School Girl charm

Monday, October 25, 2010

Choosing Life in the Midst of an Adverse Pregnancy

This week I wanted to post a link to a radio series I listened to last week on the "Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast" called Choosing Life in the Midst of an Adverse Pregnancy.   Todd and Angie Smith discuss their decision to carry their daughter Audrey to term when they were advised by doctors to terminate the pregnancy because she would not survive outside the womb.  Todd is a singer in the christian music group Selah.  Their song "I Will Carry You" and Angie's book by the same name have both meant SO MUCH to me on this journey.  
My husband actually called me during the school day on Thursday to tell me that he was listening to this broadcast and he knew I would want to hear it.  What a sweetie!  I was so glad when I was able to listen to it later on their website.  Their candid conversation about their journey with Audrey was so similar in many ways to our own journey with Karinne.  It just really touched my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you.  Especially those who have or are currently experiencing something similar.  Each session is about 28 minutes long, but well worth listening to. 

God Bless!

PS - please say a little prayer for baby Anastasha's family - Craig and Tonya DeLisi and their 8 older children.  I've gotten to know this family through the Anencephaly Blessings From Above web forum.  Anastasha was diagnosed with anencephaly and Tonya is being induced tomorrow - October 26th.  Please pray that they would be blessed with precious time, beautiful memories, and a heavenly peace on the birth day of their sweet little girl!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Karinne's Lasting Impressions

I wanted to share today about a special opportunity I had last week to help another family who recently lost a baby.  Over the summer, I began thinking about meaningful ways to carry on a legacy in Karinne's honor.  What could I provide to other families that was unique and that may be overlooked in the shock and devastation of a sudden loss?  I thought about the special mementos that we were blessed to be able to gather since we knew ahead of time that Karinne would not be able to be with us for long.  Those special items mean so much to me now that she is gone.   But for so many families - the loss is unexpected - and the time to gather memories is SO fleeting!  So, back in August I came up with the idea that I wanted to offer to make 3D hand and foot moldings and impressions for bereaved families.  We were so blessed when Karinne was born to have a kit for this from String of Pearls and also to have our friends from Choices Medical Clinic come and create these mementos for us.  So, I ordered the supplies and discussed the idea with a few people including Brooke, the NILMDTS photographer who took photos of Karinne.  And then - I hoped and prayed that no one would need me - but if they did - that I would be "prepared" and "able" to make it happen.

Last week, through Brooke, I had the opportunity to do just that.  I don't think it's necessary or appropriate to share details of the sweet baby boy who went to heaven last week.  But I just wanted to share that I am so glad that I followed my heart and the direction that God has been leading me in starting this ministry.  My dear friend Rhonda and I were able to go and make the 3D moldings and impressions and everything came out looking great - despite our nerves, our emotions, and our lack of experience.  It is my sincere prayer that these precious impressions will bring some measure of comfort to this baby boy's family.  And that through these tiny mementos, Karinne's life and her story will continue to make a lasting impression as well.  

Please remember this family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of their tiny, beautiful son!

Karinne's Lasting Impressions:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Special Photo Gifts

In honor of Karinne's 5 month mark yesterday - I wanted to post a couple of special photo gifts that were given to me by 2 very special mommies who know the pain of losing a precious baby.  Both images were so thoughtfully created and just really make me smile!  Thanks so much Shannon and Lynne for these lovely gifts!  Feel free to click on the photos to see them larger.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Expecting Karinne

One year ago we found out we were expecting Karinne.  Of course, at that time we didn't know she was a she.  But we were sure hoping - another girl to complete our family - 2 girls & 2 boys!  And if so - Karinne would be her name - the name we had so lovingly chosen when we were pregnant with each of the boys.  We were so full of hopes and expectations - and so beautifully naive to believe those dreams could come true.  Sadly - as I have learned about acrania and neural tube defects - it was around this same time that the cells that should have formed to close Karinne's skull failed to do their job and her fate was sealed.  If only . . . oh, if only.

We had been trying for a spring baby - wonderful for a teacher!  One year ago, as that time of the month came and went, it was homecoming week at my school.  It's ironic that it fell the same week this year too.  By Friday, I had about decided that I really could be pregnant, so I picked up a test and made plans for when I would take it.  I didn't have any time with my husband that day and wanted to share the moment with him.  He was running the clock for the football game, so it would have to wait until afterwards.  And we were headed up to Nebraska for the weekend for my nephew's 2nd birthday right after the game too.  SO - I ended up peeing on the stick as we got ready to go and I stuck it back in the box to read in the car on the way.   I remember the nervousness and excitement Curt and I shared as we debated whether or not we should look at the results yet.  I think we waited at least a good 20 minutes into the drive and until the kids were deep enough into their movie not to notice anything suspicious.  And then I looked at the test and sure enough - 2 LINES - PREGNANT!!!  

We were SO excited, SO happy, SO full of hopes for this child.  But did we ever stop to wonder if anything could be wrong?  Not for a second.  Did we stop to say a prayer that everything was going perfectly?  Sadly - no.  In fact, I think our biggest concern at the time was if we would be content if God gave us another son.  We were so terribly naive, so blissfully unaware, and we so deeply took for granted the miracle of a healthy baby. 

It snowed on us that night as we headed to Nebraska, which is crazy to think of today since it is supposed to be in the mid 80's here.  In fact, by the next morning we awoke to nearly a foot of snow at my sister's house.  We had dropped off the kids at my folks' on the way and were spending the day helping install carpet in Jessica's house after some remodeling work they had done. We worked hard that day to get it all done before the birthday party  on Sunday.  I remember wondering and hoping all day that Jessica might also be pregnant because of a conversation we had earlier in the summer.  And sure enough - on Sunday after Jackson opened his gifts - they revealed through a video of his "firsts" that he was going to be a big brother!  I was so excited that we would be having babies together again and so close together - in fact our due dates were only 3 days apart!!  We kept our news to ourselves, not wanting to crowd in on their big announcement.  But boy - it sure was exciting.

And now, as I spend this day in a strange sort of deja vu experience - another homecoming  and another trip to Nebraska for Jackson's birthday this weekend - I can't help but feel the pain once again of what should be but isn't.  There is no sweet tiny baby growing in my tummy as there was last year with the anticipation of all the good things to come.  And there is no beautiful 4 month old baby Karinne in my arms. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Weaver

The following poem was sent to me by a dear church friend while I was still pregnant with Karinne.  At the time, I was working on weaving the special blankets for Karinne and wrote about them in a journal entry on my Caring Bridge site entitled "Threads of Love" (which you can read by clicking here.)  I thought it so amazingly and fittingly expressed the journey that we were certainly on.  And now in this week's bible study chapter, the poem was included again.  What a special blessing.  I definitely plan to include these touching words on a scrapbook page about the weavings.  I hope it touches you like it has me. . .

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors - 
He worketh steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

-Grant Colfax Tuller

Friday, October 1, 2010

To Speak Their Name

As I've written before, I have been participating in an online bible study group through Anchored By Hope.  Each Sunday evening, using an online conference call I meet with 10 other moms who have also experienced the loss of one or more babies.  It has been an amazing experience so far just being able to talk with, cry with and even laugh with these other women who truly understand what it's like to lose a baby.   We have shared our stories and gotten to know each other through the blogs that several of us have.  And we have started working through the bible verses and grief support questions in the book Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy.

One of the moms this week made a comment that I just can't seem to get out of my head.  We were talking about a question in the book that stated: "How would you like to be comforted now?" This particular mom shared that she would like for the people in her life to be brave enough   

to speak her child's name. 

It seems like such a simple thing.  And yet, just to speak their name can mean the world to a grieving parent.  When a baby dies people seem to become so afraid of causing more pain to the parent, that they think it's better to just say nothing at all.  They are worried that they will make you cry or that their words will bring up uncomfortable feelings.  Believe me - as this same mom stated - we would much prefer to cry with you in a genuine conversation about our beloved child than to go home and cry all alone feeling that you didn't even care.  

One of the greatest fears of a grieving parent is that their precious little one will be forgotten - by family, by friends, by the world.  A parent never forgets - that missing part of their whole will be gone from them forever.  But it is so very important to have others remember as well. And to know that in some small way - the life of their child has made a lasting impact.  

To all those who are reading this and don't know how to bring comfort to their grieving loved one - please remember how truly comforting it is to hear others Speak Their Child's Name.  

 Ah - Karinne - Such sweet music to my ears!