When The Rain Keeps Coming.

bring the rain

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1

   I held the phone to my ear…listening in disbelief, as someone close to me called me with some hard news this morning. I immediately thought, how can these things be happening when we just lost Audrey. That we should be free from bad news and heart ache for awhile. I angrily asked God, “Hasn’t our family just been through enough? Haven’t we done our share of hurting?”

   As I sat in silence, trying to think of the words to say that would provide some sort of comfort, this person said to me, ” But Sarah, I prayed. I prayed that everything was going to be okay…..but it wasn’t.” My heart broke. I instantly remembered when I had felt that exact same way. When I too had felt one hundred percent betrayed by God.

   The morning that the paramedics were working on my precious Audrey I prayed. From the moment I had found her until the moment I had received the news of her passing I had prayed over and over again for them to be able to save her. I prayed for her to be okay. But regardless of the most desperate prayer I had ever prayed……okay was not the outcome.

    After I hung up the phone, I remembered a song called Held by Natalie Grant. The verse says, ”This is what it is to be loved. And to know that the promise was when everything fell we’d be held.” When I had heard that song for the first time I cried. I felt like I had finally got it. That God does not promise us that everything is always going to be okay. But what he does promise….is that if we let him, he will be there to help us through those times when it is not.

      As I sat there this morning after the phone call, realizing that I too had been thinking that everything should just work out. Thinking about how I felt like I should have a “get out of bad news” free card because I have been through my fair share of heartache, I realized that Audrey’s death is most likely the hardest thing that will ever happen to me, but it will not be the ONLY thing that will ever happen to me. That as life continues to move forward, I am going to be faced with many other hard situations. Some personal, and some that unfortunately involve my family. 

     I am learning that as I continue to be faced with hard news, I can pray for things to be alright, as anyone’s first instinct would be. But what I also need to do, is start praying for comfort when what we so desperately want, doesn’t turn out the way we plan. That ultimately I need to pray for them to be….held.



A ”New” Normal.

new normal


The new normal is knowing that I will never get over this loss, in a day or in a million years. -Unknown

   I was holding Audrey’s lifeless body in my arms. She was beginning to turn cold and I was ever so desperately trying to keep her wrapped up and warm. Even though in my mind I new that no amount of body heat or blankets were going to be able to prevent the inevitable from happening…the impending coldness forced me back in to reality. The reality that I was not just holding my sick, sleeping baby girl, but that I was holding my child who had died. 

   The nurse came in and told me that the funeral home was on their way to pick her up. I was terrified. How in the world was I going to be able to hand my baby over to strangers. She had barely left my arms her entire life, and now we were down to the last minutes that she would ever spend in them. This could not be happening.

   The nurses came back about twenty minutes later to say that they were here to get her, and it was time to let go. I became so angry. I thought, how dare they tell me when the right time to let go is. Looking back today, I know that they were right. That if they hadn’t of forced me to hand her over…..that I would still be sitting in that same pink cold plastic chair holding my precious Audrey.

   I remember pure panic setting in as they re-entered the room. Knowing that this was it, that the time had actually come. Realizing that all this was indeed real. I remember squeezing her so tight, trying to take in a lifetime worth of cuddles in just a single moment. I remember begging her to just wake up for the last time. I remember kissing her cold and blue, but still so soft lips. But most importantly I remember repeating I love you, I love you, over and over again.

    I handed her to my husband because I knew that I could not bare to give her to someone else. Once she left my arms I sat there in disbelief as I watched him kiss her goodbye. The image of my strong husband breaking down in pure hopelessness is a sight I will never forget.

   When I seen him begin to hand over our daughter to the nurses I began screaming. I regretted letting her go. I wanted her back just for one more moment, just one more second so I could feel her again. I felt so helpless. I have never begged or cried so desperately in my entire life. The pain was indescribable. and just like that...just as quick as she had came into this world…..she was gone. 

   As I sat, still in the pink chair, stunned but now with empty arms…I realized that not only was my mind not processing that she was gone, but that my body wasn’t either. I looked down and realized I was sitting there in flannel stripped zebra pajama pants. Pants that I hadn’t been able to change out of because everything had happened so quickly.  Not only that, but I was soaked from breast milk that had leaked all over my clothes. My breast were extremely sore as they were reminding me that I hadn’t fed my baby in some time. I was a mess. I was mortified. I was exhausted. Mentally I was completely done. 

   Since that day I have been waiting for the pain to stop. I have been waiting to be able to begin to get back to ”normal.” The new normal that people have talked to me about. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I have been searching for something that I already have found.

   That everyday since Audrey has left my arms has been my new ”normal.” That not being able to focus on anything but her on most days is my new normal. That living each day without her, knowing that she is never coming back is my new normal. That the absence of a crying baby in our home is my new normal. Knowing that life from here on out will never be the same, but that it will continue to go on.

   A new normal that I also never had before this….one that I am thankful for…is my faith. A faith that is going to carry me through in the days ahead. The days where my oldest daughter will return to school and the days when my husband and I will return to work. 

   I am scared as life in the very near future goes back to how it was before her death. I am dreading it, but as more of my new normals fall back into place, I now know that not only will she not be forgotten, but that God is also with me to help….in ways I have never let him before.


For Your Eyes Only


For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10

       I am part of a club. It is full of amazing women from all walks of life. Some are old, while some are young. Some have careers, while others stay at home. Some have seven children, while others only have one. All of us are different, but one things remains the same. We are all part of the same club. The only thing is…..it is a sad club……a club that no one wants to be in.

     See that’s the thing. We all have unwillingly joined ,because we have all lost a child. Even though we are all so different, we all know the same pain. The pain of losing what we love most in this world. 

    We are all strong. Not strong because we want to be, but strong because we have no choice but to be. Although through this journey I am learning that having strength, is not what I ever thought it was. That I am only learning the true meaning of strength now.

    I have received so many messages from people. People who tell me they admire my strength. I had never thought of myself as a strong person before. So when people would tell me that, I would feel like a hypocrite. I would feel like these people were only seeing my writing, and my fake smiles in public…. but what they didn’t see were the screams, the tears, and the anger that I was experiencing behind closed doors. 

    Over the last eight weeks, there have been so many times where I have questioned myself about what I am doing. I’ve asked myself over and over,how in the world I am trying to help others when I still need help myself. Then it hit me.

    I don’t have to be strong physically or emotionally, but what I am more than anything…..is strong in my faith and in my beliefs. That mothers that come here to read my blog, do not come to read that I am fine, or that I am coping. They come here to see that I am still completely broken. That I am still punching pillows, and throwing things in anger. That I still have some mornings where it is so terribly hard to get out of bed. That I still sit and cry with empty arms, and that I still miss my baby just as much today, as the day I lost her. They come to see the reality. My reality. They come to see that they too… are not alone.

     We do not have to be okay to be defined as strong. When somebody asks me how I am doing, that is the easiest answer to say. Truth is…I am not okay. It will never be okay.  But I am getting through the moments. Second by second on most days.

     Being able to get through each day….even though we are not okay is strength. Falling to the floor in hopelessness, but being able to get back up is strength. Saying goodbye to our children, and our dreams for them through tears and a broken heart is strength. Every single thing we have done since the moment we have lost them has been strength. You are reading this right now…..you are here……we are making it through today. We are strong.  

      I have truly learned that you never know how strong you really are until you are faced with the unthinkable. Until you are knocked down to the ground so hard you have no choice but to begin to hope. My reality is… that I am still struggling, that I am still questioning, that most days I am still in the most unbearable pain. But my reality is also something so much more than that. I truly believe that my strength comes from the Lord. 

      So as I sit here today…. eight weeks into my journey. I still feel sad that I have been destined to join such a devastating club….but what I also feel…is proud. I feel proud to get to meet so many amazing women. Proud that in our own pain, we are able to come together and help each other. But most importantly I feel proud….because even if we don’t feel it…. we really all are… STRONG.


I See You In Everything.


Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights. -Isaiah 7:11

Dear Sweet Little Audrey,

         This weekend I found myself back at square one again. Regardless of my beliefs…of my faith…I found myself questioning why certain things were happening. Why things were still happening to me. I spent time pleading with God. Begging him to help me understand the plans he has made for my life.

         I found myself looking at the sky. I remember asking Daddy if he really believed there was a heaven….if he really thought you were there. I thought about if you could see me….if you could see my heart broken in to pieces….yet still beating. I wondered if you had met your sister, if you knew who she was. I wanted you to be able to feel how much we miss you…how desperate we are to have you back home. In my heart I knew I really believed all of these things to be true…..yet in a world that constantly talks about how  impossible it is for a heaven to exist, I became afraid. I felt so fearful to question him…..yet so hopeless to not.

       This weekend I was weak. This weekend I felt like I didn’t have the strength to deal with what I had been handed. The thing is, this time I didn’t have to just have faith and believe…instead he showed me. In a moment I was questioning your whereabouts the most. When I was pleading in my head for you to give me some sort of sign….the sun suddenly came out over the fields from behind the clouds. It was so beautiful. It was you.

       Audrey, I see proof that your spirit is still alive on almost a daily basis. I see you in the frog that has shown up on our doorstep almost every night since your passing, in the shooting stars we see as we are thinking of you….I see you in the wildflowers we planted before your death, but have since bloomed all in purple. I now even see you in the sun that peeks out from behind the clouds.

     I know in my heart that you are in heaven. I know that all of the signs I have been experiencing are through God…allowing me to know that you are ok. That he is showing me that he is taking the best care of you possible, and I do not need to worry about where you are.

    Everyday those signs are what keeps me going. Regardless of how silly they sound…. they bring me peace. I just want you to know, that everyday I will continue to miss you….until my very last breath…when I will see you again.

     Love, Mommy


Goodbye July.

july calendar

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

    As a mother of three, I loved to do whatever I could to stay organized. One of my favorite organizational tools in my home was my calendar. Mine is on a white board. So at the end of each month, I can just erase it and start anew. I loved my calendar because it signified my life. All of my children’s activities, family events, special occasions, and appointments were on there. I could look at it hanging there and be able to see what I had accomplished, and also what I still had to look forward to.

   This month was different. I didn’t run to change the dates. I didn’t get excited to erase it and start new. Doing so meant I was no longer living in the same month that Audrey lived in. Doing so meant I was entering August of Two-Thousand fourteen……a month that  Audrey would never get to see.

   As I stood there, with half of the month already passed…..feeling like I may be ready to finally change the date, I put the eraser back down. I stared at the calendar, trying to remember back to when I had last changed it over to July. I did remember being so excited to write in my husband and I’s first year wedding anniversary.  I remembered being so happy. I had no idea how life changing that date would really be. That instead of eating left over wedding cake, and celebrating over dinner…..we would instead, wake up that morning to our daughter not breathing.

    I continued to scan the dates. I remembered July first. Canada Day was a family tradition. Every year I would dress up the girls in Canada gear, and head down to the waterfront for music, and fireworks. Again, shock struck me as I realized that when I had wrote in yet another date I had looked forward to, I had no idea that would be the only one she would ever celebrate with our family. 

   That same day had also been the last one of Abi’s soccer games that Audrey would ever sit with me on the bleachers for. The last time we would all celebrate her teams win afterwards with ice cream together.

canada day girlscanada day audreyfirewroks canada day

( July 1, 2014 – Audreys First & Last Canada Day )

      I scanned over to the next day. July second would be Audreys final Doctors appointment. An appointment that I has constantly played over in my mind since her death. She had been so happy that day, smiling at everyone who fussed over her in the office. It is so hard to come to terms with the fact, that someone who had been deemed perfectly healthy on a Wednesday….could be gone by Sunday.

audeys last dr appt

( July 2, 2014 – Audreys Final Doctors Appointment )

    July was the last month my baby girl had ever been on this earth. I didn’t want to stop living in it. I didn’t want to erase the note I had written at the bottom of my calendar, reminding me to make another appointment for her in a month. Although my mind knew that she would no longer need it…my heart fought otherwise. 

    As I stood there, contemplating my next move. I realized that as desperate as I am to keep time still, I really have no control. The days, weeks, months, and years are going to continue to pass by whether my little calendar says so or not.

   I picked the eraser back up off of the counter. Feeling completely broken that I was just about to erase away the last time I would ever see Audreys name on there. As I was about to erase my first wedding anniversary that would never be celebrated….and the next appointment that would never be needed.

   God’s presence came over me that day. It really was if he had placed his hand over mine and moved it for me. As if he knew I didn’t have the strength to do it myself. As the eraser moved over the board, mixing the marker with my fallen tears. It started to become one big black and wet mess. It resembled my life perfectly. My once organized and happy life was now just that….a complete mess.

    The truth is, by removing her name from the calendar… another piece of evidence  that she had indeed, lived in our home, I realized that it did not mean I was erasing her from my life. That there is no possible way that she can ever be erased or replaced because she continues to live on inside of me….inside of us. 

    When I looked at my calendar this morning, I still wanted so desperately to see her name on there. To see proof that she is still here to be taken care of. What I do not see however…is just a way to stay organized, or a place were there is a bunch of “chores” written down for me to accomplish. I now see it as a pile of published memories. Memories that have passed…and memories yet to come.

    I have no idea what the next months, or even years will bring me. I take comfort in the fact that God does. I do know that he has promised me a future…and that he has given me hope. On days that I become anxious of all the uncertainty in my life…I think about the fact that he has been there to help me through whatever obstacle I have had to face. Whether it has been big, or something as small as erasing a calendar. As long as I can continue to keep my eyes on him…I know that I can once again…… begin to look forward to the days ahead.

august calendar


You’re Not Alone Mama.

    your not alone

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

      Audrey was about three weeks old. I was sitting in our chair nursing her, while my two year old was emptying the bookcase. My oldest was bored and continually asking me about a million different things she wanted to do. This was a typical day in my house, a typical moment. I had three children, all different stages, with totally different needs and interests. Most days were a juggling act. I became very good at multi-tasking, and at prioritizing which needs came first. I thought I had it all together. But on that particular day, as I one handily picked up books for what seemed like the hundredth time…. I remember feeling lonely. 

   I remember looking in the mirror at someone I no longer knew. I looked at that woman standing there, adorned in sweats, my hair chucked up messy, but wet, because I had actually been able to get a shower. I not only felt lonely, I felt lost. Apart from a few friends, being a devoted Mama to three I had allowed myself to isolate me from the world. 

   As mothers our children’s needs always come first. Even if we make plans in advance for coffee with a friend, when the time finally comes, you never make it out that door. There’s always something you can find to do, that is more important. 

    Not only were my relationships with my friends, and even my husband pushed to the side, but my relationship with God was practically non existent. I ignored him on a daily basis. After all, my life was going good. Little did I know that the time was coming where these three relationships were going to be the ones to carry me through the most devastating time of my life.

    It’s funny how we can take credit for all the good in our lives, yet blame him and expect him to save us when things start to go bad. 

   As I sit here this morning, I ask you to think about these things. Why do we wait for tragedy to strike before we believe in him? Why do we wait until our lives become out of control, and for situations to arise that are out of our hands, before we finally…only in desperation, hand over the reins? Why is it, that we only let him fully begin to deal with a situation, when we can no longer save ourselves?

   I am guilty of this. Are you?

   I only wished that I had of realized this before Audrey’s death. Things could have been so much easier if I had of been able to just bring my stresses to him. I wish that I had of known that the loneliness I was feeling, was due to his lack of presence in my life. That my lack of faith, and hope is what caused me to be in this ” Is this all there is to life ” state. I know better now, I know there is so much more to it than that. I know that through him my life has purpose. That I am no longer just a mother of four but I am also Sarah. That I am important to him, as my children are to me.

   I can say, that through this awful time, God has given me the relationships i have needed to survive. My old ones are stronger. I have had amazing people come into my life which enabled me to build new ones. My husband and I were forced to really come together as one, to fight this battle, and as a result, have been able to become closer. I also now have God with me every second of the day, carrying some of my burdens for me. I have never had to be alone once through this, and have learned that I never really was to begin with. That no matter how much I try to ignore him…he is still with me. That I never have to feel lonely again.

   So to all the mama’s sitting in your chair this morning. Dressed in sweatpants…Trying ever so desperately to leave your home, but never making it out the door. Who picks up toys around the living room for the hundredth time with a crying baby in the other arm. Enjoy those moments, things will get easier with time, but most importantly remember….YOU are NEVER alone.


…..And Then There Were Two.

and then there were two

A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.    -Franchesca Cox

     I was at the grocery store, trying to decide which bread to buy….when I noticed them. A family of five, chaotically walking through the store. As I stood there frozen, I stared at them. I became envious. I wanted my family of five back. Actually, I wanted my family of six back.

   The baby was crying, the toddler was placing unwanted items into the cart and throwing out the wanted ones, and the oldest was complaining about how he didn’t want to be there. I looked at that Mama knowing exactly how she was feeling. Knowing that she desperately just wanted to get out of there as quick as possible.

    As I watched her frantically grab some bread off the shelf and head to cash, I instantly remembered that had just been me only seven weeks prior. I missed it. I had done everything in my power to avoid the chaos those two months brought me, but now I would give anything to have it back. To have a woman approach my cart again, and tell me that I had my hands full with all these little girls. I wanted my hands and my cart to still be full of all my children.

   Sometimes I imagine how crazy my life would be right now, with an eight year old, two year old twins, and a baby on my hip. I have really learned the meaning of how you really don’t know what you are missing until its gone.

     During this journey, one of the main things I have heard is, ” Thank God you have your other two girls.” Although I know that it is people’s ways of trying to comfort me, a part of that sentence makes me cringe.

   I am very thankful for the two children that I have. My heart breaks for the Mama that losses her first born , and has no children to return home to. The problem is…none of my children can take the place of Audrey. None of them can replace the love and the bond that we had together. They cannot do this….because they are not her.

    Half my children are in Heaven. The half that remain in my home cannot replace that. Future children cannot replace that. Even pregnant for my twins, having one baby born alive and completely healthy…did not take away the love or the pain that I had for the one born still.

   I am constantly reminded that there are now only two children in my home. I am reminded when there is only two seat belts to buckle, when my double stroller was replaced with a single for the second time, when only four chairs are occupied at the dinner table, and when there’s only one bottle to prepare at bedtime. Most of all my heart reminds me on a momentarily basis that there are two pieces of the puzzle missing with everything I do.

    I thank God for my girls every day…but I don’t only thank him for the two that are here….. but for the four that he gave me. As I sit here this morning, in love with each and every one of my girls in their own unique ways, I realize that death does not ever change that. I am no longer going to feel like I have to focus on just being thankful that there are two……because my story is, and will continue to be….that I am a mommy to four.