"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, December 29, 2014

5 years later

5 years later and I'm finally sharing pictures of Levi with you. I've thought about it so many times but it never felt right…until now. Just have to warn you since they're not your typical newborn pictures!

I remember it like it was yesterday…August 26, 2009. It was a Wednesday. Logan and I had been married for just over 2 months. The priest who officiated our wedding was coming over for dinner and to celebrate mass (yes! our own special mass! in our dining room!). The past week or so, I had been having weird symptoms, like waking up to pee in the middle of the night and being unusually tired. I had even taken a pregnancy test a few days prior, but it was negative. So when Logan got home from work, we decided to take another one. It was 5:15…Father was coming for 6:00.

Only one line showed up again. So, Logan left the bathroom while I finished up. I looked at the test again and noticed a very faint second line! I ran to get Logan. We both were paranoid - is that a second line?! Should we take another test?

Logan decided to run to the store and get a much nicer test (we had just used the dollar store brand). By the time he got home, it was 5:50.
Two lines! We couldn't believe it. I had gone our entire engagement without even ovulating (which I knew because I was charting for NFP) and on my first cycle in our marriage, I got pregnant. On day 41. How is that even possible?!

We didn't even have time to call any family or friends to tell them the news before Father showed up for his visit. So he was the first to hear the big news, and how special it was to celebrate mass that evening in our little rental house. With our first baby in my belly!

The next four months was a good time for us. Not only had we unexpectedly been blessed with a baby in utero, I also started a new job and was loving it. Morning sickness wasn't fun, of course, but that passed just in time for the holidays. In fact, I felt the baby move for the first time on Thanksgiving! My pregnancy was moving along perfectly.

Logan and I decided to book a last-minute cruise (super cheap in December!) as our "babymoon", so we spent 4 days just relaxing and looking forward to finding out the baby's gender when we got back.
On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we found out we were having a boy! It was so neat to start calling our baby by name...Levi Anthony. Levi had been my favorite boy name for awhile now and Anthony is also Logan's middle name.  My belly was growing pretty fast by this point, and Levi was kicking away all the time. I really was enjoying being pregnant.

Christmas came and it was wonderful. Logan's parents and brother came over for Christmas Eve, we had Christmas lunch at his grandma's house, and the rest of the day was just us two at home - watching a movie in bed, taking a nap, and playing Scrabble. Bliss.

Four days later, the unthinkable happened. After a seemingly perfect 22 weeks of pregnancy, we lost our little Levi. (Click here if you haven't read that story). It's not something you expect to deal with less than 7 months into your marriage.
God must have given Logan some extra graces to smile, because  I tried and just couldn't...
It's crazy that it was 5 years ago. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, since so much has happened since then - a year and half of infertility, becoming foster parents, having two more babies.

But I remember everything like it was yesterday. Being numb with grief. Holding the body of my baby that I'd never get to see smile or crawl or walk.
I remember crying every time I tried to pray after that. I remember being so incredibly sad all the time and not knowing if the pain would ever end. Losing a baby is like losing part of yourself - and I honestly thought I would never recover.

Throughout everything, I knew God was working through it and that He ultimately had a bigger plan for me than I had planned for myself. I had always said that everything happens for a reason. Even though I knew that, it was really hard believing it most days. Because I thought I would be much better off having Levi with me instead of him being in Heaven (selfish, I know, but it's the truth).

That's why I'm writing this. For anyone who can't see past the pain they're in now. For those that think life will never be the same (it won't be, but that's okay!). For those who don't understand what God could possibly be thinking by putting you through so much suffering.

Let me tell you…the pain will never go away, but it will fade. It will fade enough for you to see what God is doing through all of it, and it will fade enough for you to see that you still are blessed. You may have lost, but you will gain so much more because of it.

It took until Landon was born (2.5 years after Levi) to really have any sense of peace about everything. And I can't even begin to explain how much growth happened during that time, even though I couldn't see it then. It isn't until years later that I can see just why God allowed us to go through that trying time.
But really, losing Levi was just the beginning. We've been through more trials since then, and I truly believe that our experience with Levi prepared us for many of them. Not to mention that this little boy is praying for us all the time. I'm so thankful, because we certainly need it! And I'm sure more trials will come, as they always do. 
"God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done." -Ecclesiastes 3:11
Levi, please pray for us! We miss you so much.

6 comments:

  1. Prayers for you Jen! Thank you for sharing, such a precious little boy who's now praying for you from Heaven! God bless you

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  2. Thank you for sharing. There must some peace in finally getting to get it out. Keep on keeping on, it is what he would want of his mother and father.

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  3. First of all, I want to say that you were the most adorable newly pregnant lady I ever did see!! Thank you so much for sharing your photos in this post. It's unusual for people not to smile in photographs, but how in the world could someone be expected to smile in the face of that situation? Also, Levi looks a TON like Landon...I know you mentioned it before, but obviously I've never seen Levi's photos until now. And now that my message is all over the board...I'm going to stop typing. Lots of love for Levi and the L. Family, always.

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