Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness | Memories, Resources + an Invitation

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I’ve talked a bit about our little one, who we said goodbye to a little over a year ago, here and here. Throughout the past year, both kind friends and various sects of the interweb have introduced me to a plethora of resources for navigating the journey to healing that comes after experiencing such a loss.

With October being Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, now seems an appropriate time to share the collection of resources that Caleb and I have found to be the most precious as we remember our beloved Freddie. My hope is that these links can be passed on to YOUR loved ones who have babies in Heaven and that they will help enable you to extend arms of compassion and care in those times when you don’t know what to say or how to help.

And if you yourself are one of the 1 in 4 who have a son or daughter waiting for you with Jesus, may these stories, resources, and remembrances touch your heart and remind you that you are not alone in your grief.

The cradle pictured above stands empty in our spare bedroom. We scored an amazing deal on it at an auction last summer, and my husband spent the entire day after we saw those two lines on that test refinishing and painting it. I may have only carried our baby for three months, but she turned our world upside-down. Our lives are forever changed.

We may not know the sleepless nights of the newborn stage or the messy days of the toddler years like so many of our friends right now, but we do know what it’s like to love someone who is a part of each of us more than we ever thought possible. And we do know the sometimes sleepless, sometimes messy ache of not being able to watch that child live and grow.

Raising awareness for the loss of human life, while still in the womb or not, is not about self-pity. Not only does it garner support and validation for the life-altering grief that yes, 25% of American women have experienced, but it’s also an effort for the advocacy of and education for safe pregnancy practices. To me it is one of the tiny slices of redemption that we have opportunity to participate in within this broken, weary world.

It’s for these reasons that I’ve gone pink and blue on social media this month, and that I’m looking forward to taking part in the International Wave of Light that will take place worldwide, in each respective time zone, at 7 p.m. tomorrow evening, October 15. If there’s a baby whose absence you’re feeling this year, I encourage you to light a candle in his or her memory, and let family members know that they’re thought of and loved. Ours will be lit for our tiny Freddie Joy, the luckiest little Fisher who got to be the first of our little family to meet Jesus face-to-face. ❤

Tucquan Glen Photo Session | Rebekah Viola Photography

I met Rebekah of Rebekah Viola Photography last summer when we worked a wedding together, and have admired her work ever since. It’s been a couple years since Caleb and I had professional photos taken, so we planned a fun woodsy shoot at Tucquan Glen and I knew Bekah’s shooting style would be perfect.

I could write an entire paragraph about Bekah’s talent + eye for a great shot, but I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves. If you like what you see, be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

See Bekah’s blog post on our shoot here.

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flower crown | Megan Waltman of Pearls & Petals

hair | Jess Ziemer of Darla’s Hair Care and Spa

makeup | Rebekah Abreu of Darla’s Hair Care and Spa

dress | H&M

blanket | Sackcloth & Ashes

hat | Urban Outfitters

Sisterhood

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S i s t e r h o o d . . . possibly one of the most inherently good things I ever talk about here, at The Realization of Good. 🙂 It’s also probably one of the first, oldest things I’ve realized as good–beginning way back at the ripe old age of, let’s see, 3 years old–when the first of my sisters was born.

These ladies–Carli, Mindy, and Krista, from left to right–are the three most important females in my life. We have the same blood coursing through our veins. We were raised by the same parents and all lived under the same roof for nine years of our lives. We share DNA, which includes horrid eyebrows and sunburn-prone skin, but also green eyes and natural highlights. Additionally, we share an appreciation for the outdoors and the arts, a super quirky sense of humor, OCD tendencies, an obnoxiously loud laugh, an over-the-top enthusiasm for Settlers of Catan (and board games in general), and a love for little kids.

We have one brother. The five of us have been through a lot of life and drama and fun and fear and tears and joy and laughter together. We are tight. We stick up for each other. Every single one of us would fight to the death for one of the others. Let me tell you, life as one of five siblings is rich and full. Also loud. But we love it.

These kids have had to put up with a lot of bossing and unwarranted advice from their oldest sister…I’m a classic Type-A firstborn, and my sisters know that better than anyone. (When I read this to them, all three of them simultaneous yelled “yup” here.) But they also know my fiercely protective side, and I can be quite the mama bear when it comes to someone messing with these girls.

Through it all, we’ve bonded like only sisters can do. Each day, we cherish a little more the sisterhood we share. We get each other because first, in so many ways, yes, we are similar. Yet in our differences, there is much we are learning (and have yet to learn) from each other.

Krista is the kind and caring one. She inspires me on a daily basis with her unconditional love for every person she comes into contact with. Carli is the disciplined one. She gets up before dawn and gets stuff accomplished while the rest of us are asleep. Diligent is her middle name. Her heart is gold, and she makes people laugh. And Mindy? Well, for one thing, she stole all the athletic genes, at least among us girls. She’s the baby, but she’s the furthest thing from entitled, and she’s sometimes more responsible than the rest of us combined.

So much love. Just so much love in my heart for these women.

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Photo credit to Beauté Photography | taken on my wedding day, May 2013

We’ve been separated too much of the time for too many different reasons over the last six years, but it’s only strengthened our bond and made us appreciate each other more. I don’t take the relationships I have with my siblings for granted. They are gifts straight from Heaven. We are growing older and becoming involved in more and different things, but we still come back and build off of the foundation of what we’ve always had in common: family.

Krista spent the summer in Belize, and Carli got to take a trip to El Salvador with her Spanish class from school a couple weeks ago. Last week, they both returned, and what a happy reunion we had (as evidenced by the top picture). There’s nothing quite like letting it all hang loose with the ones who know you best, and at the end of the day, going to bed knowing they love you no less. This is an incredible gift, and I acknowledge it. Today I’m filled with gratitude for the blessing of sisterhood.