Sometimes I cry

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Being a parent is hard. You worry about things you never thought you’d have to. The worries that come when a child is put in your care can be so overwhelming. Add special needs to the equation and the worries can make you feel like you are drowning. I came across this beautiful post from Scary Mommy. I feel like it was right on. Before you read, get some tissues.

Sometimes I cry for you, little one.

Sometimes I cry because the world is so big and you’re so small, and I worry—Oh, do I worry—about your smallness in this big world.

Sometimes I cry because you’re so big and I’m so small, and the bigger you get to me, the smaller I get to you, and I worry—Lord, how I worry—about my smallness in your big world.

Sometimes I cry because this love is too big and my heart is too small, and a bursting heart feels—strangely, painfully—an awful lot like a breaking one.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of you.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the weight of you.

Sometimes I cry because in the process of gaining you, I gave up a version of me, and though I wouldn’t change that even if I could, sometimes I miss me desperately.

Sometimes I cry because your skin is so soft, and your eyes are so bright, and your soul is so new, and your heart is so open, and I’m sad. I’m sad that your innocence will crumble from experiences brutal and necessary, because you are as painfully human as the rest of us.

Sometimes I cry because you need help in ways that I can’t help you, and helplessness as a parent feels—strangely, surprisingly—an awful lot like sheer terror.

Sometimes I cry because as a mother I have no choice but to put on my big-girl panties every day, and both of those things—having no choice and big-girl panties—can be really, really uncomfortable.

Sometimes I cry because I am so unbelievably tired—not sleepy, but tired—that I can’t do anything else.

Sometimes I cry because I hear God in your giggles.

Sometimes I cry because your very existence evokes a joy so profound that smiles and laughter can’t quite reach it.

Sometimes I cry because this blessing is so big and my cup is so small and the overflow has to go somewhere.

Sometimes I cry because all of these things—the love, the worry, the sadness, the beauty, the bursting, the big-girl panties, the blessing—it’s all too much to take. Just too, too much.

So sometimes I cry for you. And for me. And for this big world. And for a thousand other terrible, wonderful, desperate, beautiful reasons that you won’t understand until you’re a parent.

Sometimes I cry for you, little one. Big, cleansing tears.

-Post originally at Scary Mommy, check them out for more.

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The Power in the Name of Jesus

Things have been difficult lately to say the least. I’ll write a post later with most recent updates on Sweet Baby. I came across this beautifully encouraging post by Kelly Langston at Not Alone. Post and photo courtesy of Not Alone. I hope you are encouraged today.

Being a special needs parent is like climbing a great mountain. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s downright overwhelming.

When the journey begins—and you received that unexpected diagnosis—you suddenly find yourself at the base of a great mountain. The scale of this mountain is enormous and the trail that leads to the summit is rocky at best. Standing at its base looking upward, thoughts of self-doubt begin to flood your mind.

Do I have the strength to make the journey?

When we are filled with disparaging thoughts— the ones that come frequently when we consider the weight of caring for a child with special needs—we can find strength in one name:

Jesus.

We can become so overwhelmed that we are paralyzed with dread. Times can be so hard that we don’t have the words to express the pain or call to someone for help. In times like that, remember that name.

Somewhere today, a doctor is giving parents news about their child … and their lives will never be the same.

Jesus.

In a home somewhere, there is a marriage under stress:

Jesus.

Right now, a mother longs for her little one to get an appropriate education … but doesn’t know where to go:

Jesus.

This evening, a dad is comforting a child who has been teased and ridiculed:

Jesus.

Somewhere a family has no idea how they will be able to pay for therapies this month:

Jesus.

Don’t doubt the power in this name: Jesus. He is our Advocate. Our Author and Finisher. He gives us a New Song. His name alone makes the darkness flee. He looses chains and sets us free. In that name is the power over death itself.

If you are feeling weary and overwhelmed, just remember that name. I promise you, it is so much more than enough.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:13

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Amsterdam International

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One day, last year, I was struggling with raising Sweet Baby and his physical therapist gave me a poem. It’s called welcome to Holland & I shared it then. Please read or re-read this poem. While looking through Pinterest I found this poem. Dana wrote the poem Amsterdam International and she felt, the raw, painful, confusing entry into Holland was just glossed over. And considering the fact that this little poem is so often passed along to new-moms-of-kids-with-special-needs, it seems unfair to just hand them a little story about getting new guidebooks and windmills and tulips.

If She had written “Welcome to Holland”, she would have included the terrible entry time. Grab a tissue, I read it through tears. Some days I feel like we are trying to get out of the airport.

Amsterdam International

Parents of “normal” kids who are friends with parents of kids with special needs often say things like “Wow! How do you do it? I wouldn’t be able to handle everything—you guys are amazing!” (Well, thank you very much.) But there’s no special manual, no magical positive attitude serum, no guide to embodying strength and serenity . . . people just do what they have to do. You rise to the occasion, and embrace your sense of humor (or grow a new one). You come to love your life, and it’s hard to imagine it a different way (although when you try, it may sting a little). But things weren’t always like this . . . at first, you ricocheted around the stages of grief, and it was hard to see the sun through the clouds. And forget the damn tulips or windmills. In the beginning you’re stuck in Amsterdam International Airport. And no one ever talks about how much it sucks.

You briskly walk off of the plane into the airport thinking “There-must-be-a-way-to-fix-this-please-please-don’t-make-me-have-to-stay-here-THIS-ISN’T-WHAT-I-WANTED-please-just-take-it-back”. The airport is covered with signs in Dutch that don’t help, and several well-meaning airport professionals try to calm you into realizing that you are here (oh, and since they’re shutting down the airport today, you can never leave. Never never. This is your new reality.). Their tone and smiles are reassuring, and for a moment you feel a little bit more calm . . . but the pit in your stomach doesn’t leave and a new wave of panic isn’t far off.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this will become a pattern. You will often come to a place of almost acceptance, only to quickly re-become devastated or infuriated about this goddamned unfair deviation to Holland. At first this will happen several times a day, but it will taper to several times a week, and then only occasionally.)

A flash of realization—your family and friends are waiting. Some in Italy, some back home . . . all wanting to hear about your arrival in Rome. Now what is there to say? And how do you say it? You settle on leaving an outgoing voicemail that says “We’ve arrived, the flight was fine, more news to come” because really, what else can you say? You’re not even sure what to tell yourself about Holland, let alone your loved ones.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this will become a pattern. How can you talk to people about Holland? If they sweetly offer reassurances, it’s hard to find comfort in them . . . they’ve never been to Holland, after all.

And their attempts at sympathy? While genuine, you don’t need their pity . . . their pity says “Wow, things must really suck for you” . . . and when you’re just trying to hold yourself together, that doesn’t help. When you hear someone else say that things are bad, it’s hard to maintain your denial, to keep up your everything-is-just-fine-thank-you-very-much outer shell. Pity hits too close to home, and you can’t admit to yourself how terrible it feels to be stuck in Holland, because then you will undoubtedly collapse into a pile of raw, wailing agony. So you have to deflect and hold yourself together . . . deflect and hold yourself together.)

You sneak sideways glances at your travel companion, who also was ready for Italy. You have no idea how (s)he’s handling this massive change in plans, and can’t bring yourself to ask. You think “Please, please don’t leave me here. Stay with me. We can find the right things to say to each other, I think. Maybe we can have a good life here.” But the terror of a mutual breakdown, of admitting that you’re deep in a pit of raw misery, of saying it out loud and thereby making it reality, is too strong. So you say nothing.

(Although you don’t know it yet, this may become a pattern. It will get easier with practice, but it will always be difficult to talk with your partner about your residency in Holland. Your emotions won’t often line up—you’ll be accepting things and trying to build a home just as he starts clamoring for appointments with more diplomats who may be able to “fix” it all. And then you’ll switch, you moving into anger and him into acceptance. You will be afraid of sharing your depression, because it might be contagious—how can you share all of the things you hate about Holland without worrying that you’re just showing your partner all of the reasons that he should sink into depression, too?)

And what you keep thinking but can’t bring yourself to say aloud is that you would give anything to go back in time a few months. You wish you never bought the tickets. It seems that no traveler is ever supposed to say “I wish I never even got on the plane. I just want to be back at home.” But it’s true, and it makes you feel terrible about yourself, which is just fantastic . . . a giant dose of guilt is just what a terrified lonely lost tourist needs.

Although you don’t know it yet, this is the part that will fade. After you’re ready, and get out of the airport, you will get to know Holland and you won’t regret the fact that you have traveled. Oh, you will long for Italy from time to time, and want to rage against the unfairness from time to time, but you will get past the little voice that once said “Take this back from me. I don’t want this trip at all.”

Each traveler has to find their own way out of the airport. Some people navigate through the corridors in a pretty direct path (the corridors can lead right in a row: Denial to Anger to Bargaining to Depression to Acceptance). More commonly, you shuffle and wind around . . . leaving the Depression hallway to find yourself somehow back in Anger again. You may be here for months.

But you will leave the airport. You will.

And as you learn more about Holland, and see how much it has to offer, you will grow to love it.

And it will change who you are, for the better.

© Dana Nieder 10/2010 All Rights Reserved

If you would like to reach out to Dana here is her email: uncommonfeedback@gmail.com

~Our Sweet Life~

Anger

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These past few weeks I’ve really struggled with anger & bitterness. It’s easy to be angry about our situation, as we long to understand why. But what I do not doubt, is God’s love or His majesty and power. I just doubt His methods. I can’t understand how this could be best for Sweet Baby or for our family. I know some have said this is a great witness, but at times I wish God would use someone else to witness. I just want to be normal. But obviously that isn’t part of His plan right now. I know God is here, but that doesn’t take away the pain, fear, loneliness and discouragement. That’s when I go (and sometimes force myself) to the Word of God. I always find encouragement and peace. And I cling to it as if it were my last breathe.

~Our Sweet Life~

” I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”
Psalm 145:5
~

I Will Bring You Back from Your Captivity

I’m so glad to have found an amazing Bible Study: Unlocking the Treasure; A Bible Study for Moms Entrusted with Special-Needs Children by Bev Roozeboom. This journey has been difficult and even more so feeling like my hubby and I are the only ones on the journey. There is no one at our church struggling as we are. None of my high school girl friends even have kids. And all my mommy friends, even though they are amazing and are a huge support system; have all typical children. I’ve been able to connect with a mom whose daughter has Angelmans syndrome, but we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. Our struggles are hard-but we don’t have it any harder than anyone else. Our struggles are all unique.

One night I just needed some encouragement and I wanted a Bible study for moms in my situation. I’m so glad the Lord lead me to this book. It brings me to tears each entry. Bringing up thoughts and feelings I didn’t realize I struggled with. It brings up issues I thought I had dealt with, but truly I am still holding onto. Each entry is exactly what I need for that day. Even though this books says it’s from moms of special-needs children, I truly think any mom can read it. All may not pertain to them, but I feel being a mom is difficult and no matter typical child or not, it never goes the way we imagined it. Remember while being pregnant how we dreamed of what it’d be like. Is it going how you dreamed of it? Todays topic was A Hope and a Future. I didn’t realize how at times I feel like I’m living in captivity. Now since Sweet Baby has no diagnosis, we don’t know what his future looks like. As he gets older he may catch up, and only those close to us would know how hard we struggled. Or he may always be our Sweet Baby. The uncertainty can sometimes be too much to swallow. I’d like to share from today’s entry. Everything in italic is from the book, I’ll be mixing in a few of my own thoughts/feelings.

There are times when I feel as though our son is holding us hostage! His demands, at times, are so great and the burden is so exhausting. When we look ahead, we don’t see that its going to change anytime soon. Even though Sweet Baby seems so close to walking independently, someday’s I still feel like we will never get there. Because I feel like we’ve been ‘so close’ for so long now. My biggest fear right now, is he is approaching the age for preschool. When I think of it, I go into a massive panic attack. Will he be moving out of our home after highschool? I’m not sure if he’d be able to get a job. Will we always be supporting him (financially, emotionally and in other ways) well into his adulthoodToday, let’s look at a familiar passage of Scripture and allow God’s Word to break some chains!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD and I will bring you back from captivity.” Jeremiah 29;11-14

If we back up a few verses and read the first part of Jeremiah 29 (Jeremiah 29:4-7) the Lord instructs His children to go on with their lives, even during difficult times of trials. Dear sister, God’s plans will most certainly prosper you. It’s just that His plans often look different from our plans, but God really knows what He’s doing! He has the power to take this difficult challenge and turn it into His calling for your life. 

I choose not to stop living! It’s important to keep Christ my center and seek Him with my whole heart; step into each day with the hope and confidence that God will use me in my current circumstances. Go buy this Bible study ASAP, it won’t disappoint, I promise.

~Our Sweet Life~

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Rest in His hands

Sweet Baby’s struggles lately have been hitting my husband and me hard. Now that our baby is two years and 3 months, it is more obvious to people he’s far behind. It doesn’t help that he is very tall for his age as well. Now when people meet him and see he’s not talking, not walking on his own, or feeding himself; I can’t help but feel the judgmental stares. Most people who meet our boy love him right away, but I still see the curiosity in their eyes. It’s like they are trying to figure him out. It really bothers me. Not to mention we have hit with terrible twos with a vengeance. The tantrums, the mood swings it’s enough to wear you out by 9am. His therapists have tried encouraging me by saying its a very good sign cognitively that he is doing this. I’ll keep trying to remind myself of that during his next screaming fit. It’s been awhile since I’ve updated you on Sweet Baby. And you’ll see why, things have been …. crazy to say the least.

The week before thanksgiving, Sweet Baby started having seizures. It was the scariest time of my life. He had 6 or 7 in a 4 day span. That week was hell on earth. I feel I have not been able to relax since. Every time he’s suddenly quite, or laying still on the floor, my heart drops and I go running to him. The doctor put him on Keppra and it’s been controlling his seizures, until recently. Not to mention how it’s affected his personality, making him aggressive & agitated. For the last month or so, he’s been having breakthrough seizures frequently throughout the day. We are currently trying to find a new medication for him. Reading all the side effects make me sick to my stomach. How does a mother choose between medicines that can severely affect his personality or one that is not good for his well being. Well we had picked a new one yesterday but when I was informed of the price, $250 for a month supply, we are back to square one. I just want to burry my head in the sand and not think about it. But my Sweet Baby is counting on me to be his advocate. He had an EEG done, it was abnormal & shows he has a tendency for seizures.

Christmas we spent at the hospital because Sweet Baby had influenza. He was dehydrated and not getting enough oxygen. They kept us overnight because they wanted to monitor his oxygen levels & to watch for seizures. The hubby slept on what they call a bed & Sweet Baby and I slept in the recliner. He wouldn’t sleep in the crib but would sleep on my chest. He needed his mommy, it’s ok because I needed him too.

About a month ago he had his surgery to correct his strabismus, and he was a fighter! I’m so proud of him. He handled recovery like a pro. It’s amazing the progress we have seen already. He’s so close to walking independently, it could be any day. He makes eye contact now, and it melts my heart every time.

He had an MRI back in January and it was abnormal. It showed T2 hyperintensities in periventricular white matter and a thinning of the corpus callosum (it’s in the center of your brain and it is how the left and right side of your brain communicates). Which in a nut shell means: he has less nerves in his corpus callosum than you and I do. So he needs longer time to process information. Having a thinned corpus callosum can cause global delays.

A few weeks ago we took him to the geneticist to look further into his delays. We have a plan of blood work (still waiting to see if insurance will cover the labs) and they want to do a spinal tap if blood work comes back negative.

With everything going on lately, I have been feeling lost. In the dark moments, when I’ve quietly cried myself to sleep, I’ve wondered if God has forgotten or forsaken us. In my new Bible study, Unlocking the Treasure (which is amazing and I’ll talk about more later), we studied Isaiah 49:13-16a.
“Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people. And will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, And my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands”

I find this verse encouraging. When I see the word afflicted, I think of Sweet Baby and his many afflictions at such a young age. It breaks my heart he has to fight at such a young age. But then this verse points out, The LORD will have mercy or compassion on them. That’s soothing to an aching heart. When I feel like The Lord has forgotten us I must remember that His word says He will not forget me. In fact, my name and Sweet Baby’s name is inscribed or engraved on the palms of His hands. To engrave literally means “to carve; cut.” According to the thesaurus, one of the synonyms of engrave is infix. To infix means to “implant so deeply as to make change nearly impossible.” Jesus did not die for us to simply forget about us. He literally cut our names into His palms.
I need to remind myself that when I feel weary and I can’t go on, Christ is waiting for me to just simply fall into His arms. To allow Him to wrap His arms around me and find rest in His hands. The precious hands that are full of love, compassion and have our names written on them.

~Our Sweet Life~

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If I Had Known

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Found this beautiful post from Scary Mommy & I just had to share. Because I have come to find there are days when it’s so hard & overwhelming. Back before I had Sweet Baby I used to tell my friend (at the time mother of 2) how I want a baby! I can’t wait to have a baby! She’d smile and say, “having a baby is like being on a roller coaster; once your on you can’t get off.” There are the times I want to get off but then I see Sweet Baby smile, coo or reach a milestones we’ve worked so hard for; I realize I truly wouldn’t want to miss this for the world. Hold your precious ones tight. They grow so fast.

If I Had Known

If I had known what sleep deprivation really felt like before I had kids…

If I had known the full measure of bodily fluids I’d have to clean up throughout my children’s childhoods…

If I had known how much the sound of “Mama? Mama? Mama?” could grate on my last nerve after hearing it for more than a decade…

If I had known that sometimes I’d take an extra long time on the toilet, just to have a few minutes to myself…

If I had known that those few stolen toilet moments would almost always be interrupted by tiny fists knocking on the door anyway…

If I had known how often I would have to repeat the same directions and corrections over and over and over and over…

If I had known that every “expert” remedy for whining, crying, moping, disobedience, disrespect, and laziness would be completely ineffectual half the time…

If I had known that loving your children doesn’t mean liking them all the time…

If I had known that I would sometimes cry in the shower because there was no other place to vent alone…

If I had known that I’d be so “touched out” by the end of some days that the thought of getting busy with my husband would repulse me…

If I had known that I would never be able to truly, fully concentrate on anything ever again…

If I had known that it doesn’t get easier as they get older, just hard in different ways…

If I had known I would feel terrified almost every day that I am failing at motherhood in some way…

If I had known how truly unrelenting parenting was going to be…

I would have had my children anyway.

Because if I hadn’t…

I wouldn’t know how miraculous it feels to have a human being grow from a tiny speck to an entire person inside your own body.

I wouldn’t know that the smell of a newborn’s head is the best evidence that there’s a heaven.

I wouldn’t know the magic of having a baby fall asleep in your arms and never wanting to put them down.

I wouldn’t know the unmatchable thrill of watching your child walk, use the potty, ride a bike, or read a whole book for the first time.

I wouldn’t know how the sound of your child’s laughter can lighten even the heaviest of days.

I wouldn’t know how an innocent, wide-eyed stare can melt you right through the floor.

I wouldn’t know how awesome it is to witness the daily, gradual unfolding of a person you helped bring into the world.

I wouldn’t know the pride of seeing your children navigate difficult situations using the tools and qualities you’ve helped instill in them.

I wouldn’t know how much pure, unbridled joy there could be in seeing your children triumph.

I wouldn’t know how much unexpected, humbling grace there could be in the constant struggle of trying to be a better parent.

I wouldn’t know how the act of parenting your own kids can help heal your own childhood hurts.

I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey.

If I had known what motherhood really was like, I’d have done it all over again.

(I’d just have slept more when I had the chance.)
Hhhhhh

3 Steps to Triumph in Your Trials

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Beautiful post from: http://www.matthewljacobson.com

At some point, the life we planned on and reality collide.

Our first several years of marriage were pretty much free of serious hardship – oh, things happened that we thought were difficult but the first real challenge? That would be the birth of our Little Sparrow.

How do you cope when the Dr. tells you your new baby is severely brain-damaged and is, in so many words, a vegetable? I kept it together while he was there but could feel a growing fire in my chest, as if the sinews of my heart were being ripped apart.

Daddy wants to protect.

Daddy wants to fight.

But, there’s not one thing Daddy can do to stop what was happening.

When the door clicked shut behind the good Dr., I turned to Lisa – my lover, my friend, and oh how we cried.

In one moment all the hopes, dreams, and aspirations for a new little life, for our little girl, vanished.

Have you been there, too? Or maybe you’re living there right now – searching for understanding and the strength to carry on in the face of deepest sorrow, or a bitter challenge.

Step 1 – Remember Job – He is God in the stillness and in the storm.

God knows every detail about you including the worst thing you are facing right now. The book of Job gives us a “peek behind the curtain.” Satan is at work – in every trauma, trouble, and trial we face – but so is God.

There’s a line in an old hymn I love that goes like this: He will sanctify to you your deepest distress. You see, God never gives you the grace for someone else’s trials but He always gives you the grace for what He calls you to walk through.

Will you receive it?

He will take that trial your Enemy meant as dark and dirty and sanctify it – literally make it clean – if you trust and yield to His light in the midst of your troubles.

In that hospital room, I knelt (fell to my knees) beside the bed, desperately grasping Lisa’s hand . . .

“Oh God, I don’t understand why our little girl has to be hurt like this . . . it makes no sense to me . . .

but I still trust you . . .

we still believe that you are good, even though we don’t see or understand.”

Then we cried a lot more.

Step 2 – Believe the Truth – God will never leave you or forsake you. Matt. 28:20 “. . . I am with you alway . . .”

He is there, in your deepest struggle. Do we truly believe what we’ve been telling everyone we believe? Do we believe that God is good in the shadows of life, or only in the sunshine?

But, don’t get the wrong idea. I still get emotional over what might have been. Sorry – maybe a super Christian would just forge ahead in total strength and conviction, but this Daddy?

The other day when some kids were visiting, running all over the yard and our Little Sparrow leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, “I wish I could run,” or when I’m at some event like we were, recently, where there’s a little country dancing and I see Little Sparrow in her wheel chair, her longing eyes watching the other kids laughing and playing . . . yeah, I still cry.

My little girl’s heart was made for dancing, too.

Step 3 – Hold fast to your hope – Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

And, God knows that. He created her for His glory which is why following the Marriage Supper of The Lamb, I’m thinking there’s going to be a big dance and I’m pretty sure I’ll have to stand in line for a dance with Little Sparrow . . . just behind Jesus,

Welcome Little Sparrow . . . may I have this dance.

Matthew Jacobson
http://www.matthewljacobson.com

I Still Would Have Chosen You

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Last week was the hardest of my life with Sweet Baby. Last week he had his first seizure and continued for the rest of the week. They have him on anti-seizure meds that have helped so far. We are on day 4 seizure free! Praise God. I found this beautiful poem that I cried when I read it. It’s so beautiful and true. It’s also a great reminder. I would never trade Sweet Baby for anything. He is my world. He has given my life a purpose I never thought it would have. I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, “Because of you I didn’t give up.” Of course it was only by the strength of Christ that I haven’t given up. And I never will give up on my Sweet Baby.

I Still Would Have Chosen You 
 
If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you.
If God had told me, “This soul would one day need extra care and needs” , I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, “This soul may make your heart bleed” , I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, “This soul would make you question the depth of your faith” , I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, “This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river” , I still would have chosen you.
If He had told me, “This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering” I still would have chosen you.
If He told me, “All that you know to be normal would drastically change” , I still would have chosen you.
Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you.
-Terry Banish

Lighting a Candle for those Born into Heaven

For those who follow me know a dear friend of mine has had several babies born into heaven. Many women (probably more than we think) have had miscarriages or stillborn. My aunt had a stillborn at full term; the sweet baby got tangled in the cord. Last month I had a baby born into heaven. I didn’t know I was pregnant until it was too late and I was already losing the baby. I was maybe 4 weeks along, so I didn’t have time to really grow an attachment. But since today is national infant loss day, I find myself thinking about the baby that would be growing inside my belly. I do know my due date would’ve been June 8, 2014. I find peace in knowing that my little angel is in heaven being taken care of by Jesus. He or She is much better off there then in this broken world. But many woman’s experiences have been much more heart wrenching and for that I’m sorry. I offer you a cyber hug.  In honor of National Infant Loss Day I’m lighting a candle for my angel and to support all mommies who have lost their angels.

From The Humbled Homemaker I found a letter for the mom whose baby was born into heaven. Check out The Humbled Homemaker‘s site, this letter is part of a 31 Days of Dear Mom Letters series. I hope this post ministers to you. Letter and all photos courtesy of The Humbled Homemaker.

~Our Sweet LIfe~

Dear Mom Whose Baby Was Born Into Heaven (via Miscarriage or Stillbirth)

Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven {via miscarriage or stillbirth},

First of all, I want you to know: You are a mother. Do not let anyone try to convince you that you are not.

I have not experienced the pain of losing a baby. I have not even had a miscarriage.

And sometimes people like me don’t know how to talk to people like you.

Should we mention the baby? Should we pretend it didn’t happen? Should we ask how you (the mother) are doing?

And when you see people like me post pictures of our babies on Facebook or even lament the terrible 2s, you’re probably thinking: “If only, if only I had that opportunity. If only I had my baby back…I would take 100 years of terrible 2s.”

I’m sorry, dear Mama. I’m sorry those of us who haven’t experienced your pain just don’t get it.

It’s true. We absolutely, positively do not know the pain you have endured. We do not know, so we should not pretend that we do! Everyone has trials in this life, but yours…yours…to have held the hope of a child without actually getting to hold that child in your arms…

I can only imagine it must be excruciating.

I  remember it like it was yesterday even though it was almost 5 years ago. My husband and I were in missionary training with several other missionary families, and our dearest friends in our shared apartment were halfway through their pregnancy with their 4th baby.

The mama was glowing in eager expectation of the baby she thought may be her first son. As my firstborn was only about 7 months old, we gleefully discussed all things baby together. Diapering, feeding, baby clothes…it was all so exciting.

I remember the day she told me it was strange to her that she hadn’t felt the baby move. At this point in her other pregnancies her babies had been moving. She worried something might be wrong.

But naive as I was, I thought she was fine.

And then I received the phone call. She had gone for her prenatal visit alone while her husband attended classes. She couldn’t get in touch with him. So she called me.

The baby was gone.

The breath knocked out of her already was now knocked out of me. My friend–my dear, dear friend…My friend whose dear baby we had all touched on her belly…

Her grief was overwhelming. And all of us missionary families mourned with her. We just did not understand.

Why God, Why? It is all we could ask.

My husband and I cared for her three girls and wondered how we would answer the questions like: “Why did God want our baby in Heaven?”

We were asking the same questions ourselves.

We still do not know the answer. My friend went on to lose several more babies. And then she had a son. Three girls and a boy.

She lost six babies in all. I will never forget one day on the phone: “Erin,” she said, “as a little girl I always wanted 10 kids. 10. Now I have them.”

She continued: “I just never realized 6 of those 10 would be born into Heaven.”

Encouragement for Mothers who Experience Loss

Image by tiwi

Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven,

I don’t know why. I do not have to. I am so, so sorry. I wish I could hug you right now. You are strong. The hurt you have endured is much greater than the temporary pain of childbirth.

No matter how many children you have here on earth or in Heaven, know you are a mother–to each and every one of those babies.