Wednesday, April 23, 2008

6 Months Gone

Six months came and went. I was dreading it - and the day ended up being so busy that I didn't have time to mourn. I did enough mourning leading up to it, I think. Saturday the 19th - early in the morning (around 2am) I lay in bed with tears thinking it was exactly six months since the last time I felt her move. It was hard... but God used some other stuff going on with family to keep me distracted - and for that I am thankful.

Today I went back and read some of my own posts from right after we found out she had died - and right after she was born. If I ever doubted the value of journaling thoughts and emotions... let's just say I'm glad I can go back and remember where I've come from.

I'm reminded Who had held us... and rejoice in the fact that I've made it through 6 months without Autumn. I quake inside with the hope that, perhaps, in 6 more months I will hold her little brother or sister in my arms. I pray so.

I saw a Ron DiCianni painting once - a rendering of Simeon holding Christ at the temple after waiting his whole life for the Messiah. Joy - unspeakable joy - and tears. You can peek at it here - but it isn't nearly as good as seeing it live. :) It'll have to do for now, though. It captures the emotions of how I think I'll feel when I finally hold our child in my arms.

... lots to bring before God, isn't there? :)

One other note: yesterday our back yard was filled with fat-little Robins! At one point I counted 30 in our tree alone - and the neighbor's tree was full as well. The cat (belonging to another neighbor) was going nuts... (chuckle) Some of them are back today - but not as many as yesterday. It was truly amazing - wonder what they were all doing here?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ha, Ha!

I saw this on Girl Talk today. At first I chuckled - but the second time - when I watched it with Kurt - I laughed so hard tears were running down my face.
Honestly - if I have a boy, I suspect he may enjoy singing at LEAST as much as this young man. Why do I think that? I have vague recollections of what I was like as a child... ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Mess of Randomness

- I really like that new Jordin Sparks song with Chris Brown: No Air. SO pretty! (And I like her because she's got some meat on her bones... bah-ha-ha!) The harmonies are beautiful - and the words aren't too bad, either. (Kurt asked, "Do you think this song is about someone dying?" and I was like, "Huh??" LOL)

- I think I'm hooked on the new McDonalds iced coffees... vanilla. Very refreshing - and unlike the Tim Hortons Ice Cappuccino (which I also love) you can drink the whole thing without desperately sucking the bottom of your cup because it bunches into a frozen lump. That's my experience, anyway...

- Speaking of which: the state of fast-food restaurants in Saskatoon is seriously awful. What is with hiring all the 13-year-olds? And why do they shuffle their feet when they walk? Is it really necessary to yell to one-another (in front of a dozen customers) how much they want to go home? I exaggerate not - we stood there 10 minutes waiting for our iced coffees. When we left I told Kurt how much I appreciate my parents teaching me the value of being a good worker (I have a vivid memory of my dad trying to teach me that a $10 job would be worth more an hour if I worked faster... it went over my head when I was 10 - but now I get it), and how important it would be for us to teach our kids that, too. Especially now when the labor shortage doesn't make it necessary to be a good worker. I doubt that will turn around within the next 20 years... sigh. Rant over! :)

- Our dog is shedding. Usually I like the fact that our seasons change - but drat it all! I'm sure he's shed at least his weight over the last month. I said that to Kurt and he was like, "That's a little exaggerated, Kendall - he's over 110 pounds." I married mister literal. But to illustrate my point - a short story: Kurt was dragging his hand over the carpet the other night and made a "hair mountain- range". (I have my gag face on.) I asked him to refrain from doing that while I'm in the room because some things I just don't want to see. (chuckle) I'm fearing for my new carpets. For now, we've made the pact that he'll only be allowed on lino in the new house... here's hoping.

- Yesterday, Kurt turned on our sprinklers... then looked at the weather and found out it was supposed to be below freezing most of the weekend. So today we rented a air compressor and blew out the sprinklers. If I was a smug-type wife I'd mention that I said, "Honey... I don't think it's necessary to water the lawn until May..." but I'm not - so I'll say instead that I enjoyed the ride to the rental place, watching the sprinklers blow out - and returning the compressor. :) In his defense - he had to turn on the sprinklers because he put down fertilizer... if he hadn't watered the lawn there was a chance it could have burned - so it was a good choice. (chuckle)

- I am - maybe - starting to feel better. (As I type that my stomach lurches...) My doctor (when I told him how nauseous I was) said something along the lines of, "In my personal opinion, the more queasy women are the more that baby is securely stuck in there." Yay!! (cough, cough) :)

- Seriously, though: some days I go and look at my prayer journal from the last 5 months and count how many times I asked the Lord for another baby. It's such a good reminder to see the valleys He has brought us through - from my first entry after Autumn had died (I wrote it in the hospital on the 20th of October), to the first after we found out that B-Manz II was conceived (to quote George W: "Shock and Awe"). I just wish I could remember that easier when it the doubts loom high and mighty. He doesn't forsake... and I praise Him for the days it is easy to rest in His hands....

- I took a pregnancy profile picture today. Funny how you can feel so pretty before the picture - then look at it and hear "Ompppphhhh..." That is the sound an ego makes as it is deflating! ;)

- Kurt got me the neatest gift! Okay - let me backtrack for a moment before I give more details about that...

- At the very start of this pregnancy we knew it would be different. I don't know if I ever said it on the blog - but I never bought anything for Autumn - by way of stuffed animals, or outfits, or anything like that. It wasn't because I felt something bad would happen (as I have previously posted) but more that I was going to wait and see what the baby was, and (to be honest) what I got for gifts. (Plus my mother-in-law had already got everything! :-D Love you, Lori!) :) There is a part of me that knows I'm going to have to allow myself to be enthusiastic about this baby... and plan for him/her. For example, we are going to buy a "coming home" outfit for the baby ourselves. Not a "this could also double for a funeral" outfit. Does that make sense? It sounds so morbid... (chuckle) It's hard to explain: I wouldn't' even call it a 'step of faith' as much as a positive plan. (small smile) It's acknowledging that although we've lived the worst-case scenario, and have been statistics... that doesn't mean it will happen again.

- Okay, so back to my other gift story. I had told Kurt about these neat books I had seen at McNally Robinson. They're pregnancy journals - and they come in all shapes and sizes and formats. But the basic gist is that they're a week-by-week memory-making kit for the mom (and dad) and could obviously be shared with the child someday. Thanks to this blog - I have a lot of memories cataloged from Autumn's pregnancy - but I really wanted a hard-copy for this pregnancy... and for this baby - so he or she could know that I anticipated and planned for them even though I was still sad about their big sister not being here. Proof, so to speak.

- Anyway, after out prenatal visit at the start of the month, we got back in the car and Kurt handed me an envelope saying, "This came in the mail for you." It only said "To my Sweetheart Kendall" so I had a good laugh at the efficiency of the postal system. :) I read it - and cried a little bit - and then he reached over with a mighty flourish and opened the glove compartment to reveal... a McNally Robinson bag containing a pregnancy journal! :) The one I got is a cute one, too. It isn't too "pregnancy is the most mystical and powerful experience a woman can have" (:-P) and it's more about asking each week, "how do your jeans feel?" MUCH more my style. (lol!) Oh - and there is a place for a weekly picture (which is why we took one today)... so I can (ahem) track my development. (wince!)

- We've really been enjoying the care-package Kurt's mom made for us. Except for the night that we ate the cabbage rolls (they're made with sauerkraut). The eating - in and of itself - was a really good experience. It was later, when I got sick, that it was unpleasant. :-P Yeah... whatever you've inferred from that statement is correct. (Shudder...)

- And some have wondered why I don't have their blogs linked: I just feel awful linking private blogs! It's like dangling candy in front of someone and then saying they can't have it. :) So for all the private blogs I read, I just keep them in my bookmarks. :)

- Did anyone else feel a sense of shock last week when the American Idol contestants sang Shout to the Lord? My jaw was hanging...

- Aaaannndddd.... it's April. Which means it's playoff season. Which means that in Canada there will now be hockey on every night until the start of June - it even bumps the national news. Seriously. And local news does an abbreviated version in between games. I love this country. (Ha, ha...) My plan is to cheer for anything Canadian (sigh - Ottawa) and then move on to cheering for the players I like best (Sid the Kid!). Never thought I would ever say this - but go Habs. (Janelle - I know you're a Leaf's fan... and that cheering for Montreal is probably tantamount to blasphemy... and if we see each other we just won't mention it, okay? ;-D) I like Calgary and Pittsburgh for the final. Just saying... (I'll refer to this post when I'm right. Heh-heh...)

- Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Help Your Grieving Friend

I've been reading Molly Piper's blog lately (yes, she is John's daughter-in-law) and she's just finished doing a small series on How to Help Your Grieving Friend.

For those who don't know - she and her husband lost a baby girl almost one-month to the day before we lost Autumn. I even blogged about it when I found out. In a lot of ways, God used that to prepare me for losing our daughter. Even as the world stopped - I knew I wasn't the only one of His children He had given this too... and that helped a lot.

I've found the 7 parts to be very insightful. I encourage you to check it out. Just so you know: it's pretty specific to a child-loss... but the basics could be applied in so many areas that a person would grieve.

I'll link all 7 parts - although once you get to her blog you can always read them there. But if there is one of these titles that interests you - you can go straight to it now. :)
Oh - and by the way: I'm not posting this because I felt lacking in any area of support - on the contrary! But if you know someone else who is grieving - and just are so unsure of what, how, and if you should reach out or say something... this might be helpful. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

About Trust

I breathe a sigh of relief with each day that goes by.

I remember when I was pregnant with Autumn... I had no fears. To be honest, I thought that if God went through the trouble (and after months of trying with no conception - I really did think it was 'trouble') to get me pregnant then why wouldn't He keep the baby safe? And - when I did think about something happening (as unreal as it seemed) - I knew that the baby wasn't ours anyway, and God would give us strength to deal with whatever. But I honestly never ever thought about miscarriage, or stillbirth being a possible factor for us. Even when she had the cyst on her brain - she was moving and growing - and I thought that was a good thing... so no doubts were so overwhelming that some pretty basic meditation on the things I knew to be true didn't help.

I look back on that weekend in October and think that for someone who wasn't expecting the worst (or even a complication) I adapted pretty quickly. By God's grace. And even as transparent as I've found myself to be on this blog... there are still deep parts of my own heart that just want to cry for the baby girl we lost all the time.

A new pregnancy means moving on - getting past being parents with no child - knowing my body didn't lose it's ability to hold life... and I longed for this! But there has been a lot of latent grief for Autumn surfacing, lately. Yes - there are also hormones and other issues going on... but sometimes (and I hadn't done this for a few months) I just look at her picture and the tears come.

I think about her moving - the delight and joy I felt when her little heels would press against my ribs, and the way she'd "shove" my hand out of the way if I was pressing her space too firmly. I'm realizing how hard that has been for me to make the connection with the baby girl who came out of me lifeless and still. I "knew" it was the same baby... but lately it has been hitting home that the child in the pictures was the same one who started bouncing around when Kurt talked, or when I sang in church, or when I was trying to get to sleep... she was very much alive. And with that realization, comes even a bigger sense of loss... for I wonder who she might have been if those eyes had opened, and I had felt her little fingers curl around mine. The pregnancy was a time of anticipation and excitement - and to not have the parts moving outside that had been moving inside... the whole process felt interrupted. On so many levels - I don't think I really got it. But I'm starting to... a little bit anyway.

Part of my anxiety is that because of all of the above, I won't really enjoy this pregnancy. Realistically - I didn't exactly enjoy the first trimester with Autumn either... so to put pressure on myself to rejoice in the nausea maybe isn't fair. (chuckle) But I don't want to be so hampered by what was that I cannot anticipate what will be.

What a journey... sometimes I wonder - really wonder - if I'm equipped to deal with this.
And then I come back to Who does the equipping. I know the Lord had planned this for me even as the last 6 months were within his complete control. This pregnancy - learning to trust Him - again - with the life He has created in me... this was part of His plan even when I lost our baby. It's taking more work to remember this time - but it's still true enough to stake my soul on. I want to give Him all the glory... and I know He'll answer that prayer.

I crave people's prayers (they help so much!) and am so thankful for everyone who has written to me to let me know who you are and how you have cared for us by grieving, praying - and now rejoicing in this new pregnancy.

Thank you for your support and love - blessings to all of you...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

You are NOT a stalker...

... at least as I define one. ;)

For all those who have left comments about that - I really have to chuckle. :)

For me a stalker (as clarified by various Hollywood movies) is someone who has figured out where I live, all my comings and goings, sits outside my house in a van with no windows, and wants me to adopt/marry them. (LOL) That doesn't fit anyone who reads this blog - as far as I know. :)

I am so honored that so many have been reading and praying over the months - I don't mind people reading it at all - regardless of where you are from, how you found it and how often you read it. I praise God for that - and for all of you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

*Force yourself to ignore the new counter at the top of my blog and read the rest of my update... (if you must - the update relating to it is the 5th one)* :-D

1) I learned to play "Rockstar". Not as a drummer, guitar player or bass player. I sang. I got 99% on my second song: Danni California by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was pretty proud of myself. Proud enough to put it on my blog, anyway. :)

2) I did that the weekend before last when we went with a bunch of friends up to Elk Ridge (same place we were in January) for a many-persons celebratory "30th year" weekend. To quote Cherie, "The best part was the food." But the company, the laughs and the games (even our 2-hour game of Bonanza) were great too. :)

3) I've stated that we've sold our house and are moving - some have asked, "Where?" Ahhh... details. I've been waiting for them to work out. So here is the scoop: We're relocating to Leask - home turf for me... and small enough that anyone who was stalking me would be instantly found out! (lol) My grandparents are downsizing, and we wanted to take advantage of the huge housing boom in Saskatoon and sell - so it worked out very nicely. Lately, a lot of our time has been taken up with shopping for carpets/flooring, paints, counter tops, doors, etc. in order to do the renovations out there. Today, actually, we went to Melfort - because one of the companies we wanted to deal with in Saskatoon couldn't get anyone to come out and install it for us. The Melfort company (family owned!) did amazing for price - and the lady was also very patient with us as we looked at sample after sample... but came to decisions. So one hurdle - and a pretty major one - passed. The people buying our place take possession on June 16th, and we take possession of the house in Leask on May 1st - so we have a month-and-a-half to renovate, move, clean this place and get out there. The goal is sanity. Here's hoping...

4) With much soul-searching and talking to Kurt and others I decided that I won't be returning to work on postpartum before we move. There was a huge part of me that wanted to... and then another part had to be realistic of all that would be required of me there. I couldn't begin to count the number of patients who asked me if I had children, and if so how many... and I am not ready to face that yet- let alone bathing and cuddling babies. I love postpartum because it is such a joyful place - not to mention my coworkers who I love... but it just isn't time yet. So I talked to my manager the other day and told her my decision - I almost felt a physical weight off my shoulders when she said, "I think that is the right decision for you." (Thank you, Nancy!) I'll still stay on the casual list - but we'll just wait to see how the future unfolds as to when I'll be 'ready'.

5) And part of that unfolding: For all those who knew - and have asked me "When are you going to put it on the blog???" - this one is for you:

God has answered our prayers: I'm pregnant again. :)

What a gamut of emotions... and that is such an understatement. We're thrilled - and yet cautious. :) That is all I'll say for now - but I'm sure I'll explore this more as the days go by. And the blog silence has been half because I've been so exhausted (waaaay more than I was with Autumn) and half because I tend to blog what I've been thinking about... and we were trying to keep a secret for a few weeks. (chuckle) What a relief! I really have been emotional, and hormonal (probably those two are tied up together) and have missed being able to put my thoughts out there. Funny, huh?

We found out March 4th - and that puts me at just over 9 weeks. We're not waiting until the second trimester to tell for 2 reasons: I won't feel any more secure about this pregnancy at 12 weeks than I will at 38 weeks. If I lost this child at any point, I'd grieve intensely... and that leads to the second reason: We can use the prayers. :) For baby's safety, for our peace of mind, and for a trust in this same God who has gotten us to this point. I'd rather have people knowing and praying than finding out after the fact. The truth is that we did have to give "bad news" when Autumn died... and it was awful, but we got through it. I think I just need the support more at this point in time. :)

The funny (and not exactly ha-ha funny) part is that although the due date is November 7th - a 38 week induction would place us at October 24th... with the new baby (Lord willing!) being born on our anniversary or the one-year anniversary of the day we buried Autumn. Like I said - gamut of emotions.

Oh - and one more thing - I'll put up a 3D-development ticker when the baby gets a little more "human" looking. I checked it out - and the baby at 9 weeks kinda looks like a seahorse. (chuckle)

So there it is - surprise! :) Thank you everyone who has been praying for us in this regard - for your love and (especially for those of you who already know) excitement. Blessings for now!


Friday, April 4, 2008


I'm alive!
I'm well!
I'm... transitioning. (chuckle)
(Yes, this is me. No, it isn't current (see date). I'm just starting to feel summer coming back... sigh... and today it snows! So - a totally random summer picture is yours to view because of my nostalgia...)

So strange to live in a house that isn't technically ours anymore....
Monday I'll post - lots to tell.
If I get the urge, I'll maybe even do it Sunday...
No promises.

BTW: I'm totally blown away that people keep visiting this site even though I haven't updated in a month (or so it feels). Thanks everyone - and for those of you who have sent me emails letting me know that you're praying for me/us - you've blessed my heart more than I can say.

Stay tuned...