Search Results for: miscarriage

Join the Conversation of Hope, Miscarriage Mom…

April 15th stopped being referred to as “Tax Day” for me a long time ago.  That date forever changed once my doctor assigned it to my second child as the much-anticipated due date.  In the heat of August 2010, ultrasound photos in-hand, I started to envision the child I carried in my tummy and the happy future that was sure to come with this surprise baby.  Just days after seeing my little one in the womb, I was forced to say an abrupt and heart-breaking good-bye.  Every hope and dream I had been carrying came to a crashing halt.  I’d never felt such a hurt in my heart.  I’d never been faced with such an agony that literally pulls at the pit of your being.  It was an experience that changed me, deeply.  My eyes lost their innocent sparkle that night.  My heart became tainted with worries I never knew I could carry.  Miscarriage can wreck a woman, friends.  I was wrecked that lonely weekend in late August – mind, body and spirit.  But, thankfully, that wasn’t the end of my story.  It was only the first chapter.  The healing that came in the months and years to follow is why I am who I am today, and why I can say with joy and boldness that my child is still very much a part of me, our family, and my life.

When I opened up about my experience on this blog, it also opened many doors to speak with close friends about their own.  During an impromptu play date with two of my close friends, who are also bloggers, we just started talking about our miscarriages over coffee cake.  The kids played and we chatted away…sharing our stories…our challenges…the surprise and disappointment we felt at the lack of resources available to moms like us.  It was then that we decided to change that, together.  This project has been a long-time coming, so I am thrilled to announce that we have finally released our e-book, “Blessings Through Raindrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom.” You can find it by clicking here.  Betsy Moore of BMooreHealthy, Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family, and I have set out to create a resource for other moms who have experienced loss through miscarriage.  Whether you are experiencing one now or had one many years ago, this book was created with you in mind.

blessings 3d

This book is extra special, because it has been written in the form of conversations. Picture the three of us sitting in front of a group of moms, sharing our stories, crying, hugging each other and finding ways to move forward side-by-side. We pray that this book helps other moms find peace through all the sadness and grief attached to miscarriage. And we’re not the only moms sharing our stories in this book.  Many other mothers have so graciously offered up their testimonies of loss and hope as well.  I found myself in awe of the strength of these warrior-mamas.  Each of our stories is so unique, but there are also many common threads that will forever knit our hearts together.  I am so full of joy to finally share this book with you. You can find it here:

miscarriage link

IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL FIND:

Totally Blindsided: Receiving the News

Finding a Lifeline: Longing for Support

The Warrior Within: Finding Strength in Fragile Moments

The Ripple Effect: Learning to Lean On and Love Through

Next Steps: Moving Forward in Hope and Health

Blessings through Raindrops: Finding Meaning and Choosing to Celebrate Life

From the Other Side: A Spouse’s Perspective

Additional Resources

Our Hope for You

A Shared Experience: Stories from Other Miscarriage Moms

And so much more…

At the end of each chapter, you will also find a question/questions or reflection point(s).  We thought it necessary to, not just talk at you, but, let you have your voice be heard as well – even if it’s only your own eyes that will ever read the responses.  We have found that both writing and talking about our loss has added to our healing, and sometimes, it’s been through the gentle leading of a friend or mentor during conversation that has prompted some of our most valuable revelations.  And, because we know that often times you just need to hold a book of this nature in your hands and write your thoughts all over its pages, we are eager to offer a paperback edition in the very near future.

blessings-3d2-700x700

If you have any questions about the book, or if you are having difficulty downloading it, feel free to send Betsy, Becky and I an e-mail to miscarriagebook@gmail.com, or contact me directly at kloverhouseblog@gmail.com. From the bottom of our hearts, we hope and pray that this book helps you find an anchor of peace while going through one of the most challenging times in your life.  

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. You are never, ever alone. Welcome to the fiercest, most accepting club we know; it’s an honor to walk this road with you.   

xo,

Kristi

FIND ADDITIONAL MISCARRIAGE-RELATED POSTS ON KLOVER HOUSE HERE:

I Think It’s Time

Celebrating our Heaven Baby

A Pregnancy Ritual and a Very Intimate Detail about EJ

I Chose Truth

Babies and Banana Bread

miscarriage

April 15th stopped being referred to as “Tax Day” for me a long time ago.  That date forever changed once my doctor assigned it to my second child as the much-anticipated due date.  In the heat of August 2010, ultrasound photos in-hand, I started to envision the child I carried in my tummy and the happy future that was sure to come with this surprise baby.  Just days after seeing my little one in the womb, I was forced to say an abrupt and heart-breaking good-bye.  Every hope and dream I had been carrying came to a crashing halt.  I’d never felt such a hurt in my heart.  I’d never been faced with such an agony that literally pulls at the pit of your being.  It was an experience that changed me, deeply.  My eyes lost their innocent sparkle that night.  My heart became tainted with worries I never knew I could carry.  Miscarriage can wreck a woman, friends.  I was wrecked that lonely weekend in late August – mind, body and spirit.  But, thankfully, that wasn’t the end of my story.  It was only the first chapter.  The healing that came in the months and years to follow is why I am who I am today, and why I can say with joy and boldness that my child is still very much a part of me, our family, and my life.

When I opened up about my experience on this blog, it also opened many doors to speak with close friends about their own.  During an impromptu play date with two of my close friends, who are also bloggers, we just started talking about our miscarriages over coffee cake.  The kids played and we chatted away…sharing our stories…our challenges…the surprise and disappointment we felt at the lack of resources available to moms like us.  It was then that we decided to change that, together.  This project has been a long-time coming, so I am thrilled to announce that we have finally released our e-book, “Blessings Through Raindrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom.” You can find it by clicking here.  Betsy Moore of BMooreHealthy, Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family, and I have set out to create a resource for other moms who have experienced loss through miscarriage.  Whether you are experiencing one now or had one many years ago, this book was created with you in mind.

blessings 3d

This book is extra special, because it has been written in the form of conversations. Picture the three of us sitting in front of a group of moms, sharing our stories, crying, hugging each other and finding ways to move forward side-by-side. We pray that this book helps other moms find peace through all the sadness and grief attached to miscarriage. And we’re not the only moms sharing our stories in this book.  Many other mothers have so graciously offered up their testimonies of loss and hope as well.  I found myself in awe of the strength of these warrior-mamas.  Each of our stories is so unique, but there are also many common threads that will forever knit our hearts together.  I am so full of joy to finally share this book with you. You can find it here:

miscarriage link

IN THIS BOOK YOU WILL FIND:

Totally Blindsided: Receiving the News

Finding a Lifeline: Longing for Support

The Warrior Within: Finding Strength in Fragile Moments

The Ripple Effect: Learning to Lean On and Love Through

Next Steps: Moving Forward in Hope and Health

Blessings through Raindrops: Finding Meaning and Choosing to Celebrate Life

From the Other Side: A Spouse’s Perspective

Additional Resources

Our Hope for You

A Shared Experience: Stories from Other Miscarriage Moms

And so much more…

At the end of each chapter, you will also find a question/questions or reflection point(s).  We thought it necessary to, not just talk at you, but, let you have your voice be heard as well – even if it’s only your own eyes that will ever read the responses.  We have found that both writing and talking about our loss has added to our healing, and sometimes, it’s been through the gentle leading of a friend or mentor during conversation that has prompted some of our most valuable revelations.  And, because we know that often times you just need to hold a book of this nature in your hands and write your thoughts all over its pages, we are eager to offer a paperback edition in the very near future.

blessings-3d2-700x700

If you have any questions about the book, or if you are having difficulty downloading it, feel free to send Betsy, Becky and I an e-mail to miscarriagebook@gmail.com, or contact me directly at kloverhouseblog@gmail.com. From the bottom of our hearts, we hope and pray that this book helps you find an anchor of peace while going through one of the most challenging times in your life.  

Take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. You are never, ever alone. Welcome to the fiercest, most accepting club we know; it’s an honor to walk this road with you.   

xo,

Kristi

 

FIND ADDITIONAL MISCARRIAGE-RELATED POSTS ON KLOVER HOUSE HERE:

I Think It’s Time

Celebrating our Heaven Baby

A Pregnancy Ritual and a Very Intimate Detail about EJ

I Chose Truth

Babies and Banana Bread

 

Simply Noel: January 2 – I Am the Reset

Simply Noel:

January 2 — I Am the Reset

Have you ever wanted to hit a rest button in life? Maybe in your career… your marriage… your parenting style… your attitude?

I have. I’m in one of those periods right now in which I find myself longing for a reset, a reboot. You know when you shut your computer down and it gives you the option to “update and restart”? Well, it’s kind of like that. So many nights, I find myself crawling into bed, rehashing all of the spots in my day that were either so crummy that I wish I could have a do-over or so glorious that I wish I could have a repeat. Some moments lead me to a pivotal point of learning. I think about the way I responded to my daughter’s twelfth tantrum of the morning and think, “What can I do differently next time?” I wallow in guilt and regret and promise to learn from the cracks in the plan. Then, there are those times that catch my breath in a different way altogether. Those instances during which reality strikes like lightning, and you see how beautiful and wonderful your children are. You see how fast and fleeting the days are and you want to just hold the world steady long enough that time freezes and you can treasure their smallness. But you can’t, and the morning slips into another night, and tomorrow when you all wake up, they’re a little older and life keeps rolling in the same direction as yesterday…

Until it doesn’t.

Have you noticed that major resets in life tend to occur after major incidents? Maybe it’s the birth of a new baby, the taking of a new job, a relocation, a remarriage, a tragedy, a New Year’s Resolution, an epiphany…

I don’t know about you, I realize it’s January 2nd and goals are hot, but I want my reset to occur after an epiphany. Have you ever had an experience happen that really makes you appreciate life? I remember when my third babe tumbled down our stairs and was life-flighted to Children’s Hospital. It was if the world stood completely still. Even in the blurriness of fear, my focus had narrowed so acutely and my mind was totally set on my child and the wellbeing of her and her sisters. Nothing else mattered. Things were scrambling but I was also stuck in slow motion. Each second meant something.

The same thing occurred after my miscarriage years ago and following my husband’s sudden job-loss a decade ago. Yet, when the shock wears off, the trauma begins to heal, or the newness of a situation isn’t so new anymore, you slip back into the normalcy of life. Sometimes, it’s a new normal, but it becomes a “normal” all the same.

It’s the start of a new year. Who needs a new “normal”?

I need a new “normal.”

If I’m being honest, we stumbled through much of the past 365 days. We walked through the still unfamiliar territory of homeschooling, suffered a tremendous blow to our personal life, and lost a treasured family member. To say I don’t wake up wishing life looked differently most mornings would be a lie. But, each day is a new choice — to walk limping or to put on God’s Armor and tell my soul to rise and go in His strength, grace, and truth.

I am the reset. You are the reset. At any moment we can chose to be the new start we so desperately desire to see. It’s a battle, for sure, but it’s a winnable battle.

Some of us choose a word for the year, and that word becomes our war cry. Some of us place scripture and visual reminders around the house to snap us back to reality when our mindsets are less than rosy. Some of us practice daily gratitude as a way to focus on the good and the true that is so often missed, although right in front of us. Some of us stop and pray. Some of us sip coffee with a friend who breathes life into weary bones, igniting visions of a beautiful future. Some of us stop and grab the face of a loved one and just relish in the way their eyes sparkle when you say the words, “I love you.” Some of us do all of the above and then some — to reset.

There’s nothing magical about the calendar. God’s given you the gift of yesterday and today, and there’s a good chance tomorrow will be waiting for you, too. As January turns to February, don’t let the newness wear off. Any day of the year, any hour of the day, is a great time to reset if you need to.

xo,

Kristi

fruit

Klover House Christmas:

Today, I walked around my home and tried to figure out what I wanted each room to feel like over the next few months.

Im a minimalist when it comes to decor, and I often try to decorate once per season. That means, you’ll find more “winter” items than Christmas. You’ll probably be hard pressed to find Valentine’s decor, unless it’s a bouquet of fresh flowers and a bowl of chocolates. I try to decorate with purpose, meaning, and in such a way that requires minimal rearranging and dusting. Honest.

I know I’m not alone in that camp. This is a tricky time of year, because the festivities are coming to a close, as we’re on the ninth day of Christmas. Holiday decor is being tucked away for another year, but our homes are still begging for warmth and coziness as these barren months await us.

My challenge to you is to take a house-walk, as well. Think about how you want its inhabitants to feel in each space. Work with what you already have and create a clean, cozy, warm and welcoming home for the people you love. It doesn’t need to be fancy. As for me, I want my home to say to my family: “You are safe. You are loved. You are meant to be here. All this is cultivated with you in mind.”

January 1    ::  Back to Top   ::   January 3

When Writer’s Block Reveals a Stumbling Block…

An Easy Confession

Recently, my neighbor had joined us by the fire in our backyard.

(I love my neighbors. I feel that they genuinely like me and our family. Our street is this little slice of neighbor-heaven. It’s a judge-free, watch each other’s kids and bake each other keto-friendly strawberry pies kind of place. I’m one blessed girl. So, now that you have the backstory, you’ll understand why I can so freely share my heart with them. )

As we sat by the fire, our kids running around in the adjacent yards, torturing lightning bugs (aka fireflies), she asked if I was still writing, mentioning that she hadn’t seen anything shared on Facebook lately. Without hesitation, I admitted, “Not really. There are people in our town that don’t like me, and, honestly, I don’t want them reading it.”

The confession came so easily, and I can tell you from my heart of hearts that I was being 100% truthful in that moment.

In the Beginning

I realized eight years ago when I started this blog (formerly called “Ava & Isla”) that my posts wouldn’t always be liked, or praised, or even read. I understood that strangers from all across the globe would have instant access to the inner workings of our home, my life, and my brain. I accepted my destiny as a “writer”, because it was a passion I knew would never subside. I love writing. Oddly, I was never a diary-keeper, and I rarely wrote letters. Even as a Christian in my teens, it pained me to journal my thoughts to the Lord. But, the words were always in my heart, churning around in my soul, and when blogging became a known “thing” to me, I couldn’t imagine my life without this outlet. I still can’t. It’s a part of me. It’s become a huge part of my story.

I’ve said it before, when I started out, my intended audience was small – God and my four daughters. I wrote frequently for EJ, too, because in some way, I feel like my words here are like prayers at times, and by typing them out, I often imagine them traveling to Heaven in whispers. If it’s out here – really out here – then surely, EJ feels it and knows me better for it.

I’ll never forget the first time a woman reached out to me via email, thanking me for a post I had written. I couldn’t wait to show my husband. I swelled with such thankfulness. Each of her words was worth a thousand hugs from Jesus Himself to me. I knew then that if I could reach just one person with my transparency here, it was worth the late nights, the vulnerability, the risks… I wrote about my kids, my family and home, my illness, pregnancies, marriage, faith, and miscarriage with very little restraint. I held myself to a few very simple, yet vital, standards: honor my husband and kids with my words, respect their privacy as well as my own, remain honest and real, and write as if each post would be handed to Jesus in person for review and approval.

I’m sure I’ve failed along the way, but I have tried to cling to those standards. I am so proud of this space and the good it has done in my life. I’m so thankful for the people that take time from their already busy days to read what I write. I’m so humbled that I have even the slightest following. And I look forward to the future with excitement, because I know that this place is still just an early chapter in the bigger story I’m written into.

Shutting Down and Shutting Out

All that to say…I haven’t been here consistently for a long time by choice. I want to be here, but I took out a lock and key of sorts last year and must have subconsciously made the decision to shut everyone out.

You may know from some past posts that I have struggled with relationships. I am the type of friend who finds a select few people that I want to form sisterlike connections with and give it 100%. For the most part, I consider myself liked and respected, but in every bushel, you’ll inevitably get a bad apple or two. I’ve had my share of bad apples, and they’ve deeply affected my writing.

I don’t know about you, but if someone literally lives on social media but can’t hit the “Like” button when it’s a sweet pic of your kiddo or an updated profile pic, they should probably refrain from cyber-stalking, -bullying, gossiping, and trolling. and they most definitely are not a friend.

I always remained cautious of the strangers on the internet, but sadly, it’s been people within my community and even close circles at times that have been behind every memory of heartache associated with this blog. Texts suggesting that I dishonored my child by revealing that one is officially a professional fit-thrower and has caused me to stretch and grow every last parenting muscle in my being… calls late at night from people who have no active role in my life advising I take down posts… fellow Christian sisters spreading gossip like poison, as if my personal life was their tabloid… people who don’t give us the time of day contacting my husband at work to check on the state of our marriage… combative private messages, so no one can publicly see the daggers thrown… sitting silently in a room with people I wrote posts for, smiling as they sang the praises of the writers in the room, calling them by name, until they reached my chair…

These are the extremely watered-down realities that we’ve dealt with over the years, and it’s been a real struggle to continue to click that “New Post” button as time has trickled on. The more and more I deal with, the further and further my desire to write floats away from me.

When Writer’s Block Reveals a Stumbling Block

As I sat by the fire and admitted that to my neighbor, my friend, I realized the power that I had given to those few people and the power I had given to my pride. My writer’s block has been an act of defiance. It’s been as though I walked up to them and spilled my ink at their feet, saying, “No more. You no longer have access to my life, my heart, my family. No longer will I share with you the treasures the Lord is teaching me. You can’t have access to my dreams and hopes. You can’t even have access to recipes, for the love. I’m not giving you anything anymore, because you can’t be trusted with it and you certainly don’t value it.”

And, as He always does, Holy Spirit revealed the pride in that hurt and ugliness. If this blog truly is for Him and my girls, then why should it matter what they think of me and what I have to say?

I read a Bill Johnson quote today on a friend’s Insta Story, and it really hit home.

Your future is on the other side of a battle, your destiny is on the other side of the conflict and the only way to win the conflict is by using what God has said over your life.

Amen.

I know what He has said over my life, and it’s so good. It’s better than I deserve, tenfold. Nonetheless, He said it, and I believe it.

Jeremiah 29:11 is not a lie… He does have good plans for us. He plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. I’ve heard what He wants to do with little ole’ me, and, even though I don’t see how, I say, “Yes.”

Fresh Start and New Ink

My husband came to me about a month ago and made me a promise. He said that he believes in me. He sees what I am capable of in Christ, and he made the choice to get behind me as a writer and entrepreneur. One of my greatest weaknesses is understanding the technical stuff. (That’s his jam as a former IT Project Manager and now Project Manager in the marketing department of a major global company.) He’s so intelligent and just wired to understand all of the things that confuse the Nutella out of me. He has been researching blog terms, ebook ins and outs, best practices, etc. and has asked on multiple occasions why I haven’t invested any time into the goals set before us. I knew it wasn’t laziness or disinterest, but the motivation was missing. It was the crippling thorn of pride in my side. Every time I’d set out to write, I’d see those faces like scar tissue that had formed over my heart. Their faces overshadowed the faces of those four little girls I love and for whom I write.

Well, no more.

I’m back. I’m writing for them again. I’m writing for my husband, who is committed to helping me. I’m writing for my dad, who takes every opportunity to tell me how happy it makes him to read my posts. I’m writing for my neighbors, who enjoy getting to know this crazy homeschooling mom of four blondies (who often run shamelessly pantsless through the backyard). I’m writing for that exhausted mother of a strong-willed child who thinks that she’s the only one negotiating through multiple tantrums a day. I’m writing for that wife who wants to prepare a healthy meal and learn how to meal plan, so dinner isn’t a daunting task. I’m writing for the many who suffered miscarriages and need a woman who has walked through the muck and come out with the silver lining called hope. I’m writing for myself, because it’s a gift and an honor to be able to share so freely here. I’m writing for my God, because I believe it’s part of the story He’s planned for me, and to give it up would be such a poor choice on my part.

I’m writing for you, because you are here, and I no longer care as to why you are here. You may be here by accident. You may be here by choice. You may be my friend. You may be my foe. It doesn’t matter. You’re here, and I’ve promised to tell you the truth. I’ve chosen to give you the real-deal. And in return, you gave me a few minutes of your precious time, so thank you for that. I’m staring this conflict right in this face, and I’m so glad you’ll be there when I’m standing on the other side of the battle, victorious and able to write again.

writer

Be blessed.

xo,

Kristi

Building A Heaven Family Here: Danielle’s Story

Far too often, a woman miscarries a child and carries the pain alone. The world keeps spinning, our schedules keep moving, lives are never paused…except for hers. She’s different now. Changed without permission. No advance notice, just a sudden curve in the road that jerks her onto a terrain she never wished to travel. And if she never tells a soul (other than maybe her significant other and doctor), she may never experience the freedom that comes by sharing her story. She may never see her story bring healing to the next woman walking in those shoes… This is why we share, why we talk about our experiences, and why I am so eager to share other women’s testimonies when they are offered up.

I picture our testimonies like the washing of another’s feet. We take our pain, our loss, our grief, our uncertainties, and sadness, and we pour it over the next woman’s soul. But once you pour it out, something beautiful happens… The Lord takes that pain and hurt and doubt and mourning and before it leaves the basin, it has been transformed by the Holy Spirit into gladness…joy…beauty…hope…peace…

In our book, “Blessings through Teardrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom”, we say that you’ve joined a club of sorts when you lose a child. This club is not popular by any means – no one wants to be in it, but what you will find, if you find yourself here, is that you are loved. You are welcomed with open arms and offered many shoulders on which to cry. You are given doses of hope by the bucketful, and maybe the most important thing you’ll find in this club is validation of your motherhood.

Your motherhood was not lost with your baby – it was born. Your child is as alive as you and I, if not more so. Safe in the arms of Jesus, in a world we do not yet know and understand, your child awaits your sweet arrival. We call you “Mother” here. And beyond that, we have seen time and time again the power and freedom and JOY that comes with taking that validation and channeling it back to your baby by validating their eternal existence as your son/daughter.

One way that we have done that in our family, and I have witnessed time and time again in other families, is we give that sweet child a name. Our EJ is spoken of often in our home, and we have such peace with our story, because EJ is very much a part of it. It’s amazing how we know. We know deep in our mother-hearts that our children are very much alive, and we call them by name. In doing so, we validate their place in our families, and we honor them in our everyday lives.

The story I am blessed to share with you is the story of Danielle. Today, June 29th, was the due date of her precious child. She is a mother of two such precious ones, and she asked that I share her story of loss, hope, and revelation during a time of great grieving. I pray that you will read her story and be encouraged. I pray that you take her words and allow them to offer you comfort in your own time of loss, and we both pray that if you are in this club with us that you would consider what she has to say in regards to your own story. It’s never too late to validate your baby’s life. It’s never too late to honor them with a name.

Danielle’s Story

On November 8th, 2016, everyone in the U.S. was up in arms waiting for our presidential election results. I was at home with my husband, Brad. Our nation voted in a new president that day, but mine and Brad’s world would be affected in an unforeseeable way. That morning, our second pregnancy ended. The second in 9 months. The second in our first year of marriage. I went to the bathroom, and realized soon after that I miscarried. The emotions swept over me. I went to Brad’s home office and told him through tears that I believed I had just miscarried again. I have never witnessed Brad cry, but we just held each other and wept. Bawled, really. Deep sobs of sadness and pain. Why did this happen again?

Through the coming months, I would experience grief. Waves of emotions. Sometimes anger, sometimes tears. Usually uncontrolled. There were other things going on in life during this time that may have exacerbated these feelings. But, mostly it was just this feeling of deep loss. Loss of life, loss of dreams, fear, confusion, and a feeling that everything was out of control surrounded me.

When God Gives a Name…

However, even during this extremely emotional time, I knew God was in control. I never felt mad at God. I certainly didn’t understand why this happened or what the future held, but I knew God was still there, even if I didn’t feel Him. And since we had already experienced one miscarriage, we knew it was vital to ask God to reveal our baby’s sex so we could name him or her. A few months after our first miscarriage, I was praying in my head one night. I prayed for peace and understanding. I was saying a sentence about our baby, and the name Josiah just flowed out of my mind into the sentence. It was then and there, that I knew our baby was a boy. That moment also gave us a name. A name I had never even considered or thought about. I knew it was the Holy Spirit giving us peace of mind and clarity over a tough situation.

In February, a few months after our second miscarriage, while continuing to pray about this same question of whether our baby was a boy or a girl, a friend sent me a blog post about a woman who had a miscarriage. This blog was about how the mother named her baby Rose and all the details of how miscarriage affected their lives. It prompted me to have a conversation with Brad. So, I asked him if he had prayed about the sex of our baby and whether he thought the baby was a boy or a girl. He said he believed it was a girl, but couldn’t remember why he had that thought. It was ok that he didn’t remember why he felt that way, because I also felt strongly that it was a girl. Even with only two choices, it was a big deal that we both had opinions at all, let alone that these opinions were the same. I then told him that I had a name I felt compelled to name our little girl who never made it past seven weeks. This name made me cry every time I thought of it in the weeks prior to this conversation with Brad. To me, that was a verification from God that it was the right choice. I told Brad that I wanted to name our baby Charlotte. For me, this name is an important name in our family, as it honors my grandmother.

However, as soon as I said this, Brad was in awe. He recalled that his parents, before he was born, almost adopted a young girl named Charlotte. To further confirm our choice, Brad’s mom, Kathy, was adopted as a baby; however, her birth name was Charlotte! There was such a connection for this name choice. Many times in the past months I didn’t see or feel God working in this extremely painful situation; yet here He was working out the details of our baby. Who she was. What she would be named. The fact that her father and I both knew she was a sweet baby girl. I couldn’t have felt a stronger reminder of God’s love than at that time.

Building a Heaven Family Here…

When you don’t feel the love, or don’t see the path you’re to take, or can’t understand the journey you’ve been on, God is still working out the smallest details to give you peace of mind, allowing you to rest, to heal, and to love your unborn baby in a deeper way. Right now, Charlotte is back with Jesus. We don’t believe she’s an angel looking down on us but we know she’s not alone. Her brother Josiah is with her. There are countless relatives with her. And, as of this June, her great Aunt Joyce is in Heaven with her. My Aunt Joyce sang to so many babies here on earth, because, man oh man, she really loved babies. I am comforted thinking that she is in Heaven singing lullabies to our sweet babies. I have peace knowing they are all so loved. That these babies only knew love. That they never knew fear or evil. It’s comforting to know that Brad and I will see them again, in redeemed and whole bodies, in Heaven one day when God calls us home.

Through it all, I am thankful. I am still grieving our loved ones, but I can have peace and be thankful. God freely gives the gift of salvation that allows us to know Him and come home to Him after this earthly life is over. And without God working on our behalf behind the scenes, we wouldn’t know this peace or be able to have the courage to share our story.

IMG_0609

A beautiful necklace my friend, Cessily, gave me for Mother’s Day this year.

Sing and dance with Jesus, our beautiful loved ones.

Josiah             3-30-2016 (due around November 29, 2016)

Charlotte       11-8-2016 (due around June 29, 2017)

Joyce Miller   6-2-2017

 

 

 

My World in April

April showers bring…

april

While the world around me is buzzing, obsessing over Spring, Easter, taxes, sunshine, rain showers… April, for me, brings one thing to my mind, and one thing only… EJ.

I’m probably the only person on the planet thinking about that baby for an entire month straight, but I can’t help it. You just say the word, “April”, and there it is… “EJ’s day”. I can’t escape it, and I wouldn’t want to even if I could. I am EJ’s mother, and it is only right for a mother to love, celebrate, and long for a child that is no longer with her.

Sometimes the wondering still kills me. And then, I quickly come back to the awareness that I have four beautiful children, three of whom may have never existed had it not been for our loss. And my heart is able to rest in that gratitude.

EJ turns six this year, as does our precious Isla. She is a force. The world is blessed to have her in it. She’s like a jewel that the Lord placed in the crown of the earth. She shines. She is still the one that brings EJ up the most. A part of my mother-heart believes that somewhere deep inside that soul of her’s, she is connected to EJ in spirit – like a twin of sorts.

She planned our celebration this year – “Something fun,” she said, “like Chuck-E-Cheese.” She knows what six year olds like.

I guess this post doesn’t have much of a point, but more of a confession. A mother, even through miscarriage, never stops remembering, never stops thinking, never stops caring, never stops loving… And, especially in April, I go to bed hoping that I’ll see that precious one in my dreams. Just a peek, Jesus. Please.

 

If you or someone you know has lost a child to miscarriage, please consider checking out a book written from our hearts…

miscarriage

Blessings through Raindrops: Conversations of Hope for the Miscarriage Mom

We are currently working on a print version and each chapter concludes with an intimate opportunity to journal and release the words you may have been holding tucked into your soul for long enough…

You’re in my prayers tonight, friend.

xo,

Kristi

 

Alive Again: An Honest Look at Healthy

Here comes Big Mama!

Big. Mama.

That’s the honest introduction I received from my five-year-old as I entered the pool.  I smiled, trying not to reveal that beneath my skin, my soul was crushed, mortified.  Big. Mama.  Not Pretty Mama, or Sweet Mama, or even just Mama.  Big Mama.

I know, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?  She’s five.  She might be talking about your height or that you are just a “big” person in her little eyes that view the world much larger than it is.”  And you may be right, but what you haven’t heard over the past five months are the other comments.  The “when is the next baby coming out of your belly, Mommy?”  “Is there a brother in there?”  “Why is your belly so big, Mom?”  “I think you need to exercise.”

Thank you, Sesame Street and preschool for teaching my daughter all about physical health, because what she is retaining, she is kindly sharing with her big-bellied-mama.

The four-year-old taps on my stomach incessantly like it’s homebase or a bass drum.  I don’t know which, but neither feels pleasant.  Their small hands hurt my tender tissues, and their innocent words hurt my bruised ego.

I know, child.  I know your mama is big.  Your mama doesn’t want to be.  

But you can’t tell your growing daughters that.  I mean you can talk about health and self-control and dedication to a positive lifestyle, but you can’t express what you are really struggling with.

I feel fat, honey.  I don’t know how your dad is attracted to this hot mess.  I feel strangers’ eyes on my stomach.  I can’t button my pants and it ticks me off.  

You can’t really say those things when you’re raising four beautiful, healthy, innocent daughters who haven’t been tainted by a negative self-image.  I will never introduce them to self-loathing.  I will fight that fight to the end.  

I got on the scale the next morning.  We have one of those fancy-schmancy ones… And it gave me an honest look at myself and my health.  I had gained just over six pounds in two weeks and was teetering back into my pregnancy weight high.  Yep, I was weighing as much as I did when I had a human inside of me (and all that comes with it)!

Again, you may be struggling with weight too and look at me thinking, “She has no idea what it really looks or feels like to be heavy. (smh)”  You may be right, but I am heavy for me, and I am trying my very best to raise four daughters in a home that aims for well-being, not a number on a scale, so, while I know that number doesn’t define me, I also know that the way I feel isn’t healthy.  I feel the sluggishness in my muscles…  I feel the heaviness in my legs when I walk…  I feel and see the extra rolls that I am trying to hide under my shirts…  It doesn’t feel good, and I refuse to settle for less than my best.  (And I refuse to buy a new wardrobe!)  If my best was this at just a month or two postpartum, then fine, but Miriam is six months old now, and I know that I can do better.  Truthfully, up until this point, I haven’t been doing anything at all.

I had let diastasis recti get into my head.  It put a fear in me.  “Don’t do that, you may make things worse.”  But after seeing that disheartening number on the scale that morning, I knew I had to do something, because not doing anything is what has made things feel worse.

The other night, I waited until the kids were in bed and sleeping.  I changed my clothes and donned my running shoes, which hadn’t even been worn since I mowed the lawn for my hubby a month ago!  I left our quiet house and started a brisk walk beneath a peaceful, pastel sky.  There wasn’t a whole lot of running, and I honestly felt like I was on the verge of shin-splints about ten steps in, but as I completed my first lap around our neighborhood (three makes a mile), cresting a small hill, I was even with the horizon and I felt it.

Alive.

I felt alive again.

All of this time, I have been staying indoors feeling sluggish and worthless and anxious…  This girl that used to ask for and receive gym memberships for her birthday.  I had tried an intense workout video at home during my second pregnancy and miscarried the following day, and it scarred me.  I never touched another form of exercise since.  I’m recognizing these unhealthy choices now.  I’m recognizing not just the physical issues, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual ones too.  I took that first lap and felt free for the first time in a long time.  The smell of fresh air, the healthy burn in the quads I thought were long gone…  It felt so good to feel again, to catch my breath again, to believe in myself again.

I will succeed, not because I need to, but because I want to.  I want to feel that way every day for the rest of my life.  I will be that little bitty (God-willing) still walking those laps around the flower bed when my hair is white, because it’s worth it.

I felt my spirit having a chance to connect with God.  I was able to pray for my neighbors as I ran past unfamiliar porches.  I added about sixteen projects to my “Honey-Do” list, because some of those folks have killer landscaping!  😉  This is what I was longing for, and I didn’t even realize it.

I left my cell phone on the bed and the music with it.  I kept glancing at my new “live hands free” bracelet from Rachel Macy Stafford, the wise and amazing Hands Free Mama, and I kept thinking, Yes!  This is living.  This is what it’s all about – getting back to life…to my health…the outside world…the sound of trees in the wind and birds and rocks crunching beneath my feet…  This is living…being my best self, so I can be the best wife and mother for them.  This is what I’ve been missing over the past five years…

live hands free

 

I went for my second run/jog/walk yesterday evening.  I have a long way to go in order to jog that mile without walking breaks, but I’m confident that I’ll get there.  I drove my girls around “Mommy’s exercise path” yesterday afternoon, and we talked about being healthy and working our bodies, so they are strong and useful.  My oldest shouted from behind, “Exercise is good, Mama.  I think your belly is getting smaller!”  Her words didn’t sting this time.  Even if my belly hadn’t changed a bit in three days, my heart has, and my mind has.  I am becoming a better version of me for me and for them.  I’m proud to be their “Big Mama”, and I’m proud that they will get to witness my healthy, prayerful, and patient transformation for themselves.

And so why am I sharing this with you?  Because I know I’m not alone.  I’m not alone in desiring change.  I’m not alone in diastasis recti.  I’m not alone in miscarriage.  I’m not alone in marital issues.  I’m not alone in low self-esteem.  I’m not alone in motherhood.  I’m not alone in fear.  I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed.  I know I’m not alone in eating well, yet never seeing the scale move.  I’m not alone in feeling alone!  I’m not alone.  Neither are you.  I’m here.  I’m struggling, but I’ve decided to step into the ring and fight back.  I’m done with the pity parties.  I’m ready to be accountable to my community of sisters here and see where this new path leads.  Let’s take our lives back, friends.  Are you on this life-changing journey with me?

xoxo

Follow my journey on IG @kristi_kloverhouse.  See you there, friend!

alive again

Standard disclaimer: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe in wholeheartedly.

5 things i’ve learned from our gender reveal party

yesterday, we found out the sex of our 5th baby. (we have three amazing daughters and one baby in heaven due to a miscarriage in 2010.) knowing that this would *probably* (hubs would say *absolutely*) be our last time experiencing the thrill of finding out if the little person fluttering around inside is male or female, i convinced him to let me host a little get-together. we kept it simple – parents and siblings (along with our nieces and nephews).

we found out the way that we always have. i purchased two scrapbooking stickers from michael’s. one read: “baby girl”, the other “baby boy”. we asked the ultrasound technician to place the correct sticker in an envelope that i had prepared ahead of time. i always write the date on the envelope along with the words, “baby d number _ is a…”, and then, i put the sticker in their baby book later on. after the appointment, we sit together in the car and open it in private. i love that we created a tradition for ourselves and stuck to it.

as far as the party and how to reveal, i had seen so many great ideas via facebook announcements and pinterest. my youngest brother used the balloons-coming-out-of-a-box technique. my other brother just revealed that they are having a girl using the hidden pink icing in a cupcake idea, and my sister-in-law used the confetti in the popped balloons technique to reveal that they were having a boy. i was stumped. 

one of my sisters-law-in found the silly string reveal on pinterest and i was sold. (you buy either pink or blue silly string, and cover the outside somehow. i used spray paint to cover the cans, and we just left the colored caps in the garage. then you spray whomever with the spray. we chose to squirt our kiddos. God bless them. sweet, tolerant, forgiving babies.)

all of that said, here are five things that i have learned through our ‘gender reveal’:

1) they are fun! seriously, it was a blast. to see our parents and siblings standing all together waiting for the news. that was special. i regret having never done it before. it will be remembered forever.

2) along those lines, i tried to remember how we told our family members after previous ultrasounds, and you know what? i can’t remember! terrible, right?! when we were told that our first was a girl, we took a little girl’s outfit and a little boy’s outfit over to my in-laws’ and had them pick which they thought, and then we held up the right choice. i remember that experience well, b/c it was a sort of mini reveal gathering, but for all of the other children, i think we just called or texted right away. can you say “boring”?! yep.  i’m so glad that we chose to have one!

3) the third thing that i figured out via the big reveal…i wish i was on the receiving side of the surprise! waiting…anticipating what color was about to shoot out of those little cans… so exciting! i hope everyone enjoyed it as much as i imagine i would have, had i been in their shoes.

4) even if you or your spouse thinks that they are “silly” or “a waste of time/money”, go for it. i know you’ll be glad that you did. we had ours following dinner. i made cupcakes as a snack and had a big pitcher of sweet tea out. everyone just helped themselves. we had our reveal in the yard and then visited for a little while afterwards. it was simple, inexpensive, and most importantly, special. there are so few times in life in which we are granted the opportunity to make a lasting memory with our loved ones – weddings, family vacations, graduations, birthdays…why not carve out a little time to celebrate something as wonderful as that newest member of the family? i mean, other than a baby shower (and most people only get one for their first child), not much happens in the form of an official celebration during the pregnancy. obviously this only applies if you chose to find out the gender (and i actually didn’t want to this time, but hubby wins. always.), but if you do find out, i say go for it! have a little party!

5) and finally, the last thing that was impressed upon me now that i’ve had a reveal party…if your children are involved, aka going to be used as props, haha, make sure to do a few things first. remind them what it is that you’re actually doing. a three-year-old isn’t going to remember that the party is to find out if they are expecting a brother or a sister, or that pink means girl, blue means boy, and they certainly won’t ‘get it’ when you zip them in the forehead with a high-powered stream of foam without a warning reminder as to what is about to happen to them. i’m sure that between the excitement of the crowd and the crazy snakelike objects flying at their eyeballs, they were thinking, “run for your life!” well, ava actually did run.  i think that isla was stunned, and eden broke out in a full panic-cry. mission accomplished, mom and dad. j/k! that aspect was a total mom-fail! in our haste to start the fun, we completely forgot to give the girls a refresher. nope. it was all, “ready, aim, FIRE!” poor things. oh well. what’s done, is done. i’m pretty sure that they forgive us, and now that they know what ‘silly string’ is, they are fans. (ps. the dollar store has multiple colors, and they are of course just $1. a steal compared to target’s can going for $3.50.)

so without further ado…here’s the link to our facebook page where you can find the video. i hope that inspires you to try a reveal of your own! (and i hope you don’t think we are cruel! haha we just got a wee bit excited…)

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a pregnancy ritual and a very intimate detail about ej

hello, friends. you’re probably all asleep as i write this, but i’ve got something on my heart tonight. i just finished my nightly cup of hot tea. it’s a pregnancy ritual that started during my first pregnancy (ava), and is still going strong today. not sure why it’s only during pregnancy, and on the hot, humid, summer nights to boot, but it is. a cup of hot black tea with one tsp. of sugar and a splash of whole milk. my grandma has made us tea that way since i was little, and it is by far my favorite way to drink it. i take my prenatal vitamin with it, brush my teeth and hit the hay. except for tonight, that is – i’m writing this first. and i’ve got about 30 minutes before the vitamin-induced nausea kicks in.

hubby rented ‘heaven is for real’ tonight. i have been wanting to read the book ever since it came out. i don’t know why i haven’t yet. maybe every time i think of it money’s tight or something, but i am going to make a point of buying it now.

i never questioned or doubted this little boy’s story from day one. i believe 100% that heaven is in fact real, so i embraced the movie with my whole, open heart. i didn’t watch it for some cinematic wow.  i watched it with the faith of a child, longing to catch a glimpse of Heaven.  to imagine angels singing, the beauty of every sight, the possibility of seeing Jesus as He really is. breath-taking. so many moments left me in tears – not necessarily sad ones either. i would describe them as being similar to tears of feeling overwhelmed. like when you bring your new baby home, and emotion just hits you, and you can’t do anything but cry…those kind of tears.

the part that caught my heart and attention the most, however, was the scene in which he tells his mom about his heaven-sister (seen in part in the trailer below). i.broke. bawled like a baby. wept. my husband looked over at me, like he often does during intense or moving scenes, and he knew what to expect. my face buried in my hands, eyelids clenched so hard, silent sobs and gross sniffles. all i could say between breaths was ‘don’t look at me!’, but a moment later, as i explained myself to him, i realized that i was explaining something to myself at the same time.

‘i’m not crying b/c i am sad. i am crying b/c it is so awesome.’

awesome.
‘extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.’

awesome.

God, you are awesome.
the fact that our ej is in Heaven with you, growing, thriving, constantly and eternally surrounded by joy, peace, beauty, angels, love…everything wonderful…that is awesome. that throws me to my knees inside. how incredible is the God we have?!

i don’t want to give the entire scene away, but i have to include this, b/c it is so powerful and why i am writing this post. the mother asks her son for his heaven-sister’s name, and he tells her something along the lines of, ‘she doesn’t have one. you never gave one to her.’ she agrees, saying that he was right, and that they didn’t know if she was in fact a he or she.

i think that was the moment that broke me.  i know it was.  it brought back my dream of ej. do you remember? you can read that post afterwards {here}, if you’d like. i want to tell you something that i have only ever told my husband.

ej is a daughter, and i believe her name is jade.

when i first lost the baby, i told myself many things to ease the pain and silence the ‘whys’. one of the lies i tried to buy was, ‘the baby was a boy, and maybe my body just can’t carry boys.’ lie. in a sense, i was cursing myself, speaking limits over my God-given body and eliminating the thought of ever carrying a son. the brain can think pretty irrational things when your heart is being torn. now, 10 wks pregnant with our fifth child, i am confident that there is a great chance that this is a son, and that this pregnancy will be healthy, regardless.

one thing this lie caused me to do was doubt – doubt the reality of my dream and doubt God’s message to my aching heart. i asked my husband when we were out to dinner last year for ej’s birthday celebration what he really thought – do you think ej is a boy or a girl? he said with absolute certainty, ‘girl’. even in that moment, three years after God speaking to me so clearly in that dream, i waivered. i wanted to put my trust in Him completely; i wanted to believe that what happened was so real, but there was still that little sliver of doubt lingering in the back of my mind. after tonight, He reminded me so strongly of my dream and the tender way He introduced me to the truth. i am so grateful for that encounter, and i will not be afraid to put total trust in what He told me anymore. ej is a baby girl and her name is jade.

i am sure we will call her ej forever, b/c that’s what we have called her and what the girls are growing up calling her, but it means something to me to tell you about her fully and to confess my fear and doubt to you. i hope our story encourages you. i hope it grows your faith. most importantly, i hope it reminds you that you have a loving Father in Heaven who knows you, understands your heart’s cry, and longs to speak to you.

and if you have a heaven-baby – a miscarriage, a stillbirth, an abortion – name him/her. your baby is alive and well, waiting to see you someday, and you, as his/her mother/father, have been given the awesome gift of bestowing a name. thinking again about that movie, his sister had aged, she was probably at least six, i would guess, and she did not have a name. the Lord, in His power, did not assign her a name. that floored me. even in eternity, He seems to say,’ your mother and father will give you a name, and even if it takes several decades, it doesn’t matter, b/c i know you.’ He knows the name, but it’s our gift to give it. let that sink in.

and just as an aside, b/c i don’t take it lightly, if you have experienced abortion, i pray that Holy Spirit would visit you right now, that He would minister to your heart, heal your deepest wounds, and lift the heaviest of burdens from your heart. you are forgiven, and you are not any less loved or adored by Jesus. i pray that you would come to that understanding and that you would have peace. you cannot change the past, but you have the gift of the future. you have the gift of dreams each night and endless opportunities for God to visit you and speak gently to your spirit. you have the gift of meeting your little one in Heaven one day. live like it. think like it. smile b/c of it. the story doesn’t end here. we don’t end here, and they didn’t end there.

well, thanks for allowing me to share this intimate part of my story with you. be blessed. until next time…

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celebrating our heaven baby

i was standing in panera last week around 8:30pm. my mom was watching the girls for me while i ran to the store. i decided to stop and grab us some bagels for the next morning’s breakfast. as i was waiting for the employee to get my order together, i received a text from my hubby who was away on a business trip. it was so touching and so unexpected. he had in so many words told me to plan on going out for a celebratory dinner in honor of ‘ej’ and him/her awaiting us in heaven.  it took all of my will-power not to burst into tears right there in front of the girl behind the counter. i felt the water in my eyes and pushed a smile.

so tomorrow is the day (i am writing this on monday night), and he asked me a few times today if i had decided on a place yet.  no, i haven’t.  still haven’t and it’s nearly 10pm.  blame working on dresses all day…blame dancing with the stars…blame exhaustion…blame denial.

ej’s first ‘celebration day’, i don’t remember doing anything.  i pulled the baby box out, sat it on the bed and cried.  no one really even brought it up.  i don’t know if they forgot, didn’t want to ‘go there’ or what, but i’m glad that will have been the one and only anniversary that felt sad and lonely.  i hadn’t really talked about everything and wouldn’t blog about it until my ‘i think it’s time’ post that june.  the following year i definitely had finally arrived at some much-needed peace.  finally, in 2012, i felt that ava was old enough for me to talk with her about ej a little bit.  she didn’t understand who ej is, but she was happy to help me bake a cake and we celebrated together while daddy was at work.  last year, we did the same.  tomorrow…we will bake brownies or make rice krispie treats.  i’ll let the girls tell me which ej would prefer.  🙂

ava talks about ej quite frequently now.  she says things like, ‘i’m sad that ej is a heaven baby. i wish he was a house baby.’  sweet girl.  she tells me that ej is a boy and that Jesus carried him to heaven and someday Jesus will carry him back down to us.  i don’t try to add thoughts or words, or ‘correct’ her theology, b/c the truth is – i don’t know.  i’m sure Jesus did carry him home, it’s the carrying back down part i’m not too sure about, but it doesn’t matter.  what does matter is that we have a healthy child waiting for us in eternity, we have three gorgeous and healthy girls here on this earth to enjoy, and we have our faith that carries us through all of the ups and downs and gives us meaning to go along with the mess.

i’m not sure where we will end up tomorrow…where we will celebrate.  part of me is thinking of going somewhere intimate, while the other part of me wants to do something/go somewhere appropriate for celebrating a three-year-old.  i’ll probably have to consult the family on this one too.  no matter where we end up though, i know it will be perfect and special, b/c the memory made will be one of family, unity, faith, hope, peace, joy, thankfulness, togetherness, and trust in God, in His plan, and in our place in His hands.

if you would like to read more about my sweet ej and what that baby has done for me personally in my walk with God, or if you are looking for some encouragement or a voice to say, ‘it’s going to be okay’, please click here and you will be taken to a compilation of all of my miscarriage-related posts.  God bless you and keep you.

we love you, ej.  happy celebration day, my little love.

talking about you for the first time.

being thankful for isla rae.

i have four children, not three.

for the grieving mother.

 

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