. So now I have to face that... and God reminded me the ONLY person I need to please is God. No-one else. So she might even read this and if she does... we love her and we know she loves us. But she said nothing to me. Not even a fake condolences. But it is ok... because God is who I am accountable for and he has given me a tribe of friends and other family who are lifting me up as the arms of Jesus.

On the way home I had a horrible stomach ache like I've had for weeks. I just wanted to go home and go to bed. But I stopped in at adoration. I felt Jesus calling me... and all I wanted was His consolation. So I curled up in a ball at His feet. Good thing He is so strong. Because I am so weak.

I tossed and turned in my sleep but my poor husband barely had that opportunity. Maybe he got in an hour of sleep? He sacrificed time the day before to be with me in my struggle... and had to work all night to attempt to catch up. It's for these reasons maybe some people think we shouldn't have more kids. It sounds hard. It sounds like suffering. It sounds like stuff you can't handle. Is it? Yes. Is this the life the saints led? Yes. Do I want to be a saint? Yes. Am I a saint. NO. Do I know living a sold out life for God my best chance of being a saint? Do I know that life is not comfortable? Do I know that I can be purified through suffering AND experience JOY!? YES!

June 19 : The D&C... The morning was rough getting into the prep room but I actually felt tremendous peace and joy before and after. The nurse started tearing up when she shared her own loss years ago. No one else saw it but me... but she was so sweet. With one call our church started working with a funeral home to get the baby's remains for a burial. I had family and friends praying. They blow a heater in your hospital gown. I know that sounds weird but seriously, the little things! A woman from the hospital came to pray with us. I felt so loved and taken care of. From March 19th to exactly June 19th... All four of our kids were birthed on Friday. The anesthesia I feared was actually very helpful and peaceful. No scary flashbacks. No Small talk. No Pain.

Another friend dropped off flowers, chocolates, a meal and  a card. I know -- I am blessed BEYOND compare.

I write all this to remember God's faithfulness and our child's story. Our baby's LIFE and DEATH and LIFE a-NEW! We aren't sharing the name yet and we haven't told our kids yet. Probably in the next day. For me sharing my baby's life gives me the greatest joy. I thought it would be so hard to then tell everyone the bad news of a miscarriage. But with each person I tell I feel I want to shout it from the roof-top! I love my children ALL four of my children. In my womb or in my arms. They have a life and it has value! Souls for all eternity! What a gift to have and to give and to partake in. For some people these words don't help them because grief is real. ... but this is where God has me. Rejoicing in our baby's life and honoring our baby's life. And I can't promise I will have rainbows and jumping jacks everyday but... that's ok too.

Gianna (3yrs): 'I love mommy. She's my best friend. I love Jesus. I love Jesus in mommy's heart. I love the baby. I love the baby in mommy's heart."

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." - Jesus

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."   James 1:2-4

**Non-graphic pictures to be posted in a later post**

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