Monday, March 31, 2008

A "Beth Moore" Weekend

I have had the most incredible weekend! Girls, if you've never attended a Beth Moore conference I encourage you to find one in a city near you and GO, I promise you will leave feeling renewed, on fire for the Lord and seeking to do the Lord's work with a great passion!!!! These are pictures from our weekend. 15,000 woman assembled in one place, all to worship the Lord and learn how to be a godly Christian women.

Back in December, Trayc had mentioned Beth was coming in March but I did not even consider it because our days were so uncertain with Tristan. After Tristan passed away, Trayc again mentioned that the BM conference was in March and that he'd really like for me to go. I told him that I didn't really want to be away from him. Trayc has been my security since receiving Tristan's diagnosis in August so I am okay as long as I'm with him but I begin to feel so emotionally weak and feel like the weight of my loss is upon me when I'm not with him. Trayc went online to make sure there were still tickets available and said that I still had some time to think about it and that he really wanted me to go. Trayc has been to several Promise Keepers events over the years so he knew I'd have the same experience he did. I thought about it for several weeks and as I have slowly felt more emotionally stable, my days are good and my nights are so much better (huge answer to prayer!), I told him I thought I could do it. He assured me that if I didn't feel strong enough that he'd go with me - what a great husband, willing to go to a women's conference! I prayed about who I'd like to ask to go with me and there was only one friend whose name immediately came to mind, as she has walked this road with me every day since August. I called and asked if she'd like to go and she said she'd love to. She had never been to a BM conference either and she was going through some things in her own life that she needed some direction in also. So we bought our tickets 3 weeks ago and have been anxiously awaiting the conference!

I headed out Friday night, by myself, for the one hour drive. I passed by the hospital and decided to just start thanking the Lord for every part of Tristan's life instead of crying, then I passed by a cemetery (not Tristan's, but every cemetery is now a reminder) and kept trying to be thankful and just as I was pulling into the restaurant, to meet my friend for dinner, I looked across the street only to see Tristan's cardiologist office. Although a part of me was really beginning to feel overwhelmed after the hospital, the cemetery and now the cardiologist office and my heart was saying go back home, it's too soon to do this, I stopped and thought to myself "No, I'm not going to cry, I'm not going back home, I'm going to be okay and I am not going to let Satan use things to distract me from what the Lord has for me this weekend". I sat down at the table and immediately told my friend all that I was feeling and she sweetly assured me that I'd be okay. We had a wonderful dinner and time of sharing and then headed to the conference. We walked in the door 15 minutes after they had opened (45 minutes before it started) and we ended up at the very, very top! Even though we were just about as high as you could get, we could feel the Holy Spirit moving throughout the coliseum in a very real way! We stood there in awe as we looked around at the approximately 15,000 woman assembled in one place, in Downtown Jacksonville, that were there for one purpose, to learn more about having a closer relationship with the Lord - what an amazing site to see! The conference was incredible. The music by Travis Cottrel and the praise team was very worshipful and the message by Beth was phenomenal. She was so inspiring. There were so many things to write down that I could not take notes fast enough! My friend and I left with an excitement and were longing to return the next day.

Saturday started off quite early as I headed out the door at 6:00 am, fortunately there is a brand new Starbucks right off I-95, as I was in much need of some coffee. Being a stay-at-home-mom for 5 years now, 5:00 am is WAY TO EARLY to get out of bed, but it was so worth it. I drove down the road just a singing - this is a big step as I have not really listened to much music since Tristan passed away as my heart is always feeling so weak and music just makes me cry, sweet tears, but I still cry. As I got out of the car and my friend and I were literally racing in, we were adamant we would find a seat closer this time, I looked at her and said, "This is so good for me, this is exactly what I needed this weekend". I don't know how else to explain it other than I felt so free! Free from grief, free from sadness and free from the darkness I faced each night as I laid down in bed the first 6 weeks without my little boy in the bassinet next to me. I just felt free, free from all the pressures of life. I was excited, I was happy, I was laughing, I was dressed up and quite honestly, I felt like a real woman again. Not a mommy, not a homeschool teacher, not a taxi driver, not a soccer mom, not a cook, not a maid, not a wife. Trust me, I love being all of those things, but this weekend I needed it to be all about me, I needed to be still and know, I needed to hear what the Lord had for me without any distractions of the every day life. I believe all of my friends, who have lost babies, will completely agree that as moms we try so hard to be strong for our husbands, be strong for our children and we try to shelter our children from the hurt of death so we end up hiding all that we feel inside. But this weekend I didn't have to. I was free to worship alone, free to let the tears of thankfulness, the tears of joy and tears of sadness flow without holding back!

I wish that I could fully explain what Beth's message was about but honestly it's one of those "you just had to be there". If you have a moment, visit Beth Moore's blog by clicking on the link to the right of my entry and watch the entry labeled "Jacksonville Recap". It is a video of the weekend. This is a great video recap, watch and see if you can you feel the presence of the Lord in that place? I have watched the video 3 times and cried each time. You could certainly feel the presence of the Lord this weekend!

Both days Beth taught from Philippians 3:3-21. She broke down every part of these verses in a way I've never heard before. She said that we have to face forward, stop looking in the past, look in front of you because that is where your future is - she is SO right!

These are the verses that are in the forefront of my mind as I come to the end of this incredible weekend:

Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.

14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Oh Jesus, thank you for using Beth Moore this weekend to not only reach thousands of women but to touch my heart in a very real way. I ask that you remind every women that was there of the vows of commitment we made as we stood in 2's holding hands with our friends. I also ask that you remind each one of us of this weekend 10 years from now just as Beth challenged us to do. And as the words of Travis' song say, I fall down and worship, leave all that I treasure behind, for a chance to be closer to the one who might, be the one who saved my life.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Tayden!

Tayden turned 2 yrs old today! I look at my precious little boy in these pictures above and realize how fast time has gone by, he is no longer my baby. He is my sweet, crazy, funny, totally unpredictable 2 year old who is a mommy's boy for sure! He is so different than Tanner was. Tanner was our perfect little boy that we could take anywhere at anytime and was always so proper, people would always stop and say that he acted like a little man and he really did. But Tayden, let's just say we don't get those comments but you know what? It's okay. I will never forget a conversation we had sitting at the kitchen table only 4 days after we found out about Tristan having Trisomy 18 (this is part of the entry dated August 18, 2007):

We had all been sitting on the couch talking and crying and then we went to the kitchen to eat dinner. After we prayed, Tayden, our 1 1/2 yr. old, pulls his shirt over his head so that it is resting behind his head and on his shoulders, then he puts his rubber spoon in his mouth and starts flipping it so that it's hitting his forehead and then he puts both feet on the table and starts laughing. Okay, this is not the typical dinner at our house, he has honestly never done this. Infact, we would have never, ever accepted this kind of behavior when our 11 yr. old was that age because we were so strict about everything and that included table manners. I said, "oh, if Grammy(my mom) could see you now!" we all kind of smiled, and then Tanner, our 11 yr. old, said, "You know what mommy, maybe the reason the Lord waited 10 years to send us Tayden is because He knew we'd all need him right now because he's just so wild and silly!" I said, "Maybe you're right Tanner, maybe Tayden will (without even knowing it) be the one who helps us heal during this difficult time and maybe he will keep us laughing when we really don't want to."

We will never know why we tried 9 years to get pregnant and then 4 days before invitro found out we were pregnant with Tayden, but I do know I am so thankful the Lord sent us Tayden right when he did because HE IS exactly what we have needed this past year. He has helped mend my hurting heart on many a days with his sweet voice of saying, "Mommy" or when he puts both his hands on my face and gives me a sweet kiss or when he stands in the chair behind me and points to Tristan's picture on the blog and says "baby" or when he acts silly by taking off only one sock and one shoe and tossing them over the front seat of the car or when he takes Tanner's stuffed animals and runs down the hallway laughing or when he holds on to my neck so tight that he won't let go. All of these things make me feel special, loved, they make me laugh and that keep me going on the hard days. Tayden will never truly understand all that his little life has gotten our family through this past year!

Trayc worked a half day today, so when I woke up I got Tayden out of bed and went into Tanner's room. Tayden laid down beside Tanner, like he does every morning, and we sang "Happy Birthday". Tayden started laughing and clapping so we sang it again and then one more time, for a total of 3 times. We ate breakfast and had a sweet morning together. Oh this is what I needed today as there were lots of emotions that flooded my heart when I woke up. There was excitement because it was Tayden's birthday, there was the reality of the day being the 27th which meant Tristan had been gone exactly 2 months and there was a sadness felt because Tristan was not here to celebrate his big brother's birthday. We got pregnant the weekend of Tayden's 1st birthday so we were thrilled to FINALLY know that we would have 2 children close in age. Tanner and Tayden are 10 years apart and although you do not see the difference when they play, there IS still the age difference, so Tristan being only 21 months younger than Tayden made us happy! I will forever miss seeing Tristan and Tayden sitting in the floor playing together, sharing each others toys and having a bond like only brothers can. But I am thankful that Tristan lived long enough to bring him home so that I could have pictures of all 3 of my boys together and one day, when Tayden is older, we will be able to show him pictures of Tristan and be able to tell him all about his little brother.

We had Tayden's party tonight. The party theme was Thomas the Train, of course, what else is there right? Tayden's room decor is wall-to-wall with Thomas, he wears Thomas shoes, he wears Thomas clothes, he only watches Thomas movies and he only likes to sit and play at his Thomas train table full of Thomas trains. So, it's Thomas, Thomas, Thomas around here!!!!! We have always celebrated birthdays in a big way because we want that person to feel like it's THEIR day! We usually have between 25-30 people with lots of food and decorations but this year, with having just lost Tristan 8 weeks ago and still trying to get through these first few weeks, I really wanted it to be small and simple. We invited only family and had pizza and cake. It was a sweet night of celebrating Tayden.

Happy Birthday Tayden!

We love you - Daddy, Mommy and Tanner

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

As believers we celebrate today, Easter, in remembrance of the Resurrection of Jesus. Our church performed the Passion Play for 3 days last weekend. I believe it was, by far, the best performance our church has ever done. It was performed in such a way that it drew you in, to the point that you felt as though you were there! I've been a part of our church performances in the past and I have also attended other performances but I have never been so touched and received the blessing I did this year. We've all seen the picture of Jesus with the little children on His knee, like in all children's Bibles, and I've seen this scene acted out before but it really meant something this year because my little boy is there - my little boy is in Heaven, my little boy is at the feet of Jesus with all of his little friends. There was a part in the performance where Jesus was holding the dead girl, he lifted her up and he spoke His word and she came alive. He hugged her and then kissed her forehead - somebody pass the Kleenex, our entire family has tears! I was crying and thought to myself, although the Lord did not chose to heal Tristan on this earth, he WAS healed. He was healed on January 27th at 4:40 pm, the moment he left my arms and was in the arms of Jesus. Tanner leaned over and whispered, "Mommy, that's what Tristan and Poppy Joy and Maddox and Mary Grace are doing right now". He had this big smile on his face, oh to have the excitement and faith of a little child.

I also love Easter because it marks the beginning of a new season, the beginning of Spring. There is just something about the crisp smell in the air and the cool morning breeze that is so refreshing! Yesterday morning Trayc asked if I knew how many days it had been since Tristan passed away. I said, "No, why?" He said, "I don't know, the number 56 is Tristan's number so I was just wondering if it had been 56 days since he passed away?" I said, "Why?" He said, "Because that would mean he would have been gone as long as he lived!". I got curious so I went to the calendar and counted it up. Guess how many days it had been? Yes, 56 days exactly! You know, it is so hard to believe that Tristan has already been gone as many days as he lived. Those were the most incredible 56 days of our lives. I have experienced a love like never before, I felt so much love being returned back to me from his little dark brown eyes. How do you feel that when he never uttered a word? Oh there's only one answer - the Lord! He allowed Tristan enough days on this earth to start visually communicating back, through his little eyes and attempting to move his little lips when I would talk to him, so that I, HIS MOMMY, would never forget that feeling!!!! And although I sit here and attempt to type these words through eyes filled with tears and tears quickly rushing down my face, they are sweet tears, they are tears of love because I miss my little boy so much and they are tears of thankfulness that the Lord allowed us so much time. Never experiencing death and grief like this I certainly did not know what to expect and although the emptiness is still felt in my heart and the longing to hold my little boy is still there, our family is doing great! We are living this "new kind of normal" that everyone talks about and we are looking forward to the future with excitement and anticipation trusting in the Lord to carry us each and every day believing He has great plans for us.

We had a busy Saturday beginning with our neighborhood's Easter egg hunt. It was so much fun because Tayden was only a year old last year so he was not walking nor was he into the egg hunt but this year he was so cute. He would run pick up an egg, put it in his basket and get so excited he'd clap his hands together and yell "Yeah!" and then run to the next one - it was a sweet moment as I watched my little boy run around. Tanner found the golden egg so he won a big beach bucket filled with beach stuff so he was excited and then Tanner was helping Tayden open his eggs and eat the candy. Tanner and Tayden have truly made this journey a little easier emotionally because they keep us going and they definitely keep us laughing. We had so much fun spending the rest of the day together shopping, getting haircuts, buying shoes for the boys, getting ready for Easter and dying eggs. Of course, you all know that Tanner had to make one that said, "Tristan 56 days" because he loved his little brother so much!

We woke up early this morning, ate breakfast and looked forward to the boys opening up their baskets but bless his heart, Tayden was so tired he couldn't keep his eyes open so Tanner said "Why don't we just wait until after church" so we did. We went to Sunday School and church. As I sat in church this morning I was thinking about all the ways we have been blessed this year and how thankful I am for so much in my life. How many people are fortunate enough to go to church and sit on the row with their entire family? Probably not many, so many families move away from their childhood home but not us, we're still here and as long as the Lord allows, we always will be. We sit every week on the same row with all of my family. I can't even explain the joy I feel in my heart as I stand on that row knowing we're all there together praising the Lord through worship. On the way home from church I reminded Trayc that this time last year we woke up early to take our 2nd pregnancy test (the 1st one we took the day before had a 2nd line but it was a slight color so Trayc didn't believe it), so Easter morning I took another test and the same thing happened, the 2nd line turned a slight color, but Trayc still didn't believe it so after church we headed to Target to get another one - a name brand test as Trayc insisted that was the problem with the first two tests, we rushed home, took another test and the 2nd line did NOT turn pink so we decided not to tell our family at lunch. But I knew, I just knew we were pregnant and was so excited thinking about the fact that come next Easter we would have another baby. Although there was a sadness this morning as we only dressed 2 of my 3 boys (in matching outfits) and that our family picture only shows our family of 4 instead of our family of 5, I will always remember the excitement we felt this time last year knowing we were pregnant with our third baby, the excitement of making through all 9 months of my pregnancy and that our little boy lived 56 days!

We ate lunch and then Tanner gave me a flower he had made (see top picture) which he had written all 3 of the boys names on it and then he and Tayden opened their baskets. Tayden was so cute trying to open the eggs because he just learned at the egg hunt, yesterday, that there was candy inside and then Tanner helped him open his "Cars" car. He started watching the movie a few weeks ago, yes we are attempting to watch something besides Thomas, Tanner is so tired of ONLY watching Thomas, so now he steals all of Tanner's hot wheels, we knew it was time for him to have a car of his own. We had a real sweet family day!

I would ask that you remember each girl that has lost their precious baby since last Easter. Even though we all know the real meaning of Easter and we are beginning to move forward, I believe there will be an emptiness felt within the hearts of many girls this morning. After all, there is just something about buying one less Easter outfit, buying and filling one less Easter basket and one less person in your family picture that will be a reminder of our losses. I find comfort today knowing that my precious little boy is in the arms of Jesus and surrounded by all of his little friends: Maddox, Poppy Joy, Mary Grace, Miller Grace, Asher "Happy" and his brother Issac, Jonathan, Madeline, Eliot, Joshua, Copeland, Christian, Molly, Riley, Sully and Eva.

Please remember sweet Chrissy, her husband Vinnie and their 2 children Mya and Dominic as they are grieving the loss of precious Eva Janette. She was such a fighter. She lived 5 incredible days, I am so thankful they had time to love and bond with her. Eva went from her mommy's arms to the arms of Jesus at 2:57 am this morning. As her mommy said, "She made it HOME for Easter". Please visit their blog ( for more information and please be praying for them as they prepare for Eva's celebration of life service on Tuesday.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day with your family!

Happy Easter from our family to yours........
Trayc, Yvette, Tanner and Tayden

Luke 18:15 says: "People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Matthew 28:1-6 says: "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay".

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eva Janette is here

Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying for the family of Eva Janette. I just received an email from a friend letting me know that Eva Janette was born at 8:47 am this morning. She weighs 4 lbs 11 oz and is 18 inches long. I was also sent a picture of her and she is beautiful with a lot of hair! Chrissy will be updating their blog ( as soon as she is able, so keep checking on them. Please continue to pray for Eva as they are closely monitoring her heart in that apnea is one of the many issues Trisomy 18 babies are born with. Also, please pray for Chrissy's healing, for her strength, for her emotions, for her husband Vinnie and for their 2 children Mya and Dominic.

James 5:16 says: "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (friend) availeth much."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Heavy heart

I sit here tonight with such a heavy heart for the following 3 families. I would ask that you PLEASE lift them up in prayer in the days ahead:

1. Eva Janette (link is on right side of page): Chrissy is the last of us "T-18 mommies" to have her baby. She is scheduled for 8:30 am on Monday. Please pray for Eva Janette - that she will be born alive, that her heart rate will remain strong and that her family will have lots of time with her. As I am sure you can imagine, Chrissy has been overwhelmed with emotions as she has seen so many babies born and pass away over the last 9 months. Please pray that Chrissy will be able to put all of her fears aside as she heads to the hospital to bring her precious little girl, Eva, into the world. Please pray for her husband, Vinnie. He, too, has walked this very difficult road of emotions with her and realizes she needs so much love and support in the next few days. Please pray for their 2 children(Mya and Dominic), day-after-day they have sat by Chrissy's side checking in on all of the T-18 families so they, too, already feel the loss of so many babies which makes their little hearts so vulnerable to being hurt. Oh, I just want them to be so excited that their little sister has been so very strong and made it to the end and I want them to enjoy every moment they have with her. Please pray for the doctors and nurses that will be assisting them during their hospital stay. Please pray for all of their family members and friends that will be joining them at the hospital.

2. Joshua Mathew Sams (link is on right side of page): Joshua passed away on Saturday (They live in New Zealand which is 17 hours ahead of us. So our Friday is already their Saturday). The Lord blessed his family with so much more time than doctors ever believed was possible - as his mommy said, "he lived 67 days and 7 bonus hours". Please pray for Susie, her husband Matt and their daughter, Oceana, not only are they dealing with the loss of their precious little boy and preparing for his service but Matt has come down with the flu. They really need our prayers!!!

3. Molly Brown ( Molly passed away suddenly last night at 7:30 pm. Molly had been doing so well, therefore this was very unexpected. She had T-18 and lived 19 months, she was considered a long time survivor of this rare disorder. Her dad, Sean, is the Vice President of Development for the Trisomy 18 Foundation which has been such an inspiration to many girls given this kind of diagnosis. Please pray for Erin, Sean and their son, Gavin, as they deal with the loss of their precious little girl and prepare for her service.

Again, my heart is just so heavy tonight knowing all the emotions these families are facing. I had such mixed emotions on December 3rd when we were headed to the hospital. Excited because I knew Tristan was going to be born and that I could finally hold my precious little boy and scared because there was so much uncertain. I know so well the emotions Chrissy is feeling. And then, I also know the reality and sadness the Sams family and Brown family are feeling having just lost their precious babies.

Please visit these 3 sites and leave them a comment letting them know you are praying for them. I know it would mean so much to all of them to be remembered in these very difficult days.

James 5:16 says: "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (friend) availeth much."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Weepy Sunday

I have mixed feelings on Sundays now. A part of me looks forward all week to Sunday so we can go to church, sing songs and hear the message. The other part of me still gets so sad on Sundays as it is the day of the week that Tristan passed away. I would say that overall I am really doing good. The pain does not seem as real as it did a few weeks ago. I'm trying to take it one day at a time, or should I say one night at a time as that's when I usually struggle. But my nights are getting better and no more night time tears! Of course, just when I think I'm doing good and making it through the grieving stage faster than I thought I might, it hits me again!!!! Amazing how FAST the sadness can reappear and how QUICKLY the unstoppable tears flow in any given moment.

I was really looking forward to church this morning and hearing our pastor preach another wonderful message, as they all seem to apply to us lately. Just as soon as we drove past the hospital where Tristan was born the tears started flowing. I quickly wiped them away because I did not want Tanner to see them. They just kept coming and coming and coming. I don't know why I was so sad. No particular thought, other than thinking about Tristan so I had lots of tears all the way to church. We dropped Tanner off at the door of the Children's building and as we drove into the Preschool parking garage I told Trayc that I just didn't think I could go to Sunday School. Trayc said, "Why are you so sad today?", I said, "I don't know", he said, "Was there a thought you had?", I said, "No, but I don't need a particular thought, I just miss my little boy so much!". Okay, I said this last response with a little too much hurt in my voice and it came out like I was mad (note: this is not normally how I respond!). I said, "I'm sorry, I'm just so sad", he sweetly said, "It's okay honey, you're a mommy who misses her little boy". I think it came across a little harsh because I get so frustrated - frustrated with myself. One minute I'm so proud of myself for making it through this grieving process and making it through the days/nights without crying and then all of a sudden the tears start again which makes me feel so weak again and then I get scared that I'll have a set back and have to begin this process all over again! We sat in the car until the tears stopped. I attempted to put on a happy face as we took Tayden to his class but guess what? Yes, the tears came again as we walked past the nursery (first time I've had tears walking past there!). As we walked over to church I was trying my best to hide the tears because I did not want people to see me so sad. As the service began with singing, the tears came back again, but I lifted up my voice and prayerfully sing:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul!

Oh yes, there is no doubt this has been a weepy, weepy Sunday. This whole grieving process is still so new to me. I am reminded, now more than ever, how fortunate I have been in my 40 years of life to have only suffered the loss of one family member, my grandfather in 1993. My life has been so full of things to be thankful for: My godly, christian husband of 18 years, my 2 miracle boys (Tanner and Tayden), 56 days with our miracle little boy Tristan, our sweet home, all of my family members living here in the same town, being close to Trayc's family, our church, my friends and the list goes on and on. Therefore sickness, pain, suffering, death and grief have not been a part of my life. However, since I began this Trisomy 18 road in August it seems as though my life has certainly seen its share. Whether it's the cardiologist office where at least 15 children were waiting to see the doctor or 30 plus children waiting to see specialists at the children's hospital or all the children walking around the children's hospital in their PJ's holding their parents hand or being pushed in their wheelchair or children wearing cute little hats to cover up their baldness from chemo treatments or becoming friends with sweet girls on the Internet or whether its coming across other girls' blogs of similar situation, there are so many parents hurting and grieving.

Even though this journey has seen pain and suffering and the uncertainty of tomorrow, it has also allowed me to pray and see so many prayer requests answered. Each girl has prayed for specific requests throughout their pregnancy and how exciting it was to pray along side them and see the Lord granted their requests - what a great and awesome God we serve. This journey has also given me a renewed sense of thankfulness for all that I have and given me a heart for girls going through these kind of situations whether its due to T-18 or another kind of genetic disorder. My prayer list has never been as full as it is right now. There are so many sweet girls that have lost their precious babies. Although I only communicate with half of them on a daily basis, each one of them is in my thoughts and prayers every day. Today I just feel led to name these sweet mommies and would ask that you remember them during your prayer time as well, you can also read about their journey on their blogs:

Angie (mommy to Poppy Joy)

Kenzie (mommy to Maddox)

Kim (mommy to Mary Grace)

Emily (mommy to Miller Grace)

Kristy (mommy to Issac and Asher "Happy")

Boothe (mommy to Copeland)

Ginny (mommy to Eliot)

Kristin (mommy to Jonathan)

Kim (mommy to Christian)

Mandy (mommy to Madeline)

Heidi (mommy to Sully)

Some of these girls are further down the road of grief and yet others have just begun. No matter the stage of grief, we all experience the same emotions at one time or another. We have good days and not so good days. We are happy. We are sad. We laugh. We cry. We hope. We dream. We long for more days of emotional strength than days of emotional weakness. We are all learning to live a "new kind of normal". Whatever path we choose, we are all moving forward knowing the Lord will carry us through this stage just as He did throughout our pregnancy. It is so exciting to already see how the Lord is working in each of our lives. Some are writing books to remember their journey, some are waiting on a call from an adoption agency, some are waiting for 2 pink lines to appear on a pregnant test, or, like us, some are forming a foundation to help encourage girls that will eventually travel this same journey. And, whatever direction we each chose to take, I believe the Lord will bless each one of us for opening up our hearts and lives, for our trust and obedience to Him and our willingness to help all of the girls who come behind us.

I would ask that you also remember the following names of mommies who are either pregnant or their precious babies are still with them (they are amazing doctors each day as they beat the statistics!):

Connie (mommy to Mallorie, 1 year old)

Emily (mommy to Cohen, born March 5th)

Chrissy (mommy to Eva, due March 17th)

Cathy (mommy to Annabel, 3 years old)

Susie (mommy to Joshua, on Day 62 today)

2 Kings 20:5 says: "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you."

Monday, March 3, 2008

The 3rd

Yesterday morning, as we were driving to church and passed the hospital where Tristan was born, I realized that come Monday(today) it would be March 3rd - 3 months to the day that Tristan was born. I will never forget that day. Monday, December 3rd as we drove to the hospital with such excitement knowing we were finally going to be able to hold our precious little boy and yet there was fear as we were unaware of what that day would bring. We never imagined we would actually be able to bring our precious little boy home from the hospital and share 56 incredible days with him.

Those thoughts also led to me realizing that Tristan would have been 3 months old today! When I was pregnant and once we brought Tristan home, I NEVER, in 56 days allowed myself to think past the day we were celebrating, we lived "in the moment". However, since Tristan passed away there are days, like today, that my mind wanders and I think about where we would have been at this point. It's very hard to describe this emptiness in my heart and in my life, yet if you've lost a precious little baby then you completely understand. When you have a new healthy little baby you are so excited and you are bursting with an indescribable kind of love. You are very busy, every minute of the day/night, taking care of them. You have the every day excitement as you watch them grow and accomplish little things like lifting their head, smiling, taking more formula and before you know it you are buying the next size diapers and the next size clothes. Unfortunately, my hours are not filled with precious moments like those, they are only filled with precious memories of what once was.

I love being a mommy. It's something we longed for 5 long years before Tanner was born, 10 more years before Tayden was born and then only 1 short year before Tristan was born. We've spent a good part of our 17 1/2 yr. marriage trying to have children and build the family we so desperately wanted to have. So, now that I have suffered the loss of one of our precious children it's hard. I really miss Tristan so much. I miss those big brown eyes that were so alert, at night time of course. I miss watching him turn his head to the side as I would come up to the bassinet and talk to him. I miss rubbing his little face. I miss kissing his entire face when the feeding tube was out and he had no tape. I so miss that 24 hr care that made me feel like a new mommy! I long to feel those new mommy things like not getting a shower until 2:00 p.m., being exhausted to the point that I can't remember what day it is or if I've changed his diaper recently, what time the last feeding was, remembering if I gave him all his medications, just everything that comes with having a new baby!

I know that all of this is part of the grieving process and feel as though I am doing so much better than I ever believed I would be. Although I really wish the pain and emptiness I am feeling would go away sooner than later, what I don't want to do is rush it, ignore it or cover it up and it affect me years down the road. I know people who did not allow themselves time to grieve, people who rushed the grieving process and people who never actually got over the loss of someone and it has affected them to the point that it has changed their entire life. Right after we found out about Tristan having Trisomy 18, Trayc and I were laying in bed one night and I was crying and I said, "I am so scared of how this will affect me", "What if I never get over the loss?", "I don't want this to change who I am", "What if I never laugh again?", "I'm not a bitter or angry person but what if this destroys me?". He so sweetly, through many tears of his own, assured me that this would not change my personality, that we would still be the same close family, that our marriage would still be just as sweet, he promised me that he would not allow Satan to win in this situation and that as a family we would honor and glorify the Lord every step of the way. As much as I wanted to believe that back then, it almost seemed impossible as devastated as we were that night. But now, having just lost our precious little boy a mere 35 days ago, I can honestly say that it did not change my personality or who I am, I am laughing again, I am making memories again, I am not angry, I am not bitter, I am not angry or bitter towards God nor have I ever questioned why He allowed this for our family. What this HAS done is cause me to reach out to girls who are hurting, to have a more consistent quiet time, to have a more serious prayer life, to be more in love with Jesus than ever before, to trust in His plans more than my own, to be more committed to Him and long for Heaven to see the face of our Heavenly Father and to see my precious little boy again!

Please pray for us as we continue dealing with the loss of our precious little boy, as I work through the night hours and as we are diligently working on the foundation.

Bible notes (re: Genesis 50:1-11): When Jacob died at the age of 147, Joseph wept and mourned for months. When someone close to us dies, we need a long period of time to work through the grief. Crying and sharing our feelings with others helps us recover and go on with life. Allow yourself and others the freedom to grieve over the loss of a loved one and give yourself time enough to complete your grieving process.