Saturday, October 18, 2014

I Cried Because I Couldn't Stop

I spent last night in the ER.  I had been having a lot of back and neck pain for a few days that turned into sharp pains in my head, that turned into a headache so bad I couldn't function.

I was sitting here with the kids waiting for either Des or Matt to get home to relieve me of taking care of the babies so I could lay down and I couldn't keep my eyes open or talk normally.  When I noticed I was seeing things when I shut my eyes, I had Isaiah take my blood pressure.... which was through the roof.

I know being scared can make it go higher, so I tried to breathe through it like you breathe through child birth and just pray... and it worked a little - but when Matt dropped me off at the hospital (I'm not one to go alone usually) and the place was packed and everyone was talking about a 2 hour wait, I started feeling scared.  Just as I was calling my friend Cyndie to have her transport me to a different hospital (which is actually MUCH closer to me, but doesn't accept my Obamacare), they called me in.  Thank you to my friends who were praying for me in this... While everyone else waited for 2 hours, I was there for about 20 minutes before they brought me back.
They left me in that room and I fell apart.  Weeks and months of discouragement and weariness over my medical issues all came flowing out and I couldn't stop crying.  And the ER halls were so full and so loud, I didn't even try to cry quietly because nobody would hear me anyhow...

I cried because I'm tired of being in pain.  I cried because I'm only 35 and feel 90.  I cried because I might want to go to heaven, but I don't want to go now. I cried because I don't want to leave my kids without a mama.  I cried because nobody seems to be able to help me and I feel like I'm just waiting for my brain to blow up.  I cried because nobody *really* understands. I cried because I have to do this alone, nobody can do it for me or relieve me of the burden.  I cried because I desire another baby and might not ever be able to have one.  I cried because this isn't how I want to spend my life.  And I cried because God could change it all... but He's not.  But mostly, I just cried because I couldn't stop.

In the middle of this, Cyndie walked in...  a hug just when I need one ♥  We were both wearing our shirts from Rachel's Race.  I cried some more and blubbered some stuff about how I can't believe this is my life and how they needed to get my blood pressure down asap.

The nurse came in and took my blood pressure - it was 180/117.  She told me crying wasn't going to help it.  I told her I know, but I couldn't stop....

After giving me an IV and a bunch of meds, they did a CT scan of my head to check for bleeding and it was 'normal'.  They were supposed to do an xray of my stomach because I also was suddenly having those charlie horse cramps in my stomach again all afternoon, but the xray staff came to get me twice and wouldn't take me bc the nurse hadn't done a pregnancy test yet (my urine was awaiting them, but they just kept forgetting and then the dr went home) So they told me I'll have to follow up with my PCP.  I'm not very impressed with that, but I'm just the patient.

Eventually they got my pain under control and got my blood pressure down to 145/100 and sent me on my way with a couple of prescriptions that might help for a few days but aren't anything more than a bandaid that won't last.  

I just have so many things going on that it's hard to even differentiate what is what... does my head hurt because of my neck or aneurysm...or MTHFR mutation?  My neck because of my back or protruding disc - or Ankylosing Spondilitis (AS)?   My stomach because of my syrinx or because of GI issues... like maybe an allergy... or am I developing crohn's...or is my intestines flipping? (this is where the xray last night while it was happening would have been helpful :( )   My back because of nerve damage or AS?  My joints because of Poriatic Arthrtis (PSA) or something else?  Is my skin a mess because it's of the PSA or an allergy?  See what I mean....???  It's overwhelming and frustrating and all over the place.  And everyone keeps passing the buck to another 'specialist' who in turn passes me to someone else.  What do these people get paid for???

I had called yesterday to get into Physical Therapy and I will try it, although I'm pretty sure it's not going to be anything more than a temporary bandaid either... but it's the "next step" so I'll humor them.  I just feel like I don't have the time to get over there...  because I don't.  *sigh*

I need to make an appointment with the GI that I've been putting off because I honestly don't know if my mind and heart can handle another diagnosis right now.  But not knowing doesn't make anything go away so I know I need to, especially with my family history of colon cancer, ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease... I haven't had a colonoscopy in 5 years, and am afraid they will say it's time for another....and what they might find.  The Neurologist says my stomach cramp is from my Syrinx, but I honestly think it's intestinal - at least that's how it feels.  But I need an answer so I need to go... have I mentioned that finding time to go to all these appointments is more than difficult?? ugh.

(prayer requests below are underlined...)

I also have an appointment with a neck/spine specialist, but they can't get me in until the end of November.  I called yesterday to try to move it up, but they can't.  I'm on a cancellation list if you could pray that they will have something open for me sooner... and as much as I don't want surgery, if they can do something to relieve this constant pain, I want it done.  Pray that I will get good direction from the Dr's and God in making this decision.

And that's the purpose of writing all of this...  I need you all to pray.  Not (only) for the doctors to do great things and help me, but for God to heal me completely.  Because apart from a miraculous healing from God (even if through the doctor's hands), I think my life is going to be like this, or worse, for the rest of it and I'm weary already.  Pray that my blood pressure would go back to the way it was before I had E - it used to be 106/54 regularly, even through all my pregnancies... now even on medication it's still 140/89.  My blood pressure is the most concerning because it's dangerous to have an aneurysm and high blood pressure.  I need prayer about my Neurologist and finding one that my insurance will cover that I trust because the office I'm at isn't good.  And I need prayer that through all of this, I won't let the enemy steal my joy...  because the joy that the Lord gives will make me strong.

And even when I can't stop crying, God is still God and He is still good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Daisy's Mama

On Christmas 2012, we bought Desirae a hamster.... she named her Daisy. ♥

You may remember me blogging about how right after she opened her that morning, one of her first questions was "What if she dies?"  My heart felt the same sting as hers... it's scary to love someone so much and know you can lose them.  

The night before the race, I heard a scream... "Daisy's gone!"  Asa had let her out and Des was beside herself in tears.  I had to leave all the race prep in my kitchen and go hunt down the hamster, begging God to not let Daisy be gone for good.  I found her in the back of her closet and she was so relieved, but still sobbing.

Last night, she again came frantically running to me.  She had her Hamster Care Book open and was crying "She's not dead, but she had this smeary stuff and right here it says that sick hamsters have that!"  I ran to look, pit in my stomach... the day I've feared since I brought her home from the pet shop... how do you walk your child through a loss...?  

And then I remembered, I have.  sigh.

We cleaned up her cage and after looking online for what to do,  I ran to the pet store just before 9pm to get some Wet-tail drops.  There we were crying in Des' room and trying to save Daisy late at night.  
Through her tears she cried "It's all my fault, I haven't changed her cage in weeks... I don't hold her enough... I noticed 4 days ago she wasn't coming out of her strawberry and I didn't do anything... maybe if I did something then, she'd be ok..."

I tried to explain to her that she isn't the first kid in history to forget to change the cage for a while.  She just cried more.

This morning I called the vet.  Something I told myself I'd never do for a hamster, but I should have known myself better than that.  They said it is $51 to be seen, plus whatever they prescribe.  I asked if we could just buy the Critical Care food I read about and they said no, she would have to be seen first.  So I told Des and said I didn't have the money... and she went for hers.  

When we got there, they looked at her and said "She has wet tail, it's very serious for hamsters and they don't survive."  

As I watched my daughter get news she has feared since she first held Daisy, I felt August 4, 2010 all over again.  Obviously a much smaller scale, but to Des, this is her baby.  They immediately started talking about putting her to sleep in a couple days if she doesn't start eating.  I asked about medication and she said that we could try it, but they usually die anyway.  She said "I'm not saying you shouldn't try, I'm just saying it usually doesn't help."  I asked her to get prices so we would know what we were looking at.

She came back with the pricing and I went over it with Des and asked her if she was okay paying that amount.  My dad had said he would give us $50, so Desirae's portion would be $29.  This would be for the special food and an antibiotic.... with no guarantees that it would change a thing about how long she lived.  She was seeming unsure, so the vet left us alone to talk.

She said "I'm just not sure if I should spend the money on it if she will die anyway."

I asked her, "If we go home without it and she dies tonight, will you regret not getting the medication?"  She immediately nodded yes and said she wanted to get it.  

She kept going over the "If only's" and I couldn't convince her it wasn't her fault so I encouraged her to ask the vet.  I told her how with Rachel, I asked all sorts of questions... I had so many things I thought could have 'caused' her to have anencephaly... and it was scary to ask, but I needed to know, so I did.  When they came back in, they asked her if she had any questions, and she said "Ummm... Not really..." and looked at me - so I told them her concerns to which they quickly replied "Oh no, it was nothing you did... this just happens sometimes, you couldn't have done anything to change this." and as I saw the guilt melt away from her face, I thought... that was worth every cent of that $79.

This past week, we had tried to do a craft fair and Des made cards to sell.  We got rained out, but she sold 4 there and has since sold 10 more and has 15 more spoken for... they are $1 each... which is the $29 she needed to pay the vet today.  As we talked about how she had made exactly what she needed this week to cover Daisy's bill, her eyes lit up... God provided for her little girl... and mine  ♥  I'm so thankful for how He is building her faith.  It's been happening a ton lately and this is just one more instance that she can see in ways that are big in her mind that He is always on time... He is with us.

So now we start a journey of trying to nurse Daisy back to health... and we are very aware that she could still die... But Desirae will never have to wonder if she could have done more... she won't have to question if it was her fault... she will know that she loved her and cared for her and did everything she could to wait out her miracle.  She will know that she gave her all to the one she loves.  Even if the world sees it as "just a hamster." (She is also pretty excited that we apparently picked the "only hamster in the world who likes to take medicine like Ezra." LOL)

Those are the things I am most thankful for with Rachel; to have no regrets - or at least as few as possible....and I know those are the things that will be the most important for her heart too.  And as she feeds her little Daisy with a dropper and prays over her, she is learning so many things.  They are hard lessons and they won't come without pain, but I know they are building character in her - and more importantly, her faith and trust in God to help her through.

Since I had Rachel, I have had this strong desire to one day do ultrasounds at a place like I went with Rachel... to be able to be that person who helps people like me get 'good pictures' in a supportive environment... Knowing how much of an impact the ultrasound tech has on an experience like mine, I want to use what I learned on my journey to help others.  Unfortunately for me, schooling for that is probably not happening any time soon... but I still dream...

Today when we left the vet, Desirae said that she wants to work there when she grows up.  I asked why and she said "Because I want to help the animals... like Daisy."

That's my girl. ♥

I don't know if she'll be a vet... but she is going to make a great Mama.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cast Your Vote!!

 You know I've told you about my sweet friend Caroline who has been showering me with love in the form of poems, drawings, paintings and even giving me her winnings at Rachel's Race Auction...  I believe she was only 11 when she first jumped onto Team Rachel, but she just keeps on amazing me! 

Drawings From the Heart is having an art contest that is an opportunity for siblings, cousins or other children close to a baby who has been lost to draw something that reflects their feelings about the precious baby....  and Caroline has entered with a beautiful drawing of Rachel she made.

CAST YOUR VOTE to help her win - all money goes to support Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep - which is an organization VERY close to my heart as well. ♥

Friday, October 10, 2014

Love Her Locks

Rachel was born with a ton of long, dark hair in the back - and a little ringlet of the same resting in the middle of her forehead.

I brought my cutting shears with me to the hospital to take a piece of her hair home with me.  The hairdresser in me couldn't let just anyone with just any scissors cut my girl's hair.  I remember being so torn as I went to cut it because I felt like I was giving her a bad cut... I wanted a piece of it, but I didn't want to leave her with a bad haircut...  I know my hairdresser friends will understand.... so I took a small clip from right behind her little lamb ear and tried to make it as unnoticeable as possible.

Matt bought me a new pair of shears at one point not too long after... maybe that Christmas?  I'm not sure, but I still have the ones I gave Rachel her one and only bad haircut with....  And when it came time for Asa's first cut, I used them with her very heavy on my heart.  Of course, it took Asa a couple years to grow hair the length of Rachel's....

But my little E was there, his hair looking kind of scraggly...  so last week, I got out my hair bag to give him a trim... and I grabbed the same old shears and gave him his first haircut with her on my heart. ♥

And as I snipped, I set aside a few locks for his memory book.... a book he'll most likely get to see when he's older.  A book that won't just be for my memory, but also a keepsake for him, and maybe even his kids one day.  Something her lock of hair will never be for her.

Every little milestone is a reminder of what I never reached with Rachel... and yet, she is always there.  I looked at the photos Des took while I was cutting and in the one above, as I go to set aside the first lock from behind his ear, both of the tattoos I got for her are right there.  The words "My Girl" and "Alive" echo as I place each strand of hair aside to save for him... 

After we took a few pictures of him and told him how ridiculously cute he is, I went to look for Rachel's hair.  I had suddenly found myself nervous that I didn't know where it was.  I had put it away in her box when we put the house on the market and didn't remember.  I found it and as I took this photo, the words on the jar made me stop...  "Remember me"....  

Oh, how could I ever forget you, pretty girl?  My love for you will never fade... 
There isn't a lock of love on this earth that doesn't bring me right back to that day... December 4, 2010 when I gave my second daughter her first haircut.  Two months short of 4 years later, it's still as if it was yesterday in my mind and heart.  It still hurts.  It still makes me smile.  She had long, dark hair like all the others and I didn't miss my chance to give her a bad haircut...  because I think most moms do that to their child at least once. 

But what I wouldn't give to be able to run my fingers through her hair.  To be able to one day show her how dark and long it was.  To see if it turned blond like the others, or stay brown like Matt... To let her pass it down to her kids if she wanted - or to lose it like I did mine when I was a kid!

It's just hair, I know.  but for a girl without most of her skull, it's a pretty big deal.  And for the Mama that gave birth to her, it feels like the little bit of 'normal' that I so desperately needed in those days.  And now it's just a memory in a jar.... but my love is in that jar right along with it.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Wedding Details

I'm going to attempt to explain what I meant when I mentioned in my post the other day that in Maine I had the 9 best days with Rachel.

I doubt words will do it justice, but simply stated, what I found on that trip was that the less I tried to find a way to include her, the more she showed up in all the details.  Bear with me on this one, my thoughts are all over the place.... I think I'll list details so that I don't need to make it all flow....

Detail 1:
A week before the trip, Desirae randomly told us one day "When I get married, my wedding colors are going to be purple and yellow."  I asked why and she said "That's what you said are the colors that remind you of Rachel."

A few days later, we were out at a store and I saw the most perfectly purple mums I've ever seen (and haven't found again!!)  They weren't lilac, they were a deep, vibrant purple.  I told Des that I wanted to get some for Rachel's grave and our steps when we got back from Maine.  She agreed they were perfect.

Detail 2:
We go to Mount Battie every year in Maine, it's always our first day trip.  In previous years, I had them all put on their race shirts for that trip and we took pictures at the top of the mountain that 'included Rachel'.  As a general rule, I am the one thinking of Rachel and trying to incorporate things to keep her as part of our days, especially on vacation.  Not that the others don't care, she has just not had the same impact on them as me - which only makes sense... but it can be very lonely.

Detail 3:
So as we got to the last day of our trip and still hadn't gone, we decided to go even though the weather was cold and  soon to be rainy and not really ideal for being up there.

The kids were outside having fun and I was getting us ready to go.

I thought about the shirts... I started taking them out... I considered just letting the kids play and not interrupting them for the change of clothes.... not being a downer with my requirements for the trip... and I put them back...

I told myself that I can be Rachel's Mama alone, I don't need everyone to join in for her to count or be included.... and I sucked it up and put on my Rachel's Mama shirt and let them keep chasing frogs while I packed us a lunch.

A little bit later, I looked up and there was Matt, wearing his 'Rachel's Daddy' shirt.  Not asking him to gave me the chance to see that he chose to on his own, which was way more of a gift for me.
My Love

Detail 4:
I had the "Share a Coke with Rachel" soda my friend Becky gave me that I had at Rachel's Race.  It's been sitting on my counter since the race and I brought it and had it on the kitchen window at the camp all week.  I had told everyone that it was off limits... nobody was to drink it... I guess I thought I would keep it forever...?  But I tucked it in our lunch for our trip to Mount Battie thinking I would "Share a Coke with Rachel" on the top of the mountain.

Detail 5:
In the video I made called "We Still Believe" (right side of my blog) the part that says "From the mountain top, to the empty cup" I put a picture of her in my arms at birth when it says 'the mountain top' and then a picture of me closing her casket when it says 'the empty cup'.  I picked the picture of her alive for the mountain top... in my heart, the 'mountain top' was where she was alive and with me... so sharing a coke 'with her' on the mountain top was echoing that idea in my mind.  That she is alive and with me....

Detail 6:
We were standing on the mountain top when people started walking past us carrying the very color mums we had picked for Rachel's grave for when we got back.  After the 3rd or 4th person, I began watching to see what they were doing...  they started lining them up... 4 on each side, all purple.  THE purple!  I said to Des "There must be a wedding happening!  You could use those mums in your wedding, they are pretty and purple!"  She agreed and we kept watching... and then I saw the yellow flowers... "It's a purple and yellow wedding!" I told her... the Maid of Honor was wearing yellow, the other girls were wearing purple... and they were using the very flowers we picked for Rachel's grave to line the makeshift aisle.  We watched them taking photos and I couldn't help but wonder if I will be able to be there when Desirae gets married...  and who gets married on the top of a mountain on such a cold day when it's about to rain??

Detail 7:
We are early eaters.  Our usual time for lunch is around 11:30.  So it was totally out of the norm that we still hadn't eaten until much after 1pm...  We hiked around a bit and then made our way back to the truck to eat since it was too cold for a picnic.  We were all standing out back of the truck eating when a bee decided he wanted my food.  So I said lets eat on the way home and just go.
Eating sandwiches like the big boys

Detail 8:
We got in and I ran through all of the stuff about the wedding and the colors with Matt and as I talked, he interrupted to ask why I was drinking Rachel's Coke.  I said "I'm sharing a Coke with Rachel on top on the mountain" and smiled.  He then asked me what I thought all the wedding stuff meant.  I said I wasn't sure.  He turned on the truck.  The time said it all.... It put both of us into silent awe.  We had absolutely no idea it was that late...

Just then, Des said she changed her mind... instead she wanted to have red roses and white daisies as flowers.  I said to Matt through tears, "I don't think this had anything to do with Desirae's wedding..."

I honestly believe that all of those details coming together to that point were all just little ways that God used to remind me that she is alive and with me, through Him.  He pointed it out on the mountain top, but even in the valley.  Not seeing her get married has always been one of those big things that comes up in my heart.

I don't have to grieve missing her wedding because I saw it the day she came and went.  I saw her meet her Bridegroom.  I watched her walk down the aisle, holding her Daddy's finger after I spent months preparing for the perfect day for her, with her.  I was the Mother of the Bride in that Operating Room.  I shed tears of joy for what she was about to embark on at the same time I shed tears of sadness for how fast it all went by and how much I would miss having her as my little girl.  December 3, 2010, Rachel was joined together with her Groom, Jesus in heaven... and I was there to see her off.  And I know she knows I was with her.

So, when I say that the less I tried to include her, the more she was there...  I think I should say that this is also just a different stage in my healing and grief.  I no longer feel the sting of grief that I did for the first 3 years... I still cry once in a while, but my heart is not perpetually heavy over her death anymore.  I know there won't be a day on earth that I don't miss her and wish she was here... and there are still very heavy and hard days... it's just a little different now.  That being said, I'm not in any way at all saying that what I did in the past was not what I should have done.  I did exactly what I needed for my healing journey and I let God use me in any way He wanted along the way...  I am also not saying that if you are in early stages of grief that you should attempt to leave your baby behind in hopes that (s)he will feel closer... I assure you that even a year ago, that would not have been helpful for me.  So please know this is just where I am at TODAY and it's always subject to change.

top of the tower, Asa is holding Jay Bear - the bear that Des and Jay have
that match from when Jay (my niece) had her stroke.  This was Sept 20, the anniversary of her stroke
so we brought her bear to the top of the mountain with us for Jay!  So thankful she is still with us.

My Brave Hearts

This boy makes it hard to remember that he's only 2.  

wow, do I love these people..... 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Joy That Makes Me Strong

The first year we went to Maine, one of the ladies at the Chamber recommended we try going to the Rockland Breakwater.  She described it saying it was "a long rock wall out to a lighthouse and you can't bring a stroller, but if we hold their hands, they shouldn't fall in..."  I looked at Matt and gave him the "Are you kidding?!" eyes and in my mind made a mental note we would never go there.

This year before we went on our trip, I looked into things to do online... and it came up.  It looked like it could be scary with the kids, but I saw how beautiful it was and became interested.  As I read, I saw that the lighthouse is 4300 feet out and seeing Rachel's handprint on it, I put it on our list of things I wanted to do.

hard to get the whole thing in one pic, but here's a good part of it!

It was an amazing day, the weather was perfect.  I will say that with 4 little boys, I was happy when we all made it back to shore alive and dry...!  I felt a sense of accomplishment with this one because I am deathly afraid of my kids falling into water.  I have this fear of them falling in and me not being able to see them - like I think they wouldn't splash around or something, I don't know.  But I have had nightmares of Isaiah falling into the pond and me not being able to help him.  So walking this far with water high and deep on both sides - and even enjoying it - was God in me.  I am trying not to get in the way of my kids' life experiences anymore.  And I'm pretty sure they will always remember this walk...  4300 feet out to the middle of the ocean.

I was wishing the nice lady who offered to take this pic would have told us that E was being squished back there!
And of course in my photos, this one ends in 43... just in case I forgot that she was in it too.

Me & my honey...  with a couple of kids hanging off of us :)  Trying to make a point
to get pics of just us too.  Des is a good help with that.

And the most precious, yet difficult thing for me was that I decided to wear E in the Ergo Carrier for this.  I haven't been able to wear him in a while, it hurts my neck too much.  Looking back, I can see that this was coming for a long time - I switched to the Ergo after 3 other slings/wraps that people raved about hurt me too much.  Everyone would insist I was wearing them wrong or they wouldn't hurt.  Now I know that it was more than that.  But up until even 6 months ago, the Ergo helped me hold my boy pain free (I LOVE this thing!).  Now is a different story... and it breaks my heart.  I like to stop things because I want to, not because I have to.  I like to be in control.  Maybe it's just because the boy is a whale... He only weighs a couple pounds less than Asa now!  But even with pain meds, I made it through until about 1/4 of the way back and I couldn't do it anymore.  I had to let Matt carry him. :(  Saying those words "I can't hold him anymore" was hard.  It was a realization that it was probably the last time I would wear him in the backpack...

He carried both babies back.  Thankful for my strong husband.

Going thru my photos the other day, I saw that after I gave the baby to Matt, I accidentally started recording on my camera.  It was hanging from me and all you could see was the really rocky path and the big gaps in the rocks... me stepping over it... pieces of my hair flying around... and you could hear  me, Sam and Des talking and playing I Spy.  We were laughing and joking...

It was a part of the adventure I had forgotten.  All I remembered was the 4300 feet, not being able to carry E, the beautiful view, the feeling of accomplishment, and making it back alive...  but what God provided in my disappointment of being physically incapable of holding the baby was a sweet time of fellowship with two of my older babies.  And he even provided the tape to help me see it.  Being recorded when you don't know you are can be both scary and beautiful.

Just like our trip out to the lighthouse.

Just like life on earth.

Just like dying.

I look back at this trip and see a beautiful picture of life....  sometimes all we get is a rocky road to the destination.  It certainly feels like that is what I have been given.  One where we can chose to play I Spy when we are left disappointed... or miss out on the chance because we let our desire to have what we had hoped for - and the sadness of not being able to get it - steal our joy.

I'm reminded again that The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Rachel was no less important to me because of her physical limitations and I know that I do not need to consider myself less important to my children or less capable of mothering them because of mine.  The most important thing I can give them is to show them how strong God is when I am weak.  To let them see me rejoice in ALL things.  For them to see him carry me... again... even when I can't carry them.... and I have no doubt that he will use this all to draw them closer to himself and I pray to eventually join us all together again in heaven.

I don't think I would have this realization if it weren't for that 3 minute recording...  The pictures are beautiful, but they are controlled.  We smile and say "Cheese"... we can Photoshop and change the lighting...  But it's the uncensored proof that my smile isn't pasted on that really spoke to my heart.  And I hope that it spoke to theirs as well.   I hope in all of this they know that I do this all for them... and in the process, just like with Rachel... God is granting me unbelievable blessings for my devotion and obedience... because HE works ALL things together for the GOOD of those who LOVE HIM.  And I love Him.

Choosing to have Rachel 3 weeks early was the hardest decision I've ever made.  When I picked December 3, I knew it could potentially mean she would have less time with me, even though it made her officially "full term".  But I was in so much pain from my polyhydramnios, that I couldn't carry her anymore.  And part of that decision was because I was afraid she wouldn't make it to Christmas and I wanted to meet her alive.  I've always wondered if I had pushed through and made it another couple weeks, if she would have lived longer in my arms.  But I know in my heart that God had it planned exactly how it was supposed to be, even in my weakness and inability.  I know December 3rd was meant to be her day.  I know that he met me in my surrender.  I know he has carried me.  And on that day, he gave me joy that made me strong.

So when I am disappointed because I can't carry them, I will take a deep breath and whisper "Carry me, Lord..."  and I know he will pick me up and hand me joy in the midst of my sorrow.

For the joy of the Lord is your strength - Nehemiah 8:10

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. 
My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him
Psalm 28:7