Sunday, March 22, 2015

Well Said...

“We get learning from books, but we get wisdom from suffering.” - Pope Pius XII

Easter Basket Ideas

It's Palm Sunday!! Just one more week until Easter! I have really enjoyed shopping around for treats to put into Sofia's Easter basket this year. Last year I custom ordered a fancy one from our local toy store, Toys Unique. This year I already have the big basket, grass and cellophane wrap from last year so all I need to do is fill it up. My goal has been to purchase beautiful items that reflect Spring, the beauty in God's creation and the true meaning of Easter, the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Here's a look at what I have bought so far. The books and toys are all available for purchase on Amazon. 

Giggles and Lollipops Church Tote

Christian Easter Book

Christian Sticker Book

Green Toys Build-a-Bouquet Floral Arrangement 

Wild Hog Bunny Popper

Peeps Giant Bubble Wand

Aurora PopUp Bunny Puppet


Feel free to comment with your suggestions for spiritual Easter basket goodies.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Our Baby Boy Died Two Years Ago Today

We received a special delivery this morning from MEND. 
May God bless MEND for remembering our sweet baby boy. 

Today, March 21st marks the two year anniversary of when we heard the words no expecting parent wants to hear, "there is no heartbeat." Our world shook like an earthquake and has never been the same since. 

Christian, we love and miss you terribly. We wish we could have somehow kept you alive and well but as far as we know it was out of our control. :( The only comfort is knowing that you are alive and well with Jesus in Heaven. We miss you son! On April 19th we will celebrate the second anniversary of your birthday. Keep an eye out for your balloons. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Super Cute Mass Bags

Could you use a lovely tote for your kiddos Church books/ supplies? Look no further! I just found one on Etsy at Giggles and Lollipops! Available in a variety of colors and patterns. Makes for an excellent Easter basket present! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Favorite Healing Music

Below are five songs that have helped bring healing to my soul on my journey. If you are in need of comfort, inspiration, faith, healing I pray that these songs will help you too.

1. "I Will Carry You" by Selah

2. "Need You Now" by Plumb

3. "Oceans" by Hillsong

4. "Lord I Need You" by Matt Maher

5. "You Make Me Brave" by Amanda Cook & Bethel Music

"Grief Will Find You"

In MEND I have met some very wise Mothers and I have gained little bits of wisdom from them. One of which told me about her journey during which she said, "grief will find you." You can run from it, ignore it, avoid it, not deal with it, act like whatever happened didn't really happen, move on but eventually it will find you.

Related to that note I saw the title of this article last night on yahoo, "Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson's Son Had a Delayed Reaction to Her Death."  The title caught my eye so I had to click on the link and read it. Liam and Natasha's story moved me when I first heard of it years ago. Natasha died from a skiing accident at the age of 45. She was merely engaging in a leisurely activity with her family. Every time I see Liam on TV, in interviews, I think of his late wife Natasha. I think about what he and their children must be going through without her here on earth. Last night was when I caught a glimpse of what it has been like grief wise for their son who was 13 years old at the time, now 19. Here's the article.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

11 Months Since a Post, 4.5 Months Out from Our Fourth Loss & Shingles

It has been 11 months since my last post and now I have shingles. ;) I can't believe either has happened.

I think after we lost Baby Jo, our fourth pregnancy, who we thought per the first sonogram and hormone levels might have been twins, rainbow baby twins -  I just couldn't blog about life after a third loss. Talk about going from a very high high of possible rainbow baby twins to a very low low yet again. The explanation, "blighted ovum" kind of helped in a way because I had heard of it happening to other women and I thought, "ok" blighted ovums are somewhat common and usually only happens once in a women's lifetime. So I pushed myself to bounce back rather quickly. I tried not to skip a single beat when it came to our social activities like playgroup (my actual physical miscarriage started at the end of a playgroup), moms night out, the Palm Sunday Easter Egg Hunt at Church, a visit from my brother and his new girlfriend, etc.. I definitely pushed myself too hard to be out and about right away and didn't take the proper time to be alone, with Rick and grieve/ let my feelings flow. It hit me really hard a month later during my first menstrual cycle after loss. It was ugly, with Rick, in our car, out of town and unfortunately in front of my sunshine baby, Sofia.  Grief sucks! Life after loss is a real monster. Fortunately, from that Sunday in May on I grieved Baby Jo more thoroughly and slowly things got better between May-September.

Sofia then turned 4 years old in September and I was right back where I was at on her 3rd Birthday thinking of her sibling that should be there with us at the party celebrating. Instead we were in the TTC stages and found out about three weeks later that we were pregnant for a fifth time! Five times! I can't believe I have been pregnant FIVE times! On October 15th the three of us saw our sweet Baby Jude's heartbeat! Tears of joy. Was this our rainbow baby??? No... A week later Baby Jude was measuring behind and his or her precious heartbeat was beating slower. A few days later Baby Jude was pronounced dead. The next day, on October 28th, I underwent my first D&C to test Baby Jude for answers but there were no answers, no explanation as to why he or she died. Just a hypothesis that it must have been something chromosomal (non hereditary chromosomal). I decided rather quickly since I was going under anesthesia for the D&C I wanted my RE to also perform a laparoscopy to check for endometriosis since NaPro Technology believes that 85% of unexplained repeat loss is caused by endometriosis. I did not have any symptoms other than repeat loss. My RE agreed to check and found Minimal/ Stage 1 endometriosis that looked like tiny white spider webs. Severe endometriosis looks like black spots. Mine was so "minimal." But who knows maybe it was causing me repeat pregnancy loss. The good news, the endometriosis is out and I did all that I could do for me and I tried to get answers as to why Baby Jude died for him or her, us and any of our future babies. I tried...

The loss of Baby Jude, our fourth pregnancy loss, hit me really hard. Once again I pushed myself to go right back to Mass and not miss a Sunday. I seriously need to learn that it is ok to miss Mass when I am "sick" and that I can have a Eucharistic Minster, Priest or Deacon bring me Communion. Why do I forget to tap into that gift/ ministry? I told Rick to remind me going forward. There are times when one is just too raw/ fresh with grief and does not need to be in certain social situations. I learned that lesson the hard way when just a week out from losing Baby Jude. A former friend, who was very visibly pregnant and who I had not spoken to since our fourth pregnancy with Baby Jo, walked up to us in our pew before Mass like we were old buddies. I could not believe she was coming into our space at such a heavy time in our lives. I then had my very first public anxiety attack in that moment and had to walk out of the Church. Rick and Sofia followed shortly. We regrouped rather quickly and went back in because you know we don't like to miss Mass ;) and I just cried and cried in the pew. I have been amazed at how inconsiderate and absent minded people can be to those dealing with loss. Please take a moment and think of the broken-hearted before you act or say something to them. Pause first, try not to put them in an even more painful position.

The journey of pregnancy after loss and pregnancy loss, after pregnancy loss is hard enough for the couple/ family dealing with the heartbreak and then you add in outside factors and people and ugh it can be down right torture. Salt on our wounds.This fourth loss also came at a time when Sofia was at an understanding, an age where she knew what was going on, had questions, had comments, drew pictures, all related to life, death and grief. It has been a heartbreaking challenge to see and help Sofia through grief. We fortunately asked for guidance on how to help and talk to her. She wants a baby, "in our house, not in heaven!" As do we...

In early November I found myself back in the large MEND meetings for those with recent losses. Thank God for MEND. In December I started seeing a therapist recommended to me from a friend who also had a second trimester miscarriage. I sought out a therapist because after a fourth consecutive loss I have experienced Repeat Trauma with closely spaced pregnancies, Post Traumatic Stress and Anxiety to a variety of things related to pregnancy. I even got to a point where I felt like never letting myself get pregnant ever again. That was a new thought for me as I had been on that let's try again for a rainbow baby train after Sam, Christian and Jo. After Jude things changed. The only way I know how to protect myself from yet another loss is to not get pregnant again, basically to abstain when fertile since we practice Natural Family Planning. I really did contemplate coming to peace with never trying again and focusing on what life might be like with only one living child. Then I ovulated and got baby fever. ;) Oh how the days of a women's natural cycle influences her thoughts and feelings on sex/ bonding and babies. Father Marco, yeah we talked to a Priest about all this, and Rick definitely don't think I should hang up my fertile years and abstain indefinitely. I know they are probably right. I also know that I needed to wait more than our standard three month waiting period between loss and TTC again. I need more of a BREAK! I have had four losses, three surgeries and now shingles in less than two and a half years. I am worn out and exhausted. God, can I get a break?!?! ;) I want to feel stronger, healthier and more ready for another pregnancy. Being back at Jazzercise and Body Sculpting is helping. Reading books such as, "Barren among the Fruitful, Navigating Infertility with HOPE, WISDOM, and PATIENCE" by Amanda Hope Haley is also helping. MEND helps, my Plano support group of women dealing with infertility and loss helps and my new support group called Shiloh, hosted by Watermark will probably help too. I have never been so grateful for my Protestant Sisters and the support groups they run. My hope is to one day help run a group specific for my Catholic sisters dealing with loss and infertility.