Beautiful Words.

I came across a shop on Etsy with beautiful typography & watercolor art by Franchesca Cox as I was searching for some sort of print I could purchase to frame with the pictures of our precious little ones. So many of her prints resonated with me…beautiful words that captured much of what my heart & mind haven’t quite been able to fully form as of late. Upon a bit more investigation, I found that many of her works are based off of the words of Angela Miller, an author who writes about life and the grief she experienced after the loss of her child.

Franchesca creates these lovely watercolor word collages…I’ve decided having one made for our little ones would be just what I’ve been looking for.

Here are a few of the quotes that encouraged & validated me…there are a few others I’ll share in upcoming posts.

~ A loss of life does not mean a loss of love.

~ A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.

~ Mostly I am broken, but today I am thankful you were ever mine.

~ So breathe Momma, Keep breathing. Believe, Mama, Keep believing. Fight, Momma, Keep fighting for this truth to uproot the lies in your heart. You didn’t fail. Not even a little.

~ She wept, because life was so full. Of hurts. Of joys. Of the madness that danced between the two.

All so beautiful and true.

Blessed am I.

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Momma’s Day.

Last Mother’s Day we had just entered matching & had received our first match opportunity. It was an exciting time of possibility and hope. A year later, we have not only been matched with and transferred our 4 little ones, but we’ve lost them as well.

It stings.

With both Mother’s Day & the baby shower for my bro & sister-in-law coming up, I didn’t want to take a risk of being caught of guard with a negative beta…so I took a few pregnancy tests this past week. All negative. I handled it pretty well {minus one convo with my mom that was a bit teary} and held out hope that the beta would be positive.

No thanks to a series of unfortunate events / timing after my blood test on Friday, Chris & I were not able to receive the news together…and it did not set us up for success in handling this grief together. Although the loss was seemingly similar to the last transfer, it hit us both differently this time. Chris was angry & wanted to internalize…refusing to even eat the brownies that a friend dropped off because they might have been baked with pity. I was hurting yet trying to be strong for the events to come, all while feeling increasingly isolated. We were much less open this time around, a bit more guarded, and I found myself lacking the support & encouragement from others that I didn’t even totally know I needed until I was in the middle of needing it.

Saturday started rough {seriously grouchy husband}, then got easier, then ended rough {seriously emotional wife}. Although there were a lot of emotions lurking right under the surface, the shower was really nice & baby Miles was honored and celebrated with our whole hearts. Staying focused on him helped me from thinking about what wasn’t to be for me…I can’t wait to meet & love on him.

But I guess one can only keep their feelings in check for so long…especially when frustration & confusion reigns and there’s hurt between a husband and wife. By the time we got home on Saturday night I felt unheard and alone in my grief…which resulted in a lot of tears and a panic attack. Or hyperventilating. Whatever it was I couldn’t catch my breath and it concluded with Chris rocking me on the floor of the laundry room praying with me until I could finally breath normally. The crying took longer to get under control. Chris and I were able to talk & get on the same page, I called my momma so she could tell me it would all be okay, and eventually it was okay enough that I could go to bed calmly.

Which brings us to today. Mother’s Day. I had planned on pushing through church because there were no less {but potentially more, I lost count} than 5 of my friends having babies dedicated. In the end, we decided to stay home & sleep in, then went to a local breakfast spot to drink endless cups of coffee and watch the rain. We wore scrubby clothes, barely brushed our hair, and I wore no make-up. It was actually really nice. In the hours since, Chris has not strayed from my side {a grand gesture for him, since his computer is in the other room} while I’ve eaten all sorts of junk, binge-watched Hart of Dixie, and online shopped for a new comforter for our bed. The couch probably has a permanent impression of my rear end, but it’s a small price to pay for a day of R & R.

I gotta be honest…it’s not how I pictured my first Mother’s Day to go. But it could be worse. Chris was so sweet to look me in the eyes and wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. And I’ve received several texts from my close friends with just the kindest words of encouragement and validation. {From my dear friend L: “Happy Mother’s Day to you too. You’ve prayed over, rejoiced over, worried over, praised over, wept over, sacrificed for, loved, and carried 4 sweet babies. You’ve already been through more real, gritty mom stuff than most. If that’s not being a mother, I don’t know what is.”}

And so that’s where I’m at. A momma who has both welcomed and lost 4 little lives inside of her. A momma with empty arms and a heart that’s bigger and more full than it was a year ago…albeit broken for the time being. A momma that doesn’t look like a momma to most and who has no idea where to go from here.

But even more than all that, I am a woman who was invited by God to become a momma so that I could help usher 4 little lives into His kingdom. He didn’t have to involve me in this plan…and when the pain is at it’s greatest I almost find myself wishing He hadn’t. But it has truly been an honor to have mothered our little ones in this way, and through them God has been at a great work inside of me. I can’t say I understand what He is doing at all, but I trust that He is good.

I read the following verses from Micah 7 today…I think I’m going to be meditating on them for a while. “7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 8 – Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.

So yes, even today, blessed am I.

 

 

Our two ‘least of these.’

Yesterday we met these two littles…

little ones 2

🙂 Yes, we went back for our 2nd frozen embryo transfer. It’s been just over two months since the first transfer…and it’s been a pretty wild couple of months.

Once we definitely decided to move forward with this 2nd transfer, things fell into place quickly. I didn’t have to do the Lupron shots, my lining progressed well enough {barely} that there was no need to postpone the transfer like last time, and somehow the procedure ended up costing us less than half of the first one. {Giving God total credit for that one…it still doesn’t make sense to me!}

Besides all that, we’ve been much quieter about this transfer. That was Chris’ request really…he was so open & excited about the first transfer, and found it difficult to keep having to talk about it after we found out we weren’t pregnant. Our immediate families & close friends knew this one was happening, along with a few others who we knew would be committed to praying for us. {Plus we didn’t lie about it if it came up or someone asked.} Surprisingly, I actually struggled with not sharing as openly…I want God to get the glory & for our little ones to be known…but I felt a peace about us keeping it more quiet. Could be for a variety of reasons {my personal favorite is because these little ones are going to get to stick around and be known & loved by lots of people}, but for now it’s what’s best for our little family.

So meeting our little ones & the time since has been a pretty quiet event. Yesterday Chris went to work for a while, while I spent some quiet time preparing for the day. We drove in after lunch, I *waited* to drink any water until we got to the doctors office {lesson learned = no bedpan. Victory!}, and we were back in and ‘suiting up’ within minutes of our appointment time. The transfer itself was smooth, the doctor encouraging, and the two of us happy to meet our little ones.

little ones

These two are a true example of “the least of these.” They are the last in what was originally a set of 11 {if I remember correctly}, which means each transfer they’ve been passed up for others deemed to have a higher chance of success. Although we didn’t get an official grading from the doctor, I know it wouldn’t be stellar if we had. Actually, one of them was a little “frost bitten” initially {we’ve nicknamed that one Frosty, of course}…but they both continued to grow and improve even between the initial point of thaw and the transfer itself. Surprisingly all of this bothers me very little. God and I dealt with the whole issue of “odds” early on in this journey, and I know that no grade is going to determine the will of God.

They are beautiful & we love them…and we’re praying God will show up & show off with our “least of these.”

Snuggle in little ones!

Blessed are we.

dearest little ones.

Dear Little Ones,

Our big day is here! Today Momma & Daddy are coming to meet two of you, and we’re praying that you will snuggle right in & make yourselves at home. 🙂 We are so excited to see you for the first time – even though you are quite small, you’ve come to take up a big space in our hearts!

Remember when I wrote to you once or twice about how your story has always, always read love? That just becomes more and more true every day. There are so many people praying for us today, so many who are excited to see what God’s plan for us is. Momma has received beautiful notes of encouragement, a handmade snowflake blanket to keep her warm while you snuggle in, and countless hugs in the past few weeks. Your grandparents are just about beside themselves with excitement and joy. Lots of love, I’m telling ya!

There is another family praying for all of us…a very special family. They are the ones who were there when God first spoke life over you, the ones whose genetics you share. Someday you’ll learn more about them, about the decisions that led them to choose us as your parents. Each time we correspond with them it is such a blessing – they have such a strong belief in God’s plan for each of you, as do we. They made a beautiful choice for you, one that just continues to amaze us…especially on a day like today.

I can’t talk to you about love without pointing you back to the one who IS love – the big, mighty God we serve. Some might say you were created by doctors or science, but no dear ones – your creator is our Heavenly Father. He is the author of this story, it is His sovereign will we will be waiting on in the coming days. There is no way to tell our story without pointing back to Him…His provision and plan has guided this entire process. He is good, little ones.

Our prayer is that He will allow you to snuggle in to my womb, that we will get to witness your birth and raise you in Him. We want so much to know you…what you will look like and how you will act. But dear little ones, if God should choose to take you home with Him instead, we will still celebrate your new found life…and we will never forget the days we shared with you. It’s all in God’s hands now, and there’s no one more trustworthy than He is.

The weather is kind of wild today…icy and cold…so Mom & Dad are about to eat breakfast together, then get ready and leave before too much longer so that we can make it safely to you. We are so excited to meet you…you put the wonderful in this wild & wonderful journey we’ve been on to grow our family.

See you soon!

Love,

Momma