Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Holiday

We made it through Thanksgiving Day....the first holiday without Noah. I have to be honest, I really didn't want to get out of bed Thursday morning. My heart was so heavy and the tears came as soon as I woke up. I put on some music while David and I were getting ready for our day. We were both in tears. How different life should be right now. I silently prayed, "God help me be thankful...it's so hard."

It was all up from there (thankfully). We drove to Macon to spend some time with David's family. We had a wonderful spread of food (thanks, Taryn!) and a good time with everyone. Ethan had a good time walking around outside picking up rocks with his Grandaddy and playing some football with Kaeli and Chris. After we ate I did a photo shoot with Kaeli and Chris. I enjoyed spending some time with them.

David, Ethan, and I spent the day together last Saturday and we took some photos.....

















Today Ethan and I are going to eat lunch with a good friend of mine that I haven't seen in a long time. I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

20 Weeks

It's a big milestone for a pregnant woman. But for me, it's a different kind of milestone. It's been 20 weeks since we lost Noah. Unbelievable. I've kind of been all over the place emotionally today. The tears really started coming when I read Angie's post today. I think all of us who have lost a baby are really holding onto hope for Todd and Angie....it gives me hope for our future.

Thanksgiving is just 2 days away and there are moments when I feel like someone has punched me in the stomach. The holidays are supposed to be happy....and I still think they can be....it's just so hard to not have my sweet cuddly baby in my arms, wrapped up all warm in a fuzzy blanket. I just miss him so much my heart aches. The smell no longer lingers in his tiny blue hat.


This picture might make you think he was an average sized baby. He was actually just 3 pounds 6 ounces. The hat barely fits over my fist. He was so tiny. So beautiful. I look at this picture and I can remember how soft his skin was...how he looked like Ethan...how his lips curled like his Daddy's...how his ears looked like Aunt Erica's...how blonde his little eyebrows were. He was ours for a little while. You are looking at a huge piece of my heart in that picture.

A friend of mine recently had an ultrasound and there was some concern that the baby's head was too large and that she could have swelling on the brain. I was terrified. I just pleaded with God that everything would be ok. Turns out the baby was just positioned funny and she is perfectly healthy. I cannot tell you what a relief that was to me. I'm a nervous wreck for all of my friends that are pregnant....my nerves are really going to be shot if I ever get pregnant again. David gets nervous just thinking about it. He worries about something happening to another baby, and he worries something could happen to me. Our hearts and minds are still not ready for that yet.

Thank you so much for walking with us. With time people forget...and I understand. But we will never forget....and we are so very thankful for those of you who remember Noah with us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Additions to Noah's Name Gallery

Thank you to everyone who has sent pictures of Noah's name. I've added more that people have emailed me over the past few weeks. If you would like to be creative and write Noah's name in a unique way, you can email your photos to me at Lisacollinsworth@hotmail.com

Click below to see Noah's Name Gallery...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Do You Know A Surrogate?

First let me start this post by saying NO...I am not looking for a surrogate for myself, but David and I have a friend who has recently expressed interest in becoming a surrogate. She told us that ever since Noah passed away, she has realized how important a surrogate could be in the lives of a couple who desperately want a child. If you have any information at all that you could pass along to her, please email me at Lisacollinsworth@hotmail.com. She's really looking for someone to talk to who has already been a surrogate who can tell her about their experience. And if you know of someone who has a blog about their experience as a surrogate, I would love to have a link to it!

How cool would it be if one day this sweet lady becomes a surrogate for someone some day...all because of the impact Noah had on her life. I think that would be pretty amazing!

My Smart Little 3 Year Old!

When I picked Ethan up from daycare today, his teacher was soooo excited. She said Ethan could say all his numbers and all his colors in Spanish. She went on and on about how smart he is. Made me one proud mama! So I filmed him saying it....I think he got "purple" wrong when I filmed him, but he said it right earlier at daycare. I can't believe he will be in Pre-K next year!!! He's growing up so fast!


video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Anti-Social


I haven't been posting as much lately. I've found it difficult to express how I've been feeling lately. I'll do my best to make sense.

All week last week I was looking forward to a great weekend. We were going to Macon (where David and I both grew up). David is in a band and he was going to be playing at a church youth lock-in on Friday night. Then Saturday I had a maternity photo shoot with some great friends of mine, and then Saturday evening we were going to a wedding of a dear friend of mine that I grew up with (in my later highschool years). I couldn't wait to see old faces at the wedding (it was at a church I attended for a few years) that I had not seen in a while and was really just excited about all of it. I did fine until the wedding. David and I got there 10 minutes before the wedding started and immediately found a seat and waited for the bride to make her entrance. She entered and she was absolutely gorgeous! She looked so happy and I was so excited for her. As soon as the wedding was over we walked into the hall and immediately people started coming up and giving us hugs, asking how we were, and asking the ever-dreaded question, "how many kids do you have now?" Because of facebook and word-of-mouth, we had NO idea who knew about Noah and who didn't. When someone would innocently ask "how are you?", my mind went straight to Noah. I found myself having a difficult time answering the question and didn't really want to talk about our loss, so I gave a quick, "we're fine" and then just tried to end the conversation as quickly as possible. This made me feel so rude and I hope people didn't get offended. After a few minutes, David walked away from me and stood up against a wall. He looked incredibly uncomfortable. This is not normal for him. If you know my hubby, you know he is great with people. He can talk to anybody...whether he knows you or not, he is usually very outgoing and friendly. After a few minutes we realized that the reception was not at the church but in downtown Macon. David's mother was keeping Ethan at her house (just minutes from the church) and David didn't want to drive across town knowing that we had to drive back to Conyers and get up for church the next morning. I knew he was right and I felt so uncomfortable socially that I didn't think I could take another couple of hours of pretending to be ok. So we didn't go. And I was heartbroken. After we picked up Ethan I cried most of the way home. I had so looked forward to seeing all of those people and really wanted a chance to catch up with old friends, but at the same time it was so hard and I just felt so awkward. I begged God to help David and me not feel like this forever. I kept dreaming of what life could have been like....us going to that same wedding with our new baby in our arms...people gushing over him....and us....so happy.

Don't get me wrong, it's not always like this. We are perfectly capable of being sociable around our close friends, family, and church family. It's just lately we have found it difficult when we are around strangers or people we haven't seen in a long time.

My sadness carried over to Sunday. I dreaded going to church, but I knew the subject matter of the sermon and I knew I needed to be there. It was about happiness and what makes us happy. It was about how happiness should not be found in a "what" but a "who" (Jesus). We think if we have the nicer car, the bigger house, the money, the beauty, the 2.5 kids...if we could just have those things...we will be happy. God was really speaking to me. I realized that I was putting a lot of my hope of happiness on having another child someday....a living, breathing, healthy child. Only then could I ever be happy. But the truth is...that won't make me happy. Of course a child will bring joy to our lives, but there will still be this void...still the ache. I have to find my happiness daily in Christ. I have to. I certainly don't want to place any pressure on any future children of ours to be my key to happiness....to be my ticket out of this place called grief. I have to find my hope, my happiness, my healing in Christ alone.....

....and it's a daily surrender.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sips 'n Strokes - Part Two

Nanci and I went to Sips 'n Strokes again tonight. It was so much fun! I really love painting! Tonight we did a painting called "Child of Heaven". It was a painting of a little girl angel. I love how it turned out! I can't wait to go again!


Monday, November 9, 2009

First Day

I started my new job today. I told my new co-workers today that I'm still waiting for the catch. It all seems too good to be true. The job is something I think I will be very good at. I love that I only have to work 6 hours. I love that I never have to work a Saturday again. I love that I won't have to use sick time or vacation time to make a doctor's appointment for me or for Ethan because I can just schedule my appointments in the afternoon since I will get off at 1:30 every day. Today flew by. It was lunch time and it was time to go. LOVE IT! And apparently the time off is even better than I original understood...it's really unbelievable how much time off we get! God has blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined and I'm so thankful. I really like my new co-workers a lot.

And since I have all this extra time on my hands, it's time to get serious about losing weight and getting healthy. I really do hope to have another baby some day (if God chooses to bless us again), but I know I don't want to get pregnant until my body is good and ready...and of course not until my heart is good and ready (when will that ever happen???). I really have to be prepared because I know there will be even more worry that comes along with it next time. Please pray that I will be disciplined in my food choices and in my daily exercise.

(Will you allow me to indulge in a "Noah moment"???......I know it seems I can't get through a post without talking about him....but what can I say? I miss him.)

So how are we doing? Pretty good. David has been busy. I think sometimes it's hard for him because he's so busy. Sometimes he wants a break so he can just take the time to just feel...if that makes sense. Time to deal with the loss. I have had a few difficult moments, but honestly, I haven't let myself cry in over a week. That may not sound like a big deal to some of you...but believe me, it's a big deal. There is a time to cry, but lately I've just needed to give myself a break from it. Because when I start, it's difficult to stop and the grief becomes overwhelming at times.

This weekend we (my brother, sister-in-law, dad, Ethan, and I) went to Alabama to visit my grandfather. My grandmother passed away in 2004 and I still miss her so badly...especially when we go to her house. I'm so sad that she never got to meet Ethan and that Ethan didn't get to know her. On Saturday night as I was going to sleep, the strangest thing happened. I suddenly had a spasm in my stomach. I was laying on my side and the spasm lasted for about 5 minutes. It took everything I had to keep from crying. It felt so much like Noah's kicks and movements and it was an incredible feeling of loss in that moment. I miss him so badly.

My dad and I spent some time going through photos on my computer and I showed him some of the last photos of me pregnant. Here are 2 that I have never posted before...



And here is one from when I was 23 weeks pregnant....Ethan loved taking pictures with his baby brother.


Sometimes I just go back and look at all the photos and it's just unreal that 4 months have passed since I was pregnant...since he was here.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers. God is bringing us peace each day. I think this new job is going to help in the healing process.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This is gonna be a long one....

I know this is going to be a long post and I'm really a little scatter-brained tonight, so just hold on...

It's been almost a week since I last posted. Almost every day I've started to write a post, but then I just can't seem to make sense of all that's going on in my heart and mind. Friday was hands down, the WORST day I've had at work. It was really busy (seriously, 95% of Rockdale County must have come to the bank on Friday!) and it didn't help that we were very short handed and my mind was filled with thoughts of Noah (mostly because I had a lot of customers ask about him on Friday) and well, it just confirmed to me that it's time for a change (as if I needed anymore convincing)! Only one more week and I will be starting my new job.

I visited Noah's grave just about every day last week. David and I bought a solar powered light for Noah's grave. We've noticed other graves nearby that have them and we really wanted one. The one we bought matches perfectly. We also took Ethan to buy some little tiny pumpkins to put on the grave. We told Ethan he could give one to Noah and keep the other, but he said he wanted to give both of them to his brother.


I dreaded Saturday. I had such a bad day on Friday...including a really bad breakdown on the phone with David after work. I was NOT looking forward to this first holiday without one of my sons. I started crying as soon as I woke up Saturday morning...."God, please don't let it always feel like this every holiday...please." I got up and told David I just needed us to spend the morning together as a family. Friday had been too hard and I needed "us" time. So David, Ethan, and I went yard sale shopping. This was difficult since it was pouring down rain, but we managed to find a few indoor yard sales. I got Ethan 2 Thomas the Train t-shirts (both in excellent condition) for 25 cents each. Then I got him a pair of Ralph Lauren jeans for $1.00, a 58-piece foam floor puzzle for 25 cents, a pair of shorts for 25 cents, and a cute ceramic candle holder which looked brand new for 75 cents (easily $15.00-$20.00 in a store). After the yard sales we drove to Noah's grave just to tell him we missed him on this first holiday without him. There were a lot of tears shed over the next few hours.

Saturday afternoon we drove to my best friend's house to take pictures of her daughter, Sarah. Angela had this great idea she found online of cutting 2 holes in a pumpkin and sitting a baby in the pumkin with their legs through the holes. Then I found another photo with another great idea....so inspired by these 2 photos we found on google images...




We came up with these for Sarah.....





Ethan kissing Sarah...




There are a lot more and I'll try to post those soon on my photography site. I had a great time taking photos of her. Angela and Sandra both said to me throughout the afternoon how they wished Noah could have been there to celebrate his first Halloween. I'm so thankful that I have friends and family who remember him on days like these.

We always go trick-or-treating in Angela's neighborhood. Sandra lives in our neighborhood...and ours is just way too hilly and not very big, so we like to raid the candy in Angela's hood! :o) Last year we did a "Star Wars" theme with all the kids. This year we decided on a "Super Hero" theme, but Ethan was NOT going to compromise...he wanted to be a conductor and wear Thomas the Train, so that's what he did. (Thomas is a super hero too, right???)



He wore this to daycare on Friday and forgot to bring the "conductor" hat home, so he had to wear the hat that came with the costume on Saturday. We gathered all the little super heroes up to take a group picture.


After pics, we realized it was starting to rain and that walking around the neighborhood with all these kids in the rain was NOT going to be fun, so we took the seats out of the back of my van and piled them all in....don't worry...we were only driving about 5 miles an hour through the neighborhood...no seatbelts needed.




This is Hayden...Ethan loves to hold her hand and sure thinks she's cute! :o) And Hayden apparently told her mom on the way to Angela's house that she couldn't wait for Ethan to see her costume, "Ethan will think I'm cute" she said. And he did...he gave her a big hug when he saw her and told her that her costume was cool. I knew that Ethan wasn't going to walk around in the rain (and try to get in and out of the van) with the big Thomas costume on....so he just wore the hat...

How would you like to see that mob at your doorstep???



Ethan had a great time and his bucket was filled with candy....though the kids weren't too happy with the last house we stopped at...they gave out pens and pencils!!! I'm glad Ethan enjoyed his 4th Halloween. I went back through old photos of Halloweens past....

Ethan's 1st Halloween (6 months old)
Chili Pepper
Ethan's 2nd Halloween (18 months old)
The Giraffe
Ethan's 3rd Halloween (2 and 1/2 years old)
R2D2 (The Star Wars Theme)

I told David tonight that I really want to enjoy our holidays with Ethan. I don't want our focus to be so much on the son we've lost while missing out on the joy of our son that's alive. That's a tough one. It seems simple, but it's not. It's really hard to focus on the joy when sometimes all I really want to do is crawl in my bed and cry or sleep away the days.

I've gone through some tough things in my life. One of the worst times in my life was when I was in college and I took my focus from Christ and placed it on a boyfriend. My whole little world revolved around him and the relationship. Thankfully God granted us peace with each other in later years and I consider him a dear brother in Christ now. But during that time, when things were falling apart, I took it out on myself and ended up with a severe eating disorder. But even in my darkest hours during that time, I had the hope that it wouldn't be like that forever. That one day I would break free from the addiction. It was a battle I had to fight, but I knew there was a way out. It's frustrating that this battle - grief - has no way out (at least not while living on this earth)...it's just something I have to live with until I die. I know I have the hope of Heaven and I will see Noah again, but I wish it was something I could break free from while here on earth. I hate this grief that clouds everything in my life. It's like a sick panic that won't leave. Like even now....Heart pounding, mind racing, "my child is dead...he's not here...I can't get to him...but I need to care for him....I'm supposed to protect him..." These thoughts overwhelm me on a daily basis and it just becomes exhausting. It's hard to stay focused on the here and now. But I HAVE to be here for David, I HAVE to be here for Ethan and I cannot let this grief consume me.

I know better days are ahead. God has blessed me with a new job and I'm so thankful for this. I really think the change is going to help. For now, I'm going to try to focus on this cute little boy...