Fresh Vision

hugging family 2015

Hello there ol blog.  I’ve been pondering you and if I should return to write for a while now.  The tyranny of the urgent (a fancy phrase I learned in my Bible study class) has been coaxing me to wait until later.  But, here I find myself sitting criss-cross applesauce in my upstairs hallway while I make sure my sweet girls – who are now 8 and 4- are trying to take a nap.  Restless sleep and really early mornings coupled with what will be a late night at church is the driving force behind this mandatory nap time.  The nap filled day isn’t common around here any more!

A story about what drew me back to writing… a story amongst many stories that have been coaxing my hand back.  I have decided to homeschool Harper again this year.  She had a fantastic time in public school last year, but over the summer we began to have more and more conversations about homeschool.  She was asking me to come back home, and I knew it was for the right reasons… it wasn’t fear driven.  It wasn’t due to anything negative (not that it is wrong to homeschool for that reason).  I just knew putting my kids in public school was actually a God trust thing that He asked me to do, so I obeyed and He showed me He would take care of my kids no matter their education situation.  Totally side tracked here from my main point… but just filling you in on our life.

So, Harper is home with me while the boys (who are now 7!!!)  requested to be in separate classes.  They are doing alright, but the independence isn’t proving to be as thrilling has they had hoped. J  Haven is also home with us, but will begin a little preschool program in September.

As I was preparing for our tutorial, Classical Conversations, I read a quote that I want to share with you.  Leigh Bortins, who created Classical Conversation shared this as she explains what CC is about,

We constantly strive to show students that all subjects are important because they all reveal God’s glory.  We want students to be able to study anything the Lord puts before them and not groan, saying, “I hate Latin,” or “I’m not good at math,” which instantly shuts down opportunities to serve Him.  (p 25 Foundations Guide)

After I read that quote I knew I had to write again because I want to show God’s glory!  In high school, I always saw myself as a poor language arts/ grammar/ English student.  I was a very slow reader, and just didn’t care to dig into literature.  My papers would come back with a bagillion marks on them- just proving the point to myself more.  I never felt qualified.  I squeaked by English in high school, then took just what I needed in college to move onto the fascinating sciences- what I loved!  So I labeled myself a ‘terrible writer.’  Shut that down quick.

Yet, somehow God has redeemed writing in my life without me really knowing it!  I began to blog back in 2007 when I was desperately wanting a baby.  Blogs were just coming onto the scene, even though I had been journaling years before that.  It was how I spoke with God.  I knew God wouldn’t judge my writing.  He just wanted me to communicate with Him.  So I did! Writing helped me stay concentrated instead of falling asleep while praying.

Through many babies, I could easily express my heart to my few readers.  This sweet blog helped friends and family stay connected to our little life.  After the triplets this blog began to grow a little, and then I felt so overwhelmed by making this blog something special.  What I failed to see was that it WAS something special because it was a mother journaling about her family!  I got a little overwhelmed with the possibility of growing this blog into something bigger/ more/ better, that I just had to walk away from it completely.

God has redeemed a WHOLE lot in my heart and life over these past few years.  I could care less if I get 2 people who read this- in fact, let’s just keep it that way… mmmkay?  Just a few eyes, and a few hearts.  I hope one day my children will have this to access.  A glimpse into their mother’s heart of how I dealt with life.

Back to the quote…. I read that quote and had to write.  I’m writing for God’s glory- for all He has done for me!  Our life is sweet and beautiful and precious.  I enjoy fully living it!  I won’t capture it all… that is for darn sure.  Sometimes just eating the ice cream cone first is SO much better than stopping to take a picture of it!  Yet, I would give anything to take a glimpse into my grandmother’s life when she was raising her 5 kids!  Now, we can do that, so I’m back!  I’m sure it will be here and there, but this ol’ little home of mine on the internet is about to get a little lovin’!  I’m not letting my fear of not being a great writer stop me!  It’s just me making my little corner of the internet a cozy little home!


Home <3

Now, onto the load of laundry sitting to my left, and then my calendar with a big to do check list sitting to my right.  Happy Wednesday!

Part 9

I stayed the night in the ER waiting to be admitted to the hospital. There weren’t any beds open in the hospital. I was thankful I at least had a room as there were all sorts of people (crazy people) lined up and being treated on beds in the hallways. That tiny, hot room could have been a place of misery or it could have been a respite. I chose for it to be the latter. So many things to be thankful for – my life, a bed, privacy, kind nurses, God’s presence, a precious husband.  I could have gotten upset at many things (no a/c, construction in the hallway right outside my room, crazy woman next door hollering her head off, having to use a shared bathroom with all the ER), but I was just thankful.

I was released almost 24 hours later. Precious friends had already been showing us so much love. A homemade Italian meal was waiting for me at home made by my friend Lori. All my girls (The BSLs) had pitched in and given me an amazing gift certificate to a spa. Gifts were brought, flowers arrived, meals and desserts nourished our family and filled us with love – even when the givers didn’t quite know what to say.  It showed me that all I need to do in times of loss are just show up.  Be present.  Words aren’t needed.

I came home so very grateful to be alive. I was so thankful to hug my kids again. I was so thankful to hear their laughs and fights. I received their snuggles with happy tears. I brushed my teeth, took a shower, and slept in my bed with my favorite sheets. I slept 11 hours that first night home. Pretty sure I haven’t done that since I was in high school!

But that grateful high eventually gave way to the grief. After appreciating all these gifts, my heart began to ache for our baby boy. It was too soon. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I had just said hello. My whole body stung.

The grief and tears would come out of nowhere. I would be going along fine (read: watching movies, napping, resting), and then BAM – something would remind me and the tears would overtake. My crying would turn into heaving. The further away I got from the day of the loss, the more I expected things to level out. Nope. Grief doesn’t happen that way. It is a crazy jumbled mess! Anger, hurt, and sadness are just all throwing punches. Then, after a little while, the tears stop, there is a calm, and life carries on.  Life went on like this for months.

I think one thing I learned during this time was not to fight the grief or rush it- to let it come as it may. Having loved ones and trusted friends always be a shoulder to cry on definitely helped, but at some point they just wanted the pain to be gone. They are wanted me better, and it was impossible to just ‘snap’ out of it. There were many days I wish I could have snapped out of it! Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed. So I didn’t. Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, but there wasn’t a choice. So, I would cry as I washed dishes, or cleaned up the house. I would cry folding laundry…and pretty much did a pitiful job at whatever job I was doing while crying.

Christian music helped me a lot. Listening for ways God would encourage me to keep walking. To keep hoping in Him, and the future He has for me. And one thing I learned…

The best way to get through any time is to be fully present.  Fully grieve, fully celebrate, fully sleep, fully eat.  Be present and feel, experience, don’t push it away.  It isn’t easy, but it is the fastest most complete way through it.

Two songs during this time that really helped my heart: I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe. As I continued going through counseling through this this time, one truth my counselors truly wanted me to grasp is that suffering alone is terrifying. It is dark and hopeless. It is scary and you want to claw your way out as fast as you can. Life with out *knowing* Jesus leaves us vulnerable to suffering alone. When we know Him, He promises to never ever leave us. I can tell you that I have never felt His presence closer than when walking through this time of loss and grief because I knew Jesus was right here.  I wasn’t questioning whether He did this to me.  How could He allow this?  I’ve learned so much more about His heart after walking with Him, studying what the Bible promises, and praying.  I believed this truth. He has been faithful. We aren’t promised a life of ease by believing in Jesus Christ, but we are promised that we will not go at it alone.  And that takes so much of the scary out of those ‘what if’ times.

The other song that I held onto was a verse from Amazing Grace.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
as long as life endures.

I heard this the second day I came home from the hospital. I was extremely weak and scared that I would start bleeding at any moment again. I put on some praise music (my usual go to when feeling anxious) and this song came on. After hearing the words, I had to go and google the song so I could hear it again and again. Yes, Lord – you have promised good to us. It may not look like what the world says it will look like, but you – you can help me see that good. Your word is where our hope is found, where promises are made and they are kept. You have proven this over and over.  Your word is where I have hope! Oh and Jesus, you have been my shield! You will keep being my shield! And you are the most perfect portion. Always perfect. And I get to walk with you all my days left on this earth and for eternity!

If you know Jesus, you are not alone. Do you truly grasp that? Do you know that you are not alone?! Today, tonight- choose to believe that you have an Everlasting God walking beside you. Now, talk to Him regularly because He is always there. And, don’t forget to listen because He wants to speak to you.

Part 8

I woke up quite groggy.  Everything was so white and clean around me.  I was in a big recovery room with about 8 different beds.  We were divided by curtains.  I thanked Jesus that He saw me through it.  A sweet nurse came over to check my vitals and ask how I was feeling.  I was feeling very sleepy.  There was no sense of how much time had passed.

Chris was eventually allowed to come back to see me.  It was so good to see his face and have him kiss me on the forehead.  But I just wanted to go back to sleep! I had to be able to go to the restroom on my own before they would allow me to leave.  The other patients were being discharged right and left.  I finally got up to go to the restroom and wake up more.  They measure your urine output as well as blood loss out put to make sure it isn’t too much.  (This is an important part of the story, even though it does seem like TMI :-)) Everything was fine and very normal.

The doctor spoke with Chris and told him things couldn’t have been more textbook.  I had minimal blood loss from the surgery, and there were zero complications. I should make a full recovery at home.

I was eventually allowed to get dressed.  Chris went and got the car.  I told my nurses goodbye as one of the hospital workers wheeled me down to meet Chris.  I got into the car and we drove off toward home.  We talked about grabbing some dinner on our way home since we would have about a 45 minute drive.

That was when I first felt it.  Was I bleeding?  I knew I would have some bleeding after a surgery like this, but was this normal?  I felt it again.  “Chris, I think I might be bleeding?  What do we do?  I don’t remember this from last time.”  I tried calling one of my dearest friends, Christine, who is a nurse, but she didn’t pick up.  Call Holly, Chris said.  Holly is a labor and delivery nurse who also volunteers as nurse for many student activities (camp, mission trips, etc) at the church.  Chris called her and she picked up right away.  I explained the situation about the very normal d&c but how I thought I was bleeding more than I should be.  She very intently said, turn around and go back to Vanderbilt.  I thanked her and got off the phone.

I told Chris I needed to go to the restroom before we could turn back around because I was afraid I would make a mess with all this bleeding in the car.  We were right at the exit of our church, so we pulled in so I could do what I needed to do.

Chris parked and jumped out to help me out.  The second I stood up, it was like a nightmare.  I started bleeding profusely.  My shoes were filling with blood and it was pooling around me on the sidewalk.  I was shaking and told Chris I knew I needed to lie down.  Chris started unbuckling and ripping car seats out of the 4 Runner left and right – throwing them into the back so I could lay down on the back seat and head back to Vandy.  I finally lay down and realize the bleeding isn’t stopping.  I start to shake and tell Chris we won’t make it back, he needs to call 911.  While he is on the phone, I decide to text a few of my prayer warriors.

I hear the sirens within a minute of him talking to the 911 operator.  The ambulance pulls up and two paramedics jump out.  One comes to either side of the car – one at my head and one at my feet.  They are so kind and comforting.  They pull me onto the gurney and into the ambulance.  During this time, our pastor comes out and sees all that is going on.  He told me later that I was so pale that it really scared him.

Chris wasn’t sure if he needed to follow me to the hospital or ride with me in the ambulance.  I was sure I was going to be just fine and we would probably be coming home that evening – (hahah!)  I told him to follow me in the car (which looked like a crime scene).

The second that the doors closed on the ambulance, I started shaking.  They said my body was in shock over the blood loss.  I just started saying Jesus’ name over and over again.  Calling on Him because I was afraid and had no idea what was about to happen.  Right when I began to say the name of Jesus, I began to have this peace come over me.  He was near to me.  The paramedics started an IV to make sure I got enough fluid so that my blood pressure wouldn’t drop too low.

We arrived at the hospital and I felt like I was in some sort of TV show, except it was happening to me.  The sound of sirens, medical staff describing me as “33 year old woman with moderate to heavy blood loss.”  People were running me on the stretcher into a room, lots of hustle and bustle.  They were asking me not to close my eyes.  They were taking my clothes off of me. One sweet nurse was cleaning all the blood off. Another nurse had to start another (much larger!) IV. I was being hooked up to all sorts of machines.


In the midst of all of this chaos, I remember the peace.  This was unlike any peace I have ever felt or experienced in my entire life.  It was all-consuming.  I knew I was being held by the Almighty.  Even though, that could have been a very fearful situation, I was not scared at all.

And y’all, there were angels.  This is going to sound crazy, but it was real.  I could not see them with my eyes, but I knew they were there when I closed my eyes.  There were at least 10 and they encircled my bed (3 on each side of my bed, and 2 at the head and foot of my bed).  They were huge – like 8-9 feet tall and they were dressed like Roman soldiers.  They had massive wings.  This peace and feeling like my dearest friend who could fix this problem and would fix it was right by my side.  The peace, the safety, the security.  I just kept saying, “Jesus, help me remember this.”  I was loved, I was safe.  There was nothing to fear.  His presence was so close.

It is hard to recount something that you didn’t see with your actual eye, and yet have the faith to believe that it is so real.  But, I will never forget the heavenly peace I tasted that day.  It is real and I want you to believe that it is real.  I was close to something we, as women and mothers, think up in our minds and dread…death.  Have you ever lain awake at night with the creeping feeling of fear about to strangle you with all those what ifs?!  What if I die?  Who will take care of my kids? What will happen if I lose my child?  What if this were to happen? What if…..

Can I tell you right now to stop even thinking all of those what ifs because Jesus is enough.

He is more than enough to be there when you are drowning in your what ifs.  He is more than enough to meet you where the waters are the deepest.  And His presence is like no other when unfathomable things happen.

The doctor later told me had we driven home first, I wouldn’t have made it.  I don’t know how close I was to death, but I think I was pretty close. I touched the skirt of heaven that Wednesday, and it was so wonderful.  I wasn’t concerned about my husband or my children.  I knew they would be taken care of- that they were held by the same hands holding me.  I had the most immense peace – if I could let you taste it, you would realize Jesus is always so near.  There is nothing to fear when you know Him.

My prayer is that as you read this, you will truly look at your own life.  Do you have a relationship with Jesus?  You will know right away if you do or if you don’t.  If you are questioning it at all, spend some time asking Jesus for some understanding and for Him to meet you where you are.  I would love to talk to you more about this, as well.  Email me.  He truly wants to know you like friend – not just for you to know about Him.

Through a lot of testing they realized my body had gone into D.I.C. (Disseminated intravascular coagulation)  Basically my body was just catching up to the fact that the baby had finally been released, and then it freaked out.  It started bleeding rapidly and then just couldn’t stop.  It is very rare, and it took all my doctors by surprised when I showed back up at the ER.  I received 4 bags of blood along with some pretty invasive procedures to stop the bleeding and to help bring my blood back to the point where it could clot again.

I will ever be so thankful for the health care professionals who saved my life that day.  But, what I will never ever forget is that Jesus is so very very close.  He is always enough.  So, any of those fears that creep up – I replace them with the fact that He will always show up when I need Him.  And He will do the same for you.

Part 7

The next morning I woke up so peaceful.  My heart was heavy, but I was so thankful I didn’t have to deliver.  I must say I did struggle with my decision a little bit, though.  Would we have been able to hold our baby?  Would it have brought more closure?  Would we have been able to say goodbye?  After a tearful conversation with Chris and my Mom, we knew that our baby boy was with Jesus.  It would be his body we could say goodbye to if I had decided to deliver, but not his soul, his personality.  As guided by my midwife and doctor, we would not know the shape that little body would be in after being passed away for about 6 weeks.  Saying goodbye is hard no matter what.  I have to lean on that peace that was so tangible the night before when this option was offered to me, as well as the truth that I know this little one is with Jesus now.

We had to be at the hospital by 10am.   I couldn’t eat because I would be having surgery.  I was just jittery and nervous as I finished getting things ready.  All the kids hugged our baby goodbye and told me and Chris goodbye, too.


We got to the hospital and did a lot of waiting.  We finally settled into a room to get prepped about 12:15.  We watched a little HGTV and texted the kids.  I told them I would be home around dinner time and I couldn’t wait to hug each of them while Mommy gets better.  I have had a D&C before (with another early miscarriage) , so I thought I knew a little about the recovery and what to expect.  My IV was started and I was given a cool hat, gown, and yellow socks.


The doctor came in and we were able to talk a little bit about the procedure.  He assured me that it was safe to do all the way up to 20 weeks.  That pained my heart because all I could think was about abortions.  Not that this is the way you have an abortion, but maybe it is?   Maybe it is one way?  I don’t know.  I was just so overwhelmed by the grief of it all.  My heart ached for any women in this position who had to say goodbye to a life.  Because no matter if you believe this is a life or not, you cannot argue the fact that your life was effected by the (“embryo, fetus, fetal tissue”), baby that lived inside of you.  An impression was made because for however long you carried this life, you carried a soul.  And for that, the world will always be changed because that tiny little life changed it’s mother’s heart.

Whether that mama chose life or not…regardless, that life impacted hers for eternity.  It could have made her feel bitter or angry.  It could have made her feel shameful.  It could have made her feel excited and hopeful.  Whatever it may be… it imprinted her heart.  And as a woman, we all know if we are feeling any of those emotions above we are going to affect those around us!  A soul, no matter how small, will never leave this world the same.  I would like to ask a mother who may be contemplating the inconvenience, the life change, the shame that she think this baby may bring… Would you reconsider?  Would you allow this little life to have it’s full impression on this world? It will be for the better.

I’m so very thankful to know Jesus and the peace that He brings.  Without it, I would have no where to anchor all those emotions.

As I continued to talk to the doctor, I was given some of the wisest advice that really aided in my healing.  I asked if I would I be okay to fly in a week or so because my sister was having her first baby?  He looked at me and said – “It is really hard to feel two emotions at one time, and you have a big emotion of grief and sadness to deal with.”  (Yep, I started crying.)  He guided me to rest at home and allow those emotions to begin to process before going to see my sister and her sweet baby.  He said to wait about a month, and then go.  I cannot tell you how invaluable those words were to me.  I wanted to be with my sister desperately.  I loved that sweet baby inside her dearly, but I also needed to value my heart and allow it to heal.

Chris and I prayed together after the doctor left the room.  I was nervous, but okay.  I was wheeled back to the OR.  The last thing I remember was laying back and having the mask placed over my nose.  I wanted to close my eyes, but I kept making myself keep them open to make sure they didn’t start anything too soon! hah!  And the next thing I knew, I was waking up to beeping machines and sweet nurses….

Part 6

We drove home to tell the kids.  I was dreading this part.  My heart was racing and I just knew they would be so disappointed.   Chris and I prayed before we shared with them.  It is funny because I only remember a few details of this day.  I remember gathering them to sit on the couch, and they were asking if the baby was a boy or a girl.  We shared that the baby was a boy (our boys cheered!!!), and that he went to heaven to be with Jesus.  I wanted to make sure that they knew the facts, though, so we told them that the baby didn’t have a heart beat and the baby had died.

Harper immediately started crying.  Haven came over and hugged me.  And the boys, well they asked if they could go to the pool. :-)  Wasn’t really expecting that.  But the next thing I knew, I was laughing so hard through my tears.  Five little children were running around our living room naked as could be because we said yes they could go to the pool!  hahah!

The kids definitely peppered the day with questions – Is the baby just visiting Jesus?  He will come back, right!?  No guys, he won’t be coming back.

I would like to say it was all sweet and thoughtful questions like the ones above.  Harper drew a picture for me before we left for the hospital that had our whole family.  I was still pregnant and the baby was in my tummy- which was so sweet.  But, upon further inspection, I realize the baby’s tongue is hanging out of it’s mouth and it has x’s for eyes.  I was couldn’t decide if it was hilarious or horrifying.  She said- see mom, that baby in your tummy is dead.  Wow.  Thank you, sweetie.



One thing I have come to realize is that kids do not process death the way we do.  She did not have motives to hurt my heart, she really was just trying to give me a picture of our family because she loves me.  Harper wasn’t the only one to say really direct things to me about death.  I am pretty sure all of them said something that stung my heart at some point.  I have come to know that is just their way of processing death.  They don’t understand sympathy or empathy yet.  Since they haven’t encountered any death before, this was definitely something new to process.

One thing that helped them so much was the gift my next door neighbor gave me.  She, having lost her husband just a couple months earlier knows grief all too well.  She gave me the gift of an angel figurine holding a new baby.


When my kids saw this, they were better able to understand where our baby was – in heaven.  They would even come and tell this baby that they missed him, and kiss him goodnight for about a month after.  It gave them something tangible to say goodbye to.

Another gift to my heart was going to my friend Bekah’s house later that day .  Bekah had just given birth to a new baby boy just days before.   She is a doula, and also helped me with my boys when they were itty bitty.  There was a comfort being around her.  I went to her house to get some supplements to help my body in the next few days. Her family was in town visiting. Bekah’s mom had miscarried two babies…one baby at 4 months.  So there was such a comfort knowing she had walked this road.  Having her mother pray over me was such a gift.  I held sweet baby Bazar, and the family cried and covered me in prayer.

We got a call that afternoon saying I was scheduled to come in Tuesday evening about 8pm.  They would begin induction and allow the drugs to take action over the next 24 hours.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I was dreading this.  I just kept telling Chris I wish they could knock me out.

Apparently because I was 22 weeks, I needed to deliver the baby as the risks were higher having a d&c this late in the game.  I just kept thinking -what is going to come out of my body?  I was 22 weeks at the time, but the baby had passed at 16 or 17 weeks. That was 5-6 weeks ago!!  We called funeral homes to see the cost of burial/ cremation.  It was astronomically expensive.  I asked if we should have a photographer there.  Even a nurse I spoke with told me we aren’t sure the state the baby will be in when delivered.  There may not be much to photograph.  So many questions with so many details no one wants to deal with.

At some point the kids finally went to the pool.  There was just a cloud of heaviness surrounding me.  I kept thinking – Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it.  (from the book We’re Going on A Bear Hunt)

We had a lot of snuggle time and walks around the neighborhood.  I remember a specific walk back from the pool where it was just me and Harper.  We held hands and talked and told our sweet baby goodbye.  We asked Jesus to comfort our hearts.  She was so tender and sweet.  She told him she would miss him.  IMG_9693We packed and readied ourselves to go to the hospital.  I had everything done an hour before we were supposed to leave.  We had eaten dinner and I was just so nervous.  I did not want to do this.  No peace whatsoever.

We were about to load the car when the phone rang.  It was the midwife who was on-call (a different midwife than the one I would usually meet with) at the hospital.  She told me she had been looking at my chart and that they were ready for me, but she had brought my chart to the head OB doctor to have him look at it.  Together, they both thought it would be best emotionally and physically for me to get a D&C the following day.   They said my case was very different from someone delivering at 22 weeks.  I still could safely have a D&C.  They said delivering would be physically taxing and emotionally taxing – especially delivering a baby that had passed away 6 weeks prior.  My heart immediately knew this was the answer.  I had such peace.  We would go in the following day to have the procedure done.  One more night at home in my bed!  I was so very relieved! …