Baby Addison.

August 25, 2009

It is with a lot of hesitation and mixed feelings that I begin this post. I must choose my words carefully. How to describe what has happened and what we have learned in the past week and a half…?

I never thought it would happen to me. I’m young, I’m healthy. I’ve never gone to the ER, I’ve never had any surgeries, I’ve never had any diseases, I’ve never even had any allergies. Surely my pregnancy would be smooth and problem-free, just like everyone else’s. However, after some progressive bleeding and cramping throughout the week, we suffered an early miscarriage in the middle of the night on Saturday, August 15, 2009. It was a crazy weekend of being in and out of the ER, praying with fervency against our greatest fears, crying until no tears would come anymore, and simply just being exhausted physically and emotionally. Though it has been a traumatic time for me and Steven, the Lord has graciously sustained us and even granted us so much peace and comfort through it all. Surely He knows our needs and our limitations better than we do and orchestrates every event of our lives in His perfect goodness and sovereignty to not only give us what is good, but to give us what is best. Do we see those things perfectly now? No. But already we have seen so much good come out of this tragedy and have found much to be thankful for.

The night that we lost our baby was a most surreal night. It happened around 4am, after which we sobbed together as we’ve never done, and then spent the remaining hours of the night with our pillows propped up against our iron-framed headboard, reflecting on the events of the night and the mysterious ways of our great God. That has probably been the sweetest moment of our marriage thus far. Not that our marriage has been long. But that night, as we talked through so many things, I felt such a unique bond with my husband, this man that I loved so much. He was truly closer to me than anyone else, had been with¬† me through my darkest moment, and could feel everything as acutely as I could. He was the father of my baby, my best friend, the one who had cared for me and held me up when I was broken, and the one who had bared his soul vulnerably to me by crying with me and for me and for our child. After calling our baby s/he for so long, we decided to name our baby Addison. That was the name that Steven had liked from the very beginning (I had other ones I liked better), and it just so happened to be a unisex name. Perfect for our little one. Baby Addison was here and gone in such a short amount of time, but we loved baby Addison dearly. Addison was our child, our precious and beloved child. We were so eager to hold our baby, to see what s/he might look like, what kind of personality s/he would have. This baby, still so young and not fully developed, had changed our lives completely.

The Lord used our little one to strengthen our young marriage, bringing us closer together than we had ever been before, allowing us to see the depth of our own love for each other in a way that we couldn’t see before. It’s so hard to see that love in the day-to-day, the mundane working and cooking and cleaning and working out and watching TV. But in moments like these, when our hearts are wrenched from within, our love is clear as day. What an incredible blessing to have each other through this difficult time, and more so, what incredible blessings to have our salvation, to have Christ to cling to. How much sweeter it will be the next time around–if God grants us a baby that comes to term–how much more we will appreciate this gift of life that God graciously gives to us. We are so thankful for the love and support we have received from family, and also from our church families–both at Lighthouse and Cornerstone. Even though it might seem awkward to share such intimate things with people we might not know as well, what a privilege to be able to develop these relationships on such personal ground. What an awesome chance to minister to people in the future, and just to be able to understand what it feels like to experience grief and heartache. And what a beautiful privilege it was to be a parent, even though it may not have been long! We got to experience the joys of parenthood, of caring for and protecting this child as best as we could, of delighting in this little miracle that we had created by God’s grace! What a joy… and this baby that we so longed to raise and to protect, had the privilege of going to be with the Lord earlier than most. Baby Addison will never have to experience pain, suffering, and the burden of sin. Baby Addison is free from sin and able to worship the Lord for eternity, and we look forward to the day we get to meet our baby in Heaven. Surely our loving Father can care for our little one better than we could ever have hoped to do here on earth.

This passage has been a soothing balm for my soul:

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth… For the LORD will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” {Lamentations 3:19-33}

Thank you to all the loving brothers and sisters who have come alongside us this past week… We have been so overwhelmed and encouraged by the love of Christ tangibly extended to us through you. So thankful for my dear Julie, who urged me to think on what is true. I’m reminded of it often when I am tempted to dwell on the horrible lie that I failed to protect my baby. Thankful for my dear Joan, who sent me Aunt Jane’s Hero at the most opportune time. It’s a lovely and uplifting fiction novel about a faithful Christian couple who loved the Lord through all circumstances of life–I so love the way Elizabeth Prentiss writes. Thankful to everyone for their love… one sister wrote that she knew God’s grace would be “mysteriously sufficient” for us, and surely it has been just that! Mysteriously sufficient.

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Lessons in Being a Wife.

August 11, 2009

The past two months have gone by in a blur. And thankfully, I have had a minimal amount of emotional breakdowns (good for Steven especially haha). I thought transitioning to Orange County would be a toughie. Not that it’s easy necessarily, but it has been surprisingly more smooth than I expected. I had a lot of anxieties about starting over… What will I do by myself without any of my friends? How will it feel attending a church where I don’t know anyone and no one knows me? Will it be harder to build relationships now that I’m married? Will all of my friends be old married people? And not only that, but also: What will it be like to live with Steven? What if we get tired of being around each other 24/7? What will it feel like to have to share my bed with someone else? Are we going to be one of those couples that fight a lot their first year? :[

The Lord has been gracious to me, to us. Cornerstone has been a blessing. Care group, though we’ve only met once, has been a huge blessing. We happen to be in Gary & Cindy’s cg (Pastor John’s brother & his wife), and Cindy–in some ways–reminds me of Ange. She started out our first cg by saying that this was a place where we could be open and vulnerable with one another, a safe place of mutual accountability and encouragement. It reminded me so much of how Ange started off our first small group meeting just about a year ago. It means the world to me, particularly during this unique period I find myself in. Some of Steven’s old buddies from when he used to go to Cornerstone have been¬† really nice about inviting us out to events, which are always a tad bit intimidating to go to, but always turn out to be great. And actually, a lot of new people have been really friendly and been reaching out to us individually and as a couple–we appreciate it so much.

Marriage has been exciting, but still, well, really normal. It’s surprising how normal it feels to live with and be married to this man that I like so much. Thank the good Lord, we are not one of those couples that fight their way through their first year of marriage. Perhaps He knew it would be too much for me, being in this new setting. I might have unraveled into a pile of string on the floor. Thank the good Lord, we are not sick of being with each other 24/7 (at least I hope it’s a mutual feeling hahaha). We literally spend almost 24 hours a day together, every day of the week. Aside from the two days I drive down to San Diego (8am-5pm), and now every Wednesday night when we alternate turns going to cg, and a few errands here and there, we are at home. Together. Always.

Which brings me to some things I’ve been thinking about recently. You see, we are actually not going to be together 24/7 starting in a few weeks. He enrolled for some night classes at OCC. Which gives me a lot of nights home alone during the week. Some days I may only see him for less than an hour after I get home from SD, just enough time to feed him dinner and send him out the door. I guess these are the not-so-glamorous things about married life. I don’t have other roommates I can turn to when I get bored or lonely or just want someone to talk to dangit. I don’t even have other friends I can call up for coffee (well, no coffee for me, but you know what I mean) or tea or just to shoot the breeze with. But what’s the big deal? Why do I feel so anxious about this change? Will I really die of loneliness? Is there really nothing I can do to fill that time? Do I really want him to give up taking classes so he can sit at home with me on the couch and just, you know, be there with me?

Already my selfishness has become so apparent in our marriage. I am such a needy person. He says that’s just cause I’m a girl (he always lets me off easy), but no, I know that I am an exceptionally needy girl. Over these past two months, I have already grown so dependent on him and just his being there for me for everything–everything from killing spiders, doing the dishes when I’m tired, listening to me when I have a funny story, to turning on the fan for me in the middle of the night when I start burning up or watching a movie with me when I’m bored. I have grown to expect it, see it as my right in marriage. But what did I commit to only two months ago? Was it not to be his helper? Is he my helper, or am I his? And what does it mean to help him? To free him up so he can fulfill his role in working and providing for the family, to not be a hindrance to him but allow him to pursue what he desires, to encourage him and support him in his decisions. And to do all of it with joy.

Sonya Smith exhorted the women on Sunday during second hour to practice dying to self. Now there’s something I needed to hear… Indeed, my life in Orange County has not been so difficult, but it’s because I used Steven as my rock to lean on–for everything! Thank goodness he is strong and has been able to support my weight thus far. But in actuality, he is not a rock, and he couldn’t be even if he tried his best. Only Christ can be my sufficiency in times of hardship and loneliness. And as I depend on Him and look to Him for comfort and hope, He alone can grant me the grace to look outside of my own little life and consider how I might be a blessing to others instead, especially to my most precious and dearest husband.

I love you!

I love you!

Pioneer Woman

August 8, 2009

So Karean told me about this site awhile back, but I had forgotten about it until recently (when she reminded me). It’s neat. She’s a city girl who married a cowboy and is now raising her family in the country. She blogs, homeschools her kids, decorates her home, cooks some yum food, and learned how to use a DSLR on her own. That’s mainly why I went to her site actually. I got this awesome Canon DSLR as my bachelorette gift from my nearest & dearest girlfriends a week before the wedding:

Canon Rebel XS

Canon Rebel XS

I thought I’d be a quick learner. What’s so hard about photography, right? It’s a form of art. But all this technical business is kind of a headache. Too many buttons and functions… What does ISO do? What’s aperture? Which is how I ended up getting to know the Pioneer Woman. Karean told me that she teaches you how to use a DSLR in laymen’s terms. So I went. Explored a bit. And after a few minutes in the Photography section of her site, somehow ended up in this section.

Eep. The story of how she met her husband. Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story. I thought it’d only take an hour, maybe two tops. Yeah right… I spent the last few days spending all of my free time reading this mini-romance novel. I felt like my high school self, addicted to Korean dramas, telling myself I would stop and exercise some self-control… as soon as the series ends.

So, I’d like to introduce you to Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) and Marlboro Man:

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story

Clap clap! FYI, I do not endorse everything they did in their dating relationship. AND I do not believe that love is mere passion. But I’m just saying… if you want to indulge yourself in a little summer fling, feel free to read away. :]

To be fair, however, I did learn a couple things about photography. I now know what bokeh is. And I’m starting to grasp aperture. And now that I’ve gotten her love story out of my system, I can get back to learning some more.

Good News!

August 4, 2009

The Witch of the West is dead! The wickedest witch there ever was…

Haha, just kidding. I’ve been listening to the Wicked soundtrack again, especially on my work commute. Speaking of which, I am working for my old job in SD again–except part-time now with a promotion to Executive Assistant. So I drive down to SD twice a week, which is surprisingly not that bad. It’s nice working some and then staying at home some to do housework and spend time with Steven. :]

But honestly, we have good news. For those who haven’t heard yet, we are expecting. I know some might be shocked that we’re expanding our family so soon, but we are really thankful and see this as a huge blessing from the Lord. He has graciously opened my womb and granted us this baby who is now 9 weeks along in development! (Aside: For those who are counting how many weeks we’ve been married–which is not 9 yet–the 40 weeks begins with the first day of the last period, which was before the wedding haha. So don’t get crazy now.)

My Cindy remembered this picture we took during our junior year of college. Amy & Pauline had gone home for break already, so Cindy & I raided their closets and took photos in all their fob clothes. I happened to put on what we called Pauline’s “pregnant dress” (cause it was cut funny & made her look pregnant every time she wore it haha) and naturally had to add my very own baby bump to go along with it. So here it is…

Pauline's purple dresses

Pauline's purple dresses

Needless to say, I won’t be taking pictures like that anymore… but I hope to be better about updating this blog, with real prego pictures and other haps, pregnancy & non-pregnancy stuff alike. Until next time!