Monday, April 30, 2012


On Mondays, I catch you up on the beautiful gifts — both large and small, hard and comfortable — that God has been giving me.  Start your own One Thousand Gifts adventure by clicking on the banner below.

... the Still Standing Magazine launch party, with its week of fabulous giveaways (including something from me, to be revealed on May 1!)
... International Bereaved Mother's Day coming up on May 6, making me feel a little less forgotten
... a sweet, emotional time with God on Saturday morning
... hugs from the Best Husband Ever
... standing in his arms, my face against the warmth of his neck
... reading the exact things I needed to hear at just the right time
... emailing with a faraway friend
... giving up control, willingly
... the unconditional love of my husband showing me God's unconditional love
... being woken up by dog cuddles

Sunday, April 29, 2012

{Sad Hope Songs} "I Will Carry You" by Selah

I find it strange that I haven't written about this song yet.

This song came into being after Todd and Angie Smith found out that their daughter, Audrey, was incompatible with life.  She was not expected to survive pregnancy, much less live outside of her mother.  Miraculously, Audrey did survive the pregnancy, but only for a few precious hours.

You may have followed Angie's blog about their journey toward their daughter's inevitable death.  That blog, this song, and Angie's book by the same name chronicle what Angie calls "the sacred dance of grief and joy."  Impossibly, Angie's words and this song point toward hope.  Toward life, even though death was (and is) all around.

I cannot express how profoundly I have been impacted by this song and by Angie's writings.  When I need to cry . . . wen I need to rejoice in the midst of difficult circumstances . . . when I need to feel less alone in this lonely journey of babyloss -- I turn to this song.  I sing along, or sob along, and feel so grateful for the faith and courage it took to birth this love song into being. 

Every weekend I share a song that has been particularly soothing or healing to me since my daughter, Eve, was stillborn. I call these “sad hope songs,” because they are usually melancholy sounding but also full of the beautiful hope that is born out of pain and suffering. To pass a song on to me, please leave your recommendation in the comments.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

An Album For Eve

Today I finally put Eve's photo album together.  Since we got our photos back from the hospital, I've been looking for the exactly right, wonderful-est, most perfect way to house them.  But of course nothing was perfect enough.  So her photos remained homeless.

At first I started a scrapbook.  I had planned to start it when I was still pregnant, but didn't.  When Eve died, I was determined to make her a scrapbook.  But when it came down to it, the task was overwhelming.  Part of that was because, whenever I went shopping for supplies, everything was so happy.  It seemed to make my sadness even worse, to mock my loss.  I hated it.

The other part of the overwhelm was caused by (you might have already guessed it . . .) my need for the scrapbook to be absolutely perfect.  Apparently I forgot that this would only be the second time I'd tried my hand at scrapbooking ever, and expected it to be the most impressive, detailed, and expertly dimensioned scrapbook the world had ever seen. 

The last part of the overwhelm that I felt came from the sheer emotion of the task.  This would be the only thing I could ever make for my daughter -- and it wasn't even for her, really.  But it was as close as I'd ever get, and when it was finished . . . well, then her death would feel so final, her life so dreadfully over.  I suppose I've come to a better place of the acceptance of the finality of her death now, at least at times, but I still can't bring myself to continue the scrapbook.  

And so Eve's scrapbook remains unfinished, tucked safely into a box.  I hope that one day I will be able to finish it.  But for now, it can wait.

That still left the problem of her photos unsolved, however.  I decided that the next best solution to a scrapbook was a photo album, and so I began searching for one.  But none ever seemed right.

Finally, some weeks ago, I found this one.  Pink and purple, sparkly and deliciously girly, it seemed to whisper my daughter's name to me (for some reason, this album's "happiness" did not seem to bother me like it had with the scrapbook supplies).  So I bought it, and toted it home . . . and left it to collect dust.

Until today.  Yesterday I was having some cramping that, while I'm sure is totally normal, freaked me out (you understand, my fellow pregnant-after-a-loss friends), so my doctor recommended that I take it easy for a day and just try to relax.  So that's what I've been doing today. 

Except that it was boring (if I'm ever put on bedrest, I'm going to be in trouble).  So, while I was idling through our house, looking for some way to occupy myself, my eyes fell on the abandoned album.  I picked it up, gathered Eve's photos, and before I knew it the task was completed.  I even started our rainbow baby's photo album, with its sweet giraffes (and which had been collecting dust for even longer than Eve's album).

Was it hard to do?  In some ways, yes.  The photos of us with Eve in the hospital are hard to see.  A large part of me wishes that time could have stopped right then, that I could just live in the few moments I had with my daughter, in the moments when the sadness had passed and I was basking in the mother glow, a mama with her new baby, happy and proud. 

But in putting together the album, I can also see that I've come a long way from that time.  That, although it doesn't feel like it, there has been healing.  Not complete healing, but some.  Enough that I can get out of bed in the morning with a sense of hope, not fear.  Enough that I can look toward the future with anticipation instead of longing only for the past.  Enough to know that it is okay to miss my daughter forever but also enjoy what I can of this life that I've been given. 

I am glad for that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Springtime Gratitude

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On Mondays, I catch you up on the beautiful gifts — both large and small, hard and comfortable — that God has been giving me.  Start your own One Thousand Gifts adventure by clicking on the banner below.

...a springtime hike with some sweet and silly pups
... entering trimester #2 safely
... Still Standing Magazine
... being able to feel glad of a sunny day
... making peanut butter chili for a warrior-friend
... sleeping in after staying up until all hours playing Munchkin with the hubs and friends
... grapes
... our young marrieds small group
... cleaning while listening to worship music
... singing
... hearing Baby #2's heartbeat for the second time 
... marshmallows
... looking definitively pregnant
... flip-flop weather
... naps


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Struggling to Surrender

something new.  #mixedmediaI have been struggling.

I was going to write about how I am struggling to make art, to be creative.  But although that's true, that's not the whole picture.

The truth?  I have been struggling, period.

It's hard to write about.  Because I so want to be that woman who effortlessly gives all her pain and anger and questions to God.

But that's not where I am right now, and I hate that I'm not.  Instead, I'm in that awful place where I want to hold onto every scrap of hurt and let it grow scar tissues over my heart in an effort to prevent any more pain from getting in.

Really, I don't want to do that.  But I am doing it. Even though I know that it won't work like I think it should.  I feel like I can't stop myself.

I know what part of the problem is -- I don't want to come before God, to admit that He is God and I am just me.  I don't want to give all that I am and all that I love into His hands, because something so precious has already been taken.

That's what it feels like right now -- like He took Eve.  Even though I know that He didn't kill her.  God is not in the business of death.  But still, He had the power to save her, and He let her die.

And now that I'm pregnant again, how do I live with that reality?  With the reality that there is nothing preventing this new little one growing within me and all of my future children from dying?

I don't want to pray Your will be done, Lord, because it's so risky.

There were some times during Eve's pregnancy that, when I was praying, I found myself thinking that I should be praying that kind of prayer over her, but couldn't.  Perhaps God was even leading me to pray that way.  But I just could not bring myself to say, "She's Yours, Lord, no matter what that means for her life or mine."  It was too scary.

And it still is.

How do I pray for this new baby, knowing what happened to my first?  But then there is how God took care of me (and still is, although I cannot feel it or see it) -- with love like that, how can I not give my life and my loves to Him with hands spread open and accepting?

Will you pray for me, friends?  That I will pry open my clenched fists and let Him have it all?  Because it's His anyway, whether I surrender it or not.  And I want to be the woman who surrenders to Love, always. 

I want to be the one who says yes and yes and yes to the adventure life that her Maker has mapped out, no matter the deserts He lets the path winds through. 

And please, I wonder -- am I alone in struggling in this way?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still Standing

Perhaps you have spied the new banner at the top of this blog's sidebar.  It proudly proclaims that I write for Still Standing Magazine!  And I cannot express how honored and excited I am to have been asked to be a part of this project.

Still Standing is a magazine on babyloss and infertility.  It is for those of us who have lost our babies to miscarriage, stillbirth (like me), SIDS, trisomy, or any of the other many ways death can claim our precious children before or shortly after birth.  It is for those of us who long for children, but whose wombs remain empty and unoccupied.  And it is for those who are friends and family of the grieving, of the empty armed, who bravely ask, "Why?" right along side of those of us who long for the children we had too briefly, or not at all.

You probably know my story of loss -- of my first and (at this moment) only daughter, Eve, who died without warning, without known cause, and was born dead on November 20, 2011.  But I have had my own brush with infertility, too, making Eve's short life even more of a miracle in my mind.

In 2008 I began receiving outpatient treatment for anorexia (which later was joined by bulimia and compulsive overeating).  Although I did not understand it at the time, I was afraid that my new husband would leave me or not love me if I was anything less than perfect, so when we we began dating in 2006, I went about the business of trying to make myself perfect.  I tried to have no needs, including physical ones.  I began to restrict my food intake while ramping up my exercise.  Soon I was doing over two hours of intense exercise daily, while not eating nearly enough to sustain such an active lifestyle.

At first I just thought I was "getting healthy," as I began to lose weight.  But soon my new "healthy" look morphed into one of starvation and disease.  I looked like a skeleton, although I thought I had finally achieved perfection.  I looked like I was one step away from death, and I probably was.  My hair was falling out, my skin was dry, and my chest ached and I sometimes experienced sharp stabbing pains to my heart.
I stopped menstruating.  And stayed stopped, for years.  Even after I had gained a great deal of weight, after I had reached the point where, if my period was ever going to start back up on its own, it would have.  My doctors and therapist told me to get used to the fact that I had probably ruined my body's ability to have children. I felt crushed and unsure what to do.

One day, however, in the summer of 2010, my period returned.  On its own, with no help from birth control pills. I was elated, but still my doctor warned that it was likely that I would ever be able to sustain a pregnancy, after the strain the eating disorder had put on my body.

And then, miraculously and without trying, about one year later I found myself feeling awful and nauseous, and wondered -- could it be?  I hardly dared hope that my pervasive nausea could indicate new life growing within.  After all, wasn't I have supposed to have basically made myself infertile?  And yet, there it was -- a positive pregnancy test, the first definite sign of Eve's existence on this earth.  I felt ecstatic and afraid and so, so grateful that God would take the damage I had done to my body and heal it so completely.
Until Eve died, and I found myself lost and confused and so very alone feeling.

I wish that Still Standing Magazine had been around when I was grappling with apparent infertility and then loss, so that I could have drawn comfort from the fact that so many women have experienced the devastation of babyloss and infertility, and yet are still standing.

I find it miraculous that I am still standing today, exactly five months after my daughter's stillbirth.
I hope that you will join me and my fellow writers as we introduce Still Standing Magazine to the world before the site officially opens on May 5.  If we have to experience such a terrible, special kind of grief, let us do it together, friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today I read an unsettling pregnancy loss statistic -- that 6 in 1,000 pregnancies end in stillbirth.

That's less than one percent.

How did I become so unlucky?


Monday, April 16, 2012


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 ... the world budding as spring makes itself known

... making the yard pretty with the Best Husband Ever

... talking with a sparrow

... Costco pizza for lunch

... chatting with friends at church

... snoozing pups

... learning that a brave babylost friend enjoyed the baby shower she hosted

... taking photos of flowers and dirt and the Best Husband Ever

... feeling angry after weeks and weeks of feeling nothing

... waking up crying, the tears feeling exquisitely good after so much numbness

... an unplanned nap with the chihuahua as a pillow

... reaching the second trimester of this new pregnancy

On Mondays, I catch you up on the beautiful gifts — both large and small, hard and comfortable — that God has been giving me.  Start your own One Thousand Gifts adventure by clicking on the banner below.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

{Sad Hope Songs} "Sparrow" by Audrey Assad

Today I talked with a sparrow.

The Best Husband Ever and I were at Home Depot, browsing landscaping stones, when a sweet chirping captured my attention.  I looked up and, cheeping from the rack just above my head, was a sparrow.  Tiny and perfect, he blinked at me as I moved closer, my breath stolen away.

Sparrows remind me of my daughter.

The association snuck up on me.  One evening not very long after Eve's death, I read Jesus' words in Luke:

"What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."

As I read, the thought occurred to me -- Eve is my little sparrow, of more value to God than I can know.

The truth of that has been so comforting through these weeks and months of darkness.

Today, a sparrow said hello to me.  I said hello back, letting excitement flutter deep within.

Excitement.  When was the last time I felt that?  Even the new life growing within me has been more of a source of confusion and worry than anything else.

And yet, there it was -- excitement.  Unlikely and bittersweet and real.

Here is the source of my excitement: I have a daughter, and although I did not know her here, she is alive -- more alive than me, than I will ever be until I meet her again, when we are safe together in the arms of the One Who Makes All Things Right.

A sparrow reminded me of this.

Why do I keep forgetting that this broken life is not the end of the story, but only the beginning?

I hope that there will always be sparrows to recalibrate me toward the impossible, inexplicable reality of Christ.
Every weekend I share a song that has been particularly soothing or healing to me since my daughter, Eve, was stillborn. I call these “sad hope songs,” because they are usually melancholy sounding but also full of the beautiful hope that is born out of pain and suffering. To pass a song on to me, please leave your recommendation in the comments.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life Recolored


When I think of my life before Eve died and was born, it seems like someone else's life.  It feels unfamiliar.  Could those days have really been lived by me, in this same body that bore death?

It is impossible, but somehow true.

There is life before and life after, and they are the same life, yet feel like two.  And I don't know who I am, stuck somewhere in the middle of before and after.  I wonder if I will be stuck forever.

It feels to me like the two lives are colored in shockingly different hues.  In my memory of the before, there is so much light, so much bright color, even though there had previously been deep darkness in my growing up years.  Finally, though, everything was coming together -- faith, health, family, purpose, and meaning all converging into beautifully stitched together life.

Until the unthinkable happened, and the light vanished.  Or perhaps it didn't disappear entirely, but faded drastically to the point of feeling gone, and gone forever.  Life after is colored differently, muted and drab, both in my mind and in what I perceive with my physical eyes.

So much of the color has gone.

And really, I'm not so unhappy about that.  Because days when the sun is unclouded and the world is bright and beautiful are the hardest.  I want the world to be dark and light-lonely with me, and I writhe in pain when it isn't.

But even though I am at peace with my faded life, questions still remain:

Will the colors return?  Will the smooth blue of the clearest sky ever pierce my heart again, or the purple and yellow of the flowers we just planted ever conquer the stone wall of my sadness?

Will I ever love the brightness of spring and glow of summer evenings again? 

Will my darkened heart ever be overcome with brightness in this life, this new and strange and grating life?

Is the person who I was, the girl who loved light, gone forever, gone with my daughter?

I don't know -- and I don't know if I care, either.  I rather like the drab, the gray.  For now, anyway.  It feels more right than the multicolored life I used to know.

So I will wait, wait until I know what to hope for from this strangely tinted life, and try to feel my way through the dark.

Has grief recolored your life?  How do you cope with that reality?

On a related note, I recently discovered this video from Grief Speaks on the topic of grief and beautiful days.  It helps me to feel a little less alone.  I hope it does the same for you, too:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gratitude Monday Returns

spring snow

After Eve died, I kept up my gratitude journal, even though it was difficult.  I intended to keep counting gifts indefinitely, but as I neared and then passed my one thousandth gift, I noticed a shift in my feelings about counting.  Instead of being an exciting (and challenging) experiment, it had become a chore.  Something to do because I was a "good Christian," something that would earn me status and worth.

My counting had turned to legalism.  And so I stopped counting.  I want to only do this experiment out of a sense of want to, not have to or "earning."  And I think that I truly did need the break, because I didn't miss the counting.

Until a few weeks ago.  As I prepared to share my story of gifts-counting and stillbirth and pain with the women of my church, I began to feel sad that I was not still counting God's gifts to me.  I missed cataloging this evidence for myself, these attestations to God's love and care, especially in the middle of crisis.  So when I started working through Beth Moore's Believing God study with my women's small group, I was not unhappy to see that the workbook set aside space to count gifts daily.  I began counting again.

This time I am counting without numbering each one, hoping to avoid judging my worth by my performance, by the amount of gifts that I can see.  I am letting my efforts be smaller -- to not want to count a certain quota of gifts per day, to let myself take a day or days off without guilt if I need to.  I am interested to see where the second phase of this gratitude experiment takes me.  But for now, to the gifts . . .

... spring snow

... a beautiful time at a friend's birthday party

... new worship songs on my iPod

... Suzi Blu art videos

... feeling lovely for Easter

... a special, surprising present for our rainbow baby

... scrambled eggs and french toast casserole shared with friends

... playing cards at a coffee shop with the Best Husband Ever

... Easter dinner at my in-laws' house

spring snow 

On Mondays, I catch you up on the beautiful gifts — both large and small, hard and comfortable — that God has been giving me.  Start your own One Thousand Gifts adventure by clicking on the banner below.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Easter, as far as I understand it, is the ultimate story of love and redemption, of being known and being seen by the only One worth being known and seen by.

I did not expect Easter to still hold these things for me this year.  But Holy Week has played out in unexpected ways, and I feel that the parts of me that bitterness withered and broke have been reclaimed by God for life.

I don't know how He does it, only that I am grateful that He does -- and that He wants to.  Is my Easter story a microcosm of the larger story of Gethsemane and Golgotha and the empty tomb and the Christ proven as Messiah, bringing life and life and life?  That kind of question feels too large for me.  All I know is that this is my Easter story:

. . . spending Holy Week dreading another holiday that rubs my nose in the fact that my daughter is dead

. . . feeling dead

. . . feeling forgotten by God

. . . Easter morning dawning with sun and loveliness

. . . feeling surprised by wanting to dress up for church, and feeling the energy to follow that desire

. . . a favorite dress left unworn too long making me feel lovelier than I have in months

. . . the anonymous, wonderful, miraculous gift left waiting near the place where I usually sit at church -- a gigantic stuffed teddy bear holding a "happy Easter" card for Baby #2, remembering Eve and honoring this new, tenuous life

. . . loving the small and large ways that God loves me through my brothers and sisters who live for Him and die to themselves

. . . remembering that God does not forget, ever

. . . the reminder that my friends have not forgotten

. . . feeling a willingness to hope again be reborn in me

. . . numbness and apathy breaking for the first time in weeks and weeks

. . . feeling convicted and challenged to continue giving love and life a chance, to resist hiding myself away, alone and lonely, in an empty attempt to save myself from further pain and disappointment

. . . Jesus breathing resurrection's life into me again, again, and a thousand times again . . .

Our rainbow baby got his first present today - a humongous bear! Thank you SO much, whoever is our special gifter! 

What is your Easter story?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Why I am Still Believing God This Easter


Easter is my favorite holiday.

At least, it used to be.  Before Eve died.  Now, I am not sure how I feel about Easter, because it is a holiday -- another milestone day to highlight the fact that our family is missing a member.  That my heart is limping.

Eve's death provided me with an opportunity to test what my faith really means when it comes up against the devastation of real life.  At first, as we waited for our daughter's body to be born, I couldn't feel God in the midst of all of the confusion and fear and pain, but I trusted that He was there.  It was a tenuous, desperate trust, but it was trust all the same.

But that trust disappeared after we left the hospital without her.  Those first days at home were terrible.  God seemed silent, apathetic, or worse.  C.S. Lewis describes my feelings in those early nights of grief better than I can:
"But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.”

And after that, after hearing nothing and feeling so much pain, I tried to give up on Him.  I didn't want anything to do with this God who let my daughter die and had nothing to say about it, or about anything.  But that didn't work, because it was then, for the first time since Eve's death, that I began to feel Him pursuing me.  Even though I hated Him, I couldn't deny Him.

Black berries

But how could I ever trust Him again?  How could I trust the God who could have saved my daughter, and didn't?  I wasn't sure, not for weeks.  But one night, as I lay in bed crying and praying, I realized -- God is a bereaved parent, too.

That realization transformed my world.  God and I, we have something in common -- our first children died.

And not only did His son die, but He voluntarily gave up His son.  His only son.  Now, in the wake of my own daughter's death, I cannot fathom what such a decision must have cost.  What it might still continue to cost.

God sent Jesus to a cruel, shameful fate -- willingly.  Willingly, Jesus submitted to nails and whips and scorn and death.  Death that altered Jesus permanently, that left His body scarred even after resurrection's life.

In the face of God's extreme, audacious willingness to let His son endure perhaps the worst end imaginable, how can I say no to Him?  How can I not trust Him?  How can I not believe everything that He has promised?

The cross, the cross -- how did I never understand it before?  Not only is it the vehicle of our redemption, but it is the ultimate proof of God's trustworthiness.

It is why I still believe in God.  The cross, really, is all that I have.  Is all that any of us have.  Without it, what else matters?

And with it?  Everything matters, every breath, every person, every tear, every love, every color, every joy, every loss, every everything.

Today is Good Friday, the day when we remember Jesus' death for us.  This is, perhaps, the first Easter season that I have truly understood what this holiday is actually about.  What sacrifice, what cost, and what pain bought our lives.  Bought my daughter the life she is enjoying at this very moment in Heaven.
“Suffering invites us to place our hurts in larger hands. In Christ we see God suffering – for us. And calling us to share in God’s suffering love for a hurting world. The small and even overpowering pains of our lives are intimately connected with the greater pains of Christ. Our daily sorrows are anchored in a greater sorrow and therefore a larger hope.”

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us."

~ 1 John 3:16

Central Park

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Eve's 20 week ultrasound
Eve at her 20 week ultrasound
Today I had my second O.B. appointment for this pregnancy.  I felt much calmer leading up to it than I thought I was going to.  That was a gift.  Instead of worrying, I spent the morning peacefully cleaning the backyard and doing my prenatal workout DVD.

Even so, just being in my doctor's office is hard.  There are so many memories there, too many, of what has been lost. Of how silently things can go wrong.  I sat in the waiting room, wondering if those minutes were the last that I would have before finding out the worst.  Again.

When my doctor listened for the heartbeat, she found it right away -- not like at Eve's 12 week appointment, thank God, when it took my doctor several stressful minutes to find the heartbeat.

Eve's 20 week ultrasound
Eve, 20 weeks
Still, even though today my doctor only had to search for a handful of seconds before detecting the sounds of Baby's heart and considerable squirmings, those were terrible seconds.  I hate the empty sound the doppler makes as it searches and does not find.  The sound that has become synonymous with death.  The last sound we heard before my doctor turned to my husband and I, nearly 20 weeks ago now, and told us that our daughter had died.

Today, that sound brought tears of grief to my eyes, as well as tears of gratitude when I heard our second child's heart beating so strongly for the first time.  Ultrasounds, heartbeat checks -- shouldn't these be fun, happy occasions?  But for me, they bring fear and sadness mixed in with the joy.

At times like this, I feel robbed all over again.  Robbed of the chance to share life on this earth with my daughter.  Robbed of my innocence.  But because she was taken too soon, I am now celebrating the life of her younger sibling.  A sibling who would not exist if she hadn't died.

What a strange life I am living.

Eve's feet
Eve's little feet at 20 weeks

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baby Socks

It started with baby socks.

Not long after Eve died, I felt like God promised that we would not only have another child, but that it would be the boy.  I still don't know if this promise came from Him or from some strange subconscious thought, but it kept me going as I crossed what should have been the finish line of my first pregnancy, Eve's due date. I felt compelled to step out in faith in this perceived promise, and so I bought baby socks -- the softest, most cozy socks I could find.  Socks for a little boy.

I immediately felt foolish.  I tucked the socks away in the room that would have been Eve's and tried not to think about them.

A few weeks later, a pregnancy test shocked me with its positive result.  Pregnant again.

For the first month of this pregnancy, I felt incapacitated by fear.  I couldn't do much besides huddle on the couch and try not to want this second baby too much.

Then the Best Husband Ever and I went to our first appointment of this new pregnancy, and our doctor reassured us that the baby looked healthy and had a strong heartbeat.  It seemed impossible, but the truth of it began to melt my fear.

One of the many, many losses that Eve's death has brought about is that I no longer have a living daughter to lavish sweet gifts upon.  I was so looking forward to dressing her in adorable outfits, tying back her curls into little pigtails, and decorating her nursery in purples.  As I prepared for her arrival, I began to shop for clothes, and happily there seemed no end to cute little girl outfits.

Boys, it seems, are not afforded the same attention by stores.  It has been hard for me to find even remotely cute clothing for baby boys.  After the loss of Eve, this truth hurts more than it ordinarily would.

But a few weeks ago, I saw a baby boy outfit that I actually liked -- no, loved.  Striped turquoise and green with a little collar, I could not leave it on the rack, and so I bought it.  I took it home and hung it on a tiny hanger in my closet.

Again, as with the socks, I wondered if I had done something foolish.  If I was just setting myself up for more pain.  But, unlike the socks, the outfit is just too adorable to ignore, and so I continue to think of it and hope happy.

Today I went to Target, for sneakers, but somehow I found myself trailing along the aisles of the baby department.  It was hard for me to be there.  After Eve died, it literally terrified me.  And now, even though I have a legitimate reason to be shopping for baby items, I feel like an imposter.

But then I saw it -- a diaper bag, one that I actually liked.  The first I've seen ever, in fact, that I liked.  I fussed over it for what seemed like a long while, ignoring very pregnant mamas and their bellies as they shuffled past.  I reached fingers gingerly into each pocket and hideaway, wondering -- do I dare buy this?  It wasn't like the socks, or the outfit, which barely cost anything.  This would be a significant purchase, and one that I know would hurt if the worst happens again.

I bought it anyway.  I left the store with my prize, feeling heavy.  I drove home in tears.  Am I a fool? I kept wondering.  Am I?  As soon as I got home, I stashed the bag in the closet holding the rest of the baby things that would have been Eve's and now never will be.

It started with baby socks.  Baby socks that I had no reason to buy, but now have every reason to own.

And I have every reason to hope, don't I?  Sometimes it seems that that cannot be true.

Still, I will not give up hope.  And I will not give up on living out that hope, even if I feel like a fool every time I do.

Because really, those socks, that outfit, and the bag are more of an encouragement than anything else.  They are vital pieces of evidence to myself -- evidence that I refuse to stop believing even when I have every reason to.  More than that, they are evidence of the greater hope I have in God, and He is faithful.

Besides, I feel like I have no other choice.  I can either practice hope, become lost in numbness, or wither in fear.  There seem no other options.

Can you relate?  Do you ever feel that you must step out in faith, like you have no other choice?


Monday, April 2, 2012


Apparently my blog was infiltrated by a virus (or multiple viruses).


After a morning of work, however, I think that the blog is now virus-free and safe for use.

And, since I was tinkering anyway, I made a number of other changes.  I updated the blog's appearance, which I always find exciting.  I also updated the badges on the sidebar, including one for my newly opened RedBubble art shop, and a new one revealing that I am writing for the brand new online babyloss publication, Still Standing Magazine, which is so exciting.

Last but not least, I updated the links in babyloss/grief section of my resources page.  Be sure to check them out -- there are some awesome ones!

Whew!  I think that's about it.  I'm very sorry if the virus issues here have made life troublesome for you.  I definitely recommend doing a regular virus scan of your system if you can.

Thanks, friends!  Happy Monday!

p.s.  I'm almost 12 weeks into this new pregnancy.  Wow.  I can hardly believe it!