Friday, March 28, 2014

Still Here

*I'm pretty sure no one I know checks this blog regularly, unless I share the link on facebook, so I feel pretty safe posting this crazy post today. If anyone I know in real life reads this, please accept my apology in advance if anything I say is hurtful. I'm not trying to say anything to hurt anyone, but I'm in a place of hurt myself.*

Just wanted to say that I'm still here. I've been working on the next installment in Zuri's story, it's coming along. Right now I'm just not in the best place, I don't have any motivation to do anything productive. I'm living robotically, putting one foot in front of the other and taking care of my son because I have to, not because I feel an urge or whatever. 

It's been a rough week, for different reasons and for no reason in particular. Today my goal is just to make it to the end of the day, when I can finally put the previous hours behind me and try to find some solstice in sleep. 

My emotions and feelings of grief are all over the place. I'm super confused. I'm trying so hard to cling to God, really I am. I feel like all day I am constantly at His feet begging Him to carry me, heal me, comfort me, give me clarity, give me purpose. If God needs me to let the pain be present and make myself vulnerable before Him, I'm there- all the time. The pain of grief is so real. I know that it will take time to feel like I'm in a different place. How much time? How long must I be broken before I see how He has patched me up? Am I making any progress? Seriously, it's days like today that I desperately wish there was a timeline that someone could show so that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

I long for a sense of hope, but I can't find it. Last night I was praying and I felt like God asked me, "Do you still trust me; will you trust me?". I still trust God, and I want to continue to trust Him. Sometimes it's hard to live that out when you know what trusting Him really means: that there will be times when pain will come and possibly never leave you. Chronic pain. Not the kind of chronic pain you can take pills for, or go to physical therapy. This is the kind of pain where you can't find the exact spot that aches and then focus on making it feel better. This pain effects so many areas of life. Sometimes I forget, but then something will happen- or nothing will happen- and it'll hurt all over again. 

I'm not making much sense and I know it. Sorry. This is why I say I'm super confused.

How am I supposed to be a mother to a child that isn't here? I can be a mom to Toby, he's here; I can hold him, I can play with him, I can watch him grow and learn. My children in heaven are waiting for me and I'll get to see them one day, ok yeah, I get that. So what am I supposed to do until then? How do I care for them when my mommy love language wants to nurture them here? 

So many "how's". If only there was a list of tasks to do in order to feel like I'm grieving properly, in a healthy way. 

Everyone says that I need to grieve in my own way and in my own time, but what is that supposed to look like? How do I grieve? I've grieved before, but it was different, less intense. I don't know what is really means for me to grieve, what it should look like. I'm wracked with guilt and feeling like I'm disappointing those around me because it seems like they are moving forward, finding healthy ways to put their grief to use. I'm not there yet. When will it happen? How do I live when it feels like a part of me is dead?

Like I said, I'm trying really hard to cling to the Lord and His promises, His mercy, His grace and love. Days like today are just really hard.

God, please, please, please
Carry me
Hold me
I love you, and I want to feel close to you.

Please God, don't leave me.
Your word says that you'll never leave me or forsake me
I believe that. 

I want to feel again
To know how to love again.
How to love my husband
My son
My family and friends.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.

Abba, sometimes, like now, this grief is overwhelming.
I don't want to feel like this forever
I know you don't want that for me either.

God, I miss my little girl so much 
Please tell her that I love her

God, please, please, please
Get me through today.
Show me how to live
How to live for you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Zuri's Story: Part 1

I don't know how exactly to start this story off, so I guess I'll just... start.

On Friday, February 7th, our house was all hustle and bustle. We were preparing for a premiere the next day for the short film project Derek had produced with a friend. I was coming off of bed rest for the subchorionic hematoma and placental bleed, and I was happy to be able to help with the preparations. I dropped Toby off with my mother in law, ran a couple errunds and then picked Toby up and started making my way down town to pick up some posters for the premiere.

I was feeling tired, but just attributed it to being 21 weeks pregnant and also coming off of bed rest, my body wasn't used to being up and about anymore. As I was leaving the print shop, I started experiencing some super sharp pain in my lower abdomen. I had experienced this pain earlier in the week, but it had gone away and I didn't think anything of it until this time. It was really painful. I didn't know what to do though: I was all the in downtown Tucson and it would take me at least 20-30 minutes to get to the premiere location where Derek and my mom were. Toby was cranky so I knew I just needed to get in the car and start driving. I considered driving to the hospital and calling my mom or Derek to have them meet me there; but then the pain would subside a little and I thought I'd be okay. I kept driving. The pain kept coming and going in waves, but they didn't feel like contractions like I remembered them from Toby's birth. Sitting in the car wasn't helping, so I thought maybe I just needed to use the bathroom really bad, what with the blessed "pregnancy bladder".

I got to a Starbucks and went in to use the bathroom. It was a challenge keeping Toby from opening the door while I was peeing; I think I ended up trying to make a game out of pointing to the lights on the ceiling. Lightening the load in my bladder didn't seem to help the pain and now I was just anxious. What was going on? I was about 8 minutes away from my mom and Derek and I knew I could make it so I got back in the car to make my way to them. I called Derek but he must have been away from his phone, so I called my mom next. She answered and I told her I was on the way and told her about the pain. When I got there, my mom came out to meet me. Derek came out and I tried to just breath through the pain. We all tried to figure out what it might be and what we should do. The pain wasn't subsiding and I was getting concerned so finally it was decided that we should go to the hospital (just a side note: normally, I hate going to the hospital unless there's a limb hanging by a thread. For me to consent to going meant that I was in a lot of pain). My mom took Toby home with her because she needed to take my sister to a piano recital.

We got to the hospital, checked in, and Derek helped me to the triage station. They had me change into a gown, hooked me up to a monitor and checked the baby's heartbeat. Heartbeat sounded good, and there were only a couple of very small contractions showing on the monitor. I was starting to feel better, but now my concern was that they were going to tell me that I had a UTI, which is what I'm always told whenever I do go to the doctors for stomach pain. I knew it wasn't a UTI, and really didn't want to be sent home with a script for antibiotics. An ultrasound technician came in and did a scan to check on the placental bleed and baby's growth. Derek and I were used to ultrasounds at this point, we felt like pros. We chatted with the technician and everything seemed to be okay. She said that the doctor on call would be in shortly and then she left. Derek and I waited, we joked a bit, and discussed what we should get for dinner.

Then the doctor came in. She introduced herself and I remember thinking that she was talking really fast and that's when everything got hazy. She said that the ultrasound showed that there was no more amniotic fluid around the baby and that the baby needed the fluid to grow but there was nothing they could do so she recommended inducing labor. It was like having the rug pulled out from under us and being punched in the chest at the same time.

At first we didn't know how to react. We had lots of questions: Where did the fluid go? Couldn't they just pump me with lots of IV fluid to help make more? Did the baby seem okay right now? Why had this happened? Wasn't there something we could do?

I tried to recall if there had been a time where I thought I might have peed my pants or had a huge gush of fluid, but with constant bleeding starting from week 9 due to the hematoma, I had just gotten used to always feeling like I was "leaking" (sorry, I know that's kinda gross). The only thing I could remember was that after my previous ultrasound, I had experienced a lot of bleeding. I had called the perinatologists office, but they'd told me it was probably from all the pushing on my belly from the sonogram.

We asked the doctor if we could have some time to talk things over. As soon as she left I broke down and just started sobbing. Derek and I clung to each other and wept; we prayed, I begged God to keep our baby safe. I told Derek through broken sobs that I wasn't ready to let go of our baby. This little one had a heart beat, that meant our baby was still alive. How could I start a process my body wasn't ready to start, how I could choose to end a life when it was God who chose to create it in the first place? I couldn't do it. I said I'd do anything to keep alive, even if it meant being strapped to a bed. Derek agreed, and we both knew we were going to have to fight for our child's life. There just had to be a way.

The doctor came back and we told her we weren't going to induce, not if the baby still had a heartbeat. The doctor told us very-matter-of-factly while she understood our decision, there wasn't anything we could do to change things. We could wait until the next day to induce, but she was convinced that our baby wouldn't have a heart beat in the morning. She said that they wanted to keep me overnight anyways because my hemoglobin levels were low and I needed a blood transfusion.

We agreed to stay for the blood transfusion and to see the perinatologist in the morning. Derek called my mom and told her what was going on. I could hear her crying over the phone. She had Toby with her and they were on their way to my sister's piano recital. My mom said she would call my dad and they'd all come over. It was so comforting to know that my mom was on her way; she and I have a very special bond and I knew I was going to need her for whatever was about to come. Derek also called his parents and told them what was going on. They were on their way as well.

I got admitted, they moved us into a private room and began the process of asking loads of questions. I tried to be patient and answer them all politely. The nurse left, I started crying and just kept crying. I couldn't stop. I couldn't even comprehend all the emotions swirling around. My parents, Derek's parents, and a close friend of my family's came to be with us. We all talked, we even laughed together, and we prayed together. I got to spend a little time with Toby, who was very fascinated by my IV; he kept pointing to it and then pointing to his own hand like he wanted one.

Derek's dad reminded us of a relative who had experienced a similar situation with her recent pregnancy and suggested we call her to get her input. It was encouraging to talk to her and discover that a positive outcome is possible, even with a bleak diagnosis. When we got off the phone with her we felt encouraged and hopeful.

Derek's parents took Toby home with them, my dad and siblings left, and Derek went out to procure some food for us. My mom stayed and kept me company. The nurses started my blood transfusion. I cried while my mom held me.

Derek returned with Beef and Broccoli (anything with iron to help with my anemia). We prayed, my mom went home, and Derek and I tried to get some sleep. We knew we were in for a long journey.

The next day we waited for the perinatologist to come. All morning before he came I prayed for a miracle; that somehow there would miraculously be fluid, even if it was a little bit. I was praying for this whole thing to be some strange and awful nightmare.

My mom came and we all waited. Derek wasn't planning on attending the premiere anymore, but there were other people that we knew we could call upon to take over the plans so that the whole event didn't have to be canceled. It was so amazing how willing everyone was to help out, their kindness was just awesome.

Finally the perinatologist came and did another ultrasound. There wasn't any fluid. The baby looked good; there was a heartbeat (despite what the other doctor had said the night before), the kidneys looked like they were functioning, and there was blood flow in the umbilical cord. Besides there being no fluid everything looked fine. The perinatologist gave us the hard facts about what could happen. There was a lot of information but the gist of it was this:
-the baby needed the amniotic fluid to practice breathing
-amniotic fluid is created when the baby pees (the fact that the baby's kidneys appeared to be functioning was encouraging)
-without the amniotic fluid I was at a higher risk for infection. Uterine infections like that could spread quickly and could be fatal (to me and baby)
-without the amniotic fluid I was at a higher risk of premature labor
-if I could carry the baby past the 23 week line (which is when they consider babies "viable"), there was a high chance that the baby wouldn't survive because there is no way to tell how much damage not having the fluid would do, and if the baby did make it there was a risk of development issues.

It was important for us to understand what we were really up against, but still it was not what we wanted to hear. The doctor was on board with us trying to make it to the 23 week mark, so we made plans for him to come back for one last scan the next day and then we would go from there.

It was a long day, Derek and my mom had to come and go a few times for some last minute preparations for the premiere. My sister-in-law came to visit and was sweet enough to bring some movies for us to watch. The midwife that we had met earlier in my pregnancy (we were hoping for a home birth) came to see us; she has since become a dear friend and an amazing inspiration as a prayer warrior.

It was a long day, but a good one. Derek's parents brought Toby over for a visit. It was so good to hold that little boy, it was a great reminder of what I was fighting for- another sweet little one to cuddle with.

Derek wasn't planning on going to his premiere but I urged him to go; he had worked so hard on the movie and it would be a shame for him not to experience the first screening with everyone who had supported him. He decided to go and then he went to spend the night at his parents house; he needed a good night's sleep (hospitals are nearly impossible to sleep in!) and also we thought it would be good for Toby to see Derek in the morning. My mom stayed with me that night. We watched the Winter Olympics and enjoyed each others company.

That night a longtime friend of my mom's called and encouraged us to seek care at a hospital that was pro-life, like us. To be honest we had never thought that this could make a difference in the type of care we received. My mom's friend works as an administrator at another hospital in town and was encouraging us to go there. She gave us the name of some doctors that could be a great fit for us. I called Derek and talked the idea over with him and we agreed that being in a place that supported our strong desire to fight for our baby's life would make a difference.

The next day the perinatologist came back for one last scan. Still no fluid, but baby looked good. He wanted to discharge me and send me home until I got to 23 weeks. Our concern with going home so soon was that if something went wrong, it would take us at least forty minutes to get the hospital. We felt like it would be better if I could stay in the hospital as long as possible in case the baby was born early, at least being in the hospital meant that we were somewhere with people that would know what to do.

We left the first hospital and drove straight to another one, the one that my mom's friend had encouraged us to go to. I'm so glad we did.

We had to wait a while before seeing the doctor. She came in and had such a kind and compassionate disposition that put us at ease. She did another ultrasound, which still looked the same as the one at the other hospital. She was honest in telling us that the diagnosis we had already received was indeed the case and that there wasn't anything she could do to change it. She did however suggest that staying for a course of IV antibiotics could help prevent an infection and might keep me pregnant longer. The longer we could keep the baby in the better. After talking things over we agreed to be admitted for the antibiotics.

The new hospital was amazing. The nurses were incredibly compassionate, the rooms were calming, and it just felt like we were in a better place.

I was still overwhelmed with emotions. When the nurse tried to start an IV in me I started crying. Normally I don't cry over needles, but this was different. I didn't want to poked anymore. I didn't want to be in a hospital at all, no matter how nice it was. I wanted to be home with Toby. I wanted to feel confident that the little one growing inside me was going to be okay. I just wanted all of this to go away. I'm so glad my mom and my husband were there to encourage me and be a source of strength for me.

We went to sleep that night unsure of what was ahead of us, but we were feeling more hopeful.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Grief: What I Never Knew About it (and wish I never did)

It's been a month since we said goodbye to Zuri. I'm sure it goes without saying that it's been really hard. There are days where my eyes are free from tears; but for every one day I that don't cry, there are at least five days that follow where I cry almost all day. 

Grief is a part of life, I get that. But people, let's just call a spade a spade: grief sucks. It's import to grieve, hiding things isn't healthy. There are just so many feelings that intertwine with each other in ways that seem so impossible, sometimes I think I'm loosing my mind. I've had breakdowns, meltdowns, and generally been feeling down. But God is good, He is faithful to surround me with family and friends that are patient with me and offer gentle encouragement.

I never thought that grief would be something to endure, I guess I always blindly assumed that it was just a feeling that eventually went away. Instead, it's a process that is unique to each individual and manifests itself differently, according to the person going through it. Some people need lots of time while others may not require as much time. I'm still in the midst of things, but this is just what I've observed.

I also never considered that grief is a time that can make us weak and offer an opportunity for the adversary to mess with our minds. Just like Job's friends told him to curse God and die, the enemy wants us to believe lies that can come in the form of guilt, blame, and anger. Yes, those are all normal feelings during a time of mourning and grieving, but it is possible for us to expand on those thoughts and grab hold of them as truth, when they are really lies that can pull us away from The One who can bring us healing. I've fallen victim to those lies; but again, God is good and has provided wonderful people to show me otherwise, pray for me, and help me pray for myself. Being covered in prayer is vital to this process.

The most eye-opening revelation was an memory God reminded me of:
I remember a time when I was young, maybe 11 or 12 years old. I had burnt my finger somehow, I can't recall how. It hurt a lot, so I put some ice on it like your supposed to do. I remember that it hurt so much whenever I took the ice off of the burn. All day I kept replacing melting ice cubes, fearing the pain that would come if I didn't keep ice on the wound. Eventually, my mom told me that I would have to take the ice off; it would hurt for a while, but then the pain would be over and I could keep going with my day. Somehow I finally mustered up the courage to take the ice cube off and just let the sting settle in. It hurt, I think I passed out and fell asleep, overwhelmed with the pain. But then I woke up, and the pain was gone.

I don't think that things will work out exactly the same. But what God has shown me about my grieving process is that I'm going to have to the let hurt just, well, hurt and let Him carry me through it. I have to allow the pain to be present because that's when I will be the most vulnerable and willing to let His plan take place. Being willing to let things happen is hard, because it means that I'll be taking the next step on this journey, moving forward; moving forward means accepting what has happened, and to be honest I don't want to accept it. Acceptance is like saying I'm okay with what's happened, and I'm not okay with it. 

But beyond being okay with things, beyond all else, I want to let God's plan for my life take place. I'm okay with God's plan. I want what He wants for my life. If going through this difficult situation brings me one step closer to living in line with the Lord's plan for my life, than that's okay. 

There's a balance that I'm praying will come peacefully. The balance of living life with those that I care about here, while simultaneously missing and loving one who is gone. 

In this technological age we can search for an answer to anything at any time. I've done so many google searches for "moving forward after infant loss" and any other related topic. I've tried to find the answer to how other parents have gone on living in the wake of such devastation. You know what? I can't find an exact answer. All the blogs, articles, and forums posts don't have specific answers to the many questions that swirl in my head almost daily: How am I supposed to go on to have another child? What do I do when don't feel like I can relate to my living child and my husband? When will I feel better? How do I go on with life?

There are no answers. No tangible answers, only God's promises found in His Word, His love, and the love and patience of those around me. I don't know when it will happen, but I'm clinging to the hope that one day I'll realize that I'm in a different place from where I am now.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

3 Years

Yesterday Derek and I celebrated our third anniversary. Crazy how fast time flies. We celebrated by getting gussied up and went out to dinner at one of our new favorite restaurants- Tucson people, if you haven't done so, please go check out Poppy Kitchen and be sure to try the house fries with malt vinegar aioli. Cray cray delish.

We were going to try to catch a movie but a certain someone ordered a very girly cocktail whose ingredients may or may not have included two different types of fruit-infused vodka *insert sheepish smile* and thus it was deemed necessary by the other (more responsible) someone that we needed stay a bit longer until the aforementioned someone could walk in a straight line. So instead of going to see a movie we drove to a great spot for viewing the city lights and just hung out. It was grand indeed.

So, uh, I have a super embarrassing confession: I can never remember our anniversary. The cliche is supposed to be that the guy always forgets the romantic dates, but being the odd ball that I am I'm the one in our relationship that fails to realize when Valentine's Day is around the corner, and our anniversary always sneaks up on me. Also I always get the date of our anniversary wrong; my mom was reminding me last week that our anniversary was coming up (she and I are so close, we think for each other a lot of the time- thanks mom); I said "oh yeah, the third is on Monday". She looked at me funny and corrected me that the special day is in fact on March 5th. *Sigh* one day I'll get it right.

Anyways, in honor of our anniversary I thought I'd use Throwback Thursday as an excuse to take a trip down memory lane.

If you're interested as to how Dariak (yes, that's our celebrity mashup name. And yes, I made it up just now) came to be, you can check out the story part uno and part dos.

Popping the question.

The honeymooners.

Post- first six months of parenting.

Road trippin'.

Happy 3rd Anniversary, baby. These past three years have been a whirlwind, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm so glad you're the one I get to go on this journey with. Thank you for being a Godly leader of our family, and thank you everything you do for us. Thank you for putting up with me and my shenanigans. You are an amazing husband and I'm blessed to be your wife. I love you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Little One's Poem

                       A kind friend gave us this beautiful rose bush, as a way to remember Zuri. 

Over the weekend I had some time to myself. The desire to hold my baby girl is overwhelming, I miss her so much. I took out an envelope that the hospital sent home with us. They took some pictures of Zuri, but at the time I didn't want to see them. The nurses were very sweet and made sure that we had those documented pictures, for whenever we were ready to see them. During my alone time, I felt ready; I took out the pictures and wept. Her tiny hands and toes were captured so sweetly, and even though I still long to touch those tiny toes, it was helpful to at least see them again. They also included a couple of poems. This one touched me deeply, and I wanted to share it for any other mommas out there going through something similar:

Oh Mother, My Mother...

Oh my, my mother
I touch your tears
invisible fingers 
soothing your skin
I know you think of me so often
in the day, in the night
in your dreams
going into an empty nursery
knowing I'll never be there
but I am... in your heart
in your soul, I shall always be
for you gave so unselfishly of yourself.
Inside of you, you created
such a world for me
a world of laughter, of love
of sadness, of sorrow
every emotion people come to know
you shared with me.
And even though I may never 
feel your arms around me
I felt your heart beating,
like a lullaby, singing me to sleep
and your spirit giving me a safe haven
already protecting me
nurturing me
preparing me of things to come.
But sometimes the journey 
of life pulls souls apart
and yes, I had to go on 
to another place.
I wish I could stay
I wish this was a decision 
I could make
and I know you do too.
Know this wherever you are:
I will always remember 
that yours was the first love,
the first joy, the first soul
I will ever know
you gave me the courage to 
go on in my journey
I hope I can do the same
for you
Your heartbeat will always
call me to you.

Love, your child.

Monday, February 24, 2014

This Mother's Heart

I'm not quite ready to share the whole story of the events leading up to Zuri's passing. It's difficult to relive those moments and there's just so much that happened; it's taking me a while to to write the whole thing down. 

I didn't want to stay away from this blog for too long. But with this loss still so fresh in my life it's hard to think about much else. So instead of avoiding this blog, I'm here, sharing my heart. 

The mourning/grieving process is really hard. Most of the time I just feel... sad. And broken. My heart is broken. I miss my baby girl so much. What I wouldn't give to be able to hold her again. In some of the paperwork the hospital gave me they said that experiencing "phantom cries" is common. I hear phantom cries and even feel phantom kicks, like my body doesn't always remember that I'm not pregnant anymore.

There is a blessing that a Rabbi sent to my mom that is sometimes said whenever there is a miscarriage or loss of a little one. At Zuri's burial service a dear friend of our family said this blessing. It completely sums up the feelings:

God, we are weary and grieved. We were anticipating the birth of a child, but the promise of life was ended too soon. Our arms yearned to cradle new life, our mouths to sing soft lullabies. Our hearts ache from the emptiness and the silence. We are saddened and we are angry. We weep and we mourn. Weep with us, God, Creator of Life, for the life that could not be. Source of healing, help us to find healing among those who care for us and those for whom we care. Shelter us under wings of love and help us to stand up again for life even as we mourn our loss. Barukh Attah Adonai, zokher y'tzurav l'chayim b'rachamim (Blessed are You, Eternal our God, whose compassion renews us unto life)

My body feels broken. I'm not in any pain, but as a woman I'm supposed to be able to to build and sustain new life. In less than a year my body has failed to do that- twice. I can't help but feel like my body failed me, that there's something wrong with me, that I'm broken.

They say that guilt is a part of the grieving process. I definitely am struggling with guilt.

It's hard to say if my spirit is broken. As I mentioned before, my faith is still strong. I know I won't feel like this forever. I know that God still has a plan for my life and He will see me through this storm. I guess I'd say my spirit is shaken. I'm trying so hard to cling to God, trying to let Him carry me.

From my past I know that it doesn't do any good for me to ask "why". Asking "why" makes me angry. I know that He can handle my anger, that anger is a natural emotion, but I don't want to go down a path that I've been down before. A path that just makes me want to run away from Him. Without Him, I'm not going to be able to weather this storm, I know it. Something I once had to ask myself about asking "why" was this:
"if you got an answer to all the 'why's', would it make a difference?"
No, it wouldn't make a difference. It would just make me angrier. So I'm avoiding the "why's" and instead, bringing before the Lord all my feelings of misunderstanding and confusion. That song that says "You make beautiful things/ You make beautiful things out of the dust" comes to mind. I hope that God can make something beautiful out of this dusty, difficult situation.

There is so much love and support surrounding me, so I don't feel alone. Just, a little disconnected. They say that grief takes time. Sometimes I wonder how much time. But I don't want to "despise the day of small beginnings" (Zech. 4:10). I'm clinging to the hope that this journey will be bring me closer to the Lord, and His perfect plan.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Baby Carlson: Final Update

Last week, on February 12, we met our baby girl. Her name was already chosen- Zuri Rose Carlson. She was beautiful, perfect, and loved in every way. The sad part about her arrival was that it was too soon. She was born at 22 weeks and 1 day gestation. She went to be with her Heavenly Father a few minutes after her birth. Oh friends, I can't tell you how difficult that day was.

Derek and I had a chance to hold her, marvel at her, and tell her over and over how much we love her. Derek sang to her. Both of our parents got to hold her. We didn't let Toby see her because he's still so young and wouldn't understand. But in his own way, he knows that something has changed in the dynamic of his home. He has pointed to my belly and asked "baby?"; I don't know what to tell him, so I just shift his focus elsewhere.

Yesterday we held a small burial service for Zuri, with families by our sides. I know it's not "goodbye", but rather "see you later". When you're a mother you don't want to say either to your child, not in that way; especially when they haven't had a chance to live.

We have been surrounded by so much love and support, literally we've had an army of prayer warriors behind us from coast to coast. God is so good, it's amazing. Even in the midst of this difficult time, He had been faithful to answer our prayers, make His peaceful presence known, and surround us with so much love.

I won't lie, I'm struggling. My faith is still strong, but my heart is broken. This is the hardest thing I've had to go through so far in my small blip of a life. I know in my heart that my baby is where my own heart ultimately longs to be, and I'll get to see her again one day. My body doesn't know that my baby is gone; My milk came in and now my chest hurts almost as much as my heart (By the way, if anyone has any tips on how to speed up this horrid process of drying up milk, please feel free to send them my way). My hormones are in nurture mode, because they think I should be caring for a newborn. I'm so thankful that I have Toby, I'm trying hard to shower him with the extra mom-juice I have.

I started composing a post with the story of what happened. I'll post it soon. For now, dear friends all I can say is that it's so important to let those that we love, know that we love them. Parents, hold your little ones more. Slobber them with kisses. Be blessed, and stay strong in the Lord.