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Our return

Today was the fourth Sunday that my Kiwi Hannah has been with Jesus. It was also the first time that we went back to our church since she left us. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that I was ready, in part because of my tattoos. I really do feel like they give me the strength that I need. Of course I know that the strength that I am getting is coming from the Lord and His grace, however to have a nice reminder that I can see has been tremendous for my healing!

Today also marks the fifth day that I haven’t cried about losing her. Not that I don’t think about her or wish she was here or see things that remind me of her. Trust me, ALL I WANT IS MY BABY BACK! I’ve just come to the conclusion that it won’t be in this lifetime, on this side of eternity so there’s no reason to jut sit and wallow over my sorrows.

I don’t want to cry all day, although I have and probably will again; sooner than later actually. Instead I want to go out and do things that would make Kiwi proud. I want to challenge myself to face my fears and learn something new and to do new things (that’s why I have really set out to develop my spanish vocabulary so that I will feel comfortable speaking it).

I want to dance and paint more, I want to decorate my house for the different seasons and hang up pictures. I want to live and love and still praise Jesus. I still want to get to know my husband of almost six years. I guess what I’m trying to say is that although I’m grieving, sad, still a bit angry and have a ton of questions I want to get past them all while living my life not staying still (unless absolutely necessary) and I am glad that our return wasn’t awkward in fact it was almost normal…

In loving memory

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So I had already planned on getting tattoos for my beloved daughter who passed away a few weeks ago and luckily I have a super great and wonderful friend who’s an amazing artist and he agreed to come up with a few designs for me (thanks Ray)! So today I was able to get them done and it just so happened to be Infant and Baby Loss Remembrance Day!

I absolutely hate being apart of this secret club of pain and grief but getting these tats absolutely made my day!! I am genuinely happy for the first time in a long time! I mean of course it’s a little bittersweet and I’d trade all the pain of these works of art to hold my baby girl again! But at last this is now my story!

So a little back story of each piece…
One day my husband and I watched a super great sermon from Steven Furtick of Elevation church he talked about Rachel and Jacob in Genesis 35:16-20 and how she named her son Ben-oni but how Jacob named the son Benjamin… He goes on to explain that the ONI portion of the name means both sorrow and strength he then said that the greatest strength comes from the deepest sorrow. Once I heard that I instantly knew I had to get that as a tattoo!

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The first day in the hospital my dear friend Nicole gave me the words “my grace is sufficient.” I didn’t get the full meaning until I talked to my other friend Judie days later when I was already home, she pretty much told me that God’s grace is sufficient enough to cover all of my emotions and feelings that I was and would have during my grieving process and frankly for the rest of my life and I knew I had to get that where I could see it as a daily reminder

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Finally I just had to get her name and birthday because I love the way it looks written… I got it so that when I look in the mirror I can read it!

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So there you have it… My pain expressed through art via tattoos! I got my work done by a talented artist in NC you can check out his work

Sundays are the hardest!

It’s been three Sundays since my beautiful baby girl Kiwi Hannah went to be with Jesus and I have come to realize that Sundays are the hardest day for me because of that.

I am use to and enjoy spending time with a corporate body worshipping Jesus on a Sunday morning but it’s hard for me to fellowship when all I want to do is go back to the day I held my baby in my arms.

As the weeks go on it doesn’t get any better, in fact it gets harder because all I want is to have my baby back but I know it’s impossible as long as I’m on this earth.

I think about her several times a day mainly what stage of growth she would have been at and it’s heart breaking!

I am trying to give myself enough grace to cry and mourn and just be but at the same time I know I need to enjoy the moments of peace and joy that come my way in the form of friends and prayers and gentle smiles from strangers and my husbands loving touch.

It seems like my heart aches uncontrollably more on Sundays more than any other day. It’s like God’s little reminder that I’m still alive and that my heart hasn’t become numb and calloused but the ache is deep and makes even breathing difficult.

I know that my life is forever changed and that Jesus is the only one that can heal my heart enough for me to move forward, but I can’t wait until I get to the point where I can enjoy Sundays again plain and simple.

My heart is heavy

Today I got up and got dressed even looked pretty cute… and still it doesn’t change the fact that my Kiwi Hannah isn’t here. I miss her so much! I have began praying for more children to be bestowed upon my husband and me sooner rather than later.

Even though i want to be mad at God because I don’t quite understand why this happened to me and my husband, I realize that He answered my prayers… I’ve waited 5.5 years to have a baby, to be a mother, to experience pregnancy and to finally have a baby bump!

Throughout my entire pregnancy albeit it was only 18 weeks the Lord kept Kiwi safe and sound even through traveling to and from India! When she was born she was exactly where she was supposed to be for being 18 weeks old, all her fingers and toes were there, her limbs were long and lean she had my nose and her dad’s lips… she was absolutely perfect!

Never in a million years did I think to pray for my body to hold up. But I prayed for my baby to be safe and healthy and that’s exactly what she was… I miss her today but I’m looking forward to and praying for her siblings that I will one day hold and bring home and raise to be God-fearing adults.

Today my heart is heavy but one day, with God’s help and the help of my friends and family it will be light again and more joyful.

small steps forward and minor set backs

This week has been the roller coaster of emotions that I knew would come… I was finally able to drive my car by myself without wanting to veer off into on coming traffic or drive straight into a ditch! I actually drove all the way to Nashville for a job lead which was great progress for me on so many levels! I also have been able to go to sleep without crying myself to sleep and even as I type this I am home alone with just my thoughts and yet still okay.

But it just seems like with every step forward comes minor set backs that cause me to almost forget that I’ve made some progress… today i have been in a foggy state and mean to my husband. I’ve barely gotten out of bed all day… just long enough to share a sermon with my husband and eat a bowl of cereal… for lunch I worked on my bible study homework and ate gummy bears until I was tired enough to go to sleep.

Yesterday I went to the pumpkin patch with a huge group of friends and that was bittersweet because I ended up doing a ton of things I wouldn’t have normally done if I was still pregnant… I cried myself to sleep last night and woke up this morning early to spend time with Jesus and got to say Happy Birthday at 5:34 this morning to Kiwi Hannah!

I know this is gonna be hard and it really is gonna take every moment of every day I just want to have better days on a more consistent basis without having minor set backs afterwards…

A week already

It’s been one week since I gave birth to my baby girl! This has been the longest week of my life! Every day I wake up wanting her here and every night I go to sleep looking for her… I know she’s with Jesus but that doesn’t make my pain any easier. I know my God is sovereign but I don’t know what His plan is just yet for my pain and despair! I know He will turn this around for good… maybe not my good but for the good of those around me or those that I come in contact with…

As much as I hate to admit it I am now a member of a secret society/club that not many talk about… you know the group of parents that have lost a child and not just any child but a stillborn child. I know loss is loss but it seems like even this loss is a little different from those who had time with their child and were able to see their child grow and change… I am in no way saying that my loss is greater than any one else’s loss I am just pointing out the fact that it’s just different!

All my life I’ve been different… so why should my current situation be anything other than just that! I’m angry but even in my anger I still love God and have known from the beginning of this tragedy that He was in control and no matter what happened He would still be in control! There is nothing that I can change or could have changed!

So now after a week full of emptiness I am continually turning to Him in my despair, sorrow, anger, and love! I know that I don’t have much love left to give Him but what I have is His and has always been His since I said yes to following Him no matter the cost!! I guess it’s time to show Him that I meant what I said 7 years ago… because this is by far the hardest thing I have EVER had to deal with.

Thanks for listening/reading and your continued prayers,

Terri

This isn’t a dream…

Last night was a win for me… I didn’t cry myself to sleep! I don’t know what tonight will bring but I do know that I will be enjoying a piece of cheesecake (thanks Rachel)!  I had a mini breakthrough and it brought about some peace. It gave me the strength I needed to make it another day.

I feel like I’m in this deep fog and when I break out of it my baby will be growing safely in my belly until my due date. But instead I know this isn’t a dream, it’s my life, my new reality and new normal… and my baby is dancing and worshiping Jesus in heaven. It doesn’t get any better than that I know but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be selfish and have her here with us.

It will get better eventually, and I know that when I get to heaven she’ll be waiting for me but for now it still hurts and my heart is overloaded with grief my mind is both fast and slow dead and alive… all these feelings and thoughts are running me ragged and all I really want to do is run away and start a new life with my husband on some small island or in an even smaller town.

I know that is not realistic at all and only something people do in movies or maybe if they have a lot of money which we don’t have… so for now especially in the days ahead I am learning to take things moment by moment because nothing will ever be the same again…

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