Hello and Goodbye

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Sebastian Marshall James arrived at 1:05 pm, on December 9, 2015. He gently earned his angel wings at 2:28 pm.  He is so precious and deeply loved and adored. His brothers and his Grammie & Grampie were all able to snuggle him. He weighed 5 lbs 3 ounces and was 18″ long.

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“I will never forget the moment that your heart stopped and mine kept beating.”
   – Angela Miller

Our hearts are broken, but the thought of Abigail welcoming Sebastian to Heaven brings some comfort. Our darling babies are so loved, wanted and missed.

See the beauty in the dawn.

Love,
Wendy

Refusing to allow fear to steal beauty

Last week we took our big boys to see the “Good Dinosaur” movie as a distraction. Unfortunately, I somehow inadvertently chose yet another kids movie with death in it, so for one of my son’s it was not as fun of a distraction as we had hoped. Regardless, it was time for my husband and I to get to spend with two of our boys … to get to hear their giggles during funny parts … to indulge in their cute desire for snacks. As we were watching the movie, the following quote was made and it felt personal …

“Sometimes you have to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.” – The Good Dinosaur

That exact day was a day where the fear, anger and frustration were lurking at the corners of my world. Fear that in a few short days my body will not be able to do what it needs to do to birth our sweet breech baby, due to the extreme pain it has been in for the last two months. Anger that my husband had to give up something that he had worked so hard to attain, because of everything that is going on. Frustration that we are here again. 55 weeks, to the day, from losing Abigail we will have to say goodbye to her little brother.

But I continue to remind myself that there is beauty in the middle of it all. Beauty in the fact that my doctor called in a prescription for me, to save me an appointment waiting with new babies. Beauty in the messages of support I have regularly received from friends and family. Beauty in the meal train that a friend set up for our family (3 weeks of meals! Wow!). Beauty in the multitude of hugs that my youngest son has repeatedly given me … “One more hug, Mommy??” Beauty in my middle son’s adoring gaze at me, during school, and then his proclamation of how much he loves me. Beauty in my oldest son’s pride at how far he has come in math. Beauty in my husband’s reminders that I can do this. That I am still the strong woman that he married. And that he adores me and is beside me. It’s there. Always.

My version of “On the Town Shawl”

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I love crocheting but because of skin allergies, I am only able to work with 100% cotton yarn.  It took me a while to get past just making dishcloths and a lot of that was learning what patterns cotton yarn would work with and how to modify patterns to make them “cotton friendly”.  Cotton yarn is lovely to use, but when used in some patterns, it does not have the same elasticity that synthetic yarns have.  I have learned that simply increasing the hook size can usually help with that, but the pattern also needs to have a lot of open space if it is an item that should be able to drape nicely.

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Do we really know?

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Earlier this week, if you had encountered me, you would have met a woman with downcast eyes, slumped shoulders and a smile that couldn’t quite make it to the surface.  If you had bumped into me that day, you would not have recognized me.  Usually my eyes happily meet each person I pass … there is always a smile just waiting to come out to brighten someone’s day.  But that day, I couldn’t produce any of that.  First impressions would have tagged me as unapproachable, maybe … sullen … irritated … disconnected … defiant.

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The Sadness of Experience

I have had many people tell me that they were surprised at how well I’m doing this time around … well, here’s the whole picture.

Yes, on some levels I am doing well. I sadly have experience that I wish no one did. I had so many questions about the unknown with Abigail. I know the heartbreaking answers to those questions now. I know what it feels like to plan a tiny funeral while still pregnant. I know how it will feel to go through the mind-numbing pain of labor and delivery … knowing that I won’t get to enjoy all the sweet snuggles after. I know what it feels like to have my baby die in my arms. I know what it feels like to have my incredibly strong husband lean on me, suddenly consumed by wracking tears of grief. I know what it feels like to experience the mixture of delight of my boys at Christmas time with the numbness of grief and the devastation of wishing for the baby to snuggle that I don’t have. I could go on – but yes, those “what will happen? What will it look like?” questions have answers now.

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Crushing Reality

And one year to the day, we were given results from Baby Sebastian’s ultrasound that sadly mimic Abigail’s diagnosis. I had an ultrasound done on Tuesday, July 28th and it showed that my amniotic fluid levels were in the 2.5 percentile (0 is none).  There were other concerns that needed to be confirmed by more detailed ultrasounds at the specialist hospital.

Yesterday, I had that appointment and they confirmed that Sebastian does not have either of his kidneys or the arterial support for them. At this point his amniotic fluid is at 1%.  I have an incredible medical team that will be supporting me throughout this pregnancy. Our Sebastian is due January 4th, however it is very unlikely that he will go to full term and more likely to arrive at the 36-37 week mark, as did Abigail.

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Hope is a loaded word

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Sonogram of Baby #5

 

On Mother’s Day 2015 I received some news that I desperately wanted to hear, and completely didn’t want to accept, at the same time.  I found out that I am expecting our fifth baby.  Let me explain my contradictory feelings … I love babies.  I rarely pass by a baby that I don’t smile at the wonder of their sweetness and creation.  I love to hold babies … to snuggle them and smell their “babyness”.  I have been thoroughly excited each time that the test showed me a positive result.  And have loved those baby moments that followed.

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Pretty Easy Face / Dish Cloth + Free Tag Download

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Pretty Easy face / dish cloth

I love having a crochet project on the go that is easy to pick up, does not require a lot of concentration for the pattern and that I get results from quickly.  A face / dish cloth always fits the bill.  I am going to share a tutorial for my favorite version today.  It has a beautifully scalloped border when it’s finished – all in one piece – no picking up of stitches around the cloth to make a border!  Sounds good to me 🙂

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Life Glimpses * 1

Our “public” life … the one that we broadcast on various social media platforms is not usually all that public.  I was listening to a broadcast last night regarding the sharing of our lives on social media and the speaker commented on what if we shared real life.  What would that look like?  It is a topic often discussed and usually ends up with the same result … we don’t really know, because as human beings we aren’t that interested in putting our nitty gritty details out there.  We want to share, and see, the highlights of life.  The pretty, pinterest worthy moments.

There are about 4 blogs that I read regularly and the posts that resonate the strongest with me are usually the ones where they are sharing random pictures from their day, week, etc.  It is always intriguing to me to see a glimpse of the world in which they live.  To see the person behind the beautiful crochet work (two of the blogs I follow are written by talented crocheting women), the magazine worthy house (a home decorating blog), and the interesting college professor (who has incredible artistic abilities). And so, here is a glimpse into my week … not always shrouded in grief …

Not-so-baby curls

Not-so-baby curls

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It shouldn’t be this easy.

When a parent dies, you lose your past.  When a child dies, you lose your future.  – Anonymous

Grief is a tricky thing to understand.  In some ways it can be neatly put into a 5 step process (Denial & Isolation; Anger; Bargaining; Depression; and Acceptance).  In other ways, it doesn’t fit into any logical realm of reasoning.  And although I thought that I understood the grieving process quite well, I was completely unprepared for the process of grieving my baby girl.

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