Laela’s Fourth Birthday!

The amazing Laela Hazel entered the world with a bang four years ago today!! She was incredible enough to move me from being so scared to ever have another child to excitedly planning for the next one within only a couple of weeks. She has brought so much richness to our lives, and I can’t even fathom our life without her. She really just gets better and better over the years!

She’s changed so much, yet not at all 😉

I take full responsibility for her low key birthday. In all of our sickness and transition, it kept being put on the back burner. I hope she doesn’t resent me for it later in life.

We had a yummy waffle brunch and then headed to the playground for the remainder of the morning. It was a pretty cute time.

Since then, we’ve come home and had a short lunch before putting the little boys down for a nap. Everyone is already so wiped out, so while the littles nap, the big ones are watching Frozen (Laela’s choice, obviously) and “playing Lego.” By that, I mean that Dekker is sitting beside the Lego but hasn’t moved to play with it yet.

The rest of the day consists of easy supper that Laela loves, and going out for ice cream. Since we didn’t get our butts in gear and I’m so sick, we’re going to have a little second party at my parents in the coming weeks, where Laela will get a cake. She’s not too disappointed. Ice cream is always a win. Plus, its going to feel amazing on my throat, haha! Not to be too selfish or anything, but just a little bit selfish…

While Laela’s big day isn’t too splashy, I hope she knows how loved she is, and what a blessing she is our lives!!

I sure love you, Laela girly!! I am truly grateful for you every single day! 💜


You know you’re gagging too much when your coughing fits start to smell like vomit.

Brady took our van in for a small recall this morning and by the time he got home, I had resorted to standing over the sink for fear that my coughing found finally result in vomit. So. Much. Heaving.

Beyond that, I’m exceptionally light headed thanks to the constant hacking and gasping and inability to breathe through my nose.

I know I’m whining, but its seriously not my day. I’m so grateful that Brady can be home so I can lay in bed and talk as little as possible. I did a ton of that yesterday too, yet I don’t see much improvement. Hopefully one more day does the trick.

It has to, really. Laela’s birthday is tomorrow.

One day we will be better prepared and set up for things like birthdays.

Short Winded

Its one of those special days where I crunched up a handful of crackers before I realized my soup was already gone. Somewhat disappointing. I have caught our family’s cold and lost my voice. My throat is so swollen and angry, to the point where I move my head and it gets all tight in my neck. And then, of course, I hack. I’m probably gagging more than I’m even coughing, to be honest. Its gross, and it hurts.

Taking Dekker to school and Laela to preschool helped, though. The cool air outside relaxed the crazy tightness of my throat and I could actually quietly speak to other people as I ran into them rather than being the weird nodding mom who didn’t talk to anyone.

But now that I’m home, my throat is going bananas, and its best to stay as quiet as possible. So, I had some soup for lunch and am watching Ratatouille with Laela. Hopefully my throat will hurt less and I’ll be able to muster up a bit more voice to last me through school pick up.

He Knows What I Can’t Handle

I have grown up knowing that God will never give me more than I can handle. Its a truth that I believe, and while its grown into a fairly cliche phrase, I think that’s because its true! People say it all the time because its true.

The last year or so of my life, its been said to me a lot. A LOT. By others, and by myself. God sees everything, and he will never give me more than I can handle. But I am learning that I’ve developed a bad association to it. While I don’t question the truth of the statement, I feel like it always comes up when I feel like I’m being dragged through the mud. Through the long road of illness last fall, I was MAXED. Or so I thought. Many of you know the timeline, I know, but I’ve got to lay it out. MONTHS of sickness went by, and I remember saying out loud, for the first time ever in my memory, that I was absolutely as close to the end of my rope as I had ever been. There was nowhere else to go. I was completely, literally finished. And then we lost Theo.

“Hailey, God knows what you can handle. You’ll get through this.”

And its true, so I desperately held on to that belief, and kept rolling. And God got me through it. It wasn’t pretty, but it happened, and we survived.

A few months after our miscarriage, we conceived again and I proceeded to roll through the sickest months of my pregnant years. Never before had I been so nauseous for so long. It was so difficult. But I was thankful for my pregnancy, and the symptoms reminding to me that my pregnancy was going forward. The days were still long, though.

“Hailey, God knows what you can handle. You’ll get through this.”

And I did.

And then we lost Jamin.

“Hailey, God knows what you can handle. You’ll get through this.”

And its true. I told myself over and over again. There was comfort there. I definitely understand why people who don’t believe in God think Christians sound crazy. I get it! We take comfort in something we cannot see or tangibly prove. We seem simply gullible, or maybe weak. But I believe strongly that God is truth, and I’m ok with people thinking I’m a little nutty. What’s so wrong in finding comfort, anyway?

While I don’t feel that my faith in God has suffered greatly through my losses, I can tell I have a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about this whole “God knows how much we can handle” business. Or I did, anyway. I’ve made jokes about it, that He and I clearly disagree on some of those amounts, but that He has the final say, and things like that. But in the recent weeks, I’ve had a small shift that I believe has begun some change in my heart. I’ve seen God’s mercy in a new way. I can see how this statement covers more surface than I thought it did.

Yes, when I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, or would like to be, the truth is that He does know how much I can handle. But the flip side is that He also knows what I can’t handle. God is not a cruel God. He is merciful and compassionate. When things get really really hard, I sometimes forget that.

When I get all of my results more than a month before they were scheduled to arrive, God knows I couldn’t have handled waiting.

When I bleed for a full month and only get nine days off before I start bleeding again, God knows I need some schedule back in my life, because He and I both know that waiting in limbo is SO much worse for me.

When Brady hits a lull at work and money gets tight, He knows that the timing was bang on, and that I’d need Brady home for those weeks.

And when my baby is born at 16.5 weeks gestation, He KNOWS I needed to get that far into my pregnancy to find that joy and anticipation and excitement again after being SO nervous for the whole first trimester.

I’m going to do everything in my power to see things this way. Glass half full is always a better way to view life, and I’m disappointed that my first instinct is to think the glass is half empty. This doesn’t mean I can’t feel sad or angry or discouraged or however else I want to feel, but it brings into perspective that God sees all sides of the story. What we can handle, and what we can’t. He has the strongest radar for that than anyone else I know, and I have some pretty rockin’ people in my life.

I have a lot of thoughts on this, and I hope at least some of them came across somewhat clearly. If not, just know that my heart is continuing to heal. Seek and you will find, right? Well I’m seeking.

When Playtime Gets Real

I got the kids up this morning like every other morning. I gave Dekker and Laela big hugs and they headed right out to set the table for breakfast. I hung back to change Rowan’s diaper. He and I were doddling a little bit, getting in some good face time and tickles when Laela showed up beside us.

Now, first, I have to say. Laela is SO gentle and sensitive these days. If a kid cries, she runs over and plays with them, even if it doesn’t work and they keep crying. She is the bringer of water bottles and kleenexes, and she will tell me if anyone needs anything that she herself can’t provide. Her latest switch has been her sensitivity towards me. She picks up on everything, and she will reach out and touch my hand or my face or my hair, and tell me she really loves me. Things like that. She is truly the best little girl I know.

So this morning, as I’m changing Rowan, she came up and put her hand on my shoulder. She whispered “Its all ready at the table.” She was whispering for Solly’s sake, as he was still sleeping. I thanked her for her work, and for staying so quiet. I moved most of my attention back to Ro waiting patiently on the floor, but she stayed put, so I wrapped an arm around her and snuggled my head into her. She hugged me back, and out of nowhere she asked “Are you still sad about the baby?” She caught me off guard, but I was very honest and told her that yes, I was still very sad about the baby. That I missed him a lot. She stroked my cheek at that point and nodded understandingly. She reassured me that she was sad too, and that it was “so essiting” that he was with baby Jesus.

In that moment, she looked so wise, and knew so much. I love the faith of children. Its amazing, and something I seek after for myself. A stronger, unwavering trust in God.

Suddenly, she furrowed her brow and told me her Elsa dolly had a baby that died, too.

This all on its own brought me close to tears, because that is NOT what playtime should be about. How has it become so normal in our house that she is actually pretending that her dollies are losing babies?! This might sound small, but it shook me up quite a bit. I asked her how Elsa was doing, and if she was sad. Laela perked up and told me that Anna had Elsa’s baby, so they weren’t as sad. I told her I didn’t understand, and she said “I don’t either.”

And just like that, my mature little threenager was back to being little, and confused by big, difficult, adult things. And really, thats best for now. We settled on the fact that having babies and babies dying is pretty sad and complicated, and we moved on with our day. But its stuck with me all morning and into the afternoon.

I’m not sure what to make of this, but it felt important to share. I’m already praying for my beautiful daughter and daughters in law, that they never have to experience this same pain I’ve experienced.

Baby Rowan

I had the privilege of experiencing Rowan as a baby all over again today! Ok, not really, obviously. It was a rough start for him this morning, with lots of tears and lots of disappointment and LOTS of snuggles to bring him back to life.

At one point, he came to sit on my lap, and then told me he wanted to be a baby. He then started writhing around, hurting me left and right, until he was finally settled across me in my chair, just like a baby.

It was cozy, and he lay contentedly on me for quite a while.

It didn’t take long before Laela realized her brother was MIA and came searching for him. She loved how snuggled up he was, and stood beside us, stroking his face and his hair, commenting on how soft he is.

It was such a soft, sweet moment. One of the few when no one was upset or crying. I wanted to document it better, but the moment I turned the camera on just the kids…

They’re so funny 💗 They’re such a great pair. Our baby snuggle was effectively ruined once Laela left and Rowan wanted to be with her. But I am SO thankful for these special little moments I get with each kid each day. They’re small spans of time, but I am so grateful for them. I’ve started to do diaper changes with the door closed, so that it is just me and the little boys whose diaper I am changing. I also get the little boys to myself when Laela is at preschool I get to hang with just Laela during nap time. Dekker and I do homework every day up in my room, just he and I.

This baby snuggle today was something special.

Back to Church

Its not a secret that we’re bad at getting to church. On one hand, its a busy stage of life with the kids, and its SO much easier to just not go, but its also really hard to get back in the habit of things once you stop. And we WANT to be there! Brady and I have been feeling like its time to get back into the swing of it recently, and the kids have even been asking to go! I’ll take the blame, though, and say that I haven’t been ready to go there and face a crowd of people who all show us SO much love and concern, because I knew I’d just weep through it. However, the time had to come, and we were on the schedule to help lead worship this Sunday. So, today was the day.

I choked my way through our music practice pretty badly. It just felt so emotional to be back, and leading people, of all things, at such a weak time of my life. But I see a lot of value in being vulnerable, too, and I don’t think being in a position of leadership means you have to be strong 100% of the time. Or 50%. Of even ever. God called us here and works through us, wherever we’re at. Or at least thats what I prayed for.

The actual worship leading went well. I only choked up once or twice, and that was fine. People sang with us, and I was reassured many times that people were happy to see us back. There was lots of love and concern sent our way this morning, and that was amazing.

I’ll admit, though, I am completely spent after this morning. Beyond leading singing and being back at church for the first time in a long time, add to that a couple of temperamental kids, a baby who will not sit still but will also not be set down, a bunch of snot, and a full luggage set of emotional baggage. I. Am. Tired.

So as I lay snuggled up in bed, Brady is about to take Dekker to a birthday party, the two little boys are napping, and Laela is sitting at the table heading up her one-woman hunger strike. I’m chilly and dozey and feel like I can’t hack a whole lot else today, but I also feel good. It was good to be at church. The air there is clearer, and even though the kids were hands on enough that I didn’t catch any of the actual message of the service, the community felt refreshing.

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the day has to hold. That being a visit with my parents, pancakes for supper, happy playful kids, and more relaxing.

Have a lovely Sunday.

When Solly is Sick

We’ve all acquired our “back to school” colds. No matter how hard we try to keep it contained to only one or two victims, its inevitable that everyone is going to get it. And we did. Solly included.

That poor dude has been suffering hard. He is just pouring snot, and his little voice is hoarse as all get out. He has finally given in to having his nose wiped, which is a relief, honestly. The wrestling match of trying to wipe his nose resulted in both he being covered in snot by the end of it. Thankfully, it seems he’s figured out that the cleanliness feels good. So he lets it happen. But he cries and cries and fusses pretty much constantly. Now, in general, he’s a pretty content guy. Even when he’s sick, he doesn’t want to be held constantly at all. But he must play within two feet of me at all times. If I move, he lays on the floor and weeps. Its just a tad restricting.

Yesterday, he was screaming from about 3:30 until 4:45. There was nothing anyone could do to comfort him, so I took him up to my room for a snuggle. But let me be clear. The screaming continued the entire time. No amount of hugging, cuddling, walking, singing, etc. could convince him to be still. When I knew it just wasn’t going to happen, I gave up trying to stop it and just stroked his back while he screamed.

That was an EXHAUSTING hour, and I took a solid break after everyone finished their supper.

This morning, Brady is off helping some friends replace their windows and I’m home with the littles. Solly is once again in the worst shape of everyone, but I feel like maaaybe his nose is running slightly less? So there’s hope. After a momentary breakdown, I scooped him up and he lay contentedly across my lap, and just gave me the sweetest little smiles, and seemed to recover so quickly. I had a chance to glance into his wide open trap and, sure enough, it looks like he’s working on eye teeth!! Nothing is through yet, but those spaces used to be flat and smooth, and they’re looking bumpy today. So pushing teeth plus his first cold in a while gives him every reason to be grouchy for the last few days. I get it, Solly. Its hard to be so uncomfortable day after day!

A loving friend dropped by at lunch time with a pizza for us!! She knew we were without a parent, and that sometimes meals can be the hardest parts of the day. How thoughtful is that?! So everyone sat down to a delicious lunch of pizza, and everyone ate well!! Solly was briefly distracted by the food, and thankfully, he LOVED the pizza!

Look at that happy little pizza face!!! 😍

Now, the little boys are down for naps, and the big kids are playing Lego and watching Magic School Bus. And I have my feet up. Because I’ve earned that this morning!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Yesterday Wasn’t Enough

If you read yesterdays post, you know how thrilled I was to get so many of our results back! All of the blood work was back, and my ultrasound results were back. There were lots of little details I could’ve added to that post, but it wouldn’t made it FAR too long! Either way, I left the day and the post feeling like things were great and I was about as “cleared” as I could be.

Yesterday, after I posted the blog, (post post, lol) I spoke to my family doctor. I just have such a good relationship and history with her, I prefer to go over most things with her as well, and she has always left me room to do just that. I had left a message, and she called me back in the evening to go over everything and answer the few questions I had. I love talking medicine with her because she has a really good way of using layman’s terms without making me feel silly and uneducated, but she also gives me a lot of credit and knows that I know a decent amount of the big words too 😉 It just feels like a good balance, and we have great banter.

She went through my blood results very thoroughly, and helped me understand why some things on there are actually good when I thought they were bad to begin with. We agreed that my hcg isn’t back to normal yet, but its very low, leaving no concern about leftover tissues/placenta inside my body. It all felt like a win. Same story with my ultrasound results. The small changes were completely unremarkable. The ultrasound had also confirmed that there is nothing leftover in my body, coinciding with my blood work. Once we were through that, she kind of just summarized our chat. “We’ve gone over your blood work, that was all clear. That was your ultrasound, aaaaand here are the baby’s placenta results, but you’ve probably heard those already…”


Indeed I had NOT heard those yet!!! When I spoke to my OB just days before, she didn’t have them in my file yet and told me they’d likely be months away. I had kind of come to terms with the fact that we might even already be pregnant again before they came back. And once again, I did NOT have to wait for those results, because they came WAY faster than anticipated!! Praise God!

I eagerly told Dr. Guselle that I hadn’t heard them yet, and she seemed surprised. She apologized that she wasn’t more prepared and gave them a quick read herself before reading them to me. She kept reminding me that she was not a specialist, so she might not know every word, but she’d try. That was all I wanted, I assured her.

So! Jamin’s placental results! Firstly, it tested negative for all the “itises,” lol! There was no obvious illness, infection, or problem. Until we got to the fine print. There was a very noncommittal note that stated there was the small possibility of a placental infarction.

First of all, apparently they’re just called “infarcs.” I swear, I thought my doctor was saying “in-fart” over and over again on the phone. But I’m an adult. So I only laughed later.

A placental infarction is basically a piece of the placental tissue that died, likely from no blood flow into that area. This hypothetical one was suspected to have been about 2cm x 2cm. How hypothetical can it be if it had a measurement? So it was a small spot. Sometimes, they cause no real issues and baby is born fine. Sometimes, they cause stillbirth. You can’t know until you’re there, or until its all over, I suppose.

I want to stress here that I KNOW this is all just hypothetical. BUT I’m weirdly relieved that something finally came up in all the many test results that shows what could have possibly caused Jamin’s passing. At the very least, it gives me totally justified reason to be on the aspirin regiment that I wanted to be put on! Dr. Guselle offered to write a letter to my OB on my behalf to discuss these results and hear her thoughts on this new information and possibly make a plan.

I say it far too often, but I am just SO thankful to have all of these people on my medical team. I have the BEST people in all of the important places, and I feel so cared for. I see that Dr. Guselle is being careful not to step on toes, and she is very confident in my OB, but I also know that my OB expects to transfer me back to Dr. Guselle whenever I feel comfortable, and she is more than fine with that as well. They both want whats best for me, physically and mentally, and for that I am SO thankful!

Like I said yesterday, this all feels a bit premature to share so publicly, haha! You guys know by now that I’m not especially private, and it feels like it would almost be unfair to start trying to be private now. So many of you have rolled through these hard things with us this year (What a year its been! Oy!) and it would be a shame if we couldn’t share the victories with you as well!

Thank you for your seemingly unending support, and for sharing in our life!

When it is NOT a Waiting Game!!

I don’t know about you guys, but isn’t the lesson you’re learning always a lesson in patience? Isn’t the game always a waiting game? “Good things are worth waiting for.” SO many things are based around waiting patiently, and while that’s life for everyone, I don’t know a single person who likes to wait. Nope nope nope. I am in that boat, for the record, of people who do not like waiting.

I spent yesterday waiting (yup) for my OB to call with results from my ultrasound the day before. Not because I thought something was bad or wrong, but because I knew she had my results and I wanted them too! I was feeling quite grouchy yesterday, and Brady was being SO patient with me. He sent me to bed and brought me treats. He even baked. He was SO understanding. I finally resurfaced, and came to join my family in the living room. I told Brady that, while I wasn’t feeling specifically upset about anything in particular, my thoughts kept going back to my scan and the fact that I still didn’t have results. Very literally, moments after I voiced these thoughts, my phone rang. And it was my OB!

She greeted me pleasantly and asked if I had 5-10 minutes to chat with her. My first thought was “Of course, I’ve been waiting all day for you to call!” and my second thought was “Thats a long time to say that everything looks normal…” But I went with choice A and went upstairs so I could concentrate on the call. She told me she had my ultrasound results to go over, and then she said she had my blood work results back!

GUYS!!!! My 4-6 week wait for blood work took EIGHT. DAYS. Thank you, Lord, for throwing me a bone and not making me wait any longer!!

I was completely floored when she said she had my blood work, and she laughed and said she was too. “It had to be shipped to Calgary, so I’m not sure how you swung this!” God. It was all God. Hands down.

I am both confused and thrilled to tell you guys that I tested completely clear of any blood clotting disorder!! The flip side of this leaves me with no answers as to why Jamin died, once again, but in the grand scheme of things, I would far rather have no disorder than to have one. So I’m praising God that there is nothing showing up that is problematic! I had already come to terms with the fact that we might never know why Jamin died, and to have that confirmed is a bit hard on my heart. But again, big picture. No disorder! Win! Praise God!

My ultrasound had a few notes. A few small changes were listed, but it seemed more like changes that were pretty unremarkable, and they couldn’t just not be noted. Some thickening in places, etc. Nothing too scary. My OB said she had run it by a seasoned specialist in her office and they had agreed that the results of the ultrasound were not in any way alarming, and shouldn’t be a reason to worry about getting pregnant.

Sooooo I guess I’m kind of in the clear? I still have a lot of emotions to sort out on the subject, with being happy about my test results but being annoyed about having no answers. No big decisions are being made today, and I know all of you lovely people would tell me not to rush or push myself in this. But I think many of you also know our hearts, and our desires. So we will wait and see where and when God leads us.

This all feels a bit premature to share, but I can’t resist sharing the miracle that happened, with my results coming in WEEKS ahead of schedule, and being CLEAR! God is so good 🙂 And God is here. Its unmistakable. Undeniable. Indescribable.

Thank you all for your love and concern and prayers! We are completely floored, once again.