Monday, October 25, 2010

Jesus is the Light...and orange ice cream!

Tonight is Monday, so in our home, as in many LDS homes, that means it is Family Home Evening. Monday nights are reserved to family time, learning, and fun on family home evening nights. Whether you are of our faith or not, it is a special event, that I recommend all families to participate in. We choose to have an opening and closing prayer and song, a lesson, an activity, and a treat in our family home evenings, but you can do them to whatever suits your family best.

Tonight, Peyton said the opening prayer, and Brody chose the opening song. He chose "Follow the Prophet," which was the song his sweet little primary class sang in church on Sunday during the primary program. Nick had the lesson and he talked about how Jesus is our light, and he taught this by having us wear a blindfold and try to move objects from one place to another. The blindfold was symbolic of us not having Christ in our life, and how hard it can be to get through life and do tasks without Him. It was a great activity, and the kids had a blast.

We are trying to eat better, and teach our kids better eating habits, so we chose to make homemade orange ice cream. We used 2 oranges, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 and a half cups of ice, and our blendtec blender! An fun FHE was just what the doctor ordered! Peyton doing the blindfold activity (yes, she is naked 75% of the time).
Brody showing us how easy it is to do things with Christ (light) in our lives
Peyton being a silly girl
Brody following suit
Mommy doing the blindfold activity (they moved the chair across the room)
I was smelling our newest Scentsy buddy
Brody showing us how hard it is without Christ in our life

Pey adding sugar
Brody adding oranges

Yummy! The consistency was great!
First taste test....mmmmmmmm good!!!

Brody wasn't sure at first, because it was healthy, but he wound up loving it!!

Bailey Taylor Petersen

Nick and I have both been doing a lot of reading on miscarriage and grief to help us get through this time. One of the common themes that we have seen people do to help them feel connected, and provide closure, is to name the baby. Since we lost our little angel a little before 8 weeks, we did not know if it was a boy or a girl. We wanted to name them something that could go either way, and decieded on Bailey Taylor Petersen.

We chose Bailey because a few years back (before I was pregnant with Peyton), I was in the Dallas Temple, and kept having the name "Bailey" go through my head. I told Nick I felt like we should name one of our children that someday. However, when we found out Peyton was a girl, we both were in love with the name Peyton.

Last night, though, as we were sitting down discussing names for this sweet child, Bailey popped back into my mind. I truly believe the Lord gave me that inspiration a few years ago specifically for this baby. We decided on Taylor because it is not only a gender neutral name, but it is also a family name.

Now that we have a name for the baby, I feel like some weight is lifted off of my shoulders. I needed to do this to help me feel a stronger connection, and a sense of completion with this pregnancy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I did my makeup today...

....and that is a big deal. Some of you know what I've gone through this past week, and others may not know, or may not understand. Losing my child has been very, very difficult on me. I have fallen into a deep state of grief (I'm not quite sure if I would call it depression yet or not), and have not been functioning very well. I have stayed in bed most of the day every day, not getting around to doing anything, including eating, until late afternoon at best. I haven't been very present to my husband or my children. The more I think about it, I haven't been very present to myself. I have basically relied on staying asleep as much as possible to not think about my loss.

Part of me feels like I am being judged by others by dealing with it this way. Especially within the church, where I think it may show a sign of weakness of my testimony by reclusing, rather than rejoicing in the child I will raise in the Eternities. I know that this is not true, and I know I am not being judged, it's just my own perceptions of my grief through a Gospel persepective. Please know though, that my testimony is unshakeable. I know without a doubt in my mind that I will be with that sweet angel baby again someday. It's the here and now that is hard. In my mind, that baby was a human being from the day he or she was conceived. I believe that he/she had a spirit, and a body, and was so righteous that they didn't need to come to this Earth at this time to be tested. I also know that by relying on my faith and my testimony, I will get through this. I have been trying to do so and the moments that I do seek help through prayer and scripture study I do feel better. Sometimes it is just hard to get the energy to get on my knees, or to pull out the Book. We are not here to be perfect though, we are here to do our best, and right now my best is to do as much as I can, and I feel that I have been doing that.

Part of me is angry. I don't know who I'm angry at, or why, but I just feel angry. I am not typically an angry person (maybe a little moody now and then, but not an angry person), so this is hard for me. I feel like I don't know that person when I feel those angry thoughts. I know, clinically, that this is a part of grief. It's just hard for me to rationalize it, because, like I said, it's not who I am.

I have been grateful to have a husband who is so beyond supportive. Nick has blown my expectations out of the water when it comes to support. He has let me stay in bed, and encouraged me to get out when it was appropriate. He has been a set of ears to listen to my woes, and a shoulder that I have shed a LOT of tears on. He has been my comedian when I needed to laugh. My own personal masseuse, chef, and errand runner. He has been my best friend, and an amazing father. I know this loss will bring us forever closer.

Like I said in my previous post, my friends have been amazing. Between pulling me out of bed and dragging me to Target (which was one of the first times I have had fun), to bringing me dinner, providing fun activities for my kids to do, the flowers, the phone calls, the cookies. I could not ask for better friends.

My work has been outstanding. I don't know of another employer who would be as understanding and supportive as Circle of Life has been. Not just the administration, but the staff themselves. They have sent caring words, phone calls, cards, etc. I have two wonderful supervisors who have also lent their ears to listen and their shoulders to cry on. I will be forever grateful to those two women, and they will always hold a special place in my heart. They have encouraged me to grieve, and encouraged me to move forward. The timing of both pieces of advice have come at appropriate times, and have been what I needed to hear each time.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of those women, after experiencing one of the most traumatic physical experiences of this miscarriage. I had no one else to turn to, and she was there to listen and let me cry. She also encouraged me to do something for myself, and something for my kids. She promised I would feel better. So, I did. I went to the store, I bought things to make cookies (I make amazing homemade chocolate chip cookies), and Brody and I baked cookies last night before bed (Peyton had passed out before hand).

Today is a new day. I have put on my make up (I haven't done my hair though...I'm not quite there yet, so pony tail it is), and I am going to church to watch my little boy sing with the rest of the primary. I look forward to watching this program, as I do every year. I like to pick out who is singing the loudest, who is standing on the stage doing the potty dance, and who is paying more attention to waving at their parents than performing in the program itself. Hmmm...I wonder if Brody will be any of the above.

Again, I thank you all for your support. I am praying that the physical part of the miscarriage will be over soon, so I can fully be prepared to get my life back together. I know that I will be okay because I am a strong woman. I just needed some affirmation with that statement yesterday, but I do believe it.

I will leave you all with some pictures of two of the cutest kids in the world:

I caught Petyon "yeading a book." she yelled at me "I YEAD A BOOK!!" She was reading her Friend magazine. Can you tell she gets her fashion sense from mommy? Neither of us can tell if things go well her case she put on her Dora PJ's, her bathing suit top, and her winter snow hat. Very fashionable.
she was looking at me like "can I help you, mother?"

My perfect egg shells (well maybe one, but we got it out)!!!

Brody scooping up and dropping the dough
Nick stealing a ball of dough off the cookie sheet

We let them fall asleep in our bed last night while Nick and I watched a show. They are such angels when they sleep!

They love Sunday baths in mommy and daddy's jacuzzi tub!
She insisted on wearing my hair towel because it was pink!

My little Lion after his bath

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I knew this picture looked familiar...

This picture was taken 2 summers ago in Utah, when Jennifer and Jeremy took the kids to the zoo...

This picture was taken about 24 years ago, during one of my summers in Kansas. I guess posing on pretend animals at the zoo is in the blood. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love is Spoken Here...

One of my favorite children's hyms goes as follows:

"I see my mother kneeling,
with our family each day.
I hear the words she whispers,
as she bows her head and prays.

Her plea to the Father,
quiets all my fears,
and I am thankful
that Love is spoken here...

...I can often feel the Savior near,
when Love is spoken here."

This week in my home, love has been spoken loud and clear. It has been spoken by many different people, in many different ways:

Through my children, and their sweet jokes and play. Pictured are Brody and Peyton putting on a "puffet show" with the finger puppets and an impromptu puppet stage I made out of a cardboard box. This lit up my night...especially when Brody made the animals sing "All the Single Ladies" by Beyonce'.

Love has been spoken by meals being served. I couldn't ask for more than for people to help put food in my family's tummy. I am ever so grateful.

Love has been spoken by yummy treats. (the chocolates April gave me are not pictured because they were devoured the first day.)
What better way for love to be spoken, than through flowers? I have been so blessed by so many people to receive these beautiful flowers.

Love has been spoken by gifts sent from family. My dad and June sent me a gift card to Elite Day Spa in Bentonville. I am looking forward to my physical recovery, so I can use this. It is much needed!

While I am still in a funk right now, and struggling to be my happy, cheerful self, I can still hear the love being spoken in my home. Thank you all for loving me, and loving my family. I love everyone who has helped support us in this time, whether through a phone call, cards, facebook messages, text messages, or an outward display of support. Thank you all.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Tonight has been one of the saddest, most difficult, nights of mine and Nick’s married life. I would go as far as to say the saddest, most difficult night. After returning home from work this afternoon, I went to the bathroom and noticed there was blood in the toilet. My heart sank, and I instantly knew something was wrong. I told Nick, and we loaded the kids up, dropped them off at Grandma’s and headed straight to the ER.

After being triaged, I had hope at first, because I knew there were many reasons a woman could spot during pregnancy (after all, it wasn’t a great deal of blood). The nurse got me settled in, and we made small talk while she took many viles of blood. She told me the doctor would be in soon. When the doctor made his way in, he let me know that my urine pregnancy test had come back positive, but they were just waiting to hear the results of the blood test, and he also wanted me to get an ultrasound.

The ultrasound tech came in within minutes and wheeled me down to the ultrasound room. That’s when I knew something was wrong. Even though she had told us ahead of time that she could not tell us anything about the ultrasound, I knew from the somber look on her face, and the amount of detail she was using in her process, that something was wrong. In fact, I was in the ultrasound room for at least 45 minutes. I have never had a normal ultrasound last that long. When she left the room I peeked at the screen which had the size of my file of pictures listed on it, with the size of all the previous patients from the day who had had ultrasounds. Mine was 125MB, the others ranged from 20-40MB. I thought to myself, “why would she take so many pictures if everything was fine?”

She then quietly wheeled me back to the room. There was no small talk. Just “the doctor will come talk to you in a minute.” A minute turned into 40, and the doctor came in and my greatest fear came out of his mouth “You are having a miscarriage.” I tried to hold it together, but I couldn’t. The tears came pouring out and turned into sobs. This sweet baby that I had prayed for, for so long was leaving me.

After a rhogam shot from a very insensitive nurse, I was ready to go. I walked out of the hospital with my head held low and tears streaming down my cheeks, and my sweet husband’s arm around me. We got to the car and he held me so close and asked if he could say a prayer. He prayed to our Heavenly Father for us to have understanding and peace, and that we will learn what we need to from this experience. After the prayer was over, he began reminiscing to when we were working together in Walgreens. He said “I never thought we would have to go through anything this hard together.” It was then that I remembered my patriarchal blessing. It states “Your children will bring you great joy, and great heartache.” Both prophesies have come true.
On the way home, all I could think about was the technicalities. How would I face people who knew and were so excited about this baby? What would I do when they asked how I was feeling? What if they don’t find out about the miscarriage and pat my tummy? What if I break down crying every time someone tells me they are sorry? Then I thought about May 29th. What will I do on that day to hold myself together?

I then remembered President Monson’s talk from this October’s General Conference of our church. He talked about having an attitude of gratitude. It was then that I had the two most precious faces pop into my mind. I realized then, that they will be how I make it through and how I can persevere.

President Monson said:
“The loss of loved ones almost inevitably brings some regrets to our hearts. Let’s minimize such feelings as much as humanly possible by frequently expressing our love and gratitude to them. We never know how soon it will be too late.

A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort—at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don’t get around to it. Someone has said that “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”12

When we encounter challenges and problems in our lives, it is often difficult for us to focus on our blessings. However, if we reach deep enough and look hard enough, we will be able to feel and recognize just how much we have been given.”

So tonight, I am sad, and I am hurt, and I am aching inside for the sweet child I will never hold in my arms. At least not in this life. But I am grateful. I am grateful for a husband who loves me unconditionally. A husband who is not afraid to show his love and faith for his Heavenly Father. A husband worthy of the Priesthood who can provide blessings of healing and comfort to me and my family. A husband who knows how to make me laugh, even when I think I don’t want to laugh yet.

I am grateful for having the opportunity to raise three of Heavenly Father’s most precious children. Two in this life, and one in the eternities. I also have faith that we will have another earthly child to bring into our home…when the time is right. Being a mommy is the greatest blessing I have ever had bestowed upon me. I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me that opportunity.

I am grateful for all of my extended family and friends who have been there for me throughout all the trials and happy times I have experienced in my life. My mom’s heart broke when mine did tonight, and I am grateful for someone so empathetic she could feel my pain.
I am grateful for my friends who sent me messages and phone calls to check on me. I feel very loved from a large group of people tonight.

I am grateful for a job that I absolutely love and am passionate about. I am grateful for the staff who I feel are an extension of my family. I know I will be welcomed with support and love.
Last but not least, I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He atoned for me, and he has felt the pain that I am feeling right now. He has brought so much light into my life, and without Him, I may not be able to get through this trial. I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and is sad when I am sad. But, His plan is perfect, and nothing comes to us in this life without reason.

So, yes, I am sad, and I ache, and I yearn for my child. But, I will be okay, because I have much to be grateful for.