After over one year of trying and 12 cycles, we are pregnant! And, expecting our Rainbow Baby in May 2019! If you aren’t familiar with that term, check out this article from Parenting.com that explains where the term comes from. Basically, a “rainbow baby” is a baby after a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss- the “rainbow” after the storm.
We found out that we were expecting on our oldest daughter’s tenth birthday. We were “trying” so, that was a day I could test early and I did.
|Baby Shower, April 2019|
We had a list of possible names for our baby daughter. Fifty or more different combinations. We knew we wanted to give her a name that paid homage to both our mothers’.
“Goodness me. This is going to be more difficult that I initially thought.”
We thought we had time to know for sure. The kids would often tell us of their name ideas.
Here are just a few:
We told them, “God knows her name and when we need to know we will know.”
On August 15th, 2017 we knew. I remember laying there in the hospital bed, in labor with our daughter and I just knew.
Just say it and it sounds so beautiful. So meant to be. Our precious baby.
We named her “Mary” for my husband’s mother. Mary means “wished-for child.” She is our wished-for child in every way.
We named her “Linda” for my mother. Linda means “beautiful.” She is beautiful and perfect in every way.
We named her “Elizabeth” because Elizabeth means oath or promise of God. We hold tight to God’s promises. Especially that He never leaves us or forsakes us. Knowing I was giving birth to our daughter who was already in heaven was only something I could go through knowing I was not going through it alone. The Lord was with us. His presence was felt and known in so many ways in that hospital bed.
I often think back to that experience- the worst of my life. But, I can’t help but remember so much peace in the deep heartache and suffering. That’s only possible through God. There really is no other explanation.
We love you forever, our baby daughter in heaven, Mary-Linda Elizabeth.
We live in Houston. A beautiful, strong city in Texas. This week, our city is enduring a major storm. Harvey. It’s horrible. So much rain. So many friends and family flooded. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations happening now as more flooding is expected. We are very close to the center of Houston. This has been a very scary week.
As we have been filled with worry and fear, we have felt incredibly blessed during this storm. So many of our loved ones who have assisted us and loved on us as we mourn the loss of our daughter, are now in their own storm. We just feel terrible and helpless as our city braces for more damage and destruction and we wait to rebuild.
Please click here if you are able to donate supplies in the Heights area of Houston. This is a local effort. Please do no mail supplies as our Post Office system will be very backed up for a long while.
Our family storm began unknown to us on August 14th. And, it doesn’t feel like its going anywhere anytime soon. Losing our healthy baby daughter, Mary-Linda Elizabeth at just over 17 weeks gestation, has been the hardest trial and most turbulent storm we’ve ever faced as a family. Our children are devastated. We are all devastated.
Each of us read scriptures, prayed and we sang together. It was so beautiful. And, so sad.
As I reflect back now, I can’t help but feel thankful. Thankful that we were able to honor her life before complete chaos and heartache set in for our entire city. I am thankful that, if, we had to lose our daughter, that it happened when it did and not later. Thankful we weren’t in a hospital when Hurricane Harvey hit. Or, that we didn’t lose our daughter when we couldn’t get to a hospital. So many things to be thankful for in such a heartbreaking time.
On Sunday morning, we were flooded in (fortunate) with no flood waters in our home and huddled up together during ongoing Tornado warnings. We sang. We worshipped. And, the kids said they felt better singing to God. I did too. But, our hearts ache for our friends who got water in their homes. We want to help. Move forward. Honestly, I don’t know how to move forward personally. I feel paralyzed as we wait out Harvey and I think about a future without Mary-Linda in my arms.
We have to keep going. Our plan is to help our friends and family when we can get to them safely. We want to be there for all of those who have been there for us and continue to be there for us. It’s the only way we can move forward, by being there for our friends and family.
Our church, Church of the Apostles Houston, has set up a fund with the National Christian Foundation in order to directly receive gifts for Harvey relief efforts. All gifts will go directly to providing local assistance to flood/storm victims.
This is a tax-deductible financial gift via check or credit card. Please click here and designate “Hurricane Harvey Relief” when making a donation.
This is the hardest post I’ve ever written.
And, by far, the most difficult time of my life.
On Tuesday morning, at a nearly 18 weeks gestation, we found out that our baby girl’s heart had stopped beating.
We are devastated. Completely devastated.
Monday night, as I settled into my place in bed, I reached for the home fetal Doppler monitor so that I could listen to our daughter’s heartbeat. It was a normal routine for me. I had done this same thing many times this since she was 10 weeks along. Even at that age, I could find her heartbeat. This night was different. Things didn’t sound right. I didn’t panic. Mainly because I heard something (turned out to be my own pulse or the placenta beating). And I knew my regular appointment was the next day. I thought my monitor wasn’t working correctly. I really didn’t hold on to the thought that her heart could have stopped beating.
I decided to sleep in and not work out before my appointment, just in case she was in distress.
I went to my appointment alone. As I mentioned to the nurse that I wasn’t noticing her flutters as I had earlier in my pregnancy. She said she would let the midwife know. When they went to find her heartbeat, my heart began to race uncontrollably. It sounded just like the night before. It didn’t sound right. She acted as though it was no big deal and I’d “won myself an ultrasound today.” I lay there still, as the reality began to sink in. I prayed for a miracle. I prayed and prayed and prayed. The ultrasound showed my biggest fear. My beautiful baby girl, still and with no heart beat. The midwife turned to me and quietly said what I feared most. “Rebekah, I’m so sorry, but there is no heartbeat.”
Dear God. Please, no. She said she would go get a professional sonographer to be sure. I remained laying down on the table as one person stayed with me in the room for a while. I wanted her to leave. I wanted to be alone so I could pray out loud. So I could cry out to God for a miracle. She asked me if I wanted to sit up. I said no. I wanted to stay there. She offered to go see what was taking so long and I asked her to please do that.
As I lay there alone in the room, I continued to ask the Lord for a miracle. “God, please restore our baby girl. If there is any way, let her heartbeat be strong. Please God, I know you are the God who heals. We need a miracle.”
The next sonogram confirmed the worst news of my life. Our child. Our fifth baby el. Our daughter. Our precious baby girl’s heart was no longer beating.
Moustapha had worried with me the night before. We both love all of our children so much. I needed him. I called him. Through the tears, I said his name “Moustapha.” He cried out “No!” Without saying anything else, he knew.
This is all I can share about that for now.
Wednesday morning, I delivered our baby girl and held her in my arms way too soon. She is beautiful. She brought our family so much joy in the weeks leading up to this day. Our family now feels a deep sadness and a huge hole in our hearts.
But, our hope remains in Christ. We know that God loves us all and that our daughter is in God’s arms. We are heartbroken. Please keep our entire family in your prayers.
“We later learned that Mary-Linda had an undetected fetal maternal hemorrhage that could have been treated had I been seeing a high risk doctor. Always check your own test results and advocate for yourself.”El Momma, 2021
What do you consider a family vacation?
Turning forty was the icing on the cake…
We’ve never done a “gender reveal.” I don’t think they were super popular 7 plus years ago. And, definitely not 13 years ago. Plus, Dad and I like to know and the gender reveal part would be for our kids and not for us.
|Popped the balloon!|
I grew up in a family that was mid-sized. Two parents and three kids. My oldest sibling, my brother, was thirteen when I was born. My sister was eight. I was a surprise. Not that my parents didn’t want more children, they just didn’t think it was possible given all the time that went by in between pregnancies.
We just shared via this video that we are expecting our 5th baby El in January. We are beyond thrilled. We spent a lot of time praying and hoping for this little baby. There will be 7 years between Leeland (our youngest) and the baby and almost 13 years between our oldest and youngest! Very similar age difference to my big brother and I.
My brother and I when I was in High School
I loved growing up with a brother who was thirteen years older. He gave me so much attention when I was little and it continued when he went to college. I missed him a ton when he graduated from high school. But, we stayed close. He saved me from many a near-crisis when I lived in Los Angeles. (Thank you, Michael!) Our relationship has only grown over the years and now we remain very close friends.
From the perspective of the older child(ren), I believe giving them this younger sibling is going to be an amazing growth opportunity. No, I am not expecting my children to mature overnight. But, I do believe this will help along a very natural progression in their maturity and development. None of my children were old enough to appreciate the miracle of life or really helping in the house when any of my babies were born. That is all going to be very different this time. They have no idea how much change is coming, but I believe they are going to be over the moon for this little one and we are all going to love having a new baby El in the house!
He’s adorable, y’all. Like, the cutest, wanna squeeze him and hug him and delight in him all the time ADORABLE. He is five years old and still cuddles with his momma. Which is the absolute best.
He’s also a handful! He’s been getting into everything since he was a baby. And taking care of himself because he didn’t want to be forgotten. Being the youngest of four, he loves being babied and he loves being independent and in charge. He’s fun. And stubborn. When I take him out and try to get him to sit quietly, it hardly ever works. His sister’s dance class? Nope. His sister’s gymnastics class? Nope. He does pay attention in his own activities. For example; baseball.
Four kids and only one room mom.
Room mom for one kid.
And, that feels good.
It feels like enough.
I trust my room mom friends who take such good care of my other kids in their classrooms and I do my best with the one classroom I get to be mom in.
Valentines is one of my favorite “extra” holidays.
I love the colors.
I love the feelings of nostalgia that Valentine’s day brings.
When I was a kid, my mom used to make the biggest heart shaped valentine sugar cookies with pink icing.
She made them for my classroom.
She made them for kids in my grade who were no longer in my classroom.
She was known for these cookies.
She still makes them.
And, they are so good.
Because, they are good. And, because she makes them with lots and lots of love.
I also remember really cute bags and boxes to put our class valentines in.
So, when we found out that we were going to have a classroom party for Valentine’s day…I knew I wanted the kids in Trinity’s first grade class to make Valentine Bags as their party craft.
The kids (pretty much) did everything for themselves.