Thursday, December 16, 2010
Things are going well. We had an appointment today. Dr. said our little lady is measuring right on track. Today she's laying sideways with her head digging into my lower right side and her feet poking into my left ribcage. What a sweetie. :) I really don't mind....not yet anyway. Every movement is a reminder that we're blessed to have her and I'm thankful for that.
I've gained 19 pounds so far. They said about 30 by the end is what we're shooting for. They also said I'll be gaining 1/2 to 1 pound a week from here on out. That leaves 11 weeks until 40....or 8 weeks to full term. I can't believe it!
I feel like I've gotten MUCH bigger in the last week or two. I broke down and bought 3 pairs of maternity pants for work and my goodness....there's a reason they make them. They're SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE! Jeesh.
I am getting very tired again, my stomach is starting to ache all over and there are multiple times throughout the day that I just. need. to. sit. Lucky for me, I'm married to an amazing man who never complains about picking up my slack. He even surprised me a few weeks ago with not one, but TWO one-hour prenatal massage sessions for January and February. *sigh* What a guy. I can't wait to use them. I've already scheduled the first one. It. Will. Be. Divine.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We're getting the nursery semi-pulled together....a little at a time. My wonderful Nate took off all the baseboards, sanded, re-stained and varnished before we were allowed to decorate. Now, we're watching the clearance end caps like vultures and scoring some pretty sweet deals.
Here's the progress so far:
Martha, here’s your close-ups:
The zebra has the hymn“Come thou Fount” as his white fur.
This owl has a belly made out of a torn-out book page. Don’t worry, I used a crappy cowboy book…nothing good.
Repurposed birds from a baby shower I threw for a friend…
These came in the mail yesterday- the first set of 12 reusable diapers. Average savings per child: $2,000. (!!!)
Our deal of the week: 3-piece luggage set for little girl Eigsti.
We found these at Kohl’s.
Price reduced to $49.99.
15% off coupon
$10 off coupon
gift card from Grandma E.
Total cost: –$1 (YESSS!!!!)
And just for good measure, here’s what Charlie is up to. There’s a new little lady that moved in this summer- her name is Bella and she LOVES Charlie. He might be partial to her as well…..as you can see.
Spread the love!!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
* is one of the kindest, most gentle men I've ever met.
* Is a Vietnam Veteran
* He's always been an encourager, gave me freedom to dream out loud and share ridiculous visions for my future, and allowed me to be completely myself.
* He was always proud of me and made sure I knew.
* He's a verbal encourager.
* I used to wish so badly that I was a runner, because my dad was and I respected him so much for it.
* Some of my favorite memories are of him working on a project in the garage, the smell of sawdust or varnish permeating the air. I would sit for hours in a lawn chair watching him or journaling, classic rock on Z-98 blasting from his paint-splattered stereo.
* He's an amazing artist and craftsman and doesn't "play" with his talents nearly as much as he should.
* So many of his traits are similar to Nate's, and I'm thankful for such a wonderful dad to show me how husbands should really treat their wives.
* He and my mother have so much fun.
* I. Love. This. Man.
These are my adorable parents. We took this picture at the Omaha Zoo this past summer.
* Has the biggest heart of anyone I know
* Is not afraid to cry
* Talks more about how blessed we are than anything else
* Should have written a book with all of his stories that we hear again and again and love it every time.
* Is a WWII Veteran
* Became a follower of Christ after he was married and had his first son- because a pastor knocked on their door to share Christ with his community.
* My favorite memories of him are singing "Down by the Old Mill Stream" and swinging on the front porch swing- just the two of us.
* He spends nearly every morning walking the mall with my grandma. He does more walking, she does more shopping. :)
* He loves wearing flannel and plaid.
* He's a "hat grandpa" and looks adorable wearing them.
* Grandpa LOVES Port wine. It was one of the 3 items on his Christmas list last year.
* This man and his wife have been married for over 68 years, and she still giggles at him.
* "Whatever you do, don't overdo it" is one of his favorite sayings.
* So many times I've thought "What would Grandpa do" and rationalized decisions based on his character because I respect him so much.
* He is wiser than any other person I have ever met- at least, I like his advice the best.
* I feel so incredibly blessed to STILL have the ability to call and have meaningful conversations with him.
* He is one of my favorite people in the whole world. Love him!
Here he is at the Lion's Club pancake feed a couple of years ago.
And for good measure, here are the ladies on a very windy mother's day this past spring. What a bunch of cuties. :)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Today I met my husband after work at the cemetery where our son, Oliver, is buried.
Today is his due date.
I woke up in a bit of a fog, not having slept well, but brushed myself off and headed for work. It wasn't until I was mere blocks from work that I realized how hard moments of my day were possibly going to be. The only sign of a Kleenex I had in the car were the drive-through napkins stuffed in the passenger side door compartment- just out of reach, and the half paper towel with smears of cream cheese from my morning bagel. I'm not sure if I just needed a really good cry, or if it was the realization that the wetness I felt on the paper towel was either from A) tears or B) parts of cream cheese that I was potentially smearing all over my cheeks that caused me to break down into the sob-fest. Could have been a combination of the two.
By the time I got to school, my eye liner was gone completely, and I was really wishing that I had my faux glasses to slightly cover the increasingly puffy eyes.
All joking aside, today has been, for the most part, normal. There have, however, been small bits of great heartache as I daydream about snuggling up to a perfect baby boy, who could have been here by now. I've allowed the visions of a new baby for Thanksgiving and Christmas enter my heart and head. I've glanced more than once in the direction of "Baby's first Christmas" outfits and "Santa's little helper" sleepers at Target and Khols. I've wished that he could be here with us. I've imagined Nate holding his son, Oliver curled up into the newborn ball, taking naps on dad's chest, and even wished for crying in the middle of the night from a little voice.
We are daily prayerful and thankful for our daughter, who will join our family in March. We love her and look forward to sweet moments with her. She will bring great joy in a few months, and we know that.
But today, we remember our little boy who will never be held this side of Heaven. We won't hear his cries or watch him learn to crawl. He'll never take first steps or attend a Thanksgiving or Christmas family gathering at Grandma and Grandpa's. We'll never buckle him into a car seat or pack a suitcase for him on vacation. He'll never play with Charlie or learn to crawl on our stairs. He just won't. And today, that makes me cry. We really wanted him. We really loved him. And we had such mighty dreams for his life.
Today we remember Oliver. We think of him every day. We love him always. And we look forward to meeting him and sharing in the joys of Heaven one day.
Happy November 3rd, Oliver. We love you.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This is a shot of her bum and legs. I think her shins and feet are tucked or going straight at the camera. She DOES have 2 entire legs.
These are her legs (on the left)- thigh, shins and feet, and her elbow is resting on her knee.
This is her body- sans the head. Her back is at the top, you can see ribs, legs on the left, shoulder and arm on the right.
This is a profile of her face. She’s looking up…..see it?
And in this one, she’s looking at the camera, one hand under her head and one up on top- looks like she’s poking herself in the eye.
What a sweetie! We’re so so SO excited….thanks for all the prayers! We’re feeling extremely blessed with a healthy little girl on the way!!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I'm trying everything to keep my mind off of the VERY exciting appointment we have today.
And to be honest, I'm a little scared. I'm trying really hard to "not be afraid"...but it's so easy to relive unpleasant appointments from the past and fear that we're going to be faced with more bad news today.
However, I'm trying to be simply joyful for this day. Excited for the news, hopeful for a clear picture, and so so eager to see the profile of our little miracle.
If you read this before or around 1pm, please pray for our appointment- that things will go well, that we will be ready to receive the news they have for us (hopefully good news) and that we would be able to enjoy our visit and the glimpse of our sweet little babe. I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with exciting news for you!!!
Enjoy this beautiful fall day!!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Just thought you should know. :)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I suppose I should put a few belly photos up as well. :) I'll be 20 weeks on Sunday- half way there!!!
This was taken yesterday at 19 weeks, 2 days.
And this was a couple of weeks ago for a Saturday Husker game.
This is April and I at her shower on Sunday.
Here are a few shots from the night. Charlie was a BIG help...as you can see from the expression on my face. He just HAD to be in the middle of everything, as usual. :)
The animal artwork was a project that we started for Oliver, but we loved them, so we're using them for this baby instead. There are 7 all together- 12 x 12 inch frames and the animals are made from scrapbooking paper. They turned out really cute.
I sat down tonight to post and was overwhelmed at the amount of photos, stories, and events of which I should write and share. The task seems too daunting for tonight, so I'll just share a little at a time.
Last weekend we went to the farm and took Ann with us for her first combine ride. It was a beautiful day and she did a great job. :) And it's always pretty cute to watch Nate drive around tractors and combines like a real farm-boy. :)
And Charlie didn’t mind having a backseat buddy for the ride there. :)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sam's Lady Pasta Salad
1 package tri-color pasta spirals (or whatever pasta you want to use)
Chicken (canned or grilled)- we grilled ours and cubed it.
Parmesan cheese- shredded
Cook pasta. Combine with remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
If it's easy enough for samples, it's easy enough for you. :)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Praise our good and gracious God!
Here's our first ultrasound picture at 10 weeks.
It's been a strange journey for us. We prayed and prayed that God would prepare us for the next season of life- whether that meant another baby, another miscarriage, or trouble getting pregnant. We trusted in His plan but at the same time wanted to be careful with our hearts. Thankfully, we had no problems, but that doesn't mean we've forgotten what it's like to walk through that hard season. Our hearts are much more compassionate to families who struggle, and we're thankful for that.
With the last pregnancy, I bought a journal for the baby the day we found out, and wrote in it even after we had lost Oliver. I wanted to write in journals for all of my children and give it to them at a special moment in their adult life- a wedding, graduation, or some other significant time. This time, I finally bought the journal a couple of weeks ago and it sits unopened in my sewing room. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's harder to invest yourself completely when you're afraid...or at least aware that sometimes God's plans don't guarantee that there won't be pain and sadness.
However, we are really excited. We've been telling lots of friends and coworkers and we're looking forward to the next season. I'm feeling MUCH better. This summer the couch, ginger ale, saltines and my ice cream bucket were my best friends. (Or maybe worst enemies!) I tried to remind myself that I was thankful to be feeling so sick because it meant that things were progressing as they should. :)
On a MUCH lighter note, if you know my mother at all, you know she's a food goddess. I love reading the recipes she posts on her blog and I admire her sense of adventure in the kitchen. She's been that way as long as I can remember and I'm thankful for the variety of foods she introduced us to as children. My brother and I are some of the best foodies in the business- we love to eat and we're both becoming very fond of our own kitchen creations.
Today Nate and I decorated the house for fall. With that came old CD's that reminded us of fall, and some good cookin' in the kitchen. This afternoon I made these blueberry muffins from a William Sonoma cookbook I inherited upon marrying Nate. (He came with a WONDERFUL selection of beautiful William Sonoma cookbooks)!!!
For the topping:
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. each granulated sugar and firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the Muffins:
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temp.
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (I used 2 cups frozen- measured wrong! :)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 standard muffin cups.
Mix topping and set aside.
With electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar. Add eggs and blend.
In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Add dry mixture to sugar, eggs and butter in 2 batches, alternating with milk and vanilla. Batter might be lumpy. Fold in blueberries. Don't over mix.
Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.
I've just pulled a tater-tot casserole out of the oven for supper. I was telling Nate the story of how Grandma D. used to let me put the tots on top when she made it. I was always so careful to make a perfect pinwheel in her round baking dish. :) What fun memories.
I've got to run. Check my facebook for photos of the Colorado trip- and maybe I'll get some up here soon. And if you're lucky, maybe a belly photo in a couple of weeks. :)
Monday, August 9, 2010
Anyway, drool over this- my morning tea/Bible time spot with my sweetie, and check back at the end of the week for more photos!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Mom's Zucchini Bread- from allrecipes.com
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
3 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. vegetable oil (I always use canola- it's heart healthy!)
2 1/4 c. white sugar (I cut this to 1 1/2 cups)
3 t. vanilla extract
2 c. grated zucchini
1 c. chopped walnuts
1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and completely cool on wire rack.
Dad's Zucchini Soup (straight from my papa!)
1 pound itallian sausage
1/2 pound ground turkey
2 c. diced celery
2 pounds sliced zucchini
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 28-oz cans tomatoes (diced)
1 14-oz can tomato puree
1 t. salt
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 green pepper chopped
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated parmesean cheese
*Can add 1/2 c. pasta if you want- cook first)
Brown sausage and turkey with onion and celery in a large soup pot.
Add remaining ingredients except for zucchini, green pepper and cheese.
Cover, simmer 20 minutes.
Add green pepper and zucchini.
Cover, cook another 10 minutes.
Garnish with cheese.
Zucchini Cornbread Casserole- also from allrecipes.com
4 c. shredded zucchini
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn muffin mix
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, muffin mix, salt and pepper. Stir in 4 ounces of the cheese. Spread this mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish; top with remaining 4 ounces of cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven for 60 minutes.
Nate's Chocolate Zucchini Cake (although, I think it's his mother's recipe)
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. oil
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sour milk (?- I think they add vinegar? Maybe a tablespoon)
2 1/2 c. flour
4 T. cocoa
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 C. grated zucchini
1/4 c. chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)
Cream butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat well. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Put in 9 x 13 pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes. YUM!
I can't guarantee that these are all "healthy".....but they sure taste good, and when you've got zucchini laying around....you don't want to let it go to waste. :)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I've been stuck on this for a few weeks now:
I've been stuck because I haven't had much time to read. I'm only on chapter 10 and most of the previous chapters were read either yesterday or today. I've been a bit busy - or as busy as one can be with summer break and not a lot to do.
I took a couple of days last week and headed north to my parents' house with Charlie. My mission was to clean out the boxes I had stashed in the basement years ago when I was in high school and college. Eight trash bags full of clothes, and 2/3 of dad's truck bed full of "stuff" went to donations. It's amazing how badly you NEED to buy something and ten years later, it's completely lost value and is being dumped at the local goodwill. Makes me think about the things I think I must have.....
Other than that, summer continues to be a great blessing. I've had lots of time to read, cook, nap, spend time with friends, etc. And I like having the capacity to invest in other people when I'm not stressed out about work or students or report cards, grades, tests, etc. It's nice to be home. I think I could get used to this. :) Just in time to head back in 4 weeks. My dear husband probably appreciates a more relaxed me as well....it's just been an all around nice summer. :)
Friday, June 25, 2010
I just finished book 2 today and I'm on to book 3 this evening or tomorrow morning. What I'm really excited for is snuggling up with Mr. Wonderful (Nate) and watching the 2nd movie.
I'd better be careful. These long summer days at home are allowing me far more reading time than I ever imagined. I'll snap out of it soon, only 5 books to go! (HA!) I'm sure eventually Charlie and I will make a trip up to see my folks for a few days, and I'll get to my classroom at some point as well. But for now, I'm relishing in the opportunity to kick back and enjoy some light summer reading!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Nate and I are crafty. We love to create. I haven't been very good about posting photos lately, so you get a load of them now- a few of my favorite things from la casa de Eigsti.
This is one of many garden lights that Nate created this year. They've got a solar pannel in the top and they hang in the trees to create a sweet ambiance when the sun goes down. I love them.
I love to read. And I love elephants.
Here is one of Charlie’s favorite blankets.
Whipped up this little tea towel for my good gal, Martha. Next time, I’ll get one of those rings before I try to hand-stitch again. Sheesh.
It is my goal this summer to get my stitch on. I’ve got ideas buzzing around in my head and I just need to get some coffee and lock myself in my sewing room while Nate is at work. That would make me very, very happy.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Just thought I'd let you know. :)
We just got back from Nate's brother's wedding in KC. I've got lots of pictures to share- but not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
1 bar Fels Naptha
1 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer (All Natural) Washing Soda
1 1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
(or any variation of these amounts, so long as the proportions are the same)
All you do is grate the Fels Naptha and mix it with the two powders! Note that the Arm and Hammer Soda is WASHING soda, not baking soda. I put all the ingredients in a bag, shake it up, and store it in my linen closet (which sort of acts as an air freshener too). Or you could store it in a little container or something too.
The thing with this home-made stuff is that you don't need as much in each load as you would with the store-bought stuff, and it has natural fabric softeners in it, so you can forget the staticky sheets that you never find until you put your arm through a sweater sleeve. The recommended amount for each load is about 2-3 tablespoons. Honestly, I put more than twice that amount out of personal preference, but just play around and see what works best for you. Also, this powder won't make suds like regular laundry detergents, but don't worry... it's still working.
The absolute BEST part is that it's a small step towards making your life a little more environmentally friendly, consuming less and saving money! It totally makes sense! All of the ingredients can be found at a grocery store, but don't forget to take your reusable shopping bags when you go!!
She's a real gem. I'm excited to see how it turns out. In fact, my first load might be done now! Happy laundering, everyone!
I finished school last week so I'm on summer vacation! I'm going to miss my 1st graders, but will LOVE my time off. I plan to spend it in these ways:
digging into my Bible
going through a 90-day Proverbs 31 woman devotional with my best bud April
drinking lots and lots of iced coffee
playing with Charlie
planning meals for my man
Jazz in June
evening walks with my guys (Nate and Charlie)
Jason & Michelle's wedding (!)
tending to my garden
eating lettuce from my barrels
singing (really loudly) to lots of great music while I'm home alone
I'm excited for the new season. I'm looking forward to growing as an individual and REALLY looking forward to having the capacity to invest more in the people I love.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
This weekend, I'm bringing flowers home for him. Usually they're for me. This time, they're strictly for Oliver. They'll sit on top of the piano- one of my favorite places in our home. And I'll think of our son every time I see them. When I was pregnant, I used to play the piano and dream of the day Oliver's ears could hear the beautiful hymns and songs. I'd dream of telling him about Jesus and that he had a God who loved him even more than his parents do. I dreamed of teaching him the words to old hymns and letting him pound on the keys while I played along.
He's already doing those things now- and Heaven's hymns, I'm sure, are far more beautiful than any music I could have taught him here.
"Oh what peace the Spirit of Jesus brings
through the trials He will carry me
One day, in Heaven, our eyes will meet
Filled with wonder, all the saints will sing
Hallelujah! What a savior!
I owe everything to Him
Hallelujah what a savior
Hallelujah to my King "
We love you, little Oliver. Happy Memorial day!
Friday, May 14, 2010
I thought I was getting better and that I was able to handle the entire situation more gracefully than before. But with Mother's Day, a great friend having her 10-week ultrasound, parents of students having babies or announcing a new pregnancy, friends posting due dates on facebook, or the child waving a long run of ultrasound pictures out his mom's car window as they drove away from school today.....I'm finding myself broken and sad. Just sad.
I'm not saying this to make you feel sorry for me or to boo-hoo all over myself. But this is me. This is real and this is me today. This is me yesterday. And I pray to God that this isn't me tomorrow.
I think, my dear friends, that this is grief.
I miss my tiny baby boy.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Today I've struggled to keep myself together. Tomorrow we're headed up to see my parents and spend the day with them. I'm so thankful to spend the day with my mom- there's no one else like her when I'm feeling scared and confused and trying to push the lumps back down from my throat.
I'm feeling much stronger lately. I'm not sure if I actually am stronger or if God's answering the flood of prayers for us and providing a peace that I can't understand. A part of me wants to sort it all out. Another part of me wants to throw my hands in the air and say "who cares what goes where- I feel better, we'll get through this, and I AM a mother and I'm celebrating that". Today I choose the latter.
Happy mother's day, everyone.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
"I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people about grief in the last two and a half years. Some I’ve been able to answer personally, some I haven’t. There’s really no formula for how I decide which ones to answer and which ones not to. It’s more of an in-the-moment thing, where I have 15 minutes and can pour my soul into a response to a complete stranger.
Many of the emails come from people who know someone who just lost a baby–someone from church, a family member, a close friend. That’s probably because the people who just lost the baby are not even sure what’s happening and are completely and utterly in shock. The people on the outside have their heads on straight enough, relatively speaking, to put an email together and ask for help, or even just commiseration.
The one thing I’ve found myself writing to these people over and over again is this: Give brokenhearted love. Ask God to give you a broken heart. That will go further with your friend than any meal or house-cleaning ever could. Granted, I think meals and house-cleaning are immensely important to offer, and some people will be particularly gifted in giving those things. But if you want to go deeper into the loss with your friend, you’re going to have to be heartbroken.
For one thing, grief is really isolating. Especially when it’s a baby who is stillborn, people can sometimes think things like, “Oh, well the baby never lived outside the womb. It’s not like they knew that baby or anything.” And when you come home without a baby, there’s very little evidence that that child ever existed. So when you’re going through the hell of grief, it can feel like you were the only one who lost that baby, and that everyone else’s life has just moved on.
And in some sense, that’s true. Most people are not marking the days and weeks the same way as you are. But there will be a few who will.
And I suppose that’s who I’m writing for, the people who remember.
In our culture, people don’t like to talk about death. And dead babies??? Forget it. That’s because it’s horrifying. I’ll never forget how terrified I was to look at Felicity for the first time. And she was my child.
But brokenhearted love will choose to take on the horror and bear it with you.
In the first few weeks after we lost Felicity, a stranger who I didn’t know (but who went to our church) was signed up to bring me a meal. I kind of had my brave face on to answer the door, get through the interaction, get the food, exchange a few pleasantries back and forth, and get back to my existence.
But there was something very different about this person. As she handed me the food, she was sobbing. I’m not exaggerating here–tears flowing down her face. I was completely disarmed. I remember eventually she asked me if she could see Felicity’s room, if we had it set up. And before I knew it, I was climbing the stairs with this complete stranger, taking her into one of the most sacred spaces in my home.
It felt kind of crazy, but it felt safe. Because she was heartbroken. Just like me, heartbroken.
And even just last week, I had someone tell me that she stopped at Felicity’s grave. And she told me, through her tears, what she was thinking and feeling about that. It’s been two and a half years. She’s never told me anything like that before. And so we stood in her back yard and cried real tears together.
This is the bravery of brokenhearted love.
People who are grieving need to know that they’re not alone. They need to know that their loss is somehow your loss too. Tell them that you visited the cemetery–not for brownie points, but because you want to remember with them. Tell them that you cried in the bathtub the other day. Tell them that when you hear a certain song it takes the breath out of your lungs.
I’ll warn you: you might cry when you tell them these things. HALLELUJAH! You have NO idea what that will mean to someone who’s grieving. Let it FLOW! What are we holding it together for anyway? So our mascara doesn’t run? So we won’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable? There’s a reason that lump forms in your throat. It’s because you’re holding something in that wants to come out!
So if you’re wondering what you can give your grieving friend, I know it sounds totally cliche, but…give them your heart. Lay it bare. Entering into their pain and sharing your experience of the loss will be profoundly comforting.
I’ve made it through the last two years and seven months because of brokenhearted love. It’s been a gift to me, from those who were willing to give it."
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Now I'm home for the second day- trying to keep crackers and gatorade in my system. Ironically this all started just hours after writing in my prayer journal about the struggles of slowing down. I like to stay really busy so that I don't have to think about the reality of life. Slowing down gives me more time to think and more time to process and inevitably, I become sad and emotional. It's easier to ignore and keep moving. God has a funny sense of humor. "Here Heather, here's the flu. Why don't you just sit for a couple of days, talk to me, listen- stay home alone, lay on the couch and just BE." Agh. Fine.
So, here I am.
This past week has been the hardest of them all. I'm hearing from some reliable sources that hormones take a few weeks to get back to normal. I feel so unlike myself some days. Postpartum? Maybe. A sad mama? Very possible. A "mom" who doesn't feel like a mom because there isn't anyone to show for it? Yes. Everything inside me knew I was a mom- but now....he's not here. Babies should either be IN their moms or close enough that mom can hold them. I've got neither. And that's hard to understand and hard to process through.
I know that women go through this all the time. But you don't think about it being this hard all the time. Deal with it and move on.
One of the hardest things is seeing other people "deal with it and move on"- which is exactly what they should do. But I can't seem to get there. I can't deal and move because I think about it all the time. I miss him all the time.
I know it takes time. I know that it's OK to take everything one day at a time. Some days will be good, some days will be a lot harder. I know that it's OK to be sad and to cry. But I'm tired of crying and I'm tired of being sad. The very selfish mother in me wants to hold onto God by His shirt collar and scream at Him, "I WILL be a good mother. Nate WILL be a wonderful father. You WILL give us this child and we WILL take incredibly good care of him!"
But the sane person in me trusts that God's plan is far greater. Oliver may never have developed into a full functioning child. God may just have saved us some unimaginable heartache. He has a story for us and one day we will look back and see how this fits perfectly into the story with a beautiful ending. Right now in this season, this is hard.
Thanks for all your prayers and encouraging words. It's so nice to not feel "forgotten" even as the rest of the world moves on. We feel lifted by your prayers and we know that we're being supported by friends all around the world.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The name we chose is Oliver Richard. We like the name Oliver because it is a form of "Olive tree" and when we thought back to what the olive trees symbolizes, we were reminded of the flood and Noah who sent out a dove to find land. The dove came back with a branch from an olive tree which was a sign that God takes care of us- even through storms, that He fulfills the promises He makes to never leave us and that He will always pull us through the "floods" of life with His mighty hand.
The name Richard is in honor of Nate's grandpa who went to Heaven a few years ago. He was a faithful prayer-filled man who loved the Lord and was admired and respected by his family and friends. We take comfort today knowing that Grandpa and Oliver get to take care of each other until we get there.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Wanted to give you all an update on how things are going. It’s funny how quiet our home seemed when we came home from the hospital yesterday. Just knowing that our little guy (we’re pretty sure he was a dude) was no longer growing from the size of one fruit to another every week. It just seemed quiet. How can we miss a little guy that we only saw on the ultrasound once? It’s been tougher than we could have ever imagined. But, we are clinging to our faith and the God that gives and takes life. We don’t understand…we hurt…but we have faith in God’s plan.
Last night and this morning were both really hard in preparing for the surgery where they take our little guy’s body from Heather’s womb. Something about that surgery seemed so cold and invasive. As a father and a husband, it broke my heart to see Heather wheeled away this morning. I couldn’t hold her hand or even be with her as they performed the surgery. But I was comforted by the doctor’s remarks that it was a successful surgery and everything on the inside looked very normal and healthy. Outside of what appeared to be a chromosome mismatch, there is no reason the baby would not have survived. The environment in the womb is very healthy and had been progressing as it should. He didn’t see any reasons that we would have complications in the future. Heather was a trooper – she went through three nurses (two students and then one seasoned veteran) to get her IV in. Both hands now have some major souvenirs. The right hand has eight visible “attempts”. Heather is doing well this evening; a few cramps, but relatively well.
We were incredibly comforted to know where our baby is going to be laid to rest. The hospital will bury our child in October in the Lincoln Cemetery with other little babies that have not made it this year. We will be able to participate in a walk with other parents and see where his physical body lies.
I cannot tell you how loved and encouraged we have felt by each of you. Your thoughts, prayers, calls, texts, visits, etc. have been uplifting and a breath of fresh air while we mourn. We don’t feel that we are in this alone. Last night we were talking about how blessed we are with the friends and family that have supported us. Not only that, but also the many encouragements to keep our focus on how God is and has been taking care of us. A dear friend sent us the following song to offer comfort:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FobeElssLCs (we can’t find a clear version- but this gives you an idea) “Glory Baby” by Christy Nockels of Watermark
Brings us to tears, but gives us comfort. Also, Amy Grant’s latest song was a favorite of ours before the events of this week. The lyrics have taken on a whole new meaning after this week:
And so many verses:
Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Psalm 139: 13-14 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV) "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit"
So we rejoice with many tears in our eyes. Somehow. We don’t understand, but we trust. After all, that’s what faith is, right? We are moving forward a few steps at a time, hand in hand. For any of you that have children or will soon, please do not feel that you need to refrain from sharing stories, joys or challenges with us. We love each of you and your children the same today as we did three days ago. We would never feel offended, jealous or hurt. No need to walk on eggshells with us - so please share the stories and let us laugh, cry and support you as you have us.
We love you all and appreciate your prayers and support. If I could ask one thing I ask that as you continue to pray for us as we grieve, that you also pray for our parents and siblings. This was the first grandchild and nephew on both sides. They are grieving – as their hearts have also been broken. They don’t get the same attention and prayers as we do. So please pray for them.
Nate & Heather
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I've been avoiding this post. Mostly because I'm not sure where to start. I've been looking forward to sharing our news for over a month- well, since we found out on February 28th that we were going to be the proud new parents of Baby Eigsti- arriving in November 2010. We. were. elated. We immediatly told parents on both sides about their first grandbaby, we sent our siblings cards addressed to "Aunt Emily" and "Uncle James"...phone calls were carefully made to those we wanted to be praying for us and our new family. And over the Easter holiday, we decided we were "close enough" to week 12 to share with any extended family that was there. Everyone was so excited.
Nate and I both took a half day on Monday this week to have our first ultrasound at 10 weeks. We saw a strong heartbeat, and our sweet little miracle on the monitor and tears streamed down both of our faces. He really was there! That was the first proof we'd had that our assumptions and positive home pregnancy tests weren't just a mean trick- we really were pregnant! And there he was!
We were then met with the words, "I have some concerns" and from that point forward our world seemed to quickly spiral down with information we didn't really understand and complications that we couldn't control. They sent us to Methodist in Omaha the following morning for a "second opinion" and by the time we got there, the baby's heart had stopped and we were looking at a time to schedule a D&C back in Lincoln. How quickly our dreams were stomped out; this option had never crossed our mind- we were now parents with a child in Heaven. The concerns had been over the amount of fluid that was on Baby E's brain. We were ready to parent a child with some mental instabilities. We were scared and unsure of how to tackle our new role as "parents of a child with special needs"- but we were going for it. The fact that we might go there that morning and find a dead baby were not options in our minds. We had never even considered that possibility. We were ready for some hard news- but not that hard.
My mom had driven to Omaha that morning to be with us at our appointment. I wanted her there to ask parent questions that we wouldn't think of on our own. Her being there for that hard news was vital. She called all the family on that side so we didn't have to. And there's nothing like a mother's hug when the world drops out from under you.
The surgery to remove Baby E was yesterday morning. Everything went fine. I hated going there. I hated knowing that we were going with our baby but would have to leave without him; that we would come home and he would stay there with all the other little babies that haven't made it. The doctors said everything looked really good and there was no reason other than a chromosomal mismatch that would have caused a baby not to survive in my womb. I think I'm supposed to be comforted by this. Right now, I'm not. I wanted that baby. I wanted a November 2010 birthday. I wanted to go to Jazz in June in tank tops and skirts with a cute little baby belly. I wanted to wander the farmers market in my flip flops and dresses- baby belly and Nate in tow. I wanted that baby.
What Nate and I are holding onto now are the promises we know to be true. God's timing is far greater than anything we can see or imagine. He knows what is best. HE knows what kind of life Baby E would have had. He knows how hard it might have been for us to struggle as parents to a child who could never have lived a full functioning life. We rest assured that God made a very difficult decision for us and that He ended this life in His timing so that Baby E, Nate and I would not have to suffer so much. Right now, we lean on those things.
We've had a revolving door of people we love stopping by to visit, phone calls, texts, emails, cards, etc. We appreciate them all. I default to "hostess" when people stop by. I pull myself together and act as if everything is OK. On the phone, I can give the facts, I can talk about any of it, I can quote the Bible verses we're holding onto. But late at night when the house is still, early in the morning while we're lying in bed unable to sleep, in the shower, on the couch staring out the window, when Nate sits next to my curled up body- those are the moments I'm caught off guard. Those are the times when I break down and simply can't bear the thought that he's not here anymore. And then I have to dream of Grandpa Eigsti or Ann's dad playing with our little one- people we knew and loved who are in Heaven- they must be taking care of our little guy. They loved us, they must love him too. And I'll always know that Jesus loves the little children and has already welcomed our little guy with His loving arms. I just wanted to hold him too. We both did. And some day we will- but we'll have to wait for a while to do that.
So, that's what's happening in our lives. It's been a really hard week. Your prayers are much appreciated. We love all of you and know we have lots of love and support from family and friends. That and our faith is what is getting us through this.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
So, for you today, Amy Grant and "Better than a Hallelujah"
The embedded version is unavailable right now- go check it out on youtube. It's wonderful.
Monday, March 8, 2010
This is from the same student who produced the poems "vacuum", "scratch", etc. from a February post. Here's a story he wrote this week.
I have a kitty! We got her from the vet.
Meow, meow, meow went the kitty all the way home in the truck. We named her Meow.
I was bugging the cat. Poke, poke, poke! ERR! Meow clawed my cheek! OUCH! She made me bleed.
Pet her nicely! It makes Meow angry when I'm not gentle.
I like to play with kitty.
Monday, March 1, 2010
So tonight I went back to 2007 and perused through some of my old posts. It made me miss my college self- I was witty. I was hilarious. I made myself laugh out loud. I am proud of who I was. And wondered where she went. Maybe she's still around....just a little older and more refined. Refined. Ha.
My goal now is to get back to that creative, literary mindset. READ! Write! Sit at a coffee shop simply to....be at a coffee shop. Pretend to be a queen for a day, throw worms in the rain, smell and listen and feel the seasons like I used to.
Now it seems like life is just too fast. It's hard to remember to slow down and experience life. It's easy to go through the motions and forget about the joys and passions that I have. So....I will try to let myself be a little more free. Free to be ridiculous. Free to be hilarious. Free to suck all the marrow out of life. And for heaven's sake- spring and rainstorms are just around the corner- this shouldn't be difficult!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
We've been very busy this weekend with a bathroom project. Our master bath used to look like this:
(Clearly this photo was taken BEFORE we moved in. Nate wanted me to make sure you didn't assume WE had a shiny gold free standing toilet paper holder or a fluffy toilet seat cover.)
New hardware, paint, lights, mirrors, towel ring and toilet paper holder helped spiff up what used to be a stuck-in-the-ninety’s style bathroom and gave it a calm, modern feel. Eventually we’d like to lay tile- but not this weekend. :) Here are a few photos.
That is a new light fixture. I wish we had a photo of the old one. I’ll give you a description: shiny, gold, ruffled frosted glass.
New robe hooks:
And the finished product:
And here’s what else we’ve been up to:
Saying farewell to some dear friends, Levi and Courtney, who now live in D.C.
Snuggling with Charlie.
LOTS of baking.
My class playing math BINGO with my para.
Birthday breakfast with a few great friends. Here’s a fun game: spot James in every picture.
A Lincoln STARS hockey game.
New fabric for my next craft project.
Our only photo of the evening after the other 4 guests had already gone home- Valentine’s Day dinner with Jay & Liz.
And finally, one of my1st graders signing his book to “RuthE” the school service dog.
Have a great week, friends!!!