Well, I'm reentering the blogging world again. It's been over a month -and what a month it's been...
At the end of December Tara had her baby, Saige, and I was so excited to be able to see her! I'm so happy that God saw fit to bless their family with a little girl! Things will be VERY different now!
Due to Saige's procrastination in coming into the world, Christmas was a little wacky as I was at Tara's house while she was in labor during most of Christmas morning. The kids did get to open a few of their gifts but opened the majority of them later in the afternoon when I got home. They were very understanding about all of it.
The big deal gift for Caitlin was a real, wooden dollhouse kit that over the next two weeks Brent was able to assemble. It turned out very cute and she loves it. This is and "in progress" picture. I don't think I have one of the final outcome. Gotta get one!
Grant was ecstatic to receive his very first gun. A real one. We were able to buy him a "Rossi" which is actually three guns in one. A shotgun, a rifle and a .22. He had been dreaming and drooling over it, but we had said, "NO WAY", so I think he was quite surprised.
Jake got real arrows for a bow we already had, a slingshot and a big foam target to practice with.
Quinn got a Playmobil fire rescue truck with a trailer.
All in all, it was a nice but very crazy day. The older three hardly got any "toys". I feel sad that they are outgrowing this little kid stage and getting into more adult hobbies!
As you all know, in the beginning of January we received some very sad and difficult news about our 5th child. At my first appointment at 14 weeks the midwife was unable to hear a heartbeat. A sonogram confirmed that the baby had died at 13 weeks. All the news was such a shock and surprise to us. I had been feeling so bad with morning sickness that we were just amazed.
Through all of the long ordeal, we experienced God's loving hand and presence very intimately. I opted to allow my body to miscarry naturally instead of going in for a d & c. The two weeks we waited seemed like an eternity, but finally God allowed me (at 16 weeks) to miscarry at home. The midwife had told me that there could be contractions very much similar to labor, so I was a bit apprehensive about that. But, God, in His goodness, allowed the whole thing to happen with not one single contraction- which was truly a miracle in itself. I'll spare everyone the details! We were able to see and hold our little boy (we think) which was such an awesome experience. To see how intricately and perfectly our little ones are formed even at 13 weeks was truly breathtaking. Fingers, toes, eyes, ears, nostrils- all fully formed! I wish every mom that wanted an abortion could see how their little baby is fully whole- just lacking in the fatty arms and legs.
The kids have handled the loss very well, although Caitlin definitely took it the hardest. Because of her age she understood so much more, and felt the pain more deeply. Jake, our tenderhearted one, lavished me with hugs and smiles and sweet words during all the time we waited and once I miscarried. He truly has a gift of mercy toward others. During all of this, Brent has been an absolutely wonderful husband. We were able to bond in a way that was never possible before and for that I am so thankful. And, we have both grown so much spiritually together through it.
There are many other little "gifts" God blessed us with through all of it- too many to list. We have tasted a very hard and sad part of life, but in the midst of it God has been visibly good to us. I don't understand why this has happened, but I do believe with all my heart that all of it is for His Glory. If not being able to carry and raise this little boy brings glory to God than I willingly submit to His plan and am grateful to be His servant. My prayer is that our family may be a vessel fit for His use and for His plans. His way is enough for me.
It has been a little over two weeks and I still have my moments when the sadness washes over me and the tears come, but overall, I find myself dwelling on His faithfulness in holding us in His arms during such a difficult time.
Thank you all for all your outpourings of love and sympathy, prayers, cards, phone calls, and meals. This event was one of those "life changing" experiences, but it makes it so much easier to bear when you have godly, true friends and family to help bear the pain. You all have been God's hands and feet full of service.