Pregnant!

Well, that happened a lot faster than we expected but here I am, nine weeks and four days pregnant. Baby is due on our anniversary and my mother in law’s birthday, October 21st. Since it took at least 13 months to conceive Nora and I just turned 36 we thought it would take us a long time to get pregnant. I read online that it takes a year and a half for the average 36 year old to conceive. We were shocked to see two pink lines so quickly. It felt unreal, like something that happens to other people, not me. We are so thankful for this baby’s life.

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The first night after I got a positive test I was overcome with anxiety. I didn’t tell Josh, just wanted to sit with the news by myself for a bit before telling anyone. The whole night it felt like I was wrestling with demons of fear, anxiety and doubt. I absolutely could not sleep. My mind went through all of the terrible things that happened to Lucy, all of the intense treatments and procedures I would have to go through, the worry I would have to live with day after day while this baby is in danger in my womb, the fact that some people will think we are ridiculous for wanting another baby, the cost of the medical treatments, all the times I will have to ignore my boys and my Nora to focus on taking care of this baby. SO MUCH FEAR. And then suddenly, words of hope came to me and I shouted them into the darkness in my mind, “And my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.” And the voices of fear and anxiety and doubt immediately were silenced. Peace washed over me and I have been filled with an incredible peace about this baby ever since. I actually had to google the words the next morning to see if it was a real verse and it is from:

2 Samuel 22:29-37  For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God- His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

Josh and I have been praying specifically that this baby would be kell negative and that God would fill us with peace throughout the pregnancy. We have also been praying that God would not only give me courage to get through the pregnancy, but would allow me to actually enjoy the pregnancy since it will be my last. Just a couple of weeks after we found out we were pregnant our church had a “healing service” which wasn’t anything weird…they just called people who needed healing to come to the front for prayer if they wanted to. I felt compelled to go to the front even though no one knew about my pregnancy yet. Josh and I went to the front and I was prayed over by a few people. The main one who prayed for me was a woman who had lost a baby to full term stillbirth. She prayed over me for a couple minutes and then said, “I feel like God wants me to tell you that you will be filled with peace throughout this pregnancy and He wants you to ENJOY the pregnancy.” What a sweet word from God and confirmation that He has been hearing our pleas.

I want to write more but I’m out of time. Tomorrow I will have surgery in Atlanta to have a chest port placed and a neck catheter placed. The neck catheter will be for my upcoming plasmapheresis treatments and my port will be for my IVIG treatments. Please pray for peace and courage for me. During my last pregnancy the worst, most painful part of the entire pregnancy was the surgery to insert my permacath. The doctors changed their minds at the last minute and decided they didn’t want to give me any pain meds during the procedure. It was an excruciating, panic filled procedure. Please pray that they will give me appropriate pain medication this time and the baby will tolerate the procedure. I’ll try to update after the surgery and write a blog post with more details about my treatment plan.

Thank you so much for joining us yet again on another crazy pregnancy journey. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do.

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Treasuring Up All These Things

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

This verse in Luke is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Mary had just given birth to her first child and a little while later a group of shepherds came running in, telling her about angels that had just visited them in the fields. The angels were praising Jesus, the same Jesus Mary had just given birth to. What must have been going through her head at that moment?

As 2016 draws to a close I realize that this year has been a year of treasuring up and pondering; like Mary did in her heart when the shepherds came rushing in after Jesus was born. I can only imagine how overwhelmed Mary was after going through labor and delivery, then facing these visitors and their message from God. Sometimes the weight of a moment is too much to take in right then. Sometimes God reveals things to us that we can’t possibly fathom. Sometimes the beauty and wonder of the moment deserves more than the time it’s given. Life is so fleeting. I often wish I could pause time to fully take in the wonder before me, chubby arms and legs, toddler sized proportions in nothing but a diaper, the sweet five year old love ballads to Mommy, the gentle kiss from biggest brother to tiniest sister. Since I can’t stop time I treasure up the moment and soak it in, ponder it in my heart, store it up to take out later and admire. My year has been full of these moments that I want to keep forever. Moments that point back to God and His goodness.

The moment when Mary stopped to treasure up all the things that were happening around her, to ponder the message God was sending her about her child, often reminds me of a day when I did the same but in very different circumstances. February 8th, 2013, the worst day of my life, when my daughter’s heart stopped and my body became a tomb, God made His radical promise to me, “I WILL REDEEM THIS.” I had no energy or clarity of mind to even attempt to grasp what the words meant, so I stored it up for later. Like Mary, who probably could not believe what was happening to her or how the path of her life had suddenly gone a completely different direction than expected, I struggled to take it all in. I was in shock. But God spoke over and over again, an audible voice in my head, “I WILL REDEEM IT.” And each time He spoke I took His promise like a treasure and stored it away to ponder later. Since that day, almost four years ago, I have contemplated the promise many times, turning it over in my mind. God promised to redeem my daughter Lucy’s death and all the loss and pain that came with it. But did He realize how much was lost on that day and all the days since then? That promise of redemption feels too large. It feels impossible. The first year or two after Lucy’s death I reached in and took that promise out in anger, wielding it like a weapon towards God, “You promised me! But you let more tragedy strike instead! Why would you make a promise you could never fulfill?” How could He possibly repay me for my daughter’s death? Over the years God has patiently and carefully crafted my story, moment by moment, using all the loss for good, mending broken places and making the barren wasteland fruitful. And yes, even redeeming parts of my Lucy loss that I thought would never be redeemed on earth.

This year especially I have seen the redemption He promised emerge more than ever. There have been countless moments of glory, beauty and joy that I never thought I would experience again on earth, too many to list here. Many of these moments involved my miracle baby Nora and many of these moments involved other women with high risk pregnancies who were looking for support. I treasure all these things up and praise God for them (especially my baby Nora!)

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There have been other moments this past year that felt surreal, heavy and empty at the same time because Lucy wasn’t in them:

The play date where all the babies have their preschool siblings along too but three year old Lucy is missing. I’m supposed to choke down my chicken nuggets and smile like everything is normal. I’m the only one who sees the empty space where she should be.

Folding up and putting away her empty stocking on Christmas Eve after the other three have been filled with toys and chocolate.

Telling her brothers that I am sorry, I don’t know what she would look like today and watching their hot tears stream down.

Suddenly realizing in the middle of an English lesson that the little girl I’m teaching is the exact age that Lucy would be today. Her big brown eyes staring up at me, her little laugh. Would Lucy look like that? I don’t even know what her laugh sounds like. I weep for my baby girl the entire drive home.

Over the course of this year God has been teaching me to pause right then and ponder the painful moment, gather it up and give it to God to be redeemed later. I’m learning to trust that He WILL redeem even that terrible moment. Every tear shed, every time the weight of grief feels too heavy to bear, every single thing I miss with Lucy will be redeemed, repaid and restored. God can redeem the deepest loss, even your loss. He can bring beauty from ashes, He can even heal parts of your heart that you thought were broken forever. Some things can never be mended until we get to heaven, but these things that He does redeem on earth are our foreshadowing of the glory and restoration to come.

If you are reading this I have prayed for you. I’ve prayed for your 2017, that God would bring about the most beautiful redemption in your life. I’ve prayed for your healing and for your joy, that God would give you the desires of your heart and would grant you the request of your lips. Be bold and ask Him for the thing you so desperately want. Gather up all of your hurts and hand them over to Him to be redeemed. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.

Psalm 126  When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Lately

I have been so bad at regularly updating the blog these past few months! I have several posts written in my head that I really want to type out but I just cannot find the time to do it. Part of me feels guilty about this since I used to be so consistent with my blogging, but part of me also feels relieved that there have been no big tragedies in my life lately to blog about. I am busy with life, regular life with my three earth babies, and it is wonderful. I still feel like I’m trying to reintegrate back into “normal” life, except that it is a new normal. I still struggle with the fact that I will never be the person I was before anti-kell antibodies and before my daughter died. This adjustment to my new life feels very similar to when I move to a new country. It’s disorienting at first trying to understand a new culture, learn a new language, figure out a new transportation system, make new friends, find your way around a new city, etc. I’ve realized that it takes me at least a whole year in a new country to start feeling like I’m not just a visitor anymore, like I belong. I still feel like I don’t quite belong here even though she died three and a half years ago.

For the rest of my time here on earth my life will be divided into two parts…no, not even two parts, two completely different lives. There was my life before Lucy and there is my life after Lucy. It feels like I am just now figuring out how to make this new life work. I am feeling more confident finding my way around this new country. The culture shock is not as terrible now, but it still jolts me some days. Often, the cloud of sadness settles on me and overtakes everything. I can’t believe I’m missing her whole life. I can’t believe I have to actually go through the rest of my life not knowing my daughter, not interacting with her on a daily basis. Most of the time, though, I just feel thankful. I’m thankful for all that God has done for me. I’m thankful for the many ways He continually fulfills His promise to me that He made on the day Lucy died. He said He would redeem her death and my pain, and He is slowly doing that, day by day (this is one of the blog posts I need to write!)

I started working part time again teaching English to German families and I love it. It is so rewarding and fulfilling for me and the extra income is desperately needed. We finished paying off all of Nora’s medical bills, but we still have our credit card bill to pay off. Normally we don’t use our credit card at all unless there is an emergency but after we lost all of our savings on the “adoption” and I moved to Houston last year we had to use it on a regular basis. Hopefully we can now pay it off over the next year.

Lately I’ve been struggling with the fact that if I didn’t have anti-kell antibodies, we would have already been trying again for our next baby. We would have to get pregnant this month or next month if we wanted Nora to have a sibling two years younger than her. It hurts me to see Liam and Asher play and wrestle while Nora sits all alone on the sidelines, smiling sweetly at her brothers. She should have a three year old sister. I wish I could be pregnant right now with her little brother or sister. I don’t want her to be all alone without a sibling friend close in age. It is another loss that hurts me every day. We are not trying to conceive, by the way. Here is Nora playing with her stuffed animal friends on her little couch that she got for her birthday.

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Nora is now 14 months old and is still such a content, joyful baby. I love having a little girl in the house. She is so different from her brothers. She loves shoes, clothes and jewelry and tries to dress herself already. She is very maternal like I was when I was little. Her baby dolls and stuffed animals have all been rocked to sleep, bottle fed, kissed, patted, dressed, undressed, dressed again and even sung to. Nora loves talking and singing. Her favorite sentences are “I love you.” and “I like this.” I ask her, “Nora, who is your hero?” and she says, “Doc Mo” which is her version of Dr. Moise. Last night she was playing with her Daddy before bed and she pointed to her belly and said, “Tickle this.” She is finally walking all over the place and trying to keep up with her brothers. They are still obsessed with her. They think she’s hilarious and adorable and they can’t believe how soft her skin is. I often hear one of them say something like, “Mommy, Nora is so cute she’s making my eyes cry.” They are gentle around her and very protective of her. If one of them accidentally knocks her down or hurts her somehow, I always end up comforting the big brother more than I have to comfort Nora. She might cry for a minute but her brother will cry for half an hour and then feel guilty all day about how he knocked her over and hurt her. In these moments I feel extra thankful that she didn’t die in my womb. Her brothers would have been absolutely devastated. I’m so glad they didn’t have to go through that heartache again. Liam asks often about Scarlet and Lucy and he says on a regular basis, “What if we had been able to keep Lucy, Scarlet AND Nora? I would have loved that.” He just said it again this morning. Our lives are interwoven with grief and joy and “what might have beens” but they are anchored in the steadiness of God’s love and goodness. Our joy and our stability are found in Him and we are so thankful that He is unchanging. Here are a few pictures of Nora lately and a video from her first birthday that I forgot to post earlier.

 

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Nora and five year old Asher

When big brother “helps” Nora get a sip and almost drowns her instead. Ha!

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That time Nora loved the little chick so much she almost squeezed it to death.

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Nora feeds a baby goat at the barnyard.

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Feeding ducks with Liam.

That tiny ponytail!

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This morning she tried out the sandbox for the very first time and scooped shovels of sand onto her head.

 

Happy Birthday Nora!

Happy first birthday to my beautiful baby Nora.

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I still can’t believe she is here alive and thriving. I probably started writing at least four different blog posts about this huge milestone and how amazing this past year has been, but most of them ended up being about me and not Nora. I also ran out of time and realized that today I wanted to spend my time just hanging out with my girl instead of editing blog posts. Now she is sleeping soundly in her crib after a fun day and I’m typing up a quick happy birthday post. I decided last minute to take the boys to the beach for a night (we’re leaving early tomorrow morning and they have no idea!) so I have to pack for the trip. I will write more about her birthday when I get back.

We had such a great, laid back day. Asher came running out of his room really early asking, “Where is baby Nora?” I told him she was still asleep and he said, “Oh, well, what does she look like?” I broke the news that she still looks the same as she did yesterday. “Oh, no! You mean she still looks like she’s zero? Can she at least walk?” Poor guy. He was expecting her to be an instant toddler when she turned one. After everyone woke up, we sang happy birthday to her this morning as she stuffed a giant pink cookie in her mouth.

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She opened some of her presents while the boys crowded around. She will open the rest of her presents at her party this coming weekend. Liam and Asher loved watching her open presents.

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Also, please ignore her crazy outfit…apparently that’s what I put her to bed in last night! Nora’s favorite part of her birthday was when we took her to a pet store and let her look at the little animals. Also, notice the tiny puppy she brought along to the pet store…my heart cannot handle the cuteness.

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DSC_0491It is hard to believe that this was one whole year ago.

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We are so incredibly thankful for Nora’s life and we love watching God use her already as a light to others. Happy birthday precious girl. We love you! Here are a few pictures from our DIY birthday shoot:

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And this is my favorite one…like she’s looking up at her big sister:

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To the Doctor Who Saved My Daughter’s Life

Dr. Moise,

Our miracle baby Nora will be a year old in a couple of days. We know that without you, this past year would have been very different and Nora would not be here with us today. One whole year of kisses. One whole year of full arms and mended hearts, of doting big brothers and tiny dresses and a warm little body on my chest. One whole year of little details emerging, revealing who our daughter is…

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Those big brown eyes with long, dark eyelashes; her content and happy spirit; her sensitive heart; her desperate love for animals. She’s everything to us. She is her Grandma’s first living granddaughter, our first living daughter, my rainbow baby, the pride and joy of her brothers, someone’s future wife, someone’s Mommy. Thank you for seeing that, for seeing her value before she was even viable. You treated her like the most special baby in the world, even though I knew that she was just one of the many babies you helped on a daily basis. Thank you for recognizing how important this little life was to us, and for treating her with respect before she even took her first breath.

It is rare to find a doctor who is so generous with his time. I still remember emailing you, grasping for answers and a glimmer of hope after Lucy died. You didn’t know me. I wasn’t your patient or a family friend or anything, but ten minutes after I sent that email I couldn’t believe it when my cell phone rang showing an incoming call from Houston. You talked to me for 45 minutes, sharing your opinion about what happened to Lucy and discussing our possibilities for another child. I remember how much that meant to me at the time; a gesture of kindness from a stranger who thought Lucy’s life was important enough to spend his time discussing. Every single time someone contacts me with questions about anti-kell antibodies or advice about what their treatment should look like I give my time gladly knowing how much it will mean to them.

Thank you for thinking outside of the box and pushing for better treatment options long before Nora was even conceived. Thank you for not accepting, “This is the way it’s always been done” or, “There’s nothing we can do.” Those ideas of yours saved her life and the new treatment you are working on now will hopefully save many more lives, maybe even my grandchildren. And when you save a baby’s life, you don’t just save a baby’s life. You save the parents from living the rest of their days without their child. You save the grandparents, the cousins, the siblings and the aunts and uncles from a devastating heartache.

We will always think of you on Nora’s birthday and tell her about you when she gets older. Liam and Asher know who you are. In our family, Dr. Moise is a household name. We want our kids to know how one life can be used by God to change the lives of other people for good. We will always be grateful for the priceless gift you have given us, our Nora Juliet.

With love,

Josh, Bethany, Liam, Asher and Nora Weathersby

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Weaning my Rainbow Baby

Nora is almost 11 months old and she is finally finished breastfeeding. She is totally on cow’s milk now (and a little bit of frozen breast milk) and she eats more “real” food than her brothers do at most meals so I know she is getting the nutrition she needs. The weaning process has been much harder and emotionally taxing for me than I ever imagined it would be. I planned on breastfeeding Nora for an entire year but there were several pressing factors that meant she needed to be done breastfeeding a month and a half earlier than I had anticipated. I was not expecting the rush of emotions that came with this transition. Depression, anxiety, extreme guilt, feelings of inadequacy as a mother, insomnia, hopelessness…it was insane. When I weaned the boys around 11-12 months I felt a little bit sad, but was mostly glad to be done and I felt totally ready for the next stage. Weaning my rainbow baby turned out to be a very different experience.

When Lucy died and was stillborn I was only halfway through my pregnancy so no one warned me that my milk would come in afterwards. It did in full force. I was engorged and leaking milk and had no baby to nurse. It was traumatic to say the least. It scarred me permanently. In the days and weeks following Lucy’s death I begged God to let me breastfeed a baby one day, even though it felt impossible. I would wake up throughout the night in despair with the sense that I should be getting up to nurse my newborn daughter. Instead of nursing Lucy, I woke up to aching breasts and empty arms. If I dared let myself imagine breastfeeding a future baby of mine, I would immediately break into tears of joy at the thought. This is one reason why it was so important for me to be able to breastfeed baby Scarlet when we were planning to adopt her. When I was finally able to breastfeed my beautiful rainbow baby Nora in the NICU, it was everything I had imagined. She was alive and breathing and so perfect. She latched right on and was a pro from the start. I could not believe that God had given me this desire of my heart, to breastfeed my very own living daughter. Breastfeeding Nora has been a huge part of God’s promise to redeem my losses and it has been an essential piece to my healing puzzle.

During the two agonizing years between losing Lucy and having Nora, I fantasized about having a living baby and nursing her and holding her on my chest and feeling her tiny body rise and fall with each breath. I pictured so many scenarios…Josh holding our miracle baby and the boys meeting her and all the healing that would take place. But for some reason, I never pictured her growing up and leaving me. Weaning my rainbow baby made me realize that she won’t always be my rainbow BABY. She will grow up and mature just like she should, and she will not always be a little baby. One day Nora will be a grown woman and she will leave to go live somewhere else. I won’t be holding her in my arms forever. That was a difficult realization for me. As I was working through the weaning process with Nora I almost gave up at one point because of my intense feelings of loss and depression. I realized, though, that if I continued to breastfeed Nora just because I needed her to complete me emotionally or because I was too sad to let her grow into a toddler, then I would be doing it for the wrong reasons. She was ready to be done, she had a mouth full of teeth, was eating complete meals at the table and was biting me and feeling frustrated that the milk wasn’t letting down immediately like the bottle did. I knew it was time to move on but it was just hard. It went so FAST. How is she not a tiny baby anymore? I savored every moment, even the hard ones, but it still went by so incredibly fast.

Nora has reminded me that life is full of changes, constant changes. We get older, jobs change, friends move away and children grow up. My mom told me when her five children were growing up and she was tempted to mourn the fleeting babyhoods and the toddlers turning into big kids, it helped her to remember that it is supposed to be that way. Babies are not meant to be babies forever. She asked herself how she would have felt if she had been stuck at age four forever. Of course she is glad she was able to grow up into a happy adult and become who she was meant to become and we should be thankful that our kids get to as well. I finally found peace when I remembered that God is solid and unchanging. He is our constant. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and His steadfast love never ends. His faithfulness and goodness are forever. I can plant my feet firmly on Him and know for sure that He will not change or be moved. He is my satisfaction, my confidence and my fulfillment, and only HE can be those things. Yes, one day my kids will grow up and leave me and I can be a mom without any kids at home and still be perfectly complete and satisfied with my life.

Rainbow babies grow up but that doesn’t mean their light and brilliance fade. If anything it shows that they are ALIVE and thriving and it lets the radiance of who they truly are shine forth even brighter.

 

 

Ripples

“Mommy, do you want to die in an explosion so you can go to heaven and see Lucy?” Five year old Asher caught me completely off guard with his question. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh or cry but his face was earnest and he really wanted to know. I told him I didn’t want to die in an explosion but I was excited about being with Lucy one day when I do eventually get to heaven.

Lucy’s death had such an immediate, violent impact on my life but the rippling effects are really hitting the boys now. Liam and Asher are suddenly old enough to comprehend that their little sister is dead and it is heartbreaking to watch them work it out in their minds. The boys are so obsessed with Nora and they love having their baby sister with them. I think they are just now understanding all of the beauty and wonder and love that they are missing without Lucy here. I found this drawing at the bottom of Liam’s backpack the other day.

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I asked him about it and he said it was a bad guy freezing the whole world and all the people died but Lucy (who is the tiny dot in the upper left hand corner) survived. Lucy survived. Our ultimate fantasy scenario. Liam also told me yesterday, “Mommy, I’m sad about a daydream I had where all the babies are trying to be alive, like all the babies in their mom’s bellies, and the ones who don’t win die but only the winner gets to be alive.” The boys have asked us about having another baby and we told them that if I had another baby in my belly we don’t know if that baby would live like Nora or die and go to heaven like Lucy. Asher asked me today how old Lucy is and I told him she is about 2, almost 3 years old. I hesitated, though, because I honestly don’t know how aging works in heaven. Would Lucy grow up, year by year like she would here? Or is she still a newborn waiting for me to get there so I can watch her grow up? Or is she an adult? If she were here on earth she would be turning 3 years old this summer. She would be exactly two years older than Nora, just like Liam is two years older than Asher. The boys always have a combination birthday party in February/March and I know Lucy and Nora would have had a combination birthday party every July. I hate that Nora doesn’t have her big sister here with her. Such a huge loss. The boys are so sad that Lucy isn’t here with them. Asher asked what she looks like now and I had to tell him I wasn’t sure. He looked so sad and asked if she looked just like Nora but had a different name and I told him I didn’t know. He said he wanted to be in an explosion so that he could go see what Lucy looks like. I know some of these thoughts seem morbid, but they are just a peek into five year old and seven year old minds trying to understand death. I hate that death is such a big part of our family and part of the boys’ childhoods.

Asher always includes Lucy in our family. He was very wounded this past Christmas when I didn’t hang a stocking up for Lucy. I promised him that next year we will hang a stocking up for both of his sisters. This is his latest family drawing:

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He is holding Nora and up in the sky is Lucy in her mansion in heaven. She is looking out of the window at us. He insisted that I hang the picture up on the wall above Nora’s crib because he drew it for her. Oh how my heart hurts when I think about telling Nora one day that she has a sister that she will never get to meet until she gets to heaven. Watching the boys deal with Lucy’s death now, three years later, is a reminder that this terrible tragedy that happened to us in 2013 isn’t just over, even though we are continuing to heal. The harsh reality is that the tragedy continues and the ripples continue to bruise us, to cut into our hearts, to reopen old wounds. There are facets of our loss, our life without Lucy, that have yet to impact us. One day when Nora gets older she will wish she had someone to play My Little Ponies with; a sister to tell secrets to and do each others hair and share clothes with.

It is hard to go through life without such a vital part of our family. It is hard for siblings to comprehend their sister being dead. Their sister will never be a part of our family here in the flesh. But goodness, she makes heaven so much sweeter and more tangible. When Asher builds things with Legos he often constructs a scenario here on earth and then one in heaven too. “Mommy, these guys are in their house having a meeting and this guy is in heaven.” Thanks to Lucy, heaven is a very real place to us. She has gifted us with an eternal perspective on life and a joyful anticipation of heaven. I used to dread the end of my life on earth. I feared death. It made me feel anxious and panicky. Now, I look forward to it; not in a suicidal way, but in a very sweet, excited way. I feel peace about dying and I can’t wait to get to heaven. The boys are excited about heaven too and they look forward to meeting their little sister and seeing the mansion that she lives in.

The rippling effect of our loss and heartache will continue to hit us throughout our lives. I know one day when all the 2013 babies start kindergarten I will have an intense ache in my heart…and when they graduate and when I know she should be in college and when I see a beautiful bride her age walk down the aisle and when I meet my grandchildren but none of them are Lucy’s…I will continue to be wounded again and again and so will her Daddy. As her brothers grow and understand more and more about this great gaping hole in our family, they will continue to be bruised as well. BUT these destructive ripples are confined to this earth. They will not follow us to heaven. They are harmless in light of eternity, and that is why I look forward to heaven so much. I just can’t wait to see my first girl and to see all of my children under one roof.