Our Family

Our Family
Fall 2015 - These are my people

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweet Children...

We just took a little adventure to a feed and farm store to pick up straw for our garden to use as a weed preventative.  I wish I had thought of this much sooner in the season!  Sweet Erik has helped me with the weeding - he's a rockstar in my book.

On our way home from picking up the straw, I thought we should stop at the cemetery for a few minutes.

As we were standing by the grave, Buzz said, "did you ever see her again Mommy?"

I replied, "well, no honey, because she died.  Her body is no longer with us on earth, remember?"

He said, "Oh."

I could've gone on to remind him of how we will see her again in Heaven...that God gave me that lovely picture in a vision of seeing her playing and dancing...but I think he didn't need that explanation today.  And I just wasn't on the top of my game to remember to say it.  I wish I could see her again here.  I sure would love that, but it is not to be.

How we look forward to our reunion.

Meanwhile, there is gardening to be done, clothes to be washed on this lovely warm and bright sunny day, children to laugh and play with and an oven pancake to make for dinner in a few hours...

Thank you Lord, for this wonderful gift of life you have bestowed upon me...these beautiful children who are here...my special husband who is such a gem of a man...we are blessed beyond measure...may we remember that always, even in the midst of the grief journey.

**And thank you, all of you who responded and wrote such kind, encouraging words.  You blessed me so much with that.  And I so appreciate you and your prayers for our family.  Thank you.**

Below are some pictures of Erik with the kids on one of their recent sailing adventures.  Thanks to Grandpa for taking these!

I'm linking today with Tesha's Treasures!  Be sure to check out Tesha's blog and her encouraging words.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Someone named "anonymous" wrote something which I felt was very rude in the comments section on my blog tonight.  It talked about how it wasn't right for me to post pictures of my dead baby on the internet and how this must be harmful for my family to write a post like that.  Whoever you are, I didn't appreciate what you said and quite honestly it hurt.  This is my blog and it is my way to process my grief and the life of my daughter which was so brief.  Please respect that.  And know that I have gotten help, am getting help and will continue to get help as I feel led to do so.  And for the record...the pictures that we have of our daughter are very precious to us.  I have chosen to show a FEW of them online - the ones which I feel are okay to show.

Someday when you lose someone very close to you that you love, I think you will understand more fully just how deep grief goes and how it is not possible to just move on right away.  I'm doing my best to do just that and living my life fully.  You just don't always see that here through this venue, as this is a TINY glimpse into my everyday life.  But I WILL continue to blog here, and I will continue to share my thoughts and my feelings.  And if you don't want to read it or see it, well then maybe you shouldn't be reading my blog.

With all due respect...please consider very carefully next time what you choose to say in the comments section of my blog or someone else's blog who has gone through a loss...and filter what you choose to say to people like me when you are speaking face to face...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

5 Months Later...

It has been five months since Solveig came and went.  I think the depth of our loss is even greater now than it was then.  Babies and baby stuff abound around me...and many moments it is much easier to endure now than it used to be.  I see adorable baby girl sundresses at the store with the big red bullseye and everywhere else for that matter and everything in me wants to buy one...but then I am reminded that at this point there is no reason for that.  I miss her.  I miss my tiny little love and would love her to be in my arms once again.  Some days Heaven could not possibly come any sooner...and others I am grateful to yet be here.  So many reasons are present for me to stay right now, and I'm grateful for those reasons to live.  I think of her all the time still.  She is on my mind.  So if you are around me, please do not hesitate to ask me about Solveig.  Please don't hesitate to ask how I'm doing with our loss.  Please don't hesitate to say her name...because I love to hear her name.  I miss people saying her name.  And it's hard that now life is really moving on, yet we are not fully moving on nor are we ready to fully move on.  Please do not hurry us in our grief.  Please do not expect that we can not grieve any longer.  It is a lifelong process from what I hear.

We will not forget you, precious little angel Solveig Sofia.  We will never forget.  You are forever an important part of our family.

Your mama loves you sweet girl.  I know your eyes are bright and gazing upon our Savior and Lord Jesus...I can't wait to look there with you and to hold you in my arms again.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Time Back

Awhile back, I posted something on here about collecting outfits and blankets to bring to the hospital for other families like ours who would need them when they wouldn't have a chance to go out and get something special for their babies.  Some sweet friends responded saying that they would love to donate some things - thank you, dear ones.  I had the honor of picking up those items recently from these friends.  You will probably never know who it is, but you WILL be a huge blessing to some other families in need.  What a gift you have given them.  The nurses were so excited to see the outfits and blankets and had huge smiles on their faces when they received them. :)  In some small way, it must help them to be able to pass these items along to the families that they take care of.  Having been the recipients of some such items, I can honestly say that it blessed me so much to receive these kinds of things, knowing that someone else cared enough to give them to me.

The other night I brought this bag of gifts to the hospital as I was there to attend support group.  Afterwards, I told our facilitator "A" that some friends had donated these items and asked if she would please bring them to the maternity floor on my behalf.  She asked me if I'd like to go with her and deliver them myself.  I hadn't really considered that before, and wasn't sure if I'd be ready to face that part of the hospital just yet...but I quickly said yes, as it felt like the right thing to do.

Nerves welled up in me, just a little bit, but overall I wasn't as scared as I would've guessed I might be.  A walked with me and introduced me to the nurses...several of whom I recognized from my three deliveries in that hospital.  It felt okay to be back there.  I'm so glad that I did that.

Now I don't need to be afraid to go there again.  In some ways, that place is sacred for me...for it holds SO many memories, not just of Solveig, but also of Bug and Buzz and their deliveries and first moments of life...and moments where life was somewhat void.  There have been many special moments for our family inside those hospital walls.  Angels have been with me inside those walls.  The Lord has shown Himself to be mighty and real inside those walls, even in the midst of great pain...but also in the midst of immense joy.  And now I feel a mission to help others inside those walls...and to pray over them.  I often find myself asking God to help other families who are experiencing the pain of loss.  And I feel a new passion and ministry in helping these families. It will be interesting to see just how that progresses and changes over time.

And at some point, perhaps as we near Solveig's birthdate in February, I'd like to take Erik and go back and visit the room where we had her.  It was just a few paces away from where I stood the other night, but I wasn't ready to ask to see it.  I just want to make peace with that space and be okay with it.  I've heard that this can be a very healing thing to do.

If anyone else reading this would like to donate blankets and outfits let me know.  And if you're able to donate them in duplicates, this would be great...so that people can keep one if they choose to bury their baby in the other.

Also, I'll hopefully be putting something up here soon for people to donate to Solveig's Boxes - the project that I'm working on for the hospital.  I just need to figure out how to do that.  For those who live nearby, there may be some opportunities in the somewhat near future for need of help putting some items for the boxes together before the boxes can actually be assembled.  I'll be sure to let you know!  And I'd love it if you'd let me know if you're interested! :)  Things are really starting to shape up for the contents of the boxes after many trips to the craft stores that begin with M and J, and also many emails and phone calls.  It's very exciting, for sure.

I need to make sure and thank you again for all of your support and encouragement and prayer over these last few months.  We sure do feel it and know that we are loved, and it means so much. Know that I love it when you write back and leave comments - I read every one.  I just don't know how to respond within the comment space yet!  If anyone knows how to do that, would you let me know?

Blessings to you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musical Midnight

I started writing this last week and just couldn't finish...so I thought I'd finish it now.  I'm linking up with Tesha's Treasures today.  Blessings...

For some reason, this week has been really tough.  I just feel "out of sorts," as it were and there are moments when it is hard to know how to conduct myself...whether that is in relation to family, friends or strangers.  There are times that I still feel like I'm living this separate existence where my mind is reeling with thoughts and processing things that other people probably aren't thinking about, and it's okay that they're thinking about their own things.  As one bereaved dad said in our support group meeting, "I don't think it's fair to drag other people into what I'm going through.  If they choose to go there with me, then that's great.  But I cannot force them to be there."  I thought that was quite profound and helpful for me at the time that I heard it several weeks ago...and it is still helpful today.

It seems that the mind gets whirling about around midnight in my little Melody World.  Sometimes I just want to turn Melody World off and get some rest, but sometimes I just cannot.  Sometimes when Melody World appears I choose to embrace it and choose to sort through my thoughts as best as I can.  But sometimes I finally realize that I cannot do this alone, and I must reach out to God and ask for His help and support.  Last night was one of those nights...

We had finally crashed into our bed around midnight, which is pretty common around here.  I'm sort of a night owl and Erik usually has a hard time settling before 11pm, as do I.  But some nights it's more like midnight when we go to sleep.  And last night it was.  I was so tired but just could not keep my eyes closed for more than a minute or two before thoughts and pictures would come to my mind.  I'm a very visual person, so when I see a picture I can usually remember it for a long time.  The picture that was in my mind last night and has been repeatedly in my mind for the last few weeks was that of my Solveig.  Her last ultrasound picture very clearly shows her umbilical cord wrapped three times around her neck - a "nuchal cord."  I didn't notice this until just a few weeks ago when I started working on her scrapbook album and really began studying the ultrasound photos.  I did not see this cord at the time of the ultrasound, and it was not mentioned to me either.  It really has been something for me to try and sort this out...to forgive the situation and those involved and to not hold anything against them.  From all that I've been learning, even if cord is present in an ultrasound (which is VERY common), most physicians will not pursue further testing/monitoring if everything is looking well otherwise.  They  continue to do biophysical profiles and check for baby's heart rate and blood pressure to make sure everything is "normal."  Apparently Solveig's stats were within normal range that day...even though they were lower than they had been in previous ultrasounds.  I guess they weren't within a dangerous zone, so the physicians weren't alarmed.

The picture continued to be present in my mind, and all the sudden the Lord woke me up and started giving me a tune in my head and lyrics also.  I headed into our bathroom with a pad of paper and a pen and began writing out the lyrics.  Obviously since it was so late at night, I couldn't really sing the melody line and record it or play our piano...so that part will have to come later.  I do need to keep manuscript paper around my presence more often so that when these inspirations hit I'll have it with me.    The lyrics poured out and I believe I have the beginning at least of yet another song for Solveig.  It was so cathartic for me and I feel it really was yet another gift from God...a gift of music and song that He gave to me to help comfort me in my time of need.  He works in the most amazing ways.  I believe I may attempt to start composing the music for the now two sets of lyrics that I have, and perhaps may even someday compile these into a short song cycle in honor of my daughter.  I really would like to do that.  And if I could ever get up the gumption to perform the songs myself in recital, that would be most special.  If I'm not able to do it though, maybe I could ask a friend to sing them for me. :)

This current week has been better than the last.  I've been resting more soundly than I was, and that is good.  There are still some rough nights.  Exercise really does seem to help me to calm and settle in more.  Gee, I should remember that more often when I'm feeling antsy!

May the Lord be with you.  And remember, in your darkest hour you can call on Him and He WILL be there...I know...because He has been there for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hurt And The Healer

This song by Mercy Me has really been ministering to me lately.  Here's a music video of it.  I hope this works, and I hope it blesses your day.  There's also a link to Bart Millard speaking about the piece.

Tuesday Link Up

Today I'm linking up with my blog friend, Tesha.  Her post for today is one that I can relate to a bit and it is regarding becoming offended in the face of loss.  There really haven't been too many things that have yet offended me following the loss of our Solveig, but there certainly have been a few.  I think people sometimes say or do things (or don't do or say things I wish that they would) and they don't intend to hurt my feelings but they do.  I'm trying so hard to not take these issues personally, because I know that they are most likely not meant to be taken that way.  I'm praying for God to give me grace in my dealings with others, whether it's related to our loss or just in every day life.  We all need grace!  And we all need help to remember to choose kindness.  I'm NOT perfect in this way, believe me...but I long to be more whole in my spirit.  Only by God's grace can I extend grace to another.

Tesha wrote a great post about these types of things.  You can read about it here!  Thanks for sharing your honesty, Tesha.

If you're new to my blog, you can read more about the loss of our daughter Solveig Sofia by clicking on some of the labels or posts on the right hand sidebar.  Fancier blog layout hopefully to come in the future... :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

More Conversations With Kids

The family table is a great place to share conversations.  Sometimes the conversations are about very simple, surface like topics.  But there are times that the conversations dig much deeper.  Today at lunch,  we were talking about Solveig after the kids brought her up.  I love it when they bring her up...when ANYONE brings her up. :)  I like to think of her and to talk about her.

So today, Bug was talking about how she couldn't wait to see Solveig in Heaven and to see how much she had grown.  I said, "we don't know how big she'll be when we meet her in Heaven.  That will be interesting to find out."  Bug said, "I think she will have grown taller!"  Buzz said, "I want Solveig to gwow and gwow and gwow!" (he cannot say his r's right now at age 4 - it's really cute)

Then Buzz said, "but I don't know if Solveig will be in Heaven."

I thought about this.  And of course, after discussing this matter with lots of people now including our pastor, I know that the Bible does not say for sure if babies are in Heaven.  But when we met with our pastor He affirmed that it all comes down to remembering the character of God...that He is a loving, just and merciful God.  There are lots of scriptures from the Bible that speak of children being loved by Jesus...that "the kingdom of God belongs to such as these," etc.  So it seems to make sense to our earthly minds that babies ought to be there, since even though they are born with a sin nature they have not yet had a chance to commit an earthly sin.

But Buzz was puzzled by the idea that he didn't know for sure where his sister would be.

I reminded him that I believe without a doubt that our baby Solveig is there.  And I told him about how God had given me a vision awhile back about Solveig, dancing and playing on the streets of gold.  He smiled as he thought about that, and so did my Bug.  It makes me smile too.

Buzz pondered some things a bit more and then said, "we will have to take a car to Heaven."

I said, "What makes you think that?"

He said, "because I don't wanna have to walk vewy wong!!!" (translation - very long)

Bug replied, "you don't have to walk you silly goose!  Jesus lifts you up!"

This brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes...the image of Jesus lifting us to Heaven...the image of Him lifting my Solveig to Heaven...

I look forward to that day.  For now, I am here to keep being a mama to my sweet children and a wife to my precious Erik...roles that I love and I'm so grateful to have.

And I'll always be Solveig's mommy...always.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scrapbooking Sweet Solveig

Scrapbooking is one of my favorite things to do when I have time.  How I wish there was more time to work on scrapbooking!  It's one of those things that I have to create time for in order for it to happen.  So, I'm excited to say that I have a scrapbooking date in the near future with a few friends, including my CM consultant, Pam.  On that date, the plan is that I will come prepared with my Solveig pictures in hand, and I will leave with her scrapbook created in four hours.  I'll be doing a "power layout" plan and it will hopefully help things to go quickly and smoothly.  I'm going to use this book and these papers, in case you're interested.

A few nights ago, I realized in preparation for my scrapbooking date that I needed to get my photos in order and ready to go.  There were none printed, other than my ultrasound pictures, so I set to work going through all the photos which we and the nurses took of our daughter, and the ones that sweet Jen took.  As I looked through the mass of photos which I'm so grateful that we have, I found myself getting really weepy all over again, feeling like it was just yesterday that we had Solveig.  And it was okay.  It was good to see her and to remember her.  It was just hard to pick and choose the photos for ordering as there were many that looked similar.  So I ordered a whole bunch of them, knowing that it would almost be easier to sort through them in hand rather than on the computer.

Last night, I got together with my sweet friend Keri from high school.  She accompanied me on my journey to the photo store to retrieve my photos.  I not only printed ones for the scrapbooking project, but also some for family and for our home.  Keri and I sat at a coffee shop and she graciously looked through all the photos with me.  Only good friends do that kind of thing.  It had to be hard for her to see the pictures.  For me, I'm so used to looking at them that it doesn't really phase me anymore.  But for someone else, I could see how it would be more difficult perhaps to look at the pictures.  Keri said she was glad to look at them with me, and I'm so glad that she did.  Thank you sweet Keri.  You're a keeper.  And I'm glad that I've known you for so long.  Thank you for bravely and gently walking this road with me.

I have a question for those of you who have lost your babies...

Did you display photos of your deceased child in your home for all to see?  Just in your bedroom?  In a back hallway?  Only in a photo album or also in a photo album?  Hidden on a shelf or proudly on your coffee table?

We're trying to figure out how and where we will place our special photos.  They're such amazing treasures...especially the ones from Jen.  And I am not afraid to have a few of them out for others to see.     I realize this may not be socially acceptable in some circles, but I'm okay with it.  Erik and I have yet to figure out what will work for us together in our home.  This isn't something two people get to discuss every day - new territory for us in this grief journey.

I'll be curious to see what you have to say about this.  Thanks for your input.

And I'd love your prayers as I get ready to create my baby's photo album.  I'm sure it may be emotionally difficult.  Yet, I feel very ready to do it now.  Like I said, I'm really used to seeing the photos so it doesn't upset me in the same way as it used to.  More than anything, it just makes me glad to see our family together with our precious daughter whom we will always cherish and love.

This is one of my favorite candids that we took of our kids together.  They were incredibly sweet and gentle with their little sister...

Today I'm linking with Tesha...