August

Every passing year since Jonah’s death, the month of August rolls around and it somehow takes me to a different place. It takes me three years back. To a place full of sorrow, unknown and fears. It was a scary time in my life and a time I am not soon to forget.

Looking back I somehow can’t imagine how I ever got through it all. All the doctor visits, bad news and then there is always the night he was born. I’ve written before that in the process of stillbirth, as mothers, we are actively participating in the death of our baby – whether we want to or not. I remember during the ultrasound when the doctor told me there was no heartbeat and the steps I needed to take next, I just remember thinking, “Why can’t they just drug me up and put me to sleep so I don’t have to do any of this?”  I kept asking myself, “Why me? Why, God? Why are you making me do this?”

But what most of all I was scared. I was so scared.

God tests us I think. He makes us to scary things. Things we certainly do not want to do, but looking back… I am so proud that I was able to do what I did in that delivery room on August 12th and on into the early morning hours of August 13th.

I am stronger because of it.

I am a better mother today because of it.

I am a better wife, daughter, sister,  and friend because of it all. Every last ounce of pain, sadness, and fear that went through me had given me a faith like I have never had before.

The pain really does lessen over time. And the redemption of it all is my 18 month old daughter. She brings me more joy than I ever thought possible.

I love you both, Jonah and Micah. More than you’ll ever know.

Little Jonah-2 copy

Jonah Melvin Johnson – born an angel August 13, 2013 at 2:10am

Micah 18 months

Micah Rae Johnson – August 2, 2016 – 18 months old

 

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You Are Still Loved

It has been over two and a half years since I last held my dear little boy in my womb and my arms. But after all this time and the time ahead, my heart still feels him and still loves him. Every single day I am reminded of him in some small and also big ways. Micah has a large part to do with that.

Someone asked me the other day if Micah was my first and I had to tell them that she was not. That she has an older brother who was born an angel. It was obviously not the response they thought they would get as they pleaded to tell me they were so sorry. I just smiled and said that I have been blessed with more than most. It’s true. I really have.

Six months after Jonah was born I couldn’t tell you that. That I had been blessed. All I could tell you was that I was so sad and depressed. I still have my sad times, but they are few and far between. But even though time has helped to heal my deep wounds, I still hurt now and then. Contrary to belief, just because I have my rainbow baby does not mean I still do not hurt. The pain of losing my son and all the hopes and dreams I had for him is burned so deep that they will always be there. It is because I loved him so and still do.

You are still loved sweet boy. Always on my heart and mind.

Humbling Moments

Life is full of humbling moments where you are knocked down to your knees and your breath is taken away and you are reminded of how good you once had it. If only you could tell your yesterday self about todays problems you might be in better shape. But life doesn’t happen that way.

In an instant your life can change. For the good or for worse – or so you think at the time. Everyone knows my most humbling moment. The day doctors told me my little boy would most likely not live a moment in this world. I carried him for 5 more weeks before he died warm in my womb. For five weeks I chose to be mad. I chose to be incredibly mad at God.

Why? How? Not me! I would say. How could our all powerful, loving God do this to me?

After his birth, I was became more sad than mad. And I still asked those same questions to my God.

Why? How? Not me!

But one day I decided it was going to be different. I opened up my bible to the book of Jonah and read on into Micah. I found the verse, “For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” – Micah 7:8

I knew I had to invite God back into my life again to rise out of the darkness. I made a deal with God and told Him that if I endured all this pain that the least He could do was to make me pregnant again with a healthy child. After months of trying and no pregnancy, I realized that you don’t make deals with God. You put it in His hands. You put your faith in Him and His timing. I came to the realization that maybe having another child wasn’t in the cards for me or maybe we needed to wait a little longer for my heart to heal. I decided to live in the moment and enjoy my surroundings. And when I did, I truly felt happy again. I also changed my prayers. Instead of: God, please give me a healthy pregnancy with a child to hold soon. I prayed: Lord, I believe in You and Your timing. I have faith.

Once I did that, the next month I was pregnant with my Miracle Baby. Some may say it is coincidence or luck, but deep down I believe it was a miracle from Him.

We all have our most humbling moments. These are mine. But I also have humbling moments every single day. Not as life changing, but most certainly still big.

 

The Year of Micah

Micah is just a few weeks shy of her first birthday. I can’t even believe how fast this past year of her and my life have flown by. We both have grown so much in the past year. I’ve never been so happy, tired, stressed, joyful and confused so much in my life. I’ve hit every emotion this year, but it has really been the best year.

When I found out I was pregnant with Micah I was at one of my lowest points in my life. But the spark that she was there inside of me gave me the greatest hope and desire to keep pushing forward towards a life of happiness.

Micah is my miracle baby. She put together my broken heart piece by piece and filled it back up again.

She saved me.

In every sense of those words.

  
I love you, Micah.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl ❤

Time

Micah is already 5 and a half months old now and I am so enjoying this stage with her. I love  her little personality that is starting to shine through and all the big milestones like rolling over that she is accomplishing. I am starting to feel the ease of motherhood and although my worries are always there for her, they aren’t so overbearing as there were 3 months ago. I am feeling more and more confident as a mother to a child earth side.

As I type this, we are sitting outside on a most beautiful summer afternoon. Micah and I on her blanket and Daddy and Grandpa working on the backyard. When you would have asked what I pictured when I pictured out family this is what I would have said. Although, I can only imagine what it would be like if my little boy was here too. If he would have been born on time, he’d be a year and a half already. I’d probably be chasing him around this yard right now! 

His birthday is fastly approaching, August 13th, which brings so many kinds of emotions into my heart. I think about myself two years ago today and all the pain and heartache I was going through. I was about 25 weeks pregnant and told my baby would probably not survive. Two years ago today had you told me what I was doing today and that I was a new kind of happy I would have never believed you. Even just a year ago today, when I knew I was pregnant with Micah I would never have thought I would be doing this today. Sitting here with my little girl, enjoying the sunshine and missing her big brother… 

Time flies.

  

Micah Update

It has been way too long since my last post, but so many things have been happening. I swear there never feels like enough time in the day to sit down and write it all out. It seems like if I ever do get a free moment I am doing a load of laundry or paying bills. But I love being busy like this. This is a whole new kind of busy that is so exhausting yet so amazing all at the same time.

The last few months have been pretty rough and I finally feel that now that Micah is 4 months old – we have gotten some things figured out and things are so much better than they were. I guess it all started around 8 weeks when I noticed that she wasn’t smiling as much and she became quite cranky most of the day and she had terrible gas pains. She would also never let me lay her down. The only way I could get her to sleep is upright on my chest. Which meant she wasn’t getting a lot of sleep and neither were her parents! Getting 4 hours of sleep a night back then was heaven sent.

After finally getting a doctor listen to me and not tell me, “This is just a stage! You’re just a worried first time mom.” We finally figured out that Micah has GERD or acid reflux. I give her a tiny pill that dissolves in her mouth once a day now and it has helped tremendously. I feel so bad knowing that every time she laid down she had awful pain. I am just so thankful that I am at home with her to figure this out when we did. So many people told me that I was spoiling her and holding her too much and that she needed to ‘cry it out’. Imagine the pain she was in had I done that?

Things are so much better now and we all are getting some much needed sleep! At her 4 month well baby check up she was 13lbs and 7oz last week. It is pretty amazing considering where she started out as.

I love her so much more every single day and I feel so blessed to get to spent all day with her. Sometimes I have no idea what the heck I am doing, but we make it all work.

Micah 2 Months

Micah 3 Months

Micah 4 Months

 

Sometimes I Wonder…

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. I wonder how I ever got here. And is this really real? 

For a long time after Jonah had gone, I didn’t think I could have another baby without feeling as though I had forgotten about Jonah and such a sad time in my life. I felt as though I might betray him. But I had no idea how much I would see him in Micah. And how much she would change me, just like he did. 

I love you, Jonah. And so does your little sister. 

Micah’s one month picture already.



Introducing … Micah Rae Johnson

IMG_7038

 

Introducing…

Micah Rae Johnson

February 2, 2015 at 7:36pm

5 lbs 4 oz – 18 inches

The past four weeks have been a blur and I sometimes can’t believe what has all happened, BUT I have never been so happy (and tired!).

Micah came 5 weeks early into this world and low and behold it always goes to show that even though I may have everything planned out – God always has something better in mind. Even though she came 5 weeks early, I am so thankful that she is healthy and growing.

Micah’s birth story begins the weekend before she was born. We had been having some work done to our house to prepare for her birth and it had just finished. The whole weekend before she was born I had a surge of energy to get things done around the house and a bunch of cleaning done. The night before, Superbowl Sunday, I had Drew put together the pack and play and some other baby things just because. We went to bed around 11pm that night and at 4:30am I felt a gush of water as I was sleeping. It was like nothing I had ever felt before and I knew that this wasn’t normal. I quickly jumped out of bed and woke my husband up. I screamed that I thought my water just broke. Drew’s reply (half awake) was, “You probably just peed your pants.” I remember saying that this was not normal and we needed to call labor and delivery. I called our OB and they said that it sounded like my water did break, but since I was 35 weeks, I needed to go to a different hospital. Our OB does not deliver babies under 36 weeks.

Of course I started to panic and throw a bunch of stuff together in a bag. We had planned to pack a hospital bag that weekend, but never got to it. Right before we walked out the door, I yelled, “Grab the carseat! You can’t take home a baby without one!” Thank goodness my husband got this purchased in time.

By now it was around 5 in the morning and we were on our way to a hospital that would be able to deliver a 35 week baby. The day before there was a large snow storm so a usual 40 minute drive took about an hour and a half because of the snow covered roads. That didn’t help my nerves either.

The whole way down I had no idea what was going to happen. Were we going to have a baby today? Were the doctors going to try and stop contractions and put me on bed rest until I was closer to my due date? A million things were running through my head. I can’t lie. I even thought about what if she wouldn’t make it and I would go through loss all over again.

By the time we got to the hospital I was continuing to release more water. We went into a triage room where we waited to be assessed. A nurse named Katie came in the room to assess what was going on with me. She confirmed that my water did break, I was having contractions and was only 1 cm dilated. While this was going on, she asked if this was my first pregnancy. I replied no, our son was stillborn at 28 weeks. She said how sorry she was and told me that her daughter was stillborn at 24 weeks. She asked me when he was stillborn and I told her August of 2013. She then asked what date in August. I told her the 13th. Her jaw dropped as she told me her daughter was stillborn August 13, 2012. Exactly one year before Jonah. In that moment, my nerves were calmed and I knew Jonah was in the room with me, his daddy and his sister. I knew that everything was going to be ok.

We were transferred to our room where I was going to deliver our baby. It really hadn’t set in yet, but this was they day that my baby was going to be born. The day I had long awaited for, but still I felt totally unprepared at the same time.

We waited for a long time and answered the same questions over and over again to nurses and doctors. I don’t know how many times I had to say that this wasn’t my first pregnancy and my first baby was stillborn at 28 weeks.

My contractions weren’t doing much so I was induced at 11:30am. The doctors told me that the risk of infection was a greater threat to the baby than being born at 35 weeks. The NICU doctor came in and went through a big speech on how some babies born at 35 weeks come earth side with no complications or needing intervention of the NICU doctors and some are in extra need of their assistance. They told me that at the most my baby could spend up to two weeks in the NICU. The doctors told me that at the time she was going to be born, they would decide if I got to hold her or not. She may need oxygen and need to be taken right away. Of course, having to go through the possible what ifs and what could happen scared me even more – but this may sound weird but I almost felt as though everything was going to be ok because I had prayed for it to for so long that God was going to take care of it for me. I could almost envision Jonah telling Him to make sure his sister was ok. That his mommy really needed her to be alright and to be able to hold her right after she was born. Jonah even probably told God to make sure she screamed and cried really loud because his mom needed to hear that sound. Just thinking about that moment makes me tear up and cry….

So, I was induced at 11:30am and I was 3cm dilated then. By 6pm I was 5 cm dilated and at 7pm was 10 and ready to push! It was a quick labor that’s for sure!

At 7:36pm Drew and I heard the most glorious sound we had ever heard! A cry! The entire room of doctors and nurses (around 8 of them) were in tears around us as we held our perfect little girl for the first time. She was perfect. She came out breathing on her own and perfectly pink. I had for so long waited for this moment and it was perfect. Drew and I became parents. We were already a mother and father, but we became parents to a child we would raise earth side.

Because she was premature, we stayed in the hospital for three and a half more days for doctors and nurses to keep a close eye on her. She never spent one minute in the NICU.

That Friday, we took our sweet girl home and have loved every minute since. Sometimes I think back on the past year and a half of my life and wonder how I ever made it to these moments. I have never been so happy in my entire life. My arms are full again and the ache has dulled. I know this is what I was made to do … I was made to be a mommy. A mommy to an angel and a mommy to Micah. There is no greater job than I could ever do.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. 

Micah 6:8