Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Angels Watching Over Us

Cameron is our nephew, and we got to celebrate with this wonderful couple when they got married.    He has always been a delightful young man, and he became even more so when he brought Natalie into the family!  Their heartbreak hits close to home.  As I read their story below, written by Natalie, I feel their pain, perhaps even more keenly, because I love these two and their extended family, and am aware of their experience.  I also realize that 'getting pregnant and having a healthy baby' seems so easy to take for granted.  Cameron and Natalie have hope for the future.  We look forward to having them with us on May 19th at our Running with Angels 5K!

"Since I can remember, I have loved babies.  I have always felt that my most important job in life will be my role as a mother.  When Cameron and I decided to start our family, I was blissfully unprepared for the trials ahead.  We have been trying to add a little one to our family for two years, and have experienced two heart-breaking miscarriages, thousands of dollars of medical bills, and numerous tests with seemingly normal results.  While our path to parenthood has been less than ideal, I still hold hope that my time to be a mother will come.  But for now, I'm glad to have my best friend by my side and our two perfect angels watching over us."

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"Beautiful Heartbreaks"

Meet the Sarah and Josh Haroldsen Family.  I have a special place in my heart for this sweet mother.  She worked hard to bring twin girls to the earth. . . and they were only here a short time.  This brought with it not only a loss of two children, but also a loss of experiencing the adventure of raising twins.  I understand this particular sadness from losing one of our twins.  My heart aches along with Sarah and Josh.  They went on to experience even more grief just a few months later.  Read their story here, and notice the smiles in the picture from one of the Running with Angels 5Ks they attended.  I love how this courageous mother says that she was "able to experience the purest happiness and joy in those short moments," a sentiment that parents who lose children soon after birth often share.  Sarah also shares how her angel babies Kate, Allie, and Cole have truly become her "beautiful heartbreaks."  We are honored to have Josh and Sarah and their two living children join us on May 19th.  Registration is at runningwithangels.org.

Here is Sarah and Josh's story, in Sarah's words:

After many years and a lot of negative pregnancy tests, we found out that I was finally pregnant… with twins! Time passed with a very healthy, easy pregnancy. We soon found out we were expecting girls. I was beyond happy. Without a doubt, this was a miracle and a blessing from our Heavenly Father and an answer to many prayers.
            When I was 23 ½ weeks pregnant, there was a sudden turn of events that we were not ready for. I woke up one beautiful Sunday morning and my water broke. We quickly made our way to the hospital to find out I was in labor. I kept thinking to myself this wasn’t possible, this wasn’t happening, I wasn’t far enough along. The amazing medical staff worked incessantly to try to stop labor and determine what to do if we couldn’t stop labor. My husband and I were forced to have impossible conversations about how aggressively we would resuscitate my girls if they were born soon. After a very long day, including many prayers and priesthood blessings, I had to deliver. The NICU took both our little girls right away for an initial assessment, but they had simply come too early. They gave us back our daughters to spend as much time with them as we could. We knew they had no chance of leaving the hospital alive. It was such a bittersweet moment to go through. We were so happy and blessed to have two beautiful girls. It was so precious to hold them in our arms and hear their little cries. It was so cute to see them kind of scoot towards each other. On the other hand, it was so heartbreaking to know that it was only a matter of time that we had left with them. We had so much heartache, but at the same time, so much peace. I have never felt the veil as thin as I did at the hospital that day. We were able to spend a few precious hours with our beautiful girls before they went back home to our Heavenly Father.
            We were surprised, but excited, to find out that I was pregnant again just a quick 6 months later, and with a little boy! It was a very stressful pregnancy because of our recent experience, but we tried to stay optimistic. At week 19, symptoms of an infection came one morning that needed to be addressed. We headed to the hospital. After another very long day of tests and conversations, I delivered my son. If there had been any question about our twin girls being able to survive, we knew there was no chance for my son. We were devastated. We relished in the one hour we had with him before he returned home. For a second time, were forced to go through all the same emotions and feelings—all too soon.

 Through it all, I had a lot of fears. Fear that I would never get pregnant again. Fear that I would 
never be able to have any more children. There were certainly a lot of tears and pain. I ached for children. I longed for children. I hated each negative pregnancy test. I wanted the roller-coaster to be over. I wanted it to end. I wanted it all to go away, yet I knew it wouldn’t go away because I was willing to do whatever it took to have children.

            God had a different plan for me than I had for myself. I had been praying for children... and they came. Just in a different way than I thought, planned, or ever expected. My children lived and breathed, though only for a very brief amount of time. I was able to hold them and kiss them. I was able to cherish them during the time we had. I was able to talk to them and tell them how much I loved them and how much I would miss them. I tried to enjoy the happiness and beauty as long as I could. I was heartbroken to say goodbye. They are truly mine forever and for always. I was able to experience the purest happiness and joy in those short moments, that outweighed all those years of aches, tears, and pain. Kate, Allie, and Cole truly became my beautiful heartbreaks.
            In the time that has passed since, we have been so blessed with two miracle babies … we now have a 3 ½ year old boy, and a 15-month-old girl.