Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkins and soup

Only part of the pumpkin lineup
Tonight was my sister's annual pumpkin carving and soup party. She's done a party like this for probably about the last 10 years I think, but it's definitely grown over the years with more people, more pumpkins and more soup. It certainly didn't feel like fall weather tonight though. Wearing long sleeves and having a fire outside were the only things missing. However, we'd have been sweating for sure. Dang global warming. (No but really- I grew up here and every Halloween when I was little we were wearing turtle necks and leggings under our costumes because it was actually cold!)

This year I tried a new soup recipe that was in the Cooking Light magazine I just got last week. I love that magazine! And no it's not a diet magazine, as the title makes it sound. The recipes are healthy though and they try to strike a good balance between truly enjoying rich, super tasty delicious foods while also minding salt, fat and other stuff that's not so good for us. I usually try several recipes from each issue and get rave reviews from my hubby :) (Especially this one this week, although I used chicken breasts instead of turkey, I did not make them a day ahead, and I didn't have a dutch-oven so I just baked them in a glass dish and secured the seams with tooth picks. Holy cow that was sooo good!) The November issue just makes me drool. The day it arrived I stayed up way too late that night looking through the whole thing with all these fantastic recipes and photos for Thanksgiving. I got so hungry just looking at it my stomach was growling and I had to grab a late night snack. Yummy- I can't wait for turkey day!

Cowgirl Lydia (my niece)
Back to the was lentil- barley soup and it turned out deeee-licious! And from those who ate it at the party it sounded like there were satisfied taste buds out there. You can find the recipe here.  I renamed it Pale-Ale Lentil Barley, since it calls for beer and I used a pale-ale. I tasted it right after it was done on the stove and it had a funny bitter aftertaste to me, maybe from the beer. But then I transferred it to the crock pot to take to the party and it sat on low for another hour and voi-la!!- the bitter taste was gone and it tasted fantastic. The lentils had broken down more and made it so creamy and full-flavored. It was the perfect fall food!

Fall is so yummy! I just want it to cool off faster so we can get in the holiday mood a bit easier. Even though there's sadness and a lump in my throat when I think of the holidays and what would have been, there's lots I'm looking forward to- especially the food!


Our creation! The tongue was Ryan's idea and the kids thought it was soooo funny :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

One month

Today marks one month since the miscarriage. And what a blur that month has been...just a weird, hazy, sometimes numb, gray month. We've learned how the passage of time takes the edge of the pain and sadness off. And I've realized that the more time that passes since when I was pregnant the more I have trouble remembering what that felt like. I'm afraid of forgetting what it was like.

In the herb garden at the Arboretum- one of my favorite spots there
Life has gone on, which at times feels so strange and fake that we can just carry on in the midst of this. But that's what's required to keep going forward. I've had good talks with some dear girlfriends that have helped me feel re-connected with the outside world again. And the change of weather has been a big relief to my soul. It seriously ministers to my heart and body just to be able to spend time outside again- cool air, pretty plants, lakes, taking walks, picnics etc. I was craving that so bad and going very stir crazy as summer drug on! We eagerly returned to one of our favorite places- the Arboretum- and bought a season pass :). I planted my little patio garden and am delighted to have something to tend and just soak up the colors and smells. We've had picnics and walks at our favorite park just across the street- Kiwanis. And we've been refreshed by cool breezes coming through our open windows. Fall at last!

It's made me reflect on the seasons and the cycles that plants go through and how so much of that mirrors our lives. Scripture uses a lot of that type of imagery, but I think us city-folk (especially us in Phx where there are sorta only 2 seasons) are so out of touch with nature and soil and seeds and plants and how all of those have their cycles of life and death. I don't have anything real profound to say about that except that I've found some comfort in reflecting on it- that seasons have purposes and each one brings it's own unique benefits and downsides, and that plants grow from seeds and sometimes they flourish and sometimes they die- even under the best care. Simple lessons as I've put seeds into soil and watched them poke up bright green and get taller and taller, stretching toward the sun, and as I've seen leaves turning brown, ducks returning back to the lake, and the mornings turn chilly. Just like Ecclesiastes 3: 
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose;a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew;a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace."

At our staff meeting at work this week we were talking about what life will be like in God's Kingdom when it comes in it's fullness (Yes! Come Lord Jesus!!!). So we were dwelling richly on some passages in Isaiah and these verses pricked my heart in Isaiah 65 (vs 17, 19-20). 

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days"

As much as I don't understand our suffering and pain and trials here on earth, I rejoice with my whole being that I belong to a God who will make ALL things right and joyful one day! I long to be part of his Kingdom-come where there will be no more weeping and no more babies dying and I just get to be with him at last. My heart is eager for that rest and comfort.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Healing (referring to emotional/spiritual healing, not physical healing): there's no prescription for it, no handbook, no class, no right-way-to-do-it. It's not even something I can "get" on my own, but more like something that happens TO me and is granted to me by the Lord. I know there are things that can help it along, and things that can push it away. I know I can seek healing and do things to try to usher it in more, but that it sorta has it's own timeline. And I know that it only comes from the Lord.

I'm still not in a place where I feel like I'm really communing with the Lord and hearing from him. I know he's there, but he just doesn't feel close. And maybe I'm just too afraid to come to him and spill this broken, bleeding heart completely and lay myself out before him and let the flood of emotions that I can't even verbalize or fully recognize pour out to him, to be that vulnerable. Maybe I'm feeling too hurt by him to feel safe enough to do that just yet. And yet...there's no one else to go to. I am not running away from him. I don't want to run away. No, I'm not running away, but maybe just sitting at a distance.

I know he's there and he's patient with me. But the theology in my head is not helping me right now, in fact I think it's just confusing me more and making me feel even more distant from him. He feels so above, so far removed, so huge, so God-of-the-universe- so SOVEREIGN.

And yet just under that I hold these memories of this intensely passionate, intimate, loving, comforting relationship I had with Jesus. How long ago did we have that? How can I get back to that place? Will we ever be the same? When will I feel safe with you and trust your hands again?

You're the Creator of the world, you sustain all life, you have a sovereign plan for everything that exists, you create life and you end life (or you let life end??), you speak and things form and you speak and things end, your ways are higher than ours, there are so many things about you that we'll never comprehend, you don't have to explain yourself to anyone......and on and on....and he's just HUGE and I don't understand....and I feel very small and very far away......and very quiet.

I don't feel like screaming at him or fighting with him over this. I just feel like I'm sitting on a bench by myself, very far away from him, with my head down, hands in my lap, tears silently falling down my cheeks and I feel very hurt and very sad and very confused and I say very quietly "Why did you let this happen?"

And I don't even expect an answer. And he doesn't seem to move an inch. And there we both are, still.

This is a process and I know this is part of that process. And I think healing will start to come even here, even now, even in this sad, silent, unmoving place. I think my heart is open. I hope it's open. Because I want to be close to him again. I need to be. I have to be. Life is there.

Even in my confusion and hurt, I still believe and really truly feel that he's a patient God and that he does love me and that he's with me in this. There's just a lot to chip through between us right now.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Still realizing

I've had lots of thoughts roaming through my head that I've wanted to share on here and just update you on where my heart and mind are lately.

It's been just over two weeks since we lost baby. We're learning that mourning and healing are not just a nice gradual upward curve that will lead us to "be ok" and feel "normal" again, but more like up and down and then back and a few steps forward and then a big slide down and feeling ok one minute and then totally sad the next. We're changed forever by this experience, so we're finding a new normal and trying to figure out who we are now and what this means in our story. Parts of this will remain with us for the rest of our lives, but other parts will heal and be renewed and we will go on from here step by step. We just know we can't have expectations about that process- either on ourselves or on each other.

We spent most of the week after the miscarriage up north at my family's cabin in Lakeside. Being outside in the forest, the clean air and the crisp sunshine were good for me, good for my soul in ways I can't really articulate. And it was good for both of us to have time alone together away to rest and reflect. We also had a little memorial for baby. It had been Ryan's idea to bury baby at our special tree- an aspen tree near A-1 Lake that we found when we were dating that Ryan carved our initials in (see it on the trunk in this picture?) and that we've revisited since being married. It's an absolutely gorgeous part of the forest, it has a lot of sentimental meaning to us and it's a place we can go back to when we want. So with very heavy hearts we put our baby into the earth at the base of that tree. It felt horrible and so final, but it was beautiful at the same time (there weren't any flowers around so I gathered some ferns and leaves to put on it instead). All I could think was that I wanted baby to come back. I didn't want my baby to be in the ground, I wanted my baby to be in me. It was another way to say goodbye, and I wasn't prepared for how visually impacting it was- how final it looked- filling the hole in, standing there staring at the freshly dug earth and then walking away.

To bury baby was very physical. Our baby was a human being with a body. I honestly have to keep reminding myself of that. Because I had such minimal physical experience of her/him (never heard their heartbeat, saw an ultrasound, or felt them kick), it was mostly a mental and emotional experience. And that makes it feel not very real sometimes, like it was all just in my head and a real baby never existed. But baby was very real- I did see them with my very eyes after he/she came out of my body, though it was shocking and horrible- and we put a real little human body into the ground. This may sound like crazy talk to you- but it's the kind of thing I've been processing through. It all happened so fast I really end up thinking "Was I really pregnant? Did this really happen?" And reality is: yes and yes.

During the first days I kept weeping (and weep again right now thinking about it again) over how little time we'd had with our baby. Exactly because of what I just described above, I just wanted more time with them, more time so that I could feel them, know them, hear them, be with them. I even thought- "Even if you have to go away, can't you just stay a little longer so that I have some tangible memory of you?" Just a little longer.

Having our baby with us was so sweet and so miraculous and so surreal, but then it was all so short, like it was just the blink of an eye. Too good to be true, and then it was gone. So intense, and then it was just over. With so little to hold and remember. We have no memories of our baby, only memories of our own emotions and thoughts and dreams and laughter. And oh how we wanted to know and experience him/her!!!! But all the wanting in the world won't bring them back now.

A good friend came to visit us in the ER, a friend who understands my heart in all of this, and in talking with her I actually realized that I don't regret being pregnant. I don't wish that it had never happened. I don't wish that I could go back to the time before I got pregnant. Being pregnant, as short as it was and as limited as the experience was, was the most miraculous experience of my life. To know that my baby was created inside my body, that it's cells divided and kept multiplying, that my womb became their cozy little home, that all of their vital organs were developing with the help of my blood and my oxygen and my nutrients, that a person was developing inside me, that fingers and toes and eyes and a tongue and skin were all there, and especially that this was OUR precious baby, part me and part Ryan and that we were experiencing this miracle together.

Before I got pregnant all I could do was try to imagine what it would be like, or hear from other women what it was like. But nothing could have prepared me for the mind-blowing miracle that it really was. And for Ryan and I we had this awareness that it wasn't just the two of us anymore- but there was this plurality. Even when I would be alone it was like I had this little guy along with me, along for the ride for whatever I was doing that day. And now with baby gone, there is a very deep sense of a void, that someone is missing.

But I don't regret it. My heart became a mother's heart in those short weeks. Ryan became a proud papa in those short weeks. We were changed by the miraculous knowledge that we had brought a child into this world together and that we loved him/her more than we ever thought possible. We had witnessed the miracle of life, after wondering for so long if we would ever taste that sweetness. So we wouldn't trade even the 8 short weeks we had with baby. We'd give anything to have baby back with us now, but we're thankful for the time we were given. We're changed forever.

Since there are so few memories to hold on to after losing a baby this early, it is recommended to create a memory box to keep anything that represents the baby or things that were given or written etc. My sister had started one for the baby she lost and knew it was an important idea so she bought me a little slender box and gave it to me just a few days after our miscarriage. (My sister is wonderful.) And we've been adding things to it: all the cards we've been sent, petals from the beautiful white roses Ryan gave me the day we came home from the hospital, the two positive pregnancy tests that had brought us such marvel, a letter Ryan wrote to the baby after the miscarriage, my journal that I had been writing to the baby during the pregnancy, the card that came with the orchids Ryan's parents sent, photos of the special aspen tree etc. But I keep catching myself thinking still that this is something we're saving up to give to our child later on. Strange isn't it? Then I have to remember- no, this is something just for us, to be a marker to remember our baby, to remember the love and prayers that were poured out for him/her and for us. Our baby is gone and will not grow up to see this later on. I guess parts of my brain and heart are still catching up to that reality.

It's good for me to process like this. So I'll keep writing when I feel up to it, even thought it may not be too frequent, and I'd be blessed to continue to have you reading this, along for the journey.

I love you ladies and thank you all so much for the emails and texts you've sent. I don't know if I'll be able to respond to each one, but please know that it means so much to hear from you and we do feel very loved and supported.


(This photo: After we buried baby we drove up to Greer and spent the day around there, ate lunch at Greer Lodge and visited this little creek spot that we'd been to before. We're smiling here, which is proof that life does go on after miscarriage, something I never could have imagined before.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The story of the ending

I want to write this and I think I'm ready to, but it's hard. I have the kleenex box parked right next to me.

Last weekend I started having brown spotting. I was concerned a bit but read in pregnancy books that it could be normal. By Tuesday it was getting heavier, but still brown and no cramping. I talked to my midwife and she said she wouldn't be concerned until there was red blood and cramping. On Wednesday things changed and there were a couple times of red blood. My nerves were rising and I was starting to fear the worst. Ryan has Wednesdays off and we were going to go to PCI together that day, but I was so on edge and starting to feel physically very weird so we decided to stay home and lay low. We went to dinner at my sister's that evening and things just continued to get worse. My sister knew what was going on and so she was freaking out on the inside too. She had a miscarriage scare with her 3rd child, but it turned out to be nothing and Lydia continued to grow and was born healthy. But just this past March she miscarried her 4th child at 12 weeks, with the baby only measuring 6 weeks. She was already holding her breath for me to just make it through 8 weeks. I think we all hardly tasted our dinner and just had big knots in our stomachs.

I went to the bathroom after dinner and there was more red. I knew what was happening. I walked out and told Ryan we needed to go. We walked to the front door and just before leaving I turned around and started crying and grabbed my sister. Her worst fear for me was happening and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Ryan and I drove home and I sobbed the entire way. At home I went to the bathroom again, checking to see if it had miraculously disappeared. But- just more red. I came out of the bathroom and clung on to Ryan in desperation with choking, heaving sobs. "I can't do this! I can't go through this!" The thought of the experience that was coming at me full steam ahead was so overwhelming that I literally hung on Ryan's neck, feeling like my body couldn't handle what was happening. He said we needed to go the ER. I didn't want to go because I hate hospitals and I knew it was going to cost us something we couldn't afford. Ryan's only concern was for my health and to get a real answer about whether or not our baby was still with us. So we went to the ER at about 7:30 Wednesday night.

We spent 6 hours in the ER, getting tested for stuff that was unnecessary and waiting in the coldest room on the planet for the worst news of our lives. I was already totally losing it emotionally and then was doubly traumatized by the tests and exams they were doing to me. All we wanted was an ultrasound to see if our baby's heart was still beating. The ultrasound tech isn't supposed to say anything to you about what they see. Only the doctor is allowed to tell you the results after they get the ultrasound report. But this lady slipped. Towards the end of the ultrasound she said "Well, if anything has happened to your baby, heaven forbid, just know that it wasn't your fault and there's nothing you could have done differently." For real lady??? Why don't you just tell me in plain English that my baby is dead??? It was another hour or two after that probably until the doctor finally came in and told us the news. On the ultrasound the baby only measured 6 weeks and there was no heartbeat. Then he rambled on about how usually they can see the heartbeat by then, but just to be sure I should follow up with my ob/gyn to get another blood test to see if my HCG levels are still rising or not. Why even try to offer hope at that point? The baby had died 2 weeks ago.

The doctor left and I fell apart all over again of course. What a horrible place to mourn. All we wanted to do was get out of there. It took forever to get discharged.

We came home in some numb daze. It was about 1:30am. I was so hungry and thirsty since they wouldn't let me eat or drink anything in the ER. Ryan made me some toast and as he brought it to me on the couch he totally broke down. He was thinking of the little flip calendar he got me for my birthday with the baby's development for each day (remember I mentioned that in an earlier post?). It had become a little ritual to read that each evening and laugh and smile about it together. Now it just cut us to the heart to see it sitting there on the table and to know we wouldn't be turning any more pages or celebrating any more of our baby's development. We held each other again and cried together.

I had a prescription for vicodin for when the cramping got really heavy but it wasn't bad yet so we thought we'd go to sleep. It was starting to get more uncomfortable though so I took some ibuprofen. We laid down and in just a few minutes I realized the cramping was really starting and it was getting bad so Ryan went and filled the scrip at Walgreens. I took one and we finally went to sleep.

Maybe an hour later I woke up suddenly with a sensation of a lot of blood coming out. I rushed to the bathroom and sat on the potty (sorry ahead of time for the details) and looked down at my pad and there I could see my baby- a little quarter sized blob of pinkish-grayish tissue. I still swear I could see the spine and tell which part was the head. This was completely shocking, to say the least. I went from being sound asleep to seeing my dead baby in about 2 minutes time. Then immediately I started to feel tingly all over, nauseous and light headed. All I wanted to do was lay down on the floor, but there I was sitting there with bloody everything. I called Ryan's name about 5 times and then he finally woke up to find me in the bathroom. He quickly brought me new underwear and I got them on with a pad as fast as I could. Then I laid down on the floor and I guess my body started to go in to shock or something.

Cramping- with the most intense pain I have ever felt in my entire life- started to take over my body without any pauses. I felt like I was going to faint and throw up and was having trouble breathing normally. Then my whole body started to shake. Ryan kept asking what he should do and if I could get up and go to the bed. I couldn't open my eyes and could barely speak above a whisper and kept saying I didn't know what to do and I didn't know what was happening. He said several times "I'm going to call 911!" and I didn't want him to because even in my delirium I was thinking how expensive that was going to be. Finally, with wisdom and a steadiness under pressure that amazes me, he decided to call 911.

I could hear him talking to the 911 dispatcher and explaining what was happening but it felt so far away from me and I wondered if I was going to make it through this and I just wanted the paramedics to get there as fast as possible. I was thinking "I can't believe this is happening to me" and it felt like an eternity. He kept checking that I was breathing and making me verbally answer that I was still ok, as the dispatcher was coaching him to do. I heard him open our patio door and I could hear the ambulance and fire truck pull up outside. Then about 4 paramedics were in our bathroom hovering over me (thankfully Ryan had put a blanket on me since all I had on the bottom were underwear). They picked me up since I couldn't walk and was still writhing in pain and put me on the stretcher and wheeled me out of our apartment. (I don't know how that stretcher and about 12 firemen/paramedics fit into our little apartment!) Ryan followed the ambulance in our car. Somehow I was so out of it I wasn't able to even care that he wasn't in the ambulance with me. They started an IV and gave me oxygen but said they wouldn't do any pain meds until the hospital.

So trip #2 to the ER. Ryan followed me in soon after I got there and I could see the relief on his face to know that I was going to be ok. (I'll never know really how scary it was for him to see me on the bathroom floor and not know what was going to happen to me.) They got me started on morphine pretty quickly and soon I was feeling much, much better. They ran some tests and I had another ultrasound to make sure that the baby had in fact come out. There was no explanation for what had happened to me, just massive amounts of cramping and pain and shock. This was at Banner Desert at Dobson/60 and we really want to praise the nurses and doctor and staff we had there. They were very sensitive and gentle and gave us choices about how we wanted to handle some things. I am very thankful for a positive experience with them during such a heartbreaking and scary time. All of the baby and the placenta came out clean and I didn't need to have a D&C, which we were very, very thankful about.

That afternoon (Thursday) we were finally cleared to head home. In a daze of heartbreak and sleep deprivation we finally came home to face the harsh realities of what had happened to us. Our baby was dead. I was not pregnant anymore. We were not going to expect a baby around May 11th, 2011 anymore. We were no longer going to track our baby's development each week and expect to see my belly expanding. We wouldn't be looking at baby clothes and brainstorming about names. We wouldn't go to an appointment with our midwife on Monday. I wouldn't spend my evenings browsing pregnancy books and baby websites. We wouldn't expect to hear our baby's heart beat in a few weeks or to find out if they were a boy or a girl around Christmas time. Ryan would no longer pray every single evening, no fail, for our growing baby. Ryan wouldn't be talking to my belly or saying "Bye babies!"(meaning me and the baby) when he left each day. We wouldn't enjoy dreamy conversations about what our baby would look like or what fun stuff we can't wait to do with them when they're older. I wouldn't think of my baby with every food, drink, vitamin, and exercise decision anymore. I wouldn't be breathing and pumping blood for my baby any longer.

Our baby is gone and will never come back and there is nothing we can ever do to change that. We will never get this baby back. We will not know if it was a boy or a girl or who it was going to look like or who they were going to grow up to be. It wasn't just the death of one life- it was the death of all that little life represented to us- all the hopes and imaginings and laughter and life. It wasn't just 8 weeks that this baby walked in our hearts and our dreams- it's been for most of our lives that we've dreamed of this baby. It wasn't just an "it" and a blob of flesh- this was our baby and we had let ourselves fall in love and bond and know this baby as much as we could in 8 weeks. For 8 weeks we had parented this baby as much as we were able.

And so we miss our baby deeply. We miss knowing that our baby is here safe in my womb. I miss that great amazement of knowing that a life is growing inside me and the responsibility of being as healthy as possible for them. We intensely miss just being able to talk about baby everyday. That had become the highlight of each day- the thing sure to make us laugh and smile. I miss seeing the delight on my husband's face when he'd put his hand on my belly and talk to the baby. I physically feel such an emptiness, like a big gaping hole in my belly, like I must surely look concave, since that's how it feels.

I feel very numb right now. The day times without Ryan here are so hard. My mom has been with me the past two days, but it doesn't compare to having Ryan here holding me and sharing in this heart to heart. We've put away the few baby things we had- the flip calendar and the big stacks of books and some other gifts my family had given us (except for this little Willow-brand figurine my sister gave me of a mother sweetly holding her baby with one of her hands cradling it's head. It's precious and somehow it's comforting to me to see it still and to know that even though I didn't get to hold my baby in my arms like that, that Jesus is). But there are reminders of our baby and just pregnancy and babies everywhere it seems, and I haven't even left the house in 5 days! That will be a hard thing about being back out and being around people. It's so weird to think of trying to just go back to normal life after this. I don't feel like I'll ever be the same. This has changed me forever.

We don't know what the road ahead will hold and it's scary to me. We want to keep trying to get pregnant again. This baby will always be special to us and we won't rush the timing on our mourning and healing, but we are still asking the Lord to give us the miracle of a baby with a healthy pregnancy that we can hold in our arms after 9 months. But to remember all that we went through just to get pregnant makes it overwhelming to think we may have to go through that again. Or will it even happen again? Was this a one-time thing? I could go on with what-ifs and questions and fears but I know I can't dwell on that. All we can do is give it time and trust in the only One who gives life and ask him for a miracle.

We're exhausted with sorrow and just clinging to each other to get through these deeply painful days. I know that we can't have expectations on ourselves for how fast we're going to recover and heal from this, and that not every day is going to get better, but that some will be up and then some will be 5 steps back again. I'm so thankful that Ryan is feeling this as deeply as I am. I can't imagine a situation where the husband didn't really "get it" and sorta just tried to make his wife feel better while she really struggled. Ryan is just as heartbroken and heavy with this as I am. We are closer and more bonded than we've ever been. I didn't know I'd be able to love someone this much. I've been drawn to look at our wedding pictures today, marveling at how we had no idea we'd face all this stuff when we got married! We both are amazed at how much more we love each other now than that day that we got married. In the midst of all this pain and darkness, we do rejoice in this gift of marriage and how the Lord has held us and grown us.

This is the length of a book now so I'll wrap up here. I don't know yet where God is in all of this. I don't really sense him or hear him. I know in my head that he's here and that he has a purpose, but I don't see any of it yet. I'm not mad at him or running away from him. I just feel nothing there. And that feels very strange. I'm sure that will change and go up and down throughout this process. But you can pray for that part for me- that I'd again sense that communion with the Lord, feel his comfort and hear his voice.

And just pray for both Ryan and I to not despair and to fix our hope on Jesus and to keep pressing through these dark days. We'll be spending this Tuesday-Friday up north at my family cabin (just the two of us) to get away, mourn together, have a little memorial for the baby in the forest, spend healing time among the fall leaves and let our hearts and bodies rest a bit. Pray for that time please.

I'm very thankful for the notes on Facebook and email I've gotten. I know it can be awkward when someone's going through something like this and you don't know what to do- so I'll just tell you that notes and cards and even voicemails (if I don't feel like talking I won't answer and a message would still mean a lot) are meaningful to me. Don't be afraid to actually mention our baby or the fact that they died or to be specific. And if I see you in person please do ask about it and just know that I'll probably cry, but that's ok. I know there are so many who love us and love our baby and that so many prayers and tears have been sown for this. Thank you and we love you!

Carrie (and Ryan)