Sorry I can't get the print any bigger. Hopefully you can read it. Click on the devotional and it will make it bigger and easier to read.
My girls are picky eaters and don't eat a whole lot, so I thought this might get them to eat more. It worked. They love it. There is so much you can put in it. I also find they eat healthier if I serve their lunch in their trays instead of on a plate.
Today they had strawberries, turkey, olives, grapes, laughing cow cheese, crackers and pretzels. Usually I have baby carrots as well, but they wanted 2 fruits instead. I purchased the cupcake holders at JoAnns for $5.99 (after I used a 50% coupon, reg. $9.99) I prefer the silicone ones over the metal pans. I tried the metal pans that I got from the dollar store and they rusted the second day, so I tried these and love them. The nice thing too is that you can leave it out (if you don't have anything that will spoil) and they can sit and snack on it when they want. They have them in different colors and shapes as well.
Let me know if you try it and how your kids like it. I'd be interested to see if it worked for you.
I just noticed another tip in Sydney's picture below. If you are looking for a way to put your child's name on a sippy cup or bottle, I received these as a gift for my girls when they were babies. I love them! They come from a company called InchBug and you can get them here. I love them because they are durable and you never have to take them off. They can go right in the dishwasher. A cheaper version of this would be to take a wide rubber band and write their name on it with a Sharpee and place it around the cup. You would probably have to take it off before washing it, but it would be less expensive.
(Yes it is noon and my girls are still in their nightgowns. Sometimes that's just how we roll around our house.)
A mother's instinct is to keep her child safe. I know it is not my fault and there wasn't anything I could do to stop it, but I couldn't protect him. I couldn't keep him safe. I couldn't keep Zoe safe. It's unreal to think I have lost 2 babies due to freak accidents in the womb. I look at my two sweet girls and just stand in awe of them. They are miracles!
We discussed what we would do the next time I got pregnant. Daily injections of Heparin would be the course of action, along with the baby aspirin and extra folic acid. It's nice to have a game plan, but to be honest, I can't really think about that right now. Of course we desire another baby, but for now my focus is on the girls and recovering physically and emotionally. The Lord will lead and guide us in His time.
On a positive note, it was beautiful in Middle Tennessee today. Oh my goodness. It was a cool 68 degrees. I had the windows open all day and enjoyed the cool air blowing in. I even made the girls hot cocoa with marshmellows. They loved it. This afternoon we played outside, or should I say they played while I pulled weeds and trimmed the hedges. Fun times I know, but I had to do something before the homeowners association wrote us a citation. It looks so much better. I still need to powerwash and put out the fall decorations, but for now I'm a happy camper. I will sleep well tonight for sure.
I would love to ask your opinion on something. Should I paint our front door red or leave it black? I can't decide. Brian and I have always wanted a red door, but I'm not sure how it would go with the brick. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you'd like, please leave me a comment and cast your vote to help me decide. Thanks.
The last week and a half my body has been through so much. I've been focused on my health that I really didn't have time to mourn. Now that I am feeling somewhat better it just all came flooding back today. There is an ache in my heart that time will never heal. If you've lost a child you know what I mean. Please don't get me wrong it does get better, I've experienced that with the loss of my daughter Zoe, but the void will always be there. It's hard not to live in the what if's? The why me? I choose not to stay there though because it will not help me heal. Heal is what I have to do for me and for my family. It will come in time and with alot of patience.
Dear Lord, I know you feel my pain. I know you hear my cry. I know you are near. Please bring my body and my soul peace today. The peace it so desperately needs. Turn my mourning into laughter. Give me hope in the waiting.
I leave you with this quote I heard this week. "Patience is not the ability to wait, it's how you act while you are waiting". Patience is a fruit of the spirit. The Vine's Expository Dictionary says this, "it is a fruit that only grows and develops under trial."
I have a choice. I can choose to sit in this mess and allow myself to go deeper into the pit or I can pull myself out and come out victorious. God has so much more for me, but it's gonna take a fight on my part. A battle takes place for my mind. Do I allow myself to let Satan get his foothold because something horrible has happened to me or do I allow God to take control? The answer is easy, the action is not. Like anything that's worth fighting for, I needed to develop a plan of action. My mind, body and spirit needs healing and rest.
So step one in this process for me is to give up t.v. Now this is a hard one. I like to watch t.v. When the girls go to bed, Brian and I usually sit down together and watch our shows we have recorded on DVR. I love to do this. It relaxes me and I get to spend time with my husband. This week, I really felt the Lord say to give this up for a time. So instead of watching t.v. I read or I go online and watch different sermons from some of my favorite teachers. I can't begin to tell you how much this has made a difference in my life. To be honest, I am not really missing t.v. In fact, last night Brian and I watched this video together. It was a great time to be fed the word of God and to be encouraged and we were able to still spend time together.
The first two minutes of this video made me cry. It was the inspiration I needed to keep me going. I wanted to share it with you. It's 28 minutes, but if you just have time to watch the first 2 minutes please do. I promise it's amazing. Click here and find the segment that says 9/11/2010- An Attitude of Trust & Patience- Part 2.
Psalm 31:14 & 15
14 But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from my enemies
and from those who pursue me.
What do you need to trust the Lord with today? I pray that you will be able to lay it at the foot of the cross and believe He will pull you out of whatever you are going through.
If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have mentioned that I have a blood clotting gene called MTHFR. This gene was found after I suffered two early miscarriages. The protocol for this disorder is to take a baby aspirin once a day, something I do faithfully.
We still need to have our meeting with the high risk OB, but it is likely that Jonathan died due to a blood clot in the placenta. The baby aspirin just wasn't enough. Looking back I probably should have been on daily injections of blood thinners during pregnancy, but again with this gene, this wasn't the normal action the specialists take. Injections are usually for those who have Factor V, which I do not. Then the fact that he removed a huge clot out of my uterus on Thursday, we wanted to make sure I didn't have any blood clots in my legs after surgery. I had been having pains and throbbing sensation in my legs so we wanted to be on the safe side. Thankfully, no clots were found.
So I am doing better. Really trying to get some energy so I can start the healing process. My girls need their healthy mommy back. Yesterday when Sydney woke up from her nap I went in and laid with her. She said, "Mommy are you still sick". I said, "No honey. I am better". She screamed and cheered, "Yeah"! She was so excited. I asked her who healed me and she said, "Jesus and God". It was so cute. Sydney particularly has had a rough time. Whenever she sees my parents come over to the house the first thing she asks me is if I am staying or if I'm leaving. She has seen mommy leave so much lately and it scares her. So much for a 3 year old to take in.
I would appreciate your prayers for my girls. That the Lord would fill them with peace and that they would be able to express their feelings to us in the best way they know how. I want to talk through their fears with them so they don't keep them bottled up inside.
They have a half day at school today so I am off to pick them up. I can't wait to see them. After nap time I think I will take them to Target. They love to go there and play with the toys. I may even let them have a Slurpee.
The bright spot in my weekend was getting out with my sisters and mom. We were supposed to go to Atlanta this weekend for a girls getaway, but that came to a screeching halt when I had to go in for my D&C. I felt so bad. We had been planning this trip for awhile. We decided to make the best of it and still hang out. My sisters and mom went shopping in the morning and then had lunch. I was too tired to be out all day so I met them for dinner at Cheesecake Factory and then we came back to my house and watched a movie. Well not really a movie. It was Celine Dion's Documentary she did of her Taking Chances World Tour. We are all huge fans and it did not disappoint. It was great! If you are a Celine fan I highly recommend it.
It was good to get my mind off of things and be with my family. I'm still not feeling great, but I tried to make the best of it. It's nice to laugh for a change and not cry. There is such comfort in being with my sisters and my mom.
I will be heading back to the dr tomorrow to see if they can run another test. I will let you know what that is after the fact, but it's just something else since the surgery that I am concerned about. I have to be honest that this whole ordeal has caused me a lot of stress and worry. Worry is something I have dealt with since I was little. It used to bring on anxiety attacks. Not something I am proud of that's for sure. I am really trying to give my worries and fears over to the Lord and it's hard. Every time a fear comes into my mind, I stop and pray. I ask the Lord to take the fear and replace it with peace. I have probably had to do that 100 times today and that's no joke. My mind can just run wild with all the things that could be wrong. I hate it. It's not where the Lord wants me to be.
Today I opened up my "Jesus Calling" devotional and I couldn't believe what it said. I'm telling you if you don't have this devotional, please get it. You can buy it online to be delivered to your email each day. The cost for the whole year is $2. What a steal! You can get it here.
Here are just some excerpts from today's reading that hit home with me.
"There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking."
"As you concentrate on Me, My Spirit fills your mind with Life and Peace."
"Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of My presence. Stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against your mind."
Pretty, cool right? Thank you Lord for your perfect timing. Thank you that you hear the cries of your children and you meet us where we are.
I called Brian at work and told him I wanted to go to the ER. He rushed home and we went. The dr asked me some questions and she figured out what had happened. Before surgery yesterday, they put a Scopolamine patch on behind my right ear. It's a patch to help with nausea after surgery. You can wear it up to 72 hours afterward. Well I forgot I still had it on and decided to take it off this morning. I remember the nurse saying I needed to wash my hands after I took it off. I did exactly that. However, I didn't wash my neck very well and I think I rubbed my neck then touched my eyes and it caused the dilation.
We just got home a little bit ago and I decided to hop on the computer to see if I could get some more information on this patch. Turns out that it causes blurred vision if you have a reaction to it. I think just having it on caused it. Another interesting fact is that this is the same medicine eye doctor's use to dilate your eyes. Go figure. Only I would have a reaction to this patch.
I told Brian when we got to the ER, that I didn't want to see the inside of a hospital for a very long time. I'm just completely worn out. It's all a little surreal really. Sometimes I can't believe that all of this has happened in the last month and other times it feels like it's been months. It's crazy how life can turn upside down in a matter of minutes.
I was laying in bed today and looked over at our wedding photo on the wall. I looked at this picture of two young adults with huge smiles on their faces so happy to be starting their lives together. They probably never would have guessed what the next 9 years of life would hold for them. All the years of infertility, finally getting pregnant with their miracle baby only to lose her at 21 weeks due to a freak accident. She got the cord wrapped around her neck in the womb. Thankfully 2 months later she got pregnant with another little girl and then another healthy girl entered the world 19 months later. How they desperately wanted to have another baby. In the next 2 years they would face 2 more early miscarriages. However, their sorrow turned to joy when they found out they were expecting again at the end of May. This time they just knew in their hearts it would be a boy. They had been praying for 2 years to have a son. They were right. They had a son. It just wasn't the way they had planned.
Funny thing about life is that you can make all the plans you want to and sometimes they turn out the way you want them too and sometimes they don't. I'm learning to accept that fact. I can't see the bigger picture right now in my sorrow, but I know God does. That's what I cling to. I trully find peace in that. It's not easy I admit. I am a worrier by nature and anyone that knows me well knows that. That's something I am really trying to work through with the Lord. It's exhausting to worry really, so why do I do it? I'd be rich if I knew the answer to that question, but I am bound and determined to be rid of the fear. A sweet friend came over yesterday and prayed for me before I left for the hospital. She said something that has stuck with me. She said, "When you get scared, reach out for the hem of His garment and hold on". I love that visual. My picture looks a little more like I'm holding on as he walks and I am being dragged along the ground like Indiana Jones behind a fast moving truck. At least there are no giant snakes or rats.
I got to the hospital at 11:45 and didn't get back to the surgery unit until 1:15. I will be honest and say I was having a rough time holding it together emotionally. I was completely exhausted. We got to the waiting room and they told me that Brian would need to stay in the waiting room while they prepped me. The nurse took me back and got me behind the curtain and I lost it. I just cried. The nurse was so sweet and said, "Change of plans. Do you want me to go get your husband?" "Oh please yes", I said. I was so thankful Brian could be right by my side.
I read the chapter for the day in "Jesus Calling" which was awesome. If you don't have this devotional you should get it. It's amazing and has brought me such comfort since we lost Jonathan. Dr. T gave us his copy when we were leaving the hospital the day after I delivered. For 2 weeks straight every single day we read it, I was blown away by the message it brought us. It was like it was written for us. Today's was no exception.
Then Brian read Psalm 18 to me, all 50 verses of it. It's too long to post, but here are some of my favorite verses.
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The surgery went well. Brian told me it took a tad bit longer than he expected. He was starting to get nervous that Dr. T hadn't come out yet. Finally he did and told Brian that he was able to get the mass out. He told him it looked like there might have been a bit of left over placenta in there surrounded by a clot. He will send it to pathology so we can hopefully get a better clue as to what it was for sure and what caused it. Dr. T told Brian that in some women this is a one time thing and in other women it's an ongoing problem. I'm believing God that this was a one time thing and that I won't have to deal with this again. I go back in a week to follow up and talk to him more about what he found since I was out of it to talk to him myself.
I woke up around 3:30 in recovery and to be honest felt horrible. It was awful. Anesthesia and I are not good friends and I pray I never have to see him again. I'm really tired and a dealing with a little nausea, but so happy to be home. I am so thankful that the Lord answered my prayers and the prayers of His people for a safe surgery. I pray that I can get some rest and finally be able to recover and feel better.
I'm going to try to eat something for the first time today and go back to bed and get some rest. Thank you again for your prayers. Have a wonderful night. I know I plan too.
Surgery will be scheduled for 2:30 (CST) today. I do have a bit of an update and some good news. My doctor called last night to tell me that my HCG levels came back at 4. Through all the years of infertility and loss, I never thought I would be so happy to hear that my HCG level was so low. For once 50,000 was not the number I desired. That would have meant a molar pregnancy a.k.a. Trophoblastic disease which is not something I, nor my doctor, wanted to have happen. I could tell by Dr. T's voice he was thrilled. Thank you Lord for answering that prayer.
There is however, still a huge mass in my uterus. What it is they don't know, but it has to come out. So Brian and I will head to the hospital this afternoon while the girls are in school. My prayer is that there will be minimal bleeding during the procedure, that they will get all of it, and that my recovery will be easy. It's been a long 5 weeks of feeling horrible and that's just physically. I want to start healing emotionally from the pain of losing my sweet son.
I want to share with you some scriptures that were prayed over me last night that brought me such peace. There may be someone reading this who is going through the same thing right now and you need physical healing. I pray these scriptures will speak to your heart and bring you peace.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Complications have arose from my pregnancy with our son Jonathan. If you are reading my blog for the first time, I was 16 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, when we found out our baby's heart stopped beating. I was sent to the hospital to be induced and had our son on August 12th. You can read about that here.
I have not been feeling well physically since then. I'm extremely tired and have been having pains in my stomach. I won't go into too much detail but I knew something was wrong. I called Dr. T last night and he told me to come in today for an ultrasound.
The ultrasound showed very thick endrometrial lining and also what possibly looks to be small tumors. He explained that I could have Trophoblastic Disease of pregnancy. I'll let you all look that one up. I refrain because I just don't need to go there in my mind. What I do know is this. Tomorrow I will be admitted to the hospital for a D&C. This is not your typical D&C, is there really such a thing? It's much more complicated than that. My dr. wants to have a partner in the operating room with him, if that tells you anything. There is a risk of severe bleeding which would need a transfusion and worst case scenario, hysterectomy. I am believing neither of these things will happen.
Am I scared? Absolutely. Do I know the Lord can bring me peace. You bet I do, but it's only going to come through prayer. I would really appreciate it and I know so would Brian. Please pray for the girls. They know mommy doesn't feel good and it is scary because they don't really know what's going on. This morning when Sydney woke up the first thing she said, "Mommy are you still sick? Did your owie go away in your tummy"? I just told her not yet, but that Jesus was going to heal mommy.
I have dear friends coming to the house tonight to pray over me at 7:00. Would you pray with us wherever you are at 7:00 (CST)? Satan has to bow at the name of Jesus. He has no power or authority over Him. The enemy has been defeated, Praise God! Thank you so much. My story isn't done yet.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]
2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
My sister Rachelle has a way with my girls that is absolutely amazing. She will be a great mom someday. She knows what to say to them when they are upset and knows how to calm them down. Sure enough after a little bit of talking, Brooklyn went out onto the field. Auntie RoRo had to stay with her, but at least she went. Brooklyn started to run. I was so excited. She just kept running. I knew she had it in her she just needed a little push.
At half time they switched fields and Brian and I stayed at the field she had been playing on and watched from a distance. That turned out to be the best thing we could have ever done. She played her heart out and never once again cried or complained. She ran for a good 20 minutes in the heat. I was so proud of her. She even got her foot on the ball and dribbled it a few times.
The best part of playing soccer is the snacks. The girls sat down and enjoyed the goodies and took a break from the heat. Brooklyn chose #5 to wear because she's 5 years old and the oldest on the team. Plus mommy's number growing up playing was number 5 too. She has another game on Tuesday night so we'll see how she does. Hopefully it won't be as hot and she won't mind running.
Today Brian and I got to go to the season opener of the Tennessee Titans. They were playing the Raiders. Thanks to Brian's boss we sit Club Level. I am spoiled now and will only go if we have club level seats. The seats are close and on the 5o yard line and I love the fact that you can go inside where it's cool if you get too hot. You can also sit down and eat a nice lunch. We had a great time and it was nice to be together alone or I should say with about 69,000 other people. The Titan's had an amazing game and won 38-13.
Tonight I got an email from her teacher Ms. Jennifer and it said this:
So, you weren't joking about Syd's vibrato! I actually laughed out loud. Thankfully, she didn't realize that it was at her! Then we had a talk. Syd: "This is fun!" Me:"So you won't cry next time you come because now you know it so fun, right?" Syd: "Yeah, I LOVE this class!" I believe her. I think she'll be fine next time.
Phew. So glad she had a great time. I knew she would if she just gave it a chance. I'm not joking when I talk about Sydney's vibrato. It cracks me up. We say she sounds like a 80 year old lady in the church choir. You can see for yourself in the video I posted here.
All in all it was a good weekend. Thankful for some sun in the midst of the storm.
I had been meaning to send her an email through Facebook since I lost Jonathan, but never had gotten around to it. I guess the Lord knew that I needed to talk to her. I never imagined it would be down an aisle of T.J. Maxx. I told her the story as tears streamed down my face. At one point one of the ladies who worked there came over and asked us if we were ok. I told her we were and she proceeded to hand us some kleenex. I think we talked for what seemed like 30 minutes.
Nicol knows what it's like to lose a child. She lost her son Luke to SIDS a little over 2 years ago. I remember hearing about it on our local Christian radio and my heart just broke. I just couldn't imagine the pain she and her husband were going through. I hadn't seen her in years, but I had such fond memories of our talks while we were on tour. Standing in TJ Maxx we talked about those conversations and how surreal it felt to be standing here 10 years later talking about the children we had lost.
She was such an encouragement to my soul. It's rare to find someone who really knows what you are going through. Most of my friends, thankfully, have never lost a child. There is a kinship with other women that is instant when you have lost a baby. No words need to be spoken, you can just look into their eyes and see the pain. Nicol was the encouragement I needed today and I am so thankful that He put it on our hearts to both go shopping at TJ Maxx.
I didn't end up finding a comforter for Sydney's room, but I found so much more. Comfort from an old friend. Thanks Nicol. Can't wait to get our girls together for a playdate.
Instead it's a night of grieving. It's late and I can't sleep. I'm incredibly sad. I have no more tears left to cry. Well, I guess that's not entirely true because they are flowing down my cheeks as I type.
Nights are the hardest. I keep it bottled up during the day because I have to function for the girls. They need their mommy and to be honest it helps to have a distraction from the pain, but then night comes and it's like the dam breaks. They go to bed and I'm alone with my thoughts and that's when it comes flooding out like a raging river. It helps to cry. I feel somewhat better after I do and I know it's good that I do. I know there will come a day when the pain is not so intense, but for now it just plain sucks. No better word for it really. Our journey with Zoe taught us that we have a long road ahead of us.
If you've lost a child you know that road all too well. It's a road filled with potholes and detour signs. One minute you are driving down the road and the sun is shining and your singing to your favorite song on the radio. The next thing you know you know the clouds roll in and the rain comes pouring down so hard you can't see the road in front of you. Then bam, your tire hits a pothole and your car spins out of control and off into a ditch. That's grief my friend. It can come out of the middle of nowhere and hit you like a ton of bricks. It is not fun, but what I am learning is that it's necessary for the journey. Without trials, we can't grow. As I learned with Zoe, I know I will come out on the otherside a stronger person and closer to my Lord.
As Brian and I prayed together tonight, I just spilled my guts to the Lord. I know He knows my heart and I know He knows my pain. He's my papa, my Jehovah-Jireh (my provider), Jehovah-Ropheka (healer), Jehovah-Shammah (The Lord is present), El-Olam (Everlasting God), El-Shaddai (The God who is sufficient) and He's my Savior.
My sweet friend Jen sent me this verse. This verse brought comfort to her when she lost her son Max. Now it brings comfort to my weary soul.
Praise our God , O peoples, let the sound of His praise be heard;
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.
For you, O God tested us;
You refined us like silver.
You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
Your let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water
but You brought us to a place of abundance.
If you are reading this tonight and in a place of despair, call on Him. Run to Him. He will be your comfort and your rock. He will be there to hold you and comfort you. Put your head on His shoulder and find rest.
After I dropped of Sydney, I turned around to take Brooklyn to class and she was gone. She had already gone up to her room. She didn't want to wait for me. Her room is just a few feet from Syd's and up a couple of stairs. Her classroom is massive. She's in PreK 5 so they want to get her ready for kindergarten next year. She walked in and put her backpack away, took out her lunch and got everything settled into her cubby. I kissed her goodbye and I was out the door.
I'm looking forward to Fall and a great new school year. Can't wait til Tuesday.