It’s Been Awhile…

Another five months have past and a lot of changes have happened in the Wampler household! I thought I would share through pictures some of our new adventures here in Richmond.

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We experienced a lot of snow our first few months!

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We had several friends visit us and join us in exploring our new city!

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Bennett planned a suprise balloon release in honor of our two little ones. We plan to do this regularly on their due dates and ‘birthdays into heaven’.

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We have enjoyed some yummy eats- new experiences and old favorites.

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We have had some unique and interesting encounters and adventures 🙂

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Lots of runs, walks and quality time spent outside (and 27 pounds lost!).

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Wonderful surprise dates with the love of my life. ❤

A few things not pictured? New friends, great church, visits home, evening walks with our pup, lazy days by the river and more. The transition wasn’t necessarily the easiest- but Bennett and I have both said many times over the past several months how blessed and grateful we feel for this ‘new start’. We are more in love with each other then ever and know this is exactly where God wants us.

We are excited and prayerful for our future and what is to come!

When I Cannot Stand, I’ll Fall On You….

That line has been repeating in my head over and over.

When I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You.

I honestly could not have endured losing another baby if it wasn’t for the goodness of God. Even in the midst of sadness and grieving, I have been blown away by God’s grace and comfort to me during this time.

 

The main way I have felt God’s love is through my husband Bennett. I was terrified what losing another baby would do to our relationship. When we lost our first baby, I was not walking with the Lord and Bennett didn’t really understand the emotional and physical toll of losing a baby and the combination of those two things was quite trying for us.

This time was the complete opposite and I am so thankful. I think Bennett was much more connected to our baby as he had seen the heartbeat several times and had watched our baby grow. He was so excited to become a dad, and to see him cry several times during this past week over our loss strangely comforted me. I struggled with the thought of losing our baby as ‘not that big of a deal’ and felt almost guilty for grieving–yet seeing my husband who never cries sob over the loss of his child reiterated how real and alive our baby was for the precious 12 weeks we had with him, and that it hurts deeply when a baby dies-no matter how small.

I also had to make a conscious decision that I would not run from God. I had to keep reminding myself daily, hourly, that God is still good. That He is holding me and comforting me and grieving with me. That He is for me, not against me (and oh how hard that is to believe during times like these!). Those first few days when I physically and emotionally couldn’t face reading the Bible, Bennett would hold my hand and read to me and pray over me. Just those simple actions did wonders.

I honestly have been shocked how quickly I have ‘bounced back’. I have returned to work and was able to make it through my first day with minimal tears shed (ha!). I have started working out again and was even able to hold our friends baby without being a complete mess. As some of you may know, Bennett’s job is transferring us to Richmond and we are moving the first week of January. Between losing our baby and this sudden move, my ‘old self’ would be a complete and utter mess. I have actually found myself looking forward to the move.

I know God is working in me and I have thought to myself and verbalized to Bennett many times that there is no way I could handle this a second time without God. Am I still crying everyday? Yes. Do I still get jealous when I see precious newborn pictures on Facebook? Yes. Do I get angry when I think about how I have lost two babies and want nothing more in the world to be a mother, but that dream has again been pushed back? Yes. Do I get upset when I see mothers complaining about their children? (Oh how that could be a blog post in and of itself but I will not even go there) Yes. I am human, but God is stronger then these negative and sometimes sinful emotions and He is holding my hand through it all.

 

So where do we go from here? Good question as I have no idea. I just got home from my post-op check up appointment and there are more questions then answers. My doctor said that it is quite possible both of our losses were complete ‘flukes’ and that there is nothing medically wrong with Bennett or myself. She is still suggesting that we discuss options with an OB/GYN in Richmond and gave us contact information.  She did go ahead and draw blood to test for PCOS and thyroid issues so we will see if anything comes of that.

 

We still need prayers as we have many decisions before us. Do we proceed with testing before we try again? Do we try again without any testing? Do we pursue adoption and put trying for biological children on the back burner? If we do decide to adopt, should we foster to adopt or private adopt? And WHEN do we proceed once we figure out what the best option is? Do we need to have a period of not even thinking about children? Do we not have children at all? (I laugh and grimace at that option). So yes, lots of questions swirling around in our heads in between packing boxes and searching for apartments.

 

God is not done with our story. Our past four years of marriage have not played out how we planned our picture perfect life to be, but whose truly does? I would much rather God write our story then to write it myself, and I ask that you continue to read and see what God has in store for next chapter of our lives.

Final Update on Baby ‘Tobin’

I’m not really sure where to begin or what to say. My heart and head are so full of emotions and thoughts as these past three days have been myself reliving a nightmare of losing another baby. The words below are raw and rather emotional- so if thats not your forte you may just want to skip this post. But for me, I need my baby to be known and remembered and this is all a part of my healing.

I do want to start by explaining our baby’s name. From the beginning of my pregnancy I felt like my baby was a boy. Bennett and I poured over names and just fell in love with the name ‘Tobin’. We loved how unique it was, but most importantly we loved the meaning which is “the Lord is good”. For the past several weeks we have been calling our precious baby ‘Tobin’. After we found out our devastating news Bennett and I were talking about what to name the baby as we may in the future want to use the name ‘Tobin’- but it didn’t feel right to call this precious baby any other name. This baby has always been baby ‘Tobin” to us. He lived and he died and he deserves to be named and remembered- and I need to hold onto this name and try to remember during this dark time that the Lord is good.

Rewind back to this past Wednesday night. Up until then, I felt peaceful and distracted and didn’t think much about my upcoming appointment…but come Wednesday night I couldn’t sleep and had two awful nightmares that I lost sweet Tobin. I woke up nervous, sick and I just knew that Tobin was gone. I kept trying to tell myself it wasn’t true….but to be honest I knew for about a month that I would not be carrying this child for long. A few days before our nine week appointment I broke down and cried and told Bennett that something wasn’t right. Little did we know a few days later we would find a cystic hygroma. I tried to remain positive and hopeful- everyone around me was- but I knew. It’s amazing how your maternal instinct kicks in from the very beginning and I also feel God was gently preparing me for what was to come.

My Thursday morning appointment finally came after three agonizing weeks of waiting. As soon as the ultrasound tech pulled up the picture of sweet Tobin I knew he was gone. He had barely grown since our last appointment. She sadly told me that there was no heartbeat and I just began to sob…it had probably been since my last loss of sweet Mizpah that I had cried like that. I was given three options. Wait to miscarry on my own, have a procedure done in the office (awake and only on local anesthetic) or have a D&C (surgery, full general anesthesia). I miscarried our first baby on my own, and I was much earlier and it was incredibly painful and traumatic and I knew I couldn’t do that again. My body had yet to recognize the baby was gone and it could be weeks before it would. I couldn’t even fathom being awake while my baby was being removed so I decided on a D&C.

That evening I spent most of my time at my parents house with Bennett and my family. All I could think about is that this will be the last day that I will carry my precious baby. Every night Bennett would lay his hand on my stomach and thank God for our baby. It was hard knowing the prayer would be different.

Friday morning came and we headed to the hospital. The doctor was running four hours behind due to an emergency- as tired as I was sitting in a holding room waiting for surgery I kept thinking about his emergency. Praying for that sweet mom who may very well have been losing her baby too. The time came for me to go back and I held on to my mom begging her to not let them take my baby. She cried with me- knowing not only that her daughter was hurting but she was losing a grandbaby as well. She came to every appointment and saw every heartbeat and I know she was just as connected as I was.

The surgery was over in a blink of an eye. The pain afterward isn’t bad- practically nothing in comparison to the emotional pain knowing that your baby is no longer there.

Now here I am, in my childhood bedroom at my parents house. Its comforting being here–being at our house is just too hard right now. Just down the hall my mom has turned an empty bedroom into the ‘Grandchild’ room. She told me she would go in there and pray for Tobin daily. I couldn’t go into that room on Thursday or Friday- but this morning I knew I needed too. I laid on the bed and cried and told God I didn’t understand- then left and closed the door.

So, where do we go from here? I really don’t know… My mom has been reminding me I only need to take today. My heart just longs for children so badly. In the future, our doctor recommended Bennett and I to go for testing to see if this will continue to be a pattern or if we simply just had two freak cases of bad luck. Yes, its awful that my babies died- but they aren’t bad luck. Their my babies and I can’t wait to see them again. I long for heaven so much.

 

I will post more about the logistics of doctor recommendations and our next steps of action later- but today I’m sad and I’m grieving the loss of my child-and that’s okay.

 

I appreciate each and everyone of you who have prayed and loved on us. No, the outcome we wanted didn’t happen but I do take comfort that God healed my baby in His way and that I will see Tobin again. I appreciate each and everyone of you who has been following our story of waiting, patience and loss. Please keep following–I know in my heart all this sorrow is not just for nothing and I know in my heart I will be a mother one day and I want you to see how God is going to do that for us. Because I am confident He will.

 

Until then, please take a look at this beautiful picture of our precious baby Tobin.

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Sweet Tobin,

Mommy and Daddy love you so much–even in just the short time we had with you. How blessed we are that when we get to Heaven we not only get to see our Loving Savior but we get to finally hold and love on both of our sweet babies. But for now, I will rest knowing that He is holding you now.

October 15th: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. Back in 1988 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as the national awareness month for pregnancy and infant loss and is quoted saying, “When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” (October15th.com).

 

March 12, 2012 my dream of becoming a mother to the precious baby growing inside me ended. I went into my first pregnancy incredibly excited but also incredibly naïve about the 1 and 4 statistic of losing a child. I had no idea the pain and loss that I would feel would be so great- and that even to this day I get teary eyed when I think about my precious ‘Mizpah’. ‘Mizpah’ will forever be my first child and forever in my heart.

 

Since then, it appears we are struggling to have children of our own. This past weekend God settled a peace over me like no other. He reaffirmed in my heart that I will be a mother some way and some how and perhaps not how I pictured it but I know God will live up to His promises.

 

Today is even more profound to me as a dear friend of mine lost her second baby this past week. My heart broke for her and her husband- remembering the pain and loss that I felt not too long ago. It was a solemn reminder to be sensitive, enjoy what you have and realize that having children isn’t easy for a lot of women and the process is incredibly draining both physically and emotionally.

 

So in light of today, I encourage those with children to hug them, be thankful for them even in the midst of bad attitudes and big messes and sleepless nights, and be kind and compassionate to those who are struggling with their dream of parenthood.

 

For those who don’t have children and have suffered a loss- remember your sweet babies today and KNOW with confidence that Jesus is holding them. God sees your heart and desire for a child, and He will provide a way. It doesn’t make sense that it is incredibly easy for some to have children, yet so hard for us and it’s okay to question and wonder- but eventually that desire will be made whole.

 

 

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The Latest Happenings…

Hello dear people who still occasionally check my blog- even though I am awful at consistently posting! Life has been busy, but in a wonderful way. Bennett and I are thoroughly plugged in and enjoying our church-we have a great group of young adults that we love hanging out with and Bennett is working with the youth this summer which he loves. Crouton is still being an adorable, mischievous puppy and we think he has finally stopped growing at a strong 11lbs. He is the best cuddle buddy! Bennett is still working at a dental claims company (or something like that–I really have no idea what he does. Oops, does that make me a bad wife?) and I am still working part time at our local CSB and I love it!

 

This past year has been a time of great healing and spiritual restoration for me and Bennett. Struggling with vaginismus and having a miscarriage took its toll on me-to the point where I wasn’t sure if God was good or if He was even there- but He has lovingly held me by the right hand and restored the joy that I had lost during those difficult times. He has blessed me to be able to understand why I lost our baby and it has strengthened my trust in Him. I also bounced back from my small setback with vaginismus. It was a time where God renewed my desire to connect with women who are enduring this struggle and reminded me that this issue is not want to be hidden and pushed under the rug- which is exactly what Satan wants us to do! I am blessed to weekly receive emails from women who have come across my blog who are struggling with vaginismus. As much as going through trials are difficult- the purpose of them is so worth it!

I have also switched over to a complete vegetarian diet. No meat, poultry, seafood and minimal dairy. I may eventually switch to vegan which is NO dairy or eggs but I am taking it a step at a time 😉 Due to some annoying health issues the doctor recommended this lifestyle change and I have never felt better! Who knew that meat could tear up your body so bad? If you are not convinced, watch Forks Over Knives on Netflix- a documentary about the health benefits of a plant based diet and the detriments of a meat based diet-the results are astounding! I have also enjoyed some great new food such as quinoa and a wide variety of veggies that I had never tried before.

As for this summer- Bennett and I are excited to go to the beach with his family and then on a cruise later in the summer. We are both so ready for vacation and a time of relaxation! Just pray that our cruise doesn’t lose power and fill with sewer water- even though Bennett said it wouldn’t be that bad as we would get our money back and free cruise vouchers, but somehow I don’t know if its worth it! 😉

 

 

 

 

 

10 Steps

While I was pregnant, a friend of mine miscarried. I said all the wrong things to her. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize what I was saying was inappropriate or hurtful- I was truly only trying to help. But then I experienced a miscarriage and realized how I should have acted much differently.

Below is a list of 10 things I found on theRproject.org (a Christian organize to support and bring awareness of miscarriage) that you can do or say to help someone if they have endured a miscarriage.

10 ways to support the person in your life who has just lost a baby:

1. Acknowledge their profound loss, right away. You may be afraid you’ll say something ‘stupid,’ but the worst thing you can say is nothing at all.

2. Don’t say, “let me know if I can help.” They are not in a place where they can give direction right now. Offer an idea instead. Say, “I am going to bring you dinner Thursday night,” and just do it.

3. Read this article here at http://www.glowinthewoods.com/how-to-help-a-friend/ on what not to say, and follow the advice. This includes:
-Give her opportunities to speak her truth.
-Keep your own motherhood and children at a distance
-Use your skills or artistry to contribute tribute to her lost baby
-Do make casseroles, don’t send flowers
-Be careful what you say. “Husbands, parents and other loved ones have a vested interest in the pain going away—it distresses them, and they want their sister/daughter/wife back in happy form as soon as possible. It’s meant well and it comes from love, but “Don’t dwell!” and “Don’t torture yourself!” lands on the grieving mother as criticism, as though her feelings are inappropriate, abnormal, unwelcome. To lose a baby is an isolating experience. To be rushed along the path of healing makes you feel even more lonely, makes you grip more tightly to the blackness.”

4. Send a card.

5. Drop off a care package. Include some junk food, a couple light-hearted movies, etc.

6. Buy them a memorial/remembrance gift. Perhaps a necklace, or donate to a charitable organization in honor of their baby.

7. If you’re close, ask if you can come over and just “be” with them.

8. When you see them, don’t be afraid to speak their child’s name. Saying you’ve been thinking about their baby means more than you’ll ever know.

9. Keep texting, calling, emailing and facebooking to let them know you are thinking about them, even after it’s been a few weeks or months. Even when they appear to be “over it” or back to their old self, they will still be hurting, and will still need to know people have not forgotten about their child.

10. Try to remember and acknowledge important dates, such as their due date, loss date, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.”

I have been so lucky to have people in my life that have done a lot of these things for me.

Moving Forward.

As I type this post I can’t help but cry a little as I would rather my topic of this post be how happy I am to be in the second trimester, some pictures of a baby bump and the building excitement for an upcoming gender reveal.

Not the case. But I am moving forward. Perhaps too slowly for some- but I am trying to focus on the people who have been wonderfully supportive. My husband, my parents and a few but oh so needed friends and those ‘random unexpected’ people I talked about in my last post. I cry almost every day- but its not as debilitating as it was. I am slowly getting back into the swing of life.

I am working part time now back at Franklin County DSS. I just needed a break from working full time. Bennett is currently working at Starbucks, but hopes to find a more permanent career type job so that I can continue to work part time and hopefully, Lord willing, we can try again for a baby. This miscarriage truly reshaped my mindset. I am so tired of simply working with the sole mindset of earning money to live. Ever since high school I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom- not a career mom. I applaud those mothers who can juggle working full time and having a family but that is not my goal or how I think God designed me to be. That being said- we have no clue when we will start trying again. For sure not in the near future as my body has yet to regulate since the miscarriage- and per doctors orders I must wait two cycles and I haven’t even been through one yet…

I said in my last post I would update a bit about our New York trip. As awful as it was to physically endure a miscarriage while being on vacation- I was almost glad it happened there then at home so I could leave some of those memories behind. It was also bittersweet that the same place I experienced one of my hardest trials (treatment for Vaginismus) I also endured another hard trial (losing Mizpah).

It was also SO extremely wonderful to be able to spend lots of time with the two couples who were there for Vaginismus treatment. One of the couples I had been talking to since September of 2011. The second couple I had spoken with a few weeks before treatment. She cried when she found out I was coming up to visit the same time that they would be there, as they had seen our documentary video which is what confirmed their decision to go to WTC. Both of these couples are Christian couples and the community we felt between the six of us was so so special. The first night when we arrived we went to one of their hotel rooms and had a wonderful time of praise and worship. A favorite of mine “How He Loves” was sung which was another beautiful tie in between my Vaginismus trial and this miscarriage trial.

Another absolutely wonderful blessing was being able to spend a lot of time with our doctors, especially Dr. Ross. I know I have said it before, but I’ll say it again, I LOVE these doctors. It just astounds me that I ‘paid’ them back in July yet they continue to love on us. As soon as I found out I was most likely miscarrying Dr. Ross called me. When we arrived in New York, before we even made it to our hotel, they asked us to stop by the office so they could see us. Dr. Ross showered us with gifts from a wonderful camera to beautiful mementos in honor of Mizpah. We saw them every day while we were there- and they gave us hugs and comfort during this difficult time- just like they did the last time. I will forever hold a special place in my heart for Dr. Ditza and Dr. Ross.

The couples were also so comforting to me and Bennett while we were there. They prayed with us and loved on us. I think it was good for both sides. We were able to focus on each other so we weren’t so focused on our own pain. Both girls were cured and are doing great. I am just so happy for the Womens Therapy Center and the ‘God Connections’ I have made with so many women who have endured this condition.

All that to say- just as I firmly believe I had vaginismus to help other women, I guess I am coming to the realization that is the same reason why I had a miscarriage. Sometimes I wonder why me…most women have sex and babies as easy as batting an eye- yet for me that isn’t the case. And the only thing that brings me comfort is that it happened so I can comfort others. Just as 2 Corinthians says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

I get angry at God – to quit allowing this stuff to happen to me because I simply can’t take anymore and I just am not fit emotionally or spiritually to comfort others. I’ve done some pretty sinful things out of anger and emotion because of my circumstances- why would God use that? Yet He does. He uses our personal stories of trash and transformation to encourage others who are simply stuck in the trash and don’t see a way out.

As I have learned over and over again- there is a way out and it is only through Jesus. I have tried every which way to turn but with no avail. It’s only Jesus.

The Unexpected.

Not really sure what to post, I guess I feel some weird obligation to the blog world to post every now in then about some random crap and it’s been a while. So now I am awake at the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep- thinking about our ‘Mizpah’. One of our precious doctors in New York gave me a beautiful pin that said ‘Mizpah’ on it with the bible verse Genesis 31:49 “The Lord watches between you and me while we are apart from one another”. Ever since I received that pin from her, I knew in my heart that my lost little ones name would be ‘Mizpah’.

I had a dream the other night. I was fully pregnant and going into labor. My mom was so excited and was there holding my hand. The same doctor that gave me the Mizpah pin (and cured us of our vaginismus) delivered my baby. I had a baby boy. He was beautiful. Then I woke up and it wasn’t real. That’s what makes this ‘grieving process’ so hard. You think you are finally getting through it- then something as simple as a dream just knocks you back.

On a side note, Dr. Ross, if you are reading this- you now deliver babies on top of curing vaginismus! 🙂

It’s funny. I remember being in high school and some of my friends having migraines. I rarely had headaches so when my friends would go home sick with a migraine I remember thinking ‘its just a headache, it’s not that bad’. Then I got a migraine about a year and a half ago, wound up with half my vision gone for several hours, puking, head spinning, in the ER receiving IV drip for dehydration and medicine to stop the nausea, unable to open my eyes due to the piercing lights. I remember telling Bennett it seriously would have been okay if I had died because the pain was so unreal.

It’s kind of similar with a miscarriage. I knew of people who had them. I felt awful for them when I heard about it- but thought it wasn’t really so bad. They never saw the baby and in a week or two they’ll be fine. Boy was I wrong. The moment I saw that positive pregnancy test my heart was linked to this baby. While I was still pregnant one of my friends miscarried. I felt bad for her of course, and said all the wrong things of ‘at least you know you can get pregnant, and I hear you are really fertile after you miscarry’- never really understanding her pain. Now I do, and now this same friend is enduring her second miscarriage. I didn’t say those things this time.

I guess all that to say…yeah, could my life be worse? Yes, way way way worse- and I get that. I know I have a lot to be thankful for- but that doesn’t bring me my baby back and it doesn’t lessen my grief. Just like I didn’t know what it felt like to miscarry before it happened, its the same way how I don’t know what it would feel like if I got cancer or if my husband died. I can’t compare my grief to something I haven’t experienced. All I know is that I’m sad and it sucks.

Even in my anger and doubt, God has been present. It’s funny how He works. Some of the people I thought would be there for me during this time really weren’t, but He has provided unexpected people at just the right times that I never would have thought or imagined. A friend who had miscarried gave me a beautiful willow tree ‘remember’ angel. An old highschool friend I hadn’t seen in years and his wife I had never met before took us out for dinner shortly after we miscarried, bought me beautiful earrings in memory of Mizpah, and took me to get a manicure all because they simply wanted too. A random lady I didn’t even know was the first person to send me a card in the mail- to find out later she had suffered a miscarriage 17 years ago and her husband died in a tragic car accident 16 months ago. My best friend came over and got our dog for us so we could leave to go out-of-town a day early and she did my laundry. My best friends sister cleaned my filthy kitchen and bathrooms while I was gone. My best friends mom brought us over piles of food and shared with me about her two miscarriages. An old friend from my youth group days sent me a beautiful note with a beautiful necklace. One of my doctors who I long ago ‘paid my dues’ still calls and emails me to check on me, and gave me a beautiful pin and candle in remembrance of Mizpah.

And the list could go on. I am still weeding through why all this happened but one thing I have learned is that I want to be that unexpected person. When someone is grieving- to feel loved is so important and to have it come from a place you least expected makes it even more meaningful because you know it’s not out of requirement but out of genuine love and concern. Of course my husbands and my family’s support has been wonderful, but that’s kind of like a given with family members. It’s just those random acts that let me know that God has not forgotten me.

So I guess that’s where I am at right now. Still pretty angry, working through this whole grieving bit, but maybe thinking that one day I can be that ‘unexpected’ person for someone.

I meant to post about our New York trip, but this post was getting a bit lengthy so I will the next time- but I can say with everything that was going on at that time- going on that trip was perfect timing.

Rollercoaster Ride.

Only way I can describe this past month- a complete rollercoaster ride.

We found out we were pregnant mid February. We were both so extremely happy. Then 2 weeks later I started having signs of miscarriage which blood tests confirmed and then a week ago yesterday I started to miscarry.

While I was miscarrying we had already planned a vacation to New York to visit our doctors from the Women’s Therapy Center and to meet up with our friends who were going for treatment. We went ahead and went along with our plans- and the distraction was greatly needed.

I want to post more in detail about our new york trip, but right now I am just asking for prayers. I know I was early on in the pregnancy, but I already loved THIS baby.

I know people don’t really know what to say and just want to encourage me- but not to be rude- things such as ‘at least you know you can get pregnant’ or ‘your so young, you’ll have plenty of babies’ or ‘at least it happened early on’ or even ‘God has a reason’- don’t really mean much right now. It doesn’t give me this baby back.

My mom bought me the book I’ll Hold You In Heaven by Pastor Jack Hayford. I have only read half of it so far but it has been such a comfort to me to see scripture after scripture confirming that my 6 and a half week old baby was truly a physical and spiritual life and that I will see him/her in heaven.

We love you baby and can not wait to meet you.