Posts

I’m always skeptical of women who say their pregnancy “just flew by.

For me, each trimester is a slow plod forward. The passage of time stutters and hesitates, marked by weekly checks to see “what size of vegetable the baby is today.” I wait for the bump to grow noticeable, for the flutters to erupt into kicks. I fight down the fears: the wait for the bleeding to begin, the wait for the instant everything goes wrong. I mark the milestones as impatience abounds. 

I remind myself to soak in the slow. Waiting is a gift too.

But this time around, things have been different. Life is busy. The days pass in a blur of school drop-offs and lunches made, of nap times and groceries, of walks to the library and full schedules. With two other little ones to keep up with, pregnancy happens quick.

And so, I’m almost startled to find myself past the halfway point.

Now, I have to actively remind myself to search for the slow.  To pause. Stop and cherish. Because now, I am the mother who says it’s “flying by.”

At the ultrasound appointment, a few weeks back, the technician looked over and asked if we’d like to know the baby’s gender. For us, this is an extra gift to bond. A chance to call our child by name. To love them, no matter what, as they are — an incredible gift. Placing my hands on a rounding belly, I thank God for life.

Another miracle.

A story that feels a little more complete.

And so, it is with great delight, that we announce… Read more

These are the early days. The nights when the baby fusses and you awake every half-hour, bleary-eyed and exhausted. When you’re no longer able to string cognizant sentences together and your nightshirt smells like spit-up and baby lotion.

You’re tired. Oh-so-tired.

If you could wish these nights away, you would. They’re exhausting and mind-numbing: this endless cycle of sleeping, eating and changing.

And yet, you find yourself inexplicably passing up moments of sleep to stop and marvel at this new child in your arms. You kiss the top of their downy head and soak in the syrupy smell of milk and baby. You watch them sleep with wonder.

The little one’s breath comes soft and quick after months spent immersed within. The squeaks and gurgles, murmurs and bubbles from within the bassinet make for a noisy roommate. But when they quiet, you peek your face over the edge of her bed. Your hand hovers over her chest, feeling the gentle rise and fall of new life. For now, life slows.

Yes, these weeks and months are draining. But through these longest of nights, we hear the never-ending whispers of a mother’s love.

Read more

Dear Pregnant Mama, take the belly picture.

You just peed on a little white stick and watched two solid, pink lines appear from the nothingness. You’re barely five weeks along but there’s a child growing within your womb, a little bit of your DNA mashed into an ever-growing and dividing clump of cells.

You place your hand tenderly against your stomach and feel nothing but skin and a little bloat. There’s no evidence that this little one is here. Your stomach muscles have yet to stretch and give way to the life within. Everything is seemingly the same, and only you know it’s all begun to change.

And so, you feel silly asking your partner to take a belly picture. It seems strange to stand sideways against the wall and take a picture of “nothing.” You tell yourself that you have time.

But sadly, not all of us do.

Read more

#motherhood

Scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, I decided to check out the hashtag, “motherhood.” It was everything I thought it would be: babies sleeping peacefully on their mother’s flat postpartum bellies, children laughing as they run through sprinklers and lick perfectly swirled ice-cream cones, the sun setting behind smiling mothers and toddlers clad in matching outfits. The photos are clean and mess free, full of smiles and daydreams, perfect lighting and one-off shots. It’s not real and yet, according to Instagram, this is what “mom life” looks like.

It’s a definition that’s gotten a little twisted along the way – one that I, myself, am guilty of contributing to. My living room floor is currently a maze of dirty laundry piles, carrot-muffin crumbs, and crayons. I ate a cookie for breakfast, my toddler watches far too many Paw Patrol episodes, and last week, there was that faint but persistent smell of milk emanating from somewhere deep within my son’s room. But if you look through my Instagram, you’ll notice that I have never posted a photo of any of that. After all, who wants to look at reality when we can carefully craft fiction?

Read more

Eight weeks into my fourth pregnancy, it ended. Spots appeared as if out of nowhere; these little specks of hopes and dreams lying against faded fabric. I saw the dark blood and broke a twenty-five-year streak. I dropped my first f-bomb.

The word echoed around the bathroom, feeling unfamiliar and rough against my lips. I glanced over at the toddler who was sitting on the couch, happily chewing on buttered toast and watching an episode of Paw Patrol. His two-year-old-self was completely oblivious to the emotional earthquake threatening to shake our small apartment, and for that, I was glad.

I sat in silence and struggled to breathe through lungs that were no longer working properly. What air was left in the room had grown heavy, weighing down upon my shoulders and pressing into my chest. Few words seemed strong enough to contest the range of emotions that had suddenly slammed into me. I cried black mascara tears and gently hugged the flabby belly that had been stretched and loved on by five babies. My heart aching, I whispered and prayed over the child I would never know. “Stay strong, wee one. Stay strong.”

And she did. Until she left us, five days later.

Read more

It is with tears that we come to you today, discouraged and wearied by the loss of another little one, but confident in God’s deep grace and reassuring love.

Since so many of you have invested in the life of this tiny baby, we wanted to give you a brief update as to what has been happening these past few days.

As many of you know, this has not been an easy week for us. It’s been exhausting both physically and emotionally. I’d like to thank all of you who have spent time this past week interceding on behalf of our family in prayer.

Read more

February 25. The day seems inconspicuous on the calendar: one small white square surrounded by twenty-seven identical friends. The glossy paper and bright photo hangs on the wall and subtly counts the number weeks since we said good-bye. A faint reminder of what could have been radiates from the blank page and I’m left wondering about things that will never be.

It’s a day that should have been round and ripe, bursting with anticipation and nerves, excitement and eager impatience. Longing and contentment wrapped into one as air fills tiny lungs for the first time and our lives finally collide in tangibility.

Life. Breath. You.

Read more

My best friend arrived at the door armed with Christmas presents, sugar cookies, and lunch supplies. I sat on the couch, a hand pressed tightly against my abdomen, and watched as she navigated her way around my kitchen. She didn’t have to be here on her day off, bearing platefuls of crispy grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup, but when she’d heard I was miscarrying she’d offered to help.

My son and her swapped Christmas presents while we waited for lunch: a slightly wonky snowman ornament for her and a wrapped parcel for him. He didn’t need much encouragement to rip his way through the paper and uncover the new toy underneath. He could barely contain his two-year-old enthusiasm.

The toy was colourful, wooden, and in the shape of a semi-circle: a beautifully, handcrafted rainbow.

Read more

The faint sound of sleigh bells and Andy Williams’ voice crooning, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” filled the small room. I lay on my back and stared up at the speckled ceiling tiles, my heart fighting off the crumbly ache that comes with bad news. I wished that they’d just turn the music off.

It felt far from the most wonderful time. In fact, it was quickly chalking up to be one of my least favourite days of this year.

The ultrasound technician had called me into the room a few minutes earlier. Shivering, I wrapped the blue cotton gown tight against my waist; my everyday clothes lay heaped in the changing room. I was here for a nine week ultrasound and the chance to finally see the newest babe growing inside of me.

“Is this your first pregnancy?” The technician asked as she directed me to lie down.

Read more

One of my very talented blogger friends, Stefanie Tong, has recently published her new book: Chasing Light, a beautiful and raw look at life after pregnancy loss.

Centered around her two miscarriages and her subsequent grief and depression, Stefanie writes about both the challenges and the search for hope and wholeness following the death of a child.

Reading through this book, I was constantly struck by Stefanie’s incredible honesty and willingness to embrace and explore her grief. She is not afraid to be vulnerable and peal back the intricate layers surrounding loss. Touching on her husband’s grief, as well as conversations that they had with their three-year-old daughter, I appreciated this book’s accurate reflection of how grief and loss affects the entire family.

Read more

Dear Grieving Mama,

It’s October. The trees have begun to shed their colourful leaves and the smell of pumpkin spice lattes float throughout the cool air. For everyone else, this is a month about Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving turkeys, and trips to the pumpkin patch. But for you, this month signifies something a little different.

This is your first October after the loss of your little one.

Read more

It feels like it’s taken me a long time to get here. To arrive at this in-between place where I’m finally ready to entertain the idea of ‘trying again.’

Another pregnancy. Another baby.

The thought volleys around in my head. Back and forth I debate whether I’m ready to get pregnant again – whether I even want to. Maybe we have already reached our family’s final number; maybe we will find new ways to grow, just the three of us.

But I know in my heart that I’m not satisfied with this ending.

Not that this wouldn’t be enough. Not that I wouldn’t be perfectly happy leaving things the way they are. But there’s more to this story – it’s not finished yet.

Read more