Sunday, December 30, 2007
I just recieved this email from a dear friend that reminded me that even though people may not be talking about it to me, they are still thinking of us and praying for us.
Days when the sun shines bright, how grand we hold a special friend, good to share with each other, for the friendship road has no end. Then the days become long and weary, many is touched with grief and fear, then the friendship becomes much stronger and we pray for each other and show how we care!
The burdens get much lighter while friends are lifting us up in prayer.
They tell God to hold our hand, for special friends always understand. Our world would not be very happy and the days would be long and dreary without the special bond of friendship that we all hold so dear. I talk to God for you each day. May you feel loved in every way!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
"The circle analogy"
Draw a circle. This circle is your life.
Draw a slightly smaller circle inside of the first circle.
It's okay if the edges touch in some places. This circle is your grief.
Now you can see that your grief almost totally fills your life.
There isn't room for anything else. Your life and your grief are one.
Now draw another circle the same size as your grief circle.
This circle is still your grief.
Draw a larger circle around it. This is your life in the future.
Your grief is still there, still the same size, but now there is space around it for other aspects of your life. As time goes on, the circle of your life grows and includes many other things, but your grief remains. It doesn't
go away. It doesn't get smaller. But now there is room for other things and you are not always focused on the grief. You can laugh at a joke, go to a party, get a new job, maybe have living children, but your circle of grief is still there.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I have never thought of myself as a very religious person. I mean, I grew up going to church and certainly believed in God, but I guess I never thought of myself as having a very strong faith.
I can now say that during this difficult time my faith has certainly been strengthened. That is not to say that it hasn't been questioned too, it has, but more importantly I feel that when everything else was stripped away, when I was in the depths of my pain, I was given a chance to analyze what really matters and for me the only choice I can continue to find is to draw closer to HIM. The song below expresses those thoughts better than I ever could.
Bring The Rain
by: Mercy Me
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It sometimes feels like this all is a dream. I wonder when the day will come that I won't wake up with that jolt, that feeling that she is really gone, that I am really not pregnant anymore. I know one day it will start to hurt a little less, but for now I cover that broken heart of mine up with a smile and just keep breathing.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Angels in Heaven by Higher Faith<
It happened so fast everything was a blur
And everyone came by and said how sorry they were.
I knew that they meant well
So I tried to force a smile
And they said I should be thankful that I had him for a while
But now all my friends and my family have gone home.
I am just left here sitting with my memories all alone
I've always heard that God does everything right
I just wish My Angels weren’t in Heaven tonight
I know there are some things beyond our control
And some things only God can decide
That won’t stop this hurting that I feel in my soul
I just wish my angels weren’t in Heaven tonight
Oh I know there are some things beyond our control
Some things only God can decide.
Oh But that won’t stop this hurting that I feel in my soul
I just wish my Angels weren’t in Heaven tonight
God won’t you please Kiss my Angel Good Night
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
"She held her grief behind her eyes like an ocean & when she leaned forward into the day it spilled onto the floor & she wiped at it quickly with her foot & pretended no one had seen. "
This is a quote from Brian Andreas, the maker of "Story People".
Check out his quotes/stories at http://www.storypeople.com/storypeople/Home.do?inMenu=true
When I was a teenager, my family and I went to Maine for a vacation. (I think this was our last family vacation before my parents got divorced, but that is another story...) My brother was probably 13 and I was about 17 at the time. I remember Zach and I walking around Boothbay Harbor going for ice cream and browsing some fancy shops. We couldn't afford anything in them but we came across the "Story People". These Story People ended up sort of following me around- wherever I went, I would find stores with them. I now have 7 prints hanging in my house (but that too is another story..) Anyway, my favorite quote I found that day when I was with my brother was:
I loved that quote and never knew just how true it would become for me...I do cry everyday. Somedays it is just a few tears or those that unconsciously roll down my cheeks at just the thought of Caroline, but then there are days like today where the tears are much like the first quote- an ocean- they just keep coming. I know that the tears are God's gift to me and they help us all to heal. When they come, I accept them. Today I knew they were coming and I was at work and being a teacher, you can't just leave the room, sit down and have a cry. So I swallowed hard, waited until I dropped my kids off to Art, and then I had a real good cry. One of my coworkers cried with me and prayed with me and I of course gained composure in time to get the students and carry on with the day.
It amazes me, truly, how the past month has dragged on like it has been a year. Maybe that is a blessing... maybe that has given us more time to miss her, more time to let it ''sink in". Sometimes I really have to stop and think, "Did this really happen? Could this really happen? Is this all just a bad dream?" I think this is why I often replay scenes from the hospital over and over again in my mind. Somehow it makes it really sink in and feel like a reality. I am also so grateful to everyone who prayed for us, with us, and helped us to make the right decisions. I would so very much regret not seeing or holding my baby. I am so glad that we did.
Many days I also question why this had to happen and although there are no answers to satisfy me, as I was reading another blog written by a mother who has 4 boys and lost her only baby girl, I found her words were so touching that I must share them here-
... I felt like all my hopes and dreams were lost. But what I did not realize then, but know for sure now, is that Madeline would not be who she was intended by God to be if she had been exactly as I had planned her. It really is a blessing that we are not in control of our lives because I never would have written mine with this outcome. God knew how badly I wanted a little girl and He could not have given me a more perfect one than Madeline Grace Hopkins. And even though she is not the child I had planned or dreamed about, she is even better. I knew early on that Madeline would not be "normal" and that I probably would never parent her like I have our other children. I was able to grieve the loss of that dream and it is only recently that I knew that as badly as I missed her and wanted her here to share in our life, Madeline would not be herself if she were able to do that. She was exactly as God intended her and I would not trade her for a healthy daughter anyday because that would mean changing her. Madeline was perfect in all ways, in our eyes and God's.I am so grateful to have other mothers to share this journey with, but the sad reality is there shouldn't be so many of us....
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- our daughter, Caroline
- my husband, Nick
- and for all those who have prayed for us and have been here to help us handle this tragedy. (Please do keep them coming!)
We have come through the greatest struggle we could have never dreamed of being put through and we have come through it together with our faith and love as a couple being even stronger in the end. Although today is not filled with the same type of joy and excitement that we had last year as we prepared for our marriage… I will say that the anticipation is quite similar. I am anxious for the day that we do have another baby. I anticipate all that the future holds for us and know that we have many many years of happy memories to come.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A word about the couple who sings this song:
"The album features the song "Glory Baby," a reminiscence of the child Christy miscarried. The couple suffered a second miscarriage before the birth of their son Noah Luke in 2000. Christy speaks candidly, both musically and in interviews, of the pain she and Nathan endured and its effect on their faith. "We've experienced grief for the first time and learned about that process, but I think through grief, God just showed me some places in my life that I needed to surrender," she told the Christian Broadcasting Network's Lisa Ryan. "It was a really dark time, but at the same time it is strange because I look back on that and I remember that being a very spiritually enlightening, very bright, light time," Nathan recalled in the same interview. "I think it was because everything was stripped away, just like that, and there was nothing except for us and God." Christy feels it is important to share her tribulations with audiences: "A lot of brokenness and vulnerability comes through on our records and in our concerts. People can see that we're weak, we're not super Christians, and we don't have it all together but, thankfully, God uses us in spite of it."
Here is a link to view the song on youtube:
Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear? You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…
Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s aday when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you But baby let sweet
Jesus hold you‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do You’ll just have heaven before we do
Sweet little babies, it’s hard tounderstand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing- That all things work together for our good And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…
I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…
Sunday, November 18, 2007
During my hospital stay, the staff placed a butterfly sticker on my hospital room door as a symbol for all nurses, staff, etc. who entered to be aware that I had a still birth.
I later was given a beautiful "remembrance bracelet" which had a butterfly charm on it and butterfly lapel pins to give to family/ friends.
The nurse explained to us why the butterfly is used. Her explanation was much like this one:
The nurse explained to us that just like the butterfly can never go back to being a caterpillar we will never be the same, as Caroline's presence in our life-although short, changed us forever.
When I was in college student teaching, we raised monarch butterflies in the classroom. The children (and I) loved watching them grow from little larva to big, fat caterpillars. Then suddenly they would be inside of their chrysalis (cocoon)- usually they did this overnight so the students would come into to school and be surprised and shocked by the change. Then there was so much anticipation for when they would emerge. When they finally did, we had to release them and I remember the children being somewhat sad to see them go as they had 'raised' them and watch them be 'born'. This is exactly how I feel now. I loved watching my belly grow and had such great anticipation for the day my baby girl would come out. Unfortunately, just like my students and their butterflies, I had to let her go. The butterfly is a gentle reminder of how beautiful, and fragile life can be. I think that one of my students said it best,"You should not take life for granted, as some of us never even get the chance to live it."
Thursday, October 25, 2007
looked so much like her daddy. She had big ears and big feet! She had
Nick's mouth too. She would have probably been 8 lbs or more if she had
made it full term. She was really a beautiful little girl and we got to be
with her for about two hours. She was dressed in a little crocheted dress
and hat given to us by the hospital with the symbolic butterfly on it.
The doctors found that Caroline died of a cord accident. Her cord was twisted many times very close to where it was connected to her body. (The best analogy is to think of a kink in a hose.)One nurse who has practiced for 37 years says that she had never seen anything like this twisting of the cord and said that Caroline must have been doing spinning gymnastics to cause this. Every one of the nurses were wonderful and so compassionate to us. Our reverend, Rick Gray, who married us last year, baptized Caroline.
Although it is so very hard to understand why this happened when Caroline
was so perfect, the presence of God was with us every step of the way and I
truly accept his decision. We are doing fine and just ask that you say many
prayers for us and for our family during this time. We were all given God's
strength to cherish and love this special child for the small amount of time
she was with us. We know He will help us through the weeks and months to