Friday, April 23, 2010

The Rainbow Connection

Whenever I hear the phrase " the rainbow connection," I think immediately of Kermit the Frog and my Muppets record from when I was little. Years later, that phrase carries a whole new meaning.

In the world of baby loss, your rainbow baby is the child you have after the one you've lost. That gives Isaac an interesting place... Both a rainbow baby after the baby I miscarried when I was 13 weeks pregnant, and yet still the son I've lost, and so deeply still long for. If you've been reading a while, you may remember that rainbows were a particularly special thing during my pregnancy with Isaac. I saw so many of them, and each time I would tell Isaac all about it... the colors, how it arched across the sky...All the while being personally reminded of God's faithfulness and commitment to His promises.

Eliana is truly my rainbow baby. Our little "God has answered" fills our lives with so much joy and is such an answer to our prayers. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my friend, Carly, and her rainbow baby Finn,and my friend Susi and her rainbow baby Max. We have this sort of, rainbow connection.

The three of us met at an infant loss support group quite a while ago, and have walked together down the twisting, turning, and often unpredictable road of grief. And because of His goodness, God is allowing us to share in each other's joy through the birth of our sons' siblings.

We were thankfully able to gather a few shots yesterday of Max, Eliana, and Finn. And while each picture is almost identical, various babies were in different stages of falling over in each one, which I think is just funny and pretty darn cute :)

And this morning, my precious daughter not only allowed me to get a bow clipped in her hair, but gave me one of the most beautiful smiles...

Monday, April 19, 2010


Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that Providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

These lyrics by Natalie Grant have spoken volumes to my heart during my pregnancy with Isaac and in the months since,. They speak truth on so many levels.
Lately, I've been doing a lot of holding. I am sure this comes as no surprise, being the mother of a 6 1/2 week old. After feeding Eliana, Spencer or I hold her upright for a bit to help her tummy settle so that she doesn't spit up as much. I have come to love that time in the middle of the night; while tired, I love sitting up in bed, holding her close, listening to her breathe, and just taking her in. Ellie is just so cuddly and snuggly. She loves to be held.
This past week I received an email from a friend... another mom who knows what the pain of losing your child is like. She lost twin boys who would have turned 2 this past March. In addition to the beautiful little girl she had before her twin boys, she has since had another beautiful baby girl after them. She of course asks about Eliana; but in her email, she asked me something I have truthfully failed to ask myself recently.
How's the grief?
I was so thankful she asked, and at first I wasn't sure how to answer. I have been so preoccupied caring for Eliana, holding things together at home, trying to figure out my job situation... I hadn't really slowed down enough to really think about it, or to really let it in.
Her email caused me to reflect. As I did, it occurred to me that the grief has been intensifying. Perhaps it's because it was around this time two years ago that we were floored with Isaac's prognosis when I was only 12 weeks pregnant; hearing the words, "There's only a very slim chance that your baby will live" is absolutely numbing. Or, perhaps it's the fact that I am now walking through all of the things that I have missed out on with Isaac. It's no longer theoretical. I thought about what a gift it is to be able to hold Eliana whenever I want. She's here... and at any time I can pick her up, snuggle her, and love on her. It seems obvious, I know. And as glaringly obvious as that is, it is also equally as obvious to me that I don't have a toddler here to snuggle, too.

As I was holding Ellie while she slept this morning, my thoughts turned back to October 7, 2008. I remember sitting in my hospital bed, feeling my time with Isaac ticking away. I remember holding his body, even though he had already gone to be with Jesus, and feeling like I just didn't have enough time. And I remember so clearly the last time I held him... the last time I kissed his little face, the physical pain my chest as Spencer and I handed him to the nurse, and the sob that came out of me when the nurse walked out of our room. It was the most painful experience of my life... knowing I would never get to hold my son again.
And so the tears came, like they do; and in the midst of them I am just grateful for the chance to hold my daughter... and for a faithful Father who is not only holding me in my tears, but who is also safely holding my son.
What a beautiful thing... to be held.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life As We Know It

It has been way too long since any update of substance. I am so sorry! Somehow my days feel like they're flying life in three hour cycles is quite a change of pace for me.

So, some long overdue updates, and just some other things that have been on my mind. Buckle up... this is sure to be all over the place.

Job update-- My job is still up in the air. The ball is rolling, and our request for me to amend my leave and return to work on June 1 in order to keep my position at my current school goes before a review committee this Friday. I don't want to have to go back in June, but I am willing to in order to not have to transfer to a school that could potentially be over 90 minutes away. Please pray that the request is approved and my position will be secure.

Eliana update-- She is doing great! Her 1 month checkup went very well last Friday. She's up to 8 lbs and is 21 inches long. Her newborn clothes are getting a bit snug, but she is swimming in the 0-3 month things! She also started on Zantac for her mild reflux, and it seems to be helping her a lot. She still has a strong sensitivity to any dairy in my diet, so when I end up consuming some accidentally, it makes for a rough day for her. She is becoming much more alert during the day, and has even started to smile! Here's a picture of our litle sweetie on last night's walk... the first one for which she actually stayed awake!

Spencer update-- His grad school program is coming to a close, thankfully, and he graduates in May!! This year has been pretty grueling for him, and I know we're both ready for him to be finished.

Isaac's Playground update-- Our church building is set to be complete this summer, and from what I am hearing, there's a good chance the playground will be finished right along with it. I am so excited... excited for our new church building, excited that the playground will be built, excited to see little kids playing on it, and so amazed at God's provision through the generosity of so many people to make this happen. I feel really fortunate to be able to honor Isaac in such a neat way.

Isaac's Golf Tournament update-- The 2nd Annual Isaac Timothy Delisle Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for Friday, August 20, 2010 at Worthington Manor Golf Club in Urbana, MD. If you're interested in playing, becoming a hole sponsor, donating a prize, or being involved in some other way, please feel free to check out the tournament website, or email us at

And on a random note, in the past two weeks, I have met two other little girls named Eliana. Neither of them spell it the same way, but I was shocked to meet other girls with that name! Both of them are under a year old, so maybe the name Eliana is on the rise? I had never heard of it before a kind blog reader left the name suggestion in a I am bumping in to Elianas everywhere!

Lots of thoughts still being mulled over about the transition of being a mom to a child who has died to a mom whose child is living, how the Lord stretches and prunes you through the gift of motherhood... they're just not coherent thoughts yet :)

So now, I'll open it up to you. Anything you've been wondering or want to know about?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter/ 1 Month Old!

Pictures, as promised... Enjoy!
One month old!

The obligatory cousin picture

Spencer, Eliana, and me!

As If It Were The First Time

I promise to have some one month pictures and Easter pictures up shortly... coincidentally, they will likely be the same pictures since Eliana turned one month old yesterday! We hope that you and your family had a blessed Easter, and were reminded afresh of the hope that is found in three simple words: He is risen.

Yesterday was a great day for our family. We made it to church, and through half of the service before Eliana decided that it was time to go. Spent a beautiful afternoon at my Dad's with much of my extended family. Ellie took a great nap, and was generally in a happy mood! Even though she is too young to understand what Easter is all about, or to participate in any Easter traditions, it was still special to be able to celebrate her first holiday. I am incredibly thankful that God allowed it to be a sweet day for our family.

Today, though, my heart is heavy... heavy with the missing. I've spoken countless times about the bittersweet aspects of holidays and milestones, and today is no exception. You see, while for Spencer and I, Isaac's place in our family is firmly established, it often feels as though our home is the only place where it is.

Over the past few weeks, I've heard people say to my stepbrothers, "You're an uncle now!"... as if it were the first time. I know that when those words are spoken, they are done so in excitement and love; but in those moments, I want so badly to cry out... "Now? But he already was." I know that the fact that Eliana is here and is tangible makes someone's uncle-hood, aunt-hood, or whatever else feel that much more real; but the truth is, Isaac had already established those titles. Eliana adds to them. It's difficult to be a parent of two children, but having people respond to us as if it were the first time. It's difficult thing to articulate... but if you've been there, I know you know what I mean.

Stay tuned for Easter pictures... hope to have them up later today!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

4 weeks!

Eliana is 4 weeks old today! I can't believe she'll be celebrating her 1 month birthday on Easter!

Just a quick post giving you a glimpse at our little Eliana with her friend, Madelyn, who turned 4 months old today...

They both have so much hair!! I love it!