As I sang Silent
Night tonight, first at church and then again and again as I rocked Teddy
to sleep with his little brothers’ ashes beside our rocking chair, I couldn’t
help but think of how many other mothers were also having a silent night
without their little baby. The statistics tell
us 31% of our baby’s lives will end too soon resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth
or infant loss. We hear this sort of loss is common and many have walked
this path before us and will walk it after us, but knowing that doesn’t sooth our pain. The pain of losing our own flesh. Our pure and innocent babies. The moment we begin to walk the road of motherhood, we
say yes to God’s plan for that child.
Even if that means the child will only live in our womb for a few days. He has a plan and he chose us to mother that
baby. What if Mary would’ve said no to
the Angel Gabriel and God’s plan? She could’ve
– after all, God gave us each free will, including Mary.
But Mary didn’t say no. She said
yes to …
Job 1:21 (ESV) And he said, “Naked I came from my
mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave,
and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
On Sunday, November 23 at 12:30am, I delivered a small three inch little boy
weighing just a couple ounces. His frame was perfect. He had ten fingers and
ten toes. We could even tell by sight he was in fact a little boy.
Everything was simply miraculous about him. This tiny
babe took my breath away - I was his mommy. I am burdened with the fact that I delivered and met him all too soon. However, I am thankful God allowed me to birth his
body perfectly which allowed for us to place our eyes on him for the first and
last time. We named this child, our third boy, Thomas Job Balentine. (Job is pronounced with a long "o.") These past two weeks
have been some of the most trying weeks of my life. My faith has wavered
like never before. I have tried to bring it all to the foot of
the cross and asked the f…
At first glance, hope seems
like a fairly basic concept that most of us don’t struggle to comprehend.
But when we look closely, the term hope, like love, has
a wide range of uses. For instance, one can make the claim that they love French
Fries one moment and then explain how they love their mom with
a mouthful of said French Fries in the next moment! Not many
people would question if the person truly understood the concept of love or if their feeling were genuine despite the difference in the object of their love. Similarly,
we can hope that our favorite restaurant won't have a long wait for a table, and we can also hope that an infant child survives chemo treatments. We
can hope it doesn't rain on our wedding day, and we can also hope that our jobs survive the next round of layoffs. We hope for basic, fundamental
elements of life to play out in our favor.
We also hope for something absurdly far-fetched to come true. We toss around hope like it is magical fairy
dust. We …
The hope of a new baby in our lives has been crushed. Yesterday, amidst signs that there were some irregularities happening with Amy's pregnancy, we set an ultrasound appointment. The signs of trouble came on quickly after the 6-month anniversary of Simon's birth. The baby likely went on to meet Simon about a week ago. I write today on the 6-month anniversary of Simon's death.
As soon as the grainy black-and-white image of the baby came on the screen, I knew. Our baby's lifeless body was scrunched up and motionless - unlike Teddy and Simon who were always playfully moving each time we got a glimpse of them in the womb. Amy cried out in agony from the doctor's table. Pain was unleashed from the deep. Teddy was with us in the ultrasound room, and he looked at me with a concerned but sweet and playful look. His confused eye contact with me was something like I hadn't seen out of him before. He was somehow giving…
Dearest Simon, This evening marks six months since daddy and I met you face-to-face. I can't believe it's been a half year since we met you - I think it feels so fresh for a few reasons. One is because I will never forget the sound of your cry and the way the weight of your little body felt in my arms. Another reason is because our good friends took video and pictures of your birth and I view those often. Simon, so many people have watched your entrance into the world. The moment was holy, a moment only God can create. We all waited eagerly to hear your first cries. After several minutes we heard your strong voice and it was magic. I was so proud of you. I think anyone who watched your birth has the image forever in their mind and heart. You made a lasting impression sweet boy.
If your big brother could write, he would want you to know that he brings your name up often. Your ashes are in a pretty little wooden box. Before you were bor…
I haven’t written in over two months. I’ve wanted to write over the past two months, but my heart and thoughts have been so all over the place that I couldn’t land on one subject.I would think about writing about one thing, and then within a few hours my previous feeling had vanished and I was feeling another way. My current thoughts can be a bit scattered. I am learning this is how grief works – at least for me. This past month is always a really special month in our home. October 10th marked our fifth anniversary.I am overwhelmed by the strength of our marriage – thanks be to God for this.I am thankful for Adam’s love and leadership and love seeing how our lives together are unfolding through God’s big plan.God takes it all and makes it beautiful, even when the unthinkable happens.October 15th was Teddy’s 2nd birthday.Teddy fills our home with lots of yelling, giggles, new words, and “nos.”Teddy helps make our house feel like a home.Last year, Teddy shared his first birthday with…
It’s Royals vs. Giants in the World Series! I never would have thought this was
possible. In fact, I've told several people in the past who have caught me wearing my Giants hat in KC that, "It's OK. I'll never really have to choose!" This August, the Giants came
to KC to take on the Royals and Amy and I actually wore Giants gear to the K,
despite much debate with Amy over whether we should do so. Doing this was more of a nostalgic move –
paying homage to 6 years living in San Francisco, rooting for the Giants and attendance at multiple
games at AT&T Park. Even though I
was in my black and orange during the game back in in August, I was rooting for
the Royals. It had to be a bit confusing
for anyone paying attention that I would stand up and cheer for KC when they
would get a hit. “Does this guy
understand how this game works?”
One of the best games we ever attended at AT&T Park in
SF was game 1 of the World Series in 2010 when the Giants and Tim …