Friday, January 29, 2010

Are You All Ready?

*** Update again--- I appreciate the good intentions of the comments left on this post. To be honest, though, I have found some of them to be a bit stress-producing. In an effort to protect my own heart and really seek the Lord's voice in how He would have us balance Isaac's place in our family, I have decided to close the comments on this post. If there is something that you would like to share that you believe would be an encouragement to me, you are certainly welcome to e-mail me. Thanks for understanding... ***

*** Update--- Just a quick update to say that as I have read through some of your comments, I have updated this post a little to better communicate my thoughts. :)***

With a 32 1/2 week pregnant tummy, I have been getting this question a lot lately. "So is everything ready?" people have been asking. "Are you all ready for Eliana to get here?"

I am already a mother, and thankfully, no one has phrased the question to me as, "Are you ready to be a mom?" I am a mom... Isaac is just not with me, though I deeply wish that he was.

With regard to being ready for Eliana to get here, the truth is, I don't know.

In some ways, yes... I am ready. I am excited to meet her! I am ready to hold her, I am ready to see whose nose she has and if her hair is strawberry-blond like Isaac's. I am ready to cuddle her and snuggle her and put her in all of the cute outfits we've been given for her to wear. I wonder what she will look like, how her personality will be, and whether she'll have as many hiccups out of the womb as she does in it!

In other ways, I have no idea whether or not I am ready. I have so many lingering questions and fears that I know all parents experience. Some of them are silly, like where do I put the infant bath tub when I bathe her? How will I know if she's too hot or too cold? What should I keep in my diaper bag? How many onesies do I really need? What if breastfeeding doesn't go as easily as I hope, or what if it doesn't really work out at all? What if I run out of diapers without realizing it?? :) Not that any of these are the things that really matter. And to be honest, I don't have a deep, profound worry about any of these things. It will take some figuring out, trial and error, and I am thankful to have such a strong support network of people who can help.

The place where I feel a bit stuck, and maybe not quite ready, didn't occur to me until a conversation with a good friend last night. Both she, and Spencer, have noticed how on edge I have seemed, and as we got to talking, she assured me that there will be times when I just won't have it all figured out. Times that Eliana will be crying, I will have tried everything, and still can't figure out what's wrong. She reminded me that really, we can do as much as we can as parents, but it really is God who ultimately protects us and our children. And I think this is where my hangup is.

Truthfully, I have been spending a lot of time preparing things around our house, making sure all of the paperwork for me to be out of work for the rest of the school year is filled out correctly... trying to make sure everything is just so. I guess trying to be in control. But in doing this, I am realizing that it is my way of making sure that Eliana will be okay, rather than believing God and trusting that He will look after her.

Because of losing Isaac, this is a really hard thing for me. Of course I know that from an eternal perspective, God will protect Eliana... but there's a part of me that struggles to trust Him for her well being in the day-to-day. I know deep in my heart that our circumstances don't change who He is... God is trustworthy, simply because He is. And I need to continue to step out in faith and trust Him.

So I would just really ask for your prayers in these last 4 1/2 weeks before we welcome our little daughter... that God would calm my fear and anxiety and provide His perfect peace, that He would daily remind me that I need to trust Him with Eliana's well-being, and that He would draw me into such close communion with Him.


Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Praying, as always...

Julie said...

Praying with you...

I know so much of what you describe having gone through these worries of waiting for my little one after a profound loss. It's hard to let go and trust...but know that you are doing it and you just doesn't always feel that way!

Thinking of you...always!

Michelle Karr said...

Stacy, I will be praying for you!

Cynthia said...

I am sorry that you are feeling unsure of yourself but can understand. The most important thing a child needs is love and i know that you and Spencer have that in abundance. The rest will just come naturally.

Thinking of you as Eliana's birth day approaches and praying that theses last weeks are filled with peace.

Trennia said...

Praying for you my will do great! Ya know really it don't matter where you put the tub,how many onesies,ect..the most important is LOVE, and from following your blog and reading it I'm pretty sure you have alot of are a sweet person.You'll do great!

mommara said...

We are praying. Take a moment every day to breathe and enjoy this too. I am sure with all of the trying to control you forget how amazing this all is. You are an amazing mommy already. You have been for 19m.

**You should post a Belly Picture! We haven't gotten to see how cute you are with this pregnancy.

Hugs Momma

My life said...

I will be praying. I can certainly understand that not trusting part, sometimes it's hard to just be steadfast in our faith. He will keep her safe.

Anonymous said...

After giving birth to 3 children, I can assure you that life with a baby is a little on-the-job training and a lot of trial and error. You quickly figure out what works for you and, fortunately, babies are a lot more resilient than you think. The sum of your fears are much greater than the outcomes of any of your given worries. You will quickly find the confidence that you need to deal with any/all situations that arise- and if not- you've got quite a good support system in place with all your friends who have babies! I predict that you will be fine!!


Joanne said...

Praying for you as you get closer to meeting your beautiful daughter. I know you have times of uncertainty and fear. All good parents do. I certainly did, especially when I held my daughter for the first time and realized "I am responsible for this child!" But God is good. He will help you and Spenser. He has given you hundreds of friends to help you too. Just ask-we're here and so is God.

ishatrisha said...

i pray for you to have a peace about you, during all the changes you are about to face. just take everything in stride, and let yourself feel whatever you are feeling!

and, something i was always reluctant to accept with my first baby was HELP! i felt like i could do anything and everything for her all by myself , and i got exhausted fast!

happy parenting,

croleyc69 said...

Praying for you so much. No matter what you will be a Awesome Mommy.

Lilly's Mom (Desiree) said...

praying for you as you await the arrival of your precious baby!

Misty Rice said...

Squeezing you tightly ((((((this is you))))) in my arms sweet girl. I am dealing with things in my life very personal too and I am having actually say the words out loud or in my head loud enough over and over and over "JUST IN GOD, LET HIM LEADE THE WAY." ....

Its hard not having control over things. VERY HARD.

Just know you are lovingly wrapped up in prayers and support.

And I can't wait to see her too... I wonder if she will have brown hair? With blue eyes? Brown eyes are beautiful too. Does anyone have blue eyes in your fam?


Hmmmmm so exciting.

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said...

I know that God has a great plan. He has you in the palm of his hand. I know you will experience his peace the day she is born, and the worries will disappear. you will be a great mother!!! Enjoy these last few weeks and I can't wait to see pictures of your family!

Kellye said...

One of the things I have to constantly pray is that "I know you can do ALL things God. I know that. But help my disbelief and worry that you won't do what I want." We know that God can do all things, but it's terrifying to think that He won't do it in our way or on our terms.

I am definitely praying for your family during this time because I can only imagine where you might be right now emotionally! Praying you find that peace!

boltefamily said...

praying for peace and balance as you welcome your new little one.

Kathy said...

God-given instinct is a wonderful thing. You instantly loved Isaac, without any training & instruction, it just happens. So will everything you need to know and love about this little girl. God has given parents an amazing gift....instinct!! The little stuff is inconsequential!

Anonymous said...

same names, perhaps similar stories?

Southern said...

I haven't read your blog in awhile and didn't even know you were pregnant!! Congratulations!! We will certainly be lifting you all up in prayer as you prepare for Eliana's arrival!!

Jerilyn said...

The very first blog I ever read, was your's..the very first day I ever read it was the day your son was born. I have followed your story..heart warming, sad, rewarding and humbling.. Congratulations on your new baby girl..I will continue to follow and cant wait to read your words of raising a daughter. I myself have 2 sons and 2 daughters, age 8 to 28 along with 6 grandchildren..I look forward continuing to follow your writings

Jennifer said...


I'm Michelle Karr's friend, and you and spoke through email a while back. I just wanted you to know that I'm praying!! I follow several blogs. One blog I read might interest you. This family shares the deep loss of a child and has recently given birth to another child. Just thought it might be of some help to see how someone else is getting through these tough times. I can only pray as I do not relate to what you are dealing with. Anyway, here's the address in case you are interested.

Jess said...

Praying for you in these upcoming weeks.

Anonymous said...

You are a very strong woman! You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the upcoming weeks. Everything will be great.

Anonymous said...

you are lovely, pure, undoubtedly well-intentioned.

hope you will take a deep breath and not go with your gut reaction to the following but rather pray on it; give its truth a chance to resound in you:

as a longtime reader and much longertime child psychologist, I hope you that as your daughter grows up, you won't go overboard with emphasis on her deceased brother -- please seek and embrace sound, seasoned, experienced advice and refrain from very unintentionally making her precious brother a burden to her.

young children cannot truly understand, conceptualize or handle as much emphasis in this area as grieving parents mistakenly assume they can.

and while every mention/reminder of a big brother or sister comes from the purest of loves and greatest of intentions, it may be a tremendous burden to her (birthday parties for dead never-known siblings, repeated discussions/dwellings-on and visits to photo albums, visible parental displays of grief, etc.)

with respect, compassion, real-life experience, and the very best of intentions,
east coast reader

Mary said...

Of course we will pray for you! And remember, part of the joy of being a parent to a child who gets to live on earth with us, is figuring it out along the way. We GET to do that! To learn to love them and care for them. You will do wonderful. You already are such a great Mommy!

jessduq_99 said...

I am a mother of 2 little boys and have been following your blog... here's some answers to some of your worries.... the first 3 months are REALLY hard... you are trying so hard to figure out your baby and what works... Just remember that they are figuring out everything too! I did breast feed but I had to supplement. Breast feeding is WONDERFUL. You have to be 100% committed to it for it to really work... the first week is really hard because you are worried about doing it right and worrying if the baby is getting enough... if breast feeding is important to you, then just keep telling yourself to be patient and it will work out- it is such a wonderful thing to do and so good for both of you... and usually after the first week, you both will get the hang of it! If her diapers are wet, then you know she is getting enough!!
you probably will have too many onesies!! I know I do!! I'm always thinking that I need more of things and now that my baby is 9 months old, I have so many things that were never used!!
diaper bag- always have diapers, wipes (a wipe case is great to have), bib/burp cloth, spair outfit, butt cream if you use it, those scented bags are nice to have for when you are out (they are blue and babiesrus sells them if you have one), a toy (when they are bigger, puffs are a great snack to keep handy)...
just remember that the most important thing that you can give your baby is LOVE and I know that you have so much of that to give her!! You are such a great mom and I am so excited for you to be meeting you lil girl soon :)
God Bless you always!

jacks grandmom said...

It is really unsettling- the unknown- but somehow a mother's instinct kicks in for most things- for the others- you can call friends and family for help and guidance. Breast feeding- not always easy- there are lactation nurses to help and also cousins, friends, etc who can also give some good tips from experience. A lot of bathtubs fit over a double sink quite nicely- they make them like that on purpose- and it is at the right height so you don't get a backache. Do you have a water thermometer for the bathtub? They say the guide for how to dress a baby is the same as for yourself. If you are cold- the baby is cold, etc. If you are warm enough- so is the baby. You are going to be just fine- you are intelligent, have great common sense and after all- you are a Mom! You will see that a lot of things just come to you- with God's assistance of course! Everything is going to be fine.

Christy said...

After our oldest daughter, Jordyn went to Heaven at 2 yrs old, 8 days later we found out we were expecting another child, quite unplanned on "our part" but NOT GOD's! :) My biggest fear was that I would not love Jacob as much as I loved Jordyn. To be honest I was terrified I wouldn't love him at all or the way I KNEW I should.

I don't know if you're dealing with those fears, but I want to share that you will love her with every ounce of your soul and GOD will absolutely give you everything you need. Even on the days you feel exhausted, stressed, etc GOD will give you the strength, family, and friends you need. You know how precious this life is, you've been on the "otherside" of parenting and you have done the HARDEST job ever, to parent on the otherside of Heaven. You will keep your precious son alive, as your daughter grows and GOD will give you everything you need as you parent your daughter, he'll give your husband all he needs and together you'll do a great job on some days, and fall on your face other days, but through it'll do the job GOD created you to do..parent. I'm praying for you and believe in you.

mom2anangel said...

Hi Stacy, as always you are in my thoughts and prayers. Since the only thing I know about having a healthy baby is having one after a late loss I speak from experience (as you alreay know). I just wanted to let you know that we feel the same about telling our daughter about her brother in's just something that is part of our life and our family. We refer to him when it's appropriate and "celebrate" him on his birth/death day. We do not throw birthday parties as a poster here suggested - we do not sign our cards in his name or refer to him as if he is here with us just in the other room...I think there is a fine balance between "pretending" nothing happened and our angels in Heaven are here with us on Earth and recognizing that our angel children are an important part of our lives. For us, we just figure it out as we go along...when we go to support group monthly we tell our daughter where we are going and why. She's 1 so she doesn't understand but she's growing up with this understanding that she has a brother whom we love and miss very much. It's a shame that "experts" who have no real life experience as far as the loss of a baby are giving advice. You and Spencer are such strong Christian's and will find a balance as you go along. As always, ask God for guidance and He will lead the way. It was really, really hard in the beginning, I found myself crying about our son almost every time I held our daughter but that really lessened quickly (I'm sure it had a lot to do with hormones and sleep deprivation!). The best advice I was ever given was to remember that each child is different.

The Riggs said...

Hi Stacy, I am a reader of your blog, but have never commented before. I think you are doing a wonderful, responsible, and respectful way of honoring your son and your own soul with how you celebrate Issac's life. I wonder if the "anonymous comment" may have been more appropriate as a discussion privately through email, where you could actually respond. I think everyone gets that you are finding your way the best way you can. Is there really a "right" or "better" way? Maybe the comment is more appropriate for someone who has not sought help for their grief? I don't believe this describes you at all. I suffered many very painful miscarriages before conceiving my daughter. I started journaling about these losses so that she may have an insight into her mother in the future. So that if she were to ever experience the same, she might find comfort in my journals and not the isolation I felt. Your blog will also do the same for your daughter. I hope this will not cause you to hold back your thoughts or what your write because writing is very healing in itself. Praying for you!

Ebe said...

I think one of the hardest things for me after my son Owen's death was how no one could see his value, his human-ness. He was brushed off in conversation. He was devalued as I was told I could always have more children.
His life, his perfect 36 week life, was important; just as important as a life live 60 years.

I am now 23 weeks pregnant with his sister and Owen is still under-valued and devalued in conversation. Infant death and stillbirth are disgusting, horrible things not only because of what we lose, but because people do not see our children as children. They had souls and heartbeats and lives.

I don't think that people would be so quick to tell a bereaved mother to just have other children if her 2 year died. They wouldn't tell her not to speak of him or remember him or tell her other children stories of him. I'm sure they wouldn't tell her not to grieve him in front of her other children, even subsequent children.

Your precious son's life is meant to be remembered. I know the Holy Spirit will guide you as you strive to raise your daughter in light of the life you've all been given. Your story is unique and God is working through you and Issac in ways we can't see.

Please don't let anyone's well-intentioned advice make you feel like it is wrong to have an open forum to discuss Issac's life and death and his life now in Heaven with your daughter.
Because of the Holy Spirit's working, she will know and see Heaven's joys in a way that most children don't. She will have a precious picture of the hope of Heaven.

God is most glorified in our suffering when we feel the pain and turn to him in our grief. Eliana is going to have a beautiful picture of this.

Praying for you and your husband as you navigate this road. Please filter everything (including what I've just said) through the Gospel. That is where we'll find truth.

love and many prayers,

Mandy Fairbanks said...

I found the anonymous poster's comments to be very inappropriate. I myself have lost a child at 2 1/2 months and am expecting a little girl March 2nd. I feel that we have to do things for ourselves and our children to remember our lost loved ones. I know that I plan to remember him everyday, but also on those certain anniversaries. I also have a 5 year old that I will also include in these anniversaries. I'm sure this poster has never even lost a child or known anyone that has. Do what you feel you need to do for your self. I talked with a therapist when I lost my boy and he encouraged me to start my blog. So, I don't think that this poster is speaking from any kind of experience except her own ignorance. I recieved a similar comment on my carepage from a cousin about how we plan to decorate my son's grave for christmas. Speaking as a loss parent, I know that you do what you can do. I can't do anything else for him but to show outwardly how much he was loved and cared for. By decorating his grave for holidays I feel like it is the one thing I can do for him. As my therapist explained, it may seem strange to other people, but it is all normal behavior when your grieving for a lost child. I know other loss parents that do the same things and include their children in these activities. Just know you should ignore comments made by someone who doesn't know you or what it feels like to be in that situation.

Holly said...

Still praying for you!! You are a great mom to Isaac and you will be wonderful with Eliana too!

And I totally disagree with the 'expert' anonymous.

belle said...

yes, please do not take to heart the well intended (i hope) but completely off based statements of the anonymous expert. i too have been recently "cautioned" not to speak to my living children about it. "they don't really need to know" she said. well, i suppose a 5,7,9,10 yr old just don't notice that mom- with a massive huge belly- went to the hospital to have the baby and came home without her?

you are not alone in your struggle, you are not alone in your feelings, in fact, you are not alone. God knows ans as you have trusted in Him everyday thus far and He has guided you, He will now also.

my kids do know and ask questions about the babies i miscarried when they were too young to remember. it's a fine line but everyday, we walk it knowing that He has a plan.

Shannon said...

I don't think the anonymous poster advised the blog writer to pretend that Isaac didn't exist or to not make him a huge part of his sister's life.

I come with a unique perspective of an adult whose place in the family aligns exactly with what Eliana's will be: the younger sister of a brother who passed away at birth.

I grew up almost resenting my brother because I always felt that I was second best, a consolation prize. My parents would never intentionally make me feel this way, but my baby pictures are labeled as "Shannon, Aaron's little sister", my mother would miss a track meet if it fell on a day that was significant about Aaron (birthday, day she found out she was pregnant and so on).

As a teenager I finally worked up the nerve to tell her how I felt and she now talks about how she wishes she would have done things differently.

I am not saying that Eliana should not know about her brother, far from it. I loved hearing stories about him moving in my Mom's stomach, or how my parents felt when they found out my mother was pregnant. I simply would have liked to hear more stories about those moments with respect to myself.

As someone who was in the spot that Eliana is about to be in, please do tell her about her brother, but please do remember that she is unique person. She is Eliana, not JUST Isaac's little sister.