Monday, January 24, 2011

What An Exciting Day!!

When I woke up on Saturday it was a sad day for me because it was the one year anniversary of finding out that something was terribly wrong with my precious baby. That day turned into a beautiful day when my niece, Isobel, was born. I also woke up to find that I had won a blogger award courtesy of Sydney over at Letters to Claire. I was pretty honored that she would choose my blog, but I am more happy about the fact that I have been helpful to her! I have to say that she is one of the people I would choose because she always has wonderful things to write about, and she is very open and honest about how she is feeling. It makes it very easy to relate to her! The rules of this are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award 15 blogs that have been helpful to you.
4. Contact the bloggers so they know how much they mean to you! here are seven things about me that you might not know..:)
1. I actually was able to remove my front tooth (due to an accident when I was a little girl that involved a brick fireplace) up until my junior year of college when I got my permanent bridge done.
2. I have two sisters who mean the world to me, and I wish that I got to see them more often.
3. I was born on my mother's birthday..December 7th!
4. I actually couldn't stand my husband before I started dating him. He lived in the apartment above mine at Shippensburg where we went to school..He brought me some mail that got sent to his neighbor's apartment accidentally, and after going out with a few of them that night I realized I had him all wrong!
5. I am a skier so I love the snow. My parents put me on skis when I was just three!
6. My favorite place to visit is Durango, Colorado.
7. I am scared to death of sharks so you won't find me swimming in the ocean!!

The Awards Go To:
1. Beauty Will Rise Mattie writes so beautifully about the two babies that she has lost, and she is now on to the adventure of adoption. She is one of the strongest, most positive moms out there, and I get a lot of encouragement from her!

2. Journey to Motherhood Desiree is a babyloss mom who has faced infertility as well as the loss of her daughter Lilly. She just recently found out she is pregnant with twins so she is beginning a new journey with a pregnancy after loss. She is also a really strong mom who just pours her heart and soul into her blog.

3. In Hannah's Honor This mom has just recently had her rainbow baby after suffering a miscarriage after the loss of her daughter. She has helped me through my grief immensely, and I can't thank her enough for just being there. She is also a very talented person who can make just about anything in honor of those babies we have lost.

4. Loving my angels This mom has been through a lot in a short period of time, but she is still so faithful through it all. She is a woman that I look to for strength because she is so positive through it all!

5. Payton's Presence This mom just writes whatever is on her heart, and I can relate to her so easily. She is one tough mom who misses her little girl, and she isn't afraid to express her true feelings.

6. Eli's Valley This blogging mom writes about some pretty powerful subjects. She lost her little boy pretty close to when I lost Aubree so we have that connection. Her posts remind me of how God really is in control.

7. Beauty From Ashes This mom has lost many children unfortunately, but she is never afraid to try again. She gives me hope that it isn't so scary to try again after loss.

8. When I Count My Blessings This woman writes beautiful, faith-driven posts about her son Jaxton who is yet to be born. I chose her because I know what it is like to walk in her shoes. She is not a babyloss mom yet, and we are hopeful that she won't be, but her son has Trisomy 13 so they need all the prayers they can get! She is so strong in her faith and in trusting that God is in control.

9. Baby Be Blessed I chose this blog because they made me a doll to bury with Aubree within days of finding out she was gone. They rushed it to our house, and the wait time for a doll is usually about 8-10 weeks depending on how busy they are. I have a matching lamb that has her name on it with a scripture verse that we chose for her. They have a wonderful ministry!

10.Bring The Rain This mom writes beautifully, and she wrote the book "I Will Carry You" that completely changed me and how I dealt with Aubree's loss. She wrote my exact was so easy to connect with her emotionally through her words.

11.Bethany Hope~My Angel Above . Another good blogging mom who says the right things! She just recently started to get back into cooking the way she used to before her loss, and she gives me encouragement that I can do the same with my pre-loss interests!

12.Keeping Up With the Joneses This mom also just had her rainbow baby about 5 months ago. She lost her son to SIDS at about 4 months, and this blog gives me great hope that you can go on to have another child and not have a nervous breakdown every step of the way. She has been so strong after all she has been through.

13.Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope I chose this blog/website because it is a great place for women to come to find out that they are not alone in their journey. It is also a great resource page for support groups in your area, coping mechanisms, etc.

14.-15. These two spots are going to the two blogs that I am not going to name on here because they don't blog very often, but they deserve to be rewarded regardless. Neither one of them talk about their loss very often, but they are still affected by it..

I have enjoyed following so many people's blogs, but in reality I don't have the time to follow a ton of people because my time is limited on the internet since we have dial-up right now! It is very frustrating to go from DSL to dial-up..I guess that is the sacrifice you have to make when you move the country. We could get satellite internet, but we wouldn't be able to afford our groceries anymore! :) Thank you all for blessing me in so many ways. I really can't thank you enough!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Year Ago Today..11 months ago.

I can remember walking into the hospital with Mike for our routine ultrasound, and I told him how scared I was. He didn't understand why, but I said, "What if something is wrong?" I knew even then that something just didn't feel right for some reason. We met some friends inside who were having their ultrasound before us, and they told us it took a really long time because they were training someone. When they called me back I was so excited and nervous at the same time to see my baby again. The ultrasound tech took the measurements and did everything that they were supposed to do in an ultrasound..she was taking a while, but I didn't think anything of it. After about 45 minutes she told me she was going to go get my husband since we can't bring them back with is the dumbest rule!! The waiting room is right around the corner so I was anxiously awaiting Mike's arrival at any moment. About half an hour later she walks in with the Radiologist. I was already starting to panic by this point because it shouldn't have taken that long to get Mike. As soon as they walked in I asked what was wrong with my baby..He said he just needed to take a look at the baby's heart. My heart sunk..the heart? In the meantime they start rattling off that I have too much fluid, there is a single artery umbilical cord, and they can't see a part of the baby's heart that needs to be there. I am completely freaked out, hormonal, irrational, etc..and I have to hear all of this alone! They finally went and got my then I was a mess. He came into a room of chaos so he knew right away something wasn't right. We were referred on to a specialist as a result of that ultrasound. I had hope that all would be ok, and that they just didn't see things right on the ultrasound. I spent the entire day in tears...I couldn't imagine anything being wrong with my baby. A year ago today my journey began because it was when we realized something was wasn't until days later that my world fell out from underneath me when they said it was Trisomy 18, and that my baby was incompatible with life. It was exactly one month from today that Aubree was born too..the number 22 has always been a good number for me because our anniversary is the 22nd. Last January changed that..

Today is a tough day because it was when my life changed..I was no longer naive to all of the terrible things that can happen during pregnancy and beyond. I have been looking at this day so negatively, and I am trying so hard to turn it around. One big thing that might turn it around is that my little sister is in labor today..she might turn my terrible day into something beautiful for our family. I think there are other good things on our horizon too..I just can't wait to hold my new niece on this sad, sad, day..I hope she does come today after year=new me..I am trying to be more positive this year!!

To my beautiful little girl..I miss you and love you more then I can even express..I think you already know that though! Hugs and kisses to you!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Hear You..

A few weeks ago I was a real anxiety was at it's all time high and I was miserable. I tried acupuncture to try to help with anxiety, and I just ended up having a panic attack during which is not the reaction I was looking for. I usually love acupuncture and think it is more relaxing then a massage. I left feeling sick to my stomach and more emotional then I have been in weeks. I haven't gone back needless to say. It was not a fun experience at all. It was a few days after the New Year when I received a package in the mail from my Grandma's sister. It was a beautiful letter and a Promise Bible for Mothers. Her words really hit home as the tears began to flow..I noticed the date the letter was written..December 29th..that was the day of my acupuncture appointment. Was it a coincidence? I think not..One sentence that really still screams at me from her letter was, "The Lord loves you, Amanda." I know that, but sometimes I don't get it..I actually said aloud, "I hear you.." Since receiving her letter I have been trying harder to get myself together. I have been reading my Bible more, actually reading the devotionals that I have about loss, etc. I feel that I am healing. I have also started taking a natural drug called Gaba. It has been amazing for me because I feel less anxious, and I have actually felt happy again. New Year = new me..I have been finding peace within Psalms. All it took was a letter sent by my Grandma's sister who just seemed to know the right words. She used a beautiful way to describe life.."Life was like looking up at the backside of a woven tapestry. From our point of view, that tapestry looks like a tangled mess of threads and chaos. But from God's point of view looking down on it, He sees a very beautiful piece of work and a perfect design of pattern, etc." How right she is..I am so thankful to have people like that in my life even though they are not people that I know that well or even get to see very often.

I am a big fan of Faces of Loss and Faces of Hope and all that they are out to accomplish. They have just recently started a Face2Face campaign in which they are setting up support groups locally for people to get involved in and to get in touch with others who are dealing with loss face to face instead of just over the computer. They sent out a post on Facebook to get a feel for where people live and if they would be interested in something like this. I immediately became interested in becoming involved in a group. They were also asking for leaders for specific areas that could commit to a six month time frame. I was not interested in actually leading a group, but I definitely wanted to be involved in the group even though I didn't think anyone would start up one in my area specifically since we are pretty rural. I know there were some people from Pittsburgh who were interested though in beginning a group. I think I replied to this request a week or so ago, and I sort of forgot about it. We went to church yesterday morning and our Pastor challenged us to make a difference in other people's lives by getting involved in something that would reach out to others. I was sitting in church when all of a sudden it came to me that I needed to be a group leader for my area. I wasn't even thinking about Faces of Loss, but God told me that is what I was going to do. Again..I hear you!! So..I came home and signed up. Details to follow!! I have to figure out the logistics of when and where, but I am thinking that it will be informal regardless. I have stayed away from support groups because I can't stand the thought of sitting around and crying with others for an hour or so. That just doesn't sound like fun. I just want my group to be an informal way for us to know that we are not alone, and we can talk about whatever we want to even if we don't want to talk about what we have lost all of the time. We can help each other by not being so organized in our grief!! So..God has been speaking to me loudly these days, and I can finally say that I am ready to listen..On to healing and helping..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

By MercyMe

That pretty much sums up my feelings today..

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I have been reflecting on my life lately, and I am really surprised at a few things. My life is not at all what I had pictured for myself growing up..I never thought I would live where I do..I always wanted to get out of the place I grew up. I never thought I would marry a man like Mike. I think he would tell you the same thing about me though being that he isn't into redheads! :) I actually pictured my life with my high school boyfriend, and I even transferred schools to be with him. I had no idea that my transfer had nothing to do with him, but it had everything to do with meeting Mike. Crazy how that works out..I am so thankful that God brought Mike into my life though. He is the best husband a girl could ask for. There was a time that I wasn't sure we would ever have any children..I never thought that I would have a son. I always thought I would be the mother of three girls! I also never thought that I would have to bury my own child let alone know where I am going to be buried at 30 years old. All of these things have made me who I am today, and I know they are building my character in many ways even if the going is a bit rough. I don't know why I have been reflecting today, but it has made me look at things a bit differently. I never thought that someone like Mike was right for me, but look how that turned out..Even though I think things might be good for me at the time they might not be..things could be even better..I grieve over Aubree's death every day, but maybe, just maybe God has better plans for us..He hasn't really let me down yet..He always seems to provide..In I am reflecting on my life, I can't really complain because God has been good..

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bring on 2011..

I know it has been a while, but life has been very busy for us lately. Christmas was filled with both tears and with joy. We were all missing Aubree, but it was so nice to see the joy on the faces of Carley and Parker. I did feel like Aubree was with us that morning..we had so many wonderful reminders of her surrounding us..the beautiful angel that my brother-in-law made for us, the red dragonfly that Mike found for my window, etc. The meaning of a red dragonfly blew me away was so incredibly fitting to her...

*It is considered a good omen by some, for it represents eternal love. Others consider it to be an evil omen, for it also represents a violent death..hmm..

*To some Native Americans (and I am part Native American) they are the souls of the dead..enough said about that one..

*Perhaps the most popular symbolic Native American meaning behind the red dragonfly is that they symbolize renewal after facing a time of great hardship.

*In Japan, the dragonfly represents strength, courage, and happiness. This symbolic meaning falls nicely with the Native American meaning of renewal, as moving forward after enduring hardship demonstrates that you are strong and courageous and ready to embrace happiness once more.

I was truly blown away when I read these meanings because of how many times I saw the dragonfly. I haven't said this before I don't think, but I saw two one time. It sort of freaked me out thinking about what that meant, but then I realized just the other day that it was a good thing..Aubree had found our first child and they were telling me they were together..It was actually reassuring to me. I don't know why it hit me like that just the other day months after I saw them. Just amazing..

I do have to say that I have spent a week a mess..I tried acupuncture and actually ended up having a panic attack. I was trying to relieve some of my anxiety, and it just made it worse. Mike seems to think that he hit some points on me that might have actually been good for me..I'm just not sure. I am afraid to go back again because I didn't like the way it made me feel. I have been thinking so hard about 2011 coming, and I couldn't wait because that meant I could put this horrible year behind me and look forward to bigger and better things..Unfortunately I think that January and February are going to be some of my toughest months. January is when my life fell apart because we found out she was going to die, and February because that is when we had to bury her. When I reflect on what I thought this year was supposed to hold for our family it didn't include a grave stone, only two children, and a year full of sadness. I thought it was supposed to be full of laughter, craziness, and firsts. It has not been a happy year by any means, but I am still thankful for the joy that the rest of my family brings to me. We have been blessed this year in many home, new dog, new friends, and most importantly a renewed relationship with our creator. We have changed as a family, we are growing as a family even if it isn't in the traditional sense of the word, and we are going to continue trusting that God will provide for our needs.

My New Year's Resolutions include reading my Bible even more, getting a handle on my anxiety, spending more time enjoying the life that I have been blessed with, etc. We also hope to add to our family this year if that is in God's plans for us. I feel like 2010 went by in a sad blur, and I don't want to let another year go by like that because I feel like I missed out on so much with Carley and Parker. They are only going to be young like this once, and I don't want to miss another minute..I think it is time for me to really wake up and accept what happened in 2010. I still have moments when I think it was all a bad dream..I need to realize that it wasn' happened, and I have to deal with it. I'm not sure how I am going to handle my feelings at this point, but I am really going to try this year..

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