To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Inspirational Bereaved Parent

Lindsey, author of, happened upon our announcement of starting Harlynn's Heart. She asked if I would be interested in penning a guest-post for her blog, and I was honored to do so. 

Lindsey is Nora's mama. Nora was stillborn, and Lindsey has done a beautiful job of documenting their journey through parenting this side of heaven. She has embraced an idea and purpose dedicated to  recognizing the efforts of "Inspirational Bereaved Parents" and I am humbled to now be a part of it.  Please head over to her blog by clicking this link, and give my guest entry a read. 

Still Breathing

Thursday, August 22, 2013

August 24th

August 24th, 2012. It was a Friday. I woke up extra early to make it to my 6:30 a.m. Bible study on time. I felt funny. I should have started my ... you know ... by then. I grabbed one of those fortune-telling-pee-sticks on my way in to the bathroom. I did my thing. I held it up to my sleepy eyes. Wait....what?

Plus sign. Right away. Two lines. Positive. Pregnant.

I went back in to the bedroom and woke Brent up. "Honey?" I said, as sweetly as I could for waking him up so early.
"I'm pregnant."
(suddenly sounding more awake) "No you're not. Are you serious?"
"Serious. The second line came up immediately. We're gonna have another baby!"
"Can we pray, please?"
(melt my heart) "Yes."

So he prayed. There on the spot. For our baby. For our family. For how our lives were going to change with the addition another pair of little feet. Oh how our lives were changed...

These last seven days have been especially emotional for me. I never know to what extent I'll be affected by little milestones. New experiences. Dates. August 24th is just around the corner and this morning I was reminded that it was one year ago, one very distant-seeming year ago, I found out I was pregnant. I remember Brent's prayer. I remember my excitement. I remember planning how we were going to tell Haley she was going to be a big sister. I remember trying to think of creative ways to reveal the news to the world. Because obviously, the world would be excited with us.

And one year later, we're without our precious baby girl. One year later, my world is fragile, broken, and daunting. One year later, I find myself wondering how to function. How to breathe. How to parent my child beyond her grave.

It's been a long year.

There's a second part to the story of August 24th. That Friday afternoon, as I contained my excitement for our news, I sat with a friend who was miscarrying her first child. It was emotional. It was heartbreaking. It was so unfair. That child deserved to live as much as mine did. I found myself asking why. I found the questions came far easier than the answers. And I did all I knew how to do at the time - I sat and listened. I prayed. Then I left.

When I delivered Harlynn straight in to Heaven, that same friend was our first hospital visitor. She brought flowers. And agony. And empathy. And we sat and questioned. It was emotional. It was heartbreaking. It was so unfair.

I won't be holding a positive pregnancy test this August 24th. I'll be holding a family picture instead, longing for the one who's missing. Haley's little sister. Our little "Cletus The Fetus". Our Harlynn.

Next: Inspirational Bereaved Parent
Prev: Time-Less

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It's been 18 weeks. I find myself unable to comprehend how time has the capacity to continue - to forge ahead - while I am constantly re-living the same moment over and over and over again. The moment we learned her heart wasn't beating.

I can still see the ultrasound screen. I still smell the hospital smells. I still hear myself crying out. I still taste the salty tears. I still hear the silence.

That moment changed everything for me. For my family. It changed Brent's and my relationship. It changed how we parent Haley. It changed how we worship. How we pray. It changed our social lives. It changed our priorities. That moment changed everything. Yet while I am frozen in time, the world continues to move at full speed around me.

Tonight during bedtime prayers, Haley prayed that God would take us to Heaven when we want to go there, and that he would help us to spend time "with our baby sister." These are the times when my heart fills and breaks simultaneously. I didn't know it was possible for a heart to do that, but it has done so several times over these last 18 weeks.  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a man who looked to be in his mid 40s get out of a pickup truck and search around for an infant headstone. He found it, knelt beside it a while, touched it, and left. The grave stones in the area he was are from the 1960s. I'm convinced he was a brother. Seeing that gave me pause. Will that be Haley one day? Will she be visiting her sister's grave after 50 years? How long must we wait until forever comes?

Haley's sitter ("Granny") told me some women were talking to Haley at the park one day. They asked if she had a sister and Haley answered them matter-of-factly. She does have a sister, but her "sister is dead." My three year old, breaking the news. Another heart-filling-and-breaking-simultaneously moment. I'm so proud of her for holding on to her sister's short little life. For mentioning her. For claiming her. Yet it breaks me to pieces that Haley has to share that story. 

To everyone else, it's been 18 weeks. Most don't even want to remember it happened. But to me, it has been a series of moments. Moments I don't want to have to experience but since they're all I have, I cling to them with gratitude.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I know this to be true. Even during the moments I cry out in desperate pleas of brokenness, he is definitely with me. He is definitely near. And to him....time is irrelevant. Eighteen weeks are but the blink of an eye. And no matter how long a road it feels for me, I can look back and see - when I went through it kicking and screaming, crawling, dragging my heels - he has been with me for every second. Every moment. Every facet of time.