Dear Santa,

What a difference a year makes.

santa 1

I was thrilled to see you again!  I think I even shocked my parents with my larger than life confidence, and my cool-as-a-cucumber attitude.

santa pics

The moment you called my name I marched straight to your lap and went right to work.  I had three simple requests: Cranky the Crane, tunnels, and trains.  Just three Santa, so that’s not too much to ask, right?

Now dash away and get to work Mr. Claus.  It was a pleasure to see you, really…a pleasure.  I apologize in advance for my mom’s store bought cookies.



Moving Forward

Today has been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster; but I’m happy to report that as we speak (or as I type, I should say) I am at home in my comfy bed feeling physically well and emotionally at peace.

This morning when I woke up one of the first things I did was thank God for the experiences that I had last week. I am so grateful that I was blessed to have seen everything I needed to see. I had not a single question on my mind regarding the baby. My biggest fear was going under and waking up literally and physically empty. But instead I woke up full of hope. I woke up feeling happy for the first time in many days. I woke up and I was totally at peace.

My precious Dr. Simpson told me that after the surgery began there was still quite a bit that needed to be removed and she was so happy we moved forward with the surgery, which meant so much considering I had the option to not have the surgery after I had labored through everything. Overall it was fast and fabulously painless.

I have a quick and funny story that anyone who has ever been put under anesthesia will appreciate. I, in true Chatty Cathy form, went into the operating room joking with the anesthesiologist saying that I usually only make it to 10 when asked to count down before I fall fast asleep…meaning ok, start at 10 and count down. “We’ll I have a new little game we can play!” He joked. “Christin, I want you to list all of the seven dwarfs and we’ll see how far you get.” So I’m thinking…Ohhh I’ve got this! He said, “When I say GO you start…ok, ready…GO!” I quickly shouted, “Happy, Sneezy, Dopey (ironic, huh), doc…….” and scene.

On the flip side, as you can imagine the first thing I asked him when I woke up was how far did I get? “Well Christin you listed three dwarfs so you did great.” he said. I quickly replied (insert serious face), “No, no I remember saying Happy, Sneezy, Dopey and Doc!” He said, “Oh…we’ll, I guess your right. I thought the last one you were referring to us!”

My recovery was quick and painless (special thanks to my lovely dose of pain meds)! I was out of the bed and sitting up in a chair within an hour and they had me in the car in less than 2 hours after surgery.

Which brings me to this moment. My precious baby is gone from my womb but has found a new eternal home deep in my heart. As I write my heart still aches at the thought of why me? Why now? God only knows. But one thing I know for sure is that we have so very much to be thankful for and believe me when I tell you I am counting my blessing every minute. I have an amazing husband whom I adore, a beautiful healthy son, a roof over my head, and air in my lungs. I’m doing a-ok.

I want to end the day the way it began. A dear friend sent me this beautiful poem this morning that knocked me to my knees. It is hard to read every line clearly through the tears that may cloud your vision for a while, but take it to heart and most importantly pay it forward. So many mamas, just like me, need this.

From the bottom of my heart…thank you for your time to read my thoughts and the care and love you have show to me and my family. We have been blown away by the love and support that has flooded our world via texts, phone calls, emails, letters, and countless Facebook messages. I am usually not one to be at a loss of words but I am speechless. Words cannot express the gratitude that Rob and I have for each and every one of you, so I hope you will hear me when I say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God is good!

I thought of you and closed my eyes,
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother,
And I know I heard him say:
A mother has a baby,
This we know is true.
But, God, can you be a mother,
When your baby’s not with you?
Yes you can he replied,
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies,
When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there’s no need to stay.
I just don’t understand this God,
I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear.
I wish that I could show you,
What your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile,
With other children who say:
We go to earth and learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow’s where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her check,
And whisper in her ear.
“Mommy don’t be sad today, I’m your baby and I’m here.”
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are ok.
Your baby is here in My home,
They’ll be at heaven’s gate for you.
So now you see what makes a mother.
It’s the feeling in your heart.
It’s the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.
Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother,
Until their time is done.
They’ll be up here with Me one day,
And you’ll know that you’re the best one!

~Author Unknown

Proud Mama of an Angel

I guess its the beauty of the blogosphere. You put yourself out there, 100% for all those who care and are kind enough to stop by for a read and in an instant your story changes. Just when we were on top of our mountain, elated to spread the news of our second baby on the way, I am so devastated to share that I suffered a miscarriage this past Wednesday. Words cannot really begin to describe the emotions you feel when you know that your world has changed in an instant. It has truly been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with as a woman and mother.

I had not been feeling well the last few days but I honestly didn’t think anything of it and thought it was just par for the course during my pregnancy. But at that moment when you see what you know you shouldn’t that’s when my heart dropped.

Rob held me as I spoke with my OB/GYN, Dr. Simpson, who told us to come to her office right away. He stayed positive throughout the car ride and we listened to Christmas carols and I remember thinking to myself that maybe, just maybe this is some freak thing that’s just happening to me.

We were led to the ultrasound room right away and Dr. Simpson reminded us that we had seen a nice healthy heartbeat at our initial visit and that was a wonderful, positive sign. She said that usually there is about a 90% chance that you will not miscarry after that little heart starts beating. Sadly we soon learned that we were part of that 10%.

It is with tear-filled eyes that I even begin to think or write about these next few moments because I never even imagined it would be this hard. I remember the moment we saw the baby again and I remember Dr. Simpson desperately trying to find that little heart beating. She tried for what seemed like several seconds, silently working while Rob and I waited unable to take a breath. She finally was able to capture the best possible image of the baby and sadly the little heartbeat had stopped.

I tried to catch my breath but instead my eyes filled with tears and my heart was shattered. I remember looking over at my dear, loving husband standing, staring at the screen in disbelief with tears rolling down his face. We were equally in shock and silent. I remember thinking and trying to speak to ask her to just check one more time, thinking surely she was wrong.

I would have been 12 weeks along on Saturday, December 1st, which also happens to be our five year wedding anniversary. The baby, however, was measuring 8-9 weeks along so most likely the baby had passed a couple of weeks ago.

My Doctor’s colleague came in as a second set of eyes to confirm our worst fears. This was something they always did, she said, which I really appreciated because I thought maybe she would find our little beating heart. But instead of a beating heart she was able to give us one last picture of our little angel.

After a moment I was able to get myself and my thoughts together to ask what happens next? I had absolutely no clue. I learned I had two options. First I could have a D&C surgery on the following Monday which basically entails the doctor surgically removing what they call “products of labor” from your body. You are put to sleep with anesthesia but it’s an out-patient surgery. Option 2 was called expectant management labor, meaning you let your body do the work. The downside to this is that you can’t predict when it will occur and it can often be quite painful. My doctor described it as a mini labor and from experience I can now say it is exactly that.

My choice immediately was D&C. I said very quickly to her, ok we’ll see you Monday! We walked out feeling confident about our decision, knowing that hopefully there would be little pain and wishing this would all be over very soon.

As we walked to our car I said to Rob, tears streaming down my face, I wonder if they will be able to tell if the baby was a boy or girl? It’s all I could think about at that moment. We got in the car and began calling our families to break the news. It became more and more unbearable.

We spent the rest of the morning breathing fresh air outside during a long walk and enjoyed a nice lunch together. We later went home and took a nice long nap. I cant even begin to describe how emotionally exhausted we both were. Little did we know what the evening would bring.

At around 7:00 pm Wednesday evening, unexpectedly my “labor” began. My body did, in fact, do all of the work. It was painful. It was long. It was horrific. I cannot begin to tell you the love and gratitude I give to my husband for being there during every second of such a miserable experience. He experienced every ounce of those moments with me and he was there through it all. That is pure love.

At around 11:00 pm the pain and everything involved had gone on too long and Dr. Simpson sent me to the ER. After multiple doses of serious medication my physical pain finally subsided. A sonogram later determined that most of my “labor” was successful, but I am still planning to have my originally scheduled D&C surgery Monday morning to make sure everything will be perfect the next time around.

After a lot of thought I’ve realized that, although it may sound odd, I am so very grateful for the experience I’ve had over the past few days. After we scheduled my original D&C surgery I had so much anxiety over the fact that I would still have a few days with my little baby inside of me and then I would simply walk into the hospital on Monday, go to sleep, have a surgery, walk out, and that was the end. Instead, I saw everything I needed to see without having any unanswered questions; and I think in retrospect it gave me the closure I needed to move forward.

I’ve heard several instances of women having a miscarriage and while my heart was heavy for them, you really have no clue what they have just experienced. I now know I’ve sometimes said all the wrong things to someone who has miscarried a child. My story is honest because I felt the need to write it down and each day as I’ve written a little more I’ve found it to be quite therapeutic for me. Others may have different ways of coping through their grief. Overall I think it’s best to just provide love and hugs. That’s really the only thing that’s helped me over the past three days. My hope is that those of you reading this will now know more about the experience of a miscarriage and hopefully can provide the right words for someone when they need it.

My primary reason for writing this was first and foremost to mark a moment of birth and loss for my family. That was our baby and we saw its little heart beating hard and strong. God, however, has another plan for him or her but I am now the proud mama of an angel which is one of the biggest honors a mother could ever ask for.

It still stings emotionally and that will probably linger for a while. My body feels empty. My closet is full of maternity clothes. My Christmas cards with “baby Gish” on the front just arrived and need to be dealt with. But all of that stuff will get handled eventually.

In the mean time, I’ve had lots of kisses and held my precious Tommy a little tighter every minute. I pray for our sweet little angel and know God has a wonderful plan for our future.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”