Monday, June 22, 2009

Heavy Hearts


This weekend I had a heavy heart.

Very rarely do I blog about the infertility struggle my husband and I face. Not that I am ashamed or embarrassed by our situation. Had blogging been around 10+ years ago when we began this infertility odyssey, I'm sure I would have found blogging to be a very therapeutic outlet. But it wasn't, and since I have been blessed twice over I tend to blog about my sweet daughter and son and gloss over all of our pregnancy drama. But back to this weekend.

Each day, my little ones love to go to the mailbox to check for mail. On Saturday afternoon, my precious in vitro miracle said, "Mommy, there's a box in the mailbox, but I can't get it out." Immediately I grew excited. What could be in there? A belated birthday gift for Daddy? A surprise for my little ones? Free samples for Mommy?

It was free samples, alright. A big box of Similac formula. My heart stopped...skipped a beat...the wind knocked out of me. You see, this 4th of July we were expecting a new baby; only it wasn't meant to be. Last December I miscarried around the 11-week mark. So, difficult Christmas...difficult 4th of July.

And yet, there is so much to be thankful for. So much that I have been given and blessed with. And this morning my heart is lighter. As I went to photograph the box of formula for this post (b/c that's what we bloggers do...photograph everything) I couldn't find the box. My sweet, sweet husband must have hidden/disposed of the painful reminder of what's not meant to be. Perhaps his heart was a bit heavy too this Father's Day weekend.

26 comments:

  1. Since I am new to your blog, I did not know about the issues you addressed today; however, I do understand a little bit of the pain you felt when you saw the little package that in the mail. Our first baby lived only 3 days...that was 34 years ago. I, too, wished I would have had a blogging outlet at that time. Instead, it was just me...trying to make sense of it and trying to move forward. All I saw for months were brand new babies and their happy parents. I had a nursery that had to be packed up and boxes and boxes of diapers to give to my next door neighbor who had also just given birth to a baby that survived. I was lucky that two more pregnancies resulted in healthy babies--who are now 30 and 33. The 33 yr old is expecting his second child any day! So...I am happy and enjoying the joyful times with our little grand and future grand, but I don't forget the little one that did not get to come home with me. I do know he has been given greater love than I could have given him in heaven by the Father and now, by my parents, my husband's parents and my sister.

    Now, to comment about the sweet comment you left on my post about the Wizard of Oz.....you LUCKY, LUCKY folks!! To meet J. Albright had to be such a thrill and to have her little girl's toes capture her heart....well, that was spectacular!!! The little ruby slippers that my gr.girl wore on a 2nd trip to the exhibit were the focal point of her party invite!! I will include that in my next post.

    Sorry about the lengthy answer...you won't hurt my feelings if you need to delete it.

    Have a great day with your family. dana

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  2. Dear Dana,

    How sweet of you to leave such personal and kind words for me. No need to delete them.

    I am sure that there are many out there that can relate to both our stories of loss. Sometimes just reading the words of others can bring comfort in knowing one is not alone in battling a personal crisis.

    Thank you for reminding me that life does go on, and that one day I too will wake up to find myself the parent of a 34 and 32 year old and hopefully a grandma! Until then, I must live in the present and enjoy every moment that I have with the two greatest blessings that God has given me...even if it involves watching the Wizard of Oz 100 times in a row with the first-born blessing! Ha Ha

    Blessings to you,
    Valerie

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  3. AS you know I just experienced the pain of losing one. I have nine beautiful souls here on earth. I love each one and would give my life to help any of them. My heart still aches for my Declan that I miscarried in 1998 and for my precious David that we lost 3 weeks ago and was due this coming Christmas Eve.

    Life does go on, but as a mom we still long to hold those souls. It isn't a selfish act it is motherhood. God gave us a soul to love and we are just doing our jobs. For a reason we could never understand He wanted the souls but not for an earthly life. We obeyed, we helped create and now feel empty.

    You have opened your heart to God's call for motherhood. He had allowed pain but that brings us to Him. Rejoice in those souls in heaven. You have done a great job mom.

    I know it might seam silly but I would recommend naming each one that you lost. It doesn't matter if they have been gone 10 years. They are all your babies and you love each one. Giving names helps me acknowledge them, remember them and share their stories with their siblings.

    I will pray very hard for you in the next few weeks. It is a heavey heart of a mother that understands that secret unspoken pain. (although you spoke very well of it here!) I will then ask for your prayers at Christmas time as my heart will be heavy with that same emptiness.

    In Him,
    Shannon

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  4. Thank you for your heart-felt words, Shannon.

    I knew in high school that God was calling you to do such very special work for Him on this Earth. Even at the tender age of 15 or 16, I remember your strong will and fierce determination to spread the pro-life movement.

    You are truly one of God's soldiers on Earth. Thank you for your prayers and OF COURSE I will remember you in mine...not ony at Christmas, but always.

    Valerie

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  5. wow, I have chills...HE does work in amazing ways.

    My heart goes out to you as you are experiencing this time of sorrow.

    I remember my little Angel that I miscarried over 11 years ago with bitter sweetness. I hold her, along with the baby I wrote of today, close to my heart, (until the day I will hold her in my arms.)

    Thank you for sharing on your blog...your baby is making a difference for others through your words.

    With love and prayers,
    Julie

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  6. ((HUGS))
    I remember the feeling of an unexpected reminder of a lost little one, I too miscarried. My little one would have been a senior this year, and June found me thinking a lot about graduations, open houses, college plans and what that little lost one would be right now.

    Your wound is so much more recent than mine, I remember so well that feeling that stabbed the heart; the memory of the one you had already grown to love and to look forward to seeing.

    I am so happy that you shared with us, it gives encouragement to those who are also hurting because of a miscarriage or a lost little one, or to those who are beginning the fight for fertility (like my own daughter) and I think it's wonderful how your husband took "care of it" for you so you wouldn't have to be reminded. But, there is no way that us MOMS will EVER FORGET...after all, those little ones were carried close to our hearts.
    XOXO
    Joni

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  7. Just wanted you to know that I'll be thinking of you.

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  8. I am so sorry about your loss! (((HUGS)))

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  9. Julie, Joni, and KC MOM,

    Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughtful comments.

    It is amazing how many of us have walked in each other's shoes without ever having even met! The blogging world can be such a kind and helpful place!

    Blessings to all three of you ladies,
    Valerie

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. You are most definitely welcome to blog about these things. Just because you were blessed with two doesn't mean it hurts any less to go through what you have. Loosing a baby is horrifying and it hurts so bad. You had a loss and I hate to hear that you did. So many of us have had miscarriages and they are hard to get through, especailly that first year after. I promise to pray for you and your hubby and for your future babies.
    And please know that you can talk to us and ask for prayers and support anytime.

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  11. I´m sorry about Your miscarrige. I can understand that it was a cruel reminder to get that in the mail.
    Christer.

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  12. It took me too long to reply to your questions you asked me several weeks ago about our beach vacation. I couldn't find your e-mail, so I visited your blog. Thank you for sharing your pain. I'll be praying for you. I also had a miscarriage around 12th week two years ago. It was hard and painful, but God gave us peace and showed that he is in control. It's such a blessing that you have two beautiful kids. I am so thankful for mine.

    About the beach. It was really windy in May. We had couple good sunny days when we played at the beach, and after that it wasn't very pleasant. But we still had fun. We took ferry to the island, but had to drive back around it, because of the strong wind they stopped running the ferry.

    I loved your pictures from the beach. My favorite was of your daughter asleep in her car seat.

    Thanks for you comments.
    Vika

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  13. Thank you, Christer and Meant to be a Mom for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers!

    Such kind souls in the blogging world!

    Blessings,
    Valerie

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  14. Hi Vika!

    I am so glad that you were able to find and track me down!

    I'm glad that you did have a few enjoyable days at the beach. I know that my sister encountered similar weather when she and her husband and little boy went to Gulf Shores in May. You wouldn't think it would still be chilly in the South in the U.S.A. We ferryed over one direction and decided to return trip it home, driving, by choice. Long drive, huh?!!!

    Thank you for your kind words and prayers. Many blessings to you,

    Valerie

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  15. Valerie, I will be praying for you in the coming weeks, it is such a hard thing to go thru. As I told you before I too miscarried before Kate was born. It was a very difficult time for me. I think already having Kailey made it a little easier. Everything happens for a reason, what the reason is I don't know.

    How sweet of Chris to get rid of the formula. I am sure it was a difficult Father's Day for him as well. I hope you will come to our 4th of July party, hopefully being surrounded by friends will take your mind off your sorrows for a little while.

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  16. Thank you so much for the invitation, Erin and you can definitely plan on the kiddos and me being there! (Chris will be on duty!) How fun to attend a 4th of July celebration literally in my own backyard!
    I'll be looking for the invite so I know what to bring!

    Thanks for becoming such a good friend to me over these past few years! I'll never be able to repay you for the generosity and love that you showed my two precious children while in your care. You were always more than just "our daycare lady"...you were Miss Erin...a 2nd mom to my kids when I couldn't be there! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  17. You are too kind. I love your kiddos as if they were my own. I feel as if I helped raise them. I am so glad you will be coming on the 4th. Bring anything you want (covered dish or dessert).

    Is there an easier way to read peoples comments on your post. I am looking thru all my post to see if I have new comments. There has to be a easier way to do this.

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  18. I'm sorry you're having such a hard time right now Valerie. I think even though you know to be grateful for the two little ones you have, you're still entitled to feel sad for what you don't have and yearn for with all your heart. I think the Lord understands and would want you to feel your feelings, whatever they may be. God Bless and I hope your week contains nothing but sunshine for you!

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  19. Sares,

    Thank you for your words; they ring so very true.

    I think that sometimes I feel like I can't be sad over a loss b/c in the end "I got my baby via in vitro" and should just be grateful and appreciative and not sad or mournful when I have been blessed with so much.

    But, as you said, we are only human and feel sadness and loss regardless of how many children we have. And you are right, God knows the sadness and pain we feel in our hearts, even before we do. I sometimes need a gentle reminder to turn things over to HIM, for truly only God can lift this from my heart.

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  20. Oh my sweet friend, I have a heavy heart for you and with you! I'm going to email you something... What a testimate to the sweet hubby you are blessed with! Prayers for yall!

    Hugs and Blessings,

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  21. I love the comments you post on my Firehubby's blog :)

    I hope you don't mind that I linked you up to my Firewife section on my sidebar.

    We certainly have a unique life.

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  22. Hi Val,
    I can't even imagine what you have been through, but I do know you have two little angels that make me smile everytime I see their faces. I wish there was someway to ease the hurt in your heart. Sometimes you just need to express it, and then you can have a sense of relief. You have such much to be thankful for, and I know you treasure all that you have. When I have a heard time with something, I think of those who are less fortunate and then pray to God and thank him for every single blessing I have! I hope you are feeling better.

    Big Hug! Nancy

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  23. This was a very personal post that moved me.

    I'm so lucky never to have lost a child, but I did struggle to get the two I have. After 6 years of trying for the last one we had all but given up. At a party at our Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a good friend asked me if we wanted more children. Of course I said, and to my embarrassment she got up and placed her hands over my womb and began praying. Not that I was embarrassed about the prayer, but about my tummy (you know how it is) and all the people watching...

    One month later I was pregnant with our miracle girl Grace. Twice during the pregnancy I almost lost her, and the delivery ended with an emergency c-section. She did not breath and had no heartbeat when she was born. But THANKS to JESUS she is now a healthy and happy 5 year old girl that loves life.

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  24. Very hard thing to go through. Affected me in ways I never saw coming. Every Christmas we still hang an ornament on our tree in honor of our own little "Angel." My thoughts go out to you both.

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  25. Valerie - I stumbled across your blog and know it was divine intervention that brought me here. You see, I too had an experience like this show up at my door. Just when I thought healing had really begun, salt was poured in my wounds. I won't sugar coat it, it's tough. BUT it does get easier.

    I have only been blessed with one successful pregnancy. My other two children were "wedding gifts" when I married my husband. (Their mother is a fantastic friend so that's just bonus too!) I've learned to embrace each anniversary (of lost child's birthday) as a celebration of what I DO have.

    I will pray for you Valerie, that your heart is healed and that your two little miracles continue to fill your heart with love.

    Blessings & hugs,
    Jackie

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

Valerie