Archive for October, 2014

So I know that this is silly. I am silly. I’m doing okay in my ups and downs and surprise bursts of tears. It helps to laugh with my best friend and husband. Here’s a little something that made us both cry and laugh.

Last night we were tidying up because a friend was bringing over a meal, and James tackled that hardly-ever-cleaned area of our house: the desk. While everyone was distracted I slipped out to take a quick walk around the block, just to feel the fresh air and listen to a little bit of quiet. When I got back, I was bombarded with questions regarding whether or not I was storing something special on the desk, in that pile right in front of the printer. No, I was not, but that got me curious. My husband disappeared and reappeared with… my wedding ring! It had been stored and then went missing for several months.

I stopped wearing my wedding ring just before Evolet was born because it was in need of some serious repairs. There’s a crack in one of the fancy gold swirlies, one of the 6 little diamonds is missing, and (here’s the reason I finally took it off) one of the prongs to hold on the big diamond got wrenched upward and was catching on everything. I was afraid the diamond would fall out or the prong would scratch a baby!

When Evolet was a few weeks old, I went to have an estimate done on fixing the ring and my husband and I talked about fixing it verses just saving it for now and buying a simple band for me to wear while in the throws of raising children. Nothing really happened with either of those options for quite a while, but then James totally surprised me on Valentine’s Day with a ring! (It wasn’t quite as simple as that simple band we’d discussed 🙂 but definitely sturdy enough for my lifestyle.) It was such a surprise because James is terrible at keeping anything a secret from me! The new band had 10 little diamonds embedded in the band.

Now I need to give a little back story… When we got married and I saw the six little diamonds and one big diamond, I envisioned James and me (the big diamond) having six kids (the little ones). When I had 4 kids and saw that a little diamond had fallen out, I had a weird feeling that that somehow represented our sixth child, but I thought that was a silly and superstitious thought that I didn’t need to have since God is in control, and I chose not to dwell on it.

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Back to last February, when I studied my new ring I told James about my thought of 6 kids (I did not say anything about the missing one) and asked him, does this new ring with ten little diamonds mean us and 8 kids, or does it mean 10 kids? Yes, he knows he is married to a crazy person! He says only six kids will fit in our huge Suburban and we’re not getting anything bigger! We’ll see. 😉 God is in control, right?

Several months ago, though, we realized that we could not find my wedding ring, which was in a little paper pouch and hidden somewhere ‘safe’. Apparently that ‘safe’ place was in the cupboard above the computer desk. (Before that I do remember James telling me it was hidden in the fireplace, and in case he died and I wanted to have a fire or move away, take it out first. Yes, I know I’m married to a crazy person.) From that cupboard, it had fallen onto the desk. I happen to know of the only person in our marriage that puts special things in that cupboard, and the other person is the one who stuffs random tools and cords and papers belonging to her spouse in it, so that they are not lying around the house while he’s at work. Anyway…

Last week, after the miscarriage, I did tell James my thought about the sixth diamond in my wedding ring. Then I asked him, well, what about those 8 or 10 kids represented in my new ring?

Whatever our future holds, I feel blessed to have a wonderful husband, six children, a Sovereign God, and my wedding ring found! 🙂

P.S. James thought I should add that there was a reason for putting my ring in the fireplace: if a house burns down, usually the fireplace is left standing, so at least he’d know where to look for it. What a sweetie!

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Little Juniper

Today we buried the little bit of flesh that was the earthly home for our 6th baby. Now our baby is with Jesus. Let me start at the beginning…

I did not expect to be having a baby next spring. I’d been encouraging myself to be content waiting longer and buying land or a house first as we’d discussed. I had wanted a June baby someday and thought maybe next year this time we’d be ready. James surprised me though. He was ready to have another.

On September 27 we took an early pregnancy test and got a very faint positive line. It took us a while to be sure, but yes, it was there. We were thrilled, and for the first time ever we kept the news to ourselves. That lasted for 2 days before we couldn’t take it any more and we told our kids!

On October 4, we were able to take our little baby to Festival of Family Farms, our ninth year participating in a very special family tradition. I’m so thankful to have memories of our baby there. It was there that we had the only family picture taken with the knowledge of our newest little one.


Our kids did a terrific job keeping the secret. We told a couple of people who asked us a direct question that we were expecting. We made plans to announce our little one at Thanksgiving.

But then I started having some spotting. I’d had some with Liesel also so it didn’t worry me too much. From what I read, the type and amount I was having could have been within the realm of normal for a healthy pregnancy, but after several times of noticing it, I saw my midwife and we decided to check my hCG levels. After my appointment I was still very hopeful that everything was all right. I got a call on Tuesday from an assistant saying that the first levels were normal.

On Wednesday we celebrated Liesel’s birthday, and a blogger that I faithfully follow (Pray 4 Lilly) posted about her miscarriage experience from earlier this month for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I read and cried for her and, looking back, was being prepared for my own experience.

When I answered the phone on Friday at 8:30 and heard my midwife’s voice on the other end, I knew the news wasn’t good. She expected to see the numbers double and instead they decreased. She told me to expect a miscarriage within a week.

I immediately called James, but I was directed to his voice mail without it ever ringing every time I tried. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him and wondered if I should call the office at his work. I decided to call a friend instead. She’s had a miscarriage, she had known I was going in for blood testing, and her baby shares the same due date as mine did. She understood perfectly what I was going through and talked to me and prayed for me over the phone. Miraculously, my kids were all working hard and getting along in the house while I cried and talked on the front porch.

At 9:00, his break time, I tried James again. He finally answered and he left work to be with me and tell the kids with me. I later found out that he’d had no signal in the bottom of a ship where he was working.

When I came back in the house and was trying to hold myself together, Shiloh started following me around the house offering me hugs and asking me what was wrong. I told him just to wait.

What seemed like forever later, James pulled in and I met him in front of the house and we both cried for a few minutes before coming in. We gathered the kids and told them and then basically all cried in a big heap on the living room floor for about an hour. Only Baird and Evolet didn’t understand the grief and provided some innocent comfort and some light-hearted entertainment for the rest of us.

The concept of one of our family members, a child of James and myself, a brother or sister to our 5 children, in heaven with Jesus is stunning. We keep reminding ourselves and our kids that our baby is without pain or tears or sadness. It’s just us that we’re crying for.

In the afternoon I took the time to make a little pouch out of some special fabric to put in any remains of the baby’s body that we could find, so that we could have a little burial. The fabric was originally used back when I was just a little girl to put a ‘coat’ on my special blanket that was covered with holes. I’ve also used a little square of it in each of my 3 older kids’ quilts.

Yesterday we also felt a need to name the little one. We did have a boy name and a girl name already picked out for our baby, but we didn’t know which to use. Since our baby was due in June, I thought of the name Juniper. That’s what we’ve settled on, though I’m sad we never spoke it while our baby was growing in me.

I was relieved that the miscarriage began on Friday evening while James was home and we had a weekend ahead of us.

On Saturday morning I reread and cried through a friend’s blog that she wrote after she had a 2nd miscarriage. We discussed what to do with the little sack. We decided to bury it along our favorite forest road where we already have many special family memories. I’ve never cried on that road before. The spot we picked is very beautiful and peaceful. James felt a lot of closure from that. I think I’ll get more from the writing I’m doing.

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Multiple times I did my best to sing a song for my kids that we sing sometimes at church. I only remembered a few lines. I think I need to practice it a bit more:

When I go, don’t cry for me
In my Father’s arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole.
Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus’ face
And I will not be ashamed
For my Savior knows my name.

It don’t matter where you bury me,
I’ll be home and I’ll be free.
It don’t matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away.

Gold and silver blind the eye
Temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven’s store,
Come and drink, and thirst no more

It don’t matter where you bury me
I’ll be home and I’ll be free
It don’t matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

So, weep not for me my friends,
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to Him
Who will raise the dead again.

It don’t matter where you bury me,
I’ll be home and I’ll be free.
It don’t matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away.

Yesterday I was not sure that I wanted to share this with many people. Now I do, mostly because I do have to answer the question of how many kids I have. Right now I have 5 here with me, and 1 in heaven. I don’t want to habitually leave one out. Also, at this moment, it’s all I can do to process all this. So often, I’m way too worried about what other people think to write too many personal thoughts on my blog, and right now I simply don’t care. I feel opened up to write honestly about something important to me.

I’m not really sure what to expect next. I’m grieving and being comforted by the needs and antics of my other five kids. My kids are all grieving in their own way and I want to have patience with them and help them. I’m so in love with my husband who loves me and our kids and is grieving and taking care of all of us. I am even more joyful and excited for my friend to have her baby in June. I feel nearer to heaven than I did before; it is not far away at all. I suppose that that last one is a very good and true feeling to have.


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It’s been awhile, again! I just have to quickly post some photos of our favorite weekend of the year. My very first blog post ever was about our 3rd adventure to Festival of Family Farms when I was hugely prego with Liesel. We’ve now gone for 9 consecutive years, starting when Shiloh was just 5 weeks old. It’s such a special time for our family, and for several years we’ve gotten a family photo.

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