I choose JOY


Today is the 2 year anniversary of losing our baby Joy.   I don't know if this date will ever get any easier.  Or if I will ever miss her any less.  There are still days when I break down after seeing a little blonde girl about the age she would be.  What would she be like? Who would she look like?  Would she be crazy like her brothers, or would she be a sweet respite from the craziness? I think about her all of the time.  Loss is hard.  Very hard.  Knowing I will see her again some day gives me hope, and takes away a little bit of the pain.  But it is there...it will always be there.  She will always have a place in my heart. 

We have decided to do something special every year to remember her.  Last year, we were in California and we placed some flowers in the waves at the beach....it was special, and it is something we will always remember.  I did not take a million pictures, but I was there, in the moment.  I made a decision last year to be a part of more moments instead of being so focused on capturing them.  I have put down my camera more than before and have just soaked in the memories, not stressing about having to document every event.  Today was no different, but today, I wanted a photo.  

We took the boys down the road to the desert and released some pink balloons for her. Giant pink balloons!  The boys colored a picture for her and we sent her a card.  Dylan does not understand any of it, but he loves to draw and color and gladly participated in that! But Andrew....he gets it.  He was only 2 when I was pregnant with her but he remembers the baby growing in my tummy.  He remembers trying to listen to the baby with his stethoscope....and then when the baby was not there any more.  He asks a lot about Jesus and heaven, and he often mentions that baby Joy is there with Jesus.  He gets it.  At such a young age, he gets it.  He also tells me that he does not want to go there and wants to stay with me.....and I tell him I want him here with me too! He asked the other day if Jesus has Netflix.  He said that when he goes to heaven, he wants to watch Star Wars with Jesus....he has no idea that heaven will be WAY cooler than that!! 

Andrew was a little apprehensive, or EXTREMELY apprehensive about letting go of the balloon...he pretty much cries every time he loses one, so to let one go on purpose went against every fiber of his being.  After some coaxing, he let his go and then Dylan followed suit.  We all watched the beautiful pink balloons float around in the sky with their messages  to Joy until we could see them no longer......Baby Joy, I hope you enjoy your drawings and your balloons....WE LOVE YOU!! 


The following post is from last year....I share this for anyone who has lost a baby...it is a feeling that cannot be described, but there is JOY & HOPE in coming alongside others and encouraging them.

April 20th, 2015

One year ago today was the day we met our baby girl and had to say goodbye to her.  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do…

She was perfect.  Although was was only 17 weeks old…she was perfectly formed.  I spent hours staring at her little body.  She fit in the palm of my hand.  So tiny.  I took my time to stare and her and I was in awe of the miracle that the Lord had created inside of me.  

We do not know why the Lord chose to take Joy home, but we know that we will see her again some day.  I often get asked if we are having any more children…and I really do not know the answer.  At this time, we are actively trying NOT to get pregnant…but as we all know, God is in control.  I don’t know if it is the right time for us or if it ever will be.   I struggle with having the desire for another child….I just want her.  I want Joy.  But I know that cannot happen.  

It hurts.  The pain is still raw.  I never really understood how devastating miscarriage was, but now I do.  It’s a pain that cannot be described.  To know that you have a life growing inside of you and getting excited to meet that little person, and loving them from the moment you find out about them….and then they are just gone.  I’ve always wanted a girl.  Badly.  I love my boys so much, but there’s just something about the thought of having a little girl that makes my heart ache for one.  I want Joy.  Every time I see a little blonde girl, I wonder what Joy would have looked like.  I picture the most beautiful little baby with bright blue eyes and little blonde ringlet curls.  Seeing little girls makes my heart ache for her….when will that pain go away? She would be 7 months old today….

As I think about the days leading up to the birth, I have to be thankful to the Lord for how He worked everything out.  I did not talk too much about this at the time, but I think it is important to acknowledge how the Lord provides and takes care of every detail.  He took such good care of me during a horribly heartbreaking time.  And honestly, I do not want to forget the details, so I want to record that day while it is still fresh in my mind.

We were at my 17 week ultrasound.  We were supposed to find out the sex of the baby.  We were so excited.  As the doc was doing the ultrasound, he paused and focused on her perfect little hand….her beautiful little hand….and that is when I knew.  She was not moving…just showing us her perfectly formed little hand.  It was unreal.  I did not want it to be true and prayed incessantly that there was some mistake or that the Lord would bring her heartbeat back as we were on our way to another facility to get a more detailed ultrasound.  But she was gone.  

Next came the really hard part.  I had a baby inside of me that was no longer alive and she needed to be born.  The doc said that he could do a DNC but I would not be able to see her and I knew what that meant….I did not want to do that to her.  My other option was to give birth to her.  The doc would induce me and my body would go into labor.  It could take many hours….HOURS of sitting there going through the motions but not getting to take home my baby.  The thought of going through that frightened me to the core.  I have never felt so helpless and afraid in my life.  I did not want to go through this and I had no choice.  So we prayed.  We prayed that my body would go into labor on it’s own and I would not be stuck in the hospital inducing labor.  That is exactly what the Lord gave us.  I started labor in the middle of the night on Easter last year…and we barely got to the hospital in time.  There was no physical pain, and there were no complications.   I remember the nurse asking me if I knew the sex of the baby….at that time we still did not know.  I told her to just not tell me she was a girl….and she was….for some reason that made everything even harder.  

We got to hold our baby girl.  My baby girl.  The baby girl I had dreamed about.  I counted her little fingers and toes.  I looked at every detail that God had created….she was beautiful. Perfect.  We had talked about girl names but she needed an extra special name.  Joy….Rejoicing.  

Everyone at the hospital was so wonderful to us and very kind regarding our delicate situation.  I think the hardest part was leaving the hospital without our baby girl.  I watched as other mommies were wheeled out with their precious little babies and we left with empty arms.  I have never cried so much in my life. 

After everything….I am so very thankful that the Lord blessed us with a girl.  I will never forget Joy.  I am so thankful that we did not know she was a girl before we found out about her.  I am the type of person that would have had her room decorated and her entire closet full of adorable girly clothes within days of finding out the sex.  I cannot imagine how much harder it would have been to go home to a room full of reminders….God is good and spared me from that.  He also took her home early….I am thankful for that.   I am thankful that He has healed the pain.  It is still there, but not the same way it was before.  I have comfort knowing that I will hold her again some day.  I know that she is safe in His arms.  If you know someone who has gone through a miscarriage or lost a child….hug them, and hug them often.  It is a pain like no other and no parent should have to experience it.  I am thankful that I did not come home from the hospital to an empty home….but to hugs and kisses from my crazy little boys….little ones who had no idea what was going on.  Every day is a new day and I am greeted each morning to two little faces who cannot wait to see me.  I have a husband who loves me. Friends and family who are always there for me.  I have so much to be thankful for…I will always give thanks, even when it hurts.  I choose Joy.  

Thank you to everyone who played a crucial part in our healing time.  Every card, message, hug, visit and prayer helped us through that heartbreaking time...I am so incredibly thankful for a support system pours out love and support when we need it. God is good.  All the time.     

We plan on going to the beach today and letting go of pink balloons to remember her…I want the boys to remember her too and one day they will understand….

Sweet Baby Joy….I will see you again someday soon! I will get to hold you and smell your sweet scent and smother you with hugs and kisses.  I am looking forward to that day!  We love you so much! 

I will leave you with the lyrics from a beautiful song from one of my favorite artists.  

“Olivianna” by JJ Heller 

Hearts broke... when your heart stopped beating

I don't... know if mine will ever stop bleeding

Eleven minutes to breathe you in

I felt the darkness

When I knew I couldn't hold you again

When I knew I couldn't hold you again

Olivianna, you're in the arms of God

Just a moment there is better than here

Life is... short, but it is wide

I know it's true

You've touched more souls

Than most people ever do

Olivianna, you're in the arms of God

Just a moment there is better than here

You could not stay with us

We will come to you

You could not stay with us, ooh

You're going home, Love, where you belong

Oh my baby girl, I'll see you soon

Olivianna, you're in the arms of God

Just a moment there is better than... 

Olivianna, you're in the arms of God

Just a moment there is better than here