Thursday, May 24, 2012

Glory to HIM...

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You?
 **Preface-very long post.
Let me take you back to 3 weeks ago...

Tuesday, May 1st
I had just finished Kindergarten roundup at school and I was exhausted.  I had felt pretty puny all day and something in my head was telling me to go get a pregnancy test.  Well actually my sweet friend Cyndee at school said you better go home and take a test!!  I picked up a cheapy one at Dollar General not thinking to much about it and came home to eat a late dinner with Daniel and Briley.  To back up even a little further, yes Daniel and I had started trying.  We both felt emotionally ready being over a year out from our sweet Hadley.  It was taking us longer this time than it had with Briley (3 months), Hadley (1 month) and I will admit I was feeling discouraged.  The day before I took the test my sweet Husband sent me this picture...
 (Can you tell how lucky I am to have him?  I am, he's amazing.)

Back to May 1st-we were overjoyed when this came across the tests...
We were pregnant.  When I saw that beautiful line I immediately got on my knees in my bathroom and prayed to God this exact prayer, "Oh God, thank you for this beautiful gift you given to us.  I am not worthy.  Please see this precious life to full term and brought home safely, I beg you.  God you are so Good." I ran in to tell Daniel and we were both a little shocked but of course excited.  

I will tell you finding out your pregnant after a loss is overwhelming.  I immediatley thought/felt these things:
1.  Pain- Hadley, precious girl I miss you so much.
2.  Excitement- This is my time...this is our rainbow baby!
3.  Extreme Fear- How am I going to make it 9 months?

I called my wonderful Dr. the next day and we had me set up for a early sonogram to make sure everything was ok.  It was scheduled for May 14th.  12 days from now.  I thought to myself, "ok you can do this Melissa.  Make a countdown to get you through."  That's exactly what I did.  I wrote on our bathroom mirror and each day I would erase it and change the number.  We used countdowns with Hadley and there is something about it that brings me peace. 

Friday, May 4th
So Friday came and we went out to eat to celebrate my mother-in-laws 52nd birthday.  We thought it would be a great time to tell Daniel's Dad and sister.  We went to eat at Tammie's favorite restaurant, On the Border, and at the end of the meal we had Briley tell her Papa and Auntie that Mommy had a baby in her tummy!  I think they were both expecting it especially when Daniel's Dad said, "Well I already knew!  I saw the test in the bathroom today."  LOL.  He had spent the day with Daniel and Briley while I was at work and stumbled upon our tests!  They were so completely excited for us and we knew Tammie/Nonnie was going to take care of our new baby.

We decided to drive to my Mom and Dad's (Gigi and Pa) and surprise them.  We had a great plan to text a special picture to my Mom and Dad and then be at the door to surprise them.  Well of course that didn't work out and we had to ring the doorbell and eventually I just showed my Mom the picture.  We could here her phone ringing from a text but she was completely ignoring it because her grand-baby was there!!  This was the picture we showed them...
All 3 of our sweet babies...
My parents were thrilled.  We also told my brothers and my brother Andrew (who lives in Boston) said, "Well I definitely have to move back home now!"

We knew we wanted to tell our parents pretty quickly after finding out.  We are blessed to be so close to them and I can't imagine keeping it from them.  We also told a few very close friends and we felt ok with that.  We wanted their prayers and they were lifting up up everyday from the second we told them.

The week of May 7th-11th
I was nervous everyday at school.  I drank an insane amount of water, sat at my desk to teach, sat on the bench at recess, and tried everything I could to take it easy.  I was a Momma bird protecting this sweet little baby bird inside of me.  I would come home and SIT.  I was doing everything right.

Sunday, May 13th
Mother's Day (Day before Sonogram)
I had a wonderful Mother's Day.  We woke up and went to our new church, went to visit Hadley and Nonnie at Bluebonnet, went to my Uncles and spent time with family, and then ended by eating dinner with Papa and Auntie in honor of Nonnie for her Mother's Day in Heaven.  Here I am with all three of my sweet babies...
Monday, May 14th
We had made it.  I was so excited and ready to see this sweet baby on the screen.  I made it through the work day and left a little early, came home to get Daniel and Briley, and then we left to go.  I was nervous but I felt a peace.  I couldn't wait.  We were seeing Janet (the sono lady) and we know her pretty well and I was looking forward to seeing her again.  She called us back and started the sono.  Her face immediately alarmed me.  She said was I sure I was 6 weeks or more?  I didn't actually think I was that far along.  I figured more like 5 weeks 4 days or so.  There was no baby visible but she did see a yolk sac and everything else looked very normal.  She said most likely we were just too early to see a "fetal pole" yet and for me to come back in a week or so and be a little further along.  Daniel was very positive and was great with the news.  Of course I wasn't.  I immediately felt uneasy and felt a tugging in my heart that was all too familiar.  In my head, "No God, don't do this.  PLEASE."  I was begging him in my head, pleading.  We did get a picture of the most beautiful yolk sac I have ever seen...
We scheduled the next appt. for Wednesday, May 23rd and we left.

Our family and friends were so supportive and positive.  They couldn't wait until our next sono and to see the baby.  We were being so lifted up in prayer!!

The week of May 21-25th
Another countdown begins...
During this week it was more taking it easy, sitting in my chair, drinking my water, not doing any housework, etc.  The tugging in my heart was still very present and it wouldn't go away.  What was God telling me?  That week we got a quick little storm in our area and the most beautiful thing happened.  God gave us an absolutely beautiful complete rainbow...
I knew God was giving me a sign that this rainbow was for us.

Friday, May 18th
Field day at my school
Feeling a little uneasy about being on my feet and outside all day for field day I called my doctor to see what he thought.  He didn't think there was any reason for me to do that and said to take the day off and relax.  That is exactly what I did and my sweet girl and I went to lunch and I had a perfect day with her...

Wednesday, May 23rd
2nd Sono Day
We made it again!!  I was so excited.  I had taken a half day off work so I only had to go in for the morning and when I got home I once again got Briley and Daniel and we headed to see Janet once more.  I was VERY anxious.  I was shaky and couldn't think straight.  I asked Daniel if he felt ok and he said, "Absolutely, everything is going to be fine."  I told him I wished I felt the same (more tugging).  We got in very quickly to see Janet and she started the sono.  I searched her face for any hope.  I wasn't even looking at the screen.  I whispered to her, "Does it look ok??" She looked down and softly shook her head no.  I will tell you the pain you feel when someone tells you that your baby isn't there is more than heart wrenching.  It's unbearable.  I put my hand in my heads and just shook my head and said, "No God No God, NO!" I was sobbing.  Daniel was holding my arm and squeezing me and I could feel his pain run through me.  Briley immediately began begging me, "Please Mommy don't cry, it's ok, Mommy please don't cry."  Janet immediately got Dr. Neal on the phone and he was in there in a matter of seconds.  He was so happy to see us but he knew it wasn't good.  He told me that what I had was labeled as an "enlarged yolk sac".  There was no baby present.  I immediately asked him if he thought there ever was a baby to begin with?  He said absolutely but it was probably the size of a grain of sand and was too small and never grew.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Melissa, God took this baby for some reason.  Maybe something was wrong with the baby and he needed it with him." I looked back at him through tear filled eyes and just nodded.  Janet asked a few questions about Hadley, when we lost her, etc. and the tears kept coming.  Dr. Neal looked over at our sweet precious 1st born and said, "I'm going to help you get one of those again, I promise.  It will happen again Melissa."  He recommended a D & C and said his nurse would call later about a surgery time tomorrow.  Our options were wait it out to let the miscarriage happen or have Dr. Neal take care of me.  I knew I needed Dr. Neal to do the procedure...I couldn't handle a countdown with an unknown end.

We walked out of the office and as I was buckling Briley in her seat I was crying and she said to me, "Mommy there was no baby?"  I told her, "No sweetheart our baby went to Heaven with Nonnie and Hadley."  She replied, "Oh good, God will take care of her."  Her?  Daniel had said nothing to Briley about what happened in the sonogram room and she was very quiet when Dr. Neal was explaining everything to us.  Her sweet, young little mind absolutely knew what was going on in that room and God was giving her heart peace.  What a worthy God we serve...
We called our parents first and then I called my friend Channan (best friend through MEND), and then I sent this text to a few friends that knew...
"It wasn't what we hoped to see,  It was an enlarged yolk sac.  I could feel it in my heart that something was wrong I just kept pushing it away.  My heart is broken.  I need your prayers.  I just don't understand.  I'm not sure I can handle this pain.  I feel helpless...Love yall."

We went home and I was crying...and crying...and crying.  My husband isn't much of a talker and he handles grief VERY differently than me but I could see the pain in his eyes and he was SO STRONG.  I told him I felt like a failure and he said absolutely not.  He said there is nothing we can do to change this and it sucks, but we can get through it.  It will happen again like Dr. Neal said.  I asked him, "Why does God think we can handle this??"  Of course Daniel simply said, "I don't know but he made ME for you and YOU for me and we will get through it together."

Thursday, May 24th
2 losses...
So here we are...back to today.  I've had my D & C and I'm home.  I'm in a little bit of pain but it's nothing compared to my heart.  I honestly feel like I'm losing Hadley again and it's like my grief is hitting me with ton of bricks over and over.  Right now I'm absolutely broken.  I never got to see this baby on the screen or see its precious heart beat.  But I absolutely know it did and our baby was alive in me. 

What my head is thinking right now...
1.  Why?  Why do I have to be in the group of women who have suffered more than 1 loss?  Why do I have to now say that I lost our premature daughter and suffered a miscarriage?
2.  Pain- Can I make it through another loss?  Am I strong enough?
3.  Anger- I'm so angry I could throw this computer across the room.  

What my heart is telling me...

What GOD is telling my head and heart...
1.  Strength- Precious daughter do not try to be strong.  I will carry you through this and fight for you need only be still. (Exodus 14:14)
2.  Comfort- I am here.  Cry out to me. Ask me why, be angry.  I can take it.  I love you more than life and I will protect you.  I know all your days past and to come.  Every day of your life is in my book and it was there before one day came to pass Melissa. (Psalm 139)
3.  Hope- Melissa haven't I told you before that I am the beginning and the end?  I make all things new...I'm not here to hurt you.  I have plans to prosper you and give you HOPE for the future.  This is not the end of your story sweet child.  (Jeremiah 29)

Thank you for reading my heart, thank you for praying with us and for us.  We are blessed beyond measure and we thank our family and friends that have been with us every step of the way.  Not since yesterday, or 3 weeks ago, but last year in January and February when our lives changed forever.

The stitch in our heart from Hadley is bleeding out but God will mend it back once again.

Our story isn't over.
Our 3rd baby is in paradise with their big sister, Hadley and Nonnie.  Can you even believe how even more precious Heaven is to me now?  God is storing up my treasures in Heaven and I long for the day he brings me home... 
I'm sharing this post with some many of you not for your sadness, hurt, or pity for us.  I'm sharing it for the Glory to completely be given to HIM.  Please know this...HE is the reason.

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Minnie Mouse

Briley's 3rd birthday is quickly approaching and I am busy getting her invites ready to be sent out.  Her birthday theme is of course "Minnie Mouse" (her choice) and today we had a photo shoot outside for the invitation.  I had to share a few with you that I didn't pick for the cute!!

Love my sweet Minnie!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Single Sentence Sunday...

"Every good and perfect gift is from above." ~James 1:17
I am so blessed to be their Mommy!!
Mother's Day 2012 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hadlee Hope

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." -Revelation 21:5

Indeed he does make all things new...

I met Channan last year at my 2nd Mend meeting to attend.  She didn't say much that night and either did I.  I found out she lost her daughter Ainslee to SIDS on February 8, 2011.  Just 20 days before we lost Hadley.  I can't describe why I felt such a strong connection with her at that meeting, but I did.  I ended up finding her on facebook and we messaged back and forth for a few days and found out several things.  Her husband, Travis, went to the same high school as Daniel and I, we had mutual friends, we both had almost 2 years olds (then) born in June, we had the SAME doctor, and our babies where both buried at Bluebonnet not far from each other. 

From there we talked almost every week, whether by text, phone, facebook, etc.  When I was having a hard day I would text her and vice versa. 
Here we are in October at the Walk to Remember that Mend hosts every year...
With Briley and Adrian :)

This was the day she told me she was pregnant with her rainbow...

It was a few months later that she approached me with something.  We were at a MEND meeting together and she wanted to know what I thought about them using the name Hadley if they have a girl.  My first reaction was to scream YES!!  I had no hesitations about it at all, but I knew I wanted to talk to Daniel first.  I told Channan I was honored and I would talk to Daniel and let her know.  I appreciated SO MUCH that she asked us but it doesn't surprise me because that is just the way Channan is.

Daniel and I talked about it and we both knew we felt ok with it.  Though Daniel's connection to Channan isn't like mine, he understands the pain of losing a baby and what it meant to Channan and I for this baby to be named this.  When I gave Channan the official YES she said she wanted to spell it HADLEE after our Hadley and her Ainslee.  Absolutely perfect.  
Hadlee Hope...

Here we are at Hadley's 1st Birthday Celebration...of course Channan was there to support me.

6 weeks later Hadlee Hope made her beautiful debut...
Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 8:28 am. She weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces, and was 20 1/4 inches long.  Can you believe the 28??  Hadley is always giving me signs...

Of course I had to come visit this sweet girl on her birthday.
After visiting Channan and Hadlee I went to a mend meeting that night.  On the way there I was thinking about how much glory our girls have brought to HIS name and I realized once again what a perfect plan HE has laid out for us.  I shared mine and Channan's story that night with everyone at MEND and how incredible God's love is for us.

Here is Hadlee Hope again with a blanket I had made for her :) The birds have the initials "A" and "H" in them to represent the angels Hadlee has in Heaven. 

Ainslee Ryan and Hadley D'Layne will always be a part of us.

Their beautiful namesake here on earth will keep their legacy alive forever!!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." -1 Peter 1:3