God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guest Blogger: Leah

" . . . But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." --John 16:32-33 (MSG)

Hello, I am Leah. I am a 29 year old Christ-follower. I have been married to my husband Cory for 6 years. I am the mother of one beautiful little 22-month old girl named Nora. I am also the mother of two "angels in heaven".

I miscarried the first time in August of 2008. It was my first pregnancy, and I found out when I was 6-7 weeks along. I got to experience the joy of knowing I was pregnant for a whole three or four days before I started to bleed. At the first sight of blood I was told to go to the emergency room, where another urine test was performed. The test said "positive", but the bleeding got heavier. Before I knew it, I was at home on the couch sobbing because my baby was lost.

After that happened I wrote this in my journal:

" . . . If asked the question: 'How was your first pregnant experience?', the answer that comes to mind is 'Silent.' It came, and it went. Such a short time to have such an impressive impact.

Even before my baby had eyes, teeth, lungs, or a name it had needs that could only be met by me. It was hungry and I fed it. Now the void of that absence is so quiet . . . and so profound.

I would have taken anything that God gave me. I see now that “abnormal” is unimportant when it’s your own child. I would have loved what He gave me SO MUCH no matter what.

I am trying not to blame Him or myself. It’s hard. Luckily I am much better able to stick to my convictions than I ever was. I believe (FIRMLY) that God is not the author of evil, and that He is the one who writes my days. Even still, I shake on that foundation in light of this experience.

I didn’t want to trust in hope. I kept asking that if it was going to be over, that He would make it be over quickly. In retrospect, it was short. In experience, it was the longest three days of my entire life.

I cannot help but weep for what is not here, and practically never was to anyone else but me. My boobs have deflated; my hunger has subsided to practically nothing . . . on the outside you would almost never know. The silence is inside me.

. . . I give my body credit for fighting to hold on to this life. I feel like it fought tooth and nail. Then it battled back against death with a vengeance . . . How can I not blame myself?? They say not to, but how can I not?????

It hurts to think right now. I would be pleased with a vacation from my own head . . . my own silent body . . . This silence is truly deafening."

That was the single most devastating thing that ever happened to me. As much as this is a blog about my experience, it's also kind of a Public Service Announcement: I learned the hard way that a little pink line on a pregnancy test, or even several pink lines on several tests, does not always result in a baby. Even still today when I see girls announcing their pregnancies at 4, 5, 6 weeks I panic in my heart for them because all I can think is: "You have a one in five chance of miscarrying." And the feelings that follow a miscarriage are feelings that you DO feel ashamed of and don't always want to share. Anger, jealousy, guilt, hopelessness - and that is just the start. I personally feel dysfunctional as a wife and mother - and there are many days where no one short of God Himself is convincing me that I am not. I may not know you, but please trust me when I ask you to wait to announce that you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks. Please, please, please . . . trust me on this.

I got pregnant with my daughter in November of 2008. From the first day of pregnancy I experienced bleeding. I was in and out of the doctor's office every week so they could be sure I was still pregnant. I prayed every single day for a "happy, healthy baby" to result from all this mess. I was on bed rest at 19 weeks for two weeks, and then . . . nothing. The second half of my pregnancy was textbook, and after a tough delivery . . . we got Nora.

I weep when I think of how much God blessed us with our little Nora. She is charismatic, smart, and makes us laugh daily. She is so amazing, and wants for nothing . . . except maybe a little brother or sister to play with.

My second miscarriage happened this past week, in June of 2011. This time I knew I was pregnant for over two weeks. It was such a "quiet" pregnancy that I was a little worried, but I had absolutely no bleeding for the first time so I was able to push my worries away easily. The day before my first scheduled ultrasound, I started to bleed. At first glance, I knew that it was a miscarriage. But I was able to stay calm because I had flat out told my sister: "I'm miscarrying again" while pregnant with my now-daughter. But I just knew, and I couldn't deny it when the cramps started an hour later. However, the next day when I called the doctor, the pain and bleeding had stopped. Hope returns! I started to feel silly for thinking I was miscarrying.

But . . . I was right.

That ultrasound is something I will never forget. Looking on the screen and seeing an immobile, extra-small, black dot that would have been our son or daughter is forever etched in my mind. My worst fears were confirmed as soon as I saw it - our 7 1/2 week old baby was not growing. There was no visible little diamond-shaped heart. The doctor confirmed what I knew already a few minutes later: "It looks like an abnormal pregnancy . . . but ultrasounds are imperfect machines." He offered me a D&C . . . but I couldn't go through with it. If there was even the slightest chance our baby could make it . . .

. . . but it didn't. By Monday, my pain was so great, I was wishing for the D&C. But on Tuesday I "labored" for about three hours and passed the bulk of the tissue. It was some of the worst pain I have had in my life, physically and mentally.

This time around a friend gave me a book called Free to Grieve. There is a passage in it that says: "Grief is different for a follower of Christ. Even in the depths of sorrow, hope breathes. Hope that you will see your child again in heaven. And hope that because of His healing power, your sorrow will not go on forever." So when another friend posted John 16:32-33 (quoted above) on her facebook page, I began to meditate on it heavily. But I got stuck on one thing: what does it really mean to "take heart"?

I looked it up in the idiom dictionary and here's the three definitions that were listed:

Take heart:
1. to receive courage or comfort from some fact.
2. to start to feel more hopeful and more confident.
3. to feel encouraged.

I have put God in charge of helping me to receive "courage and comfort". I am hoping that in time, the second and third definitions will follow from that.

This is the first time anyone other than my closest circle of friends has ever heard of me miscarrying. I am scared to post it, and I am scared to write it, knowing that you all would see it. BUT - I still have hope, and that is the true reason why I decided to write this blog entry today. Even though I am ashamed of my miscarriages and of the feelings that come with them, I am not ashamed of my children that I lost, or of the hope that Christ gives me. I am praying that by sharing my hope with you, that you will receive "courage and comfort" from it yourself. I am able, because of my God, to receive peace from my anger and get on with life in the midst of this pain, because of the hope that only comes from Christ Jesus. I hope that if you are going through something similar, that you will draw close to Him and find that same peace yourself.

To conclude, I wrote down this prayer for myself to pray when I just didn't have the heart to say anything else to God. I hope it helps those of you out there who need peace:

Dear Lord,
I am sad about losing another pregnancy. I pray that you will give me the courage to try again, and comfort in my time of sorrow. I pray that someday I begin to be more hopeful and more confident again. I also pray that I will be encouraged. I pray for my anger, that I can direct it and deal with it correctly, not turning it inward or using it to hurt others. I pray for Cory and Nora, that this loss will not make them feel afraid, abandoned, or angry. Above all I ask that you will help me to accept your way for my life and to give you trust so that you can give me peace. I ask all these things in your son Jesus' name. AMEN.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Cha Be A Grumpy

Alright, cheesy title, but I think most of you get my drift. :)
After re-reading many of my past blogs, I want to make a promise to my readers...

You will never read blogs like that again.

I will be honest still, yes. But I am NOT going to let myself get into a spiral like that again. I am going to take control of my attitude by giving it all to my God. I have not been a great example through all of this, and after much prayer and talking to others, I am going to be changing that. Keep me accountable.

I also want to share a guest blogger coming up. A good friend of mine who has let me lean on her, and I like to think I've pulled her up as well. We were friends before, and I feel like we are bonding closer together every lunch we have together. She is an amazing woman, mommy, and friend who thought sharing a blog could be therapeutic for her and I am honored to have her on mine. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Message of a Swift Kick

I received a message from a friend who called me out on how rude I was with some of the things I said about Abi. She's so right. I want this blog to be as honest as possible, but some times I type before I think. She cut and pasted my own quote and I scared myself. I hate how this bitterness, anger, and sadness has changed me. I don't want it to, but I can feel my heart hardening in some places, and am not sure how to make it stop.
I am sorry for Abi. I am sorry she will most likely go through a lot of struggles to raise a baby. I am sorry that the father is not one like Walter could be. Mostly I feel sorry for her that she felt so unloved she thought she had to make this choice to force someone to love her. I have been at the place, and with all honesty, I would rather be barren than at that place.
Thank you all for reading my words, and thank you to those of you who can still read between the lines and know that it is the anger and sadness and bitterness talking and not the voice of the Jen you know. I am trying to keep who I truly am through fighting the 'demons' off, but some days I think I win a little less than they do. Please keep your prayers coming.
[W]hile I have my beautiful girls -- and that is what you see now -- when I was 24 I was told I would never be able to conceive children.
I understand where you are standing b/c I have been there. I understand loosing yourself to the pain and the sadness of loss.
Even when I already had [my first] ....is always with me. I see him growing beside his cousin who was born on his due date.
I understand the anger you are feeling too. All my friends had their second babies that year. I was empty.
Then my friend's baby got sick. I watched him waste in her arms as my belly filled with [my second]. We were never in the same place at the same time with our grief. But we grieved and continue to grieve together. The souls that have been entrusted to our keeping don't replace the loss...ever. But time is the only thing that has made the loss less sad.
Life changed us. [Life] can be harsh sometimes.
I'm so concerned for you. Your anger is overtaking you. The loving, forgiving woman I knew would never have said [edited quote].
What I believe is that the will of the Gods (I'll use my terms here but you can translate to God) can never be known to us. It isn't for us to know.
That child who is carrying a child has probably been given a burden that she will not be able to carry alone. You and I both know how much that hurts, but it is not for us to know why.
Because of her choices, she may never have the relationship you and Walter do. She may never be able to afford her own home or pursue dreams she has just begun to dream.
Children are willful, they lie, they don't believe. Standing by them in that place is the most difficult place to be in. Especially when you are lost in grief.
I pray for you to find peace. I pray for you to feel the love all around you and be able to give that back to everyone around you.
My faith has a saying "bright and dark blessings" because without the darkness, we cannot appreciate the light when it arrives.
In darkness and in light,

I cannot thank you enough for the message posted above, and for your loving friendship. Thank you for knowing who I am, before this tragedy had touched me, and for keeping me that person. Thank you for the kick I so needed at the time. Thank you for sharing, and the encouragement.

Monday, June 20, 2011


To all of you who have been so selfish and inconsiderate these last few weeks.
This song is so eerie and beautiful, and it cannot get out of my head.


A Painful Day for Daddy

Today we received a phone call from Abi's mom. After being yelled at, threatened, etc we couldn't take any more. We decided to cut our losses. We packed up Abi for her, relieved her of her debt, and delivered her belongings to her sister. We had been lied to, cheated from, and abused for almost two months now, but Abi (or her mom for her, rather) had to give a final blow... while we were packing her up for her we found a note and a test letting us know she was pregnant. My heart is shattered. There is much anger now added to the mix of sadness we feel on this day. I know what I am feeling is entitlement. I feel like I deserve to be blessed with a pregnancy over a teenage girl who has lied, stolen, and one who does now believe... but I know that is not true, and that is why the the Lords gives us Grace. We knew she was trying to conceive, and although she knew that would be a deal-breaker for her to live here, I'm assuming, like many teenage girls do, that a baby wold "fix" the problems her and here (now ex) boyfriend were having. It is painful to see how quickly she got what she wanted- even when you and I both know it's not what she REALLY wanted.
Today is Walter's first Father's Day. After tearful gifts and cards were exchanged we just sat on the couch and help each other in pain. Walter is such an amazing Daddy already... there isn't a level of pain I haven't gotten to experience seeing him meet men who have ran away from their responsibilities, and say hurtful things. There are so many men in the world, and I have one of the few who can't wait to have cheerios stuffed in his pockets and to trip on roller skates while coming home from work. Yet, like me, he is forced to sit back and see other homes filled.

Happy Father's Day to the most worthy man on the planet to be called Daddy.
Gracie and I could not be more blessed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Hurt to the Core

Yesterday was one of the worst days.
After finding out that dad's check had bounced, and dealing with my little cousin (10 years old) who had once again thrown a fit of rage, kicking and screaming and cursing at me... I had to quit. To do business with family is rough, until it has gotten to the point where you can be abused no more. Still, I had trouble quitting. Walter says 'Thank God!' he could not wait to finally see me stand up for myself.
Along those lines, I had to ask Abi to move out. Her living her had become very stressful to myself, Walter, and to our relationship. In the end, you can only help those who want to be helped. She was not doing what we asked, was lying, and just could plain not be trusted. We let her make the final decision (after telling her how hurt we felt) and she made the decision to move on. It was the most grown-up decision she had made while she was here. She left last night to spend the weekend with her mom and boyfriend, and has the rest of June to pack up on go.

A sign of relief can be heard throughout the land, I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Today I am with Jackson and Emily like usual during the day. Either I am the most fun or I just enjoyed being abused because they have 6 friends over playing with us. I know life is about balance, but what is the balance between "Desperate Wanna Be Mom" and "Free Nanny"?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Second Year of Bliss

Walter and I were married two years ago today. There still has no been a love song, note, or movie produced to compare my love to him. He has been my rock throughout times of despair and I would be a mess without him. He is my very best friend, one that can never be outdone or replaced, and one that will never turn his back to me.
Walter and I made a promise on our wedding day to re-new our vows every year and take turns doing so. Last year we did so with our maid of honor and best man at our side, on the front porch of our first home. We literally buried the word 'DIVORCE' in a chest in our front yard and our friends were able to throw rice at us after we recited our vows (something we were not able to do at our wedding at the Botanical Gardens, and something that symbolizes 'fertility' in the marriage. It was a belated MUST-HAVE!).
This year is was Walter's turn to plan, and after coming home to a clean home, freshly-mowed yard, and a delicious dinner prepared he took me to a graveyard where we recited our newly written vows for the next year where many witnesses watched a love and vows that will 'never die'. I know we're creepy, and quirky... but I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.
I am a lucky woman, and Gracie is a proud little girl of the man we have in our lives.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nesting the Nest Egg

Walter and I decided that since we are able to live off his paycheck, that we would spend the money I receive for my nannying to catch up on many things around the home we've been waiting for. Today was an expensive day. New chair, new table, new air conditioner, new tires for my car, new plates for my car, tire repair for his car... a new season of Dexter. ;) Entertainment is needed as well, after the week I've had. *sigh* Let's just say that while I wear a smile the hurt I deal with every day being a (-1) owns me. That's how I think of myself sometimes. Like on wedding invitations instead of receiving mine to see I am a (+1) guest and I get to bring a date or a friend that I am without. Although I clearly have the Lord's blessing in my mate, I feel for myself that I am not a whole person without having my Grace on my hip. I know there are people out there that don't "count" her as a "real" person- and that sends shivers up my spine- but I feel like she was a whole person herself, and has also taken some of myself and her daddy with her. Walter and I are now barely just a (1) without her. Thank God I have him to lean on.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Please Wipe Your Feet

Stress of the four kiddos "trying" to get alone is bubbling over... along with he stress of having a teenager in our home, I feel as if I'm about to melt from the heat of anger inside me.
Words can't say enough how hurt we are by the teenager living with us, it is truly a selfish time.
Working for family has been MUCH more stressful than I thought, and I'm just not quite sure what to do with it. I feel like everyone I know (other than my husband, of course) sees my greatest weakness of having a hard time saying "No" and are taking it to whatever new limits they can. Part theirs, but part my fault as well.

Just send your prayers please.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A (Daytime) Mother to Many

It's summertime! When many of you think of 'summer' you think of beaches, suntanning, vacations, reading in the shade, taking it easy... I think of jobs. :) As a nanny, I'm kind of the opposite of a teacher. When a teacher checks out, I clock in, making summertime the busiest time of the year. This summer I did something different and decided to care for my family. It's always hard doing business with family, and I have definitely been burnt before, but I'm thinking those times are behind us now. I'll get to spend the summer with my cousins, Jackson (10) and Emily (12)... well and of course have Abi (18). However, I'll also be spending some of my summer weeks with the kiddos I had last summer, Will (7) and Kate (5). I love these kiddos! And I definitely love my job!
...but it is something that gets me thinking...
During the day I get to have the 'mommy mobile' and take the kids to the pool and soccer camp. We get to learn and play and laugh... I feel as if I'm in a dream having four (or more) kiddos of 'my own' with me. It's as if I get to literally step inside one of my favorite dreams and play along. The kids cuddle with me and love spending time with me and playing... but no one can love it more than I do. It's a stressful job, but for me, it's the perfect one. Then 5PM comes, and the kids run from my side to Mom or Dad's side and the dream bubble is burst. It's time for reality to come and dreams to be set aside until tomorrow.
I go home to an empty home, and wait for my husband to return. We have dinner and sometimes cry and talk about our angel baby in heaven, never getting to hold her in my arms like I do with so many children of others'.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June & July 2011

We are cursed to not even know our would-have-been due date of our little Gracie...
Our first computer-generated due date was July 19th, but then when we found out we were so much further than we thought...
It hurts our hearts to know this is the month we probably would have been able to hold her in our arms, or at least the month I would be adding the final touches to her room while I "complain" about not knowing what my toes look like anymore. Even as a type this I can't help but for a smile to sneak the corners of my mouth upwards, but I know there is no anticipation to be had. She will never have her tiny footsteps on this Earth, but only in our heart.

Please keep Walter and I in your prayers for this month and next. A lot of "buried" feelings are coming back the months we were supposed to hold our daughter in our arms for the first time.