Losing Baby Duncan

You’re never really prepared for your pregnancy to end in miscarriage.

But that’s just what’s happened to our little baby. I haven’t really known how to share this with the my friends and readers (who are like family). As a blogger, I like to wrap my writings similar to Christmas presents: darling presentation full of glittery, exciting beauty.

But this is the furthest thing from exciting.

We went in for our 8 week ultrasound; the midwife and I chatted about her flower garden and about blogs and writing as she jellied up my stomach and began probing around with her expert hand. Almost immediately she saw that things were missing and not growing properly.

Folks, this is the hard stuff.

It’s been several days since we heard this news and adjusting to not expecting our baby this year is hard. It’s really, really, really hard.

But you know what?

God is so very, very good.

It’s been a hard week but God is the same God Who created Baby and then took him home. Jesus is the same Intercessor Who understands my numb experience like no one else. My Abba Daddy knows what it is like to lose someone precious to you. He’s carrying me like a mother lamb — even though, technically, I’m not caring for a young one any more.

I believe that God is great. And in the midst of this sadness and loss He is still great. He still knits people together and He still welcomes little one’s who never met their parents into his arms and kingdom.

I believe God is good so I believe, amidst all my sadness, doubts, fear and sorrow that this miscarriage is good. It is good because God promises all things to work together for our good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Here are some good things God has already wrought from our loss:

The first face our baby saw was the Lord’s. 

Increased understanding and relationship between Dalton and I 

An overwhelming amount of prayer and support from friends and family

Friends who have miscarried are seeing the Lord work through their loss 

Our compassion and understanding for women with loss is growing

My understanding of what good sympathy is and isn’t is changing

We now know that we can indeed get pregnant

My appreciation for Dalton is growing and growing (because he’s simply the best and the loss of his first child is proving that — he is honestly the strongest, best man and he gets more gem like every day. How blessed am I?)

Our baby is with the Lord — that means he or she is walking, talking and rejoicing in the presence of the best One Who ever lived. He or she is already far more sanctified, glorified, and purified than Dalton and I. He or she is already conversing with people like Moses, John the Baptist, and Corrie ten Boom. He’s singing with angels. He’s enjoying everlasting life and praising God for His great goodness. 

We haven’t lost anything — we just have to wait longer to meet him.

Don’t think I’m not hurting. It’s just that I’m called to rejoice in all things — even in the midst of intense grief — and I guess this is what it looks like.

Thank you to all the people who loved our baby with us. Carrying Ollie for 7 weeks (short for Oliver or Olivia) was one of the greatest privileges I have known. I’m glad God let the last week be filled with joy and maternity shopping and hope instead of the fear I had been experiencing. I’m glad for the people who are loving us and blessing us through the aftermath.

I’m sad. But I’m also glad because God is good and He has given us good things … even in our loss. It took me a while to feel at peace with sharing this intimate part of us — but I’ve had a quiet day full of tears and rest and simple, household chores and God has sent a tremendous freedom in sharing what is hurting most.

For others who are needing healing read my friend Angel’s words. They’re just right for someone needing to heal in the loss and gain life’s sufferings bring.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10,11

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Beatrix Potter Nursery Inspiration

Baby Room Ideas for the New Mommy at AuthenticVIrtue.com

I love dreaming up ideas for our little one’s bedroom. I love making our house a home and creating a peaceful, welcoming space — it’s a creative outlet I’m addicted too. I just can’t help myself! 😉

Read more

Resting in Jesus Means Letting Him Refine Us // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Ah … it’s a good day at the Duncan house. Coffee is poured, candles are lit and, best thing of all, my heart is finding a place to rest.

You’ve all been such gems listening to my worries and sending encouragement my way. Thank you. Thank you for being the Body of Christ and being such a good friends.

We went to our first ultrasound and saw our little one, all seven weeks and four days growth of him. We couldn’t hear the heartbeat but our midwife felt confident that baby’s positioning and size were marks of a healthy, growing baby.

Isn’t God good?

The funny thing was that I left the clinic still worried. It’s like my heart had become addicted to worrying because worry is the only thing I can control.

Dalton challenged me to do something different.

He challenged me to trust in God. To place my trust in His great goodness and love and power. He challenged me to rest in God’s care, let go of worry, and enjoy this time.

You know what? He’s right. He’s 100%, perfectly, wonderfully right. Giving up worry and control isn’t easy for me — I like holding the reins on my life. But I’m starting to suspect that the 2+ years of waiting to conceive and now disconcerting spotting aren’t accidents.

God is placing me in circumstances I wish I could control but can’t. As one friend said, “God has a way of allowing or giving us exactly what we need in our life to help refine us.” I think it’s time I let Him.

So, first step? I’m going to start celebrating Baby Duncan like he/she will be arriving December 28th instead of thinking of the worse possibilities. I’m going to start literally preparing for my little one. I’m going to start giving thanks for baby’s future instead of dreading what I fear is his/her present.

I’m going to have a friend over for coffee and cinnamon rolls and we’re going to laugh and celebrate our good God.

How are you going to start trusting God today?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Dealing with Fear in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

AuthenticVIrtue.com dealing with fear in your pregnancy

I wrote this on a rainy Sunday afternoon when my heart was overflowing with so many things. Some of the things were good like hope, expectation, good music and eyes lifted to the Lord. Other things were bad and revolved around fear, fear, fear and more fear.

I’ve always been open on this blog. Being authentic is part of being a piece of the body of Christ. I learn when I’m open and we all grow when we walk through life’s waves together. So I wrote this knowing I was in a safe place and that you’d let this new mommy share her concerns — it’s a safe place for all of us.

I’m six glorious weeks and six days deep into pregnancy. I’ve experienced mood swings, tender body parts, brief moments of nausea, and spotting.

Which is why I’ve been scared. I’ve read and reread articles which say spotting within the first trimester is nothing to be overly concerned with. I’ve been told it’s normal. But when you waited two plus years to conceive spotting seems to be a momentous occasion where I’m tempted to be afraid.

The day I wrote this I googled the line, “Verses for when you feel you have no faith.” I didn’t find anything worth reading. I felt like crying all over again but felt God calling me to open His Word. Phrases came pouring out from David’s heart.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” Psalms 46:1,2

Though I am spotting and my mind runs to worst case scenarios and I want to cry myself into the fetal position … God is my refuge, a very present help in trouble.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies …” Psalms 51:1

Even though I felt like I’m drowning in fear and know it’s no way for a Christian to behave … have mercy on me, Jesus, according to your loving-kindness and tender mercies.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” Psalms 51:9-12

Oh, Lord, my heart has been full of dark things when it should be trusting and rejoicing in you. Instead of living in your love and freedom I’m afraid of losing something precious to me. Create in me a clean heart and renew my spirit so I can have joy in my salvation again. Thank You that no matter what life sends our way we have a guarantee that Your Holy Spirit and Loving Person will never leave us.

These are the verses I needed two days ago because these verses apply to real life for the 2016, twenty-six year-old, first time mommies who wonder at every spot and cramp.

Life is scary whether you’re a young wife waiting to conceive, going through cancer treatments, dealing with a church split, facing a loved one’s passing, or trying to decide which major to pursue.

Life is scary but we have a real God and a loving, interceding Jesus Who walk us through these things.

Thank you for letting me be so open about my life. I love this blog and the community of women we’ve grown to be. I love that I can share my fears of being a first time mommy who is spotting while being crazy in love with Baby Duncan and privileged to be almost 7 weeks in.

It’s a glorious time that we’re eating up — and I’m over-the-moon excited for our first appointment this week to see what all this spotting is about (and hopefully hear baby’s heartbeat).

p.s. the spotting has gotten much better which is also something I’m over-the-moon about.

And while I wait, I want learn to be okay with the unknowns and enjoy fully the gift God has given me.

Because we’re not given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Pregnancy Update 6/26/16: In case you’ve missed out here is the post of when I was told I had miscarried Baby Duncan at 8 weeks and the post where we discovered the miscarriage was misdiagnosed at 9 weeks. Now, at 12 weeks, we’re waiting on the Lord while we pray for my subchorionic hematoma to heal and all the joy and fear that comes with that.

I thought these links may be helpful. <3 Love to you, reader!

How To Develop an (Awesome) Relationship with Your Mother-in-Law

What to Develop a Relatinship with Your Mother-in-Law?

We all know the traditional, stereotypical relationship expected between mother and daughter in-laws. (Cue snarky, drama-filled movies … should I get the popcorn and tissues?) 😉

And, honestly, developing an awesome relationship with your mother-in-law can be difficult.

But I believe it is totally worth it.

I’m not naïve in believing all in-laws relationships will be perfect; far from it! But I am a big believer in loving people through their (and our) imperfections and letting the love of Christ work relationships even in the most prickly situations.

Over the course of our marriage I’ve discovered a few ways to purposefully build a relationship with my mother-in-law (whose an awesome lady, by the way). These simple, every day opportunities have helped me build a great relationship with the woman who has loved my husband a lot longer then I. 😉

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”] Pursue Relationship[/pullquote]

There’s the saying “You can either be right or act right” and it’s incredibly true. As Christian women we have the opportunity to choose between being right or acting right and sometimes it’s a hard choice!

Pursuing a relationship with your mother-in-law means pursuing acting right instead of being right. When we pursue a relationship with our husbands we choose to love even when he’s being unloveable. We choose to see the best in him, choose to overlook irritations, and when we have to address issues we do it lovingly.

It’s the same way with your mother-in-law. If you want an awesome relationship with your mother-in-law (and you do!) practice pursuing a relationship with her over pursuing being right.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Expect Differences[/pullquote]

There is no way around it — your mother-in-law and you will have differences. She has a lifetime of experience, insight, mistakes and victories. You have a lifetime of the same. Most likely you’ll be two totally different personalities (she’s an early riser who runs her own business and you’re a stay-at-home, late-riser busy with home things; at least that’s my story). 😉

Maybe the only common thing between you is the love you both have for her son.

When we learn to expect and appreciate the differences in our mother-in-laws personality we begin to build relationship and foster friendship.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Communicate with Your Spouse[/pullquote]

So. So. So important.

Be open with your spouse about the struggles (or amazingness) of your relationship with your mother-in-law; after all, your man will probably have some insight into the woman he grew up with. 😉

However, this is not the place to nag, complain or belittle. Please, just don’t. Nothing is accomplished through complaining about your in-laws except alienating your spouse and providing bitterness a place to grow.

Instead, pray together over the difficulties you’re experiencing. Be constructive and purposeful in your discussions. Be honest without being mean.

Do this behind the scenes and you’re one step closer to developing a relationship with your mother-in-law.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Set Boundaries[/pullquote]

In every good relationship boundaries exist. This can be difficult and, thankfully, I have a great mom-in-law who is proactive in this area. With your spouse decide what boundaries are necessary for you and your marriage.

There will be days when saying no to your mother-in-law (and even mom!) will be necessary; learn to be okay with this! Graciously and lovingly stand unified with your spouse and hold to the boundaries you’ve set.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Discover Her Love Language[/pullquote]

Whether you know it or not, your mother-in-law is a human being; she has fears, dreams and preferred ways of loving and being loved. Take the time to uncover the treasure she is meant to be.

One way to do that is to discover what her love language is. Is she quality time? Then don’t lather her with gifts. Does she love her people through acts of service? Then pursue loving her the same way.

While loving people according to their love language isn’t a fix all it is one way to build friendship and understanding — two necessary elements of having an awesome relationship with your mom-in-law.

[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Love Humbly[/pullquote]

At the end of the day having a relationship with your mother-in-law simply means loving her humbly. Remember what love is: love is patient, kind, not proud and full of goodwill.

And you’re going to get a lot of practice loving.

Your mother-in-law may be prickly, absent, or obsessive; she may also be elegant, gentle and Christ-filled. No matter how she acts she is your opportunity to let Christ work through you and in you. Allow your Lord to work proactive, grace-filled, powerful love in you toward your mother-in-law.

And enjoy the benefits that grow.

How have you purposefully developed a relationship with someone the world tells you you’ll oppose? Share your ideas and heart with us. Let’s grow together in grace and community!

With love, blessings and alotta coffee (lately 😉 )

Frannie