Tag Archives: yellowrosescq

 Joy 

You never expect the betrayal. The failure. The frustration or pain. The anxiety. The longing. It’s your body you should be able to trust it to just work and do it right. The miracle of conception is intricately incredible; yet somehow it just happens. God is so clever in his creation of humanity… Except for when it doesn’t work like that.   

Miscarriage, pregnancy loss, acrania .. You lose all trust in your body to do what it should competently be able to do. After you’ve experienced this you lose the joy that is associated with pregnancy and childbirth. Fear, anxiety, worry, concern all rooted in this lack of trust for your body; its failed you once what’s to stop it failing you again.     

The robbing of pregnancy joy is one of the meanest things. It affects relationships; infertility, recurrent miscarriages, pregnancy loss, long journeys to conception, health concerns for mum and Bub, super fertile couples who never have a worry. How do women communicate over so much variation of experience?     

But what is perhaps meanest about pregnancy no longer having instant easy joy- is that it isn’t just pregnancy that you struggle to find joy in. When successful (even the fact you talk like that) it’s child birth and the new life also. It’s sometimes almost effort to find joy in your newborn, not from lack of love, but you have to fight through the fear and memory of storms and death. 

  
 
It’s hard to forgive your body for failing you. But then you have a healthy child after your storms and grief and longing… And slowly but surely this is the deepest healing that takes place and then, joy. But in a different experience, not because everything just happened as it should. But because you survived pregnancy, conquered fear and relearnt how to open your heart to baby love again- and in some ways it’s a deeper more beautiful joy than you ever knew possible. 

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Friendships 

I realise that quite often when I write about relationships in relation to our grief journey I’m often negative. People weren’t supportive in the way I needed, though I can’t tell you how they were wrong, because I don’t really know what would’ve been right. That’s tough.

The last few times we’ve visited what was home (I say that cause I don’t really know where home is now), I’ve said to some friends “if there was a time for you to stop being my friend, It’s been and gone.” We moved away nearly three years ago, we’ve had a miscarriage and lost a baby, I have changed so much as a person. If this friendship was going to fail, it would’ve happened already. 

Friendship has been such a funny thing for me, my whole life. I went to six schools, four in my five years of high school. I never really stuck around long enough to make real friends, or if I did I moved again and we were young and didn’t know how to maintain a healthy long distance friendship.

In my life now I have friends, not many who are still true ten years on (and some that are yet to reach that milestone but still just as true). This week, Thursday just gone, was Emmanuelle‘s second birthday. Every day in the week the postman came with something for Daniel and I (and there is still one to come!- joy of living in the regionals), there was more cards and gifts then I receive on my birthday!

I wrote this post, and now in reflection feel like for the first time I gave permission and articulated expectations of how to support me in grief. Remember. Acknowledge. And so many of you have done that, and we appreciate it so much.
Last year I felt so different emotionally. I felt like no one else remembered our girl; and as such all the grief, sadness and hurt I thought she deserved, it was me, and me alone, who was responsible for feeling it.

Not this year. She was remembered. Thank you. 



Friendships through grief are super tough. The griever (?).     —what’s the word for that?-–  changes so much from who they were, and in the transition have such raw and vulnerable heart, it’s tough to stick it out with us. But persevere, please. We are still here, we are just changing. It hurts so much when you don’t show you love us still, can love us through. Grief and loss, well, it reveals a trueness of our character; depth of faith, passionate and fierce love, vulnerable uniqueness. We’re survivors. Stick with us, survivors are the kind of people you want to be friends with.

Trust me, I have a few of them.

So friendships… I am blessed with the people who know and love me. I am blessed with a close circle of women who have loved me consistently and absolutely. As who I was, who I became, and who I am.


“I never understood sisterhood before walking through pain. Now, I don’t know where I’d be without it. I’m strong, yes. I try to carry others with me, yes. But without the ones carrying me it would be impossible.” 
Scribbles and crumbs 


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depression | anxiety

Day five and six. Depression and anxiety. Big topics.

Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed. Some days I was angry. Some days I had no patience for our firstborn. Some days I was rude to Daniel. Some days I was rude to strangers. Some days I was sad. Some days I could smile and mean it. Some days I just ate ice-cream and cried. Some days I read novels or binged tv just to escape my mind. Some days I survived by prayer and the word alone. Some days I tried to turn from God. Some days I thought things I would never admit again. Some days I was ok. Some days I was good, some I was not. But I survived, breathed through the 24 hours to get to a new day. And then somehow, one day it just started to get easier.

Two days when we should share about how loss affects our mental health; there is so much… but for me two things.

I knew God was right there with me in my broken darkness. Faith was the fortress of my heart, it protected me, my marriage and my family.

The Awesome God You Are” Matt Redman

Let Your majesty speak peace to me


And chase my fears away


To my heart I preach Your sovereignty


And the power of Your Name

I’ll stand in awe of You alone

 

God let hope arise

And faith become the fortress of my heart

I will lift my eyes

And see You as the awesome God You are

Believe You as the awesome God You are

 

 

 

steady heart” by Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook

Though the sky is dark


And the wind is wild


You’ll never leave me, You’ll never leave me

For me, God is the only way I made it through.

** In October, for Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month, I’m participating in #iwanttotalkaboutit #YellowRosesCQ project with daily writing prompts.

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Support 

Five months before our first miscarriage, our little family moved eight hours drive north for ministry. Our families, except my brother, had already moved away from us and then we moved away from our friends who were like family. No one really knew about our first miscarriage….. Then came Emmanuelle. And we were still living hours and hours away from our real support networks. 

My mum got on a plane and stayed… My dad was a few days behind. And my in-laws would’ve been too if they were in the country. But it’s not appropriate for everyone to come invade space.
 
Perhaps the biggest act of support I remember was from four couples within the same immediate family. I was speechless and they made me cry. I was overwhelmed that I could feel so much of their love when they were so far away. 
They placed an online grocery order- for ice cream and treats, snacks and a new DVD for our biggest boy, and ingredients for a few of our favourite meals, and staples like milk, bread and toilet paper. 
Just randomly delivered to our door by a man, and it didn’t matter if I answered in two day old pyjamas. There was no invasion of space, no awkward conversations to be had- but boy o boy did we feel the love! 

I feel like sometimes people fluff around in these kind of posts so today, well, I’m going to be a bit more straight forward. Obviously all of these depend on your level of relationship with the family, so please use your own discretion. 


How can you support someone who has just lost a child? 

1) Food 

They won’t feel like it or want it, but parents need it. 
A grocery order is great- no awkward “do I have to invite them in?” “What’s the right thing for me to say?” 

BONUS- if you know them and what they like you’re guaranteed success. 
Frozen meals- text to organise delivery time, deliver in a throw away container that can be frozen and write what’s inside it on the lid. Quick knock and be on and off the doorstep in under five minutes. Don’t expect to go inside and please- if the child has a name, mention it. When you don’t it’s deafening. 


2) Siblings 

A new DVD gift, child friendly of course. Frozen nuggets or potato gems that just need to be thrown in the oven- simplicity. Because the siblings may be the only ones who actually eat, and the easier to prepare the better. A colouring in or ball is great- something for them to do without their parents. 

Say, “on Wednesday I’ll pick johnny up at 930 and take him to the park and out for lunch if that’s ok with you?” While the parents love their children, they need individual space also. Short bursts of love and holding it together is all that can really  be managed to begin with. 

  

3) Practical love  

After about a week, invite yourself over because you want to clean/cook. Come with a chocolate milk or peanut m’n’m’s, and clean the bathroom, vacuum the floor, tidy the kitchen. Or if you can’t, or circumstances don’t allow for that, say- “I’ve paid for two hours of cleaning with this company, when is a good time for them to come?” 
Don’t wait for us to ask for the practical help (Again this depends on your level of relationship). I already felt so much failure, I wasn’t going to then admit that I was falling behind at cleaning my bathroom also. 


4) Remember

Write the date in your phone calendar and set an alarm for a few days before and day of: one month, six month, a year… Send a card to arrive that week- I have one friend who times this so well and I’m so thankful.
The fear is that the child will be forgotten. We want you to remember but if we have to remind you ourselves it doesn’t matter when you say something, because you didn’t remember.



Remember the babies birthday, remember at Christmas and other holidays, especially the first ones, that for us someone is missing. 
Gifts such as an engraved necklace, pandora charm, picture book etc are lovely gestures when done in the right way.


4) TALK (perhaps most importantly)

– Use the child’s name, it doesn’t hurt us more, rather it is powerful that you continue to speak their name. It helps us. 

– don’t say you understand– even if you’ve had similiar circumstance, it’s similiar not exact. 

– be the first to make contact.. Don’t wait for the parent to reach out “when they’re ready.” Text or call or something. Even if we don’t respond, we read/heard it and that’s what we needed. 

– phrases like “this sucks” are appropriate to use. Because sometimes it just does. (Sorry mum)

– ” it’s ok, you can have another child.” – you don’t know that. 

– “There’s a reason for everything, they’re in a better place.” Just. don’t. even. 

– good phrases : “I wish I knew the right thing to say, just know I’m here.” “My favourite memory is….” 

– honestly, just say something, acknowledge our pain, our loss (no matter how young the baby). For a period of time, be prepared to be the one making the effort in the friendship- by chasing, inviting places and listening. 

Mostly- no one can be perfect in how they support a parent experiencing grief. The parent doesn’t even know the perfect way of support, and what worked for me will be different to others. But just try and do something, we’ll never be angry at you for trying. Everything about us and our life has changed, so expect our friendships to change aswell for a while. Please be patient with us. 
Support- simply- just do something, it’s way better than nothing. 





(This is also a great article- where the photo is from)

** In October, for Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month, I’m participating in #iwanttotalkaboutit #YellowRosesCQ project with daily writing prompts. 

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Names 

When Daniel and I were expecting our first, (now mr3), we didn’t find out if we were having a boy or girl… It didn’t matter and we loved the surprise. From before we were even engaged we knew what our first boy and girl would be called (and some others), so it was just a waiting game to meet them. 

When we knew Emmanuelle wasn’t likely to make it to term, Daniel suggested a name not on our list- Emmanuelle/Emmanuel- it worked for either a boy or girl and means “God with us.” 

  
After our first ultrasound when they said something wasn’t right- my mother hoped on a plane and came. Otherwise, my dad was 1500km away, and Daniels parents 13500km away in Russia. Each call we’d make to them there would be tears, not ours, the news got worse and worse. The diagnosis slowly ripping away at the hope we had. But Daniel and I always felt calm, we felt a peace, one that surpassed all understanding. 

We’d prayed for peace before in different circumstances and seasons, but never had it felt like this. It was unexplainable, an unbearable situation that we felt raw emotion but in bubble of peace and comfort. There is no words to describe the way God was with us. 

After Emmanuelle was born, and after the nurse had made sure I was safe, we were given time with our beautiful little girl. We admired the intricacies of her formation, seeing so much as her skin was still translucent. Fingernails. Lips. Ribs and organs. She was beautiful. And in those moments we prayed and thanked God for her, dedicated her life to Him. God was with us in that room. 

She was not a name we planned, not a life we dreamed for one of our children. But our Emmanuelle, while she is now with Jesus, she will always be a reminder of a time when in the midst of everything, God was with us, in a way I couldn’t even begin to explain. And while we never dreamed of Emmanuelle in our family, I would never wish she wasn’t. She’s forever ours.

I love you precious girl. 

  
** In October, for Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month, I’m participating in #iwanttotalkaboutit #YellowRosesCQ project with daily writing prompts. 

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my story

Emmanuelle’s story had a very clear end; I do not know how that is possible when I don’t feel like her story ever really began.

Today I struggle with the word “my.” Perhaps in part it is because I still don’t want to own or believe parts of my story. Then again, it is only through Daniel and myself that Emmanuelle continues to be part of any story.

my story

What is my story? Emmanuelle was the main character for a few chapters, then our miracle baby… a term I don’t like to use anymore, all babies are miracles really, and I don’t know about rainbow baby either… I digress. So many complicated emotions from death and life, grief and joy have dictated the musing of my heart for nearly two years now. So how can I write about “my story.”

Perhaps I’m not sure where exactly the ‘me’ fits in all of this? After all of this? Such a defining crossroad, where the choice was made for me, how do I start to write for myself again?

I imagine it now while I write this, that perhaps until the age of twelve or so, I wrote in a particular color- definitely brightly colorful, then it changed again about 16, then probably when I was 20- at significant intersections and decisions in life, then it slowly became grey and smudgy at the age of 24. Not by my choosing.

See my story includes great loss; loss of love, of friendships, of two wanted and prayed for children. It includes a wrestling joy; of new true love, of two wanted and prayed for children, of living life. Where is the me underneath all that taints my story?

Guilt for not obviously and privately remembering? The dark pit that echoes your name when you get completely lost in a moment of joy and life? The wrestle of finding new life and self.

So- my story? I’m doing my best, living it the best I can. Today.

** In October, for Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month, I’m participating in #iwanttotalkaboutit #YellowRosesCQ project with daily writing prompts. I don’t think they will all be like this, but I’m going for simplicity and honesty….

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