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5/31 Baby Mila is Born

. May 31, 2018 | 31 weeks Our baby Mila was born today. 3 lb 1 oz and 14 3/4 inches of pure bliss. She stayed with us just long enough to meet her brothers and sisters, and then she breathed her last and went home to our Lord. We had been looking forward to May 31 for weeks. I was impatient about it, even. It was the day that our second opinion was scheduled. I was eager to find out more information about our baby. Instead, I got to meet her face to face. The Day Before Wednesday afternoon, just after 3 pm, I noticed that I had some sort of a discharge come out of me, out of the birth canal side. It was only a little bit. When I wiped, it kind of looked like diarrhea (an olive brown color), and I thought I must have leaked something when I passed gas. Super embarrassing. But anyway, when I wiped my other end, there was no sign of diarrhea whatsoever. So I googled it and concluded that it must be the beginning of some sort of infection, and I resolved not to eat any more chocol
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7/26 Letting Go

July 26, 2018 | Week 8 It's funny how feelings can change in just a few days. Today, I'm feeling like I took a step backwards in the grieving process. As my final days of pumping approach, I find myself holding on and afraid of letting go. Seeing Mila's milk every day, writing her name on each bag every single day throughout the day has been so sweet & so special. I'll never get to fill out a form for Mila & write her name down on it. This is it. This is all I've had. These milk bags have been my only opportunity. I love writing her name down. I love that I think about her multiple times throughout the day. I don't want to stop thinking about her. I don't want "out of sight, out of mind", but I know that's how it's going to be. And I know that that's ok & probably even necessary. I'm feeling that all-too-familiar tension between life & death all over again. I want to choose joy and rejoice in life, but when I place

7/29 My Mila Dress

July 29, 2018 | Week 8 Today I wore my Mila dress. I bought this dress to wear at her funeral, but I wanted to have something pretty to wear so that every time I put it on afterwards, I would have a sweet reminder of my little girl. Today was my first time wearing it since that initial time on her burial day. At one point today, I wanted to go have a cry session, and throughout the day I would glance down at my dress and have flashbacks to shoveling dirt over her casket. We actually had quite the beautiful day today, spent at church & with family, but death has a way of casting shadows on things. It’s kind of like when you’re outside in bright daylight & then you enter the house and everything looks so dark until your eyes adjust. Death just darkens everything, but when my perspective adjusts, I can see all the beautiful things God continues to grace me with in life.

Daddy's Reflections

As a husband I can’t directly relate to my wife through pregnancy and motherhood. Those things are uniquely feminine, and I am of no help to guess what Delia is feeling. I can learn from what she expresses, and I am really glad that she has been open to me and that she has now written these posts. It gives me a glimpse into the mind of the strong, Christian woman that I married going through the trial of her life. I always need to be the leader in our marriage, but I’ve had to walk that delicate balance between being a dictator and being aimless. The decision to choose hospice after birth was the direction I saw Mila’s health going, but I let Delia get as many opinions and counsel as she desired. I would have supported intervention if she insisted, because I love her and she is the mommy. Whatever she wanted for that day she would get, such as how she wanted to capture the day on video, or what personal items she wanted to have nearby. I trust her judgment, and so I trust being patie

6/30 The First Month

June 30, 2018 | 1 Month I walked through a fatal diagnosis & am now on the other side of it. The doctors were right. Our baby Mila did die. May 31st. It was the saddest, most painful experience of our lives. But we are not alone. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18), and He surrounded us with a whole army of support, and with many other broken, bereaving mamas who came alongside me to understand me, encourage me, and give me practical wisdom for the hardest journey of my life. Praise God, we made it through the first month. Some friends came over for a couple of hours this week. I haven't felt very social at all. Being back at church was hard. And I knew seeing local friends again, starting up music classes again, and going back to our regular life would be hard. I didn't want to just resume all our normal activities & pick up where we left off as if nothing ever happened. I have to remind myself that just because we're returning to all of our

6/22 I Choose Joy

June 22, 2018 | Week 3 Ever since Mila’s funeral, it has been very difficult for me to experience pleasure. It’s hard to smile and enjoy things while my heart is still in such immense pain. Everything in me wants to shut out the happy and wallow in the despair. I remember one day, soon after Mila was born, I made a funny and made Aaron laugh. I let out a chuckle, too, and it literally made me feel sick inside. How can I be laughing at such a time as this? There's nothing funny about anything that's going on right now. Yet over and over I’ve seen the joy of the Lord seeking us out in the midst of the pain, just like the song we sang at Mila's funeral: 🎶 O, Joy that seekest me through pain,       I cannot close my heart to Thee...    🎶 Our 3 older kids went to family camp for the week. I knew they would genuinely enjoy themselves there. While they were gone, Aaron and I had to choose (force ourselves) daily to open our hearts up to this joy that seeks us. We made pla

6/17 One Father's Day to Another

June 17, 2018 | Week 2 Happy Father's Day, Aaron. You deserve to be celebrated. You have been through so much. Because of that, you now love so much more, and we love you so much more. Having lost a child, we think about all the things we miss about her. But now I think about you...what would we miss about you if the Lord took you from us? We would miss your funny and not-so-funny jokes. Your harps. Your hardy har har outbursts of silly laughter. The kids would have no one to help them walk on the ceiling. Your scruff and fluff (and nothing). Your good taste in wine. Your music that I'm always turning down, but that I honestly do delight in. The way you scribble in all-caps. Your ever-growing t-shirt collection, of which the kids love to pick out which one you should wear. We always save the white chocolate chips for you. We get so busy with life that we don't often realize just how much we love you and appreciate you. I want to soak it all up. I remember our Father'

6/16 Regrets That Creep In

June 16, 2018 | Week 2 I need to go back and read my own birth story. We left that hospital with no regrets. But weeks later, regrets have crept in. I should have sung to Mila after she was born. I should have prayed with her. I should have read Scripture to her. I should have prayed for her by name. All the time she was in the womb, I only referred to her as "baby" because we didn't know whether we were having a girl or a boy (although, now when we look back at the pregnancy, we realize it was Mila all along). I should have called the kids earlier to come to the hospital so that they could meet their baby sister sooner. I look back at the timestamps of the digital pictures (technology...too much info...sometimes better just not to know) and maybe Mila was no longer alive when they finally came in. Her heartbeat was slow at 4:20. We cut the cord soon after. The kids arrived another ten minutes later. I don't remember whether she moved or not on me once they arri