Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest Posts Galore!

Today seems to be the day for guest posts! You can find me over at Still Breathing, where I wrote a love letter to a mother pregnant again after loss:
Dearest mumma,
You are so brave. I know you probably don’t think you are, but please know that you are braver than you realize. If you’re anything like me, your pregnancy after loss is the hardest thing you have done since you said goodbye to your precious baby. I became pregnant just ten short weeks after my daughter was stillborn. Never had I felt such a strange mix of emotions – I was elated to know that at least one of my children was alive but I was so very scared that I was going to experience another loss. It takes courageto have another baby after loss; it takes bravery to face each new day. Pregnancy after loss is a long journey and you, sweet mumma, are the bravest of all mothers... click here to continue reading.

You can also pop over to Life and Grace where I am sharing some advice on how to show love to a friend who is pregnant after a loss:
When my first child Ariella Jade was stillborn last January, I knew that I wanted to get pregnantagain and have another baby. My arms felt so empty and while no subsequent children could replace Ariella, I believed that having a living baby in my arms would bring me immense healing. And I was right – the birth of my son Levi on January 4 has helped me to heal in ways I didn’t imagine. But my pregnancy with him was without a doubt the most worrying and anxiety filled weeks of my life. You see, it was hard not to expect history to repeat itself and for that pregnancy to also end in loss. The only way I survived those intense 38 weeks was through prayer and the support of my family, medical staff and friends. Here are some ways that you can show a friend L.O.V.E. if you want to support a friend who is pregnant after a loss (please excuse the corny acronym, but it fits!)... click here to continue reading.

And while I'm at it, I don't think I shared the link to my January Still Standing article, which also happened to be about pregnancy after loss. In it, I share honestly the thoughts in my mind as I approached the end of my pregnancy:
When I got pregnant after my daughter’s stillbirth, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy nine months. Between worrying about people’s reactions (because contrary to popular opinion, this pregnancy will not ‘fix’ me) and constant concern over whether the baby is moving enough, it has been a very draining time. There are still a few weeks to go. People can tell me it is going to be okay and try to be reassuring but it just does not help. They say this Christmas without Ariella will be hard, but next Christmas it will be different. But how do they know? My mind races and over thinks absolutely everything, just as it has from the moment that second line showed on the pregnancy test. Because here’s the thing: in my experience, I have babies and they die. One pregnancy, one here to continue reading.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Never Knew

I never knew it would hurt this much. That almost 13 months later the pain would be just as raw even if the tears don't always flow so freely. 

I never knew it would be so hard to use basic terminology. That words like dead, funeral and grave would be replaced by stillborn, service and special place because my broken heart can barely cope with using the others in connection with my daughter. 

I never knew that I could feel so much guilt for something that wasn't my fault. That I would have to battle so hard against the lies of the enemy in order to simply glimpse the truth, yet alone believe it. 

I never knew how desperately I would wish that I could visit Heaven. That a beautiful sunset could bring me to tears as I wished the clouds were stairs. 

I never knew how frequently I would get asked if Levi was my first child. That at least once a week my heart would begin to pound as I worked out what to say. 

I never knew that sometimes I would answer yes to that question. That I would deny Ariella's existence to protect my heart from breaking or even just to save a stranger from feeling awkward.

I never knew I could miss someone so much. That my heart could be so full and so empty at the same time. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Loveliest of Gifts

In September 2013, a special baby boy was born. From what I understand, he was perfect. But sadly, just like my Ariella, this little boy was born still. I met this precious boy's mum through my blog and after Levi's birth, she sent me a gift that brought me to tears.

My friend has good taste in baby names; you see, her son's name is also Levi. And after my Levi's birth, she popped some very special items in a box and sent them to me: monogrammed items that were made with love for her Levi. I feel so honoured that she would share these items with me and my boy and I'm happy that these special items can get some use.

Thank you Stephanie, we will always treasure the items you sent. I desperately wish your Levi was the one who could wear them, but know you are in my thoughts as my Levi makes use of them.
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