Sunday, November 28, 2010

Merry Christmas Sweet Baby Boy!

What do you get a baby for Christmas? What do you get a baby for Christmas when they are no longer here?
I LOVE shopping for Christmas gifts for my children! It is so much fun for Jamie and I to put our heads together and figure out what we are going to give them. Better still is taking them shopping for each other. It is really sweet to see the thought the boys put in to gifts for each other. Now, I must admit those little shopping trips are usually done at the last minute, but this year Cooper has already been perusing the toy isles at Wally World for Jay a present. I think he has a pretty good idea what he is getting Jay. We just have to go get it.
This year shopping is much more bittersweet than any other year. We still have enjoyed shopping for the kids. I just feel at a loss where Eli is concerned.  I want so badly to be buying for him too. I want so badly to take him for his first picture with Santa. I want to buy him a baby's first Christmas sleeper. Instead, I just dream...
Today, we went to the cemetary and put a Christmas tree by Eli's grave. We took the kiddos and helped them each pick out an ornament to put on the tree. Jamie and I picked out a special ornament also. Penny, who's story you can read by clicking on her name, shared this idea a couple of weeks ago. The boys had a wonderful time picking our their ornaments to give Eli.  Lucie Rose was so cute, she wanted to carry her ornament and had to write her own message to Eli on the back. We let each of them put their ornament on the tree.
We placed a bow on the top because Eli is our gift.
Jay chose a deer because he loves hunting and thought Eli would also.
Cooper chose a Santa ornament because it reminded him of ornaments on our tree at home.
Lucie Rose chose Buzz Lightyear because she just knows it would be Eli's favorite.
Jamie and I chose a Snoopy ornament because when Jamie was a small boy he had Snoopy ornaments.
We put Jamie's Snoopy ornaments on our tree every year.
We chose a baby blue tree simply because it just fits for our baby boy. It felt good to be able to do something for him. We have passed along to others that anyone can put an ornament on Eli's tree. I also plan on making all of my sweeties matching stockings this year.  I want Eli included in every way. I want him here, but I know that can't happen. I want things to be different than they are...but I know that is impossible. So...We are making the best of this Christmas season in the best way we know how.

Much love,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Spirit of Thanksgiving

One of my friends on Facebook began posting a thanksgiving journal as her status everyday for the month of November. I thought this was a really great idea and I jumped on board. Thus began my journal of thanksgiving. There is so much in life to give thanks for.  Some people have questioned me as to how I could give thanks to a God that allowed my son to die...a God that took my son from me. Well I guess I have a little different view on that. I know my son is not here...he died. I know that and it hurts...EVERYDAY! I also know that I got to be the mother of one of the most amazing little fighters ever. What if I had never gotten pregnant with him?  What if God had chosen not to give me that precious little boy? That thought is inconceivable to me. The truth is, life might be easier than it is now.  Then again who knows? I would not be the person I am now, that is for sure. I more than likely would not be carrying our precious rainbow in my belly. Eli a gift in every way. I am better for having given him life. I am a different person because of his life and death. He gave all that he had and I am thankful for all he gave. God certainly used him to show me that he still works miracles.
I am thankful for this life God has blessed me with. I am thankful that I am the wife of the most wonderful man. I am thankful that I am the mother of five. I am thankful for so much. God is good all the time!

Next Tuesday, November 30, will be a entire year since our lives changed. That day is so fresh in my mind. I look back and think that life changed for us on that day, but I had no idea how much it really would change in the months to come. I think back to this time last year and how ignorant I was of what was to come. I am determined to make this holiday season a happy time for my family. Yes, for me it is sad in many ways, but it is happy also. I think that Eli should be here right now...then I stop and think, No, he shouldn't.  It was never in God's plans for us to have him here for a long time. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it is what it is. Life is what it is. I refuse to be angry with God for that.  Instead, I choose to thank Him for what He has given us, because in all truth...He has blessed us beyond all measure...

Happy Thanksgiving to All! It is my prayer everyone has an abundance to thank Him for also!

Much love,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's in a name?

I have formed some wonderful bonds with some wonderful women since our journey with Eli began. Some of these women I have been friends with for a while, some I have become friends with since losing Eli, some I have only met once or twice, and some I want to meet but have not had the opportunity. These women know where I am and where I've been because we all walk this road together. It is not a pleasant road to travel. It is bumpy and full of twists and turns that seem to take us backward sometimes. We all strive to move forward on this road and when it seems that one or more of us is lost and can't, the others are there to give directions. Directions that we take without hesitation because we know these friends have been in that place before. We weep with each other...we rejoice with each other...we defend each other...we pray for each other...we encourage each other...we hurt for each other...WE ARE A FAMILY OF SORTS. None of us would choose this family if we could help it...because, you see, we have all lost babies. Who would choose that?
Well before we told anyone (family included) about our current pregnancy one of these precious mamas sent me the sweetest message. Melissa sent me an email one day and in her message she told me that every time she sees her baby girl's name, she thinks of Eli. Her daughter's name is Amelia. I had never noticed it before, but Eli's name is in Amelia's name. She also pointed out that his name is in her name too. I thought that was just the neatest thing and so sweet of her to share that with me. At this point Jamie and I knew we were expecting again but were not sure if we were having a boy or a girl. We were throwing around both boy and girl names and really could not come to a decision on girl names. For a boy, we both knew what we wanted. Hold your breath and don't leave me any ugly comments and I will tell you what the boy name was going to be. If this baby were a boy it was going to be...I mean it, no ugly comments...Obadiah. I truly digress...
While still trying to come up with girl names, Melissa sent me a picture of Amelia's name written in the sand.
Now, I have always loved the name Amelia. It is just a classy name that feels full of adventure to me. In fact, Jamie and I had thrown it around before. Jay was always going to be a Jr. but we thought about it with Cooper. He turned out to be a boy and then the boys named Lucie Rose. To be honest with you, this time we had a block where girl names were concerned. If Eli had been a girl, we would had chosen the name Chloe Grace, but we just did not want to use that name for a girl this time. Anyway, Jamie was totally convinced that this was another boy and his instinct is generally more accurate than mine.
Well October 18, we went to our OB for an appointment and had an ultrasound. Michelle, who is pretty good at what she does, told us that she felt about 60 % sure that this was a girl, but her legs were crossed. Well, we now felt pretty sure we had to come up with a girl name. When I got home that afternoon, I had gotten a message from my friend Melissa. The message contained this picture.
Melissa said in her message that it appeared to her that the letters in Eli's name stood out more than any other letters. She said she thought at first she just wanted to see it but that she asked her husband and he confirmed what she had thought. I definitely see it as well. I immediately called Jamie in and he agreed also. This is the night that Jamie and I decided that if this baby I am carrying is indeed a girl, her name would be Amelia. We thought that it would be a wonderful tribute to Eli and to his friend up in heaven, Amelia. You can read about Amelia's story here.  We also thought about how meaningful it would be for our Amelia to have such a special name. We both feel like this is the name that our gift is meant to have. It was an easy choice to make and one that we love. We can't wait to welcome our Amelia Claire into this world.

Much love,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roy G. Biv

Before I get into my post, I would like to ask for prayer once again. I had the opportunity to visit an incomplete family today. It broke my heart because I know where these people are right now. Please pray for Angi and Jim Smith. They had to say goodbye to their baby girl Ella before they even said hello this Monday. Ella was born sleeping this Monday and her mommy and daddy are reeling and in shock. Please pray for this family.

Next, I would like to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the prayers that you said for us today and for the comments that were left on both my blog and facebook. God is good ALL of the time and sometimes he gives us balm for our broken hearts and spirits. He always carries us when we can't make it. He is just good ALL of the time!

Today was a rainy and drizzly day. It was cold and just one of those days in general. We were not looking forward to driving 2 1/2 hours in nasty weather. Jamie and I both have been restless, sleepless, and just in knots about the reason for our visit to Birmingham today. Well I have to say that in spite of all of the rain and drizzle, God sent us a rainbow today. We decided to give this rainbow a name. I bet you didn't know that rainbows could be a specific gender, much less have a name. Well our rainbow is a girl and her name is Amelia Claire Hill (her name is another blog later to come).

Jamie and I found out about 13 weeks ago that we were expecting another baby. This came as a complete and utter surprise to us. We were just not sure that we wanted anymore children. We both felt that we could never again go through another loss. Our hearts and souls were just too vulnerable. God had different plans for us, as He normally does when we make our minds up without Him. I will not lie and say that these weeks have been easy. They have been very difficult. We told no one of this and finally two weeks ago we told our families. This is my fifth child and well the waist line expands more and more quickly with each one. I will be 17 weeks this Friday. It had been extremely difficult to blog while keeping this information under wraps.

Our precious Amelia Claire will never, ever replace Eli. He will live in our hearts and be a part of our family forever. Amelia is another extension of our family. While we are more relieved than we have been in four months, we will only rest easy when our baby girl is here and in our arms. We are taking nothing for granted. While hopefully, Amelia will fill our arms and fill her place in our hearts, lives and family...she will never fill the hole left from the death of our precious son Eli. His spot in our hearts, lives, and family is sealed and impenetrable. It is his. While lamenting one night about how a new baby would ever fit in to our family and heart, Jamie told me this.
     "Each time we became pregnant after having Jay, we wondered how we could love another child as much as the other. Each time our heart has grown to find room. Our hearts did not shrink after Eli and it will grow again to find room for a new baby."

Well today we went for our level II ultrasound and the doctor looked at this baby from head to toe and declared her kidneys to be "a textbook picture" of what they should be. I had been waiting to exhale and in that moment I was able to. I am not naive enough to think that she is ours forever but she is with us now and healthy! All praise be to God!!!! This was actually our fourth ultrasound but it was the "one".

So once again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the prayers and comments. Please continue to pray for a smooth and boring pregnancy for our family. God bless you my friends!

If there is any question in your mind about whether or not God's ways are above ours, well know this. Amelia is due to arrive April 16, which is the same exact date that Eli was due (only one year later). I promise you, I would never have planned anything of the such.

BTW, If you were wondering (as was Jamie), Roy G. Biv is a mnemonic for the colors of a rainbow. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.)

Much love,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prayer Request

I know I have not been diligent about blogging lately. I promise it is not that I do not feel the need to come to my blog anymore.  It is quite the opposite. I have spent some time lately reading through my blog and reflecting on my feelings and state of mind at particular points during this last year. Eli's journey began August of last year and it will never end. Each day here lately has held some special memories of my precious little boy. I miss him terribly. No matter the circumstances, that will never change. It was this time last year when I first began feeling him move around in my belly. I simply loved to feel him move. This time last year, I was unaware of the turns our lives would take in the months to come. I have forever been changed because of those events. I do not see life through rose colored glasses anymore. I am living the heartache that life can sometimes be. The reality that just around the corner life could change...the reality that God gives and He takes away...the reality that sometimes in order to spend time with your children, you have to sit at a cold gravestone and talk to the air...all of these things I used to take for granted. No more.

I have a heavy and scared heart tonight. I would appreciate your prayers for Jamie and I on Wednesday. We have a very important appointment at 12:40, Wednesday. We have both found ourselves sleepless and restless in the last few days. I know this is a short post and hopefully later on this week I will post a longer blog.  I just needed to ask for prayer tonight.

Much love,