1 year ago....

1 year ago today I got the definite confirmation that I was indeed pregnant.

I can't believe what all has happened this last year. I admit, the last couple of days have been a bit of a struggle. Ok, so I admit, I've shed a lot of tears again lately. Even today while washing dishes I could barely see through the tears as they poured down my face.

What blows my mind is that by the time I knew I was pregnant, God already knew what all was going on with Noah and how his days were numbered far fewer than I wanted or would've ever have chosen.

I keep coming back to the scripture I used for his memorial service:

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16


Talk about powerful!!! Again, I am humbled by the fact that God chose my son to be set apart from all of us and that he was created special. In my human mind, I can not fathom or understand why he was chosen to be taken from us so soon after being created. Quite honestly though, most days I wish I hadn't been singled out to be blessed with such a special child. I really wish I would've been like everyone else and had been given a "normal" pregnancy and baby like 95% of those around me. But even in the midst of my agonizing grief and pain that I am currently experiancing, I am trusting His plan and that there is a greater purpose to what we have been going through. And even through all of this, I am know I am still blessed.

Noah has taught me and many others a lot!!

Ecclesiastes 11:5
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things".

So true!!! And that my friends is where faith comes in. I can't even begin to explain it right now. But it is what I cling to. With each tear that falls, with each doubt that creeps into my head.....I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Noah's short life on earth holds a greater purpose that I will ever realize!!!!

I love you my sweet miracle child!!!!!!!!!
11 years ago today I officially became a mom when my twins, Sarah & Susan were born. I can hardly believe they are 11 now!!! For those that don't know, I was planning a homebirth (just like Noah). But at 36wks the midwife said as she was palapting my belly, trying to figure out the position of the baby, that either something was wrong or there was more than one baby in there (again, eerily similar to Noah whose diagnosis was found at 33wks). I feared the worse, but after an ultrasound, we were plesantly surprised to discover 2 babies were hiding in my (tiny) belly. There went my homebirth!!! ha

They were miracles and proved the doctors wrong, much like Noah. I was barely 100lbs when I got pregnant with them and only gained 25lbs. They actually had to be induced as I was miserable and HUGE at the end. They weight 5lbs 6 oz (Sarah) & 6lbs 2oz (Susan), both 19" long. I was literally all baby. And for not having prenatal care for multiples, they were certainly healthier & bigger than anyone expected!!!!

Nothing like being thrown into motherhood with not 1 but 2 babies!!!

Here is a picture of them as newborns in the hospital sharing a bassinet: (look at that HAIR!!! I called them my little monkeys!)

And here is a picture of them tonight as they sat together to open gifts:

Wow.....where does time go? Can't help but realize Noah is missing tonight as we celebrated. Just not the same without you little buddy!!!! It was on their birthday last year I started suspecting I might be pregnant. Seems just like yesterday......

We've been reminscing tonight over videos of Noah and things from the last year and I wanted to share one from just barely a year ago. We drove to Disney World in Florida for a 9 day family vacation just last September. After vacation, I put together a video of a brief glimpse of our time there and thought I'd share it here. Amazing how much has changed in only one year. As we were watching this tonight, Erik said how much he misses Noah and that there is so much he wanted to do with his little brother. :-(

October was designated as the month for Infant & Pregnancy loss awareness month by President Reagan in 1988. October 15th (this past Friday) was National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day. A friend told me about a local support group, the Sweet Pea Project who was doing a balloon release for all those who have lost babies on this day. http://www.sweetpeaproject.org/ Releasing balloons holds a special place for us as the kids each released a balloon to Noah at his graveside service. So we decided we wanted to attend this.

It was held at Long's Park. Thankfully it wasn't raining but it was pretty chilly & windy. It had been sunny all day long but as we drove there, it got cloudy. We arrived & got in line to get our seed embedded paper. This whole event was done very environmentally friendly. The special paper was biodegradeable and had wildflower seeds in the paper so when the balloons eventually popped, the paper that we wrote our note on would fall back to earth and the seeds would bloom wherever our note ended up.

We had several colors of paper to choose from but we all chose blue of course. The kids were very intent on their notes. I have no idea what the girls wrote to Noah as they did it on their own. Erik wrote "I love you Noah" on his paper as Kevin oversaw his effort. I admit I teared up as I wrote to Noah.

Here is a picture that was taken of all of us as we wrote our notes, you can just barely see a bit of Kevin & Erik on the right side of the picture:

After we wrote our notes, we folded them up and put them inside the deflated balloons we were given. Then someone filled them with helium and put a small string on. We were also asked the name of who we were remembering as they were going to read the names aloud. The release was supposed to start at 6pm but they got such an overwhelming show of people, it took a little longer than they anticipated to get the balloons filled. WGAL 8 was also here and did a small clip on the event that aired on news that night. We as a family even had our picture & names taken by the newspaper. There was also music being played by a local musician.

About 6:15, the organizer of the event, Stephanie Cole, had everyone gather. She said she was going to read each childs name off, and as you heard your babys name, you release your balloon. I about cried when Noah's name was read and we watched 6 balloons join so many other balloons. I was so thankful we were able to participate and remember Noah in such a special way. I should also add, right before the release started, the clouds parted and the sky had this amazing golden glow to it. I can't describe it but I could tell it was meant to be. Just a reminder that we DO have a special Light that is still there with us during this dark journey.

Here's a pic of Kevin & the kids right after we released our balloons, watching them drift to the sky. You can see the golden sunlight on the tops of the trees:

The other event going on Friday in remembrance was an international wave of light. At 7pm (your own local time), many people worldwide lit a candle in honor of all those babies who died much too soon. So at 7pm, we lit a candle in honor of Noah and our friends babies, Ryan, Hezekiah & Olivia who are all hanging out together in Heaven waiting for us. I can't WAIT for that amazing reunion!!!!!!!

Noah's 3 months old

Sunday night we put the kids to bed. Not long after Susan came upstairs bawling. She was crying so hard, it triggered her to really start coughing (she has a cold). She coughed so hard she threw up and ended up having to do a nebulizer treatment to help her breathing.

She was crying because of missing Noah.

We ended up pulling out the video of his birth and time afterwards. We listened to him cry and watched him move. Of course, this sent me into tears as well. While it's healing to watch our videos of Noah & look at his pictures, it also is painful as well and reminds us of what we are missing right now. He is 3 months old today.

This is how bedtime has been lately. Erik still has been sleeping in our room as he doesn't want to be alone because of missing Noah. Susan has wanted to watch Noah's videos. It's so hard seeing the kids struggle when all I want to do is take their pain away. On one hand I am thankful they are old enough that they will always remember Noah, but selfishly on the other hand, I wish they were younger that they didn't have to go through the pain of suffering like I am. It's hard enough dealing with my grief then adding their grief & trying to help them cope on top of it all, is tough.

Some days it's still one hour at a time, one day at a time.
The following was found by a friend of mine & she shared it with me. It's just another perspective on how I am feeling......

I am wearing a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes. Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But once you put them on, you can never take them off. I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world. Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them. Some have learned to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much. Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes. Yet, because of these shoes, I am a stronger woman. These shoes have given me the strength to face anything. They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Today the kids aren't feeling too well. I guess I myself am not feeling too hot right now either after getting drenched last night helping out on a float for my husbands company. Yes, it downpoured and I was soaked to the bone. I guess it could've been worse, it wasn't snowing at least!!

The kids asked me this morning if I could make soup for supper. After searching through recipes, I realized I really didn't have ingrediants to make most of the soups they liked. I haven't truly gone grocery shopping since I was pregnant. Which was honestly the end of June. Kevin works at Shady Maple and has been there almost 20yrs. I used to work there before having kids and have occasionally gone and worked there throughout the years when help was needed. So everyone there is like extended family. And I am just not ready to face most people still. The comments, the questions, etc. Kevin brings home groceries as needed.

I know it's another hurdle I will need to face, but it's so hard putting myself in those situations knowing that I will subject myself to a lot of tough emotions thus bringing on difficult days after doing something like that. It really is emotionally draining. It's one of those things that I guess you could say I need the strength to be weak. And I'm just having a hard time with that. I still haven't gone back to Noah's grave since the day of his service. Because again, I know it's going to bring a lot of emotions to the surface that may cause some hard days to follow. UGH!!!

Just like trying to bring myself to go back to church. Kevin has taken the kids to Sunday School and this past Sunday, they stayed for the service. I myself haven't been to church since Noah's funeral and I know the first few times of going back will be difficult. And I can only do 1 thing at a time. It's been difficult enough just getting through our busy days of homeschooling, hard of hearing therapy, babysitting and just trying to keep the household running. But I know I need to try to face more hurdles of healing eventually.

I need to go spend time at Noah's grave.

Everytime I relive that moment there less than 3 months ago, it brings me to tears. His tiny white casket with the beautiful blue flowers on top, his little temporary grave marker with his name. Noah's 3 sisters and brother sitting there looking so sad and trying to comprehend what just happened to their baby brother. Such difficult memories. I guess that's why I haven't been able to go visit his grave. I miss him SO MUCH!!!! It's a hurt I can't put into words.

Just pray for me that I can make the trip there when the time is right. I know I'm going to struggle afterwards.

Back to where I started my story out about the kids wanting soup & I didn't have anything on hand to make it. Shortly after I realized I had nothing to make soup, I got a phone call from a friend who said she just made us a pot of soup & wanted to drop it off.

WOW!!! Talk about a much needed blessing!!

So not only did the kids get their much wanted chicken noodle soup, I also didn't have to try to figure out supper tonight. She even made brownies which the kids just loved! Thank you Dawn!!! You'll never know how much we needed that today!!!!

Nevaeh Hope

Last weekend our kids & their friends came across a tiny orphaned kitten. We never really thought we'd get a kitten since our dog Jack is scared of his shadow & anything that moves. But we all fell in love instantly with this sweet little girl. She cuddled right up in the kids arms and they begged to keep her.
So with the kitty curled up in my sweatshirt pocket, we headed to walmart & stocked up on kitty supplies. Since they found her in a mill, she needed a bath. So I gave her a warm bath with baby wash. She did SOO good!!! For the first several days, we warmed special kitten formula to feed her (and we had to feed her every 3hrs, so she came with us everywhere!) and eventually weaned her onto dry kitten food.

Based on her size we estimated her around 4wks old or so. For the first few days, the kids kept her swaddled up in a little blanket. She loved it. Jack was so curious for the first 2 days, he followed her or anyone who held her all over the place. Which is so unusual for him. He is normally such a big baby & scared of everything.

It took several days for the kids to come up with a name for her. We tossed around several ideas but they settled on "Hope". I said that I felt her full name should be Navaeh (ne-vA-uh) Hope. Nevaeh is Heaven is spelled backwards. This special kitty fell into our laps and needed us as much as we needed her. "Hope in Heaven" is what her and her name mean to us.

She has been such an amazing fit for our family. Jack is becoming more used to her. He will allow her to come over to him and bat at him for a little bit before getting up and moving away from her. She has no fear of him at all (and he's HUGE!) She will follow him around and even tries to eat/drink out of his dishes when he is eating & drinking water. It looks so cute. It cracks us up how she will go look at him when he's laying down, then she backs up, squats down & pounces on him. He just sits there & takes it.
Hope can be jumping around, running, carrying on, etc. But the second we pick her up and swaddle her, she passes out asleep in seconds. It's so sweet!!! Here she is a few minutes after I swaddled her the other night in my arms....

Here is Jack checking out Hope curling up next to him. I have a feeling these 2 will become extremely close in the coming weeks!!!!