Monday, February 20, 2012

counting the gifts...

Gratitude.  

That is what is on my mind and in my heart right now.  Yesterday was a bittersweet day.  More sweet than bitter I should say.  You see on February 19, 1985 I went in for a routine pregnancy check up and the doctor could not find the heartbeat of the baby I was carrying.  I was sent for an ultrasound to check on the baby's well being.  The technician said not a word about the results... I was told to come back for the doctor to interpret them for me.  Tom and I went to the movies, ate some lunch, and went back to the doctor's office.  When we finally sat down with the doctor we were given the news that our baby was no longer alive.  

We were devastated. 

 It was truly one of the worst days of my life.  I thought I would never be happy again. Never.  The doctor went on to explain that he wanted me to go into labor on my own if possible.  And he also shared that not only had my baby died that day...but his best friend died as well.  He left to attend the funeral and be with his friend's family in a neighboring state for a few days.  I waited from the 19th to the 22nd to see if I would go into labor on my own.  When he returned, on the 22nd, I went back in to his office and he scheduled an appointment at the hospital to induce labor.

Our first child and only daughter was stillborn that night.

It amazes me that we have two sons.  I have been pregnant five times.  Two stillbirths just ten months apart in 1985...then Nathan was born in 1987.  Two years later I had a miscarriage...and nine months after that miscarriage Spencer was born in 1990.  So here we are twenty-seven years after Patricia Kaye was stillborn.  I am so grateful to be able to say that I am the mother of two living children.

Two incredible young men, Nathan, 24, and Spencer, 21, are alive and well.  
2006 Family photo in Krasnodar, Russia

2008 Spencer and Nathan in Dana Point, California,USA

2010 Spencer and I in Istanbul, Turkey

2011 Nathan's visit to Belize

Nathan and Spencer are two of the greatest gifts in my life.  I am so fortunate, so blessed, and so grateful to God for bringing them into being.  My heart is glad.  I am overwhelmed with joy as I realize how far we have come as a family.  Nathan's birth brought us hope and restored our faith.  Spencer's birth was cause for rejoicing and celebration...as our family was now made complete.

So this week I may have times of sadness as I remember and reflect on the days spent waiting for Patricia's stillbirth to occur.  But, I also know that I will spend these next few days rejoicing and giving thanks for the sons that filled our hearts and our home with love and laughter.  

    521.  the gift of Nathan.
    522.  the gift of Spencer.  
    523.  the precious gift of life.
    524.  the beautiful gift of family. 
    525.  the restoration of joy.                                                                                                      
 joining in with the gratitude community:

32 comments:

  1. Will say a prayer for you today Alida in regards to the sadness that dwells within your heart and I know you know that those babies are in the arms of our Heavenly Father ...safe keeping .....Hugs from a sister in Arkansas USA

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    1. Thank you, Rhonda. I truly appreciate your prayers and the hugs!

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  2. Sending warm wishes your way that the sadness you may still feel in your heart will be lessened by the the joy of knowing your babies are heaven and the comfort you feel from the ones here with you now. xoxo

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    1. Chandra, thank you for your warm wishes and your words of encouragement.

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  3. Sending love to you my friend.

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  4. oh wow Alida...this is so powerful...thanks for sharing this. thank goodness God continues to bless you with such a loving family indeed! Sending you positive thoughts!

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    1. I truly appreciate your encouraging words and the positive thoughts coming my way!

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  5. Thanks for this beautiful story. A close friend just had a miscarriage recently, and I remembered her as I read your story. What beautiful young men you have now.

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    1. Thank you. And I will be praying for your friend as she heals from her loss.

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  6. May God give you strength to endure those past pains and may he continue to bless your wonderful family.

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    1. Thank you for your prayer of blessing...I truly appreciate it!

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  7. Alida, thanks for this inspirational and heart-warming story. I have a feeling it will help many who are going through similar experiences!

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    1. Cher, it is my hope that it will offer encouragement to others who may be going through or have gone through something similar.

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  8. Alida, Thank you so much for sharing such a deeply personal story. You described those few days so eloquently and touchingly. Your daughter was clearly cherished. Motherhood is a joy, but most of us have experienced great loss as well, in one form or another. How wonderful that you have your two handsome and healthy sons. Your post was a sobering reminder to treasure the gifts God has given us and never take them for granted. Thank you.

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    1. Galen, that was my take away from this experience as well...to cherish the gifts God gives us and not take them for granted. Thank you for your kind words.

      blessings!

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  9. This was similar to my experience with 2 still births too. I know it adds a new depth and compassion to your life to go through that, I can see it in your life too. I so appreciate you sharing it. Blessing out of pain...and a grateful heart instead of bitterness. I love you Alida!

    Christie

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    1. And I see that depth of compassion in your life as well, Christie!

      I love you too, girlfriend!

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  10. Patricia means Of noble descent..
    Isn't that lovely.
    I lost a son who would be almost 50yrs today..I called him Angelo which means angel.
    It does take a long time to get over, and we never forget..but thank God for the other living children, and I know you do.
    Time passes and I pray one day you will be blessed with a granddaughter. xx

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    1. Crystal Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. And you know...I am looking forward to granddaughters some day.

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  11. Alida, I have never experienced what you have, but I've heard my mom talk of her babies that were stillborn and I sensed her pain of loss. What a treasure you have in your two sons, Spencer and Nathan, and how I always love to read your list of counted gifts!

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    1. Sherrey, I have met women older than me who were not given the chance to grieve back when it happened. It is good to hear that your mother actually talked about it. Talking about it has been helpful to me.

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  12. Wow... I am rendered speechless... your pictures are beautiful, such handsome sons! And your family is amazing! I can't imagine going through all the things you have... your strength and faith is amazing and it gives me hope to continue through my fertility issues. Thanks for sharing Alida!

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  13. You have such a way with words. As a new mother I can only begin to imagine the depth of the pain you must have felt with your stillborn babies. Thank God you have two special blessings in your sons! Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  14. I understand the pain and loss of a child before birth - I've been there, too. A child who didn't live to join the family and numerous miscarriages. God blessed us with two precious now-grown children who have given us the joy of seven - soon eight - grandchildren. But the sadness on certain dates never goes away. Think of the joy of meeting the children we never knew when we get to Heaven!
    ~Adrienne~

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  15. OMG Alida, this story brought tears to my eyes. It also gave me hope, you see we suffered a miscarriage last November at 10weeks and 5 days and I have been feeling like my life (as a mother) was over and this gives me hope that maybe just maybe I will one day hold another baby. I can't even imagine what it would have been like if I carried the baby all the way to term just to lose it. You are truly amazing for sharing your story. Your boys are adorable. You are such a strong woman, thank you so much for sharing your story and God bless your little princess you will for sure meet again in heaven.

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  16. i have two in heaven also. i'm still waiting for God to finally bless us with living babies while we're on this world. but so much still has to be fixed like my marriage for instance. but i completely get you. and i'm so happy that you are happy with the blessings God gave you.

    stay blessed!

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  17. Hello
    I just found your blog as I have been googling Belize....found a sister in Christ and so have been reading your whole story backwards. :)
    I am so sorry to read of your losses...we also lost our first son this past year, and although our circumstances were of course different my heart ached for you as I read your previous post...I get that. God is so faithful and he DOES bring joy in the morning, but there is still the hole left. Thinking of you..thanks for writing. Darci

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  18. Oh thank you so much, for sharing this with me I so appreciate reading it!
    I know it will get better...right now it is hard. I have so many hurt feeling. I cry out to the lord daily to help me walk in forgiveness. I know I need to be thankful I have many healthy children, Jonathan's death has just sent me into a pit. I know you know the awful pain of holding your dead baby....it is so difficult. A million thank you for sharing, if have have written any thing else on this please direct me to it. I am so thankful for your encouragement!

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  19. I am visiting from Tesha's link up.Thank you for sharing this with us in blogland.I miscarried twins at 13 weks in 2001, and in 2008 my daughter was born and lived 17 minutes before going to Jesus arms.(((hugs)))
    God has blessed me with earthly and heavenly children.

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