Seeing is believing

I had an unexpected and unwelcome 430 wake up call this morning feeling like the weight of the world was sitting heavily on my chest. Having anxiety, this isn’t uncommon. Lately it’s been happening more than I like and I feel like so much of it is because it feels like we as a world have become so divisive and less accepting of those that may think or believe differently than us. I see and feel it on social media with every scroll which has honestly left me scrolling so much less these last few weeks/months in an attempt to guard my heart and energy. ⁣⁣

After dropping about 15 drops of Frankincense on my head, I sat in prayer for a while, got a workout in then prayed some more. I opened up my Live in Grace, Walk in Love devotional by Bob Goff and my mouth dropped open. The message is ALWAYS on time:

⁣⁣“Since when did we decide as a community of faith that having the same beliefs and opinion was a prerequisite for loving, accepting, and welcoming someone? It’s not enough to just tolerate or be polite to people we disagree with and for them to merely do this with us. We need to love each other without an agenda. Do it any other way and we signal to each other that the others need to be like us to be liked by us. The cost of acceptance is way too high if it cost people who God made them to be.”⁣“We don’t just tolerate those who are different from us, we celebrate them! We delight in the way each person shows us a side of ourselves or Jesus that we hadn’t quite seen until we met them. Instead of implying to people that they need to change in order to be welcome at the table, let them know they’re welcome just as they are.”

⁣⁣I walked upstairs to wake the kids and saw this….tell me I’m not the only one that sees angel wings?! I took this picture, sat down to post it in my stories and turned around and poof it was gone. The last little bit of anxiousness I was feeling floated away with the wings…⁣until later in the day we covered climate change during science which I’m pretty sure freaked out and traumatized Laila. 🥴😰 I guess we can add this to the list of traumas to save up for future therapy.

storms+rainbows+hope…

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I love how Facebook tugs at my emotional heart strings with these adorable pictures and memories. This picture was taken 5 years ago today yet it seems like yesterday.

img_3067Since I’m working on “being free” this year, I’m going to share a bit of my heart here. These memories are sometimes bittersweet to look back on. I remember being so happy and thankful for my little family, but I was silently battling depression and anxiety while struggling through infertility and loss. I was talking with a friend today and shared about what a lonely road that was to walk sometimes. Even with the most supportive family and friends. It’s not always easy to put on a smile and act like you’re keeping it together or answer those heart breaking questions of when you’re gonna have another baby. But I always told myself, I have to trust the path laid out for me. Even if that meant feeling like a piece of my heart may always be empty.

With each negative test, each hormone shot, each medication that made me a hormonal nightmare to be around, or with each loss I always tried to convince myself that we would one have another baby. I tried to never lose hope, but every once in a while the thought would creep into my head “what if my arms will always be empty? What if I would never again get to hold a baby that grew inside of me? What if that is my path?”. The thoughts always crushed me, but I felt I needed to always be ready for that hard possibility.

After one of our losses I had a friend that had previously lost a pregnancy tell me “you will one day hold the baby you were meant to have.” I remember looking at her and saying thank you, but in that moment I remember being angry at those words. I wanted the baby I just lost. And the one before that. It wasn’t until I held Ash in my arms that I realized. He was the one. He was the one I was meant to grow and hold. I can’t imagine a world without him and I know he is meant to change the world with his heart and his compassion. 

So after having already gone through the storm with Ash, you would think I was better prepared for that several year storm the next time we faced it. Nope. I think when you’re in it.  You’re.in.it. And it’s intense. The whole uncertainty of it all. That’s probably one of the hardest parts. If I knew that after the storm, the rainbow would come…I would battle a million storms to get that rainbow. But the hard truth is that the rainbow doesn’t always come. 

Our next storm was rough. 2 more losses, unsuccessful treatments, side effects of meds, discouraging news after discouraging news. I was told to not hold out hope with “traditional methods” and that if I did become pregnant this round, the pregnancy would likely end in miscarriage because the same medication that was supposed to help me get pregnant was the also making my uterine lining an unsuitable environment for implantation. After this news, I was done. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. Done. 

Well what do you know. That was the month I got that positive test. I have never prayed so hard. I asked every morning and every night and just about ever hour in between for this baby to just hold on. “Hold on, baby. Just please hold on.”  Talk about being in a glass cage of emotions. At 6 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. At 18 weeks, we thought we were going to lose her. Bed rest. And let me tell you, being a NICU nurse during this was not easy. At 32.5 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital in preterm labor. As a NICU nurse, I know that had she come at that time she would likely be fine but I also know how important those last few weeks of growth and development are. So all day, everyday in that hospital

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Ash cheering on Laila to stay put.

bed I pep talked her “just hold on, Laila. Please just hold on.” And funny enough when they turned all my meds off at 36 weeks in true Laila fashion, she did what she wanted to. She held on…till 39 weeks. She shocked everyone. And if you know her, you will know she’s still holding on since the day she was born. She is 2.5 years old and is the clinger of all clingers. Always in my arms or my lap. I’m trying to still really embrace this since after all she probably heard “please just hold on” at least a billion times in the 39 weeks I grew and carried her.

 

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It was in this exact moment right here that I ugly face cried. Hard and uncontrollably. This is the moment it hit me, that all the previous tears, the heartache, the disappointment, the raging storms led us to this very moment. Ash holding Laila and looking up at us with tears in his eyes, “I’m sorry I’m a little bit crying. I’m just so happy she’s finally here. I knew she would come. I told you she would come.” And as he looked down at her, “I’ve been waiting so long for you, Laila. But I knew you would come. I love you my little baby shooting star.” This. Right here. My rainbows after the storms. My whole heart. laila_2weeks-11

I look at these memories and my life now and I can’t help but shed both happy and sad tears. Happy tears for all the rainbows after the storms. Sad tears for all those in the storm. The heartache and heartbreak anyone experiencing infertility and/or loss has to experience. But I also have hope. Hope that they will one day find peace and comfort in their hearts. Hope that their rainbow is right around the corner. Hope that  they know they are not alone, even when it feels like it.

xoxo,

-m