Our Little Aviator

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March 23.

Today was my EDD with our 4th baby, our little Aviator.

I had had a good amount of morning sickness.  It was not as intense as it was with the Wingman, but it lasted a few weeks longer.  At 11 weeks, I felt little taps.  I thought I must be imagining it since it was so early, but the taps only got stronger and more frequent.  It was definitely baby!  I bet the Aviator had quite the feisty personality with how much he moved around! 🙂

It was a Wednesday.  Wednesday, October 5th.  I was a day shy of 16 weeks.  It was the last day I felt him move and the last day of his life.  It was about 10 am.  I only know that because I was at a Dr appointment.  The lady had just asked if this was my first baby and I was once again confronted with the painful decision….do I mask my pain and the truth and say, “It’s my second” or do I tell the truth and what my heart wants to say and risk making the situation uncomfortable by saying, “My 4th, but two are with Jesus.”  Answering her was painful, but just a moment later, I felt three firm taps from baby.  It was as if he knew Mommy needed some reassurance right then.

That was the last sign of life.

We didn’t know the gender, but almost the entire pregnancy, the Wingman was convinced it was a boy.  He even picked a name.  A random name that he made up.

When our child was born, we learned that he was indeed a boy.  Our son.

Maybe someday I will share more of my pregnancy or his birth story.

Today is a strange day.  I want to just sit and cry, but the tears won’t come.

I was able to drop the Wingman off at a friend’s house today.  I just wanted a day where I didn’t have to pretend everything was ok, I didn’t have to wear a mask, I didn’t have to be strong for anyone else.

People ask how I am doing.  I still don’t know how to answer that question.  The pain is different now.  The grief is different.  But will I ever be “okay” again?  No, not in the sense of ever returning to “normal,” or how I was before.  I am changed.  I am different.

I have wrestled with so many theological questions.  Some of them I know exactly what is true.  Some of them I have no idea.  But I have had to hold onto the fact that, no matter what those answers are, God is good.  God is loving.  God does care.  Even though the world around me moves on, God sees.  And He cares.

Instead of having a huge belly and packing a bag for the birth center, I am sorting bills and scheduling Dr appointments.  Instead of welcoming home a newborn, I will be having surgery to hopefully fix (one of) my problems so that hopefully we will not have another loss.

Instead of preparing the Wingman to have a new baby in the home, I hear him say, “You, me and Daddy are sad about our baby.  But when I get to heaven, I will be so happy to see him and I will give him a big hug!”  He brings up his brother to his friends.  I hear him say in conversation, “Our baby died.”  His little mind is processing it as best as he can.  I answer all that he says, not wanting to keep him locked in grief, but not wanting to dismiss his valid 3 year old grief.  He lost his brother.  He has mentioned several times how sad he is that he didn’t get to say good-bye and he has talked about wanting to teach him how to play games when he gets to heaven.  He lost his brother.  He is such a good big brother, and it hurts so much that his first experiences as a big brother have to be this painful and confusing for him.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.”
Psalm 139:13-16

Our youngest son, along with his two older siblings, are in heaven right now.  And their souls know very well how wonderful are His works.  They are dancing and praising and worshiping.  Right at this very moment, their joy is unspeakable.  They know no tears and no pain.  They are loved and cherished by the King of Kings.

My pain sometimes feels unbearable.  But I am reminded that Jesus conquered death.  It is for this reason, for this awful repercussion of living in a fallen world, it is for the death of my children, it is for sin, that Jesus died.  He is the Victor.  Someday all will be put right.

Every Day Is a Step of Faith

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The past few months have taught me about faith in ways that I never understood before.

step of faith

Faith is not always big and bold.  Faith is not necessarily unwavering.  Faith is not an absence of emotions in the presence of trust.

Wayne Grudem defines faith as follows…

“Trust or dependence on God based on the fact that we take him at his word and believe what he has said.”

I always had a picture in my mind of what faith looked like.  And that picture was always of a bold confidence, an unwavering peace, a complete and total trust.

Lately my faith has looked quite different.

Every day in life is a step of faith.  And for me that has become even more true since losing my two children in miscarriages.

I have struggled with a lot of crazy anxiety issues since my losses.

I could lose another pregnancy.

I could lose the Wingman.  Something could happen to him.  I have had very vivid images of terrible things happening to him that tear my heart in two and cause my chest to tighten.

It is almost paralyzing.  And you know what can sometimes make me even more scared?  The thought that if I follow God, He might lead me through that.  Of course, the reality is that even if I don’t follow God, these things could happen.

But that thought of releasing control to God can be hard.  It takes faith.  Faith to wake up each day and say, “I am in Your hands.  The Wingman is in Your hands.”

Faith is stepping out and following Him, even when your steps are small and faltering.

Faith is being bold enough to step foot out of the door, knowing that a car crash could take the people you hold most dear.

Faith is allowing someone to babysit the Wingman, knowing that he could have a terrible accident while I’m gone.

Faith is getting out of bed to face each day.

Because all of those things require me leaning on the Shepherd’s staff.  It requires me to say, “God You are the One who is holding us in Your hands.”  I barely have strength to lift my head and look at the path.  Sometimes I am scared to look at the path.  But I cling to His staff and I say, “I don’t know if we’re going the right way, but I know You can see this entire path, with all its twists and turns.”

Sometimes I think that means that my faith must be the size of a mustard seed, because it isn’t that bold, unwavering confidence.

And sometimes I wonder if that means my faith is strong, because I have experienced some of the deepest pain of my life and yet I am still choosing to say, “God You are good.  Your ways are good.  Lead me.”

Whether it is mustard seed faith or mountain moving faith, it is some sort of deep.  A depth that I have not experienced quite like this before.

So this is me….embracing my mustard seed.  This is me getting up each morning.  This is me allowing my son to still be a 2 year old and not stifling him in the name of protecting him.  This is me continuing to plan outings and ways for my son to thrive.  This is me pursuing fertility health so that I can hopefully get pregnant again.  This is me, in all my vulnerability, handing God what is most precious to me.  My family.  My husband. My children.  My son who I have here every day….my babies in heaven….and my future babies.

-Bonnie

To my Precious Child Yet to Be

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My precious baby,

Words cannot describe how much I love you already.  As of yet, you aren’t even a line on a stick, but I long for you.  I long to have you in my belly, to feel you kick, to hold you close once you are born.  I want to kiss your head, your face, your hands.

I pray for you.  I hope every day that God will give you to us.  You will be our rainbow baby, our precious miracle that comes after miscarriage.

infertility TTC rainbow baby

You have such an amazing father.  Such a wonderful big brother.  He will be so happy to meet you!!  I know he will help take good care of you.  You have two precious big siblings with Jesus as well and someday we will all be together.

Sometimes I feel like it will be forever until I can meet you.  Until I can get some sign that you will in fact one day be a reality.  But I have hope.  Hope that someday you will become two pink lines.  That you will grow in my belly and I will be nauseous and starving because of you.  That you will kick me in the ribs and as I rub away the pain I will smile knowing that my precious little one caused it.

You are our precious miracle.  I hope to meet you soon, but I am content to wait.  I know that God’s timing in giving you to us will be perfect.

I love you more than words can express.

Love,

Mommy

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31 Days ttc infertility

Toddler Activities

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1. Flash Cards.  The Wingman has loved these flashcards that I purchased on Amazon.  Usually we keep it pretty low key.  I’ll hand him one card at a time, telling him the word, and he will stack them in the cardboard box they came in.  Sometimes he just has fun stacking (still a win as he learns better hand control!), sometimes he’ll repeat the words, and sometimes he’ll stare at the picture and soak it in.  (BTW, his favorite card is the one with the cookie on it. 😉 )

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2.  Bowling.  Get some plastic cups and set them up like bowling pins.  Then roll a ball from a couple feet away and watch them fly!

3.  Chores.  Wingman loves to help.  The first task he took an interest in was emptying the dishwasher.  He likes to help with the silverware specifically, but also anything else he can reach on the bottom rack.  He now knows where to put the silverware, my mixing bowls, and my cutting boards.  Other jobs he likes to help with are sweeping, dusting, and spritzing things with a spray bottle of water.

4.  Spray bottle of water.  Sometimes this is helpful (such as when I’m mopping)….sometimes it isn’t so much.  But he already knows the routine…now when he grabs the spray bottle, he’ll grab a towel for the other hand. 😉

5.  Puzzles.  He loves Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles!  He’ll put the pieces in, then say, “More!” and we’ll start over.  He’s even started to play games with it and pretend to put a piece in the wrong spot, then we’ll giggle and say, “Nooo!!!” and then he’ll put it in the correct spot.
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6.  Little Baby Bum.  This one is his favorite.  I used to be against toddler usage of technology….but I have been surprised, amazed, and impressed with how much he was truly learned from these videos.  He has learned colors, shapes, counting, and singing.  Obviously, movies and videos should come in moderation, but I am now definitely an advocate of intentional video watching. 😉

What are some of your toddlers favorite activities?

-Bonnie

The Joy of a Child

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You know one of the (many) things I love about our son?  He loves life.

It’s so funny to me how we can just be going about our day and suddenly he’ll say, “Doggy!”  I’ll stop and listen for a second and sure enough, there is a dog barking in the distance.  Or when we’re driving down the road and he gets so excited in the back seat because he sees a truck.

It is super adorable.

Sometimes I just get down on his level and look around.  What is life like when you’re only a couple feet tall?  What kinds of things do you see and hear?  Everything is still new to him.  Everything is still awesome to him.  He just plain loves life.

We adults are so used to just tuning things out.  We are used to the noises and distractions, so we can tune everything out and focus in on whatever it is we want to concentrate on.  Or we bury our noses in our phones and forget to just look around.

I’ve enjoyed the little reminders from my son to just take a second to stop and notice things.  Things that normally I might take for granted but if I stop and think about it it’s actually pretty awesome.

What do you notice around you right now?  What awesome things are going on in your life?

-Bonnie

You Know You’re a Mom When…

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Being a Mom is awesome.  It really is.  But sometimes there are the more unique aspects of motherhood that only a Mom can understand.  I asked a bunch of my Mom friends for help in making this list.  Sometimes you just gotta laugh at what motherhood hands you!  😀  So I present you with…

You Know you're a mom

You Know You’re a Mom When….

1. You rock back and forth even when you are not holding a baby.

2. You don’t care if you have another person’s poop on you.

3. You don’t remember what it was like to shower daily.

4. Hot food, alone time, and shopping are all distant memories.

5. You know exactly how many months it has been since you had a full night’s sleep.

6. When you find yourself constantly saying to not eat objects that are not edible.

7. When fixing your hair is an accomplishment.

8. When you get dressed up, makeup and all, just for a trip to the grocery store when Daddy has the baby.

9. When you will drive around for hours because you are  desperately trying to get a cranky baby to fall asleep.

10. When you sit in the driveway with the car running because the baby just fell asleep and you don’t want to wake them up.

11. You enter any store and head straight to the baby/children’s section.

12. You feel naked if you leave the house without Cheerios and a sippy cup.

13. You think that ringing the doorbell during bedtime/nap time is unforgivable.

14. You know the songs/tunes to annoying baby toys.

15. When you smell something funny and you automatically smell the butt.

16. You find pacifiers, bottles, and/or onesies in your purse.

17. You realize you can count on one hand the times you have actually carried a purse instead of a diaper bag.

18. There is Sharpie on your walls.

19. You have to hide your sacred chocolate.

20. You wash little bed sheets every day.

21. You go through 4-6 gallons of milk a week.

22. Private bathroom time is a thing of the past.

23. Every piece of fruit in the fruit basket has little bites in it.

24. You’ve gotten used to ice cream soup since it always melts while you’re taking care of the kids.

25. You get excited about 4 straight hours of sleep (and your non-Mom friends look at you with wondering pity).

26. You can change a diaper in 4 seconds flat.

27. You no longer wear jewelry but spit up is your new accessory.

28. You say “potty” instead of “restroom” or “ladies room” like most adults.

29. Your one year old’s improved bowel movement not only makes the dinner conversation but is also the highlight of the day.

30. When you can no longer fathom staying up into the wee hours of the morning….on purpose.

31. When you haven’t shaved your legs in so long, your child uses the stubble as a sensory game.

What would you add to this list? 🙂

-Bonnie

 

 

When I Pondered My Love as a Mom

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I pondered my love for my son.

I thought about how just looking at him makes my heart swell with love.  How he can be in his own little world, not even knowing I’m watching him, and my heart skips a beat.  He can bring a smile to my face when he isn’t even trying.

I thought about how I want to protect him.  To care for him.  How I want him to come to me when he is hurting or sad or scared.

I thought about how I take care of him.  I feed him, I play with him, I comfort him.

I thought about how much I just delight in him.

And then I thought…..is this Your love, God?  Is this how You love Your children?

This post is amazing.  So powerful.  So true.

As I wrestled these questions, I began to ask God the thing I really wanted to know for so long: “Why do You love me?”

Imagine your child asking you this. It would be a baffling, heart-paining question to any mother or father. “What, do you mean, ‘Why do I love you?’” But your child’s face is earnest; they really don’t know what you thought was obvious all along.

“God, why do you love me?”

And at last, He answered,

“Because you’re Mine.”

And suddenly all the doubts and fears and striving for perfection are all—gone. I am His. And for the first time, I know it. He has pledged Himself to me. He has made a way through His Son Jesus to atone me. To cleanse me with His blood. To make a way. Not because of what I have done, but because of what He has done. He has made me His own. And no one can pry me out of His hands. Ever. When He sees me in the End, seeing Him, He will look at me and shout, “Mine!”

“She is Mine.”

 

She points out Isaiah 49:15, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.”

The thought of forgetting my child is….impossible.  For one….his cries would quickly remind me.  But on top of that….he is the son of my womb.  He is my baby.  My child.  My sweet precious son.  There is no way in the world that I could ever forget him.

I belong to God.  I am His.  As inconceivable as it is for me to forget my son….it is even more so for God to forget me.

Part One Part Two Part Three
Part Four Part Five Part Six
Part Seven

-Bonnie