Remembering my son. A fathers viewpoint.

Today Brian blogged about our son and I wanted you all to read it. It was a fresh new prospective that I had never really thought of and it has encouraged me throughout the day. So blessed to have my amazing husband walking this journey with me. I love you honey.

Remembering Our Baby Jonathan

We lost our son-to-be Jonathan a few weeks ago. I was having dinner with a group of friends with whom I'd just gone on a mission trip to Haiti, when Krista texted me that she wanted me to come home a little early because something had come up. I got home, and she said that she couldn't find the baby's heartbeat with the home doppler she had. The next morning we went in to the doctor's office, and we were happy to see the heart beat. And then we didn't see it. And then we did see the heart beat again, but faintly. The doctor said we should go right over to the high-risk OB. An hour later we were in his office, with the tech running the ultrasound. After about 30 seconds, the tech stood up and excused herself to get the doctor, which reenacted the scene from about 6 years ago when we lost Zoe. She couldn't find the heartbeat, so she was going to get the doctor to tell us we'd lost the baby. That really sucked.

The baby was big enough that we still had to deliver him. We tried getting into the hospital that day, but since most c-sections are planned for Tuesdays, trying to get into a hospital on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a non-emergency delivery is just about impossible. We were able to get in on Thursday at 7AM. Krista still had to do an epidural and all the other things that go along with a delivery. About 10 hours later, our little boy was born. The nurse cleaned him up and we were both able to hold him. We have three songs we sing to our girls just about every night, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, and a little French lullaby. We wanted to sing to him at least once before we gave him back.

The funny thing is that babies at that stage don't have all the baby fat but they do have the facial bone structure, so they almost look like little adults, or, to be a bit crass but descriptive, about the same size and weight as action figures. I held him and saw that he had the Lord 'booty booty butt' chin, as we call it, and said to myself, "Wow, am I making this up, or does he look like my dad?". A few seconds later, Krista said, "He looks like your dad!"

We named him Jonathan Andrew Lord. Krista's dad's name is John, I really like David's friend Jonathan from the Bible, and both Jonathan and Andrew are family names. Krista was adamant that it not be a city name. It wasn't intended at the time, but I think that works out really well. Brooklyn and Sydney were made to be part of this world-at least for a time- and you can't get more temporal than city names. Zoe Renae ("Life, Reborn") and Jonathan Andrew ("God has given Man, or Manly") are much more spiritually focused, which makes sense, as they skipped earth and were made for heaven.

One of the things we struggled with a bit with Zoe is that we miss her, but if she had been, our daughter Brooklyn wouldn't have been. I'd mentioned Jonathan was one of my favorite men in the Bible, and that's because he was such a great friend and the very definition of personal sacrifice. He knew that David should be king, but since he, Jonathan, was the heir to the throne, he would have to die in order for David to become king. And even knowing that full well, Jonathan still did everything he could in order to help and protect David. Its impossible to know God's plan, but if we were to get pregnant again soon, it would mean that we couldn't have had both Jonathan and another baby, that again another Jonathan made way for someone else.

I thought it was good that we were able to be with him at the end, so to speak, to see his last few heartbeats. And after three girls, we were able to have a boy. There are some things we do miss, little coincidences that you see and hope for and think "Oh, that will be cool," but now are lost. My dad passed away on January 15, 2010 and Jonathan was due to be born in January 2011- like one person in the family was lost, but another came in almost exactly a year later. Also, Krista's sister's due date was within just a couple days of hers, and we were excited about these two cousins being great friends like their older siblings are.

But there are some coincidences that are good. As I mentioned, my dad passed away in January, and this August was feeling a little rough for me, as my dad always made it a point to come down to visit us for my birthday in mid-August. But it was neat that a 'little Steve' still showed up for me. Plus, Jonathan, Brooklyn and I all have birthdays within 2 weeks.

This has definitely been a sad time, but I'm not mad in the least. I don't think 'why me?' or 'why us?'. This is part of our story, of what makes us who we are. I still think I live a charmed life, I'm incredibly blessed, and that God's plan is perfect. I do know His plan is beyond me, but that my life is His to use how he wants to. I'm blessed.

Close to my heart

I am wearing Zoe and Jonathan close to my heart thanks to my sweet friend Lisa at Lisa Leonard Designs. I grew up with Lisa and her twin sister Chrissy back home in Southern California. We went to youth group together and I adore these girls.

Lisa is very talented and I love her necklaces. She sent me this beautiful necklace that I will treasure forever. When I opened it up I just cried. It was perfect. I have always wanted a necklace with my kids names on it and she made that happen.

On the front are Brooklyn & Sydney's initials. On the back it says zoe.jonathan. It's perfect. Lisa it was so sweet of you to think of me and I can't thank you enough for my necklace. Love you my friend.

Happy Birthday Brooklyn!

My Dearest Brooklyn,

Happy 5th birthday my sweet daughter. 5 years ago, you turned our sorrow into joy when you entered the world. I was so happy to see your face and to hold you for the first time. All the worrying I had done for 9 months had come to an end.

You were here and you were mine. You were perfect in every way.

I love being your mommy. I love watching you grow and explore new things. You are so smart. You love to learn and you love maps and flags. You know all 7 continents and can't point them out on a map. You love to paint and draw. Yesterday I asked you to write some of the words that I said and you got them all right. You spelled cat, dog, and egg.

You love to dress up. You love to wear necklaces, bracelets and hats. You change your outfit at least 3 times a day and sometimes even more. You love to wear dresses. Although today you surprised me and wanted to wear jeans. I couldn't believe it.

At your check up today, you had grown 3 inches and gained 3 pounds in the last year. You are in the 80th percentile for your height and 50 percentile for your weight and BMI. The doctor said if you kept growing this way you would probably be 5'7 when you grow up.

Most importantly Brooklyn, I love how you love Jesus and that makes me happy. You love to sing songs about Him and you have a beautiful voice. I could listen to you and sissy sing your Bible songs all day long. You are also very protective of your sissy. You all will fight, but in the end you love her so much. You are best friends and I am so glad you have each other.

Brooklyn you constantly make me laugh and I love to see those cute dimples of yours. You love to give me hugs and kisses and you like me to tickle your back when I'm putting you to sleep. You are always asking me to put pictures of you on my blog so I thought I would take the pictures of all of the birthdays you've had so far and post them. It's hard to believe you were this little.

(Years 2 & 3 are on my hard drive that I still need to download. Will try to do that this weekend.)

I love you with all of my heart baby girl. You are my pride and joy. Love, Mommy.

His Name in Print

I received my sons birth certificate in the mail. As soon as I saw the envelope I knew what was in it. I remember getting this same envelope almost 6 years ago.

I eagerly opened it up. There it was in bold, black ink.

Jonathan Andrew Lord
Born to Brian Lord & Krista Renae Lord
Born August 12, 2010 at 4:44 p.m.

I just kept staring at it. I was not supposed to receive this piece of paper until January, but now I find myself in an all to familiar place. I put his birth certificate in the knitted bag the hospital gave me along with his blanket and hat. Jonathan's bag sits right next to his sister Zoe's neatly in our closet. Right now it's too hard for me to go through everything in there, but I know one day in the future it will bring comfort to me. Oh how I wish I had them both here in my arms and not reminders of them in a little bag. Oh dear Lord this is not what I had planned, but I know you have known this from the beginning of time so I rest in the fact that one day this ugliness will be Redeemed for your glory.

I am so thankful that our hospital gives parents that have suffered a loss of a baby a birth certificate. It means so much to me that they recognize my baby's life. He had meaning and a purpose and he is my son.

Happy Birthday Brian!

Today is my husband's 35th birthday. Yes I robbed the cradle and married a younger man. Thankfully he looks older than me though. :)

It's been a rough week as you all know so I didn't have time to make a cake. Thankfully, my sweet friend Amanda brought us dinner that night and she brought a yummy dessert. Thanks girl.

I couldn't find my candles, but had just bought the 5 candle for Brooklyn's birthday party so we went with it. It's better than nothin' I say.

We love you honey. So thankful you are in our lives. You are the best husband and daddy we could ever want or ask for. Happy Birthday!

First time ever I saw your face

We had prayed for an easy delivery with our son just liked we did when I had to deliver Zoe. God showed up again and answered that prayer. I had gotten my epidural first thing in the morning and then they gave me some morphine to make me relaxed so I could get some sleep. Relaxed is not the word. I would say "Out if it" was more like it. It was actually nice because it gave me a break from crying. It was weird not to be able to cry while the drug was in my system.

Sometime around 3:00 pm my nurse Julie, who was awesome, came to check me and when she did my water broke. I was 5 to 6 centimeters dilated. She said it wouldn't be long and I probably wouldn't have to be all the way to 10 to have the baby.

At that time I was so thirst and my mouth felt like cotton. I asked Brian to get me a popsicle. Half way through eating it I started shaking uncontrollably. It was the strangest thing I have ever experienced. I hated it. This went on for about 40 minutes. I prayed that it would stop. Finally it did. Julie said that it was normal and it could mean my body was in transition and getting ready to deliver.

I have Pandora downloaded on my iPhone and I listened to Christian music the whole time I was in labor. I needed to have the encouragement of the words to know that I was not alone. I felt the Lord in that room. I wanted to have praise music on when our baby was born.

When Julie came to check on me again just right before 5:00, I felt my baby come out. No pain, just peace. Thank you Lord for answering that prayer. Julie took our baby over to the isolate and cleaned him off. She got him ready for us.

Before we went to the hospital that morning I told Brian that I didn't want to see the baby. This was not like me as I so desperately wanted to see Zoe when she was born. I think I was still in shock and thought seeing him would make it worse. I am so glad I changed my mind. Around 8:00pm Julie brought our son into the room. He was wrapped in a yellow crocheted tiny blanket. I asked her to give him to Brian first. Brian held him and my heart broke in two. I just sobbed. This was not the way it was supposed to be. I know I keep saying it but it's so true. I ached for my son and for my sweet husband.

Brian said, "He has the Lord chin". We call that the booty butt chin. Brian and Sydney both have it. He handed me Jonathan and I couldn't believe it. There it was so easy to see. Oh thank you Lord. His eyes were opened ever so slightly. He was precious and he was my son. I will never forget his face as long as I live.

I wanted to sing him his first lullaby. I started to sing, "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes Jesus Loves Me. Yes Jesus Loves Me. Yes Jesus Loves Me the Bible tells me so". Brian and I sang to our son through the tears. What a moment for us to have with him. We then sang another song to him in French. It was a song that Brian has been singing to me since before we got married when we were just dating. I was on the road at the time as a Christian artist and on a big tour. We rarely saw each other so our nighttime calls became something we looked forward too. I remember I would lay in my bunk on the bus and he would sing it to me before we prayed. Of course I can't speak a lick of French but over the years from hearing it so much, now I can sing it. We sing it to the girls and now they both can sing it as well.

I will keep the name of the song just between us because it is so special to me, but I am thankful that Brian and I had that time alone with our firstborn son. I wanted to make sure he heard his mommy and daddy's voices before we let him go. I remember giving him back to our nurse and just crying. No parent should ever have to give up their child. It's just plain cruel.

The girls came to visit us and it was so nice to have them in the room. I had always pictured them coming to the hospital in their shirts that said "Big Sister" on it. Then they would look at their baby brother and fight over who would hold him first. Then they would hop up in the bed and my family would take a picture of the new family of 5. Unfortunately that was not in the Lord's plan this day. Oh I pray that that picture will come soon.

After Christmas, Mommy?

How do you explain death to a 3 year old and an almost 5 year old? It seems like they have grown acustomed to that word this year. First with the death of their PeePaw in January and now their baby brother.

When we got home from the hospital on Friday we sat them down in front of us and told them we had something we wanted to talk about. They sat next to each other on the ottoman and Sydney put her arm around Brooklyn and they were all ears. I think they thought it was going to be something good and exciting because they had smiles on their faces. It was one of the hardest moments as a parent.
I said, "Something very sad has happened. The baby died". All the color went out of Brooklyn's face and her smile faded. She didn't speak. Sydney said, "Why did the baby die mommy"? I told her I didn't know.

That has been Sydney's question over and over again since Friday. Friday night Brian gave her a bath and she started asking him questions. The door was shut but I could hear their conversation through the door. "Did someone step on the baby daddy?" No he said. "Did the baby break in two?" No he said. "Oh she said. "You know, God" and their was a long pause. "Is always with us". Wow I stood their stunned as tears filled my eyes. In her own 3 year old mind she gets the bigger picture. Thank you Lord.

Last night I was laying in bed with Sydney just about to read her some books when she said, "Mommy will the baby be here after Christmas?" This is something we used to tell the girls when they asked us when the baby would be here. They usually asked on a daily basis and since they don't understand the concept of time, it was easier to use Christmas as a guide. That way they would know when it was getting close.

Last night when she asked me my heart broke. I said, "Honey remember the baby died". She said, "I don't want MY baby to die mommy". The tears flowed like a rushing river and they could not be stopped. She started to cry. This was the first time I had seen her cry over the death of her baby brother. She cried hard. All I could do was hold her and tell her it was going to be ok. That it was ok to cry. I just held her and rocked her in my arms.

This is what pains me the most. I can handle my own sadness, but not the sadness of my children and my husband. I would do anything to take their pain away.

Today as I watched the girls play with each other I turned to Brian and just told him I felt robbed. Robbed of having my little boy play on the floor with his sisters. They were so excited to have a new playmate and that was stolen from them. From us. I know God sees that and understands. I was reminded today that God not only cries along with me, but that He is angry. Angry that my son was stolen. My friend Amy read Psalm 18 over me and it encouraged my soul. This is a chapter that I will read over and over again as I walk through this journey. I encourage you to read it for yourself and I pray that it brings you hope that the Lord will arm you for battle and go before you as your stronghold.

I got a picture today as she read it of Jesus standing in front of me protecting me from the evil one. I heard Him say, "No More". Oh thank you my Savior. May you be glorified through my suffering. Thank you Amy and Krissy for being the hands and feet of Jesus today. You will never know what it meant to me to have you pray over me. My spirit has been renewed.

29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.

30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?

Mighty Trikes

This past Saturday Brooklyn and Sydney competed in a local little kids triathlon. Made for kids 3 and up, it starts with two laps around the parking lot on their bikes, a run around a little obstacle course, and then the 'swim' is a finishing dash through sprinklers. Brooklyn was especially excited as she'd just gotten her knew bike, which had its own matching sports bottle, "just like a triathlon bike!" as she proudly proclaimed. What really hit me through this whole thing is how much and what the girls see in my triathlon activities. In the week leading up to their triathlon, both of them continuously wanted to put Gatorade in their sports bottles (we got one for Syd, too) and the two of them would stop every 20 feet or so to take a drink.

Syd was in one of the first groups. Rather than trying to put down the hammer on the bike, she leisurely enjoyed her time going around the parking lot on the old bike she'd just inherited from her big sister. She made it through the obstacle course just fine, but got held up at the sprinklers. She didn't want to run through for some reason, and in the process of starting, stopping, and turning around, she got completely drenched.

Brooklyn was in one of the later groups, and she really powered through on the bike. She was much more certain of herself this year. She went through the obstacle course quickly, but she decided to politely wait behind other kids rather than pass them. The highlight for me of Brooklyn's triathlon was the 'swim'. As she ran through the sprinklers, she had the biggest smile on her face. I could really tell she was having a great time. Last year, she didn't even grin. She picks stuff up from the triathlons we watch, and I always make sure to point out that Chrissie Welllington, currently the best female triathlete on earth, always has a huge smile on her face as she's crushing the competition. Brooklyn is very competitive, and hates to lose even as a four year old, so its worries me that she might pick up Daddy's (and probably Mommy's) tendency to try so hard that you don't enjoy yourself. However, she kept smiling and gave me a big hug after running through the finish line.

The girls got their medals, treats, and McDonald's toys and we headed home.

Whenever I get done with a long workout, I'll take an ice bath. Syd demanded on getting home that she wanted to take an ice bath as well, since she'd done a triathlon that morning. Granted, hers was about 5 minutes and mine are usually 2 or 3 hours, but I wasn't about to stop her. I filled the bath up with warm water, and threw in about 20 ice cubes, which melted almost immediately. Syd grabbed the shirt that she'd worn at the race and hopped in the bath. "Syd, what are you doing?" I asked. And then it occurred to me that she's just copying daddy, but in her own way. After I take an ice bath, I'll rinse out my recently used shirt in the water just in case the laundry doesn't get done that day. Syd just decided to not wait till after the bath. Its crazy what kids pick up. Brooklyn saw that, and did the same.

Can't wait until next year. Brian

Gift of God

A Son. Wow how I have longed for the day I would be able to say those words. This announcement is not printed up on a pretty piece of paper like I had envisioned it would have been. However, that doesn't make it any less important. I am a mom and my husband is a dad to an amazing little boy. Let me introduce you to:

Jonathan Andrew Lord born August 12, 2010.

Jonathan means, "Gift of God". It also has special meaning for me because he is named after my amazing dad John. Andrew means "Warrior". It is also a family name on the Lord side. We thought it was a perfect name for our first son.

The labor went as well as to be expected and was pain free. That was an amazing answer to prayer. About an hour before delivery my body began to shake violently and I couldn't control it. This lasted for about 30 min. I knew my body was getting ready to deliver my precious baby. Right before 5 pm our son was born.

This was not the way it was supposed to be. He should have come out screaming and instead he was silent. He should have been 8 lbs like the girls were, instead he was just a few ounces. No matter what, he was our son. After having 3 girls, he was the son we had prayed and believed God for for 2 years. The brother the girls had prayed for and couldn't wait to play with. They will not have that chance and my heart just aches for them. They are processing it in their own way and I know they will be the much needed healing for our souls.

I want to say a huge thank you for those that have prayed for us. Prayers have been offered up all over the country for us and I can't thank you enough. Know they are felt and it will be those prayers that will sustain us in the coming weeks and months. We've been down this road before with our precious daughter Zoe so we know how hard it will be.

Thank you Brandy for watching the girls while we were at our doctors. Thank you Sonya for keeping the girls while we were in the hospital. Thank you Mandy for coming and sitting with me in the hospital while I was out of it and doped up on Morphine. Your friendships are invaluable and I will always treasure them.

Thank you to my family. They have walked this journey with us before and I know their heart aches to see us in so much pain again. Thanks dad for staying the night with the girls and for being a great papa to them. Thanks Stace for bringing them to the hospital tonight to visit us and for taking them home. Sorry Sydney screamed the whole way home. Rachelle, Jamie and mom, thanks for coming by the hospital to sit with us. Your presence meant the world to us. Mom and Ro I know it was hard to sit there and watch me physically shake and cry. Thank you for praying for me during that time. Heather I know you wished you could be there and know that I understand and I was glad you were at home taking care of your husband. I love you all.

Finally to my husband. I am amazed by your strength. You are my rock when I need you the most. I don't know what I would do without you. You are the love of my life and who would have ever believed the pain we would have to endure when we said "I Do" over 9 years ago. For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, I will love you forever. You are an amazing husband and father and we are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Lord, thank you for my son Jonathan and my daughter Zoe. Thank you for giving me the privilege of carrying them for the time I was allotted. Thank you that Zoe now has her little brother to play with there in Heaven. Wow what an awesome sight that must be. Thank you for my 4 children, Zoe, Brooklyn, Sydney and Jonathan. I am one blessed mom indeed.

Aug 12, from Jesus Calling devotional. "Come to me when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually it draws Me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion-My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been".

A Day of Mourning

I was supposed to do an update tomorrow about week 16 of my pregnancy. That will not happen. I can't believe I am even typing this. It's all too surreal. I wish I could close my eyes and wake up to find it was all a dream.

I have a doppler at home. A very good one. One that I used with my pregnancies with Brooklyn and Sydney. After we lost our sweet Zoe, I needed to have that when I was pregnant with Brooklyn to be reassured on days I was having a rough time believing she would be ok.

I flew home yesterday from a great weekend in California. I was anxious to get home and use the doppler so I could hear my baby's heartbeat. Usually it only takes a minute or two to find it, but yesterday that didn't happen. I tried for over an hour several time throughout the afternoon and evening. Even Brian tried and we just couldn't hear it. I really started to get nervous. I knew I would call the dr in the morning to go in and see if they could find it.

I knew in my heart something was wrong. I went to see my doctor around 9:30 this morning and the ultrasound showed our baby alive. The heartbeat was showing signs of arrhythmia and so my doctor sent me directly to my high risk OB.

When I got to the office of our high risk OB they took us back to the ultrasound room. The tech proceeded to look over the baby. Brian and I both strained to see if there was a heartbeat and we saw none. She zoomed in and I saw stillness. She then left the room. Flashbacks of almost 6 years ago flooded my mind and I couldn't cry. I couldn't believe the similarities.

I started to sing, "Father I adore you and I lay my life before you, how I love you". Then we sang, "I love you Lord and I lift my voice to worship you oh my soul rejoice. Take joy my king in what you hear and may it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear". Brian and I just sang quietly to our Lord. It was a sweet time.

The doctor walked in and I just said, "We Know". He just kept saying how sorry he was. He is such a sweet man and I knew he truly meant it.

My next question, like I did with Zoe was, "What's next"? I just had to know. Could they do a D&C? He said that I was too far along for that. Oh Lord no. Not again. Please God. My next question was if I had to have a c-section because that is what I had had with the girls. Thankfully he said no.

I have done alot of crying and questioning why? It just doesn't make sense. Why us? Why another child? I know that God understands these questions and that they are ok to ask. I know there will be more questions to come. For now I rest in the One who holds all the answers.

I am scheduled to be induced tomorrow morning at 7:30. We were hoping to get into the hospital today but there were no rooms available. God's timing is perfect and I rest in that. I would love your prayers for the delivery. I have an idea of what to expect, but I know anything can happen. Pray specifically for no side effects from the epidural, that the baby would come out easily with no need for lots of pushes and for a speedy recovery for me physically. I will experience all the things that any woman would experience after delivery, all without the joy of holding my newborn.

Tomorrow I will have the privilege and the honor of introducing you to my new son or daughter. One who was so loved by mommy, daddy, and two sisters.

Please be in prayer for the girls as they process this all. Sydney keeps saying, "I don't want the baby to die". She says it over and over. We have just told the girls that the baby is with Jesus and Zoe in Heaven.

Thank you to my family, friends and blog friends who have prayed and offered their love and support. I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me and my family.

Blessings to you all.

Pregnancy Update-Week 15

Today we had an ultrasound appointment to see if we could find out the sex, but our little peanut didn't want to cooperate. The baby had it's legs closed and wouldn't move them so we will wait until Sept 8th for the 20 week ultrasound. Little peanut better show us his/her stuff. :)

I am headed on a plane tomorrow morning to Southern California. I cannot wait to hit 70 degree weather, but more importantly to see all my friends and my family. It's my 20 year H.S. reunion (gasp) and I am so excited to see my friends that I went to school with and have reconnected through Facebook. I am also going to visit my 91 year old grandma. I can't wait to see her sweet face. I miss her so much.

I'm praying all goes well at home with Brian and the girls. I think this will be the longest I have ever been away from Brooklyn & Sydney, 5 days and 4 nights. I'm sure by Monday night I will be ready to get on that plane to come home. It will be a good break for me though. I am very much looking forward to it.

So on with the update:

How Far Along: 15 Weeks
Total Weight Gain: 9 pounds
Maternity Clothes: I am in my maternity pants, but not tops yet.
Best Moment this week: Seeing my little one today.
Gender: Not yet. Hopefully on Sept 8th.
Movement: None yet
Food Craving: Mexican Food and Pink Snowballs (strange I know)
What I miss: Being able to walk up the stairs and not be out of breath
Sleep: I'm already having to use the bathroom three times a night.
What I am looking forward to: Finding out the sex
Belly Button: In and will probably stay that way. It never popped out in my previous pregnancies, but I guess there is a first for everything.
Stretch Marks: I have them on my hips, but never got them on my belly. Hope it stays that way. Symptoms: Migraines, YUCK!


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