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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chasing a Rainbow : Evaelia's Birth Story - Part 2



For a recap read  Part 1 of Evaelia's Birth Story

I couldn't believe the end was closing in on this part of my journey with my precious baby wrapped in my womb. I had all sorts of emotions flooding my brain....even doubt. Even in such pain I doubted that this was really it. I couldn't fathom that after all the waiting that I would be holding my baby in a matter of hours.

Like I said, the contractions had gotten further apart after I ceased pumping. They went from 3 mins. apart back to 10 -14 min. apart and to start with, I was bummed, but to my surprise, they still came back fiercely and consistently! At first, I mentioned to Jeremy that this could be it and  I went on about my business, going through several contractions by myself. Praise the Lord we had put Ellie to bed so I could really relax and focus on my labor while I finished getting  things ready for the birth. A couple hours went by and around 11:30 pm. I called my cousin Angie, who is like my sister and  knows all the details of my life. We chatted while I was bouncing away on my birth ball. I was so chill and I calmly told her her how things were going. Knowing my history of  labors, I  chuckled and  said that it would probably be a while, but she thought very differently. She chuckled right back and said it would be sooner than I thought because she could hear it my voice. I guess I just didn't want to get my hopes up! However, by then, the contractions were consistently around 10 min. apart so I nonchalantly told her I'll would call her back later with any updates.

 12:00 am came and the contractions' strength had escalated immensely! They had went directly from 10 min.to around 8 min.apart, and they were potent! To all mothers who have been given the hellish drug pitocin without pain meds, you know what I mean when I say that the pain felt like I was at 7 cm with pitocin!! I kept thinking " Whew... how can it hurt this bad so early in the game?"  It was becoming so intense and at a rapid rate!  I  anxiously waddled into the living room where Jeremy  was and I smiled as I said " Honey..... if  I don't have a baby soon I will be the most surprised momma ever!"  He quickly perked up and I could see the anxiousness in his eyes!  Immediately he mentioned calling the midwife back to inform her of the progress made. She suggested trying to rest and if  the contractions picked up anymore to call her back.

During this time satan tried to flood my mind with all kinds of  fears. He attempted to make me rethink my home birth desires and tell  me that the baby wouldn't make it to me alive. I remember crying out to Jeremy in between the surges and asking him if he thought I would have a live baby. This being the same question that he had been asked at least 1,000 times since Zion's death.  He was so faithful to smile every time and remind me that I would deliver and hold a live baby very soon! I was a basket full of emotions, to say the least! Nonetheless, I'm thankful that the Lord over came every one of satan's attempts.  He caused my sweet baby to move and kick just in time to reassure me that she was still with me and that HE alone was in control of  life! And surely, the crazy course of contractions didn't give me much time to ponder on all the what ifs either!

Jeremy had to really help me through the contractions that followed. When I think back, it was so sweet how we worked through the early contractions all to the way to the last one, together.  I would scream out "Jeremy.....  I need you!" and he would come running to my side to scoop me up in his arms.  Every time I would heave all my weight upon him and it looked as if I was like a limp corpse he was embracing in his arms. We swayed and danced through each surge. When each one was over he would smile with such love and compassion, and I felt safe. He was so sympathetic toward me while seeing me in such pain, however, we still were able to laugh and enjoy each other.  Some of my fondest memories of the birth were the times when we were laughing through some of the hardest contractions as I shouted out cracks like " Oh ....it's coming out my butt!!" and " Hep me Jesus .... Hep me!!"  Oh....I love that man of mine with all my heart!! There is no one else I would rather laugh through the pain with!

For the next  2 hours we swayed, laughed, and cried together while timing each contraction. They had swiftly went  from  7 min. to 3 min. apart,  without much warning. Although I  had been through this 3 times before, labor had never progressed so quickly! At 2 am, after a really intense contraction, there was a crescendo in my voice as I urgently said to Jeremy " I need water.... and I need my midwife NOW!!" His countenance immediately changed and he fumbled as he grabbed the phone to call the midwife. I still remember hearing his voice shake as he made the call requesting her immediate assistance. In my mind I just didn't know if  the baby would wait until she arrived, seeing it would take her 1 hr to get here.

Stay tuned for Part 3 including some photos of the labor and birth !



Monday, November 25, 2013

Capture Your Grief : A Healing Photography Challenge-Part 4


Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day 21: Honor 

We honor Zion & Selah by remembering them in all that we do. There is never a day that passes that we don't talk about them. I want all my children to know that they have a brother and sister in heaven and that their life is a very important part of our family. Ellie is the spokeswoman of our little family. We were recently at a local church sharing our painting ministry and the president of the group was introducing our family. When she stated that we only had 2 beautiful girls Ellie had to step into to make the correction." Umm..No...No..actually there's 3 beautiful girls and my brother, but my brother Zion and my sister Selah are in heaven now!" Yes... the tears were flowing at that moment,  but I must admit, I was so proud and she said what my heart was crying out on the inside! I am a blessed mother of 4 beautiful children!

 Every year on Zion & Selah's birthday we celebrate their life here on Earth and in heaven with family and friends. We also participate in  the annual "Walk To Remember" with other loss parents. Walking just says to the world that you have a child/children in heaven and that their life has great worth and value to you and your family!

I think that we honor them most by telling their stories. Breaking the silence about pregnancy/infant loss is definitely a passion of mine. I desire to live my life fully and and victoriously by remembering Zion & Selah, not as some unfortunate circumstances that happened to me or sad parts of my story, but rather as two precious souls that were made in love, and created with a great purpose. They make my life beautiful !

Day 21: Honor

We honor Zion & Selah by remembering them in all that we do. There is never a day that passes that we don't talk about them. I want all my children to know that they have a brother and sister in heaven and that their life is a very important part of our family. Ellie is the spokeswoman of our little family. We were recently at a local church sharing our painting ministry and the president of the group was introducing our family. When she stated that we only had 2 beautiful girls Ellie had to step into to make the correction." Umm..No...No..actually there's 3 beautiful girls and my brother, but my brother Zion and my sister Selah are in heaven now!" Yes... the tears were flowing at that moment, but I must admit, I was so proud and she said what my heart was crying out on the inside! I am a blessed mother of 4 beautiful children!

Every year on Zion & Selah's birthday we celebrate their life here on Earth and in heaven with family and friends. We also participate in the annual "Walk To Remember" with other loss parents. Walking just says to the world that you have a child/children in heaven and that their life has great worth and value to you and your family!

I think that we honor them most by telling their stories. Breaking the silence about pregnancy/infant loss is definitely a passion of mine. I desire to live my life fully and and victoriously by remembering Zion & Selah, not as some unfortunate circumstances that happened to me or sad parts of my story, but rather as two precious souls that were made in love, and created with a great purpose. They make my life beautiful !


                                                                                                          


 Day 22: Words
This is a song that I cling to and it represents where I'm at on my journey of grief. Please take time to hear the audio of the song. I promise it will bless your heart! It is a great inspiration to have experienced suffering.



.
I come, God, I come

I return to the Lord
The one who’s broken
The one who’s torn me apart
You strike down to bind me up
You say you do it all in love
That I might know you in your suffering

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

My heart and flesh may fail
The earth below give way
But with my eyes, with my eyes I’ll see the Lord
Lifted high on that day
Behold, the Lamb that was slain
And I’ll know every tear was worth it all

Though you slay me
Yet I will praise you
Though you take from me
I will bless your name
Though you ruin me
Still I will worship
Sing a song to the one who’s all I need

Though tonight I’m crying out
Let this cup pass from me now
You’re still more than I need
You’re enough for me
You’re enough for me

                                                                                                            
 Day 24: Artwork

Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day 24: Artwork

This is a beautiful Christmas ornament my husband painted in memory of babies that are born sleeping. It reminds me of how precious life is and that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I also love the heart around the baby because it represents the baby being sustained and surrounded by love. To view more Christian artwork visit http://www.jeremysams.com/

This is a beautiful Christmas ornament my husband painted in memory of babies that are born sleeping. It reminds me of how precious life is and that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I also love the heart around the baby because it represents the baby being sustained and surrounded by love. To view more Christian artwork visit http://www.jeremysams.com/


                                                                                                       



 Day 25 : Say It Out Loud
Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day : 25 - Say It Out Loud.

If I could say anything out loud about my journey of grief it would be that I would STILL choose my babies. Even if I knew what would lie ahead be it death, sorrow, grief, or pain.  I would still go through it all just to meet them and have them change my life forever. I would still choose this bittersweet journey if I knew it was the only way to them. Those precious months that I had with each of them will last a lifetime. I have been made a proud mother of 4 for a reason and I trust that God is in total control. I will never stop talking about who they are in my life. They are my children. I will choose to include them in all my family's adventures because I carry them close in my heart  everywhere I go. Only time separates us. No grief or sorrow could ever hurt so bad that I would choose to put them aside and remove them from my memories. Zion & Selah I would STILL choose you!

Please take time to watch this short clip. It's about breaking the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. STILL is for those who grieve as well as those who want to reach out and understand. Grab your tissues!

http://stillproject.org/
 If I could say anything out loud about my journey of grief it would be that I would STILL choose my babies. Even if I knew what would lie ahead be it death, sorrow, grief, or pain. I would still go through it all just to meet them and have them change my life forever. I would still choose this bittersweet journey if I knew it was the only way to them. Those precious months that I had with each of them will last a lifetime. I have been made a proud mother of 4 for a reason and I trust that God is in total control. I will never stop talking about who they are in my life. They are my children. I will choose to include them in all my family's adventures because I carry them close in my heart everywhere I go. Only time separates us. No grief or sorrow could ever hurt so bad that I would choose to put them aside and remove them from my memories. Zion & Selah I would STILL choose you!

Please take time to watch this short clip. It's about breaking the silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. STILL is for those who grieve as well as those who want to reach out and understand. Grab your tissues!

http://stillproject.org/


                                                                                                       



 Day 26: Community

Photo: Trying to catch up again!
CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
 Day 26: Community

I feel so blessed to say that from the very beginning of this journey we have had the love and support of so many great people. They have been there to hold our hand as we walked down this twisted and rocky road called grief. They have been a listening ear even when it was hard to take it all in and uncomfortable to hear at times. We are blessed with your love toward us and our babies in heaven! It means so much! We pray that  someone on this same journey of grief might find HOPE by us sharing our story. We also pray that they will know JOY through their sorrow and see BEAUTY for ashes , just as we have. We want to thank everyone that has ever selflessly ministered to our family! We love you and feel so blessed to call you friends!

I feel so blessed to say that from the very beginning of this journey we have had the love and support of so many great people. They have been there to hold our hand as we walked down this twisted and rocky road called grief. They have been a listening ear even when it was hard to take it all in and uncomfortable to hear at times. We are blessed with your love toward us and our babies in heaven! It means so much! We pray that someone on this same journey of grief might find HOPE by us sharing our story. We also pray that they will know JOY through their sorrow and see BEAUTY for ashes , just as we have. We want to thank everyone that has ever selflessly ministered to our family! We love you and feel so blessed to call you friends!


                                                                                                     

 Day :28 -Special Place



Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF:
Day :28 -Special Place 

The beach is a place where I think of my Zion & Selah every time that I go. Shortly after losing Zion I was so depressed. I remember trying to do anything to stay busy at the time and for me, there's no other place so serene as the majestic ocean. I remember watching the endlessness of the ocean and thinking of the One who created it all. The only peace that I had was knowing that at that very moment, that same omnipresent, sovereign God was holding my Zion, while at the same time He was holding me!

Some of the last memories I have of Selah were while Jeremy and I were away at the beach for our anniversary that year. I remember going out to eat dinner and feeling her squirm and we rejoiced over her life, after we had experienced such loss. Those little moments meant so much because they were some of the last times that I ever felt her tiny body move inside of my own. 

I took this pic after I had lost Selah. It made me feel like we were all there as a family at the ocean that day. It was bittersweet but I smiled when the ocean washed the names out into the deep blue. I felt as though it was just like sharing them with the world. I will say that it still hurts to walk down the dusty dunes knowing that I am missing four tiny hands and four tiny feet. However, I choose to find joy knowing that I still get to hold four other tiny hands and watch 4 other tiny feet prints in the sand. Now I am blessed to say that there are 4 names that wash out into the deep blue and I choose to share them all with world!

The beach is a place where I think of my Zion & Selah every time that I go. Shortly after losing Zion I was so depressed. I remember trying to do anything to stay busy at the time and for me, there's no other place so serene as the majestic ocean. I remember watching the endlessness of the ocean and thinking of the One who created it all. The only peace that I had was knowing that at that very moment, that same omnipresent, sovereign God was holding my Zion, while at the same time He was holding me!

Some of the last memories I have of Selah were while Jeremy and I were away at the beach for our anniversary that year. I remember going out to eat dinner and feeling her squirm and we rejoiced over her life, after we had experienced such loss. Those little moments meant so much because they were some of the last times that I ever felt her tiny body move inside of my own.

I took this pic after I had lost Selah. It made me feel like we were all there as a family at the ocean that day. It was bittersweet but I smiled when the ocean washed the names out into the deep blue. I felt as though it was just like sharing them with the world. I will say that it still hurts to walk down the dusty dunes knowing that I am missing four tiny hands and four tiny feet. However, I choose to find joy knowing that I still get to hold four other tiny hands and watch 4 other tiny feet prints in the sand. Now I am blessed to say that there are 4 names that wash out into the deep blue and I choose to share them all with world!







                                                                                                   


  
Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day 29: Healing

When I look at this picture I see  a mother who is being healed( present tense). Satan tried continuously to break my heart and crush my dreams by telling me that I was incapable of delivering a live baby. To me, this is not only a picture of healing, but also one of victory. I still cry when I see it! I smiled on the inside knowing that good does overcome evil and God always reigns! I am still in awe of it all. Now I really know what HOPE looks like because I hold it  every day! God is mending me just like he does so many broken things. He is more to me than my words could ever describe and I have no need to doubt Him now!  HE is my healing!

Day 29: Healing
When I look at this picture I see a mother who is being healed( present tense). Satan tried continuously to break my heart and crush my dreams by telling me that I was incapable of delivering a live baby. To me, this is not only a picture of healing, but also one of victory. I still cry when I see it! I smiled on the inside knowing that good does overcome evil and God always reigns! I am still in awe of it all. Now I really know what HOPE looks like because I hold it every day! God is mending me just like he does so many broken things. He is more to me than my words could ever describe and I have no need to doubt Him now! HE is my healing!

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