Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

No More. No Less.

I am happy (not really!) to report to you that I'm writing tonight full (miserably so) of peanut butter M&Ms and diet coke. Comfort food? Yes-sir-eee indeed!!!

I'm still struggling. Really struggling. But I know I'm not alone. I feel alone. But I'm not.

I know that many members of my family love me. I have a husband who somehow still loves me. I have two girls who adore me (at least I like to think they do!). I have a wonderful family of friends who love me. But most of all, I have a God who loves me just the way I am.

I'm trying hard to crawl in His lap and let Him comfort me. I know it's what He wants. After all, He's my heavenly father. He's even invited me/us to call him that! The God and creator of every thing wants us to know Him as our heavenly father. When I stop and ponder that, it is amazing to me.

And how are parents supposed to love their children? Unconditionally. Just the way they are. I know that I love my two girls just the way they are, inside and out, from the top of their heads to the tips of their toes! I've told them repeatedly that there is absolutely NOTHING in this world that they could do that would make me not love them. And I mean it! I may not agree with or like the choices they make or the behavior they choose, but I will always love them! My door and arms will always be open to them. And just so you know, I will always love Grady, too! And you can bet, if he were alive on this earth with us, the same would apply to him!

Praise God, He loves me just the way I am. No more. No less. He knows my heart. He knows my every thought. He knows my cries, my hurts, my desires, my joys.

Shoot, He even knows the number of hairs on my head!! I didn't make that up. Nope! That's in the Bible somewhere, but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you where! I would be willing to bet he even knows how many of them are white, blond, brown, and so on because my hair is so many different colors! (But underneath it all, it's probably just white. Sad, I know. But true!)

Anyway, this post isn't about hair. It's about coming to Jesus just the way we are. In much of the same way, this is how I come to you. Just the way I am. I don't try to be someone I'm not.

This whole post was inspired by Mercy Me's song called "No More No Less". I'm posting the song and the lyrics beneath it. Take about 5 minutes if you've never heard it to really listen and ponder the words. (And don't forget to mute my music at the bottom of the page before pressing play!) It brings me hope and comfort that God doesn't need or want us to be perfect. He wants us to come to Him just as we are! And for me, I'm just trying to make it HOME!

No More No Less, Mercy Me (

I'm not trying to hide anything
I wear it on my sleeve
I wear it on my sleeve
I'm not trying to be something I'm not
This is all I've got
This is all I've got

I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel
Just trying to be real
Trying to be real
I'm not trying to say follow me
I'm not the one who leads
I'm not the one who leads

Let me introduce myself to you
This is who I am
No more, no less
I am just a man who understands
Because of You I'm blessed
No more, no less

I'm not trying to prove anything
It's all about the change
It's all about the change

Let me introduce myself to you
This is who I am
No more, no less
I am just a man who understands
Because of You I'm blessed
No more, no less

I hope you stare just long enough to see
The heart that's beating here inside of me
Beyond all of the things you may think you know
I'm just a kid trying to make it home, that's it
No more, no less
Lord, I want to go home
Nothing more, nothing less


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I can't believe it's 10:30, and I'm just starting this post! It may be early for some of you, but it's already past my bedtime. Gib's clock goes off at 4am. I don't get up with him, but good sleep escapes me after that (if it ever came before!).

Just to let you know, there may not be a Wednesday's Walk for me tomorrow. The fourth part of Grady's service might come next week. We'll see how I'm feeling when tomorrow comes...

Anyway, I wish that I was writing from a better "emotional place" tonight, but the truth is, I'm not. I'm still not doing so great. In fact, I feel like I'm drowning in my anger and resentment and grief. Now, I just plain feel "trapped"!

There are very few people in my real life (I say in my real life, compared to my "blog life" because unfortunately, there are many in my "blog life" who DO know this journey and are on it with me right now!) who really understand what this journey is like. For that, I am SOOO thankful because I wouldn't wish this pain and heartache on my worst enemy. (And by now, I may have a few. No really, I'm serious!)

I have tried really hard the last few days to "snap out of it". But who am I kidding? Myself obviously! I can't just snap out of it! I want to, though, because the grief is unbearable at times. The grief feels like a ton of bricks on my chest, making it hard to breathe. The grief isn't just going to "go away" like I would like for it to or like others think it should. Grief is HARD work and I know it! But I'm ready for it to get a little easier and instead, I feel like it's getting harder! Its been almost six months since Grady died, but it's not getting easier!

I had a great morning with Ebe. After enjoying the morning outside over coffee, we went to pick up a necklace and charm that I ordered with Grady's name engraved on it. It turned out to be beautiful! I will try to take a picture of it and post it soon. My day went downhill from there...

I really can't share all of my day, but I did have a phone conversation that was hard. I had received a postcard in the mail to call and update my alumni information from nursing school. I was tired of looking at it, so I called. As we were going over children, I had to include Grady. He IS my child! The feeling of betrayal is far worse than any "uncomfortableness" (is that even a word?) brought on by talking about him. He IS my child! She said, "Well, we can just put his name and put deceased by it."



That was hard to swallow. Real hard.

I know my baby is dead. But hearing someone say that she can record his name with deceased next to it, just made it......I don't know. I really don't know what it made it. It's already real, so I can't say it made it real. It didn't even make it final. For once, I'm at a loss of words to describe how that moment felt...

Then I go to the grocery store and see people not even dressing their babies to go to the store, nothing but a diaper! Seriously! Maybe at home on a hot day, but to the store...into the store??? (Sorry to offend anyone who may have done this, but I think we all should wear clothes in a public place, except the pool of course and then a swim diaper is appropriate!)

Gimme A Break!

Having said all of that, I do feel trapped. Let me try to explain...

I feel...

...trapped, inside of a mind, my mind, that won't stop thinking about the "Why's?" and "What if's?" That can't stop thinking about Grady.

...trapped inside of a body, my body, that aches, physically and literally, for my baby boy. My body, that aches with grief. My body, that feels like it will explode at any second. My body, that always has tears right behind my eyes and a big lump in my throat. My body, that is exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally.

...trapped inside of a world that has NO CLUE what it is like to lose a baby.

...trapped inside of a world with insensitive people who know what you've been through, yet make insensitive comments nonetheless.

...trapped inside of a world where people still ask "What's wrong?" "Why are you sad?"

...trapped inside of a house where everyone knows I'm hurting but no one really wants to "go there" because of the tears that come along with it. After all, no one likes to see "Mommy" or "T" cry.

...trapped in a web of Satan's lies and stronghold on me.

...trapped inside of a real-life nightmare that I just can't wake up from, no matter how hard I try!

I know that God is here. He is closer than I think. It's just so hard to feel Him and find Him lately! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, HE'S ALL I HAVE TO HOLD ONTO! HE GIVES ME HOPE! I Accept. I Trust. In spite of the fact that I don't like it!

Tonya (It is now 11:40 - I'm crazy - good night!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The "R" Word

I'm coming to you today from a beautifully, sunny, almost hot Sunday afternoon in Northeast Georgia. However, the feeling inside of me is far from beautiful. It certainly does NOT match the weather outside.

***Warning*** This is not a happy post. If you don't want to read about how crappy I'm feeling today for fear that it might bring you down, too, or that you just don't want to hear it, then I suggest you "get the heck out of dodge" real fast!

If you're still reading, then I have a question for you.

Do you ever have days where you absolutely hate (yes, I mean literally hate) the way you feel?

Not just that you hate the way you feel, but no matter how hard you try and no matter what you say to yourself and no matter what you do, that feeling just won't go away?

I'm having one of those days today.

It started on the way home from church this morning, and I'm not sure why. We had a GREAT message, and I was really looking forward to another beautiful day with my family. However, by the time we got home I was feeling BAD! Grumpy. Crabby. Angry. Bothered.

So, you might be wondering what the "R" word is that I'm referring to as the title of my post...

After spending some time alone, I realized that I'm feeling very...


I even looked up the definition on Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary to make sure this was indeed what I'm feeling and it confirmed what I needed to know. Resent is defined as, "to feel or express ill will or annoyance at." Resentful is defined as, "full of resentment or inclined to resent."

This is hard for me to type and own up to today. But I'm always honest. Believe it or not, I do hold back on this blog. But I've decided not to today.

This is not a feeling that comes from the Lord. I know that. It comes from Satan, and I know it to be true with every ounce of my being! Yet, the devil has such a strong hold on me today, and I can't seem to make him let go! I don't want him to get the best of me, but I feel like it's too late.

So, you might ask, "Why are you resentful?" "What are you resentful of?"

Well, I'm so glad you asked. I'll be glad to tell you. Sit back and listen...

(By the way, these are listed in no particular order of priority, simply random thoughts as they come.)

--I'm resentful that since I don't work outside of the home, I'm expected to keep a clean house, when others living with me don't even pick up after themselves. (and yes, I feel like a drill sargent on a daily basis!)

--I resent the fact that everyone around me (my immediate family included) seems happy, when I'm absolutely still drowning inside from the grief.

--I resent that the world doesn't see how badly I'm hurting. The world didn't stop when Grady died - only my world stopped - and everything and everyone else continues at their own pace.

--I am resentful that pregnancy and childbirth are so easy for the majority of people.

--I resent that I loved teaching childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, infant safety and cpr classes, and now I can't do that anymore because losing my baby has affected me in unimaginable ways.

--I resent that the innocence of pregnancy is forever gone in my world. Just because you are pregnant and have had healthy ultrasounds/blood work and you've made it past your first trimester in NO WAY guarantees that you are going to have a healthy baby.

Look how it turned out for me and Baby Grady!

--I resent the fact that my husband can take a nap at any given time, automatically assuming that I've got everything under control and will be there if the girls need anything.

--I resent the fact that I am expected to make a meal plan and find things that everyone will like, with no input from the rest of my family. Let me add too, that this must be done on a budget and with the healthiest choices made available. Easy? NOPE!

--I resent the fact that I don't have my baby here with me.

--I resent that I now have to find my "new normal", when my "new normal" is no different than the way life was before. (a post about that in the future!)

--I'm resentful of those who think I should be okay by now and can't understand why I'm not.

--I'm resentful that today is my mom's birthday and she's not here for me to wish her a happy birthday and share it with her. Although a heavenly birthday is better than any party I could ever give her! I just miss her!

--I'm resentful that I can't spend money without feeling guilty about spending it because I don't have a job that actually pays me money.

--I resent that no matter how badly I want things to be different, there's nothing I can do to change them.

--I'm resentful that I have to find ways to make Grady's life mean something since he's not here for his life to be valued for what it is.

--I'm resentful that I spend so much time on this computer and in the blog world because it brings me hope and encouragement reading about others' sufferings - HOW WRONG AND BACKWARDS IS THAT?!?!?! (I don't wish others to experience pain and suffering, but there is definitely some truth that "misery loves company". It's just nice to know you're not alone.)

--I'm resentful that society is afraid to talk about babies who have died from stillbirth. No one is afraid to speak of an elderly person who has passed, so why is it so difficult to acknowledge a baby who never lived outside of his/her mother???

--I resent that babies who are born alive, and live even for a few minutes, are valued and regarded differently and more highly than a stillborn baby.

--I resent that I have a nursery filled with baby stuff and baby clothes and no baby to enjoy them.

--I'm resentful that many times when I smile, it's not a real smile. It is forced. But it's what everyone wants and expects, so that's what they get.

--I'm resentful that I'm at a point in my grief, where no one really wants to still hear about Grady. That's old news and I should have moved on by now.

--I resent that I don't feel that I can freely bring up Grady, even with my husband, just because I want to talk about him. Just because I miss him. (As I said, everyone has moved on and is doing much better than me!)

--I resent that there are members of our families (mine and my husband's) who have NEVER acknowledged to me that I had a baby and he died.

--I'm resentful that when I'm asked how I'm doing, I want to scream that "I'M NOT OKAY", but instead, I obligingly give the sought after answer, "I'm good".

--I'm resentful that when someone who doesn't already know that Grady died asks about him, I end up comforting them because they feel so bad about asking (that, too, is a future post).

--I resent that I'm resentful!

There's more, but I'll stop there. I needed to write these things out. Thanks for listening and reading.

Please be in prayer for and with me that this resentment will diminish and go away. That these feelings will be replaced with joy for what I KNOW I'm blessed with and what I know I have. At times, though, it's hard to see the good because the bad overshadows it so....


Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bird

I’m giving myself a 30 minute time limit for this post. That should be ample time to talk about a bird, right? Loading pictures is actually what takes so long.

Monday afternoon, a dear friend of mine, Shana, was visiting. The girls were outside playing, and we heard a knocking sound coming from the kitchen. When it didn’t stop, I went to see what it was. A bird was repeatedly backing up and flying into my kitchen window. Not too hard to hurt itself, but hard enough to make a loud noise. Once we were in the kitchen, the bird perched itself on the ledge and just stared at me and Shana through the window. I got closer and said “Hi little bird”. Then an overwhelming feeling came from deep within, and I said, “Are you Grady coming to visit me?”

Now, let me clarify. Before you determine that I've completely lost my mind (which I often feel that I have, but that's beside the point!), I DO NOT think the bird is Grady! However, I can’t help but wonder if God wasn’t using that bird to send me some sort of message. Especially after what a hard week I’ve had emotionally.

I think I miss him more than ever...

Keep reading. The story gets better.

Wednesday afternoon, I was working on my post about the second part of Grady’s service. I heard a noise on the window behind me and turned around. I’ll be darn if that bird wasn’t sitting on that window ledge, just staring at me.


Yesterday morning, I was home alone, sitting at the computer (where I spend a lot of time these days), talking to a friend on the phone. I heard a noise in the kitchen, and from my chair, I could see the bird in the kitchen window again. My camera just happened to be near me, so I was able to take this picture.

I went about my business, doing laundry and straightening up a little, when I heard a noise in the kitchen, again.

The bird was back, and I got another picture!

I truly think that God is using this bird to let me know that Grady is okay. That Grady is always near me. And that He is, too!

It's not just the bird. It's the feeling I get when I see the bird. It stirs up all sorts of emotions from deep within me that I can't explain. It's a feeling that gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes.

Another interesting tidbit...we have lived in this house a little over three years and nothing like this has EVER happened before! I’m really curious to see if it comes back today!

Have any of you had similar experiences? If so, please share!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grady's Service, Part 2, "The Candle"

Last week for Wednesday’s Walk, I shared the first part of Grady’s service. In case you didn’t read the first part (and don’t have time to click on the link above), here is a short synopsis. We waited to do a small “Remembrance Service” for him at our home. We had about 18 people total, including immediate family, my OB (Dr. Joe), his nurse (Nanci), and my two nurse friends (Suzanne and Lori) who came in for my c-section to be there for me, bathe Grady and dress him for his pictures. Last week, I wrote about the message of “HOPE” that was evident throughout that day in numerous ways. Today, I’m writing about the candle.

You might have read about this candle in part one.

I had picked it out, and the store owner gave it to me (she knew Grady's story). It is Grady's memorial candle to light for him on holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other special days to honor and remember him. This candle was lit for his service and placed on the memorial table with pictures, his gown, his urn and other special items.

The chaplain, Sandi, wanted a way to get everyone involved in the service. She came up with the idea of a “Remembrance Candle”. There was one big candle in the middle of many small candles placed in sand in a clay pot.

The idea was that Gib and I would light the large candle that represented Grady's life, since his life came from the two of us (and God, of course!). Everyone else would then come and light a smaller candle from his. They were invited to say something to us or about Grady if they wanted. At the end, Grady’s candle would be lit with the small ones lit around it. This was meant to represent that Grady’s light and life continues on within us, even though he isn’t physically here with us.

It was time for us to light his big candle. Gib and I took our smaller candles and lit them from the HOPE candle that was already lit.

We tried to light his big candle in the center, but it wouldn’t light. We tried and tried but it just wouldn’t light! (Side note: Sandi had lit the candle earlier thinking it might make it easier to light for us when the time came). My husband, with his sense of humor says, “This would be a really bad sign if this were a wedding” (chuckle, chuckle). We tried again to light it. No luck. I look up and there stands Dr. Joe. He very politely and respectfully asked, “May I please pick up the candle?” We said sure. He picked it up, turned it horizontally, and said “Try this."

In that moment, I thought, “I don’t know what I’m going to do if this candle lights with his help!” To my shock and amazement, it lit! It was such a special moment and epiphany for me. (I wish that I could post the picture of my "moment", but in respecting his anonymity, I can't)

Now, you’re probably thinking, "what’s the big deal?" For me, it was the symbolism. Dr. Joe wasn’t able to help us have Grady alive here on earth, but he helped us light the candle and give it “life”, which represented Grady’s life. You see, it wouldn’t have meant the same to me if anyone other than him helped us light Grady’s candle. He had done everything he could to help us deliver Grady, healthy and full-term. Now he was helping us bring light and life to his candle.

My girls were the first ones to light their candles after us. Jessica wrote a poem (which I’ll share in another post) and read it after she lit his candle. Emma Grace was going to say something, but she was too shy when the time actually came.

One by one, everyone came up to light a candle from his and share a word with us. It was a very special time, and a time when I felt so much love. So, if you were here for the service and shared in that memory, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Here are all of the candles lit and shining bright.

As Sandi was leaving, she was taking the candles out of the pot. She asked me if I wanted to keep his big candle. Of course, I did. She took it out of the sand and handed it to me. I gasped when I saw it. Here’s what I saw...

His candle had burned into the shape of a heart. Not just a heart. A broken heart. You see, it doesn’t show up in the picture well, but at the bottom of the heart there is a piece missing. My interpretation is this: the heart represents the love that we have for Grady (and even the love he has for us), but it also represents my broken heart. I couldn’t believe that it burned into such a shape.

I wish there was a way to preserve a candle because I will cherish that candle forever! Thanks for walking with me this Wednesday!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Miss...

I'm sad today. Very sad. There was no particular trigger. Just this journey of grief. Today, I put on a smile, but it's only fake.

I miss him every day of my life. Some days are better than others. Today is just not a good day...

I miss my Baby Grady.

I miss holding him in my arms. I miss his weight on my chest while holding him close. I miss snuggling him on my chest under his blue blanket. I miss his smell. I miss his soft skin. I miss his chubby cheeks. I miss his dark, head full of hair. I miss kissing him. I miss the feel of him. I miss his long fingers and big feet. I miss being able to look at him. I miss the chance to take pictures with him.

I just miss him.

I miss what he would be today...

I miss what he would look like. I miss what color his eyes would be. I miss seeing him smile (would he have big dimples like Emma Grace?). I miss hearing him chuckle. I miss changing his diapers, even the stinky ones...even the "blowouts". I miss him peeing on me. I miss wiping (sometimes catching) spit up. I miss changing his clothes several times a day. I miss him teething. I miss being up at night with him. I miss him sucking his thumb or taking a paci. I miss him playing in his activity center that sits in the closet in his empty room. I miss him learning to sit up in his Boppy pillow (that also sits in the closet in his empty room). I miss seeing him wear cute boy clothes. I miss rocking him to sleep. I miss bathing him. I miss nursing him. I miss feeding him cereal and new baby foods. I miss taking him everywhere I go. I miss taking him on walks around the neighborhood. I miss showing him off to my friends. I miss having him attached to my hip or in the Baby Bjorn carrier. I miss reading to him. I miss singing to him. I miss seeing his big sisters love on him and play with him. I miss being able to love on him and play with him. I miss kissing him. I miss seeing my husband love on and play with his "little boy". I miss all things about having a baby. Because I don't have him...

I just miss him.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Want To Know

Well, it seems that a Sunday can't go by without me posting about our message in church. I don't think I did last week, but I'm back with it again this week.

Andy Stanley is doing a series called It's Personal. The series is about how to have a relationship with God, getting past your internal battles, looking beyond your questions about God, not categorizing God, but knowing him personally.

Before you say, "Yeah, whatever." Please keep reading...

In case you haven't already figured it out, I am a Christian. This series is still good, even though I already have the relationship Andy has been talking about. But just because I already have this relationship, doesn't mean that I shouldn't work and strive to make it better. Just like with my marriage. I have a wonderful relationship, but I have to work to keep it good, strong, close, intimate, etc.

Today was part two, titled "Coming To Terms". Andy explored the fact that we need to come to God on His terms, not ours. On the terms of trust and humility alone. To let go of our expectations that God owes us something, answers to questions, explanations to why things happened and so forth.

All of this may sound foreign to you, but if you have even a tiny inkling of interest, I encourage you to click on one of the previous links in this post to hear or watch the message for yourself.

Here's where it got "personal" for me today. Toward the end of the sermon, Andy encouraged us to pray these words the next couple of weeks,

"God, if you can be known, I want to know you more than I want to know the answers to my questions.

Whoa... That's deep for me, friends!

I already know that God can be known. In fact, I feel like I already know Him and have a relationship with him. But what hit me deep in my soul, was the part about wanting to know him more than the answers to my questions. Andy was referring to non-believers and the questions they have and the pride and the internal battles that go on within.

But those words struck me.

Because when I sit back and reflect, I DO want to know God more. Of course I would love the answers to my questions. I would love to know why Grady died. I would love to know so many things. Not just about Grady but my life and the world in general. And maybe I'll ask Him in heaven. Or maybe I won't. Maybe heaven will be too great. Maybe those questions won't be so important and those answers really won't matter at all.

But as I sit here tonight, in my quiet house, listening to the rain outside and the train whistling in the distance,

I want to know God more than I want to know the answers to my questions.


Saturday, April 18, 2009


I wrote this post yesterday and last night. However, I fell asleep with Emma Grace and woke up at midnight and crawled into my own bed. I had titled it "Flighty Friday" because I was jumping from one idea to another. Now I don't really know what to call it, so it's just "untitled"!

Hope you can follow along...

Many of you have asked how my “presentation” went with the doctors on Wednesday. It went very well, I think. It was very relaxed (not me – the atmosphere!). Everyone was seated around the outside of tables arranged in a square. I didn’t have to stand up to talk so that was great because like I said earlier, I’m not sure my legs would have held me up! Dr. Joe introduced me, which I wasn’t expecting. I wasn’t even sure he would want to be associated with me at the meeting, even though he invited me to come speak. The introduction helped a lot because then I wasn't such a "stranger" in this formal hospital business meeting.

I briefly told my story, including all three deliveries and my miscarriage. I explained that I received excellent care and would think of going nowhere else to have a baby, but the ball was dropped at discharge because of the lack of support and/or support networks. The docs and nurse managers were very receptive and agreed that something needed to be in place. It was discussed in a little detail, and the director of women’s services said she would be in touch with me.

So, I wait. Which is fine with me! All of this has happened so quickly, maybe too quickly, but nonetheless, it’s what I’m supposed to do. I’ll take it as it comes. If I haven’t heard from her in 3-4 weeks, I’ll contact her again. But I’m happy to wait. I left the meeting and walked to Dr. Joe’s office to see his sweet staff, who have now become my friends. I ended up having lunch with them, and it was a great visit. Thanks ladies!! A great day, overall!

And just to let you know, I emailed Dr. Joe to thank him for inviting me to the meeting, and he said that I "fooled everyone about the nervousness - no sign of it at all." Maybe he was just being nice, but I hope not. I hope that I came across as being confident and sure of myself - although I don't think I've ever really felt that way in my life. But I can try hard to make others believe it anyway, right?

Yep. I thought so!


Wednesday afternoon, as I was posting about Grady’s service, I heard chanting behind me in the backyard. I turned around to see this...

This is my girls, obviously, and our favorite little friend who lives next door, Sidney, carrying this humongous stick/branch/tree. Whatever you might call it. They were chanting, “Let’s go girls, let’s go – woo woo!” “Let’s go girls, let’s go – woo woo!” around the whole house. Too funny!


Thursday was a good day, until the evening, that is.

When I went to pick Emma Grace up from school, I saw a friend who I’ve been trying to get together with for a long time. She and her girls were free, so we grabbed lunch and came back here to play. Thanks Rhonda – the girls had a great time!!!

Jessica has wanted to play with Sidney without Emma Grace all week. So, in order to give them some time together at Sidney’s house, I took Emma Grace to the grocery store with me. She wanted to make banana pudding for dessert until I explained that we didn’t really have time before dinner. She settled for making instant chocolate mint mousse that she made herself. I didn’t think it was very good (not because of her abilities, just because of the instant pudding package it came in), but the girls loved it and that’s what counts!

The day fell apart after dinner. I had a breakdown. It wasn't pretty. I was grumpy. I felt like my children weren’t listening to me (well, they weren't!) and, unfortunately, I raised my voice.


I yelled.

I hate to yell.

But not as much as my girls hate it. I hurt Emma Grace’s feelings. I felt terrible. I looked at Gib and said, “See, this is why I don’t have a third child! Because I can’t even handle the two I’ve got! I'm a terrible mom!"

My heart was angry and jealous. I felt ugly, inside and out. These feelings were stirred because of talk about another baby, someone else's baby. It wasn’t just that I had lost my cool, it was that my whole life has been negatively impacted by losing Grady with family and friends, and both socially and personally. It was that I was feeling sorry for myself for what I don’t have.


I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, but there’s a feeling that starts in the pit of your stomach and rises to the base of your throat. It almost feels like you can’t breathe and definitely can’t take a deep breath. You feel like you might even explode. I hate it!

Sweet Jessica came to me, hugged me and told me that I wasn't a terrible mom. Her words exactly, "You're not a terrible mom. A terrible mom wouldn't make us dinner. A terrible mom wouldn't do laundry at night so I would have a red shirt to wear tomorrow." (She and Sidney have been coordinating their outfits every day, from the hair to the shoes - cute or what?) I grabbed her and hugged her so tight, thanked her, told her I loved her, and apologized to both of them for yelling. Doesn't make it right, but it makes me feel better to apologize and admit that I was wrong...


Those ugly feelings spilled over into Friday, but I was able to put them aside and still have a great day! I got to hang out with a great new friend of mine, Ebe. We spent the whole day together. For me, it feels like we’ve been friends forever. She had a beautiful baby boy, Owen, who was stillborn one year and four days before Grady, but we shared the same due date, only one year apart! She brought her baby book and shared it with me – it was an honor. Thank you for sharing Owen with me!


I’m not sure why, but I’m going to the local grocery store this morning. It's not unusual for me to go to the store, but I’m not going for groceries. I’m going to see what dogs the humane society will have with them today. Yes, I’m getting the “dog itch” pretty bad.

Ahem, did I just say that out loud?

We’ve almost convinced Gib, I think. I don’t plan on coming home with one, unless I find just the right one. Then I’ll have to bring out my own puppy dog eyes and BEG my husband. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

The girls have a birthday party today at the mall. I’m going to drop them off, get some coffee or a diet coke, and hang out in the bookstore by myself. Ahhhh, doesn't that sound good? Too bad I don’t have a laptop...I could work on my next post!

I hope you have a great weekend with your families! Our weather is supposed to be beautiful today, so we're going to enjoy it!

Oh, and if you haven't checked on Stellan lately, he could still use your prayers. He's been transferred to Boston and will possibly have an ablation on Tuesday, very risky for a baby his age and size. You can click on his picture on my sidebar to read more.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grady's Service, Part 1, "HOPE"

I've wanted to write about Grady's service for a long time. There is too much to put in one post, so I've decided to break it up every week until the story is told. If you've just found my blog, you can read about our beautiful angel baby's story here.

We made the very difficult decision to cremate him. I struggled with this more than I think I've ever struggeld with anything. In the end, it was the right decision for us and our situation. I wasn't ready to have a funeral right away. I could hardly handle my own emotions, much less the emotions of others. Losing Grady felt like such a private thing to me. Almost like he was only mine... I didn't want to share him with anyone right away, even if it was through a funeral.

We waited until I was in a better place emotionally before having a service. We broke all rules of tradition, but that was fine with me. Because we waited, I was able to plan the service myself. I was an active participant. I would never get to plan a birthday party for him, so this was my one chance to do something really special for him and in honor of him. We didn't have the service until January 24, 2009. He was born into the arms of Jesus on November 12, 2008.

I need to also mention that I was very angry with God. I hadn't prayed since Grady died. I just couldn't bring myself to, but at the same time, He was all I had to hold onto. I describe my relationship with God during that time as bittersweet.

The night before Grady's service was the first time I had gone to the Lord and prayed since his death. I didn't just pray. I sobbed. It was like meeting an old friend again who you love and had missed so much. I prayed for a long time and asked God to give me some signs that Grady was safe with Him in heaven (I knew that he was, but still...). I needed some signs that all was well and all would be well. He delivered in a mighty way that day...

The first part of the service that I'm going to share is now my favorite word...


Let me explain...

I've always loved the verse at the top of my blog, Jeremiah 29:11. I clung to that verse when Emma Grace was born severely premature. I knew that God had plans for her, whether she lived or died.

That verse resurfaced when I was looking for a candle to light in memory of Grady. I was searching for the perfect candle to light on holidays, his birthday, and other special days that would come without him here. I was in a small store in the town where I live, and I saw this candle.

I really liked it but wasn't sure if it was exactly what I wanted. I didn't find anything I liked better, so I went back to get it. The store owner knew about Grady's death and had been praying for us. To my surprise, she just gave me the candle. I was blown away and will always remember her kind heart and generosity.

Jeremiah 29:11 and the word hope is written on one side of it. The words of Jeremiah 29:11 are on the other side, and you can see the top of the candle well. (There is a top that covers the tea light, but it didn't photograph well, so I took it off for the picture)

The chaplain from the hospital came to officiate his service. We had not found a church home at that time, and I really bonded with the chaplain from the hospital. She was wonderful! She spoke about how grief is hard and we don't always understand our losses, but we have HOPE. I can't remember exactly what all she said, but HOPE was definitely the word of the day.

After the balloon release and the lunch blessing, my friend and doctor's nurse, Nanci, came to me with tears in her eyes. She was holding a ring and said, "The Lord just told me to give this to you." I looked at it and said, "I can't take your ring!" She explained to me that it wasn't her ring at all. She had bought it for her daughter's birthday and it was too big for her. She was scrambling for a ring to put on before coming to the service, picked it up and put it on. She said, "It's what we've talked about all day." It is a simple silver band with the word HOPE written on it in black letters. I was overwhelmed and touched beyond belief. I wear the ring everyday with another ring that my husband gave me. Often the word HOPE ends up on the palm side of my hand. This is fine with me because it's as if I'm "holding hope in the palm of my hand".

We had set up a small card table in Grady's room with some mementos and a journal for everyone to sign. Everyone took the time to write a note to us or Grady and spend some time in his room alone.

After the service, I got the journal to read what everyone had written. Now, let me preface with this...

I bought three journals from Hobby Lobby because I liked them all, and I couldn't decide in the store which I liked best. They were only $1.99 each, so I said "to heck with it" and bought them all. I chose one simply because I liked the way it looked the best. Gib and I didn't realize until after reading everyone's entries that the journal had this word on the front of it....


There's one more thing. Later that evening I was standing in the kitchen looking at the ring on my hand. I thought to myself, "If we ever have another baby and it's a girl we should name her Hope." I kept this to myself but was thinking it when Gib walked into the kitchen while I was still looking at the ring. He leaned up against the counter and said, "So I guess if we ever have another girl her name should be Hope."


I seriously 'bout fell out! I couldn't believe he had just spoken what I was thinking. I highly doubt there will be any more children for our family, but we can't say for sure right now. No definite decisions have been made as of yet.

Thanks for taking this "walk down memory lane" with me today!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Thankful Heart

Today's post was inspired by my sweet Emma Grace. We were driving to get lunch to take to Daddy at work and then do a little shopping. We were getting on the highway, and she found some Vaseline lip moisturizer. Of all things, you would have thought she had struck gold. Here's how the conversation went between us...

EG: "I'm so glad I found this lip stuff because my lips are sooo dry."
Me: "Good, baby."
EG: "I am very thankful."
Me: "Yes, it is always good to have a thankful heart."
EG: "I do. And I have a thankful God."
Me: "I know. I am thankful to God for creating you."
EG: "And I am thankful to God for creating you too....because I love you."
Me: "I love you too, so much."

Gulp! Fighting back tears... My sweet, sweet girl she is.

We took lunch to Gib and did a little shopping. Driving home, it struck me how thankful I really am, for so many things in my life. I thought today, amidst the sadness in my heart, it would be good for me to list some of those things.

I do miss my mom more than words can say. I can't believe two years have passed since we said goodbye. I do so wish this was a day of celebration for Grady's 5 month birthday. I have to acknowledge these thoughts and feelings because they are very real for me and that's where I am today.

But, I'm going to list at least 10 things I'm thankful for. I would like to encourage you to do the same. You can post them as a comment here, you can email me at the email on my sidebar, or you can keep them privately to yourself.

Here goes...

1. I am thankful for my wonderful friend, Shannon, who brought us dinner tonight because today was a hard day for me, and she wanted to make my day a little easier and less stressful. (Love you girl!)

2. I am thankful that Emma Grace's cough is finally better and we all slept well last night.

3. I am thankful for the blessings that I so often take for granted, such as my house, clothes, food, transportation, running water, electricity, the mail delivery, the trash pick-up, washer and dryer, dishwasher, oven, microwave, etc. My life would really be a mess without those things!

4. I am thankful for my wonderful conversation this morning with an old friend of mine, Kelsey. (I've missed you - it was great to hear from you - love you!)

5. I am thankful for my husband who believes in me and loves me even when I can't and don't love myself. (Love you Gib!)

6. I am thankful for the opportunity to speak tomorrow about perinatal loss at this meeting full of doctors. (even though I'm scared silly and hope my legs hold me up!)

7. I am thankful for my three beautiful children, Jessica, Emma Grace and Grady. They have each taught me so much about life in their own way. (Love you to infinity and back!)

8. I am thankful for the beautiful sunshine and breeze this afternoon.

9. I am thankful for getting my dishwasher unloaded and catching up on laundry, finally!

10. I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for!


I said Sunday I would update with more Easter pictures and didn't. Sorry! I like to keep my word, so enjoy these as you leave this post today. I don't think you can see it well, but Emma Grace's shirt says "Boo". Nothing like hunting Easter eggs in a Halloween shirt... I choose to pick my battles and that's not one of them!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Today is a beautiful day in Georgia! It's a little on the cool side, but the sun is shining and the sky is crystal blue. A beautiful day to celebrate Jesus, I must say.

We went to church this morning and will head to my brother's later this afternoon for Easter dinner. The girls have not dyed their eggs yet, nor have they hunted eggs. Still to come...

Here are a couple of pictures from this morning. I will update with more pictures later, but I wanted to take advantage of the few minutes I had right now to get a post up and say "Happy Easter!"

I saw the following video on another blog and had heard about it from a friend of mine. I've decided to post it today, in honor of the cross. To stress the importance of it in my life and the lives of many others. For many, the cross symbolizes death. For me, the true meaning behind the cross is life...eternal life!

This video will take about 9 minutes of your time, but it's worth it, in my opinion. As a nurse, I'm intrigued. As a believer of Christ, I stand in awe. (Don't forget to mute the music at the bottom of the page before pressing play.)

Happy Easter!

Happy 5 month heavenly birthday Grady! We love you and miss you more than words can say!


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Senseless Saturday

Today is one of those days. I don't know if I'm coming or going. My thoughts are many. My mind is busy and distracted. I'm sad. I'm grumpy. I really have no exact topic to write about. So, bear with me. This will probably just be a whole lot of rambling.

This past week has been a whirlwind of fun, chaos and emotions.

Gib was on spring break this past week. Unfortunately, it didn't coincide with the girls' spring break which was the week before. Gib's best friend, Stephen, came to visit from Vermont with his two boys. Gib, Stephen and I all went to high school together. They were with us from Monday until Thursday. We all had a great time!

Stephen and Gib

Stephen and his boys, Noah (on his lap) and Nick

Noah and Emma Grace (could this be a future rehearsal dinner picture or what?!)

I registered Emma Grace for Kindergarten Thursday afternoon. It was exciting but sad all at the same time. I held her back last year because of the long school day. She was ready academically, but I felt she needed a little more time. It has been really nice only having her in school half days again this year. I love spending the afternoons with her.

Here's a funny story. I had looked for her birth certificate a couple of times, and I just couldn't find it. Then I thought I remembered that I never sent off for one. So, I got a money order, filled out the request form and mailed it. Thursday morning Stephen and I were having coffee, and Gib got out our files to start looking himself. I said, "It's not in there. I've already looked." I was stressed about everything I had to do that day. Stephen grabbed my hands and we prayed. He asked God to help me relax and let me find the papers that I needed. No joke, right after we said Amen, Gib pulled out a paper and said, "What's this?" It was her birth certificate! I couldn't believe it! Next on the agenda was her social security card. I just knew we didn't have that either. I was getting Emma Grace dressed and here comes Gib again. "Look what I found!" It was her social security card! WOW!!!

Friday was a CRAZY, busy day. Emma Grace has "reactive airway disease". If you don't know what that is, the easy answer is that it's a form of asthma. She doesn't have to have breathing treatments all the time, but sometimes a cold, or in this case the pollen, can trigger her to wheeze and cough. I ended up taking her to the doctor first thing Friday morning to get something to help her. She's on a steroid and breathing treatments for the next five days. And let me tell you, the steroid is making her GRUMPY!!! (and that's an understatement!)

After the doctor, Gib and I took her to school for her Easter egg hunt. She had a great time, even though the eggs had to be put out in the fellowship because it poured down rain!

And so, here's the story of my life. There is a, you guessed it, BABY! This baby had the exact same due date as Grady, December 5th. This is an amazingly sweet family who lives in our neighborhood. I have somehow not seen them since Grady died. Well, their little boy was having his egg hunt the same time as Emma Grace. I was blind-sided. I am not a betting person. But I would bet my last penny that this mom told me her baby was a girl. NOT! I had to do a double-take. The dad was clearly holding a baby boy. Now, there's always the possibility that the doctor was wrong or my memory isn't as good as I thought (and I have a pretty good memory). But it was such a painful, "in-my-face" moment.

Exactly what I would have in my arms if he hadn't died.

The family did nothing to make me feel bad. I kept my distance. It's just the reality of my life. The cold, hard reality that I live with every day.

The day did get better. I had lunch and a great visit with one of my very best friends who was in town. I don't get to see her very often, so it was a treat for me! We spent the afternoon together. I was so thankful to have that time with her!

Today I've just been grumpy. Maybe Emma Grace's steroid is rubbing off on me. I'm not exactly sure what it is. I did have a great morning and afternoon with the girls. We went shopping for some new shoes and had lunch at Chick-fil-A. Always a treat! YUM!

The girls played outside the rest of the day, Gib researched Disney cruises, and I journaled and rested. I SO WISH I was a day-time sleeper. But I'm not. I really could have used a good nap this afternoon...might have helped with my grumpies.

I am not looking forward to the days ahead. I could really use your prayers. Tomorrow is Easter, and I'm not even excited. I'm trying for my girls. Tomorrow is Grady's five month "angelversary". Tuesday is the day that he should be turning five months old if he had been born on his scheduled c-section date. Tuesday is also the day that my mom died two years ago. Wednesday is my big presentation to the doctors at the hospital to present my ideas about starting a perinatal loss/bereavement support group. AAGGHHH! It's all a bit overwhelming for me.

Thanks for reading about my Senseless Saturday. Have a great night ~


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The News

I've gone around and around about what to write about today. I was going to post about our second trip to Disney, but I just don't have the time tonight. When I got the picture cd, I was prompted to tell about this instead...

If you've visited my blog recently, you know that I've been struggling with missing Grady a lot. I probably should have picked something unrelated to him for this memory just to try to get my mind off of him some. However, the truth is, it doesn't matter what I write about. He's all I think about lately.

It was 21 weeks ago today that we met our beautiful baby boy...not that I'm counting or anything.

I want to briefly share with you the day we found out we were having a boy. It was a Friday afternoon, June 27, 2008. We had just returned from our second trip to Disney, which I'll probably write about next week. The highlight of coming home from that trip was finding out if "the baby in Mommy's tummy" was a boy or girl.

We came home from finding out and sat the girls on the sofa. Here they are waiting anxiously...

I asked them what they thought it was, boy or girl. They both said "girl". I then asked them what they hoped it was. Jessica said a girl, Emma Grace said "both". Well, I reiterated the fact that there was only ONE baby in my tummy and she had to choose. It took a couple of times, but she finally confessed that she hoped this baby was a girl.

I wanted to keep them in suspense, so very slowly I announced...


Here are the reactions...

Emma Grace quickly perked up and said, "Well, we can change that!"

Me: "No, baby, we can't change that. It's a boy."

Emma Grace: "No, Mommy. We just need to tell God that we want a baby girl instead!"

Me: "God obviously wanted us to have a baby boy because that's what He gave us."

Oh, the innocence of a child. Ask and you shall receive...

Even though they were apprehensive at first, they had grown accustomed to the idea of a baby boy/brother and were very excited to welcome him into our family. We all still struggle with the alternate plans God had for him. He will always be a part of our family because he will always live in our hearts.
Thanks for sharing this memory with me this week.


Monday, April 6, 2009

I Accept. I Trust. In Spite Of...

...the fact that I don't like it.

It's NOT what I want...

As you can tell, I'm still not doing great (or even good for that matter). Gib asked me last night what I think it is that has brought back my grief with such a vengeance. I don't think there is a concrete answer to that question. It's the hard and difficult roller coaster of grief. It's the unimaginable dream of losing my unborn child. My friend, Ebe, described it last night as a "deep, unsettling ache". I would have to agree.

The title of my post may be confusing, so let me explain. But first, let me preface with this....I really don't know who reads my blog. I'm hoping that lots of people do. I don't know where you are spiritually, or if you have faith at all. If you do, it may or may not be in the same God that I believe or trust. What I post here is based on my belief in our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He's all I have to hold onto.


And to be honest, I don't know where I'd be right now if I did not have that hope.

So, having said that, I hope that you'll keep reading and know that I'm speaking for myself and not trying to intrude or impose my beliefs onto you in any way! I welcome all readers!!!

I accept. I trust. In spite of the fact that I don't like it.

You see, being a Christian doesn't always mean the road before us is without difficult hills to climb. It doesn't mean that it is paved perfectly without pot holes that we can fall into. It doesn't mean that we won't have sharp, winding curves that we can't see around (I'm pretty thankful for that!). It also doesn't mean that our road won't take us to the edge of a cliff where we have to quickly and strongly put on the brakes, back up, and get on the right path again.

God never promised any of us an easy road. But His promises are true to always love us, guide us, be with us and never leave us, NO MATTER WHAT! It's the times when we think He's the farthest away that He's really the closest...

Yesterday was part two of our sermon, Boulevard of Broken Dreams. I won't go into all of the details of that sermon, but I will tell you that David was faced with another trial when things were going really well for him. He was already king and was betrayed by his son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15). Instead of fighting back this time and taking things into his own hands, he surrendered. He left his palace and said something that was very powerful to me...

2 Samuel 12:26, "...let him do to me whatever seems good to him."

David is referring to God, not his son Absalom. Our dreams are not always God's will. But He sees the big picture that we cannot. Even though I don't like these circumstances. Even though I want Baby Grady back with all of my being. Even though there are times in the day that I feel like I can't go on. Even when all I want to do is just go to heaven with my family and not experience any more of this hurt and anguish here on this earth.

GOD KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR ME, even if I don't agree.

Andy Stanley phrased it very well yesterday when he said this...

"Our faith in God stands apart from our dreams".

My faith and trust remain. Even though my dreams are shattered. Even though my heart is broken beyond words.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beat Down

That's how I feel tonight. Beat down. Run down. Emotionally exhausted.

It's been a hard day, friends.

I had a family get-together today with my extended family to celebrate my Uncle Thomas's 80th birthday! He looks great to be 80 and can still play the piano like a young stud! We LOVE for him to come to our house and play because our piano doesn't get used at all (except for the occasional banging!). The girls love it so much that they open the back windows in hopes that the neighbors can hear, too!

We love you, Uncle Thomas!!!

It was a great time of celebration for him and I'm so thankful I went to honor him. But, it was the first time that I've been with my whole family since my mom died. Almost two years ago. The reasons are long and personal. The purpose of this blog isn't to hurt anyone, family or friends. But it is for me to share what's on my mind and heart with those who care to read and know. We'll just suffice it to say that there is a lot of hurt in my heart that has built over the past two years, including Grady dying.

I knew that today would be hard for me. So hard, in fact, that I called my dear friend Amy Ellen to pray for me this morning. Hard not just to see my family, but also because there was going to be a baby there. Not just a baby.

A baby boy.

I'm not exactly sure when he was born, but I think it was September or October. Very close in age to what Grady should be. I sat in the parking lot for a long time before I ever went in. Praying. Gathering every bit of strength and courage I could muster...

I managed to hold myself together until I was getting ready to leave. One of my cousins had the courage to actually mention Grady to me. To just say, "I'm sorry for what happened to you. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I don't know what else to say." I can't tell you how much that meant to me! Most everyone avoids any mention of him wherever I go. It's the "elephant in the room". If you are reading this and have experienced a stillbirth, you know exactly what I'm talking about. People don't say anything at all because they don't know what to say. When, in reality, the silence is worse because it's as if the baby never existed. In defense of others, it's not an easy subject to talk about. It's not comfortable. But there's nothing comfortable about a baby dying. PERIOD! Especially for the parents and siblings who have lived through it. (And before I get a lot of comments about this, NO, I did NOT expect or want to receive doting and attention today. Today was about Uncle Thomas!) I was just extremely touched at my cousin's courage and follow-through.

I was so emotionally drained when I got home, I went to bed. I NEVER go to bed in the middle of the afternoon! I just couldn't deal with anything else. I got in the bed, hugged my Baby Grady blanket and went to sleep.

I took the girls outside after dinner to ride their bikes before it got dark. If my day wasn't already hard enough, my next door neighbor came out with her baby. Not only did she come out, she walked over to my drive! She has NEVER come over before. Outside, yes. Over, no. Of all days!!! At least she has a baby girl (girls are a little easier for me than boys). But still. This baby is only two months older than Grady would be.

I know you're thinking, "Girl, you've gotta get a grip! There are babies everywhere!" Believe me - I KNOW!!!! If there's a baby in a 10 mile radius, I'm gonna see it first! Sad thing for me is that I love babies.

And I especially love my Baby Grady.

It's just going to take time, prayer and LOTS of healing.

Thanks for listening to me tonight...


Friday, April 3, 2009

Date Night!

We actually had one tonight!

My friend, Lee Ann, invited the girls over to play this evening. Our kids hadn't played in a long time, so she wanted them to come and stay for dinner. This gave me an idea...

I texted my hubby and asked him on a date! He obliged, making me a very happy Momma T! Only I wasn't Momma for a few hours. I was just "T".


You see, we never get a babysitter and just go on dates. This was a real treat for us. Plus, it couldn't have happened on a better day because I just got my hair done today! The works: cut, color, highlights and lowlights! (Thankfully we had a gift card for dinner 'cuz we sure don't have much extra after that splurge on myself - only it's not really considered a splurge in my eyes. More like a necessity! I refuse to be white-headed at 36!)

Back to the real post...

I came home from taking the girls to find these beautiful flowers...just because.

Wasn't that so sweet and thoughtful?


We went to the bookstore and browsed. And browsed in quiet peacefulness.

(BIG sigh - ahhhhh)

We were lucky to get an early dinner reservation at P.F. Chang's. Chicken lettuce wraps...YUM!

I indulged in four diet cokes and used up all the lemons that were meant for Gib's water. Couldn't let them just sit there...

Great food. Great company. Quiet dinner.



But, I can't leave you tonight without telling you about the steals I got at Kohls. I returned a couple of things and browsed there too. I bought a pink cotton hoodie for my breast cancer walk in October and two NICE winter coats for the girls for only...are you ready? $45.00! Woo-hoo! The coats were nice (Zero Exposure) and dirt cheap (marked down from $110 and $85) plus I had a 20% off coupon. I love a good deal!



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Premonition or Paranoia?

This topic has been on my mind the last couple of weeks. It started when someone on my stillbirth message board started a discussion about premonitions of our babies dying. I had thought about this, but not really. Lately, I can’t get it out of my mind...

I haven’t even shared this with Gib…

Was I having premonitions that Grady would die or was I just paranoid?

I’m not sure.

This is a hard post for me to write today. Hard, but necessary…

When I found out that I was pregnant a little over a year ago, it was really hard for me to believe. I honestly thought we were finished and our family was complete with our two precious girls. I literally had to keep reminding myself that I was pregnant. If I hadn’t been so nauseous, I truly think I might have forgotten. At least until my belly got so big...

It all seemed surreal to me.

Then I had my first ultrasound at 6 weeks and saw that tiny heartbeat. WOW!

Two weeks later, that “bean with a beat” now had sprouts growing off of it (arms and legs).

And so it went, week after week, I got bigger and bigger. Five ultrasounds of a healthy baby. Ultrasound of my cervix every two weeks. Normal blood work. Full-term baby. Seemingly healthy baby...

I was unsure about having a little boy in our “girl world”. It was hard for me to picture him as part of our daily lives. As much as I wanted to, and tried, I never could fully grasp it my entire pregnancy.

Fast forward to when we were painting the nursery. I picked the color, Gib painted and put the crib together. This was in July before he went back to work for the school year. I thought, “Have we jumped the gun?” “Are we doing too much too soon?” "What if something happens to him?" I tend to be a procrastinator and didn’t want to have the stress at the end of the pregnancy to rush and get everything done at once.

At the time, I just thought I was worried about prematurity – which was true.


Premonition or paranoia???

When we would talk about him, we would always say “Baby Grady”. That sounded so sweet to me. But when I would picture myself calling his name as he got older, “Grady” didn’t seem right. I’m not sure why because I love that name. I just couldn’t picture him being any bigger than a baby.


Then came the baby showers. I had two (well, four really). One small one with my very closest of friends, and one with the people I worked with. My supper club gave me a diaper shower, and Gib’s co-workers went in together to get us a really nice big gift.

As I was writing my thank you notes, I would always hesitate when writing something like, “I know he will look so cute in that outfit” or “I know Baby Grady will have a great time playing in that activity center”. This was just the week before he was to be born, but ultimately died. I can’t explain the hesitancy I felt every time I wrote those words...

Premonition or paranoia???

I remember Gib putting together the activity center right after we got it. I should have been excited, but I felt a little angry that he was doing it so soon. After all, Grady wasn’t even here yet and he wouldn’t be able to play in it until he was about 4-5 months old. Why go ahead and do it? Oh well, I let it go but distinctly remember telling him, “Don’t throw away the box!”

What did he do?

He threw away the box... (sigh) Now we have a great Baby Einstein activity center that can’t be taken back. It’s just sitting in the closet.

Premonition or paranoia???

I don’t know. But I remember telling a friend of mine that I really wasn’t surprised that Grady wasn’t here with us. The whole pregnancy just seemed so surreal to me.

Surreal or not...

I hate it!

I wish he was here...


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

First Trip To Disney

This post almost didn't happen. I had all my pictures strategically placed and all at once, they were gone! But, I'm persevering and trying again. Soooo...

This week we’re going back two short years ago to our first trip to Disney! Not just the girls’ first trip. Nope. The first trip for all of us!

Yes! Can you believe that our parents NEVER took us to Disney as children? Don’t get me wrong...they’re great parents. But...NO DISNEY??? Living our whole lives in Georgia! Only 6 hours away! Gimme a break!

BUT, I do have to say, it was great fun for me and Gib to experience Disney for the first time with our girls.

It was June, 2007. We first spent a week at the beach and had a blast! We left and drove to my friend Mary Beth’s. She was living in Orlando at the time, just a short 20 minute drive from her house to the Disney entrance! Thanks again MB!!!

We were only spending three days at the park. We had tickets for two days at Magic Kingdom and one day at MGM. I wasn’t educated about all the “ins and outs” of Disney at that time (ie. Character meals, etc.) but we still had LOTS of fun!

I remember walking through the gates of Magic Kingdom and seeing the castle right in front of us. I have to say that it truly was “magical”. Even for me! I can’t imagine what was going through my little people’s minds.

If I’m not mistaken, the first thing we did was go on a hunt for the princesses. For this trip, meeting the princesses was a definite MUST! Once we worked our way to the back of the park, we stood in the massively long line to wait, and wait, and wait...

But we were not disappointed. The wait was VERY much worth it! When we got to the front of the line, the girls were almost paralyzed... They saw Cinderella, Belle and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). They couldn’t move. I had tears in my eyes. (I’m such a sap!) One of the princesses asked Emma Grace what her name was and she couldn't even speak!

I left with tears in my eyes - still! It was, again, magical for me and the same was definitely true for my girls! I remember Gib saying, “I don’t think it matters what else we do. That was the highlight of the trip!”

We stepped out and saw Goofy’s Barnyard roller coaster (I'm not sure if that's the exact name of it but I can't remember at the moment). Jessica decided to give it a try - with me. I’m not much for roller coasters in my "old age", but I was willing to do it for her. This is a very tame roller coaster. But when we got off, she definitely did NOT like it!

When we back last summer, in ’08, she stayed far away from it and the other roller coasters, too!

We saw a character parade; a character musical with the princesses, Mickey/Minnie and their gang on the front stage of the castle; a Beauty and the Beast musical; and we can't forget the "Lights, Motors, Action" stunt show at MGM. We rode the classics like "It's a Small World" and "Dumbo". It might not sound like much, but we were all pooped when we left each day.

Jessica still remembers the "dude that fell off the motorcycle in the fire" (at Lights, Motors, Action stunt show). Emma Grace says she loves the memory of Jessica's first roller coaster ride. (She loves it so much because she stayed safe in Daddy's arms!) Gib says that his favorite memory is just "the excitement of being there for the first time myself with three of the most precious girls I know". I would have to agree (well, not the three girls part, but my three favorite people for sure!)

It was magical! Have I mentioned that yet?

The weather was HOT! The park was CROWDED! But we didn’t care! We had a great time!