Monday, September 30, 2013

Tattoos, Tombstones, Trinkets and Trust

Before we buried William we spent a few days looking for things to place in the casket with him. Talk about a strange shopping trip! I don't remember everything we bought, but here's a sample:

  • STL Cardinal's blanket (for Shaun)
  • Batman dog tag (Batman for my dad, dog tag for Shaun)
  • Auntie bib (for my sister)
  • Lamb (for my grandma)
  • Teardrop pin (for me, I have the keychain and card that go with it)
  • I AM LOVED pin (we distributed these at the funeral. I hand them out in memory of a friend in Heaven)
My keychain is so special to me. Unfortunately it fell off a couple months after I bought it. I have the heart in my purse with the card. For Christmas last year Shaun bought me a heart necklace engraved with William Christopher and angel wings above it. I wore it every day for six months. Then the heart started to wear out and my neck broke out. I desperately want a trinket that I can always reach for. Unfortunately I doubt this will happen with my allergies.

William is buried next to two other babies from our church. One family miscarried theirs at 16 weeks like us, the other was stillborn at 20 weeks. When we first visited William's grave I saw the little white name card by the first grave and felt like a failure. How could I forget to ask about a marker? How could I assume something would be there? An aunt gave us a beautiful statue that rests there, but there's nothing to identify William. Earlier this year the family with the stillborn was able to place a tombstone there. I know we can't afford that. I don't know how much it would cost, but with our limited budget I know it's not going to happen anytime soon. I wish I could. There was so much I wanted to give William, so much I wanted to do with and for him. I can't do any of it. I wish I could at least give him a tombstone. I wish I had the courage to call the funeral home and ask about a paper marker. 

When my trinkets kept breaking I slowly began considering a tattoo. I know there are all sorts of opinions on Christians and tattoos, and I DON'T CARE. I hope someday I can have a tattoo somewhere discreet and small to represent William. Somewhere I can touch it easily and always feel him close to me. I'm terrified of needles, and like I said, we don't have any money, so it probably won't happen soon. 

I'm learning a lot about trust. Obviously not enough, because God keeps giving me chances to trust Him. In the last year I've learned to accept I have no control over my family's health or size, when we have kids or if we do, and I've learned to trust through a variety of job changes. Every time I get comfortable, God shakes things up a bit again. My heart longs for peace, for something to be still in the chaos. I'm trusting God will continue to use these situations for good, for His glory. I'm trusting that He watches the sparrow, and He will provide for my family. 


It's been well over a year since we buried William. Most days I don't notice the gaping hole in my heart, but some days it still throbs. There are times when I feel 'normal', talking with friends and laughing together; but the really good moments are followed immediately by a collection of sympathetic stares. I can't talk about anything in my life, jobs, hopes for a baby, or anything else without everyone looking at me like I'm crazy. I know most people (especially women) truly do sympathize with our loss. Those who have experienced it remember the pain, and those who haven't are unsure what to do. I wish more people would SAY something instead of just looking. If you're really unsure what to say, whisper a quick prayer and tell me that. If I say something that is wrong or inappropriate, let me know. When you don't say anything, I always assume the worst.

I have some amazing friends. Many women stop occasionally and ask how I'm doing. I know several are praying for me. Those prayers are all that gets me through my really bad days. I hate that talking about miscarriage is so taboo. I hate that this experience has been so isolating. I hate that my boobs sill swell up when I hold a hungry newborn. I hate that I'm jealous. I'm still jealous. I try to fight it, I try to accept the blessings God has given me, and quit begging for more, but when my period is late and another friend announces her pregnancy, my heart just breaks. I want to believe I have decades left to have children, but most of the people I know who've struggled to carry children only have one or two. I want things in our life to go well.

We celebrated our anniversary yesterday. It's only been three years, but we've had a long three years together. We've lost jobs, a baby, gained vehicles and a church family. Our lives aren't perfect, but they're going the way God planned.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's in a Name

We chose four baby names while we were still dating. Two boy names and two girl names that have great significance. We never suspected we would have trouble carrying or conceiving. As we were preparing for William's birth we discussed names. Many of the names we had chosen were in memory of someone in Heaven, so we knew the other would agree to choosing a new name.

Problem: How do you choose a name for the child you are about to bury? We agreed we would pick two names, a boy and a girl. I immediately offered Shaun or Christopher to represent Shaun. He was totally against both. He never wanted a 'Junior' and didn't like the idea of using any part of his name. I don't remember talking about using my name; though I'm sure we did. I bought a new baby name book and we began looking for a boy and a girl name. We quickly agreed on William which means 'Will' or 'Desire'. It's our desire to follow Christ, and losing this baby was part of God's plan. We agreed on a middle name, but I don't remember it anymore. For a girl I desperately wanted to use the name Joy. We have Hope, and we're praying someday we will have a Faith and Grace, but we've never discussed Joy. Shaun hated it. How could there be any joy from this? For once in our marriage I was the one looking ahead. After much discussion we finally agreed on Amadea Joy, though Shaun still wasn't very happy with it.

The morning I was to be induced Shaun picked me up from my cousin's house. As soon as I got in the car he said. 'I've been up all night and I've come to two conclusions. If it's a boy I want him buried in Nashville and I want to give him my middle name.'

I was elated! I didn't want my baby buried an hour away with his grandfather, and giving him the middle name Christopher meant his name would mean 'Desire of one who follows Christ.' What a perfect way to honor God through our pain!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

That Time

If you've ever tried to conceive, you know the mixed emotions that come with That Time. For me it begins with the hormone fluctuations mid-cycle (I think that's when I ovulate, but who knows?) And ends about two days before my period ends. Until I see that dreaded spot of blood, I'm secretly hoping this will be it. A few times I've tried to convince myself I can still be pregnant, even with a late period. I really hoped this feeling of dread would subside when I accepted William's death. It hasn't. Every month I'm hoping, praying this will be God's time. Every month I feel we've waited long enough. And every time I remind myself we've just begun to wait. I know God has a plan. I'm trusting it's good. I just want peace with my irregular cycles, and I want the desire for a big family to go away. I really think we're just waiting, and that's why God has allowed the dreams of a big family to grow. If you have any stories of waiting for God's timing, please share them. I've barely lasted a year, how will I survive ten or twenty?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Radio Girl!

I have a massive bucket list of things to do. Realistically I probably won't ever finish it. Well, tonight I added and crossed one more thing off my list. I'm on the radio, in an actual interview! So cool! Thanks to WBGL for this opportunity. I'm praying it helps many people. :)

Here's my take on the show:
Wow! Every song is just what helped me survive the months following my miscarriage.

Tree 63: Blessed Be Your Name: I saw this band in concert before they were famous, when I was still in high school. If I knew then how much their music would mean to me over the years, I would've kept their autographs! Every blessing, no matter how painful, I will ALWAYS turn back to praise. Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Your Love Never Fails: I'm so thankful for this! Otherwise He would've given up on me long before William's birthday.

I Can Just Be Me: Laura Story: Her book What if Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops REALLY helped. I love her so much. <3

Toby Mac: Get Back Up: It's never too late. We can always get up. Nothing lasts forever (thank goodness!)

Mercy Me: Word of God Speak: I prayed this many times. Help me be still, show me your majesty, it's so hard to accept the wait.

Citizen Way: Should've Been Me: I don't think I've heard this before, but I like it. :)

Casting Crowns: Courageous: This song was released about the same time we found out we were expecting. Every time I heard it I prayed for Shaun to have that courage. It took losing our baby, but he has it now. What a blessing!

Francesca Battistelli: Strangely Dim: Oh, how this song helped. I loved to worship to it following William's loss (I still do!). When we're seeking God, we aren't focusing on our circumstances. His power holds us up.

Chris Tomlin: Holy is the Lord: I like this song. Not one of my favorite rocking out songs, but it's a great worship song.

Newsboys: Something Beautiful: I love everything the Newsboys ever wrote. Love it all. This song reminds me to enjoy the beautiful moments in life. We have so many, and if we just rush through life we miss them.

Matthew West: Forgiveness: I had to learn to forgive God for taking William, and forgive myself. I struggled to accept there was nothing I could do about it. I didn't do anything wrong. God has a plan, and this was part of if.

Kutless: What Faith Can Do: If I had a dollar for every time I sang this song, well, I wouldn't be working where I am! Faith can do wonderful things.

Mandisa: Overcomer: This song is fairly new, but man it helped during those last few months leading to William's birthday. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and he will help you overcome ANYTHING. You're an overcomer! Don't give up! God is holding you. How cool is that?! Note: I love the fact that T-Mac is referenced in it. :)

Psalm 127

Royal Tailor: Remain: Another new song. I like it! :)

Sanctus Real: Whatever You're Doing: Yup, this sums up so much. It's hard to surrender to God, but it's SOOOO worth it.

Thanks for listening, if you were able. If not, thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Blog!

I've thought about this and prayed about it for over a year, and finally decided to go for it. I don't know how much I have to say, or whom it will help, but you never know if you don't try.

So, why a new blog? Well, I've struggled with the grief after losing William, and wanted to find a way to share thoughts, images and Scripture that remind me of him, or helped with the healing process.

What's with the title? I love rainbows. I always have. Now they remind me of William. I know many women look for a "rainbow baby" after a miscarriage, and I want to stress that is NOT what the title refers to. I don't know what God's plan is for our family, and I'm not looking for the answers. He'll let us know when He's ready. Remember, the rainbow was originally a symbol of God's covenant with Noah to never flood the whole earth again. So, maybe subconsciously I like rainbows because I know God keeps his promises.

I also want to note I chose this background because dandelions are one of the few "flowers" I'm not allergic to. Earlier this spring our yard was full of them, and I desperately wanted to cover William's grave with them. I couldn't of course, but God had a better plan. He covered it with violets and Star of David. So cool!