Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Hardest Summer


(Trigger warning, this may be difficult for you to read if you’ve experienced the loss of a child or baby).


When you think of Summer you think of warm weather and sunshine, being carefree, camping, S’mores, catching fireflies in mason jars, BBQ’s, picnics and fishing at the lake. Summer is a joyful season filled with holidays that bring people together, fireworks and baseball, concerts in the park down the street on a warm evening. That’s what Summer should be.

Those things are exactly what I was hoping Summer 2014 was going to be filled with, and it was, but there was something else about this Summer that spun my little world around.

Summer 2014 was the hardest season of my life, and while nearly everyone around me just wanted Summer to just go on and on, I couldn’t wait for it to end.

 As many of you know, Jake and I have been trying to have a baby for almost 2 years now. Struggling with the reality of infertility and not being able to get pregnant, along with the toll it was beginning to take on our marriage, we decided in April that it was time to take a break from all the “trying” to have a baby. So we stopped trying, and while everyone around us was telling us about how we should “just relax and it will happen,” we had done this very thing more than just this time, and it didn’t happen, it really was a very trying time for both of us, it made us into people we didn’t like and we needed to just “be” and find a part of that couple that we were before we began this journey.

 May 19th was just like any other day, and then, the 2 lines showed up on the pregnancy test. I felt like I was in a dream. It all seemed so surreal and strange. Every month for the last 18 months I had done the same routine and taken a pregnancy test because I was sure “this month would be the month,” and it never was, but now it was happening. I didn’t really know how to feel, to say I was excited would be an understatement. There were happy tears and lots of “Thank-you God for this miracle” prayers that went up, and the realization that I was going to finally be a mom, Jake was finally going to be a dad, and this is what we, and everyone around us had been praying for. The realization that God does answer prayers, that He does hear us, and that His timing is so much greater than anything we could ever imagine.

Before any of this had happened, I had bought a set of onesies from Target as a hopeful reminder that someday it would happen, we would have that baby we had wanted and prayed for, for so long and had hung them in the back of my closet. So I set the onesies out, laid the (clean and dry) pregnancy test on them and called Jake. It just so happened he was working in town that day, which I did not know, and I called him and asked him if he could stop home when he had a chance, and he said he’d stop by around 1:00pm. I was so excited and nervous to tell him we were going be parents! I heard him come in the front door and walk up the stairs to our place and he came in the door, looked over to the onesies and the test laying on the couch and just said “you’re pregnant?!” I shook my head and said “yes” and we hugged and cried together for a bit, he’d step back and then look at me and then we hugged again and again. He kept saying “I have to go back to work” and then he’d give me another hug and it went this way for a few minutes. It was lovely and beautiful and something I’ll never forget. I just told him “I couldn’t go all day without you knowing!” He left and went back to work and unbeknownst to me at the time told everyone he talked to on the phone that day about our great news.

I floated around with my head in the clouds for the rest of the day. It was the greatest, most happy day of my life.

The next week was great. I started talking to the baby, even though I knew that it couldn’t hear me, but it felt right. Jake would rub my belly when he’d walk by me and we’d smile and talk about names, everything was such a dream. We just couldn’t believe that after so long we were going to finally be parents, and we were so very excited and so much in love with this little person already.

Everything changed 2 weeks later. I won’t go into great detail, but I started spotting and I just knew something was wrong. I went to go and have an ultrasound done and they told me they really didn’t even want to do one because of the spotting, but I insisted.

Being able to see our baby on the screen was such a lovely, surreal and relieving thing, and I am so grateful for that. But there was something wrong. Baby was measuring 1 and ½ weeks behind. They reassured me and told me that there are so many factors that are involved in a pregnancy that it was common for that to be the case at the first ultrasound. The ultrasound tech told me “unless you know exactly when you ovulated, you’d have no idea exactly how far along you were.” But I did know, and I knew all the other details about my cycle, in my heart I knew there was something wrong. I was hopeful, I knew God was in control of it all, but so worried and scared at the same time.

They scheduled another appointment for me to come back in the following week.

The next week dragged by.

The spotting continued and I was really starting to worry, even though everyone I talked to about it said it was completely normal and that it happens to so many women in the beginning of pregnancy and everything would turn out all right, but I felt like I already knew it wouldn’t be. This time in my life when I should have been so excited and joyful and getting ready for a baby to arrive was spent crying and praying and there were way too many sleepless nights of crying out to God and just thinking about everything going on.

A couple days before the next ultrasound all of my pregnancy symptoms that I had been having just disappeared. The nausea that had been there in full force was gone, I no longer felt sick to my stomach all day, and everything just felt different. I can’t explain it other than to say that I think women really do just know when things are wrong, it was my body and it just felt off.

I went into the ultrasound on the 18th of June. I was hopeful, but had already prepared myself for any news they had to give. Jake wasn’t able to get off of work that morning because they were swamped, and so I went alone. I great friend had offered to come in his place but I felt like somehow everything would be fine and I wanted to be by myself, no matter what the news was. This time they did 2 ultrasounds. I waited and held my breath while the ultrasound tech clicked on all the little measurements and made her notes, and from the look on her face I could tell something was wrong. She finished the ultrasound and told me she’d be back and to have a seat on the couch in the ultrasound room.

That’s never good.

She came back in, told me the sac had not grown and there was no fetal pole, and no heartbeat from what she could see and with as far along as I thought I was ( I knew I was) there should be a heartbeat and we should be able to see all of those things by now. I didn’t know what to say. I had no words. I knew it was a possibility, but I thought she must have been wrong, obviously she didn’t know what she was talking about. Then she offered to pray for me and asked if that would be okay? I told her yes and so she did. It was lovely and kind and I felt a brief moment of peace. She then scheduled me to go and have my blood drawn to check my Hcg levels because the ultrasound “can’t show everything”, and so off I went, feeling numb, and I had to drive myself, not a good combination. I don’t know how I made it all the way across town.

I got to the Women’s Clinic and walked into a waiting room filled with pregnant women. It was like a slap in the face. I had to sit in that waiting room and try not to cry. I was thinking that should be me, I should be just like that, and be just as happy, but I wasn’t anymore. I had some kind friends, part of a group of women that I’ve become so close to who are/were all on the same journey I was of trying to have a baby; that texted me as I was waiting, they were anticipating news and I’d hoped to have good news, and I told them it wasn’t, but I was getting blood drawn and they kept me calm. It was like they were right there holding my hand. I love these women so much, and we’ve never even met. It’s amazing the people God puts in your life for these very moments.

I got called back to the lab area and I walked in the lady looked at my chart and said “January baby, huh?!” I just nodded and smiled and said “Yup.” It was everything I could do to not cry. She took a few vials of blood and told me the doctor would call me the next day. More waiting. Great.

After I got home I had to text Jake and let him know what was going on, I couldn’t say the words out loud so I didn’t call him. I didn’t want to since he had to be at work for the rest of the day, but I felt like he had to know. Then I went in my bedroom, laid on my bed, and cried. Crying turned into sobbing, and screaming and yelling. Yelling at God for His broken promises, about why He would give us this baby only to take it away from us so soon, and how I didn’t know what He was trying to teach me through all of this but it was a really shitty way to do it. Yes I said it, and other things that I will not repeat here. I was pissed. I felt lost. I felt alone. I’ve felt far away from God before, but this time, it felt like it was even farther. I just didn’t understand how a God who says he loves me and wants to give me the desires of my heart would take away the very thing that so many people have prayed for, for so long. Why would He take away a baby that was so wanted, and so, so loved already?

I never knew I could love someone so deeply who I had never even met. It was the greatest heartache I’ve ever experienced.

Jake came home that night and in the quiet of our bedroom he walked in and I was bent over on the bed on my hands and knees sobbing. He just hugged me and held me and told me that everything would be okay, that he loved me, and he was pissed off about all of it too, but that whatever happened we would be okay. Then we just laid next to each other on the bed and I snuggled up next to him and just cried, and we talked, and cried for almost 2 hours until I felt like I couldn’t cry anymore and then we ate supper.

The doctor called the next day with my blood test results. My Hcg levels were 7500. He said that was good, that it didn’t necessarily mean anything since we didn’t have any previous numbers to go by, but the numbers were good, but that I’d have to come in on Friday to get my blood drawn again to see if there was a change. I was hopeful, I called Jake and told him. I told my friends and family. Everyone was still praying and trusting for a miracle that somehow God would take this and make everything perfect.

 I was hoping and trusting for a miracle too.


That miracle never came. That night I started bleeding, and I just knew that was it. The baby was gone. I didn’t tell anyone, not even Jake.

Friday morning, June 20th Jake left for work. I woke up in severe pain and went to the bathroom, still bleeding. I went back to bed hoping to get some rest. It was then in my tossing and turning that I felt the worst physical pain I’d ever felt, it lasted for what seemed like an eternity. I got up to go to the bathroom hoping I was wrong, but I wasn’t. It really was over. At least the physical pain was over.

I didn’t know what to do. I called a friend. I had to go and get my blood drawn which almost seemed comical at this point, but I went anyway. I had a bruise on my arm from the time before so the lab tech took it out of the other arm. She said the doctor would call me that day. He didn’t, he wouldn’t call until Monday morning to tell me what I already knew, but it didn’t matter.

I was mad. I was angry. I wanted to cry, but had cried so much the past 2 days that I couldn’t even do it. The heartache was there, but I just felt lost. I put it out there on Facebook, and so many women, so many, reached out to me with their stories of loss and it helped me to not feel so alone anymore. It still hurt, that pain was still there, but I knew I was not alone. I was part of a group of women, part of a club that I’d never wanted to be in, and my heart ached for me and Jake and for the baby we would never get to meet, and for all the couples and women that go through this every day. My heart just hurt so much.

My heart ached for the hopes and dreams that died that day, the plans we had already been making in preparing to have a baby, the love we had for the baby, also for the future that wasn’t going to be, and for the realization that everything I’d wanted was gone in a breath.


I don’t know why but I felt like it was a girl. So we named her “Grace.”

Sometimes in my dreams I think I see her face, and she is so perfect and whole and beautiful. I feel like this is God’s way of telling me she is alright.


We are still waiting expectantly and believing that God is who He said, and that He does keep His promises, and that He has something so much greater planned for us then we could ever have imagined. He is Faithful. He is Love. He is Truth. He has everything in His hands. His timing, not ours.

I don’t know why we’ve been chosen to walk this road. Does it still hurt? All the time. Sometimes it hurts to breathe. Some days the best thing I can do for myself is just to get out of bed for the day and that is good enough. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t wreck me when I think about what was lost. The tears do come and the pain is overwhelming. I would be lying if said that when my due date comes and goes in January that it won’t bring tears and that my heart won’t hurt, because it will. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to see women who are pregnant and announcements on Facebook, and wishing it was me, and that it was us making that announcement too, because I do.

I will always wonder who this baby would have been.

I don’t understand it, and I know it’s not for me or anyone to understand, but we are still trusting God and it is our prayer that He will take the ashes of our brokenness and make them beautiful. And even though we won’t get to hold our baby here on earth, and the pain of that is so great, I do know that I can’t wait to get to Heaven someday and meet our baby face to face.

So yes, this has been the hardest Summer of my life, and I am ready for what’s next. 

I am ready for new beginnings.

Ready for new seasons.

Ready for what God has in store for us.




Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Time Flies...

1 and 1/2 years.
18 months.
78.26 weeks.
589 days.
13,149 hours.
788,940 minutes.
47,336,400 seconds.

That's how long we've been trying to have a baby.
How long we've been waiting to have a baby.
How long we've been praying for a baby.

I remember when we decided it was finally "time" to have a baby, and I laugh at that now, like it was just going to happen because we decided, and it was actually up to us somehow.

I remember how happy I was. How happy we were.

I remember how hopeful I was, how I just knew it was going to happen and 9 months after we decided that we were going to try we'd have that baby in our arms, and it would be how it was supposed to be, because that's just the way it worked.

I remember talking about what we would name the baby when it was born and about what we would call the baby until the day it was born. Jake said if anyone asked we'd just tell them it was "Bob" (Baby Of Bodens), and since we were not planning on finding out the sex of the baby until it was born how that would be hilarious and funny and we'd joke and laugh about it.

I remember having dreams about the baby, about how life would be once the baby came and we'd be a family. We'd plan outings and make memories and take lots and lots of photos, I always said this baby would have no shortage of photos of it because I have a camera permanently attached to my hand at all times. Jake was relieved, because he was ready for me to practice on someone else besides him.

I remember how a few months passed and still no baby. I wasn't worried because I knew it was normal for it to take that long to get pregnant, and I just knew it would happen eventually.

I remember how 1 year passed and I still wasn't pregnant. That was a sad day for me. 1 year of trying to have a baby and still no baby. Meanwhile everywhere I looked friends, family, people I didn't even know were pregnant and having babies. It seemed like everywhere I looked there was a pregnant lady, couples out walking together and pushing strollers. Everyone was having babies, but we were still waiting, the hope was beginning to fade.

I remember announcement after announcement on Facebook and wondering when it was finally going to be my turn to make that announcement. Jake reassured me and said "I would have my turn soon." Always reassuring me. I remember how I longed for it to be "my turn" and month after month the stick would show one line no matter how much I hoped and prayed for that second line to appear, and I would cry and yell and cry some more, and mourn the baby that never was. Jake would let me cry and he would hold me and try to understand, and we'd try to understand together, but it would never make any sense, we never understood "why them, and not us", because when you want something like that so much and that's a huge desire of your heart, it doesn't make sense, and you don't understand, because there is no understanding in that broken place.

I remember holidays. Ugh, holidays. How well meaning people would ask "when?" and I would hold back the tears and have nothing eloquent or lovely to say and what I really wanted to say I couldn't say out loud because they just wouldn't understand and it would be awkward and I would cry and I didn't want to cry about it anymore, and having to sit through it all and not really feeling like anybody understood why I felt the way I did.

I remember walking away when people were walking towards me to talk to me because I didn't even want to chance the possibility that they would ask me questions about it all and I would break down and they wouldn't know what to do.

I remember feeling broken, less-than, like a failure, this shouldn't be this hard! "Maybe we're not supposed to have a baby...," "We don't deserve a baby." "Maybe if we hadn't of done (fill in the blank) or we did (fill in the blank) better......if we prayed more, or trusted God more, or cried less, or didn't want it so much, or just relaxed....maybe then I would get pregnant."

I remember becoming bitter, resentful, hateful, ugly and just plain angry about trying to have a baby. Jake and I were fighting more and more, and I was crying all the time. Marriage became even harder, because it's not hard enough some days, right? We started ignoring each other and spending less time doing things together, we would get mad at each other, and not even remember why, or what we were fighting about. We were having conversations that I never thought we'd ever have to have about "what's next?" "what do we do if we can't have a baby" and I would cry some more.

I remember thinking "this isn't how it's supposed to be." But it was and we didn't know how to change it, or what to do next, or differently.

I remember falling on my face and praying, crying out to God and screaming and yelling at Him and just thinking that He must not be listening to all the prayers going up on our behalf, because if He was we'd have that baby. I specifically remember reminding God that I was not a patient person and so if He was trying to teach me a lesson in waiting and patience that I had gotten the point, and He could send that baby our way any time now. I told him how tired and worn I was, how my heart hurt so much that I felt like it would explode from the pain, from the not understanding why.

I remember just last week I threw my hands up in the air and told Jake and I told God that I was giving up. I quit. I don't want this baby that I've been wanting for so long anymore. I told Him that it hurt too much and that I didn't want to hurt that much anymore and that it wasn't worth it. I told him that He could just keep giving all those babies to all the people who didn't love them that have been all over the news lately for hurting and killing their own children because obviously I wasn't crazy enough for Him to give me a baby, so He should just keep on doing what He's doing.

I'm sure He appreciated that.

I'm sure He heard me.

I am sure He still has His own plan.

I am sure that He knows what's best for my life.

I am sure that He's already been where I am going and He knows how the story ends.

I am sure that I don't understand it at all......and that's probably okay.

I am sure He still loves me.

I am sure that I say all of those things everyday, that I have to remind myself of those things daily even if the words seem hollow, because if I don't, I might not make it through the day without breaking down.

1 and 1/2 years.
18 months.
78.26 weeks.
589 days.
13,149 hours.
788,940 minutes.
47,336,400 seconds.

And counting............

Friday, September 6, 2013


I don't like it.

I don't like feeling broken.

It cuts deep to a place that I thought was long gone.

It makes me feel like a failure. It makes me feel gross and full of loathing and fear.

I don't like it. This brokenness in my life is making me feel like a failure at something I didn't even know I could be "bad" at.

How can you fail at something that you want so much, that you long for?

How can you fail at something that you've prayed so fervently for and cried out before God?

Today I am angry.

Angry because I feel broken.

Angry because I feel like a failure.

Angry because I feel like God isn't listening, like he doesn't hear me.

God do you hear me?! 

What are you trying to teach me?! I don't understand!

You know if you just let me have what I want my way that I wouldn't have to yell and be angry and frustrated!

And most of all I wouldn't feel broken.

I don't understand.

Today I am also thankful.

Thankful for a God who gives me mercy and grace when I have a temper tantrum and yell and scream and kick, trying to get my own way.

Thankful that he knows best.

Thankful that I won't be left in this place, that I can be restored.

Thankful that my heart will heal and I will continue to keep going because I need to.

Thankful that there is something that I can't even imagine or fathom that is going to come from all this brokenness.

Today I am praying for beauty in the brokenness.

Beauty from the ashes. 
That I would see it.
That I would receive it.


Isaiah 61:3 The Voice (VOICE) 3 As for those who grieve over Zion, God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness. People will call them magnificent, like great towering trees standing for what is right. They stand to the glory of the Eternal who planted them.

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