Sunday, December 14, 2008

He did it again

The memorial Christmas tree. Each person who died this year had an ornament on the tree


The sweet lady that was the speaker.

The end of a good week, that without the the saving power of Jesus Christ, would have been terrible. But several times this week, the Lord showed up, went before us and laid out the red carpet for us to walk on. We of course had our service on Tuesday at the funeral home, and ran into some friends from church who were there celebrating the life of their mom. Then of course Wednesday was such a great day for both Brent and I. I was able to eat lunch with very special friends and then I went shopping for the rest of the afternoon! I had a blast. While I was finishing my relaxing evening by taking a bath... (doesn't that just sound relaxing) Brent went to church in order to practice being a shepherd for the Cantata on Sunday. He is going to be the Shepherd that takes baby Jesus (played by our pastors granddaughter) out of the manager and off the stage. He was so overjoyed that he was able to hug and love all over that sweet 8 month old baby! (a little history with Brent and small children. He loves kids as long as they talk and are able to potty on their own!) This was such a blessing. Then he and I went on a Krispy Kreme run like we were back in college. It was such a blast.

To wrap up the week, we went to TWO Christmas parties on Friday (one for lunch and one for dinner). Both were special times with special friends and just a neat way to celebrate this season. Saturday night ended out week of remembrance. We had a candlelight service at the cemetery. Again, both of us were a little nervous about the night. WHY? I don't know, because the Lord provided again. A sweet family who were loved at our last church, lost their dad and husband this summer. As we were standing out in large crowd of people in the cold, I saw a lady out of the corner of my eye and realized it was my friend Ms. Peggy and her family. We didn't even know her husband was in the same cemetery. The place was so pretty with the full moon and all of the luminaries that surrounded the entire place. It really was beautiful. Brent and I both agreed unlike some cemeteries, this one is not spooky in any way. It is just peaceful! Each time we go, there is such a feeling of peace that overcomes you. There's the red carpet coming out again! Thank you Jesus for coming and taking care of every detail in our lives.
This is the entrance of the cemetery


Carter is buried in the section of the cemetery called "Devotion". This is the statue that is in the middle of that garden. (Each garden has a different monument.) This happens to be a bible with opened to the Lord's prayer

Carter's marker is still not in yet, but we still placed the candle on his grave.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All in one week

The anticipation of this week has been much worse than the actually week itself. Of course we still have two more days before the week is officially over, but so far, so good. The week began with a special service we were invited to attend on Tuesday evening at the funeral home we used for Carter. It is a special Christmas service designed for anyone who has lost a loved on during the past year. We were so blessed how the Lord took care of so many intimate details down to the Christian run funeral home we used. During the service there was a wonderful women who shared about her journey since loosing her husband 6 years ago. She still got chocked up talking about her loss. She had been married for 51 years when her husband died. They also had a tree decorated with red ball ornaments that had the name of each person that died this year who the funeral home helped. It was precious. It wasn't so much sad for us, as it was just a sweet time of reflection.

Wednesday was the official date we were given that Carter was due. As my friend and I had talked about, it wasn't so much a day to remember or make a big deal out of, because the chances that Carter would had been born on that day, was slim. Although, now it is nice that my mind doesn't think I should be 7 months, 8 months of 9 months pregnant, but instead now I can personalize the fact that my little boy would had been 4 months old right now. At the same time, so far this week has helped me to focus on the moving forward process. We still have one more service to attend this week (I can't believe it was all in one week) at the cemetery. There is another candle light service at the cemetery this weekend. I do feel like Brent and I both in a much better place emotionally and looking forward to seeing what 2009 brings for us. We of course still have Christmas day, but I believe even that day will be okay. (I may be wrong). The hard thing is that I don't want others to forget, because we will never forget, but at the same time I like going at our pace.
I can not deny that Lord continues to show us His faithfulness in all areas of our life. For me, I feel such a freedom to do what is needed for me according to what I feel the Lord has for me right now. No regrets and no guilt involved. We have had so many things change in our lives this year. So many things that I look back and think why Lord did you do it that way. Then I look in the now and even look forward and see... that's why. There are still the days of jealousy, depression, hurt, pain, and even days when I feel forgotten. But.. those days getting less and less and I am seeing the Lords face more and more. The journey continues, just as He planned!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Special Gift


I wanted to include this in my last blog, but decided that it deserved a blog of it's own. My friend Jen had told me she was making me something special for my birthday. And she did as you can see from the picture. In her card she sent, she reminded us of the gift the Lord gave Brent and I the day we took it each other as man and wife. Although we no longer have our son Carter here on earth with us, what a gift it is to remember that we are a family, The Spears!! I pray daily the Lord will bless us again with more children. ( The funny thing about this gift is that Jen and I both have the same exact dishes, which are blue and I have a blue and white kitchen. So this gift was made especially for my kitchen.) Thanks Jen! I love you friend.
By the way... make sure to scroll down and check out my older post. I FINALLY posted pictures!!

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving, a day when we should feel overwhelmed with a thankful heart, seemed somewhat harder this year. This Thanksgiving was so much fun and such a special day regardless of what life we have lived the last three months. Brent and I spent the day at our friends grandmothers house with all of their family. There are some families that you spend time with at holidays and you feel like a stranger. But that is not how we feel about this family. They made us feel like we were supposed to be there. Brent and I both walked away saying how we felt so welcomed, warm and loved! Thanks Bullard/Ford/Cook clan. We love you guys. But like I started, it took a little more for me to be thankful this year. It is so easy to be thankful when times are going well and life is easy. I realized how tough it was this year to be truly thankful when I feel so hurt, sad and angry still. I know how much I have to be thankful for and how God is daily working on my heart to conform me to be more like him. Brent and I talked about how many changes we feel like we have been making in the last few weeks. I got a new haircut (just a little shorter and darker color), we have spent every weekend trying to clean out a new room in our house and get rid of whatever things we have not used lately. Brent and I both have been trying to work out several times a week in order to feel healthier. We are doing whatever we can to prepare ourselves and our lives for another gift the Lord would allow to have in the future. No matter what the rest of this year brings, we are thankful for the fact that the Lord is not done with us yet!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ask me, don't ask me...

This is my struggle. I can't tell you how many times in a single week the question, "Do you have any children?" comes up. I was reading another friends blog who lost her son as well, and the struggle she has with this same question. This past Thursday was a pretty tough day for me, and being asked this question hurts sometimes. Before we had Carter, this question was easy for us. No we don't have children, or while we were pregnant, I would just proudly say that we were expecting our first in December. Now... this question is so bittersweet. I love it when people ask me because I am able to talk about my Carter and share his and our testimony of what the Lord is doing in our life. At the same time, answering this questions makes people give me the look of pity or they get very uncomfortable and stop talking with me. I just hate that all of this is so awkward and hard to talk about. I did have one lady who confused me with another friend of mine and thought that I was pregnant again. It killed me to tell her that it wasn't me it was someone else. Of course people are just trying to be helpful, but several ladies will tell me that I need to just keep waiting and not get pregnant too soon. "Give your body time to heal." My body is healed and I can have another baby in Feb, unless the Lord allows us to get pregnant before then. But, I just don't need to be reminded of the fact that I am not pregnant today. Bittersweet.

So don't be afraid to ask me about my son, and don't be afraid if I cry. I will cry some days, but don't be afraid of my tears. Let me cry. This is how God is healing my heart! Thanks to all of you who go out of your way to love on me and to help me through this time. SO... ASK ME!!

Cardboard Testimony

Front Side of Cardboard
Backside of my cardboard

Thursday was our last Ladies Bible Study at our church, for this year. To celebrate our time together we had a brunch (we had great food), a speaker who shared her testimony of how the Lord loved her through a very difficult time in her life, and Cardboard Testimonies. I was asked to take part in this testimony time. I was doing great with it. I even was able to read what was on my card without any tears. Well, until I had to get in line and walk on the stage. Here I was again, some place I didn't want to be, sharing a story I didn't want to have as part of my testimony. Bittersweet.

For those of you who do not know what Cardboard Testimonies are, let me explain. (You can also find some examples on http://www.godtube.com/) Several people write on one side of a piece of cardboard an aspect of your testimony (ususally is some bad or a tough situation that the Lord brought you through). Then on the other side of the card, you write what the Lord has done in redeeming that situation. ) For example, one of my friends wrote that "She was a teen mom faced with a choice." She brought her daughter with her who held up the other side of the cardboard that read, "glad for the choice my mother made." Another friend wrote "Mischarriage July 2008", on the back it said something like "waited on the Lords timing and pregnant due April 2009". I took a picture of mine and posted it below. When I got on the stage, I wasn't able to look at a single lady because they were all crying by then. It was really a sweet time of sharing. Back on August 10th, the day after we lost Carter, Brent was supposed to share his cardboard testimony in Sunday School. Never did we imagine that we would get another chance to share and that this would be our story. But... we are on a journey and the Lord does have a plan and it is good.

Vera Bradley


November 6th I turned 35. I knew it would be tough to be 35 but without Carter, it was terrible. I cried most of the day. I was depressed and frustrated and it didn't seem like my birthday. I was so looking forward to my bday this year knowing I was going to be pregnant and would be getting ready for his/her arrival at any time! I wanted to have children before I was 35, but I had at least had the plan that I would be 35 and having my first baby. Anything less than that, just wasn't make me feel fulfilled.

I am a gifts person. When I take Dr. Chapman's love language test, I test high on getting gifts as my love language. After the day I had, it was such a treat to receive the special gift I had specifically asked my husband for, for my bday! (I emailed him a picture of this purse and talked about it all of the time so he wouldn't forget!!) Brent not only gave me the purse, he even bought me a bday cake and wrapped it up. It was pretty funny. He took me to dinner the next night to a restaurant called California Dreaming. We had a special time. The big thing was that he tried so hard to give me such a special weekend regardless of how sad we both felt. It was so sweet. I love you honey.

On that Friday several of my special girlfriends from church took me and my friend Lisa to breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, Mimi's. (Lisa's bday is the day before mine. She is just a little bit older than I am, but to keep our friendship, I will not share her age!! She is a youngster though!! Love ya Lisa) One of my favorite gifts I got that day was from another friend Lisa. Lisa had helped me dry the flowers from Carter's funeral and has been helping me turn them into a wreath. We had so many flowers left over, Lisa took the roses and babies breathe and put them on a small wreath with a little mirror underneath the wreath and a candle resting on top of the mirror. (check out the photo below) On the candle, she engraved Carter's name and birthday. It was so thoughtful and special to me. So although that was not the bday I had wanted, I walked away feeling the Lord's love through my friends and family. I also felt that I will one day celebrate a birthday again with the joy and excitement I have felt so many other times.

Sonscape

Up close deer (we saw 100's of them)
Our group

This is where we ate our meals and fellowshipped


Brent feeding the ducks



Wow, I can't believe it has been so long since I have blogged. There has been so many times that I have thought that I needed to blog something we had been doing, and just didn't have it in me to actually write. Many of you read about our little vacation that Brent and I took for Labor Day weekend. It was such a treat to be offered the opportunity to go out of town, but the vacation itself was not what we needed. A few days after my last blog (middle of October) we received a phone call from some very very precious friends of ours who live in Texas. This couple will never know how much they minister to us in so many little ways even though we don't get to see them very often at all. (We love you guys!) Anyway, they called and told us about a special ministry to ministers that allow you to go and be loved on for a week in the mountains of GA or the mountains of Colorado. We quickly prayed about this opportunity and then began working out the details. The retreat is called Sonscape and is located on the campus of Berry College in Rome GA. They only have this retreat a few times a year in GA. The retreat is designed to give couples a week or lots of free time in order to reconnect with the Lord. There is a couple who works for Sonscape that leads the actually retreat and does 4 days of teaching and then about 6 hours of counseling with each couple. The retreat begins on a Friday and last until the following Friday. They didn't even have church for us to go to. (We both love church, but the time to just spend with the Lord and not be obligated to a church service was so sweet!) The couple that lead our retreat just so happened to be (stay with me here) my best friend Jen Jordans neighbor when she lived in Indiana. This just added to our excitement. We left our sweet Wrigley with a friend and off to Rome we went. Jeannie and Bob. Additionally their is a host family that cooks all of our meals and takes care of any other needs we may have had. Joe and Mickie were our sweet host! We will never forget them for sure.

I really thought that I had been doing so well since Carter's death. I was back at work, I was able to tell his story many times without crying and was actually beginning to smile again. It was like the minute we stepped foot on the campus, the flood gates were open for me and I didn't stop crying the entire week. I had stuffed the pain and anger I was feeling away so that I was able to go on with life. Being out in the woods where you are alone with your thoughts and surrounded by the Lord's creation, true feelings begin to come out. My just kept coming and coming. I felt bad for the other couples who were with us. I am sure they think I never stop crying. I needed that though. I realized that I am so MAD and so ANGRY that I lost my little boy. I am still not at my due date yet, that makes me mad. I still have friends who are fearful of talking to me, that makes me mad. I have lots of people I know that are pregnant and have recently gotten pregnant and that makes me hurt. I am not mad or angry with the Lord just at how much this hurts. I hate feeling angry too. I had hoped to skip that emotion. I know I had fooled several friends who felt like I was doing well (because I told them that). But I wasn't and there are still a lot of days that I am not. I wish some days I could just stay in bed. I wish come days I didn't have to walk past an empty crib. I love holding friends babies, but hate that it isn't my baby. I hate the looks that I get from people afraid of what I may say or do, but hate that people don't ask me how I am. I am so glad we had the chance to go to this retreat so that I can begin to stop and figure out how to move forward.

I have so many other things to blog on, but to keep attention... I will break the blogs up into pieces. I will post pictures of SonScape later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Light a Candle for Carter and others


Today is October 15th, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. At 7:00 pm everyone is asked to light a candle for all of the families that have lost a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death. I know that there are an insane amount of families who have lost children this way. We will light a candle in their honor and as a way of remembering our son Carter.


Carter - your family misses you and does feel comfort that you are playing in heaven and being loved on by Jesus today. It's been a little over two months since you have been gone and it still feels like yesterday. Lord I want to thank you for each day we had Carter in our lives here on earth. Thank you for the joy I had as a mother to get to know him in such a special way. Lord you are good!! Thank you for the blessings you have given us so far. We are so thankful for all of our friends and family that continue to donate to Carter's memorial fund at North Metro FBC child development center. Carter will always be our "little missionary."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Moving Forward - October 15th, 2008


I had seen several people's websites talking about October 15th being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I have tried to ignore the idea of it because it sounds so terrible to me. Next week is my best friend Jen's birthday and her son's birthday. I really wanted to try and just focus on those joyous occasions, but it seems I can't get away from the reality of the events that have occurred in my life. I get so frustrated when I get taken over by these feelings of anger and hurt. I feel as if I will move several steps forward and then all of a sudden, something will hit me like a hammer and there I am back where I started, living the events of August 9th all over again. It is getting easier to talk about. In fact I can talk about Carter and like to talk about him. But on my terms! Isn't that sound so selfish. It is selfish, but I feel like I have earned that right to be a little selfish for a little time. I still have several friends who are going to be delivery within the next month. I even have a friend who will be having her daughter tomorrow. How bittersweet. I so badly wanted to tell friends how excited I am, but it's hard some days to go up to my pregnant friends knowing that should still be me. Each night when I go to bed, I think maybe tonight will be the night that I won't have a dream or nightmare about Carter. Maybe tonight will be the night that I will go to sleep and wake up and still be pregnant not knowing the sex of the baby that I am carrying. Then I wake, only to realize, the dream is really a reality.


I have laughed again. I have dreamed again. I am looking forward to the day that I can tell my husband we are having another baby. I feel ready to be pregnant again. Not to replace Carter, but to move forward. The Lord continues to fill my life with some many lessons of His goodness and His grace. I am trying to each day remember to trust Him. Each day I am trying to seek to grow closer to His heart and seek out His voice to hear what He desires for me.


Recently Brent and I started to attend a new Sunday School class at church. This was a tough decision, as we had been in our other class for the past year or so. The class had grown so much that they had "birthed" a new class and the time felt right for us to move "up." We are now trying out a class with couples closer to our age. The one thing that God has blown me away with is how in our last class, there were so many girls having their first babies, just like we were. It was perfect timing to be able to compare and talk to the girls about our experiences. After losing Carter, I struggled going back to the class because I did not want to have to face the reality of the fact that life changed so much for us. So after the second Sunday in our new class, we have already meet two families who also lost children in a similar way that we lost Carter! Isn't it just like the Lord to bring you the people you need when you need them!!! Others who have walked in our shoes. I found this poem on the website that tells more information about October 15th, 2008. This speaks to what I feel on so many days! Karen and Jen, maybe instead of lemons I need to go out and buy myself a really UGLY pair of shoes!!!


"An Ugly Pair of Shoes"



I am wearing a pair of shoes. They are ugly shoes.

Uncomfortable Shoes. I hate my shoes. Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.

Yet, I continue to wear them. I get funny looks wearing these shoes.

They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.

To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.

But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the other one who wears these shoes.

There are many pairs in the world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.

Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.

Some have work the shoes so long that days will go bybefore they think of how much they hurt.

No woman deserves to wear these shoes.

Yet, because of the shoes I am a stronger women.

These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.

They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Famous Family

Okay so not quite famous! But, several months back my family (meaning my Mom, Dad and sister,had the chance to go to Poolesville MD to be a part of the TV show Extreme Home Makeover. My family lives just outside of Poolesville in Maryland. I wish I would have had an opportunity to post or send out an email to watch the show tonight, but my mom had just mentioned the show would be on to me last night, and to be honest, I had so much to do last night and today that I forgot until we were leaving church this evening that the show was even on. We came home from church in time to see the second half of the show. Brent and I don't have any of the high tech TIVO stuff, so we didn't get to tape the show. We did make it in time to see Kara on the show twice. She also shared with us tonight that she is on the website of the home builder. The website is http://www.classicextreme.net/photos_day6.htm Kara is in image 6 of 41 on day 6. For those of you who do not know her, in the photo you are getting a side view of Kara. She is on the far right side, right in front of the tall gentleman that has reddish hair. You really are seeing Kara's left ear and the fact that she is smiling. What neat once in a lifetime experience they got to have.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mr Brent and Cody ... hit the circus tour

Well, not really - just went to the circus ... and HAD A BLAST, come on! I like that, "Mr. Brent" ... sounds like a Monk episode. My original intent was to share about the circus experience a lot earlier in the week, especailly after my lovely wife put the pressure on. However, I have been inspired by great bloggers such as Jen and Karen - legends in the blog world in their own right ... by their "Wordless Wednesday" entries with pictures. So, I thought I would try a "Wordless Week" entry with photos.

Ya, my wife is not buying it either. Truth is: it has just been a busy week.

The pictures are from the circus, Cody and I had the privelege to attend earlier this month. Wow, if Barnum and Bailey Circus comes to your town, GO. Jenna secured us tickets several months back and I have to tell you, the circus has come a long way - I am serious they do it right, it flowed. From the traveling Frenchman - who was hilarious, who not only emceed the event but could ride a bike about the size of my tennis shoe in circles and through a circle of fire to the dancing Dachshunds moving in sync {Wrigley - not so much cut out for the circus I'm afraid ... just not her lot} to the acrobatic stunts to the angled Archer who could not miss - are you kidding me - how did he do that ... to the elegant elephants {sitting on each other, mind you - ohhh looked painful - really did} to the makeupless clown performing a Matrix like stunt with a pole coming toward him. Yes, that is what I said too, "makeupless" clown. I know - the perfect circus, right?
It was sort of redemption for me. The first and only other time I have been to a circus, was when I was a child ... and the clowns came around before the show to gather any willing and excited children to go down on the floor and meet the crew/animals. Well, I was neither - willing or excited. In fact, I freaked out and stayed close to Mom. Over the years, I have regreted that decision and wondered what would have happened, what would have been, how would my life be different today. I mean, would I have taken more risks, ventured out more limbs - would I ever by able to trust people, people with makeup/wigs and large red noses? Questions never answered, but I really did regret - so, it was pretty cool to get to go onto the floor with Cody and see some of the crew before the show ... makeupless clowns, I love it!

Cody is probably one of the coolest kids, I have ever known, I mean he is really a 22 yr old trapped in a 6 yr old little body, he is funny - I tell you. Throughout the night, I was reminded that he was only 6, though. I guess it was when he saw the vendors walking madly around with several ... several ... several mulit-colored bright glow sticks and the children all wanting one {good ole' supply and demand at its best - tugging at the heart strings of every child in the stadium ... is there a law on this type of price gouging with these type of products ... I mean I can understand the gas price crisis we are facing here in Atlanta, may not like it - but at least understand the basics of it ... but swirling light toys {that they tell you will look so wonderful in the dark when the show is going on} that will in reality only be tossed in the air for a few hours in a dark stadium for a circus event ... only to be tossed into a closet among other well thought out marketing exploits to sit for years...unless of course, you do E-bay like my wife and so many others, than there is at least a positive return on investment}. Ok, ok - enough about economics - what do I know - it took me 3 times to pass Finance in college, I am serious. But, I did graduate with a Marketing degree - so it drives me crazy when I see these gimmicks, ok - enough. But Cody really wanted one - but once the traveling Frenchman came onto the stage he had moved on and was having more fun helping me take pictures with my cell phone so we could send over to Mrs. Jenna
... or when we went to get our snack during intermission, the Lion shaped - snow cone cup for $12 bucks - what! His little 6 yr old mind had to have it ... but, we agreed to share a pretzel and coke {had some great popcorn when we got home, too}.

My sweet - creative wife ... put a booklet together for Cody to gather autographs from the crew and for pictures of the evening to go into. Cody loved it. All in all - great night. Whew, no wonder I never blog, this is timely - but fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best time

I have asked my husband to give a recap of his Friday night special date. He has said he would. Until he does (this is his incentive) I will post a little teaser!! Wish I was there.

Showing off their tickets
Fist Pumping
The BIG TOP!!

Waiting for their ride home


Monday, September 15, 2008

Change

I hate change! So everything that has happened in the past month, has been that much tougher for me. I was just getting used to the changes in my body, our lives, the fact that I was pregnant, the idea of being a mom, taking on the roll of mom and wife, and the idea of all of the additional upcoming changes that would occur. I hate change so much some times, that even when our pastor at church has to go out of town and doesn't preach on Sunday, I do not like that change and look forward to having him back preaching again. I hate when Brent has to go out of town, or when my favorite TV show is supposed to be on and it isn't because of a "presidential debate..." you get the point. Typically the change ends up that it is a good thing or at least at some point something I am able to deal with and can learn from. But... I still just do not like it at all.


Then there are days that I welcome change. I changed the look of my blog today (and spent more time than necessary on doing the change and I took Jen down with me! Sorry Jen I was responsible for "wasting your afternoon, although I had a blast doing it.) I like to get up and just go and do something that is different from what we had planned for the day. I like to change my hair (color and cut some times). Some days I welcome change.


This week has been that for me. On Friday I had my hair cut and colored by my sweet friend from church Tina. I got so tired of the grey hair poking through and the frizz mess that kept happening. My friend Tina was so sweet to do me a favor and do my hair at the last second. On Saturday, which is usually the hardest day of the week for me, because that is the day Carter was born, we had planned on staying home all day long just doing nothing. We woke up to discover Wrigley's allergies were out of control and that we needed to make an emergency visit to the vet. She was fine, and needed some cortisone to get her over the hump of allergy season. Funny story: while we were in the vet's office, I had a crying breakdown. They had taken Wrigley back to be weighed and Brent and I started to just talk. I totally broke down crying. About the same time, one the vet techs, walks into the room and tells us Wrigley will be right back. It was funny because I had to try to convince her that I was not crying because of Wrigley. I didn't want to share with her what was wrong and how I was just sad. The sweet lady gave me a box of Kleenex and asked one more time if there was something she could do. I thanked her and said that it had been a tough time for us right now, and that I would be okay. There you have it, my first official, embarrassing public breakdown. There will be more of those I am sure! And that is okay. We are so afraid of people crying and often don't know what to do when they do cry. I have learned that it is okay for others to cry and that we don't have to feel uncomfortable when others cry. Just let them cry!


After coming home, and lots of crying and emotions running very high for me, we decided that we would head to the Gwinnett County Fair. Our plan was to go and get a funnel cake and just see all that they had. The fair is okay, nothing special, but was the distraction that we needed that day. Brent and I both struggle doing "fun things" that cost money because of how much it has cost us to have Carter and all of the other things that have come with that. At the same time, we have found that we have to get out of the house and do fun stuff or we will both be depressed. After the fair, we had dinner and walked around the mall to work off the funnel cake!!


As another week begins for me, as I take on a few more clients this week, I am trying to focus on myself and what it is that I need! I have been talking to a special friend of mine who is also in counseling for some additional advice on how to continue to seek the Lord in all things! What an encouraging word she gave me was to try and spend time doing for me and relaxing. Brent and I both are seeking that time for ourselves alone and with each other. Brent has a special date planned for Friday night with a special friend of his. His little friend Cody (who is 5) and Brent will be at the Circus on Friday. It's hard to imagine him doing that with another little boy and not with Carter, but it is a joy to see him be able to spend that time with Cody who he loves so much. (Cody is a big fan of Brent's as well. Cody lost his daddy in 2005. Since this past spring he and Brent have formed a special bond and love doing things together! I can't wait to hear all about their time at the circus! Sure wish I got an invitation to go, but it's a boy's night out! Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My heart


I have shared on this blog a few times already about a new friend I have made since we lost Carter. My new friend Casey Chappell, (I went to college with her husband), they lost their son Asher on August 9th as well at 9:08 pm. (I'd like to think Carter and Asher are friends in heaven. I love how they both have such cool names!!!) Casey and Dan also have a blog that they have been sharing what the Lord is doing in their lives right now. Casey has this poem on her site that describes in words, what is in my heart. I couldn't help but copy it and paste this poem here. Tomorrow will be 4 weeks since I last held my little boy (many don't know that Brent and I had the chance to go to the funeral home before Carter's funeral and see him in his little outfit given to us by the hospital as well as take pictures and hold him one more time. That was such a sweet sweet time for both Brent and I. It was hard to leave knowing that I would never see him on earth again, but such a blessing to see him dressed in a little outfit and to be able to talk to him by myself outside of the hospital). I miss him so much. Each day I look more forward to heaven. I have been taking a class on Thursday mornings at our Ladies Bible Study at church called Heaven. I learn more about Carter's new home each week. Each week I walk away and desire heaven more and more. Not only to see Carter, but to just live in a place where there is perfect peace and to have the chance to do nothing but worship. What a day that will be.


Here is the cry of my heart right now. Thanks for continued prayer and for continuing to read my ramblings.


Missing you....

Dear Lord, one precious baby there with You belongs to me- A perfect, tiny wonder whom I long so much to see. So recently within my life my baby took a part; And yet, my baby holds so large a place within my heart. Today that place is empty- just a memory there Of sweet anticipation of a life I'd hoped to share. 'Twas You Who took my baby home to be with You above; Please may my empty, broken heart find comfort in Your love. Remind me, in my loss, the child I love feels only gain- For You saw fit to spare my child from sorrow, fear, and pain. No tragedy will ever fall upon this little life, No lonely moments, no distress from unkind words or strife. Nor shall my baby ever feel the struggle from within, For in my baby's heart today there's not a trace of sin. Oh, loving Lord, Who chose to spare my child from all of this, When heavy is my heart, just let me glimpse my baby's bliss. And may I joy in knowing that my baby is with You-- For living in your presence is what I, too, long to do! So from this day, may this my new anticipation be: One day I'll see my baby who went home ahead of me! -author unknown


Your mommy misses you Christopher Carter Spears and I look forward to a day when I will be able to be in the same place as you again. I hope to hold you again one day (if the Lord allows) but am comforted to know, if I can't have you in my arms, your safe in stronger, safer arms than mine! Thank you Jesus for holding my baby boy.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Time flying by

It was four weeks on Saturday since we lost Carter. Tomorrow is actually September 9th, one official month already. Time is flying by. That first week it felt like time was standing still. I keep wondering in my mind how will I feel a month from now? Would I make it to a month? Would this pain in my heart force me to stop breathing? I feel like for that to have happened, I would have given Satan glory. I refuse to allow Satan anything!! I want the Lord to be given all of the glory for anything that we feel and any special day we make it through. This weekend, our good friends the Bullards, had us over for pizza and a little "Wii" action on Saturday night. I am so glad that we got to do that, so I didn't focus on the day. Although, the funny thing is that, Lisa, Steve, Brent and I were all together four weeks earlier in the hospital together. I yelled for Lisa to and asked (well maybe screamed) for her to come hold my hand while I was in labor. Some how it brought comfort to be with the same family, in a different setting, a few weeks later.

I am excited that tomorrow I will be going to north GA to be with some other ministers and their wives for a "wellness retreat." Again, it will be good to have the focus on other people besides myself. I have found that some days giving to others or just being around other people is helpful. Of course, I still have several days that I just want to be alone at home. That is okay too.

I shared with Brent how much I enjoy going to church each Sunday and look forward to it and even find corporate worship very comforting. At the same time, it is privately so hard to be there. Carter used to kick me like crazy all during the worship service. Not just during the music, but during Dr. Cox's sermons too. Sitting in the service, just being still, is hard for me. This again is another way that Brent and I experience things differently. I would mention to him that I was being kicked, but he never felt it or experienced that feeling like I did. As time passes, I feel like I am going to forget what it feels like to carry Carter inside of me. Right now, it is still fresh in my mind. I still find myself touching my empty stomach, wishing I could feel one more kick. I am so thankful to the Lord that I was able to carry Carter for as long as I did, and was able to experience that feeling of him moving, turning and dancing inside of me. What a joy I will be able to cherish for a lifetime!

I went back to work today for the first time. The Lord has brought me several new clients that are experiencing situations of grief as well. It's neat to be able to really know what they are going through. Of course at the same time, I would give anything to remain ignorant on the "true feeling" of the subject. I continue to pray that the Lord uses me in whatever way He desires, so that I may see a glimpse of His plan. "Lord continue to draw me to yourself and show me more and more of your plan. Help us to be a light in this dark world. Help us to take every opportunity to share you to this lost world."

We had two incredible messages on salvation in church yesterday. It's so important in this time of "hardship" in the world today that we share a message of hope... the message of Christ. This is my prayer. I pray that the Lord will use Carter's life, and our lives, to minister to others and to take ALL opportunities to share HIS name.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How Did I miss that?

I had the best day yesterday with friends at the Yellow Daisy Festival. It's the gigantic arts and craft show (this women's dream!) at Stone Mountain park. My friends Lisa, Lisa, Cheryl, Cindy and Karen all went and spent 6 hours walking up and down the booths looking, buying, and laughing. I had no idea why I had not gone before now. It was so good to get out of the house and have some fun. I do have to admit, that I saw some incredible cute baby items that I was so tempted to buy because I kept forgetting that I was not pregnant and would not be needing some of those items. BUT, I do believe that God will give Brent and I another baby and sooner than we think. We are praying believing that God will continue to work another miracle in our life.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day part 2

Wrigley trying to get her ball. She hates the water so much, she is leaning in to get her ball, trying to stay as dry as possible.

On the bay at the Marriott Grand Hotel and Resort (they let you come use their beach access even if you are not a guest!)


If you look close, you will see the watch says 9:30 am and we are eating lunch at Whataburger. We were not going to let this hurricane ruin our lunch plans on Sunday at Whataburger.


Brent has been really excited about getting Wrigley in the ocean and having her chase her ball and just swim around with him. This was his attempt at getting her to play. (As you can tell, she is not a water dog at all!)

Labor Day Weekend

Here are a few pictures from our weekend in Silverhill, AL. (try finding it on a map. Population is only 790. Well there were 793 with Brent, Wrigley and I this weekend)

Brent's first time in 4 1/2 years in Whataburger. This is a happy boy. Jenna got to go in February when she went to visit her friend Jen in Austin.


More Whataburger


The Lord provided for us this special treat of a massage. It was much needed.


Felix Fish Camp on the Pier outside of Mobile. Brent always compares every seafood resturant to the restuarant he worked at in New Orleans. He rates Felix, as the best seafood ever!!! This is big for him.

Notice the small print at the bottom of the screen telling us to get out of town! Gustav is coming.




Vacation Cut Short

After a nice drive down to Silverhill, Al (just a little north of Gulf Shores, AL) we spent all day Saturday at the beach, getting pampered and eating at the best seafood restaurant we have ever been too. It was a full day, but fun for sure. I wouldn't say that it took our minds off of life, but it was a wonderful distraction. Brent and I were both so excited about our plans for Sunday and Monday morning. This trip, was bittersweet, yet a MUCH needed time away. Gustav did ruin our plans. After dinner on Saturday night and seeing the worse case scenario (bumper to bumper traffic) we got up around a little before 5 am and was out of the house by 6 headed home. Both of us were very disappointed after we had the whole weekend planned out and was beginning to look forward to spending the time together and being distracted.

Our trip home was uneventful. We hit a little traffic, but nothing what we had expected. We did stop and eat lunch at Brent's favorite restaurant, Whataburger. The funny thing was, we ate lunch 9:15 am! We felt so confused all day long regarding what time each meal should be. (We kept feeling like we shouldn't be hungry at 3 in the afternoon for dinner!!) We both were exhausted and felt stressed out and on edge after the "drama" of having to leave so quickly. OF course the long drive home did not help our stress level. It is always great to be back at our home in our own bed. The only problem we have now of course is that when we come home, reality hits us again. It was three weeks ago on Saturday that Carter died. Time is slipping away so fast. I still feel like it was yesterday.

I got a phone call over the weekend from a dear friend of ours. It was incredible to be able to talk to her. She shared how she too had lost her first born son (35 years ago today!) It was so neat to speak to someone who really understands how I feel. It was like she was in my head and anything I was thinking or struggling with, the Lord was using her to remind me of His word and the message He has for me.

We have to take life one day at a time. In fact, we have to take life one minute at a time these days. God continues to teach us so much. We keep praying that we are learning all that He has for us to learn.

Praise and Prayer:

Praise:
Three times we have received a bill in the mail and the next day we have received the money to pay for the bill

Our short weekend away to the beach

Jenna's body continuing to heal

Family and Friends who have been so kind and loving on us

Prayer:

Continue to pray for us to trust the Lord as bills beyond our means continue to come in

Brent and I continue to draw closer to each other and seek heed help from others when needed

Continue to pray for God's timing and healing for us to seek out the time to have future children

God continues to use Carter's life to draw us and others closer to Him

Carter's memorial fund will continue to minister to other families in our community

Prayer for Jenna who will HAVE to go back to work next week. Pray that as I minister to others, I will allow the Lord to minister to me and do my job that will honor Christ.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In the Middle of a Storm - Literally

We were given the opportunity to go to AL. near Gulf Shores for a brief get away from life as we know it in Lawrenceville. It is funny that I kept feeling like life was very much a hurricane the past few weeks. Everything has been moving so fast and has been overwhelming and feels like a dream. One minute I feel peace (the eye of a storm) the next minute the flood gates are open and nothing makes sense to us. Our hope was to take a retreat from "life" and all of the normal activities that we take part in. But being here is so peaceful (the little town we are in is so quiet. There are only 790 people that live here, and my mind begins to replay the events of the last few weeks, it hard to just be still and not continue to "do." It doesn't appear that we will be affected by the actually hurricane where we are staying, but of course that could change tomorrow. I keep trying to seek the Lord and all that He is doing. At the same time, there are moments still that I just want to ask the question why. Not that I shouldn't ask why, but I don't want to go down that road and drive myself crazy. In my mind I know God is good and this isn't punishment or that there is a totally logically answer this side of heaven. At the same time, I try to avoid touching my stomach and feeling so empty, but how can you avoid doing that? For the first few week after Carter's death, I had been looking forward to other babies and saying, how quickly can we have another child. I still feel that way, but I also get so mad that I just can't have Carter. That I just can't hold Carter one more time. That I can't have a new picture of Carter to put up on my wall.



On the other hand, I am doing a bible study at church on Heaven by Randy Alcorn. (I had not planned on taking this study, but it seemed appropriate and what the Lord wanted me to do this semester). I am seeing heaven in a whole new way. The idea of heaven and the concept of heaven is still overwhelming to me, but it is more clear to me now. The more I am understanding God's Word the more comfort I feel. (isn't it amazing that even after studying the Bible for almost 5 years in seminary, there is always so much more to understand and learn! Thank you Jesus for that! This is why God and His Word is grander than our finite imagination)


Today Wrigley, Brent and I had a wonderful drive to Silverhill, AL. We stopped and ate at Brent's favorite fast food restaurant, Whataburger. They are mostly located in Texas (of course) but there are a few here in AL. It was a treat for sure. Carla, was the lady that took our order and was a sweet Christian women. She is from the same city Brent graduated high school from. There was another lady in the restaurant that was from near by that same city. It turned out, Carla's husband owned the Whataburger and was going to have to sell the restaurant soon. He was looking for what the Lord wants him to do next. He is an ordained SBC minister. It was so neat to hear this families story and take my mind off myself for just a minute. Especially since there have been days when I am in a store or just driving down the road and want to tell people who are rushing around, laughing having a great time... What are you doing? Don't you have a clue what we have just been through? This is why it really was uplifting to talk with our new friend in the Lord! Thank you Lord for these reminders of your goodness.



I have some great pictures of Brent eating his lunch. I will post them when I can get to my own computer.



I know we will have good and bad days. Anytime I experience additional change, I have a bad day. (regardless of what is going on in my life, I am not a person who loves change!) My weepyness sometimes takes over and I will cry over everything and anything. I pray that tomorrow will be more relaxing and that God will continue to provide comfort for my soul.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Normal life?

I have struggled since losing Carter on how I will ever go back to my normal life. How do I go back to what life was like before this happened. I read something recently that time for Brent and I will always be before Carter and after Carter. I think about how do I go back to doing things I loved before? Will life ever be the same? Will the pain of seeing new first time moms ever change for me? Then I am reminded that the Lord is in control even down to these details. I worry that no one will want to come to see me as a therapist again, because they will fear that I am no longer able to do counseling. I wasn't able to do counseling on my own before Carter. It was only through the grace and the use of God's Word that I was able to minister before this. This week I have had a few families call me already asking for appointments. Even some of the calls and the "issues" people are calling about makes me see God's hand. I don't feel like I will have the same drive to take on as many families as I did before (at least for awhile), but I know and am seeing God's hand again! I stayed concerned how we will make it financially Lord. Medical records cost money, the birth certificate they suggested we get cost money, the death certificate cost money. Lord I need to work to be responsible, but I don't want to do anything out of God's will either! Just another mater of trust. I have always trusted the Lord, but since Carter, I understand what a total dependence on God is. It is more than just a trust in the Lord, but a dependence on breathing, eating, sleeping, talking, walking, driving my car without worrying, watching my husband leave the house concerned if he will come home again, and so much more. A TOTAL dependence that God is God and I am not! HE is in charge and knows what the future holds. No matter how much I worry, or how concerned I am over EVERYTHING, God is in charge and there is nothing I can do to change that! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prayer

My last post was REALLY LONG!! But I wanted to give you all a few things to lift us up with:

*Still the emotional roller coaster we have daily. The strength for Brent and I to lean on the Lord and each other each moment.

*Still physical healing for me. Some days I feel better than others. I keep thinking that it has been longer than 2 weeks and I should be able to run around like nothing happened.

*Jenna making a decision about getting back to work. Financially I need to go back to work ASAP! But, on the other hand, we don't want to dismiss the miracles the Lord is working out!

* Finances! God is providing for us in BIG ways! Hospital and doctor bills are starting to show up now. We are trusting God to continue to show off! (we have so many stories to share already of ways that he has begun to provide for us!)

* God to continue to be glorified through the life of our Little Missionary, Carter

*God will continue to bless the ministry of North Metro Child Development Center Memorial Fund

If anyone is interested in donating a gift in Carter's name, please donate to The Carter Spears Memorial Fund. This fund is to be used for the Child Development Center to provide 2-kindergartner's Christian Education and an opportunity to learn about Christ. Please send donations to 1026 Old Peachtree Road, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Make sure to put in the memo In memory of Carter Spears!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Christopher Carter Spears

5 Minutes old! I love the dark skin

So I have said that I would post the story of Carter's birth. Of course it has taken me a little time to do this. It's funny that I have told his story so many times to people in person, but there is something permanent about writing it down on this blog. Today was such a tough day, and I have done a lot of journaling this evening and felt like it was appropriate for me to share our story while I was on a role. I think it will be therapeutic as well (great counseling word!)



The story goes back to about 6 weeks before I had Carter. A friend of mine at church named Lisa N. (which I have several friends at church named Lisa) has a sister who lost her baby at 21 weeks. When I heard that this had happened my heart was broken for this lady. I remember standing in a doorway at church talking to Lisa about her sister and what had just happened. My friend Lisa N. (both of my friends Lisa, Lisa B and Lisa N) tried to reassure me that just because something like this happened to someone else, doesn't mean that this will happen to me. Both of my friends knew how anxious I was already about having a baby and hearing this news was not making things better. But I felt the Lord remind me on that day that this baby does not belong to Brent and I. Our baby belongs to Him and that His plan is perfect. It was not impossible for me to also lose a child! It was strange because it wasn't a thought or feeling that stayed with me, but just a reminder that I can't hold on too tightly what does not belong to me, but to the Lord. The next 5 weeks went just great as far as pregnancy. I was way beyond morning sickness and was starting to appear pregnant and was really kicking into gear regarding the planning stage. Brent and I had set aside each Saturday during August to clean, organize and plan out different rooms that we would be cleaning, getting ready for the baby.
On Sunday (the week before Carter was born) I began to have some light discharge (sorry men!) It wasn't anything abnormal. If you have kept up with my blog you will have read how I had a constant sinus infection. My midwife said all of this was normal! ALL OF IT!! So of course, I didn't think anything of the event on Sunday. This continued through Wednesday without causing me any concern. On Thursday morning, I woke up around 4:30 with the feeling that I had to go to the bathroom so badly. I went to the restroom and felt like I had a little bit of "gushing water" but again nothing to strange. The strange part came when I was unable to stop going to the restroom for the next two hours. It just kept coming, but again the strange part was I felt like I was able to control it. Finally around 6 am things began to slow down and I fell back to sleep. I woke up with Brent when it was time for him to go to work and decided to call my friend Jen to ask what she thought was happening! (She is normally our "family doctor!") She suggested I call my doctor. So after debating the events, I made the call. I talked to a midwife I had not seen yet. I talked to her about what I was experiencing and she felt there was no need to be concerned. I asked her what she thought was happening and she said the only thing she would be concerned about is a UTI. But even that she thought would be okay to wait until the next day to come in and get tested. I pushed her a little and asked what if it wasn't a UTI and this was fluid leaking. (by this point I am in tears with her). She told me that I would be referred to a counselor because my baby would not live at this stage. I was so scared at that point. I called Brent and I called Jen in tears not knowing what to do. This midwife suggested I go shopping for the day since I had no counseling appointments. (yet another reason for my husband to be upset with her. First for being too blunt and second for giving me permission to spend money we do not have!)

SO... I went to Brent's office to spend some time with him and try to get my mind off of things. It didn't work. We went to lunch and the leaking did not stop. It was very slow, but still strange to me. I decided to go to the library and check out the book "What to expect when your expecting." Again a strange thing for me to do. I had avoided this book because of what I had heard about it being overwhelming. As I was sitting in the parking lot, I made the decision to call my midwife (my primary midwife who I love!) She told me to come on in and get tested for a UTI. So I did. The results came back negative, but she went ahead and put me on an antibiotic anyway. I went home and had a better night Thursday night. I still had the leaking feeling, but less worry which allowed me to sleep. On Friday I had arranged to go to the movies with my friend Lisa B. and her son. I was fine during the movie, except that I was exhausted and feel asleep a few different times (that is not like me at all). After the movie, I came home to start dinner and felt so tired I laid down on the sofa and tried to relax. I was getting ready to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

After about an hour or so of laying down, I told Brent I was going to try to lay down in our bed and see if I felt better. I only felt worse. My back began to slowly hurt by this point and the leaking was still happening and making me feel more uncomfortable. I was confident that the medicine I was taking just had not had a chance to kick in and I needed more time. Brent finally fell asleep and I decided to go into the other bedroom and sleep. I took a bottle of bengay (I LOVE BEGAY BY THE WAY!!) and start to rub my legs and back to see if the pain would go away. Nothing was working. I went into wake up Brent about 1:00 am (which I never do) to see if he would help me. He began to rub me down with bengay, as well as run a bath. He got online to see what the symptoms of a kidney infection were and we both were sure that this is what was happening. After a very long night of extreme pain, discomfort, a second bath and a lot of bengay, we decided that this was a kidney infection and I needed to do something. I called my mom first thing in the am to ask her opinion. She suggested calling the doctor as well. So I did. After a long talk, the on call midwife suggested I drink a lot of fluids and try to wait it out. She was concerned that if I went to the ER I would wait and wait and it would turn out that my antibiotic had not had 48 hours in my system yet and I would be sent home anyway. So I drank 60 ounces of fluids and rolled around in pain before calling Jen again and asking her what a kidney infection felt like. She assured me that getting the right medication would get rid of the pain right away. After much thought and the Lord's prompting, I told Brent to take me to the ER! (this is a BIG deal for me! I have never been before and normally would have never ask to go without a panic attack)

We got to the ER around 1. There was no wait at all. I was taken back right away. After a little panic of all the test (blood stuff they wanted to do) I didn't care what happened, I just wanted my back to feel better. I had a PA come in and run all of the test first. She was a little rough, but was trying to just figure out what was wrong. She had also thought that I had a kidney infection or maybe kidney stones, to which she said nothing could be done. Then an ER doctor came in and said that all of this was normal for being 22 weeks along. The baby was moving a lot and stretching and this is what happens. He gave me a RX for Lortab and gave me a powerful drug in my IV that he promised would take away a lot of the pain. IT DIDN'T EVEN TOUCH IT. While we were waiting for test results, they listened to the babies heart beat and then sent me to have an ultrasound. I was nervous because they also talked to me about my appendix, but I was excited to see the baby again. After returning from the Ultrasound, the PA came in and told me that there was an infection and that I would have to be admitted! This is when everything started to pick up and go fast for us. I kept asking what was wrong and what would have to be done and when would I go home. The PA said that she would be calling someone from my doctors office to look at the test and give her further instructions. She even mentioned that they may just let me go home with drugs. Then doctor Doris came into the room. He was from my OB's office. He checked my heart and vitals and then pulled up a chair and said he knew what was wrong! (I will never forget hearing him say what was next!) So many of the doctors and nurses were joking around with us that it was hard to know what was serious and what wasn't. Dr. Doris was not into jokes at all. He came close and said... "I know exactly what is happening and it is very bad, very very bad!" I have terrible news!" Brent said his heart dropped. I asked if he was kidding. He said no, and then said.. "Jenna you have an infection in your uterus and there is no fluid left around the baby." Brent asked "What?" I was in so much pain by this point that I was unable to sit still. I still could not believe what this man was telling us. There is no way that he was right. But at the same time, I knew right away what was going to happen. I knew that this baby would be going home with Jesus that same night! Just 6 weeks ago the Lord had prepared my heart for the events of August 9, 20o8. Dr. Doris explained to us that there was an infection and the only way to get it out of me at this point was to give birth. He said the infection was so bad that we needed to do something right away to protect both myself and the baby. I heard him saying that I was in danger, even though he never said those words. By God's grace, Brent never thought about this either and did not hear this same message from the doctor. I couldn't have handled him being in more of a panic. My white blood cells were at 28.6 at this point and they should had been around 4 to 10. Brent and I both told Dr. Doris that we knew God had a plan and that we believe in life and that no matter what, we wanted him to try and save our baby. He told us that if this baby lived, the baby would be very sick and have Cerebral Palsy so badly that the baby would never walk, see, talk or have any kind of normal life. Brent and I both agreed that we would be fine with that. Dr. Doris agreed with our second opinion idea, but felt like my pain in back was possibly the first signs of labor. He said that they would take me to L and D and I would be induced , and after several hours we would deliver our baby! Dr. Doris checked me just in case, (if I had not been in labor there was still a little hope that I would be able to hold off for a few more weeks with some medical intervention.) But God had a different plan. I was already 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. So I was taken up to Labor and Delivery right away. (it felt like that! I am still unsure how fast it was). Brent immediately began to cry when Dr. Doris left the room. We both had so much guilt and questions. I had SO MUCH pain that crying wasn't an option for me. Dealing with what was happening wasn't what I could do either. I was in shock and in PAIN! We called my parents, and a few friends to ask for support and prayer.

I was taken up to L and D in a wheelchair, and as I got off the elevator, Lisa B, greeted us. They asked her to wait until we figured out what was happening. Brent and I asked if she would call our mentors Jack and Pat, but before we could finish the sentence, they came around the corner, saying they were praying. I was taken into a room were we were going to wait for the second opinion. I was a little concerned (just a little because I WAS STILL IN PAIN) that a man would be delivering this baby. My dream was to have my midwife help me do this. Brent stepped into the hallway for a second to look to see who was in the hall, when he noticed our midwife standing out there! We both were rejoicing. Again, perfect timing. The next part was so fast. I kept begging everyone to give me drugs to help my pain and for someone to get my friend Lisa B to come in the room and hold our hands! It felt like no one was listening to me. Finally the man with the second opinion came and said that he agreed with Dr. Doris. Jonnie (my midwife) was told to check me to see if the pain I had was possible making me go further along, therefore not needing medication or even inducing. When she checked I was already 10cm! I really think the time was about 15 minutes or so from when I was 2 cm to 10 cm. Jonnie said it was time to push and I said, "NOT WITHOUT LISA! SOMEONE PLEASE GO GET HER!" Again, as the Lord would have it, Lisa was walking down the hallway and Jonnie went to the door and said Lisa, come on in. Three pushes later, my perfect little baby boy, Christopher Carter Spears was born at 7:04 pm. He weighed 1 lb 2 oz and was 11 1/2 inches long. He was amazing. I was overwhelmed with the whole process. I couldn't believe in that moment, I was a mom and my sweet husband was a father. The first questioned I asked was, "What it is?" We had not know the sex of the baby yet. Jonnie proudly said, "It's a boy!" To see the look in my husband's eyes when they announced that he had a son, was so priceless. He was so proud. The nurses confirmed that he was not breathing on his own, but in fact had a strong heartbeat and that it would not be long before he would go home with Jesus! (both of our nurses were strong believers, so they knew where we were coming from!) The pain in my body was finally going away. It was the pain in my heart that started to kick in. I asked for everyone in the waiting room that had come, to come on in and that we needed to pray, sing and read God's word! I was shocked to see over 20 people file into the room. It was a bittersweet time for sure. Lisa's husband, Steve, led the prayer and reading. Another friend Lisa S. led us in songs. We sang and prayed until the exact moment, 8:25 pm, that Carter went home to be with Christ. He was so sweet. He looked exactly like Brent and I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. He even had a slight smile as he was entering into Glory! To be there for the moment when your child receives salvation is an amazing experience! It's not in the order, but still... AMAZING!

We were allowed to have Carter stay with us all night long and into the next day. We had friends come in and out for hours on Saturday and Sunday. Our pastor came by on Saturday night to visit us. I told Dr. Cox that we were taking his advice from his book and trusting God's heart because we couldn't trace his hand! That is what got us through that night.

On Sunday, the hardest day of my life, at 5:15 pm, I placed my precious boy into the arms of our nurse, Tiffany (another believer), making her promise not to place Carter into the morgue, but to give him to the funeral director! Brent and I had spent close to 2 hours alone with Carter just talking to him, crying, praying and trying to savor each second we had with our son! We had told Tiffany that at 5:30 we would be ready to give her Carter! The Lord, again by His grace, prompted us to give him up at 5:15 on Sunday, Aug 10th, 2008! By 6pm we left Gwinnett Medical Hospital changed. We had become parents to a sweet little boy, and at the same time had made a deposit in heaven. Bittersweet for sure!

Still unsure of what exactly the answers to what happened, my midwife called me on Monday to tell me that the results of my UTI test came back that I was a carrier of Group B Strep. Also my pathology report gave the same results. We will get more information at my 6 week appointment. For now, as hard as it has been, we are still trusting God's heart. Jerm. 29:11 promises He has a plan and it is for good! Just to type my son's name makes me smile. To say his name hurts, but at the same time brings me joy to my heart. Only the joy a parent knows!

Just Sad

It's been a few days since I have blogged. We have had a lot of friends and family that have come to stay with us. Brent went back to work last week Thursday for a full day of work. I thought that it would be harder than it was, but I again had lots to do (I have been drying flowers) and lots of people coming over and spending time with me. SO it still has not felt like I have been all alone yet.


The flower project is coming along great. We had gotten so many incredible flowers for Carters funeral and I really wanted to save them. My friend Lisa N. has been working with me to dry the flowers and then we will put them on in a wreath so we will always have that special memory of Carter. It will be so beautiful and special.


This past weekend we had a friend Tammy from NOLA come into town to be with us. It was a special time. It was so nice to be able to just talk and have her listen to my thoughts. (my chatty Cathy status) Although now that she is gone and my house is quiet, it's gets harder to hold back the tears. I feel like I am going crazy sometimes. I want friends and people around, and then I just sit and cry so hard that I want to be left alone! Some moments it is so hard to go by Carter's bedroom (I have no choice, since his room is across from ours), and other times I can't sit in there long enough. I want so much to just 100% depend on the Lord, but some times it is so hard to even hear him in the midst of this sadness. Saturday night I sat down to read yet another book on grief, or regarding medical information on what happened on Aug 9th to my body, but the Lord impressed on me that I needed to just read His Word. So I read Psalms' 1-4. I came across Psalm 3:3- But Thou O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory and the One who lifts my head. I sat there reading that verse again and again and again. Where had I heard that before? Was this a praise song? I heard this verse in my head over and over and could not place it. I finally finished reading and went to sleep. I woke up Sunday still bothered by where I heard this verse! As the choir at church began there special music on Sunday, tears swelled up in my eyes and I couldn't keep from telling Brent... "This song is what I read in my bible last night!" This is where I have heard this song before. God is always on time. He was giving me such a personal message through His word and during the service. To top it all off, Sunday evening we had two baby dedications during the service. That was a little bit tougher to deal with. But following the dedication, two people stood up to sing "I will Praise you in this storm" by Casting Crowns! I could hardly believe it. I wanted to text message my friend Lisa, who was sitting in the front of church and I was in the back. I was afraid her phone would be on and I would cause more drama than it was worth. It didn't matter she got the message and was shocked too! What a personal God we serve!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Praise you in this Storm

This Casting Crown Song was played on Thursday at Carter's funeral. I looked it up this morning and found the following video. I have to say it seemed easier during the first few days to Praise the Lord during this Storm. But as today is the 10th day we have been without our precious son Carter, each day is getting tougher. I really expected things to get easier. I keep going through stages of anger. Not with the Lord, but just with life and the World. I hate this feeling. I am really starting to hate being ignored, or having people treat us different. People calling with the sympathy sound in their voice to ask how we are. Even friends that are ignoring us because they do not know what to say. There are moments when I think I can't go on, because my heart and arms hurt so deeply. I know that God will sustain us and that He will carry us through this storm for sure.

God has brought several people into our lives during this storm. There is one family, The Chappell's who lost their son Asher about 45 minutes after we lost Carter. I went to college with Dan. Just thought that was amazing how God is bringing people in our situation right to us. All the people in the world that have been through this will not help bring my Carter back to my arms. It is comforting to know that we are not alone. We will continue to Praise the Lord even in this Storm.


Prayer request that are burdening my heart:

*My physical health - still healing from the infection and giving birth

*Brent needing to go back to work and leaving me alone

*Emotional healing (my ache arms, broken heart, empty feeling in my stomach)

*Overwhelming desire to have more children and the health concerns that come along with that

*Trusting the Lord to take care of our financial needs (I am not working, and since I am a contractor that is tough. Plus the hospital bills, funeral cost and all that comes with this situation)


* Brent and I to learn how to just be in this situation. To be honest with how we feel and not try be over cautions towards how others are feeling so that we are not making them uncomfortable being around us (we are learning to just be and be okay with grief right now)

* God will provide for the memorial fund in Carter's honor at our church.



Thank you in advance for the prayers!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

For every tear drop there will be a joy

Dr. Cox, my pastor, told us (well he told me directly in the service) that for each tear I shed there will be a joy. He shared how after he lost his first wife Debbie on July 4th, his daughter was born on June 30th and his son was due on Debbie's birthday. Just small joys on days of tears. God gave this to us today. Brent and I went to church this morning. I had been fine on the way to the service, but as soon as I found a seat I lost it. I cried a majority of the service, but especially during the music. We are having a one day revival and the service was really great. The evangelist, Sam Cathy, was excellent. Although my guilt set in when he spoke of our sins that hinder our blessings! Brent was so sweet and helped me remember that God did not do this to us, but was not surprised by this either. We live in a broken world and while we cannot explain everything - we can trust Him. Back to my joy. So... after leaving church, we skipped Sunday School {not ready yet} and went to see Carter. Each time we go, it gets harder. I know it will get easier, but right now, it's so hard to think of him and know a week ago I held him in my arms. Now I have to look at a flower arrangement and a bunch of dirt! Tons more crying. We finally left Carter, because my head hurt so bad and decided we would use a "buy one get one free" coupon for lunch. I never wanted Mexican food while I was pregnant with Carter, but today I finally did and Brent jumped for joy (he loves Mexican) I found my coupon and we went up to the restaurant. The place we went we had never been before. It was a good 20 minutes away. Nothing special, except that we could eat there for the price of McDonald's after my coupon. We walk into and there is a family that is getting up to leave and walking out the door. It was the nurse that delivered Carter!!! Trisha. She was an amazing women of God that night. She recognized us right away as we recognized her immediately. She came and hug us both and loved on us and asked how we were doing. Brent was overwhelmed, because when she left to go home last week, he never got to say goodbye. Seeing her today did not take away any pain in losing Carter, but the joy I felt in my heart by seeing her and knowing how special she is to Brent and I, was overwhelming. Thank you Lord for the Joy in my tears today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Family photo


I tried so hard to post the last post at 7:04p and it didn't work. (which is fine). *update: figured out how to manually change the time, so now it officially posted at 7:04p - yeah! I did want to share with many of you our family photo! I will treasure this picture and just how sweet my husband and Carter look in this picture. I thank each of you for the prayers you have prayed for us. The tears you have shed for us. The love and compassion you have given us. Today was the first day that everyone was gone and we woke up to an empty house. I am running from the silence and know my husband will go back to work one day and I will be home alone! I know I will be okay on the other side of this hurt and hope that soon we will be able to have more children. Being on this side of all of this, is so strange and yet I am learning so much already. I hope no one has to go through what we have been through. But if they do, I look forward to sharing how the Lord has comforted us during this time.

I will share Carter's story and everything that happened last Saturday as well as the good things God has done. Just can't bring myself to write that today, just a week after it happened. Just one neat thing that did happen today, Brent hates texting on cell phones! I love texting. He has won this battle up until now and said that we can't get texting on our phones. I was given texting as a "bereavement gift" (never heard of that before now, but love this gift for sure) so that I can text some of my best friends throughout the day witout having to use words and cry. I called to add the texting today. I didn't mention to the lady that I knew I had a ton of text messages this week at .20 per message. The Verizon lady came back on the phone and said that she noticed a lot of texts and backdated my service to cover all of those calls over the past week or so! Isn't God good even in the little things. This of course made my husband happy and me cry. Thank you Lord!

The Spears family

Jenna, Brent and Carter Spears

Life Changing Moment

Today has been hard. It doesn't feel real that a week ago today I was laying in the ER begging for medication and confident that my back pain was nothing more than a kidney infection. I would of course have taken a kidney infection over what it becoming so real. As 7:04p becomes closer and closer, my heart hurts more and more. Brent and I went out today to try and do a few things that we needed to do. I never imagined that it would be so hard to be in pubic and see how many babies are around. I have felt a ton of guilt today. I keep thinking about how many times I complained about being pregnant. I want to be pregnant right now so bad and I can barely stand it. It's becoming harder to remember what it felt like to have Carter in my stomach. And then every so often I think I feel him kicking me again. Then my arms start to ache and my heart breaks. I had said that I wanted his room door closed because I couldn't stand to go in there. I went in this morning to see the new bedding that Jen Jordan made for him and set up. His crib is beautiful. His room is amazing! It's just missing him.

I woke up today at 6:00 am. This was the first morning that I slept past 3:00 am. I went into Carter's room and picked up his quilt and climbed back into bed and fell back asleep crying and clinging to that quilt. With each day, I become more and more angry. Never at the Lord but at the sinfulness of this world. I hate that we are living this right now. I hate that I feel sad to see sweet babies. I hate that I feel jealous of other women and families as they celebrate the life of their child. I had someone tell me this morning that they were sorry for my loss but it was time to move on and to dry up the tears! (she is not a believer and is dealing with this in her own way. I understand that) This is how I feel about life. Life is going on quickly and my situation is not. I feel frustrated that people can just move on and I can't seem to do the same. I keep going back in my mind to the movie Facing the Giants. The main character asks his wife, if they never have a baby will she still trust Him? I have asked that question to myself so many times. I WILL still trust HIM!! It just hurts so bad right now, that I can not breathe.

At the same time, I can't get the song out of my mind "Blessed be the Name of the Lord!" He gives and takes away, but Blessed be His name!

Our lives will never be the same. One week ago we became parents to Christopher Carter Spears at 7:04 pm on August 9, 2008. Within 1 hour 21 minutes, Carter entered into the arms of Jesus and will forever live in eternity! As hard as this is, I have to lean on the fact that God knew this and will bring restoration and healing! Joy through tears!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Made it

It's a minute before midnight on Thursday, August 14, 2008, the day Brent and I buried our baby boy Carter. As a parent it is not supposed to happen this way. In fact we are supposed to be the one that is buried by own children. Oh how we wish that had been the experience for us. But today was beautiful. We had so many laughs, lots of love and a worshipful service to remind us of God's love. Our pastor reminded me that with each tear there will be a joy. I can't wait for joys. We actually had a joy today. Brent and I were able to hold Carter once more today. He didn't smell like the weak little baby when he was first born. He had a lot of make-up on and felt different than when we last held him on Sunday. But...he reminded me today so much of Brent. Even more today than on Saturday and Sunday. What a honor it is as a mother that my son looks just like my husband. As Brent peacefully sleeps right now, I can't help but to laugh as I lay on his chest and stare at his face remembering the peacefulness of my Carter. I will blog more about the day and all that it entailed. The funny things and the sadness and also the joy it all brought. I just had to say something tonight so I will always be reminded of how I felt at the end of this "dreadful day." I am falling asleep singing" Jesus, son of God in all the earth I praise you!"