Monday, June 28, 2010

Garden and BBQ


Way back in December when we first found out about our new baby having anencephaly, I started planning ways to remember him. Since we live on an acre of land, and it needs trees, my first idea was to plant six trees, one for each member of our family, in the back SW corner of the lot.  As time went on, the idea evolved into planting just one tree in a small garden near the house.

After Noah was stillborn in April, two months before his due date, I wanted some way to mask the possible pain of his upcoming due date, June 18th.  So, we decided to plant the trees on his due date and invite the family and friends that God has so graciously put in our lives to walk this road with us to help us remember and celebrate. 

We set the date for Saturday June 19th.

The week before we bought a couple of shrubs, other little flowering plants and a White Poplar in honor of Noah. Tom tilled the ground. The kids helped me collect and place rocks around the garden.  My parents came up on the 18th and helped get everything in the ground (we decided it might be kinda weird to have everybody standing around as we put the tree in the ground, so we just did it the day before the BBQ - it turned out that the tree was planted on Noah's actual due date).  At the base of the tree we sat the sweetest statue of a little boy holding a glass jar of fireflies that lights up at night (given to us by my parents).  It's perfect!


On the afternoon of June 19th we had my parents and six other families, including my brother, sister-in-law and their kids, join us for some family fun and BBQ.   There were 16 adults and 28 kids - the oldest was 13 years old and the youngest was 7 weeks.

The first thing on the agenda was a huge water balloon and squirt gun fight. It was so much fun! It took 3.5 hours of filling approximately 500 water balloons for an all-out 10 minute war.

After all the water balloons were popped and everybody was soaked, it was a free-for-all. The men BBQ'd (secretly the best part of a BBQ is that I only have to do the prep, Tom man's the grill) and then played horse shoes. The women talked and somewhat monitored the kids. And the kids amused themselves in all sorts of imaginary games.

And mine ate whatever little treats they wanted: Brownie? Sure. Another brownie? Why not. Cake? Of course.  Otter pop?  Go ahead.  I'm sure you could have smelled sugar coming out of their pores, if you could get past the dirt that is.

 It was a very sweet (ha, ha, ha) and special day! We might just have to do it again next year

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Schultz Fire

I have a lot of back-blogging that I would like to do...but all of those require time, thought and lots of words. And since I don't have the time, thought or lots of words right now, here are some pictures of the Scultz fire that started on Sunday. So far it's burned at least 10,000 acres.

Sunday - Looking toward Timberline.

Sunday - A burst of fire.
YouTube Video of fire right before this photo.

Sunday - Smoke makes for beautiful sunsets.

Wednesday - Still smoldering and heading toward the Inner Basin...
which I just read that it and Locket Meadow are still intact.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The other night I realized that I should still be pregnant...pregnant with a beautiful healthy baby boy.  I should be big and round, getting ready to meet him and bring him home.  My due date was June 18th...just one more day to go.  I should have a fourth baby to care for, to hold, to love.

Livvy and Sammy should have another little baby brother to dote upon. Ben should be a big brother. They would have loved and cared for that little baby boy so much.

My heart hurt for the baby that should have been. Before I had a chance to dream for my baby, he was taken away. Since finding out about Noah at 13 weeks pregnant, I don't think I truly ever thought about what should have been. For some strange reason it hit me the other night. I cried and snuggled Noah's blanket. Tom held me.

I'm not sure how to reconcile my should's with God's plan. I know that He doesn't make mistakes. I know that His ways are perfect. I know that His ways are not my ways.

Whether it was God's desired will or His allowable will, it was His will that Noah had anencephaly and that he died. It's not like He's up there in heaven trying to come up with a plan B because something didn't go as He purposed. For as much as I don't really like God's will all the time, that it doesn't feel good a lot of the time, it's a much scarier thing to think of God not having control and Him fumbling around trying to figure out how to solve and work out a plan B "for good".

I'm trying to trust Him. Trust Him with my life, trust Him with my dreams, trust Him with my hurt.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Psalm 151

At church on Sunday Pastor Mark talked about Jonah 2:1-10 - Jonah's psalm written after his time of being in the belly of the big fish Pastor Mark encouraged us to look at our lives and recount how God has led us through a difficult time...write our psalm, Psalm 151.  So, here it goes...

You, O Lord, led me into the valley,
The valley of death.
"Take comfort, God is good"

You gave me a son,
And then you took him away.
"Take comfort, God is good"

I long for Your voice to comfort me,
My heart cries out to You for understanding.
"Take comfort, God is good"

I will praise You, O Lord,
I choose to trust in You.
"Take comfort, God is good"

You gave me Noah to carry,
Oh, my God, carry me.
"Take comfort, God is good"

In this valley, Lord,
May Your name be praised.
"Take comfort, God is good"

Monday, June 7, 2010

Noah's Story, Part 2

On December 13, 2009 I showed up to my OB's office for my first official appointment.  Dr Perrin and I chatted a bit about going on baby #4 and if we were trying to catch up to my good friend Suzanne Finney (she had eight and was pregnant with #9).   Then very casually I laid back while she got out the doppler and squeezed some of that cold gel onto my belly.  She moved it around, and around.  She pushed a little harder.  She said she'd get me into to see the ultrasound tech to see what was going on.

A couple of minutes later the ultrasound tech came back and led me to the ultrasound room.  I got situated on the table.  The tech put some more of that cold stuff on my belly again and started looking around.  The tech was silent.  Almost immediately I was able to see the little peanut's heart beating and I wondered why the tech didn't say something.  She got up from her station and said she needed to talk to the doctor about something.

I couldn't fathom what she needed to talk to the doctor about.  There was that the little heart, beating away.  What else could she be concerned about?

After what seemed like an incredibly long time, the tech came back, took a measurement of the baby and then told me that Dr Perrin was going to talk to me.

I was then ushered to Dr Perrin's office where I again waited.  My mind was reeling as to what could be so wrong.  I remember standing in the office next to a chair.  For some reason I couldn't sit down.  I couldn't even pray.  I just have this vague recollection of saying, "Oh, God.  Oh, God."

When she finally came in, she said that dreadful word.  Anencephaly.  She told me what it was.  She described all the medical ins and outs while I stood their dumbly.  In the middle of her saying, "You and Tom need to talk..."  I cut her off and said that we would keep this baby.  "God is the creator of life and it's not our place to stop a beating heart"...or something like that.

During that whole time at the office I couldn't cry.  I really felt like I needed to, like I should be crying.  I knew that this news was the worst news that one could receive, and yet I felt like I was this cold observer.

Until, that is, I caught Suzanne's eye in the waiting room.  She was there with all her kiddos waiting to find out if #9 was a boy or girl.  Something in my face must have told her something was not right.  From across the room she mouthed, "Is everything alright?"  I just shook my head and made a beeline for the door.  I desperately wanted to go to her and let her hug me.  But, for some reason, I couldn't. 

I made my way to the car with tears streaming down my face.  As soon as I got in the car I fumbled for the phone and summoned up the strength to call Tom.  I had no clue what I was going to say.  In fact, when he answered I didn't say anything, all I could do was cry.  Somehow I finally told him the little that I knew.

The rest of the day was a blur.  Tom had to keep working and I had to go to my friend Sara's house to get the kids.  It was playgroup at Sara's and my good friend Amy came shortly after I arrived. I remember being surprised by Amy's reaction - she cried. She cried and I couldn't.

All I wanted to do was go home so that I could call my best friend Mandy.  She had a good friend who years ago had had a baby girl with triplody, another fatal diagnosis.  I remembered that after their little girl was stillborn she had sent out an e-mail which Mandy forwarded to me.  Their faith and love for God expressed in that e-mail was so amazing that I needed to talk with her; I needed to know that I was going to be okay.

During naps that afternoon I got a hold of Mandy and Kristi, her friend.  I can't say that I felt better, but at least I knew that I wasn't alone.

When Tom got home he told the kids.  After some explaining and questions, Livvy cried.  Sammy prayed at dinner time, "Thank you our baby grows strong. Amen."

That night after putting the kids to bed Tom had the hard job of telling our parents.  It was the hardest thing I think he's ever had to do.  He's my rock and it hurt to see him struggle.  But, it gave me reason to try to be strong.  We held each other for a long time and then tried to sleep. 

The next day we wrote a letter to our friends and family to let them know about our baby.  Time kept pushing us forward.  The days following were full of tears, sleepless nights, and trying to grasp God's bigger plan.

Dry Wall'd

Two weeks ago a plastic curtain went up between our addition and our main existing house.  What's hiding behind the curtain?  It's dry wall!!  All hung, taped, textured and sanded!  Hip-hip hooray!  Once the place is cleaned up we can take down the curtain and start painting.  I'm so excited.

On another note, after searching and searching, purchasing and returning, we have found a tile that we love!  And it was cheaper than Home Depot, only $1.81 sq ft.  We also found some very nice soft carpet that matches beautifully - in the picture for some reason it looks a little pinkish, it's really not.