Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I got for Christmas

This is the note I posted on Facebook to announce my pregnancy.  I posted it on Christmas day. 

Merry Christmas to All!!

     James and I are proud to announce that we will be welcoming our second son and fourth living child in May.  This announcement was a long time coming, of course.  Mostly because I have been excited for some time to share my testimony.  Here is our story:
     This past September you might recall me posting a status update about a whole swarm of dragonflies I walked out and found in front of my house.  That was September 10th, the same day as Caleb's birthday party.  It was an amazing sight to see and one I doubt I will ever be priviledged to witness again.  Twenty or more dragonflies just zipping right by me and around me.  It was amazing.  It was puzzling.  I wondered what they meant for a few days until I stumbled upon an etsy listing for a sculptural piece.  It was a baby with angel wings holding a dragonfly in it's hands with the caption underneath that said, "Go tell Mommy, I'm okay."  This really got to me.  I wondered if those dragonflies were sent from Gracelynn. Ultimately I decided I had been sent a sign from Heaven.  Though my pain is still immense for our loss of Grace and some days I feel like the wind has been permanately knocked out of me, I am happy knowing she is okay.  I also decided then that maybe I wasn't as insignificant as I thought I was.  Perhaps the Burke family is most important to God right now as we heal for our loss.  Maybe we were always so significant to God, we just didn't see it.

     There are many times in life that we feel so small.  We feel like God is there, but we just wonder if He is listening and willing to answer our prayers.  I have to admit that I felt pretty alone and hurt when we got Gracelynn's diagnosis in June.  There were days I couldn't help but fall to the ground and just weep at what was certain to happen though I had as much hope as I possibly could that she would fight through her heart problems.  It wasn't until I started to see things from a different point of view that I learned what it means to just have Faith.

     So on September 23rd, I took my first hpt and it was negative.  We had just tried that first cycle after having Gracelynn and expected nothing.  In the past, the more I've stressed to concieve the harder it was.  I had this feeling though, that God would work quickly to send me another son or daughter to help heal my heart and to fill my empty womb.  I tested on the 24th and got a positive.  Immediately I started inputing dates into the various websites.  (I am a dork) I needed to confirm my conception date and to know my due date.  I put in, just for fun, a conception date of the 10th (the day Grace sent the dragonflies) and came up with September 24th being the first day to get a positive.  I know this baby was given life on the 10th for many reasons that are concrete (and tmi, lol), but also because I have the faith and the belief that this was how it was all supposed to work out.
     I really can't describe how it feels to know without a doubt that you have an angel watching out for you.  It seems to me that maybe we are all sent these signs and are all given the opportunity to put any doubts we may have to rest.  I know that God is watching over me.  I know that I am important and significant to Him.  I know that I have an angel in Heaven waiting to be reunited with her family one day.
     I wanted to share this message and this news on Christmas because I felt like if there was ever a time to remind people that there is so much more to this world than what we are doing in our everyday lives, this was it.  There are miracles all around us and we are all special enough to witness them if only we stopped and opened our hearts and our eyes.
     So we are having a sweet baby boy in late May.  He is healthy and doing well.  We are so very blessed and excited to add to our family.  There is nothing more important to us than the legacy we will leave to this earth.  We believe our legacy will be raising our imperfect children to grow up and honor God, do good everyday and stand up for what's right.  There is no amount of wealth or status that could equal that.  If you've made it this far, Thank you!!  =)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gracelynn's Due Date

Gracelynn had a few different due dates.  The 22nd, the 20th and towards the end the 19th.  I went with the 20th, but does it really matter.  She should be here right now.  She should be in my arms or at least here getting the medical care she would have needed.  I have to wonder if I would have been emotionally ready to handle open heart surgery on a newborn.  Part of me is thankful that she didn't have to go through all the surgeries she would have surely needed.  The mother part of me is just angry and frustrated that the rest of my life will be spent without her.  I want her and need her so badly.  I usually have to remind myself that this was His plan and He knew best. 

I woke up today and got on the computer to catch up.  I hadn't been on in several days.  I came across one article after another discussing the Duggar Family sharing pictures of their daughter's hands and feet at the memorial service.  Articles say those who attended the memorial were shocked when they were handed a card that had a picture of someone's hands holding the baby's feet and the saying next to it said no foot is too small to leave a footprint on this world.  Or something to that affect.  I can't pull it back up now, because it's all too upsetting.  My heart goes out to the Duggars.  Michelle is now right where I was back in July.  Just a slightly different situation.  I can tell you that delivering a stillborn baby is tough, traumatic and scary.  I don't understand the mentality that taking a picture of a baby who has passed away before you ever got the opportunity to lay eyes on them is wrong.  It's not.  When you have a living child, you have plenty of time to build memories and hold onto things that will remind you of them long after they grow up.  When you give birth to a child that has passed away, those moments in the hospital afterwards are all you have.  There is no second chance to make memories or take pictures of that child who has passed away.  To me, you should have every right to do whatever you can to perserve that moment in your life.  To have a stillborn child, it isn't something shameful.  It happens to women of all ages, sizes, races, religions, condition of health and from the beginning of time.  Women have strugged with miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death since life was first created.  I just wish I could change the minds of those people who find pictures of our children who have passed away offensive.  If I could explain that it was all we have to hold onto and look back on.