Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Around the Interwebs

This nursing cover is genius, and I can't believe they're so affordable. It might be the most perfect shower gift!

If you haven't read Emily Henderson's birth story, you should! So many things she said were just so TRUE and real and honest. Especially what she said about the intense, and sort of scary love you have once you become a mom.  I feel that way often. I laughed so hard at her comments about her "natural birth" too!

I just ordered this dress for my work fundraiser in a few weeks. I think it could work double duty as a maternity dress, or post-maternity dress. And you can't beat the price!

I'm reading this book right now and it's like it's speaking directly to me. I want to hug it.

I made this for dinner last week and all three of us scarfed it. I'd recommend it!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Year

Today marks one year since we lost our Celeste.

I feel such a heaviness in my heart today, remembering where I was, this time last year. This time last year, I was in the labor and delivery unit in a hospital bed, with the head of the bed tilted toward the floor to try to keep Celeste from coming early. I was filled with fear and anxiety, not knowing how long I'd be in the hospital, praying for enough time to pass for my baby girl's lungs to develop enough to take breaths outside of me.

Kemi and I have been so blessed this past year. We are lucky to have friends and family who surround us, pray their hearts out for us, and fill us with encouraging words. So many have told us that we have favor with God, that He would allow us such pain. We've been told that suffering is a great grace. As a Christian, those words sound right in my head. They resonate as "truth," but yet I don't understand them. I don't feel especially good or holy, because even today, I can't understand why my God allowed me to look on my daughter's face and then took her back to Himself.

I don't know that I ever will.

My sister shared with me today some of her memories from February 12th, 2013.  She said she and my parents, along with my brothers, Kemi's brother, and a few close friends, were all piled into a hospital room, storming Heaven for Celeste.  She says she never felt so tangibly the presence of the Holy Spirit.  When she came into my hospital room and saw me holding Celeste, she felt hundreds of saints and angels in that room.  I remember it that way too...such a mixture of perfect peace. I also remember the complete and utter agony.

There is one picture in particular from that night, of me holding Celeste, that is difficult for me to look at, even still. My face is red and contorted, and I can almost hear the wail coming out of me. Celeste has just been placed on my chest. 

I remember thinking "I might literally die. I might literally crumble into a million pieces, right here and now because my heart feels like it is cracking into a million pieces."

If you haven't experienced it (and I pray you never, ever do), you can only imagine. You can only imagine the incredible love and awe of having this baby you've known only in kicks and rolls, now gently placed on your chest. And you breathe that baby in, and there's that familiar new baby smell. And you are so, so in love. Yet, instead of thinking about nursing that baby, and wondering when you might get to take that sweet baby home, that baby is taking its last breaths in your arms. And you know it. There is nothing-NOTHING-that comes close to the ache that a mother's heart feels in that moment.  That picture depicts that agony.  I'm thankful for that memory, because it is so raw, and is a tangible remembrance of the total loss and complete unraveling I felt.

But today, one year later, I'm also thankful for these pictures:

For me, they are proof of life. Proof that three lives are being lived in these four walls, and for that, I'm thankful. What would I do without these two, I don't know.  Here we are, a year later, and we've made it. Our hearts survived it. 

Pray for us, sweet girl! We miss you everyday.