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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.

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I’m not really a sporty person – more like a proud bench warmer.

In college, I won my first athletic award for “Most Academic Athlete.” That should tell you where my talent lies – off the field and in the library. I don’t even like watching sports. Excluding a collection of retired Canadian figure skaters, the number of athletes that I could list by name would fit on one hand. I would never pay for tickets to a game or voluntarily sit down and watch TSN or ESPN for fun.

But for a couple weeks every two years, I am the biggest sports fan. There’s a game streaming on my computer in the background, live medal updates blinking on my phone. I can’t get enough of them. For this brief period of time, I actually enjoy sports.

Because despite my usual indifference towards all things athletic, I absolutely love the Olympics.

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“Do you still have bad days?”

The question lingers in the air as I quietly debate how best to answer it. I’ve had to answer this question more frequently of late – it seems to be yet another by-product of the passage of time.

It’s been twenty months since I lost my sweet baby boy; twenty months since I felt his final kick goodbye and wailed over his tiny, breathless body. There are days when these moments feel like a lifetime ago. But there are days too when my heart aches and I miss that little boy more than words can tell.

People are naturally curious as to what the grieving process looks like now – a year and a half after loss. Most individuals have heard that “the first year is the hardest” and wonder what happens after that. Do I still grieve? Is the one year anniversary some magical line drawn in the sand that erases all grief? Do I still have “bad days?”  Read more

The Forget Me Not’s were dead.

Arriving home from a weekend away, I discovered my meagre assembly of potted plants withering and wilted on the balcony. With the faint smell of basil still lingering in the air, I looked at the shriveled leaves and dried dirt with aggravation.

This had been my first attempt at livening up our micro-sized balcony with a bit of greenery. It was our third summer without a backyard vegetable patch and by late Spring my fingers had begun itching to get back into the dirt. But despite my best intentions for fresh veggies, my forgetful “mommy brain” combined with an intense summer heat wave had not been doing the plants any favours.

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Dearest interweb, blogosphere, and beyond,

You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet over here lately. I promise this neglect is not intentional, simply a byproduct of nasty flu bugs and family emergencies.

Over the past week, we have made three separate hospital trips (one for each of us): twice for dehydration and flu symptoms, and once for a baby who decided to try and back-flip out of mommy’s arms and onto the living room floor.

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Note: This post was written for Michaela Evanow’s blog series on “This is Motherhood (Too).” This article was originally posted on Michaela’s site on August 10, 2015. 

I was eight weeks pregnant when the ultrasound technician turned a grainy screen towards me and pointed out not one but two little miracles. And in that moment, with two hearts blinking on the screen and cold jelly oozing down my belly, all fears dissipated. My husband and I could only marvel at the God who delights in giving such sweet surprises.

Amazed, we stumbled out of the appointment with a fistful of fuzzy ultrasound photos and the reassurance that One greater than ourselves was holding this pregnancy in the palm of His hand.

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It was Easter Sunday and although we were a few minutes early, the church building was already feeling crowded. We squeezed into the sanctuary and made our way towards the family seating area in the corner. The main floor was quickly filling and my husband made a beeline for a row of available seats.

A few steps behind him, my gaze wasn’t on the empty seats but rather the row immediately in front of them. Perched on the theatre style seating were two matching car seats with a teeny tiny baby nestled in each one. Newborn twins.

My breath caught in my throat and I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach.

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Until I began maternity leave, I worked part-time as an admin assistant for my home church. Typing, filing, organizing, formatting, and editing, may sound like death by paperwork but I was in my element. I couldn’t have been happier. My favourite time of the day was first thing in the morning as I’d begin preparing for office hours. With fingers flying over keys and emails whizzing out of my inbox, I’d open up YouTube and let my little computer fill the air with worship songs.

The musical notes would soak deep into my womb and the boys would respond with leaps and flips. With a belly morphing and bouncing, the three of us spent daily time in joyful praise and adoration of the one who gives life. One of the songs in particular caught my attention and I would play it over and over again, the melody lifting high in praise, my heart soaring alongside:

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When it comes to picking out a gravestone, some cemeteries only allow for markers so as not to disturb the natural appearance of the landscape. A marker is a flat headstone, compared to upright headstones which are called monuments. The price of our 20×12 baby sized marker was more than the funeral and came complete with a granite base, name, date, a five word epitaph and three emblems.

I’m twenty-three years old, I should not have to know this. But I do.

Last week we finally went to pick out a marker for Landon’s grave. For eight months his little plot of earth has been marked by a plastic slip of paper with his name and the occasional flower or stuffed bear.

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On Sunday morning, Alistair and I stayed home from church. He had developed his first “real” cold complete with a drippy, clogged nose and an adorably sad, little cough. So I bundled him up and went for a walk, in hopes that the cool air and bouncing buggy would help clear his stuffy nasal passages.

Surrounded by high density apartments, it’s not uncommon to cross paths with moving vans and stacks of brown, cardboard boxes. Today, I noticed more than the usual share of real estate yard signs advertising an “open house.” As I passed the third sign, a startling train of thought emerged. “For the first time in my life, I’m homeless.”

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Today marks the six month birthday of our beautiful Alistair! Half a year with this little one.

My heart swells when I look at him and think of just how far along he’s come. Inquisitive and determined, always bursting with smiles, he’s the sweetest, funniest little man. With tiny feet that are now as long as his arm was at birth, he’s grown exponentially before our very eyes. His three month clothes are being packed away for a bigger size and our arm muscles quickly tire when snuggling all fifteen pounds of baby chub. Alistair loves to sing and squeal, coo and gurgle. He’s strong and has the most adorable, squishable, baby rolls.

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