Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Babies Lost Too Soon

We are just a few short weeks away from celebrating Eli and Maddie's first birthday {can you believe it?!?} As my days are now filled with the craziness of chasing these two little ones, it's hard to imagine life without them. They bring so much joy, laughter, and love...things I prayed the Lord would grant, and things that now make me feel as though my heart just might burst from gratitude for the gift they are. 

But I cannot forget the long and hard road that led us to these joy-filled days. It's etched in my heart, and it's part of our story. When we first began our embryo adoption journey, we adopted 6 embryos. We had so much hope for these tiny lives, and {as crazy as it may sound} we were beginning to imagine our lives as a family of 8! Unfortunately, our grief of infertility would only be compounded by the grief of losing our tiny embryos. We lost 2 during the thawing process, 2 after transfer, and 2 to miscarriage. It was hard to imagine why the Lord allowed us to adopt and then never meet our tiny ones, but we were reminded that each life was precious to Him, however short they might have been.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. All of October is dedicated to awareness, first declared so in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.
When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes. 

Walking the road of infertility, I have met countless women whose hearts have been shattered by loss. The mamas who have miscarried, some multiple times. The mamas who have heard the fateful, "I'm sorry, but there is no heartbeat." The mamas who had the difficult task of delivering their babies who had already gone on to the arms of Jesus. The mamas who cared for their sick babies and had to say goodbye too soon. The mamas who had no warning and were met with indescribable grief. The mamas who have buried their children. In this broken world, there is just so much heartache and pain...

There are many ways that families choose to remember and honor these sweet babies throughout the year, but on October 15th, many families light candles at 7pm in their respective time zone in an International Wave of Light. The idea is to have a continuous chain of light spanning the globe for a 24-hour period. It's a simple and sweet way to pause, acknowledge, and remember.

Another way I personally have chosen to remember is to mention our babies names. 

Jack. 
Jill. 
Amy. 
Noah. 
Annie. 
Hope. 

Each a unique, individual life created by God. Each very much wanted, loved, and missed. 

So today we will pause to remember and pray for all of the families who have experienced the loss of their child{ren}. We will say the names of and remember our precious little ones that we carry only in our hearts. These tiny ones were lost too soon, and I can't help but wonder what they each would have looked like, who they might have been. But through the heartache and loss, the struggles {and now the joys} of our journey, we are continually reminded of how the Lord is faithful to hold us in His sovereign hand.

Blessed be His name in the land that is plentiful, where His streams of abundance flow. Blessed be His name on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering. Blessed be His name.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pumpkin Patch 2017

Today we headed out to the Creekwood UMC Pumpkin Patch! I had wanted to find a good pumpkin patch to take Eli and Maddie to, in order to get some good fall photos and pick out some pumpkins for our front porch. This one came up on a few lists, so we packed everyone up and headed over!

We are so glad we went! It wasn't crowded AT ALL {which was surprising for a Saturday}, so we were able to have a fun photo shoot without feeling like we were in the way. Uncle Michael {aka Uncle Awesome} was able to join us, so it was nice to have extra hands to help with mobile babies :)

Eli and Maddie didn't seem too interested in taking photos, but seemed to enjoy the pumpkins. And when they were not exploring the pumpkins, they were eating the grass. Because, you know...why not? Taking photos of twins is a challenge for sure...it's rare when they're both looking at the camera, or even both sitting still. But you just keep clicking and hope for the best. I think we got a few cute ones...at least ones that I will enjoy looking back on :)


















 








I think we have a fun family tradition started. Happy fall, ya'll :)


Monday, October 2, 2017

Eli + Maddie :: 11 Months



Eli & Maddie, 

You both continue to grow so much! And you are just on the go, all the time. I can't take my eyes off you guys for a second, because you are into everything, exploring anything and everything. Diaper changes have become somewhat of a wrestling match, because you just can't sit still anymore haha. You had another big month, taking your first trip to the park {swinging on the swings and sliding down the slides...with help, of course} and your first plane ride! You both are clearly understanding {but don't like} when you hear "no." But baby loves, you just can't put your hand in the toilet, eat the puppy's food, or pull each other's hair :)  Your little personalities just amaze us every day, and we love getting to know you both as you grow more and more. It's hard to believe that we are in the last month of your 1st year...we are looking forward to celebrating your 1st birthday!

Love,
Mama


E L I J A H      W I N N


Stats :: 21 pounds

Loves :: standing on your own, being tickled, swinging at the park, when daddy plays guitar

Dislikes :: wearing your bib, when your sister takes your toy, hearing "no"

Eat :: you are still eating 5 to 6 ounces five times a day. you are also still eating solids all 3 meals of the day. this month, you tried pasta, tomato sauce, mac n' cheese, ground beef, eggs, raspberries, orzo, zucchini, mandarin oranges, and hummus. unfortunately, we learned that you are allergic to hummus! thankfully, you only developed a rash around your mouth. we are not sure if it's the chickpeas or the sesame, but we'll be staying away from hummus for awhile. we have noticed that, while you like everything, you tend to pick out the things you like most to eat first.

Sleep :: you are still consistently sleeping through the night {hallelujah!}. you struggled with your naps a bit this month, but that was partly because you got another cold. you are still take a morning and afternoon nap, though that last stretch to dinner can be rough.

Play/Development :: you had 2 teeth come in this month! you didn't seem to fuss any more than usual, but your lack of napping may have been do to teething. you are standing on your own for longer periods of time, and you are SO proud of yourself when you do! 

Unique to You :: buddy, you are just on the go all the time...and you are FAST. you are super friendly, always willing to share your smiles with anyone. you like your routine, and are pretty meticulous with everything, picking up one piece of food at a time, arranging your toys neatly around you. though, when you're done with something, you throw it behind you, over your shoulder. you don't like wearing your bib anymore and will take it off as often as you can. 

The best we could do haha




M A D E L I N E      G R A C E


Stats :: 24.5 pounds

Loves :: knocking down toy towers, following your brother around, when daddy plays guitar

Dislikes :: when brother takes your toy, hearing "no"

Eat :: you started eating 5 to 6 ounces five times a day {lessening your intake a bit}. you are also still eating solids all 3 meals of the day. this month, you tried pasta, tomato sauce, mac n' cheese, ground beef, eggs, raspberries, orzo, zucchini, mandarin oranges, and hummus. you still eat your food by the fistful, enjoying every mouthful :)

Sleep :: you are still consistently sleeping through the night {hallelujah!}. you struggled with your naps a bit this month, but that was partly because you got another cold. you are still take a morning and afternoon nap, though that last stretch to dinner can be rough.

Play/Development :: you are not standing on your own yet, but there have been times that you seem to want to try. you are walking while you hold on to furniture. you started saying "mamamama," though "dadadada" is still your go-to. you still haven't quite started calling us by name, but I feel like you're so close.

Unique to You :: lady bug, you are still our happy little girl. you tend to have extreme emotions and lots of opinions about things, so you will probably be mommy's patience builder :) you started shaking your head "no" all the time. at first, you were shaking your head "no," even if you meant "yes." but toward the end of this month, you seemed to be shaking your head if you actually meant "no." when you get excited or frustrated, you ball up your fists, tense up a bit, and do a little grunt or yell. you are still a little reserved around other people, and you tend to follow your brother around. if he does something and it seems ok, then you follow happily behind :)



Saturday, September 30, 2017

{iPhone Rewind} :: September

I sure love this little girl :)

He's cute, and he knows it.


We're ready for the mountains!

We're going to look super cute in the mountains!

We met some friends at Klyde Warren Park and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Eli loved playing with the soccer ball!

I woke up one morning to Eli playing with diaper pads in his crib...he was pretty content and proud of himself!

I love that they are starting to play together more :)

We have a standing baby!

I got another day off and came home to flowers from my loves...not a bad deal :)

Trying to keep everyone distracted while I make dinner...

She's cute and she knows it...

Those baby blues!!

Enjoying BBQ and rockin' the baby hair sprig :)

My clear-liquid diet to prep for my colonoscopy...silly Crohns.

She has the BEST bed head :)