School Girl charm

Monday, September 27, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks Melissa for including me in this blog award!   Your blog is a beautiful and loving tribute to your Amazing Mikayla!  

The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Accept the award.  Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they have been chosen.
(although it's okay with me if you don't pass the award on - I know we're all busy!)

I have chosen to honor the following blogs of fellow baby loss moms:
1. Our Angel Ella - who shares a birthday with Karinne
5. Our Beloved Vitoria de Christo - a baby born with acrania in Brazil 
in January 2010 who is still alive and flourishing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baby be Blessed Doll

I wanted to share today a few photos of the special doll we received recently.  A dear sweet baby loss mom named Laura gave us a gift certificate to Baby be Blessed Dolls shortly after Karinne was born.  My daughter DaNae and I picked out the doll we wanted to have made to remind us of Karinne.  And now it's here! 

We think the doll turned out beautifully.  I think our favorite part is the sweet crocheted flower that so closely resembles the crocheted flower on Karinne's brown bear hat that fit her so well.  I remember selecting the flower option versus the bow option and hoping that it would be similar to the one on her hat.  And boy was I pleased!  On the doll's tummy, I had them put the scripture Psalm 139:13-16 which became such a dear verse to me.

DaNae and I had fun dressing the doll in the 3 different skirts and posing her for these photos.  Thanks again to Laura for such a sweet and thoughtful gift!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What Should Have Been . . . But Isn't

We had a really good weekend - all in all - celebrating DaNae's birthday and visiting with family.  After Friday morning's feelings of sadness on the four month anniversary of Karinne's death, I was able to pretty well put aside my grief and concentrate on DaNae's celebrations.  The birthday cakes turned out great, the party at the theater was a success - showing her favorite movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and we enjoyed visiting with family.

As well as I did this weekend and as relatively good of a time as I had, of course there were difficult moments mixed in.  Sometimes I just can't help thinking about what should have been - but isn't.  And about what should NOT be - but is.

Baby Cousins:  I spent time this weekend with my 2 sisters who also had babies this summer.  My nephew Jonah was born June 3rd and is now such a cute, chubby, and wiggly 3 month old.  And my niece Hallee was born July 12th and is just beginning to grow out of the newborn stage and smile and look around.  I couldn't help but wish that there were 3 babies to take photos of, to ooh and ahh over, and to love.  Thankfully, with time, the pain has lessened some in seeing the two of them.  But there is still always the sting of knowing that Karinne isn't there with her cousins like she should be. 

The Empty Carseat: My sister Jessica had spent Saturday night at our house with her 2 boys and my parents drove out to my sister Valerie's house 20 miles from town to spend the night.  And they accidentally took Jonah's carseat with them.  So yesterday, when we all headed out to Valerie's for the afternoon, we needed to use our infant carseat to tranport Jonah.  It didn't really bother me too much to have him use it on the way out there.  But it was such a strange feeling when I came out to the car to take my kids back to town and there was the empty carseat.  The place where Karinne should have been.  The seat that should have carried her safely from place to place.  DaNae even commented - thinking we had accidentally taken Jonah's seat with us.  When I explained, she said - "Oh, so this is the seat we would have used for Karinne?"  Yes - if only . . . .  Needless to say - I took the seat out and put it back away in the basement as soon as I got home.  Someday - Lord - I pray that seat will carry another Larshus baby. 

Infant Loss Bible Study: Tonight was the opening session of the online bible study I'm doing with a group of moms who have experienced the loss of a baby.  We use a program called Gotomeeting to be able to hear each other talking - kindof like a big conference call.  Tonight we took turns sharing our stories of loss.  Of course, several of us cried as we shared, but that was okay.  There are about 12 of us, I think, each with a different story, some with more than one loss.  I was the only one who knew ahead of time of a fatal diagnosis.  A few are currently pregnant with subsequent babies.  I think it will be a valuable study - but I certainly would prefer to not have any reason to be there.

One thing that our group leader said last night that really stuck out in my mind was - "I learned that I don't have to "Get Over" the loss of my son.  Because that's never going to happen.  Instead, I have to learn to weave his life and the loss into my life from now on."  I thought that was SO TRUE.  I will NEVER "get over" losing Karinne - but I can weave her life into mine and do my best to go on from here - regardless of what should or shouldn't have been. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

4 Months . . . 9 Months . . . 11 Months . . . A Year

4 months since Karinne's birth and death on May 10th 
9 months since we found out Karinne's fatal diagnosis on December 9th 
11 months since we found out we were going to be having our 4th child on October 9th 
And a year since she was conceived

It occurred to me just a few days ago that all of these dates had such similarities - and significance.  In my previous life - that is, as the person I was before - I wouldn't have noticed or kept track of such dates as closely.  And I wasn't so affected by anniversaries of certain days as I seem to be now. But today - the 10th of the month - I can't seem to stop thinking about the significance of the date.  Perhaps someday it will have less of a grip on me - although a part of me never wants to lose this feeling.

We've come around to the time of year when so many things remind me of what was happening this time last year.  And of how wonderfully naive we once were: hoping and planning for a 4th child - never thinking for a moment of what could go wrong.

I visited Karinne's grave today and spent some time there just letting the tears flow. There was a certain kind of peace there: listening to the sounds of travelers on the interstate in the distance while crickets and other insects chirped blissfully all around me and the breeze carried away my tears. 

I put a photo on here of Karinne's grave - back on Memorial Day - when everything was fresh and new and the grass was still green.  It looked so very pretty that day.  Of course, being in northwest Kansas, the grass isn't nearly so green now, the weeds have crept in a bit, and the flowers appear faded and windblown.  We still haven't made any more decisions on getting the headstone made.  It's so hard for me to wrap my head around picking it out - I don't want to have any regrets about whatever we choose - so I just keep putting off doing it.

Starting Sunday evening, I will be taking part in an online bible study for moms who have lost a baby.  I found out about it through a website called Anchored By Hope.  We will use a book called "Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy" that we will work through and discuss when we meet each Sunday from 7 to 9 pm.  Through a website called GoToMeeting, we will actually be able to talk to each other and share our stories, hurts and hopes.  I truly hope that it will be a helpful and healing experience.  

On a happy note - today is also my daughter DaNae's 8th Birthday.  I'm trying to work out all of my sadness during the day so that I can be a happy mom for her birthday celebrations.  Tomorrow we are having a party with friends and family.  It should be a special day!  DaNae was so excited back in June when it dawned on us that she and her sister share the same birthday number - the 10th.  She was especially happy when she was able to get a tee ball shirt with the number 10 and I've noticed she really likes to wear that shirt even now.  I'm so glad that she has found special connections to Karinne. 

4 Months . . . 9 months . . . 11 months . . . A Year
I miss you SO MUCH Sweetheart!
and I love you Forever Karinne

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thanks for the Prayers!

I just wanted to write a quick note to thank everyone for all the prayers the past week.  I know the kids and I certainly reaped the benefits.  Of course we still had some rough times, but overall - things went pretty well.  And Curt got home about an hour ago.  Boy were we all glad to see him!!  And he was home in time to help with baths and bedtime.  Even Better!

I was even able to go see a great Christian band - Casting Crowns - in concert over the weekend.  Thanks to my sister Valerie and to my friend Rhonda who were willing to take the kids.  And also thanks to a wonderful student Tayler who went along with me.  Their song "Praise You in This Storm" - which is on my blog playlist - has meant a lot to me ever since a parent of one of my students gave me a sweet card last spring that played a clip of it.  Its words touched me so much back then while I was still carrying Karinne.  And wishing and praying so much that things could be different.  And boy did those touch me once again at the concert.  With tears streaming down my face as I closed my eyes and sang along to the words.  The entire concert was such a great experience.  I'm so glad it worked out to go! 

"Praise You In This Storm"

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

[Chorus x2]