I intended to leave my thoughts simply with a few words as my facebook status "It is so very easy to judge, to say what you would or wouldn't do; I'm sure some decisions may surprise other people, but until you find yourself in the exact same position, you truly have no idea!"
Sorry, I just can't seem to let it stop there.
The famous Duggar family, suffered a 2nd trimester miscarriage last week. The world is outraged and looking at everything this couple does as a publicity stunt. (you can read the story here)
While I do not advocate for anyone having 20 children, it is not my place to judge a family that loves and provides, without the assistance of government help, for their family.
Your personal feelings aside on what this woman may be doing to her body, the footprint they are leaving on our environment, etc, etc. You can not deny the pain this family is experiencing in the loss of their last child!
I. WEEP. FOR. AND. WITH. THEM.
and yes, as crazy as this may sound to you, I AM JEALOUS OF THEM.
They are the parents of a precious angel. A perfect child that shall forever watch over them and love them from heaven, resting safely in the arms of our Lord.
So am I!
This isn't a blessing, (and yes it is a blessing) that I would wish to any parent.
My circumstances in having my baby in heaven is slightly different than the Duggars, but no less special.
So, why you ask am I jealous?
Because they have pictures!!!!
Yes, many people the world over are outraged and disgusted by the audacity and seemingly senselessness of Michelle Duggar and family to hand out pictures of their stillborn preterm child.
I have never seen a more tasteful, beautiful picture in all my life!
I completely commend this family and the photographers from nowilaymedowntosleep.org for the beauty they have shown in this sweet pictures.
I am jealous that the Duggars have a visual reminder, beautiful enough to display to the world of their angel in heaven. I am jealous that in the face of tragedy, they had time to think and prepare for a precious way to remember their angel.
You see when "tragedy" strikes, we are often left with no time to prepare. I am incredibly blessed to have had 3 hours with my precious sweet baby Andrew before he passed away, but I have blogged before, that my ONLY regret surrounding his life and death here on earth, is that I have no pictures fit for displaying. Yes, I have a picture, but it is not one I can show the world. Through a mother's eyes, I can look at his picture, a baby with such little, perfect features, and smile at how the sheer beauty and perfection God alone can create. However, most people can not look at his picture through my eyes. Yes, he was perfect, every finger and toe perfectly formed...a cute button noise, a head of black hair, a tiny, wrinkly little tummy...beautiful, long arms and legs. Perfection in its truest form! Yet, knowing this picture was taken, after he went home to be with Jesus, makes it impossible for most people to look at. I have yet to show my children here on earth, although they know and talk about their brother in heaven frequently, because well, they are simply not mature and understanding enough to appreciate and value the beauty of his picture.
Had I the time to prepare, as the Duggars did, I would have made certain to take pictures of my precious angel. Pictures of him wrapped up, snuggled in my arms, pictures of his daddy kissing his forehead, pictures of his grandparents looking at him in wonderful amazement, pictures of the priest baptizing him, pictures of mommy's tears falling on his gentle cheeks.
Yes, I would have taken pictures, yes, I would still to this day have them displayed proudly in my home. Yes, pictures to show my children of their brother.
I fully support the tastefulness, love and heartbreak in which the Duggars chose to have pictures taken to show their angel to the world, to hang on the wall of their home, to have the visual reminder, when time fads the memory, of the beauty and love they have known through their precious child, Jubilee.
May the Duggars continue to find peace in the knowledge that their sweet girl is with her heavenly father!
At 10, can I still refer to you as little man? I suppose, to me, you will always be a little man, or at least for the next few years!
10.....wow! How did this happen exactly. Double digits. I guess, officially at least, I can no longer say that I am the mother of 4 young children. Being in the double digits makes you older, more than halfway to legal adulthood.
10 years has gone by in the blink of an eye.
It seems just yesterday, I was on my way to the doctors office, praying that this would be the day that you entered into this world. Not 5 minutes into my drive, the radio begins to announce that our country is under attack, in a way that you will learn in history books, but never fully understand unless, God-forbid, tragedy like this strikes again in your lifetime. All at once, my prayers immediately change and I not only begin to pray for the families and lives affected by the horrific events occurring, but I also begin to pray, that you rest in the safety of my belly for just a little while longer. Remaining pregnant with you really was no sacrifice, I love every minute of being pregnant, and truthfully, I wanted and needed your day of birth to be a joyous occasion.
Exactly two weeks to the day later, you decide, Albert with quite a bit of coaxing and then forceful withdraw, to make your entry into this world. The video of your birth, both funny and amazing. I still cry to this day every time I watch it.
You never left my sight after you were born. You were such a precious little guy, well, not exactly little at 8lbs 1oz, but little still as only a newborn can be.
You were an absolutely perfect baby. You only cried when hungry. You were content to sleep, a lot. You were so laid back and easy going. You smiled often. You ate like crazy (still do), there was (is) nothing you don't like.
I have had the blessing of being your mother for 10 years now, and honestly sweet heart, there is nothing I would change. Sure, there have been times you have driven me crazy, all kids do, but every moment I have been blessed to parent you has been wonderful.
You are changing so much these days, growing so quickly, physically...mentally...emotionally.
Truthfully, as much as I love the young man you are becoming, I long to stop time. The changes in you coming so fast as of late, the mommy in me is having a hard time adjusting.
I thought when I let you go with your grandparents, for 5 weeks alone this summer without me, that I was giving you independence, letting you spread your wings (while under the watchful eye of those that raised me), giving you a break from being the big brother. I thought I was letting you do all these things for just 5 weeks and then I would have back my little boy.
The truth is, that I didn;t acknowledge at the time, that you needed those 5 weeks to spread your wings, but once spread, they will never go back to where they were. You will never again be my flightless bird.
We were all walking through Target a couple weeks ago. Picking out new school clothes for the girls. As we walked by the boys section, you stopped and picked out an outfit that you wanted. The style, taking me very much by surprise. You picked out a shirt, jeans, a jacket and even a hat, that I would have never thought to buy you. And ever so slightly, my heart broke.
Laying in bed that night, talking to your dad about the day, I began to tear up. Your dad looked at me in complete disbelief that I could get sad over your choice of clothing. Yes, it seems that simple. Yet my heart knows that you picking your own style of clothing is so much more.
I have always picked your clothes, never caring what you wore, really. I have always picked your style, short or jeans and a t-shirt. You have always been perfectly okay to go along with whatever I picked.
But, you are continue on to spread your wings farther. You see sweet heart, the simple act of picking your own style is the first big step in being your own person. You have developed and will continue to develop still, your own identity, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, passions, wants and needs. A simple shirt selection, reminds me that you are your own person and will be spreading your wings more and more in the years to come.
I am not ready. I am not sure a mother is ever ready, but I am certain I am not! I want to hold you at 9 forever. I want you to always have you excited that I volunteer in your classroom. I want to always know that I am the prettiest girl in your life. I want to always know that you will be my little boy. Yet, you won't be.
You now have the option of joining clubs at school, about two dozen different after school activities to choose from, and again, your choices surprised me. Yet, another opportunity that makes you the unique individual that you are.
Tonight, as I type, I can hear you in your room, having a birthday party sleep over with your friends from school. Your first real sleepover and surprise birthday party all rolled in to one. I have watched all night long as you have interacted with your friends. I am proud of the person you are. I enjoyed the moments of you acting like little kids (and yes, even the moments where you acted like obnoxious 10 year old boys, but I will never admit to that). I loved seeing the smile on your face at receiving the outfit you so badly wanted. I can not wait to see you dressed up in it. I love the fact that you still hugged me when your friends were here. I love that you feel safe enough to be who you are with us and your friends.
I know that picking a new clothing style and clubs are just the beginning of the independence you will begin to seek as you grow. I know that with every step away from me, I will be sad. I know that I can't stop time and keep you at 9. I know that someday you will drive, have a real girlfriend, move away. I know that because I cannot stop these things from happening, nor really would I want to as they are all healthy and a part of life, I will embrace them fully. I may not always like the things you do or say, I may not like your clothing styles (although, I do love your new outfit), I may not always agree with your choices....but I will always support you, accept you, encourage you, love you and hug you.
You will always be my little man, whether at 6months, 5 years or 10 years old. You will always be my little man..... I am thankful to God daily for you, you set the bar on me being a parent. You will always walk the path of being the oldest, the decisions we make, the rules and limits we set with you, will always be a first for us, and for that I am thankful. You make parenting easy and fun. You make me more proud than you will ever know.
I hope you always have the loving, kind, compassionate heart that you do today. I hope that you never lose your sense of humor (maybe the sarcasm a little bit :), your athleticism, your desire to learn. I hope this year brings you wonderful moments full of chances to grow in God, to be a kid, to have fun and yes, to learn new things. Mostly, I hope this year brings you the opportunities to still be my wonderful little man.
You will always and forever be mu little man, doodlebug, Lil cutie.
I love you my sweet, sweet Adam and hope that 10 is the best year yet!!!!!!
Now would you and your friends please go to sleep so I can?! :)
When I sit down to write the kids birthday letters every year, I usually begin to think of what I want to say days in advance. I reflect on each child individually, the growth they have made, the challenges they have faced, the changes that have occurred.
Yet, with you, there is no forethought. The words, flow out of me, often as do the tears. Tonight is no different.
11 years ago, I was blissfully pregnant; you tucked safely inside the security of my body. I was still enjoying every moment of my regular clothes no longer fitting. Reveling in the joy of feeling you flutter. Peace within the excitement that someday I would see your face and hold your little body.
I had no idea that in 12 short days, I would have the joy and heartbreak of holding my firstborn, of kissing your skin, counting your fingers, feeling them wrapped around my hand. I had no way of knowing, the dreams I had, the plans we were making, would be cut so short. No way to prepare for the heartbreak, sadness and un-regrettable arrival you would bring to my life.
Two friends on facebook, both pregnant, with the automatic tickers that show up announcing how far along they are, the growth that is occurring to the babies they both hold safe. In the last couple days, both of them have hit the 22 week mark. I read of them putting together the cribs, the baby items, planning the baby showers. Their excitement is palpable; as it should be.
Tonight, it brings me to tears. It takes me back instantly to my own excitement and preparations for you; Planning of your baby shower, your daddy eagerly painting your nursery night after night, me constantly rubbing my belly the way pregnant mommies do, the journal writing I did to you, the talking.
And then, just as quickly, the fear that something was wrong, the motherly instinct already fully in tact, the hope that we would defy the odds, the statistics. Ever knowing as all medical advances were made to hold you inside me until you could survive safely outside the security of my belly, that they would be futile attempts. Aware, even as I laid in bed and prayed, begged, pleaded and bargained with God to let me have you just a little longer, that I would really only have you very little longer. Every flutter kick you gave, I savored, knowing by the time my head could comprehend the breaking of my heart, I would feel your kicks no more.
11 years later and I am not sure my head has ever been able to comprehend the pain my heart feels. Yet, my soul knows only peace.
I long to say that I hope these mommies see weeks 23, 33 of their pregnancies....yet does that make it seems as though I wished I hadn't had you? For even with the heartbreak, I never regret you. How could I?
So perfect, all 1.1 pounds of you. absolute perfection. one look at your perfectly formed body and I knew then, even through the heartbreak, that there was/is a God. There is no way, man on our own, is capable of making something so wonderfully delicate, perfectly beautiful and amazingly strong. Oh how my broken heart longs some days to be able to see you again, to hold you one more time, to kiss your soft skin, to hold your hands, to feel your heartbeat, to wipe away my tears at the pure innocence and beauty of you.
I could never regret the gift of your life God chose to give me. Three hours may have been all the time I was given to enjoy you in my arms, but my heart, occasionally broken and hurt that I can not hold you now, knows the love of a mother last forever.
Your life, taught me things about myself that I may have otherwise never learned. Your life, gave me your brothers and sisters. Your life, gave me strength, courage, acceptance, love and understanding.
Three short hours in my arms, a lifetime in my heart.
Yes, I hope each of those mommies celebrate 23 and 33 weeks of pregnancy. I pray each of those mommies celebrate the birth of their babies, their first birthday, the first day of kindergarten, their high school prom and everything else their unborn lives have to offer. Yes, those mommies will have their hearts broke by those babies, yes they will drive their mommies crazy, yes they will teach their mommies so much throughout their lives.
Yet, when you become a mommy, it does not matter where your child lives, heaven or earth, how long they are with you, 3hours or 83 years, or how many physical kisses they can give, a couple hundred or a million millions....when you become a mommy, all that matters is you know a love so profound, so true, so real, so deep, so without understanding, that you never regret it!
Baby Andrew, there may be tears, my life with you may not have turned out at all how I planned or thought, my heart may break again sometimes at missing you, I may long for moments I will never have with you.......but my love for you will last forever.
I love you my beautiful perfect sweet baby.....until I can hold you and kiss you again on your side of Heaven.....
hugs, kisses, and love forever.......
happy 11th birthday beautiful boy....I hope Jesus throws you a big party and gives you an extra hug from mommy.
On June 15th 2005 at 1:30pm weighing 7lbs 14oz, this little bundle of pink entered my world and stole my heart.
On June 15th 2011 at 1:30pm weighing 45lbs, this bigger bundle of pink own my heart!
Amazing girl. Amazing girl. Amazing girl.
How did I ever get so blessed by our Father to have the privilege of raising you?
I have never seen the face of God, but I see him daily when you wrap your arms around me and say I love you mommy. I rejoice in him daily as I watch you lift your arms out and sing the newest bible song you have learned. I feel him daily when I watch you stop to pray, your prayers so sweet yet earnest and sincere. I witness daily his love and compassion for all things when I watch you in action as Amazing girl the bug catcher.
Through your eyes, I see the beauty of life. For you sweet child, the catcher of all bugs, including roaches (years from now when you read this, yes, you really did catch a roach with your bare hands to put into your bug play ground to play so mommy didn't kill it) see the value of life in everything. You, dear tomboy, my I-want-to-wear-a-dress-while-I-am-catching-bugs girl, are the first to see, save, love and animal God put on this earth (including the 135lb boa constrictor we saw a few weeks ago). You my sweet future tree hugger, despise litter, you will stop no matter where we are and start to pick it up. Sometimes this is troublesome, for the time it takes and the germs your OCD mother knows you are touching. But, above all, this is beyond fantastic! You have such a caring, concerned heart for all that is in this world. You darling love, take the time, that I so often rush through, to see the beauty in this world; in people, in nature, in love.
You are now officially a 1st grader. WOW! You grew so much this year. You started Kindergarten knowing all your letters and numbers, being social and personable. You ended this school year, reading at a 1st grade level, loving to write (hmm, where so you get that I wonder:) and read, and being more social and personable.You love school, every part of it (except for rest time :) and the teacher in me is delighted! You love your sisters and brothers, your relationship with them growing stronger every day from that of forced sibling to honest friends. You love to be active. You love to mimic mommy (yes, this scares me so). You are constantly helping and encouraging others through your words, actions, drawings and doing.
I have enjoyed watching so many changes in you this year. But the one I have loved the most, is watching your hunger for learning and loving God grow daily!
Everything about you dear Amazing girl is honest, true, genuine, giving, loving, fun, laughing and enjoying. I pray these qualities within you never change!!!!
As you turn 6 today, my independent (but still want and need mommy time and hugs) big girl, know that 6 years ago today was one of the happiest moments of my life. When they handed you to me and you looked up at me as if to say, ok, so this you huh mom? I've been wondering what you looked like, now feed me! I thought for sure I could never be happier or love you more....
I was wrong....I love you one hundred and one, 20 thousand, 5, 23, 9 to heaven, earth and back again!
Somewhere in Georgia, you are sitting in the back seat of the van, probably sleeping right now.
Are you dreaming of mountains...your cousin...New York City...the creek...your brother, sister, daddy or me?
Have you cried? laughed? been sad? bored? or just plain full of excitement?
You hugged me forever this morning, cuddled up on Nana's couch. All 4 feet plus of you, snuggled in my lap. I made jokes, I cried, I whispered to you, I wondered if I was holding on for too long, but you didn't make a move to be let go, so I held on longer still.
You gave me lots of hugs and kisses by the car...but not nearly enough to fill 5 weeks worth.
It was weird to go pick up your brother and sisters from VBS without picking you up too and tousling your hair because you are too old to be kissed in public.
I miss you like crazy already my sweet precious almost 10 year old little man.
You will have the time of your life this summer, an experience that I would never think to deny you, even as my heart breaks from missing you, my arms long to hold you and I sit crying at the keyboard.
I do not worry for you, that is not the reason for my tears, for I know that our father God will keep you safe and protected, he sees you when I can not.
I know you will be wonderfully cared for and greatly loved, for the ones that enjoy your days right now are the same that raised me.
I know that you will meet cousins you never have, make memories to last a lifetime, visit places I have never been, continue and grow the relationship you have with your Nana and Papa.
I know that you will sometimes get homesick. I know that you will text me and call me lots, you already have. I know that you will grow this summer. I know that you will have more fun than either of us can imagine. I know that you are spreading your wings.
I couldn't ask for a better opportunity for your first time away from home. I am so eternally grateful that you are spreading your wings with family that love and cherish you almost as much as I.
I knew being a parent would be lesson in letting go, in loving, in having faith. I knew it would be hard, the greatest, bestest, most wonderful things in life, often are.
There are 37 days, roughly 900 hours or 53880 minutes until I can hug you again.
Sweet boy, growing daily, don't grow too much this summer. Don't change too much. Don't miss me too much. Don't enjoy the peace and quiet of no sibling squabbles too much.
I will miss our summer baseball watching together curled up on my bed at night. I will miss your laughing. I will miss watching you play trains with your brother. I will miss your sarcasm, so like mine, even if inappropriate sometimes. I will miss sneaking frappe's. I will miss have my front seat passenger. I will miss watching you read, blog, journal, watching TV.
Yet, when I see you again, these things will be so much sweeter. You will not mind the sound of bickering siblings, you will not mind me kissing you in public, you will not mind the annoyances of pesky brother and sisters, you will not mind being called lil cutie.
Adam, this is a new chapter in your book of life, one that will be filled with so many fun times. The memories you will make, the family you will meet, the places you will go. Enjoy every second. Journal often so you remember everything (to tell me and to look back on years from now). Take lots of pictures. Be safe. Have fun. Laugh a lot. Call me often. Text me even more often.
I LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU BUNCHES ALREADY LIL CUTIE!!!!!
Remember, start shopping for my birthday present now, I want a good one :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo
When you walk the dogs at night with Nana, remember the moon smiling down on you is also smiling down on us.
Welcome to the day to day ramblings of a slightly sarcastic, incredibly tired but happy, always thankful, SAHM of 4 kids (and 2 frequently leased psuedo-kids), loved wife, child of God, part time teacher and graduate student. My children (and psuedo-children) were all born w/in 5 years, 2 of them at the same time. I have been happily married for over 14 years. Join the fun...the chaos, as I grow... stumble... learn... strive to be a better wife, mother, child, teacher and student! I am FAR from perfect but definitely incredibly, insanely, amazingly blessed!!!! Enjoy!!!