Postponed Joy

I tried to get on Babycenter yesterday, the website with the great support groups and discussion boards, but there was a glitch in the system. I had to get a new password and re-login. Right when I logged in there was a ticker at the top of the page that said, “Your baby- 3 months and 3 days old.” It took my breath away. Technically she should be three and a half months old, but they were close enough. I have purposefully not been doing the math to know how old she should be because the thought of it breaks me. Three and a half months, that’s all I thought about all day yesterday. I can’t believe she’s not here. It’s weird, I keep seeing myself in a vision of the life I should be living, with my sweet baby Lucy. That life seems more real than this one. Sometimes I can almost feel her on my hip as I do things around the house. Almost every time I get out of the car it feels like I’m forgetting something. I want to reach into the backseat and hoist Lucy’s carseat out, but it’s not there. All day yesterday I was shocked over and over again that she’s dead. Even almost nine months later, it seems so surreal. There are no baby squeals or cries in our house. My arms are so empty. My chest feels bare because it should have Lucy pressed against it. I know the exact size she would be and the weight she should be in my arms. She should be warm and soft and breathing. She should be stealing her Mommy’s attention from her older brothers. I guess she is, but in a morbid way that’s all wrong. Elizabeth McCracken lost her first baby, a son, when he was stillborn at 41 weeks. In her book, An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination she says, “At some point I imagined a kind of time that split into two or more directions when the baby died: on one track he lived and we took him home and somewhere in the universe at this moment we have a one year old and are ignorant, exhausted, cheery (or maybe only the first two); on the other track, the one I accidentally took, he died, and we left France.”

I’m slowly learning to accept this track that my life accidentally got stuck on. This is my reality, but I often find myself being drawn to that other life that was supposed to happen. That life where we are a happy family of five and we have our two boys and one girl. Where Liam and Asher get to kiss their baby sister every day and entertain her with their antics. Where they are learning to be Mommy’s big helpers by bringing me Lucy’s diapers and wipes. They’re learning to be gentle with their sissy and to be quiet while she is napping. In reality, I am learning to block that life out of my mind and my heart countless times a day.  I’m trying to savor every moment with my boys. But when I see something that says, “Your baby- three months and three days old,” I am caught off guard and the weight of my loss feels like it’s crushing me. The other day I was cleaning out Asher’s changing table that he doesn’t use any more and I came across this:

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A size 2 diaper.

I pressed it to my face and breathed it in. She would be wearing a size two diaper right now, but this old, crumpled one of Asher’s is the only one we have in the house.

I read two different blog posts this week by fellow baby-loss moms. Both posts are about restoration and they encouraged me so much. I read them a few days ago and yesterday when the darkness hit, I still had those words of restoration in my mind. It’s what kept me sane. It gave me the strength to feed my two children that I do have, to take them to Walmart and get them excited about our camping trip this weekend. It’s what gave me energy to play with them, to teach English to my Korean student, to do laundry, to keep living. I am promised restoration. I am promised a future with my daughter that will last forever. God promises that my lost joys will be restored. That doesn’t just mean that I will have joy with Lucy in the future. It also means that all of these joys I’m missing out on with my daughter will be restored to me. These Lucy joys are not lost, they are just postponed. Thank you, God, for this hope. Thank you Kalyn and Sara for your words of truth and hope. One day I will be in heaven and I’m going to hug baby Luke and baby Esther and thank them for how they enabled their Mommies to encourage me when I needed it the most.

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Perspective

So much of what I believe and feel is shaped by my perspective. I never thought about this much before losing Lucy, but when she died it hit me like a slap in the face. And it keeps hitting me, every day. I am still shocked by things every day that I was totally unaware of before I lost my girl. My perspective has changed even more since losing two babies in 4 months to early miscarriages after we lost Lucy. Josh and I often lock eyes over the boys as they play trains or wrestle or eat dinner and one of us says, “How did they make it here alive?” We ask that question at least once a week. How many times did I overlook the fact that every single child that makes it into this world alive is a miracle? Do you know how many different hormone levels have to be just perfect to enable the egg and the sperm to meet? And then the embryo has to travel and implant in the right place. It has to implant and divide just right to even get pregnancy started. There are SO many things that can go wrong during a pregnancy and during childbirth. Every child is a miracle.

There’s a great website, Babycenter, that has lots of different support groups and discussion boards. You choose the groups that relate to where you are in your trying to conceive/motherhood journey. The groups I used to be a member of were things like:

  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Baby Names
  • Toddlers
  • Preschoolers
  • Bargain Hunters
  • Pregnancy

Now, I am a member of these groups:

  • TTC After a 2nd/3rd Trimester Loss
  • Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss
  • 2nd/3rd Trimester Loss Support
  • Antibody Isoimmunization
  • All Things Surrogacy
  • IVF
  • Carrying Pregnancy Despite Poor or Fatal Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Actively Trying: The Next Level
  • Actively Trying with Repeat Loss

How can this be my life? It is such a bizarre feeling to see my list of groups that symbolize where I am in my motherhood journey. Sometimes I laugh at the things that former Bethany used to spend so much time worrying about. I used to stress over how far apart I should space my kids and whether I should have 4 or 5 or possibly 6. The other day I stopped in front of the baby/pregnancy book section at Barnes and Noble and was shocked at the trivial things I used to care so much about. The books were about baby names, how to choose the sex of your baby, how to get your baby to sleep through the night, how to teach your baby sign language, the list goes on. There wasn’t one book on how to keep your baby alive, or how to pick up the pieces after your babies die in your womb. None of the other stuff is relevant if you can’t keep your baby alive. I definitely have a new perspective on pregnancy and motherhood.

Before losing Lucy, we lived in a little two bedroom apartment. Most of the neighbors loved our boys and would wave to them and talk to them when they passed by. There was this one guy who lived above us who would avoid my boys like the plague. He would hurry past, averting his eyes, and rush up the stairs if the boys and I were playing outside. When Asher was almost one year old he started calling all men “Daddy.” Several times, when the guy from upstairs passed by, Asher would toddle up to him with his chubby arms outstretched and say, “Daddy! Daddy!” I would laugh because it was so cute and the guy looked nothing like Josh. He STILL acted like he couldn’t see Asher or hear him calling him Daddy. He would deny Asher even a smile or a bit of eye contact and would run past him. I thought he was so weird. I thought there had to be something mentally wrong with anyone who could pass up such a cute baby boy toddling after him, reaching out trustingly. I always wondered what that guy’s problem was. Wow, has my perspective changed! Now, I AM THAT GUY! I avoid little babies at all cost. They literally make me cringe. I avert my eyes, I run past them, I usually don’t return their smiles. Sometimes when a baby is making noise (crying, babbling, whatever) I literally cover my ears because the sound feels like a knife in my heart. The problem is that I love babies so much that it kills me to be reminded that mine are dead. Mine aren’t babbling, smiling, laughing, crying, reaching out their chubby arms. Mine are dead and every baby is a reminder of that fact. From the parent’s perspective I am some weird, mentally ill person who does not like babies and tries to run away from them. I wish I could tell them that I think their babies are miracles. I wish I could tell them that I know the worth of their babies and that’s why it hurts so much to be reminded that mine are gone. I will never know why that guy ran past my boys every day, but now I know that he probably had a very good reason. He could have lost his own baby. Every time Asher called out, “Daddy!” it could have been like a stab in that man’s heart.

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10 Month Old Asher

I know that there are some people who have far more suffering than me, who see my life as easy. Their set of circumstances has given them a different perspective and helped them appreciate things that I take for granted. If only we didn’t have to suffer loss to realize how precious certain things are. I wonder what things I am overlooking now that I will treasure in the future? I know I take my easy marriage for granted. How many people have suffered through horrible divorces or struggle with their marriage every day? I take Josh for granted even though I know I shouldn’t. I think humans have a really hard time empathizing when we haven’t actually been through it ourselves. This is why it’s so meaningful when someone who has experienced your same type of suffering encourages you and comforts you. This is why it is so important that Jesus came to earth and suffered. He knows our pain, He sees our perspective, He has stood in our shoes.

I think my favorite new perspective that I have gained since losing Lucy is that heaven is so real and so close. I think with a more eternal perspective. I used to feel so sorry for old people. Seriously, I would cry in the middle of the grocery store when I saw a shaky old lady slowly reaching for a can of peas. I felt bad for old people because their lives were almost over. Now, I feel so happy for them because they’re almost done. They are so close to heaven and so close to the beginning of their REAL life. Their race is almost finished and their suffering is almost over. I feel excited for them. I want to go pat them on the back or high five them and say, “You did it! You got through your life and you’re almost there!” How weird. Elisabeth Elliott’s husband was murdered and she spoke of heaven after he died, “That was where my treasure was now, for my heart was there in a way it never had been before.” That’s how I see it now, and I am actually enjoying this new perspective.

What is your perspective? How many treasures in your life are you overlooking? How many judgements of other people have you made based on YOUR perspective? I am ashamed I have made many. Let’s try to be aware of the slant that our personal perspectives put on our views of the world.

Seven Years With My Man

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Today I celebrate seven years of marriage to my best friend. I prayed so many prayers asking God to give me the perfect man for me. I always knew he was out there. In college, when I was with a big group of people I would always think, “I wonder if he’s in this room with me right now.” There were so many days that I woke up and thought, “Today could be the day that I meet him for the first time.” God answered my prayers and gave me a man even better than I hoped for. Even after seven years, I’m still waiting for marriage to get hard, like everyone told me it would be. It’s easy with Josh.

He’s the best father I could have dreamed up for my children. His patience is endless. When Liam was a baby he had colic and would scream for several hours every evening. I mean screaming for hours WITHOUT STOPPING. I could only take it for about 30 minutes to an hour before I felt like I was going crazy. Josh would hold Liam on his shoulder, patting him, walking around with him, loving him unconditionally with endless patience. I was amazed (Isn’t the mom supposed to be the patient one with the screaming baby?) I’m still amazed by him. The other night it was time for bed and Josh and I were both exhausted. Liam completely refused to brush his teeth after we asked him several times. I was irritated and started thinking about what his consequence should be if he kept disobeying. As I was thinking up a punishment for Liam, I heard Josh in the next room, “Oh hello sir! Welcome to my tooth-polishing service. Come have a seat.” Liam immediately plays along and sits and lets Josh “polish” his teeth with his toothbrush. Such a sweet Daddy.

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It’s interesting to me that God heard my prayers for the perfect man for me. He chose Josh for me, knowing that Josh had kell positive blood, knowing that I had kell negative blood, knowing that our blood combination would kill our babies. God knew, but He chose that for us, and I trust Him. If someone had told me before I married Josh that it would mean 50% of our babies could die in my womb, would I have married him seven years ago today? Of course. He is the only man for me and he’s the only man I want to do life with. I’m so thankful God gave me Josh. I’m so thankful that I get to raise two children here on earth with him and look forward to meeting our three babies in heaven together. I’m thankful I have him to walk with me through this valley of the shadow of death that we’re in. He is such an endless source of comfort and love for me.

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How to Survive a Miscarriage or a Stillbirth

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Survive is the key term here. When you lose your baby it takes everything you have just to survive. This post is about what has helped me survive the loss of my daughter, Lucy, at 19 weeks pregnant and the loss of our next two babies in early miscarriages. One day, I would love to be able to write a post about finding hope and joy after pregnancy loss, but for now it is about survival. No matter how far along you are, when you lose your baby you lose a piece of yourself. It is a searing pain that changes you forever. If you have suffered a pregnancy loss I am so very sorry. Maybe you can find a bit of strength and encouragement from my experience. If you haven’t lost a baby you probably know someone who has. Also, not to scare you, but there is a chance that you may lose a baby in the future. Many, many pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. I never EVER imagined I would lose my baby, let alone at almost 20 weeks pregnant. The women in my family have healthy pregnancies and we give birth to big, chunky babies. I had two healthy, normal pregnancies before Lucy. I was completely blindsided when I found out there was a complication with Lucy. I was shocked when I lost my next two pregnancies as well. I never thought it would happen to me, but here I am with three lost babies in eight months. This could help you in the future.

Here are some of the practical things that have helped me survive my stillbirth and my early miscarriages:

  • Remember that you play a part in your own healing: For a while after Lucy died I kept waiting and waiting for God to heal me, but honestly I just ached. One day my counselor told me that I didn’t just have to wait around doing nothing. God is the only one who can ultimately heal me, but there are things I can do to help the process along. A lot of healing took place when I realized some of the responsibility was mine and there are practical things (mentioned below) I can be doing to help myself heal.
  • Read something comforting right before bed: Before I go to sleep I read a hopeful/encouraging verse from the Bible. The nights seem the worst and what you read before bed tends to stay in your head throughout the night. I feel safe when I do this.
  • Get enough sleep: I had my doctor prescribe some Ambien to help me sleep occasionally. I don’t take it every night, but I know if I’m having a horrible day full of anxiety that I can at least take Ambien that night and get a good night of sleep (which helps a lot emotionally.) Sometimes I also use Benadryl, melatonin or a nice big glass of wine to help me sleep.
  • Find some reminders of your baby: I think it’s good to have special reminders of your baby (even if it was an early miscarriage.) I have the only dress and hat that Lucy ever wore, her blanket and tiny heart shaped pillow, her footprints, her measurements, pictures of her, ultrasound pictures, pregnancy tests, and cards from so many people. I put them in a little box and when I feel like it, I take everything out and cry for her. One day I can show her big brothers these things to remind them of their baby sister. You can find something, even if you have had a very early loss (your pregnancy test, ultrasound picture, something that symbolizes your baby, etc.)
  • Name your baby: This one is kind of a personal decision, but it’s something that has helped me, so I’m including it. Of course, we already had a name picked out for Lucy when she died, but it also helped me to name our babies that we lost in early miscarriages. They are our children, after all, and we will meet them in heaven one day and I would like to know what to call them. We named our first baby that we lost in an early miscarriage Jude and it felt good to honor our baby and acknowledge his or her life. We are still trying to think of a good name for the baby that we just lost in October.
  • Meet your baby/Take pictures of your baby: This one is for the women who haven’t had a loss yet. If you have a late miscarriage or stillbirth, I think it is very important to take pictures of your baby. For me it was wonderful to see Lucy in person. I was scared at first, but I had read about other women regretting not seeing their baby when they had the chance. This will be your only chance to see your baby in person on earth. I was so glad I got to meet my baby Lucy in person. If you think it’s too traumatic for you, have someone else take pictures and put them in a safe place. If you ever decide you want to see your baby, you can.
  • Find a good verse, and keep it with you: I often find a verse that means a lot to me or helps me a lot and write it on a notecard. I keep it in my back pocket throughout the day. When I feel hopeless, I force myself to read it and a lot of times it lifts me out of the pit. I also put the verses up all around my house where I’ll see them throughout the day.
  • Try to stay off Facebook or limit time there: Facebook is crawling with pregnant bellies and newborn babies (including my own) and Facebook isn’t necessary for life, so why torture yourself? You could also just block the people who are triggers for you from your newsfeed.
  • Stay away from triggers: A trigger is anything that sends you into that deep, dark place of despair. Some of my triggers are: pregnant women, babies Lucy’s age, little girls, Target (not sure why), etc. I try to stay away from these triggers as much as possible. This is especially helpful right at first when the wound is so fresh.
  • Find a good counselor: Right after Lucy died I started seeing a counselor every week and now I just see her when I feel like I need some extra support. She has helped me deal with PTSD and it has been very good for me. She has encouraged me so much. There are a lot of support groups that are also helpful (I haven’t joined one because I don’t have time right now, but might in the future)
  • Take anti-depressant medication if you need it: A lot of women are hesitant to take anti-depressants for some reason. I think medication can be extremely helpful and important after a loss. A lot of women don’t need medication, but some do. I have a history of anxiety and depression/postpartum depression, so after I lost Lucy I started taking Wellbutrin just to be safe. It has helped me avoid feeling suicidal and has kept my head above water. My doctor doubled the dose right before Lucy’s due date (and our early miscarriage) and it helped so much. It’s good to remember that this terrible place you are in is temporary, and the need for medication probably will be too.
  • Find good books on grieving/pregnancy loss: I read some good books on how to deal with grief. My favorite, by far, is “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser. He lost his mother, his wife, and his daughter all in one day. It’s an amazing book that gave me a lot of hope. I also loved, “I Will Carry You” by Angie Smith.
  • Try “Breath Prayers”: Ok, this one might sound silly, but it has helped me in my worst moments when I truly wanted to die because the pain was so suffocating. A lot of times I had to focus all of my energy on literally getting through the moment. These breath prayers help. You pick a piece of scripture or an encouraging thought like “My baby is safe.” As you take a slow, deep breath in you say the first part in your mind “My baby…” Then you slowly let your breath out and finish the thought “…is safe” as you release your breath and relax your body. Repeat it until you feel more in control of your emotions. It’s a bit like meditation and it calms you down and focuses your mind on the truth. Some other ones that I use: “God will…heal me.” “God is…in control.” “I have her…for eternity.”God will…sustain me.” Also, I use some of the personal promises that I feel like God has told me: “I will fill…your heart with joy, I will fill…your belly with a baby.”  “I will….redeem it.” And then I finish with: “He who promised…is faithful.”
  • Know how to answer questions: Try to have a standard reply for certain questions because the grief is so heavy it puts your brain in a fog. When people asked me, “How are you?” I didn’t know what to say because the truth was, I wanted to die, I felt like I was already dead inside, but how do you put that into words? I did NOT want to say, “I’m ok,” because I absolutely was not. I read about another Mom who lost her baby who says, “I’m barely surviving” or “I’m surviving.” I like that response. Another common question that becomes tricky is, “How many kids do you have?” or “Do you have any children?”
  • Find something to look forward to: I try to find SOMETHING to look forward to and I write it down on the calendar. At first, this was very hard. The only thing I looked forward to was my pre-conception appointment (where the doctors would discuss Lucy’s autopsy results with us and make a plan for future pregnancies.) I wrote it in big letters on the calendar. Some other things I have found to look forward to: trying to conceive, trips out of town, renting movies, exercising by myself without my children, doing fun things with my kids (cooking with them, treasure hunts, museums, picnics…), date nights with Josh.
  • Find some creative outlet for your grief: Some people paint or knit little hats for babies in the NICU. I write on this blog and it has helped me so much more than I ever imagined. Besides God, this blog has provided the most healing for me. It is an outlet for my thoughts and it is so amazing when I hear that it has encouraged another person in some way. By the way, thank you, so much to all of you who read my blog. You encourage me more than you know. Every comment is read and cherished and I am so thankful for you all.
  • Listen to good music: For some reason I have a hard time finding praise and worship music that I like, but others who have suffered loss have told me it helped them so much. I finally found these old hymns that have been redone and I love them. I listen to them whenever I can. Even having it play in the background is helpful. It keeps my mind on God and off of my pain.
  • Be ok with saying no: Don’t ever force yourself to do something you’re not ready for (baby showers, family get togethers, church, etc.) just because other people expect you to. One of the things I regret the most is making myself do things I wasn’t ready for. Give yourself permission to say no.
  • Get lots of exercise. Get lots of sunshine.
  • Keep taking your prenatal: I kept taking my prenatal vitamin because a lot of days I just couldn’t eat and that was pretty much the only nutrition I got for the day. Also, your body is trying to replace lots of lost nutrients and you need to be physically healthy to start healing emotionally. I have heard some women say that the prenatal is a trigger for them, so they take a women’s multivitamin instead.
  • Find a safe person: It’s good to try to find at least one person that you feel safe with and spend time with that person so that you don’t lose all contact with other humans. My friend Shelly is great and she never hurts me with her words. Also, she isn’t pregnant or trying to get pregnant and she has two boys (ages 6 and 9) so she’s not a trigger for me. I know I’m safe with her, so I try to spend time with her every week.
  • Know when to find help: Since losing Lucy, I have wanted to die many times (almost every day during those first months.) I think about heaven a lot, because my babies live there. I think it’s normal to want to die, to want to be with your baby and to want to escape the pain. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, though, and when you realize you are crossing the line you need to tell someone and get help. If you ever start making plans about how you will end your life, you are crossing the line. Actually, if you ever think killing yourself is even a real option, you are crossing the line. I have begged God to let me die, I can’t wait to die, but I always respect the fact that it is HIS decision when I get to go home. Be vigilant about what you are thinking and if you feel yourself getting close to the line, call your doctor, tell a friend or family member and don’t allow yourself to be left alone (especially with your children.)

Besides the practical things you can do to get through your loss, there are also some helpful thoughts that can strengthen you along your grief journey. Here are the thoughts that have helped me the most:

  • Accept the fact that you are a different person: It took me a while to realize that my life would never go back to “normal.” I kept waiting for it to get better (which it does) and go back to the way it was before (which it never does.) There was healing and a little bit of closure when I accepted the fact that I am now a different person and this is the beginning of my new life. It doesn’t help at all to compare my new life with my old life.
  • Expect people to say stupid things: Right after Lucy died my Mom gave me some advice that her brother had given her. He lost his first wife years ago, so he is familiar with grief. He said to expect people to say hurtful, sometimes ridiculous things and to not let the anger and bitterness take over. Most of those people don’t know what they are saying, but it’s easy to let the hurt run deep and stay there. Expect stupid, hurtful comments and try to let them go. My friend Shelly always says, “They’re just a bunch of nincompoops.” That always lightens the mood and helps me let the hurt go. They are just nincompoops who don’t know what they are saying.
  • Don’t believe the lies: It is so easy to believe lies after you lose a baby. I think the most tragic thing that can ever happen to a person is to lose a child. That means that you are at your absolute weakest right after losing your baby. Realize that some of the things you are believing are lies from Satan, who loves to attack people when they are weak. I found Bible verses that counteract the many different lies that Satan has been telling me since losing Lucy (You are a bad mom, God wanted to hurt you, etc.) I have to read these truths again and again and they encourage me every time. You can find these lies and their corresponding truths here. 
  • It’s not your job to make them understand: Most people will not understand what you are going through unless they have lost a baby themselves. I was so frustrated at first because no one seemed to get it, no matter how well I explained it. My counselor finally told me that it’s not my job to make them understand, it is impossible. I let go of the burden and have accepted the fact that they won’t get it, and that’s fine. I didn’t understand either before I lost Lucy.
  • Healing will take a long time: Right after Lucy died, one of my doctors told me that the healing process is very long after a stillbirth. He said studies have shown that it takes a year, at the very least, for a woman to emotionally heal from a stillbirth. Most people will expect you to be better after a few weeks or months. You are not weird if you are still grieving months or years after losing your baby. I thought my doctor was exaggerating a bit when he told me it would take at least a year to heal. I expected it to happen sooner. Now I know that for me, it will probably be years before I feel healed from the loss of my daughter. Don’t give your grief a timeline.

I hope some of these things will be helpful to someone who has been through a miscarriage or stillbirth. If you are a baby loss Mom, I would love to hear the things that have helped you survive your miscarriage or stillbirth.

Another Lost Baby

This is hard for me to write. I had to gather all of my emotional energy just to sit down and write this post. We are losing another baby to a very early miscarriage. This is our third loss in eight months. We are disheartened and discouraged and just so tired. These last two early losses are totally unrelated to anti-kell antibodies, so this seems bizarre to me. I’ve never had any problems conceiving or having healthy pregnancies before losing Lucy. We are trying to figure out what has changed since then to cause these early losses. We are wondering if it’s something hormonal (stress/anxiety or low progesterone?) and are looking into it. Please pray that we figure out what is going on.

This pregnancy was a bit different for me because right from the beginning I said to God, “Thank you for this new life, do what you want with it. Whether this pregnancy progresses is up to you and I’m giving it totally over to you.” Honestly, I didn’t let myself get too excited (which is sad in a way) because I knew anything could happen. I didn’t expect to have a screaming baby in my arms next June. I just gave it over to God again and again and He has allowed us to face another loss. I still trust Him, but I am so very tired of all the loss and hurt. I know one day He will do something wonderful with it, but it sure is taking a long time. I just have to trust.

When I was in the hospital after losing Lucy I had a very vivid dream that I felt was from God. I had a perfect rose in my hand and it was in bloom. It was beautiful, but it had been uprooted. I knew that if I didn’t plant it in the dirt, it would die. I was digging frantically and trying to force it into the ground, but it wouldn’t work. I knew even in the dream that the rose symbolized Lucy. I wanted to keep the rose alive so badly, but I couldn’t. Next to me, lying on the ground, were two more roses, uprooted. They were waiting for me to try to plant them in the dirt. Just then a huge dragon-bird creature came flying at me. It’s claws were stretched out in front of it and it looked terrifying. It swooped down and snatched my precious rose out of my hands and flew off into the sky with it. I was devastated. I woke up drenched with sweat and breast milk (that’s when I realized my milk had come in.) I was so scared and told Josh about the dream and said, “What if those other two roses are our next two babies? What if that means we’re going to lose two more babies?” He tried to be optimistic and suggested that maybe the two roses signified two more healthy babies or they were for Liam and Asher. I had the strong feeling that it meant we would lose two more babies. Here we are, eight months later, with two more lost babies.

A few weeks after losing Lucy I decided to try to figure out what the dragon bird was. It kept coming to my mind and it seemed confusing because I knew God didn’t let some terrifying beast come take Lucy. I googled it and guess what it was?

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It was a phoenix.

It looked just like this in my dream. The phoenix is a mythological bird that lives for a long time and then bursts into flames and burns. Out of the ashes, the phoenix is reborn and restored to life. The phoenix symbolizes regeneration, rebirth and new life. Some say it symbolizes the victory of life over death. Life from the ashes. How sweet that God would send me that dream to tell me that even though I couldn’t plant my rose here on earth, He would take it and restore it to life by planting it in heaven. My roses are alive and blooming, and they are planted right where they are supposed to be. I only hope that as the dream showed, only three babies of mine won’t be able to bloom here on earth.

Please pray that we don’t lose any more babies. Please pray that we don’t lose hope. God promised me that He would redeem it, so I will cling to that promise with all I’ve got.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.