Saturday, March 31, 2012

Four Years Later: A Reflection

Four years ago on this date I was a little over 8 weeks pregnant with our first baby.  We were so happy and enjoying our secret joy for a little while longer before we told our families and friends.  That all changed around 10 or 11 that night when I started spotting.

A lot can happen in four years.  I had no idea on that night four years ago just how much more pain and anxiety, excitement and hopefulness my husband and I would go through.  On the night of March 31, 2008 I don't think I would have wanted to know even if I could.

It's interesting, really.  I remember questioning God's will so, so much at various times during the last four years.  Why did we continue to lose children?  Why were my cycles not returning?  Why could my body not maintain a pregnancy?  Did God have other plans for us that did not include having children?  If so, what were they and when was He going to let us in on His Plan?

Going through a pregnancy loss is like nothing I have ever dealt with in the past.  Death is a part of life, but it isn't supposed to happen before that life gets a chance to live.  Knowing that your baby has died is incredibly painful.  And then to have to go through the physical pain on top of it adds even more to the burden already on your heart.  No woman, no mother, should ever have to go through this.

I have been asked several times how I ever got through this three times.  Honestly, I don't know.  Perhaps having a strong faith in God and knowing that He wants only good for us, His children, has helped me.  But I can't say that for certain.  In the midst of those loss experiences, my thoughts were not nearly that deep.  It is only with distance and reflection that I can start to have even the smallest amount of imagination as to what carried me through.

Today as I remember that very first loss, I remember the physical pain I experienced, I remember the love and support that was showered on us, and I remember the emotional pain and confusion over the whole thing, I am also thinking of a dear friend who is experiencing all the same physical pain, emotional pain, confusion, and hopefully love and support in the here and now.  I'm heart broken for her, her family, and the child that they will never get to welcome into their family.  There are some experiences that are fun to share with friends.  This is definitely not one of them and I hate that my friend and I now share this common pain.

So today, as I think of my little saint, little Casey Marie, I pray for healing for my friend and her family.  I appreciate your prayers for us on this day, but I ask for your prayers for Baby T and the T family.  Although four years and two children later doesn't change my grief over that first loss, the T family needs many prayers right now as they deal with this grief that is still so fresh and new.

Friday, March 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 38


Basketball: In honor of March Madness, I decided I needed a sports themed quick takes with a twist.  And speaking of basketball, I have never done a bracket as part of a pool.  Well, this year we were moving the very week that brackets had to be done.  At the very last minute, just before my husband took down our wireless, I quickly did a bracket in a pool with some friends of mine.  I didn't have time to create one for the pool my family does.  Oh well, maybe next year.  In the pool that I am in, I am currently fourth, although I'm second by best possible score.  We'll see what happens.


Wrestling: I'm getting good at this.  I may have to watch some wrestling in the summer Olympics this year, I may need some pointers.  The boys will not be allowed to watch, they do not need any pointers.  Let me tell you, changing diapers and getting them dressed is becoming quite the workout!


Rock Climbing: I think Peter could get into this sport!  He's doing a good job climbing up on just about anything vertical: shelving units, baby gates, boxes, mommy and daddy, chairs, and even walls.  Nothing stands in this boy's way.  He climbs over Ethan and Ethan gets a kick out of it.  I love Ethan's laugh!!


Weight Lifting: One of my regular exercises now is carrying about 36 pounds of baby, 18 pounds in each arm.  It took me over nine months to get to the point where I can actually pick them both up at one time.  They still can't help in any way, but they do hold on some once they are up in my arms.  And I don't know why, but Ethan finds this hilarious as well.  Such a silly boy!


Mountain Climbing: Not really, but it sometimes feels like it!  I know I'm out of shape and this is a daily reminder!  The whole point of being able to lift both boys at once is to cut down on going up and down stairs to get them both up or down for diaper changes and naps or lunch time or down to the basement where we set up a playroom and then all back the other way again.  Now I can make one trip, 36 pounds of baby and two flights of stairs.  Phew!


Swimming: Ethan LOVES water!  From the very beginning he has loved bath time and still does.  While Peter has learned to crawl, Ethan seems to be a fish out of water.  His mode of getting around is the butterfly stroke.  It's so funny to watch!!  Not only is he doing the butterfly, but he gets so excited when he sees something he wants, turns himself towards it, and then starts his "stroke" to get there, making excited little noises the whole time.  And it keeps going and going since his attention is very quickly caught by something else the moment he reaches his original destination.


Walking: We have been walking every morning since just a few days after we moved into the new house.  There is a small park with a walking path around it that is about a mile long.  Each morning after breakfast we get everyone in the stroller and head out.  The weather has been so unseasonably warm lately and these morning walks have been great!!  I love that the park is so close!  I haven't done this much walking since I belonged to a gym, which was over a year ago.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary.
Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Video for I have a say

Yesterday the video got posted for our "I have a say" counter-campaign on the Catholic Sistas website.  We got a lot of photos from people across the country.  If you sent one in, thank you!!!  If you don't see your photo in the video, don't worry, we hope to post pictures on the blog that didn't make it in.  We got so many that the person putting the video together was not able to get them all in.  More photos are welcome as well.  We're not above making two videos if we get enough!

Check you the original post explaining how the video came to be on the Catholic Sistas page here.  Video included.

Father John Hollowell of the Diocese of Indianapolis also posted the video on both of his blogs:

Thanks again to all who sent in photos.  You helped make this video a reality.  Please share the links above and the video with as many friends as you can.


Friday, March 02, 2012

I have a say ...

The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, is presuming to speak for all women across America in supporting the HHS Mandate that will require all employers to provide contraceptive, abortion, and sterilization services for free to all employees regardless of religious moral beliefs.  You can see her video here:

But many of us do not stand with her and do not want her speaking for us.  So we have started a counter-campaign.  We are collecting photos to put together a video in response.  And we need your help!!  Create a sign that says "I have a say ... Cecile Richards does not speak for me!  Here comes the Catholic Church!" (be creative) and take a picture of yourself holding up the sign.**  Be sure the sign is legible.  Here is my picture:

Once you have your picture you can get it to us two ways:
1. Post it on the Facebook page for the Gospel of Life Committee -- Diocese of Owensboro, KY
2. Send it to designsbybirgit{at}me{dot}com and it will be downloaded from there for inclusion in the video.

Here is another sample of photos posted by Designs by Birgit.  Send us photos as soon as possible, the sooner the better.  And have every member of the family participate, you do not have to be a woman to do this.  Thanks!!

More information on "I have a say" at Catholic Sistas.

**Or use this sign:

7 Quick Takes Friday, vol. 37, The Late Edition

-- 1 --

So much has been going on and thus I haven't posted on my blog in almost a month!!  Here is one of the reasons why:
We sold our house!!
-- 2 --

We are now renters!  We closed on our house, but are still living here.  We were given 30 days from the closing to move which worked out great for us. We close on the new house a week from today and then we will start the moving process.  Let the packing begin!!

-- 3 --
In a January Quick Takes post I shared how Ethan was pushing himself up on his toes but I had no pictures at the time.  I do now!!
Ethan doing his push ups.

A floor view.
-- 4 --

We have had such a mild winter, as I imagine many people around the country have had.  We have flowers already blooming in our yard.  These were from a few days ago when it was still February:

-- 5 --

A midst the packing and house closings and taking pictures of my boys, I also have a sabbatical project I'm working on.  Yesterday I posted an update at the two month mark on the blog I set up for the project.  If you're interested in what I'm working on and how it is going you can check it out here: Two Months Gone, Four To Go.  (And feel free to look around at the different pages I have there and "Follow" the blog if you are so inclined.)

-- 6 --

Also written yesterday but posted today was a bit about the challenges I have while working on this sabbatical project.  I have several purposes for why I have a sabbatical blog.  One of those is to journal about the project so I have a record of things for when I need to produce something later: an article, presentation, report, whatever.  So that's why I have a post that seems a bit more about my life than it does about the project.  For readers of this blog, this post may also explain why I haven't been posting much here lately: Sabbatical Challenges.

-- 7 --

Finally, the boys are nine months old now!!  A couple pictures for your amusement:
Feb. 29, close enough to being 9 months old!
Peter on left, Ethan on right.

Peter has discovered that he can climb things.  Ethan isn't quite sure what to make of it.

Peter's climbing antics include over his brother.  He knows no bounds.
Enjoy the weekend!!  For more Quick Takes visit Conversion Diary!