Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting

Yesterday in church our pastor read a quote from Dietrich Bonheoffer which succinctly reminded me of why I blog. I guess a part of me had forgotten. Thanks to those of you who helped remind me as well; you are an encouragement. 


Advent is a time of waiting. Our whole life, however, is Advent- that is, a time of waiting for the ultimate, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all people are brothers and sisters and one rejoices in the words of the angels: "On earth peace to those whom God's favor rests." Learn to wait, because he has promised to come.
Dietrich Bonheoffer

Yes, come quickly, Lord. 


I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving. I remember when I thought there was nothing to be thankful for, and I remember feeling like there would never again be anything to give thanks for- I hold you all close in my heart, you who feel the depths of despair washing over you. 


As for this year, well, I told Chris this afternoon that I think we'll skip Thanksgiving next year. This is the second Thanksgiving in a row that he's gotten really sick. Last year, he got the stomach virus (a really really bad case, in my opinion) on Thanksgiving night and was sick for 4 days. I waited and worried, wondering when I would feel that first twinge of sickness, but even after caring for him I didn't get sick. Thank you, Lord. 
I've also never been more thankful for a washer and dryer as I was last year (the first three years of our marriage we didn't have one). 

This year, he has gotten some kind of a mystery illness. I have no idea what he has, but he felt awful yesterday. It started as a headache and then progressed to a really bad headache and nausea. I tried to talk him into staying home from church, but seeing as he leads worship, he felt obligated to go. When he came and sat next to me for the sermon, he scooted his chair away from me and mouthed the words 'I think I have a fever.' My heart sunk. 
I felt his forehead and he was burning up. I was sure he had the flu. I just about lost it in the middle of the sermon, but I managed to sit there, worrying the entire time (I know, I know). After the service ended, my friend S. turned around to say goodbye and I lost it. I just started crying, worrying for the baby's health, for Chris. I hate the flu. 

When we got home, we stood in the parking lot arguing about what I should do. He wanted me to pack a bag and get away from him as soon as possible, but I didn't want to leave him there alone. I didn't want to get sick, but then again, I wanted to take care of him.

It was all moot. We took his temperature and it was completely normal. I made him take a shower and eat soup, while I made him a little make shift bed on the couch. His face was flushed and still really hot, but he didn't have a fever. After a long restful sleep last night, we decided it still would be best if he stayed home from work today. His head is still hurting and he feels really tired, like he's been sick for a week, but altogether he's feeling much better. I'm beginning to wonder if he had a migraine headache. He's never had one before, but his symptoms fit the description. 
It also could be allergies of some kind. He had really bad allergies when he was a kid, but doesn't suffer as much as he did when he was little. We cut down our Christmas tree yesterday before he started feeling really bad, so I wonder if the tree is the culprit. He doesn't want to take the tree out of the house because he's feeling better- but I still wonder...

Blech.



I feel pretty uneasy about the baby today. I guess all that worrying has a price. I don't think I've felt the baby move yet, but maybe just maybe I've been feeling some movement. I know I said I was sort of dreading feeling movement, but now I wish I could feel something, a tiny foot kicking or an elbow, something to ease this fear a little bit. 


Lord, help me believe that you are sufficient. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Something on my mind

I've been turning something over and over in my mind for quite some time. The dilemma of making public blogs private is not a new issue. People have their reasons for doing it...I have my reasons for thinking about it, but should I do it?
I just don't know.

I feel like I could be more specific in my prayer requests or maybe even be more honest (did you think that was possible?). I often wonder who's out there...who's reading all my thoughts and fears and wonderings?

This is something I've been thinking about since I started my blog a year ago. Why do people blog? Why did I want to blog? Why am I now blogging about blogging?

Who knows.

Everyone has their reasons, I suppose.
I guess I have mine too.

But my purpose in this post about blogging is to get your opinion on the subject. What do you think about making a public blog private?
What would you do?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

13 weeks tomorrow

The beginning of my second trimester. Haven't seen one of those in almost 2 and a half years. 

My pregnancy week by week book says to expect to feel movement in the next few weeks. It's been exactly 2 years and 2 weeks since I felt Owen move. 
I'm not sure what to expect when I feel this little one's foot kicking my ribs, the same way Owen did when he was alive. Will I be sad, joyful, overwhelmed with grief, anxiety? Will I fall apart? 

I'm a little concerned that I may just fall apart when I'm able to feel this baby move. Looking back, I know exactly when Owen died. Will I constantly be waiting for this baby's movement to stop? Will I ever be able to relax when this little one is sleeping? or waking for that matter...


On top of the worries I have because of Owen's death, my history of pregnancy losses, and my medical 'issues', I'm also extremely concerned about staying healthy. The flu that's going around, well the two flus that are going around, have me on the edge. The edge of a total breakdown. 
Seriously.


I know you all are praying...thank you. 
Please continue to pray for us. Sometimes I can feel my heart stop when I think of losing this baby. Our Father knows the deepest of deep desires of my heart...please pray that I will lean on Him and trust His goodness and love.


This is the first week (I may be speaking ahead of myself) that I haven't called the doctor's office for a heartbeat check. I've been to the office every week since my 5th week of pregnancy. I know my doctor doesn't care and his nursing staff is great, but sometimes, I really hate being that patient. You know, the needy one with all the 'problems' and 'issues', the one that can't relax. 

There is a lot going on in our lives, other than growing a life, but it seems that sometimes that's all I can focus on. 
Will you also pray for my sweet and supportive husband? There are some things going on in our personal lives that are hard...things that can make him a little tunnel-visioned and pre-occupied. You know, like I can be when I worry about this baby. 
He's a great man. I don't praise him enough, but he is really an amazing husband. The kind you dream about when you're a kid. Please pray for resolution, for comfort in the waiting and security in the Lord (security in the world would be nice too, but I doubt that's a worthy prayer request). 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whoa

Yes, I just said that...just like Joey from Blossom.

I've had some crazy technical difficulties with my margins lately. I finally figured out that my 'Celebrating Owen's life' post was messing up my margins. I have no idea why. I'm stumped.
So, I had to delete the pictures and basically re-write the post. Maybe some day I'll get the pictures back on the post, but for now I'm just happy my blog looks normal again.


Anyways, I'm not feeling nearly as lighted hearted as the above paragraphs might sound. One year ago today, I miscarried my third sweet little baby. Little did I know then that my soon-to-be good friend, Tonya, was at the hospital delivering her little boy Grady.
Grady and Owen shared the same due date, one year apart. Now I imagine Owen partying it up with Grady, celebrating one year in Heaven (though I don't know how time works there). 
Please stop by Tonya's blog and offer her your love and prayers.


Last night, I lost it. 
I mean, really really lost it. I was in the kitchen making soup and I just happened to turn the radio to the local Christian station (which normally *gasp* I don't listen to) and the Steven Curtis Chapman song about Heaven and his little girl was playing. One moment, I'm stirring tomato soup and the next minute I'm kneeling on the tile floor sobbing. 
I miss my little boy so much. My heart aches with the longing inside. I cried out to the Lord with my sorrow and longing, knowing that He hears me and cares about my sadness. But I still don't understand it. 
I don't understand why Owen died. Two years later, I'm not any closer to understanding the purpose or meaning. 

But I know He loves me. He hears me. He cares.
He will make it everything right one day. 

Monday, November 9, 2009

Celebrating Owen's life

Thank you for all your prayers and emails and sweet comments (and the card, Tonya) as you remembered our little man with us this past week. I wasn't expecting to be such a mess in the days leading up to Owen's Heaven day, but I was.a.wreck.
I was trying to explain it to a friend and all I could come up with was 'listless' (I still haven't looked up the word, so I don't know exactly what it means, but it felt like it fit my mood). I felt restless and edgy, but I couldn't do anything, nor did I have anything I felt like doing. I felt ready to jump out of my skin.
That was Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
It came as such a shock, but I should have learned by now to expect the unexpected with grief. Chris went to Philadelphia the weekend of Halloween and got back on November 1. I guess I was busy worrying about him up in Philly that I didn't consider being hit by a such a big wave when he got back home. To answer your question Sara (thanks for asking!), yes we are still heading up north next Fall. Lord willing, we will have a cute little 3 month old when we move. We're both really excited about the move and the new adventures that seminary will bring, but of course, there's a lot to think about and do before we hit the road. I'm ready for all the changes that next year will bring.


Chris took off work on Owen's Heaven day (November 5) and we spent the day together. We had planned on going up to his grave-site, but decided to wait until Saturday to go. Instead, we stayed in town and had a peaceful day at home. We went to the doctor for a quick heartbeat check on our littlest one. That helped settle my nerves considerably.
We had lunch (littlest baby wanted a cheeseburger) and went up to my old workplace. I worked at the front desk of an administrative building on a college campus during my pregnancy with Owen. I was sitting at my desk when he died. I don't know if I can explain it, but I just had to got back there on this anniversary. Maybe a part of it is that we won't be here (Lord willing) on Owen's Heaven day or birthday next year. We'll be in an unfamiliar city with no old haunts or places that remind us of Owen. I sat in the lobby near my old desk for thirty minutes. We arrived there (not coincidentally) at the time when Owen was last alive here on Earth. It was a weird sort of countdown all day long. We would look at the clock at 12, 1:30, 2pm and say, 'Owen was still with us this time 2 years ago.' Again, not coincidentally, the receptionist left early that day and when it passed 4:30, I got up and peeked over the edge of the desk and took one last look at the chair I had first felt Owen move and where I felt his goodbye kicks.
Then we left. I don't know if I'll ever go back there. I don't think I need to anymore.


We had brought a blanket with us to campus and went outside to sit on the field where we often had lunch together during Owen's pregnancy. We laid on the field and read the Bible together, then the beginning of Pilgrim's Progress. It was a sweet time of remembering.


We left before it got dark and headed to Target. Sara (unknowingly) gave me the great idea of using Owen's gift cards last week. Believe it or not, we had 3 gift cards that were unused before Owen died. We were saving them for a stroller or diapers, things we could get after he was born. Chris and I decided to use them (none of them lost their value!) on things we could get in memory of Owen. We bought two frames. One to frame a picture of the three of us and one to frame the onesie I bought to tell Chris I was pregnant with Owen (the yellow 'Homemade' one) and a little Pooh hat. We found a great shelf for some of his things and two flower pots with Paperwhite bulbs I'm going to (try to) grow. We also bought four little fish! Weird, I know...but it was so fun to pick out our new little friends and buy them for Owen's birthday. I know he would have thought they were so cool.
Chris' mom sent us beautiful flowers on Owen's Heaven day and a plant as well- and you all know how I feel about plants.


On Saturday, we went the two hours to Owen's grave-site. It was a beautiful day in the mountains. Again, believe it or not, we hadn't ordered Owen's headstone until Saturday. Everytime we visited his grave, I just didn't think I could do it. It seemed so final, like the last thing to cement his death. I know he's been gone two years...it still feels like yesterday.
My grandmother went with us to the funeral home and helped us with the arrangements. We knew what we wanted engraved on it, so all we needed to do was pick out the stone. My grandmother has lived in this small town for almost 80 years and has used this funeral home for her baby son, her mom (and dad, I think), her husband, as well as many aunts and uncles. I was so thankful when we walked in and my grandmother just took charge. It wasn't overbearing or weird at all; it felt like she knew that maybe we couldn't do it. 'We're here to pick out a headstone for the baby' were her words. Again, it wasn't weird...she uses his name sometimes, but calls him our baby a lot too. She does the same thing for her son, Charles Cooper. Her baby, she calls him.
Even though we waited so long to pick out his stone, I feel anxious for it to get here and placed into the ground. I think it will be in by Christmas.


On Owen's birthday, we had lunch with a few friends and released balloons. Again with the believe it or not, but I hadn't planned anything for his birthday. I had tried- I had made small plans, but I just didn't know what I wanted to do. Thankfully, my friends took charge. They arranged a meal for us Sunday afternoon for Owen's birthday and a time for us to all be together. Chris and I brought 7 (we had 10, but popped 3 in the car) blue balloons to release in the backyard.
It was perfect. A cloudless cool November day. There was almost no wind, so when we let them go, they went almost straight up in the sky.






The two little girls below are daughters of my two good friends. I consider them Owen's little friends. G. is 9 months older than Owen and E. is only 3 months older than him. It was priceless to hear them sing Happy Birthday to him and watch their faces as they let their balloons go.

This picture is L. explaining that even when the balloons get really high and you can't see them anymore, it doesn't mean that they disappeared. They're still there, just too far away for us to see. Like God, she said, and Owen too.


L. said we made a nice looking family and I have to agree. 
This is the body of Christ.




Precious May baby is measuring 1-2 days ahead. Dr. Wonderful changed my due date to May 28, but I try not to think about that day...I count three weeks ahead, which is Mother's Day weekend.
We have our anatomy scan scheduled for December 22. I'll be 17 weeks 3 days. Just in time for Christmas!

God is always sweet, always faithful and gracious, but there are times when you can see and feel his love so tangibly. Owen's 2nd anniversaries were such a time of peaceful remembering and hope. I am so thankful to God, I have almost no words to express this gratitude.