Sunday, December 15, 2013

November 28th- Two Years Later

God has an amazing way of redeeming things, and He is redeeming our story down to the smallest details.  His goodness and faithfulness have been so obvious over the past two years, and November 28th, 2013 was the ultimate example.

Thomas died two years ago on November 28th. This year, November 28th was Thanksgiving day, and we were able to bring our precious Turner and Emmaline home from the hospital!  Last time we left the hospital empty handed, and this time we left with our hearts and hands full to overflowing.   We did stop by the cemetery on the way home so the babies could visit their big brother.

I never in a million years would have guessed that this was the plan for us.  Even the details of the timing are just too much to take in. My heart is so full with gratitude to God for Turner and Emmaline that it might burst.  They are such a joy.  Each time I wake up and see them in their little bassinets I just have to pinch myself.  We have TWO babies at home! It is truly more than we could have asked or imagined.

"We tend, however, to divide our past into good things to remember with gratitude and painful things to accept or forget.  This way of thinking, which at first glance seems quite natural, prevents us from allowing our whole past to be the source from which we live our future.  It locks us into a self-involved focus on our gain or comfort.  It becomes a way to categorize, and in a way, control.  Such an outlook becomes another attempt to avoid facing our suffering.  Once we accept this division, we develop a mentality in which we hope to collect more good memories than bad memories, more things to be glad about than things to be resentful about, more things to celebrate than to complain about.  Gratitude in its deepest sense means to live life as a gift to be received thankfully.  And true gratitude embraces all of life: the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and the not-so-holy.  We do this because we become aware of God's life, God's presence in the middle of all that happens."
(Henri Nouwen, Turn my Mourning into Dancing)

"For in our suffering, not apart from it, Jesus enters our sadness, takes us by the hand, pulls us gently to stand, and invites us to dance.  We find the way to pray, as the psalmist did, "You have turned my mourning into dancing" (Psalm 30:11), because at the center of our grief we find the grace of God. "(Henri Nouwen, Turn my Mourning into Dancing)






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Turner and Emmaline are here!

Turner and Emmaline were born on Tuesday, November 26th! They are so precious, and we are so in love with them! Turner weighed 6lb 3oz, and she was 5lb 14oz.  We were able to go home from the hospital after two days, and they've been doing great.   I'm loving being at home, and have been soaking up every minute with them. After the frenzy of the past few months, I'm finally getting the quiet time with them I've been craving this whole time.  It is wonderful! TJ is such a good Daddy!  He has become a master diaper changer, swaddler, and feeder!  It is so cute to see him with the babies.




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Thomas was born two years ago today!  In some ways, it seems like yesterday.  In other ways, it seems foggy, like it was forever ago or a dream of some kind.  Regardless,  I love that precious boy and miss him every minute of every day.  I am so grateful for him, and so proud to be his mother.

We both took the day off of work, so it has been nice to be together to remember and celebrate our sweet Thomas.  We took balloons out to the cemetery again.  However, due to purchasing our balloons at the sketchy Kroger where no one knew how to blow up a balloon or tie a string onto one, only one balloon actually made it to the cemetery.

This year has been different.  Last year I was dreading November and acutely aware of what I was doing at this time the year before.  This year I am still sad, of course, but it is softer.  I know what to expect now from these hard days so they aren't as intimidating.  I also know that our anticipation and excitement for Turner and Emmaline have been a huge part of my healing.  I am so grateful to be their mother too.....and can't wait (ok, CAN wait 2-3 weeks) for them to be here!

Thanks so much for all of your thoughts, prayers, texts, and messages today.  We are so blessed to have so many people remember our sweet Thomas on his birthday!

"Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone." Psalm 33:22


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Still Cooking!

I'll be 32 weeks pregnant this week.  The weeks have been flying by! Except for a brief episode of preterm labor at 24 weeks, things have been relatively uneventful and I've been feeling great. The babies are getting bigger! Last week they were 3lb 9oz, and 3lb 14oz already!  After this week they should each gain about a 1/2 lb per week. They didn't mention how much I'll be gaining per week! Ha!

We named the babies over the summer.  It was hard so hard to decide! We knew we wanted our boy to have Thomas' initials.  We had so many beautiful things that were monogrammed for Thomas that he was never able to use, so it will be really special to use them for our second son.  We finally decided on Turner Andrew Behm.   We named "her" Emmaline Allen Behm, so she shares her big brother's middle name.  They each have something special from Thomas!

Everything has been great with the babies, but with our history and my advanced maternal age (34!) we get to go to the perinatologist frequently for appointments.  As TJ says, I have an ultrasound addiction, so I don't mind at all!  It has been fun to see our babies' different personalities from the beginning.  At our 20 week anatomy ultrasound Turner was flailing around like a wild thing, kicking his sister in the head the entire time! It is a little disconcerting that I can't even protect her from her brother in the womb. We kept having to come back to measure different things because he was moving so much.  Emmaline, on the other hand, had her ankles crossed and her hands up under her chin.  It was like she was posing for portraits! Her head kept bobbing as her brother kicked her....poor thing!

They have continued to show their funny little personalities.  She is breech, and her movements are more gentle, he is vertex and kicks me in the ribs all day! She also has the hiccups all the time!  Turner's head is really low and he is facing my back, so we aren't usually able to get any pictures of his face.  Each week i leave with a whole strip of pictures of Emmaline's face, and one token picture of Turner's private parts....its all he's ever willing to show off!  (I predict he's going to be a mess!)

This pregnancy has already brought us so much joy, and it has brought so much healing to my heart.  I still find myself a little guarded though.....I don't know that I'll ever be able to just assume everything will be ok.   We aren't out of the woods yet from a prematurity standpoint, so each day they are still in my belly is a good day.  Its hard not to worry about all the potential complications that could arise if they were born early.  I am honestly surprised each week that I'm still pregnant, and so grateful.  Overall this pregnancy has been a joy and a blessing.   It has been so much fun to prepare for the babies!  I guess for me its not going to seem "real" until we bring them home.  I know it is going to be absolutely crazy with twin newborns at home, and I can't wait!

"He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21, NLT


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Double Blessings

God is good, and He is funny....
We are expecting TWINS in December!!!

We are overjoyed and overwhelmed and humbled and grateful.  But mostly we are excited!

It's still a little early to say for sure, but they think we are having a boy and a girl.
We would be thrilled with any gender combination, but I think a boy and a girl is going to be wonderful.  

The past two years have been hard, but God has been so faithful.   I look back to how far we have come from the depths of grief to now....and it is truly a miracle.  I can honestly say that God's grace has carried us through the past two years.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!" (Ephesians 3:20-21, NIV)

"Never Once" by Matt Redman

"Scars and struggles on the way,
But with joy our hearts can say,
Never once did we ever walk alone,
Carried by your constant grace,
Held within Your perfect peace,
Never once, no, we never walk alone."



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Other First Anniversary

Thomas died one year ago tonight.  November 28th, 2011 will always be the worst, most terrifying night of my life.

I have to be honest....today was hard.

It was nice, though, to have a day to plow through the memories and sadness, and to "honor my grief".  The weather was cold and dreary, which was fitting.  I went to the cemetery, looked at pictures, and looked at Thomas's box of things from the hospital.  I also read through the blog for the first time.  I enjoyed reading about the good days, but it was hard to relive the dark days.

It was a hard day, but a good day.  My tears were there, but not constant.  I am so glad that this year of firsts is over.  There are no more days to dread.  I can already tell I am feeling calmer.  November will always be a tough month, but at least I will know what to expect.

I am comforted by the fact that my worst night was Thomas's best night.....his first night in heaven.  God is so good, and I am truly amazed when I think about how much healing has occurred in my heart over the past year.  When people ask how we are doing, I can honestly say we are doing well.  God's grace is truly enough for each day.

"The minute I said 'I'm slipping, I'm falling,' your love, God, took hold and held me fast.  When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up."
Psalm 94:18-19 The Message

"This is what is compelling about the cross: its two aspects of suffering and glory.  Christ suffered in the extreme for us, and by his suffering he assured that two things will happen to our suffering: First, it will have meaning when linked through prayer to the cross.  Second, it will be over.  A better day is coming: new heavens and a new earth, new bodies, unbent, unbroken, unstained by tears.  This is our hope.  We are not meant for death and sorrow but for life and joy." A Grief Unveiled, Gregory Floyd