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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Framed Sonogram Picture

For my previous four children, I did manage to get their sonogram pictures put into their baby books.  I never got them framed or anything.  However, for our fifth, I wanted to do something special.

We were shocked to discover that Isaiah had passed away during the sixteenth week of pregnancy.  I was 15 weeks, four days along.  I went in for my routine prenatal visit, and my doctor could not find the heartbeat.

I was 15 weeks, four days along.  I kept repeating that to myself over and over again.  Babies don't die then.  Sadly, however, a sonogram the next day confirmed our fears--our little boy had died.

Keeping his memory alive has been important to me, and I wanted to get his sonogram picture framed and on our wall.  I also wanted to involve my kids in projects to remember their little brother.

My son, Evan, painted the wooden letters that I ordered online from Hobby Lobby.  I searched and searched to find a frame that we could glue the letters to.  (I finally found this one at Hobby Lobby as well.)

Evan painted the letters, I had the frame, I had the sonogram picture.  And there everything sat in my closet for months.  I don't know why it was so hard for me to get this done.  I mean, I wanted to, but it also meant dealing with the pain of our loss again.

Finally, I got the sonogram picture custom-framed.  Again, it sat in my closet for a week.  I moved it out to the dining room table so that maybe I would get the letters glued on.  It went back into the closet.

Today, though, was the day.  It was time to embrace my grief and get this done for my son.  I applied the letters using my low-temp hot glue gun.  I used my clear rotary cutting ruler to help line up the letters 2 1/2 inches from the bottom edge of the frame.  I used a toothpick to remove the extra strings of hot glue from around the letters.  It only took a few minutes.  Now to get it on the wall. . .

I have found with this miscarriage that I tend to stuff my feelings down and "put things in the closet," so to speak.  I don't want to deal with how I feel or I don't know how to.  I mean, my kids need me.  I need to get the house cleaned.  I need to make supper.  It's hard to take care of those things when you are an emotional wreck. 

I have come to realize, however, that getting things out of the closet, expressing my feelings and dealing with them is a much better coping mechanism.  I feel more at peace, and I am much less likely to explode at my kids over some trivial something that comes up.  Somehow, too, it is not as hard to just do it as it is to think about doing it. 

Today, I finished a framed picture project that I have been planning on doing for about eight months now.  I wanted it to be done, but somehow, I didn't want to "do it."  But there it sat, undone, haunting me.  So, I did it!  Turns out thinking about it was harder than actually doing it. 

Growing up, I had trouble showing my emotions.  I didn't like to let others see me cry--I guess I viewed it as a weakness, or I didn't want to make others sad.  Now, though, I think it is important to let others know when I am sad, especially my children.  It is not a bad thing to be sad.  It is not a bad thing to cry.  It is not a bad thing to miss Isaiah.  I want them to feel like they can talk to me about anything, even things that make them sad.  The best way to encourage that is to model it for them. 

If you have experienced a miscarriage, you may be struggling with trying to "be strong."  In this culture, that basically means that you go on almost like nothing happened.  You are a strong reed alone as others are bending under the pressure.  May I tell you that being strong is not going on like nothing happened?!!  No matter how far along you were, this was a child. 

People may try to minimalize what you are going through.  I think one of the hardest things I have had to deal with is people not recognizing that this was a loss of a "person."  It is hard to hear your son referred to as a "fetus." 

I was talking to a friend this morning who has also been through a miscarriage.  We both agreed that it is a life-changing event.  No matter what the circumstances were in your situation, you are different than before.

I know that God has used this situation for good in my life.  Nothing allows you to understand another person's grief than actually going through a similar situation.  I hope that I am able to be there for others as they cope with loss as well.  I hope that, over time, God will continue to use this experience for His glory and for mine as He continues to refine me.

My daughter Maddie has also painted a larger set of wooden letters spelling Isaiah's name that we are going to hang in the hallway.  They sat in the closet for quite a while as well.  But, today, I began.  I got them out and got some ribbon attached to them for hanging.  Of course, I ran out of ribbon and will have to get some more.  But it was a start. . .

If there is something that you have been waiting to do, something that you want to do but are somehow holding back, let me tell you that I have been there.  Maybe today can be your today, too!

See here to read more about Isaiah's story.


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