To read Lenah's story from the beginning, just go to the side bar under blog archive and start reading from May 2013.

Monday, December 29, 2014

One year later.....

Today marks one year since Lenah's passing.  So much has happened this year.  We had planned to go up and put flowers on her grave in East Texas today, but  James had several things come up at work and we decided to cancel the trip. I'm quite certain Lenah is not concerned about the appearance of her grave. We have all been sensitive and grouchy today and I'm not sure if it is because of the weather or the date. Or neither. I'm hugging my babies tonight and thinking of my others in heaven.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

 It has been quite some time since I last posted here. December has been a bit easier than I expected.  But it is still not over.  It is, in some ways, hard for me to believe that it has almost been a year since we lost Lenah.  It is also hard to believe that Ruby could have been born any day now.
  We have mostly settled in to our new home.  The children seem  more content. Their main complaint these days is that I have cut all sugar and refined carbs from our diet. They have had some exceptions for Thanksgiving and birthdays. We have been following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan.

I have also been using Plexus Slim, Accelerator, Probio5,  and BioCleanse. You can learn more about  Plexus here:

Since September, I have gotten rid of  35 pounds. Yay! I plan to share some before and after pictures soon. I still have that much plus some to go, but I believe I will get there.

I have decided to try to start blogging about our family's journey towards better health.  The next area of focus for us will be adding consistent exercise to our daily routine.

We had family pictures taken last month. They can serve as a "before" picture of our family.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

 A year ago today I woke up very nervous to face whatever lay ahead.  I didn't know if Lenah would survive the day. She did. And then she fought. She fought to live every day for 108 days.

 I miss her so much. We all do. I don't, however, miss her struggling. I am so incredibly thankful that she is now at peace in the presence of her Creator.

Fly high, sweet baby.

Happy First Birthday, Lenah!

Like a meteor across our sky
A shooting star-
We saw heaven in your eyes
And though our hearts are breaking
And we're missing you tonight.
You're resting in Our Father's arms
And angels lullaby.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014

Yesterday was my second born's birthday. She is ten.

Today is my niece's birthday. She is five.

In two days it will be Lenah's birthday. She is in heaven.

I will grieve.

And Ruby.

Four days after Lenah's birthday I will begin marking time for Ruby. One month since her...birth, death, I'm not really sure what to call that day. She wasn't really born and I don't really know the day she died.

I'd like to avoid the calendar. But I can't. There's always some appointment to attend. Some birthday to celebrate.  Some event to observe.  I have to check the calendar.  I'd be in trouble if I didn't.  But some days I'd sure like to avoid the reinforcement of the grief that I feel every moment that is not occupied by some other activity, or distraction, or sleep.

I wonder if everyday is like your birthday in heaven.  Our observance of one trip around our sun on the subsequent years since our birth seems a bit... I don't know, arbitrary,  mundane, insignificant,
when compared to Lenah and Ruby's daily trip around the Son.

Do grieving mother's ever stop keeping time? Do they ever stop counting the days, the weeks, the months, the years since the loss?

I guess time will tell.

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 - In which I profess the goodness and provision of the Lord even in the midst of tribulation.

First things first.

Ruby Elise Wray August 16, 2014
May you rest peacefully in our Creator's arms until the rest of us are able to join you.

Trigger/Graphic Miscarriage Warning- you may want to stop reading here.

 Last Tuesday we learned that our sweet baby had passed away sometime around 15-16 weeks gestation.  She should have been at 20 weeks and 4 days as of that day.
 At my follow up appointment the next day, I explained to my doctor that I could not immediately go to the hospital for induction as I had a closing for a land sale on Friday and that I really preferred to avoid a hospital induction because I wanted to be able to bury my baby in our family cemetery. I told her that my dear Aunt S. has been a midwife for 20 years or so and I planned to try a natural induction with herbs. She said she understood and that if the herbs were not effective she was writing me a prescription for Cytotec and pain medication.
 After that appointment on Wednesday, we headed to Houston from Lufkin. Thursday afternoon, I took my prescription to the pharmacy to be filled. I then made a reservation at a hotel near a hospital for Friday and Saturday nights so I could be away from the children for the inevitable. Friday morning I went back to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription and it was not ready because it was a "questionable" prescription and they had not been able to get a hold of my doctor.  My doctor's office closes at noon on Friday. It was 11:58.  No answer when I called my doctor's office. I had to be across town at 2:00 for signing papers at the title office.  I was more than a bit upset.  I had already made plans and this was NOT how things were supposed to go. On my way to the signing, James called and said that the pharmacy had called him and they had been able to get a hold of my doctor and verify the prescription.  It would be ready in an hour.  Provision #1

 When I arrived at the title company James had been talking to our realtor (who we had never met in person before- only by phone). He had been sharing with her about Lenah and about our family.  She was genuinely interested in hearing our testimony and not just being patronizing because of our professional dealings. We continued to share things as we were signing papers.  I was afraid that the patient woman working at the title company was going to get upset with us for taking so long. She was very gracious.  Our realtor continued to ask us questions and we continued to share. We told her about how the weekend before she called us about the contract on our land, we had discussed our current living situation.  The kids and I had been living at our lake house in the boonies. We had previously thought that maybe it was time for us to move to the country permanently. Our house in Texas City is literally falling apart.  It has some major foundation and roof issues. I told James that I was at a point in my pregnancy and in our journey that we all needed to be together wherever he was. If things didn't look like he was going to start a school  in east Texas- we needed to come back to the Houston area, but our house is virtually uninhabitable. I asked him if he would consider moving into a house in a neighborhood where we wouldn't have a huge yard to maintain. He was at first rather upset and he asked me if I had given up on growing our own animals and food - on becoming more self-sufficient. I told him that I hadn't given up on that and that we had learned a lot towards that end while living in Texas City. But, (there's always one of those isn't there?) that right now I just felt very strongly that at this point in our lives we need to focus more on the discipleship and education of our children and that we could support others that are doing the organic/permaculture/self-sufficient/agrarian lifestyle. If his vocation was going to be at the massage therapy school- we needed him to be present with us when he wasn't there, not working his guts out taking care of livestock and plants. He was upset- not with me - but more at the situation. It was almost like the death of a dream. I told him that I believed we would still do that at some point in the future, but right now just didn't seem like the season for that. When he got back to Houston Sunday night (after we had this long discussion Saturday night) he got online and looked at properties near his school. He found one promising one that was nearby, but it had renters that would not be out until the end of December. We needed to be moved before then because of the baby being due in December. So he searched again Monday with slightly different parameters and found a 3-4/2.5/2 town home that was 1.3 miles from the school. He called the listing realtor to see if she could show him the property. She told him she was actually on her way to the property because someone had tried to show the house the previous day but was unable to because the key didn't work. The key worked fine for her and she showed him the town home. This is part of what he saw :

( Now if you know me really well, you know that I LOVE purple. And yes, that is purple carpet in the house.)

  Later that same day our realtor  called to say that she was drawing up an offer for the sale of the land that we had in Angleton. (The sale we closed on this Friday)
 I came to Houston on that Thursday to see the house in person.  We made an offer on it on the spot.  The seller accepted our offer with a potential closing date of September 5th. Now, at some point our mortgage broker called and said that because James is self-employed our debt to income ratio was a bit off and that we would have to pay some things off to qualify for a new mortgage. The proceeds from the sale of our land will allow us to take care of this problem. Praise God! Provision #2

We shared all of this with our realtor at closing and she was amazed.

 That brings us to Friday night.  I checked into the hotel and my Aunt S. arrived a bit before 11pm. I  had been taking some herbs before she arrived. I took the first dose of medication at 11pm, the second at 3am, and the third at 7 am.  By 11 am Saturday, I was having pretty serious cramping but I was very hungry so Aunt S. went to get some brunch and a few things from the health food store.  She got lost while she was out and returned around 3pm.  By this time, I was very hungry and having serious contractions very close together. I scarfed down some steak tacos. I then was having a lot of low back pain and wanted to get in a hot bath.  I started to draw water- but I never made it into that bath.  The baby came out with the amniotic sac completely intact. It was obvious that the fluid inside the sac was very putrid. It is a miracle that it stayed intact or I would likely be fighting some kind of uterine infection.( Provision #3)
 I was bleeding very heavily and the umbilical cord had detached from the placenta.  The placenta was NOT coming out, so we headed to the emergency room.  I was just praying that I didn't pass out on my way out of the hotel.  I really didn't want to call for an ambulance, because I knew that would just delay things and I NEEDED to get to the hospital as soon as possible. I felt as though someone had turned a faucet on low inside my body - not a good feeling.  When we arrived at the hospital and they saw how much I was bleeding. People started moving quickly.  When I started explaining things to the OB on call she was at  first very suspicious. She was shocked that my OB would prescribe cytotec for an out of hospital induction for someone who had previously had 4 c-sections and currently had an anterior placenta.  When I told her that a specialist Dr. H had seen me on Tuesday and diagnosed  fetal demise and had looked closely at my placenta and did not see a placenta accreta, she said "That's the best thing you've told me so far.  Dr. H is an excellent physician she actually delivered my two children."( Provision#4)
 Now, this is monumental.
 I had seen this specialist from HOUSTON in LUFKIN on Tuesday. Then it turns out that she is the personal OB for the on-call OB that sees me in CLEAR LAKE in a strange emergency situation. At that moment everything changed. I also told her that I understood that the whole situation was very unorthodox, but it was very important to me to be able to bury my daughter's remains and that if I had gone to the hospital for induction, my daughter would have been disposed of as medical waste.  She was surprised at that.  She turned to the nurse and said "Is that true? We can't release remains"  The nurse confirmed that that was indeed the case.  She then said "How did I not know this?" I told her that I understand that most people weren't as concerned about this, but it was important enough to me to try to avoid my daughter being thrown away. From that point on, we were treated very respectfully and with much compassion.  Not that I wouldn't have received adequate care otherwise, but it was very strange circumstances that brought us there.  And it seems there is always some suspicion when you arrive at the hospital with a midwife, even if she is family to you. They quickly did an ultrasound to verify that the placenta was still retained. It was.  There was also some other tissue at the fundus of my uterus.  I didn't ask, but I suspect that Ruby may have had a twin that  had passed much earlier or I had a blighted ovum. It was definitely something separate from Ruby or her placenta. They took me back to the OR for a spinal and D&C  I was brought back to my room around 6 or 7. Things are a bit fuzzy. I was released Sunday around 11:30 am. I lost quite a bit of blood, but I am feeling pretty well overall.
  All Saturday evening  and since then I have been thinking at how there were so many variables in this whole situation that could have changed and made this go from being a serious situation to a deadly situation. If I had spontaneously miscarried out at the lake house with just me and the kids....
If I had gone to the hospital for induction and the amniotic sac had ruptured because I had to try to pass it lying down in a hospital bed..... And so on and so on. Losing my child is just plain awful. But if my children had lost me.....I don't even have words for that.  I have this deep and abiding sense of such thankfulness and praise to the Lord for once again leading us so tenderly and providing for and protecting us so abundantly. I truly, truly can not express it fully.
  So now, this week I am resting. James will be tending to the financial aspects of the purchase of our new home. On Tuesday night after we found out about Ruby's passing, and before we learned that we could resolve the financing difficulty. I told James that I didn't know if I could bear losing both the baby and the purchase of a new home.  I pray that everything goes smoothly and we are able to purchase a new home, but I now know that even if things don't work out, the Lord is watching over us and He cares for us and He will provide for us.
  I also would like to say that I have some of the most amazing, loving friends on the planet.  Thank you for loving us and praying for us. It means everything. You know who you are.

Friday, August 15, 2014

August 15, 2014

I guess I'll start with the good news :
 Today James and I will be going to sign papers on the closing sale of our land in Angleton. We have made an offer on a townhome in Clear Lake and that purchase is set to close on the 5th of September. These two transactions are what I had asked for prayer about previously. There is a very interesting story about the timing of all this that I plan to share later.

 Now for the bad news. At my ultrasound appointment on Tuesday we learned that our sweet baby had passed away. It looked as though she was a girl. She passed around 15 1/2 weeks gestation. It also looks like she had the same syndrome as Lenah. Her heart was placed on the wrong side. Please pray for me. I will be staying with my dear midwife friend to try to induce labor naturally to complete this miscarriage this weekend. I want to avoid a trip to the hospital and we would like to be able to bury our baby next to her sister in our family cemetery. This would not be possible if I go to the hospital for an induction. Please pray that I do not have any complications.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014

  There really isn't much to tell yet about the baby.  My first two prenatal appointments were good.  My blood pressure is good. The baby's heart rate was 150 at my first appointment and 144 at the second.  August the 12th, I have an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine specialist.  They will be taking a very close look at the baby at that time.  I'm sure we will also find out the gender of the baby.
   We are currently in the Houston area to celebrate Sarah's 4th birthday.  We plan to take her to Chuck E. Cheese's and the Palm Beach at Moody Gardens.  Everyone is very excited.  Our nieces are visiting us to celebrate Sarah's birthday.  They are 3 and almost 5 years old.  Sarah has had some moments of jealousy.  She is not used to having to share her toys so much.  Overall, though, they have gotten along really well and are enjoying each other's company.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Good News

I have shared our good news with my friends on Facebook, but I know there are some friends and family that do not use Facebook.  We are expecting a sweet new family member sometime around December 26th - my 40th birthday.  This was VERY unexpected. I was in literal shock when I saw that second blue line. I cried for quite a while and felt terrified.  I  now have peace about this new life and I refuse to walk in fear. The Lord is faithful and He created this life. He will lead us through whatever may come just as he has so gently led us in the past. I plan to call this week to schedule a doctor appointment. I would not at all be surprised to find twins this time around as my pregnancy symptoms are very strong.  We appreciate any and all prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

 I almost made it through Mother's Day without crying. Almost.  We had a nice day together as a family. James took us for an early dinner at a very nice Cajun Seafood restaurant.  He left from there to drive back to Houston to get ready for his work week.  As I was driving back to the the Lakehouse it hit me. My first Mother's Day without Lenah. We miss her so much. Sarah still talks about her almost every day.  I know the others think about her as often, they just don't say anything because they don't want to make anyone else cry.  I don't cry every day anymore. I am down to about two out of every three.

Please don't think I walk around under a cloud. I don't.  We are actually getting along very well as a family right now.  Homeschooling is going well. We have had a lot of nice adventures recently. Last week we saw a theatre production about Laura Ingalls Wilder at our local college.  We all enjoyed it.  This week we plan to visit our local farmer's market.  We also plan to try our hands at trout fishing. I have never fished for trout before. Feel free to share any trout fishing pointers you have in the comments below.

I hope all you mothers out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

May 6, 2014

  The weather here has been just beautiful. Here is the view out my window.
We don't have internet service at the Lakehouse so I must go to the library or some other place to make posts or check e-mail. If you make a comment or send me a message, it might take me some time to reply.

I wish I had some before pictures of the inside of our living room. But here are the after pics.

 The Lakehouse is not yet purple, but will be soon enough. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love the color purple. I have always wanted to live in a purple house. And now we shall. We are adding a kitchen and dining room and turning the old kitchen into a larger bathroom and dressing room.
Here is a simple rendering of the current layout in blue and new addition in pink.

There are also lofts at both ends above the current kitchen/dining/bathroom area. They are the sleeping areas for the children.

We have had some difficulty confirming the mailing address here at the Lakehouse. Six or seven years ago we had some friends living here and they obtained an address from the county's 911 addressing service, but they didn't really use the address as they had a PO box in town. They were unsure of the address that was given. I have called the county's 911 addressing person 3 times and was sent to voice mail. I left a message the first time I called last week and no one has returned my call. I just decided to put the address that our friends believed to be the address that was given on our mailbox and go with that. Things are very different in rural areas than they were in the Houston area., I am finding more and more. I am debating about whether I should get a PO Box in town as well. I will have to mail some test mail to myself and see if it actually makes it's way here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lenah's Headstone

This weekend marked two months since Lenah passed away. I ordered her headstone today.  I am  missing her so much.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Month Update

Wednesday marked one month since Lenah's passing. Goodness, how I miss her.

The first week she was gone seemed like a month or more. Time seems to be running at “normal” speed now.

Last Friday was an emotional day for me. I had been to visit Lenah's grave (with my dear friend Sallie) only once since her burial. We pass by every time we leave the farm to go to town, but I had not actually walked out into the cemetery. Friday afternoon I decided to walk out to visit her grave. On the way there I was pre-reading a book that I plan read aloud to my children, and a new character named Lena was introduced. (I was on the second or third book in the series.) The character goes on to become the children's aunt. There aren't so many Lenas in children's books. Then, I stopped to check the mailbox before I crossed the road to the cemetery. Inside, there was a letter from the children of the family that were also present at Lenah's burial. I sat on one of the sawed sections of a large tree that my father had cut when he cleared the land and later placed around Lenah's grave and I opened the letter.

This was inside:

I knew that all of this was not just some coincidence. I know that Lenah looks forward to seeing us again.

We are still staying at my parents farmhouse for the time being. Our being here has been so timely for so many reasons. James has been having to teach night classes as two of his instructors each had personal situations to attend. James has not has to teach night classes for about seven years. It has worked out very well for us to be here in the country. James will also be able to pay off large amount of our personal debt which is a blessing as well. Sometimes I am just so surprised by the providence of God. I probably shouldn't be, but I am. I had been praying about whether we were to stay here or go back to Houston. I am now quite sure that at least for the time being, we are supposed to be here. If we had gone back to Houston we would have missed this:

 Those of you that live further north are probably yawning right now, but for my Texas Gulfcoast kiddos this was a cause for great excitement.  They loved playing in the snow.  Everybody got some kind of mild congestion/cough thing afterwards but that was probably really from our trip to town last week.  We also now have a fully stocked freezer full of snowballs waiting for the stifling heat of July or August.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The League of Bereaved Mothers

 One week ago today, I joined a special sisterhood.  A certain sorority in which I never sought membership – The League of Bereaved Mothers. Membership is exclusive and the dues are very costly. We hold our induction ceremonies in a variety of locations: hospital rooms, on busy roadways, poolside, in farm fields, really anywhere a mother might find her child. Or anywhere a mother might NOT want to find her child. I know there are those of you that have been members much longer than I have. Please feel free to share any pearls of wisdom you have found along the way. Those of you that are not members, I pray you never find yourself inducted.

We don't have lapel pins or t-shirts with Greek letters. Instead, you might identify us by the lines of grief around our eyes or that tear you see in the corner of our eye as we watch you with your child that reminds us of the one we lost.

We might like to share information about our club with you, but we fear that look in your eye. The look people get when the crazy lady who lost a child starts to talk about that child. About that journey. About that loss.

We're really not trying to recruit you.

I promise.

And if one of our members starts to tell you about her membership, probably the best thing you can respond to them with is “I'm so sorry”.

You see, we hate this club. We'd all like to revoke our membership. We'd all like to mail our member's card back and demand a refund. But that's just not possible. Membership is for a lifetime, irrevocable, and non-refundable.

For those that are willing, membership can have benefits. You can learn to love others better, especially any other children you have. You can enjoy the life you currently have better than you did before. For our members, other possible traumas in life seem to pale by comparison and that can be very freeing.

 My own induction a week ago seems more like it was a month ago- or two.  I have not felt as I imagined I would.  I thought I would be groaning and wailing.  I thought I would cry until I had no tears left.  I have cried, but not an unending, hopeless wailing.  I grieved so much from the time of Lenah's initial diagnosis and with each subsequent negative diagnosis that I think I may have used up a lot of my grief (if that's possible) even before she was actually gone. It is more probable that the Lord has just been very gracious to me and has supernaturally comforted me in a way that has made this time much more bearable.

 The most difficult thing for me this past week has been to have to answer Sarah's questioning every day.

 "Where's Weenah".

"Do you remember ? Lenah's body was very sick and it stopped working.  Do you remember? She stopped breathing and she died and her body turned cold. Do you remember?  We put her body in that box and put it in the ground."

"Oh yeah, Weenah's dead. "

Sometimes she cries and sometimes she doesn't.  Sometimes she forgets again in the same day and asks if we are going to see Lenah at the "hoffital".  Sometimes I wish I could forget as she does.


New Year's morning I was praying and asking the Lord what my word for the year was and I heard and felt "restore". I thought at first that I might have just been hoping that would be my word for the the year. But then just a few minutes later, this post showed up from my friend Lori on facebook. I knew immediately that it was confirmation from the Lord. I am sharing it here, because I think there may be others that the Lord is whispering this to as well.

Last year's word was "Love". The Lord showed his love to us so clearly over the tragedy and trial of the last year with Lenah. I also believe He helped me to love my family better. I certainly am more in love with my husband after this past year.

This is the post I read:

I hear Him whisper...

"I will restore you. Do not be afraid to follow Me into the unknown, for I am the one who leads you on and restores your life. I have placed within you My glorious treasure, and I care for you. This year will be a year of restoration in your life. You will end this year restored in My love, strengthened in My grace, and surrounded with songs of joy. And your joy will be shared by angels, for they are with you My child, they walk beside you guarding your life and preparing the way.

"I will restore you. Never limit Me. I will restore your family and those you love, they will see Me in your life and know that I am the One who gives back to you what has been lost. Don't doubt My grace that is enough for you and for your family.

"I say to you, I will restore you and provide for you in ways that will reveal My heart of love. My mercy brings gifts and surprises and supplies all that you need. There will always be provision for your needs, and in My mercy I will reveal where you can find Me, for this will be the season of abundant supply for every need you have.

"I will restore your mind and your heart as you come before Me. Crooked things will be made straight within you. For everything I do for you I do inside your heart, healing your spirit and soothing your soul. Come and find My heart and I will restore your heart. Greater passions will rise within you to feast upon My Word and drink of My Spirit. The hunger I give you will bring you deeper into My grace and My love for you.

"I will restore you and your dreams. Those desires within you for completion and to touch the lives of others, I will fulfill. Promises made are promises kept. As I speak deep within you and in the whispers of the night I will watch over every Word I speak to you and it will be fulfilled. This day begins a new season of dreams fulfilled. You will laugh with joy when your son of promise, "Isaac" is born. You will see that My ways are perfect and timing exquisite. I will keep My Word and watch over and nurture those dreams that I have placed within you until their fulfillment arrives.

"I will restore you, trust Me as I take your forward, for I am your Father."

Then He led me to these verses for you, my friend:

"But let them all be glad,
Those who turn aside to hide themselves in You.
May they keep shouting for joy forever!
Overshadow them in Your presence
As they sing and rejoice,
Then every lover of Your Name
Will burst forth with endless joy.
Lord, how wonderfully You bless the righteous.
Your favor wraps around each one and
Covers them
Under Your canopy of kindness and joy.

Psalm 5:11-12 TPT