Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#3


Maybe you saw my husband's post yesterday.
A drawing for ALL 3 of my babies ;) 


I have been hesitant to post anything about our "news", but Nick knew just how to do it and did it so well. :) This is why we make a good team. He doesn't need many words to get across his point, but I do.
See, with that one picture comes many emotions and memories, many people that need to be thanked and so much thanksgiving, humbling and gratitude.




Ava was our emergency c-section, crazy experience of a first child. I am thankful she is here, healthy and growing so beautifully. She could have had a worse experience, had complications more than respiratory help, etc. But, she is well. We are thankful. She is our joy and our laughter. She has taught us so much and we are so thankful for her.





Noah, well, just read this entire blog's worth of posts and you'll know why he is our special middle child. His legacy is beyond what I will ever know. I tend to be wrecked by the power of his story, his little life, his testimony, his journey, his purpose. My son will always be my hero. I'm thankful for ALL we learned and ALL we gained by having him in our life.




#3- he or she is my little buddy that I am savoring. I think that is why I was hesitant to share him/her with the world just yet, because I didn't get this early pregnancy time with Noah and it is all a blur with Ava. She was our first, things were crazy and amazing, new and somewhat scary. Noah we did not find out about our pregnancy until later into the pregnancy and so I missed out on the beginning. This little one growing inside of me is my little person, in which I'm savoring every second of carrying. I am exhausted. All. The. Time. It's perfectly ok too.

I cannot say that I ever thought I would mother 3 children. I just figured we would have 2. When Noah was born I knew we would not be able to really try again, knowing we had a lifetime of craziness ahead with a heart baby. Maybe God would have shown me otherwise, but in my heart, I was set on 2 and that would be a blessing. When Noah died, I wasn't sure if we would have another one even still. Having another baby wasn't going to fix the fact that I had to give my baby back so soon. Another baby was not the answer to my grief and sadness. I kept my heart open though and as Nick and I walked through grief together we often talked about the time and season when we would be ready to take a chance.

Healing is an interesting thing. Healing leaves scars. I have a killer scar from my c-sections. My emergency experience made way for me to have a vertical scar. It is scary looking. Some may say I have a front butt... I know, bad mental picture. It is not pretty. It hurt both times. It took time to heal. Once it was stapled, once it was nicely stitched and glued. I can't go a single day without seeing it, thinking about it or sometimes wishing it wasn't there... but in reality, it has made me who I am today. That scar is a battle wound, a reminder that GOD IS FAITHFUL. He heals, he restores, he GIVES GOOD GIFTS THROUGH HARD CIRCUMSTANCES. Interestingly enough, that scar will be opened again. I see this journey ahead of me as I help to bring a new life into the world, that the emotional and spiritual scars will reopen during this season too and it will hurt, it will be uncomfortable, but it will be a reminder, it will teach me and it will assure me that GOD IS FAITHFUL and that HE GIVES GOOD GIFTS.

Healing doesn't create a perfect world after hardship, it doesn't make it all better or fix it to exactly how it was before. My scar has "healed" twice. There is an aftermath to the healing. It isn't pretty, it isn't how it was before the surgeries, it is even going to be opened again and have to re-heal. Does that even make sense? Our healing goes through seasons as well and sometimes things are reopened. Sometimes healing looks ugly. Healing isn't easy. Healing takes time. Healing takes effort on our part though, to do what is necessary to get there. If I did not take care of myself during the healing times post surgery, I could have complications.

What complications are you dealing with because you won't take care of yourself in the healing process??? We must allow healing to take place or infection can take hold, unnecessary pain can be added to the mix. How are you hindering your healing? Healing takes time and we all know that, but it can cease to happen if we don't let it. 

So, in this new season I am humbled. I'm not sure why God allowed me to have another shot at motherhood. I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready again for long nights and all the firsts. But, I know he knows. I know I was never ready to have a child with a heart defect. I was never in my life ready to hold my baby while he died. But, God knew. He knows what we need and why. He especially knows when.
I'm grateful and humbled by all the well wishes, prayers and excited hearts that are joining us on this next journey. I am thrilled to think about all the amazing relationships and friendship we have at this time in our life who will make such a mark on our family and new addition's life. Our new little one is going to be born into a family who now knows more than ever how precious life is, how special and fragile it is. He or she will be born into a family who is humbled, simplified, and intentional. He or she will be born into a family of believers who already love, pray for and cherish him/her. My cup overflows with gratitude for the gift of life this is.

There are hard parts to this though. What ifs can creep up. I'm praying through them and asking God with all that I am that this child is perfect and healthy. What an amazing thing to be able to hold my child they day they are born, even minutes after they are born?? What does that look like? How does that work? Will we take this child home? Will we get to watch him or her grow and develop like we have Ava? God knows. He always has. He has a plan. He has a purpose. Right now, my only job is to carry, love and pray for this little life. I can handle that. I don't have to plan out a thing, know the outcome or worry about it either way. I can savor, enjoy and hold onto every day I get this little one to myself.

Again, I cannot tell you how humbled and grateful we are to each of you for your words of encouragement, love, excitement, prayers and joy! You all have walked with us through the darkest moments of our life and now we get to walk through some joyous times! What answers to prayer are taking place even in this time!
Thank you is never (has never been) enough, but we do. We thank you and love you all.

December is going to be an exciting month for the W's.

I'll update you all as we travel this journey.

Love,
Ava, Noah and #3's mommy

Habakuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the deer's;
    he makes me tread on my high places.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

It's ok to celebrate Mother's Day...



Ava and Mommy
It's ok to enjoy Mother's Day. If you enjoy it and celebrate it and relish in the good things in your life outside of the death of your child, it is OK. It is ok to look at your other children with wonder and amazement, with thanksgiving and gratitude and it not offend the one who is no longer here. You can be mother to ALL of your children. You can celebrate being a mom if you only carried your baby for 6 weeks before he/she was called to heaven. You could have lost your child later on in their life, but you were left on this earth without them. You could have had a few months or years with your little and life will never be the same. Yet, you can still LIVE, LOVE and REJOICE.



The first mother's day after Noah died I was fragile. It had only been a little over 2 months since he passed and I was still in the trenches of grief. I so longed to hold him still and have him in our life. (I still do, don't get me wrong) That time in my grief journey was tender, raw and it was VERY hard for me to be around other children, other mothers and other people in general. I was very immature in many ways and I would compare, question and argue with God over why certain people got to raise their babies
Noah and Mommy
and I didn't. How did I get chosen to be the one who lost a child? What I have found out through it all, is that more often than I realized, someone has said goodbye to a child sooner than they wished. I try to not say lost so often, because in my reality, I know he is not lost. It is certainly a loss though. So many people in this world have walked through infant loss, child loss, miscarriage... I was not the only mom who was dealing with or had ever dealt with death in this way. It was humbling to realize that the world didn't revolve around my loss, my grief, my hurt. I was expecting people to understand or try to when they had no idea. I would never wish it upon anyone, but I wanted them to understand how privileged they were and blessed they were to have their children living. I was so ungracious. I had to realize that it wasn't my job to make sure the world doesn't take their children for granted as I rubbed in their face that my son was gone. It just wasn't how God was asking me to walk through my grief. I came to that conclusion and it was hard to swallow.
My mom, sister and PawPaw(We miss our Mimi very much) 

 I left family events early that Mother's day 2013. I hid from the crowd of family so I could hide my tears. I didn't want to be a burden, but I just couldn't handle watching everyone enjoy their kids while I missed mine so desperately. No one mentioned him and part of me wished someone would have, but in that same moment, I didn't need a reminder. Grief can be so up and down, so emotionally tormenting that you don't know what you really want, other than to see, hold and raise that child. I'll never understand why I was chosen to be a mom to a heart baby who finished his race at 5 months old. I wasn't meant to understand it. I do know that major events, friends and family gatherings, baby dedications at church, etc were all hard places to be. I am blessed to be surrounded by gracious friends and family who loved me through my hard times, but also reminded me of God's plan and goodness. Find ways to prepare yourself or take yourself out of those equations just to give yourself some peace, but at the same time, each time you take risks and make it a point to grow through hard experiences you gain wisdom and power. Just make sure you have some support!

It is ok to take time to grieve. We all know that the pain will never actually go away. There are times I will still find a piece of Noah's life, our journey and I'll just sit and weep. There are times when I will come across a picture of him in one of the staff's office or even walking in my own hallway at home and his eyes meet mine. There are days when trying to relive our experience is the closest I feel to him. Sometimes being in the middle of worship at church is when I feel closest. Wherever you are in your grief, it is ok to be there. It is ok to struggle with holidays and big events.

What I am learning in my season right now is that it is ok to REJOICE and ENJOY life again as well. I'm not offending or forgetting Noah's life because I am enjoying and relishing in the life we are in now.

I have not lost my mother. I do not understand what it is like to lose a mother. I am thankful I do not know what it is like, but I am very close to a number of women who have and I can say that I see you and I know it is hard to celebrate mother's day when yours is not here. I know it is difficult to watch your own children grow without her here. It must hurt to go through life changes and big new seasons and want to call her on the phone and tell her all about it only to be reminded that she won't pick up. There is something special about mothers and daughters and this message is still for you.

ENJOY MOTHER'S DAY! Celebrate your mother in any way you feel would be best! Maybe you go get a pedicure and just remember her as you relax and take that moment.  Maybe you take flowers to her graveside or just buy yourself a bouquet of flowers in her memory. Put them on your table and enjoy them!

You can celebrate your child in the same way, those of you who have laid to rest, a little one. Take your other children to Chuck E Cheese or the zoo and just talk about and celebrate the little life you miss so much. Buy some balloons and release them to heaven. Make cookies and take them to someone or just sit and enjoy them all together. I truly believe that the last thing to do on Mother's Day is to not do anything at all.

If I can encourage you in any way in this, please email me. There is a link on the top of the blog page. You can message me and I can try to share and encourage you. Give yourself space to have a hard time, but also give yourself permission to enjoy this day, celebrate with joy and live in thanksgiving for all the blessings in the past and present that God has given us!

MaMaw and Sharon (my grandmother in law and mother in law)
Have peace, moms and daughters. Mothers of those who have gone before, I am so sorry you have to go through another year of missing him or her. I wish that none of us had to go through this, but find empowerment, encouragement and joy again by celebrating you as you celebrate them. Pamper yourself a bit, indulge your self some, give yourself some space and ability to enjoy something because you have endured. Honor your child by honoring yourself. It may sound selfish, but I've found that sometimes it is healing. Daughters, enjoy Mother's Day for your mom. Celebrate her, her life, her legacy, her beauty by doing something in honor of her, maybe for yourself, maybe for others, for your family... You're all loved, seen and recognized in this holiday weekend. You are not far from my thoughts. You are close to my heart. If I can support you in some way, please let me know.
Before she was a momma, but she's one of my favorites! 

If you do something in honor of your child or your mother this weekend, share it with me! I would love to see what y'all come up with!

Happy Mother's Day,
Noah's AND Ava's Mommy