Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Prayers Again

Please be praying for a mom named Ashley and her family. Ashley's baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 and went to be with Jesus. 

My heart breaks for her tonight. 

God, please hold Ashley and her family close tonight.  Your word says that you are close to the brokenhearted and that you are near those who are crushed in spirit.  Thank you for your love, peace and comfort.  Only you can provide those things in times like these.  I love you Lord.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Indelible Ice Images

What a great surprise it was to find this in my inbox this morning!

Thank you Jaime at Indelible Ice Images for writing Shyla's name in the ice on the Dettah Winter Ice Road in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

You really brightened my day!

Reaction Update

So I went to the Dr. yesterday and they first thought it looked like a strep rash.  Negative.  It must be allergies they said.  I got a shot of steriods and a couple prescriptions.  I was told if it didn't clear up by Monday, come back for bloodwork and a referral to an allergy specialist.

I layed while Ethan was napping and tried to get some rest from the itching and swelling and when I got up the redness and rash were gone!  Praise God!  I was still swollen, but I just knew it would go away.  I watched the UK game (Go CATS!) and was disappointed in the end, but at least my face was healed, right?  Well, sort of.  I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror and the redness and swelling were back.  Ugh. 

This morning, I'm still swollen, red, itchy and hot.  But the good news is that the rash itself is not as apparent, just redness. 

I'm so thankful for all your prayers.  Keep them coming.  I know I will be healed and soon!

Friday, March 26, 2010


Asking for prayers again.  I'm not sure what has caused it, but my face is having some kind of terrible reaction to something.  It started with just a few little bumps and redness under my chin first thing thismorning.  It has progressively gotten worse all day.  Most of my neck is covered in bumps, redness, and swelling.  The reaction continues up the right side of my face, behind my ear and then a big place on the left side of my face really close to my eye.  That eye is swollen at least 1/3 closed.  And the ITCHING!  And the heat. 

I called the Dr. and they said to take another Bena.dryl tonight and some hydrocortisone cream and go to the clinic tomorrow if it doesn't clear up.

The redness and bumps are bearable (aside from being hideous), but the swelling, itching and heat are really starting to get to me.  People IRL said it could be nerves, but I don't think I'm nervous.  You'd think if my nerves had caused this, it would have happened before now.

By HIS stripes I AM healed!

Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prayer Requests

First thing this morning, I got a call telling me of a mother who lost her daughter yesterday at 35 weeks.  This is not their first time down this road.  It is their third time.  Three daughters in Heaven before her.  My heart is breaking all over again for her.  And her family.  Please pray for these precious people.

Also be praying for a friend of mine.  She is in her early thirties.  She has a 6 year old son.  She was told she has cancer.  Thyroid cancer.  It was discovered during an "elective" surgery to remove part of her thyroid after some "concerning" tissue.  She had surgery yesterday to remove the rest of her thyroid.  They found it was attached to her trachea, but other than that, the surgery went well.  She will do a radiation treatment in thirty days.  I covet your prayers.

Another prayer is requested for a friend with a broken heart.  Thats all I want to say right now.  (You never know who is reading that you know IRL).

Thank you for all your prayers.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Let me bring JOY

One year ago today, we told our families of our pregnancy.  Ethan proudly walked around in his "Big Brother" t-shirt and we were so happy (and now I feel niave to have been so happy and not the least bit cautious).

We got word today that two more of our friends are pregnant.  That makes three couples that are due this year around the same time Shyla was due last year.  Everyone is making their announcements.

Thank you for each new day of life.  Thank you for friendships near and far.  Please protect and guide my friends and their darling little ones.  Please let them keep their niavity and their joy.  God please let me be the friend I need to be and give me the words to say.  I know that you and only you are healing this brokenheart.  You are giving me a new understanding of how precious life is and I ask that you let me not be a person my friends fear because of my experiences.  Let them feel how much I love them and want to be there with them and help me bring JOY unreserved and excitement to all of these pregnancies.  Whether it be their first child or their fourth.  God, you are my healer and my protector and so much more.  In your holy name.  Amen.

If you are one of my blessed friends carrying a little miracle, I do wish you the best and I hope you know how truely happy I am for you.  I'm still working on how to express this correctly, be patient with me.  I'm getting there.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

So it begins...

*Disclaimer* Please know my heart is healing, but this blog is my place to write, process and get my feelings out.  Please don't try to "fix" me.  I just need to write these things.  Grief is messy and painful, but I know God can heal all wounds.


One year ago, I felt sick.  My allergies always go nuts this time of year.  It was Saturday, March 21 and I wanted to take some sinus/allergy meds.  But, as always, being a little paranoid of taking anything if there is ever the slightest chance I may be pregnant...

I took a test.

I saw the test line.

Then a little faint pink line beside that one.

Oh my.  Could this really be?  I told my husband and we cried and told each other that this could not be right.  But we were so excited.  And a little surprised. 

I had just been accepted to graduate school.  Would I go?  When would I be due?  How would Ethan handle being a big brother?  How would we share our amazing news?

I took another test.

Another very faint line.

It was Saturday, I decided against the meds and thought I would just put my feet up and go to the Dr. on Monday.

We were so excited and so blessed.

I skipped the allergy meds that night.


Fast Forward to today.

I'm sick again.  What timing huh?  I woke up to my head pounding and a sore throat and so stuffy I could barely breathe.  Maybe I should test again.  No. 

I'm sad today. 

I know this post seems scattered, but I am sick, sad, and a little medicated tonight.

I took my meds tonight.


One more thing.  My heart is heavy for Stephanie.  She celebrated her daughter, Amelia, yesterday.  Go over and give her a hug and a prayer.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

99 Things and Nothing to Say

I have kind of been at a loss of words lately and found this over at One Crafty Mommy and thought I would just give a little more info about me.  If you decide to do it too, leave a comment, I would love to read yours!

Bold: Indicates the things that I've already done

Italics: Indicates the things that I'd like to do
Plain Font: Indicates the things that I haven't done and don't want to do

1. Started your own blog. Well, yeah, actually I've started 4.  My personal/grief blog this one), my craft blog, a frugal blog and a blog to give updates about a fundraiser I'm coordinating with the March of Dimes.

2. Slept under the stars. In a hammock at church camp.

3. Played in a band.  Yes, I was a band kid for a few years in Middle and High School, I played the flute and was in color guard.

4. Visited Hawaii. REALLY want to do this!

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world. Maybe someday!
8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.

11. Bungee jumped.  (I have absolutely no desire to do this!)

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.  Lots of crafts I do are just from seeing pictures and trying to replicate the item.

15. Adopted a child.  I would love to adopt someday. 

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill.

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run. (As long as hitting on on Wii Sports counts!)

32. Been on a cruise. (We went to Grand Cayman Island and Jamaica on our honeymoon)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person. 

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. 

35. Seen an Amish community.  Menenite Community counts right?  They are slightly less restrictive than the true Amish.

36. Taught yourself a new language.  With some help, my hubby and I learned sign language when we were engaged.  We also taught Ethan when he was a baby.  Here he is at about 10 months signing "down" because he wanted out of his highchair.

37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied. (I don't find satisfaction in money).

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing. Yes, I did.  But someone with as little upper body strength as I should not do that!

40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater.

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout Guide cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood.

65. Gone sky diving. (Again, no desire!)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a check.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar. (I know it is supposed to be a delicacy, but really....I just don't think I could do it)

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades. Also on our honeymoon!

75. Been fired from a job.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper. More than I would like to high school, I was in a lot of clubs.  With my current job, I'm also in the paper a lot.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.  In August of last year (I was almost 7 months pregnant with Shyla) I went to DC with some co-workers to a conference and we did some touring while we were there.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox. I remember the itching and the oatmeal baths....ugh...makes me want to scratch now!

89. Saved someones life. (You never know how the words you say and your actions effect others, so who knows, I would like to think that I have).

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous. (If you are familiar with Christian Music they are famous.  Michael Tate from DC Talk and now the Newsboys, the whole Bleach Band, and Todd Agnew).

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.  Unfortunatly.

94. Had a baby. Twice blessed.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone. Since I was 16.

99. Been stung by a bee.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Am I the Only One...

Who struggled with this?

I was okay until I got to this point...

Person 4.
And had to leave it blank.

I know the purpse of the Census is to count those living in your home.  But she is still family, living or not.

I have had two instances where her absence has been felt.  Completely random times.  Like yesterday, I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on Ethan and just naturally looking to his left.  Where her carseat would have been.  I wasn't thinking about her really before that, but suddenly her absence was felt.  We never had a carseat in that seat, but it was like my mind just thought there should have been.  And of course, I cried a little just at missing her, but more becuase of how frustratingly random grief can be.  I'm fine, enjoying myself even, and then BOOM!  I'm hit with something that surprises me.

Most of my days are good.  But I am getting more comments now than I expected that are, what I consider, a little inconsiderate.  By people who know me.  Know what I have been through.  Expecting me to just "be over it" by now.  I wish there were someway to communicate that I wont just wake up one morning and decide I'm done grieving.  And honestly, even if I could, I don't know if I would want to.  My grief has been the catalyst towards greater intimacy with Christ than I have ever known.  It has thrown me into this world that I was so ignorant of and led me to reach out to others and be a support and a prayer.  This is a ministry.  We have a ministry of tears.  God understands that when no one else does.

And that's good enough for me. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

To Write Her Name in the Sand

Many thanks to Carly at To Write Their Names in the Sand for this beautiful photo of Shyla's name in the sand in Perth, Australia at Mullaloo Point.

It seems so perfect to see her name in the sand. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Say it With Flowers

Thank you to Sarah and Richard at Rory's Garden for Shyla's name on this beautiful flower. 

Gerberas always remind me of her!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Six Months

Six Months.
Half a year!
 I really just can’t believe it.
This month also marks the first of what will be another seven months of “one-year-ago” dates. For example, in just a few weeks, it will be one year ago that we found out we were pregnant. Then comes all of the “one year ago” appointments and memories culminating on September 2, what would have been her first birthday.
I don’t know if I’m ready for this. A year of firsts without her. She should be attempting her first crawling motions, her first foods, her first really intentional words. I know it is not for me to say what “should” have been. I think it’s just human nature when part of oneself is missing to notice it.
To remember that element of a life no longer with us.
To wish no piece of the puzzle were missing and wonder upon what the world would be like if…

I really try not to dwell in “if” much. It hurts too badly. I almost can’t help it on days like today though.

There is a hope.  I know.  One day, the "ifs" wont matter.  I will see my baby girl again and all the "ifs" in the world cannot take away what God has promised me. 

It's getting closer.  Everyday without her is one more day closer to being with her. 

Take a deep breath. 

One day, it will be okay.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Positivity from Pain

Kristi and Katy at Butterfly Mommies have posed this question...

"What positive things have come from the loss of your baby?"

For me, I knew from the beginning that God would make beauty from these ashes.  He had to.  It was the only way for me to make sense of Shyla's death.  Before I left the hospital, I had already heard stories of how Shyla's life and God's faithfulness to me had touched people.  His grace was overwhelming.  Woman after woman came to visit me in the hospital and shared their stories of loss.  Eight months before mine, eighteen years before mine, thirty years before...

These women told their stories like I tell mine.  With love and conviction.  But one thing surpised me.  How many of these women I had known for many years and I had never known of their loss(es). 

I knew I had to give this kind of grief a voice.  My first opportunity was to speak at a banquet for our local Pregnancy HELP (Holding Each Life Precious) Center in November.  While planning Shyla's service, we had asked in leui of flowers, donations be made to the HELP Center.  Just three weeks after our loss, my family took these donations to the center.  It was beautiful to see all of these baby items all stacked up.  All in memory of her.  All for the use of other mommies and babies.  Sweet.  Bittersweet.  But Beautiful!

I had the opportunity to share her story and to raise awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss infront of the 250+ people in attendance.  I spoke of God's grace and how he comforted us in the days and weeks since our loss.  I spoke of how every life is precious and not to take one day with your children for granted.

Immediately following the banquet I had women to begin sharing of their loss.  God moved my heart by thier willingness to share.

I felt led to make care packages for mommies who may walk through a similar loss and the first "batch" was delivered to the hospital on the day I was scheduled to deliver Shyla.

At Christmas time, we sent a letter to our family and friends and asked them to do a random act of kindness in memory of Shyla.  We had such a wonderful response.  Reading all of the kindness done in honor of our daughter was a beautiful way to begin our Christmas morning!  (You can read these acts by clicking on "Shyla's Stocking" in the left sidebar under the "labels" tab).

Recently, I have been asked to work with a group of ladies in coordination with the March of Dimes to help bereaved parents and support parents with babies spending time in NICU.  They are such a wonderful group of ladies.  They have decided it would be nice if the group could help with the care packages.  Several things have already been donated for the packages and lists are circulating the area to get more donations.  I was overwhelmed.

I also have been blessed to be asked if we would be the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for a tri-county area this year.  I had the opportunity to share Shyla's story at the March of Dimes Kick-off and I have been asked to share again this coming week at the Regional Hospital to kick-off the internal fundraising for their March for Babies Team.

It is wonderful to be asked to share her story and raise awareness.

Maybe someday, no parent will have to go through what so many of us have.

God has become more than just a friend to me through all of this.  That is probably the most beautiful thing yet.  From my pain He has never left me.  When I feel angry or hurt or blessed, He is there.  While I may never have all the answers, I know the One who does.  And until I see my baby girl again and am in His presence, I will keep speaking the sweet name of my child and the of the awesome love and grace of my Lord.