Monday, October 20, 2008

Temporary Headstone

Wayne and I went headstone shopping about two weeks ago. This is something I didn't expect to be doing at 29 years old but, If I've learned anything this past few weeks, it's that things don't always end up the way we plan. I learned one very important lesson on our first headstone shopping trip...headstones are VERY expensive!!! I had gotten a great idea for a headstone from someone on one of the online support groups I've joined. She is also the mother of twin boys that were stillborn. I loved the stone she chose for her boys and it had a great abstract picture of a person holding two babies. We are using this on the stone we have chosen also. The saying on Joshua and Caleb's stone will be "We wanted to hold you and tell you about God, instead He will hold you and tell you about us." We really liked this quote.

We haven't finalized their stone yet but we think we have made our decision. It will not be until spring when the stone is done. Can you believe that? I suppose you can if you have ever had to shop for these before, you understand it. I am hoping to get the slab for the stone poured before the first freeze, otherwise they can't do it until the spring. I really want something to be on their grave. At least with the slab I could decorate it and everything wouldn't just fall over like it does with the mound of dirt that is currently on it. We'll see if they are able to get it done in time.

Today I spent a lot of time at Ben's barn and at their grave. I decided I couldn't stand having nothing there to mark who they are so I built a cross. It may not still be standing when I return (turns out I'm not much of a carpenter) but it was my first attempt. Here is a picture...

Yes, I wrote on it with marker...I didn't have any paint handy...I'm sure my boys expected nothing less of their mommy:-) I know it isn't much but it was all I could do today and I felt a sense of urgency to get something up. I plan to work on a semi-permanent one that I can put up until the headstone is done.

On a side note....last night (10/29/08) we had the most beautiful sunset I have seen in a long time. When I noticed how pretty it was I asked Wayne to drive me to an open area so I could get some shots of it. He drove like a maniac and we caught the end of it. Here are some photos of that....



I don't know how anyone can see a sky like this and question whether there is a God. Just look around you...there is so much beauty in what God created. This sky was just breathtaking and I had to share it with everyone that might have missed it. This is acutally what it looked like...I didn't doctor these photos at all. It is hard to take a bad picture when God gives you such an amazing subject!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dentist

Since I'm not doing a lot these days, I don't have a lot to report, but yesterday I did go to the dentist. Yes I know...big step right? I was nervous to go because I knew they would ask me if there were any changes in my medical history and I knew I would do all that I could to avoid that question. The problem with going to the same place over and over is that they get to know you, ok so it isn't usually a problem, but I knew it would be this time.

Nearly as soon as I was in the chair the medical history question came up. I said no there were no changes (I wasn't on any new meds or anything so I didn't figure it mattered if I told them or not...it didn't affect my teeth!). Then started the rest of the questions...so did you take the day off? "yes." "I'm surprised to see you...most of our teachers won't come in until next week when it is fall break." Silence. "Did you take the whole day off?" And so the questions continued until I felt that I would be lying if I didn't tell them the reason I was off.

In the end I was really glad that I told her. She too has had two losses. Hers were early in her pregnancy but they were still losses so she understood what I was going through. We talked the whole time she cleaned my teeth. Usually when I tell people they kind of clam up and that is the end of the conversation. Not with her. She asked all about my boys. It was nice to be able to talk about them in a place I certainly wasn't expecting to get to. Granted, it is always hard to at the beginning of this conversation but by the end it is just me sharing about my boys and I love to talk about them. It helps me remember that they were real.

It was really nice to share with her and see the similarities in our struggles and how we both hold the same beliefs about it all being part of God's plan. I even found out through this conversation that the doctor had gone through something similar but he only lost one of his twin boys. The other is alive and well today. I'm so glad to hear these happy endings. It is nice to see that they don't all end like mine did.

It was just a place that I didn't expect to go and find support. I am grateful to the hygienist for sharing her story with me and allowing me to share mine. Somehow we managed this conversation even with her hands in my mouth most of the time:-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Handing it Over

Well I have officially handed my 2nd grade teaching position off. Yesterday I went into work with plans to meet my replacement. I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to walk back in there, so I went early. I was so happy to see my principal had pulled in just ahead of me. I haven't gotten to see her since I lost the boys but yet she has been a strong support for me throughout my decision to stop teaching for now.



Walking in wasn't as hard as I thought it might be...it really didn't look like my room anymore...it was way too organized:-) It was interesting to meet my replacement. She has recently moved to the area and is a brand new teacher. I can remember that excited yet nervous feeling of just starting out. I feel somewhat responsible for much of the stress she has been put under. She walked into my classroom for the first time Saturday and is expected to take over teacher tomorrow. I can only imagine that stress. She was handling it much better than I would have been.



She is a very nice person and I know my kiddos will be well taken care of. I will say it was more difficult to leave than it was to walk in. I got to see a few teachers and it was just a reminder of what I am leaving behind. I love all the people I work with and I will miss them so much!!! I promised I would visit but that just isn't the same as seeing them every day. It is just such a comfortable place to be because I have spent much of the last 4 years there. I will still have the option to go back in August but I just don't know where God will lead me by that point. Maybe I will end up back in the same classroom, maybe He will give me another chance to be a mom, or maybe I will be somewhere I never even expected. Only He knows.



I don't have any news on what I am going to do with myself now that this decision is final but I'm not worried about it. After a sermon at church last week, that I'm pretty sure must have been written just for me, I realize I need to just let things go. These are not my decisions to make. God is in control of every move I make, every breath I take. He knows better than I where I should end up. So I'm letting go. God will lead me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Job Stuff

I don't care who the president is, in this world we have to work to survive. I have always worked with kids. It is all I have ever known. For the last 5 years I have been a teacher, 4 of those years I have been a 2nd grade teacher. I work with an amazing group of teachers and I absolutely love my team but losing my boys has changed me. I will never be the same person I was 4 weeks and 5 days ago, when I found out my boys no longer had heartbeats. I don't think anyone can expect me to be that person anymore either.

It has been a very difficult struggle for me to decide whether I would go back to the classroom or not. I had orginially scheduled 3 weeks off and then I extended it to 6. Monday, 10/6/08, I finally made the decision not to go back during this school year. It was an agonizing decision to make, but I feel that is was the right thing to do for me and for my 25 students. I had only been with them for 3 weeks when I lost my boys so I knew that they would still be able to adjust to a new teacher.

It is hard to not think of myself as a teacher because that became part of my identity. I also know though that I couldn't have given those kids what they needed. I don't think it would have been fair for me to go back. I'm sure there is some psychologist out there that would tell you that I am associating my job with the loss of two pregnancies and 3 babies (possibly 4 since they think my first one had a "vanishing twin"). They would be right...I don't think my body is cut out to do a job that is so stressful and be pregnant at the sametime. I couldn't sit down much, I couldn't leave after 8 hours, I took a lot of things home both physcially and emotionally. It is a VERY difficult job! My hat goes off to the women I have talked to that have gone through similar situations as mine and have managed to go back...some just a few weeks later. I just don't have it in me anymore...maybe I will get it back. That is why I opted for a medical leave instead of a resignation. This way I have the option to go back in August but if I get pregnant again I probably won't.

I got the ball rolling for the medial leave on Monday and it has helped me A LOT to finally have a decision in place. The stress of not knowing what I was going to do was really difficult.

Yesterday I went to an interview at a children's hopsital. It sounds like a job I would really enjoy. I would be tutoring in a sort of "teacher's aide" position. I think the 3 interviewers thought it was strange that I would want this job after being a teacher but I tried to assure them that I am ready to just teach and not do any of the other crap that goes with the job. Granted the money isn't much but Wayne and I were ready to go to one income so anything would be helpful. I also know that if I do get pregnant again someday I would be able to leave and go to the doctor without spending hours making sub plans first, and I could possibly work only 4 days each week. It just sounds less stressful. They have a lot of candidates to interview and I am aware that even though I have more than enough qualifications for the job, they may find someone to better fit the position.

With my trust in God, I'm not worrying about it. He doesn't want me to worry:

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?


"
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

"And who of you by being
worried can add a single hour to his life?

"And why are you
worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,

yet I say to you that not even
Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

"But if God so clothes the
grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

"Do not
worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'

"For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for
your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
-Matthew 6:25-34 NASB
...So I'm not worrying. This is a struggle for me...I'm a worrier. I think I am getting better though. This trial has tested my relationship with God and I have learned a new trust in Him making it a lot easier to not worry as much. I won't say I NEVER worry because that just isn't true but I am getting better. He is teaching me. And I will tell you He has my attention these days like none other. So with that said, I'm not worried about whether I get the job or not because God will take me where He wants me. Praise God for taking care of this for me!!! If you are struggling with worrying I highly recommend Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. My pastor gave it to me the Sunday after we los the boys and it has be a huge help!
I will keep you posted on the job though.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Story

I have finally finished the website in memory of Joshua and Caleb. You can read and learn all about them and what they meant to so many people here.

Or you can go directly to our story here. It is really long but it is ours. Please let me know if you have any questions. You can leave me a comment here on the blogger or you can email me at bjjohnsto@gmail.com.