I have joined the ranks of millions

Miscarriage.  I don't like the word - I don't think anyone does.  It has turned my life upside down.  In just 36 hours, my world went from being filled with promise of a new baby in the fall, to the frightening sight of blood  (the last thing you want to see when pregnant), to the fateful ultrasound that told us our sweet angel had stopped growing and died, and was never to have a life in this world.  What heartbreak.  What sorrow.  God, it's been a week now, and even though I've had time to grieve, I am still shattered.  I am still crying.  I have been provided comfort from my wonderful husband, and from my wonderful family who I got to see this Easter and who surrounded me with love, hugs and distraction, as well as from the few friends I have told who have shared stories of their own sad experiences with this awful reality.  But it doesn't take away the pain.  I just pray that my little angel is with you Jesus in Heaven - that my baby will have a glorious life with You, that you can redeem it from the life it was robbed here on earth.  I also pray for healing - of my body and my spirit.  I pray that I can forgive myself - even though I know I am not at fault, I still feel some responsibility for my sweet baby.  I pray for courage to move on, as I head back to work tomorrow.  I pray that I never forget.  This has been a horrifying nightmarish experience, however, I have also grown through it - I have a new appreciation for the miracle that is life.  For the creation of life.  It is no simple matter to have a human grow from conception to newborn baby, and beyond.  Life is truly miraculous.  I am counting my blessings with renewed depth with this new lens I have on - I appreciate the gift that I have in my sweet boy so much more, and if I am blessed to have another baby, I know I will never take it for granted.  I also feel like my heart has grown just a little bit bigger - it was already growing, making room for the new child that was to be in my life, and my lost baby will always have a place in my heart - but my heart has also grown in compassion towards women who have gone through this before, who will go through it, and who struggle in other ways when it comes to conception.  Our world is a broken place, and I know that my heartache is not the only pain.  However, I can live with hope that Jesus will help me heal in this life, and that there is promise of a new life in a redeemed world, where Jesus is King and there is no more pain, no more death.  Amen.

The end of an era

Tonight is a big night for me as a mom... I have consciously decided that it is time for my little Erik to stop nursing.  He just turned 21 months old last week, so it's time.  I know many nurse right up till the World Health Organization recommended 2 years, and beyond, but I know others stop nursing much earlier for various reasons, so really, I feel incredibly blessed that I've been able to nurse my boy for so long.  I was originally only planning on nursing him for a year... but then it was really easy to continue nursing in the mornings and evenings even after I went back to work after my maternity leave... and then I said 18 months... and then it was until the hump of flu season was done (Erik's always been very healthy and robust and although it's only my own speculation and cannot be proven with certainty I feel like I can't discredit the immune boosting he's received through my milk)... but now it's mid-March, and with us thinking about baby #2 sometime in the future, it really is the right time for us.  And I know he doesn't really neeeeeed my milk anymore... it's been more of a comfort for both of us probably for some time now.  However, despite all this that I'm telling myself, I'm still finding myself on the verge of tears and a bit of an emotional mess.  My little man is growing up!  He's not a baby anymore, he's my little boy.  Every day he takes steps towards independence.  I am so proud of him for this, and love him so much.  But it's hard not to hang on, even to such little things.  It's incredible how this little man has etched himself so deeply on my heart - I shouldn't really be surprised then that I'm left a bit teary as tonight he's taken another step away from "needing" me.  But I'm sure other mom's would be quick to tell me the bonds will continue to deepen between us even though this one specific bond we've shared has passed its time.  I will take comfort in that, and also in the blessing I have in the irreplaceable closeness we've shared up until now.  Being a mom really is the best thing ever, and I look forward to seeing Erik grow, thrive, and take all those little steps "away" from me as he grows into an independent person.  I pray he always knows I love him, and that these little tears I shed are just an expression of it.