Posts

Cautiously prodding a crumpled tissue out of the way, I carefully reached my hand down into the garbage can and fished out the used pregnancy test. I’d tossed it in moments earlier but now I was second-guessing myself.

I held the test up close against my face and squinted, hoping against hope that somehow that would change the answer. Maybe I hadn’t waited long enough? Maybe there was a very faint line and I’d just missed it?

One lonely pink line stared back at me and my heart sank. The pregnancy test was definitely negative.

Again.

Read more

This time last year I was waiting on a miscarriage.

Nine weeks pregnant, I arrived at the ultrasound with a baby bean in my belly and a heart full of anticipation. And then, with a few fated words, the dreams that I had carried so close to my heart began to crumble once more.

“Maybe you’re not as far along as you thought…”

The ultrasound technician quietly snuck out to consult a doctor and I was left alone. Music floated softly through the room, and lyrics to the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” assaulted my ears and ground against my wounded heart. Wrapped in a cheap, blue gown, I listened and I wept. It felt far from wonderful.

The doctor’s results were inconclusive and I was told to wait it out. For two weeks, I wrapped gifts and hung lights and attended holiday parties. With anxiety and secrets tucked behind an ugly Christmas sweater and a holiday smile, I waited to see if the baby would grow.

But mostly, I just waited to miscarry.

Read more

If you’ve spent any time with me, you’ll know that I can fill endless hours with a good book. If a book is well written, I can immerse myself in almost any genre of writing and be completely satisfied. But if I’m being particularly truthful, there are genres that I don’t usually find myself drawn towards — and this is one of them.

Fiercehearted is written by Holley Gerth, a bestselling author, counselor, and life coach.

And I think if we’re being completely honest, the title “life coach” is why I tend to avoid books like this. It sets off too many alarms within my brain. I gear myself for books that are entirely “me-centric” rather than Christ-centric — a path I just don’t want to entertain. And I think that’s why I found myself so pleasantly surprised by Gerth’s book. Woven throughout each chapter is the call to embrace life as one who has been intricately designed by the Creator, and to live life fuller for Him.

Read more

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick little note and thank you all for hanging out with me this past month as we’ve talked about grief and pregnancy loss. (If you’ve been following along on my blog and on Facebook, you know that this is a topic we’ve covered extensively this month!) I’ve really appreciated you sharing your hearts and your stories with me. October may be Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, but families grieve all year round, and so I especially want to thank all of you who have chosen to intentionally stand alongside those who mourn.

It’s not easy to talk about grief. We don’t like to think about pain and death, and we prefer to tuck these not-so-palatable topics away out of sight. Often times we associate grief with weakness or depression (two other words that make people very uncomfortable!) But it’s important to know that we all experience grief at different points in our lives – and if we haven’t yet, we will.

Read more

{October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, join us with the #thismotherhoodstory as we journal our way through topics surrounding grief and life after loss.}

Thursday, October 12, 2017 – Journal Prompt
In the midst of your pain and loss, where do you find hope? Has faith shaped the way you grieve? Read through Psalm 43, 69, or 77 – what verses stand out to you? Take some time to write out your own Psalm (or poem) of lament.

“You’re so strong! How do you do it? I don’t think I could have handled it…”

I’ve heard this statement in varying forms over the past three years. People tell me I’m strong or brave for having gone through what we’ve gone through; but the truth is, I never feel particularly brave or strong. Mostly, I do it because I have to. There’s no other choice but to take it one day at a time: breathing in, breathing out.

Read more

The smell of roasting hot dogs and smokey BBQ drifts through my open window; a dusky twilight the flavour of summer. This is July. It’s a month marked by blue skies and slow drifting clouds, of flip flops and short shorts and fingers stained with fresh fruit juice. Lazy days are scented in coconut sunscreen, and punctuated with road trip tunes and tanning sessions by the lake.

But this month no longer looks the way I remember it as a child. It’s grown and shifted in its memories. It’s fuller. It’s more intricate in its complexities.

It’s more beautiful.

Now, when I think of July, I think of a tiny baby lying in a NICU incubator. I see little lungs heaving beneath fragile skin, and desperate prayers lifted high from a tear-stained hospital bed. I think of a child lying still in my arms, a tiny body swaddled in love. I think of blood, and hospital visits, and pregnancies that never made it past the first trimester. It’s a month of birthdays, and anniversaries, missed due dates, and death dates.

Alistair. Landon. Kära. Björn. My four July babies.

Read more

One year ago today, I got a positive pregnancy test.

After months of mourning and healing, my husband and I were finally ready to set aside our fears and “what ifs.” Love had begun to overflow the shaky walls that we’d built, and new hopes and dreams were blossoming in place of pain. Our grief had not been forgotten but our hearts felt called to stretch once more.

It was a quiet Monday morning when those two, pink lines first appeared in my hands. This family was growing again, and I felt nothing but pure joy.

After a quick trip to the store, the toddler and I spent the rest of the day decorating a Popcorn Cake and munching on marshmallows. I knew exactly how we were going to surprise my husband with the baby news. I topped the gooey dessert with a mini-bunting that announced, “Mama’s Going to Pop!” and my son and I sucked on Smarties while the cake chilled. The kitchen counter was dusted with cinnamon and fluffy, white marshmallows: the scent of hope and anticipation, the flavour of possibility.

A year later, I can still see the love and excitement that was poured into that cake; the look of shock and amazement that crossed my husbands face at the sight of it. I never dreamed that we’d be here, a year later, still waiting on a baby.

Read more

The jagged seashells crunch underfoot and the tide laps lazily along the shore. We’re the first ones on the beach this morning and the silence feels comforting. Gulls swoop and screech above as we settle into the cool sand, toes burying deep among the tiny grains. My toddler busies himself with buckets and shovels, creating a world of dusty castles and ravine roads, and I bask in the early morning warmth of the spring sunshine.

For a city girl who loves quiet libraries and comfy couches, it never ceases to amaze me that the place I feel most connected to my grief is here, outdoors.

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