What is #Mamagrief? 

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A friend of mine shared a post with me on Instagram recently of a brave young woman who lost her precious firstborn daughter, Florence. You can read all about her beautiful story here, #mamagrief.

She started a hashtag called #mamagrief a place where other grieving mothers who have lost children to death can go and share their stories and be encouraged by others. 

  
I never knew losing a child could be so rewarding yet so hard. It’s a world I never knew existed. A world I never knew was here! After losing our first son, people I had known all my life told me of the losses I never knew they endured! When they told me, I thought, “If they’ve lost a child or two, how do they seem so happy? How can they seem so joyful? Some of the most joyful people in the world are people who have suffered so much heartache. 

  
I read once “behind the happiest faces lay once the saddest of circumstances”. That has stuck to me like a bure. I want and long to be that kind of person. With God’s ever sustaining hand, He can help me be one of those many happy and loving people. 

  
All the while a big part of the world enjoys a life full of beauty and grace. Beauty, not etched with pain, beauty etched with joy and things that only look to be a dream to us who hurt. 

But a huge part of the world surprisingly enough, hurts and cries out in pain. Somedays, it’s too hard to trace the rainbow through the rain. Those days drag on like weights of heavy metal tying us down.

  
But there is hope! Yes, there is ALWAYS hope and like a superhero, our Father comes to the rescue with His chain breaker called, Grace! No more weight to tie us down. Believer, acquiesce all your saddness, all your pain, all you grief and lay it on his shoulders. Its ok to cry, its ok to be sad, its ok to grieve! But there is hope for everyone who hurts! 

 

No. More children will never replace them, I could have a half dozen more children and I would still have these hard days. Cause they matter. They. Matter. To. Me. And to Him. Every life matters, no matter how long they have lived. They matter. And more children, though my mama heart longs to have more, as much as I will love and cherrish them if God should grant this petition. They will never, could ever, replace my boys but they will help fill the void with more loving and kissing. (:

People are forever telling me, “God, I believe will bless you with children.” I’m grateful for those nice thoughts and prayers but what they don’t seem to realize is, this is my mama grief, and according to God, it’s ok. What they don’t seem to see is, God has already blessed me with children. No, they aren’t here for me to enjoy and love on, but they are alive and they do matter. And if God chooses to bless us with more, then praise God! But this mamagrief will never go away. It’s ok.
I’m so thankful I’m not alone in my grief. God has put me on this path of #mamagrief, and it’s ok. I have accepted it and I’m thankful for it. You cannot know how much. But that doesn’t mean, I won’t have bad days, really, really hard ones. But it’s ok. Just like we all have super amazing days, some of us have a lot of crapy days. But it’s ok. I will be ok. God has not abandoned me and He wont. He is walking down this path with me. He is strengthening me and stretching me. My grief is laid bare on the table for all to see. I cannot hide or bottle my grief up inside just like you shouldn’t bottle your happiness up inside just because one of us is grieving and hurting. 

Let it out! Your happiness and blessings are giving us who grieve, hope for the future! Will we run and cry at times if we see or hear to much? Yes! But don’t take it to heart. Don’t wish you had kept your mouth shut. Our hearts are tender. But please never act like our children never existed. Talk about them around us. Say their names. You have no idea how it feels to a mamagrief heart when we hear our babies names mentioned even in passing. 

   
So you ask what is #mamagrief? They are! My boys! Our Heaven kissed babies! But really. It’s ok. (:

Thank you for reading my heart tonight, God bless you, 

Katie

Finding Joy (Part 2 of John Spencer’s birth story).

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. John Spencer, this is your voice, my awareness and tribute to you, my sweet precious boy! “Mama, loves you!”

As we were headed to the hospital that Sunday afternoon, the contractions were coming now so very close together, it was hard to breathe correctly ’cause honestly neither of us had been through anything like this, so neither had anything to compare it to. Spencer however as he gripped the steering wheel going 90mph and possibly pushing 100, looked at me from time to time calming me with his soothing voice. 
I got a phone call shortly after (I had called my mother as we had left the house after my midwife told me to hurry up to the hospital, so we both called our mothers). My sister in law Kelly, called me as we were driving or speeding to the hospital. I had asked her, since my sister is so young, I never had a sister who had been through a birth and since I consider her one of my best friends and a close sister I knew I could count on her being there to root for me and help me get through my birth, since I was scared to death! 

She called and asked me if I wanted her to come, of course, I did, but didnt want her to feel pressured. She came along with my mom! I cannot tell you how much the presence of family during such a difficult time can truly be on a couple who are not only clueless but hurting so deeply like nothing you could ever imagine, or maybe you could if you thought about it long and hard. Just your pressence can make such a huge impact on someones life, you could not know how much! 

We finally got to the woman’s center (hospital) and as I sat in one of the wheelchairs, I could feel something poking through, (my babies head perhaps? Was I seriously that dialated?) so I had to sit sideways cause he literally felt as though he were coming, now!

What seemed like an eternity, signing papers and forms, and what have you, and then waiting for like ever in the waiting room, Spencer tried everyway to calm me down, as I was hurting and quietly (screaming) through each contraction. The intensity level was huge, I thank God for those keegal muscles for thats the only way I can figure I was able to keep him in for that long. 

Finally they had my room ready and so the sweet nurse residing over me told me to put my gown on in the bathroom, each step to the bathroom was painful. And feeling like I needed to “poop” I thought this would be the only time I would be able to go, but what I didnt realize is that feeling was coming from down there not where I thought it was! 

To spare you some of the graphicness, (cause that’s not what I want to focus on), I thought I better move ahead. Most of it is pretty traumatic and I definitely don’t want you focused just on that, his birth was sad and traumatic but it was still beautiful even in the midst of such sorrow and heart break. 

The nurses were able to get me to the bed and I lay there looking up at my husband, big tears were rolling down this mans face, this man who rarely cries, he held my hand and as he was about to crumble, my mother slipped a loving hand around him and my sister in law as well. Kelly grabbed my hand and squeezed it and hugged my neck and prayed for me right there, how can one keep tears back when one prays sweetly such as this in such a hard and powerful time? There was not a dry eye in that room, even amongst the nurses. All I could feel as I lay flat on my back was the warm/hot flow of blood, the contractions wouldn’t stop, finally I asked through simple quiet cries, “May I push?!” No answer. I asked again, thinking, no one heard me, “May I please push, now?” Finally one of the nurses peeped her head over my mothers shoulder and said, “Go ahead, sweetie.” 

Maybe one, maybe two pushes and he was out. Maybe the nurses thought, the push or pushes would take longer? No one was there to catch my precious baby, which was why I asked in the first place. I wanted them to stop what they were doing, one nurse frantically trying to get my IV stuck in, one trying to find the babies heart beat, if there was one, another frantically moving about in and out of the room. Was there no one to catch my baby? I know he is not alive at this point but was it necessary to let him crumple to the resistance of the bed as if he was no better than a fish flopping on the bottom of a boat? I guess no one realized how fast he would come out? I dont know, I do know one thing, even though there was no one willing or ready to catch my baby, Jesus did, he caught my baby’s soul, and what a wonderful thought! That thought brings tears of rejoicing to my eyes! As he came out all I could say at that point was, “Not my will, but Thine, Oh Lord!”

How could one rejoice over somthing so traumatic, you may ask? How could one find joy in the heart wrenching reality of losing your only son, to death? My Father in Heaven heals the broken hearted, he takes them up like a parent to a child, He draws them close, and comforts them. But as I look back, in the smallest of glimpses, I see what it feels like to lose your only son to death! “Thank you, Father, for that small glimpse! What it must have been like when Your Son died for those He came to save, on the cross!” What a wonderful thought! 

As soon as he was born, the rest of the time the nurses and my Doctor finally showed up about this time, the placenta was being stubborn and wouldn’t come out.

They tried pulling on the embelical cord, they even gave me some medication to help me contract so I could push it out. Just as they were about wheel me in for a D&C, I started to feel the contractions kicking in. Once again, I asked several times if I could push, finally someone said, go ahead! One push and that hot jello-like substance came out. 

As if in a dreamy fog, my mind continued to go over what just happened. Here’s a few of my thoughts that I wrote down in my journal.

“Lord, I am so sorry! I did not love you enough! I played opposite roles of Abraham, instead of willing to give up my only son, I wanted him more than my own breath! I am sorry that I didn’t love you like I should have, I’m sorry if I showed too much love towards my baby and not enough to you!” 

I opened my eyes to find my mother and father in law, my dad and mom sitting in the room, still not a dry eye in the room, I looked about frantically for my man, he was sitting patiently waiting for me to awaken, beside me. As if I had a need to worry, My heart sank and my words flowed heavily, “Where’s my baby?!” Spencer, looked rather shocked, he patted my shoulder and said, “He’s right here, babe. He hasn’t left your side.” The tears finally came again, as I started humming the only hymn that came to mind. “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”.

Apparently I had talked a bunch out of my head after the placenta finally came out. 

Spencer later told me some of the funny things I had said, (I think it was a relief to everyone who had been there to hear my quirky side coming out as my body was wearing off the crazy side affects of the medication I had previously been administered a few hours before. 

The Nurse-“Would you like something to drink?”

Me-“I want a coke’a’cola? (In the strongest southern accent you can muster!)

Nurse as she pours a Pepsi in a cup and hands it to me-“Would a Pepsi be ok?” 

Me,As if I was a cranky old lady-“No! Pepsi is NASTY!!” Lol!!! 

Which everyone literally laughed out loud! 😆😄

There are many quotes that I could come up with regarding the sun coming up in the morning after such storms, but I won’t not now, maybe in another post, the strom blew over just a might and even though our night was a rough one there in the hospital, through many tears we managed to sleep some. 

Morning came and something strange happened, we both were able to smile, we were able to rejoice and be happy. It was like a major peace swept over us. I had to pinch myself, was I alright? Truly? Or was this just left over side affects from the meds the night before?

We named our baby and signed some paper work. We got a few sweet things from the hospital to take home, NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, Photography group) had come and taken pictures of our son, foot and hand prints among other things. 

We had a few precious moments left to spend hugging and loving on our son before we permently said out heart wrenching goodbyes. 

How can one love someone so much you never even met? Is it even possible? 

No matter what people may tell me, I have a hope and belief that I will see my baby again! Thats the only way I can rejoice, be happy and glad!

Spencer and I walked down the hallway of the woman and children center, I never noticed before the beautiful yet heart wrenching photos that covered the walls of that entire hallway. That first and only moment I questioned God, “Why Lord? We already went through so much heart ache, why must we end it by seeing these beauitful photos of parents and their healthy babies, when ours lay limp in a cooled incabator?” 

I had to stop my mean thoughts toward my loving God. And I apologized under my breath and that peace came again like a wave of hope and love! 

The only verse that comes to mind is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

I am so blessed, truly. God gave me two precious boys, who are both waiting patiently for me and their Daddy. God is so good! Truly, and as crazy as it may sound, even though its not been easy and still is not, thanks to this trial I am closer to my God than I ever thought possible. He is so very good and always shall be! 

I can finally smile and say, I am happy! 💗 Thank you, Jesus!

  
In Him, 

Katie